Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Monday, August 31, 2009

This is it!

Two days. That's all that's left of the summer before I am required to be back at work and doing my thing in the classroom. Well, not technically in the classroom- two full days of meetings and then back in the classroom on September 8th with the chitlins.

My room is done. Finished last week, and it's spectacular. Okay, it's a regular classroom, but I like what I've done with the place. I need to add a few more finishing touches here and there, but it's coming along nicely. However, I have yet to really sit down and plan anything to teach inside this marvelous classroom. And that, my friends, is today's plan! I'll check back later when I have some progress to report.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I love my dog, but...

Our first night home with the puppy... just over 2 years ago.

He has/had this little face that will just melt your heart! (Sorry it's a little blurry)

I love my dog, I think I love him as much as I would a child. I am a dog person! But...this morning I wanted to sleep in and Kahne was not sure that was going to happen. It wasn't that he wanted me to play with him, or that he needed to go out. Mike does that before he leaves for work. No, it was that I had opened the bedroom windows to let some the fresh, fall-like air into the house and he could hear ever noise. Therefore, every noise was someone coming to attack me! His solution to this problem was to sit on my chest, or pace the bed, get is hackles up and howl as loud as he could out the window. Did I mention it was 8 o'clock in the morning?

This is what he looked like before we even got to pick him up. The breeder sent us a few pics.

Nowadays, he is very grown-up looking, but still so cute!

So, back to the sleep-in. It's very hard to get mad at a dog who is working hard to make sure no one is coming in to hurt you. Kahne mostly reacts to noises like this when I am home alone, which is sweet and endearing. I can appreciate that he wants to protect me. At the same time, I am running out of days in the summer when I can sleep in before I go back to work and today was one of the last chances. Oh well, eventually he calmed down, I read a little from my book and we both had a little morning nap.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Careers that could have been..

The completed shoe rack in all its glory! Organized and complete!

About 12 years ago now when I was applying to universities and choosing a major my father decided that one of my options should be to become a "tool and die maker". Now you might be thinking that I was a kid who enjoyed tinkering with things, building with legos, taking apart radios and putting them back together, etc. You would be wrong.

I was the kid sitting in the corner reading a book, or reading 5 books. The kid who always was the note taker, list maker, record keeper in every game we played. I love fresh new paper, new pens, new markers....and on and on and on. You get the idea.

So when my father approached me with the idea of learning a trade I was quite confused. Where had this man gotten this idea? Had he not spent 18 years living in the same home as me? In the same home, I might add, where my father was the only male. This meant that he did all the "manly" chores. I was never asked to take out the garbage. I only once cut the grass but that that was because I begged my cousin Mark to let me because I wanted to know what it was like. (Looking back I really can't believe I begged my cousin to let me do his chores!) So at the age of 18 my father had really never seen me do anything remotely trade-worthy.

My boyfriend and I did spend a summer building a slate sidewalk in front of the house, and then the following summer my sister and I built a matching slate patio. The second summer was just my sister and I because I had broken up with the previously mentioned boyfriend. Building both the sidewalk and the patio was heavy, physical work because the slate weighed a tonne (literally, that's how much my parents bought) but it didn't really require any knowledge of anything. It was like a puzzle with no picture and where you had to make your own pieces.

So why has this memory of a career that could have been popped up today? Well I bought a small wire shoe rack from Solutions for $9.99. Judging by the price you would be correct in thinking that it is a piece of cr*p. Plus it came unassembled. So I drew upon all my previous experience in building things...none, and attempted to put together this shoe rack. I managed the feat, in only 20 minutes or so and was reminded once again why I became a teacher and not a tool and die maker. Sorry Dad.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Well Some of It Got Done...

Whew...I had a very productive day and I am super proud of myself. I painted and painted today. The trim is pretty much done, just a bit of it still needs a second coat. I also started doing some touch ups on some of the other painting I had already done. The stripes that I painted bled a little under the tape and I am way too much of a control freak to let it stay like that. I must say that I am super proud of my stripes...they look awesome. I finished going through my Grade 7 stuff so it's all ready to give to Kelly, as well. So many things to check off my list!

I also started my long-range planning for the new school year. I am moving from Grade 7 to Grade 8 this year which means that I need to re-plan EVERYTHING! It's a lot of decisions to make all at one time. I have a lot of ideas about what I want to teach for reading and writing, because those are my passions, but it's hard to narrow everything down and really choose what I want. Plus when you are teaching something for the first time you never really know how long things are going to take. I only have a few days left to plan, it seems like almost 2 weeks is a long time...but! I am obviously not going to spend everyday planning, all day, and I still want to have some fun during the last little bit of the summer.

The to-do list

So we are down to almost single digit days until I go back to work and I am finally realizing how long my summer to-do list really is! How did all this time go by without me getting everything done? Grrrrr.

Things to do:

1) finish the painting in the hallway (trim) and replace all the electrical covers
2) hang the pictures and decoration in the hallway
3) go through my Grade 7 stuff before giving it to Kelly
4) start planning for Grade 8- History unit, Mystery unit
5) plan the first week of school
6) newsletter

I am sure there is tons more I want to do but I don't want to overwhelm myself! My only question though is whether anyone ever really finishes their to-do list?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The first official day

So I am not counting yesterday since it was my birthday, but today is the first actual day of my 30's. I am tired already! LOL I had an appointment at 8:00 am this morning, which is really too early to do almost anything, and now I am back home blogging (obviously). I am supposed to go to the passport office today to file my application for my passport but I must admit the couch is pretty awesome. I would like nothing more than to sit here all day and read and relax, but chances are I will get up and go. Blah.

So 30 eh? I wonder what the next decade will bring? My friends have all been telling me that 30 is the new 20- which makes sense now that we are all in our 30's that we would be a lot happier about it than 20. Looking back over the last 20 years I do really feel as though my twenties, maybe everyone's twenties, are really an extension of the teen years. I mean does anyone really know anything about who they are and where they are going in their twenties? I thought I did but now that I have reached 30 and I do feel a lot more confident about where my life is heading.

Right now there are a lot of things up in the air and a little hazy but I do feel that I am more capable of making the important decisions when I get to the moment where they will need to be made. I have a job I love, good friends and a supportive family. Maybe 30 is really just the start of everything to come?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fantastic Quote

"There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favourite book."
~ Marcel Proust

Today I am 30.

No real big thoughts today...I just wanted to announce that I have turned 30!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am a workout machine!!

Okay, so maybe not a machine, but I have managed to do some type of workout everyday for over a week, except for yesterday. Sunday was my planned day of I was way to hung-over to move in any sort of reasonable fashion yesterday.

But back to the good news! I have found a yoga studio that I like and I am going to try and go at least 1 a week. It is a little pricey to go much more often than twice a week anyway. In between, I have started to train to run 5k. I am not sure if I am actually going to work towards a race yet, or if I just want to do it to say that I can!

The one thing I have learned is that I really don't like being all sweaty...gross! Plus I need new headphones. Right now I have been running without music, which isn't so bad as I am working on my breathing, but I am sure that I will eventually want to have some music to take my mind off the torture that is the running. I'm kidding..kinda. I am starting to feel that I could keep going past the alloted time I am supposed to run, but all the training articles I have read said that runners who are just starting out often push themselves too hard and then get injured and quit. So I am trying to stick very closely to the time I am told to run! lol No extra running for me.

So will hangovers just continue to get progressively worse?

My cousin Jamie and her husband, Chris, had everyone over on Saturday for a wine party. The boys mostly drank beer and played "Newfy Horseshoes" but the girls did their best with the wine. Well actually, sangria. We drank, and talked, and drank, and talked....and on and on. Bri said quite a few times,  "I don't really feel like I have been drinking at all." And we all agreed with her...until WHAM! The sangria snuck up on you and hit you hard across the head. What a night!

We discovered on the morning that between about 4 (maybe 5) girls we drank the equivalent of 12 bottles on wine! Are you kidding me?? All I know is that I have less than 2 days left in my twenties and the hangovers just keep getting worse.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Addicted to Yoga

Photo from:

It's only been a few weeks since I started "practicing" (I think that's the right term) yoga and I am already loving it. I really enjoy that it is a hardcore work out. Man, do I sweat!! But it's also relaxing and I feel strong after. I really enjoy that I don't end up all breathless and puffing!

I found a great studio here in Brampton. I had gone to another studio before this, but most of their classes were hot yoga. That's where they heat up the room over 40 degrees. It's supposed to release all sorts of toxins and be very good for you...but I just felt really hot, and really dizzy near the end!! Maybe once I get better at if I can go back and try again?

Anyway, the studio I am going to Brampton is called 5 Elements Yoga and Pilates. It's located in an old shoe factory and the building is beautiful! If you visit the yoga studio's website they have some pictures of their studio rooms and you can see for yourself!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lunch with Friends

I met up with two work friends today to have a nice lunch out. I hadn't seen either of these ladies since school ended...waaaaaaay back in June, and after our lunch today I am really wondering "why not?"

I think people get very "busy" and we fill up our time until so much has passed that we say to ourselves "oh my goodness, I haven't seen so-so in a very long time" and only then do we make the attempt to get together. Why does this happen? I have friends out there that I haven't seen in months, maybe years. How does that happen?

Meeting up with friends for lunch, for drinks, for bowling, for whatever is always such a good time I really think I should do it more and not worry about how busy I am. A guy I once knew well used to say "you can sleep when you are dead"...and so be it! Less sleep and more time spent with friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

999 Challenge Books

Here are the books I have read so far in the 9 categories I have chosen for this year. Some categories have blank spots because I haven't chosen which books I am going to read yet. Some are filled in but do not have a finished date because I have not read them yet, but am planning to. Any suggestions to fill out my categories are welcome!

999 Challenge
1. Mystery
1. The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry (finished Apr 3rd)
2. Flush by Carl Haissen (YA) (finished April 30th) 
3. Careless in Red by Elizabeth George (finished July 1st)

2. Historical Fiction
1. The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer  (finished Mar 7th)
2. The Ha-Ha by Dave King (audiobook finished Jan 26th)
3. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (finished Feb 25th)
4. Fallen Skies (finished May 24th) 
5. Vlad- The Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys  (finished August 3rd)
6. Absolute Honour by C.C. Humphreys (finished Aug 10th)

3. Review Committee/ Books for School
1. What-the-Dickens by Gregory McGuire (finished Jan 19th)
2. Crash (finished Feb 6th)
3. Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell (finished Mar 22nd)
4. Primavera by Mary Ann Beauford (finished April 12th)
5. War Brothers by Sharon E. McKay (finished April 21st)
6. The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo (finished May 24th)
7. The General by Robert Muchamore (finished May 30th)

4. Teen Fiction (YA Lit)
1. InkDeath by Cornealia Funke (finished July 21st)
2. Alexandria of Africa by Eric Walters (finished January 31st- good for a novel study)
3. Cut by Patricia McCormick
4. L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad (finished Aug 8th)
5. Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith (finished Aug 12th)

5. Sci-Fi/ Fantasy
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (finished Jan 31st- a new favourite)
2. House of Night: Marked by PC and Kristin Cast (finished Feb 11th)
3. House of Night: Betrayed by PC and Kristin Cast (finished Feb 14th) 
4. House of Night: Chosen by PC and Kristin Cast (finished Feb 17th)
5. House of Night: Untamed by PC and Kristin Cast (finished Feb 20th)
6. The Softwire: Betrayal on Orbis 1 by PJ Haarsma (finished March 31st)
7. The House of Night: Hunted by PC and Kristin (finished Mar 16th)
8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (finished Aug 11th)

6. Bestsellers
1. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
2. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
3. The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci
4. Freakonomics (finished April 5th)
5. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young (finished June 19th)
6. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffennegar (finished Aug 7th)

7. Realistic Fiction
1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (finished January 8th)
2. The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
3. The Island: Shipwreck by Gordon Korman (finished June 19th)
4. Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys: A Novel by Eric Garcia (finished July 26th)

8. Re-reads (books I want to read again)
1. Life of Pi
2. The Celestine Prophecy
3. Emma
4. InkHeart by Cornelia Funke (finished April 11th)
5. InkSpell by Cornelia Funke (finished May 12th) 
6. The Murder at Hazelmoor by Agatha Christie (finished Jan 25th)

9. Miscellaneous
1. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (finished June 26th)
2. Naughts and Crosses by Mallory Blackman (finished Feb 8th)
3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (finished June 2nd)
4. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (finished June 6th)
5.  Specials by Scott Westerfeld (finished June 9th)

How much do I read?

This is a post for my friend Dave who wanted to know why I have stopped blogging. I haven't. I just didn't really have anything I was thinking about lately, or I was thinking too much. It's been one of those summers. One I will remember forever, but not always for good reasons.

Anyway, I started off this year embarking on a new reading challenge. I found it online and it is called the 999 Challenge. First, you choose 9 categories of books. Second, you read 9 books in each of the 9 categories (81 books). Third, you do it all in 2009.

I was intrigued by this challenge because I read a lot. A LOT. And I have never before tracked my own reading. Not how many books I have read in year. Not by genre. Not even by title. So I was interested to see if I could complete the challenge and if not, how many books I could read. I started out with a bang in January and February. 81 books in 12 months works out approximately to 6 books a month. It doesn't actually sound like a lot to someone who can read a book in an evening depending on the length and the interest level.

However, it is August 12th, was past the halfway mark for the year and I just finished book #42. (That's right, Dave! Since you made fun of me for my nerdiness on Facebook because I had read 41 books I have finished another one!) I am feeling a little nervous that I won't finish all 81. Now, in the beginning I said (multiple times) that I wasn't in it to feverishly try to finish, but really just to track my reading. But now that we are getting closer to the end of the year, I really would like to finish and read all 81 books, but I am going to seriously have to get my butt in gear.

Do you think it is cheating if I start to choose really short books that are below my reading level? You know, like my students do. 'Cause obviously I would agree that in Grade 7 a book about Grade 4 students is an appropriate choice! Silly students.

Monday, August 3, 2009

3rd Day...still painting

The nearly completed entry way. The paint colour is "burnt almond".

Well I am up early for my third day in a row of painting. I seriously did not think this "mini"- project would take the entire weekend. Which was silly of me in retrospect because the ceilings in our stairwell are like 15 ft high. This required a ladder rental, and a husband willing to go up on the ladder because there was no way I was going! Today we are going to finish rolling the walls, hopefully we can get both coats on today and I am going to start my stripe wall! The trim will have to wait for a few weeks until the wall colour has cured so we can tape on the walls again.

Painting is an interesting endeavour, that's for sure. It's somewhat like a new beginning. All the past mistakes, bumps, scrapes and injuries get covered by a bright, shining new layer and everything looks renewed. It's kind of a metaphor for what I need right now. I am at a crossroads in my life. I for sure can't go back, there are too many bumps and bruises leading back that way. I can continue forward on this road but some major road work needs to be done in order for the road to continue very far into the future. Or I can try a completely new path. Choosing the new path would mean the destruction of the old path, which is a scary and sad thought.

But for today I am going to concentrate on finishing my painting and leave the big decision making for another day...or at least until I have had some coffee!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Paint, a Long Weekend and Lots of Thoughts

This has been a long summer so far for me...I am going through some stuff and spend the better part of my day thinking, and thinking, and thinking...which can be maddening!!

My husband and I moved into our first house last May. In the first 2 weeks we painted the living room, the kitchen and the master room....and since then we have done NOTHING! lol So this weekend I decided that I would like to paint the entryway and the hallway leading up to the bedrooms. Our living room is "melted chocolate"- that is the actual paint name! I love it. So I wanted to do the entryway and the hallway a lighter brown- it's called "burnt almond". There is one wall that is currently white, and I can't really decide what to do with it. The suggestions made so far have been to do 1) the "melted chocolate" paint, 2) the "burnt almond" paint, 3) leave it white, 4) a new brown/tan colour...and finally I thought of doing it as an accent wall with the "melted chocolate", "burnt almond", the grey paint I chose for the stair railing and white stripes of varying sizes. For now, we are going to leave it white because I really can't make a decision.

Painting has given me lots of time to think this weekend...which is exactly what I didn't need. As a teacher I have TONS of to think as I am off work for the summer. Well, I taught summer school for July but really that was only 4 hours a day! Still lots of time for thinking, and thinking, and thinking. On one hand it is a bit of a blessing to have so much time to think and try to figure stuff out, but at the same time...I might be going crazy!

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe