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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Nights

I know that it is still Spring, but it sure has felt like Summer around here lately and we have had more summer-like days than all of the last year combined. That is way this post is entitled- Summer Nights.

There is something special about a BBQ and a get together with friends that starts in the afternoon when the sun is shining and ends in a cool evening when you need a sweater. I'll set the scene for you.

The sun lovers are sitting on one side of the yard, others are crowded under the shade of the umbrella. Everyone has a drink of choice and is snacking on the delicious food brought by everyone. I love the pot-luck aspect of a BBQ. You get to try new dips and appetizers that other's serve and maybe (fingers crossed) get a new recipe to bring next time! Sometimes everyone is talking together about one thing, sometimes smaller conversations break off amongst people sitting next to each other, sometimes people get up to go play a game (horseshoes, washers, or flip cup depending on the drinking factor of the party participants!) (I love a good game of flip cup!).

The conversation ebbs and flows about all sorts of things, jobs, families, sports, TV and movies, people you know in common, funny stories from people's pasts. Now-a-days more of the conversation is turning to kids and babies as more and more of our friends start their families and soon more of our parties will involve children being there as well.

Of course, when the main dinner is served the conversation tends to quiet down as people eat their fill but there is always the occasional "Oh, this salad is so good! Where did you get the recipe?" or "I have a recipe similar to this except that I use _______ instead of ________".

I must say though my favourite part of a summer BBQ is when the sun goes down, the candles and torches get lit and everyone gets out the sweaters. Of course, this is also usually when the bugs arrive (never invited of course, so rude). I like conversations over the flickering of a candle and the music playing in the background.

Maybe it comes from my 20+ summers spent at summer camp but to me there is nothing better than hanging around a campfire, or a candle flame if you can't have a fire. It's just magic. I think it draws people together. Stories are spun around a campfire that would not otherwise be told. Friendships are cemented and made concrete. Possibilities are endless when there is a flickering flame and everything is new and hopeful.

If you've never sat around a campfire, gone camping or even just had a backyard BBQ this is summer!! Go on, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Announcements

So I announced to my class that I would be leaving at the end of the year to go and teach at a new school, their reaction was... "NOOOOO, What? OMG??"

And then I reminded them that they were in Grade 8 and would be leaving the school too.

Then they were all, "Oh yeah, whatever."

But for a brief minute they were really sad.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The End of A Season....

... a TV season that is.

All my favourite TV shows have ended and I am in limbo waiting for something to come on to watch. I am filling the time with gardening, walking the dog, trying to beat the heat, counting down the days until summer starts, and of course reading.

Are you a TV junkie? Did you wait for baited breath for the Lost finale? Did you cry through Grey's Anatomy? I don't think I would call myself a junkie but I do enjoy a good story line and some great drama. Nothing like escaping into other people's lives.

I am excited for some summer TV as well, So You Think You Can Dance and The Bachelorette. What can I say? I like reality TV. Sue me.

Do you have any favourites? Shows you have to see? When I was a kid my best friend and I would watch Full House every Friday night. Of course, our parents didn't let us get together every week so we would just call each other and watch TV while on the phone. Most of the time we weren't even talking! Well, we did chat a lot during the commercials I suppose.

Now-a-days my husband and I are often in separate rooms watching TV. He's not one for the romance and drama, and I can only watch so many hockey/baseball/football games or NASCAR races!! There are the special nights when we do watch TV together. We always watched Lost as a twosome so I am sad to see that show go, and we watch Survivor together as well. We also tend to like the same movies, I like action films almost as much as I like a romantic comedy so we will often watch a movie together, either at home or the theatre.

Well I am all out of rambling thoughts of nothing so I will end this post. Now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Perfect Weekend

What is a perfect weekend? Does it exist? If it does, then I think the one I just had was pretty darn close. It was a perfect mix of sleeping in, getting stuff done, sunshine, BBQ, seeing friends, shopping, watching a movie, gardening, naps, books, a cute husband and my puppy.

What else do you need?

After 4 days off, tomorrow morning is going to hurt. Hmmm, Mondays...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunny Sunny Sunshine

What is it about sunshine that makes Canadians go just a little (a lot?) crazy? Is it the months we spend in the cold? Is it the greyness that envelopes us for days upon days? Is it the snow, and the slush, and then the rain, and then usually the return of snow for a least a few days? Whatever it is, at the least mention of sunshine Canadians are in their shorts, tank tops, sandals and heading outside for a BBQ.

The ice cream truck has been coming around for over two weeks already.

Sunscreen in selling out at the drug store.

It's just a little crazy up here in the north.

We went to a BBQ last night, have one planned ourselves for next Saturday AND are going to a third next Sunday. Burgers. Hotdogs. Ribs. Potato Salad. It's like we have all been shut in and just got our first glimpse of the sun after years of incarceration. Seriously.

People who live in the south must think we are crazy. Here's an example:

This is the guy who worked on the beach while I was in Florida over March Break. Notice that he is wearing a coat? Most of the days that we spent on the beach in bathing suits the guys working at the resorts were in coats, and usually pants. Some of them even wore hats!! HATS! Not ten feet away I was in a bathing suit! The sunshine, it just does something to us Canadians.

Here in Canada May 2-4 (Victoria Day) weekend is the unofficial start to summer. Canadians take to camping sites and cottages in droves... and every year it's cold, rainy, and miserable. Every. Year.

Not this year. We opted to stay in town, do some gardening, and of course, BBQ. I'm serious, as soon as the sunshine arrives it's like Canadians all forget that they even own a stove. This year has been great! We had one day of rain, because really it wouldn't be May 2-4 without it, but for the most part it has been sunny, warm and very summer-like. I am loving it. I hope that this means we will have a sunny summer. Last year it rained. Every. Day. For the whole summer. Everyone was miserable. I think the entire country was vitamin D deficient.

Whatever the outcome and what people think of us, Canadians will continue to be sun worshippers and I for one am super happy that summer (for now, just wait a few hours here in Canada, the weather can turn on a dime!) has returned to us. Bring on the burgers.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Waking Up

Waking up is such a funny thing. It can be excruciating torture or blissfully happy depending on the day or the circumstance. Weekdays usually tend to fall in the first category, especially Monday mornings. The painful sound of the alarm clock going off way too early rouses you from your slumber. In the winter it's still dark outside. In my opinion, if it's dark you should be sleeping. Sleeping!

Weekday morning always feel like such a rushed affair. The dog needs to be walked, you need to fit in a shower, blowdrying your hair, making breakfast AND lunch (if you didn't have enough forethought to make it the night before...which I never do) and then there is always the question of what to wear?? Our closest situation does not help this question. We have a poorly functioning closet organizer, it actually makes things harder to find. I look forward to the day when we get a new one.

Weekday mornings are all about the routine. If one thing throws your routine off then the whole ship goes down. When my husband I still lived in our apartment our routine was established because I had to get up very early to drive to work, I like to get to school about an hour before we start. But when we bought our house we were getting up at the same time! Uh oh. This lead to some tense mornings as we circled around each other and tried to figure out what new routine would be. Who would shower first? Who would walk the dog? Who's car went in the garage at night and whose went in the driveway? Questions to some importance really when you are trying to rush around half asleep at 6:30. The struggle of figuring out this new routine lead to a few not so small arguments in the morning.

Weekend mornings tend to be more leisurely. The dog still needs to go out, of course, but he can usually make do with a quick trip around the park and then I can head back to bed. Weekend mornings involve sleeping in and luxuriating in the softness of your bed rather than springing to wakefulness and flying into the shower. I love those mornings when you wake up and your bed and your sheets and your pillows all feel perfect. No matter how you lie you are comfortable, everything is right about your bed. What a great feeling that is. Weekend mornings usually involve a more complex breakfast than a cereal bar and a gulp of juice on your way out the door. Bacon. Eggs. Toast. Waffles. Or the best of the best... going out for breakfast!

Is there anything better than going out for breakfast? I truly think that going our for breakfast is one of the ultimate luxuries in life. Especially when you find a place that makes your eggs just the way you like them....ummmm, so good. My dad is a big fan of going out for breakfast but he also makes a mean breakfast at home. He could have had great success as a short order cook. When we were young he used to make us soft boiled eggs. We even had our own little egg cups for our soft boiled eggs. They were shaped like chickens. I'm not sure how a chicken would have felt about us eating their young though? Hmmm. My dad would also make  toast "fingers" for us to dip in the soft boiled eggs.

Now that we are older he makes us the usual fried eggs, bacon or sausage, homemade potatoes, and toast. But the best part is that when we are home visiting he cooks the entire breakfast and wake us up in time to come to the table and eat! How is that for service??

Today, however, was not one of those glorious breakfast outs, of even a breakfast made at home. It was cold leftover pizza from last night. But sometimes that is really good too!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ideas....where are you?

Is it possible for your creativity to dry up? Where did all my ideas go?

I can't seem to focus on writing for my blog lately, and I know I have mentioned this before, but it doesn't seem to be going away. If there aren't any new blog posts in the next little while just know that I am recharging and hoping for ideas to come to me.

I did just finish reading Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters so I could always write a review of that....but even that seems very daunting right now. Sigh.

Anyone have any questions and something they have been dying to know about me?? Any suggestions of good memes I can participate in each day??

HELP!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If, a borrowed meme

This post idea was borrowed from Helen at Helen's Book Blog who borrowed it from Ryan at Wordsmithonia, and so the idea moves on and grows.




If I was...
a month I'd be September
a day of the week I'd be Thursday
a time of the day I'd be brunch time

If I was...
a sea animal I'd be a sting ray
a direction I'd be south
a piece of furniture I'd be a bed
a liquid I'd be ice tea

If I was...
a gemstone I'd be emerald
a tree I'd be a maple
a tool I'd be a label maker
a kind of weather I'd be a hot summer day with a breeze

If I was...
a musical instrument I'd be a guitar
a color I'd be green
an emotion I'd be happy
a fruit I'd be a pineapple

If I was...
a food I'd be pasta
a material I'd be jogging pant material
a scent I'd be turkey dinner
a flavor I'd be peanut butter

If I was...
a sound I'd be a sigh
an element I'd be earth
a mammal I'd be a dog
a phase of the moon I'd be half full

If I was...
a berry I'd be a raspberry
a bird I'd be a loon
a book I'd be Anne of Green Gables
a place I'd be the cottage

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bookshelf Pictures

For all of you that have asked, here are the pictures of my bookshelf with the books organized by spine colour. I am not sure the pictures do it justice but you can tell me what you think.


Shoppity Shop Shop

I love to shop! Love it! And in light of my recent inability to think of my own blog topics, this is another prompt I found online.

How do you shop?

Well, I do shop a lot but not an extreme or inappropriate amount I think. My husband may think otherwise!

I really like to shop with people, usually my mom or my sister, but I like to be able to wander away and look at my own things and my own pace. I hate when someone is constantly showing you things, or calling you back to look at something. Let me explain, I really enjoy shopping with company and ohhhing and ahhhing over each other's finds but I hate when I have to look at everything my companion is looking at and stay together the entire time. I have my own pace and method for shopping and sometimes I like to go it alone.

I also go in order, I am a very organized person. I have to go through each aisle or rack as I pass it just in case I miss something or forgot something and then seeing it jogs my memory. For example, in the grocery store I go into the produce section, then go all the way around the outside of the store and then up and down every aisle until I get to the end of the store. That way I get everything I need, and usually something I forgot but then saw it in the store!

In a clothing store I go all the way around the outside and then up the middle, and I usually like to wander around more then once in case I saw something and wasn't too sure but then decide I do want to check it out.

I have realized as I write this out that I am a pretty routinized person. Wow, maybe I should shake things up a bit? LOL

The Stress Test

As the school year starts to draw to close I am finding myself less and less invilved with the success of my students. Is it is because on a regular basis only 5/25 students complete their homework? Probably. Is it because I answer questions like, "Where do I hand this in?" (a routine we have had in place since September). Yep. Is it because there are less than 30 days left and my grade 8's have checked out? Absolutely.

I figure after 9 months (plus all of last year for some of them) I have done what I can. I am only one woman. I can't be everything for all of them I wish I could be but I can't. I really want them all to end the year with a whole heap of success but at this point it's not really enough if only I want it. A lot of my students have marks that have dropped 10 or even 20% this term! That's scary when you think a term is really only 3 months in elementary school.

So I am filling my days with health lessons...yeah for spring time and sex ed lessons, dance classes and probably a read aloud of "Beastly" to end off the year. At this point I just want to get through it!

We are, however, still doing essay writing and finishing up our Geography unit so please don't think I have slacked off comepletly...but really at this point I am fighting an up hill battle.

Spring time in Grade 8....what a wonderful time of year.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My High School Clique

I've been struggling lately with my blog writing. It's like my brain has shut off and I have no ideas. None. Zero. Zilch. . I haven't been reading very much lately so it's not like I can even blog about my books. I am currently reading "The Children's Book" by AS Byatt so hopefully when I finish that I will have some thoughts. Also, I have promised myself NOT to blog about school because I want to leave work at work as much as possible. So.... I went to Google and googled "Blog prompts" and got some ideas to help me along until my writing mojo comes back to me, hence today's post "My High School Clique".

My high school was very interesting, I think. I don't really remember that there were cliques that were exclusive or anything like that. People had their groups of friends that they hung out with more often than other people but if there was ever a party it really seemed like everyone was there. Now, I must say that I was one of the more popular people in school (please don't read that as egotistical, I will explain) so maybe other people had a totally different idea.

My high school experience involved a lot of extra-curriculars. My friends and I were all in French-immersion which means that we took half of all our classes in French from Grade 7 to the end of high school, so more homework as everything had to be translated. I also joined a ton of teams and clubs. I was a joiner. A sampling of some of the things that I did were: the curling team, the broomball team, Student Council Vice-President, Sports Council President, 30 Hour Dance-a-thon Co-ordinator, Peer Helpers, Peer Tutors, the drama shows (backstage), etc. So this is why I say I was one of the more popular people, not that I was super cool and awesome, but because I was so involved I knew a lot of people. I also worked at McDonald's all the way through high school. Looking back I really wonder where I found all the time?

I must say that in my circle of friends it was cool to get good marks. We were all university bound from the moment we started high school and it was a bit of a competition to see who could get the best marks. Most of us played on a sports team or two, the guys all played football, the girls were more diverse between volleyball, basketball, track, curling, badminton, etc. The super sporty girls that were on every team weren't in our circle but we definitely all knew each other and still hung out at parties. My group was known to the administration but in a good way. We could usually get by with missing a class or two if we were doing work for the Student Council or other clubs (we used this to our advantage!) and we were never in trouble!

I remember one time I got called down to the VP's office for being late to class and having to stand in line outside his office with the other students that had been called down. There were the kids who smoked on the front lawn there, the kids who were routinely suspended, who got into fights after school, and little old me. When I got into the VP's office he seemed shocked and asked why I was there. When I told him I had been late for class he told me that I was definitely not a student he needed to see and that if I ever got called down again not to come, no big deal! I'm sure the other kids in line hated me in that moment.

My group rarely drank alcohol or got drunk and we never came to any dance drunk. Why? Well because we were the ones organizing the dances and usually were too busy setting up. We did drink some towards our later years in high school but nothing like some people. I'm sure you've guessed by now that we were pretty "geeky" but in a cool way? It seemed cool then, anyway. I was voted prom queen, and my boyfriend was prom king so I can't have been that big a nerd, right?

Looking back is interesting and trying to remember what it was really like. I am rarely in contact with anyone from my high school anymore so I can't imagine that we were all that good of friends. We actually started to drift away pretty soon after we graduated but it was a good time while I was there.

High school is such an interesting time in your life, it seems so long while you are there but looking back it was so short too. I don't think it really sets the foundation of your life as much as people say it does. I know I am not the same person I was then. I am the same sort of person, a do-er and an organizer, but I think I have grown more confident in myself in a way I never was in high school. I know I like myslef better now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Readers Reading

I saw this post on Curling Up By the Fire, who has indicated that she saw it some place else....and so on and so on But I thought it was a great post to start off the weekend.


Do you snack while you read?
Nope. I snack plenty when doing other things, too plenty, but not while reading usually. My mom, however, enjoys jujubes.
What is your favourite drink while reading?
I usually have Crystal Light when I am at home...so I guess that.
Do you tend to mark your books as you read?
I do write in any professional books I am reading, I highlight and write myself little notes. But I rarely do it in novels anymore. I did when I was in college and read for all my classes.
How do you keep your place while reading a book?
I am a page folder. I know soooooo bad.
Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
Both.  I go through phases.  I love historical non-fiction.  I usually tend to read whatever I feel like reading.
Are you a person tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I often stop at the end of a chapter because it's the only thing that alerts me to stop reading! If a book is good I will read deep into the night.
Are you the type of person to just throw the book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
No, what a silly response. I just put the book away.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
Nope, I advocate to my students that this isn't what real readers do. I use the other words around it to approximate (infer) a meaning and if it bugs me I'll look it up later.
What are you currently reading?
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
What is the last book you bought?
I just ordered a bunch online that I am waiting to come in....some highlights are Last Song by Nicholas Sparks and House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
Usually only one at time but I have been finding myself trying to read more than one lately, turning over a new leaf perhaps?
Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I like to read in bed! Or cuddled under a blanket on the couch. Or suntanning outside.
Do you prefer series books or stand-alones?
I like series because then you get to know the characters really well and feel like you are a part of their lives. But then you are very sad when it is over!
Is there a specific book you find yourself recommending over and over?
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
How do you organize your books?
Well.....I just had a little organizing party with myself and re-organized my main bookshelf by spine colour! I saw it in a decorating magazine and loved how it looked. So pretty.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward

There is something very soothing about sitting sitting in the quiet of your house on a rainy Thursday afternoon in May. The end of the school year is so close I can almost taste it. 32 little (loooong) days. That's all. And my career at my current school will be ending. Four years of walking the same halls, saying good morning to the same people, getting my mail from the same ridiculously high mailbox cubby (seriously, I'm only 5'4"...why is mine at the very top?) and seeing the same kids.

It's funny, this year's graduating Grade 8's were the first kids I taught when I started at my school four years ago. I had a Grade 7 homeroom of kids that have obviously since moved onto the high school, but these Grade 8's were my little Grade 5's. Now they are leaving, and I am leaving. I haven't told them yet. The staff all know of course, but none of the kids. Their reactions will be interesting for sure. Some will not be sad to see me leave, as I will not be sad to see them leave...but I hope some will be.

It's been a trying year of ups and down, many downs it seems. My classes have tried my patience on more than one occasion, I have not really felt fulfilled professionally in a long time, and the staff morale at my school has sunk to an all time low. I am glad to be moving on to new things and new challenges but at the same time this school has been my home away from home for four years. I have made some very good friends that I hope to hang on to, and I know there are some people who this will be a parting of the ways for good. That is the natural order of things.

So now I just need to make it through the next 32 days, I need to pack up my room, complete my report cards and survive the end of the year while teaching 50 Grade 8's. Le sigh.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring? Reading? And Other Questions of a Meaningless Nature

So whatever happened to spring? I'm not sure what it is like where you are, but here in south-western Ontario it's COLD! I just got back from walking the dog (I am home sick today in case anyone is noticing the time stamp, however, being sick does not stop the dog from wanting to go out) and I wore my mittens and a scarf. I would have worn my toque but I couldn't find it.

It's weather like this that make me worry about the concept of climate change and global warming. We barely had winter this year, I think I shovelled once and now since "spring" has come the temperature has fluctuated from 30 degrees celsius to below zero and snowing!! It's gotta make you wonder about the earth and what we have done to it, doesn't it?

In other news, I have been reading a bit more lately. I had hit a reading snag and just couldn't seem to get into it. Does that every happen to you? Where the hobbies and pastimes you usually enjoy just seem blah for awhile? It usually happens to me after I have finished reading a particularly strong or interesting book. Or if I have read a lot of books in short period of time. It's like my brain needs a break to recup. I am still trying to finish all my books for the review committee before the beginning of June so that might have something to do with it as well. I haven't really felt in control of my own reading lately. I am looking forward to the summer and many sunny days (fingers crossed) out in the sun reading after getting home from summer school.

Speaking of summer school, sometimes I can't believe I signed up to teach it again. On one hand I have to give credit to these kids who do come everyday in the summer in an attempt to improve their marks. But on the other hand many of them are only there because their parents make them go. Such a conundrum really. The money is really good though and every little bit helps.

The book I am currently reading is "The Schwa Was Here" by Neal Shusterman. It's a pretty interesting read and one that I think boys would really like. I especially like it for boys because it doesn't have guns, or shooting, or violence but I still really think boys would find it interesting. The main premise of the book is that a teenage boy named Calvin Schwa, or The Schwa, is invisible. That is people just don't notice him. There are all sorts of urban legends about him and his family floating around the New Jersey neighbourhood where he lives and one day Ansty (Anthony) Bonano decides he's going to figure out how "The Schwa Effect" really works. Through this they become friends, earn some cash from doing dares and of course have falling out. This is the part that I am at now and I am very interested to see what is going to happen because The Schwa has declared he is going to do something that will make him un-invisible forever.... I think I just have three more books to go and then I will be done my review reading for June's meeting. Whew!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Making the Most of Our Choices

I have been thinking a lot lately about how people make choices. How they think about their choices. How they weight the pros and cons. How they come to their decisions. How they live with their decisions.

I have always been someone who makes quick decisions. Now I don't mean that I make rash, or snap decisions but I often know very quickly what I want to do. I guess you could say that I know my own mind. It doesn't really matter if it is a big decision or a small decision, I will know very quickly what I want to do in the situation. This comes in handy in the classroom when I am being asked a million questions over the course of the day or when I am shopping. I usually know that if I am dithering (don't you love that word) on an item that I don't really want it and if I do buy it then it will be a regret purchase later.

However, when I am trying to make a decision with another person it can lead to frustrations.

My husband does not make quick decisions. He needs time to think, to mull things over, for me to explain it to him again.  This can lead to some frustration on my part, and I am sure on his. When we try to make a decision together it often involves me knowing what I want to do and what I think we should do and he is still processing the information and trying to figure out what he thinks about the whole situation. He hasn't even gotten to the decision making part yet. I am sure anyone watching, or listening, to us discuss these decisions is having a good laugh.

It does however make me worry that I bully my husband into deciding what I want. What if he doesn't really agree with me but he just goes along but he knows I have already made my decision and rarely change my mind. Wow, I sure sound super fun to live with, eh? I just mean that I know what I want and I usually make up my mind to go after it.

It's something we all do everyday, in every aspect of our lives but I don't think we really think about it enough. Decision making. How do you do it?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Happy Sunday

How was your weekend?

The hubby and I spent the weekend at his parent's house and we made dinner for his mom yesterday, quite a feast! We managed to use every dish that was in the kitchen, who knew that was even possible? It's such an interesting experience cooking in someone else's kitchen. You are constantly asking "Where's this?", "Do you have?". I am not sure it was really all that enjoyable. Plus. my mother-in-law does not like anyone loading her dishwasher (I know, right?) and so she actually ended up doing the dishes from dinner because she wouldn't let us load.

As for the actual meal...

He made ribs and cedar plank mashed potatoes on the BBQ while I made a Napa salad and bruschetta. Then for dessert we had quesadilla s'mores! The only downside to all this was that southern Ontario was hit with a snow squall! Yes, that's right it snowed the entire time we were trying to BBQ and the snow even stuck to the ground for awhile.

Then in the night the power went out. Now my in-laws live on a farm, in the country, where there are no street lights so when the power goes out it's dark! I am (a little) afraid of the dark, it's just so unknown, so I woke up my husband to help me go to the bathroom. After I made in back safely from the washroom and had fallen asleep again the smoke alarm when off! It turns out that when the power came back on so did the back-up furnace (they have a geothermal furnace that does most of the heating, very green of them!) and because there was dust in the vents it started to burn. You could actually smell the smoke. So my husband got up to help his parents deal with that situation in the middle of the night, I stayed in bed and comforted our dog who was scared and concerned. I know, a hard job but someone had to do it!

And so was the excitement of this year's Mother's Day. Don't worry I called my mom as well, and we have plans to go to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Science Centre in June with my sister when my husband takes my dad golfing for Father's Day!

I hope all the moms out there had a great, if less eventful, day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What I Did Today...

So today is Friday...what did I get accomplished?

I had a delicious breakfast at work. We have a staff breakfast every other week. Yummm, bacon.

My students and I finished reading Act 3 of our Hamlet graphic novel.

I wrote a Geography quiz for Monday's class.

I taught a lesson on STI's (sexually transmitted infections) to my two classes of Grade 8's right before lunch. This lesson involved a powerpoint slide show. Of graphic pictures. Of what can happen when you get an STI. They were shocked. It was great.

I made my one class sit in silence for 45 minutes as only three of the 25 finished their homework. This was after they had 45 minutes yesterday to work on the assigned work.

I lost it on my next class who came and they also hadn't done the assigned work. More of them had done it then the first class, but still not enough.

Then I apologized for yelling because it wasn't all the kids who didn't do the work and they didn't deserve to get yelled at.

I cam home and had a nap. I was (am) tired.

Le sigh.

I really want to be able to let it go. I don't want to stress myself out about my students doing or not doing their work. I want to go to school, work for the time I have to there and then come home and leave it there. I don't want to be so consumed by my students progress. Does that mean I want to be a bad teacher? Or just have a normal life? I have struggled for my entire career as a teacher to find balance and believe me, it's a struggle.

I want to do my best as a teacher and offer my students the best opportunities to learn, but not at the price  of my own well-being. I need to learn to let it go. Advice?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The post about nothing

So I may have mentioned this before, but I may have not. In the summer I play on a co-ed baseball team with my husband. We started playing last year and I actually ended up on two teams. Now in the winter I curl with some of my same friends from baseball.

Notice: 

Summer = baseball

Winter = curling

However, this year I am really not into baseball and here's why (in case you were actually interested and haven't stopped reading at this point); last year baseball ended and we have one week off before curling started. This year curling ended and we had maybe two weeks off before baseball started. I want my winter sports to be the in winter and my summer sports to be in the summer. I want the fall and spring to recuperate on my couch. I am feeling UBER-lazy lately. I have no ambition to really do much of anything, except maybe sleep. A case of the spring blahs, the "I teach Grade 8 blues"? Who knows. But I kind of miss me and wish I could get interested in something.

I...gasp...haven't even read anything in a few days!!! No books, either. You know things are topsy turvy when I haven't been reading.

But to make a long story short, I am going to drag my *%$ to baseball tonight, I am going to hang out with my friends, and I am going to try and enjoy it. Why? Because I can. And who am I to complain really, so many people out there have it much worse than me. If having to go play recreational baseball is my biggest problem things must be doing okay.

And now I am going to end this rambling post about random nothingness and let you all get back to your lives. I have sucked you into my vortex of blah long enough.

PS- I thought of a few new things to add to my 101 Things list

- get a library card and go at least once a month (I used to go all the time as a kid)

- organize our video/DVD library

- donate/lend money to a micro-financing organization like KIVA

- learn how to make a pie shell

(Here are some things I like that are the top 101 things from the website)
- take a picture everyday for 365 days

- donate blood

- write a letter to myself to open in 10 years

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Foggy

Sorry I have been missing the last few days. My brain has been a little foggy and I am super tired. I am already counting down the days until the school year is done (38!) but I will try to think of some exciting things to write in the near future.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Goal Setting

How often do you set goals? I mean actually write them down, plan for them, review them, look at them, etc?

There have been a few prompts for my art journaling class that have to do with goals, dreams, to do lists etc and it has got me thinking about goals. Long term. Short term. Today. Tomorrow. Unfinished. Impossible or improbable. Goals.

Sometimes I feel like there are so many cool things I want to do, see, places I want to go...but then at the same time I want to have a pretty house, a nice yard and just hang out with my husband. It's so hard to balance the two and to be honest, I bail on plans and stay home a lot more often then I ever thought I would growing up. I've become a homebody.

That's why the 101 Things in 1001 Days that I mentioned yesterday is so intriguing to me. This is the website where the idea was born.  Writing down the things I want to do and then giving myself a deadline is almost like a challenge. I am very interested in creating my own list. Especially since there are some things in my own city that I have never done!

Things that might be on my list include...

1. Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

2. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

3. Visit the Bata Show Museum

4. Go to the Toronto Zoo

5. Have family portraits done

6. Organize my home office

7. Run 5K

8. Don't eat potato chips for a month

9. Donate blood

10. Start to use environmentally friendly cleaners in my home

11. Watch 20 Oscar winning movies that I haven't seen

12. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy (love this idea from Scarlet Words)

13. Do 31 Random Acts of Kindness on my 31st birthday

14. Participate in the Worldwide Day of Giving on June 15th

15. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity

16. Stay over at a Bed and Breakfast up north with my husband

17. Go camping for a weekend, in a tent

18. Go shopping at the St Lawrence Market

19. Find a great used book store in my area

20. Watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in one sitting

21. De-clutter every room in my house (wow, eh!)

22. Go to Las Vegas

23. Finish the scarf I started knitting

24. Keep my art journal for an entire year (I mean actually journal in it for an entire year! I am bad at starting and not finishing journals)

25.  Send a package to the Canadian troops at Christmas

26. Shop at a farmer's market on a regular basis

Well....it's a good start. 101 things is a lot of things! I would love to know what would be on your list!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Projects and the People Who Start Them

I have a lot of personal projects on the go...

1) My blog (love it!)

2) Reading Challenges etc

3) Knitting my scarf and moving on to other kitting things

4) My new Art Journal course (so awesome)

5) Mentally re-decorating my office and guest room in my head

and today I found this...101 Things in 1001 Days. How amazing and inspiring and motivating...and everything good I can think of.

I want to make my own list and then complete it! Yep.

Sunday Sunday and other ramblings of my tired brain

I made it to Sunday! I slept in! I am going to do some work today but it is mostly going to be done while on the couch or in bed!

Teachers are not good at being "in class" and I just spent three days in class. I don't mean that we are bad students, although really that could be a whole other post...I mean that we are not used to be ing the ones who sit and listen. So when you put a group of 30 or so teachers in a room and ask them to listen to someone else teach them it's not always a recipe for good.

I throughly enjoyed my three days, even if I find sitting very tiring. Strange isn't it? I am so used to being able to move around whenever I like that sitting for long periods tires me out! Quite an important thing to remember when I am the teacher. I do do my best to provide opportunities for my students to move around actually, as I understand their need to get out of their chairs once in awhile.

Since 18 hours of the last 3 days have been spent in class I haven't really done anything else. My husband and I bailed on going out with friends last night because he was falling asleep on the couch and I be honest, I really didn't want to go. We did go out for dinner the two of us on Friday which was fun. I remember a time when we barely stayed in on the weekend, and sometimes the week. Now I can count the number of times we go out...in a month! We have become quite the homebodies.

That isn't to say we don't do stuff it just usually involves being at home or someone else's home rather than out. I like that better. "Out" is expensive, noisy, full of people I don't know and usually the bathroom is gross!

My plan for today is to finish some marking and to do some planning for the next week or so, and if I can read.

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