Friday, July 21, 2017

The July Balancing Act

This month is slipping away rapidly.

*Yesterday was Little Big Brother's birthday. We had a small gathering on Easy Street with salads and birthday cake for the Birthday Boy. The little girls made cards and sang to him. I popped the cork on the champagne I brought home from California.

*The Bug and Mommy went Back-To-School shopping for Kindergarten. They made a day of it: shopping, lunch, and a movie. I used to love these days with the girls. There would be three of us in a changing room. I would bring them things to try on. We'd laugh a lot. They loved choosing school supplies and packing their backpacks. (My mom started them on this passion--buying pencils and folders for them before they even went to school. They were "helping" Grandma get her classroom supplies.)
The next generation of Back-To-School shoppers.

*Bug's Little Sis spent the day with this Nana. We went to Story Hour at the library and went swimming for awhile. She also conked out and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Our only incident was spilling coffee (cold) on me, her, the couch, and an iPad. Ay yi yi!  She is a busy girl.

Sleeping Beauty

*I've learned if you paint your toenails Navy Blue, they look black in certain lights. I am sporting Goth toes right now. They are growing on me.

*I am still spending time on school work here and there. The musical auditions happen on the first full week of school, so I have to be ready to roll. To say nothing of classes beginning. My room is partially put together, which is good. And we have four tech days in the next few weeks.

There are still a few weeks left in my summer. Days are filling up quickly, but I am hoping to enjoy all of them.

Balancing work and play. It is an art. And a challenging art at that.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Family Weekend 2017

Last weekend the tribe descended on L and CB in Big City. We had such a good time.

There was a Friday night trip to a brewery owned and run by a former student and to meet Tiny Town friends who live in the area. When they built the brewery, they made sure to make it family friendly. It is a beautiful setting.
On Saturday morning we went to City Market to check out the produce, products, and spices.
There were a couple of shopping trips and lunch at Fritz's. The littles loved the trains delivering their food.

The Bug had plenty of time to ask Aunt LeLe questions about Kindergarten.  Someone is pretty excited to be going to school this year. 
E is starting pre-school this year, too. One of our shopping trips was for school clothes for the littles.

L and CB cooked BBQ for us on Sunday. Delicious. They could go into business.
And that littlest one had plenty of time with her Uncle CB. She is his biggest fan. (Maybe 2nd biggest. E is pretty crazy about his daddy, too.)

Baxter attended the weekend and collapsed in a heap when we returned home. He was one tired dog. He got a lot of lovin' on this weekend.

Who am I kidding? The Mr. and I were pretty wiped out, too.

We don't get together like this often enough, but we sure had a great time.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Photo Dumping

The end of June saw me in Big City, taking care of E while Mommy was working.
E and I hit the parks and Target, then rode the neighborhood sidewalks. That evening we all went out for supper.

July 1 we had the chance to catch up with Big Brother's family--and especially his new little granddaughter who was visiting from Seattle.
I babysat for the little girls on July 3rd, while Mommy and Daddy went to a funeral. Sweet SIL and LuLu hosted an impromptu tea party in the morning. That evening we watched the little girls shoot their fireworks.
Finally, I have made a couple of trips down to the farm. The little girls and their Mommy made one trip with me. The second trip included a tour of the old swimming hole and several other spots around the farm.
So far, this month has been quite enjoyable. I have:

*walked Baxter in the mornings.
*enjoyed the spa every evening.
*worked at school to arrange the Drama Costumes and set pieces a bit more.
*spent time with family.

We have quite a few more things planned for July: Some travel, some family visits, and a bit of work sprinkled in there so I don't freak out come August!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June- By the Numbers

4- Sessions attended at an English Unconference. I took quite a few notes and learned more about promoting reading, writer's workshop, and school technology.

1 1/2- At that conference I met a blog friend. She is even prettier (and taller) than her blog indicates. Why the half? I met one of her daughters who is adorable. She's a teacher, too.

1- Portable spa. The Mr.'s legs and hips have been giving him grief. We have talked about buying a hot tub, but so many people spend quite a bit of money to buy them, use them for awhile, and then they sit unused. For Father's Day I invested a whopping $346 for a portable Coleman spa. It was an easy setup. It isn't a hot tub because it doesn't really have jets--but instead is more like a bubble spa. How long will it hold up? I have no idea. But I could replace this 10 times and still not reach the cost of a permanent hot tub. The amount of use over the next few months will determine whether we invest in a permanent hot tub. Oh, and the Mr. says his legs are feeling better.

20+- Episodes of Gilmore Girls I have watched on Netflix. That has been my summer guilty pleasure. BUT...my real summer guilty pleasure begins tonight with the Big Brother reality show on CBS.

6- Hours spent on computer, trying to plan our vacation on the Great River Road in late July. I hate planning a vacation. I just like GOING on vacation.

3- Girls headed to NYC in December. K, L, and I are making a trip to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and NYC sites. I can't wait.

Right now, that is June in a nutshell. And now, back to figuring out what I am doing for Reading Hour at the library tomorrow. Procrastination works for me!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Solstice

On the longest day of the year, I should have been doing something exciting. I did manage to meet with my retired colleague and catch up on the news. We don't see each other daily any more, so it took about three hours to catch up over lunch and a glass of wine. That was the best part of my day.

I managed to put my teaching work away. I am planning to ignore it until the end of July. HOWEVER...

Directing work occupied most of the day. The Summer Solstice and I was immersed in Christmas. I spent the day figuring out the main set for A Christmas Carol. Eventually, I will have to create a list of what my stagecraft class will be building.

In the evening, Little Big Brother and I spent some time figuring out the music-- solos, group numbers, and music for the children. We've sketched in some ideas that won't be finalized until auditions. And now the search for a Fiddler and a bass player for our pit band begins.

There is a good chance that the next few days will be Christmas in June on Easy Street. Good times.
"To begin with, Marley was dead..."  See. Good times.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First Day of Summer 2017

So, how did I spend my first day of summer?

In true teacher fashion...


Dates are all marked in my Lesson Plan Book for next year: important dates like the Parent/Teacher Conferences, Inservice Days, and the Grandkids birthdays.

Yes, I am a bundle of excitement. BUT... now back to my regularly scheduled summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Anne of Green Gables Dates

The Bug and I have a weekly date this summer. She is coming to my house once a week for an Anne of Green Gables date. Her momma and Aunt LeLe were big fans of the series when they were little girls.

I never read Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid. I'm not sure how I missed it in my childhood reading. I didn't know it existed until the Tiny Town Librarian recorded the series for the girls. It was probably my second year of teaching in this district.

Mr. Flippo, our librarian, was quite a character. There are still quite a few things that I remember about him:

*Mr. Flippo always believed the old days were better. He used to reminisce about the bathroom floors being clean enough to eat off in the old days. Another teacher reminded him that no bathroom floors were ever that clean.

*He had a connection to Madison, Wisconsin. I have no idea why, but he used to preface quite a few statements with "back in Madison."

*He was so upset when Mom was diagnosed with cancer. He never could bring himself to say cancer. He always called it the "C" word.

*He recorded every episode of Anne of Green Gables on PBS that year and gave the girls a copy of it. We almost wore it out. I still can't watch the show without thinking of him.

*He was a Louis L'Amour nut. I think he had almost every book in our library--and a signed letter from L'Amour framed and hanging on the wall right beside his desk.

*I used to play tricks on him. When my classes went to the library for research, he always gave a presentation on the first day. He asked the same questions every hour, so by the end of the day I would feed my class the correct answers to his questions before we went down to the library. He would be so thrilled at how smart my afternoon classes were. I would confess that I was playing a trick on him, and he would respond with "Oh, you...!"

*He gave me our State's application to apply for the Teacher in Space program. The Mr. and I talked about it, but decided with two little girls it would be too much of a risk. When the Challenger blew up, he was at my classroom door in tears. He said, "I can't believe it. That ship blew up. I am just sick. I gave you that application. That could have been you." Quite doubtful that I would have been chosen, but bless his heart for believing that I was of that quality.

*Mr. Flippo always wanted to enclose the "round" in the old school and make it the library. "The library should be the center of the school." When I first saw the library in our new school after the tornado, I knew Mr. Flippo would have been so pleased. It is the center of the school--and pretty darn close to the location of the old school's open air courtyard--or round.

Oh, and if any of you are worried, that old pirated copy of Anne of Green Gables is long gone. The girls bought me the DVD set for Mother's Day or my birthday a few years ago.

So, I am training a whole new generation to love Anne as much as the girls did. Mr. Flippo would be so pleased.

Monday, June 19, 2017

California 2017

The last of my birthday gifts to myself was a trip to California to see my little sister and her family. Seeing her girls and grandkids involved trips to Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. California was cold this trip, and it even snowed on us in Tahoe. To end my week, we revisited a Calistoga Spa, had lunch at the Korbel Cellars, and made a trip to the Pacific Ocean.

This was such a fun trip, but it always goes way too fast. I'll be soaking up these memories for awhile.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day 2017

To all the Dad's out there who do goofy things with us...

Who don't mind sticky fingers and faces...
Who watch cartoons with us...
And who are always glad to see us...
Happy Father's Day! Thanks for putting up with the craziness. We love you.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1

I think this is the end of my photo dumping: graduation, Teacher Appreciation, and even my May Basket from the two little girls here in town.

The top corner is a quilt our FAC's class made. They make these for people connected to our school who are going through a bad time, usually someone enduring health issues. They made this for the son of our secretary, who was also a former student. His senior year in high school he had a melanoma removed from his back. His cancer returned twice over the next 20 years and he fought it bravely, but he succumbed to the disease at age 39 about a week before this photo was taken. Our community has been sick. He left behind a beautiful family and many friends. He was a leader, a funny guy, an adored big brother, a hero to his two little boys, and a loved personality. I will always remember his writing skills--and his incredible sense of humor. Our world became a bit richer and a bit more inspired because of his approach to his disease and his approach to both his life and his death, but the hole he leaves in his family and our community will be felt for years.

Sadness and celebration. I guess that is the story of our lives. Well, at least it has been the story of life on Easy Street for the past few months.

Happy June!