Monday, October 22, 2018

Parent/Teacher Conference Week

The first nine weeks are over. Today and Thursday school dismisses at 1:05 and Parent/Teacher Conferences run from 4-7:30. Athletic teams practice right after school, but play rehearsal goes on after conferences. This is a crazy week and somewhat difficult to work around.

The Mr. is hoping to work a little bit longer days this week, but he has promised that he will come home when he needs to. He's using a cane to get around and has actually started driving again. He isn't quite so trapped in the house, and that is good.

So, this week will be a bit crazy. We are trying to finish the set, gather props, and organize costumes for the show. Throw in conferences and a set of papers to grade, and...!

This too shall pass....I'm holding on to that thought. Five days and this crazy week will be over.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Game Changers

There are quite a few things in my life right now that have been game changers...

1. The Mr. being able to get in and out of bed has been huge. Sleeping is now possible--for both of us.

2. Book Clubs in Sophomore English. Six novels were offered, and they chose the one they most wanted to read. Other students reading the same book formed a discussion group. I gave them the beginning and ending dates and they determined how much they needed to read each day. They liked this. I liked this. They take the writing test this coming week. I'm hoping they do well. We'll see about another go round.

3. Groceries that can be ordered online and picked up at the curb has been amazing. I spend less time and money. Someone else gathers and bags my groceries, and there is no impulse shopping. Now, when they bring them to the house and put them away, I will be in heaven.

4. The Mr. getting his staples out, being able to get in and out of the car more easily, and using a cane to get around have all made life on Easy Street just a little easier. He's actually hoping to work a couple of hours each morning this next week. We. Shall. See.

5. Rain. Lots of rain. And now, possibly snow tomorrow. That puts a new spin on October.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Two Months Later

Wow! Two months can fly by.

This is the last week of the first nine weeks of this school year. This year's classes have been fun. My numbers in Forensics went from 6 for the last three year to 20 this year. English II numbers are down, and everything else has remained about the same. I have been experimenting with quite a few new things this year in every class: Book Clubs in English, Bell Ringers in Forensics and Drama, and a different style of grading in Stagecraft.

We held auditions for HS Musical in the first full week of school. Rehearsals have taken up 2-3 evenings a week. So far, this show is full of energetic dancing, simple sets, and really tough music. The students know the songs from the movie of their childhood, but singing pop music is much more difficult than they think. They would prefer it to be easy, and it isn't. We have exactly one month until opening night, so we have plenty of time to pull it together. It will be a great show.

On top of the usual hubbub that starts a school year, the Mr. had his hip replaced almost two weeks ago. He was in the hospital for four days, and I spent quite a bit of that time readying the house for his six weeks to three months of rehabilitation: bed rail, handheld shower, chairs that allow him to stand up without leaning forward, and handrails for the bathroom. Since his legs and torso can't break a 90 degree angle, he needed equipment that allowed him to pick things up off the floor, pull on socks and slacks, and put on shoes. We even bought a small lift that allows him to bypass the front steps. (He isn't supposed to be climbing stairs.) He won't be driving for six weeks and is feeling fairly housebound and ready to get back to work and his routine. Right now, the most challenging part is getting him into and out of the car. Most car seats (and getting in and out for that matter) are made so that your body does break that 90 degree angle. Your knees are higher than your hips. It has been challenging. 

I think it is safe to say that I have had a crazy start to the school year.

The bad:
I have to cook.
The Mr. has to eat my cooking.
No one makes me coffee. (I make his.)
The Mr. is bored to death.
I give up my plan period to make him lunch and check on him.
I don't have the work time before and after school that I used to have.
I'm behind on grading. (Surprise!)
The Mr. would tell you that the compression hose are too painful for words.
We haven't been to a single U town football game yet. 

The good:
The show is coming together quickly.
The football team is winning. (First time in quite awhile.)
We see the grandkids quite a bit since they come to check up on Poppy.
L sent us quite a few frozen meals which have helped with the cooking.
Friends have sent a few meals, too.
K has checked in on her dad twice a day since I have been back to school and has also been a big help with getting him into and out of the car.
We've had phone calls from quite a few friends and family.
Little Big Brother drops in often for a visit, and that has helped with the boredom factor.

Let's hope that the next nine weeks go as fast as this one has, and then the Mr. will be back on his feet, the play will be over, and we'll be enjoying the holidays.

And then, things will seem back to normal on Easy Street.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Working At School

I set my alarm for school time today. Arrived at school by 8 and didn't leave until 4. That will probably be the norm for the rest of the week.

The air conditioning in my room wasn't working today. It was pretty steamy by afternoon. It will probably be better tomorrow. (More on that later.)

I moved a book shelf, a couple of chairs, a lamp, and a piano. (Well, I held the doors while the custodians moved the piano.) These are all set pieces, and I am using them for room decor and comfy seating. (Also to keep my stagecraft students from sawing or painting on the piano. Everything is a work bench to them.)

Now, you might wonder why the custodians were in my room. My ceiling is leaking again. They had to take my main classroom door off of its hinges and bring in the lift. (The 20 foot ceilings are a bit of a challenge.) They took the ceiling tiles off and discovered the leak is too far above the ceiling to repair. Then, they drove the lift off to other parts of the school. (District?) They did not replace my door, so my room is wide open. They are working on a Plan B.

I'd complain about all of this, but because my classroom is wide open, at least now I will have air conditioning drifting in from the hall. A perk, I guess. I'm anticipating a cooler day in Room 502 tomorrow.

No AC and a leaky roof. That sounds about right. Haven't found a dead lizard yet, so things could be worse.

Also normal? My room is a bigger wreck tonight than it was this morning.The bulletin board is off the wall. (The lift is a tight fit.) My trash cans and recycle bin are almost full. I cleaned out every cupboard and drawer back in July, and I'm throwing away quite a bit. My stage needs cleaned. I can't find my board cleaner. My rugs can't be placed on the stage until it is clean. Counter tops and desk tops are covered with things I need for the first days. (I just don't need them on the desks and/or counters.)

The down side of no door? (I mean besides the fact that everything is wide open.)  Now, everyone can see my mess. (I hope they aren't giving tours to any new students for the next few days.)

Yes. Everything seems about normal in Mrs. E's room.

Friday, July 27, 2018


I am at it again. I have four doctor appointments scheduled in three weeks. It was crazy trying to schedule them all. Now, why didn't I start earlier in the summer?  *ugh!

Yesterday, it was my general physician appointment to renew meds. Today, I am off to the eye doctor.

I am kicking myself for waiting, as there are quite a few other things that I would like to be doing. Hopefully, I will have time to work on my room at school this afternoon.

Procrastination. I hate when my students do it. Looks like those nuts don't fall far from this teacher tree.

Teaching by example. yikes!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Randoms from Summer 2018

The summer is getting away from me. So here are some random tidbits from this summer.

*We sure are having fun with the grands: snuggling babies, watching ball games, dance, swim lessons, and gymnastics.

*K planted my flowers for Mother's Day. She found white Marigolds. They have gone crazy this summer. I've never loved Marigolds, but I plant them because the deer won't eat them. Anyway, I love white Marigolds.

*I spent most of June cleaning closets and cabinets. I keep thinking about downsizing in a couple of years. This house has accumulated far too many possessions. (I'll blame the house.)

*I'm heading out for a few days in the Ozarks with friends. Looking forward to the lake and some shopping.

*The rest of July, I will work on my classroom and the musical.

*Hopefully, the Mr. and I will squeeze in a short vacation in early August. The Bug has promised to be on Baxter duty.

*Speaking of the Bug, she finished Kindergarten in May. She loved school, her teacher and classmates. She is ready to take on first grade this fall. AND her birthday is the first day of school.

*E finished his first year of preschool. Since he doesn't turn five until November, this coming year he is going to all-day preschool.

*And the little Lulu is starting preschool this year. I imagine she will teach them a thing or two. Or at the very least, they will be entertained.

*Baby Coco is starting daycare in August. Mommy is sad already.

*I took a class this summer. I am renewing my teaching certificate for the last time. The class was online about using YouTube in the classroom. It doesn't end until this Friday, but I finished my last assignment on the 4th of July. Done.

*We gave up pop back in February. Even my craving for it has finally left. Now, coffee...! (No plan to give that up any time soon.)

*The heat has been crazy. That being said, the clothesline has been getting a workout.

And that is summer so far. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Catching up

School is out. There is a ton to catch up on, but most important is that Baby B has arrived! The Little Miss weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and and was 19 inches long. She is a perfect little Isabel Coco.
Proud Big Brother

A new family picture

Cousins--and oh, they love that little girl.
A kind nurse gave the cousins Big Sister wrist bands--
 they were thrilled.

"She's just a little Cutie Pie." 

Little Tiny Thing

So sweet!

I was there for delivery and then to take care of E man until they arrived home. When Daddy returned to work, Nana spent a couple of days with Mommy and the kids. We had a good time. L has adjusted to two little ones, but Nana is sure to be back for a few days here and there.

We are all in love with this little girl already.

Friday, February 9, 2018

February Love

I can't believe it is February 7th. Good grief.

In the last 7 days, I have:

*adjusted to taking on a Student Teacher on the spur of the moment

*spent a 12 hour Saturday with my Forensics kids

*graded-- of course, I have

*spent 4 hours one night remaking a power point I had somehow deleted

*babysat the girls for four hours on Sunday night while Mommy and Daddy went to a Super Bowl party

And the best news...found out L and CB are having a baby girl this summer. (Well 90% sure. The little miss wasn't very cooperative.)

And what have I learned in these 7 days?

*I can do darn near anything on the spur of the moment, but that doesn't mean there are long term plans. And it doesn't guarantee quality.

*Kids can get on a bus at 5:30 in the morning dragging and sleepy, perform and act their normal crazy selves, and then drag their sleepy selves off the bus after a two hour bus ride home 12 hours later.

*Granddaughters might just tell their parents that they want to live with Nana and Papa for like the next five years because they don't have rules. Yes, I guess we are pushovers.

*And E will survive being the only boy, even though he wanted a little brudder. (He is going to love being the only guy in this gaggle of girls.)

Saturday, January 27, 2018


A free Saturday doesn’t pop up often, but when it does...!
I have time to catch up. 

Forensics season has started. A 12 hour day last Saturday proves it. 

Of course, I have grading to do. *sigh

Laundry and housework always await.

A student teacher joining us this week means a little classroom arranging to do. 

We are headed to deliver a birth certificate to L tonight. A good excuse to see the B’s.

January has been Birthday month. Sweet SIL, L, Dad, and CT. Lots of small celebrations.

Tiny Town High has had plenty of flu victims, but fortunately my classes haven’t been hit too hard. Thank heavens! I hate trying to keep up with makeup work!

Our English department has been promoting reading. Beginning class with reading, charting pages read, reading goals, talking about books, and sharing favorites are all part of this plan. Book Love by Penny Kittle has been the inspiration. Has it worked? Yes. Books are flying off the shelves and making the rounds. I’ve even read 12 books in 2018. The only problem...continuing to find new books for the classroom library. Or maybe that is finding the money for more books for the classroom library. The favorites are always gone from the school library, so it is nice to have additional copies. We try to hit varied interests and reading levels.  Books. They speak our language.

The Mr. is headed to the dump, and I am catching up on laundry and blogging at the same time. Free Saturdays can fill up fast.

Photos: A couple of books I’ve enjoyed, one of the Birthday kids (and a reader from way back, part of the duo who inspired a family of readers), and two of the littlest readers--reading to Nana on FaceTime.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Snow Day #1 of 2018

Ice and snow in Tiny Town means a snow day for us. I love days like this. I don't have any major papers to grade. (Lessons to plan, yes, but no papers.) That means a day of relaxing, puttering, and playing.

So what does that mean?

*I have already finished my book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This was another book I picked up for my classroom at our English conference. I loved this book, too. I am scrounging around to find other possible reads for today, though I should probably finish Wicked. (I'm reading it on my phone. I'm not crazy about that. And as much as I loved the Broadway show, I'm not that crazy about the book.)

*I have plans to watch some episodes of "The Crown" on Netflix.

*I probably ought to figure out some way to get some exercise. (YouTube, here I come.)

*Chicken and Noodles are on the menu. (Yes, I might actually be cooking.) 

L-A-Z-Y Day ahead. Lovely!

You can't tell from this photo, but it is still coming down.