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.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Besides laundry and grocery shopping, I graded a fun activity assignment this weekend, read, watched a couple more episodes of “The Crown” and managed to catch “Hidden Figures” again. 

So, what am I looking forward to?
  • The Winter Olympics 
  • Teaching “Invictus” this week
  • Reading The Hate U Give
  • Starting the Forensics season
And now to get back into walking again. I’m starting tomorrow. We’ll see how the hip does. Fingers crossed.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Randoms 2018 First Edition

*The first two days back have been pretty terrific. Classes are off to a good start.

*The Bug discovered Papa had a flat tire after breakfast on Thursday. (He takes her to school two days a week.) Two days and two hundred dollars later, we are a two car family again.

I haven’t posted pics of student clothes since Trailer days, but this shirt was just perfect. ❤️

*We bought a new refrigerator over break. It was delivered on Wednesday, and as of today, we are up and running! I’m pretty sure the filtered water (Timy Town water is horrid!) is going to be my favorite.

*Latest read

Picked up this book at NCTE conference. I will be thinking about this book for years to come: a black father’s letter to his 15 year-old son.

*New tile to find my keys and/or phone? I haven't even used it. I haven’t lost either yet. Of course not!

*The tooth fairy put in a first appearance for the Bug. Big times in T-ville.

*I sneeze about a dozen times every morning. Every.single.morning. 

*And now for the latest phenomenon: the baby hairs I have growing in around my forehead are growing in black. What the heck???

And there is all the news you didn’t need to know!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

And Just Like That...

And just like that, the holidays are over, and I am back at school. Today, we had Inservice and work day. Tomorrow, we have students. Our 1st semester grades are due on Friday.

My evening? Of course, I am working on lesson plans, seating charts, and keeping an ear tuned to "The Amazing Race." A small perk for the fact that at least my grades are done.

But, my vacation is over.  O-V-E-R.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Memory

Why this post title?

This is me:
*Finding a great place to store something, and then not remembering where that great place is.

*“OK, class. Everybody spread out and find Mrs. E’s keys, phone (you name it).”

For the past few Christmas gift exchanges, the adults have drawn names and the gift has to be a consumable. In other words, no storing of gifts. It requires a little creativity. This year a collection of hot sauces and pellets for the Traeger, a gift certificate to a meat market, another for a manicure, even a bottle of wine and a voucher for air travel. 

L bent the “consumable” a little. She gave me a Tile for my keys. I can now use my phone to find my keys and the tile on my keys to find my phone. Pretty cool. I guess it will become a “consumable” if I can’t find either. *yikes!

I meant to post these pics from the extended family Christmas. (See. Forgetfulness again.)

4 Generations

Dad and Grandma B


Kissing Great Grandpa goodbye

Siblings with Dad-- minus Little Sis


Kids table

Leader of the pack

The Bug and Cousin Cam- he is so good with both of the girls.
I used to joke about my "Alzheimer's" kicking in. I don't any more. Grandma B is dealing with some pretty serious memory issues. It is hard watching her fail. The world she recognizes is growing smaller and smaller. 

Memory is tricky enough when we can't remember clearly or can't find something we just had in our hands. It is nothing compared to what those suffering from dementia go through. The only good thing is that those with memory loss don't completely know (or remember) what they have lost. It is probably hardest on the people watching them deteriorate. The spouse that has no one to talk to aside from a person who can't remember, and the kids whose parent may or may not recognize them. We've watched a family in Tiny Town whose Dad has very little recognition of his life or family. And Sweet Sister-In-Law watched her mom (now deceased) go through this for several years.

I am fortunate. I can laugh at my memory lapses. Besides the inconvenience of hunting for things, I can still teach and continue my role in relationships. I remember the Big Things. I might forget or confuse details of incidents in the past, or I might not remember a student who sat in my classroom 20 years ago, but a picture will jog my memory. I don't want to think about the day when that might not be enough.

In the meantime, 2018 will one day be a memory, too. And that is why one resolution is to write more. This blog is great for jogging my memory. And my memory could use a good workout.

Monday, January 1, 2018


2018 began with minus three degree temperatures. Brrrr.

The City kids loaded up and left early. We took down Christmas decorations and rearranged furniture. I read (Gigi by Colette), took a nap, and talked the Mr. into going to a movie. 

Ended the day with Little Big Brother’s  Black-eyed Pea Soup and gazing at the Super Moon.

Here are pictures from our family Christmas, actually New Years Eve.

Party hats,
British crackers,
cookie decorating,
                        and a few games.                         
A few more pictures from New Year’s eve and a couple from New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Eve:
Brownie house decorating,
a game of Sorry,
and youngest and oldest napping.

New Year’s Day:
Blackeyed peas soup
Super Moon

It has been a quiet day on Easy Street after the hubbub of the weekend. Baxter is napping at my feet, as I write. He is glad to be an “only child” again.

One more day to play a bit, then back to school to start 2nd semester. Actually, I better do a little school work or I will not be ready for students on Thursday.

Happy New Year! Happy 2018.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 the Year

The good:

Travel to Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, St. Louis, and New York City. The Mr. and I went to Oklahoma on Spring Break. I went by myself to California to visit little sis and family, and then the Mr. and I went to Lake Superior the end of July. Finally, the girls and I had a great long weekend in NYC in December.

Directing two plays- Apocalypse in the spring and A Christmas Carol in the fall.

Two family overnights in Big City. One was in the summer and the other at Thanksgiving. We had such a good time watching the cousins play, visiting various locations, enjoying L and CB's cooking, and playing games.

Preschool and Kindergarten tales from two kids who love school. 

A 60th Birthday celebration and year of fun. I should probably celebrate every year this way with travel, Broadway shows (Beautiful and Wicked), and massages. 

The bad:

The Mr.’s leg issues. (Stents in both legs now.) Hopefully, that is about to turn the corner.

A sweet uncle passed away.

A HS secretary/friend lost her son, Dad, and husband in a three month time period. This was a loss for our entire community.

And now I have an aunt and cousins who have faced nothing but sadness and health issues for the last four months of this year. It has shocked (scared) us.

I heard 2017 referred to as the year of anxiety, and while they were speaking of it politically and economically, it seems to fit on a personal level, too.

The great:

L and CB are expecting a new little one next June. I’m pretty fond of these grand babies! 

Lulu Bug (my new nickname for K’s littlest) has allergies under control. She is still allergic to eggs and tree nuts, but most other things have been added back into the diet. She is growing and thriving now! Why Lulu? She is a lulu of a girl—always busy and up to something. She is naughty and oh so charming at the same time. A real lulu!

Lady Bug has learned to read and is fascinated with spelling and phonics. That makes this Nana so happy.

Little man E is a favorite at preschool. His teachers love him. His mom would tell you it is because he follows directions there. 

That pretty much sums up our year.

2018– here we come. Ready or not.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Finds 2017

Amazon Prime. I have never shopped online much, but this is a great place to start. Several other stores are now upping their online game with no shipping charges and great sales, trying to compete,

No bleed Sharpies. I love these pens for my grade book, lesson plan book, journals, etc. They are a little more expensive and totally worth it.

Chiropractors. I have never been to one before, but before we went to NYC, a local chiropractor helped me with a hip problem that has limited my walking all fall. He spent two weeks giving me exercises and treatments, and walking has been much better. NYC was a challenge, but I made it. Who knew? Next up—my shoulders, which feel like they are avoiding their sockets.

Blog Touch Pro and Google Keep. Two apps for my iPhone that allow me to blog from my phone and also store things I don’t want to lose.

Book Love by Penny Kittle. A great book for encouraging non-readers to become readers. We are using many of her suggestions with classes.

Moscow Mules. Enough said.

Coleman Portable Spa. It has become a great addition to the family!

Heat Holder socks. The Mr. bought me a pair for Christmas. Toasty feet are wonderful.

Salad Kits. Sunflower Crunch is my favorite.

Gold Bond Lotion. This is the best! The Mr. swears by the diabetic one for hot spots on his feet. Others are great for super dry skin.

VapoRub. I’m not sure why, but this on the bottom of my feet at night makes my cold symptoms much less noticeable. Who knew?

I’m sure I have forgotten a few things I have found. There may be a round two.