Thursday, May 31, 2012

rain makes...


And, when it's accompanied by a good storm and some hail, it makes for a rather bedraggled garden.

My tomatoes are tattered....

My cucumbers got clobbered....

This zucchini got zapped, but the rest of the plant seems to be doing okay...

We didn't plant much this year because of the continued watering restrictions, so I'm hoping that what little I have bounces back from the evening of hail and wind. Other than one board blown down from the fence, we don't have any real damage, thankfully.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer 2012

My bags (er, boxes) are packed, ready for someone else to move them. I'm checked out of two schools. I had a great pizza lunch with friends I've had the privilege of working with over the past four years (but with whom I will not get to work next year). I brought home plenty of candy, a generous gift card from a student, and a beautiful plant. Random, I know. I've cried just a few tears. It helps that I sneaked out without having to say "goodbye."

All that to say... Summer 2012 has officially begun. And here is what I intend to do with this time (in no particular order).

  • finish quarter round and trim (all that's left to do is punch in the nails and fill the holes... kind of counting on Brad to do this one)
  • stain/seal the deck
  • hang towel bars in the master bath
  • get rug for living room 
  • repaint nightstand
  • visit Becca & Micah at harvest
  • clean out the basement
  • hang pictures in the bedroom?
  • learn at least 4 new piano songs
  • be crafty - make at least one pinterest project every other week
  • make an actual decision: will I sell crafty stuff anywhere? where? 
  • make baby Tittsworth blanket
  • garage sale in Lyndon June 2
  • refinish patio furniture
  • set up badminton and play
  • make jam
  • make salsa
  • clean up/organize the garage (the garage is my nemesis. does anyone else feel that way about theirs?)
  • trip to Arkansas July 30 - August 3 (ish)
I'll also be taking 6 hours and doing some work at work, but this is what I intend to do with all my "free" time. I've been looking forward to most of these things for a while, and I feel like it's pretty reasonable.

What's missing from my list? What are you doing for the summer? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

 Lately I've really enjoyed reading Susan's weekend recaps. So I'm going to copy her.

My lilies from Grandma Lu's started blooming last week. I can't quite get the color right, though. They're a really beautiful deep red. Not maroon but not bright red. Maybe someday I'll figure out how to photograph them.

This weekend was a good one. Friday I started a project I've been wanting to do for years. Here's a hint:
I haven't gotten any farther than the cleaning part, but step 2 will happen this week... I might have gotten myself (and my sewing machine) in over my head for this one, but we'll see.

Some dear friends from college came to have lunch with me Saturday. I'm pretty proud of us; we got together for the first time in years in December, and we've kept up with our visits pretty regularly since then. It was good, as always, but the visit was way too short.

The Bachelor's Buttons (I think?) are blooming, too. I love them. My flower bed is pretty much a random assortment of things that bloom. This fall, I will restore order of some sort. We'll see how that ends up.

Sunday was church, then time at home to do this and that. I alternated between random chores and reading. My friend, Heather, who's a school librarian, generously "loaned" me her library card number so I can check out e-books again. Thank goodness.

And my rose is blooming (and the mums are starting, but I don't have pictures of that yet). This is particularly amazing because I killed I don't know how many rose bushes in my adolescence.

Today it was back to the every day, but only for a couple of days! Summer vacation officially begins Wednesday afternoon! I'll post my Summer 2012 To-Do list soon...

Friday, May 18, 2012

hopes and dreams

“Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them. Have great dreams and dare to live them. Have tremendous expectations and believe in them.” 
– Norman Vincent Peale

I've been focusing on this quotation lately (and one other that I may share another day). Maybe that's a weird thing to say. Sometimes I feel so frustrated with how things are going, particularly in relation to my job. Next year will be my fourth job description in five years of teaching - all in the same district, only the first of which I had a choice in. Granted, none of these jobs have been huge changes, but they are changes nonetheless. Sometimes I feel like it's my fault; if I were a better teacher... or if I had just ...fill in the blank... I would still be doing what I was doing my first two years. But that's silly. It's all about budgets and numbers and student:teacher ratios and the legislature not doing their job (but don't get me started on that mess). 

Still... There's this statistic that floats around the world of education, that over 45% of new teachers leave the profession in the first five years. I used to scoff at that. Now I understand it - which scares me.

And while I'm grateful to have a good job, I can't help but think about what (I dream) comes next. I finish my MLS in December (barring any unforeseen circumstances). I can't wait to be a librarian. I have a folder where I file my ideas and several Word documents where I put down my thoughts and create drafts of documents I might use. I have a board on Pinterest for fun things I find. I dream about teaching different classes and collaborating with teachers and filling a room with books that kids will love and matching each of those books to the kid who will love it (yep, I'm an idealist). I hope to someday have that opportunity.

So I'm focusing on my hopes and dreams. My dream of being a librarian, of sharing my passions for books and for reading and for matching people with the information they need (yep, I'm a nerd) with teachers and students... or public patrons, if that's where the path leads. My hope that there will be a job for me, that someone will take a chance on hiring me. My hope is that I will be brave enough to take some risks and put myself "out there," if that's what I need to do. Because I think I have some good things to share. 

At least when it comes to books. 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

A few weeks ago I won a free drink at the local coffee shop/gas station. This strawberry smoothie was delicious. 

Long story short: I can't check out books on my Kindle Fire anymore. It's because the company that the library contracts with to provide digital distribution rights changed the rules in the middle of the game. Since I don't live in the zip code the library is located in, I'm out of luck. Seriously in the middle of the game. As in, on Thursday I checked out a book, but on Saturday when I needed another, I was sent to an error screen. It's actually a big problem that libraries have had when trying to offer e-books to their patrons; the books either cost way more for libraries than private purchasers or their distribution rights are restricted. I'm beyond frustrated, and trying to figure out a free alternative, all the while hoping that they will change their minds or be forced to. Wish me luck!

Sometimes Jazzy's not sure what to think about us.

It's almost summer. It's so close... yet so far away. I'm trying to get my classroom packed up, but it's tough - not only deciding what is worth taking and what should be left, but also thinking about how I won't be in the building I started teaching in anymore (but not by my choice).

Our new dishwasher is installed! Because of this, I have uncovered the counters again. I'd take a picture, but I'm too worn out. Maybe next week.

I almost forgot that my summer classes start today. Yikes! Better go log in soon...

I'm still taking suggestions for my Summer 2012 list. I'm going to try to limit the actual work I do in order to have lots of time for fun. (And considering the fact that I still don't know what classroom I'll be in next year, what my schedule will be, or when all my stuff will be moved, I'd say I've got a pretty good chance of embracing those limits.) We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

right now

(I totally stole this from a couple of other blogs)

Right now I am...
watching myself type.
drinking ice water. 
wearing track t-shirt and shorts.
eating nothing.
listening to Brad connect dishwasher parts and Jazzy's tags jingle as she walks around.
avoiding studying for the Praxis (to be taken at an undetermined date) and vacuuming the house.
wishing I had more energy at the end of the day, to work on projects and keep up with the house and walk the dog and... and... and...
feeling too many emotions, ranging from frustration to contentment.  (yes, both at once, just with different aspects of life)
missing my "old" job.
thankful that Brad keeps me grounded. 
craving time with friends. 
wondering when I'll hear if my practicum requests were approved.
praying for patience and a hopeful heart.
needing a confidence boost (especially when it comes to work).
thinking about summer classes and summer reading and summer projects.
dreaming about being a librarian.