Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Monday, September 28, 2015

Found It

We were in the middle of a Nor'easter this weekend, which made it a good weekend to sit tight, but unfortunately, we had a few errands to do, so out we went. My oldest stepdaughter's birthday was Sunday, and she wanted to have a brunch at her house, so Steve and I had to grocery shop for the food we took. I also had scheduled a pedicure for Saturday, using a gift certificate Steve had given me about two months ago. I had meant to do it before the first day of school, but I'm glad I waited, because it felt pretty good getting my feet rubbed after standing on them so much this month.

Speaking of feet, I finally found my footing, school-wise. I'm sure it took no longer than it usually does, but it's always a concern of mine, because unless I feel passionate about teaching, I don't think I could do it. It's just too demanding of a job unless your heart is in it.

While other knitters are working on their Rhinebeck sweaters, I'm almost finished with my All The Shades of Truth wrap, which is going to be my Rhinebeck garment this year. It's pretty much the only thing I've been working on, so unsurprisingly I'm making good progress. The main reason I dug it out of the closet was my concern that garter stitch was the only thing I could focus on and I was tired of dishcloth knitting. Glad I did.

But for now, I have a set or two of tests to grade before I can knit with a clear conscience. Have a good week!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Melancholy and Contentment

I often feel somewhat melancholy in the fall and I'm not sure why. The slant of light, the shortening days, the special shade of blue in the sky, time passing; I'm not sure just what triggers it, but I recognizeD the feeling coming over me today and decided to focus on the things that bring me a feeling of contentment instead.

1. Beautiful yarn: Although I have a few (!) projects on the needles, it seems that I am only capable of garter stitch at the moment, so rather than continue making dish cloths, I pulled a WIP project out of the closet and have put it back into active duty. This is All The Shades of Truth, by Laura Ayler, and it's been in timeout so long I can't remember why I stopped working on it! My goal is to complete it by Rhinebeck. This photo was taken this morning while I waited for Steve to finish shopping in Lowes.

2. Making gifts: I'm making a wreath for my stepdaughter's birthday. All that's left is the bow and final placement of the letter M, for her last name. The colors are autumnal, but they are also supposed to represent Virginia Tech colors, as she is a Hokie through and through. It's for her 30th birthday, a week from today.

3. Cooking: I love to cook food for my family, but am usually too tired to enjoy it during the week, so today I made a big pot of chicken and dumplings so Steve and I can enjoy good food this week, instead of the bowls of cereal we so often resort to. It made the house smell good and I'll really enjoy it when I come home from work hungry and tired.


4. My sweet Gracie, napping on the couch. She may not be a cuddler, but she does like to stay close by me.

5. School: I am truly grateful for my vocation, even with all the issues and the exhausting pace of teaching. I wouldn't trade it for any other career. Meeting and interacting with high school students is an incredible gift that keeps me thinking and learning and growing. (Remind me of this in the dark days of February.)


Have an awesome week!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Struggling, Then Surfacing

"Trying to keep my head above water and struggling."

I wrote this last Wednesday, after my second day with students. I had had a meltdown because I tried to do too many things, to please too many people, in too short of a time span after working all day.

The good news is that it made me stop and acknowledge the fact that I couldn't possibly continue the pace I had set for myself. I needed to take my foot off of the accelerator and slow down.

And so I did. I went in on Thursday and Friday and relaxed just enough to actually enjoy my classes. And while Saturday was a fairly busy day, I was able to schedule my back to school haircut and color. Not only that, but I treated myself to some new makeup!

When I woke up on Sunday with a weather-induced headache, I took care of myself by staying inside, taking it easy, and only doing the things I knew would help me have a good week, like chopping vegetables and storing them in Mason jars, so I could pack my lunches without too much effort. And I went to bed early, so I felt rested and ready to go this morning. In fact, today was the first day I felt like I had hit my rhythm.

My students finished their goal setting activity and now my bulletin board is done in time for Open House this Thursday night. And I've planned a pre-assessment test for Friday, so the day after the late night will be an easy one.

Hope you all are enjoying your September, and finding balance. It's definitely an ongoing process.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back At It

I finished up my week of classroom prep, meetings, and in-services, and I'm already discouraged with myself. My personal goal for this school year was to work hard while at school, and then let it go so I could be relaxed enough to enjoy my time at home. I have some work to do if I'm going to be successful. I had headaches most of the week, probably due to the dust and dirt that built up over the summer, and consequently, I was cranky and out of sorts every evening. I know I need some exercise to help me feel better, and yet I was so tired and felt so unwell that I wasn't able to do anything but sit on the couch. That has to change.

Look what a friend made me for my classroom:

I think it's so pretty! I hung it in my desk area so it's safe from accidental damage. As usual, I changed a few things around this year. I wasn't completely finished at the time of this photo, but it's close. The pink bulletin board is a sheet I bought at the thrift store and cut to fit. It's a little busier than usual, but I really liked the brightness of it. Once I put student work over it, I think it'll be okay, but if not, I can always change it out.

Other than my Snoopy flag, which I have used for over fifteen years, I haven't put much up on the walls yet, which is also a departure for me. I decided to focus on being prepared for the first week of classes to minimize my stress level, and that was a good decision. The decorating can evolve at a slower pace; after all, it's not that difficult to hot glue my posters to the walls, and maybe if I put them up a few at a time, the students might notice them more. It's worth a try.

My co-teacher, Terri, spent the summer in Nevada, and on a trip to California, visited a yarn store solely to buy me a skein of yarn! She isn't a knitter so she told the shop owner to pick out something I'd love and they suggested this gorgeous skein. I love it! We co-taught two inclusion classes of juniors last year and are doing it again this year, something we are both super excited about because we work so well together.

I am hoping to spend the weekend resting and getting some exercise, so I can start off the year with lots of energy. I want to get to the beach and play a little tennis, but I'm not sure the weather is going to cooperate, so I may need to figure something else out.

Hope your weekend is a good one!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hogs (hawgs)

This post is for Lisa, who wrote that she used to live in Arkansas and misses the hogs. Apparently everyone who lives in Arkansas supports the University of Arkansas and their mascot, the Razorback hog. This flag was hanging in the Hope Walmart.

This is only a small section of the merchandise in a restaurant in Fayetteville.

My aunt and uncle's carport bench; that's another thing I see in Arkansas a lot. Carports seem to be very popular and I wonder why we don't seem to have them in Virginia.

This was the screen saver on a computer in a doctor's office!

The Razorback call on a tee shirt.

Garage art.

Hope you enjoyed it, Lisa!