Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chloe Writes: Winter Sucks

Let me just tell you.  This. Winter. Sucks.

For a while after the lake, it was really nice and we could still go for walks and play out in the backyard. I love to run in the backyard, and chase that dang squirrel that lives in the tree and if I could just catch that cat that likes to hang out under the deck...


Then it got cold. Really, really cold and my paws hurt when I have to go out and take care of business. Even when the cousins came for Christmas we couldn't stay outside very long, and, trust me, we wanted to! But even though it's too cold outside, Mom and Dad play fun games with me inside.

But this last week has been the worst one ever.


How can that be?

Now, no one plays with me. They just lay there, wrapped in their blankets, moaning like babies. Dad wouldn't even let me up to lay in the chair with him! Mom did though. I thought if I cuddled her for a little while she would feel better (dog cuddles make everything better). Then maybe we could play. But Mom wouldn't even throw the ball. Like how hard is it to throw the dumb ball?


So, all I've done for the last week is lay around. I keep trying to get them up, but it hasn't worked very well. Finally, yesterday, there was some activity around here. I think they might be getting better! Mom chased me up the steps a couple of times and Dad let me come up in his chair.

But it's still too cold to play outside :(

Monday, January 15, 2018


Today's word is perfect.


I cruised through the first 10 days of January, writing daily in my notebook AND writing a blog post. Sometimes they were the same thing. Other times, they were very different. But the important thing was, I was writing again.

I had promised myself a little reward at the end of the month if I succeeded in writing every day (a new notebook!).

And then the flu hit.

I scribbled a few lines in my notebook last Wednesday, just enough to say I wrote. I skipped the blog post. Thursday I was so sick I didn't even shower, let alone write. The following days are a blur. Bed to couch. Aching. Feverish. Cough and sore throat. And to top it off, my husband had all this at the same time.  I knew he was really sick when he didn't go into work last week (he always goes to work!), nor did he run the snow blower when it snowed on Thursday (almost as shocking as not going into work).

We made it through on canned chicken noodle soup a couple of days and easy to throw together meals in electric fry pan. Toast and hard boiled eggs became gourmet meals.

Throughout this, it was simply too hard to write. A pounding head and burning eyes do not lend themselves to writing of any kind. I had to give myself permission to not write. I couldn't worry about it. I couldn't worry if others thought I was quitting again. I just had to sink into my blanket cocoon and take care of myself.

But today seems better. The fatigue is still there, but it's manageable. Our appetites are normal again and hubby just headed up to work. Slowly life will get back to normal.

And today I can write again.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#SOL18 Summer Sunday in the Midst of Winter

School Sundays. Wake up

  • Coffee
  • Grading
  • Planning
  • More Grading
  • More Planning
  • Bed
  • No fun

I love Summer Sundays because they are relaxed and easy. Some are pajama days and lazy. Doing nothing but reading and enjoying the nice weather.  Others may find us golfing or going somewhere fun. Most find us gathering together in the late afternoon for friends, cool drinks, watching sunset and supper of some kind. 

Since I've retired, Sundays have been easy, but kind of boring. There's not much to do around here in the winter. But this past Sunday, Greg and I headed to a sports bar in the area where two friends were playing music during the afternoon. It was perfect. 

First of all, we love the music our friends play. I call it "Mom's Night At the Stereo" music. I can sing the words to every song. They make me happy. We also get to visit with the guys between sets and that too is nice. We talk about other friends, what's happening in the statehouse and music. There was another old friend there that we don't see very often and a visit with him is always a treat. He filled us in on happenings in his life since we last saw him and enjoyed the music with us.

Later we headed home to Red Lobster leftovers and a night watching the Golden Globes. The day was spent relaxing and enjoying friends. A Summer Sunday in the midst of winter.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Word of the Day: Ignore

I'm really enjoying subbing this winter. It keeps me in the loop at school and in touch with kids. I've also met some new kids that have quickly become favorites. Some of these new kids don't really know me and they don't know how I deal with things. But they are learning. And I'm learning to ignore certain behaviors.

I know that many teachers in our high school are battling cell phones. But it's not a fight I'm going to engage in.  I didn't when I was working full time and I'm really not going to now.  I have found that asking students to put them away or turn them face down when I'm teaching is/was enough. Kids get it if I say I need their undivided attention for a few minutes. When I taught, I did have a basket they could put them in if they thought they would be tempted. Some did for awhile but most handled the cell situation appropriately.

And quite frankly, there are bigger battles to fight.


A few in first hour today finished their assignment early. And one thing I know about teaching sophomore boys is that free time--any amount of free time--is too much for some.

I know that after today there are a couple of them who think I have super powers because even as I was writing notes for the teacher I could see one of them throw something across the room. Not a behavior I'm going to ignore.

I chuckled.

And then told him to go pick up and throw away whatever it was he threw. He did pick it up, but said it was for his pencil and stuck it in his pocket. I went back to writing my note. It flew again and so did something else.

Time for the teacher evil eye.

Both boys involved looked at each other, looked at me, picked up the pieces and threw them away.

It didn't ignore their behavior, but I didn't overreact either.

Battle won.


The American Lit class is full of great kids, most of whom I've had before. But there is a Payne in the butt. He's a bad boy wanna be. There is no reasoning with him because he's too cool to listen to the teacher. He thinks he's funny, but really, he's just rude and unaccepting.  I can't change his outlook or his behavior--especially in the sporadic days I see him. With him, I have to ignore all but the most disruptive behaviors.

I hate that. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Place Called Home

I have loved this house since we sat on the dining room floor in the waning light sunlight of a summer day and it whispered to us.

"Welcome Home."

Wrapping it walls around me like a cozy blanket on a cold winter's morning, it loves me as much as I love it. Every creak is familiar. I can walk through the rooms in the dark and never trip. The doors stick, the steps are too narrow, there's still some walls with 60's paneling, but I love it.

It's showing it's age now in the wrinkles in the walls and the grime that's going to take a lot of elbow grease to clean off the cupboards. But these walls hold lots of memories. Memories that make me laugh and smile, and yes, they also make me cry.

If these walls could talk they would share with you our excitement at owning our own home and the boys reminding us that now we could get a dog. It would tell you about the nights the boys snuck up the stairs and the fights we had as a family.

If these walls could talk, they would tell you about teaching the boys to cook and they'd probably share my dad's secret recipe for french toast. They'd laugh as the told stories about family Christmas's with 37 people in the house.

They'd tell you all about Friday nights with friends and their kids and singing and dancing in the dining room.

If these walls could talk they'd sniffle a little as they describe how lonesome it can be now with only the two of us and Chloe here and share the excitement of new Christmas memories with the grandkids.

If these walls could talk, they'd say,

"Welcome Home"

Saturday, January 6, 2018


While I love the holidays, I also love January when life returns to normal.




I've spent the week returning my house to its pre-holiday normal. I've switched a few things around, changed out pictures in the frames, and sucked up a few cobwebs (Really. Shouldn't spiders die in the winter?).

And I've been writing. Nothing major, just notes in my notebook that have turned into blog posts every day.

It feels good.

Friday, January 5, 2018

January Goals

Every year my January goal is to eat less and move more, because, let's face it, the previous two months are killer on being healthy. By January, I need to remind myself to get back to sensible living. Also, it's cold here---really cold. So daily walks outside are not possible. At least not for me!

The eating less/healthy part is easier to get back into. The cookies are gone (thanks to the grandkids), the candy is almost gone. I did hide a few pieces or it would be gone too. But a piece of chocolate a day is mentally healthy, so I'm OK with there being some around. There are now greens and vegetables and fruit in the fridge. My husband is on board with finding some healthy recipes, so we're good there.

It's the moving more that is my downfall in the winter. Being retired means I can sit in my chair with a blanket drinking coffee as long as I want in the morning.  Before I know it, it's 11:00am and I still haven't gotten dressed or moved at all except to get another cup of coffee. 

My plan for moving is getting outside with Chloe for fifteen minutes every day (well, once we don't have dangerous windchills) and playing. We'll walk if it's warm enough. We'll run up and down the stairs if not. I brought our old Wii downstairs and am going to hook it up to our TV. I can get back on the Wii fit program--yoga, running, golf and bowling will get me out of my chair.

My last goal is to WRITE. It's the one thing I felt missing from my life when I retired. I don't know why I quit writing-- I didn't quit breathing just because I retired. Writing is something I have always done. It's part of me. But I just quit--or as Terje says, I paused.  I like that better.

I paused.

But I'm back writing now. Even if it's just a list in my notebook. I'm writing. And I'm going to do it every day.