Friday, January 24, 2020

If This Isn't Nice, I Don't Know What Is 1/24/2020

It's been a week. 

I let things (that really shouldn't have) control my mood and attitude for several days.

I don't like myself very well when that happens.

Besides crying and wallowing in a mood, keeping track of JOYful moments help me remember that the whole week didn't suck.

First, is Joe, our neighbor, who we hire to blow out the main part of our driveway when the snow is just too much to handle. Sunday was one of those days. And not only did he do our main part, he also did all the little widening things that my husband does. After two days of being snowed in, it was wonderful to just be able to leave the house instead of finishing up the driveway.

We went for brunch, by the way. And is there anything better than Sunday brunch?
And Mike's scotcheroos, which are a blog post all by themselves.  You'll have to trust me on that.

And then there's Kerigan. Her freshman year in high school she went by my room and told me she was going to be my favorite student (I didn't even have her in class!). She really doesn't remember this, but I do because she made me laugh. And even on really tough teaching days, she could make me smile and remind me why I did what I did. 

She's been out of high school for five years now (I don't know how the hell that happened!) and she still makes me smile. Last Friday, she tweeted me. Now I can't believe that I've never written about her, but I guess she would know!  

Here's the thing. What I miss most about teaching are the kids. The ones who made it all worthwhile. The sassy ones. The funny ones. The ones who weren't afraid to take risks. The ones who told me they were going to be my favorite.

Kerigan is all of those. And she will never know how much her tweets meant to me this week. She still makes me smile.

And so is Haley. Who just happened to stop in the high school when I was subbing. Haley Hugs are some of the best in the world. She's another one who just lifts my spirits when I see her. 

This led me to spend a little time today looking through my Twitter media and checking out old pictures of my kids. I'm still friends with so many of them. 

Teaching truly blessed my life.

Friday, January 17, 2020

If This Isn't Nice...

Paula Borque shared an article on the #100daysofnotebooking Facebook page the other day. It just resonated with me. It was called "What Kurt Vonnegut Taught Us About the Science of Happiness.

The article tells us that our brains are like velcro with bad experiences and Teflon for the good. We simply don't acknowledge the little things that make us happy and think about them long enough for them to stick in our brains.

We need to pay attention to the things that make us happy.

And that is why I've been celebrating moments in my life for a few years now. It's the little things that really make me happy, and it's the little things I want to remember.

And I almost forgot to write this blog post today. But here I am. Writing about the moments where I said,

"If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

1. I subbed in an English classroom this week. Always nice to feel at home in someone else's classroom. I even book talked a couple of books in freshman English!

2. We had snow a couple of days this week--and the storm this weekend--so it really makes me happy that we now have a snowblower I can run. It's too much for my husband's back to do all of the shoveling and blowing. With this new blower, I can help.

3. I'm much stronger physically than I was last year at this time and it really helps when it comes to taking over some of the "chores" that my husband used tries to do.

4. Seeing Roomie at the grocery store and making plans for a "date night" . We haven't had a good heart to heart in a while. I'll be looking forward to this.

5. Just enjoying a cozy day at home. A little reading. A little "The Crown" and now some Hawkeye basketball.

Enjoy your weekend. Pay attention to the things that make you smile. And remember the mantra:

"If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Friday, January 10, 2020

Friday Favorites

Now that I've started Friday Favorites again, I sure am paying attention to the little things that make me happy. Thanks to Michelle and #100daysofnotebooking for getting me started again!

1. I truly love subbing. I get to meet so many great kids and work in such a variety of environments. It's the perfect job for the "in-between" of working full time and not working at all. Some of my favorite "jobs" have been for special ed teachers. I love that usually they have small groups of kids and I can spend time getting to know them.  I feel like I am really doing more than babysitting.

2. But some days, it's nice NOT to get a call. And this lets me get lots of things done. Monday I spent the day cleaning--really cleaning--our house. It brings me a little bit of JOY when I sit back at the end of the day and everything looks nice and smells good.

3. Thursday I didn't get a call, so I decided it was a good day to paint my closet. It's the one upstairs that holds all the Christmas decorations in the back and my work clothes in the front. When I brought out all the decorations in November,  I was appalled at how bad the walls were in this closet. And I was thinking about how nice the kitchen and bathroom ceilings looked with a fresh coat of paint, so I put this closet on my list. I didn't put anything back in it when I took down decorations. I threw them in the guest room until I could get the closet done. The MAGIC of a little coat of white paint is amazing.  This afternoon I can put things back and be organized!

4. I'm loving how one little thing can become a notebook page. I'm taking it as a sign when a word or thought shows up several times in the morning. Just today I was thinking about Mitch and telling him to just read 10 minutes > thinking about 10 minutes of reading in class > Andy's notebook page and 10 minutes to find your must > realizing I wrote about this before!

5. I love my reading friends and family. I have had so many books shared with me in the last couple of weeks. My TBR pile is tipping over! The last couple of days I read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. It was recommended by two friends, so I had to read it. It had been a long time since I read a YA book, and I was glad I tried this one. It was a fun read. A mystery full of plot twists, it's one I'm going to recommend to my granddaughters.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Friday Favorites

A long, long time ago (2013 to be exact) in a blogging world far, far away (not so far, really, just not visited lately), I would celebrate my week with Friday Favorites They were little things that made me smile during the week or things I really liked.

I decided to bring it back.

I ranted in my notebook this morning and decided I needed to acknowledge some little things that brought some MAGIC to my life.

1. First of all. My OLW. I love it this year. MAGIC  It reminds me of ALOHA-- something fun and whimsical that brings back great memories and reminds me to keep enjoy life like I enjoyed vacation.

2. I shared yesterday's notebook pages on Twitter and tagged our district in it. They appreciated my humor. But this tweet from Roomie made my day. It's nice to know I can still contribute.

3.  We had a great Christmas with family. One was quiet and peaceful, the other loud and chaotic. We loved them both.

4. Greg and I spent a quiet New Year's Eve at home. We watched movies and had pizza and wine. It was kind of perfect. New Year's Day we cooked a chicken in the Ninja Foodi and started season 3 of The Crown. Again. Kind of Perfect.

5. As much as I love Christmas and all the decorations, it's really nice to take it all down and get the house back in order. It's also really nice that I don't have to hurry and get it done before school starts. Retirement is so nice.

6. #100daysofnotebooking I'm writing again. Enough said. And it's not too late to join. This is NOT a pressure-filled challenge. Just write. In your notebook. Share it on Facebook or Twitter. Or not. Just check-in.  Here's Michelle's page about the challenge.

I hope you join in. I also hope you share some little things that brought you some JOY this week!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

One Little Word 2020 Edition

One Little Word has been in my life since 2012. I like the idea of using one word to focus on during the coming year. I've also found they stay in my life much longer than that. So this year, I wasn't really looking to choose a new word. I was content to live with the old ones. After all, they were good words.

I forgot that the word chooses me--like MAGIC.

We vacationed in Florida in early December with our youngest son and his family. As we played in the ocean or walked through Animal Kingdom, Greg and I commented many times how MAGICal it was to view all this through the eyes of the grandkids.

Everything was new.

  • First time on a plane 
  • First time in the ocean,
  • First time at Disney parks. 
  • One became a princess
  • One overcame fears
  • One ate alligator for the first time
We saw old things in a new way. And as one grandson said, I had more fun than I've had in a really long time.

And then, I went to Hogwarts.

And I really saw things in a MAGICal way. There was something to discover around every bend. And you really had to pay attention. All of us were caught up in the MAGIC.

At home, looking through the pictures of the week, I realized how much fun we had and how much of that was determined by seeing things through the eyes of the grandkids. For them, everything was MAGIC.

And there is was. My word. I'd been living with it for a couple of weeks and didn't know it!


Of course, the Pinterest board started and the quotes were pinned. A Roald Dahl is my current favorite:

So, here's to a year of living with MAGIC.  

Monday, March 4, 2019

{solsc} 4/31 #sol19 Notice and Note

Look at this. One day of subbing. Three slices. Who says I don't have anything to write about?

"I just finished reading this on Saturday. Changed all my plans on Sunday. And taught my first lesson on Monday. Do you know this book?"

Know it? I bought it as soon as it came out. Used it with several groups. 

" Well, yes. I had it and left it with all my other professional stuff."

"You did?"  

She turns around and looks at the shelf. Sure enough. There's my copy, sitting right behind her this whole time, post-it notes and all.

"I also had the student workbook."

"You did???" Turns around to look. Sure enough. There it is.

"Well. Alicia can have yours since she wanted to borrow it. But I'm keeping the workbook."

Notice. And Note.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

{solsc} 3/31 . #sol19 Homework

I finished up subbing on Friday and told Roomie (a friend whom I shared a room with for a few years) that I needed to head to the library for a new book.

"I have a few in here, you know."

I do know. One of the things Roomie and I share is a love of books. Books of all kinds and most of them ended up in our classroom library. I kept the library when she moved out and taught Spanish for a few years. She has it now that she's back teaching English and I retired.

I haven't read much YA since I retired and thought, "Why not?" She's pulling new books out and then sees one in a basket.

"Here. Try these. They're historical fiction that use primary sources throughout the story. Takes place in the 60's. Let me know if the story itself is good!"

I take them and put them in my bag.

Homework.  I like it.