Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Don't Wanna, and You Can't Make Me


Chloe and I enjoy wonderfully lazy mornings at the lake.  I usually wake up to her sleeping at the foot of my bed. She lifts her head as if too say, "It's too early to get up", then crawls up and snuggles in against me for some cuddle time. Many mornings I wouldn't need a shower because of all the puppy kisses I get (well, if I was a dog).

This morning was typical. After cuddle time, I started the coffee and took a shower, while Chloe was outside. I watched some Olympics, read and commented on a couple of blogs, checked my Twitter and Facebook. Feeling a little guilty, I went outside with a cup of coffee to see how Chloe was doing. She didn't get up when I sat down. Laying in the shade, she was keeping track of all that was going on in the resort. Chris was raking the beach, Larry was outside having coffee, kids were on the swing.  Things were as they should be.

Eventually, I thought we should go for our walk, as we do every morning. Best to get it done before the  heat kicks in.  I hook her up and off we go.

We stop and see Larry for a second and Chloe seems full of spunk today. As we leave, she grabs her leash in her mouth, as if she's taking me for a walk. Jumping, leaping down the road. Mentally, I am planning the things I want to get done today (mind flip--I'm ready to get back to work. Shhh. Don't tell anyone!)  She gets her "business" done early, but we keep walking. Chloe needs a lot of exercise!

We walk as far as a friend's house. Chloe comes to a dead stop. Does she want to go a different direction?  I give a tug, and stay on our path. She walks a few feet and stops again. I tug again. She stops again.

Evidently, we don't want to walk any farther.

I turn around and head back to Sandbar.

Chloe tries to run. Sorry, honey, we ain't runnin'.

We get back to the trailer and she heads for the door. A drink of water, a treat, and she heads for the couch and her pillow.

Time for a nap, I guess.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brain Break


A summer full of little things.  I start many blog posts in my head. Put things in my Smash notebook (check out the link if you don't know what a smash book is. These could be my new writer's notebooks). But nothing seems "blogworthy". I don't know why. I keep thinking I need to write about amazing events or have incredible thoughts or share inspiring ideas, so when I don't have those things, I don't write. Or maybe I'm just writing lazy this summer.

I'm leaning toward the lazy.

Last school year was tough--don't get me wrong, I'm not talking bad classes or bad kids.  I taught seven out of eight periods. Not so bad, except there was lots of writing going on in three/four of them, which means there was LOTS of reading and commenting going on for me. I couldn't get everything done in my 45 minute prep. And sometimes, after I got home after speech rehearsals, I was just too tired to do anything but have a glass of wine and watch mindless TV.  Class often became the time I read and commented, which meant I didn't get to conference with kids as much as I would have liked.

I feel guilty.

So I think this summer I needed a brain break.

This week I have felt my brain coming back to life.

That's a good thing....




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again

"So, what do teachers do all summer, Mrs. Day?"

"Well," I replied, "I don't know about the rest of them, but my husband and I have a little trailer on Spirit Lake and I have spent most of the summer over there.  Over the 4th, when it was so hot everywhere, I sat in the lake."

"Ahh. Sounds nice."

And, it is nice. I have had a truly relaxing summer. I've read a lot of books. Played a lot of games on my computer. Swam. Golfed. Went to a couple of great concerts. But in four short weeks, I'll be back to school.


The counter and my desk are full of baskets of books...

So today I went up to my room.  I knew the custodians had taken all my baskets off the shelves of my bookcases. I told them not to worry about putting them back because I wanted to sort through them and arrange them myself. So, here is what my room looked like at 9:30 this morning.


The shelves are empty.







So, I rolled up my sleeves (figuratively, of course. It's waaaaay to hot for sleeves) and set to work.  I checked each book in the basket. Made sure it was in the appropriate basket.  I renamed some of the baskets. I didn't want kids only going to some baskets and ignoring others simply because of the label on the outside---so bye-bye "Chic Lit" and "Boy Books".









On top of one, I made a little display of Mrs. Day's favorite books.  I need to bring a few more from home, but that can wait for another day.











And, after four short hours, I had all the books in the right baskets and the baskets organized on the shelves. Author baskets and series baskets are on one shelf.  Genre baskets are in the big bookshelf in the middle and the non-fiction are in baskets on their own shelf. Plus, my textbooks have their own shelf!





I also got the back bulletin board ready for August 23rd.  I have "I Dare You" prompts on the board and a few spread throughout the room.  I really like these writing prompts from Spilling Ink. Every once in awhile, I just want to tell kids to find a prompt they like and write about it.  The next time I go back, I'm going to put up a "Read. I Dare You." board by my bookshelves. I'm going to put out some books that are good, but kids tend to ignore and see if I can get them to read outside of their comfort zone. That probably won't work well until we really get going, but it will be fun to see if there are any brave souls at the beginning of the year.

So, I can go back to the lake for a couple of weeks and feel pretty good about my room. There are a few little things to do (and some books I bought that need to be inventoried and put away), but the housekeeping "stuff" is pretty much done.  Now I can start thinking about ....well, first I think I'll do a little more swimming, a little more golfing, a little more reading.  Everything else can wait just a little bit longer.....

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Days

It was hot in Iowa last week ( I know. It was hot in other places too). According to a former student's Facebook status, it was hot enough for a pork chop to cook on the dash of your car in a couple of hours (trust me, you don't want the details.) There was a heat advisory/warning from 1:00pm Monday until 7:00pm FRIDAY. That's a long time.  And it was hot. So hot, that there were only two places to be---in the air conditioning somewhere or IN THE LAKE.

We chose the lake (sorry, no pictures. We had way too much fun and the camera isn't waterproof).

Now the beach is right across from our little trailer, so Kaylee and Tony can go to the water and swim and we can sit at the table under the shade of the umbrella and watch.  We fill up the baby pool for Max to play in. I get a lot of Maxspeak while his dad is filling it up. I'm pretty sure he was asking what was taking so long. Chloe and her BFF, Bella, are in the trailer, noses pressed to the window and whining. I'm pretty sure they were asking why they got stuck inside when everyone else got to be outside.

There comes a hot point, though, that even sticking your feet in the baby pool and letting toddlers pour water on your legs isn't cooling.

And then, it's time to venture across the road..with your chair.

The trick is to put your chair deep enough in the water that the water comes up high enough to cool you, but you won't tip over in the water if a kid jumps in your lap. A dog leash around the toddler floaty and a tube for a table and we are set for a couple of hours of water sitting. Ahhhh. The coolness slides right up your body. Relief.