Friday, July 30, 2010

Back at It...

Today was a day spent on school stuff.  I'm back at it, needing to get a ton done at school.  I scrubbed more old paint off countertops, worked on my school web page (, wrote an email regarding my school web page, cleaned out my school email delete box, cut out some laminating, measured up some fabric for a bulletin board, washed out my school refrigerator and got it cooling, pulled old tape balls off the front of cabinets, put together my tentative daily schedule, and decided on my beginning of the year reading groups. I also made a trip in to Duluth to pick up some more stuff at Explorations and punched out the pieces.  I feel pretty good about today's accomplishments, especially the schedule and reading groups.  Sadly, no pictures to share because today's activities weren't all that photogenic; but it was a productive day.

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


So, here I am, posting finally after almost a month away.  It has been an overwhelming month, to be sure.  I have no fun pictures, but I have been extremely busy.  My brother, Tom, and his family left this morning after spending two weeks with us.  His son, Daniel, is off to college at ASU within the month.  His son, Michael, is the nephew who spent some time with us two summers ago.  Michael is a special needs child, and I have been trying to help with him as much as I am able.  I spent every day of the two weeks with them.  We visited both the Guthrie and Jungle Theaters, the Mall of America including the amusement park and aquarium, the Science Museum and the Dead Sea Scrolls and Omni, a Huskies game, Canal Park, Brighton Beach, and fishing at Island Lake twice.  I taught my sister-in-law, Dee, how to knit a cotton washcloth.  I knit and gifted three sets of "Fetching" fingerless gloves in Cashmerino.  I read a novel and started another.  It was wonderful to see them, but their vacation is not a vacation for us or my folks.  I'm tired today.

Also, within the month, I've ridden the job rollercoaster. Granted the rollercoaster ride is all of my own making.  I am making changes to our health insurance, which I had hoped might change my teaching assignment for this Sept. back to the job I had last year.  I was encouraged by my principal's comments about the change and hopeful that I might be able to go back to that position.  After several weeks of being on the bubble, word came that my request has been denied again.  As that door closed, another opened in the form of a job opportunity in the Twin Cities.  I have applied for that job, but the timeline may be a problem, as the beginning of the schoolyear is fast approaching.  Because of the rollercoaster, the second grade classroom is most decidedly NOT ready.  My month of August is pretty well planned out.  I will need to be in the classroom pretty much every day, and I may need to make a trip to the Cities if they want to interview me.  I am excited about the opportunity, but the prospect of the change is frightening.  Bob does NOT want to move to the Cities, and this isn't a good time to be putting a house on the market.  There also may be a problem if I need to request a Leave of Absence from school to try the other job.  That said, this job opportunity sounds just too good to let go without pursuit.

My summer break is two thirds gone, and has been spent helping family and fussing over my employment.  I feel stressed and tired.  Because I must be available to work in the second grade room and perhaps go south for an interview, it seems that any hope of a vacation away is out of the question.  It is difficult for me to put my heart into preparing a classroom, knowing that I may be leaving the room before the school year starts or within a month or two. I like my blog to be upbeat and positive, but this is where I am at the end of July. 

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Post 4th Update

The 4th of July has come and gone for another year.  Bob had to work until 5 pm on Saturday the third.  When he got home, it was really hot, so we decided to go for a ride in our air conditioned Ruby car.  We stopped by Subway and grabbed a sandwich and headed north.  We cut over at the Three Lakes Road and ended up near Island Lake.  Since we were close, we stopped by Bob's parents house.  They were out on the pontoon, and we gave them a call on the cell phone.  It was about 8:30 and they were headed to the other side of the lake for fireworks.  They turned around and came back for us.  It was very windy, and coming back took some extra time.  We all piled on the pontoon and headed toward the far side of the lake.  We made it under the bridge without having to put down the top.  When we got the to location, there were tons of boats already there.  A private citizen spends thousands of dollars to put on a fireworks show every year.  It isn't publicized, but word of mouth does a good job of bringing in a crowd.  The show started at 10:08 and lasted about twelve minutes.  It was fantastic!  Every bit as good as the fireworks in Duluth!  The trip back to the cabin was nerve-wracking at best, and an Act of God that we made it.  The winds were nearly 50 mph and it was pitch dark.  We used the GPS and Google Maps on Bob's phone to watch for islands and such.  We were all soaked, cold, and tired when we got back.

On Sunday, the 4th, Katie came home.  While we were awaiting her arrival, we gave Ruby a bath.
And Jack helped.

Katie arrived and we headed out to the lake again.  We brought the dogs, and Hunter enjoyed fetching a stick and going for a swim.  Jack did the same thing that he did when we were washing the car. Spencer made his super-deluxe hamburgers for dinner and they were delicious.  Since the lake is low, we set up our annual fireworks bonanza on the beach with a campfire this year.  Steve and Sandy bring a big assortment of fireworks every year and we had the launch pipes on the beach, too.  We had tiki torches loaded with citronella, but Bob Sr. felt that burning an old couch off the pontoon might just do the trick.  Somehow the carcinogens in the vinyl helped to keep the mosquitoes down to a dull roar.

On Monday, the 6th, we went to visit my folks before Katie headed back to St. Paul.  We had pizza for lunch, and Mom gave Katie a set of dishes to use in her new apartment.  Dad is doing just great with his new knee.  We missed Ryan and Audrey and my brothers this 4th of July, but otherwise had a nice time.
I've been knitting some pieces for the Stained Glass afghan.  I was using some leftovers of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarn that I had used to make a set of Fetching Gauntlets for Katie.  I love that yarn and I love that pattern.  I decided to make at least one more set of them using the same yarn.  So, today I went to Superior and got a few more balls of Cashmerino.  The pattern is available for free at  Here's how they look:

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Hate Insurance

There are no pictures, no funny quips, no updates on knitting today.  I spent 7 hours working on insurance stuff.  I hate insurance.  That is all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On the Go Kinda Day

I made a trip back to the eye doc today for a recheck.  He was checking the fit on some new sample contacts.  I still have the cluster of black dots in my left eye from a "vitreal tear," but he feels that will get better.  I ordered the new contacts, and went and got a couple pair of new glasses as well.  My old glasses had lenses from three prescriptions ago, and I decided it might be time for an upgrade.  I don't wear glasses all that often in public, but I'm kinda liking these. What do you think? Do they make me look distinguished? 
What?  Still looks like me? Oh well, what can you do?
Anyway, while I was awaiting the aforementioned new glasses, I did a little shopping.  I went to the Dollar Store and got some odds and ends for the classroom.  I found some cool stickers that have pictures of coins and the amounts of the coins.  I got some preprinted sight word cards that I will put up on a word wall. (Much less spelling things for kids during writing time if they can look at the wall and find the words. ) I also got some new plastic shoe boxes for my A.R. books (the old ones were really broken up.)  I went to the fabric store and got 5 different colors of fabric to use as backer on my bulletin boards.  I really like using fabric vs. paper.  It looks nice all year.  I went to Chez-Target and got a new kind of saline that was recommended by the eye doc for we of the older set.

On the way home, I swung by the public library and picked up a couple of books.  I'm kind of looking for some new read-alouds for the new year.  Although I love starting my year with a Kate DiCamillo author study (I read The Tale of Despereaux, The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane, and Because of Winn Dixie,) I tend to have less favorite books for later in the year.  I picked up a Charlie Bone book (number one in the series was checked out, so I took number two.)

Charlie Bone books are sort of in the same vein as Harry Potter.  Kids with magical powers.  What I know about Charlie so far is that he can look at photographs and hear the conversations that were taking place about the people in the photos.

I also picked up this book.  I know nothing about it, but the cover appealed to me.

I watered my flowers and made a spaghetti dinner for Bob with whole wheat pasta and red sauce with Italian sausage and ground beef.  I completed a couple pieces for that Stained Glass afghan this evening.  Knitting group was a bust tonight, as everybody is busy with the holiday.  So I sat at home, had a text conversation with Doreen, knit,  and I'm still watching the Twins in a tied ballgame. All in all, the weather was beautiful, and I had an On the Go kind of day.

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!