Wednesday, September 30, 2009


It's chilly outside. I won't go into my monologue of hate about cold weather and the inevitable winter season. Not right now, anyway.

Chris and I exchanged emails the other day about how this is perfect sleeping weather. It is. Perfect for snuggling under a blanket, drinking hot drinks, and pulling out sweaters and sweatshirts. It's time to come inside. Time to slow down.

With the change of the seasons and weather, we change our cooking and eating habits too. I made some pot roast in the crock pot the other day, and last weekend I made this lasagna. It uses ground turkey, and I also used whole wheat noodles. Although those 2 healthy ingredients are thrown out the window when you look at the cheese ingredient list: goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta. I think the goat cheese adds a nice twist. We had the lasagna with some good crusty bread. The leftovers the following days were even better than the first day.

Slowing down, coming inside, and eating hot, comfort foods. It's fall.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beggars Can't be Choosers

Guess what? I got a job! It's not in a classroom, but it's a steady job where I will be working with kids on a regular basis. It's part of the Title I program at another school in the district. I will be working with kindergarten and second grade students who need a little boost in reading, writing and math. I will work side-by-side with some of them in their classrooms, and will also have some small groups that I will pull out to work together.

It's funny how the whole thing worked out. I was subbing at the school where I will be working, and bumped into a woman who I had worked with while I was getting my certificate. After exchanging pleasantries for a few minutes, she came right out and asked me if I would like a job doing Title I work. I didn't hesitate and immediately said yes. After doing regular subbing for only a couple weeks this year, I was already over it. Not knowing where I will be each day, stalking the sub scheduling program online, and dealing with kids who take advantage of a sub is not my idea of fun. (A quick flashback to all of this made me possibly yell yes when I answered.)

I will start next Monday, and I will work 4 days a week. On the fifth day I will most likely sub, which I can handle. I think only subbing one day will keep me on my toes, and also allow me to pick and choose jobs.

While this isn't my ideal of being a classroom teacher, it's a job. It's not subbing. It's working with kids on a regular basis. I'm ready for this next adventure. Bring it on.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Oh, fall. I have this love-hate relationship with you, in case you didn't know. I love your cool, crisp mornings and sunny, warm afternoons. I love being able to break out a few different things to wear, which gives me a break from my now-monotonous summer wardrobe. The apples, and pumpkins, college football and colorful leaves? Yummy, fun, and gorgeous. I even like the way the sunshine is different. Big blue skies, light that is soft and comforting. You're lulling me into a state of comfort, letting me know that's it's okay to come back inside. Your cool weather compels me to bake and make things in the crock pot. Things that take more time to prep and cook, unlike the quick, light meals that we made so often this summer.

But the hate part of this relationship is the anticipation of the season after you. Everyone knows I am not a fan. At all. I can continue to complain about this, including the bitter cold winds making my shoulders scrunch up and bulky clothes confining me. But I won't. At least not now. For now I will continue to enjoy what you are offering. Enjoy the moment. Because soon, those moments will be memories.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posts. School started last week, and I've been helping out with a kindergarten class at the school where I've been working for the past two years (2 years!). This past week in the classroom could be written as a whole series of blog posts including all of the funny things that the kids say or do. I have a lot of respect for kindergarten teachers. There is quite a difference between the upper elementary grades that I've worked with and kindergarten.

In addition to blogging about that, I also need to blog about the theme party we attended last weekend, and also my trip to Chicago this past weekend. But right now I want to stop and reflect on 9/11.

I wrote this post two years ago, and it still rings true. Each time I remember September 11th, the memories start flooding in: the blue sky, the sky the following days without planes flying overhead, the helpless feeling I had, the constant search for the answer to the question "why?". This year, I remembered all of this again, and all of the feelings came back to me.

One of the weirdest things to consider was when I was in the kindergarten class on Friday. The principal interrupted classes with an announcement for a moment of silence. She mentioned that many of the students may not remember what happened, or some of them were not born when this happened. The kindergartners were part of the latter group. Most of them were born in 2004 or 2005.

This group of students will only read about this occasion in their history books, or watch videos or movies about the subject. They will only be able to imagine what it felt like or how the world was changed because of it.

I don't have to imagine. I know how it changed our world. I will never forget.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Not a Sunset Picture

I forgot I had taken this picture while we were up north, and surprisingly, it isn't a sunset picture. This is the football field for Harbor Springs High School. Stein and I always try to catch glimpses of it from the road when we drive by, but you can't see much of it.

Since we were there on a Friday night, I decided to look up their schedule and see if they were playing. Sure enough, they were! It was pretty cool to see it in action, although a bit cold and rainy. We just stood behind the fence and watched the first half of the game. The stands are built into the hillside, and if you look past the field, you see Lake Michigan (Little Traverse Bay).

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I actually read books this summer! Not as many as I would have liked to, but I read nonetheless. I tend to think of the Harry Potter and Twilight series books as two books each, so technically, you could say that I read five books this summer. There, that makes me feel a little better.

So I started out with the race to finish the sixth Harry Potter book, The Half-Blood Prince, before the movie came out. While I didn't finish it before the movie officially came out, I did finish it in time for us to see it at the theatre. We ended up seeing it at the IMAX theatre, which was very cool. While we were there, I remembered that I saw one of the Harry Potter movies with my Mom at the IMAX in Chicago. It does make for a very LOUD and enthralling experience. Now I need to read the seventh book. But as I told my Mom, I think I need to keep to smaller books for a while. The bigger ones have felt daunting to me lately.

I also started the third book Eclipse in the Twilight series (big books too!) a while back, but never really got into it and put it down for a while. When I picked it up again this summer, I did end up finishing it, but never really got into it. It wasn't a page-turner to me. It was interesting, but not like Twilight, where I couldn't put the book down. I will eventually read Breaking Dawn, the fourth book, but I'm really not in a hurry to do so.

I also read a book suggested by my friend Alissa. Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg is a really sweet story. Alissa knew I would like it because the story takes place in Chicago, and the author makes a lot of Chicago references. I really liked it. It was a pretty simple story, but had a few twists just to keep my interest. It was also a short read, so I felt a sense of accomplishment in a short period of time.
My mom gave me another suggestion for a book, so I requested that from the library. In the meantime, I have many others on our bookshelves that are waiting to be read. I'm so glad I'm finally getting back into reading. It feels so good to be lost in a book.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So We're Back

And we've been back for a while now. We got back on Saturday, and I'm feeling a bit depressed about it. I know, I know, in this economic climate many people can't afford to take vacations, so stop complaining, right? Okay, I will stop, but know that I'm not happy about it.

In a nutshell, the time away was wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered. We didn't have an agenda, so we just meandered, did whatever we felt like at the moment, and just relaxed. I should mention that the only thing that was scheduled the entire trip was when we wanted to go watch sunset. Around 8:20 each night, you would find us by the water, usually armed with some wine and the camera, watching the sunset.

The other day when I was helping my friend Amy in her classroom (hi Amy!) she asked how our trip was. I laughed when I told her that every picture on my camera was sunsets. So that's all the pictures you'll see in this post, sorry. I didn't take pictures of us, because really, most of them would be Stein in a chair reading, or me in a chair drinking sangria, or the two of us at a restaurant eating whitefish, or walking along the beach looking for Petoskey stones. Yeah, you know those pictures. I didn't take any of those because I didn't want you to be jealous. And also, because I just didn't feel like it.
We were able to see some new places and try some new restaurants, which was fun. Our friend Jim has a place on Elk Lake, and offered it to us for a few nights. While we were there, we ate at a great cajun restaurant, and another local restaurant that had a really cool interior, and great food too. It was nice to be in a different place, see different things, and just be.

We were also in Petoskey, where we seem to have more of a routine. We have our favorite restaurants, so we usually space them out so that we get to each one on different days. Some of the places are in Charlevoix and Harbor Springs, which are a distance away, so we try to only do so much driving on one day. We need time for sitting, after all.
The driving is just as fun as the sitting. Short trips through the small towns up north just make you slow down. The roadside stands with fruits and vegetables, sometimes unattended and on the honor system for paying. Some of the bigger stands have signs that have the available fruits and vegetables listed on them. While we were up there, cherries were just about done, and peaches and apples were aplenty. Also, tomatoes, corn, and peppers.
I said to Stein when we got back, "I'm sad to be done with vacation, but happy to be home." So true, but I would love to be back there. Right now.