Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter


Listening - to a winding down evening. The tick of the clock, the click of the keys, the quiet voices of the family. Love it. It rings of peace.

Eating - It was just Rich and myself for Easter dinner but we seemed to snack away the evening. Argh. I did have celebratory Easter Ice cream after being sugar free for 3 weeks. What a treat. Now I am in sugar rush overload. Grins!

Reading - Maisie Dobbs and Of Human Bondage (on my iPad.) Both are excellent! I got three more books from the library this week too...I love it when those reserves come in. I was able to get a few titles recommended at our March Mystery Madness Book Group this week. I'm excited to be making time to read.

Feeling - Excited. 
1.Rich has had several interviews this past week and has yet another tomorrow morning. Yippee Yahooie! Fingers are crossed and Prayers are flying. 
2.We also have a three 3 1/2 day work week this week. A professional development meeting at district for me on Thursday and April Break on Friday. This will be a great week !
3. Tutoring is also over so I may finally get home before 5:30 each night. Wahoo.
4. Loved the Easter texting with my kiddos today. I am a dorky texter - it can make for some pretty funny messages when auto-correct takes over.
5. Tempe Festival of the Arts is this coming weekend - love that! A built in date with Rich for sure.

Watching - NCAA Basketball. My Wildcats gave it a good run but they're out. Too bad. So sad. But plenty of great basketball is still ahead. My heart goes out to Kevin Ware of Louisville though, may his leg heal and may he have plenty of BBall left in him! I also watched the Poisoned Pen Livestream today as I cooked Easter dinner. It was fun to listen to Dana Stabenow speak about her new book and show slides of Alaska as well as give a rundown of books. She's a pistol. It was awesome. Almost like being at the PPen for the event. Too cool.

Wanting - More willpower, to laugh more this week, to catch up with paperwork, and to get our taxes completed! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Thinking -  that it's time for bed! 

Happy Easter!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Salon - March Mystery Madness

March Mystery Madness....

* Book Group Mystery Madness....

       --at Book Group we all read a mystery and bring the book to present to others. It's like a really fun 'book commercial!'

       --it's a mystery what we all read til we get there.

       --it's a mystery how we all seem to present different books and our list of new books to read just grows longer and longer.

       --I am LOVING my book choice. Maisie Dobbs is super.

       --can't wait for Book Group this week.

* The Mystery of the Elusive Job Search...when will we get a job?

       --trying not to get tense or worried. TRYING.

       --another interview at 6am tomorrow. Keep fingers crossed!

* The Mystery of a 4th Grade Classroom.

       --how WILL the students do on the standardized tests in only a few more days?? Pressure.

       --BIG meetings this week (in my room, no less - yikes! MUST clean classroom.) End of tutoring this week - bitter and sweet.

* The Mystery of NCAA March Madness; will my team win it all?

       --my team made it to the Sweet 16. Fun games, great basketball and always a fun game on TV. This is one time of year that I glue myself to the TV! (That is so unlike me.) My kiddos all know I am an addict. 

*The Mystery and the Magic of Bedtime.

       --when WILL I learn to go to bed earlier?? It's a mystery!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Small Damages

I spent part of my Spring Break in Spain....with Small Damages by Beth Kephart. I can not do this small book justice, but I will direct you to one you can. And did. Jill, at Rhaposody in Books reviewed it like a rockstar and with her words I took it on. Oh, it was a lovely way to spend some of my precious Spring Break.

Spain was more than a place in Small Damages. Spain is a character. Spain was a lover. Spain is now a place I need to go. I felt like I walked the streets of Seville, that I gazed out at the fields of maize and that I could feel the gritty dust on my teeth. Spain caressed me through this story.

Beth Kephart's writing was luscious. Oh my golly gosh. I don't think she used one set of quotations and this intimate way of communicating conversation was intoxicating. I keep a bookmark in each book that has places on it to write notes or favorite quotes. I think I had filled my bookmark up by page 19. I had to just step back and let the writing caress me. I think maybe I talk like this when I sleep....NOT. I only wish I did. Maybe I think like this! NOT. She plunked down random sentences in paragraphs that both surprised me  AND took my breath away.

Yippee...two great books for Spring Break. I'm on a roll.

Favorite quotes:
"When reading Hemingway watch the pronouns. They will tell you the story."  L.O.V.E. this. So true....

"When I open the door a nun blackbirds by and I keep walking out into the air, which smells like fruit and sun and the color blue; it smells like blue in Seville." Oh my golly gosh.

" ...who walks tilted forward, closer to the future than the rest of us."

"...he would photograph the fractions of things..."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Salon - Wrapping Up Spring Break

Wrapping up this Spring Break - Sunday Salon Style

Listening --To 17 Miracles...A tear-jerker of a movie playing in the background. J&K are enjoying a Sunday night movie together and keeping me involved. I watch from the table where I can polish up lesson planning and work on the computer....

Eating -- Easter Robin Eggs. A real tradition. I need to hide them from myself.

Loving -- Spring Break!! It was great !!! Spring Break started out with the Tucson Festival of the Book. Fantastic. Of course this wacky weather was also crazy and the festival had snow, rain and cold weather! It meant smaller crowds on Saturday but selfishly that was fine for me. Sunday it was sunny again and by the end of this week we were actually 94 degrees!! Oh my golly gosh. I stayed home all week and read, relaxed and read some more. It was totally cool!

Reading-- Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Feeling -- Grateful. Our grandkiddo's eye pressure readings are falling!! Yippee! Surgery is now postponed til summer. Stand back glaucoma - we are ready to kick your patootie out of the park!! My stepdad is out of the hospital too. Double yippee! And while we're at Tinsley got her 1st tooth!! How cool is that?!?! 

Thinking -- I am still in a bit of a book-hangover. I finished two great books this week. ( Me Before You and Small Damages - totally awesome books and first time authors to me.) Does it ever make you feel a little leary about the next one? It does that to me. 

Wanting -- A reasonable way to review/cram a year's worth of work into 3 weeks before standardized testing....I think this is every teacher's worry. Help them remember it all! No worries, mon.

This Week -- Meetings and teaching, I'm cook for the week, A possible interview for my better half and finish up report cards!! Yep, Spring Break is indeed over.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Me Before You

Okay, let's just get it over with...which one of you incredible bookies can I blame??
For my headache...
from crying and thinking and my general book-hangover???

Who...can I blame AND thank?

I've spent some of my Spring break with Will and Lou, two characters that are hard for me to forget, courtesy of JoJo Moyes and her book, Me Before You.

I had not heard of the book, I had not read any hype, I just saw that several of you out there were saying that it was great, that it made you think, that it stuck with you. On those small tidbits I added it to the library reserve list and viola, guess which book came in as Spring Break began?!?! 

What? Have I lived in a hole?
 Now I find out that this book is a best seller in 28 countries!?! 
Well, I am a teacher and yes, I guess I have only a little bit of a life from August to June, but how could I have missed this?

 This book is probably making Jodi Picoult quiver right about now. (I know, I was just with her this weekend at the Tucson Book Festival. We're pals now. ;) 

This is a perfect book club book, with discussion aplenty. It's British (but not Downton Abbey.) It's English village and class struggle but no preaching. This is not chick-lit. (Good thing too, I have low tolerance for that.) 

So what is it?
  • It's the story of Lou,a local girl going nowhere, who gets laid off from her job as a waitress. She accepts a job as a home care assistant to a 35 year old quadriplegic for 6 months.
  • It's the story of Will, who lived life in a large way, now living small due to an accident that has left him a quadriplegic - enraged, sarcastic and wanting to die.
  • It's the story of the relationship that grows between Will and Lou.
  • It's a story that could be maudlin or story-book pithy and over the top romantic. It is none of that.
  • It's a page-turner.
  • It requires a tissue or two or three.
So, what are you waiting for? 
Go and enjoy it. You can thank me later.

Favorite quotes...
"It's just that thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, that it is not the grown man - the galumphing, unshaven, stinking, opinionated offspring - you see before you, with his parking tickets and unpolished shoes and complicated love life. You see all the people he has ever been all rolled up unto one"

"Her default setting seemed to be stuck on Disapprove."

"So this is it. You are scored on my heart, Clark."

"He had always been like that, our son - quite capable of doing the opposite of what was right, simply because he didn't want to be seen to be complying in some way. I don't know where it came from, this urge to subvert."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Salon - March Madness!!

 By the time March comes around, my students are anticipating spring break (so am I) and warmer weather (me....well okay, at least Spring Break doesn't USUALLY mean snow for us) — not to mention the rapidly approaching end of the school year (Can we be in the count-down already?!?) Due to all of these distractors the students are really crazy!! Yep, in first grade we used to call it the Miracle of March (when all students somehow really learn to read) but in 4th grade we just call it March Madness!! To keep myself sane during this wild and wacky time I'm making lists.....

Work....Grades, contact a few parents, Tutoring, SmartBoard lessons, planning, Testing Prep, meetings, Take apart the data, Back up computer to the Z drive, Book Study notes (even at work I am leading a Book Group!!)

Itinerary....The Tucson Festival of the Book is this coming weekend!! We are plotting and planning and being totally frustrated that the event schedule is so hard to see on portable apps. Argh. I have a list of authors I do not want to miss!

Celebrations....birthday cards to two of my boys got mailed and received on their birthdays - no small feat!, Rich had an interview and has another tomorrow - go get 'em babe!, there's only one week left before Spring Break, we went walking (gosh exercise IS possible!), a phone call from #3 son, my friend's PET scan came back clean!!!, I cleaned the whole downstairs yesterday, I mended some things, mopped the floor and I'm still sugar-free for 2 weeks now, I discovered sugar-free Bahama Bucks...yum!

Books that were recommended this week...Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes (already started and it's scary and intense...we'll see...)The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees. I love good recommends.

Books I've been reading this week....The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (still), Into the Darkest Corner, Teach Like a Champion (again), and a few instruction manuals. Yes, I am that kind of girl.

General to-do items.... Life insurance quotes, groceries (it's not my week to cook but it IS my week to shop - - a good trade!)Pay bills, pray for 20-20-20-20 for Miss Em, email a friend who's getting married, email my mom MUCH more faithfully this week...I was a bum last week. My list goes on and on but you probably get the drift.

Search out...the perfect Bagel, a good new ethnic restaurant in Tucson, a gift for someone who has everything, and a nice pair of black boots for next fall.

Random....J and I are planning a Hawaiian vacation list - we'll get there someday, make an appointment to get my haircut, write a friend, laugh more tomorrow, sleep through the night....

Okay the lists are done, the dishwasher is going, my lunch is packed for the morning, the lights are off for the night and all is quiet in the I will go to work on that last one...sleeping through the night.