Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hodgepodge 2/15

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called both sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, then just added their first names.  However, the great-grandkids call my two living grandmothers Gigi and Granny Jo, so that's what I call them the most these days.

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

I have never been to California.  I would be happy to see any of it,  Obviously, the iconic figures like the Golden Gate Bridge would be on my list.  

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

Knit, Sew, Crochet.  Many have tried to teach me.  All have failed.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

I'm trying very hard to celebrate love and the lifting up of others.  This is easier some days than others.  Yesterday, for instance, instead of being bitter about Valentine's Day, I donated to a couple of causes I believe deeply in, and did some not-so-random acts of kindness.  I'm celebrating small victories, every single day.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

I love almonds.  I will eat them in anything or raw.  I don't like salted almonds, though.  

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

If things go well, I'm cozy in my pajamas watching a little television or reading a book.

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I haven't made much progress on my book goal for the month, but my favorite book of the winter so far is definitely Forward by Abby Wambach.  I basically read it in one sitting.  It's well-written and a great look at what gives someone the drive to work toward that level of greatness and the toll it can take, as well.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This is one of my busiest weeks of the winter.  I'm booked every night with some school obligation or the other and I'm just tired.  But next week looks tame by comparison.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

In my classroom, students record a quote and then tell me what it means as their bellwork, a quick assignment they complete before class actually begins.  These quote lists were made years ago, and are simply numbered by day.  I say all that to share today's quote:

"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness, and truth are absent."  Leo Tolstoy

Seems fitting for the times we live in, doesn't it?

Friday, February 10, 2017


Am I the only one who has been feeling especially blah lately?  And I'm not just talking about the political arena, though there's certainly enough going on there.  I hesitate to call what I'm feeling pessimism, because I don't really feel that everyone and everything is bad.  It just feels like every area in my life is part of some emotional rollercoaster I did not get in line to ride.  And yet, here I am in the stupid car with nothing but my faith in God and razor sharp wit to keep me secured.

A student the other day was talking about how "grown" they were.  I pounced as soon as the words came out of their mouth.  "Do not be in a hurry to become an adult.  Being an adult is a trap.  Stay a kid with a magic refrigerator and occasional laundry service for as long as your parents are cool with it."  And I say that somewhat jokingly, but also not.  Because this being an adult thing is way harder than they tell you it's going to be.  And I have extremely supportive parents who do things like go out and get me a hot water heater because mine is leaking and I have no clue A) how to get the right kind/size of water heater for my aged house and B) when I would actually go get one as ballgame season is still happening and on the few nights I'm home I pretty much collapse in a pile.

I've been living on my own for nearly 15 years, and I still have no clue what I'm doing 90% of the time.  And while I'm doing that 10% I think I have a handle on, someone is bound to tell me I'm not doing it to their satisfaction.  Yeah, yeah, we aren't supposed to let other people's opinions get us down, but have you figured out how to actually do that?  Because I'm a habitual people pleaser, and knowing someone doesn't like me or something I've been a part of is kind of devastating to me, even when I try to pretend that's not true.  Part of that is probably that I live and work in the same community that raised me, so interpersonal relationships can get complicated.  But even if I lived and worked elsewhere, I'd still want people to like me and the work I do.  It's just who I am.

I don't really know that I have an actual point outside of thinking maybe getting this all down will be cathartic or something.  Maybe all of this ennui is seasonal and a result of a lack of snow days, paired with a full moon.  Maybe the world really is a dumpster fire.  And yet, for whatever reason here we are.  And despite the rollercoaster, I still find things daily that bring me hope or make me smile or remind me that maybe no one really knows what they're doing.  Maybe we really are all just winging it and hoping someone slightly more competent comes along side us to keep us afloat.  I don't know. But maybe that's okay, too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/1

1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

I just saw Miranda Lambert for the third time and it was easily the best of her shows. The openers are great, and she is just musically in the best place she's ever been in.  Singing and dancing at that show was one of the few moments of pure and absolute joy I felt this month.  If the Highway Vagabond tour comes your way, I strongly suggest going!

2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

The sound of relentless junior high chatter.  It's Spirit Week in these parts and it is noisy.  

3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?

I am a people pleaser at my very root.  I talk a lot of stuff, but I care what people think about me and I don't like conflict.  And if people aren't okay with me, I fret.  I'd be okay with dropping some of that.

4. What is sacred to you?

My time.  Don't waste it.  Don't take advantage of my willingness to help.  Don't expect more of me than you are willing to give yourself.  Also, don't ask me to get up really early on Saturdays.  I may do it, but I will whine.  

5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?

For a long time, I couldn't stand it.  Now, if I have time to make it, I like to add brown sugar, apples and a little bit of peanut butter.  So basically, I make a cookie.

6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?

I love a good sunset.  I'm assuming that you mean time of day and not a poorly written YA series.  Of course, that stirs up some feelings too.

7. Something you're looking forward to next month?

I'm looking forward to hanging out with my bestie a little later this month.  We don't get to see each other as often anymore, so any time we get to spend together is pretty special.  

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm a little sad that is doesn't look like we will really have any snow days here this year.  Winter has been warmer and wetter than normal, which happens here some years.  While this means we will get out of school a little earlier, there's something fun about getting an unplanned day off now and again.  Plus, no snow makes for a very long February and March.  But such is the life of a teacher, I suppose.