Finally Friday

Things I am thankful for this week:

  • snow days: eating waffles in your pajamas
  • a wonderful husband who doesn’t mind clearing up all of the snow
  • health insurance
  • living within an hour of one of the best hospitals in the country
  • being recognized by my boss for what I am doing
  • my adorable son running into the room when he comes home after not seeing me all day or for two hours
  • hedgehogs
  • fresh water

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose all the lions get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

W.H. Auden

in response to

January 8, 2011

My current clean house gurus are 365 Less Things, Clean Mama, Unclutter and I’m An Organizing Junkie.

365 Less Things has inspired me to get rid of my stuff.  My stuff I don’t need.  My stuff I don’t use.  My stuff I don’t even remember I have.  She has listed mini missions and weekly missions.  I am not entirely sure how it is all going to work, but I am going to try to keep up with it.  I am also going to try hard to keep up with my household routines.

This was the week’s mission list and what I did:

  1. Saturday – Find something that can be used up but has been hanging about in your home for too long and start using it up. This could be moisturizer, something from the pantry, a note pad etc.  I have a ton of journals, note pads, post-it pads.  I am taking several in to school to use in my classroom.
  2. Sunday – Time to visit your book stash again there must be two books that are out of date or unlikely to be read again. Put them in the donation box. Didn’t do it.
  3. Monday – Evaluate your plastic storage containers are there some you could declutter? Tupperware sells on eBay you know. There are probably some that have seen better days to or ones with missing lids these are seldom used and are probably ready for the recycling bin. Threw away a couple of pieces.
  4. Tuesday – Go to a storage area of your home (the garage, a closet or drawer for instance) that you rarely use things from there must be one item of clutter you can delete. Collected some Christmas items for give away.
  5. Wednesday – Now that Christmas is over and birthdays are on the way gather all of your greeting cards, gift wrap etc. together in one place. Weed out what you will never use and discard. Boxed up some Christmas cards I won’t send now that I make my own photo cards.
  6. Thursday – Go and find 1 “I might need it one day” item that you haven’t “needed” for years and put it in your donations box. Didn’t do it.
  7. Friday – Declutter one item from your closet that you know you didn’t use last season. Four bags ready to go.

Finally Friday

Ten things I am grateful for this week:

  • my super smart wonderful little boy who learns new words every day
  • my terrific husband who is willing to do a lot of the things I don’t want to
  • my coworkers, especially the one who is finding herself and finding love at the same time
  • my third grade student, he perseveres and gives it his all even when everything (outside of school) is working against him
  • my third grade tier 2 group, because they are interested, inquisitive and innovative
  • my most difficult second grader, he is teaching me patience, to think on my feet, and how to entertain a kid who is too smart for his grade, but too impulsive to just sit and listen
  • my boss, he started last year by establishing his alpha position and is now starting to relax and be comfortable in the knowledge that we will do what he says, but sometimes our ideas work well too
  • finally being able to celebrate my dear friend’s 20th birthday with her, I am thankful every day we are friends
  • knowing that when I go home tonight there will be food, shelter, and love

6 Degrees

I have always been fascinated with the theory of 6 degrees of separation.  My dad totally misunderstands the theory and thinks it means a loop, but I know it means how many degrees of separation you are from any other person on Earth.  I find it a little hard to believe that I am 6 degrees from someone in a remote African village, but it is certainly a lot easier in this age of world travel and world volunteerism.  But what I do know is I have some pretty crazy connections to famous people in our world.

I don’t personally know anyone really famous.  I mean sure, I met George H. W. Bush and shook his hand, but I certainly don’t know him.  The most famous people I know are Gary (who passed in 2007) and Bill from Rosenshontz, Steven and Peter from Gould & Stearns.  I also know Gary’s son, Penn, who sings with the Tuft’s Beelzebubs and sang Sweet Caroline on The Sing Off‘s first season. And okay, my former neighbor’s son (who grew up in my town and went to my high school) has starred in shows on Broadway and a woman who grew up in my town won the Nobel Peace Prize.

However, I do have some other interesting (to me) connections in the 6 degrees sense.

My dad’s childhood best friend married a woman who has worked with deathrow inmates in LA.  Not just any deathrow inmates, but some of the most famous killers in California and US history.  She was hired in the late 1970s to help prevent suicides on death row.  There was a serial killer who committed suicide while on death row and the LA county system didn’t want that to happen again.  She has written a pretty interesting book about her experience in the prison system.  The twist to the story is that the killer who took his own life?  One of his victims left a wife and 2 sons.  That woman and her 2 boys moved to my hometown and are very good friends with my family.

From college I have some crazy connections.  First of all, Dave Matthews’ wife was two years ahead of me at my college.  I didn’t really know her, but of course since it was a tiny school I knew who she was.  One year she and I lived in the same dorm.  I guess he used to come visit all the time, but I never saw him. He played a free concert for us in the spring and that was pretty awesome.  That same year a good friend lived with a transfer student.  That transfer student went on to marry one of Ted Turner’s sons.

It isn’t really so much that I want to know famous people, or that I think name-dropping makes me cooler, I have just always made connections between people and things in order to better understand my world.  I think it just makes it easier for me to sort things out when I can make connections.  The music teacher at my school?  Her step dad was the minister at a church in my town. Her sister and I do theater together.  That sister’s mother-in-law works for my dad.  Oh, and one of the bridesmaids in that sister’s wedding was in my Lamaze class.  A friend with a baby born just before Tumblebug?  I met her because she is my sister’s best friend’s brother’s wife’s sister.  I also taught the younger siblings of those 2 sisters.  Maybe it is just growing up in a small town.  Was I the only one who understood the girl from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

Economics Teacher: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
Simone: Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.
Economics Teacher: Thank you, Simone.
Simone: No problem whatsoever.

Hoo Are You Tuesday?

1. Did you make any New Year’s Revolutions?

Yes.  My standard resolution is try harder, but this year I have added declutter the first floor, establish routines, and save money.
2. What are some goals you have for 2011?

My goals for 2011 are in line with my resolutions. I hope to declutter my kitchen, living room, dining room, and office to feel more comfortable inviting people over.  I hope to establish better routines to keep my house clean and my life running more smoothly.  My husband and I would both like to budget better and save money to pay down our debt.

3. What is something that you got for Christmas?

I told my husband I wanted something I wasn’t expecting.  So he went on my Amazon wishlist and got me a new camera.  It is water, dust and shock proof.  I am also hoping it is toddler and klutz proof.

4. Did you see any good movies over the holiday season?

Movies? Who can watch movies?  No actually, we did watch several holiday themed movies, both kid-friendly and adult themed.  But on New Year’s Eve we watched Wild Hogs.  I had never seen it and thought it would be kind of dumb, but I really liked it.

5. Do you do your own taxes or have someone do them for you?

I don’t do our taxes, but my husband does.  We are hoping for a refund this year, but I doubt it.


Tumblebug really enjoys the opposites books by Leslie Patricelli.  We have BIG little, Yummy Yucky, and Quiet Loud. He loves to be able to point at the things he knows.  I wanted to make him more books with a personal feel.  I made a book for his classroom with photos of items in their classroom that are mostly a color.  It was a hit and I have made more copies for students that have moved to a different class.

I went through my photos and chose examples of things that are similar, but way different sizes, just like in the book BIG little.  I also took more pictures throughout the summer to add to the book.  Some examples are much better than others.

I used Photoshop to add the text to each picture but you can also use Picnik or any other photo editing software that lets you add text.  I went with the text from the book: Elephants are BIG. Mice are little.

Some of the pictures are things that are similar and some are things that go together, but they are all things Tumblebug should recognize down the road.

Once I developed all the photos I just stuck them in a cheap plastic photo album.  I used a picture of my dad and Tumblebug as the cover.  There are still empty pages, so I am going to find more BIG and little things to add.

Sunday Night Blues

6 1/2 days off from school plus 4 weekend days is a good break, but I am never ready to go back to school.

I always wish for one more day.  One more day to clean up the house.  One more day to get back into my sleep routine.  One more day to play out side with Tumblebug.  One more day to craft.  One more day to do laundry.

But then Sunday night comes and I realize I don’t have one more day.

Unfortunately I took a nap today, so here it is 11:00 and I am blogging instead of sleeping.  I am not ready for class tomorrow.  I didn’t bring anything home because I knew I wouldn’t look at it.  My third graders are hoping for a word round-up puzzle and I haven’t finished one for them yet (see my previous post about perfectionism).  I am going back to the start of the unit with my second graders, so I am planned for that.  Everything else I am going to wing and plan for the rest of the week tomorrow afternoon.

And what the heck am I going to wear?  I just hope it isn’t too cold tomorrow.  As long as I have clean clothes for Tumblebug, I’ll find something for myself.