Tuesday, June 30, 2009

water, water everywhere*

Today started with a ferry ride across Lake Champlain. For the first time in days, we were treated to sunshine (sorry, friends...) which made the ride extra special. We crossed northern NY for most of the day, landing in Niagra Falls at about 6 PM. The town of Niagra Falls is, well, trashy. It looks like a run down industrial town that has no industry left. Niagra Falls State Park, however, is delightful: clean, easily accessible, and FREE! We walked around for about an hour and got some fun pics (those will be uploaded when I'm not typing at the dinner table in Erie, PA waiting for my pizza to arrive). (Which is just did.) The Falls themselves are quite amazing-- all they were cracked up to be. Ironicly, the American side is not as built up and touristy as the Canadian side. As we headed out of NY, we drove through scattered showers and were followed by some pretty cool rainbows.

So now we're eating (well, almost) and headed for Cleveland where Tom has another light on for us. Tomorrow is Road Warrior day: the hope is to go through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and into Minnesota. I-90 to I-94. Hey, ho, let's go!

Lots of love goes home to all you. We hope the sun comes out tomorrow!!!

*today's prize is a 4x6 of Niagra Falls if you comment to me with the reference. C'mon, people, I need some serious comment love!

Monday, June 29, 2009

go West, young family!*

We rolled out of town at about 5:15 (after running back home from bestfriends to retrieve the glove left behind. Baseball is serious stuff between 8 and 11 year old cousins who go years between catches.) We stopped for dinner in NH, at Crabby Jacks Mexican Steak House. Yes, I'm totally not making that up. It met our expectations just fine ("hey Mumma-- it's a Coke place!") The drive was uneventful except for the young male moose on the side of the road in NH. A bald eagle was circling overhead too... WB wonders what the totems would say about seeing both, together, with no one but us to witness?

We're stowed safely in Burlington, with the $2.99 internet access card. Only one machine can use it at a time though, so off I go to share.

Tomorrow looks like a ferry ride to NY and a stop at Niagra. I've never been, and am quite excited. No time to tour Burlington, but I'll be back. It's only 3 hours from home and has at least 1 cool college radio station. I do miss me some college radio...

Until tomorrow, gentle readers. Beaner and Nutty-- we love and miss you already!!!!!!

*a prize of a 4x6 copy of some cool MT shot I get to whomever can identify the reference!

ready to go?

We're mostly packed, last load of laundry drying (I didn't even consider hanging it!), and leaving kitchen clean up until right before we go. Anticipating leaving is the worst part of travel for me. I always get cold feet: never mind, I didn't really want to go anyway. I must admit, the rain is making it easier to just want to get out of dodge.

I hope to stay connected all the way. Maybe I should get a twitter account so I can text updates? Who knew I could be so modern...

Friday, June 26, 2009

covered in daisies

I've been taking shots of the kids in wildflowers for years. Usually I get them in the dandelions, but this year were too busy and it was too cold and rainy. Daisies are another favorite flower of mine, and WB mowed around lots of patches so I could fully enjoy them.

Before we head out on our trip, the kids are hoping to get some shots with Bestfriends, which I also usually do. It is definitely a goal for the weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Second load of laundry, freshly cut grass, sun shining. What you can't see is the grilled steak and tomatillo salsa, fresh guacamole, and raspberry margaritas. WB and Girly played in the stream while waiting for Boy to return from mini-golf with his friend. Summer has arrived, even if only for a day. This is the day I will remember in January: hot, sweaty, and absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

an inconvienent truth

I'm sitting here watching the first round of Wimbledon play, listening to the rain fall. I have been a faithful watcher since 1983-- I can remember my mom bringing her little B&W TV into the bathroom and watching as we cleaned-- but I don't ever remember watching the first round. So why this year, you ask? Because usually in late June it is hot and sticky and we're heading for a beach rather than huddled under a blanket on the couch. The sun is out in England-- fans are sweating in the hot sun, and no sign of the rain delays I'm used to seeing.

WB is headed to Auburn to look for light bulbs, a new blind to replace the broken one, a fleece for his dinosaur hunting class, and maybe some wood to build an ark, just in case.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

full swing

We went to visit our friends on the coast this weekend. Such trips are a vacation event: we rarely can get together while school is in session, but summer and spring breaks are perfect for visits. It did not cross my mind that they were NOT on vacation yet! Monday is a half day for them-- a full week longer than we had to do! It feels like forever ago that we were at work... it really is quite easy to adjust to living like the rich and famous. I do like my life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

knives and forks

The school year is just waiting for the proverbial lady to finish her song. Workshop day tomorrow and then our little SAD will ride out the month and then cease to exist. The new RSU starts July 1, with all the hope and fear and potential and dread such a change brings. It's good it happens over the summer: we teachers are conditioned for changes to take place in July or August rather than January. I think everyone is nervous-- so many unknowns to work through, and the only way to answer the questions is to have them pop up as the year unfolds.

I do so love my job, whatever the outside structure around me looks like, and summer vacation is a part of that reason, but not just because I get to exist without an alarm clock for 10 weeks. We are all ready for some down time, and some time away from each other. We are ready to come back rejuvenated and refocused, with new goals to attain. Summer isn't just 'free time' for teachers; it is just as important-- maybe more so-- for students to get a break from the intensity of the year. Sometimes the big changes in thinking happen when you aren't thinking about it.

So farewell to this year, and to this district on it's way to becoming a region. We will be ready to come back and tackle the new year in the fall.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

no, thank you

This was a big year in terms of the sunshines graduating. I had 2 of these guys for 3 years, 2 for 2 years, and 3 this year. Life in our fishbowl is cozy, so we all get to know each other well. Really well. I hear about their love lives and fights at home; I'm there when they get driver's licenses and get accepted to college. Two of them are parents, and I check in on my grand-students regularly. For them to finish, to "make it" to graduation, is no small feat. They all have their own issues, their own stumbling blocks. To see them overcome the odds and march with their class is beyond gratifying. The smiles on their faces are different from those in the Top Ten: you can see the relief in attaining a goal that was a struggle to reach. Some are going onto college in the fall, some are working and saving money to go eventually, and some may never go. That doesn't matter to me as much as the knowledge that they finished something that was hard to do, that took effort and commitment and self restraint.

They gave me all sorts of swag... coke, roses, lillys... and one of them, when I thanked him, got real quiet. "No, Buckaroo. Thank you."

My graduate wall is growing, and my drop out numbers declining. I miss them all when they move on, but so far, my sunshines come back and visit me regularly. Connections. I know they've mastered that concept.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

It's time to end the skit now.

Dishwasher is out of commission now, too. I give up.

(Optimistic post about my sunshines tomorrow.)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

theme of the year...

So for those playing along, we've had some financial incidents this year. Ovens, windshields, tires, batteries, water pipes... no need to rehash. Things got a little better, but the overarching emergency repair theme continues. The lawnmower is currently unusable, and has a few more weeks patiently waiting for it's appointment. The standup freezer has been making noises, and we were hoping it would hold off until it got a bit emptier, but no luck. When I called the kids this afternoon, Boy reported a red liquid coming from underneath it ("It looks like strawberry juice!") . I stopped for ice on the way home.

The good news is we knew it was coming, and the freezer wasn't packed full. I've got one cooler filled and the rest in the little freezer. I only had to throw a few things away, and 'had' to make a pitcher of daquiris tonight to deal with some of the (barely) frozen berries. The bad news is we really need another freezer, and now need to figure out what we want to get and where to put it. It should be bigger than what just died if we're going to keep buying cows. What was that I was saying about life getting in the way of paying down my debts?

Monday, June 01, 2009

next to last post about my seniors

All things must come to an end: this has been proven time after time. Sometimes you don't know you are doing something for the last time, and that can be a blessing. Seniors, however, know they will never do (insert task here) again. In some ways it's good to know-- you can fully appreciate what it means to be standing at the doorstep of your future-- but sometimes it feels to the rest of us like we're all treading water, waiting for the rest of you to just get out of the pool already and let us get on with our lives.

Senior Week, my friends. T minus 4 days and definitely counting!