Saturday, June 23, 2007

Buffed and Polished...

I spent the better part of my afternoon at the Lotus Spa today, getting myself buffed and polished as a treat to myself.
And boy, was it worth it!
Between the facial (complete with scalp, hand and shoulder massage), the Shanghai Herbal Foot Massage and the pedicure, I just about napped my way through the entire thing. So relaxing and peaceful. What a better way to reward myself for finishing off the year, than to do what I enjoy best...pampering myself. If you have the opportunity, drop in to take advantage of the foot massage, if nothing else. Blissful. Absolutely blissful.


Take that!

The last day of school is bittersweet. Okay, maybe more sweet than bitter but there were some tears. We held our graduation breakfast yesterday morning, complete with certificates and a slide show. One of my students, a very quiet boy who loves to read, came up to say goodbye, and spent most of it staring at the ceiling so he wouldn't cry. That one had me in tears.
But I wasn't crying when I went back to my classroom and finished shoving things into my cupboards, recycle bin and garbage cans. I'm all packed and stacked now, and I won't be back in my class until August. Time to breath a sigh of relief...and get back to work.
I've decided to take a month off my writing. Between report cards, and other life events, I need some time to get myself back in the right headspace. I've been going full-throttle since September, in both my job and my writing. So I'll be back to it in July, when I can really put the pedal to the metal and try to finish off this manuscript...

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Bad combination...

I really need to practice ordering my lattes decaf. It's the only way around it. Caffeine and I do not mix, which I was reminded of quite clearly tonight, at our monthly Tiaras meeting.
I left work around 4 (well, left school. The work came with me), drove over to the nearby Seattle's Best to finish my work some place a little calmer, because let's face it...the school is filled with way too much wired energy from all the kiddies and teachers raring to leave. So I go to the shop, order my iced latte, and sit down with my work. I did not pay attention to if I ordered decaf or not, but I'd been doing so fairly regularly, so figured I was safe.
Poor Shannon was then subjected to dinner with me on warp speed. If you all think I speak fast normally? Wait until you hear me talk when I've had caffeine. Not a pretty sight. I made it worse when I tried to read my back-copy blurb to the rest of the Tiaras later, and spoke so quickly all of them begged me to stop, slow down and start over.
Must caffeine. Or maybe I just need to stick with my tea.
Though on the other hand...I did finish putting together the graduation certificates for Friday, and graded just under half of their final assessments.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

The countdown continues...

Five half days left. Half days because we have all sorts of activities going on in the afternoons this week. Oh. My. Goodness. How in the world did I get to this point? We have one project to finish, along with several odds and ends to take care of. The kids are just as ready as I am to be done.
Five days to go, and I have so much to get done, it's not even funny. Report cards to finish, books to separate out to give back to the other fifth grade classes, a class to pack up, meetings, items to gather...the list goes on.
Five days until the end of my first year of teaching. Can you hear that sigh of relief?


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Little things...

*Warning* I'm completely caffeinated right now, so if this feels rambley, you'll understand why.
We're down to eight days left, and really? Most of them are half days. Of course, this means even less time to do everything, but 8 days! Which means less than two weeks until I leave for Israel. I'm frantically running around trying to take care of all the little things. It doesn't quite feel real yet, even though I know it is since they charged my credit card for the balance the other day. Still, I can't believe I'll be in another country soon. It's wild.
It really is about the little things, isn't it? Like the fact that I have half a watermelon sitting on my counter waiting for me. Or the fact that I woke up to a text message this morning from someone I wasn't expecting to hear from for a few more days.
Or maybe it's that I've started packing up my classroom, even though we're not done. Or seeing the fifth grade texts make their way back to one of the other fifth grade rooms. Or maybe it was checking out my possible class for next year.
Or maybe it's simply knowing that I made it through the year, with my sanity relatively in tact (or at least no crazier than when I began the year), and with 3/4 of a manuscript to show for it all.
Yup, it's all about the little things.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

More book love...

As we move into the LAST 10 DAYS OF SCHOOL, I've found a new series that has completely sucked me in, and made grades and report cards even less appealing. So I'm not sure if I should actually thank Shannon or Alexis Morgan for their recommendations of the JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
I'm on book number 3 now, and cannot believe how I managed to put off reading these. I love that in each book, Ms. Ward has managed to create heroes who are more realistic than you would imagine, simply for their faults. They come from tragic pasts, and whether they are blind, cursed, or ex-slaves, they are beautiful in their imperfections. She has taken each of these warriors, the guardians of their race, and given them so many layers, that you know none of them are what they seem.
So, wow. Just. Wow. Go, read, enjoy.

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Still in a daze...

Thank you to all who have commented on the slight possibility that I am sanity challenged for choosing my job.
You're probably right.
Further proof? We took the students on a day long field trip to Mt. St. Helen's on Friday. 15 hours of excited, hormonal pre-teens. Not to mention sick pre-teens. Not to mention a really, really long bus ride. Yeah, it was a long day. Finally got home about 8:45, only to crawl almost directly into bed and go to sleep.
But for all the insanity? It really was an amazing field trip. To see how the mudflows of the blast have completely transformed the land, to see the matchstick-like tree trucks left strewn across the ground just blows your mind. I felt almost like one of my students for a while, blithely following along as we learned about the event that blacked out cities as far away as Montana.
Then we had to get back into the bus for the ride home, which included a stop at my least favorite fast food restaurant...McDonald's. 78 students, chaperones and teachers later, I finally had my food, boarded the bus and we continued our ride.
Yeah, it was like that.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I've made it to the end of the school year. Or at least I've almost made it to the end of the year. 13 days, but who's counting? Oh yeah, all the first year teachers out there, that's who. But somehow I've made it this far, and I'll make it to the end. Of course, by that point I may be dragging myself across the finish line with all my fingers ripped and torn...but I'll be there. Some days, though, it's really hard to realize how close it all is. Days like today, the ones that leave me drained and ready to toss in the towel, make it hard to recognize that the end is closing in. But I'm almost there. And once I make it, I'll be going to Israel to celebrate. See? There is a silver lining.
So here's a toast to the rest of us. Slogging through the week, wondering how we're going to get through it all, whether it's a writing career, teaching, law practices or motherhood. We'll do it. We'll make it through eventually.
And we'll have lots of stories to tell about it.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Graceful I am not...

And that was made abundantly clear last night. Really, I'm pretty sure my middle name should be officially changed to Clumsy. Or maybe, Watch Out.
Just to prove it...let me show you all the things I managed to do yesterday...
  • fling chicken across the table (and it started out on a stick...impressed yet?)
  • at the movie theater I smacked my leg into the armrest while trying to get to my seat not once...not even, I smacked my leg (in the same spot) about 4 times.
  • on the way back to my seat after going to buy a pop, smacked the other leg twice...then couldn't get back into my seat, so I'm pretty sure the people behind me were not happy.
  • We stopped for dessert after the movie. I got tea, and as usual, they stuck the tag in between the two cups. In my attempt to extricate the tag (and no, the cups wouldn't separate), I gave one final pull, rocking the cup, sending water splashing all over the place. Good thing I'd brought over extra napkins.

Today, both legs are still feeling pretty sore from the cup holders on the ends of the arm rests...but at least I got to sleep past 5:30.