Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Odds and Ends and Catching Up!

Well the first term of the 2016-17 school year is just 3 days and exams from being finished and SOOOOOO much has happened since I last wrote!

The last 4 months have flown by...really flown! In that time we have elected a new President. Not going to go all political on here. Let's just say my candidate didn't win. Nuff said.

I have organized my next travel trip with students and we are headed to London and Paris with pop over to Normandy in early June of 2017. Should be a blast! Our school's librarian and her husband are going along so we will all have a splendid time checking on the sites and seeing that part of the world.

We put our vineyard on the market and are hoping to sell it before the end of the year. Time to try new things and free ourselves up on weekends. we did it for 17 years.... and enjoyed it. Ready for new adventures.

Recently we have found ourselves praying a lot for our eldest daughter who was diagnosed with breast cancer in early December. She is having surgery on the 23rd, and the prognosis is very good. We are hopeful a lumpectomy with followup treatment and frequent rechecks will see her into the New Year cancer free. Have to say having the "c" word come up in relationship with your child is a real life-reckoning moment. Don't want to ever have that happen again if I can help it. Thanking God for doctors, health care, regular exams and 3-D mammography which made catching and treating Gret's cancer possible!

Beyond all of the above, I have spent my fall being what I do best, a teacher. Had some great classes to teach this year. Feel myself going slower as I work, and figure that being 61 is all about pacing yourself as you go along. Feel blessed to work with great people and mostly great students. Life is good and I am taking it at a pace I can manage. Will write more in the new year!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's a Masterpiece

Sunday night is THE night for any real television in our household and PBS is solely to blame. Their show Masterpiece Theater and Masterpiece Mystery have utterly and completely consumed my viewing time for as long as I can remember.

Tonight is the official "last Sunday night" of summer. I am ready (if wistfully so) for school to begin on Tuesday. But for tonight there is Masterpiece.... oh, and also Chinese takeout because that's the best thing to eat while watching PBS on Sunday night, right?

What's your favorite TV addiction? 'Fess up - you know you want to tell! Have a great fall, dear readers!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Books of Summer

I don't know about you, but during my professional life summer has become the time when I can fully enjoy recreational reading. Each summer I look for a series or two that I can dive into and enjoy. Some year's it's a romance series, others a mystery series. I have discovered some wonderful authors that I go on to revisit in following years.

This summer I have "discovered" Sue Jaffarian. She is the author of the Odelia Grey novels. Odelia is a delightful "accidental sleuth" who is fully employed as a paralegal (an occupation her author shares in real life!) Odelia is a forty-something, size 20, single gal with a love of all thing chocolate and ice cream. She doesn't take herself too seriously and is quite witty as well. I found her so likable and the books, nine in all, quite entertaining. So I would recommend them highly if you are looking for a contemporary mystery series with compelling plot lines and a delightful crew of recurring characters.

Speaking of books, if any of you are users of Goodreads, I am on it as CStaude and would love to connect. For those of you unfamiliar with Goodreads, it's a social website for booklovers! It's a great place to discover new authors and read about upcoming new books. This isn't how I stumbled on Ms. Jaffarian's books, however, I found her the old fashioned way by browsing about the library. I am blessed to have an excellent library less than a mile from my home.

This is my last night of totally unstructured "summertime" - and I am planning to spend it reading! Back to work tomorrow.... all good summers must come to an end! Till next time, keep reading!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last week of Freedom, Conventions, and Assorted Odds and Ends

Hello readers,
Am back after a hiatus spent with grandchildren and what we now officially call "Grandcamp". Four of the five were here for just about a week along with our youngest daughter, and we did have "grand" time. Running about looking at sites, making crafts and cooking for 3.5 times your usual table crowd makes for a busy week. It was fun.

So now it's time to get serious about the impending school year. And I am finding that a challenge. I really don't want to think about another year just yet. What's more, I find myself dreaming of grabbing a discount ticket to London and just jetting away! This is nothing new... it happens every summer during this time. I love my work, really enjoy the students and the variety, however about this time it feels a bit like a cage that soon I will be forced to crawl back into. I think the images I have of the work others do is part of the problem. I imagine other people at jobs where they can choose to spend more than 3 minutes in the bathroom or take a coffee break or lunch with friends and not be ''watching the room" and I inwardly fantasize about it. That's the sticking point for me about where I work and what I do - absolutely NO discretionary time. Your life is locked into 80 min. segments with 5 minute passing times and somewhere in the day you get "prep time" but you must use it while on campus. It's like being in a prison and it is not any surprise to me at all why all the inmates, both teachers and students, can't wait to rush out the doors each May! Is normal "work" like this too? Or do all you readers with "normal" (i.e. non-teaching) jobs get to call some of the shots about your use of time? So I start fretting about it a couple weeks out. The meetings get onto the calendar first.... I think to "break us all in" to the idea of having to be back in our routine.

For evening entertainment the past week I have been dipping between Netflix and the Republican Convention. Between the two, I will take Netflix. However, there was sort of train wreck quality to the RNC gathering that one couldn't help but watch. So tonight begins the Dems and it's kicking off with a bang that involves firing a woman who heads their national committee. If social media had anything to say about it, which it does but who cares, Senator Sanders should consider rising from the ashes and stealing the show, but that won't happen. However, given the list of speakers that will appear at this one, I will most likely find myself tuning in. I have at least found that conventions make it easier to knit or crochet while watching than do Midsommer Murder episodes on Netflix.
Are any of you less than excited about November's elections? I know I am NOT looking forward to all the ads on mainstream media... which is why I intend to avoid it as much as possible in the next 3 months. Most of you know that my husband is into all things political, although more on an international scale than a national one, so the days ahead are a bit like a big sports season are to other folks. Must admit, it's fun to be a spectator at times like these.

Movie review time: haven't seen many this summer and all of them so far have been kid flicks. Caught Spielberg's BFG based on the book of the same name by Rhoald Dahl. It was delightful and dark and well-executed. Mark Rylance was brilliant as the giant. Second film, The Secret Lives of Pets just about put both me and my 3yr old grandchild to sleep. I would suggest saving it as a rental for some night when you have little people you want to nod off around... and then quietly tuck them in. I will say this, cat lovers will not appreciate that all the cats in the film are either a) ridiculously overweight or b)viciously mean. It kept 3 out 4 grandkids mildly entertained and then they rated it only a 3 starts out of 5. My grandkids have serious movie critic chops, folks.

Still enjoying my bike, although I must admit that one week of 100 degree heat here in Misery-(oops) Missouri put the damper on my plans to ride daily. Some things are just not worth heat exhaustion.
Our pool seemed a safer option for the past 5 days of scorcher temps. I hope you all survive your final week of July with coolness!

Till next time - all the best.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back again, so soon?

What is it about blogging that keeps me coming back for more? Even after an almost 2 year hiatus, I found myself with a few free moments today and thought about this blog. So here I am - back again. Even though I know that many of my dear readers are long gone and not reading anymore! Who, after all, follows a silent blog.

So in that gap, I celebrated TWO birthdays - a landmark one and an anti-climactic one. I turned sixty which I expected to be a much bigger deal than it actually felt. Yes, my family made a wonderful fuss about it, everyone coming to town to help me celebrate etc. but overall it passed fairly calmly. I am not sure what the next 20-30 years hold, and how many of them I will get to enjoy, but the first 60 have been good and very satisfying, each in their own way.

At sixty, I expected to be more set in my ways than I am. Ironically, I find myself becoming a lot more relaxed about "big issues". I am more likely to say, "So what?" or "Does it really matter?" than I used to be. Not sure what that means in the long haul, and am also not sure if this will be how I go from here on out, but right now it feels right.

This past spring, that second birthday came and went. And so now I am 61. Biggest thing I have done thus far in my 61st year is buy a new bicycle. Yeah, a bicycle. Not just any bike either. I got an electric bike. It arrived in June and has provided me with a great deal of fun and freedom since its coming. It has enabled me to go up hills that were denied to me by my physical limits using my conventional bike. I can pedal to the library and the market and I feel that no matter what else happens, as long as I have the ability to ride off on it, I am not truly "old". That sounds weird, I know, but in my head it feels good.

So here's to grandma on wheels! Will hopefully make this NOT my only post in 2016!