Chilly and Wet

We had a brief Indian Summer here and it is definitely gone today.  We woke up and walked the dog in pouring rain. And Maia has been battling Grey in windows. She walks behind him closing them all and then he turns around and opens them again. Magically we haven’t had the heat on but I’m giving it just a bit more time.

img_3072The leaves have been slow to change this year due to an on-going drought but they have really started to come out over the past week. These are trees near the school where I teach. My munchkins love class-wide soccer games are recess which conveniently keeps them all in one place. Miraculously, there are very few injuries. They are pretty careful, these seven year olds.


Yarn Along :: October 13, 2016


I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things this week.  Head over if you’d like to see some more knitting projects and reading.

I’ve made it to Wednesday after a day off and two grueling days of school.  My little second graders are in the midst of cognitive testing which is a new thing for them.  It’s an annual test for this grade level in our Archdiocese and they’re doing really well but our schedule is a little off kilter.  These guys crave routine.  Well, their teacher does, too.

I cast on these socks a little over two weeks ago, I think, but they’d taken a back seat to sickness.  I picked them back up a few days ago and have been making good progress.  I love the yarn; it is so squishy that I can tell I’m going to love these socks.


Pattern: Monkey Socks (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Lambstrings Ewetopia Sock
Needles: Size 2 DPNs

I also finished A Desperate Fortune (yay!) although I admist to skimming two chapters of modern day that were a total snooze.  I liked it, I suppose.  I went back and forth over what to read next until I walked into Barnes & Noble last weekend during Educator Week.  Yep, 25% off EVERYTHING so I splurged on a hardcover book.  The Couple Next Door is very good so far, a bit cringy and it’s sucked me in totally.  I’m budgeting knitting time so I have enough time to read before bed.  I suppose that’s the mark of a good book for me.

When You Can’t Sleep

Full Disclosure: I went to bed at 7:30 last night with a combination stress headache/virus that won’t go away.  Really it isn’t a surprise that I woke up at 2am.  I’ve had a disjointed week that has left me firmly here:


Monday we had a regular day and I was lucky to have my daughter with me to organize the classroom library, help record the kids’ sight word reading, etc. I was still feeling like death warmed over.

Tuesday was a district PD day. It was wonderful to hear about blended learning until you find out there is no tech budget to support all the amazing things we had dangled in front of us.  Gee, thanks.

Wednesday…oh Wednesday, I was not a fan. We no longer have music and Spanish because the teacher had to resign for (serious) health issues. It’s temporary until we get a replacement but…that gives me three days straight with a 20 minute break. Unless the people who monitor lunches are out. Which they were. I had a lot of do in that 20 minutes, wasn’t feeling well, and needed to mentally prepare for an afternoon conference.  Me…in a really grumpy bad mood and hosting a pity party.

Thursday…second conference. Another one tomorrow. Student struggles in school that I want to help solve but its beyond my abilities as a teacher. I’m not special ed, I don’t have mental health training. I’m just trying as hard as I can. But I’m missing that support component I’d have in a public school.

So now it’s FRIDAY!!! I have another conference today. But it’s also a half day and we’ll be doing a Walk-a-Thon to a nearby nursing home to join the residents in saying the Rosary. And Monday is a holiday. Thank the Lord!




This weekend was a rainy and cold one here in Connecticut. Our plans for the Big E were derailed and we spent most of the weekend at home. Maia found a soft fuzzy blanket “with pompoms” after dinner on Saturday and she’s been under it since. 
image I spent a lot of time buried under the covers battling this virus that seems to have settled in for a long stay. After thinking I was on the mend, I’m now in bed with sharp throat pain. Strep is going around school so I think a trip to the doctor…again…is in order. All of the down time has given me lots of time for knitting and reading, though.  We have a diocesan teacher conference on Tuesday and I think knitting is coming with me. 

Yarn Along :: September 29, 2016

Woohoo! September is almost behind us.  This has been the longest first month of school since I was teaching literature at an urban adult ed facility.  That was a serious learning curve.  My new class of second graders is really young so I’m needing to refocus my efforts.  I’ve also been sick for nearly a week now which isn’t helping my mood.  And we lost our Spanish/Music teacher so I have a 20 minute break (lunch) for three straight days. Did I mention I didn’t feel well?


Joining Ginny this week

My niece’s Azul Pullover is done and waiting for me to sew on the buttons. (I should really do that.  It would only take ten minutes at the most.) I cast on for two different sock patterns about twice each.  I’m on CO three for Monkey socks and am determined to keep my brain focused on it.  That yo2 bit confused me.  Cold medicine is not a knitter’s friend it seems.

Yep, same picture as last time but if I showed you what it looks like now, after cast on no. 2, it would look the same. Keepin’ it real.

I’ve been reading A Desperate Fortune about the Jacobites in France, kind of interwoven with a modern day woman with Aspergers.  I like the storyline with Mary Dundas set in the 1730’s but I’m having a hard time with the budding romance of the modern translator.  I’m still plugging along with it although I’ve been sorely tempted to abandon it.  It’s just not that interesting.  I just don’t like abandoning books. *sigh*


I downloaded Katrina Kenison’s Gift of an Ordinary Day and I think I may abandon this in favor of that.  I’m in a strange place with two older kids, not really missing having little kids, but adjusting to this sense that my own children are journeying towards their own lives.  Which is the point, of course, and I realize that. But it’s also a bit melancholy.  Although I do love having teenagers ~ it’s no where near as terrifying as I’d thought it would be.  I’m hoping Katrina’s book is just as powerful for me as Mitten Strings for God was when they were little.


Weekends are for memory making,
relaxing and enjoying quiet moments of our days.
Joining Karen this evening.

Not it much has been happening here this weekend. My husband’s Rotary held their annual Oktoberfest on Saturday but, rather than attend, Maia and I have been sick with something close to the flu. If I’d taken any pictures this weekend they’d have been pictures of soup and medicine bottles.

img_2875What I have taken a photo of was the first few rows of my Monkey socks cuff. I had a bit of a hiccup with the yo2 that I’m blaming on my befuddled head.  Otherwise it’s going swimmingly.

Right now, lessons are planned and printed. I may also be working on emergency sub plans because I’m thinking a sick day is in my future this week. Time for bed.

Weekend Progress and Dinner Plans

Our goal, my daughter and mine, was a weekend with nothing.  I think we did fairly well.


This was the first home game at my son’s school and Grey couldn’t wait.  He rambled on about Friday Night Lights and team spirit.  It was a bit of a nail biter and we were down up until the last quarter when we came from behind to win the game. First home win in two years!


I was finishing up my niece’s Azel Pullover but had to leave in the midst of the bind off to get to school.  This work thing really interferes with knitting.  Anyway, I finished it up Saturday morning and it’s just waiting for buttons.  Luckily my niece lives in SE Virginia so it’s not likely to get cold down there any time soon.



I wound my new yarn that I picked up last weekend in Port Jefferson.  It’s Lamstrings Ewetopia Sock and I love it.  I’m working on Nutkin socks.  This is the first folded cuff I’ve done (and it kept me from knitting this pattern for a couple of years).  Much easier than I’d thought. The perfectly coordinated nail color was a fluke (OPI Sailing and Nailing, if you’re wondering).


Last night we had our first “Fall” fire.  Granted, fall doesn’t technically begin until Thursday but it was chilly out.  So nice to sit and relax with a glass of wine and the boys (the daughter was at a friends).

Phew, there we go.  Now to dinner plans.  I am trying so so hard to cook at home but it’s not a lot of fun.  I’m thinking of trying Blue Apron or something similar to see if I can climb out of this cooking rut.

Monday: Italian Sausage and Broccoli Raabe over Penne Pasta

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan Burgers (kids’ cooking night)

Wednesday: Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu

Thursday: Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili

Friday: Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken

Saturday: Crab Cake Sandwiches

Week Two’s a Wrap

I survived Week 2…just.  The temperatures this past week were in the upper 80’s and with high humidity.  I truly do not know how I grew up in the South where weather like this was and is normal.  I had three fans going and was drinking water like there was no tomorrow (at least my skin’s looking good).  We even had out of uniform Thursday and Friday.  Nothing helped.

Second grade, my friends, is proving to be trickier than I’d thought.  I have a class of sweethearts but they are chatty and they are young!  Oh my.  I need to rethink basically everything and quickly!

  1. In reading my science curriculum very closely I realized that every other day is a lab.  I love this because it means they are doing things instead of listening to me talk but it also means a ton of prep. My room is FILLED to the brim with furniture and I think I really inherited old preschool furniture.  It’s crowded in there and not in a good way.
  2. My dear 2nd graders are used to, and like, sitting near me and the Smart Board or the easel but they are not good at choosing smart spots where they will listen to me and not their BFF.  I’ve been on the fence about ordering Sit Spots but I’m breaking down and getting them this week. I also read on their website that the Sharpie paint pens can be used to write on them so I can number them with the kids’ numbers to make sure they are sitting far away from their friends in the best spots for them.

    Click on the image for the Sit Spots website!
    Click on the image for the Sit Spots website!
  3. We’ve been working on building our reading stamina but we’ve spent some time in the auditorium (air-conditioning).  I’m trying to transition us back into the classroom but we’re having the about difficulties.  Actually it’s only with three kids but…can’t just pick out three kids even if they and the class know who they are!  So I’m going to go ahead and get myself some pillows from IKEA.  I’d almost decided against it after talking with other teachers who stopped using them because of lice concerns but it gets darn cold in Connecticut and I want them to be comfy while they’re reading or we’re going to stay at 8 minutes forever. At $3.99 a pillow, I won’t cry if they fall apart in the wash.
    Click the image to go to the IKEA site


  4. Also this year, I went with Brag Tags which my kiddos love but they also need to have some sort of tangible goal to keep their chattiness in check.  So I am back with my trusty Class Dojo.  I did tweek it a bit with this class though.  Because I am using Brag Tags and because they are younger, I am not taking away points.  The mere sound of Class Dojo straightens them up pretty quickly so even though they hear the losing points sound the points are set to -0.  Hopefully they don’t figure me out!
Find out more about these Class Dojo tubs by clicking on the image
Find out more about these Class Dojo tubs by clicking on the image

I’d spotted the above image on Pinterest back in June or July, I think, and was intrigued.  I’d used this highly complicated list of “privileges” like iPad time or lunch in the classroom because I didn’t want to be shelling out even more money (teahers, you know what I’m talking about) but it got to be a royal PITA.  This system from Crazy Critter Café is much much easier because everything in there can be bought at the Dollar Tree or Oriental Trading.  And I snagged candy on special for Halloween.  Oh, and inherited a ton of stickers so I didn’t even have to spend money on those.  Yay!

More Summer Reading: The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I mistook this for another book when I saw that a movie was being released. I quickly realized my mistake but kept going. Although, I still haven’t seen the movie and now I’m afraid to.

The Light Between Oceans could quickly become a melodrama, and I’m sure many would say that’s exactly what it is. The premise is that rule follower lighthouse keeper Tom marries lighthearted Izzy and brings her to isolated Janus to live. After three miscarriages, a boat washes up on the island carrying a dead man, a woman’s cardigan, and a very alive baby girl. Assuming the worst, and not looking too closely, Izzy convinces Tom to raise the child as their own ~ a fairly easy deception 100 miles off the Australian coast.

Of course there has to be some sort of conflict or there would be no story. Briefly: in the years following WWI the daughter of the town’s richest man fall in love with and marries an Austrian refugee. Drunken villagers take out their angst against him and their baby and they escape the mob in a rowboat where there are lost at sea and presumed dead. Tom, feeling a nagging sense of shame, contacts the child’s mother and a series of wrongs are attempted to be righted.

The novel itself is moving because of its emotional descriptions of the interior struggles of the three main characters, and the child Lucy/Grace. It’s hard to find one adult who stands above the rest so that you spend a great deal of time conflicted about how this mess should best be corrected. And when the final chapter of the novel leaves me in tears for twenty minutes – that’s a good indication of time well spent.

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You Can Even – A Self Publishing Gift to All of Us

You Can Even: Kate the Wasp's Guide to Recovering from Entitlement (Chapter 6)You Can Even: Kate the Wasp’s Guide to Recovering from Entitlement by Kate Hendricks

I am jumping on this review in mid-read. The waiting for each chapter is getting as painful as wating for the trainwreck of the Real Housewives franchise. Which is not to say this is a train wreck, just that the end of the chapter leaves me somewhat despondent.

Here’s a bit of backstory as I’ve gleaned from Kate’s snapchat: Agent and author had a hard time getting picked up by a publishing house so go the self publishing route on Amazon, a chapter a week at 99¢. And social media erupts. Kate Hendricks has literally amazed me. I have had more than one laugh out loud moment at inopportune moments because I’m reading at random times on my phone’s Kindle app. “I thought the 1% were exclusive” has become a catchphrase in my house. This series is hilarious and a bit cringe worthy since it calls up that moment before we got a clue and grew up. Mercifully some of us weren’t as vacant as our heroine, but I suspect we can all see ourselves in this one.

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