Changing Plans

slice of life 1   Tomorrow my son, Dan, is coming home after a year of living with his girlfriend in West Virginia. It’s exciting because her classes are finished there and they will be coming back to Maine permanently. But tonight he called and something was wrong. Things weren’t working out the way they should have. The classes that Nina was supposed to be taking in Orono in June ended up being too expensive and she may have to stay in West Virginia for a few more months. So I listened to him and I could hear how upset and disappointed he was.   West Virginia had not been good to Dan and he was anxious to get back to Maine. I offered some advice, but that just upset him more. So we ended the conversation.  I worried that maybe they would break up or something. An hour or so later Dan texted that he still was driving home tomorrow, and did I have an iron, and did it actually work. So I think things have calmed down a little and new plans are being made. I’m sure I’ll hear all about them when Dan arrives home. What I need to remember is less advice and more listening, and that they’re grownups and can figure it out themselves.

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A Fun Day in the Learning Commons

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Today was a fun day in the Learning Commons because I got to teach all the classes. I always teach grade 5 so that wasn’t unusual. The lesson was showing students how to cite text and images using Britannica online. I let them choose their own topic to research and they liked that.

My other classes were a grade 4, grade 3 and grade 2. In these classes, we played a jeopardy game using the 10 Chickadee Award books that we had read this year. Each class was divided into 4 groups and they all had a chance to answer each question. It was so much fun to watch them trying to come up with the correct answer. From the excitement in their voices, I think they had a good time. After the game, students had a chance to vote for their favorite Chickadee Award book of the year.

The day flew by and was over before I knew it. It was nice to be able to work with students for a change.

Fox and Turkeys

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Sunday mornings are kind of quiet around my house. I’m up fairly early and like to sit around and drink tea while checking my email. I also love to watch the birds that come to the feeders. The past few days have been very cold and windy and there’s been quite a bit of bird activity.

Today as I was sitting and reading, I saw a turkey fly past the back of the house into the pine trees. It’s not unusual to see turkeys around the house since a lot of sunflower seeds blow off the feeders and onto the ground below, but I only see them fly if something scares them. So I took a look out the window and there was a fox. It was so beautiful. I ran to grab my camera, cursing the fact that I’d actually put it in its case the day before. I did manage to get off a couple of shots before it ran off into the woods. It looked nice and healthy and I was amazed at how close to the house it had been. It isn’t often that I see fox around; even though I know they’re out in the woods. In a little while the turkeys came back, but not the fox. I wondered if a fox could kill a turkey. Fox are not very big and those birds are good sized and I’ve heard they’re good fighters. Maybe I’ll find out another day.

 

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Cats and Beds

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What’s the deal with cats and beds? Or maybe it’s just my cat. Normally Simon doesn’t get on the bed, except for that 5AM wakeup call in the morning. However every time that I change the sheets he’s right there in the way. First, I strip the sheets off the bed and he jumps on the bed pad and rolls around a bit. When I go to put the clean sheets on, Simon’s there each  step of the way. I put the bottom sheet on and he gets on that. I throw him off, but before I can get the top sheet on he’s back up there again. Every layer of bedclothes that I add, he gets on. Simon doesn’t care if I make the bed with him in it! He doesn’t do this when I make the bed in the morning, only when I’m changing the sheets. Any bed in the house that is getting clean sheets attracts him like a magnet. Is he marking his territory by rolling around on those nice clean sheets or is he simply trying to annoy me? Cats are so smart; it’s probably both.

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Letting go of the Past

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My son Chad works for LL Bean and this morning he surprised me with a new coat that he bought at the E-store. I was thinking that I could wear it to school when he mentioned that it would be good for doing barn chores.

 

The reason he was thinking this is because my barn coat is so old. The zipper doesn’t work and the snaps are getting worn out too, so it doesn’t always stay shut.  The stuffing is showing in spots and the jacket is kind of dirty, but I’m afraid to wash it because it might disintegrate. I know I should get a different coat, but this one is so full of memories, I just can’t bear to part with it.

 

My oldest son, Dan, received this jacket for Christmas when he was 9 years old in 1995. I remember that my husband and I had stopped at K-Mart on a whim and had spotted the jacket. Dan loved the movie Top Gun and this jacket had a military look to it with all kinds of pockets and insignias. We hadn’t planned on getting him a jacket for Christmas, but just couldn’t resist it. He wore the jacket for a couple of years and eventually outgrew it. I don’t remember when I took it over as a barn coat, maybe when I got my two horses in 2001, but I’ve worn that coat for many winters. I have several other jackets that would be great for doing barn chores, but I just can’t seem to leave that old jacket behind. Maybe I’m so loathe to give it up  because it means accepting that my children are grown men now, and no longer little boys. It’s a little piece of the past that I’m not ready to give up. I’m sure that I’ll have to  someday, but not just yet.

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Pizza Night

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Once a week, we have pizza for dinner.   For a while it was frozen pizza or occassionally we’d order out, but lately I’ve been making it myself. It’s really quite good. What I mean by making it myself is that I buy a ball of Portland Pie dough, a jar of pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese and then put the pizza together. This week, it was multi grain dough, which is one of our favorites. Portland Pie has a lot of different kinds of dough, whole wheat, beer etc. Once I get the dough spread out on my pizza pan and the sauce put on, the real fun begins. I divide the pizza in half and one side gets extra mozzarella cheese, a light dusting of cheddar cheese, pepperoni, ham and a smattering of green pepper. The other side gets mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni, very little ham and lots of green pepper. Into the oven it goes for about 12 minutes. When the cheese is just starting to turn golden, it’s time to take it out. I slide it off the pan and onto a rack to cool for a minute or two. Then we eat. Usually there is enough left so we each have some to take to work the next day. Yum!

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