Friday, April 20, 2018


I always believe that I'm going to have more time to get stuff done than I actually do have when I'm on school break.  I make myself a giant To-Do List (completely unattainable) then berate myself for not accomplishing even half of it.

For example, I pledge to clean out the entire basement.  I tried that a year ago and got 75% of it done and put out thirteen bags of trash.  It was awesome!  Now, though, what I have is manageable and probably stuff that will require painstaking sorting (family slides and super-8mm movies from when we were kids, judo trophies that belong to my boys, perfectly usable sleds, sports equipment...).  This is a job that will take more than a day ... days ... weeks, probably.  I do, however, reorganize the containers of candles and put them nicely into the kitchen.  Success!

I pledge to go through all of my files.  I did this last summer, so what is left is probably stuff that I cannot toss, anyway -- taxes within seven years, insurance policies, half-written manuscripts...  Really, this is a job that will also take days because now I'm down to the nitty of the gritty, and each document requires perusal.

I also have a pile of essays to finish correcting.  It has taken weeks to get through half of them because they're not as well edited as they should be.  I spend anywhere from ten to forty-five minutes per essay, and I have about a hundred to complete.  I am down to the last forty or so.  But, of course, there are the hundred poetry projects to grade, as well.  Did I mention the planning, my ed eval, and my license renewal?  Oh, yeah.  There are those things to do, also.

Somewhere in the midst of this, I would love to read a book, plus I am definitely going to take a mini-vacation before I return to work on Monday.  Yup, I'm joining some family members and hopping on a plane. See ya later, crappy Massachusetts weather!

I guess that means this April break will be successful after all.  My To-Do List may not get done, but my Make-Do List certainly will.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Sometimes when I'm working on paperwork at school, I'll stay later to get it done.  Sometimes I pack it up to bring home with me.  Sometimes I work at my desk at school.  Sometimes I sit at the kitchen table or work at my computer.

Either way, there is something that school offers that home doesn't: access to all of my files and reference materials, and the big copy machine.  There is also something that home offers that school doesn't which often tempts me to bring my work home with me: alcohol.

Oh, I don't drink while I'm correcting because the grades would keep getting better and better.  But, when I'm working on my plan book or getting set up for my upcoming schedule, there's nothing wrong with a glass if  of wine.

Come to think of it, when I print stuff out on my own printer at home, there's nothing wrong with a glass of wine.  I just have to be careful where I balance that glass.  If I spill the wine, or, worse, shatter the crystal, it will break my momentum.  Because it's wine at home and tea at school, a broken wine glass would be a lot more tragic than a shattered "World's Greatest Teacher" mug.

I know!  I'll start sipping wine (at home, of course) out of my school mug.  This way I get the best of both worlds, and my real momentum won't be broken.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Sick of being sick; sick of being sick; sick of being sick!

I've really tried.  I've tried taking care of myself,  I've tried sleeping, I've tried resting, I've tried medicating, I've tried sweating, I've tried steaming. 

This damn cold won't go away.

Finally, I give up.  I'm going with the last line of defense.  I reach into the cabinet and pull out ...

Chicken Noodle Soup.

No, not Campbells, although Campbells soup has enough sodium to embalm a mummy, so it should kill whatever ails me.  I open up a can of Progresso, and I attempt to soup my cold to death.

So far, I don't feel as if it has been successful, so I might have to chase it all with yet-another cup of tea with honey.  Just in case, though, there is a little of the soup leftover in the fridge.  If I wake up feeling this way tomorrow, there's a decent possibility that soup will be my breakfast.

Sick of this, though.  I finally get a few days off, and my body rebels.  This soup had better work.  I'm almost out of tissues.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Not fog ... RAIN!
It pours all day Monday -- not unusual for spring.  Unfortunately, though, it's the Boston Marathon.  About six years ago, it was over 90 degrees on the day of the Marathon as we were having a hot spell.  Monday, though, no such luck.

It's rainy, it's windy, and it's raw.  In other words, those warm weather runners are in for a shock.

I watch most of the Boston Marathon on television, and I can feel the cold seeping through the screen.  People are trying not to be overdressed for the long haul, but they are consequently under-dressed for the minutes (and, in some cases, hours) before their start times.  The wheel-based competitors are going to be soaked to the bone from the rain coming down and the street water coming up from their wheels before they even leave Hopkinton.

With bursts of white breath clogging the starting line, the competitors leave in wave after wave after wave, some wearing heavy gear, some wearing plastic ponchos or bags, and some wearing the same skimpy gear they'd wear to run in the heat of the summer.  I half-expect them all to look like Frosty the Snowman when they're done.

Look carefully - you'll see the lines of rain falling.
I stop watching the coverage a few hours in after the top in each major field finishes.  I guess I'm just a fair-weather Marathon fan.  I look outside.  Nope; it's still raining like someone turned on a giant, sky-sized fire hose.  Fair weather, indeed.  This year we are all officially foul-weather fans, as well.

Congratulations to all the competitors, the runners, the stragglers.  I've walked two twenty-five mile walks in my lifetime, and I'll never do it again.  Run it?  My raincoat and I will be happy to wave as you go by.

Monday, April 16, 2018


More ice.  More sleet.  More snow.

Well, it is only April 15th, so we are still well within our weather limits.  We shouldn't be complaining; the northern Midwestern states are getting slammed, while we are merely getting inconvenienced.

The weather prevents me from taking a trip up north today, which turns out to be a good thing because the cold I have is hanging on, and I would've made a lot of innocent people sick.  Instead, I spend the day working on school stuff and trying to tie up some loose ends before submitting my yearly evaluation packet.

Monday's Boston Marathon is supposed to be a cold, rainy (often pouring rain) day.  Friends invited me to join them in Boston, but crowds aren't my thing, and watching people run is about as exciting to me as watching grass grow.  Although Boston is always a good time, this just sounds like a recipe for Heliand-Meltdown disaster.  It is shaping up to be a good day to hunker down and work on sorting through more of my junk.  Eventually I am going to be moving, and the less crap that I have to take with me, the better.

So, go ahead, weather, and suck all you want.  Suck a whole bunch, as a matter of fact, so that I don't feel guilty trying to get some inside work done.  The fact that this work has been on my list for years shouldn't concern anyone but me, but I'm willing to put on my Busy-Bee hat.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll make some progress if I pretend I'm truly weather-bound.

Then again, I do get distracted easily, and the train station is right across the street.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


There's no roast beef at the deli.

I'm not even kidding here, people: no roast beef in the pre-cut deli meat case, none in the order-it deli case, and none in the deli back fridge.  The grocery store has run out of roast beef.

I.  Can't.  Even.

The worker who is not the one waiting on me suggests to my deli worker, "We have sirloin..."  My worker kid looks up, sees my face, and realizes that this is probably a stupid suggestion.  He is apologetic, and I laugh it off. 

Really, though, I want roast beef.  Roast beef is not sirloin; sirloin is not roast beef.

I could just order some roast beef at a nearby restaurant and have them make me a sub, but I'm kind of in the mood for roast beef maybe in a roll and maybe not; maybe just rolled up and sprinkled with salt and maybe not.

I wander around the store and debate what I'm going to buy.  I circle back to the deli, grab some roast turkey, pick up the other things on my list, then add bacon and an avocado to my cart. To Hell with you, roast beef! 

When I get home from the store, I build a fabulous turkey club sandwich on toast with veggies, bacon, and avocado slices.  It may not be the bloody rare red meat that my body has been craving (probably some deficiency from being so damn sick this week), but I end up with an outstanding dinner, plus I have enough leftover avocado to make a small bowl of fresh guacamole.

Take THAT, roast beef!  Apparently: I.  Can.  Even.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Red sky at night: Sailors delight;
Red sky at morning: Sailors take warning.

So, it seems it's going to snow, sleet, and ice up this weekend.  Hard to believe when Friday it's nearly 70 degrees outside.  The weather forecasters insist; I just as vehemently deny.

I take the shovel out of my car.  This appears to be the kiss of death, and all mayhem lets loose.  Suddenly, the weather forecast for the weekend turns to shit: snow, sleet, ice storms, lightning, catapults, tacos, orthotic pantyhose, leprechauns, cream of wheat...  You name it; it suddenly shows up in the forecast.

I cannot wrap my head around it.

Yet, the other morning there was snow on my car.  Snow.  Yes, THAT shit.  Today it's nearly 70 degrees, and the sunset is pretty impressive: flaming orb in the sky, pastel colors ... rather pastoral.  It is the proverbial Red sky at night scenario.  This means it's going to be gorgeous tomorrow and all because a children's poem says so.