Sunday, August 26, 2012

Goodbye Summer

Today is my final day of Summer. Knowing that I don't have enough time in the day to fit in all the things I'd like to do, I started out with my favorites: Running, Melinda and Annie.

We officially began our training for Vegas today with a scheduled 4 mile long run. We decided to be different and started downtown at the skate park which just happens to be next to the dog park. From there we ran through town, campus and out to the covered bridge before turning back. On the way back we went all the way to the river and ended up running 4.6 instead of only 4. Rock Stars we are! Then we let Annie head over to the dog park to torment some poor unsuspecting dogs while we entertained ourselves with the show.

After a quick check in with the brewing boys, I headed home and got cleaned up. I'm now getting ready to head out again and see what sort of back to school deals I can get on some supplies I need for my new classroom. I hate spending my own money to outfit my classroom, but I hate more not having what I need. So,goodbye new clothes and hello glue sticks and labels!

At some point I need to grocery shop, finish cleaning the house and do the most dreaded task of washing the dog. For a girl with such a beautiful name Annabelle is one dirty dog. At least she knows how to have fun.

I guess I better get to it. The day is tick, ticking away as I sit here typing. I don't want to waste a second of this fantastic summer.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Making a Dent

Yesterday I woke up painfully aware that I hadn't actually accomplished much of anything this summer other than gaining a few pounds. Considering that wasn't actually on my to do list I figured I better try to power through and check off a few accomplishments to show for my summer besides my great farmer tan.

Not knowing where to start, I moved to the back of the house where I found this:

Our laundry room! I know, clearly it has been inhabited by a nomadic tribe of misfits for the past 14 years. With a little elbow grease, a Goodwill bag and a large recycle can I made it look like this:

So much better. The box on the top that still looks messy is filled with our candle making supplies which I inherited from my Grandmother. While we haven't made candles for a couple of years, they are the top quality molds and supplies made back when we didn't live in a throw away society so there is no way I'm parting with them. I'm sure we can make candles again now that we can actually see that we have those great supplies! Thanks Grandma!

After my success in the laundry room I moved to the kitchen where I cleaned out Sean's booze cabinet. I'm sure the OLCC does not permit me to post those pictures so I won't. It's amazing how many bottles we managed to keep up there that had like a table spoon left in them. I'm sure the neighbors will be super proud to live next to us come next bottle recycling day when I drag that mother load out to the curb. I can feel the property value dropping already.

By this time Annie was in full on pout mode because in her eyes I hadn't accomplished a damn thing yet today. No walk, no run, no play. Luckily Melinda and I already had plans to hike so we headed out and did a cool 4.3 miles trekking all around Bald Hill. Of course any Bald Hill hike has to end up at the tip top at some point.

Annie was a little camera shy and annoyed by the wasting of time stopping for a picture.

While I was hiking I got a text from Jim asking if we'd like to meet at the dog park in a little while. Knowing how much I still had to accomplish on my to-do list at home I did the only thing I could and said "of course."

Annie and Hobie tore it up at the dog park. Initially they had the entire park to themselves. Border Collies are hilarious to watch when they play. They pretty much take turns herding each other around the expanse of the park, barking, growling and in Annie's case leaping back and forth over the top of Hobie as they raced around. I think she would have actually made a good cow dog cause she circles wide and then comes in at the heels. She had to take several swim breaks running over to the kiddy pool and hopping in. Poor Hobie couldn't figure out what the heck she was doing. Finally after successfully avoiding my work for about 2+ hours it was time for me to get myself back home.

Luckily we no sooner had walked in the door when Mom and her dog Jackson popped in. Annie, who had clearly been deprived of anything fun today wasted no time in giving Jackson a tour of her vast yard including the way she can leap through the 1x1 foot hole in the lattice up on our deck. Jackson having about 30 pounds on her was happy to try as well so it became a game and part of the running route. Great Annie, thanks for that. I do appreciate the fact that they somehow managed to miss Sean and Stafford's new variety of hops they planted just on the other side of said lattice.

Finally I made it back inside and back to work. Surprisingly I was able to finish two junk drawers and two more cupboards in the kitchen. I think the kitchen and laundry room are now completely done. Nice.

Today I head back into my classroom so nothing will be accomplished here at home. I'm meeting with my new teaching partner to start planning for the new school year. Maybe the productive train will continue and we will get a ton done and I'll even get my desk organized so come Monday I'll be ready to hit the ground running.

If not, hey at least the booze cupboard is well organized should I need to hit it when I get home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Speedy Summer Days

I glanced at the calendar today and am in shock to learn that this is already the 21st. How did this happen? What happened to my lazy summer? I'm down to the last 3 days of my summer break.

I've been packing in the fun where I can. We spent a couple of days on the Metolious river last week with Sean's Dad and Crystal. It was beautiful and relaxing and a great time filled with humbling scrabble games and laughs. We must do that more often. Well, minus the scrabble game of course!

Unlike years past, this school year is a big change for me. I've actually ventured into my room a few times this month and I'm so glad I have. Every time I go I find myself more excited about the upcoming year. I'm in a new hall, on a new team and at a new grade level. I think it's just the ticket I needed to jump start my attitude about work.

M-Cat and I have not been fabulous about keeping the exercise train going. We've both been out of town off and on for the past month and getting into that running rhythm again has been a bit elusive. It will come again though. One thing I absolutely love about M is that no matter how much time has passed (think in terms of weeks and days, not years people, we aren't that far off), we can always get back on the same page and pick right back up where we left off. Melinda is my bright spot and I so appreciate her for that.

Annie is still the absolute best thing to happen to Sean and I in a decade. We are the happiest parents and can't believe the level of calm contentedness we now have in our family. Who knew one little dog could save our world.

I'm sure this sense of peace and calm I'm currently feeling will quickly be replaced by freaked chaos come Monday morning when I officially head back to work. For the time being though I'm going to bask in the happiness I feel. I haven't finished most of my summer house projects, and truth be told, I didn't even start most of them. I may try to through a few in between now and Monday. Or, perhaps I'll take Annie on a few more hikes, meet Melinda for a few more runs and get a pedicure.

I'm think I'm liking my 40s. I've kind of lost the need to give a shit about what I should be doing and loosening up a little. I've spent an awful lot of my life trying to control things that it seems aren't actually controllable. It's time to remember to stop and just breathe.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Light a Fire

It's the start of the second week of August already. How did that happen? I know what that means. Essentially my summer is quickly coming to a close. Another teacher once remarked that August is to summer as Sunday is to the weekend. She's right. It's the time when I'm still officially off work, but it's on my mind all the time.

This year it's especially daunting because I moved classrooms and thus need to completely unpack and set up an entirely new space. I need to learn new standards, new material and plan for a class and subject I haven't a clue about. I have no idea where to even start, so I haven't yet. That really can't last much longer though. It's exceptionally sad because this has been my M.O. all summer really. I thus far haven't completed any of the big summer home and self improvement plans I had.

It turns out that while I have absolutely loved the lack of requirements of my summer this year, I crave structure. Left to my own devices, I'm useless. Rather than use this time to get in killer shape and completely reorganize my house I've gained weight and removed about 1/20th of the stuff I planned to from the house. I've spent more time watching T.V. and playing with Annie than doing much of anything else. It's possible that my beautiful new bike has cobwebs.

I need to figure out what my motivation is to get a fire lit under my butt and get myself in gear. This week I'm in charge of Madeleine while she has her Humane Society 1/2 day camp, so for the rest of the week I'm vowing to be productive at least while she is at camp. I should be able to accomplish something during that time.

Come on August, you're hear breathing down my neck. Help me light my fire. Maybe I can get a little jump from Fake Steve Perry from the band "Journey Unlimited" who played at our fair this year.

It's like he singing right to me. I feel more inspired already.