Archive | August, 2014

Day 61 – And my summer is done

24 Aug

wpid-20140713_085103.jpgSixty-one days is a long time to not be working. I don’t say vacation because my job is such that I get paid for the work I do ten months a year and that pay gets spread over twelve months. When I’m not working in the summer, I’m actually not paid for that time, but it sure feels like vacation and I love it. I consider it one of the many perks of my job. To anyone who begrudges me that summer ‘vacation’, you too could have been a teacher. I don’t apologize one bit for enjoying every bit of that time. Tomorrow I officially go back to work for the 2014-15 school year.

When I started my daily blogging on day one, I mused about how blogging every day might affect my enjoyment of the summer. In fact, I was pretty certain that 2011, the last summer I blogged every day, was an excellent summer in part because of the blogging. Now I know that I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a bad summer, but I don’t think blogging made it what it was. I usually enjoyed the time spent writing. I’m proud of myself for posting every single day and I’m a bit tired of posting every single day. This summer was good. Nothing bad happened but I wouldn’t call it fantastic, as I did in 2011.

I had big plans to read lots this summer! On day two (no I won’t recap every day) I shared my summer reading list. I read five of the eleven books on my list, well I’m almost finished number five. Of the five, I recommend three booksof them. The first book I read was The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. It was okay,  lagged in the middle and was a long story, long enough to be epic, but fell short. It was far less interesting than its title suggests. Then I read Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. This was a great YA read that I’d recommend to most of my female friends and my students. It deals with poverty, abuse, bullying and young love. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness was my favourite read of the summer. It was the third in her Discovery of Witches trilogy and I almost never read sequels. This was a most excellent exception. If you like fantasy and historical fiction, this trilogy is for you. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was a light and easy read and it was downright funny. Glenn’s reading it now. I’d recommend this one to anyone who reads; its appeal and target audience is that wide. Right now, I’ve been reading A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby for a few weeks because I had a difficult time getting into it and I had to slug through the second part of it. With about 60 pages left to read I finally want to know how it ends. What drew me to this book was the premise: four strangers meet for the first time on New Year’s Eve on the roof of a tall building with the intention of jumping to their deaths. They don’t jump and the rest of the book is about how they navigate through life and their newfound unlikely and unofficial support group. It’s less interesting than it sounds. I’ll see it through.

I have learned a lot about myself as a writer this summer. While I won’t delve into that too much I’d like to recap my top five posts ICYMI.

  1. Day 14 – Letting Go I wrote about my daughter’s daring summer adventureswpid-img_0301.png
  2. Day 20 – Ten ideas for stories exactly what the title suggests
  3. Day 28 – Namaste was about my path to yoga and what makes it right for me
  4. Day 29 – The end of an era was about the new subdivision being built behind my home
  5. Day 42 – BBQ Meatballs is a family favourite recipe

Each of these have been viewed by over a hundred different readers, so clearly these have proven to be the most interesting posts. Even though each post is dramatically different from the others, they have one thing in common. None of them are about my day, nor are they poetry. Those type of posts got the least traffic. I enjoy writing poetry and will keep doing so. In fact, if you didn’t see my blackout poetry, check it out. I really had fun with it and can’t wait to try it with my students. I always felt like writing about my day was  a bit narcissistic and definitely a cop-out when I wasn’t sure what else to write about, especially when the day wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Now that my 61 days are over, I plan to continue blogging from time-to-time. Now that the summer is over, I’m looking forward to going back to work. I might as well look forward to it and go in with a positive outlook because it’s going to happen either way. It’ll certainly make it more enjoyable.

And thus, without a wing,
or service of a keel,
Our summer made her light escape,
Into the beautiful.
                       ~ Emily Dickinson

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Day 60 – Chess Piece

23 Aug

For years, Glenn and I have been saying how Fredericton needed a dessert spot. A place where one could go after a night on the town for coffee and dessert or a place to go and get a dessert to bring home. Most cities and towns we’ve travelled to have such a spot. Fredericton seemed to lack in this area. There were other options, like restaurant desserts, grocery store desserts and some vendors at the market sell good desserts. Growing up, dessert wasn’t something we had often, mostly just on birthdays and holidays. Glenn has a sweet tooth and likes to have something sweet at least once a weekend. I don’t mind making dessert, but I hate having it around the house for days afterward.

wpid-20140823_212655.jpgTonight was date night. We went out for supper, then decided to try out the new Chess Piece Pâtisserie & Cafe on Queen St. There were lots of yummy looking choices. I suggested that we get two different desserts and allow each other a taste. I wanted the chocolate and Glenn really wanted a fruit and custard pastry. However, he got the chocolate one because, “What if I like yours better?” He was serious. We both agree that it was an excellent choice, no matter what the reason. It had a chocolate sponge cake bottom with a bit of crunch and and a smooth, dense chocolate mousse with a chocolate ganache. I couldn’t finish it it, but I did my best.wpid-20140823_212839.jpg

We will certainly be going back to try their other creations. It’s a quaint little shop with a great spot to sit with a friend for coffee and pastry. It has breakfast sweet and savoury choices as well. I hope Fredericton supports this business because there really isn’t anything else like it here.

Tune in tomorrow for the last post of my 61 days of summer blogging.

Day 59 – ZuZu’s road trip

22 Aug

Three or four times a year we travel to New Jersey to see Glenn’s mom. In the summer we usually go twice. We go dwpid-20140821_142012.jpgown, stay a week and bring her back with us. She stays for a few weeks, then we take her back and stay with her for another week. This year we were together all summer. Yesterday we drove back home. Usually we make the trip in eleven hours, but last Saturday our trip there was 12 hours and it was 12 hours again yesterday. Two brutal drives. It isn’t the extra time so much as the traffic jams that make it difficult.

ZuZu went with us this time. She travels so well! Glenn made a platform that sits on the center console, then he put her dog bed on the platform. She sleeps in the bed for most of the trip and rests her little head on Glenn’s arm. A few times she was actually snoring. It was so cute I had to snap a photo.

The whole time we were in New Jersey ZuZu ate less than half of one day’s food. She ate her treat every night and bummed a little bit of table food. The last night we were there I gave her an egg because I was so worried about her not eating. It was a full 24 hours after we got home and not feeding her much people food at all today before she finally ate her food. Whew! What a relief.

Day 58 – An Ode to My Bed

21 Aug

bedThere’s nothing more divine than your spongy pillow top
Upon your memory foam I can’t wait to finally flop
After sleeping in other beds for many a night
Delving into your softness will be pure delight

Climbing to your waist-high plateau will be worth it all
once to slumber-land I finally do fall
Your 540 thread count plum coloured sheets
Against my skin will feel so sweet

Your sturdy headboard and solid frame
I know your comfort will feel just the same
While I was away your familiarity I did miss
The sleep I will have tonight will be sweet drowsy bliss

Sleep will definitely not elude
My slumber this night you must not intrude
Because I have missed my bed immensely
Tonight I plan to dream intensely

Day 57 – Erin Condren Teacher Planner

20 Aug

In July, when we came to NJ to get Sadie, we stayed for a week. One day, I went out through the lobby of her apartment building and there were several seniors sitting around the lobby. I was waiting for something to come in the mail so I asked, “Did the mail come yet?”

wpid-20140819_190434.jpgThey all answered in unison, “No.”

“Is that what everyone is waiting for?” I asked. They all confirmed that it was. “I would be sitting right here waiting with you, if I didn’t have to be somewhere else right now.” I too was waiting for something to arrive in the mail.

Have you ever ordered something and waited impatiently for its arrival? That was me this week. I ordered a new teacher planner from Erin Condren and it seemed to take forever to produce and ship. I decided to get it after seeing one of the organizers I follow on facebook post about the Erin Condren Life Planner. Someone else wpid-2014-08-20-20.59.47.jpg.jpegcommented that they loved their teacher planner. I did a little research and watched a youtube review and decided that I needed one! We had it sent to Sadie’s and I’m SO glad it arrived in time for me to bring it home with me. Yesterday we went out to run errands and stop at a few stores and when we got back to Sadie’s it was sitting against the door. I was so happy to see it sitting there.

It is a thing of beauty. I hope I find it as useful as it is esthetically pleasing.

Day 56 – Ikea & Reservoir

19 Aug

wpid-20140701_161140.jpgToday we went to Ikea. This wasn’t a regular 3-4 hour Ikea trip where you go through the show room, then wander the marketplace. This was all business, an in through the out-door kind of trip. We knew the isle and bin number. We went in with our blinders on, got the item we went for, paid and left. Someone should inform Guinness World Record Book because we definitely set some kind of record. We bought a storage mirror for Savanna’s room. I know that sounds boring, but if you saw the make-up, lotion, perfume and hair products that litter her room you’d know why this mirror purchasing mission was a necessary one.

Tonight we went to the Reservoir Tavern in Boonton for pizza with the Bizzarros. It was good to get together with Glenn’s aunt and cousins, even though his cousin Karen couldn’t make it. The photo is of Glenn’s mom Sadie and wpid-20140819_211150.jpgher sister Rose. They are such kindred spirits that sometimes we wonder if they know the rest of us are there. I know they must know we were there when they go to pay the bill. We always have a good time when we get together, no matter what we do. I really thought it was too much food when we ordered it, but the seven of us polished off three salads, three pizzas and two desserts. Glenn was happy to get his NJ pizza, better than anywhere in a 500 mile radius of Fredericton, so I’m told. Although the food was good, the best part was the conversation and laughter.

Day 55 – Barley Creek, The Crossings & The Pultzs

18 Aug

It’s a good summer when we get to see the Pultzs twice!

wpid-20140818_131455.jpgWe met at noon today at the Barley Creek Brewing Company for a brewery tour. If you’re ever in Tannersville, maybe there to do some shopping at the outlets, be sure to check of Barley Creek. I’m not a beer drinker, but it was fun to see the process of a small craft brewery. After the short tour, our tour guide Emily brought us to a separate bar at the back and the group enjoyed a free tasting session. I enjoyed the rest of my diet pepsi and chatting with the three college seniors that were on the tour with us. Then I became the designated driver for our group.

We spent most of the afternoon at The Crossings outlets. We didn’t spend a whole lot of money but enjoyed the time shopping with our friends. We got Savanna a couple of pair of jeans at AE for a really great price. I bought a pair of psychedelic bell bottom pants and wewpid-20140818_204405.jpg got a shoe sponge at Clarks. I can’t believe we’ve been visiting New Jersey for years and this fantastic outlet shopping spot was less than an hour away and we’ve never been there before today. It won’t be the last time!

We went back to Barley Creek for dinner and spent a couple of hours around the table together. It was fun to go someplace new, but it was even better sharing the experience with the Pultzs!

 

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