Unraveling This Life

A little bit of this . . . a whole lot of that . . . and just a pinch of sparkle

Posts from the “Gratitude” Category

Alive

Posted on November 8, 2015

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Honestly, there isn’t even a toss-up between any other holiday and Thanksgiving. Don’t really care for loud noises – see you, Fourth of July. Christmas is overdone – hasta, merry merry. Scary movies and all that crap – no Halloween lover. But Thanksgiving? I’ve had a small love affair with it since I learned how to cook. There’s something about Thanksgiving that leaves me pressure-free. I don’t have to decorate the house. No need to plan an elaborate costume. Just food and family. My kids know pretty much what we’ll have year after year, but they are welcome to suggest something new. Last Thanksgiving, Lucas, Shelby’s fiancé, made the turkey and had to contend with two rather attentive dogs…

The Weight (Take a Load Off Annie) (5:30)

Posted on November 5, 2014

I’m on a parenthetical roll with these titles! Nine times out of ten, the titles for my posts have little if anything to do with the content. I’ve always struggled with the titles for writing, so when I discovered that Degrassi used song titles for their episodes, it seemed like the perfect match. Most of the time I hit shuffle on my iTunes and just write down the first title that I like, but occasionally, there’s a song that reminds me of the topic. Yesterday’s had to do with the feeling of pride after voting, but today’s was out of the blue. Kind of. Because the parenthetical was the first thing I thought of when I decided to write about being grateful for tonight. Tonight…

Pride (In the Name of Love) (4:30)

Posted on November 4, 2014

Things I did that I’m proud of today: ran three miles at 4:45 AM with a good friend and neither one of us died or passed out; graded an entire class set’s worth of quizzes (granted it’s my smallest class, but a win is a win); helped out the sub in my reading partner’s classroom because the kids were taking advantage of her generosity and kindheartedness . . . and by helped I mean laid down the law; decided to consolidate all the laundry baskets in my room and put the clothes away; put together an IKEA rolling cart with Lucy’s help . . . realized very quickly that the Phillips head screwdriver on a Swiss Army Knife was no match for Swedish directions;…

My Party (3:30)

Posted on November 3, 2014

When you are fortunate to go to work at a job that you truly love, it makes all the difference in the world. I guess I’m fortunate . . . being a teacher is pretty much the bee’s knees for me. I love the way my kids looks when they “get” something. The ways that they change from day to day and, let’s face it, from hour to hour. I love the look of recognition that occurs when they are taking on the role of teacher. There’s not a lot that I wouldn’t do for them. Need some extra help? We can arrange that. Wanna play Wii at lunch? Sure . . . I gotcha. Just feel like telling me how confusing seventh grade is?…

Second Chance (2:30)

Posted on November 2, 2014

Love. Peace. Freedom. Those grandiose ideals that I promised to be grateful for today? Taking a pass on the last two, but I’ll go with love. Lucy . . . I love Lucy. There’s no pun intended in that statement. Lucy, our 2-year-old mutt, is a snuggle bug. She’s needy and whiny and attention seeking. But she’s also loyal and funny and goofy. Two years ago, I would have told you that I was relishing being dog-free for the first time in over a decade, but truly it was a three-month period that was bereft of a lot of joy and companionship. The girls were at school, and Dave was traveling quite a lot. That meant me and the cats, who pretty much looked…

Red Skies (1:30)

Posted on November 1, 2014

This morning while we were running the Wall, I mentioned to my friend that it was November 1, and I wasn’t sure if I was up for another Gratitude Project. “I haven’t even taken a single photo with my camera since I photographed my kids in September,” I confessed. Was it a proper “Bless me father for I have sinned” kind of confession? No, but I was breathless from running up an incline that requires a lower gear on my car, so it counts in my book. And I go through spurts and fizzles with photography. “I don’t mind the actual photography, but I loathe processing,” I continued, which was kind of shitty of me since I know that she had hours of processing…

The Cutter

Posted on February 11, 2014

I couldn’t tell you the first time I used a computer. Maybe as a 9-year-old at my cousin’s house when we were playing artillery? It was on a cassette tape and you had to get the green blip aligned just so . . . maddening. Fast forward about 35 years. How I got to an educational conference is beyond me. Cassette tapes don’t exist for most people. Ask one of my students what they are, and chances are they won’t be able to tell you. But today? Using technology as an equalizer. Teaching kids SCRATCH. Utilizing MMOs in your class. What. The. Hell. Cassette tapes…might as well be speaking in Greek. The keynote speaker, Dean Shareski, left us with this thought: How often do…

It’s Been a Long Time Coming

Posted on April 14, 2013

Dear Erika and Bridget – Most people, in celebration of their children’s birth, usually post a photo or two of their kids and say something about how wonderful that day was. They reminisce about how wonderful all the hospital staff was. How none of the pains were really that bad. They think about how loving their partner was and how it felt when that tiny baby was placed in their arms. But quite frankly, I figured today was better spent saying thank you because without you, I probably wouldn’t have a birthday to celebrate. Might seem a tad hyperbolic, but it’s true. I’m pretty sure that when Mom and Dad told you that you were going to be coming to Oxford for a week…

18/30 – One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

Posted on November 18, 2012

Today, I am grateful for alcohol. It’s a Sunday. I’ve been up since 7 AM grading essays and grammar quizzes and vocabulary writing exams. I’m tired, bone weary, actually. But I’m hell-bent on my students having a very well-rounded picture at their first Parent/Teacher Conferences this year come Tuesday and Wednesday. My big fear is that parents will see their child’s grade, which is likely to be lower than they are used to because that is the norm in 7th grade, and wonder why that is. Is it a test thing? Perhaps it’s projects? So I want a little bit of everything be represented in their current grade. Deep down, I know what it is: being a 7th grader. I’ve said it a million…

15/30 – Jump Through the Hoops

Posted on November 15, 2012

This wasn’t the post I had planned. Not by a long shot. I even had a photo for my post from today taken and everything. But that changed about 11:10 this morning. My students were working on a review game, using an iPad app to quiz themselves. I looked up from one of their tablets and saw a friend at the door, so I went over to see what he needed since he teaches on a different floor. Great, I thought, I can show him the app and see what he thinks. But I wasn’t prepared for a crying student to be standing with him. Last year, I had a student who transferred to our team from another one on our floor. She came…