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New Year Hodgepodge

Happy New Year, y’all!  Boy, 2016 flew by, didn’t it?!  It’s hard to believe that we are back in January!  Enough about that, though.  Let’s jump into Joyce’s questions, shall we?  Don’t forget to link back up with her and visit others to see how they answered.  Oh, and if I don’t get back to you right away, please forgive me!  Today is our first day back to school after the break, so things are going to be h-e-c-t-i-c…especially because I had a sub the two days before we left so I’ll be picking up the pieces after that.  Ahem.

1.  Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. 

Just one?  I don’t know if I can choose.  We had a wedding AND Christmas to celebrate!  I think, though, that one of my favorite moments was the time my crew of five spent around the tree at my house opening presents.  We did this the night before we left to meet up with our extended family.  Having all of us together, in those moments, will forever be priceless to me.  My boy is in the military now…lots and lots of miles away from me…and I won’t know from year to year if he and his girl will be able to come home for the holidays.  Having this first Christmas with my babies together just felt so right.  Sigh.

2.  What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

I made a Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew (recipe from Oh She Glows recipe book) last week.  It was easy to prepare and packed with flavor!

3.  What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

Even though Rooster and his girl tied the knot in March before he left for basic training, they had their big wedding on the 18th of December.  Watching them stand together in front of the uniform-clad pastor, who is a chaplain in the Air Force, was beautiful.  I haven’t blogged about the wedding yet (I am waiting for pictures), I will share that I did cry.  To watch your youngest…your son…stand, oh so handsome in his Air Force blues…beside his beautiful girl.  There just aren’t words…

4.  What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh start means starting anew…leaving behind what was and reaching for what will be.

For me, it means leaving behind the angst of the last two months as I begin to walk again…trying to step out in faith and not fear, which there’s much of, trusting God for what lies ahead.

5.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

I’m going to rate 2016 as a 9 in terms of personal achievement.  It really was a wonderful year for me.  Professionally, I felt so validated for the past six years of hard work.  Personally, with my fitness goals, I felt better than I ever had.  Despite my ankle break in November, I can still view 2016 in a positive light.

6.  Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before.

Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

 

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I would ban “on fleek.”  I hear this term ALL.  THE.  TIME.  at school.  Blech.

7.  Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 

My immediate goal for this year is to walk normally again.  I blogged about that a couple of days ago, but it bears repeating.  I’m at seven weeks post-breakage / six weeks post-surgery.  Sometimes, healing feels like it’s been a slow process.  Then, I look back at pictures from a couple of weeks ago, because I am the picture-taking-queen, and I see how far along I’ve come.  My incisions are almost healed fully, and the swelling has gone down so much.  My foot looks nearly normal again (until it swells after I’ve been walking on crutches).

Still, I have quite a ways to go until I can walk, unaided, on the right foot.

So, I know it could be considered a “superficial” goal.  It’s certainly not soul-searching or whatnot.  It is practical, though.

Sure, I have other goals for my life, but I think I’ll just keep those under wraps for now.

8.  My Random Thought

I think I’ll use this space to brag on my Chicky.  Chicky isn’t much of a homebody.  She doesn’t come “home” (aka, here) to visit often.  I understand.  She has her own life down in sunny south Florida.  Still, she came home for my surgery in November and was back again during the Christmas break.  She was here for two weeks!  We had our ups and downs…hard conversations that needed to be had…but overall, it was a wonderful visit.

She helped out so much.  She deep-cleaned most of our house.  She ran errands and was tender in her care for me.  She never complained about taking the scooter out of the back of the car or getting my crutches ready for me.  She prepared dinner a couple of times and, basically, helped the Mr. keep our household running.

Something I’ve always prided myself on is my independence.  Breaking my ankle has made me realize that asking for help is okay.  My Chicky stepped right in and did her thing.  Quite well, I might add.

A Pearly Green Hodgepodge

My blog title though.  It’s weird, is it not?  Yeah.  My creative juices just weren’t flowing.  Ha!  Hey, I’m here and doing the Hodgepodge, so that’s what matters most, yes?  To play, answer on your own blog and link back up with Joyce.  Now, let’s get to the questions!

1.  Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.

Hmmm…tough question!  I think I am a lot of both!  As an overachiever, I am definitely task-oriented, but I do enjoy, when I see someone I know, chatting.  With that said, I am not a introduce-myself-to-strangers kind of person.

Ok, so I’ll just say that I’m task-oriented.  I derive great satisfaction from getting things done.  Although I don’t make to-do lists, I have them in my head and mentally check things off.  I cannot wait to be on two feet again so I can resume my list checkoff sessions!

2.  December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls Day…do you own/wear pearls? If you’re a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a ‘pearl of wisdom’ with us here today.

I do wear pearls!  I love how much class they add to outfits!

Pearl of Wisdom:  Do not underestimate the kindness of strangers.  I know that we are in a busy season right now, but kindness is out there.  I see this daily and notice it even more now that I’m temporarily handicapped with my ankle.

3.  Speaking of pearls…oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?

Before I became a vegan, I did enjoy oysters…steamed oysters…served on crackers with fresh lemon juice and hot sauce.

4.  Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let’s take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?

How about our military forces, as a whole?  Now that my Rooster is serving, I have a much greater appreciation for the men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they and their families make to ensure that we enjoy the freedom that allow us to elect our ruling officials and enjoy the standard of living that other countries don’t have.

5.  The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it’s a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.

I like this color!  I painted my first classroom a shade very similar, and it always caught people’s attention.  Green signifies life and health.  I do own an item or two in this color.  My children used to attend a school that had this as one of its colors, so we constantly had it around.

I don’t know if I’ll add something of this color to my wardrobe this year, per se, but if I happen along an item, and the size and price are right, I’d be happy to let that thing join my family.

6.  Today I’ve had too much________________________.

Today, I’ve had too much grading.

I am making headway, but y’all, it’s a never-ending battle.

7.  Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.

I had to do a bit of googling to find some lyrics.  The song “What Child is This?” has a beautiful set of lyrics (the second set of three) that I don’t think I’ve sung before.

They get to the heart of what Jesus’s birth means for mankind…

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and donkeys are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spears shall pierce him through,
the cross he bore for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the Babe, the Son of Mary.

8.  My Random Thought

Speaking of Time Magazine‘s Person of the Year, can we ponder on the cover for a moment?

I added the arrows and circle.

Why does the media do this?

To call us the “Undivided States of America” is inflammatory and serves to only widen the chasm that the media is guilty of promoting in the first place.

I don’t care who you voted for.  We live in the United States of America.

Period.

The End.

Post-Thanksgiving Hodgepodge

Well, we survived Thanksgiving around these parts.  It was the quietest one we’ve ever had…our first without any family around.  I was sick the entire day…the effects of my surgery doing their full-on-ugly thing.  The Mr. did his best to keep me going while even managing to get some of the house decorated.  Dare I say that he’s learning how to multi-task like a woman.

Anyhoo, it’s time for the Hodgepodge.  Link up with Joyce after you post your own answers on your blog.  Thanks for visiting!

1.  Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving). 

Puking
Napping
Surviving

Ok.  Those sort of rhymed.  They all ended in “ing.”  Ahem.

2.  When did you last say, ‘the more the merrier’? Did you mean it?

We are planning our son’s rehearsal dinner and have sort of given up on worrying too much about numbers.  Hubby has been generous that way, so yes, the more the merrier (and the more expensive).

3.  What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who is your same age?

Don’t walk through a dark house.  Turn on the lights so you don’t break an ankle.  Broken limbs at this age are no fun.

4.  You’re ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?

As a vegan, I love veggie plates.  I’d order cauliflower, broccoli, carrot sticks, and celery, with hummus for dipping please.

5.  Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?

Back in the day, the Mr. and I shopped until we dropped.  I am not, however, one who really enjoys shopping.  I’ve done a bit of online shopping since Thanksgiving, and I am hoping that the Mr. will be agreeable enough to take me to the mall on Sunday so we can buy a second pair of wedding shoes (my original ones won’t do now that I’m sporting a cast) as well as a present for Super Sis.  I can’t do too much shopping because 1) I cannot drive anywhere until my ankle heals fully (another downside of breaking the right ankle…no driving) and 2) I have many other things to do between now and then, such as returning back to work and coming home to elevate my ankle.  So, the Mr. will do most of our shopping.  Sigh.

6.  What’s your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?

My blue recliner is my favorite, and dare I say only “real” chair in the house.  Because it reclines, I have a comfortable place to take a nap (lots of naps), read, or knit.  I’ve spent hours in this chair recently.  I am even sleeping in it right now until I feel secure enough to get back in bed…sans dogs for awhile.

7.  Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.

I mainly just remember spending my late childhood attending the small Baptist church in town…three times a week…twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday.  This church also hosted VBS each year.  What fun!  I imagine that all of the churches in the small towns near mine took turns hosting VBS.  Basically, we kids spent most of the summer attending each church’s programs.  I know that the time spent there began instilling in me a faith that now runs deeply.  I am grateful for the service of all who gave their time so that we kids could have fun and learn about God’s Word.

8.  My Random Thought

Today, I returned to my classroom after being out a week and a half (the week before Thanksgiving break and Monday and Tuesday of this week).  In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m probably shedding a tear or two as I greet my precious high schoolers.  Although I’d be okay with staying home and sleeping in, if we could afford for me to be a stay-at-home wife, this just isn’t my lot.  God is using me in my daily interactions with my students; I have seen the many blessings that have come from my time in the classroom.

I’ll be glad for the distractions that always accompany the management of over 80 students.  I’ll be happy to resume where we left off before our routine was interrupted.  They’ll be happy, I think, to have some consistency.

Going back will help the next three weeks go by quickly.  I am excited about a looming visit and the wedding of my already-married son and his wife (this will be the wedding for friends and family who couldn’t attend the very small ceremony a few months ago).  My Chicky will be here for over a week, so catching up with her will lift my spirits as well.

I humbly ask that you will be praying that my ankle will continue healing.  The break was so bad and is complicated by my doctor’s discovery of me having brittle bones.  I am incredibly eager to be back on my feet, no longer reliant on others for so much; patience has been hard for me.

Thank you all!

Thanksgiving Hodgepodge

I have much to be thankful for this year.  I’ll save those thoughts for Question #8, though.  Thanks, Joyce, for taking time out from your unpacking and settling in to construct these fun questions!

1.  What’s something you might say runs in your family? 

What a timely question!  Chicky, the Mr., and I were just discussing this on Monday while we waited for me to be wheeled back for surgery.  I think I’ll stick with a positive thing we mentioned.  Ahem.

I think that a can-do attitude runs in our family.  We are very goal oriented.  All of us have a solid work ethic, and we work hard for the goals we set.

I’m very proud of my children…Chicky, a fine educator, and Rooster, a new Airman in the world’s finest Air Force.

The Mr.? He’s not too shabby himself.  He works in public service.  He’s a wonderful example of self-giving.

2.  I read here a list of ten things you should do before 2017 arrives (in less than six weeks!)…which tasks on the list might you do? What would you add to your own ‘before the year ends’ list?

visit your Dr. or dentist, deep clean your home, donate unwanted items to charity, look someone in the eye and tell them you love them, write an honest letter to yourself, clean up your inbox-desktop-photos, travel to a place you haven’t been, compliment a stranger, watch the sunrise, think ahead to your goals/plans for the new year

Gosh, but I think I’ve done almost all of these things.  My house could use a deep cleaning, but I am out of commission with my ankle surgery, so that’s probably not going to happen.  I might be able to do a bit here and there once I get a scooter, but even then, I’ll have to be careful.

3.  What’s something other generations (not your own) misunderstand about your generation?

This is a hard question for me to answer because I’m not sure that I know what misunderstandings other generations might have about my own.  I had to do some research.

I was born in 1970, so according to Careerplanner.com, I fall into the Generation X (Baby Bust) category.  I found this blog post that gave a lot of information about Generation X.

According to the blog, folks of my generation are “adrift, apathetic, and cynical.”  The site says, “Many Gen-Xers distrust authority and large institutions including corporations, religious institutions and the government.”

I can see this…especially given all of the recent election drama.

The site says that we are “educated, ethnically diverse, and individualistic, have a disdain for everything, authority, technologically astute and flexible, we have work-life balance, and we were the ‘Latchkey Generation’.”

I’m not sure how all of the above has led to misunderstanding.  When I mention my year of birth to my students or others who are slightly older, I think they have visions of hippies who led “experimental” adventures during their youth.  Ahem.  I did not for the record.

I think that they consider us old fogies, stuck in a rut, which is NOT the case.

I think that we are a generation that is embracing change because we remember the days of not having the internet…not being able to Google for directions…not being able to work from home via online businesses.

I don’t know if this really answers the question.  All I know is that every generation has the tendency to “misunderstand” because we don’t always try to get to know the people from other generations.  We make assumptions and leave little room for the exceptions.

4.  Sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing-which would you miss the most if it weren’t on the holiday dinner menu?

Definitely mashed potatoes.  Vegan style so I can eat them, of course.

Oh, and Coupon Queen (the Mr.’s mom) and her famous dressing.  I can’t eat it anymore because of a few of the ingredients in it, but it’s divine.  Especially with gravy and cranberry sauce on it.  Yum!

5.  What are you overthinking right now?

I am overthinking work right now.  My ankle injury has thrown a monkey wrench into my entire life.  Although I would LOVE to be a stay-at-home wife, finances won’t allow for that.  The next best thing is my job.  I love interacting with my students…most days.  I am finding myself missing them tremendously.  I feel as though we are behind because of the time I’ve had to take off, but the reality is that I do a great job when I’m with them, so they will be fine, no matter how much more time I need to take off for recovery.

6.  Your favorite slang word lately?

I like the phrase “doing the most” lately.  It seems to describe my life.  I am always doing the most, whether it’s with my lesson planning or with my ankle break, which was a doozy.  I need to ease my foot off the pedal a bit.  Doing the most isn’t always the best idea.

7.  Write an acrostic for the word grateful.

God

Remains

Always,

Through

Every

Fall in my

Uncertain

Life

Y’all, this was hard to write!!!!!

8.  My Random Thought

Something I did not write about in yesterday’s post (the one in which I discussed my surgery…not in gory details, mind you) was the panic attack I’d had the night before.

I’ve had a few panic attacks over the years.  Usually, they’ve occurred right before I needed to go somewhere unfamiliar.  I have a few mental issues…separation anxiety at times…that led to those.

I woke up around 3:30am yesterday and was in full-fledged panic mode.  Super Sis was sleeping on the couch across from me, but I wasn’t present enough in my mind to call out for her.

All I knew was that I suddenly felt very claustrophobic.  I felt as though my cast was closing in on me.  All I wanted was for someone to cut it off and do it right then.  And never put another one on me again (which will be done as part of the recovery process).

I did not know what to do.

I grabbed my phone and opened up my First5 app.  It’s wonderful.  It’s free and has daily devotions and weekend wrap-up videos that you can watch.

It’s amazing.

So, despite the fact that I was bleary-eyed and could hardly see a thing, I began reading.

I managed to read about halfway down…the first thing being the highlighted Bible verse from that day’s reading.

Y’all, when I finally stopped reading, I felt the greatest sense of peace envelope my heart.

The fear was gone.  Satan’s hold on me disappeared.

I set my phone down and was finally able to sleep.

God has been speaking to me very loudly lately.  He’s had to in order to offset the effects of the pain I’ve been in and the medication I’ve been on.

It seems as though every devotion I’ve read has been written with me in mind.

Look at what I read yesterday morning when I opened the app (click on it to see a bigger version).

How wonderful is that?

I am fatigued.

God is my strength…especially now with a bum ankle.

Because of that, I am #findingjoyinthejourney (my new hashtag).

A Happy Hodgepodge

Joyce is back with her Hodgepodge!  Yay!  After the week I’ve been having, I’m up for some fun, so let’s get to it!

1.  Let’s all think happy thoughts…share one of yours here. 

So, some of you may not know this, but I broke my ankle late Sunday night.  It’s a very bad break, let me tell you.  My week has been filled with a LOT of pain as my medicine wasn’t working very well.  Those aren’t my happy thoughts, but they lead into them.

I saw a surgeon yesterday and have surgery scheduled for Monday.  He also prescribed BETTER pain meds, which I took on the way home.  I’m having the surgery done in the same city where the rest of our family lives…two hours away.  The pain meds started working immediately, and I was able to sleep on the way home.  Yay!

When I got home, I sent a message to my students to tell them I’d be out.  Just look at the precious conversation I had with one of my ninth grade students:

My kids miss me.  I heart them much.

2.  There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing….” What say you? If you want happiness for a day _____________.

Happiness for a day for me happens every weekend when I spend time being a non-teacher.  I finally found some balance in my life.  I love prioritizing my husband on the weekend.  We spend both days doing what we want.  That’s my happiness in a day.

3.  Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 

I’d say the beach or the pool, but it’s not summer any more.  Any time of the year, and time of the day, I can escape into a book and forget the rest of the world.  My current read…

I hope to finish it soon.  The pain medicine and muscle relaxer I’ve been taking have messed with my eyes a bit, so I haven’t been able to focus too much.  I would have finished it much quicker by now if not for those things.

4.  What song never fails to make you happy? 

So many songs…how about “Shake it Off”?  Every time I hear this, I want to get up and dance, which I can’t do for a long time unless I’m on crutches.  Sigh.

5.  Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what’s the last ‘fast food’ you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a ‘happy meal’ what would you include? 

I don’t eat fast food any more, so I’m going to have to go way back to remember what I ate the last time.  I truly cannot recall!!!  It might have been a veggie burger from Burger King.  Hmmm.

If I were putting a happy meal together, I’d include a bean burrito, refried beans, and chips and salsa.  Oh yeah, baby!

6.  In a few sentences tell us why you blog. 

Blogging started out as a way to save Super Sis’s ears from my long-winded stories.  We both had young families and were on the go constantly.  It has evolved into a place where I can express myself in a very honest and often humorous way.  I have a need to reflect, and this is a good place to do so.  I have odd things happen to me, and I like to record them.  What I type is who I am without any embellishing.  I’m very real, very unpretentious, and plain old weird.  I love my blog.

7.  List seven things you’re feeling especially grateful for today. 

  1.  A merciful God who has a perfect plan for my life.
  2. A husband who, though he gets frustrated with me, takes the BEST care of me.  He has earned Hubby of the Year this week alone.  ❤
  3. My children, who have called and texted me all week to make sure that I’m okay.  This ankle injury has drawn us together even more.
  4. Other family members who have provided so much advice and done so much research on doctors.  They love me unconditionally when I don’t deserve it.  ❤
  5. Friends who are coming to the rescue.  I have felt a little rejected of late in a certain area of my life.  My injury has made me realize that people really do care.  The long text message conversations have been so wonderful.  These are things I haven’t had time for because of a crazy work life and brain shutdowns on the weekends.
  6. My neighbor who came as soon as I called and helped me get dressed while the Mr. was out getting my x-rays to take to my surgical appointment.  We’ve lived beside each other for over ten years and have watched each others’ children grow up (hers are younger than mine).  We’ve never gone beyond conversations in the yard, though.  Yesterday, she helped me put my bra on and change my pants.  I’d say that we are very good friends now.  😀
  7. Strangers praying.  I’m on quite a few prayer chains right now because of the severity of my injury and the massive amount of pain I’ve been in.  God hears prayer, and I’ve been moved to tears every time someone tells me he/she is praying for me.
  8. Pain medicine.  Thank heavens that we live in a day and age when we have medicine available to dull the pain of injuries and sicknesses.
  9. Wonderful students who send me messages of love.  They are so worried about me and are ready for me to return to the classroom.  ❤
  10. My fur babies.  Yes, I fell over one of them, which caused my ankle to break, but it wasn’t the dog’s fault.  It was mine for not turning on the house light.  My pups have been so confused because I have been unable to sleep in bed, and they always snuggle with me.  They have shown great concern for me by sniffing my stint and new/temporary cast.  They are being very gentle with me.  I am reminded of their untainted love for me.

8.  My Random Thought

This is the shirt I wore to my appointment yesterday…

Though I’ve struggled mightily this week, and though my pain level was at a nine when I took the picture, I could smile because 1) I love this new shirt that had just arrived in the mail the day before and 2) God is in control, no matter how I view my circumstances.  He’s the conductor of the train called life, and though there may be unexplained stops along the way, we are still headed in the right direction, and I trust Him with each mile we cover, no matter the terrain.

Feeling at Home With the Hodgepodge

It’s time for the Hodgepodge!

But first, can we please take a moment to celebrate the fact that MY GRADES ARE IN!  If you’re a teacher, you are totally feeling my pain.  Every nine weeks is filled with the angst of deadlines such as this, only usually, I’m done earlier.  Ugh.  I spent over three hours last night, about three hours the night before, lunch breaks the last two days, and countless hours last week trying to get caught up.

The.  Struggle.  Is.  Real.

But it’s done.  Now all that’s left is the offering up of kleenex to students who shouldn’t be surprised by their grades but will be, nonetheless, because I suspect that they think the grade fairies were magically going to do away with all of the “missing” assignment codes.

Anyhoo…let’s get started on the questions, shall we?  Oh, and here’s the link for Joyce so you can join in on the fun!

1.  Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most ‘at home’?

The beach is my home away from home.  The Mr. and I spent many a Saturday from Spring Break through the summer at the beach down the road from our house.

Even the birds feel at home here!

2.  When did you last ‘hit a home run‘ with something? Explain.

Take a look at the Vegan Pumpkin Scones I made the other night!  I even whipped up the Maple Glaze you see on top.  So.  Delicious!  My non-vegan friends even gave them a thumbs up!

3.  Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is ‘homemade’. 

I have some trinkets around the house that the kids made when they were in elementary school.  They sit on top of my dresser, and every time I see them, I remember that special time when I was a stay-at-home mom.  Those were probably my favorite years of all.  ❤

4.  ‘A man’s home is his castle’…which of the world’s ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

Mont Saint-Michel (France), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany), Glamis Castle (Scotland), Windsor Castle (England), Chateau de Chambord (France), Hampton Court Palace (England), Prague Castle (Prague), St. Michael’s Mount (England), Leeds Castle (England), and Swallow’s Nest (Ukraine)

Oh goodness!  I’d love to visit Scotland and England.  I’ve read so many historical novels about both places, and I’m fascinated with the royal family.  I vote for two trips to see the castles in both countries!

5.  What’s a recent or upcoming plan or project that’s required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?

I’m working on a new knitting project.  I always do my homework beforehand to ensure that I get the right needle size and find errata that someone else has fixed.

6.  In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not? I think it’s valuable practice IF it’s not too overwhelming.

Teachers sometimes forget that.  Kids need to be taught that to succeed, they are going to have to put in a little extra work.  Nearly every professional career requires it.  However, they shouldn’t be required to do hours of homework.  That’s just ridiculous.Personally, I rarely assign homework because the reality is that my students won’t do it.  I’d rather oversee their work, help them fix errors on the spot, and move on.

7.  Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown. 

I grew up in a tiny town in south Alabama.  My favorite memories involve lazy summer days…laying in fresh-mown grass as the sun is going down.  It was always quiet and peaceful.

8.  My Random Thought

Y’all, I’m doing the teacher thing hard-core right now.I might have mentioned up above that I’ve been in grading purgatory for eons, it seems.Yesterday, I was ready for work early, so I took advantage of the time to grade a few more essays.

My name is Auburnchick, and I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m a teacher nerd.

Slaving Away at the Hodgepodge

Ok, so I’m not exactly slaving away with my answers this week, but I had a hard time finding a catchy title, so slaving it is!  Now, it sounds like Joyce is slaving away as she puts the finishing touches on her new house!  You go girl!  The sneak peeks hint at a gorgeous home!  Let’s get to my answers for her questions, shall we?

1.  What would you say is your strongest sense? 

My strongest sense would have to be smell.  I can smell a cigarette from a mile away, and I’m very sensitive to perfumes and lotions.

2.  Do you believe in the idea of a ‘sixth sense’? Why or why not?

I actually do believe in this.  I know it sounds strange coming from a Christian, but I’ve had too many strange things happen to doubt this.  I knew that something bad had happened to my dad the day he passed away.  I couldn’t explain it, but I got physically ill that afternoon.  I didn’t find out until late that night that he had died.

3.  When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

I feel most like a slave to time when school is in session.  It is then when I live my life in 45-minute segments.  That’s why long holidays and, especially, summers are so precious to me…being free of time constraints.

4.  Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

I have never worked in a restaurant.  If I could own one, I’d make it one that had a lot of vegan dishes that would appeal to the community as a whole.  One of my biggest frustrations is trying to find good food options when dining out.

5.  Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

I have never traced my family tree.  I suspect that it would be interesting, though, because I already know that my dad’s side of the family is from France and Germany.  I can only imagine where their relatives came from.

6.  What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I lived in a lot of places when I was younger because my mom was always moving.  The house I spent the most time in was a plantation-style house.  My room was very large.  It had a fireplace in it until it was removed.  I had two closets and a room/attic thing off of it.  I never went in it, though, because it was rumored to have a fake leg in it from the previous owner.  The room was wallpapered, as was the custom back in the 80’s, and had plush carpeting.  I had a canopy bed, that I kept until the day I got married, and a large desk.

7.  Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to knit.

My latest creation…Hogwarts Express Shawl.

Look at the owls!

This was a very easy project, and I was able to use leftover beads from a previous project.

8.  My Random Thought

My 9th grade students have been working on an essay for the last month.  They’ve spent the past three weeks in the computer lab typing, peer-editing, and revising their essays.  Yesterday was the first day back in my classroom.  I found it very sweet to see the relief on their faces as they entered my room.  It was like they were coming home…to the books I’ve been adding…to their place of comfort.  I adore these kids.

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