Saturday, March 28, 2015

Road trip north!

What a perfectly lovely, albeit cold, day this was!  If we have to have cold temperatures, the sun makes all the difference in the world.

Lost Creek Falls
The Mad-English teacher and I have decided that we need to get back into hiking and biking shape for the year (damn you elbows) and he discovered a waterfall that needed investigating.  So we decided to head on up to Cornucopia via Washburn and Bayfield (I know, shocking, right?) After our requisite stop for bread at Coco's, and then for a scone and coffee/hot chocolate in Bayfield, we headed up north on Highway 13.  
Bayfield docks

The weather was quite chilly today, but the sun was out and that was all we needed.  It was fun to walk out onto the Bayfield city dock and watch a little boat cut through the ice between Madeline Island and Bayfield.  The ice was crunching and it was just so fun to watch.  There were all sorts of little vessels around that you never see during the summer.  Love seeing the differences in the seasons like that.  We were fortified with an exquisite chocolate chip and lavender scone with crunchy sugar chunks on top, and our preferred hot beverage and off we went to the north.

Lost Creek
After a little driving around, we found the entrance to the path to Lost Creek waterfall- and it isn't much of an entrance.  It is an ATV trail that is marked with a yellow gate across it.  No real indication that it leads anywhere at all.  It was pretty easy walking for the most part.  Rough with stones and later tree roots and the dreaded ice patches, but overall it was not heavy hiking.  We may have gone a little too far **coughahalfmileahem** but I checked the internet when I actually got a bar or two, and we realized the trail that we looked at longingly was indeed the one we were looking for.  So back we went, avoiding holes and slippery pine needles as we journeyed.  Once we got off the ATV trail, the hiking actually began.  It was covered with the afore mentioned pine-needles and got narrow and rocky and rough- but regardless once we discovered that lovely thing, we picked out way down the  ravine.

Lost Creek Falls
That water fall is divine!  And we were there at just the right time- there was running water and ice in different shapes and forms.  It was beautiful!  We did some rock hopping and I managed to get across without falling into the water, so that was good!!

Meyers Beach
Ice Caves in the distance

Next stop in the journey, you know because we were driving right past it, was a stop at Meyers Beach.  We walked down the beach towards where the ice caves are, enjoying the really different look of the Lake in the early spring.  It is still frozen, but there is so much wood and snow and ice piled up.... sandy colored in places, many layers of white and blue and tan.  It was just gorgeous.  It is interesting hiking on the beach in hiking boots- especially when a lot of it is frozen.  

Meyers Beach
By this time, the ME and I are getting a tad tired, but we had planned to stop at Houghton Falls as well.  You know, sometimes you drive by something that seems interesting but you never stop- and that is one of those places. It is just north of Washburn a few miles and we have driven past many times.  Originally we were going to go there only, until we discovered that it isn't a very long walk. Less than a mile one way!  So, we stopped here on the way out.  While the falls aren't all that much to see- at least for us - still frozen, not that great, there is a dells and then the end point is an outlook above Lake Superior and that was worth the walk!  Tired as we were.....  

Beautiful reflections in Lake Superior

Houghton Falls area- Lake Superior

Houghton Falls 
So this all finds us at 2 pm and starving so of COURSE we stopped at Coco's for lunch.  I mean, what else could be done??  After a delicious lunch- I had the dal with pickled cabbage and raita sauce wrapped in flatbread with a wonderful sweet potato and pecan salad, AND we may have had a cookie to go... we then headed down to Ashland to shop a little here and there.  After which we collapsed into the car and drove home.  Whew!

The pictures speak for themselves, it was a great day for hiking and photography!  And finding my joy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Another week in the books

Today marks the end of the 3rd quarter at school and it is almost the end of March in my life outside of the classroom.  I am glad to divest myself of THAT quarter, too many weird, crazy things have happened and I need my usual crazy.

I am breathing a giant sigh of relief as I did manage to get a LOT of grading done in the last few days and today I will finish it up.  Monday begins the giant clean sweep of the art room.  I will save a lot of things for  the art show I am having at the credit union in a few weeks, but the rest will be handed back.  I have a bunch of stuff left (I recently discovered) from the first semester, imagine that!!  Lol.  I WILL change the displays at the front of the school next week- that is the next item to cross off the list.  After that, I will be able to get some more organizing done in my rooms.  This will make the Mad-Artteacher very happy.

I am thrilled to say I got in several miles of walking in this week.  I am going to probably go again tonight as well.  My times are getting quicker again and it is so necessary for me to be outside and in the sun.  I am not all that thrilled with the temperature turn of events the last few days- WOW it is cold again, but that won't last.  Easter comes in a week and with that I will begin my weight lifting routine again.

So how is my arm, you  might ask?  The left one is just dandy.  The right one has it's moments.  It can get very stiff and I still have a hard time writing neatly for long periods of time. It is really weird.  But overall, it is pretty good.  I get little aches and pains but not bad.  I have to decide this coming week if I need to go see the Orthopedic doctor again.  I am going to see what happens by Wednesday.  The orthopod will be in town the week after Easter so I will have to make an appt. before Friday.  I think I just have to let it heal, I don't foresee an appointment being necessary.

So the weekend!!  YAY!!  There will be a trip to the north for coffee and Coco's and hiking on Saturday.  I am SO EXCITED!!  Why are we going??  Because my friend in all things Bayfield and hiking and I made it through the 3rd quarter unscathed (HAHA- well some of us were scathed and both of us may carry a bit of emotional baggage, but we are alive and sassy!) and  because we WANT TO!  AND of course there is a small matter of a bunch of coffee that I need to purchase. Don't judge me!  Then a quiet Sunday and 3 days of school before Easter break.

Since I apparently will not have company on Easter this year, I have decided that Thursday I will go shopping somewhere out of town- all by my lonesome.  Kind of a celebration of sorts- of spring and no school and why ever shouldn't I?? Otherwise only a plan or two, most of which will involve possibly a book and a couch and who knows what else.  Oh, perhaps a walk or 4.

As this cold and sunny day begins, it is a good feeling to have progress at school, which is where my life was really affected from this accident.  Speaking of which, I was discussing that whole accident thing from almost 8 weeks out.  I had an interesting realization of what massive denial I was in, thinking that I could go back to school after being out for only a week. I laughed for a while over that one.  It seems clear now, but I remember needing to get back to work so much.  I knew that the kids wanted me back, heaven knows the subs were happy I was back, and I just couldn't take watching stupid tv for one more day.  Ah well.  I am glad I provided some amusement to those around me.  Or maybe it was consternation, I really don't know.

So make this a wonderful, sunny, joyful day!!  Be the joy giver that I know each of you can be-- and hang on baby, the weekend is almost here!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear Life,

Dear Life That is Supposed to Be Mine,

I am just writing to tentatively find out if it is ok for me to go ahead and pretend that I have some say over what happens to you.  Do you suppose you could find it in your heart to let me go ahead and make some plans to, oh, I don't know, teach my 4th quarter here like I usually would??  Um,  maybe be able to do my favorite activities that I haven't been able to since January? I know it is a lot to ask, but I promise I will proceed slowly.

Now, for instance last night, I was able to sleep without advanced use of chemicals or anything! THANK YOU!! Breathing through ones nose is something you shouldn't really take for granted, and I swear I never will again. Also, after using this week to clean and plan and catch up, I think it will be fabulous to be able to throw on the potter's wheel again.  I didn't think that was such a big deal, but wow it is.  I am a little worried about being able to center the clay, but I will muddle through.

I have been super duper careful on the walks I have begun to take since all that ice has gone. I understand now that my accident has been instructive to others, as I have had a NUMBER of people tell me that they quit walking outside during that icy time period. Gee, I am so glad to have saved the radial heads of so many.  Why just yesterday, when I walked down to the lake I gave the ice puddles SUCH a wide berth that someone watching me would have thought I was a lunatic. But we all  know that isn't true, right Life???  RIGHT???

I managed to get through the play without having irritated any part of my arm, but I did get the message about over-extending one's self when you gave me that lovely virus!!  That was so special.  I really liked the part where I couldn't eat anything sweet because it hurt my tummy.  That was great- oh and the hot and cold fever thing.  Wow.  Point taken. So, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to try improving my general health again.  K K??

I hope that this isn't asking too much, and I hope that I don't sound angry or bitter or irritated, because really this morning I am full of the most zen-like calm.  You know me, I am usually pretty nice and I just want to say that I think I get your point!!  Live in the moment, don't take ANYTHING for granted, and always be thankful for the simplest things, because you just never know!

Soon I will get dressed and be on my way, and I will get my plans together for the last part of the school year.  I will enjoy my students, put up an art show,  get my exercise, laugh with my friends, Bayfield like a champ, and generally live life with some gusto!  (Which by the way, I thought I was doing!!!)  I am thinking that this will be ok with you!  Right??

So, now that we are clear on this, I will just pretend that I am somehow in charge again.  If that is ok with you! And yes, you know darn well that I will be pushing the envelope and doing too much, because that is what Debi, the Mad-Artteacher is all about.  The person who only recently learned that doing the things that terrify her are some of the best moments in life, so she has some catching up to do!  If you find that unacceptable, please notify me in writing.  Those action plans of yours are just a bridge too far- NOT that I am complaining or anything!!  :)

Happy Monday, Life, and I promise we will be looking for all the joy that we can endure!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Desperately seeking sleep, and spring and other elusive things.....

I am sitting here (when I started this that is) at 6:30 in the am wondering how in the heck I find myself checking my powerball numbers (no bueno) and sitting in the dark instead of sleeping.  Sort of the story of my sleep life lately, either I am awake a long time (which is fairly typical) or I wake up by one means or another early in the morning (sigh), or a more recent occurrence-  become awake at 3 in the am and then not get back to sleep.  I really do need someone to lock me in a room with sedatives and/or margaritas and a pillow and keep me there for a few days.  Shove some food under the door but don't for heavens sakes wake me up at 6 am.  Ah well.

So the play is almost complete, and it has been a really good one.  A few minor glitches here and there that ALWAYS happen, but it has been a powerful synergy of fun.  The costumes are gorgeous (rented specialty costumes are the way to go!) and the lighting is spot on!  (HAHAHA)  We have been really working together so so well, and that doesn't always happen.  It has been a special group of kids to work with!  

My stagecrew members are almost all first timers with a couple putting in their second year.  This is somewhat unusual, as most years I have a few 3 or 4 years experienced kids.  This causes a small set of problems that involve them worrying all around me while I continuously tell them that this is an easy play to change.  Don't worry, it'll be fine!! They do believe me now.  They get so worked up about things sometimes.  And then they miss some of my best jokes!!   Not yesterday though!  Last night when intermission hit we had to get the ship off stage.  There are a lot of pieces/parts to it, so it takes a lot of the kids to do it.   We safely got all the sea-life off stage,  and I walked out into the middle (these things pop into my head, no fore-planning) turned and looked and said ok, we need to move the ship- ALL HANDS ON DECK! HAHAHA! Oh I was on fire last night!!  There were more but that one was fun.  Most of them laughed, but I may have seen an eyeroll.  I guess you had to be there. I told them that is what they get when the art teacher gets to take a nap!! 

Sunday performance is the most relaxed and sometimes a little unscripted.  It used to really worry me  because people have been known to get carried away.  Since I feel responsible for what goes on during the performances, for the most part, I remind them that there are people seeing it for the first time.  We don't want to ruin the integrity of the play, I feel sometimes like I am no fun in that regard.  Some visual jokes are ok, but......   You know what I mean.  So they have fun and I spend a lot of time monitoring the undertones.  And speaking with some prime suspects during makeup sessions.  I think we will be good, though.

So, I would like to say that spring has unnecessarily teased us with her warmth and now- what gives here Missy!  I have a spring weekend to enjoy and the high yesterday was like 31*.  COME ON!!!  You can do better than that.  I wanted to go for a walk this morning and it is 21.  Seriously.  I'll probably go anyway, but I refuse to wear multiple layers.  SPEAKING of spring- a certain partner in all things hiking and Bayfield and Washburn and photography and I just MAY be planning a day trip- soon very very soon.  And we don't care what the temperature is or if it wants to snow or whatever.  Take that spring!

In spring's defense, though, for the time being the snow is almost gone, and my daffodils have peeked their little heads up to see if it is safe.  I told them to hunker down for a little bit, not quite warm enough for them.  It is so nice to see bits of green!  I need to go out and chat with Lola too- I miss taking her photo every day.

With the end of the play upon me, I suddenly have time after school.  The 3rd quarter is up on Friday, so I will have a lot of things to do for that.  AND I certainly need to spend time in my art rooms catching up.  I may go as far as to go home, walk and then go back to school like I did in years gone by....  We shall see.  But I need to spend time in my room organizing and (pretend your aren't reading this anyone of you who feels the need to tell me no all the time) climbing around and putting things away on all the  high shelves that I haven't been able to get to.  I need a minimum of 3 sessions, one for each of the rooms I have.  Then I have to change the display cases and probably prepare for an art show or two.  SO much to do in my rooms.  I have kept up with the necessities, but now I need to dig in deeper.

It would be nice to sleep before all of that is accomplished tho!  I see some amazing cloud formations outside, the pictures are asking to be captured.  I can feel a need that has to be satisfied here and pronto.  I quick walk to the flowage might just be in order- 21 degrees or not.  Because I can, and I know that simple things like walks are not always guaranteed.

Take advantage of your opportunities when you can and alway always be a joy giver!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mid-week bleh

I knew this would happen!  I knew that with all the stress my body has been under that I would obtain some gremlin virus in my system, and of course it comes during play week because that IS how it goes.  Ah yes.

While I am not rendered bedridden, I am not feeling my usual perky self either.  I'm thinking it is a cold, but it has occurred to me that last year I had about a month of some allergy things. I generally do not get that sort of allergy reaction, so I am a bit uneducated about it.  Frankly, I will take the cold virus.  CAN'T be as bad as 2 years ago during the play week, when my livingroom was being renoed and I had the stomach flu from hell and I missed out on the school performances.  That was a very sad Debi that year.

The real sads this morning is that I was really in no shape to go outside late last night and I see all sorts of people got fantastic Northern Lights photos!!  I was cold and hot at the same time and in bed before 10.  BOOOOO!  I would totally have gone out for that.  I live in a nicely dark area and undoubtedly could have seen them well....  another night I guess.

Well enough of the whining already.  So, the play is coming together nicely.  It is amazing how smoothly everything is going, the kids know their lines, the stage crew is coming together well.  Everyone thinks this is such a big play to stage, but it really isn't.  (The Sound of Music and Grease- that's all I need to say)  There isn't much down time, as the scenes are pretty short, so no one has time to get bored or fool around, which is good-  however, once we change one scene, we are planning the next one.  So we are blasting through it quickly during rehearsals, which is awesome.  I come home so dehydrated, as we seriously don't have the time to even think about find water.....

Tonight is rehearsal and then tomorrow is part of the play for the student body- elementary, MS, St. Anthony's, HS.  When each one is I am not sure- except the HS is at 11:20 or some such thing.  Early dismissal and then a little inservice in the afternoon (:/) and then Friday the performances begin.

I've been dousing myself with Zicam and aleve hoping to beat back the symptoms of this particular fun event, as I need to be on my A game.

It's Wednesday everyone, we can do this!! Be a joy giver and make the week go well.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Play week, 2015

Another play week is upon us here and the cast and crew of the Little Mermaid will make their first concerted effort to work and bring this all together tonight.  It is going to be a busy busy week for me, and I am beginning it a little tired.  Not an ideal situation, but am hoping it passes.

After a WONDERFUL weekend with Jon, Sarah and Ella, I spent the day yesterday sort of lounging about.  I did manage a 4.5 mile walk and made some curried lentils and sweet potatoes, so there was that!  **A quick aside to say, this recipe is sublime.  I alter it all the time, so don't worry too much about it.  I never have cilantro, and rarely jalapeno.  I put in red pepper flakes and last night used lemon juice instead of lime.  DO use some citrus at the end.  SO good.  Also, take the time to find the garam marsala! ** I even went to bed a little early, and fell asleep so fast.  YAY.

The first day of play week usually proves to be pretty tough on all of us.  First off after a full day of teaching (kindergarten, anyone??) I will jump right into dragging all the makeup out of the backstage and hop into making the kids up in the library beginning immediately after school.  I tend to the boys and their cute fluttery eyes and usually do the make up for a majority of the specialized faces.  Besides the fact I like to mess around with makeup, I love the bonding time with the cast.  And I can keep tabs on how they are feeling and do some calming and complimenting and give them a little boost if they need it.  After photos for the  newspaper, we will then begin the somewhat arduous task of beginning the scenery and props dance.  The sets will be marked for their final destinations, assignments will be given, curtains will be pulled, cast members will be tossed off stage. Lol We have some major pieces of scenery to move, and they will have to be attentive.  Fortunately, we have a slightly shorter play than normal, so perhaps I will be home before 9!  I hope so, as I MUST be home to watch Better Call Saul!  I'm hooked.

Tuesday and Wednesday is full dress rehearsal, but no makeup, so that takes a lot of work for me off the table for those 2 days.  Rehearsals will take less and less time each night, as we will hit our stride and begin to all work together as a team.   Mental note just made to buy extra batteries for flashlights and refreshments for my stage crew people.

Thursday is a half day of school and so we are going to jam our performances for the student body into the morning.  We will perform part of the play for each school and finish the second act after for no one.  The school performance can be a scary thing.  But they will shine- everything is going well.

Friday and Saturday will find me back at school by 6 pm and then Sunday the matinee is at 2.  This will be a full week, but that is how it all goes.  We may still have a few things to touch up later today, but as a whole the scenery is in good shape.  I feel the tension rising, tho, I always have so many little things to attend to this week.  I'll be on edge until I see how everything is going to go.

So I better get up and get myself going for the first day of play week.  I am glad that the early morning meeting I was supposed to have has been moved to a read the agenda meeting.  I will have plenty to attend to this morning.  Next week is already the last week of the 3rd quarter...... now where did THAT GO???  Oh wait, I know-- broken elbows.  sheesh.

Happy almost spring and be a giver of the joys today!  :)  MUAH!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Say WHAT???

I don't know what forces of the universe have decided to interfere in my life lately, but I am not really amused.  Seriously, I have shit to do and I have no time for this "take it easy stuff."

Ok, so I was actually delighted to go to the Dr. yesterday with X-rays first, because I thought I would pretty much get the all clear....  the go ahead and lift and pull and push all the stuff that you want, because you are as good as you are going to get message.  Rock on with your bad-ass self.  (Yes, I say that kind of thing to myself, and if you don't, you should).  I went to X-ray, had a nice chat with my former student Val- who, btw, was my technician 6 weeks ago - and headed over to Orthopedics.  I must interject that melting snow and 56 degree temps had my spirit soaring!  SO NICE OUT!!

Anyway, I got in immediately to see  my PA and we had a great time chatting about all sorts of things before we took a look at the X-rays.  She is impressed with my recovery, and I will be getting through the range of motion issue through more stretching things, etc, and all that sort of thing.  I got to look with her at the films on the computer, and the left arm had a nice white line where everything was healing nicely.  My more troublesome right arm was a different story.  This is hard to describe, but the little piece where the fracture had been intact- a little triangle between the crack and the outside edge of the radial head- had some time in the last 4 weeks slipped down a smidge.  The sucker had moved!  WHAT IN THE EVER LIVING HELL?????

You could see at the top where there cells are regrowing and beginning to smooth over the little dip and it is over all ok, but you know what she said of course.  You have to "take it easy".  No, you should probably not lift 50 lb boxes of clay, or 50 lb feed bags and if you feel pain or a lot of pressure, you shouldn't do that either.  Until Easterish.  I don't know if anyone is listening to me, but I have a play to put on and it involves doing things.  I am so annoyed.

I, of course, started WRACKING my brain trying to think of what I could possibly have done??  I swear that I was being careful.  The Mad-Science teacher sheepishly interjected that I probably have not been taking it as easy as I thought I was.  Of course she's probably right, but I felt like I WAS taking it easy.  It was also pointed out to me that sometimes that is just the way life goes...  ugh.  sigh. It isn't how I had planned for it to go though...

I got through scenery painting with fairly good humor, got tons done, painted with my left hand a lot because, guess what!!  My previously not sore right arm decided that those x-rays were one thing too much for the day, and btw, Debi, now that you mention it, I think I am going to hurt and be stiff, you know because you managed to mess up this fairly simple injury, so go take an Aleve and get over yourself---  that arm needs a stern talking to for being so lippy.  When I got home I dissolved into a heap for a while and thought through my next 3 weeks.  Good thing I have amazing friends who virtually patted my head and dried my tears and told me I'll be fine.  HAHA and eventually the MA showed up, and was somewhat reassuring as well! Ah, tax season.

So this morning, I am feeling pretty optimistic and happy again, which I knew I would be.  I just can't be bothered to wallow in self pity, because it drives me insane.  And I have shit to do, so I need to focus.  I can't let this alter my drive to get somewhere near caught up on a few   on alllll the things.  So the next two days are  dedicated to get the scenery FINISHED for the play.  Friday, I get to have my kids here for the weekend, then Monday begins with a Charter meeting early and play practice, with full dress and makeup until late.  And on it goes.

What lesson is this universe trying to teach?  I know what it is, I just don't have time for it.  And there in lies the answer.  If you don't think you have the time, you might just be forced to alter your path a little.  Ask for a little more help for just a little while longer.  Even if it makes you want to bang your head against the nearest wall.  I am going to be digging deep for my zen, for my center, for my inner peace.

And always always, where ever I can get it, seek out my joy.