Friday, May 27, 2016

Short update- and 3 weeks!

21 days....  3 weeks from today.  Wowza

Last night when I was laying awake and not falling asleep because of some cute little grand girls being in my house, (they safely arrived about 10:30)  I was assaulted by some odd pain in my tummy.  Of course it was nothing, as I woke up perfectly fine this morning.  However, I went there- what if I have an appendicitis attack and I have to have surgery and I can't go on my trip!!!  Seriously, you guys, I think I am almost to freakout mode.  I think I need medication- lol

I don't have much time today, as there could have been some early morning visiting with the Mad-oldest son..... but I do have time to think for a moment about that flight that will be happening in 3 weeks and where I will end up in about 4 weeks! Rome!

And that definitely will be  joy.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

22 days- time is flying!

I realize that 3 weeks from tomorrow is lift off!  WHAT????  Now it is seeming more concrete and way less abstract.... If I didn't have so much going on, I might be having moments of panic, but I don't have time for panic!
These girls!  AND I hope to get pix of the 4 babies this weekend as well!!!

Tonight the Mad-oldest son and his family are coming!  I have a few groceries purchased and have plans after school to do a bit of straightening and possibly childproofing of the house, since certain adorable little children who may or may not be 3 years old will be here for 4 days.  I haven't seen them since Easter, and the MA has not met little miss Ava yet.  Tax season is a bummer sometimes. Anyway,  we will have company and I need to do a little prep work.  I am hopeful that they will be able to come and visit me at school on Friday!  Rumor has it that one certain little Ella was ready to come and see Grandma Debi and  Grampa Fred several days ago.  :) AND I get to see everyone, school really interferes with my Grandma role with these nearby kids as well.

I did some research and reading last night about some of the art I will be seeing.  I have decided to stop looking at a lot of the stops we will be at, and concentrate on the art of Florence and Rome.  I want to be surprised by some of it, want to just immerse myself in whatever sights and sounds and tastes (gelato in Venice)  that come my way.  I love having things somewhat out of my hands, as this rarely happens.  And it takes a while to surrender for me, but once I do- I'm good.

So Venice apparently besides the architecture and the gelato and such has a Peggy Guggenheim Museum of Modern art contained within it.  Seriously??  I LOVE modern art- I will have to see what happens there.  Might try to sneak a visit in there.  I know this is the country for all thing Renaissance, but if we have a nice collection of notable artists such as Miro, Braque, Picasso, Dali and the like, well.......  hmmmmm.  I'll play it by ear, though.

Anyway, I better get myself rolling here and get ready for school.  I should have some cleaning time today, but the other thing is it is the last day of class for the seniors. A sad/happy day for them, and hard to keep the rest of them on task.  But we have a limited number of days now to get our oil paintings done-ish.  And that is not taking drying time into account- rumor has it oil paintings never dry.  Lol.

Babies are in my future today- going to be a GREAT way to end the day.  A joy for sure!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

And 23, plus spring/summer has truly arrived

Full fledged, green leafed, growing grass spring/summer has arrived here at last!  Yesterdays rain resulted in some massive chlorophyll expansion in our great northwoods.  Seems a little over-dramatic, but this is truth.  It was a notable change over night.  This is good!

23 days to Italy.  I got around to doing some camera accessory shopping last night (if it isn't last minute, it isn't procrastination, right?) and now I have to push on to a few other things...  It will be hard to think about all things Italy when I have company this weekend, but that is ok too.  I am ready to think about all things Grandkiddos and my own kiddos and things like that.

I had a nice discussion with my Italy bound colleague yesterday and it was so exciting to listen to her talk about the general way things will go.  Also we are traveling with a group of 45- 3 groups from Cali and one from Texas.  Interesting! Hopefully next week we will have a more detailed itinerary.  I know I am very impatient.  

Today is the senior class trip- and the 8th grade roll ahead day  hour- holy smokes, I forgot about that.  Oh well.  I can talk my way through most anything.  

Press on people, it is Wednesday- long weekend ahead!  Keep on spreading the joy.  :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I am a tired Art teacher again today.  I am not sure why I feel so sleepy, but I do.  I was even in bed a little before 10....

I was sitting here spacing out this morning, mulling over the whole 24 days thing- thinking about what piece of Italian Art I want to feature this morning- and my eyes FLEW wide open.  (note: this was a temporary wake up moment, I am back to sleepy already)  The Mad-oldest son and his family are coming in 2 days, like the DAY AFTER TOMORROW!!
Summer fun at the campground

This is fantastic, except I need to start thinking about things like food and such for the weekend.  And of course if they are coming, there is a more than even chance that the entire group of us will be all together somewhere over the course of the weekend as well.  It will be children and babies galore!!

Today, though, I have a long day of students and cleaning.  Suddenly I am feeling the need to get things put away, as I will not have the mental space to come back and do this after school is done.  I may end up having to one day, but I would prefer not to.  I am sure I will have to return to finish my orders, though, as I usually need to be in my room to visually see what I am low on.  I will have to up my hs order though, as I have TONS of students next year.  Goodness.

Crazy cows.....  lol
So, 24 days until we leave and yesterday I made not one action to organize myself or get ready....  lol.  I am such a procrastinator.  I did get a bunch of grading done at the elementary school, that sort of counts, right?

I have no insights into life or travel or school today.  I just need more coffee, people.  And today in the elementary we are going to get ready for turtle races the last week of school....  details to follow.

Be a joy giver today everyone!  And remember, coming up is an awesome LOOOONG weekend.  Rock on!

Monday, May 23, 2016

25 days and feeling on course

I feel a little more grounded this morning, while I did not get the ordering done I had planned, I did get a main list of things to do started....

Playing with a loon
Hello I am the Mad-Artteacher and I am obsessively blogging about my trip to Italy!  :)  In case I have a new blog reader??  Anyway, after a nice long talk with my always calming little seester Rose, we have a plan of attack for what we are taking along. I really do feel a lot better about every thing.

Other than that, I - sort of against my better judgement- went for another kayak in the morning.  I say that because my hand and arm is a bit sore today. I have a little issue with a carpal tunnel sort of thing, and for the first 45 min. I had to stop occasionally to let my hand stop tingling.  However,
 I was lured by the water and the wildlife and the sky and the warmth further and further downstream until I decided to turn around when I got about as far as I originally planned.  After a very cool spring, the sun was just such an amazing thing to feel on my face.

Turtle on one of the stumps in the flowage
I previously wrote that I had some issues with the pictures I took on my Saturday kayak, and so I partially auto and partially manual for this trip.  And I ended up with some pretty decent shots!  There was literally no one on the water all morning, except for the flying or four-legged kind.  It was exhilarating and meditative all at the same time.

LOVELY morning
Other than that the MA and I did some gardening things and I did a lot of rearranging and repotting of plant life and things like that.  And again, against my better judgement, I did some weeding and my hand is not happy with me this morning. But it does make the flower gardens look better, and I will persist a half hour at a time.

Hello little bug
So, there is 8.5 days left at school and I need to start getting my rooms cleaned.  And I need to get my grading done.  This is the last week of school for the seniors and I am not sure they will accomplish much.  They will clean their untidy little areas of my room, and I will get back all of their art work, and finish off their final grades- hopefully tomorrow.  Today is my last Monday!  WOW, and Friday is the last regular Friday, so this is big stuff.  Any one out there want to help straighten up an art room or 3??

I better get off of here and get ready for school.  I will be wishing my Monday children a happy farewell today, and I will get leg hugs and love you from a whole lot of little kiddos and that definitely will give me joy.

 *I will be including a link to some art in Italy every day.  :)  It isn't hard to find.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Mind Full of random- 26 days

Yesterday was indeed a lovely day in northern Wisconsin....  I got a walk and a kayak in and then a little gardening.  So, I did indeed sleep a bit last night.  Good news, for those of you who care or are keeping track.

NOT what you would expect to be seeing in the river  :)
I experienced a bit of frustration yesterday when I got home from said kayak and found that many of my photos were blurry.  **insert cursing**  WHY??  Well I'll tell you, I tried using a different setting(TV mode, or shutter preferred) and I didn't have my shutter speed set high enough.  MASSIVE SIGHS.  I keep feeling like I should have this all down pat, but it is all just practice and its all ok.  I had massive anxiety last night over the whole thing, though.  Thank heaven I had my Twitter friend, the Mad-O'sFan, to keep me occupied because I think everyone else was out having a night-life or sleeping or something.  Which is what I should have done- the sleeping part.  

So this morning I am thinking I should hop in the kayak and just go for a paddle and calm myself, but I am not sure.  When I get like this I am not sure of anything.  Now I am thinking obsessively about what I need for clothes for this trip and also shoes....  Really I should just be contacting my doctor and asking for sedatives at this point, because none of this is going to get easier.  However, if I walk or kayak by myself it is like meditation, so this is the thing I must do.

It was a gorgeous day out on the river, so nice to sit in the warmth of the day and when one forgets to sunscreen one's legs, you might even end up with a minor sunburn.  I had taken off my t-shirt in favor of my tank top, so I was able to cover my legs with the shirt for the second half of the event.  The river was just lovely, there was a little bit of activity in the animal world, and then there was the boat that ran into a rock or stump that gave us some entertainment.  

We were paddling along and were quite a distance, and saw this boat coming down the flowage.  While it was not going fast, someone was not watching for the serious plethora of rocks and stumps that are under the surface of this body of water.  The boat went UP over the rock at a minimum of 45 degrees, then of course started to level out a bit as it went ONTO the stump and tipped way over to one side.  I thought they were going over for sure.  Then they revved their engines with the prop pretty much out of the water so you can imagine how well that worked.  Eventually they pushed them selves off because it appeared he had a random 2x4 in his boat.... why?  We paddled way off to the side as there certainly was nothing we could do in kayaks....  and maybe we wanted to quietly mock them for trying to get into a place where a speed boat sort of had no business going.  But that could be just a rumor.

Otherwise,  it was a busy day full of gardening and animal care and trying to make sure the MA doesn't "use up" his spray paint of any of my stuff.  The man is a nut job sometimes. One time several years ago, he "used up" my cobalt blue enamel paint on the window sills on the back side of the garage.  No one sees this but holy crap that still gives me eye twitches.  I have been getting statements referring to me being gone all summer.... as in- why don't you get me such and such since you will be gone all summer?  Or I guess I won't plant such and such this year since you will be gone all summer.  All in jest of course.  Ha- what that says is I think someone is slightly worried about being by himself for 2 weeks.  And since he has no cell phone, unless I can figure out when to get in a quick FaceTime, communication could be limited.  But I'm working on figuring that one out. Poor baby.  Fortunately he is capable of taking care of himself of course.

A pile of painted turtles, who did  not move when I got within 10 feet of them- not typical
I am seriously cringing over having to back to school tomorrow.  These last couple weeks are brutal.  Fortunately, the hs kids all have projects.  I just have to get thing cleaned up with their help at the end of the week.... 

Oh the mad rush to clean all those art rooms up.... I think I will return to stressing out what to wear in Italy- that is a lot more fun.

Not sure what the day is going to bring today, but I am hoping for a little joy giving and I hope a little joy receiving.  And perhaps a little conference call with my seester-Rose to discuss life.

Have a lovely, joyful day.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

27 days- A few pictures and such

Now, it is seeming like I am setting myself up for a daily count down to the trip, doesn't it?  The thing about me is that I really DO want to do that.....  how evah! We all know that could quickly go awry depending on a multitude of things including my particular sleep quality on any given day and my ability to get distracted by the least little..... oh shoot I have to do some shopping online- like TODAY!!!  You get the picture.

Isn't he an impressive guy? or girl?
I get to kayaking today with my newest kayak buddy, Lisa.  I have to figure out a Mad name for her, as I have a Mad English teacher already, but this will come to me.  Maybe I need to check with her before calling her the Mad-Lisa, ya know?  But on the other hand I have checked with no one else concerning their names, sooooo......  Focus, Debi, focus.

Gorgeous calm night

Mad-Lisa and I are going to go for a paddle today on Smith Lake, which I am looking forward to.  I very much enjoy the river, and I think we should go up to the Pixley dam.  I will let the wind and the river decide- and also my companion.  ONE OF THESE DAYS, people, I am going to get the MA out there, and it could be tomorrow morning.  We shall see.

YAY for summer (ish) weather
These pictures that I am posting are from my last journey in a kayak.  After a minor kerfuffle on a certain silly Facebook page, I have discovered that changing lenses frequently in the great outdoors can make ones camera sensor dirty.  Which (shhhhhh, I just didn't know) apparently happens to everyone.... why is it I didn't know this?  Because the camera I had didn't have as many pixels, because the lenses don't rock my socks like these do???  Because I didn't do a ton of outdoor wildlife photography before and didn't change lenses 55 times in 2 hours because I have a sick need to take cloud and landscape photos, even though I am supposedly out to photograph birds???  You choose.  Idk, but I have a specialized can of air being ordered as we speak and last night I did some interesting maneuvers that involved no lens and rapid-fire shooting at the floor to try to dislodge the dust.  It actually worked well but after taking pictures of a plain wall and scrupulously searching every centimeter of that image on my camera, there is a little left.  Did you know that there is such a thing as a pixel peeper??  HAHAHA  people who will enlarge other peoples photos and look at them like up  super CLOSE???  Who has the time to do things like that?  I have my own pixels to peep at and that my dears, is a never ending chore.  And then to rudely comment on some innocent art teacher's photo that she was so proud of for the perfect- if I do say so myself- exposure after fighting with it for several months now??  The things you find out at 11:30 at night.

Anywho, my sleep quality last night was REALLY bad, so I need to wear myself out today.  Kayaking and a reasonable, say an hour, walk should do the trick.  Besides perhaps some weeding and the normal stuff that happens on a day.  So that is the plan!

Back to Italy, which you may as well get used to the fact that this will be a focus of this for a while,  I am starting a pile- a stack if you will- of things that I will be taking.**  And a list of the things I need to get online.  And I am definitely thinking about my footwear, as if you want to try out a few things you have to have lead time up here.

My kind of evening
And because this is VERY important to me- I figure that I have 31 days until I get to see Michelangelo's  David.  And THAT will give me a whole lot of joy!

But first its a lovely sunny day here, going to be in the 70's, no rain, not a lot of wind....  perfect for the kayaker types.  Weather we have been waiting for for about 6 months. Ready, set, get going on your day!!

**You would not believe the amount of time I spent on this sentence and trying to decide what exact punctuation to use.  This is a combination of the fact I like to be fairly accurate and also the thought of certain English teacher types that may or may not be reading this.  HAHAHA  Not that I am really all that worried about it, but I like to be in the ball park.  Don't judge me ;)