Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just the thing

Here it is already the 25 of October and I have only blogged once.  I tell you- this school year is insane.  And this weirdly warm weather has kept me participating in the outside activities that keep my from computer.  Which, you know, is fine too. Mostly when I do sit down at night,  I can barely think, so blogging is not high on the list of things I can do without actual functioning brain power.

Arms full of girlies

Last week I took a lil trip to LaCrosse, WI for the Wisconsin Art Ed Association Art convention for 2 days.  It was a super trip and there is a lot of new stuff that is in my art teaching trunk of  goodies.  And then after that was done, I drove on down to Janesville and spent a little downtime with the Mad-oldest son and his lovely wife Sarah Grace, and of course the grand girls from the south.  OH my, this was exactly what I needed.

The Mississippi River at 7 am- did the 5K!

This is incredibly big- the pic does no justice 
The first 6 weeks of school have been intense and fast.  I literally never sit down, except for Fridays when I grade my high school kids during class time.  The days go so fast and I, being the person that I am, like to do new things and of course that means even more time making new stuff.  And throw in a new class with an hour less prep time and there for less time to do more....  oy.  But whatev.

Chatted with the keynote speaker- Cassie Stephens.
I really don't know that I have ever felt so completely relaxed after a time away as I was this time.  I am not sure why, but it recharged my batteries like never before.  LaCrosse is pretty stress-free.  Not a huge town, easy to navigate, really great scenery (Mississippi River, people!) and some good eats and drinks....  then of course there was that whole grandchildren thing for a couple days!

That bridge!

We had a great time going to the Enchanted Forest - which was an evening, lit-with-candles walk from fairy tale to fairy tale, with a twist!  And we saw a science festival earlier in the day. Combine with some power shopping in the afternoon, and a little Mexican food in the evening before the night walk and you have a great day!

I went to school feeling super great and actually, I have recovered pretty quickly from the last few days.  The end of the quarter comes this Friday and we are all working towards getting the kids caught  up with their work and finish up grading and such.  Boy do I have a pile of stuff to grade.

Anyway, I know I have done other things this month- coughahemBayfield- but I am now too tired to think of what those things were, but there is always tomorrow!  :)

Which is true of life for the most part- there IS always tomorrow.  And that is sure to be a joy.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Crispy leaves and lovely weekends

Fall has come late to the Northwoods this year, and this is a bit sad. Weather conditions have made our lovely fall color a bit dreary.  Apparently TONS of water, extended warm weather, humidity (yes - it has been humid up here) has taken its toll on the trees and they are stressed.  But, there is some color, because, ya know, we have an awful lot of trees up here- and though the reds are not apparent, there is orange and yellow. 

What amazing color in the sky this weekend

I went kayaking last weekend, and it was remarkable. To be on Butternut Lake this late in the season was a definite perk of the above mentioned weather conditions.  There were SO many boats on the water, it seems that fishing must be good.  I don't know, I don't pay attention to such things.  I went with my friend and co-worker Lisa on Butternut Lake.  We did not see the eagle like usual, and not a ton of other birds- other than a few jittery ducks.  There were duck hunters lurking about, they were probably nervous....  Like the decidedly jumpy blue heron that couldn't decide where to land.

Butternut Lake

This weekend, though, I did a bunch of things here at home.  Even if it was beautifully sunny, I did a lot of things in the house.  I always feel more energetic when the sun is glowing and skies are blue, so I did some purging of stuff from my bedroom and did some cooking to use up and preserve some of the veggies from the garden.  And I went for a 4.5 mile walk Saturday and hit up the gym this morning.  And though I procrastinated until this afternoon, I also made some  grape juice that will eventually become grape jelly.  The grapes were crazy this year- they apparently appreciated the weather even if our trees did not!

Just enjoying the scenery

Homecoming is done at school now- THANK HEAVEN- if you speak to me regularly, you will know that homecoming stresses me out.  The frequent interruptions, the feeling that children are stalking me, and just the general over-the-top excitement make me twitchy.  No one was ever rude or anything, but I am going to be glad to not have that waiting for me at school.  We really have such a nice student body at the high school.  

Flambeau River

 I have been doing a lot of new lessons- including the intro to photography unit that I did for my Intro to Art class. That meant that I was doing a LOT of talking and I do mean a lot!!  I do not like to stand up there an lecture, but fortunately- this was photography.  And they learned a smidge about filters and editing and composition and they got to play on their computers for a while when I wrapped up the lessons.  With a purpose!  I am so pleased with this unit.  I have added a layer of composition concepts that I will continue through the semester.  I had a couple of my photog friends allow me to use their images for my presentation, and they really added a lot of depth to my images.  It was amazing how much I learned by interpreting and discussing compositional elements in the photographs by these fine photographers.  I doubt they read this, but thank you to Kelly Marquardt and Derek Ace for allowing me to use your shots.

Some late evening color
This school year is sort of weird.  The previous years I've had this particular configuration of elementary and High School (and I have had a LOT of configurations), I've had the ability to catch up with my elementary grading/record-keeping/cleaning up and the like on Wednesday.  Monday, I prep for the week, and Friday I break down the supplies from this week and plan for the following week.....  Well, unfortunately, I have this year an additional class and one hour less prep time.  :/  While I of course enjoy the children (little little children), this additional class is not good for my mental health. I'm so stressed out by Friday I am almost catatonic.  I don't have one minute that I  am getting ready for something or cleaning up after something else.  I am BLESSED to have 2-3 high school students who come down to help me a few times a week.  I would never get anything up on the walls if I didn't have them.  It just wouldn't happen.  And then there are the things that I have to do that I have no choice in....  that is annoying too.  At least the days go fast I guess.  

Feed me

Anyway, fall has kicked in and one way I know THAT for sure is that the MA is back doing his thing at the wreath and Christmas tree ranch.  With this extended grow season, the entire garden didn't get ripped out yet, and I am not sure where I am going to plant next years garlic next week...  And now there is a lot of dead stuff ie: beans, basil and tomato carcasses, that will need to be cleaned up.  um... yeah, no.  I won't be doing that most likely.  After my days, additional things that involve a lot of walking just doesn't happen.  Unless it is for my mental health- a walk to the stone house, or some similar route.  But we shall see.  I might feel ambitious.

Frost and fog

The giant wasp nest

I have a few things coming up here in the next month or so, all joyful things I will have you know!  :)  And hopefully a quick trip to Bayfield will begin it all next weekend.  I have a few things I need to do there!  :D

I began this post in the late afternoon and am just finishing it at bedtime.  Pretty typical.  Lol.  I hope you all have a good week.  Full of light and color and joy!