Monday, February 29, 2016

February Reading Receipt

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy today!

Last month I had the idea to do an end of the month post detailing the books I had read for the month.  You can read my January Reading Receipt HERE, if you're interested.

On to February!  With Leap Day this year, I had an extra day in this month.  I wish I could say I spent it reading, but sadly that was not the case. I did get inspired to kick it into gear and finish the book I was reading when I realized yesterday was almost the last day of the month.

Here's what I read this month:

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
Four novellas by the master of horror with a right-on title since each of these stories was darker than the one before it.  Reading these took me back.  I hadn't read a novella by King since high school.  He still rocks this genre like no one else.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I had seen and heard a lot about this one all over the internet.  Sometimes it's the trailer for an upcoming movie that inspires me to go ahead and read the book. That was the case here.  I liked the main character of this story a lot.  I will be reading the sequel to find out what happens to her.

Calvin by Martine Leavitt
This was probably the most unusual book of the month.  Calvin has a tiger he talks to named Hobbes and a best friend name Susie.  Sounds familiar, right?  Except this Calvin is a teenager who was just been diagnosed with schizophrenia.  He's sure if he can get Bill Watterson to make one more comic strip of a grown up Calvin without Hobbes he'll be cured.

Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunes
This was my one nonfiction read of the month. I was able to borrow it for free on my Kindle with my Prime membership. Ilgunes was newly out of undergrad school with a Bachelor's Degree and $32,000 in debt.  After working tirelessly at various minimum wage jobs in Alaska for five years to pay it off as soon as possible, he decides to go to grad school but refuses to go back into debt.  He devises a plan in which he will live in his van in a parking lot at Duke University and work full time.  This was thought provoking but a lot of the time I felt the author didn't know what he wanted at all.

That's it for ths month.  See you at the end of March with another reading receipt.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What's Up, Wednesday?

So this happened this week:

The girl got her pointe shoes for ballet.  She started ballet at four years old.  When we went to her first recital at the end of that school year, I remember watching the older girls dance up on their toes and wondering if she'd stick with dance long enough to get to that stage.  We've always left it up to her to decide if she wants to take dance each year.  Guess what?  That time has arrived.  

Snow!  We had snow this week, although not much in the way of accumulation.  We had snow showers Monday and all day Tuesday.  At one point, I snapped this photo of the windows of my classroom because it was like being inside a snowglobe all day.  

(Yes, I am lucky enough to have a view of the dumpster from my classroom.  It's a big deal when they come to empty that during school hours.  Jealous much?)

Yesterday was Mardis Gras.  I ordered a King's cake from a local bakery, and wow.  Wow.  That thing was de-lish.  The baby is still hiding in there because we couldn't finish the whole thing in one night.  But that wasn't because I didn't do my part.

And finally, I have several books from my last library trip that are due on the 22nd, but then this came Monday.  I've decided to read it instead of any of the last haul since Valentine's Day is coming up.  I saw that the movie version of this starring the great Emilia Clarke from my beloved Game of Thrones is coming out soon.   I doubt she'll be eating any horse hearts in this movie from what I've read so far, but I'd still like to see it.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What's Up, Wednesday?

This is the time of year that I spend way too much time on my computer at work logging in not just test scores, but individual answers on tests for each student.  I could go on and on about this, but I won't.  Let's just leave it at this:

One of my students found this dinosaur in the hall one morning last week and brought it to me.  I stuck it by my keyboard, thinking someone might come in looking for this guy.  Not yet.  In the meantime he amuses me and is kind of a symbolic middle finger to all the data inputting of late.

Also, this guy had to get his yearly shots this week. I snapped a few post shot pics. They were too adorable not to share.  His face. I just can't even.

On a happier note, this week brought my birthday.  I wrote a longer post about my birthday HERE.

My book of choice this weekend was Full Dark, No Stars by The King himself. It's a book of four of his novellas. One of my all-time favorite books is Different Seasons  also by King, which is a collection of four or his novellas.  If you've never heard of Different Seasons, I bet you've seen one or two of the very successful movies it spawned, Stand by Me (based on the novella, The Body) and The Shawshank Redemption.  Yeah, those two awesome stories are by King.  I'm only one novella into Full Dark, and I'm not sure I would have gone in so willingly if I had known there were rats involved.  Too late now.     Despite the rats, I've found myself jotting down lines from this story as I go along like these:

"I remember thinking, This night will never end. And that was right. In all the important ways, it never has."

"Things had already gone wrong, and I was starting to realize that a deed is never like the dream of a deed."

Lines like these are why I'll always love Stephen King.  Rats and all.


Monday, February 1, 2016


I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy today to share"What's Saving My Life Right Now?". 

Winter is rough on a lot of people, but I personally like most things about it.  As long as the sun is shining, I don't mind the cold.  (Cue Let It Go.)  Snow is one of my favorite things, as are sweaters, boots, and fires.  Maybe I like winter because of my Scandinavian ancestry.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, while we have no air conditioning in the school where I teach, we do in fact have heat.  And it's heat that I can actually control from my classroom, which is a rarity for most teachers.

I will admit that when we have one of our Midwestern stretches of no sunshine for eight or nine days, winter starts to get to me.  I also don't enjoy the fact that it's dark out by 4:30 most evenings.  De-pressing.  So what's been lifting my spirits in January?  Here's my list:

1) My birthday is at the end of January. I have not yet reached the age when I don't like to be treated a little special on my birthday.  I hope I never do. Letters from my students, a few presents, and cupcakes are a few things that brightened up the end of the month for me.

2) Changing the decorations in my house always gives me a lift.  In January the snowmen come out in full force.  Yesterday I put up my Valentine's Day decorations.  I know some people think I'm nuts for putting things out for what is not even considered a major holiday, but it is always a reminder to me that winter is progressing.  The year is moving on, even when it feels like we might never see daylight after 5:00 each evening.  Valentine's Day is a reminder we will!  (What?  It's February already??)   Right after Valentine's Day this year, I will be busting out my St. Patrick's Day paraphernalia.  Easter is so early this year, and this (part) Irish girl wants to enjoy the green.  And the green really makes me feel like spring might actually be arriving.

3) Okay, these socks are saving me right now too.  I know, I know, it may seem crazy that a pair of socks could save your life.  Believe me, if you were standing outside on freezing cold asphalt for recess every day,  a pair of socks might be a lifesaver for you too.  These are just from plain old Wal-Mart, but I've never worn wool blend socks before.  My feet often get hot when it's cold, then sweat, and then are freezing (weird).   I always thought wool blend socks were not for me.  I. Was. Wrong.  Somehow these breathe better than any other socks I own, while keeping my feet toasty at the same time.

4) Planning the menu is saving my life right now. I started meal planning about two years ago.  It was like arriving at a miracle.  I don't know how we survived before doing this.  I guess we did, but things were just much more hectic and disorganized.  For the last six months or so, I've just been snapping a picture of the monthly menu with my phone so I have it with me when I grocery shop. 

5) And finally, a good book haul is saving me too.  Winter is the best time to read, preferably in front of a fire.  There are some days when you can actually feel good about doing nothing except reading all day because it is just too cold to do anything else.  Maybe this is the best reason to love winter.