Categories
fall

Why Fall is the Best

Here are my top ten reasons (in random order and importance) why fall is the absolute best season of the year. Ready?

Source: pixabay.com
  1. Goodbye, 100 degree days. Could that actually be a chill in the air? Or less than 50% humidity? Days in the 80’s are just pipe dreams in July.
  2. The grass stops its incessant growing. Lawn mowers can rest. The weekly grass cutting slows. Down. A. Lot.
  3. Pumpkin spice. Everything.
  4. Boots and jackets.
  5. Bare skin goes under wraps.
  6. You can be outside without sweating and having a heat stroke.
  7. Leaves turn glorious colors.
  8. Fall festivals abound (less so during a pandemic).
  9. You can build a fire in the fireplace and in the firepit.
  10. Flannel pajamas.
Source: pixabay.com

I can’t stop at 10! What about. . .

  • Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • Football.
  • Hot coffee on a cool morning.
  • No more bugs, snakes, or creepy crawlies.
  • Fall decorations.

That’s my list. I’d love to hear what you would add or take away. Welcome, Fall!

XOXO

Categories
holidays

I’m Not Going to be a Thanksgiving Grinch

Source

I could be, you know. All my life Thanksgiving Days have involved shuttling to or being shuttled to various and sundry homes of relatives near and far, whether I wanted to or not. As a kid I piled into the family car with my three siblings and parents and tried to keep my brother and sister away from my side of the car as we traveled the four plus hours to the Texas Hill Country. Once we got off the main highway, the roads to Grandma and Grandpa’s house were not paved then and the noise of raw caliche battering the underside of the car and covering it with dust stressed me out before the hoards of cousins descended upon us. 

Once we arrived we kids were banished to the outdoors as the grownups drank coffee, caught up with each other, and prepared the food.  Fortunately Texas Thanksgivings were not usually cold. Days later, or so it seemed, we would return home tired and usually sick with a stomach virus we invariably brought back with us. Or maybe it was food poisoning from eating food that sat out all day. Even with the drama I always looked forward to the road trip, though.

Being married with children meant a different kind of shuttling. Having to bring homemade dishes and well-groomed and mannered children to the in-laws for Thanksgiving created a different kind of stress. On the rare occasion one of us was ill, I’m ashamed to admit I was secretly almost glad I didn’t have to go.  “But honey, you go,” I would tell hubby as I curled up on the couch with a sick kid. We would be fine. And a tiny bit relieved to have to miss the gathering this year.

Now the kids are grown with kids of their own. I can never seem to get them home together for Thanksgiving, and I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving meal, something I both looked forward to and dreaded as they were growing up. With hubby’s health issues, he doesn’t attend gatherings any more, so I will venture out to my sister’s home to her gathering. 

I will not be a grinch, though. I will bring my usual cheese potatoes and green bean casserole and try not to miss my hubby, children, and grandchildren too much. I’ll try not to long for those crazy days of shuttling all over creation to make it to Thanksgiving dinner.  I will miss the loved ones who are now gone, I will miss the children who are now grown and moved on, and I will accept that life goes on with all its changes. 

Later I will listen as my children reminisce about their childhood Thanksgivings and grouse about having to travel to family gatherings. It’s their turn now.

XOXO

Categories
Uncategorized

Teacher Tuesday: Worth Remembering (FOLK Magazine Journal Challenge)

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover, and FOLK Magazine’s 2013 Journal Challenge urges us to reflect on the importance of remembering.  It has been said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  Remembering past mistakes and making corrections is critical for eventual success.

But what about remembering family and/or religious traditions?  Are those important?  The Jewish and Christian faiths place great importance on remembrance of religious traditions.  The Passover itself was instituted by God as an annual remembrance of His deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.  So is it important to remember family or religious traditions?

Image from here
I say, yes, very much so.  Just as the Christian church observes traditions such as the Lord’s Supper, baptism, singing familiar hymns, and having Sunday School classes, families observe certain traditions as well.  What would Christmas and Thanksgiving be without traditions?  How many families do we know who put up a Christmas tree every year or have a turkey dinner every Thanksgiving?

Image from here


Are these traditions important?  I believe they are very important, especially to children.  They provide security–a constant in an unpredictable world.  They provide connections to previous generations, and opportunities to spend time with people we would ordinarily not take the time to visit.  We often do not even realize that we are creating traditions with our families when we really are.  

I started a simple tradition in my home to help celebrate our birthdays.  One year I bought a cheap foil banner with the words “Happy Birthday” and placed it across the top of our entertainment center over the television.  I had gotten into the habit of placing birthday cards received on the top of the entertainment center and thought a banner would be a good way to show them off.  I have done this every year for each birthday since the children were small.  One year I couldn’t find the banner, and my daughter asked where it was.  I dug a little deeper in the drawer where I keep it, and there it was, so up it went.  Traditions do matter.  Our children count on them.
Image from here
What traditions do you feel are important?

XOXO


Categories
Uncategorized

TEACHER TUESDAY: TST

This short week before Thanksgiving holidays can be a nightmare for unsuspecting or unprepared schoolteachers.  I know.  I was one.  No matter how well I had prepared my lessons or how good my intentions were, it was all for naught until I realized one fact.   Whether I liked it or not, agreed with it or not, condoned it or not, students checked out at least one week prior to the holidays, maybe even earlier.  In order to survive the pre-holiday party attitudes and behavior, I had to be smarter than my students, and that is no easy task.

I call today’s post TST:  Teacher Survival Training.  I am no expert, but I think during 30 years in public education I learned a few things.  I will enumerate a few. . .

1) Do not introduce new material.  If students are not receptive to reviews or activities reinforcing what you have already learned, they certainly won’t be receptive to learning new concepts.  New material can wait for the day they return from the holidays.

2)  Don’t throw away the rules.  By this time of the year, you should be able to relax a bit, but don’t stray from your basic rules of class conduct, procedures, and expectations.  You will only be providing a breeding ground for problems.  I found this to be especially true with allowing students out of the classroom.  Even if you aren’t “doing anything” students don’t need to be wandering the halls looking for trouble, even if they are only going to “check on a grade” or “see the nurse.”

3)  Put a little holiday fun in your planned activities.  High student energy can be channeled into games instead of misbehavior.  The internet is a great place to look for holiday activities related to your subject matter.  If nothing else, you can make or find a word search or crossword puzzle using your lesson’s vocabulary.

4)  Give a test the day before the holiday break.  I don’t like this one, but it does keep students quiet.  The downside is that students usually don’t do well and you have to reteach and retest after the holidays.  Also, if all the other teachers have the same idea, students will have a test in every class period.

5) Last, if you can’t fight ’em, join ’em.  Let them have the class period to catch up on missed assignments, but prepare for noise.  Just don’t call it a free day.  Good teachers don’t give free days!
Image from here
Good luck, and happy Thanksgiving!

XOXO

Categories
Uncategorized

AT HOME MONDAY: Why I *HEART* October!

Most people probably think that their own birthday month is the best month of the year.  Teachers usually like the months of June and July for obvious reasons.  Kids love December because of Santa.  Some people like March and April for their spring blossoms and warmer days.  But me?  I love October the most.

Here are some reasons I believe October is the best month of the whole year:

  • Halloween–the best excuse to have candy in the house.
  • For teachers, the school year isn’t new any more and classroom routines have been established.
  • For parents, the school year isn’t new any more and family routines have been established.  
  • Grass growth has slowed down considerably, requiring less mowing.
  • Temperatures have cooled considerably, requiring less watering.
  • Fall festivals, flea markets, and yard sales abound.
  • The boots and sweaters can finally come out of storage.
  • It’s cool enough to sit outside in the evenings without breaking a sweat.
  • Archery hunting season!
  • Fall foliage is more beautiful to me than spring color.
  • Holiday decorating begins–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!
  • New fall television programming.
  • Halloween!
Boo!

Pumpkins, mums, and scarecrows!

I’m sure that is not an exhaustive list, but it should help explain why October rocks.  It’s almost over, so enjoy!

XOXO