Back to Reality

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the lake.  We rented a boat for 4 of the days and really enjoyed it (after the first day).  I was more than a little nervous about the boat the first day.  I grew up on the water fishing and skiing with my dad, but my husband had never driven a boat before….. I also have invested almost 17 years growing and raising kids and was a little more fearful of breaking them than my husband.  Once we accepted that I was the cruiser (sight seeing tours and such) and he was the one who pulled the kids on the tube (because I apparently drive the boat like an old lady) all was well.  He threw kids off at every turn….multiple times….  They loved it, he loved it, and I loved not watching it from the comfort of my float by the boat dock. 

We also went into Madison/Huntsville/Decatur for occasional day trips to visit friends and family.  I don’t know that we will have another two week vacation all together again until we are old and grey, but it was nice while it lasted.

Back in Louisiana, I am dealing with paperwork for my new job.  Getting fingerprinted at the detention center was an experience.  The guard actually took me inside the detention center where the inmates are kept.  We walked by several inmates.  One inmate was at a table near me awaiting all his paperwork so he could be released.  His mother was coming to pick him up.  I hope that is something I never experience, from either side!  The whole process made me wonder what kind of database I’m in or list I might be on.  This is my 3rd state to be fingerprinted and have a background check done in so I can teach.  Are my fingerprints compared to millions of criminals when a cop runs prints for a crime or do they separate the educators?  Makes you wonder.  I never activated the thumbprint scanner on my iPhone because I don’t want Apple to have my prints, but 3 states have them already….  At least this set was done entirely on the computer.  So nice not to have ink all over my hands.

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A Little Breather

We bought a little place on the Lake in Alabama about 6 months before we found out we were moving to Louisiana.  It’s rustic, but on a beautiful spot on which we hope to build a nice little getaway one day.  My parents are so good to us and drive the hour out to the lake about every month or so to check on it and do some yard work and hopefully enjoy it a little.  My husband is taking his first two-weeks-in-a-row vacation ever (poor guy dropped some furniture I asked him to move on his finger and broke it 2 days ago… stitches… splint… no swimming).  He’s not had more than a week off in a row since…… 1993 when he was waiting on his Army assignment after graduating from college.  I hope it is the peaceful break he so greatly deserves.  We have friends coming out tomorrow and family the next day.  We are hoping not to fill every day with busy-ness, but are looking forward to seeing everyone.  

I’ll still have some school work to do, but I thoroughly ignored the 14 yr. old last week so I could get ahead.  We picked the 17yr. old up in Tuscaloosa on our way here.  He enjoyed the summer session (UA Early College) and did well with the independence. So far, he is completely bored here and will be glad to have the cousins come soon.

Hope you all are finding time to take a little breather as well.    

Podcasts, Literature and Running

I recently started (if March is recent) a couch to 5k program with my 14 yr old daughter.  It was her idea, and I tried a couple times to do one in the past but had to quit because of injury.  I agreed this time and decided I would just go super slow and take enough recovery in between until I built my fitness up.  My daughter liked the idea of running more that the reality of it, but I will give her credit for sticking with it.  I am a little ahead of her in the program, just because she has been busy with softball workouts and has to take more rest days.  So, I’m on week 7 and ran 25 min. straight today with no problem. Yay!  It is a 9 week program, but I repeated some of the earlier runs trying to build my stamina.  Today’s run was super slow, but I have had to tweak my form a little because I was having some knee pain so I took it slow.  Seems like I figured the knee issue out (thanks Google) and have run two longish runs with no pain.  I’m far enough there are no more alternating runs/walks, just building time and speed from here on out.  I’m not sure what’s different this time, maybe the investment in good running shoes, the companionship with my daughter, or realistic expectations.  Looks like I’ll accomplish my goal and it feels great. Hopefully, now that I’m running consistently longer stretches, I’ll drop a few pounds as well.

View from the running trail.

View from the running trail.

One of the keys for me to continue running  is good distraction.  Music sufficed for the past 3 months, but I’m running longer stretches and need more interesting distractions.  Enter the podcast.  Have you tried them?  After looking around online I decided to try This American Life, it’s a weekly public radio show out of Chicago.  I thought it would be a collection of short stories, but it really reminded me of Paul Harvey and The Rest of the Story just longer.  I listened to Episode 527 – 180 Degrees.  The second story was about a speech writer for Gov. George Wallace who wrote the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door speech, Asa Carter, and how he moved out west and reintroduced himself as a Cherokee writer. He wrote a book as Forrest Carter called The Education of Little Tree.  (He also wrote the book on which The Outlaw Josey Wales starring Clint Eastwood was based.)  It was sold as a memoir, but he was soon discovered to be Asa Carter and the work is considered fiction now.   It was an interesting discussion on whether he really did a ‘180’ or if he was just a scam artist.  Can people’s views and beliefs really completely change? If you are in a book club, The Education of Little Tree might be a great pick, especially if people didn’t find out until the discussion that the author was once a rabid racist.  I think I’ll add This American Life to the rotation, but I’ll be on the look out for other entertaining podcasts.  Leave suggestions if you have any.

 

The Journey Begins

Today I picked up all the paperwork for my new job as a 2nd grade teacher.  This is going to be an interesting journey.  I will only have 12 students.  Did you hear that? TWELVE students! I can’t even imagine what that will be like.  The classroom I’ll be in is a good size.  It has a center table, a smart board, ample storage and bulletin boards. The room also has a bathroom, sink and water fountain. The custodians aren’t quite finished with the yearly scrub down, so I will have to wait to start sorting and decorating.

 

2nd grade