Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Are We There Yet?"

Usually, I revisit my New year's Resolutions in June. How far have I come? What do I need to do in the next six months? I missed doing this in June, so here goes nothing.

This Year's Resolutions:

1. Keep my house cleaner This one is on the list every year. I've got 5five and a half months to improve in this area. Hope springs eternal!

2. Put more consistent effort into my appearance I'm doing a very good job on this one. It is taking effort and time, but the way it makes me feel (and the response from others) is definitely worth it!In my journal, this resolution included pampering, makeup, exercise, and diet. I recently joined a walking group and, while I am always bringing up the rear, I hang in there from start to finish. Regarding makeup, Sephoras has become my new best friend. The staff is so knowledgeable and helpful. I planted a vegetable garden and will start buying certified organic food from the local farmer's market. (It's cheaper than the local health food store and my local grocery store.) The cost of healthy food has impeded my ability to pamper myself the way I used to. During the 2008-2009 school year, I did not get a single massage or pedicure. It had a negative impact on many parts of my life, so I am going to work finding a better balance of these things.

3. Write daily (journal, blog, or letters) I am writing more frequently (about three to four days a week), but I still have work to do on this.

4. Give quicker feedback on student's written work I am currently researching strategies that will make this easier next year. I added improving classroom management to this back in March. Last year, I had such a draining learning environment that it was difficult to stay on top of things. I was always playing catch-up. I am going to continue using Rick Morris' strategies; I just need to refine and customize them a bit more before school starts.

5. Get to church on time. I haven't been successful in this area. I need to put more effort into this.

My big goal is to notice more of the "rainbow and butterfly" moments in my life. They are always there, I just need to open my eyes to see them. I am learning to get out more and I am placing boundaries in place to keep work, and its accompanying stresses, from taking over my life. This is easy during the break. The true test starts when the new school year begins. I have already put a few colleagues on notice, and my administrator is aware of one of the lines I have drawn. "Things are lookin' up!"

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Farmer Jane: The Midnight Gardner

After seeing and tasting the harvest from a friends garden, I have decided to give vegetable gardening a try. I have chosen to stick with a container garden for now because I can experiment more with finding the right spot for each plant. I can't wait to see and taste the results (granted I don't kill everything with my chronic brown thumb).

Because I love gardening at night, I didn't start planting until the sun was starting to set. When I finished it was a moment worthy of a photo and a smile.

These photos were taken the next day.