Finally! Some down-time!

Non-Photo: The Husband and my neighbor put the flower boxes in!!

Columbus Day weekend always takes me back to teaching. I used to assign the year’s first 5-paragraph essay during this weekend. We’d start in September with some shorter open-response questions (only 2 or 3 paragraphs and in first person) but the more formal and heavily graded “Hamburger” essays were a bigger deal. It would be the start of a lot of grading on my part, but also a lot of writing and thinking on their part… it was so great! It would also give me the best indication of who was going to thrive in my class and who was really going to struggle…

As I’m sure many teacher-readers out there probably know, that first set of essays is always a little bit rough to read. I spent many a first weekend just like, oh no… what have I done with the last month of my life?

It certainly gives me nostalgia, though, thinking about those students and the butterflies we all felt for that first big assignment: My class was notorious for having a big essay every weekend. Big ideas, lots of reading, and a freaking essay every weekend. Well, not every weekend… but most weekends. History class is a writing class in my point of view. It was such a bitch to grade. They probably spent as much time writing them as I spent grading them… that part never gets easier, either. But seriously, though… those were the days. I miss them, just a little bit. The best part, though, is that I know there are a handful of my former students who are, at this very moment, thinking about how awful Christopher Columbus is. They’re probably thinking about my ranting and raving in class about it, too! hahaha… a teacher’s reach!

It makes me, for just a small moment, want to go back. But then I remember the rest of it…


It has been a lovely 3-day weekend, filled with much sleep and beer and relaxation. The Husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with a dinner at a quirky little French restaurant up the road from us. It was strange and I was quite doubtful about it when we walked in but… the food… oh my God, the food! It was, in all seriousness, the best meal I’ve had in years. Outrageous! From the onion soup to the mushroom-filled crepes, to this paella (I know, not traditionally French!) that was to die for… It was not a cheap thing, so certainly not something we’ll be doing all the time… but for special occasions like this one? Yeah, we’ll be going back. It’s not every day that you get to experience that kind of cooking. The chef and owner has been at this for some 43 years and it shows. Outstanding! If you’re a Massachusetts reader, you need to end up in that restaurant. And don’t judge the book by it’s cover, either… I’m telling you… it’s quirky

The boys have enjoyed the time with their father, rip-racing up and down the yard as he raked leaves and did other tasks around the house. He’s anxious to do the winterizing and I’m resisting with the wholeness of my being. “You have the heat on and we’re leaking that good air,” he implores. “It’s going to be 70 degrees a few more times, and I must be able to open the windows,” I insist. It’s a battle that I’m going to be able to win only a few more times. Eventually that good cold is going to come and he’s going to just start sealing the windows and junk. It will be a very sad day indeed. In the meantime, mornings in the playroom (which is not insulated) are already pretty cold and the boys are resisting going in there. Again, I’m resisting putting in the space heater (curious, curious boys… melty, melty toys!) but I know that’s going to be an inevitable step as well.

I wish that I had more time to write, as we’ve encountered a kindergarten conundrum that I very-much want to share… but my neighbors are coming over for burgers this afternoon and I have to prepare. Again, what a difference a year makes, no? I feel like I’m entertaining all the time: Pastor last Friday, neighbors today, we have a playdate on Thursday and an “early dinner” and drinks with friends and their kids… This farmhouse is poppin’ all the time now! I’m not complaining one bit. Remember, this house was empty for some 5 years before we bought it! It’s nice to fill it with laughter and conversation. As strange as it might read, I think that the house feels how much we love it.

There was not a single knitted stitch this weekend, nor a word of fiction. I’ve gotta get on the horse tomorrow in a big way! I didn’t actually mean to take the whole weekend off–there were just never large enough blogs of time to get anything done! Here is the good news: I’ve got a fantastic idea for NaNo and I’ll explain what I’m going to do on Wednesday. The other good news: I’m just about out of the woods with my larger project. By “out of the woods,” I mean that the slow part is over and it’s about to get fun again… I think… and that means it’ll be done soon…. I think. My goal now is to have this first draft done by Christmas.

I know… I know… don’t even get me started. I’ll explain on Wednesday! WEDNESDAY! You can wait until then, right?


Do me a favor: Watch baseball tonight and cheer for my beloved Orioles. Can’t explain why. Just… do it for me.

See you Wednesday with many answers!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Have you taken the trim off the windows and insulated the gaps between the rough openings and the window frames? That will decrease heat loss considerably since that’s where most of it is in older houses.

    Throw some bubble wrap on top of a pane sprayed with water to give you some inside protection without sealing the window shut for the season. Hang a curtain or drape, and boom, quick weather proofing with total access for fall. Then seal em up in late November.

    Also, consider building a film frame, or if you will, a window to cover the window. You can make it out of any cheap material: carefully attach some good plastic or film, weather strip the frame and hang it right on the wall over your existing window. Saves time with sealing and unsealing too; you just pull the frame from storage and stick it to the wall. 3M makes great stuff that sticks good but doesn’t tear the paint off. Good luck!

  2. So glad to hear you’re so happy in the ‘new’ space!!

    I must have been following you for a while cos I remember when you found a place you guys loved and had a gazillion meeting about the possibility of moving in, and you thinking through the pros and cons (I believe you were worried about one room – the kitchen? – being slightly smaller/less functional than you hoped for if I remember correctly…)

    And really sorry I’m not very good at conversing, I tend to write a comment and smile at your response but not actually respond to it. I will be better.

    Yeah, Columbus Day is such a weird thing to celebrate from this vantage point. As of Friday our school holidays are called ‘Toussaint’; kids get two weeks off, adults get a long weekend. In France it’s ‘All Saints’ I believe, but in Martinique people use it to talk about Toussaint L’Ouverture the way I understand it, which ties in perfectly to Kreyol day at the end of the month!

    O – and looking forward to reading you over at Black Millenial Musings soon…

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