Monday, September 29, 2014

Birthday Week

Well folks, I'm 28 big ones today. You wanna know how I celebrated? By having to work over 12 hours due to parent-teacher conferences while running on way less sleep than normal.

Luckily, although Matt nor I celebrated much for our birthdays this year (his was last week), we have an awesome trip coming up to look forward to.

Even though this school year is going off much more easily than last year's did, I still feel like I never have time for anything, which includes blogging. I apologize for the silence around here lately--I'm hoping I can get back on the blogging train soon enough.

For now, I'm just grateful for how rosy 28 looks already--sure, we don't really know what all is going to be happening over the next year (since Matt and I are in the process of applying to PT school again), but what we do know looks pretty promising.

Here's looking at you, 28---

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oh Sure--All of our Saturdays Look This Grand...

Well, we got a good start on my to-enjoy list for fall---right after I hit "publish" on my last post, I looked up the info on the closest you-pick apple orchard and found that it opened that very same day! Since mine and Matt's Saturday didn't have anything else set in stone, we packed ourselves up in our Buick and drove off to Paradise (literally, that's the name of it) to the cutest darn orchard you ever did see.

Welcome to Paradise Valley Orchard, an organic farm that boasts 23 varieties of apples and the best homemade cider I think I've ever had. We were helped right away by one of the staff, who pointed out which varieties were already ripe and then turned us loose with a bucket apiece.

I'd never been to a you-pick place before, but Matt and I have already decided to go back again and again. Not only was it the most sun-drenched, breezy autumn day, but as soon as we sunk our teeth into the first dusky, crisp apple, we knew we were going to have to return, and stat (especially when the Red Delicious comes into its own come November). Oh, and the best part? Each pound of apples costs only $1.50.

Yeah, if you're at all in the area, you need to check it out.

It's been awhile since I've done anything outside of work, laundry, cooking, and sleeping (hence the lack of exciting blog posts), so it was refreshing (to say the least) to yank myself out of my routine and get myself out into the beauties of the outside world. It made me even more motivated to check some more items off my fall to-enjoy list.

(Matt doing some heavy lifting after we'd filled our buckets)

Now, if you'll excuse me--I need to go sink my teeth into one of those round orbs of deliciousness that tastes like a perfect blend of summer rains, heavy sunshine, and that fine dust that only seems to coat home-grown apples.

Happy fall, everyone!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

To-Enjoy List: Fall

I seem to always forget how much school consumes my life, especially at the beginning of the year. When you go from having free rein of your time to working 50-60 hours a week, it all of a sudden seems like I have no time for fun anymore (especially since our weekends lately have been taken up by obligations other than relaxing or exploring).

And as I walked out of the school a couple days ago and smelled the crisp scent of leaves in the air and felt that just-cool-enough breeze, I knew that I didn't want to let this beautiful (but fleeting) season pass me by.

I know it's become basically a cliche in Blogland, but here are ten things on my "to-enjoy" list for fall (since "to-do" list seems to take all the pleasure out of it):

1. Make salsa from the fresh produce in our garden. I've hardly done anything with the abundance of vegetables spilling out of our garden beds this year, and even though I've nixed the idea of canning, I think fresh salsa might be just the ticket to remind me why I go through all the work of keeping a garden.

2. Visit a pick-your-own apple orchard. I know it is so cliche, but I've never been and have been craving homegrown apples for weeks now. For anyone around Cache Valley, Utah, we'll be checking out Paradise Valley Orchard for this one!

3. Get tickets for the Odyssey Dance Theater's performance of "Thriller."

4. Use at least one of the cans of pumpkin that's just been sitting there on my shelf gathering dust for two years. I'm thinking one of these two scrumptious recipes above (links below pictures).

5. Go on a fall photo walk. (I'll be doing several family photo shoots in the leaves for my photography business, but I want to make sure I carve out a walk that's just for my fun and enjoyment.)

6. Finally take Matt to North Logan's Pumpkin Walk already! Every year, the city of North Logan puts on this fabulous pumpkin walk featuring some of the most fabulous and creative themed pumpkin displays you've ever seen. Matt has never been, and I haven't been since 2008. Unacceptable, people!

Both boots: Urban Outfitters

7. Invest in a good pair of knee-high boots. I'm not positive how much of an "investment" this can really be (since I know a really good pair of boots is going to run me at least $150-200), but I'm tired of having to buy new boots every winter (esp. since none of them seem to keep moisture out when I'm walking through snow). Considering I've never really bought many things that were much of an "investment," I don't even know where to look. Anyone know of any reputable boot-selling stores?

8. Buy myself some mums to put out on the front porch.

 9. Watch A Charlie Brown Halloween and see if I can find that old Disney (Mickey Mouse) Halloween special. My mom taped the Disney special on VHS tape back when I was like five. I watched it every single year growing up (and then some), so it's become synonymous with all the feel-good parts of Halloween. Now I just need to find it again...

10. Come up with a Thanksgiving tradition for just the two of us. We always do the big family dinner with parents, siblings, nieces/nephews, etc., but I want do come up with something that's just for Matt and me. Any ideas?

Anything I should add to my list?

Friday, September 5, 2014

5 Signs You're Becoming an Old Fogey Before Your Time

images via Hallmark

1. You have started to refer to the (loud!) university students who recently moved into the complex next to yours as "those dang college kids." The ironic thing? Your husband says the same thing, even though he is actually still in college as well (albeit in his last semester).

2. You get disproportionately anxious if you go out to dinner past six o' clock, complaining of the crowds, the noise, and especially, the lack of the early bird special. To you, there is nothing better than a diner at about 4:45 P.M., when it's just you and all the (real) senior citizens.

3. It no longer bothers you when people refer to you as "ma'am."

4. You go to bed before nine regularly, sleep poorly, and wake up before 6 A.M.

5. When hearing about your husband's shenanigans in junior high, you pointedly tell him that had he pulled such stunts in front of you as a teacher, he would have at least gotten lunch detention. When he tries to explain that all boys roughhouse growing up and that it was funny to trip his friends in the halls, you give him your best icy-teacher glare, as if encouraging him to think carefully about his actions.

Sadly, I am guilty of every last one of these in the last week (three out of five happened in the last 24 hours alone).

Apparently I'm a 72-year-old woman living in a 27-year-old body.

No big deal.

Another bad sign I'm getting a bit crotchety?

It's only noon, and I feel like I've heard enough whining and chattering and stupid questions to set me off 'til next Thursday.

So this is what comes with turning 28 this month, I guess...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

No One Does Tired Like a Teacher

My teacher friend tagged me with this cartoon after the first week of school, and I just couldn't have put it better. Seriously, you've never experienced tiredness until you've enjoyed an entire summer's worth of delicious sunny free time and then had to whip your butt into shape to teach full-time again.

The only other group that could possibly relate would be new parents.

'Nuff said.

It is because of this exhaustion that I've been scarce around these here parts as of late. I don't feel bad about it, but I'm telling you so that you're aware that I haven't, in fact, discovered that the world is flat and dropped off the edge of it.

In other news, we have eaten steak two nights in a row (score!), and I haven't felt like reading one more thing than I have to, which means I haven't touched a book for two weeks (*gasp!*).

My students would be so ashamed.

I also live in the copy room of the school.

I don't remember the start of last year being so hard to adjust to work-wise (although student-wise, I never did adjust to that group last year). Of course, I'm sure if I read back in my archives, some blog post or other would say something to the effect of, "As soon as I' finally adjusted to my 5:40 wakeup time, it was Christmas break, and I had to re-train myself all over again." True story.

The good news is that my students are still in that honeymoon stage where they're doing all they can to please me (aka, suck up to me), which is a nice change of pace, considering I never got a honeymoon phase last year. It was more like "wham, bam, ha ha you were totally warned about how bad this was going to be."

This year, I've already had students who have finished their first reading assignment. WHEN IT'S NOT DUE FOR ANOTHER MONTH.

I rest my case.

Oh, and if you need to reach me in this first little adjustment phase, I'll probably be napping. In the copy room. Not reading anything. (And dreaming of more steak!)

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