Thursday, April 17, 2014

Queen Elizabeth

This is definitely one of the coldest springs I can ever remember. That cold keeps hanging on. I grew up with the elders saying there is always one last cold snap before Easter. I think it is often true, and most definitely this year.

My roses garden is planted and growing, but all are newly planted this year except one. What should be the season for roses galore, are just little bushes that I am nurturing and checking on twice a day. 

The Queen Elizabeth is beginning to bloom. She did survive the dogs, and she couldn't be lovelier.

And to my great delight, one of the new plants has a bloom. 

Meet "Oklahoma".

Stay tuned...

The Big Step

Well, I took a big step towards letting go of teaching this week. When I took the science coach position three years ago, I found it difficult to get rid of anything. Finally out of desperation for space, I did give three-fourths of it away.
BUT...much to the family's dismay, I still had a whole area downstairs full of tubs. I claimed those tubs were all science, and that I would get rid of them at the end of the three years. Well, it is here...

However, it isn't all science - it is the stuff that I just could not bring myself to part with.

I have been trying really hard for the last month to look through it and start the process. I know I can't keep it all forever - what good would it do to sit in a box not used ?----so, with the last few tubs I have tried hard to think of someone special to take each piece. Someone who would appreciate each piece and value it at least half as much as me.

The first thing on the big step was a class set of novels that I used each April/May to finish out the year. The novel is Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles.

If I were a writer, I would have written this book. I used it to teach every subject and did my best to make it come alive. From a teacher's standpoint, it has everything you could possibly want. It is the "great teacher novel." Some of the many things I loved about it...

  • setting in the rural south
  • letter writing
  • small town newspaper writing
  • great for teaching writing skills...(onomatopoeia, vocabulary, voice, etc.)
  • life in a rural area...(4-H, gardening, community)
  • social studies (maps, comparing locations of Mississippi vs Hawaii)
  • the mother of the main character had my dream job  ----county extension agent)
  • the color pink
  • chickens
  • Orange Crush and peanuts
  • I could go on forever 
Small town newspaper articles throughout the novel.
Letters throughout the novel that tell the story, too

Oh, and did I mention that I have written the most incredible lesson plans to go with this novel.

Well, I put post it notes of what I did with each, and wrote a letter to a dear friend who now teaches in a rural school in my district. This friend was someone who I feel will take this and use it just as I did. I can feel good that more children and a great teacher will enjoy this great story.

Complete with a letter...she will understand when  she reads the book why I sent a letter on pink paper.

Boxed and ready to deliver.

I did send her an email and told her to be looking out for a package.

I am sharing this because I am now one big step closer to closing the door to my teaching career. I am excited about opening the new doors that I hope will be all about using that home economics degree for fun. Busy weeks ahead closing out the job, but I am very excited. 

36 more school days!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Faith and Hope

Yesterday, I felt a good bit of frustration at work. Well, maybe a lot! I am so close to the end of my career as public school teacher and more specifically as science coach for the last three years. As anyone would desire, I want to leave behind something of purpose...of value. However, I am working with a government grant as a science coach and with anything government related, there is RED TAPE (lots of it). Hence ----frustration.

 I am in this weird place between two very different worlds... one as a working girl for 31 years and one of retirement where I look forward to doing so many things I have dreamed of for so long. It is a strange place...I find it difficult to let go of school - one minute I am dreaming up the next great lesson plan - and then the next going - no, I need to clean out all my school stuff. 

I struggle with the unknown yet anxiously await it. Anyway, I guess the next few weeks will have me in this strange holding pattern where I feel like I am circling around with no clear path. I have been praying about the next stage of life. It is exciting and scary at the same time. I genuinely can't wait to retire and do some things at home that I have put off for far too long, yet, I am uneasy because it will be so different.

I absolutely love growing roses. I took pride in my roses for many years, but the last few years, the work load became so heavy, that I neglected my once prized rose bushes. Couple the neglect from the past few years with the most brutal winter this year I can remember for our area and that equals a dead rose garden. Only one hung on. It really is hard to kill roses, but they were toast.

In anticipation of the coming days, I have bought and planted all new roses but one. They are so tiny, but I have checked on them and babied them every day!

My tiny little bits of hope. The smallest one is a Chrsyler Imperial. I had to special order her.

I can't wait to see roses. They are so small, that it seems impossible that I will see any great roses this spring, but I hope.

My only one that held on from the previous years is my Queen Elizabeth.

Now, she is a hardy one. She was pulled up by one of the dogs, so she surely should have been the one to give up. Yet, she has held on and I can't wait for those buds to pop open.

I told my hubby the other day that for my retirement gift I wanted a dozen pink roses. That is so unlike me, as I am a very practical girl, but I told you retirement has me very emotional. I don't want a practical gift. For once, I just want a straight up SAPPY gift. 

This is not one of my roses, but it will be again. I am looking forward to the future.

And yes, I know my Heavenly Father has all the unknowns all worked out, so I will look forward and give my hopes to HIM and have faith that He has it all planned out.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

46 Days and Counting

I have 46 more days until I retire from my life of public school teacher. Well, that is 46 days to report to a building. I will have to work through the month of June finishing up grant paperwork and analyzing test data, but I can do that from the kitchen table:)

I am grateful for the past 31 years, but I must say I am looking forward with glee!!! I am so ready to get started on getting my house in order. I am going to be an organizing and cleaning machine. I also can't wait to do those little sewing projects.

So sad, this is all I have done in a week.. but, soon.

I am so excited to see this...

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love azaleas. In the south, they are a blessed sight each spring. They have been slow to bloom this year, in fact, many are still just buds like they are unsure of whether they should come on out and show off. This particular color is called "Pride of Mobile." It is my personal favorite.