Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hello November!

     The start of November means the end of the 31 Days series and me trying to decide what to write about again :)  I thought today that I would just take a few minutes to catch up.

Halloween
     Last night we "celebrated" Halloween. When I was growing up, my town had no trick or treating. I'm not sure of the reason the town didn't have trick or treating. Every year our school put on a Halloween party called Operation Goblin. It was like a school dance with costumes and candy. I was never really into Halloween, but as an adult I enjoy getting out in my town, meeting new people and trick or treating with the boys. I also enjoy seeing my students have a little fun and dress up.  This year Timmy was Harry Potter and David was a ninja. If you can't tell, Timmy's hair is colored black. I rather like it. He actually could pass as my son now. :)
     This year we invited Timmy's new friend from England to come with us. I have become friends with his friend's mom and I really enjoy spending time with the whole family. We also stopped by a former colleague's house, which is an annual tradition for us. It was a beautiful autumn night and we had a lot of fun.


Decluttering
      The beginning of last week our 5th graders had a field trip, which gave me an extra prep period. I had wonderful intentions for this time, but when it came I literally found myself sitting in front of the computer, completely zoning out. A former student who now subs at the school came by to say hello and scared me half to death when he came in.  At this moment, I realized I was really stressed out and that my head was stuffed full of to do lists, ideas, reminders, and emotions. I saw that I was really overwhelmed and that I was unable to focus properly. This doesn't happen to me often, but when it does it's pretty serious.  So, on Wednesday, I stayed after school to correct 45 projects that had come in the day before, clean a little of my classroom and organize some papers that had been hanging around for way too long. You really have no idea how much havoc 200 students randomly touching things in a classroom over the course of 1 day can do. I didn't get it immaculate, but I got it clean enough to not be distracting to me.
      It is a cold, damp, rainy day in Massachusetts today. The sun is not out. It is starting to feel a bit raw. I decided to do some more decluttering at home. Do you have a room in your house (apartment in our case) that becomes the panic dumping room when you need to clean the rest of the house quickly? Yeah, well, unfortunately that room is our bedroom. It has been for a long time. I would post a picture if I was REALLY brave (and not afraid of being reported to Hoarders.) We have too much stuff. Sometimes it is obvious that we abundantly blessed and other times it is a reminder that we are not as responsible with money as we should be. Again, this room is a huge work in progress but I feel good about the work I did today. Perhaps my November project will be to try to turn this room into a sanctuary rather than stressor. In order to get this done I have to 1) remind myself that it didn't become a mess overnight, 2) part with materials/resources/stuff that at one point I felt I really needed and 3) remind myself that many times my outside clutter turns into emotional clutter for me. Any of my friends, feel free to ask me how this project is going throughout the month so I stay accountable.

Goodreads giveaways
    Did you know that Goodreads does giveaways?  I enter them a lot and have won quite a few books. I love this because it has given me a chance to try some new genres of literature and to have been exposed to some new authors. In addition to this, I have actually chatted with a few of the authors online. Most recently, there were a few books I tried to win, but didn't. A few authors contacted me and offered to give me a copy of their e-book instead if I was interested. I thought it was really generous. (The 4 authors that have done this are Levi Stack, Grady Miller, Holly Michael, and Bill Harrison.) I'm going to start the Card Game Series by Mr. Stack tonight.

     If you are on Goodreads, looking for the giveaways, you can find them by looking at the pull down menu next to "explore." Good luck and I hope you win some fun stuff! While we're on the subjects of books, what are you currently reading?

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