Slice of Life March 16th, 2013 #slice2013

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My morning started with the sound of the vacuum downstairs as I got dressed for our walk with the dogs.  I thought it was odd that Chris was vacuuming, but I figured that the dogs must have knocked something down.  I just crossed my fingers that he wasn’t cleaning up a present from the cat.

When I got downstairs there was no sign of the vacuum, but Chris was smiling sheepishly as he stood with the dogs.

“There was a situation, but I took care of it, ” he said.

“What kind of situation?  Was one of them sick? Or did they eat something?” My mind began to race with possibilities.

“Just a situation.  It’s taken care of.  Don’t worry.”

I was not having any of that.  In the event that they did eat something they were not supposed to, I needed to know what happened. “No way,” I said.  “Tell me what happened.”

Chris glanced at Bailey, who was sitting at his side, gazing at him adoringly. “Well, I took Bailey out to the bathroom and …”

“She had a leash on, right?”  I could tell by his face that she had not been wearing her leash.

“We were just on the front lawn.  But then a lady walked by on the sidewalk….” he trailed off for a second.  I looked at Bailey, who was still sitting next Chris, smiling at him. “She ran after the lady.  It’s ok, though!  She didn’t really jump on her.  But I had to get her to come inside somehow.”

At this point, I still wasn’t sure how the vacuum figured into the story.  Bailey hates the vacuum, so he wasn’t luring her back to the house with it!

“So I grabbed a stick,” he continued.  “And she came right back.  But then I had to give her the stick.  And she brought it into the house.  Then Dublin stole it from her, then they played tug until it broke.  They both chewed part of the stick and it made a big mess.  But I cleaned it up!”.

He was so proud of himself for cleaning up the mess that I couldn’t even make a big deal about him breaking the rules and taking Bailey out without a leash.

Never a dull moment, even first thing in the morning!

Slice of Life March 11th, 2013 #slice2013

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Dear Weather,

Thank you for the spring-like temperatures today.  We were able to get out and take a nice walk after school!! We all needed the break and I finally went without gloves and a winter parka. It was glorious.

Love, Sarah

Dear Daylight Savings Time,

I am not grateful for the loss of an hour.  I’m still confused about what time it is.  But thank you for staying light until almost 7pm.  Seeing the sun still shining at 6:50pm made it almost worth it to have to walk the dogs in the dark again at 6am.

Love, Sarah

Dear Guinness,

Why must you hack up a hairball on my newly cleaned and vacuumed rugs?  It’s like clockwork — house is clean, cat pukes.

Love, Sarah

Dear Self,

Please try to get back on a normal sleep schedule.  Seriously.

Love, You

Slice of Life March 6th, 2013 #slice2013

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I never thought I would see the day when I prayed to not have a snow day tomorrow.  Especially when we haven’t had a day off since New Years Day!  But if we have a snow day, then  we will lose the first day of spring break.  Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, we lost all of the holidays between winter break and spring break and our last day of school is June 28th.

Yes.  I said the 28th. After starting school on September 4th.

Usually, I love snow days!  The dogs get to play, I can read all day, and I would even get to catch up on some grading.  But not this time.  I need my spring break and I need it intact!

So tonight I brought home all of the work I need to grade.  I figured that it’s Murphy’s Law — if I am over-prepared then we will have school. Hopefully that will counteract the kids who are wearing their pajamas inside-out and backwards tonight!

Slice of Life- March 2, 2013 #slice2013

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Today was the culminating activity for the science enrichment class I am teaching with my biology colleague (and my biology teacher!).  We spent 3 hours traipsing about the woods with the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and it was a great time.  We built eco-art, played games, and did some hiking.  It was cold, and even flurried for a good amount of time, but what a great day!

 

But my favorite part of the (freezing) day was on our walk back up to the parking lot.  I had been keeping an eye out for bluebirds, as I have been seeing them for the past few weeks but rarely have my camera with me.  I was thrilled to spot a group of bluebirds a few minutes later and whipped out my camera.  As I started snapping pictures, I got the attention of a few of our students.  They all froze and watched the birds as they hopped from branch to branch.

 

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds in Michigan, USA.

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds in Michigan, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Whoa!  I’ve never seen a real blue bird before!”, one student exclaimed with quiet glee.

 

“Me either,” a few others responded.

 

At that moment, I realized I was in my twenties the first time I saw a bluebird in New Jersey.  They were forced out of most areas by development and many conservation groups have been working hard to restore the population over the past fifty years.  Now, we are finally getting more of them in Monmouth County.

 

We watched the flock quietly for a few more moments, noting the contrast between the male and female bluebirds, and the sharp contrast between the red cardinal and the bluebirds.  It was a magical few minutes.  The bluebirds are just so bright and look like tropical birds flitting between the winter branches and few stalks of long grass.  They put a smile on anyone’s face!

 

I was so happy to be able to introduce these middle school students to the Eastern bluebird, and hopefully awaken a love of nature in them (even more than our 3 hour winter hike, maybe!).  Nature really is amazing!

 

A very blurry picture of one of the male Eastern bluebirds.  It's hard to keep the camera steady when your hands are frozen!

A very blurry picture of one of the male Eastern bluebirds. It’s hard to keep the camera steady when your hands are frozen!

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