Slice of Life #22

After eating two hamburgers in as many days, I’ve been trying to eat healthy today.  Especially as one of those hamburgers was from Cheeburger Cheeburger and the other from Five Guys.  Bastions of health, right?  So last night’s dinner was a salad and I had an egg omelette on a tortilla for breakfast this morning.  Lunch was a turkey sandwich and pretzels.

Then it was dinner time.  Chris had class tonight so I don’t cook when it is just me.  That meant stopping for dinner after running errands this evening.  After some thought, I decided I felt like sushi.  To Wegman’s, then!

It’s been a while since I bought sushi at Wegman’s, and wow do they have a lot of choices now!  There was sashimi in the sushi case!  But I settled on California rolls with tuna sashimi.  And it was delicious.  And a palate cleanser.  And I am very glad I decided on sushi for dinner!

Slice of Life #21

This morning Chris and I were up and out of the house by 9:30am.  Where were we going so early on a Sunday morning?

The dog beach!

It’s been so gorgeous lately that we decided to spend the morning at the dog beach with Dublin.  It’s one of his favorite places  and would let us get out and enjoy the weather.  It took us about 35 minutes to get there and once we were in town, Dublin started whining.  It’s like he knew where we were!  Needless to say, I love the Jersey shore during this time of year.  Parking is ample, the beaches aren’t crowded, and everyone out is actually from Jersey.  :)

We parked and made our way to the dog beach, which was packed with dogs and humans.  Once we were about halfway down the beach, I unhooked the leash and let Dublin run free.  Within seconds, he had made new friends and the whole pack was racing down the beach.  Dublin is as fast as anything and loves to have other dogs chase him.  They ran in the sand, through the water, and even among the dunes.  ALmost instantly, he was soaking wet and covered in sand.  Needless to say, he loves it!

We spent about 45 minutes at the dog beach and then decided to take a walk on the actual beach.  From October-May, dogs are allowed on the beaches in New Jersey, not just the dog beach.  Because the dog beach is on the inlet, there are very few waves.  Dublin had a ton of fun on the Atlantic Ocean side, jumping over the waves and trying to bite the whitecaps.  We walked a bit down the beach, meeting a few other people along the way- families playing in the sand, fishermen, and other walkers.  Dublin stopped periodically to dig in the sand and attempt to carry clam shells down the beach.

All in all, it was a great day. :)

Slice of Life #20

“How long do you think the line will be?” I asked Chris as we drove down the highway.  We were heading towards Rita’s for our free Italian Ice.

“Hopefully not that long,” he replied.

As we drove closer, I was happy to see there was not a line of cars on the side of the road, as there has been in the past.  We had decided to go around dinner time, under the assumption that there would be fewer people in line.  Friends had told me they waited an hour or more earlier in the day!  But as pulled in, the line looked more than manageable.  In fact, there were three lines.

As we got out of the car, I stopped Chris. “How many students do you think I will see?” (We were in the town where I teach).

Chris responded with, “Three.  Definitely.”

We made our way to the line and spent the next few minutes perusing the flavors.  What would we get?  Lemon?  Wild black cherry?  Pink Lemonade?  A cream ice- like mint chip, cookies and cream, or smores?  I settled on Florida orange, with Lemon as a back-up in the event that my first choice was already gone.

Chris was a little braver.  He decided to get Peeps.  Mostly out of curiosity.

As we moved up in the line, one of the girls in front of us turned around and saw me.  She quickly turned back to her friends and Chris leaned over, “They are fighting over whether or not to say hi to you”.

I saw that one of the girls was in my 8th period class.  We said hello and she blushed and giggled.  Then, I turned to my right to see one of my former students.  I saw her twice this week, after not seeing her at all since school let out in June.  She burst into giggles and we exchanged hellos.

“Can I help you?” the girl at the counter asked.  She looked like she had had a long day.

“Can I get a Florida Orange and  Peeps?” I asked.

She quickly made the two cups and brought them over.  As we turned to walk back to the car, I saw a third student of mine.  Chris was right on the money.  But before I could laugh, Chris tasted his Peeps ice.  Judging by the face he made, the neon yellow treat was not good.  I offered to share my delicious Florida orange if he dumped his out.  Needless to say, we drove away and left behind a pile of bright yellow Peeps Italian Ice on the grass.  It was gross!

Slice of Life #19

I had a district day today, which meant getting out of school a little earlier than usual.  Nothing beats driving home with the windows down, music blasting, and the breeze blowing through the car.  The only thing that can ruin it is arguing with the manufacturer of my brand new dishwasher.

Since Chris and I bought our new Bosch dishwasher, it has been nothing but a problem.  Lowes delivered it at the beginning of February and it has never worked.  If I run it on a normal cycle it runs all day.  Literally.  As in, I ran it when I went to school and came home to find it still running.  Bosch sent someone out from a repair company and they told me it needs a new computer.  That was 3 weeks ago and no one at the service company will answer my phone calls.  So today I called Bosch again and was given the number of another repair company in the area.

That meant spending another 40 minutes on the phone with the repair company, explaining the situation.  And answering the same questions.  But hopefully, I will have a new computer or motherboard sometime next week.  And then my dishwasher will actually work.  If I had to spend all that time on the phone, at least it was beautiful out!

Slice of Life #18

Some days are just ice cream days.  There is nothing better than sitting on the couch watching NBC’s comedies and flipping to the March Madness games.  It’s been a tough few weeks, with the budget cuts and knowing I will most likely get RIFed in a few weeks.  But March Madness is my favorite time of year.  No matter what.

I missed the first few games because my prep is in the morning this year.  I managed to catch the last 15 seconds of the Villanova game after my students left for their buses and that was a close one.  Almost burst my bracket wide open!  Thankfully, they pulled it out.  Then I took Dublin to the park, where one of my best friends texted me updates from the games being played.  Damn Vandy messed me up.  I got home and was able to cook dinner while watching the end of the second set of games.

Then Chris and I watched the NBC comedies and I flipped back to the games during commercials.  I screamed at my TV (like most of America) at the end of the Georgetown game!  Yeah, that one destroyed my bracket just a little bit.  Ugh.  And now I am eating my chocolate chip mint ice cream, waiting for the last few games to start.  Ice cream and March Madness makes everything better.  :)

Slice of Life #17

St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday.  Obviously, I am very Irish.  My dog is named Dublin.  I have a cat named Guinness.  Chris and I even got engaged in Dublin last year.  If that didn’t prove it, I also burn in the sun and can’t tan for my life.  So needless to say, I love St. Patrick’s Day!

I love to dress up for the holiday, but today’s weather threw a wrench in my plans!  Last year I went all out- shamrock tights, green sequin shoes, shamrock earrings, and green from head to toe.  When I saw today’s weather I was thrilled because it was supposed to be almost 70 degrees.  But how do you dress for Ireland when it’s sun and blue skies?  After oversleeping by 20 minutes this morning, I started throwing clothes all over.  Luckily, I had purchased a St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt from Old Navy that proclaimed “Go Green!” with a shamrock emblazoned across the front.  I ended up wearing my jeans, the tshirt, a long pink/orange cardigan, green headband, St. Patrick’s Day socks, and pink & green boat shoes.  Maybe it was green overload, but it was awesome. :)

One look in the mirror and I was downstairs to throw my Guinness beef stew in the crock pot before heading off to school.  I grabbed my Irish soda bread biscuit and a chocolate milk for breakfast and raced off to school.

Slice of Life #16

65 degrees.  A gorgeous breeze blowing through the trees.  The perfect day to spend at the park after work.  So I flew home from school, put the leash on Dublin, and put him in the car.  Within 25 minutes of school letting out, we were at the park.  The sun was shining and Dublin had a blast racing around the park and hearing the mud squelch beneath his paws.  We ran around and chased the other dogs for about 45 minutes before the park emptied out.

Because Dublin was still a bundle of energy, we decided to do our second favorite thing- hike.  We spent the next half hour playing in the woods and it was actually warm enough for him to go in the creek.  Dublin loves the ocean but he had never seen a creek up close until today.  Needless to say, one he realized it was moving water he was sold.  On the extended leash, about 10 feet long, he ran up and down the creek, leaping from bank to bank.  He kept sticking his nose in the water and snapping his mouth, attempting to catch the leaves that were racing by in the current.  It was hysterical!

He may have ended up covered in mud and soaking wet, but it was totally worth it!

Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas- Appositives and Picture Books

Last week while planning my lesson on appositives, I knew I wanted to use a picture book to show my students how often writers use appositives.  And because I have  practicum teacher who would be teaching the lesson in one class I wanted to make sure the lesson was fairly straight forward.  I looked through a bunch of picture books and was thrilled when I saw that Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas was chockfull of appositives!  Even better?  My students are currently obsessed with Greek mythology, thanks to Rick Riordan’s books.  Young Zeus seemed like the perfect match for the lesson.

The back of the book says:

This is the story of how young Zeus, with a little help from six monsters, five Greek gods, an enchanted she-goat, and his mother, became god of gods, master of lightning and thunder, and ruler over all. in doing so, he learned a lot about family. Who knew that having relatives could be so complicated, even for a god?

Zeus is a young god in the story, being raised by the she-goat Amalthea.  When he learns the truth about his father, Cronus, he is determined to rescue his brothers and sisters.  That way, he will have someone to play with.  What child (or god) doesn’t long for the perfect playmate? A fantastic introduction to Greek mythology, kids will love this one.  Teachers will love it even more for it’s well-written prose.  The artwork is also gorgeous.

Plus, it uses tons of appositives!  A great way to show students the many ways appositives are used by “real” authors.  By the middle of the book, students were raising their hands to point out appositives as we read.  They also drafted their own sentences about the gods and goddesses, using appositives, after we finished reading the story.

*Review copy courtesy of the publisher


Slice of Life #15

Today I finished up teaching my students about appositives, using an activity from Jeff Anderson’s Everyday Editing.  I was a little hesitant at first, because my students can be a handful sometimes, if given a hands-on project (especially on a rainy Monday morning!).  But I decided to jump in anyway.  During my newspaper meeting, I put together the booklets and set them up, in order to save time.  I knew that having the students do it in class would result in us using most of the class period practicing following directions. ;)

To my surprise, all four classes were awesome!  They wrote their five sentences, copied them into the booklet with minimal distraction and questions, and in each class at least one student realized what we were doing.

“Wait!  This is like Madlibs!  You can mix up the sentences!”

With that, I would have them demonstrate for the class.  For the next few minutes the students would mix up their sentences, with sudden gales of laughter coming from different corners of the room.  Each student shared their silliest sentence.  And man, some of them were silly!  But by the end of the period, they were appositive experts.

I love when a lesson works out better than you planned.  :)

Slice of Life #14

“What do you want?  A McFlurry?” Chris leaned over and asked as we pulled into the drive-thru lane at McDonald’s.  We had headed out into the rain so that Chris could pick up the holy grail of milkshakes- the Shamrock Shake.  He looks forward to them all year long.

“Nah, just a small chocolate milkshake,” I told him.

“Welcome to McDonald’s, can I take your order?” The speaker crackled to life.

“Umm, yeah.  Can I get a small chocolate milkshake,” Chris began. “And a McFlurry”

“Rfdnsa dasjfskaj” crackled the speaker.

“No!” I hissed at Chris.  “Not a McFlurry!”

“Oreo or M&M?” the speaker deadpanned, very unenthusiastically.

“Oh, not a McFlurry,” Chris corrected himself. “A Shamrock shake.”

There was a pause.

“Uhh, we don’t have those.”

Suddenly, the air was sucked out of the car and Chris was deflated.

“You don’t?”

“Forget it,” I told Chris.

“Never mind then,” he spoke into the speaker as we pulled away, disappointed.

Year #2 with no Shamrock Shakes. :(

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