Short but productive summer!

So here we are on the eve of the 2013/2014 school year!!! It was a very quick summer; mostly because I worked ESY (extended school year) and only had one week off between the end and the start of the new school year. I attended classes all summer too which really cut into my free time. Regardless, I managed to read quite a bit in July despite working, class and painting at school.

Therapy room... Fini!
New classroom wall color! #laboroflove #paintingwoman


I worked a lot at my club setting up, cleaning and  serving at the festa and at the cigar dinner. Thankfully, the summer ended with the usual family getaway to Abakee Cottages and it was a fantastic week of family time and relaxation! I’m a bit emotional at the moment as the boy is actually flying back to Hawaii for his senior year of college as aI post this!

Baby boy @doza401 is on his way back to school ... ?


Now that summer is winding down, there’s lots of cooking and canning to do. I started in with my domestic duties yesterday but there’s still more to go. Sauce, jelly, jam, salsa, etc.. I love me some organic produce!!!

Time to make some jelly. #homegrown #homesweethome #jelly #canning
Homemade hand cut chunky garden salsa. Yum!!! #organicgarden #homegrown #homesweethome #salsa
Love me some organic chard.... Mmmm good! #organicgarden #green #vegetables #homegrown #homesweethome
Tomorrow is another new year with yet another new administrative team…sigh…!  I’m really tired of this and I’m giving it a year and will see what happens. As for me, I’ll be giving 100%+ as always and am ready to take on the challenge of bettering myself and being the best teacher that I can be!

Pretty in pink. #nofilter #nh #abakee #vacation #winnipesaukee

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Time to get back to normal…

Without getting into much detail, I must say that the past few months have been a blur…. We had a medical scare here and while we still don’t have all of our answers and know exactly what was wrong, we now know that some serious, scary things have been ruled out. With the coming of spring and the good news, it’s time to get back to a normal life and schedule here. I’m hoping to be able to finally get a good night’s sleep without spending hours tossing and turning. I’m so ready to finally wake up rested for a change.

Tomorrow will be Day 130 at school, with 50 to go!  It’s that time of the year that I have lots and lots of paperwork and various individualized plans and assessments  to do for my students. In order to make it, I’ll be staying at school late and bringing work home a lot. April vacation starts on Good Friday, 4/10, and I’ll likely be working every day  on it during the following week.  I’m not going away anywhere and I have an appointment every day but the agenda will include  school work, working out, and yard work. I’m really hoping to have a good chunk of work done before vacation starts so I can do some relaxing too.

I finally was able to get my Pats website updated this week, after spending time fixing the bugs that prevented me from automatically updating. I also banged out a real quick Podcast after school today and hope to be more consistent with the draft approaching. The one thing that I’ve managed to do a lot of these days has been reading.  Since I’ve not been online much at all, I’ve been banging out the books!

I’ve also been able to go to the gym quite a bit, have been working out at home and after school with coworkers, and may run a 5k this weekend…. we’ll see how it goes! Meanwhile, despite the craziness in my life of late, I’ve personally been trying to take very good care of my health and balance it all.

It feels good to be back….

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Back to work



I’m still flying high from yesterday’s historic Inauguration Day and shed more than a few tears as it was very emotional. I had such a sense of pride in our nation and hope for the future. Hope that we’re REALLY going to take to heart that we’re all in it together and that there’s lots of work to do. We need to do it as a nation, with commitment and as a team,  and we ALL need to pull our own weight to make this a better place for all.

I was so happy to be sharing the event with my students. (It was my free period but I kept them with me as we’ve been anticipating it for a very long time and they were super excited.) Luckily, they were able to play it on the TVs throughout the building. I had brought my laptop in, just in case. It wouldn’t have been ideal to all gather around the 15″ MacBook Pro’s screen but it would have been better than missing it!  It was awesome to see them standing to salute the flag and singing the national anthem together. You could hear a pin drop in my room as all eyes were glued to the set.  As it turned out,  because we watched it on TV, I was able to pull up Tweetdeck and was able to tweet along with my friends and read the reactions from around the world.  The excitement continued right up until I fell asleep watching the festivities.

Just as Obama partied for one day then headed to work to deal with business today, the party is over at school as well. Between the snowdays, MLK events and the Inauguration, it’s been pretty hectic but special for the entire month of January. Today was a  “get back on track” day in terms of our routines and schedules and expectations. I’ll be starting some new units and upping the ante from here on out. Second quarter ends Friday and we’re fast approaching the halfway point at school.  There’s lots of learning to be done and time is flying by.

My To Do list is growing and I’ve got to start heading to bed at a decent hour again so that I can squeeze the exercise in. I’ve got lots of paperwork that I’ll be needing to do for work and I’m going to try to stay late a couple of days a week so I don’t have to take it home. (I carry it home and never have time to open the school bag once I’m here because I have a whole list of things to do here.)  I’m hoping to stay one day a week to plan and make copies for the following week and one day a week to work on assessment stuff and IEPs, PLPs, and other Special Ed paperwork.

I’ll also be out at night a bit for Jake’s wrestling meets but most nights I’m home with the girls. :-)  I’m tucked in now and will be rolling over to turn out the light soon. You can be sure that I’ll be drifting off to sleep with a smile on my face and determination in my heart.

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Winning Week

It was nice to see The Pats turn it back around this week and win the first of their two West Coast road games. While not the perfect game, we succeeded where it mattered most.. in the W/L column. Also sweet that the Sox beat the Angels for the ALDS and will be moving on to face Tampa Bay in the ALCS.

It’s a crazy week for me, loaded with meetings and appointments and we’re taking off  on Thursday to head out to San Diego. It’ll be a busy weekend and an enjoyable one even though the timing isn’t the most convenient with state testing at school this week. I’m also beginning the assessment window for my alternate assessment kids which is the cause of MAJOR stress in my life. I’ll just have to do the best that I can and not beat myself up over not being able to be superwoman.

I am looking forward to being able to do some reading on my flight, something that I hardly get to do during the school year. I just finished Educating Esme, an enjoyable diary of a teacher’s first year and could relate to many of the challenges that she faced in her inner city school.  She truly was a great teacher and an inspiration.

I’m still continuing on my early morning gym routine and since I’m going to bed earlier these days it’s getting easier to wake up before the alarm. Of course, it doesn’t allow me much time at night after getting everything packed up for the next day so my posting and podcasting has certainly dropped off.  (Sorry, but my health is a priority so bear with me, folks!)

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Yes, I’m still here…

It’s been an INCREDIBLY busy week and I’m feeling like I’m behind the 8 ball. I’ve yet to produce any content since last Sunday’s home game at Gillette (a game I’d like to forget but a tailgate worth remembering.)  My life has been all about school and meetings this week. Between new RI  IEPs, Alternate Assessment, parent nights, Teacher Support Team and staff meetings, football and dabbling in social media is far from being on the radar.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get somewhat caught up this weekend since it is the bye week and I have an extra 7 days before the next game. I must admit though, during regular (especially home game) weeks, the demands of my job may make it difficult to keep up. I know there are people that look forward to the Tailgate Reports and Podcasts but I can’t make any promises right now.

Karen & Zip at The Hall at Patriot Place

One of the appointments that I had this week was an invitation to the new Hall at Patriot Place. It was an awesome night and I definitely need to go back when I have more time to actually look at everything and watch all of the multimedia presentations.  It’s a hands on interactive place and is unique and unbelievable.

Part of the issue is that I’m also back to my early morning gym routine and in order to head there before school at 5:00 AM, I really do need to adjust my bed time back to a decent hour so I’m not going to be pulling any late nights at the computer.

I do love my Pats.. but real life is more important.

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Life is good :-)

Nothing but smiles from me!

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Free Rice

So, I got up early this morning with my girl and jumped over to FreeRice.com to play a bit… If you’re a word lover like me, check it out, spend some time, and donate some rice along the way.

If you’re not sure about it, give it a try and keep these things in mind:

  • There’s no penalty for wrong answers; you just don’t earn any rice for that question.
  • Consider the root of the word… that should tip you off!
  • They’re not trying to trick you, so I’ve found that things that appear too obvious are NOT.
  • Go with your gut!
  • Have fun and exercise your brain :-)

Btw… if you are a lover of words, be sure to check out a few of my favorite podcasts too.

The Word Nerds, Podictionary, and Grammar Girl.


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One Laptop Per Child: 7 days left!

I’m sitting here at work bright and early with a turkey in the oven for our Thanksgiving feast at school today. When the kids come in they will be preparing all of the food, making decorations, setting the table and serving the meal. It’s just part of what we do here and teaches functional cooking skills but it’s also an opportunity to practice appropriate social skills AND insures that each of my students will be enjoying a Thanksgiving meal this year.

I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new XO Laptop, which I’ll use to bring back and forth to school, for travel, and at training camp. It’s reasonably priced, is Linux based, is ultra durable, and uses cutting edge technology. I’m anxious to play around with it and see what it can do. I purchased it as part of the One Laptop Per Child campaign and I’m glad to be sending one to a child to infuse technology into their lives and education. There’s 7 days left to Give One, Get One and includes a year’s free T-Mobile hotspot wifi and qualifies for a $200 tax deduction. I can’t think of a better way to get connected and allow children access to all of the wonders of the world.


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