Sauce for the Goose
Musings of a frazzled mom, wife, student, and traveller through life in an itty bitty town.
11 August 2014
Posted by Gette J at 8:26 PM
07 August 2014
Well, hello there you few poor stragglers. It's been awhile, I know. Every time I come back to Blogger, I have renewed intentions of writing more consistently. You'll note, it's been mostly a biannual exercise in futility. Facebook and Twitter are terrible for writing stamina, encouraging shorter blurbs and pithy remarks rather than content and reflection. I am hopeful of a better run this time, though. I am renewing my intentions to practice what I preach when it comes to writing. Although the nature of the beast here is certainly more informal and conversational than academic writing, it's a way to limber up before the heavy lifting, so to speak.
I have finally completed my second license in ESL, and am merely waiting for the state to sign off on the new license, or cash the check, whichever comes first. This means I am currently finished with graduate classes, at least for the time being. I may eventually decide to complete an entire MS vs. the licensure only option, but I need a break. Wrapping up meant a couple of weeks of student teaching in the "new" content area, so just about the time summer started, I was back to work again. When I finished that, I wrapped up all the paper- and portfolio work, and lo and behold, it was July.
I had a couple of weeks scrambling to work on a Shakespeare project, then began slowly heading back to my classroom to get organized and ready for the upcoming school year, which begins the day after Labor Day. I needed a bit of a head start as we are now less than two weeks (Holy crap, did I just say less than two weeks? I did. ACK!) from our two-week trip abroad to Scotland and Holland.
Last time we went, we spent much of the trip telling each other, "Next time, we have to bring the kids." We weren't expecting "next time" to be quite so soon, but Karlijn, our second Little Dutch Girl, is getting married, and we wanted to be there. As we hemmed and hawed over costs and possible itineraries, we noted that her wedding year coincides with Scotland Homecoming, a promotion which occurs every five years, and that the coinciding Clan Macdougall gathering (iPastor's maternal clan) is the weekend before her wedding. A quick search found it was actually slightly LESS expensive to fly into Glasgow and back out of Amsterdam than a round trip. I'm sure it was a serendipitous glitch in fares, which bounce unabashedly, but we're completely taking advantage of it. And yes, this time, we are taking the kids, plus Thing 2's boyfriend, who's been around for five years and totally counts as family at this point. So, we will spend a week in the area near Oban, Scotland, then fly to Amsterdam and spend much of our time near Utrecht, Netherlands. Then we will come home and immediately get caught up in the festivities surrounding the wedding of iPastor's stepbrother.
This format feels much like a letter to distant but fondly-remembered friends, which it very much is in many cases. I will do my best to write more often and post pictures from the trip.
Posted by Gette J at 6:07 PM
01 January 2014
Rather than "resolutions," a friend posted a New Year's "Bucket List." I like how her bucket list items were very specific, and completely attainable. My ideas are still more ephemeral, and less specific. I haven't had the time to sit down with myself and formulate such concrete ideas, but I will start here and keep working at it. Putting these out here for accountability and support.
More reading for pleasure.
Lately it seems I only read for class, or inane crap on the internet. While there's plenty of delightful entertainment out there, there's also plenty of timesuck. I do also read articles on subjects that interest me, but I feel my patience for long-form literature waning with each bite-sized blurb. I need to rebuild stamina.
More writing for pleasure.
Again, research papers, case studies, lesson plans: blech. I want to write for fun. Or deep philosophic introspection. Right.
More active interaction with my kids.
We are actually making an effort to at least gather together with our various devices and distractions. It's actually a very pleasant way to pass time. I do not, however, want it to be the only way we spend time together, and that will require actually putting forth an effort.
I will try some sort of outdoor winter activity.
I HATE WINTER. I resent being trapped inside and I abhor the dark and bitter cold. I want to combat this by trying something I can enjoy outside in the snow. Perhaps snowshoeing or cross-country ski. We have paths nearby, and it's way less expensive and smelly than snowmobiling or ice fishing.
Send more postal mail.
I have done this in the past, and miss it when I don't. Also ties in with the writing.
More date nights/weekends/events.
We've been thinking about this, and got a couple in. Need to prioritize it and not let it fall by the wayside.
Thoroughly explore the possibility of a practicum abroad.
I need to put in 45 hours student teaching ESL somewhere. Why not overseas?
Start a Bitstrip chronicle of my life
I need to get going on some of these and get out of the chair. Hope everyone has a blessed 2014!
Posted by Gette J at 3:58 PM
20 August 2013
The waning days of summer have arrived, just in time for the heat to return. Uck. Also, iPastor is having some terrible neck pain, so if you're of the praying sort, put in a good word for him. He had a tough day yesterday, and couldn't get settled in well at bedtime. Subsequently, I slept fitfully, if at all, and finally got up and switched to the daybed in the library about 2:15. We have some trees that need trimming, apparently, because the branches squeaking on the windows infiltrated my dreams, making them...weird, to say the least. I was fretful, knowing iPastor had a 10am PT appointment, and I didn't want to oversleep if he was too sore to drive. I didn't have to worry overmuch, because by 5 am I was awakened by spatting cats, and iPastor stumbled back down at 5:30. I shambled about in a sleep-deprived daze most of the morning, and we ran some errands. When we got home, I made sure the kids weren't starving to death and planned a late lunch. I wandered up for a brief nap about 12:15, and once again didn't have to worry about oversleeping, because one of the Things decided they waited long enough for lunch and woke me with a text at 12:45. After that was said and done, I puttered around a bit, took another stab at a nap and failed, which just meant I was still tired and crabby, plus I didn't accomplish much anything of use, either. Wonderful. I trudged down to make smoothies, and dropped my slacks down the laundry chute on the way by, as I noticed a spot on them. If a gal can't run a blender in her underwear in her own kitchen, what's this world coming to, after all? I pulverized fruit and yogurt with the noise of a thousand chainsaws, according to Thing 4. I headed back to find new pants and go fetch my veggie share. I walked out of the kitchen to find every. kid. in. the. stinking. neighborhood. in. my. foyer. I don't know if the old lady underwear or slamming door shocked them most. So far, the rest of the evening has been uneventful, and I have to believe it can only get better from there. It was almost enough to make me look forward to going back to school. Almost.
Posted by Gette J at 8:21 PM
I went to a conference in Washington, DC, last month. I absolutely loved it. It was a good conference; a nice blend of USEFUL information and camaraderie, with enough free time woven in to check out some sights and spend a little time with a BFF. One of the highlights for me, however, was just being in the city. Not even a particularly big one, compared to Boston or New York with skyscrapers, but a busy, humming, diverse place with functional public transit (God bless it!) and choices. So many choices! In the two blocks around my hotel I could choose from a dozen different ethnic foods and a variety of shops (the Baskin Robbins store smelled really funky, though, so we opted for the frozen margaritas next door.) I love cities. I don't know if I'm cut out to live there full time, but I find a visit rejuvenating. I love the diversity.
In the boondocks we have limited choices, and the closest regional shopping towns are 45 miles east and south, respectively. Yesterday, I was forced to make the trek for a routine, work-related lab test that couldn't possibly have been done locally. As I drove home, though, I caught myself noticing, then made a concentrated effort to notice, the scenery around me. I often hear folks complain of rural scenery: one field after another, with only a road every mile to break it up. That's not what I saw, though. I saw fields of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets, hay, oats, stubble and freshly turned earth, all different textures, colors and heights. I saw the ditches filled with cattails, brown-eyed Susan, thistles, broadleaves and grasses too numerous to keep track of. Red sumac, silver maple, weeping birch, evergreens and other trees filled windbreaks and groves with a cacophony of color. Tidy little farmhouses with well-tended gardens and yard art alternated with sprawling, ramshackle farms with bikes, trampolines, pools, lazing dogs, and machinery scattered about. Here and there a burned or abandoned farm haunted the landscape, with its own particular beauty painted in charcoal colors. We do, indeed, have diversity in the countryside, it's just of a different sort. Though perhaps this brand of diversity is not as impactful on lifestyle, its essential to living.
Posted by Gette J at 7:43 PM
06 August 2013
Around here, you may frequently hear my husband or I refer to a task or an outing as "going fishing." One may quizzically ask what we mean, only to receive a rambling reply along the lines of, "well, we read this book once (well, actually we listened to it on tape) where the author, it was Lewis Grizzard or Robert Fulghum or someone like that, talks about going fishing but first he has all these chores to do and it ends up being more work than its worth, and it was really funny, you should read it..." By the time we eventually trail off, the poor questioner is sorry he asked and the whole ordeal reeks of "guess you had to be there." Twenty years ago, I worked at a piecework factory that had a library of books on tape to listen to at work, so I wasn't able to remember the author. I tried occasional google searches, but to no avail. Tonight I read an article about a photographer named McManus, and a little switch in my brain slammed shut, and the connection was made. A quick google later, and I am happy to share with you this link to "Sequences," by Patrick McManus.
Ok, so you have to copy/paste the link into your browser navbar, go to the page, then scroll down and click the hyperlink to "Sequences," but its totally worth it.
I guess you had to be there...
Posted by Gette J at 11:24 PM
20 July 2013
I may have killed my blender this morning.
Posted by Gette J at 10:13 AM
18 March 2013
The aforementioned kitchen reno has been rethought and scaled back, but still in the works. I did get a new bedroom door in the meantime.
I'm fighting off a cold, and Thing 4 is on his second round of antibiotics for a double ear infection. Poor kid.
Grad classes are tougher this semester. I do feel like I'm learning something, which is always a good sign. I need to write here more though. For fun. And read stuff besides textbooks. I've got a good ol' case of the winter blahs. Yuck.
Posted by Gette J at 7:12 PM