Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why do I need to work all time?

Summer, ah, summer, that time of rest and relaxation, renewal, refreshment--OK, well, maybe for other people. I seem to have lost the ability to relax and renew. I am stuck in the workaholic mode.

I spent a total of 40 years as a teacher or librarian and lots and lots of school children. Ah, I remember--in my youth--hearing that such and such had taught for 40 years before retiring. I thought--again, at the time--that anyone who spent that long teaching, that, well, something was wrong with them. I mean, come on, 40 years?!!

Now that I am now that teacher, I just want to know where the years went. Where? And why didn't I do something else. Was it destiny? Lethargy? Fear of the unknown? Love of the job? I don't know. I did look and found a couple of things, but at the last moment, returned to the classroom. Once I was offered a job as a flight attendant with a major airline and turned it down at the last minute and returned to the lesser paying job of English teacher. Another time I could have taken a pay cut as a publicist for a national motel chain. Chickened out on that one. Lesser pay? You've got to be kidding!

In August I will return for my 41st year as a teacher, this time my seventh year as a librarian. For the first time ever, I kind of look forward to it. Maybe cooler weather will return.

But to the point at hand: This is the sixth week of summer and I have spent the entire time painting my house. I've owned it (with the bank) for nearly seven years and this is its first new coat of paint. Actually, my house has vinyl siding. I know it is silly and anti-productive to paint vinyl siding, but I tell you the siding is pale yellow, maybe you will understand. Frankly, I don't like yellow, especially pale yellow. Additionally, it is paired with chocolate. Yep, my house was pale yellow and chocolate, the color combination I most dislike in  house color. Plus, dark green doors and grill work in front and peach shutters (my doing). Ug, I am so tired at looking at those colors and --

Since I plan to live here until the end, I want to live in a house with pleasing colors (to my eyes), even on vinyl. Sooooo, I picked a nice lavender for the siding, a deep grayish purple for the gutters, and a pleasant, cool, low-key chartreuse for the door and shutters. I love how everything looks now! Here are some before and after shots:


Not only have I been painting, but I am digging out this horrid root system in ALL my flower beds and vegetable garden. The thing has these hairy roots with little balls which wrap around any other "invading" root system (you know, flowers, vegetables, even new trees) and tries to suffocate it by poisoning the soil. This root system sucks out all the nutrients in the soil, hoping to kill the invader. Any flower, if it doesn't die, just sits there and does not grow. It just exists. Weird--

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.