Pages

Saturday, 22 December 2018

How Many More Sleeps?

I am writing this at 6:57 a.m. and I can hear Bruce crowing like a crazy beast in the chicken coop. No, I am not going out to open up the coop. Why is one crow not enough?? When are the "neighbours" going to start complaining and come over with an axe? But I digress. I have decided to just stop dancing around what I do for a living, so that you may have a clearer picture of my world right now. Husband and I are both elementary school teachers. I've been in this game for twenty-eight years now. Yesterday was the last school day before Christmas holidays. I am tired to my bones. The enthusiasm and craziness of the lead up to holidays is more of a young person's forte. At fifty-two years old, I crash at the end of the day, especially after a week of Sprit Day (every day  e.g. Ugly Christmas sweater day, Christmas hat day, Christmas pajama day...), the Festive Lunch for the entire school, carol singing in the gym every day, Festive skate at the community centre, and desperately wishing our salt dough ornaments were dry enough to paint. Do I still love it? Yes, but it's more tiring now. Add a spouse who's doing the same things (different school), and that equals two people who sit on the couch at the end of the day.

Anyway, when I came home yesterday, toting wonderful, thoughtful gifts from students and spreading them out on the kitchen table (and husband adding his own collection - we are never without Tim Horton's cards!), I declared that I would not be making food for anybody and phoned a restaurant in a nearby small town (everything around here is a nearby small town). It's nothing fancy, but the food is always good and there are always leftovers to bring home, which makes son happy. (He, by the way, was working his part time job, then happy to be seeing his girlfriend who is now home from university, and then going to coach his basketball team). We set up a reservation, and then I had a much deserved glass of red wine.

When we got there, we saw that the little shop two doors down had a new window display. I had featured this display in a previous post. There are always moving features and lights. I have no idea who builds these displays, but this one was very well done with details and quotes from 'A Christmas Carol'.


This centre piece rotates around with the before and after Scrooges, the after one featuring lights, and other parts of the display also light up at the same time.


Do you see the big goose hanging in the butcher shop window?


Well done, to whoever the craftsperson is who creates these wonderful windows.

As we quickly approach Christmas (my big gathering on the Boxing Day, a smaller gathering here as well on Christmas Day), the weather changes constantly. We had a ton of snow just a couple of weeks ago, then it became ridiculously mild and it rained and we lost most of it, and now the temperature is dropping and it's calling for more snow. Although I am not a fan of winter, I would actually like some snow on the ground for the holiday. The pretty outdoor lights would look better, and it would just feel more Christmasy. A couple of nights ago, the sunset was just incredible. This picture does not really capture the colour well, but imagine the sky on fire.


Notice the grass? Crazy.

Another sight from a few nights ago...


Scooter, just casually lounging on our kitchen table (excuse the clutter - that's life). This is a big no-no. Not that I am foolish enough to believe that they never go where they aren't supposed to, but to be so bold as to just be lying on the table when I'm around... tsk tsk.

I am still rushing about, trying to get ready for the gatherings. I did some more "baking" (these cookies don't really qualify as they don't spend any time in the oven). They are chow mein noodle cookies, or as son calls them, 'spiders'. Do you make these?


I have lists upon lists of things to do. I have always been a list maker. I have lots to keep track of. Some of the items on my list read, "put away boxes / stuff from front hall", "bake Christmas crack / marshmallow things / choc. cookies", "quick Swiffer upstairs", "wrap presents", "flies in kitchen lights"...

For what it's worth, the rooster has now stopped crowing.

45 comments:

  1. I was a Primary school teacher so feel your tiredness at the end of term.I retired quite a while ago and don't miss it!!!So many things to do ,hobbies to pursue etc.At what age can you retire?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have two years left, but if there was an early retirement incentive package, I would gladly take it. Not that I hate my job, I'm just running out of steam.

      Delete
  2. Few know the exhaustion and thanklessness of teaching. So many burn out.
    My wife and I were both elementary teachers.
    the best to you and yours
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's of those careers that people think they can relate to because everyone has been to school. You are correct, though, that unless you've actually done it, it's hard to understand. Yes, I knew that you and your wife were teachers, in the north, correct?

      Delete
    2. Too many corrects in that response. Ughh.

      Delete
  3. It sounds exhausting. I took early retirement 2 years ago( I was a nurse not a teacher) and can recommend it if you ever get the chance. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks you can recharge yourself, once Boxing Day is over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nurse is on the list of jobs I would never want! Ha, ha! But it is one of those jobs where you are putting out a lot of emotional energy all the time, like teaching. Financially, early retirement just isn't in the books, but it is awfully tempting.

      Delete
  4. My husband and I were both teachers at the same school and though I loved teaching we both took early retirement because time is so precious. Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We talk about retirement a lot. I think at least one of us will have to hold on until full retirement. We still have another one to put through post-secondary education! Husband and I were only at the same school(s) for very short amounts of time. I prefer being in different schools, actually.

      Delete
  5. I home schooled my girls and I know that I was exhausting so I can't imagine what it is like to have an entire classroom of children but thank you for what you do! I love those window displays and my husband and I were just talking about no stores these days do window displays like they used too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This store is just magical. Unfortunately, we only ever seem to see it after hours, when it is closed!

      Delete
  6. My daughter was a teaching assistant through pregnancies with her two eldest children. When you wrote about dropping your Christmas loot on the table, I flashed back to her last day on the job with her first pregnancy. She was starting mat. leave at Christmas break. She dropped her goodies on the table, sat down with her head on her arms and fell asleep.
    Our yard is a slush pit. Our tiny little cars have a really hard time getting though it. We've pulled both of them out of the ditch at the head of the drive several times! The coming nights look pretty cold so it should all firm up nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, being pregnant is tiring enough, but throw being a TA (or ed. assistant, or ECE, or whatever) on top of that, I can imagine she DID fall asleep! I hear you about the mud / slush. I'm ok with a little snow at Christmas, but not a storm because so many people have to travel.

      Delete
  7. That last photograph! Sheer indulgence. Haven't made any for years. Want one right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would share my Christmas baking with you any time, Pat!

      Delete
  8. I am a retired Primary Head Teacher from Scotland and completed 37.5 years befor e burnout. I retired with a reduced pension nearly 12 years ago and love my life wholeheartedly. Both my husband and I volunteer with various projects and I craft to my neart’s content. My daughter lectures in Further Education and is totally exhausted at the end of each term. Enjoy your much needed break.m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a very long time! At the most I will be about 30 years, which will be plenty. Burnout is very real, isn't it? Thank you and merry Christmas, Catriona!

      Delete
  9. My youngest son became a high school vice principal this autumn. He seems to work 24/7, evenings at the school as well as days. I was a little astonished. You have my sympathy, my appreciation and my gratitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou! I have never, ever had aspirations to be in administration!

      Delete
  10. Hello there!
    Thanks for sharing your sentiments about being a teacher...I can only imagine the exhaustion!
    We are moving along nicely here...preps going well...hahaha! Panic has not set in yet!🤭
    Wishing you and your family the Merriest Christmas...and Cheers! To 2019!🎊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda! I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas as well!

      Delete
  11. Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy the break from school. I substitute teach at our elementary schools. Oh my! I just turned 60 and when I get home, I am finished for the day! Especially after K and 1st, all that up and down to the floor. haha I do love it though and I sub for some wonderful teachers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tami! Substitute teaching comes with a whole package of challenges in itself!

      Delete
  12. Teachers do yeoman service all year long, but ESPECIALLY at Christmas! Enjoy your Christmas break and I hope you and your husband get in some serious relaxation time! Those Christmas Carol windows are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After the gatherings, we will indeed relax! Thanks, Debra!

      Delete
  13. Jenn... I am in awe of that window display. Such detail!! Hope you have lots of relaxation during your time off. You deserve it! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy, healthy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You have never ever sounded like a teacher to me. The exception that proves the rule I suppose. I like you the way you are. Don't change. Happy Christmas Jenn xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what a teacher is supposed to sound like! I know you were taught by strict nuns. I'm pretty far removed from that, I guess. But thank you, Rachel, and I sincerely hope you have a very, very good Christmas!

      Delete
  15. Have never seen chow mein noodle cookies, and no bake is even better! Merry Chrismas!

    ReplyDelete
  16. They've been around for a long time (my mom used to make them). I'm about to melt some peanut butter chips and stir them around with some coloured miniature marshmallows - more no bake treats! Have a merry Christmas, too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, I love those displays! What a lovely sight during the holidays. I've never heard of those cookies. I'm curious as to how they would taste. Enjoy the break. It does sound exhausting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martha! The cookies mostly taste like chocolate and peanuts. The chow mein noodles aren't cooked. They add to the crunch.

      Delete
  18. One last comment re: teaching. I had to work until 65 to get my full pension (years off doing child rearing) but I think my role as librarian and spec. ed. teacher meant less stress than a classroom teacher. I actually enjoyed all the activities around Christmas time right until the end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I like the activities, mostly because the kids like the activities, but after a full week, I reached my saturation point.

      Delete
  19. The Christmas displays are amazing. It's so nice when shopkeepers do something creative with their windows rather than just try to lure in customers. I hadn't thought you were a teacher. The kids must love your chicken tales. Have a Merry Christmas and hope you get some snow back!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It really was a lovely window display! Hope you have a very merry Christmas, too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Bless you for all that you do, and all that you try to do. I well remember when I worked FT as a branch library manager and how tired I would be some days after programs, programs, programs. The children benefit from your efforts, but I feel your tiredness, even though you love it all. And yes, I made those cookie things for years--we called them haystacks. I sent them to Germany, Iraq, Korea and Arizona when my sons were in the military and stationed in those places. Put those feet up now, and rest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sue. Funny, we refer to haystacks as the ones made with oatmeal, or coconut.

      Delete
  22. Your list sounds like mine!! Yesteday’s list was all cooking/baking....today’s list is all cleaning. Better get to it!! Merry Christmas and enjoy your Christmas holiday break!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today is wrapping day, and "some cleaning" day. Tomorrow is final grocery day and "rest of cleaning" day.

      Delete
  23. Love the window display.
    Hope you get a chance to relax a while …
    Merry Christmas to you.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  24. Merry Christmas Jenn. I hope you enjoy your break & that you get the sprinkling of snow. Both my fur girls ignore any semblance of rules of not being on the counter, or table. Maybe Scooter thinks if he keeps any eye out, there will be a gift for him. I don't make "spider" chowmein cookies, but they look tasty. This year my newest cookie creation was peanut butter thumbprints - Mr Man is enjoying & since I don't or can't eat peanut butter I'm not tempted (col). ... Mary-Lou =^..^=

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh Jenn -- everything about this post I love. I've been off the grid so late to the commenting party but I hope your Christmas was super happy and that Bruce cut you a break! I didn't know you were teachers and elementary -- I think that's just a critical time for kids to build the life skills as well as the academic ones that will need as they grow up. So good on both of you!

    I loved that display -- very clever and well done. And great with the Timmy cards! Good present! And Scooter. Oh, my! I have NEVER seen Lizzie on a counter but when I got home from Rick's on Christmas morning, her catnip (which was on the counter and not in an obvious place) was ripped open on the floor. I'd better be more aggressive in cleaning the counters every day!

    Happy Boxing Day yesterday and more fun to come in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi there, Happy New Year!
    I just discovered your blog via another blog. I just had to tell you we may be kindred spirits as my roosters name is Bruce and we once had a cat named Scooter. Plus I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Smiles & Hugs, Dolly

    ReplyDelete