Sunday, June 27, 2010


Off leash dog parks are great, but they would be even better if there were no people in them!! Dogs don't need humans micro managing their play time, however some humans have the embarassing habit of doing so.
Scout plays rough, there is no question about that. She is half boxer, so she "boxes" and wrestles all the time. She has been to the park enough to know how to pick suitable play mates and how to walk away from dogs who bark when they play (she finds that scary), dogs that are too small, (they are too slow,) and dogs that are too big. She chases dogs that like to be chased, she gets chased by dogs who like to chase and she boxes and wrestles with those will wrestle and box back and she licks everyone in between!
Today, Mom, Nic and I took Scout down to the park at 8am. Mom and Nic had come to help me pack, they are the best ever!!! Anyway, on the way down to the park, I explained to them about how the people at the park can be crazy protective about their dogs. I explained that I have been yelled at more than once by irrational, crazy dog owners who, clearly should never have taken their dogs out of the bubble wrap they came in! I retold the story about getting yelled at by a random stranger for using a transit stop garbage can as a disposal for my full doggy bag. Nic and I talked about how I wished I'd a had a snappy come back, how I wished I would have just pulled the poop bag out of the garbage and dropped it on the ground. I told her that in my head, I just kept thinking, how can someone be sooo grumpy at 6:30am????
Nic, Mom, Scout and I were having a really nice walk when Scout found a fun playmate. She took off running with the little collie looking pup. They chased and ran circle after circle around, clearly having the time of their lives. Nic ended up kicking up a ball that another dog must have lost. She bent over, picked up the ball and, because we were in an off leash dog park, with MY dog, she threw the ball. Scout chased the ball down, she loves balls, and the other dog took off after her. The two of them continued to run and chase eachother around. Mom, Nic and I were getting a kick out of watching the pups play. We were so engrossed in watching the happy dogs that it wasn't until she was right behind us that we heard a skinny older woman mutter insults under her breath. She was calling us "stupid people." That's right, a complete stranger in a dog park walked up to 3 very happy ladies and called them stupid, loud enough for them to hear her! Like what??? One of us said, "pardon me?" She replied with, "the dogs were having such a good time playing and then you went and threw the ball, then it all became about the ball. You ruined their play time." She was furious and once again, I found myself without words. I was stunned. Here I thought the dogs were having fun, they were playing, they were at an off leash dog park at 8am! Nic, on the other hand, didn't hesitate. She simply looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry your so grouchy at 8'0clock in the morning." And then we all walked away from one another.
Like I said before, off leash dog parks are great, but they would be even better if there were no people in them!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


We are packing to move to a house in the North West. We move exactly one week from today! We will finally have a yard and I am sooo excited!
Tonight, I filled a bunch of rubbermaid tubs and then...I labled them! I got a crisp white piece of paper, cut a perfect square and wrote in a black sharpie things like: Jeanne Winter Stuff, Marty Winter Stuff, Camping and Rain Gear. After neatly taping, (with Marty's fancy tape gun) the lable to the tubs, I stacked them one on top of the other. I stood back to admire my rubbermaid stack and couldn't stop staring! I love, love the organized neatness of a labled place for my stuff to go!


It's natural to chose to remember only the good things about people we have loved who are gone, however it is sometimes impossible to forget some of the other memories. With Father's day having come and gone, I have been thinking more and more about my Dad and how much I miss him. How much he would have loved being Grandpa to Max and how much he would have loved helping Marty and I move into our new (to us) house, ha! Anyway, there will always be those times of year, those times in my life when I particularily miss Dad, and all of our happy memories. But this moring, I realized that I kind of miss the irritating things about my Dad too.
I went to get my lunch out of the fridge today and Scout was sitting at my feet. After I had removed my lunch, but before I closed the fridge door, I bent down to give her some love. I stood there petting my dog with the fridge door wide open! This was Dad's pet peeve and still to this day, when I leave the door open for more than a second, I hear inside my head, Dad's voice nagging at me to close the door. This morning, I left it open a little longer, just enjoying the memory of his hollering.
A while backt I sat on the couch and ate an apple next to Marty. I ate the whole apple and Marty said nothing. He did not complain about my "loud chewing" at all. He just watched TV ignoring the fact that I was eating all together. Dad would NOT have sat and ignored my apple eating. He would have complained about me "chewing right in his ear" until I left the room. Apparently he hated the loud sounds of apple eating.

Yep, there are a lot of fun, happy, feel good memories, tones of them, but every once in a while I miss I miss annoying my Dad....and having a Dad to annoy!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I have been taking a photography class every Tuesday for the last 5 weeks. I am bound and determined to learn how to use my new SLR camera before my honeymoon to Greece in July!! Ofcorse the courses started exactly one week after my bike accident. I was unable to lift the camera with my right arm, let alone lift my right arm high enough to push the picture taking button, but I went to the classes anyway because I had so much to learn!
I have been loving my Tuesday evenings in the college and as a "continuing ed" student. It has been a long time, since I've sat on that side of a desk!
Every week we are given homework, an experiment to try with our cameras. This week we were learning to use our cameras in the dark and to adjust the shutter speed and aperture so that we could let in the right amount of light to get the picture we want.

I was excited as I am finally physically able to lift my camera and take pictures! I can actually do my homework!! yay!!! I picked a dark night, closed the blinds in our bedroom, set up my tripod and begged Marty to be my helper. In the name of art, he sat on the bed, held a candle and waited for just the right moment, before making circles around himself so that I could capture the swirls!!! I was clicking away when I heard Marty yelp!
Turns out the HOT wax from the candle was dripping all over his bare chest! Because it was so dark, he couldn't see the candle wax dripping. When we turned on the lights, we noticed it was not only all over poor Marty, but all over the white carpet!!! ooooops, well, at least we can say it was done in the name of art! He he!

The experiment didn't really turn out, I didn't get any amazing shots, but Marty wouldn't help me anymore, so the pic at the top of this post is all I got....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Exactly 5 weeks, and a lot of BAD hair days later, I discovered something! If I stand up, tip my head upside down, shake all of my hair so it is dangling, like I am gonna blow dry it, I can put a pony tail in all by myself, recovering collar bone injury and all!!!! Though I can pretty much lift my arm up to my head now, I don't have to anymore, since making this discovery, which means, that early on in the recovery process, I could have been hiding those bad hair days with pony tails!!!! Figures! Just goes to show that I gotta start thinking outside the box!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


So, it has been a month and a couple of days since my bike accident. I still cannot bear a lot of weight on my right arm, I still have a little trouble getting comfy at night and putting on shirts, doing hair, make up and heavy labour are still challenging, but things are getting easier! Yay!!! I have noticed that the right side of my torso continues to be sore, which seems weird since it has been 4 weeks already. The sorest spots are right above my waist where I picked my big scab and still have kind of a lump and right under my right boob. The second spot seems to be the sorest and it wasn't until just the other day that I figured out what it's a super ab! Yep, I think I have developed a "one pack."
See, for the last 4 weeks, whenever I'd sleep I 'd lie flat on my back on the couch in the living room. Every time I got up off the couch I'd pull myself upright and rotate my entire upper body from left to right, to heave myself off the edge of the couch. I'd do all of this, every time I got off the couch and I'd do it all without using my arms or hands. I have been relying simply on my core strength and apparently, a super ab to do all of this work!
Gym? Ha! Who needs a gym, all you gotta do to develop the ab under your boob, is roll outta bed without using your arms.
Though, I highly recommend getting out of bed on both sides to avoid creating a one pack. Afterall, you might as well get a 2 pack!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Three weeks of school left. Part of me is cheering inside and part of me is barely hanging in there!! These last weeks switch between being the most fun of the year and the biggest struggle of the year. The field trips are fun, the wrap up parties are fun, the teacher vs student baseball games are fun...the trying to keep students engaged is not fun, the clean up is not fun, harnessing the restlessness is not fun and indoor recess caused by this incessant rain is not fun!!!

In order to keep kids interested in French, I have been playing games that I make up (usually on the spot) to do with clothing since that is the unit I have decided to end the year with. I have also decided that everyone from grade 4 to 8 should spend a couple weeks learning vocab about clothing, though it really only falls in the grade 5 and 8 curriculum. I am a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of girl, so today, for the grade 6 French class, I pulled a pretty fun game out of my ass. I called it "Strip go fish."
First, I sent all the kids to their lockers to put on all the clothing they had at school, gym strip, shoes, hats, mitts, costumes leftover from Halloween, anything they had. Next they all sat in chairs in a circle and I gave them playing cards. When it was their turn they had to ask anyone in the room for a card (they had to say the number in French ofcorse,) to make a pair with something they had in their hand. If the person they asked had the card and had to give it up, they had to take an item of clothing off. If the person they asked did not have a match, the asker had to take off an item of clothing. If anyone ran out of cards before the period was over they had to "buy" another card from me by removing an item of clothing. They had to keep playing until they were down to their original clothing, less socks and shoes. OMG, soooo fun!!! The kids loved it even though I had to make up a couple of rules as we went. They are all planning to wear a lot more clothing next class.
Here's hoping that no one goes home and tells their parents that they have to wear layers so they can strip in French class!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Today we held a duct tape challenge. We invited students in grades 6,7 and 8 to participate. They formed teams of 4, choosing their lightest team member to hop up on a chair with their back against the wall while the other three used as much of the four rolls of duct tape they could in 15 minutes to tape them to the wall. After 15 minutes we had them pull the chairs away to see who stayed stuck to the wall the longest!! Sooo much fun!!!
It came down to 2 girls, one in grade 6 and one in grade 7 who stuck to the wall for over 25 minutes! Eventually the younger girl began to slip causing some of the duct tape to pull tight across her neck. Her team mates, feared she might choke and removed a couple pieces of tape, which eventually led to her demise. The 7th grade girl would have stayed there all day if I had let her! Her team was awarded the championship medals made out of duct tape!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Okay, it's June, there are three weeks of school left and we are all starting to "check out!" In an effort to keep French Class fun and allow the kids (and me) the chance to blow off a little steam, I try to plan, active lessons with lots of games for June. It is always my hope that the good old Canadian sunshine will make an appearance allowing us to go outside to play these "educational" games I make up with French vocab. What better way to embrace a foreign language than to run and laugh in the sunshine hollering out vocabulary words?
This morning, I stopped by the drama room and raided the costume closet for clothing that would fit the unit I've been teaching The kids have been learning the French words for things like dress, pants, skirt, shirt, jeans, shoes, hat and neck tie. I found some great plaid pants, some flannel shirts, huge "moo moo" style dresses, long skirts, high heel shoes and a couple furry hats and outrageous ties. I could think of a bunch of fun dress up games that would have the kids roaring with laughter while hearing and saying the French words for all of this clothing, perfect! The sun though, refused to shine and I was forced to create a game space inside my classroom which doubles as the "Foods Room." Since I am the foods teacher this isn't really a big deal. We've grown used to working around the stoves and sinks and even enjoy sitting on the kitchen counters for group projects from time to time. Today, I hid the clothing (I had three sets of everything) in the kitchens with sleeves poking out of the ovens, skirts spilling out of the cutlery drawers and neck ties dangling over the mixers. I divided the class into three teams, called out the first item (une chemise) and watched as one member from each team, scurried around the room searching for a "chemise" to bring back to their cheering team. This would have been so much more fun and loud outside, but we made it work. At the end of the game, I had them return the items (one by one as I called out each one in French) to a new hiding spot. I insisted that they have part of the clothing showing, or hanging out of each drawer as I really didn't want the next class banging cupboards open and shut. Once all items were hidden, I dismissed that class and waited for the next one. We played this three times with three different classes before recess. After recess I had grade 8's and we were helping the grade threes with a podcast project, so we left the French/Foods room and headed to the K-1 wing of the school. While we were gone the "hot dog" ladies came in to use the Foods room to steam and warm hot dogs (gross) for hot dog lunch day. They have done this every Monday since September without incident, however they did not notice the plaid sleeves hanging out of the ovens when they pre heated them today!!!

Yep, there was a fire! Two actually. They burnt a hole in a plaid shirt and had to run a flaming skirt to a sink and dowse it with water.....oooooops!!!!!!
I think it is kind of funny, considering no one got hurt, but I think it scared some of the parents, including the one who wrote to the principal about fire safety and how it should be reviewed with me!