Pandemic ponderings

March 27th. We are now in the midst of a pandemic, how is this even possible? 2020.

This is a year when I thought I would be celebrating and enjoying a new life. Celebrating my first year being retired. Travelling with friends to hot sunny places. Visiting my sister and her family. Taking painting classes, looking forward to doing whatever came into my heard, whenever and where ever I chose. Instead we are practicing social distancing, physical distancing, lining up outside of stores as we wait our turn to be admitted to see sparsely filled shelves and limits on what we can purchase. We are living in different times.

I think of the dystopian books that I have done with my students over the years and see connections everywhere. In Life as We Knew It, we followed a family’s experience during a earth shattering event that changed life in the world. We are now living in a world where a virus, Covid-19, has changed ‘life as we knew it’.

March Break, generally a happy event for students and teachers, became an event filled with fear and anxiety as numbers of those infected grew in the world and showed up in Canada. Being told to self isolate, to avoid public places, and to stay at home, seems very un-Canadian.

Being an introvert, staying at home is not a difficult thing for me. I enjoy being by myself, reading, going for walks, and generally amusing myself. Being told not to go out is different that choosing not to go out. I have now fully exhausted my reading materials and am eager to visit a library, none of which are open for the foreseeable future. It looks like Chapters will be the way to go! (So much for shopping local!)

How long will this last? I anxiously tune in to hear Prime Minister Trudeau each day, to get an update on what new sanctions are being put into place, what will now be closed, what the government is doing to help, and what new information I need to know. Not a huge fan of Trudeau or Premier Ford, I must say that I have been impressed with how they have both stepped up to show true leadership during this situation. I am proud that they are looking for ways to help Canadians in their daily lives, and are appearing on television each day to keep us informed.

It is a different reality for us. When will it change? Not in the foreseeable future, I think. We will tune in everyday and hope that people will begin to pay attention, to stay at home, to practice physical distancing, and finally to #plankthecurve.

🍁🍁Happy 150 Canada! 🍁🍁

The past month has been incredibly rainy and gray. ⛈🌧The beginning of July appears to be following this trend.

Across the country people are flying flags, donning red & white,  and preparing for fireworks. Our Indigenous people do not agree with how the celebrations are being marketed, having been here for much longer than this. I hope that everyone is able to celebrate our unity in their own way today.🍁

My 28th year of teaching wrapped up yesterday. Where does the time go?📚At times it seems like forever; at times it feels like it has just begun. I’m looking ahead and eagerly anticipating what retirement will look like in a few years.🎣📚

I received a wonderful note amoung my year end items yesterday. Our FSL/DLRT teacher, Kara Stopper, is leaving us for a position closer to her home in North Bay. She’s an amazing teacher, a great colleague and has become a good friend. She wrote me a note that brought tears, not an easy feat! It is such an incredible feeling to hear what others see in your teaching and relationships with students. It is a note I will treasure and I will miss our daily chats about school, curriculum and life.

Happy to be on holidays. Ready to catch up on some reading and visit family.

🍁Happy Canada Day!🍁




thanksgivingwalldecor2Thanksgiving is here!  We’re already into October, September has flown by. A long weekend is certainly welcome!

My group this year consists of grades 3,4,5 for part of the day and then 6,7,8 for their literacy program.  I’m really enjoying the 6,7,8 part of the day, there are a few voracious readers and they love discussing books. They have a varied interest and enjoy recommending books to both their classmates and myself.

We’re off to Rick’s son’s for Thanksgiving this Sunday. It’ll be great to get together with James, Kim and the kids; they’ve also invited Rick’s brothers and one of his sisters as well along with their partners and spouses. Rick’s pretty excited as this will be his first Thanksgiving together with James in nineteen years.  We have a lot to be thankful for this year.

I am very much looking forward to some downtime as well. There’s lots of marking to catch up on this week. Blue Jay ball has been sucking up too much of my time and I’ve  fallen a bit behind.  Fingers crossed for one rainy so I won’t feel like I need to be outdoors.

The weather’s been amazing! 26 degrees today, kids are still enjoying shorts, tshirts and flipflops. This weekend is our 18th wedding anniversary. How did that happen? It was a weekend like this when we got married in 1998, hot and sunny. After the service I put on shorts and a tshirt to hang out for the afternoon. Hopefully it’ll be the same on Monday.

Time to write up a dayplan and start the weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving!


August is winding down

Well summer is officially over in my mind, no matter what the calendar says. Today was the opening of the annual Dunchurch Fall Fair. Yes, you read it correctly, Fall Fair. So although Rick started his summer holidays today, summer is done for me.

Merry and I went to the fair opening as the guys decided to go fishing on the bay this evening. There were beautifully crafted quilts on display along with flowers, photographs, art work and student creations. Had the chance to chat with lots of former students as well as those still attending WLCS. Adam gave us a tour of the new fire station along with their new truck. Great to see him so excited about his involvement with the fire department and his courses at Georgian College. Tomorrow the fair continues with the parade at 11:30 and vendors booths in addition to the displays.

One week left of holidays then it’s back to work. Workshop at PSHS on Wednesday and PA day on Thursday. Ah Jane, I’m so envious that your holiday will just roll on through September and October and…


Summer Happenings

It’s hard to believe the summer is half over already. We took Gracie back home on Saturday, it was great having her here with us. We went to. Santa’s Village, spent lots of time at the pool, and did a fishing trip. Charlie loved having Gracie here as well, slept beside her bed every night.

We went to Rick’s mom’s on Sunday for a BBQ, Rod was here from Alberta and it was nice to see most of the family together. Unfortunately Tom didn’t come but the rest of the brothers and sisters were there. Lots of conversation and a fun game of bocce ball (which I won).

We’ve been juggling vehicles, the truck is in the shop, and it’s tough being a one car family. Feel like I’ve been stranded! Has been an opportunity to do some reading but hopefully the truck will be back before too long!

Love being home in the summer, wishing it could go on and on!





Happy Canada Day!

With Canada Day falling on a Tuesday it seems to have been celebrated from Friday forward to today. Lots of fireworks and traffic as well as thunderstorms. Poor Charlie has kept us (okay me) up basically since Friday night as the celebrations happen around us. Sunday night was especially loud. A tremendous thunderstorm hit around five knocking out hydro until around seven. Once the storm subsided the cottagers came out in full force. Fireworks from seven to eleven with a small reprieve before they continued until 3:30. Charlie and I went to the basement, turned on all the fans, tv, and dehumidifier in an attempt to mask the sound. Poor Rick had to get up at 4:45 to go to work, none of us were too chipper on Monday needless to say.

Cloudy and breezy today, we had some heavy rain this morning but it seems to have blown by. No doubt meaning celebrations again tonight. Poor dogs everywhere are no doubt wishing for rain.

Good chat with Izzy today, sound like Sam is flying home to visit Gramma and Grampie late in July. Will be a great trip for him as well as a nice break of the kids from each other. Still unsure as to what our plans are for the summer-waiting to see.




Plans for me would be reading, swimming, fishing and rejuvenating- it’s been a tough two years. Cheers for some sunshine and relaxation!

June 24th winding down

So last night we went to the ETFO retirement dinner at the Whitfield. Jane is retiring on F riday, it’s the end of an era.

Jane is a dear friend and teacher that all should strive to emulate. She is kind, creative, fair, humorous and inspiring. I loved working with Jane at Nobel. She was always positive and upbeat. We’ve shared many conversations, laughs and books over the years and she has taught me so much. She has always been there with a listening ear, encouraging words and a push when it was needed. When I had the “stupid question of the week”, I knew Jane would answer -perhaps roll her eyes and groan but always answer. I’m glad to have had you as an example of excellence and as a friend. I hope other people will be lucky enough to have a Jane in their lives.

I wish you a healthy, enjoyable and long retirement. I’ll be thinking about you and Dennis tomorrow, hoping for good news. Happy retirement, set your sails my friend.20140624-203054-73854327.jpg

Hello June

Feels like summer has finally arrived! Spend the day at Bayfield on the bay fishing Saturday, beautiful weather, hot and sunny. Despite my ongoing applications of sunscreen still managed to get a burn. Guess it’s time to increase the SPF factor. Caught a few pike, and a small perch. Rick got some pike and a bass, nothing we were trying to catch so came home empty handed.

Went to visit Eldon in the evening. He’s been diagnosed with kidney, liver and lung cancer. His young grandson was spending the night with him for a sleepover. He’s got a positive attitude and wants to spend his last weeks at home. Sat and listened to some of his stories as well some bullshit so it was very much like old times.

Bowled in the hospital fundraiser last night which began at 9:00(generally my wind down and bed time). We were terrible, missed our team from last year very much (James!). Was a late night as we were up at 5:00 and bowled until 12:30. Charlie had me up at five this morning, Rick’s still snoozing at 8:30 grrrr.

First weekend that I have done no school work or course work since I can’t remember when. Know I’ll be kicking myself later this week with work, course and report cards on the horizon! Oh well!

Looking forward to crashing at the end of June!20140601-083142-30702440.jpg

April Arrives

Winter had dragged on and now, the 24th, we still have snow in the yard and the pool is filled with ice. Last year the pool was booked to open the third week in May, still wondering if there will be ice in it at that time. Makes summer seem even shorter.

Lots going on right now. My friend’s husband is having some health issues and is waiting to hear what is going on. Right now she should be planning her retirement but is awaiting news to see what the next steps are for them in regards to his health. Rick goes for an MRI on Saturday for a growth in his head which may be responsible for/affecting the loss of hearing he has in his left ear. I guess teasing him for years about being deaf isn’t quite as funny now that he only has 30% hearing in his left ear.

Started taking a new AQ course, special education through ETFO. Thought with the declining enrollment in the school and the possibility of movement that I wanted to have as much help as I could ready in case it was needed. (Going to mess up my neat looking OCT certificate, Marlene!). Have just finished the first module, three to go. Course finishes on June 20th so it won’t drag into summer.

Interesting aside, speaking of summer. Gas was 1.50/liter in Quebec and the Maritimes on the weekend. Gas in Parry sound is 1.39, wonder what the summer will bring, haven’t made travel plans yet to go east. Hoping maybe we can fly mom and dad here in July.

Waiting for the weather to improve, waiting for the snow to leave. Waiting for the pool to open, my course to end and school to be over. Lots of waiting as I wish my life away!


Good-bye March!

Finally we are getting some nice weather! Yesterday and today the temperatures were up, about 10 to 13 degrees with sunshine. Almost didn’t recognize the golden orb in the sky!

It’s been a busy month. Basement is finished, although I still need to get pics on the walls etc? Effective speaking competition over and done with at work! Thanks to Jane and Louise for judging once again! nothing like using your friends!

Did some fishing on Georgian Bay, was happy to say I had the catch of the day! I’ve included a photo of my fish as well as Rick’s.

Spent a few days at my sister’s visiting with her and the kids. Had a birthday dinner with some of her fellow teachers/friends as well as some lazy time just hanging out.

Just signed up for spec ed part 1 with ETFO. Might be something to help in the upcoming years of work, am at A4 so pay wise it won’t make a difference. Hoping Marlene takes a course to keep me company! misery loves company as we’ve experienced before! Attended a retirement seminar as well this month. Rick retires next April and with any luck I’ll go in five or six years. Will still have a mortgage unfortunately, the fickle finger of fate!

Looking back it’s been a busy, cold and wintery month! Happy to see April arrive!