Monday, April 20, 2015


So it's finally spring around here.  It was a long, cold winter that really didn't start until just after Christmas.  After a long, long fall winter hit with a vengeance in January.  We had about 8 weeks of unrelenting cold and heavy snow which made us think we'd never see grass again.

But spring finally sprung, and the snow is gone at least in my yard.  Some more shaded areas still have snow, and not all the plow piles have evaporated around town.  We've had about 2 weeks of lovely spring weather ---- temps in the high 50s° and mid 60s°, sun, and blue skies. 

And we've set up our wildlife camera again.  The snow was too deep to get out to the preferred tree.  We've had a number of visitors in the past 2 weeks:

The spring birds are back too ---- the phoebes have arrived, and I think they're building a nest under my bedroom deck.  The goldfinch have lost their drab brown coloring, and have burst into their vibrant sunny yellow feathers.   The red winged blackbirds have arrived and I've even seen the barred owl.

On other fronts:  I'm counting the days until June 19th which is the last day of school for kids.  Teachers have 4 more days to make up due to all the snow days we had, but I'll say good bye to my last class then.  I am retiring!  After a couple of years of making noises about retiring, I decided in early January that this was definitely the year.  There are a number of reasons why I decided to go this year which I'm not going into just now.  But I can't wait.  It's been a tough year too.

We just finished 5 days of testing with the new Smarter Balance assessments.  For our 6th graders it meant 2 hours of testing every day.  And for us teachers it meant, a week of disruption in schedules and little actual teaching each day. And of course, months of test practice and preparation which interfered with teaching too.  'Nuff said.

This week is my last vacation before the permanent vacation. We have no plans this week except to meet with an insurance broker to figure out health insurance options for retirement. I'm also planning to knit, read, and oh yes, maybe do some spring cleaning.   Of course, it's supposed to rain for the next 3 days.  Hard to wash windows (aw, isn't that just too bad) and see the dust when there's no sun.  Oh well, more excuse to read and knit!