Last Meal

My Mum is going in for a minor knee surgery tomorrow, and she’s not sure how much she’ll be able to do after so she’s been busy all day doing as much random stuff as she can. Dad and I joked, “Mum, we’ll be here to help, and you’re not going to die, silly.”

Mum smirks and looks down at her plate. “I hope I don’t die. I mean, I like stroganoff, but I don’t want it to be my last meal.”

We snicker and talk about last meals, and I said, “Mummy, if you were ever very, very sick, I’d make you Bird’s Custard with raspberries.” (This is something Mum loves and makes for herself only a few times a year.)

Mum: “Wait, so if you suddenly make me custard, does that mean I should be worried that I’m dying?”

Me: *affected old lady voice* “‘So dear, what did my doctor say?’ ‘Oh nothing Mum, just eat your custard.'”

Mum and I laughed hysterically and Dad muttered something about needing help because we’re nuts.

Our dinner conversations are weird.

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Why It’s Good to be a Teacher-on-Call.

There are definitely some downsides to being a ToC: not knowing if I’m going to work each day (and thus not being able to make doctor/dentist/salon appointments. Yes the salon is just that important to me); not having a steady income, etc. But it has its good points and I figured I’d share them with you. If there is a “you” out there reading this thing.

1. No. Prep. Now, I actually think that making lessons and activities is fun, but to a point. It’s nice to be in a place in my teaching career where I can see how others teach and continue to develop how I’d like to teach. No prep also leads me to:

2. No Marking. Ok, I’ve marked various things as a ToC, from elementary spelling tests, to multiple choice tests, and even essay exam answers, but it never has to come home with me. That’s pretty nice right now.

3. Laundry isn’t super important. When I get ready for work I usually wear my work clothes only while I’m at school and immediately change into comfy clothes at home. Since I’m not exactly running half marathons in my work clothes they don’t get particularly dirty. As a ToC I can wear a shirt a couple of days in a row and no one knows cuz I’m at different schools. This cuts down on laundry and frantic wardrobe choices in the morning, (“I can’t wear that, I wore that last Tuesday, and they’ll know and then that’ll be my Tuesday shirt and…”)

4. Figuring out your niche. I’ve always known I wanted to be a high school teacher, but as a ToC I’ve taught K-12, and various subjects beyond my comfort zone of English and Socials. It’s a great way to find out which age groups you work best with and enjoy teaching the most, and even which schools have an environment that is compatible with you.

5. Bad days end at the door. I’ve had rough days as a practicum teacher, and rough days as a ToC. It’s kind of nice to be able to go home and know that you might not have to be in that class or see those particular students again the next day.

6. Building rapport with many, many students. I love that when I walk in a school and students see me they get excited and ask who I’m in for. Pretty much no matter which school I go to this happens; it’s nice that even though I don’t have as much time as a full-time teacher to build rapport with all the kids I teach, I’m in various classes often enough that I usually have one or two in each class with whom I have a good teaching relationship. That certainly makes classroom management easier too.

7. Holidays. We still get the same holidays and breaks, and can still take part in Pro-D activities if they’re available. It’s a pretty good gig.

I wouldn’t want to ToC forever, but right now it’s working out really well. I’m fortunate to be in the district I want to stay in, which makes my patience in getting a full-time job a lot easier to come by.

Food Rules

My parents and I are fastidious, particularly about food. Yeah, lets go with fastidious.

For example, did you know that all salad dressing (including caesar) must be ordered on the side? That you can share milkshakes with people, but never milk? Water must always be ordered with no lemon. Not for sanitary reasons, but because lemons make the water taste weird. Like lemons.

Bananas must always have green on them, or they are doomed to remain uneaten. Chocolate milk goes with breakfast, white milk with dinner. Unless dinner is breakfast. That is, unless dinner or lunch is not a milk meal: eg. Mexican food is a pop meal, but nearly anything with cheese is a milk meal. Except for pizza.

If you are purchasing bulk buns, and you happen to pick up buns that are attached, you must keep both, even if this means you get seven when you wanted six. It’s not the bun’s fault that it was attached; it would be like separating twins. Fruit pie or peach cobbler can be breakfast, but cake cannot.

Don’t even get me started on our non-food related picky-ness. Errr, I mean, fastidiouness.

Pirates Vs. Ninjas… Vs. Vikings?

Scene: I wander upstairs, groggy and looking for tea. Mum and Dad are sitting in the kitchen sitting room, watching tv with their cats.

Mum: So, I was thinking that we should start a campaign for Vikings vs. both Pirates AND Ninjas.

Me: Uh. Mum, Vikings are basically a kind of Pirate.

Mum: No, because Pirates are out on the sea but Vikings land their boats.

Me: Yes, and then rape and pillage and plunder. Pirates.

Mum: Yes but Pirates could catch the Vikings. On the sea.

Me: You realise Pirates and Vikings didn’t really exist at the same time, right? When did the Vikings land in North America Mum.

Mum: The 16… err 1400s? 400?

Me: No. 1100. Columbus sailed in 1492. Pirates didn’t really exist until there was a mercantile class, until there was major trade for them to steal and the West Indies were being settled. Like the 15th to 17th century and after. Before then there wasn’t enough seafaring for pirates. Vikings are like proto-pirates.

Dad is chuckling and keeping quiet, playing a game on his phone.

Mum: Yeah well, did Pirates and Ninjas exist in the same time period? *looking all smug*

Me: Yes. Yes they did Mum. Maybe they didn’t meet each other, but yes, the same time.

Mum: I think Dad is going to make crepes for breakfast. Could you get the jam out of the fridge?

Me: /facepalm… Really? You’re losing so you change the sub… I need tea >.<

My Mum really is an intelligent person, but sometimes she just doesn’t think logically.

Gratuitous Kitten Post

I have been a bad pseudo-blogger. I seem to have been busy but with nothing to blog about, lazy about getting knitting pictures taken for projects I wanted to post about, and randomly cranky (I blame the cold, wet weather, blarg.)

So to cheer up this blog, a post about kittens.

My darling kittens are 14 months old. They are sisters from a rescued litter and mummy. They had four brothers (two black, two white) and my Lucy and Maud were the only girls, two adorable grey bits of fluff.

Lucy and Maud at 8 weeks

I love these girls to bits and they provide hours of amusement to myself and my parents. Lucy loves cuddles and Maud loves to play. Lucy particularly enjoys sitting curled up in my hoody while I play computer games.

Lucy loves cuddles.

They love each other so much; they spend hours playing together, and while they often do nap in different chairs or different spots in my room, they sometimes cuddle up together too.

Cuddle sleepy time.

This ridiculous amount of cute overload is not to say that they aren’t troublemakers too. From chewing things (plastics, paper towel, my quilt) to accidentally breaking some of my mother’s glassware, they can be a bit of a pain. So for now enjoy the cute, as I will probably use this blog to vent about their less attractive moments too.

Morning Mummy!

Knitting Knerd

When I told my boyfriend that I was going to start a blog he was so excited, saying “Ooo, I’ll be your first reader!” Despite my assurances that there will likely be many knitterly and other posts he might not be interested in, he said he would always read it. So Jordan, sweetheart, if you’re reading, this is one of the ones you might be bored reading. You’ve been warned.

I have been, for many years, a procrastinator. I have come to accept this fact, but it is also exacerbated by my propensity to be easily distracted by anything pretty and shiny and new. This is especially bad for my knitting. I am currently working on (yet another) shawl for myself, when I really should be finishing my mum’s socks. I love my mother, but unfortunately she is allergic to wool. And I don’t mean she gets itchy with cheap, gross wool, I mean I give her my beautifully fine 100% Merino Malabrigo to hold and she can feel it itchy on her neck. Because I love my mummy, I am knitting her bamboo/nylon socks with yarn she bought last year. I knew it was going to be tight in terms of yardage, but I’m in a situation where the number of rows left to knit far exceeds the yarn with which I can knit those rows. I have to substitute using an acrylic because the only other thing I have in my stash is wool. This whole thing has been frustrating and demoralizing. The shawl is shiny and new, and the yarn is very pretty. Thus, I am working on a shawl instead.

Did I also mention I’m knitting her a silk shawl, I have my own (other) shawl on the needles, a present for my niece, and a vest for myself. All are sitting in knitting limbo. I’m a terrible person.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Today was one of those days where nothing particularly remarkable happens, but everything seems a little more significant than it might on an ordinary day. I finally returned to my knitting group after undergoing a self quarantine due to mono (yes really >.<) and it was so nice to see my friends again. I’d forgotten how nice it is to just relax and sit among friends, all creating something out of string and fluff. I helped my friend’s daughter with a school project and felt energized about teaching, even with our brief phone discussion about her project. When I left to go home, I listened to Kings and Queens on repeat.

And then, I saw the Northern Lights.

Today was beautiful and sunny with all the promise of the final vestiges of summer, but a cool autumn breeze reminded me of the changing seasons.

I needed that breath of fresh air.