There's this wonderful red-headed woodpecker at our feeder pretty regularly. He loves this block of suet, just chips at it all the time with his long beak. Such a cheerful looking bird against the dreary landscape of late winter.
What's that? It's spring, you say? Not here it isn't.
I've been reading Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings. Lovely book. I'm also reading two novels for this teaching gig, so it's great to just sink into this novel at night and wallow in a couple of short chapters. It's not the kind of book I feel compelled to race through. It's written in a leisurely style and I'm chipping away a small section at a time, not devouring it as I am wont to do with a really good book.
Speaking of chips, I've got a girls' weekend planned and there will be guacamole and chips. And wine. And laughter. Also, I've got a 50 minute deep-tissue massage booked. I haven't had a proper spa day in years, so I'm very excited. The down side is that I'll have to start hacking away at the winter growth before I settle into a sauna wearing a swimsuit.
The other down side is that I have the mother of all bruises on my left thigh. That's a good story. The English 12 kids are reading Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, which is about the Vietnam War. I set up this marvelous simulation for them to go "on patrol" as a squad through the school's lecture hall which I booby-trapped to the hilt. If they knocked anything over, their squad was blown up by a "land mine." You have no idea how much fun a bunch of seniors can have moving through a pitch-dark obstacle course of furniture, black thread and paint cans equipped with a single flashlight, a 40 pound radio pack and "guns" (really long boards because even a Nerf gun would raise eyebrows, wouldn't it?).
I patrolled the back of the lecture hall to keep an eye on their progress and call out any dead squads and every time I walked down the row of chairs, I slammed my leg into the armrests. In the same spot. Repeatedly. Now I have this huge purple raised bump on my left thigh and have to tell my masseuse to steer clear of half of a major limb. Bet I won't get a discount for that, will I?
What a blur this whole working full-time again has become. I've strategically arranged to work through my lunch at school, so I'm not bringing anything home. Yet. I haven't assigned a major writing assignment yet and that will change everything.
But first, girls' weekend. Then, the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop with Cha Cha. Then I'll bring home student papers to read. Maybe.
Oh, many of you wondered how I answered the lad with the court-ordered community service. I gently suggested he leave it off for fear it might come up in an interview and require more explaining than he felt like getting into with a potential employer. He agreed that he'd prefer not sharing that chapter of his life and would definitely think about other, more positive, experiences he might include on his resume. It's one thing to do the community service out of a school requirement, quite another to do it as a mandate from a judge.
On a related note, there's a daring duo of twins who earned some community service hours for a April Fools' prank they pulled at school this week. It involved the roof of the school and a dummy.
Spill it, reader. What are you chipping away at in your neck of the woods?