Sunday, October 4, 2015

like a punch to the gut

That's exactly how fall hit us this past week. One day we wore flip-flops and enjoyed the fine sheen of sweat on our brow, windows wide open to let in the balmy 80 degree breezes, the next day we woke up shivering, adding socks and sweaters, closing windows and turning on the heat.  On a related note, since they switched over to the heating system, Room 212 is pretty comfortable now. I appreciate not having to bundle up to go indoors for a change...

Mr. T is completely vetted as an Eagle Scout as of 1:00 today. The grandparents trekked to town, oaths were taken publicly, mentor pins attached to shirts and candles lit. Court of Honor in the books and now we kick back to enjoy the gentle winding down of the cross-country season.

While the grandparents were here we had a FEAST. It was like a major holiday here, we even dragged extra chairs to the table! Potatoes and onions on the grill, beside pork chops and hamburgers and hot dogs. Roasted beets. Salad with tomatoes and carrots. Apple crisp.  Much of this meal came straight from the garden and the apples came off of my parents' trees. I'm glad to have a week of leftovers in the fridge. 

Instead of lazing in my hammock to grade papers, I'm tucked beneath a blanket in the library with a view of the changing leaves outside. My AP students had to write an argument for or against computers grading papers (the irony!), most of them would prefer human teachers doing the dirty work. It's time to turn them to a reading kind of unit, five weeks under our belt and all of my classes will turn in their second major paper of the year this week. Whew. I need to get a little better at coordinating alternating paper due dates so I'm not shellacked by over a hundred to grade at once. Next year. It will get better next year.

So I said last year. But it is better.

What else is new around here? We're getting passports. I have a book grinding through the publishing process. Mr. B is researching chickens because he thinks it would be fun, educational and profitable to raise them.  Mr. G is kicking flag football butt.

And most exciting, TWO of my Screw Iowa Writers Workshop pals have new books out!  Check it:

You can buy your very own copy of this terrific mystery here or here or wait a month for my giveaway and hope you get lucky.

Likewise, you can order the first installment of this lush trilogy here or wait for my giveaway!

The Packers are ahead, I'm behind in my grading and I just looked out my window to see a kid getting ready to pee on my flowers by the porch so I better sign off.

Spill it, reader. How did fall hit you? Or are you still in summer season?


  1. Is that one of your kids getting ready to pee in your garden?! :-)

    Fall has hit us too, although no freezing temps yet. I have a bunch of basil I want to get in and freeze, but other than that I'm just waiting on some bulbs to plant. I brought the hummingbird feeder in and didn't refill it --I haven't seen a hummer in over a week, so I think they've all traveled south of us by now. I made a meal in the slow cooker today too --definitely fall-like :-)

  2. Passports? WHERE???

    Fall came in almost overnight, with temps dropping from the 80s to the 70s and then to the 50s. The last is courtesy of two storm fronts coming through. The storms will be passed by tomorrow, so we'll be back to more seasonal 60s and sunshine. Thank goodness, because we haven't seen the sun in a week.

  3. Fall arrived all of a sudden here, but we were blessed with sunny days to accompany the cooler air. The hot, dry summer made it harder for the gardeners to provide produce at the farmers' market but hopefully we'll have apples soon.
    Congrats on officially becoming an Eagle Scout mom! I bet it was a wonderful Court of Honor.
    Looking forward to learning more about those books -- especially yours!
    (But you don't need passports to visit Spokane...)

  4. Where're you planning to use those passports?

    I have to say, one thing I've never looked up and spotted through the window is one of my kids about to pee. I mean, maybe when they were 3...but not for awhile. That's city livin' for you.

  5. First off, congrats to the Eagle Scout! I know you are very proud.

    I am so loving the weather. It did the same here in Portland, crazy hot one week and into the 50 the next. Today is in the 80's but then the rest of the week is 70's and as far as I'm concerned I couldn't ask for anything more. Oh yeah, the tourists are gone and that is also a very good thing.

  6. Oh man, grading and planning...politicians who think teachers have it easy should try grading a stack of essays when they wanna watch football....

  7. Congrats on the Eagle. One down, two to do? Sounds like you are settling into fall. Still chuckling over the kid peeing the yard. Go Pack!

  8. Congratulations to your Eagle Scout. I broke out our comforter last week, so I'd say fall is here and yes, I'm kicking and pouting about it. On the plus side, I pick up my first bushel of apples today, which always makes me happy.

  9. Congratulations to the Eagle Scout and his family! Bravo!

    I tried to comment while I was traveling, but apparently it didn't work.

    It was colder in Baltimore than it was back in Western PA, so yeah, fall hit hard. It's a bit warmer now.

    Chickens. Hmmm. You could have your own homegrown eggs! Has the future farmer checked out if avian flu affects non-commercial flocks? It might not be an issue at all, or it might be inexpensive to protect a small flock against it. I have no idea. But since you used the word "profitable" it would be wise to know of potential threats to profitability. Avian flu wiped out vast swaths of commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota earlier this year.

  10. Congrats Mr. T! We just renewed our passports. Your feast sounds delicious.

  11. Oh, those piles of papers! I'm wading through middle school essays right now: Cause and Effect essays first, Compare/Contrast later. I'm just hoping most of the kiddos get their rough drafts graded before the final drafts are due.


Spill it, reader.