Thursday, May 26, 2011

We Matter

Physically, I'm doing great.  I'm eating different, way healthier, and I'm sticking to the plan.  I'm so proud of myself for that.

Emotionally, it's been a rough day a bit.  As a teacher it's hard seeing what some of your students experience, and today was hard because of that.  I can't say much but the student is physically okay just having a hard time with events in their life....besides being a teacher, I often play mom too.  Everything in me wanted to take this child in my arms and protect them and say nothing bad will happen.  If only I could promise the truth in that...

As a teacher, I strive to make each student know how much they matter in this world, how much they can effect everything around them...this ten year old has such a rough journey ahead of them and I just hope that they can remember how much they matter.  We all deserve knowing that.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fingers Crossed!

So I may very well have a house lined up to move to way closer to work...the town says that I'm to get the confirmation as soon as the current tenant confirms his move out.  I'll go from a 45 minute drive to a five minute drive.  Nice eh?  It's a cute little place from the outside-I still don't know what it looks like on the inside, but I do know it has been renovated.  Here's a couple of pictures of what could be my future home!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

So a city that I grew up in for so many years is slowly rolling in the deep-aka...they're flooding bad.  I got the chance to go in this past Saturday for Mother's Day and saw first hand what's happening.  As of today, evacuations have started.  Businesses are shutting down and people are preparing for the worst.

As relieved as I am that my friends and family are not affected by the evacuation, I can't help be worried for others-listening to the news conferences, I easily get emotional at the idea of people being misplaced and away from their homes.  Hopefully the dikes will hold the water and homes and businesses will be safe.  In the meantime, here are some pictures that I want to share with you that I took.  The last one is not one that I took that I was able to find from

So this is the highway I take to travel to Brandon-the actuality, the part of the river is actually only what you see under the bridge and that is swollen twice its size still.  Just south of Miniota.

Going towards the bridge, towards the Assiniboine.  See the water on the side?

Here you can see how close the water is to the highway.

A dike on 18th on May 7th-they were building the dikes higher.

Looking at the dikes towards the west...that's not a lake...that's farmland.

This is  small park on the west side of 18th where the skating oval is in the winter.  Notice the little hut is nearly underwater.

The road into Dinsdale Park is now a dike.

On the east side of the bridge on 18th...looking north.

Looking northeast.  That's like a little hut in the background nearly buried by water.

A close up of the hut nearly under water.  Beyond that is the amplitheatre where weddings and wedding pictures usually take place.  That sure isn't happening this summer.

Near the skating oval once again off of 18th.

Bye bye the back..the machine is packing down the dike.

Looking east of 18th

Looking north.  Notice the streetlight in the background?

Streetlight nearly buried.  These lights are probably about a storey and a half tall?  The walkway goes under the bridge along the river.

This picture not only shows the light so well but how fast the water was moving.  The water at points seemed like rapids.

The new twinned bridges-east side.  You can see how high the water is to the bridge.

Looking north east towards Kirkcaldy Drive and Conservation Drive.

The walkway no more...

Not my picture but truly shows how bad it is.  This is along 1st just north of the bridge.  In the background you can see the playground where I played as a child, and the train that at one time, you could actually climb into and play around.  This scene is so heartbreaking for me.  To see what you love become devastated...another interesting connection I have to this picture is that my great grandparent's house used to be located where the road/highway was-in order to build the road, they bulldozed many homes, including my great grandparents.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Putting Me First

So in the last posting I shared that I was really making an effort to get out and move more.  Well, I've gone a couple of steps further...

I actually questioned whether I should share this or not, but being that those I know who check this blog (who are known personally to me) are so supportive, I'm just going to say it straight up.  I am in the worst health of my life, and a lot of it has to do with choices I've made.  A few of my health problems are not anything that was my fault, but I need to make some radical changes and put me first.

Step 1:  Start exercising-this I've done.  I'm not entirely sure whether I'll continue the program at school, but I am doing a program at home with my Wii.  I love my Wii.  It's amazing and it has awesome workout tapes that give you instant feedback.  Now, I've been really sick these past couple of weeks so I didn't get to work out for like four days in a row, but today I was back at it.  It felt good.  I felt sore and good at the same time. I think ultimately, I want to be able to start by working out four times a week for a 1/2 hour at a time.  It's a good start, and then as I get used to it, I want to keep increasing it.

Step 2:  Be honest about my weight.  Yeah.  I said the W word.  The fact is I'm not okay with my weight the way it is.  I know it's not healthy and I definitely know it's not helping my health.  So, I rejoined Weight Watchers this last week.  It's a whole new program on the Points Plus, and it's weird to me that calories aren't the concern anymore.  Now you pay attention to the carbs, proteins, fats, and fiber.  I feel really good about being on it, especially as I learned I was at my highest weight ever (despite being in the same size that I've been in for the last 1 1/2 years).  I have a funny body...I can gain 20 pounds and not even know it because of how my body is.  The fact is I have to change habits, and I have to start taking care of myself.  That time is now.

Step 3:  Look at nutrition.  I'm on a multivitamin and other recommended vitamins as I try to get healthier.  Eat more balanced meals.  Drink a heck of a lot more water instead of drinking diet pop all the time.

The fact is, I just need to make sure I'm doing all I can for my health issues...lower my blood pressure, take pressure off my joints, and hopefully make a committed long term effort to doing what I can to prevent anything worse from happening...

Kinda overwhelming, but that's step at a time...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Changing Patterns

So I have started making some changes in my life-I've started working out regularly, which is a big first step.  Next is to really start working on eating regular meals that are healthy and high in fruits and vegetables.  One thing I've found with me moving to the sticks is that my consumption of veggies have gone way that's one thing I really need to change.

Why the changes?  I just want to start focusing on me, and what it means to be healthy.  For so long, I have always had stress with whether or not I would have a job, etc and now that that's out of the way, well, it's time to take time for me.

The workout itself is going very well...I work out to the Wii, walking, or at work.  I'm finding that I can only rely on myself to be motivated-which is okay.  This is about me, isn't it?

And hopefully somewhere along the way, I'll start feeling a lot better and have more energy.  Boy, do I need some!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Toils of the Week

I don't know about other people, but I find when I get sick, I get more emotional.  Whether it be cranky or crying, I usually end up retreating to being by myself.  It's enough that I have to put up with my company, rather than anyone else to deal with me.

There are tiny moments that I wish there was someone to take care of me-bring me soup or something to drink-but I can get over that quite fast!

I've had more adventures in flat tires and being stranded on the highway, locking myself out of my house, and buying 200 subs at Subway for a fundraiser.  I helped throw my first baby shower.  Eventful?  Sure.  Boring.  Oh, no.

I'm looking forward to a tiny bit more relaxed week-it'll be good.  And honestly, it's okay.  I have people looking out for me so I guess in a little way they are helping to take care of me.  Life could be a heck of a lot worse.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Looking to the Future

Now that I have permanent, it's taken a lot off me-I have a secure job to take me through the years.  Now I just need housing.  This part is quite frustrating-I've been looking and looking, and so far, nothing.  I had a lead on one place but they don't allow pets.  So, I'll keep looking, but it's frustrating.  You want to live closer to work and there's limited we'll see....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Good It Is To Be Thirty!

For years I have looked forward to being in my wasn't that I wanted to wish time away, but my 20s had struggle after struggle.

Friday morning I found out I have a permanent contract.  After 9 years of teaching and chronic terms-I finally have permanent.  That means I'll always have a job, I'll have health coverage, and I'll have a pension.  I don't think anybody can fully comprehend the extent of what this means to be.  My heart is overfilled and I can never express how much I appreciate this opportunity.

I don't think that this was a matter of me being in the right time or place, no-I firmly believe that God had this planned for me.  I also recognize that everything I went through, led to this.  That in order to get to the good, I had to go through the bad.  My favorite quote from the novel, Eat, Pray, Love is, "ruin is the path to transformation".  That quote sums everything up perfectly.  Transformation has happened.  I'm so different than who I used to be-stronger, braver, a lot more smarter.

Next step-to find housing closer to work.  I'm praying that I will-housing is almost nonexistant in this area.  In one town only 25 minutes away from school they are building a hundred bed hospital and only 15 minutes away, over 40 cottages are to be built.  Construction workers are going to be coming and needing lodging...

In the meantime, I am over the moon and still feel like I'm dreaming!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bad Mood Day

You ever have those days where you just feel like a complete witch (not the word I mean to use, but I'm still a little too proper to spell it out here on the web)?  Well, that was me today.  I don't know how you react to things, but when I know I'm not in a great mood, the last thing I want to be is around people.  I can barely stand my own company let alone someone else's.  Am I that horrible of a person?  No, but I'm human and thus, I'm flawed.

Do I know what made me upset?  Yup.  What it something to be that upset about?  Probably not, but I couldn't shake my head around it.  When it stares you in the face for a whole day, it's kind of hard to shake.

On top of it all, I am my own worst enemy.  I'll think about things, analyze things until I go nuts.  I'm not feeling nuts anymore, but I also know that I haven't let go.  I'm not good at letting go.  I'm not a great person that way.  I hold grudges, even resentments.  That's a really bad side of me...something I know I need to continue to work the meantime, I'm gonna take my feelings to the bathtub...a nice soak might be just the start of turning things around.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So the past many months, well, it's been a struggle.  I've felt like a wayward stranger-not knowing my place or where I fit in.  It's affected me on so many different levels but I appreciate this.  I've been forced to grow and broaden my horizons.  It's been a very long time since I could say I was happy.  Now, I might not be happy with everything, but I do have happiness with parts of my life-something I couldn't really even say before.

I still don't know my place-I know it's at school, but outside of work, I have no clue where my life is heading.  I'm preparing for another move the moment that I know it's safe to go (to have secure employment) and knowing there is one (housing is that scarce)...I have to be closer to work as the amount of travel I'm doing is absolutely ridiculous.  It has me tired beyond belief.

Inspiration is something I'm still fighting and I'm hoping in the next couple of months, that'll change.  As hard as it's been, I know it's been worth it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Blog

Okay, I may be crazy and it's not like I have even tons of time for my other blogs, but I've opened up a new blog.  The only thing is though is that while it is my blog, it isn't.  It's my classroom's.  Blogs and wikis have been done in other classrooms to keep parents informed and interested.  My purpose is to do all that, but also have students directly involved in posting at times, adding a new "technology" to their database.

Some of it you might find boring as it does have its mundane things-like spelling words of the week.  But if you work with children at all, you might get to see some ideas that you like and could use with the children in your life.

To find this blog, head to  Note of caution though, it is not hooked up to my account that I use either for this blog or for my cheap chic blog.  It uses my work email to give me a little bit of privacy.  I won't be linking from here either, so if you're interested, just bookmark the page, or if you can't find it, email me, and I will send you the link!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rays of Hope

So the other day I heard BIG news...any teacher that is hired next year for my school gets permanent...PERMANENT!!  This is huge...I have been working for almost 9 years trying to get permanent but never getting it due to politics...Every single person in my school has to reapply for their job-including administration.  As the school was just acquired by the division, I think technically it's the legal thing to do.  I was told before by someone high up that I shouldn't have to worry about my job, so here's fingers crossed...I should know in a month.

So, while I'm not putting all my hopes into it, things seem to finally be getting better, though slowly.  I look back to where I was a couple years ago financially, and the difference now is unbelievable.  Yes, times are tough, but I have money for all the necessities.  I couldn't say that before.  I'm still living with my ghetto furniture (the single bed in the living room), but I'm okay with that.  I'm really hoping that I can get housing on the reserve (there are three teacher houses on the reserve-and I think one is coming available this summer), and then I'd probably get something.

Things have still been lonely, but I throw myself into my work, which can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on how you look at it.  I find that I never have enough time for my work though, and part of it is me living so far away.  I'm limited in the time I can spend in my actual classroom organizing and such.  That's frustrating.

But maybe, just maybe, wonderful things are right around the corner.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a pioneer.  I vividly remember picking chokecherries with my great grandmother at the lake and telling her that.  I had a passion for old things, old tales, and a different way by the time I was entering Grade 2.  I wish I could blame it on the Little House books, but my fascination began even before I started reading this.

What in the world has made this crop into my head you say?  It's the game, FrontierVille, which you can find on facebook. 

I recently started playing it out of boredom.  It has you clearing rocks, chopping trees, etc.  I actually don't even enjoy it.  I find it appaling that I'm doing it by myself, without a husband.  I have to build a fortune before a husband can be sent...ludicrous I say!  If I'm breaking my back, he should be breaking his!

Now bring things back to reality...the fact is that I couldn't have handled it.  I'm not necessarily talking about the work-because I'm a very hard worker, but the extreme isolation.  Right now, I feel pretty isolated and it's taken its toll on me.  I feel cut off, apart, and alone.  As much as I embrace where my life right now is-it's hard.  And I certainly haven't had lady luck leaning my way.  Seriously, I couldn't have been a pioneer-I'd tell the little girl, join a dance hall and dance your socks off...don't go to the prairies...

In My Own Backyard-A Horror Story

So picture in your mind the theme music to Jaws while I get ready to announce this....I met my first bedbug...(GASP)!  Yup, you heard me, the bedbug, AKA the bug that's not just for your bed...

So the story?  Well, without trying to say too much to protect some identities...somebody I know had one crawling on them...I thought maybe it was a tick because guess what?  It bloody well looks like a tick.  Check out the photo:

See what I say???

I didn't know that bedbugs looked like ticks-someone had to point that out to here I tried to be the brave valiant lady and squash the bug to death as I didn't have any matches nearby to see the sucker go to bug Hell....

Truth be told, I don't know if it was squashed...maybe I squashed it so well that there was no evidence left over?

When I got home, I stripped at my back door down to my birthday suit...clothes went in a garbage bag secured to be washed in hot water and jacket and shoes got put in the freezer...I hit the shower. 

Fact is that bedbugs can live in -10 C temperatures for up to 5 days.  Did you hear me?  The suckers are like little demons....can survive most anything...

While I know I was thorough and I'm 99.9999999% sure that I didn't bring any into my home, I still feel creepy, and at times I'm hallucinating that I feel something crawling on's kind of like when I was introduced to lice the first time (not that I had it, but came in contact with it)'s the same feeling....actually just writing this, I had to hit myself in the head because I felt something crawly...

Fact is that once you get them, they are almost impossible to get rid of.  They can hitch rides on pets, they move at lightening speed (this I saw with my own eyes), can live in cold temperatures, can come in on infested items (even brand new items from the store)...

It makes me cautious in buying certain second hand items...I definitely think people need to be cautious and maybe even leave things in a safe place not inside the home where someone can investigate any possibility of bugs...

I tell you...I think this is only the beginning of me seeing these out in public, but I'm ready for it...Are you????

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hanging in There....

Well, I'm hanging in there...I've had car problems galore (currently, I am home waiting for the garage to show up and fix my tire that went completely flat when I got home from school yesterday), things go wrong like you wouldn't believe in the little house I'm living in, and other little bumps, like a trip to the emergency room at a hospital in another town.  But, despite all of this, I'm doing okay. I really am. 

I've had a couple chances to get out and explore my new little town, and it's so pretty...people are so nice too.  While I haven't really had the chance to meet any people my own age yet, there are definitely some around.  So hopefully, I'll get to know a few people soon.  It would be nice to meet another girl or two to hang out with from time to time.

I finally found my digital camera after it being missing since the move...yay!!  Now I can take pictures galore...I was hoping for a nice weekend to explore more, but I'm not sure what's going to happen with that.  I'm definitely looking forward to what I can's so wouldn't believe how pretty it is.

School's going well...I'm seeing real success with some of my students and that is truly a blessing.  I'm proud that I'm able to be apart of their growth. 

Well, this isn't the most exciting of posts, but it's it for today...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Raising Money for a Great Cause

So my class decided to do a bake sale to raise some money for our classroom.  I've paid for a lot of things out of my own pocket, and just needed to subsidize a bit as I couldn't keep going at the rate I was going.  So the solution was the bake sale...did I think it was going to be successful?  Not really...I hoped for enough money to buy mini white boards for my students...I use them in seeing which students are understanding concepts in a way that is game like.  We were using placemats before, but they ended up being destroyed after only six uses, and no amount of chemical would remove it.

Well, with about 10 people donating baking, we managed to raise......$161.50!!!

I couldn't believe how crazy it was...the amount of money raised and the sales that were made...Holy cow...not only could we afford our whiteboards, but could now afford to consider other things.  I know one big thing that parents wanted...a microwave.  I felt it was only fair that a microwave be bought as it was the parents who donated who have been requesting one.  It'll make things easier for students and parents, and that might equal more cooperation?

It was amazing though to see that response.  To be able to go and buy a few things tomorrow for the classroom without it bleeding so much into my own pocket is such a relief.  To finally be getting supplies that the kids need is a huge relief. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I think apart of me is in mourning.  A part of me misses certain things about my old life so much...I miss my painted walls, my furniture, my gardens, the way I had things arranged.  I miss being confident to walk into a place knowng people automatically.  Things have been a huge adjustment, and I know with everything within me that this has been the right move, it doesn't make it easier. 

I don't think it's a matter of feeling sorry for myself-I think I have gone through an awful lot in a short period of time and I'm adjusting.  It's just hard not feeling settled or at home.  I'm starting to love this little town I'm in, but it would be so nice to have a home that you're proud to come home to every day.  I'm hoping with income tax (when I finally get my t4s), that I can get some furniture for the living room.  It's just been very difficult and as much as I appreciate this fresh start, well, fresh starts don't come without their price.

In general am I okay?  Yes, just doing what I can to train my thoughts to be positive about this all...I'm glad I made this move and really, I know that it will do good things for me...I just have to be patient...

Friday, February 4, 2011

2 Months and Counting...

So it is's been over 2 months since making the big move.  How am I doing?  Okay, but I am getting serious cabin fever.  My life is school and staying inside the house, doing school work.  It's been frigid cold for what seems like weeks now and I've about had it.  I need to do something soon to feel like I'm meeting people or something.  It doesn't seem that Birtle offers much and with the weather so cold, walks aren't even possible.  Its been quite lonely-but people are friendly and helpful.  I got stuck in my driveway the other day as it was warm, allowing the tires to sink into the snow and get caught.  A neighbor down the street was driving past, and went back for his tow rope to help me out.  I'm not used to that-people helping strangers.  Portage wasn't like that-it was cold and quite self absorbed. 

School has kept me busy and it's allowed me to be the workaholic that I am.  But I recognize that you can't devote so much time to work...I'm going to keep my ears and eyes open to see if anything comes up for me to meet people and get out a bit in town.  We'll see...I'm hanging in there...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Challenges Make One Strong

There have been times in my life where I've heard over and over that struggles build character, build strength.  I literally at one time had a sign on my fridge that said character was what I needed to get through hard times and looking back, I can chuckle over that sign! 

Things have been tough and I expect that it'll be slow to get going in a new job, in a new community, etc.  But I do feel good and I really value that I have this opportunity.  Is it comfortable?  Oh requires me to think in different ways, react in different ways, and create in different ways. 

I pray that I'm making a difference to my students, that I'm reaching them.  There are days where I question that.  I have a very tough class, possibly the toughest I've ever had.  Right now, I question a lot about what I'm doing and is it the right approach.  Right now, I just need to keep giving it my all, and keep doing my best. 

But for now, I take each day at a time...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Such a Beautiful Compliment...

So teaching if you don't realize it is quite challenging.  It has its rough moments.  Sometimes you lose sight of why you're in it.  While things haven't been that bad for me yet this year, I did get the most wonderful compliment today.  I went into the office at school today for some reason.  I gushed to the secretary that one of my boys is beginning to read at an above Kindergarten level.  This is huge!  He's 11 years old and has really struggled.  Teachers before have not necessarily known how to help him.  I heard him read today and even compared to a couple weeks ago, his reading has improved.  He went from not being able to read the word "be" to be reading quite a few words.  When I said this, the secretary let me know that there is a lady working with him as there have been issues at home over the years.  Apparently he was so positive about school, that the worker has decided she wants to meet me for the job that I've done with him.  That's pretty special-having someone recognize what you do to make school interesting, fun, but appropriate.  Moments like that remind you that as much as teaching can get frustrating, it has so many beautiful moments.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stress, Stress, and More Stress

So I'm seriously stressing out...and the reason....MONEY!!!  Maybe I'm feeling sorry for myself but I'm frustrated.  After you deduct the money I need for getting to school and money that I needed to pay back a friend, I had less money in my pocket than when I was on E.I.  I'm juggling bills and everything.  It's discouraging in the sense that I don't feel like I've gotten anywhere yet.  Things haven't improved as of yet, and it seems like I'm still really struggling. 

I don't know...I just need to figure things out....but I'm stressed out...maybe it's stupid but I'm constantly telling myself that it's all going to get better...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm Not Dead

So I'm not dead despite what you might think, and neither is this blog...I just have no phone or internet still.  School starts back this week, so I came in for a day of organization, hence, I am able to post....yippee!  Hopefully, phone (and maybe intenet) will be up working tomorrow when the technician shows up....yup, the phone situation is that bad...

So I've been here for almost a month-and I'm doing okay.  It's been hard in the sense that I feel cut off from many, but I do see this all leading towards something better.  There are definite advantages living away from a working civilization-you get lots of quiet, it's peaceful, you spend a lot less, and when you have to make a trip to the city, you enjoy your shopping excursion more as your thankful for the things you can buy.

It is extremely beautiful where  I live and that has been a huge blessing...I wake up every day and see beauty in the hills and valleys.  It's breathtaking.  Already, I have seen a wolf, lynx, moose, deer, and a jack rabbit.  I had never seen a wolf or lynx before, so that has been unbelievable.  To see an animal in its natural habitat and not cooped up in a zoo is very humbling...puts into perspective why we need to care for the environment.

But it is different moving to a place where you don't know anyone or anything.  I didn't realize it before but I am definitely a huge comfort zone person (way more than I ever thought), and moving out of that has been disarming and liberating at the same time.  It's eye opening and challenging, but like I've said, I think it will be well worth it in the end.

Well, I need to get back to organizing the classroom....