Bring on 2014!

It has been ages since I’ve written on this blog, but it has truly been a very busy fall and early winter.  In addition trying to keep up with my kids, husband and the Giant Newfoundland, I took on some new projects.


Such a pretty girl.

In October, we put the Columbia Falls Community Garden to bed for the winter.  We planted flower bulbs and garlic. It was definitely a successful season.  Our growing season was amazingly long, and we were able to donate nearly 260 pounds of fresh produce to the Columbia Falls Food Bank.  I feel like I spent the better part of September and October in the kitchen, processing tomatoes.  I was able to put up 74 jars of tomato products though–should last until next year.


74 jars of tomatoes on the wall…

I started teaching a new course at the high school called History through Literature, which fulfills the required credits for both US History and English 11.  Those of you who are teachers know how time-consuming it is to craft a new course.  For this one, I have the same set of students twice a day, and I am trying to implement student-centered and inquiry-based learning.  There have been some successes and some things that definitely needs reworking for next year.

In addition to my full schedule at the high school, I also began teaching World History for the Montana Digital Academy. MTDA is a fantastic program that offers (free) courses for high school age kids throughout the state of Montana.  Montana high schools are often very small and far away from one another (the state is just barely under 150,000 square miles with just barely over a million people) and they can’t always offer the same buffet of courses for their students; this helps to fill that need. I have students from Columbia Falls to Wibaux, and from Shelby to Red Lodge and everywhere in between.  Some are home-schooled, while others are trying to get caught back up so they can graduate.  Many of my students this past semester are taking World History in addition to a full class load at school.  So far it has been very rewarding.

Finally, I was elected to the Columbia Falls City Council this past November.  I have my first meeting on my birthday, January 6th.  I’m excited–I have an orientation with the city manager on Thursday morning so I I’ll know what to expect.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 5.02.50 PM

Other than these exciting additions to my life/schedule, I taught myself, with the help of my mother-in-law, the basics of crochet.  This will accompany my knitting–there are just certain things that are better crocheted than knitted.  Like baskets.  I still find crocheting awkward and much more difficult that knitting–but I assume it will get easier.


My first attempt. It has issues.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.  It’s a full plate, but someone told me that I must like it that way, or it wouldn’t be.  Very wise, very wise.    My next post will be about my “Very Crafty Christmas”.  Stay tuned!

To Write a Speech

Yesterday I was asked to speak at the National Honor Society’s induction ceremony at the high school where I teach.  I am truly honored to be asked, although I know that it is quite possible that many others were asked and they refused and I was simply the next name on the list.  And I know why they would have hypothetically refused…speaking in public can be terrifying. But I have always told myself that if students cared enough to ask me speak at any occasion, I would not refuse.

I can speak in front of my students, obviously.  No problem.  I have the normal first day of school jitters, but that is about excitement rather than terror.  On my first day of student teaching, though, I remember shaking so thoroughly I could hardly form words.

I still get somewhat nervous speaking in front my colleagues. One year, when a dear friend of mine retired, I gave a little speech in her honor, but I was fortified by an adult beverage…pretty sure that wouldn’t fly at the NHS ceremony.

Anyway, now I need to write the speech.  I would like to center my speech on the topic of being the best human being you can be, and the best advice ever given.


So I need your help…what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?  What bit of wisdom would you impart to high school students that you wish you had known at their age? 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Lunch

This makes me a little bit sad–my lunch at work.

Nothing terribly photogenic here–just some tomato soup in an old plastic container, and a mug of seltzer water with some Emergen-C, because I think I am coming down with a cold.

That would be decidedly NOT GOOD because my husband’s fortieth birthday party is this weekend and I have a lot to do!


Views from a Classroom

Views from a Classroom

Literally – this is the view from my classroom window. This may seem like redundant posting, but I like to mark the seasonal progression.

I am careful where I take the picture, though–there has been a splattering of bird poop on my window since the beginning of the year. I could complain about it, but it seems ridiculous to ask the custodians to make time for my one window. They will get to it.

Gorgeous. Makes me happy–and it is Friday. Happy weekend, everyone!

The mountain on the left is called Teakettle, and the one on the right is Columbia. The canyon though the pair of them leads to Glacier National Park.  I get to see them every day. Lucky me!