Monday Windows in Paris

…..from the library at the University of Paris

An art nouveau design by Eugène Bigot constructed in 1927. Ian Nairn describes it like this: “It is like a brick balloon inflated to its limit with an unquenchable puff…”

Thanks to Ludwig Keck for hosting Monday Windows.

Thursday Doors – In the Town of Dundas, ON

thanks to No Facilities for hosting Thursday Doors

Today my husband and I did one of our nature hikes outside of the city but the conditions were less than ideal. Although it was a beautiful, sunny and mild day the melting snow had turned to ice and walking was somewhat treacherous. After visiting a couple of waterfalls near Hamilton we decided to drive into Dundas and walk down the main street and take in the shops. Here are just a few of the interesting doors we observed on our stroll through town.

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Two More Days!

…..the count down continues

One more day with the kids and then a PA day for cleaning up. The irony is that it seems like all I’ve been doing for two weeks is cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning; however, as soon as I start a new art project or pull books for discarding I seem to be right back where I started from.

Joanne suggested that I take photos of the every day things that I see all the time as a visual record of my life as a teacher. Here are a few shots taken after I’d cleaned the library. Unfortunately it doesn’t look that way at the moment. Outside the library a gallery of art that my students have done is on display and further down the hall is Ms. B’s class, Ms. C’s class and the office.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

… love of art oozes from my pores

I guess my love of art and colour is as obvious as the nose on my face. Not only do I teach art, I also talk about it, a lot, in library classes. Today I read a wonderful new picture book  by Ashley Spires called The Most Magnificent Thing. 

As with most good stories, this one had a moral or lesson attached. The children picked up on it pretty quickly. They came up with: …..never give up, take your time, don’t get angry, walk away and come back to it later, etc.. 

I talked to them about some of my art that I wasn’t happy with and how ‘walking away from it and revisiting it later’ and looking at it with new eyes really helped me come up with a new painting that I really liked.

At the end of the class one of my grade 4 students who rarely speaks to me walked over to me and very proudly stated that ‘the Earth without art would be Eh!’ He told me that he just made that up. Clever! I see a t-shirt in his future. Don’t you?

School’s Out but I’m Back Next Week

…..just couldn’t finish in the library

Normally the children are finished with school one day before the teachers but this year everyone had to stay in school right up to Friday. The last day for teachers is usually a clean-up day where teachers put away as much as possible so that the care taking staff can do a thorough cleaning in the summer.

Many of us found it very difficult to get our rooms to that point and despite staying for a couple of hours after the children had left some of us need to come back next week to continue with the purging and tidying. In the library I had one extra job that needed doing this year. I’m having new carpet tiles put down and in order for the workers to move the free standing shelves and the book carousels I had to empty them all and box the books again (same job as last year). I had children in all day who tried to help me with this task and we still didn’t finish.

As I wrote earlier the last two weeks of school have been very busy and stressful. I’ve mentioned before that stress and weight gain go hand in hand for me. Not only that but all week children and parents have been bringing in chocolates, cupcakes and cookies. We had a pizza lunch with the book club, a BBQ with the grade 5s, our staff party and our principal treated us to breakfast (muffins, Danishes, bagels, croissants) all in the same week. IMG_20140626_193926-2

This morning I put myself on the scale thinking that I had gained back all the weight I had lost recently plus more. I did gain four of the five pounds that I had lost but I was relieved that it wasn’t more. Now that most of my stress has been lifted for the summer I’m hoping to get back on track and drop all the weight that I’ve gained this winter.

I started the morning with a healthy breakfast and then went for an eight kilometre bike 2-200 photo 1-201 For the rest of the day I’m going do some gardening, get out for a walk and drink lots of water. I’m also hoping to get  up to the cottage this weekend to open the place up and then I’ll come back to finish up in the library. With any luck I should be able to get the job done in one day.

Trinity College and the Library

……how can a librarian go to Dublin and NOT see the library at Trinity College?

One of the first places our son, B, wanted to see was Trinity College and its famous library. I took a tour of the place the last time we were in Ireland but I was happy to visit it again.

I’ve quickly learned on this trip that B isn’t interested in waiting in line or paying to see historical sites. In this regard he is very much like his father; in fact K didn’t even come with us to the college.

When we walked through the archway that leads to the campus grounds we recognized that the place was very busy and there was a huge line-up to get into the library. We settled for the gift shop, where we could walk right in and in one corner, if you looked up you could get a pretty good feel for the size of the library.

After purchasing a couple of books we made our way back onto the grounds and viewed the numerous statues and the interesting architecture. We discovered the outdoor track that was situated in the middle of an idyllic park setting.  . We made ourselves comfortable on one of the many park benches and watched the runners, young and old make their way around the track. As my son said ‘ it was surprisingly relaxing watching other people run’.image

Planning for the Summer

…..opening the cottage and buying tickets for flights to Europe

It all seems so surreal. We haven’t done either of the above yet. It’s almost the end of May and my focus has been on school and it continues to be my focus.

On Friday we will be hosting our Jump Rope for Heart activity and then I’ll be collecting and counting the donations and filling in the paperwork in the week to follow. Next Tuesday the girls’ soccer team will be playing at the Esther Shiner Stadium for the West Conference Finals. One more practice tomorrow morning.


Also next week we have two more sessions for Girls on the Run and then on Sunday June 9 we head up to Vaughn Mills for the actual 5k race. On Friday, next week, we have a report card writing day which is city wide. Hopefully we won’t have the usual problems when more than 11 000 teachers try to get on the system at the same time. Two of us are the report card administrators at my school we are in charge of making sure that there are no glitches in the system at the school level. Unfortunately there are always glitches but they are usually easily fixable.

The following week I have to print all the report cards for the staff. Not a difficult task but somewhat time consuming because again every school in the board prints at the same time and everything comes through cyberspace. The following day I have my physical. That reminds me, I have to check what time my appointment is. I can’t remember if I managed a time after school or if I have to take time off.

On the 13th my Forest of Reading student book club is having their big celebration day. Plans are underway and so far we’ve prepared a book making activity and one of my colleagues has confirmed that we have an artist coming in to do a drama workshop with the students. A pizza lunch has yet to be organized and prizes have to be obtained.


Tonight I spoke with my oldest daughter and we’ve set a potential date to open the cottage. It looks like it may be the Father’s Day weekend. I have to contact my friend D and see if she wants to go up the same weekend.

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The week following, the school will be preparing for the spring concert. I promised my friend L, who is the music teacher, that I would help her with the organization. There is also a possibility that somewhere in the middle of all of this that the girls’ soccer team could advance to the city finals but I guess I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch.IMGP0142

In the last week of school the grade 5 students have their farewell assembly and a special activity day. This will be the first year since I started at Rosethorn that I won’t be directly involved with these activities. That means, however, that I will probably be in charge of an activity for the school wide fun day instead.P1010535

Somewhere I have to find time to pack up a wall of library books before we leave for summer vacation. During the summer, construction workers will be coming in to remove the wall between the library and the computer lab.


My husband has applied for his new passport and he’s been in touch with family overseas. He’s going to look into booking tickets for our flights in the next week or two and then we’ll sit down and make plans for our accommodations and planning our itinerary. We’re hoping to meet up with our son and his girlfriend when they go to Dublin for a conference. We’d like him to meet the Irish cousins and hopefully we can plan a short trip to the west coast with him.


I know people who plan months in advance for a trip like this. I’m a little nervous that we’ve left it so late but with my husband’s health issues we can’t plan too far in advance. Even at this stage we’re still waiting for one more appointment before we can make definite plans.

In the end it will all work out. If Europe doesn’t pan out, I still have the cottage and my little paradise in the sun and I will see my son in the fall.