Monthly Archives: September 2014

Happy Anniversary


Today would have been my parent’s 47th wedding anniversary.  It seems so odd that a day that we always celebrated went on as if it was just a regular day.  I am sure that my dad was thinking about my mom all day.  He was supposed to go with my sister to a play tonight, but there was some sort of “glitch” in the show and it was canceled.  It was a show that my mom would have loved to have seen.  Seeing the show would have kept him positive but instead, I think having to miss it, just made him miss her more.

We tried to have him come over for dinner but he wasn’t up for it.  It has been more than 18 months since she died, and even though we miss her everyday, some days are definitely harder than others.

Not Enough Time to Do it All


Do you ever have one of those days….or weeks… that you just feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done?  This is one of those days.  It is already 9:30 pm and I still have not finished!

I got to work before 7 am this morning and didn’t get home until 6 tonight.  For everyone who thinks teachers have “the greatest hours” I have proven that wrong!  Plus, for the last two hours, I have been doing more school work.  I know a lot of it is just beginning of the school year “stuff.”  It is not just me, I know a lot of my coworkers are feeling the same way.  There is so much to do at the beginning of the school year.  Things usually slow around mid-October.

Tonight, I came home to a yummy dinner that Dave had made.  All four of us sat down and had a real dinner conversation.  No matter how hard we try, finding those days are few and far between.  That was the most relaxing part of my day.  Thirty minutes of family time before getting into my pajamas to jump back into school work.

So tonight’s blog is a quick one.  The quote is a perfect one.  I love teaching….I love my class, I love Kindergarten!  It will all slow down and I will catch up.  I always do 🙂

That Went Fast!

agree to disagree

This weekend was a busy one.  A four day weekend from school because of the Jewish holidays.  We packed so much into those four days, I feel like I need a vacation!!  Doctors appointments, college tours, soccer games, photo shoots, a party with old friends…I even went into school one of those days to work in my classroom.  It flew by in a flash.

Today, while I was sitting at Drew’s soccer game, I wrote my blog.  I did it on my phone.  It was a long one.  One that I wrote about “Agreeing to Disagree” because I had a big disagreement with my brother today.  We often disagree.  We are very different and both very stubborn.  Neither of us will ever give in so the arguments and disagreements really never end.  They either fizzle away or fester.

I began the blog by writing that I didn’t understand how two people who came from the same two parents could have so many different views about so many different things!  We really couldn’t be more opposite. Especially when it comes to health, politics, economics….the list could go on and on.

I got home and got ready to publish the blog and it was gone.  It hadn’t saved properly on my phone.  I think in the end, it is probably a good thing.  It wasn’t mean.  I didn’t put any blame on him for today’s disagreement, in fact, for every negative comment I wrote, I made sure that I validated it with one of for myself.  The whole point of the blog was just my wonderment of our differences.

But in the end, it is gone.  Lost somewhere in the blogosphere perhaps.  Probably a good thing.  Getting it all out even if I can’t read it ever again released some of the bitterness I was feeling.  Now, thinking more rationally, I realize that maybe sometimes, it really is best to just agree to disagree.

Paying for College

college tuition

When I was applying to colleges, I was fortunate to have had a grandfather who financially provided for all ten of his grandchildren to go without incurring any debt.  He paid for it all.  We were so lucky for that and I will be forever grateful.  I think I appreciate it more now, as we are headed into the world of financial aid applications for DJ.  It is truly amazing just how expensive college is.

When DJ first started the college search process, he told us that he was never going to go to college in New Jersey.  He wanted to get away.  We visited four schools in Connecticut and he fell in love with Fairfield University which has a price tag of nearly $50,000 per year.  I know there are grants and financial aid which lessen the price but the price is exorbitant.  Quinnipiac, also in Connecticut, another favorite of his, was just about the same.  Dave took him to visit Hofstra, another school with a price tag close to that price range and he found another favorite.  Up until today, Fairfield was at the top of his list.

I finally convinced him to at least look at a state school where the price would be cut in half.  He agreed and on Thursday, he and Dave went to visit Ramapo College which is only about 45 minutes away.  He liked it.  Didn’t love it, but agreed to at least apply there.  Today, we visited Rowan University.  Another state school, but this one was just about two hours away.

He surprised both Dave and me when he told us that he actually put Rowan ABOVE Fairfield!  Half the price!  Still expensive, but HALF THE PRICE!  They have a pretty high standard for students and DJ is going to have to work very hard to get in, but the fact that he is considering a state school is a step in the right direction financially.

The whole process is overwhelming.  I am grateful that I have friends who have already gone through it who are able to guide me in the right direction and give me pointers and tips along the way.  The next few months of applications and forms are going to be busy ones for all of us.  As DJ gets closer and closer to deadlines and due dates I am sure he will narrow down his choices.  The Common Application, which wasn’t around when I was applying to schools, is making it a lot easier.

Now we wait to hear if he will receive financial aid and how much!  Fingers crossed, it will be enough.

National Pancake Day

pancake day

I nearly missed National Day of Peace last week so I wasn’t going to let another “National Day of ANYTHING” go by without celebrating!  Today is National Pancake Day!  I had the day off of school because of the Jewish holiday so what better way to celebrate than to go to the local diner for pancakes?!?! There’s nothing like diner pancakes.  I have tried and tried to replicate them but to no avail. I have tried making them from scratch and from a mix but they never come out the same.  Plus, they are never piping hot since I can only make a few at a time.  Diner pancakes are a treat.  A splurge that I usually don’t order because they aren’t the healthiest low-calorie option. I went with the whole wheat ones today making me feel just a little bit less guilty. We all like pancakes in our family but we are all particular about them.  None of us like them soaked in syrup.  Drew and I don’t even like syrup.  Dave and DJ are dippers, leaving the syrup on the side of the plate.  Drew and I prefer regular sugar, also on the side for dipping.  Dave and I will spread them with butter – diner whipped butter is so much tastier and spreadable than the hard refrigerated kind we have at home.  The boys don’t like butter at all, (I know…what is wrong with them?!?!) No matter how you like them, they are a treat.  It is like having dessert for a meal!!  If you missed having them for breakfast today there’s always “Breakfast for dinner!”


derek jeter

I have never been a Yankee fan.  I can’t be.  I root for The NY Mets no matter how awful they may be.  Yet, I can’t help but get caught up in all of the Derek Jeter commotion.  Even though I would never root for The Yankees, I will cheer on Derek.  Especially tonight.

He is the epitome of what a sports role model should be.  He is the type of player that I want my kids to root for.  He follows the rules on AND off the field. He’s friendly, engaging, appealing, attractive and one of the best hitters to play the game.  Plus, that smile…it only adds to his charm 🙂

As a captain he showed leadership. He is respected by his teammates, other players, coaches and fans.

The Washington Post quoted Washington Nationals, Tyler Clippard who said,

“I was his teammate for four months, when you’re around somebody like that, you’re going to pay attention. He’s a good, genuine guy. The best thing I can say about him is that you would never know he is Derek Jeter. He doesn’t ‘big league’ anybody, no matter what walk of life you’re from. . . . He’s not putting on a show.” 

That’s probably the best way to describe how I feel about him.  Genuine.  So as the world say good bye to him tonight, as he plays his last home game at Yankee Stadium, my family was watching.  We were talking about what he might do with his life after baseball.  The kids think he will coach or manage.  I think he should be some sort of motivational speaker.  People will surely listen.

Rosh Hashanah

rosh hashanan

L’shanah tovah!  Happy New Year to all of my Jewish friends and family.  The year 5775 – a palindrome.  I think that’s the only reason I remembered the year!!

Tonight, 25 of us gathered at Irving’s Jewish Deli to celebrate the New Year with our family.  My aunt is Jewish and we celebrate with her every year.  It is always a celebration when we all get together, and this year, I think there were less Jewish family members at the Rosh Hashanah dinner than there were “non-Jews.”

Among the regular menu items, all the traditional foods were served; challah, potato pancakes, Kahska Varnishka, mushroom barley, matzoh ball soup, noodle keugel…more food than we could eat! Not all my favorites, but lots to pick at!

The best part of it all, like any of our family celebrations, was getting together with everyone.  We all live so close, yet our busy schedules keep us from doing things like this.  With all of the different religions and holidays our family celebrates, I am glad there are lots of them because that is what always brings us all together.  ❤

Positive Email

power of words

As teachers, we often have to send out emails regarding a child’s behavior or issues that may be going on in class.  I remember learning in college, (before email) how important it is to send out as many positive notes as I do “not so positive” ones.  I sometimes forget how important that is.

This evening, I received an email from one of Drew’s teachers with just his name in the message line.  Of course, the first thing I thought was, “Ugh, what did he do….or not do.”  I opened it and instead, found a lovely email from his Social Studies teacher telling me how well he was doing and that he currently he has an A in the class!!  It might still be early in the school year, but he’s off to a good start!!  I made him come down and read it himself.  He only muttered a “hmph” but I saw the smile he was trying to hide from me slip out the corner of his mouth.

I do try to send out those positive emails and notes when I can.  Now, I feel like I want to try even harder.  It felt so good to be on the receiving end of one tonight.  I think I will go and write one right now!

Last Day of Summer….or….First Day of Fall


The last day of Summer always makes me feel a little bit melancholy.  Especially because this past Summer never really seemed to arrive.

Less hours of daylight, cooler days, the impending winter….it doesn’t make me happy to think of what lies ahead.  I think what has always kept me from looking forward to autumn is not only the shortened days, each evening having less and less daylight, but also the cold.  I dread it.

I have never considered Autumn to be my favorite season but the older I get, I seem to appreciate it more and more. The spectacular  colors of the changing leaves, the pumpkins and mums… Wearing my favorite outfits of jeans, boots and cozy sweaters.  Football games, apple picking…The smells of Autumn always make me happy.  Despite the chill in the air, I find comfort in the smell.  I love taking my students on a nature walk in the fall, listening to them crunch through the leaves as they find acorns, pine-cones and other treasures only discovered in Autumn.

Living in the North East gives me the opportunity to watch Mother Nature creating her most beautiful masterpieces.  There is nothing like driving along the roads among the red, yellow and orange leaves in their most splendid glory.  There truly is nothing like it.  It almost makes the end of Summer worth it…


Peace Day


I didn’t know it until I bought a wall calendar today to help with my organization…or lack thereof… but written on today’s date is “Peace Day.”  I had never heard of it, but according to Wikipedia,

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.

Apparently, it is the 30th anniversary of International Peace Day so I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of it before.  Seems like a day that we should promote a lot more!  Peace doesn’t have to be just about a cease in war…unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an end to that in the near future, but, we should do more to promote this day in our communities, encouraging others to be better people and to live more fulfilling lives by helping others.

Everyone desires peace.  It shouldn’t be celebrated on just one day.  We can create a world that is peaceful one day at a time.