Happy Winter Break!

Yeah, I’m having one!  I’m not a huge fan of the word “staycation,” but whatever you call it, it’s pretty great.  I don’t regret my travels in past years – they were wonderful in their own way.  However, I’m enjoying no jet lag, no TSA agents patting me down, and no navigating unfamiliar highways in rented cars.  It was a looooong fall/early winter until my break, and the first day of “vacation” was Christmas Eve.  For most of the week since then I’ve been reading, cooking, eating, hiking around in the unseasonably warm weather, watching movies and writing thank-you notes. (OK, I did go into work yesterday). 

I received many gifts this year.  We teachers are often honored by families in the form of gift certificates to restaurants, food and beverages (local honey, cheese and milk chocolate were big this year – hey, the rest of my family is in luck!), and other overwhelmingly amazing items that are, well, overwhelming.  In addition to students, we received food gifts from family – two gift boxes from Harry and David that totally rocked.  Below you see wonderful foods chosen by people who actually know what we eat, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

It’s taken a whole week of serious relaxation to recover from the previous month of school, a month in which my work partner has suffered many health problems.  It’s been a tough month for her, and a long one for me as I worked with a variety of subs (or no subs) and a gaggle of ever-more-hyper students who were focusing more on upcoming holidays than long division.  (Can you blame them?)  To keep them in line, I made my math group struggle to create a budget for living on $1.00/day in a variety of developing countries (using curriculum tied to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals), practice their math facts on freerice.com, and forego breakfast one day so they could wait for a small bowl of rice (serving dictated by one meal allotment from the World Food Programme).  Do teachers know how to kill a mood or what?

Just in time for vacation, we had the oven and dishwasher repaired – totally worth it for the oven, although not so much for the dishwasher.  I bought some Daiya cheese to celebrate. 

As Decembers go, this one has been mild and un-snowy.  We’ve had just enough for some good snowballs on the playground; in town, it melted within a day.  At our house, though, the valley is like a refrigerator that stores cold on the nicest day.  For instance, Christmas Day itself was sunny, breezy, and in the low 40’s F.  The sunny side of the valley offered good clothes drying….

…. while the Dark Side remained more wintry. 

Today, though, the weather has turned.  It’s just above freezing and nasty out there – rain turning to snow.  The deck is a sheet of ice and I haven’t ventured anywhere.  Time for me to go make some more tea and read another book…

This one is much better, and we're both reading it so we can have our own little book group.

The Hunger Games caption won’t stick to the photo for some reason.  Perhaps my comment isn’t kind enough?  I said that it’s kind of “meh,” but all my students are reading it.

I wasn't prepared to like something this popular, but I really did anyway. Helps to have lived through the era...

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2 Responses to Happy Winter Break!

  1. ibuibulai says:

    you know I know exactly what you mean by the difference in temp btwn sunny & shady, living where I do!! but all the same, those pictures are pretty striking. Gorgeous gifts, btw.

    ALSO, you know how “all jews” eat chinese food on Christmas?? Well I was thinking how, because I was sick, even though I’m in China, I didn’t eat chinese food on christmas! haha.

  2. It’s nice that you had a chance to truly relax during your break — and from what I’ve heard, the weather has been nicer than normal. I hope your work partner is OK, I’m worried about her.

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