Friday, April 29, 2016

Did get to cut grass in the country

I did get to cut grass in the country yesterday so now I am all finished with grass mowing for a week. But I did figure out that the weather has changed so much and the grass is growing so much that cutting grass should be an EVERY week deal now until maybe late October.

I have gotten several other TPT online items much closer to being finished but they are not really to upload yet. One is..

and another is...

but I still have several others in various stages of work.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Heading to the country - I think/hope/plan to

I hope that everything will go fine as I plan to pick up my Father-in-Law and take him out to the old country house to let him finish cutting the grass. On Monday I cut my own city yard, on Tuesday morning I weed-eated our city yard and by late afternoon I headed out to the country and did part of the grass mowing before it got dark. Wednesday it rained early stopping me and my FI; from going out to the country. The sun shone bright all afternoon.

It is bright today so I going to call him and plan to take him out to the country, He can mow grass and I plan to weed-eat 'round the house, fruit trees, etc.

Yesterday I did get to finish my newest TPT online store project called "Juneteenth"....
It is just cool history and a mini-project for middle schoolers at the End of the Year. That make 462 projects online. Maybe next year sells will go even bigger.
I still have several more projects in the works and plenty that I have added in the last couple of weeks.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Don't worry about old age. It doesn't last long. Psalm 90:10"

Saw this today as I was patrolling the blog world - "Don't worry about old age. It doesn't last long. Psalm 90:10". I know. but it sure feels like it does.

At least, the Southwest Daily News had me in the paper for SPAR's Wall of Honor - "In 1982, English was asked by a long time friend, Larry Shaw, to be an assistant coach on a girls softball team. He was a natural for coaching and became head coach of the SweetHearts in 1983. Along with coaching the SweetHearts for 32 years, English also coached girls basketball in 1987, girls softball tournament teams in 1988, girls slow pitch in 1990, boys basketball in 1992 and girls middle school basketball from 1994-1996. English has umpired fast-pitch softball, t-ball, recreation, and high school for over 27 years. He has served on the board of the Maplewood Girls Sports Association for 18 years and the Sulphur Girls Sports Association for five years." - but I wasn't there that day/night/whenever. They did not get my photo or nothing. But then no one would have been there for me anyway. I've out lived most of them. Out coached them also.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Nominated but....

I was nominated for the SPAR (Wall of Honor) but no one seemed to tell me what time the event was going to be or where the event was going to take place so therefore "I missed it".

Not on purpose but just because. I knew the date but that was all I knew. I saw on Facebook several other folks who were enshrined that day/night. Some had coached or umpired for 10-15 years. I had coached and umpired for 33 years.

Not only did I coach for 33 years - I coached for the same team! I umpired for the same sport for over 25 years also.

I did get to 'see' my dear O'Malley today one last time as he was inside the trash truck that came by the house. I know he was inside because we are one of the last houses picked up during our weekly 'pickup', I'm not happy about how he was discarded but I don't know WHO  picked him up that night he was killed but.... he is gone now. I'm still sad.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Is it worth it?

Is it worth it? Should I do it? Do I want to be tied down to this over the long haul? Do I have the energy to do this? Point is..."Do I???????"

Do I?
I just do not know.

I have been thinking long and hard about these. I have even taken a couple of teacher web classes on them but still have not made up my mind.

I just read and he has a valid point.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Said my prayers for O'Malley

Last night before I went to sleep I did say my prayers of O'Malley and hoped he went painlessly.
I got O'Malley about two and a half years ago as a kitten from my daughter and he has - was, should a great cat. He was friendly - except that my wife's cat did not like him. He was good to our other male cat, to our dog. He played well, ate real well, and became a great pet.
He generally slept with me at night, kept me company when my wife was off at her secondary jobs. I still sit on the porch and think about him and look across the way to where I know he was killed. It still makes me tear up.
This morning we have rain bands coming through which means I have to take the dog out BETWEEN bands. He does not like to get even the slightest wet or cold. Right now he is still sleeping but in a few minutes I will go wake him up.
Even in April it is too cool to sit outside on the porch but it should warm up by this afternoon. I can't cut grass due to all the rain we have had over the past several days.
I am again spending the day ALONE as my wife goes off to do her own thing teaching music, visiting her dad, fixing an instrument for a university professor. And I'm stuck here alone again.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jazz and heartache

I did get through putting together my Jazz upload...

it was tuff due to my heartache.

I lost my cat Friday night when someone ran over him at a stop sign that THEY did not stop at. I wrote a "letter to the Editor" of our local paper today after having a long restless night last night.

Below is the letter it wrote...

Somebody saw

Somebody saw you ran that STOP sign.
Somebody saw you ran that STOP sign over and over and over again.

Somebody saw you ran that 4-way STOP sign on East End going north.

Somebody saw you ran that 4-way STOP sign on East End going north and south or making a turn on to Jodie/Pinewood Drive.
Somebody saw you ran that STOP sign in a pickup truck; a white one, red one, tan one, gray one but ALWAYS  a pickup truck, both company and personal pickups, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Toyota ones.

I sit on my porch rocking away when I see you fly through the stop sign like the law/sign means nothing to you. I have seen you coming home for lunch, in mid-afternoon, late afternoon, early evening.
My real problem is that you did not stop Friday night, April 15th, when you KILLED my beloved cat at the STOP sign you did not stop at but three other people have called and said they say you.

My PROBLEM is what if that had been me, my wife, my neighbors, a little kid, the teens walking home from school, a runner, ladies out pushing a stroller, the elderly biker rides, the handicapped. Then how would you feel?
You THINK no one sees you but THEY do. It's a quiet neighborhood and someone ALWAYS sees.

I did get a notice on Facebook today that one of our neighbors did see him late that night and moved him out of the road to the grass and was going to see who he belonged to but his body was gone the next morning.

There are still 'caring' people in this world.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I am always working on some lesson/worksheet or something to do for my imaginary classroom. It has kept me up at night, 'hit' me while out shopping, riding around with my wife, anywhere-anytime. I never know what is going to come up. Like this one I haven working on for the past couple of days...

and then I have another idea for a 'magazine cover' project called "reCall".

The Barzare Foods idea came to me after watching the Food network show and thinking back to my student who was my journalism newspaper editor, in Beta, and one of my all-time favorite middle school students. She wrote such weird stuff. Everyone loved her.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Not enuff sleep

It is so sad that sometimes, and I mean SOMETIMES, I just can not sleep because my brain gets the idea of what I should done as a lesson project. And I HAVE to go create it before I forget. Much the way this one was created at 3AM...

you just don't know when something is going to "pop" in your head.

It just was added to my huge list of magazine cover ideas and my over 450 items in my store. yw-a-n-n-n-n - now I'm sleepy but I HAVE to be up  to take the dog out, go to Walmart, get my granddaughter off to school, feed the cats, feed myself, check my emails, read the paper, etc.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

TPT, I'm still working (teaching), whatever

TPT I'm still actively uploading items to my store - at LEAST once a week. This time it was about the Baton Rouge Bus boycott...
I will most-likely got back and tweak it just a bit, but over all it is fine the way it is. I still working on this one...
but I will get it do - for NEXT year.
My TPT money (PayPal money) is still looking good and I am happy. I have TRIED to get my sister-in-law to start a store, but she won't. Her lost. I have tried to get several otters to start selling but so far the haven't started.
But then again, I guess I have time to kill. Lots of time to kill. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

History ideas ?????? A Very Deep Dig into the Story

Excellent ideas found by MrE ~

“Most historians stop thinking too soon.”

"We have to dig a little deeper!"

 A key tenet of the Teach Like a Pirate philosophy is to look at the world around us and always ask, “How can I use this/that?”

Let’s talk about the Academy Awards. Millions of people tune in each year to see who will win the Oscars in various categories and it is a major pop culture event.

 So…how can we use this to engage middle school students?

First of all, it is an event centered on multiple categories of nominees vying against each other to be honored. How can we take material from our class and break into competitive categories and nominees? Let’s choose History class as an example.

An Academy Awards show for books/chapters read over the course of the year! Have the students help to develop the categories and the nominees.

Lessons you could sell tickets for
The top category may be Book/Chapter of the Year.

Best Historical Figure of the Chapter/Unit

Best Male Character in the Chapter/Unit

Best Female Character in the Chapter/Unit

Best Supporting Character in the Chapter/Unit

Best Villain in the Chapter/Unit

Best Heroic or Courageous Act in the Chapter/Unit

Best Setting in the Chapter/Unit

Best Scene in the Chapter/Unit

Best Single Line in the Chapter/Unit

Best Quote in the Chapter/Unit

Best Plot Twist in the Chapter/Unit

The possibilities are endless!

But now let’s stop swimming and put a snorkel on so we can go deeper. We can layer in hooks.

Social media always explodes during these shows. Can students create tweets, vines, Instagram posts, memes, Snap chat, Facebook?

Uh oh! We went pretty deep and oxygen is running low. It’s time to head back up. By the way, my example centered on books but this can be adapted to almost any subject area.

I think there are some amazing possibilities for ending the year with a bang with this type of themed lesson design. More importantly, I wanted to show you how you can take a simple observation like, “Hey, lots of people enjoy those award shows,” and then really dive down deep and come up with creative ways to engage students.

Let’s make school amazing!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Emails flooding in

Seems that just when I'm not looking, someone drops an email off to me asking about some video I may or may not have seen. Problem is that I HAVE seen this one. Heck I even saw it as it was being produced by our own LPB station in Baton Rouge. I was there working on the LPB Louisiana History Bee and I - and a team of others - were writing questions that would be asked of competitors. And that was over ten years ago. GeeWhiz!!!!!!

I just got an email from my drugstore telling me my meds were ready. Nice. It has been 11 days since I turned the script in for filling. I'm glad it was a med I could do without for the time being. I also got my Contour test strips refilled. Both of these scripts were very PRICY!

I also uploaded another TPT product to add to my collection of over 447.
It is something I have used in the past and it does work for the students. I also just got an email telling me that TPT has put money in my PayPal account for this month. At least I have money again. Now just waiting on my SS money and I will be set for the month again.
Retirement check on the 1st, TPT by the 11th, and SS on the 14 or 15th of each month.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Teachers plates are on overload, and most are juggling more than one plate.
I know I am AND I'm retired. If you recognize that you're overwhelmed, then you need to stop and take care of you. Slow down. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed...
  • Take some "me" time. You will not work effectively as long as you're so drained that you can't remember what's next. You may need to go as far as taking a mental health day. Sometimes, you simply need to relax and recharge your batteries.
  • Make a to do list, order the list by priority, and cross out unnecessary items that you're putting on yourself. Perhaps your big project idea needs to be nixed. It's simply not something that you can take on right now. Recognize when you're creating more work for yourself, and learn to work simple and smart.
  • Use your work time wisely and effectively, so that you can keep your "home" time for yourself and your family. If you waste your conference period chatting it up with another teacher only to have to stay after school, then you're making things harder on yourself. Work now. Socialize later.
  • Learn to say no. Don't volunteer for everything. If your plate is full, then say so. It's okay to say, "I'm already doing 'x, y, and z', so I really can't take this on right now". 
  • Don't over plan your lessons with high prep activities. Is it absolutely necessary that every lesson activity requires you to create, print, cut, paste, and sort? 
  • Seek out volunteers. Make phone calls and ask at home parents and grandparents to make copies, cut and paste, and sort. 
  • Be sure to look through items at TPT and see what someone else has already done which might take the stress off re-inventing the wheel AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.