Summer is on the decline

For the last several years, I’ve written a “what I did on my summer vacation” post. Mainly to show that it’s no 3 month vacay. (And 3 months!? Really?) So here goes.

  • Week long training at UNCG for clinical teachers.
  • Had my “read and ride” donors choose grant funded.
  • Went through the TED-X application process. (Accepted btw)
  • PD on Exploring NC Digitally. Thanks to NCSLMA.
  • Worked on campus about 20 days. I lost track. I was in more than I intended.
  • Wrote 2 math books for Carson Dellosa – a 4th and a 5th. This took up the majority of summer.
  • Went to the mountains for a few days with my girlfriends.
  • Attended multiple meetings for school or NCSLMA.
  • Applied for an admin program and scheduled a retirement meeting. The coupling of these two is bizarre, but I’m planning for every contingency. Mwahahaha

What I planned but didn’t do:

  • Rework my school web page.
  • Practice my Spanish.
  • Plan like a library demon.
  • Read a book a week. I read, but . . .
  • Exercise like I wanted. I did but it was not at the level I planned.

The math books threw things off plan, but will pay for my new grad school endeavors.

What I worked in just because it was summer:

  • I ate watermelon. Pure ambrosia.
  • I went to the pool.
  • I napped.
  • I watched some Netflix.

Not an overly exciting time in my life, but bunches accomplished. And I got to spend some time (not enough) with old and new friends!


56 days of summer – day 56

Today was the last day I counted for summer vacation. I was totally lazy today, although I did wash clothes and write this post. It was a very full week. I worked three long days at school – mainly cataloging. One day I had to finish my manuscript rewrites and go to a very old friend’s funeral. That was just a tough one. There are technically two days left in summer with this Saturday and Sunday, but those are my coming to grips with vacation is over days. I have got to say that sleeping past sunrise is a gift to cherish!

Recap of my 56 days of vacation.


  • Went to the beach for 8 days in two trips. I love the beach!
  • I wrote and edited one math book for Carson Dellosa. It will be called Applying the Standards – Grade 5. Unlike other books I’ve done for CD, this book is 100% new content and was a ton of fun to write. I got offered another book in this series while we at the beach and was really sad to have to turn that one down.
  • Developed a theme for the library, bb the library passportmade library displays and got them put up.
  • And before I go any farther on library talk, I’ve got to sing the praises of my friend Stephanie (the new librarian at Mineral Springs MS btw). She came in 5 of the 8 days I worked at the library. Not only did this make those days go much quicker, but she did so many things that would be waiting for me to still do. She stamped, labeled, cleaned, stickered, weeded, helped me move computers and offered fabulous advice. I will miss her greatly next year, but wish her the best of luck in her very own school!
  • Reworked library web site.
  • Created for library communication:
    • Blog,
    • FaceBook,
    • Pinterest,
    • Twitter
    • Google+
    • Mobile web page
  • Took a course on Copyright. This was through Coursera and was excellent.
  • Began a scope and sequence for K-5th grade library skills. This is almost complete, but needs some tweaking moving items between grade levels. I’ll share it when I’m finished.
  • Attended a webinar on Open House hosted by the Elementary Librarian. If you are looking for ideas, her site is a great place to visit and her webinars have become a regular occurrence.
  • Planned to attend a two-day workshop on Smart Notebook. I got vertigo though and couldn’t go. I thought it was important enough to sign up for, so when I could sit up again, I started searching for info to use at home.
    • Made a Smart Notebook playlist for YouTube.
    • created several activities for the Smart Board
    • Started a list of other ideas that might be appropriate for Smart Lessons
  • Started a FaceBook Group for Librarians to share ideas – please join us!
  • Attended multiple twitter meetings for #NCTLchat on Sunday nights that focus on Teacher Librarians.
  • Gathered ideas for a conference I’ll be leading (with my bud Sarah) in October.
  •  I watched a ton of Netflix.
    • Season 3 of Continuum
    • Call the Midwife
    • Season 3 of Sherlock
    • The Paradise
    • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
    • No God, No Master
    • I have forgotten some as they were well worth forgetting!
  • I read (although not as many books as usual).
    • Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (eee OK)
    • Dead is the new black by Christine iDeMaio-Rice – Dead is #1 (Pretty good. Funny)
    • The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson – Longmire #1 (LOVED)
    • Gideon’s Sword by Preston Douglas – Gideon Crew #1 (OK, but probably won’t read any others)
    • Inferno by Dan Brown – (Typical. Require little thought)
    • Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott – Sam Capra #1 (better than I thought it would be. I may read the next)
    • Shroud for a Nightingale – Dalgliesh #4 – (I LOVE Dalgliesh :D). I also read one about Holy Orders.
    • Adrenaline by John Olson (OK)
    • The Abyssinian Proof – Kamil Pasha #2 – (I’ll probably try to find another of these)
    • Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey – Silo #1 (Really liked this one – enough I got the second)
    • Shift by Hugh Howey – Silo #2 – (not as impressed. Won’t be getting #3 anytime soon)
    • Two books on the Big 6. I’d tell you the names but they will NOT come to me.
    • I also read a ton of news and professional articles.
    • I have forgotten some books. They did not all make the expected impression.
  • I shopped, Ron shopped and just when I thought we’d found everything I’d need for the new school year, I’d think of something else. If I haven’t mentioned before *ahem*, I’ll mention now what a good sport he is! He knows where all the teacher supply, dollar stores, book stores and libraries are before we ever take off anywhere! 😀
  • We put together patio furniture and umbrellas. patio 3
  • I worked at school 8 full days and still had time to play with Levi.

There were other things I wanted to do that just didn’t happen. Summer seems endless when it starts. It’s not. But I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t enjoy working at my own pace, at my own computer and in my own living room – usually with my feet up still in my jammies!

56 days of summer – 35

Today, my goal is to complete the MS for this math book, then let it sit until Monday for another round of editing. I’d also love to finish with my vehicles and get the BB paper cleaned up out of the guest room! I can do mess for a short period, but there comes a point that it wears on my nerves.

Cheryl Ristow posted a video this morning of a teacher decorating his room. It is not all practical, but I do love his enthusiasm. I have done some impractical things in my room (even knowing they were impractical) because I loved the way they looked and HOPE really does spring eternal donchano. I didn’t do themes in my classrooms – well, I did, but the theme was Math. 😉 I’m doing my second one in the library now and I love how the theme can tie things together. I love the filming theme he uses. Got to add that to my Pinterest board!



Barb Kibler shared a Buzzfeed Link – 35 Money Saving DYIs for the Classroom from 2013. I realize this kind of teacher craftiness is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve tried many of these things. I cannot tell you how many stacking boxes and cans (metal and plastic) I’ve repurposed over the years. Sometimes what I ended up making was NOT less expensive because of covering it (or, yes, even the mistakes I made), but I just couldn’t find something to fit a purpose. I would recommend finding boxes from a source other than the Post Office. Those are clearly marked that they are for USPS use only. But once you start collecting boxes, they multiply quickly.


paint chip calendar

56 days of summer – 33

I haven’t felt well the past couple of days. Something in the vertigo camp. Light headed verging on dizzy. I’ve been horizontal more than vertical. Had to miss a conference on Smart Notebook. That was terribly disappointing, and it means I’ll have to do more digging on my own. I did finish the Longmire book. It was good! Very good!


The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, #1)The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got this book because of the TV show which I really enjoy. Usually, I read a book before watching related items. I didn’t even know Longmire was a book, so that didn’t work out so well for me this time. I knew the book would be good. It had to be for the show to be so entertaining. What I didn’t know was that the book would be great! The show is just a little tiny candle flame compared to the bonfire of the book – the story, the humor, the characters. Loved it all. Can’t wait to start the next one!

View all my reviews

56 days of summer – 31

The Cold Dish Yesterday, I did seriously write before and after church. I have approximately 4 more pages of content (unless I decide one of these last topics needs more, then I have to discard earlier work). It was exhausting and extremely satisfying.

I’m in a Smart Notebook workshop Tues & Wed. I’ve got to go in today and get the program loaded on my computer. I’ll think I’ll stay and work a while. Always something to do donchano!

I started a Longmire book, The Cold Dish. Having just finished a Dan Brown book, these chapters are really meaty! Surprisingly, it’s terribly funny in parts.

Last night, I was in a twitter chat. Sedley Abercrombie (another NCSLMA Emerging Leader) founded this Sunday night chat. 7:30 pm. #NCTLchat. Topic is different each week. Don’t have to join in the conversation, but you’ll have a hard time not jumping in! You don’t have to be in NC to participate. This week was on Promoting the Library with Elissa MalespinaEdie Crook shared her LiveBinder for Media Center PR and Advocacy.

This check list for AASL standards came across my feed.


56 days of summer – 29

Got NO writing done today. Slept in a bit. Read on the deck for a while. Ron and I ran errands. Where did the day go?

Friend came over for dinner last night. It was raining, but temp was soooo nice, we sat out on the deck and we talked for HOURS! It got dark though, and I realized we could either sit in the dark or I could keep getting up and waving at the light that comes on automatically. We sat in the dark. Hopefully no more! We got some solar powered lights! Of course today wass cloudy, so they might even be brighter after a sunny day. They are enough light you can see others. Yeah! Mission accomplished. 

56 days of summer – 28

I believe 28 makes this the halfway mark of summer!

Yesterday I spent the day at school. Thanks to Stephanie for all her hard work! Moving along at a much quicker clip because she is so generous with her time. Ron came in and the three of us shifted the computer tables.

The theme is coming together nicely. All those letters I’ve been cutting out have come together as have the few modes of transportation I’ve completed. I’ll work on getting some of the other pictures on blog tomorrow.

I’ve been rewriting the parts of my book ms, so nothing terribly new has popped off my fingertips except for making some of the problems much stronger.

56 days of summer – 26

Yesterday, I hit the halfway mark in my manuscript. Today is also dedicated to writing. Wondering if 3/4 is too much for which to hope. I’m am seriously disliking fractions found in the real world at the moment 😉 Writing math problems makes for a pretty boring report.

I did sneak in a few other things. Still looking for some books to fill out series. Still cutting out letters. I am about to move on to modes of transportation!


56 days of summer – 21

Today, I assembled a 10′ side hanging umbrella and base – w almost 200 lbs of sand. I kept having to take apart what I’d done. Instructions were ok but not great. We did have one busted part. Company was great to work with on replacement – at least initially. Hopefully it will get here soon.


I also rearranged the living room and cut out a ton of letters.