Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How an English Teacher Wraps Up the Summer

The frenzied countdown is on.  The time for reading, and procrastinating my lesson planning and cleaning is over.  Tomorrow I head back to school for teacher meetings, so let's face it, I'm back to work!

Although I've been reading to try to beat the jet lag that killed me last week, the majority of my time has been spent cleaning my house, shopping for school clothes and such, getting in those last minute doctor appointments, and organizing those last few rooms that I didn't get around to last year.  I'm sad that my mother has had to face down all this chaos with me, but how nice is it to have family around to help?  I love her to bits, and was happy to have another family member come and help us build shelves today.

So, here's what my return home to the mainland has entailed:

First we canned raspberry jam.  We found some beautiful berries at a local farmers market not long before they were going to close.  The price was pretty decent, and the jam turned out amazing!  Now, what to do with 23 jars of the stuff?

We also canned green beans.  To be honest, my mother loves to snap beans, so I saw her eyeballing this box of beans at the farmer's market.  We brought them home and canned about 20 more jars of yummy green beans.  Looks like I'll have some good stuff over the winter!

 Finally, the real miracle of my summer.  We finished building and putting up shelves in my garage, under my stairs, and in my office.  I wouldn't dream of recording, permanently what the stacked boxes looked like in my office, but I will say it was pretty bad!  Now, I  have two more lovely bookshelves filled with books to add to the three already up (and full). 

I'm excited to see things being accomplished before I head back to work.  I find myself getting pretty anxious about the days ahead, so it's always good to have a nice, settled home to come back to when the day is through. 

What about you?  What have you been doing to wrap up the summer?  Yes, I know.  We can't wait for Mockingjay!  Anything else you've been doing?  :)


  1. Whenever there is chaos- I look around for my mother to come recue me and help me with everything! :)
    Looks like you got a lot done this summer- the shelves looks great!
    I’m still packing to move to UK…

    And those raspberry jams looks soooo yummy :)

  2. I've never thought of canning beans. Last year we froze the ones we couldn't eat and they just didn't taste as good. The ones we had in the garden this year we gobbled up -boy they were good.

    Love your big shelf! I wish I had one that big. Last night I finally tackled the bookshelf downstairs and got it organized. I now have about 10 boxes of books going to the library.

    Good luck with school starting!

  3. I don't even want to think about wrapping up summer! This summer went by way too fast for me. Sounds like you are settling back in... how is Gato?

  4. Good luck with the new school year. We don't start until after Labor Day, so there is still a little summer left left here. The raspberry jam looks delicious - it's my favorite!!

  5. Awesome progress! Trying to do some canning over here, too, but need to go through the bookshelves and take some to the local book sale next month before working on new shelving.

  6. I've never canned anything. I did put up a bookshelf, though. I only took 1 box of books with me from CO! I miss my books. :(

  7. You did wrap up the summer on a strong note! I wish I had that many jars of raspberry jam waiting for me! I'm really going to have to start canning again. Good luck with the school year!

  8. Lua--Thanks Lua, and best wishes on the move! There really is nothing I hate more than moving, so I really do send all my best!!!

    Darlene--Thanks. You're so nice. :) Canned beans are really great, and in my estimation, taste a lot better than what you get in the store. You'll have to try them if you get the chance!

    Gretchen--Gato is great. The little pill thinks I'm his best bud?!? What would give him that idea? LOL. Just kidding. I just thought it was strange that he was so quickly attached to me again. Here I thought he'd be angry with me for abandoning him!

    JoAnn--Enjoy your time. Precious time off is such a treasure! I agree about the jam too. When I saw that I was on my last homemade jar of it, I had to make sure I was stocked back up for the winter so I could have many happy days ahead. :)

    TexasRed--Good luck with the sorting of shelves. I thought I'd pull out more than I did, and will probably have to revisit them again to cut back on what I have. That will have to be for another day though!

    Heidenkind--I LOVE to can. There is something really therapeutic about it, besides the food tasting a million times better when it's all said and done. I bet you miss your books! I packed half of mine to Kansas, but will admit to cursing myself on more than one occasion when I was in the process.

    Lisa--I wish I could share the jam! I have too many, but am secretly glad I do. :) Canning is great fun and it will send me into this school year and winter being well prepared. Thanks!