Category Archives: Six Word Saturday

Sweet reward

100_1594Okay, so I’m motivated by chocolate

It’s been a long day. In fact, it’s been a long week.

Moving is not for the faint of heart. For the last twelve days, the hubby and I have been trying to make our house look like a home once more. The furniture is the easy part. It’s the little stuff that takes so long–is this the best cupboard for the coffee mugs, how should I organize the closet shelves, where should I hang this picture, should this knick-knack go in the living room or the bedroom, do we really need all these blankets?

I’m wiped.

The hubby took a well-deserved break from home-making this evening, going with a buddy to play poker. I could have taken the night off, too, either A) going along to the poker game, or B) curling up on the sofa with a book. But no, I opted to work three more hours after the hubby departed.

My actions were not completely altruistic.

I bought myself a Hershey bar during this afternoon’s grocery run.

You see, a Hershey bar slathered with Jif peanut butter, washed down with a cold glass of milk, is one of life’s greatest joys. If the promise of that gooey delight is dangled before me, I can be motivated to do all kinds of onerous tasks. So tonight’s three extra hours of shuffling “fluff” from one room to another flew by as thoughts of my sweet reward swirled in my head.

I figure half a dozen peanut buttery chocolate bars should be just about enough to inspire me to sort out my half of the office tomorrow.


Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Six Word Saturday, True Life


No rest for the weary

kitchen boxesIs all of this really ours?

This is just the stack of boxes for the kitchen. Every room has a similar mountain. I console myself with the fact that everything in those boxes recently fit comfortably in a house with half the square footage of our current house. Theoretically, there should be ample space for everything. I just wonder how many times I’ll have to rearrange it all before there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place.


Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Six Word Saturday, True Life



100_1561Things that make you go hmmm

As you may have heard, the hubby and I have been living overseas for the past five years. During that time, we kept our house in Virginia and rented it out to four different families. Now back in the States, we have been pleasantly surprised to find how well the string of tenants have taken care of our home.

Five years is a long time, though, so some general sprucing up is called for before we move back in. Fresh paint on the walls, new flooring on the lower level, deep cleaning throughout.

To get ready for the painters, the hubby and I had to remove all of the switch plates and outlet covers. Today, I washed all the covers from the upper floor. Just for outlets, there were 33 covers. That translates to 70–SEVENTY–individual outlets. On the upper level only. I didn’t get to the pile from downstairs.

So can someone please tell me why I can never find a place to plug in the vacuum cleaner?

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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Observations, Six Word Saturday, True Life


So many memories

100_187350 things I’ll miss about England

With only 12 days left on our tour in England, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things I’ll miss when we go back to the States…

  • rainbows
  • free medical care via the NHS
  • sheep
  • fields divided by hedgerows and stone walls
  • chicken and mushroom pie at Puddingface
  • sticky toffee pudding
  • dogs in pubs
  • long walks along rural roads
  • antique fairs
  • Bargain Hunt
  • 300+ year old cottages, stately homes, and everything in between
  • passing horses on the road
  • the multitude of English accents (and Welsh, and Irish, and Scottish)
  • English gardens (not mine specifically, but in general)
  • not being rushed through dinner when eating out
  • bacon rolls
  • chip and pin cards
  • rest areas on the motorways
  • British humor
  • fortnightly auctions
  • postcodes
  • Stella
  • British potatoes (new potatoes, jacket potatoes, chips, mash, you name it)
  • pedestrianized town centres
  • the preservation of old properties (rarely is a building torn down–it is repurposed)
  • the way Brits sniff when anything less than 150 years old is billed as antique
  • courteous drivers
  • high vis clothing
  • endless miles of public footpaths
  • tomato and basil soup
  • Treasure Trails
  • canal boats
  • rainy Sunday afternoons
  • our conservatory
  • the expectation that you will stop work for tea breaks, morning and afternoon
  • the reserved but friendly nature of the natives
  • leaving the door wide open while unloading groceries from the car (bugs come in through the screenless windows anyway, so what’s a few more through the door?)
  • no cell phone use while driving
  • BBC period dramas Downton Abbey, The Paradise, and Call the Midwife
  • Monday night church bell practice
  • the alternating smells of roasting coffee beans, bread, burning coal, and manure that waft by our house
  • finding fossils every time I pull weeds
  • bright yellow rapeseed fields
  • wood pigeons singing down my chimney
  • the fact that the entire country looks like a picture postcard
  • gurgling radiators
  • Wellies
  • charity shops
  • B&Bs
  • mushrooms on every menu

Stick a fork in me

100_1471Rather be walkin’ on the beach

Hubby and I have been working all week to get ready for the movers who will come on Monday. Preparing for any move is tough, but these overseas moves are in a league of their own. There’s a lot of physical work sorting, purging, and cleaning, but there’s also a lot of mental work involved with the same–can I live without that for two months, will I need this in the next 18 days before we actually depart, can I cram one more thing in this suitcase, do I have all the important papers, WHERE’S MY PASSPORT?

We’re almost done, but I’m ready to just drop everything and run away to the beach (it is the hottest July in seven years, after all) and let whatever will be will be.


Posted by on July 20, 2013 in How It Is, Six Word Saturday, True Life


I’ve got sunshine on my shoulders

101_9060I’ve got sunshine on my shoulders

The cold, wet misery of the April 2012 to April 2013 British weather is becoming a distant memory, pushed away by several weeks of limited amounts of rain, warming temperatures (this is all relative…60° is definitely warmer than 40°, but does not inspire me to give up my sweaters), and lately, brilliant sun. So much sun, in fact, that despite vigilant use of sunblock on our last two weekends’ outings, I have tan lines! Granted, the tanned parts are only the backs of my hands and the back of my neck–even though the last two days neared 80°, memories of the cold and damp aren’t yet buried that deep, and I’m still leery of leaving the house in short sleeves. 🙂



Ahh, 50s pinkHonoring my commitment to lifelong learning

Long before I took my first education class and heard the formal term, I knew down deep that I was a “lifelong learner.” And I’m not just talking about book learning…I’m the type of person who is able to take away something new from almost any situation, be it a piece of “useless” trivia or a major life lesson. Not only do I enjoy discovering and storing away new information like a squirrel stockpiling acorns for winter, but I can muddle through most topics of conversation at social functions, and who knows when one of those little nuggets of knowledge might enable me to save the day? Maybe I’ll be the star player who knows the answer to that obscure trivia question and boosts my team to a win at the local pub’s quiz night or the only chick in the car who knows how to assemble the jack when our girls’ night out is interrupted by a flat tire.

This week, I’ve enrolled myself in three somewhat more structured opportunities for learning to take place next month. First of all, I signed up for an online linguistics course through University of Phoenix so I can complete the continuing education requirements needed to renew my teaching license. Although I’m hoping not to have to return to an elementary classroom when we get back to the States, I’d rather have a current license and not need it than need it and not have it.

Secondly, I signed up for a one-day ESL course through Oxford University’s continuing education department. I am hoping to transition from elementary education to adult education when I begin full-time teaching again, and I’ve so enjoyed the informal English classes I’ve taught overseas the past five years that I think adult ESL may be my niche. The Oxford class focuses on speaking activities to improve English learners’ fluency, which is an area where my lesson plans could use some improvement. The course has the added benefit of giving me a legitimate reason to purchase an Oxford sweatshirt (I’d somehow feel a fraud wearing one without actually having taken a class there, although I know people do it all the time).

Last, but not least, I secured a spot in a weekend spoon carving class. A local woodworker had posted his flyer in our village pub last year, and as soon as I laid eyes on it I knew spoon carving was something I wanted to try. I’ve never carved anything other than a popsicle stick, so I’m not sure how or why I’m so convinced this is a hobby for me, but I knew regret would haunt me if I left England without taking the course. Even if I suck at carving and can’t fill my family’s Christmas stockings with beautiful (or even “rustic,” which is the PC term for screwed-up) hand-carved spoons this year, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t let an opportunity to learn something new pass me by.

Stay tuned next month to find out how each of these new learning opportunities pans out!


Posts I commented on today:
7 Ways to motivate yourself to write (bekindrewrite)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape (Through My Lens)  new blog of the day
19 Hours and the Merit of Coal (rarasaur)


Posted by on May 18, 2013 in On Me, Six Word Saturday, True Life