If We Were Having Coffee 10/10/20: Pumpkins and Hay Bales

Happy Saturday morning, Friends! I’ve been absent for a bit taking care of life but I’m so happy we have time for a quick cup of coffee and a catch-up. I’m having a nice strong up of Italian Roast (periodically reheated in the microwave ’cause I like my Java hot!) but there is also tea and lemonade. Unfortunately we have no homemade baked goods today but I’m hoping Miss Dee will whip up some sugar cookies later today.

Let’s chat

If we were having coffee… I would tell you about my first week of hybrid school and all the challenges it entails. Whew! What a crazy teaching experience that is. We have half the students on Monday and Tuesday from 8:20 to 12:20 then the other half at the same time on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is fully virtual. The teachers have to plan lessons for the children at this time plus have something planned for the other group in during the time they are at home. Basically, they are doing twice the lesson plans all while managing to fit in hand washing, mask breaks, technical help and actually learning during a 4 hour day! As a classroom aide, I can help with some of these things but I really wish there was more I could do to take some of the workload off the teacher I’m with. I give all the teachers out there immense credit for their patience and dedication to the students.

How are the schools in your area handling this crazy academic year?

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that we welcomed a new family member this week. On Thursday morning, my niece’s wife gave birth to their second daughter. Her name is Emily Claire and she weighed in at a generous 9lb 8oz! We all can’t wait to meet her.

Any exciting family news to share?

If we were having coffee…I tell you that my brother, who lives out in Oklahoma, finally retired this Friday. He works as an automobile mechanic and has been talking about retiring for years but just wasn’t able to financially till he was the right age. It’s a pretty physical job and his aches and pains were telling him it was time to relax some. I’m so happy he finally can. My two sisters and I were able to have a surprise video chat with him during his retirement party at his daughter’s house. She had texted me with the idea earlier in the week so I coordinated with my technically challenged sisters and Miss Dee and I were able to get us all on board at the right time. Luckily I’ve had lots of experience with Zoom and Google Meet since school went virtual in March!

Jim, my brother, was very surprised to “see” us and we had a nice chat. We were also able to meet his grandchildren and great granddaughter thanks to the magic of technology. What a great way for families far apart to keep in touch. I don’t always love all the technical advances around today but this was a time I did truly appreciate it.

Are you a technical person? Is the internet your friend or your enemy? 🙂

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I’ve been feeling “Fall-ish” now that our area is finally having some cooler weather. Miss Dee put up some Autumn decorations around the house and D-man added some ghosts and pumpkins to the porch. The folks in our town really get into the whole decorating thing so it’s fun to walk around and see what they’ve come up with. Down the street there is a lawn with a skeleton holding a fishing pole dangling a skeleton fish in front of a group of skeleton cats! Further down the block is a skeleton unicorn being ridden by a skeleton princess complete with a ball gown and tiara! There are also plenty of giant spiders, Hay bales and pumpkins. It makes our after dinner walks so much more enjoyable. My latest watercolor even reflect my Fall-ish state of mind…

Are you experiencing Autumn weather where you live? Do you and your neighbors decorate for the season?

If we were having coffee…it would be time to rinse the cups and say our goodbyes. The day here in New Jersey is cloudy and cool but no rain is expected so there are several outdoor jobs calling my name. I’m so glad you could stop by. Please visit our host Eclectic Ali to enjoy the rest of the Coffee Share Post.

Have a great week!

18 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee 10/10/20: Pumpkins and Hay Bales

  1. I’m not a techie person but I don’t consider the internet to be an enemy. I consider it to be reserved older person who you have to ply with flattery and cake and a little drinkie, then they’ll loosen up and tell you what you want to know. You cannot come at the internet directly, you have to ease yourself into its good graces. 😉

  2. Schools are holding their own so far. I retired last fall, so I am not living through these challenges. Autumn is upon us. We have remnants of the Hurricane Delta heading our way and soon it be time to get the boat hauled for the winter.

  3. Good to hear from you, Nancy! Hang in there with the school situation…I can’t imagine how hard it is to teach in these crazy conditions. I hope you are able to enjoy Fall as much as possible!

  4. Thank you, Nancy, for your coffee share. Your watercolor painting is beautiful. Congrats to your niece and her wife! I’m glad you used technology to celebrate your brother’s retirement with him. Here elementary and secondary schools offer two options, either all online or combo of in school and online. The local universities offer all online for Fall semester. Have a wonderful week!

  5. It is very good to see you Nancy. Internet is definitely a friend, I believe without the internet this pandemic would have been a lot harder to handle. I admit that it does sound challenging to teach like you have too. Here in Sweden the schools are open. We send sick kids and teachers home. We wash hands and try to think about distances when possible. We try to spend the majority of the school days outside. Thank you for the coffee, I like mine hot as well. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • You have a very good point about the internet being a saving Grace during this sheltering time. It’s made it so much easier to feel closer to friends and family we couldn’t see in person. I’m looking forward to the day when we will go back to teaching more normally but I must say, the students have adjusted to all the new rules much better than I thought. Children can be very resilient as I’m sure you have already discovered. 🙂 Have a nice week. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Hi Kathleen.
    Great stuff in your post today but the grabber for me is your question, “Is the internet your friend or your enemy?”
    Oh my — where should I start? Should I even start?
    How about, for me it’s both.
    As my friend, it makes it so much easier to meet and get to know people like you who I would never otherwise get to meet. It makes it so much easier to write as I can type and easily edit/correct my work. Spell checkers are my friend and grammar checkers are warming up to me. Dictionaries and language tools are right beneath my keyboard rather than hidden away in my or a public library. Public domain information is almost omnipresent.
    As my enemy, it buries me in ads that don’t help me as much as they reveal how almost everything I do is being watched for ad matching. Too often, the information it provides is biased against me somehow or is outright untrue. It exposes me daily to hackers who want to clean out my retirement savings. It often divides friends and families when political battles range out of control and it makes me crazy when it forces new software updates that breaks things that worked until they were updated or hides functions that I used to understand. It breaks at the most inconvenient times and tortures me when things I don’t understand break like printers that worked fine only moments ago but now refuses to print my document until I duplicate print commands so it finally prints 10 copies where I only needed 1. . .
    Grrr.
    I’m going to stop now and hope that you found something to grin at in that monologue.
    Well, except to say how much I enjoy your visits each weekend.
    Blessings.

    • Not only did I grin, but I also totally related! Sometimes I hate my reliance on technology and get all misty-eyed for the good old days when my mom would phone me to ask who starred in a certain movie because she just couldn’t remember and it was driving her crazy. Back then I would have been all proud of the golden age film info I could pull right out of my brain (it’s always been a favorite topic of mine). Now if she called, I’d probably stoop to searching it up on Google. More than likely, though, she’d just look it up herself. Oh, well. That’s progress, I guess. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Here it seems schools are open one day, virtual the next, closed who knows when. It’s crazy, that’s for sure. I keep telling my Hubby that in a way I’m glad I don’t have kids in this age in which we live. He agrees. That said, I do seriously miss the wee ones at the daycare where I was working until Covid shut us down. We were furloughed (still paid 1/2 of our average pay) from March to June. Then, layed off without pay for the rest of the year. I really enjoyed working at a job that didn’t seem like work at all. I guess caring for wee ones is just second nature to me. Hubby said it’s the first time he’s seen me genuinely happy since we married 25 yrs ago. So, I’m looking into applying at other daycares… they too, are still closed or on weird schedules and such. Here, the leaves are just starting to change and the hills are mostly green with an occasional bright red tree, a few yellows are just starting to pop. I’m making a crock of stew with last night’s leftover pot roast for today’s meal.

    • I hope you are able to get back to working soon. The wee ones surely benefit from being with someone who enjoys their company so much. I’ve worked with children most of my adult life and I sometimes think how boring it must be for people who are forced to spend their day surrounded by only grown-ups! 🙂
      Your stew sounds yummy. Lucky family! My husband doesn’t generally eat beef but I make my mom’s stew recipe once in a while just for me and the children. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. School in the time of Covid is tough! Congratulations to your niece and her wife on the new family member! Also congrats to your brother for retiring – I am hoping to do the same in about 3 years… I hope you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind wishes!
      Ah, retirement! My husband will be ready in 2 years but I’m sure he will find something else to keep him occupied, possibly teaching at the county college. Me, I have at least 5 more years. I can see you retiring and never leaving Cape Cod. Your dogs would be thrilled! 🙂 Enjoy the week.

  9. Congratulations on the new family member.

    Schools here are back in full time. However, not all the students returned. It was a personal choice for each family to return to the classroom or do virtual learning. Class size use to be about 32 students and are now at 18. The schools and teachers have been amazing about COVID safety concerns. For example, there was an active case at the school and they were able to identify exactly who the child had contact with and notify them personally. As a result of the rest of their COVID guidelines, thankfully, no other person tested positive.

    Hope you have a nice weekend. Thanks for the virtual coffee.

    • So glad everyone stepped up to do what they needed in order to keep everyone safe. Love hearing stories like that! We also have a choice of full virtual and a portion of families did chose that. It’s all about what families are most comfortable with. Thanks for much for stopping by!

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