If We Were Having Coffee…9/9/22- Enjoying the Beautiful Day

Good morning friends! Welcome! There are several coffee pods to choose from (including a dark roast espresso I picked up by accident), a variety of teas and some hot chocolate if that’s your thing. Please fill a cup and pull up a seat.

The weather here in Southern NJ is crisp and fall like. The air smells fresh and the leaves are just starting to show their colors. A few friends are visiting Maine this weekend and posted photos of the beautiful fall leave there. I hope we will be enjoying that here soon.

Yesterday, Miss Dee and I enjoyed a visit to the nearby arts and craft store. Always a dangerous trip for me because I tend to spend way too much money! I was lucky enough to have a 20% off coupon so that saved me a bit. Miss Dee was looking for a wooden shelf to match the one she already has in her room. I was shopping for ribbon and some colorful paper. My project lately has been making bookmarks to give as gifts this Christmas. I figured they could be tucked inside our Christmas cards and sent to friends and family I won’t see in person. The ribbon is to decorate the top and the paper is for the back of the bookmarks just to give them more stability. I am also thinking of different ways to seal them since I don’t have access to a laminator. One person online suggested packing tape or clear contact. Hmm? Might require some thought. Any of my crafty blog friends have any ideas?

We are enjoying watching our Philadelphia Phillies take part in the playoffs this year. It’s been 11 long years since they have made it this far. My husband has been looking into tickets to one of the home games for him and young Mr D. I’m fine watching from home, bathrooms closer and I can afford the snacks. ūüôā Miss Dee has a serious crush on third baseman Alec Bohm so she is hoping he plays well. Last season her friends took her to a game and got her seats in the second row near third base in hopes of getting his attention. Unfortunately he was injured and didn’t play that game. Poor girl can’t get a break. She’s sure if she could just meet him they would fall immediately in love. Ah, to be young again!

So how are you all spending your weekend? We in the public school system have a long weekend thanks to Indigenous People’s day (formerly known as Columbus Day. ) I’m trying to use the extra days off wisely. Hubby decorated the yard for Halloween and gave the lawn, hopefully, the last mowing and I finished up the indoor decorations this week as well. I suppose I will have to break down and so some cleaning today but I’m pretty sure I can sneak in a walk in the sunshine and a little time with a good book as well.

Hope you all have an awesome day. Take time to enjoy the moment and don’t forget to visit the other coffee share posts hosted by our friend Natalie The Explorer.


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? ūüôā

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!

If We Were Having Coffee…11/6/16


If we were having coffee…I would probably start off by apologizing to any visitors from outside the USA. Tuesday is Election Day and afterward the nonsense should stop (we hope). On behalf of all Americans, I am very sorry…

Moving on..

If we were having coffee…I would invite you in, offer you a seat, a cup of hot French roast (or tea or lemonade, what ever you prefer) and ask you how your week has been? Mine was better than expected considering that Monday was Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween. I enjoy seeing the children in their costumes, handing out the treats, carving the Jack-o-lanterns, all that stuff. My only objection, speaking as someone who struggles to keep young people focused on learning each day, is that it happened to fall on a Monday this year. This doesn’t bode well for productivity on Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly even Thursday, depending on the amount of candy consumed.

As it turned out, Monday was the only really challenging day. Thankfully our principle has this whole Halloween thing down to a science. We really only have to get through the morning and the lunch hour (wanna guess how loud it was in the cafeteria that day?) because after that the room moms and dads arrive with games and crafts and then the children put on their costumes and proceed outside to parade around the playground. Families are invited to come watch and by the time the parade is over, it is time for dismissal.

If we were having coffee…I would share that¬†I noticed, both at the parade and with the trick-or-treaters later at my home, that the popular costume this year seemed to be the characters from the newest Star Wars movie, Rey especially. I would ask what popular or fun costumes you noticed? Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you have many trick-or-treaters? We went through about 10 bags of candy which is about normal around here. It’s quite a big event around here.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the rest of my week was pretty quiet. We are approaching the end of the first marking period so teachers are trying to finish up projects and gather grades. One of the fourth grade teachers I work with will be leaving on maternity leave at the end of this month and will not return till next year so she has been stressing a bit, feeling like she is not quite prepared to hand over her class to the substitute. I’ve been trying to help as much as I can and my knowing the children and the classroom routine will make things easier for the incoming teacher but there are still lesson plans to be made and schedules to be arranged. Fourth grade, in our school, team teaches, which means that one teacher does math and science and the other does ¬†reading and language arts. The students switch classrooms through out the day. The teacher that is leaving, only teaches science and math so at least there is less subject matter to prepare and the other teacher will be on hand to help.

Our biggest classroom challenge this week came on Wednesday when we noticed that the thermostat was stuck on 88 degrees. Laura (the teacher) and I were red faced and sweating having already removed all articles of clothing that we could without raising eyebrows, when the maintiance man came to check on it. He told us that it was stuck and that he couldn’t get anyone to fix it till later in the week. Our school was built in the 1920s so you can imagine how well our heating system opperates anyway and even though the weather was quite cool and all the windows were open, we were still suffering. When you factor in that one woman in the class is eight months pregnant and the other in in the throes of menapause, it’s really lucky the the maintenance guy made it out of the room alive!

Anyway…if we were having coffee…I would probably ¬†notice the time and even though we did gain an hour this weekend I find I have dawdled over my coffee far too long, ¬†enjoying our visit and now am running behind as usual. I really should try to do something productive today. ūüėČ Thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t forget to visit the rest of the Coffee Share Posts brought to you each week by Diana at Part Time Monster. Have a great week!

If We Were Having Coffee…11/1/15


If we were having coffee…we could talk about how November has crept in when we weren’t looking. Our area is in the throws of an Indian Summer so it doesn’t feel like November but the calendar says it is. One good thing is that tonight we turn the clocks back. Not being a morning person, I dislike getting up before¬†the sun.

If we were having coffee...I would ask if you and your family celebrated Halloween yesterday? I would tell you a little about our day. Since our neighborhood is always very lively with trick-or-treaters, Hubby and I have gotten into the habit of sitting on the porch handing out candy rather than getting up every few minutes to answer the door. The evening was very mild unlike some years when we have been bundled up against the cold. Not that cold weather ever slows down the candy seekers!  The excitement and adrenaline keeps them warm!

I really don’t miss the days of chasing after Mr D and Miss Dee as they rushed from house to house. Given the choice, I usually volunteered to stay home and hand out candy while Hubby did the walking (he’s in much better shape). It’s also nice that they are now in charge of figuring out a costume for themselves if they decide to dress up. For the past week I’ve been asking Mr D what he was going to be for Halloween. His answer…

“An overworked college student.”

Then, last night, at 7pm I found myself digging around in the attic looking for a pair of goggles because he and his friend decided to go to a party at the college, and they wanted to be Doc Brown and Marty McFly from “Back to the Future”. He must get his last minute Halloween costume genes from my¬†mother!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I’ve been feeling a bit scientifically challenged. Part of my job as an instructional aide is offering in-class support for students during their science lessons. For the past four years I’ve helped out in the third grade. I can tell you anything you want to know about dinosaurs or the life cycle of the meal worm or even about what penguins eat. That stuff I’ve got down, however….this year I’ve been bumped up to fifth grade science and I can tell you for sure I am not¬†“Smarter¬†Than a Fifth Grader”!

Last week the classroom teacher was out sick and the substitute and I found ourselves blindly leading the students through a work sheet on types of matter and chemical reactions! Luckily they knew what they were doing for the most part. I understand “matter” you know “solid, liquid, gas”. I get how the molecules are closer together in a solid and further apart in a gas but when we started getting into how substances combine to create chemical reactions and how chemical and physical reactions differ in the way the molecules combine or don’t combine…my brain started to hurt.

I was an art major for crying out loud!! I didn’t really like this stuff the first time I learned it. Thank goodness for YouTube. Tomorrow I will be searching out videos and giving myself a crash course in fifth grade science! Wish me luck.

If we were having coffee… I would thank you for stopping by and wish you a pleasant, relaxing Sunday. We will be doing some yard work around here. If you’re not busy, you are welcome to grab a rake!

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster. Stop by and check out the other fun blogs!

Gettin’ Our Halloween On…

imageNot surprisingly, the most popular topic in the lunchroom this week has been Halloween costumes. It’s always fun to hear the students describe what they’re ¬†going to be and all the treats they plan on collecting. They’ve been thinking and planning for months and I just know there are a bunch of frantic parents out there rushing around trying to find a “Ladybug Princess” ¬†or ¬†“Zombie Hunter” costume in the right size.

Thanks to pop-up costume super stores and online web sites, Halloween has become a big, expensive deal. I’ve been there too. Most years my kids wanted store bought costumes but I’ve also made a few by hand. I can’t sew to save my life but give me some felt and a hot glue gun and watch out!! And you know what? Even though they were a lot more work, those costumes were my favorite.

Growing up, we almost always made our costumes by hand..and when I say “we” I mean my mom. She was queen of the last minute Halloween costume. There were no weeks of planning ahead and most times final touches were being added as you were heading out the door! We had a huge cardboard box in the attic filled with Halloween type odds and ends, old hats or neckties, pieces of former costumes, masks, wigs, you name it. A day or two before Halloween we would drag down the box and start sorting through. The big difference between us and the kids today is we didn’t have any plan about what we wanted to be ahead of time. Mom just pulled stuff out of that magic box and then tried to figure out what costume could be made with it.

Being the baby of the family by quite a few years, I missed out on a lot of my moms earliest costume triumphs and my oldest sister, Linda hated dressing up She stopped trick-or-treating when she was about 12. But my sister Pat and brother Jim (the middle children) were very adventurous and were willing to wear any outfit they thought would win them first prize at the local Halloween party and score them the most candy when they went door to door.

I’ve heard many stories about some of mom’s most clever creations.

There was that year that she took an old house dress, cut it in half and sewed it to half of one of dad’s old dress shirts and a half pair of pants. Then she took a mans hat, decorated half of it with ribbons and flowers and glued part of a long blond wig to that side. Then she put makeup on half of Jim’s face, drew a beard and mustache on the other half, put him in the sewed together clothes and ta-da! Half-man/half-woman.

Or there was the year that she cut up an old sheet and made Pat into a mummy. She wrapped and wrapped till all but the eyes and nose were covered. After adding some blood colored ¬†paint to make it more scary she sent her out to trick-or-treat. The only flaw was that she came undone periodically and the neighbor’s had to keep re-wrapping ¬†her!

My favorite was the year she found an old worn summer blanket with a southwestern print hiding at the bottom of the box. She borrowed three long sticks my dad had in the shed, probably left over from some project, and tied top ends together. Then she attached the blanket over the sticks. The result was a four foot Native American teepee! After adding a slit for a door and another for looking through, Jim climbed inside and just carried it around. When he got tired he sat down inside! He won first prize at the party that year!

By the time I was old enough to partake in the Halloween festivities my brother and sisters were well into their teenage years and mostly through with that stuff. The costume box still lived in the attic and mom made me one or two thing but she said I always wanted to be “something pretty, like a princess or and angel” so she usually ended up buying me one of those kids costumes that came in boxes with a cellophane window on top. ¬†Anybody remember them? They were one piece polyester suits with ties in the back and they came with a plastic mask held on by an ¬†elastic band that usually broke before you reached the third house!

I’m feeling pretty nostalgic about all this Halloween stuff. Too bad there is no one in this house trick-or-treating this year. Maybe I can dress up the cats?

This post has been added to the Leisure Link at Perspectives On. Stop over and check out the other leisure posts!

If We Were Having Coffee- 10/25/15

imageWelcome! I’m so glad you could stop by. Coffee is on and we have fresh sticky buns today in honor of Hubby’s birthday. I’m sure he won’t mind if I share some with you. Sit and tell me about your week. Has it been thrilling or exhausting or a little of both?

If we were having coffee…I would tell you about the second grade girl at school who missed a day last week because she was on a magazine photo shoot. She told me all about it. Apparently all the child models went to a park by the water and she got to wear four different outfits and lunch was included. If you met this sweet little thing you wouldn’t be a bit surprised that she does some modeling. Her mom told me they are putting any money she makes away for her college education. It sure seems like she’s having fun with it.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that we were having the family over today for Hubby’s birthday dinner. We’ll be hosting his mom, dad and step-mother, his brother along with his wife and two boys and a close family friend. All together there will be 12 for dinner. I’m planning on lasagna, salad and ¬†crunchy garlic bread, nothing fancy but Hubby loves Italian food. For dessert, we are having a chocolate butterfinger cake purchased from the local bakery…I know what you’re thinking. A good wife would have baked a cake herself, but it’s better this way. Believe me. Baking is not my thing. Eating cake? That I’m pretty good at.

Hubby’s birthday present this year was a smart phone. For years he held on stubbornly to his flip phone then last year he traded up to a slide phone but lately he has been complaining about missing photo opportunities or not being able to find directions when he is on the road. He uses it a lot for work and various committees he sits on so we thought it was time to give him something more versatile. Of course my own phone is a dinosaur so the kids are going to have to help him learn to navigate his new toy. Should be fun to watch. What’s that saying about teaching old dogs new tricks?!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you we’ve decided not to have our Halloween party this year. Usually we have ten or twelve couples over for a costume party the Saturday before. We have food and adult beverages, play some highly competitive party games and usually have a lot of fun but it just wasn’t in the cards this year. Timing was bad for a lot of friends because the 31st actually falls on a Saturday this year. Even my sisters and their spouses who always¬†come will be busy with their grandchildren. Just between you and me, I’m not all that disappointed. It will be fun just hanging out, handing out candy and enjoying all the clever costumes. ¬†This neighborhood is hopping on Halloween. We usually go through about 10 bags of candy. Of course that’s not counting the stuff I eat while I’m waiting for the trick-or-treaters to arrive. ūüėä

Well, I am sure you have some plans for today and I guess I better go get my house ready for company. Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to visit the other bloggers at the Weekend Coffee Share¬†There is always something interesting going on there!