Joyful John

John Michael is such a blessing and was a sweet boy yesterday (most of the time- he is 4 after all and he has his moments). He sure seems happy. I hope so.

He got my weights and decided to be “strong.”

Did I mention he set off the emergency alarm at the high school the other day? I was putting some clarinets back into the inventory and all of a sudden the phone rings. (Someone on administration always calls when the emergency button is pushed in case someone needs help). So I rush in and he was just picking up the receiver like he was going to take the call. Hilarious.What a nut. So funny.

He does that at my grandfather’s house too. They have this button he can push if there’s an emergency and John Michael just presses it all the time when we are there too.

He likes to sit by the fire and get his back warm. Then he runs to me so I can “feel his back.” I tell him it is, “toasty warm!” And he smiles and laughs, “so toasty!!!”

You are a good little boy, John Michael. You make me happy! Hope you stay happy too. 🙂


Came suddenly. I love that lyric. How fast things have changed and are not the same anymore. I know the song is about a breakup but in some ways I think we’ve broken up with what was. This little video I made of cleaning up the band rooms about sums up the feelings. Sad because the year is ending. Grateful for my little helper. Wish the rooms were not empty yet. Yesterday.

I don’t know. My mind is frankly all over the place. Yesterday I went up and closed out the high school band room for the year. Today I closed the middle school one. It feels good that they are clean but it doesn’t feel good that that’s how the academic year ended. Kids have their “things.” Art, shop, sports, cheerleading, dance, clubs, music, band, choir, theater, the list can go on and on. As a teacher of one of those many subjects, I know there are kids that desperately need band right now and it was cut off for them suddenly. Their whole world was upended too. Whatever class that was for them, and band is one of them, there are so many kids that I can’t help but be thinking about. The class that they went to school for. The class they felt safe in. Lots of kids are ok. I think many are struggling. 

But, I did it. I cleaned it up and wished the whole time that we could have another rehearsal. Found notes and papers, and even CHEETOS wrappers (jsdlkdjsfdisofjdskl percussion!) on the floor that made me wish I could have them back. The schools are lonely and cold. Designed to be filled with chaos and kids, they seem without their normal life. And it doesn’t hum with the anticipation of summer or excitement of the end of the year.

I had myself a helper. He is 4 and a handful but he did help (at times). He ran around and around mostly, but he did help me carry some instruments and he did try to lift a stand or two. He even wore a mask for a bit and did as good as he could do. We did our best. I was grateful he was there with me. When he was there, he helped me stay focused because I knew I had such a limited time. Tears are burning a little in my eyes as things catch up with me now, however.

It’s a hard day but it will get brighter I know. The weather is SO dreary. Tomorrow things start to look up and warm up. I’m grateful for that! I know the kids will be too. Getting outside and back into the routine will be good. The school district is doing a car parade (where you stay in your car- my Jeep will be participating!) which will be fun I think. I plan to surprise a few people and students with things. There are fun projects ahead. Life will press on. We are grateful and we will be strong.

Cooking is good! Gas for my whole tank is under $18. Haven’t seen something like that since high school. By far my least expensive fill-up after the commute. Wow. Scarfs from the alma mater that double as good masks are good. Naps for the kid are good. Self care is good. Did my exercises and put some eye patches on. John Michael asked me why I put “sunscreen on those eyes.” haha! The weather is supposed to pick up. I think we will make a fire tonight until then.


His shiner is not good- he rain into the easel yesterday… woops. Poor fellow. Running around while not paying attention is probably not good…


The garden is growing! And we will too.


“A little bit sad, but it’s ok.”

This is something John Michael says sometimes. I am relating to this thought right now. Today should have been concert festival with middle school bands and choirs. Instead, I’m going up to close up classroom 1 of 2 (the high school band room first) right after I finish some virtual lessons with students. Weird that I will be going to a place that normally I’d see their faces but it’s the opposite. I know I’ll have more thoughts for the journal later.

Yesterday was jam packed with lots of things to get ready for online learning today so not much to say other than it’s been busy. Which is a good thing I suppose. I will try to keep grounded today and have grace.


Hope you all have a great day. 🙂

Rainy morning, let’s go!

I did not want to leave my bed this morning. Remi was all cuddled up next to me and it was so very cozy. It’s gloomy and rainy. Didn’t feel much like persevering through the perpetual Groundhog Day feeling today. All the days run together. Alas, I did get up (albeit a bit later than I should have). Exercised and did the morning’s lessons. Here we are. Will record some lessons for middle school later on today and prep my mind for closing up 2 classrooms this week. Going to try to de-stress as much as possible.

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The weekend was lovely. Beautiful sun. Lots of being outside and organizing the house. Did some thinking and planning on some photography projects. FaceTimed with the family on both sides for a bit. Cooked really good foods- a low carb chicken/spinach panini! Also, pork nachos, a frittata, and salmon. The pork nachos were a stand-out. Out of this world. Will be doing that again.

img_6198The weather was gorgeous. Joe got quite of bit of work done outside!

Cleaned out some closets. MUCH better. Since we are here 24/7, it feels nice to have the pantry and linen closet cleaned up a bit. Made major progress on the basement. Will need to keep “cleaning” it since most of my work was putting things away and throwing things away we didn’t need anymore (or getting it ready to donate when that opens again). Still need to wipe everything down and actually clean the surfaces.


Found some gems in the basement. Remember these punching balloons? I think someone got bored in one of my classes by doing crayon impressions of the music stand. It’s kinda cool though! And Melissa and Rob’s wedding cross. Joe’s old book! Hah.”A Man. A Can. A Plan.” Wow.


Found some old band pictures too. WOW. You know that clarinet kid? I got me one of those style pictures too. haha. I feel you, clarinet boy.

Oh and we watched “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. Was so good!

So today, John Michael is going on vacation. To school. 🙂 (Just pretending)

Just one more cute photo of John Michael and Remi. 🙂 Makes me smile.


Hope you all have a great week! Gotta get back to work!




Good morning friends. It’s been a week, am I right? I get the feeling many had some rough days. We did. Working on trying to make the weekends special and will do that as best we can. So, staying excited about Friday! Joe is stoked about the NFL draft. Felt nice to have some sort of sports talk again and to hear him talk sports on the phone. Been a long time! Will chat with some friends/family over the weekend too.

And for the other happy things.


The kids took a nap!

For a hot minute the kitchen is clean!

My freshman year of high school, my good friend Justin’s group did “All the Small Things” for their lip sync video for drama class. Just felt like this little gem.

The pork fiesta continued! This time with cabbage slaw. Mmmm

Bobbing his little head at dinner. 🙂


Workout complete. Lessons are complete for the week! Now to do some meetings and some odds and ends like grades. Will do some photography work this weekend. Maybe try to get my basement in order for my virtual conference next weekend so I don’t have to sit in a huge mess…maybe…

Have a good one y’all!



“It will be big and big!”

“Mom, what are you doing with those bones?” (hand weights)

I told him not go behind the TV because it was dangerous. “I can’t stand behind the TV because it might shatter me, right mom?”