Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happiness is...

 Life has been chaos lately, as it so often is in teacher families when the school year resumes.  Given that our house is a two teacher home with one student living here, too, and you add a birthday into the mix, as well as a significant labour situation in the schools (another post coming on that), things have been pretty busy.  It would be very easy to fall into misery but I have been very lucky to have lots making me happy at the moment, too.  I need to focus on that and I thought that I would share it with you.

First of all, we have a little girl who has truly discovered horses.  She has always been very interested in animals and, to be honest, she follows her mother in that.  I grew up in the city and ALWAYS wanted to ride.  Given that we didn't have a car and money wasn't in abundance, that wasn't going to happen.  I'm realising my dreams through Pk, I think but she seems to be as happy about it as I am.  She's had one riding lesson so far and we had a pony party for her birthday.  It was marvelous!  The kids got to groom the horses, to ride and to feed carrots to the four legged beasts.  I would have DIED to have had a party like that as a kid.

It wasn't just the horses that made me happy, though.  I frequently ponder how lucky I am to be surrounded by such great friends and the next generation seems to be the same.  Watching my oldest friend very patiently helping Pk assemble her horse toys, seeing the care people had taken in choosing gifts and just the warm spirit of everyone there gave me such a feeling of reassurance.  If something ever happens to me, I think that Pk is surrounded by love.  She's such a lucky girl!

Another pleasure for me is that we have started a farm share.  I have wanted to do this forever and there is a local farm that does a full programme - eggs, meat, fruit and veggies.  We hadn't done it in the past because we had to pay for six months up front and while it would save us in the long run, it was hard to pay for it in a lump sum like that.  They have changed the programme and now, it's pay as you go.  We get 4 lbs of natural pork a month, 9 lbs of beef a month, a dozen eggs a week and a veggie/fruit box once a week.  While it isn't organic, it's natural, antibiotic and hormone freeze, no pesticides and humanely raised.  I love getting new foods and trying to figure out what to do with them.  So far, we've really enjoyed:
salsa verde (I'm not very familiar with Mexican food and so had NO idea what to do with tomatillos),
I love the fact that we are giving our money directly to the farmers who grow our food, I love that we are eating seasonly with lots of fresh ingredients and I feel like I am doing something good for my family.  It doesn't hurt that it's economical and that the farm has the best activity area for the kids with tire swings, hay slides and the best corn box ever.  The corn box has led to the unique problem, though, of corn bits all over the house after a visit.

Thirdly, the new school year makes me happy.  I love that I can help Pk with her learning.  I love that I have a wonderful class and that I can have the perfect excuse to immerse myself in children's books, buy from Scholastic, research constantly and work with people that I really enjoy.  I love a fresh classroom, new stationary, a glossy waxed floor and time that is budding with potential.  If there wasn't all the trouble with the government, it would be just about perfect.

Pk's transition to Sk was a bit rocky but we managed.  She seemed really happy to go until just before it was time to leave and my parents were taking her because I had to go to work.  She broke down in tears and I have one of my rare brainstorms that actually worked.  She has her favourite rabbit and I suggested that maybe "Rabbity" could stow away in her backpack.  I had knit a blanket for Rabbity this summer and it was still blocking so I got it out and we wrapped Rabbity up and I gave her a very stern warning that she was not to bite Mrs. T or to steal kids' recess snacks.  It worked!  She came home thrilled and in love with her new teacher.

 Finally, and I feel shallow saying this, I love shopping at yard sales and second hand stores.  I shouldn't and it's a shallow pleasure but it makes me feel so good to pay a tiny amount of money to buy something nice for my home or my family and for some reason, when it is second hand, that makes it more fun - like finding buried treasure.  My neighbour across the street had a sale yesterday and we bought some great stuff - this saddle rack that is a quilt rack at the moment, this butterfly lamp and bedskirt that are perfect for Pk's room and this rocking horse that Pk loves.  It 's so nice to see something new and different and know that I haven't hurt our finances bringing it in.  We are also the owners of a new-to-us pair of skates for Pk for skating lessons and the nicest Gap pea coat for LB from the Mennonite second hand store.  Such fun!

What have been your little pleasures lately?

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