Running & Surprise Parties & Shoe Cakes

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering about my running, right? Ha. Well, it’s going. Slowly. I’ve promised myself I will not run more than every other day and I will take it easy and go slow until I can run pain free. I can run normally now, but it’s not pain free. I have nerve pain that runs down the back of my leg, down the left tendon behind my knee, and then to the front of my calf. My osteopath thinks I am making progress, as I’m not as badly out of alignment now when I see her. I was hoping for some more progress, but I’ll take what I can get. Taking it easy the first couple of weeks of school, especially when it’s been hot & humid, hasn’t been all bad.

Speaking of hot & humid, on Saturday my friend’s husband planned a surprise birthday party for her. My job was to get my friend out of the house for an hour so he could get the party set up at a local Irish pub, then bring her there. Luckily, she was open to the idea of running at 2 p.m. on a steamy day, which should have been her first clue something was up. I do NOT run mid-day when it’s hot! But, she didn’t notice, and we did about 3.6 miles in the heat & humidity. We ran on the local state park roads, mostly so I had an excuse to pick her up and also to burn a little time on the trip there & back.

After we almost died of heat, we went to the pub (which is more like a bakery/bistro with a pub too). We walked in (still hot & sweaty) and she was so surprised!

Her husband had this cake made of her running shoe. Is that awesome or what?

It was a really fun party of mostly running friends (it’s my social life, remember) but some regular people too. Because, you know, runners aren’t regular people. ;)

Have you ever had a surprise party? I don’t think I have! My loved ones know I’m a control freak and I don’t like surprises!

Concrete Poetry Volume III

I have started every year off with concrete poetry for several years now. It’s only loosely English related, but it’s a fun and easy activity for the first week or two of school and a great way to decorate the room with words. I wrote about my 7th and 8th graders’ poems in 2012 and my 6th and 7th graders’ poems in 2013.

This year, I only had my sixth graders write them. I’ve always had a voting contest at open house for the top poem, but this year, I decided to add in a Facebook contest. Sometime in the middle of last year, I made a class Facebook page. I created an album of the teacher-selected top-ten poems there. I will add the “likes” from each photo to the votes they receive at open house to select the winner. The winner receives a gift certificate to our school book fair. Pretty high stakes, you know? Here are the top 10:










Do you have a favorite? Go to my Facebook contest and “like” the poem(s) that you think are best!

Meanwhile, I had my 7th graders do Tagxedos instead of concrete poems this year. I had every one of them last year in 6th grade (usually I have about half of the same students the second year), so I decided to do something different. Tagxedos are similar to concrete poems in that words are used to create a shape, but they are automatically computer generated. I feel like Tagxedos are cool enough to need a post of their own, so I’ll write about those later this week! :)

Late Night Target

Yesterday my after-school plans were to go grocery shopping, to replenish the food I had to toss after the extended power outage earlier in the week, and to run. What actually happened: I sat around, decided to skip grocery shopping, and went to Target at 8:45 pm.

I went ALONE. I don’t remember the last time that happened, but what happens when I go to Target alone is I don’t go in the toy area and I DO go into the clothing area. It didn’t take me long to pick out a few pairs of pants, some shirts, and a dress.

I even tried it all on without anyone whining at me about going to the toys already. And then I bought it all. Every last item. Plus about 10 bags of chips + these:

Pumpkin spice + M&M’s? My two favorite foods in the universe just collided. I’m sure there was an earthquake somewhere.

Massive quantities of junk food + new skinny pants might have been a bad idea. I’d better up the mileage!

When is your favorite time to shop? Do you like late-night trips?