Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Blessings to our Family and Friends

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Today we honor the brave men and women
who gave their lives for our freedom.

We pray for their families that have sacrificed so much.

 Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. 
-John F. Kennedy

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, May 28, 2017

More Retirement News ~My Family and Friends are Most Generous ~~Here's My Report

I have been overwhelmed with the kindness 
and generosity displayed by my family and friends.
Starbuck gift cards will be used on Wednesdays 
when I meet my friend Lorie for our weekly coffee date.

Paula dropped this off for me...
The card was perfect, as I was struggling with 
the inappropriate behaviors of those young men in 3rd block.

Also, in her gift bag, was just one more indicator 
that my friends think I might turn
 into a Crazy Cat Lady in retirement!

This special necklace was gifted to me 
by one of my sophomore boys. 
A family member beaded it and it will be a rememberance 
of the Native American population that we educate at CHS.

My FACS co-teachers selected this gift on 
behalf of Central's Sunshine Club...
South Dakota Black Hills Gold.
The Golden Eagle will be a forever favorite mascot!

My hubby knew I could use some pampering with 
a manicure and a pedicure.

Our PTA presented the retirees 
with this most generous gift card.

A sweet freshman girl brought a mini rose plant.

And very thoughful teachers purchased 
a sweet treat for hubby and me.

I appreciate each and every one of you.
Thank you so much for thinking about me
as I transition into this next stage of my life.

Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cleaning up a Career ~Finishing a Job I Started ~~Oven Cleaning Tip of the Day

Whether you are cleaning one oven at home, 
or multiple ovens in a foods lab...it is not an easy task. 
You need to be down on your knees, 
reach way in, over the oven door 
to wipe out all of the black and gray ashes.
It just doesn't feel like you have enough hands!

To make it a little easier,
use a measuring cup or coffee mug to prop up
the lower heating coil when you wipe out the oven floor.

That was the easy part.
The inside of the oven doors presented a bigger challenge.
That brown stuff was baked on...really baked on.


I used the cooktop cleaner...
and a super strong scratch pad to tackle that job.

Thank you to the students 
that left this carton of ice cream in my freezer.

I couldn't have finished the job without it!

Six ovens...done.
Time to go home.
(My hands felt raw.)

I was ready to enjoy some sunshine out on our patio.

Happy Weekend, everyone.

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday ~Bringing Closure to a Career

With students no longer in the building,
I can focus on cleaning up and cleaning out.

Months ago, I began the task of throwing away
lesson plans, curriculum materials, and student projects.

This is actually harder than it sounds.
Years of developing, and then,
updating and revising these class activities went into the dumpster.

Sometimes I felt like I was throwing part of myself away.

So, cleaning the appliances was the easy part.
Three refrigerators and an upright freezer...
done.

Demonstration cooktop and microwave...
done.

(A student helped inventory my textbooks.
Thank you, Connor.)

That left the seven student Food Preparation stations.
The students cleaned their labs on the last day of school.
Those of you that live with a teenager,
 know that some are better than others at cleaning.

Plus,
 inappropriate and disrespecful behaviors of three young men,
changed my focus from what I wanted to accomplish,
to working with administration to investigate and deliver consequences.

In my dreams, I had wanted to walk out the last day with everything in place.
However, by Thursday afternoon, I knew that I had to give up on that plan.

Thank goodness for self-cleaning ovens.

With multiple ovens cleaning, I started the vents, 
and used the two-hour opportunity to clean out my network files.

I wasn't the only one hard at work!

Today, I will return to wipe out those ovens.
And by the weekend, I hope to be enjoying the sunshine
with my new retirement cat.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Friday Yay ~Celebrating Retirement with Friends

Within two hours after the final dismissal bell,
we were celebrating my last day of school.

Unbeknownst to me, our friends had arranged for
a special evening of food and fellowship.
They reserved a table in Roma's Tuscany Room.
Hubby and I shared my favorite meal, Shrimp Fra Diablo. 

I love, love, love my gift.
Pretty sure they all think that in retirement,
I will turn into a Crazy Cat Lady...

Here is our host, serving after dinner drinks.
We 'girls' enjoyed his signature Chocolate Martini.

In case you were wondering,
yes, that is a 'beer bouquet' with the cat.
It was cleaverly created by our hostess.

Thank you, for a wonderful evening...
I treasure our friendship.

This was the perfect way to spend 
my first few hours of retirement.


Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to End a Thirty Eight Year Teaching Career ~Bring a Selfie Stick to School

This was the best group of students
 to spend my final teaching days with.

Earlier in the morning,
I waited at this red light for the last time on a school day.

Yes, we were cleaning the kitchens.

Even that can be fun when you are cleaning with friends.

Have a great summer!

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday ~The FINAL Final Project ~Our Guest Meal Report

The culmination of my Foods Class is our guest meal.
Students prepare lasagna, salad, and chocolate mousse dessert.

For two days in a row,
I loaded up my cart at the supermarket.

It warms my heart when students 
invite their parents to visit us at school.
...and I'm sure these dads felt the same way, 
spending the morning with their darling daughters.

My last block of the day is just the best.

(While, the previous block may be one of the worst...
I took NO pictures of that group!)

However, this group reminded me about why I work so hard!

They had their table set early,
so while waiting for our guests, I got these photos.



Again, some parents and older siblings attended our dinner.



A bright spot in my day!
Thank you for making sweet memories.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Blessings to all Women Who Nurture and Care for Children ~Celebrating the Special Women in my Life

Vintage Holiday Crafts
Best wishes today to all mothers and to all women 
who nurture and care for others.
Some women do not have babies of their own, 
but still play such an important role in raising our children.

Some are teachers, nurses, and day care providers.
Others are aunts, Godmothers, and special family friends.

Women are born with a mothering instinct, 
and they naturally provide love and support to those that they care about.

Mother's Day 2012
This was the last Mother's Day we all spent together. 
It was special, indeed, as my mother passed away the following February.
Our girls have moved away...
I have sweet memories of this weekend that we girls spent together.

We will be celebrating Mother's Day today with my hubby's mother
at our traditional gathering in my sister-in-law's home.

Here she is celebrating with these special young women,
our foreign exchange daughters...
Line from Norway and Nellie from Denmark.
I love you and miss you, too!


Enjoy every moment that you spend 
with your family and friends.

Take care,
~Natalie

Schools Out for Summer ~Special Memories

This photo popped up in my Memories this week. It was taken on my last day of school…ever. I taught school for 38 years, and saw over a hund...