Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Slower Pace


Autumn in a teacup. This photo, taken last year, reflects the season - a few hardy roses still blooming, berries on shrubs, and coloured leaves falling fast. 

On Tuesday I completed an intensive 10 weeks of teaching full-time. It was a marathon and although I will miss my Spanish 11s, I'll be glad for a slower pace. Until the end of January I'll have just two 70-minutes classes, a Spanish 9 and a Spanish 10. I'm looking forward to slower mornings and time to actually finish my mug of tea before heading out the door. 

Yesterday was the Remembrance Day statutory holiday, so no school. I heard the planes fly overhead, and watched a bit of the ceremony commemorating fallen soldiers on television. We will remember them. 

Today and tomorrow are professional development days, and although there are sessions at the school today, my principal gave me the days to stay home. I have some marking to do, and reports, but doing these tasks at home, in front of the fire, with a cup of tea, makes them easier. 

For a cultural activity last week, my 11s made Beef Empanadas. I made some at home beforehand, so I could give them helpful advice. They freeze well and make a quick and easy lunch. I got the recipe from Laylita, an Ecuadorian living in the USA. Her website is fantastic if you like South American food, as we do. 

In a couple of years we are planning a major renovation of our kitchen and downstairs living spaces. In the meantime, Tim has done a few things, like putting in the big window next to the table in the photo above, and installing the gas fireplace. I was standing in the kitchen workspace to take this photo. The kitchen itself is fairly small and will be made a bit larger during the renovation. Meanwhile, we are enjoying this cozy and bright space where we eat most of our meals when it's just the two of us. The white ice cream parlor chairs will be replaced soon. 

While eating breakfast, we watch the birds at the feeder come and go, scrapping at times. House Finches, like the one seen above, are common, as are Dark-eyed Juncos. From time to time we see Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Bushtits. Spotted Towhees come by to pick up any seeds dropped by the other birds. This particular House Finch was awaiting his turn at the feeder. 

Today I am sewing pajamas and nightgowns for the grandchildren for Christmas. I didn't do it last year, and wasn't planning to this year, but my daughter-in-law told me that the almost 10-year-old said something along the lines of "It's almost Christmas - Nana nighty time!" Such encouragement got me going! Yesterday I cut all the fabric and today I'll begin sewing. 

Thank you for all the great Christmas reading suggestions. I plan to compile a list and post it soon. 

Oh yes, there will be some marking done in between times! 

How are you doing these days? Is your pace slower than normal? I know that there are more restrictions with the rising number of Covid19 cases. Schools, however, are staying open, so my job continues as per usual. 


  1. Glad to hear you will have a lighter teaching schedule for a while. The empanadas sound really good. Things are slow here in my new home. I am having to be very patient. Our dining table and chairs that we ordered in the middle of September and were told we would receive in November have now been pushed back to sometime in January. It is good that we are not having Thanksgiving or Christmas company for dinner!

  2. Those empanadas look delicious. I'll have to click over to that blog. How nice to have a larger window to light up that space and give you good views. Hope you get some good relaxation in between marking papers!

  3. Sitting by that fireplace looks so cozy. Yes, life is a little slower.Manitoba is in code Red, so no-essential businesses are closed and they are strongly suggesting to socialize only with those in the household. I personally don't mind too much. i have enough to keep me busy at home and I have the phone and the internet to connect with people.

  4. How exciting about the renovations. Are you sure you might not want a full-time schedule? 😉 Your principal sounds like a lovely person. How good to be able to stay home to grade those papers.

  5. It must be a relief to have that course completed.

    Christmas is on the horizon now. You are getting an early start but when you’re working, you have too really. Well done!

  6. We seem to stay busy as always but it's because we hike so much more when the weather is nice. The storm went through last night and it was a nice afternoon so we were able to get out. I know you'll be glad for a pace that you can handle better. It's hard to keep up with everything. I love your cozy kitchen and the big window by the table. I would love sitting there! And the recipe sounds good!

  7. We feel very lucky to be in the farm/countryside and not in our old urban environment.
    We try to keep hiking and doing work in our woods.
    However , we are sad, that we may not see our son for Christmas. Covid rates are frighteningly high right now. We would not get on a plane or put someone else on one. More than the flight is our worries for the airport waiting areas.

    So we take it a day at a time if we can.We really hunkered down on March 11th. We were saying tonight we cannot believe it has already been 9 months . with no end in sight.
    Thanks for asking how we are doing!! It helps

  8. Lovely and cozy space. A table by a nice window is a must.

  9. I'm glad you're able to sew the pajamas this year. Such a great tradition. Yes, life is a lot quieter and calmer especially since the election is over. I am all decorated for Thanksgiving and enjoying our new snow. You take care and stay well. Kit

  10. You certainly do keep very busy. It will be nice for you to have a slightly easier schedule for the next while.
    We also eat at a small table in the sunroom and watch birds at the feeders. They're so much fun too watch.
    Happy sewing!!

  11. Such a busy schedule, it must be a relief to have finished the class for awhile. Such a cosy room already. Have fun with your sewing projects.

  12. I can imagine the slower pace will be welcome around about now and marking by the fire sounds the way forward! Love to see all the different varieties of birds in your corner. Very different to ours. In my family it’s oh it’s nearly sock time for Christmas. Looks like we are both going to be busy with our creative projects that have become a tradition. Have a lovely restful weekend. B x

  13. I imagine that your pupils loved making and eating the Beef Empanadas - they do look good.
    A slower pace of life with much more time for yourselves and grandchildren is something for you both to look forward to.

  14. That looks like a very cozy room to eat in. Always nice to have an outside view while dining. The empanadas look yummy. I have never had one so I will be checking out the recipe. We could use a few new lunch options around here. The usual fare is getting a bit old.
    After your busy schedule, I know you will welcome a bit of a slower pace.

  15. Good morning, Lorrie. You will enjoy your slower pace, I am sure. I have never taken my mornings for granted since I retired. Not having to rush out of the house. I was always in the office at 6:30 a.m. as the teachers would be arriving at that time. Classes began at 7:30. It was quite a schedule.

    I love your room and the fireplace is lovely. You will certainly enjoy it this winter. It is hard to believe the holidays are almost upon us. It is time to get busy with some decorating. Have a great weekend, Lorrie.

  16. That has been a very busy term for you. I imagine it has also been quite tiring. I think you must be looking forward to a less full schedule.
    Your room looks cosy and warm. The fireplace looks lovely and will look beautiful when you decorate, I'm sure.

  17. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Isn't it wonderful when an administrator understands that your needs are different than anyone else's and allows you to do what needs to be done? I'm happy for you that your teaching schedule will be lightened up for the next semester. While I miss most of my students and colleagues, I definitely don't miss the schedule and the InService days!

    Your home renovations look wonderful and your other plans sound wonderful as well.

    Our governor just sent out new gathering restrictions and I was worried that we might not be able to have Thanksgiving with our children. (I had long ago given up on the possibility of an aunt and cousins attending.) However, the new restrictions state that as long as they are immediate family and live alone, they can come. Check on both accounts. Carol in VT

  18. I'm happy to hear that you'll have a slower pace, Lorrie! Sipping tea, instead of gulping it down, will be so nice for you. How wonderful your cozy area looks, with the renovations that Tim did, and more to come. That's exciting!! Your empanadas look wonderful. Your students must adore you. Yea for you in making pj's for Christmas. Yes, there's nothing like a comment from your granddaughter to get you in the mood. Happy weekend to you!

  19. Oh, those empanadas look wonderful. I adore your collection of fall in a teacup!

  20. Our schools are all on zoom. I think it must be so hard for the kids and parents. I know my grandson misses the social aspect of it all.
    The empanadas look so delicious. I use to make them, but haven't for quite awhile. I must change that.
    Love, love your flowers in the teacup.
    Glad you are having a bit of time for a cup of tea.

  21. Your days sounded very busy, Lorrie, and I'm sure you will enjoy a bit slower pace. It is so sweet that your granddaughter is looking forward to you sewing a special nightgown for her for Christmas. That is a wonderful tradition to have. We also have a gas fireplace and I enjoy its convenience and cleanliness.

    Our schools just went to remote lessons as the covid cases are growing. They hope a few week's restrictions will help bring the infection numbers to a more controllable number again for the hospitals and the children can then go back.

  22. I'm sure it will be refreshing to have a more leisurely pace. I am amazed at all you manage to accomplish in spite of your busy schedule, so I can't imagine how much you'll get done now! So sweet that your granddaughter is looking forward to her new pajamas. Of course, Nana will make them!

    Your renovations sound exciting! It is always fun to improve a space, I think. But, in the meantime, you have a perfectly lovely place for the two of you . . . bright (with the large window) and cozy (with the fireplace).

  23. I love your cozy kitchen corner...perfect for this season of life! I agree with Cheryl's comment, 'I am amazed at all you accomplish in spite of your busy schedule'. Enjoy the slower pace over the holiday season!

  24. Isn't it lovely to slow down sometimes ...
    I always enjoy that first cup of tea in the morning and savour it's taste.
    Your renovations sound good, and well done on starting the new pyjamas and nightgowns.

    Take care and enjoy the season.

    All the best Jan

  25. I love beef empanadas!

    I can picture you drinking a cup of tea in your cozy kitchen.

    My area entered the Red Level yesterday. I'm not too sure what the new restrictions are, but I'm continuing to limit contacts, wear a mask, physically distant, and wash my hands.

  26. All looks cozy there Lorrie - clever Tim to do all those projects.
    Your birds are beautiful. . . . . and I know the grands will love their new sleepwear made by Nana!
    Almost time for a well-earned break - take care of you too dear friend.
    Mary x

  27. How nice that you have more time for yourself. This is such a wonderful time of the year and deserves to be enjoyed. I was just outside enjoying the few flowers still in bloom. I like them the best, like favorite guests lingering after a party.

  28. Lorrie - with the holidays approaching, it is good that things are slowing down for you. I feel that things are speeding up for me, and I am ok with that! Most of our birds are chickadees and nuthatches, and if I am neglecting the feeders, they will divebomb me when I leave the house to make sure I know! Enjoy your sewing!

  29. Isn't it interesting how our grandkids' expectations can spur us on? I love knowing what is important to them. You have a lot of things on the go, yet you always manage to create an ordered, peaceful environment, even if it's just a cup of tea.

  30. Autumn is such a lovely season, too often here, it gets squeezed out by winter, as is what happened this year. We had two snowstorms last week. This week, rain.. and most of the snow is gone. Your living room looks so cozy, but I know you will welcome the renovations to add more space. It will be a blessing to not have so much of a teaching load to carry. Always a blessing to drop in for a "visit" with you!


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