Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sweet Sweet Respite

Thank you so, so much for the love and encouragement you've given me in response to this incredibly draining school year. This past week did NOT get any better, unfortunately. Every day felt insanely crazier than the last. There was a meeting for the student who is emotionally disregulated where I was at odds with administration and had to go find my principal at the end of the day to make sure I wasn't fired (good news, I'm not, he even said he'd hire me 5,000 times over and then sent me a very nice text later in the day to reiterate that I am valued and respected, even when we disagree, which is quite something). I did hear from the student's parent who thanked me for my advocacy and for "seeing" the child through his behavior. So that's something.

But all in all, the week was super crappy.

I had to skip Tap on Wednesday because it was icy and I was worried I'd regret it if I went and ended up in an accident, so instead I ended up staying at work until 6:00, pretty much every day. Except Thursday, when my stomach decided maybe it would join in on the stomach bug fun and I experienced horrific nausea and stomach pain and exhaustion, went to bed at 8, and then went to school on Friday only to have hideous diarrhea attack me at the end of the day along with the pain, which was a) embarrassing and b) no fun at all. Awesome to leave Math class multiple times for the toilet, and to want to leave at 3 because we were going away for the weekend, but then actually leave at 3:30 because my ass and the toilet were best friends after school.

BUT, we made it to our weekend destination, which was so well timed and perfect it was like a little glimmer of positive karma.

We won a weekend stay at a log cabin in the Finger Lakes through the silent auction for our previous fertility clinic's fertility preservation for cancer patients program fundraiser, which we attend and support almost every year. We were supposed to go in December, but selling the house and moving proved to be impossible to get away from, and the weekend we were supposed to go turned out to be the weekend where the offers came in, so it was a good call to postpone until things were more settled.

The drive down was harrowing -- we had insanely high winds Thursday through Friday, and even into Saturday, gusts up to 55 mph, and there were snow squalls to contend with. On top of the weather, the way that our GPS took us from the cat boarding place we found (amazing, they had their own room with an electric fireplace and we could spy on them through a video camera app) was less than scenic, full of dilapidated barns and a whole lot of nothing for the snow and wind to swirl around in, and at one point I was fairly certain our car would break down and we would be eaten by people wearing human skin face masks.

But that didn't happen, and we made it to the cabin, and the owners showed us around and gave us the lay of the land, and we were THERE.

Except we hadn't gone grocery shopping, and the restaurant that was recommended to us said they couldn't at all accommodate for a gluten allergy, so we drove 30 minutes to the nearest Wegmans, ate at the burger bar (gluten free buns! heaven!), and got groceries for the short stay at the cabin because we had absolutely no intention of going ANYWHERE once we got back.

We made the cozy  bed, had our customary first-night champagne, read by the fireplace, and got to know our taxidermied friends in the cabin.

Ahhh, finally in pajamas, bed made, and sitting in front of the fireplace. 

Lovely living room. That TV never went on, not once.
Would have covered it with a blanket if we could!

This is Charlie.
We made friends with him after getting over the shock of 1/3 of a deer carcass hanging on the wall. 

Bryce really took a shining to Charlie. 

This is Baz. He may not be as well crafted as Charlie, but he had his charms. 

I am ashamed to say that I did not notice Charlie until after we got back from the grocery store. How I missed the front third of a buck, I'll never know, but I blame exhaustion and a hangover from the week.

The next morning we got up, had a lovely breakfast, had coffee, relaxed a bit. I did a puzzle (I am in love with 100 piece "travel" puzzles, just the right amount of challenge, done in one sitting), and then I had to go take the roughly 2 hour round trip drive home, because I forgot my medicine. If it was just my blood pressure medicine, maybe I could have skipped it and took it when I got back, but I forgot my anxiety medication, and that is not something you can mess around with. I was PISSED.

But I did a good job on the puzzle...

That fish looks like it is thinking, "awwwww, fuuuuuuuck." 

When I got back, we had a snack and then got ready to go for a walk. It was freaking freezing, but there were trails around the 23 acre property and three ponds, and we were planning on ribeye and roasted potatoes and green beans for dinner, so we figured we should get out. The directions said, "follow the mowed path behind the red cabin," so that's what we did, except we were in the log cabin, but there was a mowed path behind us.

It went up into the woods and then spit us right back out by the first pond.

There was another path, that you can sort of see to the right and north of the icy slope leading down into the pond, and so we took that. Which took us through the woods, where we saw a LOT of tree stands for deer hunting. It didn't phase us, because Charlie, so we kept on going. There was another pond that had bird houses around it and signs that said things like "Daniel Tiger's Restaurant," which I thought was cute. The couple who owned the three cabins had grandchildren and there was a high chair in the mudroom, so I was like, "isn't that cute!" There was a red cabin, that looked a bit more like a house than a cabin, and a playset that had names painted on it. Bryce was like, "um, this looks like someone's house..." and I said, "it said behind the red cabin, and that there were three ponds... this has to be it! And look, there's another trail!"

So we kept going, and saw another cabin that looked suspiciously like a house. With a Dish and everything. Bryce wasn't feeling good about it, but it didn't look lived in necessarily, so I was like, "this is another cabin, maybe?" but we were pretty far into the woods and had no clue where we were in relation to the log cabin. The clincher for hightailing it elsewhere was a stack of logs with a metal band around them, peppered with bullet holes. Hmmm. People-leather masks seemed a little more likely.

We went in a different direction and passed a beautiful pond, and some pretty running water under ice, and an insane number of tree stands.

The pond with the bird houses, not pictured

Pretty water under lacy ice! The shot-up logs are to the right, not pictured

Beautiful frozen pond with lonely tree and cattails. 

Another lonely tree in the marsh beyond the frozen pond, and a moody sky

Freezing our tuchuses off, but having fun doing it
Then, we came across the ACTUAL RED CABIN. And realized that we had just spent a fair amount of time trespassing all over land belonging to people who had, no joke, at least 50 tree stands, a fence made out of a giant mess of felled trees, and a set of shooting target logs at the end of their driveway. We heard a rifle report at one point and thought... oh jeezum, that was real stupid of us.

To be fair, there weren't really markers on any of the trails, and we are a VERY VERY BAD JUDGE of what constitutes 23 acres. Hint: it doesn't take an hour to walk around 23 acres. But, we made it. We didn't get shot by a rifle or an arrow, we just froze our faces off. Which is better than having our faces eaten off.

We read by the fire, Bryce doing a bunch of his PhD math things, and me reading Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices before finishing my book of short stories by Denis Johnson. That may sound awful, but it was lovely. We had some wine, and a yummy steak dinner, and just relaxed, relaxed, relaxed. It was LOVELY.

Before we left, I did another mini puzzle and we had some additional fun with our dead animal friends.

Love this one..."Loonscape" by Charlie Harper. Definitely challenging but also doable!

Which one is Charlie? Hard to tell...

Putting our best Baz faces forward

Then we came home, picked up the cats, and got back to reality. Sometimes all it takes is a little dose of relaxing retreat somewhere elsewhere to recharge for the week. Seeing as how it's the last week before February break, I'm going to need this extra recharge. Whenever I'm stressed, I'm going to just envision this:

Our new home is very relaxing and awesome, but going somewhere different where no laundry awaits, no lesson planning is anywhere nearby, no cats need to be fed or moved off the bed so they don't puke on your bedspread...that's priceless.


  1. How lovely! I'm so glad you weren't shot and eaten by people wearing people-leather masks, because then I got to go (vicariously) on your lovely break. All that reading and puzzles and cosiness after the cold fresh air. How perfect!

    Also - getting emails from the parents and texts from your principal were not just "something" but are a big deal. Remember that and pat yourself on the back. I can imagine it is all very frustrating and stressful, but you fight for your students and for what is right. Good for you.

  2. I am so glad you got to have a little getaway -- even if the driving weather was less than ideal. (Also VERY glad there wasn't anyone using those tree stands while you were walking around them... YIKES!) You've reminded me that we really need to do the same (take a little getaway, even somewhere close to home)!

  3. I'm so glad you didn't get shot!! Holy moley, lady!!! My hair was on end when you described your adventure.

    That said, I am glad you got away for the weekend. It's clearly been an insane couple of weeks for you and this trip came at a good time. It sounds like it was absolutely wonderful.

    Also, I agree with Mali. I've been on the receiving end of a teacher standing up for me and I cannot begin to tell you the profound positive impact that has had on me. Thank you for doing this (especially as I'm preparing to go in for an IEP meeting) and thank you for being simply amazing.

  4. This looks like it was an amazing time! I am so glad you guys got to get away to such a cozy place. I think the dear would have freaked me out, haha. Sometimes just changing scenery can do wonders for mental health and your soul, and I am glad this little getaway helped you!

  5. Sounds like it was the perfect trip, just what you needed! Love the photos


    Ya had me laughing. Except for the part about the stomach flu. That's never funny! (well, maybe sometimes if it's not you).

    This place looks and sounds fabulous. I'm glad you two got to have this respite.

  7. Awww, sorry that things at school haven't improved. It's hard to have so much going on there and here's hoping things do, at some point, settle a bit.

    The getaway sound well timed! And like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing all the pictures - they are such a joy to see!