26 September 2012

Checking in

I've been sorely neglecting my writing - not only on this blog, but in other areas, as well. The reason is because much like everyone else in the country, life has thrown us a few curve balls and I am now working more to pay the price of... living.

The last couple of years I worked as a substitute teacher, but I found it to be frustrating. The pay was ok and I love the kids, but the inconsistent nature of it just about drove me mad.

It was hard to wake up in the morning not knowing if I was going to work on a given day. It seemed that if I got up and got ready, just in case a job came in, there would be nothing. But if I slept in, of course I got a call.

It was impossible to have a regular schedule, let alone a regular budget. Planning doctor visits or other such appointments was maddening because there would be no jobs on the day preceeding the appointment, but two or three on the day I couldn't work.

Lastly, it was lonely. Though I spent my days surrounded by people - fun kids, kind teachers and hilarious high schoolers - each day was different. It was nearly impossible to build relationships of any kind. I might get a three-day job and really connect with the kids and the fellow teachers, and then not be back at that school again for six weeks.

All that to say, subbing is now my back-up job. Now I am a dog-walker and a babysitter. I had no idea both pay so well - much better than subbing! I have one consistent job where I see the same kids every day, another once-a-week job with an adorable little girl, and I walk a 4-month-old puppy who is an absolute sweetheart.

Sure, there will be school holidays when I'm not working, but it was that way with subbing, too. And I'm sure the dog walking won't be quite as fun in January as it is now, but it will force me to exercise. Right now, this is good. I have a consistent schedule, a workable budget, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel with those pesky debts.

Best of all - I am outside a good deal of the time, either walking the dog or walking kids here and there, not to mention driving a lot. I'm getting a wonderful view of the fall foliage each and every day, rather than sitting in a classroom with no windows, or windows that only face a field or playground.

But I'm busy and always on the go, which leaves little time for writing. So now I've scheduled in time to write. We'll see how that works out...

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

18 September 2012

Beginning Fall Colors

Earlier this week...


Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

06 September 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Over the weekend, we had my father-in-law's boat, so we made good use of it - just the two of us! (Who said the empty nest is a bad thing?)

Oh, and to clarify, we have one child who came back home, but she is working full time and we rarely see her.

Remember the blue moon last week? This was the last of it, the next morning.


Many, many fish were caught over the weekend, but this is the one and only in which I participated. I held the net, so it counts.


A mama loon and her baby.


Enjoying some sunshine...


But... keeping my toes away from this scary guy!


The eagle show was amazing. Two bald eagles really seemed to be performing for us, flying back and forth over our boat, landing on the tops of trees at water's edge, and diving for fish. I'm only sad that I packed the wrong lens for such photography. But you get the idea.


If you look REALLY hard, you can see a speck of an eagle in the background.


The second day was a bit chillier than the first. Mainly because of the wind.


But the fishing was still good!


More of the eagles...


Hard to tell here - it's eating a fish it just scooped out of the lake.


Perched for our viewing pleasure!


And my trusty water chauffeur who made the weekend absolutely lovely!


Isn't he cute? :)

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes