As Summer gives way to Fall

Picture 360

Firstly, wow.  How has it been over two months since my last post?  In my defense, it’s been a whirlwind the last two months between house sitting, work, traveling and moving.  That said, I’ve officially moved into my own place (and close to work to boot).   I’m currently on break (we have a week off between summer school and our week of teacher workdays) and it’s been amazing so far.  Lots of downtime, catching up on appointments and catching up with friends who I don’t get to see often enough.

 

Since Fall is around the corner, I’ve started to prep for the coming months.  Fall is my second favorite season and I love the atmosphere of the fall season.  The weather has already started to cool down and the crisp morning air has a distinct fall feel.  I do two big cleans (spring and fall) and moving has helped move it along pretty rapidly.  I won’t need to do a big deep clean this fall, but I will do my typical declutter that I do twice a year.  I’ve exceeded my goal of getting rid of things this year and I might hit my 3 year goal of 500 things by the end of the year at this rate.

 

Life Changers: 15 of the Most Inspirational Books For Entrepreneurs #HarlequinBooks #Bookish

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m currently pursuing my endorsement in Special Education.  I signed up for classes recently and I’m registered to start them on September 8th.  The weekend before one of my best friends is getting married!  It seems like only yesterday they got engaged (November 2014).  Otherwise, September and October will be scattered months of 5Ks, friend visits and my families annual trip to Lancaster, PA.

 

I’m definitely looking forward to all that fall brings between classes, activities, travels and 2015-2016 school year!  What are you looking forward to most in the Fall?

Alexis the nomad

Stay in #Ireland free this summer in this stunning home FREE via housesitting, see details by clicking on the above house you could be staying in soon! (travelingwheasels.com)

Yesterday I was offered not one, not two, but three house sitting opportunities. I said yes to all three and they actually lined up perfectly in terms of timing. One starts the day I get back from Toomanygames and the other two follow suit afterwards on that Saturday. It means that I’ll be ‘working’ during my week off, but it’s going to be a pretty lazy week overall. The following week we start summer school and since I’ll be house sitting in the same city, there won’t be a huge rush to go home. I’ll have one more week of driving after that and then I’ll be moving, no more hour commute!

The Angry Video Game Nerd - AVGN

The next few weeks/weekends will be a nice balance of fun and work. Next weekend I’ll be going to Toomanygames with one of my closest friends and we’re overwhelmed with excitement for it. There are several youtubers and podcast hosts there who I’ve been following for a few years. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing The Angry Video Game Nerd (James Rolfe), Mike Matei, Pat the NES Punk, Team Four Star and Clan of the Grey Wolf!

Being a teacher has many perks and equally, as many challenges. Here are just a few hilarious and true quips about teachers in summer captured in the form of a meme.

This week also marks my one month anniversary of becoming a fulltime teacher! I love being a teacher, but it’s definitely not an easy job. All those things they say about your first year of teaching is true—right down to the insane hours you put in after the kids leave. Most of what I’m doing now involves fixing up the classroom since they didn’t have a teacher (just a substitute) for six months. I do plan on putting in some time over break, mostly just to clean up the room and reorganize things, but again, it’s mostly going to be a week to relax.

This all said, with the exception of returning home after going to Pennyslvania, it doesn’t look like I’ll be back home for the following two weeks. I’ll be living out of a suitcase and backback (well and my laptop case) and it’ll be exciting. It’s really hard to complain about not commuting for two weeks, with a house to yourself and free internet (when you’re an introvert). It’s a dream come true!

Apartment acquired!

Piano Door Bell. (incrediblethings.com)

Following up on my previous post about the woes of commuting, I’m happy to announce that I found an apartment!  I reserved it on Wednesday and got the official call on Thursday to confirm that my application was approved and it was mine. I’m very excited about it and I’m counting down the days until I have an extra 2.5 hours in my life (I commute roughly 2.5-3 hours a day right now) and no longer have to put the miles on my car.

 

There is going to be a little bit of a wait time before I move since the lease doesn’t start until the end of July.   I have another six full weeks to commute, though it may be only 5 depending on if I end up house-sitting for some friends one week in July.  I have a moving crew scheduled (family and friends) and since I’ll only be moving an hour away and the trailer is loaded with my non-essentials, it should be my easiest move yet!

Great way to display tickets

The apartment itself is a good price, especially considering the high cost of living in the area.  It’s close to work and in a safe place (there are plenty of cops who live in the apartment complex) and I have a lot of space!  I’ve started to mentally decorate the apartment I’ll be moving into since I have an idea of the layout I want.  After not having a place to decorate for a while (or having the extra money to spend on decorating), it’ll be nice to do both!

 

Since I have a nice sized window before moving in, it gives me time to get done with odds and ends to make moving easier.  I went through my things thoroughly when I was packing up to move three months ago and I anticipate doing it again once I get settled.  I have more space at this place than my old one, but some things are going to go to make space for more things.  My list of things to buy and do in the next 50 days is quite sizeable, but some are progress points for my goals I set for the year.

Doctor Who TARDIS Night Light

It’s nice to know my commute is coming to an end!  Equally exciting is knowing I’ll be in a place with plenty to do, friends nearby and a place all to myself again.  Have you moved recently?

Memorial Day weekend

Mission Organization: 21 Ideas on Organizing Your Teacher Area (Creative chalkboard)

What a week it’s been since last Sunday! I was waiting until the official announcement, but I was promoted from Teaching Assistant to Teacher at my school recently and started this past Monday. It’s going to take a while to get used to, but I’m off to a good start! I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of people to work with either. The next couple of weeks will be devoted to setting up my classroom, getting to know my students and learning the joy of paperwork in Special Education. It’s a process and one that I’m taking over gradually, but I love it!

coffee(pretty much these days!)

It does mean extra time at work, but I haven’t minded the drive since I found a shortcut to work that’s cut my 90 minute commute to 60 minutes. Last post, I said that my commute was a killer, but it seems more doable now and I’ve decided to prolong it until August. I’ll be housesitting one week in July and off for a week in June and July, which makes things easier (plus I have vacation time if I get to my wits end OR I can stay with friends in the area or nearby). This plan also allows me to pay off a good chunk of debt and buy a few things I need/want in the next few months. Not stressing about money for the first time in my life is an amazing, wonderful feeling!

 

Life rattles aside, I’ve been reading a good bit this past week and lately I’ve been tackling this monster;

Marvel

It’s a fantastic book and every Marvel comic lovers dream.  Admitably I got into Marvel through the movies, but it got me into the comic book origins (but even those have different origins).  It’s going to take a while to get through, but I’m savoring every character sheet.  I’m also still making my way through a few novels on the side since this is more of a reference book.

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Since it’s Memorial weekend here in the US, I have tomorrow off and I’m enjoying have an extra day off with no driving.  Yesterday I volunteered at a nearby festival with a friend and attended a Veteran memorial dedication.  Today I plan on taking it easy, though I may run a few shopping errands nearby this evening or tomorrow.  It’s nice to have a short week and by Tuesday I should be rested enough for a 4 day work week!

 

What are your plans for the weekend? 

 

Finding the will to commute

Wits End

Commuting an hour to work and another hour back home is rough. When traffic is bad the commute can range between an extra fifteen minutes to an additional hour. It’s not fun, yet many people do commute 30+ minutes to work and do it for years. My cousin has been driving two hours to work and another two back for the last four years. He has a really good job and doesn’t mind it. Some enjoy the drive and I did too at first. However..

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My commute is slowly killing me.

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I’ve been through my small CD collection to the point I have no interest in my CDs. Audiobooks don’t work and most radio stations don’t help. When I get to work I sit at my desk for 10 minutes, drinking coffee and feeling like a zombie. I’m fine during the day—it’s not affecting me at work at all, but when it comes time to make that drive, I half want to run to a friends house nearby and crash for the night.   The good thing is that I’m finally recovered from my moving expenses and have enough saved up that I could move. The bad thing is I want to pay off some student loans to help myself out and get a few things (i.e. replace my laptop).

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I work in Northern Virginia and the cost of living there is insane! The nice apartments start at $1000 for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and that’s before utilities like internet and electric! Some may offer the suggestion of a roommate, but it’s out of the question for me. I like living by myself and I’m willing to pay the difference to not have one.

End Road Work #protest #funny #humor

My original plan was to move June 20th, but now I’m not sure since I could use the rent to pay off a student loan and then some. Due to pre-planned trips and holidays, I couldn’t move again until the middle of July. It’d give me time to pay off some serious debt, but it’d mean extending my time to commute. Not moving until July 11th means I’d have to commute another 7 weeks (we’re off a week in June so no driving, hurray!) I don’t know if I can handle it, but if I could, I could pay off two student loans and still have money for rent and deposit without putting any stress on my wallet.

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Being someone who needs to plan ahead, it’s causing me a bit of stress. I can’t really do anything about it right now, of course. I’ve been reminding myself that I’m saving a ton of money not renting and to just let things happen. If it’s meant for me to move the 20th, I’ll move. If not, moving July 11th won’t be the worst thing in the world, at least it’d be a definite move date. I’ve commuted ten weeks so far, what’s another 7 weeks? We’ll see if I can hold until July!    

What’s the longest you’ve commuted to work?  How long did you do it?

This weekend I traveled back to my previous city for a 5K. While I was there I met up with several friends for board games and dinner, stayed with two friends, then caught up with several more yesterday morning. It’s been a month and a half since I last saw them. I knew that I missed them a lot, but I didn’t realize just how much until I was there. I wasn’t a fan of the city itself, but I loved the people who were in my life there-friends, colleagues and of course my previous students.   Going back can be a tricky thing and it was hard to leave my friends there…again.

pandemic

I did get to see one of my best friends and we exchanged birthday gifts. She got me the board game Pandemic and I can’t wait to play it! I’ve played it 2-3 times before and really enjoyed it. Last year I found the expansion, unused, at goodwill, but never got around to buying the game itself. Now I have a new board game to play—or at least one that’s not currently packed away until I move again.

toomanygames(Toomanygames)

Speaking of geekery, I bought my ticket to Toomanygames!  Another friend will be going with me and we’ll be getting a hotel for Saturday night (staying just for Saturday and Sunday).  There will be some amazing guests there and it’ll be an amazing time (based on what others have told me).  Extra bonus, my summer vacation starts the following week!  I do still need to order my advance ticket for Avengers: Age of Ultron this week.  I’ll be going to an Alamo theater and their tickets tend to sell out the week before (if its a major movie).

 

Oh yes! :)

Following up on a previous post about graduate school…I’ve decided not to go for it just yet. Instead, I’m working on adding my Special Education endorsement in Special Education Prek-12, which I should have by the end of next summer or by December. It varies by state, but in Virginia you have to complete special courses (some of my Elementary classes transfer), get proof of teaching for at least a year in a accredited school and pass the VCLA. I only need to take 8 classes, which I’ll be doing through an online program through a university here in Virginia.

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Do you ever travel back to places you used to live?

Spring and Summer on the road

Countless times I’ve applauded myself for making the decision to buy a new car.  This time last year my old car was in its last legs.  Once the transmission went out I knew it was time to say goodbye and on June 5th I bought a 2014 Honda Civic, paid for in full.  Having a new car has paid for itself.  Its not just the comfort of knowing my car is reliable and won’t be in the shop every week and gets amazing gas mileage (37.2 mpg!). Its the comfort of knowing I can go anywhere in it, that it won’t be expensive. Thanks to a new car, I started taking more long trips starting last summer.  This spring and summer I anticipate even more.  Since I work in a really big city, it’s fairly easy to hop on the metro to go into DC now and explore.  I went to the Matsuri festival yesterday, but it was a disaster! Way too many people and rude ones at that. Just because its crowded doesn’t make it acceptable to not use your manners or push people in ‘your way’.  We were all happy to leave and explore less crowded areas after the Matsuri festival.  Next weekend I’ll be makingmy first return to my old city since I left a month and a half ago.  It’ll be wonderful to see friends again and participate in the 5K.   Outside of those, I’ll be going to Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York by the end of the summer. I’m especially excited to go to New York for the first time!  I’m going for a bridal shower for one of my best friends and we’re driving down together.  It’ll be a fun trip–I just wish we had more than three days there!  There’s also a convention in June I’m excited to go to and potentially another one in Maryland in August. I’ll be making a couple trips to see friends who live 1-2 hours away throughout the summer, so my car will, sadly, be racking up more miles.  Currently I’m staying with my grandmother who lives a little less than an hour away from where I work.  The commute isn’t ideal (saving money is) and I plan on doing it until July/August when I’ll have a few student loans gone and able to afford something with plenty of emergency savings at my disposal.  It’s crazy how expensive things are in Northern Virginia, even with a decent income.  I’m anxious to live on my own again, but at the same time,I look forward to a summer around friends and family I’ve missed a lot in the last 3ish years!   Are you planning any road trips this spring or summer?