Paper seems like a silly topic to talk about, but it’s kind of been a theme in my life the last few weeks. In this world of trying to go paperless, it seems impossible for an “old school” girl like me.
At work, I’m trying to find ways to have my students use their Chromebooks more by using Google Classroom or other online tools to complete assignments. This hasn’t happened yet, though, because I feel the need for the students to have a copy of the story and handout so they can write on the document. It’s only the end of the second week of school and I’m already down to two reams of paper (I started with three). I’ll certainly have to figure out some ways to curb my copying needs.
I do have plenty of notebook paper for those students who run out. The students always seem to start the school year with plenty of notebook paper, and run out by the middle of the second quarter. That’s also the time that a pack of paper that was once 99-cents, becomes at least a $3 purchase. So, I stock up in case anyone needs some paper.
I keep getting an email from my bank asking me to go to paperless billing. Well, they obviously don’t realize this, but I’m already doing paperless billing. All but my electric bill is paid online (…don’t ask…I can’t seem to figure out how to pay my electric bill online…). And, my financial statements are all online. So, I’ve figured out some ways to reduce my paper consumption.
The paper practice that I hope never goes away is packing boxes with the large brown paper. I ordered a new litter box a few weeks ago, and I forgot about the joy of the packing paper. Abby and Otis have had hours of entertainment and relaxation with the brown paper. Abby purposely gets her toy mice in the paper, then simultaneously attacks the paper and the mice. I’ve recorded her playing with the paper because she cracks me up every time! Otis has been playing with the paper, too! Otis?! Yes…Otis has loved making a paper fort or secretively playing with one of Abby’s mice. Reggie and Striker seem to be a little indifferent about the paper, but have enjoyed the large cardboard box for games of hide and seek. By the way, I don’t have the heart to throw away the brown paper or the box…they’re both here to stay until they get ruined, or another “toy” becomes the favorite.
Do you ever have those moments when you’re looking at your belongings and get the urge to re-organize? All of a sudden the furniture needs to be rearranged, the books on the shelves need a different organization system, or the closet needs purging of all things stuffed inside of it.
This happens to me about once every 8 months or so. I’ll be sitting on the couch, cuddling with one of the cats (of course), and the view of my “stuff” becomes completely different than it did only a few minutes before. It may be that I’ll notice a DVD that is in my collection that needs to be eliminated, or a framed picture needs to be updated, that will set off an entire cleanse of the apartment. I have limited space and limited ways to rearrange my furniture, so the furniture always stays. Since the furniture has to stay the same, I change other things and I clean out things that don’t bring me joy anymore.
In this process, I also try to go through all of the cat toys. By toys I mostly mean the various boxes and Chipotle bags that the cats once played with that I’m ready to throw away. It never fails that the box I pick up and ask the cats if they’re done with it, is the exact box Reggie, Abby, and Striker have re-claimed. Or, the nearly torn-up Chipotle bag is Abby’s favorite new hiding spot (again). OR…the box that doesn’t look like a box is Reggie’s make-believe fort, and when I try to pick it up to put in the recycle pile, he swats at my hand.
You can probably guess what happens in my apartment. The cats win. If they seem happy, and are playing with something, who am I to take that away from them? I will eventually put my foot down with some things, but most of the time, the cats are the victors.
At least I managed to purge about 4 bags of old school papers and a box full of old magazines. The recycle bins were my friends this past week! My apartment feels new and refreshed and my cats have “new” toys, hideouts, and forts to play with.
So, I know April Fool’s was yesterday, but I can’t stop thinking about practical jokes from our human friends and fur babies.
On Friday I gave my students a spelling test of fake words. I saw it posted on Facebook; a teacher gave this test to his middle school students. My students kept saying they thought the words were fake, but I convinced them otherwise. When I revealed the answer to #11 to be April Fool’s, the students broke out into laughter and gave me props for a good April Fool’s joke. It was a nice way to end the week as we approach a week of upcoming standardized tests.
This made me think of the “jokes” our furry friends play on their humans. I’ve played with many dogs in my time and have had it happen to me when they’re about to give me their toy to throw, and they decide to hold onto it or run away with their toy instead. I remember watching this dog and his human on an early-morning run…the human was trying to leave the beach, but the dog was having none of it. The adorable dog would go next to his human and act like he would accept getting hooked up to the leash, and at the last second, would run off wanting his human to play another game of chase. It was so funny! If dogs could laugh, that cute dog was definitely in hysterics!
If you were part of a April Fool’s joke, hopefully it was as innocent as being asked to spell Rol-Aska-Tox or Tangeteen. Or, maybe your fur baby decided to play a joke on you. Either way, I hope you made it through the day with a lot of laughs, and are taking this morning to relax…and cuddle.
What are things that you love to do? Do you have a sweat heart? Yesterday, I participated in something that I love to do…judging for the Illinois Drill Team Association State Championship. I’ve been judging for IDTA the last 18 years and have judged the State Championships the last 16 years. What a joy to see teams from around the state pouring their heart out in their respective dance routines. There are some routines that are so memorable and some leave the judges with the chills.
You know what I also enjoy? I love hearing stories about what our fur babies love to do. My cat meows at me to go to bed at the same time every night. My dog loves to go for walks while carrying his stuffed animal in his mouth. My guinea pig loves when I wake up in the morning and starts talking to her. These fun stories are what make our pets unique and what make us love them even more.
Speaking of dance. Have I told you how much Abby loves her cat dancer toy? It’s a thin wire with four pieces of cardboard at the end of the wire. She loves her favorite mouse toy, but she also loves playing with the cat dancer. Our routine in the morning is to play with the cat dancer after I dry my hair. As soon as I turn off the hair dryer, Abby meows a certain meow and gets me to follow her into the living room. She pretends to hide and waits for me to start playing with the cat dancer. Even though we only play for about 5 minutes in the morning, she loves that morning routine and loves her cat dancer.
I hope this is a week where you can enjoy the things or people you love, and your fur babies get or give some extra love, too.
Enjoy the cuddle!
Abby playing with her cat dancer.
One of the pom routines at the IDTA State Championships.
Do you have a dog or cat that has a favorite toy or bone that seems to get “lost” from time to time? I love those images of dogs digging in the yard to hide their toy or their bone…oops…even though they mess up the yard. I used to see a woman walking her German Shephard and the dog always had the same stuffed animal in his mouth as they walked. I can just see them leaving the house for their walks, “Can’t leave without my stuffed animal!”
Poor Abby goes days with having her favorite mouse toy, then she loses it for weeks on end, and somehow we (or she) finds it again. It’s always a great day when we find “favorite mousey,” as you can imagine. By the way, we’re in the middle of not knowing where favorite mousey is these days. She keeps meowing at the front closet. I keep looking in the front closet. Abby keeps sniffing in the front closet. BUT…no luck. Maybe next weekend I’ll pull out everything in the front closet to see if Abby is right about favorite mousey’s whereabouts.
I know this feeling of missing your favorite “toy.” Right after the marathon I lost my Garmin. I looked all over my apartment and re-traced my steps at least three times looking for it. I took all the clothes off my shelves in the bedroom closet, checked under and behind random spots, removed the couch cushions, and determined that I must have accidentally thrown it away in my tired state of mind. Darn.
Thanksgiving night, as I was getting comfortable on my couch, I had this crazy thought. Wouldn’t it be funny if I reached in the couch right now and pulled out my Garmin?! You all are never going to believe this, but I found my Garmin! It was in the couch where I was sure I looked several times before. I reached in, felt something sort of strange, pulled it out, and there it was…my Garmin! Crazy! Thankfully, the frustration of wondering what I did with my Garmin is gone (especially the thought of accidentally throwing it away). Now, if I can only help Abby find her favorite mousey, we’ll be all set.
If any of you are missing an item, or your pets are missing a toy, I’ll send happy thoughts to finding them this week.