Grateful for Dental Insurance

Yesterday was that dreaded cleaning at the dentist. Lying in the chair with my mouth open, I allowed my mind to wander over the day I had had. I realised quickly that the hygienist was gentle and barely hurting me. Added to which she seemed to be moving through the process quickly.

I remember a time when a cleaning was not only painful, but took a long time. For the last three years while working permanently with the School Board, I have been able to visit the dentist more frequently to check my teeth and have them cleaned. My visits now are shorter than they were previously – and the cleanings are definitely a more pleasant experience.

This week I am grateful that I have Dental Insurance that allows me, and my family, to look after our teeth.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for friendhip

Lavender Ladi was grateful for Harry Potter’s world

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: A Good Ending

Weekend Coffee Share | Nerd in the Brain (4)If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile on this gloomy morning. Our temperatures have been down this week. They have crept up a little in that we had rain the entire day yesterday instead of snow. It is still chilly outside and I cannot put my winter coat away yet, but at least we are experiencing one sign of Spring – rain!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my week began with a Math workshop. The session was interesting and I jotted down a few ideas to put into practice once I have completed my current inquiry with the children. I have placed the sheet with my ideas in a place of prominence on my desk so that I do not forget to follow through 🙂

This week I managed to catch up with the documentation of my students’ work. Yahoo! Now I need to work on creating a new documentation panel outside of my classroom. We have been working on adjectives in class and I intend to put up a board showcasing the writing produced by my grade 1s and 2s.

The work week ended with a school wide trip to the cinema. Under the current principal, we have a yearly tradition of going to the cinema that is a 10 minute walk from the school. This year we went to see “Boss Baby”.

Not only did the kids laugh during the movie, but the adults chuckled too. We had a fun morning eating popcorn for snack while watching the film. And the afternoon? My students were hyped on sugar (they had fruit candy and a very sweet Fruitopia drink with their popcorn at the movies) and found it difficult to focus and do much.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the school week ended well and that I woke up refreshed this morning. Today at midday I am going to try another Zumba class – I am ready to add another session to my exercise schedule. The floor space at this gym is a lot smaller than where I usually go so I am hoping that there are not too many people. While I am in the area, I will also take the opportunity to stop by the library – the pile next to my bed is almost done 🙂

Enjoy your weekend and have a fantastic week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Nerd in the Brain)

Who Am I?

Our definition changes according to the stages in our lives.

The first moment I was defined was at my birth. I became a daughter. A daughter of two proud parents. Even now, a mother myself, I am linked to their names: I am the daughter of David and Liz. My definition changed during childhood from toddler, to pre-teen, to adolescent. My parents helped to shape me as did those I came into contact with at school. The years on a university campus helped cement my ideals and moved me towards my first full-time employment as a teacher working with disadvantaged children.

Since then I have become wife, mother, immigrant. My changing roles and environment have helped define my strengths. A constant, however, has been my beliefs. My faith has been tested on many occasions in my life and yet now, as I reflect on who I am, I know that my belief has not swayed. I believe in a greater Being who watches over the world. And I believe that this Being will get me through difficulties. Always.

So who am I? At this moment in time I am a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a teacher, a believer in the goodness of humanity and in God. I am a South African and a Canadian. I am the sum of all my experiences.

I am me.

Who are you?

Five-Minute-Friday-badge© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: define)

Sunny Flowers

When my son came over for our weekly Sunday dinner, he brought the family a gift.

Sunny Flowers. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The yellow flowers cheer up our living space. I cannot help but smile when I get home and see them on display.

What has made you smile this week?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Grateful for Needle Movement

English: An arrow pointing down in the red cir...

One of my goals for 2017 is to lose some of the weight I have gained over the last few years. I want to take charge of my health and fitness again and return to a time when it was easy for my body to move. I am slowly changing the way I eat; and I try my best to attend my bi-weekly Zumba classes.

The needle on my scale had not moved since the beginning of the year. However, even though it remained static, I did notice a change in my body. My clothing fits looser and I am beginning to see a waist again! Last week when I weighed myself, I felt a moment of joy.

The needle on the scale had moved! Downwards.

I now weigh 1kg less. It may not sound a lot, but to me it is quite an achievement. The loss encourages me and prevents me from giving up. Now I can work towards losing the next kilogram.

This week I am grateful for my weight loss and the encouragement this loss gives me.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for a flannel shirt

Lavender Ladi was grateful for fluffy snow

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Man, not Woman

Often my husband will say, “Man is so evil!” when we are discussing certain events at the dinner table. Topics can range from war, to the slave trade and human trafficking, to corrupt presidents in Africa, to violent and cruel murders. When we talk about the oppression of women and the domination of one race over the other, my husband often shakes his head at some point in the conversation and laments the baser side of human nature.

“Yes, men,” I tell him. “Not women.”

Women, I believe, have a more nurturing nature than men. The men are the ones who fight, who cause war and riots, who want to dominate and show their power. Women are the ones who heal, who clean up afterwards, who find the food to feed their children. Women are the ones who show love and who work towards creating that sense of community.

Unfortunately the modern woman feels that she has to be like a man in order to be equal. Thus many women today try harder than men to be a man: they seem unbending and unyielding with all the nurture squeezed out of them. They dress like men in severe suits and create a wall around themselves to hide their true nature. Will they eventually become like men and start wars, leaving the ‘lesser’ women to nurture?Would I then have to agree with my husband that Man (as in humanity) is not good?

I hope that it never comes to that and that the modern woman will realise that equity, not equality, is what is important. I hope that she will come to realise that nurture is a good thing; and that being the alpha male does not always lead to something positive for the community.

Do you agree with my husband’s statement?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Stream of Consciousness SaturdayThe prompt is: man)

Weekend Coffee Share: March Break

Weekend Coffee Share | Nerd in the Brain (4)Ahh, good afternoon. The day has been busy so far – I have been exercising, shopping, and doing the laundry. The snow has been falling wetly outside and it is a lot chillier than I thought it would be. Now is the perfect time for a cup of coffee or tea. Which would you prefer? I think I will reach for the Cinnamon Rooibos this afternoon. I am in the mood for a little spice.

This week the school’s have been closed for March Break. There are a few people who call this week off a Spring break but, alas, it is not the correct term for it. The week began with ‘feels like’ temperatures of -17c; temperatures that encourage a person to wish that the warmer season was just around the corner!

On those cold days I spent time curled up on the sofa reading the books I had checked out of our local library; or relaxing with my feet up watching Bones on Netflix and crocheting. Even though it was cold, I did not give my Zumba class a miss – and even went to the noon one offered on a Tuesday. I am really enjoying the dance fitness exercise classes. I am getting fitter and no longer look at the clock on the wall 10 minutes into the session.

The highlight of the week was when my friend came to visit me. She lives quite a distance from where I am and therefore I do not see her very often. Seeing her was wonderful – our friendship picked up from where we had left off the last time we saw one another. It was sad to say goodbye and see her go home. We will see one another again in the Summer – three and a half months is a long time to wait!

Thursday and Friday the weather was beautiful. It was a lot warmer than it had been and the sun was shining. I took the time to go spend a few hours in my classroom. I have been wanting to sort though my cupboards and clear out the things I don’t use. I did not do everything that I wished to, but I made a head start. This morning I bought some more plastic sleeves so that as I go through the boxes of papers I have, I can file what I want to keep. It was peaceful working in my classroom and making some headway with no interruptions.

I am ready for the week to start on Monday. I will spend the rest of the weekend completing my household chores and stocking up the fridge for the week.

Hope you have a good one.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Nerd in the Brain)

The Songs of ABBA

When I was growing up, our extended family used to get together often. Aunts and uncles, and many cousins. We experienced Sunday picnics in the parks, lunchtime braais (barbecues) at someone’s house, and Saturday night parties. For my family, parties always included dancing. Everyone would dance – the young and the old. I remember laughter, movement, … and ABBA.

Dancing Queen was a must on the playlist, causing everyone to get up and dance. This track was often followed by Waterloo.

When I listen to ABBA now, I remember those moments with my family before the children grew up and the family seemed to disband. I think of my cousin who was such an ABBA fan that he had all of their albums. I think of my uncle who led the dancing to the popular Swedish group. I think of the joy and security we had as children when all of the cousins got together. I think of carefree moments. For me, the sounds of ABBA bring many positive memories to mind.

Do you have any memories linked to ABBA’s music. Which one was your favourite?

(This post is linked to Hugh’s 51 weeks: 51 favourite songs from the past. Join us with a song of your own.)

Grateful for Time to Rest

This week schools are closed for what is called March break. It is definitely not a Spring break as temperatures have plummeted to a ‘feels like’ -17c. The weather is forcing us to meet up with friends indoors; and long, lazy walks are certainly not an option. The break, however, is giving me a chance to rest, to get up late, read, and do a little crochet.

Every school break I have always begins with a trip to the library. I browse the shelves filled with the newer additions, often picking up authors I have not read before. Sometimes I find an unread title by one of my favourite authors.

Library Stash. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

This break I decided to begin a new crochet project: one that I have been thinking of creating for a while now. I have downloaded the pattern from Ravelry, and purchased the yarn from Michaels.

Beginning a new project. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

While crocheting, I put my feet up and watch Netflix. Currently I am watching the TV series Bones.

Bones (TV series)
Bones (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I enjoy Kathy Reich’s novels and I am enjoying this series that has been inspired by her. I am now on season 10 and will be sad when the show ends. It is interesting to see how the characters and personalities have developed over the seasons.

This week I am grateful that the March Break is giving me the chance to rest and to pursue some of the things that I enjoy doing.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for dog paws

Lavender Ladi was grateful for music

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

Front CoverDuring my visit to the library this week, I picked up a novel by an author (Cathy Kelly) I had not read before. The cover attracted my attention, as did the title Between Sisters. The byline encouraged me to check out the book: Without a mother, there was only one way to grow. Together.

The story centres around a group of women: the sisters Cassie and Coco, their grandmother Pearl, and Elsa (a daytime TV therapist). The sisters were abandoned by their mother when young and raised by their grandmother. Their abandonment affects them in their adulthood in ways they have yet to acknowledge.

The teaser is an extract in the voice of the grandmother, Pearl, when she is reflecting on the past:

“And if she told them the truth, she’d have to tell them the whole truth. And they might look at her with loathing if she did that. Cassie was always saying Peal was an amazing woman. If the truth came out, about what she hadn’t done for their poor mother, Cassie certainly wouldn’t believe that anymore.”  (p47, Orion Books, 2015)

Even though I am only about a quarter way through this novel, I am enjoying the story. My curiosity has been aroused as the writer shares little tidbits of information as I read along.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)