March 2009

Monthly Archive

Poem #1

Posted by on 31 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Peace is the moment between
ending today’s tasks
and picking up anew…

Student Concert

Posted by on 30 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: children, fun, Gardens and Life, good things, music, Uncategorized

Another successful student orchestra concert is under our belts…

The children looked spectacular as usual, and sounded even better. Here is a clip of the Brass Choir, performing a short fanfare from “La Peri” by Paul Dukas, French composer of the early 20th century.

I am posting this a little ahead of YouTube’s processing curve. Tonight starts another round of class. Off to learn!

For comparison, here is a link to a professional group, performing the same fanfare in an Italian church.

A Poem A Day

Posted by on 30 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: NaPoWriMo, poetry, Uncategorized

April is National Poetry Month.

To celebrate, many schools and organizations are sponsoring write-a-thons or special events.

For those of you who follow my quest to actually do something worth doing, well don’t look here! NaPoWriMo begins this Wednesday, and I will be blogging a poem each day (or else). But I won’t be soliciting donations. Instead, I encourage you to find a literacy-promoting organization that speaks to you, and donate a little something. Or volunteer!

Over at the WITS blog, they have created a nifty set of gadgets and gizmos to help you stay connected with their students’ work. Check out the Get Your Poem a Day post. This is an organization I whole-heartedly recommend. has all kinds of nifty ideas as well. I acquired one of their posters to use with the 6th graders I help with… and if you want to see if there’s anything happening locally for you, they have a handy interactive map for the United States!

Oh, and I added (temporarily, it doesn’t really fit) a WITS Poem a Day widget in the sidebar. Enjoy!

Spring Approacheth (but don’t get too excited yet)

Posted by on 29 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Family Matters, garden, Gardens and Life, good things, Uncategorized

There are now some lovely little “English daisies” (Bellis perennis) coming up in the lawn in places, their fuschia-and-white blooms contrasting nicely with the bright yellow of the dandelions (I like to think of the latter as droplets of sunlight rather than weeds).  I can see trillium beginning to unfurl in the back, but can’t quite make it out to check on them and take pics.  Maybe later today if it stays sunny and dry…  The red-flowering currants by the house are beginning to open up, and many of the deciduous shrubs and trees have bright green tips as they also unfurl for the season.

[addendum: had stidkid#1 take a few pics for me! Here are the daisies.]


I think the dewdrops and the way the grass seems to curl protectively over the daisies are so pretty!

But yesterday we had snow…  big fluffy flakes an inch across, mixed in with a VERY cold rain.  It was just above freezing here near the water so nothing accumulated,  though I am certain up a few hundred feet it was sticking.  This morning it was below freezing when I woke up but the clear skies overnight meant there was no real danger of more than a thick frost. I am holding off planting anything (or indeed, ordering anything new) until we have some consistently nice weather.  Besides, the garden is still to wet to work.

Garden plans for this year:  move the blueberries from their current location to the more appropriate boggy area closer to the road.  Replace the bird netting we used to wall off the garden with sturdier deer netting.  Make an actual gate into the garden so I can trundle a wheelbarrow in.  Build a cold frame — maybe.  Move one of the Asian pears to a bigger space (currently too close to one of the apple trees).

Remove the dead and dying elderberries and replace with new…  I like having elderberries for the birds that depend on them, and the location they volunteered in creates a nice screen between the house and the front yard.  Rework the dahlia beds — yes, this will mean lifting them at the wrong time of the year, but if I have time and energy this spring, then this is when it will be done.  It’s one of the bigger tasks.

Figure out a way to get grass (or something) to grow in the areas the big-pawed, big-eared, big-hearted galoot likes to run.  Or not.  Maybe I’ll just stand in line for a few loads of woodchips.  Eventually that area will be our parking spot, with permeable paving.  Like this example from Creative Environmental Design, show what it can look like 6 months after installation and at 1 year…  there are various systems, this is an inset block, there is also a sort of grid system that I like.



But soon spring will arrive in earnest and we can celebrate growth and life…  perhaps by the time July rolls around?

Concert Routine

Posted by on 28 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Knowing there is a concert always makes the day before — and morning of — interesting.
The shirt that was “fine” a day previous is suddenly found to have stains. The pants or tie or belt (or socls or shoes) are missing or require attention.

Last minute rush always includes such treats as finding the music folder, remembering the time for final rehearsal and finding a parking space…

I love my kids’ concerts. I enjoy seeing them work hard, listening to the final product, and taking lots of photos.

Tomorrow is another such event. I can hear one boy whistling in the shower. The other is reading quietly while he waits his turn. Life is good.

Science Fair Success!!!

Posted by on 28 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: children, education, Family Matters, fun, school, Uncategorized

There were many wonderful (and a few weird) science projects this year at the local school. Our participant received the third place award for his grade level… Here are two pics of the project “in situ” — the second one shows it next to the first-place winner for their grade, a good experiment with plants!



And this last is of him at home with his award. I wasn’t there for the ceremony, had the stid-dog at the vet’s to get (FOUR) medications to treat an allergic flare-up.


And yes, I am wearing a VERY “proud mama look.”

And the Other Leprechaun/Stidkid

Posted by on 17 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized


Had to wait until he was home from school, the camera belongs to a union that it can’t work until after 8 am!

My Irish Names

Posted by on 17 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Family Matters, good things, Uncategorized

Murphy! (The most recently arrived of my Irish ancestors… in the 1870s we think)

Conn, Porter. Downpatrick, County Down. Arrived in the 1850s.

McConnell. County Down? Arrived in the early 1700s.

Granville. The one who immigrated to the United States in the 1850s was born in Wales… and of course the name originates in French/Norman lands. As far as we know he was Irish, though he died when his children were young so their stories (now retold over 100 years) might have been misleading.

Other family names from Celtic lands: Duncan, Glenn, Livingstone(?), Watson (?)

None of these people came as a direct result of the potato famine — the last four names came for religious reasons (Puritans) in the 1600s but were from Scotland by birth.

One “Little” Fellow in Green…

Posted by on 17 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized


Yes, it’s corny, but I got my fellows matching green T-shirts. Here is the younger one, ready to celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green!

Celebrating the Green!

Posted by on 16 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: celebrations, friends, fun, Gardens and Life, good things, holidays, Uncategorized

My Irish heritage is a big part of my identity (So is the German, Dutch and then less and less French, Welsh, English, Scots…).

So Fáilte (which means Welcome) to you!

I will post a few pics as the actual day for wearin’ o’ th’ green (why do we clip the ends of the words like this?) goes on, and since it’s already St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, I wish you all a happy one. Though I have been told that really this huge celebration is an American thing…

And a special greeting to my friend who celebrates his “saint’s day” every year in style. May the skies be fair, the company fine and the food free. Sláinte!

And just because I needed to know where the accent went on that last word, here’s a website with many greetings and toasts.

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