May 2013

Monthly Archive

The apartment…

Posted by on 31 May 2013 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, housefire, Uncategorized

Here are a few pics of the apartment, from before the furniture was put in, to just a little while ago. Tom and Grant are included for scale.

Photo May 31, 6 11 14 PM

Living room with furniture and "lived in" clutter!  my guitars were cleaned and restrung after the fire, but still need airing out periodically as the yucky smell continues to seep out of the pores in the wood.

Living room with furniture and “lived in” clutter! my guitars were cleaned and restrung after the fire, but still need airing out periodically as the yucky smell continues to seep out of the pores in the wood.

Grant's bedroom, pre-bed

Grant’s bedroom, pre-bed

bathroom, it's really long and spacious, so I can have the drying rack open and still use it!

bathroom, it’s really long and spacious, so I can have the drying rack open and still use it!

The apartment came with a TV, so guess what Tom installed first?

The apartment came with a TV, so guess what Tom installed first?

By the way, Tom is looking through magazines with me this evening, the last night of May, we’re going to make some decisions about the house over the weekend so we know what to start saving for and buying up. I want to be able to put everything in as soon as a structure is in place!

Micro-Literature, revisited

Posted by on 29 May 2013 | Tagged as: Education Professional, Gardens and Life, good things, teaching, Uncategorized

I needed a holding place for the thinking I am doing for an interview tomorrow. Did I mention I have a job interview? Exciting stuff! I chose to go with an old stand-by lesson, the same one in fact that spurred me into action 5 years ago. The one that convinced me middle schoolers were my destiny…

Creative writing, micro-lit style!

The original unit, which I cannot find easily (I am on the third computer since that time and my earlier backups are not currently accessible), included some poetry, some writing to prompts, and some free writing as well as this lesson on “Twit Lit.”

This was the first year that I didn’t have a chance to use the lesson, so it felt good to pull it out and rework it.

I am still reworking it, and nearing 11 pm… adrenaline will do that for a person!

I have a haiku deck presentation that is loaded online, a re-written lesson plan, a new rubric, pre-writing worksheets and a final draft sheet. I am re-using the original example sheet. There is only so much I can do!

What else have I done? I have looked at the district’s interpretation of state standards, and the scope and sequence that were available online. I have thought about the way that kids at this age walk through their days and considered the way that they learn. I have reviewed the work I have done with students in the adjacent grades. And I have been running my brain around in circles. It is time to say it is “good enough” and iron my clothes for tomorrow.

Today, not in the garden

Posted by on 22 May 2013 | Tagged as: citizenship, Family Matters, Gardens and Life, good things, hope, housefire, loss, Making a Difference, parenting, Peace Making, social justice, Uncategorized

It has been a while again since I posted, but last night I wanted to share something with friends on a social media site and browsed through the pictures I posted here last summer.

How things have changed.

Hope, sadness; light, shadows; growth, decline; laughter, sighs.

I have been waking earlier than my normal the last couple of weeks, though I finally now sleep through most nights. And then I spend the time until I wake up reading the news and email that has been filtered and partially digested overnight. Thus de-motivated, I finally emerge into the day wondering what I am supposed to accomplish, how I am supposed to maneuver myself to get things done.

Today, once I got up I started soaking some doll clothes that were only slightly impacted (these are things that were inside plastic bags and are for dolls that survived!), got a load of laundry in, spent an hour cleaning jewelry with cotton swabs and makeup pads. I just sat down to eat a little something, and read more news…

There was a tornado in Oklahoma a couple days ago. Two that were particularly devastating. One that was in the most dangerous category. I look at the devastation on the television and it’s past my comprehension.

Until, that is, I think about what we are dealing with.

Compassion is the natural result of empathy, I think — understanding what other people are going through, if not the exact situation then being able to extrapolate from what is personally experienced to imagine a similar situation.

And what is similar is people leaving their homes in the morning, thinking they could play with (fill in the blank) when they got home. Then no home. Or, the remains of a home, but not much on first, second or third glance to salvage.

I know what that is like. I know how strange the landscape seems when landmarks are gone. I know what it is like to think there is nothing left and then return the next day and on subsequent days to find little hints of what was, and some of it good enough to keep.

I know what it is like to wake up and not know where you are for a few minutes, the light is wrong, the dog isn’t leaning against the bed, there aren’t any birds…

I know what it is like several weeks later to realize there were things that were supposed to be taken care of already and we haven’t started yet. So you start when you start, and the rest will fall into place as it can.

I know that in the weeks and months to come these families, like our family, will still be wondering what happened to (fill in the blank) and not sure if it was lost in the original upheaval or misplaced later on. And wishing…

I know they, like we are doing, will be wishing that things could just be normal. They don’t want new houses and new furniture and their “dream kitchen” — they want their HOME, and their treasured paintings drawn by loving toddler hands, and that wonderful teapot from the grandmother who is long gone.

And I know that in the midst of all of this, there will be good moments, too. Times that they smile, and times that they laugh. And they will feel strange, that in the middle of grieving and feeling lost, they also are “okay.”

I hope they will understand that it is normal to have alternating times of laughter and tears. It is normal to not always be looking around trying to figure out what to do next because soon — though never soon enough, it seems — things will start making sense again and they can get back to living.

It won’t ever be the same, and the losses will keep piling up for a while. But eventually, and sooner than they expect, it will be okay again. Not the same, but okay.

Parents, hug your children close, or call them to say you love them. Friends stay connected, even if just a phone call or facebook note. In difficult times, what saves us are the relationships.

To help the people in Oklahoma and other places devastated by tragedies and disasters, consider contributing to the Red Cross or Red Crescent.