Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
I was still recovering from the allergic reaction into the middle of the first week of July. Not fun. But had energy to have a nice dinner for my parents on Sunday the third, which of course wiped me out for the next couple of days.
Then, on July 7 I had a chance to meet up with a friend from New Zealand — it was a very spontaneous visit, so we didn’t have as much time as I would have liked. But … so glad we were able to finally gives in-person hugs instead of virtual!
On July 8 we had a silk painting session at my house. LOVED it. My friends are such amazing artists. Planning another session next month.
But I pushed myself a little too hard… the following weekend was unproductive, and it wasn’t until Wednesday that I started to have some energy again. Managed to get cars swapped around so one of them could have service done. Then I figured out some ideas for school and dug in on Thursday and Friday with some thinking and planning. Not a lot of organizing going on in the physical world, but a good bit happening with setting up ideas and lessons. AND I pruned a few trees and shrubs…
And I still have a reasonable five weeks of vacation to look forward to. I am glad. I will need every minute to be ready for the upcoming school year.
Yesterday, I went with Mother and a couple of good friends to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. We had a very fine time!
I did not spend as much as I had available (a first for me!). I left the amazing dragonfly wind chime behind, bought 11 dahlia tubers from Dan to replace the 70 or so I have lost in the last three years (critters, rot, disease?). Bought some new tubers/corms/roots for myself when I was purchasing a couple lovely alstromerias for a friend who recently retired. And I talked with a man who builds furniture from used casks — AMAZING things. I can special order a bench for the shower, at the height I like, with a polyurethane finish that will stand up better to the wetter environment. Will do that soon…
Meantime, here are a few pictures, in no particular order, of things that caught my eye. Mother is in several (shows scale!), some are out of focus (lighting, distance, ipad!). I didn’t take as many as I might have with a more compact camera.
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This is my boy, and his girl. Dapper and Elegant. What a cute couple they have made for nearly 4 years.
So proud of these young adults!
Last Thursday, Mother and I drove up to Port Angeles (again) and took the MV Coho of the Black Ball Line to Victoria (again) and began a short excursion that included Salt Spring Island (again) and Courtenay/Comox (again) and the Saanich peninsula (again). It’s something we enjoy, places that are beautiful, laid-back, filled with kind people and wonderful friends.
And I needed it. I need a little space to just relax and enjoy, to be myself and not have to worry about “everything” for a while.
It worked. Here in a nutshell is the trip we took, that encompasses shopping at Mouat’s in Ganges on Salt Spring Island, taking ferries between islands and peninsulas, walking in gardens, vistas off mountains (no pictures of that one, sorry) and amazing indigenous arts. If you have a chance to stop in Duncan, B.C. and take the tour of their totem poles (most of which were carved by native carvers just for this purpose!), do. It is full of insights into the history and life of the Cowichan and other local tribes.
There will be more pictures, but right now I need to sleep… seems every time I sit down to write, I get distracted by “real life!”
I started this month with every intention of making my goal of 50,000 words for the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. But between working, the conference and this last week when I really couldn’t write, I know I won’t make that goal.
And it’s okay. I made it almost to 18,000 words, which would be a reasonable amount most months. Here is a small graphic that shows how close I got to my goal:
They aren’t good words, the story doesn’t hang together and it’s not worth revisiting. I posted the writing I did as PDFs, but rather than linking to it here, I will tell you it’s under the Fun category, subcategory Literary Pursuits. If you choose to visit it… ye have been warned! (insert pirate laugh) And so I am letting go of this goal. I can try again next year, perhaps my mind will be more clear and I will be less distracted and distractible.
I went to the National Council for the Social Studies convention in Seattle last weekend. It was everything I had hoped for, and then some. I had to make some tough choices about what sessions to attend and what sessions I should hope to hear about later. I intended to go to a naturalization ceremony that was presided over by the amazing Sandra Day O’Connor, but I was so miserable with allergies that I decided to take some antihistamine and wander around the exhibitors’ hall. I was sad to not see one of my heros even from a distance, but it was better to rest and take care of myself than to push.
Because I followed my intuition, I met several people I would have missed otherwise, and a wonderful man, Dr. Mark C. Schug, and I had a nice conversation about his book Economic Episodes in American History. I like the innovative approach. Viewing history through economic decision-making allows students a lens to think about how their own decisions affect their lives — future lives, as well as present — and to see how other people have chosen in similar situations.
I also met Susan Austin, who gave me a copy of her book, The Bamboo Garden. A fun, easy-to-read novel I am enjoying reading it slowly when I am in the car waiting for kids. It is set in a time that we don’t often think about, and the painterly descriptions of people and places are marvelous. I am thinking about how I would use this book to teach intermediate-grades empathy as well as descriptive writing (something that I enjoy helping students learn).
I had intended to read voraciously this past week and this weekend, all the materials I obtained at the convention. But my eyes, which struggled so much in grad school, decided to hit me again. Between all the reading I was doing of materials that are not printed at a size that works for my eye defects, the dry air of the convention center, the antihistamines and sheer exhaustion I have barely scratched the surface.
So I am letting go… the materials will be here on the days I don’t work, I will have plenty of time to read over the two weeks of winter break and on the inevitable snow days this winter.
The garden is in decent shape, though already I have lost a few plants that should have been brought inside earlier. We have pruned two trees, and vacuumed out the cars today. We didn’t dig up the dahlias, and we didn’t move all the gardening equipment down to the wellhouse yet. It will happen, and the garden next year will be a lot quicker to start and a lot easier to maintain.
It is hard to let go, to realize that it’s okay to not get to everything. It is hard to choose which single thing should be done today, this moment, and which will simply have to wait until time, energy, opportunity or money allow.
I had a lovely conversation with a friend on the phone this evening. We could have talked for hours, but we talked about mostly one thing, and then let the rest go until another time.
I have been thinking about the loss of my dear friend, Hetty, earlier this month. When I saw her last time, I promised that “next time” we would play scrabble… and next time won’t happen. I won’t get another chance to see Sandra Day O’Connor, either. I won’t have another chance to attend the workshop that was titled “Teach Like a Pirate” (I heard later that it was excellent). And I won’t be able to bring back the dozens of dahlias that disappeared over the last many years.
But in the time that I have had, I have made progress. When I was with Hetty, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. And when I attend a different convention someday I will have other opportunities.
What really matters, in the end, is not what we intend to do, or what we didn’t do — what matters in the end is what we are doing in this moment.
What really matters, is being present to what we are able to do, right here, right now.
What really matters?
This has been a lovely vacation. Hard to write posts on the ipad, must remember to bring a keyboard next time! Hence, the out of order posting, and the posting of this the day I got home instead of while on the road yesterday. It was written while waiting for the ferry, when I didn’t have an internet connection.
Yesterday, took the Black Ball ferry (MV Coho) to Victoria with Mother. Most rolling crossing ever. The swells were huge, very litlle chop. Not bad, just a little hard to walk with the deck heaving like that.
Then a marvelous visit with our dear friend, Hetty. She recommended a book by Henry James, which I found at Project Gutenberg and Downloaded to my ipad’s Books reader.
Supper at Siam Thai restaurant, a little shopping, and back to the James Bay Inn, where we usually stay. Just a little way down Government street from the harbor, in an old neighborhood. Third floor, looking toward the harbor. This was the view that greeted me this morning.
And, of course, the calls of seagulls and an occasional crow.
birthday (for Krista)
in the moment
to the spark
we all began somewhere — the day we met our parents, our friends, our community
today is the anniversary of some event for every person in the world
that shared connection, the experience of beginnings
today is the anniversary of the birth of my oldest and longest-term friend
what do you celebrate today?
Today was full of unexpected moments: the ease of a task formerly dreaded; the satisfaction of accomplishment; the bewilderment of plans that change; the spontaneous expression of friendship. S gave me a gorgeous butterfly brooch, green and lavender and pink – this is a friend who knows me! Another friend gave me a call, we will get together tomorrow. I am signed up to sub, finally, and ready to go on Monday, though it will likely be some time yet before I have steady work.
Tomorrow is sure to bring its own set of surprises, some less comfortable than others, but all filled with learning and growth. What a grand thing it is, to live in ths complex world!