Gardens and Life
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.
I have been working through this face reaction (I don’t think I have ever felt so un-lovely!) for four days now. Every morning is a bit better, and no additional symptoms, so I am going to work today on organizing some of my office (if Grant, who stayed home ill feels better in the afternoon he can help secure the last important piece for my standing desk. I am also determined to sort some boxes I brought home from school.
And, sometimes it helps me stay on track when I am able to note progress on my blog. No deadlines… it’s summer vacation — and I am still not 100%. But, sort through boxes, upholster the seat cushion for the stool that belongs in my office (the original cushion needs replacing from the fire). And do a little more lesson planning and organization of online files. I reproducing my files from this machine in my school googleapps account so that I have some flexibility when working — work directly in google for some things, but also still using Word and Excel because the functionality in googleapps isn’t quite where I need it to be.
Organizing…. it will help me make it through this next school year!
I am slowly getting a few things in place, and I have only been “at home” for about 4 days since school let out. I have now officially been playing the drums for a year and a half, and decided since I definitely enjoy it that I might as well bite the bullet and spring for better equipment. Today, Tom and I were able to put up the pegboard we bought a few weeks ago and I arranged my new drum set (also new cymbals!) and accoutrements in the corner of our bedroom.
Next steps include figuring out a way to better muffle the sounds of practicing until I am good enough that people can enjoy listening…
How did I manage to NOT post this in May 2014? It is rather badly overgrown now, but the patio is one of my favorite places to sit and read, or work, this time of year.
Grant had to shift gears mid-year about his senior project. He came up with a really great idea: fix up the front yard that got trashed this last year from neglect and construction.
He has “roped in” a couple of friends occasionally to help — Thanks Mady, Gabe, Jake and Tabitha!
Here is the progress he has made so far, pics are a little rough, but I am trying to get caught up on blogging this weekend and no time for a lot of fine-tuning.
I am actually going to post these in a gallery, with no commentary to save myself time and actually get this up (started it yesterday, here 24 hours later sitting down to finish…).
I didn’t finish the post then, either. And now I cannot find where the pictures are that I took… so this will have to be enough for now.
is hard work.
It is better than the alternative?
The answer is: Yes, when you are there.
That curious moment in the day when the gray skies pick up the bright green of new life and suffuse creation with an immortal glow.
Success! The fledgling
finds his wings
and starts to fly.
What is better than a happy third grader?
TWENTY happy third graders!
It was a very good day for learning.
or world-dumb, I suppose.
disclaimer: What follows is purely my opinion, based on personal experience and reflection, but hey! it seems to work for me and mine.
I would finish this post today as a call for renewed commitment to service, to understanding, to doing what is necessary to improve the world; to reject the calls for secularism, for isolationism; to protect the most vulnerable among us including children, isolated elders, people with disabling conditions that require extra support; and so on.
Rather than give in to fear (and there is a lot going on in the world that is out of our control!), we can instead remember the lessons of our past, and pull ourselves together. We need to stand together in opposition to those forces that would divide us. We need to be stronger and braver than the pundits who proclaim immigrants as enemies and other religions as subversive.
I cannot solve the problems of the world, but I am just enough of an optimist to think that we can solve the problems of our nation. We can solve them through understanding, optimism, and the same spirit of ingenuity that is a hallmark of “Americans.” True patriotism will not turn its back on the proud heritage of inclusiveness. True patriotism will admit that past actions that deprived individuals of their rights in the absence of criminal activity on their part was not just wrong, it was unconstitutional and should not be repeated. True patriotism in our country recognizes that together we are stronger, braver, smarter, and better than when we isolate and cut off those who are different in selfish and cowardly attempts to protect ourselves from imagined threats. We grow when we take risks, we diminish when we don’t. Pretty simple.
Today is the 21st anniversary of the day our older son became a big brother.
He was so proud of his little brother!
Here is a pic of the birthday boy and his big brother the day after he was born…
When he was about 3 or 4, he LOVED that Snowman toy!
When they were about 6…
I am so proud of my sons.
And today, I am beyond-proud to be the parent of two full-fledged (in the eyes of the law) adults!
And one more, of a proud mama and her son, probably taken in 2002.
Happy Birthday, Grant.
I have been “silent” for many months, working very hard at school and just trying to keep ahead of the work. I love my students, and spend most of my energy on them during the school year. It’s hard to keep that “work-life” balance sometimes. But as things calm down and become more predictable I find small moments when I have both time and energy again.
Here is a musing from quite a while back:
When the house is clean
And the kitchen is tidied
The outside beckons
Too late the weeding
Too late the gentle breeze
before the storm
The children are gone
from my arms
from my time
We built and built again
I work quietly
Wait for a reason
To put joy
on the walls
in the halls
[originally written 23 June 2014, mid-afternoon]
I stopped writing the poem at that point — what did I have in mind? We had only moved “home” about three weeks earlier. I was again temporarily jobless and simultaneously trying to find the “must have” items from the boxes that had come from the apartment, the “cleaners” and the storage locker; while sorting out the items that I wished I could keep but were no longer worth keeping even for sentimental value. I was trying to find and reestablish the garden again after more than a year “away” — so much doesn’t get done when you don’t live on site! I was trying to make some decorating decisions which I quickly gave up — no money even if I had the heart. Tom was working full-time, Grant was working full-time, Matthew lived elsewhere. I was ALL ALONE. No companions of any kind except my grief and longing.
I still deal with the feelings of loss, I still am absolutely, devastatedly, achingly lonely when I am at home with no one around, no one to care for. I have a precious few hours with Tom each week, usually on the weekends; fewer with Grant who very much wants to earn enough and save up enough to leave home. The rest of the time, if I am home, I am alone.
And this loss — the loss of security and home, the loss of heritage in the artifacts that perished outright or turned out too badly damaged to keep — this loss is relatively small compared to the losses we witness daily around the world.
It’s part of the human condition, it hurts, and it does not abate. Yes, there is still joy, and yes, I look forward to each new day and the seasons that are changing. But like many types of grief, this one is now an enduring, permanent feature of my life. I treasure moments with the people I love more now, I think, than I used to — always with a sense of longing as I remember that these moments do not last.
As I finish this post on February 15, 2016, the little waq’waq’ is singing by the fish pond. A casserole is in the oven, Tom’s pumpkin pie is cooling on the counter, his bread in other oven perfuming the air. Grant will be home in a few hours and will sit with us and watch a little TV before I give in to my sleep schedule and leave the two “menfolk” to hang out for a little while longer. Life IS good. There is much to look forward to.
Hanging on to each precious moment with the people I love.
Still here, but not posting much. Here, in random order and with no attention to paragraphs, sentences or other quotidian writing tools, is a snapshot of life right now.
Life seems to have taken hold of me in different ways, and I spent most of the summer getting small things done. Teaching two years in a row in the same school and grade meant that most of my creative energy fell into research, review and thinking of what teach and how… only to throw most of it out once we were back to school. Oh well, next year I will waste less time in the summer! Love teaching, don’t love the high stakes testing… love my students and colleagues and administrators… and wish I had more energy. The house is slowly, slowly coming together, but still far from finished. I am enjoying having two adult children, with one away (and done with college now!) and one living at home while working and saving up for his future. Tom is still the same (wonderful) and we are having fun going to concerts at Benaroya again this year. For a treat, and because it’s now only the two of us going, we have sprung for second-tier boxes this year. And it is a treat… And in the summer we will enjoy some plays in Ashland again. We are low-maintenance people most of the time, so luxuries like this are extra-special. I don’t buy many clothes, books or other accoutrements (although I am managing to collect multiple instruments again!), so this is a fruitful way to make memories and spend our time together. More again at some point…
Mostly going through boxes from the fire (two years ago), and boxes from the storage locker (almost a year). Watering — a LOT because of the intensely high, unseasonal heat (90s in the shade — the kind of weather that would be normal for about four days in August). Gardening — Tom has been getting the rest of the veggie garden dug out. Working in the classroom to sort and toss as needed (cannot finish organizing until the floors are done being shampooed).
And putting up a few more items that have been waiting for the right hardware, moment and place.