good things

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-eighth Post

Posted by on 28 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, good things, NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month, rain

The rain gently washing the new-bought gravel
ready for the paths and the patios
gray as clouds and varied as the blooms
on springtime trees.

The rain, gently falling
anoints the geriatric maples
the fecund lilacs
and all the ornamental filigree.

The rain, again and again
first rainbow then shadow
and shade with golden edges.

Rain, then rain,
the musical patter
– drumbeat of life.

More NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo Fifth Post

Posted by on 06 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, good things, NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month

Hundreds of miles from home
I am home again
with my grandfather
walking the streets
past the bookstores and
ice cream parlor
past the little shops and
around the park
Home again with my grandfather
When I am with my grandfather, I am home.

More NaPoWriMo poetry can be found at the website.

Today in the Garden (Reviving a Series)

Posted by on 01 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: garden, Gardens and Life, good things, hope, seasons

I used to try to post a little something from our yard once a week, and whenever new things “popped up.” But after the loss of our home it was too hard to keep ahead of much.

I think we have turned a corner this year. At least, I have, and so here for your viewing pleasure are a few pics of today’s landscape. Tom took these, enjoy!

In random order, can you find the yellow japanese kerria that is “climbing” the chestnut? The bright coral quince that belonged to Tom’s grandmother in the hills of Kentucky? Cascara flowers? The plum with an orchard mason bee already enjoying the dryer weather? The scylla, several clumps of daffodils, heather, primroses, and trillium? Wally’s fenced area should be pretty easy to identify! The author might be in there too, looking tired but relaxed.

Decades

Posted by on 08 Mar 2017 | Tagged as: celebrations, Family Matters, Gardens and Life, good things, Tom

I remember the first time I started really thinking in terms of DECADES. Our elder son was about ten. Off the cuff, I mentioned something that had happened about 15 years before.

It was his first true realization that there had in fact been “life” before him…

And it was my first recognition that I was “old.”

Today I am thinking in terms of decades of commitment. My darling Tom and I have officially been a couple for longer than we were not.

This particular threshold feels almost as momentous as that first “double-digit” birthday, or the realization that once high school is over, childhood is also gone.

Are we really old? Perspective suggests we would have been considered on the cusp of old age in our grandparents’ generation. Today, however, people twenty years our senior are running marathons, picking up new instruments, learning new languages, and conquering mountains.

We aren’t old yet, but I have to say I am really looking forward to growing old together.

I love you, Tom.

An End, and a Beginning

Posted by on 03 Sep 2016 | Tagged as: 3rd Grade, education, Education Professional, good things, teaching, Uncategorized

The summer was not “as advertised” this year. I remained ill for another few weeks, though we had a lovely visit with my grandfather in Ashland at the end of July and saw several plays (LOVED LOVED LOVED Richard II!!!). Was too exhausted, though, to try for the second silk painting session. Hoping for at least one this autumn, though!

August arrived, and my heart and brain went quickly into teaching mode. Tom took an extra week off that second week of August to help around the house and the classroom. By the end of the third week of August, the classroom was mostly in shape, and in the fourth week it was official training and a couple extra days… so that by the time the kids and parents arrived at 5:30 August 30 the room looked ready enough.

Kids in seats on August 31. By 2:43 on September 2, the room was already showing evidence of engagement and learning. I have a WONDERFUL paraeducator who comes in for 45 minutes in the afternoon to help with literacy and reading, and while we haven’t yet met to decide which few students need intensive pull-out instruction, with the in-class help every day, very few of them will have to leave. I am so happy in my teacher-heart that I will have most of them all the time!

Proof? Check out below!

A look toward the door to the restrooms.  The number chart goes up when needed, but will be stored flat for a few weeks.

A look toward the door to the restrooms. The number chart goes up when needed, but will be stored flat for a few weeks.

The reading table on Friday-- materials to sort, collate, cut, copy, and use next week!

The reading table on Friday– materials to sort, collate, cut, copy, and use next week!

All ready for Tuesday!

All ready for Tuesday!

The students use these to show something about themselves as we are learning about the new year.  Three pictures, and one word!

The students use these to show something about themselves as we are learning about the new year. Three pictures, and one word!

The purple "windsock" was a gift from a student on the second day of school!  The empty paper panels on a pulley system! will hold student work and anchor charts.

The purple “windsock” was a gift from a student on the second day of school! The empty paper panels on a pulley system! will hold student work and anchor charts.

The I-charts are a suggestion from the "Two Sisters" framework for Daily 5 and CAFE instruction.  They allow students to consider behaviors and purposes for studying in specific situations.  These are our first two.

The I-charts are a suggestion from the “Two Sisters” framework for Daily 5 and CAFE instruction. They allow students to consider behaviors and purposes for studying in specific situations. These are our first two.

Summer finally begins for me

Posted by on 16 Jul 2016 | Tagged as: allergy, friends, fun, Gardens and Life, good things, health, seasons, Uncategorized

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.

Grant’s senior project

Posted by on 24 Jun 2016 | Tagged as: children, garden, Gardens and Life, good things, house building, Kid Activities, Uncategorized

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.

Fish pond and lilacs, after weeding but before planting new annuals.

Fish pond and lilacs, after weeding but before planting new annuals.

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.

Random Musings on my Day

Posted by on 03 May 2016 | Tagged as: 3rd Grade, 3rd grade, children, education, Education Professional, garden, Gardens and Life, good things, musings, seasons, Uncategorized

Living
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.

Important Dates in our Lives

Posted by on 23 Feb 2016 | Tagged as: celebrations, children, Family Matters, fun, Gardens and Life, good things, Uncategorized

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…

Feb 1995

Feb 1995

When he was about 3 or 4, he LOVED that Snowman toy!

Grant and his Snowman toy, off on an adventure in the back yard.

Grant and his Snowman toy, off on an adventure in the back yard.

When they were about 6…

Thurston County Fair, possibly 2001?

Thurston County Fair, possibly 2001?

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.

Walking at the Nisqually Delta, a favorite jaunt in those days.

Walking at the Nisqually Delta, a favorite jaunt in those days.

Happy Birthday, Grant.

What we’ve been up to…

Posted by on 05 Jul 2015 | Tagged as: garden, Gardens and Life, good things, house building, Uncategorized, weather

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.

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