Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome Daffodils and Spring!

Here are some of the daffodil and robin photos I took yesterday on a drive with Mom. We set off in search of blooms, and we found quite a few places with lovely tufts of yellow daffodils, jonquils, whatever you call them! It was refreshing, and Mom was thrilled. She does hate winter, I think. We didn't fix our usual Sunday dinner because we purchased Italian Pasta dishes from a fund-raising activity in Bevier, took them home, and feasted the Italian way... Then, on to a game of spinner and a few little chores...

This week promises bright, sunny skies and warm temperatures. I have a lot to do in order to be prepared for Easter's guests. We will be having dinner for my son, his friend, their girlfriends (one is a guest from Ireland!!!) and another friend or two and I'm hoping a little boy!!! The Easter bunny better kick in and get me moving. I have to pick up some things and plan the rest of the groceries. I see clouds in the west, so who knows what this afternoon will bring.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

As Antonio Banderras says, "Not Yet..."

Once again, the golden windows prevail. This photo amazes me, and I took it!!! It reveals the golden image without any airbrushing in my room's windows at school.
Not that this year has been without trials and tribulations. I think my 8th grade class has rivaled any I've ever had before for just plain rowdy. Good kids, I'm thinking, but very, v.e.r.y. undisciplined. We are finally (with only days left) making progress.. (most days.)
Oh, yeah.. I bet they were!
Nobody understands how a person can get so wrapped up in grammar, in old Edgar Poe, in the Crucible, in the dailies of the day....
And then there's the new technology stuff... It gets harder and harder to get all those grades online, to battle the webquests, to combat the electronic essays leering and luring kids from all avenues... And Facebook is much more fun than ANYTHING!
I do try to keep up with the jargon, to not succumb to lower standards... and to not compromise my high standards and ethics... (is it wrong to ask a bored and kinda rowdy student to fix my license plate while I type his paper????? really wrong? uh... not that I did that, of course!)
Exactly right... It would all be so simple if only they'd follow this simple rule.....
Why, I wouldn't have dared to treat my teachers like this!!! I think my socks would have melted off my feet.... maybe my feet, too!!!

However, after quite the deliberation for another year, the decision is nearly in.... It hit me today.... I feel totally miserable when I think about retiring. I feel the same as last year. I survived this year and had a lot of fun. I enjoy kids. I love kids. I love English... I love the school. I have had a blast organizing my room. I have spent the past few days filing and organizing and writing lesson plans and curriculum for next year... I will have an amazing writing student with autism next year, and I can't wait for the experience and the challenge and the blessing... so.... "Hold my coat. I'm going back in." (unless something drastic happens before the ink is dry.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.
Mother Teresa
Check out more quotes on A Cottage Industry. (see my sidebar)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fleeting spring moments

I snapped these pictures two weeks ago, and we were excited to see the first vestiges of green. Dartha will soon lose her pretty green coat, and the lake will become that summer haven of green leaves and deep waters... But tonight we are facing a new snowfall.... It won't last long, but our irises are six inches tall... I always hate to see the frosts of spring cut down the promise of bloom.

What a long and dreary week! I am NOT a fan of Daylight Savings time, and I simply felt like an old "barr" that had crawled out of her den a tidge too early. I love the late night... and time after time this week, I found myself up past three, past four to the new time... Understandably, I dragged all day.... but no rest for the wicked, they say. I am happy to see it's Friday, and I can be up at a late date and not feel the pressure of my morning alarm playing, "Old Time Rock and Roll." That tune can get a bit old at 6 a.m after only two hours of sleep...

The big mental debate is on. Do I retire or do I go another year? When I consider retiring, I usually get excited, think about the possibilities of writing a book, opening an online shop to go with the one I have in Bevier, finding a new avenue to pursue... I am excited and challenged. I have done what I do long enough, and this year found me weary and dreading the days more and more.. The money I get for teaching is only a couple of hundred more than what I'd get for retirement...

Then I decide. I'll retire... and I begin to cry, either for real or in my spirit... I watch an episode of that amazing new NBC show, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and I realize I could use the Lisa Kudrow episode with Night, and I could use the Sarah Jessica Parker episode with The Crucible. I think of never revealing the secrets of Poe's "Masque of the Red Death," or I consider a year that doesn't include leading Helen Keller out to the pump in The Miracle Worker and watching again as water and language enter her world... I consider a year without papers to grade (did you know I love papers and miss them in the summer?) and I think about not using my new SmartBoard to show the new episodes of BBC's Spanish series, Mi Vida Loca....

So I think I have decided to go back. Then I realize the state is demanding yet another update of curriculums (the third in four years with new numbers to correspond to the same standards. I think about the lack of discipline I have with my freshmen. I realize their "funnies" aren't nearly as cute as they used to be... I think about all the mornings I could spend enjoying the rest I guess I have earned.... And I'm back in the tick tock of my eternal Spring dilemma...

Well, enjoy your Saturday.... dig out of the snow if you must!@

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May Irish Blessings Surround You

If you long to hear some beautiful Celtic poems and to see some lovely Irish landscapes, follow this link and explore the website of John O'Donohue.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wish Jars

March is Art Month. Our exchange student painted this tie for me to wear! Isn't it amazing? It's from a Winslow Homer print... I think my tie is one of the prettiest in the school. There is a really cool "starry starry night" one, too.

We just finished these Wish Jars in Composition. Finally. I didn't remember to take pictures of all of them (I had 13 students.) I think I have a couple more on Facebook if I can find them. Each of the students created the material for the written work inside the jar, based on what they wanted to do with the final product. A couple of them chose to make gift wishes for Moms, girlfriends, etc. They loaded them with all kinds of blessings for their loved ones and with ideas to spend some fun (and inexpensive) times together. I didn't actually grade what went inside because I told them their thoughts in these were private. The one on the left is a "future wishes" jar that one of my girls made for her future child (she's expecting this summer). One girl made an awesome jar with fishing lures and manly stuff for her boyfriend. Two boys created some foo foo ones for their girls that I wish I'd photographed. I told one of them it kind looked like an old bridesmaid....... he was a bit heavy handed with the lace and glitter, and it wasn't his niche in any way. One boy created a cool lacquered geisha, and I know I have a photo somewhere... The one with the palm trees is a memory/wish jar from a girl who took a trip last winter to the Bahamas... She wants to go back! Me, too... (but I never got to go in the first place.)

It was a fun project, and even the prep work wasn't that bad on my part (drinking all those Frappuccinos from Starbucks... What a sacrifice!!!!) Of course, the biggest sacrifice was to let them use my Martha Stewart jeweltone glitter... I mean, really! You should see them save the glitter and put it back in the jar.. I think they believe I'd murder them if they wasted it.. I feel a bit ashamed... Hmmmm.. nah... I don't really. That's the way I was raised... and to use the edges of the colored paper, not the middle... and the ends of the ribbons, not the middle and cut off both ends... Can you spell granddaughter and daughter of Depression Era People?????? Gosh!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you."
John O'Donohue

Check out Words to Live by on A Cottage Industry.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Rain Express

Waiting patiently for her little kitty kibble, this is Mom's cat Hallie. She is one big fluffball!
These didn't show up very well, but our fields are full of white birds that look like pigeons or doves. Thousands... What are they?
Our rural post office.... Looks like a page out of Americana, doesn't it? We grocery shopped, ran errands, ate lunch at Crossroads, and then took my friend to Coachlight to shop a big sale... Finished off with a Sonic diet limeade with cranberry... Delightful. Finally back here. The day was misty and grey, just like I like 'em... "You're so weird," my mama says. We started off sad because we saw a Mother dog with five puppies that had been DUMPED by our four-lane. They wouldn't come to me when I stopped and called and got out of the car, so we couldn't help them (as if we needed six dogs, ya know?) So I called the Highway Patrol and they came to pick them up. I can't believe anyone would dump those puppies on a busy road like that. It makes me mad enough to cry. So I did.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

School Daze.... Organizational Oasis!

Outside of the fact I had not fixed my camera correctly, these were some new shots with my new Canon. I'm loving this camera, although there's a small snag between flash photos while the flash charges that I didn't have with the older Kodak one. I bought a new book called One year to an Organized Workplace... I just got it the other day, and I'm already at May... I don't mess around when I get a good thing.. However, (snicker snicker), I have misplaced the book. Hahaha... I figure I have a couple of months to look for it! I fool people. To look at me, you'd think I'm that old tortoise ( slow and steady)... but I don't win races. I either start too late or I start too early and just lie down like 'dat ole bunny.... Yep, I do! This is a system I am blown away by... I have TWO sets of file folders for all my classes. The ones closest to me are for handouts and papers that I need to grade. The ones on the far side are for those ready to pass back.. Duh.. It only took me 35 years to come up with this... For goodness sakes, it's a great plan!
I have a "secret" stash of Martha Stewart glitter in my desk. I am a glitter hoarder. I have three sets of that glitter, and I still begrudge every bit I use... I just LOVE glitter....
Glitter in the black bag, Bible, scissors, tape, and pumpkin seeds... Add in that little Clementine, and I'm all set....
Kind of a catch-all drawer. I go through recipe cards like water... These will be gone in a month...
This corner of my room could use some pizazzz!
I thought I was out of pens. I found all these in my drawers... Life is good!
A lite lunch! haha.... Not exactly, but a fun one!
March is Author Month... We memorize and drill and play war games with famous authors. They make little posters for sass and show... (Heavy on the sass, please!)
Did you all know I am a dead ringer for Juliette Binoche? (on the inside!) hahaha... I can dream, ya know.
I had a day off today to take Mom for a checkup to two doctors. Things were good. Now one more day and then the weekend!!!! My son, his girlfriend, and our "almost" son/friend came for Spinner and supper tonight after we got home from the doctor. My son is so smitten... She's a cutie... Have a fun weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My stash from Saturday

The minute I entered Randolph Mercantile, this bunny spoke to me... I turned her down for about 30 minutes, but the longer I waited on my partners in crime, the more she gave me "the look." I had to have her. My friend asked about her boy bunny counterpart, but I said, "Nah. I think she laid the eggs and colored the eggs, and packed the eggs... I think she'll be sufficient." haha...
She told me on the way home her name is Madge. I like that.
This little treasure box is "presumably" for a gift for someone... We shall see...
These metal provision boxes are HUGE! I know chickens don't fit in with most of the beautiful Victorian blogs I see.. In a perfect world, these would be in my pantry or my kitchen or on an open airy porch... But in reality, they are WONDERFUL for my bedroom. I color coded my long-sleeved tees and sweaters, darks in the big black tin, reds and pinks in the red, and whites and browns in the mustard one... My dad built this closet as a coat closet with exactly two feet of clothes rod. I have zero chests of drawers.... It's a lifesaver for space down here.... And I'm kind of an old cluck at heart.... I can be two people, style-wise. I can oooh and ahhh over Romantic Country... or I can just settle in and let my soul drink in old French Country Primitive.... Or Old World Country... Maybe by the time I leave this old world, there will only be one Country I love... haha... Today was a dentist appointment with an excavation through the jaw line and UNDER a 32-year old crown and a shot of Novocaine to the nerve (by accident)!!! Felt like lightning hit my tongue and I talked "weally fudny" for hours... You've heard the expression, "I've got fillings older than he is!"?????? Well, same goes for crowns... 1977.... wow.... That was a good job, I'd say.... Night...

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Bags from Mag's Bags

I saw a post on Sherrie's Country Wings in Phoenix, and I just had to check out her wonderful purchases from Maggey and Jim's blog HERE. Her work is amazing, and I was so surprised at how quickly she filled and shipped the order. I just had to have the Eiffel Tower bag, and I wanted it in some subdued colors. Maggey added some exquisite feather stitching around the edges of the blocks, and she also used a pretty heart design and a buttonhole stitch. She has a row of quilted stars and some cool glitz and glam with her topaz brown jeweled fringe and some pretty glittery cords. I love the old buttons here and there. She has a lovely interior with compatible colors and a pocket and cell phone compartment. Way cool! Check out Sherry's HERE in beautiful pinks.
I can't wait for autumn for many reasons, and carrying this beautiful quilted bag is one of them. See the little pocket in the back? I just love it. It's a bit smaller, and I even think it would be cute with a fall arrangement in it...

Her bags arrive in only a few short days. She takes Paypal, and she wraps everything as if you are getting a present (plus she included a cool gift as a thank you!) I tell ya, check her out if you want any cool bags. I think she's wonderful!!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Open House at Randolph Mercantile

Yesterday my two friends and I took a Spring Fling trip to Moberly. I met them in Macon so nobody had to "do" our driveway except me... and then we had lunch at Americana Grill.... and on to Spring Open House at Randolph Mercantile... The girls there are so sweet, so kind, and the place is incredible... I could stay there for days... Of course, a few goodies had to come home with me, and I'll show you my stash this week... for now, just take a peek at her wares!

Oh....She just has "the touch!" Have a lovely Sunday!