Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome to my parlor....

I'm linking to Cielo's Show off your Cottage Monday.
Don't you love a welcoming wreath on the door? I do! This festive summer beauty is right here where I can see if from my computer, and it welcomes all our guests who enter through my room. I love having different wreaths for different moods and seasons. And that bright red bicycle looks as if it's ready for a quick spin down our gravel driveway.

Country Lakes...

We are planning to grab a little salad and take off for a nearby lake... The temperature is beautiful today, and even though we have heard the thunder rumbling a few times yesterday and today, the rain's away for a bit... Time to picnic on Memorial Day, drive-through style! Mom loves to take rides. Even though, to my aghast horror, I heard her tell a mutual friend she "hasn't been anywhere in three years," (grrr... gasp..... grumble), I think we've hit quite a few hot spots. I know I'm not Daddy. That's the bottom line. However, as I told my principal, "Mom could pretend!" He laughed and laughed, saying that pretending just wasn't something my mom and his mom's generation ever did... He smiled at me after he'd had his laugh for the day and said slyly, "After all, THAT's your specialty!" .... uh.. yeah, pretending? guilty as charged... I think it is! Have a great day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Remember. . .

All along the road today, Mom and I saw the evidence of family. Family reunions, families working together in the fields, family time getting ready to happen as motorists and motorcycle riders headed toward something fun. Memorial Day is a gentle holiday, its roots in the honoring of Civil War heroes, and its blooms in full scale honoring of traditions and family memories. We have floral baskets for the cemeteries, and we will deliver those tomorrow afternoon. Tonight... a little full-ish moon and some quiet time to think. May you enjoy a blessed and happy AND safe holiday weekend.

If you didn't catch my nostalgic reminiscence of Memorial Days that I wrote last year, you might like to catch up on some cemetery secrets HERE.

I am linking to Tracey's Notes on a Cottage Industry Words to Live By.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm quacking up...

"I'm Quackerack, and I'm ready for my closeup."
"I feel like someone is following me!"
"If you didn't bring food, then why did you come?"
"Don't tell me I'm beautiful. I am the one and only Dartha. Tell me something I don't know."

Well, had a minute to spare the day Mom got her perm, so I visited Dartha, Quackerack, and all the gang... Poor Dartha. She moves sooooo slowly.... kinda like I do. Something dreadful is going on with my right knee... Perfectly dreadful. I've been to the doc twice. He told me Wednesday if he helped me as much in three days as he did the last time I was there, he'd have me in a wheelchair by the weekend. I thought that was kind of funny.... but it wasn't. My knee is MISERABLE!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feast your eyes... A Blissful stop

Mom had a perm today, so I found myself in Moberly with three hours to fill... No problems! I headed for Randolph Mercantile... It welcomed me as I drove up with flowers, primitives, and some of the nicest shopkeepers on the face of the earth!

My grandfather sat in one of these in his back yard for hours on end. I wish I still had it.

Have a wonderful summer's day.... I'm in the cleaning mode... Quick, before it fades! haha...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Randolph Mercantile... Patriotic Pride

Saturday during our birthday bash, we three decided to take a little tour through Randolph Mercantile in Moberly. Never to disappoint, the place was cool, serene, and brimming with vintagey Patriotic touches... What a treat! I bought something that may be for someone else... or it may find its way to MY side table here by the computer. Time will tell...

What are your plans for Memorial Day? I am always happy to celebrate and honor our loved ones this special weekend. Brave flags fly in our cemeteries on white, wooden crosses atop every veteran's grave. We usually make a trip to four cemeteries to lay flowers on our family's graves and to pay a small tribute to their lives. As a young girl, we took huge dishpans of peonies to many graves, but now we visit fewer with actual flowers and we don't walk as far into the rolling grounds.

As you are now,

So once was I.

As I a now,

So you will be.

Prepare for death,

And follow me.

Chilling but somehow comforting.... little epitaph on one of my favorite old stones... How very true.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Words to Live By

Joining with Tracey on Notes on a Cottage Industry for Sunday Words to Live By:

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Friend. . .

What would we do without our good friends? Today we celebrated a little belated birthday of one of my dear friends... Angel food cake...
sweet, red strawberries...

a little mocha latte....
And the sun was shining... what a pretty day! Happy weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer of Space, the Final Frontier..... Stardate 2010.

photo from

As of 3:30, it's officially over. We have a little meeting and a teacher's picnic/party on Monday, and then summer has arrived with its possibilities.

I used to have a S.I.P. every single summer. Summer Improvement Plan. In my past I set up a rigorous discipline for myself, my home, my life... Yeah. Not. so. much. I recently modified that to a more blissful plan. I truly want to make any needed changed to my life, my physical health, and my spirit... but I need to accept the days as gifts to be opened, filled with wonder, and scattered to the four winds of faith, art, friends, and family. I would love to learn to enjoy, to simply work and have fun with it.... like my Daddy.

If I were just a'dreamin', I would have a few dreams for the summer, but these aren't really goals...

1. I would love to carve a room out of the front of Daddy's barn. I could move over some of my favorite pieces of furniture, my books, and some "stuff."

2. I would love to claim the closet in the room I live in... in the name of the "confederacy" or anything that might stake it as my own. Currently, it is the happy home of my stuff on the edges and on top and loads of Christmas and holiday boxes, old lace and what-nots from Mom.

3. I would love to find a place to hang my clothes and open up this really cool and convenient door to the laundry room, again claiming a little of it as mine to put some of my beloved dishes so I could set tables with all my cool things.......

4. I would love to entertain even more than we do.

I guess this could be the Summer of Space.... the final frontier... Only I don't need to acquire the Starship Enterprise......... just some ambition and some organizational strategies.

We shall see....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I am usually original, but today I am going to copy something from Tracy's blog, A Cottage Industry. For today, take a minute and read this inspirational post .

If you do nothing else, stop and think of something you would like to accomplish. In light of this, don't we think we could at least take some steps toward it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm excited... The teacher becomes the student!

Okay. So I blame everybody for this. I have been stumping around here lately with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have been worrying about anybody and everybody, fearing for every decision, every syptom, every decision. What's wrong with Mom? Is my son going to make the right choices? Can I change anything by worry? Should I retire? What's up with these knees and the weather? You know, the usual laundry list of woes that seem to plague a great deal of women in the sandwich generation. I heard that label once and think it applies to those of us who are dealing with eldercare and stuck in the middle... ??? If not, then it just sounds delicious and makes me kind of hungry for a panini. Whoo whoo!!

This morning I checked into the blogworld and saw that Tracey of "Notes on a Cottage Industry" had posted a Blisslist. I was gobsmacked. I couldn't think of one thing I wanted to do. Period. Travel? Kind of difficult. Shop? Nah. No room in the inn. I thought a bit and kind of whined a little whine to myself, sniveling about my lack of dreams. I began to rummage around blogland, and I remembered something I'd read on Karla's Cottage blog about gluebooks. I saw a class had started yesterday on Greenpaper, a beautiful--- breathtakingly beautiful--- blog. I decided to go for it, so I checked it out and there it was. I'm in! I'm in! A little trip to Paypal, and I'm already learning so much even from her introduction and first lesson. Stay tuned for anything I might create... The teacher becomes the student... After all, that's what made me choose this profession after all...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Words to Live By... Barn Wisdom

I have often wondered what it is an old building can do to you when you happen to know a little about things that went on long ago in that building. --- Carl Sandburg

Ah, the memories of this old barn, my grandfather Emanuel's. Isn't it amazing--- the power of memories? I can shut my eyes and see the hanging leather harnesses, left from days of "Old Pat," a draft horse I never laid eyes on... but the tales of plowing and unearthing a swarm of blue racers... the stories my grandfather shared with me when I was a little, pig-tailed tagalong... those tales are monumental in my heart and soul. The barn was dusky, dim-lit shafts of daylight filtering through the openings, a load of oats lying fragrant in the oatbin. We often shelled corn on a hand-sheller, one deep yellow cob at a time. The kernels became either a treat for the hens or a spew of rapid gobble for his huge sow pigs with babies... Either way, the animals were crazy for it, and I felt proud to have been a part of its preparation. Paw-paw chewed Beechnut Tobacco, and we sat in that doorway spitting, checking to see who was the best, the most accurate... had the farthest landing.... I didn't realize he had the advantage with something actually IN his mouth... but I didn't care. Paw-paw was so much fun. He walked kind of funny, in the hot-potato, "weeble-wobble" way I do now. Now I realize that saunter resulted from severe arthritis in the knees, but then I felt sure it was simply the magical way all grandfathers were supposed to walk. We made those chore trips last a long time, coming in all giggles and tease. My grandfather has been gone for almost 39 years. Is that possible? I drive along the highway every single day, and my eyes rest on this eyesore of a building. "We ought to tear that down," we say. We know it... But its beauty rests in my heart, and it doesn't look to be evil, decrepit, shabby, or barren... It still keeps the echoes of the baby calves stamping in the cold, their breath fogging out in the cold afternoon as they wait for warm milk or sugary omeline from his hands. It has been possibly 25 years or more since I've been in this barn, but I know it by heart.Searching for a quote from a favorite, Sandburg,this one catapulted me to thoughts of this building, and I had my Sunday's words to live by for Tracey's blog.

Check out others HERE at Notes from a Cottage Industry.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Send off for Seniors.. Drive Thru Wisdom...

A cold and rainy morning in Missouri... As I drive to school, I'm thinking this is the last day I'll have my 24 seniors in any of their classes. I have them a little gift, but I really know in my heart that without food, high school students only say thank you; they don't feel it. Something has gone wrong with my planning instincts since I've been living at Mom's. I am not sure why, but I seem to refuse to prepare for anything until the last possible moment. Then it is, alas!, SOMETIMES too late. This was such a morning. I have 38 kids in my first two hours, includingjuniors, some sophomores, and seniors... Today is their last day because tomorrow they will be practicing for graduation during the morning... So, I did what I could... I swooped through
Mickey D's drive through and ordered 38 Breakfast Biscuits. I asked for 40 jellies... The man at the window double checked... "Are you feeding an army?" I told him what was the plan, and he gave a whoop to the crew. "It's for real!" They were amazing. I pulled up and waited a few minutes and the order was in my window... My car was a haven of fresh, breakfasty scent. The rain pelted the car, and the heater fogged the windows... but I had to keep my biscuits hot!

I telephoned one of my students, the one I have called Brian in previous posts, and he answered his contraband cell phone, which I was pretty sure he might have in the parking lot. He accepted a mission with his typical style: "Yeah, I'll find a huge, new, clean, white sack and meet ya at yer car!"
I felt like a drug dealer from South America. Our school is a bit strict about food in the classroom. I am one to follow rules, (usually), but I am also all about celebrating holidays and special graduation occassions... and I have a new motto prepared in case of heavy flack: "Hey, you can't fire me; I retire!" That sounds pretty good to me... We celebrated briefly in two of my classes with breakfast together and the gifts I'd chosen for my kids. I got them these metal signs (below) from Tenderheart Treasures.
I attached a Hall Pass to each one with a personalized note that admitted them to pass from Bevier High School to "the big world" with the reason of ----- something personal that pertained to them. The seniors were really sweet and seemed to appreciate it. Kids are good people. Whenever the turkey aspects of teaching or the bad moments of paperwork, red tape, state mandates, and even poor discipline or disrespect come into play, I try to have a few of these memories pasted in the heart-spot of my mind.... I will miss the class of 2010.... 35 years of teaching down... and the dawn of a new year will bring I'm sure another vista... either in the classroom or remembering it... Teaching is a part of the heart of my life.

Random Rain, Floods, and Flowers. . .

Another May brings with it such torrential rains here in Mid-Missouri. Tonight I had to attend a School Board meeting, and it absolutely poured. We were all drenched, sloshing out to our cars, and actually not a lot happened to warrant such bravery by the faculty... Only this week the locust trees exploded in fragrant welcome to Mom as I brought her down the lane after an appointment. These old trees are fragile against the storms of spring, and they usually lose limbs during the gusts that precede the lightning... but the blooms once a year make up for that.
When it stops raining, I plan still to work outside in the back yard. This old stump will someday be a habitat for some annuals... Now it's content with its faerie realm amid the sprouting mushrooms...
Nights go on too long, and its after 2 a.m. Tomorrow morning I will awaken as a zombie... Caffeine!! Caffeine!!! My kingdom for a cuppa...
White lilacs grow beside Mom's gasoline tanks... So it's time to refuel, replenish, reinforce.... and return to school for this final lap. Oh, my students are sooooo done with it...

Monday, May 10, 2010

World Traveler Returns...

So... we had a lovely Sunday Mother's Day party with my son, the traveler! He returned on Friday night from a week's cruise to Cozumel, Mexico aboard the Carnival Cruise ship Ecstasy. It sounded like a wonderful trip, and he had a blast! It is difficult for me to embrace big events like this because I have been steeped for a lifetime in fear of the unknown... But life is short, and the unknown is not necessarily the enemy, so.....Carpe Deium, kiddo!

Victorian Tea Party

I am adding a link for Teacup Tuesdays... at Martha's beautiful blogsite HERE.

Welcome to Cielo's Magical Victorian Tea Party! for more delightful spots to enjoy a cup of marvelous tea and talk about all manner of wonderful things...
You are invited.... We want you to come...

Drop what you're doing and bring your happiest memories to share...

You may have time for a small cup of tea, or you may drink the whole pitcher!!!

We may meet at noon, at high tea afternoon, or a midnight moment....

I'm sure it will be pleasant.. Tea is always an avenue to good times...

Yummy food...

A myriad of different styles of cups, but only one heart...

Old friends or new... The love's in the brew...

Holidays or Simple Days...

And please come back soon....