Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Birthday Happiness

 Happy birthday to me!  This is my 54th birthday.  Hooray!
 It's still dark outside and I am smiling as I consider how fine each day is.  Each day is a gift and provides an opportunity to see and know the secrets He reveals.  
 No price tag can be attached to real love.  I'm so thankful that all my life, I've been bathed in His grace.
 The way He made me is simple and simply unique.  I thank Him.
 Where He has me now is good.  At school, when it is time for the Pledge of Allegiance, I say to the students, "Stand up, Americans!"  They think that is a funny thing to say, but I say it because I have a lovely land to live in and I'm grateful. 
 I am very aware of the passage of time.  The flower does fade and eternity is a sweet truth.  My hope for myself is awareness.  I want to slow down the chatter in my mind and be fully present.  This is a challenge.
I take great comfort in knowing that I am in the flock of sheep that follows the Shepherd.  I am bumping up against those next to me, taking my steps slowly, and trusting in my Leader.  It's not a mindset I speak of; it is a captured heart.  
This earthy life is a mere blip.  That's why we struggle so as we try to create a life for ourselves.  We decorate our walk here and we critique our doings.  When we are finished with this life, I feel sure we will not care about all the     fussy stuff we obsessed about before.  We shall join the One who knows all and is ALL.  Hooray!
I have to proctor reading tests today, but for two of my class meetings, we'll eat cupcakes together.  FUN!
So, I invite YOU to my birthday party.  Let's have it somewhere outdoors.  Let's breathe in the fresh free air, hold hands and let gratefulness fill our hearts.  We can bow our heads together in a wordless prayer.  After that, I shall serve you a pink cupcake with sprinkles and a gumdrop on top.  CHEERS!
I hope you have an apple-eating, feet-skipping, hug-around-your-dear-shoulders kind of day!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Little Lizzy

 Hooray!  Lizzy is here!
 Look at her cuddling with her mama.  She's a VERY nice baby!  We have nine grandchildren now!  We are VERY blessed.

 I am looking forward to the holiday season and I shall begin on my birthday this week!  
I wish you a fall week of fruits, leaves, hot drinks, and peace.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I bought a new book for school.  Do you know Patricia Polacco's work?  She draws and paints pictures that jump off the page.  Her use of color surprises.  I love her faces. This book is extremely current.  It speaks of Facebook and state testing and meanies.  
Bullies.  Schools are presenting all kinds of programs to combat this age-old problem.
Today my sweet Birdie experienced a bully's jab.  A little girl put her elbow on Birdie's work, intending to ruin it. She made my little lamb cry.  Kindergarten.  Mean hearts already in motion. 
We should NEVER condone meanness, NEVER laugh when a man or woman says a wounding remark.  It's NEVER okay to injure another person with our words.  
Sometimes when a victim of bullying complains to someone they hope can help, that someone says, "Kill them with kindness" or "Just ignore them".  Sometimes that does reduce the instances of cruelty, I guess.  It doesn't take away the hurt, the fear, the sadness.
Were you ever a victim of bullying?
Did you ever witness someone else being bullied?
When I was in the sixth grade (the same age as my students) two boys that I didn't really know very well would somehow find me when my friends were not around and say, "Flat chest! Flat chest!" That part didn't make me feel all that bad.  I wasn't too worried about growing breasts at that particular time, but what I couldn't get my mind around was WHY they were picking on ME.  I still don't know.  They were mean and I guess it felt good to be mean.  They eventually stopped and I never told my friends or my mom.  
I witnessed bullying when I was in elementary school.  One friend of mine suffered in silence, too.  Only recently did she share her experience with me.  I couldn't believe that I hadn't noticed the depth of her pain.  
I now wish I had stood up for more than one of my classmates when they were singled out, made fun of, or isolated.  
What are your thoughts on this subject?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apple Love

 Hello, Sunshine! We're getting ready to drive north to see our pastor son and his family.  Our Jenny is feeling some suspicious contractions and may be closer to delivery than we thought. Last night we had Kelli's family over and watched the girls romp around in the grass, kicking the ball with their daddy.  
Our house guests have come, gone, and will come again this week and I have parent/teacher conferences, too. 
September provides such a lovely background scene, doesn't she?  Look at the face below!  
 The leaves are still green!  There are a few turning just now.  Don't forget to press a few in the pages of your fat books.

In Martha Stewart Living this month you can find a fascinating article about a man from Maine who preserves heirloom apples.  I haven't read it all yet, but don't you LOVE the idea of finding a few not-so-common varieties at your market?  My grandpa grew Transparent apples.  YUM!  They made wonderful pie.  He also grew Wolf River apples and they were huge!  I took some to school for Show and Tell.  Gravenstein  apples are VERY tasty and he grew those, too.  Washington is an apple state and when we lived in Spokane, we took the children to Green Bluff, a little farm haven off the beaten path. I have photographs of my pregnant self helping the kids pick boxes of apples.  So, I deem this season "Apple Weeks" and I am going to eat many apples, make a pie or two, drink apple cider and take photographs of apple beauty.  Would you like to join me?
By the way, no Honey Crisp apples in the produce section yet!  SOON, I hope!
Bye bye, Apple Cheeks!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pretty Red Pear

 I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the fall apples.  Honey Crisp are my favorite and it isn't quite time for them.  I bought one red pear instead.  One, because I wasn't sure if they are good this time of year.  They are VERY good.  Beautiful, too!

 I'm almost finished with the big shift.  This project has taken me way too long.  
 Is all your stuff old?  Mine is.

 Lisa (Pen, Ink, and Maybe Some Paint) and I have been exchanging our art for a year now.  She keeps all the stuff I send her in a notebook and I do the same.  I'll show you my notebook (the inside) sometime soon.  Now that my room is semi-sorted, I'll get busy and send a pile of stuff to Lisa.  
 A little pile of inspiration that hangs on the wall.
 Lisa's work.
 Beatrix in the stacks.
 Beloved Willows at the ready.
 Sorry, GK.  I did not throw out all my diet books.  They are part of my history.  Not pretty, but definitely a part of me.
As you can see, there is a bit more straightening and rearranging to be done, but I've come a long way.  
It's library day today, so I'll take each class down the long halls to the haven of books! 

Have you noticed that leaves are starting to fall?  I bought some apple cider at the grocery store.  It tastes like a fall festival.
Time speeds by, doesn't it?  Let's dig our heels in and go slow.  Do you want to?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eggs and Letters

 One of my friends at school keeps hens.  She delivered a sweet gift to me this morning.  Easter eggs!  Aren't they pretty?
 I ordered yet another copy of The Jolly Postman.  I am still moving my books from here to there and I quite wonder why I buy ANY more books, but this little story is a keeper with a capital K.

 Look at the dear little square cottage!  Isn't the tree amazing?  Doesn't the little gold chair remind you of Van Gogh?
 Hoot!  Hoot!  I like this little owl.
 Do you see the toadstool?  Deadly lampshades, indeed!
 Look at the cat washing dishes!  

 Do you LOVE Cinderella's apron?  How about the sassy red stripes that trim her hem?

 I like the postman's gold shirt and his purple print tie.  Do you like that PERFECT bed in the background? I do!
 Here, have a buck from the Bank of Wonderland.  Buy yourself a cup of tea.
If you are handy with wood, why don't you make a "home" sign and nail it to a tree in your neighborhood?  Wouldn't that make everyone smile?
I have had a busy week at school and I have been occupied with a few extra things after school.  Eventually I will complete my fixing and fussing in my new room upstairs.  I have been ironing up there and I think standing by the window speeds up my pressing.  The room has a wood floor and cabin-y wallpaper.  It even has bears on the walls.  It's perfect for a person who wants to live in a cabin.  That's me.

Are you enjoying your September?  I hope you are.  I have decided that mothers are the stars of September.  Mothers pack lunches, buy school supplies, begin their holiday planning, and cheer for their children.  If you are a mother, I really think you should buy yourself a cupcake or a fine pair of knee-high socks.  
Another thing you really should do on a regular basis is to make a list of all the things your mother did for you.  You know, some people still need a little mothering.  Be on the lookout.  You could spread a little sparkle.
Sometimes mothers think to themselves, "I don't want to be like the typical mother.  I'd like to do it a little differently."  My reply to this thinking is this: "Why?"  I gladly associate myself with the mothers who wipe noses, dry tears, read the same storybook over and over again, wear frumpy blue jeans, and worry over their school children.  Remember the movie "The Bucket List"?  When Jack Nicholson's character says, "I'm not everybody" Morgan Freeman's character says, "Everybody's everybody".  I like that.
I have a letter I've been meaning to write, or maybe I have a few more than that.  I hope the Jolly Postman will deliver them for me.
Happy days, friends!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Favorite Downton Abbey Peeps

 In between carrying things up and down the stairs (I'm moving my Pom Pom room up two flights of stairs - yikes, my aching back!) I have been watching season 2 of Downton Abbey.  I have favorite characters and I have good reasons for choosing my favorites.  I thought you might like to know which characters I like best (unabashed self-absorbed behavior, I know).

 First off, I really like Carson.  He is so proper and has a very big servant's heart.  His standards are impeccable and if he didn't fuss so much, well, the table wouldn't look perfect and everyone would freak out.  Just kidding.  I really do like his sweet heart.  He's sentimental.
 Lady Crawley speaks so properly and says funny things.  She's snoopy and assumptive.  I like the twinkle she gets in her eye when she's giving unasked for advice.
 Cora is my favorite.  She  is so lovely.  She delivers her lines in such an elegant manner.  Her dialect is so dignified and soft.  Her voice tones are amazingly original.  She sounds like herself and nobody else.  I like that.
 Matthew Crawley personifies a true gentleman. He's smart and full of integrity.  He's fun to watch.
 Isobel Crawley is played by Penelope Wilton.  I liked her in Calendar Girls, too.  She's pretty and strong-willed.  She shows her disappointment.  She really has a lovely face.
Anna Smith also delivers her lines gracefully.  Her character is so kind and true.  I like people that do the right thing and make kindness their first priority.  
I had such a nice weekend with the upstairs people and the downstairs people while I tromped up and down my own stairs. 
I can't wait for season 3 in January!
What characters do you like and why?