A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2:00 am.

The Hour of No Hope.

Caught me last night.  Trouble with the 2:30 Tearfest is that it tends to hang on over into the next day.  I shouldn't have listened to SNC on the headset, I guess.  "Fix You" is so beautiful, but gets me going every time I hear it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lovely Day.

Girl's Day Out

A good friend (and ex-colleague) and I went to Disneyland and had a terrific day.  She is very good for me because she embraces life better than anyone I know.  I'm grateful to have her as a role model.  (Oh, and she is my fitness role model, as well.  She actually was up at 4:30 am to fit in a workout before leaving at 6:30 am for the park.  And here I was feeling self-righteous about doing a full workout on Sunday.  Slacker.)

While there I was reminded of one of my all-time favorite movies.

And there was music
And there were wonderful roses
They tell me
In sweet fragrant meadows of dawn, and dew

Sigh.  So lovely.

Guess I need to pull it out this weekend and soak my spirit.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out of Sorts

Can't stop eating.

A handful of pecans.  A spoonful of peanut butter.  A banana.

Just found a half-dozen chocolate chip cookies in the freezer.

This could be bad.

I'm trying to postpone the inevitable by drinking water.  Lots and lots of water.  But I'm not optimistic.

Not real sure what's wrong.  Bored. Lonely. Maybe some frustration.

Looking forward to a day of great potential tomorrow.  Taking a personal day to go to Disney Resort CA with a friend.  We've been trying to get there for about three years and finally said, "This is it! Let's make it happen!"  I've only know two people in my lifetime who embrace life the way this friend does and I'm excited to share both parks with her.  Normally just the anticipation of such a fun day would chase the blues away, but it's not working so far.

Got a nice long workout at the gym today.  Had a nice day yesterday.


I had the idea to come up with three words to describe what I'm feeling and go find quotes and images to represent them.  Concluded that "Boredom" would go first, but after ten minutes of searching images (and finding nothing that represented the depth of my boredom) I got bored and gave it up.

Still, the process reminded me of the Worth1000 contests.  I've posted some of the pictures before and highly recommend their site if you want your imagination jumpstarted. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

en Espanol...

I don't understand Spanish.

But I speak a tiny bit (leftovers from three years in high school) with a darn good accent.

It comes in handy sometimes.

Like today.  One of my students was pissed at me.  He stood next to me as I sat at my desk and muttered, "Ay, ay, ay...," then a string of words that I did not know.  The tone was enough.  I pulled out my tried-and-true, surefire, strike-terror-in-their-hearts script.


I love the look on their face when I say this.  They get that "Oh, shit!" look.  The one with the white face and tight lips.


He sat.  And shut up.

It was enough.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slow Motion

Slow as molasses in January.
I'm not feeling real swift.  My back has been aching all day.  When I went through orthopedic evaluation for a sore hip last year, one of the orthopod's discoveries per x-ray was that I have arthritis in my spine.  I wish he hadn't told me.  Now my back pains seem worse than before, just knowing the arthritis is there.  I decided to go to the gym anyway, but I was so draggy and my hips hurt so much on the treadmill that I decided to pack it in after just 30 minutes. (My gym visits are up to a minimum 1.5 hours, usually more like two).  I'm hoping it's just lack of food (I haven't eaten much in the last couple of days; life got in the way) and not enough sleep (only about five hours last night and it takes me a full eight to feel at the top.

Slow on the uptake.  Yeah, that fits, too.

Slow and steady wins the race.  
I loved this one when I was a kid.  I remember being in the neighbor's back yard.  Jeff was so creative.  He was the one who storyboarded a comic strip that we kids acted out in his garage.  I think I was 8 or 9.  Jeff was a year older and my brother a couple of years younger.  Anyway, one day one of us (surely Jeff) had the idea that we should have a race across his yard with our feet on croquet mallets.  I was older then (although we moved away from that street when I was eleven, so I wasn't that old.)  I won the race and remember quietly chanting "slow and steady wins the race" to myself all the way across the yard.  And I still remember how funny the boys were, all tangled up in their mallets as they tried to actually RACE across the yard.

Do a slow burn
Not usually.  Most of the time I don't bother with anger.  Disgust, yes.  I'm more likely to decide someone isn't worth the energy to get angry at, though, if they've done something worth getting angry over.  And if they aren't worth the energy, they aren't worth keeping as friends and our relationship is pretty much over.  But if someone IS worth the energy to get angry at, then they are also worth the energy and effort to try to figure out what the issue is from their perspective, which is usually enough to douse the anger.

Does this make any sense?

See?  Slow on the uptake.  

I think I need a shower, some moisturizer and an early bedtime.

Hey, gotta share, though! I had the most fabulous night last night.  Got to share ceviche (I made it and it came out great) with two new writer friends, then listen to them read (man, can they write!) for a while.  Wonderful, inspiring stuff.  Most of it unfinished, in process and I can't wait to hear the next parts.

On the way there I was driving down the coast (we met in Los Angeles, about 1.5 hours away) I peeked in my rear-view mirror and was dazzled by the almost-set sun.  You know, when it's a huge red ball surrounded by an orange haze, just about ready to sink into the sea.  Then, with just a slight shift of my head I saw the huge new moon against a cloudless twilight sky, the same distance above the hills as the sun was above the sea.  How I wanted to stop in the middle of the highway and grab my camera (which was at home in the closet) to try to keep that for my own forever.

Some things you just have to accept as zen moments.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Sometimes ya just gotta surrender.

Ya know?

Occasionally as a teacher you run into a family that turns out to be a challenge.  It's usually not the child so much.  I mean yeah, I get all kinds of kids who are frustrating their parents.  But most parents know their children pretty well and when they contact you, they sincerely just want some advice to help their child - who is just normally hormonally disabled as an eighth grader - avoid an early demise.  And most of the time they are so relieved to learn that you, as their teacher, do not see them heading for a career standing on street corners selling illegal substances (or worse) that they are more than grateful for anything else you have to offer.

From time to time, though, things can get rough. The last week or so has been one of those experiences.  I'll spare the details here, but am happy to report that we are on our day to being able to say, "It all works out in the end."

I was more than ready for the three-day MLK weekend.  So far so good.  Thursday I had a good work-out at the gym, then went to Weight Watchers where I learned I'd lost three pounds last week.  When I walked out of WW it was to bagpipes playing "Scotland the Brave".  I announced that I wanted pipes every time I left WW.  It seems appropriate somehow; celebratory.  (I love bagpipes.  I believe there must be a genetic memory coming down from my Scots ancestors).  Friday went well, too.  I overdid the work-out and made myself sick enough that I had to have some Tylenol to get to sleep, but no biggie.  I was fine this morning.

Got a lot done today.  Plants watered. Shopped for dinner after dropping off some old electronic stuff at an e-waste collection sponsored by my school.  Laundry done.  Managed to communicate to my netbook that I no longer want it speaking to the internet (letting my security lapse) because I just want to use it for earthbound functions.

Like genealogy.  The frustrations of the day started when I tried to load my genealogy software.  Was missing one little part to my power supply for my external disk drive.  Took over an hour to find it and all the other paraphernalia I needed to make everything work, then about ten minutes to actually do the installation.

I need the program loaded so that I can start a new research project removed from my main files on the desktop.

I've been searching my family history for almost thirty years now.  Have found out a lot of interesting stuff.  Related to Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington.  One ancestor was the interpreter at the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals (think, Kentucky).  That would be cool except that apparently the Cherokee blame him for screwing up the negotiations.  Mom's a descendant of James IV of Scotland through his illegitimate daughter, Janet Stewart Fleming. Janet was the mother of one of the Four Mary's, little girls taken to France with James V's daughter Mary. Mary Queen of Scots was sent to France as a little girl to keep her out of the clutches of Henry VIII who wanted to marry her to his son, Edward. (He figured that would keep those nasty Celts in their place, I guess).

My biggest frustration, though, has been my Mom's father's line.  The family story (found in the county history of the county in Arkansas were he was born and raised) just doesn't jive.  I've been following their leads all this time and am totally stuck.  So, this past year I asked my Uncle if he would donate some cheek cells to a genealogy DNA test.  He did, and - fanfare and happy dancing - they were able to find us a match that brought me new leads!  This is a whole new experience.  In genealogy the rule is you start with what you can DOCUMENT, then move back in time.  Now, though, I have a name out there in the early 18th century Carolinas.  Now all I have to do is find the missing link.  Sounds easy, except that there must not have been a whole lot of entertainment out there in the Appalachians 'cause these people have LOTS of children.  Like, we start with FOURTEEN and continue the tradition for several generations.  Good news is I only have to follow the surname, but good old randy grandpa had SEVEN sons.  (Isn't there a song about that?)  That will translate into dozens - if not hundreds - of people to look up and try to connect up.

If this isn't the right guy, I'm gonna be ticked.

I was trying to track the information using paper and pencil, but it's already too unwieldy (and I'm just getting started) so I need the computer.  Ready to move ahead now.

More frustration this evening, though.  I joined a Christmas cross-stitch group on facebook.  Figured if I just committed to an hour each day there's a SAL, I could get moving with stitchery again.  I miss it, right?  Because it's fun, right?

Sheesh.  Today is "Santa" day so I pulled out my big Santa project.  I worked on it about three hours last week and had fun.  I started on my hour of participation that I allowed myself today only to learn that I'm probably going to have to frog everything I did last week.

So I put it away.  Like I said, it's supposed to be fun.

It wasn't.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunday, sweet Sunday...

Well, with plenty to do.

Spent yesterday with Mom and Sis.  I'd had a difficult conference Friday so it was lovely to have family therapy.  Didn't get much scrapbooking done (too messed up in the head to get all the supplies there that I needed) but the visit was great.

Today was PERFECT for hitting the garden.  I was up and out at 9:00.  Got all but one of the flower planters in front weeded and sown with Apricot Chiffon poppies, Scabiosa and Lupine.  Only hitch in the whole project was that the two bags of bark mulch I have had sitting out there for going on two years (to back the passion vine trellis) had been magically transformed into an ant farm with seventygazillion inhabitants.

Now it's evening.  I showered off the ants and am ready to start stitching.  My facebook cross-stitch group had a Christmas ornament SAL today.  It's going on 6:00 pm and I'm just getting around to picking up a needle.

Hey, check it out!  One of my sister's colleagues was de-cluttering and passed on her collection of floss.  Pretty cool, huh?

P.S. Rosedale? Thanks for coming back.  Two chapters finished.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


January 8, 2006

It was my first blog post.  I posted pictures of some projects in progress (none of which are yet completed) and a hello to a young blogger whose blog was titled "winter."  We are still friends.

Happy five-year anniversary, Paige!  I still think you're terrific!

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Just in cases.

Temperature is 39 degrees in the shelter of our front porch.  It's been raining on and off all day.  Conditions are good for the second snow in the 37 years I've lived here.  First snow left a tiny, 1/2-inch ribbon of snow along our front courtyard wall.