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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oh, Good Grief.

Another week bites the dust.

I haven't even done the report of last Sunday (which was fabulous) and here it's time for another fantastic weekend.

To hold my place, here's a peek at Sunday's main event.


So, this weekend I'll see Brave (again) tomorrow, then Saturday Mom and I head to Disneyland for our first visit of the summer (and first since the grand re-opening of California Adventure and the renovated Main Street and THE ALL AMERICAN COLLEGE BAND 2012).

It may take me all day Sunday to catch up.

That's OK.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where the Hell is Matt? 2012

Remember we're lost together
Remember we're the same
We hold the burning rhythm in our hearts
We hold the flame

I love Matt Harding!  Spreading love one step at a time.

And in the morning light I'll remember
As the sun will rise
We are the glowing embers
Of a distant fire

Monday, June 18, 2012

So much. So much.


I am loving this summer.

I've been able to do a little work in the gardens.  The mornings are cool (June Gloom, which I love) I've been productive here and there.  Today I finished this small bed in the front courtyard.  I weeded, deadheaded, dug out  a section of snowdrops (planting THOSE was a colossal mistake), laid a little pathway made of used bricks my dad had held onto.  Added compost, planted some gerbera daisies and Royal Velvet petunias.  Rescued a hydrangea that's been in the wrong place for a few years and tucked her into a pot.  Replaced her with a native sticky monkeyflower that should do better in this full sun spot.

Here's a picture of the completed bed:

When the lisianthus comes to the nurseries I'm going to add them along the back.  I fed everything and am optimistic that this will be stunning.  Lots of color.

I love color.

This is my pride right now.  This is one of the hydrangeas I treated with aluminum sulfate and it did, indeed, turn blue.  Crazy lovely.

Inside the house I'm purging the library, hoping to move a set of lawyer's bookcases out of the family room which should create some space for my fabric drawers.  Once they are set I'll move into the garage to purge some more and create more space there and then FINALLY get the crap memorabilia I brought back from the storage unit several months ago out of the family room.  That will be the hard part.  The historian in me has a hard time getting rid of stuff with historical potential (like a box full of Obama campaign goodies) but we're at critical mass here.

All of this must now revolve around my new summer job.


I had a financial need.  My district sent a call for applications for their summer arts academy.  I've always sworn I would never teach summer school, but need is need so I took a look at what they are offering and felt a little explosion of excitement when I saw "Creative Writing."  I put together a resume and cover letter to sell myself as a CW teacher (something I have never taught before) and sent it in with a "Que sera, sera" attitude and GOT THE JOB.  Wow!  Today was my first day and I had a blast!  25 kids grades 4-8.

A delightful little Writer's Community.

Taking advantage of the time off to work on getting my Weight Watchers mojo back.  Have been doing the EKG imitation for a few months now.  (No, no heart problems; just my weight record going up and down and up and down and...)    I have fewer than 40 pounds to go to my goal weight now and would love to be able to knock 15-20 of them off this summer so am exercising six out of seven days a week.  Three days at the gym, one night of clogging and two nights a week of "Yoga For the Rest of Us" (Peggy Cappy.  Easy enough but I can still feel it, and it really does send me to a different place.)

Not planning a trip this summer (saving for Japan in the fall), but I'm excited about what is coming up.  Friday is my birthday (came around fast) and I'll celebrate with my mom at our favorite restaurant (she hosted a family bash for my BIL and me last Saturday).

After dinner I'll return to my town to catch the last showing (read: no kids)  of Disney's newest.

I don't know why I'm so excited for this except that I love the humor I've seen in the trailers.  And the score.  And the art.  And Merida herself, who seems to be so much of what I want to be.

Only older.

Sunday is a double header!  The third Sunday morning coffee with Tom Shadyac and crew in Venice in the morning and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles concert with Leann Rimes in the afternoon.  A good friend from my writing class two years ago is joining me for the day and there will be lunch and non-stop conversation, if my previous visits with him hold true.

The following Saturday will be a trip to Disneyland.  I don't know that Mom and I will check out the new Cars Land at California Adventure (she hasn't even seen the movie and has no interest; I have no interest in a seven-hour wait for the new Racers ride so will pass until off-season) but I'm very excited to see the new Buena Vista Street entrance and the newly renovated Main Street USA at Disneyland.  We are eagerly awaiting our first Carnation Cafe breakfast in months and some Pecan Nuttles from the Candy Palace.  It's also the season for the All American College Band, and they've moved our Billies to a new venue that we want to check out.

Add in some visits scheduled with old friends and the summer is shaping up great.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

It Flew By.

Last Week of School.

Just a quick check-in before the insanity of the last week.

I chaperoned the class trip to Magic Mountain.  I'm very lucky to teach where I do.  One of the kids' backpacks was stolen off a ride bay (phone, ipod, wallet with cash and season pass, etc.) and when he found me he had already been to lost-and-found, and then to security to report the theft.  When he found me, all he wanted was an extra meal ticket because his was stolen with the pack and he was starving.  I was pretty self-sufficient at fourteen, but I don't know that I would have handled that in such a mature manner.  The only other incidents were a couple of kids who learned the hard way that they suffer from motion sickness.  It was a hot day, but overall pretty nice because the kids are so terrific.

 At the back of the building is a shaded area with semi-comfortable chairs and tables.  I spent most of my day enjoying the fountain, the company of my colleagues and an occasional opportunity to read.  Could have used a piano, though.

Once we were back to school, I drove to my mom's and she treated me to dinner at our favorite restaurant.  I swear, this guy has the BEST wait staff in the state.  They are wonderful to her (and me) every time we go there to eat.  The food is terrific, too.  My favorite is the Western Burger (not many places will cook a burger medium rare anymore, so it's really a treat) with cheese, bacon and their fabulous fried onions.  I can only eat half a burger any more, but there's always my 6'6" son at home to help out with the leftovers.

Red's, Simi Valley, CA.  It took me a while but I finally noticed that his decor is very similar to my condo in Utah.
I spent the night at my mom's, then had a very relaxing (aka lazy) day with her and my sister, followed by another trip to Red's, this time for their tri-tip salad sans tri-tip.  Delish.

Today I've been catching up with grocery shopping, laundry and getting ready for the last week of school.

I'll have four days off after next week, then am excited to be doing something I always swore I would never do.  I'm teaching a summer session.  I had a financial need and the Universe supplied the opportunity.  When I read down the list of classes being offered, I had a little explosion of excitement when I saw Creative Writing would be offered in the Creative Arts Academy, so I updated my resume and submitted an application.  I got the job, and am having a blast pulling together ideas.  I'm basing my plans not on our formula-based writing program ("No, I'm not going to tell you how many sentences you need,") but rather on something Julia Cameron said.  The American system of education is not good for creativity because it's built on criticism (red pens for mistakes) rather than building work.  I'm trying hard to develop a four-week class (grades 4-8) that encourages creativity and builds confidence in writing.  Wish me luck.

The class is only in the morning, so I'll be free before noon for all the other things I've been dreaming of for the summer.  Gardening. Cross-stitch.  Writing (and reading). Sewing.

Must update on the hydrangea wall.  Nearly in full bloom now.

This cluster is about the size of a dinner plate and the color is amazing.

The droopy buds (needed water and OK now) are definitely going to be blue.  Just a few more days.

I've been treating a couple to help them turn blue, and it seems to have worked.  Here's the hydrangea in the front courtyard.  You can really see the blue.  Just a few more days.

Les Misérables - Teaser

 Wow.  Look at this cast.