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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Breathless and Teary


Only Boys Aloud.  Wales.
Brilliantly moving.
Yesterday was the day when I have to give my annual Triangle Waist Factory fire lecture.  147 workers, ages 13-23 (my students are 13-14) died in a fire that lasted only 30 minutes.  Because so many were the ages of my students, it always hits me hard and I always come home a little down.
Yesterday I came home to this.
Spirit restored.
The song is beautiful.  And the lyrics in translation (since I don't understand Welsh but wanted to know...) are as well.  Here's link to a fine article about the song.

Monday, May 27, 2013


They fly.

I know it's a cliche, but the older I get, the faster the years fly by.  Or maybe it's because I'm having so much more fun.


I've cycled back to May Madness, when school is coming to closure for the year and I can smell summer break.  I've had much worse years and can honestly say I'm very sorry to see the Class of 2013 move on to high school.  What a great bunch of young people!  But I need the break, especially since I will be bringing big changes to my teaching next year.

And, I am teaching TWO classes in the Summer Arts Academy this year.  Creative Writing again (that was so much fun!) and a class I'm developing called "The World of Walt Disney."  Still pulling stuff together, but I know that week one will be a Little Mermaid theme.  Draw the character based on Hans Christian Anderson's story description.  Take notes for a Compare/Contrast writing (or drawing) as we read the story, then watch part of the movie for four days.  Draw the characters using "How to Draw..." lessons from various websites.  

Fridays will be Disneyland days:  History of the park video, hidden Mickeys, American history at the park.  For example, reading the chapter about pirates from Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, then seeing how the imagineers worked the pirate elements into the original Tom Sawyer's Island presentation. Still deciding about the other movies, but leaning toward Aladdin, Swiss Family Robinson and possibly Meet the Robinsons.  OR maybe a look at the tales of the Brothers Grimm with scenes from movies, a different one each day. 

Last trip to Disneyland with Mom was last month and I wasn't really planning to go back until my birthday next month (which will be a solo trip).  But, we got REALLY good news this week.


This clip is from the Monstrous 24-hour day last week, but they return for the summer on June 15.  Then, based on attendance, Disney will decide whether to support them throughout the year.  Mom and I want to lend our support, so will FORCE OURSELVES (snigger) to head to the park on the 15th.

I am so excited about summer at Disneyland this year.  The dancers are back.  The Billie's are being shuffled back to the Jamboree stage;  I don't know how they like that, but I thought the sound was SO much better back there (and I love the relaxed atmosphere with the characters). I'm delighted.  All American College Band should be there by my birthday (or shortly after) and there's a a new production at the Fantasyland Stage.  Couple it with the usual Disneyland Band performances, the Soundsational Parade and maybe even a good piano player at Coke Corner and we won't be able to fit everything in.

Gonna be a hard choice:  College Band 7:00 Train Station set, or the swing dancers starting at 7:00 (which means being there by 5:00 for seating.)  Yikes.

I've been stitching on the "What Color is Spring?" quilt at Mom's and it's coming along.  REALLY hoping to finish the floss on the Firefly Faeries this summer (she says for the tenth year in a row.)  Also have some sewing projects to finish up.   I guess my stitching theme will be COMPLETION.  Of at least some things.  I'm purging my collection of charts and patterns.  I need the storage room, and since I don't really think I will live to see 182, there's no way I will finish all of this.

The garden is shaping up.  Hydrangeas are in bud/bloom, passion vine has its first bloom and today I cleaned out the weeds from the gerbera daisy patch in front.  And noticed that the dahlia that I bought this spring, planted and then "lost" to the snails is putting on new leaves.

Which reminds me - I'd better go spread some Sluggo.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lotus Love

May Madness.

Officially in the last month of school.  One of my best years ever, student wise.  Just hate to send this bunch off to high school.  In fact, we joke that we'd love to keep this group for another year and let the seventh grade make the jump early.  (Really cheering for mega-maturing over the summer for that bunch.)

Anyway, things are nuts.  Today I bound 175 student projects that now must be graded by next Thursday.  Going to be "stuck" at home Saturday (still no car) and look forward to being a prisoner to the garden.  Had my follow-up with the neurologist to get the results of my tests to  determine if I really did just faint in September, or if I had a seizure.  Never did hear from the DMV, but if they do get in touch, I can assure them I just fainted.

I've been trying to remember to check the pond every day.  Last summer I invested in a lotus, Mrs. Perry D. Slocum.  She's doing extremely well.

I think by summer she will have filled her little pond with leaves and I'm optimistic that I'll see flowers this year.  Which is why I try to remember to check every day.  I don't want to miss the show.

While I was checking today I noticed several new leaves appearing.  When I looked closely, I learned something delightful about how lotus leaves unfurl.

The lotus has two special meanings for me.  First, my grandchild in Japan's name is related to the lotus flower.

And the lotus flower is the flower of rebirth.  Rebirth is what I've been all about for the last three years, and to live in love and gratitude is the theme that has been developing for my new life. 

I was tickled to see Lotus Leaf Love.