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, August 31, 2013

Jurassic Park...


About forty years ago, a daycare provider across the street from my parents' house discovered tortoises abandoned on her front porch.  Guess someone thought the kids would enjoy them.  She released them into her substantial backyard, and they did what tortoises do.  By the time I met her twenty years ago, she had a population of over fifty.  She also had a half-dozen each of 1-year-old and 2-year-olds living on her kitchen counter.
After a few months I got a call from her.  She had an opportunity to move permanently to Hawaii.  It's against federal law to take these tortoises out of the state, so would I like some.  I took the babies and a handful of the others and built a nice pen in my backyard for them.  I really expected her to come back to California within a few years, but she did not. 
Over the last few years we have started digging up clutches of eggs.  My son has tried to incubate them without success.  Over the last year he did a lot of homework, and when the tortoises started laying this year, he was ready.  He harvested twenty-seven eggs.  Five he gave to a friend (an experienced reptile breeder), six "failed" over the three-month incubation period and of the rest, he determined that he had eight PROBABLE successes and the rest possible.
He just discovered that one is hatching.  It was so sweet to hear this 6'6" 32-year-old cooing "C'mon little guy," just like in Jurassic Park.
I just did the squeeeeeee dance.  Now we wait.

Monday, August 26, 2013


My First Stitches.

Four.  No, wait.  This one is in the cuticle (where the lidocaine didn't reach).  Let's take it out and use skin glue instead. So only three.

Students return day after tomorrow.

Just damn inconvenient.

Thursday, August 15, 2013



62 years old, going on 14.

Gonna see Sara Bareilles at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

She writes just for me.

"Gonna Get Over You" was the first Sara song I ever heard.  My son introduced me to this video.

Then, he gave me Kaleidoscope Heart for Christmas and I totally resonated with "Let the Rain."

I hold on to worry so tight
It's safe in here right next to my heart
Who now shouts at the top of her voice
Let me go, let me out, this is not my choice

"King of Anything" has some personal meaning.

When Christmas comes, I have a new favorite Christmas song.

And I can't stop listening to this one.  So lovely.  It's from her latest album, The Blessed Unrest, so I suspect it will be in the concert.  It would be nice to hear it with a boyfriend.  Oh, well.  I'm taking my son. I don't think he qualifies.  Not for me, anyway.

The Santa Barbara Bowl is a fabulous venue, especially on a September night.  The last time I was there (Chicago!) I don't think they had seats.  And before that - over 30 years before that - was a Willie Nelson concert and I know we sat on cement shelves.

So classy-fied.

Gonna be a great concert.

Maybe I'll buy a Sara tee shirt to wear to school the next day.

Such a groupie.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Not much...

...to report.

Summer break is coming to an end.  As usual, I didn't get nearly as much as I'd hoped done.  But, I do feel like enough laziness was experienced, and I'll be ready to get back to work in a couple of weeks.

I applied for and got a position on our district's Curriculum Senate.  It should mean a little more money for the year, but I'm more excited about the opportunity to participate in development of new learning processes as we wave a (NOT) fond farewell to factoid-based history.  Sheesh, that was a long, dreadful experiment.

I've already designed some concept-based inquiry activities that I am optimistic will kickstart more meaningful learning.

Two weeks to go.  Still have some garden work to finish up, and the ever-present cleaning tasks.  Want to do some sewing to get a head start on Christmas projects.  Hoping for a few hours at the beach this week.  Moving forward.

Will not be going to Japan this fall (pout) because the family is working together to bring my son and his family to SoCA next summer (BIG SMILES all around).  Will be doing some work to clear a room for their visit.

Had a rare, disappointing visit to Disneyland a couple of weeks ago.  Lessons learned.  Don't wait too late to eat.  Stay hydrated at all cost.  The driver - that would be me - got too dehydrated and too lacking in protein to function happily.  And when new entertainment is added (All American College Band was outstanding that night), don't try to fit in everything else, especially in the summer crowd.

I just got wiped, trying to push my mom's wheelchair through the crowds of oblivious tourists.  Honestly, do people really think it's easy to stop a wheelchair?  And you know what?  If your group is blocking the entire sidewalk (and they're WIDE sidewalks), someone is just going to have to move over a little bit 'cause I'm not dumping my 81-year old mother into the street.

Enough whining.  I'll be back the first Saturday in September to help with the Visions Fantastic scavenger hunt.  Turns out it's also Dapper Day, so it should be fun to see folks dressed up.

As I will not be.