Friday, August 31, 2012

Sugar, Sugar...

If you've never eaten a Krispy Kreme doughnut, you are missing out on some major deliciousness! Oh, my, they're good. Hot glaze... and the donut is very light, yeast, not a "cake" type of donut. Pure heaven.

I had to stop by and pick up a few dozen of these babies this morning on my way to work. Even though I sat in a room with a box nearly full, I only ate one. Yep. Just one. That's something like 200 calories. Not bad if you're needing a little sugar, sugar....

As of today, August is officially ending. That means payday! Hip-hip-hoorah! And four weeks of teaching are already history. Wow. Time really does have a way of dashing off when you're not looking. 

I have plans this weekend that include family and friends and a little college football. I'm hoping to get all of my work done before Monday, so I can enjoy the Labor Day holiday. I feel like I'm deserving of that one at the moment. Really deserving. So, kick up your heels or kick back and relax! I may do a little of that myself.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sometimes, I just need a little pretty...

Usually, when my husband is driving, I'm either asleep or reading, but I happened to look up just in time to see this scene flash past my window. I spun my phone into position and began snapping.

And today, I just needed to sit back and look at it... Or maybe contemplate what it would be like to be riding a horse across that field or sitting with my back against the fence post with a good book in my hands. Or just laying down and napping with the sun on my face and a little bit of hay in my hair. 

Because I'm tired.

I love teaching. I really do. But this year things are a bit different. We have the reaccreditation process to go through and new standards to implement and sometimes people like to reinvent the wheel, which is really pretty pointless since wheels tend to work just fine as long as they can roll on to wherever they are going.

Luckily, my students are pretty much terrific just as they are. They're sitting through 75-minute classes this year, which still doesn't feel like enough time to get everything done. But they've been troopers.

Tomorrow, I'll miss my Teachers as Advisors class for the second week in a row. (We've only met twice, and I've missed them both due to meetings!). And I'll miss all of my classes while working on some school and district goals.

And while I complain a lot little, I know it's going to work out just fine and that I'll be with my students many more days than not this year.

But I do hate meetings.... really, I do.

P.S. After reading Relyn's post, I thought I would add a bit of gratitude here, so you won't think I'm always crotchety. Today after school, I was creating comprehension questions for an article I'm asking my students to read. I had typed about 12 questions and was away from my room when our power flickered off and on a few times during a storm. When I got to my room, my computer was still on and the unsaved document was just waiting for me to click "save." Now that was a moment of gratitude!

P.S.S. I've linked up with Heather of the EO to Just Write. I'm just a day late though.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yesterday ...

I dropped my husband off to meet a friend and then took myself on an artist's date.
I hadn't planned to do that. In fact, I was in the middle of grading.

But at the last minute, I turned right
and found myself at one of our city's most historic cemetaries.

I walked and then drove and then walked again.
Looking at beautiful statues
and reading the tombstones,
which go back to the 1700s
and maybe even the 1600s.

Then I looked up and saw her....

and thought she was gorgeous.

As I walked,
I came upon a grave that had been carefully tended
and saw that it belonged to a wife, mother, grandmother.
They had left presents for her and pretty things hanging from the tree limbs.
A big ribbon that floated in the breeze and a dream catcher.

At times I was sad and missed my mother.
I missed going to visit her and watching as she and my daughter
had tea parties in the living room
and went to feed the ducks
at the lake together.

But, even though I was a bit sad yesterday,
it felt good to be out with the sun on my face
and seeing the past and the heartache and knowing
that life goes on. And that we don't know when our last day will come.
So we really have to eek out as much joy from each day that we can.
Even when we do have

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blooming Love

I have always loved our Hibiscus blossoms,
but this year I've fallen totally in love with them.
I find myself practically standing on my head to get a different angle or view.
I love the colors, how the varying shades mix and mingle....

I also love them in black and white.

I had linked up with Susannah Conway's August Break to post a picture a day....
I wasn't able to continue with it daily,
But it has gotten me in a creative spirit
and given me a bit of a break from
grading and planning
and worrying.

But more about that later.
I really don't want to worry the flowers....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finding Laughter

Earth laughs in flowers.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I loved that quote when I came across it,
and it seemed perfect for these roses
that grow in my mother-in-law's garden.

She's always been a flower-tender,
my mother-in-law,
with beautiful blossoms
and leafy green plants
growing in her yard.

Even at 86, she's still out there,
tending the flowers ~

Digging in the dirt.

And happy to be there
where laughter springs forth
from the Earth.

My husband's parents (who treat me like I'm their own)...
have been married 66 years! Precious, aren't they?

I'm taking part in Susannah Conway's

To check out other photos from The August Break, click here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Less Than Vivid

I find it hard to edit photographs
to change the colors
to make them

But today I decided
to play, to tamper, to create
and I came up with this less-than-vivid number.

And liked it.

Of course, I didn't take this one today.
I had to dig into the archives.
Spring Break 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Saying Goodbye

to summer... I know it's not officially the end of summer,
but for me it will come to a screeching halt tomorrow
when I greet about 130 new 8th-graders.


I'm excited about the new year and my new students,
but I'm worried, too. You see, they've changed our curriculum.
I'm supposed to do things differently, even though my students
have done quite well each year. Like, 99% well.
As in they rock our state tests and learn a lot in the process.

My class sizes have increased.
Which means 130 essays to read
and comment on at a time.

I've been in a dither about it all.
Things have changed, and I'm not too keen on change
when I don't see the benefits.

I want to be bright and colorful and cheerful,
but I'm afraid I'm feeling a bit faded already.
Like this flower...

I'm still taking part in The August Break,
which is supposed to mean posting pictures
with less talking I think.

So I'll be quiet now.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cameras and Memories

When I first got married, I used to love to ramble around in antique shops. Some of my favorite things to discover were antique hand bags (the small, beaded clutches), handmade quilts, rolling pins, books, and ...


So, I thought I would share this iPhone picture with you. The camera and book are very old, and that's my daughter in the photograph. I've always loved, loved this picture. The velvet settee and the way she's sitting there with those cute, little bare feet showing.

I'm posting this photograph as part of August Break. I'm not very good with challenges that require a time commitment, but I'm game to try. (Which sounds a bit silly with school just now starting back.) If you're interested in joining, just click here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My World Just Got Brighter

and I'm really struggling to be okay with it. Because it has to do with trees, or now the lack of them in my yard.

When we found this house nearly fifteen years ago, we fell in love with it. Although close to grocery stores and other useful places (think bookstores and coffee shops), once you drive out onto my road you feel that you're in the middle of nowhere (practically). I do have neighbors, but my trees shielded me from them. The trees - five Bradford Pear trees - have stood at each corner of the yard and on each side of the driveway like sentinels. They have grown huge, and they've lived a long life.

But my husband was concerned about them. And about them splitting and crashing into our fence or the neighbor's fence or blocking the road or driveway, so we decided (me more reluctantly) to cut down the two by the driveway.


My husband knew better than to have them cut while I was home. I would probably have chained myself to them or tried to clamber up into the branches just daring the men to start chopping.

So they arrived stealthily in the full light of day and took them down, leaving only ground-up tree stumps in their places.

Would you think I was terribly strange to have shed a tear or two? (I realize horrible things happen in the world each and every day that deserve our tears....) But this was how I felt.

I can't even bear to show you what it looks like now. My hidden fortress has been exposed. Too much light now shines on my driveway, and I can really see the house across the street. All of it. (It's a pretty house, but still, I almost forgot anyone was over there.)

So, here's the closest you'll get for now.

I'm standing on my cracked driveway (probably cracked from tree roots!) and looking at the self-imposed destruction.

We'll replant. We're discussing our options. Maybe Bradford Pears again, since they are quick growers, or maybe Japanese Maples. Hang around, I'll show you the new look when the new trees get big. Say in 15 years?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I should be dreaming ...

but I'm not. I'm awake at 12:30 a.m. on my first day back-to-school. And this after I pledged earlier in the week to do better about getting to bed on time. I love this time of night though, when the house is quiet, and I can indulge myself with art or photography or writing.

But tonight my thoughts are a bit scrambled because my brain knows it's time to get back to work... real work, which means more than 100 8th-graders will be taking up a big chunk of my time in a few days, and until then, I'll be busy in meetings and getting my classroom back together.

When we were out yesterday evening, I remembered that this church was coming up on my right. I love the way churches look, especially the time-worn ones that have a distinct character about them. Their architecture. Windows. Steeples. Although storm clouds were rolling in, the sun was still fighting its way through. And it won, that sun. Only a few sweet drops of rain fell.

It's so difficult to balance play time with work.... I'm already thinking how busy I'll be this time next week when students are back in school. I've yet to figure out how to get everything done in a normal 40-hour work week, so work spills over to evenings and weekends making it more like a 70-hour work week (without overtime pay of course!)

Maybe not this year. Maybe this year I will finally figure out how to get out on time. I'm hopeful at least.