Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mercedes World, that's Meredith, tagged me today. Here are the rules of this particular meme: Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. My house is always clean but my counters are always cluttered.
2. I am not particularly fond of shopping, unless it is for buying plants and gardening tools. I'm a sucker for nursery shops in spring and summer...oh, let's be honest, even in fall and winter I at least troll the online catalogs.
3. I have sleep apnea.
4. My father was on the cheer squad for the Green Bay Packers in 194? Yes, I am a Packer fan.
5. It is challenging for me to read a book cover to cover. I usually read ahead and then go back and fill in the gaps as I find the time.
6. My mother grew up on a Wisconsin farm. Sundays at Grandma's and Grandpa's were a big part of my childhood.
7. I lived in San Francisco on my own, at age 20, for one year.

Some of the bloggers below know I am a regular reader and others don't know me from Adam (or shall I say Eve). Give 'em a read; we're all connected, in one way or another.

1. Quiet Life
2. Learning to Live
3. Time for Change
4. Piffle
5. A Snowball's Chance In...
6. Poetry and Ideas
7. The Happenings in NYC

Sunday, November 25, 2007

For Graham Crackers

So, for what do you give thanks? On last Wednesday the kids had PE after recess and I met them at the door with the snack in hand. Instead of the usual "Thank you!" little 'B' looks up at me and quips with gusto "We give thanks for graham crackers!" and I get one of those warm 'fuzzies' that many people say are make up for the lowly status of teachers on the pay scale. I've gotta say, it did give me an inner grin. We had read a book about Thanksgiving earlier and we had discussed reasons to be thankful. The discussion went well enough but it felt a bit contrived. B's thanks was so much more heartfelt or shall I say 'tummy felt'. Kindergarten kids are so immediate; so in the present. Say your thanks now. You can change today if you say what you mean RIGHT NOW. For adults, Thanksgiving can be reflection, but for kids that is strange territory. The 'here and now' is what it is all about for them.
I hope your Thanksgiving was as enjoyable as ours was; time to eat lots of great food with friends, time to take long runs, time to clean the house AND sweep the garage, time to put up Christmas lights, time to do a bit of Christmas shopping, time to talk on the phone with relatives, time to tackle report cards, time to wash the car, time to go to a play (Cook's Story), time to explore other blogs, time to take take pictures of a lovely full moon. Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Honey Girl

My 'honey girl', that is what I called Anna Rae when she was just a wee little baby of six pounds and one ounce born on November 11, 1987. She turned 20 this year and she continues to amaze and delight her dad and I. She has spunk, smarts, and a sensitivity that is not always obvious. And at 5'2"(oh yes, and eyes of blue)she continues to be petite. In fact, the two young, 6' statuesque blond women who share her apartment never cease to let her forget that she is miniature. They designed an unforgettable birthday dinner for Anna Rae. Here is a descriptive explanation from Anna Rae's email: "My friends threw me a little birthday dinner last night. It was incredible. there is a long running joke about me being "miniature" compared to most of my friends. So Meryl, Cassie, and Emma made me a miniature dinner. For everyone other than me there were two normal chickens , baked potatoes, salad, cake, and bread. then for me there was a Cornish game hen, a baby potato, a salad with cherry tomatoes and baby carrots sliced up in it, a mini loaf of bread and a baby cake. The baby cake was four layers, my friend Emma went through h a lot of effort to make it. The thing I was really impressed with was that whereas everyone else got normal Coronas with limes in them....I got a 7 oz. Coronita with a key lime in it." The box her dad and I sent with love DID arrive in time but we have not heard much on what she thinks of its contents. Not because she doesn't want to tell us but because she has laryngitis. We called her to bestow our birthday wishes and were greeted with a softly croaked "Thank you!" Upon hearing her we said, "Hang up, go to bed, drink plenty of fluids, and don't you know, whispering is more stressful on your vocal chords than talking in a regular voice?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Leaves that Linger

OK. So yesterday I had a post written to go with these pictures but something interfered and an error message came up and "poof!" no text. So I shall try again albeit cautiously. I just checked and it seems to be working. On these gray days of fall as the branches of many trees are bare against the sky our deck view to the west includes a peak at the Puget Sound. Even so, my eyes are drawn more often to the east corner where a birch tree shimmers with yellow leaves and the ruby leaved sweet gum rises up to nestle underneath it's drooping branches. Even today, with the 50 mph winds and driving rain, most of those colorful leaves stayed put. It was not until recent years that I learned that not all trees DROP their leaves, some PUSH them off with the growth of new buds. Such is the case with the sweet gum and oak in our yard.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This Lovely Day

So this morning I woke up leisurely, had coffee in bed, and finished reading The Kite Runner; an excellent read but oh so sad. Then, seeing the rain had stopped I went out for a 4 mile run. Some runs are exercise but my Saturday runs are extra, just for fun. I don't normally push myself on the weekend and because the sun is up I can take in the progress of neighborhood gardens and I listen to my Ipod. Well, at about the 3 mile point a slim hipped blond (she could not have been 30) with a bouncy pony tail goes breezily past me and this was at a downhill stretch. (Although, I must say that middle aged caution kicks in when I'm running downhill.) "OK" I think, "She IS younger." but it is really the kick in the butt I need and as I hit the corner of my street (uphill by the way) we are running abreast. I turn, smile, and say "Enjoy your run." and that felt so fine.
After the run I showered and indulged in my other favorite past time, gardening. I went to the West Seattle Nursery's annual fall Open House and bought Cyclamen, Ornamental Kale, a Guacamole Hosta, a May Apple, and a few more yellow Speedwell.
Then after a bite of lunch I took the 125 bus downtown where I went to the barbershop in the Market for a haircut a good gab with my former neighbor and hairstylist, Paige. She is string bean thin, at least 20 years younger than me, has LOTS of interesting tattoos and her currently blonde hair is no longer than an inch at any point on her head, and she was raised Mormon. Could we be more different? In many ways no, yet I think she is 'a dear one', a hard working single mom raising a bright, sociable 4 year old little girl. We had lots of talk to catch up on, she had changed salons, I had lost her number. We had reconnected by chance and I was happy to have my hair back in her hands.
Pike Place Market was packed with tourists and I felt happy knowing this is my city, a place I can navigate easily, and instead of taking it for granted, I pulled my camera out of my handbag and took these few pictures just like the many tourists who were also enjoying Seattle on this lovely November day.

Everybody Loves a Party

These kids are growing on me. Things are settling down in my classroom and I find something gives me an inside chuckle almost everyday. Kindergartners are party obsessed. We do not let kids hand out party invitations and we do not do so for the parents. We have created a phone list and we ask that parents call the families of the children they would like to invite or they can pass out the invitations themselves as the class exits. That takes us off the hook. There is just about no greater hurt to a 5 or 6 year old than saying "You're not invited to my party." No matter that the child who is saying the hurtful words is only 5 him/herself and his/her birthday is months away and who's to know if his/her parents have any intention of having a party. Yes, they are party obsessed. On the day I took this picture four little girls eagerly invited me over to my story chair and excitedly told me: "Look the dinosaurs are having a party!"