We had a long phone call to our daughter in Tunis, who is having a marvelous time. Really, it sounds more like she is on vacation than going to school! This morning she told us that her host mother taught her and the other 2 exchange students how to make couscous in steamer-like pans. It is nothing as easy as pouring it into boiling water, covering, removing from the heat and letting it sit 5 minutes. Oh no! In the lower part of the steamer goes the vegetables, broth, chicken and spices. The couscous is rinsed and sifted through your hands several times then put into the top of the steamer contraption and cooks uncovered as the meat and veggies boil to a tasty finish below. She has put a new post on her blog that details her recent visit to Carthage.
Then I had a 4.5 mile run. It was a little later than I would have liked. The neighborhood dogs were awake and that always puts me a little on edge. A Chihuahua and a Yorkie came yapping and nipping after me only a block from home and the hefty owner was breathless as she kept screeching "Peppy, Peppy!" Peppy's hair made a Mohawk down his back and his growl meant business. I would've kicked his teeth to the tip of his Chihuahua tail if he had come a centimeter closer. I am not overly fond of dogs. The dogs I am friends with have owners who can control them.
Then we headed north of town to the Friends of the Library book sale. It was half price day and I spent only $5.00. I got a few books for my classroom. I needed a few more 'Early Readers' and easy chapter books to add to my independent reading selections. This class is an unusual composition. I have four students who are fluent readers and at least that many who don't know even the names of the letters in their name. The age span is from 5 years and one week to 6 years and 4 months, two of my students are cousins and two more are cousins with children in the adjoining kindergarten. There are 2 'early entrants', 7 ELL, 2 with IEPs, and on Monday, one more is coming back from first to make the total 27 students! I am not at all happy about the class size, particularly after the principal assured me last spring and again this August that this year we could stop our class size at 26. One thing I will say though, there are more compatible personalities in this class; they are more peaceable as opposed to being competitive. On Wednesday I had my first 'belly laugh' with them. We had finished making fabric collages (Fabric is the first unit of Science). The scissors and glue had been collected and the extra fabric scraps were tucked into baskets,and I sat down in my 'story chair' to begin a class discussion of the various attributes of the fabric in their collages. I get up from the chair to write their comments on a poster and this little voice pipes up from the back, "Excuse me Mrs. G. there is something red on your pants." There were no giggles or anything, just that polite little voice. I felt my derriere and craned my neck and sure enough, a piece of red netting from the fabric collection had attached itself to my behind! I was probably as red as the netting. I quipped, "Well, that's another attribute of fabric, sometimes it sticks to other fabric, even without glue!" and I burst out laughing and they joined in with their guffaws. Maybe it was one of those things where you had to have been there to appreciate the humor. Anyway I am hopeful that they learned that it can be healthy to laugh at yourself!
After The FOL sale we went to the U-District and ordered avgelemona and a gyros platter at the Continental Greek Restaurant. Get this, the owner still remembers us from the old days (1977-1979) when we lived only blocks away and ate there at least twice a month. Since then we might eat there once a year. They are such friendly people and the food is great!
On the way back to the car I meandered through the Pea Patch and took the photos you see in the slide show below. The weather was SO lovely. I had to garden if only for simple tasks like watering the containers on my deck and planting False Spirea I bought last weekend. It seems that my container of lettuce needs thinning; that will be part of tonight's salad.
And I will end this post with political humor: go to HULU to see SNL's Palin/Couric skit from last night.