Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I've been off the past two days of work doing fun things like lunching with Ben, having coffee with a friend, and meeting old colleagues from the Library of Congress. I've also been doing some not-so-fun things like sorting out school problems and I've been gearing up to help chaperon the school's twelve-hour field trip to Hershey amusement park tomorrow.
The iris by the pond is blooming beautifully, demanding attention whenever I go in and out of the house and providing a reason for a refreshing moment of pause in my busy comings and goings. This evening it beckoned me out into the yard and I ended up planting the creeping thyme and basil I bought last weekend. I worked only for about fifteen minutes, but the time alone puttering about outside was quite enjoyable.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
It's a week until Memorial Day, the official opening of summer in these parts, with many people heading to their beach houses and sailboats.
There are only seven more full days of school and three half days until school is out, which is when summer begins for Paul.
Our vacation in Italy and Switzerland begins in just three weeks, and we were get back it will be mid-June, which is definitely summer.
But for me summer began yesterday, with the cleaning of the screened porch. It took most of the day to wash off all the pollen from the screens, floors, and furniture, clear out the fireplace wood we had stored there over the winter, and to scrub off the siding, but in the end the porch was clean and ready for use. Well, almost ready. No sooner had I settled into the rocking chair in my favorite corner with the cross breeze but the rung broke! Thankfully clever Ben fixed it with a mending plate. As I settled into the chair last night to read in the cool night air, I felt that summer had really begun!
The school's band program wrapped up for the year with a successful spring concert Tuesday night. I helped line up kids to get on stage in the proper order and then patrolled the auditorium to monitor student behavior, so it was a long night. Then after work Wednesday, there was an hour staff meeting, so I missed Paul's last flag football game, which ended in defeat by the eight grade team and eliminating Paul's team from the championship playoff. Very surprising, since the seventh grade had trounced them the week before. But with no band rehearsal early Thursday morning and no championship game after school on Thursday, we all enjoyed some much needed time to relax.
Our neighbors have a new puppy named Albert. Paul is very welcome to go over and play with him, since a youngster is just what is needed to help socialize and exercise the pup. I'm writing this at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning sitting on the porch watching Paul run around with Albert while he chats with Lisa as she sits on her porch. Enjoying Albert has led to some talk about getting a dog after we move to Colorado, to which we give the well-known parental reply "We'll see."
The weekend has been cool and damp, just perfect for getting the porch ready for the season and watching movies with Paul. We saw Spiderman at home via Amazon video yesterday and are heading out to the big screen theater this afternoon to see Ironman 3.
It wasn't the best weather for the first day of our new local farmer's market, but it was enjoyable anyway. An energetic Glenn Dale resident has organized a Saturday morning market in the field next to the old plantation house, Marietta, and I was eager to go out and support it. I loved walking around and meeting people right in my neighborhood who were making and selling food, plants, pottery, and hand crafted soaps and lotions.
How about some of these chocolate bars, made just a few miles from here? Yum.
It's sure looking like it'll be a great summer!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Only one more Story Time Monday! High time to read two new books, Candance Fleming and Eric Rohman's Oh, No! and Patrick McDonnell's Me...Jane.
The first is a great read-aloud. Tiger chases frog, who lands in a hole and can't get out...Oh, no! Then mouse comes to help, but lands in the hole..Oh, no! You get the idea....go through a few more animals until finally help does arrive. As they climb out the tiger falls in...Oh, no! Great fun for the reader to act out and even more fun for the kids to join in the chorus.
I particularly liked this page. It's not every day that I get to lick my teeth in front of a group of five- to six-year olds!
Me...Jane is the story of Jane Goodall's childhood dreams of being in Africa. I think it would be a great lap book, meaning one that you read one-on-one to a child sitting in your lap. (Oh, how I remember those days with Paul; so sweet.) The gentle illustrations and words really lend themselves to a more personal sharing than what Story Time affords.
Searching for images of Jane and the chimps that she studied, I came across this poster. I really appreciated its hopeful reminder that to a great degree we each choose our own reality.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Okay, it wasn't fun at this exact second that Dawn snapped this photo, but overall it was fun and exciting.
Last night Ben and I went out to dinner while Paul was busy being a techie at the school play, this morning Paul and I had some time together shopping and getting his hair cut, and then my fellows just surprised me with this cute rooster fan, which I love.
I've been missing my Mom this past week, so we went over to her old church to see the iris in her garden, which are now in bloom. Ben took these nice portraits while we were there. What a nice Mother's Day present!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
It's been a challenging week so far. I won't whine, really, but could I just ask: How did Paul rip his dress black pants from knee to belt the day before he needed to wear them for Concert Dress day? Why has my wonderful MacBook Pro suddenly having problems with iMovie, just as I'm going strong on creating the graduation movie? Why have the pond lights stopped working? How will I survive without my wonderful coworker Rhonda, who isn't returning to school next year? Will it ever stop raining and be sunny again?
All problems that will be solved in due time, but frustrating at the moment.
So it has been nice that this is Teacher Appreciation Week and I've been on the receiving end of little presents and treats, arriving off and on throughout each day. The most welcome are the notes that students have sent. Aren't they great?
They are certainly a spot of joy in an otherwise gray week.
Monday, May 6, 2013
At the spring karate tournament Saturday Paul was awarded three first place trophies! One of his friends in a younger age group had won two, which was unusual enough, since it meant you had to place first in both forms and fighting. When he saw Paul with three he asked "How did you get three first place trophies?"
Here's how. You go to karate class five out of the six days they are offered, and take a private lesson on the day the studio is closed.
In forms you are very precise and fierce.
In fighting you end up duking it out with your friend Marcellus in a close couple of fights, finally winning by one hard-earned point.
And in weapons you perform a well executed form with tongfas, beating out the one other competitor who showed with a bow.
In the end, you are exhausted but happy, the proud owner of three first place trophies!