Saturday, May 29, 2010

Freedom Writers: A movie to be watched.

I read the book last year and was blown away. Tonight, I couldn't sleep and it was on. Amazing again. I will see if I can show it to my religious ed. class in the Fall. Tolerance and change.

Friday, May 28, 2010

One Man's Trash

Years ago while walking my girls in the stroller, I started picking up discarded cans and putting them in our recycle bin. Day after day, I couldn't stand seeing the same litter. Especially if there was a place for it. A place where it could be recycled and reused. Instead of being ground to nothing on the side of the road. And yes there was the odd nickel involved here as well. But no one gets rich picking up cans. Still it was a win win situation; less litter, more recycling.

Then it was pointed out, this trash holds a free hidden treasure. For two years we have been collecting flip tops and donating them to the Ronald MacDonald House in Springfield. The house collects the tops and sells them as scrap metal. The money goes to help the patients and their families that use their facility. It's win, win, win...

Last year, with the help of the Girl Scouts, the local elementary school and our parish we turned in over 25 gallons of flip tops. Our trip to Springfield is scheduled for early summer. It will be interesting to see how many we have collected this year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Framed and Finished

I took the window to the local A1 frame shop and they couldn't frame it. The owner suggested I contact a carpenter. So I called our faithful finish carpenter Wayne and despite being very busy, he came over and took measurements while we caught up. Wayne became family while doing some work on the house four years ago. Wayne's truck pulls up in the driveway and the girls are out the door to hear hunting and trapping stories, and to see pictures. He is a out of this world craftsman. A week later he came back and framed the window "Daughter Flying a Kite on the Beach." THANKS WAYNE!

Any resemblance with between the window and the window holder is pure luck.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hit and Run

We have had two hit and runs in the news in as many weeks. What is with that? The first was on a rainy night. The woman hit was in a motorized wheel chair. Dark, bad visibility, low to the ground -- an accident. But why run from the scene? And then why run from the courthouse? Scared, yes of course. But running only compounds the very sad situation.

And now a little boy hit, a two year old. Playing and wandering into the street. A driver, going too fast, hits and runs. The driver, by the plates was identified. And now, the accident is worse.

Why do we run? Not only from these terrible accidents, but from smaller things in life. Life and times are seldom made better after running.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday is glass-day

Piece by piece the landscape unfolds, fills in. I started with a photograph, and now I go on feeling. What color? What texture? How will this all blend into one image, one idea.

I have been hunting for the right glass. The correct balance of green with yellow with texture and without. A piece that will marry the top to the bottom. It will make itself evident as I slowly piece together Window into Haiti.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hit the ground

running. Mondays are always like that. And why? I don't know. It's not like we sat around all weekend, or slept the days away. We were busy; incredibly busy. But still, Monday hits and my feet have no idea which way to run first.

I try to quell the absurdity with a to do list. It helps a bit, until I am writing down the 20th item. It is then I realize there is spill over on to Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday. And should the bike rack stay on the car that long? Maybe it would be better to take it off then put it on when the bikes go into the shop for their tune ups.

The car window grabbed Tuesday with its death defying slip in its track. Duck tape is my best friend, as it keeps the window up and the ride quiet for all those must do errands.

Speaking of which dinner, dance, and whatever else homework holds calls. I'm running, and I'm running fast and faster -- for a very old woman.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You learn something new everyday.

It is amazing that even in my advancing years I learn new things everyday. Today was one for the kicker. For today I watched two catfish (what we used to call hornpout when I was growing up) fight. They were whiskers to whiskers biting eachother, until one of them swam away. Yes it was over a mate. The image below is the winner with his new brownish partner. And then another thing I learned today was that they nest under the silt. I was shocked as I watched them swim down a hole in the bottom of the pond. Amazing.

Adding to the excitement was saw sunfish, bass, a turtle and a mink -- of all animals.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gardening News!

Lettuce, radishes, peas, beans and corn all germinating. It is so amazing what a little sun and water will do.

I love having a garden.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Our sugar shack is basically a garden shed, with ideas of grandeur. It's a great sugar shack. It keeps the wind, snow and rain off, while letting the steam out. A calm little fortress, that will now, in the off season have another purpose in my life. For the little shack has been converted into a stain glass studio. The pan is tipped up on its side, against a wall. The burner folded up next to it, and filling the space under my work table are stacks and stacks of faithful buckets.

So instead of taking up the dining and living room with my latest project, I am out in the shack. The doors propped wide open, letting in the cool spring air, so necessary for creative thinking. I hear the birds, step outside to check the garden (The radishes are germinating.) and work at a tortoise's pace on my latest project for Project Haiti.

This piece is inspired by a photograph taken by Betsy Bowman, who is author of the blog Spaghetti for Breakfast, and is finishing up a teaching stint at LCS.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Quilt is Finished

Every student, teacher, aide, custodian, nurse, secretary, specialist, lunch lady signed the squares. Then Mrs. D. and I printed out pictures, and assembled. There is an H in the middle to represent our school. On the red H are the photos from the school. Taken over the past 12 years.

The signatures are on squares that represent the various multiple intelligences. After all we are an MI school.

The children are not included.

The Lettuce is Germinating

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Old and the New

Today, hopefully we will finish the quilt we have been making for our retiring principal. I know she doesn't read this blog, at least I think she doesn't. Anyway, this project required the complete participation of the entire school body. I am so hoping it is done today and we can give it to her at the close of school. I will have pictures upon completion.

And today I will start my new stained glass project for the art show to support LCS. It will definitely be different. But hopefully someone will like it. Pictures to come as well.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring and Motorcycles

Today was the first true day of spring, for today was the first day we had the bikes out. I've been riding for 5 years, but every year I have to take the first ride alone. Just to make sure that I remember the hand, foot, eye dance it takes to keep a bike upright.

It didn't take long, by the end of the driveway I knew I was all set for another season of riding. Still I took her out for a nice long ride through the neighborhood. As I turned back on to our street, up behind me came the man with our daughter riding shotgun. One quick beep, and I glanced over to see her smiling face at my shoulder.

We chauffeured the girls around. Their humming and singing. Me avoiding the two very close accidents where two people, on two different roads, and runs, pulled out at the last minute in front of me.

Still on the bike is the perfect way to spend a Sunday, after church of course.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I have been so off the 'net it isn't funny. And for me, right now, it's fine. I have a quilting project to finish, a dietary lifestyle to maintain, an art show/sale project to start and complete. I have children needing to be places. Food requiring a certain amount of preparation, and a husband who has grown accustomed to my face. I guess that is a good thing. There is laundry, the usual, and a house that could use with a bit of dusting. I did have a job to do, but I think I finished. Hopefully, that opportunity will come around again, and again.

I did get seeds planted in the garden on Mother's Day. That was also good. Now for a bit of warm weather to coax the embryos out of their little seedcoats.

I guess we all can be a bit like seeds. Needing a bit of water and warm to help in our growing process. Sometimes it takes a bit more along the lines of love. And then sometimes it takes a certain amount of being unplugged and unavailable to the outside world. Down time. Rest with relaxation, or not.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Holy Days on Week Days

My girls don't mind, (I almost typed love as the verb), Holy Days on week days. For on these days they get donuts for breakfast; donuts and hot chocolate. I know it is a bribe. I suspect they wouldn't be so bright eyed and bushy tailed without the promise of sugar, but it works. They are up, and ready for not only church but school.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

C'est Fini!

Finally, sans framing, The Daughter Flying A Kite In Fall panel is done. And I finished up a project for a friend, who had started the little otter for her sister years ago.

She had it all cut out. All I had to do was foil, solder, and put the face and finish on. Now on to the next project for the Haitian Project art show. I'm seriously thinking about taking over the sugar shack with stained glass work in the off seasons. It truly would be nice to see my dining room table more than Easter and Christmas.

To Write or Not To Write...

That is the question... Crazy days. Projects to be finished. Projects to be started. Meetings, classes, appointments. Broken flutes. Math quizzes and English AP exams. Can you spell busy. Sure you can: MOM.

And the weather is dastardly cold. I hate cold weather in the spring. Give me 70s and sunny, low humidity and long light into the evening. I'm not looking for much. Just to be warm and relaxed; every mother's dream.

Back to work. I have some computer screens that are amiss and I have to sort them out, and file a report. I do love my job, being a mom and everything else.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I am speechless, and I wish the paper was speechless as well. Yesterday there was a situation in town where a man felt so despondent that he threatened his own life. His young son called 911 and the police, of course, came and helped this poor soul get the help he needs. Of course, this was big news about the town. It happened in our neighborhood, sort of... well at least close by, as our children go to the same school.

But what got my dander up was the fact that this poor man's picture is on the front page of the local paper. I ask, hasn't this man and his family suffered enough without taking up kitchen table space in almost every home in the surrounding 5 town area? Given the fact the paper in available on the internet, isn't their home life disrupted enough without cluing in the rest of the world?

I wish it was common courtesy to take people's personal trauma into consideration before posting images and publishing information in the newspaper or online -- which is worse. I know this man's daughter. And even if I didn't know her, no child needs this kind of attention. No family needs this publicity.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Still basking in the Mother's Day goodness

What a day yesterday was. Relaxed, cooperation all around. Give and take, and helping hands. I think everyone had a good Mother's Day. So why can't everyday be like that? Yes, I am probably asking for too much here, but it seemed to work. Of course, I haven't looked into the cleaned bedrooms... it's probably best I don't. As kid clean is ever momma clean. I have a problem with trash left lying about the floor and clean clothes stacked on the bed, or used an extra pillow. Someday they will learn, or not. But at least when they hear themselves telling their own children, "Pick up the trash. Why isn't that in the waste can? Those are your clean clothes, not a pillow, blanket or bolster..." they will hear my voice whispering in their ear.

And I won't be such an old ogre after all.

Hope you all had a great Mother's Day, mother or not.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

This was the best Mother's Day ever. I got help with the laundry. Help with the gardening. And help with the dishes. I don't need diamonds, (okay ... I still like them, but I don't need them.), vacations, fancy presents and such. I don't need for someone to take over my mommy jobs. But to help me, that goes a long way. And it is so refreshing.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Still Here...

Life has been very busy lately. I have a new but temporary job, that I absolutely love. It's good to be back in the work saddle again, if only for a few weeks. Yes, life is very busy and crazy when I work. Nothing is allowed to fall off my plate. Things just get squished together. Well, I haven't been to a banjo lesson while I have been working, so I guess that feel off. BUt the laundry, food shopping, dishes, kids, everything is still front and center. All good.

I finished my second felted bag. Did I post about that? Probably... And I am now back to my sweater. It will take me a good longtime to finish this project, but I need a steady go to relaxing knit I can turn to.

So what are you doing this Mother's Day? Sorry to say, I am being selfish and staying home, ie not visiting my own mother. I might garden, as the garden is not in yet. Or I might finish up the Shack laundry, which is still in the back of my car. Out of sight, out of mind. There is church, studying for an AP English exam, and cooking... Yes cooking.

Happy Mother's Day to all.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


We all have heard the term Hummer. And when we hear that term we generally think of an oversized SUV. Well this morning I was reminded of another hummer; actually I have two of them.

And that hummer would be my little ones, who hum when they are content. This morning while I was shoveling laundry against the tide of time, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming and doing everything else possible to get the house picked up enough so the Parish Activities Committee could meet here tonight, the two of them were humming.

While I was getting my aerobic workout sans treadmill, the two of them were in their own little worlds, drawing reading, eating breakfast and humming. I smiled.

I love having the little one on the back of my motorcycle. While up upon her throne she hums as I carry her down the road or around the corner. We never go far. She is too light for a long trip or fast roads. She is better than a radio, and more calming than prozac -- when she hums.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

When a door closes...

A window is opened. Isn't that always the case.

This weekend, due to our change of plans, we will be able to put flags on the graves of soldiers in our town's cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day. We helped out last year and it was very moving and meaningful. A small gesture that in no way equals what our troops did and continue to do for us.

I am glad we will be available to help with this worthy cause.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day, a day for moms. A day for moms to be a queen, rest, relax, forget the grind.

Well, this Mother's Day I was looking forward to a respite with work. The operative word in that sentence is was. For weeks I have been looking forward to waking up by the shores of a pond, in a shack that is ours, well ours and the banks. I had cleared the family calendar, no late Friday afternoon meetings. We were leaving town for the weekend. But reality hit with 5 words.

"Do I have a meet?"

No was my initial response. It's Mother's Day weekend. Who would have a track meet this weekend? Well there is a meet, the Coaches Invitational.

"It's important," the track star added.

"I know. Let's think about this and talk about it later."

Later was in two minutes. A mother's decision, we will stay in town. Still, this mom is having a tough time. I was so looking forward to setting mouse traps.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Another Felted Bag

This one is smaller than the first, and felted a bit more. I am amazed at how much felting shrinks a knitted item. Of course I have inadvertently felted sweaters and hats... in the past, so it shouldn't be surprising, but it is.

They are out for the evening

As I watched my daughter getting ready for the Cotillion it dawned on me that every year, every woman should have her hair put up. And then go out for a fancy dinner with that someone special.

Green UP Day

Today is Green Up Day. We will be heading out to our neighborhood elementary school to pitch in and clean up.