Monday, June 30, 2014

A visit and memorabilia

This is what my living room looked like
after my brother, sister-in-law, and I
went through boxes of Dad's and Mom's stuff ----
They took a minuscule amount back to Colorado
with them,
including some of Dad's sermons.
I have empty boxes
that I am going to use to help me  organize this into:
Pictures of my kids and grandkids -
Pictures of  dad, mom, the brothers, and me - 
Sermons to give to the kids -
Pictures and written stuff of Dad's and Mom's
Stuff having to do with his WWII experience -
Throw out - 

I've started but need to get much further today.
I ended up really getting into the movie 
The Life of Pi
and I didn't want to look away from it.
(I thought I'd sort and watch a movie
at the same time. Ha! Ha!)

 Here is my sister-in-law Cindy and my brother David
We spent a huge chunk of the day this past Saturday the 28th
at the house going through stuff
and talking and catching up with each other.

I kept lunch simple:  ordered subs from Subway.
My husband went in and got them.
I added a fruit salad and chips.
There were cake and cookies for dessert

We went out to dinner at a place I had never been,
but Mike had.
It's called Food with Jane after her catering company.
It's a small, but dressed-up restaurant
with excellent food.

It was a wonderful day.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Importance of fairy tales and bedtime stories

 Fairy tales in childhood 
are stepping stones
 throughout life,
 leading the way
 through trouble and trial. 
The value of fairy tales
 lies not in a brief literary escape
 from reality,
 but in the gift of hope 
that goodness truly is more powerful 
than evil 
and that even the darkest reality
 can lead to a Happily Ever After. 
Do not take that gift of hope lightly.
 It has the power to conquer despair 
in the midst of sorrow, 
to light the darkness in the valleys of life,
 to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. 
Hope is what gives life to dreams, 
making the fairy tale the reality. —L.R. Knost

Me reading to my granddaughter Addison
on Christmas day.
She is now seven.

 I will defend the importance of bedtime stories
 to my last gasp. —JK Rowling

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: Lost

He was my rock.
Oh, God was, of course,
but in human terms,
it was my father.
I had a rock-solid husband
for whom I have been blessed
 and continue to be.

But Dad was my first
and always rock.
I knew I'd take it extremely hard 
when the time came for him to pass on
and be with Mom.

But even I underestimated
the excruciating pain
I experienced.

I was lost.
I wondered around blindly
for a long while.
Eventually I got my bearings somewhat,
but I still felt lost

I realized that he had also been my church
as he was a Methodist preacher
and the pastor 
I held above all others.

I didn't have a church (I gave up church
after a harsh betrayal by a close Christian friend
and my Christian husband)
and that bothered him tremendously.
I didn't understand why I needed one---
that is, until I lost my rock.

It's been seven years
and I am finally able to go through the photos
and sermons and misc.

I also joined a church;
it had been 'his' years ago
when I was growing up.

I'm back living in that small town now,
so once again that church is my church.
He designed the podium and chairs,
so it's easy to picture him  there.
My rock. . . I didn't lose him;
he's just watching over me from a distance.
The Cliffs of Moor in Ireland
where my husband and I celebrated
 turning 50 together.

I'm joining Five-Minute Friday.

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Corner View: Gift

I have a blogger friend
who has been a special blessing to me.
Last year after I really liked some Ted Koontz
poems she put on her web site,
Nance started sending me postcards
with poems of his on them.
They were wonderful gifts of poetry
 and friendship
winging their way 
from Oregon
to Ohio.

For more views on gifts,
head over to Francesca's.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A new head wrap and more "Where I'm From" poetry

 I got a head wrap (what I call it).
 It's a Buff from the Deluth online catalog.
I wear it to cover my ears when I am working outside.
Ever since I watched a certain Twilight Zone episode,
I go a little crazy if something buzzes my ears.

There are many ways  you can wear it,
but I choose the head band look.
I only cover my head with it
when my hair is already a mess.

The blue illustrations 
are the different ways you can wear the buff.

It is a long stretchy tube.
I wasn't sure whether I would like it,
but I do!

There is a format poem
titled "Where I'm From."
that I teach every year
at the end.
There is a lesson plan
complete with samples,
and directions.

Normally on a format poem,
they have to follow the directions
However, with this one
I loosened up.
I just wanted to get them to write
about their lives, homes, families, etc.

Only two boys could not write one,
but I simply asked questions
like "Do you like to hunt?
Do you hunt on your own land?
Who's the cook in the family?
What are  your favorites from that cook?
How about Grandma's cooking?"
and so on.

Five of my six classes wrote it --
both general and advanced.
The examples here 
are from my two freshmen general English students.
Hope you enjoy them!

The above is from a rough-looking
and tough-acting boy
with a heart of gold
who always did poorly in English.
He took great pride is his As and Bs
in my class.

He and I didn't start off well,
but we came to an understanding 
and met each other halfway.
On the last day, he told me that he would miss me.
And that's why I teach.

The one above is one I helped create with my questions.
The boy has a learning disability.
He did not have to write 15 lines.

I had two bulletin boards full
of these poems.
The students enjoyed reading each other's poems.
I told them to put their names on the back
for anonymity.
Not all complied as usual.

There were a total of 108 poems.
I took off for grammar mistakes,
because I proof-read the rough drafts
before they were permitted to type
the final ones.

Monday, June 23, 2014

work day,

Towards the end of May,
our high school had a work day
on a Friday.
The day still counted,
but there were no classes.
Each teacher was assigned a group of students
and given a job.

Most of my group were wonderful junior girls
 I had in class.
The lone senior 
was a fun, sweet girl I had always enjoyed.
So I was happy with my group
and they seemed happy with me.

 Our job was to mulch around the school.
 We first  pulled out the weeds.
My girls got right to it, digging out the weeds
with their hands
and hauling off rocks to dump elsewhere.
The area looked so much better when they were done weeding
and we hadn't yet added the mulch !

  Some jobs assigned to other groups:
1. cleaning out a huge shed
2. picking up trash
3. giving the outside basketball court
a fresh coat of paint
4. traveling by bus to a near-by village
and picking up trash there
5. boy students washing cars at a local car dealership
(no girls in wet t-shirts!)
6. repainting lines on the parking lot 
at a local grocery store
7. trimming shrubs at a local business

These are not all of them,
but enough to give  you an idea
of how extensive the outreach was.

The principal had contacted
businesses that donated to our school
throughout the year
 and expressed the desire to give back.
Several responded.

It was a great day.
Some of us were skeptical,
me being one,
 but we were happily proven wrong
about some concerns we had.

Everyone was give a t-shirt.
Female students and teachers
laughingly commented,
"You can tell a man ordered these---
a woman would never order white!"
(for several reasons)
They are listening to the superintendent
give them a pep talk.

Some of my girls are shown eliminating weeds.

Two boys came over to help 
with one climbing up into the truck.
They were a big help.

This girl was freshening the paint on the court.

I'll sign off 
with a "Where I am From"
one of my students wrote.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Nature: Suppertime and Five-Minute Friday: Release

This shows off his head as he peers in at his supper.

Partaking of the Seed.
Apparently he has company flying in.

Begin: For eight years I lived in a very small bungalow 
on a horrendously busy and dangerous highway.
I had two indoor cats
and no dogs.

 The set-up was such that I could not feed birds
without difficulty and hassle.

Now we live in a good -sized farm house
on eight acres outside of our small town.
No more screeching of semi-truck brakes.
No more falling asleep to constant traffic sounds
( you do get used to after awhile.)

We were in the house three months 
when we got our Siberian Husky, Ginger.

 However, we began feeding the birds immediately.
The  previous owners left behind a bird feeder.
We now have 7 feeders of various kinds.
My daily ritual is to fill the feeders and hang them out.
Then I spread corn on the outskirts 
of the yard
for our lone deer(we had nine in the winter) 
and a peace offering to our neighbor the raccoon.

At night I get the feeders and once more spread corn
and seeds.

I am calmer.
Reminds me of a short story 
of a woman who felt responsible for 'her' birds
and only did brief visits to her sister,
so her birds would not wonder where she was.

I'm not to that point and don't plan on getting to that extreme.
Yet one significant discovery
is how animals and birds calm me.
They soothe me.

They become somewhat friends even,
like the deer that watches me distribute 
the corn and does not bolt from the yard.

An important theme in my story 
is how I am a calmer, nicer, friendlier 
person in general
because I tend to the birds, deer, raccoon,
and our cats and dog.
I release the stress and tension of my job
and other responsibilities
through tending for "God's creatures."

For more on release, please visit Five-Minute Friday.

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, June 19, 2014

unique roof and rooflines

Barnesville is on the historic register 
as a Victorian Village.
It is known for its beautiful old homes
and churches.

I thought I would spotlight
the Presbyterian church
  As you can see, it is fairly unique.
Those are red tiles on the roof and stone in the chimney.

Here is a  photo of the parsonage next to it.
This is the home provided for the 'parson' or preacher.
Note the tower.

This is taken from a good distance away 
You can see the Presbyterian church on the right.
The First United Methodist Church can be partially seen on the left.
I don't have a good photo of its roof.
It is bigger than its neighbor
and it's difficult to get a good roof shot
that shows all or almost all of the roof line.

Hope you're having a good week!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Corner View: one year ago; five years ago

I have shown some of these photos before,
but am repeating them because they illustrate
today's corner view's theme/topic.

Almost a year ago we were packing to move from the tiny bungalow
smack dab on a busy highway/town street
to the farm house on eight acres outside of our small town.

 Five years ago, we were boxing up things to take  up to our small town. I had  been living
there by myself for seven years.  Mike retired from his city job and was finally moving up to be with
me.  We had to leave most of the furniture behind because we were selling the house.
We didn't need the furniture until we moved into a bigger house
and it was three years before that happened.
We have been in the farm house for almost a year.

Almost five years ago, we had our last dinner together with old friends 
in Cincinnati.
We still talk to them and they have been up to visit,
but we have also made new friends and renewed friendships here.

Almost a year ago, we settled into our farm house.
George and Mike resting in our new home.

There are no heat vents in the kitchen,
so we have a Vermont stove.
Scruffy loved curling up beside it 
in those bitter cold days we had 
this past winter.

It will be a year in November 
since we got Ginger from a husky rescue.
She is one and a half
and is a Husky red and white.
She has adapted well to our family
and we all love her.
(Even the cats!)
Almost a year ago, we got a bedroom
 in which we could walk around the bed.

Almost a year ago, Scruffy and George discovered
that the outside world is wonderful!

For more corner views,
head on over to Francesca's.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Boating and tubing with the kids and an adorable duo

We went boating with my son and his three kids.
He has his boat docked at Seneca Lake Marina.
We had the Father's Day buffet at the marina restaurant first,
then headed out on the water.

Peyton is 11 and is the only one of the three who likes to tube.

Addison and Grandpa Mike

Mike, Peyton, and Doug putting the tube up and the rope away.

The three 'munchkins': Peyton, Dillon, and Addison

We had a great day.
We went to the lake beach and the kids tried out the beach's
new floating, blown up obstacle course.
I had to go in the water to see them,
so I don't have pics.

I'll sign off with this adorable duo.
I hope you have a great week!