Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blue Skies Leave and Snow Begins

THE WEATHER is entirely too changeable and caught everyone in Oregon (even the weathermen) off guard. On Tuesday, one minute I was walking over frozen ground with my eyes downward looking for my missing earring. The next I was looking up to see if what I thought I saw was really snow coming down!
Little tiny white flakes gradually turned bigger and bigger -- soft, floaty and steady. I was at work as I watched my white car become covered with a thicker and thicker layer of white stuff.
The boss said "Run for it if you want." And laugh if you must, but in our part of Oregon the snow doesn't usually amount to much, so we are never prepared. But in less than an hour and a half we had 4 inches. It was a long slow drive home for many people and some never got there by car but had to abandon their vehicles and walk.
The Mister did a couple of 180's on the way home in our rear-wheel drive Mazda - one on the freeway! I was luckier to be driving the front-wheel drive Toyota. We were ever so glad to see one another home safe and sound.
Today he drove me to work in his four-wheel drive truck since our side streets were really slick with slush. It was still slippery going until we got to the main streets. When he picked me up at work tonight we were almost home when a man driving a meat truck with a bad alternator flagged him down to give him a jump with cables. While the Mister played the good Samaritan I got this picture of our second blue moon. Such a fluke it showed up at all.
One more day of 2009 and then we are on to another year of good and bad, laughing and crying, testing our faith and asking more of our hearts, minds and spirits, I'm sure. There never seems to be a lack of testing our fortitude, but I am sure we are up to it - femminismo
p.s. One more day to make a charitable donation to help on April 15. If you can't give money, give of your time -- please and thank-you!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Blue Sky December Day

I'm blogging this through Picasa and I don't really know what will happen. Let's see, shall we? Today was too nice to eat lunch at my desk. I put on my scarf, coat and gloves and grabbed the camera to try it out on large and small subjects.
I've been retouching and collaging a group of photos in Picasa and having fun. (Just generally wasting time.) I loved these fat, fat birds perched in this tree. They weren't moving because of me. They knew I was far enough away and they were high enough, I guess. Also the sun was radiantly warm and who would leave this kind of perch until they absolutely had to?
The only drawback to my walk was I lost an earring. I'll have to go back tomorrow and retrace my steps. Wish me luck - femminismo
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Day Dawns

ANOTHER new day, another new camera.
This time it's a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. I think I will like it better, especially after I read the manual.
I stepped outside this morning to take this picture as the sun rose higher in the cold winter sky and didn't even notice the flock of geese in the upper left-hand corner. That would have been a good test of the zoom lens. Well, one thing at a time, I guess.
Tonight is a family night again and the bathroom sink is clean and a cake is frosted. Is this a beginning or what? - femminismo (more later)

Friday, December 25, 2009

All is Bright ... Cold and Bright

THE DAY dawned cold and clear, and although there was no new bicycle left under the tree by the Mystery Man in Red, a type-2 if I ever saw one, there was a beautiful sunrise and sunshine all day long.
Last night, Christmas Eve, my family came over for a visit and gift opening and it was wonderful. All three of my children were there and four granddaughters. Two sisters and two brothers. The Mister kept the fire going and served up the ham. We had sweet potatoes that were finished off (glory be!) and an "Olive Garden" salad, green beans and cubed squash cooked together in "buttttterrrrr," as Julia Child would say. (The Mister did an impressive impression of her rhapsodizing on the cubed dairy product when we were alone earlier in the day, but could not be coaxed to duplicate his performance for company that evening!)
One of the best presents I got was the company of Jim and Kay, friends for a long time. They live in Montana now. My brain was offline and my hands were busy with food so I forgot to take a picture of us all together. It was Kay's birthday Dec. 24th and it's the first time I remember the two of us being together for it.
Today my sister visited and we had two cups of tea, treats our other sister baked with her own two hands, and then we went for a walk in the sunshine. We could not help remembering our beloved mother, who loved the holidays and family so. We also could not help shedding a few tears, missing her physical presence. We talked about Italy! A 12-day cruise down the coast of Italy - the Amalfi Coast! - and then to Venice and Rome. Oh, this would so be the gift of a lifetime! Must work on this, and work hard.
I leave you with this photo from our neighborhood. We live on the most lit up street in town, I think - femminismo

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do You See What I See?

ALL around us, lights burn through the dark to light up the darkness of winter.
People seem more cheerful and helpful. They think of others. They are full of good wishes. People I let cut in through traffic clogged streets I send on with a "Merry Christmas," since this is my gift to them: letting them in ahead of me.
I did a lot of shopping today and was stuck in one store for quite a while searching through all the wonders for "the perfect thing."
Now to wrap them and prepare food for tomorrow night's visit with family.
I pray you are warm, safe and happy tonight - femminismo
-- Christmas On McCombe's Farm
A silhouetted boy, Michael McCombe, holds lit colored lights that he's about to string on a roadside tree to decorate for Christmas. Location: Riverhead, NY, US; taken in December 1971 by photographer Leonard McCombe. From Life magazine photo archives hosted by Google.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Half Full ... or Half Empty?

DECEMBER 21 and welcome to winter everyone. On this 2009 solstice night the evening was calm and cool. Stars were glittering earlier, when I left work at 5 p.m., with the partial moon rising with a star (planet) at its tail.
I had a hair appointment, and on the way home at 9 p.m. I saw the orange rind of the moon was resting almost on its side - no more balancing on its tippy-point.
Is the cup half full? Is it half empty? I wish I knew. All I know is there is something left and that's better than nothing - femminismo
p.s. Go here for more on the moon (blue moon this month) and the partial eclipse on the 31st.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Something Needs to Happen ... .

USUALLY, I start with a blog post with words and then find the images. This weekend has been a time of contemplation and frustration and all sorts of things. I don't know if it has something to do with the holidays - Thanksgiving and now Christmas and New Years coming up - but the gradual sense of drifting along and not being content with that is welling up around my ears making it difficult to hear my own thoughts.
Last night we attended a Christmas party and birthday combined. It was a very nice time and I enjoyed myself, even though I ended up with a magazine on the couch at 10:30 p.m. waiting until the Mister wanted to go home, which turned out to be after midnight. Then someone sat down next to me ... someone quite drunk. He proceeded to ask me questions about the "running" shoes I wore and I had to laugh. I had danced in them earlier, but running? With my knees? Not something I want to contemplate. Then he asked if I exercised. Well, yes, I do yoga.
"There you go," he said. "That's exercise."
He wouldn't let me go back to my magazine however. He then told me how he had observed me over the evening and I seemed so calm and content. "I've been admiring that," he said. "The way you just seemed so content on enjoying yourself."
There was more, but the thing about it was that listening to an inebriated person tell you about yourself is sort of like of eavesdropping on a brain thinking. You wonder what people think about you but you don't really want to know. With alcohol, the usual filters no longer apply and you find out things you could maybe live without.
Things got a little uncomfortable for me finally and I got up, saying I wanted to see if there was some coffee in the kitchen. Shortly after that he left with a woman I assumed was the one he had told me about; the one who had opened up his life "to a whole new way of thinking." (Something like that anyway.)
So why am I writing about this? Last night I was trying to snap out of my artless, uninspired funk, and slow down my brain which has been divided into several different sections to handle my life lately. The silliest things have happened: I almost started a fire in the microwave at work, I made a cake in a springform pan and put the pan together upside down and the batter oozed out in all directions when I picked it up, the computer got a virus and will only go to a Spanish Web site advertising Viagra, I had to dump an entire knitting project because the yarn I used made the scarf feel like a Brillo pad against the neck. All this garbage, so I decided to have fun last night and "be cool" with "things" and this guy tells me I'm looking so content.
Needless to say I don't feel that way. I feel like the most un-content person on the face of the earth. I can feel the paintbrush, writing instrument, drawing pencil in my hand. Why can't I pick one up?!@ I need an assignment - femminismo
p.s. I watched "Ossessione" (Obsession), an Italian film made in 1943. It had some lovely, tender shots; tense moments; gorgeous people; great Italian street scenes (Ancona, Marche, Italy) worth the rental by themselves; and a dramatic soundtrack. I gather the film is being magically remastered. It would be well worth it. This film was remade in the U.S. as "The Postman Always Rings Twice." John Garfield & Lana Turner and Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December the Fifteenth ... already.

THE MAGIC of Christmas was creeping, creeping, creeeeeeping ever so slowly when I was a child. Years it seemed to take before the first of December finally gave way to the 21st, and then the 22nd, 23rd, and then after about another week, the 24th - Christmas Eve.
The magic of Christmas when you are an adult is that the time races, races, races! I think there is plenty of time for making treats, mailing cards, shopping for gifts. The reality is ever so different.
The Needs: I need to make fudge. I really need to! Don't need to eat it, but definitely need to make it. (Puts me in the mood for the holidays.)
I need to buy hazelnuts (known as filberts, here in Oregon) for a chocolate hazelnut torte for Christmas Eve dinner. And a special butterflied beef roast to stuff with elegant figs cooked in port. (And I need some port!)
I predict we will all need more figs as time passes for salads, jam and sandwiches. (Figs are in.)
What else do I need to do before the holidays? Finish knitting a scarf. Buy my sister a present. Buy my son a present. The Mister? What does he need? Or want?
I need to help others and expand my opportunities to give where I might and do what I can.
I need to get my artistic mojo going again and play with paper and paint and glue and other glittery stuff. I need to have more fun! Maybe I will paint the "studio" and see where that leads me. I really hope you are having a terrific December and the weather is passable - femminismo
p.s. Above is the pup at the top of our tree; an absolute angel!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Second Night of Hanukkah

HAPPY Hanukkah, everyone! We - the Mister and I - are lighting the Menorah candles at our house and I'm redecorating our Christmas tree. Freezing rain predicted for tonight and we've lost most of our plants in the sunroom. So sad, but this only means we can begin again next spring with brilliant, healthy new specimens.
Pictures from last December have lots and lots of snow in them. This year, so far, there have been blue skies. We awoke this morning to gray skies again and a different mood in the air. Resignation, I guess. That's what these candles, bright lights and warm fires are for, though. Get us through the winter that's not even officially here yet!
I think this second time I decorated the Christmas tree I did a much better job. Here's good old Santa Claus. I was wondering about a game with the granddaughters to count how many angels are on the tree. How many dragonflies can you find? Can you find two beady black eyes? How many snowflakes do you count? (Hands behind your backs and no digging through the tree branches, first!)
So many things I would like to do; so much time flying past! This story is an old one. Sorry to subject you to it once more. I have been thinking about the gelatin prints I did this summer and wondering if it isn't time to take them out and have a look. Some of them might make great wrapping paper. Waste not, want not.
I hope your days are going well, with good food, a sturdy roof over your head, good health and warm toes at night. Please remember those who do not have those luxuries, and if you have the money, donate. If you don't have the money and can make the time, volunteer to help those less fortunate - femminismo

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Eunice & Ezra

ART SPARKER is so creative. She makes me feel like a shlump!
She put out an Illustration Friday challenge and several have taken her up on this. I am one lowly Photoshop newbie, with barely enough knowledge to fill a thimble, but that's how I did my illustration. Here are Eunice & Ezra.
The original photo, and her manipulated drawing, can be found at her blog here.
Don't you just love the linked illustration - ala Maurice Sendak? Such ingenious people. Art Sparker is great at putting her drawings in imaginative places. She also interested me in watching "The Third Man" again, one of the best movies ever made, I think (she said humbly).
Well, I am off to redecorate the Christmas tree. It still looks tippy, so we will see how things turn out this time around. I may secretly tie it to the wall - femminismo

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What a Way to Start the Day

IT WAS 4:30 a.m. and my eyes crossed as I gazed at the red numbers on the alarm clock. Fortunately I fell back asleep for a while until something woke me again. I opened my eyes and knew I must have gone blind while sleeping!! The room was totally dark! No glowing red numbers on the bedside table and none across the room on the dresser clock. Wait! There was a faint glow from the bathroom window.
It was then I realized the electricity had gone off. What a pain. The third time in two months. The Mister woke up and asked what was going on. Nothing, I said. The electricity's off. We discussed the last time we had seen the time on an alarm clock, I asked where his cell phone was and he said "Oh, it can't be too late. It's still really dark outside."
Well, since I wake up at 6:30 a.m. each day and he continues to stay in bed, since he's retired now, I didn't have the option of going back to sleep and waking up at 9 or 10. Then I heard a distinctive noise from somewhere at the other end of the house.
"(expletive deleted)! The Christmas tree fell over!" I exclaimed.
"No," the Mister said. (The tree above is the Grand fir the Mister bought for me.)
But it was - yes. With a small flashlight in hand we shuffled around the tree kicking aside ornaments in the dark. The door to the garage was close by and the Mister, in bare feet on concrete, went out to look for candles and matches as I shone the flashlight on him. (It was around 10 degrees outside this morning.)
"Oh, I knew it, I said. I should have taken all the decorations off last night. I saw it was wobbly and pitching forward. But I didn't listen to my intuition."
Then all we could do was laugh as we realized how poorly prepared we were for an emergency situation: candles and matches should have been closer by and we should have had a bigger flashlight.
I wondered which ornaments were broken but there was little we could do for the time being. We propped the tree up with a small stepladder, put a towel down to sop up the water and went back to bed - the only warm spot in the house. Laughing still, the Mister asked, "Do you think it was the dragonfly I bought you that tipped the whole thing over?"
This pin is a joke with us. Anyone who knows my husband would never take him for the type who orders things from those television jewelry shows. (It doesn't involve a mall and live salespeople so it worked for him.) I adore dragonflies and have lots of dragonfly jewelry - rings, earrings, pins - and so he wanted to order me one. It was very flash, very glittery, very large. Well, here it is, above. (Along with a "priceless" Beanie doggie that was sitting under the tree before the watery deluge.) The pin really needed someone larger to carry it off sufficiently, so I started decorating the tree with it each year. And it was on the side of the tree that pitched over. Hmm.
Anyway, this morning I took ornaments off the tree and perhaps Thursday, tomorrow night, will have a chance to redecorate it. And it was mostly replaceable objects that got broken. The one-of-a-kind items - including the dragonfly pin - seemed to make it through just fine - femminismo

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Posting to Compare Cameras

TODAY I just want to post some photos from around the house to compare my old camera, a 5 megapixel Gateway, with a 12 megapixel Nikon.
It's been difficult getting used to a new camera. I think I already mentioned how small it is and whenever I put my finger on the shutter release I hit another larger button that controls a lot of optional settings. I have to stop the picture taking and undo those options before I can go on.
Small is a good thing in that I want something handy to carry in my pocket or purse. Quality of photos is something important also, but because I generally use my photos for blogging and don't aim to become a professional "shooter" I want to see how they look on the blog.
So here goes. Photos of Y2K, the year 2000 Crash gimmick someone gave me. He still hangs around the house, on the dining room table, and when we read things like ... well, certain people giving "birther" opinions ... then we drop Y2K on the table and it sounds like breaking glass. And the stained glass hanging in the window. Excuse the dirty windows. The stained glass is beautiful, though. My sister made it for my mother and she gave it to me, although I often wonder if it doesn't deserve to be in my sister's home.
Let the judging begin. The photos, when clicked on and opened, show the name with the camera used in the title - femminismo
p.s. It's sunshining like crazy outside.
p.p.s. The photos were taken with approximately the same care and conditions.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Life Is Beautiful!

I'VE been going a little crazy, thinking about *TIME* recently. There isn't nearly enough of it and it goes by much too quickly. No wonder men searched for the Fountain of Youth. Even when they didn't have blogging to waste ... errrr... *stimulate* their hours, time still went by too quickly back then.
It has been cold with the full moon and clear skies here in our part of Oregon. I have been using my new camera a bit more, trying not to hit the wrong buttons on the small metal contraption. I've still resisted reading the manual! (shame on me)
Wednesday night I talked the Mister into going to see "Julie & Julia" with me and we howled during parts of it. Meryl Streep is extraordinary. Is there anything she can not do?
Note: the woman in this photo is the "real deal."
I got some shots of the moon on Wednesday (above), hanging in the trees, and one this morning as it set in the western sky. Cold and frosty, there was just enough moisture in the air to frost the leaves with what looked like fine, fine sugar.
Today I reconnected with cousins and aunts and uncles as we marked the loss of a mother, sister and aunt - my Aunt Dorothy - at a memorial service. The minister said a lot of good things and Aunt Dot's daughter spoke about her. I will always remember her laugh and the way she loved to entertain and feed people and the joy she took in the life she had.
Someone made those no-cook oatmeal and chocolate drop goodies for the reception afterward. (You cook a chocolate fudge mixture, stir in uncooked oatmeal and drop them by spoonfuls onto a pan.) Those made several of us feel like small children again, since most of our mothers always made them, so maybe there is a Fountain of Youth! Or at least a pan of youth.
On the way home from the memorial service, the sun was setting. It was truly glorious. It gives you a good feeling about tomorrow when you see something as rich and beautiful as a golden sky with triumphant beams shining down. It makes you think perhaps we are destined to end our time upstairs in the heavenly condos, wearing white robes and eating bon bons all day and not gaining an ounce! But make those bon bons chocolate oatmeal drops for me, please - femminismo

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Drum roll, please, as December begins ........

AVERT your eyes, ye vegetarians!
On Sunday we visited our friends Jim and Carol who barbecued a turkey. It was our second Thanksgiving feast, and a very nice dinner. Driving to their house is always "going home" to me, since they live in the small town where I grew up. I still feel, sometimes, that I could drive that road with my eyes closed.
ABOUT time to post something, letting you know I'm still alive. Today it was sunny in our part of Oregon, even though a little brisk. I walked to the office supply shop to get some glossy brochure paper to try on the color copier at work. At least it gave me a purpose, and that is what I need when I walk. (Although I just heard on a television program - about the brain - that regular aerobic exercise promotes the health of, or growth of, brain synapses, so I guess I will use the "old brain not falling apart" as another good reason to walk.)
The grounds next door to our office make up a wonderful "campus" and that is where my gorgeous tree is, the one I am watching now through spring. There are also roses still blooming - pink, white and yellow. Above is the building where I used to work before we moved. I like the plants they've installed in the gardens here. They are jammed in everywhere - daisies, evergreens, magnolias, cedars, hollyhocks - it's all good!
I am trying out a new camera, too. I got it on Black Friday and I'm trying to fall in love with it. It's tiny and my hands aren't very big but I seem to hit the wrong buttons and dials sometimes. The strap is always around my wrist so I don't drop the camera.
And this last picture is very relevant today, I suppose. This particular flag has always fascinated me with its beauty and its pull on my emotions. As a little girl in the classroom, honoring it with my hand on my heart and the words of the pledge on my lips, and today trying to honor it by being the best citizen I can be. Tonight, to hear the President tell the nation that we must continue sending troops (30,000) to Afghanistan to soothe this troubled spot of the world that threatens us - and everyone - tonight, it was difficult. The flag looked beautiful this afternoon, as you can tell, with the wind blowing from the north. There is little doubt it is worth defending. However, I never wanted this particular fight to start. Torn emotionally and spiritually, I feel sad tonight. Isn't there a better way? Will this planet ever be big enough for everyone? Won't we ever desire peace and brotherhood more than war? When will feeding the poor and healing the sick take precedence? - femminismo
p.s. I am a great aunt again. The baby girl we prayed for was born Nov. 29. Welcome, Brayden.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

HEY, it's another day for feasting and thanking.
We are so lucky to be with friends, family (not mutually exclusive, either, which is a real blessing) and living in the United States of America.
Join with me in thanking someone today for being in your life - that special person who's made a real difference.
Enjoy the day and the pie - femminismo
p.s. There's today's prayer on BlessWhatThereIs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rethinking and Reinventing ... a Life.

NANOWRIMO is eating my soul. Chores are eating my soul. If you read this post you will be able to see someone adding words to their NaNoWriMo storyline and how dirty it all is. I am not stopping for anything. Even paragraphs, so good luck on following my thoughts. I told the Mister this morning - or suggested to him - that we stop doing everything. I don't want to wash clothes any more or change the bed or answer the telephone or go to work or ... just don't want to do anything.
(Oops! A paragraph.) I feel tired out and used up and washed out. I can't take on one more project in November and yet I have signed up for NaNoWriMo and it's not getting done. I did it in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and I'm wondering if I really need 50,000 more words of something I don't do anything with. Don't worry. I am not truly depressed, but just tired of fulfilling chores that require me to be somewhere else and not working with my hands at doing something beautiful (to me anyway). Something beautiful would involve paint and scissors and glue and glitter and more images clipped from here and there. Will the police come to the door if I don't finish 50,000 words? No, of course not. So I may opt out this year and just give myself a break. I think it would be a big, big relief. I have been getting my e-mail pep talks "You can do it!" type of thing. "I've been there, and we find out we can do more than we think we can." Etc, etc.
I know that and I think I'm doing that every single day anyway. I am learning Dreamweaver and on Friday I updated our company Web site, so there is no lack of learning new stuff. There is also the new copy machine at work that involves printing, stapling, folding, bypass trays, Tray 1, Tray 2, Tray 3 and thick 2 paper, thick 3 - Yikes! Learning, learning, learning, and everything takes three times longer.
Well, I have blathered on long enough. If you have made it this far, you will know I'm feeling frustrated and tired and overworked. I no longer wish to peer into the computer screen for more than 8 hours. I want a break. I want to work with my hands on actual physical objects. So this November I declare myself free, free, free to do what I want (within limits, of course) - femminismo
p.s. Needless to say, I still require more practice with Photoshop!
p.p.s. YES, it did feel GOOD to draw my dream about stabbing the copier!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's a NaNoWriMo Day!

I WROTE 1,678 word at lunch to add to my total at the left under NaNoWriMo.
Yes, indeed, I am so proud of myself.
There will be more to this post later. Right now I am due back from lunch at work.
Adios until this evening.

WELL, I didn't get back to post anything momentous. However, on Monday, a super windy day in Oregon, I got outside in the midst of all of it and took a picture of "my tree." (I'm watching over it, documenting it this winter and spring.) You can see the wind bending the very top.
AND, NaNoWriMo, Candace said, is an especially cruel mistress this year - femminismo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rewarding Evening ...

VALLEY ART was ablaze with talented artists' work and talented volunteers on Friday the Thirteenth when "Expect the Unexpected" was staged in the gallery - the 43rd annual artist event.
I fell deeply and unexpectedly in love with a watercolor by Jan Su Hirst, titled "Adonis." And in love with many more things too - some of which I will actually have to give away as Christmas gifts.
The annual artist event is always blessed with food "treasures" from the members of the gallery's association, and this makes it a very special night. Here is my choice of just some of the delights from the hors d'oeuvre table. (The plate would only hold so much in one trip.)
On Saturday I volunteered at the Forest Grove Book Sale and my goodness! The rooms were very busy with folks searching for good deals on good reads. And Saturday was the last day of the sale. Those who helped clean up - and they were all ages, as you can see in the last photo - got a good deal on a FREE bag of books. (Yes, I helped clean up. Very worth it!)
I even did some gift shopping. It was my brother's birthday last week and I got him an absolutely first rate "gag gift" book. I'm sure with more searching I might have found something even better, but waiting until the last minute isn't very reliable.
Now I must quit blogging and get to writing on NaNoWriMo. I know I'm missing a lot of great football - I can hear it from the other room - but I still can't be two people at once - femminismo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Bobbie!

It's Bobbie's birthday. Visit his insect blog today. Force your home schooled children to read his stories. They will laugh themselves silly. These are stories about the insects Bobby tormented throughout his youth.
Well, perhaps "tormented" is really too strong a word for a boy/man with a heart made from marshmallow fluff - femminismo (proud sister)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog!

I'M WITH DOROTHY. There's no place like home ... even if it takes a while to get used to it again.
It is good to travel and be exposed to other viewpoints and actually experience from high above how great and wide our part of the world is. Flying over Lake Erie - seeing just a bit above its surface the cloud formations that looked like some kind of fancifully concocted foamy dessert topping- was awesome. You wonder how many of the Native People, who once lived on Lake Erie's shores, believed it had no end. To them it would have seemed as wide as the ocean to us.
The plane was so full on the way from Salt Lake City (first stop) to Detroit that we were encouraged to check carry-on baggage at the flight deck. (Or they were going to start taking it away from us!) So I gave up one bag not remembering that Scar, my body guard for the trip, was in that bag. With the chocolate!!
I quickly found my bag in Detroit at the luggage carousel and guess whose little head was sticking up? Yes, Scar. Sent with me by the Mister and mistreated by me in the worst way. Scar had gotten hungry along the way and got into the chocolate. What a tummy ache he had. Fortunately there was a doctor in our group who administered an enema (oh, poor Scar!) and he was soon feeling better. Scar, not the doctor.
The Model Student Assistance Program coordinators' meeting I attended got me all fired up to go back to work and sign up new Oregon teachers to attend the Model Student seminars to get the help they need to improve children's lives. The next three-day seminar for teachers in Oregon is in March 2010. If you know an Oregon teacher, have them contact me. They will learn to set up a core team within their school to learn to identify and help at-risk students. (Many schools already have their own programs, and this one doesn't take the place, but gives additional support.)
Meanwhile, when all the meeting attendees went out to dinner, I got another unbirthday celebration thanks to Earl W. He takes delight in "gifting" me with more and more birthdays. And it's OK with me as long as another year older isn't included in the deal. I got a delightful slice of tiramisu.
I had asked Mark Bernardin, a coordinator from Ohio, if he would do a magic trick for me. He has been doing magic since a visit to Disneyland when he was around 11 years old. He told me he had a card in his wallet and asked me to guess what it was. I was thinking the Ace of Spades. Then he said "Don't think of something easy. People are always guessing the Ace of Spades of the King of Diamonds."
I gasped, "I was thinking of the Ace of Spades!"
"Well, think of something harder he said."
So I thought about it and said, "OK, the seven of spades."
He wiggled the card from his wallet after I said this. It came out the six of spades. I was a little disappointed. I really wanted him to guess right.
He looked at me and said something like "Sometimes I come up a little short and I'm off a little." Then he flipped the card over and written on the back in black marking pen was what is in the picture: Off by one.
Well, it was a good productive time in Michigan, but I'm glad to be home. When I found Scar trying to use my BlackBerry to call home I knew he was missing Oregon too. Even though he had me and the queen size bed all to himself - femminismo

Friday, November 6, 2009

Great Day Today - Inspirational

THE conference I'm attending in Detroit, Mich., is for coordinators of the Model Student Assistance Program (I'm the coordinator in Oregon), offered free of charge to teachers, for identifying and helping children at-risk. The Masons of Oregon pay for the whole program - which includes professional seminar leaders - and teachers' lodging, meals and supplies.
Listening to the great work going on in the different states across America from other state coordinators, I have become inspired by the goals of these people to help teachers and, first and foremost, children.
But now I must get some sleep. It's 11 p.m. Eastern time, but back in Oregon it's much earlier. My little pea brain doesn't know what is going on. Talk to you soon and don't let me forget to tell you about Mark's magic trick - femminismo