Friday, March 26, 2010

Five Days in North Carolina (more)

and this is what I saw...trees budding and flowers surely Springs anew....

Five days in North Carolina

...five days in North Carolina and this is what I did:...ate cinnamon buns with Alexander every morning at Simple Kneads...drove a snazzy blue Chevy which took me here and there and everywhere...helped primp my sweet grandson in a Nana-knit vest for school pictures...patronized a local farm/dairy--Homeland Creamery...and loved and tried to support one tired, healing, fine daughter.

Life with family is beautiful and good...and filled with love. I am most blessed and most grateful...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Heading South

Tomorrow I head South to spend five days with my daughter, son-in-law, and my grandson. With the past week holding multiple evening commitments, the "Wonderful Wallaby" destined for Alexander is not completed. I have one sleeve, the trunk and the pouch of the sweater finished. A shower insight this morning shifted my paradigm from bringin a fully finished sweater to enjoying the opportunity to exactly fit this sweater to Alexander's growing body, instead of taking my knitting to Kohls to size it with side-by-side comparisons. Here are the parts, and here is the bag of yarn, both ready to go into my suitcase.

Also in my suitcase will be Barbara's birthday presents, not to be revealed at this time. 35 years ago today, our only daughter was born; her being has graced our lives every day since then. Happy Birthday to our Barbie.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daffodil Day

Today is daffodil day. And I received two bunches, total surprises from two friends. Knowing that I am an almost (!) four year survivor of breast cancer, Gina, a colleague and friend, had delivered to my classroom a bouquet of this first flower of Spring; the joy of that utterly unexpected gift truly touched me. Three periods later, a fine young teacher, new to our district and new to my life, entered my classroom with another bouquet in her outstretched hand. April told me she loved daffodils, because these flowers just always look so happy. "How could anyone ever be sad when they are around?" she said.

Thank you my friends...and thank you to the American Cancer Society for your tirelesss work to rid the future of this dreadful disease. Would that we see it conquered in our lifetime.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Knitting and kitty therapy

My grandfather put his teeth in a glass; I get an implant. This morning, instead of a school chair, I sat in the chair of my periodontist (like the man but hate what he does to my gums), so he could screw a post into the soft tissue of my lower jaw and the bone beneath it. Fortifying myself to the prospect of sitting with ice pack on the cheek and ibuprofen in the gut, I, last night in sleep's twilight, started thinking of an enticing knitting project. Because I have knit enough sweaters, sweater vests, and hats with Lion's Brand Cotton Ease, I now have a bag full of enough yarn (albeit different colors and varying amounts) for a "Wonderful Wallaby," a pattern I have possessed for years yet never made. I love these Cottage Creation patterns, written and published by a true cottage industry, a mother/daughter team from Carpenter, Iowa. So here I sit, Lily at my side, a bag of color beside me, my knitting needles in hand, while I puzzle out a striping pattern to use up this leftover yarn in a creative way. Certainly, a good diversion for a gray and ouchy day.

In one week and two days (not that I am counting), I will see my now five year old grandson, who has claimed his climbing place--a magnolia bush in the sprawling land surrounding his Southern home. This sweater is for Alex. I hope he wears happily what will be a sweatshirt of many colors, and I hope he dirties it with grand adventure in the springtime of his home. Just thinking about THAT makes me feel better already.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring cleaning

"For every minute spent in organizing,
an hour is earned."
-Benjamin Franklin

If I had planned to do it, it would never have happened...some times for some things, I operate better spontaneously. Last night, I noticed how the lacy pantry curtains looked grimy. Off they came and into the wash they went. Then this morning, after I returned the clean curtains to their sparkling, window-paned door, I realized the kitchen windows could also benefit from a wash, and wouldn't fresh air feel good in our cooped-up winter house. So, up those screens flew and out came the vacuum cleaner. And as the morning proceeded, the beds were stripped, sleeping spaces aired by opened windows, sheets laundered, shower scrubbed and shower curtain washed and bleached. My house feels lighter, fresher, cleaner. Ready for spring. And so am I. These few days off have been good.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Breaklet

I live in a community and teach in a high school that encompasses the faculty and staff of a major university--The Pennsylvania State University, who of course, marks Spring week.

Heretofore, our local and one-and-only school district, has followed the university calendar, a deliberate nod to the town and gown relationship of where we live. HOWEVER...this year, because of all the demands of a longer school year (dare I say "No Child Left Behind"...but that is another post altogether--those children left behind by the tests mandated by this law), our district has side-saddled "spring break," shortening it from five days to two. And oh, the controversy that has wrought. I reside in a funny land between the two sides. I love a break mid year, but I loathe even more ending school at the end of June when my classroom registers 90+ degrees, and I am eager to flee the institution of "school."

So this year our "Spring Break," or Spring "Breaklet" as I have coined it, is a two-day break. I am determined to make the best of these days, still illustrated by snow, pockmarked by the March sun which burns a bit closer and brighter. I cherish a few empty days available to fill my teacher well, drained by the the bleak midwinter, affecting both personal and professional. I am pretty excited to have four (!) days in a row off...