What is being said?

whats-being-saidx300

I admit that I have been in denial about certain political events since about November.  I have only recently started keeping up with the news again, in an effort to be informed and aware. I have avoided stating my opinions outside of my inner circle…but sometimes one feels one has to speak!  And when doing so, my main thought is, “What exactly is being said?”

I teach young children and many of them do not speak English as their first language. Some still struggle with vocabulary and sentence structure, but given enough context, I feel I have become quite good at working out their meaning and then modelling a coherent phrase for them.  I am not so adept with our latest president. Continue reading

New Year’s Day 2017

Here it is, New Year’s Day.  I have a hard time thinking of January 1st as the start of a new year. For me, that honor belongs to September with the distinct end of summer and all the back to school hoopla.  However, I have been reflecting a bit, not over the year but just over the Christmas holiday.  Didn’t want to overdo things.

What, I asked myself, did you enjoy most about this particular holiday?  That was easy.  The best part was having my daughter and son home. And the best part of that was a walk in the woods with my daughter and taking each one out for tea – lots more conversation over a lemon tart or croissant than over computers at home.

I also enjoyed Christmas Day, although we missed having dinner with our good friends who were away this year.  But it was fun to laugh over funny gifts and be touched by thoughtfulness.  My son gave me the cutest fluffy slippers that have tiny bunny ears that just peep out as my feet burrow in my slippers. My daughter fed my craft bug and gave me tools for card making. Books were high on everyone’s  list and hopefully there will be sharing around of new things to read.  I just finished An Hour Before Daylight by Jimmy Carter which my husband gave me.  If you’re interested in history this gives a very vivid picture of a boy’s view of life in rural Georgia way back when.  Now I’m trying to get a start on one of my son’s books before he takes it back with him to school.  I think I’ll be able to get through a few chapters.

During the vacation I have been busy doing various crafts because the bug bites when I have free time.  But I am most proud of repairing my daughter’s coat.  My mother made this coat for me when I was in college (for context, that was 30 some years ago now. Egads!).  It is now ‘vintage.’ While the coat itself is still in very good shape , the lining was in shreds. I had some idea that I would just tack another layer on top of it.  It ended up being slightly more complicated, but thankfully there was a second lining inside that was intact and I was able to use that as a pattern. It has been a couple days now and the lining hasn’t pulled out yet so all may be well.

Other things I’ve been pondering… Although I have enjoyed my Christmas break, I just haven’t been up to all the bustle and excitement. Every year I wonder whether or not I have completely transformed into Scrooge or if there is still hope for me.  I was encouraged by some thoughts in a newsletter from friends who are missionaries at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya and now I have this quote on a sticky note on my computer:

‘Be encouraged, friends, that no matter how murky the room you find yourself in, the light of our hope in Christ – for joy in the midst of pain, for peace in the midst of anxiety, for life that continues on even after death – WILL break through the darkness!’

So that is what I hope I will head into the new year with: the reminder that The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, and The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Happy New Year!  Let your light so shine 🙂

 

School is In! (Kids are Out!)

The Back to School rush has come and gone and the new school year is well under way. This year there have been a lot of changes for us.

I’m teaching a different grade in a different room with a different team of colleagues.  There has been a lot of organization and adjustment involved, not least in just finding things.  I keep heading to where I kept glue sticks last year to find the glue sticks just aren’t there. And where did last year’s teacher keep the two hole punch (equivalent of the American three hole punch)? Surely the room was equipped with this vital piece of equipment. If not, it is now.
what-if-you-fly-quoteBut the biggest adjustments have been at home. Continue reading

Beach and Bulldozers

bulldozer beach
Bulldozer Beach (photos by my husband)

We’ve just gotten back from our summer trip to my hometown. It was a good opportunity to see a few old friends and to catch up with family. Our visit culminated in a trip to the beach in South Carolina with my mom, brothers and assorted cousins. We were fortunate to have sunny skies and moderate temperatures (for South Carolina in August!). We were also treated to a beach renewal. Right in front of our house. Continue reading

School is Out!

end-of-the-year-amenWhile summer officially started June 21st, everyone knows it really starts when school lets out, whenever that may be where you live.  For me, that day was today. Finally.  But it hasn’t really hit me yet. Despite feeling like this was the longest week on record, it seems like I’m just starting a regular weekend.  Maybe the summer feeling will kick in Monday when I don’t have to get up and out before anyone else is awake.  But I suspect that unless the weather makes a change for the better, it will still feel more like early March than the proper season. Continue reading

The Path Less Traveled By

This morning I found myself making a quick bakery run for the second week in a row. I was out and back inside of ten minutes. Last week was a different story.

Last week I was up early for a Sunday and heard my daughter stirring. I knocked softly on her door and asked if she was up for an early(ish) morning walk. She hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. There was a slight hesitation. Breakfast or walk? The walk won out. I envisioned a brisk turn around the neighborhood, but A opted for the woods. With an internal sigh, I agreed. I love the woods, but that automatically took the walk from ‘brisk’ to ‘serious.’ Continue reading

The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Unknown

Many thanks to Storytellingcook over at Recipe in a Bottle who has kindly nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Head over to https://eating2016.wordpress.com to see what she’s doing with recipes! Yum.

I had to look up the rules for this Sunshine Blogger thing, being new to all this. It’s a bit like a chain letter from days gone by. I’ve enjoyed answering the questions I was sent and will add some of my own at the bottom for my nominees. Continue reading

Hair Days

(Pig picture deleted at photographer’s request.  Too bad – the pig’s hair was better than mine!)

Dear Friend,

I know there are more important things than a bad haircut. Or even just an okay one. I know that. I have been around long enough to discover that hair grows and an unlovely hairstyle will not last. Alas, a flattering hairstyle won’t either, but that is only fair. So, far be it from me to have my nose out of joint because my coiffeuse did just what she said she was going to do and I okayed it. I will not stomp around and ruin everyone else’s day just because I have Joyce hair – a family reference to the unfortunate hairstyle on a character in ‘Midsommer Murders.’ I know better than to let a beautiful sunny day be colored by my less than luxurious locks. To be frank , even a good haircut can’t do all that much when one can’t be bothered to style one’s hair anyway.

That is why I am avoiding mirrors for the next week or so, until I stop looking like Joyce.

In the meantime, I will enjoy an unprecedented day off when it’s not an official holiday and everything is closed. And maybe I will eat a little more chocolate, just because.

Spring Has Sprung!

Dear Friend,

I don’t know about where you are, but spring here has been mostly cold and grey and very wet. We’ve kept the heat on way longer than usual. About a week ago the temperature dropped down to freezing overnight and we woke up to frost – something we hardly saw over the winter as it was so mild.

My theory is that a nasty spring is payback for a gentle winter.

But things have changed. For the first time in weeks and weeks, it is sunny and warm and dry!  Thursday two unlikely events combined: it was a holiday (Ascension) and the weather was magnificent! Continue reading

Recipe Recommendation

Dear Friend,

A while back I recommended at food website to an old friend.  She wrote back to ask which recipes I liked best.  Ah.

I hadn’t actually tried any of them. Just pinning them didn’t count. “Haven’t tried it but this one looks good.” That wouldn’t do.

I determined to make one recipe that very week so I could share a real opinion. I settled on this one: Deliciously Ella’s Perfect Stir Fry. Continue reading

Why I Started a Blog

Confession time.  I’ve been thinking about blogging for some time, but I doubt I would have ever gotten around to starting one except that one day my daughter suggested a name that I thought sounded fun.  Then my husband did all the looking around to see if the name was taken and suggested he reserve it, you know, just in case I wanted it later.  I said, “Go ahead.”  I thought it would make him happy.  But then I needed to do something with it.  Continue reading