Showing posts from March, 2011

Skywatch Friday: The Light and the Blue

From Mar 26, 2011
From Mar 26, 2011Hartford is one of my favorite places. The light in the canyons of glass towers casts a magical glow over everything.  Despite all the new buildings, though, the old ones continue their story of the city's youthful, powerful exuberance of the 19th century. When I walk there, I feel I get a sense of what a skyscraper was like as a new idea. It's fun.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Flying High


My World Tuesday: Hartford, Saturday Style

From Mar 26, 2011
We went to Hartford, Connecticut, Saturday to visit the Wadsworth Atheneum and see an exhibit of Monet's Water Lilies paintings.

From Mar 26, 2011
There were permutations on Monet's beloved theme that we had not seen before--like this one behind the mime and the families. My photo does not do it justice; sitting and taking it in, I could see the reflections of clouds, the shadows of trees, life above and below the surface of the water. The painting felt like a summer's day.

From Mar 26, 2011
The Wadsworth is full of works from great artists and sumptuous, sensuous wonders from artists I'll never remember even if their works sing in memory. It's wonderful that even in these miserable economic times there are the resources for this wonderful place to renovate, restore, and expand. Even the chain-link fence offered up samples of art that transformed the street.

From Mar 26, 2011

My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: My One-Track Mind

From 179CANON
From 179CANON

Saturday's chilly adventures included a stop in the warehouse store for milk, eggs, and tulips. I really love the yellow and the thoughts of sunshine the color in these blossoms conjures. This week, I remembered to put water in the vases, so we're off to a good start.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Hollow

Hollow bunny, I crush you and With my tongue  Trace your contours, The illusion of substance.
You are not enough. You never satisfy,
Though your wrapper
Is as pretty
As a spring day.
One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: All Together Now....

I watch them hunt, and I know my dreams are small.

Skywatch Friday

Earth Hour: What It's All About


Wordless Wednesday: All Business


From Clyde Plays Tennis
"Me, my thoughts are flower-strewn...." Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Spring Comes

The inky waters of early morning on the last day of winter promised a good day.  It came.

For the first time since I took a rotten fall that tore a hole out of my right shin in December, I went for a walk and spent a little time at the swamp I think of as my swamp.  Soon the turtles will be out and the geese and the beaver.

This lodge built pretty close to the road filled me with enough joy for a long while.  Last year, the biggest and most incredible beaver I had ever seen was killed by a motorist and left in the road.  After that, I had seen no beaver activity.  The odd (he is very odd) muskrat would appear and disappear like the clockwork of an erratic timepiece, but that was about it. This creation fills me with hope.

Out for a walk down a familiar path with the family on Sunday, I decided to photograph a log I have passed many times.  The demise of this tree is clearly the work of a beaver. Every time I pass it, I think it is likely the self-portait of my friend who met an unfortuna…

Today's Flowers: They're Still Going

The big bunch of fire-colored tulips that I bought last week are still going pretty strong, despite a few little mishaps--like forgetting to put water in one of the vases and forgetting to change it in another. They drooped, they sprung back, they drooped again, I trimmed stems and added water, and it's all good!
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Sarcasm

Words fall into the chasm Between a mind and a heart. Whose? We wish we knew, you and I. You and I. We wish we knew. *** Single leaf, dark night, chasm: Oak tree, wind: Music of solitude.
One Single Impression

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I just read Water for Elephants for no reason other than the movie trailer looked pretty good, and I wanted to be able to say, yes, I read the book, if anybody asked after I saw the movie. I could not answer in the affirmative after the Harry Potter movies or the Percy Jackson movie or the Inkheart movie.
I have been tired of being the movie-going reading teacher who didn't much go in for reading books, so I have been setting myself right. I am glad I did with this one because it had me asking the same questions The Hunger Games had me asking. (Maybe I'm destined to read books witht his theme until I figure out an answer or something like an answer from these texts.)
The questions: Why are people cruel? and Why do people put up with cruel people shaping their lives by maiming their lives? In other words, why don't we naturally insist on freedom and peace?
Water for Elephants author Sara Gruen has main character Jacob Jankowski, a Cornell-…

Skywatch Friday: A Month Away


Wordless Wednesday: The Man on the Sidewalk

A few Fridays ago as I was making my way to the busses after school, Jordan--a student of mine who always rounds the corner at the exact moment I come out the door and lets me know what dramas closed his school day--said, "Look! It rained baseball cards!" I looked. It had. There on the sidewalk looking back at me was none other than the recently-retired left-handed, pinstriped work of art (I'll stop.) himself. (No need for names, right?)
I picked him up. I picked up a few of his colleagues on other times. Feeling happy and open-minded, I picked up a Red Sox pitcher.
Then I resolved on Monday to report my lucky find to an administrator who would announce to all the children that these treasures had been recovered.
I did. That is, I tried. Every time I approached the house principal, he was too busy counting out standardized test booklets and packets of crackers and calculators and things to talk. So I told my students and a few teachers. I put the word out. As I type this, …

My World Tuesday: The Cutting Edge of Fashion

I tell my daughter all the time that I live on the cutting edge of fashion--all the time being when I pull on my parka, snow pants (three-season wear, really), all of which are about 20 years old. They were wise investments from L. L. Bean. I will likely die of old age with these items freshly laundered and waiting to be of service in my closet.

Styles have changed in 20 years, though, right? They must have. Nobody dresses like I do. Take heart, I tell my daughter when she has to be seen with me in public, when plumb is again a fashionable color and snow jackets again sport patch pockets, my shopping will be done. Just the other day in the mall, I came across women's slacks with rolled hems, "Look at that!" I said to Dell. "I have been rolling my hems for the past year, and now it's the thing to do?"
I can't really take credit for the inside-out look that comes and goes at places like the Gap and Aeropostale, but I can tell you I never think twice about …

Book Review: Beyond the Looking Glass, Self-Reflection and Evaluation Equals More Effective Teaching

Beyond the Looking Glass: Self-Reflection and Evaluation = More Effective Teaching by Susan Mandel Glazer

Beyond the Looking Glass by Susan Mandel Glazer is the professional development meeting for teachers that never takes place. Though teachers are often admonished to get their classes in order and reminded that if they had good classroom management skills, their students would perform better on standardized tests, the wisdom and practical how-to that might make that happen seldom follows.
Instead, in our data-driven culture, we are handed the standardized test results and told to determine who is likely to be proficient by the next test-taking session and to create more data-gathering instruments to mark our progress.
The children are seldom discussed unless it is as the numbers that represent them on the spreadsheet.
Beyond the Looking Glass fills the gap in information, restores a reasonable and holistic way to handle students as individuals, and provides strategies for motivating a…

Today's Flowers: Factory Tulips

The Mardi Gras anastasia mums faded to a strangely invisible brown this week. I knew they had given up the ghost when I smelled that strong, peppery aroma of raked earth. Out they went and in came the factory tulips from the warehouse store. They smell like nothing at the moment, but they are very pretty. The red and orange-yellow of the flowers made me think of summer sunsets and ever ygood thing that goes with that. Here's to spring and the factories that do good things to take the sting out of a weekend shortened by one hour for no apparent or useful reason.
Live well and be good.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Passionate

"Epic rains on Thursday,"
my sister says, adding,
"Whatever 'epic' means."

Her weather predictions,
Wherever they come from,
Are always correct.

There is no need to wonder
If the rain will come.

I wonder what the rain will do.

Will it--could it--
Put out an epic fire
In eye-for-an-eye fashion
Or will the


Throw its weight around
And move on?

There is no telling.
Thursday has not come.

About that fire, though.
I have felt it through and through
And wondered what could extinguish it.

I pray for the rain.
The quenching--
In fact the near drowning in mud
That is a sure danger of epic rain.

Drowning is the only end to
A fire that has burned too long.

Bring on the rain.
I will write the story.

I know epic.

One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Vanishing Point?

Sometimes it seems there is more sky in the water than above it. Gone for a swim, maybe? Looking forward to testing the idea in a matter of weeks....!

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: No Messing with this Character

This osprey lives about a quarter of a mile away from my parents' home in North Carolina. An intrepid hunter and excellent mother, she has a lot to say about many things.

Wordless Wednesday

Book Review: Love, Again: A Novel

Love, Again: Novel, A by Lessing, Doris

Doris Lessing's 1997 novel Love, Again is the story of 65-year-old Englishwoman Sarah Durham's encounters with love--being loved, desiring love, falling in love, being the object of desire--as she produces a musical/play--an entertainment--about a mulatto woman named Julie Vairon who, her time at the other end of the same century, was the subject and object of impossible love. A beautiful woman who attracts the desire and love of Frenchmen whose nobility or social status out-caste her and render her an outcaste, she nevertheless manages to live on her own terms--that is, with the support of the men who have loved her. Julie Vairon occupies a place apart in a forest near a river full of the magic and beauty of the natural world. She realizes the magic of her own womanly ways and creates the poetry and music that will haunt Sarah Durham and the men and women who will come together almost a century later to create a tone poem of her life on …

My World Tuesday: Lennie's Friends

I began the school year telling my students about the turtles that next on Topsail Island and about the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital there that cares for sea turtles injured, most frequently, by boat propellers and cruel or careless fishermen.
I showed my students a brief homemade video of a loggerhead hatchling making its way into the ocean as caring onlookers watched and kept him safe from crabs, seagulls, and other predators. My students understood that they are like the turles in many ways. Random cruelty or unfairness can harm or handicap any of us, to be sure. Still, there are kind people willing to help us swim--but we ultimately swim on our own. When we step forward, we are on our own.

I made a donation to the turtle hospital, and the blind Kemp's Ridley Lennie, who is an ambassador for the sea turtle hospital, became our classroom mascot. Beaten blind by a fishermen who had caught him up in his nets, Lennie was rescued by a fisherman who had brought him to the hospit…

Today's Flowers: Mardi Gras Colors

The grocery store in the next town had exactly what the doctor and the decorator ordered for my daughter's Mardi Gras party last weekend--flowers in gold, green, and purple. The colors represent power (gold), faith (green), and justice (purple). These Anastasia mums were strong and beautiful.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression

My foot slips through
Ice made thin
By the sure light
Of late February

And I sink up to my shin.
But for the waterproofing
On my new Earth shoe
My foot would be wet and cold.

As it is, only my leg freezes
As I schlep along
Trying to feel,

As the ice has,

The full benefit
Of a blazing February sun.

In that brief exchange of
Energy between me and the Earth
Somewhere below the ice

I have discovered
She is no victim of winter's iron maiden
But a playful girl
Waking in her own good time
Under a white blanket

That frays and tatters
Moment by moment
Even as it quite accidentally
And imperfectly
Hold this world together.

Skywatch Friday: Where There's Smoke

Where there's smoke...

there will likely be a fire....

and a smoldering...

and a waking up.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: The Long Wait

I've passed this cemetery in Roxbury, Connecticut en route to my parents' home many a time this winter. Only lately have the gravestones emerged from the snow to retell their old, unchanged stories. Thinking of how old these stones are, it seemed to me a season of several weeks isn't much time at all. On the one hand, this is a morbid place, but on the other, it is not because it is a beautiful place for stopping and spending time with the spirit of people and stories of the past and the beautiful, aging trees. This place tells me nothing is forever and everything is forever, so live well.
Wordless Wednesday