Sunday, November 28, 2010

With a Grateful Heart

Outside my garden gate.

Thanksgiving  2010 is history, a memory, an event that will never take place again.

Each month when I change out the calendar in my classroom I tell my children we will never see that particular month again.  I explain the month will come around again next year, but it will not be the same.  "It will not be 2010.  You will be older, you will be taller.  Look out the window.  The weather will probably be different.  You will be in a different classroom.  Each day changes us just a little and  prepares us for tomorrow."   Usually they get very quiet and look at me with wide eyes.  I am not trying to teach anything, only introducing a concept (one I've been thinking a lot about lately).  And, it is a great way to get everyone's attention. 

We spent our Thanksgiving with Heather and Kyle in St. Louis.  I reveled in and absorbed every minute of it.  I walked with snow falling on Thanksgiving day.  I became addicted to the game  Banangrams (I love words).  I ate way too much, and I talked and laughed more than my fair share.    I am most content when I am with my family, and I was most content.   Now, Thanksgiving 2010 is a memory locked within my grateful heart.   

Thanksgiving day snow in St. Louis
Just as I tell my children after we have changed the month and counted our first day,  "Now, let's take out our crayons, go to the table, and prepare for tomorrow", it is time for me to take out my "crayons"  and prepare for Christmas and more memories.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend in Review

This is where Roger and I are sitting while enjoying this early evening.  He is checking out all the latest Longhorn news, and I am reviewing a somewhat productive weekend. (You gotta love wireless internet!)

The Art Center hosted their annual student sale on Saturday.  I had heard you really had to get there early to get the "good stuff".  Roger and I were up  and out of the house early enough to go have a little breakfast.  The Metroplex was filled with works from all mediums.  We found several pieces we liked, but were snatched before we made a second round.  We left with a black and white photograph titled Morning Vision.  (I'm getting too much glare from the glass to share tonight.)

After leaving the the art sale, I wanted to go looking for a couple of bookshelves.  I have been so inspired by everyone, I thought I might be able to find something to rehab.  There are not a lot of bookshelves out there.  I did find this at Fabulous Finds.

Not just one -- a pair.  I fell in love with these chairs.   They will be going to live with Heather in St. Louis. 

Today, I replaced these

with these.

One flat of pansies was not enough to complete the border.  Hopefully I will find the same variety tomorrow.

So, before my lovely fire dies down, I think I will hit publish, close my laptop and enjoy this lovely November evening.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh My!

I am still working my way around in the blogging world.   When I first started, the only way I knew to get to certain areas was through another bloggers site.  I even used her website designer to pretty up my page, with the help of my daughter.  Thank you Gretchan! 

I have only recently started checking out and following bloggers I  don't know personally, and have found by checking out other's favorites.  I hope no one thinks I am stalking them.  I'm not for sure what I thought all those tabs at the top of my dashboard meant.  You know the ones:  Comments, Settings, Design, Monetize, Stats.   Not long ago I started clicking on everything just to see what would happen.  I kind of look at things with a "what's the worse thing that could happen?" attitude.  So I totally wipe everything out?  I'll just start over.  Anyway, I found out I can check out comments without going to my draft page.  And, if I click on stats I can see how many hits I get in a day, week, month or year.  It's one of those things I haven't been concerned with, but once I discovered it I check if I'm signed in.  My stats are quite modest, actually,  lower than modest.  I have a few followers, and....oh yes, I  even have a phantom follower (I love mysteries). 

Two days ago I checked my stats and the  hit line went to the top of the graph.  I squealed "Oh my!  What's going on?"  Willie jumped down and ran for cover.  Roger looked up from his laptop with concern.  I am sure he thought I had just totally wiped out my computer without hope of recovering anything.  When I returned to my dashboard I found out what was going on.

My friend Charlotte had mentioned  me, and her memories of time we shared in Louisiana, in her blog,  Nightbook.  She titled it "A Durable Memory".  I commented back to her, I literally had to go back several times to reread.  I don't believe I have ever had my name mentioned in such a beautifully written piece.  She described me as "bubbly".  This appeared on a day when I needed bubbly.  I am grateful, not for the "hits on my blog, but that someone with Charlotte's extraordinary talent would mention me.  Her writing is both lyrical and poignant.  I am humbled.  I hope that I once was, and still am the person she remembers me to be.  I hope I can live up to being "durable".

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Middle Child

Friday's  Weekly Reader subject was Needs and Wants.   The cover picture  was of a child looking in a big store window full of toys.  After talking about the picture, I ask the children if there was anything in the picture the child needed.  Almost in unison they said  Christmas presents; two began singing "Jingle Bells".  My heart fell.  (The children actually did very well choosing between needs and wants; my parents have done well.)

I couldn't get past the Christmas presents and "Jingle Bells".   After we worked through our Weekly Reader I ask everyone to sit in circle time.  I ask them to look around the room and tell me what holiday we are getting ready to celebrate.

Even with our trees decked out in autumn splendor, the fabulous turkeys hiding behind the watercolored leaves, and our list of things we are thankful for tacked to the bulletin board,  they all responded with an enthusiastic -  Christmas.  I assured them Christmas was certainly around the corner, but we have another holiday to look forward to and prepare for, Thanksgiving.  I ended circle time with the book Thanks for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the middle child.  Halloween comes first.  It seems like the witches, tombstones, giant spiders and jack-o-lanterns were out in my neighborhood by the end of September.  I am not a huge Halloween decorator ( I do love a spooky  jack-o-lantern, I am not opposed to stories of witches and goblins and I will not miss the parade of costumes that appear at my door.), so for the most part, I don't get it.

Before the last miniature Snicker's bar was handed out, Christmas lights were being hung and carols being sung.  I love Advent and Christmas.  I love the smell of our freshly cut Christmas tree. I love unpacking the few ornaments that survived my childhood, as well as, the ornaments we have collected through the years, and retelling the stories attached to each one.  I love searching for that perfect gift and wrapping it in pretty paper and ribbon.  I love the songs, carols and hymns sung with angelic voices, and by those of us who do not have the voices of angels.  And who cannot help get caught up in the infectious anticipation of young and old.

But ... I adore Thanksgiving, the middle child, most.  It is the perfect holiday!  Mother Nature takes care of the decorations and there are no gifts to buy.  It is a day of food, family and friends, football and (taking a deep breath here)  reflection (I'm sure a better word-smith than I could have come up with another "f" word) of the blessings we have been given through the year.  So I am keeping my basket full of autumn foliage on my door and my pumpkins and mums standing like Sentinels guarding my home, until after November 25th.

Oh, and if you hear some crazy woman humming, "Come Ye Thankful People Come" over "You Better Watch Out", while gathering up Christmas finds at the department store....well, you will know who she is.

"Raise the song of harvest home"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"They Were All of Them Saints....."

All Saints Day was Monday; it was the subject in Children's Chapel Wednesday morning.  To describe a Saint, Father Danny ask the children,  "What happens when the sun shines through the stained glass window?"  He went on to explained the light shines through, lights up the window so we can see the colors, and makes it pretty.  He went on and explained that is what Saints do, they give us light so we can see things better.  He told about a Saint in his life, his Grandmother.  After telling the story of how she affected his life, he ask the children if they could think of someone who was a Saint.  Several hands went up.  Here are a few of the answers:
  • my Dad, the sun shines on him
  • my brother tries to like me  
  • my sister plays with me 
  • my Dad throws the football to me over the bushes
Father Danny ask for one more.  A little girl raised her hand, and he asked,
"Who has been a Saint in your life?"  She said, "Jesus".  He paused, then  continued, "Okay, how does Jesus show you light?"  She gave her one word response, "love".   Five children, one answer .  Maybe we adults overthink  things.

"....God help me to be one too."

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    The Move in Begins

    It is the beginning of November and the temperatures are finally starting to drop.  Sunday I pulled perennials out of pots and planted them in the garden to settle in before the first freeze.  Next spring I will find the various ferns, hostas, heuchera, pachysandra, sweet woodruff, wormwood, lamb's ear and hardy begonia popping up in unexpected places in the garden.  It will probably take a bit of time to remember I had planted them.

    Yesterday rain was on the horizon arriving in the late evening and staying until late this afternoon.  Along with the rain came much anticipated cooler temps.  The lows tonight should remain in the 40s so I'm not too concerned about most of my plants.  I did bring in the Maidenhair Fern into the sun room.  I think she will be happy for the winter.