Summer Beginnings!

I am so happy that summer has begun for this lady…last half day of school today.  My sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece arrived yesterday and I am in a sort of heaven as I enjoy every sort of fun!  We will head for our family reunion in southern Alberta tomorrow afternoon…a wee camping experience that is sure to offer all sorts of good conversation, meetings of cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents!  A blessing to have my sister join me this year…I think she was twelve years old the last time we shared this summer ritual.
One of my marching-children is competing in Chicago… she instructs colour guard for Stetson’s marching band. My drummer-son will be parading and performing all over Alberta, especially for Canada day events…tons of drum practice recently so I’m happy he has a break and is attending the White Stripes tonight!  One of his favourite bands!
What an exciting time!  I am so very happy about holidays and the joy of family and friends!

Josh Ritter

I’d like to park myself on a wee bit of land like this and watch the sun come up each morning to the east…and watch the sun go down each evening to the west…maybe watch a bird or two…smell the sage….beautiful.
Josh’s new music is much like that written by many songwriters recently…political statements….I think that’s coming out in my art work at the moment as well.  It’s impossible to ‘feel nothing’ when we are all witnesses.

Josh Ritter Girl In The War Lyrics

Peter said to Paul you know all those words we wrote
Are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go
But now talking to God is Laurel begging Hardy for a gun

I got a girl in the war man I wonder what it is we done

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder

Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire
But I got a girl in the war Paul the only thing I know to do

Is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

Because the keys to the Kingdom got lost inside the Kingdom

And the angels fly around in there but we can¹t see them
I got a girl in the war Paul I know that they can here me yell
If they can¹t find a way to help her they can go to Hell

If they can¹t find a way to help her they can go to Hell

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder

Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire
But I got a girl in the war Paul her eyes are like champagne
They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain
They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain
They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain

Summer Approaching

Happiness!Board WalkAt the BridgeFriends Last!You Can Do It!Copy of My BuddiesGroup of Lady Slippers 2There have been summer thunder storms each evening for three nights and besides setting my pooch to shivering, they created quite a drama about things.  I’ve finally finished with my intense clean-up in my six-by-six foot storage space that floated in an inch of water…and for who knows how long?  It was a bit of a bee in my bonnet as I wanted to be doing other things to get ready for family visits and summer vacation.  I’ve now resigned myself to ease off on the pressure.
The plumber who was called in to do repairs ended up being quite the ‘card’ and I took notes as he put a new faucet on our ensuite sink so that I will be able to do the same repair in the house any time.  I was quite the assistant and ended up under the sink as much as above as I learned about various supply tubes, nuts and such.  Shocking to learn about the drain too…and to find what gathers there!  YIKES!  I believe I’ll only have to get myself a larger crescent wrench…some dope…and I’ll be set.
I went on a morning wild flower hike with my Ya Yas and ‘the little guy’ on Saturday morning.  It was just so awesome to get away from everything and to get out to the mountains with friends. I’ve still not been into my flower identification book to locate the names of the flowers that we discovered.  It was certainly a successful adventure, apart from the fact that we couldn’t complete the loop either direction because of high run-off and the water levels around the lake.  We had fun trying to take photos at several locations.
Right now we are completing the provincial exam schedule, hosting an awards assembly in the afternoon…School wide Mass tomorrow and a Track and Field day in the afternoon…all that sort of thing.  I’m writing like a crazy lady because I want to get a letter and photo off into the mail for each of my language arts students.  Am I being completely unreasonable?  Laughing here….have a ‘brilliant’ day….last week until vacation!  Celebrate with me.  Oh yes…and sign my guest book!!!  It’s easy schmeazy!

Summer Solstice

I missed writing last evening…it was a very busy day/evening.  I hosted a celebration of the solstice in my studio with several members of my arts and culture ya ya group.  We nibbled on papaya, fresh pineapple, chicken wings, meatballs, lots of dips and lots of chips and we drank traditional mojitas.

The Mojita
A fresh mint, lime and sugar muddle stirred with raspberry vodka, topped with soda and garnished with a mint sprig.  In our case…we used club soda and white rum…not raspberry vodka.  My daughter recently returned from Cuba and we made them Cuban-style.

It was a wonderful opportunity to visit and relax and anticipate our summer plans with tremendous enthusiasm. I took pictures, but I doubt that any of my friends would like me to post them on a public blog, so I will respect that. 

This afternoon, right after school, one of my friends and I headed southwest to one of my favourite locations on the planet…from where we stood we could see for endless miles to the mountains in the west.  We had the opportunity to visit with sculptors from Zimbabwe and to look at some of their amazing work out in natural surroundings.  It was a beautiful experience.

Zimbabwean Stone Sculpture with

Chaka Chikodzi

Experience the feel of a chisel in hand, a piece of rock in front to you. Your mission: To draw out the spirit that lives within the rock This is the way of the Zimbabwean Sculptor

In conjunction with the exhibit “Celebrating Life Through Stone” we invite you to participate in this unique hands-on two weekend sculpting workshop with Canadian-Zimbabwean stone sculptor, Chaka Chikodzi.



Secret heart

What are you made of
What are you so afraid of
Could it be
Three simple words
Or the fear of being overheard
What’s wrong
Let her in on your secret heart
Secret Heart
Why so mysterious
Why so sacred
Why so serious
Maybe you’re
Just acting tough
Maybe you’re just not bad enough
What’s wrong
Let her in on your secret heart
This very secret
That you’re trying to conceal
Is the very same one
You’re dying to reveal
Go tell her how you feel

Secret heart come out and share it
This loneliness, few can bear it
Could it have something to do with
Admitting that you just can’t go through it alone
Let her in on your secret heart
This very secret
That you’re trying to conceal
Is the very same one
That you’re dying to reveal
Go tell her how you feel

This very secret  Go out and share it. 

On Golden Pond

This movie is one that I have watched many times over the years.  I dream to celebrate LOVE into my ‘golden’ years, just like that shared between Ethel and Norman (Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda).  I love the thought of a place by the water…with loons calling out…wild strawberries in the woods…leaves changing colour in the autumn.
I met up with a friend of mine this afternoon…she was wheeling a rolling chair down the school hallway, with a box sitting on the seat…emptying her classroom of her momentos and papers.  I caught her on the way back up the hallway, with her empty rolling chair…I asked her…
"Are you feeling nostalgic? Are you ok?"  Afterall, we’ve been so busy at school lately that it would be easy for someone like her to be easily forgotten in the ‘busy-ness’ of year’s end. 
She smiled at me…hugged me…and she said, "I’m alright.  I’m doing just fine.  And no, I’m not feeling nostalgic…more excited about the next beginning."  She had a big smile on her face.
I told her that a season I’ve always missed, being a school teacher, is autumn.  I want to enjoy autumn.  She said the same.  We agreed that as a teacher we had missed too many autumns.  And now…the next autumn will be hers.
On Golden Pond was the perfect film to watch this evening.  I feel weary…but contented all at the same time.  Wishing you all golden ponds and dream after dream, come-true!
Photo borrowed from:

Dandelion Wine

I’m pretty excited that my students have completed their reading of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury…not exactly an action-packed novel…so a struggle for some I’m sure.  It is very introspective and as such, demands a lot of a student in grade nine.  However, tomorrow will be our Dandelion Wine Fair at school….the library will be opened up for a sharing of all of their responses to the novel.
On Friday, I received a couple of the projects early….beautiful paintings done and a recipe for dandelion wine.  Another project was a journal of personal experiences that a student has already encountered in his life…beautifully written….an amazing collection of memories of family, friends and reflections about his Gramma who was lost to cancer only a short time ago.  I am really looking forward to seeing what my students have done and will photo-journal those tomorrow.
This has been a beautiful weekend.  With the patter-sound of rain, I’ve been organizing bits and have mailed off parcels and cards…painting in the studio….working on my salmon and beluga whale pieces and absolutely loving it.  I’ll post images here as well when I clear my memory card.  Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome Dads out there….you are special people!

An image from a poster….

Dandelions by Henryk T. Kaiser

Freedom Writers

I’ve rented a few films of late…things to sit and rest with after long days of doing school-related stuff.  It’s been a way of really bringing myself down to a peaceful state…after running too quickly and carrying heavy loads!
Surprising, the one on my recommend-to-view list is one about a first-year teacher…and her class.  I was so taken by this movie…awesome…it warmed my heart, was positive and has a message for all of us.  The movie is titled Freedom Writers, a great little rental for everyone!
Children of Men was nothing like the novel by P.D.James and was dark.  I hope that people do not avoid reading the novel because of seeing the movie….the book was extraordinary…very powerful! The movie’s only real connection is the very young pregnant woman…all else seems to bear little similarity.
Notes on a Scandal was just disturbing…in every way…not really the content that would let you lie back on your red couch and completely relax….disturbing!!!
Oh…now, what was the no-brainer…little romance flick…hmmm….Music and Lyrics, something with Drew Barrymore….I don’t know….I suppose some of you might like it, but it’s not my genre.  I think that Pretty Woman is my favourite of the comedy-romance sort…I have watched that again and again. Anyway…DO rent Freedom Writers…that is a MUST! 


Space Between Stars

It’s evening and I’m relaxing.  These past few weeks have been, as is typical with me, full.  I haven’t taken the time to write in this journal, given the demands of real life and the various projects that I’m bringing to close end-of-year.
In my head, I’m in a peaceful place.  I made an effort to make a shift in my place of employment…a big risk for me, I think, given that I’ve been in the same place for fourteen years.  However, as it turned out, there was no call even for an interview.  I was disappointed honestly because it is the first time I’ve been motivated to take this step in fourteen years.  My heart was pounding when I went to bed on Sunday night…my curriculum vitae updated…so much to look forward to.  And nothing…
I’ve accepted this, but truly have to say that I’m hoping my marking load diminishes for next year.  I’m really excited about my painting right now and given that there’s so much that needs to be expressed there, I now need to make it a priority in regards to time and attention.
Tomorrow will hold the grade nine retreat and the next day, the farewell Mass…another group of grade nines will be leaving me.  The end to another school year!