Sunday, April 7, 2013

April Showers

It poured and poured.  Which is good because I think we're already doomed to a summer of dealing with drought.

 Everything looks shiny and bright & wet.  Branches got heavy so it looks as though I've never pruned anything.

Q.  If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

  A.  Pilgrims, of course.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

March comes in like a springy lamb.

Trees in the back yard are flowering like crazy.  It might only be March, but the world outside sure thinks it's spring.

And there's not much more beautiful in the world than Northern California in the spring.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February Window

Taken with my broken left arm - fractured radius head, actually.  Fractured up near the elbow. 

Out the window looks so dull.  I don't even know if I've been out there so far this year, let alone done any yard work.  I have noticed a 'change of season' urge to get out there, though.  Love cleaning up the patios and getting them ready for outdoor reading season.

But for now, just sitting around alternating ice & heat and chopping vicodins in half to pop on a regular basis.  sigh

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

out the window

First day of this new year -- it was sunny and bright.  
And cold.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saturday, September 17, 2011

placing product

I'm in the middle of watching always interesting Morgan Spurlock's movie The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.   It's fascinating to me because, number one, I love movies.  And I love learning how people do things.  So ... a movie about people making movies is great for me.

Morgan Spurlock's idea is to sell advertising in a film to finance a film about advertising.  I was fascinated to learn that there are companies devoted to product placement.  What a big strange world it is.

Last week I watched another documentary Inside Job.  Here you go: From filmmaker Charles Ferguson comes this sobering, Oscar-winning documentary that presents in comprehensive yet cogent detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption that led to the global economic meltdown of 2008. Through unflinching interviews with key financial insiders, politicos, journalists and academics, Ferguson paints a galling portrait of an unfettered financial system run amok -- without accountability

I enjoyed watching it very much, but was depressed and a little frightened for days.  Even more worrisome thinking that the movie was made two years ago and we're still in a mess.

Oh, almost forgot -- I started this post because of the concept of product placement.  While watching the movie, and all the work they were doing thinking of ways to place products yet make it seem natural I remembered reading the children a ZooBook about monkeys the other day.  I pointed out "These are called spider monkeys and these are baboons and these are rhesus monkeys, etc etc"  

A little while later (we were probably talking about AB pattens by then)  young Dylan raised his hand and told us all, "Those rhesus monkeys make me think of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  

There we go -- I could have made some serious money if only that bit had gotten filmed for a hit movie!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

split class

Today the principal called us four kindergarten teachers into his office to tell us the district decided that we need to make a split class; half kindergarten and half first grade.

It has, of course, to do with money.  The state will send more if the classes (k through 3rd) are kept to an average of 20.5 students.  So, since the 1st grade had an average of 22 children, and kindergarten an average of 18, things have to be moved around (children) and one of us will teach a split.

Three teachers immediately volunteered.  We talked, and my next door teacher will take it. 

I would have gladly done it, but I am wonderfully glad it isn't me.  No matter what it's a lot of extra work and every teacher knows it's not the best way for the children to learn.

♫♪ Money money money ♫♪

By the way ...  today at work an little boy was dropped off, crying because it was his first day (17 days late).  No warning for me, of course, and even tho I had my "new kid packet" pretty much ready to go -- what a huge interruption and discomfort for a small child.

Later Nathan threw up on Amya and Jami.  A little bit on Jami's arm, a whole lot on Amya's dress so of course she threw up, too.  About an hour later Julian was enjoying his turn on the computer so much he peed in the chair.

At least there was no poop.  The room next door had poop in the pants.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good News

The good news is that they did not raise the Kindergarten class size to 25 children and send one of us off to teach a 4th/5th combination class.

Can you believe they even thought of that as a possibility?  Best practices for children my butt!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


"child directed center time"
School started on Monday, August 15th this year, so I'm just finishing up my first weekend since the beginning of June.  So far it's being a super year.

Two years ago I had 27 Kindergarteners for the first 10 days.  Last year I had 31 for the first week and 25 for the second.  (Then we went down to 20 or 21 kidsThis year I've got 17.  Oh yes, this is a good good year!

Also we are going to have help with the (eternal/infernal) assessments.  Someone coming once a week to spend about an hour testing the little babes.  It's going to help so much!

And my toe doesn't hurt anymore. (long story, but I have a warm place in my heart now for all podiatrists)  Occasionally I am so aware of my toe not hurting (+ ankle + knee +hip + spine) that I practically have to lean on a wall from swooning from happiness.

they look like they're just wandering around
The kids are good.  No one cried hard.  No one hit.  No one cried and hit someone for taking the doll she wanted.  (during Xmas break last year I threw that particular doll out)  No one comes late every morning.  None of the parents is late to pick up day after day. No one has demanding special needs.  I know it's early days, but everything is great so far!

I started a classroom page on Shutterfly.  I can't show it to you 'cause everything is password coded and private (protect the children, you know) but if you were thinking of a classroom page it was amazingly easy.   I always worry about posting photos of other people's kids on line, but this seems secure.  (I like Shutterfly because it's connected to Target and that's just about the only store around here.  Easy to pick up photos.  Even easier to have them mailed to me.)

Going to Shutterfly now to see if any parents I invited have been by ... have a great evening, have a great week!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Today is the 50th year anniversary of people in Berlin waking up to find a lethal barrier between the two halves of their city.  

My dad was a soldier in the US army & immediately deployed.  I remember wondering if he would be home for my 11th birthday.

I don't remember if he was or not.  I had one of those marvelously wholesome families as a child -- if he wasn't home on the right day, it would have been fine and familial celebrations would have continued in a happy, child oriented manner.  (it wasn't until later that my mother went wack)

Thinking about the wall going up has brought back a plethora of  memories from that time.  Where I lived; how we lived -- military housing in complexes that had three stairwells, 6 apartments in each, connected by a basement that ran all the way through.  The basements had laundry rooms and storage rooms but were primarily the domain of the many, many kids who lived there.  During winter, we could actually roller skate through the depths of the building then clump up the stairs to pound on doors and invite friends to play.

Outside there were more complexes, playgrounds, 'the big hill', and a gap through a fence to ride bikes into the Gruenewald.   I swear I can still see, in my minds eye, the roots of a tree as my front tire bounced over it before getting to a decent trail.

If I were a writer (sigh) I could go on and on about riding the U-bahn (never the S)  with my brother to museums, the zoo, downtown-- anywhere we wanted to go.  So much freedom then.  Such a wonderful place to grow up.  For me.  But today I'm thinking about the wall and it's horror. 

I'll never forget the people jumping the wall, crashing their cars through, sending their children through -- just to get to the west, to freedom and opportunity.  The boy, Peter, lying there dying after being shot trying to escape.  The wooden platforms built so people could stand high, look over, and perhaps see their friends & family.  

I volunteered in an orphanage on weekends.  It was fun for me, playing with the little kids & cleaning & boning up on my German.  I didn't think about how many orphans were there because of the Wall. 

Fifty years ago today -- much to think about on a beautiful day like today, nestled safely in my cute little house here in Northern California.

Friday, July 15, 2011

more new books

More new books!  

I'm still in the middle of the third in Martin's series, so Dance with Dragons (the 5th) will have to wait a while.  (sigh) 

Huge events just happened in Storm of Swords -- my emotions are exhausted.  If you have read it, I'm sure you remember.   I'm putting it aside for a little while.

We went to see Nunsense, so of course we dressed 

I need to read Little Bee sometime this week because LF book club is discussing it this weekend.  We are spending 3 days, 2 nights in  Downieville, a small picturesque town on the Yuba River (a few hours north east).   We are an awesome bookclub group and take off for a vacation, art, wine tasting, plays, etc etc.

This month we will discuss the novel and also celebrate a member's upcoming wedding and a couple retirements.  It will be a best time!

I started reading the Math Work Station book on line and quickly knew I wanted to buy it.  It's a Stenhouse book and they had it available to read free.  They often do that (it might still be up) and I know it must work financially for them since I'm forever buying their books.  Plus, you simply cannot go wrone with a Debbie Diller book!

The best news is: while waiting for my copy to arrive, I found a plethora of teachers discussing it on line.  Mrs Wills Kindergarten is the place to begin reading and learning -- she has links to many other teachers involved.

I'm sad that they've finished and I wasn't able to be with them from the start -- I'm hoping nothing disappears in the next few weeks while I get myself caught up.