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Some Photo Art

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not only did I have fun ice skating, I had a good time photographing children skating. Because I was zooming in on my subjects and the light was dim, the photographs were grainy. I decided to go into a few of them with a little more artistic approach in an attempt to bring out the highlights of the photos.

I think they kind of capture the feeling of the day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 2/26/2010 11:20PM


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CATHYGETSFIT 2/26/2010 3:47AM

    That's neat! I think you did bring an artistic look and feel to them while capturing the feeling of the moment. You should try SoulCollage here on SP. It's a very artsy kind of thing to do and really gets the creative juices flowing. One of the SoulCollage teams here on SP is all about creating Vision Collages...you can create as many as you want. There are actually 3 SoulCollage teams and SoulCollageSue is the main leader of all of them. She's a great person and can really help you through the whole process. Anyway, just some food for thought. emoticon


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STARLASUE 2/25/2010 7:55AM

    Oh cool! I love the curls on the little gril in the last picture. Of course her smile helps too!

Looks like a fun day. Thanks for the pics.

I can't help but remember what Chris talked about in The Spark. There are people who are leaders who do little things that make big impacts on the lives of others. I think you have excelled at this form of leadership, especially with these children. Well done!

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HOCKEYCREW 2/25/2010 7:12AM

    The first one almost looks like it was snowing in the skating rink. I'm glad you and the kiddos had a good time. I used to skate laps at my university's open skate at the rink when I was in college (I usually had the whole rink to myself). It was great exercise.

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Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm taking my students ice skating today. I haven't been skating since I broke my thumb roller blading 4 years ago and had to have reconstructive surgery. But I have missed skating and am looking forward to getting back on the ice.

I'm going to have to do the Bride of Frankenstein act at first, while I get my ice legs back, but hopefully, I'll be gliding along after warming up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 2/26/2010 11:21PM

    I want a job at your school! Take care of that finger and have a blast!

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THE_SILVER_OWL 2/24/2010 9:19PM

    emoticon Enjoy yourself

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RASTUS55 2/24/2010 8:09PM

    Sounds like a whole lotta fun!!

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0309COOKIE 2/24/2010 10:54AM

    What fun! Hope you enjoy it!

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SILVERWITCH59 2/24/2010 9:04AM

    Have FuN :) emoticon

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/24/2010 7:35AM

    Oh good for you haven't been on skates since I was a kid..never good but roller skating is another story LOL...enjoy your day emoticon

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HOCKEYCREW 2/24/2010 7:21AM

    I'm pretty sure the skating will come back quickly. It's not one of those things you forget. Have a great time!

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JULIA_211 2/24/2010 7:07AM

    emoticon I'm rooting for you, you'll be back on that ice saddle in no time! emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 2/24/2010 6:51AM

    Have a blast! My mother roller skated into her 70s! Great exercise!

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GRAMPIAN 2/24/2010 6:45AM

  Good luck - have a great time! emoticon

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SANDI521 2/24/2010 6:34AM

    Have a wonderful time and of course good luck. emoticon

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JULINC 2/24/2010 6:32AM

    I hope you have a great time!!

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Support Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I don't know if these kinds of petitions really have any impact, but this is one from The Breast Cancer Site, requesting that insurance companies should not be the ones that determine who should be able to receive testing for the BRCA gene. This is a pretty serious issue for those of us with high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

My own experience with this is that after receiving genetic counseling, it was recommended that I get the genetic testing. However, my insurance won't pay for it and it costs thousands of dollars. Thousands of other women are currently in this situation.

The insurance companies will pay for this test, IF a woman is tested positive for breast cancer. However, there is a wait time before the test results come back, so treatment is delayed ( a woman may wish to have both breasts removed as well as her ovaries during the surgery to remove the tumor if she has the BRCA gene.) Also, a woman who is high risk for the BRCA gene, may develop ovarian cancer, which is usually not diagnosed until treatment options are limited or non-existent.

I have attached a link to the Breast Cancer Site in case you are interested in signing the petition.


Good health to all,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOCKEYCREW 2/23/2010 7:36AM

    I've been living in the US for almost 9 years now and the thing that still shocks me the most is the health care system. We have the technology to help people avoid certain kinds of cancer, but unless that person wants to shell out thousands in out of pocket expenses they can't get what they need. One of my acquaintances lost both her sisters to BRCA gene related cancer and they still wouldn't test her for it until she developed cancer herself.

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Healing Power of Music

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Farmer's Market 2009

My first musical experience was piano lessons, which I started when I was 8 years old. I had wanted to take cello lessons, but my mother was dead set against my learning a stringed instrument. I was a little sad, because, in some ways, the piano is a lonely instrument for a child. My sister played clarinet, and my brother played trumpet, so they were in band, and better yet, the marching band.

I did learn to love the piano. Being a shy child, it was easy to spend intense hours studying the nuances of music in the coziness of my music room. My piano became my close friend.

My younger son took up violin at 8 years old, and I had visions of eventually playing piano - violin duets with him, but that never transpired. After a few years of studying violin, I found him peering over my shoulder, paying very close attention to the Chopin piece I was playing.

"How do you play that?" he asked, pointing to the bass clef. I explained the bass clef to him, and he continued to watch as I played. The next morning, I woke to hear Chopin being played exquisitely. Caleb was at the piano playing as if he had been born playing the piano. At that point, I turned the piano over to him, as it became his new love and he spent many hours, as I did, discovering the beauty of piano music.

After Caleb left for college, I never really returned to piano playing. Life was busy, hours at work were long, my energy had gotten diverted elsewhere. In many ways, much of my creative energy got filtered into teaching.

Then my father became ill and needed care-taking, my little granddaughter, Lilee, was born, and my personal time became even more scarce. What brought music back into my life, was the sudden death of Lilee, the light of my life. My heart was broken, and I did not know how I would go on. Needing something in my arms, and something to focus on, I picked up a guitar for the first time. I did not want Lilee's short life to be without lasting positive impact, and looked for Lilee's gifts. The biggest gift of Lilee was the gift of music; the path back to joy.

I have been on that path for a couple of years now, and am in many ways back to where I was as a child, discovering myself through music. When I made my first shy and awkward appearance at guitar class, the teacher asked me what kind of music I wanted to sing. Sing?????? That was the last thing I wished to do! I quickly found a classical teacher, and discovered how flamenco music spoke to my soul.

But a dear friend who wasn't playing guitar well yet, wanted me to accompany her as she sang. This grew to her learning to play the guitar, and me finding the thrill of singing harmony. Eventually, another friend joined us, and behold - a band!

Music has truly been a journey toward healing and self discovery. Not by humorless drudgery, but by the joy of feeling the vibrations of the music, focusing on the richness of each note, uncovering the mysteries of technique. My time alone with my guitar is a powerful meditation. My time playing music with my friends has brought us together in a much richer relationship.

We had a fun gig tonight. emoticon

Thank you, Lilee emoticon for bring the joy of music back to me. You are in my heart with each note.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLASUE 2/21/2010 7:41PM

    What a lovely blog. Such beautiful talent in the family. And the healing power of the music as mourned the loss of your dear granddaughter. Oh my. You are a treasure.

Bright Musical Blessings

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LV4TAY 2/21/2010 7:31PM

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. I wish I could hear your band!

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PUDLECRAZY 2/21/2010 6:49PM

    Thank you all, for your comments. I do believe that it is important to find the openings tragedies offer up for us. When things are at their darkest, I find my way out by looking for those openings. Most people we lose leave behind many gifts from their lives here on earth. Babies haven't had the time to do that, aside from the gift of delight; so we have to open up our hearts, raw and torn as they may feel, to receive the gifts they leave.

I'm okay, really - I am. I wanted to say what a powerful healing instrument music can be. Many of us on this list are struggling with old hurts , or new ones, and I hope with my blogs to offer to others the things that work for me as potential ways for reaching peace, joy, and self actualization.

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THE_SILVER_OWL 2/21/2010 5:35PM

    Although I know that the loose of your dear grandchild was painful beyond measure, I am deeply moved by the gift she has brought you - a return to you music.

Another reminder that even from tragedy, great opportunities await us if we are open to them.

Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing this special gift with all of us.

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B2B2BA 2/21/2010 2:22PM

    What a wonderful story. I am always amazed at the power and mystery of music. And you have inspired me to get my cello out. It's been collecting dust for quite some time but I can still remember back to when I didn't know where the cello ended and I began. Might have to get it out and give it a go.


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MAINERONTHEGO 2/21/2010 2:04PM

  Thanks for sharing your story. It touched my heart.

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PENNYAN45 2/21/2010 1:50PM

    I don't play any instruments, but I know that music can be magical for some. My son plays the guitar and uses music as both his release and comforter at different times. I am glad that you have found music to be a help to you with healing.


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RASTUS55 2/21/2010 9:03AM

    I can SO relate to your feelings about music. It gets into your soul and becomes the focusing point for good and bad times. Music has such a soothing quality to it whether it is played by instrument or sung. As you know I have a very deep rooted interest in guitar but I was blessed with natural talent for singing. Singing is a huge part of my life! But one piece that echos in my soul is Debussy's Clair de Lune. That is one of my most favorite piano pieces. I have a great love for all music but find that classical music is the ultimate in soothing qualities. I went to college when I was 45 pursuing Vet med but burned out before I got through PreVet because I was striving to get to Vet school with only 2 years of pre vet behind me. I would listen to classical music while I studied and found that it helped my concentration and kept me calm so my mind could be used to its fullest. I don't know where you live but if I ever get this guitar mastered I would love to get together someday and play together!
It is so good to meet someone that has that deep love of music!
emoticon emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 2/21/2010 8:21AM

    What a beautiful blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your granddaughter. I'm glad her short life brought you meaning and brought you back to the music you love. emoticon

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0309COOKIE 2/20/2010 10:25PM

    Aaaww, that was such a beautiful blog, it made me cry.

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Vegetarian Lunar New Year Fare - Yummy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yesterday, we made the Vietnamese spring rolls and chopped the veggies for the egg rolls. Today, we wrapped and fried the egg rolls, and prepared the rest of the food.

The Kindergarten dragon led the children from the rest of the school to lunch - with much cymbal clapping, gong banging, and bubble wrap popping.

The food was delicious, with a lot of fresh veggies. The egg rolls probably had the highest calorie count because they were fried, and it was a little high on the carb side if the rice and noodles were included with the sushi rolls. I think the tofu stir fry countered that somewhat with the protein.

Vietnamese spring rolls ( I posted the recipe in yesterday's blog)

Hand made egg rolls; filling: bok choy, nappa cabbage, fresh ginger, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and a sprinkling of soy sauce

Vegetarian sushi rolls

Tofu stir fry

Jasmine rice

Rice noodles

Whole wheat almond cookies, made by the Kindergarten

My lunch!

All in all, we had a delightful Lunar New Year party this afternoon. The children love preparing food, setting up the feast, and even cleaning up afterward. While it is labor intensive for the teacher emoticon, it is also fun to have the warm, family-like feeling of preparing food together. Plus, I enjoy watching children learn to love nutritional food preparation, and savor their veggies.

Now - I'm putting my feet up!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 2/20/2010 7:17PM

    These students don't know how lucky they are to have you as their teacher!


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KATIEGLEN012 2/20/2010 4:12PM

    This sounds like soooo much fun!!!!! Teaching kindergarten was my first job as an educator...I loved cooking with the kids, but never tried something as ambitious as this feast!!!! I bet they will remember it forever...which makes it worth every bit of the effort it took. Building positive learning memories is very much a part of turning children into lifelong learners. Just seeing the pictures makes me smile, I can only imagine what fun they had!

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STARLASUE 2/20/2010 12:14PM

    Great job. Teachers like you are the ones that inspire and that children remember. I am in my mid 50's and I have several teachers like you I was blessed to have. I can still 'hear' their voices and 'see' their faces! :-)

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUSTYSHAW1 2/20/2010 11:02AM

    This looks absolutely fantastic. What a wonderful celebration. And the pictures to commemorate it - outstanding. I just love when my hubby and I get together with my daughter. DH and daughter dream up the most divine vegetarian dinners. emoticon

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AQUAJANE 2/20/2010 9:16AM

    Wow. Can I go back to school? emoticon

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MARY1313 2/20/2010 12:59AM

    Wow I wish teachers all over the United States were like you. You are a special teacher and a really nice Lady.

I bet you are exhausted!



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RASTUS55 2/19/2010 9:12PM

    MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!! This all makes me hungry all over again! I will have to check out the recipe. Those spring rolls look yummy and I love sushi!! emoticon

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0309COOKIE 2/19/2010 5:39PM

    I would say it is labor intensive for the teacher! Wow. What a great party. I never had anything like that growing up. Kudos to you. I'm sure the kids enjoyed themselves and will remember the day for a long time.

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