Monday, April 19, 2010
I have been so busy getting my class ready for their spring musical, which will be on the 7th and 8th of May. We will be performing 'The Wizard of Oz" I have a cast of 30 children, 3rd through 6th grade. The children make the sets, the costumes, and the props with some help from the art teacher and I, so it is a huge undertaking, yet so worth it! Once they have tackled such an enormous project, and mostly done everything themselves, the children are so proud of their accomplishments and feel that they can do anything as long as they stick to it in spite of difficulties. They positively exude confidence! However, coordinating, directing, coaching, arranging for musical backup and theater space, cheering on the children's efforts, and pushing and prodding where necessary can wear a teacher out!
In addition to worrying about my mother in law and phone calls to the hospital, I spent the weekend getting chores done: poodle grooming, cleaning the chick cage, doing laundry, ironing, cleaning, and groceries shopping. I also got in a little much needed Chris time. I had an enjoyable bass guitar lesson. I have been playing acoustic guitar, folk, bluegrass, and flamenco, so it has been fun to branch out into electric. On both Saturday and Sunday, I managed to squeeze in time to sing with friends. Music definitely soothes my soul.
I got in several walks, and logged in over 10,000 steps each day for Saturday, Sunday, and again today. After reading several blogs about sneaking in strength training while getting chores done, I have been doing that as well.
I was so tired last night that I dozed off early and did not have the opportunity to post my usual blog/cloud and bloom journal. So this evening, I have both yesterday's and today's clouds to share.
Sunday was a picture perfect day, with gorgeous fluffy cumulus clouds floating in a sky of the loveliest blue. I couldn't resist including the meadow and Stella in this cloud picture - as fabulous as the clouds were, the whole was definitely greater than the parts.
Today's clouds were very thin whispy cirrus clouds. I love the soft upsweep they get from the wind. Much of the day was almost cloudless.
I've blogged about Annie Oaktree before. She is magnificent, but full of life's scars. During Hurricane Ike, she sustained serious damage and I have worried about whether she could survive the next winter. I am so happy to see her leafing out yet again this spring. Such a stately old tree with so many tales.
This tree is not at my house, but at school.
Ten days after my granddaughter died, a very sweet student of mine was struck by a car and killed. It was such a tragedy for the whole community to lose Neetahnah in such a senseless and violent accident. This is Neetahnah's memorial tree, a Cherokee sunset dogwood to commemorate a beloved Cherokee child. It is a lovely tribute to her. Neetahnah always loved babies and young children. She had been so happy about Lilee's arrival into the world. I comfort myself with the vision of Neetahnah looking after Lilee, although it is still cold comfort. I want them both here. I have done a lot of healing, but sometimes I still have a hard time reconciling it. These two girls will always have a big place in my heart.
I remember when I was expecting my second child, I was worried about whether I would be able to love him or her as much as I loved my first. I had so much love for my first child, sometimes I thought my heart would burst right out of my chest. How could there be enough room in my heart to love another child so deeply? The birth of my second son taught me the lesson that love can double, triple, quadruple.. the heart only expands with each child. There is an infinite capacity to love.
The loss of Lilee and Neetahnah taught me a similar lesson. The heart also has equal capacity to hold the ones you have loved and lost in death. Those you can no longer hold in your arms stay wrapped forever in your heart.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I am taking a minute to sit, rest, and get my blog in, in between the tasks of today.
I have been getting in 2 - 4 miles of actual walks in every day, plus 10,000 to 15,000 steps each day. However, I guess I should be tracking my food. I thought I was eating well, but I have managed to gain back 3 pounds in the last three weeks of hectic life style. I have been reading about the effect of stress hormones on weight gain, and find this an interesting concept. This may have a lot to do with the weight gain in spite of an active life style. Today, I will get back to tracking, though, to see if there is something out of balance in my diet.
So far today, from my to-do list, I have gotten Stella groomed. Poodle grooming is no small task. It took the greater part of the morning. After her morning of Poodle Torture, the Diva looks, smells, and feels better. She gets positively frisky after her bath, brush, clip, and pedicure.
This past week, I have been taking two chicks at a time to work with me. Yesterday was Baby Huey and Denty's turns. I don't know how happy Huey and Denty were, but the children were delighted to see them. They have a special attachment to Denty since none of us were at all certain whether the chick in the little glued together egg would survive.
Denty's getting to be a pretty big girl!
I checked the blue bird nest yesterday, but no glad tidings yet. I will post when the babies are hatched.
I was too busy and tired yesterday to post my Cloud and Bloom journal. The sky was very dramatic yesterday as the front blew in. We went from cirrus to stratonimbus over the course of the day.
The blooms continue to come on strong. These are the forget-me-nots that I planted in Lilee's garden.
The buckeye trees are blooming, as are the lilacs.
My favorite photographic catch of the day was this Meadow Fritillary.
Now I really need to go clean the room where the chicks are living. It is getting very dusty in there, and I want to have it done before my music lesson. Today I want to focus on my bass guitar - I'm really looking forward to my lesson. That will be my reward for getting my morning chores done.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I have been trying to keep a cloud journal. We have been having some outstanding spring skies this year, a rich blue with scattered altocumulus clouds. As lovely as it has been, there has been little change to report. Today, however, the clouds are telling us that the weather is about to shift. The clouds have increased in breadth and depth, developing through the day into full fledged cumulous clouds. They are beautiful and dramatic.
The buds of many of the flowering trees are transforming into blossoms. The buds on Lilee's flowering crab were a lovely red and tightly closed last week, This week they are getting plumper and some of them have opened into flowers.
The dogwood almost shines in the sun.
On up the hill, the flowering quince is in full bloom. I love the contrasts of the shades of pink.
The redbud has been attracting bees. I am still waiting to see if the honey bee population will continue making its comeback. We had more last year than we had in the previous years. These appear to be bumble bees - I am not really certain what kind of bee they are.
I love this old flowering crabapple. It blooms reliably and profusely every spring and provides a lovely shady place to cool off when we need a break from weeding the veggies.
I have been very happy to see that my jack-in-the-pulpits are proliferating. When we moved here, I found one lonely jack-in-the-pulpit in the woods. In the fall, I collected its seeds and spread them around the woods. I have continued to do that about every other year. Now I have some very nice jack-in-the-pulpit stands in the amongst the trees.
But my favorite find, aside from the blue birds' eggs I mentioned in my earlier blog, was this yellow trillium. I love trillium, but they were not growing in my little woods, and it is unethical to dig them up in the wild. Several years ago, I bought a trillium plant at a sale at the arboretum. I planted it, but was disappointed that it did not come up the following spring. Since then, I had forgotten all about it, so I was very surprised when I came across it on my walk this afternoon.
The sun has set on another miracle of a day. After such a long gray winter, I love to soak up the sun, revel in the clouds, smell the sweet scents of spring, take in the blue of the skies and the verdant green of the grass. The next few days are forecast to be colder and damp; that is the story the clouds have been telling today. We need the rain, so it will be a good thing. I am sated with the days we have been gifted with, and ready for the cooler weather and some rain.
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