Saturday, February 04, 2012
Attended and spoke at my friend's memorial service yesterday. It is hard to know the right words to say. There are no 'right' words, but words seem insufficient to express the importance of someone's life and the grace they have given their friends and community by their existence. His memorial service was a beautiful reflection of his life. The room was beyond full and the hall and lobby were packed with people who did not fit in the room. So many of the children, some now adults, whose lives he touched were there and spoke to how they are now writers because of his love and influence.
The week has been a long one with difficult twists and turns. I need a long hike in the woods with time to reflect, and time to just be home, so I am very grateful for the weekend.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
This has been a hard week on both a personal and a professional level. As most of you know, the week started on a difficult note with the suicide on the bike path and right across from the school. This caused quite a bit of concern from the children who needed a lot of processing time regarding this. It is where they walk, ride their bikes, and play.
After I got home and settled in on Monday evening, I got the news that a dear friend died suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive heart attack on Monday morning. Don's children and mine went to school together, and we have been friends for many years. Don loved our school and spent many hours volunteering teaching creative writing to my students. He wrote a wonderful book about our school, and was also serving on our school board.
In the broader community, Don mentored writing with high school students and at the college, as well as helped students organize community building activities and with mediation and conflict resolution skills. He was a warm, thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and dynamic person.
The children were very upset to learn of his death. I am certain that the entire community is very upset to learn about his death. I miss him already, and am still trying to wrap my mind about not having him in my life any more. The world seems a lot emptier without him here to share it.
Monday, January 30, 2012
I live in a small, peaceful college town. It is the kind of place where if you forgot your wallet and you have gotten through the line at the groceries store, you can take your groceries home and come back later with your money. Sure, there is some crime; stolen bikes, etc. but it has always felt safe, insulated.
Yesterday morning a man was found shot dead on the bike path right across the street from the school where I teach. There is no other information right now, except that he was shot in the chest and was in his mid-50s. This is such sad and horrifying news. I feel quite certain that the man felt safe as he walked on the path, we all do.
I am not naive, I know violence can happen everywhere, even in a sweet bucolic college town, but it is still shocking. In fact, I find it sad that in many areas of the country, the world, it is no longer shocking when someone is murdered because it happens so often.
I worry about finding out who was shot - it is sad for whoever it was, but was it someone I know?
This is where I walk every morning during the work week; and in the dark through the winter months since that is when I can get my walks in. I think nothing of walking alone, or walking in the dark. I will not be doing this again until more news comes out about how and why this occurred.
I am grateful that it was not a child on her/his way to school who discovered him lying dead on the path.
So sad, so scary.
It has been ruled a suicide:
Thursday, January 26, 2012
It was another big cooking day at school for a school celebration of the Year of the Dragon. My class made the Vietnamese spring rolls (one of my favorites) and egg rolls.
The Vietnamese rolls are so light and healthy and delicious! Here are the ingredients all laid out and ready to assemble. In the ones we made today: rice noodles, cilantro, carrot strips with a little rice vinegar, and bean sprouts, wrapped in a rice spring roll wrapper.
The assembled rolls look like this:
No frying, no fat, just fresh yumminess.
We also made egg rolls. The children did the chopping and wrapping, but I did the frying.
Lots of healthy veggies in them (bok choy, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, Chinese cabbage, fresh ginger, and garlic) but definitely fried.
The kindergarten children performed the dragon dance and led us all to lunch.
This was my delicious lunch:
Tofu stir fry, made by the 1st - 2nd grade, almond cookie prepared by the kindergarten, jasmine tea, prepared by the nursery school children, plus an egg roll and spring roll prepared by my group.
After school, I had my acupuncture appointment. My acupuncturist is trying to help me with my sleep problems, but that issue is much slower to respond than my treatments for my back and hip. I also have an appointment with the sleep clinic doctor next week for an assessment. I hope I can get this straightened out because this chronic sleep deprivation is taking its toll on me.
After dinner I went to my guitar lesson, which is always a treat, then on to the gym before returning home.
it's time to wind down.
On tap for tomorrow - parent conferences.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Fun With Bubbles
Well, tomorrow is Stella's birthday. I can hardly believe she will be four years old; it just doesn't seem like it's been that long since I brought the little black ball of energy home. It was March and in the middle of getting the class ready for their spring musical. And here I was with this poodle puppy who was either zooming around the house full speed, pestering the ancient cat, or sound asleep somewhere where I couldn't find her, scaring me to death that I had somehow lost her.
Even when she was relatively calm, she was a wild-eyed maniac, LOL!
She did, eventually graduate from obedience school.
Although, that didn't slow her down at all!
How about music lessons?
She loves her Peeps, is an excellent baby sitter,
and has even taught my granddaughter to fetch!
Happy birthday to my beautiful, free spirited diva, Stella.
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