12 March 2011

And the wind, she be blowin' tonight

Okay, it's been OVER a year without a blog entry. Yikes. And, "sorry!" is all I can say. Clearly, no one is following this blog and no one has minded my absence, it seems.

That said, I must confess that all the trivia and noise generated on FaceBook has me contemplating a return to The Blog-o-sphere. Oh, hey, when's the last time you recall anything in the news about Rod Blagojavic? We are mucking around with way too much Charlie Sheen... and WHO cares?!

All is well. Spring is nearly here. The ducks and geese are squabbling over contested territorial waters on the pond.

Bye for now.

19 December 2009

Six Days Until Christmas

Oh my, it's been since October since I have written? I'm sorry. Update on the handbell choir. We played a long concert at the local mall today; it went really well! Except that afterward while breaking down the tables, I got thwanged by the end of a vicious bungy cord. I've got a nasty "owie" bruise on my right thumb joint. Dang. And "the weather outside is frightful" and snowy but not as bad as Dan has it in D.C. When we last spoke to him he was planning to go out the next day to "make snow angels" on the Capitol lawn. You betcha. All of my Christmas shopping has been done. All of the out-of-town packages have been mailed. I only have a few more (local) gifts to wrap. But I'd rather just veg and knit and watch the snow come down. According to an email with photographic attachments from our friends in Koln, winter has also arrived in Germany. Greetings to all and Merry Christmas to all. Let's make it a great new year!!

02 October 2009

Fall is here

Hi all, it's a lovely Friday. The sun is shining but the wind is blowing. It's cold out. The wind is blowing the clouds across the sky; it's swell just to watch. Tonight we are packing for our trip to Washington D.C. where we will be visiting Dan!! Hopefully the weather will be reasonable in D.C. since Dan says he has many places he wants to show us and a lot of walking in this itinerary.

Other news: I've been invited to join the Grace Methodist Church Vesper Handbell Choir. No, I have never played handbells. I've attended two rehearsals so far and it is going to be fantastic fun! I will be playing the tenor (inside voices): G-flat, G, G#/A-flat, A, and A# notes. Not too many G-flats, thank goodness, so essentially four bells. I hope to do more research to help me understand the correct method for playing. Meantime my sight-reading, counting, and musical skills are being challenged. And I love it.

Also, I have begun as a Reading Mentor in my friend, Karen's, third-grade classroom. She has invited me to come once a week on Wednesday morning's to read with whatever students she feels need extra attention. It seems as if I have managed to schedule something interesting in every possible day of the week, and hour of the day: two part-time jobs, two extra-curricular activities, plus keeping our house humming. House-s. We still are keeping our little place down in Spencer. As soon as we return from seeing Dan, we'll have more winterizing to do down there.

02 September 2009

Better Late than Never

Well, It's been far too long. The truth is I'd forgotten that I had a blog because I've been immersed in the new experience of FACEBook. I think I like blogging better.

The photo above was taken at Kokomo Reservoir. We went there on a Sunday afternoon just to get some sun and fresh air and a large dose of "green".

The only news news is something most of the family already knows. And who else reads this blog?? Amy is ready to have her baby girl at any moment and we are all collectively holding our breath and crossing our fingers and toes in anticipation, praying for an uneventful delivery and a healthy baby. I missed the shower but Aunties Nan and Sue provided me with almost-real-time photos via their cell phone cameras.

22 April 2009

Socks on the quilt

Hi all, here's Socks (whom we inherited from Grandpa Austin) and he is helping me as I hand quilt this pretty flannel blanket. Amy said she was looking for letters and numbers. I found no fabric (yet) with numbers but the alphabet flannel with matching stars looked nice while I was continuing to search for other fabric for the Official Baby Quilt. Yep, she gets two blankies.
That's what happens when you have extra time on your hand...

09 April 2009

Opening Day! Openng Week! Yi haa

Goodbye basketball season, hello baseball! For those who don't already know, I am following the lead of our son, Dan, in rooting for the Boston Red Sox. They gave a pitiful performance last night, but oh well. It was wonderful to plotz upon the couch with a bag of popcorn and just watch the game. Well, I did keep my fingers busy with knitting. And have you heard? Knitting is now the rage (again); they say it keeps the mind active and staves off general mental deterioration. Duh. And what with my huge cache of yarn, and the fact that we are relocating to a place with cold winters, it wouldn't harm us to have a couple of extra thick neck scarves on hand. So knit away!

I took myself to the movies this afternoon to see "The Wrestler". Mickey Rourke's performance was extraordinary. I can't say I enjoyed the film because of its subject matter but it was well directed. I sure as heck am glad I don't live in New Jersey! Yikes.

The world sure seems to be all topsy-turvy: Somali pirates, angry people shooting others out of confusion and despair, earthquakes, violent Mexican drug cartel battles, unemployment, bankruptcy, bank & credit crises, Spring blizzards, PTSD, foreclosures, flooding, the wacky Octomom, tornadoes, terrorist suicide bombs, partisan politics, North Korean ICBM launches, d'ya think there might be any good news out there??? The latest prescription to fight depression is: Get a Dog. Sure. Oh, I'd better stop here before I spin out of orbit with the whats and the what ifs. Besides it is Easter weekend and there is a better approach to all of this craziness. God bless you all.

28 March 2009

Seven weeks and counting

Hi all, as the heading indicates, I am counting the weeks until Rick comes back to get me. It's very strange to have this long a time. We've known for a while that we would not be staying in El Paso permanently so many of our decisions came easily e.g. not buying a house here, not enrolling in a health club with a year-long commitment, etc.
Now I am experiencing a different kind of 'limbo': I'm not printing anymore address labels, and I'm not shopping for home decorating items, and I'm beginning to gauge what groceries to buy or not buy. Winding down as opposed to ginning up.
Also, at work (the school), I am not accumulating new lesson ideas for next year. I am organizing my clothes closet differently too. Soon, I will need to set aside clothing for the last week of teaching and the time we'll be traveling and the time we'll be in Indiana before the movers deliver our stuff.
Soon, but not yet. And that's the space I'm in now. Too soon to begin final move-out cleaning. And too soon to think about final good-byes. (I hate that part.) However, I'm trying to visit the places I'd like to have seen (or restaurants where I want to eat) and things like that.
It's nice to know that we'll be out of the hot high desert come July. It's already heating up and everyone seems to anticipate that El Paso will have a very hot summer judging from the temperatures now. However, I know I will miss the moderate winters and the dry heat. It's the trade off one makes for the lush green landscape. That's all for now. I'm back to designing a baby quilt for niece Amy. Hmmm. This requires much thought and a lot of trial and error on blank pattern design sheets with colored pens. A labor of love.

19 March 2009

Dan in El Paso

Okay, for those who like current photos, here's Dan in
our kitchen in El Paso. He's got his "thoroughly engaged
intellectually" face on. He does that a lot. When he's not
thinking hard (like at his job), he's playing hard at
photography and music and food (yep, he's a "foodie")
and such. It was wonderful to have him visit. We went
out to eat (see above) , went shopping (he needed
clothes!) and talked and laughed together. You recall
that he has one helluva good belly laugh, don't you?
I love that about him. I regret that I wasn't able to
get more photos. It was more important just to be with
him. I know you'll understand!

17 March 2009

I really need to get my camera out again!

Greetings. It's the middle of Spring Break AND it's wahoo St. Patrick's Day too! I wore a tacky grey t-shirt with a bright green shamrock on it and the phrase "Show Me Your Lucky Charms" emblazoned across the chest. This shirt will likely last for many years as I will only wear it once annually, if that. Sigh. News, have you heard the news? WE are going back to Kokomo. Rick has been transferred. We have just secured (formal lease will be signed this week) a very large and nice townhouse apartment there (available at the end of May). Of course, the real bummer is that I will be stuck in El Paso for the next eight weeks while Rick is batching it in a little furnished studio in Kokomo. I am counting the days. Less than fifty teaching days left. And will I return to teaching when I get to Indiana? Who knows. Otherwise, I just wanted to enter a posting to satisfy those few who visit my blog. Today was nice and sunny and warm and very relaxing. This is March Madness time too: NCAA basketball will keep me occupied this weekend (and the next). Be well.

16 January 2009

Happy New Year

On the eve of the week of The Inauguration, we are all fine. Happy New Year!
Yes, and thankfully it is a 'long weekend' as well. Monday is a school holiday.
Here's my 'new' classroom. As of the end of year holiday break, our language teacher, Ruth Lindstrom, retired and thus liberated a small classroom. I moved into this space and have transformed it from a reading room into a math room. What do you think?
And in this week's teacher memo, I see that we will have three new students when we return on the 20th; I wonder where we'll put them? I like my new space. I have room to store stuff and plenty of counter space to pile text books and notebooks waiting to be graded.
Rick and I have found a nice new weekly routine: we like going to the movies, the early show, on
Friday's. Tonight we went to see Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino"; we enjoyed it. Tomorrow, sleep late. YES. Next week more of the same. No guarantee when I'll write a new post. Until then, be well.

30 December 2008

Grandma Patsy and the Grandkids

Hello everyone. Rick's daughter, Tami, and her husband John and all of the grandkids: Jake, Kaitlyn, and Austin, came to visit and it was the absolute best Christmas gift ever! They only stayed overnight enroute back to Spokane. We walked over to Fuddrucker's for some dinner, and then we visited together while doing five loads of laundry in our apartment facility; en masse "The Wash" and then "The Dry" and then "The Folding"!! Afterwhich we walked back over to the brand new hotel across the street where they found accommodations... and the kids took advantage of the heated indoor swimming pool while us grownups watched and felt, well, like grownups! The wet hugs (intentional) after the swims was priceless. Hope YOU all had as an exceptional Christmas as we did.

28 October 2008

Nearly Election Day

Hi all, are you as excited as I am that it's nearly Election Day? I am so looking forward to the end of the Presidential Campaigns. You have no idea.
I am also glad that the summer temperatures are behind us. In El Paso, autumn/winter means it's sunny and dry. The highs around here are 7o degrees with the lows in the mid 40's. It doesn't get much better than that! As soon as the night time temperatures duck below freezing, all the mosquitoes will be gone. Yay.
School is going well. My new classroom is turning out to be nice. The assistant director has relocated some of the computers out of the lab and into actual classrooms. This affords me more space to teach! And possibly room for any new students that may enroll.
And the sump pump (see previous entry) has finally been installed in the house in Indiana. One less thing to worry about.
The Dow Jones average went up 889 points today. We just love the roller coaster ride, don't you?
Dan will be out of town ('back of beyond') departing the Sunday after Thankgiving. But he still has a job, so that's good. His new couch was delivered last Saturday. And he found a kitchen dinette set advertised locally on the internet. His place is shaping up; furniture definitely helps.
He just returned from an autumn jaunt up Old Rag Mountain, Virginia; it's a grand hike he says, despite the 35 degree weather and the snow and the wind.
Happy Halloween to those who enjoy celebrating.

07 September 2008


Hi all, No photos this time around. In fact the pictures I took of my classroom are already obsolete! I was happily ensconced in the Math Room when we discovered that nine large fourteen-year-old eighth graders really take up a whole lot more space than we expected. Big kids require more space; proximity promulgates problems. So, I'm banished across the hall.

Well, due to space constraints, I was already teaching three of my four classes "across the hall" in the computer lab. Now, the computer lab will be my permanent classroom to be shared as required when other teachers (language, grammar, social studies, science) need access to the computers. I moved all of my stuff out of my desk, moved my desk into the hall to be returned to the basement, moved an extra table into the middle of the computer lab and set up shop, as it were. It should be fine. I won't have to wheel the three-level rolling basket (the Learning Mobile) back and forth nor run in and out when I am missing some key tool (pencils, manipulatives, teacher edition book or what all). Plus, I can decorate! I can put up festive and amusing mathematical posters and learning tools. More on this after another week or so.

Meantime, Rick is back from his trip to Spencer. Things at the farm are okay except that as he was turning off the water, he double-checked the sump pump in the basement and it was spurting like (as he described it) an aneurysm. There was no time to repair this, else miss his flight out of Indianapolis. So, he called our neighbor there and asked if she'd arrange to have a new sump pump installed. Life is an adventure; always expect the unexpected.

Other news: I am a member of the Bridges Bulldogs Fantasy football league. "My" quarter back is Derek Anderson. He plays for the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland went up against the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon and got their proverbial butt kicked. At least Tony Romo did well; he's a Cowboy and all Math faculty swear fealty to the Cowboys as a caveat to their teaching contract. Lol.

Time to scrounge up some supper. Until next time. Be well and stay dry. Keep your eye on Ike.

11 August 2008

Road Trip!

Hi all, And here's Cactus Pat!
Yep, last weekend, my friend Vanessa and I drove from El Paso to Tucson to visit Amy and Jon. And to pick up a couple of boxes of "stuff" from HQ. We had a really nice visit. Both Vanessa and I wanted to do the typical tourist things which included a visit to the Saguaro National Forest. Very cool.
No, actually, it was pretty dang hot out there! Then we went to the movies and saw Hellboy 2. Then we went out to eat: Mexican food, por su puesto. At La Parilla Suiza which according to the menu is food prepared in the Mexico City style. It was excellent. And Jon paid the eight piece Mariachi band to play "Los Colores". It was a fantastic day.
Now, I'm home again and getting myself organized and mentally prepared for school to start again. We'll have two days of Teacher In-service on Thursday and Friday. Then we have three days for last minute preparation. Students return on the 21st. Whee!

15 July 2008

St. Mark's Mission Team in Szeged, Hungary

Hi all, Here's the combined family: the congregation of Methodist Church in Szeged, Hungary, with the mission team from St. Mark's United Methodist Church of El Paso, Texas. Yes, Rick and I went on a mission trip. I am standing right in the center of the crowd behind the young man in the bright blue t-shirt.

We worked very hard. The pastor and his family was extraordinarily friendly and generous and warm and supportive. It was incredible. In the lower left hand corner of the photo is Margaret/"Moncy", the pastor's mother, who is the same age as my mother, Ruth, would be. We bonded. This only enhanced the entire experience.

I'll try to upload some of the views from our short sightseeing adventure in Budapest that was tacked onto the end of our trip. Budapest is a very exciting and interesting city. Two thumbs up for those who care to keep track.

24 May 2008

The missing image of the cake....

Okay, here's the image of the cake described below. It seems that perhaps one can only publish three images per blog entry? Who knows! I've spent way too much time trying to get this blog thingy to cooperate. PHooey. But, hey, doesn't the cake look yummy? and please read the entry right below too. Thanks to all who called and who sent greetings and who sang to me!!!

Photos from My Birthday!!

Hi all, it's been a busy week. I turned 55 on Wednesday and I thought I'd share some of the images with you: First is what was left of the yummy cake that my Bridges Academy coworkers brought (along with several amazing gifts), next my helium birthday balloon,then the inflatable cake which greated me at St. Mark's (and the director of Early Ed as well as the office staff met me at the door to sing 'Happy Birthday', and lastly the beautiful bouquet sent from my dear friend Kathy. It was a very good day! I received numerous cards in the mail and telephone calls at home. Tonight, now that we've reached the weekend and many other commitments have been fulfilled, Rick and I will celebrate by going out to dinner and a movie. Yipee!

30 April 2008

Mayday Mayday

Oh, okay, so I lied. It's still April 30th. And no photos tonight. Sorry. This month blew by in part because of Spring Break. I did visit Dan in Baltimore and we had a great time!!! We even attended the very first (exhibition) game played in the new Washington Nationals baseball Park. And now I am winding down the school year. My ninth graders climbed up (unsafely, I might add) on a rolling chair to write "only 12 more days of school for the 9th graders" on the chalk board. They promised to keep it updated. Teachers and students alike are eager for the year to be over. My teacher/parent conferences are about done. And El Paso is in the midst of it's seasonal dust storm season wherein visibility is reduced to less than a mile and you can't see the mountains because the blowing sand is obliterating the view. It gets in your car, your apartment, your hair, your teeth and the wind blows across the top of the chimney and makes a generally spooky woo wooing howl.
Yeah, it's like that. What's new with everyone else? Anybody reading anything of consequence? I am reading the latest by Daniel Quinn; any of his are well worth the effort. (hint hint). Rick and I have been working hard at fundraising for our upcoming Mission trip to Hungary in late June; thanks to all who are supporting this. S'later. Patsy

01 March 2008

Completed Pottery -- wooo hoo!

Ten pieces completed. Some of the pots are nice. Some of the glazes are nice. The tallest is roughly five inches. The smallest will be perfect for paperclips. I'm pleased. What do you think?? Mission Accomplished in El Paso.

The goal of this class was to teach us how to throw cylinders. I succeeded in this regard. My personal goal was just to be able to center the darn things! Yep. Can do. Beyond that, was to come home with pretty items. And... I learned that I really like to paint things. If money were no object, I'd have a studio with a fancy wheel and a powerful kiln, an unlimited supply of good clay, and a rainbow of glazes. I know that this is pure fantasy; but we all should be able to dream a little, no?

27 February 2008

Parade for soldiers returning to Fort Bliss

Here's Ms. Patsy and a few of the boys from Bridges Academy. Today almost the entire student body walked the few blocks to Montana Avenue to attend the El Paso Heroes Parade: welcoming back the soldiers returning to Fort Bliss. We made posters, we held banners, we waved flags. Hundreds of men and women in uniform marched by and we cheered and shouted our support.

The only thing missing (truly) was a few marching bands-- that would have added a lot.
However, there was one small group of soldiers- about twenty musicians - and they did play. They were followed by upwards of thirty riderless horses led by soldiers (boots in the stirrups backwards) in memory of the fallen. Our own Fort Bliss soldiers killed in combat.

Other than that it's been a busy few weeks since I last wrote.

Dan is off on vacation. I didn't talk to him before he left. I'm hoping to get a full report when he returns. How nice it will be for him to escape the nasty winter weather in Baltimore in exhange for the sunny climes of the Caribbean (sp?).
I'm tired. And I just wanted to share these photos with ya'll.

04 February 2008

Patsy's into Pot

Wow, three new photos for you. Yep, that's me at the Potter's Wheel. This has been a dream I have had for years.. literally.. since the ninth grade when I had only one chance to try out throwing clay and centering on a wheel and I failed. Oh misery. Now I have succeeded. My skills are oh so modest, but even my instructor acknowledges that I can do it. I am eager to improve. I am eager to learn how to apply glaze and see what my pots look like with color too. But that's in the weeks to come. Knock wood that my pieces don't explode in the kiln when they are fired. Yes, the slimy mucky clay is totally fun. I love getting my hands all wet and dirty. There are six others in our Sunday afternoon class and we are all enjoying the experience.
IN other news: weather report: today we had a nasty dust storm, it's blowing like a sonofagun and the sand/dust is everywhere. One must scrape a layer off one's face. It's bad. And you really can't see much on the road-- visibility is really poor. Indoors, it sounds like a mournful dog howling. And Rick says when the front passes through, the temperatures will plummet and we may see some freezing rain. Oh swell.
Algebra and the ninth graders are doing better. We'll be venturing into the unknown realm of Polynomials in the next few weeks. One of my students crashed his ATV (in a competition of some sort) and dislocated his collarbone. His right arm is bandaged to his side. His homework will be done at recess/lunch as he dictates what he wants me to write (and then score). I don't mind. It more-or-less guarantees that he'll get his HW done. He's been one of my slackers.
Dan news: he just bought a Nikon S100 35mm film camera. Apparently he will be able to interchange all the lenses he has for his digital camera and use them on both. He's a happy guy now. Best wishes to all family stuck in the colder climes. Three cheers for the NY Giants!

12 January 2008

First of two new entries

Hi All,
Looks cold doesn't it? This was taken at our farm in Indiana on New Year's Day during a snow storm. Actually, it was the last photograph my digital camera would record because it quit working due to the low temperatures.
The weather people reported that the air temperature was 2 degrees with a wind chill of minus 14 degrees. What, you may ask, were we doing outside on such day? Experiencing LIFE, liberty, and... oh yeah, we are nuts!
Keep scrolling down to my second entry of 2008 below. See ya!

December and January updates

Hi all, Here is the first photo I found when browsing for something to add to this entry. It's a photo of
our diningroom table with our Christmas tree and the Christmas gift basket I eventually sent off to Dan in Baltimore: filled with goodies!
We did not put up a proper tree here in Texas because we flew to Indiana ON Christmas Day!
Home again to the land of warm sunshine... it's January. I'm back to work at Bridges Academy. The students are doing surprisingly well; why did I fret so much about it over the holiday? heaven only knows.
Dittos for the kiddos in Afterschool Care at St. Mark's (my afternoon job). Two weeks in the life of a three year old can bring significant changes and growth.
Other miscellaneous news: I am enrolled in a pottery/ceramics/wheel throwing clay class at the Art Museum: it will meet for the next seven Sundays; hopefully if I can make something worthy, then I will photograph it to share with you!
Anybody have any good New Year's resolutions to share? I normally don't make any "real" ones. But my intention of late is to persevere with my weight loss. Twentyfive down and, oh, maybe another twentyfive to go? Baby steps; I'll be delighted if I can bring it down another ten by the time my birthday rolls around in May. Sigh. But ya gotta love those baggy pants that must be permanently retired from working inventory.
Dan says he's plannng on a vacation trip to the Domincan Republic at the end of February. How cool is that? The Fodor's manual I checked out from the Library say's the island of Hispaniola is filled with white sandy beaches; works for me! And, oh yeah, they like baseball there. Alot.
No political comments this time around. Check back after Super Tuesday in February. It's going to be a very interesting year; no doubt about that.

07 November 2007

Wednesday is "hump day"

I brought V-8 juice, yogurt, and a banana to eat for lunch today. I'm trying to be good! And what happens? It's Antonio's birthday. We are all to sing to him at 10 o'clock break. His parents show up and Mom distributes piping hot fresh Krispy Kreme donuts to all! Yikes.

The director of our school made an appearance in my classroom this morning with the pronouncement that it would be a really good idea if all the students would remember to ask for extra help and to take advantage of my availability. And to get into the habit of doing this now and in the future... It's a good thing.

This morning the Bridges Academy Director of Development, Ms. Ruby, cornered me for confirmation that I am, indeed, a singer... and would I be interested in participating in some of the musical programs for the holidays? You bet I would! It would be an honor and a privilege. I 'll keep you posted; more news as it happens.

I am studying this afternoon the material we will be using this weekend at the UMC Lay Speakers Training up in Las Cruces. Did I mention this in my last post? Did I also say that I am the worst procrastinator when it comes to homework? Well, as long as I am upstairs with the computer on, I'd best type up and print out my next two quizzes and then head back downstairs to read.

05 November 2007

Patsy on Crazy PJs day at Bridges Academy

Hi all,
The last week of October was designated as "Drug Awareness Week" and we (my current employer is a private school--Bridges Academy) celebrated it all week long. The concluding Friday was Crazy PJ Day. What fun!!!
Don't you just love "Happy Bunny"? It really IS "all about ME." He he he
Well, it's November. I never did get to carve my pumpkin. Just the same, I'm keeping it on my diningroom table to fulfill my Harvest Decoration requirement.
My Algebra students are doing well. Their homeroom has been split up to minimize the herd mentality (clique) that was beginning to interfere with all of our teaching. Each of the ninth graders has been reassigned to a new homeroom with a younger grade. The parents were reminded that their children were invited back for their ninth grade year as a special favor. (Normally, they would have graduated after eight grade). And that disrespectful and/or time-wasting behavior would not be tolerated. Today I changed the seating arrangement in my class; behavior was greatly improved. What a relief!

I am also keeping busy at church. Did you know that I've been singing with the Music Worship team? At the fewest we are a duet (myself and our music director, Vanessa); at most we are six voices and Vanessa at the keyboard. She and I are collaborating on song arrangements. My participation is to sing a harmonious alto part to fit with whatever delightful piano accompaniment Vanessa generates. Boy, getting to use my creativity has been satisfying.

Rick and I have been invited to join Vanessa and her husband (and his parents) for Thanksgiving this year. We both agree that more is better. Turkey For Two just doesn't cut it!

If you want economic and/or political opinions, may I direct you to Paul's blog. I just don't have the energy to enter into a debate herein. I'd get on a Rant and never get off!! But I can report that son, Dan, is fine. Still hanging out in Baltimore, Maryland. He's dating a new young lady.
We know very little about her other than she is a good cook and likes to travel and she and her family are from New Jersey. On the job front: Dan occasionally complains about the incredible lack of motivation among government contractors. It seems like he is hanging on to his high standards despite the challenges he encounters on a daily basis.

So, dear brother, I hope this chases away the "spiders in the blogbox" satisfactorily??? This was written on the fly, not composed and edited and inserted. Take it or leave it . I'll take more photographs, I promise.

04 October 2007

Mrs. B's Algebra class & the New Shuffle

Well, it's October. I bought a pumpkin. The only available space to put it was on the sideboard. The sad thing is that it is so nearly spherical, it looks like a basketball! I need to wait another week at least before I carve it; then it may look like it's "s'posed" to, eh?

The Algebra class is giving me "fits". They have serious trouble comprehending and remembering. And yet they (and their respective parents) are complaining that I'm going too slowly and I am asking them to "do stuff they've already had before". My response, with the support of other similarly challenged faculty, was that if they know the stuff so well, why am I not seeing it reflected in excellent homework and quizzes? If they want to go faster, fine; show me you can do what I've assigned, and we'll move forward! Now the onus is on them: if you don't remember how to do fractions, you really need to ask for help outside of class. And the first thing to do when beginning your homework is to re-read the chapter and read the directions preceding each group of excercises. Words to be carved on my tombstone. Sigh.

Last night I went to Wal-Mart. Last night I treated myself (ah! splurged!) to an iPod "Shuffle" music (MP3 type) player. It's wonderful! I can listen to music and I can also download books-on-tape/CD as well. It's very "cute" and about the size of a piece of Hershey's miniature chocolate. Mine is a lovely lime green. "oh, I'd like that blue one... no no no, I'd really rather have that green one, thank you!" the sales lady was very nice to me. So far I have two John Mayer CD's on it, plus Mike Stein's "Shabbat in Swing Time!", and a CD by Maroon 5. And I am importing four discs from Frank McCourt's book, "Teacher Man". Grandma Patsy has joined the twentyfirst century. What next?

Tomorrow there is no class, but the staff and faculty must show up to school for two "In Service" presentations. Oh yeah, we're also having a breakfast potluck, just to make it more tolerable. Okay! Homemade biscuits and sausages and two liters of orangeade/lemonade should do me for that.

Enjoy your weekend.

30 September 2007

OH my, time to catch you all up with what's new!

Hello and forgive me for abandoning the blog for so many weeks! It's unforgivable. But I can explain!

The last post said nothing had happened with regard to tutoring. This is still a true statement. But in the meantime, I was hired by the Church School part of St. Mark's Methodist Church as a teacher's aide in the Early Education area. That lasted a week, until the woman whom I was hired to replace came back. Suddenly I became superfluous. But to give her credit, the E.E. Director quickly moved me into training to become a substitute teacher. Fortunately, I've become a pretty flexible person (comes with "age"...).

However, while the changes were coming at me fast and furious, yet another opportunity presented itself! One of the codirectors of last summer's Reading Camp had been singing my praises to her "boss" at a private school for students with learning disabilities in El Paso. And the director called me since they (Bridges Academy) had an urgent need for someone, part-time, to take over their ninth grade algebra class. To make a long story short, this is where I am now! It seemed a better course for me to go--> part-time permanent at Bridges versus part-time "on call" as a substitute. And I must say I am happy with my decision. I work with a tremendously dedicated staff. They are friendly too!
I am really happy to have a routine again.

Now, you must be asking, "what does that have to do with the photograph posted above???" I'll get to that! My friend Vanessa (who is the accompanist for our small singing group at Church) invited me to attend any of the plays produced by El Paso's Shakespeare On The Rocks. She and I (and our husbands) have discovered that we share many of the same interests, which is creating lots of opportunities to get together. She and I went to see "The Tempest" last weekend. It was held out of doors in a fairly small, rock amphitheater on the south side of El Paso. She brought a basket of sandwiches, iced tea, biscotti, and fruit, and cookies so we had quite a nice picnic before and during the play.

"The Tempest" was done with little or no sets but magnificent costumes. The cast was a small group of very talented young people who are frequently seen around town in other dramatic productions. I am proud to tuck yet another Shakespeare play under my belt; it helps reduce the deficit that exists in my quest for nominal literacy. And I'm delighted to have a new buddy who will invite me and accept my invitations to do fun things!

So here it is another Sunday afternoon. The last day of September. Chores to do. Laundry, bill-paying, letter-writing, grocery-shopping, lesson plan writing, football game watching. We are looking foward to a happy October. In fact, this coming week will be a short one for me, work-wise, since we'll have Friday and the following Monday "off" for Fall Break. I might take myself to a movie matinee or something else indulgent.

27 July 2007

Final Friday of July

Hi all, and happy Friday,
Nothing yet has developed with the tutoring plans. In the meantime I am planning to join a local exercise club so I can get back in shape. The best recent news is that I am now a Great Auntie! My nephew Paul and his wife are the proud new parents of a baby boy: Brian Victor. Sigh. Weather report: cloudy with a slight possibility of showers later; nothing like the flooding in central Texas though. Chores to do today, and pay bills, and go to the bank etc. I told you-- nothing particularly new with that. Oh, I took myself to see the Disney/PIXAR studio movie "Ratatouille". It's very good and tons of fun to see. Update on Dan: he's fine!!

08 July 2007

Summer Reading Camp 2007

Well, the past month was loads of fun! And the good news is that I may have the opportunity to continue tutoring the young lady above in reading. We hit it off really well and her mother is hoping to continue, now that there is some momentum.
How could I not? I love to share my joy of reading. I have made many new friends through this volunteer effort at St. Marks's and perhaps some gainful employment opportunities may be generated? Time will tell.
Otherwise, it's July, which in El Paso means hot weather. However, since Amy declares that monsoon season has hit Tucson, it's can't be far behind for us! I wish I had some interesting news to write about. Unless you want me to expound upon the styles and methods of teaching first graders their short vowels (and the short vowel song too, don't you know!) then I'll just let you all know that we are fine for now.
I am happily catching up on numerous unfinished projects. Both Rick and I are looking forward to when the temperatures moderate (downward) so that we can resume our evening walks and other outdoor activities. Until then, or until something fascinating happens to me or near me.

02 June 2007

June Update

Hi all, it's June. And I don't have any new photos for ya'll this time around. Perhaps, next time. Most everyone has received the invitation to view my latest photo album after our trip into the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, so I won't bore you further. News of the day is that I no longer work for ADC Telecommunications. I am presently in between assignments and will remain so until September. However, I have volunteered at our church to be a tutor in their summer reading camp. This begins on Monday and will continue for four weeks. Today, I managed to put on my swimsuit and I went swimming and sunbathing at the pool in our apartment complex. With any luck, I plan to repeat this activity several more times! Later this summer, at the end of August, Rick and I are scheduled to fly back to Spencer, Indiana, where we will be supervising the removal of the old roof and the installation of a new roof on our little bungalow home. Other than that, no big plans. Dan calls regularly to give us updates on his work and play out there in big bad Baltimore. He's working very hard and it seems to be satisfying according to his reports. He's also taking time to get out of the office. His last adventure was hiking in the Harper's Ferry National Park which is about one hour west of him on the border between Maryland and West Virginia along the headwaters of the Potomac. It's very nice to talk to him and to learn that he's enjoying himself.

16 March 2007

Tiring of papercrafts, she returns to quilting...

Another week has flown by. And the weather is unseasonably warm. Last weekend we went to see the recent Academy award winning German film "The Lives of Others". I highly recommend it!

I am working on a quilt for Paul and Christina. Since the baby isn't due until later this summer, I do have a small cushion of time. I like working with primary colors; they are appropriately stimulating!

02 March 2007

What's in our "back yard"

Overlooking the Rio Grande, the Franklin Mountains are the northern ramparts of the Paso del Norte (Pass of the North), leading from Mexico into what is now the United States. For thousands of years, native Americans, and for the last four centuries, soldiers, priests, traders, adventurers, gold-seekers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folk have passed through the gap in both directions in an endless procession of expansion, settlement, raiding, and conquest. Native American groups made the area home, using the plant and animal resources of the Franklins for more than 12,000 years, until their forced removal during the late 19th century. These people left their marks upon the rocks of the Franklins - colorful pictographs on boulders and in rock shelters and deep mortar pits (used to grind seeds) in rock outcrops near scattered water sources. Beginning in the 1580s, less than a century after Columbus, Spanish conquistadors and priests passed beneath the peaks of the Franklins on their mission to conquer and colonize the Puebloan villages in present-day New Mexico.