Tuesday, February 23, 2010

le GRAND voyage

my parents are amazing. today they left on a month long, solo (yup, just the two of 'em) voyage through the grand canyon on the colorado river. they won't be back till march 27th. that's one day AFTER i get back from my two week trip to france, and i don't leave for that for 2 1/2 weeks! crazy right! i'm so so so excited for them (and jealous, and i'll admit a tad worried). they did their first trip down there back in '92, and it's been a torrid love affair every since. this trip will mark my dad's 40th time rowing the canyon. and did i mention A MONTH!!??? they are going to get to do SO many new hikes with the cooler weather and extended time, and camp at all those tiny secluded beaches that are too small for a big commercial or private trip. it's going to be amazing. it's going to be magical. it is a gateway into a new phase for them. an old family friend wrote this to my parents the other day, and i think it beautifully conveys what this trip is about for them:
I am so excited about your and Joe's rafting trip. What I like the most about your trip is that you chose to do it with just the two of you. As I evaluate my life, what I have experienced, what I yearn for, where I am looking to go to, this choice of yours to share this adventure exclusively with each other restores my faith in the concept of true and real love. Love deep enough to weather through both the sunny days and the stormy days of life, love deep enough to work through both pain and joy, love deep enough to overcome personal and couple weaknesses and become stronger and more bonded. Thank you for your example as a couple.
amen to that. i admire my parents and love them so much. they are my heroes, and i'm so proud of them for continuing to dream big and do what they love. please keep them in your prayers so they return home safe!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

le printemps

today feels a little like spring. there is a thaw in the air. one of my students came to class in flip flops. there are new smells in the air, smells that give a glimmer of sunshine to come, of flowers that are just now starting to stir in the tips of trees and bushes all around. i can't wait. today i bought tickets to france for spring break. still crossing my fingers this trip works out between visas and herding teens, etc. and then there is this poem, the first one in the second volume of collected works by mary oliver that someone just gave me. i love it.

North Country

by Mary Oliver

In the north country now it is spring and there
is a certain celebration. The thrush
has come home. He is shy and likes the
evening best, also the hour just before
morning; in that blue and gritty light he
climbs to his branch, or smoothly
sails there. It is okay to know only
one song if it is this one. Hear it
rise and fall; the very elements of your soul
shiver nicely. What would spring be
without it? Mostly frogs. But don't worry, he

arrives, year after year, humble and obedient
and gorgeous. You listen and you know
you could live a better life than you do, be
softer, kinder. And maybe this year you will
be able to do it. Hear how his voice
rises and falls. There is no way to be
sufficiently grateful for the gifts we are
given, no way to speak the Lord's name
often enough, though we do try, and

especially now, as that dappled breast
breathes in the pines and heaven's
windows in the north country, now spring has come,
are opened wide.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

february acquistions to my library

this month i decided to purchase for my book "this is for you" a book of papercuts by rob ryan. i blogged about this a long time ago, and have been lusting after this book ever since and never felt justified in buying it. this resolution to build my library is the perfect justification. and i think it's the perfect book for february because is seems so sweet and filled with love. just look at this one! doesn't it just melt your heart?
the film for this month is one that i consider to be so romantic and wonderful "howl's moving castle" by miyazaki. i love the magic, tenderness, and poetic nature of this film. i watched it again over christmas with my family and fell in love all over again. can't wait to call it mine.

heart attack

today i found my office white board looking like this. a heart attack from some of my students. it's moments like this that make it all worth while. it's the little simple things that let you know someone cares that really make a difference. thank you my senior girls.

Monday, February 08, 2010

my mom is on etsy.

check it.


i just read this little essay by my great-uncle george about his faith. he just turned 90 and is such a gentle, persistent, keenly intelligent, good person. i love and admire him and feel lucky to know him. yesterday i came across these verses in psalms 37:3-10 that really spoke to my heart:
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
i love the counsel to trust, delight, commit, and wait patiently on the Lord. i feel like i am learning and relearning this continually, each time going a little deeper, like george says, learning it in the way you know goodness is better then being rough.

Friday, February 05, 2010

roses in december

remember how pres. monson is always saying that God gave us memories so we have roses in december? today i am remember what it was like to sit on the gorgeous deck at finca maresia in drake bay costa rica last year. the view of the gorgeous sky (i took this photo there), the scarlet macaws flying by, the warm air, the jungle noises slowly drifting up, the cats asleep at my feet, the half read book in my lap, the lack of any responsibility, the promise of a delicious spanish meal made by darling juan, siiiighhh. i would give everything in my bank account to be back there now. but for now i will remember, and smile as i listen to some student struggle through 'girl from ipanema' on the trumpet that is drifting down the hall to my office.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

what kids want

i found this list on my friend jenny's blog (she is an awesome mom) and she got it from this site. i'm not a mom yet, but i have a mom, a really great mom. a mom who did all these things with me all the time (well, except watch t.v. together, we didn't have one, but nowdays she watches 'project runway' with me sometimes and loves it, that's pretty great). and this list just gave me a little lift, faith in humanity. corporations are always trying to tell us what kids want- xboxes and fancy robots and candy- well maybe they want those things but what they REALLY want, and what really matters at the end of the day are these things. this reminds me of some research i read in grad school that showed that parents thought the most meaningful things they did with their kids were the big family vacations or trips, where the kids said the most meaningful things were the day to day stuff, like reading in bed, or shooting hoops together, or talking in the kitchen. it's the simple stuff that matters most, and makes the lasting impression. so all you moms and dads out there, keep rocking the simple life. don't worry about that disney princess cruise, that stuff doesn't last in the long run.
  1. Come into my bedroom at night, tuck me in and sing me a song. Also tell me stories about when you were little.
  2. Give me hugs and kisses and sit and talk with me privately.
  3. Spend quality time just with me, not with my brothers and sisters around.
  4. Give me nutritious food so I can grow up healthy.
  5. At dinner talk about what we could do together on the weekend.
  6. At night talk to me about anything: love, school, family etc.
  7. Let me play outside a lot.
  8. Cuddle under a blanket and watch our favorite TV show together.
  9. Discipline me. It makes me feel like you care.
  10. Leave special messages in my desk or lunch bag. (i still remember some of the notes my mom wrote on my napkins in my lunch)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

house on fire

today i was driving home from the grocery store and saw a huge billowing black column of smoke rising from what i knew could only be a house on fire. since i hadn't heard sirens, and since the fire hadn't been there ten minutes before when i drove by, and since all the firefighters were sort of standing around watching, not fighting, and since the house on fire was an abandoned house, i figured it was a controlled burn. still, it made me sad. it wasn't this house (i didn't have my camera on me), it was this darling little old red brick small pioneer style house. a house that everytime i passed it i envisioned myself someday buying and fixing up. it was a sweet little place, and it make me get a bit teary eyed to see it engulfed in flames, orange flaring out the windows and smoke racing out the roof. it made me sad too to think of the memories it held in its physicality. i thought of all the lives, loves, heartaches, joys, births, deaths, changes, tender moments, things learned, meals eaten, stories read, hearts shared, reunions, etc. it's walls may have seen. and now it's gone. for what. who knows. i hope not for some new ugly pile of house to crop up overnight like a pernicious fungus. sigh. i remember when i was a little girl they burned down a similarly adorable old pioneer home on my block. just for practice. i wish we were more keen on restoring, and less keen on practicing destruction.

Monday, February 01, 2010

remember the 80's when perms were really big?

well, three decades later, i got one. yup. first treatment type thing i've ever done to my hair. and let's just say my hair didn't do so hot. it was too healthy really. now let me just clarify i was not going for the poodle perm here, the rods my hairdresser used were really big. this was a body wave. and it worked sort of. just didn't hold as well as hoped. it looks great wet, but then as it dries (i only air dry my hair) it looks sort of stringy and funky. dirty hippy hair. but i kind of like it. eh. it was an experiment. and my hair still feels pretty healthy.