I've just got to share the good stuff I read.

I love to read. I read every chance I get. If I read something really good, I want to share it with my friends and co-workers. I make copies of magazine articles, read aloud to my students, tell others about good books I'm reading, and keep a book with me at all times.

I love teaching and learning new things. I need a place to share some of the lessons and what my students and I learn. Since my teaching situation is different from everyone else's in my school, I would like to tell all of you in the blog-o-sphere about these great lessons.

Feel free to share what you are reading, teaching and learning with us in the comments.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

busy day running errands, hair cut, working on quilt.

 I seem to go through reading spells. I finished one British cozy and really only want to read more of this series but the library doesn't have any available. There are other books I'm sort of reading but nothing too exciting.

In the back of my mind I keep thinking about possibilities next year. If I am offered a new teaching position, what will I do with all my stuff? I may have park my car outside for a while.

Going to get little boy, so E and B can have a new's years night out. We will be asleep before midnight, so happy new year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Current favorite mysteries

Recently bought some paperbacks by a new to me writer, Ann Purser. The first one was Murder on Monday. The main character is a funny, feisty cleaner in a small village in England. The author lives in a small village and loves to read mysteries, too. After I finished the first book I recommended it to Mr. M. We are trying to find the rest of the series at the library but only a few are available in our local branch.
Looked for a photo of the book cover. No luck.
Had a good Christmas with everyone here for supper. Now the tree is packed away. Maybe I will get some sewing done next week.
New beginnings in a few days.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Must Read Mysteries

Someone wrote in last Sunday's paper about 6 must read mystery novels. I want to check them out, not sure if I have read all of them. So I thought I would list them here and maybe later write my thoughts.
1. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes, of course)
2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (think I have read this)
3. The Moving Target by Ross Macdonald
4. Strangers on a Train byPatricia Highsmith (was this a movie?)
5. A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (read some of her books)
6. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I am reading a series by Ann Purser. I bought the first one but found some at the library. The cover says it is for fans of the British cozy with a twist. Whatever it is called, I'm enjoying reading them.

All for now.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What, me, write for an encyclopedia?

Well, sort of an encyclopedia. I have been asked and accepted to write 3000 words on the topic "Building Vocabulary through think-aloud/read aloud". Oh, Yes! I think I can write about that.

The article? will be part of a volume on vocabulary for second language learners. I have looked over the writing guidelines. I think I can do this. I want to do a great job.

Of course, no money is involved in this writing opportunity. But I have wanted to write a journal article and didn't really know where to start.

Looking back at my title, I remembered when we got encyclopedias at our house. I was nine years old. Whenever I didn't have a book to read, I would read the encyclopedias. Which probably led to my know-it-all attitude. What can I say?

Psyching myself up. This is just a little longer than one national board entry. I can do this!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What I'm listening to and remembering

Since my favorite radio station has been fund raising this past week, I have been listening to my Celtic Woman CDs as I drive around town. And when I listen to Celtic Woman I remember the concert we enjoyed at Red Rocks a few years ago.

It was a birthday present to me. Joey and Jessie still lived in the Denver area and we all went to the concert. I know it's not their music style but the concert was wonderful and the venue is outstanding. I wanted to get on stage and sing with CW. So glad we went and I can visualize the concert when I listen to their music.

My life has been about music, listening, singing, playing, and performing. I am so thankful for music.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Some Times I Feel Like a Motherless Child

When I was a teenager I would play the piano and sing sad songs and feel sorry for myself. After looking at posts on Facebook and looking at quilting blogs I'm ready to find some sad songs to play. I am overwhelmed with my lack of ability in things I thought I was good at.

And singing sad songs helps me get over feeling sorry for myself. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

For the birds, butterflies, and cats?

We have a few favorite flowers around the yard. The morning glories and cypress vines are growing on the mailbox.

I love these in the planter by the front door. They may not attract butterflies but they are very hardy and need very little attention.

This garden 'room' is outside the kitchen windows. Birds come to the two birdbaths. Butterflies and hummingbirds visit the blooms. We can watch from inside and they don't seem to notice us.

The butterfly bush blooms and blooms.

Don't know the name of these airy flowers but they have bloomed twice this summer.

Jane has to check things out every morning.

When the weather is cold and dreary, I will revisit these photos and enjoy the flowers again.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to the routine

It's time to get back to my work routine after a very enjoyable summer break. I haven't written anything since late April. I check  other blogs regularly but just haven't taken the time to write on this one.
This summer is the first one in about ten years that I have had the whole summer free. No summer school taking up the month of June. It has been wonderful.
First we took a trip to Rome. We saw all the touristy sights, ate wonderful food, walked, took buses and trains, and generally had a great visit.
As soon as we came back I flew to DC to take part in a test review workshop. I learned a lot about how the tests are constructed and field tested. It gave me valuable insight into how this particular test works.
The last two weeks of June I attended all of the rounds of the International Ballet Competition held here in Jackson. The dancers were incredible. I have tried to attend every time the competition is held here. This year I bought two passes to all the rounds. Different friends and relatives shared each session with me. I was glad to share the experience with them.
Another June activity was researching family history at the archives. My cousin and I found newspaper notices of my mother and her twin brother's birth and their twin cousins' birth.  Just reading about small town goings on was fun. I went back by myself to look for more birth announcements but did not find them.
July was full of sewing, reading, swimming, and yoga classes. I tried all the daytime yoga classes offered at my gym. I read a stack of books that I picked up at IRA in May. When I finished those I started on the Elm Creek Quilters series that my sister-in-law lent me. I will write more about all the books I read this summer in another post.
Two end of summer professional opportunities rounded out summer 2014. MRA Leadership was the last week end in July. I took over as president and was very pleased with the group of literacy educators who joined us this year. We hope to make a difference this year in our state, nation, and world.
Finally, last week I presented three professional development sessions for my district. Not very many people came but I'm glad I did it.
Best things about the summer-sleeping late and swimming every morning.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Funny Recollections

More Tuesday memories with mom.

She started talking about her year on a Virginia farm when she lived with her aunt and uncle. She and her twin brother went to live on the farm because food and money were scarce in Brookhaven. She cried sometimes at meals in Virginia because there was so much food and she knew they were hungry back home.

Her uncle was a postman/farmer. Their farm grew everything they needed except coffee and sugar, so the story goes. Mom remembered that when they were heading back home, her aunt asked if she wanted to stay a little longer because the king and queen of England were coming to visit the US in a few months. Recently Mom googled the royal visit and found out it was 1938. So she and uncle John had come the year before when they were twelve.

She said the two of them were very homesick the whole time they were there. Then she started remembering the games and silliness of living with seven siblings. Younger sister Becky was a dare-devil. She would hang by her knees from the rafters in the barn and she would 'skin-the-cat' on a pipe lodged between the pickets of the fence where the fence was about 6 feet high.

The four girls would play jacks and convince their three brothers to play, too. Then the girls would have to play mumbly peg with the boys. This game consisted of flipping a pen knife into the dirt from different points on the body-wrist, elbow, shoulder, head. The loser had to pull out a matchstick with his/her teeth that the winners pounded into the dirt with the pen knife. Mom said she always hoped that they would be called to supper before the end of the game.

Grandmother Corona was a member of all the ladies' clubs in town until one fateful day. She came home and found that the girls had locked the boys out of the house and were splashing water on the boys when they tried to open the screen door. (Mom was pretty sure Betty headed up this operation.)
After that day when asked to join the bridge club, WMU, or garden club ladies Corona told everyone  that she could not come because she had to look after the seven heathens at her house. Mom said the kids were often called 'heathens' by their mom.

Some of the games she remembered playing were hopscotch, devil in the ditch, who's got the button, and monopoly. On hot days they played on the shady porch on the cool concrete.

I asked about the main businesses in Brookhaven. My grandfather had a law practice and an interest in a lumber company. The next door neighbor, Daisy, worked in the office of the other lumber company in town. Mom said the office was above the Rexall Drugstore. So Daisy knew when any of the seven little Sauls kids was sick. She would order a milkshake for the invalid. It would be delivered by a boy on a bicycle who held the the shake in one hand balanced on a platter. Impressive to a sick kid, I'm sure.

That's about it for this memory lane trip.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Flowers

These lovely irises are my favorite spring flowers. I got them from mom's yard. She has so many more varieties. When I was in junior high I thought I might develop a new variety of iris. I pollenated different irises in our yard and saved the seeds. I don't remember that the seeds ever came up.
Enjoy the photos! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

When I was a kid...

I was remembering playing with my brothers when we were kids. Every Easter we each got a stuffed bunny in our Easter basket. The bunnies were named really original names like "Girl Bunny" and "Boy Bunny". For some reason my younger brother's bunny was named "Dirty Bunny". I know that wasn't its first name but that is the name we called it when we played together.

I had lots of dolls and I played with them by myself since brothers don't know how to play dolls. I don't remember being the dolls' mother. I do remember pretending the dolls were orphans and I was in charge of them. I couldn't remember my dolls' names or I changed their names so often the names didn't stick. Suzy was a popular name for my dolls.

But back to the bunnies. My brothers and I played pretend games with stuffed animals like the bunnies and small, molded plastic animals that came in sets. I had a plastic lamb called "Cornelia". Now there is a name for a toy and why can I remember that? I think I was reading a book with a main character named Cornelia.

Anyway, my brothers and I made up fantastic adventures for our animals. We built buildings and roads out of blocks, boxes, and whatever we could find. It was much more fun than playing orphanage alone with my dolls.

This was back before Legos but I did have a set of American plastic bricks and Michael had Lincoln logs. We would build elaborate towns and beg to be allowed to leave them up so we could continue our story the next day.

The TV wasn't on all day long. There were no video games or computers. We found ways to entertain ourselves for hours with our imaginations and basic non-electronic toys.

What do you remember about childhood playtime?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Mom Memories

Yesterday I tried to get mom to tell me about a trip her parents took when she was six or seven years old. I asked her about the doll they brought back to her from that trip.

She remembered what she was doing when they came home from the trip. She was playing outside on their seesaw. A sister was sitting one end and mom was walking up the board to the other end.

Their parents came up in the car and her sister got up to run to their parents. Mom fell on a nail that was sticking out of the seesaw handle. They had to pull her off the nail. After she told me about this accident, she remembered two more times that she hurt her knee.

Mom was not sickly as child but she was not as active as her siblings. She had some foot issues and had to wear corrective shoes for a long time. It is interesting to me that she is has lived longer than her sisters and brothers even though she was less healthy as a child.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seed Planting

It is so very cold. Not even near seed planting time. This is another memory post after visiting with mom. I brought mom a plastic tub of children's books because it has been so cold she hasn't been able to go to the library to check out books and she has read everything in her house more than once.

For some reason this made her remember about when her family moved from Brookhaven to Jackson. Their first weekend was spent in the boarding house of a Mrs. Jones. I think it was somewhere near Poindexter Park. The landlady took mom and maybe her sisters to the public library to get library cards on that first Saturday in Jackson. Then on Sunday she took them to church at Calvary Baptist Church. That is how mom became a member of Calvary.

Years later mom was a Sunday School teacher at the same church. She visited families who had children who rarely came to church. Mom encouraged parents to bring their children to church. The little girls in one family she visited started coming to church regularly and grew up at Calvary. The girls each had two children that I taught in choir and Sunday School.

Now one grandson of the original family is grown, married, and going through chemo for cancer. He writes a blog that I just started following. Praying for him and his family.

Thinking about the seed that Mrs. Jones planted in 14 year old Helen and the sweet Christian that Bryce has grown to be.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Two weeks well spent

Going back to work in the morning and I just have to reflect on these two weeks off.

First, time spent with family was enjoyable. Friday (Dec. 20) Liam spent the night and wore Gran and Grumps out! Martin and I went to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. Sang lots of favorite carols-remembering Christmas Eve in London. Then we had everyone for lunch on Christmas after eating breakfast with Ben and Emily and watching Liam open presents. More presents at lunch and fun with a remote control helicopter that Martin bought for the 'older' kids. Took some goodies to mom with Joey and Jessie. Martin hadn't thought to take off the day after Christmas, so had to go to work. The 3 J's went to see the second Hunger Games movie. Dinner at Biaggi's then Joey and Jessie drove home.

New Year's Eve I spent with Emily and that was fun. We shopped, ate lunch with Ben, went grocery shopping, had some quiet reading time, then picked up Liam and visited with mom. No fireworks but comfortable conversation and time together. Just right!

I had two quilt projects that I wanted to get done so I spent lots of time sewing. Tonight I finished lap quilt # 3. Just a few minor details to do before they are completely done-labels and a little hand-sewing. Oh and almost forgot-made a little corduroy jacket and fleece blanket for Liam. Didn't get a photo but was happy with the finishes.

The sewing didn't take all my time. I read three novels and started two more. I'll write more later about the books. Got to go to choir practice. Back to the routine.