Monday, January 16, 2012

something new

I have been writing this blog for a long, long time. It hurts my heart to think about abandoning it... it has filled so many purposes for me. I have kept in touch with friends and family, I have poured out my feelings (good and bad). I have used it as a touchstone for my creativity.

Where is it going? I don't know if I will ever have the guts to hit that "delete blog" button... unless perhaps I have it made into a book first (I hear you can do that and they turn out great).

Meanwhile you can catch up with me here. Time marches on and it was time for a change. Hope you will join me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

best teacher gifts

If any of you have school aged children, please take note. Now while I can only vouch for myself, I'm pretty sure I speak for many other teachers when I reveal to you the following hints for choosing their holiday gifts.

Teachers really don't want or need any "teachery" things. I cringe when I see ideas across the blogosphere for "cute teacher gifts" like the teacher's name spelled out in crayons, mugs with catchy teacher sayings (especially the ones inferring that teachers don't do it for the money, blah blah blah) or (God forbid) something else with an apple on it. At a recent craft fair, I found myself cringing when I saw little signs saying "makes a great teacher gift" on a cake made out of school supplies, or even worse, a little bag of Kleenex, Airborne and hand sanitizer. Um, no please.

Teachers like the same things normal people do: Starbucks, Amazon, iTunes and of course candy. Just keep things useful, simple and sweet. And let us not underestimate the thoughtful gift of cash. My first year of teaching at my current school, one family was so thrilled with their son's progress they gave me four one hundred dollar bills. I've never gotten anything so thoughtful since, but you can bet I will never forget that kid!

Not everyone can afford gifts for teachers but please do SOMETHING even if it's just a handwritten note of thanks for a great year so far. I for one do notice when nothing is said or done during the holidays. It hurts my feelings. After all I am probably spending more hours of quality time with him than you are. So please remember me... thoughtfully.

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Little Princess' birthday always begins on Thanksgiving. Nine years ago today in a fit of labor induced enthusiasm I stood in the kitchen, cooking an entire vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner between contractions. I remember it well.

Later that night I paced the floor fitfully, knowing the worst was yet to come. At dusk, Nice Dad convinced me to take a walk. I had hardly made it to the gate when I got slammed. I retreated to the bathtub and didn't emerge until I had pushed out a sweet baby girl. Yes right there in my claw foot (still one of her favorite places)

To celebrate this year, we took a friend to downtown Santa Cruz for a movie, then to Marini's for an ice cream treat. Home for pizza and a couple of simple crafts. A noisy sleepover, then up by seven for French toast (Nice Dad's specialty) and a pile of presents.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl. You have become an amazing Math whiz, a comical clown, a loyal friend to many and a talented cowgirl to boot. I love you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

kiss the bride

Did you ever see the movie Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts? I just love that first scene when she takes off on her horse. So when the yearly October costume show came around, I decided to be the Runaway Bride. I found a beautiful dress at the Goodwill (in perfect condition too - just a couple coffee stains) and then it was time to de - condition.

De - conditioning means trying out something that your horse might feel is scary before you actually do it. No way was I going to just jump on Jumbo's back without letting him check me out in this ensemble. It was just too big, white and puffy. I started by wearing it to feed the horses.

Noone gave me a second glance. Guess they didn't care what I was wearing as long as they got that hay. I took it a step farther and gave Mr. Big a little rubdown with the train.

*sigh* (shifts his weight) "Whatever, lady."

The show was amazing and I had such a good time playing out this fantasy. How often do you get to wear a wedding dress, anyway? And this one fit so well and was so pretty.

Good times.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

horsey girl

My sweet horsey girl is a senior this year. She has played water polo every year since she was a freshman. This year she is particularly strong and beautiful member of the team. She plays the whole time most games and even when the going gets tough she just keeps getting tougher.

Last week she played her last home game and it was bittersweet. The Wildcats won handily and then they had a special ceremony for the graduating girls. Tears and chlorine all mixed together on the deck.

This team is really bonded and the energy they bring to the pool is incredible. I will really miss sitting on the bleachers and cheering them on. They are all just as sweet and pretty as they are ruthless when faced with a tough opponent. Also very very funny, in a teenage sort of way...

But I am proudest of all of this beautiful girl. Can't believe she will be 18 in April. And she just found out the coach at Foothill College wants her to come play next year. A girl with a plan? More time in the pool?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

pole bending

My horse with a mane made of short rainbows.
My horse with ears of round corn
My horse with eyes made of big stars.
My horse with teeth made of white shell.
The long rainbow is in his mouth for a bridle
And with it I guide him...

Traditional Navajo song

Friday, October 14, 2011

princess number one

My biggest girl is now officially away at college. She attends California State University at Los Angeles. Of course she is playing soccer. She got a scholarship!

She recently broke up with her boyfriend, but when we went to Disneyland she got a new one right away.

She is pretty and funny and smart. I got to see her play when her team traveled to San Francisco a few weekends ago. She plays forward but since she's a sophomore she waits for her turn a lot.

We bonded in Disneyland. She only lives 25 minutes from the resort, and we had the best time. I drove her home around 1:30 a.m. (no traffic!) and got to see her place. Six girls in a tiny three bedroom? Two blocks from school? Sounds like college heaven to me. She seems very happy with her life now, and I am glad.

I miss her, but I know she is learning to take good care of herself. And she has her team. She makes me feel proud... and a little jealous. Remember how twenty felt?
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