Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Off to Oregon!!

We fly out this afternoon for Oregon - and Henry's baptism.

We are pretty excited for this great event - and to spend some time with the Fillmore family on their home turf!!

There will be adventures to report when we return, I am sure!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad!!

While doing all my June Father's Month posts, I lamented that I didn't have shots of just me with my Dad. Bonny pointed out the error and posted an oft-posted shot of me with my Dad on his birthday some time in the 80's I think.

Then I found this - while searching for a different photo, of course. But once again it's a birthday shot - this is 1995 - maybe I'm always the one with the cakes??

On this Father's Day, I remember my dad fondly. I'm sure I had cross words with my dad, I'm sure I got annoyed with him, I'm sure I poked fun at him, I'm sure I disregarded his counsel at times.

But I choose not to remember those times. I choose to remember the good times. Dad driving us to stake dances and sleeping in the car until we were through and then driving us home. Dad making yellow cakes on Sunday - using duck eggs from the Embertsons. Dad braiding my hair and ironing my dresses. Dad helping me build my Brazilian Coffee Plantation project for 6th grade. Dad always tearing up on Mother's Day when he talked about his mother. Dad teaching me to drive a stick shift one Sunday afternoon. Dad telling someone that no daughter of his had ever worn mascara - oh how we chuckled - figured if he didn't even notice it, we were pretty safe. Dad taking us to minor league ball games and buying us candy bars. Dad doing the printing for me on my Life of the Bee poster for Science in Junior High. Dad getting up very early to take us to Seminary - and then to the 3 different schools that Joan, Lyn and I went to. Dad making cradles for dolls for the Handmade Items Booth. Dad taking Eliza for a walk when she was quite small and had accidentally grabbed a curling iron that had been left on the bathroom counter - walking with her until her tears subsided and bringing back a smiling little girl.

I could go on and on. The thing about good memories is that they last forever!

My dad was indeed a special man.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

If we were in South America, it would indeed be the Winter Solstice.

Seems as good a day as any to post this random photo I came across - while looking for another photo - which I did not find!!

This is December of 1990 - B and B have almost been married for 20 years!!

Yikes, where did the years go?? (Did I already say that??)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First day of Summer Vacation!!

This is what the last day of school looks like - periods 29 minutes long, room pretty much "packed up" and kids doing puzzles and Connect Four.

I also taught them to play "Mormon Poker" but called it "One-Eyed Jacks" instead.

One of my 8th graders brought me flowers!!

This is how it looked as I walked out on Wednesday - this is Mrs. Thomas' old room - for Bonny's sake, this was also Mrs. LaBreque's room.

The Jacaranda are in bloom - usually a sign of spring, but we've had lots of "June gloom" for several weeks now, so some things are blooming later.

This 214 Hillcrest - Hartmann's old house - minus the giant pines that have been there for forever - but no more - when you turn right on to Hillcrest now, it really looks like something is missing!

The garden is flourishing - we will be eating produce soon!!

The deer have left my roses alone for sometime now - but I still wish I had lots more of them.

I went to the doctor - who said my residual pain is arthritis - yikes!! And tomorrow is my last p/t appt. - I'm going to start swimming and going to the Y - to get fit!!

Went to lunch at Wangs - new location on Lemon - with Norma. Fed the elders a "Barbara Meal" - and they seemed to enjoy it.

Need to plan what to pack to go to Portland.

Am helping Sue C. with a shower for J.J.'s bride-to-be.

Sent out a plethora of cards - b-day, graduation, Father's Day, general good will - I am getting caught up!

I may even finish the Anniversary Posts!! (No promises though!)

And I got an email saying they might be using my letter to the editor in the LA Times.

I'll let you know if they do!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another year comes to a close

It's the beginning of the end when the awards assembly happens. Once again I presented the Charles Barrick Award - now they give two - one to a boy and one to a girl. Both were "my kids" - that is, they were in Special Education. The young lady has serious health issues so really doesn't get direct services from me - just a yearly IEP with all the necessary modifications and accommodations. The young man is autistic and OCD - and has made great strides. I will miss him - but he is a Boy Scout and asked if I'd be his counselor for a couple of Merit Badges, so I will get to see him. Of course, I forgot to ask someone to take a picture!!

The young lady in the middle is one of "my kids" too - she got the Lyle West Award - one they have set aside for SPED students who have worked exceptionally hard to overcome their disability. She is a great little girl - I have high hopes for her. She got the Choir Spirit Award too.

Some more of "my kids" and one of the other SPED teachers - it's funny how I am so involved with these kids lives - and then they go on to the high school - I run into them in town - and can't remember their names!! (Some times I don't even recognize them because they "grow up" so much!!) The hazards of living in the town where you teach!

This is my Study Skills class - a very diverse group - but the best behaved class I've had in a long time. I really will miss them!

Tomorrow is promotion - I had 20 8th graders this year - and they all managed to pull a 2.0 and promote to the high school. I've had a streak of success for 2 years now - and it's very gratifying.

But I'm going to enjoy my summer vacation!!

Who Am I??

Everyone will guess, I'm sure, but it's fun to reminisce.

Isn't that why we take photos in the first place??

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Went - and often!

We frequently took Sunday drives to my Grandma Stevens house in Inglewood. It was not the Inglewood of today - it was suburbia. Median grass strips where kids played. Few cars on the roads. Small houses set on lovely lawns.

There was a back bedroom in my grandparent's house. It was a large room as I remember it. Lots of windows. And lots of surfaces covered with photographs in frames.

And these photos always stood out to me - and somewhat defined how I thought of my mother in relation to her two brothers. My definition may not even have been correct. But my uncle Harry above - in the overcoat and bow tie - always seemed remote and somewhat Humphrey Bogartish. Turns out he was remote - in a reclusive kind of way. But at the time, I saw it as glamorous.

The one at the top is my Uncle Steve - and he looks happy and carefree - and he was a somewhat jovial fellow. In his later years, when I took Mom to visit him, he seemed a lot more churlish - but age and loneliness can do that to a person, so I withhold judgment. I loved being around him as a child - his household was always fun to visit.

As a young girl, I thought this photo of my mom was so different than the woman I knew. She seems so young and "other worldly" - like a heroine in a play or something. I wondered how people changed and became "mothers" instead of beautiful young things! (She was young - as in 18 or so!) Of course, I thought my mother was beautiful - the way all children see their mothers as beautiful - but this photo seemed to be another person - and so it intrigued me.

Images and reality - all a part of growing up - and a part of memories.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ah, youth!

Hannah made reference on her blog to her experience at Missionary for a Day when she was 16. I don't think she's 16 here - but maybe she's close. She referred to a short haircut.

She and Melanie do indeed look young - but then they were young(er)!

My kids always look to me like they do right now - when I see older photos, I think, "Gee, did they look like this?" I started noticing this as Bonny grew - she was always just where she was at the moment - my memory bank had to be jogged by photos.

Maybe everyone does that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One of the reasons I really love my job!

Meet Cameron - a boy I've grown to cherish! Thanks goodness he's only in 7th grade - I get another year with him. (I wasn't his case carrier in 6th grade, so I just got to know him this year.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


You will need to click on this to see it better, but it really brought an out-loud chuckle from me when I saw it!!

And I know you all get the magazine - although Hannah's copy comes to me - but maybe you missed it. Is this life imitating art? Or art imitating life?

Either way it's right on the money!

Hope Bonny sees it!

Monday, June 08, 2009

A must see!!

Okay folks, so Eliza was right on the money about this one - get it on your NetFlix queue right now!!

Dad commented that the immigration stories we read about are just the surface of a vast trove of stories like this one. Just like the vast trove of pioneer stories we have grown up hearing. Like the stories from the Holocaust that keep emerging.

I suppose the truth is, life is full of compelling stories. We just need to hear them.

Thanks for the heads up Eliza!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The weekend in review

Maybe the main achievement this weekend was my initial foray into artisan breadmaking with my new stone and pizza peel!!

I'm not a pro yet - but we served one loaf at dinner at H and D's today and the reception was positive.

Certain fans were pleased with the game today.

And Sister Hahn - who served in Monrovia on her mission came by to visit.

Eve thought she'd try her hand at photography. Not bad. (the photography that is!!)

It was quite chilly Saturday night so Dad built a fire - and then said, "Why don't we invite Dawn and the kids over for S'mores?"

Somebody enjoyed them!!

Wednesday night Harry brought the kids over while Dawn was at work - and they discovered some games on my computer - mostly mazes and memory - but they were pretty involved.

Only 8 more days of school!!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Celebrating D-day - 2009

This caught my eye in the LA Times today. I found it quite evocative.

And then I wondered why there was no mention of D-Day on the front page? Especially since President Obama is over there for the event! And then I thought about how you see nothing even in any section anymore on November 22nd. And the Oklahoma City bombing wasn't noted either. There was something about Columbine towards the end of Section one this year. And Jonestown gets a nod every few years, but that is all.

Are there so many catastrophic events that we can't note their anniversaries? Do people just not care? What about the editors and columnists?

I for one believe it is instructive to remember certain events - if for no other reason than to keep them in the collective consciousness so they won't be repeated - hopefully anyway.

I find it disturbing that most of my students only know about Pearl Harbor if they've seen the movie - and as the years go by, fewer and fewer of them have seen the movie. Same with Titanic. (Although since the last survivor died this year, there was a mention - but not on the anniversary.)

"Living history" - that is, keeping memories alive for those who weren't there when it happened - or were very young when it happened - seems like a good way to teach kids.

Thank goodness I subscribe to edHelper - they always have a reading comprehension exercise for every anniversary of events and people in history - past and present - and so I try to teach my students about people and events that can enrich their understanding of history and the country they call home.

If one more student answers my query, "Who knows about the Civil Rights Movement?" with the answer, "That's when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves right?" I just might stamp my foot and have a tantrum!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Like saying goodbye to an old friend!

I finished the Hornblower series - all 11 novels!! But now I'm sad to not have another one to read!!

The novels were originally written out of order - after they became popular - I think because of the 1951 movie - they started combining them into trilogies and promoting them in chronological order.

His last novel, Beat to Quarters, actually fills in a gap between the first two. And the last one he wrote was unfinished, but the edition includes his notes for finishing the story. Too bad he didn't get to finish it - it sounded pretty flamboyant!

Also, there are two short stories that go with the Hornblower series - one not too interesting - but the other is called "The Final Encounter" and it relates the second Bonaparte - son of Napoleon - coming to see Hornblower and getting assistance to return to France! It's a nice little denouement, finding out how Hornblower is living out his years as a country squire.

(Maybe I just love that he ends up with Lady Barbara!!)

I was sorry to see the movies end, excited to read them, envisioning them filling long hours with swashbuckling adventure - and sad beyond words to see the books end.

Marcie brought be a George Eliot trilogy - Adam Bede, The Mill and the Floss and Silas Marner - that I will tackle next. It won't be Hornblower - but I hope it's compelling!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

My how times have changed!

This is a photo of my mom at a young age, but boys used to be dressed the same way until a certain age. Recently in the lunchroom at school, a teacher was insisting that the dressing of boys in dresses had never been so.

A few of us were arguing vociferously, and she was not to be persuaded. Then I found this passage in Lord Hornblower, and boy, did I feel smart!!

"My beloved husband, the household here at Smallbridge is so much agog with all this news that our most important event bade fair to pass unnoticed. I refer to the breeching of Richard Arthur. He is in smallclothes now, and his petticoats are put away for ever. He is young for such a transformation, and Ramsbottom melted into tears at the passing of her baby; but if you could see him I think you would agree that he looks vastly well in his new clothes, at least until he can escape from supervision and induldge himself in his favourite recreation of digging holes in the ground in the shrubbery."

I find the terms "breeching" and "smallclothes" quite intriguing - maybe I will do some research.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Oh, the drama!

I miss the drama - not the drama of teen angst, but the drama of MHS musicals.

How come the blond Terrill women often wore raven wigs??

(Noah seems to have come by his current hairdo quite honestly!!)

The King and I, May 2000