Friday, August 28, 2009

Excessive Heat Warning!

Today was an Excessive Heat Warning! (Did they have these when we were kids?)

No recess at school. No outside play. (Because we all know that children melt in Arizona!) Argh!

I worried about our super-son-in-law toiling away and working on people's A/C units here "on the surface of the sun!" Would he be a puddle of sweat and goo by 8:30 am??

I attribute all of my forgetfulness and "airheaded" thoughts to my brain frying as I walked from cool classroom to cool air conditioned car and into cool and air conditioned house. Thank you lovely air conditioner. I will continue to pay your $400 monthly bills if you remain faithful and steady at 79 degrees! (Believe me, after 114 that feels heavenly and it's worth every penny!)

And the photo above is not the temperature in our car, but the temperature outside our car in Montana this summer - IN JULY!! I knew I should have bottled that!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The best of the best of the best.....

I always hate to see summer end. Not because I dread saying good by to 110 degree days, oh no, those continue until at least Halloween!! (I am not kidding!) No, I hate to see the summer end because I miss afternoon reading sessions, mornings when I can do a few chores and reward myself with a few pages of a good book. Darn, I miss vacation already!

I have had some great books to read during this vacation too. I can honestly say that almost all of them have been pretty darn terrific. It was hard then to narrow it down so I could answer this question that's floating around the book blogasphere:

"What’s the best book you’ve read recently?"

Was it:
Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede was clever and catchy, with a spunky princess and clever dragons. A dragon fairy tale to truly revel in. But no, that wasn't the best one of the year.

Was it:
North of Beautiful by Justine Chen Headley was a book I was not prepared to like. I had no idea when I started how powerfully written this young adult novel would be. Sentences were awkward at first; broken, scattered and choppy. But I became invested in the book. The characters had depth I wasn't expecting and as the story progressed the author actually changed her style. Sentences flowed and the pages flew by.

Terra was a layered young woman who was used to hiding. She lived in a safe shell of her life behind thick layers of makeup as she tried to hide the port wine stain that covered half her face. When she meets Jacob he challenges her to be who she is without the makeup. He speaks from experience, he is damaged on his own. Both characters are well crafted!

A long book, 400 pages, Headley has the space to really explore topics; physical beauty vs true beauty, honesty, life journeys.... It was wonderful. And it was best for a long time.

And then I read this:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is truly the best book I have read in a very long time. It transported me back to the south were I grew much of my identity, were I was cradled and grew up for many years.

Narrated by three remarkable women, each with a unique voice and experience, The Help chronicles life in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi. The Help are those black women who raised white babies, cooked like nobody's business, sat at the back of the bus, and served and slaved in crisp white uniforms. One 22 year old Skeeter Phelan, an aspiring writer, brings them all together as they begin a secret project that may put all of their lives in great danger.

Run, don't walk, to your nearest library or bookstore and get this book. I have sat and pondered about it since finishing. I did not dare pick up another book for days as it simmered inside me, I didn't want anything to dilute the feeling. I have all but thrust it into the arms of friends who read!! American History classes would do well to have their students read this book to open the eyes of those who wonder what life was like before the Civil Rights movement. It is a must read, told in a magical fashion.

My summer is over, I am back to work with a new crop of first graders with wide eyes and loose teeth, but my TBR pile is growing steadily. I wonder which new book will be "the best of the best of the best" !?!?!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ever feel like.....

Ever feel like you are the one holding up the world all be yourself?? So it all won't crash in on you if you let go??? Sometimes the stresses of teaching (non- English language students !!), of church callings and responsibilities, of home life and relationships all add up! I begin to feel like I am trying to shoulder it all alone. I'm afraid to let go for fear it will all come crashing down on me. I can't take one more burden... it will all be too much....I'm afraid...

I know I'm wrong when I think that I shoulder it all alone. I am just one person... but someone bigger than me is carrying my burdens too. Carrying what I can't shoulder and relieving what I can't take. I just have to TRUST - and that's the hardest part.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Do I have "Juan" too many?

I just got a list of my students for this year. I am very lucky and only have 20 little bugs right now. But, out of 20, 5 of them are named Juan!! Truly! And get this, they all have the same middle name!! No joke!

Now, if you know 1st graders you know that they know their first name and maybe their middle name but they just don't know their last name, yet! What can I do? What will I be able to call them so they know who I'm talking to??

My witty husband's suggestion?!?!
"Juan, two, three, four, five..."

Don't ya love it?!?!?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What Next?

When we came home from our "Incredible Journey"/aka 6500 miles in a car with each other/aka VACATION, Rich had a flat tire on his bike. Fixing it involved an airtank, a new tube and a house shaking boom!! I was upstairs and ran like the wind to check and see if he had blown something off his body...There he was, grinning with green tire goo all over. No worries.

A few nights later there was a huge crash in my bedroom - -I ran into my room thinking that this amazing husband had "fallen and couldn't get up" ..... There he was,in bed, grinning and staring at my piles of books, now all over the floor. He just said, "they jumped." No worries.

I'm beginning to think this is a cry for attention....

Seriously though....maybe the piles are getting a little out of hand.