Monday, July 21, 2014

Squirrel Shrine & Wonky Vase

Started the work day by adding more layers of glaze...
Grabbed some limeade and took off my rings...
Began building a squirrel shrine...
Here he is, in his new home...
Tried using some new tools from the table...
Cut out pieces to make a vase...
Betty was hanging out in the shed, in front of the fan...
Made a weird, wonky vase...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sandy Sanderson

Sanded and ready for the second firing...
After the second firing they'll be black washed...
These boxes fit on the wall...
And, they hold tiny treasures...
Polka dot twins...
Donkey pin stripes...
Old lady lounger ignores the sanding noise...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

ACGA Show

My treasures from the show...

Today I met Grant and Susie at the annual ACGA Show. There was so much great work on view. It's always quite inspiring to see the level of talent. One of the high points was listening to Peter Vizzusi explain how he gets the patina on his glassware. It was also fun to stop and visit with friends along the way. After we left the show, we headed into town to make our dinner reservations. And, to wander around Palo Alto looking for weird candy and printed Nepalese scarves…


Listened to some banjo music while waiting to meet...
Sat on a couch in a store and chatted with the Wrights...
Ordered appetizers like tapas...
My favorite dish: calamari...
Susie's favorite dish: a sweet filo burrito with pistachios...
Novelty treats for later...







Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Quick Visit to France

A private avenue in Corralitos...
Sturdy wooden crates...
Loving the hairstyle and the heart shutters...
Beautiful chandelier...
Mirrors, doors, and windows...
A weathered horse, and his friend...
Love the finish on these doors...
A collection of cloches...
Some dolls and a flaming heart...
Wire botanical sculptures...
The bird herder...
On the way out of the garden...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Adios Room #19

So many heavy, heavy books...
Puppets, skulls, and other treasures...
All of my school cds...
Hundreds of sentence strips...
A taco reward at the end of today...


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fare Thee Well


Breaking down shelves for the move...
Carload after carload of stuff...

Today I signed my contract at a new elementary school. The whole process of job hunting and putting myself "out there" was extremely daunting. Here are nine things that I will miss most about Rucker Elementary, my school during the past 13 years:

1.     THE STUDENTS: I have met so many wonderful kids during my years at Rucker. I have had
        classrooms full of amazing little people who have inspired me daily. Many have faced the
        challenge of learning a second language boldly, head on. Being bilingual requires enormous
        courage. Often there is failure and embarrassment. I have watched kids charge in, and make
        English their own.

2.     THE COLLEAGUES: I mean the people who care more about the kids than they do about
        themselves. There are many teachers who spend each day selflessly giving their best effort.
        Sometimes the only recognition received is from students.  Kids know how hard you work to
        make it all happen, and what you do matters to them the most.

3.     MY COMMUTE: I drove over a winding mountain road each day, spending about 1 1/2 hours
        in my car. It was a lovely drive, and often it helped me to unwind after stressful
        meetings. On some afternoons, it seemed like the anecdote to frustration, especially when I
        carpooled with Jill and Sergio.  And, when I discovered audio books.

4.     MY CLASSROOMS: I was in five different classrooms during my years at Rucker. I really liked
        the ones with the sinks the best! But, I learned that hauling water builds character.

5.     THE LEARNERS: Here's to the kids that never lose their curiosity or sparkle, no matter how
        many grammar lessons they endure, or how much sentence diagramming they do.

6.     THE CHALLENGE: Many years, because of the way our school is set up, I faced uphill
        battles. I learned how to dig in and try my hardest, when that was all I could do. I learned to feel
        encouraged with even minor successes.

7.     THE PARENTS: I listened to Ricardo's mom explain her morning routine in Spanish, during a
        conference. She said that she makes her children stand at the front door, before they leave for
        the bus. She asks each child, "What will you do specifically, today, to be a better person than you
        were yesterday?"  I have met so many parents like this. They take what they're doing seriously.
        They are making and molding young people. It has been extremely gratifying to listen to many
        of these conversations in Spanish, and to feel the earnestness that transcends language barriers.
    
8.     THE LANDSCAPE: Each day at recess duty was a treat, because of the lovely fields and hills
        that were a part of the neighborhood of the school. It was delightful to observe crop rotation, and
        to see the fields plowed and harvested each season. On some days, it felt like tonic!

9.     THE CRUSADERS: Those people who understand fairness and equality of opportunity. They
        strive to provide a quality education for all students, not just those who are ready or able to learn.
      

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Camping"

Betty snuggled with Kebs on the great drive north...
The beach looked like this when we arrived...

This is my favorite kind of camping: spending time in the out of doors, while having a shower and a sink. Oh, and a stove, and a dvd player. I guess that this doesn't exactly qualify as roughing it. So much the better. Betty and I had a lovely time visiting the famous cabin from my brother in-law's childhood. I had so many worries on my mind. But, all of my troubles seemed to melt away for the long weekend. Thanks to John, Liz, and Kevin for a wonderful vacation.


We drove out to the nearest town to get more groceries...
At the market with aged food...
And, jumbo crazy cat lady packs...
Meanwhile across from the market...
What a beauty...
A very old tire, and an even older plow...
Loved Claude's rules located near the generator...
Faced extreme traffic on the way home...
Such memorable skies...