Saturday, March 28, 2015

Books

Just finished:


I think Matt Haig is a brilliant writer and I really enjoyed this book.  It is the story of an alien from another planet in a far away galaxy who comes to earth on assignment.  It is not so much a fresh look at what it means to be human as a comforting look.  And the writing is so, so good.

 I also recently read:


This book is also essential about what it is to be human.  It's about a family of vampires trying to pass as ordinary people in the neighborhood.  I am long over my vampire fascination, but I enjoyed this book a lot.

Also:

This is historical fiction based on the story of Anna Eliza Young, a wife of Brigham Young who ended up campaigning for an end to polygamy interwoven with a modern day murder mystery that takes place on an isolated compound where polygamy is still in practice.  Interesting, although I thought it bogged down at times.

Currently on my nightstand:


Goldberg, of course, is one of my gurus.  This is a re-release and slightly revised edition.  Every now and then, I need the inspiration to recommit to creativity in my life.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Help for Teachers

I just recently heard this story on National Public Radio (which is, in my opinion, one of our country's treasures) about DonorsChoose.org.

It is about an online site where teachers can present ideas and request the funds for needed materials to implement those ideas from those inclined to make contributions.

Well, I wish I had known about it while I was still teaching but it is worth passing on to those who still teach or love someone who still teaches.

It is kind of sad, though, that some teachers have to use it to get basic things like paper and pencils for their students.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Busy Work

I was so taken with the banners I made with the kids, that I decided to make some for myself.  I hung these in one of the bathrooms over a mirror.  Why? I just like the color.


And I made this for over the kitchen sink.

And with the leftover material, a pillow cover:
                                                


I will send out a few Easter cards.


I attended a vernal equinox celebration, Ostara.  There were adults and children there dancing and singing and story telling, but I don't have permission to post personal pictures so you get to see the bonfire.

                               

And, of course, I continue to walk along the beach.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tax Season

I gathered all the financial records together a while ago and sent them to the accountant.  I was dreading it greatly and I really had to force myself to take care of that little piece of business.

So this morning I had a voicemail from the tax accountant when I got home--call me as soon as you can.  You know darn well that a Sunday morning call like that does not mean good news coming my way.  It wasn't good at all, but what can I do but bite the bullet and pay up?

The difference was not a large increase in income, but the loss of my spouse.  This is the first time I filed as a single.  Good grief the IRS can add insult to injury.  I thought Mike was priceless, but the IRS put a more precise figure on him, apparently.

Of course, having to pay income tax does indicate that I have income.  That is a good thing so I am not going to complain...too much.  I do wish I had more say in what my taxes pay for though.  It could be a better, more equitable world.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Welcome



I could say it is to welcome spring, but this is a project I worked on with an elementary religious education group last Sunday.  The kids made the flags and cut out the letters and glued them on.  I completed the banner by sewing on the bias tape at home.

I didn't even realize it was the first day of spring already until around noon today.
By then I was finishing up cleaning the pantry and the kitchen cabinets--spring cleaning!--so I must have sensed the season on some level.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Florida Garden

Ahhh.  My orange scented jasmine has started to bloom.  The fragrance is so heavenly.  I love sitting outside and just sniffing it in.

 


The spike of aloe is all that was left after the bunnies nibbled on it over the past month.  I added some additional succulents to the pot, hoping the bunnies get the message.


Of course, I can't fault the rabbits too much.  I didn't nibble on my bougainvillea, but I sure did get carried away with the pruning saw.  I filled three barrels for the yard waste pick up last week.  I inherited the plant when we bought this place.  It is pretty, but so unruly.
It was an impenetrable sphere before.  I think all the scratches on my arms were worth it to open it up and give it a more airy look.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here for the past couple weeks.  Sometimes I wonder why I live someplace else.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Symphony

A friend had a spare ticket for the Venice Symphony.  Venice has a brand new Performing Arts Center.  The performance was a great treat for me.


The program included an overture by Rossini and Bach's Concerto in D minor for Two Violins.  The two main violinists were Angela and Jennifer Chun--in incredibly beautiful silk dresses.

I don't see music being made in person very often.  It always amazes how much physical intensity it takes in addition to the mental concentration and the gift of talent.

The final piece was Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Opus 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich.  He completed it at the age of 18, a graduation project for the St.Petersburg Conservatory.  As i said, the gift of talent.