In America, Memorial Day is when we take time to remember all the men and women who died during military service. My grandfather died in 1944, leaving behind a young widow (my grandmother who was pregnant with my mother).
There are others whom I've known and loved who have made the ultimate sacrifice for America.
Today, I stopped for a moment. Today, I honored your memory.
Once again, the dead pomegranate tree makes an appearance - this time as a place of respite for a young cardinal learning to fly. The parents were circling around and fussing at me for trying to get close enough to take a picture. Once I put (barking) Mili inside, the parents seemed less worried.
I think this is a young male whose feathers are beginning to turn into the trademark red. Females are brown with orange beaks.
My oldest son stopped by tonight and stayed for dinner. He has sustained himself with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since he moved out a little over a week ago. I think he missed our cooking more than he missed us.
Still, he spent a minute bonding with Mili before he left (though he was worried about her business end messing up his shirt).
Tried out a texture for the first time! I can see that textures might be addicting.
A couple of miles from where I live is the remnants of a mill town. The cotton mill is closed now and the water tower no longer used. Some of the company houses are still standing and are currently being used as novelty shops or restaurants/bars.
I love the rustic look of the tower with the vines growing up the legs. It may be old - but it still stands proud.
It is time for the teachers to go home. There is one of me and 60 of them - and they were all clamoring for my attention today ("Can you sign off on this?", "I don't think you really wanted little Johnny to be in Mrs. __'s class.", "How many gifted students did I get compared to Mrs. __?", "You might not know but ___'s parents and I don't have a great history.", "I need to get a new teacher's desk because there is a rust spot on mine.", "I think Mrs. ___ is mad at me because she won't speak to me." and on and on...). Tomorrow is the last day of post planning. That is a good thing because I can't take too much more of this being needed ALL. THE. TIME.
Several years ago, my husband made this wind chime. Since it doesn't really chime, we hung it under the sky light on our porch. After a frustrating round of trying to photograph water dripping from the outside faucet (I can NOT figure this one out yet), I noticed how the fork and knife were glowing in the sun.
It will have to do for now. Maybe one day I'll master the darn water drop. I'll keep trying.
Today was my son's graduation. Since all administrators in the system are invited to be on the stage, I got a close view of my boy - which was especially cool when he was giving his speech. He and his girlfriend each had a speech to give. Although I couldn't take my camera on stage with me, I'll have to settle for the visual ingrained in my memory. They both made me so proud!
It was hot, sunny.... and muggy! A typical south Georgia morning.
A dust-filled house. Broken tile on the floor (and in the trash). Furnishings crammed into nether regions of the house. Leak under the shower floor. Forgotten bill not paid (my fault - so sorry - so truly sorry). Laundry piled high. Son slowly moving out. Books, clothes, remnants of his childhood not so long ago. Graduation looming. Emotions tucked away for another time.
And that is just life on the home front.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for the children and I'm going to miss them.
This was taken early this morning and the sun came up over the garden wall. Still, I had grand plans for some various shots (read something different than flowers) to try out. Instead, my husband spent the day banging out the tile in the foyer to ready the room for new tile (yay!) while I declared war on the weeds in the backyard.
Can I put my foot down and slow down this merry-go-round called life?
I love these fuzzy leaves - even when the African Violet isn't in bloom - on my kitchen windowsill.
We had our annual school dance for all the kids who met their reading goals. It was awesome! Then my (awesome, amazing, fantastic, outstanding, etc) husband came and cooked burgers for the top readers in each class. I love hanging out with super readers!
Yesterday, someone left a basket of gummy body parts on my desk as a joke. It came with a label "Replacement Parts for when you get worn out." It had brains, feet, fingers, and arms in the mix (gross and kind of cool but definitely funny!). Ironically, I noticed it didn't have any hearts.
Last night, we celebrated both of the boy's birthdays by going to eat sushi. Afterwards, my husband and I helped my oldest son move furniture into the house he is going to share with two roommates. On one hand, I'm excited for him getting to move out. On the other hand, I'm sad that my sweet boy won't be living right down the hall.
My cell phone rang approximately 72 times today. From the superintendent to the curriculum director to an angry parent to a concerned grandparent to the PTO President to my sweet husband to a worried teacher...
When I got home, the backyard soothed my soul.
Then I sat in mud. It was an accident. Oh, well... It's only laundry.
When the parent of a habitually tardy or absent student called to to tell me the kids had missed the bus (again) and her car wouldn't start, I decided to go to her house to get the kids. While there, we called someone to come jump start the car so she could go get another battery.
This parent hasn't been the most cooperative over the past couple of years but today, I saw a different person. She is a struggling young mother living in poverty trying to do the best she can with what she has.
I need to make more home visits. They help me understand.
Sometimes I have to remind myself not to get too focused on the small things. It is important to never lose sight of the big picture.
We have 8 more days of school with the students and the days feel like a whirlwind. I feel like I am being pulled in 72 directions at one time.
Today, I remembered to breathe.
And a student showed me his Top Secret notebook with his notes. When I asked what A.T. stood for, he said, "Alien Technology." When I asked what U.A.T. stood for, he said, "Ultimate Alien Technology."
This is why I love elementary school!
By the way, the picture is of the ring that holds up the wind chimes. It was glowing in the sunlight. Now I'm off for a *happy* time with my husband and some friends that may or may not involve libations. I just feel happy. Soon, I will be even happier.
Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. ~ Albert Einstein
As I was leaving work yesterday (another 10.5 hour day... more the norm than not), I noticed the school reflecting in my bumper. For whatever reason, it gave me a moment to pause. I'm worn out but I'm thankful for my job. I want to be home but being at work helps provide for that home. I want to sleep but I keep thinking of work-related things.
We prefer it over Cinco de Mayo in our house. After our Mexican feast, my son played his last jazz band concert.
A tissue may or may not have been used.
The auditorium they played in is slated to be destroyed sometime in the near future. I remember performing in a couple of plays on this stage. There was even a beauty pageant I competed in (it may shock some people to know I didn't win... kidding... I didn't stand a chance). Still , the best memories are going to be of watching my sons' concerts and my step-daughters' dance recitals.
Maybe I'll be able to steal one of the cool aqua blue blocks when the demolition really occurs.