Friday, August 10, 2007

How I spent my summer vacation

During the school year, I'm thrilled if I have a clean table cloth on the dining table. Now that I find I have leisure again, I'm drawn to more creative domesticity. I have been buying one bunch of various flowers and breaking it into mini bouquets & arranging them around my house. This activity feels a million miles from research papers and practicum reflections.

Susan & Martin gave me this orchid and Molly painted the leopard in the background.

My mother gave me this incense burner - one of my prized possessions.
My favorite room. Lots of light.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Well, I could apoligize for how long it's been since I posted, but since I notice that many of my friends have been off and on during the summer, let's just say I'm part of a trend.

First, our trip to Maryland, to see my parents and the sights.

Photo one: John in the creek behind my folks house. They don't live in the country, just a middle class suburb (Silver Spring). This reminds me that San Diego is a desert, after all.

Photo two: We pay a call on our nation's leader. The lights were on, but nobody was home.

Photo three: Molly, John and Bill had a vip tour of NASA's Goddard Space Center, courtesy of a dear friend of CJs. They saw many wonderous things and talked to space engineers, scientists, and astronauts.

Photo four: Another hightlight was a visit to the National Air and Space Museum. We are without a doubt, a family of geeks.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Okay - This link should take you to my album page which contains all the photos I've uploaded for this blog - including the Northern Arizona ones. Let me know how it works.

Kinder families in the wild

Emmett on the rocks

What we did: ate, talked, laughed, and ate some more. Oh, yeah- we went hiking too.

Our second toad

Claire with a dragonfly nymph (how do you rotate this, Emil?)

The lake

Intrepid rock climbers. Note camp mascot, Snowy.
This trip was an unequivocal success. We had all the essential elements: great food, delightful weather, camp fire singing, fantastic friends of all ages, and a little nature magic: toads, bats, an owl, hawk feathers, and perfect rocks for climbing. I have to say my favorite aspect of the trip was the opportunity for conversations with all my friends, large and small. Let's do it again!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back To Nature

Joey and her worm friend

My darlings in the organic garden at Stein Farm in National City

Toad House Near Classrooms in Sacramento

Flow waterfall - created by students at the college

Outdoor parent lounge - in my mind anyway.

I believe that life gives us a theme sometimes and lets us explore it. Recently, that theme for me has been the sense of wonder and oneness to be found in contact with the natural world. The inspriation for this (as for much else) comes from my kinders. Together we share amazement at finch eggs, earth worms, flowers, cloud shapes, and rain storms. A couple of weeks ago, we also grooved on sea stars, octopi, shark eggs, and cuttle fish. And, with my parent-friends Amy and Lauri, I am seeking inspriation for nature-enhancement of our new school site. The images above are from the Waldorf School of Sacramento - my model for the idea child's environment - and from our field trip to Stein Farm ( But just wait - in five years, people are going to be travelling to Linda Vista to get inspiration for their gardens.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

We went to Arizona

Click on that tiny red X above to see our photos.

Our road trip was so full of amazing sights that on the last day, the Sinagua people's cliff dwellings elicited a "that's nice" from the children. Their ability to marvel had been strained.

Monday, we visited a mile wide meteor crater. Gusts of wind at the edge threatened to make us airborne, especially John. Suggestions that we tie a string to him and see how far he'd go were not greeted with enthusiasm. Afterward, we puttered around the downtown area of Flagstaff and took some hopefully haunted photos at the ghost-ridden old hotel.

Tuesday we went to the Grand Canyon. You can really get in some good marveling there. Towards the end of our visit, someone said, " Whoe, that's a really big bird!" and "That's a condor!" We saw a flock of California Condor that had been released into the wild 70 miles north eleven years ago. They occasionally roost on the Canyons' edge near Bright Angel Lodge, and we were lucky enough to be there for their visit.

Wednesday, we visited the Museum of Northern Arizona. The Museum was very lovely. A perfect mix of history, artifacts, photos and paintings. The building and setting were equally as satisfying. It is set in a Ponderosa Pine forest on the edge of a small gorge - see photos.

Wednesday night, we went to the Lowell Observatory nighttime program. Being the space geeks we all are, this was a high point. Lowell is, of course, the place where Pluto was discovered. We were allowed to look through the telescope, not once, but twice. We saw both Venus (slightly blurry but bright) and Saturn (looked just like Saturn, amazingly enough). I loved the young astronomers who ran the program. It was a 'If I had my life to live over,' kind of moment.

Thursday, we headed home, by way of Oak Creek canyon. Meg and I hiked here summer before last, and I was so happy to show it to Bill and the kids. We didn't have time to hike, but they got in some good stone-skipping. (again, see photos)

We ate in Sedona. Poor Sedona. The hills and canyons are spectacular, but the crowds and aggressive advertising make me reluctant to ever go there again. After lunch, we stopped at the aforementioned Montezuma's Castle cliff dwellings, and headed back home.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Death Valley

The photos below are from our trip to Death Valley over new years. It seems like yesterday, yet here we are at the end of February.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007