Friday, August 27, 2004

I took this photo while I was on the road yesterday night. Photo? you say. Looks more like a pastel drawing. Yes. Isn't that neat? I used the "pencil fine" special effect frimthe new imaging program I've been playing with. I think the reason it turned out so well is that there was no direct light. It was soft diffused light that happens after the sun has gone down. Other photos didn't turn out as well using the same effect.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I have spent the evening obsessed with this little project. Why?

Monday, August 23, 2004

It's back to work tomorrow. Summer is officially over. *twitch

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sam and I went for another bike ride today. This one was a litle longer than our usual around-the-block tour. Even though this shot is not in perfect focus, I still liked it.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

This morning I went to take photos of a volunteer workday for the new school. People were sweeping, spreading concrete, putting up drywall, and just doing whatever they could do to advance the construction of the school. I get to walk around and take pictures of it all.
Afterwards, I talked to Amanda the principal, and she was telling me about some of the changes taking place in school this year. They are not changes I like. In addition the 11th grade didn't do as well on the writing portion of the MEAP as they "should have" so that makes me feel powerless. Maybe I should find another job. --So depressed - I begin to feel the weight of my job settling back on to my drooping shoulders.
Later another English teacher reasured me that the MEAPs should not be taken too seriously and explained how they change certain portions of it, but don't tell the teachers HOW it's being changed. Then, when the students don't do well, they don't compare your students to other students, but just compare them to some nebulous pre-determined bar. The teachers are informed that their students aren't up to par. She told me that this happens on a regular basis. "Just go to the seminar on the writing portion of the MEAP and give your students MEAP style tests, so they are prepared."

I'm still depressed.

Then I went out into the garden and picked broccoli, corn, and tomatoes. Cosmos swayed in the cool breeze. The sun passed its light through a golden sunflower. An orange dragonfly posed for my camera.
Such peace.
So little time.

Friday, August 20, 2004

On Tuesday I enjoyed an early morning bike ride with my son. I am still thinking about it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

It Happens

I hate it when stuff like this happens. I was backing out of the parking lot at the grocery store at the exact same time as the person parked opposite me. Even though we were both careful and looked for oncoming traffic, we didn't see each other. Boom.
The good news is that we both happen to have the same auto insurer and when both parties in an accident have Farm Bureau, they waive the deductable. (Yeah!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tim and his dad discussing Tim's new toy.

Lucy on morning canine patrol.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I thought I could send two photos at once, but I guess not. Here's the August photo as previously mentioned.

I had seen (and photographed) what I think was the same tiger swallowtail butterfly in May. And here he was again, looking somewhat the worse for wear, in August.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

This summer has been an oasis of joy. The cool temperatures have, I'm sure, been a part of that feeling of contentment, but mostly it's because I have been aware of how happy I am. My husband and children, my home, the wonderful people in my life, my faith, the beauty of the countryside - I have never felt so completely content. A feeling of joy makes my heart overflow with grateful appreciation to God for all the love that surrounds me.
I've been through some hard times in my life. I guess that's why I recognise and appreciate the good times when they come.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I visited a local flea market the other day. Mostly flea markets are full of just junk, but the fun is that among the trash, you find little treasures. I found a turquoise colored glass bud vase that looks like a jewel in my kitchen window. I found a litttle brass nome. And I found bunnies. But I had to be content with taking them home in a photo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Originally uploaded by tamaki.
This is a photo by Tamaki, who is an artist in Japan. He takes lots of great pictures, but I really loved this one.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Letter to My Children, Written in 1990

To Emily and Samuel
from your Mother

The Introduction to My Journal for You
April 9, 1990

When I was eight-years-old, my mother died of cancer.
The rest of my life I kept looking for a message from her. I thought that maybe, on some milestone day of my life, someone would come to me and say, "When your mother realized she was going to die, and wouldn't be here to see this occasion, she wrote a letter to be given to you when the time came." Then they would hand me a letter that would contain a precious message from the mother I missed so deeply, whom I barely knew and to whom I never said good-bye.
Every birthday I wondered about it - At my high school graduation, at my college graduation, on my wedding day... Finally I confided my dream to my older sister, Jan.
She told me our mother didn't leave any letters. She said Mother was so intent on having a positive attitude and "beating this thing", she never admitted to herself she was dying until she was too sick and in too much pain to think of such a thing and act on it.
Now I wonder what it would have been like to know my mother as an adult. I have asked people who knew her to share their memories. I have pictures, but don't remember the sound of her voice. Sometimes your Aunt Jan tells me I just did something or said something just like mother would have said it. It makes me happy and sad at the same time because then I feel the void her going left in my life.
So anyway, I'm saying all of this to explain why I'm writing this book, letter style, to you, my children. It will contain family stories, advice, and explanations of why we did things certain ways. This book will allow me to communicate to you all I want to tell you someday just in case something happens to me before you are old enough to understand and remember. AND if I don't die, well... great! I will write down some things that I might forget or just never get around to telling you. It will give me a chance to let you know me.
It's hard to imagine "years from now". Emily, you are only two; affectionate, rebellious, a lover of music and dancing, artistic with your crayons, and full of energy. Even now you are trying to turn the page while I am trying to write. You are squealing, making faces, and waiting impatiently for Daddy to take the oatmeal cookies out of the oven.
Samuel, you are only two months old, but you smile and talk when anyone pays attention to you. Emily is so exuberant in her affection to her "Baby Bother", she makes you nervous. You look worried when she is right in your face, leaning on your stomach and kissing all over you. Right now you are in your swing and waking up from your nap. No doubt you are making plans to keep mother up late tonight. Or maybe you are wondering when mother is coming with the chow. Well, she's coming right now!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

We camped (or perhaps I should say trailered) in the Porcupine Mountains in the UP this summer. This is Overlooked Falls, a small but beautiful little waterfall. I love to visit waterfalls, but the kids find them boring.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Lake Superior is my favorite of the great lakes, although Lake Michigan is a close second. It is cold and crystal clear, big, strong, dramatic, and sparkling turquoise BLUE. It was there I learned to enjoy snorkling in order to be able to get a good look at the beautiful rounded rocks beneathe it's surface. Swimming in July and August is cold, but not impossible.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Cally only feigns sleep. Let that dog get six inches closer... closer... just a little closer.... Ka POW!

Cally loves surveying her domain from the safe felling of the trailer.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Post vacation thoughts

We're back from vacation.
Tim and I both have a sense of time passing and things changing. Next summer will be our last with both children "ungraduated". They still argue and fight and play together and insult each other, but it's less irritating when you imagine yourself a few years into the future traveling in a quiet car, just you and your husband, your children somewhere else.
We figure vacations are going to get a lot more expensive because we're going to have to come up with really great trips to make them want to come with us when they don't have to.
We went to Cozumel in January and it was great! If we could dig up the money to do that again, they would definitely want to come. But we will also be trying to pay for Emily's college education. Expensive vacations might be out of the question.
We are thinking about Arizona - Grand Canyon - Tim's Aunt and Uncle live out that way and would like us to visit. Then there's a fishing resort an older couple told us about north of Thunder Bay (top side of Lake Superior) on Whitefish Lake. They said the fishing's great there. This would be a draw for Sam, but I don't know if Emily would come.
Meanwhile, time passes.