Friday, August 30, 2013


What's New?
Joe and I picked 8 lbs of blueberries last weekend! I was afraid that we'd missed the season this year. So many blueberry farms were already closed, and the ones that were still open said that picking was slim. We went to a closer farm in North Bend instead of driving all the way to Arlington. I was relieved to find blueberries still on the bushes.

So far I've only made blueberry cinnamon rolls (no boy bait yet - school is starting next week and I've been overwhelmingly busy)

Currently Reading
  • Mink River by Brian Doyle - I finished Mink River, and let me just say that the last paragraph was amazing. It's very long, but I'll give you a taste:
" drops of water fell from the sky, headlong, pell-mell, sliding from the brooding mist, and then seventy, and then the gentle deluge, a whisper of wet, a thorough and persistent pittering on leaf mold and newt knuckle, web and wood, tent and vent, house and mouse, the rain splattering the sea, soaking boots, rinsing streets, fluffing owls and wetting towels..."
  • If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor - Just started this last night. I put it on my to-read list after looking for more books written in the poetry/prose style like Mink River.

On the Needles
No time to knit this week, due to getting my classroom set-up, attending back-to-school meetings in my building, and just generally working my tush off to be ready next week when the kiddos walk through the door.

Looking Forward To
  1. spending Saturday with friends

Friday, August 23, 2013

settling in to my classroom

What's New?
Tuesday of this week was my first day officially moving in. When I arrived at school, the previous teacher's boxes were still in my room. However, she stopped by, saw them still there and went down to the office. Five minutes later she returned with the principal, both vice-principals and the principal-intern and together we moved the boxes out of my room and into her new room down the hall. I was so impressed by the community spirit, and the willingness to do what needed to be done, no matter whose job it was. I think I'm going to really like teaching at this school.

After the boxes were moved out, in came my stuff! I've been working on finding places for my things that makes sense, and figuring out how I want to use my space. Speaking of space, this new room of mine is HUGE! There is room for two teacher desks (that happened to already be in there), so I can have one for the computer and another one to spread out my piles use for planning. There is enough room for my favorite student desk configuration, and more space in the back for small groups or even for the whole class to pull up a chair for some direct instruction.

Currently Reading
  • Mink River by Brian Doyle - I am still hooked on this book! I love the poetry/prose, and the apt yet beautiful descriptions of living in the Pacific Northwest. I may have to buy this book so that I can read it again whenever the mood strikes.
On the Needles
Working on dishcloth #2. I'm hoping to use up the remainder of my blue cotton yarn.

Looking Forward To:
  1. picking blueberries
  2. starting work

Friday, August 16, 2013

almost there...

  This is what my new classroom looks like right now, before any unpacking or organizing.

What's New?
I've been doing a whole lot of nothing lately, and blaming it on a lingering cough and runny nose. I've got to step up my game, though, or when school starts I will be toast. This weekend my in-laws are coming up to Seattle to go kayaking with us on Elliot Bay, and next week I'll start operations move-into-classroom and get-classroom-ready. I tried to start this week, but the previous teacher's boxes had not been moved yet. I didn't want that to stop me from being productive, though, so I arranged the desks, sketched out a floor plan and started planning where I'll put things.

The weather changed on Wednesday and I can feel autumn pulling at the air. I told Joe that I'm ready for autumn (it's my favorite season, after all), but then realized that I have one more thing on my summer list: blueberries. With being gone to Mt Rainier, and then being sick once I got back, I have not picked blueberries. I have some blueberry baking to do, so next week I need to get up north to my favorite blueberry farm so I can solve that problem.

Currently Reading
  • Mink River by Brian Doyle - I'm not even 100 pages into this book, but I love it. I was initially put-off by the style of prose, but now I'm hooked. Here's one reason I love this book: 
"Rained gently last night, just enough to wash the town clean, and then today a clean crisp fat spring day, the air redolent, the kind of green minty succulent air you'd bottle if you could and snort greedily on bleak wet January evenings when the streetlights hzzzzt on at four in the afternoon and all existence seems hopeless and sad." page 38
On the Needles
I'm still plugging along on a dishcloth. Since I'm trying to use up some leftover yarn, it's currently half purple and half magenta. I'm running low on the magenta (and I've already used up all of the purple), so it may end up with a light blue stripe at the end. Never matter, I'll put it to good use cleaning up the kitchen counters.

Looking Forward To:
  1. kayaking with family

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mt. Rainier Adventures

I spent a week on Mt. Rainier as part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" teacher program. I learned a ton of geology, and a huge lesson on mountain weather. As in, mountain weather can turn faster than you'd think. When it's storming over the Tatoosh range, and you are hiking on the mountain, it's time to book it down to the lodge. And fast. My friend and I got caught in a rain + hail + lightening + thunder storm while hiking down from Panorama Point. By the time we reached the lodge at Paradise we were both soaked through. I believe I had a bit of hypothermia (blue lips, anyone?). On the way down the trail was basically a river of mud. We also crossed an actual river (ok, it was a creek, but it was running fast), and hiked over snow. That morning we had learned about lahars, and how little water is actually required to get one moving. You can imagine the horrors that were going through our heads as we ran-hiked down the mountain. It was intense.

I also saw my first marmot, which was comical. That little guy was not even a meter off the trail, happily munching on lupine plants. He didn't care at all that we stood there, clicking away with our cameras.

I can't wait to take Joe to the mountain and show him all the new places I've been. Panorama Point, Glacier Vista, and Box Canyon are high on my list.