Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What's Been Going On

What the saying?  "Life is what happens while we are busy making plans."  I made the big pronouncement that my plan was to post here regularly.  I guess the truth is that I don't yet have enough of a trend to define "regularly" but in my head that meant almost every day if not every day.  And here it is five days since my last post.  So what's been going on?  Lots, actually.

The biggest obstacle to posting has been no computer.  Well, that's not actually true.  I had two computers.  An old one and a new one.  

YAY!  Weber spent all weekend cleaning up files on my old computer, backing up everything, and then doing the migration of everything to the new one.  It was a long process that I am happy to say is now complete and everything is working perfectly so far, but it left me with no computer over the weekend.

Friday was food post day on Pixels, Plates, and LOLs.  Our subject is cinnamon.  If you are interested in recipes for cinnamon rolls or cinnamon streusel coffee cake, check out this link.


On Saturday while Weber worked on my computer, I cleaned.  I'll spare you pictures of my clean bathroom, but I assure you that it is picture worthy. :-)

Then we get to Sunday, usually one of my favorite days of the week.  Normally it is filled with church, singing, food, fellowship, and, if I'm lucky, sometimes even a nap!  All of  those things happened, but I must say that church was discomforting, and not in a good way.  My morning started in the Episcopal Church, the church in which I was raised, married, and have called my spiritual home for my entire life.  The guest preacher was the newly elected diocesan bishop of Dallas, a man who is proud to stand in opposition to the held beliefs of the Episcopal Church as a denomination and the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is proud to preach in favor of injustice and inequality for gay and lesbian children of God.  He also began his sermon by invoking the story of St. Francis, which he totally bastardized.  I found myself saying out loud, "That is not the way the story goes!"  I left angry rather than refreshed.

The good news was that I had another service to attend at Cathedral of Hope Dallas where, in direct contrast, the sermon focused on our need to coexist with all of God's people, even with those who hurt us or with whom we disagree.  

There is something seriously wrong with having to go to a second church service because you are so unhappy with the things you heard at the first, especially when that first church is supposedly your home church.  And to add insult to injury, the "first church" had the nerve to do the stewardship pitch.  Yeah. NO.

And then came Monday... 

I woke up feeling not great, but went ahead and got ready and went to school, knowing that it was my shortest teaching day of the week.  I figured I could get through two classes just fine.  I did, but by the time I got home, I felt much worse.  After dinner, I was running a 101 temperature and made the decision that I should not, could not go to school today.  Why is that such a hard decision to make?  I felt terrible yet I also felt a sense of responsibility to my students.  I finally realized that there was no way that I could give them my best so instead of wasting their time, I emailed my classes and told them I would not be at school.  Once I had committed to staying home, I was able to rest and not worry too much.  I can't remember the last time I took a sick day from school.

The animals and I have spent all day doing pretty much nothing but resting, except for the test that i had to write for tomorrow.  

Though I still have the fever hangover kind of feeling, I am better.  I will be back at school tomorrow.

And it will be a new day.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


My Thursday's are incredibly long days, beginning with my first class at 7:30 am and ending at 4 pm after a final composition lesson.  In between, I teach five different classes and two lessons.  The good news?  Unlike Wednesday's, I actually have 30 minutes for lunch!  The thing that makes this tiring day tolerable is knowing that it is the end of my work week.  And, I have some awesome students.

No one really wants to take (or teach) a 7:30 am class, but to get it all done, this is the way the schedule has to be, so we make the best of it and do whatever we have to do...arrive at school with a great big cup of coffee!  

This morning, one of my students came skipping into class at about 7:28 with a big smile on her face and pronounced, "I am so happy this morning; I am winning at life."  Whenever someone says something like this I always go through a quick analysis of their expression to determine whether they are speaking truth or sarcasm.  In this case,  I was fairly sure it was truth, but I asked her just to make sure.  She said that she was glad that she was on time and really enjoyed being in the class.  How can you not have a good day when it begins like this?  I woke up with a sore throat and the feeling that a cold was trying to take over my body.  This student's enthusiasm and good cheer made me forget about the fact that I wasn't feeling 100% and pushed me to give her my 100% so that she  left class still feeling as though she was winning at life.
My day had an equally good ending.  Thursday has become "diner dinner night."  We have gotten into a routine of meeting a small group of friends almost every Thursday night at our local diner.  It is a true diner experience-juke box and love meter in the entry way; burgers, fries, and all-day breakfast; and servers that know all the regulars (that would be us) and bring our drinks as soon as we walk in the door, no ordering necessary  Most of us order the exact same meal every Thursday night.  That s part of the routine.  We catch up on each other's week, roll our eyes over the current state of politics in this country, solve as many of the world's problems as we can in a couple of hours, and mostly enjoy the friendship that we share.  Oh, and we have dessert.  Diner dinner is the only dinner during the week that includes dessert.  For me that is banana pudding.  This too is part of the routine.  The partners that we are, we close the place down at 9pm.

Neither having a student who feels that she is winning at life or a Thursday night diner dinner may make the list of what makes most people happy, but both are exactly what bring joy to my world.  Knowing that what I do as a teacher causes even one student to feel good about herself and having wonderful friends who enjoy simply being together are both, for me,  awesome things!   If only more people realized that it is really the little things that are the big things in life...

Today's photo prompt was "With A Ball."  This is what you get when you take your photo at 10pm...after diner dinner.  It's all about priorities!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Wednesdays are long days.  The best I have to offer is my daily haiku...

The season changes
 Year's perfect end approaching.
Where is the weather?

...and today's photo taken very late tonight.  The prompt was "rushing."  I rushed to get a photo taken while trying to get several others things done.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Revolving Door

One thing that I have learned, because the lesson has been shown to me time and time again, is that no doors ever really shut in life.  Our existence involves continuous movement, an unchoreographed dance,  through a constantly revolving door.  The variables that impact where that door leads include how quickly the door turns, how we embrace our perspective at the present point of rotation, and who else is making their way through the door with us.

Today was bittersweet in that the revolving door of life turned in a new direction.  I closed on the sale of my dad's house in Delaware, the house that my grandparents restored in the early sixties and in which they and then my parents lived until my dad's death almost a year ago.  I was four when my grandparents moved into this house, so most of my memories of visiting them were formed there.  My parents moved in after my grandfather's death in 1998.  I made a few trips to visit my parents, but it all honesty, my most vivid memories of the Delaware house with regard to my parents is it is the place where they both died.  This, however, is not the reason that I chose to sell the house; it simply was not feasible for me to keep it.

 As a military brat, I am a master at blooming where I am planted."  As a child,  I was transplanted to many different places coast to coast.  Finally as a young adult, I moved to Texas and now have firmly established roots hereWeber and I have a simple yet wonderful life here.  My girls and their dad live close.  I have an amazing group of friends.  And, a job I love.  What I would have given up to move to Delaware and keep the house would have been far more valuable than what I would have gained by keeping it.  And, keeping it as a "summer home" was not fair to the house.  It was built in 1760 and deserves full time care and attention.  I am thankful that the men who bought it are not only willing, but excited to give it that.  I wish them much happiness as they make this house their home.  I trust that if I ever want to return for a short visit, that they would graciously extend a bit of hospitality.

So today, my last real tie to Delaware has been severed and life's portal has turned to face another direction.  And I am OK with that.  My family and my life are here in Texas, the place that I happily call home.

Lately I have been playing with a photo manipulation technique that creates abstract images from photos.  I thought today would be a good day to try it with the above photo of the house in Lewes, which I took over the summer.

Perhaps I should title this one, "A New Turn" as the revolving door of life has turned a few more degrees.   And, who is that now staring at me?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jumping Back In!

The calendar says that fall will be here in two days, but for my creative self, it is spring that is dawning after a five month dormant season here.   Unlike the plants and animals who know that they need fall and winter to rest and rejuvenate, I was unaware that my spirit was longing for that time.  I have been doing other creative things, including other types of writing, but in the past few weeks, I have been hit hard with the realization that I truly miss this forum, my blog.  Yes, I have missed deeply the writing, but perhaps more importantly, I have felt strongly the absence of the daily thoughts, reflection, and wondering that were the spark for my my daily posts.

Several things have happened that, taken together, have spurred me on to begin again here.  First, people who were faithful readers have asked why I stopped posting and where I had gone.  They were even kind enough to say that the missed my offerings.  I am flattered, though honestly  I never thought anyone would really read what I write here; I started blogging as a personal discipline, as a means of accountability to no one but myself.  If others find a reason to smile, or cry, or experience a little piece of joy, or find a bit of insight in my musings, I consider those are an added bonus.

For many years, I have been a faithful follower of Julia Cameron and her daily discipline of writing morning pages.  It is through this practice, that I rediscovered my need to reinstitute writing regular blog posts.  Since going back to school a few weeks ago, I have also added to this morning routine a poem in haiku form.  I say in haiku form because in the traditional Japanese haiku, this seventeen syllable form contains a kigo,  a seasonal word drawn from a defined list of words.  The poems that I have written usually contain no such word, but do follow the 5-7-5 syllabic structure of the lines as well as the use of a “ exiting word.”

Here are a couple of these poems:
Uninvited thoughts
Coming and going freely.
Through my mind, they dance.
  - KEB 9/14/15
Thoughts of things undone
Fester, surface, call to me.
Your attention, please! 
       - KEB 9/16/15
Tool of possibility
Or disappointment?
  - KEB 9/21/15

As I reflected on my own words, I sensed a theme, one that was calling me to pay attention and to take action, a strong yearning to write….here   And so I begin again.  Even after all this time away, this is a comfortable place for me.  Writing this post is kind of like a much anticipated homecoming.

Oh, and today's Capture Your 365 photo prompt is "jumping."  Yes, the prompt was intended in the literal sense, but most often, I am not a literal person, so this post is my idea of jumping today.  Now to figure out how to photograph this.

One of the reasons that I have neglected my blog is because I have been writing in other places, new places.  That is not an excuse; it is simply to say that I have not done a very good job at time management and prioritizing.  I will continue to write in those other places as well as here.  And sometimes, it may be necessary for me to “kill two birds with one stone” and share the same material in two places.  

One of those new writing adventures is another blog that I am writing with a dear photography friend.  As is evidenced by its title, our focus is on friendship, photography and food.  If you are interested, it is here:

Also, Weber and I help our blue and orange furry monster, Blueper B, write about his adventures on his blog as well:

Neither of these other forums takes the place of the kind of posts that I have written here in the past and intend to share again, but those other endeavors do take time and energy, commodities which seem severely lacking in my world some days!

If you are still here and reading what I have written, thank you.  I am grateful for your presence on this journey.  As I did previously, I will continue to share my photographs and my daily thoughts.  I don’t promise that they will be worthy of your time and attention, but I do promise that I will do my best to share with honesty, integrity, and a little humor.

Thank you for stopping by!