Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Every happening,
great and small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us,
and the art of life is to get the message.
-Malcolm Muggeridge
(Don't you love this name?:)
My 8th-grade students have the above quote for their quote journals tomorrow.
Should be some interesting responses:)
Their term paper topics (I posted a month or so ago about this) are due to me on Monday (I decided to allow them to choose their own research something they are interested in and would like to know more about) with their tentative purpose and three questions that will be "guiding" their research. They are to choose one of these questions as their probable thesis statement.
Their eyes were beginning to "glaze over" as we went over what a term paper is and the whole broad overview of what they will be doing, so we'll see what they come up with for this first step:)
In the meantime, my high school drama students are hard at work on their semester play which they will perform in three weeks.....Sometimes I feel as if I am on an island all alone with teen-agers!
I love it and I hate it!
Have a Lovely Day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"FRET NOT...." - Ps. 37:1


Said the Robin to the Sparrow,

"I should really like to know

Why these anxious human beings

Rush about and worry so."

Said the Sparrow to the Robin,

"Friend, I think that it must be

That they have no Heavenly Father

Such as cares for you and me."

-Elizabeth Cheney

Sometimes the old children's poetry and stories
really put things into perspective, do they not?

Definitions of to fret -
made rough on the surface; rubbed or worn away.

"A peevish, irrational, fault-finding person not only wears himself out, but is very wearing to others. To fret is to be in a state of vexation..."

The above came from my Friday's devotion from
Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman...
(I had marked it, so I went back and re-read it after today's devotion.)

note: My poor husband (and everyone else who has had to be around me)..

..I have been quite a "Martha" lately fretting about a great many things...
Hmmm...I've always related to Martha in that....My goodness! Someone had to prepare the meal, did they not? We can't ALL be Mary's....or can we?
...and this was today's:

In nothing be anxious... Phil. 4:6

Twice or thrice a day, look to see if your heart is not disquieted about something; and if you find that it is, take care forthwith to restore it to calm. -Francis de Sales

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It's been a while since I've "been blogging"....
School and life stepped up the pace causing me to make conscious choices on how my time was spent....and sometimes to just "do the next thing" as God sent a few precious "assignments" our way.
For example,
Our great-niece visited one lovely, recent Sunday afternoon.....

Have a Lovely Day!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Okay.....Sometimes I am NOT very bright...aarrrghhh!

I created a new blog yesterday thinking I would use it as a "subscribe only" blog for my students and their parents to see photos, et cetera of things we do at school.
Well, today I spent an inordinate amount of time creating a new post with the above title for what I thought was THIS blog......but it wasn't, it was my NEW blog. The students and parents don't know about the blog because I was still "toying' with the idea of exactly what and how and even IF I really wanted to do that.
Anyway, today's blog may be found at

It actually looks better on my new blog:(


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Okay, Lovely Readers, I need help!
It has been mandated by the powers that be at our school that every grade has to write a term paper. In the junior high and high school, the English classes have first semester; the history classes have second semester. (I plan to begin sometime in October.)
Not only must they have a written paper, but it must be such that it can be developed into a power point or smart board presentation also...aarghhh! ....They will receive 2 for the paper; one for the presentation.

My problem: I need about 35 suggestions for possible topics.
(I have 32 eighth graders, and I would like for them each to have a different topic.)
These topics need to be able to sustain four or five sources. Oh, and did I mention that these term papers are to be written in MLA format?
Have a Lovely Day!

Monday, September 7, 2009


My eighth graders keep what I call a Quote Journal.
I set a timer for 10 minutes at the beginning of every class period during which they copy the quote of the day from the board and write a two-paragraph response...
Their first paragraph should tell what they think the quote means. The second paragraph should give an example of how the quote applies to their lives.
When the timer "dings", we discuss the quote as a class during which time they may add to their responses as they see fit in order to get the required 75 words.

Last year I decided to change it up a little by giving them an Unjournaling once or twice a week. The students loved it!
They were having fun AND developing creative writing skills along with increasing their vocabulary.

Great book!

Includes entries such as ........
Write a story about a girl named Dot,
but you may use NO letters with dots over them...i.e. no Ii's or Jj's.
This is harder than you might think and forced them to think "outside the box" as they tried to think of other words that meant the same but had no I or j in it. For example, the word said. They had to use retorted or yelled, etc, etc.
They were using the thesaurus and the dictionary to find words:)
My students are a pretty competitive bunch, so each one was trying to have the best story with the best words:)
On another day we did this one:
Write a good sentence consisting entirely of three-syllable words.
(You may use the articles a, an, the.)
and this one:
Write a paragraph that twenty words with double vowels.
Examples: poodle, peep, needle

and this one:
Write a good sentence in which every word begins with a letter from the word "sentence" in the same order as the letters in "sentence"....
Example: the first word in your sentence would begin with "s", the second word would begin with "e", the third with "n", etc.
Isn't this fun?!
And then sometimes on Mondays, we just have plain old "FREE WRITING":)
Write freely now to your heart's desire
the number of words that I require:)

Have a Lovely Day!

P.S. Pictured below is their Homework Board:

Sunday, August 30, 2009


The fine art

This is the "Stairway".....

...And this is the closet under the stairway.....

My husband is half Italian (His father was a 1st generation Italian American...and his grandfather was one of the last of the immigrants to enter America through Ellis Island). My husband has fond memories of visiting his Italian grandmother for a whole summer when he was 14 years old. They drank wine with every meal (not breakfast) which my husband, of course, thought was "cool" at first, but then it became just a mundane part life. Because he had access to it, it failed to have the allure it might have had, I guess. He learned to drink responsibly? He also learned to literally clean his plate before asking for seconds....He has vivid memories of reaching for more chicken and getting swatted in the back of the that , in his words, it "laid his face down on his plate"...Ouch! Anyway, he looked at his grandmother in shocked surprise and she said, "Moncha, moncha", and pointed to his plate. Apparently he wasn't finished until he had cleaned every inkling of meat off of the chicken bone! To this day, he cleans the bones of pork chops, ribs, steak, chicken.......and then looks over at my plate to see if I left any meat on the bones on my plate (His grandmother would have been disappointed in me:)!
Anyway, we always have red wine in the house due to his Italian heritage, and, lately dear old Hubby has taken up the fine art of! The first step, of course, was to find a spot for this delicate undertaking (I never realized how much care has to be taken for jostling of the bottle, no light and coolness are important........So.....he decided to do it in the closet under our stairway.
Now, keep in mind this closet is used for storage also, so you will see odd things in some of these phots that have nothing to do with making wine:)

Inside "the closet under the stairway"...

We had to set the vat on top of paint cans to make it high enough for the siphon to work;

This weekend, I had to help him siphon the wine....being careful not to stir up the sediment created by the grapes and oak chips in the bottom....from the plastic container into a six gallon glass jar.....

This will have to sit "still" for about ten (I'm not positive about may be 28 days, now that I think about it, but HE knows, believe you me!) days to ferment and ....... hmmm...get better? It has to absorb and mature so that there is a fullness to the flavor. I do think you have to stir it up every few days and then let it become "still" again.

After that you siphon it into a five gallon glass jar (All of it won't fit, so you will get a couple of bottles of "newer" wine from this) where it, again, becomes "still" for several more days (maybe ten or so?).

This is the 6-gallon glass jar, but the 5-gallon will look the same only a tad smaller.
I have never seen my husband truly read and follow instructions as he has with this wine-making!

The "Mad Scientist" in action:)...I'm not sure why I love him:)

Anyway, as I was helping him yesterday and he was telling me all of this, I couldn't help but compare this to our life in Christ......the "maturing".....the sitting "still" periods to allow Christ to work within us after the "strring up" of life all around us....the "sediment", the "dross" we try to allow to settle to the "bottom".....but yet if we don't follow the instructions God laid out for us in the Bible and through our quiet times with Him, we end up "mixing" some of this dross or sediment back into our lives.

Be still and know that I am God.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God.....

There is a light trying to click on in my head about wine, old Christ. I just know there is a life-lesson here somewhere......

Have a Lovely Day!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I grew up in this old antebellum home dating back to the pre-Civil War years....Somehow Sherman missed it on his march through the South. It sits atop a hill overlooking the pasture land surrounding it and is surrounded itself by grand old towering pecan trees. (We used to have to pick up a bucket full of pecans every week round about November:). There is a huge magnolia tree on the front corner that beckons to all children to climb up and sit amongst its branches.

I've been told that one of the Confederate Generals stayed there one night. I've also been told that there is a hidden treasure under one of the two black walnut trees on the land. As a child, my brothers and sisters and I spent many hours digging for that "treasure". Supposedly the "treasure" is the silver that belonged to the family that lived there during the Civil War. They buried it so the "Yankees" wouldn't get it.

We never found it, but the story itself and the many hours of imaginative play it lent to my siblings and me (and later to our children) as we (and they) searched for the "trea-shu" is, I think, the real treasure!
There was also the story about a man who owned the house in the late 1800's or early 1900's who died - gasp! - IN the room where my parents had their bedroom. His name was Mr. Quarrels.....Late at night we just KNEW we heard him creaking down the big old dog-trot hallway....and up the narrow stairs leading to the attic bedrooms. When our friends would hear floor boards creaking in the night, we loved to bravely and calmly say, "Oh, It's just Mr. Quarrels. He won't bother you."

My mother still lives in the house (My father died last August). It still has the original doors and the old locks on the inside.
The narrow staircase is still there.
The big old hallway that runs from front door to back door is still there. Most of the pecan trees and, of course, the huge magnolia tree. There is an old "cannon" that sits in the front yard to "greet" father put an old pipe of some kind on a set of old wagon wheels that he found somewhere.....He liked the old Civil War effect.It's still there, too...and it really does look like an old canon:)

Treasures.....Memories, too, are treasures......They have helped to make us what we are....
Have a Lovely Treasure-Filled Day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


HI - 5's

fun poems
all ages


The Hi-5 Boys & the Hula-Hoop Girls….
Laughing and having fun!
They all “Hi-5” and “Hula-hoop”
until the day is done!

Hi-5’s and Hula-hoops!
Slappin’ hands and twirlin’.
Hi-5’s and Hula-hoops
Fun for boys and “girl-ins”!


We ride the bus…
It will take us to school.
We ride the bus….
And we have a rule.

We stay in our seat…
No walking around.
We stay in our seat…
The rule says SIT DOWN!


Run, run, run…
Here comes the bus!
Run, run, run…
No time to fuss!

The bus is here,
And you are late!
Run, run, run…
That bus can’t wait!


Here comes the bus!
Do you not see?
Here comes the bus!
And it’s coming for me!

Here comes the bus!
It’s full of children, too!
Here comes the bus!
And it’s coming for you!


The Coca-Cola Chicken…
Look at him struttin’!
The Coca-Cola Chicken…
He’s afraid of nuttin’!

The Coca-Cola Chicken…
He makes me smile!
The Coca-Cola Chicken…
I like his STYLE!

These are only a few of the poems and illustrations from a little booklet that came into being during my stint as the owner of a lovely little folk art gallery. I sold the original booklet and gave it away with purchases of Chris's art. I no longer sell the booklets or the art, so I thought I would share them with you:)

The opening page of the booklet includes these words and note from the author:


Author’s Note: (from the booklet)
Many of these little poems came into being several years ago during my stint as the special education teacher at Dixie Elementary School in rural Russell County, Alabama. Most of my students had reading difficulties to the point of having lost all interest in even trying. So, after going through all of the “normal” routes, techniques, and material, I decided we needed to “jazz things up a little”…After years of failure, these children had already decided that they would never be able to read very well, so they had quit trying….Hence, I decided to create fun little poems with their spelling words for the week and write them on large tablets (as well as typing them on sheets to keep in their folders) that I placed on an easel. We practiced these poems for a week, and on Friday the children were graded on reading accurately with expression, etc. We would then go find audiences such as kindergarten classes, the principal, secretary, etc. to entertain with our reading. The children loved this! It built up their confidence, and they perfected their reading abilities without realizing that they were LEARNING!
(And they also learned their spelling words!)

Meeting Chris Clark and his wonderful art stirred up memories of these poems and prompted the creation of this little poetry book.
I think Chris’s art brings out the “child” in all of us!



Wednesday, August 19, 2009


"Do all things without murmuring (or grumbling....or complaining) and disputing."

-Philippians 2:14

May Your Day be filled with a
Plethora of Pizzazz and Rollicking Razzle Dazzle!


Monday, August 17, 2009

L Is for Lollygag
Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue
My lovely niece gave me this book for my birthday last year. She knew I LoVe words....and that I enjoy giving my students InTeRestiNg vocabulary words.
Quite a smattering...a plethora....oodles of words....we could have a jamboree and be johnny-on-the-spot with any word that one needs. No jittery-skittery heebie-jeebies with this book around! And that's no FLAPDOODLE!

Oh fiddlesticks!
Have a Humdinger of a Day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, today was garbage day in our neck of the woods....and it brought to mind another column by The "Pundit of Pittsview" .......

Yep, Garbage Trucks are Good Things

When you get to thinking about all the good things and bad things around, it gets right interesting.
The garbage truck is one of the best things I can think of. Aspirin is a real good thing. Paved roads, Sunday afternoons, a cola on ice, and finding your newspaper are all pretty good things.
Not finding your newspaper in your box after you have gone out in your bathrobe at daylight to get it is not a good thing. Everybody will agree that a sore thumb is not very good, either.
Loud radios, weddings, Macon Road in Columbus, and people who say “My God” all the time are on my list of bad things.
I think I’ll put down sevens with a line across the middle of them, too. It makes the 7 look like a backwards F. Whoever thought that up, anyway?

Garbage trucks rate high with me because until just a few years ago, no garbage trucks came to Pittsview. All we have to do now is put our garbage in a sack on the side of the road on Friday morning. It has gone – disappeared – by dinnertime.
I don’t know what they do with all that garbage, and I don’t want to know.
Before garbage trucks, you had to do something with it yourself. Finding a place to dump it was a problem. The food in the garbage was not so bad. Oh, it might smell bad, but at least the food would finally rot, or the ‘coons, possums, and ants would eat it up.
The tin cans, broken plates, and old light bulbs were harder to do something with. Styrofoam and plastic were the worst, though. I still find pieces of Styrofoam cups around the ditch where we dumped our trash.

Aspirin is on my list because it is good for anything from a sore toe to a headache. Aspirin is sort of like that joke about a thermos bottle….”How do it know?”

And paved roads! I was driving up a hill over near Nuckoll’s Crossing in the rain the other day. I remembered going up that long, slick hill with my daddy in the good old days.
He drove the car while I was out in the rain putting pine boughs under the wheels to get up that hill. The car would move up 2 or 3 feet, and I would grab that muddy pine limb and put it in front of the wheel again.
Over and over I had to do that until we got to the top of the hill. I would be so muddy by then that daddy did not want to let me back in the car, but he always did.

Sunday afternoons, especially in the spring and the fall, are really nice. If you have gone to church like you are supposed to do, and you’ve had a big dinner, that is all you’ve got to do for the rest of the day.
Since I don’t watch the stupid ball games, I usually just piddle around in the yard – not work, now – just piddle. I might wrestle with my dog awhile, sit in the yard swing and watch a hawk, or take a walk in the woods. Do nothing, really.
It is perfectly legitimate to just be lazy on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes I just think about garbage trucks.

(January 3, 1985, - the East Alabama Today section of the Ledger Enquirer)
Have a Lovely Day!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is where I have my devotional time before I begin the day:

And this is where I grade papers, pay bills, and plan lessons for my students:

This is the book my 8th graders were assigned for summer reading:

This is the test they had to take on Friday, August 7:

And these are some of the answers I received for question #7….

7. Theme: Think of a lesson or moral this story could teach. Give an example from the story of how your theme“fits”.

I love making them THINK rather than just regurgitating answers….especially on books they read:)....

Have a Lovely Day!