A Day In The Life

Questions via Willowtree 01. What does your headl…
September 29, 2006, 2:44 am
Filed under: Odds and Ends

Questions via Willowtree

01. What does your headline mean? My Way of looking at and thinking about the world around me.
02. Elaborate on your default photo: A picture of my Grandma T. holding baby Songbird.
03. What’s your middle name[s]?: Tamar. It’s a biblical name.
04. What is your current relationship status?: Happily divorced.
05. What are you wearing right now?: Black sweat pants and a green sweatshirt.
06. What is your current problem?: Hmmmm…..getting off the computer and going to bed at a decent hour.
07. Who do you love most?: My mom. And all my human family, animal family and friends.
08. Who makes you most happy?: I am solely responsible for my own happiness. People and events affect my happiness, but I alone control my feelings whether they are positive or negative.
09. Are you musically talented?: Yes. I have a God given talent for singing. I began private piano and voice lessons in third grade. I am certified to teach both vocal and instrumental music as well as elementary music.
10. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would you change?: I wouldn’t have gotten married that second time!
11. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would it be?: An Arabian stallion. Just like the Black Stallion in the movie.
12. Ever have a near death experience?: No.
13. Can you dance?: Well, I call it dancing though some folks might not agree.
14. What’s the name of the song that’s stuck in your head right now? True by Ryan Cabrera. One of my students was playing it on his guitar earlier today and I began singing along. A couple more of my students exclaimed, “Wow! Ms. T, you should be on American Idol!” So I’m practicing for my debut.
15. Who did you cut and paste this from?: Willowtree
16. Name someone with the same b-day as you. Peter Jennings and Booth Tarkington.
17. Have you ever destroyed someone’s property?: Yes. I was really mad at that second husband!
18. Have you ever been in a fight?: Yes. I am embarrassed to say that I got in a fight with a girl in high school over some dumb guy.
19. Have you ever sang in front of a big audience?: Yes. Lots!!
20. What ATTRACTS YOU TO THE OPPOSITE sex?: Hormones.
21. What do you usually order from Starbucks?: Nada. I don’t drink coffee.
22. Do you have a crush on one of your myspace friends?: Ok, this question makes me feel like I am in junior high!
23. Ever had a drunken night in Mexico?: No.
24. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?: Well, a student once told me that I looked like Wonder Woman. I wish!!
25. Do you still watch kiddy movies or TV shows?: Movies.
26. Did you have braces?: Yes, from age 14 to 16.
27. Are you comfortable with your height? Yes, I’m comfortable with 5′ 4″, but I’d rather be 5’10” .
28. Do you consider yourself adventurous?: Intellectually adventurous, but not so much daredevil physical adventure.
29. Do you speak any other languages?: No, but I can sing in many different languages.
30. Whats your favorite smell?: The smell of the woods, fresh cut grass, apples, cinnamon…the list could be much longer.


A Room With A ViewI begin the school day at the h…
September 28, 2006, 3:22 am
Filed under: School Buzz

A Room With A View

I begin the school day at the high school building. The choir/drama room is at one end of the building and has no windows. The walls are covered with a carpet-like material that is supposed to absorb sound. I leave this building at 9:00AM and drive across town to the middle school. The choir/band room is at one end of the building and has no windows. The walls are covered with a carpet-like material that is supposed to absorb sound. Yes, I sometimes feel as though I am in a padded cell with 50 to 70 students! I leave the middle school around 10:00AM and drive back across town to the elementary school. The music room is in the far corner of the building. There is only one “padded” wall because I only share one wall with an adjoining classroom. Most important to my sanity, there is a window. Aaaaahhhhhhhh………

This is the view from my elementary classroom. I have actually seen deer grazing in the shade of the pines and bunnies and squirrels are common sights. The cares and frustrations of the day melt away when I take a moment to gaze at my view. Maybe I should enlarge this picture to poster size and hot glue it to the padded walls of my other rooms.

HalcyonHave you ever been enthralled with a word?…
September 26, 2006, 3:03 am
Filed under: Nature, Odds and Ends


Have you ever been enthralled with a word? For some reason, I find myself captivated by the word halcyon. I had often read about “the halcyon days of summer” and “the halcyon years”. I guessed that halcyon meant “golden” or something akin to “the good old days”. Finally, I looked the word up.

Halcyon: 1. A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves during the winter solstice while it nested on the sea. 2. Poetic. A kingfisher. —adj. 1. Calm and peaceful; tranquil. 2. Prosperous; golden.

Halcyon days: 1. Days of fine weather occurring near the winter solstice, especially the seven days before and the seven days after, attributed by legend to the magical powers of the halcyon. 2. A period of peace and tranquility.

I walk pretty much every day down the country road I live on. My wanderings take me by a large pond and across a river. I see these incredible birds quite frequently. Often, I hear their raucous call before actually seeing them. I’ve watched them dive head first into the water and emerge with a fish in their beak.

I’ve seen a pair of kingfishers sitting on a tree limb overhanging the river. I’ve seen four kingfishers engaging in what appeared to be a game of aerial chase. Upon researching the bird, I discovered that the pairs are very territorial so what I actually witnessed was probably one pair chasing another pair out of their territory. I’ve always liked the fact that the kingfisher is one of the few bird species in which the female is generally more brightly colored than the male. I like kingfishers. I have a little resin female kingfisher sitting on a shelf near my computer.

And the point of all this…..well, it seems fitting that a word I am captivated with is related to a bird I am equally captivated by. And, in reference to Julie’s Quote of the Day, I have added another pebble to my little island of knowledge in the great sea of life.

The Little Girl Who Cried Coyote When I was in fi…
September 24, 2006, 4:59 am
Filed under: My Life

The Little Girl Who Cried Coyote

When I was in first grade, we had a time at the end of each day when we could stand in front of the class and share something about our lives with the rest of the class. Each day a few students stood and told their stories so that the entire class had had a turn by the time the weekend rolled around. We all told about visiting relatives, games we had played, birthday parties and all the other activities and events that six year olds found exciting in the early 60’s. I guess you could call it “Show and Tell” except I honestly don’t remember any of us bringing many items to school to “show”.

One particular day as I sat listening to the various life events of my classmates, I decided to liven things up a bit when it was my turn to talk later in the week.

I had often laid in bed at night and listened to coyotes howl up and down the creek that ran through our farm. The coyotes were particularly vocal when the lonely sound of a train whistle echoed through the valley we lived in. I had also listened to stories my mom told about learning to shoot a rifle when she was a girl. It is also important to know that my dad had recently bought me my first horse and that we had a small herd of cattle on the farm. Add all of these facts together and throw in a few pieces of first grader fiction that blossomed in my fertile imagination and you have my story.

When it was finally my turn to stand in front of the class, I told a wild story about coyotes invading our farm and chasing our cows. My mother was the heroine who quickly saddled my horse, jumped on his back and galloped across the fields with rifle in hand to save the poor bovines. I think Mom must have shot about a dozen of those coyotes as I watched the entire scene unfold from our front porch. Her marksmanship was amazing. I’m sure she held the reins in her teeth a la Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. In fact, the producers of that movie probably got the idea for that scene from my first grade story. Anyway, my story was a big hit.

Not too long after I got home from school that day, the phone began ringing. Most of my classmates lived on little farms like ours and when their parents heard that a mangy crew of coyotes were threatening our farm, they became alarmed. I listened to Mom for a few seconds of the first phone call then I wisely slunk from the house to amuse myself outdoors. After the second or third phone call, my mom yelled out the front door telling me to get in the house. My heart was heavy as I trudged in to accept my fate.

I don’t remember everything my mom said. The general gist of it was that it was fine to use my imagination to tell stories, but that I should not pass fiction off as the truth. I remember hearing the words “lies” and “honesty” alot in the lecture I received. I also remember being banished to my bedroom to sit on my bed and think about what I had done until Daddy got home. It was long hour filled with dread. I had caused people to be afraid and to worry. I knew how that felt because I was afraid and worrying myself at this point in time.

Daddy talked to me again about the difference between fact and fiction. I think he pretty much repeated what Mom had said. From an adult perspecitive, I am so thankful that my parents didn’t try to curb my imagination. They both supported my creative story telling ability. I learned an important lesson about how one voice can influence many lives. It is a lesson I still remember today and that’s the truth.

SunriseSeptember 11, 2006 "Whoever you are, th…
September 23, 2006, 4:04 am
Filed under: Nature, Odds and Ends


September 11, 2006

“Whoever you are, there is some young person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill.” Jacob M. Braude

Obedience Plant These lovely flowers are physos…
September 21, 2006, 1:38 am
Filed under: Nature

Obedience Plant

These lovely flowers are physostegia virginiana also called false dragonhead or obedience plant. Quite a few years ago, I saw a picture of them in a seed catalog and decided to order some for my garden. They grow two to four feet in height so I planted them in the middle of a bed. Big mistake! I should have researched obedience plant more thoroughly because these plants spread from underground stems like wildfire. They are the single most aggressive plant I have ever cultivated. I use my big shovel to dig up clumps of obedience plant every spring so they won’t choke out the purple coneflowers, iris, sedum and yarrow that I have in the same bed.

They may have an aggressive personality, but I do think they yield beautiful flowers. They bloom in late summer after other flowers have tapered off and before my chrysanthemums burst into bloom. I consistently win blue ribbons in the county fair flower show with my obedience plants. This year I didn’t enter anything in the flower show because our spring and summer were so dry. Nothing I had bloomed as big and beautiful as it normally does. However, I was so disappointed in my decision not to show when I visited the fair. There was only one obedience plant entered and it was a sad, little specimen. In fact, even though it was the only flower entered in its category, the bloom was draped with a “thanks for participating” green ribbon. Meanwhile, I had these blooms in my garden.

I think I made a mistake, don’t you?!!! Next year I will trust the beauty of my flowers even in adverse growing conditions.

Tagged by Tiggerlane Four jobs that I’ve had: 1. …
September 20, 2006, 3:09 am
Filed under: My Life, Odds and Ends

Tagged by Tiggerlane

Four jobs that I’ve had:
1. Montessori pre-school teacher
2. House cleaner ( the best college job ever!)
3. Toys R Us management
4. Pie maker ( I made pies for a local cafe when I was in high school. )

Four movies I watch over and over and over:
1. Legends of the Fall (sad, but so good! )
2. Love Actually ( a quirky little movie that makes me laugh )
3. Gone With The Wind ( classic for this Southern gal )
4. Seabiscuit ( the little horse who wouldn’t quit )

Four places I’ve lived:
1. Boulder, Colorado
2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
3. Salisbury, Maryland
4. Roanoke, Virginia

Four things I like to do:
1. Read
2. Sing, listen to music, play piano
3. Garden and yard work
4. Cook

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Lasagne
2. Ice cream ( preferably homemade )
3. Prime rib
4. Lobster

Four places I would like to be right now:
1. Yellowstone
2. Alaska ( planning a trip for 2008 )
3. Tuscany ( never been there, but I want to go so bad!)
4. Antiquing in New England

Four places I’ve been on vacation:
1. Yellowstone
2. Charleston, South Carolina
3. Washington DC
4. New England (two weeks of total fun!)

1. Susan in VA
2. Angelina at Dustpan Alley
3. Shauna
4. Grim Reality Girl