Wednesday, July 1, 2015

stocking the freezer before i leave the hip replacement patient!

both are smitten kitchen recipes - zucchini fritters:


so.  many.  squash.  in.  the.  garden.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

a ruby a day

We haven't done a Ruby and mama sweaty-post-workout-lying-on-the-floor selfie in a while. I know you missed this.


Also, does it may me more of a cat lady that I am postponing for as long as I can packing for my next trip because it stresses Ruby out? Wait, actually...don't answer that. 
“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”
―Paul Farmer

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

final AP reading numbers

1,800 essays graded!


Each tick mark represents a packet of 25 essays, and yes: we really do count the packets like prisoners in movies count the days on prison walls. 

But now that I have been back in Houston for almost a week, I've forgotten how painful it was the read all those packets. Amnesia!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

what i'm listening to right now

i'm currently binge watching season two of rectify, a fictional tv show that imagines what life is like for a man, his family, and his small town when he is released from prison after 20 years on death row.  this song played over the credits recently, and i thought it was beautiful - and then discovered that it's a band i know and love!

"the wine we drink," by drew holcomb and the neighbors:

Monday, June 22, 2015

i am not a religious person.  let's start there.

but i worked for six years at an episcopal school, and it was really a very important experience for me.  there were things i was quite skeptical of (the virgin birth) and things i questioned (raising millions for a new church when that money could be put towards easing suffering).  but i saw religion used for so much good - to build schools in haiti both before and after the earthquake, the fundraise to pay for tuition for haitian kids, to teach kindness and love to those around us.  the episcopalians are incredibly welcoming, and that school welcomed me in so many ways, not just during those weekly chapel services.

if you take the god out of it, all of the lessons of jesus are ones we can follow and should follow and are hard to follow but are ideals we should aspire to.

i learned some songs in those weekly chapel services that have become very special to me: god of our fathers, seek ye first, and this one, which we sang frequently during my last year at the school:


since hearing about the shooting in the charleston church i have been thinking of this word and this song frequently: sanctuary.  this morning, after NPR reported on the first services back in that church since the shooting, i played this song off of youtube on my drive to work and cried and then played it a second time.

sanctuary:
1. how horrific that a church - a sanctuary - could be breeched in this way.  though a church is not my sanctuary, we cannot deny that for many it is quite an important one.
2. my job as a teacher and our job as a school is to be a safe space, an ear to listen, to take students as they come.  i don't think i had put it in those words before this morning.  i have been repeating that phrase: i'll be a living sanctuary.
birthdays at work are a big deal…as in, there must be a cake and a card and singing and eating.  so maybe that is an ordinary deal, but at my old job we didn't have this birthday tradition.  we went out to breakfast at waffle house on a work friend's birthday, which is a fantastic tradition in and of itself.  but i digress.

i am the birthday coordinator, because taking care of people with food gives me great happiness.  when i have time i bake a cake instead of buying one at the grocery store. for my colleague scott's birthday a few weeks ago, i made a banana pudding poke cake, which facebook had told me and scott about independently and we had decided it must be tried.  it felt pretty white trash but tasted pretty amazing.  yellow cake it poked with the handle of a wooden spoon and then banana pudding is poured over/into it, the cake is covered with cool whip, and then at the last minute you add fresh bananas and nilla wafers to the top.


it was consumed with gusto.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

a ruby a day

Sunday morning with Miss Ruby:


Friday, June 19, 2015

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
—Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross (1926-2004), Psychiatrist and Author