My Log Cabin in Alaska

Friday, October 7, 2011

A gem from the conference

I love conferences. They are more than R&R, more than workshops, more than both together as you get to hobnob with the smart folk in the area of your interest. A conference is just cool! And this one is no disapointment to say the least. 

Tonight we got to meet the speakers. It was a surprise for them, an introduction, a little thing about them that no one would previously know, and a cute question.  A very young, but very wise young artist touched me with his challenge to us, and I am compelled to share my response.  Laurent Linn, an art director with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, told us that if there is a place in our worlds, or lives, that makes us uncomfortable or even makes us afraid, that is the place that we need to be.  Face your fears, get beyond them, move forward.

At first I smiled.  Young man, trying to be wise.  Me, I fear nothing!  I rise to any challenge and usually succeed. But I did take an extra moment to reflect deeply, his words deserved that much.  And his words did in fact reach a tender place in my heart (if any of you will believe that there is a tender strand in my old pump!)  It is true that I have moved past my comfort zone so many times and so far and wide that I do not think I even have a comfort zone any more.  I have lived life on the edge most of my life and done things that if I thought my children had tried I would tie them to their beds even now (and I would likely not even tell my mother what scary things I have done like catching rattle snakes as a child) If I even think that I may be afraid of something, that is the thing that I will learn how to do, and then do it. But there is something that is beginning to bring a chill to my heart, and I don't think I like it, no not at all.

In this wild life I have lived I have not been kind to this body and it is beginning to rebel. I hate that. I am growing stiff, stove up, so to speak, and I must admit that I cannot do the things that I was able to do with ease a few years ago. Don't much like that either. And I find that I no longer feel as safe or confident living on the edge, but as I wish to be around for my grandchildren, I find that I must rethink some things.  And I find that the place that I am most uncomfortable with is in the rocking chair on the porch with the knitting needles.  Is this another crossroads for me? 

Naw, not yet, where is the next adventure! Plenty of time to get that knitting done!  O yea, there is another place I am really, truely uncomfortable with and I think I will put it on the back burner for a while too!  Learning this web-stuff!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Drizzle After the Storm

Well, I suppose I should take a minute to sit and reflect and rest. It has been a busy month, and it does not look like it will get too much easier in the next few weeks.

The storm and the flood did not quite make, and I think I am in love (with teaching high school) But like the old Dean Martin Song said, “Aint that a kick in the head”! the other teacher came back, and since I did not have the little piece of paper that said I was qualified for the job, I lost it! So, like I said, I have a plan, and I am sticking to it!

So, I took (and passed) the certifying test for teaching high school science, and now I am preparing for the same exam but for math.  Yea, easier said than done!  You know the kind of stuff they want you to know???  It is that high level stuff that is all full of letters and symbols.  It looks like something from outer space!  Some of those equations are just wrong on more than one level!  But, when you think of it, there are folks out there who can do this stuff, and there are others who would like to learn it.  Someone said that this stuff was good for engineers and stuff like that, so, since I count myself as a pretty good teacher type person, I guess it is ONWARD THRU THE FOG!!

O yea, some of you know me as a little bit of drama queen, so you know it is not all that, but you also know that I am a bit stubborn and I refuse to give in, I refuse to give up, I refuse to quit!  So I have no choice but to study and pass that math test.  But right now, I am tired and a moment on my bench is what I need.

I know the picture on this page is of a cabin in Alaska, covered by snow, I have that up there as part of my refuge.  I am actually sitting in the middle of Texas during the hottest summer on record! And the summer has not quit yet! Yikes! Think cool!  Think rain!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The calm before the storm

Not sure if I could say that this is the calm before the storm or the storm before the flood or what.  As I sit and think I remember some of the other first days of school that I have had.  Full of confidence, full of lofty ideas and plans, the world in the palm of my hand.  Then for what ever reasons I did not do so well. Many of the reasons were completely out of my control and I have mostly resolved that, but as I move forward to this new experience, older and hopefull wiser, I am not so confident, more down to earth, and I definately do not wish to have the world in the palm of my hand!

I do have a plan, but I have learned much more about planning.  I have confidence that I will succeed today, and that my family supports me.  And for now that is enough.  It is also enough that I know that I have made a difference in a scant few people in this life.  But those few were important indeed, and I have confidence that there is at least one more out there who may benefit by my presence.  I have learned to be patient, and I have learned to be confident not in myself, but in God.  And I will continue to learn, and I will make a plan that will be a road map for the next short time, but I will be alert for any alternate routs and I will be flexible.  That much I have for sure learned.

So, tomorrow I will embark into another 'first' in my world.  I will become a high school teacher.  Once again I am doing this backward, it seems to be my way!  I have not yet tested out and recieved my high school teaching certificate!  So, there is another for sure thing.  If I succeed this time, I had nothing to do with it.  If I make it here, it is all the work of the Lord, not me!  So, Dear Lord, hear my prayer, calm the storm that is to come and set my sails to Your Will.

And in the mean time, I have things to write and stuff to study, as well as dishes to wash!  And if anyone has an idea how to fix up things in this little garden, please drop a line, yea, down there in the comment box!  Thanks for sitting with me in the Garden Bench!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A year of records and firsts

Wow, it continues to be a year of record heat!  I have left the coldest state to live in Texas in the hottest year on record, hottest and driest since they have been keeping records!  Wow, is it me, or just my dumb luck!  Yea, when we went to Alaska so many years ago it was the beginning of the coldest year on record for that part of the state!  But since my total experience in Alaska was so very good, maybe that is a sign that this will also be good!  "Hot Granny in a Hot State!"

I should not really say that this is firsts, though.  I have done many of these things before.  I have written before, but never in a blog.  I have published before, but never been offered a contract and of course never been paid. And I have had interviews before, even for a long term sub position for high school science!  But I think this time, I may have nailed it!  I do have to work hard at getting my composite teaching certificate for high school science.  So when do I get off my duff and go get the  certificate.  I guess all it takes is money!

I have even built a house before!  So, why do I feel like it is all being done for the first time.  Everything really does feel fresh and new.  I don't know if it is because I feel more confident, or maybe I have grown past that, I am no longer dependant on all of these things!  For now, I do things because I want to, not because I have to.  I find gratification in accomplishing even the tiniest objectives.  I actually find joy in either sitting and doing nothing, or working myself into a froth and total exhaustion!  My goal of the year is to not feel grief or guilt for things done or undone.

For this goal I think I will have to work hard at being true to myself, true to my faith, and true to my calling.  Wow, how come that sounds like a New Year's Resolution!  Maybe because I have always been of the concept "today is the first dayof the rest of your life".  So, tonight, maybe something cold, a comfy chair, and watch the sky for the meteor shower!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Muddling thru, and learning

Someone once said "It's a brave new world".  I am thinking that may be a healthy outlook for current contiditions!  Be positive, not pessimistic, and that has most definately been a struggle for me in the past.  I challenge myself, sometimes setting my bar a little too high, making demands on myself that are just a little too great, and then of course, I become frustrated!  And we all know what happens then!!!

I love to learn new things (and I will definately get this blog thing under control one of these days!) And I have been learning all about this cool industry called Writing!  My Dad, long past, always encouraged me to write, but to write every day.  And in perfect form, just like any rebellious young person who simply knows everything, I didn't!  But when I did it usually sparkled!  Most of my writing assignments for school (and on into college) were done in the wee hours of the morning on the day they were due.  However I always got highest marks and often had my piece read to the whole classroom or even over the loud speaker to the whole school!!!  Yea, sometimes that didn't go over so well either, bullying is NOT a new social issue by a long shot!!!  But, this time, I am going to try to do it right, be professional, and be successful. I have joined a book writers society and been reading their website and the discussion board.  I have obtained a few publications to teach me a few of the ins and outs.  And I will be regularly meeting with other, more experienced professionals, and asking questions!

The older we get the more we know we don't know it all, funny how that works!  I do know that when I was 11 years old and starting a very successful babysitting and yard work business in my neighborhood, I knew everything!  I knew everything about horses and spent many hours (hiding my magazines behind my text books in school) studying and learning more.  If there was something I needed to learn, I would search out the professionals who had the answers.  I was strong and could do a days work with a grown man (yea, paying for that now!)  BUT - the absolute best thing that ever happened in my life was when I shot off my mouth at a riding stable where I loved to spend my extra time!

Bill Booth's Red Mountain Guest Ranch in Mesa, Arizona.  It was just across the street from Fremont Jr Hi School where I went to middle school.  I believed that I had all the answers and that I was the only authority on the subject of training horses, so I gave my opinion to the cowboys sitting around in the tack room!  Bill Booth finally had enough of my mouth, he hoisted himself out of his corner, strode across the tack room, raised his booted foot, and lifted me off the ground and deposited me in a heap behind a saddle rack!  Then he leaned over the top of the saddle and looked at me, all crumpled and shocked on the floor!  I will never forget his words, spoken in a velvety soft, Cowboy manner.  "If you ever learn how to shut your mouth and open your ears, you might have a small chance of learning something!" 

He went back to his seat, and as I un-folded my long legs and crawled out from behind the saddles lined up along the wall, all of the cowboys in the room found interesting things to look at on the ceiling or beside them on the walls.  It was silent as I raised my head, looked straight out the door, and walked slowly out of the room.  When I reached my pony, I untied him as slowly as I could, and with all the dignity I could muster, I slid onto his back and walked him out of the stable yard.  When I was clear of what I knew was the burning eyes of every human and horse on the place, I bawled like a baby and galloped my pony all the way home!!!

I did find out that Bill had full permission to not only provide first aid to me, but to also administer what ever 'training tools' he deemed necissary, since I spent so many hours at the stable!  And I have never forgotton those wise words!  So again, I am going to try to shut my mouth and take notes, thru some of these next few seasons, and just maybe I will learn something good!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Getting Started

Gosh, I am not so sure that this is the best day to learn something new.  Those who really know me fully understand that a computer and all the stuff that goes into it is just not my favorite thing!  I would rather be making something!  But I am stepping out in a new life here in Texas, in the middle of the hottest summer on record, and fondly remembering my lovely cabin in the woods in Alaska, and wishing that I was sitting on my bench near the flower garden.  I promise myself that I will visit often, learn how to 'tend' my new garden and make it as lovely as some of the others that I have enjoyed visiting lately!

So there ya have it, I have broke ground in my new garden!  It will be a while before I have it all tilled up and planted and have things growing in it and have it decorated, but I got the bench in!  So have a sit and share with me!