Friday, August 31, 2007

Books I Am Reading and Project I Have Started

I reread three volumes of THE LORD OF THE RINGS by JRR Tolkien this summer. Then I re-read the HOBBIT and THE SILMARILLIAN. Now I am reading the UNFINISHED TALES. I did not remember reading it at first but as I read I could remember reading it when my mother was in the hospital. All the stories were familiar but the actual reading had been lost in the memories of that traumatic time!

When I am too occupied with work to have much time to be creative, or if I come home too tired to do anything but the essentials, I like to have a project book to be reading and dreaming about!

I have a tendency to start new projects when I am frustrated and not having much art time. Then when the schedule is more reasonable, I will work on finishing several things in one or two weekends. My Art Quilt Group is using Jane Davila and Elin Waterston's book for our monthly meetings.

I have started making two dolls using Patti Medaris Culeas's book and patterns, though I used felt for the body and plan to make another head. She is not dressed yet except in a "make-shift" fashion for modesty! The character design is fun yet to come! Will she be an elf maiden or medieval princess?

First Week of School

amo, amas, amat...
ego, mei, mihi, me, me....

Mission accomplished! I got my workbooks ready, to and from the printer before the first day of school. I teach Latin to 110 children in grades 3-6 at a small, unique Christian School. My students learn Latin vocabulary and rudimentary Latin grammar as part of two and 1/2 days at school per week. They have two days of homework we call "homestudy" each week.

One of my duties this year is greeting children when they arrive and helping them out of their cars if needed. It turned out to be a joy rather than burden and will help me get to know the parents.

There is a beautiful eagerness in the faces of children who are wanting to learn something new. After the first day several moms reported to me that little Jonny or Jenny said Latin is their favorite class. This is mostly from 3rd graders. The older children tend to reserve judgment.

My time recently has been spent getting two older children off to college; they mostly got themselves off. The eighteen year-old needed more help (mostly with my check-book!) working his way through the system at the local college. It turns out that his textbooks in some instances are more expensive than tuition!

My two younger boys are in our classical Christian junior high school, associated with the grammar school where I teach. Last week I attended three orientations!

Friday, August 03, 2007


Sketches in the Field

I decided to break in a new journal on my camping trip this summer. It is a 5x7 inch Canson spiral notebook with warm creamy white paper. The paper is too thin for lots of water but works well with Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils and a small amount of water. I used pens on some pages: Pigma Micron 05 (.45mm line width) in brown ink and a Martha Stewart Crafts pen in sepia also 5mm. I like both pens and neither bled through the page but I can see through to the next page slightly.

Friends, Hiking, Capes, Food, Music, Stories, Jokes!

I have been camping! No internet for several days and I didn't miss it; I was having so much fun! And working hard. When I camp I enjoy cooking, especially breakfast but everything is more work. I would get up as quietly as possible and build a fire, with mostly wet wood this year. Then I cook on a small camping stove. I heat water for hot drinks and make Malto-meal. This is "first breakfast." A few of the kids would be up by now and ready to eat by the fire. Then I made "second breakfast." We didn't have many eggs because we ate scrambled eggs the first night. But made fried biscuits and, well, I admit it, fried spam! It is a tradition left over from my childhood camping days. It is one of those things the kids notice if I forget to do on a camping trip but they wouldn't want to eat at home.

Two of my children went with me to New Mexico. We camped with friends in the Sacramento Mountains at almost 9000 ft above sea level. It rained a lot but didn't dampen our spirits, for long. The campground is one we have visited for years. It has had some recent improvements. We paid extra for the site with covered picnic tables. And it made all the difference in the world in our enjoyment of the rainy times! We sat out the rain singing, reading, playing games, and I did some drawing.

The kids, ages 8 to 24, hiked and wore out Andy the basset hound! Here are some photos. The pictures with people and dogs were taken by my long time friend, Kathy. Her children and mine have been friends for almost 16 years. We have camped together about 10 times. Four of my children were unable to come this year because of work or other trips. Next blog will show my photos and sketches of wildflowers.