Pardon my unannounced absence on Monday; we’ve had family and friends visiting and I found myself very (and happily!) busy!  Everyone is now at or on their way home, and Nick and are are delighting in the chance to spend some time together and reflect on the wonderful weekend and visits.

One of the things we got to do during the visit was accept some family heirlooms from Nick’s grandfather.  Here’s some of the collection!


Some chopsticks and boxes from Japan, received during a visit to a former exchange student there.


An absolutely incredible custom jade stamp made for Nick’s grandfather on that same trip – the contents of the boxes in the first photo.


A wonderful old boy scout guide book!  It has notes and letters inside, too!  It’s been clearly well-loved.

What treasures have you received from your family?

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A beautiful view

Though the first part of my weekend was dedicated to taking two additional PLACE certification tests, after I completed that chore I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to spend some quality time camping out with friends and fiancé.  We had some amazing neighbors: about four elk who regularly wandered through our camp like they owned it (which I guess they do, after all).  I have rarely been so close to wild creatures, and rarely do I get to enjoy a beautiful morning view like this one.






All personal photos taken with my Android using the RetroCam application.

Historical Days

“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” – Mark Twain

As I said on my facebook status, this is awesome, truly, but in all honesty I think I’ve had just about enough historical moments for being only 30. I would be more than happy to exist through the next twenty years without any more life-changing events.

Like a lot of others, it’s not in my nature to celebrate death and destruction in any form, but this is a matter of closure for literally hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people.  It is a triumph shrouded in a decade of tragedy, waste, and loss.  There is almost a frenzy, a fervor of celebration in response to ages of pain, and who can blame those who celebrate.  It is a breathtaking moment in time, caught up between grief and triumph.

It is not the end, of course, but it is an end.  It is an interesting marker as I have finished my student teaching: I will likely have students who have never known a world without terrorism, without Osama bin Laden in the forefront when I begin teaching this fall.  Ten years of mystery, ended in a moment.

Read about the death of Osama bin Laden at MSNBC.

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This is all I have today.

Source: weddingbee

Today, in addition to the biggest wedding of the century, was my final day of student teaching.  I’m taking a week off to sleep (kind of, because I will still be job-hunting), subbing for a few weeks, and then starting 6 credits of graduate research courses.  Then I’ll be planning a wedding.  And starting a new career.

So, ladies and gentlemen, good night, and good luck.

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A World Less Magical

sophie-green05Over the weekend, one of my favorite and one of the most delightful writers of YA fantasy passed away, Diana Wynne Jones.  She was of course the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which became quite famous after the production of the Ghibli film of the same name, but her wealth of other literature was equally amazing.  Her close friend and fellow author, Neil Gaiman, has written a lovely blog entry about her passing and their magical relationship.

Even though I came rather late to Diana’s fantasy party after seeing Howl, I still loved her books once read, and look very forward to sharing them with my future students and children.  I was of course inspired by the movie to make several of Sophie’s dresses, and always intended to make a dress more in the style of Diana’s description from the book, Sophie of the red-gold hair and drab grey dress.  Maybe this will be the year to do it, in her honor.

Thank you for your worlds and words of magic, Diana Wynne Jones!  You have been so inspiring.  Enjoy walking over rooftops.