Monday, May 30, 2016

The Joshuas

I've wanted to go to Joshua Tree National Park for many years.  So finally I did.  Come to find out, I love this place so much.  If I weren't already married, I would marry Joshua Tree in a heartbeat.  #FindYourPark

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Beginning

Yesterday was Day 1 of summer vacation.  The ending of the school year was emotional.  The Thirdlanders learned the vocabulary word "bittersweet" a few weeks ago, and they used that word all week long to describe our parting.  So dear.  We really came together as a tight knit crew this year and I read my stack of thank you cards and letters from kids and parents many times yesterday. I hope the Thirdlanders and their families know how much I appreciate all of them. We gave it all we had this year and we're all ready for a rest.

Heading to California tomorrow, so stay tuned for some fine photography here on the blog that you will soon see.

 I brought Harry the Tarantula home with me for the summer.  I was brave yesterday and cleaned Harry's tank.  I had to slip slide Harry into a tupperware container.  This was a nerve racking experience as I feared I might break one of his little legs accidentally. Come to find out, tarantulas can regenerate lost limbs.  No worries! Now Harry has a clean tank and 30 crickets to ponder and prey upon.  The crickets are loud, but Harry's good company next to my writing desk.  The official book contract from Heinemann arrived in the mail yesterday and I have my writing space and schedule set up for when I return from our dream trip.  I also just received my copy of the book KC is reading called DAILY RITUALS.  All is swell here in the Heartland.  California friends, See you soon!  (Nancer, can you take care of Harry while we're gone????)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Kentucky Warbler

I'm pretty sure I saw a Kentucky Warbler yesterday.

A welcome sight after a busy week.

We have two more days of school. Ending the school year is hard because not every kid finishes projects at the same time and I don't want to create new projects with just 48 hours left but I end up creating new projects anyway because I hate to see Thirdlanders not engaged in something interesting.  This, in short, is my Waterloo.

The Thirdlanders have been much more sentimental about summer coming than I would have thought.

When we finished our handwriting books this week, I told the Thirdlanders to put the books in their backpacks and take them home. A Thirdlander shouted,  "Hooray!"  Then another Thirdlander said, "Don't say Hooray because it will make Dr. Heffernan really sad thinking about how much she's going to miss all of us."

Never a super affectionate group, I've been receiving unexpected awkward hugs from some of these little rascals as well as some amazing little notes. GeezLouise, Come to find out, I AM really sad about leaving the Thirdlanders. It doesn't seem real yet because we will be pushing through portfolio work tomorrow (Penultimate Day) like nobody's business.  But then Tuesday will come and our Field Day and our Publishing Parties.  And then good bye. This is the teacher's path and follow it I must. Thanks for a great year, Thirdlanders.  Love 2 U, Future Fourthies!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Stories

I'm being the editor of Popcorn Press today.   Husbandman is working too.  We left the house briefly to zip out for some coffee.  The beautiful day overwhelmed us as we stepped outside.  On the walk to the car, Husbandman muttered, "Geez, I'm so glad we're not doing anything out here today."
      "Yeah," I said.  "It's so good to be inside.  I hate when the weather's perfect like this."
        7 more stories to go.  Let's do this.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Ads

We're tooling through our unit that focuses on the economy.  Early in the week we spent some time on a very good PBS site for kids called Don't Buy It.  The kids worked together to find ways that ads are tricky and ways that people can be smart about consumerism.  Later, when I was sharing another web site with them, a pop up appeared on the screen.

Boisterous Thirdlander screamed out at the top of her lungs, "DON'T LOOK AT IT!"   Many Thirdlanders began shielding their eyes as I clicked off the pop up.  These kids are really quite hilarious.

Yesterday we talked about The Material World photography project, Stuffocation, global Carbon Footprint comparisons, and the tiny house movement.  Then the kids made tiny houses out of cereal boxes.  With play dough they made some objects that were either wants or needs to put in their tiny houses. The kids loved their tiny houses and we set them all up in Thirdlandia Village in the back of the room.  Aside from the excessive noise level, the day was wonderful.

I'm thinking of buying a hot glue gun for some popsicle stick craft projects I may fool around with this summer.  The joyfulness of the makers in Room 200 has inspired me to amp up my craftiness.  Hot glue gun in hand, I'm ready to join the maker movement this summer.  I'll probably sell my handicrafts here on the blog.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


We have things that start with P this week. I have a pancreas and a plankton. KC has poetry and peas. KC did a beautiful job this week, posting a provocative photograph of real objects.  I could not get it together to get a pancreas nor a plankton this morning, so I just ripped off photos from the computer.  It's a cruddy photo, but I do like the combination.  Did you know that the pancreas is about 6 inches long?  Plankton vary in size quite a bit. 

Monday, May 09, 2016

The Return

Every night since Husbandman's been gone, I've ordered food to be delivered.    I've had Tibetan, Indian, Israeli, Italian and Japanese food.  Delivered right to my door.  It's so convenient, but it's finally starting to get on my last nerve.

Husbandman gets home tonight and life will get back to greatness.  He's getting back just in the nick of time. I've been hanging on by a thread.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

The Graduate

With Husbandman gone this week, I've been binging on quite a bit of reality TV--- My 600 Pound Life, Naked and Afraid, Tiny House Hunters, and one other I can't remember right now.  I also watched a bunch of pretty sad documentaries:  112 Weddings, Autism in Love, 51 Birch Street.

I vowed to get away from the screen yesterday and I did pretty well.   #1 Son graduated and Judith and I attended, feeling a lot of pride.  We clapped for all 400+ musicians who graduated from the Jacobs School, but we clapped with extra gusto for #1 Son of course.  The Jacobs School ceremony was quite pleasant and we were inspired to see so many people committed to creativity and the arts.  #1 Son has brought so much joy, fun and fab music into our lives.  Not sure how I'm going to deal with his move to New Orleans, but we'll cross that bridge when it gets here.  In August.  So we have a bit of time. Let's not think about it right now.

After graduation, I went in to the school site for awhile.  I'm trying to make revision suggestions on student drafts, but this is a slow process and I'm getting anxious that I won't finish by the end of the year.  I may not, but that's not the worst thing that's ever happened, so instead of soldiering on with the drafts, I took myself out to see Keanu, Key and Peele's new movie.  It's very funny and has a cute kitten in most of the scenes.  You should see it if you want.  Today I'm venturing back in to the school site, to continue with the endless to do list.  I get very anxious this time of year, worrying about finishing things.  That's my process.

The good news, though, is that #1 Son has graduated from college.  We all congratulate #1 Son! We are proud as punch.  There's a film at Bear's Place tonight.  Let me know if you want to join me.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


This week we have some toothpicks and a tape measure.  Such a fun little combo.

It puts me in the mind of making something.  I was thinking of having The Thirdlanders build some tiny houses with popsicle sticks, but I don't want to use hot glue guns.  Come to find out, Julie says there are low temp glue guns that work very well.  Not sure this is worth the time and energy, but who knows?  Maybe Julie can come in and sit with kids and make tiny houses every day.  Julie, What say you???

Monday, May 02, 2016

The Cap

Not a high quality photo, but I really enjoyed seeing these mergansers.
#1 Son at this moment is taking his last final.  Tomorrow he has a bass jury, but that should go well.  I encouraged #1 Son to join me at a coffee shop yesterday for some writing and studying for finals.  He had a recording session and a gig scheduled, so he couldn't join me, but he probably studied for his final some other time.

While I was at the coffee shop  I heard a young woman talking to her mom on her phone.  As she talked she attempted to cut her sandwich in half.  Through the powers of eavesdropping, I discovered that this young woman's mother shares my belief in the importance of studying for finals.   The part of the conversation I could hear ran roughly like this:

"No Mom, I haven't even started studying for my finals.   Mom I am focusing.  I will focus.  I haven’t had a chance to even think about focusing.  I’m so excited.  My birthday’s on Thursday and I graduate on Saturday.  Can you believe it? Can you think of a way for me to decorate my cap?  I’m trying to think of a cute saying for my cap.  I’m focusing Mom.  I’m going to order 2 dresses on line in case one doesn’t fit or look right.  Okay, I’ve got to go.  I’m so excited.  Are you excited? Me too.  I’m so excited.  I love you Mom.”

This young woman seemed like a great gal and I hope her finals go well and I wish I could know what she's going to write on that cap. #1 Son is not going to wear a cap and gown.  His music school graduation doesn't require it.  It would be fun to help him create a catchy cap phrase, but I'm grateful for what I have.  A soon to be college graduate who's an all round amazing man who might be meeting me for lunch today!


The New Blue

Our home is being painted .  I love this new blue.  It used to all be the red brickish color of the deck as shown above.  For various reas...