Sweet summer shades

on Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Evie loves to rock the shades. So cute!

10 things I love about summer

on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
In no particular order, just as they come to mind:

1) Strawberries. Especially the teeny-tiny ones growing in the backyard.

2) Shade as solace. Living this past winter in Seattle, I found myself flocking to rays of sunshine like moths to light. Now it's warm enough for me to sit in the shade and be comfortable! I thought the day would never come.

3) Pleasure reading. And a great book!

4) Peaches. Now I know it is not peach season in Yakima yet, because they still look like this:

The reality that we won't be here for peach season, and for much of the best of the Yakima fruit season, distresses me. I went down and bought some California peaches at Safeway, and they were absolutely delicious. So far, I've made 3 trips to Safeway for them.

5) Quail. Not as food, but friends. I can't wait to see the babies! Especially after I learned that quail young are called "cheepers."

6) Snap-dragons. The stuff of my childhood.

7) A solar clothes dryer. We don't have a clothes line here, but Reuben and I lay all our wet, recently-washed clothes out on the lawn. They're dry in less than 2 hours!

8) Warm nights. There is no better feeling in the world than being outside in the dark and warm.

9) Eating off the bbq. Especially if it's beefalo and fresh veggies from the farmer's market

10) Open door policies. It's a novel concept to open a door and leave it that way, letting the fresh breeze flow through the house. Aahhh, summer.


on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I didn't go to my undergrad graduation. My parents were overseas, and there was no way that I was going to dress up in a gown and sit in a stadium for nothing. And I'm glad I did, because it rained that day. Something like a Master's, however, certainly merits attending graduation so I suited up in my cap and gown. In lieu of the gigantic campus-wide graduation, I opted for the College of Education graduation ceremony, held in the Quad. I'm so glad I did! I even had a few IslandWood people with me.

Last day of school

on Thursday, June 9, 2011
There's always something thrilling about the last day of school. Come to think of it, it normally consisted of a party, pizza, and half day (sometimes stopping by McDonalds on the way home!). What's the point, academically speaking? Surely the teachers would have preferred the 2nd to last day of school to be the last day of school, because it's the teacher's job to make sure learning takes place, and I don't remember any learning occurring at these parties. I guess they give closure to students.

Anyway, today was my LAST day of school, ending my 20-year academic career. That's not even including a few years I took off. There was no party, no pizza or McDonalds, and it was a full 12-hour day between leaving home and coming back. I had some time to kill in between classes/responsibilities, however, so I made the most of it. My first stop was to the career center at UW. I had them look over my resume because now, of course, I am finally entering the adult world where these sorts of things are important. The career counselor told me that it looked great and I wouldn't have any trouble getting hired. Ha, does he know the job market these days for graduates?

After that encouragement (it only lasted for a little bit), I headed back to Capitol Hill for my last time tutoring at SBOC. I had some time to kill so I stopped and played with Snug, a very friendly neighborhood cat. She followed me for a couple of blocks and I couldn't pull myself away from her she was so playful. She ended up running off after a butterfly.

After wandering around the neighborhood a little bit I stopped at a patch of poppies which are, starting this season, becoming to be my favorite flower. But I think the bumblebees already preceded me to this liking.

My last day at SBOC was rather uneventful. Still working on fractions. And I realized just how confusing teaching North, South, East, and West is to an English Language Learner. Not the concept of it, but which word to use. Yes, California is South of Oregon, but Oregon is North of California. It actually gets quite complicated and the other girl assisting in the classroom had to ask me to explain it to her.

I had to come back to UW again for my final class /presentation. I took a new way today, walking through the school of forestry section. I can't believe that I've never been here before. I discovered a garden, and I ate from it too. Mmm I need to get myself some sorrel.

My friend Charlie had mentioned to me last week that the Blue Herons had been nesting in this part of campus. I couldn't remember exactly where she had told me they were, but if you were anywhere near that place you would figure out where they were. They're a noisy bunch! There were 2 giant adult Herons and a baby, all in that little nest. No wonder they were making so much noise!

Anyway, that's basically it. It was a day of sights, sounds, munching in community gardens, and animal observation. All of the little things that made up the day far superseded my last class, which was uneventful and anticlimactic. But I headed home a free woman!

the color of spring

on Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I volunteer once a week at the Seattle Bilingual Orientation Center, a public school in the Seattle school district that serves exclusively English Language Learners and helps them transition into the regular school system. I volunteered with them back when I was at Seattle Pacific, because their school was right on the top of Queen Anne Hill, just about a mile from my university. I found out that the school has moved since then, to a much smaller school (and even then, they share it with another school). On the one hand the move was good, because, for heaven's sake, did they expect refugee and immigrant families to live in the Queen Anne neighborhood? It's now located in Capitol Hill, and although this area probably does not house many recently-arrived immigrants either, it's at least on the East side. I have to admit that, despite several years living in Seattle, I didn't often go much to this area. I went back and forth to the Century Ballroom for salsa-dancing, but mostly I just heard of it being where the crazies of Seattle lived (according to people who, of course, attended SPU).
Volunteering at this school gave me a chance to get to know the neighborhood a little bit. It's actually only about a mile and a half from the ferry terminal, but it's up some wicked hills and across I-5. I take the bus. I volunteer in a classroom and help kids with their homework after school until 4:30. I have class at UW at 6, so it gives me some time to wander the neighborhood, and even stop at Trader Joes. There's something I simply love about walking neighborhood, even if it's not mine. My sister and I used to go on walks with our dog, Sable, to see the llamas up on Scenic or to feed the ducks at a neighborhood pond. She said she liked walking best at night, because you could see into people's houses and see how they lived. I feel the same way. When I walk, it's not dark, but I still like to see how people fill their lives. I like to see their gardens, their compost piles and their front yards filled with toys. The sidewalks are lined with grand old trees, some of which have public notices attached that forewarn their impending extraction. They even assign values to trees. $6500, to be precise. How do you come up with a number for something like that?

Anyway, these pictures are of my recent wanders on Capitol Hill. It has certainly been a dreary and gray winter, but the colors of spring have been that much more vivid!