August 31, 2015

August in Pictures

Fairest of months! Ripe summer’s queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear.

~ R. Combe Miller

Dolce far niente

August 31, 2015 {243/365} Doggie Dolce

It's my own personal holiday. Each year, right before the first day of school, I celebrate il dolce far niente -- the sweetness of doing nothing.  I allow myself one day to read, sip tea, watch movies, whatever I want. This year, I have someone with whom to share the delicious idleness... and she's really good at it!
August 30, 2015


August 30, 2015 {242/365}  Sunset

“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.” ~ Richie Norton

So the sun sets on the summer of 2015. Tonight is the last Sunday for a long time that I won't feel that particular combination of excitement and apprehension. On Tuesday, I'll push the reset button and the sun will rise on my 22nd year in Pewaukee.
August 29, 2015


 August 29, 2015 {241/265} Early

"Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night." ~ Hal Borland. The days have already turned cooler, the nights are crisp, football season has started, and school starts next week. Yet, as much as I love fall, it seems much too early for the leaves to be turning!
August 28, 2015

French Friday: Posters

le 28 août 2015 {240/365} « Premier amour »

« Quand le premier amour devient le seul amour, 
c'est une belle vie. » ~ André Maurois
August 27, 2015

Office at Tiffany's

August 27, 2015 {239/365} Office at Tiffany's
[Photo taken at Tiffany and Co. - 727 5th Avenue, New York, NY]

“Behind every attractive room there should be a very good reason.” ~ Sister Parish

I've been looking for ideas to arrange and decorate my office this year. This might be a bit much, but I love the vintage touches (the typewriter, the suitcase, the books), the pop of Tiffany blue on an otherwise neutral palate, and the inspiration boards. We spend so much of our time at work. Shouldn't it be a space where we are motivated to be creative and productive?
August 26, 2015


August 26, 2015 {238/365} Desserts

It can't be a coincidence that STRESSED 
spelled backwards is DESSERTS!
August 25, 2015


 August 25, 2015 {237/365} Drums

"Life is about rhythm. We vibrate, our hearts are pumping blood, 
we are a rhythm machine." ~ Mickey Hart, Grateful Dead drummer

Today, I began my twenty-second year as an educator in the Pewaukee School District. Although my roles continually evolve (this year, I'm full-time EdTech/EE coach with an overload of one Blended French 4/5 course), every year really begins the same way. We meet as a district to reconnect with colleagues, to celebrate the successes of the previous year, and to get inspired/motivated for the new school year. Although the scenario is the same, the theme is always unique. This year's focus is on pride, gratitude, and teamwork. We shared our pride in the work that we do both individually and collectively. We reflected in gratitude, keeping in mind the idea that "It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy." And finally, we not only talked about the necessity of working as a team to achieve our common mission, we lived it! 

[Photo courtesy of the Pewaukee School District
JoAnn Sternke, Superintendent, rocking her African costume!]

Under the guidance of our superintendent, all teachers, administrators, coaches, support staff, and even school board members participated in a giant drum circle. Over three hundred people worked together to create rhythm and music. Sometimes our beats were in unison and sometimes we had individual parts to play ("ham and cheese", "peanut butter sandwich", "mac, mac and cheese"). What a fitting metaphor for education! We are all working in harmony to educate the students of Pewaukee -- sometimes as a district, sometimes in smaller groups (schools, departments, etc.) and sometimes, we have to improvise, to find our own beats. 
August 24, 2015


August 24, 2015 {236/365} Allium

"A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is not only a plant, but also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself." ~ Roberto Burle Marx
August 23, 2015


August 23, 2015 {235/365} Something...

Something old, something new, something rusty, and something you see it?

August 22, 2015


August 22, 2015 {234/365} Swallowtail Butterfly

"Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next." ~ Louie Schwartzberg

The sun was so bright this afternoon and, as I experimented with my new camera, I struggled to achieve the correct balance of light, color, and focus. As soon as I composed my frame, the wind would blur the image and I would start again. As an experienced iPhotographer, I know exactly what to do to freeze focus and adjust the lighting, but I resisted the urge to take out my phone. I continued to adjust the ISO, the aperture, and the shutter speed, but today's photos did not meet my expectations. Yet despite the challenge and my dissatisfaction, these pictures are symbolic of my own metamorphosis as I develop as a photographer.

August 21, 2015


le 21 août 2015 {233/365} Café

"Paris is such a strong stimulant." ~ T.S. Eliot
August 20, 2015


August 20, 2015 {232/365} Ducks
  “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling 
like the dickens underneath.” ~  Michael Caine

It's almost back to school time and things are a bit chaotic. 
Time to get all my ducks in a row.

August 19, 2015


August 19, 2015 {331/365} Verdant

"Green is the prime color of the world,
 and that from which its loveliness arises."
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca
August 18, 2015


August 18, 2015 {230/365} Camouflage

If intelligence is our only edge, we must learn to use it better, to shape it, to understand its limitations and deficiencies -- to use it as cats use stealth, as insects use camouflage -- to make it the tool of our survival." ~ Carl Sagan
August 17, 2015


August 17, 2015 {229/365} Ladybug

"There is never a wrong time for a polka dot." ~ Marc Jacobs
August 16, 2015


August 16, 2015 {228/365} Soft

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” - Kurt Vonnegut
August 15, 2015

Wooden Boats

August 15, 2015 {227/365} Wooden Boats

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing 
as simply messing about in boats." 
~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

August 14, 2015


August 14, 2015 {226/365} White Hydrangeas

“White is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously as when He paints in white.” — G. K. Chesterton

August 13, 2015


August 13, 2015 {225/365} Birdhouse

“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

August 12, 2015

Okauchee Lake

August 12, 2015 {224/365} Okauchee Lake

"A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable." ~William Wordsworth
{A lovely evening with good friends, good wine, and a sky full of meteors}
August 11, 2015

Flower Power

 August 11, 2015 {223/365} Zinnias

"She is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.” ~ Mary Howitt

These colorful zinnias remind me of being a little girl in the 1970s when I had flower patches on my bell-bottoms, zinnias on my lunch box (before I traded it in for a new one featuring The Hardy Boys) and plastic flowers on the basket of my pink bike. 
Last week, my mom gave me this adult coloring book with "groovy" designs reminiscent of the flowers I doodled on my school notebooks and the patterns I created with my spirograph.
For more fun flashbacks, visit my "Growing Up" Pinterest board.

August 10, 2015

Growth Mindset

August 10, 2015 {222/365} Wings

“If you were born without wings, 
do nothing to prevent them from growing.” 
~ Coco Chanel
August 09, 2015

Hold on...

August 9, 2015 {221/365} "Hold on"

"To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, 
something to motivate you, something to inspire you."
~ Tony Dorsett
August 08, 2015

Which came first...?

August 8, 2015 {220/365} The proverbial question:
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

 [Photos taken with iPhone 6 at Monches Farm]