August 31, 2016

August in Pictures

That beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

De rigueur

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de ri·gueur də riˈɡər,rēˈɡœr/ (adjective) required by etiquette or current fashion.
synonyms: fashionable, in fashion, in vogue, modish, up to date, up-to-the-minute, all the rage, du jour, trendy, with it, customary, standard, conventional, normal, orthodox, usual, comme il faut; compulsory, necessary, essential;

As educators scramble to set up classrooms while students decorate lockers and unwrap new school supplies (Don't you just love new notebooks, pencils, markers, etc.?!), I am inspired by Charles Schulz's creative space in Santa Rosa, California. "Sparky" surrounded himself not only with the necessary tools to do his work but also with photos of his travels and family, with words of inspiration and notes of gratitude, and a not-so-subtle reminder that « Ici, le sourire est de rigueur! » -- "Here a smile is fashionable." What a great reminder as a new school year begins to greet people and challenges with a welcoming gesture and a positive attitude.
August 30, 2016

3 Little Birds

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"Rise up this morning. Smile with the rising sun." ~ Bob Marley
August 29, 2016

Timeless Advice

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“Seeke out ye goode in everie man and speke of alle the beste ye can; 
then wil alle men speke wel of thee and say how kynde of hearte ye bee.” 
~ Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400)
August 28, 2016

Peace Like a River

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"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, 
the mountains and the sea are excellent schoolmasters 
and teach more than we can ever learn from books.  ~ John Lubbock
August 27, 2016

A Great Perhaps

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« Je m'en vais chercher un grand peut-être. »
"I go to seek a great perhaps..." ~ John Green quoting Rabelais

August 26, 2016

National Dog Day

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“We may have pets, but when it comes to unconditional love, 
they are the masters.” ~ Donald L. Hicks

With the help of Piper, Owen, Roxie and Sadie, 
Alec should earn his Dog Care merit badge in no time! 
Happy National Dog Day!
August 25, 2016

On the Horizon

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"Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think..." ~ Robert M. Hutchins

The sun is quickly setting on the summer of 2016. As of today, my colleagues are back in school, learning and preparing for the arrival of students on September 1st. It is both daunting and invigorating to plan for what's on the horizon as another school year begins. Here's to a year of wonder and adventure, of balancing challenging conditions and smooth sailing while keeping an even keel.
August 24, 2016


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"Nature will bear the closest inspection. 
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, 
and take an insect view of its plain." ~  Henry David Thoreau
August 23, 2016


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"Study how water flow smoothly and freely between the rocks. 
Also learn from holy books and wise people. 
Everything - even mountains, rivers, plants and trees - 
should be your teacher." ~  Morihei Ueshiba
August 22, 2016


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"Notice the small things. The rewards are inversely proportional." ~ Liz Vassey
August 21, 2016


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"We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots." ~  Jean Toomer
August 20, 2016

Fairy Garden

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"Soft moss a downy pillow makes, and green leaves spread a tent,
Where Faerie folk may rest and sleep until their night is spent.
The bluebird sings a lullaby, the firefly gives a light,
The twinkling stars are candles bright, Sleep, Faeries all, Good Night."
~ Elizabeth T. Dillingham, A Faery Song

[Whimsical fairy gardens are quite popular in craft stores and on Pinterest these days. 
Yet it's much more fun to discover a perfect, natural abode for a tiny sprite 
and to imagine that she's lurking somewhere just out of sight!]
August 19, 2016

Gone Fishin'

August 19, 2016 (232/366)

"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, 
there'd be a shortage of fishing poles." ~ Doug Larson

It's my own tradition, my own personal holiday. Each summer right before school starts, I take one day to do whatever I want to do, in fact, to do nothing -- dolce far niente. Today's the day that I hang out my virtual "Gone Fishin'" sign. 
August 18, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

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“Every dog must have [her] day.” ~  Jonathan Swift
August 17, 2016

After the Rain

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"And in the morning when the sun returns to claim the earth  
the mist surprises, rising unabashed and clean again  
to grace the nascent waiting skies after the rain."   
~ Ivan Donn Carswell, "After the Rain"
...and in the evening.

August 16, 2016


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“What's life without whimsy?” 
~ Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

What's more whimsical than this kitschy amphicar?!
August 15, 2016

It's a sign...

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“A feather is a sign from the angels. It is a response to a question, a thought, or an emotion. 
It's their way of saying, 'You are loved and are being guided through this'...” ~  Eileen Anglin
August 14, 2016


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"Don't you believe what your eyes are telling you? 
All they show is limitations. Look with your understanding, 
find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly." 
~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

August 13, 2016

Wooden Boats

 August 13, 2016 (226/366)
Door County Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing 
as messing about in boats.” ~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows

August 12, 2016

August Rain

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“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. 
The odd uneven time.” ~  Sylvia Plath
August 11, 2016


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“I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle 
and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
August 10, 2016

Racines | Roots

August 10, 2016 (223/366)

« Changez d'opinion, gardez vos principes;
Changez de feuilles, gardez vos racines. » ~ Victor Hugo

["Change your opinions, keep to your principles;
 change your leaves, keep intact your roots."] 

August 09, 2016

Rose of Sharon

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"This divine Rose of Sharon so perfect and fair,
Brings me peace, love, and joy beyond compare."
~ Evelyn Locke Irvin

[While most trees bloom in the spring, this one blossoms in August. What a pretty surprise!]
August 08, 2016

Lavender Fields

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"The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, 
with fields of lavender blushing in tufts all over the meadows" ~ William C. Bryant

August 07, 2016

In control

August 7, 2016 (220/366)

"If life had a remote control, we could rewind to all the good times, 
fast forward all the bad times and pause all those moments 
you never want to end!" ~ Anonymous

[Take a closer look at these boats: Who's in control?]
August 06, 2016

Solomon's Seal

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"Set me as a seal upon thy heart..." Song of Solomon 8:6

August 05, 2016


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"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
August 04, 2016


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"Be vewy, vewy quiet! I'm hunting wabbits!" ~ Elmer Fudd

August 03, 2016

Morning Light

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"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Nearly every morning this summer, Piper and I have taken a long stroll through the woods and gardens in our yard. Most days, we immediately notice the need for more digging, weeding, and planting; so we abandon our walk and get right to work. Other days, like this morning, we revel in the dampness of grass, the cool breeze, the fragrance of roses and phlox, and the sunlight dancing on the leaves.

Summer is winding down and soon I'll be back in school. 
I think it's mornings like this that I'll miss the most.