Checkin' in on the Summer Bucket List

The question is: when does summer end? Does it end when the public schools start back? Does it end a month later when the University starts back? Does it end when the weather finally turns rainy? 

I am going to go with the latter. Oregon really doesn't have four seasons... it has the rainy season and the amazingly dry, sunny perfect season.  I posted a Summer Bucket List in mid-June when the rain cleared. Now that it is raining again, it is time to check back in and see what I accomplished during the 5 month break in the rain.

I wanted to read 20 books. I didn't do too bad on this one. I read 14 before classes started back. After summer conference, I took the scenic route to look off Vista Point and blogged about my adventures. 

I wanted to see live music at least twice. I saw Civil Wars in Portland June 21 and I saw a live band on the pier while on the family beach trip (which not only checked family beach trip off the Bucket list, but also allowed me to check off "Sit by the pool for a week and not think about work".) 

I definitely made it to the top of Mary's Peak. And blogged about it!  I wanted to attend the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) Conference (and make my first trip to Denver) and I did it July 10-13 and blogged about it here. I drove a LOT of the Oregon coast. I have now driven from Northern California to Lincoln City, and watched the sunset, but I haven't done the northern coast. I am calling that a 3/4 victory. Lastly, I visited my friends in Columbia, Missouri, in August and blogged about it here. Amazing summer!

I didn't accomplish everything on my list. I am still finishing up the summer's big sewing project. I wanted to go to the Dahlia festival, but I missed it this year. I still plan to have supper at The Cowboy Dinner Tree, Shop the Pearl, and hit up Portland's Japanese Garden and Saturday Market. I also still need to make a few trips: Wallowa Lake and San Francisco (or Seattle). 

I think I can get 'em all!


Apparently my 'Christmas' cactus is a Thanksgiving cactus.
Happy Thanksgiving y'all.


Saved by the Bell?!

Let's be honest: Most mornings I am flying out the door at the last minute and eating a granola bar once I am at my desk. Lately I have had some early mornings for trips with the student teachers or training sessions. That means I am eating breakfast in my own living room. Just for noise, I turned on the TV and guess what I found?!?
Saved by the Bell. Image credit

I LOVED this show as a tween. And, really when you are 11 years old - what is NOT to love about this show?

Here is my thought process as an 11 year old:

  • This show is set in a school. I go to school. So I know things!
  • I wanna be Kelly Kapowski.
  • Isn't Zack dreamy?
  • Boy, they just got one over on Mr. Belding... again!

Let me tell you: Those same thoughts are different when you are 31 years old - especially when you are a former high school teacher and current teacher educator. I sat, watching this rerun and was mesmerized by the show... because I couldn't see what I would have possibly liked about it.

Here is my thought process as a 31 year old:

  • This is a school. Where are the teachers? Are they learning anything?
  • Why would I have wanted to be Kelly Kapowski? Cheerleader -really? I am really more of a Jessie Spano. No, wait.Wasn't she that girl who was in 'Showgirls'? Eww. Screech is probably the only one in the group who is gainfully employed these days.
  • Zack is an over-gelled kid who acts like a jerk to adults. Does he think he is being sneaky? 
  • Oh Mr. Belding, you could be my role model. Well, if you weren't partially incompetent. 

Perhaps I should go back to my granola bar at my desk and leave the morning television to the 11 year olds.


Wordless Wednesday Halloween 2011

The nieces and nephew on Halloween 2011.
(the two older ones are my sister's and the three younger kids are my brother's).



Page CXVI is in the Pacific Northwest!

I had the chance to see them last night at Sunset Presbyterian in Portland. It is my fourth time seeing them perform. They are going to be here in Corvallis Thursday night, but I already had something to do so I drove 3 hours round trip to watch their 1.5 hour show. Totally worth it.

If you are not familiar with their music, here is what you need to know. They do old hymns in a new way. They are a modern and accessible version of music written before my great-grandmother was alive. There is nothing I can say that can convince you, so check them out.

I bought Hymns IV last night and listened to them on the way home. You can stream and sample all of their music off their blog site. Seriously, love them. Hope you do, too. Go listen to their music. If you are in Corvallis, check out their show.


The best part about a college town

The best part about living in a college town (even a small one like Corvallis, pop. ~50,000) is the culture. I was reading through the 'OSU Today' email this past Wednesday morning. I realized Nancy Giles was going to be speaking FOR FREE on campus as part of a diversity seminar. If you don't know Nancy, this is an excerpt from the bio that was posted on the University's website. "CBS Sunday Morning contributor, comedian and actress Nancy Giles delights TV audiences with her social commentaries and theater fans with her solo pieces. She is a funny, perceptive and provocative observer of today’s world. Her acclaimed work on CBS Sunday Morning has provided the largest audience yet for her unique blend of laugh-out-loud humor and common sense wisdom."


She had an 'opening act' in that she followed street poet JoaquĆ­n Zihuatanejo . He was awesome! He has some stuff on YouTube. You should look him up.

I went to see Nancy and she was great. She speaks the truth in an accessible way. I love her essays on CBS Sunday morning. Watch one here.

So, the best part about living in a college town (besides the football, of course!) is that on a random Wednesday morning you can check your email, find out about a free community event, walk over to said event after work, be moved to tears and forced to think while being engaged in your own community. Then head the three miles to home. Does it get any better?