Saturday, February 27, 2016


looking at a map this week, i realized not only that i'd never seen the great lakes but just how much fun it would be to do so!

my dad taught me the names in a way i've always remembered using the acrostic "homes"--huron, ontario, michigan, erie and superior.

and i learned a new word this week in relation to them:  bathymetry.  being a water-lover, it seemed important for me to know that this is the study and measure of surface area, volume, elevation and depth.

of course what blog post would be complete without giving the etymology of each lake's name?

huron:  named after the french explorers wyandot or huron
ontario:  wyandot word ontario, or lake of shining waters
michigan:  from the ojibwa word mishigami, or great water
erie:  from the erie tribe erielhonan, or long tail
superior:  french lac superieur, upper lake

cozy up with a good book

years back, friends and i started some school reading fun called "cozy up with a good book" during the winter months.  happy to say it lives on!  yesterday, as a school we stopped what we were doing for an hour to read.

what's rewarding about this is students don't have to be told to be quiet or to settle down, it's almost as if they are hungry for some quiet time.  in fact, when it's time to transition, they don't want to stop!

one of the second graders brought me a book she had read that she wanted me to read so we could talk about it; a detective mystery about paris!  this left us guessing together about "who dunnit" and talk about france in general...cheese and bread and chocolate, oh my!  she found the descriptions of the eiffel tower and lights on the river magical to say the least.  "the book really stole my mind and heart and got my imagination going!" she exclaimed.

the world moves fast.  so does school.  it was nice to cozy up with our favorite reads together for a while.  as ernest hemingway said, "there is no friend as loyal as a book".

Friday, February 19, 2016

finest hours

this was an amazing movie to experience!  (and, i might add, chris pine is not hard to look at).  based on a true story, "the finest hours" really puts you on the ship and into the waves.  in fact, at the end of the film, i was actually surprised not to be drenched with salt water, now that's an effective movie...

...the end will really have you appreciating the coast guard.  what's more, i saw the movie on feburary 18th, the same date as the rescue  back in 1952.

to further appreciate this film, i would recommend visitng astoria, one of the NW's most dangerous waterways, and reading the poem "crossing the bar" (reprinted here below) by alfred lord tennyson written in 1889.  it is worth noting this is tennyson's final work.

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,

   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.

   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;

   For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

now we know our ABC's

i love teaching typography and these books from jenny doh make lettering even more fun!  why not get out a pen, paper and a stamp...

Sunday, February 7, 2016


this is the farmer's market, photo by deb

this is my backyard, photo by steve

and this is me snowshoeing, photo by deana

any questions? photo by me

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

sailing in the tuilleries

i just learned about this artist today.  her name is valerie sjodin and you can see more of her work at

the innocent and childlike spirit captured in this painting, as well as her sense of light really captured me.

her work is largely inspired by a trip she and her husband took to france, (nice specifically) to see the marc chagall museum.