28 March 2012

spirituality and education

I am taking another graduate class this spring, for a variety of reasons.  I seem to have spent so much of my life in a classroom that it's more comfortable to me than lots of other places.  I have this last degree still hanging out there and although I have plenty of coursework completed, I haven't quite finished the required "book report", so I'm keeping my grad status active with this course.

The class is spirituality and education. (I'll explain the photos a little later on, enjoy them as I ramble).  I chose this class partly because I've taken just about everything else offered in the program and partly because I could use a little spiritual intervention to break up my work days right about now.  My job has been transitioning, due to changes in need at work and changes in society behaviors.  OK, admittedly that's vague, but trust me when I say you'll sleep better not having the details.  I used to get to help people directly, but now my role is more removed, analytical and on-demand.

So I signed up for this 3 hour break in my week.  I had a pretty good idea about the instructor without ever meeting him.  Again, lots of time in the classroom, so when he ordered a book that was old enough to not come in e-format and there was no syllabus in my e-mail the week before the session started, I knew we were going to be flee flowing a little more than past coursework.  I was right.  He was the quintessential theology/education professor from his plaid button-down shirt and khakis all the way to his sandals.  With enough enthusiasm to last more than the 3 hour time block allowed.

Guest Heart Thursday photo
The professor emphasized that this was a class about spirituality, learning and our stories.  Which is what made the absence of the introduction exercise so interesting to me.  Usually we go around the room, give a little background about ourselves, explain why we chose to be there, etc.  Nope, none of that this time.  We did spend a little time in small groups (uugghh) talking about a couple personal history points, but nothing too detailed.  I'm even more curious now at how "our stories" are going to evolve.

Say hello to my little friend!
So this brings us to the floral display.  About 2 hours in, the professor decided that because it was the perfect spring day in the midwest, and that we could never count on when the next one would be coming, we should appreciate it for what it is.  That is, be in the moment as it presents itself today.  So, the class hopped a bus and headed to the other side of campus to visit the gardens.  The only instructions were to be alone (not chat with each other, which was harder for some) and be in the moment.  I'm pretty sure the earlier lecture about not using your phone during class was supposed to apply here as well.  However, for me, focusing on the new blooms, fresh baby leaves and little critters to be found with my camera IS the way I am in the moment.  So I just went with it and took these shots as I wondered through the garden that is about 1 block in length.

I am optimistic that I will find some new meaning and lessons through this adventure.  I'll probably be sharing more along the way. Maybe we'll even get more opportunities to enjoy spring's gifts!


22 March 2012

swing, batter-batter-batter, swing

My week has mostly consisted of moments of wanting to pull my hair out, interrupted by people who needed something RIGHT NOW.  But for a couple hours last night I got to hang out with my nieces.  It made the chaos go away for a little while.  Heaven.

Both girls play a variety of sports, dance, do crafts, climb trees - you name it, they will try it. Here is M. at softball practice.  She was warming up waiting for her turn to bat.  She's still perfecting the level swing.

I tweaked this photo to make it look like a film one that might be from the time I was playing ball.  As I stood out behind the school watching the girls bat, run, and chatter (with the coaches yelling "girls! pay attention to the ball") I was thrown back in time and flooded with memories.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I have 2 older brothers, all of us close in age.  So when I learned how to play games and community sports, I played with them.  That meant I played baseball for the first couple of years.  At one point, the boys were big enough and they community had enough kids to create separate baseball and softball leagues.  I was no longer allowed to play baseball, because softball was the girls' sport.

 I did not like it.  Not one bit.

I couldn't understand why if the girls were "weaker" we had to hit the bigger, heavier ball.  Then, what was with the arching pitches? (Yes, we played slow pitch).  Who wants to hit that kind of ball?  It was the beginning of my education about how men and women are treated (and expected to act) differently.  I played a lot of years and will always love sports of all kinds, but the little girl in me never really got over my mad about not being able to play baseball with the boys anymore.


18 March 2012

macro flowers

I went out on Saturday looking for spring blooms.  So far the daffodils and crocuses are the lead bunches to be found in our area.  However, when I got back to my house, I noticed there were little white flowers all over the grass...if you looked really closely!

Sort of mini daisies for the grass.  I'm sure some will call these weeds or crab grass, but I like them anyway!  Just goes to show, if you take the time, you can find all sorts of lovely things.


17 March 2012

blessing on St Patrick's day

"May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer."

SOOC fields of Ireland

Have a wonderful weekend!

14 March 2012

bits o' my week

The calender says it is technically still winter, but look at 
what the weather prediction is for next week!

It has already been in the mid 70's for a couple days, prompting these beauties to appear:

In Washington DC, the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom early, 
causing the National Park Service to up the start date on the festival season. 

My weeks have been a bit busy, so I just got around to making homemade broccoli/cheese soup.  It was delicious eating it out on the porch!  I found the recipe at Belle's Bazaar.  (My broccoli and potatoes were a bit chunkier, because that's my preference. Her version looks more professional.)
I'm sure I will try a few of the other ones on the blog.  So yummy!

I hope you are having a good week!


08 March 2012

Irish fence

Today for Friday Fences and SkyWatch Friday, a scene from the archives.  This was taken along the Ring of Kerry in Ireland.  I would love to be more specific for you, but I had a cold on this trip and *might* have been slightly medicated so I could breathe, therefore losing the details of the trip. (I did keep a journal along the way, so I have a good amount of memories that way.)

I would like to go back to Ireland very much, but right now I'm trying to decide between finding the money for a renewed passport and trip somewhere in October or an iPad 3.  Decisions, decisions...


06 March 2012

hapy heart texture Tues

Tuesday Texture this week uses "Happy Heart" texture.

These are electric flower lights, made to look like real flowers.  I think they are meant to be used around your patio or deck for lovely summer evenings.  I didn't purchase any, but I was intrigued. 
If you look closely at the petals, you can see little hearts, so this texture was perfect to brighten up the shot and make it a little more 'happy'!

You will find more interesting uses of Kim Klassen's textures if you click the link above.


04 March 2012

straight out of the camera: Spring!

I know I'm pushing the season, but seeing these today put a little extra sunshine in my upcoming work week.  These popped up in the front garden at my brother and SIL's house.  Such a welcome sight!!

More SOOC shots at Murrieta 365.
More blooms at Today's Flowers.


02 March 2012

Friday art?

I snapped this with my phone.
I thought it looked like some art glass. 

I like the different colors and waves, a little motion stopped in time. 

What is it you ask? 

"clouds in my coffee" (name that song!) - I had just added creamer to my ice coffee at lunch. Yum!

I hope you had some fun this Friday too.  Happy Weekend!