Another Healing

Another Healing

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The water is falling!

I took this shot yesterday.  Here is the first of April for comparison:

The water is a much better color now, too.  I just love watching things change like this.  It makes me feel balanced, somehow.  I think the problems with the world come from the fact that people don't look around and find their balance before they go charging off doing things.  No wonder the world is crooked.  (Not that I think it should be all straight, of course!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Snapping Turtle

So this morning I dropped my car off at the handy garage at the end of our road to have my winter tires taken off (I know, I know, it's a little late, but hey, it's been a long winter and after the hail we got on Saturday, I'm not convinced it's over yet) and I brought Ruby, the golden retriever, with me.  She loves to walk, there's very little traffic on the road, and she's good at coming and sitting at my feet when a car does come by, so we usually don't bother with a leash.  I just happened to have it with me today, though, since I prefer to have her attached to me in the parking lot of the garage, which is on the main road.  And it was lucky that I did, because half way home, I saw the most GIGANTIC snapping turtle I've ever seen crossing the road ahead of us.  This is the time of year the females leave the water to lay their eggs, and I believe she was on her way back from doing that.  I got the leash on Ruby just before she spotted the turtle, and she went a bit nuts.  I'm not sure what would have happened if they'd come nose to nose, but I've heard that snapping turtles can take off a person's finger or toes, and I didn't want her losing any doggie-parts.  I didn't have a camera with me, but this is a shot of one I took a few years ago:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

It's a bright, sparkly, sunny Father's Day here in Vermont!  And it should be, after the storm we had yesterday.  Pieces of hail the size of my thumbnail flattened my daises and cooled the pool down ten degrees.  I wasn't here for the storm, but heard all the details and saw the black clouds in the distance.  Pretty amazing!

This is the hail still on the ground several hours later

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Whisper Photos

My Whisper

Whisper and Ruby -- best buddies

Why are these suddenly here?  Because another Torquere author has a cat who looks just like him, and we suddenly realized they're from the same area in Vermont.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

End of the School Year

I really don't like this at all.  I mean, yeah, I'm looking forward to my summer schedule which has more time for writing, but the big, huge drawback to the school year ending is called graduation.

It's what we push kids toward, and what we honestly hope they'll achieve, but when the moment comes that they walk down that aisle in those caps and gowns, I have a rush of panic.  All I can think is, "What did we forget to teach them?"  The real world isn't always a kind and gentle place, even for "regular" people.  It holds all kinds of horrors for those who face it with disabilities.

Are they ready?  What will happen to them out there?  Will they be discriminated against, hurt, or worse? And most importantly, will they ever be loved as  much as we've loved, nurtured, and protected them?

This week, I had to say goodbye forever to a young lady I've worked with every day for five years.  I admit, when she walked out of our room, just the way she has hundreds of times, except that this time, she'll never come back, I burst into tears.

No, Pomp and Circumstance is not my favorite piece of music.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Condoms and Glue Sticks

Okay, you have to admit that's a catchy title, don't you?

I work in education.  High school special education, to be specific.  I'm not a teacher, technically, though I could easily be if I wanted to be.  I have a master's degree in English (believe it or not -- my professors would flip if they knew what the shy girl in the back writes now).  I'm a lowly teaching assistant, or paraprofessional, or, as I call myself, a writing tutor.  Which basically means that I work incredibly hard and get paid very little, but I wouldn't trade my school year job for anything.  I actually get to work with kids all day every day, sitting with them in classes, helping them make sense of what their teachers are telling them, then helping them with the homework.  And because I'm sitting with them, on their side of the blackboard, (or smartboard, these days) they come to trust me, and talk to me, and let me into their lives in ways teachers never get to.  Some days I laugh all the way home, and some days I cry, and some days I laugh through my tears.  But every day, I know I've done some good for somebody, and that matters a lot to me. 

And when I get home, I can write instead of grading papers, which leads me to the condom story.

This semester, one of my students in taking a health class, and we're ending the year with the sex unit.  Yesterday was "how to put on a condom day."  No, our school isn't quite liberal enough to do the banana or cucumber thing.  Our teacher designed a project that involved the kids cutting out a list of fourteen steps to putting on a condom, printed in random order.  (I bet you didn't know there were so many steps!)  Then they had to put each step in the correct order and glue it down on another sheet of paper.  The list starts with "talk to your partner" and includes things like "check the expiration date" and then goes through the application process including pinching the air out of the tip of the condom and then the removal steps to avoid anything getting spilled. 

Well, the teacher gave me a handful of glue sticks and asked me to help her circulate through the room.  When each kid got the steps lined up in order, I was to check them and reward the kid with a glue stick if he or she had them right.  I, of course, immediately saw the symbolism of the shape of the stick.  Most of the time I can keep the part of me that writes gay erotica under tight control while I'm at school, but believe me, this was not an easy situation to be in.

So I start circulating the room.  A few boys get the steps right the first try and sit there smirking while I quietly put a stick down on their desks -- lying flat -- I simply cannot let myself put them down standing up and stay in teacher mode.  But some of the boys are just like, "What the heck?" and are, of course, utterly mortified when I have to quietly rearrange things for them.  The girls, on the other hand, always got them right the first try.  (Guys, I hate to say this, but freshmen girls have freshmen boys beat when it comes to school, especially after watching a powerpoint about condoms.  Boy's minds are just too full of other stuff to think logically about anything after that.)

So finally everyone is happily gluing away and I know there are twenty-five more people in the world who know how to protect themselves.  But all I can think about is how I'm going to go home and write a blog post that would shock the heck out of all of them.  If they only knew...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We had a lovely bike ride on Monday, and my knee held up quite well.  We were on a gravel path that once used to be a train track, but was converted several years ago to a bike trail.  We followed a swollen river for a while through farm country -- lots of cows grazing in fields around us, and orioles singing in the trees by the water's edge.  How far did we go?  Well, we passed a sign that said "twenty miles," so that works for me.  That's what it felt like, anyway.  But the little computer thing on my husband's bike that measures distance and speed and temperature and all that information that means so much to him said, "two miles."  I put my trust in the sign.