Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hazel and I spent the first part of the week at my parent's house in Columbus, GA. This is where Hazel was born. One of Hazel's brothers, Amos, her Mama, Mae, the oldest dog in the world, Nick, and the little yappy dog, Solo live there too. It is a dog's paradise.

I always roll the windows down the minute we enter my parent's neighborhood. The breeze plays with our hair, familiar smells tease our noses. I swear its 10 degrees warmer and the sun is ever so slightly brighter. Both our tails are wagging. As we pull into the driveway Hazel is literally bouncing off the walls and ceiling of my little car. Its all I can do to safely park and extract myself before she explodes out of the backseat and into DOGGIE WORLD!! We love to be home.

This week at doggie world, the animals swam in the lake, chased squirrels, chewed on sticks, wrassled, and licked stuff. Hazel learned how to open my parent's front door by jumping up and pawing at the handle. And if the door is locked (because we humans are wise to her little trick) Amos will ring the doorbell. No kidding. They are quite a team!

Other than the dogs, my 4 sisters, Mama, Daddy, Grandmother, 2 Aunts and 2 nieces were home. Why, you ask? Check back with me tomorrow or the next day and you shall discover the answer to your query........

ps. the fabulous picture was taken by my friend , the lovely and talented artist Sam B. George.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wishful Thinking

The weather has been exceptionally beautiful for the past 2 days.... so much so that I've been dreaming of spring and summer. And then I started flipping thru some old pictures and....well.... just look...

Now if that doesn't put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.... Happy Thursday, World Wide Interweb.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

— Emily Dickinson

Monday, January 18, 2010

If anyone needs to buy a gift, be it for a baby, a birthday, or for yourself (the best kind of gift :) I encourage you to visit Craft Hope's shop over at All items for sale have been donated by various artists and ALL proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Boarders in Haiti.

Also, if you visit the United Methodist Committee on Relief you can donate money, volunteer or, what I'm really digging right now, create relief kits. My church will be donating hundreds of Health Kits to the Haiti relief effort, but there are so many options: Bedding Kits, Birthing Kits, Layette Kits, School Kits.... They provide a download-able list of what items are required in each kit and a few important guidelines. These lists can be printed out and dispersed among your friends, neighbors, church congregation, school. All kits are mailed to one of a few "Relief Depots" around the nation, and finally shipped out to those in need. Its easy, inexpensive, and does real tangible good.

And thats what I need right now because I feel SO helpless. I can barely tune in to the news without crying. Lets keep the Haitians and all suffering people in our prayers. Whenever you get in your car remember you are blessed. Whenever you turn up the heat, remember you are blessed. When you go to school, fill up a glass of water from your sink, take a shower, kiss your baby, put on a warm jacket, eat food...... remember you are BLESSED.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Really-Real-for-Real Grad Student is Taught a Lesson By a Pack of Cracked-Out Teddy Bears.

Today is my first class as a really-real-for-real Graduate Student. I feel cool. And smart. I'm a Graduate Student. Now, thats not the highest degree ever earned in my family... I come from a long and distinguished line of doctors, lawyers, and teachers. But I never ever imagined I would go for a higher level degree- I honestly wasn't sure I wanted to even graduate from college! So this new scholarly pursuit is fulfilling on numerous levels.


I have been teaching theater classes to children ages 5-9 for the past half a year and the reality of teaching does not match up with my glorious and glowing image of classroom life. When I daydream about teaching, I see precious faces, eagerly shining up at me, hanging on my every brilliant word. My classroom resonates with music and laughter, or is blanketed in sweet silence as little minds diligently work to bring peace to the world, feed starving nations, and resolve the conflict over the Gaza Strip. I love my students and they LOVE me.

Reality check.

Have you ever been scared of a 5-year-old? You think to yourself, "shes just a baby! How hard can it be to make her sit and listen?" But then you find yourself not 10 minutes later standing in the middle of a room full of screaming maniacs and all you can do is breathe and try to keep from crying. Thats obviously an exaggeration.... sort of.....

Example: I had a parent observation class one week in December and it was a disaster of epic proportions. The previous week we began preparing a little play to show the parents called "Big Box of Bears". All the little girls had learned their lines and were exploring their motivations, digging deep into the psyche of the Teddy Bear, what it means to be fuzzy and filled with fluff...that kind of thing. So on the day of the performance, which as it turns out was also the last day of school before the Christmas Holiday, I headed to class expecting to see my little Shakespearean Teddys ready and raring to go........ oh no....... what i found were 9 over-sugared, over-stimulated, Santa-Claus-is-coming-to-town Christmas Monstors. Seriously. One little girl refused to participate at all and sat in the corner eating candy canes for an hour. Another had such a bad headache (from all the SUGAR) she spent the hour with her head buried inside her coat. The ones that actually wanted to play were so hopped up on candy that, bless their hearts, they could barely control their own bodies! "Big Box of Bears" turned into "Big Box of Bears on Crack"!

And then the parents arrived. And the class totally fell apart. Because 5-year-olds can only hold it together for so long. What goes up, must come down and after a long day of Christmas parties and cupcakes, there will inevitably be much crashing, crying and gnashing of teeth..... except for the little girl who sat in the corner and ate candy canes for an hour- she was still going strong. We ended up doing to play with only 3 participants. It was the worst thing I have ever seen. I was humiliated, I was in shock, I just knew I was fired. I went home and tried to regain my composure.

A few days later I got a call from my boss saying that 2 parents called and emailed and wanted to WITHDRAW THEIR CHILDREN FROM MY CLASS!!!!! Humiliation. I quickly shot off emails of apology and promise, and stressed that this class was an exception, not a rule. Which is true.....sort of. We ended up convincing the parents to leave their children in our class, and I am getting massive support from my boss and the other teachers. They keep telling me that this is normal, and these things happen from time to time, but I can't help feeling like a failure. Remember, I had a VISION! And it didn't include teddy bears on crack!

However, strange though it may sound, underneath that feeling of failing is an even bigger and more boisterous feeling threatening to burst through...... I thinks its called strength,

or maybe exhilaration,

or maybe even inspiration.

You see, the BIG TRUTH, the thing that I bet most teachers can say about their classes, is that these INSANE CHILDREN can teach us more about ourselves and our skills as teachers, parents, friends, and humans than any text book or graduate class. So while I am overjoyed to be a graduate student, I am so very thankful to have found Drama Kids. I treasure every exhausting and exhilarating moment with my cracked-out teddy bears.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What is this? Some kind of FAIRY MAGIC?

I have never seen anything like this in my life. Over the weekend I hiked Ruffner Mountain with my friend, Carrie, and my dog, Hazel. It was a frosty 32 degrees (thank you, Patagonia, for 5 years of retail experience and free long johns.) and were all having a lovely time. We had reached the highest elevation, tracing the spine of the mountain top, when I looked down the path and noticed white whispy things wrapped around the base of these tall dried up goldenrod-looking-plants. I thought to myself, "now why would someone tie plastic bags to the bottom of those weeds? Litter Bugs! Where's Captain Planet when ya need him?" I think Carrie was thinking the same thing because she suddenly bent down to one and said, "its ICE."

me: huh?

carrie: yeah, ice.

me: HUH?

(Hazel LOVES ice)

I grabbed my camera and started taking millions of pictures. Have you ever seen this before? Is this a miracle? Carrie and I deduced that the goldenrod-type-weed-plant must have become saturated with all the rain last week. Then, as the frosty air blew into town and the weeds began to freeze, water slowly seeped out and froze into these mind blowing formations. I am amazed. And SO great full to have seen this.

Oh no! Watch out for Hazel.....


And I went back to mountain yesterday to take even more pics- I just can't get enough! I'll probably post them soon..... Happy Wednesday!