Milkweed and caterpillars

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We like to grow milkweed. One year when the kids were little we watched several monarch caterpillars achieve adulthood. From the tiny white eggs, to the ravenous larva, cocoon and butterfly. In subsequent years we have always let a few plants flourish, but never again have we had the opportunity to watch nature at its finest.

In high school I raised tomato hornworms for a science project. Occasionally they would escape from their cage, but I’d find them somewhere. Lumbering across the wood floors looking for a fresh tomato plant. Our garden allowed me to collect eggs, caterpillars, and watch as they buried themselves beneath the soil for their pupa. The glass aquarium was great for observation. The hatching of the moth is indeed fascinating. The state science fair was an adventure for this “entomologist”.

Watching nature, one of my favorite pastimes.

Why I wasn’t going to write today…


I wonder how many reasons I can come up with?
Don’t have time
Can’t think of a topic
What will others think?
Hate writing
Never good at it
No one will care
Have nothing to say
My spelling is terrible
Why bother
Takes too much time
I’m sure there are more, but is this where many of our students are? We give them a topic because they can’t think of one. We encourage them by saying “practice makes perfect”.

Let me digress.
I was talking with my grown daughter -in -law about her experience in school. She mentioned if she had been allowed to read about horses she would have read more. I’m wondering if the same would be true about writing too. She is a lady who can teach herself to sing in other languages by phonetics, attended and participated in horse-whispering clinics, probably would have enjoyed car racing, and can finesse a deal from slick salesmen. I wish she could have read and written her fill of horse books in her youth. Her self-esteem about her youth might be different. When I mentioned that in our district we let the students read and write about their passions, she found it hard to believe.

Maybe reason
11. Afraid to write about my passion

If I created a school, what would I expect?


Choice, choice, choice

No more workbooks
No more copy machines
No more worksheets
No more wasted time

Workshop or studio with choice
Student centered and guided
The only way students grow and learn

A garden of people growing together
Creating a community
Supporting each other
Learning by living
In success and failure

The garden takes time
And we all think we don’t have enough time
But time produces an excellent crop
Sometimes with imperfections
Yet satisfying…


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Now that we are planning to move to another part of the country, I’m finding all my collections that have been squirreled away. What to do? Should we find new homes for them? It was the process and not the product. Or am I allowed to keep them? Share them with others!

What kind of collections are we talking about?

Rock and shell collections. Chambered nautilus, sand dollar, shells of many shapes and sizes, some have gone to a nature center, but these have special meaning. Undefined meaning, but special! From my perch on the sofa I can see the crystals my dad bought as he traveled across the countryside. In the basement is my quartz science project. My grandfather built the wooden carrying case just for the project. It went to the state science fair.

Antique furniture. We have pieces that my grandparents had when they got married. Coffee grinder, vanity table and mirror. An assortment of antiques that don’t have a family connection, but are dear to my heart. Books…

My husband has collections of tools, wood, car parts, gardening supplies, you name it, he might have it. He has frequently mentioned that we need a moving van for his basement and we can replace anything that is upstairs.

Deep down it looks like all the collections will follow us wherever we might go.


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Plunging into the vast crevasse of NO INTERNET!
Traveling smart phone free
Into rural America
Where there is no free wifii
An occasional click at the evening accomdation…
One day soon we will climb out of the internet free crevasse!

Thoughts on time…


No time

Like the right time
No time
Just one day at a time
No time
Pressed for time
No time
Running out of time
No time
What happened to the time?
No time
What time is it?
No time
All the time in the world!

The ics….


Life is erratic 
Writing is sporadic
Tended to be autodidactic 
But now….hmmm…static!

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