Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 9-6

You may have noticed that I haven't posted a Good Stuff Saturday in a while. I find that I have less time to read blogs these days. So this might become a monthly feature instead of weekly.

Photos

Blue!
Flames and trees
Beautiful land
Bear swimming
Fall beauty
Mountains

A good reminder that what we say and do can make a difference.

This one really made me think about brokenness and holding on.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Musically Significant Moment

Thanks to today's post from Carl's blog I have a story to tell.


Photo Credit: Chris Moore

This is the story of the day I discovered Jimmy Buffet.

As a grown up looking back on my childhood, I have a few snapshots in my mind of various events. There is the first time I remember throwing up, my Pink Panther cake, and waking up from the surgery on my adenoids. But today's story is the day I discovered Jimmy Buffet.

It was Father's Day around 1986. Well it was before Father's Day. My mom took my brother and I to a record store. Do you remember what those were back in the day when we actually bought physical copies of music albums? Anyway my mom was a brave woman and took a 5 year old and a 3 year old to a music store. I remember being in awe of all the albums they had in the store. I was equally in awe with my mom for being able to go right to the one that she wanted. I had no clue how she managed to pick that one album out of all the ones they had in that massive store.

She went right The Last Mango in Paris. It was a black background with some red words on it by a man named Jimmy Buffet. The words seemed fantastical. I couldn't imagine what story would bring mangoes and Paris together. I couldn't even imagine what a mango was or what Paris was. Who was this person that could use such fun words like mango and Paris in a song? And what were the other songs like?

I'm sure within a day or two we gifted the present to my dad and I know we listened to that tape a lot in the coming years on vacation especially. To this day that is one of my favorite albums. It brings me back to when I was kid and reminds me that songs can tell stories too.

Here are a couple of the amazing songs from this album.




Friday, September 5, 2014

Dear Maggie

Dear Maggie,

I work at Discovery this year. As I have told people where I work, they say, "Isn't that where that teacher...?" They never finish their sentence because the words are too hard to say out loud. The words are even too hard to say in my head.

This week was your birthday. We celebrated at Discovery. We wore pink ribbons and pink clothes because that was your favorite color. They were hoping to get enough cupcakes for everyone to have one. That's about 200. We had 800. That's a lot of cupcakes because there's a lot of love for you. You may not be there physically, but you are there. Your words and guidance still echo through the halls. Your actions still influence our decisions. You seem to roam the halls of the building like a guardian angel watching out for all of us.

Working at Discovery has reinforced an idea that has been roaming around my brain. I am sad that I never really got to know you. I saw you around district functions. I could tell from the way that you carried yourself that you were a good teacher. I could tell that you really cared about the kids. Now I have heard from so many people that you were a really good person too. I find myself missing you even though I never really knew you. I am left with a quote from a student, "Today we celebrate how beautiful she was and how beautiful she made us all feel."

Thank you for making us all feel more beautiful even if we didn't really know you.

Andrea





Monday, September 1, 2014

Beyond Uganda

I recently discovered a company that does good in the world and provides good stuff.

Beyond Uganda


They have purses, stuffed animals, backpacks, and more. They provide training for women in Uganda who then make the items that are sold. With the money they make the women can then buy the sewing machine they are using and eventually go into business for themselves. They also sponsor children that most other sponsor organizations would not. Often the children they sponsor are orphans or handicapped in one way or another. All of that is exciting and I needed a backpack, so I ordered one. I waited to get some confirmation that it was shipped and I didn't get any. So after a few weeks I emailed to ask about it.

I got a SUPER nice email in response that my order had been overlooked as the team had just returned from Uganda at the time of my order. They sent my backpack out right away, but they didn't stop there. They sent me 4 other products because of the delay. How nice is that! I was blown away by the gesture. Then one day last week I actually got my backpack. It is padded and absolutely perfect for me to tote around my work computer. Even the straps are padded so when I have papers to grade in it, they won't hurt my shoulders.




The little purse I got is perfect for my church needs. I never carry a full purse to church because I have to carry a diaper bag and sometimes a bag for the Bibles and other whatnots. I don't need a full purse on top of it. The purse fits my phone, my keys, a couple cards I might need, a pen, chapstick, and my little notebook. It is padded as well.



The little stuffed giraffe is so cute!! I can't wait to order an elephant as well.



I also got a beaded necklace and earrings as well, but I don't have a good picture of them yet. And with the necklace, I got a little card that told me about the woman who made it. A few more things that these amazing people do. They provide clean water as well as educational grants and a classroom adoption program. What don't they do is probably a better question?

So go to http://www.beyonduganda.org and check out all of the stuff they do and the stuff that you can buy. And then support them if you can. They are nice people doing great work.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 8-30

 

Life has been crazy with getting ready to go back to school and actually going back to school the last two weeks. I have some great blog posts in my head and I might even get them written down this coming week. Thanks for being patient.

Photos

Island in Maine, Aspen trees, Disney Princes


Articles

Maybe we are supposed to be over the Ferguson tragedy by now, but my heart is still breaking for the whole thing.  These are not the definitive words on the situation, but they spoke to me. And this too. I just keep hoping and praying that as a teacher I can do something to make a difference.

When Ferguson, Iraq, depression, murder, missing, diseased, and death get to be too much and threaten to overwhelm me, I can find a little happiness and a little hope in Disney.  Frozen: the feels, Anna and Kristoff, Hans. And this song.

Less liking is a good thing

Small colleges are too.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 8-16


Photos
Norway, Tea fields, Waterfall

Articles
Patience - I'm not so good at that.

Depression isn't for the weak.

Pray for who?

Hashtags are fun.

And among all of the other horrible things that have gone on this week, to me this one seems to be the one that needs to be discussed most.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Heavy Laden

There has been a lot going on in the world lately, as well as my world. The genocide in Iraq, the racial issues in Ferguson, the murder of a teacher, a teenage runaway, the response to Robin Williams' suicide, the poorly dealt with state of mental health in this country, a friend in pain, a friend struggling with addiction, my son starting kindergarten, a sort of new assignment for me at work. Those are in no particular order because they are all swimming through my head and heart.

It has all left me feeling hopeless and helpless. I doubt there is anything I can really do as a middle class white American living in a small city in North Carolina. I don't think my prayers are strong enough. I'm not sure that God is big enough to fix it soon. I worry about all of those that will suffer before these problems are fixed. It is enough to make me want to just sit and cry. There is an overwhelming amount of pain. It takes my breath away, but it also takes my hope away. Life is hard. Then we add the injustices forced upon so many to the difficulties of simply living and I just want to curl up in a dark place and forget about it all.

I wish I had a positive thought to end on, but I don't. I'm heavy laden today and leaning on God.