Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reflections from Friendship Tea

Picture 25 women getting together for fun, tea and delicious goodies. Each one brings along a mug or tea cup that has a story to tell. Our host has homemade chai cooking on the stove. Sweet bite size delicacies are artistically arranged on the plates. Everything is ready.

Chai ingredients
Hugs are offered and received. Women are showing off their mugs and cups as they make their way to the eating and fellowship area. I too get my chai and cookies. I sit down to listen to the conversation. Here are a few stories that I heard:

-Soon after my divorce, my daughter gave me this mug; to remind us that we can do it. 

-My husband and I were climbing Mount Monadnock, and suddenly the weather changed. We were not sure if we would even make it down. We had not even told anyone where we were. When we got down safely, we bought this mug so that we would remember!
-My daughter gave me this Thomas Kinkade mug. See how it has some windows that have light and others that are dark. Well, all the windows in the mug are supposed to light up when you put warm or hot liquid in it. Unfortunately, I wasn't careful enough and washed it in the dishwasher; now some of the windows stay dark all the time. Nevertheless, it is special because my daughter gave it to me!

-One of my friends bought this cup for me on my birthday or Christmas a few years ago. She knew that I liked Mary Engelbreit, so she gave me her "TIME FOR TEA" cup. I love it!!!!!!! Isn't it wonderful to have friends who care enough to get you a gift that makes you happy!

-I have been collecting tea cups for a long time. It probably started with my relatives who came from England. They were always so proper with their teas.

-I am Polish decent. That is why I love Polish stoneware. This is one of my mugs. We all just had to stop and admire her cup. It really was beautiful! 

There were so many other stories as well! When everyone was leaving, I already heard the question; "When is the next tea?" The next day, I heard similar questions by women who were not able to come to the tea this time. We as women, really have a need to connect and share. And when done over tea, even better.
If you haven't had the chance to read Stacey's post about friendships, you can  find it here. Take some time to enjoy the friendships that you have in your life! And always, always, be open to new friendships!
Have you had a chance to connect with friends lately?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thankful Today

Day off on Monday
Meeting a friend for lunch
Enjoying a walk in the warm weather
Friends who message from overseas
Students who are improving their grades
Siblings and parents 
who care about their children's grades

Friends and almost friends
who hug you just because they are happy to see you
Relatives who are happy to spend time with me
Pastor who is honest about his own struggles with grief
but who still wants to bless the people in his city.
Feeding an elderly man at the soup kitchen
who said he loves lima beans!
Text from my daughter to ask why I walked in the mud.
Being able to answer her that it was a typo--no mud walking today.

What are you thankful for today?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Single Moms & Adoptive Moms & Want to be Mothers

I was reading my Facebook page the other day when I saw the link about my friend Lilly who became a mother after 17 years! She and her husband adopted two boys from India.(You can read the article here, but only if you can read Finnish.) Last summer when I arrived in Finland, they were just leaving to get their boys, and a few days before I left to come home, Lilly and husband came home with their boys. Definitely a joyous moment.

Another one of my friends had posted about her son competing in the International Culinary Competition in France.(He got the 12th spot.) Years ago, when I first met Tuula, she was a single mother raising her son on her own. Today she is rejoicing in her son's success in the international culinary world.

Two special days are also approaching: Valentines's Day and three months later Mother's Day. Both can be equally hard for those who do not have the required ingredient in order to share and celebrate the day's activities.
Take, for example, Valentines' Day: In America, this day is all about romance! Not about friendships, but romance. What about if you are a single and not currently in a romantic relationship? You better not go out for dinner that night intending to relax with a good book while eating at your favorite restaurant. Take out is definitely a better option for that day.
BUT, couldn't we celebrate friendships? You know, the ones that often last much longer than the romantic relationships.

What about Mother's Day? (And yes, I know I am a bit early with this one.) My heart goes out to my teaching colleagues who are trying to start their families while watching others accomplish the same without even really trying. I am also thinking about my friends who decided that they will wait until they are married, but the marriage has not happened, and now it is too late for biological children. What do you say to someone whose greatest desire is to become a mother, but it is not happening? How do you comfort your friends?

I don't have any answers, however, I would like to say thank you for all the single mothers! Thank you for staying strong when life was hard. Thank you for being a mother even it was almost too much. Thank you for giving your children a better future by mothering them no matter what.

And thank you, to all of you who have adopted children! Maybe you did not become a mother by chance; but you became a mother by choice! I want to celebrate you this week of the Valentine's Day. You have chosen to love a child! What better gift could anyone give to a child.

Here is my thank you to everyone who loved a child today! Whether it is your own, your student, your niece or grandchild, or your neighbor's child; thank you for loving a child today!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow-day relaxation

Snow Day
Wonderful Colleagues
Peace & Quiet
Working Computer

What more could I ask on a day that I did not have to go to work?

Enjoyed my morning coffee by the window.
Lost track of time 
while escaping to another century
with a romantic novel.
Celebrated the day off 
by having brunch with a colleague.
But then work came calling;
researched instructional groupings.
Sent the survey to teachers.
Took a break and
learned how to add buttons to my blog!
Made plans for World Read Aloud Day
I think the dishes have now waited long enough.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fun with TV shows

When I come home at night, there are times when a little escape is in order. I know there is always more school work, house work or just chores that should require my attention. But at those times that I am home and feeling the need to experience a different world, I turn on the television, and live a few minutes totally removed from my world. Now, if I just had a DVR or another digital recorder this might happen even more often. By the way, from the shows, you can tell that my selection of channels is very limited.

I love watching Bones
well, not always love, sometimes I want to puke.
I just want to be as smart as Bones is.
Maybe I can learn by watching her...
I blame my daughter for getting me
hooked on The Big Bang Theory.
As I watch the show,
I dream of a show about teachers;
would that show be funny or would we just talk about
assessments, common core, issues, etc?
Then comes NCIS--why do I like this how?
The good guys always win!
Hart of Dixie; how did I ever even find this show?
Oh yeah, not feeling well, and library had the first season on DVD; 
plus the added bonus of watching a marathon with my daughter.
And the relationships; people walking around town,
running into friends, making new friends, special events 
where the whole town participates.
Talk shows are boring!
I almost never watch them.
There is an exception:
Steven and Chris--a Canadian talk show duo.
One of my local TV stations airs reruns on Saturdays.
So I sit down, work on my blog, laugh at their antics, 
learn how to make a quick dinner, what is the in-color this year,
and return happily to my real world in less than 60 minutes.
Oh yeah, and to grading or lesson planning.
No wait a minute, the sun is shining!
Looks like dusting might be in order.
(Should have kept the drapes closed...)