Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The full title is Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.
The writing wasn't as moving or as literary as The Things They Carried. The language was blunt, dry and lacking in symbolism, extended metaphors and other generically accepted literary elements, but it wasn't supposed to embody those devices. This is an autobiography and not fiction as the former is billed.
What it does is give you an unparalelled account of the training of a Navy SEAL and then the amazing parallel of how that training is called to action in the wilds of Afghanistan - a combat situation I'd never considered for Navy SEALs.
Whereas The Things They Carried was heart-wrenching and desperate to define and give meaning to a marginally forgotten war, Lone Survivor garnered some of my ire for the depreicating language used towards the enemy, but overwhelmingly inspired me to comprehend and acknowledge that failure is not an option, regarldess of circumstance, in a war that's of the here and now.
I've entered into a reading pattern that's far and away from my previous regiment of drivel with the occasional classic thrown in. I'm better for it.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I was too busy having nightmares about the graduation ceremony. I'm in charge of planning and executing our school's senior activities and the graduation ceremony and the nightmares have already started. I dreamed I forgot to order flowers and we gave the girls weeds, that I forgot to go on the floor of the arena and when I remembered, the ceremony was over and the curtain opened to a grocery store's check out line with all of the parents cheering but no graduates and many, many other horrible things. It's only March!!!!
When I got to school my classroom's neighbor told me her power was out which I scoffed at. Another told me they had trouble getting to school because of a tree down. and I brushed it off. I went out to meet the bus in the afternoon and the wind was whipping. My thoughts immediately turned to the cell packs I had on the deck railing and how I would sort out the multitude of tomato seedling types if they were all scattered on the ground. Oh the humanity!!
I knew for sure they were toast I couldn't wait to get home and when I did, it was grateful I was that everything was still in place and nothing had tumbled to the ground. See. The storm wasn't so bad after all. ;)
Side note, our school's soccer team is sponsoring a military support night so I made some keychains for them to do with as they please. I hope they enjoy them!
The morning comes early, and the dreams have only just started. Sweet dreams!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Friday was sponsor night where we went on the field with our player and shockingly enough, our student presented my team teacher with a hat and me with a lovely bunch of flowers. We were very touched that he would think to have done this as it wasn't the norm for the rest of the team. He's a very quiet, reserved kid who holds himself with a dignity beyond his years. One of those kids whose integrity you wish would rub off on your kids. The flowers are just lovely, aren't they.
Although the boy's birthday party was last week, today is his actual birthday. Happy 7th birthday, Boy! He's such a good kid. He was perfectly content and just down right giddy over presents of clothes, books and Lego gift cards. He's been at his desk all day working on his do it yourself Wimpy Kid book. We had the agreement that once he finished the series we'd get him that book. Sure enough, he's on the last one so he got it and the movie book today. Note the Wimpy Kid shirt he got at his party from his cousin. He's an addict for sure.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Last week, my girlfriend for whom I helped fill her boxes came over and made me her fantastic Indian style chicken dish. It's beautiful isn't it?
I always joke with her that I don't like it. I don't. I don't like half of the things in it and I most certainly despise cilantro, but for some reason it all works well in the dish. I try to explain to her that I don't particularly like it, but I crave it and can't stop eating it. It's rather bizarre.
The fun garden end of it is that we needed an onion and I popped out back and grabbed one. Way too awesome. Then, tonight the kids wanted breakfast for dinner. It was on the tip of my tongue to say no just by reflex and then thought why not!? Waffle House and IHOP serve breakfast for dinner every day of the year. Why can't I? So I made them their breakfast and then went to the garden for myself and got some garlic, basil and onion and made an awesome omelet.
Monday, March 14, 2011
I really let that bush get out of hand. I put the entire bag in the mailroom and sent out a come and get it email. Some of it was gone by the end of the day, but not much. I have more rosemary than I can use in a lifetime, that's for sure. Sadly, I didn't keep it and it went to waste, but we've got so much rosemary growing still AND...there's that thing I did in the other corner yard which I'll get to in a moment, but rosemary here doesn't die in the winter, so I now am really going to be drowning in rosemary.
The squash, zucchini and the new zephyr that I'm trying this year are growing nicely and basking in the warm weather we've had.
The tomatoes have finally decided to sprout. I don't baby these. I plant them in the cell packs outside and just sit them out there. When they sprout, they sprout and then if the weather turns south I bring them in for the night, but this way I don't have to worry about hardening off which I'm too durn impatient to do. It was about time as well. I was getting crazed that there would be no Cherokee Purple plants this year. Oh no. That would certainly not do. Yesterday, 14 cells had germinated. Today, 24 have so I'm feeling a lot better. Some, however, seem to be growing upside down which is rather odd, but I remember happening last year as well. Should I flip them or just let them go?
Now, my friends, here it is. The proof of my weakness. I planted the herb garden. I haven't been able to do much with this other corner yard because it doesn't get a lot of sun, so I figured an herb garden would work well, but the problem there is that we don't use many herbs....so I put in the ones we'll use. I put in rosemary, oregano and two kinds of basil. I could really plant the whole thing in basil and freeze pesto for the rest of my life, but the one rosemary plant I have in the corner yard is amazing and now I have three! It's overkill, but hopefully I can do something with it, or if nothing else, put it on the corner to give to neighbors.
It looks pretty now and there's plenty of room for the plants to grow and for me to add more basil from cuttings of these. Hopefully my gamble will pay off. If not, I tried. It just feels good to see green again! I'm thinking those squash will go in before you know it. I've just got to beat the first SVB invasion like I did last year.
The morning comes early. Especially now with the time change which, in my opinion, is totally un-American. Sweet herb gardening dreams.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
technically our last frost free date isn't until April. The rest of March looks good. Could I weather 15 days of April? I did last year and got such a wonderful head start. Dare I try again?
Friday, March 11, 2011
We've had four days of good, hard rain in the last week which makes me a bit nervous for the potatoes getting squishy, but yesterday I noticed at least a few of the girl's purple potatoes were looking grand.
Then, I'd like to introduce you to the SLOWEST growing anything in this world. I honestly think I've seen the powers that be mandate the world's atomic clock get shifted faster than this celery grows.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The lettuce is looking very good....but do you see in the center where one lettuce bunch was torn out by that rotten feral cat? Look closer. See the gift he left me?
Monday, March 7, 2011
Here we go! This is week 1. It's a bit leggy, so I planted it deep, hoping it would root along the stem.
Can't wait to watch it grow, Bean! Thanks for letting me share the experience with you.
Keychains for a Cause is expanding yet again to help us reach our goal of 300 keychains sold by Relay. We've added tennis themed ribbon to our selections. There's a keychain to meet every need. Go check them out!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
On a non garden note, last week I began and finished Tim O'Brien's The Things they Carried. I had earlier posted that it was a recommendation from a student and one of the first tenants of teaching a literature course is never turn down a child when they ask you to read.
The book caught me off guard. It's something they teach in AP classes here, so I didn't expect it to be raw, exposed and visceral, but it was. I didn't want to go to bed with it having been the last thing I had read, but then realized that now, this was how I was supposed to go to bed, with it weighing as heavily on my mind as it did. It's not a fast or a skimming read like I'm used to. Each word pulls you in a different direction and demands the merit its author intended. I am wiser and humbled by the experience. The symbolism was mild, yet jarring and the thematic strands enduring, yet too often looked over by other works. I'll most likely go purchase a paper copy in addition to my electronic one so I can write in it and trace the elements as I read through it a second, third and fourth time.
If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it. Your experiences with the novel may be vastly different from mine as you may be closer and with more personal connections to the events of the text than I have - NOT that I'm saying any readers venturing upon this are old and I'm the springest chicken in the world, but for me, the Vietnam War has always been one of those mythical wars in a far off place that warrants less than 30 minutes of class lecture at the end of a crammed semester of World History, and even then I struggled in distancing myself from the insufferable authentickty the book injected upon my psyche. It brought a crushing realism to an era swept under parlor rugs, bed skirts and dust jackets. A time that begs to be forgotten by the populace, yet rages in the indispensible truths of the participants.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The boy came home last week sad that his team lost a recess play-yard soccer game. Apparently he was the goalie and they lost 2-0 and he felt responsible. I asked who the goalie for the other team was.
They didn't have one.
That, and the girl is on a three week long campaign for a "wiener." She has gotten to the point of asking Santa to bring her one. She likes the way they pee. Her main point of persuasion is that they are funny looking and make her giggle. My mother and I are of the same opinion and have thus assured her that this is the natural female reaction, however it didn't stop her from asking her prim and proper southern belle daycare ladies to aide her in the endeavor to procure one.
At least that's marginally better than when the boy went there and he wiped his snotty nose on one of their skirts.
Tell me why they keep letting me send my kids there?
On a more hopeful note, I had a student recommend me read The Things They Carried. When a student recommends a book for you to read you drop everything and read it, especially when it's a student like this one that you wouldn't think would pick up a book for love or money. I haven't put it down. We discussed it during class and in the hallway between classes when he came out of his way and risked a tardy to talk about a point and he gave me a goal to read to for tonight so I didn't get ahead of him. Kid's got a better opinion of my self control than I do.
As for that garden, seeds are still on the porch soaking up the sun and I'm still waiting to see which ones of them sprout. Potatoes still haven't broken the surface yet, either, but I remember that being a long process. The waiting is the hardest part.
The morning comes early, and I'll likely be spending it wide awake in bed talking myself out of reading farther. Sweet gardening dreams.