Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coffeehouse Questions

My favorite coffeehouse in the whole wide great big universe is in Moscow, Idaho where the Christian classical school LOGOS is located. A fabulous used-book store resides inside this coffeehouse where I recently purchased Yellowstone for Families, The Story of Philosophy, and Brush Up on Your Poetry.

We drove several hours out of the way on our vacation to visit this coffeehouse. Besides their amazing espresso and aesthetically pleasing environment, the owners have created an environment that seems to beg: "THINK! Go AHEAD, ASK!" Big thoughts creep into my head as I enter the door. Big grand "Godly" thoughts, and Big sad, "No-No" thoughts. Questions about my place in the world, God, and my relationships. These questions have answers, of course, but in order to get to the answers, I have to be allowed to ask the questions. As a teacher, nothing is more endearing than having a student who keeps asking questions--earnestly seeking Truth. But I wonder...have I created a coffeehouse environment with my life? Am I afraid of questions because there may be no easy answers? And if so, WHY? Don't the words communion and communication have the same root ?
In our home, we have a coffeehouse, complete with a commercial espresso machine, a couch, pub table, and all the sugary syrups a heart could desire. I envision many late-night talks with my own children during their teen years in this room. When they start asking the hard questions, will I be defensive or abrasive because they have ASKED?

The open forum of coffeehouse culture is being embraced by the young people of this generation. They don't seek to simply have their questions answered, but they also seek to simply be allowed to ask. There is a lot of dialogue happening, and we need to jump into the discussion. It seems to me that we have too many answers today, when whe haven't actually taken the time to figure out the real questions. We don't listen.

Right now I have some pretty BIG questions. Some of these questions are about my life, some burdens I bear for others. I get pretty frustrated, and while I humbly ask, I still want to....ASK. These are questions to which I THINK I already know the answer, but I still want to voice to Someone who knows my heart. He can handle it. His intelligence can bear my frustrations. And best of all, HE created the coffee bean.

And now for that Latte...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Schoolhouse Pizazz

I'm starting to feel ready for school...finally! I've read 14 books this summer, I've reviewed the grammar curriculum for next year, and I'm starting to really miss my students.

And thanks to the 1/2 price sale at the Salvation Army, I feel that I can go to school with a little "pizazz." Last week's pick was gone this week, but I like this one even better.

I really love my job, comfy shoes, and hugs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Can Feel the Love.

After a hug.... Mr. Man looked at me and gave me some... um..."encouragement."

"Some people think that the moms look hideous, but the sons don't."

Wow. There's a lot of love in this house. We shoot straight and love strong. Don't come over here expecting any sugar-coating. We may have to do some social-integration exercises, however, before Mr. Man starts to date someone other than his mommy.

To quote the Waterboy's mama.... "son, you aint gots what we likes to call de 'social skills,' that's why you ain't got no friends...'cept for yo mama."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Very Likely Have a Disorder

A disorder must obviously mean there is an area in your life that is in dis-order. Folks, someone buy me BabyWise and put me on a schedule.

Hi, My name is Dalene, and I am a nap-aholic. (Technically, I've noticed that we follow every addiction name with (alc)ohol-ic. Why do we say things like "I'm a napoholic." Is this the addiction to trainloads of alcohol followed by a nap?

I'm not addicted to alcohol. Therefore I'm a napic.

Family lore tells me that my spunky great grandmother was addicted to her naps. Apparently, like me, she was simultaneously a morning person and a night person. Afternoons? Not so much.

Bad time to call: 2-4pm. But then again, the calls are rare, now that we have this "cyber friendship" thing going on. In case anyone was wondering, my ears and my mouth work as well as they ever did.

But back to the point: When I was in 11th grade, my excessive need for naps drove my parents to take me to the MD. My diagnosis? "Lack of Youthful Zest." Bravo, Senorita MD. Bravo, I say. Keep up the good work and the impeccable diagnostics.

I still lack Zest. I long for normalcy, but it just isn't my bag, baby. I was reading Aristotle tonight, and he encouraged me. He said that the desire for change in life is natural, the way that seasons change. Hey, Aristotle!....you'za speakin my language, bruthu!

I'm not sure what that has to do with naps, but honestly taking a nap makes me feel like I just had two days crammed into one. One day isn't enough. I need two. I must have been a Sears baby.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hippee: Root word=Hip

I feel a plethora of posts coming on.

I have been in summer mode, sans stress--therefore the cathartic act of writing has been an unnecessary element in my life. However, with the approach of school just around the corner (I plan to report the first week of August), my inner freak-out is rising.

Not that I mind! I thrive on an unusually high degree of stress. On the other hand, I had no problem staying up until 2-3am and sleeping in until 11-12 for about three weeks after school got out (oh...and that senior trip to Chi-Town). I'm good at being lazy, too. Too good.

**Off topic***Am I the only one who is psychotically distracted by the improper use of too, to, two, your, you're, its, and it's? These are the things that nightmares are made of. I don't mean to be the grammar police, but they're EVERYWHERE, or should I say: Their everywhere? or how about... THERE everywhere. Ahh...now you see my point.... but I digress***

The vacation was amazing, and it was one of the first times in my life I returned from a vacation actually REFRESHED!! I'm spending my week (try not to be jealous when I write this next part) HANGING OUT AT TULSA COFFEE SHOPS reading while Big Sis goes to a Tulsa Ballet summer intensive. Big Bub is working at the Ranch in NE, and the Little's are going to VBS and loving on Gma and Gpa. So it's just me and all of those cool people who run their life from their laptops. I feel cool.

I stopped by the Salvation Army today, and I found the ****"CUTEST"**** jumper that I was SOOO SOO SOO tempted to buy. Let me tell you about it: DENIM with a cute little embroidered "teacher" apple on the pocket. Buttoned up all of the way. Don't laugh. I may go get it tomorrow and wear it to school on the first day just to get things off on the "right foot." It's a few sizes too big as well, but no matter. I would SO wear this if I could know for sure my students would "get" it, but I'm afraid they might just be dumbfounded into silent stupor. Then again, maybe it's just the ticket.

Big bub finds it the greatest "truth insult" to tell me, "You're a Hippee." Okay. Let's go discuss that over coffee in our second-hand clothes after reading a book. I'll prove to you I aint no hippee.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This montage really doesn't do the trip justice. I took over 1,000 pictures, so there is just no way to tell our story in 3 minutes... so this will have to do. We're not ready to be home! I'm "pretending" that I'm still on vacation. The one place that we fell in love with the most was the one area where my camera batteries were DEAD! So take my word for it, the Wyoming high plains were BREATHTAKING! I want to move to a log cabin. NEVER read Walden right after visiting the beautiful NORTHWEST and Yellowstone regions.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Road Trip to End All Road Trips...

Hmmm...when do you blog when you have been...

Arizona Volcano Fields,
Arizona Rock Formation Viewing,
The Grand Canyon,
Circus Circus in Las Vegas,
Beach bumming in Santa Cruz,
Boardwalk Amusement Park Fun,
San Francisco Fisherman's Warf, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz,
Wine Country Vineyards,
The Redwood Forest,
The Beautiful and Picturesque Oregon Coast,
Fireworks and a bonfire on the beach....

Breathe... and a week of sightseeing still to go~!

Pictures will arrive later.