17 June 2013 : Worlds Are Colliding (in a good way)

Remember that episode of Seinfeld when George was concerned because different parts of his life were overlapping? Si & MaddieFor instance, it was a bad thing for him when his fiancé wanted to interact with his closest friends. He wanted those parts of his life to remain isolated and when they started coming together he said, “Worlds are colliding” as if it was a bad thing.

Well, today’s photo shows a couple parts of my life that recently came together in a good way. On the right there is Maddie, who finished up at PSCS last year and now attends The Evergreen State College, the same school from which I graduated in 1988. And on the left there is Si, the young man with whom I began working in 1986 as part of my studies at Evergreen, an experience that very much shaped who I am today.

Last week Maddie and Si got together. That’s a real good thing in my world.

15 June 2013 : Ella’s Wisdom Teeth

There they are, Ella’s wisdom teeth. She had them removed, or should I say extracted, yesterday. Since then she’s been, um, relaxing in her bed.Ella's Teeth

Every 15 minutes she calls for Melinda or me to either give her a couple of ice packs or take them away. Then there are the milkshakes and jello and scrambled eggs (one time with ketchup – what’s up with that?!).

The photo shows two intact teeth and one that had to be split to be removed. The fourth, or perhaps the first, was removed a couple of years ago.

Oops, gotta run. Ice packs are a-calling. 🙂

PS — Thanks to those of you who found a way to raise your hands. I really appreciate that.

13 June 2013 : Raise Your Hand…

Raise Your Hand… if you’ve missed me posting regularly to this blog.

Once I stopped with those daily postings, it’s been much harder to keep up the momentum of posting here.

You know what would help?

Knowing there are people out there who like to read what I have to say.

So raise your hand if you want me to post more often. And in raising your hand, do so in a way that I can see you.

Oh, by the way, I like metaphorical hand raises.

5 June 2013 : 100,000 Miles

100000 MilesThe end of the school year is always a busy time for me. It’s even more so this year because we are hiring a new teacher at PSCS for next year and wrapping up the first year of having a more separated middle school program.

One result, I’ve not posted as regularly here since the wrapping up of the 12 Days of Kindness.

Symbolically, then, when our Subaru hit the 100,000 mile mark a few minutes ago as Melinda and I drove back from Woodinville (about 25 miles from Seattle), having consummated our latest CraigsList transaction, it seemed apt.

There is a lot going on. There still is a lot to do.

1 June 2013 : Poor Ella

Here are some things to think about.

Ella & BellaMelinda & I founded PSCS in 1994 (along with a dedicated group of parents and support from our founding board). Ella was born in 1996, meaning PSCS has been a significant part of her life. Ella became a student at PSCS in 2008.

The basic point I’m trying to make is that Ella hasn’t had a lot of time at PSCS that doesn’t involve Melinda and me.

So another thing to think about. Tonight is the first-ever PSCS dance. And, get this, Ella, at age 16, did not want Melinda and me involved in it.

But a few minutes ago one of our staff members, a chaperone at tonight’s dance, sent to Melinda and me this picture of Ella (on the left) with her friend Isabella.

And here I am posting it on my blog.

Poor Ella.

27 May 2013 : Where Did The Time Go?

My “4 Day Weekend” is over. I took Friday off for my 50th birthday and then had the standard 3 day Memorial Day Weekend holiday.

Last Night's DinnerI remember thinking on Thursday night that this would be SO nice, having 4 straight days to relax, catch up on sleep, enjoy the fact that I had turned 50. Now, on Monday night, the idea of a 4 day “vacation” seems so quaint. Where did the time go? What did I do with it?

Well, last night, with both Chloe and Ella out, I made a special dinner for Melinda and me. Homemade deviled eggs with smoked salmon and lettuce wraps with fresh crab, complemented with avocado and raw almonds.

Not bad, eh?

That’s actually where the time went. Not any LONG events, but a lot of wonderful short ones. Next up, the last 12 days of the school year. Speaking of 12 days, I archived the 12 Days of Kindness so folks can access the site any time.

24 May 2013 : Metric Birthdays

Enough of this 50th birthday nonsense! What we need is Metric Birthdays!

Instead of counting in years, we’d count in months. Big celebrations come at 10 months, 100 months, etc.Andy on His 600th Month

Get this, you’d be eligible to get your license on your 200 month, vote at 225, and drink at 250. 50 years wouldn’t be such a big deal (other than it equals 600 months, a nice number), but 500 months might be. And imagine the celebrations you could have for 1000 months!

At lunch today Melinda called these “Metric Birthdays.” Together, we figured Ella has a big one coming up in August this summer, 200 months. It was her 16th birthday last December but it got lost in the end-of-the-year holidays, like happens to her birthday every year. But on August 18th she’ll be 200 months old, a Metric Birthday!

What we need to throw for Ella is a “Sweet 200 Month Party!”

As a wrap-up to all the focus I’ve given my 50th birthday, I salute Metric Birthdays. Included today is a photo taken in our backyard tonight, my family on my 600th month!

23 May 2013 : My Mom & Me

Carib & Andy, 5/23/13Ella took this photo just a minute ago at my parents’ apartment. We’re over here right now in advance of heading out to dinner with a large group of family and extended family members.

My niece Jessica, who celebrated her birthday 3 days ago (remember that post?), is in town with her husband, Vince. Vince wanted to surprise Jessica with a get-together with family members in the Seattle area during her birthweek (there’s that term again). Tonight’s dinner is the result.

Back to this photo. It’s of my mom and me, in case you can’t tell, and it was taken to be included in an article being written about my work at PSCS and with kindness by Penzey’s Spices. They asked for some recipes, too, and I tapped my mom for help. After I completed my interview, they asked for a photo of my mom and me.

Got it? 🙂

So you could say I’ve been enlisting some partners today. That’s good, considering today’s theme in the 12 Days of Kindness is to enlist a partner.

22 May 2013 : The Gift of Public Libraries

So a couple of days ago I mentioned the concept of birthweek presents. Celeste & Chocolate MousseAs I was driving home from school today I was thinking about that again, and also got to thinking about those things that are just provided on a regular basis that, like a present, are pretty darn nice things to have.

An example? A public library.

So today I gratefully accept as one of my birthweek presents all public libraries. Just think about them. You go in and for no money at all you come out with books, and movies, and CDs. And they let you sit down inside and warm up, use their computers, and have a quiet place to think. That’s a heck of a present.

Speaking of great presents, two years ago Celeste, seen in today’s photo, made a big bowl of mousse au chocolat on my 48th birthday. I like chocolate mousse so much it might be even better than a public library. That’s saying something.

Another nice thing? Reaching out to someone with whom you’ve lost touch.

21 May 2013 : Moments of Worth

Moments of WorthMany of you know I am a sports fan. What you might not know is that being a sports fan in Seattle carries with it a fair amount of pain. For instance, it’s 10pm and I’m just barely home from an over 12 hour day at PSCS. I’m tired and ready to wind down, perhaps even catch the tail end of the Mariners’ baseball game.

They are behind 11-0.

Ah, sweet agony.

On the cerebral side of being a Mariners’ fan there is this blog called U.S.S. Mariner. The authors there really know what it’s like to be a Mariners’ fan. Their posts, regardless of how well (poorly) the team is playing, are consistently interesting.

Take this entry called “Moments of Worth.” It’s got some good life advice built right in. So what if the Mariner’s lost yesterday’s game because the pitcher dropped the ball while covering first base? Moments earlier he had struck out a batter with a nasty curveball. Focus on the nasty curveball. It’s a “moment of worth.”

Take a look at this photo of adorable Ella. It’s another “moment of worth,” complete with a single word of advice.

Speaking of advice, here is some good advice from the 12 Days of Kindness.