Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer (Magazine) Reading

By Elizabeth Prata

I started my Summer Reading Plan on Monday and it's going well. It like it, which means I will probably follow it all the way to the end of summer, like I did last summer. It gives structure to my days, and helps me feel like I accomplished something. Plus, the books are interesting. Really interesting!

In between the stack of books I am reading, I also have a stack of magazines I haven't gotten to. My plan was to read the magazines with coffee on my patio in the mornings, before it got too hot. (The patio is concrete). I wanted to get a little sun on my face and perhaps turn from Casper the Ghost to light brown Italian olive picker. I also planned to clip my succulents and maybe re-pot a few of them. That WAS the plan. Georgia weather had different ideas.

It's been August-hot here since mid-May. Unusually hot temps have seared the state and smashed records. So, I am inside. That is quite all right. I am still having a wonderful summer and enjoying the time off. I feel for the folks in the middle of the country enduring the thunderstorms and tornadoes.

I do hope it rains soon. The once lush spring grass has withered and turned brown, as it will do without water When spring sprung, it seemed as if the green velvet carpet over the pastures would last forever. But the Bible says it will wither. The flowers will fade. (Isaiah 40:8). It happened fast, though. I know the grass will bounce back when the rain does come.

Meanwhile, I have plenty to read. :)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Summer is finally here

By Elizabeth Prata

Summer vacation seems like one long string of days with no weekend.

The last day of school for the kids was Tuesday at noon, and for staff around 1:00 today. Saturday I'd planned on attending a wedding, but I currently have pneumonia, so that's out. So is my church service I attend on Sunday. Monday, Lord willing, if I feel better I will kick off my summer break with a Reading Plan and a Photo A Day series.

Last summer I posted a picture a day from my tiny environs of the small apartment and yard. It was a challenge to myself to be creative and look with a new eye to things I see every day. I don't have exotic locations to go to or interest in selfies or particularly good people skills enough to take street photog. So year before last I took a bunch of pictures of macro subjects. Last year was simply a pic a day to tell the story of the highlight of my day. This year I might go for a theme. Things that Look Like Letters. Or, Metal. Or, Monochrome. Or, Diptych collages. I liked the ideas in this Creative Idea series.
This website states, "Many budding photographers find that their work takes a distinctive leap forward once they start working on a photo series instead of just standalone images. This is because a well-conceived photo series will provide focus and naturally guide the photographer towards uncovering and defining their own distinctive style. This kind of project is excellent for those looking to create a portfolio or Instagram feed with a strong, cohesive look.
Summer is a good time to expand my creativity. I'll be well rested and have no work to go to. Perfect time to widen those photography horizons. If I can stay out of the hospital.

I've had pneumonia several times over the years, as well as an almost annual bronchitis until I left teaching. Then the colds and bronchitis and pneumonia stopped. I've been back to education for ten years now and though the first few years I had successive sinus infections, the last five or so years have been relatively healthy. I've only had to take a day or two off work all year. So I thought I was done with all that. Silly me.

At least the timing is good! School was essentially done and I have 9 weeks to rest and recover.

Now that's enough of that. No one wants to hear of an old lady's medical problems, lol.

Summer is here, the Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I hope you all have fun, good BBQ's in the back yard, pools, beaches, books, fireflies, long-off rumbles of thunder, and peace.

But remember the reason for the holiday. Men and women who fought for America and gave their lives, so that we may have freedom to speak, assemble, vote, and...pursue happiness. As you pursue it this weekend give a prayer to families who are mourning a military loved one.

Happy Summer!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

It's Saturday, but Summer's a coming!

By Elizabeth Prata

We are in the last days. LOL, not the last days before Jesus returns, the last days of school. We conclude the 2018-19 school year on May 21 at noon for the kids and Friday, May 24 for the teachers and staff.

It's hot, the temps are around the mid-80s, and tempers are about as hot. We love each other, but we are tired and worn out. It's just the way it works. When the last day comes, we are all ready to go our separate ways. When August first comes, we are all joyfully ready to see each other again.

This has been a really good year. I am blessed. I love my school. I love my Administrators. I love my Teacher. I love the kids. This year the chemistry among the kids in our class was smooth as butter most days, and they quickly cohered into a working group of pliable and well behaved children. A dream.

People have been asking each other "What are you going to do this summer?" They plan trips, they transport their kids to various sports camps or Christian camps, they swim in their pools. Whatever people plan to do, they are usually items of leisure and ease. Teaching is hard, wearying adn emotionally draining.

Personally I am not planning any trips, but plan to go home and stay there. I want to make progress on Challies' Christian Book Reading plan, study the Bible, write, and nap. I might go on a photo expedition or two and return with lots of pictures to process.

I call it hermit season.

The bliss of dwelling inside my home in clothing that is sensitive on my skin, being quiet, not having to converse, and being relieved of stresses that an autistic mind encounters, is compelling. I have not written much about these kind of struggles, but they are there and they are tiring. I need the summers.

For now, here are a few photos you may enjoy:

Mid-centrury building, Athens Technical College

Cat shaped car perfume:

Saturday Morning coffee with whipped cream