Helping Children Read


Once or twice a week I spend an hour reading with second graders.  I got into this through the example of Bob Kaufman, who was a volunteer with third graders for a dozen years. (I’m only in my fourth year at this.) P1000707

After Bob died last summer, his wife and I gathered funds from his friends and relatives to give books in his memory to Conlee School where he volunteered.  We were able to purchase 37 books for the school library.  booksThe last class “Mr. Bob” worked with will be moving on to Middle School this summer.  Children who read the books in the future won’t know who Bob Kaufman is.  But perhaps some of them will notice the labels and realize that someone cared that their library has these books for them to read. P1000713




The first poppies have appeared in our yard.  Therefore, it is spring.poppy715

It’s plenty warm today.  The temperature may go down again tomorrow or the next day, but the poppies have spoken.poppies716

Happy Feast of Brigid


Or Groundhog Day, or Candlemas, as you prefer.  The sun has made a good strong start on its trip north (yes, I know it is really the earth’s axis that makes the difference, but we all know what it feels like.)  At this cross quarter day we complete the darkest quarter of the year in the northern hemisphere.  The sun doesn’t know it is still winter. P1000705

Pansies in their pot have been holding on through some quite cold mornings.  I hope they survive what is still to come and begin to fill out soon.


Getting to work in the front courtyard, my would-be herb garden, I had a nice surprise.  For the first time ever I have a field of little parsley plants.  This is the result of not being prompt at cutting down the seed heads, but it also required a certain mix of moisture over which I had no control.  I hope these too survive any cold spells still to come.  Surely there won’t be many more, but the worst freeze we’ve had in our years here came at the beginning of February one year.

On cold days it’s nice to light a candle in honor of Brigid, patroness of fire, among other things.