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Friday, April 25, 2008

Invictus ~ Etsybloggers Blog Carnival

Mrs. Walters was a legend. She was our 9th grade English teacher; we believed she had been teaching 9th grade English since the building had been built. Her classroom was on the second floor, and there was the rumor - well, not so much rumor as unquestionable myth - that she had once held an unruly student upside down by the ankles out one of the classroom windows.

Yes, Mrs. Walters was a legend. She had a cat named "Cat" and a dog named "Dog." You did not question why. And it was in Mrs. Walters' 9th grade English class that I memorized the only poem that I still recall completely today...memorizing this poem was a requirement for passing the class. I seem to remember her explaining something about the poem speaking to us about life, but in 9th grade, I just remember the challenge of memorizing and reciting. It is now that the poem speaks to me. Thank you, Mrs. Walters.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of Circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
-William Ernest Henley

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Where It All Began!

Spring break was this week...and it was time for a road trip ~ sandy beaches, Florida sunshine, you say? Oh, no, not us! We headed north for an awesome time in the great city of Toronto (thanks so much, Anne & Mike!! :-)) It really was a terrific trip ~ and I had a chance to visit the great bead shop "where it all started" ~ "The Sassy Bead Co.". Yep, this is where I made my very first pair of earrings just over 2 1/2 years ago, and I'm still convinced "Sassy" has some of the best beads around ~ so you know I didn't come home empty handed!

Hannah was really impressed with how "green-minded" Toronto was ~ emphasis on recycling everything, heavy participation and publicity for the Earth Hour Lights Out event (our first night there)....we ate by candlelight that first night in a great pub for the "Lights Out" event and the city newspaper was still publishing articles concerning the impact for several days following the event.

The CN Tower, of course, rises above the skyline as you enter the city, and we had a beautiful, sunny early spring day to visit it while we were there ~ so clear for a wonderful view all around!

Our last evening in the city we saw a great show ~ Dirty Dancing, the Musical. It was wonderful! If you know Hannah, be sure to ask her what she thought of the lead who played Johnny Castle! :-) It was the perfect end to an awesome "alternative" spring break. We also highly recommend the shops on Bloor, Yonge, and Queen St. West and the terrific dining experiences ~ Hannah now loves Thai and Greek food, thanks to this trip! She is also trying to figure out how to make University of Toronto a viable post-high school option - go figure!