Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sitting in the Pilot's Seat

The kids and I got to sit in the pilot's seat while we were delayed. We ended up having to get off that plane and book on another flight. We were scheduled to land at Regan in DC at 8:30p. Now scheduled to land at Dulles at 1:30a. That flight is late, already as of 1:30p CA time. Our luggage will be in DC before us.  

Friday, July 6, 2012


by Lois Lowry

Leaving a land to seek a better life across borders makes this story relevant to today's world happenings. Lowry's tale of the demise of a culture that once was sought for safety, is captivating. The Village was a utopian place to escape too, but once there, most could not return to their old life. As time passed some residence of the Village sold away their soles for superficial changes in their appearance. This is a story about selfish gain, but ends with an ultimate act of unselfishness. The deeper I got into the story, the harder it was to put down the book.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hermit Crab and Snails

Grover Beach provided some great opportunities for budding marine biologist's exploration. William found this hermit crab and two snails on the beach. The snails were his first find. Thinking they were only shells, he put them in his pile with the rest of his finds. On closer inspection of one of the snails we found that its foot was pulled up tightly covering the opening of the shell. The same was true for the second snail. Later, William brought up a hermit crab, he found while digging in the sand, which was tucked into its shell as well. We dropped them all into a bucket of sand and water to see what would happen. Before long, the three creatures were peeking out of their shells and moving about in the sand. Watch our video to see these sea creatures in action. Pay particular attention to the snails.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

This is an amazing story of survival on the open seas. Pi Patel, a teenager, survives in a life boat after the ship his family is sailing on, from India to Canada, sinks. His father, a zookeeper, was transporting animals to zoos in North America after selling his zoo in India. Pi was the sole survivor. He tells his story of survival on board a lifeboat with a bangle tiger for seven months.

Martel creates a riveting story of Pi's ordeal at sea. It is amazing how he created an entire story of a young boy floating around on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Surviving life with a huge tiger aboard makes for an interesting story.  He leaves you wondering at the end of the book with a twist in Pi's account of his experience.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin, Twice Toward Justice
by Phillip Hoose

Claudette Colvin, Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose is told through voices from the time. A time when Jim Crow law ruled the south. When racial divide was so deeply rooted African American people were likened to that of a dog. Separated in everything from theaters, water fountains, schools, to bus seating African American people where dehumanized. Is there any wonder why one could not see themselves as the beautiful, powerful, intelligent people they were?

"There is no such thing as 'good hair' -- hair is just hair." Claudette's teacher Miss Nesbitt taught there was history before slavery. She taught her students to love their selves no matter the color of their skin or the length of their hair. Claudette's teachers instilled a fire in her that made her want to make a difference. She dreamed of liberating her people. Teachers can have such an impact on students' lives. We never know who we will touch or whose life we might change. We are powerful people that can change a person's path in life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Writing and Gardening

A garden, like writing, needs to be nurtured to turn into something beautiful. I have neglected both this winter and am struggling to create something impressive.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Epitaph for a Peach

Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on my Family Farm
by David Mas Masumoto

In his book Epitaph for a Peach Masumoto discribes the challenges of farming in the Central Valley of California. Masumoto grows old variety peaches that do not conform to the grocery store standards for shelf life. He has to make many decisions on how to run his family farm.

Spring Work:
Spring is a time when everything is growing, especially the weeds. Masumoto describes his battle with the weeds and the struggle to keep his farm herbicide free. Old variety peach trees, Sun Crests, grow on a plot of the 80 acre land he owns. Trees that were to be bulldozed due to their lack of shelf life on the way to and in grocery stores. Resisting pressures from the way things are done in today's farming, he decides to keep the peach trees.

He learns to "farm in chaos" with the weeds, bugs, and untidy landscape despite his father's perspective on how a farm should look and be run. Masumoto and Pat, a University of California Berkeley, doctoral student in entomology, walk down the rows, through the wildflowers, observing the trees. They question how the fields look, have changed, and the effects of organic growing on the fruit. Through bug and worm attacks Masumoto stays strong to his commitment to keeping his farm herbicide free. He is flexible like "bamboo in the wind."

Summer Work:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Tradition

Grace ready to decorate.
 Hofer Thanksgiving Family Tradition

Courtney and Megan still loving the tradition.



The Best Part




Maggie having fun

The family.

The family 10 cousins




Maggie the youngest.

Courtney the oldest

Great Grandma