Monday, July 30, 2012

School Supplies from the Tucson Community

When I worked as a Reading Seed Volunteer, I became familiar with the ongoing needs of kids in school for pencils, tablets--just the basics--at Pueblo Gardens Elementary School.  Most often the teachers I worked with bought the supplies and, before the Fall term had ended, were also buying toilet paper and paper towels to supplement the school's budget.

Walgreen's stores, Starbucks and others in the Tucson community are collecting supplies and I have done my part to add to this badly needed resource.  Here's a picture of a full basket at Starbucks.

 Have you had the opportunity to donate yet?  A little goes a long way and most of the school supply stores have ganga-bargains so the dollars can be stretched to the max.  Consider giving what you can and then add a pencil more to your donation.  It makes a big difference to kids to have new supplies, particularly at a time when many families are working more than two jobs to make ends meet.  I know we can make this fall's school supplies collection another "brightspot" in Tucson.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reading Partners is a Tucson "BrightSpot"

It's a goal of mine to keep shining the light on small miracles of our community, and naming them as a community "brightspot".  So here's mine for this week (and tooting my own horn a bit, as the Reading Partner at the Pima Library):

I can't take pictures of the children I read to or read with but I can tell you about one this past week who really brought joy to my day:  red-headed little Leah.  I am guessing she is about 3-4 years old and she knows her dinosaurs!  She didn't want to leave the story group but her encouraging parents needed to get on with her day and so, new books gathered in her arms, she left with a smile and "I will be back...."  I see different kinds of families and kids but if I can make one connection to an emerging or new reader each week, it lights up my week and beyond.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

BrightSpot: Second Saturdays Tucson

Last night, due to the cooling temp after a valley monsoon rain, we went to Second Saturday Tucson for the (free) viewing of Hulot's Holiday at the Screening Room.  Here's a link that shows a short clip of the movie which we found "tres charmant".  Mark said, "no wonder the French love Jerry Lewis" and I said, "I bet Peter Seller's Clouseau character (from The Pink Panther series) took some tips from this French clown."  We would definitely return (and even pay admission) to laugh at another of Hulot's adventures.

The Screening Room hosts the annual Arizona International Film Festival each April and a couple years ago I wrote a movie review of one of their films.  They can always use new volunteers for various events and their Arizona Underground Film festival return in late September:

Second Saturdays in Tucson are fun, and another "brightspot" worth sharing and experiencing.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

farmer's tribute

My uncle, David Dice, an Indiana farmer died last week.  He was buried (so my cousin tells me) in his bib overalls.  I wrote this poem as a tribute to him:

Farmer's Tribute

There I am in June,
sitting behind the wheel
of a big red tractor
in a field of corn.
My uncle guides my hands.
The black clods of dirt
turn against the Firestone tires
grinding into fine mounds of soil.

Later in the season,
my uncle will bring in the harvest.
He will drive his truck
with bushels of sweet ears
to my Grandparents' Illinois farm.

Grandmother will shuck and boil.
Aunts, uncles, cousins will gather in the sweet grass
and suck the lathered cobs,
golden butter streaming down our cheeks.
Strawberries picked that morning
will blend in the ice cream
my grandad cranks to the rhythm of his heartbeat.
Dessert seals the meal
as fireflies dance
against a dusky September sky.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I like to share words that I like.  Here is another one:

pensée \pahn-SEY\, noun:

A reflection or thought.

He rose from his deep chair and at his desk entered on the first page of a new notebook a pensee: The penalty of sloth is longevity.
-- Evelyn Waugh, Unconditional Surrender

In a pensee that could have been cribbed from Mae West's daybook, she also said, “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married!”
-- Karen Karbo, How to Hepburn

Pensée comes directly from the French word of the same spelling which means "a thought".