Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bye, Bye Box

This is me mailing my Box to the processing center. What Box is this, you ask? Oh,'s the Box full of 40-ish pages of documentation about my teaching. The documentation is going to a processing center to be scored, to see if I can requalify to be a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). I first qualified as an NBCT in 2000. It's a rigorous process, but so worthwhile. I have never regretted the hours of work it took for me to quality the first time.

And now my 10-year certificate is almost expired! So I'm applying to renew, still a demanding process, but not nearly as demanding as the first time around. Back in 2000, my portfolio of required documentation was about 4 times as extensive as the one I sent in today. Plus there was an all-day test to take as part of the process; no test-taking this time.

Might as well sit back and relax...I won't get my results back until November. I'm headed to the soaky tub right now, and then early to bed.

It made me sooooo happy to send that box off in the mail today...

Monday, April 26, 2010

You won't remember me...

...but I will remember you.

That's what I said to little Olivia today as I said goodbye to her, and Katie and Bryan, at the airport this afternoon.

Did Heavenly Father say that to each of us, as he sent us on our way down to Earth?

(We plan to see Olivia again in June, and then again maybe next April. After that, who knows? Such a long time to be away from a little granddaughter.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Oregon Stories" Book Launch

Oregon Stories was launched today in an event at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. I felt so honored to be a part of it! Even more fun, as I read through the table of contents, I discovered that quite a few Oregon City HS students were included in the book.

I think I did a fairly credible job of reading my story. Mark was assigned to take photos, but alas, they all came out blurry. :( So you'll just have to believe that I was there in front about 50 people, reading my story. I did remember to read slowly, and use expression as I read.

And what would an author be without her mother in the audience? My sweet parents had already come into town on Thursday to visit with Katie, Bryan and Olivia, but they stayed an extra day to come to the book launch. Thank you, Mom and Dad! Julia, Michael, and Maddy, and Katie, Bryan, and Olivia were there, too.

The other Oregon City authors I found in the table of contents...Heather Wickersham (my teaching buddy from last year, who now teaches in Hawaii), Jeff Lovelady, Jaimie Hays, Eli Hermanson, Andrew Schell, Kayla Livesay, Terra McClellan, Dallas Crone, and Kelly Luke.

All but two of them are my former students, and I can assure you that a couple of those boys did not consider themselves writers when they first came to my classroom. I hope they are pleased to be their writing teacher, I am just thoroughly tickled to have validation for what I keep telling my students: you are all writers, and you all have stories to share.

The book is listed on I've only had a chance to read a few of the stories yet, but I have enjoyed all of the ones I've read so far. There is quite a diverse range of Oregon stories in the collection. I recommend it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April at the Oregon Coast

I was able to snag a little flex time today, and used it to run away to the coast with Katie, Bryan, and Olivia!

Gorgeous rain...steady winds out of the north.

Katie, Bryan, and Olivia at Haystack Rock

Making a new friend...he didn't say much.

Olivia's first time at the beach!

Oh, how I love baby toes!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oregon 150

Oregon celebrated 150 years of statehood on February 14, 2009. Of course there was a lot of hype leading up to that moment, but it can be useful to pause once in a while and reflect on where we have been and where we might be headed.

The celebrations had an official website: Oregon 150, and along with all the announcements of events, there was a neat link where Oregonians were invited to share their stories. I turned it into a classroom assignment, and although a fair number of my students grumbled, they were actually pretty pleased to see their stories published online.

I turned in a story, too. So did Katie. Fun to read--you can still find the stories on the Oregon 150 website, although they're not accepting new ones any more. Sad day.

Then someone got the bright idea of selecting 150 of the stories (hundreds were submitted...maybe thousands?) and publishing them in a book. One of my former students dropped by to say that her story had been selected! Then I heard that another story from a student at the high school would be included.

Then I heard that my story would be one of the 150 stories in the book! O frabjous day!

That was several months ago. Now the book is all ready to make it's debut. The book launch will be this Saturday, from 2:00-4:00 pm at the Oregon Historical Society. Contributors were given an opportunity to prepurchase copies at a discount. (Alas, no royalties...hahaha.)

But oh what fun - I've been asked to read my story at the event! Ahem...I will be reading at 2:30-ish. Like an author. Maybe with a microphone. timely is this...the title of the piece is "Volcano Weather." (Which I hope calms down soon in Europe.)

Local friends, you're welcome to come to the book launch on Saturday afternoon, if you like!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Camassia - time for a visit NOW!

Looking for results from the Goat Mountain Gallop? Click here! Hint...I had a great time!

The giveaway is all finished, but it's never too late to donate to the Clean Water project.

The camas lilies are in bloom! If you live in the Portland area, run, do not walk, to Camassia right away! The lilies will only be in bloom for another week or two. If you don't go, here is what you will be missing:

Wildflower meadow
Basalt outcroppings in the wildflower meadow
Stay on the paths...the camas lilies are fragile.
Bumblebee working the camas lilies.

Camas lily bulbs were a staple food for Native Americans in our region. Their blue flowers color whole meadows at Camassia right now, mixed with a variety of other wildflowers. 

Camassia is a nature preserve owned and maintained by The Nature Conservancy. If you aren't lucky enough to live near Camassia, go to The Nature Conservancy website and check to see what preserves are near you. You would be surprised to learn how many are nearby--little pockets of wild land in the midst of our urban and suburban areas, all over the globe.

If you're trying to get to Camassia from Oregon City, here are the directions:
Take the OC/West Linn bridge into West Linn.
Turn left, to get to Willamette Falls Dr.
Do NOT turn right to go to WLHS.
Turn right on Sunset Ave and cross I-205.
Immediately, turn right on Walnut St. You will not believe me. It looks like a little, dead-end, residential street - which is what it is, but really and truly, Camassia is waiting for you at the end.
Park in the very small parking area at the end of Walnut St. 
Prepare to enter into another world.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Feeling Sooooooo Stoopid

Had a long, busy (but productive) day. Hurried home with about 15 minutes of down time before I had to scramble into Portland for the "Sharing the Road" traffic class, so I won't have to pay for my ticket.

Horrible traffic. It took over an hour to get to Emanuel Hospital, in Portland, where the class is held, because tonight was also the last game of the season for the Blazers (Portland basketball team), and their arena is just a few blocks south of the hospital. Every intersection took about 5 minutes. Lots of yoga breathing. I was afraid the doors would lock promptly at 7:00, and they wouldn't let me in!

Found a parking space at 7:02 and hurried in. Went to the table marked "G-J" for registration. The lady asked for my name, and I thought Gee, that's quite a system--they must pull the names off the tickets and get them through the computer system.

"Haynie," I said. "Kathy Haynie."

She looked at her list. I wasn't on it. I spelled it for her. Still no Haynie. Hmmmmm.

"Did you call ahead to preregister?" she asked.


"It says right here on the class information the officer gave you," she said, as she underlined the must call to preregister at least 24 hours in advance with her sharp yellow pencil.

I told her it had taken me over an hour to get there. I told her I hadn't realized I needed to preregister. She couldn't have been more than 25 years old, but the fact that I was middle-aged didn't matter, either. No preregistration, no entrance, no class. Period.

I drove home, feeling numb. And dumb. (At least the traffic wasn't so bad going out of town.) I tried to figure out why I was so upset. I really don't want to pay for this ticket, but it's more than that. It's about feeling like the system is big and impersonal and I think I'm in some kind of denial about the whole thing. I really didn't want to go to the class tonight, and now the whole process will become even more complicated, and I'll still have to go to this class.

After an hour of sitting at home, I finally dragged the class information and the ticket out of my purse, and actually read them, all the way through, for the first time. Why hadn't I done that before? I'm the literacy specialist at a high school with over 2,000 students, and I hadn't even read all the fine print?!?! I can just see the look of amused superiority I would have bestowed upon a student who would do such a thing.

And suddenly I have a picture of myself and how ridiculous my pouty-party is. This is such a little thing in the grand scheme of life. As stupid as I feel about getting a ticket, and not reading the paperwork, and showing up for a class I hadn't registered for, that's all small stuff.

So I have to mail in the ticket with a plea of not guilty and get a new court date. And call ahead to preregister for the class. This too will pass. It's a little inconvenient, but the worst that can happen is that I would have to pay for the whole ticket, and I think there's still a chance to forestall that outcome.

In the meantime, I'm going to try real hard to stop being so pressured and stressed that I don't even give myself time to sit down and read something important. And I'm going to try to stop feeling like I'm so much better than all the rest of those careless drivers that get tickets. And I'm going to try to just stop and laugh at myself a little more often. Because I sure am a doofus sometimes!

If you've read all the way to the end, you must be a real friend. I hope you have a great day! I'm so excited about just two more days of training, and then I get to race in the Goat Mountain Gallop!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Launch

Looking for the Giveaway?
You can sponsor me in the Goat Mountain Gallop, 
and help families who don't have clean water. Click here.

Last night Mark and I went to a book launch for Robin Cody's new book. I love the stuff Robin Cody writes. He's not hugely famous; he doesn't get on the best-seller list, he's not in the New York Times.

He's just one of the best writers in Oregon.

I've used his novel, Ricochet River in teaching an Oregon Literature class for the last ten years. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It is a universal story set squarely in the Northwest. Beautiful, gorgeous.

And then there's his first nonfiction book, Voyage of a Summer Sun. He wrote it after he canoed the entire Columbia River, from clear up in British Columbia at its headwaters, all the way to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria. A great adventure, with wonderful stories.

This new book, Another Way the River Has, is also set in the Northwest, and it's also nonfiction. It's a collection of short essays that are rich and evocative and moving and sometimes even funny.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the review in the Sunday Oregonian:

"As I lay in the cabin, waiting for sleep, the moon broke clear and silver and bright," Cody writes. " Light from the long gone sun -- in a sensational bank shot -- reflections off reflections -- bounced from the moon, ricocheted off the river, and rippled the white ceilings of 'The Turtle.'" 

I love his idea, that the moonlight on the ceiling of his boat's cabin was really sunlight that had bounced around the heavens like some laser basketball, ricocheting off the moon and then the river and then into his cabin.

Here's another one:

"Wisps of vapor danced across the river, and the songbirds were just a-going it. I walked back to the net-minding platform, newly attuned to an orgy of life and death at the threshold. Life at the border between water and land is richer than elsewhere. All along the wet mud bar were tiny air holes for little breathers taking on tinier fuel. Here in the back-and-forth wash of salt and fresh water, noiseless mouths and claws and filters were at work on the business of life. An aroma of rich rot filled the still air as the sun broke above the ridge to the east, powering up the whole haunting and wondrous system." 

His wife teases him that it takes him 15 years to write a book. I think with prose as finely distilled as this, it's a wonder it doesn't take 30 years.

I bought one of his books and took it over to the table where he was autographing. He's been out to the high school probably 7 or 8 times as a guest author, and one time I interviewed him for a writing assignment I was doing, and we might have bumped into one another 2 or 3 other times. One time I stopped at his house to buy some more copies of Ricochet River for my classroom, but I certainly don't consider myself a close buddy or anything like that. When I got up to the autograph table, he looked up at me, and I could tell that he recognized me, but couldn't remember my name. I'm sure my former students see that identical look on my face all the time in the school hallways. So I supplied my name; no big deal. But then, this evening when I checked my inbox, Robin had sent me an email apologizing for forgetting my name last night! What a gem.

Like I said, I love the stuff Robin writes, but I also love how down-to-earth and human he is. If you're looking for a good read, run to Powell's or and pick up a copy of Another Way the River Has.

(Note to Annemarie: Yes, I picked up a copy for you, too. Email me your snail mail address and I'll send it to you. Note to Dorothy and Julia: Sure, you can borrow my copy, but you'll have to wait till June; I'm already using it in my classroom, starting this morning.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fabric Balls - Update

Looking for the giveaway? Click here!

Susan from Mesquite Toy Lady emailed to say that she has made several of the fabric balls for her nieces and nephews. But the best thing is that she made one to give away through her sneaky giveaway program. She drops off toys at different sites in town and lets children find them and adopt them! What fun would that be! Check out her blog and all the darling toys she has made for her toy giveaway. Here's a photo of one of the balls she made.
Looks like Susan did something I've been thinking about...she added some cute buttons at the intersections to that pink one at the top and the blue and green one in the lower left corner. (Do sew buttons on VERY securely, and keep choking hazards in mind...) I keep thinking I should put a little jingle bell inside the ball as I'm stuffing it.

For instructions on making these balls, here's the link on my blog.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Play Day in the Columbia River Gorge

I'm happy to hike just about anywhere, but the Columbia River Gorge is an especially wonderful place to spend a day. Yesterday was sunny and clear, and we headed out for Eagle Creek.

While I was waiting for Mark to get his boots laced up, I read a nearby sign with the history of the Eagle Creek area. The trail was built in 1915 - nearly 100 years old! - and intrepid hikers used to come out on the train before the Gorge Highway was built later that year. The Eagle Creek campground (back by the trailhead) was also established in 1915, and it was the first U.S. Forest Service campground.

We didn't stop to take a lot of photos, because I was supposed to be training for next weekend's Goat Mountain Gallop, but here are a few of our fun play day.

Mark had to check out the fish ladder near the trailhead. 
Note the stylin' hat and sunglasses!

This is such a nice trail.
It's well-graded, and the climb is gradual and steady,
with something new to see around every turn.

One of the most common sights along Eagle Creek is a waterfall.
Here's one peeking through the trees, coming in on the other side of Eagle Creek.

Magnificent Punchbowl Falls, on the main creek.
Sometimes when I can't sleep at night,
I lie in bed and imagine Punchbowl Falls,
 roaring away in the dark.

I love the talus slopes.
"Talus" is the stuff that breaks off rocky outcrops above.
The talus slopes are always full of light, since trees don't grow here.

I couldn't resist playing on this rock. 
Can you see Eagle Creek behind the rock...waaaay down there?

We hiked in as far as High Bridge, 3 miles in, but it turned out to be a 7-mile round-trip hike because we did a little exploring here and there, and also the trailhead parking lot was full, so we had to park a little further out. By the end of 7 miles, I was feeling strong and fit - I think I'm as ready as I can get for the Goat Mountain Gallop next Saturday! I'll take some "maintenance" training walks - 3 or 4 miles at a time - throughout the week, so I stay in shape, but I don't want to start the Gallop already tired and sore, so I think that will be enough, along with my regular Curves workouts.

After we came home, we did some dreaming and scheming about what we might someday build on the back part of our property. Then we did the normal Saturday stuff--grocery shopping and laundry--and turned in at a decent hour.

Hope you had a wonderful Saturday, too. Don't forget to check out my giveaway on yesterday's post!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Giveaway! It's time to Bubble and Splash!

Check out my giveaway on The Skinny!

Because you CAN Change the World.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

That Siren Song...

...was in my rear-view mirror this afternoon. What?  Moi?? I kept hoping he just wanted me to get out of the way so he could go catch the bad guy, but no...apparently I was the bad girl.

I was mortified. This is the first ticket I have ever had in my whole entire life, and I'm no youngster. So much for being proud of that particular statistic. Sigh.

Why did I get pulled over, you ask? Big sigh.

I was in Portland. On a twisty road that was splitting into two in front of me. For the first time. At rush hour.

Portland, with lots of bushy growing things in the way, so you can't read the street signs. I couldn't tell whether to veer left or right. I was in the left lane, but the road to the right seemed to be the main road, so I went that way.

Actually, let me rephrase that. I was in the left-turn-only lane. And I didn't turn left. And one of Portland's finest was right behind me on his motorcycle, ready to keep the world safe from non-left-turners like me.

At least I managed to produce driver's license, proof of insurance, and registration upon request. At least I didn't cry, at least not much, and that wasn't until the very end, when he was chiding me for doing something dangerous. I had been doing my yoga breathing up until that point, but when I stopped breathing and opened my mouth to explain to him that I was lost and didn't know how to get to the intersection I needed, I began to get a little moist around the edges.

At least the story has a fairly happy ending. The price of the ticket made me wince ($287.00!!!), but I can go to a 2-hour naughty drivers class, and then show up in traffic court in Portland, and have the ticket waived. And then, when the officer found out that I was lost in a confusing part of Portland, he said, "Follow me," pulled out into traffic ahead of me, and very gallantly delivered me to my destination.

Safe and sound. See you in traffic school.

Stay tuned...the Bubble & Splash Giveaway is coming soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bubble and Splash Giveaway! (Coming soon...)

Want to help me change the world? Would you like to win a handmade prize? Here's an idea that could accomplish both things at once!

I am so often troubled by the difficulties in the wide world, and wish I could do something to help. Do you often feel that way, too?

Celebrating Easter today, and thinking of the Savior's love for each of us, makes my heart hurt when I think of so many who have so little.

This month in National Geographic, I have been reading about water, and what a precious commodity it is across the world. More than a billion people lack access to sanitary drinking water. Every year, more than 3 million people, most of them children, die from diseases related to unclean water and poor hygiene.

But how can the abundant water of the Northwest help someone in a dry African village? Well, I have an idea...

Stay tuned...I'll be posting more information in the coming days about my ideas for how we can help people get access to clean water and how you could win a nifty handmade prize in the process!

And Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Map has the Measles

Ok, I know this is probably a once-in-a-blog-lifetime thing, but I am just so amazed and tickled to have had over 400 separate visitors to my blog today! And more than 150 yesterday! This is truly amazing to me...

First Polly very kindly featured a link to my Fabric Ball tutorial on her oh-so-crafty blog, Helping Little Hands. Then she forwarded my Fabric Ball tutorial to Rachel at, and Rachel put a link on her blog, which gets lots of traffic, yesterday. Then Anne at put a link on her blog today.

How cool is this? Scroll down the blog here, looking on the right-hand side, and look for the little map of the world that's a ways down...see it? See what I mean? It looks like it has the measles! Those are all the places people have come from today to look at my little old craft tutorial. How cool is that?

And just above the map is the little counter gizmo, showing...oh! Three more visits since I started writing this post!

Ah, well...the excitement will die down soon, I know, and I'll be back to normal blogging with a few faithful readers and an occasional random (and always welcome) visitor. Fame is fleeting. Polly and Katie will have many more visitors to their blogs over time, because I hardly ever post a craft tutorial. In fact, did you notice that Polly has a link on One Pretty Thing the same day as me? Those are (granddaughter) Katie's legs in the picture with the embellished jeans, the row above the fabric ball. And (daughter) Katie's bunny hat was linked the same day in the Easter section.

And speaking of being famous, today's links at One Pretty Thing include Dorothy's onesie dresses! Guess who sent an email to Rachel suggesting that she check out Dorothy's genius tutorial???

April Fools Day

Did you get fooled? I did. But before I tell you about that, here are some darling photos of Maddy on her 1st birthday yesterday!
Patrolling the kitchen.
"You mean I have to grow that big??
"Ready or not, here I come!"

Isn't she a cutie! She brightens every day here at our house. She's had a tough first year with lots of medical issues, but she is developing right on schedule, and she's always ready for fun. For sure, she's an extrovert like her mama! Maddy fooled us last year, when we all thought she was coming on March 31, but no...I think she'll have lots of fun with April Fools all through her life!

(Her darling dress was made by Dorothy, who does all kinds of things in wonderful ways. You can check out more of her cute projects here. Sorry, it's too late for the giveaway, but check out her post today for some easy gardening tips.)

Then I got fooled by...Mother Nature...can't do much to fight that. Yesterday was gorgeous, our only sunny day after a week of rain, and rain again this morning, with rain forecast for another week. 

Not that I mind the rain that much. I've learned to live my life with rain gear, and I haven't melted yet. Still, I was excited to get out in the sunshine! I came home from work, all set to put on my walking shoes and head out for a 3-mile training walk up hill and down, preparing for my 1/2 marathon on April 17. 

But then Mark reminded me about the lawns. And the forecast. And the fact that, out of four adults living in our household, I was the only one healthy enough to mow the lawns yesterday. (In April in our part of Oregon, the grass grows like crazy. You have to mow it at least once a week, or it becomes a horrendous job. We live on 3/4 acre, so there's lots to mow, and the other three adults in the house were all sick. Julia has bronchitis, Mark had missed two days of work due to flu, and Michael is still recovering from a sprained ankle.)

My consolation prize was that I put in nearly 3 miles, marching around and around behind the mower in our big yard. And I was out in the sunshine...

Finally, after dinner, Michael announced that he had some news. He was laid off last month, so our ears naturally perked up. He proceeded to announce that he had been talking with his brother, who has been a contract worker in Afghanistan for the last few years, and his brother had lined him up with a two-year contract, making good money, in Iraq. And that Julia and the kids would be moving to the east coast to live in Michael's cousin's house, and help take care of Michael's mom. And that...

At this point, Julia couldn't keep a straight face anymore. I was trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, and then Michael reminded me that it was April 1. Hahahaha...good laugh at the mother-in-law's expense. (That's ok, Michael...I'm sure this hasn't affected your standing as a son-in-law. Just remember that I don't get mad...I get even!)

Happy April 2nd, friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feeling Kind of Famous

Wow, I got linked to the "One Pretty Thing" blog! Rachel liked my tutorial about making fabric balls. She has a wonderful blog, with many new links to fun projects every day. Check her out here!

Friday update:
And today I got linked here! Wow - lots of visitors to my blog today. :)