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April Jollie

                          The Lighthouse's Daughter

I am from jacks, marbles, and pick up sticks.
I am from the concrete walkway around the light house.
Red, 175 feet high, a shiny beacon in the night
I am from Ponce DeLeon Inlet,
the frequently sought waterway passage,
of shifting sandbars and strong currents.

I'm from scraped paint and polished brass,
from carrying the kerosene, and recording the daily weather
I'm from the blue uniformed keepers
and the protector of the light.
From It must be lit! To quick hang the drapes!
I'm from guiding the lost,
and strengthening the weary,
and promising a safe haven.

I'm from Mosquito Lagoon and the Halifax River,
Fried fish and fresh rain water
From the fright Jingles causes Billy at the open window,
to the narrow ledge,
scooting his bruised knees to push his beloved puppy to safety.

Under my bed was a pair of shoes
Faded black cloth,
Worn down, but comfy to my toes.
I am from those hardworking days
Complete your chores-
Before you run to play-
My siblings are my best friends. 

Written for fun after wondering what it must have been like to have lived as a child at the lighthouse, please bless.

Hushing my anxious thoughts, I wait for quiet calmness.
A hidden treasure protected by high steep walls.
Listening to the silence breathe,
a tiny voice whispers deep within my soul.
In the stillness of the early morning light, it sings to me.
Simmering beneath the ashes, it waits.
A precious spark reveals a rich legacy.
Fanning the tiny flame, I encourage it to grow.
For the warmth of God's love desires to be shown. 

Press for ideas for a title, or whether I should change the line about the spark to "A precious spark fuels a rich legacy."  Thanks for reading!

Math is as easy as blasting to the moon
Or tickling a giant angry baboon.

Math is as easy as hugging a grizzly bear
Or catching a dragon with a snare.

Math is as easy as discovering Aladdin’s magic lamp
Or outsmarting a hungry vamp.

Math is as easy as breathing fire
Or gliding through the air as a circus high flyer

Math is as easy as swimming with sharks
or catching millions of tiny sparks

Math is as easy as preparing a gigantic Thanksgiving feast
Or fighting one-handed a monstrous beast

Math is as easy as bowling a game of three hundred
Or discovering a pirate’s secret plunder

Math is as easy as pulling your loose tooth
Or batting more runs than Babe Ruth

Please bless my Math Poem

                                      Missing Ingredient

     My entire childhood revolved around Grandma Marie’s dining room table.   Whether arriving at breakfast, lunch, or dinner time, a comforting aroma always welcomed me home.  On occasion, the savory scent drifting from her kitchen attracted complete strangers.  Door to door salesmen ensnared by the Cajun spices immediately became family friends.   My aunt joked about the spicy smell of Andouille sausage, roasted chicken, and garlic muddling a person’s senses.  Even if you initially resisted the temptation, the heaping bowl of rich mahogany broth would eventually lure everyone to the table.  Once, Uncle Kenny drove 500 miles just to scoop up a bowl of our family favorite.  Devouring bowl after bowl, everyone always craved more gumbo!
     Pondering the gumbo’s mysterious ingredients, I begged my Grandma for a copy of her recipe.   Her smiling eyes crinkled as she shook her poufy hair.  Disappointed at her reluctance to share, my determination to discover grew. 
     Capturing her recipe became my mission.  Whenever I suspected she might be creating her roux, I would huddle near the stove top following her every step.  Carefully observing her wrist movements with the array of spices, I noticed she never measured anything.  The little bottles of seasonings soon became one giant blur.  While hastily scribbling down the special ingredients, I swear I saw her grin.  “About that much of flour should do it.  Added some white flour to breakfast’s bacon drippings.   Keep stirring until it’s brown.” Her mocking voice sounded like a poor imitation of Julia Childs. Sighing in frustration, my hand cramped as I calculated her adjustments.  Her fingers were moving so fast adding “a pinch of this” and “just a spoonful more of that.” 
     As the hours ticked by, the roux slowly thickened.  Hovering near the giant pot, I would frequently spot her smelling the broth.  She would dip her small spoon down into the hearty blend of bay leaves, onions, and green peppers.  Waving it side to side beneath her nose, she inhaled a deep breath.  Gently pushing my hand away, she reminded me the flavors need to blend overnight.  Reluctantly, I acknowledged a bowlful would be tomorrow’s delight.

     At the end of the day, I admired my new recipe card.  It was a surprisingly short list of ingredients. There just had to be more to it than that!  My eyes followed my own written directions for my Grandma’s gumbo.  Pouring in bacon drips from this morning’s breakfast.  I added “this much” flour until the roux was mahogany brown.  Then, I dropped in veggies, crispy and fresh.  Added last night’s left overs to give it a zip.  I boiled it until it smelled just right.  Popped in sizzling sausage and roasted chicken.  After simmering for hours, I placed it in the fridge so the flavors could blend. 
     The next day after tasting my thin concoction, I suspected foul play.  However for years, my mom and I toyed with the recipe.  We jostled the measurements like it was some great mathematical invention.  Always examining my Grandma’s gumbo, my suspicions of a missing ingredient were never confirmed. 
     I refused to give up on recreating her steamy bowl of chicken gumbo.  Persistent as ever, my suspicions finally proved true early one morning after her full day of cooking the roux.   Near the top of the garbage bag, I found to my amazement a box of Zattarain’s Gumbo mix.   When I severely questioned Grandma with a scowling eye, her meek reply was “It took you long enough.” 
                          Grandma’s Recipe for Gumbo

     Sauté onion and garlic, then add enough flour to begin the roux.  Mix beef bouillon cubes with beef broth.  Drop in the following: scallions, Creole seasonings, gumbo file, bell peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and salt/pepper according to taste.  In a different skillet, brown sausage and chicken before adding it to the mixture.  Simmer for several hours and add this and that to adjust the taste.  If it tastes like it is still missing an ingredient, add a package of Zattarain’s Gumbo mix.  Cook rice in a separate pot and pour the gumbo over immediately before serving. 

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One of the options for this week was a learning walk which intrigued me. My helpful suggestion is to always carry an umbrella while visiting Blue Ridge, Georgia. #clmooc

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My reflection this week made me realize how important it is for educators to offer opportunities for our students to make, share, discover, and test new ideas.

#FF #clmooc A big thank you goes to Kevin Hodgin for inspiring me with his amazing flying pig video to give stop animation another try.

The toy hack sculpture from Mia Zamora helped me think about different ways to arrange toys.

The Humpty Dumpty wall from Valibrarian Gregg for some reason gave me the idea to use a Mr. Potato head in my own toy hack.

Jalap Bosman reminded of other cool projects to do with photography. Add one more thing to my to do list!

Ian O'byne gave me yet another project idea with his Action Jackson video. Whenever will I find the time?

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Thought i should post the picture of my completed robot since my video isn't playing to the end.

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I really stretched myself this week to create a robot out of the toys that I loved as a child. My high school sons would not let me use any of their belongings, so I found some trendier versions than the ones I had. Matchbox cars, slinkies, and Mr. Potato head were my childhood favorites.

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Sharing my reflection for the first week by getting my blog back into action.  My own little tribute to my teacher friends who have recently retired from education.  Your legacy lives on!
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