Tag Archives: spring

Spring in Sacramento

This is the perfect time to live in Sacramento, California.  The weather has simply been divine.  Mid 70s, slight breeze, glorious sunshine with wispy clouds ever so often… Hopefully it will rain a bit more before the scortching summer heat arrives as we did not have a wet winter and everyone is worried we are going back into drought mode.  But for now, on my Spring Break, it has been delicious.

Here are a few flowers in my garden that have decided to bask in this great weather:

School has been really fun this year.  The kids just concluded learning about the Bill of Rights and the Three Branches of Government – for their culminating projects they did a music video and then a stop-motion video (respectively) explaining each.  Super silly and fun.  They also wrote a biography and did a research project on a founding father or mother of the US.  Here, they are dressed up ready to present their biography:







We also lucked out at Marin Headlands this year and it only poured down rain on us in the mornings – the afternoons were full of beautiful sunshine.

At the lighthouse.


We are now moving into learning about the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark and then on to the Civil War.  Its an exciting and very packed full final nine weeks.

March for Our Lives 2018

I’ve been doing a bit of hiking and exploring, not as much as I had planned as I am tutoring after school and trying to fit in writing the next book in “The Treasure Chest Mysteries.”  I’ve gone on a couple of marches: Women’s March and the March for Our Lives.  So amazing to be out there with people who care about our country.

Sunset watching the Great Sand Hill Cranes

Women’s March with Kristin and Brynna

And here it is April tomorrow!  I hope spring is being gorgeous where ever you are as well. Enjoy!

~ Gretchen




Filed under Education, Fifth Grade, Gardening / Outdoors, Spring, Uncategorized, Writing

Six Months in Sacramento

I have now been living in Sacramento for just over six months.  At first I wasn’t sure if this was a good move for me.  But the longer I am here, the more I am loving this place.  I do not think I have ever lived in a place where people are so nice, so happy, so open and genuinely love where they are.  The happiness quotient is contagious.

On January 21st, I walked with fellow teachers and friends in the Women’s March.  Amazing.  Such good, positive vibes.  Inclusion and support was the energy of the day.  I loved being a part of such a great crowd of people wanting the best for everyone.   img_6627

img_6632I am still in love with my school as well.  I just returned from a week at the Marin Headlands with my 5th grade class.  We hiked and bonded and laughed and learned.  It was good to get to know the kids in a different atmosphere and to be out along the beautiful California coast.  We had amazing weather and were happily exhausted each night.img_6782 img_6968

My after-school writing class is going well too.  The kids are so creative.  They are now developing a variety of stories and getting them ready to submit for possible publication. This summer I am going to be teaching two creative writing classes at Sacramento State University.  I love teaching and supporting creative thinkers.

My 5th graders just finished a unit on the American Revolution – our culminating project was a musical.  It was really fun – all done acapella.  Now we are working on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights – which brings up so many issues right now.  We are also gearing up for a Human Rights assembly.  My kids will be doing a rap/song/chant to a song by Colby and Awu (from Cameroon) called “Change the World.”  They’ll be singing acapella again, using their cubist paintings from art class as props and – via their t-shirt color – ending in a colorful rainbow.  Should be fun.

The official last day of winter is March 20th – just over 3 weeks away!

Happy end of February.




Filed under Education, Fifth Grade, Humanities

Antsy for Spring

Wherever you are in the world – is it Spring yet?  Here in Oregon, USA we just had three glorious days of gorgeous sunshine with yesterday hitting 60 degrees F.  We have heavy, thick clouds today, so thought I would reflect back on the happiness that was the last 3 days.

I went for a walk yesterday and found that winter had turned to spring it seemed in just a day.



The sky was blue, so blue, that I craned my neck over and over again with unbelieving eyes.

As I walked to the park, practically skipping with joy, I found smiling people everywhere.  The fountain in the rose garden was bursting with expectation.  The trees were swaying in the gentle breeze and all things stretched with heads held high.

Lamp PostUpon my return, I couldn’t resist but to tidy the garden and then plant a few veggies.  I know, it’s only early March, but I planted beets, kale, spinach and snap peas, all perfect to get started in Oregon while the soil is still a bit chilly.

Small, but mine.  Tidied up and ready for Spring!

Small, but mine. Tidied up and ready for Spring!

Hard to see - but newly planted - 30 days before the first Snap Peas - can't wait.

Hard to see – but newly planted – 30 days before the first Snap Peas – can’t wait.

Tomatoes will come in May and soon the flowers will start to flourish – just like last year…


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s to Spring, which lays upon us that hopeful ray of sun and brings a huge smile to my face.  How about you – seen any sun lately?  Spring Fever hit you yet?



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Filed under Gardening / Outdoors, Spring

Fun with Photography

A few days ago I dusted off my Photoshop software and took another spin at playing around.  How quickly one forgets the tricks when you don’t use this powerful program on a consistent basis.

After advisement from my wonderful friend Ivy, I found some great washes and textures (on Deviant Art and Flickr) to play with in addition to my numerous flower photographs I have taken in my garden over the past few years.

So my first attempts are just that, firsts.  But I had so much fun, that I am planning on expanding my abilities, taking more online tutorials and presenting you all with fun photographs, taken by me and then manipulated to express a feeling.

The Clematis I took about 4 years ago one early morning in late Spring.

  Here is the altered version:

I bought this rusted metal flower at the McMenaminsCracked Pots” festival 3 summers ago – fun event for all art that is re-purposed / recycled.  Here is the original photo:

Here is the one I had fun with overlays:

This is a picture of what my neighbors call Gargantuan!  This rouge sunflower, which I can only surmise came from my “neutralized bird feed”, grew to over 10 feet tall and the ‘stock’ as I like to call it was at least 4″ in diameter – and it was all by itself in the middle of a bed of low growing perennials.  Very fun.  Here is the original photo:

And here is the result of some playing around on Photoshop:

I have had a great time re-learning and seeing how much more there is to play with.  Here’s to exploration!

I would love to hear your comments!

Have a great Thursday!


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Filed under Photography, Spring