Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sophie's Treasures

Last night we moved the cedar chest. Underneath it we found 14 sparklie balls, 1 fluffy ball, and one toy mouse. Sophie immediately reclaimed her treasures:

Then our clever girl showed us how they got there in the first place:

Before I went to bed, I put all the these toys in the toy basket. When I got up this morning, Sophie had moved 10 of the sparklie balls to strategic locations around the apartment. She was a busy girl!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Retirement, Mr. Tuttle!

One of my favorite high school teachers, Mr. Tom Tuttle, is retiring.

Mr. Tuttle, after putting up with us kids for 36 years and spending your summers teaching driver's training, I hope you have a wonderful retirement! I'll never forget all the fun we had in Earth Science and Astronomy, or how disappointed I was when you didn't get selected for the teaching space program, or how glad I was that you weren't on Challenger that day. I wish you happy travels always; may you find many more additions for your space memorabilia collection.

Here's the story from The Davison Index:

Long-time teacher retiring

Long-time teacher retiring
Tom Tuttle in his classroom. He’s been teaching in room 344 since 1972.

By Monica Dufour
INDEX Staff Writer

DAVISON — Davison High School opened its doors in 1972, with Tom Tuttle teaching in room 344.

This June, the earth science teacher will close the door for the last time.
“I think the time is right for me to retire,” Tuttle said. “I’ve been teaching in the same classroom for 36 years.”

Tuttle said the earth science program is transferring to the Davison Middle School after this school year because of a state mandate, so he thought the time was right for him to leave.
He’s enjoyed his time at the high school. “I was hired by Don Green, the assistant superintendent,” Tuttle said. “I remember him telling me I’d like teaching in the Davison school system. He was right.”

Tuttle’s involvement at the school didn’t stop with teaching sciences. He has taught driver’s education for 27 years. He has been the Gen-Net Fiber optic instructor, teaching earth science and astronomy for 10 years.

He has volunteered for high school activities such as working in the press box at Cardinal stadium during games and has assisted with the basketball team. Tuttle has helped out with Davison’s senior prom since 1982. “I enjoy helping with the prom,” he said. “It’s a great community activity for kids and parents.”

The development of technology is something he’s noticed as one of the biggest changes over the years. “Especially with the Gen-Net program,” he said. “It allows me to teach to students at other schools.”

Tuttle said the same activities that have kept him busy over the years will be what he will misses the most.

“I’m planning on helping out still with football games if they need me,” he said.

Tuttle will also miss the staff. “We have a great support staff in Davison. We have the best secretaries, custodians, coaches and aides,” he said. “They’re fantastic people who make teachers’ jobs a lot easier.”

The Richfield Township resident said that once he’s retired, he’d like to travel. “My summers I would spend teaching driver’s education, so now I will have some time to go to places I haven’t been able to go,” he said.

Tuttle and his wife, Kathleen, have been married for 37 years. They have two daughters, Jennifer, and Heather.

In his spare time, he enjoys collecting space memorabilia from American and Russian Space programs.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Review: I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming

I Shall Not Want is the sixth book in Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne series. In this much-anticipated book, we learn what happens after the death Russ’s wife and Clare’s reinstatement in the military at the end of All Mortal Flesh.

In you aren’t familiar with this series, it’s set in the small town of Millers [sic] Kill in up state New York where ex-military helicopter pilot and newly ordained Episcopal Priest Clare Fergusson often gets involved in the criminal cases of Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. Clare is a refreshingly unusual heroine while Russ, also ex-military, is a much more traditional hero: an admirably good and decent man who is also a very good cop. The two are antagonistic at first but soon realized they are strongly attracted to each other. Clare is reluctant to get involved with a married man for moral reasons and Russ is determined to be faithful to his wife despite recent troubles in their marriage. Trite as it sounds, the tension between Clare and Russ is the driving force between these two very likeable characters in a very well-crafted series. All of the plots are amazingly but understandably complex and compellingly unpredictable. Keeping with the theme of Clare’s vocation, each book title refers to a hymn or scripture with the related text included as a preface.

I Shall Not Want starts off with a bang that will drive you crazy until you see how it plays out. You may be tempted to skip to the end but resist the urge and enjoy the ride. The plot is excellent, as usual, and involves the deaths Latino immigrants who work on the local farms. Clare’s work with the immigrants throws her into close proximity of Russ and the tension between the two is heightened by the grief and guilt they feel over the recent accidental death of Russ’s wife. The possibility that Clare’s unit will be called up for active duty in Iraq increases the tension throughout the book.

In addition to the usual supporting characters, we meet a new police officer Hadley Knox, who returns to Millers Kill as a divorced mom. The first female officer in the Millers Kill PD struggles to adapt and has her own romantic problems that complicate her new career. I really like her and hope she sticks around!

The book has an ending that will satisfactorily resolve some issues but leave you looking forward to the next book. I can’t say more than that without giving anything away! Do plan on uninterrupted reading time because once you start this book, you won’t want to stop.

If you haven’t read the series I strongly recommend you start at the beginning so you don't miss any of these fantastic stories or the on-going character development:

1. In the Bleak Midwinter (2002. Agatha Award for Best First Novel)
2. A Fountain Filled With Blood (2003.)
3. Out of the Deep I Cry (2004. Finalist 2005 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel)
4. To Darkness and to Death (2005.)
5. All Mortal Flesh (2006. 2007 Nero Award, Finalist 2006 Agatha Award for Best Novel, Finalist 2007 Macavity Award for Best Novel, and Finalist 2007 Anthony Award for Best Mystery)
6. I Shall Not Want (2008.)

Thank you, Julia, for another wonderful book and for allowing me to review it! I hope to goodness you are busy writing the next one. ☺