junegarden 001 I got the machine sewing done on the pants I was working on yesterday.

They are in a charcoal gray Tencel twill from Fashion Fabrics Club. Tencel is a very silky, drapey fabric. It may not be possible to make pants in Tencel without feeling like you are making pajamas. There may also be nothing wrong with that.

Now, I say that I got the machine sewing done, but I pulled off the front facing when I tried them on after tacking down the facing, because they did not have a smooth, sleek front, which I think is the point of side-zip pants.

Because, while it is certainly much easier to put in a side zipper, it is not as easy to get dressed in them, which you junegarden 006 do hundreds more times than putting in the zipper, so I can’t quite allow myself to think that I have done this only because I was too lazy to do a fly.

But this morning it strikes me that since I do not have a smooth, sleek front without these pants on (I have four children, I am getting old, smooth and sleek are no longer words that can be applied to me), it may be unreasonable to expect the pants to have a smooth sleek front when I try them on.

I also gave diversified instruction a try with my youth choir.

I think that it can be done. We divided up into smaller groups now and then. I think that if we break down the junegarden 007 overall goal into smaller, discrete bits, it would then be possible to give tasks which were clear enough and small enough that the groups could work cooperatively to do them on their own, especially if we have an adult or an advanced student with them. If we make sure that the break-out groups aren’t always remedial, no one will feel bad about being asked to work in a small group or with the directors. And if we structure tasks so that they involve games, or warm-ups, rather than things actually requiring instruction, we won’t have to supervise everything.

Plus, you can get young choirs to sing in their heads instead of in  their chests, and they will try to match vowels, bless their cooperative little hearts.

I’m also trying to make sure that IT doesn’t dominate our choir. My other instructional jobs — doing teacher junegarden 005 workshops and lesson plans — are completely dominated by the state-provided frameworks. I am doing a couple more workshops tomorrow, and the whole thrust of them will be to help people shoe horn state history into classrooms already so stuffed with testing and dibbling and paperwork that the teachers can hardly move.

But our choir isn’t like that. We have loose, fun goals, we have a few pieces of music that I picked for us to start with and are adding others that other people suggest, we are working together to reach a level of skill that the participants care about.

Yesterday was a day off for me, so I tried not to be thinking about diversified instruction all day. I resolutely junegarden 008 pushed all thoughts of state history and marketing to the back of my mind. I even went shopping.

This is somewhat amazing, since shopping is not something I would normally choose to do on a day off.

However, while I was shoe shopping with #2 daughter over the weekend, she persuaded me or I persuaded myself that it would be sensible to have two pairs of flat shoes.

I therefore went, when I needed a break from struggling with that Tencel, and bought a second pair of flat shoes, one that #2 daughter had assured me was sufficiently stylish that I could wear them without embarrassing her. I also bought a copy of junegarden 003Somerset Life, possibly as a reward for having gone back to the shoe store.

This is an interesting magazine. They  are all about bringing an artful sensibility into daily life. They have charming projects for making your office, bathroom, kitchen, and other such mundane places beautiful.

But will you really make a lovely little collage to decorate your disposable water bottle? Yes, I mean the one you bought from a vending machine because you forgot to bring your own.

Will you deck your paper lunch bag with ribbons and silk flowers?

I admire the impulse. And even as I write that, I realize that we are not talking about impulses here, not in the least. junegarden 009 You may have an impulse to write a sweet little note for the lunchbag you pack for your child or spouse, but trimming that lunchbag is not an impulsive thing to do at all. Printing clever quotes out on parchment and scenting them so they will be ready for that impulse is not an impulsive thing to do. The approach to life that this magazine advocates is one of planned and meticulous beauty. It may be quite a glorious and gracious life, but I would expect that few of us would have the leisure or the devotion to do it.

I haven’t even weeded my garden, as you can tell. However, I hope that you noticed the sculpture that my husband made for the cucumbers. He put red flags on it not for the beauty of it, but because he thinks they will prevent our putting our eyes out while picking cukes.

Whether this is a sweet show of solicitousness or an indication that he thinks he lives with a bunch of dafties I have not yet decided.