Friday, March 23, 2007

A Happy Visit Yesterday

I had a great morning at school standing in as a grandparent for an adorable first grader. She had loads of energy, curiosity, enthusiasm and lots and lots to say! She loved her book bag and seemed especially enchanted with the book worm. The little worm just had to go to lunch with us and then out to the playground.
I called her mother late yesterday afternoon to tell her how much I appreciated and enjoyed the time I got to spend with her daughter. I've never met the family and don't know them at all, but I know her mother enjoyed the call.
When I was teaching one of the things that I tried hard to do each year was to call parents and tell them how much I loved having their son or daughter in my class. They were always a bit surprised and a little wary at first when they picked up the phone. Unfortunately calls from teachers are usually not made for positive reasons. I did try hard to be the exception. I'd be lying to say that I enjoyed each and every child I had in thirty some odd years, but if you look hard enough you can always find something positive to say, you can uncover the goodness and beauty of each one of those students. I miss that part of my job as I miss many other things about my "school teacher" days. I do however love what I'm doing now, LOVE being able to go back to school and visit, and LOVE being able to say to myself, "I'm outta here right now!" I can check out any time I want. Freedom, whee!
I hope that everyone has a lovely weekend, filled with just those things that make it good for you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ain't She Sweet?

Well, I did manage to cut off the top of her cape! She's one of the favorite things I have in my kitchen. I just love how demure she looks, but also how she appears to be thinking secret thoughts. Sort of Mona Lisa-ish.
She'd be even sweeter if I filled her up with some homemade goodies...maybe this weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Little Book Bag for a Little Friend

I just can't get a decent picture today of this little bag. It's too dark and I have no photography genes in my make-up.
I put this together today for a first grade girl who loves to read. I am going to be her substitute grandma at my old stomping grounds where I taught for many years.
The pocket holds a little felt bookworm who is holding a book titled The Big Book of Butterflies. I wanted to name the book Ten Easy Steps to Metamorphosis but thought that that might be lost on a first grader. The little worm comes out of the pocket and although he is a bit chubby he could be used as a bookmark. I'll add a few books to it before I go over for Grandparent's Day. I hope she likes it as much as I loved making it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Favorite Label and Some Funny Labels

I love this label. Plain, unpretentious and pretty straight forward. There are so many lovely labels on bottles of wine, but somehow, this one tickles my funny bone.
I don't know if you pay too much attention to other types of labels like the ones that come with all of the things that we purchase. They certainly say something about our litigious society.
Here are some that I find highly amusing.

This product is not intended for use as a dental tool (hand held drill)

Do not use while sleeping or unconscious (hand held massaging device)

Not intended for highway use (on a 13" wheelbarrow wheel)

This product is not to be used in bathrooms (on a bathroom heater)

Warning: May contain small parts (on a Frisbee)

Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover

Do not use orally (toilet bowl cleaning brush)

Safe to use around pets (cat litter)

Has been found to cause cancer in mice (rat poison)

Do not use orally after using rectally (thermometer)

Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage (portable stroller)

Do not drive with sun shield in place

Do not use for drying pets (microwave)

Container of salt (high in sodium)

Matches (contents may catch fire)


Sunday, March 18, 2007

With a Lot of Help and Inspiration from Out There

This is my attempt at the Vintage Stripe Blanket, with thanks especially to Bella Dia for instructions and support and to Yarnstorm for inspiration.
I had this yarn for another crochet project, but as a beginner in crochet it proved to be a daunting affair. I'll learn how to do that pattern someday. Right now I am pleased with this project and love the color changes. Those changes keep it fun and interesting.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Groups, Gatherings and Gangs

Early this morning I could hear a rooster crowing from across the highway. Not long after I heard the racket of the crows in the woods. I love to hear a rooster, though I'm not especially fond of them as I have been on the wrong end of their "cockiness" more times than I care to remember. This caused me to wonder "if a rooster crows, why doesn't a crow crow?" (Deep thoughts here..hold, they get deeper.) These ponderings led me to consider the names they assign to groups of animals. With the help of my computer, I present you with some of my favorites.

a battery of barracudas
an obstinacy of buffalo
a pounce of cats
a coalition of cheetahs
a flamboyance of flamingoes
a trip of goats
a bloat of hippopotami
a lamentation of swans
a gulp of swallows
an exaltation of larks
an ambush of tigers
a bouquet of pheasants
a troubling of goldfish (is this possible?)

These wonderful descriptions led me to name a few groups of things that exist in my house.

a lamentation of unfinished projects
an ambush of dog hair
a battery of spiders
a trip of junk piles
a bloat of leftovers
an obstinacy of lost items
a pounce of laundry
a flamboyance of dirty windows
a gulp of clogged drains
a coalition of mismatched knitting needles
a bouquet of cobwebs

All are true, except the gulp of clogged drains. I just couldn't resist. I didn't use an "exaltation" as I leave that one to you. An exaltation that she is finally through with her disjointed ramblings. I know you are asking, "Does her elevator go to the top floor?" "Knock, knock, is there anyone at home?" "Should I call the men with the restraining jackets?"

Friday, March 16, 2007

Prunes/Plums Moving On

Last night I took some fresh plums, put them in the oven with a splash of Balsamic Vinegar and a sprinkle of Turbinado sugar and blasted them with some heat. They were a yummy ending to our dinner. The color was gorgeous, the plums, vinegar, sugar and heat produced a lovely thick sauce. It was great, if I do say so myself.
Prunes/ plums reminds me that in this part of the country they are labeling prunes as dried plums...must be something that is politically correct, or something that appeals to the consumer of today. Heaven help us if we should eat prunes. That smacks of something else (digestive problems?). Which leads me to Fridays. I've already noted that Wednesday is devoted to garbage, but I have not mentioned that Friday is devoted to, as we affectionately call him, The #*itter Man. The Honey Bucket truck (name on the side) barrels into the nursery every Friday morning very early to clean out the Porta-Potty we have here on the grounds. Woe be unto any one that gets in the way. There could be some nasty consequences!
This also leads me to one of my favorite sights on the freeway...following a much bigger vehicle that obviously helps those whose septic tanks are in need of a little help. The large sign reads: Yesterday's Meals on Wheels. You've got to love that.
I think I'll bake a few more plums (not prunes) soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Logging On and On and On

No, not the computer logging on, but the logging of trees up behind our property. The cutting of trees has been going on behind our property for a few months now...through fog, rain, and sometimes snow. Now they are hauling the logs up the steep grade with huge cables. It is steep enough that apparently it is safer to haul them up the slope than to bring them down. Actually, it is less environmentally bad for the soil and slope of the area.
During the daylight hours I can hear the sharp staccato "Toots" of a whistle. These vary in number and cadence. I know that this is for safety sake (this is a dangerous job) but I just can't figure out what these different signals mean.
Soon they will bring them by truck past our house, across the bridge and out to the highway where they will be taken to a mill to be processed into Lumber.
When we first moved here the sight of tree cutting upset me. I have since learned to relax a bit as I have learned that these parcels will be replanted and gorgeous growth will occur. I still don't like it, but we have been here long enough for me to see the beauty of regrowth and to know that there are some good stewards of the land around here. I know that the laws and rules of cutting down trees have changed over the years. People are much more aware of environmental issues, impacts etc. I can still say my silent prayer to these trees, but know that without them we would have no new homes etc. This is the economy here and I am thankful that there appear to be more people/companies who are approaching all of this industry as Stewards of the land, care takers of this beautiful part of the country in which I live.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No Curb-Side Pick Up Here

But it is Garbage Wednesday here as we refer to every Wednesday in this house. For years we had no garbage pick up out in the country where we live. A number of years ago it became possible to have our "yuk" picked up out by the highway. This entails loading the cans up on a trailer and hauling them across the bridge that spans the creek that borders our property. What a luxury even if it entails a little work.
Every Monday, then Tuesday I remind myself to clean out the stewing leftovers in the frig. Many weeks I blithely do something else to avoid this odious task. Perhaps I think I am conducting science experiments or maybe I am culturing antibiotics should we need them. If that be the case, I am well prepared to defend the entire household should a plague arrive.
Well, I think it is time to let go of these thoughts and stop being so slovenly. I am going to make a vow to the Garbage Gods that I will feed them every week on time from now on.
Best Wishes.


I think I did it! I did it! Finally! Now if I can only remember what I did this time to make it happen, then I can do it again. Whee!
Not the greatest picture, but it's better than none.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tea and Sympathy

I am determined to be peevish, peeved, and perpetually perplexed. I started this blog because I hoped that it would help me link up with other blogs, to leave comments and to participate in some of the "alongs". I am close to giving up. My ignorance and stupidity astound me. My inability to put one of my own pictures on the blog astounds me and is causing me to decide to chuck the whole thing...and to Chuck with a vengeance and with violence. Add to that, I am a dismal typist!
I feel better already.
Spring is showing her lovely face around here. Saw the first hummingbird the other day, our daffodils are blooming and it is not raining here for once.
Other not so lovely signs...saw the first buzzard way up high, riding the thermals. Thermals are a good sign for warming up. I also noticed a fruit fly "thermalling" around in the washing machine when I went to take out the clean clothes. Now how enchanting is that?
I'll keep trying with the pictures. Why can't I have my own tutor sitting right beside me?
Peeve, peeve, peeve. I promise if I persist with this to be much more pleasant and positive!
On to my tea which is artfully served in one of my husband's John Deere mugs! How's that for tea ambiance?
If anyone stumbles across this, I hope that you too are enjoying the unfolding of Spring wherever you may be. Best wishes!