Yard Work

Last year I took this photo showing the two massive trees in our front yard (very bottom pic).  Yesterday some work was done and this is the result. 

Now I like trees just as much as the next person but these were out of control.  After laying sod twice in two years, the grass is still dead.  The window on the far right looks into my bedroom and every time we got a thunderstorm or are under tornado watch, those branches would sway like crazy and I just knew if they break and fall in the wrong direction I’m dead.  You may think I’m overreacting (and I probably am but I’m OK with that) but in fact, both trees had lost large branches that cracked during thunderstorms and thankfully fell away from the house.  So while that’s been going on in the front, I’ve been doing some cleanup in the back.

Last year I put together a makeshift garden on a whim. You may remember these:

I didn’t really know what I was doing (as clearly demonstrated by my digging a random hole and putting a plant in it) and though it was time consuming and went better than I thought, I really didn’t do it the right way.  This year I still don’t know what I’m doing but have put more thought and effort into the prep work and even though I’ve still got a long way to go this is so far the result.

My dad helped me till the ground and my mom helped me lay all the steel edging.  Then it took 5 bags, nearly 6 hours, and what feels like 2 broken hands to clear out the debris from the bed.

Because this is what part of it looked like:

I THINK I’m ready to buy the plants and actually plant them which is by far the best part.  All the plants you see are left over from last year which is kind of nice, especially a few that I had no idea would come back…surprise!

Blue Skies Smiling At Me. Nothing But Blue Skies…

I don’t know what it’s like for the rest of the nation but down here in Arkansas the weather has been HEAVENLY!  A lot of sunshine, low humidity, warm temps…sigh.  Just the other day it was 80 degrees.  And I loved it.  I’m currently in denial about the fact this probably means the summer will be unbearable hot and riddled with insects.  But for now I’m content and happy with the sun.

A few posts back I talked about an assignment I had to do for class that involved creating a glogster.  I’m happy to say that yesterday I finally got around to doing it and it’s now submitted and done.  Looking at it, it’s pathetic it took me as long as it did to put together because I’m pretty sure there are some third graders that could have done a better job in less than half the time.  The information on the page is ridiculously scant but I think that’s the point.  At least I’m hoping it is.  There was no way to possibly put all the relevant information from the chapter on this thing so I scaled back to an extreme degree.  Here’s a link so for those of you who didn’t know what a glogster was, you can get a peek.

Also, some of you from Facebook may have seen that I posted an update about oatmeal.  More specifically, how I don’t like it but am trying to fool my tastebuds into thinking they do.  I think I have finally found success in maple brown sugar.  Is it the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship?  I doubt it, but at least I didn’t dump it down the drain.  That’s gotta count for something.

Speaking of food, there’s a new restaurant here that’s becoming my favorite.  It’s called Pitza 42.  They serve personal pizzas on pita bread or you can get different kinds of salad.  And for every meal purchased they donate a meal to a charity that helps feed hungry children around the world.  AND it’s cheap.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

A look ahead this week shows that Friday is FIELD TRIP DAY!!!!  I love field trip day.  We’re taking the kids to the fire station so that should be pretty fun.  Last year we had some firemen come to the preschool and the kids got to see and try on some of their fire clothes and sit in a fire truck.  The kids had fun but I think this year will be better.

And finally, I’m going to end this post with the Valentine gift I gave my mom and brother.  If this doesn’t say I love you, well, I don’t know what does.

Valentine Tradition

A few years ago my brother and I made some heart shaped sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day.  Instead of decorating them pink with pretty sprinkles, we iced them black and wrote what most people really think of the opposite sex (you know you’ve thought these).  Here are the contenders for Valentine’s Day 2012:

Some of these were repeats, some new, but all had us cracking up while we made them.

Am I Already Out of Touch?

I’m 32 years old.  I’d like to think I still have a pulse on what the kids are into these days.  Sometimes the pulse may be a little hard to find like you look over at your great Aunt Mable and she appears unresponsive, so you start performing CPR only to discover she was just resting her eyes half way between a bite of mashed potatoes and peas.  Hard to find or not, it’s there.  For the most part I can turn on the radio and tell you the song and artist that’s being played.  I have an entire IMDB library in my head and can spout off random and completely useless facts that benefit absolutely no one about various celebrities.  I’m so fashion forward I CHOOSE to only wear sweats because I don’t want to induce a frenzied riot in Walmart while I’m buying a gallon of milk and not because I fell asleep in them the night before and figure with a baseball hat no one will be able to tell the difference.  But I digress.

One of my assignments for my c lass in a few weeks is to create a glogster.  That’s glogster with two Gs, not to be confused with globster which is what I kept referring to it as.  Just so you know, according to Wikipedia a globster is “an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other body of water.”

(you know it’s real because the picture is black and white)

 

You know what else I learned from Wikipedia?  What a glogster is.  How sad is that?  I’m on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, not 1 but 2 blogs, Flickr, and probably a whole host of stuff I can’t even remember.  But I had to look up the definition of what a glogster is after my forty something year old professor with no kids told me to create one for class.

Good grief.

This Could Easily Sum Up My Day

I read this story in a newsletter yesterday and laughed out loud because I could be this teacher any given day and in fact, have been for many.

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?  He asked for help and she could see why.  Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on.  By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.”  She looked, and sure enough, they were.  It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on.  She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet.

He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.”  She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?”, like she wanted to.  Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.  No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, “They’re my brother’s boots.  My mom made me wear’em.”

Now she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry.  But she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.  Helping him into his coat, she asked, “Now where are you mittens?”  He said, “I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots.

Book List 2011

Back in 2008 I made a goal of reading at least 50 books during the year.  Of course that was the only year I actually met that goal.  But anyway, here’s my list from 2011:

1.   The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

2.   Little Bee

3.   Winter Garden

4.   No One Can Take Your Place

5.   Think Twice

6.   Love, Lucy

7.   Bossypants

8.   The Truth About You and Me

9.   The Shop on Blossom Street

10.  Thin Rich Pretty

11.  Conspirita

12.  Her Fearful Symmetry

13.  And One Last Thing

14.  Secrets of a Shoe Addict

15.  Man in the Middle

16.  Mrs. Kimble

17.  Swan Thieves

18.  The Hunt

19.  The Beach House

20.  The Lifeguard

21.  The Swimsuit

22.  Port Morturary

23.  The Devil in Jr. League

24.  The Sisters of Hardscrabble Bay

25.  Pop Goes the Weasel

26.  Mortal Allies

27.  Seriously…I’m Kidding

28.  The Kingmaker

29.  Roses are Red

30.  Simple Genius

31.  First Family

32.  Stories I Only Tell My Friends

33.  Jack and Jill

34.  Violets are Blue

35.  4 Blind Mice

36.  Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

37.  The Alchemist

 

So no surprise most of the books are thriller/murder mysteries.  And obviously I discovered James Patterson this year which I’m not sure how I avoided for so long since those are my favorite types of books.

On a happy note, this is the year I graduate…not till December, but still.

Where Did November Go?

So…uh, what happened to November folks??  I don’t really know where to begin because the post I’ve been thinking about posting is irrelevant seeing as how Halloween is long over and gone.  So just imagine, I walked around my neighborhood and took pictures of the decorations people put up and some of them were pretty cool.  A lot of people around here did some sort of decorations even if it was minimal.  One of my favorites was a ginormous spider a guy built out of PCP pipe with glowing green fangs and put up in the front yard.  I’d post the pics but they didn’t turn out all that well now that I’m looking back at them.  We even decorated our porch which was a cross between nice harvest with pumpkins and hay bales and typical Halloween with spider webs and ghosts.  I even tried to make this:

It didn’t quite turn out exactly like this but good enough.  Another reason I’m not posting pictures is because my computer is going through a freak out period.  I just got it a few months ago and there’s already some sort of hardware glitch.  Lovely.  I’ve talked to tech support on two separate occasions and all I’m wanting them to do is send me a box to put my computer in so I can send it to be repaired.  It is now a month after my initial call and I still don’t have a box.  Grrr.  I will be making yet another call tomorrow and may have to ask to be transferred to their complaints department or something.  It’s frustrating and annoying.  And I’m annoyed that I have to talk to some guy in India who I can’t understand and who can’t understand me.  Double Grrr.

With the semester coming to an end I’ve been bombarded with papers, projects, assignments, etc.  The good thing is I’m starting to see the end.  Whoo hoo!  We had family in for Thanksgiving which was fun.  I was a cooking fool last weekend.  I made a big dinner the night before then cooked the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and made four pumpkin pies.  I love pumpkin pie.  All the cooking is just the warm up for the Christmas desserts that need to be made.  Last year I baked a little over 400 cookies, 5 loaves of bread, three batches of fudge, 2 batches of cream cheese brownie bars, 2 or 3 batches of homemade oreo cake/cookies, and tried divinity which I ended up being sidelined for because that’s really hard to make.  Maybe this year.  Speaking of the Christmas season, all the holiday movies have started up which I’m apparently a sucker for.  So odd because ordinarily I can’t stand Lifetime or Hallmark but sprinkle in Christmas and I can’t turn it off.  Go figure.

Well for some stupid reason I woke up at 3:45 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I hate that.  So I”m going to go attempt to do that now.  But I’m going to leave you with what I discovered making a web outside my window:

Ok, ok so it wasn’t really a goliath birdeating tarantula out there but it may as well have been.  It was totally big and creepy.  Well, pleasant dreams!