Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31st, 2009

The ice is gone but the memory of it shall remain for a very, very, very long time. I don't think I will ever forgot how much I appreciated this piece of machinery. The generator was a blessing. It provided enough energy to power a few lights, the tv, the refrigerator, the deep freezer, and more importantly the internet. However, hot water heaters take more energy
than the generator can provide. J is worn completely our after wrestling with get it hooked up for two days.
The clean up afterward is not going to be fun. I wonder how many teens I can bribe into coming out and helping their "favorite" science teacher with picking up limbs. Time will tell.

January 30th, 2009

Day Three, I really miss electricity. My husband is searching for a generator so that we can have light and maybe t.v. The city is saying we will have power by the end of the weekend. I am not looking forward to two more days of this mess. I can't believe how long and short the days are. It seems all I do is heat water to wash dishes or cook. No sooner is one meal cleaned up than it is time to prepare the next. By the end of the day hubby and neighbor have the generator hooked up and I was able to wash my hair last night. Amazing how daily things become luxuries. More photos to come.

January 29th, 2009

The view from the deck this morning. This little Elm tree is way over in the woods, fortunately it isn't on the house just on my little guy's slide set. He wasn't upset about it at all. At this point, I am still thinking the ice is beautiful. Until this ice event, I had never seen icicles hanging on trees.

January 28, 2009

Okay, so now the ice is not pretty. Still raining hard and we have lost power.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Day

Today was a "snow day" but no snow. Lots of ice though. It rained overnight and created this beautiful scene. Fortunately, we have kept power, though I don't know how long that will last. It has been raining off and on all day and the ice just keeps getting thicker.

Ooops! I did it again...I went and learned how to create a slide show using Flickr and embed it in a blog. So proud of me....Extra Ice Storm photos follow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Choo Chooooooo!

Santa brought the little guy a trainset and table for Christmas. We have had tons and tons of fun with it. Macrophotography makes it even more fun. HUH?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

City Park

I need to remember to take the time out of the day to take my little guy to the city park. On this day the temperature was up over 40 degrees and the wind was blowing briskly but by going into one of the coves we were able to get out of the wind. The ducks and geese are wild but well fed and will come very close to visitors expecting handouts. Little guy loved feeding them his poptart and throwing rocks at them. I loved sitting and watching it unfold. This was a great day and I will rush through my planning period to be able to leave early enough to pick up my little guy from the daycare and drive out to visit the park.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Macro of Christmas Cactus blossom...I guess I am practicing for when the spring ephemerals begin flowering. This particular plant was given to me while I was in high school by my favorite aunt. I call her TooToo. She is a fantastic gardener and the most patient person I know. Hmmmmm. Wonder if one has to do with the other? I need to practice both.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I had the pictur for today ready to go, but was exhausted from a very trying day and didn't get it uploaded on time. This is a shot of the Christmas Cactus my favorite aunt gave me when I was a young teen. I laid down on my back and took a picture of the leaf with the sun back lighting it. I also shut down the automatic flash that the camera thought I needed to use.
Hubby, who also does good photography, said it looked like the legs on an insect.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bootsie - A Cat

First let me begin the story with I do not consider myself a cat person. They serve a purpose in a barn but otherwise give me a dog anyday. The April of the year my son was born a pregnant stray cat showed up on our doorstep. My husband, unbeknownst to me began to feed her. She stayed around for a few days and then disappeared, which upset my husband. I watched her food all day and saw her when she came to eat and then followed her to her hidey hole. She had two kittens and was spending most of the time with her newborns. I suggested that my husband turn our screened in porch into a "cat home" by placing a removable "door" in one of the windows. The kittens remained until they were old enough to find homes of their own and Bootsie, who has been nicknamed "Boots Cat" by my little guy, has become a member of the family. This dog person has been converted to a cat person. Though I still don't want her inside my house, I will feed, water, and pet her when her kitty cat heart wants loving....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Walk in the Woods

Look at me, 9 months ago I was terrified to try new things with the computer, now, not so much. I downloaded Picasa 3 and created this collage with all the pictures I wanted to show in my photo of the day.

On my walk, I not only saw the Sycamore that I discussed below, but a really white oak (roots area and tree top) and then as the sun was setting I found another old log with moss growing on it.

I am very proud of myself for figuring out how to make collages.

Fallen Log

I went for a walk through the woods recently and took several photos and I realize now I need to learn how to make a collage like some in my PLN have done. Several years ago we had a severe ice storm and lost this tree in the back woods. We chose to leave it so that wild critters would have a home. The girth of the tree at its trunk is tremendous, while holding hands my husband and I could not reach around it.

The tree is a Sycamore tree. The park rangers tell the students that they can recognize a Sycamore tree by its bark because the tree gets sicker and sicker as it goes up the tree. I thought that was cute and use it with my students on nature walks. Hopefully, I will be able to post at some point this year the difference between White Oak leaves and those of the Red Oak. Cool saying for the difference there too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Not my best effort today. I was in a hurry and the wind wasn't cooperating. I wanted something patriotic to show for inauguration day (Jan. 20th) this is what I came up with. Thought about a wordle but didn't want to cop out on the idea of me taking the picture. May go ahead and do that too. My impressions of the day: I allowed the students to watch the fesitivities all day long. Shared with them some of my impressions of the day and asked them to share theirs. They impressed me. Ninth graders (at least most) "get it". I was very very proud to be an American today. Nice to see how well behaved the enormous crowd was and how moved the people were to experience it first hand. I am also very proud that there were no overt acts of racism or negative actions. And I fervently pray that none will occur.

Wordle: inaugural address

As the wordle depicts "Today, America New Nation" were the major words...I hope it will be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sick Boy

One of the most difficult challenges of being a parent is when the little one is sick. I had planned to have a selfish all me day today as I am off work. My plans were to leave the little guy at the daycare and go antiquing with my husband. But alas, the little guy awakened at 5:30 a.m. with a 101 degree fever and vomiting. It fell to me to take him to the doctor and now I am trying to convince him he needs something to eat and/or drink. No luck with that either. I wish I could make him comfortable if not well. The picture is of the doctor's office. We only waited 1.5 hours to be seen for 2.5 minutes. Never understand how doctors get so far behind when they don't spend any time at all with their patients. Yet another mystery to solve.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here in the south we don't often see our fountains freeze. But this week with temperatures under 20 degrees Farenheit this one froze completely. I had meant to go by the fountain at the University but didn't make it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I drive by the house where this swing hangs lonely, unused in the front yard. The elderly couple passed away last fall; the gentleman in August, his wife in October. Their grandchildren/greatgrandchildren no longer come here to play. Someone comes in periodically and mows the grass and does other general yardwork. But the entire place seems lonely. The swing most of all. I hope children will return to it someday soon. Funny how the laughter and squeals of children can fill the places where it is and then how empty the places become after the children leave.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Attack of the PIRATES

Move over Jack Sparrow. It's Captain attacking the the kitchen cabinets. I went into the kitchen to prepare dinner and found the pirates in the drawer pulls. My little guy had been playing earlier and left his pirates behind. Life is certainly never dull when a little guy is around.

January 15, 2009

A new shoulder has been needed on this stretch of road my entire life. This week the Highway Dept. installed one. I wonder which VIP was hurt or had their car damaged when running off the roadway. It seems that is the only way changes get made anymore.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lovely Hands

My favorite photograph from my wedding is the one where my husband's and my hands are criss-crossed across the Bible which is turned t the scripture the pastor read . Since the birth of my son I have wanted a picture of all three of our hands criss-crossed over something. Today, I discovered this is not something I can do by myself. The angle is wrong and the lighting is bad. But I'd bet that many of you reading this understand all the feelings wrapped up in the pixels that make this image. Difficult to describe the kind of love a mom feels for her child, one has to feel it to completely understand it. I certainly didn't understand it 4 short years ago.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Hard to believe but this native shrub will be flowering in just a few weeks, sooner if the weather remains warm. This is a native honeysuckle shrub. I am not certain of its range but it flowers in late January through February here in Arkansas. The flowers closely resemble those of the Japenese honeysuckle and exude a terrific odor that reminds me of the promise of warmer weather and green plants and flowers.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Roller Coaster Fun

Last week the students spent several days collecting data using CPO lab equipment. The really enjoyed the roller coaster lab. The data showed that without a doubt the marble was rolling more rapidly at the end of the run than at any other point along the way. While the lab was not "open-ended", it did lead the students to other experiments they want to try. We are going to do so later this week as time permits. I wonder if anyone reading this does similar activities with their students.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ooops! forgot to do Friday's and Saturday's pictures

The difficult part of this challenge that I have accepted is not going to be taking the photo but rather getting the darn things posted and blogged. Oh well here are Friday Saturday and Sunday's pictures.

Data from Friday's lab. Students tested their reaction times using finger on a stopwatch vs. a pencil on the stopwatch. With minor exceptions, they were faster with the pencil.

Sunset, at a stoplight, as the clouds roll in for the beginning of long gray days; I love the sun. And I suppose you have to have the gray to appreciate the sun.

This is what my desk looked like when I left work Friday. I am so bad about creating piles and piles of stuff. I need a professional organizer to follow me around and take care of the messes. What about you?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

Sunrise after several gray, foggy, misty, overcast, dreary, cold days was most welcome. Today highs in the 50's beautiful sunny skies and very little wind. And I had to work!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Childhood Memories Live On

Here in the Land of Clinton we call this tree a Possum Haw. I have heard the botantists at the university call it a decidious holly. Several of these tress are growing in my yard and in the surrounding woods. We didn't cut them out even though their growing habit does not conform to the tastes of most gardeners. It tends to be "weedy" looking. But my goal is to have a yard full of native species, not one created from a textbook. It takes less water, fertilizer, and money to garden this way. Another reason the trees have been left here is because as kids we picked berries and strung them for decorations on the Christmas trees. So when I look at these trees, I recall pleasant childhood memories.
For some reason this year the birds haven't eaten all the berries off the trees. I don't know if it is because we are feeding the birds high dollar bird feed, if more people are feeding the birds, or if there are fewer birds. At any rate, I am pleased that the berries are so colorfull on gray dreary days.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hanging by a Thread

At times life gets so hectic that we need something to remind us to slow down, stop, and "smell the roses." It is a long time before roses will be blooming here but I think looking at this picture will remind me just the same. For the non-botanical crowd this is an individual seed of the Butterfly weed plant that grows in my butterfly garden. The furry things help them to float in the wind and be dispersed away from the mother plant. But this guy and the one below seem to be hanging on for dear life. So, Hanging by a Thread seems appropriate.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Whether it was a good thing or not remains to be seen, but school was dismissed at noon today due to inclement weather (icy) so I received an unexpected break. The pumkins are still in the backyard leftover from Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Already Behind

I have recently decided to accept the 365 day photo challenge. Several of the members of my PLN are doing it so why not? The problem is today is January 4th and I should have started on January 1st. Oh well , as they say it is better late than never.
So, this post will have 4 pictures on it. One for each day of the year. Please feel free to leave comments.

This first image captures my favorite pilot in full concentration mode, which is a good thing. I don't want to fly with a pilot that doesn't concentrate.

This picture is from January 3 and depicts my refrigerator art. A picture of the "C", a calendar that hasn't been thrown away yet, some abstract art with colored triangles, school work, and my favorite a "Me Poster". Little guy loved it that mom helped him make his poster. He colored his eyes and his pants. How delightful, of course the designers would have a fit over the clutter but not a mom. Because these triumphs show the little guy that mom and dad love him and give his work a place of honor.

And the next picture (Jan. 4) is one of my little guy playing the drums. Who really needs to spend hundreds of dollars on toys when their kid has an imagination? He first made pancakes for everyone in the house, then spaghetti, and then decided the pots would make great drums. Isn't it amazing how quickly little ones learn that bigger pots make different sounds than larger ones?

And finally just so I have the number of pictures to be on track for 365 come Dec. 31st, 2009 here is an additional one. I took a walk around the yard looking for something to photo. It has been a long time (3 yrs) since I attempted macrophotography and I have gotten a new digital camera since then.

As I walked around in the cold damp gray day, I wondered what could I possibly find worthy of posting. Remebering all the advice shared when I used real film I started think doesn't have to be outstanding subject to be good picture and you have to put film throught the camera to "get good." So, I have finally settled on this little fern. I noticed it last spring because it looked so forlorn wedged in the rock crevice. And look at it now, it has flourished, grown and is still hanging on. Perserverance comes to mind. And as I was getting up off the ground, "belly botany", I noticed that there is another colony coming on farther down the line of rocks.