Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Ability Profiling and School Failure by Kathleen M. Collins
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
DragonHarper by Anne & Todd McCaffrey
Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
A Superior Death by Nevada Barr
The Illustrated Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle (rr)
Ripe for the Picking by Annie Hawes
Ill Wind by Nevada Barr
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle (rr)
Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
Hominids by Robert J Sawyer (rr)
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
Sunday, December 28, 2008
And when it was past the time I usually nod off on the couch, we hugged goodbye and I drove the hour and a half home. It was a day well spent.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Which brings us to Sunday night when FF was snowblowing. I was at the bottom of the driveway waiting for him to finish his pass so I could run by up to the house. The snowblower stopped throwing snow and, as I've seen him do a thousand times, FF moved around the machine and reached into the arm. From where I was standing I could see the blades were still turning. Time moved into slow motion and in that moment I knew something awful was about to happen. Then he was screaming and I was running. I counted five fingers still attached, wrapped the bleeding hand in a clean towel, and we took off for the ER. He ended up with 8 stitches and a fractured finger tip. It could have been much, much worse.
I know, and he knows, that what he did wasn't the smartest thing, but if one more person tells me how stupid he was, I will scream. I feel guilty because it was my driveway and my snowblower. He can't work for a minimum of three weeks! I have to say that I stayed calm and never freaked out. I'm kinda proud of that.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Needless to say, I have not completed my gift shopping for this year. My biggest hang-up is with what to buy for my boyfriend (as a side note, I hate that term). He lives in California, in an apartment I've never seen. He has enough disposable income that he generally buys whatever he needs or wants. Clearly, whatever I get him at this point wouldn't arrive by Christmas anyway. I've been agonizing over this for days, which has resulted in absolute inability to take action on the matter.
I guess I'll go burn off some of my obsessive energies by shoveling. Maybe that will take my mind off my own lack of creativity.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Many people at worked noticed my new hair, which almost surprised me since they've never noticed in the past. The best however was the woman that sits behind and to one side of us at the basketball games. She was practically gushing over my new hairstyle. I almost felt bad that I'd never even noticed she existed before, but I rarely am looking behind me at a game.
It doesn't look all that different to me, but shorter is always easier.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The egg transfer usually occurs at work, which often garners some attention since it is not usual to see a co-worker carrying a carton of eggs out the door at the end of the day. On Friday as I was exiting with the eggs, I was stopped by a pair of co-workers desirous of an explanation. When I gave them the details, the woman was clearly taken aback.
"How do you know they are fresh?" She asked with apparent concern.
I know they fresh because the farmer walks out and picks them up from under the hen just days before they arrive in my hands (and even sooner if there wasn't a middle (wo)man or two to get through). I have absolute confidence they are fresh. I know where they come from. Once when I got eggs from the farm down the road, the farmer didn't have any cartons already filled, so he dashed into the barn while I waited. Talk about fresh!
How does she know her store bought-eggs are fresh? Because they say so? OK, maybe I'm cynical, but that doesn't do it for me (nor does the whole poultry industry, but that's another subject altogether).
Friday, December 05, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Knit Two is a return to the gang from The Friday Night Knitting Club. Five years has passed and changes are underfoot. Not only is it a return to familiar characters, it is a return to a better story than the author's second novel. It was almost a relief to me to dig into this novel after my disappointment with her last (not that I didn't like Comfort Food, but my expectations may have been too high).
This is a light, easy read, so if you are into knitting and/or stories of friendship and women, this might be a book you want to check out. Read The Friday Night Knitting Club first though.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Now I have the weekend to pound out some schoolwork of my own before returning to work on Monday. I will be returning to an office that has gone through a system upgrade that I am not familiar with and to an additional eight or so temporary staff that were hired for me in my absence. I don't relish the idea of supervising an entire staff that knows more about the new process than I do.
I am, however, thrilled to be able to start using my big purse again. Since I didn't want to have it in the classroom with me, I've been constantly without some essential item that would've been in it if only I'd had it with me. Money, credit cards, chapstick, the essentials that never made it into my school bag after the weekend. No more hassles of that nature at least.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Does anyone have any fabulous suggestions on panties I should try?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Part of accepting this award is:
- Displaying the award.
- Linking back to the person who gave it to you.
- Paying it forward & nominating 7 blogs.
- Leaving comments on their blogs telling them they’ve received one.
- Enjoying the award.
Momma Val and Squirrel Chatter, but they already got it.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Rules: Go to urbandictionary.com and type in your answer to each question in the search box in the top right corner and then write the first definition it gives you!
(this is not kid friendly so beware of words and sentences little eyes should not see)
1. What is your name?
Her personality is very kind and generous. Never met another person as wonderful as Nadine
(As most of you know, this is not my real name. I was going to put just the definition of my RL name, but any fool would've been able to guess it in a heartbeat.)
2. Your age?
3. One of your friends?
An awesome girl who likes to be ghetto, and pulls it off even when white. Generally pretty.
4. What should you be doing?
Homework: (Noun) a punishment given to students by evil teachers after the students have already put in 7 hours of hard labor.
5. Favorite color?
7. Month of your birthday?
(There was no definition that referred to the month, not the name.)
8. Last person you talked to?
9. What did you eat last?
a. A stunt performed in a car.
b. Breakfast of champions, admired by Homer J. Simpson.
c. Cop food.
d. Love hole.
10. Your nickname?
A **** can also bring silence to the liveliest of parties or social gatherings.
Bill: Did you know that over 50% of concerts are held in bars.
John: Bill, your such a ****.
11. Your significant other?
Commonplace at WT Woodson HS in NoVA
Naw, fuck that shit **** you know im too lazy.
(I realize that this meme may have been more entertaining with all RL info left in. Too bad, so sad.)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Today I learned that one of the students from the school stabbed someone on the bus (they ride public buses to and from school).
Currently I have three students suspended from one class.
I also had only three students pass the test I gave yesterday.
Two more weeks to go!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I'm not saying I'm the best student teacher. I am saying that every day, I do my best. I deserve to pass. I don't deserve a teacher-of-the-year award, but I deserve to pass.
On a somewhat related note, a second classmate of mine dropped out of student teaching. Now we're down to four people. Why am I the only person that finds this troublesome?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This week happens to be spirit week, which apparently is in short supply among the student body. I saw only a handful of students participating in today's theme (college t-shirt day), while most, if not all, of the teachers proudly sported a variety of athletic wear.
When looking at a crowd of the students there is no way I could mistake them for my former classmates. The clothing, the electronics, the foul language, it's all so different. Today, however, I encountered a boy that could've been straight out of my high school in the early 90s. Hair buzzed fairly short except for one swinging swath of bleach-blond hair flopping across his face. Ah, those were the days...
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
*Someone is currently suspended and therefore should not be in class tomorrow to torment me. Although there are plenty of other likely someones.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I'm hoping to go apple picking tomorrow, so maybe that will help keep the doctor away.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
By the way, I'm storing the toothpowder in a canning jar that came with my house. I've never done any canning, but I love the jars. The only other thing I've used them for is as a vase for my pansies to take to the office. It certainly brought some cheer to my workspace.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Me: It is. [Why else would I be wearing it, you little fool?]
Student: Then you need to fix your hair and get some glasses**. [Score: student 1, teacher 0.]
* Not my idea. The school requires it.
** I was broke at the time the photo was taken and couldn't afford contacts.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I went to JoAnn's to search for flannel in the remnants bin. I found a nice piece of bright red and picked up a bit of t-shirt-like cotton in black. I'd decided to sign up for Crunchy Chicken's Cloth Wipe Challenge and needed some material for the job. Following Crunchy's advice I used pinking shears to cut small squares of fabric. My new cloth wipes are in the laundry right now. I still need to work out the details of storage after usage. For those of you that are squirming in your seats as you read this, I'm only commiting to trying this for pee.
After JoAnn's I walked over to the new organic market where I found the peppermint oil I was hoping for so I can make Riana's homemade toothpaste. Now I just need to find a container to store the toothpaste in and I'll be ready to mix it up.
Then even though I was loathe to go there, I popped into Kmart to check for back-to-school clearance items. I like to use 3-ring binders to organize my unit plans for teaching, so I picked up 3 of those that were marked down.
So even though it was smart shopping, it was still spending money when I shouldn't be.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
- My mind is too full (and my body is too tired) to manage more than bullets.
- Student teaching is going as well as can be expected. It's not funny anymore. It's just annoying. These kids won't even complete a word search.
- I find it bothersome to also have class at the same time. It's too much.
- Sometimes I wish I'd decided to pursue my degree at another institution of higher learning.
- Last night was one of those nights. I don't think making an entire cohort of second year master's students feel like stupid, worthless idiots is the best route to take. Me thinks if every one of us fails to meet your expectations, you may be partly to blame.
- I finally got around to picking up after Ike. I filled three garbage cans with downed branches. The rest will have to wait.
- It may frost tonight.
- I may close the bedroom window for the first time since spring.
- It's amazing how many pairs of really uncomfortable shoes I own. I rotate them so a different part of my feet hurt each day. I'm beginning to think comfortable shoes do not exist outside of sneakers or flip flops.
- Don't worry, I still want to be a teacher. I just may have to consume a great deal of chocolate.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I will, however, tell you about my moment of fear as I walked to my car after school. Between me and my car were two free-ranging, unattended pitt bulls. Now you all know that I am a dog person, but what you perhaps don't know is that as a toddler I was bitten on the face by a dalmatian. This has made me (understandably) wary of unknown, large dogs. Especially of the pitt bull/rottweiler variety. Fortunately for me, as I approached the dogs I observed several students in the area were unmolested by the dogs, so I forged ahead. Upon closer examination, they were both collared and the female was quite friendly. She came trotting right up to me, wagging her tail and requesting attention. I spoke to her in a kindly fashion but declined to pet her. She followed me temporarily until she realized her pal was less interested in my presence and she went to join him. I couldn't help but notice that he was still fully entact in the male arena, which makes it seem even more irresponsible of the owners to let them roam free. At least the cars near the school were driving slowly enough to notice the pitt bulls when they trotted out into the street. I just hope they stayed away from the busier, four-lane road around the corner and that they eventually returned home.
I also kind of hope they aren't hanging around again tomorrow afternoon.
Monday, September 08, 2008
I've switched to bar soap in the shower and at both the kitchen sink and bathroom sink. I feel like I'm going through bars of soap at an alarming rate though. I think I'll inform my family that homemade soap would make a fine stocking stuffer. Lots of it.
I also ran out of my full-of-Aluminum antiperspirant of late. I'd been thinking of trying the crystal after student teaching was over, so for now I picked up some deodorant from the organic section of the grocery store. No Aluminum or Other Bad Things. Also no sweat-stoppage. Fortunately, I'm not a terribly sweaty or smelly person. I figure if I made it through the 92 degree heat and high humidity on Friday and the hour of walking to and from class on Wednesday without any stink, I'm good-to-go.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I lucked out and got placed with a host teacher that has a window in her classroom, a rarity in this school. She has fish and a tortoise but no plants. I will definitely have plants in my classroom, especially if I have a great big window.
I'm not sure how much blogging I will do about my student teaching. Nor do I know how much time I will have for blogging in general, so bear with me. I will still be reading your blogs when I can.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
This six-pack of root beer was among the items in the boxes of groceries. It was only after I got home and began unpacking the boxes that I discovered the witty instructions added by a creative co-worker. Click on the photo to read them.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I did manage to check out some cows, chickens, bunnies, sheep, goats, pigs, and llamas. I saw the butter sculpture and the beginnings of the sand sculpture. I fought the crowds in the raptor tent so I could make eyes at the barn owls (so cute are they). I bought some handmade soap in the agriculture building. It's vegetarian (no beef tallow) and fragrance free. If I like it I may buy more next weekend so I have some on hand.
In the 4H building I came across an Omlet and instantly took a liking to it. I have been wanting chickens in my backyard for years. Not that I'm going to actually do it (as the neighbors sigh in relief), but I can daydream can't I?
It took me hours and lots of water to recover last night, but I'm already looking forward to the next visit. Fried dough! Curly fries! With vinegar!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I know I should be using a local honey as a sweetener, but one step at a time.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Not only do I love spending time with her, but the town she grew up in is a delight. It has lots of independently-owned shops and restaurants and lots of walking trails. It's a perfect place to spend the day with a good friend.
Friday, August 15, 2008
When I cautiously expressed my desire to go vegetarian, my step-mother immediately quashed the possibility. As long as I lived in her house, I would eat the meat I was served each night for dinner (meat, green vegetable, and starch were doled out each and every night come hell or high water). With no other course of action, I bided my time until I went away to college.
Shortly before Thanksgiving break I warned her over the phone that I was now an ovo-lacto vegetarian. In other words, no turkey for me please. She was horrified and unsure what I would eat for Thanksgiving dinner, never mind that the sides were always my favorite part. I told her that as long as there was an apple pie I would be fine.
And I was, but my approach to vegetarian eating was not a healthy one. People kidded me that I was a pastatarian or a starchatarian. I didn't eat a lot of vegetables and including protein wasn't a high priority for me. A couple years later I began craving tuna fish regularly, and around the same time I contracted a virus that I just couldn't shake. Clearly my body was trying to tell me that I needed to take better care of it. I began eating seafood occasionally (thus morphing into a pescetarian).
Eventually I went back to eating meat but, with only a few exceptions, never really enjoyed it. While with FF I ate more meat than ever before, as he is an extreme consumer of meat products. Often he would have a gigantic bloody steak for dinner with a side of chicken breast. Like many meat-eaters, he would never be able to kill and slaughter the animals he eats. I can't help but wonder how long it would take him (or other meat-eaters like him) to recover from seeing the inner workings of a slaughterhouse and to return to eating meat.
Now that I've been on my own for over a year, I've gradually returned to my pescetarian ways. I'd rather not support the meat industry or the negative impacts it has on the environment. I know there are problems with the fishing industry, but I don't believe it has to be all or nothing. I can do what I am comfortable doing right now, and that's good enough. I haven't eaten a hamburger in almost 15 years, nor have I wanted to. I would, however, have a hard time cutting tuna from my diet.
I'm sure I would've become a vegetarian at some point even without "A's" influence. We lost touch sometime after she completed the Appalachian Trail; now she's one of those old friends I hope to find on Facebook someday.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
As doable as it is in August, I wouldn't really consider it as a permanent solution. Come December and the end of my educational leave of absence, I'm sure I will fork over the money to obtain a parking spot again. Even if I resent it.
This morning was oddly foggy as I climbed the hill. I could barely make out the buildings around me. At one point I could clearly hear a woman's voice nearby, but I never found her amongst the fog. On such mornings when I'm enjoying the walk I am almost disappointed when someone pulls over to pick me up.
Monday, August 11, 2008
As the weekend approaches each week I imagine doing all sorts of fun and exciting things, but the reality is that I'm so exhausted I can barely manage to stay awake. I had to fight to not nap yesterday afternoon out of fear that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep until late. As it was I didn't go to sleep until after 11:30 last night, which is darn late when I get up at 5:20. I need closer to 8-9 hours of sleep. I always assume that everyone is running around in the same state of total exhaustion. Am I wrong? And if I'm right, then something is terribly wrong with our society. I actually had to sit and rest during my walk around the lake. A formerly unheard of act. This is going to be a long day. If you hear snoring, please ignore it.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
So while my car was being inspected on Saturday, I walked over to Target. The toothbrush cost me $2.04 plus tax, which you can't beat. I've used it for a couple days now and can say that I absolutely like it. It has a nice small head and super soft bristles. I would definitely recommend it.
Going into Target for even my one small item was disturbing. All of the acres of unnecessary crap and pushy people. At the checkout aisles I was shoved aside by someone with a cart full of merchandise when all I was holding was one item. Had I known for sure I would like the toothbrushes I would've bought several to avoid having to return to that store in three months. I need another soapdish now that I'm switching to bar soap, but there was no way I was buying one there. If I can't find the one that is MIA in my own house, I'll pay a visit to the thrift store. I'm going to do my best to avoid buying new whenever possible.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
August 1st marks the beginning of a new parking year, but with my upcoming leave-of-absence I was reluctant to have to buy the new pass, then return it in a month, and buy it again a few months after that. I certainly wasn't going to pay for it during my 3 month LOA. To avoid all the hassle, I decided I would just buy the fool thing when I return to work in December.
So today was the first day of my new routine which involves parking nearby (where it's free!) and walking to my office. I cut through some nice wooded areas and some tall grassy bits, then I popped out onto the sidewalk to climb the hill to my office building. I arrived somewhat sweaty and damp from the dew in about 15 minutes (change of pants and shoes in my backpack). My plan is on mornings when it's raining cats & dogs to snag a spot in the visitor parking. Surely they won't know the difference for one day, right? If I was more ambitious I'd calculate how much money I'm saving by doing this.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I've been alternating between a bar soap and bath wash with the poof. The bar soap is much quicker, but it leaves a weird sticky residue and makes my skin dry. I feel much cleaner with the poof. I don't know if all bar soaps would have the same effect, or if it's just mine (which is locally made and otherwise wonderful). I'd like to eliminate the purchasing of the body wash because of its plastic bottle.
I usually skip showering once a week. I don't think I smell, but I end up feeling pretty scuzzy by the end of the day. I know I'd get used to it if I did it regularly, but in the summer I'd still have to shave daily. (Curse the genetics that blessed me with fast-growing hair.)
So what's your secret to shorter showers?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
This was the last of my general ed requirements. So long, farewell! It's been grand. Not.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The group next to me was struggling with how to get their imaginary students to remember the word algorithm. I immediately started doing a little dance. When I explained that I was an alga dancing because dancing requires rhythm I got two blank stares. You know, an alga with rhythm? Alga-rhythm? Imagine I was wearing all green? Nothing. Fine. I went back to bouncing around and stretching my legs and wondering how they could not see the connection. They spent another few minutes trying to come up with something. Finally I asked them what an algorithm was, and they launched into a definition of the steps for a math problem (yada, yada, yada). So I demonstrated, again, my example of an alga dancing, but this time I did the waltz and counted out loud. One. Two. Three. STEPS. Now they no longer thought it was stupid (and yes, that was the word that was used to describe my idea) and even used it as their example when they presented to the class. Ha! They did ask me to be a guest dancer. I chose the foxtrot for that.
I want to be the teacher that dresses all in green and dances around the room. Because you know what, no one in my class would forget algorithm if I did that.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must."What's a little odd to me is that there are drugstores, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, etc within walking distance. There are not schools or libraries terribly close though. I am embarrassed to admit that I've never walked to any of the localations near me. When I walk in my neighborhood it's with the dogs, not to an outside destination.
Perhaps Walk Score will help to encourage me (and others?) to take advantage of the walkability of where we live.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
A portion of this class is being held at a local middle school that, regardless of the relative wealth of the school district, does not have air conditioning in the classrooms. Seeing as how I do not have AC in my home this is, perhaps, not as taxing on me as my classmates. However, when I am attempting to explain integer subtraction to reluctant soon-to-be eigth graders I think we could all benefit from some cooler temperatures.
This is my first experience with summer school (other than that ridiculous movie), so I was much relieved to see the casual nature of the dress code. I've seen teachers in shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. Now that is refreshing.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Some positive things I do now:
- buy used textbooks
- use reusable cloth menstrual pads
- use sea sponge tampons
- use reusable cloth grocery bags
- mow the lawn as rarely as possible
- run only full loads of laundry and dishes
- wash clothes mostly on cold
- reuse towels multiple times
- wear some clothes multiple times before washing
- buy some food stuff from farmer's market (locally grown/made)
- buy organic when possible
- have no AC in the house
- keep thermostat as low as possible in wintertime
- have solar panels to assist in heating during cold months
- limit unnecessary driving
- walk locally (in neighborhood) almost exclusively to eliminate the drive to more interesting places
- think before making purchases- do I really need "x" item?
- belong to Freecycle
- donate old clothes/household items to Salvation Army
- eat little meat (no red meat at all)
- use compact fluorescent bulbs
- drink tap water
- use reusable metal water bottle
- recycle paper, plastic, metal, glass
- attempt to grow my own tomatoes
- use reusable cloth napkins
- not use any chemicals on my lawn or garden
- read "green" blogs for additional ideas to incorporate into my lifestyle
Some long-term changes/goals:
- buy reusable produce bags
- reduce or eliminate paper towel usage
- reduce kleenex usage (really?)
- learn to sew
- learn to cook
- learn to make more of what I need
- take shorter/fewer showers
- use more natural cleaning products like vinegar
- work closer to home
- own a more fuel efficient car
- buy used books (recreational books)
- buy energy efficient appliances when old ones need replacing
- grow more edibles
- avoid big box stores
Friday, July 04, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
I like to visit Compost This to check on various things. They advise smashing the egg shells into little bits because they compost so slowly. Oops. Maybe I should jump up and down on my little pile to crush the ones I've already put out there? I try not to waste food, but there is invariably a few things that still must go in the trash. According to Compost This, the heels of my bread should not go in the compost pile, nor should the bit of uneaten pasta not worth saving. Although maybe the squirrels would like to snack on the bread, and would that really be a bad thing?
Sunday, June 29, 2008
These are only a fraction of the many flowering plants in my parents' yard. Every year they plant hundreds of impatiens, in addition to the multitude of perennials. I always admire their gardens but don't like to think about all the weeding they must require. I lucked out the other day when I was over there and found tons of perfectly ripe wild strawberries, including handfuls of blond ones. One more thing to add to the list of "things I want to plant in my yard."
Some of my hostas are in bud and my coral bells are always flowering. One of the geraniums that survived the winter in dormancy in the garage has sent up its first flower of the summer. My lovely farmer's market lilies from last summer are just about to pop. I need to get more of those too; they are so neat and compact, with gorgeous flowers.
FF was prodded into removing the blade from the lawn mower to take to work and sharpen. Hopefully, he can get to it tomorrow because my grass is starting to look a tad shaggy. The blade was so dull that it was pushing the grass over instead of cutting it. Must be all the stumps I've caught with it over the years. Maybe mowing will go faster with it sharpened? One can always hope...
Friday, June 27, 2008
I wish I could remember more of what Mr. Dog was like as a little puppy. Was he as much of a dingbat as she is? Will she get smarter with age? She has moments now of looking less like a chubby puppy and more like a small dog.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As a 1930s wife, I am
I took it as if I hypothetically had a husband. I'm guessing even if I had both husband and children I would still be a bad 30s wife.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
It was so nice to come home to a quiet house tonight. There was no one being petty and mean, no one calling me names when they think I'm out of earshot. I may not have a single person that puts me first in this world, but I also don't have a house full of people that put me down.
Sometimes there's nothing wrong with being alone. Nothing at all.
Recently I read about switching to bar soap on Going Green. I'd never thought of the environmental impact of using hand soap before, so this was an enlightening post for me. I do buy liquid soap in big refill bottles, which is better than if I'd been buying dispensers each time. But it's been bugging me ever since I read BurbanMom's post. So yesterday at the farmer's market, I picked up a bar of locally made gardener's soap. It has little bits of cornmeal in it to act as a scrubbing agent. I put it next to my kitchen sink, and now I'm hooked. My hands feel so clean! I'll definitely be getting a bar for the bathroom too.
The real challenge will be in the shower. I am a shower gel user. I've been using those (plastic) shower poofs for 15 years and I love them. My pores have a tendency to clog easily, and the poofs are very effective at removing dead skin. But the poofs have a fairly short shelf life and need regular replacement. When my last poof was on its last legs, I replaced it with a cloth version. The cotton poof doesn't work in the same way. It takes longer to maneuver, but it exfoliates just as well (or better). I just don't think using a bar of soap would have the same exfoliating effect, and that's not something I'm willing to sacrifice.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
beach w/ Forrest, read WoodsWoman III
K & K arrived around 12:15
chatting & catching up
back down to the beach
shoreline w/ K & Forrest
freshly emerged damsel fly & shell
something bit me - Jen says pumpkin seed
swimming with Forrest, K & K
classroom - crazy moths on outside wall near light
barred owls calling
"who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?"
This is an excerpt from a nature journal I kept for class during my summer session as an undergrad at Small Green School. I pulled it out of storage to use in a lesson plan I'm developing for my current class. This particular entry was pretty bare bones, but I decided to share it on account of the date. There was a watercolor sketch of the crayfish included.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I can't believe June is half over. I've spent so little time working in the yard. It makes me sad, but maybe I'll have more time next summer. Sigh.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I was so traumatized that I refused to ride the bus back to my office after class. Instead I tightened the shoulder straps on my backpack, buckled the waist and chest straps and put up my hair. I would walk it! The flat parts were mostly pleasant with occasional shade, but when I turned to start up the big, long hill the shade vanished. I was sweating profusely, and I could feel my face turn into the tomato it usually reserves for lawn mowing. Black pants in the bright sun weren't helping. I plugged on, stopping only once to take a quick swig of water.
I finally got to my building and was thankful for the AC, something I usually dislike. Forty minutes, door-to-door, walking at a pretty good clip. I'm not sure walking it twice a day in summer is practical, especially since my July class is held several blocks further down the hill. I got blisters on both feet, as I was wearing my Tevas for only the second time this season. And I can't promise I didn't smell during my afternoon meeting.
At least I don't have to worry about it for tomorrow, but it will take a lot to convince me to get back on that bus.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The shuttle bus was much smoother the second time around, but all it took was 3 minutes of attempting to read to bring me to the verge of throwing up. What a waste of time I desperately need. I know, you're wondering what I'm doing blogging if I'm so short on time. Well, I just needed a break from that entirely boring third article. Clearly I won't be making it to articles 4 and 5 tonight.
Also, is it dangerous for my dogs to be eating vast amounts of blanket fuzz? Because it's just about the only thing keeping them semi-entertained.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I took the campus shuttle yesterday for the first time. The driver was very friendly and answered my "newbie" questions. I forgot to ask the all-important question regarding the pick-up location on main campus, as the normal locale is behind construction cones and barrels. Hopefully, I can figure it out before tomorrow's return trip (due to a work-related scenario I did not ride the bus today). The stupid shuttle only runs every 40 minutes during the summer, so I will be missing more work than I would prefer. The shuttle is a good first step towards taking the bus to work, although I am still having major issues with the additional hour and half to two hours a day that the bus would require. Think of the poor pups!
I've been working on a paper, but I think I shall call it a night.
Friday, June 06, 2008
In the wee hours of the morning I was rudely awakened by booming thunder, flashing lightening, and pounding rain. I thought for sure my peonies would be smashed to bits in the mud, but they were holding their own when I took the dogs out. Some of the irises didn't fare so well.
Nor did I, for that matter. The power went out, and I overslept by an hour. I skipped my morning tea and have had a throbbing, stabbing headache all day. No amount of drugs has helped, nor has the caffeine in the cola I had with lunch. The tea I had planned on consuming upon my arrival at work was nixed after I realized the funky smell in my office was coming from the moldy hot cocoa. The big sniff I took of the mug contents practically burned my nose hairs.
Esme will certainly not approve of my desire to lie on the couch with my eyes closed. I'm sure she'll be much more interested in chewing on my nose or chin. Why did I bother buying all those dog toys?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
- Class starts Monday. Freedom is in short supply in these parts.
- Esme's ears are now fully erect. They only flop over a little when she sleeps. Mr. Dog's ears never flop, in fact you'd need duct tape to restrain them.
- She is still absolutely insane. That old saying about letting sleeping dogs lie has taken on new meaning. I'll have had her 4 weeks tomorrow. How many more years before she calms down?!
- I watched the first half of The Andromeda Strain Sunday night. It was not a good choice for me to watch when I was home alone after dark, before trying to sleep. I haven't been able to watch the second half yet. I read the book several decades ago. Perhaps I am more whimpy now?
- Last night I happened upon the first three episodes of Start Trek: Enterprise. I never got into that series when it came out, but I'm hooked now. Of course, finding the rest of it in sequential order could take effort. You're not all shocked that I love Star Trek are you? I was a big time TNG fan.
- I haven't been able to do any gardening or yard work. I haven't quite found the necessary balance with regards to Esme and well, the rest of my life. Vacuuming has also gone by the wayside.
- Needless to say, I am concerned how I'll manage my schoolwork and what has already been described as intensive reading assignments. I guess four weeks wasn't quite long enough to assimilate her into my life.
- I haven't managed my goal of four walks per week either, so with class starting I guess I will admit defeat and lower the goal back down to three.
- I've also been suffering from some sort of food crisis. I don't like to cook, and I don't like to spend money on food. I will go to the store and buy the bare minimums and then be desperately unhappy the next time I want to eat. I end up eating chips & salsa for dinner. Or croutons. Directly from the bag. I don't know what the solution is.
- I decided to try not wearing mascara to work today. And you know what? The world did not end. I may be on to something here.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
She pointed out bird calls and I showed her different ferns (cinnamon, interrupted, royal, and sensitive). I spied a muskrat just as it slipped into the water. The few ATVs we saw were driven at reasonable speeds by courteous individuals. It would be a nice spot to walk with the dogs or ride a bike, but with the high gas prices it's not exactly practical.
I am always wishing that we had a more extensive trail system in my area, so it brings me pleasure to find a rail trail somewhat nearby. To see if there are any near you, visit TrailLink.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Some of my poppies have popped. I think maybe if I stood next to them long enough I could catch them in the act of going from fuzzy buds to gorgeous open flowers.
The Solomon seals hide quietly in the deep shade behind my house. They do not announce their presence with the same zeal that the poppies do, but they are well worth the extra look.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The next day I found a plastic bag in my mailbox when I came in. I assumed it was for the doggies until I opened it up and found 3 articles of clothing and a note from my boss asking if I liked them. Her sister is as big a shopper as she is but had decided these items weren't practical for the Texas clime. Since they didn't work for my boss she brought them in for me to try. One is a lovely, soft, brown shawl-type sweater that I adore. I haven't tried the others on yet because I am so enamoured with this one.
No one has brought me any doggie bedding yet though. Perhaps they are reluctant to air their "dirty laundry" in front of a co-worker?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
While on the subject of walking, it seems that people these days either are not aware that there are rules dictating which side of the road you should be walking on or just don't care. I am always careful to be walking or biking on the correct side, but from what I see most people in my neighborhood do whatever they please. Sometimes I am the only person walking on the correct side, which makes me appear to be the one in the wrong! So to review:
- When riding a bike, you ride WITH traffic.
- When walking, you FACE traffic.
Last summer, I set a goal for myself to walk a minimum of 3 times a week. This year I am upping that goal to 4 times a week, with the exception of when class is in session. All bets are off then.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I may also try using vinegar to clean, but well, I'm not in any rush to take up cleaning. Ha!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I picked her up a little over a week ago. She weighed 2 lbs 7 oz and was 8 weeks old. She is a black & tan short-haired chihuahua. She did not come with papers and will most likely be in the 10-12 lb range as an adult (that is only a guess on my part; I can't wait to see how wrong I am!). She is playful and cuddly and quite a handful. It's all eyes on deck at all times to prevent irreparable damage to my coffee table, carpet, and anything else she takes a fancy to. The floor is strewn with chew toys, but they are much less interesting than books, papers, and furniture. Don't worry, I've done this before. I raised Mr. Dog since he was her age and he turned out fine. I can only hope she takes to training as well as he did.
So for those of you counting, I now own two dogs and a cat. I also provide shelter to a second cat, and it will be a happy day when he takes his leave. Since I have no spouse or children, I might as well have a lot of pets, right?
Friday, May 16, 2008
I wish I'd known about this group when we were cleaning out my grandmother's house. I'm sure there would've been a few takers on some of the things that got thrown out. Oh well, live and learn and take inspiration from fellow bloggers. Right?!
In other book news, I still need to say a few words about Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs. Although an easy and enjoyable read, I did not like it as much as her first novel, The Friday Night Knitting Club. This one is too light and fairy tale-esque. I like happy endings and all, but there needs to be a little sour to balance out the sweet. In this case, it just all worked out a little too unrealistically well. But if you are looking for a nice, light, summer read, Comfort Food might satisfy your chick lit cravings.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I only got two of them planted last night (the two hostas) before I received a phone call from FF asking for help. The belt on his car had snapped, so I had to pick him up at the car parts store (he'd walked there from the gas station where his dead car awaited) and take him to get his tools from his work van. By the time I got back home it was dark. I guess that just gives me more time to think about proper placement. I'm prone to digging holes and plopping plants any old place. I should really consider the best place for the bee balm though because I think it spreads easily?
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I am challenging myself to finish this book now, so I've signed up for Green Bean's Be a Bookworm Challenge. If you've already read Last Child, there are plenty of other good suggestions worth looking over on Green Bean Dreams. Check it out!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
As it turns out, Facebook has benefits that extend above and beyond throwing sheep (which I enjoy).
*No, I did not just move to a seaside resort. The Beach is a nickname for a portion of a street near Hometown U. It used to be more grassy, but these days it tends toward the cement.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The oral exam/exit interview/paper defense this morning was a bit rougher than I'd expected. I'd rather someone just give me a bad grade than sit there and tell me to my face how much I suck. It felt neither productive nor constructive. Clearly I'm too sensitive.
Now I have one month to go for walks, read books, and garden before it starts all over again.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Now I just hope I can keep my new plant alive and flowering. I have one old and very small African violet that hasn't flowered in years. The lady suggested that I replant it in a smaller pot to force flowering. My interest in African violets started during my sophomore year of college when I lived alone in a basement apartment. I finally succeeded in getting one to flower on my window sill. When I happily phoned my father to brag, he congratulated me on officially becoming an old woman.