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Weekend and Flowers - Lots of Pics.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday was a pretty big disappointment. The weather had been predicted to be in the mid 60s, but the day started out cold, windy, and rainy. My plans for working outside were dashed completely. However, I spent a chunk of the day working on building and painting the stone work for the fairy house, so I had fun inside with a project, Stella, and Luna. Not a bad outcome at all.

I had to work Saturday night. The school was having a Rock 'N Roll Hop for a fundraiser. Very few parent volunteers signed up to assist, so I went over early to help decorate and see what other things needed to get done. I ended up staying the entire evening, decorating, then serving root beer floats at the refreshment table, and finally helping dismantle the decorations and cleaning up. I had a great time. The band was excellent, and a lot of parents from years past were there to have fun. I enjoyed catching up on what their children, now young adults, are doing.

Since it was a 50's/60's theme, I dressed as I did in the 60's... kind of hippie / cowgirl, in jeans, a jeans jacket, beads, cowboy boots, and hair in a pony tail. I ending up wishing I brought my roller skates; it would have been fun to serve the root beer floats on skates. Cow boy boots are better for dancing, especially red and black peppy ones. Gettin' old though - by the end of the evening my feet were talking to me, and not very politely.

Today was the day I hoped yesterday would be. Sunny and hot. I sang with my friend, then we walked to an open house of an exquisitely remodeled home down the road from her. It was breath taking. Had I known that we were going to see it, I would have brought my camera because I have been watching the project from the outside for a year.

When I got home, I took Stella for a through the woods and meadow to watch for birds and see what flowers are blooming. Come and join us on our walk.




Violets are such sweet ambassadors of spring!


The trout lily has budded. Hopefully the deer give it a chance to bloom. Trout lily buds are a gourmet treat for the deer.


I love the color of scilla. It is popping up all through the woods.


Daffodils are in their prime.






The May apples are looking like little folded sun umbrellas right now.


I love it when they do this.



Finally! The kind of day when you can go for a walk, flop down in a bed of violets, and enjoy the warmth of the sun. How healing is that?!!!

I hope you had a renewing spring day, too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/15/2011 8:48PM

    Hey, Stella's a pretty good photographer! Lovely photos, the May apples are a new one on me, very interesting. I'm glad you finally got a nice day to enjoy Springtime. the Hop sounds like a blast! I always enjoy special events at school even if there's work involved. I took 2 of my classes out yesterday to weed, turn and seed 4 of our raised beds. We planted lettuce, radishes, carrots, squash, cucumber and sunflowers. They surprised me with their teamwork. They are usually at each other's throats all day. It was a glorious weather day and quite productive! According to the packets, we should have veggies before the end of school (June 21st). Enjoy this weekend and thanks for the good wishes for my Spring Break!

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AQUAJANE 4/15/2011 12:06PM

    Thanks for the photos. Stella's looking great! Our daffs are past their prime, but the mayapples are now out. Spring's in full bloom! emoticon

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SUNNY332 4/15/2011 10:37AM

    Great photos. Loved the Violets (we have them in bloom now too) plus the May Flowers (one of my favorites.

Also - my favorite photo is definitely the last one. Woohoo.
Good one!

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CAROLIAN 4/14/2011 12:04PM

    emoticon

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SOON2BEFITSLP 4/12/2011 9:11PM

    It has been between the 60s and 70s here and I love it. I actually broke a sweat walking to class on Friday! I love when the flowers begin to bloom, you are right it is very renewing and healing. Yay!

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JABULONESTAR 4/12/2011 12:09AM

    Wonderful Pictures :) Thanks for taking us with you on your walk ! Hugs for you and Stella!

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MARY1313 4/11/2011 11:11AM

    I loved going for a walk with you!

Mary

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BELLASMOM8 4/11/2011 8:19AM

    Looks like it was a wonderful time, love the picture of Stella, you and all the flowers.

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PONYFARMER 4/11/2011 12:58AM

    Beautiful pictures. I so love flowers. Thanks!

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IUHRYTR 4/10/2011 9:54PM

    emoticon for good days. -- Lou

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VALERIEMAHA 4/10/2011 9:24PM

    Though working Sat. night isn't ideal, it sounds like, all things considered, you had a decent amount of fun!

And the last photo says it all -- FANTASTIC!!! Yeah, thanks for taking me along.
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Maha

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Hybrid Cars

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I had planned to wait until I retired to buy my 'retirement' car, and have been saving ahead so I wouldn't have to make car payments after I retire. I find that I am changing my mind about waiting until I retire. I have always driven a standard transmission car, I love the pep, and being a bit hyperactive, I love having things to do with my hands and feet. However, with the injury I have where my bones in my hip are separating, I find operating the clutch extremely painful and I also worry that the leg extension will actually exacerbate the problem. You might want to suggest that I pull my seat up closer. Uh, uh! I am smaller than many of my 6th graders who are not allowed to sit where there is a front seat airbag. I try to stay as far back from the airbag as I can and still reach the clutch, brake, and accelerator. I think it is time to get real about my condition and get my first automatic car.

My promise to myself and Mother Earth was that I would get a hybrid when I retired, so toay I am off to test drive a Prius and a Ford Fusion. I love my Honda Accord, but Honda seems to only be making Civic and Insight hybrids in the car classification, and I do not feel as safe in a smaller car. It was, after all, a car accident (in a bug) that got me into this situation. I want more car around me.

Reading hybrid reviews, the Prius and the Fusion seem to get consistently good reviews.

Do you have any experience with either?

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/15/2011 8:51PM

    Congrats to you for treating yourself NOW. I'm interested in learning more about them so I'll keep an eye on this blog, but I admit I don't know much about them. Happy Hunting!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/10/2011 2:50PM

    I have a friend who did extensive research and ended up with the Fusion -- he has been very happy with it. My father-in-law has a Prius, and is also very happy with his car. So I suspect you can't really go wrong with either choice.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 4/10/2011 12:30AM

    I have some friends who own a Prius, and they love it. I rode in it once and was favorably impressed.
I'm glad you will be getting an automatic. I had to switch to an automatic transmission about 25 years ago because the clutch would cause my patella to go off-track.
Good luck with your car acquisition!
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IUHRYTR 4/9/2011 11:52AM

    How about checking out the new electric cars on the market? Plugs into a normal 110 outlet at home or work or at charging stations. Some are hybrids and have gas kick in when the electric runs out. -- Lou

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FEROCIOUS_T 4/9/2011 10:22AM

    I rented a Prius once and LOVED it! It is quiet when it's running on battery and that takes some getting used to. I'd buy one in a minute if I were in the market. Though, yesterday the price of gas here was $3.88 so I'm thinking my next vehicle will be a horse...

(PS: thank you so much for your consistent support and encouragement on my blogs, feeds, page, etc. Your words always make me feel warm and cared for!)

T.

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CITYZOZO 4/9/2011 10:09AM

    my mommy in law has a prius, she loves it, it is very very quiet.. sometimes you don't even know it is running

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Chiropractic, Cranking up Spring, and Cooking

Thursday, April 07, 2011

My entire exercise program has been blown entirely out of the water these last couple of months with my hip and back issues. Because of the nature of the problem, even my chiropractor, who believes in healthy movement, wants my movements restricted. No bending, twisting, lifting, or long sessions walking. It has been too cold for biking and I have to drive to go swimming. With a standard transmission car, even driving is painful.

Soooo, I am doing my best with gentle exercise at home and trying to stay on target with my diet.

With visits to my chiropractor 2 - 3 times a week, manganese/B12 supplements, and being more ginger with my hip and back than I'd like, I am finally, after 3 months, beginning to feel some progress. My chiropractor is positive I will eventually be back to normal. I have been despairing of that, but trying to maintain an upbeat and positive outlook in spite of my frustration.

A friend just gave me the number of someone who is reputed to be an extraordinarily good acupuntcurist. I have not tried acupuncture yet, but I know of people who have had a great deal of success with it.

So enough with the whining already! The weather has finally started to warm up and we have had some blue skies and sunshine; a real treat after a long, gray winter. The daffodils, crocuses, and scilla are up and blooming in the yard, and the grass is turning green. This weekend, it is supposed to warm into the upper 70's / lower 80's. I am hoping to take a short walk in the wild life preserve to see what wildflowers are blooming. I believe the Dutchman's breeches will be out, and hopefully some trillium.

Things are gathering momentum like a snowball at work as we prepare for our 'Cooking Show', spring musical, and end of the year camping trip. The children selected Japan, Mexico, Italy, and the Middle East for their teams to represent. The 'mystery ingredient' they drew from my hat was beans, so each team has to prepare a main dish representative of their country using a recipe with beans in it. With such a diverse group of ethnicities, it was hard coming up with 4 mystery ingredients to draw from. I chose rice, beans, fruit, and pasta to draw from. I was glad they drew the ingredient 'beans' because I don't think they usually think of beans as an important part of their diet.

Now they have to research their countries for a main dish with beans, gather a list of ingredients, and prepare their meal. They will make an international restaurant and feed the rest of the school. The children are pumped about it!

I hope you are enjoying spring, too!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/15/2011 8:57PM

    I sure hope your back is better soon. Back pain sucks. Well, all pain sucks, but you can't move any part of your body without feeling it in your back. Good luck with the acupuncture. Your cooking project sounds really fab! My Jordanian student's mom brought me in some homemade hummus and falafel yesterday, it was divine! Hummus is an easy one to make in school, we will probably try to. I'm not a fan of canned beans, but they'll do in a pinch! How about a hearty minestrone for Italy? Some blackbean enchiladas and some tofu somethin'.....I'm not a tofu fan. We read about tofu today as a matter of fact! Enjoy the whirlwind that is the end of the school year and keep your eye on the calendar for June!

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JABULONESTAR 4/10/2011 1:55AM

    I love the picture of Stella and the flowers :) I am so happy to hear that you are feeling some relief finally and hope you are 100% really soon.

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0309COOKIE 4/8/2011 10:03PM

    Ah, two of my favorite things: Stella and daffodils.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 4/8/2011 5:58PM

    I'm pleased to learn that your back is improving. I have seen an acupuncturist in the past for my chronic neck injury. If he/she has a great reputation, I would highly recommend trying it.

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OLDERDANDRT 4/8/2011 11:07AM

    Hope your back gives you peace soon!!! What a bummer! Sounds like you are busy, busy, busy again with the end of the year stuff starting at school! hehe For every school year beginning there is an end! (duh) hehe
Please tell Stella she is still the Belle of the Ball in and amongst the daff's! Just like a beautiful Spring flower herself!!! Awwwww!

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MAWRTIAN 4/8/2011 3:47AM

    I love daffodils!! They are my favorite and I miss them. I'll be home in baltimore the first week of may so they will still be around, yea!

I have seen an acupuncturist it the past and the improvment I got from the neck pain was AMAZING!!! I will pray for great results for you too.

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WATERMELLEN 4/7/2011 9:55PM

    So sorry about your back issues -- no way are you whining, you have been stoical and brave in circumstances that would drive anyone mad.

Hope that the acupuncture helps . . .

That picture of Stella is adorable -- she seems to be enjoying spring!!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 4/7/2011 9:18PM

    I have heard good things about it as well, makes sense to try it. What a cute picture of Stella.

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IUHRYTR 4/7/2011 8:15PM

    Chris, I love seeing Stella checking out the flowers. I had acupuncture after car crash 1995. Helped me and others I know who had it performed. I was hesitant until I realized how many thousands of years it has been done. Hope you get some relief. -- Lou

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B2B2BA 4/7/2011 8:08PM

    I am trying to find new ways to get beans into our diet. Getting kids to eat them early is a wonderful thing.

Hope you are feeling better soon. I've never tried accupuncture either but it would be worth a try. Sounds like you are on the right track.

Enjoy a beautiful weekend! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I Love My Spark Friends!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The votes were overwhelmingly about play, play, play! I really love you guys ~ you know I'm such a little workaholic most of the time and you knew that the right thing for me to do was to spend my final day of spring break playing.

Well, it was an absolutely gorgeous day today; the only gorgeous warm day of my entire break; heck, it even snowed once this past week. So Stella and I went for a nice long walk in the meadow and then sat outside with Mike just enjoying the sun and the breeze. The windows are open and a breeze is blowing fresh spring air through the house. I am so happy to have one day like this, and not to be scrambling around doing the laundry and scrubbing the floors.

Craft-wise, I applied the stonework to the exterior fireplace and to about half of the foundation, then ran out of clay. Once it dries, I can paint it.





I want to know ~ does all of that masonry work count as exercise???

And I built a little pumpkin-y couch.



And ~ I started putting together my next build.



Tomorrow I am taking my class to see Freedom Train; the Harriet Tubman Story. It should be a great way to launch the week and the final quarter of school. Things will be incredibly busy as we prepare for the spring musical, have our international cooking project, and get ready for our end of the year camping trip. I simply must remember to take my vitamins each morning!

Thank you all for being so perceptive and unanimously saying PLAY!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JABULONESTAR 4/10/2011 1:57AM

    Sounds like such a fabulous day :) The house and the couch look great!

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ANASINGS 4/7/2011 1:12PM

    Great blog! And WOW! Your fairy house is amazing! So much talent! I'm glad you chose to play. Thanks for commenting on my "Starvia" blog. I'll definitely have some protein bars with me when I fly back home. I have done some exercise videos, but not more than 10 minutes at a time, plus they have to be low impact because I'm on the 14th floor and apparently the downstairs neighbor complaints about stomping noises. (Can't wait to be home!) emoticon

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KRITTERKEEPERS 4/6/2011 3:16AM

    Love the fairy house! emoticon

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IUHRYTR 4/4/2011 9:33PM

    Too often we fail to simply enjoy a refreshing breeze or the comfortable solitude of sitting with a loved one. Good for you for not doing chores that do not have any immediacy to them. The house looks wonderful. Now if you could build full sized one, we'd all scramble to live there. You are so very creative. -- Lou

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MARY1313 4/4/2011 9:00PM

    And we love you to Teacher Chris! I love the brick work! and the couch is gorgeous, I can just see the fairies sitting around on it looking oh so pretty!

You know, those clothes and floors will be waiting for you. always choose fun over that stuff!!!!

Hugs

Mary

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JAZZMINE 4/4/2011 8:33PM

    The house is looking great!

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CAROLIAN 4/4/2011 3:26PM

    emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 4/3/2011 5:46PM

    emoticonYou sure can build some rocks!
Wonderful. I can't wait for more!

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WATERMELLEN 4/3/2011 5:28PM

    We all love you right back.

That pumpkin couch is adorable!! So plump and restful looking!! You are so whimsical and creative when you play: has to be good for the soul!!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 4/3/2011 5:17PM

    I think it looks perfect. Exercise hmmmmm.... I would ask one of the Spark coaches about that one....

I love you too & that is why I am giving a NO vote on the masonry counting as exercise.

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On a Lighter Note

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First of all, thank you to my friends who were so supportive after reading the blog about my brother. It helped to just spill that out and to hear back from you.

I had a good time with one of my teacher friends yesterday. She had to get fingerprinted to renew her teaching certificate, but get this: she is my age and has been teaching art long enough, that her fingertips are wrinkled and the local machine couldn't pick up her prints. So she had to go 35 miles to get printed at the Criminal Bureau of Investigation, across the street from one of our state's high security prisons. That was an experience! I went along to keep it light and fun, and we combined the trip with a visit to art galleries and lunch out in Columbus. We did a little antiquing on our way home and had a pleasant day together in spite of having to go to the CBI to get printed.

Today I crafted a little bed for the fairy house. If your eyes are rolling and you are starting to twitch at the mention of it, exit now. emoticon

I have been incorporating little things from my family members who are no longer here, but who would love to be part of this project for the grandchildren (their great grandchildren.) So the sheets are made from one of my father's soft, soft handkerchiefs, and the little coverlet with the violets is made from one of my mother's handkerchiefs. I still need to hem the sheets, bedspread, and coverlet. That will be this evening's project.



Hepatica and Columbine like to work together to make the bed.



While I am having a ball thinking of ways to make the fairy house delightful for little girls, my dark side is itching. I have already figured out how to make the ring wraiths for my darker Lord of the Rings build.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JABULONESTAR 4/10/2011 2:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KRITTERKEEPERS 4/1/2011 4:56PM

    I love the coverlet with the violets ~ what a great idea!
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CAROLIAN 4/1/2011 11:49AM

    emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 4/1/2011 5:03AM

    LOL on LOTR

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MARY1313 3/31/2011 1:19PM

    Love those sheets! What a great thing to incorporate special things from the "greats" for them!

Mary

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WEKIMER 3/31/2011 9:45AM

    Lovely ideas, Love your fairy house and love your little bed. It is so precious to include hankies from your Mom and Dad. That will be a treasure for sure. Love the plant vines you used for the headboard and foot board. Kim

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IDLETYME 3/31/2011 8:22AM

    What a wonderful project. A family remembrance that can be passed down.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. I look forward to seeing more as the fairy house progresses.

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WATERMELLEN 3/30/2011 7:56PM

    The fairy bed is both beautiful and deeply touching, in the way it incorporates your mum and dad's hankies!!

I'm so glad you are feeling a bit "lighter" today. And: had absolutely no idea that a person could get too old (??? and at our age?????) for their fingerprints to "take"!!

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PONYFARMER 3/30/2011 7:00PM

    What a great idea, and super of you to honor your mom and dad that way. I am sure they are pleased and looking down in love.

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IUHRYTR 3/30/2011 6:22PM

    I enjoy seeing pictures of the progress on the house. Keep them coming. -- Lou

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ETWOLIE 3/30/2011 6:02PM

    What a beautiful project and how nice to use mementos of family members to create with. Am I too old to play with fairy dolls?

Let me know when you post more photos of your projects.

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VALERIEMAHA 3/30/2011 5:12PM

    emoticon

I want that bed for ME!!! Lovely, simply lovely! AND your desktop ROCKS!
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Maha
BTW, what is your brother's first name? I've been doing metta for him. Please let me know how it goes for him.

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