Friday, April 24, 2009
Mark is in Frankfurt, Germany right now. He is scheduled to fly home on Sunday, but was going to try and get a flight home tomorrow. I think the Germans were trying to be nice and give him a day of sightseeing, but....he wants to be home, and I'd rather that he was home as well.
Austin was on Facebook this evening and we were able to chat for awhile. He was on the scene at one of the suicide bombings that happened yesterday. It has been relatively peaceful since he went to Iraq, but the announcements of the suicide bombings yesterday in downtown Baghdad, where he is currently located, gave me a scare. He worked the scene, then went to the Emergency Room to assist. I think it was a pretty hairy experience for him, to be sure. He can't get back home soon enough!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday we went to the Eco Expo, a show with lots of "green" alternatives. There were many items for home building, but they won't really apply to us, since the log house kit doesn't allow for concrete, stryofoam, etc., walls. But there was cool stuff on appliances, heat pumps, solar panels, countertops, tiling, etc. Nothing on wind mills, which is Mark's current passion. We have found a company that will evaluate the home site for solar/wind/geothermal possibillities, which we will definitely have done. We have also found a Katahdin home dealer/contractor who is about twenty miles away from the farm. This should make our lives, and the building process, much simpler than the previous plan of having someone come in from Kentucky. These people have already gotten a copy of our plans and we hope to meet soon to discuss finalizing them. I want to really spend some time this summer working out the final details, since it is difficult to focus on something like that during the school year.
The rest of the weekend was spent in a rainy, dreary weather fog. Mark worked on a skid to haul log timbers from the bluffs later this summer, and I attempted (unsuccessfully) to clean off my desk top. Austin has called with a wonderful regularity lately, as well as catching him on Facebook a time or two. I have done an amazing job (for me, at least!) of not worrying in a day to day fashion over his time there, but it is very wonderful to hear his voice, or see his name online! He is coping well, and his homecoming continues to be closer and closer.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Pink and yellow ones....
Looking across the pond at the japanese garden
A japanese maple in bloom
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Along the river bluffs there are tons of little tiny ferns unfurling for the springtime.
Then he dives in after it....
And carries it to the shore. Typically about this time we yell at him to spit it out, and he'll return to the creek to find a new one.
Mark is constantly finding grape vines in the woods, and takes great joy in cutting them out...they are the midwest version of kudzu. This vine seemed to be aching to be part of a Tarzan scene, so Mark did his best to accommodate. I recently read a student evaluation where the student is described as acting "professor like". The evaluator apparently has never met this professor!
We also went on a search for morels this weekend. We had searched unsuccessfully last weekend as well, but we finally found the elusive fungi this weekend. Here is the first one that I spotted on the ground. Our total take after over an hour of searching was four tiny little fungi, but they were good! We think that it is still early and we marked our successful spots so we can go back and try again next weekend.
These were some other interesting fungi that had sprouted up in the woods.
And this is a false morel, which apparently some people mistake for the real thing??! It is way different, much bigger and bright red. Very cool looking critter to find in the woods. There were four of these things grouped together in one spot, and four of them would have easily been a complete meal for the two of us! Why is it that the tiny little ones have to be the ones that taste so good??
The good news is that it is over! In MO, it seems that the attitude is to play after testing until the school has ended. We have trips to the Museum, bowling, Six Flags, etc lined up to keep the kids entertained. I intend to keep teaching as long as they will at least pretend to put forth effort. I have learned a lot about middle school, and particularly education in Missouri, and next year I will do things very differently!