Monday, August 29, 2011

The Perfect Suburban Lawn

Mark has been so proud of the grass that we have gotten established this year.  He has become as obsessed as any suburban homeowner about having things cut neatly.  He finally got the entire "yard" cut all in one weekend, so that it is all the same height!  These aren't great pictures, but I keep forgetting to take them earlier in the day.  Thankfully we have a tractor, but it was still an all day long process!

He's even invested in a weed whacker, that essential element of suburbia, so that our driveway can be nicely trimmed!  
We still have some bare spots, but we intend to have topsoil hauled in and do more seeding this fall.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthday Quilt

I seem to have lost all form of order lately, but at least I'm getting things posted, which is better than I have done in the past!

First things first...I love quilts.  I have several that came from grandmothers on both sides of my family, and two are displayed on the cat walk in our home.  I love the old worn down quilts, and the brand new quilts and I am completely in awe of the talent and work involved in creating an intricate quilt.  I made a very simple one for the MPS Society years ago and learned just how exacting quilt work has to be.  If I were independently wealthy, I might try to learn the craft, but I am pretty sure my orientation for lack of detail would keep me from being a very good quilt maker!

Before I moved up here Mark purchased a quilt from a lady who lives nearby in the town of Rosebud.  This quilt was a combination of burgundy and dark green, which are a combination that Mark loves. Unfortunately, I don't like burgundy very much at all.  The only red I really like is Georgia Bulldog red, otherwise, I prefer no red at all!  So we put this quilt downstairs in the guest room, and talked about one day buying another one for the master bedroom, probably in a sage green color that we both like.  Mark decided to surprise me with a PURPLE quilt for the master bedroom!  Please understand that Mark doesn't really care for purple, which happens to be my favorite color, so this was a HUGE gift for me. This quilt is gorgeous!  It was made by the same lady that created the green and burgundy quilt, and both are completely hand stitched.  The purple one has some pretty intricate stitching on it that is amazing.   I am so proud of my new quilt!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And so it begins again....

I went back to school one day in July, and another day the week before we were supposed to be back.  Here's what the classroom looked like that day in July when I walked in.  The student's lockers are in the classroom and I was getting new lockers this year, which are on the back wall still in the process of being installed.  
This school opened in 1957, and I don't think they have thrown out any science related article since. Once I became the science teacher, everything was put in my room.  I have thrown away (or recycled) tons of stuff since I have been there, and still have more to go, but things are much less cluttered than they were before.  I love my bright blue trim in the classroom, the large amount of space, and the fact that I can open my windows (and the fact that I even have windows, since I spent one year without!).  By the time the students arrived the classroom was in pretty good shape and ready for the start of school.  This year will be much easier since much of the lesson creation has already been done, and I know all the students except my fifth graders, and I knew several of them already.    The drive didn't get any shorter, and the pay didn't get any better, but having a second year at a school is always easier.  I assume the third year is easier still, but I've yet to reach that point with a school!  This is the third school and my sixth year of teaching.  I have a good group of seventh graders for my homeroom class, and truly, all the students are a great group of kids.  While I love, love, love my summers off, I am looking forward to a great year of teaching.

Seed Ticks

Three years ago when I first moved into Missouri, I happened upon a nest of seed ticks while out on the farm.  By the time my feet started itching and we realized what was going on, my feet and ankles were covered with the damn things!  I had several weeks of misery before they finally stopped itching so badly.  I've been pretty good about staying out of the woods during seed tick season, but a few weeks ago I was taking my daily walk on the trails when I ventured off into the fields to get a picture of some pretty milkweed that was blooming.  The memory of the last seed tick adventure must have faded from my mind enough for me to forget that it was almost August and I needed to be careful.  Awhile after I got home I felt my feet tingling and realized immediately what I had done.  I took off my shoes and socks and scraped off all visible ticks.  A few hours later my thighs started itching and I went upstairs to the bathroom and realized that I had ticks up my legs and beyond!  Mark has told me that he has taken showers with flea soap to get rid of them in the past, so without a moment's hesitation Lucy's flea shampoo was drafted for a  more noble purpose!  The next day when the bites were all evident, I had hundreds.  On my legs, stomach, back, shoulders, arms and even one on my chin! I HATE SEED TICKS!  I had checked in with my doctor during a different visit for his itching recommendation, and he said any of the newer antihistamines were my best bet.  Allegra was doing a pretty good job, but I did a few days later go to urgent care to see if there was something stronger, primarily because of my trip to GA and not wanting to be miserable while visiting.  The urgent care doctor said that I was the worst case he had seen that summer, and almost his worst case ever.  I was beaten out by a ten year old who was covered AND still had ticks in place.  He was also impressed with Mark's resourcefulness of flea shampoo!  Needless to say I have not ventured off the mowed lawn since, and won't possibly until the first frost.  I HATE SEED TICKS!  Several days after getting to GA, I got Sara to take a picture.  She said just looking at my ankles made her skin crawl.  This was definitely the most heavily affected area, but the rest of me didn't fare too much better!  I have now placed "seed tick season" on my Outlook calendar, and I hope I never come across them again!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sara's Baby Shower

The other Georgia event of the week was a baby sprinkle for Sara.  I learned that a "sprinkle" is for second time moms who don't need all the big stuff the first time moms do. Sara's sprinkle turned out to be a pretty big shower though!  Her friend Terri hosted it, and did a wonderful job.  I love getting to see her old friends again after watching them grow up!

Sara's old roommate Kelly created a diaper cake for the occasion
 Terri ordered the sailboat motif on cookies

 Sara's group of high school (and before!) friends
 Everyone at the sprinkle had to create a onsie for baby Camden.  Some of them were VERY creative!
 Morgan's two little ones joined Emmy in celebrating...
 Nana (a.k.a. Nancy Glenn!) helping Emmy create her onesie
 Lots of great presents!
 Emery enjoying some attention....
 Four generations....
 Sara, Emery and Nancy
 Toby enjoying her 10th great grandchild for a quiet moment
 All the onsies and their creators!

Elaina's Newborn Photo Shoot

I went to Georgia for a week to meet my new grandchild, Elaina, and to spend some more time with family before school starts.  I had told Austin and Megan that I would do newborn photos for them, although I am by no means a portrait photographer.  Ryan's parents, Donny and Nancy, were willing to put up with me again for the week, and I was very grateful for their hospitality!  Sara and Emery came down to stay with them as well and we had a great week.  Sara was my assistant for the photo shoot, and did all the deleting and editing the photos I took, and I took hundreds! She was invaluable in making me able to pull this one off!  Here are a few of my favorites from the photo shoot.  Sara also loaded them onto Snapfish, so if anyone wants to go through all 119 of the final favorites, let her know and she'll hook you up!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mark's on Youtube!

This was filmed at the Batten Disease Support and Research Association meeting in Minneapolis last month.  I just thought about putting it on the blog....a little late!

Advancements in the Fight Against Batten Disease