Sunday, November 13, 2005

Music, My Sister, and much more

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Much to do, but all good. One of the best parts was that my sister, Donna, was down from her home in Shutesbury, MA. She works in the admissions office of Hampshire College. I hadn't seen her for a long time. In fact, I think it had been about 1 1/2 years since we had been together. We had a great time. Mom spoiled us with our favorite dinners. We sat around and laughed a lot. We went to Claire's horse show which deserves a little more comment, so I will do that in a minute. We had a picnic in Pisgah National Forest, where we are blessed to be adjacent, on a beautiful fall afternoon. And, we went to the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC to hear the Del McCoury Band.

A little more about the picnic. While we were there, Campbell worked on pulling a tooth that was in desperate need of coming out. The permanent tooth was already coming in. It was quite a production. It took about 30 minutes of shaking and crying and procrastinating. Isn't if odd how a kid can take a spill on a bike or get a big gash on his head in a football game, but can't pull a tooth that is dangling by one little thread of skin. The picture is of my mom trying to talk him into letting her get hold of the tooth. There were tears involved to be sure.

Earlier that morning we had been at Claire's horse show. Let's just say that there was little to celebrate. Her 13 year old attitude was showing for some reason unknown to any other living creature and she came in last place in every event. The judge even told her that her riding was not bad, but she acted like she didn't care at all about being out there. Attitude! It is so important!

Speaking of horses. Thanks to Claire and Campbell's grandfather, Poppi, Claire is now the proud owner of a horse. He is a very sweet 6 year old who was given away because he wasn't wanted. He has been the center of our world for the past couple of weeks and it has been a good thing for everyone. Campbell hasn't asked to watch tv or play video games and both kids are getting along really well. Tempers seem to flare when there is no physical activity and they spend too much time indoors, so the fresh fall air has been great emotional therapy. I have even riden him a couple of times. I am not too secure on a horse, so my rides are sometimes short, but I am working on getting the hang of it. The horse is now spoiled rotten. He seems more like a big dog than a horse. He gets excited to see someone coming and he is very at ease with people around. You should see him eating dried corn on the cob. The funniest part is the neighbor's dog, Rex, standing underneath to get the kernals that drop.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Addiction

I have become addicted to pottery. I am taking a class, and I can't get enough of it. I just love it! If I could, I would quit my job and make pots. But, I am not that good and would be very hungry. The studio is the Carwile-Dodson Studio for Pottery Instruction at Mud Dabbers. Check it out!

Monday, October 31, 2005

It's Halloween and the goblins are grazing

I just got in from the cold. I was standing in a parking lot handing out candy and what we call Trunk-or-Treat. Our church sponsers it and we went through about six hundred dollars worth of candy in 2 hours. Can you believe that! The scary part is that all those kids go to school somewhere tomorrow and we teachers are going to have to be the ones to deal with the sugar highs and crashes. I had better get my game plan on. I will have to have something really good to keep them engaged. There were a ton of little ones out there. They are so cute. In particular was a little girl dressed as a devil. She had all this red ruffled stuff on and she was adorable. There were also lots of Mr. Incredibles (one of my favorite characters) and I noticed a lot of princess fairies.

All that brought back one particular Halloween. It must have been about 37 years ago and my cousins were up visiting. They lived in a very rural part of NC and had never been Trick-or-treating. Mom and Aunt Janice got busy and quickly fashioned a quartet of ghost costumes. The thing I remember most about them is that for some odd reason, that only those two women know, we all had these little pointed ears. I must have thought it was different, because I remember it in particular, but it was a fun night. I don't remember the candy, but I remember loving being with Donna, Carla, and Vanessa. Too bad we can't go back and do some of that again.

I can't believe that I haven't written in so long. I won't even try to catch up, but a few highlights of the past month are that school is going well. We are already through with the first quarter. It is flying.

Dan, Claire, Campbell and I went on a hike a couple of weeks ago. It was wonderful. We took the dogs and went to Dupont State Forest. I hadn't been up there in years. We all had a good time. Claire decided she was ready to go about halfway, and so we had to listen to her complain for a while. We were walking up a pretty steep hill and she said, "I'm done." Even though we were about an hour from the car, she wanted to quit. So, we listened to her for the rest of the time. The scenery made it worth having to listen to the whining of a 13 year old. She has vowed never to go back. What do you bet she does...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Parties, Plumbing and Pickens County Museum

First the party. Last night the team I work with at school was invited over to one of my best friend's house to a cookout. I am lucky to work with the coolest people in the world. We had a ball. The night was cool, the food and drink were great, and we talked about everything from movies to music to real life ghost stories. We are going to try to get together every couple of weeks just to let off steam.

Campbell and Claire stayed home to spend time with their dogs, and when I got here they had been practicing their instruments together. Claire had been teaching Campbell some tunes on his trombone. They said they had been playing for about an hour and a half. I could almost recognize the tune Campbell performed for us. He will be good if he keeps practicing.

The Pickens County Museum is second. Yeah Dan! He just got a job working at the Pickens County Museum. I haven't heard him this happy since I met him. He is so glad to be out of Lowe's with the horrible schedule and the brain numbing monotany. He is very talented and will add experience, creativity, and great planning and problem solving to the organization. He has a lot going on right now and this seems to be perfect timing. I am selfishly excited that he will have a regular schedule and consistant days off.

Last, the plumbing. I have had a flooded basement and was piddling around with the bathtub pipes when the spout came out in my hand. Question answered and hopefully a pretty easy fix. I wonder if it was ever glued when it was put in. It was only a couple of years ago that I had a new one installed. I wish that I could tear the whole thing out and put in a shower and build some shelves in there, but I just can't afford that right now. Claire is downstairs cleaning the basement shower so that she and Campbell can use it. I took some pictures of what I am dealing with so that I can show it to Dan and he can help me plan my attack.

I am going to print my pictures, take a shower, fold some laundry, work on a job chart for my class and get myself cleaned up. I need to run by school and feed the class fish and take the kids over to my parents. Dan's dad and his wife are taking us out to celebrate the new job tonight at the Cliffs. I haven't been there before and am looking forward to it. It is a beautiful fall day. The windows are all open in the house and the crisp air is refreshing. A great day to be in Western North Carolina.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thankful for little things

My dad has chronic lukemia and he went to the oncologist today. His white blood count had been going up for the past few visits, but today the count was down 1000. A little thing that is a big thing to be thankful for!

Also, as I was watching the news and looking at the lines of cots and air matresses being inflated for hurricane victims, I was very thankful for the comfortable bed I have to sleep on each night.

There are way too many to name, but everyday the little things we take for granted add up to a multitude of reasons to say thanks.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I wanted the font to be in a pretty fall color because that is what it feels like today. It is my favorite time of year. I love September and October. The leaves are just beginning to show a hint of color and the sky is the most brilliant blue. The mornings are chilly and you need a long sleeved shirt, but then in the afternoon it gets really hot. By the time the sun goes down the chill is back and you can sleep with the windows open and snuggle up in your down comforter. It is the best!

It has been a while since I wrote anything here. I have been so busy with school. I have worked almost every single night to get ready for the next day and haven't even cut the computer on here at home. A lot has happened. Hurricane Katrina hit southern LA, MS and AL and has flattened communities. There are so many people that need help and I feel so helpless. I hope that somehow I will be able to do something to make a difference. In the meantime I will keep on doing what I do each day. I will teach and love the kids I have.

My daughter, Claire, got braces today. She is doing surprisingly well. She has a hard time chewing and sounds like she has a mouth full of bb's, but she looks cute. The front bands are green. Boy, how things have changed. You can pick a color for your braces these days.

Campbell is doing well adjusting to middle school. Now I have no idea what either of my kids are doing. When they were with me at Brevard Elementary I could check up on them easily. Now I just hope and pray that they do the right thing and are responsible for what they need to be. I was talking to someone today and said that of all the great things God has done for me, giving me two great kids was up at the top of the list. I don't have to worry about them too much.

It is only 7pm and I am about to crash. Last night was one of those that didn't produce much sleep. Just a lot on my mind I guess. It took a double dose of coffee at school today to keep me going.

Speaking of school, it is going well. I got an assistant today and she is going to be great. It made the day much easier. There were no discipline problems to speak of because having an extra set of eyes deters the acts. I think we got more done than we have so far this year and even finished our math a bit early. Most of the kids even got their homework done in class.

I think Claire wanted me to help her study for a Social Studies test, so I will get on that. I also need to do some laundry and a few other tasks. So TTFN.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Too pooped to ____________.

You insert whatever you want there. Last night came and went and I met 15 out of 19 of my students and their parents. I brought my own kids home and went back to school for a couple more hours. I think I have already logged about 40 hours this week. It is only Thursday. I am going to bed and it isn't quite 10.

Tomorrow night. FUN. Going to a place called Sock-em-Dog to hear the Little River Band. Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tired but wound up.

I worked hard today. I went to school this morning and hit the floor running. My room is looking good. I get better at the set up process every year and I have even weeded out a ton of stuff that I will not use. That feels good. Tomorrow evening the kids and their parents will be there to meet me, so I should be in bed asleep, but I am wound up and felt like writing a little.

I must say that there is a guy out there who is the best friend I could ever ask for in addition to being just the best. Thank you again! You know who you are.

I was putting up a bulletin board, which is one part of my job I could do without. It takes too much time. I went to the workroom and cut out the letters to say "welcome to fourth grade". It takes more time than you would think, and I got them done and went back to my room. I had to put them down to go be on an interview team, and when I got back they were gone. I looked everywhere I could think of and they were nowhere to be found. I thought that the custodial staff had done an extra thorough job of cleaning up the area, becuase it had become the dumping ground for a couple of storage rooms that were cleaned. I laughed a bit as I stamped back down the hall to recut the letters. When I got back I put up the board and was admiring it as I moved a box to throw away. Right there were the letters. All 20 of them. I felt like the biggest doofus. The sadest part is it wasn't the first time and it won't be the last.

I am now starting the big fade. I have unwound and can hardly hold my eyes open. Good night and sweet dreams.

Monday, August 22, 2005


The first day back has come and gone. It went pretty well, but I have the panicked feeling that I will not get everything done on time. I worked until 7 this evening and could go back, but I think I will wait until tomorrow. I am looking forward to the everyday routine starting and getting to know the kids. That is what makes my job doable. The kids.

Campbell slept well. The shades worked. He didn't wake up until after noon today.

Claire is amazing. She made a big NC county map for me and did it much faster than I ever could. It looks great.

Now I am off to do something quite humbling!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Using the Fabric

I worked on Campbells shades today. I didn't like the way they looked the first way I tried to sew them, so I took out the stitching and tried something else. I think it is going to work much better. Claire has four windows, so I am glad that I did Campbell's first. They have a good bit to go, and are now thumbtacked to the window becuase the light from the neighbors yard was bothering Cam. Hopefully he will sleep soundly tonight.

Summer Vacation is Over!

Tonight is my last little bit of summer. Tomorrow at 8 I will be at school sitting in the first staff meeting of the year. When that starts, the chaos will begin. There is a lot of anticipation about how this year will go. We have a completely new administrative staff. I am anxious about what new things will be implemented and how it will affect us. The waiting is over. We hit the road running in the morning.

My room is turned upside down, as most of our stuff was pulled out of storage for cleaning and left in the hall for us to deal with. I know it was needed, but the timing was terrible. We will have parents in there on Wednesday afternoon to meet us. Sorting through years of junk and deciding what to keep and what to trash is a lot to add on to the normal rush to get the room ready for "Meet the Teacher" and being ready to teach on Thursday morning. It will get done, but that's all that will be done for the next few days.

One of the last fun things that we did was go to the lake to swim. Claire was with the church youth group at lake Keowee and Campbell, Sam, Rusty and I joined her there The dogs loved the water. Sam just sits in the edge, or wades around and drinks. You would never know that he is a Lab and has webbed feet. Rusty did inherit the webbed feet, but he is a but skittish about the swimming. Campbell managed to coax him out and when he realized that he was actually swimming, he would turn around and head for shore. He was on a leash and Campbell would stretch out and body surf behind him as he swam. It was hysterical. Rusty is a very fast swimmer. I hope he will get so that he enjoys it as it is great exercise for him.

Better get to bed. The alarm clock has to be set and I have to get up in time to make lunch. I don't want to be grumpy and tired.

Goodbye summer...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mystery Canisters

I have started storing some of my photos on Snapfish and they have bombarded me with new member perks. When you sign up you get 2o prints of digital photos free and they send you a mailer to process a roll of film free. I started looking around and found a couple of rolls of film in a basket with my unexposed rolls. I filled out the form and stuck them in the envelope and sealed it up. Since one is free the cost will only be $2.99. I figure that is pretty reasonable to find out what in the world I shot. I don't even know how long ago I took them. So the mystery canisters are going out in the mail this afternoon. I will be anxiously checking the mail to see what I thought was important or beautiful or inspiring at some point in my past.

I have been using my digital camera pretty exclusively, but this made me want to get my 35mm out and play with it some more. I love to take photos. I wish I were better so that I could make some money with it. I have thought about putting some of my better shots up for auction on ebay and seeing what happens. I guess I am afraid of rejection or something. I need to just take a big breath and try it. What can I loose?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fabric Shopping with Kids

Tonight I went to a fabric store with my kids and my parents. My dad sat in the car the whole time. He was very patient and hopefully enjoyed the peace and quiet. Claire and Campbell went in because we were looking for fabric to make shades for their windows. We suffered through the torture and they actually found something that they seemed happy with. The objective was to match the fabric to the color that we just finished painting their rooms. That greatly limits the available choices, but after lots of "Yucks!" and " You have got to be kidding. That looks stupid." we came to a consensus. Campbell will have dogs on his windows. He is disappointed, however, that there was no yellow lab in the group, but we will add those in somewhere else. Claire, who has a very interesting sense of style, chose an opera goer theme. The colors are stunning and it is pretty cool. I think both will look good. Now I have a great excuse to pull out my sewing machine and loose myself in the rhythm of the needle going up and down. I would love to find a way to sew something that would be the next big hit and make me millions of dollars. If you have any great ideas you can send them my way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy 40th Birthday Donna. This is what you looked like exactly 35 years ago today. I hope you have the best day ever! I love you tons. Remember, no matter how old you get, take comfort in the fact that you will always be younger than me. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Yet again, another rainy Sunday.

Claire commented the other day that this had been the longest summer of her school career and it had rained every day. She isn't far from the truth and today is no exception. It is one of those Sunday afternoons where nothing seems better than a nap. I haven't given in to it yet, but the temptation is almost overpowering. Daisy has been overcome. She is lying on the bed, curled up with her tail over her nose. She is almost in a perfect circle and seems quite happy.

I just talked to Dan on the phone. He was burying himself in the covers of his bed with a kitten purring and making biscuits on his arm. He did manage to tell me that he saw the ducks this morning. There were a few weeks that we didn't see them at all and we feared that something had happened to them. Thankfully, they are fine. They are as big as mom now but continue to swim in a little floatilla. All five youngsters made it. They all look like females, however, there may be some boys in the bunch. I am not sure when they start to differentiate in color. I will have to find that out.

I am off to the store. Daisy needs food. She only has a few bits left in her bowl and her container is bare. Poor poor kitty!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Going to the Movies

One thing that I enjoy is going to the movies. Yesterday Claire, Campbell, Dan and I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It met and exceeded my expectations. When we left the theater Dan and I both looked at each other and at the same time said, "That was wierd." Claire and Campbell sat behind us a few rows and every little bit I heard Claire laughing out loud. Go see it. I think Roald Dahl would be pleased. I thought it was interesting that his wife, Felicity Dahl, was the executive producer. The movie is some different from the book. The ending is quite different in fact, but not at all disappointing.

Here is another place that is fun to go. Dan and I love to poke around in here. It is a in downtown Greenville and it is called Venti. It is a very modern interior design shop and while you are there you are invited to open the cabinets and drawers to discover all kinds of fun surprises tucked inside to be taken home. My problem is that the stuff I have at my house is all so old and junky that if I did get something from there it would make what I have look stupid. So, I just go and enjoy looking and there is nothing wrong with that!

Speaking of shopping. Claire handed me our fall copy of the LL Bean catalogue with the pages dog-eared and objects circled in black sharpie with size and color marked. She is so funny. I could spend a couple of thousand if I were able to order everything she liked. Not to mention adding in the things I would like to have from there. We could go bankrupt! I do think that a couple of back-to-school items are doable.

And, speaking of shopping again. I am off to find a birthday present for my awesome sister, Donna. She is the best! This year is a big one for her. 40!!!!!! (I beat her there 20 months ago.) Her birthday is this Wednesday and I need to get it in the mail. What shall I find? There are all kinds of possibilities out there...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Uncle Hughie always plants a row of sunflowers in the garden.. The birds love it and so do we!  Posted by Picasa

Here are Mom, Aunt Janice, Claire and Campbell hiking through the woods near the Snipper Snapper Hole.  Posted by Picasa

This is my good friend Debbie. This weekend she is singing a Tribute to Patsy Cline at the Arts and Crafts festival in Burnsville, NC. She has an amazing voice.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 01, 2005

Just Like Home

I walked by the Snipper Snapper Hole this week. It is so grown up that you can't even get to it, but I am sure that there is a huge snapping turtle, or worse, still there just waiting to snatch me up as I scamper by.

We were at the farm this week. I had the pure enjoyment of staying with my Aunt Janice. She is one of the best eggs ever. She had been here staying with my mom the week before and the kids, Mom and I took her home. It was great to be there. It is one of those places that even though you have never lived there it feels just like home. There is no cell phone reception, so it is like being tucked away from the world for as long as you want to be. We swam in her little pool and ate watermelon and tomatoes that were just picked from the field. By the way, do you ever buy a watermelon and not have room to put it in the fridge? Before you cut it just lay it on an airconditioning vent. It keeps it nice and chilly. I was amazed! Good thinking Janice!

Anyway, one of the mornings we took a little walk through the woods near the Snipper Snapper Hole. It is very sandy and boy was it hot. That afternoon it peaked at 103! We were scouting out a piece of land that Mom owns to see where she could someday build her retirement house. Campbell was impressed with a very old piece of metal that had come off a wagon wheel a long time ago. There is no telling what else you could find there if you dug around in the sand. It was quite fun. We heard lots of stories of things that happened when Mom and Janice were kids. One in particular was of a time when Mom was a teenager and was carrying a basket with a flower pot in it from Janice's, who was married and had moved to the place where she is now, to her parents. Rumor had it that the graveyard at the church was/is haunted. Just as she was walking by the pot shifted in the basket and made a noise. She said it scared the heck out of her until she realized what it was. I have never seen any spirits around there, but you never know.

I also got to spend some time with my cousin's children, Emma and Sarah. Sarah is not quite one and Emma is four. We had a great time. I hope that Emma continues to be the bright beautiful girl that she is and that Sarah never looses her belly laugh. She already has a wonderful sense of humor.

I hope that we will always be able to go walk by the Snipper Snapper Hole. I hope that there will always be family there to share it with. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have a family who loves me. There are too few.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Coffee on Sunday Morning

I am having my 3rd cup of coffee this Sunday morning. In a few minutes I will get up and head to the shower to get to church on time. I sometimes wish that worship services were held at a different time, like on a weeknight, so that we could just have a day that we were lazy and relaxed at home with our families. Then I think that that would be disrespectful to God, and chunking Him into the already busy week is wrong. I guess it is, but I can't help the way I feel.

Speaking of coffee, there is a place in Brevard where they sell wonderful, fresh roasted coffee beans. It is called The Brown Bean and Matt Huggins roasts some killer stuff there. There is a coffee for every taste bud. Between DB and I we buy about a pound a week. There is a mail order service, so if you get a chance check out the site and order. I would recommend the El Salvador, the Guatemalan, or the Bolivian very highly. There are tons of others. Just tell Matt what you like and he can probably set you up with just the right thing.

My friend is thinking about adopting another dog. Between us that would make 4. However, if you want a dog or cat that is the way to go. We got one of our dogs through the NC Lab Rescue site and he is a great dog. You can find anything.

So, enjoy our coffee and your pets and have a great day with your family and friends.

Friday, July 08, 2005


It is very late and I am having a bout of nostalgia. I have been trying to find old friends on line. The best I can do is send some e-mails and hope someone responds. I looked up Cyndi, Alfreda, Phil, and Kelley. It is funny that you spend so much time with people during high school or college and then you loose track and can't find them at all. I miss them and many more. I hope I will be able to get in touch. I have been lucky to have these, and many more, friends throughout my life. I am blessed.

Monday, July 04, 2005


First let me wish everyone a Happy Independence Day!

I spent the last few minutes with a help desk guru from Dell. I feel like a total idiot. Here is the story. I bought a laptop from them just over a year ago. Thought it would be the perfect tool to use at school and home. One of the first times I took it to school a rambunctious child went twirling across the room, knocked it off the table, and broke the screen. I immediately called Dell and when I was asked if I was sitting down, I knew I was in trouble. The screen was not covered for accidental breakage and was going to cost me $799. Being a single mom and a teacher, you can imagine that I don't have an extra $799 laying around, so I begged and even wrote a letter to Michael Dell to try to get it at least at the company cost. NO RESPONSE! (Note: I will not be buying from Dell again!) Anyway, forward to yesterday. I have my laptop turned PC hooked up to a monitor that I had for the PC that the laptop replaced. Yesterday I got a popup box from Dell that said I had a Critical Update. I read it and assumed that since it said that without it my system was probably going to crash, I should install the prescribed driver immediately. No problem. It finished and asked me to restart my computer. No problem. However, when I did that I had no monitor. Big problem.

Forward to today. I am taking that online class and need my computer desperately. I even took the computer out to a different monitor and the same problem occcured. I called Dell and as I was restarting my computer the help desk guy (from India of course) answered the phone. I sat there telling him my complaint and what do you know, there, right in front of my eyes, was my start up screen. Instead of sounding like the stupid idiot I was believing myself to be at that moment, I played along like it was still happening, and made him think he was a super genius. Who knows. He probably is.

Anyway, my computer demon is now gone. Hopefully not to your computer. I am back in business. YES!

This is what the ducklings look like now. They have quadrupled in size in just 3 weeks! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Another Rainy Sunday

Today I have determined to get some work done on an online class that I am taking through the North Carolina Museum of History. It is actually very interesting, but since it is summer, my kids are out of town, and I would rather be in SC, I am having to make myself work. I am waiting for some things to print right now. I figure if I carry it around with me, I might pull it out and work on it some. I will get it done. I have always been one of those people who pull marathon sessions at the last minute. I actually have more than a week left.

I miss my kids. They are traveling with my parents on an Alaskan Cruise. My sister and Nancy are also there. I miss them all! It was just a little out of my price range. I have talked to Campbell once. He was waiting to have pizza for breakfast. I sent them with cameras and journals, so hopefully I will get the full story when they get back. I have decided that I am going to get my passport and start saving some money so that the next opportunity that comes up to go somewhere there will be no excuse. Maybe St. Maarten?

I saw "War of the Worlds" a couple of days ago. Poor Dan! He probably has bruises on his arm from the grip I had on it the whole two hours. Most movies give you a little down time before they start with the butt clinching action, but not this one. They might have given 10 minutes and after that, forget it, and there was not a minute to relax for the next 2 hours. When I left I was tight from the top of my head to the top of my thighs. The movie was great, but I still hate Tom Cruise!

The rain is falling and the printing has a glitch, so I will get back to my work. My goal this week - PUTTING PRIORITIES IN ORDER. (Just for you DB. ) So, that is just what I am going to do right now!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Happy Berry

If you love blueberries, you should check this place out! I bought a gallon of some of the best I have ever eaten, but the berries were not the best part. This quaint farm is located in Six Mile, SC and while I was down there last week, I thought I would check it out. We are voracious berry eaters at my house, and I knew that bringing home a basket would make me a hero. I wish that the kids had been with me.

I drove down a winding rock road and up to a small parking area. There were blueberry bushes all around me that were taller than my head and had huge clusters of not ripe berries weighing down the branches. There were also blackberry bushes and a sign that said "Blackberry Lane" where there was a grassy path that went up to an old shed-like building that had a front porch. I chose to walk around by the gravel drive and came across several chickens wandering in the grass making a feast of the insects in the yard.

When I got to the shed, there were about 5 steps up to the porch and sitting there was an elderly farmer who was putting together berry baskets. Something under the porch caught my eye and I saw a little piglet stretched out in the cool dirt. I walked around to look and he grunted, but didn't get up. He was very happy with his spot on what had turned out to be a very hot day.

When I walked up the steps to find out about the blueberries, I couldn't help but think of my Grandpa. The farmer had on overalls similar to the ones I remember Grandpa wearing almost every day. He had a posture as he worked that reminded me of the way my grandfather would sit while he was doing things. It was very relaxed, but the work was constant and you could see that he had done it to automaticity. The gentleman was very friendly and I told him I was interested in blueberries and he helped me pick them out of the walk-in cooler. I got a gallon and also a quart of blackberries.

During our conversation the old man told me he "lost his sweetie" last week. His wife had just died of cancer. I promised to keep him in my prayers and he thanked me. I left wondering if I had helped him that day and hoped my visit was good for him. I know that it made me thankful for the people I love and to all of you , in case I haven't said it lately, "I LOVE YOU!"

If you think of it, please say a prayer for the Happy Berry Man.

The Happy Berry

Friday, June 17, 2005


It's been a busy day. I have gotten the grass cut and did a little plumbing project. Last year Campbell broke the front, outside spigot off and flooded the basement. Luckily there was a shutoff valve right there. It has taken me a whole year, but today I finally fixed it. Yes! All by myself. I even raised it up so that my watering can for my flowers can fit under. I hooked the hose up to it and fertilized the flower pots and the flower garden. I am feeling pretty handy. Best of all, NO LEAKS! I was terrified that I would cut the water on and little sprays would pop out all over the place. Not today!

I am getting ready to go to a shower for my friend Megan. She is getting married July 23. I am excited for her and the shower should be fun. First I must get the gas and grass smell off. It's into the shower for me and then to take Campbell to Mom and Dad's to spend the night.

All spring we have been waiting to see if there would be any ducklings on the lake. Yesterday they surprised us by making their first excursion. They came quite close. I think mom was wanting to show off her brood. The picture only shows 4, but there are actually 5 little ones. There are 2 other pairs that live there, so I am hoping we will be seeing more. I was so excited that I ran to get the camera and took about zillions of shots. Thank goodness for digital! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Campbell "surfing"! Posted by Hello

Picture of Claire and Sam enjoying the lake Posted by Hello

Gone Fishing!

There is a great place that my kids and I love to go. The first reason is that my other favorite person in the world lives there and the second is that it is an incredibly beautiful place. Yesterday my son and I were lucky to be able to spend the whole day. He swam all morning and then fished in the evening. The fishing was quite interesting. First, I learned that he is pretty good at getting his hook on and putting a very squirmy worm on the line. I still get a little squimish when I have to do that with bare hands, but have learned over the years that an abandoned sock makes both baiting and getting fish off hooks much more palatable. He is very patient and was able to reel in a couple of fish. One was a catfish, which we had to get some help to get off the hook. (Thanks Dan!) The second was a large mouth bass. Campbell was excited and the car is already packed to go back this evening. We can't wait.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

This is Sam Posted by Hello

This is Rusty.  Posted by Hello

This is Daisy Posted by Hello

A Rainy Sunday Morning

It's a rainy Sunday morning and I am doing everything I can to stay home. I am in no way complaining. You see, I am a teacher, and even though it has rained almost everyday of the summer so far, the important thing is that it is summer. No lesson plans. No work to grade. No students. Just me, my kids, my special guy, and our menagerie. No way am I going to utter one negative word. Life is good! Even the rain is good. Right now I am listening to the sound of it dripping from the leaves and to the birds singing all around. Summer sounds are amazing. ( I am also listening to the sound of my two kids in the kitchen. OY! There is no telling what I will see when I walk in there.)I think we will see the sun on Tuesday. Something to look forward to.