Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I have a thing for ribbon. If I even see a glimpse of ribbon in a store, I tend to make a beeline straight to it, which is exactly how this pretty green thing made its way into my buggy not too long ago. I don't always have anything in particular in mind to do with ribbon that I buy. I can just rest assured that there will be some reason to use it at some point before I die. Luckily, the ribbon didn't have to be placed in cold storage to protect it from the natural process of aging. I came up with a way to use the ribbon to create a little bit of joy.

My mentor at the school where I work retired this past year and handed down to me a beautiful 'school' wreath for my classroom door. My room is committed to a blue and green color scheme, so the ribbon is about to be put to work as I give the wreath a little bit of a blue/green makeover. I'll post a picture soon to show you how it turns out.

In the meantime, how are you creating your own joy?


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dig in!

Those are pretty good words to live by, don't you think? Sometimes we want to forget the 'work hard' part. We want things to come easily. Who doesn't? But it's when you dig in and work hard that you can get the most joy out of your accomplishments.

A big thank you to Ashlyn at Triple Thread for letting me put words with her photo. I wrote about her back in February and continue to be impressed with her photography, writing, and independent spirit. 

So go on, let your hair down. Dig in to something you're passionate about!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brave and Strong

I'm sitting here nearly three weeks into the school year reliving a bit of my summer break. With school back in session, it's no surprise that playing with my camera gets put on the back burner. (I know it shouldn't, but there IS only so much time in one day.)

These photos were taken during our trip to Michigan. (Yes, the same trip that the last several posts of pictures came from!) I'm just wondering though what it is about lighthouses that captures our attention and makes us point our cameras toward them. They just seem so brave and stalwart holding their own against the forces of nature, lighting the way to safety for sailors young and old.

I loved this one just off Mackinac Island. It looks much more like a house to me. Wouldn't it be neat to stay in one overnight or even live in one full time?

And the white one below is in Frankfort. The pier takes you right to it. It was a little spooky walking out there at night. There are no rails along the edge, so it seemed like it would be so easy to fall right over.

 Some people actually jump off the edge though. It looked fun, but I decided not to risk life or limb for a t-shirt that says 'I cleared the pier.' There were lots of big rocks below and a metal ladder to climb up afterward. 

So how are things going with you? Have you or your family jumped right back into the school year, or do you still have a few weeks before big yellow starts to roll?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Johnsons 7 - Mice 0

It may have been while we were in Michigan, but at some point recently, a few mice decided they would call the Johnson residence home. I saw the signs right after we got back as I was cleaning out a closet in the kitchen. That's when I found the condo they had built during our absence. I'm telling you, these mice must have graduated from Georgia Tech or MIT. Their home had a nice overhang and was decorated with beads out of our craft drawer. 

I have a difficult time killing any living, breathing thing, so with mixed feelings, we set out sticky traps (they're very inhumane by the way) and poison (also inhumane). We caught two, but my husband decided to use a broom to shoo another two out the door (very humane). Johnsons 2 - Mice 2.

Hmmmm. That was effective.

Flash forward: My new floor is in place, and my closets are pristine with new paint and flooring. 

More mice. More traps. One more mouse. Stuck. However, he managed to drag the trap under the closet door and into the middle of the floor. (Now that was a nice view first thing in the morning!) My husband placed him in a plastic bag, I guess hoping for a quicker death (we really, really hate this stuff), and left him outside. When he got home in the afternoon, the bag had been eaten through and Mighty Mouse had come unstuck and had escaped. Johnsons 2 - Mice 3.

By now, I'm imagining a pretty creepy infestation. (What are dogs for, by the way, if they can't scare a few tiny, big-eared house mice away?) Back to our bag of tricks. Sticky pads, those break-your-neck traps, and poison. We catch two more. Johnsons 4 - Mouse 1.

And then, the most amazing thing I've ever seen. (Yes, gross, but still amazing....) I walk into the kitchen one morning, and this tiny little mouse is swimming laps in my dogs' water bowl. Seriously! (It's a big, square bowl that does look a bit like a mouse-sized swimming pool.) No, I didn't get a picture or video. I was too freaked out by the whole thing to even go there. What I did was yell for my husband.

I've decided that the mice think our home is the Hilton. I'm expecting to find one lounging under a lamp one day as if she's sunning herself outdoors. 

Suffice it to say, at last count it's Johnsons 7 - Mice 0. This hotel is closed!

 They are cute. But they eat my food.
And poop. And tinkle.
(Photo from the Internet)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mosaic Monday: Planted

I'm not great as a gardener. Other than African violets, there are few plants and flowers that I can grow well. I did tempt fate this year by buying a type of philodendron for my classroom. I bought new potting soil and re-potted the plant, so it would have room to grow. I took it to school as it if were show-and-tell day. I watered it nervously on Friday before I left hoping that its leaves wouldn't be yellowed by the time I returned on Monday. As I poured water over it bit by bit, I wished the plant could sputter 'that's enough' when I'd given it the right amount. Instead, I guessed, which doesn't seem anywhere near scientific enough at all.

All that to say that I love flowering plants. I found all of these when we were on Mackinac Island this summer. Flowers at nearly every storefront and hanging from baskets along the street.

You really can't be in a bad mood when there are flowers everywhere. 

I'm hoping that my new plant will have positive effects in my classroom, too. It's supposed to purify the air, provide more oxygen, and sharpen my students' focus. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty psyched about sharing the load with Phil this year. If he can sharpen their focus, I promise to give them some ELA and reading to focus on.

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for this week's Mosaic Monday. If you'd like to see more, just click on over.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's About Time

You can thank me later. I just deleted a whole post about how I'm not (NOT) going to work ten and a half hour days any more. Of course it took many words and sentences to get my point across, but I finally decided that a sentence or two would be quite enough.

These are a few more photos from my trip to Michigan this summer. I just loved the flowers blooming everywhere and those glass bottles in the window. Even those flowers that had hit their peak and were fading were beautiful to me.

For us, the calendar and temperature may still be in summer mode, but we're back in school already. This summer break had to be the shortest one ever. I could have used a few more weeks (or even a few more days) of down time. I'm already feeling a little bit like that droopy sunflower.