Sunday, January 31, 2010

forcing crocus

About this time every year I get the itch. I want it to be spring. I am tired of winter. This past November I bought 2 dozen crocus bulbs on clearance for $2 at the grocery store. One never knows how deals like this will turn out. I do have a green thumb and not because I pay lots of attention to my plants. I pay just enough attention to them and they thrive. But I digress. About a month ago I put gravel into these containers, water and the bulbs. They are sitting under a cfl bulb along with basil plants I started from seed. They get water every other day or so and are coming along nicely. This is the first time I have tried this. I am hoping for lovely flowers by the end of February. I will update again with a picture if/when they bloom :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This evening Amherst hosted a wresting meet. Dear daughter's boyfriend is seen in this photo. He is a senior and had never wrestled prior to this season. I think it takes a lot of guts to try something new like this. He should feel proud of himself.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Kindergarten students show off the clock project - they had to put numbers 1-12 on a blank clock, draw the hands to show 6:00, and type "I wake up at 6 o'clock." They also typed their first and last names!!! This project integrates math and language arts standards and gives the students an incredible sense of accomplishment for a job well done. Family members can speak to their child about the project and their success using the keyboard, mouse and the Pixie 2 program. The excitement and pride that the student feels when their paper comes out of the printer is priceless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The concession stand is a place to hang out and talk, buy a drink or something to eat and support the school. My daughter is the vice president of student council and this makes her responsible for the concession stand. She does the ordering and scheduling plus works nearly every school event.

Monday, January 25, 2010

self portrait

Photobooth is a fun application to play with. Once my family killed time in between the wedding ceremony and the dinner at a computer store where where we made ridiculous faces using this Macintosh program. What fun to play with the effects! Conversely the second photo you see is doctored a bit in iPhoto. I used setting that boosted the fade, antiqued and gave the edges a vignette. I like the effects.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


This past Friday I purchased this table via craigslist and it will go nicely with the sectional due to arrive in 3 weeks. In order to leave the house for a night or two we just put in this gas stove. We heat with a wood furnace and have always had friends that could come over to light the fire. They have moved out of the area so we had to figure out a different way to keep the pipes from freezing. My husbands business is Snowbelt Fireplace & Stove so the decision was a fairly easy one. The stone will be going up in the corner in the next few weeks. I painted the wall that the tv is on and my husband put the wires in the wall so that they would be hidden. Things are starting to come together.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday night

During basketball season you will find me sitting on the bleachers cheering for the Amherst boys and girls. There are usually games 2 nights a week. The entire town turns out. Some nights the high school pep band plays and other nights the dance team entertains us at half time. This evening we played the Pacelli Cardinals and won by 3 points.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a memory

My paternal grandmother passed a few years ago at the age of 94 or so. I have wonderful vivid memories of growing up just down the street from her and my grandpa. In her living room was this candy dish. I would open it up and inside would be "beautiful to look at but not very delicious to eat" hard candies.
Grandma invited us grandchildren to pick something from her home to keep as a memento of her life and this candy dish is what I chose. A few years after she gave it to me we were speaking on the phone and this came up in the conversation. Grandma insisted that it was never used for candy but instead it was a butter dish and that my memory was faulty. It was a wedding gift. I want to trust my memory but when someone like grandma tells you you're crazy, it is hard to know if what you remember was true or not.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pondering- the pendulum swings

I have read some blog posts recently that have me pondering education, technology in education and the big picture of society in general. Some in Washington are pushing a carrot and stick approach for change by offering states "Race to the Top" funding if the regulations put forth with the money are followed. Teacher accountability and testing of students seem to be the major theme of it. Other knowledgeable but less powerful individuals are saying no change can fix the problems with education today, instead we need a to start anew. Once again the pendulum swings with educators caught in the middle. It is only natural to think about "how will this change affect me?".

Most every educator that I know wants what is best in regard to his or her students. We are not afraid of change necessarily. Most of us embrace change so long as in the end, it will be benefiting the kids. This is the reason I think that we allow the pendulum to swing. Other individuals more powerful than us decide upon a course of action that they believe will help our students. We have trusted them or at the very least complied so that we did not lose our jobs.

The hard working, professional, caring individual teachers that are abounding in our society, both present and past, are who in part, made us who we are today. We do not have all of the answers to how to make things right in education. I think if asked however, many of us could let our government and educational leaders know what is working, what is not, and then offer suggestions on change that truly could be effective. Most teachers are either never asked, too busy with day to day teaching or feel that if they raise concerns, their job will be in jeopardy.

Do I think a total overhaul of education is needed? This depends on where you are and what the state you live in has done in support of education. Here in Wisconsin, we have done a good job in most regards and smaller changes would make a good education system better. I think in some places that starting over might be the best approach. In general, I think that when you type cast anything and say that ALL MUST DO, that you miss the differences that are inherent in life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

chickadee dee dee

A lovely morning to go outdoors, stand near the feeder still as can be and watch the fairly tame chickadees fly in and out by the feeder. It is not so easy to catch these little birds sitting still for long and get a picture but I like how this one turned out.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mama Mia

Three teachers and their daughters had a lot of fun today together. Our afternoon started off with lunch at Panera- then for the real reason for the road trip- to be entertained at Mama Mia at the Fox Valley PAC. It was wonderful! Todays photo was obviously not taken by me seeing as I am in the picture ;) however with the help of a stranger as we smiled cheeky she snapped this photo for posterity.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

intent interest

Our other cat whose name is Mew is banished to outside for a short spell. Yesterday he ate something that does not agree with him. I spent the better part of an hour cleaning up after him. He acts like nothing is wrong and feels fine. I had some great pictures this morning of the hoar frost and chickadees but this intent look that Mew had watching the birds on the feeder is my choice for the picture today.

Friday, January 15, 2010

sectional- long story

About 10 years ago I bought a matching couch and love seat. Immediately the cushions on the couch flattened out. The store replaced the foam. This was done twice in the same year and then we just lived with flat cushions. My dear husband sleeps on the couch more than he sleeps in our bed ;) and as such it was decided that the next couch we would buy he would pick out. It had to have cushions that would stand up to someone sleeping on them. I sent him out to look. He found 3 that he was considering. The two of us met tonight and walked around the store. I thought that one of the three couches would be ok but then I saw this sectional which is photographed above. I had found our couch. I did not think I would EVER spend this much money on a piece of furniture but I talked myself into it. It was on sale and we had an invitation to a special customer discount...but still it's ridiculously expensive.
Our home is small-the living room is somewhat a sectional was not something my husband had considered. Most sectionals are L shaped or have a chaise on one side. They are too big for our space. We had taken measurements of the house the night before. We sat and lay down on the sectional, measured it and decided that it was really the right choice for our living room. We could not take the floor model so we ordered it and in 4 weeks it will be ready for pick up. After breaking the bank I wanted to photograph it for this blog. We walked over to it and this nice family was sitting on it. I could not ask them to move off. It would have been rude. They had walked the whole store(miles it seems) and were about to walk out when they spotted ours right by the front doors. We talked about the the store, the millions of choices, about my blog and then I asked if I could take their picture. They were happy to oblige. So long story short- we will soon have a new couch.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This morning on my way to work imagine seeing right next to the road a red fox. Sadly, I did not have my camera with me as the battery was being recharged after the basketball game. This evening I came home and decided on photographing a part of the shelf in our bedroom- a very restful place. The red box is made from paper that a very talented friend of ours folded. The antique pins and brooch were found at a garage sale.
My dear husband is up early and to bed early. This photo was taken without a flash in pretty low light. Of course if I would take the remote and change the television channel he would be instantly awake :P

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This evening the Amherst Falcon boys basketball team played against the Bonduel Bears. The boys played together with tremendous heart winning 57-31 for their head coach who has been gone due to illness this past week. I like when the team meets on the court prior to the game starting. I did not know what photo I would use tonight. I took quite a few action shots but was not satisfied with how the focus was so I will try again.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today's photo is courtesy of my webcam and my son Taylor. He and I were having a video skype this evening. He was goofing around making funny faces and being a geeky guy to be sure. I told him I was going to snap his picture, which I did, and this is how it turned out. I did not do any changes in photoshop to it. On a really serious note,and not joking even a little- I can not tell you how much I enjoy skyping with him. In a small way, I feel a part of his day when we can do this together.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rico the sweetie

Yesterday was a busy day and I did not take a picture- sorry to say :( Today we came home from working on our boys home in La Crosse and our cats of course wanted attention. I snapped this picture of our older cat Rico eating. He is 14 and considered "geriatric" by the vet and has to eat food that is not nearly as tasty as more active cats. He is hungry for delicious human food morsels all the time. To his dismay he gets rebuffed and only gets treats occasionally.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tiki- High Five

Tonight I tried taking pictures of my daughters fish tank. I was not very successful. My camera has a setting for "through glass" but I am going to need more time before I am happy with how it turns out. So my little dog Tiki knows a few tricks or commands- High 5, , sit, dance and roll over. I tried to take a picture of her giving me a high 5. This is easier said than done :) We went through a few treats before I was successful. Tiki is now a 5 year old shih tzu who has been ours for the last 2 years.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The camera that I have has many features. So far I have not had the time or real interest to explore them. I wanted to photograph the candlelight in the dark. After clicking through the menu I found a candlelight setting and this picture is what resulted. I am pleased and will be doing more exploring :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

<3 KT

Some days you are busy and can hardly find a moment to even sit down. Today was that kind of a day. I took this photo when I came home. The chaos in the household from the installers made it so my daughter and our dog were confined to my bedroom. In the midst of it all, a beautiful smile and a sweet furry face.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Drive with a view

I drive to school looking into the sunrise and drive home looking into the sunset. Just up the road from my home is a beautiful field that often has a beautiful sky. I actually got out of the car and took this photo this morning. The temperature was 6 degrees.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One of my labs...Pixie 2 in action

Today was our first day back from winter break. My students had two Pixie 2 pages that they worked on for their computer time. We were getting hands on practice showing place value. On the first page the students did a base 10 blocks activity with ones, tens, hundreds and thousands and on the second page the students drew lines for the tens and dots for the ones and added double digit numbers.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

They're off!

My sons came back to Amherst for a 10 day vacation. The semester was over and the holidays awaited. We did a bit of travel but mostly we hung out together. They are on their way back to La Crosse with Taylor's girl friend.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bird feeder

This photo was an experiment like lots of things that I take on in my life. The temperature outside was -10 which is way too cold for this lady to be outside photographing wild birds. Instead I stood just an inch away from the glass on the door and took this picture of the feeder on the edge of the woods. There were tons of birds flying to and fro but of course I could not get a good picture of them. That will be for another day. The feeder is a new one for us- it is supposed to be squirrel proof with the seed section closing when too much weight is put upon the metal. It has worked well for the 2 months that we have had it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A place of peace

I like green plants. They give me a sense of peace. I naturally have a green thumb. I don't exactly ignore plants but I don't fret and pay too much attention to them either. This photo was taken in our bedroom this morning. The sun is shining which is a rare event in central Wisconsin in winter.