Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I have been pleasantly surprised at the quantity of autumn colors this year.  Some years the colors come and go in a blink but our temperate weather with cool nights is helping create quite the display.

My front yard

Near the mailbox

In the neighborhood

Corner of the parking lot at work

Old River

State Farm Parking Lot

Across the street from me

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My sis and I had a fun day a couple weekends ago at the Ventura County Harvest Craft Fair (or some such name).   We didn't buy much and I think we enjoyed the senior craft shop in town more than we did the craft fair!  The gentleman at the craft store recommended a local diner and we enjoyed our lunch very much.  For the price of a little drive to get together we had a very nice day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A little of this, a little of that.

Happy 80th Birthday to my DAD!   October 7, 2011

This has been such a long week. We have our new speech therapist on board at work but she's so new and needs so much guidance. Fortunately her 2nd school is going to be a breeze to catch up on even if there are more IEPs out of date. The 1st school seems to have the more difficult children.  I've been at the 1st school every morning this week instead of my own (before my class shows up) and spent two afternoons helping prioritize assessments.  We'll have a lot to do but should have it all done by the end of the month.  I never thought the extra work within a work day would wear me out but there you have it.  I think it's the ingrained horror at having outdated IEPs (huge regulatory No No).  I woke up early today thinking about it and wondering how much help our newbie is going to need. 

Sis was going to come visit today and now can't so we decided since we've both been tired we'd both stay home. She's going to try again in a couple of weeks.

Fall is finally here. We've had deliciously cool nights and I'm enjoying the quiet of no fans and the warmth of a comforter. I'm sure we'll warm up a time or two before winter arrives but for now it's delightful.  We had a lot of rain this week.  One day it just poured the last few miles of my drive home.

And the next morning it looked like this
on my drive to work:

Knitting projects are slowly coming along.  I decided to set aside the stash-busting donation shawl once I realized that I needed to make some modifications.  The yarn stretches like the dickens and what I thought would take 5 skeins looks like it will take 3 1/2.   I'm going to shorten the brown end and use just 1/4 of the skein on each end.   Each color panel is 12 inches long and stretchy so 36 inches plus the brown border will be plenty for an over the shoulder shawl. 

Now I can focus more intently on the other two projects, one a surprise and one not, and maybe finish up my "bee" mitts, too.  

I've finished reading the third in the "Green" series by Julie Pace Christie.  They remind me a bit of the Mitford series by Jan Karon and are comfortable, sweet reads.  I'm now reading a 2nd book by Sharon McCrumb, Once Around the Track.  Like her previous novel, St. Dale, it's a character driven story using a NASCAR theme.  It's not so all about racing that she gets distracted but a fun read about a culture I only know peripherally. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Author I Enjoy

I'm about halfway through my 2nd novel by Don Brown.  The first was The Malacca Conspiracy.   I'm now thoroughly enjoying Thunder in the Morning Calm.  I currently have a naval commander, a retired Marine, and a retired South Korean officer making landfall in North Korea after having intentionally ditched an airplane in the sea of Japan, evaded capture by a North Korean naval vessel, and survived a near drowning of one of three.  They are on a mission to substantiate rumors of elderly POWs from the Korean War still being held prisoner by the North.  If they find them they intend to rescue them.

At the same time the story of the prisoners is told and of the commander's family.  Throughout both books characters confront challenges to their faith or lack thereof and their relationship with their God.  It's not done in an "in your face" way but as a natural part of the storyline.

I highly recommend this author for a good read!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Just Finished

My latest fingerless mitts.  I'm not sure if who they're for.  I liked the yarn and wanted to knit with it!

Friday, September 16, 2011


The wildfires in our area are reaching containment.  The biggest is reported to be 95% contained.  You can almost see the surrounding mountains clearly and the air quality was in the "moderate" range rather than the "unhealthful" range.

I'm also relieved that we haven't cracked 100 degrees once this week.  And, candy corn showed up at the grocery store.  Autumn is scheduled to arrive!

Good for me news this week is that I can and did get a pneumonia shot.  Guidelines have changed in the last few months to include people with asthma in the group recommended to get the vaccine.  Otherwise I would have had to wait until 65.  Whew.

I have to say, though, that this vaccination was not a piece of cake for me as the flu shots have been.  I've been extra tired with muscle and joint aches and it's all pretty normal.  My body is working hard to produce anti-bodies.   This is a good thing and an excellent reason to stay home and knit. 

I finally uploaded photos.  This is from the storm that generated all the lightening strikes that started the local fires and fire complexes.   I like how the dragon fly buzzed into the shot.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fire photos

There's a big fire in the Tehachapi area that started 9/4/11.  You could see the massive plume of smoke from the Antelope Valley.

9/4 Around 6 p.m.  From about 50th and K. 

9/5 Mid-Afternoon

In the top photo the plume is traveling almost due east across the northern part of the Antelope Valley heading toward Dryden.  In the bottom two the plume is traveling south and east into the Antelope Valley.  I started smelling the smoke at "J" leaving Lancaster so I skirted the plume and left via Lancaster Road to 170th.  The Wee Ville Market checker has a perfect view.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, Lancaster CA

Dad and I had breakfast out and went for a short walk.

Dad takes a photo:

Father and Daughter

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm having a happy visit with Dad for Labor Day weekend.  We made soup today.  Silly us-making and eating soup on a 100 degree day!  It was yummy but I think the rest should go into the freezer for cooler weather.

Work goes well.  I'm picking up a few extra kids at another school until district hires a new SLP.   I hope we get someone soon.  I'm glad I can help out but it takes more planning that I'm used to doing.  I can't turn around and grab the materials I want from behind me.  Nothing insurmountable but it's just not my style to think 5 steps ahead.

Back to School Night is coming up this Tuesday.  The kids painted some Bees for Ms Bee's room.  I think the freckle faced bee is my favorite.

Knitting update, still can't say:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School, Round Two

The three year old start was a little rougher than the fours but not unexpected.  I had one* cranky-pants boy, a tiny little girl who only cried a little, a blond headed wiggly boy, a very quiet boy who bonked just before lunch, a sweetie pie coming out of her shell, and the brother to cranky-pants who had a great day. 

I'm exhausted again but don't mind a bit.

*Cranky pants was with me this summer so I know it's not his normal m.o.  Just out of routine.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Today was a very good day.  I'm verrrrry tired but I'll get used to work again.  We had 4 year olds today and all but one were in the class last year.  That last one was only with us during the summer and she doesn't quite have the savvy that the others have.

Coming to speech today was just coming over to Miss Bee's table to play.  We'll knuckle down to work Wednesday.

One of things we teach our 4s is to walk in a line.  They still like to hold hands and so do we but lines are good so we learn to make them.

I love my job!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Can't Say

I'm not sure if the intended recipient of this project reads my blog or not.  So, I can't say what it's going to be.  I can't say who it's for.  Sure is pretty yarn though, isn't it?

Friday, August 19, 2011

What a week

The week began with a mighty fine trip to Santa Clara with younger niece and nephew to visit older niece.  Hilarious drive home but mostly you had to be there.

The fun was quickly followed by news of a dear friend's passing.  Mary was a bell ringer and we will be ringing as a mixed choir of current and former ringers at the memorial service on Sunday.   The bell choir rallied for her daughter and family (long time bell ringer) and have been bringing food and in general being supportive.

Come Wednesday I could no longer avoid thoughts of Back to School as it was time to go back and get the classroom together and plans made.  My assistants came in and offered a lot of help.  The room is in order, ideas are tossed about, and plans are beginning to form.  Good thing-it's Friday already and while everything isn't ready at least the basics are.

I somehow managed to have three knitting projects going all at once.  Two are more involved, for me, patterns but the 3rd is yet another pair of fingerless mitts.  This will be 8 for the year so three more to complete the 11 in 2011 challenge.   I haven't taken pictures yet.  Lately I've been taking photos of finished projects rather than documenting progress.  Hm.

Tomorrow I plan to go to a farmer's market that I didn't know was ongoing and much closer to my home than the "big one" across town.   A few other errands while I'm out but no big plans for the "last Saturday of summer break".  heh

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Winding up a summer....

Summer break, that is, not the season.

I seem to be relishing my time off a little more than usual this year.  It makes me wonder if a successful, enjoyable year of teaching makes for a better vacation than a long, sloggy, emotion laden year does.  I didn't have to take so much time to be rested and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at home and my time visiting.  I could stand a bit more but I guess I need to keep earning a living.

Here are monarch chrysalises that are attached to the siding of my brother/sih's house.  Cooler still you can see the butterfly markings within the chrysalis.  (click on them to see them bigger.)

I found this doll at the Bennett's Honey Store in Fillmore:

She'll come to work to live in "Ms Bee's" room.  I've got quite a theme going. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Days 3-8, yeah, right....

Well, getting on the computer every other day or so just did not happen.  We had such long days that no one felt like staying up just a little longer.  I've started catching up on all my e-mail and forums but it will take days.  Good thing I've got them.

Before the memories jumble worse than they have I want to document an unexpected part of my journey across the country.  From Monday it seemed that nothing had gone smoothly or happened in a timely manner until we changed our expectations of how the trip needed to be.

I had spent time praying for our trip during my flight to Boston and many arrow prayers while we all worked on finishing the packing and packing the truck.   I prayed for safety, for way to be eased, for good conversations, for clear solutions to obstacles, for the three of us to be good travelers and good companions.  I had to pray for that last for myself because I'm not always a good traveler and I have been known to melt down several days into a trip from fatigue and not enough recharge time.

God answered my prayers daily and sometimes minute by minute.  I continued to pray these same prayers every morning and during every delay-of which there were many as it appears that the length of I80 is undergoing reconstruction this summer.

During our drive out of Boston I had some time in the car by myself following S and J who were driving the truck.  I decided I needed some noise and started browsing radio stations.  I found multiple classical, public radio, pop, rock, and Christian stations-both talk and music.  I found it odd that I couldn't find a country station but we were in the North East and perhaps listening to country music isn't high on their lists of necessary stations as it is where I live.

At some point in the next day or so I sought out a station with "Jesus music" and enjoyed familiar and unfamiliar music-so much so that I found myself drawn into worship as I drove.  I started noticing the beauty of our country and reveled in praising God along with the artists I was hearing.

It became my joy and my cure for crankiness to take the first shift of the drive by myself in the car, seek out a station with "Jesus music", and then pray, worship, and enjoy starting out.  What was so unexpected was the sense of renewal in and about Worship.  Also unexpected was how much I enjoyed much of what I was hearing on Christian radio.  I have listened now and again and not been drawn in as so much of the music and sentiment offered is trite and shallow.  That type of offering was present but it was easier to ignore during these morning drives.

I also found a wondrous range of music presented by different Christian radio stations from "Praise and Worship", hymns both old and new, pop and rock styled music, and with great enjoyment what sounded like "old timey" gospel music as we traveled through the heartland.  I didn't hear many choir anthems but I imagine I get my fill of those during my time in choir at home.

I developed a couple favorites and need to hunt down titles and artists.  One was along the lines of "What If" and asked what if our troubles are actually God's mercies and the answers to prayer.  (Found: Blessings by Laura Story)  Another was Courageous which I think is by Casting Crowns.  Yet one more had to do with blessings raining on the singer.

God had more for me from this journey than I had thought to imagine or to ask.  I am delighted.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Speed Adventuring, days 1 and 2

Day 1

Flew out of home airport to Houston.  So excited this morning I was just dancin' by time my ride came.  The flight was long but good.  The airplane was only about 1/3 full.  I had enough layover time in Houston to have lunch/dinner and get to my gate which involved riding a sky tram.  Way cool!  I arrived in Boston at about 11:30 p.m.   Nephew was nearby to pick me up and when we got home J was packing away!

Day 2

Long busy day.   J and I went for morning coffee, errands, and a pre-trip grocery run while S started packing the office.   Then we had lunch at Kelly's, roast beef sandwiches and salads all the way around.  S drove us to the North End and we went to the New England Aquarium.  It was busy but we still enjoyed the exhibits.  We went to the top of the big aquarium for the afternoon feeding time.   So cool to see a massive 540+lb sea turtle going after romaine lettuce!  We decided we were hungry enough for an early dinner and went to one of J's favorite Italian restaurants.

After dinner we came home and packed and packed and packed and packed!  I stayed out of the way finishing up the kitchen packing.  S. got after the technology, and big things that could be disassembled.  J. was a busy whirlwind of packing in the office and living room and looking after one last pre-trip load of laundry.  

Just as J. predicted I was starving hungry at about 9:30 p.m.   I had a snack, packed some more, and we're now finally getting ourselves to bed. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tawny Shawl....all done......

This was a really fast knit.  I think I've gotten comfortable with this rib stitch.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some knitting

I finished the purple scarf/shawl some time ago but never published a photo so here it is.

Lion Brand Homespun, Barrington 

 Lion Brand Homespun, Tudor

Lion Brand Homespun, Tawny
Interrupted Rib Stitch
aka: Chicken Wire stitch, coined by my brother.

These two stitch patterns have become my favorite for the Lion Brand Homespun.  I think it shows off the colors and textures of the yarn well.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I had the most marvelous weekend....

I went to visit my sister and her husband and my brother and my dear sis-in-heart.   I enjoyed a lot of time with everyone and we went to a Butterflies Alive! exhibit twice.  As Sih put it the experience is magical.  We all had fun taking and later comparing photos.  Here are a few of mine.  I don't remember all the names:

A Luna Moth.  Hand sized.

White Peacock Butterfly

 Another moth, palm sized. 

 Water Lily, in the pond area.

 Sideways.  I'll come back and turn the picture, later.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This and that

Summer School is going remarkably well.  I wish I could post pictures of the kids but can't, so won't.  They are growing by leaps and bounds in speech, academics, and social skills.  We're having fun.

Figured out how to post a couple pics from work-edit!

 Little Mommy

 Little Chef

Food Network, we have a problem.

Yesterday and today we had cupcakes to celebrate Ms. B's birthday.   Four year olds going on five seem to just get louder after consuming sugar.  Three year olds seem to buzz and then meltdown in rapid succession.  I'm glad we don't have too many celebrations during the year.  We'd have to serve peas.

The apricot harvest is almost over with a grand total of 10 dozen apricots.  That was enough for everyone to have a few.  There are four or so still ripening on the tree.

The rose bushes seem to love the summer heat.  This pink popped out masses of buds during the last heat wave:

Six more days of summer school and then I get my summer break.  I'm glad and I'm ready.