Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oh cruel fates...

I robbed the garden of all the good stuff, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeƱo peppers, onion and I even dug up my first ever garlic. Set to work and created a masterpiece of salsa goodness.

Finished it up, and then i realized we are out of tortilla chips. Dang. And this stuff smells gooooooooooooooood, too.

Locking the kids in the chicken coop and making a run to the grocery store. Back in 20.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2-wheeled freedom

Last summer, the kids and I spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out the Sun. We were planned all sorts of ways to make the Sun our minion. We built the solar oven, we used the clothesline. We spent time out in the garden, making sure our plants were getting the most of the available sunlight. As the summer went on we were going to convert a radio to run on solar power, but we ran out of $ and it got hot out there.

Later in the year we learned a lot about Skin Cancer, but I digress.

The Summer of the Sun was a lot of fun. Today I think The Talker and I found this summer's theme. Bikes!

There is a lot of stuff nearby that the kids and I can get to on our bikes. Even so, it is usually easier to hop in the car and knock out a bunch of errands at once. This summer we are going to remember the two-wheelers that are sitting out in the garage, especially when it is early in the day and under a million degrees out there.

Today for lunch The Talker and I hopped on our bikes and rode through the neighborhood to lunch. Then we hit the trail home and stopped to check our geocache hides. All was good there, so we finished the 3 mile loop with a race home. Now leave us alone, Daddy needs a nap. And Oxygen.

On the mend

The Talker has missed a full week of school. He had a fever that started last Wed night and FINALLY broke up for good (we all hope) last night. He is home today and feeling fine, but we are trying to be nice and follow the "24 Hour Fever-Free" rule. Besides, there are only 4 days of school left. What could he possibly be missing?

The Princess stayed home yesterday, but I think she was mainly sick of seeing her Big Brother get to stay home from school. I drove her to school yesterday, but by the time we got there I was not sure if she wasn't getting sick, so we called an audible and came home.

The girl made a miraculous recovery as we were pulling out of the school parking lot, but, there were only 5 days of school left. What could she possibly have missed?

The Boss Lady took pity on me and took the day off of work yesterday. She hauled the boy to the pediatrician to get new antibiotics and The Princess and I worked in the garden and went grocery shopping. After a family run to Costco we made good use of the rest of the afternoon. Naps and video games all around.

For a sick day we stayed pretty busy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garden visitors

The garden has really hit it's stride in the last few weeks. We have already harvested potatoes, a few jalapeno peppers, several pounds of lettuce and spinach, a quart of snow peas, dill, cilantro, sage, rosemary and oregano. Also, birds have beaten us to the two or three strawberries that we have grown.

A few years ago we had our first experience growing dill and the kids were amazed by the caterpillars that munched down our few plants. Once we found out that the caterpillars would grow into Black Swallowtail butterflies, we left them to eat the dill down to a nub. Since then we have grown lots of dill, just for the caterpillars. This year I made 3 plantings of dill, about a month between. And the caterpillars have found the goods! Thanks to The Boss Lady for all of the pictures.

This morning I spotted another visitor to our garden, a Checkered Garter snake. I know they are harmless and we have seen these guys around our yard for the entire time we have lived here, but I still squeal and run away like a little girl anytime one pops out of the garden. This snake was resting underneath the potato vines.

For the record, since I know there are lots of bugs attacking the potatoes right now, I made peace with the snake and left it to get it's fill. Now that I know he is there, he can eat all the bugs as long as I get the 'taters.

The rest of the garden is going crazy right now. The Princess helped me plant everything this year, so for the first time ever I gave up some space for flowers. We have Zinnias and Marigolds in bloom along with tomatoes on the vine. The eggplant is starting to fruit out and yesterday I spotted the first green bean on the vine.

Soon we will be dining on grilled green beans and pan fried eggplant while we watch our butterfly crop flit about the garden. Good times!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Or not.

The Talker is a lucky kid. His iPod survived being left in a rainstorm. Thanks to the Father of Five for some great advice. The water caused the battery to discharge, so I assumed the whole thing was DOA. After drying for 24 hours in rice and getting a fresh charge, the tunes are playing fine.

There is joy in The Talker's habitat once again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Day the Music Died

"Well son, now we now both things that happen when you leave your iPod out in the rain. It ruins the iPod and makes you really sad."

Yeah, not a fun thing to learn when you are 8.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The results of my Elementary School Generalist (Early Childhood - 6th Grade) exam are in. I passed. Even had a bunch of points to spare!

Next stop on the Teacher's Express train to my own classroom, finishing up all of my online classes and a few more Saturday sessions. In June I take a test to prove that I am capable of teaching High School English/Language Arts.

Then, hopefully sometime in the next couple of months, a school will be in need of a Special Education teacher who is good looking, too. But maybe they will hire me anyways.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Glad that is done...

I took the second of three state exams today. If I passed this one, then I will be a Provisionally Certified, Highly Qualified Elementary Special Education Teacher. To finish the process I'll have to successfully teach a year and then my teaching certificate will no longer reflect a "Provisional Status".

In late June I take one last exam that will certify me to teach High School English/Language Arts. I don't intend to teach anything but Special Education, but thanks to the federal No Child Left Behind program, I have to pass this test to complete my high school teacher's certification.

I have a little time to ease up now, so I'll be making a full court press on the house. During the last couple of weeks of studying, I have slacked off with keeping the house tidy. Before studying for this most recent exam, babysitting The Little Dude was my excuse for not cleaning. And before that I was studying for an earlier test. But what about the 7 1/2 years prior to all of this testing? I had good excuses then, too. I swear!

In a couple of weeks we are hosting an end-of-season party for The Princess' kickball team. So I have about 10 days to whip the house and yard into submission. Got a start tonight, with a deep cleaning of the kitchen. Even the inside of the microwave got a cleaning.

Tomorrow I am hoping to plow through the living room and dining room. It has been a while since the Swiffer got any exercise in either of those rooms. At this rate I should just about get everything cleaned in time for the guests to show up.

May the good lord help anyone who messes up that kitchen before the party!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Garden Tour

Blame it on Rick. He posted some pictures of his garden, so I had to follow up with pics from mine.


A few varieties of lettuce mixed together.

The lettuce looked better before I harvested a bunch of it this morning.


Eggplant, dill and ‘taters in the background.


Garlic, spinach and lettuce in the background.


Mint from my momma’s house AND proof that The Hat is worn in the garden.

After all, it is 96 degrees out there today!


Jalapeno peppers


The chickens chowing down on lettuce and spinach.

We also have rosemary, oregano, cilantro, green beans, snow peas, strawberries. After a really wet winter and with the help of the hen’s, there is about a ton of chicken poop in the garden soil this year, this has been our best gardening season ever.

At least I have learned something!

During this teacher's training program, I have pretty much left everything else undone.

Somehow the kids are getting fed and they have clean(ish) clothes to wear to school. But everything else is pretty much in a holding pattern. Including this blog.

This weekend, after lots of business here in town, the family headed to Dallas and stayed up there until Monday afternoon. Yeah, the kids skipped school. So what? There are like 20 days left of the school year. If they haven't learned it yet, I bet it isn't happening before June...

I digress.

While everyone was out of town I tried to get a ton of studying done. I also broke down and decided to buy a study guide. I found it online for less than $30. Through the website I was able to see that the book was in stock at our local big box book store. At the store they couldn't find the book, even though they showed 3 copies in stock. Next best thing, they had a copy held for me at the nearest of their other locations.

I drove the 10 miles to the second store and they did indeed have the book waiting for me. But the $30 online price (FROM THEIR OWN WEBSITE!) was not valid 'in-store' so the book cost me $45.

I came home and immediately ordered the $30 identical study guide from the website. (They even had free shipping!) Today the second copy showed up. So I hauled it up to the store and got my $45 back.

In the end, I got the book I needed, WHEN I needed it and I got it for the $30 that I was originally planning to pay. But I also had to hassle with it. So all of this has given me one more reason for me to love the Kindle2 that I have stolen borrowed on a long term loan from The Boss Lady. No hassling with deliveries, returns OR jerk bookstore managers!

For the record, I returned the book to the closer bookstore and the manager who handled the return was nice, polite quick and cute, too. Not at all like the guy at the other store who earned the "jerk" title.