Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeling old

Yesterday when coming out of a store, a man says from behind me, "Mrs. Lewis?"

I turn around and there is a man, woman and baby coming up from behind me. He says, "Do you recognize me? I think you were my first grade teacher."

I asked him how old he is now and he says 20.

I told him I have a daughter turning 20 next week and he says he remembers her and tells me her name. Then, he tells me his name and I actually remember him from when I taught him 14 years ago.

I thought it was funny that he thought I could recognize him. As though he hadn't changed in 14 years. He went from being a little child to becoming a man. I thought it was funny that he remembered me after all of this time. But it is also funny that I remember my first grade teacher. Mrs. Potter. I loved Mrs. Potter. She really made an impact on me and it's been way more than 14 years since I've been in 1st grade. I remember going back to visit with her at Open House and how my face would hurt at the end of the visit from smiling so much.

I hope I am still making that kind of impact on the kids I teach today.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Iris Farm

I have been wanting to go out to the Pleasants Valley Iris Farm for a couple weeks now. They are usually a couple weeks behind in their bloom times from my iris and I figured this would be a perfect weekend to get out there.
It is in the 80's today and there is a little breeze.

I tried pulling weeds outside, but it is just too hot, so it was the perfect excuse to get out and walk among the flowers.

I was especially attracted to the yellows.

I came home with this one, called Sunday Sunshine to add to my yellow collection.

This was more of an orange. I like these too.

The place sits on about 5 acres with thousands of blooms. I found out that they had a garden tour yesterday and most of the blooming potted plants were sold the day before. That's ok, I got two of the ones I liked, plus I ordered a mix of random rhizomes that will arrive in August.
It is on their website under Operation Smiles.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jazz Band and Barns and Noble

Today was the Band at the bookstore event. The kids played great and it was fun. Lots of people showed up and I got some books for my little guy's birthday and we got the Avatar movie. I did my part to support the band boosters.

Every weekend for the next 6 weeks my son has a band review. Crazy times!

can you stand more pictures?

This is the most favorite time of year around my house.
The iris are in full bloom.
It is the middle of the season here.
I have had the early bloomers already and the late bloomers are just coming into bud.
The mid season bloomers are showing their best colors.
I would think about 2 more weeks of blooms still.

Yesterday at work was rough so I came home and spent some time unwinding in the garden. Just smelling the flowers was enough to take some of the stress of the day away. Felt really good.

I'm dreaming of how I'm going to move things around and where I need to position my favorite iris for better viewing from the kitchen window.
And then, when it got almost dark outside, my little guy and I had to release the ladybugs. One of my students needed a quick and easy science fair project. I had remembered a project that a student did the year before where she exposed ladybugs to UV lights from the goggles cabinet and they died. Her data showed that it was fairly quick, so I went out and got ladybugs and we tried it. Well, these bugs did not die. The girl last year had faked her data. That was very frustrating to me. (Part of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day) and so I brought the ladybugs home to release in the garden. I'm sure these ladybugs were happy the experiment didn't work.
My little guy was the only one who wanted to help me release them and I didn't tell him they bite. I got bit about 50 times as they said, thanks, and crawled onto their new home. I'm sure they will fly away soon, but for a day or so, they will eat the aphids on my roses
And we built a memory.
Sometime that is worth $8.12

Friday, April 23, 2010

Do you have a minute?


Please visit this website and leave a comment at the end of the article. By doing so, you will be voting for the founder of Binky Patrol, Susan Finch. I'd appreciate any help you can give her. She has helped many of us who organize the collection and distribution of blankets for kids in crisis.

Thanks for taking time to visit and make a comment.

Shopping Barns and Noble this weekend?

I got this message from my son's Band Booster's and thought I'd pass it along to help them out. Every time I turn around it is costing more money for uniforms, band trips, pictures, festivals...I think band is more expensive than sports! Who knew? So, if you are already planning on buying something online from Barns and Noble and could take an extra 30 seconds to type in the code, the school band would really appreciate getting the little bit of money from the sale.

Hello Golden West Parents, please join us in support of the Golden West Middle School Mustang Band! Barnes and Noble on Gateway Blvd. In Fairfield is having a book fair fundraiser for our Band, this weekend, Friday, April 23 through Sunday, April 25th.Purchases you make in the store or online during the Book Fair weekend will help out the band and color guard.Just mention Golden West Band, or you can present a voucher, down loadable from our school website and Band Boosters website at www.goldenwestband.org or use our code (10186807) for online purchases.Almost everything is eligible for the book fair, including the café’s coffee and food but to check the few exceptions please visit the boosters website again, at www.goldenwestband.orgThank you and please tell your friends and family, every little bit helps.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More iris pictures

Since I haven't been quilting, I have to show off something pretty. I just love iris season. Every year I add a few more of these beauties to my collection. There isn't much room left, but I try to sqeeze in a couple more here and there. I just love their color and delicate blooms, yet they hold up through the strong winds and rains and smell so wonderful. I love strong smelling flowers!

I can't pick a favorite, but this yellow is up there, as is the almost black ones that haven't bloomed yet and the rusty colored ones are pretty too. I don't really like the salmon ones, but when they are all in bloom, they are pretty too.
I love the multi colored ones and the really tall white ones out front are especially pretty this year. They are protected by the house and haven't fallen over in the wind.
The snails are getting some of the iris out front this year.
I got a whole bunch of snails in about 5 minutes this morning when I went out to check on my tomato plants. So far, the snails only got one tomato plant. The dog, however stepped on a tomato plant and squashed it. We had a talk, the dog and I, and she agreed that she would not step on any more tomato plants. I think I need to just put her on the side yard so she keeps up her end of the deal. I just wish she would eat the snails instead.
I need a duck. When I was a kid, my dad brought home baby ducks one year for Easter. They ate all of the snails in the backyard. They ate a lot of the plants too. So, my friends and I had to go snail collecting in the whole neighborhood and brought home a whole new batch of snails to repopulate the backyard. My mom wasn't too happy about that. I put them in a glass pickle jar, but somehow the jar tipped over and the top came off. I have no idea how that happened. I told them to stay in the jar, but they didn't listen. Sort of like my dog and the tomato plants.
I talk to animals, they just don't listen too well.
Oh, and I'm back to my old phone. I didn't like the features on the new phone as much as the ones on my old one. But don't worry. My new phone was 10 zillion times better than my husband's old phone so I gave it to him. He can now text me. I'm happy as can be! Of course, he will now text me from upstairs :) I guess it is better than him wasting minutes calling me from the house phone :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garden day

Today was the day to get the garden put in. The dirt was delivered a couple weeks ago and the rain came and went and was due to come again this Tuesday.
The boys were a big help in loading it into the wheelbarrow and I wheeled it back to the raised bed.
Then, my daughter and younger son planted all of the 24 tomato plants. I still have a big pile of dirt out front. Good thing I didn't listen to the garden center lady and get the 6 yards of dirt and instead only got 3 yards. I could have only gotten 2 yards and been just fine. But I will have an extra yard of dirt to fill some 1/2 wine barrels and plant my zucchini plants
That is if the snails don't get them first.
I planted some tomato plants out in the back last week and they are half eaten already. I didn't think snails liked tomato plants, but I guess these guys are pretty hungry.
I learned my lesson last year and am not going to put out snail bait. My little dog got ahold of snail bait and $700 later, she was fine, but that was not a nice trip to the vet. I checked out the 'dog safe' snail bait, but I'm not sure how well it works. I think I will just have to go out often to pick the snails off the plants by hand.
We also planted some seeds of flowers and raddish, turnip and peas. Not sure if anything will grow as I have had these seeds for several years, but no loss if they don't. This is really nice dirt for digging and planting. Much nicer than the clay soil I've been used to gardening in for 20 years now. I think I'm going to be very spoiled!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Old phone, New phone

I got a new phone today. There was nothing really wrong with my old phone. My son wanted a phone and he is so involved with band and is always going on band trips and is in so many different after school things and is getting picked up at different places and times it is a good idea to know where he is so we decided it was time for him to have his own phone. When I was in getting his phone, they told me I could have a 'free' upgrade. That means it will cost something, but less than full price for a new upgraded phone.

The phone my son wanted was out of stock and they weren't getting any in soon and his second choice was out of stock as well. So, he picked out a third choice which cost $50. I told him that was the phone I liked and the lady said he could have it for $30. I told him that he couldn't have that phone because I wanted to get that phone as my upgraded phone. The phone I have is a palm and it is a great phone, but one of the buttons has stuck almost since the beginning of getting the phone. Not a real problem, but things should really work when you pay for them.

He picked out a different phone that was free with the 2 year contract and we both signed our lives away. I liked the new phone because it had a better camera. I like to take pictures with my phone because I don't like having to carry my camera everywhere I go and like to take pictures of the kids. I also like to text and need a full keyboard to do that.

The new phone is a Samsung impression and his is the Samsung Flight. I'm not too impressed with the impression. It does some pretty cool things but the camera isn't much better than my old camera phone. And what I don't like is when I text, it only has one line of the conversation at a time. My old phone had the whole conversation, what I said and what they said going back and forth forever. Now, I have to remember what the other person said so I can text them back. I'm old. I forget things quickly. This is going to be difficult. And the thing didn't come with a book to learn how to use it. It came with a computer disc. Really? Are we that advanced that they can't print out the instructions for me? How am I supposed to learn how to use this thing when I can't sit in the car and read the book? It took me almost 2 years to learn how to use my old phone. I carried the book in my purse and read it when I couldn't figure out how to do something on my phone. What am I supposed to do now? Carry the disc around and hope that I'm near someone's computer?

But here's the real test.

Picture from the old phone.

Picture from the new phone.

Which is better?

I can't really tell...

I have a month to decide if I like the new phone. A month isn't long enough to learn how to use the silly thing or to input all of my phone numbers! I have to put each one in by hand. Back in the old days, the phone store people would transfer them for you, but today the lady said they can't do that with the palm phones. For some reason it doesn't work. I guess I have nothing better to do.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break ends

The weather is miserable outside and the last day of vacation ends on a downer. I decided I can sit here and feel sorry for myself or I can post some pictures to remind me of the beauty around me and what I have to look forward to when the weather clears up and I can get back out and work in the garden again.

I have Binky Patrol today which will get me out of the house and give me a break from being a nurse to my recovering husband. He had hernia surgery on Thursday and is not a very good patient. He cannot see the progress he has made in recovering. Tomorrow I go back to work and the kids back to school so he will be home alone all day to fend for himself. I know he will be fine, but he is a little worried.

I know we will look back on this and laugh, but just not today.

So, I have been working in the garden this week, enjoying the mostly gorgeous weather and the ability to get outside and make things look better around here.

I had a load of dirt delivered for my raised vegetable garden that my husband and I put together last summer. We think that might be where the hernia came from, lifting and moving all of the bricks and stones and bark from the landscaping. At least the dirt isn't as heavy to move. And, I got a wheelbarrow which makes moving things so much easier! Who would have thunk it?

I had grand plans this vacation to get some quilting done, but alas, all I did was start a memory quilt for a friend whose daughter was hit and killed by a car when rollerblading. Making memory quilts is very difficult, not because the quilt is so hard, but because you are taking something that belonged to a loved one and turning it into something a mother can hold onto for a long time. It is emotionally draining to work on and I can only work on it for small amounts of time.

I also had grand plans of getting all of my grading caught up, but I haven't even touched one paper yet. I was going to work for 15 minutes each day and I knew that I could be done early in the week, but since I haven't started, I probably have a good 2-3 hours of work to do today. Here it is after 11:00am and I haven't started yet. I doubt I will get it all done and in the computer. Oh, well, that's what the work week is for right? I didn't give my students any homework so they can't expect me to do any work either right?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

Family tradition at my house. Coloring Easter Eggs. And now we have to eat 5 dozen boiled eggs before they go bad. Good thing the kids like deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches.

Easter Break

Finally, a chance to rest, rejuvinate, relax.

Yesterday, I had a migraine and a stomach ache. Great way to start off the break. And it was raining. I guess it was a good day to be home and sick.

Today, I woke up feeling good and decided to start off the vacation doing some fun things. The kids and I tackled the chores early and we all headed out to a new found hiking spot along Putah Creek. We went there last weekend and had to throw rocks and sticks in the water. There is just something about throwing rocks in water that is good therapy. We went back today and it was freezing outside. We didn't stay as long, but getting out and running in the fresh air felt good.

We came home, had some lunch and I decided it was a good day to start tackling the jungle in the backyard. Last summer we all worked really hard to make the backyard a nice place to be. My husband and I worked for hours each day pulling weeds and putting in bark all around the edges of the lawn. We laid down miles of weed cloth and fixed it up really nice.

From the pictures here, you can see what 6 months of neglect will do. The places we worked on look great still. I have gone out a couple of times and hit the weeds that did manage to sneak through with some weed killer and the borders of the lawn look great still. But, you can't see them because the lawn is 4 feet tall.

I tried to get it with the electric weed whacker. The lawn just laughed and killed the whacker about 20 times before I gave up. I am now using the lawn mower, but the problem is, there are so many land mines in the tall grass that the mower keeps dying too. I am wearing safety goggles and going slowly, but I have hit tennis balls and the sprinkler and a digging fork and some bricks. Luckily I haven't killed the mower or myself yet. I am walking the area first, kicking and picking up things I find, but there are still some things that escape my hunt.

I am about 1/3 of the way done after a day's work on it. I'd say I've put in a good 2 hours so far. It is supposed to rain tomorrow and Monday so I hope to be able to finish by the end of the week.

My friend bought a rototiller, but first I have to get all of these weeds out of here. I'd love to have a real lawn, not just a weed patch in the backyard. But, then I would have to take care of it year round. Maybe I should get a goat.

My flowers are pretty though :) The iris are just starting to bloom and the freesia smell good too. They are along the back of the yard, away from the weeks and make a nice view from the kitchen window when I decide to do some dishes.

I love this house!