Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photo #273: Colorful Bike

This bicycle used to be a form of transportation for someone. Now days, it's lawn art. This bike has been used in this yard for several years, but the colorful paint job was added this year. I like this cheerful look.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photo #272: Shaded Barn

This barn is just down the road from my sister's house. I love the character of this old barn. It was hard to get a good shot because it was a very bright sunshiny day, and the barn was deep in the shade. I think I'm going to try to get another picture of it, after the leaves fall off the trees.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo #271; Sassy Tree

It was a really beautiful day with temperatures in the seventies. I worked until 5, but since I planned ahead, dinner was waiting for me in the crockpot. I am trying to get myself to eat at home, and get more exercise, so after dinner I took a walk around the neighborhood. I decided to take my camera with me. Lots of people have yard art on their trees, but I kind of liked this sassy guy. I especially liked the rough texture of the bark.

The days are getting shorter, and it is starting to get dark shortly after seven. If I'm going to take pictures on my walks, I need to get out there earlier.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Photo #270 Fall Flowers

I stopped at Walmart to pick up headphones for my class. As I was going in, I saw these mums out front.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Photo #269: Barn on a Hill

I decided to go on a barn tour today. There are several barns along the road to my sister's house. I've been wanting to photograph them for sometime, but I never take the time to stop. As I was lurking in her neighborhood, Jacci came by, on her way to the grocery store.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photo #268: Bead Bash

Today was another dreary wet day. I love fall temperatures, but I could do without all this rain. For a change of pace, Jacci and I went to the ninth annual Marshalltown Bead Bash today. It was really fun looking at all the beads and jewelry makings. We both picked up some great beads.

Jacci is a very talented and creative jewelry designer. I have made some pieces, but I'm not very good at it, yet. I do love the colors, shapes and textures of the beads. I have some vintage pendants that Jacci gave me a while ago. I was shopping for beads to go with them. There were so many beautiful beads, that it was difficult to choose just a few. Now that I have the beads, I have to make sure I actually do something with them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo #267: Pumpkins and Mums

Today is a beautiful fall day. Unfortunately I spent all day in professional development. I'm also fighting a cold, so I plan to spend the evening laying on the couch. I did take the weekend off at Huntington. I brought some work home, but I hope to spend most of the weekend resting. I love the colors of fall, and the cooler temperatures. I'm hoping to spend the rest of my weekend enjoying both of those things.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Photo #266: Pumpkins

I've been struggling lately, trying to find a good photo. Once again, I found my shot at Hy-Vee, my nearby grocery store. I love the colors of autumn. A few days ago I photographed all the chrysanthemums that were sitting in front of the store. Today the pumpkins had arrived. I snapped this photo in the rain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Photo #265: Our New Qomos

Today was an early release. We were supposed to meet with someone from the district technology department. She was to teach us how to install and use our brand new Qomo Interactive Tablets. This is our school's newest venture into technology. We ordered the slates in May, and most of them had not been out of the box. I have used mine, but all I had managed to do so far, was advance the slides on a powerpoint.

She didn't show up, but that didn't stop us. We figured it out ourselves. They're pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo #264: Fall Chrysanthemums

There were lots of pots of fall chrysanthemums sitting in front of the grocery store. That's where I snapped this shot.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Photo #262: Taxi Service

It's been a chilly and rainy weekend. I like the cooler temperatures, but could do without the rain. I love fall, and you can see a hint of orange and gold in the trees. With fifty degree temperatures, I was happy to put on jeans and a sweatshirt today. Michael came over for dinner this afternoon. I made a pot roast in the crockpot. On the weekend, I frequently serve as taxi service for my son, who often works evenings at Walgreens. I just snapped this photo, while I was waiting for him to get off work tonight. I should have taken time to check my voicemail before I left the house, though. Turns out he got another ride. I could have been in bed by now.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Photo #261: Tea Party

It was time to get my tea supply ready to take to school. Having my favorite teas to sip, helps me get the school day off to a good start. Gong Fu is the best place to go in Des Moines for a great selection of quality tea, so Jacci and I met there this afternoon. This is another of our common interests. We both really love tea, but we each have our own favorites.

There are so many teas to choose from, but I'm pretty picky about the ones I like. My favorite flavors from Gong Fu are Absolute Almond and Constant Companion. Both are black teas. Absolute Almond has a strong aroma and taste of almond, and I am very fond of almond. The Constant Companion is a great black tea, somewhat reminiscent of Earl Gray, with a great orangey citrus fragrance and taste. Since we stayed for a pot of tea, I tried a new one, Black Mango. I often drink the Mango Black iced tea when I go to Caribou Coffee, so I hoped this would have a similar taste, and it does. I added two ounces of the the Black Mango tea to my purchases.

If I just stuck to buying tea, I would probably be okay, but I like the paraphernalia that goes with tea. I like the cups, the tea pots, measuring spoons, and today I picked up a decorative storage tin. After spending an hour and a half visiting and sipping tea, we both gathered up our treasures and headed for home. All that qualifies today as a great Saturday afternoon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo #260: Neighbor Dog

I snapped this picture right after I got home from work today. I was letting my dogs out into the yard when I noticed my neighbor's dog sitting in one of his favorite spots.

A few years ago, my neighbor had this garage built. Unfortunately the person who poured the foundation did not get it square. Another builder framed and built the garage. Several inches of foundation, extend beyond the garage itself. My neighbor's clever dog has discovered that he can easily see over the privacy fence and into our yard, when he sits on this ledge. He cracks me up!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Photo #259: iPad Sad

I see lots of articles and blog posts about how wonderful the iPad is, and my students would definitely agree. Our school acquired ten of them at the end of May, and I had the use of one for the entire summer. So far this school year, I have had almost exclusive use of all ten of them. We have used several of the apps. Today we used the Glow Doodle to practice spelling words, and practiced math facts with Pop Math.

Last week I had the kids use the Pages app to write sentences. We had two goals: first to practice sentence structure and spelling words, and second, to get experience using a word processing program. Each student will have their own blog soon, and they are building skills toward being able to do that. Unfortunately I have yet to discover how I can print the work they did on the iPad, or even e-mail it myself, so that I can have their work in one location.

I learned quickly that any website that uses flash does not work on the iPads, so this rules out some of my favorite websites, like and Storybird. I wrote about this a few months ago on my Prospecting for Treasure blog, in a post titled Getting to Know the iPad.

The limitations of the iPad are compounded by my school district's filters. Almost everything I tried to do today, was blocked. I tried to access Delicious, it wouldn't let me put in my password to see my own account. I tried to visit our class wiki, ReadtheWeb, it wouldn't let me. I tried to put Dropbox on it, and it wouldn't do that either.

There are some things I really like about the iPad. I like how portable it is. I love reading my Google Reader on it. I like the fact that you can easily enlarge things. Photographs look fantastic on it, though I can't figure out how to put any on for my class to use.

To tell you the truth, I am still not loving the iPad. My frustration led me to take this photo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photo #258: Glass Mosaic Fish

Last night was one of those nights where I got to sleep too late, and then woke up around 3:30. Immediately, my brain generated a "to do" list for the day to come. Though I desperately wanted to go back to sleep, it was hopeless. My brain had already started the day, and there was no shutting it down. I did pretty well while the kids were at school, but today was a 1:30 dismissal. Sitting in a meeting was a struggle, when I was so tired.

The photo today is another picture that I took at the Sunday Bazaar in the East Village. This artist works in glass. I like the mosaic fish against the colorful tablecloth.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Photo #257: Garden Gear

I liked this collection of antique garden gear. It was displayed on Sunday by one of the vendors at the East Village Bazaar..

Monday, September 13, 2010

Photo #256: Printer's Fair

This display with the printer's type cases was in the East Village yesterday. I've always been interested in these type cases with their tiny compartments. I have seen them used as wall art with tiny items nestled in the cubicles. I like the way we turn some of the most functional things from the past into today's art pieces.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Photo #255: The East Village

Every Sunday afternoon between now and October 31st, the East Village is holding a Sunday Bazaar on East 5th Street. Michael and I decided to check it out. It was small, but fun. The booths had everything from furniture to jewelry, live music, and mounted police to keep everything in order. It's worth taking a stroll down there.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Photo #253: Off For The Weekend

Five o'clock on a Friday, and I'm off for the weekend. Although with all this stuff coming home with me, I'm not exactly off work. My cart is filled with a computer, teacher's manuals, lesson plans and papers to be corrected. It's always like this at the beginning of the school year. There's never enough time to get caught up on everything that needs to be done in a classroom. I wonder how much will actually get done? Unfortunately, there are a lot of times that I cart everything home, and then turn around and cart it back to school untouched.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photo #252: Deer

I saw these deer on the way to my sister's house. They were in the woods off Williams Street. Other drivers were not very happy about me stopping to try to get a photo, and they were too far away for me to get a really clear shot.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Photo #251: Goldfinch

My sister has lots of wildlife at her house. They have at least ten birdfeeders, so the birds know a soft touch when they see one. There were five goldfinch enjoying their dinner, but of course they took off as soon as I got my camera out. I should never give up my day job to become a wildlife photographer. I am too impatient, and I can't manage to hold the camera still. But I keep trying!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Photo #250: Look What Came In the Mail!

My Kindle finally came today. I've been wanting one for a long time, and when the price dropped to $139, I ordered one right away. Lots of other people had the same idea, and they sold out quickly. My leather case came more than a week ago, so I have been anticipating the arrival of the Kindle itself. I can hardly wait to get it charged and download some great books to read.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Photo #249: The 5 and Diner

Mom, Jacci, and I celebrated Labor Day by having breakfast at the 5 and Diner in Pleasant Hill. They have good food, and I love the 1950s decor. I snapped this photo of Betty Boop and the jukebox.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Photo #248: What's Going On At Adams?

The elementary school in my neighborhood, Adams Elementary, was closed several years ago, and merged with another school. I read recently in our neighborhood newsletter, that the school had been sold. Even so, I was very surprised to drive by today, and see the windows being torn out. As you look through the windows, you can see the chalkboards still hanging on the walls. One classroom still has it's clock, and you can see a movie screen in an upstairs room. I've been hoping that someone would convert the old building into condos or apartments, but at this point, I don't know what is going to happen to the property. I guess this is progress, but when I think of the thousands of students and teachers who spent their days in this school, it makes me really sad to think of the building being torn down.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Photo #247: Does It Worry You?

When you put your cash and checks in these little cylinders, do you ever worry about it getting stuck between here and there? Sometimes I worry about things like that?

I'm also afraid of poison ivy, and I just discovered some along my fence line. Now I have another reason not to do the yard work.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Photo #246: EEKK!

We are learning how to do the Daily 5 in our classroom. In this case, EEKK is not what you shout when you see a mouse. It's how you sit when you "Read to Someone." It's elbow to elbow, knee to knee. My class is doing an awesome job!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photo #245: A Yellow Rose

I had dinner at Hy-Vee tonight. On the way out, I snapped this photo in the florist shop.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Photo #244: Alligator Log

I pass this log all the time, on the road from Des Moines to Ankeny. It always makes me smile, because it looks like a giant alligator reaching out from the trees, waiting to grab one of the cars passing by.