Sunday, August 21, 2011

Photo #233/365: Winnie's Weekaversary

Tomorrow is my first day back at school.  It is also Winnie's Weekaversary.  In other words, she has been with me for 3 weeks now.  She is adorable.  She is also quite a character.

Winnie Tricks

  1. She tries to knock my hands away from the computer when she wants me to pay attention to her.
  2. When we go up the stairs to bed, she goes half way up, turns sideways to block Bailey from coming up.
  3. She loves to be petted.  When Bailey climbs on my lap, Winnie climbs higher onto my lap pushing him out of the way.
  4. If I don't watch out, she'll kiss me.  I still don't like dog kisses, Winnie
So we have a little sibling rivalry going on, but I am so glad she came to live with us.  Thank you to Jan and her family for sharing Winnie with me.

Photo #232/365: Little Peppers

I saw these beautifully formed little peppers in a potted plant up at Hy-Vee.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo #231/365: Spaghetti Stained Glass

Spaghetti Works is decorated with antiques and stained glass.  Some of the glass windows may have coming from other places, but I suspect this window was designed just for them.

Photo #230/365: A Truck Load of Salad

We had lunch today at Spaghetti Works on Court Avenue.  I hadn't been there in a long time.  It was a great lunch, and it is one of the few restaurants around that still has a salad bar.  Their salad bar is located in the bed of this old truck.

Photo #229/365: The Saddlery Building

My sister's business is located in this building. It is a beautifully restored historic building with the Court Avenue Brewing Company Restaurant on the first floor and offices above.  I love the uniformity and detail of the windows.  My photo does not pick up the glints of gold that you can see in the bright sunshine.

Photo #228/365: Polk County Court House

Today is the last day of my summer vacation.  I've really had a nice summer and while yesterday was rainy, we've really had some nice weather lately.  Today was in the high 80s, with beautiful sunshine.  Before I go back to school on Monday, Jacci and I decided to have lunch together.  Her office is in the court district.

This is a photo of the Polk County Court House, green leafy trees near by, and a clear blue sky above.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Photo #227/365: A Table Full of Technology

This was the scene in my principal's office when I left school today.  She was in the process of syncing our brand new iPad2s as well as the first generation iPads that we already had.  The process seemed to be a slow and tedious one.  I asked her if she was planning to spend the night.

This table full of technology is a pretty exciting scene for those of us who will get to use these.

Photo #226/365: Labels and Name Tags

Teachers don't officially start back to school until Monday, but since open house is Tuesday evening, I am anxious to get my room put together.  I don't have any lesson plans yet, but the room is coming together.  One of  my tricks of the trade is to use my computer and the program Printshop to make a lot of my name tags and labels.  Then it's just a matter of cutting them apart and installing them once I get to school.  The printer was working overtime this morning.

Photo #225/365: Windows

Yesterday I was at Plymouth Congregational Church again.  This time I was there for the DMEA Rep Workshop.  These windows are on the second floor when you first get off the elevator.  I love stained glass windows.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Photo #224/365: Classroom Library

On Friday I finished sorting all the books in my classroom library.  Instead of genres, they are now just divided into fiction and nonfiction.  I got all the books on shelves and then installed the curtains, using tension rods.

 Here is the before:

And here is the after:

I like it!

Photo #223/365: Sewing

Last spring, I decided that I was going to try something new for my classroom library.  After 24 years, I have a lot of books, in fact there are almost too many choices.  I had three large tubs of books that never even saw the light of day last year.  For many years I have had our library books sorted into tubs according to genre.  This year I am putting all the books on shelves, installing curtains on the book cases, and displaying tubs of books on top to choose from.

I haven't done any sewing in a very long time, but I broke out the machine this week.  I started out thinking I should get back to sewing, and wondering why I quit.  After struggling to remember how to thread the machine, having problems adjusting the tension, and then breaking a needle, I remembered why I don't sew much.

Actually, once I got back in the swing, things went well, and maybe I will do a little more sewing.

Photo #222/365: Wedding Gifts for the Guests

My sister just returned from Toronto where she was visiting with her new granddaughter, Juliette.  My nephew, Dylan and his wife, Suzanna sent back these gifts for me, since I wasn't able to attend their wedding earlier this year.  The package was so beautiful, especially the bow.  I'm trying to think of a way I can use the bow.

Photo #221/365: Coreopsis

These beautiful flowers are not growing in my yard.  I actually saw them outside a restaurant where Nadine and I were having dinner this week.  So many of the perennials are past their prime after all the heat we had earlier this summer.  These are holding up pretty well.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Photo #220/365: Are They BFFs Yet?

Winnie came just eight days ago.  We started out with Bailey and Winnie ignoring each other, then we moved to butt sniffing. After a few days they were willing to be on the same couch, mainly because that is where I was.  They would both snuggle up next to me and beg for petting.  When I was talking on the phone today, I looked over and saw them laying on the couch together.

Do you think they are BFFs yet?  Best Friends Forever!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Photo #219/365: Time to Make Welcome Cards!

Teachers start back to school two weeks from today, so it was time to design and make my Welcome to 4th Grade cards for this year. I decided to go back to a dog theme, so I used my Stampin Up dog stamps combined with the Printshop program on my computer.

Ever since I got into all the blogging and technology, I haven't used my stamping or scrapbooking supplies much. That's a shame, because when I do sit down to do it, I have a lot of fun. That is, after I get all the junk moved off of my crafting table.

Photo #218/365: Seafood Pasta Salad

Last weekend, when I went to visit Nancy, she made this pasta salad for me. It was delicious! I decided to try making it myself when I came home. I used things I had in the kitchen. It is such a basic recipe, you could make whatever changes you want. The dressing is mayo and cocktail sauce, which I never would have thought of.

Seafood Pasta Salad

2 cups of bowtie pasta (cooked)
1 cup of imitation crab
1 cup of cooked shrimp (shell and tails removed)
1 medium cucumber (chopped into bite size chunks)
1 medium zucchini (chopped)
2 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
1/2 sweet red pepper (chopped)
1 cup of Miracle Whip Lite (or mayo)
1/4 cup of cocktail sauce

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix the Miracle Whip or Mayo with the cocktail sauce. Pour over the salad ingredients and mix gently. Chill and eat.

I served it with Garlic Parsley Wheat Thins Flatbread. The thing I like about meals like this, is I can mix it up early in the day, and then eat when I feel like it. So often I make menu plans, but as the day progresses, I lose interest in cooking.

Photo #217/365: Watch Dog

Winnie has been here for a week now. There are many things we have learned about each other in that time. Two nights ago, Bailey and I learned that Winnie is afraid of thunderstorms. We were upstairs in the bedroom and she was very nervous and pacing the room. Finally I opened up the closet, and made a bed for her on the floor. She really liked it and she has been sleeping there every night since then.

Winnie may be small with short little legs, but she is determined. I was a little surprised when she climbed right over the back of the chair, so she could walk on the window sill. We have a bow window, so it is a wide sill. She was able to see everything that was going on in the neighborhood from there.

Best of all Winnie is a lover. She loves to climb on my lap, she loves to be petted. She also likes to give kisses, but I would rather that she didn't do that.

Photo #216/365: A Spider in the Rudbeckia

After two weeks with heat indexes over one hundred degrees, the flowers have faded. The Rudbeckia is a hardy plant, so it still looks pretty good. When I started to take photos, I noticed this Daddy Long Legs in the middle of the clump that looked the best.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Photo #215/365: Settling In

Winnie is beginning to settle in. She discovered the toys today, and it turns out she is a player. These toys were brand new, because Bailey has zero interest in toys. They are used now, because Winnie, like our old dog, Zoe, likes to tear them apart after she has played with them for awhile. I tried really hard to get a picture of her playing with the toys, but she was moving too fast.

Winnie and Bailey are getting more comfortable together. On Monday, they ignored each other. Tuesday they progressed to butt sniffing, and today they are sleeping on the couch together. They are also both looking for lots of petting.

I wouldn't say they are friends yet, but I expect they will be by the end of the week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Photo #214/365: Meet Winnie

This is beautiful Winnie. She is six years old, and according to her papers, her full name is Winifred Snowdon. She is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with black, tan and white markings. She is very loving, and I am so glad she has come to live with us.

Photo #213/365: Bailey and Winnie

On the way back from visiting Nancy, I met up with my friend, Jan. We arranged to meet in Grinnell, because her dog, Winnie is coming to live with me. Winnie is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and she is very beautiful. After leaving Grinnell we drove to my mom's house, where I picked up Bailey. Then we all headed home to begin getting to know each other.

Winnie is wonderful! She is very loving, but of course she was also very nervous and unsure about this new house. Bailey appeared less than thrilled about the whole thing.

I went to to add the thought bubbles.

Photo #212/365: The Corn Crib in Summer

The Iowa countryside is beautiful. This is the view from Nancy's front porch. I also snapped this picture of the corn crib. I took a photo of it when I was there in January, so I thought I'd get another showing it in summer. I always enjoy taking photos of farm buildings.

Photo #211/365: Welcome Dog

I had a great weekend. Along with partipating in the Reform Symposium, I had a Tweet Up with a couple friends from Twitter. On Sunday I drove down to visit Nancy. She has a farm outside Pulaski, Iowa. Pulaski is about 15 miles from Bloomfield. It is peaceful and beautiful there. We enjoyed sitting on her front porch, talking, and watching the countryside. This Garden Dog is in one of her flower beds.

Photo #210/365: The Reform Symposium Conference

For the second year in a row, I attended a three day conference with educators from around the world. For the opening keynote, I participated in a presentation from Finland with two Finnish educators. Next I learned about using technology in the teaching of literacy from an educator in England. I participated with 46 other educators in a session about iPads here in the United States. I got to hear one of my friends, Henrietta Miller, speak about providing professional development to colleagues about technology. She is a teacher in Sydney, Australia. I really enjoyed hearing the Couras brothers, who are Canadian educators, talk about collaboration.

I did all of this with out spending a dime, or leaving my house. The Reform Symposium or RSCON3 is an on-line conference. So I traveled there via computer, but I was able to comment, ask questions, hear their voices, see their whiteboard presentation, and in some cases, watch them present. It uses Elluminate. These two photos are screen shots of what I was able to see during parts of this presentation.

If you ever get a chance to do this, go for it! It is an incredible experience.

Photo #209/365: Food Art

Jasmine Garden Thai restaurant is one place I enjoy. It's located in Altoona and my sister introduced me to it. The food is delicious and the presentation is fabulous. Each plate is a work of art. Check out the carrot rose and shredded cabbage.