Saturday, April 30, 2011

120/365 - skate park

I went to the skate park today hoping to catch some of my students in action. Instead I found two guys just hanging out, but they graciously let me shoot them. They claimed they weren't very good, so they just rode the ramps and at times, got some air. It was nice to be outside taking pics of something a little out of my norm.

Friday, April 29, 2011

119/365 - sunset

I have a bad sinus infection that is giving me a horrible headache and dizzy spells. Yuck. I went to the mounds today for some fresh air, excersize and photos. these were the best of the bunch.

To P and M - got the call, forgot the code phrase ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

116/365 Lines

First day back from break and it wasn't that bad. The kids were wound up and a little chatty at the beginning of each hour, but they calmed down quickly. I'm not sure if it was because they finally had a break or if they were just tired. What ever it was, I was grateful.

The sun was out today, so I took myself to the park. Most of the spring flowers were gone or battered by the storms. I decided to focus on the buildings instead. There wasn't much there either, but I did like the lines on the rose thingy and the locked stairwell.

Monday, April 25, 2011

114/365- for two very special people

The River by Garth Brooks

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow
It has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance that tide

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

There's bound to be rough waters
And I know I'll take soome falls
With the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Lord, I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

114/365- bw easter

I had a great family filled Easter. I spent most of the day with dad's side at Grams house. Some time in there I made my sister and two cousins pose for me. Then Sister, Mom, and I walked two houses down to GG's house for a little visit with moms side. I spent most of that time following Little E around trying to catch her irresistible cuteness with the camera. ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

113/365- Nostalgia

My dad and his friends built this building as their club house when he was about 10 or eleven. Grandpa added the overhang for them. Now, forty-some- odd years later, it still stands close to where it was originally built and dad's cousin uses it for a shed.

I love to hear about the antics the boys would pull out there. There was the time someone from the railroad gave them snacks that came from a recent train wreck site. The boys ate the canned black olives until they puked and dry orange drink mix until their mouths and tongues broke out.

Then there's the time dad ruined gram's popcorn popper. It took her awhile to get to the truth of what happened. The boys kept telling her that dad made the worst tasting "grass soup" for them. Turns out he was trying to make a pot of greens like Gram does, but he didn't know the right plants to pick. He always thought she just picked green grass.

And of course, there was the older brother of one of the boys. He supplied the "reading material" when they got a little older. I don't think gram realized that it wasn't "Field and Stream". :)

As a club house, it holds memories of my dad's childhood. As a shed, it holds memories of Grandpa. Gramps was an old farm boy and always kept beautiful gardens. Cousin Mike loves to garden as well. When grandpa died, grams passed some of his farming tools to Mike. In the photo, you can see the old tiller, the rotary tiller, the wash tubs gramps would carry his harvest in, and the rusty wheel barrow. But my favorite item is the chair.

Gramps would sit in that chair under the apple tree between his house and ours. This is where we would spend time together the most. Some times he'd show me what was growing, sometimes I'd give him a life update. Some times we'd just sit and watch the garden grow. I'd come out of the house, and he'd quack at me to let me know he was there and to say hi. I'd find him in that same spot when I came home. Sometimes I still look for him there.

I've been thinking a lot about him lately. I think its because it is spring and stormy. He loved this time of year. I do miss him. But I'm not depressed. I'm enjoying the memories and, in a way, trying to document them.

Friday, April 22, 2011

112/365 - Lightning crashes

Yesterday, my photo friends and I were discussing how difficult it is to get a lightening shot. Well, Tonight there was another big storm. In the middle of sirens going off and hiding in the bathroom, I got a very exciting phone call. My lovely friend P, the newest photo geek, blurts out "go check out flickr!" "Now!" I had shut down the computer and before I could get it loaded back up, the storm got bad again and I was going to have to get back in the bathroom. But before we hung up, P let me in on the secret. That Brat (self described) ;) managed to capture a bolt! How awesome is that?! Anyway, when I heard the computer finish booting, I ran out of my hiding place and checked flickr really quickly. Gasp, ooo, ahh, the back to shelter. I sat there so excited about her picture, I forgot to get scared by the storm. he he Big hooray for Paige and her incredible photo!

After the worst of it was over, I grabbed my camera and headed outside too. What a light show!
I got this shot on luck. I just put the camera on continuous shooting and held the shutter button down. This was the 5th or 6th frame of the first burst. When it came down I thought "Oh God please tell me the camera captured that!" I don't know if it hit that tree or was some where behind it, but dang that was cool.

Thanks,P, for the inspiration and the courage to head outside in crazy weather.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

111/365 - STL

Out with some of the girls again. First to the camera shop (cue the oohs and aaahhhs). Then to supper at Blueberry Hill. After that, some shooting in the rain. Then to the Bread Co. for some dessert and ridiculously hilarious laughter. Good times! Love ya girls.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

109/365 - Storms and spoons

Two of the bazillion things that remind me of my grandpa: storms and spoons.
Tonight was a one of those stormy scary nights. Mom called and woke me from my nap saying that I needed to get in the bathroom. Before we could get off the phone I heard the hail and the winds. So off I went.
Nights like this remind me of grandpa. He was always outside. When the weather would turn bad he set up camp on his back porch. If it got pretty bad, he'd move over to our carport and send grandma to our basement. (we lived next door, btw). I knew it was a terrible storm if he came inside and even worse if he came to the basement. I always felt safe, even when mom was panicking, if the men were still outside. I miss that.
Now about the spoons. Gramps ate EVERYTHING with a spoon. When setting the table, we didn't bother to get him a fork. It would have gone unused. At the dinner table, that spoon was also a disciplinary tool. Chewing with your mouth open, WHACK! right on top of your head. Smacking? Whack! Refusing to eat peas? Whack! - I got that last one a lot. I'd cry, "but Paw Paw, I don't like peas!" He'd say "tough". If I whined again, yep you guessed it, Whack! then "now hush and eat your peas". I still don't like peas. My head hurts just thinking about it. ;) But, mostly, it just the heart that hurts on night like these.

Monday, April 18, 2011

108/365 nothing

I was having a hard time coming up with something for tonight's photo. I even went for a drive and nothing really grabbed my attention. Thinking " I got nothing", I looked around and saw this sheet music on my printer. It's "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence. Combining the lyrics, ("there's nothing inside") with an empty glass and a bluish light, I came up with this shot.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

107/365 whew!

Just made it before midnight. Productive day, but still lots to do. I did get the grading done and took M's advice. I threw out some papers and that helped. I washed loads and loads of laundry. Ran some errands and picked up the house a little. Tomorrow I'll be using the fly lady's crisis cleaning plan and P's encouragement to use the timer. (Thanks P for talking me over the hump and providing accountability.) I ate a lot of the elephant, but it gave me indigestion ;)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

106/365 How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. * * * I've been throwing a tantrum like 2 year old in my head. "I don't wanna! I don't wanna!" I kept working on trying to catch up, but more kept coming. So, I let it pile up. Now it has to be dealt with. Grades are due, emails need responses, Spanish club needs plans, laundry needs done, dishes washed, trash taken out, pictures posted, ...etc. etc. These are normal everyday things, I know. I have no excuses. I just let myself get overwhelmed and now I can't get motivated to do any of it. It all just seems pointless and like I'm living in the movie "Groundhogs Day". Tomorrow there will be more grading and cleaning to be done, people who need or want something, more students flinging germ-X in my eye and "f bombs" dropped (happened yesterday. Just an example of their everyday stupidity and mine). When it gets like this I have to remind myself to break it down into small manageable pieces, like eating an elephant. Grade one paper at a time instead of staring at the whole bag full and screaming "I don't wanna".

105/365 thumb drum

I took this yesterday but didn't post it. Its a thumb drum I purchased in Costa Rica. Another of my many instruments. I guess people don't buy them often because when the security guard at the airport saw it on the screen, I had to try to explain to him what it was in Spanish. Either my Spanish sucks or he was curious. I had to dump my bag. It was at the very bottom wrapped in brown paper. I had to unwrap it and play it for him. The two guards chuckled a little, looked relieved, and then told me I could go.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

104/365 - Isn't it dandy?

I know people say dandelions are bad weeds. But I like them. Their pretty yellow color, their white fluffy cottony seeds blowing in the wind. The childhood memories of picking them for mom or tying them together for bracelets. Their resiliency and stubbornness. Perhaps I like them because they are a little bright spot in an otherwise boring field.

103/365 - Yesterday's post today

One of my classes has created a new way to annoy me and try to stay off task- "Clothes pinning". The goal: master super secret ninja techniques of attaching a clothes pin to someone without them realizing it or even suspecting. They get a "ninja pro" status if they get me. The "master ninja" (inventor of this nonsense) bought a bag of 500 pins for $10 dollars and on Wednesday recruited the whole class. He managed to give each student a clip. they were writing their names on them so they could keep track of who got me. At first it was a kind of funny thing between this student and me, but now, with the whole class suddenly involved, it's not so cute. It has become disruptive. I have this class again on Friday and I will have to be the mean ole teacher and put a stop to it. Ah...the end of the year ridiculousness has begun.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

102/365- portraits in sepia

Our school library is hosting a door decorating contest. Since I'm currently reading "Portrait in Sepia" by one of my favorite authors Isabel Allende, I chose this book for our door. I hung some black paper on a bulletin board and had a few seniors pose at the end of class. I put pictures in sepia and we'll hang them on the door with a photo of the book and the author. Nothing too fancy. I dropped the ball on this and it is a last minute project. I'm okay with that because we won't win. One of the history/English teachers has a guillotine. She had the construction class make a wooden frame to go over the door frame. she has a card board/shiny duck tape blade, a Styrofoam decapitated head, and a crown, all for a 3-d tribute to "for whom the bell tolls". Over achiever ;) Anyway, here are the photos:

Monday, April 11, 2011

101/365- express finish

Quick post tonight. I'm a little cross eyed from all of the weekend photos. I tried to focus on the drip and bristles and it looked good on the camera. But you never know what it will look like on the screen. verdict - crap. but oh well, I tried something. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

99&100/365 - GG's 80th birthday weekend

Spring is a great time to have a party!
GG turns 80 this week so it was a big ole family filled weekend for us. We kicked off the festivities yesterday with an afternoon dinner party at a local restaurant. Then we headed to GG's house for cake and ice cream and a whole lot of talking. We even Skyped with my cousin who couldn't travel in.
When asked what she wanted for her birthday, GG asked to have her family go to church together. GG has been a member at this church for over 50 years. All ten kids were confirmed here and she had 8 of them baptized in one day! 5 of her kids and two grand kids had their weddings here. It holds quite a bit of our family history. Anyway, This morning she got her birthday wish.

All six daughters, four grandkids, 2 great grandkids and a son-in-law attended the service.
The former pastor's wife joined us.
Nothing like cutting some teeth on a church pew. ;)

After the service, two of the aunts took me around the old neighborhood where all the kids grew up. This is the tree that my uncle (about 5 years old at the time) fell out of busting his head open. The oldest of his sisters scooped him up and ran to the house. GG and Grandpa Bo were at work so she sent a kid to get Marge, the nurse in the neighborhood. My uncle was bleeding really badly, so my young aunt did the only thing she could think of, run cold water on his head to see how bad it was and try to slow the blood flow. Then, she panicked! In the sink with the blood was a large fleshy blob! She scooped it up and proceeded to shove his brains back in to where she thought they came from. Thankfully, Marge finally arrived and took control of the situation. My aunt later discovered that it wasn't his brains at all, but the plum my uncle had been eating. Aside from being really sticky with plum juice on his head, my uncle was fine. He just needed a few stitches and some shampoo.

Back to the party... after our trip down memory lane we headed to GG's house again. We ate, laughed, played some yard games, and just enjoyed being together. It was the first time in years that all 9 living kids were together at the same time.

Funniest part of the day- "Tater tot", my 12 year old cousin was confused by communion at church. When her mom tried to explain it to her, she responded with, "WHY would anybody WANT to eat Jesus!?!? Isn't that cannibalism?"

Friday, April 8, 2011

97 and 98/365 - pop in and personal day

97/365- guest photographer My wonderful friend, P, popped in to my class yesterday. I loved it! The kids were so wound up and wanted to show off a little. Tommy (the wild child) greeted her at the door with his usual charm and later gave her the "transformer owl" face. We rapped a grammar song that the kids have nick named "the dirty verb song" ,which always gets the laughing. Griffin and I had a dance off several days ago when we had a few extra minutes at the end of class. I accidentally showed him up and he wouldn't bust out his awesome moves. So yesterday, we had round two and after a little bit of steeling his nerves he finally showed off for P and the class and "regained some street cred.". P mentioned that she felt naked with out her camera. I handed her mine and she snapped a few while we did some book work. After a tour of the school, P and I head out to lunch. My planning period and lunch are together, so we were able to sit and chat over sandwiches. It was so nice to visit with her and break up the monotony of the week. Thanks P, for the great day! 98/365- Personal Day I gave in a took a personal day today. It feels so good to relax a little, yet be productive at the same time. I woke up early feeling great! I decided to out to take some pictures. There was a beautiful sunrise, but I couldn't find a good location to catch it. I ended up at one of my favorite place to find peace and relax-the cemetery. It was beautiful today. I really enjoyed it.
Enjoying the view!

"Don't forget turn around. Sometimes the best views are behind you."

Now that I'm caught up on the blog and some personal things, its time to catch up on house work and grading. I love personal days.