Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving School Feast & a Move for the Chickesn

   My school had a fabulous Thanksgiving feast last week. This is a great picture of my class, in that it protects my kids' privacy, yet lets you see how adorable they looked in their Wampanoag & Pilgrim costumes. I was happy they were served the turkey I cooked (some of them said I was a good "cooker," lol).
   Only in Cuddy Valley, can you have such a lovely view on a Sunday morning, when you run out to get some coffee at the local mini-mart. We had just enough rain & snow on Friday night & Saturday morning to make mud, but it was still lovely on Mt. Pinos.
    After a hearty breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs, it was chicken moving day. The outdoor area would be too difficult for the hens, especially if we get any deep snow (we are two years overdue). So, we moved them to a sheltered area under the deck, that doesn't get more than an occasional dusting, even in the heaviest of snows.
   We are providing them with artificial light, since it is so dark, AND as part of the monkey's science fair project. We were hoping his teacher would approve our idea on the effect of changing the dogs' food on their noxious gas emissions, but she chose our chicken idea (maybe next year!). We are going to see how much light will stimulate them to lay eggs again (they have stopped for the last month).
   We had to remove the 'china ball,' as it diffused the light too much.
   Here are the girls as the hub commences the catch and move...
    The hub has a brush pile that needs to be chipped, we have named the "Habi-quail,' as several coveys have moved into it. A hen that we have named "Baka," (short for a bad word for idiot in Japanese), evaded capture, and kept hiding in the habiquail. Here, the monkey has a box trap (a la 'Looney Tunes') to try to catch her.
   The other three hens settled into their new area quickly. Their names are: Rocky, Scruffy, and Sweet Pea.

After HOURS of evading capture, the hub was successful in putting Baka in with the other hens. Here is their new area, with the current lighting arrangement.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jasper Johns Flag Paintings in Progress

   I was inspired by a pin on Pinterest, to have my kiddos create a patriotic work of art in honor of Veterans Day. They learned about Jasper Johns and pop art, and most importantly, about Veterans Day. After viewing Mr. John's artwork, in particular his "Three Flags," the children set to work creating their own "Two Flags." It is pretty awesome. We are mounting the art for the kids, & I should be able to post the results tomorrow.
   Well, here are some of the completed paintings. Aren't they amazing??

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Fun

 The hub did such a nice job on the Halloween decorations, I had to snap some pix before they came down...
 He had strobes on these tombstones...
Henry peed on one of these right after I took the photo (he's a dog, by the way)...

 My cherry tree's leaves were such a pretty yellow the other can see my corn patch remnants in the backround.
 These mums (?) come back every year...
 My Japanese maple's leaves were still so pretty just the other day. Now they are brown and dry. The yellow delicious tree's leaves are yellowing and falling.
Front porch can stay for Thanksgiving.

The monkey was Zorro for Halloween...glum look because I had just had a rant (I am nothing, if not honest!).

Don't feel too sorry for him. I took him to Disneyland yesterday. We were there 11 hours!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fort Tejon Night Tour and...Orbs??

  We finally decided to check out the Fort Tejon Candlelight Tour. Here is the monkey by the barracks building last night. These spots are probably just dust in the air.
   However, how do you explain this?? The only orb is right above our tour guide's head as he tells the story of Private Anderson being knifed by a fellow soldier (next to the fort jail).
   This photo has some amazing BRIGHT spots that cannot be attributed to dust. There was a reenactment of Private Anderson being treated for his wounds in the barracks building. Hmmmmmm...

   Here are the rest of my photos. We had a great time. Did we capture any evidence of apparitions? You decide!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

August Before, October After

   This is how my students were writing in August. You can see a variety of skill levels...
 NOW, check out the improvement!!

 The board with no child present is one of my less advanced kinders. HUGE progress. This is why I think the Morning Message interactive writing we do is SO important...
   I really need a blog just for my students and their families like I had at Maricopa...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Amazing Artistes, and Snow...?

   This class is full of amazing artists. These are their completed Georgia O'Keefe-inspired paintings. We read about her, viewed her paintings and discussed her.
On Friday, we looked at a sunflower close-up, using the Elmo, to assist us in viewing flowers the way Georgia did...
   Then the children sketched the flower (this is a kindergartner's drawing!).
   On Monday, they painted. Wow!! I am just so impressed with these talented students...
   Today, we had our first fire in the fireplace, and it snowed! I had to take the pumpkins on the front steps inside. What an interesting week...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Farm Fresh Tonight!

  I was wondering what in the world the monkey and I were going to have for a veggie tonight, when I checked our corn patch. Hello, lovely ears of corn! It was quite delicious, and we ate it all up (sorry, daddy-man!).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake & Fab Art!

   This photo does NOT do this cake justice! In real life, it is much darker, without the red cast. In the spring, I resurrected my mother's 'Harvey Wallbanger' cake recipe (no idea who gave it to her), which is quite tasty. So, I used it to inspire this chocolate cake, which has a nutella glaze. I'm thinking of entering it in the Albertson's cake mix tricks contest in the Kern County Fair. Since this is made with a box cake mix, that you add other ingredients to, it is perfect for the contest.
   Speaking of taking someone else's idea & running with it, look at the fantastic art projects my kinders and 1st graders created yesterday. They followed the simple steps of an art lesson I purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers, and voila!! They learned about Paul Cezanne, viewed some of his still lifes, then made their own apple still lifes (sans the ever-present wine bottle in Cezanne paintings). I am amazed!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kandinsky Circles & Other Updates

   I'm not quite ready to post the 'after' photos of my class, but it is definitely looking much better than my last post, so look out for new photos to come! On Friday, my class learned about Wassily Kandinsky (abstract art pioneer), then made their own 'concentric circle' works of art, while listening to great music (Seu Jorge from the 'Steve Zissou' soundtrack). They need to finish on Monday, but I was so impressed with what they produced! Note the desks on the right: they were so ugly with permanent stains, we covered them with contact paper...pretty nice fix, eh?
   My chickens love their new birdhouse feeder. I love it, because they haven't figured out how to knock it down, yet, plus it's so cute! We found it at the Fall Festival, in PMC.
   Speaking of the Festival, my two guys helped Lola 4 Pets win the Best Animal category in the parade! Handsome Henry did such a great job, too! I helped paint faces in the Peak to Peak booth...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Big Changes!

    Well, it is official: I am teaching K/1 at Gorman! This huge pile on (& under) the tables all fit in the Esca-glade (phew!). This is my new classroom...

Enjoy these 'before' photos...the room should look A LOT better in my next post...