Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fall Update

Wow, a lot has happened since my last post! We had our first (light) snowfall of the season on Thursday night!
   On Halloween, the staff at my school dressed up like superheroes. Being a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan, I had to be Gamora!
   Despite the gophers and GROUND Squirrels best efforts, I managed to harvest 7 lovely pumpkins this year (I would have had over 20!).
   We had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends! We had an additional table set up in the living room. We liked the arrangement so much, we moved the kitchen table there.
   Kosmo loves the new pillows in the den!
This is the dining room before Thanksgiving. We had so much fun (& food!) I forgot to take photos!
My preciousssss!! My friend Kelly ordered another can for me when TJ's ran out! Love her!
On Dec. 6, we went to our 13th Eberle Black Tie Dinner (we've only missed one since 2001).
We had a snow day on the 12th, so the monkey had coconut pancakes for breakfast & a homemade pizza for lunch (spinach for mom, cheese/onion for him!). Then, that night, he had homemade turkey/black bean/lentil chili! YUM!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Guess What's on the Menu? What a Fab Weekend!

   JUST plucked this corn from our garden; yum! Going to enjoy with a nice pork roast & Caesar salad with my homemade sourdough croutons.  It is SO nice to be able to eat real food again, after the worst stomach virus in my life, which lasted 7+ days. Phew!
   Speaking of harvesting, the monkey and I squeaked in peach picking yesterday, just in the nick of time. I'm making an apple/peach crisp in the crockpot as I type this, from these peaches and the apples from my class garden. My class made apple crisp on Friday, but we had so much fun, I neglected to take photos!

   Here is Larry Hogan, proprietor & winemaker extraordinaire, pouring wine last night at the French-themed Sagebrush Annie's dinner. The hub & I had a wonderful time. I forgot to photograph the redneck 'chalice' I made him, but you can see one side of it in this photo. Sagebrush rocks!!
   Overall, we had had a wonderful weekend, though we had to skip going to the movies today, since monkey has a little cold. However, I rode the horsey, & gave her an Absorbine bath (which has been doing wonders for my weimaraner), so for me, perfecto!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Busy, Busy Time!

   This is my garden a week ago. The corn is even taller now, and most of my pumpkin plants are still alive, despite the gopher's best efforts. Happy there are tons of tassels, and cobs are growing so far. Each kernel must get pollinated individually, so we'll see what happens...

   These are my two biggest pumpkins, thus far. They both had little nibbles this morning, and that pesky gopher had caused some of my plants to wilt...
   This is the only photo I can show of my students picking apples in our garden last week. They had a blast, and we used the apples we picked for math and language arts. Of course, they also got to eat their apples!
   Why am I showing you a photo of screws & weird little screw-like things? Because today, I decided to put together the forward facing bookshelf my hub purchased for me from Zulily. I open the box, and there are NO directions, just pieces of board, and a bag of screws and weird things I've never seen before. Somehow, I triumphed, & figured out how to put it together (it only took 2 hours...).
   Look at this parts; I don't even know what to call it. This is a top & side view. Somehow, I figured out that it goes in that big hole so that this next part fits into it from another hole that joins it at the side (I kid you not).
   Notice these little beige plastic things with a cross on them? You had to slip them into a hole that went into the side of the main screw holes. They have a hole in their side you had to line up, so when you tightened the screw, it went into the hole. You had to know to put it in this way, so if it slipped, you could turn it to line up the hole.
   This metal screw-like part, went into that hole, only up to the end of the threading, so it stuck out. THEN, it slipped into another piece, going into the side of that metal object in the prior photo. You then used a flathead screwdriver on the big piece (hence the + & - signs on it) to tighten it in.
   See? There it is sticking out. It then went into that hole to the right.
  After you sat the pieces together, it looked like this.
   Here is the completed bookshelf! Because it took so long to put together, I will be up late tonight prepping. BUT, doesn't it look great??!? This is where I will put the seasonal books each month. I am SO glad I didn't get my hub to help; he would have had a FIT...LOL

Thursday, August 14, 2014

1st Day of School Camping Theme Classroom

This is the sign that greeted my TK/K/1 class this morning!

This is the inside of my door (class list goes on the brown section). I had a few last minute additions (happily). This morning, I used the branch frame to photograph my students (they held it in front of their faces).

   My calendar wasn't ready this a.m., but it's ready now! I like a LARGE calendar for the youngsters. The decor at the top changes each month.
   This is my new camping theme alphabet (purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers). I kind of regret laminating it, as I don't like the glare from the fluorescent lights.
   I was able to free up room on the bookcase to the left in the library (yay!) by renovating this old wire shelf I had, & using it for my guided reading books. They are now in baskets by level, from aa - N. 

   This is the rest of the reading area; it's a campsite! The kids went a little nuts for it today, & are dying to play in this area. When the novelty wears off a little, it will be a comfy & cozy spot to read. Love the IKEA rug.

   I made these cute labels for the three table groups in my classroom; they sit at 'cabins' one, two or three.
   I'm a big fan of 'book boxes,' so they correspond to the table groups. The children also have camping themed math journals.
   This is our sweet little garden, with ripe tomatoes, and green apples on the tree to the right. I'll take pix of the tree with red apples soon.
   So, this is my classroom thus far, and I'm pleased as punch, especially with my little darlings...
   WOOPS! I sent them each home with a cute little goodie bag (idea from Pinterest, of course).

Monday, July 21, 2014

How Does My Garden Grow?

   We planted our corn seedlings that we grew from seed on July 5. They were looking a little wan, and scorched.

   NOW, look how they have grown in a few short weeks! We also have our pumpkin seedlings planted, and are attempting a sugar snap pea tepee (they 'no looka so good' though). Note the photo bomb by my stalker-dog, Kosmo, in both photos.
   I hope the corn continues to do well. Last year, we had about 10 yummy ears, so this time, we planted more. At the bottom left corner is a pumpkin plant that sprouted on its own. The little stalks at the bottom are green onions I have resprouted from the bottoms of  onions we used, instead of throwing them away or putting them in my compost bin.
   Because I am crazy (or a glutton for punishment), I am attempting to grow another artichoke. Last year, the ants' aphid farm and the gophers killed my artichoke, when it had about 6 baby chokes growing. Crossing my fingers I can defeat the pests this year. The bushy plant you see on the right are my asparagus plants, which are being allowed to grow now that 'picking season' is over.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yup, I Built a Fire Pit!!

   "What have you been up to?" is what I hear a lot. Well...this week, I built a fire pit! It only cost about $60 for the materials, and took about five hours over two days. It all began with Pinterest. I have been pinning homemade firepits. Then, I saw a pin that showed sticking a wading pool in it for your doggies when you're not using it. Voila!
   Here is the first step I took: using the wading pool to dig out the size/shape of my pit, making sure it allowed room for the bricks. While purchasing the pool, I used it to estimate the number of bricks/pavers I needed (I was a little off, but came close).
Next, I began digging the hole. The pile of rocks are from my property. Some of the rocks came from the hole as I dug it. Notice the photo bomb by my weimaraner...
   Once I was happy with the depth of the hole, I placed a layer of rocks at the bottom.
   Next, I added two 50 lb. bags of gravel on top of the rocks. I also used 32 cement bricks on the side.
   Since I dug the hole so deep, I realized I needed more bricks. I figured I would also double check the pavers. Aha! I was short about one.
   This is how it looked after adding the next horizontal layer of bricks (17). Note that I chose NOT to use any mortar. We shall see how it holds up during weather. I just didn't want to make it permanent at this time. If it ends up needing mortar, I'll rebuild it, and do that next summer.
   Because of our mountain location and the drought (did you notice my amazing view??), instead of logs, we are using the bottom of our fire bowl (it was free, from my friend Ellen!). It has a screen cover to catch sparks. But, if we get a good snowstorm this winter, woo hoo! Oh, notice the photo bomb by my other dog at the bottom.
   As the sun went down, it was time to fire her up!

    I don't know about you, but MY family loves a wienie roast! Yum!
Sorry about how blurry the photo is (my iPhone is the 'jitterbug' old lady version; i.e. a 3G).
    We have these neat chairs/tables we bought from Sportsman's Guide 6 years ago, and some log 'tables' from a tree that blew down a few years back.
   The hub put some railroad ties for sitting close. My friend gave me some gravel. I am going to gravel this entire part of the property that is now dirt. It is going to look GOOD...
   So, there you have it. An EASY project (the most difficult part was getting the materials up the hill from our driveway), that cost well under $100!!