Saturday, October 31, 2009

Encouragement at Work

The last two weeks, Mike was unsure about how his days would go at work, because due to some schedule changes he was going to be working with a different team of people than usual.

As it turned out, he worked with another Christian and they were able to be a great encouragement to each other - as well as be a testimony in various ways to several of the other people.

The two weeks turned out to be a great experience.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ups and Downs - Play Week Edition

I will do an "ups and downs" while my juniors are taking a test:

UP: The set is done!

SLIGHTLY DOWN:  I'm a little nervous - feel like we have a long way to go before this play is ready for next Friday night.  For some reason it just seems like we're not as ready as in past years.

UP: I don't feel overwhelmed.

UP:  The kids have come home several times for various reasons in the last few weeks.  ML is coming in tonight, just briefly, for her dear friend's birthday before she has to get back tomorrow morning.  But it's always nice to see them.  

UP:  Andrew has a great opportunity this weekend - he's substituting with a quartet that has four engagements in Virginia.  I'm so glad he gets to do this - it's great experience for him.

UP:  In a rainy week, I have a warm, dry roof over my head and gas heat to turn on whenever the chill gets a little much.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Set is Done

From this (during an early practice)

to this!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mole Day

My chemistry class had a Mole Day party today at lunch.
Notice the "chemistry cake" in the middle. The pan behind that is full of "apple molumplings" and the box in front is "a mole lot of cupcakes." Lots of other themed food as well. Somebody brought chocolate molk and molk duds.
A mole is a chemical definition for the number of atoms - it's (6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power) atoms.
Avogadro is the man who discovered this.
Mole Day is celebrated on 10/23, from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m.
Mole Day jokes:
What fruit does Avogadro eat in the summer? Watermolens.
What is the mascot of the Florida State chemistry department? The semimole.
What did Avogadro teach his math students? Moletiplication.
How much does Avogadro exaggerate? He makes mountains out of molehills.
What cream did Avogadro invent for his wife to use? Oil of Molay.
Why was there only one Avogadro? After he was made, they broke the moled.
Why is it bad to tell mole jokes? They're moleitically incorrect.
Sorry. Those are bad enough. There are worse ones out there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


On Friday my chemistry class will celebrate Mole Day. (One of the complications of coming up with a fun activity is that, if it is done once, all future classes will hear about it and will expect to do the same activity when they come through the ranks.) Mole Day is celebrated every October 23, from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. Yes, there is significance to the date and times - look up the chemical definition of a "mole" if you're not sure why.

Anyway, we always have food, which has to include the word "mole" or something else chemistry-related in the name. Examples: spaghetti and meatmoles, water-mole-n, buffamole chicken wings, oatmole cookies. Well, I told the students today that I will bring a hashbrown cassermole. One of the girls immediately wrinkled her nose and said "Does it have onions in it? I don't like anything with onions in it." I told her that if she doesn't like it, don't eat it.

A couple of weeks ago we did a small density experiment that included gummi bears. I gave the class the extra ones to eat. You wouldn't believe all the students who would eat ONLY red gummi bears, or ONLY the white ones.

It's not just this class. I've seen it repeatedly. Young people have too many choices today - and thus they have gotten too picky. It's an outgrowth of too much "stuff" in general. I remember various times of taking a carload of kids through a McDonalds or Burger King line, and would have to order, for example, "four cheeseburgers, one with everything, one with no mustard, one plain, one with just ketchup. In itself there's nothing wrong with that - but when the trend is there for young people (and older people too for that matter) to always have things exactly like they want them - that's not a healthy trend for the person or for society.

Off my soapbox now. More about Mole Day after the celebration. I may post a few Mole Day jokes on here. Readers will groan.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Early Autumn Yard

At the end of a rainy day ( 1 1/2 inches today!), here's an overview of the autumn yard (pictures taken on a prettier day) - what's left of all of Mike's work last spring:

The mandevilla (sp?) is still beautiful. Unfortunately, it is an annual, or so we've been told, and it probably will be done in the next couple of weeks.

Angel trumpet plants. $1 each on clearance at Park Seed in Greenwood last spring. They are unusual but nice.

This is ONE lantana plant. It has taken over most of the large bed in front by the driveway. It's much larger than many bushes or shrubs. And it thrives in drought!

The most unusual plant in our yard. We tried to grow some of these from seeds, but they didn't sprout. Then we saw three plants at the Clemson Botanical Gardens plant sale and bought them. They're called ornamental peppers and they are beautiful. We'll try them again next year, maybe putting them in a more prominent place.

Those are the plants that still look nice. Give them another week or two; then we'll get a good frost, and that will be the end for this year. Mike, the rain, the sun, and God create some very nice and beautiful sights in our yard each year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birdhouse Memories

Last week at the Wilds, my dear friend Brenda and I toured a birdhouse that was on display. ("Toured" is not exactly the right word, but we did go inside.) Teens and counselors who go to camp these days have no idea how nice they have it, living in duplex cabins with an inside bathroom in every one. Brenda and I each spent a summer in a birdhouse - where there is just enough room to get out of your bunk - one of eight squeezed in there - to go outside. (Provided you don't have a camper on a mattress on the floor.) Can you picture having to leave this cozy little structure in the middle of the night to take a camper or yourself to the bathhouse - in a rainstorm? I do miss Wilds days sometimes - they were times of great learning and great fun - but I do not miss living in a birdhouse. Great nostalgia, but that's it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Open Letter To My Sister

Dear Rhoda,

All week long I have remembered that your birthday is today.  On Monday night, I bought you a birthday card at the grocery store.  It was cute - you'll like it.  I signed, addressed, and stamped it that night.  I knew if it got mailed on Tuesday that for the first time in our lives you would get a birthday card from me on time.

I left it on the kitchen table Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, vowing not to make that mistake twice, I made sure it got in my bookbag and out on my desk.  The plan was to have a seventh grader take it to outgoing mail in the office during activity period study hall, at 9:45.

At 3:30 I discovered the card on my desk.

This morning (the day of your birthday) I managed to get the card delivered, via a student, to outgoing mail.  There is a chance that the mailman has already been here and that it is indeed in outgoing mail - to go out tomorrow.

Happy Birthday today.  I tried.

Love, Ann

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Road to the Wilds

I went to the Wilds today for the 40th birthday party and will post more about that soon, when I'm not so tired. However, I was thinking on the way home how many memories I have of the road there.

Summer staff in the days of the road being unpaved - The road was so dusty that we could barely see our way. The washboarding ruined the undercarriage of many a car. But we staff members had to keep going, as fast as we could, because staff meeting was at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon, and we didn't dare be late. Those were good times.

Weekend worker - I'd leave my teaching job at 4:00, pack, and then go to camp. Spending the weekend there, usually working in the office but sometimes the craft shop, was always a great experience. I remember in October of 1980 when my grandmother passed away, and I had to leave Sunday morning, coming down the mountain when the leaves were at their peak--a trip that I remember well because of the beauty as well as the circumstances.

Getting engaged - Mike and I were traveling to the Wilds just to spend the afternoon, and he popped the question on the way there so that I could show off my diamond to my friends.

Taking kids to camp - Andrew loved junior camp, and ML and I drove up to spend the night with the Hays and then pick him up. We also took several trips as a family to Labor Day family camp, and the kids loved that also. Those trips up the road were filled with "are we there yet?"

School trips - riding a bus, not much fun. I'll never forget the trip about four years ago when I somehow ended up at the back of the oldest bus, windows open, exhaust coming in, bus swinging on the hairpin curves. I've never gotten so sick on the trip as that time.

That curvy mountain road is full of memories!