Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wild Turkey

We have a wild turkey living in our yard. Most of the time she hangs out in the back, retreating to the woods as necessary, but mornings and evenings she forages further out looking for food, usually between our house and the neighbor's. I'm going to try to get a picture although it will be difficult as she is easily spooked.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Field Trip

I took my physical science students to the nuclear station's visitor center yesterday. My hubby went along and got us a real treat - a tour of the simulator. It's nice to have an inside track. :-) The young people seemed to get a lot out of the trip. It's always nice for a teacher to hear "Oh, yes, I understand that!" or "So THAT'S what that looks like!" etc. etc.

This was a great place to eat lunch. Better than the school cafeteria!
This is the lake behind the dam. You can't see the dam in this picture, but it's off to the right. We had a little extra time and they hung over the edge of the dock looking at fish for awhile. This water cools the reactor.
Inside the visitor center with the real reactors behind them (out the window). The center is really nice - it explains things really well, a must since now no one can get near the actual plant without proper badging.
Group Shot! Notice the official nuclear operator at the right on the front row. So nice to have him go with us.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Yesterday we (and my folks) went to homecoming at Mike's old church. This was a big event this year; pictured are the pastor, and the former pastors of this church along with their wives. I still get a lump in my throat to think of two men from this church back in the early 1980s, who got wind of the fact that there was a young man in their area who was a new Christian but still involved in his old formal religion--and they made a cold call on him, inviting him to this church. That was the beginning of Mike's rapid growth. So this church, and the people from here, mean a lot to both of us.

Monday Morning Misc.

I have not stopped since getting up at 6:00 this morning.

--Field trips are fun (going on one this afternoon) but there are a hundred little details that people don't know have to be taken care of. That's what I've been doing all morning. . .

--When you go to a big reunion at your husband's old church, and you know you're going to see a lot of people that you haven't seen for awhile, and you remember to take the camera. . .also remember to stick a couple of batteries in the camera case so that your husband doesn't take one picture and then get a message that the batteries are exhausted.

--Rode in Dad's new car to the church reunion. Wow, what a nice ride!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nostalgia Time Again

Time for some more sweet memories from quite awhile ago.

Mary Lee's 2nd birthday. She was thrilled and very excited - to have a Barney hat.

I always did love this picture.

No drawer was safe. Catch the guilty look as well.

Andrew's first birthday. He wasn't sure what was going on but he sure enjoyed all the attention. He knows what's going on better now, but he still enjoys the attention!

This didn't happen very often, so I figured I'd better get a picture. Come to think about it, this might have been the only time something like this happened. Andrew resisted sleep almost all the time (he might have missed out on something) and though ML slept well at night - at 8:00 on the dot she shut her eyes and was gone for the night - she went hard and didn't sleep much during the day. I so miss the days when they were little.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thoughts On An Empty Building

It's been a couple of months since the Food Lion on Highway 24 closed, but I am still saddened by the sight of its empty building.

When we first moved to the area, that location was a large triangular field, bordered by roads on all three sides. Once I saw a northern harrier, an uncommon hawk for South Carolina, flying low over the field looking for prey. I watched it for fifteen minutes or so as it sailed back and forth on the wind currents above the waving grasses.

Then the Food Lion shopping center was built. I missed the beauty of the field, but got used to the home-like atmosphere of the grocery. It was smaller and more intimate than the other stores in the area. The deli ladies knew the exact number on the slicer to cut my meat order. One of the checkout ladies would always ask how my school year was going, and I would in turn ask her about her children. The business was a welcoming and friendly oasis on a busy road.

And now it is boarded up and quiet, and Food Lion has announced plans to build multiple hundreds of new stores in new locations. I don't know much about business models. I just know that a nice neighborhood grocery has closed, that a number of people have lost their jobs, and that northern harriers don't search for their supper over empty brick buildings.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reading from a Kindle

A couple of weeks ago I got caught up in the moment and bought a book for the eReader on my new iPad. I did enjoy reading it, and will probably get some things to read on it (also have Kindle and Kindle Cloud on there) but don't think that eReaders will take over books for awhile, at least for me.

The advantages are: I can take the iPad with me and have a choice of several things to read, without access to the internet (except for Kindle Cloud). (I've got to learn how to move a book from Kindle Cloud to regular Kindle.) Most classics are free - I've downloaded Persuasion by Jane Austen to read at some point, as well as Uncle Tom's Cabin, and intend to download others in the future.

The major disadvantage is that most more recent books cost. They cost more than I usually pay for real books - usually those acquisitions are either yard sale, good price on eBay, or - checked out from the public library. I paid too much for the book, and realized afterward that I would never have spent that on a real book. It was a matter of being caught up in the moment.

There's also a kind of odd feeling at moving electronic pages. I like real pages, the kind that have texture under the fingertips, and that you can sense the roughness of the paper with.

I do think, however, that books will eventually become obsolete - part of the major transformation of our world to an electronic world, which carries great negatives along with the excitement and learning opportunities of the worldwide web. That's another post entirely. Maybe during spring break.

Monday Morning Misc.

--It's interesting to go shopping in Commerce when your ride (translated: Mike, who had a business matter to take care of and I rode along) drops you off at various stores, then drives to the area of the parking lot where he can get the best reception for the ballgame he's listening to. There were no local stations and we were picking up the game from home, and he wasn't about to miss a minute of it. So, three times he dropped me off at different places and then found his spot to listen. And I called him when I was done at each place.

--Fine Arts Festival made for a very good but very LONG day.

--It's fun to reminisce with a college age daughter about her childhood.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Pic

How is this for a beautiful spring picture on a beautiful spring day!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Scratch and Sniff Power Point???

I'm teaching away right after lunch, in physical science class. We're discussing resistors, and how the burners on a stovetop are a good example because the electrons going through them "slow down" and thus heat up and make the burners glow. I've got a homemade drawing on the side of the board as well as a photo on the screen. And then - we start to smell the smell of a burner - well, at least something burning. For one wild, crazy, and unthinking second I wonder if the picture on the power point is a scratch and sniff? And then I discover - the flip lid to the box of electrical parts on my desk is open - and lying flat across the "Holiday Home" candle that has been burning all morning. There is a slight burned place on the lid.

All's well that ends well. We averted a tragedy as well as provided a sensory experience for learning about resistors!

Monday Morning Misc.

Kinda pitiful not to get a single post in from Monday to Monday but that's the way some weeks are.

--Very thankful for steroid inhalers. Could feel something filling up again inside my bronchial system and was having a harder and harder time not being conscious of breathing last week. Finally went back to the doctor for a chest X-ray, which showed that though there was no new pneumonia, the remains of the old stuff are still "resolving." The inhaler he gave me (also very thankful for free samples!) seems to be helping.

-- I'm rarely in the doctor's office in the early afternoon, so was surprised by the number of drug reps who marched through there, taking up the staff's time, while I, the paying patient had to wait. So in a way I earned that inhaler!

--Also thankful my daughter got back from a spring break trip to Charleston OK.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Morning Misc.

--I love it when high schoolers try to fudge their way through a test question. The question was: "For what is Fanny Crosby well known, and what affliction did she have?" One girl gave me a long treatise about Fanny Crosby's folk music, and how she had a series of ear infections and as a result was deaf. . .You get the idea.

--Every weekend since being sick I have slept full nights and taken two hour naps both of the weekend days - deep sleep naps. It takes awhile to really get over the fatigue that pneumonia causes. Coughing is fatiguing also, and I still feel stuff in my chest. No fever, though.

--I tried to print a series of about 25 paragraphs, each in a separate file, this morning. Getting into a groove, I didn't bother to look at the printer, just listened for each sheet to come through. Got completely done - and discovered that it had run out of ink on about the fifth sheet. The harder I try. . .

--Beautiful Monday out there. The wind has slowed down and the sun is shining beautifully.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Seeing the Light Come On

Fox News item had an item this week about a 41-year-old teacher who has left his family to live with a senior girl from his school. Sickening story...

Well, this past week I've been teaching the Romantic poets in senior English. Now this may seem heretical to the English purists among us, but this is my least favorite topic. It just seems like men who have time to sit around looking at fields of daffodils all day need to get a day job, or volunteer with Meals on Wheels or something. And I haven't been able to get too excited about the west wind, or Grecian urns, either. I hope that admission doesn't ruin me with any of my readers... :-)

However, the Fox News story came out last week just as we were finishing up Shelley, and if you know his story you know that he left his wife to live with a young girl and then had the audacity to ask the wife (who later committed suicide) to join them! Completely "romantic" in the sense that they were completely driven by their desires and wants, not by their heads or by any moral compass. I tried to make the point but could tell that it wasn't registering. Until I remembered that news story and put it up on the screen. The man's words were "We knew we were hurting a lot of people but we had to follow our hearts." Bingo. Paydirt. You could see the lights coming on as they saw the parallels.

And that made teaching the Romantic poets rewarding this year!

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2. . .

It's March 2. I think I wore my winter coat a couple of days back in December.

I never needed to pull out any heavy winter sweaters.

The gas heater in the "big room" has been turned on, maybe three times.

The vernal equinox is in nineteen days; spring will be here; we haven't had winter yet.