Thursday, January 31, 2013

Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

My friend Barbara (college acquaintance who has become an internet friend) sponsors a Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge in February each year.  I'm going to try to participate, since I recently received a new biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.  I will review the book on here after finishing it.

Here are the details about the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge.  Anyone is invited to participate.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"The Botanist"

This is my latest Hummel - a gift from my sister Rhoda at Christmas.  It's called "The Botanist"because she loves flowers.  I think it's beautiful and appreciate it very much!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feeders Are Going Crazy

The feeders are in non-stop use with this icy weather.  There is constant motion, and probably twenty birds at a time are at the two seed feeders, the two suet feeders, the birdbath and water on the driveway, the ground under the feeders, and in the trees cracking open seeds.

The water in the birdbath never thawed out today.

Just this afternoon, and even with only coming occasionally to the window to see what's going on, I've seen these species (some in large numbers): Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, house finch, cardinal, goldfinch, red-breasted nuthatch, junco, mourning dove, pine warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet, Carolina wren, robin, bluebird, red-winged blackbird, downy woodpecker, and red-bellied woodpecker (shown below - a little blurry).

Friday's Fave Five, January 25, 2013

1. Safe and warm at home on an icy afternoon.  School was let out at mid-morning due to upcoming sleet and freezing rain - and it was a wise decision.  Picture below was taken a couple of years ago, and there's no snow on the ground today, but it still paints a good picture of the cold, dreary, inside day we are having.  (I love this kind of weather.)

2. Went to Greenville to the dentist on Tuesday, and stopped at Outback for supper afterward.  We had a very handsome waiter (he wasn't real keen about me taking his picture, but I wasn't about to be deterred) who got a very nice tip after his good service!!

3. Mike took care of a lot of things for us this week, on his two days off.  We had to get a new hot water heater; he took care of some legal matters with the title to Andrew's truck (which took three trips to the DMV and three trips to the county tax office!), and several other matters.  I greatly appreciate his faithfulness at taking care of things that have to be done.

4. We are slowly doing better.  I'd say we're 85-90% there, both of us.  Still have coughing and fatigue issues, but MUCH, MUCH better.

5. Saw two former students this morning, daughters of dear friends, who spoke to our girls' combined Bible classes.  It's always a blessing to see former students who are doing well, and even more so to see them when there is such a close personal connection also.  So Carrie and Rachael - you are beautiful and you are loved!!  Thank you!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hold My Hand, Priscilla

You just never know what you're going to get from students sometimes.  A test question asked for a summary of the poem "The Courtship of Miles Standish," the part of the poem where John Alden goes to plead Standish's case with Priscilla Mullins.  He is asking for Priscilla's "hand in marriage" for Standish.  One student writes, "Standish asked Alden if he would ask Priscilla to hold Standish's hand."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Misc.

--I had a haircut appointment in Clemson this morning - Mike went with me as we took a little jaunt further up the road to see if a rare bird that has been spotted in one of the state parks for several days (a red crossbill) was still there.  It wasn't - but made for a nice little road trip.

--On the way there, we passed a sidestreet named "Booger Branch Road."  No joke.

--Yesterday I read an obituary about a preacher that read that the man "descended into his heavenly home."  Maybe not the best wording.  Today I noticed that the obituary was reprinted, and this time the man has ascended.  There is probably an interesting story there as to who came up with that choice of wording.

--No school today due to the MLK holiday.  I'll take any day I can get.

--And finally - the little girl of Mike's and my niece.  The baby's grandmother on the other side loves to take pictures and is quite a photographer.  Is this not absolutely adorable??!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday's Fave Five, 1/18/13

Link to Friday's Fave Five blog

1. Last night I went to the kitchen around 6:00 to make a salad for Mike when he came in from work and some clam chowder for me because of the cold, rainy night.  It felt really good to get in the kitchen, to work and get busy - the first time in a couple of weeks.  

2. Overall, cold rainy weather is very energizing for me.  I love it.  Yes, that's weird.

3. On Wednesday, I was still really tired from going back to work, and Mike was still tired also.  Then my folks called to say they were going to Publix and would bring us a roasted chicken with two sides and rolls, if we would like them to.  Yes, we would like them to.  Thank you very much!!

4. Every day this week I have felt a little better.  Did not have any huge coughing spells yesterday and taught fairly hard all day. (Although I can tell that today - Friday - may not be quite as good.  Have to remember that this is not always all upward.)  Mike has slowly been doing better every day also.  His and hers pneumonia - not recommended as a bonding experience!

5. I am very thankful for good, strong, prescription, controlled-drug cough syrups!  Do not know what I would have done without them the past two weeks.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Violence Vs. Force

I found it amusing - and sad - when reading that the new Miss America said as part of her final interview that we "should not fight violence with violence" (in reference to preventing situations such as Sandy Hook).  I take that to mean that she is an advocate for gun control.

How does she think that the shooter at Sandy Hook could have been stopped?

She is confused.  Violence is random attacks by people intent on causing mayhem or causing pain to innocent people.  Police or private citizens who use guns to bring down a vicious attacker are not using violence in return - they are using force.  Force is controlled use of a weapon - and it often stops the problem.

So, in a way, she is right.  We should not fight violence with violence.  We should fight violence with force.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

His and Her Pneumonia

His and her pneumonia.

I would not recommend this as a bonding experience.

Mike had a fever and cold/flu symptoms earlier in the week, but Thursday felt good enough that he raked a neighbor's pine needles.  (They have a deal - He keeps her yard raked and then he keeps the needles to mulch his plants.)  Friday he didn't feel quite as well, and by yesterday he was having trouble breathing.  I knew what the diagnosis would be when he came out of the X-ray room having a shaking chill.

So I am on the upswing - supposed to go to work tomorrow, we'll see how that goes - and he is not doing so hot.  Fortunately I believe his was caught earlier than mine was.

We're on similar meds.  He, however, won't take cough syrup, etc., as regularly because "I don't like to take medicine." Men do not make good patients.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Random Pneumonic Thoughts While the Fever Is Only at 99

Pneumonia is a deceiver.  It lets you think you're doing better, maybe even turning the corner, and then it slams you back down.

This morning I woke up about 7:00, having slept 8 1/2 hours with only brief periods of waking up during the night, and never having to get up.  (The three nights before that I had to take showers at all hours just to get warm.)  And, I woke up - HUNGRY.  A word that has not been in my vocabulary much for the past week.  Mike fixed some scrambled eggs (even though he is sick with a cold himself), and though I could not finish them, or a piece of toast, they were good.

Then, an hour later, fever went back up to over 101 and the cough came back with a vengeance.  It's two steps forward, one and a half steps back.

Pneumonia is different than other illnesses.  The person dealing with it is quieter, just somehow sicker.  I remember when ML was very sick at age three.  I knew she was just sicker than usual and could see it in her face.  Our doctor was out of the office that day, and I told Mike we needed to take her to his brother, who practices in a city an hour and a half away.  He was unsure if that was necessary, but he was willing to do so.  Sure enough - she had pneumonia.  She was a very sick little girl.

This go-round for me is worse than last winter, when the dr. labeled it "pneumonitis/pneumonia."  I'm just sicker overall.  It reminds me of when I had pneumonia in 1983, the sickest I've ever been in my life.  Fevers above 105, 12 days in the hospital, three weeks + Christmas vacation out of school.  Had to go home to my folks' in Alabama to recuperate.  I don't feel that bad, but the pneumonia feel is more like that than a year ago.

My sister still teases me about the bag of M&Ms on my bedside table during that hospitalization.  I had asked her to bring me some, but didn't eat them.  Finally she said "Why aren't you eating those M&Ms?"  And I responded that I just felt better with them being there.  I make no explanations for such an addled response.

When you have this condition (it really isn't an illness - it's a condition of fluid in the lungs due to some underlying infection) you have to conserve energy, just to make sure you can get air in and out.  During the worst times, every breath is something you have to think about.

On Monday the doctor said minimum 5-7 days at home.  I was thinking about trying to push and go in Friday.  I've changed my mind.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Well, all day I have run either no fever or just 99.  Felt like I might be getting hold of this thing.  Even walked around outside for a few minutes.  Cough was some better too.

About an hour ago the chills started, the cough, the congestion.  All back, fever 101.4.  (at least that's better than yesterday).

That's what pneumonia does to you.  It lets you think you're getting ahead of it, and then it lands you a sucker punch.  To the jaw.  Because even my bad tooth hurts right now.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Good thing I did that Monday Misc. this morning under the influence of Tylenol.  Because once the Tylenol wears off, so does my coherence.  I have pneumonia and am to stay in all week.  Much sicker than last winter.  Will try to post a few more times. . .when the Tylenol is working.

Monday Misc.

Not at school this morning - sick sick sick with bronchitis that I believe has probably moved into pneumonia.  For one thing, I'm sicker than last winter when the diagnosis was pneumonia.  And last night at 2 a.m. my fever went from normal to 102 in about a half an hour, complete with chills, some mildly shaking - a sign of pneumonia.  Right now I'm in the morning phase of doing a little better except for low-grade fever, coughing, and constant squeaks in my chest.

Maybe enough presence of mind for a Monday Misc.--

--The English teacher who retired last spring is subbing for me.  So nice to know the class can move on without me.  She taught two of these classes for many years, so all I said was "Find out what page they are on and teach away."

--After a weekend of not having the mental capacity to read anything deeper than "Country" and "Country Woman" magazines, I have decided I will never again read anything that contains the word "critters," or any article where the would-be author tells me something like "The air was cool and crisp, and kissed my cheeks," or "The sunbeams danced across the blossoms," etc. etc.  Please, would-be authors - do not use trite words and phrases!!!

--I also watched some Supernanny this weekend.  It was amazing how impotent some of those parents were.  I couldn't help but think - OK, so things got better while Supernanny was there.  But if parents do not have it within themselves to control children, so that it gets so bad they have to have someone instruct them on how to put a child in a time-out chair - it will soon go back to that point after Supernanny leaves.  They've either got it or they don't.  I used to ask myself the question "Who's in charge here?"

--On a friend's FB page.   Overheard from the backseat: "How did George Washington die?" reply from another, "I don't know, but I know who killed Abraham Lincoln...I think Bill O'Reilly did least that's what Grandaddy's book said."  I think she should email this in to his show.

--A large coffee cup, filled three-quarters with apple juice and the last quarter with OJ, and a "tea"bag of mulling spices, heated in the microwave, is very, very soothing to a throat sore from coughing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

ML's Trip to Guatemala

This is almost a month late, but what with Christmas festivities, ML being gone some, and me reminding her several times to get me her pictures - here are some shots from her trip to Guatemala at the end of first semester.

This is pretty classic of the scenery.  Volcanic mountains in the background - electric lines and trash in the foreground!!

I think this is so cute.  It was one of their crafts in the VBS they held.  Notice the Spanish names of the twelve apostles on each of the puppets!

And this is the entire ocean with "fish" made on the previous day.  Not sure what the purpose of the fish was, but the kids apparently loved making them.

The entire team.  The purpose of taking the picture on the roof was to get the volcano in the background - but that obviously did not work.  It was a wonderful experience for her and I'm so glad she got to go.