Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Splurge

Well, yesterday I splurged.  Really splurged.  For years it seems like the only withdrawals I've made out of savings were for college kids' textbooks.  But Monday I made a withdrawal, and Tuesday my son and I traveled to Gastonia for a Craigslist meet-up - and I am now the proud owner of these:
Fifteen Hummel figurines and two plates.  I don't really care anything about the plates, but they were part of the deal.

I've loved Hummels for years and have posted about them before.  They remind me of Grandma Hemmer, Aunt Louise, and Aunt Hulda, who had an extensive collection in their home.

Fourteen of the fifteen were as expected.  One was a little disappointing (head repaired when supposedly no cracks/chips/etc.) but I didn't make an issue of it because I got a good deal overall.  The man who sold them said they belonged to his mother, and he was very glad to know that they were going to a home where they would be appreciated.  He was right about that.

Andrew went with me, and on the way home we stopped to eat at the Beacon in Spartanburg:

(see sign behind us).  It may be a landmark in this area, and was definitely a cultural experience, but once was enough for me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Landmark Books

One of my projects this summer has been buying books for our school library, and the main focus this year has been on replacing beat-up books that really look too shabby to go home with students any more.  I have purchased a number of books off of eBay, which has been a great source, as our funds are limited.  It's amazing how much can be done with the book-fine $$ from the previous year if one shops carefully.

One book I wanted to replace was Daniel Boone - The Opening of the Wilderness.  The copy on the left in the picture below has gotten pretty beat up over the years.  I hated to see those old Landmark books getting so decrepit because they are such a good source for older elementary and junior high students.

However, while looking for it on eBay, I discovered the book on the right.  Turns out, Landmark books are being republished by a company called Sterling Point.  The book on the right is a reprint of the original, and though it's bound in paper, the cover is a very heavy cardstock that will last awhile.

Naturally, I looked further. . .

. . .and discovered that many old Landmark titles are being republished by this company!  We are restocked now, with many of these good old titles that are well worth the time of students to read.  It was a good summer's work!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quartet 7/28/13 Oakwood

This was the quartet that sang this morning at church.  Thanks to help from friends, the Willises, I was able to get this up and running.  Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday's Fave Five - 7/26/13

1. Had a good practice this morning with a quartet at church (one of whom was my son) who were singing a great arrangement of "At the Cross."  I don't get to play for them on Sunday morning, but it was fun just to get to play for in rehearsal.

2. I can see my dining room table again.  I've finished more projects.

3. Yesterday morning I couldn't sleep so got a whole lot done on a vocabulary program instead.

4. A former student from my first year pulled up an old pic on FB that I'd posted probably a couple of years ago, of our homeroom that year.  (36 students in one class!)  It started an extended conversation with a number of students from my very first year of teaching.  It was a joy to hear from many of them and see where they are in life now.

5. And finally - A wonderful lunch on Wednesday with my wonderful friend Gretchen.  Something like that never fails to be a great encouragement.

Homemade Jam

A couple of months ago my sister Rhoda sent me a jar of cherry-raspberry jam that was delicious.  It started me thinking about how to make the same kind myself - and resulted on a guest post on the blog of my dear friends, the Campbell girls.  Here is the link to Every Traditions - Homemade Jam.  They are doing a great job, coming up with many good ideas in many areas.  I always enjoy reading their blog.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday's Fave Five - 7/19/13

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog.

1. We found our daughter housing for this fall!!  And it's a great situation because we know the people who are renting the house.  Many things fell into place - especially that the girls only have to rent until May, not get a year lease.  It's convenient to their student teaching locations also.

2. Mike made it through six nights of work, which is a huge stretch to work 12-hour shifts.  

3. Our son had a great service at church the other night, including both singing and speaking.  We were proud of him as he laid out what he is doing in the Far East for the coming year/two years.

4. I was able to go to a weekly lunch/meeting of three older people who are being a huge support to Andrew, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and monetarily.

5. I have completed a lot of projects this summer, the kinds of things I like to do when there is no school pressure.  Also completed a missions report for church, and have ordered a ton of books for the library.  They come in about four or five a day.  The mail lady wonders what is going on.  :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Catch-Up #2 - The Beach

The week after my Dallas trip, we had the opportunity to go to Mike's sister's house at the beach for three days.  Our good friends Ken and Rachel (here shown with their daughter) got to go with us.  This is after we went out to eat one night at Murrell's Inlet.

The wind was whipping, but that didn't affect Mike at all . . .

The last full afternoon there, we got hit with a big thunderstorm (surprise, surprise).  So since there was a half-finished jigsaw puzzle left on the coffee table - that's how we spent the afternoon.  Men are always just little boys at heart.  Every time one of the men got a piece in, you'd think he should be crowned champion of the universe.  Meanwhile, we women just worked along, quietly putting in pieces and not expecting any accolades.  Sound a little bit like life?!

The finished puzzle.  The colors were so similar throughout that it really was a challenge.

Aahh - this was the beautiful sight two blocks over.  Which we did have enough time to enjoy without storms.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Andrew Sings

Andrew sang last night as part of his presentation for going abroad, and a friend of his recorded it on his phone.  Audio clips don't load automatically - after doing some research discovered that I can use a still photo, add an audio clip, and it can be saved as a movie.  The picture is of him and his Papa, taken at a ballgame last spring.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Catch-Up - Dallas Trip

I've not been blogging much this summer.  Just needed a break, have been thinking some things through, and have had several projects going on.  (FYI my eBay feedback is up to 1115. :-)  It helps to buy books for our school library through my eBay account.)

But there are a few things I need to catch up on.  One is my trip to Dallas.  I left three weeks ago on Tuesday, to spend a few days with my sister Rhoda who has recently moved there.  I took this picture on the flight.  Okay, so this is nothing uncommon for people who fly often, but I thought the red against the blue and white was especially pretty.

This was my first experience flying Southwest - and I liked it.  It's a little different style of flying as the seating is open, depending upon when you check in to the flight.  (Great motivation to check in early!)  I got a window seat for every flight.  The attendants don't mind injecting a little humor into their mundane safety routines, and they've got a much more efficient way for doing drinks than using the cumbersome rolling cart that other airlines use.

One of the free WiFi features on the flight was Flight Tracker--another thing that some people are probably very familiar with, but I wasn't.  It was very interesting to chart our path, and it was very accurate.  I turned it on right when it said we were crossing the Mississippi River - so I looked down, and there was the river directly below me.

The flight path was changed a little south due to storms, so we flew over the Gulf of Mexico.  I liked this shot where the Gulf met the land. 

And when I got there, a huge surprise awaited me - Not only Rhoda, but these two crazy loads-of-fun-to-be-with ladies!  Cousin Judy and Aunt Ada!  They had planned it a week in advance - I was the only one not let in on the plans!

So we spent two great days touring Dallas and spending afternoons at the pool.  Here are Ada, me, and Rhoda (in order) at Dealey Plaza.  I thought that was a Kennedy memorial - It was not.  It was built by the WPA during the Depression.

And here is Rhoda standing outside the Texas Book Depository where Oswald shot JFK in 1963.  The terrible act happened from the 5th window up on the right (the square one next to the rounded ones).  We toured the museum.  That window is walled off with plexiglass, with a stack of book boxes to look like it did that day, but we could stand at the next window and get an idea of how it took place.  The man had a straight shot.  It was a great experience, though very sobering, to get a physical perspective of that day that changed history.

I was not yet six years old when Kennedy was murdered, so do not have much memory of it.  I do, however, remember my mother watching the funeral and crying as she was doing the ironing, and I remember saying "But I thought you didn't really like that president."  And her response was "That doesn't matter at a time like this."

The next day we went to the George Bush library, recently opened and very interesting.  Notice the illustrious President behind the desk, and her very capable aides behind her.

Rhoda and Renee were great hostesses and their beautiful house was very nice to stay in.

And you can't leave Texas without some BBQ.  You order your meat before ever entering the restaurant!!  A very different experience but a lot of fun.

And here is a good shot of the four K. women who enjoyed three nice days together. 
It was a great trip; I'm thankful for Rhoda's hospitality, and I had a great time!