Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Agillity...Jumping With Ease

So, Miss Olivia is quite the athlete...we all know this. I could see her laugh at the little jumps, the silly tunnels, the low A-frames she was supposed to run, jump, fly over during Agility class last night (at our neighboring SPCA). We're good here. What we are not good with is inspecting every inch of every dog within a yard of her. Can I say, OMG? I told my husband on the ride home, "I just know somebody is talking about THAT woman who said, 'Leave it!' about 50 times during an hour class." On the 51st time she did learn to leave it after I would said, "Leave it", clicked on this clicker thing and then gave her a treat (well tried to do this) 50 previous times. Our time in agility class (we love our SPCA, by the way) will be not about jumping around, over, and under. It will be about helping Miss Olivia mind her own behind and learning to leave her canine classmates' alone!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Can Finally See!

My granddaughter has been squinting lately and everybody noticed that one of her eyes tended to drift, particularly when she was tired. Turns out she was really struggling with her vision. Wearing these fancy purple glasses, she is now enjoying a whole new world.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Students Teachers Don't Like Very Well

Elephant exhibit by Banksy

Maybe not a "joyful" topic, but it is true. Teachers can dislike their students. Teachers are people, students are people and people aren't always going to get along. It is a topic I have presented on several times (at educational conferences) and have been asked to write a book about. The publisher I am beginning to work with calls it the proverbial elephant in the classroom. I love the orange elephant above. It matches the coloration on the walls...we hope it will blend in, we don't want to talk about it but, it's RIGHT THERE! I recently developed a brief little survey and sent it out to a number of my adult friends/colleagues asking them to recollect a time when they felt disliked or favored by their teachers. I received several responses within minutes after I sent out the e-mail....this topic always seems to hit a raw nerve. One of my friends wrote that when she was in 3rd grade she was so fearful of her "screaming, belittling" teacher that she stayed out of school frequently and she noted, "the negative vibe really shut my brain down." The result was that at the end of 3rd grade she was essential a non-reader. Her4th grade teacher, thank the heavens, was one of her favorite teachers of all time, providing a calm, happy, warm and accepting environment, the antitheses of her previous year. Suddenly, in the 4th grade (!) she read her first chapter book. My friend went on, "I don't remember learning to read. I just remember all of a sudden I could (due to the lack of stress) 6th grade I was in an advanced class for reading." We need to address the elephant!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


So, to get ready to show the condo that we have had on the market for a year, I bought some pansies. I do everything I can to make it look like the condo YOU want to buy when we have a showing :) Pansies are the first annuals you can buy so I bought a few bowls to put on the decks and near the entrance. I found after doing a little research, that the pansey is derived from the French word pensée meaning "thought", and was so named because the flower resembles a human face. Hmmmm.....I don't see the resemblance at all. Anyway, I think annuals such as pansies, pretty tho they are, are boring. I have a friend who hates impatients for the same reason, I spose. They are just not interesting. Once I lived in a house that had a perennial garden. I was amazed and have never forgotten how spectacular it was to watch waves of color come and go as the season passed. With each change in temperature and time of the season flowers all of one color bloomed. It makes sense when you think about it, but it is unbelievable to live around and watch. You have to enjoy each new splash of color while it's right there in front of you because soon, the yellow flowers will bloom and the blue will have had their day. To my way of thinking that's what spring, summer, fall flowers should be about. Living as I do, tho, for now anyway, in a condo, I have to be satisfied with my little bowl of pansies, forever pink and purple.

First Signs

First signs of a real spring in New England. This is a red maple, one of our first trees to flower, just starting to leaf out. Who knew that the red maple (Acer rubrum) is also known as scarlet maple, swamp maple, soft maple, Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, and water maple...whew....why ever does it have so many names? I love the change of seasons in New England and this budding tree holds the promise of warmer days and reminds me of how much I enjoy long afternoons just being outside in shorts and a T-shirt!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Selling the Condo

When we sell, I will miss this view. I am unsure of the future but ready for it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Static Do

Hope you had a hair-raising Easter, too!

Poker Again!

Happy friend as we start playing poker! You never know...the tide rolls in and the tide rolls out.

Oops...tide rolling out. Just lost a hand to that big guy who seems to be bluffing a lot tonight!

Gotcha! Yes! That was a great hand.

Like my little homemade white chocolate chickeydo candy?

25, 50, 75...let's put all the quarters in this pile here and the dimes over there......

I hate these black motorcycle poker cards.

This once heavy royal coin bag is getting lighter every time we meet up with you guys!

Moody Sunset

I love the moody sunsets I can capture right out my front door. Today is Easter. Enjoy the day and the knowledge that spring is really here! In some places that doesn't mean much but in the Northeast it means no more below-freezing temperatures. Woohoo! Well, we have had a snow storm at the end of April but generally we are good to go by now :)

Interesting little tidbit on this Easter morn....Did you know that Easter was originally a pagan celebration during which the goddess Eastre was worshipped? Ms. Goddess Eastre was the first lady of fertility and springtime. Her earthly symbol was the rabbit. Who knew? Hop on Easta Bunny.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Two for the Road

How about a pink motorized jeep for two sisters to ride around the neighborhood in? How cool is that! Easter gift from my grand daughter's maternal grand father. Two for the road...honk, honk.

Spring Flowers....Soon?

This is my beautiful deck in the summer. At this time of the year I just wait (hold my breath, really) for those few warm spring days that heat up the earth, setting the stage for the morning you awake and - wow! Everything is green again. Welcome blue skies and warm weather...soon, right?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cheese Please

Ok. My husband wants one kind of cheese. He wants a large brick of white, mild cheddar. It is not to be found. On my recent trip to the grocery store I found more types of cheddar cheeses that you can believe, a laughable number of bricks of assorted cheddar cheese, but no large brick of white cheddar. I used to get that for him, but no more, well at least from the grocery store. I was so amazed at the array of cheddar cheese I found on this recent grocery-shopping trip, sans the elusive large brick of white cheddar, that I wrote down all the brands/types of cheddar cheese I could see while standing right in front of the cooler at my local Shaws. Yes, other shoppers had to reach around me (and not without first staring at me!) to grab their New York Sharp Cheddar cheese, 50% reduced fat. Here's what I found: Cracker Barrel sells Vermont sharp white; marbled sharp; sharp white; and extra-sharp white with or without 2% milk. Shaws brand includes white mild (a very small brick at over $6 a pound), New York cheddar, sharp cheddar, New York Cheddar - extra sharp white and yellow, and New York super sharp white. Shaws doesn't carry any Cabot mild white cheddar but the Cabot they do carry had catchy little names including Sharp, Racer's Edge cheddar; Seriously Sharp Hunters Favorite, New York Extra Sharp; New York Extra Sharp naturally aged; and 50% reduced sharp. Sorry, dear husband, no large brick of white cheddar for you this shopping trip - how about a nice slab of Cabot, Sharp, Racer's Edge Cheddar? Or maybe YOU can swing by the cheese store on the way home tonight!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Some photos from 2008 (and a few from 2007)

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Life is GOOD!

Family Photo Slide Show - New Years 2009

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I just learned how to do this so here come some slide shows!

Happy Birthday to You...Happy Birthday to You...

Click to play this Smilebox postcard: Birthday to Maryse
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Hey, this is kind of cool. I can post my Smilebox photo cards! Hope you enjoy!

Winter into Spring

New England is a funny place to live in the spring. I remember when I first moved here. I was in graduate school. Mid- April we had spring vacation. I was thrilled that it was coming. I was ready to put on my shorts, find a nice comfortable chair and soak up the rays while I read a great book. Instead, I was snowed in for several days, shoveling my driveway when I thought I'd be getting a suntan. This year I am once again looking forward to spring vacation. It has been a long winter. I am waiting for that morning when I wake up and to my delight and surprise, it's green! I really enjoy the beauty of a snowy morning but after 4 months of snow, below-freezing temperatures, and no mid-winter trip to the Caribbean, Arizona or even Florida (we're saving our money), I long for the warmth of a glorious spring day!

Now that the winter’s gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes; and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream:
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring,
In triumph to the world, the youthful spring:
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long’d-for May.
Thomas Carew (1640)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Wheels

We have 3,000 square feet of hardwood floors. Little Miss here has new wheels and with sister pushing she pretty much covered all 3,000 square feet of our condo. Freedom to move at will. Something we all treasure. Enjoy the first day of April!