Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Old Pictures

Laura and Elo 
I love looking at old pictures. I often wonder why people looked so serious. In all the pictures you see everyone has the same serious look. Everyone is dressed in their best clothes and it's usually dark colors. The top picture are my maternal grandparents, Elo and Laura. Sadly they eloped and my grandmother's father never spoke to them again. Very stubborn German man I guess. My mom says he didn't think my grandfather was good enough for her and forbid the marriage.  The bottom picture is my grandmother, Laura (all the way on the left) and her whole family.  Notice all the matching dresses. She bought a bolt of the same cloth and made all the kids their Sunday dresses. She and my grandfather went on to have 9 children. My grandmother died in her 70's and my grandfather died at 95. Who knew when they took those photos their image could possibly bee seen around the world. I bet they couldn't even fathom that back then. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nature is Upon Us

Footprints leave the evidence. Two missing fish. 

When we first purchased this house which is 10 miles from Helotes and about 15 from the edge of San Antonio, we knew we'd be dealing with the elements of nature. In Helotes where we moved from we were used to snakes, scorpions, raccoons, possum and the occasional deer. The first clue were were "not in Helotes" anymore was the morning after we got hit by the wild pigs. 

We knew wild pigs did damage out here. Our new yard had big dirt spots where the feral hogs had rooted up the grass looking for grubworms...rooting to find them. But the sellers played it down, "They don't come's random." Well, after a week in the new house,  we woke to find our grass in the front yard all uprooted in various places. It was interesting and annoying!

 After about three months of this we finally decided to add grass to the dirt spots. We still got hit by the hogs, but my husband would get out that at 5 AM and cover the grass back up. We also put up an electric fence. It goes off in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if it's effective or not because at the same time, the Homeowners Association hired trappers to trap them...So for two months we've been pig free. 

We thought we were finished with the wild animal thing. Deer aren't a problem out here. I guess they have enough to eat.  Oh we did fish out two small Hog snakes from the pool, but that could happen anywhere.  We have a Koi pond right off our back porch and it's complete with a waterfall and fish! It was one of the selling points of this house that I loved. 

But one morning I was home recouping after a battle of the nasty virus that was going around and I had just taken Parker to school. I was tired and feeling yucky and ready to get back in bed when Molly wanted outside. I let her out and through the corner of my eye I saw something big and white fly off. I assumed it was a duck as we have a pond close by and it has several ducks in I promptly got Molly in and we  got in bed and  fell asleep. 

We were soon awakened by a loud THUNK at the back door,  which is glass. I thought someone was trying to get in...I ran to the door to see this HUGE  gray HERON walking out of my pond. I thought WHAT THE.......OMG....I bet it got the fish!! 

Sure enough the fish, we had five, were gone. I was so upset. I could see the footprints coming out of the water. The evidence. He was gone for the day, but the next morning and the next he was back....Back for more fish. 

I learned that it was probably migrating and would be leaving soon. So we placed a huge net over the pond and in about two days he left. It was persistent. I got to see it very well. Turns out he only got 2 fish. He got the biggest goldfish and one of the Koi. The other three fish were so traumatized that they wouldn't come out except in the cover of darkness.

 I don't blame them. I had been working on feeding them. They would see me in the morning and at night and come up to the surface for they hid within the rocks. We ended up buying three more Koi to add and they have helped the other ones not be so skittish, but they still are. In winter, when the water is really cold they hardly move anyway, so hopefully in the spring, I'll keep the net up and get them to trust us again. 

Here are the survivors and the new guys. One goldfish still doesn't like to come out. :) 

Who knew I'd be battling Herons in my backyard??

The Culprit

Recognize Facebook? 
That ate all my computer time last night and I didn't get a post out.
 I got to looking for old friends!!!
 It was fun though. I found a friend from HS.
 I did finally finish grading my dreaded essays, and got the grades loaded in the computer. 
I worked on and off all day Friday and got up at 6AM Saturday and worked until 11 AM.


Today is have fun day and catch up on house stuff day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grading Paper Blues

I'm taking tomorrow off for two reasons. One, I am getting a new dishwasher and want to be here while it's being installed. 
Two, I have a bunch of To Kill a Mockingbird essays to grade. About 90 to be exact.
 I already graded about 30 of them. 
Did I mention I dread this? Well I do. The temperature tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80's. I wish I could sit outside and grade. That doesn't work for me. I have to be in the zone. I  have t0 hunker down somewhere and really concentrate. Get a system going.  At least when I grade such serious essays. I guess this is the price I pay for having June and July off. I have to say though... it's worth it. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is what my kitchen counter looks like every night and every morning. 

This is where Parker chooses to do his homework. He spreads everything out and goes from chair to chair depending on what he is working on. Geometry, World Geography, English, Science, art, and sometimes Spanish! 

He has his own desk.....never uses it. He has a place in the study....he only uses the computer there. 

I sometimes have to shoo him out so his dad can watch TV. 

I think he likes being an only child where he can spread out and not bother anyone. Who knew that would be a perk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Blooms.....

I noticed some yellow flowers blooming yesterday and when I came home from work today I saw different flower blooming.

I thought how strange it was to see flowers blooming this time of year. 

A new house is full of surprises!!

 So I got my camera and started looking for all the blooms and things of color I could find. 

These are just a few of the things I found. 

 Who knew flowers were this pretty in January. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cleaned the Closet

And I cleaned the bathroom drawers too! I think I ended up with about 10 bags of clothes. I can't believe how much clothes I accumulate. Most of it is stuff I just never wear. Lots of things I own I will buy for work and then wear once and decide it's  not all that comfortable. I'm really bad about that. Or I will buy something cheap and then it doesn't last and looks cheap. One of my new goals is to not buy such cheap stuff.  I buy cheap because I tell myself, well I won't buy nice stuff in case I loose weight. haha FAT Chance. Well the pictures are the before and the after. :) Feels good to let go of all those things!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

My mom is 79 years old today :) Here's to you Granny!!! 
Hope I can keep up with you this summer in New York!! 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miss. I Just Don't Have Anything To Write About

 I like Blogging. It's becoming something I look forward to at night.

 But sometimes it is hard to find something to write about. 
Then I will look at pictures. 
Then I might be inspired. 

Is this how teenagers feel when we ask them to write?
 I would say 95% of them just start writing. But what about the rest...the Miguels in my class? Here is a kid who skipped all last year. He's lower socioeconomically and from a single parent home. At the beginning of this year he wouldn't make eye contact with me. He speaks in whispers. He is uncomfortable in school and yet you can tell he's OK with being in my class.  In fact just recently he complimented me on an outfit I was wearing. That was HUGE coming from him. This year his mother who doesn't speak English walked him to class, sat with him and to this day walks him into the school every morning. It's because of her efforts that he now comes every day.  He's a junior. She is a GREAT parent. Miguel is in class!!!!But he won't write. Oh he can because I know he is smart. He's yet to write an essay though  because he says he just can't find the words. 
I told him:  Write about your MOM. He smiles: OK ...yet he produces nothing. He's got to pass the TAKS test in 6- weeks or he won't graduate. :) 

I have a tough job ahead of me. I think I'm going to give the class a project. They have to bring 5 pictures from home and can be current or old. Next week we will write about them :) These journals, writer's notebook....will be their blog on paper. I hope they can be inspired.  Who knows I might have a future blogger in my class :) 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Excuses Excuses

Ever have one of those day where you just have a brain fart and forget something you normally do? I did yesterday. I didn't blog. hahahah It didn't even occur to me to do it.....:)Yeah, that's a good excuse..uh huh....I really wish I had a better the ones above...hahaha But I don't. Oh well, so much for blogging everyday for a month....:) Today is the end of the semester at my HS and we tested all week. So glad it's over....Monday is a holiday!!! YEY....Tuesday we start in full speed. We are going to be studying mythology and The Odyssey. Here are some of the excuses I have on my white board for kids not doing homework. I think over the years I've heard just about all these!!! Who knew I'd need one for yesterday!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


the act or condition of acquiescing or giving tacit assent; agreement or consent by silence or without objection; compliance ( usually fol. by to or in): acquiescence to his boss's demands.

Weird thing about this word. I haven't heard it in ages. Then yesterday two different students in two different classes brought up the word. How strange is that? I like when things like that happen. It makes me think that the world is somehow really closely connected. Just like Jan. 1st. I was thinking of a neighbor and wondered how she was doing.  I had driven by her house earlier. Well, that day she called me. It freaked me out. I think our thinking minds must be more at work than we realize. It must be somehow what connects us together. Which reminds me. I want to do a Vision Board. But that isn't this topic. I think now I will acquiesce to the lesson plans awaiting me

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Blog Block.

No Topic.
I've drawn a blank.

So I will let these pictures of Parker getting his dinner and Molly watching and hoping speak for me. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do you spy a trend?

I like pens, pencils~ well any and all writing utensils. These are the various containers I have around the house, and doesn't include the ones I keep at school.  I have to make myself not buy them at the store. I get panicky if my favorite pen runs low on ink. So to stop that I will buy three more of the ones I like.  But... what always happens is I get bored with it before I need the next one and then I'm stuck with all these pens!! Oh well, it's better than shoes, purses, men or cars...haha

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Sunday Starts

...with a cup of coffee and a scone and Post Secret. The only thing missing this morning was my sister. We usually chat every day. I had to rush this morning because we go to church at 9. That is if we are able to go at  9 or if we go at all. We are really making a commitment to go for Parker's sake. The reason we slacked off had a lot of factors concerning the church, one of which was that  the new assistant priest didn't speak clear English. In fact he really didn't speak English at all and was just learning. The Homily was quite difficult to follow. Anyway he is gone and today we found out we are getting a new young man just ordained. I'm hoping we can understand him :) 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Game

These are pictures of Parker's basketball game this morning. These are from his high school team.  He is doing really well this year.  My goal for him starting HS was to just make the team so he'd have a place to belong. He made the team and is really loving it. Who knew my little three year old boy who was obsessed with basketballs would continue his love this long!! 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Molly and Me

When ever I come home from work, no matter what, Molly is there to greet me. She will follow me around all night until we go to bed. Yes, I'm the one that feeds her and gives her special treats. But I like to think it's just because she likes me best. I can count on her to be there when I take a nap and still be there when I get up. She won't let me out of her sight, unless she is sure she isn't going to miss something important. We got Molly aftey our yellow lab, Macy died. Parker and I went to the animal shelter for a puppy,but they had very few to choose from and we didn't want a HUGE dog which is all they had for puppies, so we checked out the older dogs. We found one we liked, but he wasn't good with kids, another one had to be outside all the time, and another one didn't like to be around other dogs. So as were were getting discouraged and leaving, we went down one more area we had missed. We rounded the corner and there she was with her feet up on the cage, saying, "Here I am. Pick me!" and so we did. She is part border collie and part we don't know. She was 1.5 years old when we got her so now she is 9 years old and has the herding instinct and a mind of her own. Molly is passionate about "cookies," walks, and squirrels. She is my girl and I love snapping pictures of her :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Tonight's dinner is one of my favorites. There is something for everyone. Living with picky eaters is not easy! This combination has something for everyone. Carne guisada, flour tortillas, tortilla chips, Mexican cheese, and guacamole. MM...DH will eat the meat /tortilla, Parker will eat cheese, chips/tortilla and I eat it all. :) What did you have for dinner?