Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rainy night in Georgia

It is raining here now which is very comforting. The sound of gentle rain on the tin awnings is nice, and the occasional car splashes into a puddle as it goes by. All else is quiet.

One reason it's quiet is that I turned off the tv a while ago. I had been watching the mini-series "Into the West". It was very good, but increasingly I find that I don't want the extra emotional entanglement. Caring about the characters, mourning over the white man's atrocities, musing over the course of civilization's inexorable march across the pages of history even as it tramples the ground under its feet, transforming the geography with wagon ruts, train tracks and dynamite...all pointlessly weighty on my heart. Committing to two hours is just beyond me. As Frank Barone said, "I'm not set up for that!"

Church service was excellent today. Well, they're all excellent, but today felt really good. I enjoyed the Sunday School lesson and the sermon was excellently put together and delivered. I felt refreshed when I came out.

Today's cooking was soup. Vegetable soup with elbow macaroni. I like how the macaroni saturates during the week and it turns into more of a stew and less of a soup. I have a cherry pie in the fridge, and salad too. Sounds like lunch for a few days!

I got curious as to whether my old house was still standing. I looked it up on Google maps. It looks pretty good! I see that the trees I'd planted back in 1984 have grown up nicely. Google maps is great for satisfying the curiosity factor but I'm still discomfited by the notion that drones fly over and vans lurk and snap photos. When I bought that house the internet was just a twinkle in Larry Roberts and ARPANET's eye. And now look. I can use Google earth and fly over Greenland if I want to.

I wonder what tomorrow holds? I'll find out in about 12 hours. Meanwhile I'll go read a book and listen to the rain.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What a week!

This was a long and rough week. I found out it was not rough for just me but for everyone. The Fair is in town, which is a pretty big deal. A local person told me that fair week is always rough at school. The kids are excited they are going to the fair, unable to contain themselves with excitement. Their antsiness shows up at school. Also, many kids and families participate in the animal shows and that is busy and stressful too. So it was just a plain old busy week.

It was made nice last night by the warm late summer air and golden harvest moon shining down. When I went into the other room I thought the neighbor had left the floodlight on. It was the moon shining so brightly!

I made a change from my regular routine of doing all the weekly shopping on Friday to splitting it to Friday and Saturday. I usually go to the Dollar Store and the Grocery Store at the same time. The two stores are side by side. But this week I've got a lot to buy at the Dollar Store, and last week they gave a receipt with a $5 off coupon on the back if you buy $25 worth of stuff. I actually do have $25 of items to buy this week so I could throw the $5 away by not waiting one day.

However, I really hate going out on Saturdays. I like to just stay in my PJs and write and do my chores at home and then take a nap and then do a few more chores, and then read. In other words, I like to recover from the week without having to enter the world again!!

Oh well, I am lucky I live only a half a mile from town and I can go get my mail, do a bit of banking and get my stuff at the Dollar Store. That is the other advantage of living in a small town, these three things are practically adjacent to one another. LOL. Heck, those three things are practically all there is in town at all. When I get home I want to do the laundry, vacuum and wash the dishes. That will leave only cooking for tomorrow.

I plan to make a pan of roasted veggies, baked tofu, and a quiche. Hey, if I'm going to turn on the oven, I may as well really use it!

So this blog entry is a procrastinating kind of blog entry. I should get up right now and get going. Really. Any moment now.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A bad soup

I made some cream of potato soup. This inaugurates the soup-making season. Now that it's cooler, my Sunday will henceforth be filled with either casseroles or baking granola bars, or soup.

I'm not sure my cream of potato soup is all that successful. It was a simple recipe, but somehow it didn't come out quite as good as the recipe ingredients made it look like it should. I think I need more broth and less milk.

Anyway, it is still not too bad. Not bad but not great. Perhaps it's because I'm out of practice. Yeah, that's it. Next week I'm going to make a cream of vegetable soup but use a lot less milk and a lot more broth. Maybe no milk at all, but just blender-ized roasted veggies providing the thickening agent.

The weather is glorious! It is in the upper 50s and low 60s overnight and the mid 70s during the day! I actually put on slippers today (though I'm still in shorts, lol). What grand and glorious day and there are more of these ahead.

Friday is payday and I'm thrilled. I love my job and then I get paid! Double grateful.

The agricultural fair is coming around again. It is a very charming event and highly popular to one and all. My church brothers and sisters will be there, serving and preaching, and most of the rest of the county enjoying the cooler weather and fun games and livestock competitions. Here are a few photos from previous seasons-

Have a good week, all. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bread in the road

It was a cool and foggy morning. Driving to work the sky above was clear blue but the morning fog hadn't lifted yet. It pooled in the small dips, and the pastures were softened by the cloud of white adorning its sides. It was actually very pretty. The pastures are still green and vibrant, and the leaves haven't turned yet so  they're green too. The contrast of green below, blue above and white in between was pretty cool.

Driving along, I saw a something in the middle of the road. It wasn't moving, Oh, no, I thought...some kind of animal is dead. There are many animals around here and it is common to see raccoons, possum, and deer dead in the road. Once I saw an armadillo. Also we occasionally see a cat lying there in the middle of the road too. That's always sad. But as I got closer to the object I saw that it was a most unusual specimen. It was a loaf of bread!

I mused on that for a while, thinking, "Gee, I'd really love to hear the story of the bread." Did one of the kids in the car get mad and toss it out the window? Was there a bump in the road and a loaf jounced out of an open pickup truck or a jeep? I'll never know. But there was a loaf of bread laying across the center line of the road I travel to work every day. I laughed and thought, "My daily bread came to me a different way today!"

I had a good week at work. The kids are just great. I'm kind of tired though. I will enjoy this weekend. The weather has cooled off and the nights are absolutely a delight with the crisp air wafting in and me snuggled beneath my quilt. Ahhh, Friday is here. Have a nice weekend everyone.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stunning sunrise

Sunrise as I went to work Friday. I stuck my camera out my passenger window and snapped as I drive along. The photo has not been enhanced in any way, except reduced for size. Pretty, isn't it!

The place where I took it is over a huge pasture. Here is what it looks like in the daytime.

It has been a nice weekend so far. I hope you are enjoying yours. I went to a friend's house last night. We had pizza and talked. Today the cold that has been threatening to emerge has become full-blown, despite my best effort to hold it off via hydrogen peroxide gargles and neti pot washings. So I am taking it easy, having iced chamomile tea and naps.

I am about to head over to the couch to continue reading Einstein's Dreams and watch some version of Law & Order. I don't know which, but there's always one of them on.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Broccoli isn't so bad, apparently

I was greeted at work by a very happy 4 year old this morning. I don't know her, she is not in my grade and I don't work with her. But in the breakfast cafeteria she came up to me and apropos of nothing, she said, "I ate broccoli last night!" I laughed, and then I asked her if she liked it. She said, "It's not too bad!"


A boy I know asked me to pray with him at lunch as he asked the Lord to bless his food. It was the high point of my day.

Here is a tiger lily outstanding in his field

The first leaves turning?

I love fall in Georgia. So glad it's coming.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Fun art

When I ran my own business, I used to take 2 weeks of vacation a year, one week at Fourth of July and the other during Christmas. I was living in Maine then, and I would go down to Venice Florida for the Christmas week.

I liked to pack light, taking with me only a carry-on. The first thing I'd do when I got there and picked up my rental car would be to go to the Dollar Store or similar kind of store, and buy craft supplies. The three main relaxation activities I'd do would be to go to the beach, to drive to nearby state or national parks, and in the evenings, stay in my room watching TV (which a busy, self-employed business owner rarely got to do) and do crafts.

One year, I bought a set of dot paints and a pack of index cards. I wanted to see how many different paintings I could make while limiting myself to the same size "canvas". It was interesting to challenge myself like that. Here are a few of the results.

Beach at sunrise


Beach at sunset


Pine forest dawn

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Wyeths and Moon Madness

Andrew Wyeth, Moon Madness, 1982

I love the Wyeths' works, all three generations. Andrew Wyeth lived in Cushing Maine in the summers, and his presence is felt throughout the state in his paintings, watercolors, and sketches.

I remember attending an exhibit in 1998 at the Rockland Maine museum called Wondrous Strange - The Wyeth Tradition - Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth. I saw the date and I literally startled myself, I can't believe it was that long ago. I do remember it like yesterday, the paintings were wondrous...and strange. :)

I love watercolors, especially a Wyeth.

Cannonball the ant hill

Last week was a long week. We were all looking forward to the long, Labor Day holiday weekend. It had been hot, the air conditioner at school had been malfunctioning, and the kids were tired.

There was this one boy on Friday…he had a hard time in reading group. He was asked to re-do his handwriting paper because it did not meet the teacher’s standard. He got very hot and sweaty at recess, got bumped into and cut in front of at the water fountain line, and generally was tired.

We have a long walk from class to the place where the kids are picked up at the end of the day. The boy sang the whole time. Sing, sing. Sing and a little jog in his walk.

Now, if I had been bumped in line at Wal-Mart, cut in front of, had a long, hot, and sweaty week, which ended with my boss telling me to do my report over again because it didn’t meet standards, I know I would not be singing. I would be grumbling or murmuring, most likely. But the boy was singing.

What a good attitude. I'll try to do better with mine.

Overheard on the playground today:

Two boys looking at a new fire ant mound. One whacks the other on his elbow, says, "Hey! Let's cannon ball on the ant hill!"

Monday, September 03, 2012

It's Labor day, so it's time for change of seasons. Or not, if you live in Georgia

It's Labor Day 2012, which means I cease from my labor for a day and lounge around in a tee shirt and shorts, lol. It also means I could sleep late (6:00am instead of 5:30, woo-hoo!) and I can take a nap later if I want to.

I bought some really good vegetables on Friday while grocery shopping and I want to make roasted veggies out them them. I got carrots, firm and fresh green peppers (68 cents each!) small red potatoes, and onions. Pans of roasted veggies with oil and salt and rosemary dance before my eyes. The Labor Day weekend awakens in me the decades-long timing that the weather is cooler and the need to nest and make heavier dishes arises. The problem is, I am not in Rhode Island nor Maine anymore and the weather is going to be in the 90s with real feel temps in the hundreds. Oy. What's a gal to do whose seasonal embeddedness hasn't caught up with the reality that the seasons are different here?

I should put the stuff in the oven early while the temps are still cool and my overworked air conditioner can keep up with an hour of the oven being turned to 350 degrees. But I probably won't.

Another rhythm I never got used to not being a part of is the yellow school buses rumbling along after Labor Day when school started. I taught for 12 years and then I was out of the school system for 12 years. During the second 12 years I always looked at the buses rolling into the school driveways in September with longing and yearning. My mind's annual clock was set to the school year, not the calendar year.

When I resumed being a part of the school system here in Georgia, this time as para-professional (fancy term for teacher's aide), I had to get used to the school year beginning on August 1st, not September 1st or thereabouts. Yikes, that is something I won't reconcile my mind to. Georgia people, it's just wrong to begin a school year in August!

Phew, glad I got that off my chest.

Now that it is "legitimately" time for school - and cooler weather - my mind and body are happy. Even though school has been going for a month and cooler weather won't arrive for weeks...Isn't it funny how long-term habits never really go away, or are so hard to change.

This weekend I have not done one thing different than I usually do on a regular weekend. I still rest, read, study, write, and stay alone. I still enjoy listening to Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology", watching re-runs of Big Bang Theory, starting books which regularly turn out awful and throwing them down in disgust, talking about cooking something but never getting around to it, and writing about it all. Aren't blogs great?