Sunday, October 30, 2011


Ok so I have run across Pinterest on some blogs and I was recently invited to join in on the Pinterst fun but I am struggling.  I'm not exactly sure how to use this web site.  It seems simple enough.  You 'pin' things you like online.  I seem to be following a variety of randomly assigned individuals(pinners?) as well as a couple of people I know.  Maybe the problem is that my online exploration tends to be very regimented.  I blog. I check my favorite blogs.  I check the local news.  I check on the local schools. Finally I facebook.  Wow how boring am I???  I guess I should widen my online experience.  Hmmm sounds interesting.

Do you pin?  If so please share... I want to know more.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

This and That

Have you ever started a weekend and thought where did my weekend go before it even began?  That is how I'm feeling right now.  There is so much that must  be done this weekend that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  We'll be heading out bright and early for the mall.  N will be getting his glasses today.  We also should check into some supplies for his project for the Geography fair.  He is tasked with creating a 3d model that has to do with Greenland.  He wants to create a paper mache island showing the three islands of Greenland and then his plan is to cover it with something that represents ice.  I'm thinking gelatin or epoxy.  I think a trip to Michael's might be helpful.  He also has some makeup work from being out of school on Friday.  I have photos to sort and tape onto portfolio papers as well as prep to complete for conferences.  In addition I have two lessons to complete for my online class.  Oh and let's not forget the pirate costume for n.  Finally I'll need to get the house clean, meals planned and cooked, groceries purchased, laundry done, bills paid and whatever else comes up over the next two day.  Holy cow!  I'm tired just typing all this.  Maybe I'll just sip on my second cup of coffee for a bit longer and enjoy this quiet moment before the hustle and bustle begins!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. Beware of the thinning of the veil between worlds! 

2. Its still October and they predict a northeaster with snow.

3. And since we are talking about October what are you doing for Halloween?

4. Do you believe in spirits?

5. Where did fall go,  the last couple of days have felt like winter ugh!

6. Home made beef stew with buttery italian bread is one of my favorite meals when it's cold out.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to new episodes of our shows and maybe a glass of red wine, tomorrow my plans include lots of homework doing and helping and Sunday, I want to finish my lessons so I can start again next week!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook 43

Outside my  dark, cold and stormy.  

I am thinking...that I have a lot of work to do this weekend!  

I am thankful for...the opportunity for change and the support of  my family and friends.  

From the kitchen...nothing too exciting this week!  :(  We had chicken, pasta and broccoli on Monday, ham steaks and mashed potato on Tuesday, fend for yourself night on Wednesday and tonight is take out pizza!  I'm hoping to bake another batch of homemade bread  on Friday.  We'll see.

I am pj's still!  I wait until the last moment to get dressed in order to prevent wrinkles... isn't that silly!  

What I'm creating:  I continue to work on new understanding so that I can secure my future!  
I am also going to be writing conferences for the 15 students in my class.  It's a lot of work but it is necessary.

I am be calm and carry on today.

I am reading...articles on science, differentiated instruction and classroom positive behavior management.  

I am hearing...theFlicka squeaking her toy and growling as she plays.  She is a funny little pup.  

Around the always there is cleaning and organizing that needs to be completed.  R is still working on the roof.  We decided to go over the entire thing with new shingles.  

One of my favorite spending time at home, just relaxing.  This does not happen often as there is always some task (or person) calling my name! 

A few plans for the rest of the week: eye doctor with N tomorrow, conference writing at school tomorrow afternoon, project work with N on Saturday, costume completion with n .... I think that is more tan enough. 

Here are pictures I am sharing..


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

So this was my weekend!

So the last photo shows R just before the right clamp came loose and I went running to stabilize the ladder so that he wouldn't tumble off of our steep roof!  Yikes!!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Texture Tuesday - Free and Easy

This week we were asked to keep it simple and add two of Kim's textures to any of our photos. I chose to add Kim's Word and Stained Linen textures.  Soft light at 100% worked for both of these textures and I am pleased with the final result.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday

I love the golden yellows that reveal themselves as the season changes!  


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cranberry Pie-----Yuuuummmmmmm

This post is especially for my blogger friends Judy and Mrs. Pom.  I had never thought of or heard of cranberry pie until this past week.  Evidently there is a long standing recipe that several of my coworkers have used.  My teaching partner J was kind enough to share her recipe however I forgot to bring home a copy!  So I searched the web and found the following recipe here.  I am fairly certain that this is not the authentic cranberry growers recipe but it worked for my family.   I alterer my version slightly by eliminating the walnuts and substituting vanilla for almond extract.  I also added an extra layer of cranberries on the bottom of my buttered pie plate and then covered them with another 1/4 c sugar.  My baking time was a bit different too as someone turned the oven off halfway through the baking process.  ( R!!)  So I think I went short on the time and this produced a very moist consistency.  What an easy recipe.  I think the most difficult part of the entire process was picking through the cranberries, oh and pushing myself away from the table to stop myself from eating too much!  At Christmas often times I'll make breads for family and friends.  I think I'll try cooking this recipe in the little bread tins and add it to my repertoire!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 inch pie pan.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts, and toss to coat. Stir in the butter, beaten eggs, and almond extract. If you are using frozen cranberries, the mixture will be very thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

We were so excited to dig right in that I neglected to take a photo of the whole pie.  It went very fast...even the young picky eaters enjoyed this unique desert.  


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook 42

Outside my  bright and cloudy with bits of blue sky peaking through.  The air is crisp and clear.  

I am thinking...that it has been too long since I've worked on a Simple Daybook post.  It has been weeks! 

I am thankful for...the opportunity for change.  

From the kitchen...we had a chicken stir fry with rice last night.  I liked it but it met mixed reviews from the family.  We also made cranberry pie for desert.  It was soooo yummy!  N has offered to help me bake an apple pie today and he is interested in learning how to make Nanny's bread tomorrow.  Maybe some day he will make the bread for me!  

I am pj's still!  I love lounging in my jammies on the weekend. 

What I'm creating:  new understanding so that I can secure my future!  I'm taking three classes right now.  All of the classes are online.  The first is a background content knowledge class for science, the second is a 6 week class on Differentiated Instruction and the final class is a graduate class on Behavior Management.  With all of these under my belt I'll be ready to apply for the renewal of my teaching license.  Yay!

I am pick up pottery at Claychick today,  return cans and maybe go to Cupcake Charlie's.  n is having a friend over so I'm not sure we'll get all of our errands done before picking up n's friend. 

I am reading...The Hunger Games. Well actually I have completed the entire series!  It was outstanding.  I loved the books.  The story was intense.  Now I'll be waiting for the movie to come out early next year!   For the next six weeks I'll be reading for my classes.  

I am hearing...the TV.  There is a scary movie marathon on AMC.  Now the 1950's version of The Fly is playing. 

Around the house...there is much organizing and cleaning that needs to be done.  There is always something.  Outside there is so much more to do.... R will be working on patching the roof with new roofing shingles.  He seems to be confident in his understanding of the process so we'll see.  

One of my favorite hanging around on the weekends.  Love relaxed lazy days at home. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: well the week is all but over so I'll be doing laundry and planning meals before it all begins again.   

Here are pictures I am sharing..


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

The following were taken at dawn one morning last week.  What a stunning display from mother nature!


Sunday, October 16, 2011


Well it was a busy weekend.  I spent Friday working on my Sub application as well as some continuing education classes.  I'm working on a science class that is very interesting.  It really amounts to background knowledge so that teachers are better able to teach content to their students.  It is certainly fun to learn something new and a bit out of my direct field.  I have also signed up for an online class that looks at positive discipline in the classroom.  It is always good to brush up on skills and this grad class will give me more than 60 PDP's for my recertification.  I'm looking forward to getting the work done so that I can have all my paperwork together in order to complete that application and submit it to the DOE.

I also spent some time over at 40 M this weekend installing the window treatments downstairs.  I completed the task singlehandedly.   Being able to use power tools and complete 'construction' type tasks that were once left to the 'honey do list' is quite empowering.  I love how cozy the rooms feel now that their windows are dressed!  The treatments are simple but warm and welcoming.  I will try to get over there tomorrow and take some pictures.  I wish someone would rent our lovely home.

I have also been thinking about family,  specifically family of origin.  I've run into my brother a couple of times over the past several months and it has thrown me for a loop.  It is clear that when we do run into each other he has no interest in talking.  I am always pleasant and friendly ready with a kind 'Hello' and smile.  He greets me as if I am an acquaintance with whom he'd rather not chat.  It hurts me deeply.  I have for months blamed this distance on his wife, but now I'm beginning to think that I have been wrong. I think he holds everything against me...his place in life...his lack of stability.   I guess I understand that he could be upset that I ended up with the house, but I paid for his share.  Honestly according to the attorney I overpaid.  It was my brother that suggested we buy him out.   My family has gone into extreme debt to buy my brother out and renovate the home that built me.  Financially we are in the most precarious place we have ever been.  I think that in his mind we don't struggle when in fact we have always worked very hard for all that we have in our lives....making sacrifices and carful decisions.  Perhaps from the outside what I have with my family looks ideal.   I am here to say that it is not.  I wish that he would understand and have a conversation with me so that we could mend the divide.   I am fairly certain he will not have that conversation.  He is not strong enough.  I wish I were strong enough to let it go and fully eliminate him from my life, but I am weak too.

I find it interesting that as I have lost my relationship with my brother that the relationship with my sisters is flourishing.  We talk or text regularly and hope to spend some time together during Thanksgiving break.  They are struggling with the coming loss of their step Dad.  He was Dad to them and he has been sick for quite some time.  He is in hospice now and they are waiting.  My heart aches for them and their other siblings.  In particular their younger sister who age has been his caretaker.   I know what she is going through and wish I could help in some way.  The best I can do is send prayers and positive energy.

So there is a lot of thinking going on.... thinking about plans for the future,  financial stability, family, change.....

I hope your minds are at rest tonight.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. It's easy all you need to do is BREATHE!

2. Just take one day at a time my darling.

3. Once upon a time, things were free and easy.

4. Things changed and everyone had to work harder and longer to maintain the status quo,  could this be ... the end.

5. What is the sense of electing officials when policies seem to favor the very poor and the very rich and all those in the middle have to fend for themselves... too poor to save but not poor enough to qualify for help.  Hmmmmm 

6. I hope things change sooner than later.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include installing the rest of the blinds at 40 M and Sunday, I want to watch the game and prep for the week!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Texture Tuesday - Red

I've enjoyed photographing various types of ornamental grass plants lately.  I reached into my archives to find these two photos taken last March.  They incorporate both wild grass and some sort of red berry.  I love how they have turned out.

 I used the same recipe for both images.  


Monday, October 10, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday

So for Mellow Yellow Monday I'm sharing a few more of the pics I captured last Friday on my walk to the beach with Flicka.  They are more 'golden' than yellow but I love them just the same.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

I have not been spending as much time with my camera these days but on Friday I brought it along on my walk with the dog.  There are some lovely houses on my walk with beautiful landscaping.  Close to the beach is a home that has a stunning, unique grass planted next to a crisp white fence.  I've been watching the grass evolve over the past several weeks and was enchanted by it's latest metamorphosis.  With the colder air parts of the grass has transformed into lovely curly cues.  I took these photos truly focusing on the grass and was so surprised and delighted by what popped up on my computer screen when I downloaded my pictures.  I find the shadows on the white fence interesting.  I love how the texture intrinsic in the plant reads on my screen.  I hope you like it too.

Happy Sunday.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ahhhhh It's Saturday!

Oh the weeks have been long and busy.  There is much to do for work and home.  Schoolwork for the children is more intense and seems to carry over into the weekends a bit this year.  I guess it's time to get used to weekend homework.  Happily they are being somewhat eased into that reality.

We are all grateful that we have a long weekend.  I love having Mondays off with my children.  Mondays are my day off anyway but it is fun to be home with them.  We all get to sleep in a little and enjoy a free and easy day!  It will be a beautiful weekend in our neck of the woods.  Record breaking warmth is predicted for Sunday.  On the coast we might be a bit cooler but it will still feel like a flashback to summer. How lovely.

For today I will focus on my home and children.  There is cleaning to be done,  yard work to attempt, bulbs to prepare for wintering over, and a black and white puppy to water, feed and walk.  Even on days off there is much work.  Life...  Hopefully I'll fit in some artful endeavors, either through my photography or journal pages.  We shall see what the day brings.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. How can I bottle the scent of Nanny's bread and ship it off to all my family?

2. Feeling sentimental at the moment.

3. That summer, felt a bit like the summer that never was, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

4. It was old school  and we respected that.

5. What was it like to be part of a large extended family all living close to each other?

6. It is important for friends and family to stay in touch.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a slice of warm homemade Irish bread slathered with butter, tomorrow my plans include getting outside and cleaning up a bit and Sunday, I want to bring n and her friend to the beach and maybe do some reading or writing!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Texture Tuesday

This week Kim asked us to focus on 'gratitude'.  This was difficult for me simply because I am grateful for so much. Something that resonates with me is the beauty that surounds us every day.  All we need to do is look carefully enough.

I treated all of these photos with the same recipe.  First I duplicated the layer and adjusted the levels.  I then added a layer of Kim's robins egg, color, 64%.  Next I added a layer of cool grunge, multiply 34%.  I used a mask on each of these layers to remove some of the texture.  Finally I added a layer of fall in, overlay 77%.  The final layer is my favorite!  I also want to share that these images were not altered except for the steps above.  Nature at it's finest. 


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