If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Break!

As a kid we always eagerly looked forward to Summer Break.  There was no better time in the world.  Days without having to sit still, be quiet, and study were the greatest attraction.  There was also the fact that the warm weather offered options such as swimming, playing outdoors without shoes, and just generally soaking up the rays of summershine.  There were no rigid schedules.  There was no stressful school!  I always loved summer and looked forward to it with ecstasy. 

Of course, as I got older, I realized that other things came with summer.  Extra farm chores like lawn care or hay harvest, hoes for weed chopping in crops and the garden, insects that bite and sting, and HOT temperatures which caused sweat were the biggest drawbacks. 

Unlike lots of kids, Summer Break didn't really mean a break from rising early each morning.  I lived on a dairy farm and we still had to get up early and go to the barn to care for the animals or milk the cows.  Yet, even these tasks were done at a more liesurely pace and not in a rush to get done each morning so we could clean up and get to school on time.  The afternoon chores seemed less rushed, too, because daylight lasted lots longer. 

I was a terrible student.  Oh, lots of learning came pretty easy for me and I didn't have to study so much.  Then, when I needed to study so much, I didn't and as a result, I didn't get the grades my parents really liked.  So, when I'd bring in that report card and my Daddy would look at it and ask me to look him in the eye and tell him this was the best I could do... well, of course, I couldn't do that.  My parents weren't real sticklers for high grades, they thought we should have a well-rounded, A+ personality and make the best grades we could.  So, I wasn't tortured to study... and I didn't.  My attitude was to get through and enjoy life.  I liked to read - I just wanted to pick what I read instead of having to read what was assigned.  I liked to write - I just wanted to pick what I wrote about instead of having to write about what was assigned.  After a while, school really sort of interfered with my education and I just tried to figure out how to get through and get out of school. 

Then, I grew up...and wound up becoming a teacher.

The difference in being a teacher is that I now think about all those things I hated or didn't think fit for me and I try to mold my teaching to suit that sort of student.  There is no cookie cutter classroom model.  Each should be different just as each lesson should have flexibility for each student.  I really love my job and look forward to going to school each day.  Isn't that an odd turn of attitudes?  (Oh, yes, I still get excited about the thought of a snow day but who doesn't?  It is a gift of freedom that isn't really planned or deserved!) 

Still, I LOVE Summer Break!  Today is really my first day of Summer Break.  (My break won't be like most kids' break, however.  It won't even be like most teachers' breaks.  In this Instructional Technology Coaching job I have taken on this year, I have also contracted to facillitate several professional development workshops.  So, I don't have a couple of months of long, hazy, lazy days stretched out before me to just loll away time and enjoy.  However, just for today, that is exactly what I am doing!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Little Teapot

Our youngest granddaughter, Lydia, had a tea party for her birthday party.  (I'll tell more about that in another post.)  She seems to have always loved tea parties and takes every opportunity to serve folks tea - out of toy pots and pans, tea cups, plastic punch cups, etc.  So, this seemed a natural theme for her third birthday party. 

I had it in my head that I would find her a cute little child's tea set at a reasonable price as a gift.  Well, even though I searched high and low, the tea set I envisioned was not to be found.  However, when I had gone in search of a cut glass bowl to give the neices for graduation, I remembered seeing a sweet ironstone teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer in one of the local antique/junk shops.  So, I decided I'd just settle for that.

One afternoon this week I trekked down to the cluster of local shops in search of this cute teapot, etc. and, of course, it had already gone home with another shopper.  I went back to Morgenstern's 1949 where I'd found the beautiful bowls and to The Village Antiques and Gifts.  Just when I was about to give up, I stepped into Three French Hens and spied this cute little fellow:
Little Silver Teapot
It looks like it might hold about three or four cups of liquid at most.  It is just charming and sweet and was in remarkably wonderful shape.  I brought it home and gave it a quick polish and wrapped it up!

Here is a little bit closer look at the detail on this sweet little thing:

The gooseneck spout has sweet little daisy-like flowers and leaves which wrap both sides. 
The handle has all sorts of swirls and flourishes and has matching little daisies right at the top.
The handle at the top of the hinged lid has more leaves and sweet little daisies.
Another little daisy is at the top of each of the little Queen Anne-type legs.
This view gives a good look at the beautiful spout and leg.
Altogether it is just sweet, feminine, and adorable!

The best part of it all is that this is something a three-year-old can play with and there is no worry that she will break it! 

I hope Lydia enjoys many more tea parties for years to come.  I think pretend tea poured out of this into any sort of drinking receptical will taste far sweeter!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tis the Season

Here is what I've enjoyed a couple or three or four times during the past couple of weeks.  Wish I had time to go and get more to have for now and put in the freezer for later!

After a couple of servings of this two nights in a row, Mike asked me had I ever heard of Strawberry Shortcake.  When I pointed out that this might require an oven to bake the said cakes, he said, "You can get those little cakes at the grocery store, you know."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Lydia!

Today is your day!
From the first day, we recognized you were a special one...

Your smile is infectious...
You showed your curiosity early on...
Your sense of adventure and tenacity shines...
Sometimes it takes just holding your mouth right...
or a charming grin...
for you to make friends everywhere you go.
Creativity is something that is serious business to you...
so is the appreciation of beauty...
There is nowhere in your heart better than outdoors...
The sunshine couldn't shine brighter.
Your face reveals mischievous ideas...
and discovery...
and intrigue...
and pleasure...
and frustration...
and joy...
and unhappiness.
You are growing up too fast!
Showing your fashionista self
Shopping with a passion...
and styling with attitude.
We are grateful for you...
and appreciate how you brighten our days.
Happy Birthday sweet Lydia girl!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Looks Funny

Have you ever looked at something very ordinary and saw lots of humor in it?  I think I do this quite a LOT!  Does that mean I'm a 'noticer' or does it just mean I'm weird?  Don't answer that! 

One of the schools I support as a technology coach has this building being built adjacent to the campus.  It looks sort of like it is just across the parking lot and on school property.  The other day when I was walking across the parking lot, I noticed the progress of the building.  Then, I noticed something else.  So, I stopped and snapped a photo.

Doesn't it sort of look like those spindly little cranes on either side of this building are propping it up?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fun Summer Wreaths

I think I love every seasonal change!  Now, adjusting to the changing seasons... I'm not so good at that. 

It has turned pretty warm here and I have begun to get into that summer state of mind.  I rush home from work and shorts and T-shirts are my afternoon attire.  I NEED to be outside in the sunshine and puttering with some plants! 

After packing away the bunnies and colored-egg-wreaths which were hanging on the door, my back doors have seemed bare, naked, lost...  Yesterday morning after I went out to sweep the rug and was sweating from such simple exertion, I decided that it was time to break out some summer decor.

At the end of summer last year I saw all these brilliant colors and prints hanging on the wall of my local Dollar Mart.  It brought to mind the wreath which Rita at May Days had created and included a tutorial for HERE.  So, I scarfed up six pair to make one for myself this year.  I didn't have a straw wreath and decided to give the project a try without including that.  I debated about a ribbon to finish off the wreath.  I didn't have a wired ribbon that was bright and cheerful and summery and I feared the wired ribbon was necessary because I want to leave these up for most of the summer.  Then, I realized I already had the raffia left from some other project.  So, I gave that a twist.  What do you think?  Should I replace that with some colorful wired ribbon?  This project was super easy and my glue-gun and I took only a matter of minutes to craft these cheerful wreaths.  I got the flip-flops for $1 per pair.  So, I only have $6 invested and got two cute wreaths! 

(I just googled in search of the wreath tutorials because I had not been an avid Pinterest user at that point and I saw loads of different ideas for ways to use flip-flops.  So, if you are wanting to decorate cheaply inexpensively, with bright colors, and use cute ideas, I'd certainly suggest doing that.) 

Now I wish I had gotten more flip-flops last summer to have enough to make one for the other doors.  I wonder if my Dollar Mart has these again...