Tuesday, June 28, 2011

first fruits

My dog eats zucchini. Devours might actually be a better word for it. We give her the ones that shrivel before they are big enough to pick. It's hilarious...

It's slice of life Tuesday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

summer song

Just wanted to share my favorite summer song...

I like the official video better than this live version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZjosn2u1gA), but Blake Shelton won't let me embed it, so you'll have to click on the link to see the music video.

p.s. we named the car Loretta. So I told Brad we have to call his truck Conway Twitty... although I have to admit that my knowledge of them is limited to this Blake Shelton song, a few songs on youtube, and a few wikipedia articles.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing 
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky:and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
-e.e. cummings

Thursday, June 23, 2011

jam session

My friend Sarah came over yesterday. We made strawberry jam.

Homemade strawberry jam is my favorite. At one point in my childhood I gave up eating jam/jelly because we ran out of homemade strawberry jam - for about three years. I'll now eat peach, too. :) And occasionally some others, when I'm feeling really grown up.

We only made 2 batches. I think last year I made 4. Or 5? I lost track. Either way, it's almost all gone, which is a pretty big accomplishment for two people. Well, we gave a bunch away. (Okay, so I've decided that homemade jam is the best Christmas present - everyone is amazed that you made it, even though it's not that hard, just hot and sticky.)

I might have to make some more... especially since it froze at weird times in KS this spring and there probably won't be peaches to go pick... :( So if you want to come make some jam with me, just let me know!

(I also just realized that I still have cherries in my freezer from last summer. Oops! I've got to keep better track of what's in that deep freeze. So I might have to turn those into jam during my "deep freezer clean out and defrost 2011" event that's coming up. Stay tuned to the blog for more details on that one!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

name game

I forgot to ask yesterday...

Do you name your vehicles? What do you name your car? Is it weird to name your car?

Just curious. Please answer. (I love comments.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

all grown up...

Long story short: today we bought a car. A nice, pretty new car.  I feel all grown up... It's the first car I've gotten to pick out (along with that comes the first car I'll have to pay off - oh well).

Long story... My 1999 Nissan Altima was on its last leg. We had it in the shop two weeks in a row, and the second week's bill was going to be more than it was worth (seriously, more than what we traded it in for). And, there was no guarantee that once we fixed those things it would be okay for a while. So we decided to look for a new (to us) car over the summer (while we borrowed Sarah's car, thankfully!). There were certain requirements - low mileage, reliable, pretty good mpg... it wasn't a very long list, but basically we wanted something reliable that would last us quite a while - even after it's paid off.

Sunday we were in Newton for lunch. We decided to stop at Conklin Cars to browse the lot (with no salespeople). And there it was... a 2009 Kia Optima with less than 10,000 miles on it. In our price range. Even better, when we got home and looked it up on the website we discovered it was on sale. The factory warranties (bumper-to-bumper and power train)  were both still in effect, too. So we went in today to drive it and ended up bringing it home.

And that's probably more than anyone wanted to know about our car-buying adventures - but you could've stopped after the picture...

It's slice of life Tuesday! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Reading Update!

Here's the update you've all been waiting for with bated breath, I'm sure (with my highly detailed assessments... ha! But really, if you want to know about a book just ask.)

Couldn't put it down
Nickel and Dimed by Ehrenreich (surprisingly, since it is nonfiction...)
The Rest of her Life by Moriarty  (thanks to sister Hannah for this suggestion - great book by a KS author)
The Stormchasers by Blum
Diamonds in the Shadow by Cooney
Shine by Myracle
All the Broken Pieces by Burg (WAW) 
The Great Death by Smelcer (WAW) 
Return to Sender by Alvarez (WAW)

Very good reads
Faith, Hope, & Ivy June by Naylor (WAW)
Anything But Typical by Baskin (WAW)
Operation Yes by Holmes (WAW)
My Name is Phillis Wheatley by Cooper (WAW)

Was okay
Phoenix Rising by Hesse
Confetti Girl by Lopez (WAW)

Should have abandoned it
Peace Like a River by Enger

Did abandon it
n/a... yet

Yet to read (in no particular order):
Sing You Home by Picoult
Double Eagle by Collard (WAW)
Heart of a Shepherd by Parry (WAW)
Wild Things by Carmichael (WAW)
Years of Dust by Marrin (WAW)
Notes from the Dog by Paulsen (WAW)
The Amaranth Enchantment by Berry (WAW)
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Philbrick (WAW)
Perfect Match by Picoult? (I'm not sure if I've read this one or not)
Everlost by Shusterman
1984 by Orwell
Uprising by Haddix
If I Stay by Forman
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Stewart
The Center of Everything by Moriarty 
a few more will probably still be added as I go!

*WAW = William Allen White award nominees for 2011-2012

Friday, June 17, 2011

happy birthday to you...

A while ago, I posted about a trip to JoAnn where I bought some fabric for a surprise quilt... (And it was a great trip because I spent enough to get a free shopping bag.)

But I couldn't tell you about it because someone who just turned 50 reads this blog and the quilt was for her birthday. My mother-in-law likes to think she knows everything that's going on. This time, though Barb didn't have a clue, even though after I pieced it Brad took it to Jeff to have someone in Lyndon machine quilt it - over a month ago.


(this picture shows the fabric colors the best because of the lighting)


 (the fabric doesn't really glow like this)

 (there, that's better)


(so far, anyway)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

finding stuff

{from here}
Copyright 2011 Bil Keane Inc. Dist. by King Features Syndicate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

what scraps can do...

I had a bad dream the other night. About school. And it's only June... (the dream, in case you want to know, was that it was 7:50 on the first day of school. 7:50 is when school starts in my "morning" building. but I was in my "afternoon" building. when I got to the right school, my principal and all my new students were standing at my door waiting. yikes. I had dreams like this throughout the year last year - at least monthly.)

Hopefully carrying this new school bag will help ease my stress next year.

Well, probably not, but a girl can dream (in a good way this time).

I've wanted/needed to make a new school bag (by school bag I mean the one I take to work) for a while. One of the straps broke on my old one last fall, and it's been safety-pinned ever since. It would've been easier to just fix that, but I needed something a little more bright and colorful, since I lug it from my car to school, from one school to the next, back to my car, into the house, out to the car to go back to school. My school bag and I, we spend a lot of quality time together.

I looked for patterns, but none of them were quite what I wanted, so I pulled out my lesson plan book (and everything else I haul around) and measured. Then I grabbed some scrap fabric and started cutting and sewing... basically, I made it up as I went. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out - I already want to make another (but I'm pretty much out of large, happy scraps. that must mean it's time to go shopping, right?!).

And now that I've shared that with you, it's time to get back to my homework. Ugh...

p.s. it's slice of life Tuesday. I'm finally back in!

Monday, June 6, 2011

day in the life

A day in my (summertime) life...

(I left out the pictures of cleaning and cooking... those aren't quite as much fun. This is not exactly all-inclusive but it's a pretty good break-down of my time.) 

2.5 miles of this with Jazzy (working up to 3.1... slowly, but surely. yep, I'm a running wimp now.)

waiting impatiently for lots of these while weeding! (we have 6 tomato plants... got a little carried away)

spending about 2.5 hours a day here... 

working on this (among other fun cataloging & classification/reference & user services things - seriously, I am enjoying my classes this summer)

chipping away at this fun list (not very quickly, I might add)

spending quality time with my summer reading list... and just hanging out, taking it easy, not doing too much that I don't feel like doing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


This is a pretty typical sight around here in the evenings - Brad & Jazzy, sitting on the deck, "listening." (Usually Jazz is the only one with the tongue sticking out, though. I hope.)