Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Neal!

What a year for Neal! He moved to the North Slope of Alaska, got married, acquired a huge dog, and is awaiting the birth of a baby! Now to top it off...he's hitting a milestone in the birthday department! Happy birthday Neal! I'm glad you are part of the family!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Absolutely Extremely Poor Taste Posting!!

The Thanksgiving holiday and impending Christmas season are lots of fun...if you are a kid. Unfortunately, being a "grown-up" means trying to make those holidays fun and memorable for the kiddos. Now that the kids are grown and going, going, gone from home, my role seems to be changing. I've gone from the "not to be questioned dictator" to more of a supporting role in party planning and social coordinator. I'm having trouble refining my style of motherhood... Of course, a Google search to find some motherhood role models led to mixed results. See for yourself!

It is this the mother I should morph into? Thrifty and concerned about serving wholesome and natural drinks to her children and their friends?

Nope, that IS NOT ME!

How about this mother? Youngish, trendy and self-assured?

No, but wouldn't that give Katie's male friends a chill if I tried that on them the next time they plunk down at my kitchen table!

Hopefully this isn't what they think of me!

Well, what do YOU think?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Taylors Falls Lighting Festival

The little angels!
Shepherdess Emily gets ready to lead the way.
The actual shepherds didn't wear a UW baseball cap...
Angel Grace
Katie with Ferg, the ever vigilant sheepdog.

How ironic is it that today, the biggest shopping day of the season, we are reminded of what Christmas is truly about...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas!!

Part of Nutcracker Land.
Back stairway. The red lights didn't show up very well.
The porch. The spiders were prolific this year!
Garland is up over the deck door and the lights actually work. Now to find a better way to plug them in show the cords don't show.
Bay window in the living room. There is an enormous heap of lighthouse stuff at the bottom of the picture. We're going to set up the lighthouse village tonight!

Counting My Blessings

Johnny Cash says it best, "When I Count My Blessings, I Thank God I Have YOU!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Science is my favorite subject! In 1997, I had the chance to spend a few weeks at NASA Langley. It was lucky for my future students because it made me a much better teacher.

I finished my application for an educator award being given in honor of one the the best advocates of science teaching ever. It was my honor to know Wendell Mohling and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I have a chance for this award. Time will tell.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For!

When I found my poor paralyzed and half dead Kramer in the garage, my only wish was that he would be pain free and become mobile again someday. I'm happy to say that he has made a spectacular recovery. Yes, he still limps and is content to take long naps. I've enjoyed having him back in the house and was happy to have him regain his status as full-time housecat...until tonight. Now, the reason Kramer lost his standing as Numero Uno Housecat is his little habit of spraying everything in sight. It seems to be a psychological issue that has something to do with me. He feels the need to spray everything that I touch. He sprayed many things, but when he sprayed the scrapbook that I was working on, WHILE I was working on it was the final straw, out he went. Now, several years later, he's back in the house and back to his old tricks. Tonight, while I was rushing around to head out for the evening, he walked out to the kitchen to see me, looked me right in the eye and totally drenched the closet door. Arghhhh...back to solitary confinement in the bathroom for our Kramer. Do they make Depends for geriatric old cats?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Guess Nobody Said Life Would Be Fair

As a mother and a teacher, the story of Zahra Baker has touched my heart.

This little girl's teacher noticed bruises and unusual injuries and notified the proper authorities. All people who work with children are mandated reporters, and we all walk the fine line of getting people angry for interfering in what they think is their right to discipline or not reporting and allowing the child to continue to be hurt.

Zahra, a cancer survivor was forced to use a prosthetic leg and hearing aids due to her illness. She survived cancer but couldn't survive her pathetic excuses for parents. She was reported missing by her parents October, 9. They reported that they had last seen in her bed at their home in Hickory.

After writing bogus ransom notes, they became suspects in her disapperance.

The mystery behind the death of the 10-year old, disabled Zahra Baker intensified after more remains was uncovered five miles away from where one of her bones was found. The new found bone, was discovered in some brush alongside Baker's prosthetic leg, in an area near where the family lived until mid-September. The Police had already established that she was killed, but the new find has deepened the mystery further.

"I've been dreading this moment from early on in the investigation," said Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins, who announced that investigators had successfully matched the bone with her DNA. "We have recovered enough physical evidence to think we have found Zahra."

I'd like to invite those weak and pathetic parents to go on a nature walk in northern Wisconsin next Saturday. I'll provide them nice warm brown fleece jackets with cute little white mittens to flash!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Increase Your Vocabulary

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter,and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit).

9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole..

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kramer Revisited

Well, old Kramer is on the mend. A few weeks of laying by the radiator and plenty of good meals and lots of love and he's back to his old ornery self.

Here we have Kramer spraying the flower bed right before I was going to clean out the dead plants. Yuck!

He's still got a bit of a gimp in his gait, but as you can see, HE IS BACK!

16 Hours Looking Out the Windshield

CarMa - This Ma sure does do some driving! This weekend's drive consisted of Emily and yours truly and a pickup truck with topper (instead of the usual minivan) heading to La Moille, Illinois to pick up a couple new sheep. Emily hasn't been interested in obtaining a DRIVERS LICENSE yet, so I had plenty of steering wheel time. Poor Em can't read, play with her iPod, or even spend much time looking at a map or she gets carsick. To help pass the time, she took pictures of interesting things along our journey. Here's a micro-version of our trip!

The beautiful rock formations along I-94. From...http://www.wisconline.com/wisconsin/geoprovinces/centralplain.html

If a traveler, on his way from eastern United States to the Pacific coast, be fortunate enough to cross central Wisconsin by daylight, he will pass through the village of Camp Douglas [western Juneau County] or the village of Merrillan [northern Jackson County]. For many miles nearby, he may see landscape features totally unlike those anywhere else in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The hills of the region near Camp Douglas are buttes and mesas. They have the straight lines, steep cliffs and sharp angles of an arid country rather than the soft curves of a humid region.

The features to be seen are (a) isolated, rocky hills which resemble ruined castles, (b) grotesque towers and crags of sandstone along a line of bold, irregular bluffs, and (c) an unusually flat plain which stretches away beyond the northern and eastern horizons. The bluffs and steep slopes on the west and south form the escarpment at the border of the Western Upland. The level country is the Central Plain of Wisconsin.

The irregular bluffs are part of an escarpment capped by resistant rock. The isolated castles and crags are outliers of the escarpment, left behind in its recession to the south and west under the attack of weather, wind and streams. The flat plain has been made by the wearing down of weak and nearly- horizontal sedimentary rocks, and by deposition of unconsolidated materials upon the surface.

Absence of glacial erosion and of direct glacial deposition make it possible for the rather fragile rock forms produced by weathering and wind work to persist and to dominate the landscape. These forms near Camp Douglas and Merrillan are not repeated westward until the Great Plains in the Dakotas and Montana, and even these are partly in glaciated territory.

The evergreen trees, clinging in precarious positions on the rocky buttes and mesas of the Camp Douglas Country, and the tamaracks on the swampy, level plain, are among the first forerunners of the northern forest. They furnish a notable contrast to the open prairies near the Great Lakes and to the deciduous trees of the East and South. The evergreen trees show definitely, however, that the region near Camp Douglas is not arid. The sandy soil makes the precipitation less effective because much of the rainfall sinks into the ground at once. Wind work is dominant, not because we are in arid lands but because we are in a sandy part of the Driftless Area. The smaller plants on the hills at Camp Douglas, and at other places in the Driftless Area, includes several types of dwarf cacti such as the prickly pear. The evergreens, suggesting the North, and the spiny plants, suggesting the West, mark this as a frontier region for the traveler.

Wind towers are EVERYWHERE!

Nuclear power too. This is the Byron Generating Station. http://www.exeloncorp.com/PowerPlants/byron/Pages/profile.aspx

Even hot air balloons were flying over our journey!

This cutie, along with her camera-shy friend provided plenty of "music" for us on the way home!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flew The Coop!

Michael Perry appeared at Milltown for a book reading the other night. I couldn't miss the opportunity to see a gen-you-wine real live author. He is the author of the bestselling memoirs Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Truck: A Love Story and Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting, as well as the essay collection Off Main Street. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health.

He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.

Raised on a small dairy farm right here in Wisconsin, Perry equates his writing career to cleaning calf pens – just keep shoveling, and eventually you’ve got a pile so big, someone will notice.

Watch the full episode. See more In Wisconsin.

The guy is hilarious! Check out this interview! http://sneezingcow.com/2010/10/09/behold-the-glowing-dome/

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Political Attack Ads

November 2! Get out and vote! Aren't you glad that the neverendingstreamofpoliticaljunkmail is OVER? No more constant bombardment of television commercials slamming the other guy while failing to tell us WHY to vote for their candidate. Wheww, glad it is OVER!

One more little ad for you to endure!