Showing posts from 2008

Happy Birthday Katie


Settling in for the first quiet night since the holiday. This season has been joyous, stressful and sad for us. Our family time is always a joy, albeit chaotic joy sometimes. The sadness and stress came as we moved Mom into an assisted living facility yesterday. I would be less than truthful if I didn't mention that there is also a good deal of relief associated with this action but still a lot of guilt and sadness. Rationally I know that we have her in a good place with the around the clock care that she needs but emotionally it still feels like abandonment.

rarfa and sally



Making lots of progress around the house today. We've cleaned and hung curtains and moved the furniture back in place. The new windows are lovely, at least from the inside. We can't move forward with the outside until after the holidays. Three of the windows were defective. The replacements will be here next week but the carpenters weren't available until after the first of the year. Then the balcony has to be installed off our master suite and then we can finally stucco. We will still have to have a driveway installed, trees removed, fencing installed and landscape. There's more being done inside but other than the kitchen it will be in an area that we aren't living in and we can close off the mess. Here's a partial list of our misadventures. Really.

This is long and boring so don't feel as if you have to read it all. I just want to record it. We really don't want to forget this experience. However if you are considering buying or remodeling an old hous…

Livi's first recital

So sad that I missed this great performance. Too cute!


Just had a surprising conversation about moving into an assisted living facility with Mom. Mom is 87 years old. She is very healthy and mobile physically but has no short term memory. She needs someone with her all the time now. She wants to go look at a facility next week and said we should all talk about it when we are together for Christmas. She asked how we would pay for it. She asked if it would be better for her to look at homes in Florida or go back to Alabama. She mentioned there was a nice place near her home. She was rational and thoughtful and she said she thought it was time. I wonder if she will remember this conversation tomorrow. Mom's illness is saddest to me when she has moments of clarity and I get a glimpse of the old Mom.

She has been here through the worst of the construction mess. We've had to move her out of her room twice now and will have to move her out again tomorrow. I know it's upsetting to her. She's really done pretty well though all this…

put the fire department on standby

I've started my Christmas baking

messed up

I have reached the threshold of my tolerance level again for living in construction !@#$. Cement dust everywhere. Holes in walls. Furniture piled up everywhere and now all my clothes are missing from my closet. I should check into a Holiday Inn Express. I need to feel better tomorrow.I should definitely check out of here. Has anyone seen a study, article,segment,Ophra show,etc.on what living in construction mess does to a woman's mind.

about those lights

Aly, mother of adorable Alyzabeth An, asked me about Livi's entanglement in Christmas lights (pictured below.) Livi was helping with the decorating and was getting tangled up in the lights so it seemed like a good idea just to decorate her too. She was happy about it and fascinated by the lights. She was only decorated for a minute and then she was off to the next great thing. Probably to find gum in her Mom's purse. She sneaks to do this and then comes into the room with her little checks puffed and smackingly announces that it's mmmm alicious. It's about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

yummy soup

Here's the recipe for the easy Thai soup that I've been enjoying lately. I discovered that if you use lite coconut milk it is a diet friendly choice too. It only takes a minute to make but seems luxurious. Maybe because it reminds me of our favorite Thai restaurant, Surin's, in Birmingham.

1 can of organic chicken broth
1 can of Hokan lite coconut milk
red curry paste
cooked and cubed chicken breast or shrimp

Heat the broth and coconut milk to boil, add curry paste and lemongrass to taste (about a tablespoon of curry is right for us, but it really depends on the paste, Padi Thai is my fav. Warning- lemongrass paste is stronger than you might imagine. I can't find real lemongrass so I use a paste that Publix carries. About 1/2 tablespoon is plenty.

nutrition info based on 1/2 cup
calories 75- plus whatever lean protein you add
fat 4g
carbs 4.5
sugar-no added sugar but 1 g from milk


You say you want a revolution in our classrooms?


So Inspiration's concept mapping software has an online version now in beta. I like this product! Wonder how it will be priced? Very easy to use and share.

Free Rice

Just read on Carl Fisch's blog that Free Rice has added other subjects. This post is for Abbie. Your Dad said you are working on memorizing your multiplication facts. Click on the more subjects button and you can practice your facts while helping others.Pretty cool if you ask me! You can also practice foreign languages, grammar, art, chemistry, biology, etc. Go check it out.

Livi Lights

photo by Katie

Snow Princess

Photo by Leaa

More family fun

From Christmas

501 posts

Just noticed that I've posted 500 times here. That seems like a lot for a little project that I was just playing around with to learn more about blogging.

We have enjoyed a wonderful holiday with family. I am filled (to the point of unexpectedly overflowing with tears of gratitude and thankfulness) with love for our family. Sharing pictures in an album below.
Thanksgiving Day

Thankful doesn't begin to describe it


baby cuteness



Livi, your Dad liked to swing on this swing too when he was little. How cool that we got to see both of you swinging on it today.

ichat topic - dental hygiene


Rails to Trails

Yea for a great idea that is actually being put into motion. Carl and I walked for an hour on this lovely trail today. It is right beside our house and is part of the Rails to Trails Project, although I can't find any details about this specific area on their website. It has been mowed and widened and cleaned up and they (?) have placed plywood over the old trestle to make that portion of the trail a little less scary. When we first bought this barn, thirty years ago, the train was still running. Let's just say this is a much better use of the land. We were use to the house shaking twice a day but it was pretty disturbing to some of our guests. We thought it was kind of funny and had been told that the train wouldn't be in service for much longer when we purchased the house. Much longer turned out to be about twelve years I think.


Good Luck, I mean break a leg, to all the musicians involved in Palatka Palooza today. Cool that you are using your talent to help others.


Cold Saturday morning in Florida. I love this weather! Hope it hangs around through the holidays. We're usually in t-shirts rather than sweaters this time of the year. We have drywall men in today repairing a ceiling upstairs that was damaged as a result of the demolition and they are finishing some of the stationary windows that are installed already. The roofers are here and will be able to complete most of that today I think. The new roof line threw that schedule off a little but I am more resolved about our delays than I was when we started this process. CC has done a great job of finding good people to do the work. I don't find myself wanting to cry as often. That's progress I guess. After seeing all the problems that are being addressed now I am glad that we are doing all this. This old barn needed a face lift and some structural shoring up. We knew we had termite damage on the porches so that wasn't a surprise, although it was surprising to see just how much the…

what do you think?





Window egress is important. Minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches. Who knew? Not the inspector who granted the permit evidently for all our windows that don't meet the code. Starting over now.

cutest penguin ever



Another week in paradise here. The demolition continues and now Carl has a front end loader. He is a menace. Pictures later. Got to go save a tree.
Cara is a river cleaning kind of girl. She's been in Apalachicola this weekend on a service trip.

Stella the Penguin

Stella with her Mom and Dad and Uncle Matt

CC AKA Demo Man


Welcome to our house

Carl is making lots of progress today. He has a helper, Roy, so they have been able to demolish both porches this weekend. Demolition makes me nervous.

my fear

I fear there are a lot more people of this mentality supporting McCain/Palin. I fear they will crawl out from under their rocks on election day and elect the wrong person for our country. I fear they cannot read. I fear that they have listened to the rhetoric being spun by crazies. They get their facts from email forwards and fear mongering stump speeches. It's not to late to do some homework. See or I could go on but I will be accused of being fanatical

I voted today. Obama in 08, please dear Lord.

paint da punkin


I can breathe again. All twelve labs are in place, as well as the projectors, cameras, and extra batteries. Meetings are scheduled and mentors arranged. Now what have I forgotten? I met one of my EETT teachers in Publix last night who said that she realizes now what she needs to be effective; a laptop for every student. Cool. I actually dealt with email and email accounts and the mundane today. I had over seven hundred messages in my inbox. eek. Can't believe I am that person. I use to roll my eyes at admins in our building who never cleaned out their inboxes.

Unedited Giggles

Pots playing with Livi while she was having a bedtime snack.

sharing family photos

Click on the album cover to see more photos

Stella Bella Ella Boo

This book is shocking!

fact checker

dinner at Matt's

From New Album 10/9/08 12:31 AM
Click on the cover to see the entire album

Stella Bella


the very hungry baby

On Monday Stella ate one book.

photo by Katie

Matt the mobile cart man!

Six down and six more to go. I thought we would be further along when I planned a trip for next week but OH WELL I am going anyways. Stella, Mimi is coming to see you soon.


New Album 10/4/08 5:59 PM
Click on the photo to see the entire album.

Walking by the river


Jesse and the General Lee

When Jesse was a little boy he liked the Dukes of Hazards TV Show a lot so when we saw this car today at a car show I thought he should pose. He humored me.


This is my niece Tess. She was asked to read the school's mission statement in front of her entire school, their superintendent, local state and federal representatives, and a U.S. Dept of Education official yesterday when her school was awarded the Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award.  Did I mention she is five? Isn't she adorable? She has an adorable sister too, who is also sharp as a tack. This picture appeared in their newspaper.

slowly but surely

One more lab in place. I feel like we are working so hard but can't get it done fast enough. Thank you Matt H. for working tirelessly.


Two labs placed in schools today. Ten more to go. We are stretched way too thin but it is such a joy to see these put into our classrooms. It's worth the effort.

Livi at the Park

Livi at the Park
Click on the cover to see the entire album


Yeah! Our labs are on schedule to be delivered next week. We ( mostly Matt) are imaging about 80 machines a day. We are delivering the image from the server but we're still having to use boot camp to partition the hard drive before adding the Windows image. It would have been so much easier to not include Windows on these. Next time maybe we won't have to.

Woe is me

Still no unified dual boot image for the Macbooks yet but we are closer. Tomorrow we go to Plan B. Say hello to my old friend firewire. Our new server uses a newer firewire called firewire 800. It's suppose to be a lot faster, however no one in Putnam carries them, and no one from Apple pointed out that we would need one. So I checked in Gainesville and St. Augustine. Nada. Had to order one on line with my own credit card and have it overnighted. ouch. It will be so worth it though if it will expedite this process. Once again, had I known I would have gladly scheduled Mac technical services to be delivered. I know this is a live and learn process that we are going through but a little more help from my Apple Sales peeps would have been really nice. They are nice guys but don't remember evidently, what it is like to deploy a new platform. My Windows IT friends are more than a little hacked.


Who knew these were available? The things I learn on twitter. My goodness. There's more.

running on empty

Not feeling the blog lately. I apologize to my seven faithful visitors. I am writing some on a private wiki that we are using for the EETT Grant but seem to have more of a twitter mentality these days. That's scary.

Today at work I posted a webcast for our new superintendent. He wants to do that often so I foresee a learning curve in my near future. We have a big fat new Mac server that will host podcasts, wikis, blogs and who knows what else. I can't wait to learn more about using it. Today I just put up a .mov file on our ftp server but I used Garage Band to save it for the web. It worked well. Nice compression, fast and simple. I'm sure there are better ways to do it but if I can accomplish something quickly with drag and drop simplicity, well why not? Now if we can just figure out how to deliver an image to the labs through the server I will be happy ( relieved, overjoyed, delirious, etc)
I want labs in schools starting next week.If nothing big crashes, requiring immedi…

Advisory Board Meeting

I'm sitting in a cold Hilton Conference room in St.Pete longing to be warmed by the sun on the bay.

Newsletter: Month 240

Dear Cara,
Today you are 240 months old. Holy crap. Can you believe it?!!!Luckily for me I never committed to writing the other 239 newsletters. I wonder if Heather will still be at it when Leta celebrates her 240th month. Anyway, I wanted you to know that we are proud of you and we love you. Happy Birthday.
Mom and Dad

Saturday reread

Just reread that last post. I was watching the Republican Convention and ranting. I do not dislike John and Cindy Lou. I think they are admirable people. Did her attire really cost 300,000.00? Yep she's got my value system for sure. I probably couldn't find that at Bealles though. However I can not believe that anyone would think that any of that was about the real world in which we live. And the entire spinning of Palin's image was rather nauseating. Go read about her beliefs. eek. Can you imagine this lady running our country.

Getting ready for a shower for Ford and Aly. They are going to China next week!!! We could not be more excited for them.

Fear Mongers

Need I say more? Well maybe a few more words. Greedy, oil thirsty, tasteless, fear mongering,head-in-the-sand,propagandists.

Let's see how many propaganda techniques we can find here boys and girls.
Assertion - check
Glittering Generalities- check
Name Calling - check
Plain Folks - check
Simplification (Stereotyping)- check
Testimonials- check
Pinpointing the Enemy-check
Band Wagoning - check

I'm a Mac

The conventions are reminding me of Apple Ads. Guess who the PCs are?

moving up

Many more Macbooks in town now. Twelve labs waiting to be locked and loaded. Yehaw!

durn google ads

I almost fell out of my seat tonight when I opened my blog and saw an ad linking to a site that was bashing my presidential candidate. I tried to follow the directions to remove all the ads, didn't work. Reverting to this template was the fastest fix but I've lost all my links. So much for my experiment with google ads. Just as well. Obama in 08.

Stella's Veggies

Katie shared these great pictures and captions of Stella's first veggies.

The Flip

Received 104 Flip video cameras to be distributed to EETT teachers this week. I was a little disappointed when we cracked one open to play. There was a huge software update needed. I knew the teachers were going to struggle with that on our network so I had to look for another option. That's when my brain finally started working again. duh. These are 100.00 cameras that create pretty good little AVI files. Period. You don't need their software. You can import into iMovie right off the camera. A restless night of worried troubleshooting for nothing. I talked with tech support too from Pure Digital and they confirmed that their software is great for uploading files to YouTube and Facebook, which are both blocked in our district. So we aren't getting the updates. Problem solved. Next problem. I should have ordered the rechargeable batteries at the same time as the cameras. Now I must do a budget amendment to order them because it's a different cost strip. eek. Who knew sp…

tweets and politics

The twitterverse is exploding with election news too.

I enjoyed this one from Hodgeman about the republician vp nominee. Hodgeman is the pc guy in the mac commercials.

"Palin will almost certainly woo away all of Hillary Clinton supporters who are pro-life and pro-gun.

... I forgot those Hillary voters who are creationist and want to drill in ANWR."

Signed Sealed and Delivered

Stevie is singing at Mile High Stadium.How cool is that.

Sally with Pink Baby


Fuzzy Wheezy Weather Channel

Carl and I make fun of the weather men and women who think they need to be in the eye of the storm to bring us coverage. So we decided to make a parody. Unfortunately we have no talent but we are very easy to entertain.

not to worry anyone

weather underground

It looks like this could be the next topic of conversation too. It is not named yet. Maybe it will just go away.

today's topic yet again.

Made this in photoshop today. I needed something for the district's page. I love photoshop but have a hard time finding time to explore and play. This isn't perfect by any means, the sides are not straight, but it was pretty fast and easy.

Go away Fay

Fay is unraveling evidently but doesn't she look ominous? Collier County has five feet of water standing in some places. Fay stalled and sat stationary on Cape Canaveral for four hours today. She is expected to pass over us tomorrow. No school. No music lessons. Probably no power but maybe she'll stay relatively calm and not uproot a lot of trees. But since she is not one to follow conventions, known to be highly unpredictable in fact, I think I'll keep my eye on her.Picture lifted from weather underground.

storm's coming

I like to watch computer models when hurricanes are heading our way.The models shared on Weather Underground started predicting the path of Fay before the forecasts were changed. I saw the first one at 8:00am yesterday and thought that would not be a good scenario for us and by noon another had join that path prediction. By 5:00 another and now they are all converging on the same path. I think we'll start a pool next time. Which computer model will nail it?

Our schools will be in session tomorrow so I started gathering up some things today since I won't have time for that tomorrow. Batteries, candles, etc. We have a generator this time. A week without power a few years ago provided the incentive for that purchase. If the path doesn't change they predict the power outages will be as bad as four years ago when Florida was hammered repeatedly. eek. That was not cool.We had friends who were without power for two weeks.

Other news - I actually got to order the Labs today!!! Eve…

Friday Night in the Sticks

Carl and I ate at Blue Water Bay in Melrose tonight. The food was delicious. I had a really fresh mixed greens salad with mango chutney dressing topped with blacken tuna. (Maggie says you don't care what I had for supper but I don't care so there.) It was a nice change of pace for us. Must remember to make time to do this more often.If you go there be sure to take time to look at all the local art on display. Good stuff. Note the well done oil painting of a beautiful antebellum home that looks like it surely sits on one of the moss-covered lanes leading to Lake Santa Fe. The jacked-up high, four wheel drive vehicle sitting on the curb confirms it.

This week at work has been action packed. We've got clearance to order the labs next week and the flip cameras should be on their way. I keep getting positive feedback from our participants who are anxious to implement what they've learned. Now to continue to build on this by providing the equipment and support that they nee…

There's a party going on

The long wait for Ford And Aly is almost over. They will get to see a picture of their precious daughter tomorrow. Our family is growing again. I can't wait to meet Alyzabeth An. We are so happy for you three.

flash ad

One of my MDE leaders shared this flash ad in a tweet. It's mesmerizing. No knowledge of German needed to enjoy.

Aforementioned cool buildng at UCF

just a little bit cute

Hope moving day has gone well for this cutie pie and her parents. It's never easy but as Mom would say ( repeatedly) one does what one must do now, doesn't one?

Day 3

I am sitting in the lobby of a lovely building on UCF's campus, waiting to collect signatures on district forms from our participants. Day three is always welcomed at these institutes. By then I think information overload is replaced by excitement and teachers are working on projects with a lot of enthusiasm.


I'm in Orlando with 78 teachers from our county. They are here for a Teaching and Learning Institute. My Master Digital Educator compadres are teaching. I'm doing Photoshop in an advanced track. This is the fun part. Except I miss Carl. I snore I mean sleep better with him near. Cara's with me and she says I don't have any problems snoring but I can tell there is a difference.

Livi art



I work with some awesome people. They all worked so hard today to get the new laptops finished. And they did it without the extra help we were counting on. And they were good natured while they did it. We're distributing MacBooks tomorrow. wahoo. That's a relief. Of course this is still a new process for us so I'm sure we'll run into some bumps along the way. Being the worrier that I am I keep waiting for the next thing to go wrong. That's a bad habit. Maybe everybody who works in technology has that same dread though. You know it's coming. But for tonight I want to revel in the good news. We did it! Philosophically speaking, if you are brave enough to try something new then you should expect a learning curve while keeping in mind that curves can be painful when navigated at high speeds. We want that on a plaque in the office now.

This cutie will be here for a visit soon


cuteness galore


Happy weekend

Running errands today and anticipating Cara's arrival this afternoon. Trying to stay out of the office until tomorrow. So this is it for me and computers today. I still have an unsettled feeling of dread that the imaging will not be done in time but I need to just let go of that and have some faith. We'll have plenty of help on Monday. Unfortunately I ran into problems replicating the procedure yesterday - hopefully because I was multitasking and in a hurry and not because we have lurking technical issues. Good news is that a server will be here for the next round of deployment. That will be several hundred machines for twelve learning labs. The folks at Apple have been apologetic and I appreciate that. I also appreciate the additional compensation. I am starting to feel all aglow again. kinda. Except for that reoccurring nightmare I am having about being strangled by a firewire.

I am bummed that I couldn't go to Destin for the weekend with my Alabama girlfriends. They al…


So the deployment of our 80 new MacBooks isn't going well. We are new to this platform and thought that we could use any ftp server to deliver the image that would be loaded on each machine. Nope. We need a Mac server which I would have certainly purchased had I known!!! Now we are going with a firewire from machine to machine and we may never finish and if we do it will only be because we'll be working many many extra hours. I'm frustrated. Can you tell? I was counting on people who had done this before for support and guidance. That was naive of me. I am not really all aglow about our new machines any more. We could have had Windows machines ghosted in a few hours. If I could drink I would.

Must go now and search for a way to boot to a target disk on a new machine without going through the set up. arrgh.
Our laptops arrived around 1:30 today. We're working on setting up the perfect machine to image. Got home at 7:30 and still haven't finished that process.

grant news

Eighty Mac Books have left California on their way to Florida. The count down begins. Will they arrive in a timely fashion? Can our team image eighty machines in time? Will our teachers check their email and do what needs to be done before Aug.4th? Will USF have to schlep eighty machines to Orlando? Stay tuned for a blow by blow account. That should really increase my readership. :)

on/off switch

To conclude the aforementioned medical saga: Sunday night I got up to take another percocet and had a jolt of pain so severe that I saw stars. As I straightened up, it was as if someone flipped a switch and the pain was gone completely. This was pre percocet, so it was not drug induced relief. At any rate, good riddance. I've felt fine since then so I have concluded that it must have been a kidney stone. Who needs stinking House. He's so rude anyway.


I'm home from teaching at a T&L Institute in Lake City. It was an interesting week. I am also home from a day in the emergency room. I am home and do not want to leave again. While I was in Lake City last week my back started hurting in a very specific spot, lower left side around my waist, or at least what would be my waist if I had one. The last time I had this pain (six or seven years ago) it was diagnosed as kidney stones or gravel actually. We never saw any stones but the pain made it difficult for me to stand up straight. Same thing this time and no visible stones again. After another CT Scan, chest x-ray, blood and urine test we still have no diagnoses. Where is House when you need him? We were there from 7:30 until 2:00. Poor Carl. I came home with a bottle of pain pills and slept all afternoon and night. Today the pain is better but not gone and I am not sure what to do next. I've got lots to do to keep me busy so guess I'll try not to think about it and drink…

Matt Matt is da Man

Our nephew, Matt, competed in the Ford Ironman, Coeur D'Alene last weekend. He raced for twelve hours, swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles. Good Lord. I cannot imagine enduring that. We are proud of you Matt. The thumbnail image belongs to these professional photographers that covered the event.


Ok, Google. I've got to say it. I will never receive my first check from you if you only put up ads about, I can't type it for fear of making it worse, if you only put up ads about a holiday that occurs in May to honor women who have nurtured others. As Liv would say, pease stop. Chank Chew.

Tasteless Tucan

Just so you will always remember and never forget that bad decor does not necessarily dictate a bad vacation. The beach was lovely, the beds clean and comfortable but somebody really needs to redecorate.I think we could have been happy in a shack as long as we were together. I miss my children and grandchildren.

Mo beach pictures

The three day challenge. I did it. Here are the rest of my pictures from the beach.
even mo beach
Click on the picture to see the entire album

Six Word Meme

Ford and Aly tagged me with a "six word story" meme. We've had a lot of fun with these at work and find ourselves counting our words frequently whenever we say something humorous, hoping to proclaim, "there's a six-word story for you!" Did you notice that was six words? Smith Mag has had themed six word stories and one of mine for Mother's Day was published. I think everybody's is published though, so I probably shouldn't be too proud. :) I used this blog for a workshop. I thought it would be a good way to get my students use to leaving comments. Maybe I should try the same exercise here since "NO ONE HARDLY EVER LEAVES COMMENTS". There you have it. That is my story, at least for today.

If you are willing, here are the rules: you need to describe your life in 6 words, link back to me, and then tag another 5 people. Leave them a comment to let them know they are tagged.

I am tagging Cara, Danielle, Karen Seddon, Karen Lee, and Katie.

Stella Faces


I sure do miss this face. Click on the picture to see the entire album.

Beach 08


Photos by Phyllis Redman. Click on the picture to see the entire album.

Our friend and excellent photographer, Phyllis Redman, came to take family pictures for us earlier this week. I have about 300 pictures to share...but I'll refrain. I'm still going through them trying to decide. Thanks Phyllis!

Wide awake

We are waiting for the arrival of Katie, Barrett, Cara and Stella and even though we are up long after our bedtime we are stoked and not even yawning. Well actually I just yawned as I typed that but it was the first one.

Livi is sleeping over tonight. She wasn't too happy about the sleeping part, which is unusual. She was happy to come home with me and all was well until about 9:00 when I started talking about going night night. Her response to that was an emphatic "NO night night". I finally had to put her down and let her cry it out but it broke my heart. She pulled out every trick in her arsenal. She called me by name in a pitiful voice, she called her Pops. She threw her toys out of the crib and screamed oh oh like it was an accident, she cried bo bo,bo bo ,she knew that would bring me running. She cried "eat eat" like she was really hungry. It was a tough few minutes. It's good she gave up when she did. I was about to cave.

I went to another county in …

Happy Father's Day


Traveling the Dirt Roads of Life

Carl and I took a walk this evening. I'm starting a dirt road photo collection. There's a lot to be said for dirt roads. We met a fearless bunny, got serenaded by thousands of frogs, crickets and maybe a gator or two. Click on the album cover to see more pictures.