Showing posts from 2009

Christmas 2009


I feel the same way



I am having grand baby withdrawal. I will probably start trembling soon. I can't go visit tomorrow either because I have to attend a Christmas dinner at the nursing home. At least Cara is posting lots of beautiful pictures


Dec 10, 2009_2
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Welcome baby Dylan. Isn't she a doll? Love this photo by Cara.

book review - why I am lost so often

I look forward to commuting to work because of audio books. If it's a really good book I forget to pay attention to where I am going and end up...well where ever. I missed a turn and ended up in Ocala instead of Orlando one day. While listening to The Lacuna this week I realized that I had arrived at my old office building instead of my new one. Barbara Kingsolver, the author, is also reading this one. I was annoyed by this initially. Her accent is way southern and I just wasn't sure I could tolerate it for the duration.(This from a woman who says yall several times a day and who refers to herself as being kin to people.) I'm on the 14th CD and I don't even notice it anymore because Kingsolver is such a talented wordsmith. Carl, I think this book will be critically acclaimed. Every time I say critically acclaimed Carl snores loudly.

another culinary experience to blog about

Made pancakes yesterday. Is anyone reconsidering their Thanksgiving plans?

this week in Marsha's world

Carl just sat through a three hour church service while performing a service call on a PA that he sold and installed. He was prepared for the first hour but I am sure the other two came as a surprise. Bless his heart.

Happy anniversary to Jesse and Leaa. And many more....

Enjoyed attending a baby shower for Leaa and baby Dylan at South Beach Grill yesterday. Lovely ocean view, good food, good company and adorable baby gifts to celebrate a much anticipated event. What's not to love. Livi and AA and other little ones made it even better entertainment. Easiest event I've ever co-hosted. Thanks to Sharon!

Completed an on site audit of our Title II-D grant last week. Only positive comments shared so far. Mr.Proctor, FL DOE's Title II-D director, is always nice. As a first time project manager I feel like I have had to ask him some pretty dumb questions this year but he is always patient and kind. Our exit interview is on Monday. While driving to a school and discussing rural Flo…

new office

We are moving the Professional Development Lab here too. Currently my office is rather lonely but others should join me soon. I am thrilled to have this space. It's a Media Center on a campus that the district closed last year. Sad that we closed it but financially it was a smart thing to do. The rest of the campus is being converted into other offices. The warehouse, purchasing, grant writers and project managers are already on site and I have heard that adult ed classrooms will be on this campus eventually. The Media Center has a video production room and a large AV room that we will set up as a work room for computer repairs. We're getting seven new people to help with computer repairs. I can hardly believe it. Help at last!!!

Happy Halloween


virtual pumpkin carving

Technology guru and fellow MDE Lee Kolbert shared virtual pumpkin carving sites recently on Palm Breeze Cafe.

Fun stuff for the little ones. OK for me too. Here's an easy one to try shared at


I was looking at my plants on Saturday and noticed what appeared to be a stick in one of the window boxes. I didn't have my glasses on. Luckily I am not so near sighted that I actually picked the stick up but I was going there. Even though it is a harmless little snake I would have had a heart attack and died right then.

It's cold in Memphis - yeah!

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Playing for Change

A friend (who happens to be my boss) shared this video today. Passing it on. Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. More information about this project is shared here.

World's Ugliest Dog

I had a fender bender in August which was caused by the world's ugliest dog. I had stopped by the music store to pick Cara up and while backing out saw a little elderly lady wearing her house-robe, slippers and a pink turban walking this malformed little dog. It may have been a chihuahua but it was so overweight that it looked like a misshapened, overstuffed, deformed sausage with legs stuck on it. The turbaned lady was shuffling along, oblivious to her grotesque dog's predicament, dragging it behind her while it was trying to do it's business. I ask you, would this scene not distract you too? I backed right into the truck behind me, mesmerized by the scene unfolding before me. Smacked right in to it. Luckily I hit a trailer hitch and only damaged my car and not the other vehicle. It cost over 1000.00 to have my car repaired and my insurance has a 500.00 deductible. So when I saw that Animal Planet has a show called the World's Ugliest Dog, the wheels started turning.…

Chai Gators

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Carl's iphone came back on and is working more or less. It's resting in a bowl of rice now to promote a full recovery (good tip from sister) but amazingly it still works. The display has issues, water spots perhaps? It survived the heavy duty cycle too.
Oops, the list grows.
Carl's iphone went through the spin cycle. It came back on but not for long. Maybe we should have thrown it in the dryer? durn.

Posted Sunday, June 08, 2008
hard on cell phones
True stories. We've had them:
>Slide off the center console and dive head first into a coffee cooler.
>Fall out of the car and get run over
>Drop into a toilet
>Flip off the boat and sink in Lake Santa Fe
>Become misplaced in the Foam Zone during Disney's Grad Night

I hope this list doesn't grow.

Help your toddler overcome their fear of the dark. Strap a flashlight to their head. I think we could sell this along with our family recipe for anti-monster powder. Wonder if someone has purchased the domain name Odder online businesses have thrived. Like the lady who sells tumbleweeds.
btw - click on the picture to see the other pictures in this album


iPhones apps are great for teaching little ones and for saving your sanity when traveling with little ones who are not thrilled to be traveling. ( true for all age groups actually.) Check out the iKid blog. Their older posts had some great reviews too. New teaching materials are being downloaded to my phone as I type.

And look! kiddy lit on iphones!.

And did you know “iPhone moms,” which constitute women (with children) who own iPhones, currently make up 29.5% of all iPhone users." This is from the ikids twitter feed.

So while I am on this subject there's a ton of info on using phones in the classroom. Stumbled across this article today and it makes perfect sense. Yet we still ban cell phones in our schools. This will change but it will be interesting to see how long it takes. Our current system is so resistant to change. So I ask, how can we facilitate a more efficient model. Who do I need to talk to!

Playing around with scrapblog again

century plant?

I think this is a century plant in bloom but the stalk is thinner than other pictures that I find on line. Location: Flagler Beach.

Pictures from last weekend

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holy filth

Just cleaned out the frig. Found remains that were identifiable only by the writing on the plastic which proclaimed it to be a cauliflower. Didn't look like any cauliflower I had ever seen. I wonder how that got by my nose for so long? Grroooss

weekend of pain

Carl's horoscope for today: This is an accident prone day.

If only he had read this before he climbed up the ladder with his chain saw. He is still in one piece but won't be running any races this weekend.

Jesse D

One of my favorite shots from the weekend. Will post more soon.

G'ma humor

I sprung Mom from the Nursing Home this weekend. We attended church together today. During the service she nodded off and was listing so far to one side that I grew concerned she might topple over so I patted her shoulder. She awoke with a start and said "Interesting!" like she had been listening to every word. She said this loud enough for all to hear. They might have heard me giggling too.

geek humor

week in review

We had a great three day Teaching and Learning Institute in Putnam. Our two Florida Master Digital Educators, Kathy Hobbs and Nancy Kuznicki, who just happen to be Apple Distinguished Educators as well, did a super fantastic job. All the participants seemed excited about the integration strategies shared and about trying a new platform. I love that we were able to add more people to our base of digital educators this year. Yea! This is still less than 20% of our teachers though so we've just begun. Even if not all exposed embrace the importance of technology integration everybody learned new information. The wheels are turning.

This picture was taken at a little restaurant in Flagler Beach called The Golden Lion. They have great food and the company was excellent!

Joe's non notebook

student tries to interface with a "foreign technology."

Digital babies

Livi, you will be glad to know that Mimi and Pops are making progress. A few months ago Livi and I were watching a movie together on TV. During the first commercial interruption she looked at me and then at the TV, back to me and then the TV. Then she shook her head disbelievingly and patted my arm before saying "Get da 'mote Mimi". The look she gave me was priceless; incredulity, mixed with pity. She was already accustomed to DVRs and thought everybody would fast forward through commercials. She has also pointed out that she prefers video conferencing to regular telephones calls pointing to the laptop and saying "da udder one Mimi" when I tried to hand her the phone. Her expectations, assumptions and preferences are already shaping her use of technology. I'll be glad when you come back to visit Liv. Mimi may need some help with the new DVR remote.

Livi and Stella are definitely digital babies. Stella's favorite toys have always been cell phones and r…

naive me

For the last couple of weeks I have talked with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal no fewer than a dozen times. I had five calls from her one day this week. I've gathered info for her, exchanged emails and spoken at length about our EETT Grant Project, Florida's statewide training initiative and funding sources. I felt honored. Silly me. The article came out today. She didn't even mention my name although she did quote our superintendent (whom I hooked her up with yesterday) and she linked to one of our great student created projects. At least that much is good. It's not that I crave fame it's just that I expected so much more. I thought she was writing an article about project-based learning and the much needed change which is occurring ever so slowly in our schools. Nope. Her slant questioned the logic of having technology funding in these dire times. She ends the article with a little more information on the improvements in student achievement that are asso…

weekend yea!

Hamburgers on the grill. Grandma bathed. Franny and Nollie walked. Internet working. Life is good.

we are not resting

This is a picture of Stella painting at Mimi's. She liked it as much as Livi does I think.

Carl and I have been cleaning out the garage today. Good heavens. How did we let it get this bad? We have thrown away a ton of crap, loaded up the van with stuff we are giving to the humane society's thrift shop and we still have more than we can store. We have been in the process of thinning the junk all year as we remodeled - or so I thought. Now I think we have just been moving it to the garage. Part of the remodel includes a new driveway and entrance that will let us actually use the garage as a garage instead of a junk storage facility. This is progress but it is painfully slow. I think Carl is still struggling with issues over parting with some music store memorabilia (like every sound track ever recorded in the studio for the last thirty years and every guitar player magazine he's ever bought and every catalog he's ever received, etc).

I'm going to the panhandle to tea…

Summer 09 vacation

We've had some bad vacations. If you know us or have followed this blog you know our theory. We angered the vacation gods years ago and they have been punishing us since. But incredibly we keep going back for more year after year because we so crave our family time. Like the Griswolds we pack up a ridiculous amount of "stuff" including Grandma and set out with high hopes. Additionally we never learn from our mistakes and keep renting condos sight unseen, or lake houses with water moccasins living in them or even worse - moldy smelling mattresses. We've vacationed through severe weather of every kind including a tornado and hurricane. We've become ill, experienced plumbing disasters,power outages, etc. You get the picture. You probably do not want to vacation near us. We are home from a week at the beach. Adorable granddaughter Stella got sick, ran a high fever and broke out in a rash. She saw the doctor twice because her fever wouldn't go away. She went home …

a state of geek

I got to hear Hall Davidson speak (teach) today in Flagler County. I always learn new things from him. He showed some Google Lit Trips and demonstrated how to embed photos and videos on Google Earth. He did some other neat tricks with green screens in Photobooth and iMovie. What's not to love, right? Afterward I overheard a teacher complaining that she certainly didn't get anything out of that! Huh? Well why not I wanted to ask, but it soon became apparent. She was infected with the whiny attitude that I see so often. Instead of getting excited about the possibilities they fear that they will have to learn something new or maybe they fear that they can't learn anything new. I fight that mindset a lot. Embrace it people. Find your geek. Get your geek on. Geek out. I swear you will like it if you can let go of the fear.

Father's Day 09

Love you CC! Happy Father's Day
From lake609 Album

Happy Birthday to me and my sister Carol

Today has been a nice day. I was honored with our traditional office birthday breakfast. I work with nice people and it was good just to take a few minutes out to converse for a change. We are always so busy that it is hard to find minutes to just be human. Next I sat down to open my mail. I started with the inner office envelopes and was surprised to see a stack of student papers in one with a note attached that said please send to Mrs.Cruce. I am not sure who sent it but evidently one of our High School EETT teachers had asked her students to write a brief essay on what they thought about using the new Mac Labs this year. It sort of made my day. Many were very thoughtful and shared great reasons why all teachers should integrate technology into their instruction but the one that stands out was one that I have smiled about all day. The student wrote "That Mac lab has done grabbed ahold of my attention and made school fun." And there you have it. Authentic engagement in Putn…


Nice end to the day


Livi is growing up so fast

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Radon emitting counter tops


not yet but closer

Cabinet makers are due back in on Thursday to finish with trim and hardware. yea. One more thing to check off the list. I finally got to play in the dirt this weekend, which I find very therapeutic, so now I can start my crazy week with a more zen-like outlook. Maybe it will last an hour or two.

grant update

Up late reading lesson plans submitted by the teachers who have participated in our EETT grant. I am so proud! I sort of feel like I have given birth. The gestation period was about the same - nine months. The labor pains were excruciating and debilitating at times but the effort worthwhile. They have exceeded my expectations and I had high expectations. Some of these teachers were so intimidated by technology that they had never used it in instruction. And some of those same teachers are the ones that are just blowing me away with their enthusiasm for integrating technology now. yea! We have users at all different skill levels in this group of eighty but I think the ones who have benefited the most were those who were most intimidated. One commented that she realizes now that it is good for her students to see her troubleshoot technical problems because she can model appropriate behavior for dealing with frustration :) I think that is progress?




I haven't visited my blog lately. I've been running around as crazy as a sprayed roach, trying to get things done to wrap up our EETT grant and the school year. I mumble a lot to myself these days - things like, "Must keep positive attitude" and "I know I said that and followed up with an email to make sure I communicated clearly, so why is this person asking me this again?" mumble mumble and "Are they serious? Do they expect me to do that too?" mumble mumble. So it's probably best that I don't blog right now because no one likes to hear somebody mumble. So I'm sharing an interesting website or two in lieu of my witless repartee.
This is Mike Wesch's video/lecture on the idea of Media Ecology and Cultural Anthropology.

And here's one that I have used recently in classes from TED.

Mo Memphis pictures

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Stella at Rendezvous Ribs

Rendezous Ribs

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Happy Birthday Liv!


Missing this baby

And her Mama and Daddy too.

Easter Gathering

From easter_09

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yard art

This dumpster has been in our yard since October. It's been emptied once and refilled. I've grown attached to it so have decided to add a garden gnome and keep it as yard art. Would you look at the size of that thing! We could put an entire garden in there or make compost for the whole community or hide stolen cars or grow illegal substances or fill it with water and have a pool. Carl wants a pool. But of course he doesn't want an above ground pool so I'm good with digging a hole and sinking this puppy. And we could do it in one weekend; not over the course of several years.

This is our family portrait taken at Thanksgiving. The dumpster makes a lovely backdrop for photo shoots too, don't ya think? Very novel.

chocolate covered bacon anyone?

Cara emailed me this picture today. I like bacon, I love chocolate but together ?

Livi and Cara were here

From March 28,2009

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new camera is here

today's six word story

exercised hard, collapsed into a heap

done deal

I am not in the mood to make decisions but I finally have. It was beginning to remind me of my angst over tan so I chastised myself for being so wimpy and I ordered a Canon PowerShot SD990 IS Compact ELPH. yahoo.can't wait.


Need to buy a new camera. Can't decide if I want to invest in something wonderful or just upgrade to another good quality point and shoot.

Saturday doings

Home from the fair. Eleven student bands from Carl's music instruction program performed there today. They did great. Three instructors and two other employees were in charge of setting up and breaking down and running sound. Carl showed up, played with his groups and left. I think it was a dream of his to be able to do that. :) No investment of sweat equity in this show. I think we are both ready to do something different with our lives but then I think of all the people who are playing music that might not be playing music if Carl had not been Carl for the last thirty years. Got to go do bookwork. I have a dream more bookwork.

Barbara McBride-Smith

If you live anywhere around Clay County in Florida you need to go hear Barbara McBride-Smith tomorrow at Keystone United Methodist Church. She will be speaking and sharing stories at the morning services tomorrow. As it turns out, she is a friend of a member of that church and she has been visiting this weekend and sharing her wonderful art form. She is a professional storyteller, a teacher, a school librarian, a theological seminary instructor, a traveling storyteller, and a writer. I have spent four hours with her today, two in a workshop and two listening to her tell stories and it has been blissful. She is a gifted performer and her insights were beautiful and relevant. She has received the John Henry Faulk Award for outstanding contributions to the art and folkway of storytelling. She has been inducted into the National Storytelling Association's Circle of Excellence. Go listen!!! You won't be disappointed and what an opportunity for us that live in this rural, OK podunk,…

more on the sorry state of affairs

Our local newspaper is often lame, as I may have mentioned before. Check out their site if you doubt that I am telling the truth. They don't share much content there so you really don't get the full effect but you will definitely get the idea. Not good. However, since we're a small town, and since they employee some nice local people that I like and respect, I try to stifle my criticism. Admittedly I am not always successful but today I lost all reason when I read the editor's column. It recapped all the criticism that they have published regarding our superintendent, who, by the way, is doing his best to prepare our schools and community for what we will face unless our state law makers increase funding for education. It was the same slant I've been reading since before the election. The entire tone was critical. He even blamed the superintendent for setting up our students to do poorly on the FCAT. Hello? Does he read other papers? Does he not understand that o…

cara is home

postage stamps by Cara.

the sorry state of affairs in education in Florida

I attended a three hour school board meeting today. The meeting was moved to a larger venue to accommodate the expected crowd. The room wasn't large enough. The aisles were packed and people stood against the walls. Our district, like every other school district in Florida, is faced with horrific decisions. Emotional students, teachers and parents spoke about the importance of educating our children. Nobody wants to reduce services to our students, except our state representatives evidently. I am ashamed that Florida is ranked fiftieth in the nation when it comes to education funding . What are our representatives thinking? I am proud of our district leadership team. They are taking the steps, as painful as they are, to prepare us for the reality of our budget. They are trimming away at years of unquestioned practices and the resulting waste and inefficiency, which needed to be done with or without a budget crisis. I applaud their hard work. Angry, often uninformed people, ar…

Snow in Memphis

It's snowing in Memphis. I wish I was there too. It's suppose to rain here. It just isn't as exciting. Katie shared this picture from her iphone. I lost my iPhone on Friday. I spent the day belittling and berating myself for being so forgetful. I had taken Nollie to the vet and had it in my hand when I crawled in the backseat to lift her fifty-seven pound carcass out of the floorboard. She was trying to hide under the seat. Only her nose fits but she was doing her best not to be seen. During this graceful ballet a truck pulled up beside me and two large rambunctious shepherds emerged, owner in tow. Nollie is now glued to the floorboard, not budging. We made it inside the building eventually and I hurried to work. Once there I realized I had no iphone. Searched my car, purse,and computer case, twice, called the vet, backtracked my route, all the while cursing my stupidity. I was sure I had put it on the roof of the car during the commotion. It was going directly to voice ma…

ta daa- sort of

Roof, Windows and Stucco done. Landscaping, patio, balcony, pergola, driveway and fencing, pending. Three more rooms inside pending but I like it. I've never liked our house, it didn't have nice lines, so this is big. Now I can't wait to get the rest of it finished. We're waiting on shutters and a new front door. Two mo weeks.

Happy Birthday Jesse

How is it possible that 27 years have passed so quickly? Seems like only yesterday that you were toddling around here stealing hearts where ever you went. Well actually you still do that. We love you and wish you peace and happiness.

Happy Birthday Stella!

Happy Birthday Stella 2/14/09 10:19 PM
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that explains it

While watching the dog show tonight I saw a dog that looked a lot like our Nollie. It was a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Nollie was a pound puppy so we've always guessed she was some type of mixed retriever. The announcer mentioned the dog was bred to retrieve water fowl and that they get very excited upon seeing ducks. They love water and like to retrieve. I think this explains why Nollie will stand at the base of a tall dead pine tree in our yard and bark endlessly at a flock of buzzards that like to roost there. ( buzzards - ducks - whatever) And it explains why she has to have a kid's swimming pool for a water bowl because she splashes all her water out of whatever container you put down for her.
The picture above is from the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club site. I swear I have one of Noles holding her rubber chicken that looks identical. Rubber chicken - duck - whatever. BTW the breed is genetically prone to hip dysplasia. Who knew we had a show dawg.

first coat

Our house no longer looks like a patchwork quilt conglomeration of missed-matched construction. Now it looks like a big gray blob. It will have to dry completely before they apply the second coat containing the paint. But it's progress! Best guess if the weather cooperates- a week or two.



The party was at Mimi's house


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We are on it

Keeping criminal activity to a minimum.


Why do I have a feeling that it is about to rain for forty days and forty nights.

too much cuteness

stole this picture off Facebook.I have been ignored in the family picture sharing circle so I have resorted to stealing again. You kids drove me to it.

would like to go back to bed

So much to do and I am so unmotivated. I have to get the payroll stuff to the accountant for 1099s and w-2's tomorrow, get a handle on the year end inventory and start preparing the information for the corporate tax return. I hate waiting until the last minute on that one and then not having time to really look at what the return is reporting. We've done that for several years so this year I intend to get it done in early Feb. Must first run into town and see Mom, pick up some things we need for repairs and then get the checkbook updated in Quicken. They start on the stucco tommorrow so I've got to make some paint choices too. I serendipitously ran into a kind professional painter at Sherwin Williams yesterday who helped me with some of my choices. I've been agonizing over paint chips for months. I'm off to the races.


Budget Doom and Gloom are the topics of the day at FETC this year but lots of good information is being shared too. I am listening to an ICT Discussion Panel on the online eighth grade assessment tool that FL DOE has developed. Two schools have piloted this in our district. I need to move us forward and get all eighth graders on it.

I've taken a Captivate workshop that was good and sat through a review of the new iWork 09. Gonna have to upgrade, very cool new features, sat through a looong but informative FCITL meeting yesterday and caught Hall Davidson from Discovery today. He shared video on the fly, gizmo and cool iris and some neat little green screen app that I didn't write down. I'll have to tweet to get that info. Interesting room during during Hall's presentation- Laptops in everyone's lap, watching a live ustream video of the presentation or tweeting about what was being said.

The keynote is this afternoon with Philippe Cousteau and then a vendor dinner to…


I cried today watching the 44th president being sworn into office. I noticed that about a million other people were as well. Such a cool day! Peace and hope and unity for all-good themes for our nation. Bless our new Prez.

weekend work

We're working on putting the house back together again. All the drywall and painting is complete inside. Now to restore order. As g'ma would say - whoosh

so much personality