Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Tomorrow is the first of August!  I will have to start counting my remaining vacation in days not weeks.  I still have a couple of unread professional books and many I’ve bought ahead on my Kindle.
My month still includes; my birthday, a weekend camping trip, a visit from our son and daughter in law and two grand kids, a wedding and a recently planned wedding shower.  And classroom prep.  Oh the classroom prep!
At home I still have to clean my closet, write last year’s Christmas cards and lose 10 pounds.   
Four weeks is a long time, there’s lots of relaxing, reading and readiness for the new school year.  But first, I need to go stand in line at the DMV.  I may need a month to recover.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Thing Leads to Three Others

     In early June my husband and I finally agreed on the purchase of the new furniture we’ve needed for several years.  We’ve waited to purchase it as we’ve paid for tuition, part of a wedding, a couple of wonderful trips, and my student loans.  The pieces needed to be ordered and we were promised an early August delivery.  We’d have plenty of time to paint before the new stuff arrived.
Our daughter, a recent college grad asked us to keep the current furniture for her first apartment, the one she’s getting in the future.  We agreed and discussed putting the current worn set in our unfinished basement.  Of course we’d need to clean the unfinished basement, but we’ve talked about doing that for years and I have the summer off, so it would be a perfect project.
     July 5 we got the glorious call that the items were now available to deliver!  4 weeks early.    The basement was still untouched, so much for that summer project.  We had plans and a heat wave the days after the fourth of July, but I spent several hours sorting boxes of items retiring teachers had given me. I looked through units, resources and files, many files.  I also sorted the things I’d saved from my time as a Library Media Specialist, and from the year I taught 3rd grade, and…. it looked like teacher’s supply store.   I created piles of items for Goodwill, things for my classroom, stacks of materials to offer to the new 4th grade teacher and the big boxes of things for the paper recycling station.  I created even larger bags of things I could no longer anyone wanting to use in a current classroom.   My husband spent two of his vacation days in the basement with me as we sorted and tossed. 
     Finally the evening before the delivery date arrived.  The lower level was vastly improved.  A long suffering friend was willing to help move the overstuffed couch and loveseat down the stairs.  Rather than try to negotiate the curve to the stairs the guys planned to take the couch and loveseat out the sliding French doors and around the house to the garage.   The stairs would be straight ahead and no turn necessary.  But the door was too small.  We’ve remodeled and replaced our original sliding door with different doors, smaller doors since our original furniture purchase.  After measuring and re-measuring all doors and a telephone consult with my brother in law we learned we’d have to take the door off the track.  I swallowed my frustration as I saw a crow bar moving toward my freshly painted door trim.
     The door was taken off its track, and with some muscle and determination the old furniture was out of the house.  Our plans have changed.  The furniture will be saved for our daughter, but they will not being going down our narrow stairs to the freshly cleaned basement.  They will await the future first apartment at Grandma’s house, the one with the large access doors.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Well THAT Didn't Work Out the Way I Expected

     Today is the 4th of July.  Most years we have the moms over for a meal and a little baseball.  My mother had made plans with a friend, What's up with that?  And Wayne's mom had been invited out.  Anticipating another day of hot weather I decided,  yesterday to use my oven while I was away shopping all day.  I baked an old fashioned picnic ham and planned to serve it cold with salads.  And watermelon.  Can't have the 4th without watermelon.  I usually don't find myself that organized but this heat forced me into action!
     Somewhere along the day's plans changed.  Since Midge, Wayne's mom doesn't have air conditioning in her farmhouse, and we were worried about the toll the heat may be taking on her 88 year old body we re-invited her to join us. She accepted, and  Wayne's sister and her husband would also join us for a potluck style meal. 
     I actually put down my iced tea and Kindle to tidy the house and proudly realized I didn't have to cook, or even leave the air conditioned house to grill.  My sister in law arrived late afternoon. She arrived with a cake , and a casserole to put in the oven.  350, One hour. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


      A summer's start for the growing season for corn in our farming community was always measured by the expectation that the corn should be "knee high by the 4th of July."  If a season was wet and rainy the corn might not be in (planted) until late and the corn might be short.  The farmers all hoped the crop would have a good growing start to withstand the heat and drought of late July and August.  Today as I drove home I found myself looking carefully at the various fields of corn.   Most farms, even though we've had  little rain, had knee high corn.
      Looking at those corn fields  I  remembered  the fun my sisters and I had playing hide and seek in the corn fields.  We knew we had to be careful as we played.  Those tall green stalks held ears of corn, food for the cows and pigs and revenue for the family.  We understood corn was a commodity we were expected to treat carefully. No broken stalks or ruined ears of corn in our family fields.   We were allowed to play in the shade of the corn that would be as tall as a man in mid August.  The lush fields provided a perfect place to play and the possibilities for great hiding places were endless.
    Corn is planted in rows.  Our dad told us if we ever got lost in the corn fields to not wander around in the field but instead we were to follow the corn to the end of the field.  We knew the straight long rows would lead us either to the barn, or to the fence row.  If we came to the fence row we were to walk until we came to the gravel road.   On the road we could walk until we came home or to a neighboring farm.
     I don't remember any of us ever getting lost.  But every time we played it added an measure of danger to our summer fun.