Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The northeast has been pounded by rain the past few days. This was in front of our house after one of the storms but was really nothing compared to other areas.

This is Beebalm but I call it the fireworks flower, I think it sort of looks like one. Speaking of fireworks, I love them. I especially like to be almost underneath them laying in the grass. I also clap for the really good ones. I have no idea why, its not like the firework "shooter offers" can hear me. Pretty stupid. If I play my cards right I can see fireworks 3 or 4 nights in a row around the different towns but dislike the traffic involved more than I like the show so just one display will be it for me. Although I did see some last weekend down at the lake.

Now that I am foot loose and fancy free with no school I like to sit out in the swing and wait for the hummingbird. He/she loves these flowers.

Won't you be glad when I photographed every flower I have? Sorry, I can't help it, they are good for the soul.

The recent rains have really wreaked havoc with my garden but the daisies take a licking and keep on ticking. They're a very strong flower and hold up well to hard rain and hot sun. And to quote from a movie "they're such a happy flower"
Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I hope their lives were ended before they mated. Why is it in nature the female is usually the bigger and uglier of the species? Now, yes, I understand that the world needs spiders and insects. I once read an interesting novel called "Dust". This told a story about what happened when the world's insect population died off. It wasn't pretty. I guess I will put up with bugs, just not in my house. I'm not one of those kind and gentle souls that catch and release them outdoors. Nope, if it is where it shouldn't be, crunch!
As I mentioned to John, Sean put in a new front lawn and I am in charge of turning off the underground sprinklers. The only thing is that the shut off is in the crawlspace of our basement. I can only imagine what is lurking in the darkness. We have these black spiders down there that we don't see often, that we call "Fuglies" Figure it out, it is a combination of two words. When I see a fugly I call Sean. He knows what I want just from the tone of my voice. He comes down and gets the fugly stick (an old golf club) and uses the business end of it on the spider. Last night I go down to do laundry (a never ending job) and low and behold; a new kind of fugly that I've not seen before. I don't know where these creatures come from. For the most part our basement is partically finished and bright. If this is what is out in the open, imagine what must be in the crawlspace. No, on second thought, don't imagine it. You will be as freaked out as I am. Back to the story. Sean isn't around so I ask my 16 year old if he would kill this thing. He comes down with a kleenex. I tell him you need a hell of a lot more than that, get a shoe. I can't find the fugly stick. So down he comes again with one of my flip flops. Ugh. I ask him, "is that the best you could get? Your brother has size 13 feet, go get one of his sneakers!" Long story short, he's my hero, he slayed the spider. So on that note, here are some beautiful garden pictures to get the spider out of your head.

This climbing vine is called Mandevilla. It's really beautiful
and usually does well for me. Right now it seems to be dropping

the buds. I will have to do some research to find out the problem.

A bumble bee on our Spirea. Sean hates bees and wasps. I don't like any insects but they seem to love me. What it is they love, I don't know but they love to bite me. There can be 6 people together and only one will get biten by something. It will be me. Then it swells up and hurts for hours. Last week on the playground I got stung on my wrist by a bee, it swelled and then was stiff for a few days. Better me than one of the kids I guess. One morning I step out the door to walk to school and an orange ladybug (the only bug that I used to let crawl on me) lands on my hand. I thought to myself, this is my lucky day. I'm walking and watching it when suddenly, ouch! The damn thing bit me! Who knew they would bite. So I had a red, sore, swollen hand for the day. I researched it and yes, these bugs do bite and they are not your friendly ladybug that we know and love. This is some sort of beetle from Asia that has immigrated here and is taking over the population of ladybugs. Think of when the last time you saw a red one. Long time I bet.

This is Verbeena. I picked out purple and red to plant together.
I have a tendancy to choose colors that clash to plant in my
garden. I think they compliment each other nicely.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hip Hip Hooray

If you could be in my head today there are several songs you would be hearing. Beethovin's "Ode to Joy" would be one, Celebration by Kool and the Gang and Schools Out, an old Alice Cooper song would be the others. If you haven't guessed it I work in education and today was our last day of school. For me it's always bittersweet. The kids are ready to leave and I'm ready to see them out the door. What makes it sad is that we're sending these kids off to bigger things, middle school. Although they aren't seniors in the strictest sense, they were the top dogs in elementary school and are now moving on to a new stage in their lives. I won't see them around next year. I can only hope that the blood, sweat and tears that went into this school year will have prepared them for sixth grade. One thing I won't miss is hearing my name 100 times a day. I won't miss the crazy parents. I won't miss the student that doesn't even try to learn and distracts anyone who sits near them. I won't miss the student that bullies everyone then wonders why no one likes him. I won't miss the student that thinks that school is something he has to come to only when he feels like it. I must tell you that we spend more time than ever teaching kids manners, respect, empathy etc. More and more we seem to be doing the job that should be done at home by their parents. It is hard to teach academics in 6 hours plus find time to teach morals. Parents, the best thing that you can do is to teach your child to be respectful to adults and peers, teach them that the world does not revolve around them. Children need to learn how to handle disappointment. Teach them that not everything goes their way. Teach them to take responsibility for their actions. I don't need a dozen excuses as to why they didn't do their homework or why someone else made them do something.
What I will miss is the smiles I see everyday from the kids who want to learn, that try their best. I love when you can see it in their face when they finally "get it". That expression, "like a light bulb goes on over their head" is so true. They look so proud of themselves, even surprised at themselves. That is priceless, worth all the other shit that goes down. To have a child come to you and ask if they can give up their recess time on the playground if you will work with them on something they are having trouble with. I will miss the students that are good role models and lead by example. The student that greets you each morning with a cheery hello and says thank you when they leave at night. The student that takes a risk, doing something outside of their comfort zone. I will miss the autistic child that finally asks a peer to hang out with him and even my scary Russian student I will miss. Then I remember that I will have a whole new crew of them in 75 days. I love my job.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Out and About

Hello again. I did a post already today but after being out running errands today I had to do another. So we are driving down to Home Depot and see this car in front of us. I enjoy reading other people's bumper sticker. They can be pretty funny or serious but I think if you put one on your car it you should more or less believe it or practice it. Click on the picture below to enlarge to read her sticker. It says, "Park your phonebooth and try driving your car"
I can agree with that one. So many people are chatting away while driving, how can they be devoting their attention to other cars and people on the road? In my state you can be ticketed for doing both at the same time. Now look at the lower picture and check out the driver.
WTF! She's on the phone!

Anyway, so much for that. I will say that I hate bumper stickers that are mean, disrespectful or down right nasty to people. For example, several weeks back while on a weekend trip we saw a B.S. on a pick up truck that said, "Aids Cures Fags" It actually made me gasp when I saw it. Had the owner been there I don't know if I could have kept my mouth shut. I am not gay nor am I homophobic. What I am is non-judgmental. Black, white, yellow, straight, gay, American, French, Puerto Rican, what ever color, ethnicity, religion, nationality, we all belong to one race, the Human Race. The world could be a free, peaceful place if we could all accept each other for what we are and not force our wants and beliefs on each other. Now, gman, I know we have had this discussion (debate) before and I understand how you can say that it would never happen. There will always be wars. Civilizations will always try to take other's land or want to impose their religion on others. There will always be nut case extreamists to terrorize the world but if people would just accecpt that we all don't have to agree on who's religion is the best or be happy with the land we have or keep out of others business, the world would be a better place. Every nation needs to take care of their own first, mine included. I'm all for lending a hand to others in need, to poor nations that due to location can't grow crops or may be oppressed by another or experience a natural disaster. I would just like to see some of that seemingly endless supply of money spent here, in the good old U.S.A. more often. And on that note; shame on those in the areas that were devistated by Katrina for using the money given to them to survive to buy plasma tvs and trips etc. Wow, all of this from a bumper sticker. Sometimes my thoughts start running and this is what happens!

Spring in the backyard

I love this time of year. It's not too hot yet, the Earth is warming up again after a long, cold winter at least in my neck of the woods. Rebirth is everywhere from trees leafing out, flowers and plants blossoming and new birds to wake you at 5:00 am. We have a big fern garden in the backyard that slowly unferls each spring.

This arbor and trumpet vine is home to 2 robin nests. When I sit outside the female robins get very nervous. They squawk at me, telling me to stay away from their nests. I understand that they are just another kind of mother protecting their babies, if only they knew I won't hurt them, I just want to enjoy the sunshine. Now my dog Cody, that's another story. He goes out and barks at them, they in turn dive bomb him. All in all its quite entertaining.

These are Jack in the Pulpit wild flowers. You don't see them too often in gardens. I had a wonderful elderly neighbor that got them from a friend who found them growing on her property.

I love these coral bells, they are one of the first plants that flower in my garden. Unfortunatly the rabbit that lives in the fern garden likes them also and now the stems are gone. Notice my happy rock in the background. I have a thing for rocks, I'll tell you about it sometime.

Spring and lawn mowing. I tell my sons that its better than shoveling snow. I don't know if they agree. Why does it always happen when you think you can get ahead for a change, you have no big expenses coming up and something breaks. So goes the story with our lawnmower. It just siezed up, wont start and has ended its life. Damn thing. So, we had to go and buy a new one. Actually not me, it is one of those items that I hated to spend money on but you have to have. Like new tires or a new washing machine. Sean researched it and decided on a Toro so below is number one son taking it on it maiden run. (When I say number one son, I don't mean I like him better than the other, he is the firstborn. He will be 20 years old at the end of the summer, number two son is newly 16. You know mothers aren't supposed to have favorites!)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I love flowers, any kind of flowers really but there is something special about spring flowers.
This is a Crown Imperial and grows from a bulb. They cost about $10. - $12. a bulb. I had two at one time but Sean thought it was a weed after it bloomed and pulled it out!

Hosta, tender and young, a special treat for the deer.

Bleeding Heart

Weeping Cherry, this is the best year it has ever had in the 20 years we've had it.