Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Barn and Some Chloe, Too!

It's Barn Charm again!!  Halloween style!  I give you these with the idea of them being just a little dark...and perhaps...SCARY!

Wah ha ha ha!!  Look at the threatening skies here!!!  Aren't you scared yet?
Oh?  Not scared yet?  Well, have a look at THIS OLD HOUSE!  IT is definitely scary!  

OK, well, now that you've been scared, have a look at this wonderful family photo!  We took this after we went trick-or-treating.  Chloe likes.  Yes, she likes it a lot.  And candy.  She likes candy, too.
 We didn't go to too many houses, yet she came home with quite a haul!  Look at the booty!
 Watching Elmo after trick-or-treating!
She likes trick-or-treating.  But she LOVES candy.  Let me reiterate that.  SHE LOVES CANDY.  She hasn't had a lot of candy before this, but she loves it!
 Watch out Mom!  Those fingers are in danger!
Skip on over to Barn Charm and see the other barns!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wild Weekend...Well...

 We printed some pictures this weekend.  I printed my Dump Truck, and it looks GOOD!  I'd like to get a larger frame for it.  I think I could sell that little bugger!  I'm really quite fond of it!

Cora made sure we carved the pumpkins.  Cora carved the green one.  I carved the other three...I like the skull best.  I'm not fond of the witch, but it's a start.

 I think we have a very scary front porch.
Chloe was eating dinner while watching Elmo this evening, and I thought I should get a shot of her focus.
we also got to spend some time with Cora's sisters and Leah!  It was a really good weekend, if much, much too short!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Better Late

 I've been busy this week.  I should be working harder, but I'll just admit it, I am lazy.

I got to partake in parent/teacher conferences this week.  It was an interesting affair.  Of my 120 or so students, I saw about a third of their parents.  A few of them were students with less than perfect grades.  Only one of the parents looked at me and wanted to know why I hadn't called her.  Well,  I had not exactly prepared for that, but I explained that while I'd love to call every parent with a student with low grades, I quite simply hadn't had time yet.  She seemed somewhat mollified.  Most of the time it was just a matter of showing the parent the grades and then asking the student to explain WHY they hadn't been working hard enough to do better.  That was more than a little amusing.

Because I ended up going in at 7AM, teaching classes and then leaving at about 1PM after classes and then returning again just before 4PM for the conferences, then getting home after 7PM, I did not get many photos in this week.  I took the camera, but nothing really cropped up in the dark.

I took the photo above last weekend, but just got around to processing it.  I like the way it looks.  I used a picture of an old piece of brass that I have as a layer.  It framed Chloe's face just right.

The one below is my attempt to be a little more abstract with my photos.  Abstract art is something I have always enjoyed looking at, but I just don't seem to come by it naturally like some people, so i don't generally try to create it.  I decided I need to expand my repertoire and tried a few intentionally unframed shots, then I took the ones I liked and combined them.  I was a little at a loss, it seemed it needed something else, so I added the tree in the middle, and it looks a lot better, though I saved the previous one as a layer for later photos.    
This last photo is BY FAR my favorite photo from this past week.  And the thing is, I didn't take it.  Cora did.  Sunday morning we drove up on the top of one of the nearby hills.  Cora wasn't quite pleased with the idea as we drove by signs urging strangers away, but we never REALLY trespassed, so we were fine.  When we arrived at the destination, she changed her mind a bit.  The view was spectacular.

Chloe loves to be thrown up in the air.  I always catch her, so that isn't an issue.  Cora took Precious and started taking pictures as I threw Chloe.  When we got home, I looked at the shots and decided something was missing.  So I added some of the Chloes from other photos.  Although it is a work of Paintshop, it has turned out to be my favorite shot of the week!
I am taking part in these two activites, I hope you will click on over to both and have a look at what others have been doing this week!  Thanks to Photo Art Friday and Weekly Top Shot!

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm tired and yet another iteration of this cold I've been carrying around is trying to bash in my senses.  Plus it's parent/teacher conferences.  Which, I found out Wednesday morning, includes a split shift for me.  Oh, and yesterday was the first day of said conferences.  Way to get important information on time!  Yea!  And how did I get this info?  I asked.  I begged.  I finally sent an e-mail asking ANYONE to answer.  Finally the principal relented and sent a one word answer to my query.  Nice.  Jerk.

We only had three periods yesterday.  I had two...until I walked in and they asked me to cover 2nd period for another teacher.  I said yes before realizing I still had to print progress reports.  Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Then we had a lab that included using rulers to measure in millimeters.  I was astonished to learn that the kids were not sure what a millimeter was.  Sure, a few knew, but apparently they guard such information like it were gold.  The rest of the bozos just measured in whatever unit they wanted.  Which, by the looks of it included centimeters and inches.  Seriously!  You should have seen the looks when I tried to explain that there were 10 millimeters in a centimeter.  You would have thought I was suggesting that their toenails come to life as puppies after they clip them!  Several gave me looks like, "So why should anyone know what a millimeter is?"  I retreated to my desk to drink a Pepsi and hope that it was a bad dream.

I was not home until after 7pm.  I came home in the middle and did some house work, but it made for a mixed up, messed up day.  Boy was I happy to come home and see both of my girls waiting for me!  I'd thought missing out on the afternoon stuff with Chloe might actually be ok, but I missed it!  She was in a good mood when I got home!  Cora had made a wonderful dinner that I could not eat enough of, and life was better!

Today we go at it again.  More conferences.  I got ten parents last night.  I have around 130 kids.  That's not a very credible showing.  Oh, well.  Friday is around the corner!    

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Sister and Jack O Lanterns

 First, Happy Birthday to my sister!  She is like 49 or something.  She's awesome, although old.  Happy Birthday Sis!!
 We decided to carve pumpkins tonight.  I was all for doing it another night, but Cora insisted.  NAY!  She demanded!  And guess who does the carving!  Yeah, Cora gutted them (So did Chloe- didn't she do an awesome job?), but as soon as that was done, she abandoned me to the carving.
 Well, I showed her!  I only carved ONE pumpkin tonight!  And that would be the scary one below!

 I know!  I almost crapped my shorts, too!  OK, that was just Chloe...
 Speaking of whom, She REALLY got into the job at hand!  She is an excellent pumpkin gutter!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Self Barn Portrait

 It's a Barn Charm Monday again!  I have a few sitting in one of my files.  This first is fairly recent...that is, last week.  You can see my reflection here.  I DID take the photo from inside the truck, and I think the self-portrait effect really sets it off.  They were harvesting apples when I was driving by this and I did not want to stop traffic for a better shot.  I figured it was either going to turn out or not.  As it turns out, I managed to save it.

Chloe made it through her surgery with flying colors!  It took forever, it seemed, to finally get her in, but when she did go in, it took hardly any time at all.  She was done quickly and we were heading home.  Chloe who cried a lot last time, but hardly cried, if at all, this time!  She was in very good spirits and she had a really good day.

I hope you'll click on over to my photo site to see a recent photo of how many Chloes it SEEMS like we have!

Also, visit Barn Charms!  The building below, I THINK, is an old packing house, but I don't know for sure.
I could use a few more days of weekend.  This being "a parent" stuff isn't easy.  Especially the part where Chloe goes at 100 mph for hours on end.

I go back to work tomorrow.  I'll be picking up where the other sub left off.  It may sound odd, but it seems like this is my class at times.  After last week, it seemed like things were falling into place, we'll see if that remains the case.  I have some grades to catch up on, since Thursday and Friday the kids were working to finish an essay.  So I'll be setting in on grading those in the morning!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


 We took Chloe to a pumpkin patch.  After an aborted attempt at another pumpkin patch that wanted to charge each adult $9.  HELLO! We only wanted to look for a pumpkin!  Chloe's cousin Leah happened to be down today, so the grandparents, Aunt Molly, and Chloe and Leah all came along for the ride!  We had quite a time!  The view was awesome and the pumpkins you ACTUALLY took directly from the vine!!!!
Seriously!  It was AWESOME!
 Aunt Molly helped push the wagon while I took pictures!
 Here are three generations!  How often do you get a shot like this?  This is a beautiful shot in many ways!  Look at the subjects!  I hope everyone else is having a great weekend!
 And here we have Chloe with her catch for the day and days previous!
Weekly Top SHOT

Friday, October 21, 2011

Who's Keeping Track?

 It's Friday!  I am so pleased with that!  However, there is so much to do it is ridiculous.  Hopefully that will make the day go faster.  Although, I fancy, that is making my life go faster and bringing me closer to the end of my life...ah...has anyone ever seen Red Dwarf?  Or red the novel by the same name?  Reminds me of Rimmer.  It is a British TV Show, or was.  You can learn more about it here.  

Anyway, I am going to wear jeans and a T-shirt today.  I may be the only Time Lord there, but I plan to enjoy Casual Friday to the extreme.  They said you can where your school colors...I asked if I could wear my Dr. Who colors.  They said sure.  I think they know the principal doesn't visit me often...probably a waste of his time.  But, it did sound like a couple of them had Dr. Who items they might wear, so if they do it will have the kids wondering what is up.

The kids are pretty smart, but they just seem not to have been exposed to as many things as I was at that age...and THAT was before the internet!  But, then, my family visited museums, national parks, historic sites, etc.  We also enjoyed documentaries, I don't think many kids willingly watch documentaries.  Maybe I was weird.

Now, I have a lot to do, so help me try to stay on track!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Horse Dwarves

 Isn't that French for "little food?"  Ah, well, if you wanted golden nuggets of wisdom you came to the wrong blog.

I've had a pretty good week.  I think I may be getting into a rhythm with the kids.  They are not working any harder, but they haven't been bad mouthing me anymore, and that is a good thing.

I have to go prepare some plans for Monday.  I have a sub...pshaw!  A sub for a sub!  Chloe is getting a tube in her ear on Monday, so I'm taking the day off to do that, and be sure that Cora has someone to hold her hand.  I don't imagine either of us is going to take her screams very well...good thing we're not violent people.

These are my entries for Photo Art Friday at Pixel Dust.  I highly recommend having a look!

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Half Way There

 It's that time of the year.  It's harvest time.  Apples are being picked, and have been picked for at least the last month.  Pears before that, and then stone fruit.  Apples are by far the most numerous, though.  That shows in the number of fruit trucks, which slowly meander throughout the valley with no apparent objective in mind.  They just wander all over the place.  Some people might think they are headed to specific store houses, but you can see loaded truck after loaded truck pass each other going opposite directions.  You would think they could go from point A to point B without having to wander around so much.  Why do they simply seem to take up space on the road?  There is no rhyme or reason to their chaotic shuffling from here to there to here again apart from getting in my way.

The thing that makes them far from innocuous, though, is that because they are loaded they are much slower than other traffic.  So one loaded fruit truck can slow down an entire line of cars.  Once in a blue moon you might see a fruit truck pull over to let traffic by, but that is such a rare occasion, you might be better off to buy a lotto tick and expect to win more often!

So, this is the scene you can see more often than not on my way too and from work.
On the bright side, I do eventually get home and then Chloe and I go get the "May-el."  I can't complain about that.  She is awesome.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hazy Shades of Barns

 I went with some oldies but goodies today.  I reworked both of these until they cried.  The clouds made me happy in both, but especially so in the second.  I hope you will click on over to Bluff Area Daily to see some other barns!  I think it's a great thing to show some of the architecture from bygone eras, and it's a wonderful way for people to get their work noticed.  Thanks to Tricia at Bluff Area Daily, we get to see barns from across the country.  It's the kind of thing that can blunt the sharp pain that is Monday.

And so the week begins.  My kids are going to make a presentation today on what it means to be human.  Friday I discovered that the computer up front won't show on the screen like it did three weeks I have to figure out why the heck that's happening and then grade countless presentations.  I can only hope I figure out why it isn't showing and that those kids who took the time to make powerpoints can present, otherwise we're going to have a crappy day, and by we I mean me.

Chloe got more sleep last night, but not nearly as much as she does when she isn't sick.  Same goes for mom and dad...

The weather is finally beginning to turn.  I don't think we've gotten a frost yet, though in years past we have had snow on, what's up with the weather this year?  Let's just get this unpleasantness we call Fall and Winter over with so we can go back to the good seasons, shall we?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Day of Rest

This is Brie.  She is my sister's Llama.  I'm fond of her.  She is good to make portraits of, don't you think?
 Last night we got home after listening to The Cave, by Mumford and Sons, for the fifteenth time.  Chloe eventually went to bed.  It wasn't but a couple hours later that our little angel was awake again.  She has caught the cold that Cora has had...and now it seems I may be coming down with the same thing.  Since Cora had spent the previous night up with her, I figured it was my turn, We finally ended up next to each other on the twin bed in Chloe's room.  Chloe rested on a pillow next to me, while I formed a barrier to keep her from rolling.  I don't know how long we were resting like that.  Cora came in and checked on us and found it was Chloe's snoring that she'd heard on the monitor, not mine.

Cora and I were up for a couple more hours since neither of us could sleep.  Cora was still coughing.  My back was sore from laying next to Chloe for so long.  Chloe slept for a little while longer, but eventually we all awoke and started all over again with a not-feeling-well baby.  Eventually I got a couple hours of sleep and I think Cora might have gotten a little bit, too, but I don't think any of us are up to doing much today.

Today, I think it will be Netflix streaming on the Wii and some soup and some relaxation.  I might go out and do some work on the yard, and then the weekend will be over and we'll start the week all over again...I'd like a longer weekend.  Anyone else?

This is my dad.  He isn't fond of my taking his picture, but he's a good sport, so he let me.
I should have something a little more up beat to say, but I'm really sleepy and I think everyone else here is too.  I'd like to get out and do something, but I just don't see it happening.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Someone's ONE!

 My youngest nephew celebrated his first birthday tonight.  (My sister and brother-in-law were celebrating their's, too, but who are we kidding, they aren't as important as the youngest!)  He got right into the unwrapping, although some of the gifts were bigger than he was!
 The candle shown like a small sun!  In an even smaller solar system that didn't really have planets, but rather people, who didn't orbit the small sun/candle but rather blew it (the small sun/candle) out.  So, I guess it wasn't really like a sun, so you should really just ignore the comparison.
 I took a few candid shots of my niece, and this is what she looked like when she caught me.  I can't believe how much she has grown up!
On the way home, it was getting well past Chloe's bed time and she was letting us know about it.  She let us know most of the way home.  That is, until that magical wonder of modern technology that we call our Sirius Satellite Radio beeped and told us that a certain song was about to play.  We were, by this time, running ragged with the crying in the back seat.  So, we changed channels to this song, expecting to hear the crying accompanying the music, but then an awesome thing happened.   She stopped crying.  We looked at each other and noted that we each had raised eye brows.  We knew it couldn't last but we were SO happy for the respite.

The song ended and there was STILL no crying in the back seat!  We thought, "WOW! We broke the cycle!"  Until the next song came on and she let us know she was unhappy.  We shared a glance and then experimentally, not expecting a repeat performance, we pushed the button and skipped the music back to replay the magical song.  The wailing in the back seat stopped.  We didn't move for fear of breaking the spell.

We played the song all the way home.  Over and over, and if we forgot to rewind it quickly enough, that small  music critic in the back seat told us in ear piercing tones.  So, what magic song does she love?  This one: