Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Year Older

This birthday was a bit easier knowing that work is going much better and that there are numerous possibilities on the horizon - both professional and personal.

Later today I'm headed here.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

I don't like bees! (since obviously bees don't like me)

I was working in the back of the yard where the city finally (after almost 2 years) cleared out the blocked drainage to continue to clear out the sticks and vines, etc. Never before have I angered a stinging insect but apparently this time I did. And I couldn't get it away from me so there's about 5 sting marks that really scared me. Luckily, the neighbor was outside and was able to help me make sure it wasn't still in my hair or clothing - it kept stinging me on my back.

My guess is that the city digging down stirred up a nest underground or I pulled on overhead vines in a different way. I went back to get the box I was using to collect everything I was picking up and was stung again so the other neighbors will wonder why a box is just sitting back there.

I was only stung one other time and that was over 20 years ago. My parents were glad I was finally stung given that my dad has severe allergic reactions to any stings. I can still remember going down to Neosho with him every once in awhile to get his shot and how he was supposed to keep a remedy shot in his car but it was usually outdated and, if not, probably useless given all the car heat it experienced at least during the summers.

I don't think I still have any stingers in my skin but I guess time will tell. In reality, the fire ant bites I experienced in Pensacola were worse - especially in that the bite hurt worse as time went on - esp. the first time since I didn't know that ants weren't harmless (the Midwest doesn't yet have fire ants although they are marching this way.)

It's been long enough to assure that I won't have an allergic reaction. I was curious given that I didn't used to be sensitive to poison ivy and now I am very sensitive (and that was actually my main concern when I was out digging around in the weeds and vines back there).

So, live and learn and take insect spray with me next time. I did get the mowing done thank goodness but know the high heat and humidity is not adding anything to my sunny disposition. Now, I'm getting some much-needed computer work done.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer is going, going, going, and almost gone

It was another good weekend at the lake with the only negative being the lack of central air and having to share the portable ac now that it is hot enough that even Sam admits there needs to be more cool air flow. Blackwater Jack's didn't close so the crab rangoon is still some of the best I've eaten. Plus their signature frozen drink isn't bad.

I was able to get out twice in the pedal kayak. Yesterday morning I managed to misalign the pedals and had to wait until I got back home to get some small tools to get it back into the right position - it was jammed every which way but the right one and I'm still not sure what worked exactly to get it back into the right spot to work again.

I had some more time to read Robert Caro's Power Broker. It is an interesting study of how Robert Moses gained the power to get things done in New York City and how getting elected to public office wasn't the way to get it done. And having walked around the main city offices with David earlier in the week made it seem more alive. Now to go to the Tenement Museum to complete at least that part of the experience.

This will be an interesting week. I turn another year older and celebrations will ensue. And then an overnight trip to Kansas City to hear Doug Hurt and meet with folks at the KCPL again about grants.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


I had a great time this week in the Big Apple. First, dinner with Carol - which is always fun. We ate at a great French restaurant in her neighborhood. Then, it was off to the Embassy Suites to join the TAH groups form Colorado and New Mexico with my friend Rich and his family.

I made my first trek to Ellis Island as an adult - and called Mom while I was there given that she is the family genealogist. I then headed up to watch one of David's grants in action at CUNY. Quite interesting- how similar yet how different teachers in the NYC boroughs are in comparison to the teachers I work with in Missouri and Kansas.

Boeing, Boeing was a lot of fun - especially getting to see it from the 4th row. Wednesday was busy with a meeting with a grant partner and with a publisher. I met up with David again that evening in Tribeca and even found some unique clothing - plus, it was on sale. Then, I met back up with Rich and family.

The flight home was delayed a bit but I made it home just in time to see Molly.

I caught up with several colleagues today when I arrived at the Lake of the Ozarks - ran into some downpours on the way down but at least it cooled it off a bit for sleeping tonight.

Molly is clearly getting more comfortable here. Because of the heat, it's probably the last visit until Labor Day. But at least Sam has the jet skis out this time and I already have my pedal kayak hauled down and will take it out in the morning.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday at the Farm

It rained a bit overnight - not enough to keep me from weedeating and just enough to put the weedkiller down without having to haul the hoses out.

Molly is feeling more comfortable out here. She did great on the trip even though she had a few intrusions into her comfort zone that were a bit too sudden. It is funny, tough, how she still barks at the ice maker when it drops ice.

I have some work to review and chapters to review but the best news is that the larger project is now much more manageable.

I went to the farmers' market on Friday and Thusday went to the orchards in Missouri to get peaches for Mom. She even felt good enough to make peach cobbler for Dad.

Right now, the last part of Smokey and the Bandit (#1) is on - what a fun movie - and now it tells the story of a different time in lots of ways.

Time to get some breakfast.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's Time to Campaign

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Games and Learning 4.0

Am having a great time at GLS4.0 . . . mamamusings and her son Lane are here as are Peggy and KJ, and Jeremy, too.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The First Day of July

As the calendar turns to the second half of 2008, it's clear that this summer is not only flying by but is ultimately less stressful than almost any in my adult memory - which includes going to graduate school, sponsoring cheerleaders (what seems a lifetime ago), making major life changes (school and jobs), and running teacher institutes.

The biggest lesson I'm still learning is to find the line between what situations I can improve and those over which I have no control.

Thanks to the growth of area farmers' markets, especially a farmer near Lamar and the market in Webb City, I'm eating much healthier - at least when I'm home.

I'm gradually winning the weed war at the farm and think I am winning the water war at home given that it looks like the city is finally fixing the 2-year-old drainage issue well beyond my control.

It's still a weird feeling, however, given that every summer since 2002 I have had something in July to be in charge of. Instead, this year, I am attending a conference on games and learning and evaluating a grant plus taking care of other mostly fun business in New York City. Then there is still almost a month before school starts plus another birthday to celebrate.

Perspective really does make a difference in how we view and deal with life but why do we have to learn the hard way - through time and experience?

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