Ms H's Blog
Just another WordPress.com weblog

Aug
16

We do not produce that much garbage in a week. During the warmer months, we would collect the stinky food scraps and store them in the freezer. About once a month we would take it to the curb on garbage day. Our town is cool enough to have a bag system so we don’t have to spend $20+ each week to store a 35 gallon bin in the garage, instead we put a $3 sticker on a 30 gallon bag when we have collected enough.

A few weeks ago I came home to a big bag of horse pellets. I’ll be honest. I thought he was going to buy me a horse for my birthday. Panic mode…I don’t want a horse! I continued to wander the house and put the stuff away that I just brought in, and luckily I saw another new addition. No, not a composter…yet! I saw a new 5 gallon bucket with a lid that says “food safe” on the side of it. I knew this was the beginning.

We collected food scraps in the bucket for a couple weeks. It was very noticeable that the soon arriving composter would be a good fit for us. The freezer still had lots of room in it. Our garbage disposal was not getting the work out it was used to. And, best of all, that bucket did not smell! Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of the first round bucket scraps, but I’m sure I’ll capture the beautiful image next time around.

He chose to purchase the Jora composter. It comes in a few different sizes (we have the small), it is not a complete eye sore (looks like it could be a grill on the patio), and it has two compartments so you can compost continuously. He got the idea from the Art of Unity guy’s recent post How to Compost. There is even a coupon code for 10% off when you purchase through the composting warehouse, which has a lot of good information on composting.

We either did not have enough food scraps yet or we put in too many horse pellets, because the compost was way too dry the first day. We ended up adding a lot of water. The consistency is supposed to be that of a damp sponge. Here are some photos from the first day:

As you can see from the one photo, we had too many horse pellets. The ratio was way off. It should be 1:10 pellets to waste, according to The Joracomposter troubleshooting.

Jul
06

I went tubing for the first time today. It was a lot of fun! B went first by himself, hung on for quite a while. Then D and I went. We went slow at first, then worked our way up to higher speeds. After, I volunteered to go with A, but she was too scared. A did not want to go with anybody. D went by himself. B went again. We all kept trying to get A to go, but we were out of luck. I went by myself. Stayed on for quite a while. If you stay in the middle its pretty easy. When you get knocked out to the sides is where it starts to get rough and bumpy. I hung on for a long time. Then, I hit one of the bumps, and I think flipped over under the tube. Not really sure what all happened. But I ended up in the water. It was a lot of fun!

Then we headed over to the sand barge. That was pretty cool. A lot of boats were parked there and people were hanging out in the water having fun. At first the water level was up to the top of my head, but we moved closer to shore and the water level was at my waist. A was scared to go in the water at first, but she got used to it. She saw a friend from school and all her fears went away. She realized that she could stand in the water and be fine. B, D, A, and I played in the water for a while, until we and others started to get hungry. Packed up the boat and headed out. Stopped at GW’s house, sort of, to get some oil for the boat, and so B could get D some shoes (he lost one in the water, somehow, while we were playing at the sand barge). Picked up S along the way to dinner where we met W. Dinner was ok. The best part was seeing the baby ducks in the water and watching S try to catch a carp with her hands. She pretty much got one!

On the ride back we saw a very pretty sunset! Good day, soreness comes tomorrow!!

Jul
05

I was told about this website, Udemy.com, a while back. I looked around. It seemed pretty cool, but I knew I didn’t have the time for it. Today, I found time! According to their website, Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 55,000 courses taught by expert instructors. Currently, they are offering courses for a low cost of $10. They have deals like this often, so if you miss it, have some patience.

I got an early start today and managed to get through 15 items (video clips, articles, assignments). Had a slight frustrating moment and needed to take a break, but I pulled myself together and continued with the course. My first few photos were pretty bad. I gained some momentum after the first assignment, not that I submitted my best work for the day, but I had the opportunity to view other students’ work. One student posted a picture of a pair of shoes. Not too impressive at first sight, but reading the description, the student took the photo in very low light with a 4 second exposure. I immediately got back behind the camera and tried some of my own low light, long exposure photos.  This was the best one…

IMG_1460.JPG

6 second exposure, ISO 100, f-2.8

May
26

School’s out for ever! Ha, wait…maybe!? I have decided to take a leave of absence next year. Which means, come August, no back to school shopping for me! I will need to make a final decision by February if I want to go back or not. You see, teachers in my district have the option to request for a one or two year leave of absence. No pay. Small fee, but if I go back after a year, or two, then I get that shall fee back. Many teachers decide to get married, have kids, spend all their money, etc, but I saved. I need a break from the kiddos. This is the perfect opportunity! I am taking full advantage of it, too. Many of my coworkers are jealous of me. When they found out I was perfectly healthy, not planning on teaching at a different location, want tied down with little ones at home, they congratulated me. “Good for you!” and “I wish I could do that.” were very common responses. I kept my decision pretty quiet. I did not want to be treated differently. Some asked if I was going to leave at the end if the year “balls out, sticking it to them?” But that was not my intention. Yes, I had my ups and downs, but I didn’t want to leave in a negative note. I didn’t want people treating me differently or acting different around me. I only told one of my five classes. My soccer team didn’t find out until the last day of the season at awards night. You may think that is mean or rude, but I want looking for any special treatment or gifts. At the end if the year, I told all of my students to have a nice summer and just smiled when they responded “see you next year!” It’s hard to believe that it is over for a while. It still seems like any end of the year. All going on summer break. Except it was different this time. I was one of the last ones to leave the hallway. I mean, I’ve had my share of late nights at the office, but this time it was different when the lights dimmed in the hallway. It wasn’t just quiet. It was eerie quiet. I had been so happy for this day to come, but something hit me when I finally realized that I would never walk down that back hallway again with my coworker, my mentor, my friend. It was her last day, too. But she had been working far longer than I had. Happy retirement tears of joy ran down her face as we went to check out mailboxes for the last time together. That’s when it hit me. That’s when the smile went away and the tears appeared. I cried some more when I turned in my keys. And even more when I hugged her “see you later” for the last time in her classroom, because it wasn’t goodbye, I’ll see you again. Looking back for one last time as I left the parking lot, realizing that the next time I’m there, it just won’t be the same. See you later, I will never forget, thirteen years in my heart forever…

Oct
11
Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.
May
30

Last day of school today! Woo hoo, let the summer begin. Too bad I’m going back tomorrow! Oh well, at least I don’t have any classes this summer! 🙂

May
29

Awesome!!! Dropbox is so easy to use. I can upload all of my files (.doc, .pdf, .exl, .ink, .jpeg, etc…) which can be viewed from anywhere – home computer, iPad, cell phone, work computer. I can even share files/folders with friends, family, coworkers. Plus, I can upload more than one file at a time!!! There are many programs out there that do not allow this, which makes them time consuming. The best part…I can’t believe how quick it is. I can take a picture with my cell phone, upload it to the Dropbox app, and by the time I log in to the Dropbox website or open the shortcut on my desktop, the picture is already there! If you would like more info, view the video from my earlier post – Dropbox.

 

If you would like to try it out and get 500MB of FREE space, follow this link. Enjoy!!!

Aug
03

 I finally finished my masters degree. It’s been a long, very stressful two years. However, I feel like I have learned a lot. I’m not sure what I can really say about what I’ve learned, but I will be able to bring that knowledge to work and share it with my coworkers and students. There were many times that I just wanted to quit, but I stuck with it until the end. For someone who never even wanted to go to college, who would have been ok with working in the grocery store deli (though looking back I can’t imagine doing that every day…I don’t know what I was thinking…), I am proud of myself. Even though I don’t feel like I am a master in Educational Technology, my prefessor seems to think differently. Technically, I still have one more class to take before graduation in December, but it will go towards a type 10 certification. So in my mind…I am done! The tough part is waiting for my final grade. It’s been 5 days, grrrr!

I took my capstone paper, entered it into Wordle, and this is what I got:

Aug
02

I’m not too sure about the privacy of dropbox yet, but it’s worth checking out. As with anything these days…be careful with what you share! Click here to download Dropbox after you watch the Common Craft, LLC video below.

 

Jul
17

The US women’s national soccer team watched their dreams slip away as Japan walked away with an amazing win to take home the World Cup trophy. Though they did not top the group in the first round for the first time, they made it to round two. Having to play against a great Brazialian team. Terrible calls from the ref didn’t stop the US team nor did the red card given to Rachel Buehler. The US had to play with 10 for almost an hour. One of the best goals ever (in my mind) came from Abby Wambach’s head in the 120+ minute of the game to bring the US back to a tie game. Saves by Hope Solo kept the US alive in the chase to the final sending Brazil home early. Once again, Wambach’s head gave the US the lead against France in the semifinals. Alex Morgan secured the win with her first ever world cup goal.

Japan vs USA in the final. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect this match-up. Watching Japan play Germany was exciting. At the end of the game, the first thought that came to me was how quiet it was in the stands as the home team’s road to the final came to an end. They continued their path to the finals by defeating Sweden 3-1 (the same score in the USA vs France game). US had an advantage over Japan, because they have never lost to them. Japan had unbelievable support from their home country and millions of fans.

It was a good clean game. I thought the refs did an amazing job and let the players play their game. The US had the lead twice during the duration of the game. Once during regulation time, and again in extended time. But Japan managed to tie it up both times. The US had so many chances in the first half, but they just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. Going into PKs, Japan had the advantage being able to see the US players in a PK shootout with Brazil. Japan’s keeper made two incredible saves to give them the win! Congratulations Japan – well deserved win!! USA – I am proud of your heart, determination, positive attitude, and never giving up! Hey, second in the world is still a great accomplishment!