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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Take out a writing stick..."

This year I decided that perhaps adding a dimension of ownership to journal writing would make it more meaningful. I got a stack of cool scrapbook paper and a gallon of Elmer's glue which we watered down to resemble Mod Podge, and we spent a couple of sessions personalizing matters by covering some composition books with great paper and then glossing them with the glue by painting. Now that they're dry and semi-flat, we've begun to write in earnest. Today I handed my hand lotto ball to a student and instructed her to give us a Powerball Number! Then I counted down that many writing topics in a book I have. Okay guys, write about a near miss disaster. WoweeKazowee!!! Pay dirt! Main artery! Mother Lode of journal entries!!!! No less than 12 kids wanted to share! In fact we had to schedule PART 2 for tomorrow!!! We heard a dramatic story about a drunk driver running a kid off her bike forcing her to leap to safety and then witness the untimely crushing death of her bike! We got grueling tales of horses run amok, a near fatal car crash with the entire family aboard, and a deer-coming-through-a-windshield tale! But the real sock curler--the story to put fuzz on your teeth!!-- was Olivia's. Last spring she was in a park by her church. Some boys were doing the mumbly peg thing with screwdrivers. You're way ahead of me on this, I can tell. But I'll bet even YOU would never guess that one of those screwdrivers found their way down into Olivia's nose and on into her nasal passage narrowly missing her EYE!!!!!!!! And there it lodged. Her dad gallantly pulls it out, her mother jumps fearlessly in to stop the bleeding, and Olivia does her part by freaking--absolutely freaking, as would I have. She said she even had a bump on the roof of her mouth where the screwdriver's tip had mercifully stopped. Oh my blessed ugh...I can't wait for Part 2 tomorrow. We may have to take these from 5 minute journal entries into full-fledged epic narrative essays!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Say What???

It isn't every day that I have a Peruvian in my classroom--but this year I do in the form of a 12 year old boy. And it certainly is a special day when a large llama puppet is sitting on top of my desk. But call it planet collision (if you will) when both events occur AND said Peruvian informs me that in Peru they call llamas "jamas"!!! Totally GO FIGURE! A new day--a new fact...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Making a Pig of Ourselves Over Swine Flu

I received a memo at school today alerting me to the germy nature of a school and what to do about it--yet another reminder that the pigs--er, I mean the wolves are at the door. Cold and flu season is upon us. The angst this year is high. I'm preparing by adding a 10 gallon (well, at least 2) of hand sanitizer right next to the stapler and tape on my desk. Everytime I think about it I grab a squirt. I'm also thinking of getting one of those boxes of disposable gloves to put on each and every entrant into my personal space (classroom). Oh, and when I fly to Williamsburg next week don't be surprised to see me suit up like a pre surgery Ben Casey! I am ragging on the kids to keep their sick selves home! And then there's the little question of how to REALLY fortify ourselves from the inside because, face it, short of sealing ourselves in a bubble, we're still going to be susceptible. My campaign includes 5 dried plums a day, 3 almonds, at least 4 fruits, double water consumption, AND I'm also tripling my JuicePlus dosage! Call me excessive, but unless I feel like the antioxidents in me are lined up like little terra cotta warriors I will not sleep! Atten Hut!! But then a part of me thinks that dwelling on the perils of the season will only serve to attract the flu to me. Perhaps my time would be better spent on visualizing myself emerging next spring as a virulent robust survivor. I know one thing--the thoughts of subjecting myself to a flu shot are right up there with lining up for scientific sterility research! I've always thought that would be the perfect avenue for rubbing out entire states of people--through the vaccine, you know. Lest you nark me out here, let me hasten to add that my paranoias center mainly on flu vaccines. Thus I have left myself vulnerable I suppose. But then wouldn't it stand to reason that never having had a flu shot would indicate that my body is virtually teeming with antibodies to fight it off? Well, I should say so!!!! If I could only get a little bitsy case of flu, however, I'd welcome the rest. A sniffle. A cough. Not a lusty one--just a dainty little Jane Austen one that I could muffle in a lace hankie. A well-placed sneeze now and again. I wouldn't complain. I'll take my flu like everyone else--just don't let it wipe out my community. We here in Brrrrrrr Lake are hearty. We are thrivers. We'll fight it off as best we can. May the same be true of all of you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Silent Treatment??? But WHY???

For some reason my last two posts have inspired utter and complete silence. I almost called the Blog hotline (what a great idea!)to see if service to the intermountain West had been temporarily interrupted. Perhaps you were all ticked because you didn't win the contest. Yesterday I bussed all of my reading students (40) out to Rancho Come Take a Library Tour-i-O. They seem to like to come when I've done that in previous years. This year, of course, held the extra mystique of a diminuative llama. So we libraried and then llamaed. The snake was an extra bonus. My camera is AWOL or I'd surely have preserved that. Said snake was jarred, brought back to the school, denied occupancy in the 7th grade science room by the teacher, and taken home by a beaming boy who has apparently named the snake Rambo and fed him a few crickets. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I neglected to report that three very skirted, coiffed, and open-toe shoe-d young ladies took off on a tromp in the pasture on a quest to touch a llama! Obama initially bore his bottom teeth at the guests! I'd never seen that look from him!! But they DID all get a brief feel of a llama, and after all, isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"The Envelope please..."

In the event of a tie I would have asked this question: What did I find bone dead behind my knitting basket? You would have hummed and hawed at that, but hopefully come up with this:

But due to the stellar technology which logs in comment times, a tie breaker is not needed. Without further ado, the winner of the contest is Malsy (who is really my awesome NJ friend, Malissa, who runs marathons and is gorgeous) with D!! Laurel followed a mere 23 minutes later with the correct answer also. She's probably doubly happy that she's lounging in southern California with a new grandbaby as opposed to swatting the very same flies that I'm driving out of my house up the road to hers. I was flattered that so many of you pictured me writing to the president! Thank you! Dismayed that so few wanted me to prance around on the deck, and even fewer would attribute pre-dawn weeding to my skills.
Yes, I must confess that my fly obsession took me out onto the front steps clad only in my front-gaping bathrobe to suck up some flies who were doing a raspberry at me from the other side of the porch windows. I surprised even myself. If this all goes down badly and I break, you can nod knowingly and say sadly, "We saw it coming."
"I've got a loaded dustbuster, and I'm coming after you, winged vermin of hell..."

"I'll Take 'Useless Random Trivia' for 80, Alex."

The first person to correctly answer this question will receive a SPAM fridge magnet! I won't post the correct answer until tonight at 10 P.M. MST, so keep those entries coming.


Good luck!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Do you want flies with that?"

Lest any of you think I have my fly problem in check, I feel it necessary to give you an honest update. We here at Peruvian Acres take our job of bringing you on-the-spot coverage of all things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small very seriously. It's a radiant perfect late summer day here. Paco is out in his new cowboy hat (yes, you read that right. He now has the COMPLETE outfit right down to the belt buckle) weeding the corral YET again. I am guaranteed a lunch break by my union, so he's solo at the moment. We've weeded it (spending an average of 12 man hours each time) THREE BLEEPING TIMES this summer!!! And the next person who asks me what we grew out there this summer I'm going to knock into tomorrow!! Nothing...that's what..nothing. Just weeds. And rocks. And a few onions which came up of their own accord. Maybe a handful of strawberries. May was May. June turned it into a swamp. July? With the chance of another freeze on July 21, we opted out. But I must add a caveat--we've worked like slaves. Enough said. Back to the flies. This is their sticky "I wanna be RIGHT by you!!! I LOVE you!!!!" season. The good news is that they are somewhat lethargic. Fall/winter is setting in and they know their footloose days are numbered. In their frantic (yet druggy) attempt to find a warm spot to hunker down and breed all winter, they are making a mass exodus indoors. But they're still lethargic. Sort of slow and glalumphy. But what they lack in energy they make up in sheer mass. I've taken to them this morning with my green fly deathstar machine. My gigantic Texas flyswatter is in shreds. I don't think it was made for the likes of me. I Windexed a couple of guys in the library with great relish. And I sheepishly admit that I also chased several around with a paper towel, and when I cornered them...well, it wasn't pretty. The good news is that my reflexes are improving. But the bad news is that the fly season is yet, alas, very very young. And that's the way it is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How's My Driving?

Have you ever actually called those numbers on the backs of semi's? We were booking it across Iowa a few weeks ago. A large multi-wheeled vehicle in front of us--No wait!--he was at our side! No, never mind-- there he is in front! No, cancel that! He's to the right! Whoa! The left! No small feat when you're as large as some countries! I immediately dropped my knitting, took out my cell phone, and dialed the number on his rump. My message was brief and to the point. I gave the recording our location, the time of day, the truck's ID number, and a curt little message about the state of our nerves. As we passed this guy later, I couldn't help but turn my head back to see what kind of a SOCK MONKEY this company had working for it. For all I know that recording is the trucking equivalent of the dead letter office, but felt good to vent.
Wouldn't you love to be able to call numbers like that when you see parents stuffing Twinkies in the grocery cart while their kid shuffles alongside about 30 pounds overweight or when cavemen are blasting their radios like they are the sole inhabitants of earth or when somebody's cell phone goes off in a movie or when a telemarketer calls at 10 P.M.? When else?????

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley