Snowball vs. Wolcott Mill

Just Keep Doing It!

I was delayed from starting my blog post. No. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to write. I just felt compelled to voice this statement because of my last post.

Storyline Competition

My postpone of writing was due to one major issue. Which storyline would win my affection and attention to become the next talked about bit of information. The stories argued their importance and worthiness in the battlefield of my mind. Each one determined to prove that their truth deserved a higher ranking on “My Must Write About List.”

Compromise is Good

I decided to compromise. I’ll write a little bit about two great information pieces. Here’s the decision; A little bit about where my family and I adventured to today. And, my thoughts about experimenting with the Snowball to use for podcasts.




Today we travelled over back to Wolcott Metro Park near Utica, Michigan. Yesterday we drove over to the park to photograph the gorgeous array of trees changing colors. I had seen the park sign on Friday when my family and I were in route to Westview Orchards. Once we reached the park yesterday, we discovered this Metro Park was home to the Wolcott Mill Historic Center.

Right in one of the fields was a sign that read Civil War Muster. We knew we were in the right place for the fall pictures… The landscape was a little bit of heaven. And, as soon as we saw the sign we were in history heaven.

We Love History!

Once we arrived at the park lot that’s when we saw the jackpot of Civil War History. The park was hosting a Civil War Encampment compete with two demonstrations of Civil War Skirmishes. The whole weekend was dedicated to Civil War Time Period of 1862 for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Next Topic Snowball

On Friday night my son, Austin, could wait no longer. He had to purchase the Snowball. I don’t follow technology like the rest of my family but I must say I was totally in support of this purchase. A purchase that would definitely benefit me. Austin has been encouraging me to create podcasts from my blog posts. I will say that I surprised myself. I didn’t realize just how fun it would be. And we have only just begun.

Stay Tune

I will be posting more about the Snowball as Austin and I continue to podcast. We hope to release several blog posts soon. And as far as the Wolcott Mill weekend, I have plenty of information to post. In fact, this definitely needs a whole post dedicated our whole experience. Stay tune for more on both of these topics.

I’m Not Having Writer’s Block

Is it Writer’s Block?

No, it’s not writer’s block that has delayed my posts. But, I have plenty of other of dilemmas that have interfered with my writing time. Today I will begin to unbury myself one post at a time. One Post at a Time I will begin to open my files of stories that I have been wanting to post. I will write it. That’s gonna be my new manta… I will write it. Baby, I’m back.

No Whining

I want to whine. I could whine about it. Tell you all about how I have so much to do as a teacher, wife, mom, etc. etc. Ugh! But I can’t. I have this rule about not whining.  You know the Snoopy episode that says, “No Dogs Allowed.” Well, in my house there’s a rule of “No Whining Allowed.” Yes, I’m fair… if my family can’t whine than neither can I. I just have to buck up and tell you about all the many interesting life events that have been rivaling for my time. Not bad things… just time consuming things, fun things, educational things, baking things, reading things, and crafty things. And yes… One potentially bad thing….T.V. I won’t even take up anymore time talking to you about the new fall line up and my favorite T.V. shows. I will have to save that for another post. The T.V. post will have to occur after I’ve caught up on”all my other things.”

Stay Tune

Blue Snowball USB Mic

No, I’m not having writer’s block. I’m having a time issue. But, I hope to work out my time kinks. As a teacher I will just have to use my time in a more purposeful way. This is my first year of going back to writing when I know have to fit it into my teacher’s work schedule while not neglecting my other daily responsibilities.

I will write it. It’s the weekend so I am hopeful. I just have to decide which topic will get my attention first. I will say… I could be busy on a new project that is related to my blog post. My son, Austin, has been pricing microphones. The Blue Snowball USP Microphone to be exact. I was under the impression that he had been scoping out the purchase recently. He has been trying to encourage me to start creating podcasts for my blog posts. Apparently, Austin has been keeping tabs on this technology since 2006 when the Snowball was first introduced.

Nine Years Old

“Okay, I said. I didn’t even know it’s been out that long.” To which Austin and my husband, Will, said, “Yeah, we’ve been looking at the Snowball and talking about the Snowball since it was first available to purchase in stores in 2006.”  I thought to myself okay,”Now I understand why I didn’t know about this new technology in 2006. I was busy in teacher world. And, I thought, Okay, how old was Austin in 2006?” Then I laughed. He would’ve been nine years old. Yep, that’s my techie son.

 

Gamed Himself To Death

An Educator’s Love

Since I teach, I love to educate. Since I love to read, I desire all people to cherish words through reading. Since I love nature, I love to find nature’s beauty in the world around me.  Teachable moments can be found in what you discover in the neighborhood around you.

 World of Gaming

Photo Source: Matthew King Photography/flickr.com

Source: Matthew King Photography/flickr.com

Sadly, tonight my husband had to teach me about the world of gaming. An industry that is taking our young guy population from us and our world because they are joining a different world. The world of gaming. The world of fantasy without reading. Gaming doesn’t have much use for reading. At least not the old fashion kind of  book reading. You know the kind of fantasy reading where you close your eyes to imagine how you think the characters and settings would look like. The kind of imagination you create not someone else’s computerized version of what a world would look like. Tonight my husband and I were stopping by our favorite coffee shop. We had awesome coupons from the newspaper this week. As we stepped out of the car, we couldn’t help but notice at least three high school age guys camped out in chairs next to the local game store.
We knew that they must be waiting for a new game to be release, since the store wasn’t closed yet and they were clearly waiting outside.

New Game Released

So Will asked, “Is there a new game being released tonight?” To which they replied, “Yes, Borderland 2.” In my naive non-gaming understanding, I asked my husband the question I was hoping as a teacher to be true. I guess I was in my own hopeful fantasy world I said, “Oh, is it a warlike game like the board game Risk? A strategy and geography game? I was so hopeful.

Will turned to look at me. I knew as soon as I said it. Yes, it was too good to be true. His smile was laughing at me. It was speaking to me the words…”Not in the year 2012. I know you breathe education but their oxygen is hard core fantasy gaming.” Then after his smile talked to me then Will spoke. He delivered the harsh reality of what our young males want to learn. Will said, “It’s a game about a post apocalypse world with gangs and zombies.

Boy, what an educational let down for me. This got me to thinking about our American History.

Our Founding Fathers

How do you think our world would look like today if John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington would have been gamers? I can guarantee there would be no quality of life as we know it. And more importantly, there would have been no Patrick Henry to say, ” Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” because he would have gamed himself to death.

A 9/11 Memorial Poem

I couldn’t see his face,
By the memorial he did stand.
He etched and rubbed,
With a concentrated hand.

His attention on a specific name,
Where he was leaned over and bent.
His paper on the memorial wall,
A pencil as his instrument.

He began his purpose for his journey,
His reason for why he came,
His closure… his piece,
That’s what his mission became.

With his presence busy at work,
I couldn’t quite departure,
I had to see this scene unfold,
I saw his determined stature.

As I stood back and witnessed,
Watch the scenes unfold,
I saw something else incredible,
More of the story to be told.

The paper that he was using,
It didn’t want to cooperate,
It wouldn’t stay uncoiled,
Pained to remember that date.

He went right on working,
Even when the paper didn’t behave,
To copy the name of the person,

Whose life was sacrificed to save.

So I looked away a second,
A stranger quietly stepped in to aid,
With no words exchanged,
He just rolled out the paper and stayed.

A man respecting another,
For answering the call,
Just a private matter,
Between him and the wall,

A call to serve and protect,
His shirt carried the letters FDNY,
It was a matter of duty,
A priceless tribute and goodbye.

The scenes were poignant,
They vibrated a profound song,
Lives were not forgotten,
The message was so strong.

The story I captured,
By just standing back to observe,
Left a lasting impression,
Of heroes’ praises so deserved.

I sealed it into my heart,
So I would never forget,
All of the persevering heroes-
All the lives that perished-

When the Towers were hit.

The Nordic Ware Stare

A Jaw-dropping Surprise

Last weekend, while shopping at Target, I made a discovery that created my jaw to fall in an excited manner. In conjunction with my jaw, my bewildered eyes must have popped out in true cartoon fashion. Were my surprised eyes deceiving me or could it actually be true? I should have expected it! My expectation is anticipated with this month of the year.

Nordic Ware Stare

September has arrived. I was aware that the month of September ushers in complete bliss for the baking lover’s life. Well, it does for this baking lover’s heart. On this spectacular September day, I once again did the Nordic Ware stare. Those of you who have read any of my Nordic Ware posts definitely know the meaning of  the “Nordic Ware stare.”  It’s a look of sheer delight mixed with  astonishment and satisfaction.

THE Aisle

I knew the day must be coming soon. After all… it’s September and everyone knows that this month invites a surplus of baking. My family and I walked through our favorite aisles of the store. We picked out some birthday cards for our relatives. I was making my way to THE aisle the BAKING aisle. It’s a common theme of mine while shopping at stores…. hit the book area and the cooking aisle for new products.

Bundt Quartet Pan

As I  continued to meander through the rows of goods, I perused over to the regular Nordic Ware baking row. I was hopeful for new products but definitely let down. Or so I thought!  Sure there were no new Nordic Ware products in the regular section of cooking. However…. I hadn’t made my way to the seasonal aisle. An aisle that Target usually doesn’t stock it’s seasonal Nordic Ware. Yet, there it was. The absolutely cutest  Bundt Quartet Pan by Nordic Ware that I have ever seen. As soon as I saw it, I knew the pan was a must have.

Mayday It’s Payday

Not a must have for the future purchase…. No way!  This purchase was a must have for today. It didn’t even have to convince me. I didn’t need to talk myself into the buy. After making sure I picked a no blemish pan, he was placed quickly into my cart.

Lemon Cream Cake

My family loves lemon desserts especially Will. So it was perfect when I saw a recipe on the back of the packaging for a Lemon Cream Cake. One individual cake serves a family of six but only if you cut small pieces. When you add ice cream  to the cake then you will have a great after dinner dessert. Sometimes a small sampling of cake is an excellent sweet choice. Because you know… a small conservative portion tonight leaves room to justify a new sweet treat for tomorrow.

Blooming Babies

Babies Bloomed

My babies finally bloomed! Sadly, they bloomed while I was on a summer vacation. It’s okay though. I do have at least five or six more sunflowers that haven’t opened their heads yet. I am waiting patiently and hopefully. After tonight’s rain I suspect that they will be ready to make their grand appearance.

For the most part the raised flowerbeds worked great for the sunflowers. I did lose some of my soil since my raised flowerbeds are located on an ever so

slight incline. It appears that some of the dirt gets washed away when it rains. And, it looks like the soil sinks down into the beds. Next year I hope to not only plant my flower seeds earlier but also add some much needed dirt.

Garden Experimentation

Garden experimentation creates a world of exploration. Exploring what options work in your gardens is a great trial and error process which can change and generate successful flower blooming for your next year’s gardens. Whatever works from your experimenting, then use the following year. Record what isn’t successful with your gardening. Ditch what doesn’t make the cut.

Yes, my babies have finally bloomed! Their growing season almost complete. While I loved watching their growth process, I am getting excited for fall season as well. My posts will begin consisting of all my baking experiments that I will begin to produce. Yummy fall recipes with apples and sugary glaze toppings. I have an endless supply of recipes to choose from. I can’t wait. As summer gardening winds up, don’t forget these five simple tips.

Five Simple Tips

  1. Experiment with your garden. Try a possibility to see if it might work.
  2. Keep a journal of how your experiment is working. My experiment was to see if I could plant seeds late in the season, And in a raised flowerbed. I also recorded their growth process by photographing their progress.
  3. Log your ideas that worked and use next year.
  4. Ditch what doesn’t work for your garden.
  5. Finally, one I didn’t talk about in the article. Continue to look thorough your gardening magazines and books throughout the winter season. Keep in mind what you would like to try for the following spring and summer seasons. Save until spring arrives the following year.

Gardens can be very therapeutic as well. When you experiment in your gardens, you can’t fail. You are free to attempt possibilities until you develop the perfect mix. Perfect mix of flowers… that is. And what’s more… you never will know unless you try.

Long Island Children’s Museum

Great New York Children’s Museum

What an awesome garden and water exhibit at the Long Island Children’s Museum. 20120822-211604.jpgDefinitely my favorite exhibit here! My family and I explored this creative and fun museum this summer. Most of the exhibits turned out to be for my younger kids but we as a family still enjoyed ourselves.

My kids love to make crafts. At the Long Island Children’s Museum there are two exhibits where kids can make their own creations. At the toolbox exhibit they worked to make a wood piece creation. Next to the toolbox exhibit, the kids can add more decorative pieces to complete their toolbox creation or make a new craft entirely.

Garden and Water Features

Of course, I mentioned the garden and water exhibit first so now on to my bias. My Love! 20120822-211713.jpgMy Heart’s Desire. You will become a believer as well when you see my pics that I included. What a well done garden and water exhibit! They incorporated so many gardening ideas that I would absolutely be thrilled to include for my backyard. I love water features and the one at this museum is my new favorite. It is so so cute.

20120822-211758.jpgThe kids can start at the water feature that allows them to create dam. We saw many little equipped kids already playing in their swim suits. The top of the water table where the dam is located then flows down into a creek water-bed. The kids can play in the creek area as well as cool off in the hot summer sun. A very strategically and perfectly sized tree was planted in this water area to create shade. The designer thought of everything with several wooded beach chairs placed near the outskirts of the water area. Just out of reach of the water splashing, the parents can relax and watch their children have fun.

Roof Top Garden Exhibit

20120822-211923.jpgNext to the creek there is a roof garden exhibit. I’ve always been fascinated with these type of gardens. I would love to have one if roof of my house wasn’t so steep. My ideal roof garden would be one where you could have an access roof top with the ability to have a patio garden area. Oh, and I can’t forget a water feature with my roof top garden. What a dream garden that would be.

Within the garden area exhibit there was also another craft area. My kids loved making a 20120822-211858.jpgcraft bug to go along with the garden theme. The whole area was so well thought out. Besides the water station area, other play areas included a sand area, hiding tree, arbor reading nook, and a mister to keep you cool. What an inventive place to hang out! Love it!

Museum Reciprocity

If you have planned a trip to Long Island and have elementary aged kids, then this museum is worth the visit. The Long Island Children’s Museum also honors certain other museum passes as part of museum reciprocity. With our family museum from our state, the museum allowed four family members to get in free. This is a great savings benefit when you are vacationing.

 

Sunny Disposition

Basking in the Sun Rays

A sunny disposition describes my sunflowers in a radiant way. They are happiest to be basking in the sun rays on a daily basis. These sunflowers are real pros when it comes to positioning themselves for maximum sun ray coverage. You could say that they are genuine sunbathers.

Midwest Day

Today was a perfect Midwest day to catch up on lawn care and flowerbeds. My husband, Will, mowed the front yard while I rearranged our decorative gardening features. As you can see on my pictures included, I have a gorgeous art sculptured sunflower. I discovered it at an awesome store in the Amana Colonies. The artist has his own shop and store on his property in Amana, Iowa. My sunflower is just one of hundred designs that he handcrafts.

Gotta Go Back to Visit

I know I am ready to go back to the Amana Colonies with cash to buy more. This Amana Colony artist also makes about every kind of animal sculpture you can think of. All of the colors to his pieces are radiant and bright.

Coming Soon

Well, stay tune. It won’t be long my sunflowers heads are almost ready to open. I’ll be posting some more shots of them within a week. I can’t wait to see how gorgeous they are going to turn out. I’m trying not to rush them too quickly because my babies sure are growing up fast.

American Book Pickers

Library Book Sale

My whole family marked the date on our calendar. August 16, 2012 would be the first day

Source: amazon.com

of a four day long library book warehouse sale. We each had our book lists memorized in our heads so we knew what books to pick. Pick off the shelf for a book lover’s savings.

I’m sure by now most of you have heard of American Pickers from the History Channel. Mike and Frank star in this t.v. show where they travel around the United States looking for Americana memorabilia. All the antiquity stuff that American antique lovers will store, save, and collect in their homes to treasure. Mike and Frank travel to where these collectors live to try to persuade them to sell their collectibles.

American Book Pickers

Well, move over Mike and Frank because there’s a new show in town. Well, at least there should be. A t.v. program that showcases American Book Pickers. Yep, that would be my family. American Book Pickers. My son, Austin, picked an awesome find for me today. The book I have been looking to find at a discount store. An absolutely fabulous cookbook called The Bundt Entertaining by Nordic Ware. He knew I was too busy in the non-fiction section of the book warehouse so Austin went to the cookbook section for me. He scored big time and to the tune of an approximate $10.00 savings.

Bundt Entertaining Book by Nordic Ware

I guess I was a little jaded to believing that I could pick this find. I had looked all over at the last library book sale with no success. He wasn’t negatively fazed by my empty-handed, lack of cookbook find from the last sale. Austin believed it could be there and he brought home the Picker Success Prize; my Bundt Entertaining Book. Austin knows that he will also benefit greatly for displaying his awesome picker capabilities. There are abundant delicious recipes in this cookbook to choose from.

Dessert Pickers

Yes, Austin definitely gets dibs on picking out the desserts that I will be making. Well, right after his dad, Will. Because you know, where there is a book picker there is also a wallet picker. And hubby’s pocket was picked for all of the book purchases we made today.

Spectacular Sunflowers

Standing Tall

My babies are growing up! Just look and see for yourselves how tall and proud they have become. With my pictures shown in my post, I will definitely call this post my brag book page. You see their growing season usually begins by May. As I mentioned in previously posts, I was off to a late start this year. My guys and gals didn’t get planted until the beginning of June. Yes, these spectacular sunflowers have been growing straight and strong despite this scorching summer sun and late start in the summer flower garden.

Late Planting Equals Late Bloomer

I can’t say I did much to nurture them either this summer. I watered them as I could…..we were out of town on a trip recently so there was no regular water then. But, for the most part, they were watered consistently. I put no extra fertilizer on them except what was in the dirt when I first planted them.

As you can see there are some bite marks from where the bugs have had a blissful time chewing on them. And, there are several leaves that have brown spots on them. I gotta look that up in my gardening book to see why there’s browning.

Raised Flowerbed

My big experiment was to see how well they would do even if I planted them later in the season. And, secondly, how would they grow in a raised flowerbed versus the regular ground.  I am pleasantly proud. My hypothesis was correct… I believe. The hypothesis of money well spent. The need of raised flowerbeds.

In all my past planting years, when I planted my sunflowers straight into the ground. Something will get to them. At first, I thought it might be just bugs. I even put chicken coop wiring around them to no avail. Something would bite into the stem of the sunflower and ruin its growth. Once bitten it was all over. It stopped growing and no matter what I tried I couldn’t savage the sunflower. It was so frustrating. What could the something be…bugs, bunnies,squirrels, or deer. All could be a possibility but I wanted to know what was the high probability.

High Probability

Ugh, did I just say that? High probability!!! I now HAVE to eat my words. Yes, I am using the information from my statistics class in college. I HATED that class but I have to admit.. I am using that information for my life. Thanks Dr. Woodredge… you were a saving grace. An angel sent from heaven. Hey, if you don’t believe me then ask my mom. After dropping the class several times and millions of stubborn, frustrated, and mad tears, I finally got you as a teacher. When I did… I finally got it! Yes, the teacher does matter. I say teacher because anyone can be a professor but it takes someone special to be a teacher. I would have told you then but I had to make it through the drama, I mean trauma, of having to take the class. The realization that I wouldn’t graduate if I didn’t pass this class. Well, the drama is over…. I think I got an A in your class. Maybe I should see if you are still teaching because you definitely deserve one of my sunflowers.

Peter Rabbit

Ok, and now that I have given my teacher appreciation acknowledgement. This year…..knock knock knock…. there’s been no bite marks. No stem bite marks… I should clarify. Hooray!!! This has led me to believe that it is probably our very own Peter Rabbit that has been biting the stems the previous years.

Four Reasons

Since that is probably the case, he’s (or they, I think there’s at least two) have been grandfathered into our yard. Yes, that’s right…. no harming the bunnies.

I have at least four reasons that the bunnies will continue to live in my yard unscathed.

  1. They are just too darn cute.
  2. My kids would be appaulled if I harmed them in any way.
  3. My raised flowerbeds have seemed to have solved the stem biting.
  4. I know the story of Peter Rabbit and Mr. MacGregor. I saw his garden and he had plenty of vegetables to share.

Long Live the Bunnies!

With being said, now it’s just like those darling little bunnies to steal the limelight or should I have said moonlight. We have seemed to see them outside during the serene evening hours. Anyway, I was supposed to be talking about my Spectacular Sunflowers. But, now what would a garden be without its bunnies. Long Live the Bunnies! (because you know they are so darn cute!)