Saturday, August 30, 2008

OTR, Lake Run and Volleyball update

I finished ironing all 184 4-patch and 8 half-block-corner-thingies (REALLLLLY---I don't know why I can't EVER remember what those are called!!!!). Laying them out last night, I just played and shot this pic. I used the men's plaid shirts that I picked up at some garage sales earlier this summer. I'm kinda hoping they will fit the bill, afterall, *I* think they are "fall-ish" colors. I haven't started part 2, nor will be able to until Monday night at the earliest. So, for the rest of you piecing away, have fun and enjoy!

Today started out waking at 6:00 for some oatmeal and coffee in order to "energize" for the 15K. But after 3 bites of oatmeal, I was done---I just wasn't hungry, nor was it tasting all that great. I did finish up my cup of coffee, though :0)
The morning was BEAUTIFUL!!!! Temps were FORTY-SIX at 6:00!!!!! LOVELY cool weather!!!!! By race start (8:00), it may have warmed up to upper 60's, low 70's, but the LOW humidity really helped make the race tolerable. The sky was cloudless, full sun, and by mid-race, the temps were picking up. However, much of the course is bordered by woods, so there was adequate shade for about 70% of the race. I wanted to make 9:30's (9:30 min/miles), and finished just off that mark, averaging 9:43's. I came in at 1:30:42, and I'm okay with that. I finished at 9:30, allowed myself 15 minutes of cool-down, and then I was literally off and running again to the volleyball courts half a mile away. Vball started at 10:00 and went on until about 5:00, with high temps reaching mid-80's. We had a nice schedule where we had a game's rest inbetween most of our matches, so we never really got to a point of extreme "over-heating." However, I knew I was getting into a little trouble around 3:00 when a wave of nausea hit me. I REALLLLY did try to stay hydrated, polishing off 3 bottles of gatorade and 4-5 bottles of water, but I just couldn't keep up with the amount of sweat I was losing. I jumped on the scale tonight just to see how bad it was, and I dropped 5 pounds since this AM----NOT GOOD! So, I pumped some more gatorade in since I've been home, and have been sipping water inbetween sentences :0) We finished 3rd, which is right where we knew we would. The top 2 teams were teams from our Wednesday night leagues, and they TRULY are awesome and consistent! We walked away with $100 and were happy :0)

Tomorrow AM, DH and I are off to the farm. We'll spend the rest of the Holiday weekend up there, and bring the girls back sometime on Monday---hopefully not too late, though. So, happy weekend to all of you!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Old Tobacco Road Mystery; and other updates...

I'm sitting here, watching "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton." Quite the silly "chick-flick" right now; I know it's been out forever, but this is the first time I've seen it. And, of COURSE, I had intentions of being downstairs piecing tonight---I guess that won't happen until 9:00 now. And by THAT time, I'll have to start getting my clothes ready for tomorrow's athletic-packed agenda; 9K race @ 8:00; Volleyball tournament @ 10:00 - ???. So, I might NOT get downstairs, afterall. what have I been doing downstairs?? Last night, I FINALLY was able to get down there again---the first since Monday night, I think! Yeah, yeah....when I finished Masha's Wonky Nines. Anyway, so I pulled out the camoflauge fabric and started cutting 3.5" strips for Scot's quilt. I haven't come up with a name yet----I suppose I'll just call it Scot's Camo Leavenworth, after the pattern of the block. I pieced one full block before calling it a night. Then, today, I went to school for a few hours, stopped at the bank, the pharmacy, and the post office to send off Angela's package *wink*, and then headed home to start working on the OTR mystery. Woo-hoo.

HOWEVER, on the way home, I did a "U-eee" back to a garage sale that had a bunk-bed out front----This photo isn't one that I took; I just found a pic on the internet that showed a bunk set that is exactly like the ONE I BOUGHT for the girls. The lady had a CRAZY price tag on it, and I offered her HALF what she wanted. She pondered for a while, then took my offer. Wooo-hoooo! When DH got home from work tonight, we went to pick it up; and then spent the next hour cleaning out Candace's and Caitlyn's rooms (removing the twin beds and putting them downstairs) and set up the Bunk. HOWEVER, guess where all the "old" twin beds are being stored right now/?!?!? Yup---downstairs DIRECTLY on my carpet area where I lay out of my "quilts-in-progess." SO......sometime SOON, I'll have to spend a day cleaning and rearranging things downstairs so I can have my carpet back.

Okay, anyway, after I got home, I grabbed some lunch (something better than JUST a candybar at a gas station *wink*) and then headed downstairs to work on the Part 1 of OTR. By 3:30, I finished up the 184 4-blocks; YET to be ironed, though. I haven't made the 8 half-corner-thingies (I can NEVER remember what those little corner blocks are called!) I haven't really pulled any fabrics together for the 3.5" strips that Bonnie has recommended; and I ended up using my plaid men's shirts I purchased earlier this summer for my 4-patch blocks. Oh---and my "lights" were very controlled----ALL WHITE! Quite simple, huh? I'll get pics up on here by Monday night, but I doubt if it'll happen before then.

Okay, well the movie just ended. I think I'm going to get my clothes together quick and then head downstairs for JUST a wee-little bit tonight! After tomorrow's running and vball day, we are heading up to the farm. The girls are already up there with BOTH sets of G'parents, so we need to go up to get them AND spend some time relaxing on Sunday.

Okay, okay----Night all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And the winner is......

FIRST, PLEASE don't shoot me for drawing 30 minutes early!!! We were home earlier from Volleyball than expected, and I'm ready to hit the hay as to get up bright and early tomorrow for a run.......

Anyway----on with it, right........

As emails/comments were coming in, I tracked them on an excel spreadsheet; 1-entry for a comment and a 2nd-entry for a link to the photo (or blog containing photo). My favorite number is "4," so I decided that the FOURTH random number that was generated (using would be deemed the winner. ( I kept track of the first three numbers, too, if you are wondering what they were.......56, 29, 41).....and then the fourth was #2.

And.........believe it or not......#2 pointed out Angela (Soscrappy) as the winner!!!! Yeah, yeah, yeah! Angela was the very first to comment on the giveaway, and her post to her quilt memory became the 2nd entry on the spreadsheet.

FYI---behind the scenes, Angela also shared the following (sorry for any mis-quotes---I have already deleted the email):
I look at the quilt and have sometimes struggled with having cut up my beloved race shirts, but the quilt is such a memory of the road to the marathons that it was worth it.

I must admit that the latest comments from tonight have not all been looked at, but I PROMISE to view them and respond to each of your beautiful memories! There were some absolute Jaw-dropping moments viewing these comments. And I just HAVE to share this one posted by "T" of her most impressive quilt. How ABSOLUTELY beautiful-----and I could NOT imagine having the sincere patience to accomplish such a masterpiece!

This has been a truly, truly INSPIRING week of reading and looking over all your quilts. Thank you so much for playing, and PLEASE do not be so humble about the love and heart and passion that you have put into your quilts!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mashas Wonky Nines--top complete

I really did NOT have intentions tonight of finishing this top---honest! In fact, when I went downstairs earlier, I didn't really even feel like sewing (again). So, at first, I putzed some by tackling the scrap pile a bit more---cut a few more 1.5", 2", 2.5" strips AND squares. Then, I sifted through the fabric and found this quarter-yard piece of awesome striped pink fabric that I thought would be PERFECT for the inner border of Masha's quilt----so off I went.

Unfortunately, I measured ONCE (instead of twice), and cut and sewed....... Actually, I misread the pattern and ended up being about HALF A STRIP TOO SHORT!!! (The MAIN pattern is a crib size and asks for quarter-yard, but I've been following the twin-size alternative, and IT asks for 3/8 yard -----DUH!!!!) By this time, however, I had already sewed the two side borders on the quilt and I wasn't ABOUT to rip them out.........*pondering, pondering*. Well, heck....this baby is so "crazy" with all the colors ANYWAY, who would really notice or pay any mind to a slight scrappy inner border???? So, I grabbed another striped pink (horizontal, though) and pieced it in with the "too-short" strip. (See bottom inner border in picture). And, golly.....since I'd gone THAT far, I might as well cut the purple and sew those borders on too, right???? So, at 10:30, I finished laying out the finished top, grabbed the camera for some quick pics, and came upstairs, planted my butt in the glider, and logged on. And v'iola----here I am :0)

This top will be folded and set aside for now---no intentions of quilting it just yet. So, I'm ready for the mystery of Bonnie's. (as well as another off the C'mas quilt list!) I'll probably tackle Scot's (DH's boss) next-----the pattern I chose (Leavenworth Nine Patch) looks rather simple, and I'm excited to see how the camoflauge fabric looks with it. Hmmmm.......I didn't even realize until just now, typing the name, that it's another nine-patch of sorts. Hmpf....coincidence?

I really need to get my butt to bed-----first day of inservice tomorrow. I HAD intentions of running (literally RUNNING) in to school in the morning and then running home afterwards BUT I forgot Caitlyn has 4K (preschool) orientation tomorrow, so I won't have TIME to run home after school. *sigh* Hence, I'll need to drive in so I can drive back home to pick her up after inservice in time for orientation. Ugh! I was SO looking forward to logging 10 miles tomorrow!!! Oh well, I'll have to settle on 4 or 5 tomorrow night once we get back from orientation.

Happy quilting!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's arrived! 100th post...

For those of my frequent readers, you know I've been counting down to my 100th post, and after my pesky allergy post this morning, I have now reached ONE HUNDRED.

As tradition goes, a give-away is planned. Included in this give-away:

  • 3 fat-eighths
  • 6 fat-quarters
  • 18 piece 6" charm pack
  • 1 half-yard
  • Dresden pillow pannel
  • Cute, bright bag to use for whatever...(JUST finished 30 minutes ago, using left-overs from one I had made earlier this summer)

Some individuals have had stipulations with their give-aways. I've been thinking about this, and have my own idea in mind....

My stipulation: I'd LOVE to hear from all of you about your favorite quilt, whether made by yourself or given to you from someone else.

  1. Comment left sharing favorite quilt memory = 1 entry
  2. Within comment: A link created to photo (or blog entry) of your favorite quilt mentioned = a 2nd entry added

As always, please be sure to give permission for others to read your profile so that I can access your email in the event you are a winner. Or, if you would rather, you can also simply include your email within your comment.

Give-away drawing date: Wednesday, August 27, 11:00 PM USA Central time (12:00 PM Thursday for Beijing, China---I'm sure we all know our own time compared to Beijing by now :0) )

My goal is to hear from the winner by MY Thursday or Friday so I can get the package shipped out. School starts the following week, so getting to the Post Office will be much more difficult.

Happy quilting.

M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E -!-!-!

How invincible does one think she can be? I mean, come on, how can one tiny little plant defeat the strong, mindful (senseless) individual that suffers from allergies only ONE time a year. Having never been diagnosed with exactly which allergen is the culprit, docs and I have narrowed it down to "Common Ragweed," which comes into "bloom" in late summer (aka: usually mid-August thru early October once the first freeze comes).

The journey of allergy symptoms started around Monday this week with just a little itchy eye---nothing serious. Having been outside running on and off all week, with very little allergy problems, I figured I was "okay" to mow a little of the lawn yesterday. After an hour, and only a little sneezing while on the mower, I finished up the section I had set out to mow (mainly the front part with the girls' play area, and along the driveway). I then headed back inside to see how supper plans were coming (DH was making meatloaf and mashed potatoes). AND then....

BAM! Onslaught!!!!
Itchy eyes-----and I'm talking "can't-stop-itching-long-enough-to-see-what-food-is-going-into-my-mouth." I'm talking "running-to-the-bathroom-grabbing-a-cold-wash-cloth-inbetween-men's-marathon-commercials-and-peeking-at-the-race-every-few-seconds-because-I-don't-want-to-remove-the-cooling-refreshing-cloth-from-my-eyes." I'm talking "watery-eyes-making-it-look-like-I-was-watching-the-end-of-"Titanic"-when-Jack-disappears-under-the-water-and-Rose-is-repeating-"I'll-never-let-you-go,-Jack" I'm talking "runny-nose-taking-over-control--using-up-an-entire-kleenex-box-within-an-hour."

And the next morning???? I'm talking "matted-eyes-and-caked-nose-from-continued-onslaught-during-a-toss-n-turn-packed-night-of-attempted-sleep!"

Oh, did I fail to say that that one tiny little plant has now completely taken over our entire lawn?!?!?!?---ONLY now knowing this because I've done a google for what it looks like! Seriously, there was a HUGE batch of it along the edge of our driveway----I remember distinctly because I thought..."hmmm....weeds have really taken over here and I don't remember seeing this weed before." DUH!!!!!!!!

Upon googling the weed, I came across another fellow who clearly suffers from the same allergen. Steven's post from last season says it all.....
OK, the rain has finally fallen in Lees Summit, settling enough of the ragweed pollen to allow me to emerge from my Benadryl induced coma to resume writing on my blogs.

And I'm here to say the first presidential candidate that promises me to wipe Ragweed from the face of the earth, and means it, will have my vote. Even if it is Ron Paul or even Hillary Clinton. I'll even volunteer to pay my share of increased taxes to see it happen.

I know it's not PC to advocate the total destruction of a poor defenseless plant, but I say ragweed is far from defenseless, if it was defenseless it would have been wiped out long ago.

No, I'm not alone in my suffering, Millions of people, everywhere suffer from it's form of biological warfare, and I think that it gets worse each and every year. I dare a single environmentalists to do an ecological study and tell me what possible good ragweed does for humans, animals or even other plants.

I say we create a genetically engineered bug that will feed exclusively on ragweed plant, then release it to devastate the earths ragweed population. Once ragweed is wiped out, think of how much money will stop flowing into the coffers of the evil drug companies, doctors and klennex manufactures.

Thats right, destroying ragweed will save trees, far fewer klennex, maybe even help save the world from Global Warming. If we can cure cancer we can wipe out ragweed and end its biological war on us poor semi-defenseless humans.

Sorry everyone---I really only wanted to put in a key paragraph of his post, but I couldn't pick just one little bit. And if anyone else suffers from this ANNOYING, TROUBLESOME, BLASTED plant, then I'm sure you share mine (and Steven's) opinion!!

One final thought
Dare I say that DH warned me before hand????? As if I'm not suffering enough now, but he had to rub it in with "I told you so!."
*sigh* *grin*
I guess he's allowed to be right at least once a year :0)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I won!

Not to rub it in, folks, but....

I won
I won
I won

Wooo-hooooo! Amanda's 100th post give-away drawing came and went, with ME being chosen as the random winner. Amanda still is keeping it a mystery, not even posting a picture of it on her blog yet until it arrives. *oooo----the excitement builds*

I hope Amanda doesn't mind me sharing a comment from her email to me.....
"It was lovely to meet new people who came to visit when they heard about the give away, but I was so pleased that the winner was someone I knew."

I feel the same, Amanda, and still find it so amazing that we've met each other and keep tabs on each other half a world away from each other. We are so blessed with this amazing technology!!! I also can't wait to see all the comments that will come flying into my lil 'ol blog in a couple of days when I reach 100. This is officially post #98, so only two more to go.

Ooooooooo----------on a different note: I've been kicking back, logged in, and watching a replay of the USA vs. Brazil Women's VBall gold medal game. Tis sad the USA lost, but Brazil dominated brilliantly. BUT----I can't wait for another hour and a half-----MEN'S MARATHON!!!!! It goes without saying that I would love to see nothing other than Ryan Hall bring home the gold, however this is a terrific field of athletes!

Speaking of running, I didn't make it out the door yesterday for my 4 miles---it was CRAZILY WINDY around here!!! However, I did hit the road this morning for a 13.9 miler (22.37km). It wiped me out, to say the least. Running that far is ONE thing, but the HILLLLLLLS that are on that course are beasts! So, why not choose an easier course? Good question----but I have a hilly race coming up in 4 weeks, so it's great preparation. My total climb over the run was 1441 ft

So, with that note, I am going to head outside to see what #1 and #2 are up to. They've been outside all afternoon, while #3 and DH have been napping since 2:00 ('s 5:00 right now and both are STILL "napping") it REALLY still considered "napping" if it's been THREE HOURS?!?!?!? *grin*

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Dare I say that I've been procrastinating with my posts this week because I know that 100th post is right around the corner?!?!? *chuckle*. This is Post #97, but this week has been full and crazy and getting back to what "normal" is going to be soon once school starts.

Monday consisted of sewing and quilting! (duh, right!) I have put together all of blocks needed for Masha's Wonky nines; I'm not keen on the 5x8 layout, though, BUT I'm trusting the pattern. (FYI--I would set this up as 6x7, specially since I have 45 total blocks made, but I've already put 4 of the extra blocks together to make a pillow case). The colors are bright, and hopefully she'll enjoy. It'll end up being a twin, with each block being 10" finished.

Tuesday consisted of picking up the house AND I needed to put some finishing touches on Julie's quilt I made last year. I hadn't quilted it much last year and I wanted to ensure it wouldn't come apart in the future, so I "traded" my OC with her for the time being so I could put some quilting on it. However, I wimped out and simply tied the quilt instead of doing any machine quilting on it. It's SO BIG that I just didn't have the heart to schlep and fight that thing under my machine. I put a tie in each of the yellow sashing corner squares and called it done.

Tuesday evening, I also helped lead the 7th Grade Orientation, since our new Principal's first day wouldn't be until today (Thursday). We have a Junior High still (7th and 8th grade) instead of a Middle School (6-8), so we always have a special orientation for our incoming 7th graders; talk through expectations, hand out schedules, and have them try out their locker combinations. You wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of students that can't open their lockers, even by the end of week 1!!! This transition is very difficult for some...

Wednesday found me in school all day. I spent 3 hours in the morning just putzing in my room; hanging new posters, cleaning out my storage, getting books and binders ready for Math 7 and Pre-Calc, etc. Then I spent Noon-3:00 in a technology meeting to learn our new student-information system so that I can be a "teacher-leader" for other staff during the school year. Quite intense, a lot of info crammed into 3 hours, but fun and exciting things coming for the year-to-come!

Finally, today was a "field-trip" to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, for those of you not familiar with our nickname of the two cities). We spent the day visiting Julie since she was off of work. AMAZINGLY we actually hit the road at my goal time of 8:00 am and we arrived at Julie's by 10:00, and headed directly to the Como Zoo. The day was muggy, but thankfully the full sun decided to take the day off. The sky was 50/50 cloudy/sunny, but was more cloudy than sunny for most of the morning hours.

We saw the entire lot: Primates, aquatics, cats, "african hooved" animals (aka: giraffes and zebras) *chuckle*. By FAR, the hilight was the big cats, although most of them were lounging and sleeping in their shaded areas. Also, a baby orangutang (OMGoodness-HOW do you spell that??!?!?) was absolutely precious and adorable!!!!

By 12:00, we had seen the zoo and were ready to find our own shade and plop down for the picnic lunch I packed. Then, the rest of the afternoon was spent at a beach Julie had heard about from a friend. Very nice beach!!! I didn't realize how much Caitlyn LOVED the water! Holy Buckets! When I finally said it was time to leave, I almost had to drag her from the lake! Actually, I reverted to good-ol-fashion bribery----McDonalds was promised!!! Yeah, yeah---shoot me! :0)

So now, I'm kicking back, posting, and icing my shins. Yup, Yup.....I almost forgot! My Garmin Forerunner 305 arrived on Tuesday, so I used it right away Tuesday night after the 7th Orientation by running home from school. (Sadly, I had always though it was 5 miles, but ended up being only 4.75 miles, according to my lovely Garmin!) Without a doubt, the feature I love the BEST is the elevation mapping once I upload my runs to my computer. I live in a rather hilly area, so just about every run of mine could be considered a hill workout. I've really upped my mileage this week; probably too fast considering the standard rule of 10% increase MAX per week. I haven't really looked at my numbers, but I feel like I've upped my running quite a bit over the past week just because I am MOTIVATED again. Yeah........ But the bad thing about increasing mileage too quickly is injuries, and right now my shins are thanking me for two days off!!! I'll be back out tomorrow though for a simple 4 miles (and a goal of 14 miles on Saturday). Then off again on Sunday.

Well folks, I think that's a pretty good update, huh? Plans aren't definite for this weekend, yet, but I think my arm is going to be twisted by three lil' girls to head up to the farm to see Gma and Gpa. (I don't think they need to twist too hard, though, because it actually sounds like a good idea to me, too). DH will hang back here and get some work done for a client.

To close, Amanda HAS reached her 100th post and will be drawing on Friday for her give-away. Three more posts to my 100th give-away. I THINK I almost have the give-away put together, too :0)

Happy quilting
Happy weekend
Happy closing ceremonies of the Olympics

*10:30pm EDIT*
Okay folks----I was letting the girls unwind from the day's events by watching a movie in our bedroom---that was a little after 9:00. I don't even know how long they lasted, but I do recall things getting rather quiet around 9:45......

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Glorious weekend at the farm; Fun with Bricks complete; saddened by Olympic Marathon...

I was able to put the last stitches on my Fun with Bricks (pattern from Bonnie Hunter @ Quiltville) Thursday before leaving for the farm. It is yet another fun scrappy quilt with many pieces that bring back memories from completing other projects leading to these scraps. The quilting is a simple stipple/meander in the colored "bow-ties" while there is almost an hour-glass-loop created in the white "hearts." So----for the time being, it is my snuggler until I get my OC back from Julie. I needed to loan it to Julie since she had to give hers up to me for a couple of weeks while I put some final quilting touches on it.

The weekend was fun and relaxing. I packed up the Bernina and fabric to start my next quilt for a friend's daughter (for Christmas). I figured it was time to start tackling Christmas presents because I figure time is going to start to be limited, and my "gift-list" is growing and growing.
So far on the list:

  • Masha (friend's adopted Russian daughter)
  • Andre (friend's adopted Russian son)
  • Isaac (friend's adopted son---he's American)
  • Jan (the friend ;0) )
  • Scot (DH's boss)
  • Derek (Brother in law)
  • Ron (brother)
  • Anita (friend of in-laws) might not be a bad idea to get those projects rolling, eh??? In fact, I might even give the Fun with Bricks to my brother as last resort if time gets to be limited.

The weekend wasn't all quilting, though. Friday was ABSOLUTELY beautiful outside! We spent a few hours picking TONS of beans and cucumbers, and then pickling and canning the bounty! I cannot buh-lieve how many blossoms are still on the cucumber plants!!! They (in-laws) are going to have another ton-n-a-half next weekend when they go up!!!!

Running definitely was on my weekend agenda, too. Friday night, I only ran an easy 4 miles, and then Saturday morning I ran about 11 miles, give-or-take. Oh, that reminds me!! I can't WAIT until the post-man brings me my next goodie!!! The goodie has nothing to do with quilting, either! I broke down and ordered a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is a glorified (many bells-n-whistles) watch; complete with heart-rate monitor and GPS capabilities. I have a hard time not knowing the exact distances I run on my training runs----it downright bugs me!!!!! I can estimate them based on my time and effort; I can plot them out on some WWW sites and know distances, but still.... I want to know as exact as possible AT THE MOMENT!! Besides, this watch also has a few neat features that give you a competitor; be it competing against a previous run of yours OR competing against a goal that you program in. Ohhhh...I can't wait!!!! It should be arriving sometime this week, but I don't know the exact date.

Finally, I was so happy to find out that the Women's Olympic Marathon was going to televised LIVE Saturday evening (7:30 ET). I was pumped; got all the girls bathed and fed before then to be sure I could devote 2 hours of uninterrupted time in front of the tube to watch every step!!!! And then..... the gun goes off....things are going well....can't really see Deena Kastor in the pack anywhere, and then.........................personal heartbreak!!!----Deena Kastor pulled out at mile 3. *cry...slump....disbelief* I was so hoping for her to have a beautiful race; was planning to pull for her all the way. I am quite amazed at myself for how disappointed and heart-broken I was when I saw her pull out due to injury..........It was SO disappointing that I almost turned the TV off since I really no longer had any heart to watch it. But then, the camera panned back to the leaders; and there was Paula Radcliffe, who (although British), is yet another running role model for me. So, for the next two hours, I was glued to the screen, footage being shared between the marathon and swimming events (as if the USA would NOT show LIVE coverage of Phelp's race.....tscha, right!!!) *wink*
My heart was now pulling for Radcliffe, hoping against hope, she would finish the race this time and not needing to pull out herself. So, imagine my heartbreak AGAIN when I saw Radcliffe STOP in the last part of the race. I was so bummed thinking she'd be pulling out too, but she stretched and fought through it to finish 23rd. What inspiration!!!!!!! I know she wasn't the top Briton (is that correct Amanda---I read it in an article online, but have never seen that spelling before) , but she's yet another idol of mine.

I am looking forward to the week; quilting; planning for school; cleaning house; gardening; the whole lot is on the agenda. And, of course, I can't forget to add running to that list!!!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A change of sports, for the moment

Running and quilting aside, for the moment. I woke early this morning and flipped through channels just to see if there was any Olympic coverage happening. Lucky me to have found VOLLEYBALL! The Russian vs. Brazil game----WOW! It is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING how some of these spikes can be dug up. All aspects of the game are fun to watch for me---a good serve, nice pass, beautiful sets, and of course the big SMASHES, BUT.......nothing, and I mean nothing, puts me in more awe than those DIGS!!!!!

The game is currently in set 4 (22-18 Russia); and it IS sad that the officiating has played a factor in this match. One bad call is one thing, but there have been a good handful of "iffy" calls since set 2.

Still on the volleyball topic, but "downing" the talent for a second :0)
--last night was our last night of league "round robin" for the summer. Next week starts our single elimination tournament. Our opponents last night lead the league and they are a BLAST to play! We've really struggled this summer and are somewhere in the middle of the standings. Typically, we are in the top three (of 14 teams). Anyway, we won the first game 15-12 (still on "old school" scoring), got CLOBBERED in the second (2-15) YIKES!!!! Although we lost the third and fourth also, they were battles. We were missing our top girl (we play with 3 males/3 females), and we couldn't (didn't want to) find a substitute that could "fill the position," so we played with only 5 (as did our opponents).

My husband and I are perfect combos on the court: I'm a 5'4" setter, while he's a 6'6" hitter. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever mentioned that playing Vball is how DH and I met. It seriously was one of those "friend-of-a-brother-of-a friend" situations! He and I ended up playing on the same in 1993, right after my HS graduation. And, (as they say), the rest is history.

I don't know about any of you----but it was CRAZY how fast DH and I moved into engagement status! I "just knew" he was the one!!! It sounds like the classic cliche, but it's SO TRUE!

Anyway, the Vball match has ended--Russia wins. It's 7:30 and STILL no little feet have crawled out of bed---a record, I think!!! So....hmmmmmmmmm.......I suppose I could start some laundry since the girls and I are going to be heading up to Ashland's farm tonight since Gma and Gpa are going to be there. DH will join us tomorrow evening. I'll be out of town until Sunday, so Happy Weekend!

(BTW: This is post #95)----still nothing in mind for a give-away! Hey---maybe THAT's what I can do right now!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Running post (Post #94)

I researched the Fall-50 rather intensively before making an executive decision for myself and Julie last night......

and the verdict is......


She and I talked and have made a pact for the year 2010 (our 5th year of running together). 2010 will be the 5th time we have run the Paavo Nurmi Relay and the 5th year we have run the Full Ashland Whistlestop Marathon in October. So, our pact is to give ourselves one more year (next year) to try to reach new PR's in our races before upping to the next level. The next level will then include running the FULL Paavo Nurmi Marathon course (YIKES!) AND to pick up the Fall-50 in October after our Whistlestop marathon. I can live with that!

So, now my goal is to increase my level of training intensity to cross the finish line at Whistlestop in 4 hours 45 minutes (I was 4:59 last year). Also, I have found two back-to-back Half-marathon weekends (9/20/08 & 9/27/08), each being only about 30 minutes away. NICE! Julie is checking out her work schedule to see if she has one of the weekends off to run at least one with me. The 9/20/08 is on the Birkebeiner trail (a HUGE international cross-country ski race in February), so it is quite challenging with hills too. The elevation map has a different scale than the Paavo race, so (being the math teacher) I have intentions of plotting both races out on graph paper with the same scale so I can compare them better.

Oh, Oh, OH!! That reminds me!!! I went to Runner's World last night to go to my Training Log. I haven't updated it in IONS, nor did I update it last night, but I remember there is an option to create running routes via GPS (satellite) WITH elevation plots! I created a route for the 3.2 loop I run constantly. Come to find out it's actually nearer to 3.5 miles!!! But the elevation mapping is SO COOL! So, I played with another "course" that is crazyily-hilly over by the high school, so I'm going to plot that elevation on the same graph as the others, too, just so I can see if my training is going to prepare me for the hills.

Anyway----yada, yada, yada. Clearly, my running motivation is still in max-drive. I just hope it remains this way!

It's now 8:30, BEAUTIFULLY overcast day, mid-60's. I almost wish DH would be home so I could utilize these temps with a nice-n-easy long run. Oh well, I'm actually in the mood to dust off the Smith-machine downstairs (Yep---it hasn't been used all summer---*sigh*) and whip out a strength-training workout. Nothing beats a nice pair of shapely legs, which my body hasn't found yet this year. *chuckle*

On the quilting front: I made some serious progress on Fun with Bricks yesterday by piecing the entire top together and sandwiching into two-pieces for quilting in sections. I left off with the first piece before the Olympics started last night, so that's where I need to pick it up from. If I really pushed today, I could get it finished, but I'm not going to force myself to get that far (unless it just happens to happen without much effort.) ;0)

Happy quilting

Monday, August 11, 2008

Candace's 100th post give-away

Candace is having her 100th post give-away. I joked with her that when I post about her give-away, it'll be my 93rd post and I better get my own butt in gear putting together something for MY give-away so I can have a photo of it ready when I'm putting the post together.

Regardless, Candace is planning to choose a winner on Wednesday, so there are a few more days to drop her a comment if you haven't already done so.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Paavo Nurmi Marathon Relay

Paavo Nurmi Marathon: A yearly tradition of "the before shot" wasn't forgotten this year, although we didn't allow ourselves as much time as usual. The morning conditions were picture perfect! When we woke at 5:20am, the temps were low 60's. By the time we got the starting line, the temps had risen to maybe low 70's?? There was a nice amount of cloud cover; not a lot, but enough to keep me happy for the time being.

I was feeling pretty good at the start, but I didn't allow that to persuade my game-plan, which essentially was "keep it reigned in!". I knew my training had not prepared me to run my ideal PR goal of 10 min/miles, so I used my experience to make a smart plan (I think....). The race started just a bit behind schedule; only 5 minutes, so by 7:35am we were underway. I don't know how many runners total there were, and one of these years I have to remember to have Julie get a shot of all the people as they descend the first hill at the half-mile mark, which is where this first shot was taken.

The course from miles 1 through 6 is "off-limits" for vehicles, so Julie was not able to meet up with me until then (a good hour later). Cloud cover decreased quite a bit during this first hour, however, I had forgotten about all the tree cover (shade) that was present. The temps were very manageable---nothing excessively hot! Whew! This shot is my coming off of mile-6, about a mile into the "long slow climb" that ends just after 9 miles. I was staying positive and smart, averaging 10:15-10:30's, but slowing a bit on this first mile climb.

*chuckle* Yup.....this shots speaks the TRUTH! I was realllllly starting to feel the climb once I came into mile 7 (2 miles into the "climb"). I couldn't resist a little goofy-ness since I wasn't going for a PR this year.

Trudging along, just coming into mile 8 here. I suppose I can't brag about being in front of our Buddy here, huh?? *grin*

Just crossing the Mile 9 marker, with the summit looming very close-----I was definitely running out of gas. I have taken my share of walk-breaks, limiting them to one for each mile stretch, but.....I really started loosing track after mile 8. One nice bonus though: cloud cover was now almost 100%! It actually had been "threatening" a possible rain since about mile 7.

Typically, after the "Summit" cheer, Julie heads directly to the 13.1 "half-start" to start preparing herself for her part, while I trudge on during the last 4 miles on my own. However, I did somewhat beg for her to meet me at Mile-11 as one final "you can do it" cheers. I was surviving on "mental toughness" because my legs were verifying what I already knew---they weren't ready for this course this year. And then, of course, the GLORIOUS Mile 12 is what I live for!!!!! It was sheer JOY to coast for about half a mile!!! I came into the Hand-off at 2:27:42; satisfactory for the lack of training, but still disappointing.

After taking a short cool-down; (and panicking searching for the vehicle!!!!), I was now in the driver's seat, cruising to the first "meet-point" for Julie; Mile 15. She was having a great first 2 mile run, averaging 10's--yeah :0) But this part of the course is similar to my first 6 mile stretch---no vehicles allowed. So after snapping this shot, and stocking her up with some Halls Fruit Flavored cough drops (SUPER way to keep the mouth hydrated AND a few sugars); I sent her on her way; while I drove the long way around to meet up with her at mile 21.

The clouds remained to fill the sky, although now the possible rain threat had clearly passed and the clouds cleared up some. Temps still felt like they were in the mid-high 70's; with a slight wind picking up; not enough to complain about because it WAS a nice way to have some cooling-effect.

Although Julie's half isn't considered "hilly," there are some climbs that are enough to zap some energy from you!! Here she is just after mile 21, climbing a short, but SHARP hill stretching about 200m. ---Smiling all the way. I hadn't really been doing any calculations to see what her average mile pace was, but she had to be in the low 10's based on when I met up with her.

After the mile-21 station, the course veers onto a main Highway, and although there is some Police patrolling, there are Idiots that just don't "get it!" I had people literally "on my bumper" as I drove along going 40MPH (which I felt was still a bit fast when the side of the road is lined with runners, spectators, and parked cars.) However, now that I've voiced THAT frustration, here is Julie coming into mile 22.....

....and mile 23. I met up with her at mile 24 but didn't snap a photo. She was still smiling, having run 11 miles of her stretch. She was also just kicking back, enjoying, not killing herself nor beating herself up by pushing her body beyond what it could take. In fact, when she met up with me at my mile 11, and inbetween my "I'm sorry that I'm not ready for this race today" comments, she simply said "Hey! At least I'm running today and not in a body cast! No biggy---just enjoy!" Ya see, almost a month and half ago, Julie was in a rather severe car accident. This may seem like a cliche, BUT, she seriously had a Guardian Angel watching over her that day!!! Her car essentially wrapped itself around a tree after she had been clipped by a passing semi and flung into the air and off the road. She walked away from the accident with bumps and bruises (one NASTY seat-belt burn). I still can't believe how she survived it after seeing pics of the damaged car!

She came into the Finish Chute smiling. Once she found me in the crowd, she let out a cute little wave that brought many of the race fans to laughter, and she crossed the finish line at 4:46:24 (her leg being, 2:18:42). We hugged, congratulated each other, and .................... rested!!! *laugh!* Julie wasn't ready for anything to drink or eat yet, so we sat and watched other finishers come across the finish line. Finally, after about 20 minutes, we started to make our way to the Post-race refreshments (nope---no beer for us!!! I don't see how ANYONE can drink alcohol after running that far!!!) Instead, we had some sugar-ladened Mountain Dew and we ate some of the traditional Mojakka, "Finnish stew." We debated what the meat in the stew was since neither of us really knew, and we never agreed on it either----she says beef and I said venison (deer meat). So, if anyone has heard of Mojakka, please enlighten us?????

And, of course, we need our "after shot." We decided to wear the race t-shirts this year in the after photo----we called it "Orange Sherbet" color!!! (not quite Orange Crush) *wink* So, after cooling down, relaxing and all the such, we hit the road to head back home (about an hour drive), stopped at the local grocery store for Orange Sherbet (laugh)!!! We shared race-day stories with DH and other family members via phone, and relaxed Saturday evening watching the Olympics.

So----I have 3 weeks until my 9-mile race, 3 more weeks after that is my next Half-marathon, and finally 3 weeks after that is my Full Marathon. Yesterday's "non-trained-for race" was motivation enough to strive me to push a bit harder during these next 9 weeks. I can't wait until the Track-n-Field coverage of the Olympics too to steal some motivation from the World-Class athletes. The marathon usually doesn't get full coverage, but I'll do what I need to do to see as much of it as possible! AND (although Angela thinks I'm crazy---and I'm kinda agreeing with her), Julie and I are still keep our mind open for the 50-miler which is two weeks after our marathon. We clearly have no Super-Fast race in mind, but it's just the next step in the mind of wacko-goal-orientated-runners!

Happy Olympic Spirit!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

a GOOD run!!!

I'm sitting here waiting for some noodles to finish cooking; I got home at 8:45pm from the second round of Principal interviews (and for me it really was "the best was saved for last.") I was worried that no candidates were going to be "good enough." But, yada, yada, yada. It's out of our hands now (the staff panel); the Board has the final call-back interviews next Tuesday and they have the final vote.

Anyway, I literally dropped everything at the door, ran to the bedroom and did a power-change-of-clothes that even the top modeling agencies would be amazed with!!! I NEEEEEDED to get a "good" run (even though it may be short) before Saturday's race. I was out the door at 8:48pm, light diminishing FAST, wearing my visible WHITE running jersey and cute little red "light-flashy-thingy" that my sister gave me for Christmas. It FINALLY got used! The run was short, but GOOD! I only did the 2 mile run (1.8 to be more exact); the weather was PERFECTLY cool, no sun. And BOY, did it get dark FAST! I saw a couple of deer, and thankfully no bears. I did panic myself about the bears after I saw the mind went to instant "uh-oh! Are the bears going to come out? Is there a known "mama" in the area that I don't know about that may be protecting cubs?" But all was well.

*sigh* I am sooooo thankful I was able to get a GOOOOD run in! Last Saturday's race and Tuesday's too-soon-after-supper" run just weren't sitting well with me as the final runs to go into Saturday with. I now feel confident that I CAN finish those hills in 2:30----and maybe even 2:20????

Okay all---off to eat some carbs! I'm a bit starved! I didn't think of eating BEFORE the interviews tonight----DUH!

Marathon relay update; Cathy's Aunt Sukey Pillows

As promised, (and mostly so others can have pity on me :0) ), here is the elevation map of the Marathon course this weekend. As a full marathon, this course is a monster! (MPO-my personal opinion). Two years ago, Julie ran the first 13.1 miles and I ran the second; last year we reversed roles. After completing our course in 4:24 last year (we were 4:50 two years ago--the first time we ran it), we instantly made plans for the "game-plan" this year. Amazingly, we both loved the parts we ran last year, so we decided to keep roles the same: I will be running the first HILLY half, and she'll be running the second HOT half. And HOT it will be!!! Temps are forecasted in the 80's for Saturday-----oh I hope they drop some! Angela has asked about this race; There are a few options of running. You could
a) Run the whole marathon (YIKERS!!!!!!) Maybe, someday!
b) Run as a 2-person relay (which is what Julie and I do)
c) Run as a 5-person relay. The first 4 runners each run 5 miles, and the 5th runner runs the remaining 6.2 miles (10K). THESE are the individuals that really make the race fun! They bring in the spectators, essentially because there are LOTS of 5-person teams, and imagine only the "4-waiting-runners" cheering the whole gang on; that's A LOT of people!!! Besides, some of these relay teams are absolutely crazy!!! Two years ago, there was a group of males; each dressed in a dress; and their "pact" was to each drink at least 2 beers along their section of the race. What a riot they were!!!

Anyway, the yellow high-lights at 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 are where my water-stations are. Julie, running the last half, will have stations at 15, 18, and then every mile from 20 to the finish. Last year, we BOTH amazed ourselves at our times! We both were hoping to maintain 10/min miles, and we both JUST about did! I came to the half-way-point at 2:11:30, and she crossed the finished lined at 4:24:07 (which means she ran a 2:12:37). We both are very realistic this year, and since neither of us has really dedicated ourselves completely to our training plans, we both just hope to enjoy the day and each come in at at least 2:30.

This morning, I set to finish up Cathy's Birthday present completely by putting together two pillows. The pillow forms are 16", and the finished block sizes of the quilt are 15". HOW PERFECT! I added a small border, and I whipped out two blocks in no time since I had most of the pieces already cut (left over from making the quilt.) I then spent the next 20 minutes quilting the first one and putting it all together. My "please oil" light came on, but I chose to ignore it until after I finished both pillows. However, upon starting my second one, I had "tension" issues and the "eye-lashes" showed up. So, a good cleaning and oiling followed a "ripping-out" session. Lo-n-behold, once I quilted it again, no problems what-so-ever! So----lesson learned! Oil the machine when it says so!!! :0) I didn't think of taking any pics of the completed pillows, but those'll come soon!

The girls decided to fight the heat of the upstairs by coming downstairs with me. They plopped down and watched Ice Age---this photo-op was too cute to pass up. It's one of the few times they've actually all sat quietly around that teeny-tiny DVD player....

I suppose---it's time to get ready for Round #2 of Principal interviews tonight. 4 down last night; 2 more to go tonight. Whew---tough choice!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Birthday wishes to me; Quilting photos update; school hierarchy

Today I turn triple-11; my DH already wished me a Happy Birthday at 5:45 am as he was strolling out the door. (Better than what I did for him----I had forgotten until AFTER I had left the house last Tuesday--he turned 37; I was in the car listening to the 6:00am news on my way to my class when the newscaster said the date---I called him straight away). No big plans---for us, our birthdays are just another day. We try to have a little something for the girls' birthdays, but not ours.

It appears that Blogger will allow me to upload my pics now, sooo.....
This is a tablecloth (~48"x48") that DH's grandmother has stitched for a wedding coming up this weekend. She asked her daughter (DH's mother, my MIL) to put it together, but then she (MIL) asked ME to quilt it up since I seem to be "better at it than she is." Oh dear-----I was nervous!!! This is one of those already-marked-whole-cloth pieces, so the quilting didn't take all that long once I started. However, the markings don't appear to be the wash-away kind, so a person can see the blue dots (sigh). But, I guess you could say that I'm pleased with the results. It's hitting the mail today to get to my MIL so she can sew the lace binding on before this Saturday's wedding. I hope it arrives in time (by Thursday??) for her to accomplish her part.

Next, this is a shot of the Fun with Bricks that has come together quite quick.

And here is a birds-eye-view of the Wafer Cookies possible layout (left) and Oklahoma Backroads (right). Upon seeing the Wafter Cookies laid out, I've been playing the mind-visual-game and am picturing some plain white (light) blocks in with the smaller rail-fence blocks. Anyone care to share any other ideas???

Finally, Amanda has asked about our school hierarchy.....
Superintendent is the "head-honcho." He runs the entire District, and being a smaller city (about 1000 people), our District is rather small. One K-2 school and one 3-12 school. Our School Board (consisting of about 10 members comprised of Community members) and the Sup kinda are on the same level. New policies, etc, can't be passed without the SB's vote.
Next in line would be our Principals----we have one Elementary (K-6) Principal and one High school (7-12) Principal. Then, naturally, we have the staff of teachers, custodians, cooks, aides, etc.

I am anxious, yet excited, about the changes we have in administration this year. Brian (our Sup) is VERY MUCH a people person; loves children (he was a 7-12 Guidance counselor when I first started teaching 10 years ago, then became the K-6 Principal about 6 years ago); and WANTS the school to be run from the "bottom up." And I Quote........"I'm tired of this top-down business! It doesn't work." Hence, this is why he has asked some staff to sit in on the 7-12 Principal interviews. This is a new procedure, and the School Board hasn't given him too much of a hard time with it.

Now, our school board....well, THAT's a whole different story! (watch out---here comes my humble opinion)...... Our SB has almost the same unrealistic goals as President Bush with his NCLB and that 100% of all students will be Proficient or Advanced in all areas come 2014 (or some year coming up soon.) Our SB is pushing for all of our students to be college-bound material, but that just is unrealistic!!! NOT ALL STUDENTS NEED TO BE COLLEGE BOUND! Truthfully, if my passion wasn't for teaching, I would have taken a 2-year Technical route for Computer Science and be making $100,000+! But still, our nation can't function without our farmers, mechanics, NURSES!!!, etc; and all of these jobs DO NOT require a college degree!

Whew....well folks, it's 7:30; I haven't had my morning coffee yet; only Candace (#3) is awake. Within the hour, I am predicting that I'll head downstairs for awhile since the sun is going to be pouring through the windows soon. It's going to be a scorcher today! Our AC can't keep up with the heat of the sun coming through our big windows, so being downstairs is very nice.

Monday, August 4, 2008

First week of August update...

Well, we have our whole family in-tact again. We picked up the girls yesterday by meeting up with my parents at a zoo about an hour away, which is smack-dab between my parent's house and mine. Oh my goodness, has #3 (Candace) picked up some words! She's clearly saying "wait", "I a pretty girl", "stop mamma, look!" (when crossing a road or driveway). And she seems to have grown about a full inch!!!

Well.....ummm...I wanted to upload some pics of my recent quilting work, but it appears that Blogger is having "internal issues."

I've been making progress on Oklahoma Backroads, I've laid out a possibility for the Wafter Cookies Quilt, and have begun (and almost finished) piecing Fun with Bricks. FwB has come together FAST! Very quick!!! (It's one of Bonnie's patterns---(see it here).

My two weeks of classes are through, and I still have a bit of work to do since I ended up taking the 4-credit option (the credits were offered free since I'm the Coordinator---I couldn't pass up that deal!!!)

Ummmm......let' see.......
Oh yes, I had a very active Saturday!!! It started with a 5-mile race, which was NOT what my body had in mind!!! As I came to the first mile, I basically said "Okay, body, you win!" I was NOT "feeling" the race at all.....and backed off my pace to cross the finish line at 53:01. Definitely no where NEAR my PR, but I really wasn't going to push it since I had a full day of volleyball yet to come. The temps were already pushing upper 80's at the finish line (9:23 am). I originally intended on literally running from the finish line to the volleyball courts 1.5 miles away, but.......uh-uh! I called up DH and had him pick me up-----JUST in time to make our first game at 9:30 am. So.....from 9:30 - 1:00, we played 4 matches (8 games to 11 points) with very few breaks. From 1:00 - 2:30, we sat (and got STIFF and TIRED). Our game at 2:30, we lost, which put us in to the "losers bracket," (grrrrrrrrr), which meant we were now in the position to play, play, play non-stop until we lost again. Afternoon match #2 we won in three games, Match #3 we also won in three LENGTHY games, and Match #4 we won the first game, but ran out of gas and lost the next two to end up losing that match and finishing the day in 4th place out of 10 teams. (sigh) Disappointment for sure! Other teams were also a bit surprised because we were expected to finish third minimum, but....well......the cards just didn't want to be played that way. It was 5:30 when we finally lost, so we spent the next couple of hours watching three more matches leading to the Championship match. There was some GREAT volleyball to watch!!!

Anyway, I wanted to run Sunday morning, but my body sarcastically said "are you completely out of your mind?!?!?" I was just a weeeeeeeee bit sore....*chuckle* At 7:30 am, DH and I headed out to get some grocery shopping done instead. I then putzed with some sewing before leaving to get the girls a bit after noon.

I haven't run yet today either. I will give myself until tomorrow, but then I MUST run! I have a half-marathon coming up this Saturday. This typically is a fun day since I run it with Julie (running buddy that graduated college this year). It's a Marathon-relay; I run the first half and she runs the second. It's such a fun day with LOTS of spectators; besides Julie and I meet up with each other every couple of miles to cheer each other on; supply each other with nutrition or ice; and LOTS OF photo ops!
My half is the "hill-half" and her half is typically the "hot-half." I'll have to get a pic of the elevation levels of the race so can see just HOW hilly this bad-boy is!!! Seriously, from mile 5 to mile 9 it is just ONE LONG UPHILL!!!! Mile 12 is the BEST though----imagine all the elevation that is climbed from miles 5 to 9---THAT is the elevation that is "lost" in mile 12! A GREAT coast coming into the 13.1 mile "hand-off." Julie and I have both run each half at least once; we both are running our "favorite" parts this year. I wanted to go for a PR this year on my first half (I ran 2:11:30 last year), but I realllllly don't think that's going to happen this year! I just have not been "into" my training this year....*sigh*. But I spoke with her last night and she's backed off her training too, so we're just going to "kick back and enjoy" this year----smile a lot for the camera, get a t-shirt, and enjoy the scenery.

Okay, let's that about it???
Well...not quite. I spent three hours at school this morning talking with our somewhat new Superintendent (he's the old K-6 Principal----AWESOME leader!!!) Our 7-12 Principal just resigned three weeks ago, so Brian (our Sup) has been getting in applications for the position. He's asked me to sit in on the interview process----I guess it pays to be the person at school who can never say "no" to anything----at least all my extra-curricular events are getting noticed. Anyway, I met with him and some others who will be sitting on the panel to go over the questions we want to ask the interviewees. We have 6 coming in; 4 on Wednesday (5:00pm, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00pm) Could you IMAGINE having an interview at 8:00 at night!?!?!?!?! Yikes!!!! But, Brian wanted to be sure to have our School Board members at the interviews, so they needed to be in the evening.

I at least have two more whole weeks off yet before our inservice. Summer is ticking away.....I'm still holding on for awhile yet, though.

Well folks, sorry for no pics.........It's a lot of text, but hopefully it wasn't too boring.