Saturday, December 31, 2011

What's One More?

About three or four weeks ago Sister Three called me and asked if I would consider taking a dog that was a known biter.  She knew that we had experience with a biter and she was hopeful that we could keep the dog from being put down

.  She sent me a picture because she knew that I'd be a goner.

I was a goner once I saw this grin.
This picture was taken by Stephanie Rausser, a world famous photographer.
Sister Three is the office manager for Stephanie and heard of Harry through her.

Sister Three is convinced that I am on my way to becoming a "dog whisperer".
I do have a way with animals and dreamed of becoming a vet when I was in grade school, but I don't think I'm necessarily a whisperer .... although I do whisper my hopes and dreams in their ears as we're cuddling in a chair.  Does that count?

At any rate, I talked to my better half and her response was, "What's one more?"
 so I emailed Sister Three and she set the wheels in motion.

We met Harry's family in Cheyenne yesterday. 
They drove him to us.  Can you believe that?

 That is true devotion on their part.

After a tearful parting, we headed home.

The beasties didn't quite know what to make of our newest member.
After lots of sniffing and checking each other out, they have all decided that
Harry is okay and have started to try to play. 

He is still a bit overwhelmed and doesn't want to play yet, 
but he went hiking with me this morning.

Yesterday, somebody found my geocache, but reported that the coordinates were
450 feet off.   I figured Chip or Maybelle had carried off the container, so
Maybelle, Harry and I set out to find it.

We checked out the first stage of my multi-cache and it was securely
 in place just as I had left it.  We trudged on to the second and final stage.

Along the way Harry startled a heron, which in turn perplexed him.

We found the cache and  put it in it's rightful place.
 Then we hiked to the end of the pasture.

It was beginning to snow a bit, but nothing to speak of.

We got to the end of the pasture just as the wind came up and the snow let loose.
We headed for home and Harry was content to trot beside me.

About halfway home he began to frantically pull at his leash.

I had to jog to keep up with him.
The wind was howling and I didn't hear my better half calling my name,
 but Harry did and he hurried me right along.

He's definitely going to be a great addition to the family.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I think we three sisters have mentioned it before that outside our little hometown sits 30 cars stuck in the ground to replicate England's Stonehenge- named Carhenge.

by WillyZ.

It was built in my junior year of high school and I remember going out to the field that used to be farm ground to get pictures of it for our year book.

The local towns people were split on it: " it was a great work of art in Western Nebraska." Others fell into the group: "it's a junk yard and why would anyone ever stop there and look at a bunch of old cars stuck in the ground."

The first elven years that Keith and I were married our farm was north east of Alliance, and we would drive by Carhenge to and from home. Keith's niece always referred to it as "car wreck." But the thing that always amazed me was that someone was always there pulling in and looking around. Always out of town license plates on their vehicles, usually out of state plates. People liked this? During the summer months it would increase in traffic ten fold.

A summer a couple years back, Sister Three and her family came home for a visit and we went out there so she could get pictures. We walked around and looked around. My kids were amazed as they had never done that. I hadn't walked around since 1987 when I took the year book photos, but it was really neat. You don't get that driving by on the road. You have to stop, get out of your car and walk around.

Last week the Friends of Carhenge announced they could no longer keep enough volunteers out there to man the visitor booth it now housed and would be offering it up for sale.

So if you have $300,000.00 you could purchase a local "land mark" and the sky is the limit on what you would be able to use it for. Some suggestions have been to have a RV camp ground, a go kart race track, and a restaurant on site to help generate revenue. All would be excellent ideas, but now we will wait and see what will happen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It seems that the trio of sisters have gotten very busy.  

I often sit down and begin a new post, only to abandon it.
I discovered that it wasn't nearly as much fun to write the blog after Mom died.
  I knew she would comment no matter what and that once she did, Aunt Sue would.

It's hard to believe that it has been almost two years since Mom died and at that time I would never have suspected that Aunt Sue would be gone in two short years.

I have spent the better part of the evening rereading old posts.  
I've laughed and I've cried.  One might think that I'm feeling very sentimental and nostalgic.
The simple plain truth is that I am procrastinating!
Anything beats doing my math assignment.  I mean, assignments.

I have one paper due on Monday, but it's only 3-5 pages long.
Of course I still haven't read the material that the paper is to be written on, but that's nothing.  

By the following Saturday I have to have a lesson plan (also 3-5 pages) written out, 
a math lesson videotaped and critiqued, and a summation of my student observations written. 

Do I have my lesson plan planned?
Of course not.

Do I have my math lesson videotaped?
Of course not.

Do I have my summation of my student observations written?
Of course not .... but I have observed the students.
That's saying something.

 So, what am I doing?

  I'm dreaming of writing something a bit less stuffy.
Something a bit more uplifting than mathematical learning trajectories.
I'm hoping this might ignite the creative juices .....

but at this point, it's looking doubtful.

Monday, September 5, 2011

We Love New York

We took a little trip to the Big Apple. It was totally different than I expected. I thought people would be really mean because my friend told me when her mom went to New York, a bunch of people yelled at her while standing in line at Dunkin' Donuts because she was taking too long to decide. I purposely avoided Dunkin' Donuts for that reason.

Here are a few shots we took while walking around:

Trump is like everywhere in New York.

 We spent a little time on Park Avenue.

  What's up with those weird steam things?

   We're all happy and well-rested here since no one jumped on our heads at 6 am.

This was my favorite part. I love Danielle Radcliffe. He's so cute.

Broadway was rubbing off on Andrew and he started doing a little singing in the rain.

My feet are extremely wet in this picture.

 What I really needed was a good foot back rub.
I think I need one of those right now too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Puppy Love

It's true that I think the best smell in the whole 
world is puppy breath.

I go out of my way to find puppies.
Show and Tell is always good for 
a couple of pups every year.

This year was no exception.

I met this one and was a goner.

The kids had named her Vanelope, 
but we renamed her Latte.

You know the old saying, "when it
rains it pours"?

About six months ago, we had adopted Ginger,
 a Papillion-cross who had to be caught in a live trap.
She was scared to death of people and 
her first placement was upset because she 
wouldn't warm up to them.
Naturally she was house-broken, spayed and
had all her shots, but very shy.

She finally decided that Mardell was okay
but she refused to have anything to do with me.

She blessed us while I was gone ....



I am in puppy heaven!

Especially since Ginger lets me hold her pups.

I'm just sorry that I have to go to Grand Island for Math!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Southern Hospitality

We experienced true Southern hospitality all day long.

Once again we started the day with the breakfast buffet that the hotel provides.
I'm going to miss grits when I go home.

I've become rather fond of them.

After breakfast we headed down the Interstate toward Montezuma.
We filled up with gas .... ouch .... and continued 
our journey to Andersonville.

Along the way we kept seeing this soft ferny tree.

We finally figured out it was bamboo!
Did you know that there is a species of bamboo 
that will grow in Nebraska?!

Our first stop was the Visitor's Center in Andersonville.
We had hit the Visitor Center in Perry last night and they 
gave us such good information that we decided to stop.

They also had a unique tree that could make
it's way to Nebraska.

I'm sure my better half would appreciate that!

We went to the National Prisoner of War Museum first.

I thought we'd spend fifteen minutes and then move on to the Andersonville prison site.
Boy, was I ever wrong.  We spent almost two hours in the museum.

One of the first displays was designed to give you a vague idea of what it might feel like to initially be captured and taken prisoner.
You're facing a concrete embankment with rifles pointing at and around you.
The slightest movement trips a sensor that starts a recording of people yelling,
shots being fired, directions screamed at you and spotlights dancing around and in your face.
It made the hair on my arms stand up.
It was hard to stand there through the full loop of the recording.

They had information about POWs in every war from the American Revolution to the Gulf War.
I honestly hadn't thought about prisoners of war with the American Revolution nor the War of 1812.  

During the Civil War, some of the women would go to the prisons where their
husbands were being held so that they could be together.  They ended up nursing the prisoners because there was very little medical care.

It was very educational and interesting and we could have easily spent another two hours or so, but I was on overload so we journeyed outside to the site of the Civil War prison.

It was only 85 degrees so we decided to walk the trail.

Visions of Devil's Tower came back to us as we realized

what goes down must come back up!

We were rewarded with a heron or crane of some sort.

Fortunately, we didn't see any of these:

These were the stockades outside the wall of the prison.
I'm not sure what they used them for because if
a prisoner crossed the "dead line"

 with so much as a hand or foot, they were shot
by guards in the pigeon roosts.

This was all the shelter they had from the elements.

45,000 men were imprisoned there.
12,913 died from starvation, disease, and malnutrition.

Captain Henry Wirz was convicted of war crimes after the war
and hanged in Washington D.C.  

From there we went to the Andersonville National Cemetery.

During July and August, 1865, Clara Barton, a detachment of laborers and soldiers, and a former prisoner named Dorence Atwater, came to Andersonville cemetery to identify and mark the graves of the Union dead. As a prisoner, Atwater was assigned to record the names of deceased Union soldiers for the Confederates. Fearing loss of of the death record at war's end, Atwater made his own copy in hopes of notifying the relatives of some 12,000 dead interred at Andersonville. Thanks to his list and the Confederate records confiscated at the end of the war, only 460 of the Andersonville graves had to be marked " Unknown U.S. Soldier."

Every guide was helpful in answering questions.  They were all friendly and very interested in what had brought us to Georgia and where we were from.

After I get home, I'll write about the Civil War Drummer Boy Museum, the site of Charles Lindbergh's first solo flight and our invitation to meet President and Rosalyn Carter.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Howdy Y'all from the Peach State

Did you know that on a typical day in Atlanta, 280,000 people pass through the airport?

Evidently they all pass through at 4:30 ... which is precisely when we landed.

They try to make your visit more pleasant with sculptures representing Zimbabwe.

It took over an hour for our luggage to arrive at the baggage claim area.
That was okay, because it took us that long as well.

From there we took the Sky Train to the Enterprise office.

They upgraded our ride for the week.

We drove and drove and drove until we reached Perry.

Finding the Ramada Inn was surprisingly simple .... for us!

Big ass signs help.

Our room was inviting ....

... of course, after traveling all day, 

this would have been inviting!

Naturally we overslept .... but we still got ready with time for 
the breakfast buffet at the Green Derby.

It was delicious .... and even had grits!

We easily found our way to the National Fairgrounds.

I was fascinated with the trees that lined their walkways.

The day was good .... full of informative, but humorous speakers ....

Danny Brassell started and ended our day.
He's every bit as funny as Lester Laminack, so we enjoyed him a lot.

The whole reason we chose this conference was to see Regie Routman again.

She reaffirmed everything I believe about reading.
The best part is that we get to see her again tomorrow .... twice!

We are getting a new science curriculum next year so we
went to hear Dr. Malcom Butler talk about Science Notebooks.

He was very good .... but he helped write the National Geographic series
so it was essentially an hour long commercial.

The only disaster of the day was lunch ....

See all the people in line at the front of the room in this picture?

They are at the front of the lunch line ready to get their meal.
Vicki and I were number 972 and 973  in line.

Lunch was catered by Sonny's Bar-B-Q.
 Lunch started at 11:45.
The keynote speaker was to begin at 12:20.
We were served at 1:07.
The first afternoon session was at 1:15.

Because of the lunch snafu, the keynote speaker was unable to talk.
Needless to say, I doubt that Sonny's will ever be asked to cater 
any event by the Dodge Learning Company again.

Fortunately, we have speed eating down to a science.

We attended Lori Oczkus' presentation and learned a great deal.

Unfortunately, most of it involved singing, dancing and acting.
Let's just say Hell hasn't frozen over yet and leave it at that.

Then we bought 50 books.
I know.

You're shocked beyond belief.

On our way to the fairgrounds, I had noticed some trees planted in rows
(Right now Sister 3 is rolling her eyes and muttering something about mom)
and I wanted to check them out further.

My guess is that they are pecan trees, but I'm not sure.

At any rate, we then saw this sign

and that is something we want to take in later this week
so we thought we would check out the hours, what there was to see and do, etc.

Important Note:  We have discovered that in the east if there is a sign without miles, you can figure it will add several hours to your trip.

The same holds true for the south.
In Nebraska, we put the number of miles to an attraction ---
we don't just tease you with the name.

We drove forever .... only to come upon a sign that indicated
it was 22 more miles.  By that time we were committed to 
finding the #*$&#^ place, so we kept going.

In fact, after we found Andersonville, we kept on going
until we reached Plains, Georgia .... 

which is famous for ....

We didn't run into the former president, but we intend to
go back on Thursday when the museum and other attractions
are open.

It was a beautiful drive and we saw lots of interesting things ....

A fruit stand .... where we had to buy some peaches.
The gentleman there asked if we'd ever seen melons that big
and I so badly wanted to say "Yes, in Pigeon Forge," but I refrained.

 I thought of Sister Two when I saw this sign.

Yes, the Baptists

are alive and well

in Georgia!

We couldn't decide between attending the revival

or going to this hopping night spot,
 so we settled on supper instead.

After supper we entertained ourselves in the gift shop ....

where there was a parrot that imitated our laughs.
At first we thought it was  motion sensitive and that we kept causing it to laugh by our movements.

However, when we got closer we realized the damn
thing was parroting back all that we said.

If we had more room and hadn't bought 50 books, we would have
bought it.  It would be great in our staff meetings.
Or just at the lunch table.

Somehow, I don't see the others enjoying our humor.

It was a whirlwind day and we get to do it all again tomorrow!