Friday, June 29, 2012

Chalk Paint

You may have seen Annie Sloan chalk paint around the blogosphere before - I know I certainly have.
Even better, I found a place where I can get this not too far from here.

So, I ordered some to paint our Adirondack chairs and rocker.  Stay tuned for before and after pictures. The greatest thing about this paint can be found on this site.  There's no priming, sanding, or much prep work at all.  As soon as this paint arrives, I'm going to get going on this project.  I'll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Reads

So far, I've been spending my summer days cleaning, organizing, and sorting.  I'm also working on curriculum for the fall.  However, I get to enjoy a more flexible schedule so in the afternoon, I'll be here:

I'm also hoping to get back to the Storyslinger's group at our local bookstore. The book I am currently reading is called State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett.  The second one is titled The Coffins of Little Hope, by Timothy Schaffert.  I've also ordered The American Bible , by Stephen Prothero.
It contains the songs, speeches, and sayings that we hold dear as Americans - "words that unite, divide, and inspire."  Looking forward to reading that one as well.

What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

House Plant Party ~ Take it Outside!

I've been enjoying my first two days of summer vacation catching up around the house.  While vacuuming, dusting, and doing laundry, I noticed that my house plants were in need of a little TLC.
So, we took it outside and showed 'em a good time!

Fern preferred staying where she was ~ she likes it on the front porch and was doing alright. 

Phil the philodendron and Rose just needed some water and their leaves dusted and pruned a bit.

Phil's cousin, the heartleaf philodendron, was in need of water and some pruning as well.  She's super easy to care for. In fact, she looks this good after spending a year in my classroom and was, well, a bit neglected:(

I let them mingle a bit, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine ~ life is good!

I'm off to the Farmer's Market - first time this season:)

Hope you're enjoying your Tuesday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rain Chains and Baby Fawn Sightings...

Now judge me if you must, but I had not heard of a rain chain before.  They are a pretty garden accent, but can be used in place of a downspout on your gutter to collect rain water.  They make a beautiful sound when water flows through the cups.  So, even rainy days can be something to look forward to!  Did I really just type that?

And in other news, baby fawn seems to have become a little more independent, as I do not see any signs of mama - she's probably not too far behind though!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Lounging and Garden Update

Well, the chaise lounges arrived and we love them!  Spending some time here and also keeping track of our mini kitchen garden.  We've already enjoyed some of the herbs, and the tomatoes aren't far behind.

Beautiful Mandevilla - it's starting to wrap itself around the railing!

Garden - week 5!

I think it's safe to say outdoor seating and planting is complete.  Now we get to enjoy these summer days. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Mantel

I love to change things a bit around the house.  I especially love it when I find things we already have, but when you move them, they make a space feel fresher.  My kids always heard me refer to this as "putzing around"  - don't know if "putzing" is even a word, but we'll go with it!  I switched the candles from the dining room and placed a few shells that we had collected from Florida on the mantel.  The bird candle was new from Pier 1, and I kept the tulips from the spring.  I think I could look at tulips all year long:)

What about you?  Do you move things around when you get tired of them in the same old space?

Linking up here today, or check out the button all the way at the bottom of these posts:)

Summer Fun!

Just wanted to share some first pictures of weekend summer fun.  It's our first summer in our new house!

We didn't do it!

Wonder what they're talking about?

I have no words!

Good food!

Love that hat:)

good friends:)

Happy First Day of Summer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last Day

Yesterday was the last day of school for our students.  It was very much like any other last day for the last twenty years I've taught, except this one was a little different.  Our school is closing and so this was not just the last day of class.  It has been a month of "lasts", as we had assemblies and field trips, and awards and yearbooks.  It is the last time the doors will welcome students and families, teachers and staff, cool lunches and backpacks, books and supplies.  I decided I would capture a few moments. There are no pictures of the children - their faces will always be in my heart with lots of memories here.

Please pardon the quality of these pictures, but it was early - too early to mention in fact:) I forgot my camera, so I took these with my phone.

It's been a tradition for many years that I bring donuts on the first day and the last. So that was my first stop!  The folder contained what I prepared to say at our awards ceremony as we honored student's achievements.  And I brought a change of clothes, since I knew I would need to change so I could pack later on in the day.

This is the first thing I see early in the morning when I park.  We walked this track almost every day:)
It will still be used of course, however I will have a different view next year.

As I entered my classroom, I took one look at all those boxes and decided to look elsewhere!  I handed out breakfast and important papers for my students instead:) The packing can wait until after the kiddos leave!
Those windows face a high school across the street.  I will miss hearing the cheerleaders in September practicing outside on the side lawn, and hearing the play-by-play of the football games at the stadium.  It was the "white noise" that I heard while I graded papers and created lesson plans.

Checked the yearbooks one more time to be sure I signed all of them.

Was thankful for the group of students I had this year.  These were some gifts they gave me. My favorites are their cards written with their own thoughts:) They didn't know they'd be the last class to leave this building, but they handled it quite well.

Wore a favorite bracelet my sisters gave me for my birthday last year - it makes me smile:) Years ago, my students were pen pals with my youngest sister's class.  
After months of writing to each other, they took a bus and came out to meet us and play on the playground.   Years later, my other sisters surprised me and bought me coffee one afternoon. I couldn't help but smile when I remembered those visits. And where did the time go anyway??

Put on my dress shoes and checked that I had everything I needed for the assembly. I had a colleague years ago who accidentally wore two different colored shoes - one navy and one black!! I think I've had this fear that I'd do the same ever since!! Doesn't hurt to check:)

Welcomed my fifth graders one last time, enjoyed our day together, and said goodbye. It went by so fast!  

I will take lots of lessons and memories with me - including the fact that my own kids spent their elementary years here.  I remember eating cinnamon toast with Dan before class began, and Kristen coming back in the middle of the morning to ask for snack money!  She will love that I shared that!  How lucky was I to have that time with them though?

And so it goes ~ 

Thanks for the memories RM Elementary!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Easy Summer Salad

I'm always looking for new recipes to try, but this one seems to be a staple at summer gatherings.  It's so quick and simple, and we call it "PestoTortellini Salad".  This recipe will serve 10-12 people, if you figure that each serving is approximately a  half cup.  I usually use three cheese tortellini pasta, but the grocery store was out!!  So, I substituted with three cheese ravioli and I think it was just as good.

Cook 2 lbs. tortellini (ravioli) for about 5-7 minutes.

Drain the pasta and place into serving bowl.

Add container of pesto.  You can make your own pesto from scratch with fresh basil and olive oil as well.

Add a pint of fresh garden cherry tomatoes - can't wait until my kitchen garden is ready!

Finally, stir in a jar of pine nuts.  You can serve right away, or refrigerate and serve cold.  

Add a fresh sprig of basil as a garnish.

Voila!  and Bon Appetit!

Easy summer pasta salad, so you can go and enjoy the sunshine and not worry about dinner.

Happy Monday:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For Father's Day....

May young ones come to you for guidance and wisdom,

and never stray too far from the path.

May you stop to enjoy the fruits of your labor,

and take time to appreciate the everyday beauty that's around you,

in all its splendor and diversity.

May there always be a light at the end of a long, hard day,

and strength in character, particularly in times where courage might normally hide.

And know that there are others trusting your lead,  and loving you all the way.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pool Update #3

We finished the final grading and putting down the sod this past week.  We were also able to get the salt levels correct so that the pool was making enough chlorine - just in time for a swim after a long, hot day at work! The first picture is the view outside our bedroom looking over the deck - pinch me - still can't believe we get to enjoy this every morning!

That stone you see is just filler to keep down the mud from a certain brown fur:) Eventually I see a pretty Japanese Maple or some tall grasses, and some prettier stone to go on top.

Below is where the new lounge chairs will go as soon as they arrive. 

Another view from the top deck...

That's all for now.  Closing up another school year and looking forward to a few weeks of vacation.
Summers go by so fast ~ hoping to be able to really enjoy this one.

Have a great weekend and a  Happy Father's Day!