Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Activities

I have been crazy busy lately:

*Girls Trip with high school friends to visit another high school friend
*A trip to a local art museum
*Water park day with the grands
*Last t-ball for the Bug
*A day trip to see E in swimming lessons and gymnastics
*Baby sister and hubby visiting from Cali
*Helping a colleague study for a test

So much fun. Maybe I can show you in pictures.

Some great memories of:

a beautiful small town that made us feel like celebrities
selfie stick fun
Madison County covered bridge detour
a flat tire stop of 90 minutes (who knew a flat tire could be that funny?!!)
American Gothic minus the pitchfork, but plus a selfie stick
E and the Bug going down the family slide together--such big kids!
L and her youngest step daughter's ending a trip on the big slides with a triple loop ending of their own making
an art exhibit of photos and paintings from the U.S. Japanese internment camps of the 1940's
a t-ball game where the littlest bug turned into a smurf with a blue slush (Does Nana know how to buy treats or what?!)
Daddy CB surprising E and his mama by showing up at swim lessons and gymnastics
furniture shopping trip with wild man E
spending a day with little sis, meeting up with a childhood friend
dinner at Little Big Brothers with the whole family
Big Brothers and sorority poses for pictures
studying for a test that I didn't have to take (These poor young teachers!)

To be honest, I have been far too tired to blog. The last ten days have been busy. So far, this summer has been a good one!

July is stacking up to be hectic, too.

1. The basement remodel begins Tuesday
2. Buggy and the Baby Bug are spending four days with us while Mommy and Daddy are on a trip
3. L and CB are moving to a new home
4. Celebrating our 40th anniversary with the girls and families at a cabin on a local lake
5. Work at school

It won't be long and the summer will be gone. I'm planning to enjoy it while I can!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Look Out, Starbucks!

You know I like coffee, but sometimes, it is just a little too hot outside to enjoy a steaming cup. Iced Coffee is the answer to that.

Dad drank cold coffee quite a bit in the summer. His recipe was really strong coffee and lots of ice.

Starbucks makes some delicious cold coffee drinks; however, the cost and calorie total never thrill me.

This summer, I have hit on a great solution.

International Coffee makes a creamer called Hershey's Chocolate Caramel. I add that to Dad's recipe of really black coffee and lots of ice. Voila! A drink that rivals many of the cold drinks I have had from Starbucks.

I am guessing it costs me less than a dollar a cup/glass to make. At 35 calories per tablespoon of creamer, one glass is probably about 70 calories. I can handle that...and Yum!

So there is your yearly recipe. My "cooking" skills just keep growing!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Weekend 2016

This was/is a pretty quiet weekend on Easy Street.

The Mr. worked from 7-5 on Saturday. Probably appropriate that Father is working.

Today, we are taking it easy. K and the Little Girls came by early this morning, and then I took the Mr. out for breakfast. (His favorite meal to eat out.)  Do I know how to make a guy feel special or what?!

We are celebrating with L next weekend, and we will run out to the farm for supper with Dad and Grandma B. That is pretty much it.


lift heavy things
work--always work
unscrew lids that are stuck on tight
like gooseberry pie and vanilla ice cream
cook (more and more do!)
mow lawns
wash cars
change tires (I skipped that day of Driver's Ed)
can parallel park (I might have missed that one, too!)
repair a lot of things with duct tape and baling wire
and take pretty darn good care of us.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Thanks for reminding us that life would be quite a bit more difficult without you!
Mrs. E

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Random Bits: Bomb Pops, Dansko, and LiveBinders

A few random thoughts:

*The Bug and I love Bomb Pops. They are patriotic and delicious. She remembered them from last summer and kept asking this Nana when we were going to have them again. Well, we introduced the Little Bug to them this week, and they were a hit with her, too. E is going to have to try them next.  Bomb Pops: the best treat of the summer.
*Do it yourself conferences. These are a new trend. You go to the conference, post ideas you are interested in learning about or sharing, and those ideas are grouped into sessions. This is a great way to make sure the conference is relevant to each of us. AND...I love the fact that they encourage you to get up and leave if you aren't learning what you were hoping to and encourage you to walk into another session that might be a better fit. Genius! (The one I went to this last week was a State wide conference of all grades and disciplines.)

*New apps. I learned about quite a few new apps at the conference. So what am I doing today? Playing with the apps to see which ones will help me the most in the classroom.

*Dansko shoes. Since I'm thinking about school anyway, I have to post a pair of shoes I am dying for. Dansko shoes are super comfortable, if a bit "Grandma" or "Nana" looking. Granted, I fit that category, but I like cute, fun shoes that don't kill my feet. Then, I found this Dansko style. I LOVE it!
These are tough on a teacher's salary, but I might have to splurge. And this is a second pair, I wouldn't refuse either.

School teachers are always in a bind. We need comfortable shoes and can't really afford them on our salaries. This splurge is one that my feet appreciate. I haven't purchased them yet....still dreaming! Maybe...!

*Harry Potter. I read all of the books when they came out. My project since school ended was to re-read the entire series. I can check that one off my list.  (Pretty sure the Mr. is happy about that.)

*Finally, at Thursday's conference, I won a year's subscription to LiveBinders. It looks like an online organizer that I can create and then share with students or other teachers. It also looks like I will have access to many LiveBinders created by educators across the country. I haven't activated my gift yet. I want to make sure I have plenty of time to explore and create. (After next week is over.) I love organizing, and I can already think of several uses for it. I think I might have hit the jackpot!

There are your random bits for this week. All the news you didn't need to know. (BUT...a nice break from National tragedies and the Presidential race, eh?!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hanging Out on Easy Street

Let's see...

We've had a chance to hang out with E without his parents last Saturday. They went to a wedding, and we went out to eat, drove by their new house (July!), and played with the crazy guy at his house. He is so good and very adaptable. I especially loved his combination gymnastics and interpretive dance. This could only be performed on a huge blanket with every wrinkle out of it. (His mat, I guess.) We had such a good time.

Last Sunday, we saw the Bug's Bible School Program at church. What a difference a year makes! She joined in on the singing and dancing, no encouragement needed.

After her program we took off to meet up with quite a few CrAzY cousins at a park. CraZy Cousin Ree was here from Virginia. We had a great time catching up. Three aunts, an uncle, and many littles were present. Oh, and one adorable lab puppy was there. E loved that little guy. I'm pretty sure there is a dog in E's future!

The Mr. returned to his surgeon. He is still restricted on lifting or overdoing. There hasn't been much healing, quite a bit of infection (almost gone now, thanks to antibiotics), and a chance of more surgery ahead. He will have weekly appointments with his surgeon now and if healing isn't happening, they will make a new plan. We are fairly bummed, but dealing with it.

We've been fighting gnats and mosquitoes in Tiny Town. They are horrible. I guess a wet spring will do that for you. Marigolds and mint aren't having much affect this year, and neither are bug sprays, etc.; therefore, I have resorted to Lemongrass, Tea Tree, and Peppermint oils. I feel a bit like a witch doctor mixing up a brew. Will this work? Time will tell.

Last week, laundry was drying incredibly fast on the line. This week is a different story. I guess 90% humidity and little wind is to blame. I think that laundry is going to be hanging a bit longer today, so we really are hanging out on Easy Street.

Oh, and this afternoon the Big Bug and Little Bug are coming to hang out with Nana. Mommy is at a conference, and Daddy could probably use a break on Day #3.

Hanging out. It's what I do.
Mrs. E

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer Etc.

The etc. for this week?

Conference: I spent two days at a conference on Monday and Tuesday. There were four sessions on some of the questions I had at the end of the year. And I earned a college credit. That was a double win!
      For a triple win--I spent the night with L and CB and little man E. That was fun!
      The only loss--one tire. All the road work meant very little road space. There was some razor like wire in my lane and no way to avoid it without an accident. I am fortunate that the tire didn't go flat until I arrived home. The side wall was punctured, so we had to buy a new tire. Lovely.

Bible School: I came back to Bible School in full swing. I thought I was helping with crafts, but ended up with the K-1 group. Twenty of them. 20! I don't know how L does it. I was ready to pull my hair out.
       On another note, it was fun watching the Bug this year. She is having a ball and is so grown up!

Garage Sale: It is that time of year again: Tiny Town Garage Sales. I have quite a few things lined up to sell. One of these days the girls will thank me for not leaving them all of this stuff to sort through!

This morning I am having a 2nd cup of coffee and possibly a 3rd.  If 20 K-1 kids are part of my morning, I will need it!


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bugs Me

These are the things bugging me:

mosquitoes-- darn things are leaving bruises on me
age spots
hot seats in the car when I'm wearing shorts
Baxter dragging bits and pieces of his food into the hallway and living room--what the heck?!
the cost of sunscreen and insect repellent
not having my computer or my phone backed up (I'm working on it!)
sick grands--little E with a fever and Baby Bug with allergies that leave a rash all over her

On the other hand, I love...

hanging laundry on the line
concerts in the park
Blood Marys- the drink that comes with snacks!
lunch dates
the activity app that reminds me to get up and move
art museums
classes in the summer that are relevant and needed
contacts and sunglasses
the stack of books by my chair--textbooks, school resources, play scripts, and novels
and any time I spend with the grands!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer Activities

How do I know it is summer?

*Shorts and flip flops
*Hot dogs 
*Iced tea and Lemonade--Arnold Palmers
*Insect repellent and sunscreen
*Trips to the library--for me and not my classes
*Painted toes
*And reading--lots of reading!

How do I really know it is summer? I have no idea what day of the week it is because every day feels like a weekend.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


The Mr. had a minor (?) surgical procedure done yesterday on a sore on his stomach that wouldn't heal. Thirty plus stitches later, he has orders to do no lifting of more than 15 pounds for the next two weeks. So...

One of our solutions to water in the basement was adding soil to create a slope away from the house. We had started this the night before surgery, but I finished it up yesterday by buying, hauling, and spreading out eight 40 pound bags of topsoil. It was a workout.

Now, we need gutter extensions to carry the water further from the foundation. After this, we are gutting the rest of the basement. Of course, that can't happen until some of the trash containers come back into town. (The tornado victims are using all available containers right now. As they should be. Maybe by next week, there will be one to pull in.)

The Mr. returns to the surgeon on June 14th. Hopefully, he will be healed and cleared. Until then, I don't really need to do strength training classes. These muscles are getting a workout!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

From the Book of Bug

"Nana, you have freckles!" (Actually, they are age spots, but let's go with freckles.)

"I had a MOVING freckle, Nana!"  (A moving freckle??)

"Yep, but it turned out to be a tick!"