Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Second Semester is Well Underway ~ and The Joys of Home Ownership

The excitement and joy of the holidays is now in the Memory Book.
It's getting a little more challenging to find the "blog worthy" in this everyday life.

Callie, my helper cat, thinks she is being helpful while I correct papers...
not so much.

I told you about our frigid weather recently.
This is the door to our department.
It appears to be frozen shut!

I'm in...

New classes, new students, new curriculum...
We were off to a slow start this semester, due to weather related releases and late starts.
Plus it is cold and flu season...Our students and staff experienced some influenza, strep throat and a stomach bug.  
Lots of empty desks that first week.

On the home front...
A week ago we awoke to a chilly house.
Hubby went down to check out the furnace.
(Remember the movie, A Christmas Story?
Ralphie's dad goes down to the basement to fix the furnace??
That's what it sounded like here that morning!)

Anyway, we had to call in a professional.
And the weekend labor rates?
Ouch.

Two days later we awoke to water dripping from the ceiling in the laundry room.
Seems the refrigerator hose had sprung a leak.
And not just a little leak...behind the fridge, it was spraying water like a fountain.

Hubby was able to fix this problem.
His labor rates are...well, priceless.

Here she is...back in place...restored to her glory.

I hope it's not true that bad things happen in three.
We can't afford another appliance problem this month!

Stay safe and warm.
Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, January 16, 2015

TGIF and Happy Hour Jazz on Fridays

Last Friday, this Friday, and several Fridays to come,
the Aberdeen Jazz is playing at the historic Ward Hotel.

The drummer has to get there early, 
as he has the most to set up.

Meet one of my fellow 'groupies'.
Her husband is the trumpet player.



And it's always fun when good friends join us.


So, if you are looking to unwind at the end of the work week,
join us for good music, good food, and good conversation.

Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Get Up It's Game Day & Bison Pride Friday

For the fourth year in a row,
the NDSU Bison are in the National Championship Game.

Here's hubby at work on Bison Pride Friday!

In fact, it is such big news that it made our local news in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, it's always about the SDSU Jackrabbits
(as it should be)
but, the only time we hear about the Bison is 
when they are playing the Jackrabbits for the Dakota Marker.

This week, when I heard about the Bison on the 6 o'clock news,
I got so excited I had to take pictures of my TV!

School is the same story.
Most teachers and students are SDSU fans,
so when I find someone in Bison gear,
I can't let him/her get away!

And once in a while there are some special students 
that catch the Bison Fever.

It's a lot of fun to go to a game in the dome.

It's not easy to get tickets,
and in that case, hubby and I have our own "watch party" at home.

It is one hour till kick off...
Let's go Bison!

Take care,
~Natalie

some photos are courtesy of gobison.com

Friday, January 9, 2015

Things In My House Thursday ~Crazy Christmas Tree Lady ~I've Got Some Explaining To Do...

It was late summer when our oldest daughter said that she and her hubby might be able to come home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. She asked me when her sister and her fiance might be free?

I told her that they would have to coordinate that.
But, I promised that if they could all be here at the same time for the holidays,
I would put a Christmas Tree in every room of the house.

So, I hope that explains my craziness?!
But a mother always keeps her promises.
These pencil trees are in the foyer.

In the family room, there was the family tree...

And the country tree.

There are two pencil trees in the girls' bathroom.

You remember the Amy tree...

...and the Emily Tree.
So, that's it for downstairs.

You've seen the tree in the living room.

These two are on my cookbook book shelf...

And these two are by the hutch.

My last addition was in my bathroom.
We found this pretty little tree that fits on the vanity.

I like that it serves as a little nightlight for the bathroom.

So now, Christmas is a sweet memory.
Epiphany was celebrated this Tuesday.

It will be time to think about taking down the trees,
In the same way that they went up...One by One.

It has been way too cold to go up to the attic and get the storage tubs and boxes.
So, for now, the cats and I are still enjoying the soft warm glow of the lights.

Take care,
~Natalie

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What Perfect Attendance Looks Like...and Have a Safe Commute to School and Work Today

Check out my Classroom.
This was taken last term, in early December.
With a roster of 35 students,
I was impressed whenever we had perfect attendance!

A friend and co-teacher sent this to me one morning.

You remember my classroom set up...
Two semi-circles of desks. 
It is great for class discussions,
however, does nothing to discourage 'side conversations'.
It also is quite tempting to try to cheat off your neighbor's paper,
so while taking a test, I watch them like a hawk!

The large open area in the center is the 'fish bowl'.
(Was that a classroom management term from college in the 70s?)
I (and occasionally students) present in this area.
All students are either in the 1st or 2nd row...
no one is sleeping way in the back!

And the walk-way between the two circles makes it easy to move around
 to answer questions and to check student progress.
(Yes, always turn your phone on silent at the beginning of class!)


So, it's not as cold this morning as we were expecting!
The forecast was for wind chills of 35 to 40 below.

But only -28...and being the hardy folks that we are here in the midwest,
We are heading to school...students will have a two hour late start.
Teachers report at the usual time.

Today will be the coldest day of the week with a -3 for a high.
And then, our next issue will be the wind...
remember we got over 3 inches of that fluffy white stuff 
on Monday that is sure to blow around.

Don't forget to have your winter survival kit in your vehicle.
Stay safe and warm!

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday Mania ~It was Back to Reality for All

Christmas Vacation was nearly perfect this year...
if only it could have lasted forever?!
Thank you, everyone, for your sweet comments about our holiday activities.

After a week at home our family was on their way,
back to their own homes, work, and school.

One daughter and her fiance left by air...

It appears our airport is in the middle of nowhere, doesn't it?
And... I guess you could say it is!

One daughter and her husband left by land
to spend a week with his family in the cities.

Then, it was back to school for me.
New classes, new students, new schedule,
and a few surprises.

One was an early release because of weather.
It was not a very nice day!
And the rest of the week doesn't look much better.

"You're home early?!"

A bonus 90 minutes at home that I was not expecting!

Stay safe and warm.
Take care,
~Natalie