Saturday, September 10, 2011

One of my Favorite Pictures

A simple zinnia.
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Friday, September 09, 2011

Happy Red Flowers on the Grass

Find them at ETSY.com
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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Walking Ginger

One of the best things that I have done these days is getting a dog...I have been so blessed. Even though raising a baby dog is a challenge including toilet training and teaching her not to bite or nip, it is a lot of fun. Surprisingly the best part of having her is walking her around the neighborhood.

Would you believe it? Is it going to grow old? I am sure there will be days but for now it is terrific. One of the first surprising things that happened was that I started meeting and becoming better aquainted with my neighbors. The ones I met first were Michael and his wife with their beautiful blond Golden Retriever, Abby, who was at least ten times larger than Ginger, but super gentle. Then the neighbor behind me who has a beagle mix, Jake, loved my Ginger and even babysat her when I went on a short trip. Then the neighbor on the corner has a happy dog who loves to run with out a leash, and two door down, there's the nurse who walks her 13 year old pet late at night, and another lady on the other street with two slow ole dogs which she loves dearly.

How did it happen? Well little puppies are babies without diapers and require frequent visits to the exterior or they will leak in the interior, so I was constantly outside. It was a huge disruption for me yet I admit a great idea! Having a pet has brought more activity into my life in a very casual normal way. Then as my toe and Ginger's broken leg healed we have both started walking more. In fact, I feel delighted to be walking and when I take her out I feel up to taking another round on the cul de sac. Next it will be around the block and later around the walking mile. It's wonderful.

Then, I have so enjoyed walking her because she is so cute. Frankly, I don't know if other people's dogs are as cute as mine. I can assure you that I am not being arrogant. It is true that I have had people stop and roll down their windows and just love looking at her. In fact many ask for permission to pet her, but for me that is not the cuteness I am referring to. She seems to enjoy every moment she is outside walking with me. On our trek to the corner there are clovers and wildflowers, and she relishes rubbing her nose in them tasting one or two. She perks her ears at any strange noises and follows a scent like an ole' blood hound, her little tail behind her standing straight like a ruler with a white tuft on the end. Then she must frolic among the neighbors overgrown St. Augustine grass, and she lies down in it, stretching out her growing legs, and peeks out between the blades of grass. She suddenly hops up and startles all the little white moths in the grass just to see them take flight. How does she know that is going to make me laugh? She is a hoot. I am telling you, she is a gift for me!

Finally, having a dog, instantly engrafts you into a "secret" quiet society which breaks down huge barriers. It's the animal lovers society. It is full of friendly people who are basically kind souls that enjoy animals. It takes a certain kind of gentleness and patience to raise and keep a pet. If you don't have it, you had better find it. Don't get me wrong, it has been a transition for me since I had my house all to myself, and I have found myself frustrated now and then, but I am getting better at it. (Housing her in a crate has helped immensely.)

Having a pet also requires time and energy, as well as having to run home to take the puppy out, feed, play, and show her affection. It is not quite like having a cat who are mostly self-sufficient. In spite of all the challenges, these little animals's gifts to you far out weigh all the trouble in more ways than you could ever imagine.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Wordle

Weird word, right? Well, wordle is everything but weird. It is a website that allows users to make interesting, creative, and colorful text collages. The website provides a program which will let you switch fonts and backgrounds at a touch of a finger. Terrific if you want to have a different formative assessment. Let's say you have been reading a chapter, you can have a student create a summary of that chapter with words and phrases. It will capture the essence of their understanding and produce a product that is attractive colorful, easy to assess, and share. It will also be something they can edit and feel proud about. I only have good things to say about it. I did one on Juliet and I capitalized her three most outstanding features while I left the rest lower case. If I want to add a phrase and want it to say together, I hyphenate it. Hope you will go and play with it. It's great for Binders for a Novel, Theme, a personal poem or things about you. I love it. It's Wordle at www.wordle.net