Thursday, May 29, 2014

Is the End in Sight???

As another school year winds down our state mandated testing is in full swing. This means countless hours of watching kids sit on front of a computer screen while they show the world what they know. Unfortunately I am rarely in my classroom except to drop things off in between testing sessions because a.) I'm testing in another location, b.) my room is being used for testing, or c.) I am in my room but I am testing. Today it was option c and I had to look at this mess. All. Day. Long. 

Here's to two more weeks of school!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Week (and a little more) In Review

Ah, Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer. While it is warming up, it is no where close to what I would consider summer here at Wilted Acres. To me, summer is 85+ degrees with a bit of humidity to keep it real. And while I love the current high 70s to low 80s we are having, it feels more like late spring than summer.

In my last post I shared that I didn't have to report to work because of a "flood day." Initially I had planned to go into work. However, I decided I that my work bag contained more than enough paperwork to occupy my day. I tried to get some pictures of the flooding, but was not as successful as I thought I might be. Anyway, below is a nearby creek. You can see the brown water just past the trees in the foreground. Tough to see how high the water was, but I can assure you it was worthy of a flood day...

Below is the rain gauge from my garden. We had nearly 2 inches of rain in a 24 hour time span at my house. But other nearby areas reported more than 3 inches of rain in that same period of time!!!

After a three day weekend I was back at work bright and early this past Monday, ready to conquer the week. It's a good thing I had some extra time because the week ended up being crazier than usual.

On Thursday, I defended my dissertation proposal. What this means is that I am now ready to begin the next step in my research once I make the required changes to my proposal. These changes will be due to my committee members mid-June. Once those changes are made and approved, I will move on to the Institutional Review Board of the University. Pending their approval I can begin working with the necessary agencies I need to work with in order to complete my research.

Prior to my proposal defense, I took this picture of the room where I was about to present.

After successfully defending my proposal I celebrated with a vanilla chai latte from Starbucks and took a quick pic.

When I got home the Hubs and I decided a little family celebration was in order so we headed into town to a favorite local restaurant with Babycakes. After a delicious meal of drunken salmon, crab dip, fresh garden salad, loaded baked potato, spring veggies (I had PLENTY of leftovers!) and a glass of chardonnay from a local winery, we headed back home so we could get Babycakes to bed. She was super clingy that night and I thought she was just exhausted from a big day so we wanted to get her home. Not to mention that I had been up until 1 that morning finishing my presentation. So I was ready for bed myself.

But before we left for home I took a couple of pictures near where we parked. I can not tell you how beautiful it is in the Valley at this time of year. Because many of you are scattered across the country, I wanted to share some of the local beauty:

I have no idea what these little flowers are but they are beautiful!  It's hard to tell, but they are a light pink color.

These flower baskets are throughout the town. This one is on the bridge that runs over a small stream in town.

The aforementioned stream...

This is an antiques shop but I just love the little side yard!
After we got home, Babycakes and I crawled into bed for some cuddles and I thought she felt a little warm but she wasn't running a temperature. She fell asleep shortly after cuddles began and I didn't have the heart to move her into her bed so I just enjoyed the closeness and did a little reading to unwind.  By 10:00 she was running a fever and awake about every 45 minutes.  It was a LONG night for everyone. The next day she went to the pediatrician and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. A round of antibiotics and she was back to her shenanigans.  Like this selfie...

That's all for now readers! I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day and take some time to remember those who have gone before to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fire and Flood

No work for me today! Our school division is closed due to flooding throughout the county. Babycakes is sleeping in, the Hubs is off to get a haircut and I am enjoying my morning coffee and the Today show. I am watching the news out of Southern California (my home state) and the irony of the situation is not lost on me.While I am home due to an overabundance of rain, Californians are desperate for a brief shower to get a leg up on the fires. My thoughts and prayers are with those impacted in any way by the horrible devastation. I am thankful today that my basement is flooded and my family is safe.

Despite being off for flooding, I plan on going into work to get caught up on some paperwork. I have a love/hate relationship with the month of May. I love the green trees, blooming flowers, warm air, and the light at the end of the school year tunnel. I don't like the impact all the greening can have on my allergies, the crazy behavior of the kids (hard to believe that middle school kids could get any crazier than they already are but trust me-it's possible!), state mandated testing, and the ridiculous amount of paperwork that must be completed. Alas, it must all be finished so I will head in for a couple of hours today in an effort to tackled the mound of paperwork that awaits.

Since I drive the bridge that spans the river I'll see if I can get some pictures to post of the local flooding. I hope this Friday is kind to you all!