Sunday, January 31, 2010

Final Introductions

I am currently attending the last class in which I will go to Riley for my master's program.  We are part of a co-hort so we have a prescribed class list that all of us are taking with the exception of the last two classes if one is lucky enough to have some hours in the last five years that will transfer.  I had enough to skip one of the classes and have elected to do the on-line one instead of going to class every Wednesday night.  Anyway, back to introductions.   It has been interesting and almost comical that while the instructors change, the people in the class do not change (except for three who have dropped - one was non-renewed, one moved, and one quit after the first or second class).  So we have introduced ourselves to each other ten times.  This time we had to make a drawing and then interview another class member as to their place of birth, what and where they have taught and for how long, etc. etc.  It is all pretty much the same drill, but occasionally we do find out new information about each other. 

We are a mix of people, with two men, ages ranging from in our 50s to the 20s.  They are the smart ones, getting the master's degree when they are young.  I have told several who do not think they have the time or money now, that they will never have a perfect time to do so.  The time has gone quickly and getting to know everyone has been fun.  We won't know what to do with our Wednesday nights when we are done!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Regarding the previous post, I should have been tipped off that her crazy train had left the station when they took four boys, who are at the ages to prefer swimming in motel pools and riding go-carts, on a European vacation and then lamented about how the whole thing had gone horribly wrong.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thoughts on CDW (now Sister's Farmhouse)

I have heard from a couple of people who read my blog who are, I will say interested, in the recent comments on her blog which is in my blog list.  I have read this lady's blog for at least a year because she is a good writer and just lives over at a town just west of Manhattan.  She has four sons, worked part time in a greenhouse and just blogged about ordinary things.  However, this all seems to have changed.

While I don't support her opinions, we still live in America.  The struggles she seems to be going through are questions that most people have asked themselves.  A faith that is black and white and where there is always an answer then falls apart if something happens which seems to have no answer, or you realize there really is a lot of gray in the world.  I don't know what church she is no longer wanting to support (not UMC because we don't elders) because it is empty six days a week is definitely not my church which has activities almost every day. Many avenues to helping with disasters are through the churchs' organizations. I do know that what she is experiencing now doesn't seem to have brought her much happiness and peace. 

She also must have had some interesting encounters with some self-righteous homeschoolers, and there are some out there.  While I know this would not have been a good option for my super social offspring, it is a good choice for some.  There are some who do it right and well, and there are some who don't.  We have had homeschoolers begin going to school in middle school who get along fine, but we have also had kids who have gaps academically, socially or both.  I find it interesting that CDW is so adament against it when it seems that her complaint with religion is it's inability to see both sides of an issue.

For now I will leave her in my blog list.  It is anyone's choice whether to click on the link.  Faith is a journey not a destination.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Dozen

1. How good are you at delaying gratification?
I think I am pretty good about not being an impulse shopper, etc.  Doesn't mean that I don't think about whatever it is that I want.

2. Maybe a marshmallow wouldn't be too difficult a temptation for you. What food (or anything else) would be most tempting?
Sonic drinks during Happy Hour.  I love Diet Strawberry Limeades even more at 1/2 price.
3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being saintly) how patient are you?
About a 7.  Because we lived out of town, I have waited patiently for kids to get home, or back to school after a game, or done with some kind of practice or lessons. 
4. Have you ever waited for something in life only to be disappointed upon realization of the goal/object/etc.?
I am disappointed when I plant, fertilize, and water tomato plants and then some wilt or other disease comes along and I don't get to enjoy eating them.
5. Are you a person who takes shortcuts?
No, but sometimes I hurry and then make a mess of things.
6. Which line is hardest to wait in?
WalMart or a similar store when they have a jillion unmanned check-outs and people waiting in line. 
7. Did you wait to discover the gender of your unborn child until its birth?
This question was designed to show your age.  I didn't have a sonogram with my older two.  I did with Abby and asked because I had one of each and didn't really care.  The pictures were so bad then that the lady said that if she had to guess it was a girl but she wasn't for sure.  Needless to say, I didn't go out and buy a bunch of pink stuff.  We didn't ever really do a nursery anyway.  The babies slept in the hall outside our room.
8. Are you more patient with children or the elderly?
This all depends on if either group is acting badly or just being themselves.
9. Did you ever sneak a peek at a present?
I don't remember doing this. 
10. What is the longest you've ever waited for anything?
We waited a long time to own a home.  The house on the farm went with renting the land and wasn't for sale. 
11. Who has more patience, you or your significant other?
I think I do, but he may say differently.
12. Which of the following songs about waiting is your pick for the best? (OK, you may substitute another, if you like.)

A) Anticipation by Carly Simon

B) The Waiting by Tom Petty

C) Right Here Waiting for You by Richard Marx

D) Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James

C) Right Here Waiting for You.  Kyle travels with his job some and I am home teaching school, feeding the dog, and picking up the mail.  I don't mind during the week.   He isn't often gone on the weekends, but those can get long.  Or as mentioned in question 3 waiting for kids.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January Birthdays

We celebrated both Kyle's and Abby's birthdays yesterday - the right day for Kyle and Abby's is on Wednesday but I will have class and she will have chapter meeting at ADPi, so we did them together for the first time in history.  It made it a little trickier for the cook who will fix what the birthday person wants, but the only two requests were mashed potatoes (Abby) and crock pot corn (Kyle) so I filled in with spiral ham, layered lettuce salad, strawberry and banana Jello salad, Tasty Pastry rolls, and for dessert a layered chocolate pudding concoction with a variety of names.

Here are the birthday people.  Kyle (52) and my baby will be 20 on Wednesday.  I am feeling old.

Paige and her dad.

Birthday girl.
 Abby and I.
I recently got a bunch of pictures developed - like from the past year and realized there are very few of me so when future generations wonder what I looked like, there will be something beside church directory pictures every five years. 

The next two pictures were taken without me realizing that we weren't alone in the pictures.   Pesky brother.  Note the brace on the left arm.  He chipped a bone in his wrist playing basketball last Sunday.  At least he didn't need a cast.

By the way, Paige didn't tell me she was going to take this at this time.  Thus the rather insipid look on my face.
Who does that kid belong to????
The birthday boy and me.  

On another note, my sister has started a blog.  Look for it on my blog list.  

Friday, January 22, 2010

Princess Award

It is my turn for my first award - from Mrs. E at Easy Street.  I am humbled and would like to thank all the little people who made this award possible.  Perhaps I should first thank my sister who was a year older and brought home little readers from first grade (little Byers had no kindergarten) and I sat beside her while she was learning and just took off.  From then on, I have been a reader.  I do remember the first grade teacher suggesting that my mom hide Kim's books from me so that I wouldn't read them all before 1st grade, but that ship had sailed because reading already made sense to me and there was no going back.  So in first grade I read the Little House books while the other kids had reading.  My mom took us to the library every Saturday afternoon while we were in town for piano lessons.  Thanks for that Mom!

1.  Name an author you love.

I have read most of Barbara Delinsky's books, and like Dan Brown, Curtis Sittenfeld, and for some reason I remembered the Jean Auel series that started with Clan of the Cave Bear.  The pre-historic fiction was different and good in the same way that Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End captured the Middle Ages.

2. Name an author who highlights your personality.

Judy Blume - I  like her sense of humor and wish she would write more adult fiction like Summer Sisters and Wifey.

3. Name some books you love.

I am going to regress and mention some of the books from my childhood.  The Anne of Green Gables series, Little House on the Prairie, Encyclopedia Brown, and my all time favorite series - Trixie Belden.

Otherwise, now I like the books mentioned in question #1.  This year, the two books I read that I remember most were The Help  and Kite Runner.

4. Something that always excites you.

Snow days!  They are like a gift.  We got pretty excited today at lunch to see the sun.

5. Something you hate.

Hate is strong - here are some dislikes.

Improper use of the English language.  In general, I think the kids are speaking more correctly now than ever.   The "ain'ts" of my childhood seem to be gone, and more adults than kids say things like, "They was . . ."

 Pumpkin.  I know . . . this is a problem in the fall when so many pumpkin things are served.

Cleaning bathrooms, and I have 4 1/2.

P.S.  I just started Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson after Bridgette did her author's study on her at class and she was on Mrs. E's blog.  I really like it so far.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1. So I was thinking about how Jon Bon Jovi never seems to age much. His hair is smaller nowadays, but he still manages to look like a boy somehow. And then that made me think of the story of Dorian Gray. Question: If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?

Physically speaking only, I would say about 25.  No effort to maintain anything; weight, hair, complexion.  Now if you asked mentally, I would answer differently.

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?)

This depends upon who you ask.  The kids all have their favorites, and I don't have anything in particular that I always take places.  One meal they all like is chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes and corn. Can you say carbohydrates?

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal?

Going for a walk is good.  I am usually pretty level - no big mood swings one way or the other. 
4. When was the last time you danced in public?

Probably my niece's wedding last summer.  It was a lovely affair.

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer?

Definitely and probably to a fautlt a realist. 
6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well?

The kids either did well or are presently doing well in college.  We prepared them by talking about our experiences and encouraging living groups that keep you connected and accountable.  They have done great at managing themselves.
7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?

Otis just makes me laugh, but I also like Opie.
8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

I would say about a 2 although I like him better this year because we got a day off of school, not just a workday.
9. Have you never been mellow? Have you never tried … to find a comfort from in side you? (Sorry, Jorge was singing that song just now, and it just seemed to be perfect timing as I was creating this week’s questions.) REAL question: What is your #1 driving pet peeve?

Easy - Texting, checking email, always on the phone when driving.
10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?

Yellow like the sun.  You can always hope to see it.

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?

He is like an energetic dog who has bones hidden all around the  yard.  So much to do, so little time.

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?
School, sleeping, internet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

$3 for Adults, $2 for Students

Usually I volunteer to do the book or clock for the ballgames, but tonight I took gate and I was busier than a one armed paper hanger!!  First I had to set up the table and realized later that I never displayed the price.  When people are there to pay - doesn't count all the passes that walk by - I had to be at the ready to take their money, stamp their hand, give them a program, and keep a running tally of the number of paid adults and students.  Then the traffic at the vending machines was constant and the machines weren't taking dollar bills, only change, so then of course, everyone wanted change from me and I had only been given paper money.  I must have said it 100 times, but did point them to the water machine where the bills still worked.  There isn't anyone more willing to eat junk food than jr. high kids at a ballgame, and then they had no way to make change. 

On a positive note, I had several nice, short visits with a past student, Eli.  We've come a long way, baby, from him telling me not to talk to him!  He makes me smile every time. 

Also saw Abby's ortho doctor who has a son in 7th grade already.  I guess everyone's kids grow up fast.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random Dozen

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?
I can't think of anything.  I don't keep anything off limits, so I guess if I want it, I eat it

2. M & M's or Skittles?
M&Ms.  I do like the sour Skittles for a change of pace.

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?
Yes, I don't remember which year it was, but I started with a plan that was in a women's devotional Bible.  It is something I will do again at some point, but quite frankly, parts of it move pretty slowly.  The begets can do about anyone in.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?
I am a morning person, so it doesn't take long.  I might lie in bed for five minutes extra, then the promise of coffee and my Salina journal beckons me.

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?
Kyle and I went to SE Alaska this summer on a cruise.  While it was a good experience, it was definitely different from our usual vacations.  The disconnect with technology was something that will need to be fixed before Kyle will go again.  I was really worried about motion sickness because I am one of those people.  There was only one evening that I had to retire to our quarters and hope the boat quit rocking soon.

6. Who is your favorite actress?
  I enjoy Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.
How the telephone works

8. How much of a technology junkie are you?
More than I would like to admit

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?
I enjoy trying to find a good card and occasionally really amuse myself if no one else.

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?
This is a sore point with me.  I have the ultimate ability to make my hair look the same regardless of how it is cut.  I did try an experiment growing my bangs out, but now am back with some thin bangs.

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?
Swimsuits and jeans. HA!  That is a lie.  I enjoy a good bargain, and when they tell me how much I saved - woo, that's a good time.  I have to be in a certain mood to shop for clothes or shoes.  Groceries are more of a chore. 

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?
Do I have my keys to get into school?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 Things on the 10th

Here are the Bauer boys with their catches hunting hogs in Oklahoma.  Russ got one the day before.  I guess it is OK to get a goat too.  So the Bauer girls spent the day together in Manhattan.  Here are 10 things that the Bauer girls were up to. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera (sad face).

1.  We met at Tamara's and first went to the Verizon store since my cell phone got dropped in Dollar General while it was ringing and I was fumbling through my purse.  Long story about why I no longer had an upgrade available but involves a girl who needed a phone earlier so used my upgrade that was from about 2002.  My old phone was good.  Even had an antennae.  The kids at school had never seen one like it.

2.  We ate at a little cafe place called Stephanie's, I think.  it is about 1/2 block south of Celebrations of the Heart on Poyntz.  I had an interesting sandwich, cheese, green apple, and bacon.  Tamara had biscuits and gravy - trucker special order, and Paige and Abby had some kind of turkey sandwich.

3.  Then to Wiesners to pick up sewing machines for school.  Have had a run of bad luck.

4.  To the mall.  Paige wanted to find boots, but thinks she found some on the internet that she likes better.  I got some towels, Tamara got some peach candy, and Abby got nothing because she didn't take her purse in so she wouldn't spend any money. (Her plan for the whole day.)

5.  Next to Tamara's dad's store on Poyntz.  Paige got a hair dryer with Christmas money from Grandma, and I got an orange scarf with a Tiff and Tam label that will be good for ballgame days.

6.  On to some shop on the corner west of there - starts with a C.  Tam got boots.

7.  Paige wanted to get her ring cleaned at the jewelry store, so we looked around in there.  They also were nice and cleaned my ring.  It looked really sparkly!   Then we all spent $1000 (except Ab) on a little something for ourselves (That is a lie, did I have you worried Blake?)

7 and 1/2.  Forgot this earlier -  Went to Aggieville so Paige could get books for her master's classes.  Abby went to a coffeehouse to get Honeyed Milk.  It was a little sweet for me.  I went to Palace Drug but it isn't what it once was. No cards.  And I stopped in at the second hand book store but their system is a little hard to understand and I figured the girls were done.

8.  To Pier One - Paige got some Christmas decor at 75% off. 

9.  We went to the movie, Blind Side.  It was really crowded and by the time we got there, there weren't four seats together, so it was hard to share the popcorn.  We all really liked the movie.  On the way out we refilled our pops and popcorn to be ready for number ten.

10.  Went to Tamara's to watch My Sister's Keeper in their new Man Cave.  It is really nice with new couches and a big TV with surround sound.  Paige didn't like that the movie line didn't follow the book in the end.  I get weary of Jodi Picoult's characterization of the mom as being the bad guy in her books.  I didn't think it came over that strong in the movie. Then back to CC.

You decide.  Our day or the boy's day?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Age is about Perspective

My brother will be singing today at the funeral of this lady.

Jean began her career as an extension agent in Pratt County in 1972, so was there during my high school years.  I guess I just assumed that she was a lot older than me, but in reality she was not quite 10 years older.  She was the person who drove us to Manhattan for 4-H Roundup and put up with our goofy girl talk.  I had no idea she was only 25-28 at the time!!  Now that seems so young.  She was a fun person but didn't ever try to act like one of the kids. 

Her contribution to the Pratt County Fair and 4-H program continued until about two years ago when she retired.  I enjoyed seeing her again when I would attend the fair and she was never too busy to stop and talk.  Fittingly, her memorial service will be in the room of the new building at the fairgrounds that bears her name.  Thanks for all you did, Jean.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

To Be Or Not To Be

I keep asking, "Aren't we a recycling family?"  Yet I continue to find cardboard and plastic in the trash.  Really, they don't do too badly most of the time, just have occasional lapses.  About a year ago, our town started a curb side recycling program.  We get bags free at several locations then plastic and tin go in one bag, papers in another, and cardboard can be torn down and stacked in boxes or paper bags.  There have been comments that I go over the top with the toilet paper roll tubes, but good grief, that is a major cardboard contributor to the landfill!  We think we have cut our trash output in half and when they start taking glass it will be even more.  I have been surprised how much lightweight cardboard we throw away.  We have a large sack of the plastic/tin every other week to put out.

Just doing my part for the planet.
Less in the Landfill Lisa

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Randomness

1. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a cranky-baby-hissy-fitter, how much of a complainer are you?

I would like to think I am not a complainer.  Definitely no hissy fits.  So I give myself a 2.  There are times when I get on my soapbox.

2. When someone else is talking, do you listen, or are you thinking about what you're going to say in response?

Unfortunately, I too often am thinking about what I am going to say next.  This is something I could work on.

3. I just deleted 1062 messages from my email account. Do you have any plans for a clean sweep this month--of anything?

I am a no-clutter person - almost to a fault.  It is amazing how fast the email messages can stack up at school.  If I would just clean them up every Friday, it would help.

And now, here are some brilliant questions from a gal named Angie at Angie's Ad Lib who graciously offered to let me borrow her brain. Please go over and see Angie because it was so nice of her to help me out. Thank you so much, Angie!

4. Tell us about your perfume. Was it a gift? What does it remind you of? Do you have a signature scent?

No fragrance usually.  Too much on someone else makes me feel sick to the stomach.  Whoops- is that a compliant?  Do I need to be a 3 on question 1?
5. What is your best organizing tip for the new year?

It certainly is a lot easier to be organized without kids in the house.   I am continuing to work on my closet discarding things I haven't worn in a long time.  The UMW rummage sale is in April, so I just put them away for that.  Only once have I gone up and dug something back out.
6. What is your favorite comic strip?

Zits - just too true of my clientele.

7. Do you sleep with a fluffy or flat pillow?

We have these pillows from the chiropractor's office that are really wierd shaped, and we need new ones but they are kind of expensive, so in response to the question, they are kind of shaped and hard on the edges with an indentation for your head in the middle.

8. What color is your kitchen? Why did you choose that color?

Blue and beige.  Right now we have this blue kitchen carpet that we are replacing with wood laminate whenever Phil gets time.  I thought I wouldn't like the carpet that was here when we moved in, but I really do.  It just isn't very up-to-date.  I am planning rugs and runners to break up the wood.  I may change colors soon is the short answer to this long story.
9. What’s the most interesting bumper sticker you’ve seen?

Pass??  I don't pay much attention.  The "My Kids are Honor Students" always amuses me.  At least in our school, about 2/3 of the kids seem to be on some kind of honor roll. 

10. Do you prefer an expensive writing tool or whatever is lying around? (Are you a Montblanc or a Papermate?)
Papermate - sometimes I find my best pencils on the floor in my room at school.
11. What chore doesn’t feel like a chore – you just enjoy it (at least most of the time)?

I really like to mow.  There is a feeling of accomplishment and for 45 minutes I am outside riding along with the breeze in my hair.  I also like looking at it when I am done. 

12. If your parents often repeated themselves, what is something one of them said more than once?

One thing I remember is that we were to support our siblings at school even if we fought like cats and dogs at home.  I have a sister a year older, a sister three years younger, and a brother eight years younger and in a 1A school (K-12 in one building ) we certainly knew everyone and their business.  It was good advice and I tried to pass it on to my kids too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

This is our book for class for next week.  It is about an Indian boy who leaves the school on the reservation to attend an all white school in a farm community 22 miles away.  The boy faces rejection from his friends on the reservation because of this decision.  Fitting in is hard when the social rules are different.  The book also addresses poverty and several of his observations are as much about poverty as race. 

However - - why did the author include so much sexual content when the book would otherwise be terrific to recommend for middle school students?  Someone else in my class said she would like her freshman son to read the book after she edited it with a Magic Marker.  I'm not saying they don't read things like this or watch TV or movies, but I can't say, "Hey, read this good book but ignore this part."  Regardless, I liked it better than the previous book, Monster.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy new start to 2010.  Even typing that is different.  I think I will say twenty ten, but we will see what everyone else is doing. 

We had a great dinner last night with Russ, Paige, and Abby at Tailgater's in Clifton.  The specials were prime rib or jumbo shrimp.  Paige, Kyle, and Russ had the prime rib, and Abby and I had the shrimp.  We told Abby that she should bring her KC friends from school to Clifton to see what small town fine dining is like!

Then Abby fixed an appetizer for her sleepover, went out to Parry's for a while, then we had girls here for the night.  The rest of us played BauerBauer which is a variation of five point pitch that the kids and Kyle made up a long time ago.  You play with 9 cards and there are six points out.  We have taught Russ how to play and he is doing really well.  It is a different  mind-set than ten point pitch where all the cards are always out.

Today I am working on my project for class since it is Friday and it was my intent to start it this week.  As far as a resolution, I don't have a great one this year yet.  One year I decided to work on writing my 5's because they tend to look like S's.  That really didn't go all that well.  I think I will do something boring like continue to eat well and exercise regularly.  The cold weather has put a damper on going outside, but I have a treadmill and a cheapo exercise bike, so I really have no excuse. 

Must go.  Time to play games again.