Saturday, June 30, 2012


We are here, in my Beloved South, and in particular, in The Volunteer State, suffering through some rather astonishing heat the past few days.  So just how hot is it?

Check out this link from one of the Nashville news stations about a mailbox - yes, a mailbox - that melted in the heat yesterday.

Our average temperatures for this time of year are, oh, 88-89 degrees.  It hit 109 in Nashville yesterday, and here in My Town, there were some reports of 111.  Really.

Hubby and I attended a birthday party for a delightful little two-year-old (granddaughter and daughter of some of our best friends, people we celebrate holidays with) yesterday.  The party was a cook out - at 2:00 pm, easily the hottest part of the day.  Truth be told, it wasn't too bad.  Lots of big umbrellas, one of those temporary canvas canopy things over the little kids' pool, fans, and misters.  As long as you were in the shade, with a cold beverage, and a mister, it was bearable.  The little ones didn't seem to mind as long as they were able to play in the pool.

The birthday cake, however, melted.  Even in the house.  But it still tasted wonderful.

We are also suffering through a drought.  We haven't had rain for several weeks now, the corn in the fields is starting to twist and suffer, the soybeans are limping along, and my lawn looks like it's been scorched.  The county I live in has declared a burn ban - no fireworks, no grills, no open fires, nothing, until further notice.  I'm actually good with this (although the no grill thing has Hubby in a snit), because all it takes is one moron with a firework to set our neighborhood on fire as dry as everyone's lawn is.

We are now on mandatory water restrictions.  I've never watered my lawn - it's just too big and I'm too cheap and lazy - but I do water my flowers and vegetables.  Hubby and I are doing most of our watering at night, and I'm sure the neighbors would be amused watching us water by flashlight if they weren't doing the same thing themselves!  Since I grew up in Southern California where there seems to be a perpetual water shortage, conserving water is something I do out of habit anyway, so the water restrictions at this point aren't an inconvenience for me at all.  I am a bit concerned about some of my trees as they're starting to lose leaves, and my apple tree has a huge crop of apples on it that I don't want to dry up, so I am watering those.

We've even had some brush fires in the area - but nothing like my home state of Colorado.  That is tragic beyond words.

About the only good thing in all of this is that our usual summer humidity is, well, gone.  Today, we only have 29% humidity which makes it feel a lot like out West.  Usually our humidity is up in the 80% and you feel like you're getting smacked by a wet wash cloth when you walk outside.  Granted as soon as we get rain, the humidity will most likely come roaring back, but in the meantime, it's really, really arid.

I'll have to remember this the next time we have a snow day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hobble, Hobble, Hobble

So, it's been an interesting couple of weeks.

First, right after school was out, I promptly went with Mr. Math to a nine-day in service on STEM at the local University.  It was, truth be told, better than most and I'm glad I went.  I didn't get much else accomplished during those two weeks however.  (Gardening?  Weeding?  Cleaning my house?  Nope...)

Then as soon as that was done, Hubby and I headed to Virginia to do some battlefield stomping and had a mini vacation - we did touristy things in the morning and he talked to Civil War groups in the evening.  We went to the new Museum of the Confederacy Museum at Appomattox, then on to Fredricksburg, Mannassas, and the Seven Days Battles around Richmond.  Malvern Hill is a gem.  I got my National Park Passport Book stamped quite a few times and saw some Civil War sites I hadn't seen before.

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico.  Go.  Whatever you do, just go.  Plan on at least 4 hours, 6 if you can.  It is stunning.  I've been to a lot - and I mean A LOT - of museums in my day (that's what we do - other folks go to theme parks, we go to museums) and this has got to be the BEST museum I've ever been to.  Period.

On the way home, we stopped at Daddy Bird's (just in time for him to get his #1 Dad Cubs t-shirt for Father's Day).  The only down side was I managed to slip somehow and fell off his front step, skinning my left knee and rolling my right ankle.  I did get to my doctor and had it x-rayed - nothing is broken, it's just a bad, bad sprain.  So it's ice, some anti-inflammatory meds, and an ankle wrap.  It hurts but I'm walking better.  The thing that aggravates me the most is I've been actually running (okay, it's more like plodding, but for me, it's running) since this spring with the goal of running a 5K during the year I turn 50.  Now that's obviously going to be on the backburner until this ankle heals and I can start training again.  And I was making huge progress!

Now Momma Bird is here from California so we're running here and there and having some fun.  The weather is better than expected and we're able to spend some time outside.  It's nice having her here.

But I still feel like actually haven't had much of a chance to just chill yet this summer.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Myth of Summers Off

For those of you in the general public who believe that teachers "get three months off every summer!" I have this to say to you.


I have had, counting Memorial Day, three days "off" this summer (I'm not counting weekends).  Tomorrow starts week two of the two week intensive STEM training at the local University.  Now mind you, it's been worth it, but gosh, I haven't been able to catch up on my sleep yet.  I usually end up sleeping about the first week trying to catch up from all the sleep deprivation I've suffered over the past year.

I am tired.