Wind Sculptures! Peaceful! Eclectic! So Cool! One Problem. PRICE!!! Oh Well!

This situation started when a person in our suburb built a new house with a Wind Sculpture in the yard. Actually, the owner bought a lot with the original house still standing. I thought that it was a fine house that could use some HDTV type creativity. The buyer (who I do not know at all) wanted a brand new house. Therefore, the original house was totally torn down…a house that was built around 1976 or so. The new owner wanted the lot and the beautiful trees and the very nice older neighborhood. 

 

At least, the newly built house is absolutely wonderful. Very different. A new model Craftsman type. I call it a mild storybook style house with a modern flair. It is vastly different than the other new homes that are being built in our suburb and other suburbs nearby. The other new homes closely resemble castles with massive amounts of square footage…some with a pretty fountain and pond and a long driveway. I have often thought about going up and knocking on the castle door and asking…

 

“Excuse me…I just have one question. What did you do that I did not do to be able to afford this castle-like residence?”

 

However…truthfully…these houses are too big, too elaborate, just too much. They are simply not something that we would care to own even if we won the lottery or something. Maybe some people just like to show-off and brag without having to say a word. Their homes say it all!

 

Whoa!!! I got a bit off track. That’s what castle houses do to me! Back to the truly wonderfully built and new Craftsman style house. I am crazy about this house and I have to drive by it every day to get to the highway. I suppose that I could go the other direction…but why miss seeing this very unique house?

 

As if the house isn’t enough…there is the above mentioned unbelievably “more unique than even the house” Wind Sculpture in the yard. I can’t even explain what it is like. Fortunately, I don’t have to. We were at an outdoor Art Show this weekend and what do you know?!?! We walked around a corner and there was an array of the exact type sculpture that the wonderful storybook house has!

 

Just like that…we found the sculptures and the designer and the wonderful display. Yea!! Like some kind of crazed shopper who had found the golden egg, I studied each sculpture. So did my husband. He is certainly not normally as crazy as me! We both took videos. We talked to the out-of-state based sculptor. And then we saw the prices.

 

GULP! HELP!

 

We are speaking of multiple, multiple thousands of dollars. Forget the wind sculpture that would look so very cool at our farm. Surely, we can learn to make wind sculptures out of metal and glass that move with the wind every which way at the same time…perfectly in sync.

ACTUALLY…MAYBE NOT! 

 

My first idea was that I could perhaps become an apprentice for the sculptor.

 

Reasons why this is a preposterous idea:

#1 Reason…Why would a sculptor need an apprentice when he appears to be doing more than fine on his own?

#2 Reason…I have no talent and no experience in sculpture whatsoever. And I am simply lousy with tools.

#3 Reason…The daily commute is slightly difficult. An apprentice evidently cannot live over 2,000 miles away. We are just not moving because of a Wind Sculpture

 

Now we are on the search for Wind Sculptures that do not cost half as much as a very nice car. We are thinking that we perhaps can find one that is the price of a sofa and a chair. Forget the chair… the price of only a sofa will do. Excuse me…I need to go buy a lotto ticket!

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/apprentice/

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Teacher Necessities…Yarn and Sticky Notes. And Please…A Laminator!

Teachers crave and hoard yarn…at least I did. I had yarn hidden all over the room. The filing cabinet was a perfect place. Place a roll of yarn way back behind the file folders. Place the filing cabinet beside your desk next to the wall. No one will bother the yarn there.

Leave yarn in a cabinet and you are leaving yourself vulnerable to the late night yarn grabbers. They have to exist! Why did my turquoise yarn repeatedly seem to disappear? First of all…I was too new to realize about the cabinet problem. Second…one of my best friends taught next door and her favorite color was turquoise.

 

The day she put up child-made flowers in the hallway sealed the speculation. They were partly turquoise! I learned my lesson! She was caught fair and square!

 

Yarn can be used for so many art projects…especially for young children. Think about it…yarn is soft and pliable, it glues almost easily (in a weird sort of way), it does not cost much and it is pretty to look at.

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I love yarn. Now that I am not teaching… I miss it! If you teach kindergarten, you too may have caught this strange fetish! It is not particularly curable!

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The following pictures are very similar to yarn projects that my classes completed. I have samples of these projects in some box that I brought home from school. I have no idea which box and I have no idea why I am keeping them! Anyway…try these yarn projects…

 

yarn three

yarn two

yarn one

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 Why didn’t I think of the yarn ideas pictured below? I might have been a millionaire! I could have made wooden boxes instead of the tissue boxes!

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While on the subject of teacher necessities…do not forget the indispensable sticky notes and the working laminating machine!

I am not sure that I thought of place value sticky notes. Oh goodness…I hope that I did!

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laminator two

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laminator three

So true…there is rarely a witness to the laminating machine breaking! Perhaps it is the same late night yarn grabber…they do seem to exist!

Just remember…some teachers who are  without yarn, sticky notes and a working laminating machine are probably reaching the point of no return. And… I never even brought up the subject of stickers! The least you can do is to make them some chocolate chip cookies!!

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/yarn/

The Best Surprise Gift. Perfume from Paris For Three Cousins!

ma griff five

Ma Griffe by Carven…my first real perfume!

My two cousins and I received the most elegant present of our young lives when we were hardly even preteen girls. Another girl cousin was older than us…she had already finished college and off to begin her career. Honestly, I totally idolized her. She was beautiful and dressed in stylish and wonderful clothes. She was smart and funny and someone very adored by just about everyone she met.

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Oh my…how I hoped to be like Virginia when I grew up! She was planning to be a teacher and had completed all of  her certifications. I assumed that she would come back to our hometown after college. I thought that maybe…just maybe…she would teach at the high school in my home town! I figured that she probably would stay teaching in our town, meet a boyfriend and marry him at First Methodist Church. Isn’t that what everyone did?

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However, Virginia had way bigger dreams than our rather small town in Texas. She planned on seeing the world.

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What I did not understand was that Virginia was way ahead of the times. She was very independent and was not fearful at all of striking out on her own. Why I could not even yet go inside the little grocery store by myself with my mother waiting in the car. Virginia announced to the family that she had applied for a teaching job at a military base in Germany. She wanted to see the world and travel everywhere…she wanted to meet different people and speak different languages.

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What a shock! Virginia wanted to still be Virginia, but a newly invented Virginia who lived in another country. Wasn’t Germany thousands of miles away? She might forget about her three younger cousins who loved her so much.

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As it turned out, she never forgot about us. She would come home from Germany for part of her summer vacation. Virginia always wrote letters to her parents and brothers. She stayed in touch with everyone as she visited every possible country that she could. On one trip to Paris, she was thinking about her three younger girl cousins. We three were on our way to being teenagers. She thought we might need a little elegance. So…

 

Virginia bought each of us a small bottle of Ma Griff by Carven…REAL PERFUME!! And don’t forget…it came directly from Paris, France!!

 

 

I remember opening that package as if it just happened yesterday. I remember the green and white box that it came in and the pretty glass bottle. I just used a drop or so at a time. Honestly, it lasted until it was almost time for me to go away to college. The wonderful scent of Ma Griffe by Carven stays with me in my memory even today. I heard that they changed the formula in the early 1990s…maybe earlier. You can buy it on eBay and sometimes at those discount perfume stores at Outlet Malls. I believe that the company is still in business.

 

I have never bought any more beautiful bottles of Ma Griffe…MY FIRST REAL PERFUME. How could any other bottle compare to my perfume from Paris?  

I like to remember it for what it was…a present from Virginia that said…”You are on your way to being grown up! When  you wear this perfume, remember to always go for your dreams! Anything in the world is possible!” 

Thank you, Virginia for the best gift ever!

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/perfume/

 

Another Butter Recipe! Too Good Not to Share…Oatmeal Cake!

stick-of-butter

 

After writing the post about State Fair Yeast Biscuits last night, I thought about another favorite “including butter” recipe from the Southwest Dairy Farmers brochures. I have picking up these brochures at their Texas State Fair booth for years. Can’t wait until October, 2017 for the state fair …when I can get some recipes at their display!

 

The following is the…

Too Good Not To Share Oatmeal Cake…

Covered with a blanket of pecans, butter and milk!

 

oatmeal-cake-cropped-410x307

 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 boiling water

1 cup quick oats

1 stick butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Measure oats into a mixing bowl. Add butter, cut in 1″ pieces, and pour boiling water over the top. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Add sugars, eggs, flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Pour into 2 x 9 x 14 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Topping:

In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup chopped pecan, one stick melted butter and 1/2 cup milk. Spread over hot cake and place under broiler until brown.

Watch carefully while the cake is under the broiler!! This last instruction is definitely an important reminder to myself!!

 

ENJOY!!

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/blanket/

Sometimes…Recipes Might Taste Even Better With Real Butter!

BUTTER

Real butter is an an important ingredient for cooking and baking. While butter substitutes do exist, there really is no substitute when it comes to flavor and taste. Butter also contains protein, calcium, and vitamins A, D, and E.

 

Ahhh…butter! Putting real butter on a hot biscuit made by my grandmother brings back memories of my Dad. He would always say that he would gladly make the long trip from East Texas to Nashville, Tennessee about once a month…just to have one of Katie’s very giant biscuits!

A Similar Recipe Included Later in Post!

Don’t get me wrong! I realize that butter is not the healthiest ingredient available. However, margarine is not the healthiest ingredient either. Perhaps, olive oil is more healthy…but I sometimes think that it negatively changes the taste of the recipe. As in all cooking…you should go with what taste you like the best.

As far as the healthiest ingredient, butter may not be such a bad culprit in proper amounts. According to the website, authoritynutrition.com…there are seven very important reasons why butter is healthy in moderation with moderation being the key word.

 

The seven reasons why butter may be good for your health…

 

1. Butter is Rich in Fat-Soluble Vitamins such as A, E and K2. Vitamin K2 is important in calcium metabolism. A low intake has been associated with many serious diseases such as cancer and osteoporosis. Dairy from grass-fed cows is particularly rich in Vitamin K2.

2. Butter Contains a Lot of Healthy Saturated Fats. Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL from small dense (very bad) to large LDL.

3. Butter Lowers Heart Attack Risk Compared to Margarine. When butter was replaced by margarine in many households, highly processed trans fats were introduced. These highly processed trans fats can be called toxic and can cause all sorts of diseases. In the Farmingham heart study, margarine significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular disease, while butter had no effect.

4. Butter is a Good Source of The Fatty Acid Butyrate. Butyrate is a 4-carbon fatty acid that is created by bacteria in the colon when they are exposed to dietary fiber. Fiber does have a health benefit. Another good source of butyrate is butter. Butter is about 3-4% butyrate.

5. Butter is Rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Butter, especially grass-fed, is a great source of a fatty acid called Conjugated Linoleic Acid. This fatty acid has powerful effects on metabolism. Called CLA, this fatty acid has been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as lowering body fat percentage.

6. Butter is associated With a Lower Risk of Obesity. Despite the higher calorie content, eating high-fat dairy products is NOT always associated with obesity. A review paper that examined the effects of high-fat dairy consumption on obesity, cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorders discovered that high-fat dairy was not the culprit. In fact, high-fat dairy was associated with a significantly reduced risk of obesity.

7. Butter is Delicious. I do not think that I can argue with that assumption!

For more explanation, you may visit the Authority Nutrition website. 

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southwest-dairy-farmers@2x

 

The Southwest Dairy Farmers is an alliance of dairy farmers from Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina. These producers have pooled their resources to provide consumer education in nutrition, to promote dairy product use, and provide dairy product information.

Yes…they promote butter…of course!!

 

Big Tex two

State Fair of Texas

I first found out about the Southwest Dairy Farmers because of their booth every year at the Texas State Fair. They would pass out wonderful recipe brochures and sometimes samples of dairy products! We always made their booth a priority. Later, after I started teaching…I found out that the Southwest Dairy Farmers will bring a Mobile Dairy Classroom to schools in the states they serve! The children could actually watch a cow being milked and learn exciting facts about the dairy industry! No doubt, the children absolutely enjoyed the presentation and so did the teachers! I just wish that they had passed out their wonderful recipes to us!

 

boys and ice cream

 

Several years ago, I received a really wonderful recipe brochure…courtesy of the Southwest Dairy Farmers at the State Fair of Texas! The name of the brochure was…

 

Baking With Butter!

The following is one of my favorite recipes from the brochure…

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State Fair Yeast Biscuits

 

biscuit picture

 

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water

2 packages dry yeast

4 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

5 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup powdered milk

1/2 cup butter

Directions:

Combine warm water (108 degrees), sugar and yeast. Set aside to proof. In a bowl, sift or whisk together 1 cup flour, dry milk, salt and baking powder.

In a mixer bowl, cut butter and the flour mixture (above) together. Scrape bowl to make sure all ingredients are blended. Add yeast mixture and mix thoroughly, Add remaining flour, a little at a time, and mix until dough forms a sticky ball. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead 15 to 20 times until dough is elastic. Roll out to 1/2 inch, cut with biscuit cutter and place on a lightly greased pan. Brush tops with melted butter and let rise about 40 minutes. At this time, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bake at 450 degrees about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter.

 

ENJOY!!!

 

Mr. Gray Was Around Before Gray Was Cool.

gray crayon

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When I was in elementary school, my principal was named Mr. Gray. I was very confused about how to spell his last name and I am still confused. Is Gray the color or is Grey the name? Or is Grey the color and Gray is the name? Despite his perhaps wrongly spelled last name, Mr. Gray was as serious as possible.

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Perhaps he was just living up to his name. Gray name/ gray personality/gray suit/gray car/gray briefcase. Mr. Gray was truly gray or maybe truly grey. I knew his daughter even though she was already a teenager. She was a friend of my neighbor. She was not gray at all. In fact, she was purple or maybe a better word…the total magenta girl. She actually laughed and talked.

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The story goes that Mr. Gray was not a gray sort of guy at home. He told funny stories and sang silly songs. This is what my neighbor said. I have no proof whatsoever. I cannot imagine Mr. Gray sitting on top of a dunking booth at the Fall carnival. My principal when I first started teaching public school could hardly wait for the dunking booth. He also sang a crazy “good morning” song on the loudspeaker for morning announcements. He even dressed up like a scarecrow and like a bunny at the appropriate times of the year.

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I  wish Mr. Gray had been brave enough to get all of the children laughing. We were afraid of him. Nowadays, principals at the best schools…well, this is my personal opinion…let the students get to know a real person with a real personality. They are admired and appreciated and the children look up to them as role models. At least, that is the way it is supposed to work! Just my idea…one of my crazy ideas! Therefore…

 

Gray is just not cool in school!

Purple is a cool color in school!

This color blue is a cool color in school!

Orange is a cool color in school…especially in Texas!

Gray is simply not a cool color in school!

However…Gray is the coolest color around in some places…like in fashion magazines and decorating magazines. If you have a gray kitten…you are really cool! I do not have a gray kitten!

 

 Some cool pictures of cool gray things…

 

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/gray/

Find that fork. Please.

I have decided to reblog my disturbing (only to me) post about the great fork disappearance at our house. I have now spent months looking for the seven short forks. WHERE ARE THEY???

kindergartenknowledge.com

metal-forks-1566646-1280x960

I have a problem. Some people might even call it an addiction. No, no… nothing illegal. My mother taught me to be a good girl. Sure was a long time ago. However, sometimes I can’t pass up a good Margarita…especially at Joe T’s in Fort Worth. Look it up…you might visit Texas one day. But, that is not my problem.

My problem is forks. Not long forks. Not tiny forks that you might use for shrimp cocktail. Shrimp are not a personal friend of mine, but I know about the forks. I guess that I am right on that. My problem deals with short forks that are really made for salads or desserts. Well…I am not sure about that, but I think that I sort of have the correct use. I don’t know a lot of fork facts. I am crazy about short forks for every meal. They work better…

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