Saturday, January 31, 2009


Coasters, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I was actually in a mood to clean today, trust me this doesn't happen too often, but my husband wanted to head to a beer tasting in Syracuse. He was going to go weather I went or not so I decided to join him. It was pricey but it was fun.Many of the breweries were from central NY-Middle Ages, Empire, Saranac, and Ommegang and others plus several from Vermont as well as at least one from Michigan and California. The place was packed and they served burgers and hot dogs and had live music. It would have been more fun if we'd gone with friends. We'll have to work on that and plan ahead for next year. Along with his beer can collection my husband also collects coasters. Here's a few he picked up today.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Moon

Winter Moon, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Before my daughter left for a hockey game tonight she asked what I was doing for my picture of the day. I responded I didn't know yet. A few minutes after she left I received a text suggesting a picture of the moon. I had been chilled all day so the thought of going outside wasn't too inviting but decided to go ahead and give it a try. This was my first shot but I didn't think it would be very good so I went in and got the bigger lens and tried some more shots with different settings. In the end the first was my favorite. I like how you can see the snow covered trees.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taco Night

Taco Night, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Tonight the teachers and staff from our rural school joined together to serve tacos at a benefit dinner. The benefit was for one of our students with a brain tumor. He wasn't able to attend since he was back in the hospital. They are still trying to get all his meds adjusted. He's a great kid with a supportive family and community. The initial estimate was $1800 raised on tacos alone. A 50/50 was also done. During these tough economic times for so many it's great to see this type of support.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January Garden

January Garden, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

As I looked through photos today deciding which ones to select for an art show I saw pictures of my perennial garden from early April and mid June last year. That gave me an idea for the 365 project. If I remember, I'll take a photo of my garden at the end of each month to show how it changes. Here's how it looks today after a nice coating of about 6" of fresh snow. Obviously I don't have to worry about digging out the garden gloves and tools for awhile!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter Meal

Winter Meal, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

It's another cold night in NY and I decided to make a favorite winter meal, beef stew. I was going to make it in the crock pot this morning but I didn't have beef broth so it had to wait until I got home. When my daughter came home from the gym I had to warn her it would be a late dinner tonight.She surprised me and kept me company most of the time it was cooking. We had a good banter going on whether we'll have a snow day or not tomorrow. She has midterms and finals so would like to get them over with but on the the other hand having until next Monday to study some more would be ok too. I told her I could feel that it's going to be a snow day and I'm not making her lunch. We're both looking forward to the morning to see who's right and gets to rub it in. When my husband got home he also sat down and joined our conversation. This meal was also special because the wine I used in the stew and for drinking with the meal was from our trip along Route 66 last summer. What a pleasant evening it was.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Red Chair

Little Red Chair, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I have this little red chair and a small wooden desk. Two more of my treasures from my Aunt Bettie. I remember sitting in the chair and playing at the desk for hours when I was a little girl visiting my aunt and Nana.
My sister is an artist and she offered to do one of her collage drawings for me. I jumped at the chance to have another piece of her work in my home. I sent her pictures of the chair and a copy of the picture of my great, great Aunt Ella and her little boy Wilbur, whom the chair belonged to. She did an excellent job of combining her drawing of the chair with the photo and the textured background. My sister came to visit last April and brought the picture with her. I had tears in my eyes when I opened it. The connection of the past combined with my sister's art work is something I'll always treasure.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What is Beneath the Surface?

I went for another walk today along the same path I saw the bluebirds last week. No luck seeing bluebirds today but luckily I did see other interesting things to photograph. I put today's photos in a slideshow and asked my PLN on Plurk which one I should use for my 365 photo today. I ended up with two votes for Footprints and two votes for this one. I had fun photographing this little stream. There were some interesting ice edges, flowing water, large snowflakes, and clear ice like this. These elements added so many different textures. I'm not sure what that is beneath the surface but it sure does look intriguing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Sign of Spring?

Pussywillow, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Our neighbors have a pussy willow tree and I was so surprised to look over and see this yesterday. I didn't think they came out until March. I wonder if this means we're going to have an early spring? Hard to imagine since I walked through knee deep snow to get this picture.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pabst Beer Cans

Pabst, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I have to admit I'm a little worried that by the end of the year people will think I have way too many collections and too many of my posts have to do with beer! Oh well, here goes another story.... I'm not sure when or how it started but I used to collect copper for my kitchen. (I have stopped because I'm out of room.) Every August my husband and I travel to Bouckville, NY to the antique show. There is a huge display that you have to pay to get into or you can visit the vendors that line route 20 for free. Sometimes we pay but most years we just wander the street vendors, it's cheaper. One year we found this copper beer can holder. As you can see you insert a can, close the lid and it pops the top. Then I'm guessing they either drank out the spout or just took the can out, not sure about the details. It is one of our favorite pieces of copper and we've never seen another piece like it. It was made by Revere which is located in Rome, NY a neighbor to our city. My husband has a beer can collection which he began when he was in jr. high school. It just happened that he had a beer can that was the right brand and size for this type of copper container. We're hoping to find another copper can like this someday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Country Road

Country Road, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I have a twenty minute ride to work. No stop lights, 5 stop signs and very little traffic. My main concern is watching out for deer and turkeys. Recently there was some bridge work done on one of the roads which resulted in them narrowing the bridge and putting a stop sign on both sides of the bridge. In my opinion a yield sign would be fine. Since I don't like having to stop in the middle of the road I now take a different road and it has become my favorite part of the drive. The entire narrow road, which is probably less than 2 miles, is lined with trees and a creek runs along one side of it. It was gorgeous in the fall when the trees were ablaze with red, yellow and orange. Even now it is lovely with the bare branches touched with snow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ready to Return

Ready to Return, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Our son has been home from college since early December. This week I get daily reminders on how many days left until he returns. He has his laundry done and most everything is packed and ready to go. I'm sure he'll be out of here fairly early on Saturday to return to his friends and a more active lifestyle. He should return well rested to finish up his junior year.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Button

Obama Button, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Today seemed like an appropriate day to take a picture of my Obama button. When I went to my niece's wedding in October my brother had an Obama button for all the family members. My mom's was Senior Citizens for Obama, my sister's-Teachers for Obama, my niece-Vegetarians for Obama and so on, each was different. We all wore them proudly. I watched the inauguration with our first graders today. It was an exciting moment. Here's a toast to our new president. Cheers!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Rink

The Rink, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

We've had an ice rink in our back yard for about 16 years. The first one was about an 8' square when our son was 4. It grew little by little to its present size, 40'x70'. It's a lot of work to get it set up and then maintain it through the winter but it provided hours of hockey fun for the kids year after year. My husband never minded the work and as the kids got older they helped him out. The living room was the dressing room. The picnic table would be cleared off so there was a place to sit and put on skates and to hold the snacks and hot chocolate for the hungry skaters. Unfortunately the past few winters have been too warm to set it up. This year we've had the cold but constant snow prevented ice once again. However, our son is still finding a way to use it. He used the snow blower on half of it and that left an icy surface good enough to at least go out and take shots. During rest of the year it doubles as a basketball/tennis court.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Bluebird , originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I was beginning to feel like Cabin Fever was settling in. It's been very cold all week and I hadn't had a chance to be outside at all. So today I bundled up and headed out to a nature trail to get some fresh air and to photograph the same area I had done last summer and fall. There were a few other hearty souls out there but not like it is when the weather is warm. This part of the trail is surrounded by wetlands and is typically filled with the sounds of birds. Today it was unusually quiet. I saw one large white bird pass over head, a snowy owl perhaps, on my way out. On the way back I changed lenses and started stepping off the trail in knee deep snow to do some macro shots. While taking one of these shots I finally heard the twittering of some birds. When I located them I was thrilled to see that the sound was coming from a small group of bluebirds. I changed lenses again and took a few shots but when someone walked by with a dog and they took off. I waited and sure enough they came back and I was able to get a few more shots. They were shy and if I tried to take a few steps closer they'd move a little further off. I'll be back out there again next weekend hoping to see them once more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Biking Shoe

Biking Shoe, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Last Monday I went to my first meeting for the Ride for Missing Children. That's when it really started to sink in that I'm really committed to riding 100 miles in May to raise money to print posters for missing children. Today it sunk in even more as I went shopping for my bike and some of the extra gear. These are my shoes. I was surprised they didn't cost any more than a regular pair of sneakers. They have velcro to keep the shoelaces from getting tangled in the gears. That sounds great since I remember having that happen on more than one occasion before. They also have a piece on the bottom that will come out once I get my bike and the pedals with clips. Having my feet physically clipped to the pedals sounds a little scary but from what I hear it's the way to go.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cookie Cutter Rack

Cookie Cutter Rack, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

This little rack is another treasure from my Aunt Bettie. It hung in her kitchen under a window by the table. It was easy to sit and admire the old cutters. It is now hanging above my kitchen doorway. My favorite cutter is the Mickey Mouse and I wish I had asked questions about it. It has an old style look to it but is so shiny I'm not sure at all of its age. I have collected many cookie cutters over the years. Fortunately, sugar cookies are one of my families favorite cookies so they do get put to use.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Preparing for the Cold

With temps below zero we decided we better prepare for bringing in the beer! (Normally it's kept in the garage.) I guess this might count as something we collect-weird beers. This is a different type of collection since it's one that changes frequently. Last summer my husband picked me up in San Antonio at the NECC conference and we drove back to NY. It took several weeks and all along the way we were on the look out for new beer and wine. Other people might collect t-shirts, key chains and such on their travels but not us we collect beer. By the time we got home we had the back of the van packed with both beer and wine. Recently we discovered a store called Beer of the Worlds in Rochester, NY. I made the first trip in November and my husband made a trip in early January. Both trips succeeded in expanding our collection. When friends come to visit they know they'll be in for a treat and have many choices when it comes to a beer selection. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I love Maine

I love Maine, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I'm not sure when or where I picked up this button but it sits in my typeface tray with other tiny mementos. I do love Maine. I love the lobster, lobster rolls, clam chowder in a bread bowl, craft beers, the light houses, downtown Portland and the ocean. I would go to the ocean in Maine before a warm weather ocean beach any day. I'm not a swimmer or a sun bather so I love to sit on the rocks and watch the waves come and listen to them as they crash. That is the most relaxing place in the world to me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hat Pin

Hat Pin, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Over the years I have become a collector of a variety of things. During my youth I collected Smiley Face things, Holly Hobbie Figureines (I'm still waiting for them to become collector items!), and cartoon soft drink glasses. As an adult I have gathered cookie cutter, copper ware, Fiesta Ware, snowmen and hat pins. I live in a small house and really don't have much room for displaying big collections so I am making an effort to stop the collecting bug. However, one of my favorite things to collect right now are hat pins. Years ago my mom gave me a beautiful old hat pin holder and a few basic white/black pins. As I wander through antique shows/stores I'm on the look out for these tiny items. Sometimes I'm amazed at how expensive they can be. I go for pretty but cheap ones. I'm finding that as I try to photograph them I'm noticing the colors and details more than I did in the past. It's also making me want to learn more about them. I'm sure behind every hat pin there is an interesting story to be told.

Monday, January 12, 2009

First Meeting

First Meeting, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Well, first of all you need to know I took my camera to my first meeting for The Ride for Missing Children (RFMC) tonight. I thought of it during the time the speakers were talking. But at the end while us newbies were trying on jerseys, which would have been a great photo op, I forgot about it! So, I had to settle for yet another poor quality image but good story picture. Thanks to those who let me know last week that thischallenge isn't always about quality shots.
I made a decision in November to apply for the RFMC and a few days later I was informed that I was accepted! What does this mean? Well it means that I'll be raising money for 2000 posters to be printed. These are the posters that go out when a child is missing. It means I'll be raising awareness about child safety by talking to students at my schools, talking about it on my blogs and by riding a bike with 399 other people 100 miles on May 15th . We'll be traveling through many area communities and passing by and stopping at schools. I'll be doing this with a great group of people that I work with and people from my work community. This will be a new and exciting challenge in more ways than one.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fighting Eagles

Fighting Eagles, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I'm deviating from the rules today, I did not take this picture. My husband just returned from a trip to Davenport, Iowa to visit his family. While he was there he went down to the Mississippi River to check out the eagles. The first day the pictures show the eagles from afar and although nice not impressive shots. The second day someone told him that as long as he got out of the car the eagles would never come close but if he stayed in the car they would come in closer. So my husband pulled the van under a tree. opened the sunroof, waited patiently and was rewarded with some spectacular shots. This particular shot was part of a sequence of pictures. There was a dominant male that sat on the same branch of the same tree for three days. He would let some females and smaller males sit in the tree as well but he would run others off. One time when he returned to the tree another eagle was sitting in his spot. The dominant male dove in at him and the smaller one ducked. The larger one turned and came at him again. This time the smaller one made a smart decision and took off.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quilt Piece

Quilt Piece, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I inherited this lovely well loved crazy quilt from my Aunt Bettie. I display it in my bedroom on an old quilt rack. So, it's something I see everyday but it wasn't until I went to take a picture of it today that I really took the time to notice the details. Details such as the different types of fabrics and their textures, the different colors of thread used and all the different types of stitches. Some stitches use two different colors. It makes me wish I knew the story behind it. Who put it together, how long did it take and what were the stories told as they work, and what are the stories behind each piece of fabric. I have to make sure I ask my mom and sister if they know any details and then I need to write them down so I don't forget and can hand the story and quilt down to my children some day.

Anri Elf

Anri Elf, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

My sister brought this adorable little figure back from a trip to Ireland for me when I was in middle school. I've always been fascinated by the details in the wood carving. I love the bird in his beard. His expression is one of contentment. That's how I feel when I spend a considerable time outside working in the garden or photographing nature.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Light, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I came home from work later than usual today. Early in the drive I noticed despite the fact that it was almost 5 it was still light out. It was a wonderful feeling and lifted my spirit. I didn't have a way to take a photo of the light so decided to take a picture of a different light to represent it. One I use to give a warm comforting light to my living room during the dark evenings of the winter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1st Time Donor 7/365

Red Cross donation, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

The quality of this picture stinks but the reason behind the picture is great! My son planned on donating blood this afternoon and I had an appointment for after school. But when today turned into a snow day my daughter, 16, decided she was ready to give it a try. So off we went to the local blood drive. She was greeted warmly and given not one but two stickers so everyone would know she was a first timer. She was a little nervous but did great. When it's time for her to donate again they'll be at her school for a blood drive. Maybe she'll be able to talk her friends into donating as well. I hope this will be the start of a life long habit for her.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reminder of Youth

Reminder of Youth, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

My last Christmas decoration photo until at least next December. This is another one that stays out on display with rest of the snowmen. It has an accordion base which allows one to stretch the snowmen out or scrunch them up together. It was one of my favorite decorations when I was little because of that special feature.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Reason for Delay 5/365

Reason for Delay, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Today was the first day back to school for the New Year. It was a surprise to wake up and find we were on a one hour delay which was soon changed to a two hour delay. This picture sums up why we had that late start. So I get a chance to ease back into the swing of things.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Expensive Hobby-4/365

Expensive Hobby, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

How much would you guess these products cost? Feeding the birds and squirrels is getting to be a very expensive hobby. What's not shown here is the 50 lb bag of peanuts, 50 lb bag of sunflower seeds and 25 lb bag of safflower seeds in the garage. What do I get for my money? Birds to watch and listen to all year long. Great photo ops and the satisfaction of knowing that I'm helping them out especially in the winter. Oh, the total cost of just these products? About $70! Yes, I need to start watching for sales.

Old Gnome-3/365

Old Gnome, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I've had this Gnome since I was a little girl. It is one of my favorite holiday decorations. I leave him out after the holidays and tuck him in with the snowman collection.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Books I'm Reading-2/365

Books I'm Reading, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

These are books that I am currently reading. I started Brain Rules and Digital Nature Photography last summer, Blogs, Wikis, and Podcast in the early fall and twilight and Non-Designer's Design & Type Books over the holidays. It will be interesting to see if I have them all finished by the end of the year.

Maple Latte-1/365

We spent the New Year in Quebec City. It was a wonderful experience. I took many photos of food! Fresh strawberries and a variety of melons in Dec/Jan served with meals! This maple latte was one of our attempts to get warm. We were not dressed for below zero wind chills! Even one of the natives gave my kids a hard time for the way they were dressed!