Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Garden

Front Garden, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Well, here's my garden one month later. If I had taken this picture a week ago the difference wouldn't have been great. But thanks to two days in the upper 40s coupled with rain we've had some significant snow melt this week . When my husband put the Christmas tree out he left it in the stand. I think he was hoping they'd take it since it's broken. But this morning when I looked outside there it was! (After I took the picture I did move it out of the front yard.) The snow has melted away from the front of the house just enough to expose the first brave daffodil bud! I know we'll get more snow but it's a good feeling to see some signs of spring!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Whitey's Ice Cream!

My husband and I are both from the Quad CIties and when we return for a visit we make at least one stop at Whitey's, usually it's more like three. When my husband returned in January his niece gave him a coupon that she had won for 6 shakes to be delivered free to anywhere in the US. So, since our son was coming home from college tonight, to attend a concert with his sister, I ordered them to be delivered today. They arrived in a cooler with dry ice. My favorite is the chocolate Butterfinger shake. I ate half and will keep the other half for tomorrow. What a delicious treat! I let the kids order two but warned them they might have to share a little with me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Turkey in the Snow

Turkey in the Snow, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I've started taking my camera bag in the car with me just in case I see a good photo op on my journey to and from work. Today it paid off. Right down the street I came across a flock of turkeys crossing the road. The only bad part was that it was right on a blind corner so I didn't want to linger there too long. After I got home I realized in my haste to take the picture I didn't check my camera settings and still had it on settings for macro from yesterday's shot. So the background is really grainy looking but the turkey feathers are pretty sharp. The turkeys can be seen in our area quite often, they like to feed at the bird feeders. Between a fence and a dog we don't see them in our yard.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Textured Ice

Textured Ice, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

You may not think of this as a sign of spring but I think it is. There's very little snow left on the south side of our roof! What is left is still causing some icicles to form hanging from the eaves. I got out a little too late to catch the sun shining on this but I do love the texture of it. Most of the icicles are smooth but not this largest one hanging on the corner.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lilac Buds

Lilac Buds, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

When I got home today, just before five, the sun was still shining brightly and I had a little spring fever despite the 22 degree temps! First I looked out the window and couldn't see anything to photograph but grabbed the camera and headed out anyway. I was too lazy to use the tripod with my macro lens so of course the picture quality was not great. Someday I'll learn... The shot I chose are lilac buds. It will be about three months before they bloom but just seeing those buds made me feel good. I took this shot leaning over the deck and looking down on a young tree. The lilac fragrance is one of my favorites.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Toy

New Toy, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Thanks to a tip from Stacy on Plurk I bought this new Flip camera for less than $60. I've been wanting one for a long time. I put one on my budget for next year but not sure if I'll be getting that or not. I'm excited to plan an activity in the lab so that the students will be able to get their hands on it. Even the kindergartners will be able to use it. I love new toys!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I feel so fortunate to have a daughter that enjoys cooking. Her specialty is baking cookies and cakes for her friends birthdays and get togethers. But she can do a great job on dinner as well. Tonight she made homemade chicken noodle soup. It smelled and tasted terrific!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Young Deer

Young Deer, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

We went for a drive today in search of eagles but didn't have any luck. However we did run into a herd of deer. They ran off at first but slowly came back. I wish they had come a little closer.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Glowing Edges

Glowing Edges, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

For the third day in a row I ventured outside and tried to capture a macro shot of a snowflake. The last two days either the snow has stopped once I got outside or it was unattractive pellets. Today there were a couple of decent flakes but I had to be quick before the wind blew them out of my view finder. My husband says the shots are getting better. Still not as focused as I'd like. So he had me open them in Photo Shop and he began to give me some lessons. (He teaches Photo Shop) As he showed me how to adjust the color balance I said that was cool. He said no this is cool and proceeded to show me some special effects. The glowing edges was my favorite and it made the photo look better than it really was.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Bike

New Bike, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Once again my snow pictures didn't turn out. So this time I turned to my new bike. I'm not happy with the pictures, hard to get the whole bike without showing all the clutter in the basement! I'm really looking forward to the day I can get it outside.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Indoor LAX

Indoor LAX, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I really didn't plan on doing pictures of my daughter three days in a row. However, my snowflake pictures were all deleted due to blur and washed out pics. Then, while at our daughter's LAX (lacrosse) game tonight my husband asked if I wanted to try out the sports lens. I'm not a huge fan of taking pictures when my kids are playing because i feel like I have missed all the action when looking through the view finder. But I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I quickly discovered photographing LAX was much easier than ice hockey, I didn't have that feeling of missing all the action tonight.

This is an indoor league with just 3 teams. It was snowing tonight which means most of our team stayed home but the 3 girls that live the farthest from the complex were there just like last time we had some bad roads. My daughter usually plays defense but tonight with only 5 players the four girls took turns being the defense and she got a chance to shoot a couple of balls on goal.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Daughter at Slippery Rock

Our second visit was to Slippery Rock in PA. It's a six hour drive so not too far away from home. It was so different from UB. It had some lovely old buildings as well as a very modern gym and dorms. We saw students in the classrooms and at the gym but very few just walking around. It was a much smaller campus located in a quiet little town. There were just three people there for a tour so we were able to ask specific questions. My daughter left thinking maybe she should change her major. I don't think they meant to intimidate her but they did. They only accepted 50 students into their doctorate program for physical therapy this year and you have to have a grade point of 3.8. She's already stressing that she won't be able to do that. I tried to tell her to just take it one step at a time and not to give up on her dream without even trying. Tomorrow she'll be busy emailing both colleges with more questions. The next year will be an interesting one as she moves through this selection process!

My Daughter at UB

My Daughter at UB, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Today my daughter finally got to go on her first college visit. She's been anxious to do this for a long time. When we pulled up to the campus our mouths kind of dropped and we both said "Wow, that's big!" My son goes to SUNY Brockport, a much smaller school and what we're used to seeing. After a 30 minute PowerPoint about the college we were broken down into about 6 groups and went for a campus tour. The friendly tour guide did a great job of walking backwards throughout much of the tour. That is a helpful skill because then we were able to hear her. This is the only in-state school my daughter is interested in visiting. At the moment she wants to enter the field of physical therapy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Chickadee, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I finally made it outside today to watch/count/photograph the birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I filled the feeders this morning but there wasn't much action out there today. However, I did like the determination of this little guy. He started on one side and worked and pecked all the way around to the other side before he finally found a piece of peanut to take.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beer Tasting

Beer Tasting, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

For Valentine's Day my husband took me down to Copperstown. First we stopped at his favorite pizza place for a slice for lunch. I took a few pictures and then we headed out to the country for a visit to one of our favorite breweries, Brewery Ommegang. It's a Belgium style brewery. The tour guides are always friendly and knowledgeable. We learn something new with each visit. At the end of the tour comes the tasting of their unique beers. They are unfiltered so they leave the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. The bartender said in Belgium at the end of the evening people start buying shots of the sediment. It is full of vitamins and is supposed to help ease the effects of a hangover. Before we left my husband bought me a Ommegang bike jersey for Valentine's Day. If you ever go to the Baseball Hall of Fame be sure to stop by the brewery for a tour and a tasting.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Icicles, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

What a treat to come straight home from work and to have it still be light out. I grabbed my camera and headed into the backyard wondering what I could find to photograph. As I headed down the hill I noticed these icicles hanging under the picnic table. I like the way the late setting sun is reflecting off of them. I'm one of the crazy people that is happy that cold weather has returned.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Getting Ready for the Art Show II

When I got home from school and the gym tonight my husband was already busy preparing our pictures for the art show. The dining room table had been turned into the assembly stage and our living room is lined with frames. We're entering a total of 5 photos. Our daughter decided to enter one of hers as well, a beautiful shot of a boat in Portland, Maine. Tomorrow is the last day to submit the work. Luckily my husband is done teaching classes at noon so he can sneak out and get them dropped off.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Ready for the Art Show

Getting Ready for the Art Show, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Over the weekend I finally settled on two photos for an upcoming photo show in a local community. My husband picked the prints up today. We're still trying to decide how to hang the reflection photo. It should be upside down but if I put it right side up it looks like I did some cool effect to the picture. Tomorrow he will frame them for me and we'll get them dropped off at the art center. I'm feeling mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness. I've never entered a show before. What if they don't like them and won't even accept them in the show? At least now we'll have some framed work to hang in our home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Winter's Ugly Side

For those of you that don't get snow and might think it's always white and Christmas card perfect I just wanted to let you know that's not the case! We're going through a thaw this week with temps in the 40s and predicted for the 50s tomorrow. That means the snow is melting and leaving behind the sand that's put on the road to keep the roads safe for driving. Everywhere you go you see these ugly snowbanks. I don't mind it at the end of March when I know that spring might really be around the corner. But this time of year it's just plain ugly and I'm hoping for a return to the cold and a few more inches of snow to cover it up again.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bike Trainer

Bike Trainer, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Tonight was my second meeting for the Ride for Missing Children. Tonight we listened to Scott Berne tell his story of how he was abducted by his mom at age nine. He was found two years later by a babysitter that had seen his picture in an article in Family Circle magazine. It was a moving story and one that helps the riders remember why we're doing this. Our goal is to raise money to have posters of missing children printed so there will be more survivor stories like Scott's.

The picture shows my bike trainer. I'm feeling a little guilty I wasn't on it all weekend and I skipped spin class to go to the ice harvest. Tomorrow night I'll get back on it and next week I'll be even more motivated when I get my actual road bike.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Loading Up at the Miller's Mills Old Fashioned Ice Harvest

Loading Up at the Miller's Mills Old Fashioned Ice Harvest, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Out of the 186 pictures I took today I chose this one for my POD simply because it shows a good view of much of the work involved in the ice harvest. The ice harvest is truly a community event for the village of Miller's Mills. You see community members everywhere-parking the cars, running the food lines at the Grange hall and Baptist Church, selling 50/50 tickets and then all the people involved in actually harvesting the ice and getting it stored away. It was a fun afternoon watching the action, taking the pictures and getting some fresh air. In July the community has another event-The Sundae Run. It's a 5K race with an ice cream social at the end! Due to health regulations they can no longer use the ice from the harvest but they still hold the event anyway. Our son ran the race once with a broken arm. He won a door prize and came home with a huge bag of oranges. The past several years we always seem to be on vacation during the race and I have a feeling this summer will be no different. It's great to see communities coming together for special events like these.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Winter Cookie Cutters

Winter Cookie Cutters, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

I love this old wooden bowl. I found it in the basement of my grandparent's house. My sister remembers our grandma serving coleslaw in it many years ago. Now it has a musty smell and I wouldn't want to serve food in it anymore but I wanted to put it on display. So each season I change the cookie cutter collection. The older cutters are my favorites.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Laptops, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Here's where I spent my Friday night. We just got 2 MacBooks at school so I checked one out. I can't figure out how to get it on line, apparently I don't know my password to our wireless. So, when I couldn't figure out how to do something I looked it up online on my Dell. I still can't figure out how to get the Jingles. I also used my Dell for listening to music and keeping tabs on Plurk. I still have a lot to learn but the learning will have to wait until tomorrow

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dollar Coins

I noticed on the scavenger hunt one of the items is foreign coins. All I could come up with were some Canadian coins. I decided I'll wait until my daughter returns from her trip to Europe this summer for that shot, I'll sure she'll have some interesting coins for me. While I was digging around I found these dollar coins. When I go to Canada I like using the loonies and toonies. Every time the US tries out a dollar coin I'm hopeful that this will be the one that gets accepted. Unfortunately, I just don't think Americans are ever going to embrace the use of the coins.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fenton Glassware

Fenton Glassware, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Earlier this week I took a macro shot of this pitcher and asked what it was. I had lots of good guesses both on flickr and my photo blog. Both places came up with correct answers today. I inherited these beautiful pieces from my mom. She's trying to make sure all her "stuff" has a good home. Next summer I need to remember to pull the vases out and use them with my garden flowers. Thanks to everyone that took time to make a guess.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Creek View

Creek View, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

In January I posted a picture of my favorite road on my way to work. I actually teach in two schools. So, this is my favorite scene on my way to the other school. This bridge is less than a mile from the school. The picture was taken as the sun was rising and it cast a very strange blue hue to the snow. I've been wanting to try changing a picture to black and white so here it is. I like it better this way. Check out my photostream if you want to see blue snow.
I love this creek because the view can be a little different each morning depending on the snow, steam and frost. On my way to work I always go slow and check it out. At the end of the day I zip right by without a glance, wonder what I might be missing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is it?

What is it?, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Today is the first day I'm struggling to come up with a picture. I've tried photographing 3 different things and am not happy with any of them. I finally settled on this and will put it in as an item for the 366-1 scavenger hunt. I think it's pretty easy but then that might have something to do with the fact I see it everyday! So, what do you think it is?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Cake

Super Bowl Cake, originally uploaded by ElementaryTechTeacher.

Last year my daughter made a Baked Alaska for our friend's Super Bowl Party. They teased her and told her she had to top that next year. She decided she couldn't top it and wanted to make a Black Forest Cake. So here is this year's contribution to the party. She's a little mad at us at the moment. My husband commented they are the wrong type of cherries on the outside and I commented on what type of knife she should use when doing the frosting next time. She does remember her cooking teacher give the same advice last year. I bit my tongue and didn't mention she should have dried the cherries off before placing them on the cake. She doesn't appreciate us being critical. She's probably right, what really matters is how it tastes and knowing her baking skills it will be delicious!