Sunday, February 26, 2017

A whole pile of random things...

So I sort of have lots and nothing much to say.....  this is my mood these days.  Which is mostly just fine with me.  Those who need to know my stuff do- and those who don't, well, don't.

First off, I recently purchased an AMAZING wide angle lens for my camera. (Insert happy dancing here)  And I do mean amazing.  It is the lens I have wanted my whole life and didn't know it.  I will be using it for cloud pix and landscapes mostly, and already, it is so incredibly satisfying.  It ticks off so many many of my photography needs....  I could soliloquize for days, but I won't.  But look!  LOOK at those pictures!!! It really bothers me that I didn't have it for my Bayfield trip.  I had ordered with what I thought was plenty of time, but the order got hung up in processing.  Um- wut?  If I didn't know that lens was going to be amazing for me I would have canceled.  I'm glad I didn't though- so very glad.  But what is up with that Canon???  HMMMM???

This was a really good weekend for the most part, I got a lot of little things done- plus finished one book and polished off a collection of short stories.  GOOD STUFF PEOPLE!!

The short story collection especially was excellent- called Drown by Junot Diaz.  A group of 10 stories about different members of a family based in the Dominican Republic and in the US.  Some brutal stuff, but quite compelling.  One of my favorite books in this genre!   The favorite other short story collection that I always recommend is Interpreters of the Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri - both worth picking up and reading.

Old house with a bit of mystique

In other news it has been cold and tomorrow will be warm and then it will get cold and I want daffodils.  The warm weather has pushed me into premature daffodil longing- I try not to think about it too much before the end of March, but here I am- wanting some.  I've had a couple photos sent my way by people that understand- - -  I will take more of those!!!!  :)    Pictures will do until I can either pick some or procure them in another way.  

The MA has been busy busy this month, as you all mostly know.  He sort of hit the ground running very early in January and has been in the office every day since.  LONG days....  So when he gets here we do chit chat a bit.  The man is getting even funnier these days- I feel like I should get a book and record the things he has been saying, sort of like what you want to do for your kids or the students at school.  Because you know you are never going to remember them in an hour.  The last thing he said a couple days ago- and maybe it is funnier to me than any one else when we were discussing the lengths that people go to maintain their accountant.  The miles they drive, the things they do.....  he tells me: No one wants to tell the new guy about their life.  Which like I said, sent me into fits of giggles, but other people may not get it??  No?  Oh well.  Anyway, he sleeps a lot in front of the tv after he finishes supper.

LOOK at that smooshy, kissable face
Not me though, the more I do at school the less likely I am to sleep.  It is just a wonderful thing being awake for the 4th time at 11:30 pm- said no one ever.  So I slept a lot (I got laughed at when I said I slept "in" until 6:30, but that IS sleeping in for me!) this weekend, as I really was able to relax.

As you may or may not know, tis the play time of the year and the Chequamegon school is putting on The Music Man- you know- 76 trombones and all that.  Lots of fun- silly, catchy songs.  Plenty of scenery to paint.  And my initial massive group of enthusiastic volunteers has dwindled a bit.  But such is the life of the Mad-Art teacher!  We will be fine, the troops will rally.

Last month's visit with the grandgirlies
It has been intense at school, though.  Many students have a hard time in the middle of the year like this- the winter, the school work, the rare days off and the stresses of families seem to add up to a lot of kids in distress.  Seniors are focused on finishing strong, junior are worried about imminent ACT tests, sophomores are sort of lost and freshmen still- as a group- are pretty clueless. But warmer, longer days are coming- and we will make it. As I said in my last post, this snow day could not have come at a better time.  We needed this unexpected mental health day.

I still have more artwork to get into the hallways, I need to do my high school progress reports and I shall be needing to get to looking at art work for the upcoming art show as well.  So there will be no easing up in the foreseeable future.  But that just makes the week go fast, so thats ok.

Lots of things coming up, lots of things to make the day go by fast.  I've said frequently the last few weeks that I would love to discover a worm hole and a perpendicular universe so I could come to school- get into that time warp and clean both of my rooms- then come out of it and teach school.  In a tidy art environment.  That would be great- someone needs to hook me up with that - K?  Anyone?

So, I am feeling like I need to get out a book and read and relax and get myself to bed here soon.  I hope all of you have a great productive week and if I find someone who can direct me to the nearest 4th dimension, I will let you know so you can get everything done you need to do, too!  I'm helpful like that!  And I send you a week full of joy as well.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Best Possible Snow Day

Yesterday we had a snow day.  The weather people were messing with us for a week saying we would get x number of inches of snow- then they would decrease the number and then increase and winter storm watch and then warning and then advisory.....  sheeeeeesh.

I got up yesterday and was bitterly disappointed that a. there was barely a dusting of snow on the ground and b. that the phone hadn't rung at 5am announcing that there was no school.  I was secretly mad at the MA as he predicted  the night before there would be no storm to speak of because it didn't "feel right" out there.  I ordered him to bed as he laughed at me and made fun of me/pitied me.  Lol.  Such a smartie pants he is. Who died and made him weather man??  

Ah..... a cup of joy and delight perfect for a snow day

Anyway, I was kind of worried as there was virtually no snow.  So I was wasting my time, dragging my feet getting dressed until the last minute and literally the second I had begun to stand up to find my jeans and something presentable on top- my phone rang!  WHAT???

So yeah, there was a snow day with virtually no snow.  AND the storm stayed south of us.  BUT thanks to the weather people and almost every school in the northern half of Wisconsin, the threat was real enough for everyone to call school.

Don't you dare judge the administration for this!!!  First of all can you imagine how obnoxious it is to call an early day if the weather had disintegrated and we needed to get the kids home early?  AND in our particular case we have the largest area wise school district in the state- there are some kids who are on the bus for an hour or more and in the remotest places you can imagine.  So, lets not be hasty to call them out.

The thing is that we all needed this day. Staff, administration and students.  A break from all practices, meetings, classes, hallway incidences, sickness, traumas brought to school from home and on and on. WE NEEDED THIS!!!!!  For me (it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to) I have been pushing to get art work done for next week, trying to get grading done for progress reports, do scenery painting after school, etc. etc.  Lots of drama everywhere.  Lots of counseling of many of my favorite kids. (On the record- I have no favorites.  Off the record- some of them just need me, so of course I secretly love them the most ;) )  I come home, crash and burn, eat a little and then sleep like crap.  So this day was needed and wanted and it was loved and cherished and admired.

I cooked a little, read a lot, had a visitor (hi Jake!), drank copious amounts of coffee, chatted a bit on the phone, and I felt layer after layer of stress and anxiety (oh yes I have that in spades) peel off of me.  I slept really well last night.  whew.

So today it is windy and pretty and I don't foresee a whole lot of outside activity.  I have to do a little grading, some prep work for a meeting I have next week, and a touch of mending, but there are these books that need to be read and probably some photos that need to be edited from fun trips, and a camera that needs to be mastered....  

I will find my zen, my peace and my joy!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Winter Photo shoot

Last weekend I took a fun mini-vaca with a couple of my friends- the Mad-Science teacher and the Mad-English teacher- to (prepare yourselves, it will be a surprise, I am confident) the north- specifically we stayed in Bayfield (told ya) :P

Abandoned school 

Anyway, I needed to get my mojo back (winter depression?- idk)  and that has to include some photography and that is what I want to feature here!

Lake Superior and not a lot of snow, but lotta ice!
We did a LOT of fun things, some of it food related, most of it activity related.  We did a swing around the Hwy13/Hwy 2 loop of northern WI, including a couple waterfalls, an abandoned school house, replete with an equally abandoned piano (obsession admitted), an extremely cold beach, and awesome diner and 3 tired travelers.  And oh so many many photos- plus there was some dogsled races and a ferry ride with a hike on an island as well.  Add in an amazing apartmenty-sort of sleeping quarters, some Big Water coffee shopping and of course Coco's- and there is some amazing time away from home that was just what we all needed.

It was a perfect day for photography
I have been smitten by the idea of this abandoned school since I heard about it a few months ago.  It is in a state of disrepair and it will indeed decay completely if it is left as is.  There have been a lot of people in there tagging and such, which I suppose is what happens these days.

The piano is amazing- in an old abandoned sort of way.

Only ivory left to tickle
The audience was silent tonight
As is expected in Wisconsin in February, most of the water was frozen- including the waterfalls, but there was certainly enough beauty to record.
Walking on the creek to Twin Falls

Frozen Twin Falls by Port Wing, WI
Pancake ice in the little bit of open water at Amncion Falls.

Mother Nature was kind enough to gift me with this INCREDIBLE sunrise.....  I sure can get dressed in a hurry.  Lol.  Bayfield just never disappoints. Seriously, this is not color enhanced, just cropped.  It was astounding

This still amazes me

We had a cold and fun time both at the Apostle Island Dog Sled Races and also hiking around on a VERY cold Madeline Island.  Going on the ferry cutting through the ice is an experience unlike any other.
They LOVE to run....

and they smile all the way!

It was dreary that day but oh well.

I heart Madeline Island and Big Bay State Park

Found a little blue shelf ice by the Ferry Dock in LaPointe- but no where else

Looking towards Bayfield

Frozen (ice)  hills on Lake Superior- I was standing on the lake there, and I could only take about 2 shots before the cold wind forced my hands back in my gloves.

Will the next performer please take a seat....

If you think sled dogs don't get love- you are all sorts of wrong

I have so so many pictures to edit yet, but I am going to take my time.

It really was a  fantastic weekend for photos and catching up with good friends....  and finding so much joy in totally expected places.