Friday, January 23, 2009

Ohio Funeral.....

Well, I made my trip to Ohio and made it home in one piece. This was not a trip I had wanted to take or even planned on. But when a family member passes away.... you get in the car and go.

My Aunt Pat passed away on Sunday night in her hometown in Ohio. She was my Mother's middle brother's wife and was well into her 80's. But still it was somewhat unexpected.

I am very glad that I made the trip! I was able to connect with family members that I had not seen in a very long time. I met the children and grandchildren of my cousin and realized we have a lot more in common than I thought. It was funny to realize that we all have some of the same traits even though we have never REALLY been around each other. (ie... After cooking a big meal my cousin didn't have a place at the table. When I was trying to rectify the situation... her daughter said "Don't worry... when Mother cooks she never eats".... Hey I thought that was just me!

The private internment and the Episcopal service were both very nice. Being from the South, it takes a little getting use to to realize how different funeral/burial traditions are in different regions of the country.

I also got to see my share of SNOW. Around here everything completely shuts down when there is an inch or less..... but there.. the world was moving at a regular pace with over a foot of snow on the ground. It snowed an additional 2 inches the first night I was there but they seemed to think nothing about it. ALL the roads (except in the cemetery) are plowed before anyone gets up!

Thanks for all the condolences and safe travel prayers!

Monday, January 19, 2009

On my way to Ohio.....

I know that it will probably be a while before anyone checks in and sees this post... but wanted to post this picture...

I left the deep south a little worried about what the weather would be in Ohio... but I ran into snow less than an hour from the house! Crossing Monteagle was a little interesting but not bad. I hear there is snow on the ground in Akron but the roads are ok!.........

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I ordered a new Gadget!!!!

Actually I ordered two of them.... One for my oldest to use in her college classes.... and one for my youngest to use in her high school sophomore classes! Yes I wanted one for me but I really don't have any REAL use for one. Maybe they will let me play with theirs or borrow it if I go to a conference.

The Livescribe Pulse smartpen places a computer inside a writing stylus to deliver a pen and voice recorder that remembers everything it writes and syncs it all with your PC.

There is a tiny scanner in the tip of the pen that picks up invisible dots in the special paper to keep a timeline of where the pen comes into contact with the paper. The pen can have its voice recorder activated, so it records audio while the notes are taken and afterwards, simply by touching the pen to any point in the notes, you can play back what was being said at the time.

If this sounds amazing, it is and it works. A journalist colleague swears by the smartpen now. Livescribe sells notebooks of the special Dot Paper, and users can even print out their own Dot Paper using a 600 dpi or greater printer.

Here's a video to help explain (it's a bit cheesy but it is aimed at students).

The pen is designed to make note-taking - for journos and for students - really easy. What's more, the pen uses handwriting recognition to solve maths questions and translate words. No, I am not making that bit up.

The notes can all be downloaded onto your computer using the Livescribe Desktop. The system is Windows compatible and there is a public beta to download for Mac users. A starter pack of the pen, the software, some of the special notebooks and other bits of kits costs around $149 for the 1gb and $199 for the 2gb. The Livescribe website is here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No one wants to talk education.... How about food?

The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

beets cabbage
Maybe you should be eating more beets, left, or chopped cabbage. (Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times, left

Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice.

  1. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
    How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
  2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
    How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
  3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
    How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
  4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
    How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
  5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Just drink it.
  6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.
  7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
    How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.
  8. Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
    How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.
  9. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,” it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
    How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.
  10. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.
    How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
  11. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.
    How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.
I know everyone is disappointed that the beloved 'lizard' appetizer didn't make the list! But I'm sure you eat SOMETHING on here. So... what do you eat of these and do you have any recipe suggestions?

Schools tap '21st-century skills'

To prepare students for a fast-changing future, teachers are reaching beyond the R's.
By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo
For decades, the emphasis in public education has been on making sure that students can read, write, and do math. But can they apply those skills in a real-world scenario, such as designing a bridge? Can they identify what information they need and use digital tools to find it? (read more.....)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wake up call..........

My phone rings this morning at just about the same as my alarm clock. Oh no.... what's wrong with who- (is my thought). Those very early morning calls usually mean that someone at work is sick and won't be coming to work. OR someone you know has died during the night.

I couldn't get to the phone in time to answer it and I did not recognize the number. So when I got my eyes completely open and on my feet- I returned the called.

CALLER- *Hello
ME *Hello- I recieved a call from this number this morning.
CALLER *Oh I'm so sorry! I have a new phone and I put it in my pocket and realized I accidentally hit a button.
ME*- Oh that's ok.
CALLER- *Ann- What'sNext this is Lemonette...
ME - omgoodness Lemonette... You sure are up early.
CALLER - yep- just on my way to work....

So if anyone needs an early morning wake up call.... I can give you Lemonette's number.

To those that don't know - Lemonette is a Youtube person.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rains and flooding......

Today we have had more than our share of rains in this area. There are roads underwater, roofs leaking, and basements flooded everywhere. And they have even delayed schools 2 hours tomorrow due to water over roads.

I spent a good part of the afternoon on a ladder with my head in the ceiling at our office trying to pinpoint the source of our leaks. We now have 5 buckets in the ceiling catching drips from several different directions. Hopefully they won't overflow before morning.

I checked our basement a little while ago and found one very tiny leak where water is seeping through/under the blocks! Hopefully our walls and Mother Country's walls will continue to hold! Please say a prayer!!! Cuz I have no desire to start sweeping water!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fun afternoon!

I had a great time this afternoon watching children play on this playground. It was shirt sleeve warm even though it was very cloudy. There is nothing like watching and listening to small children squealing with delight as they whirl around and round on the merry-go-round, or swinging high and trying to touch the sky, or zooming down the slippery slide!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day GOOD LUCK Food by Mother Country!

I hope you were able to have all the Good Luck Food for New Year's Day!

We were lucky enough to have ALL the Good Luck food (plus some) with Mother Country tonight. And EVERYONE had at least a tiny bite of all the 'important' foods. We should be in good shape for 2009!
Sliced Tomatoes
Cooked Cabbage
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Cooked Onions
Hog Jowl
Pot Roast
Black-eye Peas
Turnips Greens
Fried Corn
(not shown)
Pecan Pie
Buttermilk Pie

New Year's Eve 2008

January 1, 2009

animated graphics

Happy New Year's to everyone! It's Going to be a Good Year! It's Going to be a Good Year! It's Going to be a Good Year! Yea!

Well we survived the big Gala. It actually was a lot of fun and I think we actually may have made some money. We had lots of people that called the last day and probably had more people this year than last! The auction items went good and every one had a good time.

The Band was very good.... and yes Sue - Blondie keep his clothes on. The dance floor was full pretty much from 10:30 till midnight. But they did not have that HUGE following that I was worried about but a good crowd. I'll post pictures a little later.