We've had some sort of funny storm here for a few days. It rains all night in sheets of wind- not too heavy. Today was the last day of my research project. I just have some more interviews to conduct and some assessments to go over. I took these photos out the window of my car in the school parking lot. Messed with the manual focus to get some interesting shots. I'm glad the project is over and hope I get some interesting results once all the interviews have been transcribed and analyzed. The performance assessment should be interesting. We're going to have all students design something around a soda can to keep heat IN. I'll fill all the cans with boiling water and then check the temps after an hour. They will also have to write a short paper about how their design features block radiation, convection and conduction. Should be an interesting part to the project.
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This igloo housed a penguin-shaped ice cube and won first place in its class. Four girls designed it with the intent to deflect radiation to other igloos. They named their group The Chocolate Ninjabras. Good for them!

This igloo won first place out of 5 classes. The students in the class happened to be in a "standard" class and I love it when the underdogs come out ahead.


This is the meaning of "crashing on the couch". The Kaos was over last night and you can see that even with their energy drinks, they crashed.
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My research is going really well. This is the classroom I'm working in. Today we had kids finishing up their designs and testing them in the hot box. Inside each of these little dwellings is a penguin-shaped ice cube. Some designs worked better than others- students will have a chance to re-design next week.

Our yard almost looks like a normal grassy yard, not quite two weeks after the grass was planted. Just look at it growing in, so thick and beautiful. It makes me want to trim it with scissors. But Dan said that was crazy. I still say it isn't. We should be raking the hay out soon.
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This is what happens when you get on skis and the rope slips, catching your fingernail in the process. We think Dan might lose his nail. Yikes! Will it grow back? Stay tuned...
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Today is Sunday and our grass was planted 6 days ago. Just look at it growing! We had company for dinner tonight, good friends who were introduced here at our dinner table some years ago, set up by our daughter Jes who worked with the man and knew the woman since she was a little girl. They were married six months later, and are still so very happy together. I made chicken etouffee and these sesame green beans. mmmm.

The Browns
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This picture was taken this summer after Squirt completed 10 days of rock climbing and backpacking in Montana. I just photoshopped it (got out the red eyes) and cropped it to the right size to submit for his senior yearbook photo. I just love it. Just look at that smile!
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Click to zoom in. What do you see? Baby grass! We have baby grass in our yard!
This is my third computer in a month. I have to send the second one back because the monitor was malfunctioning and we couldn't tell if it was the monitor or the video card. After we switched hard drives and set this identical one up, Dan plugged the old monitor into his laptop and it started malfunctioning. So, it was the monitor after all. I hope this is my last desktop for quite a while!

I got a migraine last night/this morning and have had a hard time working today.
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Happy Birthday to me! Mom sent me some new chicken items which I will have to photo and add to my Chrissy's Chicken blog. Dan got me my favorite marzipan-covered cake. Squirt and Aza came out to dinner with us, and Jes called from Colorado right when I was thinking of how much I wished she was with us at dinner. Squirt gave me chocolate for a present, wrapped in a unique type of "paper." It was a perfect, wonderful, absolutely great day. 45 is good so far.
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The yard is all seeded, front and back. We've had a steady soft rain for a few days so the grass should sprout within a week. I've been working hard on my dissertation. Looking forward to my birthday tomorrow.
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We are having our whole yard re-done. Today the workers finished the back and side yards and half the front yard. I can't wait to see how nice it will look when it's all done.
This is the school where I'm doing my dissertation research. I come here every day, sign in and get an orange guest sticker. Then I sit on my butt and write like a mad-woman to capture every single thing I can that goes on in the day. It's fun but tiring.
NEW CONTEST: Which of these soda cans is the coldest? They were in the fridge for 4 days. When they were removed this morning, the teacher wrapped each one up in a different material.
Waxed paper, Wool sock, Paper towel, Aluminum foil, Nothing, Cotton sock.
I know the answer. Come on, guess. I sit here writing and doing research all evening and need some entertaining comments on my blog. Aza, you should know this one.


This teeny picture was taken with my cell phone. I guess I zoomed in too much. I was trying to capture the teal-colored object on the bumper. I was following this minivan on my way to the school where I'm doing research when I spotted this object and knew RIGHT away what it was. It was just perched there. As I passed the van, I could see that it wasn't attached to anything, just riding along.

CONTEST RULES: Comment on this photo and guess what the object is. Come on, don't be shy. Take a wild guess. Beck, if you're reading this, YOU of all people will know. The winner will receive something. I'm not sure what yet.


Today the next door neighbor came over and dug up my rosebush and my lavender bush. This makes my garden now officially empty. Grass should grow here well with all the soil amending I've done. We just want plain old grass here now.
This is the 8-foot high pile of tree debris at the end of the driveway.

I haven't blogged much lately because I've been collecting data all week in a classroom. We took Sunday off and had friends over for dinner. Squirt was sick this week and missed some school. My laptop crashed this week- thankfully my desktop is up and running. I lost all my software because I had to reinstall the operating system. So long SPSS and Starry Night. Lesson learned: Always make backup CDs of software you install.


Today Dan and I worked in the yard all day. We cut down four trees and hauled all the wood and branches into a huge pile. It was sad seeing some of my precious trees turn to wood and die. Unfortunately, it had to be done in order to get grass to grow, keep the house from getting scratched up, and make it pretttier for the market. We pruned back lots of branches in the front and back and side yards, bringing in more sunlight. The people should be coming out to start our new grass soon. Now that we have more sun, perhaps we'll have grass in the front yard instead of red clay.
The purple tree out front, all chopped down.
The front yard without the purple tree or the crepe myrtle.
That sideways leaning tree got the axe too.


The Kaos came over tonight and Squirt did some funny photo editing on my computer. Here the bass player is threating him with a push-up wheel. School started this week for the Squirt and Aza left for school today.