Our house was in the paper today!!! The article is really good too, but it has our names in it. If you are a friend and want to read the article, leave me your email address in a comment. I won't publish the comment, but will email you the article!


I melted something in the dryer today. It stuck all over the back of the dryer and I had to use tongs, fingernails, and a scrub brush to get it all off. Here it is in the trash can. Prize for whoever guesses what I melted! Aza and Squirt cannot compete for a prize. And Dan definitely cannot compete because he mocked me for melting the thing while I extricated it.


Can you see the birds in the tree over there?
Dan and I went for a late afternoon walk after I had a productive writing day. We returned to dinner I'd started in the crock pot earlier in the day. Toast some bread on the wood stove, make some rice, and voila! Dinner!


I had to teach this evening so I spent the morning reading an interesting memoir, then worked some from home, then went into work after lunch for 8 hours. My students spent some time with the penguins curriculum. Below, a team was testing evaporative cooling by creating twin dwellings- with one on dry cotton balls and the other on glue soaked ones. Gluey won.


Root received the Buffalo slippers I made for him and sent me a photo. Perfect fit, made to order. Except, he requested beavers and I got my B word animals confused.

Today I had my annual review which went very well. I am on the tenure track, my chair reassures me. I sigh relieved.


Today I got my first Mac! It's old and needs some updating, but it was free to me to use in my office. I hope to learn how to make iBooks with it. Today went well. Energy, focus, drive.


Woke after a night of thunder and lightning to discover that tornadoes were ravaging Alabama again. After destroying homes and lives in Birmingham (my friend's niece had to be rescued from the basement of a leveled house) I called my mom. The storm was on its way. I was in a bad state all day long just worried about my beloved Auburn.


Tonight we attended our friend's 50th birthday bash with musicians galore. There was a bass, a violin, three guitars, a ukelele, and an African drum. And of course, our friend played harmonica too.

Happy Birthday!


Two days of meetings concludes with a three hour training of our site leaders and facilitators. It went swimmingly. We left town afterwards to head back west over the mountains. Exhausted, I am. Looking forward to being in my own bed tonight.


Five hour trip over the mountains to Blacksburg today for an NSF sponsored team meeting and workshop to kick off our grant. Crocheted a hat for my dear friend, Miss March.


The photographer came today to take pictures of our house for the newspaper article. I kept wishing he would take a photo of me sitting on the couch crocheting. But of course, I didn't ask... and he didn't ask. So then I got the idea to set up my camera and take my own photo. Here I am crocheting. I look so old in this picture... not how I feel. Wearing my reading glasses... I look twice the age of my daughter Aza.

Wait a minute! I AM twice her age!

Aza turns 24 tomorrow. The four of us celebrated this evening with a steak dinner (her favorite), white roses, a bottle of wine from Nana, and a lovely gift. Twenty four years ago tomorrow I gave birth to her. I was 24. Strange. I'm twice her age.


Penguin ice cubes! An article I got accepted into a journal is in "the galleys" which means last minute revisions. The editor wants a photo of the ice cube penguins so I took some. It's exciting to have so many writing projects in production. I'm writing one paper about preservice teachers' conceptions about how coal becomes electricity, I'm editing two book chapters (one on heat transfer and the other on middle school engineering education), have two articles ready for printing sometime soon, and am just starting a study of the impact of authors and their non fiction books on elementary school children and their teachers. Whew!

So, one of these photos will be in a magazine sometime soon. Not sure which one the editor will choose. Personally, I like the top one.


Friday the 13th. It snowed today! Just a bit, but it was pretty. Today was supposed to be my writing day, but I got a call early in the morning from a lady at the newspaper who wanted to come over and interview us for a story about our house. So I had to clean! She came over at 2 and had a tour and chat... and after she left I did a bit of data analysis with my new software package, NVIVO. Anyway, a writer is coming over on Monday to interview us and on Tuesday, a photographer is coming over to take pictures of our house and us. I knew we had a special house!


Taught my graduate class this evening, Engineering in STEM Education. Students built boats, towers, bridges, and roller coasters, seeing how engineering is traditionally brought into the elementary school classroom. First class went very well.


We have a bald cypress tree out front and the bark is so textured and beautiful. The colors are rich and the feeling is like basket weaving material.

Looking up the tree, you see all the branches and peeling bark. There is a row of woodpecker holes across it. It loses its leaves in winter, which I suppose, is why it is called "bald" cypress.

Some flowers are blooming. The snowdrops are plentiful out front, as are the lenten roses.

Today I started taking a new prescription strength vitamin and I hope beyond all hope that it helps with migraine and fatigue and that spaced out feeling I've had lately. I felt awake and alive and alert today. I spent three hours cleaning/organizing my office at school. I went out to lunch with two colleagues to talk about future partnerships. Tomorrow I have a full day preparing for my first day of class this semester, a paper I need to write, and a research trip next week to Blacksburg. Hope to stay feeling well.


I am working on an afghan. This is how far I got today working on it in bed with the second day of migraine. I had to miss my department meeting today, but Skyped in for three hours anyway. I'm so glad I have colleagues who will stand for that sort of thing. By 10pm the evil monster had left my head and I worked for several hours on the award panel I'm chair of... and was up past midnight. Oh, I got another paper accepted today... without revisions!!! It will come out in one of the IEEE magazines. I'm so excited about this.


Dan took down the Christmas decorations today. The vacation is almost over. I got a migraine last night and spent all day in bed with it today.


Walk at dusk with Aza and Frisbee and Dan. We took Jes to the airport at noon today- house feeling quiet and empty without her. The parking lot at the stadium was empty too, but it won't stay that way long as students return this week. We went to dinner, and then I got a migraine which knocked me out.


Yes, I made these. Aren't they adorable? I started last night and woke up really early and got them finished. They are a gift for my friend's daughter who is having a baby soon.

So, I've been REALLY tired lately. Like it's 3am in the middle of the day and I'm sleep walking. Just trying to move through a fog or a wet blanket or a tub of molasses. Like I have to prop up my eyes to keep them open. I even drank a cup of COFFEE today (the horror!) to wake myself up because I just couldn't stand it anymore. Squirt gave me a vitamin B pill and said that would help. Perhaps it did.


Today I really tried hard to work all day. Aza had some work to do, Jes had some work to do, and so I sat at my computer putting out email fires, working on my course syllabus and website, tallying scores for an award I'm in charge of awarding at a conference this summer... and making a dishcloth. Just had to crochet something.


Aza's turn at getting some slippers. Can you guess what they are? Tree frogs! I made her tree frog slippers with wobbly eyes.


Today I was SO sleepy. It felt like a blanket of fatigue just settled over me and enshrouded me with yawns and the desire to close my eyes. It snowed a little today- just flurries, but enough to be pretty. Dan started a fire in the stove and we had to say goodbye to Root, who flew back to Colorado today. My glass Christmas balls fell off the tree in the wind yesterday, so I put them in the bird bath. They were frozen solid today- making for an interesting photo. In one way I'm ready to get back to the work I love, but in another way, I'm not ready to say goodbye to the vacation I love. Mixed emotions here on the 2nd day of the new year.


Today I finished the bunny slippers for Jes. Aren't they cute?!?!

We went for a nice walk in the arboretum around dusk- a beautiful sky- nice walking weather. We mainly just ate today- sat around the kitchen table munching on stuff. Root bought some Kentucky beer cheese, which was a big hit.

And I had to make Hoppin' John today. We all ate some, so we will all have good luck in 2012!

Here are Chrissy's Kids out partying at midnight last night (Photo thanks to Aza).