Monday, October 24, 2011

Old-School Style

I've been wanting to write this post since the first time I subbed over at the high school in the middle of town (there's two here, one in the middle of town and one much closer to us on the edge). The one in the middle is much older than the other...

I start smiling every time I walk down it's hallways. Well, sometimes I giggle and sometimes I can't believe it hasn't been updated since the thing was built - or maybe I can't believe how poorly they have updated the few things they have. Anyways... description time.

Wood floors. Not the modern kind either... the kind that you find in old gyms and in old movies: thin strips and lots of wax on top.

Chalk boards. Ok, so maybe only a few of the rooms have chalkboards, as most have whiteboards. But, the one classroom I'm thinking of in particular had chalkboards on three walls. The board at the front of the room even had a moveable section (reminiscent of Miss Honey's classroom in the movie Matilda). Of course, the chalk boards wouldn't be complete without the thin wood trim around it... and around the entire room... and around the entire hallways... and doors... yup.

Hallways. Picture this: white molding on the vaulted ceilings, hanging light fixtures with brass trimmings, built in lockers, oak handrails down the middle of the wide staircases, out-of-order white ceramic water fountains...

 Last but not least, the auditorium. I've only been in here once to look after a study hall, but it is a combination of SDSU's Rotunda classrooms and Donor Auditorium (where the PRT plays are held). There are desks bolted into the multiple levels (higher as you get farther from the stage), a dusty gold curtain, huge light fixtures, light sconces on the wall, and old tiled floors.

This is not a post to poke fun at old buildings - I love old buildings! I just had to share my observations at one of the schools I sub at. And, I thought maybe it would bring back memories for my parents' school days :) and for my younger crowd... just envision Grease!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bunco Club

Click on "Bunco" above to link to the Wikipedia site explaining what Bunco is. For this blog post, you only really need to know that it is a dice game needing a group that numbers a multiple of 4 (you need 4, 8, 12, etc players in order to play).

Anyways, because of the need of a specific number of players, I was asked to be a substitute at Bunco Night. A few ladies at our church started the Bunco club a few years ago (there's a few non-Lutherans who come too, but we don't hold it against them, haha!) and they meet at each other's houses once a month. Since playing last Thursday, I've already been booked for the next two months! Who knows, maybe I'll start being a regular.

It was actually quite fun... yes, I was the youngest by about twenty years, but it was still fun to get to know a few of the ladies at church and for them to get to know me. I would love to host it some time, but we don't even have one folding table, let alone three - I'm not sure if our tall kitchen table would be the best for some of the ladies.

Like Wikipedia says, Bunco is a dice game where there is no skill needed... just luck! In the first two rounds, I was well on my way to winning the prize for the most losses (I had 4 wins and 8 losses) but the third and final round, I didn't lose once! There went my chance for a prize. I could have also won a prize for the most wins or the most buncos. The lady who hosted, hosts every October because her house is fully decorated with Halloween stuff - she loves Halloween! Thus, the prizes were Halloween themed.

I also learned about a new tradition at Bunco night... "Boo"-ing someone. Around Halloween, put together a little Halloween gift and leave it at someone's doorstep. Leave a note explaining that the recipient got "Boo"-ed and that they should now go "Boo" someone else (very similar to May Day baskets). Guess what I did?! Yup, I picked up some Halloween-themed do-dads at JoAnns and Bath and Body Works and left it at our neighbor's door. I had planned on doing it to our other two friends as well, but we haven't been to that side of town lately (and, they're coming over tonight to make caramel apples with us, so I'll just give their goodies to them!)

Ok, I have to get ready for the friends :) Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Joys of CREATING

So earlier this year, I was on a reading streak... I couldn't think of anything else to do during the prep periods as a substitute teacher. It wasn't until I was stuck with a dilema - what should I do during a study hall or during a well-behaved class who doesn't need me walking around checking up on them? I still wanted to have an eye on the students, but I felt that reading took away my concentration (I feared that I would look up from an interesting part of the story and see the kids jumping on the desks or something).

The solution?! CROCHETING!

Momma taught me how to crochet when I was in elementary. I primarily made scarves for myself and blankets for my dolls. I did venture into reading patterns by making two hats once - one turned out fine, the other one turned into a doll's hat (I still haven't figured out why that one was smaller than the other... oh well!) Since my doll-days, I've made a few more scarves, but I never took the time to do anything bigger than that.

Well, then came the substitute teacher time in my life... since picking up the hook again, I've made another scarf for myself, some doll-things for little relatives, and slippers for myself.

The slippers idea came from pinterest (of course). There are plenty of patterns online for different types of slippers, but I think I found the easiest one. I made one foot last night and finished the other foot today during a prep period. I used the lovely baby-colored yarn because I have a lot of it (thanks Mom!) and I didn't want to use expensive yarn until I knew that the pattern would actually work. When I try making another pair, I plan on making a few changes, but for the most part, I love them!

I've been playing around with the idea for my next project for awhile now. Grandma made the Christmas stockings that I grew up with, and I never thought I'd be good enough at crocheting to even try to make my own. BUT, I really want similar ones for Grizz and I - plus, the parents will need a few more with all the new additions we've add in the family (the in-laws and the Cali-babies!).

So, I scanned the internet for patterns. Turns out, they appear to be rather easy. Here's the pattern I plan on using... LINK. It is almost completely made out of granny squares (something I guess is rather common in the crocheting world, but something I've never even tried before).

Today, because I had two planning periods, I tried making a granny square with my baby-yarn to practice. It wasn't perfect, but I know it's something I can improve on. Now, I have something to do during my prep periods, and it should last me awhile. Each stocking requires 12 squares, and if I make them for the parents (if Mom doesn't beat me to it... I think my excitement about crochet is creeping back into her!) I will need to make 7 stockings. Woot woot!

Here's the granny square from today... it's prettier in Christmas colors!

In a good mood!

Of course being in a good mood right now doesn't mean I'm ever in a bad mood - I like to think of it as being in a good mood and being in a not-so-good mood :)

Anyways, it's Wednesday and the schools dismissed an hour early today AND we have the next two days off. HOW EXCITING!!!

Here is how I plan on spending my time off...

CLEAN! So, I've been slacking ever since we returned from the SD wedding... I blame the cold I'm currently fighting for my lack of cleaning energy. But, I will spend tomorrow morning picking up and doing some laundry and maybe I'll even get the vacuum out! :)

CREATE! I plan on setting up sewing camp on our kitchen table. It is time to start sewing some gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Once camp is set up, it is not coming down until I'm done! (Thus, I need to be done sewing by Thanksgiving or else we're eating Thanksgiving dinner on the counter)

Quick Errands Trip... I need to buy some groceries and I have some coupons to use wisely at the mall and then I need some yarn. I will explain why I need yarn in my next post.

You have no idea how excited I am to have two days off where I get to enjoy myself. Yes, I will even enjoy cleaning... especially when I get the Christmas carols playing! Grizz won't let me play them around him until after Thanksgiving, so I need to sneak it out whenever I can!

Ok, time to get started with some cleaning... the sooner the apartment is clean, the sooner I can sew!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reliving Last Spring :)

Last spring I spent countless lunches and prep periods looking at wedding sites and brainstorming wedding ideas. (I'll post the professional pictures soon - both on here and on Facebook). Well, now I get to relive those glory days through my cousin!

And all because two people fell in love :) Evan... thank you for proposing to Emily... and welcome to the family!

Anyways, I've been enjoying a few minutes here and a few minutes there LOOKING UP WEDDING STUFF! I have a board on pinterest just for the special occasion and at the moment, I'm looking up bridesmaid dresses. I'm also excited for another thing to do during my prep periods and lunches as a substitute!

Now, I will not be a bridesmaid-zilla (yup, I get to help celebrate the fun wedding... an awesome honor from Emily!). I will not bombard Miss Bride with all my ideas... I just like planning events, so if she decides to use some of the ideas I find, than great! And if Miss Bride finds her own ideas, even better - because regardless, it will be a fun, fun (beautiful, unique, special) day :)

Ok, back to searching the web for autumnal wedding ideas...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Midwest Heart

As we drive toward the Midwest, I cannot help but smile. Don't get me wrong, the Big Sky is a great adventure - perfect for Grizz and I to learn and grow together... However, we both grew up in the corn and bean belt of the Midwest (complete with its own tree-framed big sky), and that's where our hearts belong <3

 As we get closer to the weekend, we drive closer to our destination (a cousin's wedding). I've already flashed my big smile at a few things that remind me of home:

 A semi hauling parts of a wind turbine... Who would have thought I would have missed such a small thing as seeing turbine parts everytime I was on the interstate?!

Having the ability to determine the distance from our next turn by counting the sections on the map ... The roads around our new home don't have the lovely, grid-like quality of having a road every mile... how I have missed that!

Looking at all the waterfowl in NE SD... sure we can hunt ducks and geese in MT, but there aren't the constant pot-hole-sloughs and lakes around here like there is back home!

CORN FIELDS! All we see out in MT are beautiful flowing fields of golden wheat. Makes you miss the corn and beans of home.

OK, this one made me giggle. There is wind where we live now. The locals are SURE that their wind is the worse than any other place in the US. Well, the Montanans have a thing or two to learn about SD wind... I actually smiled when we stopped at a ND gas station as I leaned into the blowing breezes. It could have blown me over. (yah, yah, yeah... I know. Strong winds anywhere are annoying, but when you have to put up with Montana natives complaining about how bad their wind is, it is comforting to know that they don't know what they're talking about and that our prairie gales are worse than the mighty chinook winds of Montana!)

Ok, that's all I remember of our highs of returning to SD for a weekend... if I remember any more or if Grizz reminds me of more, I'll add them!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pinterest Confession

Ok. I have to confess. I LOVE Pinterest. When I first heard of it, I wasn't that impressed. Then, I started scrolling through the "pins" and started falling fast. I got signed up and now I enjoy wasting time and daydreaming while looking at others' pins and pinning things myself.

Maybe I should describe?

Pinterest is a website where you can set up your own "boards" and "pin" fun projects, photographs, or quotes to share with other people. For example, I have a "Christmas!" board where I "pin" projects from sites like Martha Stewart or Country Living and I "repin" projects that others have already put on Pinterest.

It is just so fun to see new projects and plan when I will have time to create said projects. I would upload a picture of a project I found on Pinterest and have since created it... but it's a Christmas present for several people in my life and I wouldn't want to show it to the world before they receive it!

So... if you're ever bored or if you want to start planning holiday decorations or you just want to start designing your future kitchen (yup, I have a board for that!), just head over to and enjoy!!

If you want to start your own boards and pinning, let me know and I'll invite you, otherwise it may take a week or two after you sign up before you can actually start.

Oh, and if you join, follow me! Maybe I'll even start posting on Twitter or Facebook when I pin something really fun...

Ok, that's all. Time to go eat something... or mabye I'll browse Pinterest a little more :)

I'll leave you with a glimpse of my latest find on Pinterest... and I can't wait until I can try it! (Mom, can you send me some tulle?! Thanks!)

Dishwashing Scrubbie (crocheted strips of tulle)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Duck Hunting

Say hello to my older brother. This made the blog to show you that I'm used to hunting and ducks and such... To be honest, I used to be the dog. My dad and brothers would go sneak to the far side of one of the sloughs on our land. After a set amount of time, I would go walking out toward the near side of the slough. I didn't have to sneak - my purpose was to scare up the ducks so they would fly over the guys. It must of worked this time... brother got one!

Saturday was waterfowl opener out here in the Big Sky. We scouted on Friday night - Benton Lake just North of town. LOTS of duckies. 

Since this was the first time hunting out here, Grizz decided to play it safe. We got out there before the sun rose, but Grizz didn't start walking to some water until after shooting hours started. He had to walk about half a mile, but he got out there, set up a few decoys and waiting for the flyovers - duckies trying to get away from other hunters. It worked - he got three and he only sat there for about 30 minutes!

Grizz usually just cuts the breasts off and we cook those. We did that with two of the ducks. We decided to experiment with the third one. So here's one with an apple-cinnamon stuffing. (If you're really interested, mix together some melted butter, chopped apple, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Stuff it inside. Ta-da!) We roasted it for about 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven, then for about 50 more minutes, we covered it and turned the temp down to about 300. It worked, it was done. Time to eat!

Mallard meat is quite tasty... (Grizz's idea to put a picture of the final stage on the blog. Blame him!)