Sunday, August 23, 2009


For this country-at-heart girl, there nothing quite as refreshing as a weekend at the farm. Last week marked the first full week back at school. Students and teachers alike were all a bit cranky. Nobody wants summer to end, and we all seem to be in denial over the fact. So I decided to escape for two days with a trip up north.

I think what I like about being at the farm is the simplicity I feel there. If you ask my oldest brother, Nick, who has taken over my parents' farm, he might not say life is so simple there, but that's the beauty of being a visitor rather than a permanent resident, eh?

I love running "the section" for my workout. (That's the four-mile square grid of roads, for you city folk) Beautiful wild sunflowers lined one stretch of the run. I like hearing the crunch of gravel under my feet. Even the hoard of grasshoppers rushing to get out of my way at one point was entertaining.

My aunt called on Saturday afternoon, suggesting that we come over to their farm to watch the crew lay pipe on their land for the oil pipeline from Canada to Oklahoma that is passing through Nebraska right now. So we drove on county back roads to watch big diggers and such work on the construction. Afterwards we sat in the barn on dusty saw horses, overturned buckets, and a big piece of wood, drinking cheap beer and catching up.

Today the whole family...yes, every single one of us minus Scott (who was melting on yet another 100+ degree day in Texas) gathered at my mom's house. We looked at photos, talked about the start of school, and eventually headed outside for a family wiffle ball game. If you overran first base too much, you'd run into my sister's minivan. The 1989 white Ford Taurus that I drove in high school and college sat in it's usual spot just behind second base. It hasn't moved in several years, but my nephew Blake, who is starting high school this year, has his eye on it. His mom says he's itching to learn to drive. We harrassed him all afternoon about making sure to protect the car from any center field a hit from a wiffle ball is going to make it look any worse :)

And a trip to the farm wouldn't be complete without a visit to the barn with a bucket of milk for the cats and kittens. There are 12 now, I think: four adults and eight kittens, mostly black and white spotted. Few things are more adorable than watching a kitten lapping milk with her two front paws in the milk pan, occasionally looking up and sporting a milk goatee.

So now I'm back in Omaha, needing to go to bed, lesson plans on my mind, hoping that I can take the peace I found on the farm this weekend with me into the week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

By the numbers

15: days since Scott left for tech school (for his Nebraska Air National Guard position) in Witchita Falls, Texas. If you've never heard of Witchita Falls, you're not alone. Neither had I. Apparently it's a smallish town in the flat, middle-of-nowhere northern Texas that only natives and military folks have heard of. Needless to say, I will only be driving all the way down to see him once. Witchita, Kansas, is halfway and a bit more entertaining.

3: days until I make that inagural drive to Witchita to see the my hubby.

4: months until Scott returns.

7: nights that Shoes (the cat) has been allowed to sleep in our room if she so chooses...and she has taken full advantage of each of those nights. I only wish she would just lay down and sleep and that she woudn't feel the need to be touching me when she does. I'd be lying, though, if I didn't say that I find it a bit endearing.

1: time that I've had to clean up a pile of cat puke (on the basement concrete, thankfully). Apparently she overdid it on the grass eating that night. Why do cats do that? They have to realize the consequences. I don't understand.

4.9: miles I ran (according to the Google pedometer feature) yesterday. I'm training for the Market-to-Market relay in mid-October. I'm part of a "Female Millard Teachers" team, thanks to my hometown friend, Marsha. Hoping I won't let the team down!

2: days until I officially have to report for school. How did summer pass so quickly?

2: students who I failed at least one semester in English 9 that I will teach again in English 10. Seriously?!?! Hopefully we've all matured a bit since last year.

0: lesson plans that I have as the beginning of the year looms...God help me!