Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Crankshaft: Well, there's another year in the books.
Rose: I wonder what chapter we're on.

May 2013 bring joy and happiness!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Six Word Sunday



The world is one big town.

Went home to visit the family. They live in the largest city in the state. We went to dinner - a man my brother had worked with came to the table - he was an ex=student of my mother's.

We went out to lunch. The waiter had been my parents' Orkin man. Twenty years ago - and recognized mom.

We went out to breakfast. The waitress was meeting her best friend afterwards and mentioned she (the best friend) went to the same college as my son - who knew the girl. Of course.

Somehow it gives continuity.



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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Six Word Saturday



Too much is too much. Simplify!

The temptation is to buy it all. We wade through previous year's attempts. And the best is really what is already here.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Best Christmas present. Ever.

A student gave me the BEST Christmas present today. He didn't have to come for my exam - because he had an A and could exempt. And my class was the only exam today. But he came so he could wish me Merry Christmas. Awww.

Apocolypse



It looks like this is another end of the world fail.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ethics in the Media

Or, what are we becoming?

I can remember reading an interview with a newspaper photographer years ago. The person writing the article asked him about the best photo he thought he'd ever taken and the man replied that the best photo - the most prizeworthy - was one he didn't take.

He told the story of a grandfather who had accidentally killed his grandson by hitting him with a car. The photographer arrived at the house later to talk to the grandfather and get a picture. He was going to knock on the door when he saw the grandfather through the glass in the door. The grandfather was sitting at the kitchen table holding one of his grandson's shoes in his hands while he looked at it with utter despair.

The photographer left rather than intrude.

That would never happen these days.

Sandy Hook Elementary - * * updated * *

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

We need to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and hold them and their loved ones in our hearts.

Dawn Hochsprung, principal.

Mary Sherlach, psychologist.

Anne Marie Murphy, special ed teacher

Rachel Davino.

Lauren Rousseau.

Vicki Soto, teacher

Nancy Lanza.

And the innocents:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6


What we do not need to remember is the sick individual who perpetrated this horror and the vultures of the media who are intruding on the grieving. For them - nothing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So many states must be glad Georgia exists

I mean, most states can compare to our education system and say "At least we aren't as bad as Georgia." And now we get ranked as the most corrupt politically. Wow.

Six Word Saturday



End of the year checklist - done!

Yeah, right. But, the exams are made, half the keys are done. Most of the grades are entered. The make up work has been handed out and now the half of the parents I haven't called get that fun call. I want to bake cookies and kick back. I know what I am going to be doing instead.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Six Word Saturday



How will you spend your life?



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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Six word Saturday



Advent: the prelude to the season.



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I am focusing on something positive and sticking my head in the sand over the things I cannot control: my classes.I feel inept this year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Entitlement

Conversation from a student.

"Where is the tape?"

me: "What tape?"

"The tape you use to tape papers with."

me:"Since I do not require papers to be taped, I do not provide tape."

What happened to asking? Can he/she not hear the difference between "Where's the tape?" and "May I please have some tape?"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Six Word Saturday



Liar, liar - pants on fire - hmmmm



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Once upon a time I had two good friends who lied - and their wives backed them up.

One lied about who he had been in a war that he could have participated in (but he didn't) in order to make himself look bigger and better than he was. As he aged, the stories about the past lessened until he was finally comfortable in his own skin.

His lies had no impact on anything but himself as his past really had no relevance to anyone but himself. He didn't lie in order to lord it over anyone - it was just in the way he defined himself.

The other lied in order to make himself look good and you inadequate. At a point I was struggling with working full time, staying married, and attending a difficult graduate school, he would remind me that the school you attended mattered and mine wasn't one of the ones that mattered.

My problems were insignificant, his were so much more important. His school was one of those up north that MATTERED - mine was - well, ok, but nothing more. Eventually I realized that if I had good news his was better. If I had bad news his was worse. And I quit visiting.

The first man was always proud of me and gave me a hand when I was down - and when I learned that he had lied it was not a surprise but it didn't matter and it didn't change my love for him. I missed him when he died and miss him still.

The second? I got tired of being put down as part of every conversation and hadn't spoken to him for the 20 years prior to his death. When all the lies came out - his wife had left him ten years before when he finally stole too much from her - it was no surprise and meant nothing to me.

I don't understand why someone would lie about who they are and what they have done. Sometimes I look back and smack myself (ala "I could have had a V8") thinking I should have done this, I could have done that, but I am content with where I am (most of the time and for the things within my control. I want more than I will get from my job and more for my students than they are willing to do - but I recognize that they need to want it.). I didn't end up where I thought I would but where I can see I needed to be.

Why would I want to lie about who I am? Why would anyone?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Antithesis



Ah, a cause I can support!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

From Curtis(http://www.seattlepi.com/comics-and-games/fun/Curtis/):
Thanksgiving, a day made famous for its annual observation of giving thanks.

Thanks for the delicious feast before us, with its tantalizing aroma. But that is only minor, indeed.

Thanks for those beside you, around you,, those you care for near and far, past and present, content in the knowledge that we, as the human race, deep inside are connected as one.

What a wonderful world it would be if we treated every day like thanksgiving.


Thank you, Ray Billingsley.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday's Laugh

A store that sells new husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs.

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

'That's nice', she thinks, 'but I want more.'

So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

PLEASE NOTE:

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Six Word Saturday



What goes up - might come down.



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Message to my students: If I give an incredibly easy assignment in attempt to raise your grade (which I even tell you is the purpose) and you choose to blow it off because "I'm passing this course" - do you not realize that you will still get a grade and it will not be beneficial?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Motivation

Self Improvement

I find the students I am teaching this year to be very passive. They do little work on their own. I should say, only a few do any work on their own. But they think sitting in a room while I do work (and explanations) on the board and they text, talk, and throw things - and then copy my work - will allow them to learn the math enough to pass.

Nothing I say or do changes their behavior. (and these are not my bad classes)

So, since they refuse to become scholars, I will work on myself. I am a lifetime learner and I usually branch into trying some sort of art or craft. I am not particularly good at any, but I like to figure out how to do things that I see and admire.

This year, I have set two goals: practice trigonometry (since I am bored and am getting rusty and would like to relearn calculus) and relearn German.

To the later end, I have found a great website: Open Culture. There are free movies and free educational options, but, more importantly, free language lessons for 40 different languages.

Die gedanken sind frei! And so is learning the language. Geneiss!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Six Word Saturday



Thanksgiving is near. My thanks abound



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I am thankful for my God, my country, my family and friends.

I am thankful for my family's health and my own.

I am thankful for my education and that I instilled the value of education in my children, as my parents gave that to me.

I am thankful for the beautiful weather we are experiencing - and wishing/hoping/praying that the weather and other conditions improve in the northeast - SOON.

I am thankful for this semester will be over in a few short weeks. OK, six, not all of which will be spent in school.

I am thankful for that I still have some time to try reach those I am not reaching.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Not so funny when you teach delusionals



And I can't even describe what one did today.....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote



“They don’t want you to vote. If they did, we wouldn’t vote on a Tuesday. In November. You ever throw a party on a Tuesday? No. Because nobody would come.”

~Chris Rock

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Posting

I was going to post a blog about a couple of articles that made me mad. Because I read them online in a newspaper, I have no idea if they are true (sorry media, but you deserve that) or meant to inflame.

I was going to get irate, self-righteous - call out the bullies for the bad thing they did.

But I realize - I may have been led down this path by a media that increasingly just wants to cause discord.

And I don't want to play.

Back to work. Reset your clocks.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy: the state of promoting or administering virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have or is also guilty of violating. Hypocrisy often involves the deception of others and thus can be considered a kind of lie. (wikipedia)

The Saudis are planning to bulldoze historical Muslim locations and turn them into something resembling a parking lot.

So - where are the protests? Where is the outrage?

They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don't care about spots on my apples,
LEAVE me the birds and the bees please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Question about a book ** updated **

Back in the seventies or eighties, there was a book where each chapter was written by a different author, but the book was published as if there was one author.

Does anyone remember the name of the book?

Ok there appear to be several. The one my husband was asking about was Naked Came the Stranger by such authors as Jacqueline Susann and Harold Robbins.

There was a science fiction one in the seventies The Eye of Argon which was started by Jim Theis and passed along by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I am not sure this has multiple authors.

There was another later one Atlanta Nights which has a story more impressive than the storyline.

And finally, there is a murder mystery one. No Rest for the Dead whose authors include the likes of Kathy Reichs, R L Styne, Jeffrey Deaver, and Sandra Brown.

Enjoy!

Six word Saturday plus a couple.



Thankful for so much. Praying for the Northeast.



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My problems seem insignificant.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Six Word Saturday



I should feel bad - you're expelled.



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But I don't.

Daily, I watch you make poor choices - not paying attention, not doing any work in class - one that you have already failed and are repeating.

You cannot get to class on time or follow basic rules.

You have taken disrespect for everyone to a new level.

And, as they tend to, the consequences for your actions have caught up with you.

I am sure you will return to school eventually.

Pardon me while I enjoy the silence of your absence and teach the ones who chose to act differently.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Teachers are like snow flakes too


Better to be pissed off than pissed on.

Great idea!! Block texting!

PO has a great idea! Block texting during school hours. The kids still have a phone. They can still communicate with the outside world if they had to. But no texting.

I think my students would explode.

Six word Saturday



Putting my ego aside for now.



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This year, I am learning my limitations.

The classes are too large to reach everyone. Some of the students have not learned in so long (or sincerely do not care and are waiting until the can drop out) that it would be difficult to reach them one-on-one and impossible when there are 35 other needy kids in the class.

Add a few with behavior worthy of a chief Mafiosi (without any of the talent behind it - just persistent threatening behavior to the other students and the teacher, behavior that is difficult to communicate to those outside the classroom because words are not enough.

My best weapon? A smirk. How sad is that?

And the teaching? Fallen by the wayside and left behind.

Friday, October 19, 2012

But you've NEVER taught us that!

Doncha love it?

You teach a concept for 2 weeks, a month.

You assess during the lesson.

You announce a quiz.

The kids get the quiz and scream "You have never taught this!"

Sigh.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life, Liberty, . . .

My students (well, some of them this year) seem to subscribe to this philosophy.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Six Word Saturday



I don't understand any of it.



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You have been teaching a topic for 2 weeks. You have worked examples on the board (and told the students to copy it down). You have elicited previous knowledge in class discussions. You have had various students work problems on the board. You have had classwork days of working problems.

It is the day before a quiz/test and you ask if there are questions.

"I don't understand any of it."

OK, where did I lose you?

"I don't understand any of it."

Half of what you are doing is based on material they should have mastered 2 or more years ago.

I have no clue where to start explaining anything at this point. I usually rework whatever I am doing, knowing full well that the student is 1) yanking my chain to get Eddie-Haskell attention or 2) has finally awakened from a Sleeping-beauty doze to see the world has passed him/her by.

Put more than one of these students in a class (did you know that 5 * 7 is 18? or that the operation happening near W in A = LW is addition?) of 36 with no other adult in the room and Oy Vey! I have no clue had to fix it!

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gripe. Bitch. Moan.

Six Word Saturday



Fall is here! Bring it on!!



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Here is a way we might be able to protect American honeybees. Supplement their pollen gathering with processed sugar for a generation or two.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

six word Saturday



Shop!! Only 86 days until Christmas.



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I can't seem to get ahead - at home, at school, with anything. I feel like I am drifting away. I am not blogging as much because almost anything I would write would be too specific to where I am - and I am not ready or willing to go public.

Maybe it is time to search out another school.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Georgia - last again

The AJC is talking about Georgia Education - again. Once again we are grabbing onto policies other states have abandoned as worthless.

This week I can't start anything new because (thank you, Race to the Top) I tested every class Monday and Tuesday and have tomorrow "off" to evaluate their scores.

And you know the kids didn't take the testing seriously - it doesn't affect their grade so who cares?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

G.E.D.

Does anyone know anything about the G.E.D? Do you have to take all of the tests to pass - can you take a test the first day, be done, and not have to do anything else toward that subject? Where can I find out about the whole process?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad Decisions

I have lost several students in the past month due to their bad decisions - choosing to drop out rather than do the necessary work. Learned today that several former students have made equally bad decisions and landed in a bad place. It is discouraging for me - probably overwhelming for them.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Six word Saturday



You have to love the South.



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Buy a diamond, get a gun. The radio ads say "Can't choose between getting her a diamond or buying a new hunting rifle? Now you can have both!"

It is, after all, almost deer season.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Six Word Saturday



Too much to do. It's overwhelming.



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The students are needy. There is too much meaningless paperwork. Too many required meetings that get in the way of actually getting something done. (You cannot make students learn and you cannot make people work together to plan. You can however hinder the people who want to work by throwing these meaningless barricades in their way.) And Georgia once again has adopted programs that other states have already proved don't work.

I watch the Chicago teachers striking because they are having to work more hours and don't feel that the 16% raise is enough and I am ambivalent. My gross is going up but the school system is balancing their budget on my back - they will not be paying anything toward insurance and they cut supplies to the bone. The kids even think it is my job to provide paper towels for the bathrooms. They probably think I should be cleaning it too. And I don't know if by "they" I mean students or school officials.

At what point do you accept that some students fail a class because they want to fail and move them aside so you can teach the ones who want to learn?

I have griped in this blog. Sometimes a lot. But this year I am not enjoying teaching and am not sure how to get my mojo back. I know I offer value to some - the rest are vampires bleeding me dry.

I will probably go back to posting cartoons. Putting even some of what I am thinking here is too depressing.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Six Word Saturday



I don't like myself when angry.



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And I don't like being put into a situation where I can't succeed.

Things are looking better. But I don't know how successful this year will be.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happiness Challenge Day 5

I usually ignore Mrs. Chili's and ChiTown's challenges because they are way too energizer bunny for me - not wild about blogging - I have to force myself to do what little I do.

Mrs. Chili is following a friend of hers happiness challenge and I decided to do this as well. School started last week and, if I were the kind to get paranoid, the bovine soil enrichment they handed me was meant to sabotage me. Or they are inept at their job and bovine soil enrichment flows downhill.

I allowed myself to stress out last year where I didn't even enjoy myself. Somehow I managed to stay married and keep my friends.

Do what you can with what you have where you are. (Teddy Roosevelt)

I have been granted a wonderful gift with the opportunity to help/teach/change/challenge students this year. While more time would have been better (and appreciated) the staff at the school and in my department has (have?) really come together to help me catch up.And I would never have expected that.

I am almost where I was (in terms of planning) 2 weeks ago and will be where I want to be by the time we get to Labor Day.

I even impress myself :)

And I still found time to do my chores, read, and spend time with my wonderful and patient husband.

Pretty happy here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

six word saturday



Oh, the view through students' eyes.


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New year. A student asked me what I did when I graduated from college. "Got a job. Got married. Had children"

Did you get a job at McDonald's?

Now, I know that the economy is such that many college grads would be thrilled with a job at McDonald's and maybe (you think?) these students cannot think beyond the immediate time period, but how does one answer that beyond "No"?

I also had one say, slightly earlier when I mentioned "my husband" in part of a sentence - you're married? Yes, that would be why I wear a wedding ring - and no, I did not say anything except yes.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Parenting failure

From the AJC today.

A 9 year old boy attacks several toddlers (ages 1 - 2) in a day care. He
  • Slaps a little girl
  • pushes her head down hard on a table
  • (standing) kicks a little girl in the back so she falls down
  • Punches another little girl
His aunt says
  • He is a normal child
  • They (the family) are embarrassed by his actions, but the daycare should be shut down
  • He is on medication
 The rampage is caught on tape and went on for 15 - 20 minutes. The daycare worker can be seen gazing out the window.


Why was a 9 year old with the babies? Why are the day care workers not taking care of the kids? Why is the family excusing this?


Six Word Saturday

** This is my 1300th post **



Seems like everyone wants immediate results.


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We do something different and when we don't see the BIG CHANGE - we quit. Doesn't matter if we are talking diet, house cleaning or learning lessons.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thinking Maps

Does anyone use thinking maps - a lot - in their teaching? Does anyone use it in teaching math? I have four preps next year, each with a different special ed teacher. And we just got an email that tomorrow, the first day back, we will be having professional development on using thinking maps - because we will be using them at lest every week. Help.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stacked Ranking

Stacked ranking is where a certain percentage fall at the top, a few at the bottom and most in the middle. It is the favorite concept that Bill Gates is pushing to make the schools better. It is a major part of all this Race to the Top crap. If you don't embrace it, you lose funds.

But there's a problem. It doesn't work at Microsoft, where Gates is king.

Forbes points out that it discourages collaboration, which is what I am seeing at my school.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Let's start school in the hottest month.

It is summer.

August is the hottest month.

We are in Georgia.

This is a list of the start dates for schools.

Monday, July 30
Rockdale County

Wednesday, Aug. 1
Cherokee County
Decatur City
Floyd County
Paulding County

Thursday, Aug. 2
Barrow County

Friday, Aug. 3
Buford City
Newton County

Monday, Aug. 6
Atlanta Public Schools
Coweta County
Douglas County
Gwinnett County
Henry County

Wednesday, Aug. 8
Clarke County

Thursday, Aug. 9
Forsyth County
Marietta City

Friday, Aug. 10
Bartow County
Hall County

Monday, Aug. 13
Carroll County
Clayton County
Cobb County
DeKalb County
Fayette County
Fulton County
Griffin-Spalding County

Six Word Saturday



Easy to get, hard to eliminate.


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Why is it so easy to acquire stuff that it is so difficult to dispose of? And so easy to be overwhelmed by.

Friday, July 20, 2012

No Man is an Island.

President Obama, one week after his controversial "you didn't build that" remark, claimed Friday that the criticism he's taking from Republicans is "bogus."

Though Republicans say the president was implying that business owners didn't build their businesses, Obama said he was just talking about roads and bridges.


Read more here .

You can watch the video (he was on the radio, so it is actually an audio) - the statement is at 1:01. I don't care about the blowhard who follows. But, please, Mr. President: I have heard enough about "it depends on the meaning of 'is'" to recognize backpeddling. Have the courage of your convictions or quit lecturing us.

I can't get the embed code to work. The video is here www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DwJE1VbJtU
No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
John Donne

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I love these things!!

Two men from Seattle were stopped at the border for smuggling. They had Kinder eggs.

I love those things! Just not enough chocolate.

Summer is ending

I am trying to finish up the must-dos before school starts up again. It is the South. It is July. It is hot as ..... out there.

So on that note I leave you this visual from Switzerland. (Switzerland? Don't they have snow there all the time?



Here is the whole picture.