Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paul the Possum

Paul the possum is no longer waiting for the safety of darkness to chow down on bird seed, lately he has been making appearances before dark too! The bird feeders are supporting a whole host of critters! Bobby has started buying the bird seed in 50 pound bags from Orscheln's, he says it's the best $20 ticket for a show he ever spent!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Purple Power

Congratulations to Evan who graduated from K-State on a cool Saturday in May with magna cum laude honors! Sara did a great job of capturing pictures at the ceremony and later at the party his folks hosted! It was a really fun day! Evan, his mom, dad, and sister Nichole!

Sara and the grad!

Josh and Susan were in town for the party too!

Evan and his Grandma Bonnie!

Evan's friends Levi & Molly made a surprise appearance all the way from Wisconsin!

It was one of the highlights of the day!

Fun times!

Newest Members of the Bird Menagerie

There had been several oriole sightings this Spring so Bobby put out oranges on the feeders to attract them to hang around. His friend Steve told him that orioles really like grape jelly, so this morning he added grape jelly to the oranges. Mr. and Mrs. Oriole seem very pleased with the addition! I had tried several times throughout the day to get a picture of them but they are easily startled when I approach the window with the camera. Finally when Bobby gave me the signal that the male was eating I just leaned forward in my chair and captured these pictures. I love that the orioles are as bright as the oranges they eat, even the female is brighter than most of the other bird feeder visitors!

The hummingbirds are back in town too and have been frequenting the sugar water feeder that Bobby put out. On Friday there was one that spent a lot of time at the feeder and sitting on the edge of the raised flower pot next to the feeder, we are really hoping that they build a nest in the flowers. Bobby did a bit of internet resarch and found out that hummingbird nests are the size of ping pong balls, their eggs are the size of a small jelly bean and three baby hummingbirds weigh less than a dime! We're keeping our fingers crossed that they pick the flower pot for their new home!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

Friday was Sara's last day of student teaching at Highland Park High School in Topeka. The two teachers she worked with and the students showered her with cards and gifts. In every class the teacher had each student tell Sara what they liked about her teaching. And one of the ESL classes added their own special touch by having her sit in a chair and taking a turn wrapping her in crepe paper as they told her what they liked, one girl made her a crepe paper bracelet to match! One of the cards was a small booklet where the students had all written notes, even the principal added an appreciative note.

Sara took cookies and snacks for all of the students and wrote each of the ESL kids a special note. These balloons attached to a 'teacher' coffee mug filled with candy were a gift from one of the teacher's daughter who is a student at Highland Park. Although she was not one of Sara's students they had developed a friendship while each afternoon the young lady waited in the classroom for her mom and Sara to finish up their after school work.

Sara's late nights spent preparing lesson plans, grading papers, and the handful of not-so-easy class periods were certainly rewarded by the appreciation of the students! And isn't that really the reason teachers teach, to know that they have made an impact on their student's lives.

Some gifts to use in her first classroom!

Wedding Preparations

Four weeks and counting! The church is reserved, the dress is bought, the tuxedos are rented, invites sent, the rings are picked up, honeymoon plans made.

Only one thing remains to be done: the groomsmen need to be given their t-shirts for the bachelor party!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The First Harvest

For those of you who are established gardeners, you may want to stop reading here or risk thinking 'sheesh, what's the big deal?'

But I'm kind of excited to report that tonight's dinner included grilled chicken with mango salsa that was blended to perfection with the initial 'harvest' of fresh green cilantro from my first ever herb garden! Isn't the cilantro pretty?

Another view.....
The plant on the right is lemon balm, a member of the mint family. In the middle-ages it was used for stress relief and crushed and rubbed on bee hives to attract the bees back to the hive. Today it is used in recipes, liquors, and furniture polish. Of course I didn't know all that when I bought it just because it smells good and looks pretty!
The plant on the left is some type of sage (probably should have kept the little informational spike that came with it!)

There's also some cascading rosemary in the front and back of this basket. And nothing tops the smell of fresh rosemary.

These plants have all been in their pots for several weeks now and the critters haven't bothered them at all! Maybe next year I'll try a vegetable garden!