Posted November 29, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: Uncategorized

I’m expanding in my tutoring job. I get to do the math tutoring for the younger students, from Pre-kinder to Second Grade. The tutors we get for the older students don’t necessarily have the skill set to teach basic math concepts and problem solving strategies. Then again, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start in teaching Trig or Calculus.

I like my job. But I’ve made a (not so new) discovery recently.

I am a mean teacher.

Me: “Please keep working on your essay.”
Student: “But I’m tired….”
Me: “And I’m old. And not getting any younger. Keep working.”

Me: “Please be sure to show your work on the math problems. I’m checking to see if you know the strategy to solve the problem.”
Student: “But my hand is KILLING me!”
Me: “Not fast enough for you to get out of doing the word problems. Keep working.”

Me: “You need to re-read the question, and then re-read the paragraph to find the answer. The answer is there.”
Student: “But…I don’t WANT to.”
Me: “BUT… I do want you to, and so do your parents. Keep working.”

Student: “Teacher, you’re mean.”
Me: “Thank you, I practice.”
Student: “groaaaannn…”

Posted November 29, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: Uncategorized

What? You were expecting orange and red leaves or something?

We’ll probably have some leaf change after tomorrow… a front is coming through that will make it cooler…Canadian air for the first time this season. That’s usually the colder air.

Cherry Parfait roses….

A Sulfur butterfly… one of four that have been hanging about for the last week or so, taking advantage of the last nectar in the flowers.

They seem to like the Fire Bush and the Pineapple Sage blossoms the most.

Fire bush on the left, Pineapple Sage blooming on the right.

The Fire Bush is not only blooming, it is setting seeds. That’s partly what I mean when I say that Autumn is a way of peeking into the future. The “babies” are forming now.

The Esperanza bush is blooming still, and setting a lot of seed pods.


I’m not sure what this is. It was a 25 cent rescue, and I’ve almost lost it 4 or 5 times…somehow it keeps coming back.

My pink rose is still blooming. Don’cha just love it against the sky?
I planted some culinary ginger this summer. It’s not spectacular looking, but they’ve started making more ginger. I will try harvesting and using some of it this winter.

The white Mandevilla came back all the way from last winter’s freeze to the ground. It’s blooming well and is climbing anywhere it can get a tendril. My neighbors are getting the biggest benefit from the flowers, as they are sunward of the plant. I don’t mind. They’re good neighbors.
I don’t have any of the Hyacinth Beans blooming, though there are buds, (on the left) and the beans themselves are ripening. They are as pretty as the blossoms. They’re supposed to be edible.. and I may try growing enough….someday…to test that. For now, I’m saving the seed for next year.


No Moon Flowers just now, but the last of the seed pods from that are ripening as well. Next Spring may be glorious indeed.


And of course, my tomatoes are finally blooming and setting fruit.

So, some Summer lingers on….

How are you getting ready for the new season? What are your plans for next Spring?

Summertime

Posted August 20, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: Uncategorized

It’s been a strange summer.  I’ve been working most of the time and not had much time to do anything.  Work interferring with blogging and gardening…….oh dear.  I’m on vacation for the week though, and I’ll make as much of it as I can.

0818070816a.jpg The biggest change in the backyard is that, earlier this summer, a kiddie pool we had (for the dog) got filled up with rainwater, and it became THE spot for the amphibian dating scene.  Lot’s a tadpoles.  oOOOH lots of tadpoles.  Well, some of them are now becoming frogs errr toads…errr whatever their parents were.  I suspect there are at least 3 different species in there as there are three or four species of frog and toad in my garden.  It’s amazing what even a small biome can support.

Lookie

Posted July 7, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: Bloggerwave, dollar post, Jobs, My DH

When ‘Pup was looking for work, one of the tactics that was suggested was to do as much research on a “target” company,( ie: one for which he wanted to work) and then to contact someone in the company directly. The target in the company we were to look at would have been the person in charge of the IT department, or one of the accounting or data handling areas of a company. Then, we were to write a letter to that target person, discussing any new event or newsworthy development we could find.

This tactic had some mixed results.

He finally got a job with a company he did not do this to.

But, there is a website now, called masterseek that provides a lot of information about a lot of companies. Might have been useful…but I’m really glad we are done with the looking!

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Rain, rain, rain…..

Posted July 4, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: Uncategorized

Since the first of July, we’ve had 6 inches of rain.  It’s only July 4th. 

 Luckily, we’ve most things planted in either raised beds or pots, so the plants, while soggy, aren’t drowning.  The lack of sunlight is hurting us though.  The tomatoes haven’t set much fruit, and the ones that ripen aren’t of real good quality.  We may need to fertilize again, to offset the amount of nutrients that may have leached out from all the rain. 

The trees are thick with leaves and are growing new branches and lengthening older ones.  We’re going to have to do some trimming to get them to lift off the roof, and to lessen the amount of shade.  About 4/5 of the back garden is in partial to deep shade as it is.  The small sunny spots I have left are where we want some fruit and veggies to grow.

The rain has also been devastating to my pond.  The rain is acidic, and had lowered the ph to the point that it was killing the plants, never mind the fish.  I’ve one superfishie left.  Y’all.  This superfishie has survived things that have kill EVERYTHING else.  How she does it, I don’t know.  I went out in the rain this morning to check on things…and got very wet btw…and spotted her, hiding deep between the pots of water plants. 

I know it may be anthromorphizing waaaay too much, but I swear this fish recognizes me.  She actually approaches any finger I put into the pond and examines it. 

If I can stabilize the ph in the pond again, I’ll be getting her some more company in the pond.  I think she’s a little lonely, and perhaps a little spooked.  When we had several goldfish in the pond, she interacted with them.  She swam with them and seemed to socialize.  Of course, she also did her own thing…  I like this fish.  I wish I had a bunch more like her. 

It’d save a lot of money on goldfish.   

Oh, why goldfish?   Well, they’ll eat the hornwort, mosquito larva and eggs and require little care.  They are also cheap.  The pet stores carry tanks full of what they call feeder fish, which are small and not particularly spectacular looking gold fish.  They sell for 12 cents each.  That’s a lot of fish for under $2.oo.   The superfishie cost about $3 when I got her, along with about 10 others…who’ve long since gone to fishie heaven.

Glub Glub.

 I wish it would stop raining for a week or so.

Such A Relief

Posted June 29, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: About me, Jobs, My DH

My DH was out of work for almost two years.  For one of those years, he had a really nice compensation package coming in, and that helped.  After that stopped, the lack of responses to his applications hit harder somehow.

 So, when an offer of an interview came in my DH jumped at it.  He landed on his feet, and got the job!  Best of all, he says he thinks he’s going to really like this place he’s working at now, and will enjoy the challenges and opportunities the job will offer.

Having a regular paycheck will be nice too!

Best of all, our anniversary is coming up on July 1, 2007.   Now, we can celebrate the day with a feeling of relief and joy instead of worry.  Hooray for my DH!!

Posted June 27, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: garden, garden pictures

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I have a small pond in my back yard.  Tragedy struck on Sunday, as I had a fish die off.  I think the water’d gotten too warm, and not enough oxygen was available.  I saved three of the fish and have pretty much changed out the water by about 1/2 or so.   I’ll post more pics of the pond at a later time.  I also have two disappearing fountains, one of which I made myself. 

 0619070758a.jpg This is just because it’s pretty.

WELL!

Posted June 27, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: General grumpiness, rants

Ms Paris Hilton’s out of the pokey. I just caught sight of her on the news…sashayin’ out of the jail like she was on a friggin’ RUNWAY. Does she think she’s making a triumphant return to the affections of the country? (that’s sarcasm… I don’t use it often, but I do know how)

I wonder if any one’s taking bets on just how long it will be before she is either back in jail for drunk and disorderly behavior….or just back in drug rehab?

Things in my garden

Posted June 25, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: garden, garden pictures, What's growing?

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I have a lot of things growing in my garden.  This wet weather we’ve been having in Houston has gotten things off to a rocket start, even the tomatoes.  It’s been not as kind to the roses, as they’ve been hit with black spot, but some of the things that were knocked down by the freezes this winter are actually bouncing back with a vengence.

 mar2007-65.jpgHere it is in March, 2007.  Just beginning to come back.

One of those things is the bougainvillea.  It had frozen completely to the ground, and I cut back everything except a couple of the longer and more upright branches.  They’re going to provide some support for the new growth.  The odd thing is that 3 of the branches have come back completely cream colored, and one completely green, and the others have come back to the varigated variety that was planted.  I’ve not decided whether or not to cut the solid color branches out.  I think I’ll wait to see what blooms.

A Meme

Posted June 24, 2007 by nancyfrance
Categories: Memes

Well, no one tagged me, but I’ll do it on my own.  Afterall, no one’s reading this blog but me, anyway..sigh. 

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My mom and my grandma.  If I’d ever been able to have had a daughter, she’d have been Nancy also.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Last night. 

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? When I take my time, my handwriting is very good.  When I’m in a hurry…I’m the only one who can read it.  I can also write in script backwards.  It comes in handy when one is stuck in an inservice meeting and the presenter is an idiot.  It always gave me an opportunity to express my disgust, but keep it somewhat private.  Nonetheless, friends who knew me always knew it was not a good sign when I was taking notes backwards.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?  Thin shaved corned beef, or ham.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS?  No, and not because I never wanted any.  And no, I’m not sharing that story.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?  I think so.

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Depends on the situation.  When I do, I’m very angry.  A lot of my sarcasm gets written down, backwards.

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? nope.  Got’m taken out and tubes put into my ears when I was 30.  I was a late bloomer.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?  Not on your life!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Maple sugar Creme of Wheat.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?  I try not to  wear shoes that have laces.  When I do, I untie them……..if I have to…

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Emotionally, yes.  Physically, I used to be very strong, and one of my first jobs was as a laborer building a nuclear power plant.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Bluebell, buttered pecan.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?  Their body language.  If it doesn’t match what they’re saying I become very suspicious.  I’ve met many people who have made me want to run the other direction.  They turned out to be not very nice people.

RED OR PINK? Green.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My weight.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?  Walking wherever I wanted to go.

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? black pants…no shoes.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Some  sausage and beans and two nectarines.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?  the news

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?  aquamarine or burnt sienna

FAVORITE SMELLS? cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, roasting meat

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?  My boss.

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Uhmmm.  None

HAIR COLOR[S]? I was born with no hair.  It finally grew in a copper/gold orangy red color.  I hated it when I was young, but now that I’ve gone completely white, I willingly color it to as near as I can to what it was.

EYE COLOR? Bue, except when they look green…….or gray.  Depends on the light.

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?  I’d like to, but have too many allergies

FAVORITE FOOD? Why is this question requiring a singular response?  My answer would have to be soooo plural.  There have not been many foods I’ve tried that I don’t like.  The exceptions are anything with cilantro, bell peppers or pimentos in it.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?  Happy.  I don’t do scary movies.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Lord of the Rings trilogy movies.

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? blue

SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer.  I don’t like being cold.

HUGS OR KISSES?  ?? if done correctly, one leads to the other, and neither is neglected.

FAVORITE DESSERT? Peach cobbler

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No one.

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Everyone

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?  My mouse.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT?  CSI Miami

FAVORITE SOUND[S]?  Water falling, birds singing, wind blowing, thunder in the distance.

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? why should it be one or the other.  Both have good songs and bad.

 WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?  A trip to Washington D.C.

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can sing pretty well.  I also have a talent for teaching.

WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?  Anyone….