Thursday, March 31, 2011

channeled my inner librarian.

I have realized that when I leave things all topsy my brain gets confused.  Honest, things go fuzzy and I can't focus, either visually or mentally. So I tackled the "backgrounds" file in My Pictures and sorted them all, into Astronomy, Meteorology, Geology, Landscapes, Living Things, Merely Cool and Simple Walls (a newly discovered website called simple desktops,  I swear I have breathed a little easier ever since.  

Here are a few of my favorites.  At least half if not more of my desktop collection comes from the National Geographic website:

One of my perennials.  My default choice since 2005.

Sedimentary rock and weathering, anyone?

I don't remember where this scene is located, but I appreciate how
it represents all three geosciences. 
As well as being stunningly gorgous.

Although it' wasn't taken in Tennessee, this photo reminds me of the
lush Smoky Mountain forest where my dad and step-mom live.

Bathing parrot.  I like to use this one during summer school.

I use this when it's state test time and the kids & I could use to lighten up a little.

Surfing Hippo

Northern Owl at home in her forest.

Endangered Hyacinth Macaw from Amazon Rain Forest.

Newly discovered little octopus.

My sister in law Cassie took this exquisite photo at a
downtown dim sum restaurant and sent it to me.  I have a thing for koi.

My current background, from simple walls.  LOVE it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

... smell like dirt.

Which means I got off my keister this beautiful spring day -- AND the first official day of our Spring Break! -- and joined my beautiful Babygirl in returning our back patch of weeds into a vegetable garden.  We had two thriving tomato plants which survived the winter, and I trimmed them and reset their cages on them, and we should have real live tomatoes in a couple short weeks!  Heavens, there's even flowers with a couple of tiny green tomatoes on one of 'em.

Last week I also finished the turquoise octopus for my student, and will figure out how to sew strings of beads onto its little head for hair.  I will also post a pic of the finished critter.

Two weekends ago I was on the East Coast in DC for a science education conference - thank you UCLA for sending me! - and as a surprise Hubby gave me a beautiful new point-n-shoot camera to share with our daughter.  Daughter graciously allowed me to bring it on the trip, and I took some photos I'm very happy with... and it's so easy to actually get them from the camera to the computer I may just actually start to post my own shots here! 

These next few pics are from the "Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef" project, showing at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Created and curated by Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring.

Here is the bleached coral reef, what happens when the tiny organisms which create
the coral structures die.  This is happening now all over the world.

I fell in love with this little guy, and want to crochet some more of his ilk to hang in my classroom.

Is this just too much fun or what????

I forgot to pack my crochet hook and yarn, darn it, or I would have spent the whole flight back making my first hyperbolic coral creature.

I spent my pre-conference Friday afternoon walking the National Mall, from Capitol Building to Lincoln's Memorial and back.  Ever since the Vietnam Vet War memorial was completed I've wanted to visit.  I finally did, and it is even more moving and ennobling of its Veterans than any picture can justifiably do.

Trees about to bud.  That isn't trash at the base of the Memorial - those are print-outs from the Memorial database, with info on each deceased soldier.  School children bring the bios to the scene, find their soldiers, and lay the bios down in front of the names with a flower.

A close-up of one of the blocks.  That's me in the reflection.  I don't know any of these men
or their families, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't honor them.

I didn't realize that one of the Memorial's arms was aligned with the
Washington Monument until I looked up and saw this.
Camelot for all geeks - the Smithsonian Castle!

And finally - the only cherry tree in bloom two weeks ago, although I'm certain the city is awash in pink petals right now.  This was taken outside the National Air and Space Museum.

Friday, March 4, 2011

have been discovering my inner nerdly fashionista.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs in ScienceBlogs - which of course I don't remember which blog, and since I am posting this during my prep period in school I don't have time to hunt down, but whatever - I'll get to it, I'll get to it - and followed one of the author's tags to "Fashion for Nerds,", and fell into a WHOLE NEW WORLD of intelligent, gorgeous women who don't look like fashion models and are not mind-boggling young, but love clothes and fashion.  I am so happy.  Recently I also read over in that fashion for women is like sports for men, and my whole world just went crackalicious!  I've been trying to put my outfits together with a different attitude and eye these past few weeks, especially with a great-yet-untouched stash of scarves I collected in the 80s and inherited from my dear departed mother when she passed in 2006.  Along with Geekthreads is  And seemingly scores of others, but these two are the blogs I currently get most of my courage and ideas from.

Oh, and I am about half-way done with a turquoise octopus I am crocheting for a student of mine who is also a facebook friend.  I posted that "first five people get something handcrafted by me in 2011," and she was the only one to take me up on it!  I am also planning to make her table-mate and friend - and another FB friend of mine - a pair of earrings, just because she asked me so nicely if I would.