Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CSA 19 and illness


I have an excuse for the extreme delay in this post... I got sick :-/

We got swiss chard, sorrel, lettuce, tomatoes (lots of them!), cantaloupe, cilantro, limes, carrots and oranges.

Three of the ingredients were put into an amazing enchilada casserole (limes, cilantro, tomatoes) with some of our fresh peppers from our garden (which as a side note is still doing great and giving us lots of produce).

The swiss chard and sorrel were put into a pasta and sausage dish (which also used some more tomatoes, and onions, it was great, but I accidentally used the spicy chicken broth from our freezer, and it turned out quite spicy between that and it being a hot Italian sausage anyways).

I can't remember where the lettuce disappeared to... a salad? The cantaloupe was eaten by Blake (although I eat tons of different stuff, I have never been a big fan of any melon), and he said it was amazing. The oranges are mostly eaten with lunch or dinner, although one of them joined the carrots, and some of our habaneros from our garden to make a hot sauce tonight. It was joining a taco salad.

But yeah... I would have said this earlier, but Wednesday night got busy. No big deal, I could do it Thursday... but I came down with a really bad headache... little did I know it was just scratching the surface of what was to come. I wrote it off as just a one night thing. Well, the next morning, it was still lingering... again, I didn't think too much of it, and I worked through it. Friday night was game night at our house, and I wasn't about to cancel it for a little remnant of a headache... and a slight sore throat tickle thing... right?

So we have game night, lots of fun, and Saturday morning... it hits... full force. Still have somewhat of a headache, but now I have a throat that is killing me, I am coughing and my nose is running... fabulous. I spend the majority of Saturday sitting on the couch, watching movies or reading, when I am not resting. I miss a family gathering Saturday night. Sunday, I felt just as bad, if not worse, so I miss the gym and church, and watch a mini marathon of Meg Ryan movies (You've got Mail and Kate and Leopold). I had to get some work done Sunday as well. The main thing I had to do was prepare the notes for a sub so that they could cover at short notice.

Around lunch time Sunday I realized that there was no way I was going to be up to teaching on Monday, so I called a sub. I then had to e-mail her the sub directions after I finished them (took a while for my fuzzy brain to figure out everything that someone walking into my classroom needs to know). She is a great teacher, and taught 2nd with me before she stopped teaching to have her son and raise him, and now she is on the sub list. She is my first pick because I only reluctantly give my class up to someone else, and I want to trust that they will do the job well. I trust her.

So that brings me up to today. I am still not 100%, but I can go awhile before having to grab a tissue or cough, so I count that a victory. There were times that I was super tired today, and pretty achy (my back hurt a lot of the day), but I knew I could get through the day because it was pretty low impact as far as instruction was concerned with a couple of assemblies and tests and minimal teaching in between.

In other news... Blake and I bought half a bison!

No... its not live... no... it doesn't arrive as half a bison, it is completely butchered for us. Bison is a lot healthier than beef, and actually even healthier than chicken. It tastes very similar to beef (with a slightly gamier taste), and can be used in place of it in any recipe. The farm that we get our produce from recommended Glacier Grown to us (www.glaciergrown.com). This is an organic bison ranch in Montana, and they are coming down to Southern California in November. Their price per pound is WAY better than what we can get in the store for organic beef for even the cheapest cuts, and for high quality cuts like steaks, it is almost half the price. Its the whole costco thing... we buy in bulk, and we save lots.

It will probably be enough to last us 6 months to a year... but we are also buying a deep freezer so we can store all of this, and then we have "beef" any time we need it for a recipe. When we did the calculations... it is just a big initial investment that pays itself off in the long run for all the meat we don't have to buy.

We are also willing to let our friends/family reinburse us for the costs of certain cuts (no profit to us... that's illegal :-) )of bison if they would like to buy cuts off us, since not everyone wants to buy a half a bison worth of meat.

We're excited... nervous... but excited. I'll let all you readers know how it goes when we get it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Csa 18

A picture's worth a thousand words... so here are 3 thousands words for you this week because I'm not feeling like typing a lot this week, but want to at least make it through a year of chronicling my CSA boxes.


New pet pictures! Aren't they cute!

(sorry about his crazy eyes... someday I'll learn how to take good pictures of pet eyes without them looking weird)

30 second update of my weekend- San Diego Zoo, read Hunger Games and Catching Fire, gym, Indian food, library. Good weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

4th Grade- First impressions

I'm reminded of the Annie song, where she sings, "I think I'm gonna like it here." Granted, I have only been a 4th grade teacher for 2 days at this point, but I am feeling like its a really good fit.

The most amazing experience in 4th grade to date happened on the first day of school. I had all of the kids start on a writing assignment. I explained what to do, then told them to get to work. Then an incredible thing happened... they just started working... quietly... there were no questions... no one I had to force to work... it was unlike anything I had every seen in my 2nd grade class before!! Now, I had classes that were pretty well behaved, but there was always SOMEONE who needed some nudging, or had a question immediately after beginning, or a few kids that thought it was time to talk instead of work. I previously considered it a victory if it only took a few minutes to get everyone on task... but immediately? It was beautiful!

Now... this assignment was not completed perfectly by all, nor was it question free the whole time... but it was quiet, and it got completed.

I had some more great experiences today where all the students were reading silently in the morning, or when the class was hard at work during grammar. Overall, the maturity and responsibility of the grade level is great, and I look forward to what we are able to accomplish this year.

It isn't all perfect, of course,for example I am a bit concerned of how much they have forgotten over the summer... in fact... worse than that, there were some review concepts on their work today that I taught in 2nd... so for kids to be struggling on them concerns me. Along the same lines, almost all kids have forgotten almost all of grammar since 1st grade! I had kids not know what a noun was... scary... hopefully it will come back soon. Also, I think I expected more of 4th grade reading skills than I heard today... just another thing to work on.

All of us, including me, are figuring out the timing and procedures for the day, and I have great hopes that lessons will go smoother as we get the hang of it.

I did use the smartboard today for lessons. Overall, it was good, and the kids thought it was really cool. My plan for how to take turns on it and be fast and effective didn't work. I had a random list of their class numbers, and they were supposed to be aware of who was ahead of them, and be waiting for their turn... kids were too interested in the game to notice their numbers... so tomorrow, I think I will have groups go up and wait for their turns... I think it will go smoother, we shall see. I had one girl that somehow wasn't applying the right pressure, or her hand was sweaty or something, and she couldn't drag an object on the screen... so I am planning on troubleshooting that if it happens again. Oh, and the default eraser size is too big... need to figure out how to resize that.

Not to mention that since our tech people are behind right now, my projector is sitting on a desk instead of mounted on the ceiling... which means that students' pencils show up on the screen, the girl who sits next to it joggles it every so often, the kids are super tempted to put their hands in front of it, and my favorite, you have to stand to the side of what you are writing so you can see what question you are answering without blocking the projector. Sigh... all those problems will be fixed (hopefully, prayerfully) within the month (what I was told by the tech guy).

The other tricky thing about the new grade at the moment is that it takes me SO LONG to set up for the next day (which is my new school year resolution, so I don't make them wait while I transition myself between subjects, and as a bonus, if I am sick, it is set up for my sub already). Today, I was working in my classroom from 3- 5 after school today mainly preparing for tomorrow... sigh. (Part of the problem is that just the lesson plans don't always make sense to me, so I have to keep going to other 4th grade teachers and asking them questions... which makes setting up take longer too). Oh, and the fact that I had a student drop today, and a student add today... so that was more work lol.

Reader's digest version- I like the more mature grade level, I am concerned about where they are academically, the smartboard is cool, but still has some kinks, and will be lots better once the projector is mounted, and I need to get used to what I am doing, but I think I'm gonna like it here. :-)

In case you have never heard of the song... and want to see it...here you go!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

csa 17... A very green week


The entire left side of the picture is green! Yes, I did color sort the box this week... but only because there was so much green stuff this week and I wanted to show that clearly.


On the "green team" we have watermelon, zucchini, swiss chard (which we are really excited about, and are planning on growing some this fall/winter), limes, cilantro, arugula and lettuce.

The "red team" has only one member... the cherry tomatoes, which have many friends in the cupboard from our own garden.

The "yellowish orange team" has a lot of oranges and some grapefruit on it.

Great week, nothing too new or exciting, but lots of good fruits and vegetables to eat.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


On Thursday I caught up with an old friend from high school. We had lunch and did some window shopping and just talked. It was a really fun time, but it made me really want to buy some new tops for work! (Window shopping is dangerous that way...)

So, when Blake said he needed some clothes (for a much better reason than me... he is still losing weight and didn't even have a week's worth of clothes that fit him), I said I would like to get some too. Not to mention that my Grandma had given me some Macy's giftcards for my birthday back in April that I hadn't spent yet, and my mom gave me some money for clothes for the school year (cause she is sweet like that!), so I could get some stuff guilt free!

Or so I thought.

Blake wanted to know if I needed work tops because my closet/drawers are pretty full. So I had a mini-fashion show to demonstrate that yes... I could use a few more (to be fair, we are trying to save and learn to live with what we have instead of buying, so its not like he is super strict with me or anything, we just keep each other accountable). But... it came with a catch. We had to go through, and organize or good will all my clothes first! It was good to do, and I love how neat and organized everything looks and fits in my space now... but it was a lot of work.

We (finally) went to the Spectrum (a local mall), and got him some clothes at Old Navy and Macy's and bought me some clothes at Macy's and Windsor. Here is what I got:


On the far left are two short sleeve sweaters, one in black, one in a tourquoise green. In the middle is a nice coat (to replace the black one I bought a couple years ago and recently had to goodwill because it was looking ratty and too big). Then we have a long blue short sleeve sweater and a cream colored shirt on the right. I am really excited about these tops and think it will give me more confidence for the school year. Besides... its so much fun to get new clothes!

Oh, and I think that all of these tops are not too dressy that I couldn't pair them with some jeans or capri's and still look nice. Overall, it was a good Saturday.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CSA 16


Not that exciting of a box this week in general. Good stuff... just not super exciting. We did get some basil and arugula that turned into an orange and more lettuce, so it would have been more interesting with those things in it.

We have lettuce (lots of salads this week... which is good when it is regularly running in the eighties here), tomatoes (great with those salads), green beans, limes, oranges, grapefruits and one other item.

Its the wrinkly one in the center of the picture. Kinda looks like something that went bad. But its not! I looked it up (and it was confirmed with the e-mail last night) it is a passionfruit. Really good tasting on the inside... reminded me of a sour jelly bean in that it was sweet with a kick, but not the prettiest fruit out there lol.

Our garden is cranking out the eggplants at the moment, so I am scrambling to find enough recipes to use all of them. We have already had a ratatouille with it, and I am planning a lasagna this week as well. Also, I am planning on making a pizza (not the dough though lol) this week, and if we still have plenty of eggplant, it will be a topping on there too. If not, we have plenty of tomatoes and sweet peppers to make up for it.

In other news... as you can see on my ticker... the summer is coming to an end :-( . I am excited about 4th grade... (keeping in mind the previous post), but will miss the long stretches of time I currently have. But I did want to share with you guys some fun websites that I played around with recently as I searched for great websites for my class:

This game has NOTHING to do with 4th grade, but it was on a website that did, but I thought it was a fun game to try to play, you try to guess which president's childhood picture it is:


This other website will probably become one of my top used websites in class because of how many fun, simple math fact practice games it has on it. If you want to brush up on your math facts... or simply explore... or ignore it and think I am crazy for recommending a math practice website... you can!


Anyways... two great websites I found amongst my searching for 4th grade stuff this summer.