Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Fall, Y'all!

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile.”
-William Cullen Bryant

Last weekend we celebrated the first official week of fall with a Sunday afternoon hike at Salt Fork State Park. It was a beautiful afternoon and despite not feeling 100%, my husband decided to go, too. We also brought our 4-legged pal, Casey along for the hike. He's a bit hyper and can use all the tire-ing out we can give him!

We decided to hike the Stone House trail which runs beside the lake and eventually leads you to the Kennedy Stone House: a restored home in the park from the 1840's.

Salt Fork was built in the 1960's. Before that time, many families and farms resided on the land. When the park was built, many people's homes and properties were torn down or flooded to make room for the construction of Salt Fork lake. For a long time, the Kennedy house stood in serious disrepair. Fortunately, a local citizen began a coalition to revive and restore this home and it's now a popular tourist destination within the park. You can walk to the Stone House or drive. This time of year is great for walking the trail since the bugs are at a minimum and the lake views with the changing tree leaves are pretty fantastic.

While I was there I also got a tour of the inside of the home from the sweet docents working that afternoon.  It was so interesting to hear the stories and see the pictures of how the land used to look before the creation of the park. An old root cellar is still intact on the property, too.

A beautiful patchwork quilt.

The Kennedy family originally raised Merino sheep for their wool.

As we hiked I also got some neat panoramic shots with my iPhone. The new iOS update gave my phone's camera the option to take panoramic photos. I'm pretty impressed with my first attempts.

 On our hike back I saw a little trail that headed down through a little meadow and down by the water. Curiously, I followed the trail and found the NEATEST things!

Check out the bend in that little tree :)

Check out those weird pine tree roots! Why are they like that? I really want to know!

My thought is that they are usually under water. Maybe the roots, while underwater, grow towards the sun? 
C'mon science-y, nature-y pals! I need Bill Nye or Mr. Wizard to help me out with this!

Sometimes I forget that fun adventures can be had without straying too far from home. I'm excited to get out in the park this afternoon to see how the leaves have changed. Fortunately, there are more hiking trails to explore & today we'll take a different route. 

What are YOU doing to celebrate the season? It's my favorite time of the year!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fire Drills

This week we had an unexpected fire drill...even the Principal and secretaries were caught by surprise!

Our school hosts a mobile food pantry each month which is a wonderful service in which local qualifying residents can receive food for free. It's an excellent program and after a somewhat slow start, it's grown substantially. A member of the community was waiting in line in our gym and was holding a baby. The shiny red fire alarm handle must have caught the baby's eye because all of a sudden, the alarm was pulled, and we were heading the misting rain.

As we stood outside and checked in with our fire drill checkers, we began to hear the sirens...the fire department was on their way!

The fire department is a fairly short distance from my school so we were practically able to hear them leave the station and head our way. It became a TEACHABLE moment as the students began to look a bit frightened and confused.

I assured my students that this was, indeed, a drill and WOW! Look how fast the fire department responded! My student nodded in agreement and whispered "They are SO fast!"  

The trucks showed up, checked in with our Principal, and were swiftly on their way back to the station. It made me feel so good to know that if there ever WAS a fire or an emergency at our school, they would be there in a flash!

Remarkably, as exciting as that was, we were able to fall right back in to what we were doing before the drill. Our Principal came over the intercom to let us know what happened and to reaffirm that we were so thankful for these quick responders.

Although we have practiced fire drills a couple of times, I think I'm also going to show my students this presentation to help reinforce what to do.

As a side note: one of my students who has a particularly hard time with fire drills was able to participate in the drill BEAUTIFULLY! I'm so proud of this little guy and the progress he has made!

Do you have any tips for reinforcing fire drill procedures?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

End of the Summer Fun!

Oh, what an incredibly fun summer we had! Although we didn't take a major vacation like we usually do, we spent our time doing lots of fun weekend trips! While it felt like summer went by quickly...I can't think of a summer in which I HAVEN'T thought that. :)

We had the chance to spend a weekend in Cleveland for a friend's wedding. We had so much fun and the ceremony and reception were absolutely beautiful! I find myself being so jealous of weddings since the advent of Pinterest! Our friends were married on a bridge and had their reception in an art cool is THAT? Of course, I didn't take enough..err..hardly any pictures of the goings-on. I did, however, get a few randoms with my phone.

The weather was awful as we left home & just got better as we neared Cleveland.

So much fun! A truly unique wedding & reception!

After the reception, we made our way to the new Horseshoe Casino! I'm such a cheapo...I really just wanted to "Ooh" and "Aah" at the crazy $150/game tables. It was fun & if nothing else, made for some interesting people-watching!

The following day we got up early & headed to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! They had a Grateful Dead exhibit we've wanted to see as well as tons of memorabilia and awesomeness. There's so much stuff there! Unfortunately, photography is not welcome in most of the I don't have many inside photos...but I did manage to sneak a few here & rebellious! Haha!

Phish's New Year's hot dog!

From Yasgur's Farm (Woodstock)

Wake of the Flood cover was HUGE!

Jerry's guitar

Just hanging out with the GD!
Also that day, in the same area, was the Cleveland Brown's home opening game! 

Outside the Rock Hall were a bunch of guitars decorated by different artists. 

Some of my favorites...

It was a GORGEOUS day and it was so nice to just walk around and enjoy the views!

We're already planning a return trip...maybe for a Browns game in December (my hubs is a Chief's fan, I just like the atmosphere...I'm totally NFL neutral..hehe)

Recently, I've also had the chance to attend my first Backwoods Fest in Thornville, Ohio, which is less than an hour from where I live. What a neat place! A true celebration of autumn and it's spoils....and some amazing food & crafts, too!

I'm not sure if the Wizard of Oz stuff is always there or not. It was pretty cool!

Billy had the flu that weekend so I went with some friends & had so many laughs!

 Have you ever had a buckeye? If you're from Ohio, you probably have. They're a peanut butter ball covered in chocolate, and they're so rich & good.

The Backwoods Fest had DEEP-FRIED buckeyes! Holy Moly! I don't know how anyone could eat more than 1 or 2 but if you LOVE buckeyes, then you'd probably flip over these!

What a wonderful way to wrap up the summer! I'm SO ready for fall!