June Happenings - 2007




I know it's been a long time since I did this.  It's not for lack of stuff going on - but I just lost my zing.  I'm trying to zing back up again. :)

One of my students took a picture of me and my messy workspace.  That's my to-do list taped all over the back wall. I think that was the last day of school because I am wearing the official 8th grade T-shirt.  It's neat being part of these kids' growing up.  They are really just 3rd graders in bigger bodies. They were so scared to go to high school.

These are some of my babies. I notice the girls are all about posing - most of the guys aren't even noticing I'm taking a picture. :)

These are all the 8th graders at our Fear Factor pep rally before TAKS.  I feel very honored that teach ALL 8th graders in town - because my Reading class in divided into two semesters instead of a full year.  If I continue teaching in WP, imagine, I will have come in contact with all the children!  That's an awesome responsibility and honor. I love it.

Here are some examples of the food we prepared for the pep rally. It was absolutely gross and the kids loved it, of course.  I made some guts.  It really was good timing because we had just had the unfortunate experience of having Angel die - and I had shared with my classes how hard it was for Robin and me to bury her. (Charlie had been out of town.) I really played it up big - and dramatized the disgust we had as we tried to pick her up with two shovels by holding the tip end of each shovel - but of course we had no leverage there.  The boys told me we did it all wrong and that Angel would be visiting us again after it rained. :) Luckily that didn't happen.  Anyway - the announcer told the kids I had found these laying around my yard. You should have heard the moan from the crowd. :)

The teachers loved hamming it up.  These are competing with "mice on a stick." They were gummy mice actually held in real mousetraps

What won't we do for these kids??? :)

On to other things!  We let the geese and duckies go in late May.  They were a month old.  But, we couldn't get them to leave the cage!

Finally the gosling decided to make a break.

Boy those geese grow fast! It's hard to imagine only 4 weeks earlier it was a tiny little soft ball of yellow cuteness. 

First time out in a world they were created for.  Can you imagine what it feels like the first time a goose is able to truly graze freely - and the first time a duck (who has been hatched unnaturally like ours) gets in the water.  Ahhhh!  Just how I was created to live.  I think there's a great spiritual message there.

The adult geese are very protective of these babies and will attack the dogs if they think they are being threatened. (Which I love.)  This is a cute picture of Ringo.  We are sitting on the swing watching the babies.  He's experienced the terror of Honkhe and his claws. So his back legs are on the ground and he has sandwiched his head and front paws between Charlie and I - he's in about the safest place around. :)

Also, here's the 2 new muscovy ducks we bought at First Monday.  Ducks are in two groups - the 'dabblers' that are all descended from the Mallard and then the Muscovys.  They can breed between them, but the babies can't reproduce.  We are anxious to see how that goes.  They are tough, very good setters and nest protectors. They have larger claws than the others do and can fly a bit better. In fact, the day we bought them (I think they were $10 a piece) we had gone with our friend John DePue to First Monday and very excitedly brought them home to the pond. We sat down waiting to see the ducks settle in to their wonderful new world. The RIGHT way to do animals - especially those that fly - is to cage them for a few days until they are used to their surroundings - and then let one go at a time - keeping the others in the cage.  That way - the free one stays near the cage and they just become used to sticking together and staying home.  Well, did we do that? NoooOOOOOoo.  We just put them on directly on the pond.  Two of the promptly flew away. :) It was hilariously frustrating.  We just watched $20 fly away in less than a minute.  One flew across the raod, on the other side of cow pasture and inside their fence.  There was no way I could get her.  She did come back 2 days later - injured.  We thought maybe she'd stay then - but no.  She flew off again.  A couple of days later we found her body drug up to the duck feeder.  We think Maddie found her dead and brought her back home so we'd find her.  Maddie and Annie had gone with me across the street to try to get her back.  The other one that flew away came back and has been here happily since.  So we have 2 out of 3.  Both ladies.

They have bumpy red thingees all over their faces which makes them stand out from the other ducks. Beautiful in an ugly sort of way. :)


A break from the animals - there are people who live here. 

Charlie made the mistake of teaching me how to drive the tractor.  What fun! What power!

Robin sang 3 songs at the High School Talent Revue.  My camera did not do a good job on the sound or video (I'm sure it was my goof) - but at least it gives an idea. I had to do it in two parts, because the camera shut down near the end.

Robin worked back stage and in the kitchen for the dinner theater production of Steel Magnolias. Boy they did a good job performing!

 We had the Red Hat Ladies come and fill the auditorium for the last performance. They and their hubbies had such a great time. They are so cute - and Gaudy!!

Here's a couple of shots from Stacy's last weekend.  We missed everyone who wasn't there.  The two extras are a friend of Stacy's (Lori) and Evan's girlfriend (Taylor).

Some visitors of the animal type

Nearly done.  We've had three amazing visitors this year.  Two are migrators.  One is a regular - the other is newcomer.  The painted bunting is our pride and joy.  When you see it - you doubt that it's real.  It's like God dipped a paint brush into all the watercolors and just randomly colored him.  It's hard to catch a picture of it because they are so skittish - but we got this through our kitchen window. (I've looked on the computer for an hour for the pix Charlie took - and can't find them - so I am putting this one that's off the i-net.)  Gorgeous!

Another is a black-bellied whistler duck from Mexico.  We were shocked one early morning last week to see all our ducks up by the house grazing - and in the midst of them was this beautiful duck we'd never seen before.  They are rarely migrate as far north as Houston - usually they just get up to Corpus.  But we did find one here.  They said they usually return year after year, so we hope he found his stay here pleasant. :)  They really do whistle instead of honk.  It was so cool. The ducks definitely tolerated him. And he was tough - he did not let them intimidate him.

Last - we had a black squirrel. I didn't know they came in that color. :) He was cute - but he was still a bird food snatcher!

Thanks to a book we ordered from Diana, I found out how to apply and register our place as an "official" wildlife habitat.  It's neat to see nature in action as it attracts visitors.

Last but not least.

There are certainly some very frustrating things about living in a small town.  But there are some heartwarming times, as well. 

A few days ago, a 22 year old who grew up and graduated from Wills Point (2002) was killed in Iraq. 

He had a 6 month old daughter he had only been able to spend 2 weeks when when she was 2 months old.  News got around that his body would be flown into Greenville and a procession would travel that 45 minutes into Wills Point where people could line the street to pay their respects.  Man, was it emotionally moving.  First, to see the amount of people who showed up. There were many of the teachers I work with there who had taught him. People were lined up down FM 751 as well Main St. It was moving to see the number of official vehicles from all over that traveled with him. 

One of them was a kind of beat up truck - I can't remember the affiliation.  There was a single rider in it - a country-type guy not in uniform - but it looked more like work clothes. He was so overcome to see the people, the flags, the emotion - that he had pulled an old red rag out from under the seat of his truck to wipe his eyes so he could drive. I think that hit me harder than anything.  The number of people from area Christian motorcycle groups was also moving. There were at least 3 different groups of them equal in size to the amount in this picture.

They had circled in prayer as everyone waited for the hearse to arrive.  I just hadn't experienced anything like this before.

Something else I like around here.  For deaths that affect the entire town like this one - and the one we had of the Jr. who died in a car crash near our house (right down on 751 for those of you who have been here) they do the funerals at the high school.  I like that.

Well, this has taken way too many hours than I had set aside to work on it.  Talk to y'all later.  Let's all keep in touch.     ~alice

PS - Robin starts Driver's Ed in 3 hours.  WHEW!






May and June 2007 - Catching up