Friday, January 29, 2010

Thank Goodness It is Friday!

It has been a busy week here. Saturday and Sunday Allison had to work on a science report and diorama. When Allison has to work on something, I have to give her my full attention. She is not one to work well on her own. She needs constant prodding and encouragement. Either she is totally clueless as to how to pull everything together into a coherent project or she has me fooled into doing a lot of her project for her. Anyway, together we got a decent project put together and turned in.....I have not seen my grade yet.

Monday was my day to get things done around the house, including washing clothes and cleaning pet cages. Tuesday Rachel and I had to go to speech therapy in Orlando. Wednesday was my day to volunteer at the schools. Rachel's teacher really keeps my busy.....I was at her school for 4 1/2 hours! Thank goodness Leah's teacher never has much for me to do, usually no more than an hour. Thursday I was back in the road heading to Orlando for a conference on assistive technology. This conference was huge and had all kinds of devices for the disabled. I was there to look at devices that Rachel might be able to use to help communicate. There were some interesting things there and it has really gotten us thinking about what we might be able to do to help Rachel tell us what she is thinking. Thursday afternoon it was off to horseback riding with Rachel. The weather was beautiful so it was nice to get a chance to just sit outside and take a breather while Rachel was riding. Today, I managed to get to the grocery store. I have come down with a cold and am dragging today, so I have not been very productive.

We were supposed to drive up to Palm Coast to visit with Grandpa and Aunt Rose tonight, but she got sick and did not make it down from Massachusetts this weekend, so we won't be making the trip tonight, but we are still going to try to drive up tomorrow and spend some time with Grandpa. The girls are looking forward to that.
Tropical rain forest diorama. Allison and I take a break from dioramas to ride Mike's trail bike from 1974. This thing sat in our garage forever, and he has actually gotten it running again.....probably just to make a liar out of me. I always told him to get rid of it because it would never run again. Rosie, we did not take out any swimming pools ;-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Where is Santa Claus?

For the last couple of days, Rachel has been saying, "Claus" which means Santa Claus. To try to figure out what she is talking about, I have to play twenty questions and she tells me yes or no. I say, You want to see Santa Claus?" and she says, "Yes." I ask where is he and she says, "Right there!" pointing to nothing in particular. I have been telling her he is probably busy in the North Pole and that we cannot see him right now, but that has not deterred her. So yesterday, I decided to try to figure out if she was talking about something else. She started saying "Claus" so I asked her to show me where Santa Claus is. I have been wondering if she was talking about a movie that I just could not think of. A few minutes later she came down stairs with a pair of sandals and some socks. We put on the shoes and she got my shoes for me, then I asked her where was Santa Claus. That is when she opened the door to the garage and pointed to the car. We don't take the girls to see Santa, so I am not sure where this is coming from, but at least now I know what she is not talking about!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Circle Of Life

Despite the fact that we have been back into the 70s and 80s again, there will be no year around green in Florida this winter. After our record setting cold spell the first two weeks of this year, the landscaping has taken a hit. It is strange to see all the grass brown. Almost all of the plants in my yard were affected. Some of them will return, but others may not. Here is my pineapple that is on the back porch. I am pretty sure it will survive, but it is not the beautiful plant that it was. I kept meaning to take a picture of it because it was so big and pretty.....missed that window of opportunity. It is still big.....hopefully we will get a pineapple on it soon.

Certain palm species really are not made to handle cold weather, either. I am not sure why the nurseries around here sell all these plants that cannot take the cold. It doesn't happen here often, but it does happen.

It has been a relatively uneventful week, which is always good. The girls had Monday off from school for Martin Luther King Day. They got outside and enjoyed the warmer temps. While watering my plants Monday afternoon, I discovered a baby bunny in my flowerbed. There were a few bite marks on his head and tummy, but they did not look too bad. I found the "nest" lined with the mommy's hair, but there was no sign of mommy or any siblings. We brought the baby in and placed him on a heating pad. We went to the pet store and bought some formula and a bottle. That evening I fed him and he seemed to be doing okay, but a couple of hours later, he died :-( The girls were just heartbroken! It was all I could do to keep from crying when they started the waterworks. He was as cute as he could be! Allison named him Chance and we buried him in the back yard on Tuesday. That is the second animal we have "lost" in two weeks. Not good odds for our little rehabilitation program.
Because of their grief, the fact that I love bunnies and am a master at putting my foot in my mouth, Allison is now on a mission to raise $100 to buy a bunny and all the stuff that goes with it. Yes, I told her she could have a bunny if she raises all the money with their allowance. I guess it is better than my first run to the pet store and buy one while they were in school the next day. It is amazing how just a few little words slipping out unedited can change your life. Now I will be taking care of a bunny for the next five years or so. I do like them, but they are work. You may think that she will forget about it after a while. I am hoping that too, but not holding my breath, that child is determined!
The rest of the week has been the usual school stuff, but the evenings have been filled with the sweetest, most helpful little 11 year girl that you have ever met! Allison is everywhere offering to help do things! I wonder what I can come up with to bribe her after this!? She can be the most helpful little girl when she wants something!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today Is The Day

Despite the untimely death of the tree frog we "rescued", we did have a success story today. The temps are finally warming back up and we are supposed to reach 70 today with the lows in the 50s, so we released the lizard we took in last Saturday during the really cold temps.

The lizard contemplates his new surroundings.

Hmmmmm, this looks familiar.
Warming up a little on my hand before making a break for it.
Free at last.......Soaking up the sun!
I know, I am silly when it comes to animals!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Winter Over Yet!?!?!

Wow! It has been cold here. This time of year we usually have low temps in the 50s and highs in the 70s, and if it gets colder, it only last a day or so. For the last ten days we have been freezing down here. We had one day with highs in the 30s. Stranger still was the the sleet and snow that cam with it. That is just unheard of. We are finally getting back up into the 60s today, for the first time this year. I don't think I will complain of the warm temps for a while....well, not until at least October, anyway.

It turns out a lot of my landscaping is not tolerant of freezing temps. Hopefully most of it will recover. Animals here are not freeze resistant either. Manatee are gathering around the power plants for warmth, green sea turtles are having to be pulled out of the lagoon in a comatose state, and fish are going belly up. Saturday, during the sleet and snow our house became a haven to a lizard, a frog, and a bird. The bird flew into the garage and wouldn't go back out. I guess he preferred the 50 degrees in the garage versus the 30 degrees outside-and it was not sleeting in the garage! The lizard was found motionless on the cold garage floor and the frog was found in the pool. I let the bird out the next morning. It was still cold out, but the sun was shining. The lizard is still in the tank with Leah's tortoise. He seems to be doing great, but the tortoise does not like having crickets in the cage with him-yes, crickets.....that is what the lizard eats and yes we went to the pet store and bought them! It just has not warmed up enough yet to let him out. Unfortunately, the frog did not survive the ordeal.
I have never seen the grass turn brown here!
Trying to save the plants from the cold.
The cute little frog we found in the pool.
We are already midway through another week of school. Allison has several projects she needs to get done by the end of this month, but she has no desire to get started yet. She keeps telling me that she does not have all the info she needs to get started, so I am pressing her to find out so that she can get going on them.

Rachel had her speech therapy in Orlando yesterday. I asked the therapist what she thought about augmentative technology for speech, and she said she is proponent of it. She stated that there would be a conference in Orlando soon, with lots of vendors showing their wears. I think I will try to go to that and see what is out there. If I decide we want to go that route, I will have to start digging to see how we can make that work! I am also doing some research on Apraxia, trying to get informed about what I need to do and what I need to get the school to do for Rachel to help her speak.

Leah is the epitome of the middle child. She is cruising along under the radar, not causing any commotion. She had a field trip today to see a group of acrobats(she called them Afrobats) from China. I went along as a chaperon. They were absolutely amazing!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Rachel went back to horse back riding yesterday. It was the first day back after the holidays. We were saddened to learn that the horse she always rode had to be put down on December 22. He was 32 years old and had gone down in the wet muddy field. Due to his old joints and arthritis, he was not able to get back up. When someone found him, he was hypothermic and his heart rate was too slow. At 32, the vet felt he was too far gone to pull out of it. So sad. We will miss you Flip!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow! The holidays just zoomed by. I cannot believe they are all over. The girls went back to school yesterday. Could that be right?!?! It already seems like they have been back in school a week! We are freezing here in Florida now. The high temps have not made it to 50 degrees the last two days. We got a freeze last night. It was 28 degrees when I got up this morning!! That is really cold for here. It will be interesting to see how my landscaping survives this cold. I can already tell I have lost some plants. It is supposed to be freezing a couple of more nights over the next several days. I now realize I take the Florida weather for granted. I really don't like having to wear a coat!

For New Years Eve, the girls and I drove over to my sister's. December 31st is her birthday so we headed over to visit and celebrate. We got there late Thursday evening after Jane got home from work. We celebrated with a late night snack of birthday cake. Friday, Jane worked so the five girls and I went shopping for birthday gifts for Jane-oh yeah, and for themselves. I had to keep reminding them that we weren't really there to get them something. Saturday, I went shopping again for Leah's birthday. I bought another cake and celebrated her birthday Saturday night with the cousins. We drove home late Saturday night.
Sunday was Leah's actual birthday. She turned eight. We were up and going again. It was my Sunday to teach Sunday School. Mike was still at his Dad's, so it was just me and the girls for church. Leah really tried to talk me into letting her stay home for her birthday, but with no luck. Mike was home when we got home from church. Later that afternoon, we took Leah to see the movie, Chipmunks The Squeakuel. They all three enjoyed that. Afterwards, Leah picked a restaurant and we ate dinner out. The girls wanted to go for ice cream afterwards, but it was just too chilly to do that.
Monday we finally got around to taking the Christmas decorations down. That took longer than I wanted it to, but it is done now, yay! Tuesday the girls went back to school and now we are back to the school routine. I am currently arguing back and forth with Allison about some science homework. Why did I think I wanted the girls back in school? When is spring break!?!? and where is the spring like weather!?!