Friday, May 31, 2013

When I got to school this morning I found crepe paper streamers spider webbed across my door, a gift bag on the floor in front of it and congratulatory balloons bouncing in the air above the door knob. Reaching through the tangle of green streamers I unlocked the door and pushed it inward only to see more balloons floating across the floor of my classroom. What a wonderful way for my colleagues to wish me a happy retirement!

This was my last day as a seventh grade teacher. Wow! Now that I actually write it down the reality of it is beginning to sink in. No tears yet. All day long, each period I celebrated with games and junk food in every one of my classes. The kids had been given an unusual homework assignment to bring a drink of their choosing to class; an unusual departure from my insistence on plain water and healthy snacks only. Many of the kids baked cupcakes, cookies and brownies or brought chips. And we formed teams and played our version of a clue drawing game on the board. Loud and rowdy, exhausting and fun.

I received so many cards and handwritten notes from current and former students that I haven't had the time to sit down and read them all yet. I am sure that when I do the tears will flow freely because I have had so many wonderful students in the past several years and we have created so many wonderful memories together that I will carry with me into this new phase of my life.

Kids from current and past classes stopped by all day long to say good bye. It was especially great to see the young adults who have moved on to the high school and to know that they remember their experiences in my classroom and want to stop by to wish me well. I want them all to know that I have learned as much from teaching them as they have from being in my class. I love 'em all.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Together Again

We got a some bad news the other day when the vet came out to do an ultra sound on Took and Firenze. Rich and I had concerns that Firenza didn't seem to be filling out enough for a seven month pregnant animal. Took seemed ok but we had her tested anyway. We were hoping to see some fetal development on each of the girls. Unfortunately, what we saw dismayed us quite a bit. It seems that both had somehhow lost or absorbed their fetuses in the past months. So there will be no crias romping in the pasture this fall. It's a setback and we will try again later.

Since no one is pregnant there is no longer any need to keep Took and Mango separated. Took's mammary glands are no longer producing according to the vet so Mango won't be able to nurse. We released the older girls into the pasture with the younger ones and though none of them seemed distressed at the separation they all do seem to be happier together.

On a happier note, I went to the Great Lakes Fiber Festival in Wooster yesterday. Why didn't I ever go there before? It was like paradise for a fiber artist; especially one who loves yarn as much as I do. My friend, Liz, was supposed to go along with me but she was wracked with a nasty cough and had to bow out at the last minute. I tried a former student of mine who loves knitting as much as I do but she had other commitments. So, I drove the hour and half alone and walked through a wonderland of spinners and knitters by myself. I was so thoroughly engrossed with the beautiful colors and textures and happily passed two hours just browsing and talking to the fellow spinners and knitters. I did not intend to purchase anything but came home with some beautiful turquoise Brown Sheep Lanaloft and some grapey Brown Sheep Naturespun, a new pattern for a "Braided Glory" shoulder shawl by Deby Lake of Knitiot Designs and a couple of extra spindles for my wheel. I also picked up a little sheepy gift for Liz since she couldn't go. I will be going back next year with more cash!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Power of Sweet Feed

Last evening, Rich and I went out to the pasture together to feed the girls. Rich had decided that Firenze and Took could use a little sweet feed with their regular evening alfalfa pellets because both are gestating and Firenze looks a bit thin. (The lack of fleece makes this a lot easier to determine!) This time I remembered to take along the camera and it's a good thing. Those girls seem to know when we have sweet feed in the buckets and not just their regular meal because they always come running to greet us at the gate. They met Rich as he entered the gate and I stayed on the oher side of the divide with Leezza and Mango, the younger girls. I had the camera at the ready as they approached Rich. When he didn't immediately hold the buckets up for them to sample, Firenze gave him such a look!