Walkin' in spring time

The Willamette Valley is so green it can hurt your eyes. It is a lush, green valley BECAUSE it rains for 8 months in a row. We had a much needed rain break yesterday and gorgeous 70 degree weather. I decided to start my day with a walk around the neighborhood and took my new phone along for the walk.



OR FFA State Convention Re-cap

State Convention for the Oregon FFA was held March 22-25 on Oregon State's Campus. We mobilized our department and some Collegiate FFA Students to host a convention for 2000+ people. Here are some highlights.

We were in the Corvallis Gazette Times. This is my favorite picture from the paper. This was at the Animal Science Teaching Pavilion where students packed 70,000+ pounds of food as part of the Food for All campaign.

We took a picture of the students on the OSU football field spelling out FFA. Hannah took the "Real" picture, but one of our students snapped this one with her phone.

Speaking of Hannah, she takes the best photos. She is an OSU student and the official convention photographer.

There was a Harlem Shake video made. If the embedded video doesn't work, check out YouTube for "Oregon FFA Harlem Shake"

And there was a published "FFA Times". Read Friday's.

The Ag Ed Club (which I am proud to advise) successfully ran a workshop and a booth in the career show. They had students answer the question "Why Teach Ag?" on a post it note. This is our board.

Convention marks the end of full time student teaching for our master's cohort. They get a week "off" to move back to Corvallis before finishing up with us winter term. It was fun to watch these ladies be FFA Advisors during convention. Oregon FFA has a bright future!

Since I worked all day from Friday to Monday to help make the convention run smoothly, I am spending today at home to check the mail, do some laundry, grocery shop, cook and just generally cram an entire weekend into a Tuesday. It is spring break (Technically) but I will be back at work tomorrow because a new quarter starts on Monday and I have to be ready for new classes.

If you were there, what was the most memorable part of the 85th Oregon FFA Convention for you?


Oregon FFA State Convention

March 22-25 is going to be a hectic, but exciting time!  Oregon State University is playing host to the Oregon State FFA Convention. I will post over the coming days as the convention unfolds. Blue jackets do my heart good!

Want to know what a "convention" entails? Check out the schedule.

As much as I enjoy convention, my spring "break" begins when the convention ends.


Teaching memories

I was digging back through some old photos earlier this term to put together a presentation for our undergraduate teaching course and ended up strolling down memory lane through my days as a high school ag teacher and FFA Advisor (2002-2007).

Here are some of my favorites:


Book Club

Recently my book club read The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog and other Stories From A Child Psychiatrist's Notebook by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz.

This fascinating 2006 non-fiction publication is written by Bruce Perry, an MD and PhD. The book uses case studies of child trauma, neglect, and/or abuse to discover how children are impacted in these situations and how the mind recovers from these situations. The cases include a genocide survivor, a witness to a parent's brutal murder, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of violent families.

The most moving story for me was about a child who was left at home all day as an infant. The parents had hired a babysitter who, unbeknownst to them, took another job, but didn't want to stop getting paid to babysit. She would show up in the morning, feed and change the baby, put it in the crib and leave for another job only stopping by during her lunch break to feed and change the baby again. She would always make it back to the house before the parents came home. Not surprisingly, the child began to show signs of "failure to thrive." The parents only found out when the mother took an unexpected sick day and came home to find her child all alone. This had gone on for 18 months before the neglect was discovered.

Our discussion was rich, but partly because the content was so connected to the members of my group. We had a former child services worker who studied child development. I have family adopted out of the foster care system. And, two-thirds of the book club group also volunteers with a foster care ministry here in the Willamette Valley.

Our next read is: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. The only other Hemingway I have ever read is "Old Man and the Sea" which I hated (granted it was 9th grade). I am not sure it is a good idea to dive into 400 plus pages of more Hemingway. However, at the rate spring term is going, I am not sure I will find time to read this one anyway.

So, what do you think? Have you read For Whom The Bell Tolls? Are you a Hemingway lover? Are you interested in reading The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog?


Green beer for the good doctor

I defended my dissertation on March 17, 2010 - clearing the last hurdle for graduation. We celebrated by going to the Heidelberg for green beer. Friends, faculty and fellow graduate students all came to celebrate. While there are no pictures, there are great memories of a good night. St. Paddy's Day has been forever connected to completing the momentous task of becoming a doctor. I just cannot believe it has been 3 years.


What kind of Agriculture is there in Oregon?

What kind of agriculture is there in Oregon? I actually get this question quite a bit.

There is a great map put together by Oregon Ag In The Classroom that shows commodities grown in Oregon. It also gives you an idea of the size of the counties (denoted by white lines). However, I have learned that county lines mean a whole lot more in the Eastern US than they do out west.

Corvallis is located in Benton County (look for the pumpkin in the green county due east of the "n" in Pacific Ocean). That's where Oregon State University is located! That means I am in an area known as the Willamette Valley (said Will-AM-mit - as in "It’s Will-AM-it, dammit!”). This area is very diverse agriculturally with over 170 different crops including nursery crops, grass seed, grain, fruit and nut trees (pear, cherries, hazelnut), berries, wine grapes, corn, vegetables, Christmas trees, dairy and beef cattle, chickens and eggs.

Let me share a few facts with you about Oregon Agriculture as a whole:

Oregon is number one in the US in production of:
berries (black, logan, Boysen, and Black raspberries)
grass seed (rye, orchard and fescue)
clover (crimson and red)
Sugarbeets (seed)
Potted florist azaleas
Christmas trees
onions (storage)

Oregon's Top 10 Commodities are
1 Greenhouse/Nursery
2 Hay
3 Cattle and Calves
4 Milk
5 Wheat
6 Grass Seed
7 Potatoes
8 Blueberries
9 Corn
10 Christmas Trees

I got my information from Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom (they have a great site - Check them out) but you can get the latest stats from the Oregon Department of Agriculture at www.oregon.gov/ODA


Progress on the office

A few pictures of the progress in the office/3rd bedroom:

I hung a curtain rod and some navy blue tab top curtains that I have been moving with me since my townhouse in Archdale. I love these curtains and was happy to find a home for them. They still need to be hemmed slightly since they touch the daybed.

I have posted before about my love of reading. You can track what I am reading here. The bookcases of books I have already read are in the family room area. I decided to re-shelve all of the books I haven't read yet in this room. That will allow me to browse to select a new read AND keep tabs on how many books I have bought that I have not yet read. Maybe that will help me keep the book buying in check. Maybe ;-) And the bottom shelf if reference books and yearbooks. They need a home, too!

Lastly, I have hung some art work. I love this painting of birch trees. In fact, most of the art in my house is of nature, but these trees are perhaps a favorite. I also rehung the daisy print I have had for years with a refinished mat and frame. (It was a gilded frame with rose colored matting.) You can also see the freshly painted walls in these photos and even a glimpse of the skylight. The daisy picture was photographed in the evening and the painting in the middle of the day so you can see how the walls change with the light.

The desk is getting some much needed love, as are those built ins. More to come

Wordless Wednesday 3-13-13


One thing leads to another

I posted that I am working on the office/3rd bedroom. Step one was painting the office a color called Cozy Cottage. I have used this color on the hall bathroom. (The rest of the main space of the house has been painted the color one shade darker on the paint chip card: Oat straw.)

While painting, I finished the bedroom with a tray full of paint so I decided I would tackle the laundry room. A room I have been putting off since I moved in and for many reasons. Partly because it is dark and windowless (it is a small entryway laundry room between the garage and the rest of the house). It has a built in pantry closet and 3 upper cabinets so it would require lots of cutting in. The biggest reason was that this room is crowded with just the washer and dryer - let alone me. I knew any project in this room would involve moving the machines and climbing around. And, they are heavy!

I started painting, thinking I would just use up the paint in the tray and decide if I liked the color. Hours later the room was all painted except for behind the machines. Here we go, right?

I knew what I had to do. So I slid them away from the wall and EWwWwwwWw! 

How have I been living here for 8 months! 

Seriously, I pulled up that weird piece of wood they had under the machines (what was that about) and scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees a few times. Soooo gross I took a shower immediately afterwards. The dryer vent was clogged, ripped, and patched with duct tape. So after a trip to Home Depot, I had a new $9 dryer vent.

I don't want to leave you on that image so let's add some satisfying after pictures. Freshly painted walls. Shined up appliances. A little Far Side artwork! A motion detecting LED light (because I walk from house to garage all the time with my hands full/dirty so I can't get the lights). And, a rug. 

So much better. I need to go do some laundry.


Making a house a home

Let's talk about the office/3rd bedroom.The room has a desk, a floor lamp, a piece of art and a bookcase, but, truthfully, it has just been storage for items that had no other clear place in the house. It also has some built in shelves left by the previous owner.

I love this room for the great skylight. It is also the room guests look straight into as they head for the hallway powder room. It needed an identity.

The only piece I have purchased for this space is a daybed frame and mattress. It allows me to sleep guests, but also leaves the room flexible as an office space. Even the bedspread is reject. It is a queen coverlet from the master bedroom. It will be cut down to fit the daybed and I plan to use some of the remnant fabric to make throw pillows or bolsters.

Since moving in this room has been also been home to my DONATE box (seen in the corner above) filled with all the things that had a home in my other place, but no longer work or are needed in the new place. You know.. since my new bathroom has a shower door, I don't need my shower curtain anymore. The curtains I had don't fit the windows in the new house. As I unpacked and settled, this pile grew. You will be happy to know that pile was donated this week!

The plan for this room has slowly been coming together and when I found some inspiration in pillows at Target earlier this week, the progress began.  I love them. The combine the blue found elsewhere in my house with the green of the coverlet I am recycling.

More on the room as it comes together. Step 1 PAINT... and lots of it.