Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One WHOLE YEAR....

Oh my,  That means I probably have to change the title of the blog again......

We have officially lived in Kentucky for One whole year.
I'll admit that looking back, it has been rather exciting - doing all these new things and trying to make friends here and connect with the ones back in Michigan.

New experiences - Caves.  I love the BIG caves with the tours and all the campy stuff associated.  I haven't really gotten Tom too interested, but Mom and I did a good job of hitting most of them when her and I came down by ourselves.     I love going to Fundraisers at the Lost River Cave.  It feels a bit glamorous.

Kayaking - sure we paddled in Michigan and did White Water in West Virginia, but I have to tell you - it is very different looking at the blue holes, and the hill sides, and the caves, and the cow farms.  We upgraded our Kayaks and built a darn trailer to haul all our stuff around.  I'd say we went from occasional water folk, to full on outdoorsy even..
  I can not wait for the over night trip in Mammoth Cave Park on the Green River.

Community College - I LOVE IT.  I really enjoy working there.  The students are fascinating and the people I work with are really great. I look forward to continuing to work there.  (I have a fall schedule already. :~)

It's a College Town - Okay, we don't go downtown where the kids hang out. But once in a while we go somewhere and it is VERY obvious that we live in a town with a TON of 20 somethings.  It helps me feel young. HA

The weather - I should not brag.  We moved down here the right year....  I'm sorry all my Michigan friends and family-  You can keep all that snow....

Friends coming here to visit.  That means YOU!!!!!  
We have had a great time having visitors.  You are welcome to visit.  We might even take you Kayaking.  LOL

It has been an interesting year. I'm so glad we took this chance and tried living somewhere new.  Life is too short to sit in one place for too long.  For all the faults you could find here, there are plenty going on in Michigan too.  Just need to take where you are and work with it.  I am working this place as well as I can.!!!

I think the Dogs like it here too.  LOL
Hugs, I miss you all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kayaking in The Nashville area

I stumbled across the Nashville website through the  Jackson Kayak blogs.
I was looking at stuff about taking your dog with you...

ANYWAY-  I found this.......

Water Access and Blueways in Nashville.


Tomorrow, Tom and I (and the Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak Meetup Group) are going out on the Harpeth River in Tennessee.
It's about an 1 hour  & 45 minutes away.  I'm not sure we are going to the put in and take out that are listed on the website above, but I would hazard a guess it will be close to there either way.


I wanted to put that Link on my blog so that I could find it later.......
I'll probably put up pictures from the trip soon, and well - Sunday is our 10th Anniversary.
Oh MY!!!!

Enjoy your weekend, I certainly will.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Kindergartners.......

One of my friends found this on their  Facebook wall and shared it and now I want to share it with you.

The common core is really kind of Ugly for most of the disciplines.  I found the English in High School not too terrible, because they are supposed to have learned how to do most things before they get to me.  

But I have seen some of the math stuff and it is rediculus.  I can't even figure out what the kids are supposed to do.  And now this is what they are doing to kindergartners, come on people. I know most of them can work a TABLET better than I probably ever will, but this is a computer with no real touch ability, they don't know this.



Status Update
By Priscilla Sanstead
Please cut and paste this to share. A Kindergarten teachers just shared this on the BATs wall -

"I'm aiming for the short version here.

My kindergartners had their standardized computerized test today.

There were over 100 questions. Answers were selected by drop and drag with a trackpad, no mouse is available. One class took five hours to finish. Kids crying in 4 of 5 classes. Multiple computer crashes ("okay, you just sit right there while we fix it! Don't talk to anyone!"). Kids sitting for half hour with volume off on headsets but not saying anything. Kids accidentally swapping tangled headsets and not even noticing what they heard had nothing to do with what they saw on the screen. Kids having to solve 8+6 when the answer choices are 0-9 and having to DRAG AND DROP first a 1 then a 4 to form a 14. Some questions where it was only necessary to click an answer but the objects were movable (for no reason). No verbal explanation that you must click the little speaker square to hear the instructions. To go to the next question, one clicks "next" in lower right-hand corner.....which is also where the pop-up menu comes up to take you to other programs or shut down, so about many shut-downs or kids winding up in a completely different program.

If this is not what you want for your kids and grand-kids, you'd better start making some noise. Ten years ago we would've thought this would be literally impossible."

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Skaggs Creek 3/8/2014

Thought you might like to see more pictures on the water.
After 5 days of ice, it was great to see the sun, find the roads and get on the water.
The road in was VERY tiny and very muddy.




Icicles on the rocks.


Salt peter mines go throughout these cliffs.


This is one of the main mine entrances.






It was just so weird to be 60 degrees and snow everywhere.


We are naming the boat - the La-Z-Boy...  well maybe not that exactly... 


I need a name for mine. She is an Ibis, Hubby says call it Loon something.  Hmmm- need something cooler.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

New Boats!!!!!!!

 The weather was pretty fabulous on February 22, so we took the new boats out on a lake.
We were supposed to go on the Barren River, but it wound up being a bit too dangerous and we moved it to this lake.
Shanty Hollow Lake, which is a filled up hollow.  There is an old cabin on the hill across the way from the boat ramp - which probably was a real road at one time.
The lake has a BIG berm on one end and a spillway to the creek below.  I haven't been here before to say if the water level was really high or not.
 All I can say is that the spillway box had a good couple feet up to go from the lake level.   There was a big square in the top to help keep the lake from getting too high.

Tom and I wound up pretty far back from the pack. It was okay, we hadn't been here before, so we enjoyed wandering.  They hiked up to a waterfall, that we'll have to go back and investigate.  We didn't have proper shoes for that walk.
Anyway - here are our matching color kayaks.  An Ibis for me and a Coosa for Tom.


Health Care Headaches

This is not a rant about how good or bad the Affordable Care Act seems to be.
I love the idea, wish it went a little farther, but hey it's a first step.

No, what I have here is the new rules of time working for Adjunct teachers at Community Colleges and Universities.  The schools have been slashing the number of classes anyone Part Time can teach because they were all afraid that the government would say- "Hey, they are working full time, you have to give them benefits."
Well, as a teacher of course I want that to happen, BUT, I am realistic and understand that if you are not full time at a school - you are not likely to get Health Benefits.

Feel free to read the new rules......
New Rules for Adjunct Teachers.

What I like about the new rules is that I may just be able to teach another class each semester and not go over the 30 hours a week rule.
The Federal Government final came up with guidelines to figure out how many hours we really are teaching and spending on grading and lesson plans.  I get that- as a teacher you are working more than just the time you are in the classroom with the students.
If you look at most English Professors, they spend lots of time reading your papers.
(Currently, it's my job to make sure you don't make your professor cry when they read your first paper.)
(Although, if they read my blogs- they might cry anyway.)

The current rules in Kentucky at the system I work for is that you can only teach 3 classes a semester and only so many credits a year. With the new rules, I am only putting in about 18-20 hours a week on those 3 classes.  Which leaves 10 more hours to mess with.

Anyway, I don't know how long it will be before the new rules actually trickle down to the rest of us.
The big wigs need to make up their minds about if they are going to change their policies to give us some more classes.

Hope it's sooner rather than 2 years from now.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Heat Pump???

News from Kentucky......

My mother keeps scolding me for actually mentioning that it is COLD here in Kentucky.  Yes, the average temp has been in the 20's and below for 4 days and yes every time the Polar Vortex decides to descend from Canada into Michigan all the weather you would have gotten comes here.......

The problem is - Kentucky is really not set up for this kind of weather.
Did you know there are a lot of hills here???  Ice + Hills = Never a good driving scenario.
They do not have snow plows - here in Bowling Green we haven't gotten much snow, but some of the state has been hammered.
Almost everything here runs on Electricity.   THAT totally sucks, they are having issues like you would in the summer - asking us to actually turn our thermostats down to 60 degrees-  YES THEY REALLY DID THAT.

Which leads us to the real problem of the day....
Did you know that more houses have HEAT PUMPS and not actual Furnaces?????

  Now, I have gotten a major lesson in how those suckers work this week.  (Especially since we got our December electric bill at the same time as the Polar Vortex came to visit.)

Here in Kentucky the standard temperature right now should be between 35-50 degrees.
At that temp, the Heap Pump does okay.  It might have to turn on the extra heating strips a couple times to help pump up the house.  But did you know that they never really send HOT air into the house?  At most it is exactly the temperature or sort of that you need to keep the house around 67-70 (or whatever you love to keep it at.)

Heat pumps work better in the summer.  I read a page where the Heating/Cooling guy said that if you made the Heap pump big enough for a northern winter, it would be SOOOO big that your house would be an igloo in the summer.. (I'm adding emphasis here....)
So, they add these weird heat strips in the house (under my house) in the ducts to help keep the house a normal temp so the pipes don't freeze.

So, we hear the outside pump, right outside our bedroom that runs almost constantly - to keep it from getting frost all up and down the inside of it.  Then the heat strips come on to actually heat the air for the house.
For anyone who has ever burnt their feet on a register in the winter waiting for the Furnace to heat up a house, you understand how VERY sad it is to not feel anything come out of the registers here.
(I noticed the same lack of cold force in the summer too.)

I am betting that our Electric bill for January (comes late Feb) will be 3 to 4x's what we paid in November.  I'm disturbed by the amount we are paying for December and we weren't here for 2 weeks.

So, here is the cautionary tale - Heat pumps can be much cheaper to run in warmer climates, but woe- is- me to the people in Michigan or North East who have one.  Hope they all have fire places - which we also do not have.....  But that is a whole other post...

Stay Toasty my friends, Stay Toasty.....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We laughed, we cried, we spent too much money.....

I haven't done a movie review in FOREVER....

Most recent-
Frozen -
              I was going to skip this one.  Then news started floating around Facebook of the awesome music that fills this movie and the newer life choices for Disney Princesses.  Awesome.  I tracked it down, I even went out of my way to find the movie.  I managed to drag Tom and we both thought it was great.  It's been out since before Christmas and it's now middle of January and the movie theater was half FULL on a Thursday night.  No Kidding.  Sure there was a couple noisy kids, but heck it is a kids movie.  Great Music.


Catching Fire   (No. 2 of Hunger Games)
             Loved it!!!  Thought they did an even better job with this movie.  It moved you along quickly enough and had plenty of suspense without bogging you down for hours in the GAME itself.  I had completely forgotten how that book had ended and the movie took me right there.  I have high hopes for movie number 3.

The Desolation of Smaug   (or Hobbit 2- as it is otherwise known..)
            Some people I talked to loved it.  I thought it was alright.  I didn't feel that they had as good of music in this one.  There was no Dwarf awesome song in this one.  The whole bit between Smaug and Bilbo was cool, but you know it was rather predictable even for me - and I have to admit I never read the books. (None of them- I know - I'm a pathetic fantasy reader.)  We did not see it in 3D, maybe that helped bring Smaug more to giant size life.  I don't really like the OVERLY shaky camera work anyway.  I forget that I feel a little sea sick after watching his films.  All that crane camera work from long weird angles spinning around people and up into the air - it all just makes me feel like I'm on a roller coaster.  I am sure that is his main reason for doing it, to make you feel like you are right there riding the rapids in a barrel with them.

I can't think of what else we have gone to see.
I can tell you that we miss going with friends to the movies.  Getting to talk about and tear them apart with other people is really a lot of fun.
Which is why- I was thrilled that while the Dinosaur was here in Kentucky we watched the Hunger Games with her and her family.  It really is a good movie.

Link
Oh my Goodness - I totally forgot about Despicable Me 2-  Okay it came out last summer.  But I bought the Blue-Ray copy for Christmas.  It came with 3 mini-movies about the minions that Newbie directors got to make using all the cool gear they were using to make the big movie.  They were able to use already created characters and backgrounds in order to really get to the heart of a short story.  In animation the ground up phase of creating characters is always the hardest.  So, to be able to use the WORLD that was already up and running, really made it easier for the new directors to really get right to the point.  They were great little movies and I hope those new Directors get noticed because of them. :~)
Link