Friday, September 30, 2011

Versatile Blogger

I am still savoring the compliment that Linda at Teacher Dance paid to me by giving me the Versatile Blogger Award.  One of the important parts of this award is sharing the award with other bloggers who have influenced and inspired me by

  • Thanking the person who nominated me and providing a link back to their blog
  • Sharing seven bits of information about myself
  • Passing this award along to 15 other blogs that I have discovered
I enjoy reading Teacher Dance and I am always delighted when I see her name among the comments.  I enjoy reading her comments and insights to my posts.

Seven facts about me.
  1. I am a librarian in Billings, Montana.
  2. When I married my husband I gained a son, a daughter, and a granddaughter.  Now I also have a daughter-in-law.
  3. My husband and I have 4 dogs. Max a Boxer cross (10); Lady a chocolate lab (10); Sammi a Great Dane/Lab cross (6); Baby  a Black Lab(2) 
  4. In May I bought a Canon Powershot SX130 (12x point and shoot).  As of this weekend I have taken 3832 pictures.
  5. I love learning about technology -  I get excited about new websites and ideas.
  6. This school year finds me at two new schools.  One is an elementary school (4.5 days) and the other is a Middle School (.5 days).  I love them both even though I miss my students and co-workers from my old school.
  7. I am a voracious reader.
15 Bloggers that Influence and Inspire me.

This is the most challenging - there are soooo many.  I am listing them in random order.  

  1. Gardening With Wyatt  I love the pictures of Wyatt and the stories of his antics.
  2. Living In the Shadow of Alzheimer's Sheri writes from the heart her observation about how Al affects her husband Bob
  3. The Book Chook   An Australian blogger I met through my first PLN (personal learning network)
  4.  Free Technology for Teachers  He shares lots of new technology that has classroom application
  5. ilearntechnology  This gal makes me tired just thinking about all she does.  I have learned lots about Personal Learning Networks (PLN) and technology from her.
  6. Teach Writing Right by Corbett Harrison - he is an amazing online contributor - he not only teaches he writes and maintains WritingFix - for the Nevada Writing Project.  Plus he provides wonderful training material for using writing in the classroom.
  7. Kat Eye View of the World this is a recent find.  She writes and teaches about exploring with a camera.  She is truly an artist.
  8. Kevin's Meandering Mind - I have found wonderful ideas for using mentor texts with students.
  9. EFL 2.0 Teacher Talk  This is an amazing blog/site/ning David is generous with his knowledge and time.  He was one of the first to encourage my writing.  I found his site when I was looking for educational games to adapt for the library.  His site focuses on English as a Foreign Language, I have found lots of treasures for my classroom.         
  10. Poem Farm  I love all the ways she connects poetry in the classroom.  I have gained some wonderful ideas.
  11. Montana History Revealed   I have a soft spot for the Montana Historical staff.  Over the years they have helped me with lots of research.  This blog always has something off the beaten track.
  12. Katie's Literature Lounge  As a librarian I am always looking for new books.  Katie shares many books for young readers.
  13. EDge21 I love the catch of the day I have found many tools that I have experimented with.  
  14. American Indians in Children's Literature  Debbie Reese tackles issues like the "mascot controversy.  She often makes the reader uncomfortable as she points out bias and stereotypes in contemporary and historic literature.  Very thought provoking. 
  15. History is Elementary Great resources and background to use in the classroom and for anyone with an interest in history.     

Blogging has helped me be a part of a greater community of learners, of dreamers and doers. I hope you will enjoy these sites. Linda, thank you again for the Versatile Blogger Award Nomination.  I feel very humbled.  These bloggers that I have nominated have inspired me, challenged me, and encouraged me.  I believe that readers and their comments make for thought provoking conversations.  I have become a better writer because of my readers.  Thank you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dancing Water

Watching water droplets dance on the pickup hood.
Sunday before we left on one of our Post Office searches, I turned the hose on and sprayed the pickup windows.  Dan turned on the windshield wipers to knock the bugs off.

As we went down the road, water droplets merge and scoot across the waxed hood falling down the side.  They scoot and merge and crawl like an inch worm.  Then speed up, sometimes they split again and race to the edge.

I have been watching a small cluster of droplets try to slide down the ravine on the pickup hood, only to be pushed back by the wind.

            21 miles - and some of the droplets are still on the hood.  The bigger group has grown smaller - dancing and wiggling like "hootchy cootchy" dancers.

            50 miles - and still there is a small puddle dancing in place in the groove of the hood.

            65 miles - and the water is valiantly surfing on the hood - riding into the wind.

            73 miles - the small puddle of water is now the size of my fingernail, barely moving.

           80 miles - a water ring now is all that is left.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prairie Sky Scrapers

Standing sentinel, grain elevators stand watch across Montana.  The "Prairie Skyscrapers" are often the tallest man-made structures for miles around.   The elevators were usually close to the railroad tracks.  The company would buy the grain from the farmers then store it in the elevators until it was sold and most often hauled by rail.

George, a friend of ours used to work for the Montana Grain Elevator Company many years ago.  Ismay is the smallest incorporated town in Montana and still exists because of the grain elevators there (The Ismay Grain Company)

Looking across the prairie you can see these structures standing sentinel against the horizon.
Waiting for the people, many who will never return to communities that are now long gone.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What the Hay? Have you Ever Been On the Montana Bale Trail?

I can see the confusion in your eyes, "What is the Montana Bale Trail?  It is a hay sculpture contest that is held the Sunday after Labor Day.  2011 was the 22nd year it has been held.  It started as a joke between 2 farmers and then quickly caught on with the neighbors.  Today 3 communities host the festival: Hobson, Utica, Windham.

I loved the humor and the creativity.  We had a great time.  The first time I heard about it was this spring.  I am so glad we went.  3KRTV said there was approximately 7000 people who attended Sunday.

There was a room fan in the front bale that was turning.

I want to go again next year.

3KRTV reported on this year's winners.  Website for Montana Bale Trail

Link to more pictures .
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's Red White and Blue and found in Ismay Montana?

The answer is the Post Office.  Ismay is a small town in Eastern Montana.  In 1993 they unofficially changed the name to Joe Montana at the suggestion of three Kansas City disc jockeys on radio station KYSS.  It brought the small town quite a bit of publicity.

The town of Ismay at one time was a Freight Station on the Bismark - Ft Keogh, Army Trail 1875-1881.  Lee Nemitz Trucking is a business in Ismay that currently hauls freight.

Many buildings from a gone-bye age still survive but are showing their age.  Ismay Grain Company is one of the local businesses.  Sprinkled through the town are vintage tractors and trucks.

It is truly a town with a rich history - my hope is that it continues to endure