A couple weeks ago, I had the "opportunity" to have some "fun"
participating competing in an Adult Spelling Bee Fundraiser.
OK, I'll admit - it was fun - albeit a bit stressful - but for a good cause - the Spelling Bee proceeds went to the School Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization that supports local Public Schools. Over 30 teams competed, with the top three teams winning Funds towards Physical Education or Playground equipment for their school of choice.
Our team - "M.A.A.C. - Mothers Against Auto-Correct"
We all chose spelling related quotes on the backs of our t-shirts, thanks to the wit and creativity of friend / teammate / neighbor Jill.
The format of the event loosely followed the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee rules, where we were required to spell the given word orally and against the 30 second countdown clock. The format - you state the given word, spell it, then repeat the given word. So - if the word you are given is "pizza" (and yes, this was one of the words, just so you get a feel for the complexity we're talking about here!), the speller states "pizza.... p-i-z-z-a .... pizza".
The first round "swarms" were pretty informal and held at separate corners of the facility. The winner of this three team competition advanced to the final round. The final round teams competed head to head on the Main stage, in front of all sorts of spectators, spelling into the microphone.
Well, "M.A.A.C." didn't advance to the big stage with its spotlight and scary microphone. Because I messed up the word "invincible". See, it's a lonnnnggg-ish word and I'm not good remembering what I've stated, and I have to spell things out with my finger as I'm speaking. Or have the word written out in front of me because those nerves can get to you when you are under pressure. I was also fixated on making sure I got the "i-b-l-e" at the end. As a result, I spelled the word as "i-n-v-i-c-i-b-l-e". Too many "n"'s to remember!
With the pressure off, we watched as our friends competed on stage. We were hopeful they would place in the top three, as the teams were dropping like flies (or dead bees). The team that won our first round swarm only made it to their second word before being eliminated. The word - "bouillon" - because who would think to put that "i" before the two "l's"?
Our friends finished in fourth place - watch them spell the name of a certain disease:
I know apple devices don't support flash, so here is the link to the video, taken by friend-teammate, Kellie.
It's tricky - There are two 'h's in "diphtheria" - yes, they didn't get the first "h" and I certainly didn't know that silent 'h' was there! And yes, I had to google it after they were eliminated.
So, we're not Invincible and I humbly admit that I used the spell checker while writing this blog post! Next year, I'll practice more and practice spelling things out loud. Maybe my daughter (who won her 5th grade spelling bee at school) will enter with some friends. I bet a team of high school students would give the adults a run for their money....
A couple weeks ago, I had the "opportunity" to have some "fun"
Yeah, I haven't been very consistent in this space recently. Perhaps it's due to a bit of apathy, lack of a computer (daughter has been using my laptop for her schoolwork and it is squirreled up in her room most of the time), or the fact that I've discovered HGTV's Property Brothers and The Big Bang Theory. Maybe it's because since the time change, all I want to do after 6pm is go to sleep because it feels like 9pm as soon as it gets dark.
So today, I'm posting a random bunch of photos - some taken recently, some not.
Yes, it was cold outside!
I've been working on a Blurb Photo book featuring our family trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. It's been fun looking back at the photos.
Wishing you a nice Friday!
I couldn't resist the fresh coat of frost on the grass and leaves this morning. The recent rains and wind have stripped the trees of their pretty leaves, but they are almost as lovely on the ground as they are on the branches.
Even devoid of color, I love the lines and texture.
There's even a bit of green still around.
Frost is fleeting - once the sun hits, it's gone.
Last Sunday, we "fell back" from Daylight Savings time to Standard Time, gaining an hour.
What did I "do" with that extra hour? My kids slept it away, but I spent part of that hour outside, in my bathrobe, taking photos. Because that's what I do and the neighbors have grown accustomed to it....
I was really into it because of the frost and even broke out the macro lens.
It would be nice to have more "extra hours" every now and then, but I am happy to have it once a year. If only we didn't have to lose it in the spring.....
Oh, the single problem with Halloween falling on the last day of October - it feels like a Halloween post on November 4th is just so late. We should be talking about Thanksgiving and Turkey now.
Ahem, NOT that Christmas stuff....
I couldn't believe my eyes as I went to the WalMart to buy Halloween candy on October 30 (yes, I wait until the last minute) and the normal Halloween Candy aisle had been transformed into red and green "winter wonderland". Seriously? And one of the neighbors put up their icicle lights this past weekend!
So I'm going back in time to post some Halloween photos instead.
As usual, my friend, Jill, and her family out did themselves. Due to heavy rains, they didn't transform their front yard into a full cemetery, but made up for that with a Creepy Circus theme.
Here is their house from several years ago:
This year, the house was lit up similarly, the addition of some scary characters.
Then this guy emerged from the house:
The nine foot tall scary clown who terrorized adults and children alike:
Even good friends, M and L were scared to come to the front door.
The creepy clown walked up and down the street, eliciting screams from young and old. I think it was an effective costume and it will be hard to top next year, but I am sure they will come up with something equally entertaining.
Like maybe a cat dressed up as a bunny....
OK, maybe not....
Fall's brilliance finally showed up.
Even as the leaves fall, they land in grace.
I took these yesterday - I happened upon each scene by chance. So glad it was one of those Saturdays with no definitive plans. It was a great way to start the month of November.
I have TWO choices for November's Calendar Download. These are scenes taken from our local neighborhood parks and green spaces. I am grateful for the city's Park District, and we take advantage of the walking / jogging trails they have created.
To download the Foggy Bridge Version above, click on this link at box.com: Free Download - November Bridge 2013 Desktop Calendar
To download the Pond Version above, click on this link at box.com: Free Download - November Pond 2013 Desktop Calendar