Wednesday, December 31, 2008

happy new year

Do you make resolutions for a new year? I make resolutions, but not on New Year's Day. I make them all year long... some are big and some are small. Some are very short term, and some for the rest of my life. I'm over new year's resolutions, though.

I do think it is a good time to look at things. Assess where you are, and how you're doing there. It is a time to follow nature, and put away the things that are done, and make room for the new growth. A season to bide your time, waiting for spring to come, for the warmth to come, for growing season to come.

I've come to a couple of realizations today, reflecting on "where I am," and I"ve come up with a few ideas to help me progress on my road. No, not resolutions, just, "maybe I should try..."

I'm not a new year's partier. I like the idea of the big, formal party, where everyone is drinking and dancing and looks beautiful, but... I'm not a big drinker, and once anyone gets past the point where the alchohol is in control and they are not, I'm done there. I'm not a "beautiful person" and I don't really like dressing up all that much. No one much asks me to dance, and I'm a big, shy wallflower. Oh. I hope that doesn't sound like I'm whining, here. I'm not. I just finally came to the realization that I like the _idea_ of those parties, not the actuality of them.

So, no big deal, here tonight. Tomorrow, I think we have a cookout (weather should be permitting) and gaming party. In the afternoon. When its light out, and sane, and all those other fools will be sleeping off hangovers, and watching football.

I hope your new year is a good one, filled with hope, and love, and the promise of growth.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

nice things

We got to help a young cousin celebrate his birthday this evening. Its nice to see him growing up. Well, he's over 6 foot tall, I think, and just turned 15. Growing "up" for him may be more a matter of maturity than height. Still, he's a good kid, and the next few years may be a challenge for him as he finds his way. I wish him well.

I also head that another young man I know got married recently. I know him as a good kid, but he is hasn't been a kid for a while now. I wish him and his new wife all the happiness they could have, and the strength for when happiness isn't enough. Huzzah!

Monday, December 29, 2008

i said i would




I'm going to post pictures. Last time I posted more than one, I learned that I need to post the last first and the first, last. When I was taking the pictures, just a few minutes ago, I learned that the thing around the lens (don't you love those technical terms?) was creating a shadow in the flash. hmmm I tried a few shots without the flash, which came out better than I thought they might, then I took the thing off and tried a few shots that way. I cropped the shots I wanted to share, as this camera takes a lot of pixels. I hope I can actually include them as they are, and I won't have to modify them further for memory size first.

First (I hope) will be a couple of my latest dragons. One for a friend's daughter, and a lava dragon for Raine. Next a scarf I knitted for the friend's older daughter. I tried wetting the scarf to block it so it wouldn't roll up at the edges, but I'm not sure how good I did with that. maybe more water next time.

Finally, I emptied out three boxes today, with craft books, magazines and leaflets. I got them on the shelves in the craft room, mostly, but I haven't sorted them all quite yet. No sign of the dragon patterns yet, but if I still have them, they're in there somewhere. Two more boxes are poised to go in the car back to school with me on Monday. Now if only I can get the rest of the books onto the shelves, there will be a little more order in here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

i could

blather on about things i've already blathered about before. But I doubt it would be any more interesting this time than it was before. Instead, I think I'll take myself into the tv room, and see what I can call up on hulu that I would like to watch. I'll let you know if it is anything worth sharing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be posting pictures... will you be ready for them?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

here we are

Its Saturday, now. Ron has been home this week, which has made it very vacation-y for all of us. Every day seemed like the weekend, in the best way. We relaxed and got done what needed to be done to enjoy our Christmas. Here we are at the real weekend now, and tomorrow will kind of be back on our routine. Laundry, and shopping and stuff to be done.

Next week, Raine, Carl & I will still be home, and Ron will have to tolerate being the only one who has to go to work for the week. I've been there, and there's resentment. Still, he did get a nice week. I hope he can take that with him. I've got plans, though - don't I always? Boxes, you know, there are still boxes. And I still haven't found my crochet patterns. Maybe if I clean out the closet here in the computer room, I can put the shelves in it that we got for it, and check in the boxes there to see if I get lucky... Then there is some sewing that has been lying around teasing me...

And of course there's Raine... I'm thinking I may take her to see a movie. Maybe we'll even see if Ezekiel would like to join us. THEN I can think about going back to work myself. It will come sooner than I think. I know it will.

Friday, December 26, 2008

and so

Life goes on. More or less back to the ordinary, although I'm sure that even those days that are special to us, would be pretty ordinary to many folks. Some people have watched to many soap operas and they think regular, real people should live like that. When there isn't enough drama in their lives, they create some. Its more interesting, I guess.

Personally, I take the Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times," for the curse it is. I get it. I would much rather live the ordinary, daily life. The one with not so much drama. Those people on the TV shows are NOT my friends. My house does not have to look like that, nor do my clothes (or my figure). I have no pretensions that I'm ever going to be there, nor do I strive nor secretly (nor overtly) yearn for that life. I love my ordinary life. I take care of my responsibilities. I choose my reasonable and legal entertainments, and I enjoy them. I strive to be a better person than I was. I try to create instead of destroy. I try to look on the positive side of things.

I know people who live the other way, with the drama and the disasters, and the uncertainty. They don't seem to achieve more than me... at least no more than the population in general. They certainly don't seem happier than I am. Its way too easy to be more attractive than me, so I'm not even worried about that. They may enjoy the interesting times. Me, I try to brace for them. Be prepared and ride them out when necessary. Let them flow around me and move on, so that the ordinary life can return. I will embrace it.

merry Christmas

This was a good day. We got to watch Raine open her presents, which outnumbered ours by a good margin. We didn't mind that at all. She got many things that she really liked, and spent the day spending some time with almost all of them. The slinky may last through tomorrow, if we convinced her not to take it to bed with her tonight. She wore new spongebob jammies to bed, although the other new clothes (some very nice ones that she will get lots of use out of) were not so thrilling to her. At one point, she said, "I got everything I wanted!" Which wasn't really true, no Spike the dinosaur, for instance, and really, she didn't need to get EVERYTHING she wanted. Not many kids do. I'm glad she was happy with what she got, though. After all, that is the Santa goal, isn't it.

The rest of the day was nice, too. We watched a lot of Dvd's. We played a game. We ate some fabulous food. We visited with friends and family. It wasn't a stressfull day, or a day too full to relax in. It was a good Christmas. I hope yours was too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

play santa

As much as kids love Christmas, and cool presents to open up, and the hopes of new cool toys, parents have to love playing Santa. That dance of joy when they get something they like is priceless (as the commercials will tell you). I mean, really, that IS why the old guy hangs around, isn't it? Still there are some dilemmas, aren't there. When I was growing up, one year I really, really, really wanted a chemistry set. When Christmas got here, there were two big presents for three kids. A chemistry set and a slotted hockey game. Cool gifts yay! for us to share.. not so yay. I mean, it was cool that I got what I wanted, but really really uncool to have to share it. My perspective on it as an adult is much more forgiving than it was as a kid. That chemistry set was a big, nice one, and it probably cost a good bit. More than they could pay for each of us... so they did what they could. Here's the other part of the story. The chemistry set sat in the garage (definately not an in the house activity) unused for most of its "life." Sure, one or the other of us would do this experiment or that now and then, but... Let's just say none of us turned out to be chemists, or pharmacists.

This year there have been many, many things that Raine has wanted Santa to bring her. Is there a commercial on? If it isn't pink, she probably wants it. Still, the thing at the top of her list has been Spike the dinosaur. For anyone not familiar, that is a fairly large (2 foot tall?) radio controlled long neck dinosaur. Very cool and fun for Christmas day. But, what about afterwards? I mean she loves dinosaurs, but she has several large ones that come out once a month or so. She got several RC things last year that hardly ever get played with... and need new batteries every time she pulls them out. 5-year-olds are not good at turning things off when they are done playing. They just aren't. SO here is the Santa dilemma. Get the toy that you know will make the eyes light up on Christmas, or go for something you know your kid will play with and play with and play with. Something that she asked for, mind you, just not _the_ thing. We went with the long haul toys this year. I hope it is the right choice... but only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

could it be?

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I think I'm basically ready. Can that be right?

I mean, I have more gifts to craft... but then I could never be done with that. Still, I've told several people that I would make them this or that, just don't expect it on Christmas Day. Raine has been waiting so patiently for a dragon - well, patiently for a 5-year-old, which sometimes isn't very - so hers is next on the list.Then I have 2 or 3 more to make. I finally decided that hers should be a lava dragon. I almost kept the fire dragon for her, but lava, how cool is that? I think she'll really like that. I read up on blocking - as in blocking a knitted project. The scarf I made really wants to roll up. What I read said, get it wet, lay it out like you want it and let it dry... hmmm I'm trying it, but...

So Christmas Eve. One of the traditions that my family created was the Christmas Eve potluck. A true potluck, everyone was supposed to bring their favorite dish, and if it was all dessert, then that was what we ate. Of course that never happened, not with my family. But the mix of food was always eclectic, and yummy. My dad and Lynda had the party after they got married, but now with Dad gone, and Lynda not feeling well, it kind of moves around. Oh, I'm willing to hostess, but the living areas in my house are not large, and there is not that much comfortable seating. This year, Roxanne is hosting. We've been considering our dishes to take. I think I am going to bring several kind of dips, and stuff to dip into it. I'll mix some blue cheese with some cream cheese. I'm thinking something cheese dip-py and maybe another cream cheese mixture with either olives or artichokes. I've got celery, carrot, bell pepper, and snap peas, along with some crackers and some cocktail bread to spread the goodies on. I love stuff like that, little muchy, dippy stuff.

Then there is the question of Ron's sister, and her husband. When I talked to her at Thanksgiving, she said they wanted to come down for Christmas, and they are welcome. They had some car issues and I guess some phone issues as well. I haven't heard from them finalizing any plans. When I tried to call them, I got a message about the wrong code... hmmm. I just had a thought on that. I'll try an e-mail, but I don't want to call this late.

For all you out there. Have a really enjoyable holiday. Don't get stressed if it isn't perfect, THAT is what makes the memories. Yeah, the good memories, if you can let it. Enjoy your time with your friends and your families, and with yourself, if that is your choice.

Monday, December 22, 2008

adventures in shopping

Today Carl and I took Raine and Shelbi (our niece) shopping for clothes which were Shelbi's Christmas presents. We needed her to go since we didn't know what sizes she wears, nor did we know her tastes in clothes. Our budget wasn't large, and we wanted it to go as far as possible, so we went to Ross, where she picked out 5 tops that she liked. Then it was off to the outlet mall, a little ways down the highway. She scored 2 pairs of sketchers (and Raine got one too) in one store, two pair of pants and two pair of leggings and another top from another store, a hoodie from yet another and a dress in a different store. Total for everything? about $100. woo hoo!

Our color scheme for the day seemed to be brown and pink. The dress she chose was a pink velour kind of thing, with fur at the collar and cuffs. Very cute for Christmas. It was also all stuff that Raine turned her nose up at. So, I got to do some girly kid shopping with my niece, which also was rather a treat.

The outlet mall was pretty busy, but the mall part was spacious enough to not be crowded, and being out doors helped as well. Some of the stores were smallish, but the crowds were manageable. Their parking lot is no where near as big as some of the malls, and it was an easy exit from the highway. Know what's better? When we left it was an easy entrance back onto the highway as well. So, I had kind of been avoiding the outlet mall, but it really wasn't bad at all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

i've been ruined

OK, so 1941 isn't Spielberg's masterpiece, but its a fun movie to not take seriously at all... only... Tonight as we were watching it, all I could think of was how one of the main characters reminded me of the boys in Drake and Josh. Yeah that insipid, horrible kid's show that I try to avoid. My daughter even tries to avoid it. But, they seem to play the commercials for it non-stop, even during Spongebob, which she does watch.

Now, as if that weren't bad enough, I noticed some inconsistencies which in previous viewings I had been able to overlook, like that the two guys in the ferris wheel car somehow trade places about midway through their shift, even though no one is there to work the ferris wheel and let them out. Hmmmm... Then there is that great scene where the ferris wheel rolls down the pier and into the ocean. Wouldn't the lights go out right about the time the thing disconnected from the pylons (or whatever they call those things holdin git up)??? Nope, they are still lit all the way down the pier and into the water. That's some extention cord.

Want to know the worst thing? I couldn't keep these observations to myself. About the time the ferris wheel hit the water, Ron & Carl were ready to throw things at me. Not big things, no, but still. I think the only thing that stopped them was the thought of cleaning it up later. Still, they did complain that I was "ruining it" for them. My bad. Sorry, guys, but I just couldn't help it...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Congratulations

Some friends of mine have a new baby girl this week. Her name is Ember Corinne, which I think is a beautiful name. Mom and baby are healthy and happy, even though their home birth plans fell through. I wish them all love and peace and happiness.

Hanuka begins tomorrow. To all of the Jewish faith, Happy Hanuka.

The winter solstice is also tomorrow. The longest night of the year. The hope of spring and new life begins. The cycle of nature and life continues.

Seasons greetings. Love, peace, hope, and happiness to all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

time for my 2 cents

I have some dear friends who are lesbians. They are married to each other, and make a wonderful, loving, positive, good-for-each-other couple. The went to CA to get legally married, and I think if they could afford it, they would travel to every state where marriages between gay or lesbian people is legally recognized and get married there. I don't know about you, but I don't know of many couples who would happily get married again and again. (not to say that the other married couples I know won't stay married, but still)

I'm not particularly an activist for much of anything, bad me. But I do have an opinion about letting gay and lesbian people get legally married. I think we should make it legal, in every state in the US. Lets face it, this issue isn't about what people other people are attracted to, or how or with whom they have sex. None of those things are going to change by recognizing these marriages legally. What will change? Their right to get insurance from a spouse's employment. Their right to have a say over medical treatment of and visitation with a very ill or injured spouse. Their right to have community property, and inheritance rights. These are the things that will change. Which of these things threaten your marriage? Which of them threaten the "sanctity" of marriage? I don't feel threatened.

I wish people could see it that way. Instead they have a knee-jerk reaction. Well, let me tell you, there are many people I don't want to have sex with (and I'm sure I'm not on hardly anyone's short list, either), and many many many people I don't want to watch do it either. And not all of them - by a long shot - are gay, or lesbian. What happens between two competent, consenting adults in private can be kept private, and I'll be fine with that.

Instead, talk about what is REALLY going to change. Make your decision based on that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

for trekies like me

I just saw a bit of sad news: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081218/ap_en_ce/obit_roddenberry links to the article. Majel Barret Roddenberry who played Nurse Chapel, L'waxanna (spelling?) Troi, and gave voice to the computers on the Star Trek space fleet, died today.

She has been a part of every version of Star Trek, from the first pilot, to the most recent movie. She is as much or more of a Star Trek icon as anyone in the original cast, and I really enjoyed her recurring role as Deanna Troi's mother on Next Generation. I wish her family peace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

receive Christmas cheer

Some friends of ours dropped by this evening with a very unexpected gift of holiday cheer. They brought us a nice box of home-made goodies that is really nice, really nice of them, and really unexpected. It was truly a gift of holiday cheer. It put me in better spirits than even my own crafting has done (and that's saying something). Being thought of by them has been one of the best gifts! Thank you, Peter and Susan! I'm surprised, touched, and definitely more cheerful now.

I am really going to have to be careful around that box, it has so many different yummy treats inside. But I don't feel deprived, because I'm not supposed to eat them. I most certainly will taste things. I also feel happy with myself because I know that will be enough for me. Truly a special gift all they way around.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

stress

Its stress. End of the school year stress. Even though I don't have to give finals (although some kids are taking their finals in my room), or average grades, I still have end of the semester stress. My eye twitches. Argh that drives me up a wall. Tonight, the back of my neck is so tight that it is giving me a headache. And I'm tired. And obviously, I'm complainy. So, before I do further harm, let me sign off for the evening.

Monday, December 15, 2008

procrastination

We all know what it is. I do it more than some, and less than others, I suppose. It can be a respite from toil, or a passive aggressive way to make others do your work for you.

Right now, my "I'll do it tomorrow" projects include getting packages and cards ready to mail, and writing checks for the bills, and similarly getting them ready to mail. They won't do themselves, you know. I'll have to do them. (trying to talk myself into action, you know) But, they will still be here tomorrow, and perhaps I'll be a little bit more inspired. To, you know, work.

Still, I have had inspiration on the crafting front, just like you figured all along. I finished the fire dragon's egg and started on lacy dragon. Its for my friend's daughter who WILL actually play with a Barbie...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

finish

Well, I'm late so I don't want to write much. I want to get to sleep. OK, I do want to write more than I should if I want to get to sleep sooner.

It was a good day for working on Christmas. I got some send-out-with-the-Christmas-cards gifts made. I had them made, but the idea was mine. Thanks to the helpful person at the copy center, who was willing to stretch a bit, and try something she had not done before.

I also finished a scarf/shawl I was knitting. That is what has kept me up later than normal. I knew I could finish it tonight, and I REALLY wanted to get done with it. It was a nice, manageable project, and I may make more, but AFTER the holidays are over. Then again, it is a cool weather type gift, so not much after the holidays...

Now for the wrapping. I haven't gotten to that yet, nor the Christmas cards. Yes, I know I better get on it. In the next couple of days, I promise. But now, to bed. I'm finished.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

two words

I have two words for you tonight. Smoked meat. Yep. We've been enjoying smoked meat around here, thanks to Carl and Alton Brown. You see, Carl watched an episode of Good Eats where Alton makes a meat smoker out of some terra cotta pots and an electric hot plate. It didn't seem too complicated, so Carl got to thinking about how he could do something like that on a smaller budget. He was thinking that smoked turkey sounded awfully good for Thanksgiving.

After some though and experimentation, he found that if he put two of the hot plates in his charcoal grill (after cleaning out any charcoal leftovers) and a small metal pan on each burner for wood chips, that he could smoke meat quite nicely.

The first meat he smoked was a boston butt. He brined it and the made a rub, like Alton had done in the above mentioned episode. It came out fabulous. Then the turkey. Oh my goodness. It rained on Thanksgiving, so the temperature in the smoker was a little lower than the previous time, so we put the turkey in the oven for an hour or so, just to make sure the internal temperature reached the safe zone. I do recommend a probe thermometer for this process. Its good to be safe with your meat. The turkey was very tasty, and moist and tender.

Since then, we've had smoked brisket and just last week Carl smoked some polska kilbasa sausages out there. wow. Today he was busy smoking meat again, this time for Christmas gifts. We made deliveries this evening on the way to gaming.

Smoked meat. yum. I'm just saying...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

just thursday

Which means its not Friday yet. Its been a busy week, but in a good kind of way, nothing disastrous looming. Still, I could stand for tomorrow to be Saturday. Then again, I have a good bit to accomplish on Saturday, including getting some things prepared and then packaged and mailed. It is times like these that a staff would come in handy. I'm just sayin'.

I also keep getting distracted... look, something yarny.

I can feel the holidays creeping up. Last night, all my dreams had Christmas music for sound tracks. At least they were ones I could sing along with...

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

give the people what they want





OK, here is a photo phrenzy of crafting wonderfulness.

First, the Jayne hat, as featured on and copied from the series, Firefly. This is my first go at knitting in a very long time. It is double strands of worsted weight yarn done on circular needles.

I have another knitting project lined up, and that is a little shawl. I learned how to make it today at school, and it should go pretty quick. Maybe even in time for Christmas gifts.

Next up are a few pictures of dragons. I took some individually, but held the camera too close and the focus was bad. The group pictures turned out clearer. OK... so, putting the pictures where I want them is evidently NOT going to happen... so...

After I took pictures, I finished eyes and mouths on the babies that didn't have them yet. The red one is my latest one. Can you tell he is a fire dragon? His wings are made with 2 strands of yarn and I like the extra body that gives them. Notice the similarity in the colors of the Jayne hat? wonder how that happened...

So, anyway, there they all are...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

fun, fun, fun

You know, I'm having so much fun with yarn, I can hardly stand it! I keep thinking of more things I can make for people. I don't think I'll have time to create them all, so I will try to finish what is on my plate, so to speak, at the moment, and then move on to other projects after the holidays. Its kind of like that stack of books, in a way. Comforting to know I have another project waiting in the wings. Just because I finish something doesn't mean I have to stop! I'm also not working on any one big thing, but a lot of smaller things, so they go pretty fast. All my Jayne (you know, from Firefly) hat needs now is a tassel. Wow does it need a tassel. Its been a really long time since I knitted anything, and I think it turned out OK.

I'm playing with the dragons, more, too. Experimenting with some variegated threads. I always like the way variegated threads look on the skein. I'm often disappointed in how the colors pool though. Its rather frustrating. I'm mixing some with rows of a solid in the color scheme, and it looks pretty cool on these. Hey, at least _I_ like it, and since I'm the one making them, and no one gets to make much in the way of a request, it goes how I like it. Anyway, I'm also experimenting with some decorative stitching on them as well. Nothing too fancy, and definitely NOT lacy, but still, variety adds interest for the crafter.

I hope to actually take a moment or two and take some pictures soon to post. In the mean-time, I'm having Waayyyy too much fun with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

read, read, read

My stack of to-read books is getting taller. Ahhhhhh. I know, you thought I was going to complain. Not me, not when I have something to read. I only complain when I DON"t have something to read.

The newest additions? Well, Charlaine Harris was recommended by some friends, who promptly but a stack into my hands. They were the same ones who recommended the Dresden files books, which I am still enjoying. A teacher friend from school recommended the latest craze of Vampire books to me as fun, light reading. She lent me Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. Yeah, you know the movie just came out. Probably won't watch it at the theater, but depending on how I like the book, I may get the DVD.

We actually got the tree up and decorated this evening, so our house is looking more festive, now. Kind of ... I don't know what... we have boxes and boxes and boxes of decorations, but only a 4.5 foot tree. Hmmmm. Yes, some purging is in order here. Some of my strings of lights are older than I am, and may not be safe any longer. Some of the glass is priceless - at least to me. Now that we can organize, that would seem a logical "next" on the list. But tomorrow. Not tonight. Tonight, I get at least another chapter.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

rest

This was a weekend of not enough sleep. I tend to stay up late on weekend evenings, and then enjoy a little sleeping in on the weekend mornings. Not to be had this weekend, however. Raine was not feeling well Saturday morning, and got me up early to tell me this. Of course, she's supposed to go get her mommy when she doesn't feel good, and she had a mile flu it seems, with a little vomiting and the runs, but was feeling better by the afternoon, thank goodness. Still, she got to bed much closer to her normal time instead of getting to stay up late like she usually does on Saturdays (partly so we can sleep in). Which means - of course - she got up closer to her usual time as well. At least she was feeling fine today, though. If I know what is good for me, I'll get myself to bed early tonight and make up for a little lost sleep though...

I've been making good progress in my holiday crafting. I've knitted most of my first hat. So far so good... It didn't take very long once I got the official one started. I practiced a few times before I started it though. It's been a while since I've knitted. I also got sidetracked with my crocheting by juggling balls. One of the threads I read on the Big Damn Knitters group on Ravelry was talking about them. They were talking about juggling geese, and several people shared patterns or pictures of chicks/ducklings for pattern ideas. The darn things were so cute it distracted me and I had to crochet a few. Now if only I knew someone who would like to juggle them... ha ha ha.

We still haven't put up our Christmas tree, though. I wanted to today, but it just didn't fit in. Hopefully tomorrow evening we can get the sucker out. Even if we just get the lights on tomorrow, we can put the trimmings on later. I did get my Christmas music out and listen to some, though. I did enjoy that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

children and games

SO, my five-year-old, Raine, sees us playing games all of the time. We do role-playing games most Saturdays, and board games when no one is ready or able to ref. We do computer games daily. She's hooked. We let her play Spore, and actually had to take it away because she wouldn't/couldn't concentrate on other stuff that she needed to, like school. OK, she's 5, she'll get better at it. We'll help her learn to balance things. I hope.

Anyway, Uncle Carl let her have a character on World of Warcraft. Now I know she isn't the only little kid with a character on one of these games. I'm sure many parents who play let their offspring have a character to run around a newbie zone with. We like to share our love of gaming, ya know. She picked out a Tauren, so she could look mean, and ran around smashing things with a hammer. Then I think Carl made a hunter orc character for her, instead. She heard us talking about getting gold, so she wants to get a lot of gold now. Carl asked her what she was going to use the gold for, and her reply was "to get girls." This amused him no end, of course, although he had to tell her that you couldn't get girls with gold in WoW. Of course she wanted to know... "boys?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

feel festive

Today I read an article that talked about "tired" Christmas Music. You know, the songs that make you cringe when you hear them yet another time. I actually like Christmas music, but there are some songs that I could happily forget ever existed. None of those songs were on this author's list. Instead his article felt more like he had a list of songs he wanted to plug, and he was just trying to do it in what didn't seem so much like a plug. For every song on his list, he "suggested" a different one to play instead.

Me, I think bad music is just... bad music. There is no excuse to drag out Alvin and the Chipmunks just because the Album had "Christmas" in the title. Instead, drag out John Denver, and the Muppets! Ok, I'm being ironic, at least a bit. I know, JD et al is not critical masterpiece either, but it makes me cheery to listen to it. Yes, it does.

I like a lot of the old Christmas music as well (Ok, I'm not classifying the above as old, even though many people would). My folks had Fred Waring and the Pensylvanians. It was one of our Christmas staples, and when I found a cassette of one of the albums once, I bought it without hesitation. I wish I could find it on disk, but I'll probably have to search online and download it someday. They could sing AND they didn't do the same tired arrangements as everyone else.

One of my other favorites is the Chieftains Christmas Album, The Bells of Dublin. Some traditional happy stuff, and then there's "The St Steven's Day Murders" to spice things up a bit. So anyway, now that the Christmas countdown is on, we may as well drag out the holiday favorites one more time and start listening. Maybe it will make me feel like setting the tree up...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

try to have a social life

Well, now that I have been crocheting, and I'm practicing up on my knitting to make a Jayne hat for Ron, I've been talking to people at work who are also crafters. Several women who I enjoy talking to, and share some common interests in science fiction, and other things, also happen to enjoy yarn. Its fun!

Last weekend after Thanksgiving, a few of us actually found/made time to meet and gab and craft stuff. I really enjoyed it. We got to show off what we were making, look at tools and yarn, and talk about lots of stuff, only some of which was remotely school related.

This evening, I was invited to the El Paso Crochet Guild (club? can't remember) meeting. There ws going to be stuff to make, and it sounded like fun. I decided to go. Uh huh. Well, I don't know what the snafu was, but I never saw the person I knew where I went. I never saw the other people crocheting. I (dope slap to my head) didn't give my friend my phone number, nor ask for hers to make sure we found each other. Doh! Well, I'm disappointed but not devistated. We'll try and do it again some time.

Now here is the thing about a social life. My social life is time away from my family. I love being with my family. I love having and being with friends. Ideally, the two mix, but not always. Ron's (and Carl's mostly, too) social life is tied to his computer, and people on the internet. I like some real people around. Like my family. Hmmm.... Well, lately, some socializing has been arranged and successfully carried through, and I've enjoyed it. I'll do more, although it will always be a kind of torn feeling that my family is missing me. (of course, that could all be my wishful thinking, lol)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

check on your children

Here's something for your to-do list and mine. Check on your children. Not only does it help you know where they are and what they are doing, it is - occasionally - amusing.

This evening, when I checked on Raine in the bath tub, she offered - in her words - "nice fresh butt" for pinching. Yep amusing. Later, after pajamas and book reading and tucking in, I checked on her to make sure she was asleep. Hmmm... I couldn't tell. You see, she had her book tented over her face. Yep, sound asleep under it. Sometimes jokes (it was a joke book) are really exhausting.

My evening has been complete when my daughter makes me smile.

Monday, December 1, 2008

earthshattering?

I think not. I had fun getting yarn today, and a trio of new Christmas ornaments. Hobby Lobby had some very cool, organic stars in their ornaments earlier. They looked rather like starfish, the leggy kind. But the only ones OUR HL had were bright turquoise. I was hoping they had gotten in others, but instead the ones they had were now gone. boo. Anyway, if you check your local HL, and they have some, let me know... hmmm maybe I can look online for them.

I also got more yarn. Some for Ron's hat, and more for dragons. Had to branch out in colors a bit, just for variety. Trying a few variations on the egg designs, and having fun with them. So, essentially, more Christmas cheer for me.

Other than that, it was a pretty Monday kind of day, today.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

uncovering the past

I wrote a couple of days ago about some albums that will be out for the grappler on Tuesday morning. They had been my parents'. I've also written about unpacking boxes that are stored in the craft room, trying to find that dragon pattern. Well, not all of those boxes were packed by me. Some of them were packed... well, years ago, when my dad's house was being cleaned out and gotten ready for renting. At least that's when I think they were packed. I uncovered some of my mom's sewing stuff, and - more interestingly - some of her papers. Some of the papers are clearly trash, like the various configurations of the Amiga she eventually bought. Yup, that old. I threw them away, because they were trash, and I had no qualms doing it, but it was still almost like my mom saying "hi" to me through the years. Just mundane stuff. Nothing earthshattering or important, but familiar handwriting, and bits and pieces of the past.

I suppose many people experience that kind of thing, going through old stuff. Boxes that were stored too long ago. Unlike the albums, there was no bittersweet too bad I can't keep this. I threw trash away, like it should have been before it ever got into a box. My dad just couldn't face doing it himself. It was just a reminder that though she is gone, my mom is still around. As if I didn't know that when I have to try to out-stubborn my daughter.

We also found some great pictures. Its time to start digitizing them and labeling them for the next generation. Personal history in pictures. Hope that I can still find out who some of those people were...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

christmas crafting

I've been hard at it, you know. OK, maybe you don't, because I have been trying not to talk about it too much. Didn't want to give away gifts. Hmmm, that doesn't sound right. I DO want to give away gifts, but I didn't want to give up what the gifts were to the people getting them. I love hand made stuff. one of the things that puts me in a holiday mood is making gifts. I have, over the years, gotten the "production line" busy with dragons, stuffed rocking horses, snow flakes, bunnies, and other stuff that I don't recall right off. Its going now, and it feels great. Pictures later, probably after Christmas, but I think they are turning out well. I have quite a list to make for, too. One of these years, I'm going to request a hand made Christmas from my family, and exchange things we have made. I bet the gifts would be some of the best ever.

I usually have an easier time getting in the holiday mood. This year, it seems a little more work. Work to get the stuff out. Work to put up the tree. Work to fight through the holiday crowds. Bleah. BUT, I have a 5-year-old, and SHE is excited. We get to tease her with threats of Barbies and pink stuff, while she dreams of giant radio controlled dinosaurs. We told her she needs to write a letter to Santa. She said, "People don't do that!" We told her, "yes, they do!" and "ask your teacher." (For some reason she doesn't believe everything we tell her.... hmmmm). At any rate, she's a very good age for a fabulous Christmas. Hopefully that will motivate us. Still we are going for the simple holidays this year.

And, I suppose it is time to think about getting ready. Sunday is the last day of November, and Christmas is less than a month away. Time to dig out the tree and the decorations. I found the cards, and now for the trek through the address book and a trip to the post office. Maybe not this weekend, though. I'll be happy getting the tree up next weekend, and maybe working on the cards during the week this week. Still, I suppose its time to sing along with those Christmas carols, now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, thank you. I hope you did as well. We had smoked turkey, and a little rain, which interfered a little with the smoking of the turkey, but not fatally. We did bring the bird in and pop it in the oven for long enough to make sure the internal temperature got to that "done" level. I made dressing, apple pie and almond pie. Carl did the turkey. mmm We had some other stuff as well, a corn dish with cream cheese and green chili that has become a staple on these holidays, and baked sweet potatoes (never could take the sweet casserole dish).

The best part was that we weren't stressed out, trying to feed a lot of people, or worrying whether this person or that person would show up, or play nice or any of that stuff. We just had what we wanted, and sat and watched a movie while it was cooking. There wasn't even all that much clean-up, since we did that along the way, too.

So, sure, I'm tired. I got up early to help with the turkey, like one does. But I'm also very satisfied in a meal and a day well done. Hope you all had as thankful a day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

letting go of stuff

Today I let go of some stuff. It wasn't even my stuff, it belonged to my parents. They had a record collection. Not any great shakes by some standards, I know, but memories none the less. Dad's swing music, some western music, even some kid music. And the Christmas music. From back in the fifties and sixties. Talk about memories.

The records had been in storage. By no means in proper storage either, just tucked away in a shed, pretty much. Now, I know people will groan and grumble about that. They could have been stored properly, taken better care of. Yep, they sure could have. My dad was around when they were put in that shed, and they were - at that time - his to take care of, if he wanted to do that. I have my own albums to not take care of, thank you.

Anyway, the shed owners had pulled them out of the shed, and delivered them to my house, in hopes that they could and would be salvaged. I pulled a few out. They were beyond dusty. Dusty would be a polite way of describing them, because the filth was not just dust or dirt. They were stinky, and something had burrowed into part of the decomposing cardboard at some time. Ewww.

I put some of them into a box, and kept the others in the bag they had been stored in, and set them aside for the grappler truck next week. Then I had to make peace with myself for my actions. I mean these albums were my parents'. Both of them are gone now. But their memories are not, and that - really - is what those albums represented. It was, for the most part, music that I own if I cared about it. If I want it, I can find it, somewhere. I don't have to have those particular albums. Which is good, because they are a health hazard, at this point. Still, I AM a Taurus, and we have a hard time letting go of things. I have been working on that, though. And here is where that practice pays off. Mom, Dad, I still love you, and I still miss you, but I am NOT keeping those albums!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

short work weeks

What is it about a short week at work that can be so... difficult. Two days this week at work. Two days. But I'm exhausted by it. I got work done, of course and stayed a little late for my class this afternoon, but by quarter to 5 we were leaving. Usually its after 6. It was just...time to go.

Then about blogging. I swear I wrote last night. But there is no proof. The blog I thought I wrote is there... under Sunday's date. What happened to Monday? I think it snuck off while I wasn't paying attention. (it was probably stomping and sulky because I wasn't, but then, I still didn't notice).

Still, at this point in the evening, the girl is in bed, tucked in under warm blankets with happy thoughts that no bed bugs will bite, large or small. I got to spend a little time with my crochet hook and yarn. Now, I'm sitting pleasantly at my computer typing. See. Sometimes I notice. SOME stuff at least. Interesting stuff? Well, no. My wouldn't you know my audience would be so demanding. I'll try and think of some of that for tomorrow...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

let the holidays begin

It is that time of year. Ok, so anticipation began at the end of last month with Halloween, but the holidays really begin this week with Thanksgiving. Although the Canadians also celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday, it is on a different day. Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, are uniquely American celebrations. Holidays in the modern sense of the word (woo hoo we don't have to go to work!) instead of the original sense of the word - Holy day (woo hoo we get to go to church!). It is one of the few holidays that has stayed less commercial. Well, except for the part where you buy food to prepare for the feast, or have to pay the tab else where. Oh, sure there are cards, and hostess gifts you can get. Decorations that you have to store somewhere all the rest of the year, but it - thankfully - isn't a big candy day.

It is, however, followed by the biggest shopping day of the year: black Friday. As I've mentioned before, this is a shopping day I avoid. Like the plague. We'll probably have to go to the grocery store about one more time to get the last minute items, and stuff we want to be very fresh, but the mall is not on my list this week at all.

I've done a bit of my holiday shopping already, thanks to online shopping, mostly. I'm well into my holiday crafting for the year. Yay me. Holiday crafting is something I really enjoy. One of the high points of the holidays for me. I've made disks of pictures for the grandparents. I got ink so that I could make labels for the disks, and print pictures onto magnets. I need to search for the Christmas cards I bought last year to use this year, and get them in the works as well.

Just remember, in the hectic, frantic, too many people, too much to do and not enough time that the holidays can be... I'll remember to be thankful. Thankful for loved family and friends. Thankful for a good place to live, and good people to live with. Thankful that I have the where-with-all to make a good feast, and put presents under a tree. Thankful that the seasons follow each other, and that even in the winteryest winter, there is hope of spring to come. I'm thankful that the sun rises each morning and brings light and warmth, and that I get to see it, and feel it and enjoy it. Thankful that I can go for a walk and hug my daughter, and my husband, and yeah, even my brother. Here's hoping you have a bunch to be thankful for, too.

nuthin'

That's what I gots here, nuthin'. So, I'm calling it a night. It's dark out so it must be a night. Talk to you all tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

feeling like a fogey

You know, one of those old fogeys. You young whippersnappers.

See, they repaved Solano, one of the north/south arteries here in town (for anyone who doesn't know their way around Las Cruces), and now that they did that, they repainted the lane lines, in a new configuration from Lohman south to Univeristy. Now, instead of two lanes of traffic each direction, there is only one, with a middle turn lane, and small bike lanes on each side of the road. Hmmmm I'm not sure I like it. Not sure at all.

And yet... I think the turn lane will be a wonder on that street. The bike lanes too. But, the lines for the traffic lights have been kinda long. It may be a way to encourage traffic through other routes, like El Paseo, which could actually stand a bit more these days. It may be so forward thinking that I just can't imagine Las Cruces being in that place, thinking that enough more people will be riding bikes that we will need more lanes for them in the future. NAH, that thought can't be there.

Anyway, it seems like a backward step, mostly, to me. So, I'm wondering if it is so backward that it is forward, and I'm just not there yet. And this from a woman who navigates around town by the stuff that USED to be there. As in, "You know, where Dairy Queen used to be..." (and that was about 3-5 businesses ago.)

Oh yeah, and not to forget... Happy Anniversary, Ron. Eight great years!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

kids & colds

Face it, when you have kids, they are going to be snotty, phlegmy messes at times. The weather is turning colder. Slowly. With many warm hours still. But colder. The wide range of temperatures, the farming chemicals (to harvest the cotton and soon, the pecans) and dust and smoke etc in the air don't help much. They all combine to make it the start of cold/flu season. We have all been succumbing to it, bit by bit, sneeze by sneeze. None of us totally under the weather, but affected, just the same.

Yesterday morning, when I woke Raine up, she had a crusty, bloodshot eye. The dreaded pink eye. Well hers isn't the bacterial, ultra-contagious kind, but the viral, my cold moved up there too kind. Contagious as a cold virus, which is also contagious, but not like the other. Anyway, I couldn't take her to school, they wouldn't have kept her. I checked her temperature (normal) and called the Dr. for an appointment just in case. Meanwhile, she is not moping around, having to stay home. She is playing and laughing, etc. Well, a little bit manic, actually, which tells me she may not really be feeling all that good, but she doesn't really know it.

Today, Ron stayed home with her again, her voice had gotten more hoarse over night, and her cough sounded worse. Plus, while at the doctor, she had gotten her flu shot. OK. Ron wasn't feeling all that great either. Remember how I said we were all fighting the cold? Well, when I got home today, it was to news of throwing up. With a cold? She wasn't coughing that much. From the flu shot? I dunno. Still, it has been my good luck that when it comes to Raine throwing up, it is generally Ron that is right there.

So another day home for Raine, just to make sure the episode does not repeat. I don't think it will, but I go for the safe side. We'll trade off again, and it will be my day home tomorrow. I think today of all the things i could get done while at home, and I'll feel lucky at the end of the day to have gotten any of them done. What I mainly hope, though, is that Raine will feel better.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

for all who

Ok, I just got pointed to a BBC Archive by Wil Wheaton, in his blog. It archives the development of the series Dr. Who. How cool and geeky is that? Don't you just love the series Dr Who? I do. Ever since the days that it was pretty standard weekend fare on PBS. The cheap special effects, the sets and costumes that demanded you use your imagination, and the brilliant writing for the series are all memorable. OK, maybe every moment isn't brilliant, maybe some of the plots and the monsters are kind of hokey. But they are hokey in a good way. In a "this hero means well" kind of way. In a "man, you really are a nerdy geek" kind of way.

I really enjoy David Tennent as Dr Who in the most recent incarnation. He's quirky, and I think he captures the essence of some of the best Dr's through the 40 years off and on of the series. I have enjoyed his companions, especially Donna, and - as I have written - was disappointed in her "release."

I know most people think of Tom Baker when they think of Dr Who. I enjoyed him and his big toothy grin emensly, but I have to admit a fondness for Peter Davison's version as well. I liked him even more when he played Mr Campion, of the Margery Alligham series. I wish I could find that on DVD. And now, the 2000's version of the Dr is OK by me, as well. That blue police call box calls to me, that's for sure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

shopping

Christmas shopping, that is. We are in "the season" of shopping, if not actually Christmas. Do you do that whole shop after Thanksgiving thing? I don't. While I enjoy shopping - and don't even have to be ready to buy to enjoy it, and I love a good sale, I don't enjoy crowds. I may not be phobic, yet, but if I subjected myself to those mobs of people and their bad tempers and erratic driving... well, I could get there. I surely could.

I have done some Christmas shopping, and I will do more, although when I was out last weekend, I could sure tell that the crowds were growing. Hobby Lobby was a mad house. Shopping online is nice, no one reaching around you, or zooming around you to stop dead in front of you. sigh. Still, I am enough of a tactile person that I like to feel the heft of things. I like to admire their true colors, and see what size they REALLY are. So, the in-person thing is pretty desirable. I suppose one day the technology will pretty much take care of that, too. I might even live to see it. cool.

Anyway, there are presents to buy and wrap. Boxes to pack and ship. Cards to address. A tree to set up and trim. I enjoy those things. I really do, although I must admit, however much I enjoy the trimming of Christmas, and the gift giving, I appreciate the made gifts, the ones that you care about, much more than the ones we buy for someone just to have something to put under the tree. It truly is the thought that counts, not the cost.

Monday, November 17, 2008

do you watch?

We don't watch much TV, really. Oh, we sit in the room, but unless it is kid's programming ( I think I've seen every episode of spongebob ever made. At least twice), we generally are viewing something from our wall of Dvd's. We watch Heroes, Ghost Hunters, and Dr Who (OK, that would be ME) and the food network. We used to watch Lost. The first season was great! Finding out about the characters and their intertwined stories was great fun. But then... there were "the others" and, well, waayyy to much of a few characters, and not enough of others.

The first season of Heroes was interesting as well, and they made finding out about the characters very entertaining. Then, when we knew about them, the second season came along. It just wasn't as good as the first. Then, with the writer's strike, and the short season, and other things, well, we almost didn't watch the end of that second season, but we did. Now, well into the third season, I'm liking each episode a little more, the intrigue is back. There are some new characters, and some changes/evolution of some of the established ones. I still enjoy Hiro, and his innocent enthusiasm. If you liked the first season, but lost interest in the second, try the show again, this season. And with TiVo, or the like, you can zip through the commercials like crazy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

progress

Well, I worked in my craft room for a while today. I emptied 4 boxes, and found a lot of photos, a graduation cap and gown (had to wear them for HS graduation for the high school I worked at in Colorado Springs), Outlandish Heralds and Bards, my cross stitching threads (and Lou's) and bits and pieces of fabric. I save them, you know. I may build quilts someday. Soon. Really. Still they need organization. I haven't gotten to that, yet.

I've enjoyed working on some crocheted dragons, experimenting with the pattern some to size them up a little. I'm happy with it so far, but nothing complete yet, so no pictures, sorry. Oh yeah, I found my display thing of crochet hooks. Yeah, like they have in the store (or maybe they USED to have in the stores). My mom got it, I dunno when, but I love it.

I went to Joann's on Saturday, fully ready to buy something. Calicos were on sale, some yarn, bottomweights, and patterns. They only had one of the patterns I wanted. The yarn was pretty picked over. None of the calicos spoke to me, and the only fabric that did, wasn't on sale yesterday. I ended up with nothing. And I was OK with that.

I wish my progress with weight were a little more evident. Well, I did all right with the first few months of the diabetic regime. I lost 15 pounds by the time I saw the Dr. most recently. I think it was over 3 months. I think that is a good amount of weight, and it tells me that I was mostly controlling my blood sugar. (since I have to pay for my own monitor, and I haven't gotten it yet.) Lately, though, I seem to have hit a plateau. Now, (I say to myself) don't freak out, don't go all wako, don't fool yourself. I weighed on a day that I normally don't, and liked what I saw. So, what does that tell me? Weigh on that day instead? As tempting as that is, its just a head game with myself. Think about why there would be the difference between that day and the normal day (which was back to the other weight). Water weight? Better control on days earlier in the week? I am trying for a balance of figuring out what is up, and playing those head games. The ones I don't want to play at all, but it is soo easy to fall into the trap. It was encouraging to see that lower weight, and feel like maybe the plateau is starting to slide, but I don't want to fall down the slippery slope of scale games... turn around three times and hold your breath... when I weigh myself. I do want the information to be helpful to me, and help me manage my diabetes, but I don't want to become a slave to the scales, either. SO, it is a good "test" for me. I'm not sure quite yet how I'm doing on it, though, the next week or so should let me know.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

what happened?

I didn't blog last night? What is up with that? I don't know. I didn't consciously think not to, but here it is, and there it isn't, so...

Here we are now, and it's already Saturday evening. Sunday morning, more accurately. A nice evening of board games for Carl and I while Ron sat them out, staying home with Raine. He's not a big board game fan.

No, we didn't play Monopoly or Sorry, or any of those board games. We played Railroad Tycoon and Puerto Rico. And I lost miserably. At both games. And still had fun! Honestly, I don't mind losing, even coming in dead last. I don't always. Occasionally I even win. But, I don't mind losing, especially when the winners are good winners... You know, no gloating. Strategy is fine. A poker face I can deal with. Gloating gets really old really fast. And really, so much of a game is timing, and I'm not good at that. I was on the cusp, both games, of starting my run for the money. Too late... AH well.

So, you say you've never heard of Railroad Tycoon or Puerto Rico? Try your local gaming store, or online. Strategy games are a great way to learn something (anything in my case) about history. They are also a great way to spend 3 or 4 hours (and sometimes more, depending on the game), and learn (imagine that) strategy. And they make a great gift too! (just thought I'd add that for the shopping season)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

movies and books

I haven't started reading I am Legend, yet. But I will, oh, I will. Fran's comments yesterday got me thinking about reading a book vs. watching a movie. I'm a reader. Always have been. I enjoy movies as well, although these days, I don't go to the theaters as often as I used to. DVD's in the living room are more my speed. (with some kind of craft, preferably.)

My problem with movies is this: you have to leave to much out of the book to fit it into 90 minutes. Even when the movie is wonderful, they have just left out so much. Parts that I loved! Parts that I wanted to see! So, if I read the book before I see the movie, generally I'm disappointed in the movie at some level. Now there is a way around that, sort of. If I see a movie today for a book that I read 20 years ago, then I'm OK. I don't remember every detail of the book and I can enjoy what they put into the movie. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy of movies was like that. I know they could not possibly include all the richness of detail that JRR Tolkien included in his books. There is just too much. No, really, too much.

So, my general preference is to watch a movie first, then read the book. I enjoy the addition of the character's thoughts, the additional scenes, and what have you. I feel my experience with the story has been enriched instead of robbed. Still, there was an exception to this "rule" as well. I read the book for the original Star Wars, by George Lucas, and it was pretty much word for word with the movie. I felt cheated! I wanted the extra, and I was really disappointed. I haven't read any other Star Wars Universe book. That's how disappointed I was. (ask me how many Star Trek books I own, on the other hand, and my geek will begin to show again.) Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading I am Legend, even though it may be some time next year before I can get to it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

two things

First, I made this little dragon. He's kind of fuzzy in the picture, I think I was too close with the camera. He's only about 6 inches long, so he really is pretty small. The pattern worked out pretty well, and I was able to put him together in a couple of hours. Still, I'm looking for the pattern for a much bigger dragon (or dinosaur), and still no luck uncovering it. Raine liked this little dragon, and he went in her backpack for a trip to school this morning. He even came out of the backpack at home this afternoon for some play time. She also managed to take him to bed with her - yes, that's her spider blanket in the background there.

Second, I was still thinking about I am Legend today, and (now you will understand why I have a BA in English, and teach it in high school) I was thinking about the nature of the story. It is really a rather ironic tale because in becoming "legend" (a story that is told for a long time) the character really lost his story. The legend of the man is being told by a person who knew him for only a matter of hours, and didn't even take with her the recordings he made of his research (another story). His personal story, much of which was only told in flashbacks (his dreams of his memories of what happened to begin the disaster, and what happened to his family) was lost with him. So, in becoming history, his story was lost. Believe me, I know I'm over thinking the whole movie, but it is thinking and wondering about stories, and pulling them apart a little that makes them so interesting to me. I have not read the book this movie was based on, and if you had asked me yesterday, I would probably say that I wouldn't go out of my way for it. At this point, however, it is much more of interest to me. I would like to see if that is part of the original story, or "just happened" in the movie. I would also like to know if the "reporter" (the girl who takes the blood/serum to the survivors) knows more of his story, is more familiar with him in the book than she is in the movie.

Everyone geeked out enough for the evening? me too... good night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i am legend

Nothing like a review for a movie that is just in the movie theatres. Wait. The paragraph should start, This is...

Ah well. We picked up I am Legend at Sam's this past weekend. It was very cheap, and we had been picking it up and putting back for months, saying, "hmmm, I would like to see that. I don't know if I want to own it, but I'd like to watch it." Well, losers that we are, we never even got around to renting it or anything. Then a couple of weeks ago, we almost decided to buy it, but the copy they had rattled in the case. Not a good sign. This week, everything was hunky dory, so...

So much for the saga behind the movie purchase, and on to the movie review. OK, spoiler alert. I'll give you that warning, to be fair, for those of you who haven't managed to see the movie yet.

If you didn't know, I am Legend is an apocalyptic story about a mutated virus that cures cancer, but turns deadly in its own right. Incredibly contageous, it decimates the population, killing most outright, leaving a few survivors who are immune, and others who are "changed." It stars Will Smith, who pretty much carries the movie, and does it reasonably well. The man can act. The monsters are quick, strong, violent and hungry, but can't stand ultraviolet light and are mainly done in reasonable CG. I know that they can do wonderful stuff with CG, but a little goes a long way for me. So Will is a military scientist who must find a cure for this virus, which he is immune to. The science in this movie is rather lacking, fo a man who has a laboratory in his basement. He makes multiple copies of his video log, but mentions nothing about what he does to change the various versions of his "antidote." For someone like me who grew up on Star Trek, and was way too happy to watch Next Generation, etc, a little scientific nonsense speak would have even helped here. He also reported that the creatures had completely devolved. Except that they had a leader, who took it personally that Will captured his girlfriend for testing and was smart enough to use Will's trap design against him. hmmm doesn't seem completely devolved to me. The other complaint I had was the "convenience factor." I mean the timing was everything in this movie. On the one hand, I get that pacing is important, and things must move along, but still, when it interferes with my willing suspension of disbelief, well, it's too much.

All in all, I would recommend this movie as a DVD pick. I'm sure I will watch it more than just this once, and enjoy it, and maybe even see something I missed in this viewing. It was watchable, but not surprising.

Monday, November 10, 2008

and even monday

The day to today was rather blustery, off and on. Do you think of Winnie the Pooh on a blustery day? I do, and did. The clouds blew in and then blew away. The wind had a chill in it. We're forcasted for more of the same for the next couple of days. I bet the leaves blow down this week. The trees in our yard will be naked for the winter.

It was a nice day of not trying too hard, but getting a few things done. Got a little Christmas shopping done. Yay, me. Also did some preparation for Christmas by going through a lot of Raine's stuff, trying to get rid of some of the stuff she doesn't play with any more to make room for new stuff. She doesn't part willingly with much, but then, what kid does?

I got all the parts of the shelves out of the box in preparation for putting them together, but then I got busy in Raine's room, and there it all sat. Ron came along and put it together for me while I was otherwise occupied! I thought that was really nice, and woo hoo! they are put together and ready to load up. There was space against the wall for them, the floor all swept and everything. I'm really psyched to think that room may actually come together sometime soon. It has been a while since I could put my hands on all my crafting stuff, and my hands have missed it.

Anyway, it was a lovely day for soup, and so we had some. Beef, mushroom and barley. A hearty soup. One of the nice things about colder weather is SOUP!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

for a sunday

Well, lets see. Today was a nice day for a Sunday, just as yesterday was for a Saturday. We had our weekly chores to accomplish, which we did, plus a little maintenance on the house, patching grout in the new shower, which Ron did today and I will seal tomorrow. We probably need to seal it more often, but we were paying attention, and didn't let things get bad. We are still learning, as this is the "new" shower and the "new" tile work that we remodeled with. We have a certain amount of forgiveness with wetness issues here in NM, because it is so dry here, that you never have to worry about it doing anything but drying up.

Ron and I got to play WoW, and made it to level 25 this weekend. That was Ron's goal. At level 30 we can get mounts, but the levels will start going more slowly now, as it takes more and more experience points to advance. Ive been working on some of the character development skills in the game, like cooking and fishing and leatherworking. They are an amusing way to pass the time in the game, but only somewhat connected to the level of your character.

We played DragonQuest last night, with Ron being the DM. I have to say that I am enjoying this world, and this character, even though the character started out very young, with limited skills. Sometimes the weaknesses of a character are really what make it fun in the long run. We all tend to roll badly, so we laugh at ourselves, and each other about it. In a way, since everyone does it, it doesn't make anyone feel particularly bad to roll so poorly so often. Then, too, we all cheer when anyone gets a critically good roll, especially if it is just at the right moment. Ahh the luck of the dice.

Tomorrow, I'll have to get Raine up and off to school, but I won't have to go myself. I'm hoping to get the new shelves up in the craft room, and start putting craft books, magazines and patterns on them. Not only have I seen actual wall in there, but (gasp) worktop surface. Uh, huh, its coming along. Slowly, but along. I'm thinking of copying my friend Cheryl, who has all kinds of pretty stuff hung in the window of her kitchen by shower curtain hooks on a rod. I have all sorts of crystals, some stained glass and other cheery stuff that would find a good home in the windows of the craft room. I'll let you know how it goes... unless I get distracted...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

for a saturday

It was a nice day today. The weather here is finally turning cooler, but the leaves are still in the trees, and still mostly green, even. One night soon, we will have a freeze, and they will all turn crunchy and fall out in one day. Most of the leaves will still be green at that time. Welcome to southern NM. Still, it was sunny and beautiful out, and Ron got a lot done on his storage shed project. I got our cookbooks out of a box and onto a shelf. I went to lunch with my cousin and we had a delicious lunch and a nice, long conversation about everything and nothing. It was great. I even went shopping at Walmart, which I try to avoid because its usually such a zoo. It was a zoo, today, too. Still I looked through the Halloween leftovers, and bought Raine a couple of things at 75% off and some long pants for school. I also found an inexpensive shelving unit for the craft room to put up all the magazines and craft books that I have been getting out of the boxes. I looked for cardboard magazine holders, but no luck on those. I'm hoping staples (or some other office supply store) will have some.

Raine got to go play with her friend, and his mom had gotten them both these very fun hoodie jackets of robots and ninjas. They had a blast playing robots all afternoon! They are very cool, and warm, all at the same time, lol.

I'm rather looking forward to more of the same kind of day tomorrow, actually. Getting all those mundane chores done that always need doing. Maybe a little WoW, or a little crafting, maybe read my book, if my new glasses will let me. Thinking I might hear that my friend Cara might have her baby soon, even.

Friday, November 7, 2008

long weekend

Well, despite job and economy woes, I'm determined to enjoy my long weekend. We are living in uncertain times, my friends, and "the little guy" is - as usual - paying the tab. OK, I feel grateful to have what I have, but things could happen that would take it away.

I know I have spoken about the financial woes of the school district I work for, and some of the options that have been discussed as steps for the district to cover their losses. Today we "voted" on whether we would A like to take a week off without pay (well, except for the 20 odd people who will be taking off more than a week, if you know what I mean)or B have 70 some odd people in the district be RIFed. In other words, teachers and staff are paying 1.5 million of the district's debt out of our salaries. Oh wait, some of those employees aren't making salaries. They are working hourly. When was the last time you wanted to go a week without pay at Christmas on an hourly job? Yeah, me either. At least my loss will be amortized over the remaining paychecks of the year. What happened to the other suggestions that were made by the union?

So, OK, the district manages its debt, whatever. The do it by basically making us "agree" to allow them to break all of our contracts instead of the contracts of only 7o some odd people. And it is true that I would not like to see all those people let go. Still, where is the trust? What happens to the relationship between employers and employees? Am I wrong to feel betrayed? I mean, if I have to look at things fairly, when I got married, I moved to Colorado Springs in the middle of the school year, breaking my contract with them. The district did not hesitate to hire me back when we moved back to Cruces. Should I take this in that spirit? I'm having a hard time doing that, as you can tell, since I keep writing about it. Is it time to look for a new job? Where? What about the rest of the family?

Why is it that when things start lining up to go your way, it also seems like they are lining up to get shot down...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

yarn!

OK, I couldn't stand it any more. I still haven't found the pattern I'm looking for, but I found one for a smaller dragon. I was going to wait for the yarn until I found the pattern, but I couldn't wait any more!

This evening after dinner, Raine and I headed to Hobby Lobby and looked at the yarn. We bought a few skiens. Nothing major, but Raine got to pick a color for her dragon. I thought she would go straight for the red, maybe even go for a flame effect. Nope, she went for blue. A nice royal blue. Then we walked down the aisle some more, took a bathroom break, and returned once more to the yarn display. "You should buy some red, Mama," she advised me. "For what?" "For my OTHER dragon." Hmmmm only one dragon, I told her. But you can change your mind and have red instead of blue if you want. She thought about it and ultimately picked the red, which was very pretty, "because it isn't pink." Then we looked up and down the aisles of Christams decorations, which were pricey even at half price. We practiced looking with our eyes and not our fingers. We had a great trip to Hobby Lobby.

So, why did I break when I did? Well, a friend who also plays with yarn wants to get together (hopefully tomorrow) and craft some together after work. She works where I do, and there may even be some other teachers wanting to join us. I'm really looking forward to it, even though so often Friday after school is a head home sort of time. Well, we are not planning to do it at school, so that will feel relaxing mentally and physically. We can enjoy the crafting, the changing weather and the start of the weekend all at once.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

been a day

Stayed late to work with my group on the class I'm taking. Although the class is rather lame, discussing the idea with this group has really brought me some insights into best practices which I've really liked. The class is a TESOL class, which involves strategies for teaching students who don't speak English as their first language. The class materials themselves are not earthshattering, and indeed are in many ways disappointing. Still, the class was paid for by the district ( who are having problems paying a bunch of their bills - as I mentioned before, what a mess) and I have enjoyed the learning I've done, even if it wasn't necessarily the learning they intended.

The aforementioned budget shortfall has me rethinking my job choices. I mean, how happy can I be with a district which will give me a 2% raise, and then - not only will I probably have to give back at least half of that, I may loose even more. The contracts will be broken, it is just a question of how. So, how can you work for a district, company, whatever that breaks trust with you? hmmm. and, yes, I consider breaking my contract to be breaking my trust. I'm not worried about them changing my assignment, I'm pretty much figuring that is going to happen. I'm OK with that, but taking some of my pay???

Then there are all the programs that the district has been trying to develop (including but not limited to the one I've been working on, a tier 2 intervention, that the state is asking schools to implement). There are many programs that we just aren't going to have the money to pay for now. I think THAT is really what is going to hurt the district for a long time. We aren't meeting AYP, and are on an improvement plan from the state. Almost all of the high schools in the state are, I think. This budget shortfall is not helping us improve ANYTHING. Class sizes are going to increase, pay is going to go down - at least for this year - despite having contracts. People are going to not be replaced if they retire, and others may be shifted from one school to another, even in the middle of the year.

It really doesn't sound good to me, on more levels than just complaining about my personal finances. I think it is going to be more disasterous than even that. Not what I want to contemplate, really, but I can't hardly help but speculate. I just won't do any more right now. Bed I can handle...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

the new president

I think it is about time we had a black president. Now I've said it. Now, it's true. We actually have elected the better man, and yes, I can say "we" because I voted, and I voted for Obama.

There are people who have been so brainwashed by prejudice, and by religious zealots that I have heard rumors that he will start killing jews, and other outrageous claims. I don't understand where these rumors get that foothold. Oh, I understand where they come from, all right, from an eyes-open attempt to deceive and mislead people so that they can be manipulated. I may not like politicians much in general, but I wouldn't believe for a minute in the country of the USA, today, we would elect anyone who had holocaust or genocide on their personal agenda. It is neither socially acceptable, nor politically correct, and politicians, if they want to stay in office, must pay attention to those things.

Anyway, I got new glasses last evening, and my eyes are still adjusting to them, so I'm headachy and tired, and ready to head to bed. Congratulations, America! One small step for man, one giant leap for America.

Monday, November 3, 2008

m night shamalyan

At least I hope I spelled that correctly.

We just got done watching The Happening, his latest movie. OK, so we're slow. Movie theaters, although they tend to have nice air conditioning, often lack comfortable seating. The popcorn and sodas are expensive, and they don't pause the movie when you need to run to the potty. So we have a pretty extensive collection of movies on DVD, including - as of Sunday - The Happening.

The movie was sold in a 2-pack, with the newest version of Planet of the Apes, for about $15. To me, this was not an auspicious beginning. The movie hasn't really been out all THAT long. Still, we like M Night's other movies, and own them, and if one is to be wrong about these things, $15 is not too high a price to pay. Heck, we'll probably even watch Planet of the Apes some day.

So, since we have all been wanting to see it, we plugged it in and fired up the DVD player and sat around in the comfy chairs. Now, for a movie about a lot of people dying, which everyone who has seen even one commercial or trailer for this movie knows is IN the movie, it is not an incredibly violent movie. OK, the everyone is killing themselves scenes are not the easiest parts of a film I've watched, either, but the suggestion of gore is really as effective as the actual fake blood spattering the camera lens is any day. For a "horror" movie, there is a lot more story, and a lot less gore than you might think. I suspect that is why this movie did not do as well as some of his others, in general. The story is a reasonably good one, loosely a romance, with nature as the killer villian... at least, probably... and if you like his movies, you'll probably like this one. If you are looking for non-stop blood curdling death, you probably will be disappointed. If you're not looking for that, you may want to close your eyes now and then...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

typical sunday

Today, pretty much, was a typical Sunday for me. We did loads and loads of laundry. The weekly shopping trip to Sam's. We managed not to eat out. Carl made sweet and sour chicken. From scratch. Even the sauce. Yes, even the sauce. I know because I helped with that part. Ron worked some on the shed he's been trying to put together. I almost emptied out a box of crochet magazines and books. I had to wipe the dust (and other stuff, but we won't think too much about that, la la la) off of them with clorox wipies.

In other words, I did some stuff, not working too hard at any time, but progress got made. That is kind of my favorite way to do household chores, kinda slow and steady, moving a bit from one thing to the next and then back again. Take a little time out to play a game on the computer for a bit, then back to the chores. Raine watched TV until she was watched out, then she put her shoes on and went out to play for a little while. I wonder about her and playing outside. We had no problem going outside to play, but then there were three of us, and we had each other to play with. She's an only and I wonder if that is part of her thing about not wanting to play outside. Maybe we whined and complained more than I remember...

I well, I got up too early, and I'm going to try to get to bed a little early to make my Monday just a little nicer. Hope you all have a good week! Vote on Tuesday!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

daylight savings

Don't forget to change your clocks. It's that time again. Is it just me, or does there seem to be some sort of convergence here? A confluence of energies... Halloween, going off daylight saving time, presidential elections... all rather centered around this weekend. Should I beware what may fall from the sky?

Speaking of the sky, I hope you got to see the moon tonight where you are. It was a little fingernail sliver, and when I saw it, it was on the way to setting. Turning from clear to ruddy as it neared the horizon. Lovely.

We had lovely split pea soup for dinner. Home-made, of course. We got a three-pack of smoked turkey legs at Sam's a few weeks ago. I used one to flavor the soup, and it was very yummy. I think this is a recommendation, in fact. We wanted something that would be pretty easy to put into soups, or to flavor beans or the like when cooking them. So far we used one leg in the split pea soup and another in a batch of black-eyed peas. There really is a good amount of meat on the leg, and not much fat, but the smoke flavor adds a lot of richness. Good for those use less red meat diets. The turkey legs can be put in their own bags in the freezer for easy pull out and pop in the pot-ness.

So, I hope you had a lovely, relaxing Saturday, too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

halloween


OK, so I did take pictures. Are you surprised? Of course not. Are you impressed that I posted them today? Maybe. (are you too nice to come out and say yes?)

This is the space alien suit I've been working on. That mess in the background? Right, the craft room, lol. Finally got the helmet finished last night. She decided no antennae, although we were ready with something to make them. She did get green face make-up, I mean alien after all...

Halloween in our neighborhood is kind of nice and low-key. About a third of the houses give out candy, including us. Most of our "customers" are small children with their parents, to elementary aged kids. Only a few teenagers, although there seem to be a growing contingent who think wheeling a baby around in a stroller gives them permission to collect candy too. I'm talking baby, not toddler, even. Right. If you give this candy to that baby, you are crazy... I mean, really, you're an adult, buy your own candy or swipe it from your kids like everyone else. Still the trick or treaters were done by 8 PM, and Raine could have her bath and head for bed and it wasn't even too much later than normal. Ron and I could move on to other things, like playing WoW...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

yikes part 2

I read one of my e-mails this morning, at work, and had a bit of a shock. One of the things my district is now talking about to help balance our budget is to basically force everyone to take a week off without pay. I have so many reactions to that, I have a hard time putting them together in my own head.

First, week without pay better than loosing job. Even better, there was no description of how that "no pay week" would be not compensated for. Now, I know in most jobs, you fill out time sheets and you mark down the hours you worked and you get paid for your hours. Teachers are basically salaried employees. You are contracted for a certain number of days, with a certain amount of pay. While the work days - for my district at least - run from August through May, our paydays run year round. That is to say, my sum of pay is divided into 24 increments, and I get paid twice per month (more or less). So, I don't really get paid next week for the hours I worked this week. I get paid for most of them, with a few being paid for in the summer, when I'm not working.

So, with this proposed "vacation," they could handle the lack of pay several ways... give us a paycheck for one week worked instead of two. Pay your bills on that, I dare ya. They could spread that lack of pay through several, or even the checks through the rest of the contract year. A little less noticeable, but still that doesn't feel good, does it. Or they could do some kind of something in between.

None of it really makes me happy. Oh, sure, I'm just as happy as the next person not to work, but believe me, I want that paycheck. I have bills to pay and all... That was what I signed that contract for, so many days, so much money.

Now on to the other implications... At the end of last school year, when gas prices were way up there, and I was wondering what kinds of things were going to happen because of it, I thought about this. What if the school district(s) was forced to close because they ran out of money? What kind of ripples would that have? If our schools are closed for an extra week, there are a lot of district employees who make a lot less than I do, who would be hurting for money. There would also be bus drivers feeling the pinch. What are all those kids going to be doing at home while mom and dad have to work? Daycare for a week? Will we meet the state requirements for hours for our classes? I know there is some time built in, for that miracle of a snow day, but a week??? Will they take away the teacher prep days at the beginning of the semester? Questions, questions, questions... and where are the answers? I hope some of them are on a new e-mail that I'll get to read tomorrow morning... I hope I like what I read, or at least don't hate it too much. I hope this whole thing isn't a sign of the apocalypse...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

yikes

As if testing, testing, testing wasn't enough, the school district I work for has a budget shortfall of 3.9 million dollars. Yes, I know, someone, somewhere wasn't doing right by us. And they are gone now. So is the money. (and not to me, either)

What now? Well, Cynthia Nava, our superintendent, has several ideas. She and others at Central Office have turned in their GISD vehicles and their gas cards. She's asked everyone to be conservative in their energy usage. She also said, to help defray the cost of substitute teachers, that the people who work at GAC (Central Office) would be acting as subs. woah. Don't know how many days a month any particular person there will be a sub, but, wow, just think of having the district superentendent walking in to be your sub. You better be doin' it right, is all I got to say... I mean the classroom teacher. I think you would want her to see your classroom at its best, even without you in it. But what I cool thing for her to do! And, yes, she said that she would personally act as a sub, as well. Not just "other people."

So, should I worry about my job? Should others in the district? Well, who knows, but I'm not jumping the gun, here. There is now a hiring freeze, not a surprise. They are expecting to loose teachers through attrition, like retirement, etc, but not to have to fire anyone. They may have to move people around, some, though. For instance a new elementary school is planned and budgeted for etc, but they won't be hiring new people to staff it, but moving teachers around in the district to do so. I suspect my job will change from what it is now to something else. The budget issue might affect what it changes to, but I know that my job is going to change somewhat, no matter what the budget does. I'm developing an intervention, and it is going to change, no matter what.

So, what about this budget thing? I will wait and see. I am interested in finding out what happens and how the issues are resolved. I mean with the economy what it is already, and no one offering to bail out schools, only big businesses, well, I'm sure you get the drift here. I wonder just what, exactly, is going to happen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

mmorpg

So, Ron came up with this idea. Let's play Warcraft again. I kinda went "huh? I thought you were just DONE with that game..." Well, he was. But time has passed. There are new games on the horizon, but it is one of those trick horizons and they never seem to get any closer.

We've tried other games. He's tried more than I have. See, I do other stuff. Not necessarily any more meaningful, nor better, just other. Then when I would get to sit at the computer needing the undivided attention and stuff, there is a five-year-old running around my house. This sitting and paying attention thing was more difficult when she was younger, but it still holds. He and I have about an hour in the evenings to play on the computer. The hour between Raine going to bed, and Ron going to bed. That is not enough for me to learn a new game. It just isn't.

Ron plays them in the afternoons and he figures them out. Really, he's better at them in the first place, than I am, but that is OK. (we're coming back around to the topic, really we are...) When we try a new game, like Lord of the Rings Online, or Warhammer, there is a learning curve. I get to take care of it in that one a-fore-mentioned hour. He takes care of it long before I do. Then, when we are playing, I follow him around and feel pretty useless. I have no idea where the quests are. I can't hit anything first or hardest, or even soak up that much damage. If there is a chest, I don't get to open it. Wait. What do you mean that doesn't sound like all that much fun? OH, right. It doesn't because it isn't. I could put my character on autofollow and have just as much effect, generally speaking.

Well. Other things are more important right now. They just are. But I have missed the computer gaming. I have enjoyed it. It is something that we can share. In the past, when Ron was ready to change games, I didn't care which game. He gets through them faster than I do, but I'm willing to try something new. I vowed that I would really try to learn Warhammer, and I meant it. I don't think I was doing too badly on it. But then, I would come in to see what Ron was doing, and he would be busy with something else, and I would get busy with something else myself. So, again, the play was still missing.

This week we've started new characters on a different server, and we are already level 11 and long out of the first newbie zone. We are playing a race we hadn't before, and back on the horde side. We started in the horde, but then took up alliance. Its been a good while since we played horde and there are new places to explore, and we'll have to be careful not to run up on things that were friendly to alliance just because we are used to doing it. I think I'm happy to be back to WoW. To have to face a much shorter learning/relearning curve. To feel useful and able and to enjoy the game for a change. Besides, the random name generator in the game came up with a very cool name: Variaria.

Monday, October 27, 2008

experiment results

Ok. I took pictures yesterday evening, and got them onto the computer, and into my blog. Then I tried to take them over to Ravelry, to illustrate my projects list there. I was halfway successful. I got the picture of the bag onto Ravelry. But the dragon would not go. I'm wondering if it is because it is not the latest picture on the blog or what. I don't think that should matter... but maybe? or because it is the second picture pulled from the same source? Ack who knows. I can't seem to get them in by loading an image from my computer either (which you would think would be the easiest and simplest).

Ahh well. still in search of that pattern...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

testing one, two


Well, since I got the camera out, I thought I would take one of the bag, finally. Here it is. Now for the experimental part... will I be able to get it to show up on Ravelry, now...

new project


A few years ago... ok, probably more than 10, and closer to 15 (I hope not 20) I crocheted a bunch of cool dragons. They are about 2-3 feet long and one of the reasons I really liked them was that each one seemed to take on a personality, and many even got named before they were given away. Yes, all but one was given away. That is what I do with things I make, generally speaking. The dragon in the picture is the one I made for Carl.

So, I would like to find the pattern and make one for Raine. I would make her other things, like dolls, or doll clothes, but she really doesn't care for them. She plays with the one I had, and she enjoys stuffed animals a lot If I made her one, then she could pick out colors, etc and have her own. Then I might, just might, get Amethyst back.

But here's the problem. The craft room. I know, didn't I say I was going to organize it during Fall break??? Well of course I said that. Didn't I do anything in there? Yes, actually, I did. I took some boxes of books out of there to my class room. I have spotted another box that can go there, too. I found a box of Lou's crochet patterns that I need to get out of the box clean the dust off of and find a home for, so I can look through them for future projects. I got some other stuff out of that room too. There is a serious dent in the stuff! but still no pattern for dragons.

I looked online for the pattern, to no avail. I mean, I found some cute patterns, and I'll be trying one of them, too. Just not the pattern I was wanting. Sigh.

Now my fingers are all in the mood for crochet and dragons. I was going to get to shop for yarn!!! But I won't until I find that pattern. I'll be good. Sad sorta, but good...