Friday, July 31, 2009

more of the same

I worked in my classroom today. It was HOT! in there. I got a couple of fans moving some air around but the sweat! Oh my goodness. I got more desks in the room. It seems more crowded, but there should be enough seats for everyone. The newly aquired desks really need to be cleaned, but at least there should be enough seats for everyone. I think I got most of the copies made that I needed. I wondered why people weren't in there making copies all day long, but the rizo machine wasn't even there until late in the afternoon, and I got there first.

So the preparations are at least at a satisfactory level. I haven't had the "I can't seem to find my classroom (or a functional restroom)" dream, but I have had other stress related dreams. That and the waking up every 10-15 or even 5 minutes to see if it's time for alarm to ring. And the students haven't even started yet.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

hot and tired

Well, the first day went well. Of course, it was meetings, meetings, meetings. That's pretty much just what you have to expect. That's the good news.

I went into my classroom late in the afternoon. The switch on my swamp cooler said "high cool" BUT there was no cool at all in there. Not even the pretense of air movement. Yuck. Ugh. Blech. To say I sweated would be an understatement, and I didn't even do any rearranging. Tomorrow isn't looking much better, even though I did make sure someone knew about it. Please, please, please, oh please, let it be cooler in there on Monday...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

nom, nom, nom, oops, eek, a dragon!

Dinner tonight was one of those that you eat making yummy noises with every bite. It was fabulous. Carl made an Indian dish with shrimp and mustard greens, with a coconut milk sauce that is out of this world. O.M.G. He took a picture of his plate, and I wanted to include it here, but it didn't come up on the memory card from the camera like it should have. It was lovely to look at and even better to partake of. Oops, you can't see it OR taste it, though, this time.

On the other hand, I got the major parts of the camoflage dragon assembled finally, and I took pictures of that and I could find those, so here they are. I did something different that I usually do with the assembly. I found some buttons and used them as ends to sew the arms and legs in place. This is the first dragon I've made with arms and legs that will move. He still doesn't have his back ridge on, but other than that, he's complete. He turned out rather well, too, I think.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

take a moment

I had a hectic day today. It was chaotic and full, and - fortunately - reasonably successful. What do I mean by that? Well, I picked up and cared for and dropped of children as needed. Carl & I shopped. I got teeth filled. We made it to dinner at Grandma's.

My dentist experience gave me a feel for how it might feel to have had a stroke. The whole right side of my face was numbed, up to my eye, and including my ear. Its better now, and did not present a problem at dinner, thank goodness. I'm not used to getting shots, my last dentist used gas, but it did the job and the fillings were done quickly and I got to come home.

After I got back from the dentist, I finished cutting out the couple of things that I didn't get to yesterday, and added them to my stash. When we got back from dinner, I ironed and picked patterns for 3 more pieces. I even cleared out the living room so others could use it. WHEW!

Tomorrow will be hectic again, with my niece visiting, and I'll be picking up the kids at Grandma's so they can go to the pool. She'll be staying at our house tomorrow night as well, so I had to make arrangements for rides to splash camp and back to Grandma's for the rest of the week, since I'll be starting back to work on Thursday. It will probably be calmer, there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

prepare for fall

Sewing, that is. How do I prepare? Shopping for supplies? Patterns? Fabric? Nope... preparing for this fall's sewing (OK, and possibly beyond) means putting scissors to fabric around the pattern. In other words, I've spent a good part of today pinning pattern pieces to fabric, unpinning, moving them around a bit, repinning, marking bits, and - finally - cutting.

Why is that called preparing? Well, of course, I need something cut out before I can sew it. That part is obvious. I hope. But it isn't my favorite part, which I think I've mentioned before. My solution is to get all the stuff together and then just cut out a stack. Then I can pick from the stack to sew. If I feel like wearing something new, voila. Carl's birthday is coming up? No problem! Starting a Saturday sewing circle? Got it covered. See? Prepared!

Some people are content with a stash of fabric. Me, I need a stash of cut garments, ready to sew. I used to try to group them according to color of thread used to sew, and then get a production line going. I've found, however, that getting one project at a time out, and being able to finish it in a sewing session or two seems more productive and intrinsically rewarding while the production line is more overwhelming, and often sits. And sits. And sits... I think you get the idea.

I've got several things I would like to wear soon, so I hope I can cut some more tomorrow, but having the table out blocks the room pretty well, so I need to finish the lot soon. Then, it will be back to shuffling the patterns to the fabric, and procrastinating cutting anything out for a while.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


When I was at the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, I picked up a couple of cucumbers. This afternoon, I peeled one, and I sliced it. Oh, it smelled wonderful, fresh and light. I bit into a slice, and all I could think of was, hmmmm this needs salt and vinegar.

My parents kept a jar or bowl of easy refrigerator pickles in the fridge almost all summer. People who came to the house would know they were there, walk into the kitchen and find crackers, pull them out and help themselves. My dad never minded, unless you forgot to make one for him. We never called them pickles, they were always cucumbers and onions.

The recipe couldn't be easier. Peel and slice a cucumber or two. (figure out what you want to put them in, then you can see how much you need, a bowl that will hold one cucumber is OK). Slice a small to medium onion, depending on how much you like onions. Put the cucumbers and the onions in the bowl. Sprinkle salt over them. fill the rest of the bowl with half vinegar and half water. Make sure your cucumbers are covered with the liquid. Shake it gently to mix the liquids, and mix in the salt. Put this in your fridge for a few hours. Buy more cucumbers so you can put them in the vinegar mixture when you've eaten the ones you just made.

These are a great light snack on a cracker with cheese, or in a sandwich. The can also hold up to a little cheese if you want or need to leave the cracker or bread out. And they are yummy with cottage cheese or just on the side of your plate with dinner.

All this realization and memory flooded into my mind with a bite of plain, farmer's market cucumber this afternoon... And yes, of course I pulled out a bowl and made some. mmmmmmm

Saturday, July 25, 2009

morning person

I got up and got to the Farmer's Market this morning. Last year, Carl and I went almost every Saturday through the summer and fall and we really enjoyed the produce that we got. This summer it keeps passing us by. Today I was up, and I remembered, so I went and enjoyed. The tomatoes looked lovely. I found some little yellow ones, just right for popping into your mouth, and they were very tasty.

There was also a lot of gaming today. Ron and I played WoW, and then we went and played DnD4e. It has taken us a while to get the hang of these rules, and the way they've organized the powers and stuff, but we finally are getting used to it. Now if only our rolls would help us be awesome. But no. Not going to happen.

So, now I'm up late, after getting up early, so I'm pretty tired. I'm a morning person, and it definitely isn't morning now. Good night to you all...

Friday, July 24, 2009

quality time

This summer, I've been spending some quality time with my cousin, Roxanne. it's been great. We sewed her some clothes, and chatted and visited and played with my daughter and her grandson. Some really quality time. We've both enjoyed it.

Today she finished sewing up a top while I cut out a skirt. One with godets. She had some perfect yellow fabric for it, with a nubby stripe, texture not color stripes. It was one of those times when you might start out a little doubtful about the fabric, but the more you work with it, the more you like it. I think this skirt is going to turn out to be fabulous. It may be some work, I'll admit, but fabulous.

Her mom came over and sat and talked with us, too. We talked about this and that; sewing, family members, cooking. You know, that every day kind of stuff. We supported each other. We bonded. Some more. We took the baby outside and let him run around the yard. He sat on the porch swing with us and we sang nursery rhymes. He picked up pears that had fallen out of the tree. He even ate a little bit of pear that his great-grandpa cut for him. The breeze was nice, and the afternoon was cooling off. It was one of those moments to savor and extend as long as possible.

Now that my folks are gone, I sometimes feel my family is falling apart. Growing apart. Then, there will be a day like this one, when I know that its not. It's changing, of course. That is the nature of things. They change. But the change is OK. Things evolve. They may not be the way you pictured them once upon a time, but that doesn't mean that they are bad, or wrong, or that you can't find your place. Your good place. Somewhere in a Friday, summer afternoon turning to evening, sitting on a porch swing with people you have known all your life.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

torchwood review

Woah. Fabulous. Wait, do I need to explain a little more? Probably.

Torchwood is a spin-off from Dr. Who. The heart of Torchwood is the quite attractive Capt. Jack Harkness, who, through no fault of his own, can not stay dead. He just can't. He is joined by some techno geeks, personal assistants and ex-cops to help out Britain - if not the world - with the problems of those nasty aliens who either want to take over Earth, eat all humans, or both.

As a Dr. Who spin-off, and being British, you must expect those things - and I generally find them refreshing - that British television does and American television does not. Not everyone in the cast is beautiful. Nor do they have perfect teeth, nor a perfect figure. The show can be clever, and still show evidence of the British humor I've come to enjoy as well.

Not every episode of Torchwood is as good as this miniseries. I'll say that right of the bat. The miniseries begins season 3 of the series. Season two ended with a couple of the team members dead. This season begins with a reduced team, trying to recruit... Well, I don't really want to do much plot spoiling, but there is exciting drama, political intrigue, nasty yucky (both gross and definately not good or helpful) aliens who want 10% of Earth's children. They've been here before, and gotten what they wanted. Wait! Who was involved then? WHAT? Well, there is loss, and success. Drama built well through the episodes.

There are, by the way, five episodes. BBC America is showing them this week, two episodes per night. For instance tonight was 3 and 4, tomorrow night will be 4 and 5. We started with 1 and 2 and the power went off during the first part of episode 2. Yikes. That was enough to get Carl to download from Bit-Torrent. Now, we've watched them all, although I must admit that I need to see parts of the last episode. They will be available on DVD either this weekend or next. I would really like to buy them, although I think BBC tends to set their prices rather high. Still, this series is a watcher!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

more about yarn

Or maybe patterns. The yarn shop that I got to visit was awesome, as I mentioned yesterday. I got a very cook pattern book called Crobots. yay! Expect to see some pictures of some soon. As soon as I get the dragon finished that I've been working on. Yep, one for Ron. Raine is sure that her daddy doesn't need it nearly as bad as she does, but no. It's for him. He's pretty cool looking. An experiment in variagated thread that went RIGHT.

Have I mentioned my thing about variagated thread? Well, on the skein, they look cool (at least the ones with good colors do... ) So I'm always tempted by them. But they can go so wrong so easily. I don't like it when the colors group up and make splotches. Its called pooling in the craft trade (aren't you glad you know that now?). This one did not pool badly. Since I was working in the round, I got some stripeys that were cool. It also has some tweedy-ness and it just came out looking mostly like what it is supposed to: camoflage.

Anyway, expect to see pictures of him soon. Unlike most of the dragons I've made this one hasn't named himself yet... or maybe he has, but he's hidden it (ha ha). Then some crobots... but I don't know which one first. Should it be the dogbot? or maybe the Geishabot? Of course the zombiebot will have to make an appearance here soon, too...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

she's back

The conference was fine. The presenter I attended did a decent job, and I even learned a little something about a strategy of teaching literacy. Two nights away from home and family, and although I acquired them later in life than most people do, and have thus, spent much time on my own, I miss them when we are not together.

I was treated to a fabulous yarn shop in Albuquerque, though. I bought a book of amigurumi type patterns but no yarns... I was sorely tempted, however. If I'd had a project in mind, I would definitely have indulged. In fact, I'm inspired to GET a project in mind so I can go back and indulge.

I caught some Torchwood on the tellie this evening as well. The start of the third season. Two episodes of the five parter. I'm interested to see how it turns out, too. Well, I saw most of two episodes. We had a storm move in and take out the lights, so we waited for it to move off before we turned the electronics back on. In fact I nearly left the computer off, only I've been away and without it for those couple of days, so...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

some old dice

When all else fails, trade dice. Or trade back. Remember how I talked about loosing well last weekend? Well, it was gaming night again, and we were back in that same dungeon, and facing more foes. And my rolling this week? Ahhhh not so hot again. I started with the old faithful dice that I've had for a long time, thinking they would work out when all others failed me. Still, I couldn't hardly roll to save my own life (and I'm the HEALER, for goodness sake). Finally, though, the dice warmed up and I did a little better.

See, I know people who make a character, and find dice for that character, and those are the ones they use for that character ONLY. Me, I'm not that way. I know that once I touch a die in a game, especially a 6 sided die, its ruined. Well, not broken, technically, it just doesn't roll well any more. For anyone. My old faithful dice, though, they have personality. Or maybe I should say, they help me create character for my characters. The rolls are interesting, which make the character interesting...

Once they warmed up tonight, those dice reminded me why I liked using them for so long, and resisted getting other dice for so long. Good dice...

On another front, I'll be AFK (away from keyboard, for those not online gaming knowledgeable) for a couple of days while I go to Albuquerque for a conference for school. I'll post again when I return.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Yes, sleep and antibiotics have certainly helped. Raine was MUCH more herself today, eating normally, and wanting to play with her friends. We're not rushing that last one, so she was kind of disappointed. Oh well. Her foot was much improved today, looking much less red and swollen. Even the fever has gone down. The IV dose of antibiotics should give her system time to build up the oral one she's taking and hopefully we won't have it flare up again.

I'm not one to rush to the emergency room for every little thing, but if she would have had to be so miserable and sick and all for 24-48 more hours until the antibiotics really kicked in... well, I'm thinking we got positive feedback that we made the right choice.

talk it out

This has been one long day.

It started about 3 AM with Raine waking us up because her foot hurt. Sometimes she gets growing pains so without looking at it, we gave her a couple tylenol and popped her back in bed and she - and we - went back to sleep.

Then at 8, when she woke up, she still had the same complaint. I could tell by looking at her she didn't feel well. Her foot was red and swollen and hot. Her head was hot. I took her temp, and sure enough she had one, not screaming high, but that foot said infection, and there was no obvious wound or bite or anything. I gave her tylenol and called the doctor (who just this month joined a medical group). Well, we got an appointment and went in... to wait, of course. We got seen, and antibiotics prescribed, with the admonition that if it got worse, she would probably need IV antibiotics and a hospital stay. The tylenol worked its magic, and she could walk on her foot, and felt a little better, and she watched a lot of TV through the afternoon.

Around 6 - about an hour after she got another dose of tylenol, I noticed that she looked feverish again... and sure enough 101 this time. I looked at her foot, and it looked worse too. To make an already long story a little shorter, we ended up in the emergency room, where she got iv antibiotics. She didn't have to stay overnight, thank goodness, but we made it home about 1 AM. I didn't make it to the dentist for that filling. We get to go back to the Dr in the morning for another check on her foot.

She was unhappy about getting the IV put in, and almost as unhappy about it coming out. (she doesn't like to see the blood AT ALL) but the nurses in both cases did a great job of keeping it quick and to a minimum. She's exhausted. We're exhausted. But hopefully, getting it out of my system will help me relax enough to sleep.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

more filing

Yep, we may need a new shredder by the time I'm done. I've emptied boxes, though. So it's all for the good. Yes, the boring good. The organized, boring, good.

So, I decided to share a blog with you. It's called CakeWrecks, and it has definitely been amusing me the past few days. Be sure to check out their recent wedding cake entry. The difference between what the bride wanted, and what she got.... well, I guess if you have progressive ideas that include the technically correct use and coloration of fondat, hire someone who can really use the stuff. I'm just sayin. here is the website to copy and paste: I'll put the link in the link list.

On the agenda for tomorrow? More filing and organizing, but I hope I can get done with that dusty stuff because the sinus headache from it is making me very cranky.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Well, I did some important stuff today that has been on my list for, well, about a year. Yep, filing. Its all part of cleaning my desk, but it isn't very exciting. I'll finish it tomorrow, and hopefully find something more interesting to blog about.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


School is just a couple of weeks away. At least for me. Raine gets a couple more weeks of summer, but our district is starting earlier than the Cruces district. Again. Sigh.

Anyway, the school supplies are showing up in the stores, and we took advantage of some sales today to get a head start on getting ready. There is just something about heading to school with new notebooks and pencils and crayons, etc that holds hope and anticipation for the whole year. A fresh start. A new beginning. It was like that for me as a kid, and its like that for me now, as a teacher. I even had some inspiration today, looking at the supplies, for some lesson plans. I thought that was pretty cool.

I certainly would love to have the extra two weeks of summer that Raine is getting. I'll be ready, though, when it is time for me to go back. I've been able to recharge the batteries of inspiration and patience. I have some new ideas, and I hope some "better" ideas, and I will like trying them out. I've been in an alternate setting for a couple of years, and I'm ready for having my own classes again. Or, I will be, in another couple of weeks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

loosing well

I like to play games. Not head games, or drama games or relationship games. I like board games, and role playing games. Of course, playing means loosing sometimes. With board games, I pretty much don't mind loosing, as long as the game is fun. While role playing the loosing is a little different. It basically means you've died. It happens. If there is a challenge, sometimes you just fail it.

I mean, I have a hard time with it sometimes, because there is usually some frustration involved. Often because I can't roll the dice well. I know it too, and I'm not the only one in our group that has the problem. We make fun of ourselves and tease each other about it all the time. Its one way I know we are pretty honest about our rolls. I think that is a nice thing about a gaming group in general.

There is also the time and effort you have put into building a character. In many ways it's difficult to give that up. Usually, you don't have to. Unlike life, there are magical resurrections and the like to allow you to continue playing that character. So even a battle that goes very badly isn't necessarily the end of the line. On the other hand, sometimes starting a new character is just the thing. New skills, new personality, new fun to be had. A character's death isn't always so tragic in the long run.

So, here is what I try to do in those situations. I might sigh from time to time, but I try not to mope. I try not to get mad, either. I know that the ref isn't out to kill my character - or anyone else's for that matter. We are better friends than that, really. It's disappointing that I can't contribute to the group effort in a close fight. I think that is really the worst thing. That, and no more turns for me. Since role playing games are about participation, THAT is the big deal.

So, of course this evening, I spent a good amount of the time mostly dead. It was a close battle, and I was not the only casualty, merely the first (and of course I am the healer). Still, as a group, we met that challenge despite the poor odds and the even poorer rolling of the dice. I managed not to get pissy about it, and stay involved enough to cheer on the good that others could do. Still, I guess, thinking about taking my crochet with me might have been OK after all.

Friday, July 10, 2009


We reached one today. After about a month of tentative wiggling, and careful chewing, Raine lost her first tooth this evening. She had been rather stressed over it, as I'm sure many children are. She worried when she was at the dentist that they would pull her loose teeth out. She worried later that she would have to go back and then they would pull some teeth out. Her friend Ezekiel had to have a couple pulled, and she figured it would be her turn next, I guess.

Still, We have managed to get the tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy. She asked what the tooth fairy looked like, and I told her kids don't get to know, since the tooth fairy only comes when they are asleep.

I'll bet the next one will be a little easier all the way around.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

i fix it

So part of the deal with cleaning the bedroom is really getting to some stuff that has been sitting there a long time, waiting for me to get around to it. Gathered up mending. Not for clothes, something WAAYYyyyyy more important: toys. Fabric toys. Some that should, with the right care, last forever... or at least until I don't care any more.

There were some bunnies that I made, that needed a little mending where arms or ears had been tugged just a little too lovingly. I didn't want them to go beyond repair, so on my dresser they sat. Now they have their boo-boo's mended. Ready for play or dressing up to be decorative once more.

There were also some dragons that I didn't make. Raine's had developed quite a rupture in a seam and the innards (some chalky kind of rocks, probably meant for aquariums) were becoming outnards. Bad news. Now also repaired. It took you long enough, Mom.

Happy to finally face up to it and get the needle and thread and thimble out. Happy most of all that they are no longer sitting on the dresser saying "Fix me!" and missing out on getting their fair share of play time. Still, repair just isn't as satisfying as initial fabrication.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So I worked on cleaning my closet today. I went through the clothes. It didn't take that long. I took some stuff out and still have to move a little stuff around. So far so good. The desk comes next, and then I keep working across that wall. When I'm done, I hope the desk will be a little more usable, and I won't feel so claustrophobic from the stuff stacked in front of the french windows/door. Of course having a door I could navigate through easily will make me yearn for the patio all the more. Sigh.

Ron made me laugh. When I told him I was cleaning the closet, he picked up the broom "Who are you, and what have you done with my wife? Where are the rest of the pods?" I could be obsessive about cleaning. I could. But, frankly, its too much trouble. Still, I like taking it all out, dusting off and straightening and organizing the way I want it. I like the books in alphabetical order by author. Albums, too... I just don't have time to get it all done. Not with all the sitting around and reading I have on the agenda.

Still, the closet will be better. The bedroom will be better. In time for school to start and me not to have time or energy to deal with it for another school year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

scrapbook, meet family tree

One of the things that has been rumbling and mumbling around in my head lately is the idea of doing some sort of scrapbook that would let Raine meet some of her family. It would be great for my niece, as well. Both are children of older parents, and a lot of our family on our mother's and father's side are far away, or gone already.

I know various family members from the various families have done some research, so I don't have to start from scratch, I don't think. I just have to get hold of the right people, and try to match faced to names, etc. I thought doing it in a sort of scrapbook would allow the information to be accessible while letting me arrange things in a way that would be easy to add to.

On top of all that, I wanted to create this electronically and digitally. There is no problem getting the information and the pictures into the computer...but I'm not that familiar with scrapbooking programs. This past weekend, I saw a scrapbook that someone had created on their computer. Score! I don't know the name of the program, yet, but I'm going to find out and see what I can do with it. I'm kind of excited about that because my aunt gave me some information on some of my dad's ancestors that is right along with what I needed. Fate is pushing me over the edge of starting this project, I would say.

Monday, July 6, 2009

it's the journey

That's what is important, right?

So our trip has been mostly good. Ron had a major allergy attack, and didn't feel well some of the time. Still, we have traveled safely, and saw the people we needed to see. That was important.

Sure we've spent extra time on the road. We stopped on the way out since we had a later start than anticipated, and we stopped on the way home since we could. And we were tired and ready to be out of the car for a while.

Can't say I'm such a big fan of hotels and motels. I know there are people who are, but not me. Oh sure, someone comes in and cleans up after you (if the next guest is lucky) but there is just not enough of "home" there. I was spoiled for that with the trailer travel my family did while I was growing up, and through my 20's. You get used to that bed, and you can sleep. You have your stuff so you feel more comforted. You know who cleaned up after whom, doing what, if you know what I mean...

All that being said, I'm very glad not to have to be fighting to stay awake while I drive, or trying to find a comfortable position for a but that is just done with that seat. We'll be home tomorrow, and that will be soon enough.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

prepare to travel

I finished the pants, putting in the waistband, elastic and hems. Tried them on and they felt like they fit pretty well. Don't have a full length mirror in the house, but Ron said they looked nice. Pretty happy with that pattern, and will probably make another pair from it. Might add pockets next time, although leaving them off makes for pretty easy sewing.

So tomorrow is departure day. We are taking a little trip to Texas to visit some long-neglected relatives. I'm looking forward to the trip, because I like traveling, and its a long drive but not a particularly difficult one. There is scenery. There are places to stop and "rest."

Keeping up with family is tough. I mean, how do people do it when they live so far apart? Time is precious, and it gets spread thin sometimes. Keeping the balance can be tough, too. I mean, you want to keep in touch. You want to visit, but you don't want to be a burden, or in the way. We have gotten out of the habit of visiting them, with this death or that move... and now we seem to be drifting away from a lot of our family. And I'm sure we are not unique in that.

So, anyway, packing and travel tomorrow, and a lovely family Fourth of July in the works. Don't know what we'll do for it, and don't much care. Visiting will be the point for me. May or may not be able to post, so, don't be anxious for me. Have a wonderful holiday weekend with your family, friends, neighbors, etc.