Monday, August 31, 2009

new post-y

I know I had something to say. Really. I did. But, now, staring at the screen, glancing at the keyboard for an inspiring letter to come to my rescue, there's nothing.

I do have a chore or two. That I should be doing. But I'm not, since I'm sitting here staring (as I've mentioned) at the screen. Take out the trash for trash day tomorrow. Grade papers in front of mindless TV. sigh.

I've made my fingers move, as sometimes just creating words can create inspiration, but even that is not helping, so I'll stop. Now, before I burst into...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

sunday, ahhh sunday

All the regular chores done, like the laundry and the dishes. Got some computer game time in, and arranged some for Raine (on my computer even). I even got a little sewing done - again for Raine, but who's counting...

Things that didn't get done: the grading that I brought home. I was good and got a set done on Thursday, but not over the weekend. I could have used it too, but... The papers tend to just travel with me. I so want grading to be a happy experience for me. I stack of "A" papers with only one or two mistakes here and there. Sigh. They aren't, usually. Still, the worst ones are the copied ones. The kids who copy don't even try to find someone who has done a good job to copy. Then, the copy mistakes and all. Spell a word wrong, it goes on and on. If someone along the line has bad handwriting, or garbles something... well, it just deteriorates.

So, that's the other side of the grading pyramid. The frustrating part. The part they don't talk about in teacher school... My assessment is... that you guys are terrible copyists!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Serger action

Over a year ago, a friend of mine arranged for me to get a serger type machine.It was a daunting thought to have to be responsible for all those threads, and needles and oh, it has a blade. Have I ever mentioned how often I bleed on things? I consider it a blood offering so things will be completed well.

Ok, the serger. It sat in storage. It sat in my craft room, on a counter behind stuff, waiting for me to be ready to use it. Last summer, my friend gave me some serger lessons. I operated her machine. I sewed up an outfit for Raine. Nothing exploded or even imploded. Still, that machine sat.

Finally, before school started, I put it out on the table where the other machine is. I uncovered it, got the book out, and threaded it up. I even sewed together a pair of pants that I have enjoyed wearing a couple of times. Today I took that baby out to Roxanne's for sewing day. I sewed up a top for her mom on it, and got a bunch done on a shirt for Raine as well. I left it there so Roxanne could work on the top she & her mom cut out for her (just like the one for her mom).

Wow, I felt like I was really getting comfortable with the machine. I could feel like I might use it more and more often. It works beautifully, and I could even do the tie the new thread to the old thread trick for changing colors, and it worked quite well. I still had to thread one needle, but still, I called it a success.

This one is fast fading from the "to do" list, and growing stronger on the "done" one.

Friday, August 28, 2009


So the other day, my brother Carl, the internet wiz, found something very interesting about the history of our family. It isn't terribly flattering to the family member involved, but wow, its an interesting story.

He found this news story, and related obituary. Its from the Wichita Falls, TX newspaper, from 1911. We found out that our grandfather's uncle... Our great-grandfather's brother, Frank Hursh, was a stalker and a murderer. He shot his ex-wife three times, then shot himself in the head.

Besides the "gory details" it is really interesting to notice the differences in newswriting from that time to this. The style is much more dramatic and florid than you read today. There are a lot more "judgmental (both positive and negative) comments."

Then there are the differences in the unfolding of events from what we would expect now. First of all, both Frank and his wife walked away from the scene. She leaned on her young daughter until a passerby helped her the two blocks to her house. The sheriff got Frank up on his feet, and talked to him, evidently fairly lucidly, although he was blinded by the shot, and didn't seem to realize it. He wasn't arrested. The sherriff said that would come later, if he survived, which was doubtful. Frank went to the home where his mother was living. Neither of them went to the hospital (there may not have been one nearby, in 1911), although both had doctors - different ones - attend them. They both succumbed to their wounds, she died before he did. Her sister took the three children to Tucumcari with her to live. (we had cousins in Tucumcari???)

So, this really isn't the part of your family history that you want to brag about. Still it was so cool to find it. We had no idea! OK, its probably not too surprising that our grandfather would talk about this uncle who did this terrible thing when he was a pretty young kid. Still... SOME of the family knew. We sure didn't. My cousin didn't either. I'm not real sure that my father or his brother knew. If they did, they sure never talked about it - although, when would that subject really come up? Now, of course, they're all gone. No one to ask about it, and maybe even - at least for anyone who might have any strong feelings about the events of that day - just as well.

So, what's in your closet?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dexter Season 3

Carl and I picked up the disks as Sam's last week, and have been watching an episode each evening.

The first season of Dexter was great! It followed the book well, with interesting additions. The second season wasn't quite as good, but still watchable. There were some interesting twists, but it was a little intense (um... we're talking about Dexter, right?).

The third season is different from the first two in several ways. I don't want to spoil anything, but I think I'm liking it better than season 2. Some twists. Some turns. Some humor, of course, in a twisted way.

The best part of all, I came across it unexpectedly in Sam's.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


No one's perfect, and - as much as I love my daughter - I realize that she is one of those imperfect beings as well. This evening, she lied about eating dinner, hoping to get a fudgecicle. She said she ate at her friend's house, but she did not. I checked it out, and not only did she not get any treats, she also had to sit and eat dinner at home... WITHOUT complaining about what she was having.

We've noticed a recent trend. We try to remind her to wash her hands after using the restroom, and have to check them, even if she says she did it. We have to check if she's brushed her teeth, on occasion as well. Now, I know that none of these "little lies" is going to cause the world to crash in, but if she lies about these things, who knows what she'll lie about in the future. SO, its time to nip it in the bud, as they say.

She lost TV for the evening, and earned an extra chore. We talked about how it wouldn't really be nice if she couldn't be trusted to tell us the truth. Her friend's parents wouldn't want her to play with their kids if they couldn't trust her. It would make me sad and I would have to watch her all the time so I could see what she was doing. You know, that sort of thing. Trying to mix some consequences in with some talking to. Hard to tell what sinks in, though.

I could use some suggestions though. What has been done that seemed to work?

Monday, August 24, 2009


So, instead of typing here, I should be printing up a couple of mailing labels and getting stuff ready for the mail... BEFORE those girls grow out of what I made them.

I should also - as soon as the mailing is ready - grade some papers that I brought home. Yep. Progress reports are due soon. Probably by the end of the week, although no one I have talked to has been able to save anything into the gradebook program any better than I have. Don't know how that will affect the timeliness of the progress reports, but... at least I'm not the only one who can't seem to work it.

Once those two things are done, (and frankly, maybe even before all the grading I brought is done) it will be pumpkin time. I've mentioned more than once how I am a morning person, right? Which means I'm not worth much in the evenings, and less and less the later it gets...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

making the grade

So, I'm a teacher. And I love my job. Mostly, anyway. The teaching part, certainly. The bureaucracy? Not so much. I love working through a lesson, and getting students to that moment of understanding, or at least practice. The grading? I can put that off entirely too long. But I'm getting better about it.

You see, my understanding of the assessment process is changing some. Evolving, really. I've learned about curriculum, and standards, and how to apply the second to the first. It really only makes sense that my brain is getting around to the assessment part of the learning process. I've begun to see assessment as a tool to guide teaching. Giving ME feedback on how my students are doing, not just me giving them feedback on how well - or poorly - they are doing. That means that timely assessment is even more important than just getting papers back to students quickly.

Which brings me to my gradebook. Well, sort of, anyway. I have my paper gradebook, as usual. This year the district has switched to an attendance program that also has a gradebook built in. Unfortunately, not all of the bugs are worked out quite yet. We had a little bit of training, and went into the gradebood program, and messed around a bit, practicing creating assignments and entering grades. The problem is, now I can't edit it. Actually - to be more accurate - I can't SAVE the changes I've made. Grrrrr frustration. All kinds of swear words. Wasted time and effort, to boot. I'm not sure if it is operator (me) error or some programming glitch that the district technology folks need to deal with.

I think that this program, once I can use it properly, it will be a handy program. We'll be able to print out reports to show kids which assignments they are missing. Parents will be able to check their child's grades as well. Nice, huh. But for right this moment, I'm not having a good time with it. *grumbles off into the distance...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

sewing sewing

I know I've mentioned Saturday sewing with my cousin Roxanne. Last week, with all the other things going on, we had to take a pass. Today, we were back at it, and accomplishing good things.

I wanted to get a skort sewn up for Steph's daughter. It's been sitting in the basket for about a month now, and I already had a top sewn up for her sister. Now I can send them both on. I sure hope they fit... Then, I hemmed a blanket for Roxanne's grandson. He loved it. It has kitties on it and they go "Meow." Just ask him. He'll tell you. (He's almost 2.)

While I was working on those, Roxanne was working on a new outfit for herself. Pants and a top. She got the top finished, and then decided it really needed to have slits in the sides, so while she did that, I went to work on the pants. I got the pieces put together and she tried them on, and it was a good thing she did, because they would have been too low-rise for her to be comfortable with. Now, we can find a fabric to go with them (it won't take much), and make a waistband with it that will be covered by the top anyway. It's going to be a cute outfit.

Besides that, I took a basket of stuff I have had cut out for ever... like since we lived in Colorado, 6 years ago. We went through the basket, and washed the pieces, so they wouldn't be so dusty, and decided whether to make up what was cut out, or use that fabric some other way. We also decided what to do with the uncut fabric that had been in the basket too. One of the pieces was a border print with cats along the bottom. It will be so easy to make a really cute skirt out of it that Roxanne will love. Another piece was some light denim, with lycra in it. It had been folded and near a window for a while evidently, and had faded along the fold lines. We decided to wash it with some bleach to make the faded bits more irregular, so then you could maybe make something out of it. I had to leave before the process was over, but even if it didn't work... quilt!

This is a great opportunity for me to go through my stash and be able to use some of it and organize the rest. If a fabric doesn't hit our imagination, creativity or needs for the moment, it can go back into the stash for a while until it does. I'm having great fun, sewing with Roxanne, and I so look forward to the time we get to spend together and work together. Dev, you really gotta come, too!

Friday, August 21, 2009

raine's first week

The first week of school - by all available accounts - went well. Raine likes her first grade teacher, which is a plus. Not a guarantee of work completed or good behavior, but a plus non-the-less. Her good friend from Kindergarten is in her class again this year, which is also a plus. I think she grew some more in the past week or so, too.

Really, it is interesting and encouraging to notice the differences and the maturing that has occurred over the past year. Last year, I had to wake her up every morning with pokes and tickles and even occasionally threats of no games. This year, we are working on a transition to an alarm clock. I take in a timer and set it for 10 minutes which she must get up and turn off. I talk to her when I go in, to kind of get the waking up on the road. So far, the timer has only gone off once. She's just been getting up and getting started.

Last year, she picked her clothes, and even though she was perfectly capable of dressing herself, I "had to help" her put them on. This year, she's doing it all on here own, without - at least so far - an undue amount of stalling or dawdling. She's combing her hair (well, at least the front) and we are on our way in a very timely manner. Its been really nice. I'm getting on the road at a reasonable time, and getting to school when I need to, not at the last possible moment.

Oh, I know, it won't be this good ALL the time. It might not even be this good next week... but still, its me noticing my baby is growing up.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I wish. I'm not even sure I can manage mildly entertaining. My mind is full of potential lesson plans with differentiated instruction included, or language accessable strategies. It is interesting to me, but I'm sure most of my readers would be asleep before the second paragraph.

I've been looking at the fall line-ups to see if any of my favorite shows have made it back for this season, and I've found a few. Dexter (even though I'll have to download them or buy them when they come out on disk), Heroes, Castle, and even Dollhouse is coming back. Yay. I caught an episode of Holmes on Homes a couple of weekends ago, when I was up early. I enjoy his show as he renovates houses that were "done wrong" and does them the way they "should be." Well, at least up to code, and safety, with quality construction techniques. He's from Canada, so I've learned something about the things you should do in cold, wet climates to protect your house from mold, etc.

We watched Ponyo at the theater last weekend. It was nicely animated, and the story wasn't bad, although you could surely see some cultural differences, when the mother left two five year olds at home with no other adults during a storm, so she could return to her job at the nursing home to take care of the old people. Didn't even take the kids with her. Nope. OK, it would have messed up the plot seriously, but still... The voice talent was excellent, and well cast. Still, if you can find Howl's Moving Castle, that's a better story.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

pictures and more pictures

Today our school day was spent taking pictures. I don't know a better way to achieve the end of having all the students get a photo taken, but all day??? Well. Maybe more cameras would help, but then...

So we sat with one class all morning, had a short, late, working lunch, and then zipped through the daily classes at about 30 minutes a pop. Sound like a productive day? They didn't even get all the pictures done. They still have to go through the freshman class. The good news is that the freshmen who went to orientation already have their pictures taken. The bad news is, all the others will take the opportunity to wander around the campus, too. Still, ID's are a good thing, and the yearbook, lets not forget that. Oh, and I got a few papers graded, so not totally unproductive myself.

So, the more pictures? I know I've already mentioned them more than once, but the CakeWreck's blog was cracking me up today. Bwah ha ha.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

in which i move on

Big, letting-all-the-bad-air-out sigh.

So, yesterday went well. We picked up all the stuff that would fit into my car, and some into Ron's. We'll get more stuff as it is uncovered/emptied. With good attitude and generosity. I'm sorry that Stacie is so overwhelmed, but she is. There is still so much to do.

So today it was back to school, and stepping back into the teacher shoes. Its kind of like stepping onto a moving platform that is traveling at just little different speed than the one you are on. You just have to hop on and try to keep your balance. There were some issues with students that needed to be dealt with by phone calls to parents, but when I was ready to make them, there was no one available to translate the Spanish for me. sigh. And tomorrow is going to be a crazy schedule and I probably won't have time to get it done then either. So much for timely response. Maybe I can at least get some grading done tomorrow. That would be a nice dream.

Then I wrote the checks for the bills. Why is it that paying your bills makes you grumpy? Well, it does me, anyway. You might think that would mainly occur if you were having trouble paying them, but no, pretty much anytime that stuff comes out, my cranky pants go on. The pants must be a set with the checkbook or something. Still, one more chore completed... at least temporarily.

Now if I just had the energy to deal with the dishes. Nope, not gonna happen right now. Shower. Book. Sleep. yeah, those are definitely in my immediate future.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

almost through the weekend

We made it through the funeral services. One pretty much does, doesn't one. Saying goodbye is such a necessary part of things isn't it.

I asked about coming to pick up stuff today, but was asked to come tomorrow. I had already taken Monday off to help deal with things, so its no problem. I just have to remember to ask for all the family things. Or leave a list if they happen to turn up or something. It means more boxes, and it means more memories stuffed away for a bit. That's hard right now. It will become easier with time.

The real upside of that is that I get to walk Raine to school in the morning for her first day of first grade and I will have time to walk her in and meet her teacher with her. I'm very happy to get to do that. So many of my age peers have raised their kids, and many are enjoying young grandchildren. I'm enjoying the love and laughter and crankiness of my daughter. I don't know that she keeps me young, or anything, but I cherish her, and this time with her more than I would have at any other time in my life.

It is also such a comfort when the heart and mind are struggling with death, to have children around. They fill me with hope and the knowledge that the future is waiting for us to get there. Any way. Smarmy or not. Profound, I doubt. I'm almost through the hard part.

Friday, August 14, 2009

its not

This weekend is not going to be an easy one. I'll be glad when I've endured it, and can go on.

First, there is my step-mother's funeral. Any funeral is not my favorite activity, and this one is no exception. We will go, and be with friends and family, and say good bye.

All the other issues are tied around that one, and I'll just have to see how they work out as they do. I've been worrying it and looking at things from this angle and that for the past week, with things running around and around in my head. Just when I think I've put it to rest... or at least settled it down some, there it goes again.

No, I'm not going to go into details here and now. Its complicated. It would possibly create some of the drama I would personally just as soon avoid. Just know that that look is in my eye. If you've seen it, you know the one. Yeah that one that means Just. Don't.

Maybe I will write about things more later on. And maybe I won't. Kinda depends on how this weekend goes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

two showers

That I drove through on the way home from work were about the best part of my day. Oh, yeah. And Carl made spaghetti. That was yummy. mmmm.

Wanted to be creative, but I just couldn't work up the momentum.

Wanted to be in bed asleep already... or at least cooled off in the shower, but I'm not that either yet.

Still, the smell of rain...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

after a deep breath...

...and sleep, and some consideration, things are in a little better perspective in my world. I knew if I ranted on that, I would be sorry. AND I would look bad, also. Not the right thing to rant about, nor the right time. Nor - truthfully - the right person to rant about. So.

Did you know that the MMORPG Champions is going live soon? Well, at least the beta is, which you get access to if you buy the game. It is a super hero online role playing game, in case you need a translation. Now, I have played the regular RPG Champions many times, and have created some mighty unique super heroes, if I do say so myself. I hear that the character creator for this game is very flexible and even lets you choose the color of the effects your powers make. Cool.

The biggest problem is... waiting for it. Yep. That's it. Waiting. Now you get to wait for me to tell you how it goes...

Monday, August 10, 2009

my mama said

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

I hope to talk to you all tomorrow.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I met a goal today. We were having company over for dinner, and I cleaned off the table so people could eat there. That had been one of my goals for the summer. It usually is.

See, I would like for the table to be in a usable state for us to eat at. But, it gets covered with stuff. A lot of stuff sometimes. I mean, there was the stale gingerbread house from Christmas. A dead plant. (it wasn't dead when it got to the table, and not for a long time even after, but now... dead)
And you know who leaves the table in this condition? Who creates the stacks of stuff?

I do.

I know. It's me. I own it. But at least, for today, the table is dinner ready. Until it's not, and then it will become the goal again.

I also unpacked one of those boxes that have been sitting around for ever. This one had evidently been sitting around since 1999. At least it was easy to decide where things went. 95% of it went straight to the trash. 5% will be yard sale fodder. 5% washed and kept.

So here's to meeting your goals, even when that wasn't your official plan for the day, and it just happens to work out that way. And here is to stuff that's easy to purge from your life, and the little treasures that you didn't even know were there.

...and to keeping the table unpiled with stuff so you can sit there and visit with a friend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

an observation, and a realization

But first, let me mention that once again, Cake Wrecks nearly made me loose my train of thought... *shakes head... and I thought I had questionable taste sometimes.

So, the observation and realization were made this evening at dinner. We ate at one of those big chains, that includes a bar along with the restaurant. This particular one has the bar in a separate room from the dining room. There was one of those "loud" women in there. You know the kind. This one was a loud laugher, and evidently she was enjoying herself. Or, at least wanting those around her to think she was. After a little while it got to sounding more like a drunken overdone loud laugh to me. Still, my point is not to judge that woman, who would probably look at me and how I look/dress/act with haughty disdain. The point was, I didn't want to be in her place, flirting and drinking and overacting the "good time" at the bar.

I've never been that "social"animal, at ease with people that I barely knew. I don't flirt well, and sitll, at almost 50, tend to go "ewww" at all that mushy stuff. Well, lets just say I prefer my displays of affection to be private. And I'm not, NOT flirty and simpering. I'm more the wall flower. I sit back and observe. I see what people will do in situations where they could take advantage of someone or what they think they can get away with when "no-one"is looking. I realized this evening that I'm not even envious of that easy socialization in those situations any more.

Oh, sure, I enjoy my friends. I love my friends, and getting to spend time with them, do stuff, create stuff, talk talk talk, be silly, even let go. But it is OK, to take the time to create that friendship now. I'm not shopping for a mate, so I don't have to even think about flirting with strangers - or noticing that they may be flirting with me. Any casual friendship can be just that - casual. I think it means that in some ways, I've become more comfortable with who I am, and who I've always been. That realization, that she could have it all she wanted, and I didn't have to, was like a wave of relaxation across my shoulders.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

long day

In a long week. With heat, and humidity. It's going well, and I can't complain about that, and really don't want to. I don't have the energy, though, to think of something good to write about.

There are clouds outside. Wonderful, lightening-y clouds. It wants to rain. It smells like rain. I would really love for it to rain. We've gotten a drib here and a drab there, but not enough to really water the lawn. (OK, I know, NM). I'd like a slow, soaking in rain that would last for a couple of hours at least, please. I could really enjoy sleeping to the soothing, natural white noise.

And here's hoping there is more energy tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

there is one, right?

Somewhere? Come on inspiration, you can't have ALL melted away in the late summer heat...

How about a post about responding to posts? Feel free to join in, here... get it? ha!

Fran's last blog - and a few others that she has written - is one she hopes that people will respond to. I did. I can't say I was much help, you see, but I thought I would do my part as a friend and write something. In many ways, I would like THIS blog - the whole thing, not just this particular entry - to be something of a conversation starter. So far the conversations are pretty short. If anyone responds, its likely to be Fran or Dev. Or spam. Fran and Dev are more fun. But not every entry gets - or deserves - a response. Not all of them call for one.

I'm becoming a little more responsive in my Facebook account. Actually initiating a comment or two, commenting on the posts of others. Getting into the conversations. I still don't do a lot of the applications or "quizes" and stuff, and I find getting e-mail notification every time anyone posts on my wall a little spam-y. OK, a lot spam-y, but I really like to be in touch with some people there. People that I don't get to talk to in my life outside the internets.

So, now, to pull this all together. What to do? I think my answer is: post. I plan to do that right about now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

moving through...

So today's post is still about school. Or at least learning. But it isn't about the heat. Yes, it is still warm in my classroom, but it isn't the opressive, pass-out-from-the-heat that it was yesterday. Yes, the administrators came and sampled for themselves. They are looking out for me, and my students.

So, what about learning??? Well, I am doing it. I had an ah-ha moment today. One of the learning strategies that we learned about for struggling students is sorting. I decided that sorting would be a good technique to use with the parts of speech, part of the 9th grade standards and benchmarks. Today my classes did the sorting activity, and wow, it really seemed to help them get a handle on nouns, and the different types of nouns. Pat on my back, lol.

The ah-ha moment was the realization that they were grabbing the handle, and climbing aboard the knowledge train, not using the handle to swing madly about the knowledge train they were already comfortable with. The revelation was that here is a beginning, there is the end. What am I gonna do to get them the rest of the way??? I think it has to do with use and construction, not deconstruction. I really want these students to get a handle on construction, so that they can use that construction knowledge to make sense of already constructed sentences. REALLY put the parts of speech to work for them over the next 9 weeks or so.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

let's see...

School went as well as could be expected today. It was hot. Very, very hot. Even though the custodian stood on a chair and said there was air coming from the vents, he was WRONG! But hopefully tomorrow will be better, on that front. I met my students today, and they seemed like a pretty good bunch. Of course they were still cowed and amazed by being at the high school, and trying to find their way around our campus and everything, but it was a good first impression.

Tomorrow, the work begins. Sigh. Still, I have that hopeful, beginning of the school year vibe going on here. So much stuff to inflict... uh... try out with the kids. Still, the heat is very draining, and while I should be reading through some papers, I'm having a very difficult time motivating myself to do it. Hence more typing...

On a lighter note, and just to prove school isn't the only thing on my mind, the Cake Wrecks site has really been amusing and amazing me recently. If you haven't checked them out, follow the link in the link list. Oh, yeah, and I'm ready to take a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives tour of the country...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

sunday again

And the eve of another school year. I don't want to talk too much more about it, because I've already talked enough about it, I bet.

We went and saw the latest Harry Potter movie, and there were teenagers everywhere, kissing or wanting someone to kiss them. Wanting the person they liked to notice them and want to kiss them... you know teenage stuff. And I thought I wouldn't talk about school... ha!

I liked it all right, although I don't think it is the best of the movies. There really isn't a mystery to solve. Well, there is, but it seems glossed over in favor of the above mentioned teenage hormonal explosion. I will admit that I have not read all of the books. Ron and Carl both have, and Ron described this movie as a montage of the best parts of the book. Hmmm Not really sure that is a good recommendation for the movie. My recommendation: if you've seen all of the others, see this one too, just don't expect that your favorite will loose its top billing. If you haven't seen any of the others, rent one or more of them, and wait for this one to hit DVD.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

another post

I went and sewed with Roxanne again today. We are trying to make it a weekly get-together. We have been enjoying the time spent together, and the creativity and the productivity. She and I talked about how creativity - both in the sense of being creative and in the sense of actually creating something was fulfilling in a basic sort of way. She is facing some health challenges, and being able to make things that she liked, and then were actually useful as she created the wardrobe that she wanted, helped her feel better about some things.

I agree with her about the creativity and creation, and feeling that those elements - like learning - have a place in our every-day lives. There have been times when I have realized how much happier in general I feel when I am including those kinds of activities in my days or weeks or whatever.

While I was there today, I had a couple of other insights that were cool. One had to do with the sewing guild, in a way. At least that put my thoughts in a frame of reference that I could wrap my head around. Sewing guild encourages its members to belong to "neighborhood" groups. These groups can - but don't need to -be people who are geographically near each other. Or, they can be a group of people who are interested in similar sewing projects. I kind of realized today that I was kind of starting my own family group. We are trying to get Roxanne's mom involved, even though she really doesn't sew, she can still be involved and visit with us, and be part of it, if she wants to. We also have invited Roxanne's niece to come. She could learn how to sew, and we could pass our creative skill to another generation. Cool, huh. I think we may even start inviting her sister in law. Don't think she sews, and don't know if she is interested, but - just like Roxanne's mom - there are still ways to help out and be a part. I was very excited and happy to make this realization.

The other insight has to do with my idea of "createlivity." Living a creative life and being personally creative. Having a venue to create regularly, and accept some creative challenges. I have been thinking about various ways to bring that about, to get started on that path, and here it is, right where my feet are walking anyway. Again, very cool.

So, this one simple activity, started almost by accident, is satisfying me in so many ways. It starts with being a wonderful way to make and keep family connections strong, and just blossoms more with each project. Today, Roxanne was sewing together the beautiful yellow gored skirt that I cut out last week, and I was sewing up a couple of tops that I had cut out in my cutting frenzy.