Monday, November 30, 2009


The end of the semester is fast approaching, and I need to give my students a mid-term. Before I give it, though, I have to design it. Sometime in between grading all those papers I brought home and since the gradebook is online now, the principals can tell at a glance when you're behind with your grading. Still, it sounds like work, doesn't it... Well, no place for that here right now.

Well, unless you count wishing for snow as work. Of course we wish for it, we don't get it every year. I think we had some about 3 years ago. Since we don't have to deal with it all winter long, it becomes something to wish for instead of something to dread. When I lived in Colorado when Ron and I first got married, I remember how weird it was that first winter, when we got snow about every 7-10 days. I mean, there was already snow, and here we were, getting more! What was up with that? We also dealt with a blizzard while we lived in Denver, so having those experiences under my belt have confirmed that I think snow is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there... except it can - occasionally - come and visit me, too... as long as I get the day off when it does.

So, I saw a few flurries today, but nothing that actually stuck to anything. We'll see what happens over night.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

weather report

Well, it started raining off and on Saturday afternoon, and its still with us. Nothing steady, just kind of off and on, with occasional heavy. It pauses long enough for at least some of it to soak in, and it has been just lovely. Really giving that "beginning of winter" feeling.

And yes, we do actually have a possibility of snow. Not so much for tonight, but through the day tomorrow, and into Tuesday. Cool, huh. I love those days where it starts to get snowy in the afternoon, and you know it's going to come down all night long. Magic, here in New Mexico. It makes us dream of snow days, and just being home, and playing outside, and drinking hot chocolate. Oh, yeah, magic.

So, here's to a little dream of magic. A nice end to a holiday weekend, that was a pretty nice little holiday. I might put the quilt on the bed, even, just because.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

saturday sewing production line

Well, we edged a lot of fleece to make blankets/throws for gifts. I think there were 15, and I have 2 more to do. We decided to make stuffed rocking horses, as well. About a dozen of them. While they are not in and of themselves difficult, we noticed - after we had done (or thought we had) all the cutting out, leaving tiny scraps - that one of the pieces was missing. An important piece. Sigh. So, off to the idea place, and we come up with a solution...

We got an extra sewing day in this week, thanks to Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful way to mostly avoid black Friday. We'll need it to get these projects done, I think, and some extra hands as well... Still, we got started on construction today, even if it was prep construction. There will be a lot of stuffing involved, and some hand sewing as well, even if it isn't a ton on each one, doing it a dozen times tends to add up.

I think the last time I made these, I kept the proto-type, because it was... well... proto-type-y, and they got better after that. Just keep saying, "they'll turn out fine, they'll turn out fine..."

I think we'll both be happy when the holiday sewing is done this year, and I'll bet we start it earlier next year...

Friday, November 27, 2009

feeling the love

We had a nice time visiting with our cousins for Thanksgiving. The food was good, and not too stressful. Almost everything had been done ahead, and so no one had to work too hard. We really got to visit. We could tell that Bob and Louise were really happy to have us, too.

One of the things that really stood out to me, was that after dinner, one of Louise's friends popped in. She came over just so she could meet Carl and I. She said after 32 years of hearing all about us, she wanted to meet us. How sweet is that? How cool? She came in and gave me a hug like she'd known me forever, and asked me "what are you working on?" She and Louise craft together, and she's seen the many things I've made and given to Louise over the years. When I told her that Roxanne and I were making stuffed rocking horses for Christmas gifts, she was happy, and moved on to meet Carl.

She didn't stay but a few minutes, but what a cool thing! Made me feel all warm and loved. Just what you need for a perfect Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ready set go

Today we (mostly Carl) smoked our turkey. The bird smells wonderful, and looks great, but still needs a couple hours in the oven to cook all the way through. Still, its ready to go in the car to Alamogordo. So is the dressing, which went together pretty well, also. There is broth for gravy, although NOT giblet gravy. That just leaves the green beans, which will be simmered at Bob & Louise's.

I think that makes us ready for Thanksgiving, tomorrow. Are you ready? I think this is actually one of the less stressful Thanksgiving holidays we've had for a while. I love family get togethers, and those with friends, as well, but I am not the perfect party hostess. Casual is much more my style. I'm out to enjoy, not impress. I think we've achieved that this year, and going to visit Bob and Louise just feels... right.

So up and at 'em tomorrow morning. We don't even have to be that early. But we'll go, and enjoy. Hope you can do the same!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

cross stitching

I love cross stitching, and I've made quite a few projects, big and small. I even inhereted some cross stitching supplies and unfinished projects from my friend Lou, who knew we shared enjoyment of the craft.

The last time I worked on cross stitch was when we were remodeling our house... right after I got my first pair of multifocal glasses. Most of the time, I had to take the glasses off to see what I was doing, and then put them back on to see anything else. Rather annoying. I also needed lots of light. and got a project light as a gift. I ended up putting that project aside - besides the vision issues, there were also "mistake" issues.

I'm not sure that it is a good idea for a person to try to finish a project someone else began. I can cover my own mistakes pretty well... but combining my mistakes with hers, well, things begin to compound, or cascade or something. You wouldn't think they would, necessarily, but they do. eventually, I'll probably finish that project, because there really isn't that much more to do. Others, not so sure about.... but that is something for another day.

Back to my idea at hand. Somewhere along the line, I made quite a few cross stitched Christmas ornaments on perferated paper. They turned out well, and each went pretty quickly. I'm thinking that may be the perfect thing to try cross stitch with again. I'll get to try out my project light, even.

Raine and I can be doing similar types of projects, too. She is doing quite will with the plastic canvas project, too. It is coming along nicely.

As for the glasses issue... I know I could get a pair of reading glasses... but I don't like switching. Still, if I could get a pair that was reading, and middle distance, one that I didn't have to contually search for the "sweet spot" for close work, I might enjoy it more.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Its time for those Thanksgiving plans to be firming up, isn't it. Who's hosting the feast? Who's making the turkey. Maybe even more important, who's making the stuffing/dressing?

In our continuing bid to reach out to family, and not just retire to our own little world, we are going to Alamogordo to visit some cousins for Thanksgiving. Wednesday, we'll be smoking our turkey, and doing most of our part of the cooking, and then taking it all with us when we go.

It didn't seem like a difficult choice of plan, really, once it got thought of. Bob and Louise have spent many a holiday dinner with us at our parent's house. It almost doesn't seem like the holiday is complete without them. Still, they are older now, and it isn't as easy as it used to be for them to hop in the car and head on over. They were very pleased for us to suggest hopping in the car ourselves, however. The nicest thing is that while I'm sure the dinner will be yummy, and we'll all stuff ourselves too full, the dinner really isn't the important thing. We could have sandwiches, or cereal, and be happy to visit for a while.

When you're lucky, THAT'S what a holiday is about...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Ron and I had our ninth anniversary yesterday. I had to check in my ring. We had them engraved with the date, which is good, otherwise our anniversary would always be the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to me. I would say that we celebrated, but really, we just did our regular Saturday stuff. I think we'll probably save it until after payday, and then go have dinner at the Japanese Kitchen again. Still, we remembered it, and marked it with each other.

Although our marriage is not without flaws, because people are not without flaws, I think Ron and I are well suited to each other. There are moments when I can't believe we have been together for 9 whole years, and I still feel like we are newly-weds. At other moments, our relationship seems timeless, like its just always been that way. Both kinds of moments are nice.

I certainly am glad he is a part of my life, just as I'm happy we have Raine. I lived a long time on my own, but I can't imagine doing it now, without them.

Happy anniversary, Ron. Many more to come.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

just like a kid

Well, the weather has cooled off, the leaves are dropping, and the heater has been running. Raine rediscovered her bathrobe this week, so she's been enjoying wearing it. She's enjoying it so much that she is finding her lightest pajamas to wear, so she'll need to warm up by wearing her robe. Isn't that just like a kid? At least the ones I ever knew. She even wants to wear it in bed, to sleep in, but that is where I'm drawing the line. She has plenty of warm covers, and plenty of warm pajamas, of course. She doesn't need to wear it to bed. Of course that is MY definition of need vs. HER definition of need. Still, I don't think either of us needs to fight with long tails or ties when I'm taking her to the bathroom before I go to bed, and she's basically sleepwalking in there.

So, she can wear it for a short while in the morning, and over her clothes or pajamas in the evening, and enjoy it, and get some wear out of it, before she grows out of it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

doing this

I'm sitting here, at the computer, getting through my begin-to-blog routines (just have to look at cake wrecks, first) and wondering what the heck I'm going to write about. Should I not write? Well?

But this is my procrastination tactic so I won't have to grade a few more papers... no, I must blog. Can not grade.

Still do not have topic...

Stayed late at work so a couple of students could catch up on some work. Got some work done myself, but not all that needed doing, of course. So I really, really don't want to do any more grading... Hmmm. Wait, is that something shiney?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

crafty-ness passed forward

So, I was looking in one of my Christmas craft books, thinking it might be time to cross stitch some Christmas ornaments, when I cam across a cute kitty holding a mouse by the tail done in plastic canvas. Yeah, the stuff everyone insists on making a cover for their tissue box with. Well, this one hangs from a door knob and stays away from the tissue, and I thought it might be the perfect craft for Raine.

I checked it out with her, to see if she was interested, and she was. Off we went to Hobby Lobby for some plastic canvas and some blunt plastic needles. Tonight i cut out the little mouse body, and she got started filling it in. It is going to take some practice, but the pieces aren't too large, and she is doing well, so far. Even a bit excited to be taking it on.

If she gets the kitty done, she plans to make a creature for Ezekiel. I don't know why not. I hope her grandparents enjoy her efforts. I think they will...

I hope this is her first steps in a lifetime of loving to make things.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today was a beautiful fall day here in New Mexico, the likes of which we don't often get. The sky was clear, the air was crisp, the leaves on the trees turning to yellow (at least in our yard).

Oh sure we had a cold snap in October, but then temperatures climbed nearly into the 80's again. This time, I think fall means it. It has been a treat this year to watch the leaves turn. It seems like every autumn in recent memory, they've been green until the frost, and then they all fall out of the tree the next day. It is weird to experience that leafy shower, instead of the gradual approach, letting us get used to the idea of winter, and naked trees.

A breeze kicked up this afternoon, and I noticed more leaves in the yard than had been there before, so I suspect they aren't long in the trees at this point. Still, ahhh... autumn.

sewing report

We got Roxanne's dress finished, and she was very happy with it. I don't have a photo to share, because - of course - I forgot to take my camera. I'll get a photo, though, and share when I can. It was definitely a project that had a learning curve included, and that was good as well. The other project for today were some Christmas presents. I serged around the edges of nine pieces of fleece for blankets/throws. They will be snuggley and soft and cozy, and a pretty easy gift that is nice for the price. There was lots of fuzzy stuff in the air... fna - as Lou would have called it - or maybe phna. Anyway, not bad for an afternoon.

I'm reaching a landmark, by the way, with the serger. I've almost used up one of the cones of thread that I got with the machine. (some of the lines use more thread than others) I started off with only basic white and dark thread... and I know my collection will be growing soon, and more as I find the good stuff on sale.

I also got to thank my friend Cindy, who got the machine for me, encouraged me to use it, and told me ( more than once) that I would really like using it. She was right, of course, and I knew she was, but still, I had to get there at my own speed. I let her know that I finally DID get there, and that she could even tell me "I told you so..." (although she was too nice to actually say it).

My next goal with it? Well, after holiday sewing anyway... is to practice some of the embellishment techniques I've been reading about. Hmmm maybe I should practice rolled hems next, and get brave enough to change the settings and all...

Friday, November 13, 2009


Applebee's did a nice thing this week, feeding active duty military for free for Veteran's day (if I have my facts remembered correctly). I'm sure it brought them business that amply made up for that generosity, and indeed, we were willing to support them, for their support of Veterans.

Except... that it was Friday. And busy. Now, the item on my to-do list is to consider when I'll be going back. It won't be soon, and it certainly won't be on a Friday. The service was slow. I mean, I understand busy can contribute to somewhat slow service, but the wait we had between being seated, and ordering even drinks, well, it was way too long. Our server seemed a little new to the job, and hopefully he will improve with time and experience. The food, though, was about the worst I've gotten at any Applebee's. I consider a chain like that to have a dependable if not stellar cast of entrees, but not tonight.

I ordered the chicken and penne bowl, with a side salad. Ron had a rueben. Raine had mac & cheese, and probably got the best of all of us (I mean, how bad does it have to get to mess up Kraft Mac & Cheese?) The server forgot my salad, and we had to remind him when he brought the entrees. The chicken was skimpy, the noodles overdone and the alfredo was somehow... off. Ron's sandwich looked good, but he said it was soggy on the bottom and the corned beef wasn't very corned... The best thing was the salad... the one that almost didn't get there.

When the bill came... and the server had to go for it twice... the salad wasn't even on it. Now usually, I will point out something like that, even when it means I'll pay more. Tonight, however, I didn't. (although I did mention the irony to Ron that the best plate of food on the table was the one that wasn't on the bill) The server didn't even ask about the quality of the meal, and the manager, who is usually asking at each table about customer satisfaction, was nowhere to be seen. I just paid what the ticket said. Well, I did leave a tip for the server... he'll probably get better.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

oh my head

So, I've been on Enalapril for about a month now... and I've had this nagging headache. Yeah. I put the two together, and looked up the side effects, and yes, headache is one of them. Its not always bad, but sometimes it just pounds. Then of course when I'm tired, like now, its not fun. My eyes don't want to focus. I just want to sleep.

I also read that this drug can dehydrate you. Well, I take a diuretic - also for the high blood pressure - and well, I went and got a big glass of water to drink before bed, hoping that will help some.

I'm kind of disappointed that I'm having this side effect, because I do want my blood pressure to be under control. I also understand that this drug help prevent the kidney damage that might occur as a diabetic. hmmm I hope there is something equivatlent to try.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

it was

...a good day. Well, mostly. Raine and I had a nice day. She did her homework and her chores. Then I took her and her friend to the park for a while, then they played here, and even made some aliens with Martian Matter. (that stuff is weird, by the way, but they enjoy it)

Nice to have a hopeful cast to Raine's behavior this week, after many weeks of not so good, especially last week. BUT we got the consequences - both good and bad - written down so all would know them, and we could be more consistent. I'm not fooling myself that everything is fine, now, more like keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have a whole week of good behavior at school. Still I know she is one who must test the boundaries.

So, I'm hoping she'll get to play Spore, again, and so is she... and if not this weekend, maybe next.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

midweek holiday

It something that doesn't come along too often, really. I'm willing to stay away from work for it, though. Well, all right, I brought some work home with me, but I don't have to go anywhere to do it...

I thought about staying up a little late, but then started nodding off, so I think I won't. Besides, since she doesn't have to get up, Raine will be up bright and early in the morning.

So, to Ron, Lillian, and Mom, and all the other veterans past present and future, thanks for serving our country. Thanks for being willing to take on what others could not or would not. Thank you for enduring hardship and boredom for those moments of accomplishment, bedlam and glory. Thank you for putting your life on the line if needed, for following orders, for questioning orders, for being the strength of the nation that I choose to live in. Thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

thank you fran

For putting up with a little insistent weirdness from me today. Not only putting up with it, but doing so with grace and tact on a what could be a loaded topic.

I think complementing people on a job well done is important. Sometimes it's the only pay they get for it. Being put in an awkward position doesn't take much talent or grace, but getting out of it gracefully can be magic.

Thank you for a little reassurance and magic.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

busy day, good eatin'

So, it was a busy day, today, what with the Ren Fair, shopping, more shopping... more shopping... and then dinner. With the usual chores thrown in for grins.

The Ren Fair was nice. Beautiful day for it, not too crowded, but definitely not empty. Raine and I enjoyed ourselves, got a few goodies, talked to a few friends, and Raine even got to take a canoe ride around the park pond. The Arts Council made a few changes, and I think they were for the good.

Shopping, shopping, shopping... picked up a new small spatula to deal with eggs in the morning. Got a couple of new patterns, and some fabric for a top for Ron's mom. And then we went to a new restaurant here in town. It's called Japanese Kitchen, and well... yum. We had heard commercials for it and had been talking about going. We weren't even sure exactly where it was, or whether it would be open on Sunday, but we found it, and it was. There weren't many people there, and the servers needed practice, but the food!!! mmmm. We decided the best thing was to order a variety and then just share what we ordered, so we got a chef's mix of sushi (yes, the real stuff), a combination plate of california/sushi rolls, some tempura vegetables and shrimp, and a bowl of Udon noodles with chicken. It was just the right choice!

The sushi plater was a boat, which just delighted Raine, and she enjoyed some shrimp sushi. We asked what each fish was, and the chef was happy to come tell us. Carl found out that the mackeral was one he particularly enjoyed. I got the tuna, and some crab, and they were good. The sushi rolls were also tasty. Although we expected Raine to be happy with chicken and Udon noodles, she tried the tuna roll, and pretty much just ate the whole thing. The tempura batter was light and crisp. I got some bell pepper, and it was fabulous. There was also some sweet potato (one of my favorite ways to have sweet potato, I think) and zuccini, along with shrimp. The bowl of noodles was very generous (I'm not positive we finished it) and the noodles and the vegetables were delicious. The chicken was cut into real bite sized pieces, and not just tiny bits disappearing into the broth. Of course, it was not cheap, but for the formality of the restaurant, I think we got good value for our money, and this is a great place for a fancy night out in Las Cruces. We'll go back, for sure.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

roxanne's dress

Roxanne got inspired by a picture in a catalog, and she wanted a dress. She had some fabric that she loved, and we went to the store, and she picked out some other to go with it. The dress has a kind of modified halter bodice, which we modified for modesty, and kept the elements that provided shape. We got the bodice constructed today, except for the zipper. The one she had wasn't long enough, we decided. Then, as we were adding tiers of gathered fabric for the skirt, we discovered that we had gotten the top two tiers in the wrong order. And of course, by then the tier that we had first was firmly ensconced in the waistband, not to be ripped apart... at least not by either of us. Well, we decided that the tier that should have been there could benefit from more fabric, which would then give allow it to be gathered to the tier that will now be above it, and that would be better anyway. So there.

One of the things that I love about sewing with Roxanne, is that we are not afraid, nor devastated by our mistakes. We decided when we started that if something didn't come out right, we would not be upset (disappointed maybe if we couldn't fix it to our liking, but... ). Instead we have used our creativity to try and figure out fixes for things, and then if we just don't like what was created, we donate it, if its wearable, and move on. That gives us some creative license that we might not have allowed ourselves otherwise. Giving ourselves permission to make mistakes, and move on also gives us the freedom to really create and innovate. It also lets us make the mistakes and learn from them. Just like we're learning from making this dress. (well, yeah, and a few other things too) Still I think it was a cosmic plan, since I forgot to take my camera and couldn't have taken a picture of the finished dress, anyway. So, we couldn't finish it.

Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

Friday, November 6, 2009

weekend plans

The weekend has arrived. Whew. Not a moment too soon. I have papers to grade, and grades to put into the computer grade book, but...

Roxanne's for sewing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a little sewing therapy. I found a book in my library of serger techniques that I'm taking over there for Roxanne to peruse. It has some way cool ideas about using the serger for all kinds of fancy schmancy sewing. It will take practice, but, wow. One of the things on our to do soon list is work on some embellishment, and here are some ideas and starting points.

The Ren Fair is this weekend, as well. Although there have been many years where I dressed up and helped provide ambiance at our local Ren Fair, this year will not be one of those. That doesn't stop me from taking a few hours to stroll around and admire the beautiful hand crafted items that abound. Maybe - if we're lucky - get a little Christmas shopping done as well.

Then... its work again on Monday. But let's not think about that now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Yesterday was rough, but today is better. I'm still cranky, but at a different level than before. It's also nearing the weekend, and my students only have a half-day tomorrow, and since its homecoming, there will be a rally for the last hour of that. Yeah. weekend.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have it. Bad. This is a challenging year at school. I really like to teach, but I'm not getting much chance at it this year. I'm an optimist, really, and I keep hoping, but it's difficult to wade through all the discipline issues. Constant.

So, there's a level of frustration. And yeah, it would help to "talk about it." At least some. I know there are ears that would listen sympathetically, at least on occasion. I know that they are there, and I have taken advantage of some of them. Really. But the person that I would really like to be able to talk to about it - and a lot more stuff - really isn't listening. Not that the person wouldn't listen, but... well, there's some avoidance going on, and I'm not insistent. I mean there are times when making someone do something looses the intent.

Anyway, tonight, I'm not a happy person. Thank goodness that tomorrow can be a new day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

sunday sewing

Since we didn't get together yesterday, it being Halloween and all, Roxanne and I worked on her dress for a while today. Its got several tiers to gather for a skirt, and we got the string in those, ready to pin each tier to the next. I also got the bodice basically constructed. Next week we get the whole thing put together, and I'll get pictures. Then we're on to our next projects. We're gearing up for some Christmas goodies. (I know, what a shock...)

In the mean-time, I did work a little on Ron's coat on Saturday. Its close to being finished, although it still needs a little handwork and a lot of button holes. Still, I got Ron to model it for a few pictures. Aren't you the lucky readers...