Monday, May 31, 2010

new jammies

So Roxanne and I have a PILE of cut out stuff to sew together. Today when we got together, there was no hesitation on what we wanted to tackle first... our new summer jammies. Well, lounge wear might be a more accurate description. We had discussed what we wanted for new jammies, and come up with very similar descriptions. Short gown, with long shorts/capris to put on for hanging out. Well, we got what we asked for!

I found some knit fabric hanging around my house for who knows how long (one piece, my mom had gotten - we figured - on the order of 25 years ago) which made some for Roxanne, her grandson, and me. Score for cheap jammies!

I'm wearing mine right now, perfect for putting on after an early shower to wash off the sweat and whatever from working in the yard, and slaving over a sink of dirty dishes (OK, so maybe that isn't such sweaty work, but work with me here, folks...) I'm not taking a picture of me in them, so just deal with that. It isn't Christmas morning, and I don't need to scare anyone with thoughts of me in jammies.

Still, I'm pretty happy, and we actually had to throw away an empty serger thread spool. Yup, used it all up. Yay us!

Friday, May 28, 2010

it's friday?

Strange how the days all seem to be Saturday, once its summer.

So a little self reflection on the day, and my first week of summer. First day to sleep late? Today. Had to get Raine up and to school through Wednesday, and even though she was sleeping over Wednesday night at Ezekiel's, could I sleep late? NO! Today was it. She slept pretty late, too. I think she had a good time.

Next on my list is doing a little more exercise, but I'm not much for reps or gyms, so that means walking more (haven't gotten to that yet) or swimming, or the perennial yard work. Of course I haven't gotten to anything profound yet, but we do have plenty of weeds to pull, and I've chored Raine with pulling 100 with me each day. We've started in the front, and we'll work our way to the back. I'd sit and pull more like I used to, but I can't get up after like I used to... Time to get out the rake tomorrow.

I did some test stitches for embellishment for one of the tops I want to make. I'm going to let them sit, and then make some final decisions tomorrow and get started on it. I sorted out the cut-out stuff according to color of thread needed to sew it, more or less, and Roxanne and I will get to start on some this weekend. (WOOT!) My goal for next week is to start on that craft room. OK, actually, before the craft room actually comes the storage room, which I just haven't been able to make myself start on yet. I will though. I promise myself.

I got started on my lesson planning for next school year. The state standards and benchmarks changed somewhat, so I needed to update. I'm also trying to create a centers based classroom for next year, and need to figure out what will go when, etc. I have good ideas, but when don't I? Now, if I can just follow them through, and get the kids to do the same...

Finally, I got my car back from the shop again today. They ended up putting a different, different transmission in it. Now the warranty is good from today instead of last week. I certainly hope this transmission is better than the last one. Two.

So, while I won't claim that I have been overly productive all week, I've managed to have a good day today, and feel like I've accomplished some work, and even finished the book I was reading.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

cutting, cut......

I've been through the fabric. I've been through the patterns. I've pinned and cut and pinned and cut. There are stacks of cut-out stuff at my house, and more at Roxanne's. I think it is ever so safe to say we have plenty to do with our sewing projects. Plenty.

Tomorrow, Rose comes (she cleans for us, yay Rose!). Its time to put away the cutting table, and find a place for the cut out stuff, which I will sort a little before I put away. Put away I must, though so that she can do her job.

I cut out a couple last things this evening, and my heart just wasn't really in it. I'm pretty anxious to see, though, just how some of these things are going to come out. Look for pictures over the next weeks...

Monday, May 24, 2010

creative preparations

One of the tasks I've set myself, to move forward with my createlivity ideas, is to check out more of the sewing and other craft web sites, groups, etc that already exist. I don't want to duplicate something someone else is doing, but I also want to see where my niche is.

I've found a couple of interesting sewing sites, that I will probably write about/review and link to in my createlivity blog, but not today. Today, doing all that is still on the to-do list, waiting for its turn, and more thought and consideration and - face it, Dina - effort.

Still, my creativity is getting more inspired, with a visit to the bead shop today. It reminded me that I wanted to make some light catchers or maybe interest catchers to hang in the windows that flank my front door. Pretty beads and stones are certainly inspiration for that.

Now, if I can get the work done (read: started) in the craft room that will render it more and more usable...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

cutting, cutting, cutting

Because my car is in the shop again, Roxanne came over to my house today. She pulled the patterns out of the envelopes, cut the pieces apart and selected the ones we needed while I pinned and cut, pinned and cut. Oh, yeah, and did laundry, since Ron is working midnight shifts this weekend. (reminds me, I better feed the dog)

So, we have quite a pile of sewables, continuing to clothe the young un's for the summer, five more pair of shorts, and 14 shirts (mostly sleeveless), a pair of pj's for Raine for the fall, and a blouse for Roxanne. On the table for tomorrow, a top and two pair of shorts for Raine, and a jumper for me. Roxanne's coming back on Tuesday (yay for school being out for both of us!) and we will work on some pants and a skirt for me, some winter jammies for both of us, and a couple of dresses, along with maybe some other skirts as well. We WILL have things to sew! We are even getting to some of the experimental stuff we have been wanting to work on. How cool is that? VERY!

Friday, May 21, 2010

a rather cool blog

Oh, sure, I could blog about how happy I am, now that school is out for the summer. I think it goes without saying, though. That doesn't mean I don't reserve the right to gloat about that at some future date, however.

This evening, I'm going to tell you about a very cool blog that I happened on while perusing the comic, blog and link list produced by Aaron Williams and his Nodwick (and other) Comics . It is a very entertaining blog as well, especially if you have spent time, like I have, gaming.

The blog that I would really like to tell you about is called Letters of Note, and each entry includes a facsimile and a transcription of a letter. Many of them were written by famous people. The latest entry I read was a letter written by Walt Disney, about the re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The topics can be ordinary or not, but for those of us who find something special in a letter, this is a blog you should really check out.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

all is not well

...with my transmission.

I picked up my vehicle Monday afternoon, drove it to work Tuesday and Wednesday, but this morning, first gear went out. Fortunately (I think) it happened in town. That meant that I called Ron and woke him up so he would come and get me. He tried to drive my car, thinking he would deliver it to the shop, but we left it safely in the parking lot. I dropped Ron off at home, and stopped by the auto shop to let them know what had happened, and where to get the car. So then I was late to school on the last day of finals. Sigh.

Still we got through it, as will happen, and sent the students home for the summer. I've got my grades done, and the majority of the other paperwork for checking out tomorrow. I've also got a ride (friends are a good thing) all arranged for tomorrow... So looking forward to being done with that responsibility, and getting to the projects waiting in the wings.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

checking in

This is finals week at GHS, and I've been grading my brains out. I stayed up past my bed-time two nights in a row, now, and I'm not at my most witty or thoughtful. Still, I didn't want to log into blogger on Friday and wonder where the week went. Again.

Went to graduation last night, and it was nice. I didn't know many of the graduates this year. Sometimes its just like that. I had kind of jumped around with the classes I was teaching for a while, and kind of followed a class up through the ranks, but they graduated, and now I find myself not knowing many of the upperclassmen. Taught some freshmen last year, and some more this year, though, so I'll be back cheering on "my" kids before I know it.

For now, I must focus on getting all the end of the year stuff done, getting stuff put away for next year, and getting through the week.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I got a lot done this weekend, but I could have gotten more done. I procrastinated some, but not as much as I could have. So, I enjoyed going to Roxanne's for our weekly sewing, even if it meant I was cutting, cutting, cutting. It meant getting us ready for a couple of sessions where we could just sew, sew, sew.

We experimented with a different way to mend some pants. I hope that it really helps extend their life. I'm interested in finding out. We've experimented, now, we have to wait for the results.

So, I got 80% of the grading done that I needed to, and I got those grades into the gradebook, although they still need to get into the computer. I still need to finalize the final, and get it printed up, before the rizo machine breaks down. Tomorrow is graduation, and of course I will go to that. Hopefully, I'll be getting my car back tomorrow as well.

I played a little bit on my computer, and I watched Dr Who. The chores got done, even the broiler pan, which I hate washing. All the mundane things of my very own mundane life. Not bad.

Friday, May 14, 2010

friday 14th

Because I have to make sure it wasn't a Friday, 13th. It was a very strange day, in some ways. Not really free to blog about it at the moment, and may never be. Strange though. Not bad, really, just strange.

So, I'll blather on about something else for a while. Something like spider solitaire. I've written about it before, and my sad inability to keep my average about 65% wins. Well, I think I've leveled up, recently. I've been applying patience (mainly) to my strategies, and it seems to be paying off. I'm winning a larger percentage of games than before. What my new average will be when it levels off, I don't know yet, but its progress, of a "really, you're noticing that?" kind.

Ok, back to your more interesting lives now...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

how i lost interest in staples

The store, I mean, not those little metal fasteners, I still think those are handy.

Office supplies, though, they are - to me - fascinating. Silly, probably, but I have a lot of personal investment in reading and writing, and there they have all the stuff for that, in a wide variety. Of course other office supply stores do too, so I'm pretty happy about that. Still, I'm not happy with Staples, Easy button or no.

First, let's digress. When I was a kid, my grandfather's brother and sister ran a print shop in Las Vegas, NM. They had drawers and trays and racks of letters. They and ink, and oh! the paper! Many colors, and when we went to visit, we always got to take home some of the odds and ends, odd sized little glued together stacks of papers. Our very own, personal sized notebooks. It was TREASURE! (and something that is probably pretty much gone forever, in this age of digital printing)

So office supply stores. I can wander through them happily looking on almost every aisle. I used to think it was just me, but, no, I've met others who would happily join me, or take me along with them. (You might think we didn't get out much...) Our local Staples store is conveniently next door to Best Buy, which we try not to visit too often, but occasionally technology calls to us, and we must answer. Then, the lure of paper, and toner often drags us next door.

Earlier this year, I stopped into Staples, and shopped around picking up some colored paper to take to school. The sign said it was on sale (Oh, yeah, you get a rebate, but all you're supposed to see is the lowered price), so I picked up 3 reams. Once again, it was, oh, no, fill out this form and get your rebate. The fact that I know why they do it that way, because there are people who won't fill out those forms, so then their "sale" doesn't cost them so much, doesn't change that I think it is cheating. Either have a sale, or don't. I dislike this practice so much, because it has been something I've run into time after time there, that I've lost my interest in shopping there. Ever. Think they care? Nah, didn't think so, either...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

top gear

Have you heard of this program? If you get BBC America on your cable (or can link to it on your computer), and you haven't watched it, you should. I mean, if you read this blog, you know how I am. You _will_ like this show.

What is it? A car show. A British one (if you didn't figure that out by it being on BBC). And it rocks. Even if cars aren't your particular thing, you can still enjoy this show. How do I know? Well, I enjoy the heck out of it. The three hosts are intelligent and hilarious. They create challenges for themselves, and each other, which are interesting, and the shows aren't all about top-of-the-line cars, either. As pretty as those are, you know, they aren't personally relevant to me. The average every-day cars, though, are.

Plus, they do everything with that British sense of humor and wit. And then they get guests on, who get to take a lap on their track and compare times with the other guests. This week's episode featured Stephen Frye, and it was quite entertaining to watch him do his lap. Their challenge was to figure out which car would be best for a 17 year old to drive, so they did things like drive them off road, and through trees in the dark with the headlights off.

So, if you like cars, or good English wit and humor, try an episode or 12 of Top Gear. I think you can even get them from Hulu...

Monday, May 10, 2010

puttering about

I enjoy a good day of puttering about. I can do this and that, go from one project to the next and then back again, and get a surprising amount done. At least its surprising to me, sometimes I feel like I get nothing done more often than not.

It has to be uninterrupted time, though, as I'm easily distracted from the tasks at hand. Probably that is part of the going from one thing to another, a little bit of interest here, and a little bit there. Beware of anything shiney.

Doing dishes this evening made me think of puttering around, as there are many times that dishes can be part of the puttering... and if the kitchen ever really gets cleaned, that definitely means puttering has been going on... a sink of soapy water here, another in a while.

As I think of the organization plans I've been making for the month of June, and the boxes I'll be going through, I hope that my puttering will not get too derailed, too often. We've decided that while Raine is visiting her grandparents, she'll be getting a new bedroom. We'll exchange the computer room, which is currently in the bigger bedroom, and her bedroom. She's pretty crowded in there, but I'm not looking forward to the computers being in there either, really. I shouldn't complain, but it would seem that I am. I'm sure once everything gets organized and put away. It will be fine.

Ron will be helping with that moving, though. Not so much puttering there, I think...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

of funerals

I'll be going to one this week. A cousin of my father's passed away this week. His children and grandchildren and especially his wife and sisters will miss him a great deal. He was more like an uncle than I cousin to me, and I will miss the crotchety old cuss, too.

I'm at a little distance from this one, though. Not as close as my own parents, who's loss I'll feel forever, as do most people, I suspect. The torch is passing in my family, who is the oldest, which generation "leads" the family. Who does everyone look up to? I think the hardest thing is that those elders are the ones that keep the ties together, in a lot of ways. The cousins that my father and mother grew up with are mostly strangers to me, and my loved cousins are living their own lives with children and grandchildren to keep track of, and visit. I'm happy that the internet with its e-mail and social sites like facebook help a little with the keeping in touch, but how can I be part of their every-day lives, or they part of mine? The miles are a great barrier indeed.

So, along with the realization that I'm not marking anything new, no matter how profound it may or may not be, I also mark a passing from the past to the present, to a near future that I will get to see, and a farther one that I will not. I realization that I am, in fact, mortal, not immortal, and with a deep breath, it is OK. Change does come, and it is good, and it is only change. An ending, not THE ending. Rest in Peace, Mac Chew.

Friday, May 7, 2010

once again, friday

amen and hallelujah

I'm tired, and cranky and in need of a shower and sleep. One more Friday in this school year. The letters of intent were sent to the school today, but I was in to mood to go pick mine up this afternoon.

Right now, this minute, I fully understand why Fran likes a guest poster for her Friday blog. I sure do. The weight of the day is resting heavy on my head right now.

I know tomorrow will be better, thank goodness, and even sleep will feel pretty darned good right now, so I think I'll start on it. Good night all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


My car needs a new transmission. To the tune of $2-3 thousand, most likely. Two weeks before the end of school.

So of course the decision must be made whether to fix it or start over on a different car. I like my car, and would be happy to have it for several more years. 2-3 thousand would not buy me a car as nice as the one I have, so, more payments. While I still have payments on mine, I could have it paid off within the year. I don't want to start with a new set. If all goes well, the amount of money we would spend on the transmission would pay for a reliable (as this car has been so far) vehicle for several more years, and would be worth that price.

Like many people, I don't have that much money laying around, although I could probably work something out, or several things out, that would get me to pay off the bill, and pay off any loans accrued for it in a few months. Of course we'll have to cancel the vacation we had planned. The vehicle is, in all practicality, a higher priority. I will be sorry for that, but I won't begrudge it. In fact, I guess that over all, I'm pleased that I feel I could work out something to pay for these expensive repairs, which hasn't always been the case.

So, I'm working through my decision, my anxiety, and the frustration that accompanies disaster. I keep in mind that no one's health is affected. That as disasters go, there are many worse and more devastating ones. And still, I'll have to work to keep my voice from not-so-adult whiny-ness for the next few days while arrangements are being made.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


So the seminar today was informative and as entertaining as those kinds of things can be. The speaker, Stephen (I think) Krashen is a pretty well known researcher. His basic message was that poor kids aren't surrounded by books, while other kids are. If poverty is the biggest indicator of failure in school, the availability of books is the number one indicator of success. So, if we want our children and students to learn academic language, do well in school, and score well on standardized tests, we should surround them with books that are interesting to them, that are at a comprehensible level of language and encourage them to read, by giving them time and space to do it.

How can it be that simple? Why should it be more difficult? I love it!

Then, for the other shoe... On the drive home, through El Paso, I noticed my check engine light on, and my transmission light on. Well, crap. I pulled off the highway, and found a Pep Boys, and they offered me a $90 diagnostic. Since the little computer informed them my transmission was slipping, and they don't do transmission work, they waived the fee (thank you very much!) and sent me on my way. I had Ron call our local shop, and I made it home with no problems, but worry. So tomorrow, I hear the diagnosis, and the estimate, and I'm hoping for the best... I really don't want to spend a bunch of money on car repairs, who does? Still, I really like my car, and I don't want a different one, so if it is reasonable, and do-able, repairs it is. Big sigh.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Here we are, two weeks from finals, and I'm going to a seminar tomorrow. Yes, I am. Only part of me feels guilty. The part that feels for the sub who has been working with me the past couple of weeks, who will probably get no help tomorrow. I know what that feels like, with the kids I have this year, and it isn't good. She's been working hard with me, and I've appreciated it. The kids are sooo far behind, and they don't even realize it. I'm not sure how to GET them to realize it, and I've been trying.

Still, the other parts of me are feeling like learning something myself might be a bit of a recharge, which I am really needing right now. I probably won't feel the recharge for a bit, until I've had time to digest and incorporate information, and found some use for it. I could spout all sorts of meta educational jargon at you now, but I will restrain myself. For the moment, at least.

Here's to hoping the information tomorrow will be relevant, or at least if it isn't, I will get some grading done. Here's to summer. Are we there yet?

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Today was a lovely day. The weather seems to be turning a bit stormy at this point, but sunny with a cool breeze was the score for most of the day. The regular chores went along regularly, and my bit of spring cleaning for the day was included when I washed the lids for all the pots and pans which were dusty from sitting on an open shelf in the kitchen. Of course the ones we don't use often were the dusty ones, but still, a little clean up and organization felt good. Even when I cut off part of my fingernail and a little skin trying to cut bread, it didn't ruin the day. (of course it isn't a bad cut, so...) Heck I even wrote checks for the bills with no big emotional turmoil. Of course that turmoil is always less when there is enough money in the account to write the checks on and not have to juggle them.

So, what is the anticipation? Well, I have plans for this summer, and its quickly approaching. Organizing the craft room is first and foremost on the list. For a while now, I've been content that I could reach my sewing supplies and had a place to set up the sewing machines while the rest of the room served as storage. I've tackled a box or two here and there, and made a little progress, but then something would happen, and more boxes would appear, and mostly stuff has gotten pushed here and there and not really put away. Its hard to have everything in its place when there isn't a place for everything. I've been enjoying the shared creative time with Roxanne, and I have some very creative people living in this very house that I would like to share creative time with too. That was really the intended function for that room, not storage.

Anyway, I have my plan. Sorting, cleaning, purging, putting away. Creating functionality so that creativity can thrive. Now, I just have to wait for it with happy anticipation.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I actually have two, I guess. One that I went this whole week without blogging. Sigh. I didn't even realize. In my sad defense, we are coming down to the last weeks of school, and that is pretty much what is on my mind. I've probably said what I need to about it, and more than anyone might want to read about it. I'll try to be better about writing. Its good for me, but I'll try to figure out other things (than school) to write about. Like I have today.

Today I went to Roxanne's for sewing, and we altered a couple of tops of hers, putting in some darts for shaping in a T-shirt (wow what a change it made) and in another top. Since she's lost some weight, the tops were too loose and baggy for her to wear to work, and now they are not. I have a top in the making (cut out but not sewn together) that has shaping darts that I really want to try out. That reinforced my thoughts on that top as well.

When I got to Roxanne's, though, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. I had been looking forward to sewing all week. Now, that wasn't the realization, but it surely lead to it. Part of my joy in sewing and creating has definitely been that it has been a shared activity. When I voiced my thought, Roxanne mentioned that she wasn't nearly as excited to sit down with the sewing machine alone, as she was when I was there, too. The creativity and the work are both shared, and I think I took one more step towards defining creatlivity for myself. Did I post this to the wrong blog? No, I don't think so, but I think it will probably inspire an entry for that blog as well. I certainly think that shared experience of creating, bouncing ideas off another person or several can be inspiring for all involved. Now, I'm more determined to create that shared and sharing space online, as well as IRL (in real life, in case you don't know).