Tuesday, August 31, 2010

what to tuesday

Last night, after a lovely evening walk around the neighborhood, and putting Raine to bed, and a relaxing shower in the walk-in shower that I still love that we included in our remodel, and saying good bye to the day, it rained. Not a gentle, end of summer, pit-pat on the roof. It RAINED. Lightening and thunder. Wind gusting sheets of rain. I lay in bed with my eyes closed, listening. It wasn't the soft sleep inducing white-noise lulling me to sleep as I listened. It wasn't frightening either. It was awesome. I enjoyed listening to the movement. The life of the storm, as if it were breathing the wind into the rain. This morning, there was still a lot of water in the air. When I went outside at 7:30, there was even the smallest hint of fog. This is really not the time of year for fog, but, there it was.

Today, however, was humid all day long. and warm. and did I mention humid? Wait. Was that lightening I just saw out the window?

Monday, August 30, 2010

a day for it

Is it still only Monday? Really? I thought I saw some Wednesday in here? Tuesday at least? NO?

School started off with Picture Day! and we kept our advisory class for the morning, then, after pictures were all taken, went on with nearly our regular schedule. I'm very glad that I have seniors, and that none of us feel the need to be militant about the scheduled programing. I run through it with them, and we discuss for a bit, and then... They are a pretty good group, and I don't think I need to treat them like freshmen.

What is it about a morning like that that makes the afternoon seem LONG???

Got home in time to help Carl with dinner, and it was yummy chicken in butter sauce. Even packed some for lunch. And did the dishes. Usually Sunday is my day for catching up on kitchen chores, but this past weekend, it seemed like we were stuck at 3 cups and a spoon. It goes from that to there is a counter under there. Somewhere. And it changes in the space of walking out and back in, sometimes, it seems.

The weather of summer has finally broken, some, it seems. Temperatures have been in the 80's instead of the 90's for about a week now. Pleasant enough to walk the neighborhood this evening, so Raine and I hit the sidewalk. We saw a spider building a web, with its cast-off skin hanging in the web as well. I met one of my neighbors, and we ended up discovering that her husband had worked at White Sands with my dad. I seem to be well on my way to making my walking goal this week, and I feel pretty good about that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

boundries and guidlines

Raine started the 2nd grade this year. She's tested the boundaries of what is expected of her this week. On Wednesday, she disappeared for over an hour with no one knowing where she was. She had taken off on her scooter to play with some friends. Not her usual friends, but some further away. She didn't follow our standard protocols, like telling someone she was going, and taking her phone, etc.

We were all lucky that she was fine, and was playing with her friends. But there is always that worry, isn't there. We didn't kill her, but she did spend some time in her room. And without the computer games that she enjoys. And the TV shows she watches...

We also got a report from her teacher. She wasn't paying attention when the teacher asked her to do something. She wasn't behaving. She wasn't getting her work done. Testing the teacher, and seeing if her boundaries were going to be the same as before. She's been doing the same sort of thing at home. We had a couple of talks about those things through the end of the week, and the weekend.

The golden rule for kids, sort of goes like this... You act the way you want to be treated. If you want adults to listen to you, then you listen to them. If you want to be treated nicely (and get treats), then you act in a way that deserves it. It takes practice, but she might as well understand the behavior/treatment balance. And she is a tester. Oh, man.

And of course, I'm still her proud mama.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

proud mama

I am one. I totally admit it. My child is pretty much the cutest, smartest, most talented, most creative (not to mention stubborn...) kid on the planet. I'll tell you about it at pretty much any time, and I probably have. At length. (and if I'm not careful, ad nauseum...)

Today she got in trouble for taking off and going to a friend's house without telling anyone where she was going, or any of the other procedures and safety protocols that we use around here. So, Carl and Ron roamed the neighborhood and finally found her and brought her home.

She's in trouble, but it also made me think of how she's grown. They can't stay little for ever, and they won't stay small either, but that is how we remember them, isn't it... our babies.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Raine as a toddler. On of those that you look at, and it just does your heart good. She was maybe 14 months old when this was taken.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

you know i need to

Yeah, I talked to the wellness nurse on the phone this evening. I admit it. I was hedging my responses. The weight would be coming off - at least slowly - if I were doing things right, but I've hit a plateau, and it's not a pretty one. All sorts of denial and holes where willpower should be. Crud.

The bottom line is, I need to get off my butt and move. Walk, swim, whatever. More than I do now. Enough to use up some of the caloric intake. It won't take much to be more than I do now. It would make me feel better, I know it would. Somewhere in the back of my pea brain, I know it. But it's hot, and I'm emotionally drained and unmotivated when I get home. Not to mention tired of being hot and sweaty from a day in my hot and sweaty classroom.

No magic pill exists. I won't do the surgeries. You have to change your lifestyle with the surgery. I'd just as soon change my lifestyle (if only I could be more consistent with it) and do without the surgery, thank you. Least invasive for me, thank you. So, where is my free life coach? Oh, that's right, it was me! I'm doing a lousy job.

Time to set some goals, and work on meeting them. Look up some info, and get my facts straight, instead of making some up (or keeping the ones I've already made up). Time to work on getting real again. Time to work on being healthier. Easier to talk the talk than walk the walk, though. Much easier. Goal number 1: Walk for 30 minutes 4 times in the next week (Wed. to Wed.) I'll be back on Tuesday and report, and set another goal.

Monday, August 23, 2010

monday this & that

Roxanne and I worked on our pants again yesterday. I wore a pair today, and (yay for the serger, because that will make it so easy) I need to take them up on the sides a bit. We were perplexed by Roxanne's because the legs were not the same length. Three pair. Cut by the same pattern. Measure the inseam for the hem and one leg would have lots to turn up, and the other about 2/3 that amount. We couldn't figure out why.

We had inservice at school this afternoon. My car pool friend was at the point where I was a couple of years ago. Just tell me what you want me to do. Don't make me go through hoops to figure out why, or "buy in" because I know it will all change next year, and there will be something else to "buy into." Now, I just go with the flow, and try not to think too hard about it.

Now I'm going to try out a little wizard 101.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I've been good. I've gotten some of my work done. Not all of it, but a definite dent.

We've been on a hiatus for gaming, though. One of our regulars has been out of town for several months, but has finally returned. He started us on a Dragon Quest campaign this evening. We had two new players, but we were missing Ron, who had to work.

It took a little bit to get back into the swing of the characters, and the setting. It had actually been almost exactly two years since we had visited this particular game. It was nice to get back into it though. Sure there were things we missed (oh yeah, that sword has magic), and things that never change (argh! I still can't roll the dice worth a darn!), especially the fun we have playing.

So I get to look forward to gaming night again next week, and in the mean time... wow, I'm not used to staying up this late any more!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

work work work

So here we are, almost to Friday, and what is on my agenda for this weekend? Yeah, you got it. Work.

Oh sure, I'm behind on my grading. A little bit. Not as bad as sometimes, mind you, and it is on the list. There are other things, too, though.

Lesson plans for one. Yeah I need to get my next unit ready. I also need to look at my unit plans and see how they fit into the format that the administration wants this year. Yeah, kind of doing double work. Here's how the plans make sense to me.... here's how the administration wants them for their records. sigh.

I also have some work to do on some word study lessons I'm modifying from some root word/prefix/suffix lessons. I got three units finished at the end of the summer, and it is almost time for unit four... then five... yeah you get the picture. Its a pain right now, but once they are done, I'll be able to use them with slight editing for quite a while. Oh, I may add create options, just because I can, but still.

Yeah, I'll probably dream about it tonight in some way or another.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

hot and humid

It's been hot here for weeks. You would think it was summer or something.

I sweated like crazy in my classroom from morning to afternoon, and then to top it all off, we had to evacuate the building and stand out in the sun about 3:15 or so. Now, I'm really and truly appreciative that GISD takes the disaster preparedness seriously, and does fire drills, etc. Really, I am. Hot and sweaty. Yep that has been me since school started. Did I mention that I have refrigerated air at home? Yeah. So I get to pay for it, and then still go to work and drip with sweat and ickiness.

Then, this evening, it actually rained. Yep, real drops, with real water. Lovely. Cooled off the evening, smelled like desert RAIN. Watched a dog across the street try to catch the drops. Raine and I floated leaf boats in the gutter. Lovely.

I hear that Albertson's has started roasting chili.

I still want it to be cooler in my classroom.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

two things on my list

Its been a while since Dev lent me the book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but today i picked it up and took it to school with me. Yes, it did need a field trip, and it will get one for the next while, while I read it, even in class during Sustained Silent Reading time. Dev recommended it, so I know I'm gonna like it, and even three very short chapters in, I'm entertained.

Who could resist a book that begins:

IT is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead.

Certainly, not I.

The next interesting item, pointed out to me by Yahoo - and I think Fran, although I haven't yet read her sewing blog e-mail yet. In case you missed it, here is a link to New Dress a Day. Yep, my kind of blog, all right. One of those that makes me want to smack my forehead and wonder why _I_ didn't think of it...

Monday, August 16, 2010

leviathan chronicles

Want to know what radio drama has evolved to? Check out the Leviathan Chronicles, or many of the other drama podcasts that are finding their way to the web.

The Leviathan Chronicles is one that Ron found, and we have both been enjoying the story. It is high adventure, across continents and oceans. It can be found here. It was written by Christof Laputka, who works at a sound studio (I think) in New York. I get the impression that Christof is looking for a way to get his work "out there" in a techno-savvy format. I think he may have found a niche.

As a work of fiction, there are a few problems with TLC. Occasionally my willing suspension of disbelief has been stretched. Still, as entertainment, TLC works very well. The voice talent he found to bring the characters to life is good. The adventure is fast paced. There is suspense and mystery and entertainment. You can download for an MP3 player, or burn to a disc for a CD player. Either way is suitable for a road trip.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

pants day

What, you thought because it was Sunday, this would be sewing day??? Well, it was. I did go to Roxanne's, and we did sew. Guess what we sewed today? Right in one: pants. We both needed some, and so we cut them out. I started serging on the first pair while Roxanne cut out the second, and by the time I was done, Roxanne's mom was there to help cut out, and man did we go to town. We got 7 pair cut out, 4 pair serged, and one pair completely finished. There was also a nightgown in the mix, which was almost finished when I left. I have two pair of pants that just need hems and casing/elastic to be ready to wear. I also have a pair that is cut out, waiting to be sewn. Not bad in the space of about 4 hours. And when you add in all the visiting we got in, bam! it's magic.


A good way to finish up a weekend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

halloween anyone?

I know, it's still July, and HOT and school is just starting, but for those of us not planning to rush out to the costume mega mart, it's getting to be time to think about HALL-O-WEEEEEEN...

I've made several costumes for Raine, and I'm planning to continue the tradition this year. I've even come up with an idea. Well, actually, it is a group of ideas. Lets start at the beginning, shall we? No, no, not that beginning... the beginning of the idea factory. What would Raine like to be for Halloween? Her favorite things are: dinosaurs, bionicles, and Spore (the computer game). I made her a bionicle costume last year, which I thought turned out pretty good. There was one problem with it, though. It was appliques onto a sweat shirt and sweat pants. For anyone who doesn't live here in the southern end of NM, it can still get plenty warm in October. Last year she just about melted in her costume.

So, what to do? Of course I asked her what she wanted, and she tells me about different Spore creatures she would like a costume of. The creature part stays fairly consistent, but the appendages and accoutrement change and shift, mutate and recombine. See, in a way, that makes sense, because the part of Spore that she likes best is basically building the creature. You put different heads, and claws, ears and noses, fangs and antennae on the things. You change the color, and the texture, and even decide whether you want wings. And you can pretty much change it at any time.

So. my thought is this. Build some pieces. None of the pieces would have to take that long to create, and if I stick to a couple basic colors, then she can mix and match them like crazy. Also, not as much to grow out of. The costume pieces can last for as long as she wants to dress up in them (unlike the dinosaur costume I didn't make, but she loved... until she couldn't put the hood up without getting a wedgie. I think it will be fun to play with pieces and parts for her, and for me, too. A chance for me to play with some embellishment techniques and textures as well. Maybe some reversible pieces, as long as they don't get too many layers, and then become too hot to play in. Some need scales, and some feathers, and I'm thinking vests and hoods for the garment pieces. Now I just need to be on the lookout for cool looking socks and gloves to go with...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

once bitten

Fran asked what books we were reading, which makes me think to write about it just a bit. I'm reading Jennifer Rardin's book, Once Bitten, Twice Shy, and I'm really enjoying it. Now that school has started, my available time for reading has been cut way back, but I had a very nice summer for reading. Better than for a long while, now.

We've implemented (read: had thrust upon us) a school wide SSR program this year, so the students have enforced reading for pleasure for 30 minutes about 4 times a week. Well, let me tell you, I am the reading gestapo! OK, maybe not quite, but I do make them sit, and have the book open and be quiet, while I walk around the class, reading my book. No, I'm not reading aloud, but there are many choices of reading material that they can choose from in my room, and much more than that available in the library. Yes, we went. They have even had the opportunity to check something out. So, I get to keep reading...

Back to Once Bitten... It is in that up-and-coming genre of urban fantasy, which I'm finding I enjoy. The main character, Jaz Parks has an interesting mix of strengths and weaknesses, and she is partnered with an interesting vampire "good-guy." Why the quotation marks? Well, they work for the CIA, as assassins. I think that makes them kind of dark for good guys, but the bad guys are really, really bad. Still I am enjoying the book, and want to read more. Good thing its a series! Fran, did you send this book to me? If you did, good job!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

sittin' here

I'd been keeping up with blogging this month, well, until yesterday. I had something all ready to go yesterday, too. I really did... but I got sidetracked, and tired, and just finally had to say the heck with it, and go to bed. I would post it today, except, remember that part where I went to bed? Yeah, I slept. I got no clue, now. None. Except that it was gonna be snarky. So, really, it's probably just as well I don't remember.

Tonight? I stayed late at work. Then when I got home, after a lovely dinner of pork curry that Carl made (yum-ola), I wrote the checks and paid the bills. I'd put it off longer than I should have. Anyway, the result is, I really don't have the energy to consider many possibilities of topics for a post. Still, even without a topic, I'm trying to type for long enough to let my hair get a little dry after washing it. Yeah, I know, you are all so gratified to see where you truly fit into my personal schema. What? You knew it already? Oh. Well. Nevermind.

Anyway, we're almost to Thursday, getting closer to the weekend, and now that I'm back at work, of course it matters. Now, if I can only get Raine started back to school next week, I'll be doing good. Of course she is going to have to work on getting up that early again. She certainly wasn't asleep yet, the last time I looked in on her.

Monday, August 9, 2010

philosophy vs politics

This evening I got a phone call from a woman from some Right to Life organization or the other. My response to her? I am not interested in listening. Click.

I understand the need to be active politically. I understand the responsibility, as well. I realize that political decisions made with or without my help can affect people I care about, so I do try to vote my conscience and my personal philosophy. I do not, however, enjoy politics.

I got to thinking, though, that while I do not want to discuss many of these issues with some political fanatic, who is not going to change my mind any more than I am going to change theirs, I would discuss them as a matter of personal philosophy. I have pretty liberal politics, but my personal philosophies tend (at least as I see it) to be fairly conservative. I lean a lot towards tolerance and the Golden Rule, and I would like others to treat me pretty well.

With the advent of mass media, people don't discuss these philosophies as much, and develop their own views through the discussions. They get brow-beaten by endlessly repeated commercials and other media. Brainwashed into thoughtless masses who vote some party line then don't understand when they - or their children - can't get medical care, or some other benefit.

Perhaps, the advent of the world wide web will, in some measure, facilitate that thoughtful discussion between curious and philosophical individuals, no matter how distant from one another they may be. Or maybe I'll just get overwhelmed by spam telling me how those kids these days don't even say the pledge any more...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

superheros and supervillians

Carl and I scored a copy of Kick-Ass at Sam's, today. Terrible title, entertaining movie. Not for the young, despite having a preteen as one of the main characters.

Its as much about growing up and stepping up as it is about over the top violence - which it has plenty of. It also has Nicolas Cage.

I don't want to give a lot away but it WAS pretty entertaining, and I did see a bazooka used...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a little sewing

I've been working on a few things today. I've got a top that I want to get finished for me, and one for Ron's mom. I've been working on them a little here and a little there, and today I worked on the sleeves for the tunic for Ron's mom. I've only promised it to her for more than a year... and sent her the other one almost a year ago. But I've been conflicted and unsure about the embellishment that I wanted to do on it. I think I posted about it even. I ended up sending her a "sample" of different stitches with different threads and let her pick. Which she did.

I'm proud of myself, though, because I added this simple line of narrow zig-zag. It really adds to the sleeve. Of course the lighting isn't great, and the sleeve is just lying there - not looking it's best, really. And the camera has a hard time auto focusing on that type of thing, so... Anyway, the fabric is linen, and I'm liking it more the more I work with it. (I just love it when that happens).

So I'll add the photo of Shelbi's dress, too. She picked out the fabric when she was here, and I got the dress finished and took it to her when I took Raine up to stay with them for a few days. I thought she picked out some very cute fabric, and she was pleased with the result.

Friday, August 6, 2010


It has been a hot, sweaty, tiring week at work. Starting school can just take it out of a person. Once I'm back it the swing of things - sometime after Raine starts back to school - it won't be so bad.

So, even though I was hot and tired (although the sweat had dried) we went and did some gaming this evening. Board games not role playing, but enjoyable. The game I played is based on the TV series Battlestar Galactica. I had fun being one of the cylons, and not gathering suspicion until late in the game.

Carl played Puerto Rico, which is a game I enjoy, too. It goes a little (lot) quicker than many.

So, now I have to be careful not to blink too long, lest it just turn into sleep. I think I'll go shower, and rinse all the icky dried sweat off, and climb happily into bed beneath the ceiling fan. Aaaahhhhh. Raine promised to sleep late, and I believe her.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

wooo! project runway season 8

I caught the first two episodes... or maybe it was just the 90 minute premier. I missed the first few minutes. The first challenge was rather interesting, where each designer got an article of clothing from one of the other designer's suitcases (I don't know how it was picked or anything - that was what I missed) as their inspiration and they had only 5 hours to create their piece USING that item. hmmmmm.... interesting. This is one challenge that even I could tell which ones were the terrible ones. Mostly. OK, so I didn't know the pants were made from... pants. I got why they didn't like them.

Oooohhhhh.... (and here is why I watch that show) I just had an excellent inspiration of what could have been done with them that would have been innovative.

Anyway, the second challenge was to create a billboard look for Marie Claire magazine, and the winner - actually the same designer won both challenges - designed a pantsuit. The second place did a really nice red dress. All the other designers expected the red dress to win, but I think one of the reasons it did not, even though it was a really good dress, is that the other WASN'T a dress.

I would so love to have the experience of doing the challenges like they do on Project Runway. I would so lose, if I were a contestant. I just don't have - and frankly I'm not that interested in - the style sensibility that the "fashion forward" fashionistas want. I understand many of their design comments, and some of the taste issues, but I'm under no illusions at all that they would find most of what I made rather pedestrian. SOMETIMES, though sometimes, I think I come up with an idea that just. might. play.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Well, I've been reading those Threads Magazines, and really enjoying them, so I thought I would share the Threads website with you as well. Here it is: http://www.threadsmagazine.com . I have had a chance to look through it a little, although I have not signed up yet, or anything. I have enjoyed browsing through it, and I intend to do some more. What does that mean? Well, it doesn't cost anything to check them out.

I think that while Threads does mainly concentrate on sewing, they also include information and techniques on other fiber arts as well. They also have a good section on tips. This summer Steph mentioned how much help she had found online when she was creating a dress for her younger daughter. I definitely think the Threads website is one I would look for help on. I know I have found their technical articles informative in the magazine. Pretty timeless as well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

next up on the list

...Find something besides school to talk about.

What can I say, it is taking up a lot of my brain power at the moment, although I do acknowledge that there is only a finite amount of interest a reader on the outside of my brain can have.

I know there are other topics out there, and I'll take note of them, I really will. In the mean time, here's a joke that my brother Carl told - and posted on his facebook...

What do you get when a brown cow has sex with a brown chick?

wait for it...

Brown chick-a brown cooowww

(get Dev to say it...)

Monday, August 2, 2010

first day

Am I going to sing - or at least type - the blues? Nah.

My cold seems to be on the way out, YAY! I got a lot done in my classroom. (Now if it just wasn't so bloody HOT in my room.) And my beginning of school tomorrow dream was barely stress-like at all.

I dreamed that I had an all-boys class. The school seemed to be at my parent's house, and evidently the boys were sleeping over. (I didn't way it wasn't weird.) Someone was observing me, and the boys did their assignment and the observer's response was that I should be grading their work NOW. hmmm, OK. It didn't feel like any big deal to me, so, I started to do just that.

What kind of stress dream is that? The boys did their work AND were behaving! I was where I should have been (you know, in that dream kind of way...) and I was even fully clothed. Heck, I wasn't even looking for a functioning bathroom.

Oh, I still have stuff to do in my classroom, but evidently, I'm ready!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

tomorrow's the day

Yep, summer's over. The holiday, not the season, of course. That will go on - at least here in the sunny southwest - for another couple of months.

I have mixed feelings about going back to work this year. I really like working with kids, and I love the process of planning and creating lessons. I enjoy learning, myself, and I like that I can be involved in that process. I think I have the right job for me, and yes, I tried others. I have things that I'm excited to do this year, too. I've been working on some of them for a while, processing the ideas, and I'm happy to try them out. I learned a lot last year, which is so often true in those "difficult" years. There is definitely a sense of anticipation for meeting new students, and the new beginning. What a cool thing, to get a new beginning.

Still, this summer was pretty great. You know, one of those moments you don't want to end. It wasn't just one moment, either, though. And really, I'm just not quite done! I still have stuff I want to do during this summer. What? I always overplan my time? Well, yeah, there is that. Still, it has been a good summer, and restful and restorative, which I really needed.

That means, on many levels, I'm really ready for school to start. If only I didn't have to get up so darned early. Yeah.