Thursday, September 30, 2010

waiting on the week to end

Next week, we get a modified fall break. Two days off, and I'm ready to take them. Now. I kept hoping all day today that it was Friday already.

But of course its only Thursday today. Can't be all bad, though, it means Project Runway, and this week, we got to tune in.

The state fair is open this weekend. I like to take Raine, but I'm not sure how the logistics will work out.

Come on, weekend...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

run out of steam

For several weeks, I was very conscientious about making my walking goal. This week, not so much. Do you know what? I can really feel it today. I have no energy, I let myself be bored, even. I mean, when I can't figure out something to do instead of being bored.... well it doesn't often happen. That's for sure.

So, in a way, some negative reinforcement has occurred. I don't like this feeling, and I know how to fix it. Get off my butt, and walk. You bet I will, tomorrow, and the day after, and the rest of this week. Back to that goal, with the knowledge it really will make me feel better, besides just being, you know, good for me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

what's left of the pile

So I seem to be getting a lot of mileage out of this past weekend's sewing projects. While I didn't actually sew on this shirt this past weekend, it is mostly done, needing only the collar to be attached, the hem and the buttons and button holes. Thinking of the shirt is what got me looking for it though, and running across those other needing-to-be-finished projects, though.

First of all, I love this fabric. It has depth and visual texture to the print that I really like. I usually go for colors more than black and white (I'm a disaster in white, and can't reasonably expect more than one wearing without stains, and black is too.... trendy or something). Anyway, as you can see this fabric has layers to it. It also feels good. It has body, yet it is soft. Since it is cotton, it will also breathe well.

I'm making a button down long shirt, with a collar and short sleeves. I'm hoping it will work both as a button up blouse, and a short sleeved jacket for versatility. It is more fitted than my usual shirt, but Roxanne and I are trying to practice some more tailored items. This upcoming weekend will be a long one for me, so even with time out to visit the fair, I'm hoping I'll have it finished to wear next week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

the rest of yesterday's pile

Here is some detail of the shirt I talked about yesterday. I added 3 of the buttons, and made loops for closures. I also tacked down the facing at the back of the neck, which is poofing up in this picture. The red line at the edge is a small, close zig-zag stitch, which wasn't really visible in yesterday's picture, even though I mentioned it. Inside the front pieces is a lining of red brocade with black flowers.

I'm making the loops for the buttons from crochet thread, to give them a little heft, but not too much. I didn't want to mark the front of the top with actual button holes. The pattern I based this top off of would not have opened in the front at all, so I kind of had to figure that out for myself.

I finished Raine's pajamas, too. Dinosaurs on them, so they were pretty popular. She wore them to bed tonight in fact. I'll have to look around for the fabric scraps because her favorite stuffed dog, Jody, needs pajamas like hers. I think if you click the picture, you can see the fabric of the pajamas pretty well.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

at the top of the pile

Ron and I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday. We picked up a few things and as we were walking through the fabric department, I noticed a bolt that looked familiar. I had bought some of that fabric... and cut out a top... and and ????

So this morning I looked for it. Hmmmm not in my closet, so evidently not finished. Not in the current basket of things to sew up. Well, what about this basket of stuff that needs black thread? Sure enough, there it was, with Raine's new dinosaur pajamas, and her brocade top that I needed to sew up before she out grows it... which could be any day now.

Even though I want to finish the top for me, and I really want to get to wear it, Raine's top jumped to the top of the pile. Once I got going one it, it came together quickly and nicely, although the brocade is a little slippery. I was very pleased with the effect of the small line of zig-zag that I learned on the tunic, used as an edging on this top. Now all it lacks are closings - we picked a round, metallic filigree button that I will close with loops of thread or cording, and the edging on the bottom hemline. You know, instead of the safety pin that is holding the front closed in the photo, here. Now Raine has a nice shirt she can wear to those occasions when she needs to dress up a little.

Friday, September 24, 2010

trying again

Last week, when it was Friday, I recounted how my drive home was terrible, but that I was sure the rest of the weekend would be better. Without going into emotional details, let me just say, not so much.

So here it is, Friday again. I keep thinking that this is the four-day weekend, when really that is NEXT weekend, but we have had two days of work without classes. That sort of counts. At least in the "but darn, I still had to get up early" way. The drive home was not horrendous. In fact, because I had a switch thing changed out in my car, and it was shifting gears more smoothly, the drive was actually better than it had been. Thanks to Ron picking up my car for me on Thursday - while I was still doing parent/teacher conferences - I was able to drive it.

On the down-side, Raine is in trouble at school. She'll be working this weekend in consequence, but it is at this point calm consequence, not the raving kind of earlier. After a brief respite, evidently, the tests for this year resume. That, and Roxanne will be out of town this weekend, so I won't get to go sew with her. I'm hoping I can get some sewing done anyway. That is my plan, at any rate.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

sank hevans...

for leetle web sites that have TV showz...

So Tuesday I found out that the first episode of Castle for season 3 aired... on Monday. Of course, I was driving up to Ruidoso, and had no idea. And other priorities. As it should be. Still, I enjoy me some Castle. Yay Nathan Fillion!

So yesterday evening, I checked on Hulu, and VOILA, there it was, ready for me to watch, which I did, and enjoyed. If you haven't watched it yet, I suggest you do. It was a good episode for a season opener, and not the typical episode while being very true to the series. Don't want to say more, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. But watch. Soon.

Tonight, I missed Project Runway. I knew I was going to. Parent/teacher conferences end at 7, and that means I get home around 8. So. Yeah. BUT, I check this morning on Hulu. Sure enough, there is last week's episode of PR. Soo.... I will get to watch it before next week. Yay!

Thank you, Hulu.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

...and, it's back to...

Well, nothing monu is connecting to my mental. Ahh well. I did look through Letters of Note and the letter from Rod Serling about movies not being written to be cut up for the insertion of commercials so that they can be shown on television. Have to say that I agree with that. Even more these days when the commercial time starts to overtake the program time.

I'm kinda sad that I will miss Project Runway tomorrow. Parent/teacher conferences at school, and we won't get out until 7 PM. Sigh. There is always next week, when it will be re-run, but that just isn't the same.

Yeah, I think that's about it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

memories past & future

Last Spring Break, we traveled to Houston, to reconnect with our family on my mom's side. It had been years, like 15 or so, since I had last been to Houston, and a little longer for Carl. Many of those relatives had not met Ron nor Raine. We had a great time, and it was important as well, because one of my cousins was fighting a battle with cancer that he has since lost.

This past weekend, his brother Mark flew into El Paso, to go to Ruidoso, so that he could drive their mom to Houston for the memorial service. He then drove her back to Ruidoso, and was facing another shuttle ride from there to the airport, and a flight back to Houston. Yesterday evening, Raine and I packed a bag, drove up to Ruidoso, spent the night and then brought Mark to Las Cruces for a brief stop, lunch at Carrillos, and then we drove him to the airport.

While we were in Ruidoso, Mark pulled out the photo albums and showed Raine some pictures from when we were kids. Back then, his family and mine would meet for camping vacations, and they would often make a special effort to spend time with our family when we took our annual trip to the Houston area, and down to the bay. Mark and his brother Steve would play with my brothers and I, and those are some great memories.

Spending time with Mark today, I was also reminded of his father, whom I remember fondly from those childhood days, and later when I would make an occasional trip to Ruidoso to visit he and my aunt, or they would arrange to meet us at White Sands when the cousins came for a visit.

My hope is that if each of us is willing to put forth a little time and effort, we can find those moments that will create more memories for us, for our families and for our children. I am reminded that some people are treasures, but you don't want to keep their memories in a book, or a box. You want to interact with them, because you feel in some way they are going to continue to contribute to your life in many memorable ways.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

more sewing

I posted in my Createlivity blog some of my finished sewing this week. I've also been working on Raine's Halloween costume. I have finished - or nearly finished - a few of the pieces, but there is more to do. Here is how it looked before I went to Roxanne's today.

My key for this costume is versatility. I am making some pretty simple parts so that she can put them together, all or some, and create the creature she wants to be, whether it is a reptile, a dinosaur or even a dragon or wyvern.

When it is finished, there will be detachable long sleeves (it gets HOT here, even in October) that will cover part of her hands, so if she has on gloves, the gloved fingers will look like claws. There will also be wings to attach to the sleeves, if she feels like flying. I'm also working on a hood (with horns). Facepaint will probably complete the look on Halloween.

The pants and vest are a snakeskin like dark green, almost black, pleather. The shirt underneath is cotton with dark, irregular dots to add some texture. I also have another green cotton print to help line the hood (pleather) and help make the wings. The sleeves will be pleather as well, with a lining near her hand, in case she wants to turn them up a little.

I'm hoping that she will enjoy adding these pieces to her costume box to play with all year long. If she likes the way it turns out, I also have plans for gold/red pieces.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

halloween costume

It is coming along. Or at least it was. was getting ready to work on the long sleeves. I decided to do detachable long sleeves, so the costume doesn't have to be so hot. Then, I also want to be able to attach wings to the arms via the long sleeves. Versatility is my key, here. I wanted Raine to try on what I have so far. Maybe even get a picture. But, no. She was too busy doing something else.

Well, alrighty then. Tomorrow, I hope that I can actually get out to Roxanne's and get some sewing done there. I packed some thread colors that I think will be pertinent. I think there is some cutting out that needs to be done. Hope I can get to that tomorrow, too. I'm usually in charge of the serger work, and that can go pretty quickly. I'm so loving that serger machine. Here's hoping I can remember to take my camera, too. I couple of the found fabric projects that we are currently working on are for Roxanne, and nearly done. Maybe I can get her to model at least one of them for me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

weekend. love it.

So, the weekend made it, finally. Tonight is the homecoming game and dance for Gadsden High School, where I teach. Yesterday should have been our bonfire (bombfire is what the kids often write it as) and carnival, but they got postponed due to inclement weather. The weather people said no chance of rain yesterday, so it clouded up and went at it, at least down in the valley. It started to pour just as I was walking out to my car, and then rained on me off and on all the way home. I even pulled into my driveway to a few sprinkles, and the wind kicking up as if to bring the rest of the rain to me. But, no. That was all we got, those few drops as I pulled in. Some places got an inch and a half. I got 3 drops. I knew I should have started the sprinkler!

Anyway, the kids were squirrelly today, which is always a joy. Then, the drive through town on my way home was like beating my head against a wall. I think I hit every light red, all the way through town. As soon as a slower-than-me driver in front of me would turn off, (or I would) the next car in front of me would be worse (and it isn't like I'm a speed demon! the slow car is usually ME!). Including the fellow who had to have a conversation with the motorcyclist in the next lane. Sigh. The evening has been calm and collected, and much better than that, although I did - of course - bring my magic bag of papers that need grading home with me for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

voices in my head

We got a new stove. A gas one with a fifth burner on the range top that is elongated and a griddle fits over it. Oh, no, you think. We won't use that much. HA! I think that is what we have used MOST so far. Grilled cheese sandwiches were the first things we cooked. Since then, french toast, cheese, smashed sandwiches, crispy cheese tortillas, more grilled cheese, and more cheese, fried to crispiness.

So this evening, after opening a jar of hamburger dill pickle chips, the griddle started calling out to me... grilled pickles. You know you want some. Add cheese (oh yeah, that's what everything says to me). So, I fired up the griddle and made little pile of cheese and spread a few pickles through it. Then I waited for it to get crispy enough to turn over. MMmmmmm.

But I swear I heard this voice in my head while they were bubbling on the griddle. It was Lillian, with that amused look on her face. She chuckled and shook her head as she said, "Dru, you're bad." I know. Want some Lillian?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

inspiration in the shower

One of my daily joys is taking a shower. I save it for the end of the day, to be able to go to bed nice and clean, and wash off all the grime and worries of the day. I was watching some of Season 2 of True Blood, and without giving too much away, Lafayette gets home after a couple of weeks in the basement under Fangtasia, much the worse for wear. He climbs into a chair, wraps up in an afghan and goes to sleep. I would have so showered first! Doesn't matter how tired I am, I wouldn't want to wake up and still be that filthy.

Anyway... yeah, so I enjoy a nice shower, and clearing your body might also give you time and space to clear your head, and let yourself have an inspiration, like I did tonight. I've been looking for something creative to blog about regularly, and thanks to Project Runway, and their challenges - which I love - and the Dress a Day blog (which is brilliant as well), I've come up with one that I think suits me well. The Found Fabric Challenge: Make something useful for someone from fabric that has been given to me. Finding the fabric is not going to be the problem, believe me. I know where there is bags and totes of the stuff that _I_ did not buy, but I also did not want to go to waste. Truthfully, it fits me so well as a challenge, that I've already taken it on, without really realizing it. Right at this moment, I'm wearing a night shirt that I made this summer from fabric that my mom left me. I also talked several times about all the clothes that Roxanne and I made for the little boys in the family... yep, found fabric for that, too... jeans with the crotch ripped out, cut off ends of pants, t-shirts and pj's from knits that were in the same stack that my sleep shirt came from. We still have some of those pockets from the sides of Carl's old pants that we need to sew strapping on for some simple backpacks.

We also have some found fabric projects in the works, right now. I can't take pictures of the fabric or the patterns before we start, but I'll be sure to post some "after" shots. Here's me, doing a little happy dance!

Monday, September 13, 2010

who needs a friday?

Was this Monday.... the 13th? Yes, yes, I believe it was.

I know most people decry as unlucky those hapless Friday the 13th's, but really, folks, Mondays are just so much worse to begin with, aren't they? I know you agree with me. Don't pretend you don't. So, yeah the 13th. My day started so well, that at the end of it, parents were called. The two I actually spoke to didn't speak much English, and I speak even less Spanish. (I can understand more than I can speak) So, yeah. fun.

On the brighter side, Carl made a roast for dinner, with little potatoes and carrots. My favorite way to cook carrots. We got a new gas stove, and now we've broken in the oven. It has a griddle in the middle of the stovetop that is great for doing lots of things. I'm sure one day we'll wonder how we ever did without it.

While the thunderstorm in the middle of the night woke me up, the rain did not. The thunder was awesome, but I thought the rain was going to pass us by. It did not, and it must have been quite a bit of rain, because there was standing water everywhere this morning. Thought we might get a little more this afternoon, but it was just teasing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

sigh for sunday

Ahh, the weekend has gone by so fast. I worked on work for a lot of it, but I have a nicely stacked stack of graded papers to give back tomorrow, and a much more up-to-date grade book, too. I'm glad I have them, but I sure would have liked more weekend in my weekend.

Still, not everything was terrible. Even if Roxanne wasn't up to sewing today, and I didn't manage to claim some time to plug in the machines here. I do have some pictures of the tunic. Raine helped me out so I could take some pictures outside, in the _good_ light. It is a little wrinkle-y as it has not been hung up, and it is linen. But the fabric feels nice, and it hangs well, and I hope Ron's mom likes the result as much as I do. I was really pleased with the effect of the line of narrow zig-zag at the neck and before the sleeve flair.

I also took the time to go on a longer-than-usual walk today. Raine and I walked up the street to the desert area. They extended a road near our house, through a water retention area (yeah, geniuses, I know, but they built up a berm for the road to go on - we'll see how it works in the next really big rain, sometime in the next... 10 or so years). ANYWAY, we went and counted lizards, and looked at cacti with really big spikes, and found some rocks to take home. We both enjoyed ourselves.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

not much news

Kind of a slow, peaceful day, with a lot of grading done. I have more to do, of course, and it doesn't make for exciting conversation, for the most part. Still, it's what I do.

The role playing game went a little better. Well, maybe not for me, so much. I almost died, but got better. Sometimes when I get to that point when I know I'm going down, it makes me feel bad. Tonight, though, I played it as my character would have, and I put up a darn good fight, and because they were hitting me, they weren't hitting the others. So much. So, I went down, but we made it back to town, where I got healed up.

The game is Dragon Quest, and I'm playing a very strong halfling, who drags a two handed sword around, and she can use it, too. What's more, she mostly enjoys using it. She's easily distracted by anything that smells like bacon, or coin. Pretty much in that order. Her name is Toodles, and she's been a lot of fun to play.

So, I look forward to tomorrow, when I get to sew with Roxanne, and I'll take - and then share - a picture of the tunic that we finally got finished, and then I'll pack it to ship to Ron's mom.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

two updates, well maybe three

First, the walking continues, and goes well. Tonight Raine and I walked through Walmart. Back and forth, front and back, hither and yon. Walmart is one of those places where it doesn't matter how far you park, you are still doing less walking than you will once you are inside the store. We were doing our Good Deed to help a cousin and her husband, who are also doing a GOOD DEED.

Next, the dentist visit went smoothly. It was a little painful, but not as bad as it could have been. The dental hygienist had a numbing gel that she spread on my gums which certainly helped them. Still, one tooth or another dinged now and again, and the gel wore off rather quickly. Fortunately, she paid attention and re-applied it a couple of times. The prospect of healthier gums is a good one, and my mouth is actually much less painful even now than I expected it to be.

I also am happy to report that progress has been made on the Raine front. I am under no illusion that we are done dealing with the issues, but progress is a good thing. Progress is acceptable.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Last week it was Raine's turn for the dentist.She got a quick cleaning, a fluoride rinse and x-rays to make sure the teeth she's been missing since, oh, Easter, are actually coming in. Seems like they are, but we will have to keep an eye out for crowding.

This week, my turn. It will be no quick job, either. I'm scheduled for deeep cleeeeaning. yeah, announcer voice and all. I do enjoy the feeling in freshly cleaned teeth, but deep cleaning just doesn't sound fun at all. I've been lucky with my teeth, and haven't had to have any taken out. Well, besides the wisdom teeth, and that was another story. Still, I've been around a while, and I've eaten once or twice, so, yeah. Deep cleaning.

I'll let you know how it went...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

step back september

Here we are on the 7th of September. One week into this month, heading into fall and the holidays, and all that stuff. When I look at the calendar, I can hardly look at this week... it all goes to next week, and then next month and then...

It seems like September will be over before it has begun.

So, we get into the season of birthdays. First Carl's, then Ron's. The series of holidays sparked off by Halloween. I've already started Raine's costume(s). Then the Christmas gift sewing. It just is amazing how the momentum seems to build.

So, here September, before you disappear into October, I am taking a moment to acknowledge you. To notice the (ever so slight) cooling that you bring. To hope that the weeks will not just disappear as they seem ready to do, but linger long enough to get some work done.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

small post on trust

This hasn't been a fun weekend. It has been a lot of emotional work. We are trying to impress upon a seven year old the importance of being a nice person instead of someone who lies and says mean things about people. Raine is fundamentally a good kid, but she tells lots of little lies, and as we all know, little lies turn into bigger lies. Mean comments, true or not, hurt people's feelings.

It has always been very important to me for my child to be someone I wanted to be around, share my time with, do things for. Acknowledging that there is a problem here isn't as easy as just letting things slide, but I think that is a mistake a lot of parents make. So it's been a difficult weekend for me, trying to balance how important an issue this is to me with how to present it as such to a seven year old. How do I know where her emotional/mental development leads her so that I know the best way to guide her or remind her appropriately?

How long _does_ it take to earn someone's trust back?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

wednesday goal update

My goal for the past week was to walk at least 30 minutes 4 of the days. Well, I'm happy to report that I met that goal. I had to make conscious decisions to include that exercise in my day, and I did it. I also had to make the choice of sharing the goal last week, when I was talking about setting it. Knowing that I had made it public, so to speak, did help motivate me because I sure wanted to report that I had met the goal. For the next week, I'm keeping the same goal, because the 30 minutes seems attainable, but I'll be upping the time soon. Not much at a time, but an increase none-the-less.

I enjoy walking, really. It helps relieve stress for me, but I know I am inherently lazy, and don't feel like doing much when I get home from standing in my classroom 3 classes out of 4 (the other one is my prep, and I am likely out walking around at least some time during that one) except maybe sit and look at my computer screen or television. Walking is better for me, and my blood sugar, and even my energy level (or so I'm told).

OK, self, that was your pep talk for the day. Are you listening, self? Am I?