Saturday, December 31, 2011

what's in a picture?

Used to be I could up load photos from my computer onto my blogs, but I have been having issues with that. Between Ron and I, we tried a number of things to help solve the issues, and perhaps we have, today. An annoying (to me) solution, but a solution none-the-less.

So here is a post in Createlivity blogger style, with photos.

And here is a photo of the pattern Roxanne and I are using to make pajamas for her great nephews and her grandson. We were making the footy part on Friday, and once we got the hang of them, we thought, HEY! We could totally make slippers like this, more or less. Christmas inspiration for next year. Plus, the two piece footy pajamas are not difficult to make. We may go crazy with those, too...
Are you kidding? Footy pajamas? AWESOME!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I have all kinds of intent to do crafty makey things this upcoming year. Yes I do.

So, what will I make? For one thing (two, actually, since Roxanne gets one too) I want Roxanne and I to finish the quilts we have been making squares for all this past year. I think they are going to be AWESOME! and if you see them and don't think so... well, I really don't want to know. They are going to be AWEsome!

Other than that though? Well, that's where inspiration comes in. And where do we find inspiration? Well, it can be found almost everywhere, really, but certainly, I think art inspires art. I don't mean copying what someone else has done. I mean looking at a vision someone else has had and then incorporating that thought into your own schema. Working it through your own vision, and becoming inspired. Looking at things from someone else's point of view can give you "new eyes" for a moment, and what is inspiration but looking at things in a new way?

Another source of inspiration is nature. I get enthralled by the organic movement of bare tree branches building the shapes of trees. Particularly when there are two or three trees growing closely together, making one canopy. I also find myself fascinated by leave lately. Again, I think it has to do with the movement and organic curves of them.

So, on my to-do list for this year is to visit places and look for inspiration. To look for forms that speak to me, and to observe how other artists and craftists create with those forms (and other forms), and to learn from them. To be inspired.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

of sewing machines and christmas cards

There is something - a couple of things actually - that I can say about doing as much sewing as I have been in the past couple of years. One: my skills are improving. Not l33t yet, but improving. Two: the sewing machine does not intimidate me. So yesterday, when it started skipping stitches, I thought, hmm... probably needs to be oiled. Knowing that it was a sign to quit for the day, I did. Today, however, in good light and spirits, I pulled out the manual, and looked up what to do. I opened the area where the bobbin goes, and then took out the bobbin case and CLEANED. Whew, it needed it! I should do it more often, probably, but I'm not a fixer of what ain't broken. So, I cleaned the area, oiled as pictured, reassembled it, and it worked like it should.

Then, this afternoon, I took Raine and her friend, Ezekiel to the pool. For the whole session. 1-4:30, they swam. It kept them busy, exercised and entertained all afternoon. Score! Have I mentioned how much Raine loves that indoor pool?

While the kids swam, I worked on my Christmas cards. Yeah, I know. Late. Still, I thought, I'll make them Happy New Year cards, and Thanks for the wonderful gifts cards. So I did. And addressed them, and it took an hour. An hour. All that procrastination for a "chore" that took an hour? I'm let down. What was I thinking? I was thinking it would take waaay longer than that. Now, I feel like a dork. A dork with all her Christmas cards done. Finally.

Now, about those presents...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

lotsa not much

Isn't that what vacations - at least some of them - should be about? Well, it's working around here. We've watched movies, like Megamind, and Elf, and Coraline. I've been working on my mug rugs. Snowflakey ones. They're coming out pretty good, actually. Yay.

Tomorrow will be a kiddo day. I'll take Raine & Ezekiel to the indoor pool for a swim. I'll probably work on Christmas cards. Yeah. They're a little late. Oh, well. And knitting. And reading my new Kindle Fire. It has color...oooooo....

So, yeah, pretty boring.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas eve

The morning started off with more snow, but by 10 it was starting to warm up, melt and clear. By noon, when Raine and I left the house, many of the streets were dry. We ended up in Walmart, looking for sweet potatoes and stocking stuffers.

They were out of sweet potatoes. We managed to find stocking stuffers for Ron & I (OK, and a few more for Raine, but she was officially shopped for already). What exciting things did we get for our stockings? Well, new undies, and a long sleeved t-shirt for Ron. Oh yeah, and a wolf calendar for next year as well. I got a new pair of sweatpants since most of mine went away last summer (and they needed to go, too...)

I made green chile stew for dinner, which was yummy.

We opened presents, since Ron is working tomorrow and will be up and gone before Raine or I are even stirring. I got some good ones, mostly thanks to Ron's folks (yay) and my Aunt Tola (yay). It isn't a huge Christmas this year, by presents, but relationship wise, it seems an important mark. One that we weren't necessarily going to celebrate together, but that is even a better celebration since we are, and THAT is the big present.

Oh, yeah. And I did laundry.

Friday, December 23, 2011

white christmas

We got snow here today. A good amount of it. A couple of inches at least (hey, that's a lot around here). The snow fell throughout the day, sometimes light, small flakes, at other times they were fat and fluffy. It was warm, though, so the roads melted nicely. To freeze not-so-nicely tonight. So even though it is a couple of days before Christmas, and the actual snow - unless a bunch falls again tonight - will be gone on Christmas day, I'm counting it as a white Christmas.

Even more amazing is the fact that it is our second snow-fall of the season, already.

Can you see the snow falling? This was about 7:30 this morning.

How about in this one? It was coming down pretty hard when I took this one about 11 or so.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

are you ready

for Christmas? I'm not. Don't get me wrong here, it is hard to hear the light-hearted lilt to it in writing. I'm not all done with the season. I've finally caught the spirit, and I'm not ready to let it go. And I won't have to for a bit, because I'm not done with everything, and it isn't all ready for Santa, or anyone else.

It's nice not to be stressing over it, though. I'm enjoying making the stuff. I just need to learn to start earlier. I think I finally internalized that I will enjoy it when ever I start the process. And I really do like to make things for Christmas. The hard part is - usually - deciding WHAT to make. Sometimes, that is what takes the most time.

So, the count so far is two scarves, and a third underway, one more in the wings. Two sets of mug rugs finished, with three sets of snowflakes 3/4 pieced, and another two sets 1/4 pieced. Some bias tape ready to be ironed, and some more to make for some of the snowflake mug rugs. Have I gone overboard? Definitely. And I'm enjoying the heck out of it. When I'm not working on them, my fingers are itching to get back to them.

So, I'm sorry if your gifts are a little late. Just know they were made with love, and joy. They were ready for Christmas, even if they weren't ready, for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

early gifty

Today Ron and I got a wonderful treat for lunch. We went to Japanese Kitchen and sat at the sushi bar and feasted on sushi. Which we watched being made. Cool. And Delicious! Yum. Sushi is one of those things (for me) that I want to eat about 3 times as much as I comfortably can. It just tastes so darned yummy. Especially when you have someone making it who knows what the heck they are doing. We got the Las Vegas roll, and a spicy tuna roll. mmmm

Then, we went to Lowe's and got hardware for my closet. It has been kinda thrown together since we did the remodel (and the closet was created). because that was what we could do at the time. But the rods were just not heavy weight enough. Then, Ron spent the evening putting it together for me. OK, it isn't finished yet, but woot! It will be spiffy! Not only that, but it will provide the kick in the butt I need to go through all that stuff that was stored in there and decide what needs to be kept, and what doesn't. What needs to go back into that closet, and what doesn't. And I'm not just talking about the clothes. You know I'm not...

Anyway. It's been a good day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

wet winter

I was sitting here listening to the sounds of falling rain just now. It seems to have tapered off a bit, but I hope it will be back again. There's even been some thunder and lightening. Not a big monsoon type storm, but still. Without an attic or anything, we hear the rain on the roof, and it can be such a soothing sound. Great to sleep through.

We've had a couple of cloudy days. The kind that look colder than they really are. They've been nice, for the change they are. This is shaping up to be a kind of strange winter. We move from summer through a very quick fall right into winter. And not a warmish, dry winter, either. Rather wet, and cold.

Still, it is the season for that now. Solstice nearly here. Holidays, and celebrations, worries, and good news. Breathe in the good. Breathe out the bad. I've hardly gotten used to writing 2011 on everything, and soon it will be time to write 2012. May it be a good year. May it be a better year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

wedding count-down

NOT my wedding. My cousin, Roxanne, who I usually sew with. She and her husband got married with a justice of the peace. Now it is time for the church. We didn't make her dress. She found a fabulous dress online and it was on sale, and beautiful, and thank goodness. We are tweaking it a bit, of course we are. But, not much.

We made Raine's outfit - she'll either be ring bearer or flower child. She and Roxanne's grandson will have to work that out. Who knows, maybe they will trade off. We made a white shirt for Carl, who will be a groomsman. We made the brides maid outfits as well. We finished the blouses for those today.

I'm really happy for my cousin to be able to have the wedding that she wants. I'm happy to help her out, and help her stay sane through the stress and all.

Know what? I'll be even happier when it is all said and done, and I can spend a morning (or afternoon) or two on the crafts I've got sitting around, beckoning me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So, half my students who are testing, are all tested and done. I have a little grading to do for them, but only related to the final. Tomorrow, first thing, the rest will get their tests done, and by tomorrow afternoon, I should have the grades all turned in, and be checked out for the semester. So, tell me, if you are checked out (as in done for the semester), does it make sense to have to return the next day? No? Doesn't make sense to me either, but I bet we have to do it... Sigh.

In other good news, I got the second scarf finished! Yay! That sucker's big! I like it! I have the third scarf cast on and  almost 20 rows in. This is one isn't as wide, and won't be as long, and will go much quicker.

Know what I REALLY want to work on, though? The wonky snowflake mug rugs that I started the other day. I really want to see how they turn out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

not quite ready

For Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. Thanks to Ron's folks, there are even gifts underneath... and a cat (just our regular cat though, not one from Ron's folks...).

But the rest? The cards are still in their box. I've been working on gifts, but not many are finished. They'll probably arrive late, in fact. Sorry, everyone. It is one of those years, for me, at least. One of those I'm just not going to get everything done on time, am I years.

Ah, well. It will get done. Not sure many will care if their gift is late. I must admit to a happiness in making them, so there's that. I know I should start earlier, but the ideas don't come earlier. I have to take them when they arrive, and go from there.

I've pulled out the Christmas music, and even looked up some old favorites on YouTube. School is done for the semester this week, and finals are tomorrow and the next day. Looking forward to the time off (so I can get things done!). Maybe, just maybe, even get some cookies made.

Monday, December 12, 2011

short update

Saw the doctor today, in a non-emergency fashion. I'm scheduled to go in tomorrow at 9 AM for ultrasound of abdomen for gall bladder and liver. Trying to figure out what was going on, still. Feeling fine today. Planning to head for work after the ultrasound. Then, back to the doctor for results next week.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

scared a little

Today was not my best day ever doing the things I love - like getting to sew, which was my plan.

 I spent most of the afternoon in the emergency room, with chest pain. It wasn't a severe pain, and it didn't travel, but I did get some nausea and a little dizzyness. The tests came out fine, with no indication of a heart attack. The pain went away finally, and they let me come home. I'm glad because I didn't want to stay there. I didn't want to BE there at all.

My mom died of a heart attack because she wouldn't go get checked, even though she was feeling bad. I couldn't do that to my family.

Even so, I had to think about the decision to go. Was what I was feeling really something to worry about? (I called my cousin the nurse for a second opinion) I know that if I feel like there is something serious going on, I can panic and ramp it up, and then it gets worse. Its a hard line for me to toe, and I tend towards determinedly ignoring.

Then, of course, the emergency room isn't free. Our insurance gives us a $100 co-pay, which isn't all that bad in the scheme of things, but when the budget is tight - and ours is - it can be an issue. But I went. And we paid. And tomorrow, I'll go see my regular Dr. and try to find what was really going on.

Friday, December 9, 2011

weekend to-do list

There are a few things on my list this weekend besides the normal chores and sewing with Roxanne. For one thing, it is almost the end of the semester. Next week is finals. That means, yep you guessed it, grading. Grading, grading, grading. Actually, I've had bigger piles of papers in past years, so I feel I will actually get through it all. Yay!

I love clean sheets on the bed, but with Ron sleeping in the daytime, to work nights, coordinating changing them for laundry day can be a challenge. To take care of that challenge, I changed them tonight. One thing crossed off the list!

Tomorrow, Carl is coming over. While the laundry is running, he and I will go through the kitchen and pack his stuff for him to take to Roxanne's. Of course he has kitchen stuff. He's the cooking brother, after all. So, yeah, the GOOD pots and pans are his, and I will miss them. I'll be looking for some, though, not immediately, but soon. I have to say that having the thick bottom to keep the heat even is noticeably effective.

On the present-making front, I am close to the end of a second scarf, and oh so ready to be done with it. I will say that it is comfy enough for winter, though. I hope the recipient will enjoy it! Maybe - just maybe - I'll get a little extra sewing time in, too. Get those crafty gifts ready to give!

How is your weekend shaping up? Are YOU ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

something about peppermint

I have a thing for peppermint. It freshens my attitude, comforts me, soothes me. Don't even think about spearmint though, yuck! This time of year, I keep an eye out for the peppermint chapstick, so I have a couple extra tubes around to use all through the year. I'll even enjoy chocolate mint. In very small amounts - but that is because of the sugar, not the mint!

My favorite, go-to tea is peppermint. I ran out. I've been making do with the fruity teas that I used to drink all the time, but now they are just making do. I look longingly at the Earl Grey, but I don't want to mess up falling asleep with the caffeine. I tell myself, they need to get used up, too, and they do. Still, I'm looking forward to picking up another box of my favorite, peppermint tea, when I get to the store. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

crafty snow day

My fabric stash and I took full advantage of the snow day we got today. I ironed and cut a variety of pieces and tried some new (to me) piecing techniques for some Christmas giftiness. I even made some bias tape for the first time ever! I certainly enjoyed my crafting today.

We did some Christmas season stuff, like watching Polar Express, too. Raine's friend was here a good bit of the time, and he and Raine played and watched Nine and even did a great job of letting Ron sleep.

It made for a mostly lovely day (until it came time to do homework, sigh).

Monday, December 5, 2011

no day like a snow day

During third period, early this afternoon, Ron sent me a photo of our back yard. Covered in snow. The weatherpeople had predicted snow for today, and what do you know... they were right! Of course, it came from the north, and hit home long before it reached my workplace. Still, on the way home, the closer I got, the snowier it got.

Best part of all? SNOW DAY! It doesn't take in my neck of the woods to make a snow day, and pretty much we got that requirement. My plan for tomorrow? I'm hoping to get some gifts sewn up, now that I've gotten some ideas...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

moving day again

Last Sunday, I spent the day helping Carl move to Roxanne & Harold's. Today Ron, Raine & I got his apartment emptied out, and everything back in our house. The computer room is set up, more or less. So is the library/spare bedroom. I even got laundry done. Well almost done, there is still a load to fold and put away. Right now, I'm tired, cranky and achy. Ready for a hot shower to work on the achy and cranky and some sleep. SLEEP.

The week moved by so fast. I thought I had been blogging along more or less until yesterday I looked and the last post was Monday. Sigh. Where did the week go? Must be close to the end of the semester...

Monday, November 28, 2011

games and fun

Raine and I did a little bonding the past couple of nights. We played Monopoly. Well, the Pokeman version of Monopoly. Considering all the time she's had the game, even before she was ready to play it, and playing different "kid" versions with her friends and her cousin, it was amazing that only a few of the property cards were missing, and we easily took care of that with some hand written ones. Not a big deal.

So, we played until her bath time last night and left the game out to continue tonight. (I know, how awesome was that?) Tonight, right before bath time, we counted up to see who was ahead. It doesn't really matter who won by the points (even if it was me) because we both won. We had a good time playing, being silly, and going round and round that board. One of us even practiced some good math skills (and did a pretty darned good job with them, too).

Monopoly is one of those games that I like to play, but I hate to start because it can Just Go On Forever. I'm so glad she picked it out this time though, because we had a great time together, playing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Here we are at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday long weekend. I've enjoyed the time away from work. I managed to get pretty close to being caught up with my grading, and posting grades. I can print out lists of missing work for my students tomorrow, as we continue with our poetry unit.

Today we moved Carl over to Roxanne & Harold's house. There were 5 vehicles loaded up and emptied. It wasn't everything, but it was the major stuff. The big stuff. It is a good thing he works near here (at least for the mean time) so that makes it easy for him to come by after his shift and take care of some more of it. Then will come the cleaning, and the rearranging, which will mean (of course) MORE cleaning and rearranging... and it just goes on. The final goal will be - with all the cleaning and rearranging - that Ron will be moving back in. Then we will see the next step in relationship rebuilding. Actually, I think the cleaning and rearranging is part of that next step, so I hope it goes well and gives us a "fresh" start.

I managed to get sick over the break. Yeah, my old stand-by sinus infection. I realized about halfway through this week that I hadn't been taking any allergy pills, and by the time I realized, it was too late. Sinus infection is how my allergies let me know they are still around. Nice, huh.

Even with all that, I managed to get a good ways on my current knitting project. I'm wondering if they will all be done by the time they should get mailed for Christmas. I'm only on the second one of the planned four. Ahhh well. I should know to get started earlier, but I can never plan that far ahead.

At any rate, I'm thankful that things are progressing in so many areas. That life can change in a good way.

Monday, November 21, 2011

anniversary happy

Today is the anniversary of Ron's & my wedding. Our eleventh anniversary, in fact. It hasn't been the easiest year for us as a couple, and I wondered whether the anniversary this year would be moot.

It isn't. In fact, with the work we've been doing on our relationship, it is rather a celebration. A quiet celebration, but a celebration none-the-less. We've been doing our work, talking, taking responsibilities. Progressing.

Rather like eating healthier/loosing weight, it is a lifestyle change, to an extent. Making the right choices. Conscientiously making choices that are good for the relationship. The conscientious part is key. It is so easy to get in the place where accusations and "I told you so" live, but that is not a good place. What we are doing is about the future, not the past. I've had to put effort into that, some issues are harder to get there than others. Some things still hurt. It encourages me that to look towards that future, and deal with issues in that way feels more successful, like progress is getting made more than dwelling on the past hurts.

So, here's our anniversary. With actual hope for more.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

black friday blues

I've been reading here and there about retailers who are opening earlier and earlier for black Friday. Earlier. You know, the day before black Friday... and that would be... Oh, yeah. Thanksgiving Day. The Holiday.

I am SO glad I don't work retail right now. Argh.

I'm not and never have been a big black Friday shopper. Too many people, too crowded, and there isn't much I want bad enough to put up with all that hoo ha to get. Especially for someone else. Not that all those people are shopping for someone else... but we'll keep up the pretense that its all Christmas shopping they are doing. Yeah.

I enjoy a nice gift. I won't pretend that I don't. I enjoy getting people I care about something that I know they will like. A gift for just a gift's sake is - well - sometimes just done. Yeah, I know. The maddening crush of black Friday? Nope. not for me.

So, all those working retail, you have my sympathy this Thanksgiving. I will probably not see you at work. I will be home, enjoying my family, and my dinner. Maybe some knitting and sewing as well. My money will stay in my pocket where it belongs.

Oh, heck, who am I kidding? My money will go towards my bills, where it belongs...

Monday, November 14, 2011

knit knit knit

Second present well under way. A little over a third of the way done, in fact. It goes fast and slow at the same time, each row taking only a few minutes to knit, but it takes a few rows to equal an inch, and this scarf is going to be about 6 foot, all told. And there are two more to go. At least.

I have to admit that I like the way this one is looking, and I hope the person who receives it feels the same way. The first one has roll up issues, and this one does not, which is a plus. (maybe I'm actually learning something along the way? hows about that?) The first one is still pinned out, in hopes that will train it not to roll up so much. Not much hope, really, but I'm optimistic. No. really.

Have to admit that I'm enjoying the making. Yep. I sure am.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

this sunday cut it out

This year is a make the gifts Christmas for me. Roxanne, too. I don't think that is a bad thing. the time and effort and creativity that goes into made gifts makes them - to me at least - worth much more than spending the amount for supplies would otherwise get. Sometimes, we can even find the supplies in what we already have.

Take, for instance, the footie pajamas that I cut out at Roxanne's today. I cut out three pairs of pants, and one shirt from some flannel that I'd had in a box for a long time. We'll use another piece out of some more that I've had even longer. We'll applique a monkey on the pair for Landon, because that is what he's been asking for. Kelly & Tyler will also get some kind of applique so they can tell their jammies apart.

The pattern is a relatively recent find, and has two piece footie pajamas, not just the one piece jumper kind. Yeah, the kids can pull the pants up and down for ease of going potty. Important for young children, I think. Old people too, actually, but I won't be making either of us footie pajamas because that pattern only goes up to a size 6, darn it!


Ron and I have been working on our relationship, going to see a counselor, learning to talk to and listen to each other better. It has been helpful, and I don't think we would have come as far as we have without the counseling.

We have a plan and a schedule for him to move back in, and he should be back in time for Christmas. I think that will be a good thing, and I'm looking forward to it. Many aspects of the relationship will be easier once he's back in the house.

The sad - for me - part is that it will mean Carl is moving out. Ron and Carl haven't been the friends I had hoped they would be. I think I've turned a blind eye to the stresses between them, because I didn't want to see them. Everyone that _I_ like should like each other, too, and get along, right? I wish.

On the one hand, once the annoyance and upheaval of moving is done, and things settle, I hope that things will be better all around. Carl has applied for some jobs, and I hope one of the good ones will work out for him. I would really like to see that for him.

On the other hand, I'll miss him being here, and getting to have him as such a close part of my daily life. He's a good cook, and it has been so awesome not having to come home and make dinner. He's also made breakfast for me before work most mornings as well. He's been here to talk to. Raine has been lucky to have her Uncle Carl around, too, to show her all the ins and outs of computer games like minecraft, to make her cool stuff out of popsicle sticks, and tease and play with her. All the things that a good Uncle does.

He's not going away forever, or even far, on the grand scale of things. He'll still be around and a part of our lives. It just won't be the same. For good or bad, and I hope for more of the first, it just won't be the same.

Friday, November 11, 2011

thank you veterans

Thank you for serving our country. Thank you for doing an important yet undervalued job for your country. It is important to appreciate it every day, and I do. It matters that you make that choice. It matters that you get remembered on days like today, Veteran's Day, as well. To the soldiers I've known and loved: family, friends, neighbors and even those who are someone else's family, friends, and neighbors. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

coat building

Over the past few months, Ron has been building a coat. It seems he has a talent for that, as this is the third coat he's worked on. The first one, was a period coat that we made out of wool. We started it while we lived in Colorado where - you know - it gets cold. We created it by looking at pictures of the coat he modeled it after, making a mock-up, and then creating a coat. I thought it turned out pretty well considering it was the first coat experience for both of us.

The next one was also a period type coat (although a different period). We made that one out of denim. It wasn't as heavy weight as the first, but still a little warm for our weather.

This coat is more of a jacket weight, and a design from Ron's imagination. It looks rather industrial/military. He constructed the main body without my help, but I have been assisting in the detailing. We worked on shoulder patches and straps for buckles. There are a lot of those, so they will take a little while to finish. The coat is going to look awesome when it is done.
strap & buckle placement

Monday, November 7, 2011

ren faire finale

If Saturday at the Ren Faire was windy & wintery, Sunday - while still having a little chill - was much more the expected fall weather. The crowds were up. We listened to the rat-a-pault shpiel over and over. Raine never did catch a rat, though. She tried.

She got to do some of the fun stuff that one does with the SCA, though. Like trying on armor.
chain mail coif


 Yes, we had a good time hanging out, enjoying the day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

pepperoni mystery

Before we left for the Ren Faire today, we ate some lunch. I made quesadillas for everyone, and Ron suggested putting pepperoni slices on them. It sounded good to me. Raine, evidently, thought differently. Or something. The conversation went like this:

Me: Raine, do you want a quesadilla with pepperoni?

Raine: What? (this is not a hearing problem...)
Me: Do you want a quesadilla with pepperoni?
Raine: What?
Me: (more slowly) ...Do you want a quesadilla...
Raine: Yes!
Me:... with pepperoni?
Raine: What?
So I made her a quesadilla. Cheese only. No problem. She ate it, and when she was done...
Raine: Can I have another quesadilla? This time with meat.
Me: So you want a quesadilla with pepperoni?
Raine: What?

She got a quesadilla with pepperoni, and ate it, happily. I had to laugh. Evidently, pepperoni on a pizza is fine. Pepperoni on a quesadilla - however - just defies all sense...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

windy ren faire

The day was windy. Blustery and cold, in fact. There weren't as many people thronging through the booths as there usually are. I was happy to be there, though. Happy that the SCA was present and included. I knew going in that it wouldn't be the experience "of old," with my familiar friends to make the day. Still, it seems that several people from that time made a special effort to show up. Many - like me - have not played in a while, and are testing the waters again.
Dev & Shannon

The cold was rather biting, and after being out in it for several hours, tiring. Of course we were not all bundled up like people in some parts of the country would be. It's southern NM, and the temperatures should still be about 80 during the day...

bundled up
But they aren't, this year. There was a fighting field, and a few tents, and we walked around to check out everything, as we usually do.

It was nice to see old friends. And Raine even braved the cold for a trip around the pond in a canoe.
canoe ride

Thursday, November 3, 2011

november ember ember

We had a good Halloween. It took us a good bit of work to get Raine's minecraft costume made, but we did it, and she enjoyed it. Limited movement and even more limited seating were involved in wearing it, but she had a good time. Even better because her friend Ezekiel came over to trick or treat with her. I love living here on Halloween. Our neighborhood has lots of families with young kids, and that is who we get for trick or treaters. Not even many teenagers. Maybe a third of the houses give out candy, and we are done by 8:30. We see Raine's friends and classmates, they get to see her as well. We all have a good time.
Halloween costumes, 2011

This upcoming weekend is our local Renaissance Fair. The local SCA group is trying to get involved again, and we are trying to pull it together again. There was garb making at Dev's this evening, and Raine and I went for a while. I taped Dev up to make a bodice pattern. When you want something to really fit YOU, get taped up and make your pattern from that. It works.

I also sewed up some pants, while Raine finished up her homework. Got to meet some people, that hopefully I'll get to know a little better at the Ren Fair. Looking forward to it, actually. It's been a while.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

fang you

Someone somewhere pointed me to this: Martha Stewart's pumpkins.  Well, they are just so darned cute that we had to make our own! OK, I bought the pumpkins, Ron carved and placed the teeth, and Raine drew the eyes.

I mean, how cute are these guys?!?!

Be careful, though, they may bite...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

shower seat

walk in shower
A few years ago, we did a major renovation/remodel on our house. Among other things, we added a second bathroom to the house (angelic music swells in the background at the mention of this addition... at least in my mind). This new bathroom has a walk in shower that is fabulous (more singing angels... yeah, that good). There is also a seat built into the corner. Ron tiled the shower (and the rest of the house, too), and did a really good job.

Unfortunately, the seat on that bench has enough give to it that the grout eventually began to crack. The tiles loosened, and finally, over the past few months, began to fall out. Not good. So. Not. Good. Carl called around, looking for an alternative to the tile. During this same renovation, we found a similar-to-corian solid counter top material, and we picked it up at a bargain because it was ends. We love it, by the way, and Carl thought he might be able to find something similar. No luck on line. Finally, he called a local stone cutter place that does counter tops. He gave the guy the measurements and said we weren't picky about color. He ended up with a deal. A cut to size deal, in fact.

New stone seat for the bench
The stone sat in the back of my car until Ron had time to work on the tiling, but last weekend, he went to it. He had a great idea of edging it, and creating a transition between the stone and the tile on the wall with a little coppery colored rounded edge piece. Here is the transformation. Thanks to both of them!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So Dev had a good idea about sharing my holiday crafting without giving away what it is and for whom. Today I even have something to share, so I hope it works...
The color palette

It's Project Runway night tonight, so I got a lot of knitting done while I watched. I'm on the second skein of this project, and I was careful to check dye lots and everything, so I was rather surprised when - about halfway through the second skein - there was a little knot (as sometimes happens, no big deal) and soon there was this deep, deep purple, and then kind of a grey purple and then...

This one dark stripe
Well, it seems to back to the regularly scheduled program, now. I'm not taking it out. I'm not even mad it was there, because I think it adds to the overall item. I just was confused (I mean I checked the dye lot!) and surprised by the unexpected strip. (stripe?)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

crafty for christmas

I've been working on my Christmas list. Not the gifts that I want to get (well, OK, that one too, my computer chair is getting rather wobbly), but the gifts I want to give this year. I'm planning on making many of the gifts I'll be giving this year. I worked on one while I watched Ghost Hunters a little while ago. (It was a pretty good episode, they caught a lot on tape).

Here's the conflict, though. As much as I want to post progress pictures of what I'm making, I don't want to spoil anyone's surprises. I can't even really talk about what I'm making, specifically. Sigh. Busy fingers are happy fingers, though, and mine are pretty happy, so far.

Monday, October 17, 2011

my fork has a crooked tine

I have a friend named Lou. She passed away several years ago, but there are times when things make me remember her. Times when it feels like she's visiting. Nothing flies across the room on it's own and there are no strange shadows moving around the room. She's WAYyy to subtle for that.

There is the music, for instance. Lou sang. Well. Like crazy. She loved music, and it was part of who she was. I'm sure that all of her friends have some kind of musical memory of her. One of mine is being at Estrella War (an SCA event in Arizona) and the two of us discovering that we both enjoyed Joan Armatrading. Pretty soon we were walking across the event site, belting out "I Love it When You Call Me Names." It was a bonding moment.

Well, I have a little MP3 player, and it has a pretty good variety of music on it. This past week, I cam across my little speakers that I use with it, and then I found the player, and I set it up in my bedroom, and I can listen to it while I work. The player is set up on shuffle, which should randomize the playlist, but the second song, every time I turn the thing on, is... Yeah, you guessed it, "I Love it When You Call Me Names." Now, this is a song that you don't hear every day (well, unless you listen to my music player every day...)so you notice it when it comes on. Yeah. Second song every time. I don't know why, and it doesn't ALWAYS make me think Lou is hanging around, but this past weekend, it did. Yeah, definitely. I remembered Estrella, and belting it out, and knowing all the words, and what a moment it was.

In fact, pretty much every time I feel that Lou is hanging around, there is music involved. Indigo Girls while I was driving the moving truck down from Denver. I just knew she was keeping me company, bare feet on the dashboard, toe rings, nail polish and all.

It's pretty cool to have a friend who - even though they are no longer corporeal - can manage to lift your spirits.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

fashion forward moment

I've talked about enjoying watching Project Runway despite the fact that I am not, personally, fashion forward by any stretch of the imagination. It is about creativity for me, although I have learned more than I thought I ever might about style and fashion... you know, in that esoteric way that will never change how I dress.

Still, the other day, walking through the hall, I totally did a fashion judgement (in my head) of some shoes another teacher was wearing. A cute and much more fashionable teacher, even. Her dress was cute, and so were the booties, but they just didn't - for me - go together. Heidi probably teared up a little for me, just for a moment, without knowing why.

I had to laugh at myself, though. I really did. Me? Making fashion judgements? Did you see what I was wearing? I know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We watched (again), the movie Ghostbusters this evening. You know, it holds up pretty well, actually, and was very entertaining.

As soon as  any of the supernatural stuff started happening, though, we all kind of looked at each other with the idea of updating the movie, only with the Ghost Hunters. All those drawers in the card catalogue sliding open and the cards flying out, and someone asks, "Is that you? Could you do that again so we know that's you?" ( I always wonder who is you? Do we have a name to call this entity? ) Then, the ghost librarian flies at them, and the yell comes up, "Dude! Run!"

You can tell we got amused. 


But, you know what? I hope they don't remake it, even though they could do the special effects so much better now. It holds up, people, it holds up. Who knew?

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

i say tomatoes

So, earlier this year, Carl and I decided we wanted to grown some tomatoes, and have some lovely home-grown tomatoes. Carl ordered some seeds, and little peat pots to plant them in and get them started indoors. The seedlings came up very nicely, then all laid over and died. Sigh.

The second verse was when we went to a local greenhouse and picked up a couple of variety six-packs, got terrible service and overcharged on every item we bought that day. Still we planted the tomato plants on the table planter that Ron put together for us, we watered the tomato plants, and we waited for our tomatoes.

And waited. And watered.

And waited.

Sometime in September, we got a few on the vines. They never got very big, and the never got very red, but they cracked and cracked. Then the ones that we did finally decide were "ripe" were still pretty green inside... if you would want to eat the cracky bits to get to the green, kind of tough insides.  Oh, and the leaves started to turn brown.

Now, the plants have all these brown leaves, even though I don't see what is making them do that, although by now fall will start making them do that. We have a few tomatoes on a couple of the other plants - a different variety - that I'm hoping will actually ripen and be good. I'm not sure how high my hopes are.

Brown thumb? Possible. (Have you seen my other plants?... exactly) Less than prime tomato plants paid for at a prime (+) price? yeah. Won't be buying from there again. I'm not sure that is or is not the problem. We had a long, hot, dry summer, and any of those factors could have played into our lack of tomato production.

Will we try again next year. I'm thinking we will.

Friday, October 7, 2011


What? It's Friday already? Where did the week go? Well? Where?

It has been a good week, despite having to get up at my usual time so I could get Raine off to school at her usual time. Didn't get as much cleaning done as I needed to (although there's always tomorrow) but I did get some done. So, not a complete waste.

On one of Ron's days off, we took a little road trip to City of Rocks, and had a really nice time. The wind was blowing, so it was cooler there than it was last spring break. Evidently they'd had significant rain as well, there were a few puddles here and there, and the road had been significantly rutted by run off. Once we got walking around, the wind wasn't bad and we warmed up a bit. Ron and Raine had a great time climbing on every formation they could, while I wandered around and took pictures and successfully didn't fall down and hurt myself. We all had a good time. Evidently it was pose like a superhero day... at least for Raine. Not only that, but Ron and Raine had a close call, almost being eaten by a huge rock fish. Whew.

We also went to a garb workshop for SCA at Dev's house. I almost got a tunic made for Raine. I pulled out fabric for a couple more. We are trying to be ready for the Ren Fair, which will be the first weekend of November. I think I'll be putting in some time there that weekend in garb (which is what SCA people call their period clothing). Hopefully getting to know some of the current SCA people here and in El Paso as well. Missing those who can no longer play.

Monday, October 3, 2011

monday cleaning - check

Today I started of with the living room window. That means taking the curtains down, the sheers and the opaques, and putting each set through the washer and dryer. Oh the cat hair. I think it has been more than a year. yikes. I moved all the knick knacks that usually sit in the window and washed them off, and wiped down the window sills and vacuumed.

The day was so nice after the rain last night that we opened the front door to let the cool, hint of fall air in. It is the door that we don't often use, but it has a screen door so the cat doesn't get out. We opened some windows and let the lovely breeze waft through the house. But then there was the space between the solid door and the screen door. Yeah, the one that doesn't get used much... like since last Halloween, probably.

There were a lot of spider webs there. And a dead spider near the top. Isn't that a black widow? Probably. And those would be egg sacs? ummm 3, no, 4 of them? Oh, that's not good. So not good. My usual way to deal with insects - yes I'm squeemish - is to spray them with bug spray and then vacuum them up. Out came the bug spray, and I pretty much spray the whole doorway. The threshold, the web (you know, 'cause it MIGHT come alive or something), the dead spider, everything. Then, I go put the spray away, but when I walk back towards the door, the spider is moving! Yeah, not as dead as I thought. ack! The door gets closed, post haste. Carl laughs and observes that the door might not be as much of a barrier to the spider as say, it would be for a dog or a person. I know he's right, but _I_ feel better with it closed.

I'm hoping that the poison took effect. I've arranged for a clean-up crew (Ron) for the doorway. I try not to say "ick" too many times in a row. Ick Ick Ick.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

write more often

If I can't be right more often, I should at least write more often. Ha. I made myself laugh. Wait. Should I admit that? Is it pretentious? Is it crazy? Oh well. Really? I don't care. I will find amusement where I can.

My thoughts are going to be a little scattered, but here I am, writing anyway. We just had a little rain move through. Not much, but it was appreciated. Rain in New Mexico generally is. Even those little random showers that happen just like that one did. It is probably raining across the street now that it is done here.

We got a good bit of sewing done today, Roxanne and I did. We are sewing some shirts for my brother, Carl. Three of them in fact. That will make five for the year so far, which is not bad, since my goal was one every other month for him. We are doing one in a soft gabardine. It is white, since he will be wearing it for a wedding, and that is what color shirt everyone will be wearing in the wedding, and he'll be a groomsman. I'll be a bride's maid and we've already made my black skirt and when Carl's shirts are finished, we'll start on the women's tops. The gabardine is a little stretchy, and not as easy to sew as I would have thought it would be, but it is coming out OK. There was enough to make Roxanne a white skirt from it too. Added bonus. She can wear white better than I can. OH, I can WEAR it, it just doesn't stay completely white. Very long. So, usually I just don't waste the effort of it. One of the other shirts is a combination of stripes, one narrower than the other. Sometimes something like that just doesn't turn out right, even though the picture in your head says it ought to. This time, its looking GOOD! I'm really happy with it. The final shirt is a very soft and drapey fabric, mostly black with some white and black almost tribal geometrics in it. It looks nice. It will be such a soft and comfy shirt, but I worry about it holding together since the fabric is pretty thin. We're going to put some interfacing in the yoke as well as the collar and facings. Maybe that will help a little.

Tomorrow is Ron's birthday, so we will be going out for a little dinner and have a present or two. I'll be happy if I can get some curtain and window cleaning done before that. Maybe even a little bit of sewing. That or knit a bit.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

fall break 2011 - the plan

This week is fall break. We are officially one quarter of the way through our school year, now. It went so fast.

Raine has school this week, so we won't be taking of for parts unknown... or even known. Oh, well. I still have plans. First of all, I'm still working on my cleaning up my life - or at least my home - project. The living room is going to get some serious attention this week. I think it will survive, but things will be moved (and then cleaned under and all around). The bedroom isn't quite finished, but nearly, so I'll continue in there as well. Then the computer room, which I hope will be an easier job. At least to an extent.

The Christmas season will soon be upon us, so I've going to start on some present projects. I think some knitted and/or crocheted scarves will be on a couple of people's lists. If I get through with them quickly enough, I may even be able to work on a hat or something. I doubt if I'll get anything finished this week, but started? I hope so. Patterns picked and supplies supplied. Yeah.

Then, sewing. Roxanne and I will take our usual time tomorrow, and we'll work on a shirt or two for Carl. Ron and I have been working on a shirt for him this past week, and at this point it only lacks the sleeves being put in and the hem sewn in. OK, then it's Ron's job to put the snaps on where he wants. them. I think it is going to be a very good looking shirt. I'm very pleased with it at this point.

Ron and I have planned a couple of day trips this week, too. I'm looking forward to some family time and spending a couple of days together.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to this week, and I'm only sad that it just won't last long enough.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

fun art

Last Saturday, Raine and I had some artistic inclination, and inspiration and we went out in the front yard to paint. I took my craft paints - inexpensive acrylics mostly, sponge brushes, and some empty toilet paper tubes to play with.

The best part, though were the leaves. First I picked up a couple, thinking I would brush paint around the edges to make a leaf shape. Eh, OK, but not wow. Then I got to thinking, well, why not use it for a stamp, so i tried that, with a slightly watered down paint. It worked pretty well. Well enough for me to look around for a few different sizes of leaves to play with. Raine liked the look of that, too, and tried it out with a few different colors.

Then, oh then, we tried painting the backs of the leaves! They were beautiful! We let the paint dry and brought them in with the rest of our treasures thinking we would make collages from what we had made. We haven't gotten to those yet, but the leaves still look really cool!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Well, we went, today. I sweated it. I worried about it. I had trouble falling asleep last night. It was... the unknown.

It was also the waiting before taking the first step on a journey. The anticipation. I know, it isn't that big of a deal. I'm not the only one in the world that has ever been in this place, and I know that. In some ways, though it felt like a big deal.

Maybe because what I want to accomplish, what Ron and I want to accomplish, IS a big deal. To us. There are a lot of times when you don't realize how bad a situation is until you get out of it, brush off, recover a bit, and look back. We were not taking care of ourselves. We were not taking care of each other. It was not a good place for either of us to be.

Today we poked at some of those hurting places in my heart. That was hard, and painful, but that is what needs to be done. They need to be cleaned out, and bandaged up and healed, but it doesn't feel good, right now.

I will say in general, things are better between us, for the amount of time we are together. Which isn't a lot right now. Still, better. Good enough that I would like more time like this. Yes, please. Good behavior. Best behavior.

That is what we need to learn how to make last. That good behavior, until that is the second nature, not the selfish, closing off.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

steps in the right direction

Ron invited Raine and I for dinner tonight. Chicken and rice. Simple and delicious. Near the top of Raine's list of favorites.

It was my first time at his new place. It is a simply furnished, 1 bedroom apartment. Basic but adequate.

We had a pleasant dinner, and watched an episode of Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes, which we both enjoyed.

We also got to talk about the trouble Raine got into at school today. She was suspended for a day for fighting and throwing rocks. What saves her? She was not the instigator, but the responder. She's still in trouble at home for being in trouble at school, and will have to do some major chores (but the back yard will look better than it does now).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

green chile roast

The green chile season is upon us. I've seen pictures and facebook posts of friends getting or roasting their chile. Carl and I had been discussing that, and had decided that this weekend was the weekend for our stocking up.

It was a good thing we did, too. Sam's was out. Albertson's near our house? Also out, roaster already put away. Oh no! Fortunately Fiesta Mart is still roasting. The line wasn't too long, but it still took about an hour to get through it.

Now, though? Now, we have a drawer full of yummy, roasted green chile in the freezer. Almost 2 dozen quart bags of plump and meaty roasted green chile. Oh it smells so good, green chile. I had a burrito for lunch, after I bagged them. I'll have another one tomorrow, because there was enough stuffing to put one aside for a burrito to take to school. MMMmmmmmm....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

cleaning up the mess

Ron and I are working on cleaning up the messes we've made in our relationship. It will take time, and effort and patience, but we've made a start of it, and the first step is often the most difficult.

I'm working on the house, as well. I was actually frightened and disgusted at the amount of dust and debris in our bedroom. I've been cleaning a little at a time, but today I moved the bed around, and picked up the rugs. Oh My Goodness. Good thing no one but me was looking! Ack!

But I got a lot of laundry done, including some things that don't get washed every week, and evidently hadn't been washed in WAY TOO LONG. Things will feel better as this kind of cleaning gets done through the computer room, and the living room as well. I think the house was showing the effects of the stagnation, too. (and one of the ways I know that it wasn't JUST Ron, if you know what I mean)

I'm trying not to do too much at one time, but setting a goal and puttering around it, which is my favorite way to face those kind of chores. I've been making good progress there, too.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the struggle

Parents, you know this one. "...but I don't WANT to do my homework. I'm tired! I'll just go to bed."

"You WILL do your homework! You have had plenty of time to finish it all ready. Now, do it! NOW!"

OK, maybe those aren't the EXACT quotes. But, yes, the struggle continues at our house. Heaven forbid that I want to watch Project Runway in one room, while she bravely struggles (HA!) with subtraction, or copying spelling words IN A WHOLE OTHER ROOM! sigh. I know. I know. I AM so unreasonable.

The drama was intense. There were nearly tears.

But, she got it done.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

cold front and rain

Yes, there is a hint of autumn in the air. It's being blown around by the wind, and spitting sprinkles of rain on us. A cold front moved in this afternoon, and when I left work, I could feel the change in the air. It was cooler, almost brisk. Well, as brisk as New Mexico gets in early September.

Last night, a thunderstorm passed through, waking me up. This evening has been thunderstorms moving by and fairly light rain off and on. We need it. How we need it. It just seems that we will all drink it in as the earth does.

What a lovely, lovely day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

school pants

Roxanne and I finished Raine's school pants this past weekend. Two pairs of shorts, and two pairs of pants from two different patterns. We made fun pockets in all of them, so there would be a bit of fun and pattern and unique to each pair. She's worn the shorts to school all ready, happy that she now has a pair for every day of the school week. The pants just may have to wait for cooler weather... some time in October. November?

I took photos this evening, and Raine hammed it up for me, of course. They weren't the best photos ever. I just have to learn to take them when the natural light helps out, instead of moments before bath time. Still, I'm pleased at the fit, and that I've made her useful clothes that she will wear. Yay.

Monday, September 12, 2011

a blog you should try out

In my pathetic and limited forays into to internets, I happened upon this short little blog called Sleep Talking Man. The wife records what her husband says in his sleep, and then posts snippets of it. Sometimes she records conversations they have while he is asleep, or conversations they have about what he has said while he is asleep.

Oh. My. Goodness. FUNNY!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

giving it a go

I keep signing in, and staring at the page. I want to write, and yet, I've just had to give it some space. Many of the issues foremost in my head are not issues to share here, really.

Ron and I are talking. We visited the church we were both most comfortable with, and asked about counceling. The pastor took the time to talk to us right then, which we both were touched by and grateful for. We will talk to him a couple more times while we arrange for insurance covered sessions. It feels good that we started that process.

I've graded papers, and done laundry (including a couple of the sets of curtains from my bedroom) and even rearranged some of the furniture in the bedroom. I'll do some more tomorrow, but getting the room cleaned well, and rearranged will be cathartic and comforting. A couple of friends came over this evening and Carl and I played canasta with them. Life gets lived.

I'm looking forward to an afternoon of sewing with Roxanne tomorrow. I still have another pair of pants and another pair of shorts to finish for Raine. Then we start on other things, maybe a few quilt squares, and we have plenty to cut out, right now, thanks to all the fabric and pattern matching that we did on Monday.

Monday, September 5, 2011


This seems a week for planning. Planning projects, and planning for the future.

I've visited with Ron several times this week. He's spent some quality time with Raine, and with me. We went for a walk and a talk, and while it isn't high drama (thank goodness) it was nice. We are still a long way from him moving back in. But I think there is a path. While moving out the way he did was a terrible thing to do, moving out may have been the best thing he could have done for our relationship in the long run. It has made us both look at what we had and where we were. It wasn't good, but it could be if we work on it.

I'm very grateful for the support of my friends and family through this. It has really helped me when I was hurting the worst, and being able to talk through my hurt and confusion has helped me to be receptive, and to think about where I want my life to go.

Being creatively productive has been helping me for a while now, so thank goodness for Roxanne, and our Sunday sewing. This morning, Roxanne came over and we worked on planning our next round of projects. Some of the projects kind of went together, so we decided to put them together. Sort of make outfits. For instance making denim skirts for each of us, and tops to go with them. Or some pajama projects for her son and grandson. It was kind of nice to have the "extra" time to do it. We got busy on Sunday, and worked on Raine some pants and shorts to wear to school, and got the second dress altered for her mom... all while babysitting, visiting, and getting ready for a family enchilada dinner.

Friday, September 2, 2011

a step at a time

Better today than yesterday. Better yesterday than the day before. Hope for tomorrow, then.

Ron and I are actually talking. Looking at marriage counseling, checking out options.

It is going to take time, and we will have to take whatever time it takes to figure out what is best for all of us.

Not my best week. I've lived through it, though.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

where the rain's coming in

I'm feeling a little better this evening. At least not hurting quite so bad. His furniture is gone, and this and that besides. There's a metaphor here somewhere. I look around to see what is missing in the house, and I seem to be doing that in my heart as well. Most of it is pretty obvious, but there are going to be times when I'm looking for something that used to be here, and it isn't any more.

But I made it through the day. Kept putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday, August 29, 2011

take it on the chin

Ron is leaving me. Truthfully, he checked out of the relationship about a year ago, and has been growing more distant, so it is not a complete surprise. What was a surprise was coming home to the boxes and an email saying he was moving out. He'll have his stuff gone by tomorrow. He won't even talk to me face to face about it. But then, I suppose if he could, we wouldn't be HERE now.

It hurts. Of course it hurts. I suppose it will stop hurting sooner, rather than dragging it all out even longer. The past year has not been all that fun. For either of us, I suppose. We aren't yellers, or the type to destroy stuff out of spite, so I guess there is that.

I have Raine, who is pretty precious, so I can't say the past 11 years were totally a waste. I've learned some things about relationships, and about myself as well.

For now, though. For right now, it is a blow.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

feeling all grown up... or not

I like games. Role playing games, board games, computer games, card games. I enjoy them. I can have just as good of a time losing as I do winning. Really. The laughing, the groaning, the good luck and the bad. Sometimes the ridiculously bad luck that goes around on occasion is entirely memorable entertainment. I feel like mostly, I'm a good winner and a good loser. Mostly.

Except when the whiney little kid comes out of hiding. Like she did last weekend. I started something in the game that we eventually just had to run away from, and it took us hours to even get to the point where we could. I was frustrated, feeling rather overwhelmed and at fault. Then, the poor loser came out. I was rather mortified with myself for getting that worked up. Of course I didn't yell or cuss or slam things around, but I did get a little teary-eyed. I hope no one noticed.

I think knowing that I was being a poor loser (and really didn't even loose anything) made me feel worse, and definitely made me feel less mature (and not in a fun way). Sigh. How disappointing to know that I can still feel like "everyone" is picking on me, I can't do "anything" right, and should I stomp my feet now? Pu-leeze.

Friday, August 26, 2011

week in review

I've been trying to post more often, but this week, I posted about some upcoming projects on Createlivity. Kind of like what I did here on Monday... Sunday? Only more, 'cause that is the project blog.

I think it is basically a "no news is good news" situation. Life the way I like it is - generally - not too dramatic. But if not much is going on, there isn't much to write about.

Well, I could tell you about the dream I had, but, while it is funny (in that self deprecating way), it's also got implications of gross. A dream that was kind of too much information, even for the dreamer. So, not sure it is appropriate.

We got some rain today, but I missed it. It passed through before I got back to town from Anthony. So, I'm boring, and trying not to write about nothing. Except, that is pretty much what I just did.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


What I should have been doing this afternoon: grading papers and updating grades in the grading program.

What I did this afternoon: cut out two pair of pants and two pair of shorts for Raine. She needs some more twill pants for school. Her school has a uniform dress code, so she can only wear blue or khaki pants, shorts, or skirts. I made her a couple white, button down shirts during the summer, but didn't get to the pants. Now that they are cut out, it won't take long to get them sewn up. I hope to do it some time this week, in fact.

I also planned some other projects that I want to cut out, which include a shirt for Carl, one for Ron, and three for me. I have picked up two pieces of fabric that absolutely make me happy every time I see either one. I want shirts from them. In the picture, here, I want them like that green top the model is wearing. It reminds me of some tops I had many years ago, that I really liked.

Then, I spent a couple of hours on grades after the house quieted down this evening. Not quite where I need to be on it, but within sight...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

back to the top of the cycle

As I have mentioned a time or two... or ten... my cousin Roxanne and I enjoy getting together on Sundays and sewing. We've made numerous garments for ourselves and others, a wedding dress, and are currently working on quilts for both of us. We keep a small laundry basket piled with projects, and we reach in and see what we feel like sewing, or what one of us needs, and we get busy putting it together.

Well, it is time to fill the basket. I've been gathering my patterns, and I have a few more than I remembered. I went through my fabrics during the summer, and since that was pretty recently, I have a fairly good idea of what I have on hand, and what I want to make from it. I think Roxanne has been doing some of the same. And of course we've found inspiration in various places, and will want to see what we can do with that.

This weekend, we'll look through the patterns and the stashes, and the inspirations, and maybe even get one or two things cut out, and fill the basket so we can cut a few along the way. Can you tell the cutting isn't our favorite part? We will also think about our holiday sewing, and planning for that. So we can get started on it before November. Hopefully.

So anyway, planning, then carrying through. Hooray for sewing!

Monday, August 15, 2011

hidden valley

Recently, Carl decided it was time to make a batch of some GOOD ranch dressing. The kind Hidden Valley puts in the little packets, and you mix with mayo and buttermilk. Yeah. That one.

This stuff takes me back to my younger days, when my grannie would make it for one of our younger cousins, because she would eat just about anything if she could dip it in ranch. I thought she was spoiled, but I also thought it was cool that Grannie would go to the trouble to make it for her.

Why is it that Hidden Valley makes the yummiest ranch? Why doesn't their pre-made bottled ranch taste like THAT? So, yeah, our celery consumption is up. Carrots, too. We manage, just barely at times, not to just dip our fingers in and lick that.

We did find some of the mix at Sam's though, much to both our surprise. It wasn't in the little packets, though, it was in a kind of spice bottle thingy, though not as large as some of the spice bottle thingies you get at those warehouse kind of stores.

Put away the bottled dressing. Go get the package... and pick up some buttermilk while you are at the store. Stir it up, and watch the veggies disappear.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

farmer's market find

I was walking through the Farmer's Market Saturday morning, in my usual distracted state. Wait! What is that? How cool! Luckily I had my camera and can share.

I honestly can't tell you how long this space has been here like this. I just noticed it, but I really, really like it. I'm sure that it is part of the downtown mall remodel that continues. Some shade, some benches, some twinkly lights for an evening. I really like the combination of wood and fabric. Nice job!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

quilty squares

Roxanne and I worked on quilt squares today. We sat down with the pieces we had cut out, and put fabrics together, and decided what would go together as sets. Once we were done with that, I laid a couple of the sets out on the table. Then, I got started cutting out more pieces. Roxanne sewed together the sets. We got 12 squares done today to bring our total to 44 (unless I miscounted - which is entirely possible). That is about one quarter of what we had figured out we would need for the quilts we wanted to make. Not as far along as we had hoped, actually. It is the process, though, as much as the product, that we are interested in. We won't beat ourselves up if we don't finish in our timeline.

The squares we made today are beautiful, and we teased each other about who would get which one. Our plan is actually to divide them up, so that neither quilt will have a pattern progression of fabric. We had a lovely afternoon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

new school year

Yes, mine started a couple of weeks ago. I've pretty much gotten into the swing of things, and the good old routine. My main complaint is the heat. Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, heat. yeah.

Today was the meet & greet at Raine's school. I took her to meet her new teacher - and so _I_ could meet her new teacher. And so she would have an idea where her new classroom is. The new teacher seems very nice, and she's a crafter! She quilts and crochets and I know she and I would get along famously! I hope Raine can get along famously too...

... can I have Raine's new teacher?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

don't take off your hobo shoes

I listen to an oldies station. Every now and then they play the song, "Arizona," sung my Mark Lindsay. It's an upbeat tune with a catchy refrain.

It's also one of those songs that start to bug me when I really pay attention to the lyrics. Here's this young adult, wandering free in that romanticized 60's free love, hippy way. She belongs in San Fransisco, according to the song, even. Then here's this guy who falls in love with her, and what does he want her to do? Change. Of course.

This is something that drives me crazy about human beings, I've noticed how both men and women will see someone they think is attractive, and then either create that "perfect" package in their heads and then don't understand how that attractive to them person doesn't live up to their expectations. Another tendency is to find that attractive person, then try to change them to that "acceptable" personality.

That's what this song seems to be about to me. This guy wants the girl to cut off her hair, change her "hobo" ways, and stay with him forever. He seems to be telling her to grow up. While I can't argue that she may indeed have needed to do that, the implication is that the growing up will change her into his perfect girlfriend/wife/partner.

I can't help but hope she kept those braids and hobo shoes, and ran from that cheerily self-righteous "lover". At least until she found the one who wouldn't want her to fundamentally change so that she would match his/her ideal of behavior as well as looks.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

quilts, i must have quilts

I've been doing a good/bad thing. I've been looking at other people's sewing and crafting blogs. People are making some amazing things out there. Of course, one of the reasons that I'm looking is that I'm hoping that some day, my sewing/crafting blog will be out there inspiring people, too.

There are some pretty amazing quilts out there, and some awesome quilt-a-longs, and quilting bees and the like. There are many things I like about some of the "modern" quilters, although I'm not sure my personal sensibilities on quilts would throw me in with them. There are some things that I love, like pieced backs on the quilts and I think my tendency to want to put sashing around my blocks fits with their sensibilities. I truly enjoy the use of color. I only wish _I_ could use color intentionally like that. Maybe. Someday. Sigh.

There are other things that don't fit with my esthetic. Some of the strip quilting is... well, not exactly too random, but there are some I don't enjoy as much as other designs. Maybe there are some that are a little too minimalist for me. Not sure what it is that just isn't me.

Now here's the thing about making quilts, though. You have to have a plan for them. What are they going to be when they get finished? Bedspread? Picnic spread? New baby gift? When are enough quilts enough. I mean, they make wonderful gifts. I treasure the quilts that my mom and grandmothers made for me. I expect that I will gift some that (I hope) will be equally treasured. But then what? Charity give-away is one possibility. Selling them? How much of a market is there? How good do they need to be? Who knows the answers to all my questions?

Woah, there. Don't get so far ahead of yourself, Dina. You finished a baby sized quilt, and you knew what you were going to do with it, and you did. The quilts you and Roxanne are working on are going more slowly than expected, thanks to not getting to sew as much as anticipated over the summer (yeah, but I cut a lot of squares that are ready to be sewn! that's something!). Maybe I should just take it - as most things - one project at a time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

another sunday sewing post

Roxanne and I got to sew today. While she did some garment revisions (put elastic in the ends of the sleeves for a top, and put a new button on some pants) I finished a top we had been working on (for me) last week. I'm really excited about this new top. Every time I see the fabric, I think it is so pretty, with a range of teal, dark and light, flowers outlined in a little gold. It is a new pattern, too, with a cross-over front. I had to modify it a little so there wouldn't be cleavage. Yes I know many women are fine with showing cleavage, but I would rather not. Anyway, we finished it, and I am all ready to wear it to school one day this week. I'll get to wear another new shirt too, YAY!

Our other projects today were to finish some pants for Roxanne, that go with a little jacket we put together last week. We sewed up a pair of shorts for Raine that were bright green and had spiders on them (a very fun fabric). I think she liked them, as she put them on as soon as we got home with them. We also finished up a sleeveless tunic top for Roxanne that turned out well. She was looking forward to wearing it under a lab coat this semester.

Well, I know you would like pictures of all these finished projects, and I would love to include them, but - alas - while I took my camera along today (often I forget it), today I forgot to load the memory chip into the computer to STORE the photos. Sigh. Look for updates, with pictures on my new(ish) Createlivity web site!

As usual, Roxanne and I enjoyed our time together, chatting and sewing and making things and being creative. We look forward to it every week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

nothing like certainty

... and planning

.... and heat...

So, Monday morning, first day of work. Teacher preparation day. Get the class room set up. All that kind of stuff. The last thing they've told me about what I'm going to teach this semester is, "as we discussed last spring..." Which would be 3 sections of credit recovery. As far as I know. But they really didn't say. I look online for my rosters, and see one class of English 1 populated (oh, besides I-CAT which is the class I will be advising).

When I get there (after waiting more than an hour in a line to get my classroom key checked out to me), I get a look at the master schedule. Sure enough, one English 1 class, and the other 2 should be credit recovery. By the end of the day, I have another English 1 class scheduled - the must be more freshmen than expected this year - and still no one in credit recovery.

So, today I went to several people, trying to get names of students who might be eligible for, benefit from, and be interested in taking a credit recovery online course for one reason or another. I got a few names, and thought about guidelines to figure out who to suggest. I am afraid if I don't do it, it won't get done, and then where will I be?

...and the heat? Well, as I talked about last year, and probably the year before, summer in my classroom is NOT pleasant. Heat and sweating and ack! (and ick!) so. That is how my semester is shaping up so far.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

summer recap

It's back to school tomorrow, so for me, despite the coming months of hot weather, summer is over. The vacation part of the summer, that is. It was a good summer and I would like it to last longer. Even so, I'm not feeling anxious about work tomorrow, more... anticipation. As if this evening I'm biding my time until it's time to go. Part of that is all the things I got to do over the summer.

I read books. I read on my Kindle, and the more traditional kind. Raine and I went to the library almost every week. We both enjoyed the books we checked out. I even got through some non-fiction titles (almost unheard-of for me). I enjoyed Charlaine Harris, getting through a couple of her Grave Secrets series, as well as the latest Sookie. I started Yasmine Galenorn's psychic series. I just finished Tess Gerritson, Body Double. It has been a long time since I was able to read so much, and I have really enjoyed it.

I sewed. I made my first completed quilt, and since my mom had cut the pieces, it was kind of like I got to collaborate with her again and that was a pretty special feeling. It won't be the last quilt I ever make. While Roxanne and I didn't get to sew as often as we had wanted to and planned (life just happens) we enjoyed the time we had and got several things done. We both sorted through our sewing stashes and found things we didn't remember we had. Today we finished up a pair of denim pants that Roxanne found that we had forgotten all about. We worked on a knit jacket and pants for her, and a top for me. We are nearing the bottom of the basket of cut out stuff, and are discussing what we want to work on next!

I traveled. Not as much as I would have liked, but did get to hit the road a little bit. Carl, Raine and I went to Tucson, and while we were there we got to drive up to Lake Roosevelt and play in their boat. That was fun. I took Raine to T or C so she could stay with John and Shelbi for a bit. I got a decent visit of a couple hours with John and got to admire his garden. (garden envy) He sent home some yummy squash with me, too.

I got to the Farmer's Market. I even got to renew a friendship with someone who I'd lost track of for a while, thanks to the Market. She and her husband have a booth, and sell benches, tables, and other furniture they've refurbished/remade. I'm loving the produce I get there, too.

I even got to help Raine have a good summer. She traveled to Tucson, North Carolina, and now to T or C. She got to swim and swim and swim. She made it to White Sands a couple of times. She got to participate in music camp, and perform. Shelbi came and stayed for a week. Raine got to spend lots of time with her best friend, and even make new friends, too. Now she'll have a couple of quieter weeks (although Ezekiel will still be around) and be bored enough to be ready to start school, soon.

So, now I'm going to get back to those things one does on the last day of vacation: laundry, getting things ready to take tomorrow, heading for bed early, making sure the alarm is set correctly.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

stress dreams

Mine come in many shapes and sizes, and I've learned to expect them right before school starts. Many times, I can't find my classroom, and the school hallway stretches beyond the horizon. Often I've just stepped into the hallway for a moment, and then the classroom is lost. Other times, an administrator is waiting for me along with my students. The bells are ringing, and I just won't be there when I should be.

There are variations, though. Swarming ants was one of last night's. It's interesting because a version of swarming ants has been a recurring nightmare for me since I was a kid. This one was different, though, they weren't swarming over me in my bed. (Whew) One year, I dreamed that the school was having an assembly with the kids in the bleachers at the football field. All the teachers were given tranquilizer dart guns to use if a kid got unruly. I thought it was amazing. A kid misbehaves, and you put him/her to sleep. Then they miss stuff, which is kind of an ultimate torture for a kid. Of course you had to be a good shot, to be effective, but even if you got the wrong one, they just went to sleep, nothing permanent done.

That reminds me of the movie we watched last night, which was The Green Hornet (please don't confuse it with the Green Lantern!). The Hornet had a gas gun that would put the bad guys to sleep. Not darts... hmmm... Anyway, Seth Green helped write and produce it, and it was definitely a comedy. Silly in parts, but amusing.

Friday, July 29, 2011

one more trip

Earlier this summer, my niece, Shelbi, came to visit for a week. I posted about it. We had a great time. Mention was made about Raine going to stay with Shelbi for a while sometime this summer.

This morning, my brother John texted me. I texted back, and - after running a load of laundry - Raine and I packed her up and headed for Truth or Consequences. As soon as she got there, it was time to put on her bathing suit and head for the pool. (Raine's kind of activity!) I got to visit for a bit with John, and see his vegetable garden, which wasn't huge, but beats mine all to heck. Sometimes its hard for me to picture John even HAVING a vegetable garden...

I got to drive through some rain on the way home and enjoy looking at the clouds moving from northeast to southwest. At home, a quiet evening by myself, catching up on blogs and listening to Blackmore's Night. Not a bad way to end the week before the start of school.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

cuff 'em

I finished three shirts this evening. By finish, I mean that mostly I put on the button holes, and then sewed on the buttons. One of the shirts, however needed the cuffs and a hem. Hem was easy peasy, but the cuffs.... well they were easy, too.

First, let me say that the cuffs are purely decorative. Turned up and no buttons or anything, but they still had to "finish" the ends of the sleeves. I hate putting on cuffs, with the slit and all. Not my best work. I feel almost like I cheated on these cuffs. See, I used bias tape. Once around on one side to hook everything together, fold it over, sew on the other fold and hide all the raw edges inside. Done!

Now, if I could just figure out how to do that with collars!
(pictures coming tomorrow!) Pictures here now! The first is the cuff on the outside. The next is the inside of the cuff, showing the bias tape. The third is - of course - Raine, modelling her new white (dress code for school) shirt.

Monday, July 25, 2011

eyes up

I went and got my eyes checked and ordered new glasses last week. I'm sure no one needs a blow by blow telling of the process, and even telling you that my prescription has changed but a little, and everything looked fine is probably more information than you need, although it makes me happy.

What I really want to recommend is for my friends who have glasses or need glasses - and particularly those with diabetes, like me - to find an optometrist who has a retinal camera. The shop I went to this time, new for me since our insurance provider has changed since my last pair of glasses, had one. Instead of dilating your eyes, a process which isn't painful in and of itself, but takes time to achieve, and then recover from, you get a picture taken of the back of your eye. Look at the little red dot. Flash. Now on the other side, flash. Oh look on the screen there, everything looks normal. How easy is that? Nothing to put INTO your eye. Over in a moment. AND you get to see what the back of your eye looks like too! OK, I couldn't interpret those pictures either, but they can. I just think they are COOL!

Retinal camera. Find an optometrist that uses one.