Tuesday, May 31, 2011


That's what we made on Monday. Purses. Nice, tapestry ones, with surged edges to prevent ravelation. What, so I can't make up words? Yes, I took pictures, but the camera - and therefore the memory chip - is all the way in the other room *whine*.

So, I'll edit this tomorrow, and add a couple of pictures. *SEE?!?!? I did actually add some pictures of a few of the purses.

Today, Shelbi and I picked out some fabric for a couple of summer outfits for her to take home with her, if I can get them put together before she leaves. Cute fabrics, too. At least I get to sew a little girlie stuff for Shelbi, even though Raine won't have it. I still get to make cute stuff for Raine, just not girlie stuff.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Had a lovely time this afternoon, playing canasta. Since the kids got an offer they couldn't refuse of a trip to white sands, it was quiet in the house. I had planned with Roxanne to sew tomorrow instead of today, and I had washed some fabrics that I want to cut out tomorrow... or soon. Then some friends came over, and we played canasta.

The first game, my canasta partner and I won, but not by too much. The second game wasn't even close! When we went into the negatives that first hand, we knew it was a bad sign. We just got stomped! Know what, though? We had a great time anyway! We all laughed and joked and whined about crummy hands and had a really good time.

Carl made spaghetti sauce, and anyone who has had the opportunity to taste his sauce knows it is yummy. So, on top of a... well... entertaining - if not actually good - game of cards we had a delicious dinner, too.

Friday, May 27, 2011

summer list

One of the things on my to-do list for the summer is to spend time with my niece, Shelbi. She lives a couple of hours away from us, and we don't get to see her or her dad as much as we probably should. She's spent about a week with us each summer, though, for several years, and she and Raine have a blast. We have a good time all around.

When Raine and I were putting together some summer plans and activities, Shelbi's name definitely came up, but it was a wait and see what happens when. Well, neither of us had to wait very long!

While I was working in my classroom, yesterday, Shelbi called. Since I don't get good reception in my class, I had to wait until a little later to talk to her. (do I really need to include that? probably not, even if it is what really happened...) When I did get to talk to her, about the second question she asked was "Am I going to get to come visit you this summer?"

I responded with, "Do you WANT to come visit us this summer?"


"When would you like to come?" I asked her.

"I still have school tomorrow, so how about Saturday?"

I was thrilled that she wanted to come... wanted it enough to want to come sooner rather than later, even. So, I talked to my brother, John, and we arranged it. Ron and Raine and I will be heading over to pick her up tomorrow! Excellent way to start the summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

finished...and not

I've learned enough to get the grades done the day before they are due, so I was ready to check out pretty early today, and I got that done. Still I worked for a good while in my classroom, going through things and throwing a lot of it out. It took time, but I cleared out my classroom cabinets and got a long way towards organizing them - although not filling them up, as that was part of the point, right?

Still, there is more to do, so tomorrow morning (although not at the crack of dawn, yippee) I'll be up and getting ready for one more day at the school. I'm not really planning to bring home much. but there are a few things. Mostly, it's still getting rid of stuff.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

slacking & lacking

I know. It's been a couple of days here. No excuses, really, either. Just... yeah, the end of school. I have one more day of tests, and then it's getting them into the gradebook, and into the computer, turning things in and checking out. The checking out will be on Thursday. So will the cleaning up. Well, I've been doing a little bit of that here and there, I will admit. Not as much as I'd like, yet, though. I just wish I knew which classroom I was going to be in. That is - however - going to have to wait until things are settled. I hope it will be soon. Sigh.

Did I mention I'll be throwing stuff OUT? Yes, I feel the need to shed some baggage. At school, and at home. There will be a theme, here, yes there will. I'm tired of boxes stacked around. Tired, I tell you! Tired. Those and the cobwebs and the dust bunnies just have to go. I don't get into the spring cleaning, there's just no percentage in it here. You have to wait until the spring winds stop blowing the dust all over your house.

Well, back to grading essays, and then to sleep. Come on summer vacation!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

a fitting tribute

Last month, a good friend of mine, Ed Judd, passed away. Today, his family and friends gathered for his memorial. His daughter read from a sermon, which was a lovely sentiment, and very fitting. It basically said (but in a much more poetic way than I am) I'm not really gone, I'm just out of sight, what we've done together still exists, what we've meant to each other won't change. I liked it a lot.

Then, anyone who wanted to say something had a chance to share a remembrance about Ed. Of course there were tears, but there was also camaraderie, and love, and caring. I hope that his family were held up a little by how Ed's friends cared and felt about him, and how much we will miss him too.

As a rule, I understand how valuable our rituals and ceremonies are to us as people. I respect them, and the role they serve, even when they sometimes seem too much planning, too much frufrau, and too much trouble. Memorial services never seem that to me. They are sad and emotional, which I - like many others - aren't always comfortable with, but they are always a way to say goodbye to someone you have cared about, and to share that loss with others who feel it, too. Being able to share that loss with others, even for a short while, somehow makes the long term grieving a little more bearable.

Be well, Ed, in whatever it is that comes after this life. We will miss you because we can't see you, and because the things - both tangible and intangible - you left behind remind us of you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

graduation 2011

Is done. Those seniors are now graduates. They did well, they survived. A few even excelled. Beyond them is the scary future. The exciting next thing. I wish them well, with happiness and success and all the good. They'll find out what the world is really like. Or they won't. But mostly, they'll do all right, I think. Congratulations GHS class of 2011.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

not my best day

Can we just be done now? Please? I took my classes to one of the computer labs on campus, so that we could do a short cycle assessment. Yeah. So, one of the students was not attending to what he should have been, and broke the window in the lab. Yeah. Just like that. Of course that was not his intention, but just the confluence of timing, force and luck... He cut his hand in a few places, and the window made quite a mess of glass inside the room and out. Since it was done on my "watch" so to speak, I feel somewhat responsible. Not that I could have known he was going to jump up and smack the window with his hand, but still.

Tomorrow is half day, and then graduation. Next week is finals. Come on, I can do it, I can do it...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

mini crobot

I finished my mini last night. Couldn't show you until I charged the camera's battery, though. All better now.

I think she turned out pretty well, with cute flower buttons on her head, and a stack of sequin hearts. She stands pretty well, too. It was my first experiment with the yarn, which is a very small weight. Can't tell you exactly what, because it was all unlabeled, from my stash. All the yarn wasn't even uniform size, but pretty close. It is pretty much embroidery type thread. I used a pretty small hook as well. I had to fiddle with the pattern a bit since the proportions weren't the same as the worsted weight that I was using on the other crobots, but it wasn't too bad. I kept the number of stitches per row, but had to increase the number of rows to get the right shapes.

I'll probably make a few more this size. I like it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

what a nice surprise

I did get to some grading today. I have more waiting for me, of course, but there is a definite dent in the pile.

I made it to the birthday party, which was nice, and to the farmer's market, too. I got some lovely greens, some herbs (do they count in the greens if they are green, too?) and some tomatoes. Looking forward to one of those in the morning. As I walked into the market, not very far in, I heard someone call my name. Sure enough, someone I know! Someone I hadn't seen in a very long time, and had rather lost track of. We hugged each other and walked up and down the farmer's market together, catching up a little bit. We exchanged phone numbers, and I hope that we can reconnect a little. She is doing creative things right now, has remarried, looked fabulous and happy. What a great way to find a long lost friend!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Friday. It did finally get here. Yay! Guess what I brought home to work on this weekend. Yes! Papers to grade! Guess what I didn't work on this evening. No, guess. Righto! Grading papers!

I'll work on them tomorrow. After a visit to the farmer's market. And the birthday party. No, really. I will. really.

So, want to know my landmark? It's a silly one, really, but I know that women of all sizes will have a little moment with me. I now weigh what it says on my driver's license. Yeah. Guess it's time for a new one, huh. (hmm I better check it and make sure, it really could be time for a new one... nah, they would have sent me something, right? right?) Anyhow, that is some encouragement to keep up the walking.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

an itch to be creative

That's what I felt this evening. It was a welcome respite from the sunburn itch I've been feeling all day. (We got to stand outside in the sun for 3 hours for a bomb threat on Monday.)

I wanted to do something... creative! I had a crochet hook in my hand at the time, making the last part of the little crobot I've been working on. Experimenting on. Creating. But I wanted to do MORE! What an energizing feeling it was, too.

It is definitely nice to have something to look forward to for the summer, and I'm definitely looking forward to much making of things. I'm hoping I also get to work on my creating space some in a meaningful, cleaning and organizing way. That tends to fall by the way when work gets going each school year.

I mention it, though, because I'm also ready to purge. I'll start in my classroom. I'm pretty sure I'll be in a different room next year, so it's the perfect time to pare it down. My closet is going to get some serious work, too. I really don't like how it is set up right now. There is a good amount of space in there, but it isn't set up well, and it has stuff in there that really doesn't need to be there. In fact, some of it doesn't need to be here at all. That and the bedroom both need a thorough, deep cleaning. Then, the craft room, and the storage room. Yeah. I know, summer will probably be close to done by the time I get to those. Still, a person's got to have a goal. Here are some of mine.

So, you ask, how do those goals fit together with being creative? Getting rid of stuff so that I can find and reach my crafting supplies. Making room for spreading out projects, working on projects, and even putting things away when the projects are done. Yeah. Out with the junk. In with the good stuff.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

sometimes the small things

This has been a pretty crummy week. Today was a pretty good day, though. Maybe I can keep my chin up through the rest of the school year. It's coming quickly to a close.

I brought home lots of papers to grade, of course, and didn't get through all of them. I did get a good many done, though, so that is a start.

I got to sew with Roxanne today. We finished some mending, and a shirt for Carl. I'm pretty much meeting a goal I had set for this year to make him a shirt every 2 months. The next one may be trickier, because I haven't gotten the fabric for it yet, even... I'll probably look for fabric for a couple so we can cut them out at the same time, and then work on them when we get there. We almost finished another top for Roxanne. Next week we"ll be working on quilts, I think, and cutting out some pieces for her mom. I'm going to do some sewing for Raine over the summer, for some school clothes for next year.

I feel good that I walked today. A nice long walk, even. It is so easy to not. Even when I know I like the way I feel better when I do. We went to Japanese Kitchen for dinner. Definitely a splurge in more ways than one, but, wow, they are just that good. Really.

So here's to some small things. Adding them up and giving me a little optimism back. Hoping it lasts through the week.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

mother's day

Yeah, I know, a picture of a picture and some bad glare. I suppose you have guessed this is a picture of my mom. Over on Facebook, people are changing their profile pictures to pictures of their moms. I'm not. I love my mom. I'm still not going to change the profile.

This seemed a more appropriate venue to deal with Mom, and Mother's day. This is how Mom looked as a young woman, in her prime. Edith May Hess Hursh. She was a great mom. Not a perfect mom, you understand, but I respect her for the mom that she was. She loved kids, and we got to do lots of things growing up that not everyone does. She was a cub scout leader, and a girl scout leader as well.

I was lucky enough to be able to grow up and have the opportunity to spend time with her as an adult, and know her as one adult to another. Not everyone gets to that place with their parents. I appreciate that I made it, and could see her as a human being, flawed and doing her best and not just the Mom-must-be-always-right-and-powerful being.

She did some pretty amazing things. In a time when women were just thinking about protesting and burning their bras, etc, Mom was busy getting her degree in Physics. In most of her classes, she was the only female. When her brothers joined the service(s) during the Korean conflict, so did she. When she worked for Shell Oil Company, she was the only woman working for the company who was not a secretary. She paved the way for a lot of women to work alongside men as equals by doing it, which proved it could be done. And yeah, she was very smart. It was - and sometimes still is - daunting to have to follow in those footsteps. Which is just the way she wanted it.

She's been gone a while now, close to 20 years. Of course, I still miss her. I wish she had been around to meet her grandchildren, Raine and Shelbi. I know they would have given her joy. Then I glimpse a little bit of her in some stubborn moment of proving herself that Raine will have, and I think, well, maybe she's here, lending a hand after all.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


First, let me say that the end of the school year is coming up in three short weeks. The pressure is on - in more ways than one - and it is not my best time to be creative or even creatively communicative. Just sayin. So when the week goes by with only one blog entry, or maybe two, its because the focus on the end of the year is pretty... well... focused.

That being said, now that I have made the amigurumi that I wanted to, or at least most of them, I'm experimenting a little. Trying different sized threads and hooks. Different types of yarn. I wanted to see if I could make something smaller, or smoother, or softer. I wanted to see if a different kind of yarn makes a significant difference in the end product. For instance, one of the crobots I made was made from a soft, rather smooth, cotton yarn. It looks good, and it feels good, but I'm not sure that it feels so. much. better. than the others. Dev made her zombie bot from that yarn, too, and I would like to compare it to the one I made out of the regular acrylic stuff.

Here is a picture of the first two crobots I made both of them are done with acrylic. The little green one looks nice, is soft, and all - although I'm pretty disappointed with my picture taking on this little crobot. I'm just not sure the difference is worth the difference in prince of the yarn. Not easy to tell from the pictures either, I'm sure. Sigh.

Most of the experimentation will be with yarn on hand, and I'll be sharing some more of it as the pieces get finished, and time - and mentality - allow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

another crobot

I have been having such a good time making these things! Can you tell? I appreciate that the instructions are pretty simple, and the shapes have some commonality, so that once you do a few, you kind of know what to expect for the parts. Even with that, they are different enough from one another to feel like experimentation. I'm certainly not bored with them yet. In fact there are several of the patterns I want to make again with different yarn and decorations.

This one is called Bouncebot, which you might think would make him a little on the roly poly side, but he actually stands very well. The bottom layer flattened disk helps with that, I'm sure.

Thanks to Dev (Vic) for the sequin-y things, too! They really dressed him up nicely. I'm very happy with how he has turned out. How did your zombie bot turn out, Dev?!?!?