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.