Wednesday, October 31, 2012

halloween fun

Last year, Raine wanted to be Steve, the guy in Minecraft. We worked on that costume, and finally taped it on her, I think, and she tripped around the neighborhood collecting candy. I don't think it was as much fun to wear in reality as she thought it was going to be.

Steve, in his seat of honor, guarding the room.

This year, Raine went back and forth, as kids will do, and had a hard time deciding what to be for Halloween. Until we took a family trip to Spirit Halloween, and she fell in love with a werewolf. A werewolf mask.

How can you be scared of those beautiful blue eyes?
Ron & I discussed it. The mask was cool! The jaws moved. It was - of course - more that we wanted to pay... but... she would use it and use it. (Steve still gets played with.) What else would we need to go with it? Hmmmm. A shirt to tear to shreds, and... pants & that was pretty much it! OK, do-able. A werewolf it is.

Raine talked me into fake fur on sale at Jo-ann's which I made sleeves of and sewed into the sleeves of the shirt for werewolf arms. Ron added patches of fur behind some of the rips, and even sewed a tail to the hem of the shirt. Easiest costume we've had in a while!

Waiting for the festivities to begin!
She had a great time handing out treats while she waited for time to go out trick or treating. She scared small children without even trying. Halloween score!

Of course she wasn't the only one who dressed up. Carl was a hippie (shirt courtesy of Roxanne & Dina & weekend sewing).
Peace, man.

Ron also played his part. Werewolf Hunter, steampunk style.

The hunter and the hunted.
Awesome fun for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

not quite halloween...

We've got Raine's costume finished early this year. Last year we were madly glueing colored paper onto cardboard boxes for her minecraft guy. He sits in her room, like a suit of armor, and even gets played with, although not the whole thing, which was rather awkward to walk it. Also, she's taller now (her constant state) so the legs don't fit as well. Still, it was fun.

This year, she's already worn her costume to two costume parties. She's loving it, and I call it a success. Pictures tomorrow, and more Halloween stuff as well, I'm sure.

For today, I want to talk about books. Or at least one book. I'm reading 3 at the moment. Frankenstein because my students will be reading it soon. Seekers, with Raine (somewhat anthropomorphic bears) We're reading the first one together, even though she's all ready read it, and the second, and is working on the third now. Also, I'm almost all the way through Alibi Man by Tami Hoag. It really caught me up, and I have been enjoying that book! A strong, but wounded, smart and smart-ass, heroine really floats my boat. It doesn't hurt that the male lead respects - if not always appreciates - her for those qualities. The story is tight and well written, and leads you to one of several murder suspects, including one that the heroine really wants to be guilty, and the reader really wants to be guilty, and who may - or may not - BE guilty. There ARE other suspects, and soon they will sort out and I will be done. I'm thinking a trip to the used book store may be in order for more of Hoag's novels.

Yes, Fran, I'm sure you DID tell me so...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

one fish, two fish

We have one cat, and one dog... and fish. Beta fish, to be exact. Since betas don't get along with each other, they have - at this point - separate tanks. We had some divided tanks, but being so close to another beta stressed some of them out, which shortened their lifespan.

We started off with fish for Raine for Christmas a couple years ago. She took good care of them, even if she did need the occasional reminder to feed them. Those fish both lasted more than a year, one almost 6 months longer than the other. She has drawn a picture of one of the originals, and has it on her wall.

smile for the camera...

Ron is trying to find the right combination of filter, heater, light & dark to keep them happy and healthy, but they do have a limited life span. This summer, we lost one of my favorites. H was a beauty, and we called him Fabio, because he really flaunted his fins. If I moved my finger near the glass of the tank to point at his food, he would follow my finger and find his food. Most of them ignore my pointing.

A couple months ago, I got one that was a mix of jade and turquoise. He was really pretty with his jewel tones, and Raine decided his name was Gem. He was really cool looking, and his lips were a lighter blue than the surrounding skin, and stood out. I really wanted a picture of him, but sadly, didn't get around to it before he went floaty. Bye, Gem. Before Gem, we had one with white fins, and when he swam around, it reminded me of Einstein, and his crazy hair, sticking out everywhere.

So yes, I think fish are rather a fleeting pet, but there is something to enjoy about them. I know the flash can stress them, and scare them, but I think I'd like to photograph them each at least once, especially if I can get them without the flash. They certainly are beautiful.

I call this guy Dragon, because his golden scales really stand out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

photo shoot

This evening, I took all the pictures I've been meaning to take for a while. I was inspired to get the camera busy by Raine, who drew these predators while she was with Ezekiel this afternoon. I am blown away by her talent (mostly because I don't have it).
I think she's leveled up her skills.
The top images are the maskes for the bottom guys. Sorry about the glare, though. Yes, she's still using a good bit of invented spelling, even though she gets A's on her spelling tests. What's up with that?

I also took some of a few of our betas. I didn't want to take too many as the flash was scaring them, and I didn't want to do that. I've been meaning to photo some of them for a while and in the mean time some of my favorites have died. Sigh.
I call this one Dragon.
Finally, a little something that Roxanne and I were working on this past weekend. I made the pieced block earlier, and cut out a second. We were experimenting to see how practical it would be to make holiday baskets like this. Not very practical. It was time consuming, and some of the middle steps had us both scared for the outcome. I think the final product for this will be nice, but I wouldn't want to have to spend that much time on each one. Maybe some half square triangles would work better? hmmm

the block pre backed & quilted

all this needs is to have the bottom sewn in

Monday, October 22, 2012

the grey

Ron and I watched The Grey this evening, thanks to Netflix. Liam Neesam, need I say more? I hadn't caught it at the theater, and had been eyeing on disk. Thank you, Netflix for saving me some money.

The scenery is stunning. The snow and more snow and rugged terrain of Alaska or northern Canada, probably. There are some interesting cinematic moments. There's Liam to look at. There is a lot of disappointment.

The next bit is spoilers, but I think you're better off reading them than trying to sit through the movie, honestly. The premise of the film is that a plane crashes in the snowy wilderness, and the survivors try to hike to civilization. As if the crash itself, the wilderness and the extreme cold weren't enough, there are wolves. Not normal wolves, some kind of semi-sentient (evidently) evil wolves who hold a grudge (or something) and would rather chase and kill the crash survivors one by one for the effect of killing them - you know because they all ready have a full pantry up there in the wilds - instead of eating them. And they travel together in the hundreds, if not thousands. And behave not at all wolf like. Pretty much.

The whole terrible sort-of-supernatural wolf thing killed this movie for me. Because of the poorly portrayed wolves, I could not suspend my belief enough to enter that world and be entertained by it. It had the potential for a very grey introspective look at a man deciding whether to live or die. I could be interested in that. But, no. The overly dramatized wolves really took it apart for me. It would have been a much more entertaining venture with the wolves totally in the background, and the conflict based more around the natural world, much like, "To Build a Fire." Jack London, where are you when we need you?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

getting to halloween fun

Raine's Nana sent some fun t-shirts to her for halloween. One of them has a flame-y jack-o-lantern face. It showed up very well, even without the flash.

oooo scarey
The camera batteries were low, so I convinced Raine to head outside for a better shot of the whole outfit.

with the perfect pair of shorts
Thanks, Nana. Now, let's get back in the shade...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

itchy fingers, lame brain

I keep looking at the "new post" button, wanting to make one, and then my brain just kinda shuts down. So many times, I can write about what I'm making or have made - and there is making going on, here, there is! - but spoilers, people, spoilers! So sharing it will have to come later!

In the mean time, I may have a plan. May. We'll see how it works out.

One thing I want to share today is a music source. My co-teacher found it and shared it with me. The site is called Daytrotter and the concept is this: bands come in and record a few songs, and daytrotter posts them. They also make & produce collections of these songs, and produce limited editions of them, making only as many as are preordered. They archive all the sessions, so you can listen to them, and - after a quite reasonable membership fee - download them if you desire. The bands are varied, and many are not well known. I'm sure there are songs and bands I won't just love, but there is also music here I will really enjoy, and enjoy exploring. Also, If you are an art fan, one of the staff at Daytrotter does an illustration of each of the bands that is used as their thumbnail. Cool. Another cool thing? They have some tracks by the Lumineers, who I also got introduced to recently, and really, really like. WOot!

Monday, October 8, 2012

fall break ends

The long weekend of fall break started with Thursday and the fair. Saturday, Carl and Raine and I drove over to see our cousins Bob & Louise, who are getting older, and don't get around as well as they once did. We had a lovely lunch and visit and we tried not to stay too long to tire them out. We need to go back more often, though. YesterdayRon and I spent the evening with Sara & Damon. We ate pizza. I played cards with them (we took turns winning) and we all chatted and chatted. It was fun!

I actually got rather productive in the craft room this weekend. Yesterday, Ron & I cleaned out a box or two, and sorted some into the trash, a bit to keep (THERE's that big crock pot that we knew we had SOMEWHERE!) And some to give away. The aisle to the door is getting wider, as I'm claiming more and more of the craft room. Hooray! I also organized a lot of fabric today, moved things, swept and dusted, got what cobwebs I could reach. I didn't get sewing done, but I did get some flags cut out to make into bunting for Renn fair for the SCA. I'm thinking the denim I repurposed from old pants will go with any random white fabrics, alternated on the cord. They will flutter in the breeze, and mark some boundaries, and look great.

I've napped, and stayed up late, and all those "bad" habits that one looks forward to on vacations, but tomorrow I'll be back to the routine, and Raine will be back to hers. I've enjoyed it, and I'll go back wanting more, which - to me - means it must have been good. It's so much better to end wanting more than being tired of whatever...

Now, I'm organized for Christmas craftiness, though, yahoo!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

fair day

It was a lovely day to go to the fair, today, people! The sun shone, the breeze was breezey. The crowds were... not there. (Which was perfect for me.) We saw what we wanted to see, and sat in the shade to rest when we wanted to. We didn't have to wait in lines, or feel pushed around. Carrie tagged me about 5:30, and I got to head home before 6 while they stayed to do the midway on a $20 wrist band, ride all you want. Raine got home about 10:30 and headed for the bath, exhausted and happy. Pretty awesome.

Here are some of the highlights. Pictures? I know! I actually did take a few!

These things look like so much fun! They roll around in the water, and it's rather like a hamster ball, but a softer landing. The kids mostly stay dry, until - like Ezekiel - they sit on the side of the pool to put their shoes back on, and someone happens to be in the ball next to you. Yes, there is splashing. This pool isn't as big as the one they've had on previous years, but the kids still seemed to have a blast.

We went through the petting zoo, and the animal barns. I enjoy looking at all the school art projects grouped together by school. It looked like they were missing several schools this year, though. The arts & crafts exhibits were down, too. I feel sad that that aspect of the fair seems to be falling. On the other hand, I also think that they don't do a great job of getting the word out to enter things, either. I really need to decide to get something put together for the fair next year. Need to get Raine & Ezekiel to do entries as well. They are always drawing stuff and making stuff.

We visited the 4H barn, where the Farm & Ranch museum had a table... and some photo props...
cute cow with a hat
I remember as a kid, what a big deal the fair was, and how we got out of school early for student day, and that was the day we usually went. They haven't been doing that here lately, and they did a better school promotion than usual this year, and timed it with fall break. So, for me, the fair was a success this year, at least in terms of visiting it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

woman of words

My co-teacher this year is a poet. Not only is he a poet, but he loves teaching poetry, and so he does. We have poetry day each week, and I think he does an awesome job. He's teaching me about poetry too. Actually, he's re-acquainting me with an old friend. When he has the kids try their hand, I usually try mine, too. There are many teacherly reasons I do this. It sets a good example of participation. It gives him an example to read if the kids are too shy to read theirs. (they aren't as often now, which is awesome).

The last couple of days, for the last part of class, he's been showing us a documentary on a poetry slam contest that is done in Chicago. There are some wonderful teenage poets who compete. The kids have issues and troubles and genius, like teenagers do. I've been enjoying it, and I hope that the students are getting something out of it as well.

Today, walking out to my car, I began composing a poem. I worked on it a little this evening, not the least of which was getting it written down, and I'm going to share it with you. It may - or may not - be your cup of tea, and that's OK. If you want to give feedback, I'm fine with that, too. Here it is:

I am a woman of many words.
Words that I say to myself.
Poetic words, that pour across the page
Piling up upon each other
Words that I read and read and read
Words that I hear in Maya Angelou's voice
In my head
Standing proud and smart and woman.
I am a woman of many words.
Waiting for the moment
That is my moment.
Waiting for the moment that words
Show what kind of woman I am.
Finding my voice to speak them
I am a woman of many words
flowing from my fingers to the
keyboard to the
computer screen
like my voice but with the space bar clicking.
I am a woman
of words

                    Dina Honeycutt 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

fairly on the list

This week is the Southern NM State Fair. Usually it is in the middle of September, but not this year. It does, however, coincide with the days off we get for fall break. What a coincidence. (I doubt that it is, really, but what the heck) On Thursday, early in the day, the admission price is significantly lower than the rest of the time. I'm planing to take Raine out to see what we can see. Since we will both have more fun if she has a friend along, we'll be taking Ezekiel as well.

We'll get in and look through the exhibits, the animal barns, etc. I'll torture them with the craft displays, and then buy them horrible, overpriced food that they'll love. Eventually - like around 6 - Ezekiel's mom and I will to a tag-team trade off so that the kids can get a pay one price wristband and ride the rides for a while. I'll get to go home without spending too much time on the midway, and the kids will come home exhausted and dirty. Just what the fair is good for!

That's the plan, anyway...