Monday, November 26, 2012

taking the consequences

Last week, Raine started a new after school program. She's supposed to stay after school, and there is an organized activity program that includes doing homework, snacks, playtime and - most important - supervision. With Ron working days, he doesn't get home until after 6, and school doesn't end for me for an hour after Raine's ends. So, we needed something.

Monday, I reminded her to stay, and talked about starting the new program, and when I would be there to pick her up and all. When I got there, at 5 - 2 & a half hours after she got out of school - there was no Raine. They hadn't seen her that day, and had assumed she hadn't been at school. Well, I wasn not a happy camper, I can tell you. She was in the second place I looked - home - thank goodness. I don't know what she thought was going to happen when I got home, but what ever it was, it didn't. I didn't beat her. I did yell, but more than that I got across the idea that it is really IMPORTANT to be where your parents expect you to be. It is important NOT to scare your mother like that. She was genuinely sorry.

All weekend, she endured her punishment. She was grounded. No going to anyone's house to play. No inviting friends over to play. TV & computer were severely limited for the whole, long weekend. We went to the used bookstore and got a couple new books to read ( both of us). Then, for the weekend, she got to hang out with mom. The TV was off a lot, so a lot of reading got done by both of us. She rode her bike some each day, because exercise is good for you. She did a lot of building with legos and bionicles. A lot. She got an hour of TV or computer in the mornings, and another in the afternoon, after she did a chore. She went through her clothing and got out the winter clothes and put away the shorts (and we discovered a serious lack of long pants that fit).

She did get a couple of breaks. She had a couple hours with her best friend on Thanksgiving day. He happened to be at his aunt's house when we went over to visit with his other aunt who was here from out of town. She got to have some computer time with her Uncle Carl while I sewed with Roxanne. We bought new pants for her. Winter is coming.

But I gained some respect for my child in how she handled her consequences. She did not sulk. She didn't even complain much. There were a few times when she said she was bored, but then she found something to entertain herself. She did pretty well with it thow whole weekend, really.

This is a child who does, and will, test the boundaries that we set. She can - I think - be reasoned with, and she can face consequences for her actions. Not everyone - child or adult - can. I hope she learned something about being where she should be, and why. I certainly learned something about her.

Friday, November 23, 2012

thanksgiving thanks

I don't know when I've had such a quiet Thanksgiving holiday. I mean that in the best possible sense of the word. Ok, so I went to the dentist for a cleaning on Wednesday, but it wasn't bad, and now my teeth feel all smooth and clean. I didn't get to do the crafting I still want to do with my friend Sara. She has a Cricut machine, and I really, really want to play with it. Bad. Still. She's so nice; she understands.

Thursday, we made an untraditional dinner of seafood for Thanksgiving. Yummy. And not a whole lot of prep or clean up, really. Today I used the left-overs to make a seafood chowder. Well, really it was a potato soup-ish chowder with corn and seafood. It turned out pretty good. Even Raine thought so, and she was a little doubtful at first, but she had seconds, so she must have liked it. Oh, and we're not completely crazy. We love turkey, and put one in the freezer for some other time.

Today I got to go sew with Roxanne. We are working on Christmas gifts. Fabric baskets. They are turning out very cute, I must say. Wonder how many we need... It was nice to get together to sew, because we haven't gotten to very much this fall. Roxanne has been working on her Doctorate, and has been taking the tests and trying to finish it up. I'm very proud of her for her scholarly activities, but they have cut into our sewing time, so I'll be doubly glad when she gets on a more sew-friendly schedule.

I've been working on other gifts, as well, and making some decent progress on them. I'll have to wrestle with the serger again tomorrow. Not sure if I threaded it wrong, or I just need to bite the bullet and take it in for another cleaning (it's only about a year overdue...). But I need to use it !!! I'm hoping that I've paced myself well for these gift makings. I do so enjoy making gifts and giving made gifts.

Had to buy Raine new pants. I don't normally "do" Black Friday. The crowds & all. But, she needed new pants. Like NOW. Size 14, thank you. The old ones showed her ankles... at least. We went through her drawers and now have a nice pile to donate. yay.

So, you know what's best about this long weekend? Yeah, it's that I've already had so much enjoyment, and its only actually weekend starting tomorrow. I'll get my usual chores done: laundry especially. I should also get some sewing done, and maybe a movie watched... ready for the season 2 episodes of the British series Sherlock on Netflix. Who knows what else could pop up? Thinking about my own Christmas list. Wondering if I would get practical use out of the Wii Fit program, now that Raine has a Wii... Realizing that I've probably rambled on enough for one Friday evening. Thanks, blog, for being on my to-do list, too.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

takes an english teacher...

My daughter was talking to her friend in the backseat of my car. We were taking him home. They were discussing various Megablock figures that are based on some video games, like Halo and World of Warcraft. They were also talking about their experiences playing those games. About the time we were pulling onto the street her friend lives on, Raine said that she could, "literally pretend" to play... something.

Usually when she and her friend are talking in the back seat, I eavesdrop a little... I like to know what's on their minds. But, I don't want to be part of their conversation. It isn't my conversation, and they aren't talking to me. Still, sometimes, snippets amuse me.

I guess it takes an English teacher for a mom to be amused and entertained by her literally pretending.

I know she does.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

falling leaf day

The cold has finally arrived here in New Mexico. Well, it arrived over the weekend, and is at the point of moderating by now. I thought Monday was going to be falling leaf day for sure, but it wasn't. Maybe now, though, the leaves will turn yellow before they freeze and drop off the trees like rain.

Yep. Friday I needed air conditioning in my classroom. Monday it was the rush to start the heaters. Bet the plumbers and a/c guys all around town made their Christmas shopping money this week!

Speaking of that, I still have a hard time realizing Thanksgiving is next week. Then little more than a month to Christmas! Am I the only one who still isn't used to writing 2012 for the year? And it's going to be changing again so soon?!?! Ack!

Maybe we'll have falling leaf day over the Thanksfgiving holiday...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

discussion experimentation

I've started a unit on Frankenstein for our 12th grade novel. I have some pretty ambitious expectations for my students to go with this novel. We'll be concentrating on theme and motif. I know! Not just plowing the way through the novel. And, what's more, I'm trying to get THEM to do the work, not me. So, there are discussion questions. Questions that I want the students to respond to, not me. AND, what's more, I want them to respond to each other's repsonses. THEN, I'm going to make them find something in text to support one - or more - of their responses, and explain how it fits with the assertion they are making.

Or, I'm just going to bang my head on the wall...

In my morning class, I think we were getting somewhere with the process. The afternoon class? Well, it is hard to tell, really. This class has a much harder time focussing, and staying focussed. Add to that a handful of students who just have to have some sort of verbal exchange with each other, and we teeter on the edge of accomplishing something or falling into total chaos. I give them the benefit of the doubt to a certain extent because while they often are lost, sometimes they are also genious. Hard to tell which is happening, sometimes.

For the discussion today, I had them respond to 4 questions, one at a time, in writing, and then trade to respond to another question. Any one paper should have several different (hopefully) responses to the same question. Tomorrow, I'll give them back those papers, in some random sort of order, and have them respond to what their classmates have written. Who is on the track you are on? Who isn't? Who has the most interesting/different/noteworthy response on this page? THEN, we'll share some of the results. I called it a round robin discussion in writing.

The sub who was in the room - and was an experienced teacher in her own right - complemented me on my teaching style. It always feels good to get positive feedback, especially when there are those days when you wonder if you're doing any good at all.

Next week, we will start to explore one of the themes in non-fiction as preparation for the persuasive writing piece that is an English 4 requirement. That should be interesting...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

in your dreams

What are the landscapes of your dreams? I have quite a few in mine. I lived a few months in San Diego, and I used to dream about it a lot. Not so much any more, but still... The San Diego in my dreams was not like the real one, but I knew, in my dream, that was where I was. I also have a dream Tucson, that is very unlike the real Tucson, but in my dreams, I know that is where I am. I visit my friend Steph and her family there, and drive around to visit familiar places. In the dream Tucson, there is an awesome library, and a mall that I wish I could really go shop in. It has some stores that I wish I could really find.

I often dream I'm in the house I grew up in. The layout is the familiar layout of the 30 some odd years my parents lived in that house. My parents still live there, in my dreams, mostly. I love answering the door of that dream house, because friends and family are always coming over to visit. There always seems to be some kind of holiday to celebrate.

Not too long ago, I was dreaming and I was in that house for a while. Something happened (I don't remember what, now) and I had to call 911. I gave the operator my parents' address, but I imediately knew that wasn't right. I gave her my current address. That - of course - caused the operator to question if I knew where I was. In my dream, my logic was that the street names had changed... remember when that happened?

In my waking thoughts, I decided that this house, the one I live in now, the one we are raising our daughter in, is finally incorporating itself into my psyche as "home." You know what? I think that is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Voting is definitely on my to-do list, and yes, I got it done today. Very happy with the results of the presidential race, myself, I have to admit. I'm not one of those people who is vocal about their politics. I wish that our country's politics were more... centered. I know that I am a conservative person, but when it comes to politics, my beliefs are catagorized as liberal. Politics in general are not my favorite topic. It seems to be one of those "lets just agree to disagree" or "preaching to the choir" things to me.

Not only did we get time off to vote, we were lucky enough to get a whole day off from school on election day. Many of our local polling places are in schools, and I think that the safety issues of having all those people coming on campuses makes closing schools for the day a wise choice. You just don't know who is walking in. I don't mind benefiting from it, either.

Here in Las Cruces - not sure whether this is all over NM - we have convenience polling places. You no longer have to vote at a specified polling place. Which ever one is convenient to you that day, you can vote there. I picked the library, where they have also been holding early voting. (I'm not really sure why I didn't DO early voting...) There was a line. A pretty long line. It moved fairly quickly, but I was glad I brought my book.

Raine and I did some other errands today as well, some of which made us wait. Reading was done today by both of us. Fortunately for Raine, she got to go swimming this afternoon with Ezekiel, and the aquatics center, where they both enjoy swimming. Even though her morning was boring errands, her afternoon was saved, and her day off from school was not entirely ruined by her mom.

I'm glad I voted. I'm glad we GET to vote. I'm glad the election day has passed, and the political ads are done. For now.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

the ren fair report

We had a good time at the Ren Fair. The weather was beautiful. Sunny and in the 70's, so garb was not too bad, especially in the shade. The wind was reasonably calm, the crowds were not too bad. Good for personal space, probably not as good for some of the vendors. It was fabulous to walk up to our designated area to see this:
Like the good old days...
An actual banner, proclaiming who we are. Pavillions and banners and PEOPLE!!! WOoT!

Ron in garb, and spiffy bunting made for the occasion.
We had friend come to help out from Alamogordo, and from El Paso, including the Baron & Baroness, who both did a fabulous job with demos. There was even a brief court, and awards were awarded.

Thank you, your Excellencies!
We got to see our friend Alan, dancing with the Greek folk dancing group he has been part of for many years. It was nice to see him dancing, and talk to him a little later when he found us in the SCA encampment.

Greek folk dancers
We also did some shopping. I got

My first henna!
and we each picked out a new dragon.

posing for the family photo
We even caught up with Phil, who was helping out at his brother's booth.

Beautiful day at the fair!

Friday, November 2, 2012

renn fair weekend

My normally rather boring life, with few overly dramatic moments has been rather busier than usual lately. This is not a bad thing. I've been getting to know some of the people who are becoming more active in the SCA, and they seem very nice people. Making friends is a good thing. We've made bunting, and gotten some garb put together for several people. I've even had things to put into my Arts & Sciences report! I know!

This weekend is the Ren Fair, an annual event that I'm fond of, even beyond the SCA participation, although I certainly have fond rememberances of that as well. I'm actually looking forward to it being a little more of an event this year, than it has been in the past few years, and that makes me happy. Much happier than the year I went and found NO SCA presence at ALL. YiKES!

So, I hope I'll remember my camera, and my sun screen. I'm all ready wishing I had remembered to bring my rolly cart home from school. That was very handy hauling stuff on site last year. Why? Why? Why did I leave it at school?

Ren Fair. Totally on my to-do list!