Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tomorrow is also my hair appointment day and cleaning day. I have the major cleaning out of the way, just little stuff.
I have finished up all my dolls for the time being. Now I am ready to start making some jewelry. I have a ton of beads I want to play with and make some dazzling new creations. Got lots of ideas. So maybe Friday evening at the Shack will be jewelry bling night.
Friday AM will be one early morning jaunt to Michael's. Last year I scored some really good deals and it wasn't crowded at all at six AM! I can always stock up on my new favorite glue; Zip Glue. It's a great quick drying, non-wrinkling paper glue. LOVE it!
So there you have it in a nutshell - my long holiday weekend plans. Oh, that reminds me - I need to pick up the rest of the black walnuts out of the driveway that we have been hulling by running over them with the car. And those will be used in future plans for Christmas goodies.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Even though I fight valiantly against it, the collections of "stuff" seem to grow continuously. Should I just give up the fight and fill my house up with all the things I might someday need? I really wonder if I will ever use the rest of the VERY NICE French bread sack I tore to collage-sized bits, used two pieces for the Marie collage, then meticulously saved for the future. It's a wonderful sort of paper with an almost imperceptible pin dot pattern . . .
Maybe I need to charge up that get 'er done thing to a really high level and race down to the basement and organize like crazy. But I'm thinking (and I bet you are, too), that I am probably going to save all my get 'er done for all the important things that I fill my life up with!
Now off I go to find more important things on which to focus my awesome get 'er done powers .
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Are we done yet? Nope - I am also making a huge, jointed doll (this is the same doll we are making for the Traveling Round Robin Self Doll Swap) for a friend to give to her husband's boss, AND another one like it as a surprise for the above-mentioned friend. This isn't even mentioning the pair of Thanksgiving-themed dolls I made last night to go out in tomorrow's mail! Or the profile surprise swap I am in or the bead projects I have in mind or the wreath for our front door that I made last night, or. . And that all these things are due by the end of November? And that I said I wanted Thanksgiving at my house?
Did I mention I sometimes get in over my head? And that I hold a full-time job? Or that I have a husband, three dogs, three cats, 25 goats, and four fish? And that my house is actually kind of clean? And that I cook now and then? I need to stop now and go someplace quiet. Seeing this in print is even scarier than having it in my head! I better get my butt off the computer and down to the basement and GET BUSY! BYE NOW!
Monday, November 9, 2009
The other bad thing I do is start off reading one person's blog, notice a link they have that looks interesting, click on that link, and never finish reading the original person's entry. Then, I get lost in such a convoluted web of open windows and links that I don't ever find out what I was looking for in the first place . . . Adult ADD, maybe?
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Richard saw a crockpot he liked last week at Meijers that was on clearance. He didn't buy it then, but when he went to the store on Friday afternoon to pick up the ingredients for the candy, he bought it, so we decided to use it last night for the peanut clusters. About two hours into the cooking time, I smelled what I thought was Richard making some toast. Turns out it was the candy, BURNING! Sure enough, that crockpot was defective, and by the time I smelled it, those peanuts were burnt black! The chocolate was all bubbled up and charred. Talk about nasty. . .
So at 11:00 P.M. last night we made a run into Marion to get more ingredients. We loaded up the OLD crockpot with the stuff and Richard fired it up at five this morning, and at 8:30, I was spooning out mounds of chocolately-peanutty goodness. (Somehow it just isn't as appealing at that hour.) Of course, I had to whine to my friends on Facebook about burning the first batch of candy and having to remake it, which naturally led to people wanting to know what I was talking about. So, that is why I am posting the recipe here. Now if any of my FB friends want the recipe, they'll have to follow the link I'm posting and come here and read my blog to get the recipe. That's kind of a sneaky way to get readers, right?
Crockpot Peanut Clusters
Two 16 0z. Jars of dry-roasted peanuts, one of them SALTED and one UNSALTED
Two 12 oz. bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Two 12 oz. bags of white choc chips or equal amount of almond bark or white dipping coating
One 4-8 oz. bar of sweet German choc.
Layer in crockpot in order given - peanuts MUST be on bottom of crockpot. Do not mix. Cook on LOW for three hours w/o lifting lid. Turn off, mix well, let sit in crockpot for twenty mins. Spoon out in heaping teaspoonfuls onto wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Let set for a few hours in a cool place. Makes about seven dozen peanut clusters. Warning: Addictive! Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Okay – here are a few things I have found out from making these:
There always seems to be a little too much chocolate left in the bottom w/o enough nuts so you could probably cut down on choc a little or add a few extra nuts.
You can change up the kinds of chocolate you use to suit your tastes or suit what you have on hand.
Don’t lift the crockpot lid while they’re cooking b/c water could run into the chocolate and that ruins chocolate.
I absolutely KNOW putting the chocolate on the bottom will make them burn because one of the teachers I work with did it at school when we made them with kids one year.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Our school district has been experiencing a great deal of upheaval the past couple of years. Our enrollment has declined considerably necessitating a reduction in force for two years running. This, coupled with an inability to come to terms with the board of education on a contract for certified staff, has also created some divisiveness between the teaching staff and the administration. The way all this affects me is that due to the reduction in force, teachers who were riffed left positions open that had to be filled from within and many people were shifted to different jobs and buildings. The job I am now doing was to have been done by a veteran, 34 year teacher. She was assigned to a different building, and rather than moving for her last year of teaching, she decided to retire thereby leaving a vacancy which was filled by me. I really don't know why I was chosen, other than the fact that it is a reading position and I do hold a reading endorsement. There were however, several other people who really wanted the position, and had expressed no interest in it or desire to move again since I had just moved from that building two years previously.
But I guess sometimes we need a little prodding to break out of the ruts we have grooved ourselves into, and I am no exception to that axiom. I was pretty upset about the move at first because at the end of May I had packed up my fifth grade classroom as ordered. Every. Last. Bit. Of. It! From the floor to the ceiling, my fifth grade classroom was packed awaiting orders to see if I would be moved. Everyone in our building had done the same because we knew there were being cuts and there would be many moves made. But in July I received a letter telling me my assignment was to remain the same with the exception that I would also be adding fifth grade Social Studies to my teaching duties. That was fine with me; I love social studies. So, I thought I was set to go. Since I had so much to unpack (I own some books!), I began unpacking and getting my room ready about the first week of August. It took me about two weeks, to get everything unpacked and put away, and to get my posters hung back up and to decorate my bulletin boards, do copying for the beginning of the year, and to get things ready for the students. I also wanted to be ready ahead of schedule so I could take the week before school started to enjoy family things and get things done around the house. Finally, because I was ready ahead of schedule, I began overhauling all my filing cabinets at school and reorganizing everything in them. By this time it was August 13th, and school started on August 24th.
Well, on the afternoon of the thirteenth when I was on my way home, my friend called to tell me that the superintendent of out district was asking for my cell phone number! Now that was a new one for me! I immediately became nervous. The Sup't. does NOT just call you up on your cell! Anyway, as soon as I got home I checked the answering machine to see if he had called our home phone. Whew, I thought to myself. No messages from him! Well, a little later, as I sat on the deck talking to our neighbor, my cell rang, and guess who it was! The superintendent. And guess what his message was. When he asked me why I wasn't saying anything after his message, I told him I was pretty much dumbstruck, but I wish I'd asked him some questions. Like why me? How long had my name been tossed around for the job? But I didn't, so now those questions will remain unasked and unanswered. But again, sometimes we just have to be shaken out of our complacency and get handed something new, which is where I am at this point.
So, do I like my new job? Yes, I do, on most days that is. It is very different than what I had been doing, and I am having to relearn many things from my undergrad days in college regarding early literacy. That is a good thing, though, because I really enjoy research and learning. Is it easy? No, because nothing about teaching Kindergarten, first, and second grade children can be assumed or taken for granted. It is very touchy-feely and hands on, and having been accustomed for so long to fifth and sixth graders who are more independent, I am having to make some major adjustments to the way I speak, think, and teach, among other things. Some days I feel as if I am mothering more than I am teaching, and some days I go home wondering how Kindergarten teachers ever make it to retirement! On the other hand, it has made me much more humble about my abilities because now I can really see the hard work and dedication put forth by our primary teachers! In my former life I often wondered why children arrived in fifth grade missing some piece or other of what I considered essential knowledge, and now I marvel that they arrived there with as much as they did have!
How long will I be in this position? I don't know, but I think the move has a been a positive one for me if for no other reasons than the ones I wrote of in the preceding paragraph. Change has a way of opening our eyes to a new perspective and that, for me, is a good thing.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is a group that is dedicated to making paper dolls, so the focus of what we do is pretty narrow. This was reflected in my group's membership. Up until recently there were about thirty of us in the group, and we weren't very active. I'd create a swap here and there and three or four members would sign on to swap, but to tell the truth, it was getting to be pretty boring! I was even thinking about getting out of Swap-bot altogether until I made a fabulous new online friend. RyeRye invited me to join a group she founded on the "Bot," we began chatting, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, here I am complaining to RyeRye about the small membership of the group and wishing I had more members to entice into swapping dolls with me. She immediately does what I should have done long ago - INVITE new members. Some group founder I am. Didn't even know I could do that! Does she invite one or two? Oh heck no - she invites bunches, tons, GOBS of new members. And so our membership for PPAD grew from thirty-two paper dolls lovers to 105 members within just a couple of weeks. That girl is nuts, I tell you! Anyway, with our ranks pumped up by this amazing friend of mine, our group is experiencing a renewed vigor and is practically brimming with talented artists ready to swap some gorgeous, original pieces of artwork.
Our group has a gallery on Flickr now where we can post pictures of our dolls for everyone to ooh and aah over. If your curiosity is piqued, you can roll on over to our photostream (http://www.flickr.com/groups/1231880@N24/). Even if you think paper dolls are for kids, I bet you will still get a kick out of the unique interpretations created by the artists posting here.
I'm very excited about a couple of the swaps we have going on right now, too. One swap is to make a Marie Antoinette paper doll, and while that concept itself is not new, we're taking it to a new level by creating a backdrop, or display stage for her. The most exciting and fun swap I've created for this group, however, is The Huge Traveling Self Doll Round Robin swap. This swap was taken from Lisa Vollrath's site, Go Make Something. (http://gomakesomething.com/ht/artdolls/flat-self-doll/)
She originated this Self Doll and put the pattern up, so I can't take credit for the doll or the idea, but I am taking credit for making it into a round robin doll swap. The people who signed up for the swap are making a "Self Doll." That is, the doll has your own face or your self on it. Then, we are sending our dolls off on a round robin journey so each person in the swap can make something for the doll before sending it on to the next person in the circle. We've also made the swap more fun by creating an identity, or theme, for ourselves. My alter ego? I am going to be a Wild West dance hall gal. My inspiration for this came from an anniversary card my mom sent to my husband and me years ago. It shows a dance hall gal and a cowboy at the bar. She's hanging off him with one arm draped around his neck and her other hand in his back pocket. I think that about sums up my personality, folks! We've also got an Audrey Hepburn (hey cpbunch!), a hippie chick, and a fairy princess, to name just a few of the multiple personalities floating around in this swap.
I'm loving the play of ideas and creativity we're bouncing off each other. It's refreshing to the soul to be a part of a dynamic group having fun together. And the best part is we don't have to travel far or invest a lot of money in it. It is happening within our own homes and at our convenience. We set the parameters for how much time we devote to it, and how involved we become with the group.
I bet at this point you're asking, "But what in the heck do you do with paper dolls?" Well, I don't actually do much with them except look at them and display them in my personal, private areas. I don't inflict them on my husband, much, because, well, he's just not that into them. But I guess because I made them as a young child and because I like girly things, I just like them. They're fun to make. So there's the reason I like paper dolls - pretty much a no reason type of reason. So if you find yourself bored with nothing much to do, check out Paper People Art Dolls on Swap-Bot. You may just find yourself elbow deep in glue and paper fashioning a new persona for yourself!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The first answer some of us may give is, "Because I can." And that answer works, to a certain degree, with me too. That answer falls under the category of having a talent and using it, but upon closer inspection, I find fault with myself by doubting whether I CAN, in fact. That is, do I really have a talent or merely a propensity? How do I measure up when comparing myself with others? Can I justify the time and money spent on creating objects or pieces of work that are made to give or trade with others and that have no lasting significance other than the fleeting satisfaction given to the maker or the recipient?
Because I do not create "fine" art, I am beginning to believe that the ephemeral existence of my pieces does not justify their creation. What happens with the things I am making after a couple of years? When I die, I will be leaving behind thousands of dollars of supplies that my survivors will either pitch or sell at tag sales. Will there be some of my descendants who will treasure and display my creations? I don't think so. First of all, look at what we are doing to the Victorians' scrapbooks. We're tearing them apart for the German paper cuts and the calling cards to use in our own pieces. Our own society is not one of saving and treasuring items of the past; we are living in a throw-away society where each item has its own obsolescence programmed into itself.
The ephemeral nature of paper arts and hand-crafted items is not the only reason I am struggling with this issue. I am also beginning to understand my true motives for creating. I think I am looking for recognition. Can this be good? It seems narcissistic in nature. There is a book out now, and I don't remember the title, but it examines why the social networking sites like Blogger, Facebook, My Space, Twitter, all these things that people are using to talk about their lives, are so popular right now. I believe its premise is that at some level, people are all insecure narcissists who need to have someone admire them for something and/or make their lives matter for something. I think I fall into this category. Can that be healthy? Why am I putting this out here now? To sound important? To make you feel sorry for me? To have you reassure me that what I do is important? Or is the answer to all my questioning merely that I think too much?
I am probably doing just what every other person in the world does at some point or other and which a philosopher (again, can't remember who) calls the stages of man. I am at the point in my life where I am questioning whether my existence has made a difference on the planet. I think I just need to get to the point of acceptance and stop worrying about all of this stuff. But how am I ever going to justify the money I have spent on all these art supplies? Maybe my claim to fame after I am gone will be, "Man, look at all the cool stuff she had!"
Friday, June 12, 2009
I haven't been very faithful to my blog here lately. I can't really come up with an excuse except that I've been on Facebook a Bunch! I think I owe that to my good buddy Michele, who introduced me to the evils of Bejeweled Blitz, a game on Facebook. Plus, several of my sisters and other relatives are members there and it makes it easier for us to catch one or the other of us online and chat. Cheaper than calling! It's actually pretty funny to catch up with friends from back in the day when none of had personal computers, to find that we all own them in the here and now.
I've been working on some Swap-bot swaps as usual, and these are the latest of what I've snapped pics of. The Victorian Row House almost didn't make it out the door. I wanted to keep it for myself. I guess the things you make that you want to hang on to are the best ones. If they are good enough to meet my standards, then I deem them good enough for others. I like the Vegas Showgirl dolls ok, but the outfits didn't turn out quite the way I envisioned them. I did like using the Marilyn Monroe doll as the model for the showgirls. I have asked to join a new group, Chunky Row House Group because they are making all sorts of these cute little row houses. The purpose of the row house, besides being cute, is that they are to be displayed side by side like - well, like row houses. The one I did has copper roofs and sheet acrylic printed with black STayzon ink. I used two of Tim Holtz spinners put together with a brad to make a weathervane. Like I said, I didn't want to send it off. But, my swap buddy Ayn, in Alaska, won out in the end, and she has it coming her way.
In other news, my mother has been looking around for a place to rent while waiting on th insurance to settle on her house and contents. Thank goodness my sister, Susan, who is a public insurance adjuster, came up from N.C. and found a company that does reciprocal work for them and put Mom in some good hands.
Mom has it in her head that she wants ot live out in the country now, and I've tried my best to talk her out of it. The reason I don't think she should move out into the country is because it is so much harder to live out in the country in the wintertime, and she is too old to move to the country by herself. She's 73, and I know that is not real old, but she is old enough that I think she needs neighbors. She's stubborn though, so I imagine the country is where she will be going.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Michele played personal shopper for a friend of hers via telephone, so she ended up with lots of paper and card stock, too. Both of us bought some really nice little folding boxes to use for mailing out swap-bot goodies, and we both bought some aluminum foil carry-out ware. The prices were really good on these items. I like to keep them on hand so when I make something to eat to take to someone, I don't have to worry about getting my dishes back or making extra clean-up for the people who I'm taking the food to.
We both sifted through the tons of craft goodies in their annex room, and mostly we resisted all the "stuff" in there, although both of us bought some beads. I have an idea that most of the stuff comes from down the road at a place call Pat Catan's because it was mostly Darice stuff, and that's what Pat Catan's carries. I had to work really hard to resist all the handmade Japanese papers in the annex. I have tons of that stuff already, but what I really wanted were the prints. I can't remember what they were called, but they were $9.50 a sheet, so I didn't get any. New rule: Use what you have and then you can buy some more. Like I'm gonna listen to rules!!!
After dropping Michele off, I got the idea that I was going to run down south to Delaware, Ohio, to go to Cord Camera because I want some of those tiny Basic Grey magnets, and I can't remember where I bought my last bunch. Cord didn't have any of them, and it looked like the economic slowdown has affected the scrapbooking industry because they didn't have anywhere near the inventory they used to carry. I did find some gorgeous Bazzil Bling papers in some scrumptious colors ocean-y colors. Don't know what I'm going to make with them yet, but they are pretty to look at!
I've been working in my studio area and have added new shelving, a 12 X 12 paper spinner rack, and lots of organizing baskets. One of these days I am actually going to have an area bigger than a postage stamp in which to work.
I haven't heard anything more from Mom. My sister from North Carolina is supposed to be here today to help act as a go between for Mom and the adjuster. That's what Sue does for a living, so hopefully she will be able to help Mom get reimbursed for everything she has coming to her that was destroyed in the fire. Even though she's not licensed in Ohio, she and her husband have a friend from Cleveland who will be acting for her. It will be interesting to see what Mom comes out of it with because she had tons of vintage and antique goodies squirreled away. Her cookbook collection alone was almost 300 books and it was all destroyed. If anyone can get her money out of them, it will be sister Sue. She is a pit bull when she judges someone is taking advantage of her!
Monday, June 1, 2009
This old house wasn't worth much as far as real estate values go, but it provided many years' worth of memories for our family. This is the house Mom moved into at the age of seventeen, and where we moved to when I was in fifth grade. It's the house we crammed twelve children and two adults into its three bedrooms. It's the house we all brought our spouses home to meet our parents, and it's the place we all brought our children to for the holidays. It's the home we all ran to when our father died four years ago. Now it's nothing but a burnt-out pile of rubble, but I had to run to it one more time to see for myself what it had become. And I cried. And I'm crying right now.
I didn't think I had much emotional attachment left to the old place because it seemed like I couldn't get away from it fast enough when I was a teenager. I was ashamed of its lack of amenities for almost all my life. I railed at Mom all the time to clean it up, empty it of all her "junk" and didn't visit her as much as I should have because of the house. I even hated it. Now that it's been reduced to a pile of charred wood and broken glass, I'm homesick for it. Now I see the value in it. Now I understand some of what Mom feels for the old place. Dilapidated, run-down, decrepit, at least it had stories and memories and life within those shabby walls. Soon it will be an empty lot because Mom says she's not living there on that land in a different house. And I get it. Now. When it's too late.
But. Mom is alive and that is worth more than any house on the planet. So we start making new memories. Now. And it's not too late for that.
I picked this bouquet of pink roses from the bush in the front yard. Although the bulldozer will come through soon enough and level everything and trucks will cart off all the rubble, they are a symbol of hope. I know this because Mom will be digging like a crazy lady, and you can bet these roses will bloom again in another yard.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Seriously, there has to be a way to keep the kids occupied the last couple of weeks of school without everyone losing their minds. We have shown movies, played games, given extra recess, cleaned and packed the room , had picnics, track and field, gone for ice-cream, you name it, and students think that is all this time of year is for. I have to disagree. Some fun is fun. But not two weeks' worth!
Anyway, this is turning into a rant, and I'm not letting it. I am just happy that we are getting out of school. I have all kinds of plans for the summer, and I guess I should start a list so I will keep myself on track!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I'm down forty-one pounds now. One morning this week I changed my pants four times trying to find a pair that didn't look so baggy. Not bragging, you understand, but it is nice after being so heavy for so long to finally have my clothing not feeling like it was trying to strangle me! Today I went shopping at the Salvation Army store in Marion. For about fifty dollars I purchased two pairs of pants that fit me now and three more pairs that will fit in a month or so. I also found a great Land's End fleece anorak in red that is practically new for just $2.50! Doesn't fit right now, but I know it will in the fall. The find of the day, however, is the $5.99 pair of practically new Dansko dress shoes. These shes generally retail for about $110.00, and I NEVER buy them new. Mine are always off eBay. They are very supportive, and while they may not be to everyone's taste, they have great arches, which MY feet need. (Other purchases include old music books to use in my artwork, some books to read, a fleece jacket ugly, indeed, but purchased for the wonderful gilt thread medallion on the pocket, a little glass serving bowl with a pattern of blackberries molded into the glass $.99, and four old board games, one of which is a brand new OLD Stratego game. ) So, by the time I had piled all this into my cart, I was shopped out! My $54.00 really went a long way shopping today, plus it will stay in our community through the Salvation Army's outreach programs. Good Deal!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Swap-bot blog's author had some hillarious examples of awful craft items listed. Now, what you have to remember about Swap-bot is that many of the swaps created are for craft items of some kind or other to be created, and then exchanged within the group of participants who sign up for that particular swap. Craftastrophe ( http://craftastrophe.net/), is a site that posts pictures and comments of crafts gone wrong. Now, just so you know, I've made my share of creations that didn't deserve to see the light of day. And, if you read my Going to See the Wizard post, you already know that I've poked fun at myself and others in the past. So I think it is perfectly okay to laugh at othe people's stuff because I also know that there are people besides me out there LTAO at things I make. But seriously, if you want to just laugh and laugh, you need to visit this site. ***********WARNING: Some of this stuff should not be viewed while eating, taking a drink of a carbonated beverage, or by pregnant women. So go ahead, I dare you, not to laugh, that is!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I did try to buy some new pants tonight, and both pairs I bought fit me, but after I got home I thought about it and decided that two or three weeks from now those pants would be baggy, too. So, I'm just going to tough it out for a while and not buy any new pants. If you should happen across me and it looks as if I'm carrying a load around in my pants, well, I might be, but it will probably just be because all my pants are getting waaaay too big. And that is a happy dance kind of celebratory thing!
My husband is getting all kinds of creepy ideas running through his pointy little head. I think he has a Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog under his mattress or something. He keeps dropping these broad hints about leather mini skirts and such. I don't know what to do to disabuse him of these strange notions, but I have some ideas. One being to stop shaving my legs. If anyone has any other ideas to discourage him from dressing me in things I might have worn forty years ago, I would love your input. Although, it is kind of sweet that he thinks I'm going to look like I did thirty or forty years ago. I guess he just doesn't have much of an inkling about the breakthrough work Sir Isaac Newton just did on that new-fangled gravity thing . . .
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
And, not only are these fish tanks (plural), they're gulp, saltwater tanks. So, Echo came home yesterday and said, "Girls, we're movin' fish today." That involved sucking out 41 gallons of water, dipping out 6 fish and a sea urchin, moving about twenty pounds of live rock, buying fifteen gallons of water to do a partial water change, then moving all the aforementioned "stuff" about twenty miles down the pike. Well, having absolutely no experience with fish, I was terrified that I would kill these fish, and I kept saying that. "I know I'm going to kill them!" Repeat phrase. Repeat phrase.
Well, I know you've already guessed the end of the story. Yup, I killed 'em. Not all of them, only the most expensive ones, and Echo's favorites. Of course. Not really my fault, but I didn't get up in the middle of the night and check the temperature on the new set-ups. When I got up this morning, the fishies wouldn't wake up, so I tapped on the glass. When I tapped on the glass, the glass felt like a . . . very warm . . . so I dipped my finger in . . . and it felt like . . . bath water. Now I could see why the fish on the bottom of the tank wasn't moving- And the poor sea urchin's spikes had lopped over. Very, very sad.
I called my husband at work, and while I waited to be put through to his office, I was saying some very bad words - until I realized the officer at the desk had not put me on hold while he was calling for Richard. So, I think that guy may have heard some language he may never have heard before in a prison. Next, I called my friend and told her the sad news and begged her not to tell Echo, but I think her phone was on speaker, and more bad news - Echo had stayed the night and was sleeping with her mother who was in bed when I called . . . So that is the end of my very sad fish tale - except - I went shopping tonight and came home with $113.00 dollars worth of fish stuff. Stay tuned for more fish tales - I'm sure there are more to come!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
<-----------------Here's a sneak peek:
Friday, May 1, 2009
Michele at http://creative-mayhem.blogspot.com/
Alicia at http://lookatmybooks.blogspot.com/
Cathy at http://partlypaper.blogspot.com/
Tristan at http://tristanrobin.blogspot.com/
No, this is not seven - but I'll find some others that I think deserve the award and I will post them later.
We will only have three weeks of school left after I return, so it will all be hustle and bustle trying to squeeze in everything that I need to get done. I have to do DRA's (Developmental Reading Assessment) for each child in my class, then the end year Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Test, finish the book they're reading, Among the Hidden, and finally, give them an end of the year spelling assessment. I also have to get all this in around them going to Camp Ohio for three days, Track and Field Day, Science Camp Day, awards ceremonies, and all the other craziness.
In between all this is the record keeping I have to do. All the reading testing I will be doing has to be scored and recorded in their reading folders, cumulative folders have to be updated, grades will need to be entered for gradecards, inventories, ordering supplies and books for next year, and whew! I need a nap now just thinking about all this! And that doesn't include tearing the room down and packing it up! So - how many of you out there think teachers are overpaid?
Anyway, I AM happy to be going back - I just know I'll be tired for a while, but there is nothing like being thrown into the thick of things to get you going again. And I think that is just what this ol' girl needs!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
And, I know why it is that I do have so much trouble keeping the fact that I'm a gray-haired old lady under wraps.
When I was a teenager (imagine that, if you can), we lived across the street from a nursing home. There was an old lady who lived in the home with her little toothless Chihuahua, and she would walk him every day. Her name was Josephine. And Josephine, bless her heart, dyed her hair a deep, midnight black. Except. She probably didn't get to go to a hairdresser to have it done. Maybe a daughter or relative visited her and did it for her - I don't know.
But. What I do know is that I thought her head of white roots with the dark ends was ridiculously hilarious. And I laughed at her endlessly (not to her face - I wasn't that mean). And I told my mom that my hair would never look like that . . .
And so, that is why today I have endless white roots. Because in my misspent youth I had the audacity to laugh at someone else's hair, it has now come home to roost. I'm telling you children, listen to your elders; it could happen to you someday. So please, don't laugh at me when you see me wandering the streets with my little dogs on leashes and my long, white roots.
Hah! I bet you didn't think you were going to get a Por Quoi story and a morals lesson all in one post today, did you? Neither did I expect give them to you, but whew! it sure feels good to get that off my chest. And who knows, maybe confessing will give me a couple of weeks' respite from THE DREADED WHITE ROOTS!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
1. Post the award on your blog. Link to the person who gave you the award. Here's Jan's link: http://ignitetowrite.blogspot.com/2009/04/kreativ-blogger-awardfor-me.html and to her other blog: http://jan-mader.blogspot.com/
2. List seven things you love:
3. List seven blogs you love and let those people know you’ve given them the award.
This is something I will have to think about, so I will get back to you on this!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Here is the newest addition to our herd. This is Oreo, and she was born on April 3. She is quite the show off, too. I was just positive her momma was going to have multiples, and she did, in fact, have two, but Oreo's twin did not live. So, as before, mom Bessie is still a "one bunner."
As I write, Oreo is now three weeks old, and she is quite the "kid." She spends her time trying to figure out how to play with the six week old triplets, getting into trouble with the older goats, and mimicking her mother by trying to eat grass and hay. Oh, and I forgot - the all-time, most fun our goats have - trying to climb up onto the top of the dogloo doghouse we have in the goat yard for the babies to shelter in. At any given time, there is at least one, and usually two, young goats on top of the dogloo playing King of the Mountain. They butt, they shove, and they execute daring high jumps as they play. Oreo should achieve lift-off sometime in the next week. She is just about the right size, and she has been practicing her climbing skills on the discarded street sweeper brush we have out there for everyone to scratch on.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Being a part of the status quo is important to me now, but in my youth I was more of a rabble rouser. I think what happened is that many societies punish the squeaky wheels and survival becomes a matter of blending in. So, as we age, we tend to subvert the more "unaligned" thoughts we have. One reason I think I have become less vocal about my opinions is that I am tired of swimming upstream. I don't like having to defend my opinions. Is this giving up? Is this not being true to one's convictions? I don't know. So, if while reading my blog you assume that what I'm writing is merely fluff, know this: I'm living a life governed by lofty principles and thinking big thoughts; I just don't have the need anymore to shout them from the rooftops.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Next is the terrible trio of trouble. In the rear is the little one, Clem, The front right is the female, Daisy, and the left front is Thor, the bigger male.
Here on the left we have a close-up of Daisy's cute little kisser, and on the right is another picture of She-Who-Won't-Be-Rushed.
Here is the terrible trio again . . .
And with momma, Heidi.
And again. Notice the stuff on the fence? Goat hair where they scratch. I'm thinkin' socks - if I only knew how to knit!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I swap with Swap-bot! So, here is a picture of a Ginormous paper doll I created a while ago. She is a fortune teller doll, and all the pockets in her completely-made-of-paper skirt contain paper fortunes. She is jointed, has hair, and has a cute pair of pantaloons and a cami under her outfit.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
In other news, you should check out my friend Michele's blog. She is being published in an upcoming issue of an online magazine for a tutorial she created for a cupcake holder. Visit her blog and check out all the cool stuff she does with her Cuttlebug and Cricut. She's da bomb! And now I am off to the Scrapshack to try to forget my waiting woes! http://creative-mayhem.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I'm looking forward to digging around in the dirt, too. I have an oak-leaf hydrangea that needs planted. I bought it last year, and it has spent the winter in its pot. That's not the greatest thing I could have done to it, but I couldn't make up my mind about where to plant it. We are going to put in sidewalks and a new front porch this year, so I have to move a flower bed. I need to do it early because the bed has large, established hostas in it, and I moved one of them before and it was a huge job. I dug, and I dug, and I dug, and when I was finally able to get it out of the ground, it was about the size of a bushel basket. I'm funny about hostas. they're one of my mom's favorites, but I only really like the large-leaved ones. My personal favorites are day lilies and true lilies (bulb). I have to say though, that I'm not a very faithful gardener. It has become rather hard for me to do much bending and kneeling because of my knees, so I tend to favor container gardening more. The weeding tends to get away from me more than it should. Anyway, it is fun to be thinking about what to put in my containers and thinking about sitting on my new porch enjoying them. I'll decide where to put that hydrangea when I'm done daydreaming!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
We have some "toys" for the goats to play on. These include a great big street sweeper's rotary brush, a Little Tikes play scape, and a large igloo doghouse. All these are in constant use: The doghouse and play scape are both sleeping space and king-of-the-mountain climbing places, and the rotary brush is where much of the personal grooming takes place. Imagine a person who can't reach that itchy place in the middle of their back leaning back as far as she possibly can and ruuuuuubbing that itch on a nice, rough corner jutting out. Then you'll you get a visual of what it's like seeing a goat leaning over and just ruuuuubbing herself along the entire length of the brush.
The babies checked out the house by going inside, so of course when they do that, Mom can't see them and starts panicking. She grunts her special "come here" grunt that brings them all running. When one of the babies gets too close to a larger goat, sometimes the big one butts them a little (not hard - usually they are pretty gentle with the little ones), and when they are scared, they have to go running back to mama for a little quick nurse of milk. This is like a pacifier to them and Mama seems to allow this.
She has been regulating the nursing activity. I suppose because they would nurse all the time if she didn't. Right now it looks as if our fears of her abandoning the little doe are unfounded since Daisy is full of energy. But we are still keeping a watchful eye because it takes a very short period of time for these little ones to go downhill. We keep feeling her belly to see how full it is.
No new babies yet, though! Oy Vay! The size of that nanny! I hope she is a better mother than her twin, Psycho. Psycho (real name LuLu) was sold with her baby earlier this winter. She only had one good teat, and she kept having twins. That is not good. She actually managed to almost raise twins after her first pregnancy. She quit feeding one of them, and we almost lost that baby, but luckily, she was just starting to eat grain and hay a little when Mom stopped feeding her. We had to give her supplements, and she was the one who was sick in February, so she has become very tame and loving. New issue with her (Little Sister): I saw Birthday Boy mate with her yesterday. I think we will have to watch her very carefully because she is so small from all her tribulations that she may have a hard time carrying a baby.
Thank goodness the weather has turned a little warmer for the weekend. I know I'm not the only one this winter has begun to wear down. My students are tired, too. Wednesday I felt incredibly tired all day, like I could just lay my head down, thunk! on my desk and go to sleep. On Thursday, one little boy who was still suffering the effects of this stuff going around fell asleep twice back at the reading table. It was around three-ish, he was sitting by the window, where miraculously the sunlight was streaming through, and he had on a hoodie. All these things conspired to make him just so drowsy he couldn't stay awake. Which says what about my instruction?
The year has flown by in a blur, as usual. After the Achievement Test at the end of April, for all intents and purposes, the year is over. We go to camp in mid-may for three days and boom! the end of May arrives and we are out of school. Too soon! I'm not done! I still have tons to teach!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I know what's wrong with me. I think. I'm feeling let down because my surgery hasn't been scheduled yet. I am waiting on emails and phone calls that haven't materialized yet. Testing for the Ohio Achievement test is coming up soon, and I'm anxious about how my students will perform (and, by extension, how I will be evaluated). So. That's what I feel like. I need Spring.
How about you?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Most people who know anything about raising livestock also know a little about the birds and the bees. I'm thinking Richard and I are kind of dumb on that subject because we just keep getting more little goats. I guess there is something in the goat manuals about keeping your buck penned separately. I think I also read somewhere that female goats will allow mating through fences too, if they can figure out how to do it. Well, after having so many babies born that our barn was bursting at the seams, we figured out a way to stop having so many babies: We got rid of the buck - except - before he left, he decided to leave behind a couple of departure gifts - and- we kept his son, Birthday Boy - and - I think BB has now reached puberty because I saw something - blush - yesterday that I think . . . So we're not really any smarter now than we were a year and a half ago.
We have sold some goats. Out of necessity, of course. Because of the barn. But doggone it, how do I know these buyers are feeding and watering the babies enough and giving them enough head rubs. And calling them by the names they were given? And I know Gary Bradley went into the soup pot after we sold him. That's the only thing a neutered male is good for. Except for Buddy, out little pygmy-Boer mix, who is the friendliest little guy on the planet and who won't be going anywhere ever because what can you do with a neutered male except - rub him and scratch behind his ears and wiggle the little wattles that hang down on his neck and feed him circus peanuts and apples and, well, I guess you get the picture. Even though I ain't Zsa Zsa Gabor, our little tax-saving enterprise probably should go by the name of Green Acres!