Thursday, November 28, 2013


I can hear you groaning right now- God, not another one. Anything but another one. So let me first put it out there right now that I am not one of those going shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Period, end of story. I just spent the day being grateful for a day off, for the family that's still alive and well, for the things I have. And now I'm going to go out and trample someone for more stuff? Huh?

Last year, and I'm not even sure why we were down here, but in anycase my family and I had Thanksgiving in none of our usual places. And our hosts completely blindsided [at least] me by asking us to share around the table what we were thankful for that year. I'd have been okay with this if I had some warning. Perhaps, you know, a week ahead of time. "Oh, come on, it's not that hard to think of something you are grateful for,"

The statement "I'm grateful my family didn't kill each other this year." or "We were able to co-exist in general peace and concord." is not something you share with the class. In fact, these are the responses that get you a fast track referral to the guidance office. So while I was scrambling to think of something, I resolved to come up with a solution to handle this problem next year. I would show forth evidence of gratitude. Or at least not sit and stare blankly with what sounded like a flippant response.

To my credit, 2012 had been a little rough. I thought "surviving this year" was a fair statement to make. But alas, it was disqualified. I started a gratitude jar on New Years. I would have evidence of gratitude.

I figured I would start small. Once a week in January, drop a slip of paper with something on it I was thankful for that had happened. And I jumped into student teaching.

So. Some high lights from the jar. Because as we know, we don't argue with what comes out of the jar.

My appendix didn't rupture.
I got my masters. 
Hanging out at the zoo with 1sties. 
Positive feedback - "hey there stranger, thought that was you. haven't see you around the building - are you getting work?"
Taking myself out for lunch. 
Friendly faces. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mystery quilt a not so much

I tried. I really did. Sigh. Maybe I'm just not good at following directions. By the time the second set of directions for the mystery quilt tranquility came out I realized I had a big, big problem, made glaringly obvious by the photographs supplied by the director of the project. 

This is what I should've had. This is not what I had. All the little squares I cut? I followed the directions and sewed them all together. This was not what you were supposed to do. I like to think that my first hiccough in referencing pictures agains instructions was because the instructor used fabrics that were very, very dark and terribly close together on the color wheel... And the pictures weren't terribly well lit.

It wasn't until I got a look at the next set of pictures in the next set of directions that I realized exactly what it was I was supposed to be doing. This is not what I had sewn together either. There was much rending of seams and gnashing of teeth. At which point, I bagged it.

The whole project, by the way is finished; all the instructions are posted on the website and the participants are voting now on their favorite finished project. Life kind of, you know, happened and I got busy. Which is just as well. Had I kept merrily sewing away I would've had a lot of seams to work out.

I think I need to go back to first grade or maybe even kindergarten and have a lesson in following directions. :P

So since this is a mystery quilt, I will be posting pictures of this project as it happens in the order in which the pictures were posted on the website. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Apple season is more or less over now. Picking, anyway. My friend and I went picking a few weeks ago and decided that a half a peck per person, minimum, sounded too small. So we went with the full peck each. And then I had the genius idea to get half a bushel of seconds just for apple sauce, because that was infinitely less expensive than getting a bushel of the pretty ones straight off the tree. 

Ha. About that.

We did the next logical thing when you have almost a bushel of apples. We made sauce. And butter. It was her first time. 

We also made pie. Because that's what you do when you have almost a bushel of apples and there's vanilla ice cream in the freezer. 

Mmm, pie. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

sub bag.

Wow, okay. It's been a busy couple of weeks. I never thought I would invest in a paper planner in my life ever again. Until I did. I can hear my mother doing the "I-told-you-so" song and dance...
In my last post, I mentioned that I kept a dedicated sub bag. And that I kept some things in it.

Cuppow coffee jar, planner, box of tissues, ice bag [i get migraines] wet wipes. I heard there were saline wipes, and I've been trying to find those, since they would do what I want the wet wipes to do, without being baby scented. Filler paper [handy for attencance in upper levels, scratch/assignments in lower levels] post-it notes, a folder with my own run-off sub note forms, and a children's book. First aid kit-in-a-bag for the body [the help packets have 8 doses of something in a blister pack, and the packaging is recyclable/biodegradable], techie kit with charger, cables, thumb drive [loaded with PDF copies of all current clearnces - this has saved my life] and a cleaning cloth. I bring my own pens and pencils. And a highlighter, scissors and a pack of 24 crayons - I found the really good ones for a $1 brand new. Obviously I keep a water bottle with me - migraines, have to stay hydrated. The bottle and jar come out of the bag to be cleaned, but the rest stays in. The bag itself was a gift from my cooperating teacher and class. It was made by Thirty-One and has 7 exerior pockets. It holds everything listed above, plus a packed lunch [depending on the bag lunch is in]

Everything stocking the bag is brand new, however, I did not pay full price for it. Except the Cuppow lid. And the pens. Those pens never go on sale. Recently, I also started tossing in an ID/change purse that holds hair ties and quarters. Some of the schools have soda machines that are increadibly inexpenstive. Or there's an older student who went out of their way to meaningfully participate and they had a box of chocolate with them to raise money for a trip... so I've been known to support a cause. Miss O likes chocolate...