Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Random Words, No Photos

Another busy week, but not quite as crazy as last week. I'm struggling to find a little creativity every day, but I think I'm using it up at school. Which is okay.

Working on log cabin squares of Noro because that is all my brain can handle; oddly enough, I even manage to mess those up, but who cares, really? I've decided it'll work out no matter what.

Steve is taking me out of town tomorrow for an early anniversary getaway; it's a surprise destination. All I know is we're headed north for a night and that sounds great to me.

The weather turned chilly last night and it's downright blustery tonight. I stopped at the library on my way home and I swear there were gale force wind speeds coming off of the Bay. I love that my neighborhood library faces the water. I'll take photos the next time I'm there.

Hope your weekend is a good one.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I love fall, crafting, and friends. On Sunday, I had all three in one place.
My first Craft-O-Rama.

Ten friends crammed into my cottage on a Sunday afternoon.

Making fleece tied blankets.

New mamas and empty nest mamas.

Some were serious about the craft, and some were only there for the camaraderie.

Focus and concentration in such a small space.

I had craft magazines and books for the ones who didn't want to craft that day. (In the teaching world, this is known as tiering your assignments to the students' readiness levels. See? I never stop.)

And of course there was food. Potluck food, the best kind.

I will definitely do this again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

TGIS (Because I Am Late)

Whew! That week flew by. It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of. .

Okay, enough with the cliches. It was probably just a normal week. Except for the two cortisone shots in my shoulders. And that I had my first working day without my boot on Friday. And especially for the fact that I've been up since 4:45 a.m. doing some last minute homework for today's gifted class. Wouldn't my students love to know what a procrastinator I am?

I haven't done as much knitting as I'd like, but I have been working on the second Fussy Cuts square. Turns out I don't have any more Noro Silk Garden in my stash, and no one in this area carries it anymore. The closest place is Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg, which is about 45 minutes away. I'd love a quick visit, but it's not going to happen anytime soon, since I have these classes on Saturday. Because of that, I tried a different yarn that a local shop recommended as a good substitute, and while I like the colors, it's too splitty and I don't think it looks like Noro Silk. So now I have a log cabin square that I probably won't use in the blanket. I think I want a pure Noro blanket, you know? (Even though the original pattern isn't even pure Noro, since you use Brown Sheep to join the squares, but you know what I mean.) I think I'll work up some of the Kureyon I have and see if that will work.

I'm having a Craft-OV-Rama at my house tomorrow. (The OV stands for Ocean View, which is where I live.) Although I wish I knew lots of local knitters, I don't, so I just invited some friends over for food, conversation, and a craft other than knitting. One of my friends is going to show us how to make a tied fleece blanket. My youngest daughter was given one as a gift when she was in middle school and it's so nice. I'm hoping this is a "gateway craft" and we can do these get togethers on a monthly basis. I'll be sure to take pictures so I can share it with you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Fish Fry

We went to a fish fry with some of my family on Sunday; it was lovely and delicious!

My youngest daughter, my niece, and my sister:

My mom and dad:
For some reason, Stephen didn't want his picture taken!

Although things are calming down a bit, I haven't quite caught my breath. After finding a simple fix for the air conditioner, we had a plumbing calamity. In one of those lucky coincidences, we had $200 budgeted for home expenses still tucked away and the plumber charged $189. I consider that lucky at this stage of life, don't you?

It was great to get back to my students today, even though I have quite a few papers to grade before I catch up. But that's okay; it's only Monday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fingers Crossed

I think the craziness may be over (fingers crossed). Melissa is getting better, although I ended up staying home again on Friday so I could take her back to the doctor, this time for stomach cramps. This doctor felt like it was probably some sort of food allergy, or possibly a stomach bug, that coincidentally happened at the same time as the strep, but was unrelated and therefore confusing. And since she broke out in a rash today, we're thinking it's probably allergy.

Last night, Stephanie popped in to spend the night, but she probably regretted it, as she and I were woken up around 2 a.m. to the sound of some sort of rodent(s) gnawing away under our house. Talk about creepy.

Today I spent eight hours in a classroom for the first session of my third gifted class; given the way things have been this week, I actually looked forward to the "break"! It was fun seeing some of the people in my cohort and talking about gifted strategies again.

But my best news is that since Stephen is employed again and needed a car, I was able to buy the one I've been wanting for awhile! Isn't it pretty?

In knitting news, I've started a Noro square for a Fussy Cuts Blanket; the pattern was in the newest book I bought, Craft Activism. I want to go out and buy a bunch of Noro, but I'm making myself knit all the ones I already have first. Only then will I give myself permission to buy more. Talk about motivation! It's a great book and it's inspired me to have a crafting party next weekend for some friends of mine (none of them are knitters, but I feel an urge to start a crafting group with them anyway). Our first group project is going to be one of those tied fleece throws. Should be fun. Hope your weekend is a relaxing one. I'm counting on Sunday for that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roller Coaster, (Say What?)

What a wild ride the past twenty-four hours have been.

First, I found out my broken bone is healing nicely and I can return the ridiculously expensive rental scooter. Good news.

Then, we found out that Stephen was offered the job he really wanted, and six months of unemployment is about to end. Fan-TAS-tic news!!

Next, I got a call from my youngest daughter at 11:45 p.m., telling me she had been to the urgent care to find out she had strep throat and was now going to the emergency room for chest pains. Stephen and I ended up staying at the ER from midnight until 6:30 a.m. this morning, with Melissa and her dad, leaving without a clear diagnosis. They ran blood tests to check her pancreas, liver, and gall bladder, and they all came back clear, which was good news, but they decided her esophagus was irritated and having spasms, possibly due to the strep. She has spent the day chugging pepto-bismal, taking pepcid tablets, and drinking/eating a bland diet. And finally, finally, getting some sleep. She's improving somewhat, but needless to say, it's worrying me a bit.

Oh, and the central air conditioner unit just died. You might think it wouldn't matter so much, since it's October, but it was in the eighties today with matching humidity. Everything feels sticky and wet in our house.

So I had to call in sick today, since I had no sleep last night and only 4 or 5 hours this morning meant I couldn't even go in late. Two highs plus two lows equal a worn out me. This 24 hours can end now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Saturday in October

A long week which ended with me crabby and out of sorts last night. The weather is beautiful but little worries and irritations are in my way. Missing my daughters. Dealing with the boot on my foot. Allergies or a virus clogging my head. Stuff that needs done around the house. The normal things, you know?

Anyway, it's a gorgeous day here today and I had breakfast with a couple of friends at one of my favorite coffee places, so things are looking up. How could I stay grumpy with this cutie pie around?

Did a little knitting on the Stripe Study shawl; totally addicted to it, although I have a few handwarmer patterns I may start soon. Like this one, this one, and this one, all free Ravelry downloads!

Steve cleaned and stained our deck on Thursday and it looks super.Thinking I need to start on a few of my house chores before I run out of steam. Or lose a couple of hours to the computer.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I got home this afternoon when the light was just perfect on the ornamental grasses I planted last year. The pinkish fringe looks like it's glowing. Almost like sparklers.

I'm still on my scooter, which is now decorated for October. I see the doctor again next week and I'm hoping to be cleared to return it. It's been a lifesaver for me, but it's not cheap. I probably should have bought one outright, but hindsight and all that. . .

And here is a gorgeous arrangement that my mom gave me last week; still looking as fresh as ever. So lovely to see on the kitchen table at the end of the day, don't you think?

As much as I'm enjoying the school year, I'm looking forward to the weekend and some serious relaxation time. Hoping for another pajama weekend. How about you?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I'm addicted to the Stripe Study Shawl. I finally got back to it, figured it out, and now I can't wait to curl up on the couch and knit a stripe or two at the end of the day. Not sure who will be the recipient, but it's a satisfying knit just now.

My teaching is really undergoing some transformations this year. Teaching a gifted elective and then incorporating some gifted strategies into my honors science class, has me taking chances and letting go of some control, which is scary but feels right somehow. I've been honest with my students, letting them know they are guinea pigs (sort of), and they seem excited by the opportunity to try new things too. After all, isn't that what education is supposed to be about? It makes me so pleased to overhear students say, "wow, this class always flies by!"

There are possibilities brewing here at our cottage this week; I hope to share some good news soon. So good that I'm almost okay about the fact that I'm not making it to Rhinebeck this year. Take a look at this list of VIPs! Read it and weep, knitters.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finally Feeling Like Fall

It finally feels like fall today. We have the windows open and there is a cool breeze coming through. (Also the smell of wild onions, since Steve is cutting the "grass". I use the term loosely, as we have very little actual grass.)

I just have a few zinnias left, but this one stood out. Such a pretty pink.

It's been a really full week, which makes me appreciate a weekend that much more. I am thoroughly enjoying my new students this year, and am starting to find my rhythm with each of the different bells. I have two science classes with unusually small numbers this year and that is a first for me. It is a totally different dynamic when you have ten students instead of the usual 25-30, and it requires a different flow. It's nice but it took me a week or two to find it. I've also had to adjust my teaching style somewhat, as a result of being on my scooter instead of being able to walk around independently. One of the positive results of having limited mobility is that I've had to relinquish more control to my students, with respect to getting out lab equipment, writing on the board, and distributing supplies. As a control freak, this has been a good lesson for me.

My other two science classes have twenty and thirty students, so that's pretty normal. The class of thirty is an honors science and I'm really excited about implementing some new lessons for them; taking some of the gifted strategies I'm still learning in grad school and applying them is pretty cool. My class of twenty students is my AVID science class, and they still hold a special place in my heart. AVID is the program that takes students who are average achievers, gives them a bell of support mainly in the form of organizational skills, and treats them as if they were honors students, which improves their achievement. In other words, they rise to the high expectations we place on them. AVID also exposes them to the idea of college and what it takes to get there, so they start taking the courses they need in order to have a good shot of being accepted, and most importantly, being successful in college.

My SOL Prep bell is actually my gifted elective bell, with only nine students, and the curriculum for it is pretty wide open. Basically, I'm supposed to encourage their giftedness and challenge them to find their passion. The past two weeks, we have been reading articles about racism and sexism and how social media impacts both those -isms. Listening to their discussions and reading what they write is quite simply amazing. I am loving this class. Next week we're going to do a mini science fiction unit and then I'm going to turn them loose in the library and see what they come up with.

I met my youngest daughter, Melissa, for coffee the other night during a major thunderstorm. Apparently there were even a few tornados sighted, but thankfully, not in the area she and I were. On my way there, I took this picture of the sun shining through the dark clouds. I thought it was an interesting shot.

Last night we had hail with yet another thunderstorm. Weird weather around here these days. Hope you are enjoying a lovely fall weekend!