Saturday, December 31, 2011

finished knits of 2011


This year, I didn't complete as many projects as I have in the past. Damn school! I made my first vest for the hubs this year and I made 11 shawls in 2011.  For 2012, I intend on attempting to make 12 shawls.  I also want to make more fingerless mitts. I might also finally venture into making myself a cardigan that I can actually wear.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Review Meme

I think about doing this every year but I only remember to do it a handful of times. So here's this year's review of the first sentence of my first blog posts for each month of this year:
January:  I stayed up super late this morning (aside from watching a bad lmn movie on demand-which actually wasn't TOO bad!) to do a little work on my sister's hat.
February:  I've been trying to figure out what I have been up to while I haven't been blogging.
March:  The hubs and I had to make a last minute trip down to LA for the weekend.
April:  As a Kindergarten teacher, alphabet recognition is something I have sort of been fighting with during the course of my first year at my new school.
May:  This is how she entered the world.
June:  It was sooooooooooo much fun and I ate way too much junk.
July:  At Boxland, I raved about all the cool rocks I was buying up.
August: There have been many knitting-related stumbles while I've been away!
September: Well, we are finally out of our old apt and in our new one.
..skipped October...oh no!
November:  I really have had every intention of blogging but time keeps escaping me.
December: just wanted to stop by and mention that i'm slowly but surely getting caught up on my blogs.

It kind of seems as though I tended to blog on the first day of most months. Maybe for 2012 that's what my goal should be!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

hiding out

Well, I'm supposed to be working on narratives but I have been more interested in doing other things. Mostly I had to make sure I completed my 11 shawls for 2011 and I did. I just left my calendar with all my dates at home.  I've finished two books (one just today!) and I even answered a letter late last night! I haven't been neglecting my narratives completely though. I'm about halfway finished (about). I have at least a week and a half to completely have them finished. I'm just feeling so uninspired.
My sister arrived the day before Christmas Eve. We baked cookies on Christmas Eve. We made lace cookies (which were delicious though not the definitely not enough cookies!), chocolate covered peanut butter balls, and brown butter toffee cookies (can't find the exact link). We were supposed to make some other cookies but might not get to those until we are back at our own home. (We are dog sitting again!).
The hubs made Christmas dinner (with the help of my sister) and it was delicious. *Apparently so delicious that no photos were taken for posterity's sake!  And we now know why you're supposed to get up at about 6 in the morning to have dinner prepared. We didn't eat until about 11pm! lol. We still have TONS of food too. Everything turned out really well (everything that was actually cooked). We still have green bean casserole that wasn't made or candied yams! teehee.
Okay now for shawl pictures. :) They've all been done for a while. I just hadn't had time to have the hubs take pictures of them all.
First up is the forest ridge lace shawl which has been finished since last month. This photo is not true to color though.
Next up is shredded. It was in the bind off that I ran into some problems. Oh well, too late to turn back.


And here is silver fox (just thought of that name right now!). Here she is blocking.
 A close-up of blocking.
Fully blocked and not true to color. I'd say that the blocking shots are a bit truer to color. Though these last two shots helped me come up with the name!

And finally, purple majesty.  Here she is blocking.
 Another blocking shot--pardon the bad coloring. It was difficult to get it to even look purple!
 Isn't she pretty?

I also finished up a cocoon me cowl.  Though no pictures yet as it is still blocking. Though I do have flower pictures! Our Christmas cactus finally bloomed. It only ever has had one flower and this one decided to open up on Christmas Eve day. :) 


 And here's one of the orchid we got back in March. I'm surprised it's still living. I'm even more surprised that it sprouted another branch with all these buds that are actually opening up!
If you don't hear from me again before the new year, I hope everyone has a good one and I'll see you next year. ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

psst..

just wanted to stop by and mention that i'm slowly but surely getting caught up on my blogs. I am down to 36 posts from about 120! :) i'm even caught up on emails! here's to getting all caught up on my blogs, getting my christmas cards done (ha!) and making a dent in my letter pile. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

recipes galore!

The blog posts that are waiting to be 'read' in my google reader aren't all actual posts. Some are recipes, some are crafts, and a bunch are teachery posts (my latest addiction). I've gotta tell you, those teachers that blog about their classroom and the activities they do with their students are awesome. They even create FREE stuff. I love them. :)
Anyway, I wanted to share some recipes that were in my reader for today (that way I don't add to my ever growing queue!). Here's one for latin beef stew (which is kinda weird because the hubs wanted to make a stew last night and whipped up his own version of one. This one sounds pretty tasty. Maybe next time. This next one just seemed really cute. Who can turn down a snowman cupcake??
My sister and I always make a batch of cookies for Christmas. Though she has been venturing into the bar territory for a while now. In any case for you holiday cookie bakers, I saw this and this. I've become a fan of fudge-like cookies in the last couple of years (they're so moist!). And brown butter? I've only used this for ravioli, never baked with it. Oh, and we are fans of toffee in cookies. I used to bake a toffee chocolate chip cookie. We don't have any 'regulars' that we make each year. It's always something different. Though there is always some variation of a chocolate chip/oatmeal (how can you not?).
As an added bonus, here is something non-food related but so frickin' adorable!! They are going to look so cute on a tree! Enjoy.
As an aside, we have been asked if we would be interested in dog sitting again. This time for TEN days. (I must be crazy, right?) My eyes bugged out! My boss said we could possibly split up the time (with someone else) which made it sound more doable.  So we agreed to committing to the Christmas Eve through the 29th. My sister will be in town so she can spend a night over there too.


P.S. I couldn't resist. We had some leftover bananas and I am not a fan of squishy bananas. In fact, I specifically seek out the bananas that are still a little green because I like them firm. Well, the hubs wanted to make some banana bread. He already made some of the BEST ever zucchini bread over the weekend for a work holiday party and tonight, he made the perfect banana bread ever. :) Enjoy! The crust itself is awesome. Excuse the bad macbook pic! I was going for efficiency.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

the knits

Before the move, I had cast on for a handmade kitchen towel. It is still a wip. I think I am nearly halfway finished though.
It is the moss grid towel from Mason-Dixon knitting.
Let's see, I worked on a shawl while I was in Long Beach. I didn't finish it until this month though.
It is the Forest Ridge Lace Shawl. It's currently blocking so this is a pre-block shot.
The next finished item was the sock yarn baby sweater.
I also just finished a tattered shawl the other night. No pics yet. Especially since I totally screwed it up. I have way more dropped stitches than I was supposed to. Oh well.
I've got to get cracking in the shawl dept. Here I thought I was up to 10 shawls. HA. Boy was I ever wrong. I am only up to 9 shawls so I am 2 shawls shy of completing 11 shawls this year..and I only have ONE more month!! Must. Get. Crackin'. As if I'm not already behind on a bazillion other things!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Long Beach

Well, at the end of September, I, along with a few of my colleagues road tripped down to Long Beach for some professional development. I was going to get to meet Constance Kamii! I also got to meet Louise Derman-Sparks. Of course to most of you, neither one of these great women are of any relevance to you. They mean a lot to me and it was an honor to be in their presence. Constance Kamii I first encountered while I was in grad school working towards my teaching credential and my MA in Ed. She was the author of one of my texts that I had to read for my Mathematics in Elementary Education class. Never did I think I would ever get to meet her!  Louise Derman-Sparks I first encountered before I even began working on my teaching credential. I was teaching preschool and taking the basic core curriculum. She is the author of the well-known (at least if you have an Early Childhood Education background!) Anti-Bias Curriculum.
I carpooled with my former director now just friend. :) We took many a pitstop. In fact, she took pictures of me at nearly all the bathroom stops while it was still light out so that we could show my students! One stop was at the Madonna Inn which the hubs and I would drive by ALL the time whenever we'd take the 101 to and from LA. This is right outside of the restaurant entrance. Isn't it pretty?
This thing is a doll suspended from the rafters surrounded by 'tree branches' filled with blossoms.
Very Beauty and the Beast, don't you agree?
Here's a blurry shot of the bathroom stall!! lol.
Here's a shot of the banister on the way down to the cellar.
And I guess that's all I took of the Madonna Inn. Apparently the rooms are themed too. Maybe one day I'll get to stay in one. ha! 
The last few shots from my trip are of the charter school we got to visit while we were down in SoCal. 
Every morning as I walked there (our hotel was practically next door), I thought, "I could work here.."
While we were down in SoCal, I did get to catch up with my very wonderful friend that is still the office manager at my old school. We did dinner in Pasadena. Too bad I wasn't in town longer. I'm not sure when I'll be going down to SoCal again. I thought that my sister would want to go down for New Year's (which has been her pattern for the last few years) but she has no desire to spend NYE with her LA friends. Whodathunkthat?!

Friday, November 25, 2011

my life..since you last heard from me

October was my month of home visits. This year, I succeeded in getting to visit every single one of my students' home. I think the home visit tends to bring the child closer with his or her teacher. I'm still on the fence about whether I prefer conducting the home visit before school starts or a month into the school year. It's would be more difficult to do them before school started at my current school because our class lists are so unstable. We don't know who is really going to be in our class until the first day of school so I don't even bother with making name tags or anything until after the first week!
I also was spending some time volunteering for the Reggio exhibit that was here in town. Veteran's Day weekend, I spent at the exhibit for a day and a half of professional development.
These last few weeks my class has been rehearsing for its very first school-wide assembly. I had discovered that Hickory Dickory Dock is a full on song SO I decided that this was what my children were going to tackle for our first assembly. Boy was it a lot of work. It didn't help that we had the first two Fridays of this month off (because that gave us EXTRA time to have to practice). In the end, it turned out better than I had imagined. Yay for them! They were SO proud of themselves too and they loved hearing all the compliments that the grown ups had for them. :)
The Harvest Feast at my school has come and gone. It was held at a bigger venue this year and I hope we keep having it there.
The hubs got a job! :) He just started last week and so far so good. I have to get used to the idea of having to cook again but that's okay.
I have two more weeks of school before winter vacation begins. I will also have to start working on my narratives for my students. Yuck. I have been thinking about starting them early so that I'm not spending much of my winter break working on them. Maybe they'll be easier this year? Who knows.
My sister will be arriving two days before Christmas. She'll be here for a couple of weeks.
Umm...our apt. is STILL undone. Our across the way neighbors ended up moving out (thank goodness!). So we will be in store for TWO new neighbors (one right below us as that apt is nearly complete) and someone else across the way. We are hoping our landlord will be a bit pickier. One can only hope, right?
I know that I have missed LOTS with all of you and I do intend to catch up on all my blogs. There are 100+ posts in my reader. :(

long time no blog

I really have had every intention of blogging but time keeps escaping me. I had hoped I'd be able to catch up on blogs, letters, and blogging in general over Thanksgiving break but boy was I ever wrong. I am currently house/dog sitting for someone. Trying to keep someone else's dog happy isn't an easy job. She misses her mama immensely. She's stuck with me for at least 3 more days and vice versa. I can't get anything done let alone eat anything. The hubs has decided that this doggy's mama must give her everything but I don't think so. I think she's just trying to milk the new people!! She'll sit nice and still while you're eating so that she (just maybe) might get a lil nibble of what you're stuffing in your mouth as she watches!! If I had a dog, I wouldn't get to eat and I'm such a snacker!
There has been knitting while I have been gone. I just finished three projects in the last few weeks. We'll see if I get around to casting on for them like I hope. :) More to come..

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The River of My Life Part 2

High school was fun for me.  I think it was the first time I got to have any fun.  Sure I had two kids to drag along with me but we didn't miss out on much particularly my Sr. year of high school (the time when everyone BUT me gets their driver's license or at least gets a car to drive around). My freshman year, I actually got to play an after school sport. I played basketball. I wasn't any good and I'm super short but at the time, I really loved the game. I didn't get much playtime.  Maybe had I stuck with it, I would've gotten better but one year was enough for me. My sophomore year was all right but my Jr. and Sr. year were the best.  My best friends had cars so we went all over the place (with two kids thrown in the back). *Notice I didn't say whether or not they had their licenses!* One of my best friends always had a different car because her dad was a mechanic and had his own auto shop so we rode in a Lincoln Continental, a T-Bird, and a big truck for a while (with the two bikini girls plastered on the back windows!), etc.
My Sr. year is when I got my first actual boyfriend(!). What a drip. lol. Thank goodness I didn't end up marrying that one. Though I did spend waste about 9 years with that loser (**major child bearing years lost; but I digress).  Oh, I won the first Magdalena B. Albano Scholarship at my high school.  Here I am pictured with the daughter of the scholarship's namesake. 
At the end of my Sr. year of high school, I got to go to Japan as an exchange student for one month.
 Granted, I had to earn most of the money on my own to get there. It was a total blast. I would love to one day go back. I've since lost touch with my host families (unfortunately). Here I am with my two host sisters (different families) and their boyfriends at the time.
During the course of my Sr. year of high school (where I pretty much coasted), I applied to a bunch of different universities.  Pepperdine was one, (waitlisted), Duke University (dream school at the time!), not accepted, Cal Lutheran (accepted), and USF (accepted). I can't remember where else I applied but for sure nowhere in SoCal and only one out of state. I was all set to go to USF until my parents learned how much it was going to cost. Had I known this before applying, I would've applied for financial aid without their help and gone to USF like I had wanted on my own dime. They KNEW I was applying to a bunch of different schools. I didn't apply to any state or UC schools because I wanted to go private. So I was stuck with community college for two years. And when I finished, I was only ALLOWED (yes, I was already an adult) to apply to ONE FRICKIN' SCHOOL. What if I didn't get in ran through my mind and came out of my mouth. Obviously by this point, you all know that the people whose genes I unfortunately inherited have no sense at all. Oh and since I was staying in town for community college, I got to have a car. Joy. I would've much rather have had the education I wanted than that stupid car. To this day, I am not a fan of nissan sentras.
The ONE FRICKIN' SCHOOL I applied to was San Francisco State. I did two and a half years there. I didn't really want to go to SF State but I went through the motions there, got to enjoy life in SF and spend lots of time in Berkeley (drip of a bf was there..9 years, remember??!).
I decided to stay in the bay area after I graduated from SF State.  It was so nice to be away from home though I being the model daughter visited at least once a month (out of obligation of course).  I took a job as a preschool teacher and did that for two years.
 Here's me as a boxer for Halloween one year!
During that time, I figured if I could handle preschool, I could probably do Kindergarten so I started looking at grad school programs.  There were two routes that I was possibly going to take. I was either going to take the School Psychology route or the Teacher route.  I decided to stay in the bay area and take the Teacher route.  I still wonder about that School Psychology route, but I loved grad school.  The school I selected has a gorgeous campus and provided me with the university experience I so longed for. While attending grad school, there were weddings, a trip to Seattle, and there were fancy dances.
  The end of an era was coming. The drip and I split up 3 months before I was to complete my grad program. I mourned for a day and was fine.  Who has time to deal with a break up while working on a Master's Project, student teaching, AND still attending grad school classes? I surely didn't. All my future plans were now thrown up in the air. I had NO clue what I wanted to do but part of me wanted to take off to LA.
I ended up just moving back home (yes, to that place with THOSE people!). I was burnt out.  I didn't even want to teach! So for about 6 months, I wallowed and hit rock bottom.  And once I bottomed out, my path cleared and I knew what I wanted.  I had to dig deep, way deep to remember what it was that made me love working with children so much and that was discovered working with preschoolers. So step 1 was to find a preschool job. That was done as soon as I decided that's what I wanted.
Then I had to figure out what my next steps were. I knew I did not want to stay where I was. I didn't even want to go back to the bay area. I started looking at jobs on the East Coast. I have always wanted to visit/live in Boston so I applied to a few jobs over there, never hearing back from them. Then I figured if I couldn't go to the East Coast, I could go to LA. I had decided I was going to move to LA if I had a job or not.
After 6 months at the preschool, I did summer school at a local elementary school, and by August of 2003, I went on ONE job interview in LA and came back with a job. I was headed for LA!
LA was definitely where I needed to be. It was a place where nobody knew me and I could be anybody I wanted to be. No one had any expectations/pre-conceived notions about me. I could be whoever I wanted and no one would know the difference. I spent the first three years working for a less than stellar charter school.
I met some great people there. In fact, the one pictured here with me is getting married next month! :) During the beginning of my third year with the aforementioned charter school (this was also the same year I got my sister to move down to LA to live with me!), is when I met the hubs. It was near the end of that school year that I thought maybe it was time to leave LA. We didn't make the effort to really leave but I did give my notice and didn't intend on returning to that school even if we weren't leaving LA!  So I found myself unemployed for 5 months.  I ended up subbing two times at my future school and then I ended up landing a tutoring position to last til the beginning of the following school year.
My fifth year in LA found me working at a private school. I had the best drive to work. Driving home wasn't as wonderful due to the bit of traffic I had to endure but boy did I love driving by the beach every morning! My stint there lasted two years and this time, we were serious about leaving LA. I interviewed with at LEAST 11 schools but got nothing.
We got married, were still unemployed, but were still determined to get OUT of LA. Those people who gave me their genes. Oh, correction, the one that is typically regarded as the father in a family, told me that the hubs and I could stay at his house. His wife didn't ask us to stay. That was the last thing she wanted (and she will tell you this over and over again I'm sure). So there we suffered, literally.
The health of my in-laws was worsening. My mother-in-law had been placed in the hospital due to brain seizure the month we were set to move.  My father-in-law was in the hospital for other health issues.  We left LA with all of this weighing on us anyway. I knew if we didn't leave when we did, we'd still be there and I honestly don't know how we would've made it without any work. I don't know if I could've gotten my job back or at least one like it. I didn't want to take any chances.
Things just kept getting worse. We ended up back in SoCal due to my mother-in-law's deteriorating health which ultimately ended with her passing away that year, right before Thanksgiving.  Then about a month later, it was my hubs' turn to deal with health issues. These health issues are ongoing and though I haven't out rightly said on here what exactly he is dealing with, it is taxing on his body.  There were times in the last couple of years when I'd look over while we were in bed just to make sure he was still breathing. Who am I kidding, I still do that from time to time.
Well and that brings us to the present since most of you have been around for all the moving. I've got a good job that I like. The hubs is in school, and we now live in an apt that we love. Sure we have lots of debt and very little food but we're grateful for what we do have.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The absolute BEST zucchini bread recipe in the world (really!)

Well, Robyn posted this recipe in her weekly link love post. I've gotta tell you, this zucchini bread rocks.
I have already finished one loaf. :o Granted, the hubs cuts huge slices for me. I have tried other zucchini bread recipes and all have not cooked all the way through and were just okay. This one cooked all the way through and the crust is just delicious.
We had extra shredded zucchini so we made zucchini pancakes. YUM! They were eaten too quickly (by me!) to get photographed. Sorry.
Part 2 of the River of My Life is forthcoming. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The River of My Life Part 1

Back when school first began, we had an awesome training. We were all asked to think about what three things make us who we are.  These three things were supposed to be part of our river of life.  I followed directions and selected the three things that shaped the person that I am today. Others chose to share their river of life which to me, was more profound that just selecting three things that stand out. That was more difficult if you ask me. So here goes.

I was born to parents that had immigrated to California from the Philippines. My father came over first in 1973 (if not 1971).  He came over to work. He had an uncle that was already in California so that is who he lived with and that (I believe) is who gave him his first job here. He saved up money in order to bring my mother over.  They had met while my uncle (the second oldest boy in my mom's family) was at college.  He was one of my uncle's flatmates and my mom was visiting when they met.  They began to exchange letters.  She was at nursing school.  I have read and seen some of the old letters/photos they exchanged with one another. They really seemed to be in love.  When they married, it was a civil ceremony.  No big white dress and no fancy party. The pictures I had seen were just of  the two of them signing papers on a folding table and raising their right hands in front of the official.
Soon my mother came over from the Philippines in 1974.  I was born in 1975.
 They were renting a room from a woman who had a son. She came to be known as my "Lola Lita".  Her son was like a big brother to me.  We played together and we would go places together like one big happy family.
Here we are at the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk.  We lived with them until 1978.
In 1978, my parents bought their first and only home.  Yes, they still live there today. It still has the same rug (I think), some of the same windows (!), definitely the same drapes, and definitely the same insulation!  I guess both of my parents worked at the time.  I can't remember where my dad was working at the time, possibly at the winery.  My mom has only worked at one place ever, a small electronics company in town.
I started elementary school in 1980. I didn't attend my local elementary school (which was a block away from my house).  I went to the elementary school that the children of my babysitter went to.  And on my first day of school? My babysitter took me. I don't remember if I cried or anything but I do remember my teacher trying to make me write with my right hand. I emphatically told the woman that I was quite capable of writing my name with my other hand and I showed her.  I had been writing for a while.  I remember coming across some lists I had made when I first began to write.  No wonder I still love lists and writing. :)
I stayed at that school through 2nd grade.  For 3rd grade, I was sent to my local elementary school.  The student population was very different compared to my first school.  This new school was predominantly Mexican and to top it all off, my parents had put me in bilingual education! They wanted me to learn Spanish yet they never taught me Tagalog. I had been to the Philippines once over winter break when I was in Kindergarten.  I can't find any pictures from when I was in the Philippines so I guess those photos got left at the house. Oh well.  I am the only one out of the three children who got to meet both of our maternal grandparents. Our paternal grandparents had passed away when my dad was still a kid. 
Elementary school was rather uneventful. School came easy to me.  Unlike most children, I didn't go outside to play much.  I spent my afternoons in front of the tv or reading.  Books were an escape for me. They still are.  I had friends in the neighborhood but my parents weren't big on me playing with other kids. Go figure.  I got straight A's and my parents NEVER attended an Open House or any parent conference in ANY of my years of schooling.  It bothered me that they never attended.  I remember putting in all this effort the day of the Open Houses to create a nice project and then to have no one from my immediate family see it.  I remember telling my mom that it was Open House and how I wanted to go but she didn't.  She was always too tired from work. 
My sister was born in 1983 making me an only child no more.  I can't remember how I felt about having a little sister. I can tell you that I had to help take care of her though.  Three years later, our brother was born and so the torture began.  My sister has fond memories of torturing our brother. Feeding him ants, having him dress up in our mom's clothes when she had to work overtime, cleaning the kitchen floor with his back, etc. Sigh.
I began jr. high in 1987.  Jr. high is a total and complete blur. I remember my parents expecting me to walk to school. It was a 3 mile walk (round trip!). Fortunately, I had a friend who lived on the corner whose brother would drop us off and pick us up. Thank goodness. I had to walk a couple times and it wasn't fun at all. I joined Leadership in 8th grade.  I remember getting into heavy metal then.  Guns n' Roses and Def Leppard were my bands of choice.  I wore concert tees that I ordered through the mail and I wore tore up, bleached jeans too! No pictures from that time period (unfortunately). That would have been nice to see. :)  One thing I did remember about jr. high, is this was when I began pen palling.  I don't still write to anyone that I wrote to in middle school but I do still keep in touch with some pals I wrote to during high school.
I can't remember if it was when I began jr. high or near the end of elementary school that I became a latch-key kid and had to take care of my brother and sister after school.  I remember stopping by the baby sitter's house to take them home.  We of course spent the afternoons indoors. Sure we had a backyard but it was a dirt backyard that just had fruit trees.  And I had homework to do.  Now that I'm thinking about it, I think maybe it was jr. high when I first began to pick them up at the babysitter.  My sister had already started elementary school in 1988 and our brother was nearing 2. 
The babysitting continued when I went onto high school. Fortunately, the high school was a shorter walk.
I had been wanting to be more active since elementary school. I could never do any afterschool activities because I always had to go home and take care of my brother and sister. Yes I would complain that I didn't have them so why should I have to take care of them.  Apparently it was my obligation as the older sibling.  There are many things I missed out on while growing up because I had to take care kids.  There were things that we did without our parents knowing because I had to take care of kids.
Remember how I said my parents NEVER attended an Open House or a parent conference when I was going to school? Well, all of a sudden, they were interested in attending Open Houses for my siblings.  They were still working the same amount but for some reason my mom wasn't as tired.  She would even attend Open House when they were in high school.  What changed? Who knows.  All I can tell you is that my upbringing was very different from my siblings.
I basically raised myself.  I excelled in school and if anyone cared, no one showed it.  I did it all on my own.  I missed out on many things because of the parents I was stuck with.  One year I was asked to attend a science camp over the summer but my parents would have to pay a certain amount.  If I had to get them involved in anything, I knew it wasn't going to happen.  I remember my teacher even coming to my house to ask them to let me go and what a great opportunity it would be, etc.  What kind of parent deprives their children from great opportunities? I know. The kind that I got did.  Nothing I ever did was good enough.  I won first place in the spelling bee when I was in the 5th grade.  The following year, I only got second place and was asked, 'Why didn't you win?'   They were lucky to have a kid who didn't get into trouble and was responsible. I had to be. I didn't have a choice.
Looking back, I didn't have many choices.  It was their way or no way at all.  That's how I lived.  I could forget about anything fun.  No sleepovers at my house much less at friend's houses.  I couldn't even go over to friend's houses to play for a little bit.  I had to go straight home.
Maybe that's why I'm a Kindergarten teacher. I get to play for most of the day with other kids and there's no one to tell me that playtime is over.
Stay tuned for part 2:  The adult years. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

day 8 without a kitchen sink

Yes, you read correctly. We were told we'd have a sink by the 2nd of this month. It's now the 8th. Shoot. I forgot to get a shot of my sink. Okay done! But first, here are the final shots from our last apt during our last days there.
And here's the state of our kitchen sink.
It's on its side in the hallway right in front of our front door!!
Here's where it should eventually go.
And this is where we've had to do our dishes. See that utility sink??
Here's our floor. :) Living room to kitchen has laminate flooring but I have to say it's getting scratched up from all the work that has been done in the last few days. The electrician was here working on the phone line (the correct way) and he commented on how they were taking over the apt and I said, "I know and this only an apt. Imagine if it were an entire house!" Sigh. 
Supposedly the sink will be put in tomorrow. I've heard that one before!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm here..

Well, we are finally out of our old apt and in our new one. There are a few kinks that still need working out. No kitchen, and the bathroom sink clogs something fierce. Not to mention there is no inside wiring so we have no phone service and no internet!!! Last night was the first time we slept there and guess what? It was freezing in the morning!! Know why? (aside from there being ZERO window treatments in our apt) heat doesn't come into the bedroom! There's a heater in the living room and the only vent I saw is in the kitchen. Sigh..but the floors look good! Our landlord decided to do laminate flooring in the living room and in the kitchen. The cabinets are on the way and our kitchen should be up and ready as of tomorrow. I think today we will have a stove and possibly a fridge! It's the little things isn't it? It will be another week before we get an inside wire done in our apt and then we can have internet again! Sure there's Starbucks and there's school but I miss being able to go online at night or in my pjs. I'll be back soon. Hopefully with pics of the new place. It's coming together very extremely slowly. We were only able to move stuff into the living room over the weekend so everything is still downstairs in the empty apartment. Sigh..

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the first day

Well, the last week and a half have provided me with another whirlwind of stuff! Last week, we had about a week's worth of in-service. The first two days were the best because it brought our new team closer together and we just might be the nice, cohesive staff I've always been looking for.
Today was the first day of school. Oy. I had only 19 show (which was great). My cap is 23 students. One was out sick and one ended up being a no show. I get a new student tomorrow so I will have two more spots to fill and I hope they do it sooner rather than later.
My new kids in a word are...young.  If I described them in two words, it would be super young.  There was one kid who wandered around aimlessly for much of the day and at the very end of the day, he tried to walk towards the street. When I told mom, her response was, "He does that." Well, it would've been nice had I been given a heads up! Another has really low language. When he spoke, I had no idea what he was saying to me. Sigh. Last year's group was calmer. These guys are all over the place. Put it this way, three of my boys were sitting in the back (on the rug) punching each other (in a fun way). Oh my. Lunchtime was a unique experience! For some reason, it was decided that K-3rd grade would have lunch altogether indoors. I was told it was super loud. It was SO disorganized. Dismissal was also something new. You'd think we were a brand new school opening its doors with all the kinks from just today alone. I can't wait for Friday. lol.
Our landlord was supposed to have begun work on the renos to our future apt on Monday. We haven't been by to check on things but we're hoping to take some stuff over as soon as we can so we don't have to do it all in one day.
My training stirred up some stuff within me that I would like to blog about but the things I need to help write those posts are already packed. So maybe once we've moved and I've unpacked a bit, I can reflect on my 'river of life.'  I feel like it's necessary to explore that topic a bit more. The river of one's life is what has helped a person become the person they are today. Some of my coworkers, thought to do their entire river of life when we were really supposed to only focus on three things. I wished that I had done the former so that's what I intend to do once we're all settled in the new place. :) Or at least unpacked!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

MORE changes :)

As if I'm not already going through enough changes here on the outside world, I just had to make some more blog changes. I'm quite happy with the latest updates. I learned how to create my own header! Wow. Talk about empowering. The original tutorial comes from here.  I could've done much more but this is just the beginning. :)
There's been little knitting. Though there has been packing. We are off to my school in a little bit to pick up some boxes. Plus I had an idea while I slept and I'm hoping the folders that were available last weekend are still there. There has been baking. If you are a fan of oatmeal cookies as we are, please walk sprint to your kitchen to make this batch.  They are delish. I am not a big fan of raisins in my oatmeal cookies so we used m&m's instead. :) No pics as they're pretty much gone!  I found some other yummy recipes too. Oh and there was this too! There has been little reading too. Although I would like to get most of the Gita finished before school starts up. For some reason, after a long day at school, my brain turns into mush once I get home and all I want to do is watch tv or just knit. Who wants to do more work?? There are times when it is required but those times aren't every night!

Monday, August 1, 2011

really??

There have been many knitting-related stumbles while I've been away! Aside from trying to pack up as much as I can before I start back at school, there has also been lots of reading. I finished All That is Bitter and Sweet. I also started and completed Room which was recommended to me by Robyn. I completely devoured Room. I read the first chapter the first day I got it at the library. Then the next day, I picked it up again when I couldn't go back to sleep and nearly finished it in one sitting! It was THAT good. I'm also working on the Bhavagad Gita via two different books. It has been referenced in a couple books that I have read previously and I all of a sudden decided I should try to read it. I'm up to Chapter 6 (there are 18 chapters).
The hubs and I took about 7 heavy boxes to school to keep in my closet next to my classroom. We are going to go back and take a few more as the hubs realized I could stash stuff way up high on top of said closet. I just wouldn't be able to get to that stuff which is fine. We will probably go on Wednesday since the rugs have been shampooed and won't be dry til about Wednesday.
I've also been attempting to purge. I've purged a few things but not all that much. Today I am purging yarn. :(
The last few days I have been trying to sort of get back into my roots with regard to knitting. I have been trying to get some kitchen-related items going. I've started at least three or four different projects and not one has survived. I cast on for a moss grid towel last night and so far so good. I have some hempathy that I want to use up for something and I saw on ravelry that many people have used it to make moss grid towels which I thought about doing but wasn't sure how it would turn out.
When I work on non-shawl projects, I remember why I mostly knit shawls. It is because shawls don't cause my wrists to feel overworked like socks or most other knit projects. Go figure.
I finished the hub's sweater last week. He finally modeled it today so I have some pics to show off.
He absolutely LOVES it. I wish it were a bit longer. I should've made the body just a smidge bit longer but oh well.
While working on the vest, I had also cast on for that fan dance shawl, remember? Well, I frogged that sucker right around when I started binding off because I hadn't realized how much yarn I was going to have leftover. The yarn I was using didn't have a ball band so I had no idea what the yardage was. When I went on ravelry to post about the shawl, I realized the skein I used was 490 yards and the pattern only called for 400. Being that I am a loose knitter I always go at least one needle size down so I wouldn't have even used 400 yards. SO, it's now a big ball of nothing again and I have no intention of recasting on for this shawl. Here's what it looked like:
Oh well. I have no feelings about it. I'd like to be working on something that I love but I have yet to find that special something.
Amidst the packing, purging, reading, and knitting, I have also been listening to old cds (mostly ones I had made myself). While strolling down memory lane, I started to think about staying power. I am not an ipod'er. I like cds. I haven't purchased any new ones in a few years so the cds I have are 'old.' They still bring up the same emotions I had when I first listened to the songs I had selected for my mixed cds and some of those songs....wow, no one writes songs like that anymore! 
Oh and here's a pic of what the interior of our future living room will look like! :)