Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CPR training tonight

 Another step towards the adoption is CPR training.  My husband is a tennis coach at the high school we both teach at and every other year he has to renew his CPR and first aide certification.  Since there aren't enough coaches signed up, they are letting me come to the training for free!  One more step checked off the list of things to do.  I think the last time I took a class was about 30 years ago, before I started teaching.  I know things have changed because way back then, you did chest compressions and breathing and I've heard you don't do the breathing part anymore or something like that.  Luckily I haven't had to use any of my training to save a life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Any science teachers looking for a job?

Less than two weeks away and they still haven't hired a science teacher to fill the empty position at my school.  That could mean a few things.  #1 They hire someone at the last minute who is amazing who was out all summer exploring the world and just now realized that school is starting and they probably should look for a job.  #2 They hire someone who has interviewed at lots of schools and nobody wanted to hire them and we are desperate so we take our chances and they turn out to be a great teacher. #3 We can't find anyone and there are 5 of us who end up teaching an extra class and we all go insane by the end of the year.

My money is on option #3.  It's not like they (the people in charge-who have worked all summer) haven't had all summer to find someone to fill this position they knew was open since March.

Anybody want to come and work at my school?  We are really nice sometimes and will help you with curriculum.  The kids are good some of the times-at least as good as any teenager can be these days when they would much rather do anything besides what you ask them to do.  I mean it's not like they bring guns to school EVERY day or anything. :)  I really do love my job most of the time.

Any takers?

Monday, August 1, 2016

What do you fight about?

 I think it's time for a new camera.  For some reason I cannot get mine to focus properly.  I've tried everything I can think of and it just is getting tired of taking pictures of quilts maybe.  It's at least as old as my baby who is 12 now, so that's pretty long for a digital camera.  I started looking online today and there are too many choices!  I get stuck just thinking about buying a new one and go back to taking blurry pictures.
I've been thinking a lot about a question on the adoption paperwork that I couldn't answer when I first filled out the form 6 weeks ago.  It asked what do you and your spouse fight about?  I couldn't think of anything.  But, now I have something to write down.  Almost every day this summer we have fought over the temperature to set the thermostat!  He wants it set to 72 and I'd prefer 76.  I bet that is a common argument in many households.  We have two thermostats in the house, one upstairs where he spends most of his time and one downstairs where I can be found.  So, most of the time it isn't a problem, but when he comes downstairs, he changes MY thermostat!  Then, I start to freeze and complain that he's trying to kill me!  I go upstairs and change HIS thermostat and he claims I'm trying to kill him!

I guess there could be worse things to fight about.  But at least I have something to write on the form.

In the winter, I crank up the heater and he turns it down.  Maybe I should just add a layer of fat.  I do love ice cream and chocolate! :)

can you hear it?

 Today is August 1.  That means school begins in 2 weeks.  In 2 weeks I will be sitting in a meeting, excited about the beginning of a new school year, but sad that the summer is over.  I will be thinking about changes I can make in my teaching that will hopefully make the year run smoother.
All of my teacher friends are posting pictures of their fabulous vacations and adventures on Facebooks and I'm trying to finish cleaning up the last of the junk piles.  I know that once school starts, time will be limited and the piles will grow again.  I'm trying to practice routines that will keep the clutter at bay and optimistic that I will be able to balance school and home and find time to get some quilts done as well.

Tick, tock, time is fleeting.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

trying to get some bigger quilts done

 With the robotics not working, I decided to load some bigger quilts on the machine and crank them out today.  These two took me about 45 minutes each to quilt with some meanders across the quilt.  It's a good thing I was manually quilting them because each quilt had some seams that weren't sewn all the way and if I wasn't watching, the foot would have gotten stuck and could have made a hole in the quilt.  Because I was right there, I could fix the holes in the quilt as I was quilting.
I do love these 'everything' types of quilts because it doesn't really matter what fabrics you use, when you have so many different fabrics, they all go together.  Hopefully I will get one more quilt done today.  Once school starts up again, I won't have time for much quilting so it's important to get a lot done on days like this when I don't have any place I have to be.  I even found time this morning to piece two quilt tops.  They were partly finished and I had to sew a few blocks together and then put the rows together, but hey, I found time to sew for about an hour.  I haven't done that for a long time.  It was a reward for cleaning.  I have so many unfinished quilt projects that only need a few minutes to finish and I'm not sure why each one has stalled out.  It will be nice to attack each one and get them finished and added to the 'to be quilted' pile.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

manually quilting is getting my steps up

 I got these two quilts done in an hour today and in making them, I added about 1,000 steps to my count for the day and put me over my 5,000 goal.  I went for a walk this morning, so that helped.  When I get in a funk, like I was this morning, walking helps lift my mood.  Who knew quilting was good exercise?

a request for quilts

I got a phone call today from a friend who was wondering if my group could help out with quilts for those affected by the flooding in West Virginia.  I had heard about flooding, but didn't know too much about it.  She said a lady had come into the quilt shop where she works and will be in town for a couple weeks and asked if they could help her collect a few quilts to take back with her.  She is from Rainelle, West Virginia which is one of the hardest hit areas and many in the town of 1500 have lost everything.

Since we are in the middle of making and collecting 100 quilts for the foster youth locally, I told her that if she gave us some time, we would be happy to help, but not until after August 27.  She said she would be back in December, so that will be our next big goal.

I also have a former student who just got a job working with kids who have autism and I let her know I would be getting quilts for her to give to the kids.

If you like to make quilts, there is always a need, always.

If you are on Facebook, you have probably seen the picture of a woman's funeral with quilts draped over the backs of the pews and everyone makes comments about what a wonderful tribute to this woman and how great she was for making so many beautiful quilts.  There must be 50 or more quilts in the picture.  I just think how sad it is that these quilts were stored in her house and not being used by people.  Nobody can use 50 quilts at one time.  Of course, people will say this about me with my 500 t shirt collection!

If you have a God given talent and you hide it away, it isn't a great thing.  If you have a beautiful singing voice and you only sing in the shower, it's a shame.  If you can draw amazing pictures and your walls are covered with fantastic drawings that nobody else can see, what good have you done?

People may talk about you at your funeral and say what a wonderful artist or singer you were, but why not let people enjoy your talents when you are still alive?  That's why you were given the talents in the first place!  To share with others.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Fried the Motherboard, but this could be a good thing

 So I have two weeks left before school starts up again and really only one week of actually nothing going on.  The week before school I have three days of workshops.  That means with 64 quilts left to reach my goal, I had better work really hard and get 4-5 quilts done a day for the next 10 days if I have any hope of reaching my goal.
 Today I did the blue quilt and then one of the cords got stuck on a bucket under the quilting machine. I moved the bucket and it pulled out the cord, which was the power cord to the black box which is the power supply to the robotic part of the quilting machine.  No big deal, just plug it back in and we should be good to go.  No such luck.  I kept getting an error code.  Well, what do you do when your computer gives you an error code?  You turn it off and let it rest, right?  Or you hit it.  At least that's what I do.  Those are the extent of my computer skills anyways.  My computer son isn't home right now, so I couldn't ask him.  Neither tactic worked so I called Carla and she told me hers had done the same thing and she found out it was a fried motherboard and had to send in the black box for repair.  Not too expensive, but would take a couple of weeks.
 Well, since the sewing machine part of the quilting machine is still working, I can still do quilting as long as I'm standing there running the machine.  It's just the robotic part that isn't working.  So, in one hour this afternoon, I quilted all three of these pink quilts.  Nothing fancy, but some swirls and meanders and they are done quilted and ready to be bound.  I think I will be able to still reach my goal after all.  Of course, I can't get anything else done while the quilting is going on.
Normally I can cut fabric or sew backings together, but normally a large quilt will take 3-5 hours to quilt and a small one will take a minimum of an hour.  These little ones took about 10 minutes and the big one took about 30 minutes.  Maybe my freemotion quilting will get some good practice in over the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's not my job, feeling relief

 So the whole adoption has been weighing very heavily on me lately.  I've been cleaning the house like crazy all summer and feeling pretty rotten that it's taken so long to get it somewhat presentable.  The summer is winding down and there is still so much to do.  I've given away and thrown away so much stuff and yet, there is enough here to fill several houses and still have stuff left over.
 I made a new friend last week and her neighbor has 4 great grandkids who are in foster care.  Somehow I decided that it was my responsibility to save these kids (I've never met them) and every other kid out there in the foster system.  I got myself all worked up because there are four kids (3 girls and a boy) ages 2-11 and I've spent hours trying to figure out how I was going to be able to fit all of these kids into my house.  I wrote to my social worker (who is out on vacation until August 22) and another worker wrote back and said there was no way we could handle all of these kids because of the age of our boys living at home and the age and gender of these kids.
 I have to admit I was pretty devastated.  I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of these kids I've never met and I'm not exactly sure why I felt this way.  I look at homeless pets the same way.  I need to save every one and give them a good home.  But the truth is, that's not my job.  I can't save every dog or cat that doesn't have a home and I can't take in every child whose parents can't take care of them.  The truth is my husband isn't quite ready to go ahead and bring a child or two (probably not 4 at once) into our home yet and probably won't be ready for some time.  He says next summer.  We will see about that.
I need to give myself a little break from the cleaning and the madness and stop feeling like I need to make everything happen.  It will happen in God's timing and I need to do my part, but not make myself and everyone else around me crazy in the process.  I still have a ways to go with the house and getting stuff out to make room for another child.  Just like having a baby, these things can't be rushed.  I need to get used to having my older son back at home again (he thinks he is an adult and can make his own life choices now! Ugh) and let things happen instead of making them happen.

I might even give myself a day off!

Monday, July 25, 2016

3 weeks left

 It's official!  In 3 weeks, I will be sitting in meetings listening to how this is going to be the best year yet.  I will be wishing I could be setting up my classroom and planning how to get everything done and how to stay organized and vowing not to get behind in grading work, but knowing that by the end of the year, I will be piling papers into the recycling bin one more time.
 21 days before lessons must be planned and class lists of students will be poured over, wondering how the new year will compare to years past.
 3 more Saturdays and 3 more Sundays before I have to squeeze into my jeans again (I really shouldn't be eating that chocolate cake, but it is oh, so good) and putting on a fake smile and pretending that I'm happy to be out of the house and sitting in uncomfortable chairs.
 I better use these three weeks wisely.  I still have 70 quilts to get done for the Birthday Bash for the foster youth and rooms to clean.  It is like fighting the never ending battle of too much stuff.  I get one room done and turn around and the next room is full again.  I'm hoping the botox will help with the frequent migraines that slow the work down.  I go in on Wednesday to get the shots again and should be feeling better by next week, just in time for back to school :)
So far I've been able to resist buying new school supplies.  From all of my cleaning, I've found lots of supplies around the house and hopefully I'm set for the year.