Saturday, September 29, 2007


I rode my bike across town to my school to grade papers. About an hour into the work, I thought no one would see a car in the parking lot, so they might reset the alarm. As I was leaving an hour later, I set off the alarm, it had been reset. I found that I was so nervous riding the bike to school rather than being on the biking trail, that I may not do it again. There is too much traffic and it is not bike friendly. I did get a lot of work done, though. I got all of my 6th and 7th grade work evaluated. That just leaves 8th grade, I think I will drive down tomorrow and finish it up! It is such a gorgeous day. DH got the yard fenced in for the 5 month old Siberian husky. I have heard they are really not fence able, I went out this morning and she greeted me on the back porch--out of the brand new fence. hmmm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day One Down

My group of students followed directions very well, they did not end up needing all of their extended time for IEP's and we got three tests done. I am worried about one student who's handwriting in 8th grade literally looks like that of a three year old just beginning to make letters. Asking him to plan and write an essay...... We spent the afternoon watching movies, drawing, and I started a Gary Paulsen book students usually love, "A Soldier's Heart." or Soldiers Heart, addressing what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder and was called a soldiers heart in the civil war. This book breaks your heart as all Gary Paulsen books do in one way or another. I did hurry home after school, as it makes a boring day for a teacher. Oh well, most of it takes place in three days. Next Tuesday we will do the last section, a separate test.

Monday, September 17, 2007

High Stakes Testing

It starts tomorrow. Each teacher in our building tests a group of students. That cuts down on the size of the group and everyone has to do it. We did that last year and I thought it worked out rather well. I have a special ed group with only 10 or 12 kids in it. I teach art now, but I was an academic teacher for 11 or 12 years before that, so giving this test does not freak me out. After that, we have one more week in our 6 week grading period that my group called related arts has. The academic teams have 9 week grading periods. My projects are coming along just fine and, with the kiln repaired, I may be able to squeeze in a little mud in 8th grade in the last week, They will have to wait for their pieces to be fired, though.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This Morning

H slept until 9:30 and that is late, even with the hour's time difference. We had a yogurt smoothie to tide us over until Gimpa was ready to go to breakfast, which turned out to be after Fantasia and up to the scary bits of lion king-- We had a half hour wait at the restaurant and H and I had to take a long stroll as his patience was wearing thin. Once he got a few bites of food in him, all was well. He was exhausted by then so we took a detour through one of out picturesque parks as he has a love for forests, then home to play with the pup/dog for a while, the dog is an excellent ball retriever. Now they are off on their 2 hour drive home. DH is going kayaking and I have to decide what I am going to do. It will not be laundry--that I got done yesterday at 5a.m. for some unknown reason. Must be the habits of aging women! I may read with my fabulous new lenses that can even view the tiny names in the phone book!

New Glasses

I got them yesterday while awaiting the arrival of my daughter and my grandson and I am back in the world of really great vision. Unfortunately, the frames are slmost identical to the ones I had before, I wished daughter had been with me to pick them out. I like them and I really like the vision.


A record number of cousins, second cousins and third cousins were together in one spot yesterday including my daughter and grandson. We had lots of cousin food and several things made that my aunt would have made so we had the hints of the missing generation. H spent hours running through the "forest", he loves the forest! It is a small woods with about 4 well travelled tracks circling through it and first he and I walked round it a few times, then tiny little Hayley took him by the hand and walked him around it many times.. Soon a whole gang of 2's to 10's were running through the forest. H now knows that leaves of three-leave it be-- and he told his mom "there is poison ivy everywhere, so stay on the path." Jessie was there with her baby bump, Mandi, Amy, NINA!!! fiance's, fiance's nieces, It was running with the big kids heaven for H. We drove home on "bumpy" roads (read that hilly) that tickled H and we even swung through to see the very last bit of vivid sunset at Grandma Jean's resting place. He wanted to know if we were going to sleep there, he is rather fond of dead people's parks. It was too chilly for that, but the view from that gentle hill was really beautiful. As we arrived back in the dark, there was an acrobatic airplane swooping and streaking and dropping spectacular fireworks, a really nice last ten miles on the interstate.

I am up and showered and awaiting the awakening of the long lean nearly three year old.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Eye Exam

Yes, it is that kind of a week, stem to stern, not in that order! I have the very very early beginnings of cataracts and it should not bother me for years. Getting home dilated with no sun glasses was a trick and I am staying in the cave for the rest of the day. Now I have to find out where I can get my prescription filled and use my very minimal vision benefit.

By the way, the 2.75 grandson got a hooba hoop from his dear little neighbor friend who gives him all of his outgrown toys and he was so excited about it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Towel Tale

I am hauling a dozen towels and some floor mats to the EH room --they actually have a shower and bathroom when students need that and could use some of the dwindling towels.

Good News

The kiln is ok, did I already say that? The kiln guy reset the thing where it is supposed to be and gave me the ok to use it even with the crushed fire-brick. In the meantime, the 8th graders have already started their paintings but we may be able to get some clay in after the big tests which take place all over the state at approximately the same time. He got the external to internal thermometer back in the correct location. It is in pretty good shape for all the use I have given it over three years. Whew! dodged a bullet. I just remembered, he has a really fun two or three day project that will fit right in with the test and the amount of time we have left inthe 6 weeks! YAY!!

Cool Cache

My cool cache is up-- accidentally jewish twittered me on the Samual L. Jackson You Tube Comeback video and I think it is fun. Props to Dooce for me even finding it as I don't just search You Tube.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

I arrived for my appointment early, as I am wont to do and the building was locked tight. I sat outside at a picnic table until my appointment was 15 minutes late. I got the hospital number and called admissions to see if there had been a mistake and they were looking for me. The letter of instructions sent me to the wrong place so I was a half hour late. After that nerve-wracking wait--thinking all that prep for naught, things went very well, very efficiently and I am cleared for 10 years. Not one teeny tiny polyp. I am tired from the sedative, and I think I will try to take a nap now.

An Hour Away

Not so bad, but the many trips to the bathroom are rather tiring. I am already planning a long nap after the procedure. I am wondering if a clear liquid day once a week or every two weeks isn't a good idea-- it really didn't bother me, although that frozen pizza laying on the counter left by dh looks pretty darned inviting, even if the cat sat on it! But I'm not hungry. Rest assured, there'll be no video. Alert to children, DH is back to glassblowing officially, as of yesterday! Hooray!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Now It Begins

The saline phospho fleet laxative has been taken. I know it isn't as disgusting as when you had to drink a gallon of stuff, but for the novice, damn it's salty. Now I am drinking a bottle of propel. Wonder if I should take a shower now before the fireworks begin? A day of clear liquids hasn't been nearly as difficult as I expected it to be. Not much chance I'll starve to death.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

4 Days

Four days without my arthritis meds in preparation for the colonoscopy. OOOOH, I'm stiff and achy. I swear things were popping and breaking in my feet in exercise class tonight. Clear liquids tomorrow. I have to remind myself, no Friday morning omelet at the best little restaurant in town. I think I am going to crip to bed after my shower. then really crip out of it in the morning. I did my acrylic painting demo today and the kiln guy came and put my kiln back together. He told me all was well and to go ahead and use it. YaHoo!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cloth Mache Day

Much to my surprise, the layer of cloth strips we put on the Oaxacan animals (papier mache version) went rather well in both classes. This is the hardest step because the Elmer's is pretty messy and the kids really think it is icky. This may have been the very best overall cloth mache of this small project I do with 6th graders. The layer of cloth and Elmer's makes the animal very very tough. Regular papier mache is rather fragile. I learned about this in a book called "Make Something Ugly."

Cell Phone

I am very untechy, but I have learned, on my second cell phone, the joys of a calendar alarm. I now put everything on it. Yesterday I remembered to go buy sheets to rip for the last coating of our Oaxacan animals made in paper and cloth mache. I am ready to rip. I have to buy because I have used up every old or aging or merely disliked sheet in the house. I now get white because they are more easily painted in bright colors. I am ready for 6th grade today. Every day next week has a purple light on the number including clear liquids on this Friday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Do Not Read if You Can't Tolerate Whining

I am 60 years old and today I found out it still hurts my feelings to be given a size related nickname. And of course there was a student who felt he had to give me this information. As a kid I was called beanpole, when it fit, followed by crane legs followed by the jolly green giant. (I had to wear a green formal to a convocation at another school where we installed their honor society) and today I find I am big bird-- do I get some yellow feathers and wear a hat? I can't believe that it still has the power to cut. OK that's it. I shall let it go now and start looking for a hat.

Monday, September 3, 2007

What to Do?

The messed up kiln really screws up my 8th grade curriculum.... I need to remember what I did before I had clay.

Beautiful Morning

The temperature was 55* so I tied my shoes and got my ID and rode to the end of the trail on one of the most beautiful mornings ever. I met several other teachers that I know from my school and others, the trail was very busy with runners and bikers. Yesterday I did the Western ride and today I took the long Eastern ride. There were no deer today, too many people, I think. That's OK the deer are surprisingly huge. I love my new bike, it has suspension and a really nice seat. There is enough distance for my legs and my back so riding is not so uncomfortable. I have had 2 or 3 $100 huffies over the years, but I finally got a bike that is tall enough for me and it makes a world of difference. Does that make up for the Krispee Kremes? I don't think so.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


We had a blast today in central Illinois. My cousin and two of her grandchildren joined us and it was the first time she'd seen our toddler grandson since he has been here. We had really good food, our daughter and her husband are wonderful hosts and cooks and I took a berry salad I think I found on Kalyn's kitchen. Children ran and shouted and squealed and swam and nearly toppled over in exhaustion. Dh made a secret trip to the sugar shack, otherwise known as krispee kreme as this was one time the grandson didn't need to know about this trip. Too much excitement already. Chicago daughter came down and taught me how to e-mail myself some photos I took with my phone, and what was in my mailbox when I got home? 5 photos of a local fundraising art project! Success. The quality of the photos leaves a lot to be desired, but at least I got it done. Who knows, in two or three years I might be able to text message somebody.

I had a bit of excitement at school on Friday. Some of my 8th graders wanted to look in the kiln. My kiln room has seemed strangely spacious the past few weeks and when I opened the kiln, I realized why. The custodians had shoved the kiln up against the wall, it was knocked a couple of inches off its base and some of the firebricks inside are somewhat CRUSHED. I was really really mad and I don't think the kiln guy will be able to come and fix it in time for this grading period to get to do clay. grrrr. On the other hand, the kiln is not school quality and maybe I will be able to get a better one, not a hobby kiln. You would think I would be a little more observant, after all, I am supposed to be an artist and don't we observe? Something was just not right, but until I looked inside the kiln, smashed up against the wall on its big electrical umbilical cord, I just didn't notice a couple of inches of kiln bottom showing out from under the edge of the stacked walls, where it should not have been.