Sunday, January 24, 2010

Were You in Lord of the Rings?

I was asked that by one of the 8th graders on Friday. I promptly responded by gaping at him for a moment because it had me flashing back to high school. Then I remembered I'm a secure grown up who loves being me and laughed. He never said exactly why he asked. Maybe it was because I'm short like the hobbits.Maybe it's because I'm delicate and elvish? (Don't catch me on technicalities because I have yet to see all the movies, connect with characters, and read the books. I know it's uber World of Warcrafty, but LOTR scares me!)

Maybe it's because I have a mean death stare...

Or maybe it's because I resemble Orlando Bloom (can't remember his movie/book name).

I used to wear my hair back like his during my earlier years, but then I was sitting in PE role call lines one day (no I didn't actually participate, I had my medical note) and the obnoxious fellow turned to me with a thoughtful look on his face. He didn't even look malicious like he usually did when he was about to say something. He just said "I finally figured out who you look like. You look like Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings." That was it. I was flabbergasted. I have yet to wear my hair pulled back like that. Now I'm very careful to at LEAST put a part in it. There's just something so functional about a half up. I was hoping to at least be viewed in a more scholarly fashion like Paris from Gilmore Girls. Sigh.
Any ideas for stick straight hair with a widows peak?

Calmer Waters

Literally. No rain today. Whew.

Woke up early, got a LOT of good work done in mom's Jr. High classroom. She starts on Monday! Eeek! Lots to do! I've got her bulletin boards mostly done, pencils sharpened, red pens flower-fied to deter thievery. We were there on Friday where the original teacher was supposed to be for his last day but he skipped out, and left a sub with not enough on her lesson plans.

Me being me and unable to leave students idle and prone to mischief (you know 8th graders give em an inch and they go for the marathon) I stepped in by the second class out of 5. I had students helping to take apart and clean up the classroom so I could start fresh. I also realised that even that wasn't enough to keep them busy for the whole day. So I told em to get out a piece of paper (something to keep em busy while I racked my brain for an assignment.) I told them to write their name, date etc. (still scrambling). Then I decide to give them a random question personal quiz that will allow me to get to know them while assessing writing skills. It was fun! I'm sitting here in an empty house, my music playing, tummy full, body exercised (that's right I went to the gym), sitting on the couch responding. I got some really good responses and am learning that these kids have potential to be really fun this year. Exhausting, but fun. Should you wish to participate here's the quiz:

1.) Using correct punctuation and capitalization, who was the last person to speak to you before school and what did they say?
2.)Answer the following question as if you are an expert from PBS. What three songs do you need to complete your music library.
3.)What has the potential to be your most embarrassing moment?
4.)What is the best thing your teacher could do for you?
5.)What would be the one thing that would ruin a persons reputation?
6.) What, in your opinion, is the best shoe in the world?
7.) What would be the best cafeteria food?
8.) Create a short dialogue between you and me.
9.)If you were working at your dream job, what would be something you would say to your boss?
10.) In a solid paragraph (Introduction, Filling, Closing 5 sentence min.) tell me something. Anything.

Some interesting things:
One student says his golf handicap is 3.2.
90% of another class said "The best shoes are Vans because they are AWESOME." the capital letters in awesome. I liked this answer:
"The best shoes in the world are....(drum-role please) VANS! I lah lah lah love Vans because they come in all colors and all shapes and they're very ADORABLE!"
Huh, they come in all color. Guess I better get me some Vans. I think we might hear more from this one. She also put Eye of the Tiger as one of her top songs. Yesss!
Lastly, I have yet to have one song repeated more than twice. Music is much more diverse than when I was in Jr. High.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today it's hard to resist the urge to...

...yell loudly and kick things.

If you're reading this, I have yet to reconsider the post and delete OR someone has commented and I enjoy comments so much I couldn't possibly delete a post that has comments.

Why I want to yell loudly and kick things:
1.) I was awake at 6:00 AM.
2.)There was a beautiful view of the mountains surrounding our valley today during a break in the rain on my way to work. I was driving so I didn't try to take a picture and it started raining again....swift kick.
3.) The 5th day of rain.
4.) The 5th day of rain and 1st subbing in a fourth grade classroom.
5.) Not talking to Luke all day.
6.) Tutoring and reminding a kid that 20 is 20 for the 220th time this week. A two and a zero makes 20...really? Really? Is it THAT HARD?!! Or maybe that's the 5th day of rain talking.
7.) Talking to Luke...but only for 2 minutes because he has to go. Except I didn't know he had to go until he said I have to go...leading to an abrupt end of conversation and still an empty void from not talking to Luke all day. (The intro to conversation doesn't really count, it's usually formalities.)
8.) I get home, it's raining, my key takes 3 tries to turn.
9.) My quilt blocks have been disturbed on the wonderwall. I fully intended to sew them together this weekend. There's been a lot to do. I know the mover had no malicious intent in fact they had only kind and excited intent...but ugh...I have no idea where they went and I think I spent two hours staring at them to put them where I wanted. Ugh.
10.) Did I mention no Luke? He's in Idaho.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today it's hard to resist the urge to... faster through big puddles. I just love the splash it makes!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Growing Up - Toilet Paper

There are many things I've felt very prepared for when branching out on my own. Grocery shopping is one of them. Mom taught me how to check expiration dates and price per unit to ensure that I am in fact getting the best bang for my buck.

Here's the thing, I really never know how to by toilet do you compare? There's not really a price per unit notation like there is for cheese. And how do you compare brands? Its not like you can feel inside the package....My dad always buys whatever's on sale, but with some things sale doesn't always mean good deal. Or quality for that matter. Sometimes I go for marketing- I quilt, the ladies quilted the quilted toilet paper, I should support other quilters...I guess I avoid the ones with the bears on it because my...well, you know...isn't nearly as bad as any I've seen from bears while backpacking. But no one wants the tissue paper status toilet paper, and well TP that shreds, it just isn't fun. Grandma G has also recently alerted the public to the fact that the TP companies have begun to take advantage of the uneducated public and is slowly cutting back on the length of the toilet paper rolls. They're cheating us people!! We need to demand that our standards be met!

But wait what are the standards and really how do I know if the TP will live up to its promise if I can't access it inside the plastic? Any tips?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Another Note

My Christmas present from Luke was George Winston concert tickets! I never really made the concious decision to be a George Winston fan it just sort of happened. My parents have enjoyed his music, and he strongly influences my father's (also named George) piano playing style. My dad used to play the most during bedtime when I was in Jr. High and Elementary School. The music would relax and sooth all my crazy ball of wire thoughts that wait to jump on you til bed time. As I got older I found the George Winston CD's in the cabinet, loaded them on my iPod and they are the BEST travel music. I put in my head phones, relax and sleep the trip away. I introduced Luke to George Winston when I was on exchange in Idaho, and either he REALLY appreciates the mellowing/never fail/soothing effect it has on me or he enjoys the music too! When I mentioned George was coming to Fresno, and that it happened to be just inside the window of time Luke had off from school...well the deal was sealed! We went two nights before he left. The music was fabulous and Mr. Winston even played the guitar and harmonica. Talented!

The most impressive part...he played in stocking feet! How cool is that. I like playing piano AND sewing barefoot so its nice to identify with the man.

We saw Tracy and Tim there too. I asked Tracy if there was going to be a strong Winston sound in the next day's worsip service, and she told me she was playing piano so maybe! Then if that dont beat all, neither of us had turned our cellphones on after the concert so we didn't get woken by our alarms (and when I DID wake up I couldnt wake Luke because he was at Live A Colorful Life's house with his phone off.) Lame.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Luke and I got a bag of those yummy Dove chocolates to enjoy. Fun part is, they have little sayings inside the foil wrapper. One I particularly thought was particularly appropriate said:


(Okay really it said engage, not engaged...but once in similar regards to my conversation with Grandma G, minor technicality right?)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Putting the Seal on a Great Day

On Thursday Luke and I snuck away for a day on the coast. We decided that a Hearst Castle adventure would be a good break from the Fresno Fog. It was a beautiful day! We could see the beach from the hilltop estate. The cool thing about Mr. Hearsts' place is that Europe is tied in all throughout the property, and architecture. This balcony was inspired by the Doge's Palace in Venice.
This is the Neptune pool. Can't you just imagine yourself basking in the pool?

She seems to have found herself to be quite at home.
I thought it was funny to see men in State Park Uniforms cleaning the pool!
This fun dress was in one of the guest bathrooms. It made me think of you Neola! Orange and Cheery!
Can you imagine cleaning gold leafed grout? No Comet on those guys!
We were there in time to hear the bells in the tower chime!

Talk about a dinner party! You could have the whole neighborhood over with this table!
For Mark, I spotted this catchup. If W.R. Hearst can have catchup on his table, so can you!
In the pool under the tennis courts I realise just how many potential quilts are in the tile! (And yes, more gold leaf!)
Luke was especially fond of this pool. Check out the diving platform behind him!
After the the castle we went to the beach where we spotted LOTS of elephant seals sunbathing! You could see the steam rising off of them! These guys are HUGE! Well except for the babies. Below you can see one of the babies (bottom middle)by his Mom and Dad's heads.
Luke and I met a Marine Biologist and her husband who were observing the different beaches with binoculars. They gave us a LOT of really interesting information. We think this elephant seal is the one they saw being born Wednesday before we got there.
For Grandma G, I think maybe your cows should come vacation with Mr. Hearsts cows. (I know its a small cluster but the big groups of cows were located in inconvenient places to stop and take pictures.)
Check out their view!
On our way home we stopped on one of the touristy streets to grab some fish and chips to eat! They were yummy! AND I saw this beauty walking back to the car. Isn't it DARLING!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." -Louis Hector Belioz

I'm having that issue right now, as Luke is here and I want to spend ALL the time with him that I can before he has to go back to Idaho. At the same time, it's sort of still my break and what amazing time to work on projects this could be... my quilt? My knitting? Oh yah, wedding stuff?
And remember that fence? That's a big o time vacuum. It's taking for-ev-er! Even Luke who said he'd help me with it while he was here, has been surprised by how looooong it's taking. We just want to be done!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One In Every Color- Party!

Just before New Years, my sister's boyfriend Matt (I like to tack a little i onto the end and obnoxiously call him Matt-eeeee) came into town. He played lots of golf in high school and some golf now (he's getting ready for grad school) which makes him a good companion for Luke (Opinionated Spectator.) The three of us went to the driving range on New Years Eve day. I even hit some balls (I'm proud because I did better than Luke thought I would! Woot!) Mostly I made sure to get some pictures. I didn't find the pose about to be quite so appealing. Luke golfs left handed and Matti golfs right handed so initially they were facing away from each other. Good I guess for the self conscious golfer because when I took Luke's spot for a bit (I too am a lefty) I never knew if anyone was watching. Soooo anyway, I asked em to switch spots so I could get a couple pictures.
Much better.
Then we went to the party store to get some silly string for Live A Colorful Life. I saw this aisle and it stopped me dead in my tracks! (Play heaven music here.)
I think I'll just leave it at that. It's too beautiful for words.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One In Every Color- Fabric

Yah yah, I KNOW fabric comes in every color but Quilters Corner (HERE) in Grand Junction, Colorado had it displayed so wonderfully. I think THATS why it's unique and as a result, loved by me.
They also had some fun girl scout fabric. Is it cookie time yet?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Compact- adj. kom-pakt

joined or packed together; closely and firmly united; dense; solid: compact soil.
arranged within a relatively small space: a compact shopping center; a compact kitchen.
designed to be small in size and economical in operation.

Basically NOT a hummer (H1 H2 or H3). This jerkface hardly left me room to open my door. Is it because he's from Oregon? Is it because the big o non compact car is to protect what little brain he has left that doesn't have the capacity to decipher the meaning of compact? Maybe it itsnt even a he. Maybe its a she and she's just...well...rude. Maybe the he is just rude. Hmph. Dear big cars, Compact means little. Like my bug. Sincerely, Compact Car Driver

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hard Hats

Okay...maybe not literally. But DEFINATELY stretched my knitting skills.
This blue one makes me think of the Aliance logo (World of Warcraft reference) It is called The Inga Hat and the pattern was created by Sheila Macdonald. Modifications by HelloYarn found HERE. I made it for Luke's brother Jay.This is Jared Flood's Koolhaas Hat. I made it for Mark. Beautiful pattern. Fantastic, truly. Kind of a pain to figure out and knit. Most others haven't had the trouble with it that I have...but I don't know. This one put a stall in my knitting because I wasn't quite so anxious to get to work. Maybe it scarred me.
I'm sharing these ones a little late, because I had to hold off til Christmas!

Friday, January 1, 2010

When Bugs Get Smashed...

Their eyes pop out...
The Friday school was scheduled to get out I got called in for a sub job. (Woooh subbing on class party, candy, sugar day.)I hoped in my car and headed to rescue the administrator who was filling in until I could get there. I was on my way through a medical office complex and Mr. Smarty pulled out in front of me. I honked I braked...there was nothing I could do. Some of his first words to me were: "I have to go catch a plane" and "Can I run in and go to the bathroom? I really have to go." Hmmm. Think he was in a hurry? While it doesn't look too bad, the internal damage was...substantial. Whew. I was very glad his insurance called to accept fault. My sister and her boyfriend very kindly drove me to school, and picked me up, and took me to Sal's after for some yummy comfort food.

Then, on Wednesday:

Mom had her own little adventure. (More details here.)

Ugh. Let's just the week before Christmas 'twas rough.

One upside was I got to spend some of the time hanging out with my buddy Cady! She was catching up on her AR reading. During breaks we made wrapping paper for her Grandma's present...and went to get a Christmas Tree for her doll Zoey. Here are Zoey and Cady in the back of the rental car with the completely decorated tree!