Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Play it out until it's done

Spanish- apparently the learning curve gets steep after you become 3% proficient. I'm still maintaining my daily practice. I'm just not as awesome as I was last week.

Knitting- bestnieceeverCharlotte (and my favorite member of greathusbandbob's family- we don't need words- just eye contact) is expecting a baby. I am double knitting squares for a toddler blanket. To go where no one has gone before.


I have completed two squares. I need thirty. Some will be blue/black others gold/black. Baby is due in October. I'll likely have just enough time.

Studying drawing and following instruction looked like this tonight-I'm pleased with the book and the jar- the coffee cup not so much.


Following no instruction and just drawing quickly and relentlessly with ink looked like this tonight.



Cough drop 1, cough drop 2, shekere, small woven basket, treasure box, knitted pig, broken shell, wooden rose. It's my hope that I won't have to regularly identify what has been drawn but today I felt compelled. And even though I don't love the way it looks, I did learn and think about the pig's shadow so it was not a complete waste of time. I also think cough drop 1 might pass the contour drawing test.

I'm reading some books that say here are some ideas. Just draw. Don't be afraid of art. Decide to make it Might Ugly. The last one was written by a knitter so it has to be useful.

Wouldn't it be nice if I kept up with all of this (and walking) for the whole summer.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

5 weeks until summer

Summer plans are

-learn Spanish

-take a drawing class

-draw a lot

-look at Japanese art

I got a head start during this short break,

Yo hablo un pequito. Gracias, Duolingo.

In fact I know enough that the next time I go to the Mexican restaurant I can say cuando yo soy aqui con mi Esposo yo no bebo cerveza o tequila. Nosotros no bebemos. Pero, cuando yo soy con mi prima, yo quiero dos tequilas en un vaso. Yo no quiero mi esposo sabre. Look it up.

From the Craftsy/University of Washington course-




From the don't be afraid and draw all the stuff book-



Here comes summer!


Monday, April 10, 2017

knock knock, who's there, oh... wait

It's that time of year again.

I have five favorite kindergarten elephant jokes.  Each year when we sing about elephants, I tell them. It usually takes about three hearings before any six year olds "get" the punch line.  It takes 2-3 more hearings before they can tell them.  They are-

How does the baby elephant call his mama?  On the Elephone.
What does the baby elephant do once he finishes his homework?  Watch Elevision.
What weighs 500 lbs and wears glass slippers?  Cinderelephant.
What did the cat say to the elephant?  meow.
What did the grape say to the elephant?  Nothing.  Grapes can't talk.

Once they master the art of telling the elephant jokes I've given them, they are allowed to make up and share their own elephant jokes.  If you haven't seen a kindergartener make up a joke, you should really just ask the next one you see to tell you one.    The thing is, when you are 5, you believe you can do everything an adult says you can do so you think of the question part of the joke before an answer occurs to you, confident in the knowledge that something funny will magically appear.

I have had three favorite moments this year so far in the retelling and making up of jokes.

The most common mistake in the retelling is in the cat joke.  They say "what did the elephant say to the cat?" instead of the other way around.  Usually they ignore their error and finish with "meow."  Last Wednesday, J.C. reversed the animals, paused to have her brain explode and then put her arm up to her nose and made elephant sounds.  Ah the element (elephant) of surprise!

The second one- Why did the elephant sit on the couch?  He was tired.

And the third- Why did the elephant get a cat?  Because he didn't want a dog.

I got a million of 'em folks....

Monday, March 27, 2017

Inconvenience, I laugh at you

1- no alarm set for work this am (glad the dog has one)
2-student teacher called in sick- have to plan on the fly
3-got charged two different prices for the same kind of orange
4-got stuck behind the western PA tow truck-  one truck attached
    by a chain to another with a car behind them blinking his flashers
     and going 15 mph.
5- favorite necklace broke during 5th grade.

Hey Monday- what else you got up your sleeve?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Is it June yet?

So this was the email I got to send to the principal after school today. In my defense there was no principal, secretary, counselor or nurse around to help man the stations. Also Sue's kids always miss the buses.

Sue's kids didn't make it to 292. I last called- waited- then sent bus- Sue's kids come walking down the hallway. I radioed Sue (couldn't get the bus radio in the locked office)- she said "I called on the walkie talkie" as you know- I acknowledge all calls- she never called. I sent them back to her to contact the parents.

2- In the middle of all of this, I get a call from Timmy Runner's mother wanting to know why she was called to tell her that Timmy was absent. I told her (because I saw The secretary's sign in sheet) it was likely because he came in late, that I was not the regular secretary and if she could call on Monday morning to confirm it that would be the best way to handle it.

Ten minutes later- as we are dealing with Sue's kids the phone rings again- Its the dad of Timmy Runner complaining that I was snippy to his wife on the phone. I let him continue- (meanwhile bus returns and I have to get those kids there) when he is finished speaking I try to tell him that it was me, explain the situation and apologize.

He wouldn't have it he went on and on about calling his buddy at at the Big Business in Town and calling the school board and his wife doesn't deserve to be treated that way. (While I was in fact short with her, I was not rude) etc etc. I couldn't get a word in edgewise. I asked him if I could speak (when he finished) he said "no" and continued ranting. I talked over him and said "so rather than resolve this, you would just like to complain" (I admit that probably wasn't the best choice of words but I was full up of impatience by then) He continued to rant and I hung up. ( no bad words but on and on about calling the school board and not letting me get a word in.) Also probably not the best plan but I had three kindergarteners who were about to miss their bus a second time.

I am willing to apologize for both perceived rudeness and actual rudeness (there at the end) but I'm pretty sure he wants me fired : ) and that you're going to hear about it.

So hanging up was an error I'm ready to be held responsible for but seriously, how much patience is a girl expected to have?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Go figure.

I looked back to the last blog post and realize little has changed.

Aunt is still requiring supervision, it's still not a very cold February, and I'm experimenting with another lunch this week. (Shredded steakums cooked with green peppers and mushrooms to be reheated, cheese added and placed in a hoagie roll.). Given last week's disaster of "apples," it has to be better. I did recover with a giant eagle pot pie on Tuesday.

In the adulting saga I can report that all material ties of aunt to her former city have been severed. We sold the house in September. Last week we closed on the lot next to it with the neighbor on the other side. Last night I met with the house emptying auctioneer for the final transaction. She wound up ahead but not by much and the most valuable piece in her house was a card table that had barrel chairs. Go figure.

It's uncertain what's to come ahead. We are going to contact an ElderLaw attorney for help and to make sure we make appropriate financial decisions. Who knew there were attorneys specifically for that? Go figure.

This week is "teach knitting to kids after school" week. They took what was a four week deal and squeezed it into four days, one week. Two of the kids are former participants-the ones who insisted on calling me knitting sensai so there should be some laughs. Go figure.

The psychiatrist says I need to get a sledgehammer and smash some shit. I haven't done it yet because mostly thinking about it makes me feel a little better. Go figure.

Just now in an effort to make this a more interesting blog post I switched nouns and verbs around.

I sold apples, brought barrel chairs for lunch, took a sledgehammer to some knitting kids and knitted an attorney. Go figure.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tricking trickers.

Today the weather was over me. Or I was under it. Flashy hot chills and sweats. Minor voice loss. Teacher crud. I taught my six half hour classes in a row and came home and went to bed-missing the school Valentine's Day activities. I did score some skittles, chocolates and a notebook paper valentine before coming home. If it's any indication as to how weary I felt, I left the treats at school.

Tricky tricker number one. The last minute valentine lesson plans that do everything you plan on doing with much more complicated regular lessons. Oh hey, let's find some note to add to the roses are red poem. Oh hey, let's add another pattern to it. Oh hey kids, you walked into class with just a poem and now it's a thing. A big cool sounding thing.

Tricky tricker number two. While waiting for my ovaries to spontaneously combust I was in and out of napping. Greathusbandbob did a grocery store run, came home with a sweet note in a card (even though he actually said the opposite of what he meant suggesting that he wasn't happy - he forgot a word or two but I didn't tell him because I knew what he meant and that's how good valentines are- so I guess that is actually tricky trick number two.) Tricky trick number three was when he brought a big bouquet of roses after I thought the valentines card was the surprise. I've photographed and photoshopped it to hide the cluttered state of the kitchen table.


Tricky trick number four. Aunt isn't working as hard at her apartment as she did at rehab. Maybe she can't. I don't know. Based on the number of hours they had to spend with her she now has a 24 hr. private aide. She is also asking about denture replacement which will require sedation and the removal of 8 teeth. Neither the nurse nor I think her body is ready for that so tricky trick four is that when she is strong enough to be aide free, we will make the dental appointment for her. Also we will get her doctor to explain why it can't happen right away so she doesn't think the facilities nurse and I are in cahoots.

Tricky trick number five- winter and February is a cold month and dirty dog lying wooly worms. I don't really care if I get snow days. I'm ok with school this year. I just want cold fresh air waking up my face and body. Stupid global warming.

Tricky trick number six and the thing that made me think of the tricky trick theme in the first place. Tricky tricker phone call solicitation. Last night the phone rang. Greathusbandbob answered and said hello. No response. He's always curious so he *69's it and retrieves the number. (At this point if it were me and I didn't recognize the number I would cease to follow any path of inquiry). He calls the number and is told via standard recorded message that this number is no longer in service but if he would like to hear an important message, press 5. Again, curiosity and a higher tolerance for annoying than me, he presses 5 and is asked "do you have car insurance?" That's a pretty high end tricky tricker. Curious cats beware.

Not on the tricky tricker front but instead the sometimes I really like kids front; It's betweeen classes, my door is open, I am quietly playing an EZ but lovely arrangement of Moon River on the piano-like keyboard. A fifth grade boy peeks his head in, gives me the thumbs up and says "Get it, Mrs. Terry." Bwah ha ha ha! Although that could possibly be tricky tricker number seven if I actually made him think I had madd piano skillz.