Saturday, February 27, 2010

In like a lion...out like a lamb...

Thoughts on Valentines Day (which is over and done with):
I don't place any value in Valentine's Day as a day to celebrate love. As hard as it might seem, you have to do that daily. I do love red though, and hearts, and cards. So in some ways I like being reminded that I should cut my cookies out into heart shapes (though I wish I did it more often), and use red sprinkles. I made these delicious cookies from Everyday Food for my class. I was scared they wouldn't like the deep dark chocolate flavor, so I added a buttercream icing and sprinkles. Yum. I knew I would barely have enough dough to make the 19 I needed. I miscounted ate two that night, and as I was putting them up to take the next day, I counted and only had 18. I had just enough dough to bake a round cookie about the size of a silver dollar. I was thinking of all the excuses I would have to give the next day, how I would make it up. Luckily, a student was absent and I got stuck with the little sad cookie. I have this one student who always saves any candy or baked good I bring in to take half to her mom. I think that's so sweet.

I cannot wait until spring. I think I've said that a thousand times this week. I took this picture last year when spring started to creep up around my parent's house. This year dad is going to plow a small plot for me (since Matt has declined to participate in the garden project) to attempt to grow my own vegetables. I could mooch of their garden and help out here and there, but I want to try this out on my own. I want to to learn all I can, and do plenty of hard work. I can't let all the knowledge my parents have stay just with them and go with them. It's valuable and useful. I want to have that knowledge too. I want to do it all. Which is why I'll start off very small. I want to have three varieties of tomatoes, including romas, beefsteak, and a heirloom variety, two zucchini plants, two squash plants, three bell pepper plants, and a row of cucumbers, two basil plants, thyme, cilantro, parsley, and dill. Too much for a small garden? Probably. I'm not a huge fan of beans, so I left those out. Dad will plant an obscene amount of hot peppers and corn, so there's no need to plant any of those.
Watermelons? Cantaloupe? I don't know yet. Still pondering.

Reasons to pine for spring: dirt, skirts, birds, noise outside, sun, green, buds, flowers, spring break = time for projects.

I get five weeks off for summer since my school is year round. My big project for summer is a quilt. Researching patterns and how to. Luckily my mom and Matt's mom know tons about the subject.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Dime a Dozen

I'm sorta feeling like my blog is like a million other women who keep themselves busy with arts and crafts, baking, and buying cute stuff online. I don't think any of these things are invaluable, but I still feel a little like a copy cat. I have no idea how to make this more my own, but the question is on my mind.
Thought on Walmart: I shop at Walmart. I tried to boycott the place in high school after doing a paper on child labor and reading Nickel and Dimed, but I find it hard to keep away from the low prices that are driving countless small business out of business. I go into Walmart for a few quick items and walk out completely depressed. Walmart is the perfect place to go to see people at their ugliest. Aisle after aisle I hear parents shouting at their children, setting the perfect example of how not to treat a human being. If the parent isn't shouting, then their the children are screaming, demanding stuff, angry and annoyed. Why Walmart? Why don't I see this when I enter the Weaver, a local co-op? Climbing off my high horse now.

I got two of my favorite birthday gifts from the husband and the bff:

I love small jewelry, especially jewelry based off nature. The pine cones are from Light Years (thanks Kerri!) and the olive branches are from Urban Outfitters.

I've also found a lot of older pieces that I'm falling in love with. I can't remember where this broach came from. It was either my Nanny who gave it to me for my tenth birthday, or my Great Aunt Irene for a birthday years ago. I love the way it looks on a chunky scarf.

Bad things about today:
cold rain
hyper students
long staff meeting
5:45 ending sleep

Good things about today:
warm classroom
warm apartment
hugs from students
chicken pie
sweet tea
husband's smile

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Banjo Man

Had to post these two videos of Matt giving his first concert.

Tomorrow will start a very normal week not filled with delays and work days. Just like returning from a long break, I am uneasy at the thought.

I will say that I'm excited about this! I have decided that once a week I am going to create a share time in my classroom during recess. So the kids won't complain about losing some of their recess time, I'm going to bring some baked goods to eat while we share. I made some banana bread with some very ripe bananas for tomorrow. I'm going to have everyone share their most proud moment in fourth grade so far. I'll need to find a range of different types of questions to ask them. My goals are these: to create a better since of belonging in the classroom, to get to know and respect one another more, and to have their few minutes in the spotlight. I'll update on how this goes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Take a breather...

Sewing is addictive and at times annoying. After completing a skirt that is just all together funky looking, I decided to pack up the sewing machine and store it in the closet for a few days, or weeks, but certainly not months. It is a learning process, and I find myself being more patient with my students when learning double digit multiplication, because I get the same frustrated look on my face when trying to sew in a zipper. Mom just informed me today you need a zipper foot to sew one on! Stupid pattern didn't mention that. I didn't want to put my machine up on a bitter note, so I made a baby bib for my imaginary baby...or one of my cousin's youngin's.
Another reason I'm contemplating putting sewing aside is because I want to focus on crocheting a hat with really long ear flaps you can use as a scarf, and I got to get going. My March issue of Martha Stewart just arrived full of flowers, gardens, and preserving recipes. I am anticipating spring's arrival because I can't wait to get my hands dirty in my parent's garden. Apartment living is affordable and easy, but nature isn't as accessible.
School was canceled again today, fourth time this week, and even though I am regretting all the work we will have to make up for, I am very grateful for a restful break. It's raining outside, my husband is sleeping next to me on the couch, and I have had time to get away from the consuming life of a school teacher.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My First Big Disaster

If I didn't have a full time job I wouldn't get so impatient and rushed to complete a project. Last night I was frantically following the unclear, unspecific directions on the pattern (curse those cheap Walmart patterns!) trying to get my skit finished. I knew the waste band was going to be too small, and that if I didn't properly iron the gathered sides then it would be a disaster! I should have listened to what I was thinking. I spent a good thirty minutes with a seam ripper tugging at tiny stitches, flustered and ready to give up. I haven't touched the skit since. I'm going to mom...I'm in need of some guidance. What are mothers for?

By placing the skirt to the side, I was able to focus on other things, like baking some chocolate almond biscotti. The angry chicken blog I am obsessed with has really turned me into a book purchasing fend. I bought The Craft of Baking, which I used to make the biscotti. I'm really impressed with it. I also bought Make Your Place Affordable and Sustainable and The Herbal Home Remedy Book. I'm really not allowed to buy one more book from Amazon for the rest of the year.

Not only have I been purchasing books, but I recently spent an hour looking at for vintage fabrics. What do I need vintage fabrics for!?! I'm screwing up Walmart muslin! I saw that most were low in stock and just had to buy them. My favorite was a fabric called Paris in the Springtime. NPR was giving a free trip to Paris for "you and a sweetheart." Matt and I would be in heaven in France. The way they look at food as being a part of who they are is something Matt and I really relate to. We joked that if Sarah Palin ever gets into some sort of federal office, then we're on the first flight over to live under Parisian bridges. We're planning a trip for 2015. We're saving money, but I have a feeling that will go toward student loans and babies in the future. We just might be able to do it, if I stop buying books and fabrics online!

Other things on my mind:
I respect President Obama so much for his Q&A with Republicans. He renews my faith in politicians. Anybody wonder why Fox didn't broadcast it? Hmm...I wonder why.

The Hobbit- I'm currently rereading this great tale and have decided that Matt and I are closely related to hobbits. The food obsession, the need to surround yourself with comfort and friends, bright clothes, hairy feet, small stature. We're hobbits. I'm okay with being a hobbit. I'm not a tall, mysterious elf. I'm a life loving hobbit.