Sunday, December 14, 2008

I love these dumb quizzes

You Are an Argyle Sweater

You are contemplative, brainy, and serious.

You don't take much lightly - life is too important for that.

You are a very determined person. You don't let anything stand in your way.

You think out your actions and act deliberately. You don't waste time, money, or resources.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tis the Season

I think I did this last year, but here goes again--

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper for everything.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artifical all the way! I've never had a real tree in my life.
3. When do you put up the tree? We weren't traveling over Thanksgiving this year, so the tree went up that weekend. A record for us!
4. When do you take the tree down? New Year's Day or so.
5. Do you like eggnog? I LOVE eggnog. It's so yummy.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember when I was about 8 and got a Shaun Cassidy t-shirt.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad. What do you get the man who has everything?
8. Easiest person to buy for? Gavin. He's knows exactly what he wants and isn't afraid to let everyone know it.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? No.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? We mail them but this is probably my least favorite thing about Christmas.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? The only think I can think of is a weird sweater with fringe around the bottom and the neck.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a toss-up between two of my childhood favorites: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (cartoon, of course) and "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I love the music.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The beginning of December
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Gingerbread!!
16. Lights on the tree? Of course!
17. Favorite Christmas song? My two favorites are "Oh Holy Night" and "What Child is This?"
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We always stay home for Christmas Day but usually travel the rest of the time.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Of course. Who doesn't know the words to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?"
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? My mom used to let my brother and me pick out one gift on Christmas Eve to open, but now we open them all in the morning.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crowds of people in all the stores. And the traffic.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't have a theme. We each get a new ornament every year.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? My own guitar and Wii Fit.
24. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
25. Favorite Christmas dinner? We always have ham.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hot off the needles

I finished another hat this morning. This one is for Marcus E. I used (mostly) the A Hat fit for a Boyfriend pattern but changed it some to add the cable twists. You know I'm all about cables. I changed the decreasing also so I could fit the right number of cables.
Now I'm off to grade some papers on the last day of Thanksgiving vacation. Nothing like waiting until the last minute...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Still sort of obsessing

about Twilight. I just took a break from Christmas decorating to take the Twilight Character quiz...

Here are G2 and I in the middle of decorating--

Friday, November 28, 2008

Catching up

This is a picture-heavy post. I've been too busy with the other hobbies in my life to blog. I'm also a procrastinator about putting pix on the computer. It's not one of my favorite jobs.

I've been knitting up a storm (for me anyway). I decided to make some knitted gifts. I, of course, can never wait until Christmas. This is the Utopia hat that I made for Ryan R., one of my helpers at school.This is the Basic Cable Hat from Stitch n Bitch Nation. I have to add another inch or so because the pattern is too short. This hat is for Hallie T., another helper.This hat is another Basic Cable Hat, made for Lindsey D., my next-door neighbor teacher friend.This is A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend, made for Evan W., who is my "little guitar buddy."
This is the same pattern, made for Marc H., a helper.These are the Garter Heel Socks, which I gave to my sister Tia as an early Christmas present. She's been wanting me to make her socks forever. I really liked this pattern. It's similar to the Jaywalker. It's very easy to remember, too.This pair of mittens, I must say, is the best I've ever done. Usually my thumbs turn out lumpy and crappy and too big. These are perfect. I just have to remember 17 stitches at the base of the thumb. This pair will be given to Nichole M.

Thanksgiving was great. We went to my mom's. The food was delicious. The kids were good and had fun.
Over this long weekend, I'm trying to get ahead on some things--cleaning the house, doing laundry, practicing guitar, starting on my next knitting project (another hat, I think), and working on my reading goal of 52 books by the end of the year. I'm on book 50 right now, so I'm in good shape. Oh, and the papers I have to grade! Can't forget those!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

RIP Michael Crichton

I really enjoyed his books and am saddened at his passing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Favorites Meme

I borrowed this meme from Dr. Girlfriend:

The “Favorites” Meme
1.Political show – I don't watch political shows.
2. Picnic food – Peanut butter and jelly
3. Mixed drink – Water with Crystal Light lemonade packets
4. U.S. President – Abraham Lincoln
5. Kind of student to teach – Enthusiastic, motivated sophomores
6. Hobby you do or wish you still did – Knitting, of course.
7. Sports commentator – Bob Costas
8. Sport to watch on TV – I'll watch football for a few minutes if forced
9. Animal to have as a pet – Cat, though I settled for a dog for the kids
10. Halloween costume you have worn – clown
11. Kind of dessert – Some sort of brownie a la mode with hot fudge
12. Comic strip – I don't read comics, either
13. Style or make of footwear – Usually my Birkenstocks knock-offs
14. Ice cream flavor – Coffee or cappuccino
15. College or university president – Gordon Gee??
16. Internet news source – Fox News
17. Vacation spot – Somewhere where I can sightsee and shop
18. Wine – Not really
19. Way to waste time instead of working – Talking to Mrs. Boyd next door
20. Student excuse for late work – They usually don't even bother with an excuse.
21. Reality show – Hell's Kitchen
22. Jewelry on a man – Ugh! No way! Especially pinky rings. Ugh!
23. Pizza topping – MMM. I love pepperoni and onion if it's cooked long enough to be crispy. I love BLT pizza, too.
24. Children's movie – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder)
25. Celebrity you wish would retire – Madonna

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SHOUT OUT to Mrs. Borton's class!!

Thank you to Dalton C. for showing me how to put a line through words just like this!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pushing Twilight

You all know my intense love for the Twilight series. I checked our school library before the first day of school and saw only one copy of Eclipse. Why have book three of a series and none of the others? Once school started I found out that few students had read any of the sereis. I'm on a Twilight campaign. Even though I swore to myself that I was NEVER EVER going to loan out my copies to students, I gave in. I found one or two students who had read some but not all of the series and we instantly bonded. They were so excited about the series but either couldn't find the next book or didn't have the money to buy it, so I loaned them what they needed, making them swear to me that they would be gentle with my beloved books. Ever so slowly, my "I'm never loaning my books out" wall began to crumble. The more I talked about the books, the more students became interested and soon enough all seven of my books, plus my two printed out copies of Midnight Sun, were loaned out. Here's what it's come to:This is my board at school. Students are in line to borrow my books. They ask me if so and so is almost done because they can't wait for the next one. Can I just say that this pleases me to no end. Not only am I creating a whole new pack? flock? herd? of newborns, I am getting them to READ!! (I also ordered the American Library Assn's Twilight Read poster, too. Having it laminated this weekend!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Music from My Graduation Year: 1987

OK. I'm dating myself, but I'm doing it anyway. I got this idea from Jess.

The rules:
A.) Go to
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C.) Bold the songs you like, italicize the ones you hate and underline your favorites. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about).

I can't figure out how to underline just one song, so I'm putting a star next to my faves.

1. Walk Like An Egyptian, Bangles
2. Alone, Heart*
3. Shake You Down, Gregory Abbott
4. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), Whitney Houston
5. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, Starship
6. C'est La Vie, Robbie Nevil
7. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake
8. The Way It Is, Bruce Hornsby and the Range
9. Shakedown, Bob Seger
10. Livin' On A Prayer, Bon Jovi
11. La Bamba, Los Lobos
12. Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Wang Chung
13. Don't Dream It's Over, Crowded House*
14. Always, Atlantic Starr
15. With Or Without You, U2*
16. Looking For A New Love, Jody Watley
17. Head To Toe, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
18. I Think We're Alone Now, Tiffany
19. Mony Mony, Billy Idol
20. At This Moment, Billy Vera and The Beaters
21. Lady In Red, Chris De Burgh
22. Didn't We Almost Have It All, Whitney Houston
23. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2*
24. I Want Your Sex, George Michael
25. Notorious, Duran Duran
26. Only In My Dreams, Debbie Gibson
27. (I've Had) The Time Of My Life, Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
28. The Next Time I Fall, Peter Cetera and Amy Grant
29. Lean On Me, Club Nouveau*
30. Open Your Heart, Madonna
31. Lost In Emotion, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
32. (I Just) Died In Your Arms, Cutting Crew
33. Heart And Soul, T'pau
34. You Keep Me Hangin' On, Kim Wilde
35. Keep Your Hands To Yourself, Georgia Satellites
36. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), Aretha Franklin and George Michael
37. Control, Janet Jackson*
38. Somewhere Out There, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
39. U Got The Look, Prince
40. Land Of Confusion, Genesis
41. Jacob's Ladder, Huey Lewis and The News
42. Who's That Girl, Madonna
43. You Got It All, Jets*
44. Touch Me (I Want Your Body), Samantha Fox
45. I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
46. Causing A Commotion, Madonna
47. In Too Deep, Genesis
48. Let's Wait Awhile, Janet Jackson
49. Hip To Be Square, Huey Lewis and the News
50. Will You Still Love Me?, Chicago
51. Little Lies, Fleetwood Mac
52. Luka, Suzanne Vega
53. I Heard A Rumour, Bananarama
54. Don't Mean Nothing, Richard Marx
55. Songbird, Kenny G
56. Carrie, Europe
57. Don't Disturb This Groove, The System*
58. La Isla Bonita, Madonna
59. Bad, Michael Jackson
60. Sign 'O' The Times, Prince
61. Change Of Heart, Cyndi Lauper
62. Come Go With Me, Expose
63. Can't We Try, Dan Hill
64. To Be A Lover, Billy Idol
65. Mandolin Rain, Bruce Hornsby and the Range
66. Breakout, Swing Out Sister
67. Stand By Me, Ben E. King
68. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, Genesis
69. Someday, Glass Tiger
70. When Smokey Sings, ABC
71. Casanova, Levert
72. Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
73. Rock Steady, Whispers
74. Wanted Dead Or Alive, Bon Jovi*
75. Big Time, Peter Gabriel*
76. The Finer Things, Steve Winwood
77. Let Me Be The One, Expose
78. Is This Love, Survivor
79. Diamonds, Herb Alpert
80. Point Of No Return, Expose
81. Big Love, Fleetwood Mac
82. Midnight Blue, Lou Gramm
83. Something So Strong, Crowded House*
84. Heat Of The Night, Bryan Adams
85. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You, Glenn Medeiros
86. Brilliant Disguise, Bruce Springsteen
87. Just To See Her, Smokey Robinson
88. Who Will You Run To, Heart
89. Respect Yourself, Bruce Willis
90. Cross My Broken Heart, Jets
91. Victory, Kool and The Gang
92. Don't Get Me Wrong, Pretenders
93. Doing It All For My Baby, Huey Lewis and The News
94. Right On Track, Breakfast Club
95. Ballerina Girl, Lionel Richie
96. Meet Me Half Way, Kenny Loggins
97. I've Been In Love Before, Cutting Crew
98. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right To Party, Beastie Boys*
99. Funkytown, Pseudo Echo
100. Love You Down, Ready For The World

I think I like music from other years a lot better than my own grad year or the music I liked at the time was not in the top 100. I only somewhat like most of the songs I boldfaced.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today's FO

Brooklyntweed's Habitat...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A "Snow Day" Already

Due to Hurricane Ike coming through, we didn't have school yesterday. Coshocton was harder than any of us are used to. Some of my students still don't have electricity today. Luckily, we didn't have any damage. We spent two hours picking branches in the yard. I consider myself very lucky. We live in the woods where a tree could fall on our house at any time. (I'm knocking on wood right now!) The boys still don't have electricity at their school and had a second day off today.

Here's how G2 spent part of his day. He loves Playdoh and loves to make me cookies, pizza, and to leave me messages...

I also made a dent in my second attempt at the Habitat hat. It's going a lot better now that I'm using a circular needle. Cabling in the round with DPN's is not enjoyable at all. I love this pattern, though. Lots of cables running everywhere.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I think I figured it out

I have solved the problem of chart reading, I think. I have color coded the different cable stitches so I don't have to keep double checking myself, which is what's taking me so long. It's only the 4th week of school and I'm sick already. I started feeling bad last night--sore throat, head pounding, achy, etc. I figured if I took Tylenol and went to bed early, I might beat it. Not a chance. I feel even crappier today.

Here's a pic of G2 from the football game last weekend. He and I wore our Bobcats stuff. We were way outnumbered. We sat in a sea of scarlet and gray. Every other Bobcat fan who walked by G2 either cheered him or gave him high-5. He, of course, ate up all the attention. I thought he looked so cute in his jersey and visor.
Then he wore the jersey to school last week and lots of kids told him "You suck" because he was wearing an OU jersey. G2 came home crying. Why do kids have to be so stinkin' mean?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Eclipse Socks Done!

I finished them yesterday at lunch. I've been able to knit three or four rows after I eat lunch every day. I loooovvvee this pattern. It's by MissJulie from Ravelry. She's working on a pattern for Breaking Dawn now. That'll be an upcoming project for me!

Right now I'm working on brooklyntweed's Habitat hat. This is the most complicated cabling I've ever done. Plus I'm reading the pattern from a chart, which I've only done a handful of times. And those projects were never cabled. Whooeee! It's a toughy. I thought about writing the entire pattern out, but that seemed like too much work, too. If anyone has any chart reading tips, please share.

On the homefront, we went to the Buckeyes-Bobcats game last weekend. It was pretty fun. Our alma mater, Ohio University, was winning until the 4th quarter. It was a good game. For me to enjoy a football game, it had to be good. I'll post pix in my next post.

**Happy Birthday to Bella Swan! (Yes, I know I'm a geek for wishing a fictional character a happy birthday)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A little bit of knitting

I've been working on Eclipse socks from missjulie's pattern. If you've been reading my blog, you know I LOVE the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. If you read the Twilight series, you know that the 3rd book Eclipse has a red ribbon on the cover. I made a pair for Katie for her birthday in December, but you know I wouldn't be able to hold on to them that long. I forgot to take a pic before I sent them, so I had her send me one on her phone. It was my first attempt at duplicate stitch. It didn't turn out too bad. I did learn a couple of things about how tight to pull the stitches and to actually start duplicate stitching before the bottom of the sock is closed up. That makes it a lot easier than sticking my hand all the way down the sock.I'm now making my own pair of Eclipse socks. I've turned the heel but stopped shortly after to start the duplicate stitch. Much easier! School has gotten off to a smooth start. So far so good with my classes. Lots of paperwork as usual, but the kids seem to be glad to be back. I didn't realize how much I missed last year's students. It was good to see them, too. Last year's sophomores was an awesome class! I bet this year will be good, too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I swear..

I have been thinking about this blog. I just haven't found the time to update it. This has been a busy summer. After we got back from down south, we've been off doing something. Now that I look back, it seems like we haven't really done anything to speak of.

I read the Twilight series several times, which consumed my life for most of the summer. I've also discovered the Southern Vampire Mysteries Series with Sookie Stackhouse. I just love that name. As you can see on my bookshelf, I'm trying to read Pride and Prejudice. Trying being the key word. The Twilight group on Ravelry has been my main internet focus. The girls (and one guy) helped keep me busy until the release of Breaking Dawn.

We just spent the weekend at Scout camp. We have a family campout just for our pack. That's the best campout. We all already know each other and the kids play so well together.

I've been knitting some, trying to get some presents (ssshhh, top secret) finished up before school starts. One week left of vacation and what do I have to show for it. I had intentions of refining some of my lessons over the summer, but that didn't happen. I haven't touched a single school-related thing since May 28 or whenever our last day was. And you know what? I don't feel guilty in the least.

Hope to post some pix soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Awesome dinner

Katie and I had a great dinner at The Melting Pot. We both have wanted to try fondue forever and Dad treated us to a sisters' night out. Everything was really yummy. My favorite, though, was the dark chocolate dessert. Think about this...a chunk of brownie dipped in dark chocolate. How sinful can dessert get!?!
This is Katie enjoying the actual dinner part of our dinner--looks like chicken!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We love Edward!

I got my sister Katie hooked on the Twilight books. She's in the middle of New Moon right now. We love Edward so much that we decided to get t-shirts. Cafe Press has a ton of cute shirts for Twilight. Here we are posing with ours.In case you can't read the shirts, here's a closeup:Oh how I wish that was true!!!

Tomorrow we're going on a hike. I have been working on a sock for SOS, just very slowly. Maybe I'll get a couple of shots with it on the hike tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Knitting on hold

I know Summer of Socks started yesterday, but I was trying--no, wanted to finish New Moon and Eclipse from the Twilight saga. What can I say? I love these books. I love these characters. And after looking around on the internet, I see that LOTS of other people love them, too. I can't wait for Breaking Dawn.

We got back from Myrtle this afternoon. G2's blisters popped. Yucky. Big wet spots on his shirt. The salt water from the ocean burned, though. Other than that, we had a good time. The boys start vacation bible school at my dad's church tomorrow night. It should be fun for them.

And no. No knitting whatsoever. Nada. Zilch. I feel like a bad "Summer of Socks"er.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Down South

We made it down to Dad's in South Carolina on Sunday. The trip went pretty quickly. We dropped off several bags of clothes for my nephew, along with an electric Jeep. He has really grown. His second birthday was about three weeks ago and he is in the "terrible twos" now. He likes to boss his 10-year-old cousin around.

I went to the bookstore yesterday and picked up all of Stephenie Meyer's books. I'm reading "New Moon" right now and am about halfway through. I've already cried because of the beginning of the book. Those of you who've read it know what I'm talking about.

We leave for Myrtle Beach tomorrow. We've never been there, so it should be fun. The only bad thing is that G2 has a bad sunburn from yesterday. I put SPF 50 on him, but we don't handle the sun well. I barely tan at all, no matter how much time I spend outside. The kids seem to burn first and tan later. Just call me "Pasty"!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Me: A to Z

I saw this meme on Major Knitter and thought it'd be fun.

ACCENT: Midwest accent.

BREAKFAST OR NO BREAKFAST: I love breakfast. My family often has breakfast for dinner because we love it so much.

CHORE I DON'T CARE FOR: Putting clean laundry away. I don't mind washing and drying, but I hate putting it all away.

DOG OR CAT: We have one dog, but I really a cat lover. We thought a dog would be better with two roughhousing boys.

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: My computer and I-Pod. I couldn't get my chores done if I didn't have my I-Pod!

FAVORITE COLOGNE: Right now I wear Eddie Bauer Pure.

GOLD OR SILVER: It doesn't really matter. I don't wear a lot of jewelry.

HANDBAG I CARRY MOST OFTEN: I just got a cute purse from Kohl's that I like a lot. Plus, it's big enough carry a small knitting project.

INSOMNIA: Not really, but I find myself sleeping less and less as the years go by. I don't really feel I'm missing out on sleep, though.

JOB TITLE: mom (of course) & HS English teacher

KIDS: 2 great boys--G1 (10) and G2 (7)

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: I live with my husband and my two sons.

MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: People tell me I'm really organized and that I have very nice handwriting.


OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAY: Tonsillectomy when I was 6, having two kids, and a gall bladder removal.

PHOBIAS: bugs--I am terrified of almost every kind of insect, including butterflies and moths. Especially moths. Only in the past year or two have I been able to catch lightning bugs. However, if I think about what I'm holding too much, I panic and freak out. Dumb, huh?

QUOTE: Let me get back with you on that one...


SIBLINGS: I have one full brother and two half-sisters.

TIME I WAKE UP: I naturally wake up between 5:00-7:00 a.m. I get up at 4:15 on school days and it's hard to get out of that habit.

UNUSUAL SKILL OR TALENT: I can say the alphabet backwards really quickly. I learned it on a record I had when I was a kid.


WORST HABIT: Biting my nails.

X-RAYS: Nope.

YUMMY STUFF: I love dark chocolate and just about any kind of cheese. I love cheese.

ZOO ANIMAL I LIKE MOST: Otters. They have to be just about the cutest!!

I'm tagging Dustina for this meme!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Catching up

***I'm having trouble rearranging these pictures after I upload them for some reason.

The first picture is a deer who was laying by our shed. This pic was taken from our bedroom window about 15 feet away. You can make out the deer to the left of the tree in the foreground. We see lots and I mean LOTS of deer around our house. More so in the winter when they are looking for food. This was a young buck. He had fuzzy little antlers.

I finally feel like I'm making progress in my knitting. I finished the Boogie Vest with Hilde's help last night at Knit Nite (my unofficial name for it). The pic is courtesy of G2, who has trouble holding the camera steady. He did manage to keep my face out of it, which I asked him to do. Hilde did the crochet edging for me. My crochet skills leave something to be desired.
This vest is thick and bulky. I'll have to save it for a really cold day. The only thing I really don't like about it is the neckline. There are like these points at the top of the V. I'd rather those not be there. They might not be so bad if I wear a collared shirt underneath.
Hilde was working on a Guideposts charity sweater and Dustina was working on three projects--her Bird in Hand mittens are gorgeous!!
Next week is Cub Scout day camp. I can't wait!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Waterfall rib socks done

I finished them about a month ago but haven't taken a picture of the completed pair. I really like how this pattern turned out and think it worked well with the yarn. The bottom pic without the flash is really dark, but the pic with the flash had a glare. I envy those of you who take awesome pictures!

I needed that!

I've been meaning to post for a while but haven't found the time or the willingness. Dustina tagged me for this meme, which is what I needed to get my rear in gear to update this blog.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

I had just had a beautiful baby boy six weeks before and was in the process of making the decision to quit my teaching job where I was commuting an hour one way to one where the commute was less than five minutes. Seems like a no-brainer, but I loved teaching French and the new job was English only. I did it anyway and I'm glad I did.

2. What were 5 things on my to-do-list today (not in any particular order)?
1. Go to school and attend a meeting on updating my certificate to a license.
2. Catch up on laundry.
3. Clean out the car.
4. Play a game of whiffle ball with the boys.
5. Work on my Boogie vest.

3. What snacks do I enjoy?
I love just about any kind of cheese. I also like semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies dunked in

4. Where are some places I've lived?
I was born in Australia (Dad was in the Navy). Other than that, the only place I've lived is

5. What things would I do if I were a billionaire?
I would pay off our bills, pay off our house, help my family with anything they might need,
and relax!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A big weight off my shoulders

It's amazing how much things can change in two days. I just posted about how much I had to do this week. Whew. At this point, most of it is done. I feel a lot better. I have some small assignments to grade this weekend and then final drafts of the research paper are due Monday.

Our Rock the Arts Festival is tomorrow. This is our first year for it and we've worked hard. I'm sure it'll turn out great. I'm in charge of the Dino dig in the morning and the ring toss in the afternoon. I also have several students reading their own poetry in front of an audience. Some of them wrote about very personal subjects that really surprised me. We're selling booklets of the poetry and I found it hard to believe they'd want everyone else to read what they've written.

Jennifer posted about the Summer of Socks at Jessica's blog, and I thought it sounded like a great idea. I like to do knitalong sort of things but don't like to feel rushed in my knitting. It starts to feel like a chore. This is just my speed (slow--ha ha). And like many knitters, I have a lot of sock yarn in my stash that I can use.

Maybe I can get a head start on some Christmas presents. I have a couple of patterns I'd like to try. I can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm drowning

in a sea of school work, that is.

To do this week:
1. Proofread 138 research papers
2. Sort and deliver all 98 Rock the Arts t-shirts to our school plus our 3 elementaries
3. Put together the Rock the Arts poetry book (40 pages back to back) and make 50 copies
4. Meet with others in my department to choose materials for next year's new reading class
5. Make sure all grades are up to date for interims reports due tonight
6. Stay one step ahead of my students

Can I say that I'm a little stressed?? No time for blogging!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Something I forgot

in last night's post, which I just read and it sounds like I'm really complaining, is that three other teachers and I have signed on to be theater advisors. We're not having a Drama Club per se, but our district does have money set aside for theater productions. There are three schools in our county and our kids have participated in the other schools' plays because we didn't have them. None of us even knew this money was there.

I am really excited about this. We've picked a play for this fall called "Frumpled Fairy Tales." It's a kids' production that has "Rumplestilskin," "Rapunzel," and "Little Red Riding Hood." I can't wait. We're going to have a meeting before school is out this year to see how many are interested.

If any of you have done theater and have suggestions, please feel free to contact me!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Has it been almost a month?

Time goes by fast. I've been so busy at school that I haven't had time to do much blogging.

G1 is having his first sleepover tonight. His 10th birthday is next week. 10. A decade. Where have the years gone? More about that next week.

I don't expect to get much sleep tonight. So far the activities have included football, cornhole, wrestling, pizza, more wrestling, a Guitar Hero battle (complete with a bracket), American Idol singoffs, cake, and indoor flashlight tag (it's raining). These boys are definitely not quiet about anything they've done. G1 is having a blast, though, so I don't mind. I am tired. It's 11:12. About an hour past my weekend bedtime.

I got my yarn in to finish my Boogie vest. I've only worked on it a little. Too many papers to grade.

I've had a lot of trouble keeping images in my sidebar. They keep disappearing and a box with an X shows up in their place. I don't know what to do!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's that you say? You actually finished something?

Yes, I did. I did indeed. I finished my Tweedy Vest. I think I must be the slowest knitter on the face of the earth. Some people crank out sweaters in what seems to be a month. I can barely do a vest in a year. The vest looks really good when I'm not wearing it. I had to stand very straight for this picture because the vest clings in places I really don't like. I don't know how to do shaping of any kind or if shaping would even solve that problem.

I started my waterfall rib socks over with the Cherry Tree Hill yarn. I wasn't happy with my inability to do short-row heels nor the length of the cuff. I don't like anklet-type socks. I either want footies or a 7 or 8 inch cuff. The cuff was just too short for me.

The kids and I had a good Easter break. Thursday the kids went to Granny's to color eggs with their cousins. Granny has them over every year and then the three families split the eggs.

Here's G1:

Here's G2:

Here are all the cousins together:

Friday we went to Columbus to the Ohio Historical Society Museum. The kids liked it a lot. Then we went to Build-A-Bear where G2 goes when he has some money burning a hole in his pocket. He is crazy for stuffed animals. The choice of animal this time was the Happy Chick for Easter. We had lunch at my brother and dad's favorite pizza place Massey's.

The break was short. We didn't get to see "Horton Hears a Who." Maybe next weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Seven weird things about me

This meme has been going around. I guess it's my turn now. Some of these things aren't exactly weird, just interesting.

1. I was born in Australia but moved to the US when I was six months old. My dad was stationed in the Navy there.
2. I am terrified of insects, especially beetles and anything that flies like moths, cicadas, grasshoppers, butterflies, etc. If I go outside at night, porch lights have to be turned off. If porch lights are on and moths have gathered, I'll find another door to go in. If I go camping, I will not stay still too long in one spot with the flashlight.
3. It really bothers me when a toothpaste tube is squeezed in the middle. I have to start from the bottom and work up the tube.
4. It also really bothers me when people put a roll of toilet paper or paper towels on so that the paper comes out the bottom instead of over the top. The pattern is on one side for a reason.
5. I can bend my arms backwards a little at the elbow. I can also twist my arms so that the elbows are turned all the way out.
6. I've been to France three times. I lived in Tours for four months while studying abroad. I love France and the French language.
7. I hate clothing that has any ruffles, eyelets, embroidery, appliques, or anything else old womany. Add to that polyester pants.
8. When I sleep, I absolutely cannot sleep on my back. I have to sleep on my side with one knee up to my chest.

We took the kids to see a local high school production of "Fiddler on the Roof." Two of my students were in it. One student was G2's teacher's son. The other was my kids' babysitter. It was very good. The lead actor had a full beard and an accent. We could tell he really practiced for the part. My kids did very well. The play was two and a half hours long. They got a little restless toward the end. However, this being their first play, they did a great job.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Early Intervention for Failing Students

We're starting a committee at my school to come up with a process to prevent kids from failing. Possibilities are regular phone calls home and a student-teacher contract. One of our assistant prinicipals asked any interested teachers to participate. Only 4 out of about 45 responded.

Does anyone out there have some sort of schoolwide process in place to prevent student failures? Our administration encourages us more and more to make sure all of our students pass. Trust me, that IS my goal. However, obstacles prevent that from happening. Obstacles such as laziness, stubbornness (SP?), lack of caring, etc. I printed out lists of missing work for all of my students and gave them some time in class to work on them. None did. They told me that as long as they are passing, they don't care what their grades are. Two of them are only passing because I round a 69.5% up. What are we teachers supposed to do about students like that?

In other school news, we only have one more day of the OGT left. The reading test is Monday because school was cancelled this past Monday. I think the break over the weekend will be good for the students because today's social studies test seemed long. I heard many times how tired the kids and teachers were today. One boy I had in my room during the test actually fell asleep!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Latest reads

I recently finished Blaze and Duma Key by Stephen King. I felt these two books were very much like his books from way back when. Back when I read his books voraciously. Back when I was in high school/college. I haven't been crazy about many of his books in the last ten years or so.

I have a student who loves Stephen King and read Duma Key right before I did. What he told me of the book made me think I wouldn't like it, but I did, especially the ending, even if it was (SPOILER ALERT?) sad.

The book I'm reading right now is Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. I teach To Kill a Mockingbird and I find it fascinating that Lee has remained so private, never granting interviews, and was such good friends with Truman Capote, a very odd person. I enjoy the way the book is written. The author, Charles J. Shields, uses a conversational style that is engaging. Many times I find biographies dry, but that's not the case with this book. I recommend it, especially if you like To Kill a Mockingbird.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Catching up

It seems every time I post, it's been a long time since my last post. I'll admit I haven't been doing much knitting. I stopped on my Boogie Vest because I'm out of yarn and haven't ordered more for fear the new won't match. I stopped on the Tweedy Vest because I don't want to seam it up.

One thing I haven't blogged about is our Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet. My boys earned their badges--Webelos I and Tiger Cub. We had our cake auction. Bob made the Webelos cake.

I made the campfire cake. It was fun!! We had "The Blizzard of 08" over the weekend. I don't think I'd call it a blizzard. We got out of school early Friday and ended up with 8 1/2 inches of snow on our back deck. I think Kacie should be living like in Minnesota or Alaska or somewhere more snowy than it is here. She absolutely loves the snow. She runs like this endlessly. Sometimes she does it in the house. She gets a crazy spell and will just start running back and forth. In the house, she fishtails off the back of the couch. She's funny to watch. Outside, she loves to have snowballs thrown at her so she can try to catch them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Okay, out of the saddle again

At my house, we keep passing sickness around. This time it's a cough/fever thing. G1 got it first and just like the last round of illness, I caught it from him. Thank goodness we had two snow days for us to recover some. Plus, we have Friday off for an inservice day. We teachers were able to take an online course on Value-Added Learning. If we did that, we would be allowed to skip Friday's inservice. I'm so glad I did it.

I've been working on my Boogie Vest. No pix to post. I have about 15 more rows to go on the back and then I start the front.

I temporarily gave up on the short-row heel sock. I haven't been feeling up to ripping back and trying to put stitches back on the needles.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Okay. After a week of illness in the house, I'm getting back into the swing of things at school. G1 woke up a week ago Saturday at 4 am with a stomach bug and was sick until Tuesday. While I was home with him on Tuesday, I felt a sore throat/flu/cold thing coming on and went to school Wednesday feeling like complete crap. I came home Wednesday, took three Tylenol, and took a nap. I woke up feeling a lot better. I woke up Thursday morning feeling really well. I came home Thursday and felt a little queasy. By 5:30, I had the "symptoms" of the stomach bug. I stayed home again Friday and didn't start to feel better until yesterday afternoon. Good thing, too, because I had preordered tickets to the Hannah Montana 3-D movie in Columbus for G2 and his cousin. The movie was okay. Not worth $15 a ticket. I guess it beats having to fight all those crazy parents fans at the real concert and paying tons of money for the trinkets that the kids have to have.

I haven't touched anything from school since Thursday. Much of that time was spent feeling like I was at death's door. So I'm spending tonight trying to get caught up enough to be prepared for tomorrow. I feel very out of touch.

I haven't even been able to take a picture of the yarn I won from Beatriz. I haven't decided which sock pattern I want to make yet, but I've wanted solid color sock yarn for a long time. I don't get to yarn shops often because they're so far away and I'd much rather touch it before I buy it. Getting Bea's yarn was a welcome addition to my stash. As soon as I finish my Cherry Tree Hill socks, I'll get busy with Bea's yarn. THANKS, BEA!!

Speaking of my Cherry Tree Hill socks, I attempted my first short-row heel. I need to post a picture of it to get advice. I must not have turned and wrapped the right way because I have holes. I think I can fix them later, but I don't want to make the same mistake on sock two. Any advice for a newb with short-row heels??

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Won!

I won!! Busy Bea, who knits some of the most beautiful sweaters, had a recipe contest. She wanted a quick meal for a weeknight. I love this soup, which is actually more like a stew. It's thick with lots of good chicken and vegetables and a little bit of spice. I actually add a little more red pepper to mine because DH likes it bland. Here's the recipe.

Chicken Creole Soup serves 3-4

1 T butter
1 med onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 t garlic, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
2 T all-purpose flour
2 c chicken broth
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground red pepper
1/2 c uncooked long-grain rice
1 c water

Melt butter in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Cook onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and chicken in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in flour. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly until flour is light brown. Stir in remaining ingredients except the rice and water. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to med-low. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook rice and water as directed on package. Stir cooked rice into soup. Remove bay leaf.

It makes great leftovers, too. I usually double the recipe for the next night.

On to FO's. This is my first FO of 2008. It's the Simple Ribbed Scarf by Jessica Kaufman. I like how it looks like stockinette, but it doesn't curl up. I think I've blogged about this yarn before. It's from the Universal Yarn Co. I love the colors, but it had a couple of things wrong with it. First of all, one ball had two knots in it about a yard apart. So in order to keep the stripes in the same order, I had to cut off about 3 yards at the beginning of the ball, which went unused. The second thing was even though I got 3 balls from the same lot, one of them had speckles of the grayish color throughout the ball. The other two balls didn't do this. I definitely won't be using this yarn again.

So here's the scarf. I do like how it turned out and it's very warm. Sorry the picture is a little blurry.

The next FO is this pair of socks. It's Austerman Step yarn, which has the jojoba oil. It felt very nice to knit with and these socks are way softer than what I normally knit. I haven't worn them yet, though. I love the different shades of green. They are more matchable to what I wear.
Yesterday we had Cub Scout bowling day. We had a pretty good turn out. Out of 45 scouts, about half came. Considering the weather, that's good. The wind chill yesterday was about 10 degrees, so I think a lot of people chose not to go out. This morning we woke up to 3 degrees with a wind chill of 5 below. A couple of weeks ago, it was 55 degrees. That's Ohio weather for you! Anyway, here's G1 with a friend.
Here's G2 with his cousin.
Here's one of the current projects. The pattern is Waterfall Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm using Cherry Tree Hill yarn. This is the first time I've knit with it. I've always wanted to because I've heard so much about it from other bloggers. It's very soft, too. The color is called Wild Cherry and it's not as pink as it looks here. It's more of a deep pink/fuschia/red.
Last of all, this is the end of the semester for us. I've started entering exam grades and figuring averages, but I've only done three out of eight classes. I'll be spending my evening on the computer doing that.

Then, there are papers for next semester to grade already. I've been reading on English teacher blogs how better to keep up with grading and Dr. Kirk gives some really good organizational tips. It seems that no matter how much I try to get caught up, I never do. Using some of Dr. Kirk's tips helps me not to feel so frazzled and stressed about it all. If anyone else out there has any suggestions on keeping up with grading essays, please let me know!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Books I've Read 2008

1) Blaze--Stephen King
2) Feud: Hatfields, McCoys, and Social Change in Appalachia, 1860-1900--Altina Waller
3) Trouble in Mind--Leon Litwack
4) Duma Key-Stephen King
5) Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee-Charles J. Shields
6) The Bell Jar--Sylvia Plath
7) The Jungle--Upton Sinclair
8) Into the Devil's Den--Dave Hall et al
9) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer
10) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer (yes, I read it again)
11) Plain Truth--Jodi Picoult
12) But Inside I'm Screaming--Elizabeth Flock
13) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer
14) Eclipse--Stephenie Meyer
15) The Mercy of Thin Air--Ronlyn Domingue
16) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer (3rd time)
17) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer (2nd time)
18) Eclipse--Stephenie Meyer (2nd time)
19) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer (3rd time)
20) Eclipse--Stephenie Meyer (3rd time)
21) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer
22) Change of Heart--Jodi Picoult (only read 1/2; couldn't get into it)
23) Dead Until Dark--Charlaine Harris
24) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer
25) Living Dead in Dallas--Charlaine Harris
26) Breaking Dawn--Stephenie Meyer
27) Breaking Dawn--Stephenie Meyer
28) Club Dead--Charlaine Harris
29) Dead to the World--Charlaine Harris
30) Dead as a Doornail--Charlaine Harris
31) The Shack--William Young
32) Definitely Dead--Charlaine Harris
33) All Together Dead--Charlaine Harris
34) From Dead to Worse--Charlaine Harris
35) Guilty Pleasures--Laurell Hamilton
36) The Laughing Corpse--Laurell Hamilton
37) Circus of the Damned--Laurell Hamilton
38) The Lunatic Cafe--Laurell Hamilton
39) Bloody Bones--Laurell Hamilton
40) The Killing Dance--Laurell Hamilton
41) Burnt Offerings--Laurell Hamilton
42) Obsidian Butterfly--Laurell Hamilton
43) Blue Moon--Laurell Hamilton
44) Narcissus in Chains--Laurell Hamilton
45) Cerulean Sins--Laurell Hamilton
46) Incubus Dreams--Laurell Hamilton
47) Micah--Laurell Hamilton
48) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer
49) Danse Macabre--Laurell Hamilton
50) The Harlequin--Laurell Hamilton
51) Blood Noir--Laurell Hamilton
52) Grave Sight--Charlaine Harris
53) Grave Surprise--Charlaine Harris

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Last FO of 2007

I finished my very cabley mittens on New Year's Eve on the way back from our weekend in Columbus.

DH treated us to a weekend at Easton over the weekend before New Year's. We stayed at the Hilton, which is a big splurge for us. We had fun. The kids got to swim a lot and I got to shop a lot. I bought a couple of new sweaters and a new peacoat. The hotel was nice because it was within walking distance to Easton. We had dinner the first night at Brio and the second night we ordered in from P.F. Chang's, which is DH's favorite. Me, not so much. I'm not crazy about anything I've ever had there.

We also went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was okay.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I took the kids around Columbus and showed them where I used to live and work in high school and college. I showed them different places I remember from when I was growing up.

In the knitting department, I frogged my chevron scarf and have started a ribbed scarf using this pattern. It's turning out very nice. I am definitely more pleased with this pattern. It makes the scarf squishy and more cozy. I want to try to finish my tweedy vest before school starts. However, we still need to take down the Christmas decorations--the most depressing part of Christmas.

Oh and of course I still haven't finished my schoolwork I had planned to get done during vacation. Maybe I'll get that done, too ;)