Sunday, September 18, 2005

Feeding my soul

I've learned to do without grand adventures and wild spending sprees.
The ring leader asked us to speak about what magazines we subscribe to. My answer is: None.
I have a couple reasons.
I can't afford to subscribe to magazines. That's one of those added luxuries that many people eliminate when they are trimming budgets. My budget is already trimmed by three kids.
My second reason is that I rarely like most of anything in any magazine. I might flip through an entire magazine and find one or two things that briefly catch my eye. If I happen to find a few more than that at a bookstore, then I'll buy that issue.
I don't need ideas from a book or magazine. I have more ideas than I'll ever get around to making in my head. I do, however, like to keep up with the newer techniques and materials available. But, I've kind of rambled off my thought for the day...
I don't need much to make me feel like I've had some nourishment for my soul.
I had a wonderful time last night meeting with my "woman friends" whom I've missed seeing for so long. We could have sat there all night and chatted about everything. We are all very creative people, but it's been a while since we've actually made stuff. I see the corner turning on that. I've not made a doll in Months. But, my creativity in that direction was encouraged again last night. I'm just beginning to see figures in my art on the horizon. I'm supposed to make a masked faced bed doll and have been sluggish to do that.
Today, I had to take Delaney to get her stitches out. Yesterday my DH took her, but she pitched such a fit, everyone gave up and told us to soak them and try again today. So, she was fine, until it came time to actually do it, then she pitched a fit again. We spent two hours there and, eventually, we just all held her down and did it. She was so mad at us, she refused the lollipop at the end. But, of course, she looks so much better without the scabs and threads hanging from her lip. She was ready to attend her best friend's Birthday party.
I was in such shaky shape, I decided to stop at the Thrift shop in town on the way home. I spent about 2 hours there and felt wonderful when I left. I found some small treasures that made me happy. Then, driving by the Presbyterian church, they were having a sale, so we stopped there too. I found a humorous book on the Greek culture for the kids, a poster of the Aztec calendar, a box of fabric scraps and trim, and bag with an old cloth doll in very bad shape, but also some clothes and an adorable pair of doll socks.
Sometimes I feel badly about what I see at some of these sales. Today, there were whole boxes filled with scrapbooks which were filled with poem after poem, hand written and pasted on each page. There were also several posters of printed poems, speeches, essays, etc... And , again, boxes filled with these sorts of things framed. I could tell that whoever owned them was, at one time, a school teacher. I could tell that this person had to have been elderly, because the handwriting was that older style. I know these things would have been a scrapbooking/ collage artist's dream find. I don't have room for all of that stuff. I do, however, have a few things like that from my great Aunt's stuff. Her husband was quite the wordsmith and humorist.
I don't have the space to feel sorry for other people's stuff, even though I DO feel sorry for it.
Someone cared enough to sit down and collect all these words. These words were so important, they made whole collections of them. Now, the owner is probably gone and someone cleared out their belongings. That's the typical story in this area anyway.
I rediscovered that I have fun looking through stuff at church sales. I remembered the feeling of acquiring something that could be useful to me and my art. I need to remember to put the church sale date on my calendar so I don't work that day. (I missed the three big ones last year subbing)
I saw, through those scrapbooks, that there's a passion in your avocations, a joy you receive from making, collecting and doing that is not appreciated financially in this country. Maybe everything I do will end up at some church sale too. That's ok. It made me happy doing it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Day after the fall-
Here's a picture of our sweet Delaney, the day after her Bike wreck. It was a traumatic experience for us all. It happened about 6:00 pm on Friday and I discovered it when I got a call from her friend, Krystal's mom. When I arrived, Their grandpa was doing his best to clean her up and stop the bleeding. Poor Krystal looked so scared. I thanked them, gave her a quick hug and rushed D home. Called my DH who was on his way home. Put D. In the shower real quick to get most of the blood off her. By the time we got her redressed, Dad was home and we took off for the ER. Her face hurt so much, she barely spoke about her arm hurting until we were in the room for a half hour.
Xrays showed her nose was fine but her arm was broken. (I would have thought the opposite)
She had to have 6 stitches on the outside of her bottom lip, but she has others inside they say will heal faster without. She was so scared about getting stitches. After they deadened her lip, they cleaned out the wounds as best they could and the DR. Pulled out a piece of wood about a half inch long. The stitches went fine.
She was so good and curious still through it all. We always try to tell the truth to our kids and if she wanted to see the needle the Dr. Used to sew her up, we made sure she did. As we were leaving, she told the nurse, "sorry that there was so much blood". And then, "Thank you for helping me." Always the one who thinks of others.
She insisted I drive her to see Krystal today so she could know she was alright and again, she (and I) thanked everyone there again. Krystal gave her a card she made and a green animal of some sort. So, we have a great kid here and she has great friends. I saw the scene of the accident so I could make better sense of what happened.
The street she was riding on had a steep hill ending at a road and a house sitting across the intersection. She failed to make the turn, drove straight, across the small yard and smashed into the house with great force. The people are gone for the weekend so I did my best to fix the damage there. I tried to replace the block, the planter and the ceramic decorations. There's nothing I could do about the smear of blood on their house or the wood chip out of it, but I hope they understand.
She is concerned about missing school. I'm sure anxious to show her friends her misfortune as well as concerned about doing her school work. I'm not worried about her keeping up. She's an A student. I just don't want to have to tell her yet that, until she gets a cast on and can eat/drink something, she can't go. I'm hoping she can do a bit better on the intake of fluids tomorrow and Monday, we can get an appointment to get the cast on.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Yesterday I subbed for the first time this year. I had a good time working with the special needs kids.. Well, not quite sure what you call this class actually. They are kids who have learning issues that aren't too bad. This is actually the hardest class for me to teach. It's agonizing to see how slowly they work and still make mistakes and it's hard for me to not just jump in there and do it.
In contrast, I subbed Upper grades in HS English today. It feels almost like a vacation working at the HS. The kids either do the work or don't but are mostly quiet about it either way. Most of these kids are juggling a lot in their life. School, extra curriculum activities, jobs, family/church stuff. They are always on the go. I saw a lot of kids working to get the assignments done in class, even other assignments, because they really don't have time for Homework.
I got to discuss and begin reading 'the crucible" today, watch part of Hamlet (Mel Gibson's version) , oversee the school paper, and read two shortstories about personal narratives. Not a bad way to pass the day, I gotta say.
We've begun to get the first katrina victims trickling into our schools, but through family connections, not shelters. The girl today should have gone to another school, but they were so small, they had nothing to offer her. She's not at all happy about missing her senior year with all her friends at her home school. But, I overheard her say she'd do this and go back for college, so she has a plan. Her accent was adorable.I wonder if she thinks we have one?
Garrison kellior always said Missouri is a "border state". Why? Because it's too far north to be southern, but too far south to me northern. It's West of the Miss. But it's not far enough west. It's on the border of all these regions. I always tell people I live where the Weather Man stands when they talk about the East coast waving one hand, and the west coast waving the other. If they have time, they'll throw an arm in the air and talk about Chicago, but by then, time is up and I never get to see my weather.
Anyway, an easy day at work, but not what I planned to do with my day.
Then, when my kids came home, DD#1 started sharing with me her frustration with her Principal's policies. I believe she calls her the" Evil Principal". Somewhere along the line she went postal about it all, crying and screaming, etc. Well, Hormones are new to her and it's time for them to be raging, but I can't stand seeing my DD#1 like this.
There are things I do not like about what's going on at her school. The reason for it, some I'm guessing at, some I think need to be explained.
Last year, I had issues, but they were all mixed up. Some needed to be addressed by the Principal, some by the gifted teacher, some by my daughter. All three fell down on their jobs at some point last year. I do not want to see a repeat of that this year.
I'm already seeing some conflict in the pictures that were drawn for us at open house. I'll see what I think tomorrow when I work there.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day Monday-
We ALL sort of took it easy today. Psyche, our cat, included. I started snapping pictures and interrupted her nap. Psyche is a shelter kitty. Delaney and I picked her out when she was a small kitten after we lost 2-K from a mysterious illness the vet never pinpointed. At first, she was reluctant to eat, but by the time she was old enough to be fixed, she was a fat kitty. It's hard to know where she stops and her hair begins. On the surface, she doesn't look that fluffy, but when she rolls over, you see her luxurious and SO soft hair. She's not exactly a loving kitty, but she's getting better as she ages. She likes the kids more than she does me. I'm allowed to only pet certain parts of her on her request, not mine. Maybe in a couple more years, she'll actually like me, but I'm not holding my breath.
By the way, she's lounging on our loveseat with Tyler's baby quilt in the background. That quilt was made by my friend Rhee Batey 14 years ago. Back then, we both were just becoming interested in quilting, but I gravitated towards applique where I could make "pictures" from fabric while she liked the patchwork designs. Since then, I've learned to appreciate the beauty of the patchwork patterns and made a few quilts like that myself. I still tend to gravitate to making pictures with my quilts.

Labor Day weekend-
The neighbors across the street invited us to join them on the lake for a cookout on Sunday. They are what we call "weekenders" because they recently bought this house just for holidays. Eventually, they hope to retire here. (at least Ron does) Debbie seems to be one of those people who has done just about everything. She's a school principal and an ER nurse, for example.
We had met their son before but not their daughter. Both are in college.
Anyway, we live on the Lake and have for 10 years, but have spent very little time on boats on the lake. I enjoyed the totally different perspective of our home, from the water side. As you can see, it's a beautiful lake and the Corp of Engineers are rabid about keeping the edges as unspoiled as possible. There are very few opportunities to see the homes hidden by the trees, but they are there.
Maura and Tyler enjoyed riding the jet skis. My DH tried it out a bit later and then I rode along behind him on the trip back. It was an experience! Not sure I felt exactly safe, but that's been an issue I've been struggling with lately anyway. On a quieter day on the lake, I could see me slowly riding along the coves checking out the scenery. (it could happen)
I think we all needed this day in the sun. DH and I really needed the break from the news. We were getting a bit obsessive about watching news channels about Katrina and feeling more and more helpless. I was waking up every night with thoughts of what to do. "Those kids in the shelters will need books to read." or nightmares about people coming into the house and not leaving.
The day in the sun, having a day with our new neighbors, was a great stress reliever. But, today, we had a general lazy day.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Quilt for Katrina Victims

Today, we didn't have school because of the Labor Day holiday. We had two friends over to spend the day with us. While they were here, we worked on a quilt for a child who has lost everything. You can see by their faces that they are very proud of helping others.
I know that everyone will need money. I know that the Red Cross needs money. I don't have a lot of that. Sadly, I'm not famous enough to get on TV and ask people to send money just because I ask either. My talents lie elsewhere.
These kids need to know that people are hurting. They need to know that something they can do can to change that. Their school is collecting money and that's fine, but you know the money comes from the parents. These kids aren't out there working! Money is almost meaningless for them. They need to know that what they did today was important and that it is part of something that will touch another life.
When a crisis happens, it is an educational moment for the children that we ignore at our civilization's peril. This is how a child learns empathy. This is when they learn what they do, large or small CAN make a difference. I'm not saying a quilt can change the world, but the idea behind the quilt can.