Sunday, August 25, 2013

One Week Into School

This first week was killer. Early 5 AM mornings, making breakfasts and school lunches (nobody wants the same thing), extra mid-week laundry, and still late midnight and 1 AM bedtimes (babysitting granddaughter, her mommy works late shifts). I was joking with my husband on the first 1 AM night that we were going to have to have concentrated sleep to get our 8 hours in in only 4. He said, “Ja, maybe we should drink some energy drinks before we go to bed so that we can sleep faster.” Too bad it doesn't work that way, but babysitting my little sweetheart is totally worth every second of lost sleep.

When we picked up the school schedules, before school started, both of my children's schedules were messed up. Thankfully, they were given corrected schedules on the first day of school. I think we have all the extra class fees paid, have bought the extra supplies each teacher requires for their class, and filled out and signed all the forms sent home.

My son seems to have no homework. My daughter has hours of homework every night. She has found a way to get it all finished and still have time to visit with her friends. I have an idea of what they like to eat, and how long it takes to get it all ready. And I'm kind of proud of myself, I made homemade bread, apple cranberry muffins, kept up with all the laundry, sorted though some old files, and nobody missed the bus last week. I expect mornings to run smoothly now, despite the lack of sleep.

Until I'm six feet under
I don't need a bed
Gonna live while I'm alive
I'll sleep when I'm dead
Till they roll me over
And lay my bones to rest
Gonna live while I'm alive
I'll sleep when I'm dead

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Charity Begins at Home, with Hats

I'm working on hats again. I hope to have a bunch of them finished by mid October when it starts to get a little chilly here. I have a friend going through chemo right now, so I will bring these to her to pick from. The rest will be saved and added to until October when I will donate them to the Waterfront Rescue Mission, and/or some other local charity. The gray one in progress will look like the cranberry colored ones above it.

Charity begins at home. This is how I live. Take care of my family first, then others around me, then the rest of the world. I see no need to send aid to other countries when there are so many people around me (in my city) that need help. Hats may seem silly, but I have yarn, and knitting hats is one thing I do.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Joy can spring like a flower

“For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tatter's Guild Meeting, August

Our Tatter's Guild, this month, started tatting a Christmas tree angel. The lady with the copies of the pattern could not make it to the meeting, but a different lady with the pattern did come. So, thanks to my wonderful gadgety cell phone, I photographed the pattern and can start my angel. But...I can't start yet...because I cut my left hand index finger (crucial to right-handed tatting) last Thursday when I was chopping leftover chicken for chicken salad.

Oh, DUH! Typing that made me remember that I can tat left-handed. Super cool! I can start mine. I haven't tatted left-handed in a while. This will be slow, but fun. Woo-hoo! 
Round 1 makes a circle with 16 rings and 16 chains. 14 more of each to tat.
At the meeting, we also talked about stringing pearls. What string to use. How to prepare it. Two different ways to tie the knots between the pearls. How to use the little tool that helps tie the knots, and how to tie the knots without the tool. A pearl necklace is a very involved project. They may revisit this topic in a couple months, and demonstrate it with the proper thread and pearls, instead of the on-hand substitute things we used last Sunday. Now I'm going to start that angel, so I don't get too far behind.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Glorious Gladiolus

Magic is in the air which you breathe,
O' strange and lovely gladioli!
Your blade shaped leaves and tall spikes
Have caused you to be christened valiant 'sword lily'.

Towering stately over other worthy neighbours,
You are a constant reminder of the strength of character over glory,
and the power of sincerity over artificiality.

Here are the charming salmon orange tones,
and there a glad pink dwarf stands
Why, look at the regal dew-adorned purple and the gay yellow,
Even while a red eyed white bride blushes quietly in the corner; sweet and mellow.

Every warm and passionate color,
Spreading the bewitching sheen of remembrance and love
And amongst its dazzling plethora of displays,
There are no 'blues' to talk of woes and melancholy days.

Offering the eye a visual cacophony of shapes and rainbows,
Representing the victorious gladiators who defeated all foes,
A jewel of this earth, August's birthflower,
Charismatic, brilliant and beauteous
Oh! gladiolus, you are truly glorious!

Written by apramita

Monday, August 12, 2013

Gladiolus - August birth month flower

The gladiolus is the birth month flower of August, bringing luck to all births in August. Symbolically this flower signifies remembrance, infatuation, and strength of character. Its name comes from Latin's "gladius" meaning "sword" for its sword shaped leaves. This flower has also represented the Roman gladiators who carried swords. In mythology, there are many tales told of gladioli springing from blood shed by a sword. The flowers are available in a varietyof colors, that include red, pink, yellow, purple, orange, white andbi-colors. The gladiolus is also known as the sword lily or the gladiola. The Gladiolus is native chiefly to tropical and South Africa, but are easy to grow and are widely cultivated.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Meandering through a bookstore, without the need to buy a specific book, like a school required summer reading book for my child, I will, most definitely, be judging the books by their covers. I do this with people too, and if you say that you don't, you are lying. In a crowd of strangers it is a matter of self-preservation. I do this judging unconsciously. It could determine whether I meet a helpful friend, or a demented mugger/rapist.

Anytime I am outside of my own home, it is necessary for me to be aware of who is around me, and what they are doing, especially when I am with my children or my granddaughter. When I was a child, I was told, “Walk like you know where you're going.” This shows confidence and purpose, and makes you a less desirable target to a “bad person”. Also, of course, “Don't talk to strangers.”

Who is a stranger? Duh. Everybody. But, it is unrealistic to think I am not going to talk to anybody. I pick and choose who to talk to based on what they look like. There is nothing else to base it on. If I need help, somebody who works at the store that I am shopping in is the best help available. I find them based on...what they look like. They will have on a uniform, or at least a name tag. If I'm not in a store, then who do I get help from if I need it? A policeman? How do I know if somebody is a policeman? By what they look like, of course. They will be wearing a police uniform. But policemen aren't always around, nor do they want to be bothered with something trivial. So, if there is a reason for me to talk to a stranger, then I have to judge them by what they look like, how well they fit in to this particular environment, and their demeanor.

Everybody is judged by what they look like, everyday, everywhere. That's why I tell my kids to dress nicely for a job interview. First impressions matter. First impressions are formed the first moment somebody sees you, and are based on what you look like. My first impression of somebody can change as I start to talk to them, and who they are on the inside starts to find its way out. But, I might never dare, or bother, to talk to somebody because of my first impression of them, like I won't pick up a book with a bad cover, much less read it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Six Dogs

One is tall, and tan, and boney.
One is small, and brown, and barks.
One is dumb as raw baloney.
One is good for walks in parks.

One is pretty as a princess,
eyes encircled round with black.
One chews herself. She itches.
Throw a stick, she'll bring it back.

Six dogs that live together,
in our house most of the time.
They bring us so much pleasure.
We were lucky, them to find.

By: Paula D. Nevison

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Altered Jeans not Altered People

When I was a little girl, my mother, cousin, neighbor, grandmother, and grandmother's neighbor,
all went to great lengths to try to curl my straight hair. I rebelled and brushed out the curls. By the time they gave up, I wanted curly hair. I used hot rollers, curling irons, gel, mousse, and hair spray to no avail. “You can't curl sticks.” my great-grandfather used to tell my mother when she was a little girl. My curly haired friends spend hours straightening their hair. My brown haired friends bleach their hair blond. I already have straight blond hair. What am I doing?

Hair is a minor thing that we change about ourselves. There are other changes we choose to make; tanning our skin, trying to lighten our skin, collagen injections, botulism (a sometimes fatal paralytic illness) injections, and plastic surgery, like brow lifts, nose jobs, liposuction, and implants (breast, or chin, or cheekbones, or whatever else there is).

People say that we should be true to ourselves, be who we really are on the inside. I wonder how a person can be true to who they are on the inside when focused on conforming the outward appearance to some perceived ideal, especially when that person claims to be a “Christian” made by God, in His image, and after His likeness, yet insists on tampering with God's creation, as if God didn't do it right.


Whatsoever thing I see,
Rich or poore although it be;
'Tis a Mistresse unto mee.

Be my Girle, or faire, or browne,
Do's she smile, or do's she frowne:
Still I write a Sweet-heart downe.

Be she rough, or smooth of skin;
When I touch, I then begin
For to let Affection in.

Be she bald, or do's she weare
Locks incurl'd of other haire;
I shall find enchantment there.

Be she whole, or be she rent,
So my fancie be content,
She's to me most excellent.

Be she fat, or be she leane,
Be she sluttish, be she cleane,
I'm a man for ev'ry Sceane.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dishcloth Swap on Ravelry is Finished

I mailed the five robin dishcloths I knitted to the swap headquarters before the deadline. Today, I received these five beautiful dishcloths in exchange, three knitted, and two crocheted. This was a lot of fun. I hope they decide to do another swap soon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Impending Start of School

Summer is almost over. I am not ready for school to start. I still need to buy some of the school supplies, and both of my kids don't have complete uniforms yet. It is scary to have to wait until the last minute to buy the things I know they'll need. I'm going to take both of them shopping with me tomorrow. Shopping with either one of them is fine, but both together, Uffdah! And, it's “Tax Free Weekend.” Tax free is always a good thing, but the mob of shoppers makes everything take longer, and equals fewer choices. Maybe my kids will agree to bring their required summer reading books with them to read while we wait in the long lines.

Next Tuesday is registration at school. Hopefully, the repairs have stayed on schedule after the tornado hit last year around Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing the condition of the campus. It is not located in an area en route to things I normally do, so I haven't seen it much this summer. And, finally, after the last six years apart in different schools (because of their age difference, and because of where our local school system splits the grades for elementary, middle, and high school), both of my two youngest children will be at the same school once again. I am looking forward to only having to deal with one school bus, one set of administrators, and one time table. I am not looking forward to getting up at 6 AM.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

School Lunch

I happened upon that TV show where two families swap mothers for two weeks. One mother was trying to help ready her children for adulthood by making them responsible for setting their own morning alarms, getting themselves ready for school, and making their own breakfasts and lunches.

Hmm, whatever. Then I flipped the channel.

Last weekend, reminiscing with my brother and his wife (really with his wife, because my brother and husband had left to run an errand), we somehow landed on the topic of our mothers making, or not making, our school lunches when we were children. With much indignation, she told me that my brother had to make his own school lunches. I had to stop and think. I am the older sister, two years older. I should know this, but I only have a couple vague memories of school lunch.

I remember that grades one through six, we went to a small Christian school. They only had school lunch available once a month, if we signed up, and paid for it in advance. So we must have brought a lunch every day. I don't remember what it was, but I don't remember being hungry in elementary school. I do remember braking my arm outside during playtime after lunch in either fifth or sixth grade.

I remember not having lunch many days in Junior High, and sometimes bringing a dollar and buying an ice cream sandwich for lunch.

I don't remember much about lunch in high school other than the short amount of time we were allowed to eat, and not wanting to bother with the long lunch line. I remember throwing up seven times one morning at school in 11th grade, the seventh time being when I decided that maybe I could drink some milk for lunch (that was stupid). My 12th grade was at a different school. We had moved. My only memory of lunch there is like a photo in my head of me and three girls sitting together at a table in the cafeteria. I don't recall any particular food, or if there was or wasn't any, or if any of us even ate.

The consensus between my sister-in-law and me was that mom must not have cared enough to make our lunches, or to at least make sure that we had lunches.

I have always made my children's school lunches. When I saw that on TV, I just flippantly dismissed it. I know that my children that are still at home, teenagers now, are completely capable of setting an alarm and making sandwiches. But, why should they have to do this? I am a stay-at-home mom. I can do this small thing for them while they live with me for this short time of growing up. It's more efficient if one person makes many sandwiches at one time than if many people make one sandwich each. Everyone gets in the way of everyone else. The refrigerator gets opened and closed multiple times. There is a higher risk of dropping and breaking something which could injure someone and takes up extra un-allowed-for time. They will have many years as adults to “fend for themselves,” and there are so many other, more difficult, grown-up things to teach to them.

Some of the mothers of some of their friends have told me to let them make their own lunches. I reply that I can do it, and I don't mind.

Until now, I have never wondered why I get up, wake them up, and make their breakfasts and lunches. When they grow up and reminisce about their childhood, will the topic of mom making their school lunches be discussed? Will they like that I made their lunches? Will they think I was being controlling, or that I thought they weren't capable of doing it themselves? Will this be a good memory, or a bad memory, or will they even remember it at all? Should I discuss it with them before this next school year starts, or should I keep doing what I've always done?