After School

November 18, 2017

Our schools here are run a bit differently than those my children attended.  The kids here get more music, more recess and more library.  Two thumbs way up!

These schools also have school buses and transportation is a huge department.  The buses that go out into the country don’t ‘go’, until they have all ages of kids (high school, middle school) on the bus.  This creates a unique transportation situation.  On a few buses some of our kids get on them at the end of school and drive around town for 45 minutes, only to come back to our school, whereby they meet up with some other buses.  Kids transfer buses and then go home.  Some of our elementary kids are on the bus for 1 hour and 15 minutes every afternoon.  As a Mom and an Educator, I’ve always been downright appalled at this situation.

Long story short, my heart got ahead of my mouth and I now have a longer day at school.

‘Kids Club’ is comprised of kids that were driving around town, only to return to school.  Aged 5 to 10, it has been a bit like herding cats and this week, we had a pretty clear talk about who was the Boss.  (In case you are wondering…it is me.)

So far, so good.  I run my  own program, (which is the way I like to do things).  It is a combination of what I think kids need at the end of the day, as if they were coming home.

First, they get a snack.  Second, they check in on my rooster with a happy face or sad face to tell me how their day went.

Their delight in simply playing with play dough, told me that this is the right thing for me to be doing for right now.

I had plenty of pumpkins to share for jack-o-lantern carving and for some of my kids, this was the first time, they’d ever carved a pumpkin.I brought in reinforcements to assist with the adult child ratio and to help ensure, that the only thing that was carved was pumpkins.

My Librarian toasted the pumpkin seeds for them.  The seeds were devoured and only a few seeds were found in random spots among the library.

The program is supposed to be providing additional educational support, so I fool the kids with play.  Good play is almost always good learning.  We went on a hunt.  The older kids had clip boards with words, the little ones had the Alphabet.  They all had markers and some serious magnifying glasses.  We took off around the school with squeals of “I found a…”

Math is disguised as art and I tell the kids, 

‘an artist always sign their work’.My Librarian is part of the secret sauce as the happy chaos is in the library.  She gets pulled in for technical assistance and most importantly dance party Fridays.  We are seeing a difference in many of these kids, that is the good news.  The bad news is that a bus was missed, when we made the program and there is another 30 kids riding around town.

Realizing that I cannot take them all was a hard reality for me, but I am trying to add a few more.  The kids responsibility is to be kind to each other and have a good attitude.  My responsibility is to stay one step ahead of them.

When a brusque 8-year-old girl, reached to hold my hand while walking to the buses, I know that I am making a difference at least for these, and I am blessed.

 

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My Sewing Room In Pictures

November 10, 2017

My sewing room is finally, just that, a reflection of me and a hard-working room.  It really started by removing the book cases (I hated) into the family room.  This move put them where they belong, pulled the family room together and now I LOVE them!Just goes to prove ‘right thing-right place’.

This meant the sewing room needed a fresh coat of paint.  With the help of My Loving Spouse and Sherwin, I got a bright blue.  Honestly, way too bright for me, but I am living with it.  I also nabbed a new hutch for my space.  It all started to come together and I started getting a bit giddy.

My fabulous cutting counter, I could not do without!  The only time there is not a project on it, is when THE Grand kids visit and then we turn it into a changing table.  (Win-win)

I love when those I care about come into to ‘perch’ with me, while I sew.  It is important to have a chair just for them, but truthfully, sometimes it does look like this.Because it is all about me….During the sewing room re-organization, I really drank the organizational kool-aid.  I sewed 6 color coded baskets to store smaller fabric pieces.They fit in this wire storage container.  Although, I got tired of sewing these baskets, I am quite glad I did.  The fabric stays cleaner in this dusty house.  Looking for a bit of fabric is so much easier this way, as is clean up.  I also made  more trash cans.  It is a small room, but having trash cans and scissors at the sewing machine and the ironing chest has made removing stray threads so much simpler and the trash goes into the trash, just like that!

My sewing machine gas pedal, now stays put with a bit of tool box liner from Harbor Freight.  Any piece of rubbery material will probably do.This is a very happy place….

I do not follow many quilt patterns, so I use my design wall all the time.  This Christmas quilt is waiting for my new batting to arrive.My Uncle’s old seaman’s chest stores some of my bigger pieces of fabric, just as it did for my mom.  If you’ve known me a long time, you’ll remember these pictures, they were the first thing most people saw as they stepped into my parents home.

I couldn’t do much without my fabulous Janome.  This teak sewing table is the one thing we will probably replace.  My Loving Spouse and I are dreaming up a bigger sewing table, possibly made out of an old desk, with the sewing machine sitting inserted into the desk.  Stay tuned….

Yes, I am counting them…

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Line Item

November 4, 2017

It has happened.

I believe it is now official.

It is not because we have more critters than people sharing our evening.

It is not because My Loving Spouse and I have just recently both been listening to the same local (ie. Country/Western radio station) and saying words like,

“That’s a good station!”

It is not because our free range chickens poop on the porch.

It is not because we have more barn cats than dogs, and I am not a cat person.

It was the line item on our budget for this month.

That one line item brought it home to me, that I am now a country person.

Planning on a purchase….

….the item simply spelled out…

Cow.

Indeed,

and I am blessed.

 

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Quilters Hug With Fabric

October 25, 2017

Quilters hug with fabric.

In celebrations of joy and in struggles, that is often our journey, my response is to hug.  When the loved one is not near, the response is even stronger to sew.Sew a quilt, that I hope will express my love.

Sew a quilt designed uniquely for the receiver.  This one is for one who is red/green color blind.  These colors and pattern designed with extra care of how he sees the world.I long to let you know, that you are not alone.Quilts do not mend bones.Quilts do not remove cancer.Quilts can keep you warm with cozy flannel on the back, the weight adds a unique calming and comforting feel. Love and prayers with every stitch.  His initials sewn into the fabric…JSF.Many miles separate us and it has been a few years since this picture was taken…

Get well…With great love and gratitude for who you are in my life,

your little sister.

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Pumpkins Best

October 16, 2017

If you’ve read this blog for a nano second, you know I have a ‘thing’ for pumpkins.  I was trying to grow quantity over quality, because in truth, there really is no bad pumpkin.  I planted ‘Jack-o-lantern’ size and small.  I thought small would be smaller, but of course, they are perfect, after all they are pumpkins.

These 50 grew in the garden safe from chickens.  Another 5 or 6 grew into the dog yard, where they have been slightly gnawed on.  Another 10 grew out of the garden behind the fence and were rescued to put around the house.  The best part of pumpkin growing is pumpkin sharing.  THE Grandson and I Face-timed often for him to see the progress of THE pumpkins.  Oh, be still my heart!  He was excited with each call.  THE Grandson determined that his family would need 4 pumpkins, so I took them 10.  It is simple math.  More pumpkins equal more fun!  I will happily drive pumpkins to Spokane for as long as THE Grandkids want them.

I love pumpkin decorating, but pumpkin giving (my favorite non-official gift giving season) is the best.

I believe we’ve shared about 30 pumpkins so far.  There have been many sweet people picking up pumpkins this season.  Sharing them with family and friends is the whole point.

Our Friend The Farmer’s Firefighter Grandson liked the small ones best, as our puppy Gunner looks on.  How fun for me, that I get to share in all of this cuteness.

Trust me, in this season of growing and sharing, I am very blessed.

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Painting A Cow

September 29, 2017

The hardest part of painting a cow, is getting her to stand still.  The paint, of course, can be purchased at Amazon.  No, I am not painting Agnes.  She is perfect just the way she is, just a perfect black cow.  (Well, she’d be a tiny bit more perfect if she were ‘in the family way’, but we are working on that.)

There is a trend lately, to join together sip wine and paint on canvas.  We might live in the country, but these opportunities come to us as well.  The art we paint, just has a bit more meaning to us, than say a rendering of Monet’s ‘Water Lillies’.  We joined together to paint cows.  (Oh, be still my heart).

A night out with My Loving Spouse to do something fun and different.  It was just what we needed.  We showed up to the Blue Rock Saloon.  My Loving Spouse with sharpened pencil in hand.I had a different set of tools.

I had never painted on canvas, so I was both a tad nervous and quite excited.  We were given some simple instructions.One of us had been practicing their reality cow rendering.

Then it was time to add some paint.  I am sure you’ve noticed that there is a disproportionate number of black AND WHITE cows in all cow art.  Black cows do not receive the recognition that they deserve.  You can be sure, that my art would reflect my cow.
My Loving Spouse on the other hand was just having fun.

What fun it was too!  If you get the chance to join together with friends or people you don’t even know, who become your friend when they pass you the black paint, to enjoy a night out painting, I highly recommend it.  If you get to paint cows, well, as they say in Ellensburg, that is ‘even better‘!

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Agnes on Sabbatical

I took a walk down the road the other day.  I had some produce to deliver to Agnes.  Agnes has been on sabbatical this summer. Black Angus Cows have really one job, which is to produce more Black Angus Offspring.  Agnes took this summer off.  All you cattlemen, should now take a collective gasp.  However, […]

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Grandparents Needed

This might sound a tad ‘bossy’, and because I did not fall far from my mother’s ‘bossy tree’, I do try to be careful.  (Yes, it is true.  My mother had nicknames such as, “that bossy blonde” and “Bossy Aunt Betty”, just to name a few).  I am going on record here as not being […]

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Messages From The Pig

A few years ago, I talked My Loving Spouse into making some chalkboard pigs.  I LOVE ours!  It hangs over the kitchen sink, where a window should be.   Apparently, the pig speaks Chinese. We leave our special/random messages for one another. I think everyone should have a pig.We did have to glue his tail […]

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Marital Trust

I have been painting the barns.  Well, I have been painting as far as I could reach comfortably with a ladder (a tall ladder), a paint sprayer and a can of wasp spray.  All of which did not get the job done, enter My Loving Spouse with a plan.  We attempted the plan yesterday……it didn’t work. […]

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August 31st.

The end of summer is in the air, in a way I’d never experienced in the first half century of my life living in Southern California.  There, the end of August meant very little, other than the prospect of a month or more of continued hot weather. I have stopped watering the vegetable garden in […]

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And Then There Were Two

Our pups have been making their transition from Glory Farm to their new family.  These families are so important to us.  This is a huge reason to do this litter…helping good homes, get good dogs… “June” and Carl….a second ‘family’ set.  Carl’s sister has Remi, one of our puppies from last year….  I cannot even […]

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