Saturday, April 30, 2005

Awwww Geeeeeez

Do not attempt blog changes with extra children in the house! Do not attempt blog changes when you still do not understand how anything works! Do not forget that when playing with template changes you lose everything! Crap! I plan on kidnapping my sister in law for about two hours this evening and having her HTML genius give me a hand. For that, I will plug her warned...very political! Liberal!

Anyway, above you will see the panels for the Manos afghan. Three and one half of the five panels are now finished. Please explain why they are all a different length when I measured each section numerous times. After blocking and assembly, it had better not decide to pull! I wish the colors were more accurate; they really are gorgeous.

The rain is back with a vengeance. Please think of me tomorrow as I walk for MS in the rain. Please support the local walks in your area this weekend! Living in Western New York we have one of the highest MS rates in the United States.

But for now - off to the movies! Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

Friday, April 29, 2005

It's Called a Mental Health Day!

I am a teacher. I will be the first to admit that there is absolutely no reason for me to have access to 15 sick days during a 187 day calendar. Now that my children are in middle school, I seldom use a day. But today I needed one. Ready for the rationalization?

  1. The sun is shining and we are due for a three day rain fest.
  2. My children's district had a "Staff Development Day". The idea of leaving them alone with the 16 year old again was too much for everyone to bear.
  3. I actually got a 9:00 am hair appointment.
  4. I have a student teacher who is doing a fine job, and I just could NOT stand the thought of sitting in my chair trying to find things to do while she taught all day. Again.

Results: happy children, a mommy without "roots", one pampered dog, a real dinner in the oven...LIFE IS GOOD!

Every once in a while I go on a young adult fiction bender. I am constantly looking for books to supplement my classroom library. I have a particularly hard time finding quality fiction for the boys. You know the kind? The ones who brag that they have never met a book they liked? They are my challenge.

Today I read Swords for Hire by Will Allen. Not a great book, but certainly one with high appeal for boys in grades 5 -8. Just enough adventure, a sword fight or two, some good guys, some bad guys, and one very innocent kiss. Not a hard read, even for the reluctant reader. What makes this story appealing for me is how it came to be. Will Allen wrote this book as a Christmas gift for siblings before his untimely death. He was a lifelong friend of Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson. The book was later published by Allen's brother. And that I love. A brother and a friend, ensuring their loved one's talent can be shared by others.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Blog Theme Theft Alert

My alpologies to Liz at Pocket Farm, but her entry about her Beema's million dollar cake made me miss my grandmother. is my Grandma Sophie's story.

Sophie lived in a small German/Polish border town. Her mother had died and her German father re-married. Sophie and her step-mother had numerous problems. Fourteen year old Sophie left home and boarded a ship to America. On board the ship, she was taken in by an Italian family. Single women were not allowed to leave Ellis Island without someone responsible for their welfare. She stayed with this family as they moved from New York to the Geneva/Rome of Central New York State.

Sophie was a beautiful girl. Petite with flawless skin and chestnut hair. She fell in love with a young polish boy. Up to the day she died, she mourned his death. He died on the battlefield during WWI. Throughout those years she was persued by my grandfather. He swore to her that he would someday marry her.

After the death of Sophie's sweetheart, her 'adopted' family arranged for her marriage with my grandfather. I am sad to say that she never grew to love the overbearing Italian man who later moved her to Buffalo and later to a small town on Lake Ontario.

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother was an "old" woman. Her thin white hair always braided and coiled on the top of her head; the smell of Jean Nate clung to her heavy black winter coat.

But Sophie made a pizza bread...bread dough stuffed with ham, eggs, and cheese. Throughout my childhood we would receive phone calls at random intervals, "Come over, I have pizza bread!" We never took long to respond. It was always best eaten slightly warmer than room temperature. My sister and I have tried unsuccessfully over the years to recreate the recipe, but to no avail. And maybe that is just as well. Because no one can replace Grandma Sophie.

Monday, April 18, 2005

So Now I'm Boring?

Ok...I am insulted! My little blog has not taken the world by storm - this I know. But did I need to have it confirmed by Amy Singer, editor of Knittydotcom, that my dwindling daily visits only confirms this? Side note: Was I the only one who said, "What the hell?" when they opened this latest issue? Geez Louise! I have 100 8th graders and children who already know that about me. Is there nowhere to hide.

So, here's the deal. I need to make a decision. Does the blog get written for me? Yes, it is meant for public consumption, but where is my voice? I am trying to pattern myself after the BIG blogs. But as I tell my students, it must be authentic! And I ain't no Harlot...ok maybe, but from a literary level I know there is no comparison. But truthfully, I am not that boring. Consequently, things may start to look a little different around here. If you're out there - consider yourself warned!

So today my copy of InterWeave Knits arrived. I have a dentist appointment in 15 minutes, is there a way to read it while the hygenist works on my teeth? Let's check out the highlights of this issue, shall we? Turn to the add on page 26 (sorry no scanner), and check out the ad. WHAT is on her feet? Is that supposed to distract me from the KNIT bathsuits? OMG

To be continued...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Monday Morning... fast approaching. I had a great weekend, and that is usually why I cannot bear the thought of the work week. I am greedy; I want more fun!

Living in Buffalo you get to count on two things: crappy weather and more live theatre in two square blocks than any place outside of NYC. A little dinner and then A My Name is Alice . But if you check out the link, scroll down...I think I really need to check out Kilt. Here's hoping for a wicked updraft!

Saturday morning E finished a Girl Scout badge by Scouting for Food. This is the first year that we did not have rain/snow/wind/buffalo crappy weather. The sun was shining, no coats and glimmers of very white bare toes in flip flops!

Then off to Chautauqua! Bliss! It was one of the nicest spring days we have had on the lake that I can remember. Hard to believe that just two weeks ago a blizzard dumped 18" of snow and last week there was still ice on the lake. There were quite a few people around for the weekend taking advantage of the early warm up to get a head start on the spring clean up. I got to park my carcass on the deck for about two hours and knit totally undisturbed for over two hours. Then guilt set in and I thought I should clean some of the winter grit and grime off the sun porch. The guys got enough fish for dinner, so everyone except the vegetarian was happy.

But Sunday morning arrived and I had empty refrigerators in two houses! So I decided there was little sense in stocking the one I was closest to as I did not know when we would be back. So hi ho - hi ho- back to Buffalo we go.

Steinmart, Wegmans, (how sad is that? I just linked my grocery store!) and to my parents for dinner. And before you know it...another weekend bites the dust.

But something to look forward to - knitting group at my house tomorrow! Now if only I could post photos, but the ladies are leery of having their faces floating around cyberspace. Maybe I should try project shots instead?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 Posted by Hello


It's here! It arrived from the nice man in brown yesterday. I left to pick up E from drama 30 minutes early so that I could have some uninterrupted time in the car to read. If you have not ordered this book, you must! I was laughing so hard at one point that I think the entire car was bouncing! Thank you Stephanie!

Book club last night. We read Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Definitely not a book I would normally pick up, but I am glad I did. What a site...a group of 40 something suburaban women admitting they were cheering on the German spy and dog earring the "good" aka hot scenes! I love my book club! Now if only I could figure out a way to "allow" me to knit without thinking I was rude. There are just a few places where I cannot knit in public :-(

Monday, April 11, 2005

Monday Musings

Sun. We have sun. Sun for 3 consecutive days! Living in Western New York makes this a BIG deal. Sunday was so glorious. Everyone was outside; I saw neighbors I have not seen in months throwing long forgotten baseballs to kids who seem to have grown to twice their size over the last 4 months.

DH and K were "sleeping off" the first official Boy Scout camp of the season. I got to clean the garage. Don't tell DH, but I really like doing it. I get a real sense of accomplishment from sucking up an entire shop vac full of winter grit and filling a few garbage bags.

I have a busy week coming up and hope that I will be able to squeeze in some knitting time. I already did my "hour" on my Manos afghan, but am itching to get in one more hour before bed. That yarn is absolutely addictive! I only hope that when my wheel arrives I can learn to make such yummy yarn. I had to make a trip to the LYS to pick up more. Now I remember why you buy enough yarn for a project the first time. She has not carried this yarn in a while so I was thrilled when I saw it offered again in her newletter. Problem: none of the colors are the same! Yikes! But I think I was able to pull in some new colors that will work with what I have.

I will make every attempt to post some pix later this week. With all this sun I may get some decent shots!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Is Family Vacation an Oxymoron?

If you have young children that are still cute and adorable and think you are wonderful, STOP. Read no more. Enjoy these years. This is rated for Parents of Pre-Teens and Teens Only.

The sun was shining; the weather was warm. We sailed through customs and arrived in speedy time. I was able to knit on my side to side jacket for the entire drive. The kids actually laughed once or twice and NOT at the expense of one another! The Ontario Science Centre was great! I am in mom bliss. We are having fun..or so I thought..dum, dum, dum. (Ominous drum beats)

And then it began...the teen tirades. It started slowly and quietly. First, mom became the target of much hilarity. How dare I be excited about the new exhibit? And did I actually have to stop and read the placards attached to the 'old hunks of rock' on the timeline of the Earth? Who knew I was so amusing? And then the 16 year old got ...dum dum dum.. a headache. A headache that could only be relieved by a phone call to the boyfriend, and sticking her head under the covers back at the hotel. A headache that could only cured by refusing to go anywhere. So do you leave a 16 year old under the covers in one small room of the largest hotel in Toronto? Only if the other four members of the family decide dinner and wandering Yonge Street is more a more pressing need, you do.

We found Le Commensal around the corner from the hotel - and voila! The 11 year old vegetarian is overcome with joy! You mean there are more of her kind? There are entire restaurants devoted to people who actually understand that eating the "flesh of thinking beings is wrong" really exist? We have a very happy kid! However, her twin brother swears he will eat two pounds of bacon in front of her the next morning squealing "Oink! Oink!" for retribution.

After dinner we gave the twins an education in Toronto nightlife as we strolled down Yonge Street. do you distract them from "XXX Adult" in flashing neon while at the same time trying to avoid stepping on the homeless guy sleeping with his feet sticking out of the doorway? DH and I tactfully steer them back to the hotel. Thankfully, the 16 has survived our absence to stumble into our room for my cell phone. I am happy I am there to help. (Can you see the frozen smile on my face?).

Having failed to check the weather report for the day, silly mom has planned on walking ChinaTown, and maybe doing a bit of Queen Street. But it is now 30 degrees, and snowing. Each snow flake large and heavy enough to take out an eye before melting...So of course we are now forced into the first building they see..dum, dum, dum..The Eaton Centre. Oh, joy! Shopping. Have I told you the twins never saw the inside of a mall until they were almost 3? The girls did NOT inherit the 'shopping gene' from me.

And so we emerge from shopping bliss two hours later, we battle our way back to the car, 50 mph winds howling at our backs, the snow has turned to rain. And it begins.
home...home...home...home..home...The chant worked its way to the ranks. DH and I sigh, and swear to never bring them with us anywhere. Ever. Again. Until the next time.