Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I finally finished a collage that will be the basis of a painting. It's been unfinished for 2 whole years (it's also 2 by 4 feet). Amazing. I also finally started applying pieces to a smaller canvas that has been staring at me for a year or so as well. Maybe by the end of the year I'll have enough pieces for a show.
It's so nice to have a space where there is enough light, and I can actually leave things out with no worries about cleaning it up or anything. Finally!
So this could be a really good start to 2010, now, if I can get back on track with the running.... hummm.....
Monday, December 21, 2009
While it's nice to have these additional days off next to our holiday, we will have to make them up. Which begs the question-- why didn't they just give these two days to us in the first place when they were planning the school year? Oh well, I'll take them. I think this only means we lose a few built in teacher days, big deal.
So being snowbound has been a lot of fun. Got a lot of relaxing done. And hanging out with the new husband isn't so bad either. We made it out and about yesterday, we went and got a glass of wine with a friend who wanted to congratulate us. She was stuck over in apartment-- so she definitely wanted to get out.
Today is full of baking. I made shortbread, and I'm about to make some chocolate cookies... YUM! We have a lot of driving this holiday to do, and when we go from place to place I plan on bringing cookies.
What a great way to start the winter break!!!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Maybe I'll get an early Christmas present and not have to go to school on Monday and Tuesday!! I seriously doubt that the DC metro can handle all of this snow!! We'll see if we can all dig out by Monday-- I seriously doubt it, since the holidays are on every one's mind. Too bad we only have 3 snow days built in to our school calendar. It's only December, and this part of the world is known for getting hammered in March!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Oh, by the way, I hope that if you were someone who was traveling back to the US this past weekend that you had safe travels!!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
We're doing fine, we will just be living tight for a while. He is looking for jobs all over the world, which excites me to no end. I would love to pick up and move to some exotic locale, and would be totally up for it. We may put our hat in the ring of International teaching. We're still tossing the idea around. He would do it if there was no other choice. He doesn't see himself as a high school teacher.
But he does see him self as a college professor. Which I see. So he's made a huge decision to apply to a University in New Zealand. It might be a shot in the dark, but he knows the head of the department there and has some "ins" so it's a very big possibility that this could happen!
I'm trying to remain calm about it, but I am hoping that this could be a move we could make. I am currently imagining what I would do there, how I could get a teaching job? Or if I could focus on something else? I think about the nature and beauty. Ahhh!
But for now, I'm here. I really love the one school I'm at most of the week. And if we do stay here because he got an amazing job change state side, I'd be fine with that. We have our house, we have our life. It's all good.
So the times they are a changing, but almost always for the better, at least in my opinion.
9 more days of school, Christmas time approaching fast, but the tree us up!!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
In other ways, I think I want to revamp the idea of this blog. I have a few months to decided on which way I want to go, but I think I want to make this more of my own personal art blog. I feel like I haven't been doing a lot with my art the last 2 years, and I feel horrible about it. I have time to do it, I have time to make things, but I don't. Not that I haven't been doing anything, I just never finish anything. I could come up with all sorts of excuses about how I don't finish pieces, or only work on examples for school, or make cute cards for friends and family, or my wedding invitations... but I'm just going to stop.
So my goal-- to make something everyday. It doesn't have to be much of anything, just something. I think they're all going to be small pieces. Maybe 5x5 inches. Maybe slightly larger. I like the idea of squares... more like tiles. I think that these "everyday" pieces will be drawing, or maybe just pen and ink, maybe watercolor-- maybe marker, crayon (who knows). I don't know yet. I guess that's the fun of it. The point of it is to make it a habit and maybe spark some inspiration. I'm having trouble with inspiration lately.
I've always felt that making artwork for me was meditation or even therapy. I know that if I don't do it, I feel less like me. So here's to all your creative people out there who are already doing what i want to do. Just make art, make it for yourself, and see what happens....
Oh- and Happy belated Thanksgiving...
Thursday, October 01, 2009
The whole day my students knew it was my birthday because they announced it over the announcements and all the kids kept telling me happy birthday yesterday. I even got a few today. It was nice.
I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed with the 2 schools. I feel so behind. I find that writing things down on a calendar is a must. Especially for meetings. Do you have meetings like me? I mean it's either and IEP meeting, an art meeting, a parent meeting, or an after school activity, or something. I never leave when school is actually over. It's amazing. And I go home with tons of stuff to do. It's like I'm a new teacher all over again. Hopefully by November I'll have it all worked out.
I need to get ahead with a litttle planning and I think i'll feel much better.
Then there's the wedding. We have an engagement party 2 weekends from now and I'm so excited. Mostly his family and friends will be there, and a few on my side. My parents, my younger sister and my best friend. It will be nice. I'm making it an excuse to buy a nice dress for the evening.
So busy busy. The fall weather is beautiful right now, I can't wait until the leaves really start changing. That'll probably happen in the next week or so.
So 34 isn't looking so bad these days. Bring it on.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I do love music. I love it all. The good, the bad, the embarrassing, the loud, the teenie bopper... all of it.
So with the passing of Mary (of peter, paul and mary), I felt the need to re-claim the original songs that introduced me to music. Folk is great. it's heartfelt, soft, feeling, emotional,universal, and fun. So yah, I bought "Puff the Magic Dragon", "Big Yellow Taxi", and one of my all time favorites ,"Kodachrome". I plan on enjoying a little peace and love, and making it a low-fi weekend.
Here's to satisfying the urge fo folk music.... may it reign forever.
Here's to the musical parents I have, I'm so happy that music has been and always will be such a part of my life.
"The times, they are a changing."
Sunday, September 06, 2009
I love a yard, but honestly it's a whole lot more work getting it to be less maintenance. We're still getting tons of rocks, and random objects (files, tubes, little cars, barrettes, hose) coming out of the ground. I am sure that our backyard will someday be an anthropologist's dream to see how lazy homeowners lived in the early 21st century in Alexandria, VA.
But lazy we are not, and the work is paying off a little bit. It's been almost a year since we bought our house, and we've done quite a lot of work. It's been rewarding, and now it's just about time to take on some big projects again, or at least try to decide what changes we think we want to make. Not sure yet...
So anyway, after a long days work I'm looming forward to a nice drink, cheese and crackers, some pasta and a fresh salad, and homemade peach pie (that I made) with some ice cream on top. What a day. What a weekend. It feels good to be home.
Friday, September 04, 2009
But it's done. And they're both ready for students.
We had 3 days of pep talks. Which is fine, I'm all for supporting teachers, lifting them up, but 3 days? I enjoyed hearing 2 of the Freedom Writer come and speak, and I liked this other guy a lot (forget who he was). But did we need 9 keynote speakers? I don't think so.
So finally, I'm ready for students. Bring them on! They're going to be full of energy and excited, I can feel it. I got to meet a few of my future students this morning, and they seemed really cute. It's been a while since I've taught the little guys, but I'm ready. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.
What else? I have no idea...Lots of things. In the midst of planning the wedding too, of course. Came up with some actual ideas that may work... We'll see. Don't want to give anything away in case i don't do it. But yes, I am still making origami cranes. I have about 600 more to go. I think Jarle is going down to C-ville next week, so he's going to measure the place we're getting married at, and making sure we can fit the tables and chairs etc... it's at some one's house, so... I have no idea how it's working yet.
I'm so excited too-- because next week I'm going to go try on dresses! yay!! My best friends from high school are coming along to see and help me. So it'll be fun. I have no idea what I want, or even what might look good on me, so it will be nice to get their help. They're honest-- I think .....
Anyway, I'm ready for the weekend to begin and hopefully I'll have a little time to relax in between the school planning, yard work, and cleaning (our house has been so neglected the last 2 weeks).
Happy last unofficial weekend of summer! Enjoy it well!!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Ride bike to beach
Walk on the beach, play in the surf
Ride bike back home
Play tennis (or laugh trying)
Swim in the pool
Go home and eat lunch
Ride bike back to beach
Swim, play games, relax, read
Ride back home
Ride bike to Boardwalk
Eat Ice Cream
Ride bike back home
Go to bed
Repeat 7 times.
That's a schedule I can deal with. It's always a little hard for me to leave the beach. It's one of my most favorite places. We've been going to Bethany Beach since I was 7th grade, and it's just such a part of our family traditions. The years I haven't been able to go has been heartbreaking. I'm always longing for the beach. I love love love the beach.
One of the cool things I learned to do at the beach this year was make hats. My mom showed me a knitting pattern and I actually made one! It didn't even take that long. Last night I made a second one. They turned out really nicely. I had no idea I could do that.... I thought it would be really hard to figure out. I'll have to post pictures later. I plan on making one for everyone this winter. Merry Christmas!!
We also did a little wedding planning. BUT, I won't totally bore you with that. Except these few things:
I've decided to make 1000 cranes for decorations (to be determined how exactly)
We're planning on have a signature drink
Jarle's list is so much bigger than my invite list...
It will be outside
That's about it so far.
And now school is just around the corner, and I'm busy trying to figure out what to teach to elementary students in 2 schools. Trying to figure out what my schedule is... and a little nervous that I'll have 2 principals to deal with...
Oh well, work has to happen at some point, it's just a matter of not thinking about it as work. And with all the other things going on, it might be that work becomes the least of my worries...
Ok, enough for now. More to come.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Yes, J and I are going to the leap! So excited, and couldn't be happier. It happened on our trip in Italy. We got back this past weekend, and I have tons of pictures to post. I took way too many and I'm still going through them all.
I also got a new job. I am going to be teaching in 2 elementary schools this year. Not the best possible situation, and I'm going to have to dig out a lot of my old lesson planning out. It's been a while, and I'm a little nervous about the little guys. I also feel a little guilty about leaving my current job, but it was time.
I'm looking forward to biking to work (hopefully) and being able to plan things for the long term.
So--- LOTS going on. Busy busy busy... But that's ok, I like it that way.
I will post pictures soon!! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
I'm actually here for the Lincoln Institute a National (should be international) Educator Workshop in Aesthetics.... gosh, they have a flair with words. Basically it's educators, arts administrators, college professors, and teaching artists from around the world, and many
disciplines who come and create, and discuss ANYTHING art. It's hands on, very reflective! The workshops are amazing, and the leaders of our workshops are even more so... I love every second of it.
I'm taking tons of pictures and I hope to put them all out when I get home. I can't believe how the time is flying here. It's really good for all my senses, and everything really feels alive for me. There's tons of action, movement and involvement in every aspect of being here. It feels energizing. I don't know how I'm going to be able to remember everything here, but I'm sure trying to document. Probably more than I should. I should take time to observe, relax, and just be in Manhattan,
Tonight I'm off to a concert in central park and hopefully a few lovely beverages in a nearby establishment. WOW! I hope I can carry this feeling in what I'm teaching in a few weeks. It's hard to believe it, but I'll be going back to school in just a couple of weeks. However, I think I have a new skills, and new ideas to pull from.
Now if I could just get over these darn stress dreams.
Friday, July 03, 2009
I can't believe it. I wasn't planning on a pre-trip before the big trip, but I got accepted to the Lincoln Center Institute. It's a set of art workshops for 5 days. I haven't been to NYC in years, and I've only been once. I'm a little nervous about it, but I think it will be fun. There are 6 of us going from our school district. The only think I gotta say about it, is that we're totally unprepared. After getting all the info about the workshop, I don't think I'll be ready to participate. We were supposed to read a book and some articles before we left, and none of us have those. I even tried to order the book on line, but it's too late! Oh well, we'll wing it. But I have a feeling that this is going to be more than we all anticipated.
We even are going to have to have to write a paper, comment on line, and keep a journal.. WOW.
But I'm still looking forward to it. NYC will be fun and exciting. I'm even looking forward to the train ride.
And then it's a few days home, a few loads of laundry, and some major re-packing and we're off to Italia!!! Yippee!
This summer is really turning out to be busy and exciting.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Of course it's going to turn out to be one of those things where, they are going to make a final decision in August, and well, it'll be too late for me, because we're in school already at the D-home.
So I'm shifting my mindset again. It'll be ok. I really hope that the detention center becomes a dictatorship... but I'm afraid with all the former military members on staff now, that's exactly what it will become. -le sigh-
In other news, I have a fantastic opportunity to go to NYC this Sunday. It's for the Lincoln Center Art Institute. I get to go with a few other teachers from our district. It'll be fun. 6 days! That's going to be a long time away from home... But I'm so excited. I think this will be good for me, and I get to see and hear from other teachers from all over. I think it's a full day 9-5, but I'm totally excited to be in a huge city and seeing all the sights, and experiencing so much.
Then I come back and 4 days later we leave for Italy! Phew!
So the world is good. Everything is fine. I just need to figure out how I'm going to teach next year. With the restrictions on so many supplies at my school, I'm going to be so limited. I'm thinking about teaching comics. Lots of drawing.....though.
Ahh- Happy summer everyone. Hope you're enjoying.
Oh- and P.S. I'm getting busy on my etsy sight! I'll let you know what will be on it, and when I have it up and running-- hopefully by the end of tomorrow.... So excited to just be out there. Now for the website..... hummmmm....
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Organize art closet...check
Organize paint supplies....check
Finish assessments for half my classes...check
Organize leftover photo copies...check (wow, I never do that)
Last Monday with students... check
Now I just hold tight for a day (hopefully) and wait for the answer back from the interview. Then I'll know where I'm at and maybe-sorta relax about it all.
Glass of wine in hand...check.
Today is also the day of the transfer interview. Wish me luck! I have everything ready. I know it's just a transfer interview, but I just wanted to be totally prepared. So I updated my resume, made sure my portfolio is in some sort of order..... Now I just have to be able to answer questions in a coherent way.
Well, happy summer everyone!!! I have just over a week until I can start enjoying the feeling to the max!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The D-home is definitely going through some changes. They have a new assistant superintendent, and he's definitely more authoritarian. I hear (rumors) that he has a military background and is going to treat this place more like boot camp. I'm in favor of some consistency and some regimented behaviors, but it would be hard for me to feel comfortable in a place where there are going to be "drill sergeants" yelling and giving orders (I picture some drill sergeant type character saying drop and give me 20 as I'm teaching about perspective or something).
Who knows what will happen? I wish that the position at the high school hadn't been dissolved. There's a slight chance that this will be just some sort of a stepping stone.
Part of me thinks that I would just make a better mentor to a kid who was from the D-home. I could really connect to them by volunteering at the center. I feel like I'd be filling a void.
Summer vacation is on it's way, and that is a thing of joy. I can't wait to be eating gelato while meandering around the Venetian streets. I'm so looking forward to a change of scenery, culture, and food. I can't wait! It's going to be great.
So- with only a few school days left, keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for me on that interview, and that we all make it through the final days of the school year unscathed.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I haven't heard about the transfer position, but I'm sure within the next week I'll know about an interview. I'm still on the fence about it, but I guess either way I'll make it work. I wouldn't mind being able to walk out the door of the detention center for good after this school year. It would be bittersweet, but also welcoming to know that I wouldn't have a huge weight about my shoulders day in and day out.
I'm not sure there's a perfect job out there for me, but I know this is not it. As an art teacher it's thrilling to have a small setting, but it's so transient you can't really get anywhere. I feel mostly like I'm on a bed of quicksand. Every time I make a move I slowly get pulled under. Not a good feeling.
Oh the joys of being a teacher, so up and down. It's the end of the year, I'm bound to be feeling a little tired. Unfortunately, I think it's a bit more than that this year.
Any who-- things to look forward to:
So excited, I really am trying to spend more time thinking and planning for that. Now that most of the planning is done, I'm really ready to go now. But, we have a little over a month before our plane across the Atlantic. I still don't know much Italian, but maybe if I make some flashcards I'll start memorizing some phrases. We have cd's, but haven't both found the time to sit and listen to them... opps, maybe I can upload them to my ipod and just have it going for the entire plane ride... Ha!
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
YAY! I hope this day goes fast!!!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Yep, that's what happened today. My last period of the day, 10 minutes to go before the end of class and a kid throws a chair across the room, throws hard punches at the staff, has to be restrained, but then the staff has to literally tackle him to the floor, and 2 staff basically lay on him on the floor underneath another table.
In the meantime, all my other students, step out of the way, while their mouths are gaping open. I couldn't believe that the table broke, and supplies went everywhere. For some reason, the other students handled it all really well. I immediately went for the 2 pairs of scissors that were out, and got them safely in my desk.
Why would this kid do such a thing? Well, he was mad at the staff for taking a "symbol", which basically takes away a privilege. So he kept talking about it, and the staff gave him another warning, which means you go to your room NOW. He didn't want to go to his room. Well, now that's exactly what he'll get. 72 hours alone in his room.
There hadn't been something that had happened like this in a while in my class. But you really never know when it could happen. You can't get too comfortable here, and I guess that's one of the reasons why it's so difficult to work in a place like this. You want it to be consistent, and challenging, and inviting, but then something like this happens and you realize a kid could do anything at any moment. Although, most kids don't. He's really an exception to the rule. Even kids that have done something violent won't ever do something violent in here. Just today I have a kid who I knew was brought up on 3 charges with a knife, and I gave him a glue gun to work with. I've also given him scissors.
It's a delicate thing. These kids can be ticking time bombs and our job is supposed to be about giving them some skills for their life. However, those needs are not being met here. Most kids don't even have a counselor, just a parole officer. Don't even get me started on the detention staff, they're so passive aggressive and inconsistent.
All I can do is what I do.
Monday, June 01, 2009
On the plus side -- which is the most important -- the students. I love them, they love my class. On the minus side, it's so transient. Another minus, there is a constant struggle between the staff of the D-home and school staff to manage the classroom. I appreciate that they are there for my safety, but I definitely would run my classroom differently without them. It sometimes causes a lot of problems because the d-home staff can be extremely passive aggressive, and that doesn't work for anyone. On the plus side, I love the teaching staff. We get along, it makes it more supportive, however I feel a bit isolated because we don't really work together where curriculum is concerned (good and bad).
Minus - it's been a roller coaster of a ride, and I feel burned out. Coming in and out of a jail everyday is a little bit like being an inmate. I do get to leave, but I hate feeling on edge. Because it's been said to us that safety comes first, We are always reminded about the dangers of this and that-- especially with art (although I still use sharp objects in the classroom).
So- the age group is great. I love teaching HS, but I can't create a program. It's hard to get their work shown, and it's hard to do lengthy projects.
It's draining. I know nothing will change with the Juvenile Justice System, and kids will always be rotating through this place.
So--- what do I do? Well, there's another art position open in my district. It's for elementary school. I don't know how I feel about that, except that I've taught elementary before. It's usually not my favorite age group (kindergarten is hard for me), but they are fun. The second thing is it's a small school. I think I really like the idea of teaching at a smaller school. Only, I would still only see my students once a week....which stinks.
The school is extremely close to home... I could take my students outside, on field trips, I could have more at my disposal... It sounds good so far-- except I worry that it may look like a step back for me professionally. Sometimes when people see a resume like mine, they think twice. I haven't stayed in one age group in my 10 years of teaching, but I don't really think that's a bad thing. In fact I've progressively spent more time at each school I've been at. I'm not sure if I'll ever find the perfect fit, but I honestly can't imagine doing more than 1 more year at the D-home.
So I guess right now I'm trying to weight my options... I'm leaning towards Elementary again. Ahhh, I don't know.. I really don't.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Oh well, at least it was a very small, it was kind of like a test run on a new idea.... so no real harm done, just sometime spent. I did enjoy the time, however. I set up my drawing table on our enclosed porch, and the weather was just perfect. So I really loved being semi-outside. All the natural light that comes in is really nice.
I'm a little bummed, especially since I spend more time on preparing stuff for my students and less time on my own artwork. Times need to change, though. I've been saying this all year long, but I really have to make a promise to set aside time for artwork. I need to try to work my ideas into smaller pieces. I just don't get the results i like when I work small....
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Oh well, the weekend is shaping up to be wonderful. I've gotta get my little art corner set up on our enclosed porch and make sure I use it at some point over the long weekend. J and I also plan to get out and about, do some hiking at a near by park. I hope so, if the weather is anything like today (which it's predicted to be just so) it'll be wonderful. I love being outside! Maybe a picnic?
Happy Friday to everyone out there tomorrow!! Enjoy!!!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
-Camera watching me
- Sleeping alone
Thursday, May 14, 2009
That's right loyal fans, one more season to go. As if they couldn't drag it out any longer. I will not give anything way... this season was crazy though... WOW.... Tons of different things going on, and working up to this season, they surely led us to believe certain things... But that's what I love about the show. If you watch, you will be rewarded. If you don't, well, then you're not getting the whole picture. You have to remember stuff from seasons' past, and you have to try and guess where they could possibly go with the story line.
I really just like how it's playing out. Certainly you can enjoy it on just an action/survival level, but there's also lots of underlying stories, beliefs and philosophies going on...
One of my favorite shows ever. One more season to go.
Monday, May 11, 2009
A sad story that seems to get written every year. This is probably one of the things I miss most about New Mexico.... It's the flavor. It really truly is. Nothing else like it, and so addicting.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Jarle and I. His mom lives in a really beautiful area overlooking a valley. I love it!!!
My kids think I have Swine Flu--- nice. NO students, I do not have the swine flu-- maybe SARS, no just kidding.
This week has been going relatively well, despite lack of sleep and the perpetual drip from the nose. I came back on Monday, from having a sub on Friday, and the sub didn't follow a single plan. My room looked a mess, and there was paint everywhere. WHAT?? How can that possibly be? Anyway, after a freak out, I let the students see what was left over from the Friday before, and told them what I found....it hasn't happened since... I don't know why the substitute would let them get away with not cleaning up, and being so wasteful.... disappointed.
Anyway, almost nearing the end of this week, and it'll be a busy one again. Down to Richmond to visit J's family and then my parents will come down from PA on Sunday for Mom's day. I'm trying to figure out what to cook for my parents... I want to do something nice... I was thinking baked polenta with a red pepper sauce and some cheese somewhere in there. And a nice salad, and some kind of chocolate dessert.... hummmmm..... Yes, I think that sound like a winner!
Anyway- have been slacking on the painting this week do to how I'm feeling, and the fact that my students are working on altering books. So I''m just a step ahead of them... So I've been trying to do a page a day. I'm thinking that some of them get the concept. Others couldn't care less, and then some of them are just plain stuck. One of the things I thought they would like would be doing transfers. A few kids are really getting into it. But some of them don't want to bother with all the steps-- so they collage.
I myself, really enjoy doing transferring. It's fun, you can do so much them. I've done so many.
Oh man-- for you "Lost" fans out there... only one more episode left this season-- HOLY COW! I won't give anything away, but this was a very interesting season....... VERY. Too bad there's only one more episode, and then we have to wait again until February.... boooo....
Ok, I better go, next time I have to do some picture posting, I've taken a few pictures of my little art sketches, and some from Easter, and some from my students... I'll get around to it someday.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wonderful guitar, that has deep, soulful, timeless, and melancholy tones. Just listen to "La Mer". Ahh- it makes you wish you were sitting by the fresh open sea air waiting for your love to return. Just beautiful.
Monday, April 27, 2009
In the meantime-- I guess I'll just have to paint. I actually completed 2 small paintings, and I've started a third. I hope I keep this up. I really want to get through this little sketchbook, because I promised myself that if I did, I would get to pick up some encaustic painting supplies. I love the encaustic paintings I've seen lately, and I really want to try it out.
Here are some AWESOME examples of what other artists have done..... I can't wait to try it myself.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I clicked on it because it said "color mixing". She didn't even paint! She was definitely pretty, and wearing a nice slim shirt that showed off her "assets" and talked about mixing paint, but didn't do it. I was like, this can't be real! I almost died laughing because I was sitting there the whole time thinking "ok, when's the painting happening?"
Haha! Oh well, no biggie, just funny.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
I actually am a redheaded middle sister, so this wine only called out to me because of the label. However, it's actually pretty good. I just opened it, had a lovely sip. It's not bad for a blend. Fruity, light bodied....yummy! And only $10!
Here's our quaint living room, with the barking Lhotse. I love this room, although we don't sit in it quite so much, because we've moved the tv downstairs to the basement. I just love all the wood, and our books. It's small too, but we plan to enclose the porch next year and make that part of the living room to expand the space. Bigger is better??? I don't know. All these renovations sound a little scary to me.
Here's our completed basement. It turned out nice. We painted it just a neutral white. We're thinking about changing it. But we like it right now. We also bought carpet tiles. HIGHLY recommend them. Easy to assemble, and easy to switch out. It's already come in handy because our bathroom down here and an issue.... not pretty. Luckily we could just pull those few tiles out, and put down new ones. It's cozy down here. This is Lhotse's hang out too, she stays down here at night time....
Pay no attention to the disarray. I rarely go in this tiny room. But it holds our desks and computer....oh... and if you can tell, J's clothes. In his defense, the closet is so-- small. He refers to this room as his "dressing room"... how snooty... I pick on him all the time. ;-)
Our bedroom. It's nice and cozy. I love the shade of blue. It's so relaxing. Our bed is comfy too.
So I left out the bathrooms, laundry room, and kitchen (no one wants to see the kitchen, it's horrible).
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Another pic of the tulips. It's so satisfying, especially since I thought the bulbs were eaten by the squirrels...
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Even if you don't follow college basketball, which I don't really anymore, so many of the games have been nail-biters. I could hardly stand watching, because it was so tense! A lot of the games were won by one or two points!
So GO HUSKIES!!! One more week until we find out who's game reigns supreme!
Friday, March 27, 2009
But, we're up to 4 concerts, and when you tack on those stupid fees they like to charge it adds up. It's all well worth it. Good venues, for sure we'll get to actually SEE who we're listening to. It will be great.
First up Death Cab for Cutie w/ Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot!! A week and 1/2 to go! (I'm hoping for special guests-- but I doubt that will happen....maybe Jenny Lewis could pop by? Or Mr. Birght Eyes himself...Connor Oberst....??? hummmm???) We'll see what happens.
All this means that spring time and good weather gets closer and closer everyday. It sure is taking it's sweet time getting there, though. I can't wait for my tulips to finally bloom, and to get the veggie garden started!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It was a really good way for the community to see my students' work. I got some good feedback, and a lot of people hadn't expected anything like what they saw. There were some really good examples of portraits, design projects, and black and white drawings. I think a lot of people tend to still look at art as crafty... not fine. And there is a place for everything. I think when people hear where I work, they automatically lower their expectations of my students. Which sucks, but it's also my job to keep the expectations high!
It's hard. My lessons are so varied, depending on who's in my class at the time. A lot of times students come to me from no art background at all.... (I think I had art in 3rd grade). So it's a mixed bag. I love it when a project just takes off, though. It's so rewarding. And rare.... Right now, one of my classes is really enjoying the color and design projects I'm throwing at them. But that will get changed soon.
Next we're working on observational drawing, with using tone and shading. I'm trying to prepare them for painting. We've been asked to create an art piece for outside near and around the green house they just put on our facility. It's great, gives them a chance to make some art that will be up for an extended period of time. It won't be easy to assemble, but the plan is to paint flowers, herbs, veggies, and other things that will be growing in the green house.
We'll see. I hope it works.
I'm also incredibly behind on making any new artwork for myself. It seems to be a constant problem that I can't figure out how to tackle. I miss not creating art, I need to make it a habit. Stop talking about it, or wishing it would just happen and just DO IT! Argh!!
In other news, I'm going to try to be growing a vegetable garden in our yard. We cleared an area where there's lots of light, some shade an easy access to the hose (not hard, our yard is not big). I'm hoping that throughout the summer we'll get tomatoes, peppers, chile, sunflowers, marigolds, lettuce, squash, and basil! I've also planted my two herb plants from last year-- rosemary and thyme. I hope they can thrive.
Nothing is planted yet, and I'm trying to start with seeds... We'll see what happens. I hear it can be difficult, but I'm checking on them everyday to make sure they stay moist. Hopefully in about 10 days I'll have little plants, and hopefully in another 10 days it will be warm enough to plant them!
Wow, so that's an update.
We managed to book a hotel in Venice! So excited that our Italy trip is happening...... it may be the last one for a while considering all the financial issues. International School teaching is calling my name again....
Thursday, March 05, 2009
It's going to be a lot of work to get everything together, I only have 2 weeks, and....it's only for one night. So that means put up, take down in one night. But it's all for the sake of art, and my students, and finally allowing their work to carry as much weight as their peers.
I've never known if it was the lack on interest, lack of communication, or just laziness between the community members that this has never happened. But I hope to get more out there, and drum up interest for other outlets, shows, and maybe even an anthology of their work..
Anyone got any ideas on making an anthology???
OK-- so that's really good news and here's one more--
We just got tickets for The Decemberists! They canceled their tour last round-- and I was soooo disappointed. What makes it even better is that Andrew Bird is touring with them!! I can't wait to get some whistling action from Mr. Bird!!
So that really is triple good!!
I really needed that.
Monday, March 02, 2009
J and I woke up to a winter morning, actually had some breakfast together, and did a few things around the house. I know, not exactly too romantic, but when you finally find extra time to put up a toilet paper holder, or mop the floor, or cook a nice minestrone soup... it's really nice.
Here are a few pics.. Including Lhotse...
The snow today-- about 4-5 inches. Just beautiful with the sunshine. But really chilly.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It was fun, don't think I'll ever venture down that way again for any reason (so many better places in the world). The people watching was fun, but it still doesn't out way that they're all intolerable. The beach-- pretty, lots of palm trees, and blue ocean as far as the eye can see.
Then there's the architecture. A fan. I do love the Art Deco style, and the neon lights are a lot of fun.
So here you go......
The last day there was the nicest, and we spent a day people watching and had a really good brunch outside. Then we saw this guy walk by with a chinchilla (?). He was playing with it. Obviously, he's way cool. I wonder how often he changes his shirt?
Yeah, these people were fighting chilly waters (although lovely) and a lot of wind. It was amazing to watch them paddle by from our hotel (not our hotel is not here, it was horrible. We got a lovely night at the Ritz and then had a serious downgrade.....)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
We have a 10 say trip that will fly us into Venice. Then we'll head to Florence for the rest of the time. My only wish is that we could stop over in Frankfurt so we could do a few days in Bonn, Germany... but that's not going to happen this time.
I'm so excited, especially for that to come at the end of my day yesterday. I have something to mark on my calendar and prepare for. I suppose it is time for me to take up learning a little bit of Italian. I don't know anything! Except...
Monday, February 23, 2009
I've been watching this unfold for a week or so. It just gets more and more interesting. Depressing, sad... I feel like today's youth is totally screwed.
Sorry. It's not such a bad world out there, but when I see such a connection with students and the corrupt bureaucratic systems damaging them, it becomes frustrating. As a teacher I really question how much actual good we're doing in our jobs. Yes, education is SUPER important, but it's even more important for students to feel that they can make a change for themselves. And there's absolutely no support for them once they leave the D-home. A switch has to turn for them. They need to feel like they are worth it.
Just ask my female students about the Chris Brown/Rhianna news story. They totally supported Chris Brown and even insinuated that Rhianna made it up or "tripped and fell" . Where's the self-worth there? Regardless of what happened, I was aghast that they would not support a female, close to their own age, who has been obviously injured by this male. Famous or not, they think it's ok that this violence was ok. Obviously, most (if not all) of my female and male students have witnessed a violent act to someone close to them (especially family) or to themselves.
I could go on. Especially after today. ALL of my classes were great, until the last one. There was fight in my class. Nothing I could do about it. The 3 kids were bigger than me. The detention specialist was in my room, but he could only do so much. Luckily I had my duress alarm. Hit it, and people came running in. But not before a chair and a trashcan got thrown across the room. Horrible. And not a damn thing I could do.
I'm kind of at a loss today, very unexpected... not sure what the rest of the week will hold.
I think a batch of chocolate chip cookies are in order. Warm cookies always help!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Well, I spoke to soon. I will never do that again. Friday, 25 minutes from finishing the last class of the day, students were sent back to their units. We were all wondering why. Well, the superintendent of the d-home felt like she needed to have a meeting with her staff.
Couldn't it have waited 25 minutes? I mean come on. Positive change and education, have no chance when people like that create an environment where those things aren't regarded. I understand that safety comes first in a place like this, but how are we supposed to create any sort of consistency when inconsistency is so -- well-- consistent.
This week is no better. 2 half days for "parent conferences". It's been on the calendar for a year, and no one brought it up until yesterday. No parents could have a chance to show up today or tomorrow. I understand that our students are transient, and we sometimes don't know who's going to be here on any given day. However, we could MOVE the dates, or give ourselves a chance to notify the parents, so they have a chance to come or not.
So this week isn't normal either. And next week is a short week because of Presidents' Day. I like my holidays, don't get me wrong-- I love them, I value them... I need them.
Maybe we'll have our chance in March-- no holidays whatsoever...
And don't even get me started about how students aren't able to complete projects. Maybe not frustrating for them, but totally frustrating for me.
I need a zen moment.........
Friday, February 06, 2009
But today I really needed that syrupy-brown-overly sweet flavor. And I was shocked! Really shocked about how sugary it REALLY is. I don't understand how people can drink that all the time.
At the same time, here I am, drinking it, feeling a little naughty, feeling a little guilty, and smacking my lips together..
Coke is it.