Time Passes Quickly

December 19, 2007 at 2:47 pm (Crafts, Home)

Wow, I hadn’t planned this long of a break, but the holidays have taken its toll.  For me the Christmas season starts in October, as most crafters do.  I have 650 students to get ready, this requires lots of planning , buying counting sorting, and then patiance in teaching and a consoling shoulder and a good ear when things do not go as planned. 

On a crafting front I help at a friend’s chruch with the youth.  We (3 adults and 11 children) made advent calendars for every family in the church.  Thank goodness it is a small church with only 89 families.  This took so much time every weekend and Wednesday night from October until December.  Then It was on to the props for the children’s Christmas program.  It all went great but place me way behind in getting any of my own Christmas crafting. 

On a high not for the season I join a Black and White Halloween Swap (my first swap ever).  It was so much fun. I loved it.  I sent my partner a Jack Skeleton candy box, glass etched vase with bats and iron gates packed with small black and gray rocks with a large candle inside, 7 different sented handmade soups (the last thwt I have had time to made), one framed black and white photograph form my angle headstone graveyard shoot, 2 white glass pumpkings with wire writing and lots of candy. Unfortunatly no photos because of camera problems that have just been resolve in the last 2 days. 

I recieved a wooden black bat, black gloves and socks, a beautiful paper crown with my name on it, a handbag that I have use ever since, candy, placemats, and a box wiwth a very fun pumpkin man.  It was so great that I swore to do another swap soon.

True to my word, in Late november I join the Holiday tradition swap.  My partner is a relocated Austrailian who now resides in Canada.  She sent me a lovely letter detail Christmas in Austrailia and her family holiday tradtions along with a White handsewn Kangaroo ornament.  She was so toughtful.

I sent her ( and hopeful it has arrived) a advent calendar (tis the season), cookie recipes and cutters, string ball ornament, and a smowman ornament.  Again no pictures. so sad.

This should all stop today. Pictures will be included with all future post.  I’ll write tomorrow to tell of all the cookie baking and holiday crafting that is for Christmas giving.  Please DON’T READ if you are family or you will ruined the suprise of the gift. 

Wishing all a happy holiday and may Santa sprinkle you with his elf dust so all of those late handmade gifts are finished on time.

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Needing Quite Book Time

October 18, 2007 at 5:00 pm (books, Teaching)

I am having one of those weeks where I crave quite time.  I want nothing more than to curl up in a chair with a book or at a table with a crafty soming for the up coming holidays.  I usually have soming baking while I do these endevors. I find the smell of homemade bake good soothing.  I wish to get away from the chaos that children bring, along with the problematic parents that think that their child was too harshly judge.

Most days I love to teach and this morning until my 4th class was going wonderfully. If any of you work with children, wiether teaching, daycare or just have several of your own, please comment.  How are things best handled?  I ask, I repeat, I take things away.  I ahve gone so far as to remove the offending object of play for a couple of minutes to prove a point. The only thing that happens is irrate calls and no improving behavior.

Are childrens creativity so fragile that they can not sit in a chair nor keep their shoes on their feet?  Is this hampering them creatively? I know that sometimes I feel that it is killing mine, or at least my desire to create once on my own at home.  After helping, assisting, and sometimes pleeding to have the children create, I have nothing left in me to want to start one of my own. This needs to change.   I need to change.  Maybe I just want to much for them. Should I be happy with rude children who wish to injury themselves? Am I over reacting? Maybe a little.

Maybe I’ll re-arange my house so that I have a free uncluttered area that I can leave projects out, so that I can work slowly as I have time. Packing it up only makes me not want to bring it back out.  I need to start working on my portfoilo for Grad school.  Oh well enough with the venting ( though this is one of the reason why created this journal) on to something different.

I have resently finished the first four books ( out of five) in the Overlander series by Susanne Collins.  These childrens books are wonderful.  They are following the age old mythos of coming of age, finding oneselve, along with a great adventure.

The main character is Gregor, an 11 year old boy from New York.  He has to watch his 2 year old sister Boots while his Mother is working as well as take care of his aging grandmother.  Boots is my favorite character in the book.  Her speach patterns are perfect for that age, I can hear her in my head even after I put the book down saying things like “Beeg Bug, Geo-go, beeg, beeg bug!” and “Hi You” 

This is a must for all children.  There is a hidden world, lost father, working mother, children helping raise one another, a young spunky queen, lots of good and bad people who you have to decied who to stand with, and a prophsey you have to solve.  Some of the inhabbitance of the undergraound are Griant 4 foot long cockrachers, 6 foot tall Rats, Large flying bats and lightenbugs, and huge spiders all who can talk and are fighting for their place in the underword.  

I would say that 3rd grade and up could read this on their own.  The lower grade children would love to have this read to them.  Lots of mystery and excitement, not many things to frighten smaller children even though we lose some of our companions as we travel through the books.  Here is the authors website: Susanne Collins

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Parent-Teacher Conference Day and Dogs

October 15, 2007 at 5:38 pm (Dogs, Teaching)

Well as the title states, it is parent teacher conference day.  I will see no one, but have to be at school from noon til 7 pm.  I’ll just work in my room those hours, I have a bit of catching up to do on all the paperwork that is generated by 650 students having art.  But taking a break for lunch now, I got here early today, so I thought I’d post.

I have been looking at dogs again.  It is kind of funny.  The dog I got conned into taking I still hate.  I know that hate is a strong word but here it fits.  We would have never taken this dog if I had know the truth.  Mr. C and I both did not like the dogs personality nor his behavoir from the beginning, but “Friends” claimed that we would only watch him for a little bit while they relocated, a month at most. Ok how bad could a month be? we thought. It has now been a year and a half, and a nightmarish one at that.

The dog has only gotten worst in behavior, I can’t blaim him really we never really spend time with him, but we can not stand him. He just makes Mr. C very angry when he has to deal with him. I still say he would make someone a good dog, just not us.  The key to owning any animal is to know what type of owner you are, and then find a matching or complimentary pet personality.  We are not a good match.

Mr. C and I are busy on the go people. We are gone from the house for 9 or so more house a day. When we get home we like to veg. I am an easy going peronality, Mr. C is a my way or the highway type ( he was the youngest and only boy, can we say a bit spoiled). Smiley is hyper, dominate, and dumb. No really, he is dumb. This is the first dog that I have ever met that could not figure out how to walk on a run line.  He is always choking himself, knocking over his water, pushing us down, tripping us and is distructive if in the house.  So he is on the back porch, let out several times a day on a leash.  He needs a home where there are children he can rough house with, a large fenced in yard to run.  Smiley likes people, dogs, cats and to run full tilt and chase everything, we just don’t have what he needs.

 french bully

What we want is a French Bulldog, just like the one above. White with black spots.  Small, house friendly, people friendly cuttlebug. These dogs do not need a large area to run, can not get too hot or too cold so they love the indoors.  They love to be where you are but don’t always have to be the center of attention just most of the time. The kind of dog you can take with you and let sleep in your bed.  I love the bully breeds, after owning my english bulldog Mac, our 98 pound knee breaking sack of concrete.  He as my neffews would say was a REAL DOG. Sweet, sweet, sweet. I still miss him greatly. So we are looking for a smaller version. Frencies are usually only 28 pounds full grown.

But first we have to get rid of Smiley, before getting a real dog. It is starting to look like the pound (which I hate).  I have been trying to get him into the no-kill shelter for over a year, they never have room and they do not get back with me. I just can not keep him any longer. So if you know anyone that wants a Blue Tick Hound for free please let me know ( I’ll deliever anywhere you are), or if you know a shelter where I can place him or have a French Bulldog who needs a loving home, please, please, PLEASE contact me.

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Questions and Biscotti

October 14, 2007 at 12:38 pm (books, recipes)

I come with a question, why is it that others find taking pride,comfort and joy horrific when they are applied to domestics? What is so wrong with enjoying fixing a healthy and pleasurable meal for ones family? Or wanting a home that is created by your own hands? If you wish to leave you insight on these, please feel free. If you wish to read a book on this topic, Yarnstorms creator has written a lovely book that is taking much heat in the general press just for this issue.

As for today I too have found Apples for Jam cookbook. It is my new love. All color code, and artist dream. I have yet to fix anything from here, but it kept me wonderful company while I waited for the mechanics to finish working on the car. This is a Must!! Check it out.

I’ll leave you today with Pumpkin Biscotti on this fall day

pumpkin biscotti

Pumpkin Biscotti : Makes approximately 15 cookies.

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to generally incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly.

3. Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350 F, until the center is firm to the touch. (Feel free to also form two smaller logs for cute two-bite biscotti; just cut the baking time to 18-24 minutes.)

4. Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. Serve and enjoy.

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At the crossroads

October 11, 2007 at 12:18 am (Uncategorized) ()

With another year underway, I take stock of things around me. My mind dwelling on what I wish to spend more time with. I am starting on a journey, not know where it could lead, will you come with me?

I recently celebrated a birthday (as I artfully stated above) and my dear husband, Mr. Crow, puchased a Kitchen Aide Pink Artisian mixer for me. I fired it up last night for the first time to create 2 batches of Chedar bacon biscuits. They were wonderful, all 52 one inch biscuits. The mixer worked like a charm handling 6 cups of flour, 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of chedar, and 1 cup of crumbled bacon bit. all at the same time. It was heaven. I have only ever had a hand held mixer and at Christmas we always overload the poor thing. It smokes and complains. This years baking should be so much easier. Talk about lightbulbs going off in my head.

What is the first thing that you make when you get a new appliance?

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