Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ever have this disease?

I have a really bad case of the "Idon'twanna"s.  This week my students have been testing on their home campuses and only coming over for the last half of my double blocked class and then returning to their campuses for the last class of the day.  Even though I had big plans on getting things done and graded and cleaned up, I have gotten nothing done at all!!  I take that back. I have gotten several things done, but not what I had planned on doing.  After two entire days of mostly sitting around working on the computer, planning future caterings, etc., today (our third day in a row and our last day) I really have come down with the "Idon'twanna" disease and have spread it to my classroom aide.  As I sit here yawning, waiting for two students to show up before taking attendance for the 20 minutes they will be in my classroom, I am writing in the blog.

My body is ready for school to be out and to move to my summer schedule.  I am having a really hard time getting to bed before midnight (more like 1 a.m.) and getting up by 7 (should be 5:30!!).  I have been sewing most nights working on my row quilt.  It's not a large one - only 42 1/4" wide so far.  I know I want to add a wide border on the left side with maybe a tree or branches or possibly floating blocks.

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Not Easy Being a Sick Teacher

It's no fun being sick!  I woke up Monday feeling bad, but knew I had to go into work since it was our first day back from Spring Break.  Left school a little early, went home and lounged, but could I sleep?  No.  I woke up almost every hour on the hour!  I couldn't breathe!  However, I knew since we were having restaurant on Thursday, we had to get pies made.  So, into work I go on Tuesday.  Still feeling bad, but not totally horrible.  Needless to say, but I will anyway, my week has continued on in this fashion.  I have been here everyday, I haven't slept much at a time (last night was the longest between wakenings at 4 hours!!) Today, I feel HORRIBLE!!!  I am leaving school here in a few minutes to go to the doctor.  I know he is going to ask how long I have been like this and when I say since Monday, he is going to give me the look.  I am prepared for that look.  I know!  But sometimes you just have to do, push through and hold on until you just can't do it any more.

by the way, restaurant was wonderful!  We served Chips and Salsa, Green Enchiladas - with beef - Mexican style rice and beans and a variety of pies - how many varieties you ask - well, let me tell you.  I had purchased graham cracker pie crusts on sale after Christmas for cheap!  really cheap!  so we made:
 1. Peanut Butter with fudge topping, - this was a first for me.  one of my students found this recipe and it is a keeper!  definitely going into the recipe folder.
2.  My 8 minute cheesecake pie with fresh strawberries - this is always a winner in my book
3.  One of my childhood favorites, Pink Lemonade Pie, YUM!
4.  S'more pie - this was a new one - another student found this and wanted to try it.  It was a medium size hit and is also going into the recipe folder.
5.  Key Lime Pie.  this recipe, that a student found, is lacking something, even though some people liked it well enough.  I think my aunt's recipe is better.  I have it at home and I guess I need to add it to my school folder.
6.  chocolate Cream pie - another student find and it was a flop.  literally.  It ran all over the pie pan.  It needs some help or better yet, I think I will throw that recipe out.  I have a better chocolate pie that I will use next time.
7.  Caramel Banana Cream Pie - this one we combined a couple of recipes to create.  It was good, but runny.  It's a keeper with some major altering of the recipe.  it needs some help being more of a complete pie instead of a banana pudding.
8.  Cherry O Cream pie - I wish the students had made a couple more of these.  It's the standard pie from the 70's.

I think that is all of the pies we served yesterday.  It was a lot and when they ran out, we were out! I tried to stay out of the restaurant and kitchen as much as possible and just let my students run it since I was sickly and they, along with my aide, did a great job.  I could mostly sit at my desk and take in the money the waiters would bring me.  

It was a fun week in the kitchen, but I am so ready for a shot and some meds and my bed!  Can't wait until I can go to the doctor.  (Now, how many people do you know say that?)  I am glad I was here all week so my students could cook, but I have to get well so they can cook again next week.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Break is in the Books!

Have had a GREAT spring break!  Started the week taking a two day class with Gail Garber.  The first day we learned how to draft our spectacular stars.  Then after a pot luck lunch, we began making our patterns and paper piecing the pie segments.  I think I got most of one finished before class was dismissed and we took Ms. Gail out to eat at the famous Barn Door steak house.  She was so impressed with the big block of cheese they serve that she just had to take a picture.  LOL She really enjoyed her prime rib and sweet potato fries, too.  Several of us returned to the church to continue sewing our stars and many finished them in time for the next days class.  Gail was so impressed with us! 
Frances' star block

Gerrie's first star block started last year, but finished this week

Donna's star block

Cathi's star block proving you can make magic even when you mess up!

Chelsie's first block.  She was the first to finish hers.

Chelsie's second star block.  She was bored waiting for us to finish so she drafted and made another.

Gerrie's second block drafted and made first and then she finished her other one. 

Glenda's star block

Liz's star block

Ruth's amazing star block.  This took some fussy cutting and patience!

Last, but not least is my star block

The next day we returned for day two of our class and circular borders.  Since not all of us were finished with our blocks, some of us got to have a 1/2 day class on free form drafting!!  Such fun!  She showed us how to draft and draw our curved pieces and then set us free to draw all we wanted.  She would bring us back from time to time - she did need to go to the other room and check on everyone else finishing up their stars - and teach us how to draft another area.  It was so much fun. After lunch, she taught us how to draft about 10 different circular borders.  Then we began making our patterns and sewing our borders.  That evening we took Gail to eat at Osaka's a Japanese steak house (okay, now that I see it in print, it looks like it would be similar, but they are totally different steak houses!)  Osaka's has the traditional Japanese cooktop there at the table and you get a show and dinner all at the same time.  Plus, the food is delicious!  However, it's really pricey.  It was at dinner that I found out Gail and I share a birthday!  She had never met anyone with her same birthday before and was really surprised.  I think she enjoyed her time with us here in Odessa and I know we all enjoyed having her come teach us for two days.  Here are a few of the blocks with their second and in some cases, third rounds. 

I was going to label them, but every time I try, it highlights everyone and then deletes a few.  So, Frances added dancing Kachina dolls to hers, Liz added a plain green border and then sewed a picket fence border to add around.  I added flying geese in two sizes and then added a squared up border and another small purple border.  I plan on putting it on point in the middle of a larger quilt.  Ruth added a thin green border and then purple points around hers and last, but not least, Glenda added a big/little border she calls Kristy's Mountains around her block.  It has been fun to see how each one has changed and grown. I can't wait to see what everyone does with theirs.  I do know that Frances is adding some big/little mountains around her Kachina's, Chelsie added some pointy dudes around her first one, Gerrie was adding a border around her first wheat one, but I can't remember off the top of my head what pattern she was using even though I assisted with color choices.  Donna is doing flying geese.  So, maybe by next month we will have some semi finished if not totally finished tops ready to be quilted. 

The rest of the week we had an extra quilt-in.  We sewed from 9 a.m. - 11p.m. almost every day.  Of course, not all of us stayed the entire time.  Some days I didn't get there until closer to 10 and some people left before it got dark.  It was a wonderful time with a lot, I mean a lot of people choosing to spend part of their week sewing up at the church.  (about 32 different people came through, with an average daily attendance of around 18) It was a great time and even though I didn't get anything done that I had on my list of things to do this week, I am looking forward to getting back into a routine.  Getting back in the kitchen with my students.  Ready to finish out this school year. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Two Birds . . .

Don't you hate it when you are part of a group thing and it gets shut down and you aren't told it's getting shut down and you go to it and it's no longer there?  I had a student in my cooperative learning class several years ago (student goes to school half the day and then goes to work the other half) and she went in to work as she was scheduled and the business had closed.  No phone call, no warning, just shut the doors.  Not even a sign on the door!!  She had been at work the night before.  It was really weird.  That is not what I am talking about specifically, but it relates.  Oh, well.  There was no sign on the door, no advanced warning, just closed.  bummer!!  I really enjoyed that group thingy I was a part of for several years.  Maybe those "doors"  will reopen sometime in the future or something else will come along. 

What is not a bummer though is this fun, wonderful, kills two birds with one stone quilt top I just finished. 

This is my Purple Penny Patch Quilt that I finished this weekend (without the top row showing since this was being held up by two of my students, they don't understand the importance of showing all the quilt!  However, the one on the left did put that edge out over the table corner so it would show, just not the top row.  I started this quilt top as an example of using 4 patch units in a quilt.  I had made two blocks, one had a pink/purple print as the large square and the other had a mottled purple large square.  Two of my little cousins (my first cousins children) wanted purple quilts for their high school graduation.  Well, they have been out of high school for at least 4 or 5 years now and I just can not force myself to make them an all purple quilt.  I had cut about 20 fat quarters and tied them all up ready to make either a Yellow Brick Road quilt or a turning twenty quilt.  I just haven't forced myself to make them.  Purple is not my go to color choice even though I like it, it's just not the first color I think of like soooo many people today.  Anyway, after seeing these two blocks up on the design wall, I thought, "Purple!!!  I can use those fat quarters I cut for a purple yellow brick road quilt to add some zing and pizzazz to this quilt." So, that is what I did.  I only made 12 blocks, (12 fat quarters) and that meant that the top was only 48 X 64.  It needed to be wider.  Of course, I can't do things symmetrical so I cut strips from the remaining 8 1/2" segment that I cut my square from and sewed those together.  Once I got my strips sewn, I planned on cutting that long section to put part on the left and part on the right, but decided to put it all on one side.  Now I needed to cut some more strips to put onto the right side, just not the same size.  Looking good.  However the top and bottom look unfinished, but I don't want to add too much to the length so no piano keys for them, just bricks with a little bit of the leftover keys sewn in.  The top has only one row of bricks and the bottom has two.  Love how this turned out and this will be one of the girl's quilts after I get a purple back (already have the fabric for this) cut out and put together to send off to the quilter.  First, though, it is part of the 4 patch class I will be teaching at retreat in a couple of weeks.  two birds, one stone!  Love it!! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stuff again

Writing prompt for the day:  on this day in 1924 the first winter Olympics were held.  What is your favorite event and why? 

It totally shocked me that about half of all my students had never watched the winter Olympics on television and couldn't tell me what any of the events might be.  WHAT???  shocked!  My aide was shocked and my appraiser who was in my class today was shocked.  It was crazy.  I don't know how anyone in todays world of having 3+ televisions per household could ever grow up and not have watched the winter Olympics.  some had never watched the summer ones either.  Now I know these are mostly 16/17/18 year olds, but come on!  I remember watching the Olympics while sitting on my parents bed in their bedroom because it was something special. 

Feeling better.  Stomach has finally settled down a lot and not being so picky which is a good thing.  I just wish it had gotten better before last weekends trip to the FCSTAT mid-winter conference.  I just didn't feel up to going out with the group for Mexican food. (nope, didn't think I could handle that)  I posted a picture of a slice of cheesecake and it was pretty good, couldn't eat it all even though it was small, but even the wonderfulness of it didn't sit well. Couldn't lay down to sleep due to the nausea.  However, I was glad that that was all it was the entire weekend.  Just that feeling of yuck without all the yuck. 

Got a full week of things going on and am looking forward to our stay at home quilt retreats we have in our quilt group.  We will be getting together to plan out our row quilts for the year and coming up with what all we want to go in our quilts and how we want to do them.  I anticipate that we will have at least three groups that come together to plan their row quilts; traditional, modern and improve. 

Gotta get some rest for tomorrow is looking like it might be a long day. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK Day Break

Martin Luther King Day and I am home from school.  That is a good thing.  I am sick.  That is a bad thing.  I have gotten nothing done today and I am okay with that given the circumstances.  I had planned on going to get soup in Midland - Harvest CafĂ© - Bahama Chicken Enchilada soup, yummm! I had planned on sewing a few more blocks in the 4 patch variations segment.  I had planned on taking out the trash, washing clothes, cooking. . . . none of this got done. Well, I did wash one load of clothes, but that wasn't even a drop in the bucket on the clothes front.  I may have to stay home tomorrow, too - depends on how the night goes, if I am still running fever - and that is not the best thing.  There are way too many things to get done this semester and it is already cut into by FCCLA regionals (I have to work two other ones beside ours) and possibly state. That means I will be out at least 8 or 9 days just with FCCLA.  Then there are the quilting things.  You know I have to have my quilting things.  That is another 4 days of being out.  I have to attend the FCSTAT Mid Winter conference so add in a couple more days and I am going to miss about 3 weeks of school just attending to other things.  That doesn't even include in case I get sick.  Which, knock on wood, I haven't had a sinus infection so far this year!  (I was really, really sick with a couple of them back to back last year and then had a reaction to my meds.  It was not good.  I even had to miss out on some of the FCCLA and ALL of the quilting last spring which is why I am NOT going to miss out on the quilting this spring!  If I can help it)  Even though its a nice break and it's mostly for the kids, it's still hard to get the rhythm going and flowing in the classroom.  We were just picking up speed and then we have this day off from school.  We will just be picking up the speed again and then it's spring break.  Don't get me wrong, I love the breaks we get.  It's just hard sometimes to keep the flow going when you are in and out of the classroom.  But that is life. 

Here is the top for my word of the year quilt.  I just need to quilt and bind it - hey strips are cut at least!  Then I will have one completed quilt for the year. 

I had planned on posting the 4 patch variations I have been working on, but apparently I deleted them from my e-mails and will need to resend them from my phone again.  On the good side, that will be another post!  I will try not to be so whiny in the next one.  Maybe by then my body will feel better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016