Archive for January, 2009

Am I Late to the Party?

January 26, 2009

Probably, but I figured that if I hadn’t seen this until today, maybe some of you haven’t seen it either.  Sneezing Panda.  Pure cuteness.

Only a little bit of knitting happening lately.  Still working on the Toothpaste Liesl.  It’s coming along  s-l-o-w-l-y.  I was a little distracted by the two new books that arrived on my doorstep.


I bought Custom Knits, by Wendy Bernard and French Girl Knits, by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes for $1.86, thanks to some giftcards from Borders.  Lots and lots of beautiful ideas and patterns in these two books, but I’ve promised myself I won’t cast on for anything until I’ve finished my current projects.  Or most of them.  A few of them.  Maybe one.

There’s a dark cloud over my knitting right now.  It’s report card time again – a major time suck.  I’m also in the process of applying to a Literacy Specialist certification program (which will enable me to have an additional certificate to teach remedial reading and language arts).  The application process alone has me writing an essay and doing a resume, both of which are things I haven’t had to do in a long, long time.  I’ve spent hours and hours on this 2-page, double-spaced, size 12 font essay and I still can’t let it go.   Every time I think it’s done, I’ll talk with someone else who will remind me of yet another buzzword-of-the-moment that I should throw in.  Painful.   The program, if I’m accepted, will take 13 months, the first of which is in July – Monday through Friday from 9 to 2.  A friend who went through the program told me that the first July was brutal, with a nightly reading assignment and response paper.  A paper every day.  Every day.  I’m a little scared.  After that it’ll get easier – nothing in August and then one Saturday a month from September to June, ending with another solid July.  I know I can do it but I’m already uptight about all of the free time I’ll be giving up.  I might not be able to knit much, but I’ll be sure to hold a ball of yarn in my lap as I read and write.  It’ll be worth it in the end.  Really.  I’m pretty sure.

Before I cut out to write about how my third graders are a pleasure to have in class, I need to take another moment.  Too much of this happening lately.

On Friday, January 23rd, we lost my Uncle Eddie.  He was my mother’s brother – the eldest of four children and the only male.  He was one of the good ones.  Selfless.  Gentle.  Kind.  Sweet.  Generous.  Calm.  Adorable.  He almost made it to his 90th birthday. (This is the place where my mom would want me to tell you that she’s his much younger sister.)  We’ll all miss him.  A lot.  Forever.

Au Revoir Before We Even Got a Chance . . .

January 22, 2009

Our little French-speaking friend didn’t end up joining our class.  Although she’d been in the third grade in her West African school, our principal decided to place her in second grade because of her age.  My kids were so disappointed, but this child will be better off.  She’s joined a class of 16 children, rather than becoming the 22nd student in my  jam-packed classroom.   Maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll be in my class next year.  She’s absolutely adorable – friendly and outgoing.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Tuesday was a very special day at our school.  We had our own Inaugural Ball!  It was one of the many balls that our new President Obama attended that day.  I was lucky enough to have my picture taken with him!  Look!


And can I just say that I had loads and loads of chuckles on Tuesday night listening to Anderson Cooper say the word balls over and over and over.  Snortfest.

I’ll leave you with this link.  It’s a beauty.  No words are necessary.  Just go watch.


January 19, 2009

Sorry.  That was just me blowing the dust off.

I’ve been knitting off and on, though not as much as I’d like.  I’ve made some progress on a second Liesl, lovingly titled the Toothpast Liesl.  The color is very Crest-ish.


I’ve made a few changes to this version of my beloved purple sweater.  I’m knitting a size larger so that it won’t be a super-snug fitting cardigan and I’ve also eliminated the ridge row in the pattern so that it’ll have a smoother look.  This sweater doesn’t have buttonholes like the first one, but that was a complete oops-I-forgot-so-crap-I’ll-just-have-to-use-a-pin.


Speaking of lack of buttons, my original Liesl was buttonless for a few weeks.  I finally got myself to the store and chose two sets of buttons.  I couldn’t decide by myself, so I figured my boy would help.  He’s always willing to give me advice when it comes to what I wear. (Why I would take advice from a boy who wears the same pants every day of his life until I wrestle them to the washing machine . . . a boy who wears wrinkled and stretched out shirts . . . a boy who would go to school wearing the clothes he slept in . . . well, it’s beyond me.)

He chose these buttons.  Plain silvertone.  Very simply.  I sewed them on.   He shook his head.  D’oh!


So I pulled those off and sewed on my original first choice, the boy’s second choice.


We have a winner.  I like the way these blend in.  Done.


I’ve made a teeny bit of progress on my Cable Luxe Tunic.  It’s very . . . cable-y.  Extremely cable-ish.  Lots of freakin’ cables.  I love it, but it makes me tired.


It’ll take lots of pushing to get me to knit this entire sweater.  My sister is knitting it now, too.  She’ll probably have it done and all worn out before I get the yoke done.  She’s got mad skilz.


On the school front, I’ve got a little knot of anxiety in my stomach.  On Friday, I was told that I’d be getting a new student this coming week.  From West Africa.  Very cool!  Only speaks French.  Yikes.  I can already hear myself shouting, “Hello!  I’m happy to meet you!” in the way I always seem to do when trying to speak to someone who doesn’t understand English.  Why do I think that if I’m loud, they’ll understand me?   I’ve had two previous non-English-speaking students come  to my class, and I did it both times.  I’m really going to make an effort to talk like a normal person and not make an idiot out of myself.  I’m nervous about this child, but only because I want her to be happy and comfortable in my classroom.  I know she’ll probably be scared and I hate the thought of that.  She’ll work with ESOL instructors a few times a week and then she’ll just amazingly pick up the language by being thrown into the mix.  I’m always in awe of how quickly children can learn.  The kids in my class are excited about the idea of a new student.  They can’t wait – they all think they’re going to learn French.  But still.  I’m nervous.  I can be nervous if I want to.

In an effort to stop the continuous curtain climbing that goes on in my bedroom when I’m trying to sleep, I bought the Pedi-Paws nail groomer thing at Walgreen’s.  I couldn’t seem to do it properly – couldn’t get Emmie’s claws all the way in to hit the filer without being afraid I was hurting her.   The boy, however, is a master.  He’s taken over the job.  Emmie doesn’t fight him – just hangs out and lets him get it over with.


It’s exhausting though.


Saw this article on  They’ve set up a Best “As Seen on TV” Product Bracket, just like they do for college ball.  Go and vote for your favorites in the first round.  ShamWow.  Might Putty.  Thighmaster.  Snort.