A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Well, this is the only stitchery related accomplishment of the last two weeks. It's the first mini-block from Leanne's Butterfly Garden and I put it together last weekend when I spent the night with my mom. SIL came over for her first hand-applique lesson. The previous day I had taken Mom to a couple of shops in a vain attempt to find some little buttons to include with Chiloe's snow gardener chart (sorry, no luck) and to fill out some of the fabrics for this quilt. I'm thrilled that I will be able to use up a lot of stash on this, but some of the pieces (like the little check above) are from charm packs and just aren't going to stretch too far. I needed a handful of yard pieces to tie the quilt together. I have a huge piece (10 yards of 52" wide) of Robyn Pandolph's "Captured in Time" that I had bought to make a garden trellis quilt for my upstairs guest room in the new house.

I had also bought several yards of her "Cinnamon Girl" rose bud (on the bottom of the mini-block) for the same quilt. Now there will be no upstairs guest room (maybe no new house) so I'm going to use all that for this quilt. It's perfect!

I'm finally starting to feel almost human again but am doing a lot of self-talk to not try to do too much this weekend. I would really love to get the Christmas tree down and do some cleaning but I'm just edgy enough with this thing to feel like if I do that, I'll be back down for next week. I have some medical tests scheduled for Tuesday that I do not want to have to reschedule because I overdid this weekend so LET LAZINESS REIGN!

The worst part of this virus was the depression. Last Monday I spent my entire work period crying in my classroom, then could barely contain myself for the rest of the day. By the time I got home I was a blubbering mess. DH felt awful (he's such a guy, wanting to "fix" everything.) I did my best to explain that life ain't been so great lately for us, but that I'm usually able to keep things in perspective and move forward through the trials. This virus just sapped out all my reserves and I had nothing left to battle the blues. Fortunately, that part seems to be passing, although I am still crabby and short-tempered at work.

On Thursday, one of our school coaches hosted a field hockey demonstration for the field hockey team (who were all going to be out of school all day Friday for a field trip to the local community college for a field hockey tournament.) At the beginning of my fifth period class a very sweet girl (and good student) came bee-bopping up up and asked, politely as you please, "Are we doing anything important in class today?" "Why no, dear, I never plan anything important for history." Still glowing, she says, "Well, our field hockey coach says that if we're not missing anything important in our fifth period class we can come to the demonstration." At which point I had to tell her that I was giving a lecture that would not be repeated nor could I give her anything to make up for it. Good girl that she is, she stayed in history and I got to watch her pout for 45 minutes.

Why was this my burden? The coach was already pulling the whole team out of their classes for an entire day Friday. Why even mention this second demonstration Thursday? And why put it on the regular ed teachers to be the bad guys? Do they think we're in the habit of planning meaningless activities that can be blown off whenever some coach wants to pull a kid? I ended my day writing a school-wide diatribe email. I tried to make the point that I really DO support enrichment activities and really DO support kids missing class to go do these things. But part of life is understanding that you can't do it all and it's nobody else's responsibility to see that you can. If you are going to miss one thing in order to do something else, that's your choice. It's nobody else's responsibility to make it OK for you.

My boys missed a lot of classes because of their "enrichment" activities. When my oldest was a senior, his honors English teacher called the house to tell me that even though my son was a "wonderful writer," he would never get higher than a "C" in HER class because he was gone all the time on "those music things." "Those music things" were competitions.
I told this teacher, "Music is air to my son; there's no way I'm going to make him stop going to 'those music things.' You, of course, should give him whatever grade you feel he's earned in your class." I then told him that she had called and what she said, and assured him he had our support whatever he decided. He continued to go to "those music things," then went on to get his BFA in music (a process that including performing in big bands that competed in -and sometimes won- international jazz festivals like Reno, Montreaux and North Sea. Oh yeah, and I don't know what his final grade was in honors English, but the teacher referred him for a special seminar with Jack Grapes, so she must not have thought he was too shabby.

See, my fuse is still really short. I had a professor tell me this once and I try to remember it. She was talking about students, of course, but I think it applies to everyone. She said, "It's like we're born with a ziploc bag. Every time someone does something positive for us - praises us for something, gives us a hug, supports us when we're down - we add poker chips to our ziploc bag. Every time something negative happens, we lose some chips. When we're faced with a challenge, we have to decide how many chips to risk; the challenge might not go well and we'll lose the chips we risk, but if it does go well, we get even more chips in return. Kids have those little ziploc bags, too, and kids whose bags are filled with chips are the ones who will risk them in classroom situations (or life situations, I would say); the kids who are low are chips are not going to risk the few they have.

This damn virus sucked up my chips. It's going to take me a while to collect some back up again.

By the way, my younger son has put together a youtube album of his drum-related stuff (he's a gifted percussionist; his older brother plays piano and is a gifted bass player. The term "gifted" is one I've overheard professionals say about them so I don't feel TOO much like the biased mommy here.) Anyway, DS2 posted the audio of one of his older brother's big band arrangements of "The Streets of Laredo" played by the Lane 29 Orchestra. When the boys were little, their dad would sing them to sleep with old cowboy songs, and DS1 did this arrangement as a tribute to his dad (which is why it starts out and ends like a lullabye). Anyway, if you would like to go hear it , here's the link. DS1 composed/arranged it and plays piano in this recording; DS2 is playing drums. Streets of Laredo


Kathryn said...

The thing you MUST remember is that it is virus that is making you cranky and short tempered and depressed. I am actually a pretty upbeat person, but this last month made me feel almost suicidal, especially as the illness has drug on and on. I think putting my foot down and refusing to do anything this last week (except stitch, read, and make dinner) has actually helped a lot. I am starting to feel more cheerful, even though the weather has been rainy and gray and now the wind is blowing a gale.

Do try to rest as much as you can and cut yourself some slack. Knowing that it will take a long while to pull yourself out of this illness should help. I don't know how you have kept working through this. I couldn't have done it.

Kim said...

Hi Debi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yes, my husband does have Meniere's disease--he was just diagnosed a few months back. If you have information to direct me to, I'd be glad to read it. I've read a bit but am always interested to learn more about things. Thanks for doing your part to help out the economy--oh, and I bought another bunny today! LOL! I can't seem to stop! ROFLOL! I hope you're back to feeling well soon!