Not bad for a fat girl


A New Quilt Project

You know how you have lots of projects already in the works, but can never seem to find the time to finish them? You don’t? Oh. Well, I do.

Sometimes those projects linger for days, weeks, months, or in the case of several of my unfinished quilts, years. Still, I can’t quite bring myself to give up on them.

Just like Dug, I'm easily excited by new things.

Just like Dug, I’m easily excited by new things.

SOMEDAY I may want to finish that particular project, so it sits tucked away, patiently waiting.

In the meantime, my attention gets drawn someplace else. New ideas pop into my head. New materials beckon to me. New trends emerge. “THAT’S what I want to do!” I tell myself, so nine times out of ten I give myself permission to go for it.

I’m not one to start and finish one thing before I start and finish the next. I’m more of a multi-tasker. I may be reading three or four books, writing two or three pieces, and sewing two or three quilts at any one time. My dearly departed father would be both proud and appalled. Proud because he did the same thing. Appalled because he preached against it.

Today I’m on summer vacation. I have the itch to sew up some of the gorgeous fabrics that have been patiently decorating my past two sewing spaces. I’ve found a pattern I’d like to try, and I’m ready to go. All I have to do is move the laptop and replace it with the sewing machine. Then it’s go time!

I’m excited. I’m ready. Here we go!


The Last Day of School

At 12:45 this afternoon another school year will officially close. The student work has been sent home, the desks have been washed, the report cards have been printed and stuffed in envelopes. All that’s left to do today is reflect on the year, participate in the annual 5th graders v. teacher’s kickball game, and watch a movie. It should be a breeze.

In my own childhood, the last day of school was an exciting day. image91jpg1I don’t remember too many particulars, but there may have been popsicles involved. I loved school as a kid, but I loved summer vacation too. The long lazy days, the weeks of summer camp, and the feeling of freedom were priceless. What kid wouldn’t love summer vacation?

Sadly, there are kids who don’t. These are the kids who aren’t going to summer camp. Their families aren’t going on vacation, and the feeling of freedom is more like a feeling of abandonment. These kids rely on school for structure, consistency, and in some cases, two meals a day. They are the ones that are quiet as the others buzz about their upcoming trips to San Diego or Wisconsin or Disneyland. Their grandparents won’t be coming to visit, they won’t be going camping, and nobody is going to sign them up for the library’s summer reading program. No swimming lessons, no soccer teams, no arts and crafts. These kids will watch a lot of tv and become bored quickly.

The adults in their lives have limited resources. In many families there are shortages. There are shortages of money, of time, and of energy. There are kids in households run by adults who are ill equipped to care for them. Adults with substance abuse problems, mental illnesses, and insane work schedules.  There are kids in group homes and kids living with grandparents and even great grandparents who simply don’t have the energy for them. I’m not saying these kids are unloved, most of them are, but their homes are often chaotic and unpredictable. There may be drug or alcohol abuse in the home, there may be violence. Kids see and hear more than we realize, and it affects them.

Most of my students are excited about summer vacation, and I’m glad. They have worked hard all year and they deserve some down time to just be kids with no pressure to achieve and perform. My wish for the summer is that all kids have fun and stimulating experiences with people who are genuinely concerned about their well being and are equipped to care for them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find my sneakers, I have a kickball game to play.

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Letting Go of the Wheel

My son is seventeen. Frankly it sort of hurts to say it out loud. It just seems like he shouldn’t be quite this close to adulthood.teen-driver

In many ways he’s your average teen and in other ways he’s quite different. For one thing he’s quite bright. He just “gets” things that it takes other people a great deal of time and effort to understand. He learns complex material quickly and thoroughly, and he retains it. He also has a knack for figuring things out on his own. As a result he does fairly well in school. When he remembers to turn in assignments. Or makes sure that he completes all parts of them. Or uses the format the teacher prefers. These are the types of things that challenge him. The trivia of life. Continue reading