BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Confessions of a Cooped Up Teacher

Day One: March 16, 2020

I don’t want to stay home, and yet I want nothing more than to stay home.

I’ve been home for a week. It was spring break, and five glorious days off school were mine! No big plans for me, just some work and some r & r and some time with Mom, doing the mother daughter things: lunch, shopping, movies. The week started off just fine. Yes, there was some rain, but that only made staying in doing nothing that much better. Then it cleared up some, and Mom & I got together and did our thing. It was great. That was last Saturday. On Tuesday we got together again, this time we went to the movies. We had a terrific time and planned to get together again on Thursday. Then all hell broke loose.

1200px-Pandemiclogo.svgWatching the news and reading articles left me with a sense of dread and doom. I did not want to be a part of that, so I switched off my social media and got off my behind. My sweetheart and I did some grocery shopping, made sure we had tp, and planned to lay low. I called Mom to see how she was doing and if she needed anything. She was fine, and said she did not need a thing. Then I told her our plans Thursday were going to have to be delayed. I was not willing to take my eighty-something year old mother into a crowded place just so we could have a nice lunch. She was disappointed, but claimed to understand my reasoning. I think she was just trying to be agreeable.

Since then schools have been shut down in several states, my own included. It was a weight off my chest when the announcement was made last Thursday that our district would close. The entire state is now closed at least until March 27, but between you and me I don’t think schools will be ready to reopen that soon. I keep getting snippets of information, like everyone else. One friend in New York has told me what her district is doing, another friend, who has a daughter in Seattle, has shared some of her experiences. Getting these first and secondhand accounts is powerful. These are REAL people, not alarmists.

Each day I recommit to staying away from people, but it’s so difficult. When my 21 year old called me and asked if we could go to the grocery store together (clearly he was low on funds) I, of course, said yes. And when my brother, mother, and niece asked me to join them for a family St. Patrick’s meal, well, I said yes to that too. But that’s it. I’m not going anywhere after that. Unless I have to.

As of right now, I don’t really know what I have to do. I’ve been gathering some resources for teachers and parents, but honestly, there’s simply too much to sort through. I’m so grateful to all the children’s presses, publishers, authors, bookstores, and curriculum websites. You’ve been so generous with your time and resources. The only issue is that there’s SO much that it’s overwhelming, even for someone like me, who is familiar with much of it (unlike parents). How are we going to pare this down to its most impactful elements and share it equally? How are we going to reach and engage our students when we’re all living in a shared state of disbelief?

I’m sure some guidance will be forthcoming, at least in regard to work. For now I’m grateful that my loved ones are all healthy, and we have what we need. I hope you can say the same.

 


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So What Exactly Do You Do About a Pandemic?

I keep waiting to wake up and find that I’ve been having some sort of ongoing 3-D full color hallucination, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’m concerned about this virus. Maybe that’s an understatement. I’ve been following the news, and reading articles and reports from sources that I think are credible ( CDC, New York Times, Time Magazine ) and it seems to me that we all just need to get very zen and stay home. Okay, maybe not all of us, but most of us.

coronavirus-highresI’m trying to limit my social contact, but it’s hard, especially since some people in my life don’t seem as concerned about this virus as I am. My concern isn’t really about getting sick (although that would suck, I’m not gonna lie), but it’s about people nonchalantly spreading this nasty thing around all over the place and a bunch of people getting sick all at once. If we can avoid that, why wouldn’t we? Again, I’m not talking about everyone. Someone has to deliver babies and answer 911 calls and care for sick people and feed and water shelter animals and on and on. I’m talking about the rest of us.

If we could keep our communities safe and our at-risk populations well, wouldn’t it make sense to close schools and stores and restaurants and libraries and on and on? I know, I’m not thinking this all the way through. There are ramifications to these drastic measures, both financial and otherwise, but my gawd, look at what happened in Italy. Now the country is on “lockdown” but so many people have lost their lives, and their healthcare system has been completely overwhelmed. That can happen here, I have no doubt about that.

Here’s the thing… maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve been reading and listening to the wrong things, but what if I’m not? We’re this far into this thing, so why don’t we take this social distancing thing seriously? Is it imperative that you go to the movies this weekend? Isn’t there enough entertainment available to you at home? And brunch can wait a few weeks, can’t it? Stay home, friends. Your pedicure isn’t that critical, and you can do yoga in your living room instead of the gym. And yes, you can skip religious services too. There’s no deity I’m aware of that won’t listen to you from the privacy of your home. Slow down, stay calm, take care of your loved ones, and for goodness sake, wash your hands. Oh, and if you see my mother out and about, please give her some space


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Time for Some New Feet

Feet? What feet? Well the ones at the ends of my legs, of course. Particularly the one at the end of my left leg. That sucker has been causing quite a bit of annoyance lately. A little thing called plantar fasciitis has decided to take up residency there and let me tell you, it’s no fun. Long story short, it causes pain in the foot, but it’s not constant (thank goodness), at least not for me. It does mean that my fashion options, when it comes to shoes, have become quite limited. Either that, or suffer the consequences. Black Nikes it is, then!all black nike shoes womens-450bhl.jpg

These aren’t the only feet that have been on my mind lately. I’ve also been messing around with my sewing machine feet. I’ve dusted off the old gal (what a weird phrase, even if my machine is approaching its 25th birthday in a few days) and pulled out a few sample quilt sandwiches (if you don’t quilt, it’s just a few layers of quilty stuff put together) to do some practicing.

I have to thank Angela Walters for my renewed enthusiasm. I found her YouTube series The Midnight Quilt Show and became sort of hooked. Then, when bopping around on YouTube I found a tutorial from a quilt shop that showed a machine binding using an edge joining foot. It was beautiful. It was simple. It was fast. I wanted one. I needed one. Stat!

So, off to the quilt shop and sewing machine dealer I went. And lo and behold, there’s an edge joining foot for my machine, but it looks nothing like the one in the tutorial, and I’m pretty sure it won’t work. This left me feeling a little sad, but not totally discouraged. Maybe the other shop will have something that works.

Off I went to the other shop, the one that actually sells my brand of sewing machines, and I explain what I’m looking for. Cristy is on the case. She is bound and determined to find the correct foot for me. She brings one out and we pop it on a machine and give it a whirl. Nope, not quite. I need to get the needle over to the left position and this one only allows a straight stitch down the middle.

She’s not giving up, though. Out comes another foot. This one looks promising. Pop it on the machine, and… yes! This is going to work! Maybe not as cleanly as the one in the tutorial, but it will work. SOLD!

Of course I have to allow Mr. Google to have a crack at this quest, too. He comes up with three other options, the cost of all three, plus shipping, is less than the one I just bought. Well, what the hell, why not? SOLD!21wXYHysBIL._SX90_.jpg

One of them is gold. Not literally, but it works great. Just not for the purpose I intended, but no worries, I will use it plenty. It’s a quarter inch foot with an edge guide on it so no matter how sloppy I get I won’t stray from that sacred quarter inch.

The other foot has been sitting in my UPS box for the past couple of days. I’m looking forward to picking it up later and seeing what it can do.

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This renewed interest in quilting is fun! I managed to get the center section of a spider web quilt put together (finally, I’m calling this one “Decades”), and I finished up the binding on a little quilt that’s been hanging around for a long time. It feels good to sew, and it feels good to see myself improving my machine quilting skills.

If only human feet were as easy to replace as sewing machine feet, I would pop this one off and put on one that works a little more easily. A girl can dream, but in the meantime I think I’ll sew instead.