BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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It’s Travel Season Again

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Look at all that room! Ah, the good old days of air travel.

I’m packing up to hit the road again, and I’m kind of dreading it. Maybe because I’m not hitting the road at all, I’m hitting the skies. Hello seatbelt extender, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you, but we’re going to get cozy over the next couple of weeks. Six flights in all. Yuck. At least two of them feature my sweetheart, and two feature my son, and the final two feature a colleague, so I won’t be shoehorned between total strangers, but still…

Time to grin and bear it. If I have a good attitude, it will make it so much less unpleasant. Here’s to a positive attitude, and safe travels for all. Buckle up!


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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.


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More Testing

Here we go again. Yet another round of standardized testing. We’re almost done with them. One today (reading), one next week (math) and then, NO MORE! At least not for this year.

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Teacher on Test Day

So what does this mean for my kiddos? Well, truthfully, not a whole lot. At least not for most of them. It does mean that they’re tired of testing. It also means that some of them are losing their enthusiasm (if they ever had any) for taking these tests. This overkill translates into kids who just don’t want to do it, and therefore aren’t prepared to invest the mental energy that doing their best entails.

And really, why should they?

Yes, everyone should always do their best. Or maybe they should usually do their best. Don’t they have to have something, some mental energy, left over for the pursuits of life that truly interest them? Why burn myself out on this test when I’d rather finish it and go back to the awesome book I’ve been reading? I’ll just answer these last few questions quickly… I’m sure I’m doing well, after all I took my time on the first half of the test…

When we do something too often it loses its power. Imagine having a birthday party once a month. It would lose some of its luster. Well, it’s the same with testing. Standardized testing used to be a BIG DEAL. Unfortunately for us, it’s become an even bigger deal for adults (whose job performance ratings are often associated with these outcomes), and more or less no big deal for kids, who have done so many of these it’s hard to keep count.

Yes, kids, I want you to do your best.

Yes, kids, this one counts.

No, don’t worry, you’re still going on to the next grade level.

No, it’s not going on your report card.

But it COUNTS. Really.

Please just do your best, but know that I love you and I understand if you just don’t have it in you today. I know you’ve learned a lot this year, whether this test shows it or not.