primsong: (jo keys)
We had our last graduation event for my youngest's school chums, the ones who were Freshmen when she was a Senior so we worked with them in drama, etc. and got to know them. End of an era with her school in a way as most of the amazing older teachers she had that were so influential are all retiring as well now. Good people, the kind that pour their lives into those kids and it really shows, the kind the kids still talk about when they are old themselves.

The roses are all so tall and abundant this year! My yard is going crazy with blooming things so I cut back two big bouquets of miniature roses to give away to people at church this morning. Now I've dragged out my dehydrator and loaded it up with rose petals for a friend who adds them to her homemade soaps, the house smells heavenly with drying roses.

Hoping all is well for everyone as we all wade into another summer together.
primsong: (pears)
Managed to make myself sit down and work on watercolor for a bit, and while I was there I remembered I hadn't prepared any kind of "welcome back" treat for the preschool teachers this year so I made them some quick mini-pictures.  They're not super duper and some came out better than others but I was kind of pleased that I Did The Thing instead of just buying a pack of cards at the shop.  If I can get the ball rolling, maybe I can save a little money on greeting cards at the very least. 

watercolor cards for our teachers

primsong: (odds fish)
My daughter called to tell me she has a new manager. He mentioned something about the small town he'd grown up in, she said "Oh yeah! My mom went to high school there." "What's her name?" he asked and whaddayaknow, he graduated with me!

Last time I saw him he was 18, of course, and taking honors for his many athletic skills. Always a nice congenial kind of guy, always dressed in assorted sports gear every time we crossed paths. Strange to fast-forward that mental image of him to a 50 year old manager working with my now-grown kid! I wonder if he still has his hair.

Life is weird.
primsong: (starry sky)
Just finished another round of our annual preschool fundraising dinner and basket raffle - as we were setting up the tables one of the grade school girls, the sort who has several small siblings and as a result speaks more like a wise mom than a kid, made the observation that "Oh yes, now all the little girls will come in and get their heart set on something in baskets, and then when they don't win they'll cry and cry." 

Watched as families mobbed the hallways, enthusiastically dropping tickets into the little buckets.  Plenty of little girls (and boys) who obviously had already decided whatever was in their chosen basket was theirs - especially the three beta fish artistically floating along among themed items in three different places.  Winning tickets were drawn and the halls filled with the sound of wailing as small children were given the "Sometimes these things happen, that's just the way it works" lesson.  One girl whom I would have thought old enough to already know that stood and just sobbed - she'd apparently fastened onto one of the betas and even given him a name.  In her heart, he was already in a fishbowl in her room and now a stranger was taking 'her' pet away from her.  So many small childhood hopes dashed amid the celebration.

I divvied up the decorative balloons and handed them to the kids who seemed to need to have something that they'd 'won' in their hands the most.

Valentines

Feb. 12th, 2015 05:09 pm
primsong: (hamster smooch)
So, what are you doing for Valentine's this year?  My hubby will be off serenading other people in singing Valentines as a fundraiser, so my kids and I at this point are just planning on staying home and eating cookies, but perhaps some other idea will present itself. 

I didn't manage to make valentine cards for our preschool teachers like I'd planned to, so I stopped by a local bakery and got them each a tiny cherry or blueberry pie of their very own, they even came in adorable tiny pie boxes.  I decorated them with shiny heart stickers and a message and left them in the school office where they were apparently much appreciated.  I know there are those who give Valentines a bum rap because of the romance thing, but I love it, it's a great holiday for just encouraging nice people and leaving them a small treat, it doesn't have that weight of expectation that Christmas can have so they are always pleasantly surprised.  And I like the look of it, decorating with paper hearts and lacy doilies and nice smelling candles is a gentle look.
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
A notice came up for me to renew my DWth and I kind of went "Oh wow, I haven't posted since April!" and thought it seemed worth doing a little updating, if only for me to look back at later on.  Been quite a year.

First off, the disabled lady I help take care of FINALLY got her disability approved and I've had a lot of extra time dealing with the paperwork, banking and various updates she needed now that we can finally buy stuff to replace/update her life.  It's been good to finally go forward on that, though it does mean time invested of course.

Then my beautiful, wonderful Starflower graduated from high school this past June, but not before she was the lead in their school play which meant a lot of fun time spent there, as I did the costuming and helped paint the set.  Scads of hours over there, but good times all around and we survived graduation and everything that goes with it, hoorah!

THEN in late May I was diagnosed with breast cancer - small and early, thank God - so after graduation was over I had lumpectomy surgery, did recovery from that and then found I was right on the statistical line for whether I would need chemo or not. I was given the choice and decided if it was that close to the line better safe than sorry.  SO at this point I have three more chemo treatments to go through the end of October and my hair is falling out like autumn leaves on a windy day.   I went shopping for colorful hats on Etsy and am trying to make the best of it, thankfully I haven't been too sick at this point.  The unknown is always more fearsome than the reality. 

LIfe is kind of crazy, I keep up with two households, my own and my friend's, and two churches as well... I assume all of you out there are likewise not letting much moss grow on your proverbial rocks - I'll have to spend some time reading now to see what's been happening.  *hugs*
primsong: (lunch)
I love St. Pat's Day even though my only connection genetically is via a half-Irish grandpa - I would still enjoy it even if that weren't the case.  You see, my favorite color is green and there are stores who have "anything green is on sale!" events (woo!) plus there's this marvelous excuse to make corned beef and cabbage, which I love but it's expensive so I can't normally rationalize it.  Yes, I know they don't really even eat that in Ireland itself, but hey, I'm not pretending to be authentic I'm just having fun.   Breakfast for my kids was porridge colored with green food coloring, and as I couldn't find any Irish Breakfast tea, we had Jasmine Green.   Oh well, why not toss in some Chinese?  It has the word "green" in it, right?

And yes, I know Protestants wear orange and Catholics wear green in some places, but that's not here where I am and I like green, so I wear green in honor of Patrick, who was obviously not a Protestant - it's all good.  I'm off to make Irish Soda Bread with lots of brandy-soaked currants and sultanas in it as a treat for our preschool teachers now. 

Have a great day, everyone!
primsong: (jo keys)
Started thinking of what we could do for small summer trip in celebration of my daughter's upcoming high school graduation and ended up picking the Oregon Shakespearian Festival (which is quite good, but expensive and far away from me so I haven't been since high school m'self) - wow, I'm thinking as I preen myself,  I'm ahead of the game! I'm gonna get us something nice this summer because I was clever enough to think ahead! 

*goes online*....*discovers LOTS of people are waay more ahead of the game than I ever will be and everything suitable is booked up and/or sold out* 0_0

BUT - I was not foiled! At least not entirely.  After much virtual hunting and gathering yesterday, voila - we have a nice setup with four great plays and a cottage coming up, I just had to shove it all the way past summer into September to do it.  What a novelty, we get to go somewhere in September, as for the first time in 20 years we won't have anyone needing to be in school - what a grand (and alien) feeling!
primsong: (old school)
I'm sitting here, pulling on my socks and listening to my daughter scrambling around to get ready to go to school and it occurs to me that I've been getting ready to go to school, my own or someone else's, for most of my life. 

In fact, our entire society is chock full of people of all ages whose lives are ruled by the school system's hours and we all orbit around their holidays.  Whether or not there is school and when is HUGE.  It affects families, work policies, store hours, national holidays.  Even people without kids plan their events and vacations around when school is in or out. The real estate market goes up and down around summer school vacation.  Add school events and sports and it rules the country.

I hope to be free of that tyranny of having to get up and go to a school later this year, part of why I turned down an opportunity to still work at the school library even after mine were graduated.  Dearly hope I can find a job that starts late enough I can have some mornings, lest I trade one tyranny for another and merely wish for quiet mornings until the day I die.

Grargh

Mar. 17th, 2013 08:48 pm
primsong: (grog)
Only a little over 2 months until my son graduates from high school. Maybe. I can't even express how frustrating and stressful it has been having to drag him inch by inch towards the finish line over the past years, and I still don't know for sure he'll make it in time.

Left him to work on a big paper on the Cold War he has that is now overdue and when I return he's on facebook. I get him off the computer so I can do my own work and he gravitates to his video games. If computer or video game is unavailable, then he takes naps and hangs around reading Tom Clancy novels. I want to pull out my hair, and then his hair but at this point I have to take an observational backseat (and grumble here, apparently, lol...) lest I not let him fall on his face if it is really what he needs to do to wake up.

We had to make a deal with him that we weren't going to do any more behavioral modification (i.e. punishments, rewards, hollering, guilting, etc.) as he is of age and it's his life (and it was making a very unhappy household) but it's so hard to watch him scraping along knowing he will seriously regret it later if he flubs this.

So close. Maybe so far away. Maybe snatching the golden ring. Maybe missing the last banana. Maybe a moment of relief. Maybe we just wasted money on senior pictures.

&*%#@! I hate parenting sometimes.
primsong: Scan from an old Dr. Who magazine (find tardis win game)
Gosh, this has been such a long slog from January, I'm seriously looking forward to spring break at the end of the month just so I don't have to drive kids here there and everywhere for a few days.  Can't complain about the weather though, it's been a really mild winter and now it's a lovely, mild day, perfect for grubbing out chickweed and repotting some houseplants.  Got some funky long rubber mats for our front steps to replace the anti-slip strips, they look like a wrought iron leafy design and it really dresses it up, that and a couple new pinwheels and it's positively cheerful.

And I got a walkman! I'm a techie dinosaur to my kids, heck, I still have a drawer full of cassettes, so moving to an mp3 player of my own is quite the leap into the space-age by comparison, lol...gradually learning how to work the thing, amused by thinking to myself that at last I can participate in those memes where they want you to put your player on shuffle and do things with the results.  We must keep our priorities straight, after all! :-D

We've also had another church join us in our building to share the space starting this past week - I went to their Bible study last week just to meet some of them and they were a hoot, looking forward to making that a regular thing, I'm always up for a good study, they're always fun and/or interesting.  This weekend we're doing a St. Pat's day potluck with the two congregations so folks can get to know one another, so far so good.  Our preschool is really struggling to find students (or rather, families who can afford to pay for preschool) so it's nice to have something working well.
primsong: (books)
I'm gradually working my way through a stack of history textbooks for my daughter's high school, trying to help them eke out another year or two of use and abuse by students before they fall apart, they're so expensive to replace and it's a private school so every penny counts.  Nice to have my somewhat obscure super-power of repairing books come in handy from time to time, though I can't do fancy stuff like complete rebinding or restitching, sadly - wish I had the tools for that, this is more like Book Glue, Tape and Contact Paper 101 with occasional bouts of scissor work and forcing books into rube goldberg contraptions I've positioned with fat rubber bands and bricks to keep them in their girdle until the glue dries their girlish figure back where it belongs.

*snip, tape, fold*

Nice thing is this counts toward my volunteer hours for this year.  What do you do for volunteer work?  Do you have schools or organizations that require some of you?
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
...to try to catch up on some of my 'me' stuff at long last.  Like having occasional moments to see what my dear flist has been up to of late and maybe even post a little now and them myself, what a concept!

Shan't bore with long explanations of where I've been, suffice to say I was rather needed by Real World people in need at the same time my church also needed me to take on a batch of secretarial duties and school started again.  I shall dutifully queue up and pull a paper number from the "Take A Number" machine so I can join in that all too common human chorus of "Where The Heckity Ding Dong Did the Last Two Months Go?"  (fill in the number of months of your choice,, full orchestral backup optional).

Now in the (long) waiting game to see if one friend I am helping will qualify for disability, have completed the learning curve on the secretarial stuff (I Haz Publisher!) and am settling into the kid's schedules (mostly, kinda. My gal wants to be involved in *everything*, I swear...)

I miiiiissed yooooou,dear bloggy people! *flails air-hugs*

Anyone have a good recipe for any kind of hot drink involving pumpkin?
primsong: (jimmy stewart)
Starflower got a long list of potential famous people from various points in history that she could write her main English paper for this year and on it was James Stewart.  She had no problem choosing!  Now we get to enjoy going through the various research (war hero! yay!) and revisiting some of the many works of that incomparable gentleman bean-pole, Jimmy.  
This bodes well.

We are blanketed in thick fog here (not unusual for winter) but driving up and over the mountain to take my son to school we abruptly lifted up and out into a world of sunshine, an 'island' of bright trees and meadows all hemmed 'round with an impenetrable white lake of cloud tinged in the pastels of morning.  All we needed was an air-boat to set sail upon it, lovely.

primsong: (pimpernel)
Spent part of this past week hauling and sorting and piling and pricing textbooks and curriculum for our sale at the church - then today (and tomorrow) running back and forth answering questions and piling and selling and helping haul them to people's cars. Forgot to bring food and about passed out after subsisting on costco muffin for too long - silly me.

BUT at least they are being sold - scads of books and uniform pieces finally off to new homes. It's like the exorcism of the old school's ghost as last.

When I came home, my cat was waiting for me and all was well (I hadn't been able to find her that morning and was haunted all day with the spectre of her being Gone with a capital G) - life is better after Real Food and a bit of quiet and a purring kitty and a chance to see what's up with my flist. Thank you for being here too. *hugs*
primsong: (friendly)
Happy Father's Day to any dads out there!

As for me, I'm tackling the job of cleaning out some of the old stuff we still have stored in our church building, mostly leftovers from our grade school and am sitting here shaking my head over literally hundreds of uniform pieces. What the heck does a person DO with *piles* of khaki pants, white button-down shirts, sweatshirts, etc.... I mean, really? I haven't been able to find another school that uses the same colors and I hate the waste. Wish I could somehow turn them into at least a little money, we could really use it.

Also heaps of VHS movies and audio cassettes - no one uses them anymore, sigh... makes me feel old. I suppose they'll all just go into a rummage sale, unless we make rag rugs out of them. The clothes that is, not the vhs tapes, lol...

There are times I am grateful for an abundance of material goods, but this isn't really one of them.
primsong: (Default)
We've our annual fundraiser thing for our preschool with a huge spaghetti dinner and silent auction for baskets of themed goodies donated in various ways. I hope it isn't cheap of me that I've decided to make a Vintage Themed basket using various goods from my Etsy shop that expired without any buyers. Maybe we'll wring some cash back out of them after all this way - my favorite is an early 1950s bottle with Treasure Island pirates printed on it that was used over the years as a water sprinkler for ironing clothes.

I'm starting to look at vintage stuff very differently than I used to, learning to spot what has resale value and what is just junk, getting to where I can peg different eras by lettering styling, what type of plastic, etc. but I've still a long ways to go. But then, I'm not looking for "valuable stuff" I'm looking for old stuff that pleases me in hopes that it also pleases someone else. A potholder with smiling little daisy and sunshine faces on it, for instance - it wasn't 'valuable' or 'collectible' but I sold it almost as soon as I put it up. :-)

Bonus new skill from all this - I'm getting better at removing old stains from old fabrics without destroying them in the process. Sorta. :-P
primsong: (pimpernel)
Finally got my beautiful, wonderful daughter off to college - she's officially settled into her apartment and well content with her two roomies... nice little place, backs to a park while right there in the city. Watched lots of parents and a few students in varying states of separation anxiety on move-in day. My goal has always been to NOT be a "helicopter parent" that hovers over the offspring, I can only hope my attempts to launch her in a healthy way worked - caught me a bit off-guard how *hard* it was just to walk away from her that afternoon, like some huge alien magnet was taking over my feet and trying to drag me back.

Missing her like mad! Popped very briefly yesterday to drop off a needed bookcase and said I missed her...she said "But it's only been three days!" in disbelief... oh how different it is from this end! But I remember, yes I do. I barely looked back at my parents when I finally moved to college, I was so ready to fly on my own. I was so glad to have 'my own space'. I remember, and I understand, and we'll be fine - all of us.

Still. I miss her, her smile, her voice, her music - though I am so very glad and grateful for what she has going and for the years we got to have her in our home. One more new season to adjust to in life, we'll be better once the school routine starts up again and all of us are as busy as she is. Life goes on!
primsong: (Default)
I ended up seeking a meeting with our principal this morning about the troubles we're having with the Greek homework - the kids just can't figure it out. Turns out we aren't the only ones (thank heavens) - next year they're changing it to only in the upper grades (7-12), and then only at the introductory level for two years, and then they'll have Spanish for another language option if they don't want to keep at it. Whew.

Also turns out my kids were being taught at the same level as the rest of the class that had already had it for two years before they got there - no wonder we were sinking beneath the waves! :-/


On another note, it is beautiful outside and I discovered among the burgeoning bluebells my tivoli, that I *swear* was dead - I was certain I had somehow killed it last year, was not only alive but blooming. It's aliiiive! Minor victories like this can make my whole week.

Tivoli Fountain in the Bells )

First I had to talk to it, then yank up a number of 'bells that were choking it, then run for my camera like a little kid who found a candy-plant in their yard. The pic isn't that great, but these really are pretty, they have silver spots and bi-color blooms.
primsong: (Default)
Dang. Really struggling here with Greek.

My kids new school is a marvelous thing, and we have really enjoyed doing this half-home-school routine, but the one thorn in the proverbial side is they have to have Greek. I understand the idea, that the kids would eventually be able to read the New Testament in the language in which it was originally written, a very noble cause - but shoot, it's in another *alphabet* for pity's sake... My kids now have Greek homework and I am completely helpless, I can't even understand what I am looking at much less what to do with it if they need aid. They are having a really difficult time with it too, the only point of real stress we've had raise its ugly head.

Grrr.

I miss Latin! At least it used the same alphabet and I could puzzle things out and help them.

Sigh...just venting.... mutter.

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primsong: (Default)
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