Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Day

About to sit and watch some TV with my hunny while we eat some ice cream. (I stole his ‘top-of-the-carton’ serving—I’m in trouble now.) Took the boy to the dentist today; he impressed them with his super-clean teeth. (I keep telling him that brushing twice a day is a good thing!) Otherwise, we just kind of hung out. I’m working on the muslin for my jacket and it’s kind of driving me batty, so I think I’m going to think about a different project for a day or two so my ‘eureka!’ moment can happen.

Off to the tube! (Does anyone even have a tube television anymore?)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Waiting for Steve Jobs

No...phone... iPhone backing up… Software…updating… Hours…without…apps… Don’t remember…what…to do…in bathroom…without surreptitious email…and Facebook…checks…

In a nice touch from the Irony Fairies, Robert sold our iPods to fund the acquisition of our new iPhones (about which we have received word on shipping—yay!). I’m working in the office/sewing room tonight and don’t have my phone or my iPod to listen to.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred Minutes

So, I’ve reached my goal. I’ve blogged for each and every day of the past year. It seems kind of amazing that I finished it up. I’ll be honest—there were plenty of times when I just flat out didn’t want to do anything. Being sick, being tired (oh yeah, my thyroid is fine, but apparently I have a jinked up iron level), just not feeling like I had anything to say. But I trudged through because I had made a commitment to do so.

And so.

How do I measure a year?

In morning snuggles on the couch with the boy.

In piggy-tail sessions with the girl.

In conversations with my husband about the interesting and the inane.

In kisses and hugs.

In plants planted and subsequently killed (or thriving, as the case seems to be for a precious few in this drought year).

In art pieces that were awesome and award-worthy.

In art projects that made me question what the heck I was doing.

In birthday parties.

In vomit and high temperatures (thankfully, not at the same time!).

In teeth gained (Laura’s up to five now!) and lost (Harrison’s down to 18-1/2).

In jewelry, from the beautiful diamond Robert got me after 16 years of marriage to the necklace Harrison printed out from the internet and colored, stringing on yarn and giving me after telling me that I was the best Mommy in the world, to the red stone bracelet that I made the other day that makes me want to get into beading to Laura wearing stacking rings on her arms as bracelets and trying to steal the thumbprint pendant necklace that Robert made for me from the kids fingers for Mothers Day.

In clean sinks and beds made and floors swept.

In vision restored.

In lots of coffee.

In love.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We did our Father’s Day stuff a day early this year, trucking over to Shreveport to go to SciPort. I feel like I should feel guilty for trying to ‘geek’ my kid up, but in all honesty I don’t think I could change him if I tried. He loves science—mostly astronomy, which he is thrilled to share with his dad. One of my favorite moments of the day was when he climbed up in the clubhouse in the younger kids section and saw the telescope. He immediately screeched across the room, “Hey Dad, look! It’s a telescope!” and looked through it to see Robert.

I can’t say how proud I am of how he’s growing up. He reads, much to the surprise of strangers and much to the joy of my heart. I treasure the afternoon reading time we share—he with his book, me often with mine, snuggled on the couch and feeding our imaginations. Sometimes, I’ll share a book with him and let him read to me, filling in on the harder words and letting him stop to ask me questions. Either way, it’s good stuff.

On top of the reading, he’s getting really good at navigating the day to day stuff that used to make me really nervous. We instituted a chore chart for him a few weeks ago and he dutifully does his daily jobs, usually without whining (unless it’s laundry, which he’s still not excited about), and checks them off. He loves having the satisfaction of seeing all that he’s accomplished for the day and I love seeing him develop a healthy attitude about housework. It’s something that will likely never disappear from his life, so I’m glad that he’s not going to have to grow up dreading it.

Part of me dreads him maturing and growing up since it means I’ll be losing my baby to some big, gangly teenager and eventually a real, actual adult. Other times, I wonder if his maturing can go any faster since he’s driving me nuts. Always, though, I’m proud of who he is and who he is becoming.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Having Lasik performed on your eyes makes you feel like you always have old contacts on. Sadly, you can’t remove them. You can just moisten them. A lot.

I’m off to moisten and rest my eyes and hope that they feel better tomorrow.

For what it’s worth, the vision thing still rocks my world. I’m just ready to not feel the itchy, stingy, pain in the eyeball business that I’ve been dealing with.

[I know. Baby want a bottle? Yes. A nice Chianti would take the edge off quite well.]

Thursday, June 17, 2010

20/20 Achieved!


I can see now.

It’s totally weird. There are individual leaves in the trees. Individual pine needles. Roofs are shingled with individual shingles.

Well, duh, Amy!

Yeah, duh, but it’s amazing the things you don’t see when you can’t see. Contacts never gave me this kind of clarity; glasses never even came close.

Because of the irritation, it feels like I’m wearing contacts. Actually, it feels like I’m wearing old contacts. But I juice them up once an hour, either with the general drops or the steroidal drops that I suppose are going to make my eyes look like Arnold Schwartzeneger’s thighs. At night, I put the soupy, thick stuff in and clock out, wearing my goggles that protect me from scratched corneas and the possibility of sex. I can see that, in the long run, the drops are going to get old, but fortunately, most of them are only for a week or two. It seems a small price to pay to be able to read street signs from far away.

In other, non-eye-related news, Harrison sewed his bag today and it looks fan-freakin’-tastic! I’m really proud of the little bugger. I cut the pieces out and pinned them together, and I drew a line for him to stitch along, but he did all the actual stitching. He also helped with a little bit of the pressing, which made me nervous but he handled it really well. We still need to get a strap on it—I’m thinking of checking Hancock’s tomorrow—and he wants to put snaps on it, which I’ve got in my stash. We should be able to get it finished within the next day, which would be beyond awesome. Who needs crinkled up plastic crappy bags for the library when you’ve got your own Indiana Jones satchel that you made yourself?!?

Off to moisten my eyes and hit the sack. There’re going to be swordsmen (and women?) at the library tomorrow and I need to get rested up before dragging the boy over there.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now the F’ed Up Lens Is Gone

So the lasering went well. I’m already able to see better than I was able to. My eye’s are sore right now and I’m mostly typing this with them closed, opening only to check occasionally when something doesn’t feel “right.” Thank you to all those typing teachers from junior high through high school who drilled home row and qwerty into my brain.

I’m about to put in the last of my five eye drops and head to bed. I napped pretty much from the time I got home until about an hour ago when Robert got me up to discuss my medicine lineup. He’s taken all five of my drops and made me an Excel document that shows all the times I need to put drops in. I truly have the best husband. :)

So off I go. Hopefully, the flap will be more healed tomorrow and I’ll be able to look at stuff for more than five seconds before it gets sore.

Yay for corrective vision!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pre-Surgery Jitters


Tomorrow’s it.

I’m excited about getting my eyes fixed, but I am just a little bit nervous. Honestly, I’m trying to not think about it a whole lot. I’m supposed to be having the “easy” surgery—flaps as opposed to a big eye scab—but I don’t see any way it can’t suck. (Pun definitely intended…) I mean, seeing will be good, but the laser doesn’t excite me. They give you a muscle relaxant beforehand. I wonder if they could give me two.

In other news, Harrison and I got a little bit of work done on his Man Bag today. He helped iron the fabrics we’re using and I got them all cut to size and I got the seams he’s to sew marked for him.  I’m figuring we won’t be sewing tomorrow (duh), but maybe by this weekend I’ll be up for it. As soon as we get it done, I’ll write up a tutorial for making one—it’s pretty simple and a great project for a beginner. After that, I hope to get a few things done for myself and then maybe go back to showing him how to sew—probably some shorts or pajama pants or something. Lots of straight seams.

Off to bed and my last night with sucky vision!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beers is Good For Your Vision

Or at least your mental state when contemplating your vision.

One more day with glasses.

I’m excited but I’m also a little bit scared. I mean, I had surgery to get the kids out of my belly, but this is different—this is my eyes. One slip and I won’t be able to see anything. I mean, yeah, they use computers and all that business, but I guess I’m just paranoid.

I’m sure it will be fine. I’ve put off thinking about it too much because I knew that I would do this.

Alas, it’s nothing that a few beers can’t make better. So I’m finding. ;)

So tomorrow in glasses, Wednesday morning in glasses and then no more.

Do they allow beer at the eye surgery place?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Slice of the Pie

Peaceful weekend at Casa Brown. Aside from taking the boy to Lowe’s for Build and Grow, we pretty much did a lot of nothing. Piddled around the house, cleaning a bit, decluttering, etc. Went to the pool yesterday. Today the kids and I hung out while Robert got groceries. Really, nothing of note happened.

And I’m pretty cool with that. This weekend was one of those ‘slice of life’ times where there weren’t big, dramatic things happening, but rather small, not-important-but-actually-very-important things. Harrison played video games. Laura climbed on anything (or anyone) that didn’t move and felt the force of gravity a few times (from a very low height!). Robert is looking at stars right now. I’m cleaning out fabric scraps so that I can finish working in the office/sewing room. All minor things. All important things in defining who we are.

Tomorrow, another slice will be served up, flavored with kisses, hugs, tears, tantrums, and hundreds of other things.

[Incidentally, I’m not sure why I’m all maudlin all of a sudden. I guess it’s that I finally got a break from work—a real break—and I’m finally relaxed enough to start reflecting on things. Whatever. I’m sure I’ll be back to cranky/dorky soon enough. :) ]

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All Play and Some Work

Looking at my office, I’m frustrated that it’s in such a mess right now, but I’m kind of excited about how it’s (hopefully!!!) going to end up. After I spent several days last weekend meticulously going through everything on my desk, sorting, organizing, purging and dusting everything my hands touched, I was able to walk away with a completely organized desk. This doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve ever met me, you know that, as much as I might try to straighten up my clutter act, the desk is kind of a no-win-zone. But it got done, and I was very, very happy with myself.

Flash forward to today. I got the shelf I bought at Ikea put together pretty easily. I mean, it took less than an episode of Sesame Street to get it done. (I had to put something on for Laura to keep her out of my hair while I built it…) But when I moved it into the office to put under my cutting table—the location I’ve been dreaming of for it for months—I found that the legs of the table were just slightly too narrowly placed to allow for my new shelf. Sigh. After much moaning and groaning, I realized that I could unscrew the legs and rescrew them further out in the corners. Grand scheme of things, I think this is going to make just enough room for the shelf to fit.

So, I started this hours ago—I should be done now. Except that we decided to get out of the house for a little bit. Robert was going stir crazy, the kids were going stir crazy. I was the only one who had spent multiple days away from the house so I wasn’t as manic, but I did want to have some fun so I suggested we go to the pool. Harrison had a blast. Laura was, well, not completely unpleased (she liked the splashing after a while, but it took a while to get her calmed down to that point…). Robert and I had fun—we traded out kids from time to time, first me sitting with the girl while he swam around with the boy and then trading, and then trading again, on and on for well over an hour. Getting into the pool was $5 total for the family, which is a bargain for a whole crew of smiles.

I can definitely see taking everyone back for lots of fun this summer. For now, though, I need to get some sleep and then continue working on the table that is still half-legless so I can have my clean office back again.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Home from Austin. Had a good time, learned lots of useful stuff, went to Ikea. VERY glad to be home, though. Glad to not be in a room full of people all trying to out-art-teacher each other. Glad to not be in a hotel FULL of people trying to out-FINE-arts-teacher everyone else. (Those damned theater teachers are SO DRAMATIC!!!) Glad to be home, about to sleep in my own bed and not on a fold out couch in a warm hotel room. (Post-menopausal roommates, while interesting and wonderful people, are kind of a challenge sometimes...) Gladdest of all to be back in the arms of my sweet husband and precious babies.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One Day Left…

Getting ready to crash for the night. CEDFA conference has been ok today. The first workshop I went to was, sadly, a waste of my time but it earned me four hours of comp time, so I’m not complaining. The second workshop, though, was pretty good. The presenters for that session are going to be our presenters all day tomorrow and so I have high hopes for what they’ve got coming down the pipe. Already, looking through the handout, I’ve seen two different lessons that I want to try with the kids. They’re also going to be talking about digital portfolios tomorrow and I’m pretty excited about that idea. I’ve wanted to do those with my students for years and I am hoping that these ladies will have some realistic and workable solutions to help me get that idea up and running.

I’m ready to be through, though. I’m ready to be home with my family, curled up on the couch snuggling and just enjoying each other’s company.

It’s going to be a long day and a long drive home.

But we’ll make it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Made it to Austin this afternoon. We've piddled around town and are now back at the hotel. Looking forward to the classes the next two days. CEDFA's Fine Arts Summit was awesome last year and I expect it to be great this year, too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Work-shoppin’ My Nerves

Well, much as I expected, the workshop I sat through today was a total wash for me.

I get so tired of being told that the entire campus has to go to these workshops, only to find that the information being presented is aimed at just the core teachers (English, Science, Math and History).

I don’t for a second want to teach English again—that’s not what this is about. If I must do continuing education—and the state of Texas says that I must—I want to be allowed to spend my precious summer vacation time in workshops that actually target my teaching field. I don’t want to sit and listen to disaggregation of TAKS data or whose fault it is that Little Susie can’t add. (Math is hard, y’all!)

I’m going to spend the next three days doing art teacher specific workshops, so I guess that takes the sting out of today’s waste of time. I got a lot from the CEDFA conference last year, so I have high hopes for this year’s presentations.

Honestly, though, if I had my druthers, I’d druther stay home with my sweet husband and kids and work around the house and just relax. I guess I’ll take along some books to read, just in case, and hope for the best.

At the very least, Austin has some awesome sushi, so at least I can dream about that. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010



I had my collision in February. Long story short, it was one of those snow days where we were all, “Holy crap! It’s snowing! In East Texas! Again!” The first time we had one of those, everyone was amazed and all atwitter about it. “What a marvelous thing, this snow!” By the time the second one rolled around, it was toward the end of the month and Spring was on Her way and, well, the snow thing wasn’t so cute anymore. The third (and final, thank God!) time it decided to snow on us, it was March, and I had already planted my blueberries and, good grief, it’s snowing again?!?

So yeah. Snow. Second go around. Yeah, it was cool that it was snowing and yeah, it was pretty, but c’mon, it’s cold!

And there were things to do. Harrison’s class had to have snacks and I was supposed to be the mom who provided them the next day. (I forgot to make note of this on grocery day, of course…) He also had a birthday party to go to. A girl’s party. A girl he had asked to marry him who had agreed. (It should be noted that she later rescinded her agreement—he pestered her to the point that she didn’t like him anymore. Sigh. Kid’s still learning about pestering.) There were presents to buy.

It’s been noted before that I’m kind of a snob. Whatever. I refuse to go into Wal-Mart and that makes me a snob to some, but in my eyes, it makes me really freakin’ smart.

Except when you have to get snacks and a Barbie doll. And it’s snowing. And Target is all the way across town.

I decided to go ahead and truck it across town to Target because, c’mon, it’s snowing! Everyone else will be at home making snowmen!

And they were. Except for this one kid who was driving his parent’s Explorer. He was out driving around.

And the little bugger rear ended me.

Grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that bad a crash. He lost control of his car on a wet patch coming up on the traffic light at which I was about to turn. He hit me at a relatively slow speed and, thank God, no one was hurt. Harrison was with me but he was buckled in and in his booster seat. He was more mad about his milk getting spilled from his cup than anything else.

The kid, on the other hand, was pretty peeved that I insisted on calling the cops to come out. As it happens, it’s good that I did. Apparently, the kid had an insurance card with him, but he was not covered by that insurance policy.

Which we didn’t find out until a few weeks ago. His insurance His parents’ insurance agency pussy-footed around for three months before they finally let us know that, nope, sorry, kid wasn’t covered, so we’re not fixing your van’s tailgate.


Robert has been working with our guys (Allstate, in case you wondered—if President Palmer’s involved, I’m in…) for a few weeks now, coordinating the schedules of me, him, the insurance peeps and the body shop guy with the turning over of my van to be fixed and the getting of a loaner vehicle so I’m not marooned here at the house. It has been no small feat for him and I have to say, when I finally showed up at all the places I was supposed to go to today—insurance place, body shop, rental place—they all knew the score and were ready to do what needed to be done. I have the best husband! :)

As a funny aside to this ongoing story (I should get my van back by the end of the week, which is when I’ll consider it over, although I think our insurance bulldogs are attacking the non-insured kid and suing), the vehicle I’m renting to replace my van is…my van. I mean, it’s identical. The only difference is that it’s a 2010 and mine is a 2008. Color (or non-color—they’re white!), seats, buttons on the dash. It’s all the same. It’s nice, though, because as I was driving home from the rental shop I didn’t have to fumble around to find things—I knew exactly where they were.

I’m really ready for this week to be over so that this chapter in my car adventures will be over.

And if it snows next winter? I’m not leaving the house.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


AlleyFest is over. The first week of my summer vacation is over. I’ve got heat rash and I’m bone tired, but I think I’m going to make it. Next week is a workshop that is all but useless to me and a conference that is directly in line with what I teach. I figure I’ll get lots drawn/doodled on Tuesday and hopefully will have lots of useful notes for the rest of the week.

After this week, I’ll be pretty much free to come and go with the boy during the day as I need and want. We are going to do some cool stuff—bowling, putt putt, maybe a movie or two. All kinds of cool stuff. I’m planning on actually getting around to teaching him how to sew in the next few weeks. I see us doing some art—painting, drawing, shrinky-dinkying, whatever. The library is going to be doing a ton of stuff, so I hope to go see some of that.

None of this, of course, mentions the fun stuff I want us to do as a family unit—visits to the zoo, picnics, park visits. We want to go to the drive in movie theater in Tyler (and not the creepy, pervy adult theater but the family friendly one that does double features of kids’ shows).

I think, now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that this is going to be a very good summer.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hot Children in the City

One day of AlleyFest down, one more to go. I had to leave a few hours early today as it was so freaking hot I was about to pass out. The one time I went out walking the block with dad to see stuff and get food, I just about passed out from heat and exhaustion. Whoever the genius was who thought it would be fun to have a street carnival in East Texas in June, I have to wonder at their sanity.

Griping about weather aside, it was really fun working the booth today. For my part, I was showing kids how to make recycled paper. We added wildflower seeds so the kids could plant it, which they all thought was pretty cool. I had some awesome volunteers who were helping me out and the folks running the show—weather oblivious though they might be—were really nice. They provided lots of water and we got some cool orange shirts and free food!

In all, it was a good day, but I have to wonder if I’m going to be brave/stupid enough to do it again next year.

Off to sleep so that I can get up and do it again tomorrow.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Should be in bed right now since I have to be downtown around 9 am tomorrow. Looking forward to AlleyFest tomorrow, but considering the impending heat, I think I’m going to be glad when it’s over. Hope that I get to see some of the cool stuff and that I don’t get tied down to the table teaching how to make paper. Definitely need to bring water to drink!

Finished one of the inservice/workshops today. One more school-mandated-has-nothing-to-do-with-teaching-art one down and one more that is art specific to go and then I’m pretty much done for the summer. Hoping after next week I can finally relax and have some fun and not be worrying about how hyper-scheduled I am right now.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Upcoming Fun

In two weeks, I’ll have perfect vision. As for now, I’ve got corneas that have been prodded repeatedly and pupils that are so dilated I look like a junkies. I look like an anime character without the pert nose or the short skirt. I had to laugh when the guy doing all the diagnostic stuff asked me to open my eyes as wide as I could so he could do some sort of looking around in them. If you know me, you know that my eyes are pretty big to begin with. Me bug-eyeing him had to be pretty…interesting. :)

AlleyFest is this weekend, so if you’re in town stop by and check it out. Longview WOW has some cool stuff planned, as do other organizations I’m sure. Looking forward to seeing what’s going to be available (and hoping that the temperatures won’t be sooooo miserable.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Two (real, non-holiday, non-weekend) days into summer. House is staying clean. Had dr. visits today and more follow tomorrow. Getting my eyes checked out for lasering later this month and getting my thyroid checked to see why I'm always tired. Hope they both tell me something good!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First [Non Holiday] Day of Summer!

Got soooo much work done today. Hung hand towel racks in both bathrooms and replaced the arse-ugly bath towel rack in the guest bathroom. Swept and mopped the floors in both and scrubbed both toilets. Counters wiped down. Installed the shower cleaning system thingies Robert wanted me to get. (They’re cool—cleaning robots!) Labeled the shelves in the linen closet as well as Harrison’s toy shelves (and talked him into putting some of his toys in the garage sale—score!). Dropped off some magazines at work and picked up a few things I need for various projects I’m going to make as demos this summer. Headed over to the library for the Scholastic Book Fair, only to find that it doesn’t start until tomorrow. Sigh. Signed the boy up for Summer Reading Club and let him get a few videos. (He picked science videos aimed at 5th through 8th grade science teachers to teach about the planets and the universe at large. Gah, my kids a dork!) Came home and cooked up Stuffed Squash and Zucchini; I will post the recipe tomorrow—I’m exhausted (really? after all that work?)—but rest assured it was really easy and super awesomely good! Also got the boy’s chore chart worked out so that he can start earning his allowance again. He is very excited about it because he’ll be getting money again. I am very excited about it because maybe now he’ll do his chores without me having to gripe at him constantly. Loved on the baby a little and talked to Robert a little.

Oy, but my feet hurt!

Happy kickoff to summer!