31 March 2010

Gone But In Our Hearts Forever

Faithful Friend
Child of Our Hearts
October 1994 - March 31, 2010

Last Photo of Barney

WWII History In Art

I received this in an email and thought I'd share it with you.  You can go to the column on your right and scroll down to the music player and turn off the blogs music so you can hear this video.
This video shows the winner of 2009's " Ukraine 's Got Talent", Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about $75,000.
She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.
It is replaced by a woman's face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman's face appears.
She quickly becomes  an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.
This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.
In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.
The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.
An art critic said:"I find it difficult enough to create art using paper and pencils or
paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art, especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings some audience members to tears. And there's surely no bigger compliment."

30 March 2010

We'll Miss You Barney

Barney is 15 1/2 years old.  She has been a wonderful friend.  Tomorrow she goes to the vet and won't be coming home again. I don't know how to explain what a wonderful family member she has been.  She moved around with us before dh retired from the navy.  She lived with us in Oklahoma, California, Illinois and Kentucky.  She has really been tolerant of the 2 little chis we adopted.  When she was in good health, if one would play too rough with the other she'd just use her paw and push the rough one out of the way. She was always full of love for everyone and always was like our child and not a pet.  Barney, I'm so sorry that your time is so short, go with love...

29 March 2010

Monday's Link for Free Crochet Pattern

With weather getting warmer, it's time to start crocheting smaller projects.  Afghan crocheting in the heat can be uncomfortable to say the least.  Here is a project that fits the bill for warm weather crocheting.  It is a clothespin angel that you can crochet oodles of in the spring and  summer and then use to decorate your tree or embellish Christmas presents with.  So here's the link.  Enjoy!

28 March 2010

Old Time Music

Gosh this is an oldie I remember my dad playing when I was a kid.  Just had to share this bit of nostalgia with you.   For some reason I always remember this song.  Maybe because my dad was a trumpet player??   Anyway, to better listen to this go to the column on your right and scroll down to the music player and click on the 2 parallel lines to turn off the blog's music so that you can listen to this music video.

Confusion Over Census

Many people are confused this year about the census.  Some people are confused and think that the census is invading their privacy.  Not true.  There are penalties for census workers even if they get nosy and want to check out celebrities information.  Violators will be prosecuted and receive jail time as a penalty.  The Census Bureau does NOT share information with other organizations including law enforcement.  The information that is on the forms is classified for 72 years and after that it is released to the public.  The only information released prior to that is statistical.

The forms--there is only 1 official form this year.  Of course, if you didn't get a form you  may pick up another but it will not have your address preprinted on it.  There are versions in 6 different languages and there are aids to help with other languages and they all have the same questions.  There is NO long form.  There are only 10 questions for everyone on the official census.  I'm working with the Census Bureau and we went through training on this so I'm not just talking about something I heard about on streets.

Just fill out the forms with out worry as Americans have every 10 years since 1790.  It will help to ensure proper representation in Congress and allocation of federal funds.
Link to Census Bureau

27 March 2010

Winding Down With the Dishcloths

I'm winding down with my temporary obsession with crocheting dishcloths.  This one I goofed on.  I was supposed to be crocheting in the back loops only but for some unknown reason, I crocheted in both loops in one row.  Where was my brain?  Am I going to frog it and correct that mistake?  Heck no!  I put it in the cupboard with my other dishcloths and not in the gift drawer.  Anyway, many of my readers are very talented crocheters but some aren't so this just goes to show that no matter how long you have been crocheting (off and on since the 1970s in my case),  mistakes happen and for something like a dishcloth for my own use, who cares lol!  Take care everyone and see you later...

Nellie Belle With a Big Girl Bone!

Here's my Nellie Belle with a big girl bone.  Usually I post the chi's photos on their blog but no one ever goes there so I thought I'd put this one here for you to see.  Nellie is a prima donna, a real diva.  She is the youngest of our 3 canine kids but she is the alpha dog of the house!

26 March 2010

Thoughts About Substitute Teaching...

When I went into substitute teaching a few years ago I really had the naive belief that I could "make a difference" and help maintain a sense of "normalcy" while the regular teacher was absent. How very naive I was! Here are some situations that often come up and prevent this.

* I have a degree in history with a minor in library science. I would find it helpful if the teacher would leave their teacher's text available for me to consult. I'm sorry, even though I've had advanced science courses I have no confidence in my abilities to be able to explain to students the chemical difference of lactase and lactose. Sorry, it's not happening for me or the students.

* On the same note, if the students are to do work sheets, an answer key would be helpful. In math classes, time permitting, I will try to work out the problems ahead of time so that I can help students if the need arises.

* To take accurate attendance, I need an up-to-date class roster--not one that is several months old and has kids listed that have transferred out of the school or new students that aren't listed.

*  If there is a class seating chart, I need a current one.  Seating charts are handy because I can know who to leave nice comments about or in some cases not so nice.  I will always try to give you positive notes even when I've had a few rough patches.

* It would be handy to have the class schedule listed and the time the class starts and ends especially if the class has lunch in the middle of it and the students return to finish up after lunch.  Along with this, it would be nice to know if the sub is supposed to escort the class to other classes or lunch.  At some middle schools the kids go on their own but there is also a high school in the district where the teacher escorts the students to and from lunch.

* If the school says no MP3s, IPods, cell phones or other electronic devices allowed then why do some teachers allow them and put the sub in the position of having to decide whether or not to go by the teacher's policy or the schools???

* Dress code--if the school says no sagging pants with underwear showing then why are some students still losing their drawers when they stand up??? I had a student, when I was a PE sub, trip over his pants when they fell down during a basketball game!

* I don't make that much money as a sub so why do I end up providing pens, pencils and paper to students? My theory is if they can afford more expensive sneakers than I can then they can bring their own school supplies. One of these years, I'm going to keep track of how many pens and pencils I pick off the floor at the end of the day.  Hmmmm, might want to do that with how much blank paper is down there too.

*  Lesson plans--they're great to have.  Keep them brief and to the point.  I don't have time to study them and memorize a bunch of procedures.

Guess you can tell I had a rough day today. The kids weren't bad just had hyperdeveloped socialization skills they were practicing. Lots of confusion because of sub shortage. I mean it could have been worse, I could have been hit in the head by flying objects (again), called the b word (again) or had smart-alecky attitudes (again) from the students. None of those things happened and I really enjoyed the kids.  I just wished they'd have been quieter and the 2 other teachers wouldn't have had to come into the room and "hush" them. 

I know it is tough for the teachers too--they don't get to have much input with the sub and the sub has no follow-through with situations that occurred during their assignments.  I promise to honestly report what has happened during your absence and not focus on the negative.  All we can do is try our best.

25 March 2010

Here's Another Dishcloth and Potholder

Here's another potholder and dishcloth.  I'm packing these and the ones I made the other day and mailing them to my uncle.  I think he'll like them.  The potholders aren't "pretty" but they are practical and a bit over-sized and will be a good fit for a man with big hands.

Do any of you have problems deciding what to use for backgrounds when taking photos of your crochet projects?  I'm running out of ideas.  I use the grass when weather is good and grass is green, my black coat is another choice, the dishcloth on this post is set on a table runner on my coffee table, and today's potholder is on a chair in the living room.  I'm out of ideas so please everyone, leave me a comment on any new ideas you may have.

Take care all...

24 March 2010

A New Dishcloth and Potholder

While I was sitting at my temporary job with the Census Bureau and had nothing to do, I made this potholder and dishcloth.  The potholder is based on what I remember of a pattern from LionBrand.  The dishcloth is just rows of single crochet done in the back loops.  The edging of the potholder is a one row of single crochet, then a row of triple crochet, slip stitch in the next single crochet  repeat around to corners and then half double crochet chain one and another half double crochet.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.

About my Census job, I work three, five hour days Monday - Wednesday and this week I only had 1 person come in!  I guess I'll have a lot of crochet time!  Speaking of crocheting, I'm making a lot of granny squares for an afghan.  I'll show you those some other time.

Take care everyone....

22 March 2010

Monday's Link for Free Crochet Pattern

Here are patterns for a   pretty place setting you can crochet.  It is very spring-like and even has an adorable egg warmer shaped like a chicken!  Check it out.

17 March 2010

Started Temporary Job With Census Bureau

I started a temporary job with the Census Bureau today.  Actually, today was a little over 8 hours of training.  I worked with them last year and enjoyed it a lot.  I walked around neighborhoods with a handheld computer and put map spots on maps for the location of residences.  This time, the pay sucks ($8.50 per hour) and we're limited to 15 hours a week at satellite locations helping people fill out their forms or giving them forms if they somehow got missed.  I'll stick with it though, there is another phase coming up after this one is over and I have a chance to get a position with it too and hopefully it will be lots better than this one.  Take care y'all and if you're in the area and need help with your census form stop in and I'll be happy to help you out!  Hugs...

16 March 2010

Magic Ball Afghan is Finished!

Finally, I am finished with this magic ball afghan!  I told my dh that it was for him and the chis when they snooze in the recliner.  Here is dh showing off the afghan and trying to hide at the same time.  Hey Sweetie, your head is showing lol!  OK, I'll stop jabbering and post the picture:

Today's Mixed Bag

I went into the spare bedroom (aka yarn warehouse) to look for some yarn that I had bought at Dollar Tree a while back.  I got a bit side-tracked in my search when I found a couple dishcloths I had made and just needed to weave in the loose ends.  I quickly did that and took some pictures to post here for you.  So here they are...
I remember doing this from a pattern in a book I have.  I can't remember what book it was though! I really like to post the source of patterns I use so that my readers and I have a reference to it.

This dishcloth is alternating rows of single crochet and double crochet.  The edging is a picot edging.
We have a small pond in the back yard that is stocked with goldfish.  Every spring we give it a thorough cleaning and water change. It is usually filled with all sorts of debris such as leaves and small twigs.  It has been a big chore to clean out.  My dh came up with a good idea to make this job easier.  He built a frame out of 2x4 wood and covered it with screen material that I was able to get cheap when it was marked down last fall.  He put the cover over the pond last fall and just recently removed it.  Now,the pond's spring cleaning has been simplified!
Here are the fish happily swimming in the clean pond a few years ago.  The fish are much bigger now.  Here is  an idea if koi are too expensive for your pond budget...we used feeder fish that I got 8 for a dollar at a local pet store!
Another view of the pond.  The white rock is a piece of coral we brought back from Hawaii when we were stationed there.
Here is the cover dh made for the pond. 

15 March 2010

Monday's Link for Free Crochet Pattern

I thought that this pattern might be of interest to those of you who are rushing to see the new Alice in Wonderland Movie.  So here is the pattern to deck out a doll in Alice-type garb.  Hope you enjoy...

10 March 2010

Getting Back on Track With Magic Ball Afghan, Finishing up Doily and Getting Ready for Next Project...

Yesterday, I had doctor appointments in Louisville, about an hour from here. When I go there I have the opportunity to to stop at Hobby Lobby. Yesterday I got the black yarn to finish my magic ball afghan. I also got red yarn to use in a spiderman ghan for a friend's little boy. The ww acrylic blues they had just didn't look right so I stopped at Meijers on my way home and they had a good blue color by Bernat. I was a naughty girl at Hobby Lobby and splurged on a few bamboo handled hooks. I love my J-Hook with a bamboo handle so I thought I'd try some others. No good sales yesterday though--maybe that is good because I impulse buy too much on yarn--yarn comes in faster than it goes out lol!

The spiral simplicity doily I'm making for my uncle is coming along. I'm working on the last 2 rounds! YIPPEE! I hope to finish it up this week and get it in the mail to him. Below is a picture of it so far. Definitely needs some blocking when it's finished.

Above is a toddler-sized spiderman ghan I made a couple years ago. The one I'll be starting soon will be a little larger for a little boy in elementary school. I use the round ripple pattern that AggieMay from crochetville generously provides to other members who pm her.

Edited to add doily picture

08 March 2010

Monday's Link for Free Crochet Pattern

I really like the look of granny square afghans but I'm not too thrilled with sewing the squares together or weaving in the loose ends. However, I do like this pattern with the squares laid out on the diagonal and the use of half squares. Anyway, I really think it is a classier version. Hope you enjoy...

07 March 2010

Another Birthday...

Today was my birthday and I'm 39 AGAIN lol!  I can only do that for a few more years because then I'll be the same age as my son :).  Anyway, I was born my grandma's birthday, her first granddaughter, and we used to celebrate together.  Here's a picture taken on my 10th birthday and her 62nd.  I have the glasses on. I really miss her...

04 March 2010

Hat and Scarf Set is FINISHED!

I just finished this hat and scarf set.  The pattern is a freebie from Lion Brand Yarns. It was so simple to make because it was only double crochets and chains.  The homespun yarn gives it a nicer look.  The only thing I didn't like about the pattern is that the hat was supposed to have 4 holes in the top.  I gathered it together and closed it up and I think I'll like that a lot more.  Happy hooking...!

Update on Hat and Scarf Set

I have about a dozen rows or so left to do on the scarf and then a few ends to weave in and the set is finished! I'll try to finish it up today and get pictures posted. It is very easy and would be perfect for a new crocheter's first pattern. Take care y'all!

Monday's Link for Free Crochet Pattern

For some reason this post popped up a few days early so I guess we'll call this a bonus lol!
In honor of St. Patrick's Day here are patterns for a shamrock coaster and shamrock dishcloth.  Enjoy!

02 March 2010

Getting Ready for Next Winter--A New Hat and Scarf Set

I'm already burned out with working on my uncle's doily and I still haven't gotten more black yarn for the magic ball afghan I've been working on.  Once again, I started a new project without finishing up what I was working on.  I'm making a hat and scarf set for next winter.  I'm using some Homespun yarn I bought on clearance at Wal-mart a while ago.  I normally don't like working with Homespun because my hook gets caught in the thready fibers but for small projects I can put up with it.  I finished the hat last night while watching television with dh and at this time, I have roughly a foot of the scarf made.  After I started the hat, I noticed that the crown of the hat wasn't closed but rather had 4 openings.  Well, I couldn't have that so I gathered the top of the crown and closed it off.  Winter is cold and I didn't want the top of my head to freeze :).  Anyway, the pattern I'm using for this set is a freebie from LionBrand Yarn.  I'm not going to post a picture of the hat until I finish the scarf and can show the set together so stay tuned...

01 March 2010

Monday's Link for Free Crochet Pattern

Here's today's link for a free pattern.  Today's pattern is for panhandlers--an alternative to potholders.  It is part of the collection of free patterns found at CrochetNow.  Enjoy...