Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Fusings

With great pride and excitement, I showed DH the results of my first attempts at glass fusing.  He picked one up, turned it over and handed it back to me.  "Essentially, all you are doing is putting one piece of glass on another and melting it, right?"

I must have given him a look, because he immediately laughed and said "What?!"

"You made it sound so easy.  I had to cut the glass first you know!"

Fwd: photos
Although DH may not have been as impressed with my new skill, I am quite pleased with my work.  I only wished I had been able to see the finished product LAST week.  Now that I know what stuff looks like melted, I put more effort into cutting my glass.  Oh well, hopefully I'll have 2 weeks worth of work ready to pick up for next week's final class.  Guess what one of our projects will be?  Melting a wine bottle!  Gee, wonder where I will find one of those..............

Fwd: photos
A couple of pieces from this first batch are usable for gifts.  I anticipate several more from the other pieces yet to be fired. 

Fwd: photos

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I think this last piece is my favorite from the group.  It feels really nice in my hands & it is made entirely out of scrap glass.  One piece that is pictured was sent back for a second firing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cold Soother

I would never claim that this is a cold remedy, but I do feel better when I drink this as I feel a cold coming on.

C-Joy's Hot Cold Soother

  • 1 tsp minced ginger (look for it by the jars of minced garlic in your grocery store)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Honey to taste

Put all the ingredients in a mug and fill with boiling water.  Stir until honey disolves and enjoy!

You can certainly leave the ginger out, but I find it helps keep my sinuses from clogging up.  I have also been known to throw in a dash of cinnamon and a shot of whisky for a "nyquil" replacement before bed!  The ginger is good for an upset tummy as well.  Obviously, lemon juice gives a bit of Vitamin C, and honey is good for reducing coughs and general immune system booster.  Whatever the reason, I feel better after one of these.  In fact, I'm making myself a cup right now!

Fresh Organic

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Holiday Grand Plan Week Five

I did it!  I accomplished all the holiday things I set out to do this week.  Instead of just five more addresses acquired to my list, I finished it.  Of course, if any fellow FlyBabies wanted to DM their address to me I would be able to add it to my list as well (hint hint).

It is a bit easier to think about Holidays now as the weather is getting cooler.  And after counting on my calender yesterday, I realized that it is only 8 weeks until my Thanksgiving break begins!  We will be hosting our family Thanksgiving dinner, and as long as I stay on the course I'm on right now it should be a breeze.

Greetings, Children with Turkey and Pumpkin

One holiday is rapidly approaching and I feel under-prepared for, and that is Halloween.  Now that I have my own home and DD is getting older I feel compelled to decorate outside for it.  I saw a great project in a magazine for making a giant spider.  But when I priced the styrofoam ball for the spider's body, I decided to rethink ($20 for 1 ball?  I don't think so!)  I think it may be time for a paper mache spider body, and I know just the crew of 4 & 5 year olds who would be delighted to help.  We can keep the giant spider in the classroom & then I'll bring him home.  Maybe I'll splurge on small foam balls so the kids can have smaller ones to keep. 

Halloween: Hollowed Out Pumpkins with Candles

Do you get into Halloween or is it something you prefer to pass over?

Before I forget (again), check out these fine FlyBabies and their own Holiday Planning:
A Mothers Ramblings
Typical Ramblings, Atypical Nonsense

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pottery Class, Week Two

Its best to remember appropriate hair-restraining devices before a pottery class begins.  I am still trying to remove clay from last night's class!  I guess if I can't get it all out it will prove to be an interesting talking point at school today.

It is hard being a beginning potter.  I'm sure I will get better with practice, the problem seems to be finding the time to practice.  I can't take DD with me (for obvious reasons) nor can I bring myself to have my mom watch her any more than she already does.  Hopefully noboby on my gift list is expecting ceramic goodies because I have yet to throw anything worth putting in the kiln.  I need to keep in mind that I have improved since last week so chances are that next week I'll be pulling like a pro! (Referring to clay & not men)

On a similar note I have been contemplating adding an art endorsement to my state teaching license.  It just seems a good idea to keep my options open as far as jobs go.  The glass & pottery classes are the first art classes I have taken since middle school, but I have always felt a creative compulsion.  I think perfectionism held me back from even trying.  But I really enjoy the art projects I have been doing with my students.  I should be able to take art courses at the local community college for credit toward the endorsement.  If it turns out that I'm really horrible at least I won't be out of a ton of money!  Besides, my students now will benefit from any art study I do.  I did an art history course during my first round of college, so I only have 7 more to go to be qualified to teach K-8 art in the public school system!

French Baby Class

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fused Glass Follow-Up

I was so disappointed going to class last night & finding out that our work didn't get fired in the kiln.  Evidently the kiln still wasn't working properly, so they are going somewhere else to have our work done.  Because I don't know how last week's work turned out, it was hard to get excited about making new stuff.  Plus I didn't have a decent glass cutter to use which was very frustrating.  But not nearly as frustrating as I found melting tiny glass rods over a little candle in order to bend the rod to my will.  Let's just say that the Force was with the candle and not me.  I wonder if there is a kiln mold so I can make some of these:

Martini Glasses

Today is a long day: work, gym workout with my trainer, run home & change for pottery class, go to Mom's to hang out w/her & DD until class time, class, pick up DD from Mom's, then finally home.  Really makes me wish that I had put more effort into getting things ready for this morning.  But hey, it's only until November that my Wednesday's will be crazy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Best Time to Start Flying

I've been thinking long and hard about this, and I think I have the answer.  The best time to start Flying? When you are two. Yes that's right, at the ripe old age of two.  This is where my Montessori background is going to shine through!

Around age two, children enter a sensitive period for order.  A sensitive period is a time when a child learns particular things effortlessly.  One example would be language.  For the first six years of life, children (usually) learn to speak with minimal adult intervention.  If a child misses fulfilling a sensitive period, such as language, the child will struggle to fill that need for the rest of her life.  (Also why children pick up second languages so easily while adults tend to struggle.)

Chilling Chore

Did you ever know a child who would only eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch?  Perhaps there was only 1 pair of shoes acceptable to wear, or maybe the hair had to be done just so before being able to go out to play.  These are all manifestations of the sensitive period for order.  Children aren't just making these demands to drive us crazy.  These routines are what helps the child feel secure in the world.  When they feel secure, life is good.  When they feel insecure...............temper tantrum anyone?

This is where I think Flying begins so strike while the iron is hot!  Start little routines that help your child create order.  Clothes come off and go into a hamper.  Use a duvet instead of a top sheet so the child can make their bed on their own.  Dedicate a space to put shoes (bonus points to you if you use clothespins to keep the shoes together).  Have baskets for toys so that they are easy to put away.  And then regularly put the toys away.  Do things like this when they are ready and eager to do so and it will become second nature by the time they are done with the sensitive period.  I will not promise that they won't regress once hormones enter the picture though!

Keep them together

My theory is that the people who are Born Organized are ones who actually had a successful sensitive period for order.  The rest of us missed the boat and that is why we need the FlyLady to get back on track!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Holiday Grand Plan: Week 4

Once again, I am SO glad that I am starting my holiday planning so far in advance!  I completely forgot about doing any holiday things this past week. 

I had planned on decluttering my freezer (or having DH do it while he was on vacation), but that never happened.  I did find this morning an interesting blog post about creating "freezer meal starters".  Instead of packaging meals to heat and serve, you precook an item to "start" a meal you can finish quickly.  This appeals to me because I have a small chest freezer and if I precooked meals I wouldn't have space for making holiday goodies in advance.  It also appeals to me for I am horrible at remembering to take something out in time to cook. 

I had also planned on continuing the creation of my holiday address labels.  I promise I will get at least 5 new addresses added by next Sunday!

I'll also need to track down supplies for my handmade holiday gifts & projects.  I've located the recipes I wish to use as gifts, all I need are some baking supplies, mason jars, holiday ribbons & figure out a way to make fancy labels on stiff paper board.  I have been using cardboard file boxes to help keep my school work organzied, so I will invest in some more to keep my holiday projects organized!

Looking ahead to the next week is taking an inventory of my gift closet.  My gift closet is actually a combination of a cardboard file box with goodies that DH comes across at his store, and the plastic tubs I keep our holiday decor in.  I'm thinking the two need to combine!  Our gift closet supply has run low.  But once I get it together and organized, I'm sure it will be easier to maintain and use.

Another fun task will be the holiday budget.  It won't take long, since its pretty much the same from year to year.  What DH & I will need to negotiate is how much to spend on DD.

So nothing new here really, already falling behind on my tasks.  But maybe, just maybe, this will be the week I catch up!

Have a Very Merry Christmas, Fifties Gift Assortment

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The Scream

The Scream Poster

I need to get out of Stinkin Thinkin mode.  Going to frustrating work-related meetings does nothing for maintaining a positive work attitude, and I am already struggling to be positive about work. 

I am fortunate that I have amazing families and children in my classroom.  Some of my coworkers are not so lucky.  And unfortunately, we all lose out when "Squeaky Wheels" become board members.

It will be several months before I need to attend one of these meetings (not compensated for time, but required to donate it).  Hopefully by then my attitude will have improved.

But how to break the cycle of negative thinking?  Its Monday and the thing that frustrates me is work, and I still have to go to work for the rest of the week.  I know - it's PAYDAY!

How do you get yourself out of a negative thought pattern?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Blahs

I'm feeling my age this morning. Who knew that hosting a guest for a long weekend and throwing a birthday party could be so exhausting?

I certainly didn't!

I tried to get to bed early -I even failed to finish all of my BBR in order to make it happen. So even though I logged a number of hours unconscious, I am not feeling rested or refreshed. I am hoping that lots of tea and a solid breakfast will boost my energy. I'll try taking my vitamins after breakfast. When I remember them, I take them with my evening meal. Of course, it has been some time since I last took them.........sigh. I'm too young for Geritol!



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Holiday Grand Plan -Week Three

I started out well last week, but having a guest coming to stay put the Holiday Planning on a back burner.  What a heavenly feeling knowing that I'm not behind as I have started so early!

I found a template for Christmas labels so I'm slowly but surely adding addresses to the labels.  When the time comes to mail them, I'll just put in the appropriate label paper into the printer and voila - that laborious chore will be finished!  I have beautiful labels with our own address to use as well.  I still have holiday stamps from last year, but of course the postage rate has changed since then.  I'm hoping that there will be holiday stamps in SMALL denominations so I can use these up.

We have a plan for holiday gifts as well, and I know what the menus for the major holidays will be.  We will be hosting Thanksgiving in our miniscule abode, and my sister will be handling Christmas.  At this point we just don't know if it will be in their old home or new one.

Holiday Grand Plan Week Three

Looks like it is time to gather supplies for homemade gifts!  I really like the idea of packing the materials together along with the directions.  Since our basement is now neatly organized, I feel like I can begin tackling this one.

Christmas Cookies in the Shape of Snowmen

I know what I want to bake ahead of time, but before I start any baking I need to clean out the freezer.  Time for the mystery meats, ice cubes in ziploc bags & pureed food made for DD to go!  Until then, there is no point in preparing food in advance as there is NO ROOM for anything else in the freezer.  It really needs to be defrosted as well.  Hmmm.........another project for DH while he's off this week?  I'll also be checking out the Freezer Cooking Guide.  Busy weeknights happen during the unHoliday Season as well.  I can only use my crockpot so often before becoming bored with the food too, so I'm looking forward to this line of enquiry.

Happy Holiday Planning everyone!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are you ready for the weekend?

Evidently it didn't take long for my body to readjust to my workday wake-up time.  5:30 am on a Saturday & I couldn't stay asleep any longer!  Guess that means it is a great time for a blog post. 

Spent 10 minutes tidying the house while DH was grilling and everything is still in place!  That's mostly due to DD playing outside with daddy while he grilled -she had no nap yesterday & played hard all day so she fell asleep quite quickly after dinner (meaning she didn't have enough time to toss her toys around.)  At any rate, there was nothing for me to step on in the dark as I stumbled through the LR this morning.  Heck, even the kitchen was clean when I went for my water.  What am I supposed to do with all this free time now that I'm not constantly putting things away?

That's right............pottery!  The fused glass class will have to happen at another time coz it was full by the time I got my registration forms in.  Oh well, better luck next time!

I'll also need to make those cupcakes -wouldn't do to have a birthday party for DD & not have any desserts......

Friday, September 11, 2009

Still Going Strong

I could get used to this.

I spent a considerable chunk of time on Monday cleaning my house, and it is STILL IN GOOD SHAPE!  Generally by the end of my next work day, the LR has been demolished, DD will have thrown every toy she get get her hands on to the floor, and the kitchen counters mysteriously shrunk or even vanish.  But  not this time.

I spent 10 minutes rescuing rooms the first night I came home from work, and that was all that was needed.
I spent 10 minutes rescuing rooms the second night I came home from work, and that was all that was needed.
Last night, I spent less than 10 minutes rescuing rooms, and that was all that was needed.

It is highly possible that our guest (DH's college buddy) may have influenced the typical behavior in other members of the household.  Maybe I just used the momentum from Monday's clean to keep the ball rolling.  Probably both.  I just hope that it continues AFTER our guest leaves!

On a fun note, I have signed up for a Glass Fusing class with my sister.  It starts next week and for those of you expecting gifts from me this holiday season, be prepared for jewelry!  I'm even more excited about the pottery class that I signed up for.  I have wanted to take a pottery class for years and I am finally doing it.  There is a small child care issue to take care of (DH usually isn't home by the time class starts on that day) but I'm sure I can work things out.  I'll have to wait until later today to see if I got into the class -they may already be full.  If so, I shall just wait (nearly) patiently until the next session starts.  And sign up sooner.

My next career perhaps?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We have lift off!

For the first time in AGES I completed the Weekly Home Blessing.  I haven't done one since before my vacation (hands head in shame).  For motivation, I listened to the BTR archive of the FlyLady WHB whilst I worked.  But before I did the WHB, I rescued my home.

I was dreading the whole house rescue, but it had to be done.  What was truly amazing was that I was able to rescue each room (except the basement) in just 15 minutes per room!  Obviously, things weren't quite as bad as I had thought.  Again, I am thankful for a small house :)

As I was indulging in this Day of Housecleaning I had an "aha" moment:  I realized that I had been confusing "WHB" with general "Room Rescue".  Ooops.  No wonder I didn't like the WHB day! (Time to restart the babysteps I think) So I shall try this week to do room rescues everyday.  Yesterday when I came home it only took 15 minutes to rescue all the rooms to their pristine state.  I think I can keep that up.  Next week I'm going to spread out the WHB chores as an experiment.  For example, emptying all the trash makes sense to do on Sundays as our garbage pick up is Monday.  For the others, I think I'll just randomly choose a chore each day I come home -just to keep things interesting!

On a sad note my vacuum cleaner didn't make it through the Blessing.  I think DH's long hair finally defeated the beater brush, so it needs a good clean-out & a new belt before being put back into service.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Is it called Labor Day because its the last day of summer to get work done around the house?

I shall be taking DD to grandma's house even though I have the day off from "work" -its the final push to get some cleaning/decluttering done before DH's college buddy comes to stay with us.  I am considering the work I do today to be part of my "get ready for the holidays" scheme!  

After this week, I will truly be back on my school schedule.  Already I'm finding myself getting up at an unseemly hour each morning -even on weekends!  At least I have the Holiday Planning to look forward to :)

Yesterday was a lovely change of pace: I was to go to my sister's house to help with painting.  Instead, we took my nephew's Camaro & hit the road!  We visited their new house and picked apples.  There weren't many left, but we still managed to get a bushel or so.  Then, we headed up to their cabin.  It is not finished & has suffered storm damage, but it was heavenly sitting on the deck overlooking the river.  For a moment I could empathize with Ratty's desire to live alongside the river!  Even Mr. Toad would have been jealous of the water craft out on the water :)

Labor Day signals the end of summer for me.  I'm not a hot weather person, but I do enjoy the freedom that summer brings.  I adore fall -the temperature is finally comfortable to be outside.  The leaves are already beginning to change here, and soon there will be leaf piles everywhere and the scent of fires burning.  Yes, I am a fall girl!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Enjoying the Holidays - The FlyLady Way!

One of the things I like most about fall is that it means the Holiday season is just around the corner.  In years past I have felt silly trying to prepare for the holidays before Thanksgiving, but this year I am trying something new: starting my plans NOW!  Thanks to Twitter pals @Luvschweetheart and @DianeDenmark I finally feel free to revel in the joy and excitment that the holidays bring.  This will be the first Christmas that DD will truly enjoy, so I want to make sure that it is a special time for her.  And that means not being up in the wee hours of the morning just because I couldn't get around to wrapping my gifts until the last minute or fighting crowds because I have forgotten someone's prezzie.

A couple of years ago, I printed the FlyLady Holiday Control Journal.  I filled out a few of the pages, but that's it.  For me, waiting until the beginning of December to start ramping up for the holidays doesn't work.  DH is in retail which means between Thanksgiving and Christmas he works 6 days a week.  We have to arrange a time for our big family Christmas celebration by the beginning of October just to make sure he has the right night off!

Luvschweetheart introduced me to the Holiday Grand Plan.  It starts the holiday planning this week.  I printed off some pages and I am amalgamating it with the FlyLady Holiday CJ.  By following these two plans, I am hoping that December will be a relaxing, C-Joyous time!

P.S.  I already ordered gifts for my coworkers!!!!

P.P.S.  I'm really looking forward to the transatlantic baking session to make DianeDenmark's Christmas Cake!!!!!!!!!!


Its 4:30 in the morning and I can't sleep.  I've actually been awake for the past hour. Lucky for me today is Friday which means a short day at work.  Looks like I'll probably be napping with DD this afternoon!  And drinking lots of tea.......

So rather than just stay in bed not sleeping, I got up and started playing on the computer.  Where in the FlyLady universe is insomnia dealt with?  It is certainly far too early in the morning to do any cleaning or decluttering -I am not going to take the chance of accidently waking DD up.  I may be unable to sleep but I'm not up to being momma just yet.

Hmmm, maybe it is time I blow the virtual dust off of my Electronic Control Journal and make some changes :)

What do you do when you can't sleep?