Sarah527 Blog

The life of a single mom of two boys as she explores new ideas, new thoughts, and a new career.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I forgot to add!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent. Even though I'm not confirmed Catholic my mom used to give stuff up every year and I try to do the same...With not so great success sometimes.

Last year I gave up my Jason music. That was hard because I was listening to him a lot but I made it through.

This year I've been pondering what to do. It seems with our money situation I've given up a lot already. I also thought of lots of things I *should* probably give up, diet coke being one of them. I drink way more than I should and I know it's a very bad habit. Still I've been doing better, I at least try to match each diet coke with a glass of water. I also only buy diet coke when it's on sale so in reality it's maybe $5 a week and in the long run it's not that much.

I pondered the computer. I spent way too much time on the BB's but then I realized that that is my only source of communications with my friends. I'm not a phone person so if I stopped the computer, I'd lose contact with the whole world in a sense. Yes, I know not the same as food and water but still something I think is impossible.

Instead I decided to give up buying any more stash. Even though money has not allowed me to do a lot I still find myself here and there picking stuff up...floss, beads, needles, etc. And in the long run I think that does add up. So starting tomorrow there will be no stitching related purchases, not even if I run out of something. I just kitted up two projects and I have several here(more than several) that have everything they need to start so I'm not going to want for things to stitch on!

I just have to remember nothing is going to go OOP in 40 days. There is nothing that I can't walk away from, there is nothing that if I still *love* it in 40 days that I can't get.

So there you have it. It's in writing and like my stitching goals I found once I wrote it down I was more likely to stick to it!!

Here are the pictures I promised.

First my Mike Vickery Sapphire Celtic Cross that I finished on 2/17

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It will be a gift for my MIL for Christmas. I hope she likes it!! A friend is going to help me frame it myself so it shouldn't be too expensive to do. I'm kind of mad at myself for letting this sit so long because once I sat down to finish it, it only took a couple of weeks. There is one of my stitching goals for the year done!

Here is my finished Patricia Ann Designs called Twilight Star:

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I finished it on Feb. 25. I did this as part of a SAL with my Michigan Stitching friends. I got so much of it done the first week of the SAL that I was able to finish it up this time around. Since the SAL was supposed to last all year I'm going to modify it and work on a band sampler since all her designs tend to be band samplers. I have two more of her patterns in my stash but not the supplies to complete them, I do however have several band samplers I could do so I'm going to pull from my stash. I think I will start Lesa Steele's Lavender Myst in March.

Here is my almost completed Mirabilia Christmas Elf Fairy:

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I love this piece and have had such a blast stitching on her!! I'm hoping the extra beads will arrive today so I can finish her in "finish it February" but she's pretty darn close.

The kids went back to school yesterday after being home on mid winter break and I know it's horrible to say but I was glad to send them back. They were really starting to get on each others nerves by the end of the week and it was really too cold to go outside. There are only so many video games they can play...I really enjoyed my nice quiet afternoon and started in on Mira's Forest Goddess. So far she looks just like a blob but the colors in this piece are amazing, so pretty!!

We got a bit of a shock over the weekend. In October of 2004 we had a small power outage in the neighborhood. When the power came on, the furnance didn't. DH was able to get it started again but it was very noisy so we had someone in too look at it. He said we could spend about $500 to have it cleaned and oiled etc and it still might be loud or we could buy a new furnance. He estimated that our furnance was well past the age limit and really we would be better with a new furnance. We suspected this since we knew the furnance was old when we bought the house. We got a couple of quotes and started to put money away for it. One quote was really high(like 5K for our little 1,000sq ft house). We got a name from Dh's aunt of the person who put the furnance in her house and he was much lower but we needed to save the money first. We were probably a good 1/2 way to having the money when DH got laid off in June and the furnance fund went for more important things like food.

Last month DH's Uncle died. He was living with this aunt(his sister) and she was caring for him since this uncle never married. DH would often go over there to help with his computer or to help his aunt move something. He wasn't there a lot but enough. He also took the day off of work for the Uncle's funeral and I know she was very thankful of that.

She called on Saturday and asked DH if we were going to have the new furnance put into because she ran into the person who gave us the quote. Dh explained that while we really needed to do it we just couldn't afford it at this time. His Aunt then said she would pay for it, no strings attatched, no need to pay her back, she would just give our number to the furnance guy, have him call us, set something up, and send her the bill. We were speechless. We were amazed she would offer such a thing! DH talked to his mom and his aunt got a fair amount of money when the uncle died and she wanted to do something nice and that we should let her. The furnance guy called yesterday, he'll be here tonight for some measuring and to talk to us about the furnance he will put in(top of the line from the sounds of it) and then he will be back here on Saturday morning to put the new one in.

I'm relieved. I worried every time the furnance kicked on because it was so loud and I know it was very inefficient. This winter we've turned the thermostat way down and have been quite chilly at times. The thought that we could be warm and not pay an arm and a leg for it is awesome!!

Still it's was hard to say yes. You don't want to be seen as a charity case or as someone who needs a hand out but I really saw no way of doing this on our own for awhile at least. We pondered taking some equity out of the house be with the bill problems we've had in the last year we weren't sure if we would be able to.

Not only will this help in the winter but will help this summer with the air conditioning as well. The air conditioner is newer(probably 10-12 years old) and when we had them quote the furnance they looked at it and said it will do it's job awhile longer. With a more efficient furnance it more circulate the air more.

The only down side to the whole thing is I will have to move all of my craft stuff by Saturday. Our furnance is in a "room" off of our finished basement. The room is pretty big, with good lighting, a work bench and lots of shelving. I put all my XS stuff in there awhile ago and I use that room for all my ornament finishing. I suspect replacing a furnance is messy work so to be safe I'm going to relocate while the work is being done.

I have to say February was not the best of months. It started out stressful and continued through most of it. I had a couple of rough days but it's ending nicely. Except for the cold sore I've developed in the last day. It's not surprising with the month I had but it's still no fun. Not only does it look icky I don't think people who don't get them realize how painful they can be. I'll have a headache for probably the next couple of days not to mention all the lymph nodes are slightly swollen. The sore itself is incredibly painful and it will make it difficult to eat. The worse is it means no kissing until it's completely gone. No kissing Dh and no kissing the boys. Hopefully it will be a quick one....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A little more information...

I got together with a friend yesterday who lives in the area. She gets the newspaper(we don't) and the incident at the school had a big write up the other day. She was able to give me more the fine details. The incident occurred Friday Feb. 17, right before we went on mid winter break. The incident was observed by a school aide who was disturbed by what she saw and went to the principal. The child went home, told the parents what happened and from there the parents called the police. It's not just the word of a child or the word of the parents but they word of a bystander as well. The teacher turned herself in so she was not arrested at school, in front of students.

My friend happens to be a teacher as well and she doubts seriously, given the teachers age(she's 63) that she will ever step foot in a classroom. She will more than likely retire and given the incident, she should.

I feel better know all the details of what happens but I feel really sad it came to that. If I were the parents I think I likely would of called the police as well. I know that kids can really push the limits sometimes, I can see maybe grabbing a child's arm or along that lines but touching the neck is out of line. So many things could of gone wrong and the child could of really gotten hurt. I'm thankful knowing that G won't get her next year.

I had such a great time yesterday. I went to see the play "Chicago" with my friend Mary and one other lady from the lodge. We met at Mary's first and she made us a wonderful light lunch of soup and salad before we left. Then we went downtown and saw the play. We had to sit in the balcony but the seats were awesome. The play was great!! I had seen the movie but the play was very different and it was so funny in spots. From the play we went to dinner. I couldn't believe I ate again but I did. I had an amazing dessert to finish and came home just stuffed to the gills. We all decided to do it again in a couple of months.

I got a chance to talk to Mary about the lodge. I haven't been doing the breakfast the last few months because of my SIL. She has kind of come in and taken over in a way and I felt very displaced. Mary felt the same way. I'm sure my SIL doesn't mean to, she's just a very in charge kind of person. Mary said she's been coming to these breakfast long before my SIL has and will continue long after my SIL stops(and I agree when her husband is no longer in charge, we will not see either of them there working) and she won't let my SIL chase her away. I had also kind of gotten the impression that everyone liked my SIL more to me and I found out it wasn't the case at all. I've been very missed at the last few and she hopes I come back. She didn't push or anything like that, she just made me feel like I really was a valued person there. So maybe next Sunday I'll haul myself down there to serve breakfast to 150 people.....

tomorrow I'll have to post some pictures. I got a lot of stitching done this week with the boys home from school and not having to make the 3 trips to the bus stop a day. I finished my PAD, I finished my Sapphire Celtic cross(that was a week ago) and I almost finished my Elf Fairy. I had a major bead spillage because of my dogs desire to jump on the couch and bark like crazy at the gas man. Before I could stop her, my beads were flying everywhere. I did mount a large search and rescue and got a fair amount of them back. I was still about 30 beads short. Ah well, she is gorgeous with all those beads. She's so sparklely!

I hope to finish my ornament for February today as well as getting a RR square finished in the next couple of days. I hope on March 1 to be able to start Mira's Forest Goddess. I splurged a little last week and bought the pattern and the floss for it(Jo-Ann's had floss 5/$1 so it wasn't that expensive). I had some fabric in my stash but I wanted to get a few more things finished before starting something new.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Last year I took a bit of grief because of my criticism of Donovan's teacher last year. I heard "give her a break" and lots of speeches about the pressures teachers are under and that I needed to lighten up. It was hard though. Everytime I talked to her she had a huge list of things that Donovan was fallign short on. I get the fact that there are area's that he certainly needed to work on but on the other hand it was just 1st grade, the *start* of his school life and that we needed to give him a chance to find his way.

It was also hard because every morning I was faced with a tearful 7 year old who didn't want to go to school. I sent him once when he was sick because I always heard I didn't feel good in the morning. It was hard to know what was real and what wasn't.

This year has been a complete 180. While he still has the ocassional day when he doesn't want to go it seems more a case of I'd rather play than work. We went to the first conference with butterflies worrying what the teacher was going to say. When we talked to her we were amazed at all the great things she had to say on how helpful, kind, polite, hard working, smart, quick and bright boy he was. She said by far he is the smartest kid in the class. He has aced spelling test after spelling test(he had nearly 7 in a row where he had them all right). He is now reading above grade level and most importantly seems really happy. It didn't seem like the same kid and I wondered how we could be talking about the same boy. When you copare 1st grade with 2nd it was really surprising.

This week we are home from school so it's a much slower pace. I"m not watching as much news, instead watching a lot of the olympic coverage I'm lucky to get from CBC in Canada(who's coverage has been excellent at begins at 8am daily). I heard a snippet of a news story of a teacher from the area being arrested for assult and battery. It involved her grabbing a student or something. I didn't catch if the teacher was in my district or just lived in that area or what the grade level that person taught.

I was schocked and amazed when I got a letter from the school distirct today to discover that not only did the incident happen in Donovan and G's school district, it aslo happened in *their* school, by Donovan's teacher last year. The letter doesnt' state what the incident was but just that the teacher has been suspeneded with pay until the distirct does a full investigation. They reminded us taht she has been a life long teacher and we should respect her privacy and that they will investigate it fully. It also states that she has been formally charged with Assult and Battery in District court. They also want us not to talk to the media and if approached we should refer them to the district spokesperson.

I did a google search and the incident is a bit more serious than I thought. She is accused of putting her hands on the throat of a 6 year old(yes, folks 6 years old) and pinning them to the wall. Now i should mention this teacher is not tiny. She is rather, um, large is the only way to put it. She's not fluffly or slightly overwieght but I would guess she is near 400lbs easy. I can see where that would really freak out a small 6 year old. Someone observed the incident(it doesn't say who in any of the news article I read) and was disturbed enough to call the police. She was arrested and charged.

See, so maybe I wasn't over reacting. I know there are two sides to a story, I understand the pressure of teacher and such but after dealing with her last year, I can totally see her doing this. Donovan often complained that she yelled a lot and had a tendancy to grab and pull on his arm. I'm sure he didn't hurt him but still it bugged me when he talked about her.

All I can say is I hope she retires or doesn't come back to the school. G will be in first grade next year and I already feared him getting her as a teacher. After our first meeting with her we tried to move teachers and were told no. I worried the same thign would happen again but hopefully not.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Here is the latest progress picture of my Celtic cross. I'm pretty impressed with t he amount of progress I made in just about a week worth of work. I would be much farther along if I could get the scroll work in the corners placed right. I had to re-stitch the ones you do see twice before I got them in the right spot and I stitched the ones on the left but had to take them out. It's hard to get them in the right place since they are so far away from the other stitching. A friend did this piece and left them off but I liked them so I will start on them again this week and then it's on to the backstitching.

I was stitching so much the last couple of weeks that I had to take a couple of days off because my wrist was beginning to hurt. Even with my support glove it still hurt so I thought a break was in order. Instead I got some errands run over the weekend, the housework done as well as a bunch of laundry.

Thankfully the Superbowl has come and gone. Living in the metro Detroit area it was all that the TV/Radio people could talk about for a good two weeks. Still it seems to have gone well and I think Detroit did a good job. I did watch some of the game but not all of it. This was the first year in many that the Lodge didn't have a party and it was nice to spend the evening at home.

I read some sad news last night before bed. A person from the needlework boards I read had passed away unexpectedly in her sleep. She was in her 20's. How sad to die so young. I didn't know her personally but can see her sig in my head and I know I read many posts and replies from her on many of the boards. I feel bad for her husband and family left behind.

On a bright note we might be getting another second car...YEAH!!! I hate not having a car right now. I feel so trapped not to mention it sucks having to do all your errands at night and on the weekends, when every one else seems to be doing. I miss the simple joy of going to the library when it's quiet and not filled with high school kids or when I have my two boys tugging at me. Our friends are getting a new car and since their old one has quite a few miles on it and was in an accident two years ago that damaged the passenger door(they had a friend replace it) it's not worth much as a trade in. They offered it to us for $100. I'm afraid it may not last long or something will go wrong with it but even if it only gets me through the rest of the winter I'd be happy. It will be a few weeks but I'm giddy at the prospect!

I'm very annoyed with London Fog and will be penning them a letter of complaint sometimes this week. Donovan got off the bus the other day with the pull on his zipper pulled open. He said he caught it on the edge of his locker when he was taking it out and he said he tugged on it to get it out. Now I know Donovan is a little boy but he's not terribly hard on clothes and stuff(unlike his brother who wears out jeans at an alarming rate) so he often out grows something long before it wears out. When I looked at the zipper pull and touched it, it immediately fell apart in my hands. Now I know a zipper repair is simple, if you sew, which I don't, but I did expect an $80 coat(we got it on sale at Burlington Coat Factory for $50) to last longer than 3 months. I also had hoped to pass this jacket on to his brother next winter which is why we invested in a pricey coat.

I gave the coat to my MIL yesterday and she thinks she can replace the zipper on her own. I have a sewing machine and I have sewed but since the jacket is down filled I was worried about opening a seam and getting feathers everywhere! I was looking into having a tailor repair it but that would take time and money.

Saturday we went tot he store and thankfully found a jacket for 75% off and got it for a mere $15. It's a little big for him now but I think next year it will fit perfect. Of course it was the only coat anywhere near his size so it was the only choice we had. Today he wore it to school and liked it(he can be funky about new clothes so this was a relief). It's also a really nice coat and seems warm so we lucked out there. If my MIL can fix the zipper that will be great because then we will have coats for both boys for next year. Sill the coat was bought in mid-October and it shouldn't of broke so soon!