Sunday, August 19, 2007

The 6 Degrees of Draco Malfoy

So, there's a contest going on over at the Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 blog, and, well, I wanna win!

The task was to link a specified person back to Draco Malfoy (from the HP series), kinda like you'd link a Hollywood star to Kevin Bacon.

I'm vaguely familiar with the idea behind the concept, so here's my mind's try at this little game. Tell me if you likey:

Mad Eye Moody’s connection to Draco Malfoy is this:

~Hired by Dumbledore to work as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor,

~Dumbledore was killed by Severus Snape (where he was also, coincidentally, a “co-worker” of Moody’s),

~Snape was “friends” during his Howarts years with Sirius Black,

~Sirius was the brother to Narcissa,

~Narcissa was the most devoted follower of Voldemort,

~Snape killed Dumbledore, following Voldemort’s orders, a task originally intended for DRACO MALFOY!

There. I think I've done it. Stay tuned - there may be a Part 2. This was kinda fun!


Saturday, August 18, 2007


Somehow, I'm thinking that I want the desks to be different - maybe set off at angles rather than so boxed up? - but I'm not sure. However, the room is ready! The teacher? Not so! I can't believe Monday is the first day of school! It took me much longer, it seems, this year than last year to set up my classroom. This could, possibly be because I wasn't just setting up a new classroom, I was unpacking an "old" classroom from 20 boxes. I've already informed my EX that next year, his vacation needs to coincide with my setup week, not the first week of school.

The reality is, that it didn't really take any longer this year, I just had stuff to do, whereas last year, The Boy was gone on vacation with his daddy, and I could put in the late nights throughout the week and didn't have to bring home all the first day plans, etc in order to be ready Monday morning. Nope, I just did it because I like to be prepared. This time? I'm doin' it so I WILL BE prepared, otherwise, I'd be wingin' it!

The pictures you see were taken last night at about 9:05. After that, I went down the hall to the rest of my first/Kindergarten team to see who still needed help. You see, they are starting renovations on our school building, and have taken the first "Pod" (aka open-area), and turned it into 4 separate classrooms with walls. If I hadn't been so exhausted, I'd have taken a picture of them, too, cause that's the really exciting part. The classrooms are beautiful (if a little green), technologically advanced, and, in usual school-system style, NOT FINISHED. They have no boards. No bulletin boards, no chalkboards, NO. BOARDS. The boss-lady was able to get one "temporary" board for each teacher - but the usual fruity, fluffy displays for the first day of school are markedly absent in most of the rooms, which makes them look a bit industrial, and not at all like a primary classroom. Sad. Very sad. Hopefully it will all be remedied in about 2 weeks, so I'll try to have pictures up then.

Until then, looky what I did with an empty space:

This is the reading table - where I will meet with small groups for Reading and Math. You can also see the library off in the far right corner - well, part of it at least. I purchased a carpet for $20 at Home Depot when I went in for plants and spray paint for my room as well. Good deal.

And here is the center area that I set up this year. I plan to have only one or two choices of what to do at each center this year. Last year there was a ton of choice, and things were not taken care of properly, so my goal is to be on top of this a little better. We don't do much with centers the first little while, though, so this picture just shows the cosmetic, first day appearance! I still need to make the center assignment chart that will hang in the blank space on this board. By the way - behind the board is the girls coat closet. Also need to make a sign for the top of the closet!

And here is the morning meeting/read-aloud area. This space is bigger than the one I was in last year, as evidenced by the fact that I was able to bring in my rocking chair finally. I had to dust about an inch of dust off it (it's been at my ex's house all this time), but anyway! I am considering finding another carpet for this area, but I'm also thinking about putting little dots on the floor where they will need to sit. It's amazing how assigned seating spaces on the carpet helps with attention!

So, there you have it. I'm off now to buy the teacher her treat for getting ready so efficiently - a new outfit for the first day of school! I think I deserve it! Oh, and there just MAY be some new yarn involved in the package, too! I've been such a good girl!


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Last Minute Fun!

Like I've said before, the Summer seems to have flown by like mad. The Boy and I are trying to squeeze in a few more days of fun before going back to the old grindstone.

Monday, we headed over to the College Park Aviation Museum in, well, College Park! This time, we went just to hang out and look around. We went last year, but it was for a story-time, and that puts a cramp on our leisurely strolls, so we just hung out this time. Zac had a blast. You can tell, because in the pictures that follow, he's actually giving a REAL smile, not the posed "oh, I'm supposed to be having fun" smile that he gets a lot lately.

He had the greatest time dressing up like an aviator. He must have put this getup on about three times total, and the flying goggles? Yeah, he wore them the entire time we were there. Typical.

He loved climbing in and out of the old Ercoupe that was there, and had a blast just running around looking at things. We (I) filled out a visual scavenger hunt, and we (I) learned a thing or two that I didn't know before. It was really interesting. I didn't even realize the last time we were there that the museum was 1) started by the Wright Brothers as a/along with a school for flight instruction, and 2) the oldest running flight museum in the country. They also have the first helicopter ever to fly, and, well, it sure doesn't look like a helicopter. The picture above is the boy in front of it - looks more like a plane to me.

We also had the opportunity to take a picture with one of the MD Turtles. The University has sponsored these turtles, much like the fish in Baltimore (original idea/starting place, I think), the Cape Hatteras horses, the DC Pandas, and the whatever city/state-you're-in-animals of choice. The turtles are really spread out over the whole DC/MD/VA area, and we've only seen one or two. This one was cool:

Disco Turtle.

I know I'm supposed to remember the name of the business that sponsored/paid for him, but, well, I wasn't that interested. Didn't look like a teacher supply store to me!! :O)

After the museum, I decided The Boy might like to see where his mamma went to college (2nd degree), so we toured the College Park Campus as well. He was immediately attracted to the bleachers of Byrd Stadium, so we walked over to see it. While walking from there to the mall, we passed a new (to me) statue of Jim Henson and Kermit (didja know Henson was a MD Alumnus??).

Then up to the top of the mall, where Testudo stands in front of the McKeldin Library with his big, shiny nose from all the students who rub it for luck on tests. Don't know if you can see from the picture, but his nose is very, very smooth and shiny, while the rest of the statue is a normal, bronzed-statue hue. Pretty cool. I rubbed that nose several (hundred) times myself.

Looking down the mall is still a beautiful sight, and the trees were very, very full with Summer leaves, giving the campus the look and feel as if it might be 100 years ago.

We continued our walk down to the fountain built by one of the sorrority houses while I was there. The Boy was enthralled, and I had to keep reminding him that he could NOT jump in - it was just for looking at!

The heat being what it was, we headed back to the car soon after, and off to eat our lunch at a park nearby where we were promptly chased off by one of the "friendly" resident squirrels. More like PUSHY! If I hadn't been scared to death, I'd have taken a picture, but I was worried about losing my lunch, or having my son bitten by a mad squirrel. This sucker actually jumped up on the table connected to ours WHILE WE WERE EATING! Sheesh. We finished our lunch in the car, while driving home!

All in all it was a great day. Tuesday he hung out with Pop-pop while Mommy went to a Math workshop, and today he helped me put paper on my bulletin boards in my classroom. He's a pretty good helper!

Tomorrow we are off to the Baltimore Aquarium!


Saturday, August 04, 2007



Cables emerge in stripes, in filigree,
And I have knitted up all my loe in this,
Created warmth, from pungent wool,
A shell of fuzz to wrap what isn't there.

This dance of loops, skimming through my fingers,
Needles flashing, remembering, yearning
for the one who fills my dreams,
I breed the wearer.

Creative imagining cannot bring to life
What I would have you be,
You knitted dear one;
I wrap these finished arms around me,
Hoping for a clasp to squeeze me back,
Hoping for more than this futile raveling and unraveling.

If I could only make a cummerbund of my arms for you,
And have you wear it proud.


This poem was found in my grandmother's things. It is not signed. It was typed on a typewriter. We are thinking it was written by either by grandmother or my cousin, Carol. I am more leaning towards my grandmother, because of the way the poet seems to speak of knitting while pregnant -". . .yearning for the one who fills my dreams, I breed the wearer." And this: "Creative imagining cannot bring to life what I would have you be. . ." - maybe?

The lines could also be written for a lover, or a desired one, but if this was my cousin writing, I don't see her writing these lines.

Hmmmm - any help out there? Is this merely a poem that was copied out by my grandmother? Anyone ever seen it before? I'm very curious, and I love it!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

How's My Logic?

Okay - tell me if this is faulty logic or not. I say NOT:

Back in June, my family went to the beach for a week. I, just having finished my first year back in the classroom, saw this - 7 days of not reporting to work - as an eternity, in which I would be able to get some internet surfing done, plan lessons for next year for my team, knit a bit, read a book, and maybe even listen to my ipod. (don't laugh so loudly - I am right here!)

I packed for all these possibilities, Apparently, I thought that the safest place for my ipod cord was with my laptop. I put it in with the laptop cords in that nice, safe little size zipper pocket.

This is a fact it seems I forgot the minute it was done. I have searched and searched for that cord. I undid every bag I took with me - even the knitting bags! Sheesh! I couldn't find it anywhere. But, since I was pretty sure I didn't take it out of anything, I neglected to do anything about it until recently. Before the trip this past weekend, I went to the lovely Target (you did use your French accent for that word, right?) and while I was there, I picked up an "air docking station." This was supposed to charge up the ipod, and also allow it to sync with the computer, etc, etc. When I bought it, I thought it was $49.99. Bad, I know, but nowhere near the $69.99 it actually was. I decided to hold off on opening the package and look around some more.

Well, lo and behold, I found it when I actually opened my laptop case yesterday to do some work - the work I was supposed to have been working on all Summer long! Oy!

So, this afternoon, I returned it, along with two sports bras that were (yay!) too big. The amount refunded to my credit card was just over $100.00. Aaaaaaaannnnnnddddd. . . . .

That means I'm thinkin' that this yarn:

Was actually FREE YARN, cause it cost less than half that, and I didn't go buying more stuff at Target after the return, so the $50-something I spent on the yarn and magazine never really even had an impact on my checking account balance.

How's THAT for logic?

Oh, and Bublie, don't look too hard - you may or may not be seeing the yarn that I may or may not be knitting up for you. Look away, look away!!!!!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Where Did the Summer Go?

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but there's been so much going on here, and every time I sit down to write, I get sidetracked, or I feel like the post is going in 20 different directions at once. Not good! Plus, I kinda justified it by thinking that my Grammy's post needed to stay up as long as possible.

But, well, now I think I need to get crackin' or I'll never catch up!

First off, is "Wow - where did the Summer get off to?" It seems like I've barely been on break, and now it's time to go back! The Boy and I are planning our last two weeks of Summer, and it's hard to squeeze everything we've been meaning to do into this little bit of time. Seems like our time has been "borrowed" by many different sources - half day camps (suck, we won't be doing them again next year!), family issues, trips, and other obligations really split our time up!

We got back (late) Sunday evening (actually Monday morning!) from our family reunion in Bessemer, Alabama. Nice. We learned a lot of the history of the family, had great fellowship together with many, many, many (many) family members - there's usually 200-300 people at these events - and kept busy, taking full advantage of being in a new city. Well, as much as we could without transportation. Friday we flew in (The Boy was only TOO excited to be flying, and loved every minute of it. He thought the takeoff was the coolest!), got settled in (The Boy and his Gaggi, of course, went to the pool in between), and went to the "Meet and Greet" at the Bessemer Community Center, recently taken over/purchased by my Uncle Bobby Clayton. He's looking into restoring the place, fixing up the old, historic schoolhouse (my grandmother went to elementary school there - it was built in the 1890's), and creating a museum on the site. Should be lovely. (pics to follow, promise, 'cause it's awesome!)

Saturday we got up early for a tour of Alabama. The first stop was the 16th Street Baptist Church. Yes, ****that**** church. Awesome. And how about the ***Wales Wall***? Got a great picture of my Dad underneath that one. Simply awesome. And a picture of my son, zooming through the now renovated portion that was blown away in the explosion. The tour guide that we corralled (he wasn't really supposed to be giving US a tour - he was just unlucky enough to be early for his 10:00 tour - told us that in that fateful blast, a strange thing happened - the stained glass window depicting Jesus that was NEXT to the blast area? The only thing that happened was that the face of Jesus was blown out, and a piece from his robes. The rest stayed intact. Gotta find some pictures of that - I'm sure it was divine intervention somehow. I'm not a very religious person, but you gotta wonder how the heck that happened!

While there, some of the group went into the Civil Rights Museum, just across the street from the church, but I knew I'd need longer to look, so my family and I opted to go to the park just across the street. It's a beautiful park, again, dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement. It contains awe-inspiring sculptures, like Police Dog Attack, and one on segregation, whose message reads "I ain't afraid of your jail" on one side, while turning the idea of segregation on it's head on the opposite side, declaring "segregation is a sin." Loved it. Here's my Aunt Betty and Uncle Butler at that sculpture.

After the tour, we headed back for a good ole' family reunion barbecue. They had a moon bounce and slide for the kiddos, and an air-conditioned eating area for the rest of us. It actually wasn't that hot, though - in the shade it had to be only about 75-ish. In the sun? Now that's a different story, so we won't go there. Suffice it to say that I was very impressed with my deodorant that day, for not allowing me to be funky coming out of that event. I was shocked and pleased! If you need to know - it was Secret Platinum, Asian Pear scent. I swear by the Platinum line anyway, but the Pear? It's the only thing I'll wear now!

Later that night, there was the usual dinner dance to go to, and this one was very nice. Just as I was commenting to my mother that we hadn't taken the usual "group" pictures at the picnic, they announced that the states' pictures would be taken before the dinner. In case you hadn't figured it out by now, my family is HUGE. And that's an understatement. My dad was the youngest of 13 brothers and sisters, and apparently, big families are the thing for us, because there's always tons of people. So many that I rarely remember names, and usually go around saying "hello, cousin!" the entire weekend! The Aunts and Uncles I pretty much have down, but there's no way I'm remembering everyones names. I feel really bad, especially when they remember mine, but hey - I'm one of a very few "mixed kids" in the bunch, and everyone knows my mother and father, so they've got an advantage!

So, all said and done, I have extended family in:

Tennessee (where the next reunion - in 2009 - will be)
New Jersey
Washington DC (includes MD and VA as well)

And I think that covers it. There's a few in other states due to military/job type stuff, but the "gangs" are in those states listed. I totally had a paparazzi moment when we took those pics, all the different cameras flashing, and standing there smiling for so long. I felt like I was on the red carpet! Fun!

They kicked us out of the Civic Center at 11:00, after much line-dancing (ever do the Latin Shuffle? - great one!) and reminiscing. It was a very nice night, and everyone looked very elegant in their black-and-white themed dress. Just lovely.

The close of the reunion is always a church service and brunch, so we headed back to the community center where my Uncle Butler gave a short sermon about being as prepared to go to heaven as you are to take a flight. Really nice.

All in all it was a great weekend. If we hadn't been delayed 4 hours coming home due to the thunderstorms in the Baltimore area Sunday afternoon, it would have been perfect. But, thanks to my mommy moment for the year, the surprise set of leggos that I had hidden in the carry on kept The Boy entertained for almost one entire hour of that 4 hour delay, and his cousin's Game Boy did the trick for the rest. Might have to invest in one of those things the next time we fly. Amazing! The leggos were pretty much fun, too. He didn't think he could do them at first because they were so small (first time with "normal" sized leggos), but he got it, and created space ship after space ship that looked, well, nothing like a spaceship, but YOU GO BOY!!

I promise to catch up with knitting related events tomorrow, if not later this evening, and to add pictures to this post as well!