Saturday, October 2, 2010


I've always been curious about "online degrees" from a university. How does the teacher know if you've not Googled all the answers for your test, or looked it all up in the trusty encyclopedia? The online degree concept is beyond me. Call me a dinosaur.....

Laura - Is there a reason the students aren't even prepared for the old standards? Inadequate teachers? Curriculum? I have been told that TCAP and other such testing is what the entire school curriculums are geared toward, and less of the useful type education we got, decades ago. They teach what they need to, for good test scores. Period.

Not having enough textbooks is ludicrous, but it happened here in Nashville last year (or the year before). A group of parents finally filed a lawsuit against Metro, when their kids still had no textbooks after a month or two of school. Yet the population voted to build and financially support-via taxes- the Titans football stadium. Shows where the priorities are with citizens. Football rules and schools can just go without books.

I hear you, Laura

Your comments are among the reasons that DH decided to retire from his chosen profession in education this year. He taught for 30 years and was a principal for ten. It seems that the powers that be either never actually taught in a classroom or have completely forgotten what it was like. Our state Superintendent of Public Instruction barely completed his online bachelor's degree (which he had to have to run for the office) just before he was elected. The only reason he's in office is that he belongs to the "right" political party. How much do you think he knows about education????

Gripe, gripe.


Ain't retirement great?

We spent the past week at Heyburn Lake State Park in north Idaho with Meredith from Calgary and her DH. The little cottage we rented was right on the lake and had a wonderful screen room where we sat and read and watched the water. We must be getting older, though, as we didn't consume nearly the wine that we did in years past. We figured out that this is probably the 11th year that we have made a trip together. And yes, we did meet on the BB way back when.

The dogs enjoyed a great deal of swimming. Gus is a dock diver and will dive in even though the stick hasn't been thrown yet. Murphy went in once and decided that he didn't like going under on the landing. Gus learned about dock diving from watching Animal Planet on TV and has great diving form. He rarely, if ever, gets his head wet. So..when the stick is thrown, Gus dives in and Murph runs back to the beach and swims out from there.

We will now head off to the cabin to do some winter readiness and then maybe I'll have a few days -- weeks -- months? to get into the quilting room and start on all those projects I bought fabric for over the past season.

I'm having one of those frustrating years that come to every teacher; I do not have time to do anything. The state has jumped their standards to an incredible level of difficulty, at the same time, requiring everyone to take Algebra II and Geometry. Most of my lower level students are not prepared for the old standards, much less than the new. Furthermore, they don't care if they are not prepared. To make matters worse, I do not have enough textbooks, so I am having to copy materials for the kids.

I'm leaving the house at 5:30 and coming home at 4:45, and still have piles of work to bring home, most of which is frustrating to grade.

Enough whining... I just wanted you to know where I am and what I'm doing. I do have an honors class that is a joy to teach.

I pried myself loose to go to the Botanical Gardens a couple of weeks ago, and the butterflies were gorgeous. Talk about incredible color!
I read your posts daily, and pray for those having troubles, rejoice with those who post joys, and think of you often.
Keep on posting! Laura


Thursday, September 30, 2010


HI! I thought I'd chime in about the sewing machine needles. I use SINGER needles in ALL of my machines. They really are the best ones, even better than the Schmetz and Organ brands. It was my sewing machine repair guy that got me using them and he is a Bernina repair man as well. He said that companies telling you to only use certain brands is hogwash.

If you have problems with skipping stitches, try the Singer needles. Remember those tricot lame`s with the shiny surface back in the '90's? The Singer needles for knits were the only ones that would sew them without skipping stitches. We aren't sewing lame`s but truly, I've never had a problem after switching needles. I have a Janome, 2 brothers, a Featherweight and a Bernina serger (not to mention a few other odd machines), Singer is in all of them.

OK, there's my 2 cents worth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Feast of Colour

I mentioned below about Jon Katz's Bedlam Farm Journal blog and I wanted to share his image of a flower as colour inspiration. Look at the gradation of red tints to red shades and the complimentary contrasting blue violet behind it. Quilters enjoy a feast of colour. I have no connection to his blog other than his photography is inspiring for me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

needles, photos, etc.

Organ needles are very good. I understand they are the ones Janome uses, when they put their own name on them. Bernina recommends Organ for our machine embroidery, but that's it. We're not supposed to sew on Bernina machines with Organ needles, but I forget why, so I use Schmetz for my 'ninas.

ROSEY - what a wonderful photo! I can see the love and friendliness in that little guy's face so easily.

Speaking of animal expressions . . . our son and DDIL came to visit this past weekend, and brought their 4-month old 37-pound mixed-breed puppy. Our Sophie was Horrible Hostess. The only really funny moment (if you like dark humor) was Sunday morning, as all four of us are sitting around the kitchen table with Belle, the grandddog sitting by us. Our Sophie was across the room with a face filled with hate. We all saw it and cracked up. Not even two years old, she dislikes puppies. Ha!

We have great cool weather this week. After returning to highs in the nineties last week, we are loving this.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Look at the love on this donkey's face
I don't know if this is legal in terms of lifting a visual from one site to another but I read Jon Katz's blog every day. His photography is very, very good; his sense of capturing colour, beautiful and inspiring for me as a quilter. He is the author of books on animals...his border collie Rose is one of them. This is a picture of Jon's wife, Maria and their two donkeys.

I thought so many of you folks are animal lovers and the look on this donkey's face expresses such love. Rosey

Very briefly

If any of you have an opportunity to see the movie "Get Low", do so. It is nothing short of superb. A very unusual movie.


sewing machine needles

Sarah mentioned that she had ordered needles online - haven't done that yet but might have to look into it. A few years ago we had a sewing machine repair person speak at our guild meeting. She recommended Organ needles. I haven't used anything but Organ since then - unless, of course, I needed a special needle like metallic. The ones that I buy say Size 80/12DP on the back. Anybody else tried them?

As I am sure many of you have heard, we have had unprecedented rainfalls in this area of the country. I don't remember ever seeing the rivers on either side of New Ulm this high in September - they are expecting the rivers to crest on Wed. and there will be flooding. There are already a number of roads closed in So. Minnesota and, of course, there is a great concern over the crops. The predictions are for sunny weather going into the next three-week stretch so we will keep our fingers crossed for all of those families that will be affected by results of this unusual weather pattern. Some of you met my friend Judy when you were here ("Salsa Judy") - her home is in one of the flood plain areas in town so there are several of us on the ready to help move things for her this week if necessary.

We are hosting a young lady from Germany who is here under a Sister Cities exchange program. She arrived on the 25th and will be with us thru the end of October. She will then move to another home. She is studying to be a mechanical engineer and will be working at the3M plant while here. She will be taking classes at Purdue beginning in January. We have hosted under this program a couple other times in the past - it is always interesting to meet new people and to welcome them into our home. Joleen in MN

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday night/ needles

Well, my NFL football team lost, but the college team won.
The costumes are on the home stretch. Have 4 completely done, and the other 4 half done.
I'm hoping tomorrow to finish at least 2 more of the tops.
Will get some pictures done from one of the moms who is a semi-prof. photographer.
Let's see--other than that went out to dinner Fri. night. Good food at a local Italian rest. had a piano player, but it was freezing cold in there. I had on heavy support stockings under my pants, and still felt freezing cold. Even ordered some decaf coffee to try to keep warm.
Thought it was interesting that the piano player wasn't using sheet music, he had an I pad!
Don't know if anyone else has ordered sewing machine needles from the Schmetz co. but I did on line yesterday. Was tired of running out of good needles and since they are expensive was wondering if I could buy in bulk. So, ordered a box of 100 of the Microtex sharps. Shure hope I like them when I get them.
OK, the Dolphins are playing the Jets so I'll go look at them.
Sara in Fla.