Friday, 11 May 2012

Public singing

Tonight we went to the Acoustic Music Club night in a local cafe. The idea is that you put your name on a board, then when its your turn you get up and perform.  Son#1, who is a huge ukulele enthusiast, put his name down.

So the first time we go we end up singing. I was stunned he put his name down, he is much braver than me. I sang with him on the chorus of Hey Soul Sister by Train. He looked as cool as a cucumber, but said he was shaking! And he was as high as a kite afterwards with happiness. Son#3 also got up for the chorus, and was applauded, mainly because he is cute and does a lovely bow at the end! Here starts the family singing group - watch this space.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Where I work, we have a lot of fun, but not many of the kids are actually striving. Cruising is a major mindset.

This past weekend, our school has hosted a speech and drama competition, and the vast majority of the kids there are focussed on doing their very best. Striving is a huge part of their nature, and the competition and the teams pushing each other on is so inspirational. And the Mass where everyone there is a trained speaker and has just done nearly 48 hours of religious education of one kind or another - its like a completely different thing to the standard Sunday affair.

Its being with those kids who are prepared to work and who want the rewards it brings that brings into focus my everyday clients. It makes me re-assess where I am and what I am doing. I wonder if I shouldn't be brave, and seek a job at a richer school with kids who have academic ambitions. I know it would be more stressful. I'd have to mark more, prepare more and there would be many more parents breathing down my neck.

Which actually reminds me of why I'm not looking for that kind of job. Tonight son#1 and I cooked an elaborate dinner, then went out to the garage to work on his latest project. We spent ages setting up his brother with a new something (ask me not what) on the internet. Right now, I want to have that time to spend with my sons. Not someone else's sons! And everyone seems mostly satisfied with my present work.

Perhaps when my kids don't want to spend so much time with me, I'll consider a better harder job for me. Daft thing is - it'll pay the same as now.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Sudden winter

We were enjoying a lovely autumn with sunny warm and windless days. Today was on and off cloudy, and the air temperature has dropped. When I walked the dogs I took a beanie. A Beanie! It means its getting C O L D .
Went to a ukulele orchestra or lesson last night and it was fun. Lots of people there, and a range of abilities. Also an Huge range of ukuleles. There were the cheap ones like the schools buy for their class sets. Quite a lot of those. And some mid-range type ones like mine - still plywood but not quite so mass produced. And then there were a couple of Really Expensive ukuleles. I immediately got instrument envy - but I'm not sure I would want to spend too much on a ukulele, especially a soprano one. Sure they look nicer, but the tone is not so different as the price tag would suggest. I reckon almost anyone could hear the difference between a cheap mass produced violin and a expensive hand made one. Even when played by the same person. The ukuleles all sound fairly similar to me - the soprano ones it might be because they are so small. There is not enough wood there for the vibrations to be substantially different perhaps. Dunno. Perhaps it would sound more different if I heard them being played by the same person one after another. We tried it in the shop though, and there is not much difference to my ear.

They can look pretty though.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Motivation of responsibility

As said yesterday, I now own the house in my own and only name. Today was ANZAC day, so no school, and another sunny windless day. So with the knowledge that I was working on my own home, and not his, I did some work round the place.

Ages ago I started painting the laundry window. As I hadn't finished I had not re-connected the window fastenings. So for about 3 months, every time we open the window there is nothing to stop it blowing right back. Today I painted two coats of top coat on it, and fixed the fastening back on. It still amazes me how FINISHING these fairly small tasks (it took about an hour all up but in stages) makes me SO happy. My painting skills are improving - definitely looks good.

Then I went to son#2's window and chiseled out the putty that was still hanging in there, and replaced it with new fresh putty. Strangely, I love putting putty in windows. There is an element of sculpture to it, and because putty is a soft oil based mouldable goo, I can carve it and smooth it, and generally play with it much the same as kids play with their food.

Just goes to show - I haven't changed from being a kid, except that I know where and when to do the fun things.

Son#1 got out of bed at 0400 this morning so he could go to the Dawn Service for ANZAC. I normally have to beg, plead and eventually yell him out of bed in the morning, so I didn't believe him when he said he was going. So I was rather surprised to find the kitchen light on at 5.30 this morning. He biked into town. Not meeting anyone particular there - but being a small town he saw lots of people he knew there. IN-DE-PEN-DANT.There's more going on in that head than comes out that mouth... He turns 12 tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sun befuddled ramblings

Its been amazing weather lately. After the summer without sun and without drought, we now have the autumn with both sun and drought. The garden is bolting along due to me putting water on it, while the lawn is starting to burn off. They call it global weirding.

At lunch I sat outside, in the sun, alone. The others sat inside and talked to each other about impressively mindless things. I like to sit and chat most times, but I often go back to the class room more peopled out than I was at the start of break. I sat outside and soaked up the sunshine, and relaxed into the quiet. And went back to class, ready for the noise.

In fact, class was quiet last thing, as I tried to explain linkage to tired and heat befuddled year 13's. I'm not sure any of us made much progress. At least there is no school tomorrow, so we have a day to find and engage our brains. Then a two day teaching patch, 2 day weekend, 5 day teach, 3 day weekend. Its a strange term...

Oh, and today the exband got his payout, and I got a mortgage.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

End of a good thing

Tomorrow it's back to earning my living, and the boys go back to school too. Its been a great holiday, I think in part because we had no great ambitions to achieve anything. We did do a few things - the vege garden has several new plants, and less weeds, the house got cleaned, we visited some people and made lots of extremely good food. But it all just flowed along rather than being strained over. That's what we will miss when school starts - its all stress and deadlines. Dead lines.
As of tuesday I will be a separated woman - he will have his payment, and I will be sole owner of the house. I will also have a mortgage - did you know that translates to death grip??!! Lovely.
One of the things I finished in the holiday was son #2's blanky. It is a length of material, cut in half and sewn together to make a large rectangle. Then pinned to a polar fleece blanket , stippled and bound.

Cheap blanket - $20 - cheaper than batting

I discovered the power of the blue tape.
Works better than white or green!
The whole room was full of blanky

Used Leah's tip on zig zagging the binding
One very happy customer - the best kind!
I should note the blanky goes round him twice in this photo. I only stopped stippling when thread ran out, and the size is pretty consistent, and LARGE. I have several new skills thanks to Leah.

So now I have to bind the asian fabric quilt and the holiday projects are finished. FINISHED.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The third day

It's the third day  of my holiday, and also the third day of Easter. We went to Mass tonight. Son#2 has to sit with us now and stay out of the crying room. He doesn't cry in there - it sounds like he is organising the super bowl though! yelling and banging.

The exband bought son#2 a length of fabric printed with sharks. I don't mind that part, but it seems it is my job to turn the fabric into something he can use. Which as I have a 'to do' list longer than I can actually recite I find his attitude ... annoying! He must think I don't have anything much to do with a full time job and full custody!!! But onwards.

I am pinning the fabric to polar fleece and turning a boring blue blanket into an exciting quilt. And I get to stipple the whole thing if I want to so should have big scale stippling sorted out by the end! Pinning it is really hard. The pins don't go through easily. Either the fabric is very high density - it sure looks tough - or pinning through polar fleece on an angle is hard because of all the threads. Dunno, but my fingers sure hurt.

Cleaned up the back yard today - swept, trimmed and weeded. Looks fantastic. Checked when to move the rhubarb and its June/July, so its a long wait to finish the final garden off. Ate first feijoa yesterday - feel so clever eating fruit out of the back yard.