Sunday, November 30, 2008


In my mind a Thanksgiving day should be a relaxing time, and my Thanksgiving was exactly that. Major props to my mom for cooking the meal, and being an all-around awesome hostess. We had a nice, quiet time together as a family.

Joel and Rinda and I played Scrabble, while I tried to explain the whole thing to my 5-year-old niece, Hannah. With my tiles in front of me, she picked out "H" and "A" and decided I needed to have a "T" so I could spell H-A-T. Then I had to explain the trouble with Scrabble, and that is that you have to work with what is on the board. After I explained this, she still decided I needed a "T", so that I could also spell C-A-T.

Well, I told the little missy to cross her fingers while I drew my next letters. Apparently little missy has never crossed her fingers before for luck, because as soon as I told her to cross her fingers, she extended both of her index fingers and put one over the top of the other, like a cross. CLOSE, but no cigar. We got to teacher how to really cross her fingers for good luck.

I had to work a really long nanny day on Friday, so I missed out on Black Friday Scott family style. I heard the day included an extremely awesome estate sale in Lake Oswego (where many prize posessions were to be found, including 5 dollars in the pocket of jeans that Rinda bought), and 50% off day at Salvation Army. Ah well.

It's always so good to see them all, and my nieces are wonderful. I mean, who doesn't just love a 5 year old who makes up stories about daisies who can talk, and an almost three year old who sings "kwinkle kwinkle little stahhh"?

Monday, November 24, 2008


I was back at the kindergarten school today, not with my normal class, but with the classroom next door. It was incredibly cute, however, that I walked in during reading time where some of the kids from my normal class were in with this teacher. I walked in mid-day (it was just an afternoon sub job) and a few of the kids in a small group lit up and waved and said hi because they knew me :)

It was an easy afternoon, and it was just made brighter by the fact that I saw my "regulars" in the cafeteria. I told them I missed them, they returned the thought, and I told them to tell the teacher what they thought, which in essence, that they would rather have me in their classroom. It was pretty cute.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I got a birthday card from my parents that said "It's your birthday, please act accordionly". Ohhh that makes me giggle.

Anyway, I was playing my accordion today and thinking about how I've been stuck on the same book for quite some time. I decided that when I get a real job I should take accordion lessons. Then I remembered that I liked look up accordions on craigslist, and I found this guy in Sandy who repairs old accordions, and I enjoyed looking at his pages of pictures of accordions he's owned or worked on. I also found the website for the Hagan studio, in Northeast Portland, that I've heard about online and through talking shop with another accordion player (the ONLY time that's ever happened to me), and I think it's a new website.

The last time I picked up my accordion (the one I always play), I found that my C# and one other note that I can't remember, are loose and make clicking sounds. Well, I have no money to get it checked out, or to have it looked at, so I will have to keep my ears open in case I'm totally ruining my instrument.

In October I received a very awesome hand-me-down in a vintage lady's size accordion. Apparently it was custom made for a friend of this couple I know. She died, and the accordion had been sitting in their garage for a while. It's a gorgeous accordion, but is somewhat out of tune and has quite a few bad notes. Physically, though, it's in excellent shape. I've tried to do some research, but haven't come up with much so far.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How I Know I'm Old

Let it begin! This is how I know I'm old.

Clue #1
I cannot stay away from the craft stores. Fabric, yarn, crafts, whatever. I have lots of ideas and a million different directions I'm going with crafts. That means a run to the store on Monday, and perhaps another run to the store today. I texted a friend to say "I'm off to the fabric store again... I need help!!" When I was young I spent a lot of time at the craft stores with my grandma, who lived with my family. She was patient and nurturing, although I was a chronic non-finisher on projects. She taught me to crochet, how to sew, and tried to teach me to paint, although I never quite got into it. I grew up going to Benjamin Franklin (which for some reason was a craft store and not like... a science or literature or patriotic store of some sort), which later turned into Craft Warehouse.

My grandma had a mug that said "Whoever dies with the most fabric wins!" and I thought she was crazy. I think it is now myself that has turned crazy.

Clue #2
I went to bed at 1:30am last night. I nannied late, and didn't get home until 12:30, but I stupidly wasted my time on the internetz instead of going to bed. I kept telling myself to go to bed, but I just could not stop. But how does that make me old? It makes me old because although I was in bed at 1:30, I woke up at 7:30. My body has no ability to sleep in anymore. I have a friend who can sleep in until 11am. I think the last time I did that, I was wearing braces. What's the deal?? I laid there, trying to go back to sleep, fading in and out, for another two hours before I just gave up.

Why do I think this makes me old? Because my parents do it! It always annoyed me as a kid that my parents were up at 6am on Saturdays, already cleaning the house and making lots of noise. Now, here I am, laying in bed at 7:30, wondering if I should get up and just clean the bathroom. I'm old.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kindergarten Repeat

Yesterday I was back at the Kindergarten that so eloquently became the best story of my sub life so far. I really do adore this class, and I'm excited that their teacher keeps requesting me back. She's had two other subs so far this year, I know, and for some reason she keeps requesting me instead. Somehow I'm at the top of the list!

There was no throwing up yesterday in class, but two girls did go home at lunch time due to upset stomachs. The staff is being almost over diligent about the stomach sickness just because of what happened last time. I'm taking my Emergen-C and hoping for the best. Apparently the case of our epidemic-infested school was all over the news, but seeing as how very rarely watch TV, I didn't get to see it.

The kids were back in good spirits little chatty cathies all morning long. It's hard to blame them, but it's getting to the point where they should know how to behave. All in all, though, I look forward to going to their classroom because I am so well versed in their routine and procedures. Besides, if I don't get it right I know that there will be 10 of the students who will tell me how to do it right. Kindergarten go-to phrase is "I know Ms._____ normally does it that way, but I'm here today, so we're going to do it differently. Okay? Okay!" Phew.

Last night I nannied for a family 5 kids. FIVE. And not mixed ages, but almost all kinda bunched together in age. It's a blended family and the night was basically a whirlwind, but I got out alive.

Today I had third graders for the morning, who were mostly a great class, in a very diverse school. I hope to someday teach out in this area, so it was interesting to see how their school worked. I had a couple kids in class today who were just adorable. Third graders are funny because they're not little anymore, but they're not quite big kids. Limbo.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Subbing frenzy

It was a good week, job wise. I had three sub jobs, and an all day nanny job on Wednesday for cute 11-month-old twin boys. Not only were they cute and very good all day, I got paid a lot.

Yesterday I ended up back the kindergarten class that I have been in before. Now, I can't remember the entire play-by-play, so many things happened, but I'll try to recall it as best as I can. The drama started when one boy walked in (we'll call him A) and was tired and laid his head down on his desk. Normally the students are finishing their "morning work" which is leftover, unfinished work from the days prior. He said he didn't want to do anything. Next walks in a little girl (B) who has tears in her eyes. I ask her what's wrong and she says she feels sick, but her mom made her come to school. I figured it was one of those false "I don't feel good" issues, and I usually agree with sending kids to school anyway.

Well, even still in morning work time, the assistant saw child B and decided she really didn't look good, so she began to take her down the hall when B promptly puked. I looked over at the attendance chart and saw about 5 or 6 kids' names who had not shown up to school that day.

At morning circle time, just during the "greet your neighbor song", child A puked. It was a good way to start off the morning, eh? Not to mention that during morning work several students said "I threw up last night..." Great. This was the beginning of a very chaotic day.

Well, after A threw up on the carpet, you can imagine the reaction of a class full of kindergarteners, and I got to have a fun little talk with them about a) how many of you have been sick before and b) can you control it when you have to throw up and c) to stay away from things and d) not to make the sick friend feel bad for being sick.

Throughout the rest of the day, we lost more students to illness. Because of all the sickness that was obviously going around, whenever a student said their stomach hurt, I sent them to the office. We did have one girl completely out in left field tell me that her ears hurt, and she consistently told me so throughout the morning. When I decided that she was too uncomfortable to be at school, I tried to send her to the office, but she had to wait because the chairs were all full. Finally her mom did come to get her and I got the pleasure of talking to her in Spanish because she didn't understand my English. That was THE highlight of my day.

Because, really, it was all downhill from morning work. There was disinfecting and a lot of handwashing and paranoia and the works. By lunchtime I had 12 (!!!) students, out of a class that I think is normally 26. Good times! After lunch the ESL kids leave, and I had 5 (!!!) non-ESL kids to read aloud to, and model the math assignment.

At the end of the day the students had to wait to leave because the office was preparing a paper to be sent home to the students. What did the paper say? That there is no school on Monday or Tuesday (Veteran's Day anyway), due to 60(!!!) students being gone from school due to illness. Who mandated that? The wonderful health department officials who came to inspect the school during the day.

By the end of the day, it felt like one of those apocalyptic movies wherein everyone gets sick and dies from some mysterious disease. It was a miracle I didn't run to my car in the parking lot.

The day ended on a much brighter note because I went to see one of my favorite bands, Copeland, play a show last night. I usually feel old at concerts just because I'm, you know, surrounded by high schoolers, but last night I felt old because my feet and back hurt by the end of the night (12:30am).

Monday, November 03, 2008

More birthday

Sooo my birthday was on Saturday and I had a great day. Most of my close friends are into crafts like I am, and so we spent the afternoon hitting up a bunch of small craft stores in the Portland area. We went gaga over yarn and fabric and and oohed and ahhhed and awwwed over many things.

We first stopped at Knittn' Kitten, on NE 75th and Glisan. The store basically has the feel of a refined garage sale, in that they sell anything and everything, all gleaned, obviously from garage/estate/rummage sales. There were some cool things, and I will keep it in mind in the future for needs.

Next up was Bolt. I had heard a lot about this place, and it was exactly like I thought it would be: very cute, hip fabric in a fun little shop. One of my friends' birthday presents to me was to buy me something that I saw in a store while we were out, but I couldn't make up my mind! Too many cool fabrics, so few ideas.

And unplanned stop was Close Knit, which happened to be right next door to Bolt. It was also a fun little shop, that felt homey and comfortable. But, it was Saturday afternoon and the cramped quarter felt just that - cramped. There were a lot of beautiful hand-knit sweaters though, and I kept telling the knitters in the group that they needed make me a sweater, stat. They laughed at me.

After Alberta St. we cruised over to Twisted, another yarn store. Again, more yarn, a little fresher atmosphere (it being more open, and less people), but we went through fairly quickly considering we had just been at another yarn store. As a fun anecdote, Twisted's slogan, printed on t-shirts and bags, is "Keep Portland Twisted", which is a fun play on the "Keep Portland Weird" campaign.

While I crochet, I'm more of a fabric girl right now, so I was happy to head over to Cool Cottons on Hawthorne, and I pretty much fell in love. What's not to love about fun fabric, in a fun old house, with super helpful ladies? AND A PUNCH CARD! I will be back! I found fabric here that Elizabeth bought for me as a present, and I'll probably make another skirt out of it. I just loved this store, and I'm sure it will be a regular stopping place for me in the future.

Our last stop of the day (phew!) was at Yarnia, a really awesome DIY (Do-It-Yourself) yarn store, and that's the reality. You pick and choose what kind of different threads you want in your yarn, and they spin it onto a cone for you! You have to check out their website to see what I mean. I will be back to this place!

It was a crafty afternoon as the same group of us also spent Sunday afternoon together at a coffee shop crocheting. We schemed up our plan to have a table at a bazaar in the holiday season of 2009.

After all of our shopping, we went to Cha! Cha! Cha! for yummy, cheap burritos.

And how did we cap off the night? By roller skating, of course. And since most of us hadn't skated in a long time (or ever), we were pretty okay with coasting around the rink. Fun!

Pretty good birthday, I'd say!

I also received two accordion birthday cards, both of which played music when opened.

And in closing I'd like to state that I subbed in a first grade class today and I made a little boy cry. I held the famous "goody bag" over their heads all day in hopes of bribing them, and at the end of the day I picked the quietest, most well-behaved group, which happened to be the blue table. Well, the little mister didn't sit at the blue table, and was upset because apparently the blue table always wins. I told him he should tell his table to get their act together (in fewer words), and then offered to let him hold my hand as we walked the whole class to the front door to go home. And he accepted. And I think we parted as friends.