Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Costco Mania

One of my fellow teachers asked me what I did this weekend while we were watching students complete a science lab on density. I thought about it for a while and then answered, "Went to Costco three times." Wow. Really? I am that crazy? Who knew. I went Friday with Josh, Saturday with my mom, and then Sunday with W. I love Costco. I figured I would mention some of the awesome things I have picked up there lately.

1. Bananas. I love bananas, and they are one of the only fresh fruits W can eat, so they are ALWAYS in the house. They are only $1.89 for a huge bundle, so I don't mind if anyone decides to eat three in one day. Yummy, cheap, and good for you. Super score!

2. Levi's jeans. I have a hard time finding pants that fit at an affordable price. I hate spending money on clothes and I have found that Levi's always fit me the way I like jeans to fit. I get very excited when Costco decides to bless me with their presence. They are there now, pick some up for only $18.

3. Neutrogena Deep Clean something or other. It is this new face cleaner thing that you put pads on and then it is battery operated and blah blah blah. I've seen it in stores for a while but always thought it was pretty lame. Then Costco carried it and I decided I probably needed it. Amazingly, I think it has done wonders for my skin. I could tell immediately that my skin was smoother and my pores are looking smaller. I love it. And it is easy to use so when I'm about to fall asleep I have no excuse to not wash my face.

4. Can Organizers. We bought these a while back, but you still may be able to find them. They are these can dispensers for your pantry, much like the soup can dispensers you see at a grocery store. They are fully adjustable so you can fit family size cans or tuna cans based on your needs. I know now that I might not need to buy lima beans for a year. Who knew I had 6 cans?

5. Composter. I didn't buy this, but I do dream of buying it. It is a composter that sits in your yard and every now and then you spin it around to make sure that everything is getting composted. Amazing. Plus, it is made of recycled plastic which makes it double green. I'm not sure that it is dog proof though...the dogs are CRAZY and it would be a bit of a pricy item to have to replace.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Day After the VOLCANO!

Yesterday Mt. Redoubt finally interrupted my day to day life. Normally, I follow the Alaska Volcano Observatory on Twitter and think about how happy I am that there is no ash in my yard. Then it happened. There was ash in my yard. I didn't even really notice until W came home and asked what the heck was going on. It was very light, but it is still a pain. Now the dogs can't go out as much (which is driving them CRAZY) and when they do go out, we have to clean them off when they come in. They also hate that. The worst part is that they don't really understand why they can't go outside. I've told them about the volcanic ash, and how it is for their safety, but they don't get it. Or they just choose to continue to whine at the door.

This morning we woke up and there was still ash. I don't know what I thought would happen to it over night, but I was hoping it would all be gone. So the dogs have decided to play in our bedroom which is pretty funny. They do crazy jump attacks off of the bed. Watching them play is probably the most entertaining thing to do on a Sunday.

I also woke up to find out that a local fabric shop, Seams Like Home, is offering 20% off all fabric purchases if you brave the ash. Tempting, but I have no money and a house full of fabric. My goal today is to finish my Easter presents and maybe get some more knitting done. I started knitting two socks on two circulars at one time. I think they will turn out pretty well, and the fact that I will have two socks done when I am done is probably the most exciting thing ever. And I am VERY proud of my self that I figured it out all by myself. I used the book Knitting Circles Around Socks which had great pictures and explanations of how to do it. Super excited. And another thing I loved about this book is that it had patterns for yarn of different weights. A lot of sock patterns are written for fingering weight yarn, but I like to use a bit of a thicker yarn and it is hard to find patterns to accommodate my yarn taste. Think I'm going to go eat some cherrios. Have a good Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

But you're so good....

I had a meeting with one of my parents yesterday. (A parent of one of my students...not one of the people who raised me. Guess I should clarify that.) They were disappointed to hear that I wouldn't be at the same school next year, as they were hoping their student could stay in my Study Skills class. She asked what I was going to do next year (doesn't everybody want to know!) and I told her I was taking the summer to decide and I might be teaching, but I might not. She told me, "Oh, you have to teach. You are such a wonderful teacher. You really have made a difference in my son's life." I have been told this before (about being a good teacher, not so much about the changing of lives...) but it always makes me laugh. It's just funny to me that because you are good at something people think you should continue to do it.

PLEASE don't think I am making light of this compliment, I was touched that she felt so strongly about what I should do, and that I have made such a difference for her and her son. But to continue...

What if I was a really good salesperson? I mean, amazing. Could sell snow to an Alaskan kind of good. But selling things made me want to bang my head on a table until it was black and blue. Should I still do it? Probably not.

It's kind of like that for me at my current job. I like it most of the time, but I just don't feel like it is what I am meant to do. I feel like I should be doing something different. I would like to work somewhere where things are not thrown across a room on an almost daily basis. Where I can be more creative. All that jazz. So I'm hoping I will be good at that too.

ANYWAY. I am super excited about the evening. Not only is it my favorite day of the week (new Office!) but I am going to eat at the Spenard Roadhouse tonight. I have never been there and the menu looks fun and affordable. Plus, they have smores for desert. Yum! So I have to go get ready for my big night out. I also have a dentist appointment tomorrow, which will probably ruin my entire weekend, but hopefully it will be the last time that I have to go in. So think pain-free thoughts for me around 11:45 Alaska time! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, Alaska

I woke up at around midnight. Some of our friends had called Weston and Josh to let us know that "the volcano was erupting and they were at the gas station raiding all the fun-yuns". Wow. Glad I woke up for that! :) Actually, it was quite amusing, and I fall asleep REALLY easily (W always makes fun of my narcoleptic ways) so it was not a big deal.

Oh, yeah, the volcano.

So Mt. Redoubt has been at level orange for a while. Then it was downgraded to yellow, then all of a sudden BOOM! It was erupting and it was at level red. And since then it has been erupting like crazy. Probably because of these tough economic times. The volcano thought it would help out.....

But, we are Alaskans, and not even a measly VOLCANO ERUPTION was going to stop us. Oh, no. We went to school. We went on a field trip to the zoo (tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill) and learned about how oil is still on the beaches today, and how the animals haven't yet recovered. It was really interesting, and informative. Also stressful. Planning and executing a field trip for 120 7th graders is a lot of work. And I was constantly worried that we would leave one behind. But everyone made it home and safe.

On to other news. It was my birthday this past Saturday, and I had a great time! W shaved his beard for my birthday which was probably he best gift ever. I also bought my knitting machine. I played with it a bit last night, and it will take some more learning, but I think it is going to work out! Big summer plans. I only have to make it until May 22nd.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It is Tuesday! Yea! Better than Monday. And it was St. Patrick's Day, which means that after school I walked to the irish pub downtown with two co-workers and had a few rounds. To kids! HA! At 3:45 it was already PACKED. And I mean, we were lucky to find seats in the corner, along a wall (no table) to sit at. We probably could have sold them when we left. That kind of packed. Don't people have to work for a living? Maybe that is why our economy is in such turmoil...no one is going to work!

Speaking of the economy, I have a new economic stimulus plan. Turn off your TV. Seriously, since I have painted my living room I have only turned on my TV to watch DVDs or the Office, and I feel much better about the economy. If you don't have Matt Lauwer (sp?) and Brian Williams telling you every day how bad it is, maybe it won't be so bad. I'm pretty sure that the media is to blame for at least part of the economic downturn. If you tell people repeatedly that the economy is bad and you should save your money, the are going to stop spending, and then the economy is bad. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Enough heavy stuff. Blah. I love living in Alaska. I love the snow, but I'm kind of done with it this year. This is the first time I have been one of those people to complain about the weather and wish it were spring. I don't know what it is, but I need to see some freaking grass. And feel the HEAT of the sun, not just see the sun. I want to hang out in my yard and read in a hammock (ps. Need to buy a hammock). Most of all, I think I just want to be done with school. So here is to only having 47 days left with students! Raise your glass and have a drink, it's five o'clock somewhere....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break, where did you go?

I know I haven't blogged that much lately. I have been busy planning and scheming. About what, I can not reveal yet, but in due time. I can't believe it is already the weekend. BLAH. I want spring break back! I guess the only saving grace is there are only 9 weeks left of school. I can make it.

Went to Bear's Tooth last night. I didn't know what movie we were seeing, and the person who picked it out is now banned from picking movies for me to see. It was terrible. It was about Fediel Castro and the Cuban revolution. Most of it was in Spanish, and I was not in the mood to read. Plus, I don't really care about the Cuban revolution. Overall, pretty lame evening.

Tomorrow Snickers turns 1! Amazing. I haven't gotten him anything for his birthday, so that may be my goal for today. I might just take both of the dogs to PetCo tomorrow and let him pick out his own toy. That is what we did with Frito on his first birthday. It doesn't really work that well, because they go crazy at PetCo and want everything or nothing, but it is amusing for me in the process.

I think I'm going to take them out walking. Later I will have to post pictures of what I accomplished yesterday: my Saturday Sampler block, a baby quilt top, and the quilting on the baby quilt! I may have waited until the last day of spring break to get anything done, but I did get a lot done!

PS Only a week until my birthday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Yesterday I decided to rediscover the local library. I signed myself up for a library card and headed to the knitting section. My goal was to find a book I had been eyeing online (Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles) and maybe whip up a pair of socks this break. They didn't have that book, but I checked out two others. Wendy Knits, which is more of a humor novel and Speed Knitting, which has patterns that are super quick. I have picked a few of the projects out of Speed Knitting to whip up and wear to Sock Summit so that I look like a Knitter. I swear I knit. You may not be able to tell by what I wear, or coming to my house, but that is because most of knitted items become gifts and are not in my home. But I do knit, and since I would like to look like I knit, I'm going to knit myself a few items. The book swears they can be knit in a day, so I can probably get them done in a week. I have a shirt/dress picked out (a long shirt. Could be worn over leggings if it were warm) to try first. Then maybe a sexy little tank top. That will probably not be worn in public, as I am pretty modest, but it might be fun to wear in the house.

I also got my copy of Interweave Knits in the mail today. That made my dentist appointment a bit more bearable. Sitting around feeling like you have been punched isn't much fun, but at least I got to read and drool (literally at some points!) over beautiful knitting. I chose three projects out of there that I want to knit. There is a pink cardigan, some lacy socks/leggings (I have to have these done for the sock hop!), and a tunic style top. W said the tunic is his least favorite. Not surprising since it was my favorite. He is more into classic items, and the tunic is a bit too trendy for him.

We have been painting the kitchen the past two days. I say we very loosely. Last night I painted behind the stove and the fridge. I thought I was doing a good job of looking busy and getting my task done. That is until W mentioned to me while we were getting ready for bed that "You did everything possible to avoid painting. You were letting the dogs in and out, filled up their water bowl, played on the internet, anything but paint." Oops. It was true though. I hate painting. It is mind numbing. I told him I felt like I was getting nowhere and was bored. "Of course you were getting nowhere you stopped painting every five strokes." HA! Luckily, my husband is very understanding of my nature and didn't care, he just found it amusing how much I avoided work. He is now finishing the kitchen without my help. I feel a tad bad, but with my traumatic dentist experience today, I don't care too much. I have suffered enough for one day without having to paint.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crazy Dogs

About once a month I sew up all the holes that the dogs have chewed in their various toys. This helps them last longer, and depending on how long it has been since they have seen the toy, their interest in the toy is renewed. I was completing this task while to dogs were playing in the yard today. Then I heard Snickers at the door wanting to come in. I went to let him in and found Frito like this:

On top of my table in the yard. Really? I can't believe he made it up there in a manner that he was able to not fall off! That dog is crazy.

Here is a better picture of the sock club yarn:

And my new pair of shoes. Purchased at Target for $4.98. Amazing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sock Club and Quilt Auction

What an exciting day! I received my first Loopy Ewe sock club package in the mail and it is amazing! The yarn is so soft and squishy, I can not wait to wear it on my feet. The pattern is really pretty. It will be a challenge for me, but I want to wear them to SOCK SUMMIT in August, so I plan on getting them done! Here are the pictures of everything that came in my package:

(I have a better picture of the yarn, but it doesn't want to upload right now. I'll try again tomorrow)

Next up, the quilt auction. There were so many beautiful quilts and a lot of "wearable art" (knitted items mostly) that it was just fun to go look. But, you know me, I can't just look. I walked away with two quilts. One lap size (no pic as my mom is going to give it to me for my birthday. Her idea, she said it "makes shopping easy".) and one bed size. Sometimes you can get a bed size quilt for less than the price of the fabric for the top, so when I see one that I like, I typically bid on it. I got this pink one for $70! I also bought a bag for my grandma ($35!) and a wall hanging for my classroom (or if I quit teaching, L's classroom!). Along with my mom's two wall hangings, a pillow, and pair of knitted socks we spent about $350. That is quite a deal. Normally to get one quilt done from start to finish I spend about that much. So fun!

Whew! Two blog posts in one day. I must really be avoiding housework!

Quilting Updates

So a few weeks ago I taught a quilting class and came home with a few things. (Surprise, surprise! I NEVER do that!) I found these cool panels of batiks that had colorful moose on them. I'm thinking of turning them into a tote bag. They are pretty amazing.

I also have mentioned the BOM I'm doing known as the "Saturday Sampler" at Seams Like Home. I thought I would post pictures of that too. Both L and I are doing the brown and teal batik colorway, which I think it beautiful. Hopefully I actually get this all done!

This is a black and white picture of what the finished quilt will look like. Mine will probably be a bit different, as I don't like borders or sashing. I might do something with the blocks to make them bigger and then join them together in a nice lap size quilt. Or maybe I will have 12 crazy pillows in my house!

Here is the first block. It is a bowtie block. I had never made one before, and I don't really care for it too much, but I got it done!

These were the different colorways we could choose from. I almost did the Christmas one too, but I already have the fabric for one Christmas quilt...and how many do you really need?

Today is the first official day of SPRING BREAK! The only thing I have planned is to go to the CSS Quilt Auction downtown at around 1. I love quilt auctions. Just looking at all the quilts is fun. My mom often buys wall hangings for her home and office at them, since I typically only make bed quilts. One of my goals for the summer is to get at least one auction item done for each of the three auctions I attend every year. Charity quilting is something I have been interested in for a while, and I need to get my act together and get involved! Alright, off to take care of the pups and maybe accomplish something today. Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dog Park!

We took the dogs to the dog park today. It was a beautiful day outside. Sunny, warm, plenty of snow on the ground, perfect. So we loaded both pups in the truck (first time they had been in the car together) and headed off. I was a bit nervous, as it was Snickers first trip to the park. Weston laughed as he ran off and told me, "Take a good look at Snickers. It may be the last time you see him." We thought he was going to run off and join a dog pack and never be heard from again.

Luckily, we were wrong.

He listened really well and stayed pretty close. I was such a proud dog mom! Until the very end where we wanted to leash him up (for safety in the parking lot) and he thought it was a chase game. Oh well. I was just glad we all made it home safe. It is nice to be able to take both of the dogs to a place that they enjoy and get lots of exercise. Hopefully we will make another trip again soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

WHEW! Spring Break!

Today was our last day with students. I celebrated with two glasses of wine, which has made me quite a bit tipsy since I haven't drank in a week due to the illness. I am SO excited for spring break, I can not even explain it. I would run around with my shirt off, but it is snowing outside. Sure, it's spring break, but it is Alaska!

On another note, I went over to K's (I'm trying out this new thing where I use initials for everyone's name in my blog) house and discussed how we are going to SOCK SUMMIT! AHH! I'm so excited. It is in August and is going to be AMAZING. We are hoping L will get to come and it will be a total girls week. Portland, here I come.

I'm going to go enjoy my tipsy haze and watch the Office. Comedy night done right.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Be Aggressive. Be, Be, Aggressive.

We took Snickers to the groomers Sunday to get a bath. Imagine my surprise when I get a phone call (I hadn't even made it home yet) that said, "Your dog is too aggressive, we aren't going to groom him. Please come pick him up." SNICKERS?!? No! They must have the wrong number. That's it, I thought. I'm going to get there and they are going to laugh because they called the wrong dog owner. But just to be safe, I sent Weston in. And they didn't call the wrong people. Snickers had gone dog crazy. He had turned on devil face and wasn't playing around. Then as soon as he saw Weston, he jumped into his lap and gave him dog kisses. And all was right with the world again. How weird.

So we took him to the vet yesterday just to get a good puppy check up. Turns out the two breeds he's a mix of (akita and heeler) are both very "suspicious" dogs and are shy of new people and odd situations. I think it has a lot to do with the smell that other dogs put off when they are scared and Snickers just going on high alert. Because he loves new people in our house. The vet was awesome though, and sat and talked with us for almost 45 mins even though Snickers wouldn't really get close to her. I learned a lot about how to train him so that he maybe won't be so crazy, which was nice. It is also nice to know that it isn't something that I did or can help too much, it is just part of who he is. 100% crazy.

Only one more day with students before spring break! And I have a whole lot of nothing planned. Actually, I have a dentist appointment at 7am Tuesday morning. BLAH! To have 3 fillings done and 3 fillings replaced!!! AHHHH. That's what I get for not going for 2 years. Now I'm going to have my whole mouth be a construction zone. At least I will have the whole day off to recover.

Ok, I seriously need to go whip something together for me to eat. I have crochet class at 6:30 and need to leave in 20 mins. I don't even think I have time to boil water.....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Morning Blues

So it is Monday. I left school early on Thursday and stayed home Friday because I was sick. So sick that I left in the middle of one of my classes. I was trying to teach and was about ready to cry because I was just concentrating on not throwing up. So I called it a day and went home and cried in bed trying not to throw up. That lasted until the evening. Then I felt better...

Friday I was exhausted and couldn't stay out of bed for more than 30 mins at a time. I read a whole book. It was amazing. And I felt a bit better. By Saturday I was moving around and able to keep it together. So here I am getting ready for work. I sound a lot sicker than I did when I left, but I feel light years better. I can't breathe through my nose most of the time, but I will take that over feeling sick to my stomach any day.

I have a super busy week this week, which is exciting and stressful all at the same time. Tonight I have quilt class, tomorrow I am judging debate at UAA and I have a dentist appointment, and Wednesday I have crochet class. I'm sure there are other things sprinkled in there that I am forgetting, but my calendar is at school and I am not...yet. Ok, I have to get myself in gear here if I have any hope of making it on time to work. Have a good Monday!