Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I'm not dead yet

It me.
The start of school is usually a lot of a lot and I'm moving from just observation to some actual teaching. I taught my first class yesterday and sort of did a mediocre job of it. I don't think I failed outright, but I wasn't 100% happy with it. I sort of know where I need to improve, which is what practice is all about. My main concern is whether I messed up the kids and I don't think I did, but I'm not sure I was terribly helpful to them either. I'll get better at it. 

This was a fun lesson, though. We did a murder mystery themed activity, so I got to be the dead body and make some fake vomit. 

We put chunks in it.

Setting up the lab was a blast. 

There's also a bunny. His name is Biscuit and he's a cute little bun-bun. My favorite thing so far is when a student comes to ask me a question and I know the things and how to tell them the things. Lectures are hard and it's hard when a student is struggling and just doesn't get it, but the good moments more than make up for it. 

Also, I made a thing. Bu wanted a "toy holder" out of plarn, so I made her a toy holder out of plarn using one of those little pot holder looms. I've got some bread bags awaiting similar treatment, but I'm going to try to catch up on Husband's Crackerjack scarf first. I'm up to about the middle of April right now, so I'm fairly far behind as far as the baseball season goes. On the other hand, it's my kitchen table knitting now, which will hopefully translate to regular progress. 

The news is awful just now and there are a lot of people being horrible on the internet about the things that are already awful. Don't be that guy. Be nice, be helpful, be courteous and compassionate. 

Kindness is not weakness. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Nature's Recipe Grain-Free dog food

This is Rufus.

Rufus' favorite activities include:

  • Sleeping
  • Resting
  • Relaxing
  • Snurfling/ Snorting
  • Digging and nosing around in blankets
  • Getting loved on
  • Eating dinner
Occasionally, he also likes to stretch out right next to where I'm sitting and have a nice fart. And by "nice," I mean "violates the Geneva Convention's prohibition against chemical weapons." It's not his fault; everybody farts. We received a free sample of Nature's Recipe Easy to Digest Grain-free dog food (small breed version, because he's a little dude) and, as it turns out, the "easy to digest" claim seems to be pretty accurate. His little doggie tum-tum bacteria seem to prefer whatever is (or isn't) in Nature's Recipe. 

It is more expensive than his regular kibble and doesn't come in a weight-loss formula, which are the only drawbacks. He seems to like it at least as well as his regular stuff and dinnertime is still his most favorite time in the whole wide day. 

🌞🌞🌞🌞☼ 4/5 sunshines; would go again

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: Horizon Organic Good & Go Snack Trays

Author's note:

So, Kroger's sends me free samples and asks that I give an honest review in exchange for more free samples and pretend internet points. A blog post is more internet points than other social media things and one of my hopes is that I can trick myself into blogging more about yarn as well. They sent  me free coffee once and I am easily plied by free coffee. Anyway, I'm going to be 100% honest about my reviews and I'll try not to be obnoxious about it.

Horizon Organic Good & Go Snack Trays
The girls are always asking me for snacks. They're always hungry because growing takes a lot of energy, whether you're 15 or 4. Both were enthusiastic about both the shelf-stable chocolate milk we received and the snack trays. They split the chocolate milk and each had a different flavor of snack tray. Everything was gone in about two seconds, which means they were either very hungry, the snacks were very tasty, or a combination of the two. The littlest said, "Oh boy, pretzels!" and promptly devoured hers. The big kid ate hers on the bus ride home and reported that "Yeah, it was pretty good," which is high praise from a teenager. I have no doubt as to the quality of the products and really like shelf-stable milk as an option to include with lunches.

As with any certified organic product, these tend to be more expensive than the conventional counterpart. While that's the only drawback, it tends to often be a prohibitive one when feeding two kids. They run about $2, more or less, and if I bought enough for five lunches for two kids, that's $20. My budget-minded self is more inclined to go about the pretzels-and-cheese sort of snack in a more economical way, slicing the cheese and measuring out the pretzels myself. You can't beat it for convenience and quality, though. I could see myself buying these more regularly, given a larger grocery budget.

🌞🌞🌞🌞⛅ 4.5/5 sunshines

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Love is love is love

I've been running around like the proverbial poultry sans noggin, trying to keep up with the slings and arrows of life with mixed success.

In short, one of the cars died and I'm playing taxi more than usual. It's exhausting.

I did get this done, though, and it was well-received by the eldest child. I feel pretty good about finishing before she actually went to college and I hope it keeps her warm for many, many years. Now it's her little sister's turn and I've only got a few blocks done. I'm hoping that one doesn't take fifteen years, but I don't think it will. I have a pretty good finishing strategy now that mainly involves actually working on it.

Love is love is love...

I couldn't have said it better.

Next up is a short story I'm working on about a boy and his first crush. My plan is to offer it for a buck or two and send the proceeds to PFLAG because I don't have much to give, but I have art to share. It's being tweaked and edited and I have to figure out how to get it to you, but it's nearly done.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


After Orlando, I was what you might call "shaken." Even though I'm in a suburban mom place right now, it wasn't all that long ago that it could have been me. There are a number of young people I love and care about whom it also could have been either now or in a few years. I quit blogging for a bit because I couldn't even. This kind of thing makes me want to hug my children and turn my fear and anger into acts of kindness.

And then the rest of 2016 happened

It wasn't all bad. The Cubs' World Series win was a bright and shining light in an otherwise very hard year and those of you who know me have heard me wax poetic about it with misty eyes and a big grin. I may do so again when spring training starts up again. 

I want to get back on the blog train again (toot! toot!) and I might not be able to do so every week like I had been, but I have a lot to make and a lot to say and... a lot to say about making. For a goodly portion of it, I'm going to crib steal collaborate with my best bestie, Bekah. There's a reason we get along, you see, and we're on the same page regarding a great many things. 

So, this is me clearing my throat and letting you know I'm here. 

Alright, 2017, let's do this.

Friday, July 01, 2016

FO: Jumper for Joy

Hello, blog.
I miss you.

Right now, I'm avoiding homework to show you this jumper I made for little Bu, which I made while I was avoiding homework.

Man, I get so much done when I'm avoiding homework.

This is McCall's M6983, but instead of doing a facing for the top, I went for a lining.

And there it is. The lining is a copy of the outer dress, making it almost reversible, but not quite. I had to really think about the construction, but I'm really pleased with the lining and think it'll wear better than just facing.

She picked out the polyester gingham to for the lining and I happened to have a pink zipper in exactly the right size. The pockets are faced in gingham, too. 
I'm very proud of this zipper. It zips all the way to the top and looks very tidy. 

It's machine sewn to the seam allowance, but hand finished. 

Remember the time I matched plaids? I managed to match this one up pretty tidily all around. The back seam matches up nicely and the yoke matches up nicely to the skirt. 

Heck yeah, skills!

(I didn't bother matching the lining, which is fine. No one will see it.)


She's pretty happy with it, too. I have another one planned in a heavier fabric which I hope is not too heavy and I want to do some cute little shirts for her, too, but haven't got a pattern for one yet. She's grown out of the shirt patterns I have. Next time I'm not doing homework, I'll probably be looking for kids' shirt patterns.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

What was June for Again?

Making garments is the answer and I'll be making several little things for Miss Bu this month. I've just finished washing and drying the fabric for a couple little jumpers and some shirts. Baby girl is growing and needs new clothes.

That's a lot of potential sewing right there (not counting the other two pieces of fabric not pictured because my undies are hanging up just to the right as well) and these are some darn ambitious goals, but I thrive on ambitious goals. Even if I fall a bit short of my intentions, I can still manage something awesome. DaVinci Disorder*, FTW. And, in addition to this, I'm planning on doing a shirt for the Outfit-a-long and, at some point later in the year, I want to do up a Suffragette costume.

This is the pattern I'm using for the Outfit-a-Long and I'm strongly considering the V-neck short sleeve for its versatility, though I really like the slash-front 3/4 sleeved one, too. Nothing saying I can't make both, but for the purposes of the OAL, the V-neck is the way to go. I'm considering a couple different yarns to use for the knitted portion of these adventures, namely Alisha Goes Around: Walk of Snipes in a gorgeous blue that would be awesome as a lightweight cardigan of some kind. I've also got some Quince & Co.: Finch that I really want to try and that would look really great as a cowl. I'm leaning cardigan in the blue, but I think I might have to go pet my yarn and find a pattern I like. I'm going to do Vitamin D eventually, but I think that's going to be an intentional project during the Hyperborean (basically winter) months.

Anyhow, between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, I've been busy and have been neglecting the ol' blog, but lots of knitting and other crafting is still going on in the background. In addition to the usual stuff, I'm working on an alternate teaching certification program and doing my best to help both kids be as awesome as they can be (which is pretty darned awesome). The former involves regular, concentrated work, the latter, well, gifted kids are a particular challenge. We just got the little one's IQ score back and the psychologist who showed us the number was nearly speechless. It was a really big number.

See? I'm knitting!
All that aside, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things and to start posting regularly again. I miss blogging and I miss how it was helping me focus on my crafting life. I'm pretty regular on Instagram as DelphinianJess, so if you miss me here, I'll be over there with a fair amount of regularity.

*Not a real disorder