Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Work, Projects, and General Pigheadedness

Teachers report tomorrow, officially, but of course, I have been there the last three days because I am a perpetual volunteer.  We had freshmen orientation and two days of tech stuff to do, but tomorrow is the first real day of teacher prep. 

Honestly, I have been so focused on helping build huge units for a couple other grade level teachers, that I am going to have to jam to get my own class stuff together.  Mostly, the first week is getting to know what the kids already know and what they can already do, so we don't bore each other or frustrate each other and I have plenty of ways to do that stored up in my head that don't take a lot of handouts or props, so I am not freakishly worried. 

However, it's been an eventful few weeks for our second child.  He rented his first apartment.  He bought his first car.  Even though these are good things - they are still big, expensive steps - fortunately, he has a good programming job and in two weeks he starts his other job (programming is flexible, or at least this job is).  This is a good thing, because I think he wiped his earnings - a room mate is coming back from studies abroad and owes his half of the rent, deposit, and propane, but that's a few weeks ago.  Not bad, though, for a kid who isn't quite 18.  We did help with the car (with the insurance money from the car he was driving in the accident), but he did the rest himself.  I am safe telling you all (because he doesn't read this blog) that his sister bought him dishes and silverware with her own birthday money.  I surely have a treasure in all my kids - but that youngest one is amazingly kind, generous, and loving. 

My quilting project is finally on a roll - right when I have to go back to work!  I am just doing a nine patch variation, so I am just doing a nine patch square each night, then I will have to piece that together, make the quilt layers and get to quilting.  If I work a little bit every night, I should be done by Christmas :)!  It's just a lap quilt because that's the size of the big piece I am going to use as the back piece.  I bought all those fabric scraps at a garage sale in June;  I am actually impressed with myself for starting it.  Too many times, I have started something only to not finish it.  I am not a crafty person.  This quilt will be completely hand stitched because I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to reliably work the sewing machine.  Pathetic, isn't it?  I think the machine hates me, because when I touch it, everything goes wrong.  It likes my daughters better....

The horse project has been hampered by fairly unrelenting rain.  That picture in my last entry of blue skies over the white fence was a very rare occurrence (I believe that there were only 3 sunny days this whole cold, wet summer).  I have done a lot of ground work in the stall, but Gibs doesn't do well in hand in the rain - no concentration at all.  This, of course, meant we had to do our work in the stall - the "stall" was really designed to be two stalls and a six foot walkway - the whole roofed area is 20 X 24, so it isn't as useless as it seems.  Basically, we've been working on 1) stand there so I can walk up to you 2) keep your nose in front of your chest (and not in my space and not in the "avoid" position) 3) stop freaking out when I make weird, sudden flapping movements in your direction - or when chickens do or when the wind blows funny  4) put your hooves up without fear and without shifting when I reach for the back hooves - and stand quietly when I hold them up for some time - working on standing for the farrier.  5) stand at liberty in the stall and allow me to touch your head without avoiding.   So far, we've had super progress with #5, so-so progress with 1,2, and 4 and one successful day with #3. 

I am determined to make this horse at least minimally reliable - mostly because someone told me it wasn't possible.  I am so darned pigheaded sometimes. 

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