Life goes random

It’s been a week of great difficulties and a very few random small accomplishments.  Since the big troubles are outside the scope of this blog, here are some of the random things I accomplished this week.

I sewed some fabric masks for my nieces to wear in grocery stores.

CF05F353-EEED-4686-831C-47AF0D9A2264

I repotted my window cacti, something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but I feared the spines.

B5FC7CE6-60C6-4F05-92F4-7147A877D932

I bought the metal pots a while back at IKEA and then drilled a hole in the bottoms for drainage.  A very heavy duty gardening glove saved me from the spines.  And I used a technique I learned on Gardner’s World, where you put the old pot inside the new one and fill dirt around it and then it leaves the perfect sized hole for the plant when you take it out.

C5781D2F-7A7D-4387-9997-8FAA920CC083

And yet I still got dirt everywhere.

EC2485B5-3A00-488D-9AEE-C39C86EDC994

I also used an egg carton to start some pepper seeds.  I’ve never succeeded at growing peppers, but maybe this year?

8AD53E98-D4C5-4C7C-AD2C-3485C9FF8C79

More seeds still to plant.  It needs to be a bit warmer.  I had to put chicken wire around the new raised bed where these seeds will end up because the puppy (who is now 35 pounds!) keeps digging all the nice loose dirt out of it.

.And I did more work on my slippers, which were developing holes around the patched areas.  I don’t know why I don’t just knit new ones, but I’m entertaining myself with different techniques to stretch out their lifespans.  This time I tried needle felting.

416EB25A-C188-4694-BEE0-B5B6F55C663D

I didn’t have foam or a felting mat so I used my fingernail brush.  Other than the awkwardness of fitting it into the heel it did the job.  I used some of the multitude of fiber I have on hand for the spinning I never seem to do anymore and stabbed away on the inside-out slipper bottoms. It seems to have worked, and it doesn’t show from the outside.  A little more time added to extend their lives.  I’m running out of techniques though, so this might be their last chance and then I will have to pick up the knitting needles.

Other random accomplishments this week:  I ate a lot of cookies, got into zero fights with my housebound teenage sons, and reread a huge number of comfort novels.  All good things.

This is Spring Break week for three of us according to the school calendar.  Kind of meaningless under the circumstances.  My husband is still going to work, but has a furlough week next week as his company cuts back on payroll as orders are drying up.

My high school is going to attempt online school starting next week.  We had an exploratory Zoom session on Monday to see how that would work.  74 of 90 teenagers showed up for it, which was an encouraging sign.  It was so good to see them again, even if only in little squares on my tablet screen!

All but two of the 90 have signed up for the Google Classroom my teaching team has created, so we are hopeful.  We have an integrated project planned that isn’t overwhelming to get started, and a special ed teacher involved to add extra support.  Fingers are crossed.

Hoping you are all safe and healthy, wherever you are.

Well, this changes things

Sometimes the world makes a sudden sharp turn and becomes very bewildering.

1844E6C9-65F8-4934-AD27-B361CB5BB86C
Around here we are all feeling a little like our puppy Maxx right now.  Things are all upset.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I work for a school district. Work is apparently no longer the correct word. The governor of Washington has ordered all schools to be closed, and now we are awaiting guidance from admin about what that means for our students and ourselves.

My particular school is very online. The students all have Chromebooks, and are very used to using Google Classroom on a daily basis. However, that doesn’t mean everybody has access from home, and students who need special services to be academically successful also can’t just open their Chromebook and go for it.

A lot of students also rely on the schools for meals, but I’m happy to report that my district has a plan to continue availability of food. They’re going to run the buses on elementary school routes and at each bus stop people can wait and be handed their food.  They’re also going to have a couple of schools open where students can stop and pick up food.

While what I can only assume are fairly frantic administrative meetings are happening to decide how to deliver education as well as food if (when) this stretches out, the rest of us are at home waiting to hear the plan.  My teaching team and I have been having video meetings and brainstorming possibilities.

And as of now, I’m also self-isolating with two middle school sons, while my husband still has to go into work.

I want to say that I know we are very, very lucky. The state is going to continue to pay my salary while the schools are closed, and so far my husband’s company is not talking about layoffs. Compared to other people, we are going to be just fine. The hair salon my niece works at closed with just 20 minutes notice yesterday, my sister’s second job just laid her off, and with the new notice to close all restaurants and bars and allow only take out, a lot more people are going to suddenly lose their jobs.  So we are grateful for what we have and ready to offer help where we can to others in our community who are less fortunate.

My sister and I visited my mom today.  She lives in one of those active retirement community buildings, where they are highly discouraging visitors. Locked doors and signs everywhere levels of discouraging. So our visit looked like this:

52DBBFB0-98B0-4AF7-BF89-3388D224121D

We’ve told her that we will get her a bucket on a rope so we can keep her supplies of coffee creamer and chocolate topped up.

Luckily, during this sudden downtime, crafters can always come up with things to do.

I’ve started sewing again for the first time in a long time.  Baby quilts must be made!

And then there is the high volume soup making.

And, as long as the sunshine holds out, garden improvements. My new raised bed arrived recently so we put it together today.  It is steel and designed to develop a rusty orange patina very soon.

I also have supplies to make a lot more panels like this wire one that will go up on posts around the yard for vines to grown along.  One down, six more to go.

FAE4912E-518F-456F-B1F2-D675D2C4E4AD

And then there is the new puppy.  She is thrilled to have us around all the time!

38271602-DBB9-47FC-B714-3A031E8010A2

So, keeping busy isn’t a real concern. Keeping healthy is, but we’ve got plenty of soap and social distancing.  I know the boys are going to get bored a lot faster than I will, but one likes to play basketball in the street, and the other one sees his friends just as much in video games as he ever did in person, and I’m letting them ride their bikes all around as long as they avoid people. Eventually they’ll get desperate enough to read books and remember they used to like those.

And, as I’ve explained to them, I am certified in this state to assign them homework!

Hoping you all stay safe and healthy out there.