Grey-Haired Coed

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Just an Old Sew and Sew...

Has been a busy week for me and my sewing machine! Spring seems to be a time when people look through their closets and decide something needs to be mended or altered. Also, many of our 'snow birds' are moving back to their lake homes, and they bring me their sewing needs, also. Just this week I've shortened 10 pairs of slacks, made a Western shirt, altered a shirt, shortened a lined dress and skirt, shortened sleeves in a leather jacket, altered a prom dress, and now have two cushions to cover and about 100 bandannas to hem (for the Walker Animal Hospital).
I feel very fortunate that I have the skill and the equipment to do this type of work at home. I can set my own hours (sewed past midnight last night), have the TV on, and take a break whenever I want to. Not many jobs outside the home would have that kind of freedom!
I don't make a fortune, but the money I do make really comes in handy for 'extras'.

Friday, April 28, 2006

What Next?




Living in the 'northwoods' has always been interesting...
The wildlife that has crossed our yard includes: squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, fox, wolves, deer, rabbits, woodchucks, porcupines, turtles, frogs, toads, and these are the ones with four legs. The variety of birds and ducks is wonderful! (Just last week, we had four turkey buzzards!)
Well, today I saw something absolutely new! A horse! I called my husband and he contacted the Sheriff's Dept. to see if anyone had reported a missing horse. They called me to say it belonged to a family over the hill from us. As I was talking to him, a second horse ran into view, and they both headed across the road.
As I say, it's interesting!

Again, thanks...

Thanks for the wonderful, encouraging comments. I couldn't get to sleep tonight... kept thinking that next Tuesday would be the last time in class... felt sad... will be saying good-bye to some wonderful young people.
I will especially miss this one. I met her four years ago when she was just a freshman. It was my first year at BSU, and I was SO nervous! We've been in classes every year since. We talk about so many things... She is extremely intelligent, hard-working, caring, and is going to make a difference in the world with her awesome writing talent!
I plan to take a class again next fall. Even with the 70 mile round trip twice a week, and the horrible price of gas, my husband and son encourage me to keep going as long as I want to...
There is always more to learn, more to keep my mind active.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Age is Relative...

Sometimes I just feel too old to be back in college. I wonder if I'm just kidding myself... then just last week I saw a lovely, silver-haired lady sitting on a bench at the end of the first floor hall in Hagg-Sauer. Being the 'inquiring mind' sort of person I am, (read NOSY), I went over to her and asked if she was a teacher or a student. Turns out she is a student, and also told me she was 85 years old! (I would have guessed maybe 70). We sat and visited for a while. She is a widow, retired nurse, and loves to learn new things! It was the most refreshing experience I've had in a while!
There I was, thinking that my 'college days' should probably end, but after talking with that vital lady, I'm re-thinking my options...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Busy, busy...

I'm back from town. Stopped at bank to cash some sewing checks, then library to return books and check out the Harry Potter one I hadn't read yet, stopped at my hair dresser's to pick up two sewing jobs (she is so kind to let customers leave things there for me!), then to the grocery store... I was home just an hour and a half after I left... speedy old lady that I am...(ha ha) .
Get home and the hard part is carrying all that stuff up the stairs! We have a 'walk-out' basement, never thinking when we built the house that we would ever get old I guess! All the things are put away and now I'm pooped! But I feel good that I could get all that done!
Now tomorrow and Thursday I have class at BSU.

New Plan...

Just found out that today is a 'work day' in class. So I am working from home, folks! Will save on gas and I can also take time to go in to Walker to do some grocery shopping! (Today is Senior Citizen Discount Day!) Only time I'm glad to be this age!

Thank you, thank you, thank you....

Thank you for all the nice comments! Have been feeling 'down' lately... Osteoarthritis has been getting worse, now the right knee is really bad... Still have a cough... Went in for a second chest xray yesterday morning (dr. saw a 'shadow' a month ago)... don't mean to complain, just trying to explain why I've been so depressed... sorry...

But! Today the sun is shining and I have class in a few hours! Taking classes with a wonderful, encouraging instructor and enthusiastic young people is wonderful. One 'big thing' I'm finding out is that they are going through so many of the same trials and wonders that I went through my first time in college in the 60's. As the old saying goes, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same.'

Three new sewing jobs came in yesterday, and more may be coming soon. Keeps me busy and also I love earning the extra money! One is going to be a little tricky, so I'm thinking it over a lot... it's a lovely lavender leather jacket. Fully lined, with six inch zippers in the sleeves. The lady wants the sleeves shortened about two inches. So I have to take the zippers out and move them up two inches. Normally this would be no problem, BUT this is leather...and lined... I think there will be lots of handwork on this one! Oh well, that's why people ask me to do it, right?

Well, I've 'vented' enough here for now. The day is seeming brighter already. Thanks for listening!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Final Project...


My final project for Web Content Writing is done....
If you are interested in quilts, be my guest.

Commitments...

When I started this class, 'Weblogs & Wikis', I was determined to blog every single day... to really becomed disciplined enough to try and write something of interest on a daily basis. Well, that just isn't happening anymore. Sorry about that!
I want to be able to say something that is worth reading, worth thinking about, worth remembering. Other blogs I read are interesting and often inspiring. (Check out my blog roll) most of these are my favorites. I can count on something worthwhile from them every time they post.
My blog, however, still does not have a direction, a purpose, a reason for being, other than a requirement of my class...
Oh, sure, now and then something funny or interesting happens that I can't wait to post, but on the whole, my life is rather mundane. I clean house, do laundry, cook, bake, wash dishes, and of course, SEW! Not much exciting there...
So should I stop? Should I make things up? No, I don't want to do either. What I will do is try my best to continue posting, and also try to look at the every-day things in my life in a new way.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Life's Milestones...

Today my husband and I met with a lawyer. No, not what you are thinking!

We made out our wills.... There, now don't you feel foolish?

It's a funny feeling to make out a will. We thought we should do it while we still have all our 'marbles'... so our kids know that things are down in 'black and white'.

The lawyer made it very easy, sending us questionaires to fill out earlier, so that he would know what our wishes were. Then he went over everything in detail with us. He has a marvelous secretary... each small change that we suggested was noted by the lawyer, then he gave her the changes, and new copies were printed out in less than 5 minutes. She and another secretary came in to witness our signatures, and that was it! Very painless! And a good feeling knowing that it is done!

Let's see, the next milestone will probably be choosing a nursing home, right? Heck no.... I think the next one should be deciding where I want my second tatoo!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Door-to-door Breast Exams???

Just when you think you've heard it all... How stupid can people be?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

RAIN!!!!!!!!


It's raining!!! Hip-hip-hooray!!!!!

The pollen and dust in the air has been SO horrendous! Maybe this will clean things out of the air and we can all breathe a little easier!

People with allergies (like my son) will be much happier today.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Deadlines...

DEADLINES

I love deadlines.
I like the wooshing sound
they make as they fly by.

- Douglas Adams



The end of the semester is coming soon... My classmates are mostly stressing out from the mountains of work staring them in the face... I am simply auditing two classes. Therefore, I should not be stressed.

Guess again. I need to wrap up my project with the third graders for 'Web logs & Wikis'. I thought I had already done this, but we have to give a presentation next week and I don't know if I'm really ready!

Also, in 'Web Content Writing', our final project needs to be completed. I've been working on it, honestly I have! It is going to be about quilts...quilts that were made for me by my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother. Then I will show quilts that I have made. Lots of pictures, then text to explain the history of each quilt. The more I work on this project, the more I see that I still need to do. Will I get it all together in time? Will my presentation of the project simply bore my classmates to tears? Do I actually have anything to say about quilts that will interest twenty year olds?

Sometimes I feel just too darned old to be in college. Who am I trying to kid? I could just stay home, clean house, do laundry, cook, bake cookies, sew, read books, work in my flower gardens...

I've been attending BSU for four years now and I absolutely love it! I enjoy the challenge of learning new things and meeting such wonderful young people! One young lady reminds me so much of my daughter. My current instructor, for both classes I'm taking, challenges me to learn, learn, learn! My husband and son say I'm 'more alive' when I'm in school. They have encouraged me many times to continue.

Maybe it's the aftermath of the flu 'bug' I've been fighting for over a month... maybe I'm just tired... maybe it's spring fever... I just know that I'm tired...

So... another cup of coffee... take a shower... quit whining... and get busy, Sharon!!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spring...

STRENGTH

Those who contemplate
the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength
that will endure
as long as life lasts.

- Rachel Carson



This weekend was a time to enjoy the beauty of the area we live in. Yes, there was work involved... my husband and son were mowing, raking, leaf blowing, digging... and I was cleaning my screen porch! It is situated right off my bedroom and offers a quiet place to sit and reflect. Didn't have much time to sit out there yet, but soon!

Also had sewing jobs to complete: hemming some jeans, replacing a jacket zipper, and re-covering two large cushions (piping and zipper included!). I love it when the 'snowbirds' come back to the area. They always have sewing for me to do!

Spring semester will be over soon. I know I will miss the challenge of trying to keep up with my younger classmates...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The End of the Internet...

Yes, I found it... the end of the internet. Be careful... be very careful!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

First Blooms of the Spring!

Our very first blooms of spring 2006! These little crocus' just made my day!

Character...

The discipline you learn
and character you build
from setting and achieving a goal
can be more valuable
than the achievement of the goal itself.
- Bo Bennett


I've spent all morning so far (four hours) doing my homework for Weblogs and Wikis class. I was determined to wrap up my project, write out my conclusions, print out everything, the original proposal, project notes, project itself, and then the conclusion for myself and for my friend. She was so kind to let me use her third grade class for this project.

I didn't make any startling discoveries about the discrepency between the students' written and verbal skills, but I think by placing them side by side, so to speak, anyone can see that they are still learning! Children at this age are still so open and honest. Example: "I don't like school."

If you'd like to see the finished project, here it is.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Authenticity...

Say what you want and be who you are
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.

- Dr. Seuss


I've been enjoying looking through my collection of quotes, (as you can tell), and finding something appropriate for how I feel at the moment.

I love this one by Dr. Seuss... especially 'those who matter don't mind'. Those who really and truly care about me don't mind when I get 'off the track', or talk too much or too little, or ask a lot of questions, or forget their names, or repeat a story I've already told them several times. I don't think I'm going senile or have 'Old-Timers Disease' (YET), but I do forget things!

It would happen even when I was much younger than I am now, and when I was still teaching. I used to tell my students that 'my mind is full and things fall out'. They believed me! And a dear friend told me that 'forgetfulness is the sign of a busy person.' So take your pick, either explanation works for me!

Having a blog has helped me to clarify my thoughts on many issues. I look forward to the time in the day when I have a chance to sit down and write something half-way meaningful here. At least my writings are meaningful to me, don't know about anyone else. But then again, I have to realize that I am writing mostly for myself! HEY!!! LIGHTBULB MOMENT, FOLKS!

I do so appreciate people who read my mental wanderings and are kind enough to leave a comment. I've also noticed that some of the comments, actually many of them, are VERY insightful and have helped clarify some things for me. So thanks ever so much!

So I am still writing, still thinking about my life, and still being truly grateful for all the blessings in my life.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Living...


Don't ask so much what the world needs.
Go out and do what makes you come alive,
because what the world needs most
are people who have come alive.

- Howard Thurman

I finished the interview with the third graders this morning! Now to write up my summary and I'm done with that project! How fun it's been... But now when I go to my friend's classroom, I can listen to students read, help them with math, and whatever else they may need help with.

I love being in a classroom. My mother always told everyone that I was 'born to be a teacher.' There is something so amazing about helping young people, seeing that little 'light' go on for them when they understand a new concept, encouraging them to do their best... It is just what I have always loved to do.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Final Project...




I have decided (and been approved) to do my Final Project for Web Content Writing on quilts.

I am fortunate to own quilts made by four generations of women in my family. (I'm counting myself, too).

I have never attempted the intricate quilting that my great-grandmother, grandmother, or mother did for me. My quilts are mostly embroidered squares joined together.

I keep thinking that 'some day' I will have the courage and skill to make the type of quilt that these talented women put together.

In the meantime, I can marvel at and appreciate the skill and patience of the women in my life who created these works of art.

The quilt/comforter shown at the left is one I made as a gift for my friend, Pat. It is constructed of white satin squares, each machine-embroidered with flowers and plants found in Minnesota. They are joined with green velvet squares, and the back is also velvet.

I learned one very important thing when making this comforter..... you need to pin every quarter inch when sewing on velvet!! It has a tendency to slide like crazy!

Friday, April 07, 2006

And this is Sweet Sony...

This is Tiny's sister, Sony. She is calm, sweet, lovable, never bites and even sits still when I clip her toenails. We raised them the same, but they are Oh SO Different! Just like kids... sometimes there is a 'stinker' in the bunch, I guess.

Sony is modeling one of the bandannas that I hem for the vet clinic in town. The vet's wife finds seasonal fabric (notice the hearts for Valentine's Day?). I hem them for $1 each. I choose to keep most of the money on their books so that it pays for whatever vet services our dogs might need. Over the last eight months, I have hemmed over 600 bandannas.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Before and After...



I took these pictures of Tiny a couple years ago...the 'before' and 'after' grooming...
Word of caution to anyone thinking of a poodle for a pet - they need grooming every 6-8 weeks!

Tiny the Terror...

Today was the day... bathing and grooming the little BEAST! She is 12 years old, and I have been grooming her every 6-8 weeks her entire life... but she STILL thinks I'm going to cut off something important. So... she bites...and cries...and whines...and wiggles...and did I say BITE? She draws blood, too! The little snot!

Her sister, on the other hand, doesn't ENJOY the grooming process but she does stand still, and does not bite!
By the time I'm done with Tiny, I've had it for the day!

I had Colin hold her for this picture, because she wants nothing to do with me for a few days after this horrendous process! And need I say the feeling is mutual?

Decisions...


Yes, I should be in bed...asleep... Couldn't shut my brain off, so thought I'd get some homework done. Finally decided what to do for my final project in Web Content Writing class!
I will be 'repurposing' parts of a book by Eleanor Burns, "The Sampler". In this book, Burns explains how to make a sampler quilt using 30 different classic quilt block patterns.
My plan is to choose 10 of my favorite blocks, research their history, make each of the blocks I choose, then in my project each page will have a picture of the block, its history, and directions how to cut and assemble it. Sounds good to me! When it is complete, I will provide a link so you can see how it looks.
Well, now that I have a plan, maybe I can get to sleep!

Note on Diet Progress: Eating healthier, drinking lots of water, NO chocolate!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And Back In Class...

I made it to Web Content Writing Class today!!! Hooray for me! It was nice to see Dr. Morgan again. He seemed pleasantly surprised that I actually made it to class, bless his heart!
Also, ..../big drum roll here/.... I got to see Erin's tatoos!!! Really, really beautiful! I won't describe them, I'm hoping she posts a picture on her blog.
After class I got groceries at Walmart. My son was still here when I got home so he helped haul them all in and put them away. Then I took a nap.... Still seem to need that.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Back in the Classroom Again...

It was wonderful! Even with just two hours sleep I went into my friend's classroom this morning. I was able to interview 11 more students for my class project. Spent the afternoon adding their pictures and the scans of their written work. So this means I'm about half-way done with the project! Hooray for me!
The sun was shining, birds were singing, it was great to get out of the house!
Tomorrow it's back to class at BSU...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weight Loss Revisited...

I seem to have fallen into a scary area... It began with my posting about the 'large' ambulances to transport obese people with 'dignity'. I added the picture of the 'fat lady' just for interest.

It brought several comments (that I really do appreciate).

When I began blogging, it was to fulfill a requirement for a class I am taking. As I blog, I have made new friends, learned a great deal about myself, and wondered what direction my blog should take in the future.

Those who know me 'in person', know that I am severely overweight...about 100 lbs too much... and I'm not even 5 ft tall! (Last measurement was 4 ft 10 1/2 in) So those of you who have never met me in person, can picture a very roly-poly, grey-haired lady....

I wasn't always overweight. It sort of creeps up on you... (a warning to those slim coeds out there!). Over the years I have tried several different weight-loss programs. Some are fine for short periods, and I have probably lost and re-gained more than a thousand pounds in the last 50 years. The trouble with many of the programs is that they cannot be sustained in the long run...

The ONLY plan that I have ever been successful with is Weight Watchers. My husband was always very supportive of the program and followed it with me, losing almost 50 lbs. The reason I re-gained the last 80 lbs. I lost is that I did not stick with the Program and it's Maintenance plan. It is designed to be a program that you can follow for life.

I would like to try again... my arthritis has become so much worse due to the weight I am forcing my knees to hold up... I'm tired of wearing clothes that belong to 'Omar the Tent Maker'... I miss walking with my dog... I miss so very much...

I guess what I am trying to say here, in a round about way, is that I am going to try again...

Bear with me...

Any suggestions, comments, encouragements, warnings, etc. would be most appreciated!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Purple 'Fairy' Bag...

Can you guess who this is for?
She is in one of my classes.
She is tall.
She is from the same state my daughter is now going to school in.
She is my friend.

Thin...

After that last post (and image), I had to find something to counter it. Tried to find an image of a thin person, but this was MUCH cuter!

I am trying (again) to watch what I eat and exercise more, so that maybe, I will reach a more comfortable weight... More comfortable on my arthritic knees...

I would appreciate any suggestions....