Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hooray hooray for me!  Natalie is back in piano after a six month sabbatical!   She's found her way back to the ivories!

Last Spring, she told me that she was done taking piano lessons.  She would still play the saxophone but wanted to take voice lessons instead of playing the piano.

I was so bummed, but I had to think - Was this my dream for Nat?  Or did she actually have a choice in how she spent some of her time.

I let her grow as a person.

Grumble grumble grumble ...

And Allison was still in piano lessons.

A few weeks ago, Natalie started sitting back at the piano.  She started playing the first few bars of "Moonlight Sonata".  Oh Hooray for me!

She tagged along with Allison's lesson today and decided to take up lessons again.  She missed it!

I really did too.

Ok - I retract that!

The weather here was horrible.  I drove the girls out to piano lessons and had a difficult time speeding up to 25 mph.  But that's ok - we got to keep it safe - the only problem with bein' slow in the weather - is well - driving up icy hills.  We live in the only area around here with hills and cliffs... so it's really pretty - but yeah - not so fun to drive up a hill with icy roads.  I can't even imagine the roads in Duluth...   I'm pretty sure our biggest hill is no where near the grandness of their smallest hill.

So - I have been sewing and watching movies.... but mostly  keeping my girls safe - at home where we all belong in weather like this.

Winter Storm

I'm always disappointed when a winter storm doesn't pan out.  Last night, I stocked up on some fabric, milk, and potatoes for "The Storm."  I woke up this morning to find no storm in sight.

I really can't figure out why I'm annoyed with this. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not Everyone Likes Me

It used to bother me that not everyone in the world liked me.

Now - I could care less. 

I do my best to help people.  I try to be kind to anyone who I encounter throughout the day - and yet, people still talk about me behind my back. 

Well - whatever.  I do my best, and I'm still misunderstood.

I try to give people  the benefit of the doubt.  If they can do the same for me, I appreciate it.

If not, whatevs...

All I can think of is this:

When they see my face, I hope it gives 'em ....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a Mystery (quilt)

Our quilting club is on to a new project.  I'd say that I was pretty proud of the fact that we donated forty quilts to our local salvation army for Christmas presents for needy children in the area, but my quilts were a little lopsided and goofy looking.  Sigh..  Maybe the kids won't notice?

I can only hope.  I like to think I give it my best shot - but ya know what?  I'm not a natural.  Sewing doesn't come easy to me.  My seams are not the perfect 1/4 that others have seemed to perfect.  (no pun intended or maybe it was?)

Now, we are making a mystery quilt.  So, at the last meeting we were instructed to find 15 fat quarters, One contrast fabric, one nuetral fabric, and some sort of backing.  I decided to use batiks - because they are so purdy.


I hate it when I see people litter.  Now, I'm not sayin' that because I'm little miss neat freak - cuz I'm not.  I'm just sayin' You'll never see me throw a styrofoam coffee cup out the window as I'm drivin' down the street.

Now, I wasn't always like that.

My dad caught me once rolling down the window popping out a lifesaver's wrapper.

"Don't do that!!!"  My dad was horrified.

"So - it's only little pieces of paper..."

"You don't know what kind of bird will choke on that."  He was looking at me in the rearview mirror.  "And did you know that when you die - God makes you go back out to the world and pick up all your litter?"

"Really? Just like how we have to pick up our toys?"

"Yup.  He has a list - and guess what?  Every little piece of paper you dropped must be picked up - before you ever enter heaven."

"Whoooaaaa."  I was quiet for the rest of the trip - sort of panicking about all the paper I had left behind in cars my whole entire life of five years!

So,it's kind of a religous thing with me.  My dad probably made up a story to get me to stop being a litterbug - but there's probably some sort of universal truth in taking care of the earth since it's a pretty awesome thing and all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Miracles

The past few weeks I've seen quiet glimpses of everyday life that make me tear up.  As I was reading Teach's blog over here - I realized I wasn't the only one caught in the beauty of Christmas.

Last Sunday, our church had our Sunday School program - Allison was Gabriel the Arch Angel - Courtney, her friend was Mary, - and Brady, another friend was Joseph. Mary was about a foot and half taller than Joseph.. Mariah - my niece - was a Wise Man - she's usually a wiseguy though.  Mykayla - my littlest niece was a sheep.   Her costume was a big piece of cardboard with quilting batting glued on and a big hole for her head.  She carried that cardboard around as she walked down the aisle with all the pride a four-year-old could muster.  Now - I didn't bring my camera.  I should have because there is nothing sweeter than a grade school nativity.  But what really got me was when they were singing "Away in The Manger", in the humblest loving voices, the sun came out and shined brilliantly through the stain-glass-cross in the front of the church.  I took this as a sign of loving grace.  Our own Christmas miracle.

On Wednesday, our little school on the prairie had a talent show. There were even prizes - big prizes - first place was a hundred dollars!!!  I don't think there was an act that didn't get a "Woop Woop!"  The teachers even led the kids into a group "Cha Cha Slide"

(That's not us though)

I mean EVERY kid got up and did the "Cha Cha Slide"

The first place winner was a hair-rock-medley-guitar-solo.  Second place was the magic show.  Third place was a beautiful duet that wowed the socks off of me.  But I think what I loved the most was the shy girl - the one who constantly pushes herself to join speech - she went up there and sang her heart out - and everyone cheered for her up there.  You know?  That says a lot about these kids.

And I got to see it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In all, forty quilts were made and donated to the Salvation Army.  We were pretty proud to display them and help pack them up to send them on their way to be under a tree for some little boys and girls in the area!

La Vida Loca

Not this...

Don't Do This Abroad!

I found the BBC's website online this morning and found this -

Can't wait to show it to my students!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


This morning, Jason went to wake up Allison. 

"Sweetheart it's time to wake up!"

"You can just put it my mailbox..." Came her answer.


"Dad, I was talking to Jalayna."

"Ok sweetie.  But, it's time to wake up."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


When we lived in Grand Forks during the flood, there was an angel  who gave $1,000 to most of the residents who lost their home.  That was 1997. 

I was pouring through my December issue of Smithsonian and came upon this article

I loved this article. I love that there are people in the world who care SO much.  I'm going to do my best to remember that THIS is what Christmas is all about.

It doesn't matter how wonderfully your house is decorated - or how many cookies you bake - or if you get whatever it is on your list.  I'd like to think that we all would be like these examples and dwell on how to be kind.

Monday, December 6, 2010


When my yearbook girls were getting ready for college last spring, I had to bite my tongue.  I REALLY wanted to share my college horror stories of my crazy room mates I had my first year of college.

Of how, when I opened my door to my dorm room.... there was a big pile of undies draped across what would be my bed.

"Spray it."  mom said to the ding dong and handed her a can of Lysol.  "That's gross."

Her boyfriend was a football player for our college and would call every two hours to be sure she was in the dorm and not "sneaking" around on him.

I put in a transfer notice.

My second room mate was a neat freak who's dad had been caught window peeping.  He was a sex offender.

"Totally unfounded." she assured me.

I put my request for my own room.

Thank goodness it came in the clear within a week.

So - yeah - I didn't share those stories - though they may have been funny.  Maybe they'll have a few stories of their own to tell me one day!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spanish Class

Now, that I'm Profesora Aakhus - I'm remembering all the Spanish classes I had from high school to college... and most of my memories are FANTASTIC.  One thing I forgot - it's the struggle.  I forget how learning a language is SO gosh darn difficult. 

At Moorhead State, we had such a fun little group.  I always looked forward to my Spanish classes. Things changed though, when half of the group went to Puerto Rico, like over Christmas break or something, or a semester?  Some of those travelers decided that they were better than those of us who hadn't traveled to Spanish speaking countries yet.  In my clique of friends,   there was this beautiful girl with long, blond hair. Erin was very tall.   Her eyelashes were just so gwarsh darn long.  And she was just so nice.  Erin stuttered, so at times, Spanish was incredibly hard for her.  Luckily, our group of friends tried our best to help her forget it.

I  hadn't noticed the other clique started laughing more and talking amongst themselves whenever we would answer.

  One day, Erin turned to me, "They are laughing at my stutter."

"No..."  I exclaimed.  "No way.  They're just not paying attention in class. They're just being rude to our profesor."

But little by little, I started noticing the laugh whenever she answered out loud.

I could not believe I was actually in a college course.

"Erin, they're making fun of all of us... watch." 

Whenever I answered a question, I noticed the giggle too.

"See?  It's not just you."

We pointed it out to the rest of our group.  And little by little half of the room was against the other half of the room. Some those girls weren't the ring leaders - but they sat in the outer circle laughing at whatever was being said. 

I remember hoping with all my heart that none of those jerks would become teachers. But sadly, I know they did.

I'm sure we all know there are teachers in the midst who aren't so kind....  The ones who rig homecoming courts.  The ones who ask their students to correct each other's papers and make students call out their poor scores.The ones who make fun of other teachers to students in their classroom.  Ouch.

There isn't any sort of standardized test to weed those out now, is there?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Picasso - I love this one

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.

Did you know that Picasso was dyslexic?  My Allie has dyslexic tendencies.  Most of the time, dyslexics train their brains differently.  There is a communication gap from one side to the other side of the brain - and well - dyslexics must find a new way to get their learning done.  I find this fascinating. So many extraordinary people are dyslexic.  Albert Einstein is dyslexic.  In fact - many of his teachers thought he was border line retarded

And now, I'm finding that Picasso was dyslexic too... More dyslexics include -

Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Leonardo de Vinci, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Walt Disney...

Allie is in good company....  She's a thinker.  She like to track down the pastor at our church and ask him "Big Questions."  I'm sure school can be frustrating to her at times.  Learning to find the right answer in a multiple choice test on a computer screen can be down right mind boggling.

Especially when her point of view is a little different of the rest of the kids her age.


I'll be finishing out the year in Oklee.  I'm teaching Spanish.  Their precious teacher passed away last Monday to cancer.  
In the past two weeks, I've learned a lot from stories shared about this precious lady. She was one of those teachers who REALLY loved her job and REALLY loved her students.

She was the type of woman who always had a hug for a lonely heart.

I'm thinking that the hugs weren't reserved just for the cool kids - 
or the kids with a "Good Name."

 Her room is now my room... and my walls lonely....

So, I decided to buy some posters - the kind that will contribute to smiling again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Long Way Home

We had our first snow storm yesterday.  I was driving very slowly on my way home from school when I got a call from Missi.  It had seemed that Mykayla, my preschool niece,  had decided to take the bus to my house.  Missi had the office call the bus and tell Natalie and Allison to wait for Missi at the end of the driveway so she could pick her munchkin up.

Only -

They discovered Mykayla wasn't on that bus.

So - can you imagine the panic ripple that swept across Red Lake County for the next five minutes?

Where was this four-year-old with a pink tog hat?

 It turns out some of her preschool friends wanted her to take the bus with them.  So, she did.  She was in Brooks.  I was on my way home about a mile from the bus.

I convinced the driver to turn around and bring the little elf with pink hat and boots to me. 

I asked my little friend, "Where you scared?"

She smiled brightly.  "No - I didn't go on the wrong bus Bobbi.  I just wanted to ride with Ava and Tristan."

That reminded me of someone I used to know.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Hundred Years From Now.

One Hundred Years From Now
Author: (excerpt from "Within My Power" by Forest Witcraft)
One hundred years from now
It won't matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my cloths looked like
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child.
One of those sappy poems that say a lot about those teachers we don't forget.  Surprisingly, I'm at a loss of words right now.  Maybe that's an ok thing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


For the next bit, I will be subbing in Spanish class.  I'm teaching Spanish through Interactive Television to several schools throughout the area.  When I was driving to the home base yesterday, I was struck how distant the towns are.  I forget how I live in an area that is somewhat remote. And yet, I love how technology makes me forget that...

I love how knowing another language opens the world view even more - a step beyond technology.  I love how learning Spanish opens up my vocabulary in English. 

I love that I get to share that experience with students around the area.  I'm not sure how long I'll be there doing this job.  But I know this for sure,  it's brilliant to open the teacher's manual  and look over my glasses as I'm reading to make sure they're getting it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Skeleton Key

I was browsing through a seventh grade textbook in the Media Center  - I found a good scarrrrrryyyy storrrrry.....  with rats.

Ok - I frighten easily - especially of rodents - for instance.

And now

I know

why rodents
freak me
out so much!!!

I think it would be a great story to use for Predictions, Cause and Effect, and Foreshadowing - if by chance you need students to study for the MCAs -  You can get the story for free here   This is a great story for KWL reading strategy 

Also, Vincent Price narrates the creepy story in this youtube video -

If you don't have youtube available in your school - you can download it on  

It's audible not a visual presentation like the youtube video.

Wouldn't it present a great history lesson on old time radio beside the usual "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" ?

The textbook linked the story to some information on the bubonic plague - which of course, is always some light-hearted reading -

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stuff I'm Gettin' YOU for Christmas.

The Potty Patch!! You'll never miss  the good parts of whatever is on T.V.

Now, your mom can cut your hair without making a mess.  No more hair shards falling down your shirt!!

Wooo wee!

Harriet Carter's website offers a book for some advice for people who like to complain about their health problems.  You know the type.  I know the type.  They are the people who are always sicker than you/me and anyone else in the room.

How not to act like a little old lady is packed with tips and advice to help aging adults stay young at heart. Want to make your golden years more fulfilling, fun and meaningful? Stop acting your age and start thinking young! This lively book is full of ways to enrich each day, be happier and approach life's ups and downs.

Of course, My mom already has one... but I'm thinking of giving my sister this...

Mostly because she won't know why I keep giggling as she thanks me.

I want to get one of these for my dad because that's "Just" the kind of guy he is.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I think the scariest thing that ever happened to me was becoming a mother.  I mean - come on...  It's a lot of work.  Breastfeeding my baby had to have been the hardest things ever.  It looks so easy - but heavens no!  It ain't so.

For eight and a half months, I was sick to my stomach.  As soon as I had that darling in my arms, I was so hungry.  It felt so good to be hungry!

The first food they  brought up to me from the kitchen included chicken, pudding, potatoes, and ta da! Broccoli!

It tasted so yummy.

(If you know anything about breastfeeding, you probably did a little gasp when you read the word broccoli...)

I had known better in my well-rested life before becoming a mom.  But, in my tired as ever state - I had forgotten what was said about the gastro-effects of broccoli - until about 3am  in the morning when Natalie was crying her eyes out...

And the room had a distinct broccoli smell.

I knew two things at that moment.

1. My baby had been eating enough.

2.  Not to eat broccoli until she was done nursing.

Last night, we were enjoying one of Nat's favorite meals in honor of her birthday...  I took a  look at the meal and smirked at Nat -
"Guess what I forgot to make for you?"

She paused between bites. 


She gave me the stink eye but a smile cracked as she looked down at her rice.

Spelling Test

I was subbing for a seventh grade English class somewhere.  I was to give a pretest for spelling after the kids had finished their worksheet.  I asked the kids to put their words away, to take the pretest.

As I was giving out the words along with sentences to go along with the word - I noticed one girl copying directly from her worksheet.

Now - it's always best to presume innocence - right?

"Dear - I think you need to put your worksheet in your folder."

"She's cheating."  Another student was horrified.

"Just put it away." I said.

The young dear looked at me and announced... "We can look at these for our pretests - how else are we going to know how to spell them?"

I was not prepared for her to defend herself in THAT manner.


"THE pretest is just so you get an idea on what words you have a problem with."  Another student suggested irritatedly.

"I'm not putting it away."  She was stubborn.

"Ok."  I said.

"YOU'RE going to let her cheat!"  They were surprised.

"No."   I was calm.  I looked at the girl and said.  "I'm going to write a letter to the teacher explaining what happened. I"m quite sure I don't want to argue about this"

Boy - did that sheet get put in her notebook quickly.

The rest of the class sighed in relief.

I went on to the next word.

Friday, November 5, 2010


There it was - Look at that Candy.  OOOO mom said we could pick one piece of candy because we were good in the supermarket.

"Missi - Look!  They have all kinds of candy here."

"Bobbi - that's the seeds.  They're for gardens.

"They are candy - look - a picture of a watermelon.  - What do you think the carrot candy tastes like?"

"Bobbi - it says seeds on the bags."

"Does not."

"Bobbi - those are seeds.  I can read it.  You can't read."

"Missi - you're such a bragger.  I can read - it says Candy."

I was five.  I didn't read when I was five.

Mom let me buy that back with the watermelon on the front.. "Let her find out for herself, Missi."

When I got to the car, I opened the bag to find candy that looked like watermelon seeds.

I tasted one - expecting sugary goodness -

But - geez - it tasted like seeds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Best Seat in the House

Ta da!  I was the first kid on the bus! Hooray hooray for me!  And guess where I got to sit?  Right behind the bus driver.

Hooray hooray for me.  Me and my new friend were so excited.  Whenever a kid got on the bus, we would promptly look at them and smile - because guess who had the best seat in the house?  And it was even my first day of Kindergarten?

The only thing is that it sure took a long time for those busses to get going.

My sister, Missi, entered the bus.  She had been crying...  What a baby.

"Look Missi!  I got the seat behind THE DRIVER!"

"Bobbi - you're on the wrong bus.  I've been looking for you on all the buses.  When mom finds out, she's going to be SO mad."  She was grabbing my arm.

"You're SO bossy!"

"I"m staying right here!"
Pretty soon Shirley came in to the bus.

"There you are!  You had your sister all worried."  She grabbed my hand and Missi's hand and dragged us  off the bus.

Missi turned to me and pointed to the number pinned to my jacket.  "YOU went on the wrong bus!"

"Who cares?"  I said.  I would have gotten home.

Shirley bent over and pointed to the number 2  - "Bobbi - that's your bus number - that's where you go."

We trampled into Bus Number 2.  I walked passed Brad - he was sitting right behind the bus driver with big white teeth.

Missi pushed me into a seat four seats down from the driver and proceeded the aisle.

I looked up and Brad was still gloating.  I hid the hot tears streaming down my cheeks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This morning, Allison asked if she could bring my ipod to school so she could listen to it on the bus. 

"That's against school rules."  I told her.

"No, it's not..." she shook her head.

"It is - I read the student handbook."

In all seriousness a soon-to-be-nine-year-old could muster, she said

"It's not against the rules if they don't know about it."

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Cousin - ettes?

I made the three youngest girls poodle skirts for Halloween.  Here they are getting their loot from Grandma Vic.  They looked like those girls who sang songs about "Johnny and Me"  or "It's My Party."  The girls were so cute. 

A Close One

Yesterday morning, I cleared off our dining room table to make room for carving pumpkins.   I put my embroidery machine into its case and put away all of the notions that were scattered throughout the area.

This is the same machine I got about five years ago and tried to make a business out of it - le sigh - it didn't work out because well, yeah... I don't have all that much business sense to tell you the truth.  But I love the machine..  It has many inspired many "Sewing With Nancy" posts and has created many crazy birthday and Christmas presents including embroidered toilet paper = awesome!

I figured I'd take out my machine this morning when the girls were at school and I was trying to fill a few hours before I sub in Kindergarten this afternoon - which have I ever told you- is the hardest job in the entire world - but the kids are cute - and have soft cheeks - so all is well.

After many hours of trick or treating, the girls came home and got their things ready for today.  Allison wanted a picture of her and Nat with their pumpkins.  I was in my room getting my camera when


I was so scared of that sound - you know the one- where you wonder how hurt your baby was - Jason ran - and I heard..

"Are you all right?"


Natalie was crying.

"Good" he said.  I dared to take a peak.

The table was broken - pumpkin guts were scattered all over the ground along with wax dried on the floor.

"Oh ...  Thank God.." I said.  "I thought you were hurt."

Natalie was clearly upset.  She thought for sure that I was mad at her.

"Are you kidding?  I paid five dollars for that table at an auction.  I'm just glad you're ok."

I took a look at the mess on my dining room floor..

I moved pieces of the table away and took a picture of the girls next to their pumpkins with mine - My pumpkin is the one in the middle - the one with the ironic smile.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Brought it Back

Last night, I brought back mom's sewing machine.  I had borrowed it until I had saved up enough to go and get mine at Blow's.

Back when I was in grade school and in my early teens.  Mom and grandma made a lot of my dresses on that machine.  I used to sit at the other side of the dining room table and watch in amazement at the welding to the fabric together.  Sometimes, she'd rush me over and I'd stand for her as she'd adjust the fabric so it would fit me - not too well  because well - a girl needs room to grow.  She really didn't care if she poked me or not.

I was her human pin cushion - and she was fine with that.

Sometimes, I'd stay up at night and hear the engine all the way up on the second floor.  It seemed I could smell the heat of her speedy seams all the way in my formulating dreams.

She'd talk to dad about which bills needed to be paid as she pinned sleeves to bodices

Dad would be smoking a pipe -in the next room watching Carson.

I'd listen to the clack clack of the needle -  excited to be getting that new dress.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On praying...

I caught this article this morning.. I like it - I may just forward it to my pastor. 

On Saying No

Last night, I swore if anyone called, I would not sub.  This morning, the principal at the elementary school called and asked if I could sub for preschool.  YES! came right out of these lips.

That's where I started my educational career.  I was a para in the preschool room.  I loved every minute of it.  That's when I decided I would go back to school to finish up my degree.

How could I say no to such a precious little group?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My dad loves to tell stories - surprising right?  Back in the 80's, The Addams Family played on TBS after school.  One day, my dad watched the show with us when he came home from work. 

"That's me!"  He pointed to Lurch.

Missi and I were amazed.

"See that?"  He pointed to Uncle Fester...  "Grandpa George played Uncle Fester."

Miss and I looked at each other - it was Grandpa George!!

I remember going into the shed and dad pointing to some boots...

"Yep - I wore those when I was Lurch."

I remember sitting at my Grandma's table peering at Grandpa George and wanting to rub his bald head.  Grandpa George even wore a lot of black - just like Uncle Fester.

Luckily, Grandpa George was hard of hearing so he couldn't hear me ask him questions about his and dad's time on the set of  The Addam's Family.

I can't remember the time when I stopped believing dad.  I just know I told a lot of people about it and argued with them about it. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Me and My Shadow!

This morning, my brother-in-law dropped off Mykayla to spend the morning with me.  Mostly, she played with Allison's dollhouse though.

She came outside with me while I pinned clothes on the line.  She spun around the pole and sang away kicking leaves.  I love how throwing leaves in the air can make a child feel like a million dollars!

 We went to get the mail.  She insisted on carrying the mail back to the house...

She commented to me several times at how pretty our mail was.

"What a pretty puppy!"  She pointed to a llama in front of the Heifer Project magazine that came in the mail.

She didn't miss a pot hole.

"Bobbi, I like the bumps."

Church Supper


"I'm waiting for my Love rrr................."

I didn't realize Home of Economy encouraged such sultry behavior with their knick knacks.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm So Mad At Bill Cosby

Last night, I had one of those dreams that make you so mad that you can barely wrap your mind around it.  My dream was about Bill Cosby.

Last year, I taught a yearbook class.  Those senior and junior girls really tugged at my heart.  I made plans with one of the seniors to take her out to supper this Saturday when I pick up my new sewing machine.

In my dream, Bill Cosby was working for my dad as a lineman.  I couldn't figure out why he'd want that job as I'm pretty sure that he's financially secure. In the mean time,  My student worked for me at the pool as a lifeguard.  Her dad was upset because he thought she was starting to see Mr. Cosby against his wishes.  I assured him that they were only rumors.

Later that night, my dad confirmed to me that the rumors were true. My student was, in fact, dating Bill Cosby. 

Jason and I took them out to eat.  It was a little annoying to watch them make out.  It was all I could do to not shake her and ask her what she was thinking...

More importantly - I wanted to shake Mr. Cosby and ask him just what the hell he was thinking.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Land

Last night, I was ready for bed at 9:30. My jammies were on.  The covers were turned over.  I had my fuzzy socks on...  when I heard Jason call me...

"Hey Bobbi..."

The bed was so warm...


"Roberta! Come here!"

I drug myself out of bed and looked at him...



He started a movie on Netflix.

And there on the screen was a farm - just like his grandmother's.   He started to laugh.

"The setting is Minnesota."

I looked at him and smiled.

I sat next to him, put my head on his shoulder and stayed up for two more hours.

When the movie was done, I had to find out everything about it.  The screen play is based on a short story from Will Weaver's Tombstone Made of Wheat.

No wonder.

Will Weaver is a professor at Bemidji State.  Only ninety miles from here.  In fact, he's been a big supporter of Poetry Out Loud

No wonder I loved the movie so much.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doing Something Right

I'm finding Natalie has a strong moral compass.  I'm impressed.  One of her friends called her and asked her who so and so's mom and dad were.  She wanted to prank call them.

Natalie refused.

When a friend started a I hate Mrs. ________ club.  Natalie refused to be a part of it and did her own thing at recess.  In fact, she made sure it was reported.... 

And so, this young woman - who spends her life in her bedroom ignoring her weird parents - is doing something right.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Shredded Cabbage

Last night, I called into Brent's...
"Say - do you have shredded cabbage?'

The young girl put me on hold.... 

"No sorry... no shredded cabbage here."

"Oh.  Bummer."

So...  I wondered this morning if they had cabbage heads (Guess who's bringin' cabbage to BethanY? ya - me!)  and if I should ask that.. so, I called back...

"Do you have heads of cabbage..?"

"Oh let me look"

She put me on hold again.  I danced to their  music was it "Do you know the way to San Jose?"  I think so.


We were in business!

I went into town - (let's pretend I showered first.)

And guess what??  They had ooodles of bagged cabbage.

I turned to the dear and exclaimed... "Lucky me!!!  You got shredded cabbage in this morning... You didn't have it last night."

"Oh."  She said confused.  "Last night, I only saw the bags of coleslaw - I didn't see the shredded cabbage."

And I smiled - "Well - I guess this is what I meant.... Shredded cabbage is the coleslaw mix."


Poor girl... I got the giggles at her expense.

I got a

little side tracked with sewing...  you know?  That sexy apron with owl.  I'll have to think of something very deep and moving to write about - probably about lefse and the fundamental grumpiness I have when it comes to going to church dinners.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


What a ridiculous pose!  It says oooooo  I'm sexy with my owl apron.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Foster Quilts

I'm a member of a Quilter's Guild.  I think I am the youngest member.  I'm not sure if every other member realizes I'm not fifty because when I brought a blanket I made for one of the girls a few years ago and another member asked me if I made it for my grandchild.

"I'm thirty-four."  I was confused and wore make-up for the next two weeks.

At last week's meeting, we decided to make quilts for kids in foster care.  This cause is dear to me.

Our organizer commented that many kids in foster care don't have a thing when they are rescued....  Sometimes, they only have the diaper they were wearing.  Wouldn't it be nice for them to have something of their own?  Something to keep them warm?  Something to snuggle with?

For one year, I did respite care for a brother and sister.  They spent Christmas with me and my family along with Thanksgiving and Easter....  They didn't have much...  That Christmas each had received a blanket - so soft - and I wondered who the secret angel was that put so much love in to their creation for two lonely little angels sitting under my tree.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Alma Mater

I've been subbing at my Alma Mater - L-A-F-A-Y-E-T-T--E-E-A-G-L-E-S. 

It's odd.

Do you ever have dreams about High School? 

I always dream about MY high school.  The three levels.  Being late for Spanish class on the third floor - the cafeteria in the basement.

About ten? years ago - they tore down the old part of the school and put up a new school..

It's really niceeee ...

There's only one teacher left from my old days - and the school counselor. 

 I was dropping off my sub key at the end of the day and on the counter were makeup slips - remember those - we had to have all the teachers sign them so we knew what to do because we were sick or whatever - and I looked at the make-up slip pad - and I thought "oh my.... that's the same thing we had in high school - exactly"

- and do you know what I did?

 I picked it up - and smelled it! 

Because I'm a freak!

And it reminded me of my teen years..  the old school...

The secretaries looked at me odd and started laughing and then, I laughed realizing how silly that was... 

I had a case of sensory impulse...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sewing With Allie

As I was making another table topper....  Allie came to me at the sewing machine...
"Can I help you?"
That's the risk of sewing with kids around.

They want to sew too!  It's magic after all!!!  I gave her the camera.  And she took pictures like this:

Sewww.....  We took out some squares she had cut out a few months ago..  And - I ironed them. I had her set out the squares into a pattern....Allison started pinning squares together.  Then, she sat on my lap
and  started to sew!

And judging by the smile on her face - it was worth it!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Things I Do When I Sub

So - when I sub for the elementary school - there is not a lot of extra time.  I'm busy playing with kindergartners or giving sixth graders the look -

High School can be different - a lot of teachers give worksheets when a sub is there - and so - yeah - I walk around asking if the kids need help - give them the eye to keep them quiet  -

VERY Intimidating ---------------------- > right?

Also - I read.... look up.....  read...... walk around.......

Yesterday I memorized a poem from the preface of the book....  El Sonador  --- are you Impressed?

So la poesia
que acecha al poeta
Formulo preguntas
de respeustas inagotables.
 No elijo ninguna
y al mismos tiempo todas
si eres capaz...

I bet you're impressed.... Right?

Also - the past two weeks - I've almost finished a Christmas present for my bro-in-law....

Of course - it's always more fun to teach a lesson - but that can really be difficult - to make a lesson - and teach someone else how to teach it - I've been there - it's not easy!

I love when I get to learn something too.  In the "Shop Class," I've been subbing for - he's been giving me some History Channel movies entitled "Modern Marvels" - something I never would have picked out for myself - but find myself interested in learning!

Ok ok - Brennie -

I'm making this table topper for Jason's Grandma for Christmas - it's one of the first things I've made that I'm not embarrassed to show anyone -  So my friend Brenda asked - "Bobbi - would you show us something you've made?"

And now I have.

I love looking at all the boxes and diamonds - how easy and difficult it was to make.  I had switched an angle of a square - and when I did that - the whole pattern was lost - so out...  came the seam ripper - I put the blocks on my cutting board and played with them awhile - and ta da!!!!!

This pattern was free!!!!! FREE FREE!   

One thing that I loved about this pattern is that is uses charms - you can buy charm packs in quilt shops  - and well - there's a lot of different fabrics in a pack - that matches- and they're so pretty....  and they're already cut!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blessss all the Elementary Teachers of the World

I've been subbing this week in town - I'm enjoying it.  The first day was in Nat's class - sixth grade.  I learned a lot - a ton - Tuesday... I subbed in Kindergarten - and well - that was hilarious -  I felt I was in opposite land and didn't understand what the kids were expecting from me - We got through it - with me reading stories to them whenever I needed  to fill in some time - and after those two days - I have to say - it's way easier to be a high school teacher than an elementary school teacher - It's not an easy job - bless their beautiful hearts! 

It may be that high school teachers can have as many as 120 students in their room throughout the day - but some teachers only have most of those students for about forty-three minutes a day - Elementary teachers on the other hand, well - they have twenty students or more, for about seveennnnnnnnnnnn  hourrrsssssssssssssssssssssss.........  Hilarious...

That kid who toots non- stop - well that elementary teacher has him or her for sevennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn  hours......  

That kid who drums his desk  - well, that elementary teacher has him or her for sevennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn hours!!!!!

Of course, there's the benefits - the hugs - the funny stories!  The dancing - the singing -

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I had my own classroom - I'd share this article from the Smithsonian after finding something really awesome on youtube - because I hear Fosston lets their teachers access youtube nowadays.... 

or perhaps..

Then I'd stand back and see what they wrote...

Monday, September 27, 2010

And while we're talking

about art...

What do you think of this quilt reproduction of Exclusively Quilter's 
  A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by George Seruat ?

I can imagine myself making this quilt - because I love the painting.  I don't think I'd give it away.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

An eighth grader recited this at Poetry Outloud last year.  It was so lovely and pretty. I  think I'm going to memorize it to and recite it to myself as I'm sewing or falling asleep.

e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


I love this picture!

So much can be said in this instant!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Well.. I'm a Diva

A Domestic Diva of course.

I've spent the last few days either subbing or sorting through Tupperware, cereal boxes, old skates, old toys, pictures, papers, and of course, books.

I've thrown out four garbage bags of tuppers without their ware... expired food found in the back of the lazy susan....  and items I won't mention because I plan on being in denial when my mom or anyone else asks whatever happened to?  I can say "Hmmmmm... not sure."  and give her a confused look.

It's a lot of work.  And it's slow.

And I don't have a lot of patience for housework.  I want to spend my time reading, sewing, or crocheting...   But, as we're going through each bedroom and replacing carpets from 1976 with hard surfaces...  I'm finding this organizational revolution is a necessary evil.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Job

As a kid, my dream had been to be a lifeguard.  The lifeguards were so much fun to talk to at the pool  They were so pretty, so handsome, and always good for a laugh or too.  I was honored when I was hired for my first summer job.

There were lots of older cute boys who worked at the pool with me.  There was lots of fun and horse play.  I went home every night with a smile on my face.  I was sixteen.  Life was good.

The little kids decided that they wanted to have a contest to see who could swim under water the longest.  They had done this for days.  I was always amazed at their stamina. 

This contest seemed  to be harmless.  And then, Anne had been hyperventilating to "build up" her endurance for swimming under water.  She dove off the board but passed out by the time she reached the shallow end.  When the other lifeguards finally got her out of the pool, she was not breathing.  I hope you never see that.

  It is a constant nightmare of mine of a little girl who's tongue keeps rolling in the back of her mouth preventing the air flow.  I was a wreck.  I paced back and forth between talking to 911 and comforting Melanie, Anne's little sister. 

I knew the ambulance would not get there in time.  How many minutes was it where her brain would need oxygen?

After what seemed to be almost twenty minutes (but must have been one) a man walked into the pool.  For some miracle of God,  this man was a doctor.  He knew just the position to get her head tilted back and the air into her lungs.  I don't remember what he looked like and where he went after all was said in done - but if there is such a thing as angels... I had witnessed one that day.

I remember Ann puking and getting up and walking around and at that moment, the ambulance finally made it to the pool.

Anne spent the night in the hospital for observation.

Sometimes, I see Anne at Walmart, a play, or just driving down the street.  She's a mom now.  I can't help but tear up and think how lucky she is - and how lucky I am that she's alive.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today's project was sauce. It had been two years since I made sauce - maybe even three. 

What made me the happiest is that it came back - the wonderful science/miracle of  homemade spaghetti sauce.

First, one must wash the tomatoes - but grrr....  mi camera will not let me post that pic  so... 

Let's pretend that this is me washing tomatoes....

Then, blanch the tomatoes - this will help with peeling  and coring the tomatoes.  Blanch in boiling water for three minutes - not one, not two, but THREE minutes mister.

You're tomatoes will look like this...

Don't worry - this is what  some tomatoes look like when they're from a garden.

Put the tomatoes in some cold water.

Peel and core the tomatoes -

Puree the tomatoes in a blender.  Woo hoo... or a food processor - but I just happen to think a blender is easier to clean...

 Put pureed tomatoes in a pot- along with seasonings and some sugar - some people sift threw the seeds and pulp - but I like the seeds - I've tried that and it makes me think of ketchup...  (YUCK)

After boiling your sauce and letting it simmer for twenty-five minutes - put it in sterilized jars and process for 40 minutes!!!

And magically - you have canned sauce...