Sunday, August 31, 2014

More quilts for Napa

 A Dozen of these quilts in the right hand stack are headed to the mobile home park that had homes burned last Sunday in the Napa Earthquake.
The rest of these quilts are headed to the church that is also the Red Cross center for homes that were red and yellow tagged.  We are still working on more big quilts because there were so many homes damaged.  So happy that we can help.

Three day weekend

This is a twin size for Napa.  Finally pulled it off the machine yesterday as it has been quilting all week.  With longer work days and less quilting time, quilts sure do take a long time to get done.  Especially bigger quilts like this one.  I was hoping to get it quilted before Friday so the ladies at quilt day could get it bound and I could have it delivered today, but that just didn't happen.  I will pass it off to my friend Sandy on Tuesday and she will get it done quickly and it will go with the next batch.  There are a lot of families whose homes were either Red Tagged, meaning they can't go back into their houses, or yellow tagged meaning they have limited access to their homes.  We are hoping to get quilts to each one.  I have no idea how many we will need, but we will keep making them and delivering them to the church that is also the Red Cross center because they know who these families are.

My former TA, Sierra and her boyfriend Justin are coming this morning to pick up the next load of quilts to drop off at both the mobile home park and church this morning.  I just love their willing spirit.  They are so eager to help, plus they are young and able to lift heavy things!  And it doesn't hurt that Justin's grandfather has lived in Napa a long time and knows everyone so he is helping to get quilts where they are needed as well.  Love that everyone is pulling together and I can totally trust that the quilts are getting into the hands of people who need them.  Sometimes you just don't know where the quilts will end up, but this time I have total confidence they will go to homes of people who were affected by the earthquake.

They just had another aftershock this morning that was a 3.2.  That isn't a big one, but for people who are still cleaning up, it did wake them up and gave some people a bit of a scare.  The earth moving in one place means it is putting stress on other faults, like the San Andreas or Hayward which go under places with a lot more people, which means we better keep making quilts.

I have a fault line that runs right under my house, the Vaca Kirby Fault and whenever I teach the kids about earthquakes in class I always tell them I knew about it when we bought our house.  As a science teacher, it was kind of exciting knowing there was a fault line running under my house, but don't cry for me if my house falls down.  What idiot buys a house on a fault line?  This one :)  Of course, in California, you really don't have much of a choice.  There are fault lines pretty much everywhere.

The crack in my driveway is now about 3 inches instead of 1 inch and I'm not sure if I should blame it on the earthquake or the drought, but it got bigger in only a week, so I'm going with earthquake.  It's the little things that excite me :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

my son's job

my son works at Western Railway Museum.  He loves his job.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

work quicker

 After tonight's back to school, I should have more time to get some quilting in, but not enough to have a big stack of quilts ready for Friday's binding party.  I hope they can get some big quilt tops ready because everything I have here are smaller quilt sizes.  But, I'm working as quickly as I can with what I have available.  I'm sure these will go to good homes.

Napa earthquake update

So many have stepped up to help out with quilts for Napa.  I was contacted by another Binky patrol chapter and they will be bringing quilts on Saturday.  Carla has offered her house on Friday for a quilt day and when she put the word out that we needed some quilts bound, we had more than enough people step up to bind all the quilts we had on hand.  We can't keep up quilting tops fast enough.

Friday will be spent making large quilt tops that we hope to get quilted next week.  The Red Cross Center is at a church, so they are actually accepting items instead of just money and are willing to pass out the quilts to the people who lost their homes in the earthquake.

I have a dear friend whose elderly mother has lived in Napa her whole life and who 'knows everyone' and will be making sure everyone who lost their home gets a quilt from us.  My former TA's boyfriend's grandfather lives in the mobile home park where several homes burned and he will make sure those people receive quilts as well.

So, we are working quickly and should have things covered soon.

I have back to school tonight and then hopefully things will slow down for me.  Taking on that extra class has really added an extra layer of work that will take some getting used to.  Not having a break during the day takes extra planning in the morning and after school.  Especially because I have to remember to go to the bathroom during lunch, when 8 other teachers are having to go to the bathroom too!  Plus, eat my lunch and get things for my afternoon class ready.  I have a former student who has been spending her days with me the past three days which has been really nice.  She has been organizing my cupboards and grading papers and even wrote some questions to go with an assignment.  She doesn't start school for a month and is getting bored at home.  She will be going to UC Davis and most of her friends have already started college. I love having her come in and help me out.  Some of the other teachers are a bit jealous :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

quilts for Napa

 I've received a great response when I asked on Facebook if any of my friends could help me get quilts to Napa.  One of my TA's from a couple of years ago offered her boyfriend who works there and will be dropping off 10 quilts to the hospital where the people who were hurt in the earthquake are staying.
 I found out that his grandfather lives in the mobile home park where several mobile homes burned down and he will be taking quilts to the residents who lost their homes once we get them finished up.  I want to have bigger quilts since these are adults.  I have kid size quilts finished and ready to go.
 Here's the pile of quilts ready to go.  It's so nice to have quilts at the ready when they are needed and it's also nice to have so many friends so willing to help out when the call goes out.
I also was contacted by my former principal who said she has lots of contacts with the schools in Napa and will find out about students who were affected and is willing to get quilts to them for me.

My friend Carla is working on quilting for Binky Patrol this week and is getting them bound and ready for delivery too.

I hope you have time to work on a quilt or two and have something on hand to bring comfort to a friend in need when a crisis hits.  A little fabric, a little time and a warm comforting quilt can really make a difference.

Big Earthquake

Last night at 3:20am, there was a 6.0 earthquake in American Canyon, near Napa, Ca which is about 25 miles away from me.  It woke me up, I yelled NO! and then went right back to sleep.  I was born and raised in Southern California and have been through many earthquakes.

Watching the news this morning, it looks like there was a lot of damage to several cities around the area including American Canyon, Napa and Vallejo.  Many historic buildings were destroyed, several homes were burned and lots of people have minor injuries.  I have several friends who live closer to the epicenter and Facebook is going crazy with stories.

My dogs are sticking close to me this morning.  Maybe they know something!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

shocking results

With school starting up again, I wanted to keep track of my daily activity and become more active.  Every year, the first few weeks feel like I run a marathon every day and I was curious just how many steps I take in a day.

I got a Jawbone Up which tracks your steps and even your sleep patterns.  You can input the food you eat into the application if you have a smartphone or ipad or ipod (which I didn't realize until I purchased it-you can't use it if you only have a computer).

Well, I was very shocked after just two days of using it.  I figured I walked at least 5 miles a day because of how tired I was at the end of the day.  I'm up constantly walking around in my classroom teaching.

But, at the end of the day when I plugged the jawbone into my son's ipad, it says I only walked 1300 steps.  That's less than a mile!  I sit down way more than I realized.  Why on earth am I so tired?

What it does is motivate me to get out and get moving at the end of a very long day.  The goal is 10,000 steps a day and I haven't come close to that yet.  The best I've been able to do is about 6500 steps.

The most interesting thing for me is my sleep.  I know I fall asleep quickly, but in the two nights I've worn it, the first night I fell asleep in 7 minutes and last night it took me 6 minutes.  I never woke up all night long and last night slept over 9 hours!  Yep, I'm tired!

I've now set an alarm on it to get me up and moving if I sit more than 45 minutes at a time.  No, it won't ring or buzz, but it will vibrate, just to make me aware that I'm sitting still too long.

I'm off this morning for a walk, even though every muscle in my body says to rest.

And, if you remember way back when I kicked that stack of magazines in the hall and thought I broke my toe?  Well, it is still hurting so I'm pretty sure I did break it!  Poor baby :(  It only hurts when I touch it or wiggle it and not when I walk on it which is a good thing.  It's at the end knuckle.  Ouch!

Friday, August 22, 2014

School has started

Wow, crazy start to the school year this year and one to remember!  We hired three new teachers again this year and one quit on us on Monday.  He came to work and I guess with all the things going on, couldn't take the insanity!  I'm not sure I could blame him.  Found out that he had actually quilt once before, a week earlier and then decided he wanted back, so it wasn't a surprise for others.  He had been a private school teacher, got a different job offer closer to home, took that one and then decided he didn't want that one either.

You see, last year at the end of the school year, one of the teachers asked at a whole school meeting if we were all getting new computers this year.  The principal said that we weren't.  Well, it turns out that we are all getting new computers.  Somehow one teacher had heard the news even before the principal and let the cat out of the bag.

But, the teachers weren't told.  So, they started switching out the computers over the summer, but they didn't tell anyone.  Now, imagine if someone were to give you a brand new computer.  Great right?  But imagine if they just came into your house in the middle of the night and took your old computer and put in a new computer, but didn't hook it up correctly and didn't take all of your stuff off your old computer.  Not so great.  And, now imagine that you have a presentation to the most important client of your life and you don't get a computer at all.  Yep, that's me.  There were only 6 computers delivered to our building and we have 8 rooms.  They went in random order and my room wasn't picked for a new computer.  Sounds great right?  Yes, except for whatever reason, my computer decides to have the blue screen of death and dumps everything so now I don't have any computer.  We use computers for taking attendance and printing out lesson plans and assignments and pretty much everything teaching related.  Plus, they changed out all of our internet access and printing access and nobody can access the printers with the new computers.  The new computers can't talk to the old printers.  So, normally the first two days before students come are spent planning what we are going to teach.

We spent the first two days trying to get our computers working.  The stress level was really high.  I guess one of the new guys couldn't take it and just quilt.

Well, that left everyone in a bind and the administrators couldn't hire someone the day before school so they asked if some of us would take on an extra class.  That means no prep period.  At first it was going to be just a temporary thing.  Now it may be for the whole year.

In theory it sounds easy.  What's one extra hour of work a day?  After two days of actually doing it and not being able to sit down for 7 hours straight (including lunch because that is when you actually prep for the next round of classes) I can honestly say I have never been so tired.  And today is only the 3rd day of school.

I'm hoping that my body just gets used to it.

And I will have to do more work from home, which means less quilting time.  Good thing I got a lot done this summer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5th grade?

My little guy had Back To School last night where he found out who his new teacher will be and got to see some of his classmates and heard all about the class rules.  He got the teacher I wanted, I worked with him (yes, his first male teacher!) when I first started teaching elementary school 24 years ago.  I hope he has a great year and learns a lot.

He gets to do band this year and although the band instructor wasn't there last night to be able to ask questions, he will get to pick an instrument.  He has no idea what he wants to play.

School starts Wednesday.  Ready or not!