Goal Trackers

Friday, March 30, 2007

It's Outta Here!

Finally, finally, finally! I have this gret big gorilla off my back! At 6:21 PM today I dropped off my portifolio box at FedEx and it is on it's way! I have pics but haven't downloaded them off the camera yet. Too tired! And I really want a drink to celebrate!

I'm not much for words today. Should have more soon as I know have time to enjoy life again! *grin*

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Almost there...

So far, this has been an exhausting week for me. I've been burning the midnight oil to get this portfolio completed. There are so many little details and specifics when it comes to organizing these entries. I think there is something seriously wrong when people are just as worried about how they are packing the portofio as they do to making sure their writeups contain all the necessary information to support and prove that you, in fact, up holding the required teaching standards.

In these entries, everything has a cover sheet. Then those cover sheets require explanations of what is being attached. Some of those explanations can go right on the cover sheets, others need to be attached behind it, BUT don't use staples or your entry will be unscorable! Ridiculous! The focus of the portfolio and the high stress factors should come from planning the lesson correctly, analyzing and reflecting on your teaching practice and the 10 pages written commentary on the lesson (multiply that by 4 for the different entries). Escentially a 40 page paper.... I didn't want to go back for my doctorate because I did want to write a thesis paper! I must be crazy!

Monday, March 26, 2007

NB Portfolio almost complete!!

It has been a long, hard haul, but I have my National Board portfolio 95% complete!! ALLELUIA!! For a while there, I really didn't know if I would actually get it completed. Shit just hit the fan in my life this year. Why is it that whenever I have something major to accomplish, everything else goes to pot? I know there's the saying out there that "God never gives you more than he thinks you can handle" but, come on... GOD, Don't trust me so much! The year started out with my grandmother, who lived with us on and off while I was growing, slipped into a coma in October. Not a single doctor in Italy could tell us why. No stroke, no heart attach, no blood clot...nothing, nada, zilch as for why. Then my brother-in-law is in and out of the hospital. On December 28, my grandmother passed. It was very hard. She was my last living grandparent, and my favorite. On February 28, my boyfriend of almost 2 years, breaks off our engagement. Talk about just wanting to give up and spend the rest of your life in bed. You think God could have stopped there, but noooooooooooooo. One week later a friend and co-worker of 6 years lost her battle with cancer. So yeah, I was in a SUPER depression funk for most of March. But somehow, someway, I managed to teach all the lessons I needed for NB. I have all my entries written up and have been sent off to various people to get feedback, and I still have 4.5 more days to edit and tweak till the absolute deadline to mail this sucker off. Friday I will definitely need to pull out and wear my t-shirt that has the slogan "Sometimes I amaze myself" written across the chest, because that is what I am feeling right now. And this monkey will be off my back just in time for Spring Break! Then I can go back to knitting!!

Of course, spending all this time planning lessons, video taping them and writing them up did not detract me from SEx of yarn! I tend to purchase a good amount of my yarn online through various stores or ebay. This was an ebay purchase that I took a chance on. I can't remember if I found this yarn or if my friend KozyKitty told me about it. It's 100% merino wool and it looked as if it would be as soft as Malabrigo Merino yarn which is super luscious soft! I just loved the color combo of the turquoise and black that I took the chance and order 2 skeins to make the My So Called Scarf with it. It finally got here this weekend, but I've been so busy with NB that I didn't have the time to post till today. This yarn is just as soft as the Malabrigo! I was ecstatic! Talk about willpower and not succumbing to the yearning of wanting to playing with this yarn and foregoing my work! Temptations!! As if God hasn't toyed with my life enough at this point! I just need to hold out a few more days and then I can bite the apple in the garden and eat it all up. YUM! *laugh*

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dorothy is...

Thanks to Knits in Public for this one! I was just taking a break from working on my National Boards and reading other knitters blog when I came across this. Directions: Google your name with is in quotes (like this - "Dorothy is") and see what people are saying about you!

Here's my list:

Dorothy is inquisitive and possesses an active imagination. (* Do I ever! *)

Dorothy is an orphan raised by her aunt and uncle.

Dorothy is also an accomplished recorder player for those seeking variety of instrumentation. (* Not a musical bone in my body! *)

Dorothy is a member of International Pacific Bar Association. (* Long Island Ice Tea PLEASE! oh, it's not that kind of bar huh? *)

Dorothy is made with a polyresin material which may resemble porcelain.

Dorothy is a dangerous terrorist. (* YIKES! *)

Dorothy is the cutest sweetest little thing ever with a smile that lights up. a room! (*aawwww*)

Dorothy is deviant any way you look at her--either she is a pervert, a martyr, or in need of intensive psychotherapy. (*I prefer pervert, but in the good sexual way ;) *)

Dorothy continues to focus on what she doesn't have. (* I can't tell you how true this is right now *)

Dorothy is in the Land of Oz (* of course this would come up! *)

Dorothy is startling, gripping, disturbing. (* hmmm... I guess to some *)

Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out! (* sounds like my ex-fiance*)

Dorothy is not in Kansas Anymore! (* Don't I know it*)

Dorothy Is Dead. (* Does this mean I don't have to pay taxes anymore?? *)

Dorothy is now a very modern twenty-first century young woman.

Dorothy is a huge dinosaur in green color with yellow spots. (* Not my best colors *)

Dorothy is a lively character. (* I try! *)

Dorothy is wrestling with a dilemma. (* Story of my life it seems *)

Dorothy is classically trained violinist.

Dorothy is distinguished by what she has healed.

Dorothy is shown as a very friendly, kind dinosaur with a golden heart. (* Again with the dinosaur*)

Dorothy is the lifeblood of our schools.

Dorothy is an exciting person to work with. (* Thank you! *)

Dorothy is one of my favorite characters.

Dorothy is one of those rare people who can successfully transfer knowledge.

Dorothy is forced to date a convict. (* It'll never happen *)

Dorothy is receiving threats concerning a young football player. (* Ummmm.... I do not recall; therefore it did not happen! *)

Dorothy is stunning. (* why Thank you! *)

Dorothy is arrested as a slumlord. (* ACK! *)

Dorothy is the innocent school girl with a not-so-innocent Victorian bondage fetish. (*LAUGH*)
Dorothy is equally good with her breasts squished realistically and corset more than snug. (* If you only knew how true this statement could be! *)

Dorothy is unable to grasp the true significance of all of this. (* What else is new? *)

Dorothy is a pleasant looking lady.

Dorothy is pure so she actually believes that Charlie is sane. (* No one is sane! No one I tell you! *)

Dorothy is by no means perfect, but this is still one hell of not just an update, but a great story as well. (* Who are they to say I'm not perfect? *)

Dorothy is given a pair of ruby slippers. (* I'm still looking for a pair in my size!! *)

Dorothy is able to expose evil of every variety with a single swipe. (* swipe of what?? *)

Dorothy is The Mole.

Dorothy is a clan mother, a position of authority among the Onondagas.

Dorothy is an entertainment junkie and compulsively watches TV and surfs the net. (* TV not much, the net.... guilty *)

Dorothy is a geek. (* :P *)

Dorothy is on the far left.

Dorothy is exposed to an extreme beyond what one would normally allow. (* Why must I constantly be tested! *)

Dorothy is under police protection. (* I didn't do it. I swear! *)

Dorothy is a gifted psychic and clairvoyant who has been helping people. (* Too bad I can't seem to get my future predictions right *)

Dorothy is a female given name from Greek Δωροθεα ("gift of the gods"). (* This one I actually knew! It's too bad others don't always see it that way *)

Dorothy is a designer and traditional Haida artist.

Dorothy is being branded by a group of evil little Munchkins. (* I knew they were evil! And you all thought I was crazy for thinking it!*)

Dorothy is widely credited by her fans. (* Kool! I have fans! *)

Dorothy is currently happily married to Mr. Lucas Hollingsworth.

Dorothy is Elmo's aquatic pet goldfish who first appeared on the "Elmo's World" (* First a dinosaur, now a fish?? *)

Dorothy is a walking wonder, genuine firecracker, and perpetual cheerleader.

Dorothy is brimming with life.

Dorothy is a skilled swordswoman. (* Who wears many badages! *)

Dorothy is the type of person who makes friends easily.

Dorothy is very determined, and makes it a point to never cry. (* Hides her crumpled tissues *)

Dorothy is a very playful little puppy.

Dorothy is beloved by all. (* But not by the one she loves most :( *)

Dorothy is standing on a road made of yellow bricks. (* I'm at one of those cross-roads right now*)

Dorothy is a miniature porcelain doll and is about 6" high.

Dorothy is continually creating mood with tone, pitch and melody. (* Lots of Dorothys out there that are musically inclined, I'm just not one of them! *)

Dorothy is one of the most creative, “cutting edge” thinkers in the world today. (* WOW! I like this one! *)

Dorothy is in black with leopard-skin cuffs and collar. (* Oh My! What happened to the Victorian fetish? *)

Dorothy is a walking wonder.

Dorothy is renowned for her skill in color planning.

Dorothy is brimming with life.

Dorothy is very proud of her accomplishments.

Dorothy is protected. (* by what or from whom? *)

Dorothy is 96 years old and is one of my closest friends. (* God Bless this one! I certainly hope I live that long. *)

Dorothy is knocked unconscious once again. (* That certainly seem to be my life story right now! *)

Dorothy is a ghost many have seen and heard and run in terror from over the decades in the 153-year-old building at 30 Yonge Street that used to house a Bank of Montreal branch. (* I always said I would come back and haunt those that did me wrong *)

Dorothy is one of the great teachers who inspires.

Dorothy is no longer vulnerable. (* Don't I wish! *)

Dorothy is a member of the Pagan Poets Society and a charter member of M.A.G.I.C.

Dorothy is WAY over the rainbow in this one. (* I came crashing down a few weeks ago *)

Dorothy is now one of my favorite women in the whole wide world. (* Thank you! *)

And my favorite.....
a "friend of Dorothy" was a euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without other people knowing (* LAUGH *)

My Aura

Your Aura is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Secret Pal 10!

Yeah, I have just been contacted about the person to whom I will be a Secret Pal to AND I have been contacted by my Secret Pal! How exciting! Here's a link to my questionnare as I did it a while back :)
You can get to my questionnare here!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Special Delivery!

I just love it when I come home and find goodies in my mailbox! I had purchased some yarn on ebay over the weekend and 1 of the purchases was in my mailbox today! Ebay can be so addicting! There are several really nice yarn stores on ebay. Here are just a few of the ones that I have purchased from - Yarnbow, Affordable Yarns, Ewe-phoria Yarns, and HandPainted Wools. Over the weekend I had purchased this skein of Great Adirondack Nassau Yarn. I'm not quite sure what I plan to make with it yet - maybe a thin scarf, some short socks (whenever I get around to learning how to knit socks that is), or a summer tank for one of my nieces. Who knows. I'm really bad about purchasing yarn without a pattern in mind. I really need to change my mindset on how to purchase yarn. The purples are what drew me to this yarn. I am such a purple person. Red too. Well, when a pattern jumps out at me for this yarn, I'm sure you all will be the first to know.

Well, that was not the end of my suprises today! A while back I had placed a special order with Mystical Creations Yarns. I haven't the foggiest as to how I found this site, but they have some really neat stuff at fairly affordable prices! I have been searching for a 50/50 wool/silk blend yarn in the right colors to make the Clapotis from Knitty. When I found Mystical Creations and read that you can create your own colorway, I just had too! I know the "in" color combos seem to be brown and pink, or brown and baby blue, but for some reason, when I bought my current house after my divorce, I really fell in like with how brown and purple look together. So I like to be differnet! The spare bedroom on my house is painted in "Victorian Mauve" and I am dying to paint an accent wall in "chocolate" but I personally painted every single wall in my house before I moved in, and if I don't touch another paint roller for a decade it would be too soon. Of course, knowing me, that might very well be a summer project, but that will have to be after I repaint all the doors in my house white!

So, getting back to my goodies! When I got to my front door, I saw a white box hiding behind my snow shovel! Ooohhh excitement! Sure enough, it was the order I had places with MCY back in January. Special orders take a little longer, and this one took even longer because the first time they tried to dye the colors I wanted the purples came out too light. But look at how gorgeous these colors are! Deep purple, rich brown, milky tan and silvery grey! I just absolutely love it! I know the purple looks a bit blue on the photo, but it is definitely purple in the yarn!
I was a really bad girl when I placed my order! I saw so many yarns in colors that were just "OH!" that I couldn't resist! Yes, I definitely have a yarn addiction. So I admit it! Anyone know of a good 12-step de-stashing program *LAUGH* I just want to make so many things! Here's is a little cashmere! A beautiful and soft 100% cashmere yarn. The colorway is Wild Raspberry, Teal, Purple & Charcoal. It is a lace weight, needle size 0-3, gauge 10-16 stitches per inch over a 4" square - each are appx. 500 yards - 1.4oz. in weight. So, I definitely have my 1st lace project coming up! I even think I have a pretty lace pattern in my books that I want to create. I'll have to look and see.
Then I saw this lovely 100% Bamboo yarn in the colorway they call "Merlot" and I thought this would be great to make the Cozy from Knitty. Bamboo is nice and light so I'd be able to wear the shawl all-year-round. It is a DK weight, needle size 7-9, gauge 4-5 stitches per inch over a 4" square. I think I will need to buy a pair of bamboo circulars for this yarn though. I think the yarn might be a bit too slick to work with on my Knit Picks Options.
I told you I was a red person, right. Well, they had this kit on sale for Valentine's and the pattern just looked really nice, and I am a shawl person, so I went ahead and added that to my list. Actually, the sale was 15% off your total purchase! This yarn is hand painted - hand dyed 65% Wool-35%Silk Yarn. The colors of Cotton Candy, Wild Raspberry & Lipstick Red. It is a worsted weight, needle size 6-9, gauge 4-5 stitches per inch over a 4" square.
And lastly, yes, there was one more thing I ordered. 100% Alpaca *mmmmm* talk about dreamy yarn to work with! The colorway is called "Hummingbird" and it's a combo of Turquoise, Moss, Burgundy and Purple. It is a sport weight, needle size 4-6, gauge 5-6 stitches per inch over a 4" square.
I can't wait to cast-on with all my goodies! I wish I could do it this weekend, but I have got to work on my National Boards portfolio. And I'm suppose to be going with KozyKitty tomorrow to check out a new yarn shop down in Hyattsville called A Tangled Skein! I think after tomorrow that is the end of my yarn shopping for a few months. It is time for me to go into "Stash Busting" mode!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Heavy Heart today

It is with a heavy heart that I share this post today. I am sitting in my office at school watching the snow fall and trying not to cry when children are around. Eleanor, a co-worker, came to find me this morning. Our friend Gloria passed away at 8:05 AM. We are glad that she is at peace and no longer in any pain, but we will miss her dearly. Gloria was the type of teacher that truly cared for each and every one of her students, even the ones who were "pluck-plucks" A term used in our building for those students who can just pluck away at your nerves. She was kind natured and even spirited. There was never a morning were she didn't go out of her way to find me and say good morning. Gloria was the type of person who would always praise you for doing well. Every time we used to sit down to plan lessons together, she would compliment me on how I deal with the students. How I never give up on a student and constantly prompt them till they eventually get the right answer. She would always tell me how she can see certain students sit a little straighter, or participate a little more in my class when this strategy was used with the more timid and shy students. Gloria used to tell me that ever since she saw me use "wait time" in this manner that she started to use it in her classroom.

I remember one particular morning when we were talking about a project that we had just completed, she turned to me and said that she was very glad to have worked with me and that she has really been impressed with how I have developed as a teacher and as a media specialist. Gloria commented on how kid friendly and inviting the media center has become and how her students just love coming down here. She loved all the different reading programs I had done and all the special reading events I brought to our school. To a teacher who was only in her 5th years of teacher, do receive such praise and compliments from a seasoned veteran teacher such as herself, just made me teary. She was the first teacher who truly went out of her way to make sure I knew what a good job I was doing and just how much she had appreciated everything I had done and accomplished here. She will be missed greatly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Today's Goodies!

I got a call from Cloverhill Yarn Shop today that the alpaca yarn I ordered a few weeks ago was in and I could come by anytime to pick it up. Well, anytime was right after work! I had ordered 4 skeins of Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Worsted in this pretty blue-teal. This stuff is soooooooooooo soft. That's my biggest problem when I go into a yarn store. I'm a very tactile person and I touch everything and when yarns feel so nice I just have to buy some. It's a curse! Now I just need to find a pretty scarf pattern so that I can use this gorgeous feeling yarn.

While I was at the shop looking around, I picked up 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in the color Aubergine. I am debating on using this wool to make the Saffron Cables blanket from Fall 2006 Interweave Knits Magazine. I feel in love with this color last time I was at the store, and the color would look great with my living room decor. The yarnage and needle size is a little off from the pattern requirements, so I wanted to test it out before I shelled out the money I will need to purchase enough yarn for that blanket! Of course the notion that summer is around the corner kind of puts me off to wanting to start a blanket. Then again, I should probably think in terms that if I start this over the summer it will be short, then by fall it might just be long enough to cover and keep my legs warm as I work on it. I'm thinking of doing some sort of cable scarf with this yarn so that I can see how the cable details would look like. Not to hunt the pattern! Of course, I could always just look though my copy of The Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume Two: Cables and see what pretty cable designs are in there and create a pattern off of something in there.

Of course while I am typing this all up Frisco is snoring away behind me on my chaise lounger. I couldn't resist taking his picture. Yes, you might have noticed the bald spot on his belly. He seems to be allergic to something, I think it's new carpet *yikers* and he's been licking his tummy bald! I need to take him to the vet to see is they can prescribe some sort of antihistemine for him.

He was a little annoyed that the flash woke him from his slumber and he was letting me know that.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

What kind of yarn are you??

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!


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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Attention Demanding Kitty

Frisco is so funny sometimes. Lately,I have been very emotional and he always seems to know when I need some lovin'. Not to mention that I have been spending a lot of time on my computer because I am working on my National Board Certification. A lot of my time has been dedicated to this and I guess Frisco has been feeling neglected. Recently, Frisco has taken to jumping up on my chair and sitting on the arm rest. After about a minute, he will nudge me a little as if to say, "Hey mommy, I'm here!" I give him a little kiss to let him know I know he's there.

Usually that just isn't enough attention for him and he will put his front paws on my shoulder and peer over. "Mommy what are you doing that you can't pet me!" Can you tell by his expression that he doesn't find what I am doing very interesting either. Doesn't he have the most gorgeous green eyes! Right now National Boards feels like a huge boulder on my shoulders. I just can't wait to throw it off!

Then he's had enough waiting and starts nuzzling for more affection and attention. You would think that Frisco never gets any attention with the way he acts sometimes!

So anyway, after I took these pictures I gave him some attention and then posted this. Now he's sitting on the floor next to me meowing for more attention! I just can't win with him!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Prayer Shawl finished

Gloria's prayer shawl is complete. It is not to the dimensions that I had originally wanted for it, but time is not on my side and I didn't want to chance it being too late to give to her. I had cast on 249 stitches on size 11 needles. The pattern is simply *K3, P3,* repeat to last 3 stitches then K3. Every row. The colors blended nicely. When it came off the needles the shawl was about 6.5' long with some knotting fringe work on the ends. Can't really see that in the pictures.

I printed out 2 different prayers. a tag that listed the names of all the people who contibuted yarn to the shawl as well as a list of the colors and their meanings. I think Gloria will really appreciate it.
Gloria is home now. We are all just waiting for the news to come.