The Crafting Returns

10 09 2014

Out of the blue got into Legend of Korra and have been knitting on this Epic Blue Scarf From Hell (Using the Palindrome pattern from Ravelry) while mainlining episode after episode at night. While cables are easy, they are time consuming, and it’s easy to flub when there’s some incredible fight scene or new political drama happening on screen. The scarf has been an ongoing project for several months now, though sometimes it feels like years, and I am still not halfway through. The aim is to get it done by Christmas, but since it was LAST Christmas I was aiming for, I feel like my due date’s pretty much in the clear.


Also been reading, cooking, and panicking over the oncoming preparations for Back to School Night this Thursday, much of which involved fixing other people’s work and completely demolishing my own to rewrite. Furthermore, no one’s feeding the teachers, so at least this teacher has decided to bring an apple pie for the ranks (not parents; those guys are on their own). Just today I finished my own work, at long last, and now I can have at least one day off before beginning work for October. This nonsense of newsletters and calendars and so on took us less than a week to finish over the summer, yet I get the feeling that if I want to get March’s work done, I’d better start now.

I also made another shortbread. Came out pretty good, too.

August Ends

3 09 2014


I survived my first week of the new school year with two new students, two new teachers, and half a classroom less than I had managed with this past summer. It was terribly hectic, but not at all better or worse than I expected, and we all got along as merrily as one could hope by Friday. By September, presuming there will be no more major changes to the classroom or staff lineup, we might actually get things to go along as smoothly as they did most of this past summer.

And as a reward for having not throttled my coworkers, I spent some of the extended Labor Day weekend at Cod Creek, where I kayaked, biked, stargazed, and helped my father buy a boat that serves absolutely no practical purpose, but is a delight to ride. Watched the local blue herons, saw the milky way for the first time since I can remember, and got to know some of our neighbors at last, and overall, have come away feeling better, even with the mysterious migraine and lack of actual restful sleep.


IMG_20140831_103617866Someday soon I might get back to something like needlework…

6 Mile Ouch

20 08 2014

Went trail running again last weekend and somehow eked out 4 miles of running and another 2 of hiking back and realized only a day after the fact that maybe I wasn’t prepared for that kind of workout. And thus, half a week off running. I have the benefit of getting home early three out of two days, but will not be making much progress toward my 15-mile-a-week goal this time around. Just as well.

In other news, am doing little more than picking at the piano and reading book 6 of the Harry Potter collection; because while I do have better (and more creative) things to be doing with my time, I’d really rather spend this week on my tush in various comfy chairs.

Professional days Thursday and Friday allow myself and my fellow teachers to enjoy two days of presentations and classroom cleanup (sarcasm, there is nothing fun about either of these things) before the tedium of the fall semester begins. I find myself a little less enthusiastic about it than I was earlier, since a revamp in the lineup of teachers has made it so I am not, in fact, working with my friend, but with a woman who knows as much about toddlers as I do, apparently. I have the background of a few months being a primary caretaker for the general group, but even with my presence, the transition is proving to be difficult.

I’m figuring things will pan out and go smoothly by right around Christmas break.

Whatever. Look at some excellent cross stitches other people have done here: enhanced-buzz-14912-1404733367-4

Billy Goat Trail

13 08 2014

Phoenix is in town this week, and so Sunday he and I went on a scramble along the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls National Park in Maryland.





Lead Teacher

6 08 2014

babyreadsSo it happened. Six months into the gig, I’m no longer the substitute teacher in a position that’s about as steady and reliable as a pinto. I’m the lead afternoon teacher in the fall lineup of staffers! And have been all summer long, though no one bothered to tell me! Hah. Whatever; a raise is nothing to complain about, though now I’m fully responsible for the little terrors who are at that age when the ground and knees get really friendly.

No worries, though. Blood I can handle!

In other news, friend is coming up from Baton Rouge and I might have him do a scramble jog with me at Great Falls this Sunday. That’s always a fun time. The Billy Goat Trail has something like a 40 ft rock climb that’s more or less vertical. I wonder if I can run the whole thing…

No art or needlework lately. Been running and binge reading Harry Potter for the past month. Whoops?

Agent Orange and The Pirate 5k

30 07 2014

Way way back I mentioned I was running a 5k on the 12th of July, and so I did. I did it in about 35 minutes, which, considering I’m still fabulously out of shape, was pretty darn good for a first run. The ‘running team’ (which was a friend, Liz, and myself) both wore orange, and we drove up in my orange car. And so the name got started, now for races, another I run with and who wishes to wear the color can join Team Agent Orange. It’s more an awareness group that’s coming into being as a thought I entertain while driving to and from work between the moments of sheer terror of the other drivers and oncoming projectiles.

Took a week off from running, but am now back on it, logging a walk/jog during my half hour break at work, push ups, sit ups, and another mile or two at night whenever I get home from work. No visible results yet, though swinging toddlers around has gotten a lot easier. Kudos for arm strength, na?

I hope to have abs and an awareness for the team to be aware of by the fall/winter holidays. Just in time to binge eat and learn all about the joys of sub-zero running.


Kayaking for Perspective

18 06 2014

If you read any running magazine, you’ll hear the term ‘cross training’ at least once or twice per issue. But it isn’t just doing innumerable sit ups or weights, which, at least to me, can get old really fast no matter how nice the music is. There are so many other sports you can incorporate into your fitness routine, and better yet, fun weekending plans. If it’s hot and you’re a swimmer, hit the pool, or if you’re a hiker who loves leaf viewing in the fall, grab those hiking boots and hit the trails. Or, if you’re like me and happen to have a brand spanking new kayak, head down to the river and get paddling.IMG_20140614_095535049

And that’s what I did not once, but twice in the one day I had on the river before being packed up and reminded that, oh yes, I do happen to have a job and responsibilities…and laundry. For having been out of it most of last week (too busy and distant to hit the gym to train and too zonked at the end of the day to want to bother), it was a wonderful change of pace and really helped me fall back into my fitness groove, it seems, for the rest of the week.

For instance, I was concerned with speedwork for most of the past four or five weeks, as well as outdoor training, as a prep for the 5k race in July. The thermometer here in Maryland is already regularly soaring and I’m still the cool-weather-loving chick who’ll wilt at the very idea of sunshine. But for all that I achieved a bunch, like beating my personal best to get to a 9.12 minute mile, losing five pounds of unnecessary weight, gaining a lot more in muscle, and running outside without collapsing, my endurance tanked, and getting to only two miles was a trial each and every time I got on the treadmill. Running wasn’t enjoyable; it was work, and that wasn’t what I was doing this for. The goal for the race was and still is to simply get through it, to start and finish and do as well as I could despite less than ideal conditions, not to beat a certain time or make a personal best. This is the first race, after all, and the only competition I was identifying was against my unmitigated laziness that was still telling me to get back on the couch.

So I took today easy and aimed not for a best time, not even a good time, but just to get from mile 0 to mile 4 and stop only because I wanted to, not because I needed to. So as the best marathoners will tell you, I started at a pace that felt, after weeks of running full out, insanely slow, and kept it slow. And you know what? I made the four miles with a smile and probably could have kept going to five without a problem. So I’ll pat myself on the back tonight and couch surf it with Game of Thrones and call it a good job.

Next week I’m aiming for five miles at an easy pace.

Beth Morris

A third year student studying Fine Art at Cardiff Met

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