Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Not a Cell Phone

      I have mentioned before that I have somewhat banned cell phones in a couple of my classes. It doesn't work out perfectly, and I won't fight it constantly if they are actually doing their work, or have finished their work, but I did provide them with lots of things to do that are not playing on their phones. There are wordsearches, coloring sheets, books of both word searches and coloring sheets, card games, and several puzzles. Yesterday one of the kids tried to tackle the Jurassic Park puzzle. This was one of the dollar store puzzles I picked up, and even with only 100 pieces, it's a pretty hard puzzle. There is just SO much green! But he was working at it. He said he thought some pieces were missing and I came to look, found the rest of the edge pieces, and then stood there helping him with the puzzle, upsize down, for probably a solid 10 minutes. It may have been one of the most relaxing times I have had since I started teaching. I am sure someone is wondering why we have 10 minutes (or more) of down-time. But I really do need to give these kids their work in pretty small doses. They do seem to be learning the stuff this way, some faster than others. And for the ones that finish quickly, there are lots of things to do that are not playing on their phones. 

     So yesterday was the first day back at school after 4 and a half days. Mostly it was a good day, though I did have a confrontation with a kid who was doing something in the back of the class that they thought they could get away with because I was in the hall for a second. It resulted in a search, the student calling me a liar (not much sets me off more than being called a liar, which I am not) and then me overhearing a couple of them talking about knowing where to hide it because they can't be searched there. They seem to forget I am not deaf. So when they again tried to call me a liar I said that I knew that they had it, and just because they knew to hide it where they couldn't be searched, you know you did wrong, and don't try to say I made it up. I got the head down " I don't know what you're talking about". Teaching is hard enough without dealing with this crap. 

    I came home and got to work on the medieval fantasy doll again. I have to say, I really like how she is coming out. But I will share more about her tomorrow. And I will pick a winner for the set of boots sometime soon. Maybe tomorrow, or Friday, or this weekend. I need at least a few minutes to do it.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Cleaning Again

    For someone who is not currently into model horse showing, at all, I sure do spend a lot of time cleaning my tack room. I left a mess in it and I decided that it was time to clean it. Again. I am still considering selling a few more tack pieces, but I haven't fully decided on that just yet. 
      When I have a nameplate halter for one of my horses, and I sell that horse, I have always kept the halter. Yesterday I hung them up on my ribbon wire in the tack room. Maybe it's a little bit sad that the horses are gone (or in one case, will be soon) but I can still enjoy the fun I had with them. I have so many show photos, both from live and photo shows, and I like how the halters look up with the rosettes. 
      I also decided that one of my vampire girls is going to hang out in the tack room. Now I can enjoy my nice wicker chair that I bought from Terri Wright. I spent a bunch of time making this lady some underthings so she could be just a little bit more modest (just a little bit) and then I put a cat on her lap so the amount of time I spent on panties was sort of wasted time. But whatever. So I have one of these dolls on display and I put the other one away, still in the package. 
     Yesterday was my birthday and I took a personal day so I could do whatever I wanted to do. One of the things I wanted to do was have a nap. So I did. Then I wanted to take my sweet time drying my hair and reading. So I did. I also went shopping all by myself. And it was nice. I watched NCIS with Ethan and we hung out. And that was also nice. I didn't have to cook, Ethan did that, which was very nice. Elecktra came over for dinner and washed the dishes. Basically a perfect day. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Editing Takes Forever

     Yesterday I didn't have school. It was a full day professional development, but since I am actually a paraprofessional, who just happens to be teaching right now, I didn't have to go to that one. So I worked on my Breyerfest workshop video. I am sure there are people who are SHOCKED that the workshops have been announced and I am only just making the video now. But I am also sure there are people who are impressed that I worked on it "already", lol. 

     My workshop is on my easy on-off splint and fetlock boots. I have not made the boots in years, don't think I want to anymore, so I had no problem deciding to give the patterns to Breyer, and make a tutorial showing how to actually make the boots. Here are some notes on things:

     My phone and my laptop don't play nicely together. Often. It took over an hour to upload a handful of video clips, the longest being just over 16 minutes. I could not load them directly from the phone to the computer. I had to do a workaround and load them to Google Drive (from an app on my phone) and then download them from Drive to my computer. Huge pain, huge annoyance, huge time suck. And then there is editing. It takes a lot of time. Especially if you want to do at least a reasonably good job. Up until this point I have edited exactly one video; my Breyerfest how to use dolls seminar from last year. Last year I was learning to use the software so that was a special kind of hell. This year I mostly remember how to do everything I need to, so things are a bit smoother. And I know better how to record to have what I need. If you screw up what you are saying, "reset" as best you can to where you were when you messed up, and say it again. Some slips stay, makes me sound more human (but am I really???) some things will definitely get fixed. 

     So way too much time on the computer, lots of time working on this workshop in one way or another, and I all of a sudden have a set of fetlock boots and skid boots that I do not need. Seems like the perfect time to have a give away! I like comments so please, comment something on THIS post. Tell me what you like about my blog, your favorite part of Breyerfest, or something you are looking forward to doing if it ever gets warm (Gail, I know it is already warm by you. Can you feel my jealousy?). I will then use a random number chooser and pick a winner, who then just needs to send me their address, and I will send them the boots. 

     Fun fact, it's my birthday. I took the day off for my mental health. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

A Very Cool Surprise

     Last week I got a Facebook message from Jason Schiermeyer, who owns White Elephant Toys. He said he needed my address because he was sending a surprise. That was intriguing.
    A few days ago these ladies showed up in the mail.
     The cool thing about these dolls, for me, is I had a lot to do with the prototypes. I did the sample paint work on the face and haired the head. I also made the prototype of the dress. 

     It is very cool to see the things I had a part in in production! I will find a cool place for this doll. And maybe make her some panties…

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Ugly Stage is Real

     I have an unusual doll in the works again. Sort of medieval, sort of fantasy. This particular doll means I need to make armor again. And making armor requires fire. And craft foam.
    These few pieces took several hours to make. Doll armor is pretty cool looking, but it sure takes a lot of time to make. Still, this was good progress.
    I managed to also get some color on the pieces. You need more than fire to turn craft foam into armor. You also need metallic paint. These look better in any lighting that is not my nighttime kitchen, but I am definitely pleased with the progress.

     This doll is part of an order for 2 dolls. I decided to start with the harder doll. The other should be much easier, will take less time, and there won’t be any risk of burning myself with that one. I’m hoping I can make decent progress tomorrow.

Friday, March 25, 2022

New Home

     Bootlegger went to live with my friend Jessica. And I am really happy about it. I have not felt like showing, at all, have not shown Bootlegger much in recent years anyway, and I felt it was time to let him go. I was sad when Jessica asked to buy him, but also relieved. She told me he is one that was on her list of horses she would love to own. I was thrilled he was going to a great home, she was thrilled it was her home, it seems like a win-win all around. 
    The other day I got a message from Jessica saying that Bootlegger was out for delivery. Then later I got a message that he arrived and he was perfect. Big sigh of relief from me! It is mildly terrifying shipping a valuable horse. Jessica was working (stupid work) so didn't have time to tack up and play with Bootlegger until later. But then I got this cool photo. 
     It could potentially have made me sad again, but it made me really happy. I know he is a toy horse, but he's a fairly special toy horse, that I had for a lot of years, and it was good to see him getting played with again. And what a gorgeous photo!
     So then another day, or two (I lost track), passed and I got a couple more photos, including this one. 
     While it is not really at all the same, it reminded me of this natural trail photo I took of Bootlegger, which might be just about my favorite picture I ever took of him. Even the bridge in the background is far enough away that it works. At least in my opinion. 
     Jessica takes some really excellent photos and this next one is no exception. I LOVE this so much!
     And again, while it is not at all the same, it brought to mind this photo I took of Bootlegger. Careful Jessica! Clearly Bootlegger can be a mischievous horse!
    I am really glad to see that Bootlegger made it safely to his new home and that he is bringing joy to another collector. Not to say I didn't like him anymore, I totally did, but he is obviously making Jessica happy, and THAT brings me joy. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Small Happy Things

     My good friend, Brandi, is the NHS advisor. She sent an email to the school that there were cupcakes in the copy room. I knew of these cupcakes because I had already been to the copy room. Her email said they were leftover from the NHS induction ceremony and there were also flowers from it. Well, I can't have the cupcakes but I like flowers. This silly text exchange came out of it. 
     I did NOT eat the flowers, in case anyone was wondering. I took half of them and left half for someone else. That someone was likely my friend Leah, who came in to make some copies, and I shared my joy at getting some flowers. It really does not take much to make me happy. Good friends, second-hand flowers, it was a good day. 

      I got home and there was a package on the table for me. A tiny package. It was my mini Fireheart model. These were sent free to members of the 2021 premier club in good standing. I sold my full-size Fireheart since he was BIG and was not going to be a particularly versatile performance horse, but I have room for the small version. At least for now. I am still in major purge mode so I might decide to rehome him sooner or later, but for now he can stay and look cute. 
     Yesterday was a pretty decent day. I had a mostly good day at school, with a bit of frustration since in one of the classes many members were extraordinarily upset that new material we were working on was not immediately easy to understand. That is why I make them use fill-in notes, instead of just handing them finished notes. I want them to engage with what we are learning. I also want them to follow along, which I repeated over and over. I want them to ask questions when they don't understand, but I also want them to pay attention when I am explaining things. Not everything is simple. Sometimes you have to work at a thing, especially a new thing, until it clicks. Some things just take more work than others. 
     Speaking of that, Travis and I stopped at Joann's after school and I picked up some supplies. Some was for other random sewing projects, then some glue (because I always need glue) and something to work on not an average doll. I made some small pieces, they took a long time, and I still have a long way to go. But progress was made, and I am proud of my hard work. It was a good day. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Maybe the Last

      I have mentioned before, youth dolls are very tricky. They are very hard to use right out of the box and need a lot of things done to make them into a good rider doll. And even after they are finished there really is no telling if they will fit in whatever saddle you have for them. The absolute best fit I have is a doll that was built to fit a particular saddle. Everything else is kind of a crap-shoot whether or not it comes together. That, and the amount of extra time youth dolls take, are just a couple of reasons I don't like making them. This one really may be the last. I do have one I was working on remaking for myself. At this point it has basically turned into just making a completely new doll. We'll have to see if I ever get around to finishing her. 
      My smallest saddle is out for repair, and I don't have any time these days, so I decided to just plop this little girl on her horse bareback. She rides very well, even without a saddle. That's an important thing for a rider doll. This doll fought me the whole way, but I got her done, packed, and off to her new home. 
     Yesterday was another weird day. I feel like I say that a lot. I have been in education for 6 years and have definitely had some weird days, but I feel like this school year has maybe been the weirdest. That is even taking into account remote learning. There, I said it. The kids, even the older ones, just seem to want everything done for them. Literally FOR them. They won't get up to get a pencil from the cup on my desk if they need to borrow one. They want me to bring them one. I spent over an hour going through the gradebook and making lists of makeup work today. Since it was MCAS day, and the schedule was weird (and I knew a bunch of kids would skip school) I decided to give all the classes a make up day. Term ends on the 31st. I made the lists... and very few of the students did a thing. They didn't want to get up and get their folders, and if they did and something wasn't in there they just gave up. One said none of the work was in there (when I looked in the folder at least 5 of the missing assignments were there), another played with all the fidget toys in the basket on my desk and expected the para to go through the folder and find things. And some of these same kids seem surprised if they are not doing well. They say that they had 110% with the old teacher. No, they were not making it up. I grade on all sorts of things, including effort. If you put in no effort, you get a lower grade. If you are in class and do nothing for weeks at a time, you get a really low effort grade, and that can't be made up. But I also don't give a lot of quizzes and they are only 30% if the grade. Everyone is allowed and encouraged to use their notes for every assignment in a unit AND the quizzes. I have given them every opportunity to do well, many of them are just choosing not to. Because I won't just give them the answers (even though having the notes RIGHT THERE is giving them the answers). I also won't give them piles of extra credit that give them grades that shouldn't be a thing. I'm tired. 
     Anyway, it's almost the weekend. I need to take a half day Friday because Travis has a half day. Monday is PD, but not one I have to go to, so I get Monday off, and Tuesday is my birthday, which I have requested off this year, for my mental health. I am almost never out, I really hope I get my day. 



      I listed a bunch of sales stuff on my Facebook page over the weekend. This set of boots hasn’t been claimed yet. They are $30 plus shipping for the set.

      I stayed home sick yesterday. I had some stomachs issues the night before and with the bug going around I didn’t want to risk it. I got Travis I. The bus, went back to bed, and after some extra sleep I felt a bit better. In the afternoon I got to work on finishing up an order and got started on another. Even though I was absent, and a substitute, I still got an email about the students who apparently skipped the class. It’s a very bizarre thing being a long term sub.

      Today I am back at work. We have MCAS testing today so the morning classes are the only classes today and are in the afternoon. It’s back to being cold, but at least for now it’s sunny. And Wednesday, so kind of almost the weekend.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Customer Photos

     I absolutely LOVE getting performance photos from customers! I even enjoy a quick and sloppy shot of a new doll just plopped haphazardly on their horse and standing on a kitchen counter. But when I get some really cool, really nice shots like the ones I got the other day from Christy Greene, it's something special.
     I really love this shot of the sliding horse! I have always been fascinated by people's "dust clouds". I know it is often animal hair, but I kind of think maybe Christy uses something different. I don't really know, but I know it looks nice. 
     I also really love the back shot of the team. I loved how the design on this top came out and seeing it "in action" is extra fun. 
    Christy sent me some other photos as well. I like this one a lot because it reminds me of a much nicer version of sales photos I used to take. When I was taking photos (when I bothered to put the dolls on horses... I have been slacking in that) I would take pics from the side, but it would be mostly doll, not much horse. And this photo, which looks like it was taken in portrait mode on an iPhone (or Christy just knows how to use a real camera... a skill I barely possess) is really cool. I love outdoor photos because you really can't get a more realistic lighting than shooting in the outdoors. 
    And this photo just looks like a really nice pleasure photo. The doll looks fairly relaxed, the horse looks comfortable, they look like they are working well together. And it makes me happy. 
     I had another good day at school yesterday. I am working really hard at not expecting bad behavior. Bad behavior happens so often it is hard not to expect it, but I am trying. I had a couple of good days recently. All day. One of them was on a full moon, which has got to be some kind of miracle. Today and tomorrow we have MCAS, so the kids have half days (unless they are testing). I hate proctoring, it is insanely boring, and I may have to rethink a lot of my lesson plans. Just for the fact that a lot of my kids will likely skip school because they feel coming in for a half day (which counts as a full day) is a waste of time. It doesn't make sense to start new things if most of the class is missing. So we'll see. But so far my week is good and I am pleased with that. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Packing Peanuts Are Expensive

       Since Bootlegger was an expensive horse, he needed to have very safe travel accommodations. So I went out and bought a brand new (overpriced) box and a couple of bags of packing peanuts from Staples. Packing peanuts are so expensive! They were "only" like, $7something a bag, but the bags are way smaller than they used to be, I am almost sure of it. I used to be able to ship probably 2 traditional sized models with one bag of peanuts. Now it takes 2 bags (plus an extra shopping bag of saved leftover peanuts) to ship a model. True, I did not need a box quite this big for Bootlegger. But I wanted to make sure he had plenty of space and a box that was a bit larger seemed better than one that was maybe not quite as large as it should be. I know there are arguments against boxes that are too large, but I think this one will be great. I put an entire bag of peanuts down, then the wrapped horse, the NAN cards (I didn't forget them!) and another full bag of peanuts. The box didn't pass my shake test (I could hear stuff moving too freely) so I added a grocery bag of peanuts and that is good. So everything should be set for Bootlegger to have a nice safe trip to his new home. I am over being a bit sad about it. Packing him up wasn't even hard on me, I just made sure to do a really good job. It's been a bit since I have shipped a resin.
    So my yesterday was pretty good. I got Bootlegger off to his new home (I love that Staples has 7 days a week UPS drop off AND they gave me coupons!). I went over to help Elecktra with some stuff in her apartment and that was really great. She has been struggling to get things organized and still had a lot of stuff (still does) in boxes. Unlike a lot of people starting out, she has A LOT of stuff. We went to those estate sales and got her so many things. So she has ALL the pots, pans, dishes, glasses, mugs, silverware, and bakeware. And some still needed to be washed so it could find it's place. So I got down to it, had her get me things as needed, or move things, broke down boxes, made good use of space, and at the end of about an hour (maybe) things looked a whole lot better. It's cool what happens when you break down the shipping boxes and move stuff to the edges of the room, lol. 
    The weather has been a bit better lately, and while nothing amazing is expected this week, I think we are finally creeping into Spring. And I am ready for it!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

A New Day

      Recently, I have done something that a few years back I never imagined I would do. I sold some of my horses. Now I have sold plenty of horses over the years, but not usually horses that I have had for a very long time, that I have had a great time showing at one time or another, usually just horses that I don't love or don't show well for me. But last week I listed Enchanted Eve for sale. And she has a buyer. So this lovely lady is no longer mine. My favorite showing with Enchanted Eve was when I had my side saddle that Jennifer Buxton made. I had some really tough times years ago and has to sell that set, so pretty much she has hung out on the shelf. 
      Just a couple of days ago I did something that I was pretty sure I would NEVER do. I sold Bootlegger. I had him listed and within a relatively short amount of time I had an inquiry. I said yes, and then I cried. Real tears for my toy horse. Some of it was from relief. He is going to an amazing person who will love him and show the crap out of him, I am sure. She also gave me a buy-back offer, in case I have buyer's remorse. And I know her and I know she is not a scammer who will claim the horse has issues and demand her money back. So many scammers these days!
       I have shown Bootlegger quite a lot since I got him. I have enjoyed owning him, but I have been neglecting him for years now too. I would photo show him, but just with pics I already had (I did get one new photo, about 2 years ago, which was fun!) and I rarely took him to live shows. And really, the last live show I went to was in 2019! I have been reminding myself a lot lately that these models are toys. Lovely art pieces, but the way I use them, they are toys. And toys are meant to be played with. That is what I learned from Toy Story. 
      So I am a bit sad I sold one of my favorite horses, but I do have other horses. I have horses that I show much more consistently, when I do feel like showing. I am fine now. But it is still a little surprising to me that I sold him. I remember having a conversation years ago (so many years ago!) I think with Darleen Stoddard, and saying he was a never sell. Well, never say never. I may also go after the tack room again. 

    Yesterday was a super lazy day for me. I didn't do a whole lot. I finished a book, started another, watched a movie with Ethan, and went to Staples to buy shipping material for Bootlegger. I went through a bag of hobby stuff in the car, and I am pretty sure that the random small things are going to go to someone for a super bargain price, just to move the stuff out. I need to get around to getting a photo. And I think I am going to sell my Breyer tent set that I bought and have never used. Other things might go as well.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Something Different

     Yesterday, in chemistry, we did something a bit different. As in, we did the same thing we have been doing, counting atoms in compounds, but we got up and moved around to do it. I taped up the problems all over the room. It gave everyone the opportunity to get up and move around during class. Or to put it another way, it forced people to get up and move around during class. Most of them really liked it, though the change of perspective messed with them a bit, they were forgetting how to do the different types of problems. But everyone seemed to have fun. They worked hard, asked for help when they needed it, and helped each other out. And that student is not on her phone, she is using the calculator to do part of the work. It was a good class and overall a really good day. Even my class that is often doing their best to give me an aneurism was super good yesterday. I liked it. I wish all the days were like that!
     Yesterday was a glorious 74 degrees, sunny, and just perfect. Even at 10:00 at night it was still really warm out. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, but we will be back to chilly (not horrible, just a bit chilly) weather for at least another 10 days. We're expecting all temps in the 50's. It could be worse, for sure. Yesterday I chose to go out with Travis and enjoy the lovely day. Maybe today I will finish up that youth doll that is so close to being done. Or maybe I will do nothing. I definitely need some do-nothing days every now and then. But the doll is SO CLOSE I might just have to do it. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Breyer Project

     The cat's out of the bag. I'm doing a workshop for Breyer. It is one of the pre-recorded ones, I won't be at Breyerfest in person, but I am still doing a workshop. And now that the information has been posted,  I'm allowed to talk about it. I decided a while ago, maybe even a couple of years now, that I just don't love making horse boots. But I developed the patterns, the boots are super easy on-off and can fit a variety of models, why not share the how-to part so other people can make them? Sure, I could have put it in my blog, but what's the fun in that? So now I have to actually sit down and make some horse boots. It's been a little bit since I have done that. 
     There is quite a variety of workshops available for Breyerfest weekend. Many of them are in person, but there are also some that will be streamed live (how fun!) and then there are also 10 prerecorded workshops. I think Breyer has come up with a fun way to make this a very inclusive event for everyone. Even those of us, like me, who can't be there in person. 
     It's Friday, I am thrilled, and I am totally ready for the weekend. Sunday is the first official day of Spring and I am ready for it. Hopefully I can get some more items photographed and listed for sale this weekend. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Body Work

     Well I did it. Yesterday I managed to work on rebuilding the body for the youth doll I need to make. Right out of the box the Breyer youth dolls are really not very good. They are often loose-jointed, they don't ride well, their ankles don't bend, they look like kids, but also have boobs... the list goes on. So what I do is basically destroy them to make them better. After all, matter cannot be destroyed, it can only change form. Making a Breyer doll change form take a lot of work. 
     I have remade Breyer dolls in multiple ways over the years. This is just the way I am going to do it this week. I cut off the ankles, and took a small chunk out of them. They were weirdly long anyway. I drilled a hole all the way through so I would be able to put the feet back on with some sculpting wire. I will add more foot to the feet before I get the boots on too. The boobs came off, the arms came off and got remade. So many things happened to this doll to help her be a better doll. When she is finished and dressed she will ride nicely, be able to bend at the ankles, hold her arms down properly at her sides (instead of having her elbows sticking out) and be able to look up for over fences (or just where she is going). She will be a much better doll. Maybe I can finish getting her dressed later today. Stranger things have happened. 
     Yesterday was a decent day at school. The classes went well, the kids worked hard (pretty much everyone!) in all of their classes. I had participation in the classes where I asked for it. My wild class was pretty good overall. Not a bad day. Full moon tomorrow. I wonder how today will go, lol. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


     I did it. I managed to finally get the cowboy done. I feel like he should have been done last week, at least, but he's done now, so that is something. 
    The customer asked if he sits in a saddle well. so I put a saddle on a horse and got some pics. The beefy cowboys look GREAT on a horse, they look a little bit goofy standing around. But they definitely can ride. Anyway, I finally made a small bit of progress and I am pretty happy about it. 
     Yesterday I also made a bunch of progress at school. I have everything planned out just about through the end of the month. A couple of classes need a few more days planned. I also went and had a copying marathon during my prep. So I have all of the copied materials ready as well. I think today's prep plans are to scan all of the stuff so I can get it up on Google Classroom. Depending on how well (or quickly) that goes I may also be able to start actually scheduling assignments. But we just don't know. I think the next step after that is to figure out what comes next in biology and chemistry. But I should be all set for a while, I have lots of great stuff from Laura. And once I know what to work on Teachers pay Teachers supplies a lot more stuff. 
     So yesterday was not a horrendous day, though it could have gone that way. I did have one fairly major issue and I did have some kids who were sort of trying to behave, but also some that feel they can do whatever they want and the rules don't apply to them. I just have to make it through 3 more months. I can do this. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

More Tack

     Yesterday I got some more tack in the mail. While I was contemplating selling off a whole bunch of stuff I was completing an order with Jana Skybova for some pink and black jumper boots. I have been wanting a pink and black set from her for a while and was really happy to get them. They are also not inspiring me to want to show. In fact, I took this photo, obviously without even removing them from the ziplock baggie, and I put them in the tack room. I don't know when they will get on a horse. Now is not that time. And I am still considering going through the tack room again and culling a bit more. But first I think I will get after the random bag of hobby and miniature stuff that is in the back of my car. With yesterday's shipping I have a noticeable amount more space in the car. Which is wonderful. For anyone that doesn't know, the back of my car is a storage area because we just don't have any space here. So I am going to keep working at that and see how much more I can let go of. I am definitely enjoying the purging. Spring is coming, time to get the clear out kicked into high gear!
     There are things that baffle me about my students. Like when I give them a class day to do make up work, tell them that is is NOT a free period and if they owe me stuff they will get a zero if they are not working on things, and then many choose to do nothing. Not one, but several reminders of these things. I can also guarantee that 3 days before term ends a bunch of them are going to demand a list of things they owe, without having once looked in their folder (where I put nearly everything they miss when they are absent) or checking aspen. You know, because what I really dream about at night is grading at the last second. It really keeps me up at night hoping that I will get the chance to low-key panic about not having enough time to get it done (because I am sure as hell not doing it at home for free). And yes, those two very sarcastic statements sort of cancel each other out. They make as much sense as the decisions of many of my students. 
     Other than being completely confused about the decisions of my high school students, it was not a bad day yesterday. There was the chance for one of the classes to be pretty horrific, but I ended up sending a kid out for being disruptive. If I ask you to stop meowing (I wish I was making that up), that does not mean you start barking. And if I ask you to listen because I don't want to talk over you, that is not your invitation to argue with me about every little thing. So my day could have, and has been, so much worse. But it was only Monday. There is still plenty of time for things to go downhill. 
     I of course got no doll work done yesterday. It was laundry day and I knew that wouldn't happen. Hopefully today will be super productive. I'll let you know tomorrow. 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

More Shipping

      So what else did I do this weekend? I sold stuff. Which is SO much more involved than that. I listed stuff for sale that I already had pulled out and taken photos of. And then after messaging back and forth with buyers I packed things, weighed, measured and added postage. I also went out and bought a couple of overpriced boxes from CVS. Good times. And now I am going to stress until the packages arrived because one of the buyers seems very particular about things. So hopefully everything goes well. I have a little bit less stuff than I did last week and I am OK with that. I also still want to keep at it. I want to go through more things, with a brutal eye, and pull things out. I know I have downsized before, but now I want to REALLY downsize. Simplifying my life sounds really nice right now. 

     In other news, I spent a bit of time with my kids this weekend. I spend a lot of time with Travis all the time, but I see Elecktra less now. Did I say she moved out? I know when she first moved I asked if I could share and she wasn't ready just yet. But it's been a bit now, maybe a month, and she has been in her own place. All of her people also now know, which was why she wanted me to keep it to myself before. Anyway, it is cool and sucks all at the same time. I miss seeing her every day. But it's so cool that she is out adulting. I have never lived alone. I have thought about it and I don't think I have even ever stayed in a place by myself at night. At least not that I can remember. Anyway, I got to spend some time with Elecktra. She and Travis and I all went out for a bit. Definitely nice. The weather was cold and windy, but sunny. So it LOOKED nice as long as you had the heat blasting in the car. Tomorrow will be a high of 51 and the entire 10 day is 51 or warmer. We are one week from Spring, I am 5 days from the weekend, and 5 weeks from April vacation. Yes, these are things I think about and calculate. And I may or may not have a stack of calendar pages on my desk at school with the countdown to the end of the year (I totally do). I wish I was enjoying the job, but mostly I am not. The kids are so entitled and ungrateful at best and wild and unruly at the worst. I just want to teach them some science and math. That didn't seem like too much to ask. 
     I meant to make a cowboy at the end of last week and that didn't happen. I thought about working on him this weekend but that also didn't happen. Today is laundry day and that is definitely not going to happen. Maybe, hopefully, tomorrow I can get him finished up. I have many aspects of him started, so hopefully I can stop slacking off and just finish. And then I need to rebuild a youth doll so I can get her finished. After that I have a couple of western pleasure dolls and an unusual doll... and I have no time or focus. THIS more than anything else is why I am currently thinking that I should consider not taking commissions. That and sometimes it would just be more fun to make whatever I want. Or nothing if that is what I want. I still don't know what the future holds. So I will keep on teaching and making dolls. And hoping for sunshine. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Lazy Weekend

     Technically, I am a professional photographer. Since I have been the paid photographer at multiple weddings. But before someone corrects me in the comments, I understand completely that, usually, being a paid professional means that is your main source of income. And being a professional doesn't mean you necessarily even make money at the thing, but you likely have very complete knowledge on the topic. Anyway, the only point to that is to say that I often take really crappy photos. Some of it was because the camera I had, that was a really good camera when I bought it, became much less good over the years. And some of it is because I don't always know the best way to take a really good photo. But sometimes I can catch a really excellent photo. Or, as in the case of the above photo, I can crop it down to the essential elements that make it a really excellent photo. To me, this photo is all about connections. Travis is connecting with his horse (Scooby). The instructor, whose name I have now forgotten (but it might be Anna), is connected to both Travis and Scooby. Connections are where therapy begins. Therapeutic riding is very much about connections. This blog post isn't. I just needed a photo so the post would not suck. All posts need photos. And I happen to like this one a lot. 
     As the title of the post states, it has been a lazy weekend so far. Travis and I went and got the weekend errands done on Friday, instead of me working on a doll like I probably should have, which left Saturday open to doing nothing if that was what I wanted. The weather was horrible, we started off with rain, which switched over to sleet, then switched to snow and back to sleet. And it was cold. After a couple of days in the 50's, cold, winter weather is just awful. Not that I enjoy it at the best of times. I want Gail's "cold" 80 degree day. That sounds nice. 
     So the weather was bad and I had no plans to go anywhere. I put more colors in my hair, since they faded out so quickly this time around. I don't know if they are just not getting into the hair anymore or if maybe *gasp* Overtone changed their formula and it's not as good. But it does not seem to have quite the staying power that it did years ago. Some colors are better than others, but it really fades super fast now. Makes me sad. Other than putting colors in my hair I thought about working on a doll. That didn't happen. I thought about going through the tack room or props bin to see what else I might want to let go of. That also didn't happen.              What I ended up doing was reading. A lot. And it was nice. It was not useful to anyone but it sure did make me happy. And I am into that sort of thing. I think I'll do it more often. The book I am reading is about mythology. It has a variety of stories from all sorts of sources, with a bit of analysis of the author's opinion of the meaning of the story. Funny enough, the first story was about the origin of stories and why they are important to us. Stories give us connections to our past. So I guess maybe this post was about connection. That is an interesting turn of events that I didn't plan on. I am looking forward to reading more of the stories and seeing how they can connect to my life. That should be fun. 


Friday, March 11, 2022

Resins and Customs

     I'm still in a downsizing and simplifying mood. So I've decided that I am going to let go of some more hobby stuff. Today I have a variety of resins and customs. I will potentially have some more tack and maybe props soon too. If I can get motivated to start digging through everything. I have a lot of stuff. I have more photos of all of these horses if anyone is interested. Shipping is extra. If you are interested please email me at

       First up is mini Hazel sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn and painted by Nikki O'Neil. This little horse is stunning and was featured in one of Nikki's calendars several years ago. I am pretty sure she has a NAN card or two from me actually showing her in halter once or twice. 
Next up is Recoloso sculpted by Dagmar Anderson and painted by Liesl Dalpe. This horse is curio scale (I think? Between mini and classic)
      This one was a bit harder for me, but this girl doesn't really get shown, even when I feel like showing (which I don't). I think it's time to let her go to someone who will get her dressed up to play. Enchanted Even has a bunch of NAN cards in performance and I am almost sure she has something in halter, but I have to dig the cards out. She has recently been professionally touched up. Sculpted by Carol Williams and Painted by Angelica Nelson. 
        Here is a great opportunity. Breyerfest is in person again and here is a custom Breyer you could show at Breyerfest live! Custom Catch Me repositioned and painted by Julie Brooks. I do have show photos if someone was also interested in photo showing this guy. 

     I go back and forth about this one. I bought Purdy Zippin Chick, customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy, during quarantine of 2020. I saw her (she's a CM Strapless in case you couldn't tell) and fell in love. Since Breyerfest of 2020 was on line I could show in the show, but I needed a custom Breyer. I was so excited... until I found out I could not show her in the Breyerfest show because she has previously champed or reserved champed, something like that. I have to say though, this horse is a performance machine. She is good for pretty much everything. I DO have show photos, but some of them are not the best (because you can tell she is on a slightly too-small-to-hide-it-table). I would not be sad if she didn't sell, but I would also be happy for her to go to someone who can bring her out and show her. She's super cool. 

      This last one is a Copperfox mini resin pony that was painted by me. Her paintwork is not awesome, I still have not figured out how to get a buckskin to not look so flat (#goals). Basically selling this one at body price. I really do want less stuff. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Mission Accomplished

     I feel accomplished. But also sore, tired, and I have a headache again. Those are not related though. I feel accomplished because I finally got the misting air freshener open on Angelique's desk. I have been trying for weeks, at least. I get to school before she does so I like to turn on the lamps and make her a cup of tea while I am making my cup of tea. I have been trying to also turn on the mister, but it has not been willing to open for me. Yesterday I finally did it! I was so proud. 
    Most of the day was just fine, nothing major good or major bad. I, again, had kids in a class absolutely refusing to use their notes for the assignment they are working on. The ones that a) used their notes, b) asked for help, or c) used their notes AND asked for help all did really well. The ones that refused everything and rushed through did less well. I can't make them want to do a good job. I just really wish they didn't rush through their work as quickly as possible. The entire point of today's assignment was to make them look over their notes again. *sigh*
     I also had a kid ask me, while they were being fairly horrible, how I put up with them. I ignore them quite a lot, that is how I do it. But random nonsense (and really loud noises) get through. Which is why I have a headache again. But today is Friday. Just one more day...
     The only bit of doll work I told myself I had to do yesterday was dremeling a bunch of dolls. And I managed it. I have a cowboy in the works, a youth doll, which will likely be the last youth doll I ever do for an order (I really hate them) and another youth doll for myself since mine has now gotten messed up twice while I was fixing her. I also have a couple of Yvonne type dolls prepped, I have one western pleasure doll coming up and I am thinking I will make a random one on one of the Lena dolls. That will be fun for me. So that is all happening relatively soon. 
     So I'm in kind of a weird mood. Still. I am thinking I want to really dig into the hobby stuff and see if there is more I want to let go of. I have a lot of stuff and pretty much no interest at the moment. I wonder if some resins or customs are next. It might happen. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

A Week and a Half

     So it turns out a week and a half is as long as I could make it after the February break before classes started acting up and making me crazy and tired again. It was a good run, though far too short. Now I have to wait another 5 and a half weeks until April break. And I am tired. 
     The problem I have is even with the constant reminders, and with me actually taking phones away, the kids are often still on their phones. I don't like this game. I also don't like that kids think they can come strolling into class whenever they want. And when I ask if they have a pass (which they usually don't) I often get attitude about it. I'm tired of putting in maximum effort to try to teach these kids to just have them talk when I am talking, take out their phones as soon as my back is turned, or not even bother to come to my class. Or come in late and expect me to reteach them everything they missed. It's not OK. It's not cute. And it has been allowed in one way or another (though not by me) so there are certain ones that really do think that the rules don't apply to them. 
    I actually walked out of a class yesterday. Not in an irresponsible way. I said to the para that I was going for a walk, put my lab sheet down and went for a walk around the school. It was either that or start screaming at them. When I put in a large amount of effort to find or create interesting lessons, and they poo-poo it in some way (or don't bother to show up, show up late, etc.) it gets to a point when I just can't deal with any more. So I left. And when I came back I didn't feel like I was going to scream at them anymore. We did the lab, it went fine, and I will have to decide weather or not I want to bother with it again. 
    So yesterday was not great. It was not horrible, but it was not great. It also snowed, which was just bad. I really am sick and tired of it being winter. 
     When I came home I was exhausted so I took a bit of a nap. Then I struggled to get up and get anything done. But I managed to sew a couple of doll outfits, which really had been my only doll work plan of the day. It was a struggle, but I did it. 
     Today my plan is to work on dremeling some dolls. I really don't like dremeling. It's a big production to make it happen. But today is supposed to be about 50 degrees. Yesterday was 32 and snowing. Gross. We'll see. Maybe I can get the dremeling done and perhaps even get started on dressing a doll or two. I also have to do a bunch of rebuilding on a youth doll. I really don't like making youth dolls these days. 
     So that was an awful lot of negativity. Let's see if I can come up with something more positive. Today is Thursday, which is my favorite school day of the week. That is because I have no DLT, so have extra peace and quiet time to work on plans and so on. Usually without anyone bothering me. It is also the day before Friday, which is of course the last day of the week. And then it is the weekend. Yesterday I managed to work up another bunch of chemistry lessons. Some were, of course, assignments that I got from Laura, and some of them were free ones I found on Teachers pay Teachers. I think the next thing I need to do is work up the next batch of assignments for algebra, even if I don't put them in the plan book yet. I have some ideas. But this could be tricky. 
    Well today is a new day. I think I'm going to make it a good one. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


     Yesterday we were talking about my stablemate scale spite Arabian set. My friend, Larry, reminded me that I had also, more recently, made a micro set. I don't know why I don't remember doing it. Apparently it took me multiple days, while my sewing machine was in the shop, and I of course documented the process. But somehow forgot all about it. Sometimes I think about doing sets like this again. Weird tiny ones with dolls, or larger ones with dolls. But then I don't. Because I already don't have time for my life and I think adding more things for me to do would be a bad idea. 
    But this set was a fun little (lol, little) project to work on. Something different. I did it, and then it was done and I was also done. I didn't really have the desire to make another. I do like doing different types of projects every now and then. I am still working on my Native American regalia. Or more correctly, the pieces are still here in a bag waiting for me to do anything with them. 

     Yesterday was another pretty decent day at school. The classes were fairly pleasant, I had plenty to do, but still got most of the things done that I meant to. I made it through the day without going crazy. In one class I took 2 kid's phones and put them in phone jail. And it was funny. I thought about taking a photo of the phones in phone jail, but figured it would set a really bad example to take out my phone. So I did not. I have new kids in my DLT (study hall), which no one told me about, but one of them is incredibly funny. I can see I am not going to be getting much work done while they are in the room, lol! But the silliness is nice, for sure. 
     A lot of people are not fans of Wednesday because it is smack in the middle of the week. I actually kind of like Wednesdays. It is the day before Thursday, which is my favorite day of the week because I don't have a DLT. Which means I don't have to run back from lunch and can sneak in another couple of minutes. And not have to be in the crowded hallways. I really like not being in crowded hallways. So after today just 2 more days until the weekend. And then 5 more weeks until April break. Apparently it is also only a week and a half until Spring. But I guess we will see about that.