Wednesday, December 30, 2009


So I have this weird desire to go outside of my comfort zone and go sledding.  I just don't know any adults who might want to go with me, so maybe I'll see if my goddaughter and her little sister would want to go.  I love sledding-I haven't been in about three years though...I've just got to keep the courage up!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stained Glass Part 3

Once you make a cut, you need to pull the glass away from the piece you want.  You do this using grozier pliers.  Sometimes you have to use two pairs of pliers if the glass is not willing to budge, and the 2nd set of pliers allows grip on a slippery surface.

Some cuts can be tricky depending on the type of glass you're working with or the kind of cut you're making.  Curves tend to be a bit more difficult, and sometimes no matter how careful you're being, the glass can snap (as seen in the last pic).

You keep cutting until all your pieces are cut out.

Some of My Wonderful Christmas Presents!

So Christmas...I did pretty good, and thought I'd share a few of the gifts I got....

1.  purple placemats to match my purple wall (from my mom)
2.  wall hanging that my uncle wendell brought back from bolivia
3.  body shop oil burner from the Barney's
4.  clock from Michelle and Alendro (one of my fav artists)
5.  wall hanging that my uncle wendell brought back from bolivia
6.  stamps from my nana
7.  my cookie sheet bought with money from wendell and nancy

Not bad eh??

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stained Glass Part 2

So by looking at the first photo, you can see each individual paper piece is cut out and then glued to the glass...then using your glass cutter, you cut each piece out so you can begin the detailed cutting!

Stained Glass Part 1

So people have been asking me to explain the steps in what it takes to make a stained glass piece, so to the best of my ability with a broken keyboard, I will try!

This particular piece was a commission requesting a rooster on a Harley.  It took me a while to come up with an idea, but when I did, I drew it on graph paper, and then blew it up to the size I wanted using the copier.  Notice that there is writing on each piece, that's the colors.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

So last night as we were eating supper and then later with the family, I noticed one thing among the whole festivities...something was lacking. There was no talk of the reason for Christmas or anything. I felt it was really sad. See, I consider myself a Traditionalist Christian, meaning that I believe in the traditional ways along with believing Christ as my savior. Some might find that very contradictory, but hey, that's me. The creator is the creator. The whole thing made me sad. Yes, we celebrated family, but there was no celebration beyond that. It's hard to even know how to incorporate some things in, as strange as that sounds. My family in many ways have grown so fragmented, and we have all gone down our different paths. So what do you do in this case?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What I Want For Christmas (and it's not a hippopotamus)

Many years ago, I went around singing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth", which I didn't have...this year well, gee, i want something more...

So this is my ultimate wish list...prices varying!!

1. a new car, or at least newer then my car which is slowly breaking down as we speak
2. a trip to thailand, cuba, or europe...
3. a kitchen aid mixer
4. a stained glass saw
5. a bed for my spare bedroom
6. concert tickets to taylor swift
7. gift certificates
8. mocassins
9. a special beading loom
10. peace on earth, even if just for one night...Okay...that should be number 1....i'll give up everything else for peace on earth....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to post before Christmas Day so I'll pass on my greetings now...I wish you all the happiest, safest Christmas!!!

Christmas Crafts in the Classroom...

Well, it might be nearly Christmas, but I have a few things to share with you...

The kids did their craft. They had two options, an easier one and a harder one. The sad thing was very few's hard to inspire kids when some don't see the value in art. Maybe because art is so important to me, but I just don't get it...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's been quite the year when I look back...there's been so many blessings, change, and loss. I've really grown into the woman that I feel I've always meant to be. I'm more sure of myself and more sure of the path that I've been walking. I've learned to stand up for myself in the face of adversity and know that my convictions and beliefs are what keep me moving forward. The strength I have in knowing who I am carries me through the valleys.

I lost two people who were the closest to me...and while one I truly have mourned, the other I feel I am just beginning. Saying farewell to someone you love is never easy, especially when you are left wondering why? There are moments of emptiness and lonliness, but in the end, you just have to be sure of your own path and keep moving on. I may never understand, and that's okay, I just hope in time, it will get easier to be the one left behind.

I'm truly exhausted,and yet I still stand.

The last couple of months haven't been easy, heck, the last year hasn't been easy. I'm vulnerable and fragile right now and that's okay. It makes me real, humble, sincere, and appeciative. I have joy, faith and assurance of my path in this world and so for now I'll just keep picking myself up each time I fall or get knocked over.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I had the most wonderful weekend doing absolutely nothing...I haven't felt so relaxed in a long time. Was it exciting? Nope, but weekend ina long time. I was supposed to have gone to the movies with a friend, but it didn't happen. Got stood up, but that's okay.

I sure wish there was one more day...I want to relax some more!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I think way too much. Sometimes I feel too much. I'm getting ready for Christmas, and things have changed-there are different people to buy for, and some people to not buy for anymore. That's hard-saying good bye to a chapter in your life, especially when you don't understand things.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Along For The Ride

I'm working on my 2nd commission of the Christmas season-a very odd request. I was requested to do a rooster on a motorcycle. My client explained that her mother loved roosters and the mom's boyfriend loved Harleys.

I had a hard time starting this project even...I didn't know where to start or if I could successfully pull it off. I admit it, I dragged my feet a bit. But the sketches are done. And the two main concepts are pretty incredible. They scream biker rooster in my opinion.

The sad news, and my heart was broken when I heard this, was that the mom's boyfriend died the other day after battling cancer for 7 months. I understand how important this project is and I'm honored to be a part of the journey.

The client comes tomorrow to choose a sketch and approve color/glass samples. I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Why Teach?

The last couple of days I have been giving a lot of thought about my students and my career in general. I guess you could call it self reflection.

One of my students actually asked me the other day why I became a teacher. I've explained it before, but never to a 10 year old. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in Kindergarten. I loved school, and I loved learning. But at that very young age, school was one of few safe places I had in my life. My teachers were my role models and I wanted to be just like them. And it's probably that kind of thinking that got me through for years.

I also knew early on though that I loved kids, and I had a gift. I had a way with younger kids. Early on, I helped out wherever I could. In grade 6, I gave up lunches to act as a supervisor in the Kindergarten room.

By high school, my reasoning went a step further. I wanted to be the teacher that my teachers had been for me. I wanted to be the safe person that a child could trust, while instilling my love of learning. I wanted to give back.

By the time I reached my education degree, it really was about all those things, and something so much more fundamental. Teaching was my passion. It was where I came alive. Despite missing out on so much of my childhood, I was able to live it vicariously through my students while promoting education, safety, respect, and life skills. Teaching wasn't exactly a choice, it was more like my calling. I didn't choose it, it chose me.

Teaching is not as easy business. It's hard, stressful, little pay, and it can burn you out like you wouldn't believe. There were times where I questioned should I continue teaching, especially when jobs were scarce. But at the same time, it is so rewarding. I love seeing my students every day, seeing their smiles, seeing their "A-Ha" moments when they discover something new, and learning along with them.

See while I teach them, they also teach me. They teach me to grow in patience, kindness, and love. They teach me to look at the world through the eyes of the child and see the good. They help me to be a better person. They make me want to be a better person.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is Me

So, I've been having issues with my computer...hence less blogs..i'm going to attempt to bribe a friend of mine to look at...because it's driving me nuts!
So, how am I doing? Honestly, I feel better than I have in a long time...I'm ready to stand up for myself and be assertive. No more door mat for people to stomp on and do what they will. I am so much better than that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Don’t ask me why, but I’m not having a good night. I had wonderful day, but now I’m alone and it’s like blah. I started thinking today that it’s been nearly 18 years since my grandfather died. That’s an awfully long time. My grandfather was really the closest thing I had to a father. There were a few times that we lived with my grandparents, but my grandfather looked after me a lot even when we didn’t live with them. I was 11 when he died, and though the pain of losing him isn’t as painful, I don’t think that there’s a day that goes by when I don’t think of him.

My grandfather was this big man full of life. When he walked into a room, you could feel his presence. He loved his family, and he loved me. I was spoiled, and I was his favorite. I know that there was nothing that he wouldn’t have done for me. He was the only man in my life that I trusted, and to this day, well, it’s still that way.

I wish I could go and wrap my arms around him and tell him that I love him once more. I wish I could feel his hand in mine once more. I wish he was here to make everything okay because right now, my life is a bit out of sorts. But mostly, I just wish I could hear his voice, whether it was ordering me to make coffee or calling me by his special nickname for me, Julie Maginty.

I may have had him for only 11 years, but what an 11 years it was. I love you Papa.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Student Led Conferences

So tonight was the first half of parent teacher interviews, or student-led conferences as we call them now. I wouldn’t say that I get nervous from them, but I do enjoy when they are over. You never know how people will react, good or bad. I remember years ago, a student got an awesome mark, and the mother started bawling (seriously).

So overall, great night. I had 13 parents come and all showed up. I am a person who does try to emphasize the positive with students, but at the same time, I always need to make suggestions. It is part of my job, after all.

I am always so drained afterwards. My feet are sore and my mind is exhausted. I don’t want to do anything with any real meaning. It starts again tomorrow, but only until 1, and then we’re allowed to leave. To have a Friday afternoon off….yes!!!! It’s a big treat. And again, I’m not planning anything with meaning. I will nothing if that’s what I want!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hurt = Anger

Last week, a close friend of mine who has become like a father figure to me, made a statement that really made me think. He said that hurt is just like anger. I’ve kept coming back to that over the last week or so. I am a person who can carry hurt easily, and I will admit, there are a couple people who have hurt me quite a bit. I should clarify that it’s not the opposite sex, for all of you out there.

I struggle in whether I should say something. Do I make it worse in the long run though? Is it a battle worth pursuing? How do I let go of the hurt the quickest way possible so that I’m not hurting myself in the long run? I recognize that the only person being hurt is me. I need to work on not taking things personally…with both of these people, I recognize that something is coming from within them to make them act the way they are acting (whether intentionally good or bad). Realistically, I know I just need to let go…

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just wanted to post the finished project....I think it turned out great!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Soothing the Soul

(A work in prgress)

Stress-it may only be a five letter word, but it sure does a lot to you. Sometimes I wish for the simpler way of life, where things aren’t as rushed or pushed. I think I know myself well enough to know how to handle the stress, but sometimes, it can still get to me.

Luckily today, I got to come home and work on my stained glass. If you don’t know, I am a stained glass artist, and it is something that truly brings me joy. I love creating, and stained glass allows you to be very creative and unique. I’m currently working on a commission. The patron? An old friend that I used to work with that loved my Inukshuk series.

See, there is a beautiful rhythm in stained glass, and I don’t mean physical. It can take whatever is bothering you and soothe it and comfort it, and wear it down until you’re filled with a lot more peace. I’ve always said that there is no better way to relieve stress than breaking glass, and it’s true. What it does for me is soothes my soul, as corny as that may sound. And right now? I need comfort, I need to be soothed. And in the process, I get to create. I get to be me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Honest Reflections

Tonight I saw a falling star. I’ve never seen one before. It was absolutely beautiful-like a burst of fire in the black sky amidst the backdrop of a full moon. I made a wish, a very simple one, but I did make a wish.

I guess I’m struggling. One of my best friend’s was in town at her family’s house. I was able to go over and see everybody-her and her husband, her parents, her brother and wife, and her friend and child. She doesn’t know this, but it takes all my strength to go over and visit. See, it’s not that I don’t love these people and want to be with these people, but being with these people remind me of what I don’t have.

Ever since I was a teenager, her family stepped in and made sure that I had somewhere to go to on holidays and such. They are wonderful people; generous, kind, and prime examples of God’s grace. But we grow older and we become more independent, and people get married and such. And that’s the hard part. Going over reminds me of what I don’t have and as much joy as I gain, I also come away with sadness in my heart.

I often feel so alone-what family I have isn’t exactly close at times and quite fragmented. And, as satisfied sometimes that I am with being single, it’s also very lonely, and more so now than ever. I feel like I’m against the world some days, and lately it’s me trying to figure out where the heck I fit in. I truly don’t think I do, and I don’t think I’m meant to. In many ways, it’s a lot more fun not belonging, but it’s a lonely path.

I’ve had a super amount of change in the last year, and for the most part, it’s been in the positive direction. But change takes its toll, and can weaken the body. I came home tonight in a mixture of emotions. I hated even having a smidgen of sadness in me. I wrote in my journal, and still feeling out of sorts, I smudged and prayed.

I’m doing okay, despite crying a bucket load of tears while writing this. My chin is wet, and I even have tear stains on my tank top. Right now, I need to figure out where my place is. I was sure of myself at Sandy Bay last year-and honestly, I feel like I’ve been picked up and moved to another world this year. It’s not bad, but it’s change, and change isn’t my forte. I’m struggling, but I’m okay. I am a survivor-I’ve always been. It’s continued self reflection, journal writing, and a lot of praying. I smudge at least once a day (providing I can), and it brings me comfort. It reminds me that there is something greater at work, and that everything has purpose.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One more day…got to keep reminding myself that. The kids are hyper as can be and my energy is dwindling. Today was a crazy day. The school had the bake sale, and so the kids were going crazy for that. I ended up giving them a class to buy their treats and to eat them. Then we ended up making skeletons as their French teacher didn’t show (some office thing), which I had been planning to do with them anyhow. I was surprised how hard the cutting was for some of them. I work with kids that haven’t always had the most opportunities we shall say, and some of them had a tough time with it. But they were excited about them. I’ll post a picture later to show you. If you’re interested in making one yourself, check out: I love this site!

For science, we are continuing gravity. I had them watch Bill Nye and then today, we tackled the balancing birdie (after a good talk about gravity). I had them all standing up and yelling gravity. They loved it. So the balancing birdie went over big time. I was shocked by how crazy it was for them. They couldn’t believe that this birdie balances on your finger only by its beak. It was cool. The link for that too is:

I wanted to post a couple of other pictures to of the work we’ve done. We did mandalas where I had the students focusing on peace within them. The kids had a blast making them and I think they turned out fabulous! There is also a bulletin board done on sun safety that turned out pretty cool.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So once again, it’s late at night and I can’t sleep…a line from Adam Lambert’s song “Time for Miracles”, but boy is it true. I don’t want to go to bed. Doesn’t mean I don’t want sleep, but going to bed requires that I relax and let my body go and stop everything. But the thing is that when you stop everything and stay still, it makes you think. I think the problem is that I don’t want to think right now. I’ve had a lot on my mind, and I’m doing everything I can to delay thinking about it all. I would rather stay up late until I am so exhausted that I just collapse into bed and sleep in, but hey, I have a job and can’t do that. Worse yet, I have 20 kids relying on me to be my best. Not an easy task I can tell you.

In other news, I’ve gotten some really nice complements lately. I was told the other day, that I bring a lot of class to my school with my style of dress. Is that not an awesome complement? I love fashion, and this year I’ve really cut back on what I buy, and I mean I’ve cut way back. So hearing that when at times I haven’t felt completely beautiful lifted my spirits. It’s like I can look sexy in last year’s trends! I was also complemented on my daily plan and the strategies I have listed. I feel spoiled-I’m not used to complements. Seriously. I never grew up with them. I actually had a very poor self esteem until I hit university. And even then, my true self esteem in how I presented myself to the world didn’t really change until I was maybe 22. It’s grown more as each year has passed. I may be a curvy woman, but curvy women are sexy too (which I’ll remind myself I was recently told by someone how sexy I was). I got great boobs…lol…

And in other news, I am heading to the Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards, which is in 9 days! I am so excited-I haven’t had a girl’s night out in a while, and can’t wait. My friend Becky and I are heading out on the 6th, going to the awards, getting a hotel, and then heading to Manitoahbe (possibly Canada’s largest pow wow). I am super psyched. I think I’m even going to get my hair done (which I haven’t had it styled since I was 17 for my grad). And the truth is that my emotions have been through the wringer the past while, so I say bring on the excitement. Let me get excited and gush and post the pics all over facebook. And maybe, just maybe I’ll get to meet Crystal Schwanda or something…. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Witches' Fingers and Eyeballs

So a couple of my Halloween recipes are already being requested, so I figured I’d just add them to the blog. Now I don’t have the pictures of them yet-I don’t plan on making them until Wednesday or Thursday evening, so I’ll add pictures then. One of the recipes, the witches fingers (a Kraft recipe), I’ve made before. The other one is brand new to me.

Witches’ Fingers
12 Fingers

Absolutely easy with amazing results. I had most of my Home Ec kids make these last year and they loved them!

1 cup smooth Kraft peanut butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
Sliced almonds
Red gel (in decorating section of baking)
Green gel

Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix together peanut butter, sugar, and egg.

Shape small amounts of dough into fingers by rolling between the hands. Make indentations for knuckles with edge of spoon.

Place slice of almond at tip of finger for fingernail. Press down to secure. Bake for 12 minutes or until set. When still soft, re-form into finger shape with edge of spoon. This is very important!!

Let cool. Use red gel to make blood around nail or green gel to make puss around the nail.

36 Eyeballs

This recipe was taken from A Ghostly Good Time, a special publication by Woman’s Day.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 to 2 ½ cups icing sugar
1 bag white chocolate chips
2 tbsp solid vegetable shortening
36 brown M and M’s

Stir peanut butter and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar until thick and smooth and well combined. The mixture should be thick and easy to roll into balls.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Shape mixture into 36-1 inch balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheet and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate with the vegetable shortening over a double boiler until smooth. Carefully drop chilled peanut butter balls into the chocolate to coat, and scoop them out with a fork, letting excess drip off through the tines (be careful not to stick the balls). Return balls to wax paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until set.

Squeeze frostings into separate pastry bags. Snip a very small corner from each bag. Pipe red frosting lines from center out for veins. Pipe a dot of green frosting on top. Place the M and M’s in the center and pipe a small white line on one side (underneath to secure). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hip Hip Halloween!

So I’ve been thinking about Halloween for the past little while-my classroom is decorated and I have pumpkins sitting out on my front step. I’ve bought my candy and started putting them in treat bags. I even bought a couple of special treats for a student of mine that lives just down the treat.

So the honest truth? I love Halloween, I really do. I didn’t use to say that.

I quit trick or treating in Grade 5. Sad huh? It gets sadder. We had moved so much in my childhood, and I think I was on my fourth or fifth school in less than 2 years. I really didn’t have any friends, and I had no one to go trick or treating with. I felt like a loser going around. I think I only hit one block.

When I was in Junior High, I started to get heavily into the church. Now I’m not trying to say church is a bad thing, but for years I let people make their minds up for me regarding Halloween. They felt it was evil and encouraged Satan; blah blah blah. Is this my feeling today? Nope…heck no.

It’s taken me a while to get really comfortable and really honestly wanting to celebrate Halloween. The community I live in is small, and I love seeing the children all dressed up. I’d like to go bigger in terms of decorating, but takes money, and money isn’t something that I have a lot of.

But the truth is that Halloween has come to mean to me about building community and reaching out to the kids in your neighborhood and build connections. I’m sorry if Halloween offends anybody out there, but for the rest of us, let us enjoy it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Going Girlie

I’m having one of those days where I’m feeling really girlie, and boy is it bugging me. Bugging me because I’m like I want to color my hair (but then I’m like, no my hair color is fine), I want a new top (and I’m like I just got a few new tops a couple weeks ago), I want to cut my hair (but I’m actually growing it out), and I want to get all dressed up, when there’s nothing to get dressed up for.

I’m not a good girlie girl. I actually suck at it. Yes I love my nails painted, but I feel guilty when I treat myself to a pedicure or anything not necessary. I love dressing up, but I usually need motivation to go all out. And lately with my hair, I’ve been too lazy to get up even on time to do it properly. Yup…classic laziness.

On one hand, I do need to take care of myself, treat myself, and remind myself that I am a sexy woman. I haven’t felt sexy at all lately, just dowdy. This is pretty lame, but I plan on dressing up for my teacher’s conference, because I need to remind myself what it feels like to feel hot. I’m going to pull out the hooker boots and everything. I have no duty and no kids to chase after, so by golly, I need to look good for me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So the past couple of nights, it hurts to swallow and I've found myself drooling. Real attractive huh? I am so tired of being sick. Today, I slept until 3:30 p.m. I needed it.

In other news, I'm doing okay. Confused by everything, but okay. To some degree, I understand, but beyond that, I don't.

Friday, October 16, 2009


So it's funny that just when you think that maybe life is turning around and finally being kind to you, the rug is pulled out from underneath your feet. I spent quite a bit of time crying last night over a relationship ending, or whatever it was to be called, ending. I'm struggling. Life is just throwing a lot at me right now,and I'm not exactly sure how to hande it all. I feel sad and weak, and honestly, quite alone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009


So, not only was it my birthday a few days ago, but also thanksgiving today.

I don't often think of what I'm thankful for, so here it is...29 things I'm thankful for:

29. Itunes...I love creating my own CDs that I can use for whatever mood I'm in or what trip I need to go on...
28. Diet coke...I may be addicted, but oh it does the soul good...
27. Midtown Market...I love a place that carries gifts that fit my soul so well...
26. A good book to caress your soul
25. Hot showers
24. Children and their honesety
23. My stereo in my's now hung (thanks to Ovide), and now I get to dance and bop along to music as I cook
22. A working vehicle...every day extra that my vehicle runs, I'm happy :)
21. My big t.v-sounds awful, but I love it...
20. Art that I have in my home (stuff I've done and others have done)-it brings me peace and reminds me of what's important
19. Sweetgrass...calms me like no other
18. My bed and pillows...I seriously sleep so amazing...
17. Finding balance-it's a struggle, but I think I may finally be on the right track!
16. So You Think You Can Dance-I may not be able to dance but I can dream!
15. comfort food like homemade soup on a cold day
14. comedy...I love being reminded that I need to laugh!
13. PVR...oh how I love you!
12. My helps to relax and destress
11. E.A's in the school environment
10. Helping others
9. Smiles from strangers...makes you feel warm and fuzzy
8. Getting moments to bake bread or simple things that really take care of me.
7. The days that I have good health
6. Facebook...silly, but I'm addicted!
5. My job...I am lucky that I get to do what I love. How many people can say that?
4. The road that I've been put on in the last couple of years...I've learned more about myself and who I am.
3. The chance of a new relationship ?!? :)
2. My two amazing've been with me through thick and thin...
1. Family and friends-without you guys, I am nothing

Friday, September 25, 2009

Learning a Different Way

If you've ever been in a classroom, you should realize that it's not an easy job. It's hard, especially today in my opinion. Times are different now, even compared to when I went to school, and I'm not just talking abou behavior wise.

A lot is put on teachers today. We're expected to cover curriculum topics and outcomes according to the provincial government. We're expected to deal with large class sizes with more needs. We're expected to be on top of it all. I have days where I sometimes feel like I fail as a teacher-that the lesson wasn't good enough or my approach wasn't the right one. Teaching is not an easy task. It requires a lot of hard work and a lot of patience.

I'm in a new position at a new school. A split classroom. Do I feel like Superwoman? Heck no. I'm trying to stay afloat and meet all the different needs of the students. Am I doing it? I think most of the time I am except maybe when I have a lesson flop. I may finally be figuring out a system that I can live with, that may just lead me to some success within my class.

At the end of the day, I want to come away knowing that I did absolutely everything possible to help the student achieve everything possible for that particular student. I want them to know that they are important no matter their test mark, assessment level or ability.

Just a sidenote to share that I'm sick-got a bad cold, and was diagnosed with Vertigo a week ago. I feel pretty shitty right now, but at least I had a good school day!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Week of School and Then Some...

So, I have finished my first week of school! Every morning I came in, the secretary would say to me, oh good, you came back! Ah....I like it, I do. Different in a sense from Sandy Bay, but I really like it. Sandy Bay had over 1000 kids plus over 120 staff whereas my new school has about 140 kids, and only 8 teachers-so it's different, but it's a good different.

I have a large class-I'm teaching a split grade 5/6, but I can honestly say that despite not having a honeymoon period, they all have something wonderful about them. I have quite a few more girls than boys, and more Grade 6's than Grade 5's.

I was told the other day by a sister of my student, that their mom thought I was pregnant. My response, nope, no baby, no baby. I felt like saying (though I would never say this to a child), "nope, I'm just fat..." love the honesty of kids, honestly. I had to choose to laugh, because what else was I going to do? Actually, I'm not fat...I have very lovely curves!

So as I said no honeymoon period, but I wouldn't call the kids bad...they're just testing the waters. Heck, I would be too. I remmeber being that age, and I tested the waters a lot!

I'm excited by what's to come-I'm exhausted, but I'm really excited. I really think it's going to be a great year and I'm really excited about the group of kids I have. So, I'm going to toast a new school year with my diet coke...cheers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Bit Meloncholy

I learned about the word meloncholy when I had to perform a song with the title of meloncholy in it. Tonight I feel a little sad, and don't know why. Maybe I'm a little sad that the summer is coming to an end? Or maybe I'm just a little afraid of starting all over at a new school? Or maybe all the above?

I managed to finally finish a star blanket tonight that I have been dragging my feet over for some time. This was only my 2nd star blanket,and for some reason, I had more difficulties with this is everything being as "tight" as it should have been. This star blanket was done for Tresayda, a baby of two of my students from Sandy Bay.

For those of you who don't know the relevance of a star blanket, it is the greatest gift that one can bestow upon a person. It shows a true respect and honour to whoever you're presenting it to. According to Diane Hill, who I consider one of the foremost experts in star blankets, they are sacred. Traditional to the Plains Indians; they also represented Star Knowledge. They're commonly given for ceremonies, births, weddings, and funerals.

As much as I love doing this for others, I feel I need to focus on my own now. Some time ago, I purchased all the fabric I needed to make an esquisite star blanket, that is traditional, yet not quite traditional. I think I need to focus this next one one me to balance myself out. I haven't even been able to cut the strips yet for my star blanket, and that's heavy on my heart-that I haven't been able to have the time to do it. So, now that this one is ready and going to be given tomorrow morning, next time I sit down to do a star blanket, hopefully it's my own!

Friday, August 28, 2009

All in a Day's Work (and an ode to a tree)

So despite all the drama of yesterday, I have been busy today. I'm quite proud of myself for just how much I've gotten done...maybe the stress will be relieved a bit. I think right now I'm a little out of balance, so hopefully the last 24 hours has helped me to get a bit back to normal..or whatever normal is.

I finally finished my mosaic last night. Yes! I was so scared of it for the whole project. Unlike my other mosaic pieces, this particular one was my own design (of sorts, there was inspiration) and contained only random pieces of glass (so no pre-cut and grounded bits of glass). I think it turned out rather well.

So, I'll describe it for you. The inspiration came from an Ojibway beaded jacket, dating back to the late 1800s. I've included a picture of the inspiration. What I love about Ojibway beading, especially the beading of the late 1800s and early 1900s, is the organic nature of the style of beading as well as the intricate detailing. It appears somewhat simple, but really isn't. And if you look behind the layers, it tells a story. How I intrepreted this story was that it was like a tree of life. A tree that sustained growth, beauty, and goodness.

It might sound a little silly, but I find a lot of comfort in trees. I find them peaceful and beautiful and a reflection of a community. A tree must be nurtured and cared for. In return, it does the same for you. One of my favorite things to do is listen to the wind blowing through the trees. It takes me back to a happy time in my childhood at the lake where things may not have been perfect, but in that moment, were good. I truly believe that a community or an area that has an abundance of trees is a healthier place. I wouldn't want to live in a community with little or no trees. Where I live now, there are some but there aren't enough. To me, it reflects that a lot of people don't take pride in their homes or may not be willing to make a committment to stay in an area.

When I have children, I want them to be able to run amongst the trees, rake the leaves only to jump in them, build tree houses, climb them, get stuck in them, lean against them as they read a book. As trees have meant so much to me, I want them to matter to the coming generations. I want them to remember that it's a living organism given to us by the Creator. That is should be valued and even honored.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daily Struggles

You ever have those days where everything seems to get to you or rub you the wrong way? Yeah...that's my day today. I'm stressing about everything-from money (was waiting for a $600 cheque to be put in my bank account which I just found out now is not going in), to school (a lot to do), friendships, when to keep my yap shut, and finishing up committments.

Sometimes I wish that one could just wave a magic wand and that everything would be okay. That everything would be great. Do I have a good life? Yes, I do, and I'm not trying to take anything for granted (though we all do in some way). But I feel like I need a break. I need a vacation from my life.

When I was young, all I wanted to do was to grow up. Growing up isn't easy. There's a lot of responsibility, whether or not you want it. Sometimes, you just want to go back and freeze a moment. But the past is behind us, and all we can do is move forward. So as much as I feel discouraged today, I'm going to look to tomorrow as a brighter, newer day. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes.

Update: my cheque from work wasn't put into my bank account, nor was a cheque i was expecting worth a hefty bit of something...I have to go collect my cheque on Monday (an hour drive away), get someone to sign it there, and then go Keeshkeemaqua to find someone to sign it there...I pray that I can get it Monday, or I could be in a bit of a bind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things...

Ah, so summer is coming to a close...I mean that's good and bad. September is one of my favorite times simply because I love the start of the new school year. But alas, it means that I have to say goodbye to nice days out on my swing reading a book.

Got into my new classroom today...and I'm quite excited. I know that I'm lucky to have a job in our economy today-so lucky. There aren't a lot of teaching jobs out there. I'm happy where I've been placed too-I'll be working at a K-6 School that has a high native population of students-which is right up my alley. What I get that we often take for granted? Paper, school supplies, and technology! I now have a Smart Board-no longer do I need to bring my own T.V. and DVD player. It's almost like getting a pedicure. You get to reap the rewards that someone else went to the work to do. :)

Mowed the yard today too...exciting huh??? Lol...I need a man who likes to mow, 'cause I hate it. Love my yard, but hate the mowing. My mother is coming tomorrow, so I want everything to look nice, but ugh... I'd rather be weeding.

Anyhow, those are my ramblings for today. Here are a few pics of my new classroom when I got in the door, but picture it without all the junk that I brought in!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Screw Up???

So in my midst of being inspired by Alendro's Indian cooking, I thought I can try I tried a recipe from Anne Lindsay's light cookbook, a lentil and vegetable dish. I went out and got the ingredients and got all stoked. The results? Yuck, yuck, yuck...that gross...maybe the problem was that the recipe came from a white woman??? Go figure. I had planned on putting the recipe up if it was any good, and yah, no, so I'll put up another recipe, though it won't have anything to do with Indian cooking unfortunally.... :(

Mom's Banana Bread

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream margarine and sugar together. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add mashed bananas and blend.

In second bowl, stir in flour with baking soda and baking powder, and salt. Add to banana mixture, stirring only to moisten. Transfer to greased loaf pan. Bake in 350 preheated oven for 1 hour, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Cooking

So yesterday, I had the great opportunity to have an authentic cooking lesson in East Indian food. And I mean AUTHENTIC. None of this Indian food crap that I've tasted here in Manitoba-the real deal.

I went to visit my friend Michelle and her husband Alendro, who is originally from India. Michelle and I have known each other since we were probably 13 or so-so we go wayyyyyyy back. I told Michelle that if Alendro would be willing, I would make the trip out to Brandon in a heartbeat to see a real food lesson.

So, the menu? Butter chicken, Korma, Daal, and Papadom.

First of all, I love food, and consider myself quite the cook and baker. I've taught Home Ec. And I knew that food was art, but never really got to see others in their "element", and should see Alendro.

No measuring and all confidence. Don't get mad at me for saying this Michelle but I've always said that if a man can cook a meal, it's the quickest way to impress a girl...and boy, did he impress me.

So butter chicken....yummy...for those of you who don't know, it's like chicken in a cream sauce. Within the pot, there were probably about 4 onions sliced, oil, cinnamon sticks (this was a shocker to me), crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger, cream, chicken (previously cooked in a curry paste), and a few other things. It was just the most beautiful art form to see the food start from one thing of onions cooking in oil to end up in a beautiful cream sauce that emitted the most enticing smell.

Korma, is a vegetable dish in a type of sauce made with a paste of coconut milk and crushed cashews (brought back from India). This had more garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, and spices. yummy!!!

Daal, a lentil dish, was so yummy...again, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, spices, onions, etc. So yummy. I learned that cumin breaks down the compounds that cause gas from lentils (who knew?).

Papapdom-premade tortilla like looking round lentil flats, that you fry and to me, taste like cumin...

Put it all together...

And oh my goodness, I've died and gone to heaven. The smells, the texture, the colors, the taste!

According to my mother, I stunk, but my mother is a meat and potatoes lady. My mom isn't into other types of food...I took it as a compliment...I worked hard, and I ate hard...

So now, I'm defintly ready to do a bit of my own cooking with Indian food, but I only have one recipe which I'm going to try if anybody has really good ones that they wanna share, please share!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Night

In the last couple of months, I've experienced a lot. My job where I was a home ec teacher ended in a community that I loved. Leaving there was hard-not only did I have to leave an amazing position, but I was very deeply connected to my students and friends that I made there. I've done prety well with handling it, but right now I just can't help but feel the sadness in me. I promised myself that when I left, I would carry the strength of the people there with me and I have. But sometimes I can't help but reflect on what I've lost.

I made such good friends, and while I'm in touch with a lot of them through facebook and such, it's hard not seeing them on a daily basis, let alone at all. I miss these people so much-I guess on top of the sadness there is lonliness too. I mean they became a huge part of me. They helped to shape me into a more complete person, in my opinion. How I've grown in the last year due to my time at Sandy Bay. I've never been more sure of myself nor so confident. I've never felt like I fit in anywhere until there. My saying this is actually funny because my skin is as white as it comes and Sandy Bay is for those of you who may not be familiar with it, is a reserve.

As much as I want to be honest, I haven't even been able to write in my own journal about how I feel. Writing it makes everything more real. I'm not lying when I say that I've handled things pretty well because I have. But I have little moments, like right now, where things hit me. I realize that things have changed and that I must go on, which I get. But sometimes you just want to just go back in time and freeze a moment and hang on to it because it brought you so much joy and laughter. I still have the joy, but oh, I miss the laughter. I really miss the laughter.

Yes I get to go back and visit, and I will quite soon. But things have changed, people are gone, but this time, it'll just be me. No one beside me to share the trip.

They say that people come into our lives for great reasons, and maybe when they leave our lives it's because the lesson that they had to teach us is over. To one particular person, and I hope you know who you are, I have this to say to you: Thank you. Thank you for putting me first and for thinking of my needs. Thank you for caring for me so much that you chose to walk away. Thank you for allowing me to trust and open myself up. Thank you for being you and for letting me be me. You have been one of the greatest friends, one of the greatest blessings that came into my life. I'm happy for what our friendship was. Whether or not we can continue as friends (and that is yet for you to decide), I will always be there for you if you need a friend.

And to the rest of my friends, thank you. I mean it when I say that I will take the strength that you all poured on me and carry it in my heart.

Friday, August 14, 2009

In The Midst of It All...

This is not my first blog. This is my second. My first blog? It was true to my heart-a basis of my teaching on a reserve here in Manitoba. The reason for it to end? It's a long story, but a new journey is beginning, yet again.

The difference between the last blog and this one? I'm determined that this blog be more than just about teaching. I want this to be about me, as selfish as that might sound. I'm 28, fairly close to 29, and am an average woman I figure. I've loved, I've lost, and I'm still figuring out what's going to happen in my life. But then again, probably when the moment that things seem to be comfortable, is when they'll get shaken up again.

So, my point of this blog is to be honest and for it to be a continuing journey of myself. To be able to reflect and grow and remember the good and the sad times. This blog is about being true to myself.