25 July 2015

My how times change

I loved back to school time as a kid.  I got a new school bag and all the supplies a little nerd could ask for - binders, folders, pencil cases, pencils, pens, paper, organizers.  It was one of the most exciting times of the year for me as a kid.  Sadly, times have changed.

Now, instead of buy supplies for my child I am given a list of $40 worth of items that are considered "standard" that I am requested to purchase and bring to the classroom.  They aren't supplies for Hobbit but instead, for the "community".  Our list looked like this today -

• 3 pkgs. #2 pencils
• 1 box of Crayola colored pencils or markers
• 2 pkg thin dry erase markers
• Pkg of highlighters
• Pkg of Post-it notes
• 1 pair Fiskar scissors
• 2 Elmer’s white glue stick
• 5 solid color pocket folders with pockets and prongs
• 3 composition notebooks (not spiral)
• 2 boxes of tissues
• 1 ream of plain white copy paper
• 1 pack of WIDE ruled lined paper
• 1 bottle of unscented hand sanitizer
• 1 in or 1 ½ in three ring binde

These items are to be handed in, without Hobbit's name on them, so they can be added to some larger community pool of supplies.  Once we've met the teacher, I will be handed a second list of supplies that are classroom specific.  That list generally runs me an additional $40 and is full of more community items such as construction paper, zip lock baggies, index cards and the like.  Again, no name on them because of the whole "community" aspect.

When did this become the norm?  When did people stop supplying for their own children and start having to foot the bill for everyone else?  I know this sounds terrible but let me explain how I have come to despise the whole "it takes a village" mindset...

Last year, the teacher sent home a list of supplies to make graham cracker cookie houses just before Christmas break.  None of the families brought things in and Hobbit's teacher asked her to see if we could bring in EVERYTHING on the list.  We were floored at the nerve but thought perhaps there was a new system and we were somehow financially responsible for this activity.  We did as requested and $35 later had the supplies for her entire class to make graham cracker cookie house before the holiday break... only to have the supplies divvied up on January 6th when they returned BACK from break.  We were then given a list for the Valentine's Day party and asked if we could supply it all.  That is when we put our foot down.

We called the teacher and were told that the other parents could not afford it.  During the school meeting night, we met the other parents.  The women all - and no, am not exaggerating - had their nails done, both men and women were covered in tattoos, everyone had their nose in an updated cellphone, and the vast majority wreaked of cigarette smoke.  It was vile.  So no, it's not that they couldn't afford it - they chose to not do it!

I do not get my nails my done because it is a luxury that I chose to not indulge in at the moment.  I used to many years ago but stopped when I needed the money for other things. I do not have tattoos but I do know they are expensive.  I do not have a cellphone because that is an expense I do not need or want.  I do not smoke but I do know the cost of the habit, as I used to smoke myself but I most certainly never did so at the expense of my children's needs.

I don't appreciate being saddled with the expense of other people's children simply because they chose to spend their money on their nails, cellphone service, cigarettes, or tattoos.  Instead of buying a carton of cigarettes, they can get their kids' school supplies.  Instead of paying for the expensive cellphone plan, they can get their kids' school supplies.  Instead of having their nails done that week, they can get their kids' school supplies.  Lots of ways in order to pay for these things... the difference in where people have their priorities.

Mine are towards my family... so excuse me if I refuse to be a part of your 'village'.  I'm sorry that you don't care enough about the welfare and needs of your family to forgo some of your luxury expenses but I am not going to be the one who foots the bill because you are a deadbeat.  If you can't afford to outfit your child for school but you can somehow afford your nails, hair, tattoos, cigarettes, and cellphone then perhaps your child would be better off in a home where they would be properly attended to - as it appears you are too selfish and lazy to do the job.

Now, please excuse me while I go and write my daughter's name in her new sparkly binder for school.  The 'village' can kiss my hiney...

19 July 2015

Sunday Snaps

Sweet as Sugar project page - made with Knit Picks Brava Sport in Rouge and Umber Heather
I am spending my day shaking off a pretty terrible end to the week.  I'm just going to sit here, veg out on House Hunters and work on my Whippoorwill pattern that was gifted to me.  It is just a relaxing knit that I'm absolutely loving and totally grateful for having today.  It's hard to see but I'm actually a third of the way through with it!

18 July 2015

Life changing, according to the coffee...

It's been an eventful week - nothing life changing, sans the coffee, but still very eventful for me.
I've been a busy beaver this week.  I finished a sweater for my friend's daughter.  I frogged and restarted a pair of socks for my husband (different pattern).  I started an interesting cowl for my youngest daughter. I received beautiful yarn that I purchased through Ravelry via someone's stash. I had life changing coffee - says so, right on the cup. I received more gorgeous yarn through the same means but this is enough to make a sweater for me!

The week didn't seem like much went on - mostly because Hobbit was not here so it was mellow and low key - but when you pile it all together and take a look at it, it was rather nice.  I also ordered enough yarn to make Pokey a sweater for Christmas.  It is going to be a beautiful shade of purple for the Old Way Gansey sweater. I am torn between proposing it for my OWL during Fall Term or if I should just start and when the yarn arrives because goodness knows, that extra four weeks may be just what I need to finish on time.

Time for me to get moving though.  I've got to grab a quick shower so we can drive the two hours up to get Hobbit. Yesterday was a stressful day so I'm honestly not looking forward to going like I normally am but worst case scenario is that I have enough time to use the restroom before turning around and driving straight back home again. 

On the upside, I have my virtual knitting night with my Disney Adventures group so that will be fun.  Feel free to join us - we love making new friends!  All you need is Skype and we'll get you connected with us.  Shoot me a PM on Ravelry if you'd like join in.  We meet every Saturday night starting at 8:30pmET. We work on our projects, talk, have coffee, and just hang out enjoying one another's company.

12 July 2015

Sunday Snaps

I got a few things done this week - lace, photo deconstruction, and learned charted color work.
It was one of those weeks, you know? I wasn't up to snuff for most of it so as you can see, my productivity was super far down. Oh well, I learned a few things so that makes up for a little bit, right?

I made a lace cowl.  The original pattern stopped after the center lace but it felt uneven to me so I repeated the first lace section over again.  I really like how it came out.  It is just big enough to be of value down here in Florida without being too overwhelming.

My son asked me to make him a Hello Kitty sleep sack for his soon to arrive daughter.  How could I possibly say no - he's never asked me for anything!  Naturally, I got right on it... and it took me 2.5 months worth of trial and error to get it looking close to the photo he showed me.  I think I frogged and restarted this piece about five times but I'm finally done and it will be placed in the box for Emily and Kiki.

I took a day to learn how to do stranded color work from a chart.  It was interesting and required a lot more concentration that I could afford that day but it got my mind off other things - which was the whole point - so it was a win... and I didn't do a bad job with it.  One little section is a bit too tight but I corrected it later on and learned from that mistake.

Hoping for a better week this week.  Doctor appointments on Wednesday and work all week so nothing exciting.  Hobbit was picked up by my folks today for a week with them.  She's excited to be up there and they like having her so I'll take the week to rest.  She'll be going back to school at the end of August this year so she might be able to sneak in one more week if she's good.

I hope  y'all had a fabulous week.  Did you make anything or learn anything new?

05 July 2015

Sunday Snaps

I have been crafting up a storm, all week - and it felt really great!
This week I have been making things and it felt so good.  It really recharged my batteries to spend hours playing with my yarn.

I started the week by finishing up my Matching Wrap!  I was so happy to have it completed.  It was fun and I love the color combination. Things have been deliciously slower at work so I was able to make a few things - like the beret and the hotpad - during the week. 

I finished up the week by making the doll cape, backpack (colors are due to a HPKCHC class, Potions, not my choosing), and yarn caddy all yesterday!  Oh yes, so many hours spent in preparation of constant noise that would be happening... and did happen, well past 2:30 this morning!

Today, I'm going to work on the two projects I have going on (Abigail's sweater and my shrug) but I'm going to start a simple cowl for something to do during knitting group, and I need to get to the start of Row 11 on my Whippoorwill so that my friend KP can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong at that point.  I really want to make this shawl because it means a lot to me - one of my sweet readers gifted it to me with a note letting me know I wasn't alone and understood where I was coming from in regards to my recent diagnosis.  I'm going to be doing it in a delicious bubble gum pink and chocolate brown - and it will be gorgeous!

I hope y'all have a fabulous week ahead.  Did you get a chance to play with your projects this week?
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