Saturday, June 30, 2007

Madeline the dancer

Madeline had her first tap dance class on Thursday. The ballet class was still in session when we got there, so we sat in the back and watched. It was just three little girls, all about five, but Madeline was mesmerized. Each girl had their little dance outfits on, and one was even in a tutu. The instructor, and older lady from Scotland, was definitelty old school. When a little girl stopped participating, she informed her that she was her "dance teacher, not her babysitter" and if she didn't participate, she wouldn't be able to come back. I have used that line more then once with my own students, but they are sixth graders, not kindergarteners. It made me more than a little nervous for Madeline. I don't mind a strict teacher, but I was worried that Madeline would get anxious, or be so excited that she wouldn't follow directions, and then get scolded. If that happened, who knows what she would do? Cry? Shut down? Melt down? I whispered in her ear that she must pay close attention and do exactly what the teacher asked. Then I whispered it again.

Madeline, however, popped up right away when the class was over and had no trouble introducing herself to both the teacher and the two other girls that would be in tap with her. She did follow directions, and was quite the ham on stage. The house lights were off, and from the moment she hit the stage she just shone. She is not the most graceful butterfly, but she makes up for it with enthusiasm. She kept the other parents entertained as well.

I had taken her to class in just her regular clothes and tap shoes, (it is just a rec center course) but like the class before, both of the other girls were in full dance attire. Madeline didn't seem to mind, but when she got a lavender leotard from Lee today, the leotard, tights, slippers and tiara had to go on right away. We'll be attending ballet as well next week, so I suppose one of her tutus will be on before she dances out the door.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today I found a recipe online for sidewalk paint, so Max and I mixed up a few colors and headed outside. Max had a good time painting shapes and "letters" on the patio until Madeline came out. I gave her a cup of purple, and after a few swipes at the ground, she decided it would be much more enjoyable to paint herself. Of course Max quickly followed suit, and they had a grand time. I took a few pictures, then gave them both a good squirt from the hose!

Last night, after working on a few projects, I had a small pile of scraps left on the table. Since a few small pieces of hand dyed paper had made a big difference in the project I was working on, I decided to give myself a challenge; what could I create with the tiny scraps piled in front of me? The picture at the bottom is what I started with, and this is what I ended up with:

A fabulous Humanities teacher I had at SF State once said creativity is born out of constraints, not freedom. How true those words are! I would have never come up with the layout of the falling hearts card (my favorite) if I had started from scratch. But playing with a few torn pieces of paper and then having the challenge of filling up that awkward blank space at the bottom lead to a lovely surprise. Now if only the same thing would happen with the piece I've been struggling with for the last two weeks...

Monday, June 25, 2007

A whole new world

So this world of blogs, and forums, and picture hosting and such is so foreign to me. It's funny, since I use the web all of the time, but usually it is for research. I never used to hang out on boards or post things on the web. I still had trouble with posting pictures on the border collie org. page, but a kind member did it for me. I followed all of the steps every time, but had a success rate of about 33%. A Mac issue? Dunno. They speak a different language in this virtual universe. I still prefer a pencil in my hand.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I just can't win

So the pictures half work - when you click the question mark, it goes to my photobucket page. But why won't the pictures show up? I can't get them to post on the border collie forum either. I'M GETTING QUITE FRUSTRATED. I'm not an idiot when it comes to computers, but the whole posting, and signatures, and fancy flashing things at the bottom of a BB post are all new to me. If I can work an image in Photoshop, why can't I get a picture of my dog on this blog??? The internet must be run by PC people. Where is the Mac version?


Okay, so I have now found Photobucket, thanks to the Border Collie message boards, and it looks like this may have actually worked! No, it's not a picture of any art piece, but she's the primary focus of my attention right now. This is Molly, our newest addition to the family. She has now been dubbed then "Million Dollar Baby" because we've damn near spent that on her by now. You see, about two weeks ago we were forced to leave her in the backyard all day while we went to visit Matt's grandmother for the last time. When we retured home that evening, she had the back right leg completely up. No signs of pain, but she wouldn't put it down at all. We went to the vet on Monday, and he thought it might just be a soft tissue injury. He gave us pain meds and told us to come baclk on Saturday. Saturday comes and she's still limping. The second vet decides to take x-rays, and finds a possible fracture ($300 dollars). We were sent to a surgeon on Wednesday, who sees two fractures and a displaced growth plate and knee cap. He keeps her for surgery that afternoon ($3000). She goes back in six weeks to get the pins removed ($??????) Our sweet little pound puppy has cost us more than two four day trips to Disneyland!

It's a big hurt, no doubt about it, but what can you do? She has to be the sweetest, smartest, most loyal dog I've ever owned. She is my shadow, following me from room to room, wherever I go. She loves to train and picks up new commands very quickly. She also likes to herd the kids, nipping at their heels and cutting in front of them (she is a border collie, we think). Max can't keep his hands off of her, and even Madeline enjoys playing with her, when the cat's not around. I just think I'd better invest in some pet insurance after that leg heals!