No Girls Allowed

Helen received a Power Rangers T-shirt from her grandmother for her birthday, and proudly wore it to school the morning she went that week. She came home distressed.

“Ethan said that Power Rangers are just for boys.”
I didn’t realize it started so early.
“What do you think, Helen?” (I’m proud to say that when Helen related the same story to her father, he said exactly the same thing)
“I like the Power Rangers, and I’m a girl.”
“Then you tell Ethan that Power Rangers can be for girls, too. Are all of the Power Rangers boys?”
“No. The pink one and the yellow one are girls.”
“Do you think that there would be girl Power Rangers if it was only for boys?”
“So what are you going to tell Ethan?”
“The Pink Ranger and the Yellow Ranger are girls, so I can like Power Rangers if I want to.”

And she did. At snack, nearly a week later, the next time she went back to school. I was impressed.

Helen, meet Empowerment. It’s a beautiful thing.

Tubes, part three

Alice had a tympanogram today, to see how much fluid buildup there was behind her eardrums. The audiologist said, “Oh, wow, poor kiddo, you’re not comfortable, are you? Let’s go see the nurse.” And he whisked us out of his little testing room and took us to the nurse’s station, and we went back out to the waiting room to wait for the nurse to be able to talk to the doctor.

After a little while, the nurse came back out and asked if it would be okay for the doctor to just call us at home later, because he didn’t need to see Alice — he could tell by looking at the tympanogram results that she needed another set of tubes.

So we toddled home, and the doctor called as I was getting dinner ready. Alice will have her third set of tubes put in on Wednesday morning, and while he’s in there and she’s asleep, he’ll take a look around at her nasopharynx and see if there’s any obvious reason why she would still be having this much trouble.

And then we’ll probably go swimming — head above water, of course — Wednesday afternoon, if history is any indicator of how Miss Alice does after this surgery. This time we may just take Helen with us to the hospital, since she’ll be up at that hour anyway, and the early-rising grandmother is out of town.

What I love to hear….

I have several students trying to accelerate through full year classes over the summer so that they can skip to the next level. One in Algebra II, and two in Geometry. One of my geometry students said today, “Does it get any harder than this?”

Not really.
The only thing that’s hard about Geometry is the AMOUNT you have to know — the theorems you have to be able to just rattle off.

But this kid is FLYing. It’s fun to teach someone who is so quick with it. We have to get through 12 chapters, and I’ve only worked with him 2 weeks now and we’re almost done with chapter 4. And he GETS it. Woohoooo!

For Donna

In the spring of 2004, I posted on a scrapbooking message board that I had been reading since 1999 that I was going to make a bargello quilt, and a dear friend, Donna, said that she had always wanted to make one too but just hadn’t gotten around to it. When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago this week, I was on bedrest and unable to sit upright for very long, and I realized she’d probably never get the chance to make her bargello quilt. There were two days during that entire 9.5 week period when I was able to sit up for more than 15 minutes without contractions. During those two days, I made the interior of this quilt, thinking and worrying and crying about Donna the whole time.

Memorial Quilt for Donna

My mom and Jerry picked out the border fabrics, and I layered the quilt for quilting after Alice was born. I’ve been paralyzed by how to quilt it for over a year, not wanting to ruin something that I made with Donna in mind, you know? Finally, after quilting it with a botanical theme, picking it out, quilting it with swirls, and picking it out, I went with traditional channel quilting which is the usual type of quilting for a bargello quilt. I framed the interior with straight-line quilting in the borders.

Then, rather than call it done, I felt that the quilt needed a little something to make it pop. They don’t show up in the above photo very well, but there’s a line of glass beads (purple, red, and gold, in random order and sizes) in the outer border that are individually sewn on. They give the quilt a lot of sparkle and I am very happy with what they add to it.

Here’s a closeup of the beads…

Beads, Closeup

and another one… same edge of quilt, further up:

more beads

I did a very narrow binding, which was finished last week.

Even though the fabrics are all from Jerry’s personally-selected fabric stash, he’s not enamored with this quilt. But I absolutely love it, because of who I think of every time I see it. I hope Donna likes her bargello quilt. It’s about 3’x4′ and will probably hang over the grand piano in our living room, where I can be reminded of Donna’s legacy daily.

Tonight, I presented the quilt at my quilt guild’s Show & Tell, and as they read the story about it I stood there and cried. This woman, who I never actually met — or even spoke to on the phone — made an incredible impact on my life. She is missed. Not just by me, but by many, many people. I hope she knows that.