Easy Crafts: Origami

First I suck at folding; so when I tell you it’s easy, believe me. Like I can’t do the crane that everyone does. “It’s so easy.” No, it’s not. “See, just fold here and here and here.” And they lift up this beautiful crane, and I lift up a colorful wad of paper, perfect for making baskets with the trash can.

It’s why I keep all the cranes kids make for me. Only in high school, the kids make them out of tiny candy wrappers. And I’m doubly-impressed. Also as high school teacher, you don’t get many gifts or pictures, so you really treasure the ones you do get.
When I was a cool teenage babysitter, this was always a fun craft. I would fold pieces for the kids, and we would make all sorts of stories and plays. As my chargers got older, I taught them how to fold the simple pieces…. until they learned to fold cranes and laugh when I would be at a loss as they tried to teach me.

My nemesis, folks, paper cranes.

Some easy one origami.
1. The dog. (a favorite among babysitting charges and Cub Scouts)
2. The cat. (Another favorite)
3. The whale.
4. The fox.
5. The elephant.
Here’s a site for them: https://www.origamiway.com/easy-origami.shtml
7. The house. I would fold this for a set piece, but I don’t remember if it was easy or not.
8. The prince.
9. The princess.

My original origami book that I had as a teenager is in deep storage. I cannot find a site for the prince and princess. For many days, I looked. I kept folding the paper in different ways until I figured it all out again.

So coming soon. Pictures and directions.

If you don’t have fancy paper, cut a square out of regular paper. I don’t recommend construction paper.

More to come. Good luck. Stay safe. Stay sane.

Maybe I’ll Think of Things Differently

At first, this blog was throwing bottled messages out into the ocean, wondering if my voice could be heard. Then it was a place to meet other parents, like-minded or not. Then it was a place to amuse people. It was a place for me to practice writing. Now I think I want it to be a scrap book of memories.

I look back and realize that I can’t come up with funny stories of the boys a year or two ago. But I can tell them all the ones I wrote about them. I can tell them first words and Penis Rules and little crazy adventures.

But now life is so hectic. Get up before the boys, get ready, get them off the computers, get them ready, help with breakfast, get to school, get freshman to learn something (ANYTHING), get home, get the boys to finish their homework, get them to eat, get them to do something (ANYTHING) other than computers, get them to bed, get the grading done, get the lunches made, get some writing done, get to bed.

That’s a lot of getting. Though that doesn’t count getting them to their practices and getting them to their clubs.

The weekends are not that much better. Now that school has started with grading to do and planning to do and homework and projects.

With Tornado E in his last year in middle school, I realize childhood is ending. Slowly. And I want to remember these moments. I desperately need to remember these moments.

And maybe I can use the blog as I did when they were toddlers. Finding the humor in their annoying antics.

And maybe one of these messages will help another parent struggling through this hectic, chaotic mess of a life.

So I’m writing for myself, even as I through the bottle into the sea.

I Miss This

The last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I don’t have a place to write about my kid stories and my mom stories. I’ve been thinking about how much I missed my blog friends. Then the other day I mentioned I once ran a mommy blog for years, and the person asked me about it. After I explained, she said wow, what an amazing experience. And it was.

So I’m going to start blogging again. I can’t promise I can do it regularly. I’m hoping to do write Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with a weekend post every now and then. You see, now I’m a full time teacher, and this is my first year teaching all Freshman under the new curriculum. Tuesday nights are karate nights… for the boys. Thursday is Cub Scout and Boy Scout nights …  for us all. But Monday is Nerd Night, and Friday is Art Night … both for me. Wednesday is Kung Fu night, but that’s only for Tornado A, and he’s done by 6:30.

This might not even work out, since I now call, email, and write my federal legislators every day. I’m looking forward to the day I can write to my state legislators. I’m working on my poetry, and I’m editing a manuscript. But who isn’t? I’m studying Spanish. Note to self, work on Spanish later. I’m also studying to take the history and government test in the summer because why wouldn’t I want to be qualified to teach more subjects? I don’t plan on giving up journaling again because that’s for me. Please, Lord, someone burn those when I die.

Beyond that, I’m raising three active, smart, funny boys, living with my parents, and fighting depression. Now you know why I keep a journal. Next stop, meditation. When I get the time.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.

A Moment to Reflect over 4 years

The other day I noticed my aunt had posted “It’s been four years, and I still miss you, Dad” on her Facebook.  Had it really been four years since I talked to my Grandpa?  Had it been four years since I got that horrible phone call that brought me to my knees with tears?  Had it been four years since I crafted a speech that attempted to hold all that I loved and knew about my Grandpa?  Had it been four years since we all learned that my dad and I are not allowed to sit by each other during funerals?  As though a funeral is so much more serious than a mass.  I’m just saying, they knew better.

I sat there nursing the memories and the pain.  I replayed our last conversation, which was on my birthday.  I could hear him say my childhood nickname; he was the only one who used it even after I was all grown up and everyone else had stopped.  I remembered our on-going game of tag and his love of sweets and The Roadrunner and The Coyote.  I mourned the fact that my boys will never know my Grandpa and that he never held Tornado A.  He loved kids, especially little ones.

But mourning turns to life as it should, and I realized “Holy Crap, the blog is four years old!”

Which led me to think about everything that has happened in four years.  Most of it I didn’t expect.  Makes me wonder what the next four years will be like.

A move to Tucson, much sooner than expected.  Another baby boy.  Tons of penis stories.  A real friendship with my baby brother.  A whole circle of mom friends to help watch kids and go to dinners with.  My marriage dying a slow, painful death.  Separation, which will be two years in November.  Figuring out how to be a single parent on call all the time.  Awesome pen pals! My mother’s breast cancer fight.  My skin cancer scar.  A few articles published. A stupid car accident.  A boyfriend.  The boys going off to school.  Enrolling in college to get my teaching degree.  And lots not forget meeting the amazing bloggers that I got to read.

Of course, I don’t forget them.  But I’ve taken a long break from reading other blogs as I run after this boy or do one last thing or finish that project.  This is why I make a bad pen-pal.  I get busy with life.  Every day pushes the letter further down the list.  Then I realize how long it’s been, and then I feel guilty.  Then I don’t write.  Then I feel horrible.

The funny thing is if an old friend got in contact with me after weeks, months, years, I would be over the moon.  It goes back to what I find important.  Is it important that I maintain the friendships I found her among the blogs or not?

I bet reading a few blog posts after studying tonight would be an awesome reward.

A little kindness

Some times it’s shocking to receive kindness from strangers.  We’re so used to the rudeness and selfishness of others.  Like the woman who nearly backed up into the boys and I as we walked through the parking lot.  She started backing out just as we were dead-center behind her.  (“It was at a funny angle.” “It’s behind you Tyrone. Whenever you reverse, things come from behind you.”)  Luckily she was slow, and I was able to push the boys in front of me and jumped out of the way.  If I hadn’t had Tornado A in my arms, I would’ve kicked her car to scare her.  I don’t think the woman ever saw us.

I’m careful in parking lots.  Cars are bigger; the boys are my responsibility. Even so, I claimed it as my fault when a SUV nearly hit us as we crossed the parking lot.  We were cutting through the spaces at a diagonal.  I was trying to save time, but that wasn’t worth the sacrifice.  The woman driving the SUV was talking on her cell phone when she nearly clipped us.  I sighed and chalked it to my stupidity and moved my ducklings along.

As I searched for the perfect bunch of broccoli, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see the woman from the SUV behind me.  Crap. What now?

The Woman: I’m so glad I found you.  I’m so sorry for nearly hitting you.  I just wanted to apologize.  And my, look how handsome your boys are.  Hi, boys!

Me: Um, uh.  No, it was my fault.  I was cutting through the parking lot.  We must have been hard to see.  I’m usually much more careful.

The Woman: Well, I was driving too fast and on that stupid phone.  People walk through parking lots.  You can’t be too careful.  I hate to think what could have happened.  I’m sorry.

Me: I guess we’ll both take responsibility and be more careful in the future.

The Woman: Fine.  Have a great day!

Me: You too!

Um, weird.

Later I tried to put my groceries on the conveyor belt as Tornado A was bound and determined to stand up in the seat of the cart.  He was quite proud of himself.  I had visions of him landing on his head on the hard, cold floor.  I sat him down with a firm “no” and return to put another item or two on the belt to turn to repeat the process all over again.

A woman pulled her cart behind me.  She watched the scene and said goodbye to her friend on her cell phone.  When I turned back to Tornado A, she had her hands out to catch him as he stood.

A Woman: No, no, little guy.  Careful.

Me: Thanks.

Giving up on speed and efficiency, giving in to Tornado A to be in my arms (Something that will bite me in the ass in later shopping adventures), I picked Tornado A up and set him on my hip.

A Woman: If it’s all right with you and he lets me, I can hold him for you.

She held out her arms.  Tornado A smiled and dove for her.  My clingy mama’s boy went to a complete stranger, and no, she didn’t look a thing like me or any other woman who holds him frequently.

Me: Sure, thanks.

Though I was a little wary of letting a stranger hold my baby, I threw the rest of my food on to the belt and moved the cart down.  I reached for Tornado A who looked at me, not moving towards me.  I pulled him out of the woman’s arms.

Me: Thank you.

A woman: (chuckling) I know how it is.  I had a baby and a toddler and one in school.

Me: Me too.

A woman: It was nice to hold a baby.

Me: Well, thank you again.  He apparently liked you.  He doesn’t usually go to other people easily and he usually comes back to me in a heartbeat.  So congratulations.  He likes you.

A woman: Wonderful.

Sometimes we forget people still are kind to strangers.


It’s been two years since I wrote this post.  At least I knew it was lame when I wrote it.  It’s been a year since this post, even though this was the post I meant to write, which was late. 

And my world has changed.  I lost my favorite grandpa; I moved back to my hometown; I gained a sister; I had a baby; I started a hub page; I laughed at my kids; I laughed at myself; I fight deamons; I met countless friends who live across the world.  You are what I write for now.  Thank you.

Some fun stats:

This is my 690th post.

I’ve had 4,808 comments, but some of those are mine.

My busiest day was Sept. 22, 2008, when WordPress placed me on their front page and I got 763 hits.  Which was awesome.

Oh and my good friend Femspotter had a little girl last night.  She’s 9lbs and 9ozs, and Femspotter did it without meds, so please go over to her blog and congradulate her.

Book Quiz

Thanks to Ink at Inktopia and Robin at Passions and Soapboxes.  I decided to take this quiz.  And look at this.  I always new I was a bit schizophrenic.  I guess it’s time I read this book because I’ve been meaning to for years.

You’re The Poisonwood Bible!

by Barbara Kingsolver

Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both
isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people,
but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since
you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and
tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.