I am not disposable!

Greetings and salutations dear readers. I hope all of you managed to stop and take a breath, maybe enjoy time with family as safely as possible, recently over the holidays. I know I did. As I start this new calendar year I want to finish something that I started back in September, this post.

Back in September, there was tons of stress due to high Covid numbers in our district. My school happened to have the highest rate at one point so imagine my stress as someone who has a compromised immune system. It was not good. Add that to trying to reconnect with my colleagues and students I had not seen in a year because of my health accommodations to teach remotely from home all of last year. It was a rough start. Sadly, things do not seem to have gotten much better.

There are a couple reasons for writing this besides just finishing what I started. One reason is to shed some light from the educators perspective as I am an educator when I’m not crocheting gloves or creating art for someone. The other is as an advocate because too often we get wrapped up in our own worlds just trying to survive. Part of my training as an educator showed me that when stress is high, you are not in your right frame of mind. Your decisions are actually being made from your brainstem and have been reduced to fight or flight response at that point. Now you’re probably wondering why I called this article “I am not disposable!” then if I am being so reasonable sharing information from an educator’s training. Here’s why:

I am not disposable. It seems that certain folks have forgotten this. An educator like myself is hard to come by. Having taught for 15 years in the district I grew up in, earning a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and currently finishing my National Board Certification all while fighting fibromyalgia (chronic fatigue syndrome). And yet, when I first returned to my base building this year, I was called into the office to have my ability to do my job questioned because of my administrator walking into a situation that I had already called for assistance on in the last few minutes of the school day. On hindsight, I do understand what she was saying. However, if we remember that training I mentioned above, it never should have happened that way as neither one of us was probably in our “right mind” even with waiting until the next morning to have the conversation. Since then, I have felt disconnected from my school community of at least 7 years, being left out of information from my own teammates, never having enough time to truly connect with the students via visitations/observations in their classrooms, on the playground, or other common areas around our building. I avoid the teachers’ lounge like the plague these days after being randomly verbally attacked by a volunteer saying I don’t understand something because I wasn’t black when I wasn’t even part of the conversation. I was just getting something to drink between classes.

We lost our art teacher right before winter break. She had had enough. She had been assaulted verbally and physically by students with nothing being done to make things right. In one particular case, the first question from the administration was “What did you do to instigate the behavior?” Excuse me?! She was the one assaulted by a child with known violent outbursts, yet it was her fault? Anyway, what’s done is done. Between this and a misunderstanding with my own direct teammate, I am about ready to throw in the towel myself (at least as a classroom educator). I don’t want to quit teaching. If it is for my health and safety though, I will.

I am technically part of our local Union. I used to be a ProRep even. Yet just this week I was online calling them to account for the lack of action they were taking to support our teachers. You can probably imagine how that was received. In the end, it led to someone from the Union’s executive board contacting me and putting me in touch with the Union president to see if anything can be done about my complaints. Of course I had to postpone that meeting due to a nasty painful flare of my fibromyalgia because of the dangerously low wind chills with snow that interfered with my teaching unfortunately. I was left to fend for myself though and had to call in sick yesterday. No real choice in the matter. All the principal could say at the end of the day was “take care”. Oh I will…I will.

It isn’t all bad news though I suppose. Thanks to that flare, I may have gotten a clue as to the reason/cause behind all of my constant pain. My doctor sent out a medicine for me to use in severe flares that targets nerve induced pain. I am still waiting for a response concerning this, but I am hopeful that we might yet figure this mystery out.

I also have been crocheting again. My mom and I, in an effort to take care of my students during cold weather, crochet hats and gloves for the “Take it if you need it” racks and baskets at my school. My mom crocheted at least 12 hats of various sizes and colors before break while I added at least 7 pairs of gloves. Hopefully the students are able to get some use out of them. I am also looking to start creating some Zentangle Inspired Art soon that could be your own! It could also just be for my music room, we’ll have to wait and see what turns out.

If you made it this far, you’re amazing! If you didn’t, I hope you know you’re still amazing. Thank you for dropping by, listening/reading my shared frustrations, and until next time…


Winter Break 2021 has finally arrived!

Greetings and salutations dear readers! For those who don’t me, and since it has been a fair minute since my last post, my name is Heather Fusilier. LaClaire Creations is my hobby business I started to balance my regular job as an elementary music teacher. I love my jobs! If you know a teacher though or have kept up on education in general lately, the stress is high normally and is now astronomical for a variety of reasons.

Speaking of the classroom though, my hobby business really got started to help my students during the winter. My mom taught me to crochet to help pass the time while I was in hospital for my daughter and then we saw a need that many students did not have proper winter clothing. Jackets were being donated, but they were still missing hats and gloves. We started with just hats, but this year we are adding fingerless gloves to the mix. Part of my winter break will be used for this.

When I’m not crocheting this break, my hope is to spend time with family of course. We learned a harsh lesson last year after losing my sister to what should have been preventable. In the back of our minds, we know that life is short and we know our fate even if we do not know the hour it will happen. Friends and family are a great treasure to me that I try to stay connected with as long as possible. My family has gotten closer in realizing this and while I am thankful we have, I wish it had not taken this event to make it happen.

Speaking of relationships and connections… I thought I had truly lost a connection to a dear mentor who has been like a father for me over the years. Like a gift from the universe or higher power, I recently managed to reconnect with him and my heart is so full of joy that I still cannot find words to express it. I bring this up because family does not always mean blood relations. Sometimes family is someone you are connected to when others were not there for you and, like a true friend, tell you like it is when you need to hear it. This is my mentor to me. One of a handful over the years I am truly fortunate to know and love for all that I have learned or experienced with him.

I think I will pause here for now but, fear not! I now have time to get back in the habit of writing and sharing project updates. Stay tuned and until next time…


I survived!

Greetings and salutations dear readers! I did it! I survived the first few days of inservice meetings and trying to get my room back together for the new school year. 😎

I wasn’t sure how things would go given the state of things in my district and my health. Our district’s Covid protocol is lacking in my mind while trying to go back to “normal” instead of embracing change. Being the largest district in my state, we should be setting the example of how to be. Instead, we are found wanting by many. A shame really.

My body seems to be surviving so far the increased activity level. I am trying to do my part to ensure that by making sure I wear the correct shoes (gotta have good support there), a decent chair to sit in instead of on a lunchroom table bench for hours, and using my walking stick instead of my cane to help with mobility. The walking stick helps my standing and walking posture way better than my cane does.

Speaking of which, too many teachers are in survival mode. Talking to them, I can hear the stress in their voices knowing another rough year is in store and trying to put a good face on for those in charge. We have 9,000 teachers in our district and while we are being encouraged to “take care of ourselves” or “if you feel sick, stay home” then being told that there is no COVID leave this year so if we catch it or have to quarantine, it’s coming out of our personal leave in the same breath of being told how the district is cracking down on teachers that go into deduct for needing to be gone. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Anyway… on a happier note (😉 haha I’m a music teacher after all). I found a gift from some students last year where the parent had sewn on a bag a ball of yarn and then put a card with a cake of yarn in it to start my year last year. It would have been awesome to get it last year, but this made my day yesterday finding it. You have to understand a couple of things about last year to enjoy this with me though.

Last year, specials teachers (i.e. music, art, PE, library) had to go room to room on a cart so my room ended up as storage. I’m talking wall to wall, floor to ceiling packed. About the time this was decided, I received my health accommodations and was transferred to a different school to teach ESOL students remotely for the year. It was hard to leave, but I loved working with them last year. I love being back and the reception I’m getting from those that have been with me for a bit. The newbies are still trying to figure me out. 😏 The kids though… their reactions of joy have warmed my heart SO much. I’m glad to be back and ready to face whatever happens with them the best I can.

In other news… I had my first official house warming gift delivered yesterday. My eldest brother has been staying with our mom due to some health issues after leaving the service and driving a truck across the country. He has been working on getting a place of his own, but isn’t quite there yet so he decided to give us a kitchen/dining room table for our new home. He also got the grand tour finally after he brought it over and set it up with the help of my husband. Now he has it in his head that he can find a puppy for our kids. 🤔😂

Our new kitchen table!

In crochet news, I plan to work on some new fingerless gloves and a water bottle holder to start the school year. I’ve been having issues with circulation leaving my fingers icy cold sometimes and with the increased activity level, I’m sure to need my water bottle at all times while hopefully leaving my hands a bit freer (is this a word?) in case I need my walking stick or while I’m teaching a dance routine or two. The patterns I plan to use can be found at windingroadcrochet.com along with many others that I love to use including my new slipper pattern I’ve fallen for.

That’s it for now dear readers. I’m off to start gathering my family for birthday festivities. My daughter turns 9 this weekend. So it’s unicorns and baby Yodas all weekend. Until next time dear readers, namasté!

Projects galore!

Greetings and salutations dear readers! August has arrived and now is when my motivation kicks in for the tons of projects I’ve been thinking about over the summer. First, here is a heads up about what might happen this week in the Fusilier household.

I know I will be starting back with inservice meetings on Wednesday for the school year. Not exactly sure what that will look like with things in the air about Covid mitigation efforts. I am also looking to start a pet project that has been in the works for awhile now. On the new home front, we hope to gather supplies to start updating cabinets and paints for the new house along with maybe finding a match for the flooring we’d like installed. Fingers crossed on that one. My daughter turns 9 next Sunday and she just wants a simple family birthday this year, baby Yoda (Grogu) themed of course.

My big pet project though that I would like to introduce is called “Gloves for Gambia” supporting Little Miracle Gambia run by my dear friend, Dawda. We’ve been working together to help care for and educate children, specifically orphans, throughout Gambia. The idea is, for every order for fingerless gloves, all proceeds will go to this charity in an effort to buy school supplies and food in an effort to close the gap as much as we can for education and basic needs. For any other purchase (i.e. masks, scarves, headbands/ear warmers, etc) half of the costs will be donated while the other half will go to supplies to continue product production. Any and all support is appreciated! Any other donations can be made via CashApp $HeatherFusilier or Facebook Pay at https://m.me/pay/heather.laclaire.56/

Mondays can be rough, but they don’t have to be and I hope your’s is treating you kindly. If not, may your coffee be strong enough to last through the day! Namaste!

It’s Saturday Night!

Greetings and salutations dear readers! It is Saturday as I am typing this. Not going to lie. I usually type late at night for these posts because it’s the first bit of peace and quiet I’m truly allowed.😏

So what did we accomplish this week? I’m glad you asked! I did take my daughter’s gift to a stranger’s soon to be 3 year old. I don’t know if I’ve seen a happier child to be honest except maybe my daughter who seems to be a living embodiment of Pollyanna most of the time except when she’s not. Then we just back away slowly. She’s fixing to be 9 herself even though she acts so much like a teen some days.

We did get our handyman to come get measurements for the flooring and to take a look at our front door jam. I can’t wait to get this going. This ranks up there along with waiting for fiber to be installed in my neighborhood. 🤞🏼Maybe Christmas will come early this year. 🤨 What? I behaved during shutdown last year! 😈

Moving right along… we also managed to get internet setup. Lovely gent named Jeremy made sure everything was working and told us more than any AT&T phone jockey could about the status of fiber in our neighborhood. If he’s right, we should have it by Halloween.

Lastly, for this week, we managed to take over 4 tubs and 2 huge trash bags worth of belongings we removed from our room to my husband’s car for the home version of heat treatment in case of bugs. After dropping them off, we went and picked up an antique rocking chair someone held on to from their garage sale for me. It fit like a glove and I cannot wait to read or crochet in it in our new home.

Well that about wraps up this week, but I have been working on some new crochet items I’m almost ready to share. One is a slipper that’s quick and easy to crochet. The other is a granny square flower headband inspired by my niece and daughter. So until next time when we talk paint colors and back to school, namasté!

Just a quick note about the week

Greetings and salutations dear readers! Just wanted to drop a quick little note about this week and what we think might happen.

This is my last full week before I return for a week of inservice meetings to kick off the school year. We did manage to get a couple of evaluations scheduled to get quotes for our crawl space encapsulment. We’re working on getting needed measurements and planning on what we need to get when we can move in. Hopefully we’ll hear back on the flooring this week. 🤞🏼

Tomorrow though I will be delivering my daughter’s gift to a stranger for their daughter’s 3rd birthday and setting up internet at the house, maybe. We shall see. Until next time though, namaste!

Maybe I should adjust my schedule a bit?

Greetings and salutations dear readers! I realize I was supposed to be posting this yesterday and thinking about how my weeks I may adjust my posting schedule a bit. That being said, here is last weeks recap on how things really went.

Tuesday we did our final walk through and signed off on our new home! It went as smoothly as one could hope for. We are taking our time moving in because there are a few things we want to do before furniture is moved in to make that a bit easier (ie switching carpets to laminate, updating a venting situation for our stove).

The niece and nephew are still with us. I do love them, but man oh man. My niece actually asked if I cared for her. Broke my heart to hear her ask that as if she didn’t know what it meant to have someone truly care for you. On the flip side, we found out my nephew has a nasty habit enabled by his parents of smoking cigarillos. Not sure how he got a carton of them, but he made a mistake of trying to smoke them in the house when he thought everyone had gone to bed. Needless to say the rest of the carton and pack he was working on along with the lighter have departed our house.

In other news, I have a little over a week before reporting back to school for our inservice week to prepare for the new school year. Our district has said that masks and vaccines are optional in an effort to return as close to normal as possible. That announcement came shortly before the American Academy of Pediatrics made their announcement saying that all children ages 2 and older should be wearing masks regardless of if they’re vaccinated as well as teachers. The response from our superintendent when I asked about this was that they would be consulting our local health officials soon on the matter. My principal sent out our welcome back letter Friday saying that our back to school night, the night before our first day back, is required to be virtual. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but that is not a great sign for my district.

Lastly, before I stop today, thanks to a request from my niece and a personal project I’ve wanted to do, I found a super quick pattern for slippers with a range of sizes from toddlers to adults. This is definitely a keeper and will undoubtedly be adding it to my Etsy shop for orders or through email soon!

That’s it for now dear readers. May the road rise to meet you and the winds be always at your back. Until next time, namasté.

Better Late Than Never?

Greetings and salutations once again dear readers! It is technically Sunday as I finally have a quiet moment to fill you in on what actually happened this week.

So here’s what actually happened this week. I did start using WordPress’s new reminders to post. (Yeah me!) I spent tons of time on the phone coordinating utilities for the new house since we close on Tuesday this week. The great news on this is I managed to get it done and our lender gave us the green light to close on schedule.

Of course I managed to do this partly because my mother-in-law was out of town so it was a bit quieter. This also meant I got to cook some too! This is not normal for me since my fibromyalgia diagnosis. Normally I usually only cook at the holidays because of certain limitations of mine with this disease.

We actually did an urban cookout using our new fire pit to roast hotdogs. The logs didn’t want to cooperate, but we managed to keep them burning long enough so everyone could roast their own. We used the gas stove to finish things with s’mores of course.

Another couple pieces of awesomeness this week came in the form of a finished baby blanket that I delivered to the new uncle who ordered it. Took longer since we’ve had a nasty run in with bedbugs recently. The other piece was getting to donate 2 of my original works of art for a fundraiser memorial shindig in honor of a local arts supporter. They are scheduled to be auctioned off on July 31st.

We did have a tense moment one evening this week between my husband and his dad. The in-laws have been living with us since last October when dad finally retired. It makes a huge difference to go from seeing each other once a year for a few weeks at most to living with each other 24/7 and our way of life is vastly different than theirs. Gratefully, I think my father-in-law understands that a bit better now. Nothing is happening quite like any of us had hoped or planned. C’est la vie!

Last, but certainly not least, my mother-in-law has returned and not alone. She brought my niece and one of my nephews from Oregon with her. It has been a few years since we last saw them, but it is good to see them. My niece is only months older than my daughter and have such similar mannerisms it can get a little creepy sometimes. My nephew is an unmedicated autistic teenager with ADHD. I love him, but man does he wear me out while visiting. They will be here for at least 3 weeks so I’m told bringing people under our roof to a grand total of 8. I’m not claustrophobic, but I need my space.

Anywho… It’s time I wrap up for now and promise to write again on Monday with a heads up on what might be/should be/could be happening in my week ahead. Until then, namaste!

Quick and necessary update!

Greetings and salutations everyone! The title kind of tells you what this post is all about.

Thanks to an update to WordPress I hope to do better with posting here not once, but twice a week! My current plan is to post every Monday and Saturday for now. The idea being to wish everyone well at the beginning of the week along with any plans that might need sharing on Mondays. On Saturdays I’ll post about what actually happened and share a good laugh or cry depending on the outcome.

Moving right along…. My family is moving! I love my family, but sometimes I just need space. Everything has really fallen into place for us too with the housing market being insane currently. My husband and I fell in love with a house early on, but was outbid originally. A few weeks ago though we received a call from our realtor who said that offer fell through and went from there. We are now set to close on the house July 20th. We are super excited in case you couldn’t tell.

That pretty much sums things up for now. Hopefully my health holds up for all the cleaning and sorting to do this week. I’ll share more on what you missed over the last year on Saturday!


Summertime…and the living is anything but easy

Summertime has “officially” started for teachers in my area. A time when teachers supposedly catch up on things set aside due to classwork or to catch their breath after a whirlwind year. This may be true for some, but not all. For myself, I will be taking online classes to hopefully finish my Masters degree by the end of this year along with revamping my Etsy shop through finding new projects to add to it as well as setting up an official workspace at home finally that is not in my bedroom.

In all seriousness it has been a bit weird due to the shutdown of our schools the only real sign that summer has arrived, besides the rising temperatures, has been the lack of dings for notifications connected to school. I even managed my first sunburn of the year that I’m now recovering from. 😏 The last official day of school our building staff got together, spread out in our big parking lot, to return personal items to our students. A bittersweet time with members of our staff moving on to other positions and deciding to retire mixed with seeing our students without really being able to give or receive hugs for our safety as much as their own. I liken it to a sort of weird family reunion.

For now I will settle with tucking my school gear away a bit, after making sure I modify lessons a bit just in case, and writing a few postcards especially to my 5th graders. Then I can really focus on just “relaxing” by playing with my kids, hanging out with family, and surfing the web for new crochet projects to add to my store.

In my last entry, I posted a photo with a crochet mask. I actually made some for each family member with pockets for filters and decided to add it to my store. It has been fairly popular as I have already sold about a dozen custom masks with a few of them at a slightly higher price. As far as these masks are concerned, the only reason I’m charging for them is to cover shipping costs. I had to raise the price due to a shift in how I ship them. I have underlying health conditions that make me a little nervous to go out unless I have to. So instead of taking them to the post office to ship, I now use the USPS app, print labels, and schedule shipping right from home. I typically don’t make any unless they are ordered so now I’m working on demos of basic accessories like hair scrunchies and summer items like swimsuit coverups. Keep watching here on my site as I hope to start a portfolio page specific to my crochet projects that I keep available or will be adding to my list of inventory.

Until then, please stay safe and healthy! If you have any questions, ideas, or comments, I welcome them. Be excellent to each other!