Saturday, September 29, 2007

Inhale, exhale, repeat as needed

Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years

Days are packed with home schooling the boy, driving the girl and tending to her necessities of life, writing stories and living under the tyranny of the urgent.

The craziness has run so rampant that I started a daily to-do list:

  • Attendance (for home school requirements)
  • Daily Assignment Sheet (same)
  • Web site (this site--which should be updated daily)
  • (A regular writing assignment--publication name omitted to protect the innocent)
  • (Ditto above) (1 hour)
  • Other writing work
  • Church volunteer work
  • High school volunteer work
  • Dinner (as in, "what's for?")
  • Clean one room
  • Laundry
  • Drink water
  • Vitamin
  • Exercise

Really now: I have to remind myself to drink water. It's a sad state of affairs.

Today is Catch Up on Work Day. The girl has been deposited at a day-long tournament and the boys are at a football game. I am spending the day with Frank and Harry and a stack of story assignments to complete. Once they are done, I can breathe. Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars...

Gotta love Frank.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

William Tell Overture for Moms

A friend sent this to me and it is too funny to keep to myself. It is all so true, except that part about Dad's DNA -- not the case here at all. :) I don't know who this woman is but this is a riot.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Candy Crusade

Ready for Halloween? We are still on the hunt for a bomber jacket, but the rest of the ensemble is complete.

Rehearsing the moves...


Look out Harrison Ford.


Friday, September 21, 2007

'Tis the Season

Well, 'tis the season to think about the season. This treat, found while searching Goodwill for an Indiana Jones bomber jacket (Halloween), has me almost in the spirit. Apologies in advance for the cruddy pictures.P1010007 P1010005

The book has softie and applique patterns and a ton of great recipes.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007



All this to make a call? I may need to get some cups and string.

Festival season continues this weekend with Mauldinfest. All you need to know is here. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Walking with Dinosaurs



Hoo boy, this show was loud! It was well done, however, with some good science and some that required a little deprogramming after the show. Overall, the technology was evident but not obtrusive and the "paleontologist" kept a nice even pace throughout the show. A great time was had by all, except the prey and possibly a few people heard screaming periodically throughout the evening.


Caroline loved the anthropomorphism (see parent/child T-Rex snuggling below) and the fact that the "paleontologist" mentioned pangea.


Nolan loved the carnage, of course.


My head stopped hurting about 12 hours after the show ended. Go see it, but take ear plugs.

Yes, I am still a writer

Despite the new teacher moniker, I am still regularly turning out stories. Here is a new one about an amazingly talented young man who shakes the walls when he sings. He is doing musical theatre and opera now because his voice is too powerful for R&B and gospel. Seriously.

This story would really be a wonderful backdrop for a novel...for people who have time to write novels. In any event, the Stewart Clan has held family reunions here for 100 years. At the first family reunion in 1907, a family portrait was taken in front of their home church. The group has grown so much that they now meet at the church down the street, but they did gather to recreate that first picture.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dear McCall's,


One of my first editors told me never to use a ten dollar word when a one dollar word would work just as well. Please apply this concept to your pattern instructions in the future.

Stay-stitch? (Huh?) Grade seam allowances? (Oh, I don't know... B+?) It took ten minutes for me to decipher that a "carrier" is really just a belt loop.

Yours in sewing-newbie frustration,


P.S. I would pay extra for online video tutorials. Just a thought.

(Edited to add that I Googled stay-stitching and now see that that it makes perfect sense. How did people ever sew without the Internet?)

Six years later

Below is my column from October 2001. It was written a few days after Sept. 11. Our way of life is forever changed.


It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death….I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more" Anne Frank, July 15, 1944

As I write this, it has been a week of horrendous events in our country. It appears that thousands have died at the hands of terrorists, and that this is far from over.

Just hours after the attacks, I had lunch with my daughter at school. Terrified parents lined up to retrieve their children from class. I clenched my teeth as I left mine there to finish the school day.

So much has been lost: lives, families, and the innocence that our relatively young nation has enjoyed within these protected borders. How do you explain to an 8-year-old that this kind of evil exists? Here. Now. In our backyard.

I fear that I have missed some easy lessons in my life. But there have been some burning bushes that would not be overlooked. I want to scream those lessons to my children, to force them to listen. I pray that they hear me.

My friend, ravaged by cancer, taught me that tomorrow is not promised. She could face death head-on, if only she could know that her children would remember her. What would she leave them? What would my legacy be to my own children?

I was privileged, as strange as it sounds, to spend an afternoon with a convicted murderer as he waited to learn his fate. He cried as I held his hand. I learned that people are not always what they seem. Everyone is afraid of something.

I have stood in the house where Anne Frank hid from horrors that are beyond anything that I can imagine—even after the television images I have seen this week. The blackened windows could not dim the images of movie stars pasted to the walls. Children are children even when the wolf is at the door.

What will I tell my child about this tragedy? There is evil. There is hatred. There is good that triumphs in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. God is still God, and He is still in control, even when our tear-filled mortal eyes are blind to His presence. And there are still lessons to be learned. As Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

Monday, September 10, 2007

State of the Desk 12:50 p.m.


Ack. What does this disarray reveal? A story on the screen, story notes and a to-do list (note that nothing is checked off) on the desk show that I still have plenty of work to do. That is always a good thing.

The math and writing to grade mean my son had a productive day of school work. Home schooling is great!

The jar of buttons and the embroidery pattern and Halloween clip art just out of view mean craft projects are on the way -- just as soon as I check a few things off that list...

What passes for fun around here

Rest for the old dog...


A tennis ball for the young dog...


And one last evening at the pool.


Monday, September 3, 2007

June Cleaver has been warned.

It took longer to photograph this reversible apron than it did to make it. My sewing skills are limited, but my photography skills are even worse. I actually made this several months ago and loved that blue and white fabric so much that I made a summer skirt out of it. The super easy instructions for this are from the very talented Crystal. I did not feel competent enough to try the ruffled bottom. Maybe next time...