Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The post wherein I become a Luddite

Stupid, stupid technology. If you should stumble across a corrupted but otherwise innocent looking folder of data with my name on it, let me know. It will be marked something like "The Missing Stuff That Robs Chris of Sleep This Week and Makes Her Crabby."

Sometimes having a backup isn't enough. :)

And I love my husband. He is the best tech support because even if the blasted (new -- did I mention it's new?) computer is beyond hope, I can still snuggle with him on the sofa and pretend I use a typewriter for work like God intended. (The irony of putting this diatribe on the Internet is not lost on me.)

I really need to make something involving fabric, glue or beads.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?


No, he doesn't have a Spongebob Lego set. My son has been making this from a picture he saw in Lego Magazine. There has to be a career in this somewhere...

(Note the untied shoelaces.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I can't see it

There is a rumor that I might be colorblind. While I refuse to give credence to such vicious talk, I will concede that I need some help in the fabric coordination arena. I want to start planning the quilt that I am going to make for our master bedroom. I know I won't be able to sew it until school is out, but I can probably fit in some cutting here and there before then. I am posting pictures of fabric below. Help me choose. I know colors may not be entirely true this way, but I have no gift for this and would appreciate any advice. By the way, there is not fancy pattern to this quilt. I want a basic patchwork with large squares -- and not just because I'm lazy, though sometimes instant gratification is a good thing.

These two are definitely going to be used. They were part of Mrs. M's vintage stash.



See? I don't think any of these three will work... Maybe the green?


Friday, January 25, 2008

Tropical life

No, not here -- not by a long shot. But Nolan is busy learning about the rainforest biome, so we are thinking warm thoughts.


I really need to clean this office. Photographic evidence doesn't lie.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Warm 'em up

To put my complaints about the winter weather in perspective, I was assigned to write about Operation Security Blanket, a program that sends blankets to our troops in Afghanistan so they can be distributed to orphans trying to survive the incredibly harsh weather. I just learned that blankets and monetary donations are being accepted through March 15. This program benefits everyone involved and is a real morale booster to troops who are witnessing such pain. Warm 'em up!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Playing around

with the camera and my niece. I want to spend the next year or so learning something (anything) about photography. I may work up to a camera with more bells and whistles, but there is no need for that for quite a while. I've had this one for four years and I am still figuring it out.

Truly, you can't beat camping on the sofa with all the gear supplied by Fisher-Price.




Saturday, January 19, 2008

Utter Humiliation

I got tired of watching bony, 12-year-old Buddy out in the cold, so I whipped up a little fleece coat for him. He is not amused.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Tools of the (mom) trade


Sometimes angels come in the form of neighbors bearing science experiments

When my neighbor called in the midst of yesterday's snow day offering a box of dry ice, how could I possibly turn it down? We had definitely reached a point in the day when it was much more fun to play with cold stuff inside than out.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's still here (twitch, twitch)

I'm done now, thanks. Feel free to melt. No, really. Go ahead.

P1010021 P1010017

P1010022 P1010016

Snow Day




It's a lot for us, trust me. This is my favorite kind of winter storm because it is supposed to melt by tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

7:30 p.m.: And so it begins...


While everyone else in town made mad dashes for bread and milk, I bought chips and other junk food. We all prepare in our own way. :)

A recap...

The problem with taking my camera everywhere is that I never have it handy at the computer. And sometimes my battery dies or I forget to insert a memory card. Minor details... In any event, the week has been filled so far with a big work project, a class at the zoo, the first day of homeschool co-op and the impending blizzard (a projected 2 - 4 inches). The kids are doing the snow dance, ignoring the fact that if school is out tomorrow it will be made up when the weather is nice and warm.

Monday, Jan. 14:

When work is caught up, I will combine this library book and  pile of vintage sheeting to make slipcovers for the sunroom.


They will look great with these pillows. I love these pillows. I made then from special order samples I bought when my local fabric store went out of business, hence the reason they are backed with really expensive silk that I would never use in the sunroom otherwise.


At my husband's excellent suggestion, I made mango salsa. Oh my word, I could eat this stuff by the quart.


Tuesday, Jan. 15:

At the zoo -- Nolan had a class on African animals and culture. Good stuff.



Long shadows formed while I waited for him to finish.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Saturday, Jan. 12

HGTV has a new show called "Desperate Spaces." The tag line is that "it all starts with a confession." Here's mine: Despite the fact that every other room has been remodeled so as to have no resemblance to when we bought this house, our master bathroom has remained completely unchanged, right down to the vintage 1981 hot pink flowers on the wallpaper. I know, I need an intervention.

Saturday, we (and by that, I mean my incredible husband) took the first step in bringing our bath out of its virtual big hair and bangle bracelets by installing a new shower door. It's amazing how happy this has made me.

Before (avert your eyes from the wallpaper):




And after (pardon the poor lighting by this point in the day):


I already have the gorgeous sage green toile wallpaper and I can't wait to see those flowers disappear.

Friday, Jan. 11

After school, but before homeschool game day, the dogs got in a few games of their own.P1010016

Some of us really just wanted a nap.


I end up with a lot of shots like this:


Saturday, January 12, 2008

I really do work...

Despite all the talk of fabric and homeschool and such, I really do work -- here are a couple of recent stories on the decidedly heavy topic of MRSA infections (hint: wash your hands and buy a big honkin' tube of Neosporin) and a column about homeschooling. My editor had to cut a couple of sentences from this column for space and I think it changed the meaning of one paragraph. I may put the director's cut here at some point, but it does retain the essence of my thoughts.

Let it snow, let it snow...

Wowee. It snowed in Baghdad yesterday, and this is the best story I have read in who knows how long. What a glorious vision of peace.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Because I forget stuff

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9: one complex Lego creation.


My husband and daughter remember everything -- I mean everything. Ask either of them about first grade and they could give you great details. My son and I have brains like sieves, at least about life. I make an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner though.

In an effort to keep this site updated and perhaps ward off the inevitable Swiss cheese memories of the upcoming year, I am going to try to document something about everyday, ala Project 365. This will ultimately reveal how boring I really am, I'm sure, but maybe it will be a good exercise. I also hope it will hone my horrific photography skills in the process and force me to take my camera everywhere. Warning: I am not going to beat myself up if this doesn't work out. And lest you think I am especially creative, I completely stole this idea from others far more artistic than myself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday: The wai-ai-ting is the hardest part

Life screeched to a halt, literally, as we awaited a van repair. I am considering getting a horse.

Fortunately, our school travels well.


Monday, January 7, 2008

71 degrees



We had winter for about three days last week. That suits me just fine. Spring? Bring it on.

40 things before 40, from mundane to ethereal (a list in progress)

1. Read The Message. Use Anne Graham Lotz' study method.

2. Make a quilt for our bed using vintage fabrics.

3. Finish redecorating sunroom.

4. Make memo board for laundry room.

5. Paint laundry room.

6. Make one gift per month for Handmade Holidays 2008. (Maybe that's 12 things...)

7. Stop. Every. Day.

8. Practice hosting until I like it -- or at least until I am comfortable with it. This starts with the Jacob Bible study beginning next week.

9. Record each day in words and/or pictures.

10. This summer, develop a full outline for home school 2008-09.

11. Say "no" more often.

12. Be a help-mate.

13. Feed and host other families' teenagers while mine still lives here.

14. Freak out less. (Losing my noodle is my new hobby, apparently -- like when the van started squealing and I dropped my son off for a field trip with perfectly nice people I don't know. At the same time.)

15. Place these vintage buttons and patterns for adoption.

16. Write one letter per month to a friend I need to contact.

17. (a.) Look at the stars with my husband. (b.) Don't complain about the cold.

18. Hike with my family.

19. Keep the kitchen stocked with homemade chocolate syrup and muffins.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The patterns are mocking me

I have to get better at sewing from patterns. I just have to learn, now that I have these. Once I get done with a couple of huge work projects I have going on right now, I will probably sell some of these vintage patterns online -- but not that little green and black number. I think I have about 150 total, all of which belonged to Mrs. M. Craziness, I tell you. I sense my wardrobe entering a time warp.

And on a different note, school starts back today. It's day 84 of homeschool and so far, so good. :)



Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Save Our Seniors (or, this is not a sewing blog)

I love it when I get to write stories about neat kids. Here's one who will be asking for your vote one day. Give it to her.