Laura H. Monday, August 27, 2012

So we never made it to the county fair this week. Between battling allergies and getting a new-to-me car, there was just no time!

The car thing too about 5 times as long as it should. Somehow, every one of us who looked at the car never noticed the HUGE FREAKIN' WIRE sticking out of the rear passenger tire! Once we noticed it, for some strange reason it took four hours to get a new tire and have it changed out. But, I've got a new-to-me small SUV.

I know, awful woman! Don't I care about the environment? Gas prices? Politics? In short: yes, yes, and no. But there are some hard facts that have got to be faced. One of the main ones is this: I am negatively mending from that stupid epidural fiasco round about two years ago. My back is still not quite right from it and neither is my left leg. So, to decrease strain on those parts, a higher-profile vehicle is a must. Also, My old car (as grand as she's been) was getting unreliable. It is nothing but luck that I didn't have Elizabeth with me the day the alternator died in a flash flood and had to wait four hours for AAA to show up. And the weird fan-noise was distressing.

And incidentally, the cure for gas prices is driving less. And the cure for politics is to realize that no matter what, in this country the citizenry is in control and *can* rise up in protest of the powers that be. We are all just too fat and lazy to do more than update facebook statuses about how our own personal opinion is right and the 'other side' is a bunch of Godless baby-eaters who dance naked in the moonlight pooping on the Constitution.*

BUT! New-to-me car! Yay! It is a Grand Vitara in really dark blue that I've decided to name Kitara. Gonna get one of these for the back window. The Boy Scout approves it as both amusing and appropriate.

In other news, I did go collect my two entries from the fair this year. Ahem:

That's right! Two blue ribbons! I only wish I knew what my competition was. I am frankly FLOORED by both. And I'm telling you this right now - that Sweet Tartan is getting retired to the back of the closet. This summer, it has been worn to a wedding, a fund raiser, church a million times, and has now won a blue ribbon at the fair. It is done! That's a good life! And the diaper? It's a stunner too. Imagine a diaper winning! What a hoot! It's going back in the drawer after it's washed and will be used and used. It's my favorite and I've missed it this week.

I'll end this post with 'comb' as Elizabeth calls it. This outside rug will never be dirty again now that we have discovered the joys of foam between our toes.

*And lets be reasonable here. Given the protection of the original document, the likelihood of the Constitution being crapped on is quite low. I think the docents and security guards would eject any random poopers before their task was complete. Not to mention as the windows are blacked out, the moonlight part is unlikely as well. Same with the no-food-and-drink policy.

Laura H. Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elizabeth has had a hard week. I'm sure it is mostly my fault as my patience level has been about as high as freshly mowed courthouse grass, but I've managed to get myself back on track I think. I can just only stand so much of her whining and screaming at being told no before I want to get the Gypsies on speed dial. Instead, I break out the Peanut Butter Cheerios. They are magical things that buy silence for a few minutes. Here's the recipe:

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter or margarine
6 cups Cheerios

Melt the butter and peanut butter. Pour over Cheerios. Mix well. Spread them on a flat surface to cool. Store in an airtight container.

They are excellent tea party food, too.
We use butter in ours because Elizabeth is on limited amounts of milk and needs a little extra milk-fat. And yeah, I've heard there are PB Cheerios in the stores now. I think these are better, though. And a lot more controllable - you pick what goes in! I've need wanting to try it with a brand of organic, gluten free o cereal that I've had before. The o's are a little sweet because they have pomegranate juice in the mix. I think they would be really great!


Busy week around here. Elizabeth turned two (TWO! GAK!) and is really enjoying her new toys. She got new play dishes (inculding a tea set), a dolly stroller, two new dolls and dolly care set, and more books than you can shake a stick at. She loves every bit of it! Annie isn't very popular, but I can't say I'm surprised. Blue Bear is her Best Friend and that isn't going to change anytime soon.

Mommy forgets party dress? Wear one of great-granna's!
Speaking of Blue Bear, he may end up being my next sewing project. I think I may have to frankenbear the Not Blue Bear to patch up Blue Bear. She will not accept any substitutions and she is terrified of bandaids. As in kicking, wailing, screaming, freaking-out-about-seeing-the-box scared of bandaids.

But I have managed to get some sewing in. I've remade a couple of her diapers into something i like a lot better. I've also gotten some of Elizabeth's fall things cut out. I've also unpacked a couple of the pairs of B3Ps that I made last winter and let the hems down on them. They should still fit this fall. She's gotten taller, not broader! And I did this:

Laura H. Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oh, bother. Here she goes again with the religious stuff! There, I said it for you. You are officially off the hook and can read ahead in secret once the kids are in bed and the spouse is doing other things. Go on, I can wait.

Back? Great!

So since the move, I actually had to do less shopping for a church than I did in M-ville. The decision was made easier by the information that the preacher who did our wedding ceremony had gotten a local-to-us-now gig.* I did go to more than just the one, but I ended up staying there and am quite content. It is small but has an active congregation.

Anyway, something in the message today struck me hard enough for me to scribble it on the back of my bulletin and bring it home. And I didn't know this before.

When Jesus began his ministry, lots of folks didn't believe that he was the Messiah. I never gave that much thought, but I never realize why they didn't believe him.

Me! Of all the people to have never wondered about it! Me! Who still drives everyone nuts asking "Why?"

Sorry, had a Completely Ashamed moment.

See, people didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah 'cause she showed up on a donkey talking about peace. They'd been expecting the Messiah to show up on a gold chariot, clad in armor, bringing war and the destruction of their enemies. So how could the guy washing everyone's feet and being nice to prostitutes and hanging around iffy guys like Paul and Mathew possibly be the Messiah? A lot of people missed him because he wasn't 'packaged' the way they'd expected.

How many times have we missed stuff in our own lives - GOOD stuff - because it didn't look like what we'd expected or wasn't how we'd decided it needed to be?

So often in my own life I set out to find something intangible (and sometimes tangible, too!) and I look and I look - not for what it is I want but for the image of what I think I want it to be. My image of my Forever Person wasn't the Boy Scout! My image of my own contentment wasn't raising a daughter and sewing 'cause it's fun! I could have missed all this great stuff if I'd held out for my imagined-life!

Do you see the difference? Say you want to find something that makes you happy. And you've got this idea in your head of what Happy is. So you are going after that imagined Happy, not for the real thing. And the real deal may not look anything like your image of Happy, so you skip right over it and you miss something really amazing that would make you Really Happy.

What are you looking for for your life? What are you after? And are you really looking for it or are you looking for your idea of it?

He came preaching peace and they were expecting a warlord. Could what you are looking for look the opposite of what you imagine it to be?

*UMC preachers move around a good bit. There's a committee in each church that talks each year about weather to keep the current preacher or ask for someone new. Most preachers stay in one place between 4 and 8 years, and I think 8 is the max.

Laura H. Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm one of those DISGUSTING people who seems to be able to do just about anything. Tell me I can't do something and you better believe that I will. "Can't" only seems to exist in my world as a challenge. Really to the point of craziness - "You can't rob a bank!" Well, yeah I could. But *will* I? Nope.

And therein lies the difference! See, some people have gotten can't and won't mixed up. Just like need and want. I can do anything. Base jumping, dishes, vacuuming when Elizabeth is home. All things I can do. Also, all things I will not do!*

But in sewing I think I've finally found something that I'll not be doing again for a VERY long time because it just about become a big ole CAN'T right out of the gate.

And here she is. A Raggedy Ann doll for Elizabeth's birthday. I will start by saying that she is done with plenty of time to spare (about a week) and that she will have more clothes than just this one dress. But...

I go on record here and now stating that I Will Never Make Another Doll Of This Pattern Again.

It's not the hair or the wig or the clothes or the 'putting the body together with the legs and arms rammed inside the torso' or the seam ripping to restuff the head. It's her neck.

Less than an inch wide to start with and having to be sewn on to a curve with just enough room inside of the circle for the presser foot and half of my pinky finger the neck of this thing is the stuff of my nightmares. Sewing this thing should replace all forms of torture used and in some instances could be used as a substitute for the death penalty.

If I were not already nuts I would have been put in a home by now.

But, she's done, she's cute, and I don't think that Elizabeth is going to mind some of her wonkier points.

After all, she loves Annie almost as much as her Auntie M. does. And Auntie M's guest bedroom is decorated with Annie's.**

Fun things to note about Annie: The buttons on her shoes and the rickrack on her dress are both True Vintage - grandma's sewing room to the rescue! Also, her tights probably look familiar - I've still got BOATLOADS of that sheet left, too.

*In reality, there is only one thing that I simply can not do. And that is father a child. I do not have the biological capability to do that.

** Not like creepy-dolly decorated. There's a couple of Annie prints on the wall, M's own Annie doll for her youth, and a couple of figurines and a throw over the chair. And I think the bed linens are in the reds and blues of Annie, but are NOT Annie print.

Laura H. Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Our new home boasts a County Fair every year. This year, it's happening the third week of this month. They have lots of events and exhibitions it seems. There's even a division for sewing stuff!

I've decided that I'll enter.

Now comes the big decision-making. What do I put in? Most everything will be in the Children's Clothing class. Dress-Up and Casual will probably be the two things I enter. But the real question is this: WHAT do I enter?

I think that my much-loved and over-used Sweet Tartan needs to go. It's very pretty and *really* well put together. And will probably qualify as Dress-Up. Perhaps one of the peasant-top-and-skirt sets would work for casual.

And get this: there's a class for Recycled Clothing! Only it is in adult sizes. Boo! I've got so much stuff I've recycled in to stuff for Elizabeth!

But there is also a Quilt division with a Baby Quilt class. Well, I have one of those. But it isn't eligible sicne I made it last year.

And I have diapers. I have one in particular that I might enter in the Any Other Infant Item class. I'll at least take it along and see what they say! It's red outside with a cow-print inside. One of the first I made and one of the best, too.

I can't believe that I'm considering this. I doubt that I'd win anything, but it seems like an appealing thing to do - and a good chance to see what other folks have made and are proud of this year. I may even meet some other local sewing types!