Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For Some Babies


Everywhere I look, babies are being born. I threw together a few bibs and burp cloth (all backed in chenille) for some new baby girls. I love the femininity of the fabric. Too sweet. Soon I have to work on those boy versions...

  • Mason scored his first goal on Saturday during soccer. Woo-hoo, Mason!
  • We had a couple of barfy boys in the house within the last couple of days. Yuck.
  • Our little town flooded Saturday night/Sunday morning. Main Street was blocked off, as was our main entrance and exit to the town.
  • I succumbed about bought some candy corn for Sawyer's little birthday gathering. I think I ate too much. (But did you know there is "caramel candy corn?")
  • I'm running late this morning. I have to drive Spenser to preschool. But I have dinner in the crockpot.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ode to Candy Corn


Candy corn.

You are evil. You are not good for my waistline. It's not October yet, so I refuse to buy you. And when I do. Look out. I will eat you by the handfuls. And I might even buy your friends, the pumpkins.

But, since it's still September, I will just take the calorie-free approach and sew a tote. One that both honors you and reminds me to stay away from you.

And I won't play any tricks on anyone by biting off your white tip and pretending to have lost a tooth. I remember that day when I was a kid and did that to my mother. I felt instantly bad that I was deceiving her and 'fessed up. I really wasn't going to stick you under my pillow for the tooth fairy. Instead, I gobbled you right up.

And the truth is, I'm not even sure if I like you. I'm not sure if I like how you taste. You're awfully sweet, and I don't like very sweet things. I think you remind me of autumn. And of playing football and kickball in the backyard. And coughing when the cold air got into my lungs. You're a childhood memory. One that I hope to pass onto my children. And who knows, they might like you more than I do. Until then ... I'll see you on Wednesday. That's October 1st, you know.

~Lera

Update: The bank robber and giant spider are still at large. My smart friend thinks the police were smelling the suspect's hand because the robber wore gloves. If they were latex, the smell would be obvious. Someone else suggested an odor on the money or dye-pack. Also, word is he only got away with $2,600.

Sawyer had a fun birthday (that Joe missed). Thanks for all of your birthday wishes!

Oh, and speaking of teeth, this morning I walked into Taylor's room to make sure he was awake. He was sitting on his bed playing on the laptop. As I sat down next to him, I noticed a little something on the bed. I picked it up and asked, "What's this?" He replied, "A tooth." Surely, it was. He lost a tooth and it was sitting on the bed next to him. Ewwwww.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

2

He did it. He up and turned two today.

I seriously do not think it is possible. Wasn't he just turning one? Or just being born?

Little man. I adore you. Completely and utterly adore you. I love your brown eyes. I love the little brown uni-brow that peeks out sometimes. I love your blond, blond hair. I love your surfer tan all year round.

I love that you are safety conscious. You will remind me if you aren't buckled in your car seat or high chair. "Mama, buckle me," you'll say. You even buckle the highchair when no one is in it. And doll strollers.

I love that you give me the double "thumbs up" sign. It's really too cute. Especially with that heart-melting smile of yours.

I love your little OCD-ness. You go around shutting all the cabinet doors in the kitchen, and any doors around the house that are open. You even close the dishwasher while I'm in the middle of doing dishes. Sometimes you do just the opposite and you open all the cabinets. When I ask you to shut them, you run around happily doing it.

As we drive down the road, you'll say, "choo-choo, Mama," and "cow, Mama." You love animals. And trains. And motorcycles. And airplanes. And helicopters. And trucks. And cars. You're all boy.

Your first real sentence was "Mama, can I have more banana, please?" My heart broke. It didn't even sound like you. But, I gave you more banana and praised you on using your manners. (And I almost cried.)

Sawyer, I will love you throughout eternity. You will always be my little man. And, most of all, I'm so happy you're here. I'm so happy you're here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Lot of Excitement For One Little Town

My town. I just love it. I love that it is tiny. And quaint. And filled with old homes. And mature trees. And friendly, older neighbors who have lived here most of their lives. Some call it Mayberry. Our mayor is not only one of neighbors, he also teaches our boys karate. Our town is a one stop-light town. ("At the stop light, take a right and that's our street," is how we tell people where we live. Or "right across the street from Pastor Michael." If we say that, everyone will know our exact house. And who lived here before we did.)

So when I noticed two police cars on my street yesterday, I thought that was odd. We have a "town resident," who works for the county's sheriffs office and he is assigned our town as his main duty post. We know him by name. We see him driving around town frequently, but he is always alone.

And I thought it was even more strange when I saw a Maryland State Trooper car driving down our street. (We live on a dead end.) I kind of hovered near the front door wondering what was going on. Making sure the door was locked, as it always is. And when I saw sheriff's deputies canvassing my street, going door to door, I nearly flipped my wig. I had to abruptly end the call I was on to answer the door with a panicky, "what's wrong?!"

The one and only bank on Main Street was robbed and, apparently, the suspects ran down my street. Down. My. Street. My little Mayberry-town street.

It was only minutes before Taylor was due home, so I hovered the front door nervously, watching for the suspects. Not wanting to see them.

Taylor arrived home safely. I promptly escorted him into the house and waited. I looked out the door. Some neighbors were out on the street. Some (like me) were locked away. When I noticed an elderly neighbor coming home, I thought I should warn him. As we were standing on the street, a young man walked down the street. Then a police car pulled up. I decided to go back to my house and as I passed by, one of the officers said on his walkie-talkie "do we have a photo of the suspect?" So, I walked a little faster home.

As soon as I got inside, my phone rang. It was my best friend calling to warn me. I answered the phone, walked back to the door and this is what I saw:

They were frisking him. In a matter of seconds, three police cars, a police SUV, and an unmarked (FBI ?) car were in front of the house interrogating the guy.

I'm giving the play-by-play to my friend, while running to my laptop and emailing my sister the same details (she works for the same bank, but in the main office).

Turns out, after smelling the suspect's hands (yes, they did, I would not make that up), and an FBI agent's visit to a neighbor's house to verify his story, he was released. Bad timing is what is was. He was on his way to visit one of my neighbors. At least by the time he reached my neighbor's house he was laughing. My neighbor was nearly doubled over in laughter.

As of this morning, I have yet to see anything on the news or online for the one-and-only county newspaper. It's not mentioned at all, which makes me think the suspects are still at large.

Oh, and did I mention that Joe is out of town again this week? Nice.

(And here's a mouse update: I caught one. I discovered it yesterday before all the excitement. I had to put a bag on my hand so that I could touch the trap. I did not even scream. I seriously contemplated leaving it there until Joe's return on Friday night, but it was on my kitchen floor. And then I contemplated having my 81-year-old neighbor getting it for me, but then I thought that was too much to ask. And this morning Taylor warned me that there's a giant spider on the loose in my bathroom. Here's to being a lot more brave than I ever thought possible!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Wonky Patchwork Project


I've been needing a new dirty undergarment keeper for a long time. (Sorry, is that too much information?) My last one, made from a pillowcase, was getting raggedy and worn. I wasn't feeling the love anymore. It had to go.

This project has been on my mind for years. My mother has an awesome one that someone gave her 30+ years ago. It has several rows of rickrack all around the round opening. I love it. As much as I wanted one just like that, I decided to do a little something different. I used leftover linen from the dress and scraps of vintage sheets from past projects.

This turned out a little more narrow and longer than I anticipated. After I cut the hole, I realized that the bottom would have to be longer or the hole would be too low. I used a store pants hanger so, I stuck with the dimensions of that for the width. It's basically straight across the top, with a little place for the size that sticks up.

I'm now thinking of other possibilities. Maybe the boys need something to hold their dirty socks. It might encourage them to put them away instead of leaving them all over the floor ... But let's get real. They're boys! They'll still leave them on the floor. And they'll still make me crazy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Busy

Our Saturday was action packed with three soccer games. All four of the oldest boys play. On three separate teams. Luckily the games are spaced enough that they don't overlap. It just makes for a busy, busy day.

Here Jackson is defending the goal for the third quarter. His team lost. But they played a good game. At one point Mason kept trying to take the ball from Jackson, his teammate. I stood up and yelled, "Don't take the ball from your brother!" And all the parents broke out in laughter. I guess those two are a little competitive with each other, even when they should be playing together.

Jackson had several attempted goals. He's a pretty good little player.

During Jackson and Mason's soccer game, Taylor went on an archaeological dig, at a local spring house, with his Social Studies teacher. He can participate most Saturday mornings throughout the school year. I think it's a great opportunity for him to learn and experience new things. And he earns service hours.

And Saturdays are always good for dogpiles. I don't think poor Sawyer is enjoying it though.


And here's Taylor (his team is called The Leprechauns) shooting at the goal. He missed, but his team tied.

And Carter's game went well. They lost, but he scored his team's only goal! Wahoo, Carter!


I even took a small opportunity and sewed on Sunday afternoon. I don't normally sew on Sundays, but I was trying to force myself to stay awake. One of our smoke detectors went off 4:18 a.m. Sunday morning. It scared us. I wasn't sure if it was a smoke detector or our carbon monoxide detector. (We have about four smoke detectors upstairs and a couple downstairs and they are all inter-connected. Thankfully it didn't go off long enough to set all the detectors off at once. For the most part, the kids slept through it. Some said they heard it.) So Joe and I went and checked all around the house. We had quite an adrenalin rush. We did not find anything but we were wide awake. It was so hard to wake up for church in the morning. I knew if I tried to read on Sunday afternoon or sit idly, I'd fall asleep and totally mess up my sleep schedule, so I sewed.

I am about 3/4 finished the dress. I'm working on all of the bindings and such now. It might be slow moving from here on out. Hopefully I'll have something to show this week.

* Oh, and Joe came home Friday night and left again this morning for the week. Despite having not one, not two, but three mousetraps in my kitchen, no critter has been caught. I'm hoping he moved on. To another house. Maybe one with cats. *

Friday, September 19, 2008

One of *Those* Days

You know it's one of those days when your son comes home from the bus stop, one minute after leaving the house, with bird poop on his arm.

And when the most giant bottle of chocolate syrup in the world falls out of the fridge onto your foot.

And when you reach into your kitchen cabinet to realize that a mouse has been in there. And your husband is out of town.

And you go to your eldest's school to preview the family life movies and you get a case of the giggles that you have to suppress. Why I couldn't resist giggling, I have no idea. (I'm giggling now.) I don't know if it was the funny early-90's music with hilarious lyrics about growing up, or the hairstyles and clothes, or some of the phrases they used. I know it wasn't the subject matter that made me giggle, some of it horrified me that they teach that stuff to sixth graders.

I know that sitting in a classroom is not for this old body. By the end, my neck, knees, and back were revolting. I think it was the body discomfort that kept me from losing my cool and giggling like a sixth-grader.

But today is a new day. And it's not going to be anything like yesterday. I can already tell.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Know You're Old When ...

... you sniffle and it pulls a muscle in the back of your neck.

Yes. It is true. If it can happen, it will happen to me. I've had a cold since Sunday evening and yesterday morning, while packing school lunches, I sniffled. And as soon as I did, I had a spasm in the back of my neck. It hurt the rest of the day.


I've wanted to recover my heating pad (just like my ice packs) forever. (Or as Miss Chris so eloquently stated "make clothes for them.") Heating pad covers are, well, nasty. They are scratchy and ugly and everything sticks to them. They needed something new to wear. It's wonky and puckery (which I almost entirely blame on my machine), but it's better than the polyester stuff from before. I made this from linen and scraps from my basket. I have another heating pad that needs a new cover, so hopefully it will look better. Yes, when you get old and start falling apart, you need multiple heating pads.

P.S. It wasn't a big nasty sniffle. Just a little one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Splurged

I'm still having extra time in town this preschool season, so I am stopping in the thrift store more frequently. I have managed to find more teacups for Spenser's upcoming birthday-tea party and I think I'm about finished in that department. Her birthday is not until November, so that makes me happy to have that out of the way.

Some of my most recent, happy finds are the vintage salt and pepper shakers above. Both are decorated with the Spring Blossom pattern, of which I have the most in my collection.

I also found a gravy boat in that fun gray/silver-aqua pattern to match my creamer and plates. (Yes, I bought three more plates. And the other two basket cups.) And I needed a gravy boat. Really. I did.

And this is my splurge. I had seen this bowl, most coveted by me, at the local antique mall for $18. I thought that was way too much to spend on one measly, highly-coveted-by-Lera Pyrex piece so I didn't buy it. I have been still searching high and low for one in thrift stores and flea markets. I checked eBay and found one that was less expensive and included shipping and insurance. Although it was still more than I would have normally paid. I love this piece.

I thought the pattern was from my childhood, although when I mentioned it to my mother she doesn't recall ever having it, but has always loved that pattern. My sister said it looks familiar to her. Either way, it's mine now. It reminds me of my childhood. And whether that is fact or fiction, I'm going to go with my failing memory and think of it in my mother's kitchen. Full of cookie dough. And cake batter. And all those yummy things she made for us.

* Jumper Update *

Spenser liked the jumper. She tried it on and stood in front of the mirror and giggled. When I asked if she wanted to wear it to school, she replied, "I don't think so." It's a miss...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Jumper

I got a bee in my bonnet on Sunday afternoon that Spenser needed a jumper for preschool. It was not until Monday when I finally sat down and figured it out and it was driving me mad. I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it the rest of Sunday and all of Monday ... I'm sure you understand. Joe is out of town this week, so I had some quiet "sewing time" last night after the kids were in bed.

The jumper is loosely based on one in this Japanese book. I changed it around quite a bit. This is my practice one. My original intention was to make her with the leftover sheet from my lounge pants. We'll see how this one flies with her.


It is sewn from a thrifted sheet and lined with some vintage pink gingham. (Yes, I still have a boatload of that gingham left.) I added some matching pink gingham buttons to it.

I think she might wear it. It has the pink factor going for it ... I'll report back.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Might Be the Last One

to make the Amy Butler In Stitches Wide-Leg Lounge Pants, but I know I'm not the last one to use a thrifted sheet ...


I have an old standby lounge pants pattern that I used to make long and cropped bottoms. I didn't really see the need to change my pattern. I was happy with it. I've seen all the cute Wide-Leg Lounge Pants all over blogworld and everyone seems to love them, so I thought "why not?"

I like them. I don't love them. Yet. I really think they are too wide. I'm envisioning myself tripping down the stairs in these things. More than once. They are comfy, I'm just considering my klutzy history.

I have made lounge pants/pajama bottoms in the past from sheets, so it's not my first time. Or second. In fact, I think my first pair was made before it became so trendy, and I used the hem for the hem. I'm sure I had nothing to do with the trend, it's just purely coincidental.

When I showed off my new pants, Taylor asked (most seriously) "Where do you plan on wearing those?!?" (I joked that I was going to pick him up from school in them, arriving early so everyone would see me and I'd beep the horn a lot to get their attention.) Spenser's reaction was "They are soooo big!"

In soccer news:

Jackson/Mason, Carter and Taylor had games on Saturday. Carter's team was the only team who won. Carter scored one (two?) goals and assisted on one. Remember when I cried last year when Taylor got his first goal? Yeah, I totally missed Carter's goal(s). Joe witnessed it (them), but I did not. There is some debate whether Carter scored one or two. He says someone kicked the ball and it wasn't going into the goal (quickly enough), so he kicked it in. Joe said he thought it was already in the goal when Carter kicked it again. Either way, Carter scored at least one goal and assisted in one as he passed the ball to a teammate who scored. For Carter's sake, I should just say he got the second goal, too. That's how he's telling the story anyway... Two goals and an assist.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Confession

Confession: I am terrible with tags and memes. Don't get me wrong, I am so very appreciative of such nominations, it's just that my memory is, uh, well ... not as good as it used to be. I have every intention of accepting my awards on my blog and when it comes time to write a new post, I forget. I usually don't even remember for a few days and when it comes time to write a new post, I forget. Again. It's a vicious cycle... (Let me just add that it stinks to get old. And it doesn't help that I am in charge of six little people who have zapped all of my brain cells.)

So here they are. I hope I have them all. And if I don't, please email me post haste and I will add you. So without further delay ...



The Arte y pico award. This lovely award was given to me by Blondie of Blondie Speaks, Erica of Polka Dot Quilts, Rozi of Rozi ... The Artist, and Lisa of Lula Bells Daughter. Go check out their blogs. You won't be disappointed.

The Brilliante award. Yvonne of Little Munchkins and Charli of The Texas Mama graciously nominated me for this award. I'm ecstatic that someone would use "brilliant(e)" in the same sentence with me.

Thank you, ladies. I am so very honored and thrilled that little ol' me and my blog could possibly win anything. You inspire me.

I know I am supposed to tag other bloggers, but I think five apiece for each of the awards is overwhelming me at the moment.

Plus, I have been tagged with some memes, too. So here goes:

Melody of My Little Blue Cottage tagged me for the Tree of Happiness meme. I need to list six things that make me happy. I could do this very quickly and easily and say, "Taylor, Carter, Jackson, Mason, Spenser, and Sawyer," but that would kind of leave Joe out ...

  1. My family. I have the best family in the world. I'm most certain of it.
  2. My friends. I'm pretty sure I have the best friends in all of the world. And that includes all of you, my blogging friends.
  3. Ibuprofen and ice.
  4. My serger. I just wish I had more time to spend with it.
  5. School. I'll try anything if it will keep my boys from fighting with each other.
  6. Vintage Pyrex. (Did you need to ask?)
  7. A great thrifting find, like my pleater, for instance.

Melanie of jellybeanangel tagged me for The Meme of 7 songs:

"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your Summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to".

  1. Somebody to Love (from the Ella Enchanted soundtrack, love that movie)
  2. Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
  3. I Believe (Diamond Rio, a very sad, crying song that I listened to a lot last week)
  4. Together Forever (Michael McLean, another sad crying song)
  5. We Are Family (Sister Sledge, a song known to bring a few tears to my eyes as well)
  6. Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison, my boys sing it to my little brown-eyed girl)
  7. All I Really Need (The Wilkinsons, from the Country Goes Raffi cd. This cd is the only Raffi we listen to.)

I won't tag anyone for these memes, but I'd love to hear what songs you are into now and what is making you happy! Please share!

(Edited to add: I just realized I missed a meme from Jo-Anne. I will try to do that later in the week ... if I remember.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Out With the New, In With the Old

With all of my thrifting treasures finding their way into my home, I have a steady trickle of "new" things that are going out of the house. I've been going through our buffet and cabinets and antique glass secretary and cleaning out. Newer stuff is going to be donated. I have a box and a pile on the floor of stuff that won't fit in the box. And I'm just starting ...

Here are some of the things that have recently made their way into my home.

Some lovely Pyrex from my friend, Kat. Look at the lid to that aqua piece! It has a lovely gold design! And I've been needing a divided casserole. Since my kids are anti-potato, it will make roast-night dinners easier for me. Carrots on one side. Potatoes on the other.

These are also from Kat. A Pyrex pie plate, a little flower teacup for Spenser, and a fruity casserole dish. I was just looking at that same pattern in the thrift store the day that Kat dropped it off at my house. It has strawberries on it! Swoon!

She also brought over some vases and craft supplies. Thank you, Kat. It was like Christmas day going through the box.

And here are a few more treasures from the flea market last Friday. A set of six Pyrex bowls/mini-casserole dishes. I already have an aqua one, which I use for salads. This set of three aqua, two yellow, and one olive cost $1.50 total.

Does anyone recognize these glasses? Mom-mom used to have these when we were growing up (and maybe she still does). Pop-pop ran a BP gas station until his first retirement and these glasses were a promotional item, probably in the 70's or so. The smiley faces always remind me of my grandparents. I love them. When I saw a set of five for $5, I thought it was a pretty good deal. Then when I saw a set of three for $3 each, I knew the set of five was a bargain, so I hopped, skipped, and jumped my way back to the first table and scooped them up.

Two little tins. What can I say? They are cute and useful. I can put some sewing supplies in them.

And this was a totally frivolous purchase. Over a year ago I bought a dog dish, that I use as a butter dish for very special company (i.e., Karyn and Dianne and the missionaries). I found its twin at the flea market! I had to buy it. It was just too ... weird ... that I would find two of these odd things in the same town. It was only $1 and worth every bit of it to me. How can I not smile when I see twin dogs holding butter on my dining table?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cookies and a Story

I made cookies yesterday. Real cookies. I know. Shocker. I've confessed before that I don't like baking from scratch. Floating and wafting flour really annoys me. But these cookies have very little flour in them, so I make the exception. Plus they are so scrumdidiliumptious (you know, I can't find how to spell that word so I'll have to make up my own spelling.)

Home-Style Oatmeal Cookies

  • 4 cups quick oatmeal
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour (I did add a little more to hold the cookies together better)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup raisins

Mix oatmeal, sugar and oil. Let stand overnight (or mix during the day and make the cookies at night). Add vanilla, walnuts, eggs, flour, salt and raisins. Drop onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Story: Pick Your own Battles

Last night I went to pick up Jackson and Mason from soccer practice. As I was talking to the coach about Saturday's game, I noticed Jackson was chasing a boy, who was chasing a boy. All in fun. They were laughing and smiling. Jackson wasn't chasing the boy with any sharp objects. And obviously the boy is not limited to physical activity because he plays soccer. There was no immediate danger to this boy.

Well, apparently, the mother of the boy (who was chasing the other boy, don't forget) stopped Jackson and started to yell at him. While she is in the middle of yelling at my son, her son pushed the boy down whom he was chasing. I almost busted up laughing. It was sweet justice. It really gets my goat when people who have half the parenting experience I have (not to mention only a third of the children I have) feel the need to parent my children. I pick my battles. Chasing a boy, after soccer practice, is completely acceptable in my book.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peace of Mind

Thank you for your sweet words yesterday. I read through your comments yesterday afternoon and cried. And then I looked at some pictures of Krissy and watched some DVDs and sobbed. Spenser thought my sobs were laughs and she laughed "along" with me. Then I sobbed louder and she laughed louder. And then she saw my tears. She was so very sweet. She wiped my tears and put her arm around my neck and her face next to mine. I needed to have a "cry-fest," as Joe calls them. After a little while, my tears dried and I was left with very crunchy and clumped eyelashes and a headache and nausea (from stress).

I spent a good portion of my day with my family. I had breakfast with my mother, three sisters, one brother, three nephews, one niece, and Sawyer (while Spenser was in preschool). Later in the day my entire family got together for pizza, including two more brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, etc. We ended the evening at the cemetery. The cemetery has been cleaned up and there are little traces of the recent vandalism. My brother and sisters did a great job of cleaning Kristen's headstone.

Thank you, dear friends, for your kind words. They mean the world to me and brought much peace and comfort.

Over the years I have grown increasingly paranoid of something happening to my children. Abductions, kidnappings, getting lost, etc. Our local sheriff's office has distributed Child Identification Kits throughout the community, including the boys' school and I've always wanted to do them.

On Monday night for Family Home Evening (a once-a-week family night suggested by our church) we finally put them together. It was simple with two adults. We weighed and measured each child. Took hair samples (with roots intact) and fingerprints.


We filled out the forms with identifying marks (scars, birthmarks, distinguishable moles, etc.) and attached current photos from vacation/the first day of school. We still need to have our dentist fill out a section for each one.

And because Joe's stuff is already on file because of being in the Army, we did mine, too. I'm still waiting to find a nice picture of myself. I always tell Joe and Taylor that if anything ever happens to me, they better use a nice, in-focus, complimentary picture of me for TV, etc., or I will come back to haunt them.

It's such a good feeling to have these on hand. I can't believe we waited so long to do it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In Sweet Remembrance

The little girl ...

The animal lover ...

Mother of two ...

Sister ... (Emily, left, and Kristen, right )

Kristen

October 6, 1979 - September 9, 2002

Always remembered.

Never forgotten.

Always missed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Pleater

I went to a flea market on Friday morning. I discovered it last year and made sure I remembered about it this year.

The find of the day for me was this smocking pleater. It's a Read 16-row pleater with a board to hold the pleater and spools of thread. It came with lots of thread and a few extra needles.

These books were included. I looked them up online and the books range in price from $12.99-19.99 each.

And some vintage, yet timeless, smocking patterns.

And a binder of information, including patterns and techniques.

Two and a half years ago (while I was on bedrest during my pregnancy with Sawyer) my friend, Christy started to teach me how to smock. I worked on it a little, but when my bedrest turned into couch-sitting (when Joe had to return to work after the first week), I had very little time with Jackson, Mason, and Spenser still at home to do "busy" work. I tried to pick it up a few months ago, and was completely lost. This is as far as I got...

When I saw the pleater, I couldn't believe my eyes. They are expensive. I have often bid on them on eBay, but am always, always outbid. This one was affordable. He was asking $35 and, without my even asking, said he'd take $30 for it. I think once he noticed I knew what it was, he just wanted to get rid of it. And, I didn't even buy it right away, I walked around and pondered it a little longer, knowing that it would take up most of my remaining money for the day. And then I went in like a vulture and scooped it up. Very happily.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thrifting

With Spenser in preschool two mornings a week, I am finding I have a lot of spare time in town. (I don't drive home in between because we live about 15-20 minutes from school.) Usually when I find myself having "extra" time, I stop to visit my mother, who lives in town. When we stopped by yesterday, she was on her way out the door to take Mom-Mom to the grocery store. I had to "resort" to my next option. Thrifting.

I actually hit three thrift stores, the last being the gold mine. Before I walked in, I said, "Now, Lera, you are only going to buy things you love and can't live without ..." Very wise, I might add. And, boy, were there a lot of things I couldn't live without.

Like this little tea set. It's tiny. It's totally child-sized. It's missing the lid to the teapot and has a little hairline crack, but, honestly. Just look at it. I knew I couldn't live another day without it.

(If you didn't think I'd buy it, then you're not the person I thought you were.)

Moving on ...

Look at that pitcher. Why, it was just Tuesday when I was telling Joe I wanted a pitcher. It's not a small little creamer. It's a pitcher. And that cute little baskety, Japanese mug? It was calling for me. (And I think I hear in the distance the remaining two in the store calling my name ... Can you hear it? I'm pretty sure I can.)

The little Pyrex-wannabe is FireKing. I bought it at a different thrift store. It has a very Pyrexy pattern.

And I nearly died (died!) when I saw this vintage (1979) Marimekko vinyl tablecloth, new in package for $2.50. It is still factory sealed. I'm sure it's gotta be worth more than that. It has pink daffodils (#596) on it.

I think I had perfect timing on that, because as I was paying for my purchases, a man came in and was looking for the "biggest" tablecloth they had. I'm pretty sure he would have snagged this one if he saw it, at 52 x 70" (132 x 178 cm).

This little plate and creamer were so art deco, I just had to have them. They remind me of something Mom-Mom had or would have had years ago. The creamer will be filled with some short-stemmed flowers, as soon as my mums bloom.

The little, unnamed glass bowl had the same color scheme (gray/silver and aqua). I think I am officially loving that combination. That bowl is very art deco, too. I actually picked it up first and found the plate and creamer at a different store.

And no thriting trip is complete without Pyrex. These were just some of my most recent purchases from this week. A lidded, glass canister/storage container (50 cents), a casserole dish, and a very unusual dip bowl. It has a gold-leafed design on the outside and a blue interior! I've never seen anything like it before.

So you see, I couldn't just leave these fine things at the store. They had to be mine. I'm pretty sure I couldn't live without them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What Are You Reading?

I'm often asked what books I'm reading. Well, honestly, I don't have much time to spend on reading. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that there's not enough time. I'm a s-l-o-w reader.

I took the above stack of books on vacation recently. My goal was to read a book a day. Ha!

I read two and a half. It's hard to read when there are little kids playing in the water. Or playing badminton. Or flying kites. Or playing on the playground. Or playing Frisbee. Or football. All at the same time. Yes, with six children there are six different activities going on all at once. At all times.

Anyway, the books I like to read most often are juvenile books. They are quick reads and make me feel like I am accomplishing something. I can put it down for days or weeks and when I pick it back up, there is no long, twisted plot I have to try to remember.

So, what books are you reading? I'd love to hear. You know, in case I have some spare time ... Please share.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Achy-Breaky Knees

So my knees are better. I think. So far so good. I think some vacay time did them well. (But I don't think the hiking and geocaching was so good to them.)

The thing is, Joe and I have started running in the mornings. I was very gung-ho and felt great. During one morning run, I noticed that my left knee hurt a bit. Not enough to make me stop though. Later in the day it got worse and worse.

We couldn't run the next morning because Joe had to work very late the night before and didn't come home until nearly 1 a.m. I knew we'd skip that run and I was okay with it. Kind of. After getting out of bed, I realized my knee was killing me. I tried to nurse it back to health by myself with ibuprofen. I didn't know exactly what was wrong with it, but I was thinking ligaments. The doctor thought it was bone. Either way, a few days after the injury he gave me new meds and told me I could run in five days.

Five days came and went. I could barely walk. Ten days came and went and I barely felt better. On the eleventh day I felt some slight improvement and they have been getting better since. (Still having issues with my right knee though.)

So on Monday morning Joe and started running again. Just three or four days a week (for now). I decided to ice my knees and take ibuprofen upon our arrival home, just in case. I had bought an ice blanket, cut it into two strips and used them. They work great, but I was not loving the towels I was using to cover them. They just wouldn't do.


Every ice pack needs a pretty cover, right? Well, that's what I decided 7 a.m. this morning as I plopped down on the sofa.

I rummaged through my vintage sheet scraps and made two covers. I lined each with white cotton because the sheets are, well, sheets and thin.

They are actually quite long. Each strip is 18" long. This one is 6" wide and the smaller one is 3" wide.

All in a morning's work.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Backpack, Backpack.

Now I'm singing Dora ... Sorry if you are, too.


Yesterday I used up the rest of my brain cells trying to make this backpack. It took a lot. I had to resort to using some of Joe's brain cells when my ran out.

I was going to make Spenser a tote bag for preschool. I looked at a few backpacks at the store and they were pretty yucky. (She wasn't with me or I would have been suckered into something, I'm sure.) So, a tote it was.

Until ... someone asked her if she had a new backpack for preschool ... Her eyes lit up. She had never thought about a backpack for preschool. It was a look of wonderment and I saw the wheels turning in her head. She wanted a backpack. For preschool.

I thought, "It can't be that hard to figure out ..." And, really, it wasn't. It was more time consuming. I serged all the parts together and "lined" it with white flannel to give it more stability. However, it's still flimsy. I made a pocket on the inside bottom and added a piece of plastic needlepoint stuff (?), which helps it hold its shape.

And then I decided she needed a matching tissue pouch. Just in case ... You never know when you might need a tissue.