Showing posts from August, 2014

The fifty dollar pillowcase

I took my daughter to another sewing class at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Since I don't sew, I have to rely on strangers to teach her. The goal of this class was to create a pillowcase with contrasting trim. I took her to the store ahead of time last week to buy the fabric and related supplies. Not surprisingly, she chose a tiger (zebra?) print for the main part of the pillowcase and hot pink for the trim. Then we looked at the pattern books so that she could pick out a Halloween costume for Meemaw to make for her. I had some serious flashbacks while we were there. My mom is a crazy-good sewer and as a kid I remember sitting in fabric stores while she thumbed through patterns and fondled various bolts of fabric. I remember being bored out of my gourd and thinking that time seemed to stand still. But now I'm a grown-up so I was able to leave as soon as we were done. I guess the sewing bug just never bit me, but I'm hopeful that my daughter will really get into it. She and I have been


My Aunt Marlene died on Wednesday. She was my mother's sister. My aunt was a good egg.  She was smart, funny, and lively - something of a smart ass but big-hearted, too). She had a great laugh. I remember her visiting us in Virginia (she lived in Miami at the time) when I was a teenager. She took me to the mall and bought me a new outfit and then took me to see "Terms of Endearment." We ate popcorn and cried and cried. Years later, she also attended my wedding and brought a whole new dimension to the event. When someone dies, the first thing we think is, "I should have called her more. I should have made more of an effort."  It seems like such a cliche when we say, "Life is short. Don't take anything or anyone for granted." But, you know, it's mostly true. I had talked to my aunt a few months ago, but now I wish I had called her more recently. I certainly thought about it, but it was always at a weird time . . . such as 5:00 a.m. Plus, my aun

What vacation isn't complete without a decomposing body?

Fret not - we have returned from our vacation in the great northwoods. It rained every single day of our trip. It didn't bother us too much since we don't really DO much while we're at the cabin every year. When it's not raining, we wander down to the lake. Some of us fish. Some of us catch frogs. Some of us talk on the phone because the reception gets slightly better the closer you get to the water. Here's how much it rained. On the first morning of the trip, I drove "into town" and bought some fancy birdseed - some sort of nut and fruit blend. I then poured it into the feeder, which is really a flat wooden tray attached to the deck. We saw some blue jays, some chipmunks, and some small birds that I can't really identify because I am not a bird person. Anyway, a couple of days later, I checked the feeder because it seemed like our wildlife friends were not staying long. Get this: some of the seeds had sprouted .  That's how much it rained. They

The best laid plans

We went to the state fair last weekend. I waited until Friday to book a hotel (mostly since Friday was payday). I can usually score a decent room on Priceline even at the last minute. However, I couldn't get a room to save my life. It didn't seem to matter how high I was willing to bid or how sketchy a neighborhood I was willing to accept. I was turned down every time I tried. I then contacted my friend who works for the Hilton in case there might be some super secret network through which rooms can be procured. He tried and everything was definitely booked. I posted my woeful story on Facebook and whaddya know - a couple of friends were willing to open their guest rooms to our little clan. My friend Cindy offered first so I took her up on it. She has two pit bulls, a cat, and several reptiles (she does reptile rescue), and I knew my daughter would be thrilled to spend the night in such a place. So, we were all set. We went to the fair and had a great time. My friend Kate me

Just be nice

I wrote this partial blog entry about two months ago. Then I sat on it. I'm not sure why. Part of the reason for hiding it was simply because it's a bit disjointed and I don't like to publish blog entries that are not terribly cohesive. The greater reason for my hesitation is probably my deep discomfort in discussing my medical issues. I can't say that I dig it when someone looks at me for just a beat too long and then I know that they know. And there is judgement there. Anyway, I had come across two similar articles in a short span of time so I felt prompted to write about the articles, my medical issues, and mean people - all in one fell swoop.  The effect/outcome is less than heroic, so I apologize for that. ****************************************************  I recently attended a house concert, which was a lot of fun. I don't know if this is a growing movement among not-quite-famous musicians (playing in a residence for anyone who'd like to come), but I

Guess who I'm dating?

One of my all-time favorite comedians, Brian Regan, is coming to town next month. I've seen him live twice before. The second time, P and I drove through a blinding snowstorm to get to the show (going to the performance was my idea, as you may have gathered). The show was great, though. I have no problem with foul language but I have a real appreciation for Brian's ability to be so funny without using it.  (Yes, we're on a first name basis.) Anyway, when I saw that Brian Regan is coming to town, the first thing I noticed was that the show is on a Thursday and my husband works Thursday nights. Crud. Then I wondered if I should try to find someone to go with me. I posted a little plea on Facebook but then deleted it almost immediately. I figured it would probably be too hard to find someone, coordinate the ticket purchase, etc.  I was resigned to the fact that I would miss the show. And then I changed my mind. I decided to go by myself. I got online and put the ticket in

Oh, Archie

Six days. I only knew him for six days. I'll never know what his real name was, or how he became stray at the age of ten. What I do know is that the worst feeling in the world is leaving a veterinary clinic clutching an empty collar in your hand. The people in the waiting room see your tear-streaked face and the collar and they murmur to themselves and exchange knowing looks. They know the score and they part to let you through so that you can escape. He was a sweet old guy, a fawn male with cropped ears. We don't see cropped ears much these days. My friend Sarah was fostering him at first, but we quickly learned that he had bad knees and since I live in a ranch-style house and she has lots of stairs, it made more sense for me to foster him. So, she transferred the grey-muzzled fellow to me. I was supposed to keep him for about a week and then transfer him to a long-term foster home once that volunteer returned from vacation. Sarah named him Archie. Archie had all sorts o

Hip hop and you don't stop

I said a hip hop, Hippie to the hippie, The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop, a rock it To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie, To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat. As you may recall, Irish Dance week at camp was followed by Hip Hop Dance week.  There was no shoe-related drama this time around, because the kid borrowed the same ballet slippers (as last week) from her instructor. All I had to do was to make sure she was wearing black shorts and either a white or pink top. The other day, the kid announced that she needed to practice. "Mom, do you have any Christian hip hop?" "Of course. My iPod is CHOCK FULL of Christian hip hop," I replied. "Really?" "No." I have no problem whatsoever with Christian hip hop but seeing as how I just now learned that this is even a thing, there was little chance of me supplying the genre in question.  She had to make do with the music in her head, I guess.  I drove over to watc