Tuesday, July 27, 2010

pointing, the TV, and the clubhouse

This little sister is something else, let me tell ya. She totally does not understand pointing - if you point to something she looks at your hand. But if you are holding the remote and pointing it in the direction of the TV she looks at the TV.

If the TV is turned off (we do generally turn off the TV during the day) she looks at it, looks away at something else, looks back at the TV, looks away, checks the TV again, over and over again. You can see the wheels turning in her head - "Why is the TV not working? Is it broken? What is the problem? Why isn't everyone worrying about this?"

If she gets fussy, or we just need a lot of laughs, we turn on the TV and put Mickey's Clubhouse on. It's so clearly her favorite, and she is just so overjoyed when it comes on that she can't hardly contain herself. You haven't seen anything funnier than a 7 month old baby light up and start "dancing" to M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. She recognizes the theme song - she'll stop whatever she's doing and crane her neck around to see the TV. It's too funny. The Hot Dog Song is another one she really likes and thanks to modern technology and the DVR we can watch it whenever we want. I fear for her mother. Karie is going to have her hands full keeping our sweet little Buttercup from becoming a complete couch potato. She is seven months old and she has a favorite TV show, for pete's sake.

That's all for tonight. I'm splittin' the scene, I'm full of beans...See you real soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Deep Thoughts

I've been thinking about some things lately. Things I've heard, things I've read, and things I've seen. Normally "thinking" or "analyzing" or "contemplating" isn't something I recommend for myself because it usually just stirs up in me the desire to say something and then that generally causes a lot of trouble somewhere, but hey, I've had a lot of long drives lately through Middle-of-Nowhere, Texas and so I've had lots of time to either:
  1. listen to country music, or
  2. think.

I chose "think". Because it's less painful to me than country music.

You ready? Here it is:

Life (or marriage, or love, or the children, or the family, or the house, or the finances, or etcetera and ad infinitum) has never been and will never be perfect. Even if people or circumstances had been different, none of it would be perfect. And that's okay. What's important is how you deal with the imperfections.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Buttercup has a new trick that she does when she wants to get a laugh. (I think she's got a bit of her Grammie's clowny soul in her!)

She squints her eyes and shivers a bit like she's tasting something tart. It's hilarious. Everybody laughs.

She loves it when everybody laughs. She's a girl with a good sense of humor. I love that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Money money money

Today we drove home. It's a long drive from Nana's house to our house, but we made it in 10 hours with virtually no traffic jams and no screaming hissy fits. Buttercup was really good, too.

As we approached the Red River I announced to everybody in the car that we would be back in our homeland (they are all Texans) very soon. But not quite yet because I couldn't see any casinos. (Does every Indian Nation own a casino on the Texas/Oklahoma border?)

My Little Friend asked, "What's a casino?" and I told him that a casino is a place where you gamble away all your money. He said, "A casino sounds like a stupid idea".

My Little Friend is a smart cookie. He knows a thing or two.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting down and getting dirty

This week I'm at my mom's house with lots of visiting and cooking and talking and staying up too late and and and...

We've been to a class - our very own up close and personal class - on How To Use A Serger. It was oh so helpful. (I learned so much and I'm much more confident about using it and threading it. If you've ever used a serger, maybe you know what I mean.) I'm so excited about everything I learned and I got so many wonderful ideas about the possibilities for clothes and projects and threads and fabrics and and and...

We've been to her monthly quilting class where I got busy with my Fun and Done quilt. I'm getting pretty close to finished with the thing. I met some of her quilt class friends and we got in on some kind of crazy fun quilt-block chain-letter plot/scheme thing. We talked and sewed and quilted and worked and listened and looked and decided and and and...

It is now very late at night and I'm thinking about my blog. When I logged in tonight I clicked over to catch up on SouleMama's blog and I'm so glad I did. She wrote the other day about a project she's working on - a hand-knitted sweater for her husband. And she very casually mentioned all the grass and leaves and pet hair that is stuck to her project.

And it struck me: there is so much to being a mama. So much to being a Grammie, as well. Things happen so fast and if you get two spare minutes to knit you better take them. If the grass and leaves and pet hair get knitted into your project, well, that is real life. It's not about doing it perfectly, it's about doing it.

So the next time I have two minutes to spare, and I pick up my Fun and Done quilt blocks, I'm not going to spend those two minutes plucking off loose threads or agonizing over the alignment of the borders or worrying about the less-than-perfect ironing. I'm going to have fun, do the work, and get every bit of enjoyment that I can out of those two minutes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I have skills!

Well, I'm making progress to having skills.

I've been practicing my knitting on these dishcloths. I know, I know - you can buy dishcloths anywhere. But you can't buy dishclothes made by me anywhere. You can only get them one place and that's wherever I am.

An old friend once said to me, on the occasion of presenting me with some handmade, quilted hot pads, that every time I used them, I'd remember her. And I have.

I believe that to be remembered is significant. And that's why I make things like hot pads and dishclothes and afghans and give them to my family and friends.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's not all about yarn

I have other kinds of crafts too!

I bought this small wooden frame at Michael's about a year or so ago. It was plain, unfinished wood and the sight of it stirred up all sorts of fabulous and crafty dreams in me. Not that that's unusual or anything. Lots of stuff inspires creative dreams in me.

I've been thinking all week about what my crafting room will look like when I finally get the opportunity to put it together. I think I'll call it "My Studio". That sounds a lot more fancy and serious and official than "my craft room" or "my closet" (which is where all my crafting supplies and projects live now). My Studio is going to have an inspiration board where I can tack up ideas and pictures about stuff I'd like to make. I'm giving those creative dreams a place to go in my studio.

My Studio. Ah, yes.

Anyway, back to the frame. I decoupaged it with some scrapbook paper and Mod Podge yesterday.

It feels good to have one more pending project moved over to the Totally Done and Ready for Gifting list!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

To infinity and beyond!

I'm tired of the numbers. I've never been a number or math person. So no more.

I finished this afghan today. I was This Close to finishing it but for a reason that I no longer remember it got put away and somewhat forgotten about.

When my grandmother died a little over two years ago I inherited her yarn stash. Much of it consisted of hundreds (I'm not exaggerating here) of small balls of whatever yarn was leftover from skeins when she finished knitting a sweater. There is a pretty wide variety of colors but the majority of it is pastel. Because the sweaters she knitted were for babies.

I found this cool pattern booklet of afghans called Scrap Wraps. All of the patterns use black yarn as a background along with any other yarn scraps and leftovers you have on hand. One of the patterns was this one that is called Granny's Favorite.

I like how it turned out. It's a little bit Gram - all of her pastel yarn, and it's a little bit me -the black and the handiwork.

Getting closer to the bottom of The Mountain of Unfinished Projects...

Thursday, July 8, 2010


= 2 pillowcases for 2 young people who are just leaving their 2nd decade of life.

Did you know that my bff D has twins? She does. I think that's cool.

They're turning 20 in a few weeks and D asked me to make some pillowcases like the one I made for her husband for his birthday. She picked out the fabrics and I put them together. I love this pattern. It's so easy, and quick and fun to make.

One of her twins, the boy Q, is serving a mission for our church in New York City. He's working with the deaf, sharing the good word of God in American Sign Language. He's a cool kid, and a good boy. I taught him and his twin sister C for 3 years in Early Morning Seminary.

With the afghan for James that I finished yesterday and these pillowcases out of the way, my mountain of unfinished projects is shrinking. It's almost more like a "pending project pile" than an unfinished project mountain. I'm determined to get all the way to the bottom of it. Check back here tomorrow for a look at another project that I finished today.

Even though I still have a huge number of projects that aren't completed, you want to know what am I doing late at night when I can't sleep? Surfing the Internet for free knitting and crochet and quilt patterns, that's what. Some things I can't seem to quite overcome.

I'm okay with that though. I'm a dreamer and a planner and a looking-forward-to things kind of girl.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


= the number of afghans, crocheted in this pattern that my Gram taught me, that I have completed now that this one is done.

This one is for my Little Prince. It's big. It's larger than the top of his double bed. It's in Black, Royal, and Delft Blue. I love the colors. I believe that this one is my favorite, but then I'm pretty sure I said that about every one of them as I've completed them.

Since yesterday when I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel on this afghan I've been trying to remember how many I've made and who they were for. (Isn't that atrocious grammar? It is, isn't it? It probably should be "for whom they were" or something awkward like that. Maybe just "for whom"? If I ever turn professional writer I'll need an editor who has a firm grasp on the English language.)

Anyway, here's the rundown of family and friends who have received one of these Grammy-style afghans from me: my mom, my sister-in-law Don Evelyn, my aunt Michele, Mr. Dub (although he denies that it was for him - he says it's mine. I guess he doesn't like the color.), Karie, Taylor, James, Jared, Mark, and Eric's Amy. I've also made a few of them that were baby-sized and gave them to Melissa's Abby, Lisa's Rebecca, and James.

That's all I can remember. I've made other afghans for other people but not in this same style.

Can I tell a story about Gram and this afghan? It's my blog - I guess I can. One of Gram's friends or neighbors or somebody showed her how to make these. Gram was more of a knitter than a crocheter and so somehow when she was trying to make this on her own she got the pattern twisted around in her head and when she was all done with it there was a twist in the afghan. It wasn't true to the square (or the rectangle). You couldn't fold it up neatly because of the wonky way it zagged off to one side. When Gram showed me how to do it she showed me the way she always did it, but when I got home and was trying to remember I got her instructions twisted around in my head and it came out straight and square. Probably because I am more of a crocheter than a knitter. I love this story because I come out looking really good and smart in it. That hardly ever happens.

(On a somewhat related note, it is unbelievable to me how often I use my blog to look up and remember the details of stuff that has happened in my life in the last year or so. That it is true is one reason I'm documenting all this afghan information now.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


= the number of lovely pink lilies we've picked out of the lawn in the last two days.

Life is beautiful.

Monday, July 5, 2010


= one bff.

Thank you, my friend. Life is more fun and less tedious because of you.

You make my life better!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


= the number of years ago, today, that my first son was due to be born.

I remember so vividly how on July 3, 1985 I had gone for my ob appointment where it was discovered that I had begun to dilate and efface. I remember the nurse saying I was having a firecracker baby. I was so excited. I was sure that my baby would be born the next day on his due date - July 4th.

He wasn't.

He didn't come until July 16 and what a long 12 days those were. It sometimes seems like I've been waiting every single day since then.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

3 (again)

= the number of wishes I'd like to have granted right now.
  1. I wish I was as enthusiastic to finish a project as I am to begin one. Why do I always get bogged down in the middle?
  2. I wish I was a better homemaker/crafter/home decorator. I wish I was more talented in the home arts. Why can't I make my house as comfy and charming and clean and beautiful as other people?
  3. I wish I lived in a more temperate climate. What do you do if it's 98 degrees and 90% humidity outside all summer? You stay in the air-conditioned house, that's what you do. You can go outside, but only if you're going out to get in the air-conditioned car and drive to a place that's air-conditioned. You don't go outside and build a deck and plant lots of greenery and make a lovely outdoor living space. You don't even think about that!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I saw Twilight III today. I was a little embarassed standing in line to buy my ticket, but I went with my bff D and we had a good time. I think it was the best one yet, and that's really saying something. Lots of violence, kissing (Could Taylor Lautner be any more of a cutie?), and meaningful looks.
The actors are pretty bad - it's kind of funny. I saw Kristen Stewart in something else not too long ago and she was the exact same character: trying to be all brooding and angsty and sincere but failing miserably on all three counts. And what is up with that painful grimace on Robert Pattinson's face? I know he's supposed to be chronically frustrated (you know what kind of frustration I mean but this blog is rated G - Jakey reads my blog) and constantly trying to control his desire to kill Bella but it's not a good look on him. You'd think someone would have helped him improve it by the THIRD movie - I dunno, acting lessons maybe? - but it's just awful. I thought the Twilight books were totally mediocre but the storyline is intriguing - it's too bad Stephanie Meyer isn't a better writer.

Also, we are on day three of rain, rain, rain - leftovers from Hurricane Alex.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


My Pretty Girl called yesterday to tell me that our sweet little Buttercup had been to her 6 month-old well-baby check-up.

Buttercup is a full 20 pounds of scrumptious charm, sparkling beauty, and funny chunkiness.

We sure love that sweet patootie!