Friday, September 24, 2010

Work clothes

I realized I could never have an affair with any of the delivery people who come to my house.

I work from home and usually just roll right out of bed and to my office. My hair is usually up in some sort of strange knot thing on top just to get it out of the way. Yesterday's makeup, if there is any, has long since been smeared or rubbed off. Except of course for the lovely mascara eyes I wake up with. I grab whatever sweatshirt and comfy pants I can find. And I usually have on those super soft blanky type socks. And nothing matches, is absolutely not flattering, and often a little worse for wear. I think some appropriate adjectives might be - shlumpy, slightly unkempt, scary, etc.

And all of this reality hits just as I am reaching for the door handle. If I am lucky I get in a swipe under each eye before blasting my lovely morning breath on the unsuspecting bearer of presents on the other side.

Thank god we don't have video conferencing. And I am outlawing skype on my computer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A turn...

A very special man is dying. I almost married this man and yet we have not had any communication in over a dozen years. Unfortunately at the beginning of this year our only conversations were regarding a tragedy in my family that affected him as well. And I kept things every distant, somewhat informal. We learned that he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer within about a week of our own heartbreak. But the reality of that didn't quite sink in. He has now 'taken a turn for the worse' and the reality of his mortality has hit me in the face, hard. It is so unbelievable. He has always been so vibrant, so healthy and active, so ALIVE! And now he has taken himself away to his sanctuary to wait things out I guess. He has removed himself from society, his family, his friends, those people around him that could offer so much love and support. He never liked conflict. He never liked to need things from others. He was always the giver.

I hate to admit I have regrets. So much can be read into that that probably shouldn't. But that is one of the overwhelming feelings I have right now. And the what ifs. That in no way should devalue the paths that I have taken. I fear people might think that. But it is there none the less.

I am struggling with death. It has beaten me up this year. I have to admit that I have been very fortunate in my life. Yes, people I know have passed throughout my 40+ years. But most of them were somehow removed, the mourning was vague. I have not had the practice to know what emotions can do to you when you least expect it, how the roller coaster of grief works. It has caught me off guard, unsettled me, plunged me into dark depths, taken my breath. I am tired.

I want to say "Please stop" but I realize that this really is only the beginning. We are entering that age when more bad news will come at us. When our parents mortality will be tested. When some of our dear friends will come to harm. I want none of it. I have no place for it. I have had enough. Please stop.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A confession about the library

I love books. Adore books. Could get lost in bookstores for hours on end. And now I have a new addiction. I went to the library. For the first time in I don't know how long. So long that I am embarrassed to even think about it. It has been so long that I am overwhelmed by all the cool gadgets they now have to look up and reserve books, to check out books, all of it.

The coolest was the check out. You put your stack of books on this panel, scan your card and up pops the list of books you are checking out and boom, you are done.

I was making lists of the books to get next time I am there. I am at least trying to be realistic on how much I can get read between now and when they are due. 3 weeks! Wow. Didn't it used to just be like 10 days or something? Seriously, I am so out of the library loop.

So many subjects to explore. Oh, the possiblities. I am giddy. (And I need a little giddy right about now.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

My sewing room (to be)

This is actually just one element. Mark is building a murphy style bed against one wall. And here it is in all its glory!

My craft/sewing room is also our only guest room. But the Queen size bed takes up too much floor space, and the reality is that I sew more often than we have guests. But when we do have guests we like to do it up right. So now we will be able to do both so much better.

So the big plan is the fold up bed surrounded by shelves and storage on one wall. And a corner shelf and storage system opposite that. With a built in desk/surface for my sewing machine or whatever else I might need at the time. Then on the bottom of the bed that becomes basically a wall when it is up, we will have a drop down shelf. Of some kind. Most likely. Whatever. The point is that it has started - yeah!

In our design phase we really tried to work in too many things. One goal was that Mark was going to build me a fancy sewing table kind of like this one. And that was going to slide into the corner or somehow fit within the shelves and then slide out and either have flip up sides for actual quilting, or move over to the flip down shelf on the bed, or some such thing. I'm kind of one of those, hey, let's just get started and we'll see how it ends up. That is so not Mark's style. But I asked for the bed part for my birthday, so work has started. And then we will see how it ends up. I know it will be beautiful!

We are doing (who am I kidding?) He is doing a horizontal style. We haven't figured out the details for the front but we do know it will all be painted white. As will all the trim in the room. I love white trim. And all these shelves and cabinets will have trim and moldings to make them look even fancier.

Some times you just need to get started. That is a lot like quilting isn't it? You can get so tied up in the planning of every little stage, or overwhelmed by how much you need to do, so that you never actually start. But once you do start, it all seems to flow so much better. Even if you have to make some adjustments, it just feels so much better to be actually doing.

So here is to doing. Thank you Mark!

Friday, September 17, 2010

An update on the big girl bed

Well, we are back to our crib. And everyone seems just fine with it. Our original goal was to get her used to a big bed so that we could do some traveling and visiting and sleep through the night at other peoples houses. But after a week of getting up at least once in the middle of the night, finding her sleeping in the middle of her floor in the wee hours, and a very early wake up, we decided that now may not be the time.

And we all seem much happier that way.

(And I get my little girl a bit longer....)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chicken Peppers

My sister Michelle turned us on to this one.

Use the sweet peppers that look like mini-bell peppers. They come in red, yellow and orange. You can usually find them at Costco or Trader Joe's.
Most of my recipes are pretty exact ingredients because I need to follow an exact recipe. This one is kind of thrown together. So if I can do it this way, so can you.
Cut about 1/3 to 1/2 off the peppers on one side the long way and clean out center. This is where the good stuff goes.
Cut up some or all of those tops and add some diced chicken, a little mayo (optional), some pesto, a little grated or diced onion and maybe a little feta cheese. Put a small amount in each pepper and serve. Watch them disappear. (Don't forget to put out a little something for the pepper tops for people to discard.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eiffel Tower for my Dad

My dad's name is Pierre. He went by Pete for probably 60 years of his life, but in the last 10 or so he has started introducing himself as Pierre. Both of his parents were born and raised in France in a little town called Joigny. I'm pretty sure they were married in France before they came to the U.S. so my dad is first generation American. My dad did not always like his name and growing up and through most of his adult life he was Pete or Peter. Now, he is Pierre. He loves all things French. I cannot count how many vacations he has taken to France. My mom has stopped going with him. She has other countries she wants to see. My sister-in-law always gets him a huge basket filled with everything French she can find throughout the year for Christmas. And he loves it.

So when I saw this pattern I thought of my dad. And when I saw it was a class being offered here, I signed up immediately. The pattern actually is for a wall hanging but I like quilts you can use. (Although I think this one is now hung up. And the one I gave my Mom is also hung. Theirs to do as they choose.) I added much wider borders and didn't do the PARIS applique. I like it just as it is.

(notice my little helpers feet with my big helper? so cute)

The quilting on this one turned out better than I thought. The border fabric is a diagonal lined print so I followed that for the outside quilting. The tower itself is from a fabric with a very tight squiggle, so I followed that for quitling as well. I defined the shape of the iron work on the bottom. And then I was stuck. What to do in the large off-white expanse? Why clouds of course. And they turned out good, if I say so myself. Just the thing. Then a large meander in the beige background.

And here is something you may never see again. A picture of me on this blog. Me in all my no make-up, weird hair wearing glory. And of course, with Pierre. I think he really liked it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Using every bit

So in cleaning up a little bit and sorting through various piles I came across this.

And it is the trimmed extra from this back.

Zip, zip, zip (that means sew a few edges together and stuff) and I now have a fun matching pillow for my Figgy Pudding D9P!

Love it!