Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I enjoy eating uncooked oats. (NO, that isn't the gross part.) I like uncooked oats in small amounts. One of my favorite breakfasts is chopped fruit sprinkled with nuts, uncooked oats, and topped off with a few dribbles of agave nectar. To me, it sort of tastes like oatmeal cookie dough, which is something I could eat by the bowlful.
Anyway, I had been enjoying this breakfast for a week or so when I realized I had run out of oatmeal. But after digging around in the pantry I found another canister of oatmeal way in the back, but it had been opened and I wasn't sure how long it had been there. I opened the canister, smelled the contents, and quickly scanned it for weevils. (In case you are unfamiliar with weevils, they are teeny tiny bugs that like to hang out in grains that have been stored in your pantry for too long.) It looked safe so I dumped some oats in my bowl and enjoyed my breakfast.
The next morning I ate a bit later in the day---so the kitchen was more well lit. I took the lid off the oatmeal and was about to stick my hand in and grab some oats when I see them---weevils. Hundreds of them. Everywhere. The container was black with bugs. Because such a massive infestation couldn't occur overnight, it would stand to reason that when I had breakfast the day before, I had basically eaten a bowl full of bugs.
I need to explain something to you. Although I don't consider myself a vegetarian, I'm pretty picky about what I put into my body when it comes to things that used to be alive. On the rare occasion that I do eat red meat, it has to be burnt to a crisp so as to not even resemble meat. I won't eat chicken if it looks "ugly." And don't even think of giving me something with a bone still attached. Do I look like a viking?! So when the realization hit me that I had consumed a bowl full of live, squirming bugs, it was seriously enough to put me over the edge.
I'm trying to convince myself that maybe all the weevils were initially at the bottom of the canister and when I used the oatmeal the first day, maybe I disrupted their homes and they all came to the surface. Does this sound possible? Or does it just sound like someone trying to rationalize the fact that they ate bugs?
Either way, my pantry is now getting cleaned out once a week.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Inside the box of fabric scraps that I found over the weekend, was quite a bit of fabric in great condition but it just didn't excite me. Nevertheless, I washed and ironed it, and then put it in my ever-growing stash of fabric.
As I was cleaning out my sewing area yesterday, I got the idea of turning the less-than-pretty fabric into cloth napkins. So I measured the fabric against the napkins I already had, adding an inch more on each side to make neat hems. Then I ironed and stitched the hems. Voila! Cloth Napkins. The main difference between my napkins and the store bought ones is that the Pottery Barn napkins have neater corners:Whereas, my edges are just folded under and sewn. (Maybe one day I'll learn that neat corner thing.)
Obviously, this wasn't brain surgery. I didn't put a whole lot of time or effort into this project. If you look closely, you can tell that I didn't even choose matching thread, I just used the beige thread that was already in my machine. For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure that beige thread is going to be stained a spaghetti sauce red in a few days anyway.
I know this is nothing fancy or all that impressive, but projects like this are my main motivation in learning to sew. I love turning trash into something useful, and in the meantime reducing my impact on the environment a little bit.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Two Friday's ago we took the boy to the Fall Festival at his school. At the beginning of every year, when I go to Open House, I see the volunteer calendar in the boys classroom. Having been with the boy all summer I'm usually more than willing to sign up for things. I sign up to bring in items, do work at home, man the festival booth, and chaperone trips. Of course when the time comes to actually do these things, I'm in an entirely different state of mind and I can usually be found walking around the house grumbling, "What was I thinking?" I'll be totally honest with you, spending my Friday night with hundreds of elementary school kids is not my idea of a good time, but it is my son's idea of a good time (go figure.) So we went, and I'm glad we did because not only were they short on volunteers this year, but the boy had a great time. Although at times it was hard for me to tell if he was having fun because every time he caught me walking towards him, he would grab his friend by the arm and steer him in the opposite direction. I guess this means he's reached the "My mom is a complete embarrassment" stage. I hear it's only downhill at this point.
Saturday morning we had another garage sale. This time most of the proceeds were put towards the Washington DC trip the boy is taking at the end of the year. The school has sent home various fund raising packets for this but with the economy being as it is, I'm just not comfortable with the idea of the boy begging our friends and neighbors to buy overpriced junk. We will probably be paying for this trip all on our own.
I'm still pleased with the outcome. I love that I was able to recycle something no longer of use to someone, and make it into clothing. I can't wait for my skills to grow beyond skirt making though.
Speaking of skirt making, this is the fabric that I ordered with the intention of making a skirt for myself.
Saturday night Jay took me out for drinks. Even though we have a live in babysitter(Grandma) we don't actually go out that often. It's just so much easier to stay at home and sit around in our pajamas. But we really should take advantage of it more often because it's so relaxing to get away from the noise and chaos of our house, even if for only an hour. Plus, I have so few chances to get dressed up anymore. I really think that only Victoria Beckham can get away with wearing heels while doing everyday activities. If I dressed like this, I'd look like a jackass.
Before I close out this update, I want to leave you with a few fall images from around my house:
Jay and the girl watching football. I swear sometimes I doubt she's my child.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
*My very basic, yet much needed, new sewing supplies.I made a trip to Joann's yesterday to stock up on some essential things I will need as I learn to sew. It's so nice to be able to cut fabric with a pair of sturdy, sharp scissors. Scissors that are not also used in the kitchen to cut the skin from chicken breasts. These scissors are all mine and I better not see anyone else touching them.
Elsa was a stray that my mom adopted. We are guessing she was very mistreated by her previous owners because she is not overly friendly or cuddly. But she loves my sewing corner. If I'm not sitting in my sewing chair, she likely is. When I am using the chair, she sits on the desk or the table behind me, patiently waiting for the chair.
*The newest skirt I made for the girl.
Yes, I know I promised I would show you no more skirts, but that promise was made before the pants debacle. I needed to make a skirt, something I can't screw up, to help rebuild my confidence. I have now decided that her winter wardrobe will consists of many skirts. Skirts over pants. Skirts over leggings. Skirts over tights. Skirts over jeans. You get the idea.
*This blanket my mom had made for me and Jay.It's super soft and warm, fits nicely on my bed, and has fun fur in the middle of each square.Don't ask me what fun fur is because I don't know. But it's very, very soft.
*My new J. Crew shirtBefore getting to the shirt, let me explain something........I'm the last of a dying breed: I'm a Stay at Home Mom that does actually stay at home a good percentage of the time. Jay and I refuse to have more than one car payment so we share a car. Most days I let him take it to work. I just don't need to leave the house everyday. If the boy needs me, his school is only a 10 minute walk away. When I do have errands to run I keep the car and combine my errands all into a couple of trips a few days a week.
Because of my constant stay at home status, I tend to wear clothes until they are, quite literally, falling apart. I had been putting off buying some new t-shirts because, and I don't know if you've noticed this, the economy is kinda bad. Yeah. So I've been trying to avoid a lot of non-essential spending. But when the clothes you are wearing are no longer suitable as even rags, new clothes are essential. Last week J. Crew was having a sale. An extra 20% off already reduced merchandise. I bought this shirt, and a few others, for $11.99 a piece. I think they were originally $39.50.I especially like the neckline. It makes me feel a little bit more feminine while I'm stirring the compost or taking out the trash. Plus, the price just couldn't be beat. Hooray for things that are both cheap and pretty.
Monday, October 20, 2008
*Saturday I bought Sew What! Skirts.
*In a few days I will be 32 years old. (Interesting tidbit: I was 21 when I had my son, my mom was 21 when she had me, and my grandmother was 21 when she had my mom.) For the most part, aging doesn't really bother me. I've always felt older than I am, so as I age I feel like the gap between the age I feel and the age I actually am is getting narrower.
*I stayed awake to watch SNL on Saturday night and saw Alec Baldwin in the opening skit. Okay, technically I didn't stay awake. I took a nap from about 10:45-11:30, waking up just in time to see Alec. It was just dumb luck. Sarah Palin did better than I thought she would. But of course I have the lowest of expectations for her. As long as she doesn't walk into walls or start speaking pig latin, I think she's doing ok. I have come to the conclusion that although I think she would be a terrible VP and I disagree with everything she stands for, she does a great job of being useless celebrity eye candy. People are attracted to her and find her entertaining, sort of like Paris Hilton. I had to laugh when she said her favorite Baldwin is Stephen.
Putting politics aside and going just by hotness alone, how could anyone choose Stephen,
Seriously, if you're choosing Stephen as your favorite Baldwin, you might as well not even have a favorite Baldwin.
*In a matter of weeks my son will be going on a camping trip with all the other fifth graders at his school. When I first found out about this trip I had hoped that
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I didn't have any coordinating ribbon so I just gave it a regular old hem. Since I have more or less mastered the making of little girl skirts, I think it's time to move on to something else. Of course I'll keep you updated on whatever the next project is---even if it ends up going in the garbage.
Oh and if you're scratching your head trying to figure out the meaning of the title to this post, it's from an old SNL commercial parody. (You can check it out by going here---it's only a minute and a half.) You guys have no idea how TV has ruined me. Whenever I'm trying to have an adult conversation this is the garbage that's floating around in my head.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
As I watched my girl play at the park this morning I was again amazed at the many differences in our personalities. She is loud, outgoing, friendly, and always in a good mood. She has no trouble making friends---in fact, she forces people to be friends with her. Living every moment of her life loudly and with joy comes very, very easily to her.
I don't want to make it sound as if I'm a mean curmudgeon because that isn't the case. I'm just more.........inward. I want to blend in, whereas my daughter wants to be noticed everywhere she goes.
I love that she has this jubilant, happy personality. She will never have the social anxiety that I had, and still occasionally have. Yet, in my heart, I know that one day she's going to want to be a cheerleader. And that will rip me up inside.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Because the girl basically had me at wits end, Jay thought it would be a good idea to get me out of the house for a few hours, and I agreed. Whenever we want to leave town but don't want to spend a giant wad of cash, we usually end up going to Jacksonville because it's only an hour away and they have a Super Target. I justify a trip to Super Target by thinking, It's just groceries I couldn't get here in town. But really, do I need fancy peanut butter? Probably not. Another reason I wanted to go was because Jay had found an independent fabric store in Jacksonville and I was kinda itching to check it out. So we left the girl with my mom, and took the boy on a day trip.
But no matter how many times I go to Jacksonville I don't seem to learn my lesson, which is that the city is a huge, smelly, old, racism and poverty filled freaking disappointment. First up, once we got to Super Target, it just didn't seem all that impressive. I mean, if there was one here in town I'd probably be there once a week, but it just doesn't seem worth traveling 80 miles for. Next up, after driving around for two hours looking for the fabric store, it was not only closed, but gone for good. The sign was there but no store. Great. Part of the reason I wanted a fabric store was I needed to get some ribbon trim for the girl's skirt, as I kinda wanted to have it finished by the end of the weekend.
After eating lunch at a restaurant filled with TVs and half drunk sports fans, we drove around some more in search of a Joann's. When we finally found one it was the oldest, dankest Joann's ever. While I was getting the things I needed, the boy needed to use the restroom but there was a sign on the door that said you had to get the restroom key from the cutting desk. The boy politely asked the lady for it and she handed him a key that is attached to a ruler. Seriously, what is going on in the bathroom of the oldest Joann's ever that they need to make entry to it this difficult?! After I paid for my purchase, the boy still hadn't been able to get into the bathroom so we left and he pee'd in a gas station restroom a few miles down the road. A lovely restroom complete with dead bugs and the ever classy condom machine.
Whenever I get it into my head to go to Jacksonville, I think They have a J. Crew and a Bare Escentuals store. But really, once I get there I realize the shopping is only moderately better. I can get Bare Escentuals online and the selection at the Jacksonville J. Crew is pretty basic. If it doesn't coordinate with a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey, then they probably don't have it. So again, I'm better off just sticking to the internet.
Don't get me wrong, Jacksonville has some things. Like crime. Horrific crime. I get a lot of my local news from stations in Jacksonville and it seems as if they report violent crimes almost daily. Their local murder rate is 1 1/2 times that of the national average.
So yeah, it was nice to get away from the girl for the day, but I can't say it was a relaxing trip. Jay and I made a pact last night that anytime one of us suggests a trip to Jacksonville, the other person has permission to punch the suggestion maker in the face.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
On Saturday the boy and I made the Amish Friendship bread.It came out delicious, but I am quite positive this stuff is very fattening. Considering the amount of flour, sugar, and milk that goes in this bread, I'm guessing the Amish are not health nuts.
Another project I worked on this past week was this skirt for the girl.
As you can see she was in the mood to ham it up. It's the Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt pattern. I originally saw it on Soule Mama. It was free and easy, two things I love. I made it somewhat longer than a lot of others I've seen. Since this is the first article of clothing I've made, I wanted to give myself some wiggle room in case I majorly messed something up. Next time I'll probably go a bit shorter.I read a lot of blogs in the past few days by gals who had made this skirt. An experienced person can make it in about a half hour. I worked on it on and off all weekend. Not to mention the ten days prior that I spent staring at the pattern wondering Can I actually do this? Well, I can and I did and it is mostly screw up free.
Of course there are a few minor imperfections, but nothing you can see without a magnifying glass. And frankly, if you are staring at my daughter's skirt with a magnifying glass, then I'm probably not the one with the problem. I'm really proud of myself for being able to do this. Plus, not only does the girl love it, but she watched as it grew from just a piece of material to a skirt with a ribbon trim. I think she got a little excitement about seeing it from start to finish.
And that is it for this update. See, I told you it would be short. But before I go I want to mention that my lovely friend Tania over at Blooming Almond gave me a groovy blogging award.I've been reading Blooming Almond only for a few months, having stumbled upon it back in August when she posted about this awesome tree tote bag she created. It quickly became one of the blogs I click on daily. One of the rules of this award is that you have to pass it on to five readers of your blog. I'm going to have to skip out on this part because I only have a dozen or so regular readers who actually blog themselves so I tend to give these to the same people over and over again. But just know that I love and am so thankful for all the people I've "met" through blogging. I'm always amazed when someone takes the time out of their day to comment on some junk I posted here. And if I comment on your blog, then I consider you to be pretty cool. The blogs I read daily have been a continuing source of inspiration to me and I hope in some small way I can do that for my readers.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
And now, Random Thoughts:
At first glance these may not fit in with the vow of kindness I pledged to yesterday, but I beg to differ. When someone is being a cock or a douche, I think I would be doing the nice thing by telling them so. I bought them at ScotiaMade and they were only $6 for 8 mini notes. Jay thinks we will be buying them weekly.
*Yesterday it rained here for the first time in I don't know how long. The girl wanted to play in it so I allowed her to, as long as she promised not to jump in the giant mud puddle at the end of the patio.
Which of course means she did jump in the giant mud puddle at the end of the patio. To make it worse, she then came inside completely covered in mud from head to toe and laughing about her disobedient ways. Of course I was furious so I grabbed her up, placed her in the shower, and turned the water on, not waiting for it to warm up. (Yeah, I know....I handled that really well. I expect to be notified about receiving my mom of the year award any day now. Also....yes, she wants to wear that blue dress every day. I choose my battles.)
*Here is a picture of my son reading on his own, without me having to threaten him. I love it!*Speaking of reading, I am almost finished with book 48, The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank. It's a collection of short stories all centered around one main character, a gal named Sophie Applebaum. Next up, I'll be reading No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July. As of this moment I have no idea what book fifty is going to be. I have a few books lined up on the nightstand, but Jay says I should make it something big like War and Peace. Any suggestions? And don't suggest War and Peace or The Odyssey. It ain't gonna happen.