Saturday, November 29, 2008
*Earlier in the week our neighbors to the left brought over some banana cake. It was delicious.I had never had banana cake before. It was similar in taste to banana bread, yet with a fluffy cake like texture. I totally need to get the recipe for this. Also, I love how my neighbors have taken to the idea of passing food around. I need to think of something else to share now.
*Did anyone else watch the 24 movie last Sunday? Did anyone else almost have a stress induced heart attack? Jeez, that show wears me out, I don't know why I watch it. Oh wait.....yes, I do---It's because Kiefer Sutherland is really, really, really nice to look at. It has been far too long, Jack Bauer. Far too long indeed. *The girl and I spent Wednesday making chocolate bottom pumpkin pies. Here is what remains:
It's taking all the self control I have to not shove it in my face.
*I made my own laundry detergent this morning using a recipe found via Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op. I'm now feeling very self-sufficient.
*My dad took my son to Busch Gardens for the weekend. I miss him already. It just seems as if he hasn't been home enough lately. Plus, even though my dad treats my kids way better than he ever treated me, I still feel some anxiety when he takes them.
*The story about the Wal-Mart employee getting trampled to death is incredibly disturbing. What is wrong with people?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Even though he had never built anything before, Jay drew up some plans, got to work and with a little help from the kids:We soon had this:Can we just discuss how much I love it?! It's a lot bigger than the one in the catalog and didn't cost anywhere near as much. Plus, Jay even thought to build a spot for our mini-fridge. (Please ignore the fact that our mini fridge is UF orange. I choose my battles.) I now have plenty of room to hide the girl's art items, my fabric stash, and our liquor. As the first picture of Jay's cabinet reveals, there are still a lot of unfinished projects in our living room, and I still have the ugly ass sink to attempt to ignore on a daily basis. But our whole house is a work in progress and the new cabinet cleans the living room up a bit and controls clutter.
Now I just need to get Jay to work on making the other expensive item I want from the Sundance catalog:
Snap to it, Jay!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Once I finish Bird by Bird, I will have reached my goal of fifty books for the year. As far as reading goes, it's been an enjoyable year. Books are my weakness and my escape, but I've been trying to not spend money on them. Last week though I took advantage of some Amazon discounts and bought three books that I've been yearning for.If you visit enough blogs you are bound to find someone mentioning A Year of Mornings. It's a book by two gals who, for a year, took photos of some aspect of their morning and then uploaded those photos to their blog. The pictures are lovely and this is a book I like to look at while relaxing in bed at night. My only complaint is that some of the pictures are teeny-tiny and even if I look closely, I feel like I'm missing something.
Somewhat inspired by A Year of Mornings, I've been motivated to take more pictures. Not overly-exciting pictures mind you, just little bits of my days. Here are a few, with descriptions:
We tried to take the girl to the park on Wednesday. She wanted to play so badly but it was 30 something degrees and she kept complaining that everything was too cold to touch. That didn't keep her from crying when we left. She was torn between the desire to play and the desire to stay warm.On an otherwise crappy mail day, I received a card from a friend. It brightened my day a bit.
Last weekend, while on the computer I got a Freecycle alert from someone giving away a box of leftover garage sale items. I love these. It's like a treasure chest. You never know what you're gonna get. My favorite item to come from the box was this candle holder:It matches my dining room and is in mint condition.
I finished the blanket I was making for a friends baby:I'm pleased with the way it came out.
While making the blanket, I got distracted by a phone call and mistakenly stitched a whole row of squares on upside down. (curse curse grumble grumble) Here is a picture of me removing that entire row of stitching:Yes, I'm using a kitchen skewer to remove those stitches. Remember, I'm new to sewing and don't have the proper tools. Although for what it's worth, I also use butter knives instead of screwdrivers, I hammer with a meat mallet, and I remove nails from the wall by putting the nail head between the tines of a fork and then pulling outward. If something needs to be done, I usually just use the first tool I find upon walking into the kitchen. I am the kitchen MacGyver.
We've had a pumpkin sitting on our dinner table since, oh mid-October. I decided to make my own pumpkin puree. Jay killed the pumpkin for me and I did all the easy work. Why haven't I done this before?? Pureed pumpkin is delicious. Especially with brown sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.I also seasoned and roasted the pumpkin seeds--none of that pumpkin went to waste and I'm quite proud of that fact.
In other news, Thursday night I was doing my nightly blog reading and I realized that Selena over at Apron Thrift Girl tagged me. As I told Selena, I'm usually pretty bad about these but I'm going to do my best to do it and tag more people. I think I may have done one of these when I first started blogging, but it's been a while. So forgive me if I repeat myself. Here it goes.....
1. link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. I don't pump my own gas. Ever. I have done it once in my life, when I was about 17. Mostly my husband pumps it for me. I have been known to pick him up from work when the tank gets low just so that he can pump my gas. If that isn't an option, I will go to the one full service station in my town--but it's never come to that.
2. I eat most foods with a fork. I hate spoons...they feel like shovels.
3. I love my compost buckets. I love the worms. I love the decomposing food. I look at it all daily. It's like a science experiment in my back yard. When I'm angry, I go out and stab my pile with my compost turner. It's a great way to work out aggression.
4. I shave my legs everyday. Every single day of my life. Since I was about 13. I hate leg hair.
5. I have a grey hair streak at the top of my head. I've had it since I was a little girl.
6. I insist on organic milk and organic apples, yet I see no problem with eating candy that I find in the couch cushions or under the seat of the car. Really people, I have eaten some old candy.
7. I rarely download music. I like cd's. Jay says I will be the last person buying the last cd in the world.
There! Weird things. And I'm tagging.......Cyndy(who, by the way, gave me a lovely friendship award earlier in the week), Lyra at Bits and Pieces, Maria Rose, Aleta, and finally, Bridge, Earthmama, and Textile Nazi over at Ride the Waves of Life. I would love to know more about all of you, so please indulge me.
One last thing, some of you may know of Tania over at Blooming Almond and you've probably noticed she's been missing from our little community over the last few weeks. I finally got an e-mail from her earlier in the week. She's going through some personal things at the moment but wanted me to tell everyone that she misses you all and she misses blogging. Hopefully she'll be back soon.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
One final note:
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
*There has been a lot of posts related to sewing around here lately. In truth, I never thought I would love sewing as much as I do. I love to sit at my machine and hear the rhythmic whir as I'm creating something. (Plus, the noise is just loud enough to drown out the incessant chatter of my daughter.) Learning to sew is sort of a bittersweet process though that has left me feeling a bit melancholy. You see, all my life I've just assumed I couldn't sew. Mind you, I have no grand delusions that the things I create are impressive to anyone but my friends and family. But I have been able to sew a few things that are useful and serve a purpose, and I've enjoyed doing it. This leads me to wonder if there are other things that I can do, that I always just mistakenly assumed I wasn't capable of doing. I'm feeling like I've wasted a lot of time in my life by allowing the negative talk (in my head and from outer sources) to direct me. Life is too fucking short.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Another goal I had concerning the making of this, was that other than the backing, I wasn't going to buy any new fabric for it. All the squares came from older clothes that I cut into, Freecycyle fabric, or leftover fabric that had been bought for other projects. You can't tell from the pictures, but if you were to look closely at the blanket, you'd notice that every row has a square of the adorable fabric that I massacred in last months pants making attempt.I was able to get a lot of squares from that disaster. The only thing I did spend money on was the cotton chenille back. But I got a really great deal on that from a gal who was closing her Etsy shop and had all her fabrics marked down.
I thought that the making of this would make me crazy and I'd vow never to do it again, but honestly, I loved it. I loved it so much I've already started working on one for a friend who is about to have a baby. And yes, I have enough squares of the china doll fabric for that blanket too.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Sometimes when my life gets hectic or I have a lot going on, I split into two Tammie's. The outside Tammie that goes through the motions and gets everything done, and the real Tammie that has retreated inward and is just coping and dealing with it all. It's exhausting maintaining two people.
Hopefully my life will get back to normal soon. In fact, I'm sure it will. There is no reason for it to not.
For those wondering, the boy came back from camp safely. He wasn't eaten by a bear. (Although he, and his luggage, did return smelling like six week old trash. I think the odor probably scared away any bears.)
All usually schedules should resume on Monday, including the writing schedule of computer Tammie.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
*A few weeks ago I found these birds and thought Hey, it uses very little fabric and it looks super easy. I'm gonna make a flock of these. Um, yeah. Had I been typing this out last night, the F-word I would have used in conjunction with these birds would not have been flock. My first two birds didn't look at all like birds. In fact, when I asked my daughter what it looked like to her she just said, "Um...." So then I perched it on my finger and asked, "Well, what if I told you it sang Tweet Tweet?" She got all excited and yelled out, "A fish!" (Maybe I was just asking the wrong person.)
Anyway, if you are a better sewer than I or you are just smoking crack and feeling brave here is the tutorial. It's a clear enough pattern, but the instructions just aren't written at that simple second grade level that I require of my sewing instruction. I may revisit the idea again in a few months though.
*This morning when I was outside taking the pictures of my birdies, a beetle crawled up my back. I didn't realize this until I was in the kitchen pouring myself a glass of water and I felt the bug on my neck. While attempting to swat the beetle off of me, I accidentally slammed my glass of water down onto the tile floor. (Yes, I'm a spaz.) Right now my kitchen is covered in glass, but I can't really do anything about it until the water dries. I'm not looking forward to cleaning it.
*As pleased as I am with the outcome of the presidential election, I am so glad it's all over. It was starting to stress me out. It's nice to be able to watch the news again and not be inundated with election coverage and polling results.
Speaking of news, the other day I was watching a rerun of The Colbert Report and the guest was Rachel Maddow. My daughter came in the room and asked me if that was me on the TV. First let me say, I'm a big Rachel fan since way back. I used to listen to her original Air America radio show with Lizz Winstead and Chuck D. I watch her MSNBC show and occasionally listen to the radio show she has now. So yeah, I love Rachel. But as much as I love Rachel, I'm not a lesbian. I'm a gal that likes wiener. ( Although, I'm sure my husband would argue I don't like it nearly enough.) So, I guess you could say I'm having style icon issues at the moment. Do I care enough about this to change my hairstyle? No. I love my haircut and have been wearing it this way on and off for most of my adult life. I obviously need to just expose my daughter to more gals with pixie cuts. I'm writing this because I sort of want some feedback on this issue. If you are a straight lady would it bother you if your daughter thought you resembled a somewhat butch lesbian? As open minded as I am, I worry that this says something negative about my femininity. In feeling this way, am I believing the stereotypes? I suppose what bothers me is that the stereotype (gal with short hair=lesbian) exists in the first place. Am I just naive to think that assumptions shouldn't be made based on a persons hair cut? I don't like it when any assumption is made about me and this is a stereotype I've had to deal with from time to time. An older *friend* of our family once even made the comment that my husband must like women that look like boys. (No, he isn't our friend anymore. Yes, I need to get out of the South.)
Monday, November 10, 2008
One of the projects was this skirt:
This skirt was made with some fabric I got off of Freecycle, and it was sort of, very loosely, maybe, not really, based on a couple of the skirt ideas in the skirt book. I've been reading the book a lot lately, but haven't gotten brave enough to try making any of the skirts yet, and I definitely don't want to cut into any of the fabric that I actually paid money for. So, I just played around a bit and made this. It's nothing fancy and it has a few well-hidden flaws, but I figure if women can run into the grocery store with the word Juicy scrawled on the ass part of their sweatpants, surely I can escape ridicule in this skirt. Hopefully.
As mentioned, I was able to do some reading this weekend. I started reading book fifty, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. Jay picked this up for me from an offer on Freecycle. (Yes, Freecycle has been good to me lately.) I've never heard of Anne Lamott and know nothing about her work, so I'm excited to get into it and learn more what it's about. I will definitely keep you updated.
I genuinely like all of my neighbors, but as a rule we don't socialize too much. We just all stay busy and have our own, very different, schedules. Which was why I was so shocked when on Sunday our neighbors across the street cooked us a chicken dinner. I was surprised by this random offer, I guess for no reason other than that I am sort of a pessimist and just don't deal well with random acts of kindness. It was completely unexpected and out of the blue. But wonderful and delicious. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it before we ripped into it like savages. But alas, I only have a picture of a chicken carcass:
Sunday night we started a fire in the pit. It was a gorgeous night for a fire. The moon was mostly full and the weather was cool.We toasted some marshmallows and enjoyed the evening.I'm struck by how old my son looks in the above picture. He really isn't my baby anymore. I sometimes forget this until I see a picture of him so looking like a young man, and not at all looking like a little boy.
I guess that's it for this weekend, slow moving and peaceful. The most relaxing weekend I've had in quite some time. My son leaves to go on his fifth grade camping trip in a few days. I'm sure those days will be filled with worry, so I'm trying to hold onto this relaxed feeling for as long as possible.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Speaking of elections, I have a couple of random thoughts on the subject:
*My son's school held mock presidential elections, all of the fourth and fifth graders could participate. Obama got a hundred and something votes, McCain got 59, and Bob Barr got one. I'm incredibly impressed with that one kid that voted for Bob Barr. I wouldn't know who Bob Barr was if I walked into him.
*If you're a regular or even semi-regular reader, you've probably heard me bitch about the poorly funded Florida schools. Well, my county overwhelmingly voted for a small increase in property taxes, with the money going to (drum roll please...) SCHOOLS! I love that my community approved this. This means my kids will have art and music again and local schools will go back to having full time school nurses. (Yep, my county had cut school nurses!) No one likes tax increases, but it's small. For my family, it will be about another $150 a year($12.50 a month) in property taxes. In my opinion, it's so worth it.
One of the boy's new favorite things to do is to make god's eyes. It's a fun, easy, almost mindless, yarn craft project that I found here. (Scroll down a bit past the key chains.) I bought some skeins of cheap yarn off of Etsy and in the evening the boy will sit and make these while watching TV. The walls of his room are now decorated with many of these in all colors of the rainbow.
Because of my newly found interest in sewing, I've fallen a bit behind in my reading. I just finished book 49 for the year, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. It was a great book of short stories and it shouldn't have taken me as long to read as it did but I've been spending all my spare time sewing or reading blogs about sewing. I've momentarily immersed myself in the subject. As of right now, I have no idea what book fifty will be. I've started reading a book called Every Man For Himself: Ten Short Stories About Being A Guy, but I really only grabbed this because I needed something to read while in the bathroom, and I'm not positive, but I think it might be written for teenage boys. I'm not entirely sure where this book even came from. I'm thinking I don't want this to be book number fifty. I had hoped for book fifty to be something a bit more interesting than trashy teen boy toilet reads.
That will about wrap it up for this update. I've been working on a few sewing projects lately that are nearing completion so hopefully I can share them with you in the coming weeks. Also, as previously alluded to, Jay has a woodworking project that I'm also anxious to share. For now, I'll leave you with this picture of the girl "helping" Jay with his project. And no, Jay's not building a coffin.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
My whole life, I have never been someone that "fit in." I've never had my own group that I distinctly felt a part of. It probably has a lot to do with the area of the country that I live in (sigh....the south), but when I look around, I don't see a lot of people that look like me. This has always been hard, even as an adult.
Last night, as I watched Barack Obama speak, I looked at the crowd. Thousands of faces, no two looking even remotely similar. For the first time in my life I felt that I didn't need to fit in. Change is definitely a good thing.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
* Old Fart Wine I meant to write about this delicious wine last week when Jay first bought a bottle. But I kept forgetting to take the picture and soon enough, it was all gone. What can I say, it's an easy wine to drink. Plus it's inexpensive, and it gets style points for having a clever name and cute label.
*My son's report card.
Straight A's. There is still a part of me wondering if maybe his teacher is going easy on him and not challenging him but I'm trying to not think like that. I'm trying to see those A's for what they are, awesome grades. The downside to this is that Jay and I, thinking he'd never get straight A's, promised him a video game if he ever did get straight A's. It looks like we're buying a video game.
*Cap Making Most of you travel in the same blogging circles as I do so I'm sure by now you've heard of the Caps to Cap-Haitien Project. (If not, click on the cute picture of caps at the top right for more info.) I'm so excited to be able to participate in this project. These caps are very easy to make, even for someone like myself, someone with (ahem) limited sewing skills. I know I'm not saving the world by making a few caps, but it sure does make me feel good to do it. Plus, I almost cried when my son asked if he could make a few caps too.
*My son's letter to the Fox Broadcasting CompanyHe wrote it after learning that King of the Hill is being canceled. This isn't the first time he's written a letter like this. The cancellation of his favorite shows tends to bring out the activist in him. I never edit these letters in any way, although I do read over them before popping them in the mail box, just to make sure he doesn't refer to the network executives as "dumb asses" or "douche nozzles," you know, like how we do at home.
Monday, November 3, 2008
We hadn't planned on going to both days of the Festival. Originally, the plan was to go only on Sunday, shop a bit, eat a lot, and then watch The String Kings. But when my mom and I saw that the folks over at The Weather Channel were predicting a 70% chance of rain on Sunday, we decided to go on Saturday so as to not miss out on the Festival altogether.
Thankfully, I had been setting aside money specifically for this weekend, which is a good thing because upon entering the gate, we were hit with $5 pony rides. Of course I said yes. And of course the boy had to ride a pony too. Fortunately, Old Rusty, was big enough to hold him.Right next to the ponies, was a bungee jumping activity that the boy wanted to do. By the looks of the sign, it would appear that this at one time cost $5, but they felt the need to up the price. Haven't they heard about the recession? Either way, the bungee folks got $12 of our money this weekend.
The festival takes place all along Cholokka Blvd in Micanopy. Aside from all the booths and vendors that come out for the Festival, Cholokka boulevard is filled with small cafes, used book stores, and antique shops. We stopped for lunch at the Old Florida Cafe. Their sandwiches served on warm, bakery fresh bread are amazing. I wasn't able to get any pictures of these lovely sandwiches, because we dug into them like savages as soon as they were placed in front of us. Except for the girl of course, who enjoyed a delicious and nutritious lunch of two bags of potato chips. Whatever. I wasn't going to argue with her this weekend.Interesting story about the scratch on my son's cheek, it happened when he was goofing off on one of our neighbor's homemade tree swing. He was doing something stupid (naturally) and rammed his face into the tree. The funny part is, that he told the kids at school that he fell while doing a skate boarding trick. He didn't think that the actual story sounded "cool."
After walking a bit more, we stopped to listen to some folk music and take a cotton candy break. Check out the skirt! Yep, I made another. I think I have a problem. I am loving this one so much though because it is the least flawed of all my skirts, and just look at that ribbon trim!Paw prints to go with the cats on the skirt. I had the fabric for a while and originally had no intention of making a skirt out of it but when I stumbled upon the ribbon while playing around on Etsy I knew I had to put the two together. Making this skirt brought me a kind of psychotic joy.
The boy is always nagging me to make him something with my sewing machine, but since I've only mastered skirts I told him I could probably whip him up some kilts. He's not interested.
On the way out, we stopped to listen to a few songs by the Used Blues Band.Despite the kid covering his ears in the above picture, they were quite good. We were only able to listen to a few of their songs though, because the girl had just about reached her limit and was getting hard to keep an eye on.