Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello, Monday--A Sewing Story

Hello, goodbye, summer vacation.
Hello, week of piddling.  Now I need purpose.  I think.
Hello, homemade skinny jeans.  Here's the story:
 In my favorite local thrift store, I tried on a pair of great-fitting jeans.
Yes, I just used the words great.fitting.jeans allinthesamesentence.
If you are, ahem, over 25, you know what I'm saying here.
There was one problem.
Because there would, of course, be a problem with the great.fitting.jeans.
Wide legs.  W-i-d-e legs.
 We are in the thrift store, after all.
So...I looked up jean-altering tutorials and risked my $5 dollar investment.
Now, if you've been a reader here for a while, you know that I am NOT a seamstress, so it is oddly mystifying that I would believe that I could do this.
It is not for the chicken-hearted.
I would liken it to cutting your own hair. 
(You know, when you have the "oh, that side's a little shorter than the other; I'll just trim a some more to make it even.  Now that side is a little shorter; maybe if I trim a bit more...." conversation.)
Only this time it was, "Oh, that leg's a bit snugger than the other...."
One word of advice: don't try this at home.
Just kidding.
Try it at home if you have mad sewing skillz or $5 to blow.

Adjust the fit while wearing the jeans, and definitely work from both sides of the leg.  Otherwise your jeans will be off-center and twisty. ;-)
 I'm standing on a stool because I don't have a full-length mirror. I had to hunch over to take the picture-- which resulted in a few dozen outtakes that make me look like a hobbit.  This is the only photo that doesn't make me look about 50 pounds heavier or a foot shorter than I really am. 
   Mine are far from perfect.  
(Have you noticed I say that a lot when it comes to sewing projects?  My mother's lessons, alas, did not take.)
  (Kind of like those six years of piano.)  
They have a pucker or two and, for heaven's sake, don't look too closely at the hem.
I still like them--even if I'm still searching for a truly perfect pair of jeans.
Be blessed,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Fine Art of Wasting Time

Remember when I told you my one-item to-do list?
Yeah, it hasn't happened that way.
Now, before I sit here and tell you that I've been all productive and busy this week, that is not the case.
I've piddled.
In Southern vernacular, piddling is something like puttering, and it's a perfect word for getting little, unimportant things done. 
Caring if anything gets done defeats the purpose.
(It's also a great word for describing why it takes your husband and child thirty minutes longer than any other people in the world to get ready to go somewhere.  Grr...)
The key to piddling is to look busy without accomplishing anything of significance.
During the school year, this includes the room organizing I do to avoid reading essays, but I digress.
Piddling Projects this week:
1. A few freezer bags of chard and squash.  A lot of bags would qualify as real work; a few qualify as piddly.
2. Vinyl labels for the washer, dryer, and electric box.  

'Cause everybody needs those.  I almost ruined this as a piddling exercise by making classroom passes ,

 but since I could write passes on sticky notes, and Big Red, the Original Not-Cutesy Male Teacher, would never own these, creating them counts as Creative Time Wasting.
3. Cleaned about 1,000 pictures off my camera card.  Still have about 1,000 to go.
Kept about 3000 zinnia pictures; it's an addiction.
4. Perused Pinterest--the Ultimate Piddling Project. 
In the interest of full disclosure, most of the pins were school-related.
 If when I actually do some these, I won't be piddling.

Piddling might be my favorite way to spend a summer day. 
Be blessed,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hello Monday: Last Full Week of Summer

Hello, second half of July!
Hello, last full week of summer.  A week from Thursday it's back to work I go.  Have we had summer this year?  Between the weather and life's ups and downs, I'm not sure I feel like I've even been at home.
Hello, active resting. Big Red rattled of a to-do list of projects he intended to finish this week. 
My to-do list this week:
 finish a book.   
That. is. all.
Hello, zinnias.  You're finally blooming in mass.
Hello, album catch-up!  I made it to last summer in the girls' albums.  I'm amazed at how few pictures I took last year, and I need some fresh ideas about what and how to photograph regular events.  Any thoughts?
 Hello, school planning.  Okay, so my to-do is slightly longer than I wanted said.
 Hello, new favorite song!  Please listen.  Be blessed.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello Monday: Deep Breath

Hello Monday!
Hello, car!  You and I are buds this week; I'll on the go to see my mom and later, attend a scrapbooking weekend.  
Hello, photo backlog.  Wow. You build up quickly.  *Hangs head in shame.*


Hello, clouds. 

Haven't you got some place else to go for a while? Thanks.
Hello, back to school prep! Big Red is fussing about me spending our budget on classroom supplies.

 The girls are fussing about my educational pins.  
Everybody wants me to just.relax.  
Deep breath.
Hello, laundry room redo! 

 I still have a bit to go before the Big Reveal, but for now my family catches me just standing in there with a peaceful look on my face.  I might have caught Big Red doing it once or twice.  
What's on your hello list this Monday?
Be blessed,

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Popping in to share a quick re-fashion project!
First, let me say that I am not a seamstress.  My mother, who was an excellent one, would be mortified right now.  I probably won't share the details with her. *grin*
I found this dress at our local thrift store.  

It had two important things going for it: a) it's a maxi, which means it's soft and long (always a plus for leggy middle-aged women who don't do knees showing any longer.  Looking pulled together in something that feels like pajamas is a win-win.),  and b) it's green, my favorite color.  
However, what it did not have going for it was the top half. 

This dress was clearly owned by some incredibly tall woman willing to show waaayy more skin than I am.  
It was time for a bit of chopping.  
Out came one of my other maxi skirts as a guide.
( Um, apparently I like stripes and green.)
This was the only tricky part because the knit was thin and stretchy.  I can safely tell you that the hem is approximately  even, but far from perfect.  (Insert my mom cringing.) 
It'll do.  
Chop, chop, and the immodest top half disappeared, leaving behind a comfy elastic waistband. 
Now I have a new pair of pjs green, stripey skirt!
 (Sorry for the faceless pose; it's a summer weekday, meaning I'm not wearing makeup and my hair looks like a brillo pad.)
Happy refashioning!
Be blessed,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

To Bloom

The anesthesiologist was a gardener.

While we waited for the surgeon to arrive, my mom looked oddly relaxed with her blue paper hair cap sitting at a jaunty angle on her head, and she talked flowers and rain with the doctor.

He talked about his wife's orchids.
She babied her beloved plants, keeping them well-watered and carefully tended. 
For her trouble she got beautiful leaves and no flowers.

Finally, he intervened and (in typical male fashion, I think) researched the problem and advised neglect.
Stop watering them, he said.
Stop the pampering, and wait.

Wait and wait.
She grew nervous and nearly overruled him.
Then one day, a bud.
Soon, blooms.
The plants, he said, needed stress to bloom.
Too much of a good thing, and they get so relaxed that they stop worrying about reproduction.
Contentment means no flowers, no seed, no offspring...and no beauty.

Standing in that cold hospital room, no beauty in sight, God took my breath away at that simple truth.
No stress means no beauty.
Daffodils need cold.  Geraniums need dry feet.  Not to be  "happy"--to be distressed enough to flower.
This dry and quiet season, a season of questions, has made me uncomfortable, jabbed at my motivations, pressed me to consider what sends my emotions soaring or plummeting. 
 It hasn't been much fun.
Yet, He's shown me its necessity.

Be blessed,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello Monday: Rainy Days and Mondays

Hello, 30 seconds of sunshine!  When you appeared, I grabbed a pair of scissors and the camera to pick a bouquet and record the moment for posterity.
Hello, dead camera battery!  You blew the 2nd half of my plan.  The flowers are lovely, and you missed it.
Hello, laundry room redo!  I should have taken before pics, but I was trying so hard to get lots done before Mama's surgery that I neglected that part.  Then my super-tremendous-awesome-handsome hubby did it all for me while I was out of town.  (I'm keeping him.)  Now on to the fun decorating!
Hello, closet clean-out.  Though I purge things regularly, I've hit a frustration point with my wardrobe.  Today is "create outfits" day, and everything that doesn't seem to work  
Hello, down-hill side of summer.  Weren't we just on the up-hill side?  Don't talk to me yet about school, pretty-please.
Hello, cabbage.  You're the only thing that's been productive in our drenched garden this summer, and I am fresh out of ideas about what to do with you. Attn: Cabbage-eaters.  Please assist.
Hello, power outage!  You are a near-daily occurrence thanks to the rain and our abundant trees. 
Hello, Holy Spirit.  Keep blowing a fresh wind through our church.  We need You.
Be blessed today!
Linking here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Where I've Been, Where I Am

A few days ago, my sweet mama had back surgery and, because our family is loaded with drama queens ;-), managed to squeeze an unscheduled 2nd surgery in there thanks to a blood clot.  Thankfully, she's recovering well and in rehab for a few weeks.
  I've slept, pretzel-like, in a hospital recliner a couple of nights this week, so my lovely bed at home was even lovelier last night.  It's nice to sit in my own (comfy) recliner with Katniss biting my finger purring contentedly. 
It's been a strange summer.  Weather more like the northwest than the southeast. Big questions at church. Friends in crisis.  Major surgeries.  Budget envelopes.  Other than three days when I stared out at the ocean and generated no serious thoughts at all, I can't say I've rested.
I admit I am longing for rest.
I'm longing for wisdom and a refreshed body and spirit.
Be blessed,