Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Blanket Apology

I'm beginning to notice that most of the ideas I have for blog entries are much less crafty and much more, er, really less crafty. But such is life right now. Annie dropped her afternoon nap months ago, so there's narry a moment in time that isn't spent feeding her, entertaining her, feeding her, running errands, and feeding her. As any mom of tiny tots will tell you, you finally carve out a little down time around 9:00 pm...and then you realize you may as well go to sleep but someone will undoubtedly wake you up in three short hours.

So not much is getting done around here. I started a couple of dolls to accompany the one I made for Annie last Easter, and I've gotten as far as sewing and stuffing one head and torso. I actually discovered Annie laughing and pulling fiberfill out of the doll's head the other day, and I'm trying not to think too hard about what that may say about her psychological state.

I was totally enveloped by the paper piecing quilt project I started, until my hands started to hurt. When I noticed I was wringing my hands like a mawmaw and talking about feeling the bad weather in my joints, I knew it was time for a break. No project, aside from mothering, that makes you feel that old is worth the effort.

Now I want to pick it back up, though, mostly because we'll be settling into the new house soon. Annie will be moving out of a toddler bed into a bonafide "big girl" bed, and she'll need the proper accessories--namely a quilt draped beautifully on the end of her bed that makes the statement, "Look at the detail. My mommy loves me more than yours." Actually, in all honesty, she'll be lucky if she gets a decorative throw pillow tossed her way. Perhaps I should have realized: Quilts take a long, long time. Sorry, Annie, for your underaccessorized bedding. I hope you can find it in your little heart to forgive me.

But God Bless the little sweet pea, who stretched out on it one day and said, "Mommy, I just love my beauti-hul quilt!" Maybe I should just stop with what I have. She's only two, you know. She has no idea that there's no such thing as a decorative quilted bed runner, right?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Moving right along...

If you need to know something about Jim and Jennifer, it's this: We love God, family, and friends above anything else. If you need to know something ridiculous about Jim and Jennifer, it's this: We will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary tomorrow, and, as of June, we will have lived in 6 different places. No, Jim's not in the military. No, we are not running from the law, although that does sound pretty exciting about now. Of course, there was a 5 year stretch where we stayed in one place. (Feel free to take a minute to run the numbers on all of that and let the magnitude of it sink in.) Once we move to our new house in June, we will have moved 3 times in one 12 month period.

So why all of this useless information you ask? In the spirit of our approaching anniversary, I'd like to use this information to speak to those unmarried souls who say, "I'll never get married, because married life is too boring." Bwah-hah-ha. The past 8 years have been a whirlwind, I tell you. The past 3 have been downright ridiculous. I keep waiting for the day when Jim and I will kick back in some unattractive, puffy chenille La-Z-Boy recliners, look at each other, and say things like "Momma, you done good" or "Daddy, you want more co-cola?"

But right now it's more excitement that I think any one person can thank goodness there are two of us.

Happy Anniversary, You.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For the birds

Sometimes life gets a little crazy, and you realize that those best laid plans of mice and men are better left to the mice. They undoubtedly have better luck than I. (Just ask my pal, Sarah, who has one in her home that successfully defaced a Baby Einstein toy.)

2010 was a humdinger, to put it nicely, and now we've found ourselves back "home" in the town we left just 8 months ago. In 2010 we made a lot of plans...I mean, a lot. None of them worked out just as we'd hoped, but thankfully (and as always) they worked as just as He had.

So 2011 should be full of lots of fun things--buying another house (we hope), moving a few more boxes in the process, potty training, etc. etc. And, as always, there will be some arts and craps along the way.

Right now, thanks to my friend Kathleen who always introduces me to new sewing techniques, I'm hand quilting a blanket for Annie. (Positive note: Being a bedridden shut-in is the perfect opportunity for hand sewing! Yea!) I'll snap some pics soon. I'm currenly very proud of the callous on my finger that means repetetive, very purposeful sewing has been occuring around here.

We're heading to the store today for some ribbon for my first ever pillowcase-style dress, and I took a gander at the crap store's flyer to check on some deals. And since I love sharing odd  pictures, I was thrilled to discover this:

At first I thought, "Wow, they've actually put a picture of a woman using a nursing cover on the front of a sales flyer. Way to promote breastfeeding, nationally recognized craft and fabric store!" Then I realized, no, it's just a very strange women draping a very unattractive quilt across her person. She's not curled up on the couch...just kind of standing there, clutching her bird quilt for dear life, but nonetheless trying to smile though her pain.

Perhaps 2010 was a little rough on her too.

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Have you seen my centerpiece? It's terrifying."

The Pottery Barn December 2010 catalog arrived. For me it brings the same level of excitement that looking at the Sears Christmas catalog did as a child, except that there's no risk that I'll stumble upon a picture of men wearing creepy NFL long johns. (Was it absolutely necessary to have the men's underwear section of that catalog that close to the toy section?)

Well, I've made my "must have" list, and I'm definitely buying these as quickly as possible. Because I know there will be nothing finer than the moment when the wax of their little cute heads inevitably melts and it looks like there are four headless woodland creatures, fluffy stumps afire, threatening the peace and tranquility of your holiday tablescape.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Swear I Both Aced Speech Class and Received an English Degree from an Accredited University

Being a mom means that your brain seems to rest firmly in your bottom sometimes, because often that feels like where your thoughts emerge. More times than not I open to mouth to only, seconds later, think, "I can't believe that just came out of my face."

And that's how it feels the ill-formed words are spewing out of my face, totally out of my control. I think the inner workings of my mom brain are not unlike the Anheiser Busch brewery bottling line I saw on a school trip to Busch Gardens. The bottles are trucking along just fine, and it all makes sense...until--ka-pam! That reject bottle comes along, and it gets kicked out faster than you can say "hasenfeffer incorporated." Well, some days it feels like every word out of my mouth is a reject bottle. Ka-pam indeed.

I try to write down the flat-out weird things Annie says, but I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't do the same for me. It's probably a good idea that I don't, because reading that drivel would likely lower my failing IQ by a good 50 points, which would throw me straight into the red.

But for the sake of fun, let's revisit some of my more profound statements, comments, bouts of verbal diarrhea, what-have-you, that I've experienced so far this week.

1. To a dear friend's (talking 'bout you, "E-bits"!) husband who stopped by to deliver a fantastic meal and who had clearly earned Annie's affection in a whopping 10 seconds: "Annie just loves men. She just goes crazy over all the men that come over to the house." That's right. "All the men." Oh, and I forgot to mention, I said this to a future pastor. At least he can pray for me.

2. To Annie, when putting her down for a nap: "Please try to get some rest, and don't poop yourself awake, please." I'm pretty sure that's the only time I've said that. At least I hope so.

3. To the sweet 20-something girl who lives upstairs who just got engaged: "Yeah, enjoy this time! The engagement, the wedding, those first few years....they're so much fun. And then when you're our age, that's when all the stupid stuff starts happening." Congratulations and best wishes!!

4. To the sales associate at Hancock Fabrics: "I'll talk half a yard, please!" Ok, that doesn't seem weird, but you haven't seen the fabric. It is so bad, so weird, she actually begged me to buy the rest of the bolt, which had been in the store for nearly 4 years. But it is soooo delicious in its tackiness, and it brings me much joy. I wish I could meet the kindred spirits who purchased the previous yards. I'd love to spend an afternoon with them chatting about sewing small appliance cozies and looking at their Tweety Bird tattoos.

That's all for now. I should stop, because my fingers are getting tired. And my self-esteem is plummeting. And there's also some very funky fabric begging to be fashioned into something even funkier.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Poor Kitty. She made the terrible decision to fall ill as I fell ill earlier this year. So we didn't really notice she wasn't doing well. If laziness, apathy, and detachment present themselves in a cat, how can you begin to know these are signs that something isn't right? That's just standard operating procedure. But when Kitty started sounded like she had swallowed huge, funky ball of lint, we thought, "Hmm, wethinks Kitty is under the weather."

Some $400 and many mild heart attacks later (ours, not Kitty's), our vet told us she may or may not have lung cancer (I told her she shouldn't smoke!) or asthma or pneumonia. I resisted the urge to tell said vet that he may or may not have my continued business after $400 and no firm diagnosis.

Then we moved. And then some more unfortunate unfortunateness unfortunately fell our way. Again, Kitty was neglected. Not "call the ASPCA" neglected, just put on the back burner. (Yes, I realize that probably makes you think of our cat simmering stove top [sorry], but I couldn't think of any other phrase.) You know it's a rough time in your life when you have to say things like: "I really would like to stay alive, so you'll just need to hang on a few more months while we make that, um, don't die, ok? Good kitty."

Right now Kitty is on three different medications, two of which were custom flavored at the pharmacy. I'm hoping that one day I'll get an ailment that requires a liquid medication, so I can take it to the same pharmacy and answer the question "Would you like this flavored?" with "Yes, 'assorted dead fish,' please!" Kitty seems to like it, and we're happy for that. When you've spent money on cat medicine, you much prefer to see it in your cat rather than cat-spit spray painted all over your walls. I'm still finding little specks of her last medicine--a horrible tee-tee yellow color, which she spewed all over our vanilla walls. And if there's one thing I don't love, it's the appearance of someone having peed on my walls, so it seems like our current medicine situation is a win-win.

Our new vet, who I believe to be far superior to the last, is getting close to a diagnosis. I was hopeful that we were just dealing with asthma. I thought to myself, "Sure, I can manage that. Just some medicine or breathing treatments or something relatively easy, right?" Then I made the mistake of putting the Google in my computer, and I stumbled upon this:

WHAT?! Oh my gosh. I don't know if I'm more terrified of the hose or the cat. What kind of cat is that calm while having a hose of pressurized air shoved in its face? The kind that will suffocate you in your sleep probably. This will not be an option for Kitty. Although that's kind of a shame, because I, personally, would pay good money to watch what is unfolding in this picture. If it were happening in my own home, all the better.

But what if the soon-to-be-patented Nose Hose doesn't work?

No! Noooooooo!!! Man, oh, man. If her meds don't work, we're in trouble. Even that cat, who looked content just minutes ago with a tiny garden hose shoved against her nostril, seems a little perturbed. Just a little.

But here's something: Annie just walked in, looked at this picture, and said, "Aw, kitty's having a beeeeer!!" (Kinda makes you wonder about our beer drinking technique.) But there's an idea. Or maybe I should just have one. After all, I've spent nearly $50 on having the cat sedated for blood work and X-rays, and no one's has offered me the first thing. For crying out loud, the money we've spent, the early morning lugging the cat and kid to the vet's office by 7:30, the knowledge that there's more and more funky fish-scented medicine in our future, and the reality that I may be staring down the barrel of the Nose Hose any day now.... whew... It never stops.

Suddenly I'm having trouble breathing too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My New Theme Song

Last week I took advantage of afternoon nap time to work on some hand sewing projects. I stretched my legs out, poured a nice glass of iced tea, and turned on the TV for some background noise. You can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon an old episode of "Soul Train." Delightful!

You see, when I was a wee thing my sisters and I would often go to my grandmother's house for a Friday night spend-the-night party. The highlight of the night was getting to stay up late enough the watch "The Tonight Show" (you know, back when it was actually good). And if we were extra good--and if Mamaw got her second wind--we could talk her into letting us stay up a little later to watch "Soul Train." Now we were avid watchers of "American Bandstand" on Saturday mornings. That's where we got most of our moves. But "Soul Train" was an extra special treat. For three very white girls living in the suburbs, this was our glimpse into urban living...and we loved it.

So if I happen to catch "Soul Train" on, I have to stop what I'm going and hop on board. Toot! Toot! And sometimes, rather unsuccessfully, I have to fight urge to get a little funky. Let's be honest here: If I could have a dance party every day of my life, I would. I have years of material from old episodes of "Solid Gold," "American Bandstand," and "Soul Train" in my dance repertoire.

And don't even talk about "Dance Fever." I was once nearly rug burned beyond recognition when, after watching an episode, my older sister and I tried to orchestrate a lift and spin move of our own. We were fabulous.

You can imagine that when this song ( came on, I brought the funk. I had to have that funk. Now. And I assure you whatever dance moves you start busting out when you see this will look exactly like what I saw on "Soul Train." I learned a new dance that day, called "The Cracker Jack," from a fine young couple from New York. (He said he was in med school, and she was majoring in psychology. I would love to know how the funk propelled them to greatness in the medical field some 30 years later. I mean, I would pay double to be treated by anyone who created a signature dance called "The Cracker Jack.")

This dance and song have forever changed my outlook. Whenever I start feeling funky (like that), I try to pull myself up by my flared corduroys and get funky (like this). Who doesn't love a song called "Gotta Get Over the Hump" that features a hallelujah chorus? Granted, I'm sure some of lyrics are little less "30-something stay-at-home mom in suburban Jackson" and a little more "20-something oppressed urbanite living in Civil Rights era Chicago." Ok, a lot more. But I think Simtec and Wylie would agree: We all have our humps. But we'll get over them. (I think I want to dance.)

Haaaaal-le-lu-jah! Haaaal-le-lu-jah!