Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crafting for Sanity

Lots of impending changes coming up for this family . Crafting keeps my hands busy and my head from exploding. So, today's installment keeping me sane involves a tweet.

A silly, winding story for your Thursday pleasure. My friend @kt_writes, whom I've mentioned before and previously, wrote about why people feel the need to impose rules on tweeting. Generally speaking, I am a rule abider, but if they are dumb rules or imposed by someone I feel has no authority to be telling me what's what, I kind of ignore them.

My friend does this, too. Apparently there are some folks who don't want to read tweets about what people eat. But my friend is a foodie and rather a good cook. She tweets frequently about good grub she's enjoying. I like this because it gives me ideas to make for my family, who will soon tire of breakfast for dinner, I fear. (I can't drive to her house every night for dinner because the drive is longer than I thought it was, but that's for another day.)

She then tweeted her need for a shirt that proclaimed her affinity for eat-tweets. My friend breaks rules, too. We're so dangerous.

Ergo, today's creation. I'm sending this little number to KT knowing it is simply too enormous for her, and that she may never leave the house in a goofy, shapeless tee. I hope she keeps eat-tweeting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Letting Go All Over

Yesterday, I dropped off my eldest child at 6th grade. Amid the usual back-to-school excitement, supplies, and other emotions there was a hard stone of fear sitting on my heart, and I was completely caught off guard by this.

I thought I would be consumed with anxiety for her brother, our youngest, who started full day everyday Kindergarten (Praise the Lord). He barely got a second thought for thoughts of my eldest.

She's been at this school since she was three. She knows almost every single kid in her class. Her dad works on the same campus for goodness sake.


It's sixth grade. She has a locker. A locker, people! She changes classes, every day, with a different schedule every day. She has lots of books. And a sport. And band. She will be expected to know where to be and how to get there. She has to pack her sports clothes every night. She has a mouth guard.

Yesterday she got herself from school to lunch to a field hockey meeting, to the field, to her dad's office. I cannot describe how worried I was during that period of time. I mentally paced through all the steps she would take. Get bag, eat lunch, change clothes, get to meeting, learn new stuff, meet new people, remember to go to Dad's office. CALL MOM!

I am embarrassed to admit this because of what it says about me as a parent and person. I had to wonder why I was so worried. Is it possible that I have so little confidence in her upbringing and abilities that I think she can't get across a campus by herself? That thought makes my heart stop and my eyes bug out.

Deep breath.

There might be a kernel of truth in that; I have, in the past, been known to smooth things over, make excuses, pamper and otherwise fly around her micromanaging her life. (How did I become THAT woman?). I think it's the knowledge that the next few years fly before my eyes as I watch her grow and change and become more of who she is every day, and she'll be beyond my reach. I felt an urge to bring her back to me, to hold her, to tell her things she might need to know, as if I was sending her out into the wide world unarmed.

So I promise not to pack her bag, not to bring her things she forgets, not to make excuses when she fails. I promise to listen and love and fiercely protect. I promise today to untie the apron strings and let my girl grow into the world and to be there when she stumbles.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Linen Lovelies

Made some cute little linen lovelies yesterday. Set of three lunch bags, unlined. The big one fits a sammich and has a cotton floss around 2 button closure. Then, two littler velcro closed bags for your crunchy snacks and your .... something chocolatey. This linen is machine washable, btw.

Then, this completely adorable boxy pouch. Lined with same linen and zippered closed. Tiny little pouch can be thrown in your purse or attached to your backpack. Fits lipstick, or you know, whatever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I'm a notorious plant murderer. I can't help it. No plant is safe in my vicinity. My mother in law had a grass green thumb and my dad is a master at coaxing tomatoes and basil from the earth. I imagine a wanted poster hanging in every greenhouse from here to Pennsylvania, warning all gardeners to be on the look out for the nefarious plant killer.

For Mother's Day I asked for (yes, I asked for), two hanging pots of flowers to put in front of the house. My children and husband looked apprehensive. Their eyes searched my face for clues that I was joking. I told you I had a reputation. But they acquiesced and bought the plants. I can't even tell you what they are, but they are fairly common little flowers, in purple and white, my favorite colors. They went right outside onto my little flower stand that I hadn't used since I brought a geranium to its knees in 2004.

I watered them, and the kids enjoyed helping. We bought a little watering can. We left it outside right by the flowers. We watched them and watered them. And the pretty purple flowers began to shrivel. They turned brown. Their stems looked dried up and puny. I watched them die a slow and painful death. When we poured water into the pot, it streamed right out the bottom, its soil was so hard. But I couldn't throw it away. The poor dead Mother's Day plant smacked of failure. Putting that mass of sad leaves in the trash would signal my complete ineptitude.

The pot sat on the picnic table in the backyard, taunting me all summer long with its brown limbs and cracked earth. Every time I looked at it, a part of my gasped with despair.


Last week, as I sat at the kitchen table, drinking my coffee and surveying the scene of the backyard, I caught a glimpse of purple in my peripheral vision. Wha? I'm used to brown out there, not purple. A closer inspection revealed that in fact, my dead plant had resurrected itself. There were new shoots and blooms springing crazily out of the dead dry soil. As if the plant did not accept dying. As if it didn't understand dead plants don't regrow.

Lately, I've been feeling a little like that "dead" plant. My roots can't get enough water and my blossoms have faded. I haven't had the energy to turn my face toward the sun and I'm waving the white flag. Just this morning, I was shaking my fist at God and all His people whose lives seem to be falling right into perfect place while I seemingly spin my wheels looking for a way out that won't reveal itself. The house is falling apart, school fees are overwhelming and it just seems too much.

After my little pity party ended, I marched that plant back out front, to the flower hanger, with it's blossoming white friend. They looked so cheery and purposeful. So resolute in their return to life. That plant reminded me to hope. That plant wasn't dead. Some old dead bits needed to be removed and the new growth isn't all big and showy. But it's brave, and new, and tender, and...there. And I will rise again and there will be a solution and my roots will be refreshed and I will be ready for the next heat wave.

New Goodies

Here is my fashion model, modeling a new embroidery design. I love this design for all kinds of reasons, and on all kinds of embroiderables. If you've invited one of my kids to a party this summer, most likely this was the gift. Pick your letter, pick your colors. I love dots.

This is a piece of vinyl that I cut Abby's name out of. The vinyl is lightly adhesive and sticks to the wall in the kitchen, showing through my fun new pain color. Also? You can see that I have written with chalk on this little speech bubble. It's her new weekly home calendar.

Cool, right?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Accident Residue

A few weeks ago, our 11 year old suffered a minor injury in a very unminor way. She fell from the slide at the pool and passed out in the water, in the arms of her friend. I have not written about this event because, frankly, it scared the crap out of me. You will forgive the crude phraseology since it truly is one of those scenes that unfolds horrifically in slo-mo every time it comes to mind. To top it off, every single emotion that was crammed into that incredibly short interval from fear to comfort overwhelms me on an annoyingly regular basis.

Cut to today...weeks after her fall, and surely over a span that would allow her newly inhibited mother to have healed. Right?

Tubing on the lake always makes me nervous. It reminds me of learning to drive with my dad; the most important lesson he taught me his favorite and most oft-repeated lesson was that he was less concerned with what I was doing and more concerned with what "the idiots" around me were doing. On special occasions, those idiots made the transition to even lower life forms than I feel it's appropriate to admit here. I will say I learned some colorful language from Pops.

Back to on the lake I watch all around us, cutting a wide swath with my mama bear eyes, trying to ensure no other boat comes within a football field of my precious cargo. And the kids know their cues: how to signal faster, slower, okay and stop. The girls, 9 and 11, were cruising along happily today while their father, my husband, sped about trying to create wakes for them. And then he flipped them, much to their delight. And my subsequent horror.

The boat dropped from under me, my heart thumped inside me, desperate to make sure they were fine.

They were fine. They loved it. They were laughing. I felt stupid. Although I did notice a look on the face of the 9 year old. She felt what I felt; I am certain. She looked about for her sister in a panic, wanting the same confirmation I wanted. I needed to know, and so did little sister, that the big girl landed safely in the water, did not hurt her head, had not passed out, was not bleeding from anywhere....

And in that moment I knew we, my middle child and I, were still not free from the trauma of that day. The one who was injured remembers little of her accident. The rest of us will not soon forget what we felt on that day. I suppose time is the only eraser for the erratic and consuming emotions, and my desire, my goal, is to make it okay for the sister, and for me, to talk about it as much as possible.

Which is why I finally wrote about the day my girl was hurt.