Wednesday, February 27, 2013

you would've been proud

I got up early this morning, 5:20 to be exact.  You would've been proud.  I showered and got ready, made lunches, woke up babies and shoveled the sidewalk.  I put Max's collar on and he knew as soon as I'd picked it up and he heard the tags jingle that he was goin' somewhere!
Miss K began getting ready, she knew she was under pressure this morning.  I assured her things would be fine, even if they missed the bus, I would be back in time to give them a ride to school.  No need to panic.  I gave her deadlines...7:00am - finish breakfast, get shoes on, brush teeth, gather back pack; 7:20 - 10 minutes til take off, post up, watch for the bus.  Then, I took off.
Good news.  I made it safely to the vet with one Mr. Puppy in tow.  I'm not sure how many inches of snow we got last night (plenty to go 'round, that's for sure) and snow continued to fall as we drove, but the roads were good.
Bad news.  We arrived and they gave me an estimate of $150- $300.  Then, the lady came back with a second estimate stating his "simple surgery" would be $300-$500 because he was over 5 years old.  You've got to be kidding me!  I gasped, told her how outrageous that was and that my husband would flip out!  It was true, you would.  I didn't raise my voice and I wasn't angry, only in shock.  I think she took it a little personal because she began explaining to me that she hadn't been there for a couple days and she'd added a couple things just to make sure this estimate was "in the ballpark".  She told me she would talk with the doctor and call me before they started anything.  You would've been proud.
As soon as I left and got on the road, I checked the time.  It was 8 o'clock on the east coast and Dr. Byrd would be in.  He'd be able to give me some advice and tell me if this whole scheme was crazy or not.  I gave him a call.  He was in surgery, so I ended up leaving a message.  I traveled home and made it back before the bus came.  I hadn't had any breakfast so I was in a frenzy.  It threw my whole morning off. 
In the meantime, the kids left for school and I ate a bowl of Fruit Loops while I turned on the TV to watch the news and see how much snow we'd actually gotten.  I watched the weather three times and never heard nor saw an amount.  I was completely distracted.  I gave up.  I went about the morning, fumbling and stumbling over normal tasks until the phone rang.  It was Dr. Byrd and I was never so glad to hear his voice.  I explained the situation and he gave me a couple scenarios and treatment options, the best he could do for an over-the-phone analysis.  Bottom line, this procedure seemed a little lot unnecessary.  I was prepared to do battle with Mr. Vet.  You would've been proud.

Dr. B asked how I liked the prairie state and I won't lie, I grumbled.  He bragged, telling me it was sunny and 65 was to be the high there today.  It just  wasn't fair, you being in the land of sun and humidity, Dr. B livin' it up in the big V-A, and me?  Stuck in the cornfields surrounded by the dreary snow!  That's where!  But who said life was fair?

In the meantime, the vet calls back.  "Good news", he says.  "No surgery!  Just 3 more weeks of antibiotics."  I'll take it!  All is well again.  I picked up our happy little camper and he was so excited to see me, all snorty and wiggling.  He said hello to the receptionist and a very unhappy kitty.  I paid the bill and we made our way to the truck.  Yes, I took your truck, just like you saidAnd, I'd thrown a jacket in the backseat before we left!  Two points!  I was on an adrenalin rush and so I'd donned a hoodie and jeans with boots.  You would've been proud.

We arrived home safely and I fed Mr. Poodley.  (He hadn't eaten since yesterday morning - doctor's request.)  Once he was finished, I let Daisy out and she checked him over, sniffing and wagging her tail.  They were happy to be reunited and he soon zonked out in the kitchen on his bed.  So much excitement for one morning!  He didn't even move for pictures.


Friday, February 22, 2013

oh brown squirrel

I heard her whining from the bedroom.  I thought it might be the furnace man but come to find out, it was just a squirrel.  She stood in all her elegant grace, poised at the window.  All of her chest and leg muscles clearly defined.  She trembled as she gazed.  Her breath leaving small uneven ovals on the glass.  She whined under her breath.  I tried kindly explaining that she's not a squirrel dog and her daddy would be so ashamed to see it'd come to this, but she paid me no mind.  I firmly told her "No", yet she stood, still as a statue, taking in the view of the lively brown squirrel scavenging for food amongst the backdrop of white snow and barren cornfields.  The wind blew steadily and the sun played peek-a-boo as she ran to the door and gave me the look. 

She realized I wouldn't allow her to quench this thirst for Mr. Squirrel and so she circled back and to the sill again.  She gracefully stood up and placed her paws ever so lightly on the sill, barely resting them on the wood.  She stood there in all her glory, praying I'd let her out.  I wouldn't succumb to the pressure, all her high pitch whining and pacing.  I refused.  She continued on for a bit longer and then, in defeat, she lay down, only to hop up minutes later.  She sat perfectly still, heeding every little detail of the wind, the movements of the trees, she took it all into consideration. 

Her pedigree is fine.  And her stance?  Regal.  She sat, just listening.  More circling ensued and then, she approached me and put her front feet up on the couch as to ask, "PLEASE, let me out.  I'm in agony."  Again, I snubbed her.  She doesn't give up easily.  She has a great deal of fight bred into her bones and coursing through her veins.  All of her commotion roused the big guy.  He faithfully got up, sauntered over to the door where he sat as if silently pleading for her case.  He held his post for a few minutes and then, understanding I was not going to budge, he lay down.  He quietly gave up while he watched her circle and whine, circle and whine.

We played this game of hers for some time before she eventually surrendered and fell fast asleep on the floor.  But not before rallying the troops and convincing the big guy that he needed to follow suit.  And finally, I walked away, leaving them to play their own game.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

sleep, i don't

Why is it that I can't sleep a wink when you're gone?  Afraid, I'm not.  You know that.  There's something about all the extra space left in the bed and my mind races and can't settle.  My eyelids flutter when I close them and time stands still all day every day.  Take yesterday for instance, the night before I stayed up until 1, yet I cranked out sewing project after another and still had time before the bus came.  I wasn't even tired until we Skyped.

The days just don't go by fast enough. Yesterday, I kicked butt in the sewing room. I watched a movie while I sewed. I talked on the phone while I sewed. I even made another scarf. I think it can clearly be classified as another obsession. Sweaters, that is. There are 4 I pulled out of the goodwill bag. I felt a little guilty. I'm thinking about throwing 2 of them back in there though. So, fly away guilt!  I mean, how many scarves does a girl need?
I lay awake while the kids, dogs and even Sam are fast asleep.  I listen to the hum of the furnace while playing Solitaire for the 865th time and play on until the battery dies.  I've watched too many movies to count.  If I don't, I lay there wishing I could sew but the motor's too loud and our poor man would never get to sleep.  I could wash dishes but ugh!, who wants to do that?!  And everyone begs to sleep in our bed when you're gone.  What's up with that?  I don't cook like I do when you're here.  We live off of frozen pizza, Ramen noodles, cereal and Vienna sausages.  It's disgusting I tell you!  I workout while you're gone but I won't once you get back.  I forget to turn the heat down at night and refuse to do it until I really have to get up.  Don't hate, it falls in your category and I never remember, but by the time you get back, I'll have gotten into the routine and then you'll take over doing it.  And by the time you leave again, I'll have gotten used to you doing it and I'll have to retrain myself all over again.  It's a vicious cycle.

I wonder how you're sleeping.  If you're ever freaked out about bed bugs with all the hotel-hopping you do?  Seems to be a big deal these days with devastating consequences.  I wonder what the air smells like there?  Have you gone down to the water?  Was it like the beach in Chile with little tide pools and lots of creatures?

Snow should be coming in today.  The wind's been steady (really, when is it not?)  I'm a little freaked about all this snow.  Seeing as how there's no wood stove here.  I have visions of us holeing up in our bedroom, wearing fleece jamas and beanie hats, laying under multiple comforters playing Boggle.  We've had several offers to camp out with friends but, we're gonna hold down the fort.  Plus, I don't think our four-legged kids would take too kindly to us leaving them in a frozen house.

Well I'm gonna head off to do somethingAnything, to pass the time.  Enjoy the warmth and the sound of the waves.  I found this lovely note ripped and crumpled behind a box in the hallway when I vaccumed the other day.  It was ever so kindly addressed to me.  I assume it adorned his door at some point and then he got over himself so he destroyed the evidence before it could be found.  Alas, I've unearthed it.

Gosh that kid's a pistol.  If he's half as bad as we were growing up, we are surely in for a ride.

headband craze

Along with our obsession with scarves, the female population in mi casa are currently diggin' on bows and hair accessories.  Last weekend, we tried out a headband with interchangeable pieces.  It was a flop and I was bound and determined to figure out a better solution.   And while I'm not completely convinced this is it yet, it's working for now.
I started out updating a bow that we made with some tulle.  Then, I hot glued a tiny piece of Velcro on the back.  I double-checked in the mirror where I wanted the bow to go on the headband.  Once happy with the placement, I hot glued another small piece of Velcro onto the headband.  No, I didn't have any black velcro, but it didn't matter anyway, it's covered and unnoticable. wink.

Using a button, some scraps from the baby quilt and dark brown corduroy, I made this piece.  Think I should've glued the ribbon instead of sewing to give it a more polished look but it's OK I guess.  I'm fighting the urge to rip it off and cut a new ribbon to glue on but, I'm determined to rein in my perfectionism and not touch it!  I have issues y'all.  I do.

There's more action in the sewing room.  Those projects just stand uncompleted.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

baby quilt, softie, and a scarf

This week I've almost tackled one (cheater!) baby "quilt" ...
I cut out the triangles and adhered Heat'n'Bond Lite to the wrong side using the tutorial from Made by Marzipan for the "Bye Baby Bunting Quilt".   I know, I promised to make my grandma's first, but wasn't sure I liked the backing I'd gotten.  So, I decided to give it time to grow on me or return it - whichever came first.
 I carefully arranged the triangles and pressed to adhere them to the fabric.
Pinned the top fabric, batting, and bottom together and using a zig zig stitch, sewed all three layers at once.
All that's left to do is sew on the binding (once I get some more fabric to make the bias tape - ugghhmmm!)
I conquered a softie doll, tutorial courtesy of 70 piggies.  It'd been a while and I was quickly reminded why I don't like these so well.  They're cute, I agree but, they're tedious.  Don't get me wrong, Nicole from 70 Piggies has a great tutorial!  It's just me.  I have issues like that.

And last but not least, "Ruby" is modeling a cowl neck scarf created from an old sweater - I am in love with both Ruby and the scarf!


Friday, February 8, 2013

glorious, glorious fabric!

I've been planning a quilt project for a couple weeks now.  Well, today was the glorious day that I picked out fabric.  I spent an insane amount of time staring at bolts and bolts of fabric.  I declare, I think this is an obsession, my love of fabric.  I will buy it without a project in mind and hold on to it for months before I actually find something I want to use it for.  Is that a problem?  I also like the remnant bin, I'm a sucker for small rolls of discounted fabric.  It's clear, I have issues.  Don't judge.

I was still hooked on the yellow and gray theme and so I selected these for a quilt for my grandma.  There's less gray than I was looking for, but in the end, I was pleased with this selection.  And since I'm trying to do this "by the book" - I have a hard time with that you know - they are now happily getting acquainted with the washer and dryer.  I confess, I never prewash my fabric.  I know, it's a sin.

These will be baby quilts.  That's my hope at least.  I cheated and bought stacks for these.  They are enjoying time mingling in the craft room until I complete the quilt for my grandma.  Pending its success, they'll also meet with the washer and dryer and move on to life as a beloved quilt.  Pending its success, I say.

the Joe Dirt, Larry the Cable Guy shirt

Some of you've already heard this story but, the photo's worth sharing just so you can laugh it up again...

A couple weeks ago, a certain little man was complaining one morning that he gets hot in P.E.  Let's be real here.  P.E.'s a mere 30 to 45 minutes, so it's a small percentage of his day.  He didn't want to get dressed and he was griping about all of the choices.  My rebuttal went something like this, "Listen, it's cold here.  Really cold.  You can't just go wearing short sleeves and holey pants when it's 20 degrees out.  So, I'm sorry, it's long sleeves and a good pair of jeans.  Pick something out."  I walked off and left him to select a suitable outfit.  A bit later he came waltzing into the kitchen.  His mood was better, he was dressed appropriately and the morning continued as it normally does.

What I did notice was that he was wearing a fleece jacket and I did question it and thought oh, heavens to Betsy, he's getting the virus that Miss K had just gotten over.  He said he was fine and when I felt his forehead, he seemed normal.  Sometimes he's cold in the morning, so it wasn't anything to worry about.  He later left, putting a thicker winter coat over top and I thought it was a bit strange again but, if he really was sick, the school would call.

The day went by and when he arrived home, I followed him to his room, all the while asking questions about his day and offering him a choice of snacks. He took off his jacket and immediately, I noticed something was wrong with this nice new shirt he was sporting.  (I had bought this - tag still on - at a thrift shop for little of nothing and it was one of those really soft long-sleeved tees, so it was a prized buy in my eyes.)  Upon second glance, the sleeves were missing.  Anger and frustration shot through my veins and I started to get upset with him, asking why he'd done this and telling him we can't just go hacking up all of our clothes!

He explained again that he gets hot in P.E. and I told him that was not a good excuse.  I had to walk away, I was gonna lose it for sure!  I went to the kitchen and did some dishes.  I had to vent.  So, I texted friends and family to share this little story that was eating me up.  I explained how mortified I was, how the shirt looked like a little redneck beer belly shirt.  I explained I wasn't racist or a hater but the sleeves weren't even short sleeves, they were shorter, almost like a tank top but not so much.  It was complete with a race car on the front.  My brother called him Joe Dirt, another friend asked if it was Larry the Cable Guy style.  Yep, it was.  Someone said tell him to grow a pony tail and get a tattoo that says "MOM", chicks dig it!  Someone who'd been home with a child suffering with a stomach virus said she'd sadly been dealing with puke and that story just made her day.

After reading their comments, I quickly got over my fit of rage.  It was slightly comical.  I took a couple of pictures to which he was not happy about but, that's a small price to pay. It's a memory and a story that won't soon be forgotten.