Thursday, April 30, 2009

Finished for Friday: Ornaments

This week (okay, actually late Thursday night) I finished up a couple of ornaments for this Christmas. These will be gifts, and have been personalized on the backs.

For some reason I decided to finish this like a real stocking, with lining, so I could put a tiny present in it. Sadly, my brain cramped when it came to remembering how to do a stocking with a lining, so this took about 3x as long as it should have.

I might add trim around the edge of this one too, but it still counts as a finish for today.

Lit and Laundry

Please join in, with any recent post showing something you've finished. A book, a project, a sandwich. Whatever. I promise to come and applaud. Please visit the other brave souls who link up too. You can find my button over in my sidebar if you'd like to put it in your blog. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Thursday Theater

And now Wasabi Girl and her twin Jungle Boy would like to serenade you:


I think this may be the cutest put-down I have ever received. Is this from a musical or something? I hope somebody knows. They learned it in chorus at school.

Thursday Theater is hosted by Goddess in Progress. This weeks theme was "mad skillz" so I'm going to stretch it a bit and say that this skill is singing. And standing awkwardly in front of mom's camera.

Don't forget to join me tomorrow for "Finished for Friday." Link up something you've finished up this week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Packing for a Camping Trip

Map - check
Compasses - check
Cap - check
Water bottles - check
Gigantic jar of trail mix - check.

I couldn't resist taking this picture of my husband's careful preparation for his overnight trip with the scouts. Clearly he is living the Boy Scout motto - "be prepared!"

For more Wordful Wednesday stories, visit Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Drama Girl Fire Drill

So there we were, sitting on the couch enjoying a movie on a Saturday afternoon. My husband and son were off on a camping trip and we girls were enjoying some girl time.

The phone rang. The answering machine clicked on "Hello? Drama Girl? We were expecting you for your audition a few minutes ago. We'll be here until 5:00. I guess you're on your way!"

What? The Children's Theater audition for Fiddler on the Roof was today? How could we have messed up that date?
***Commence panic mode.***

"Mom where's my monologue book?" wailed Drama Girl, as she transformed herself from drab to fab in under 60 seconds - a process which takes over 40 minutes on school mornings.

"I'll help you look, I just have to print the application packet!" said I, as I cursed the slow loading of pdf files on my computer. "Wasabi Girl! Please run downstairs and grab the forms that come off the printer!" Meanwhile part of my mind was thinking "isn't it a bit late to be memorizing a monologue?"

We jumped in the car a minute later, held up only by the printer which refused to print any faster no matter how much Wasabi Girl danced around it. Off we drove to the audition site, which luckily was only minutes away. I tried to give her a hurried pep talk. "Sing out! Are you going to sing the matchmaker song?"

"No, I'm going to sing a Kelly Clarkson song." (Gah! Why would she do that? She really should sing something from the musical.)

"Which part are you going to tell them you want?" (Please say the mother. If I'm going to donate a hundred hours of my volunteer time, you better have more than two lines.)

"Hodel. And don't worry mom. She has her own song. It's a great part." (That girl can read my mind.)

I slipped into the handicapped space right in front. Being lame does have it's rare advantage I guess. "I'll sit here and fill out the forms while you go in. Good luck!"

She bounced out of the car and my panic subsided. Nothing more I could do except sign my life away on the volunteer forms. I checked the dates on the rehearsal calendar. My husband and Jungle Boy are going to Catalina for a week in July for Boy Scout camp. I was hoping to take a vacation with the girls that week. No such luck. That week is "Tech Week," when she'll have long rehearsals every day just before the performance. Bye-bye vacation. I was only on the second page of forms when she came back out.

"All done mom, they'll take those forms when you're ready."

"All done? You were only in there two minutes!"

"I read a few pages for them and sang. They said I did great."

All that rushing for two minutes. Obviously the director already knows how he wants to cast her. Now we wait. The cast list will be finalized in a few weeks. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finished for Friday: Obama and Ort Report

An icon of our times. It's very small, so I finished it ornament-style. If you would like a pattern, it's free with orders over at Subversive Cross Stitch. I warn you however, the patterns there are not for the easily offended.

And here, a few days early, is my collection of orts for the Totally Useless Stitch-Along. This represents only a few weeks, so I'm pretty far behind the other stitchers I think, but still, this is what passes for excitement in my world.

If you've done something more exciting than collect scraps of thread, please share. Add you link below and let us know what you've been up to. Grab a button from my sidebar for your blog if you'd like.

Lit and Laundry

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Joy of Physical Therapy

The Joy of Physical Therapy

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The Joy of Physical Therapy

Really, I do love my physical therapist. She's a lovely person and I'm sure we would be wonderful friends in the real world. But in her world, in that physical therapy center, all I want to do is finish and get out of there.

There is a sort of camaraderie in the PT center. Everybody is working to repair themselves. Sometimes, as we sit next to each other at the bikes or plod the treadmills, we chat, in that "what are you in here for" sort of way. Everyone clucks appreciatively at everyone else's infirmities.

The real business is over at the line of tables though. That's where we are variously massaged/stretched/manipulated by the therapists. I try not to make faces. Everyone tries not to make faces. We try to joke sometimes. But having someone move your bones and muscles past where they want to move takes the humor out of you.

I'm sure I'll be grateful when this is all over. Right now, not so much.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Latest

  • I flunked my doctor's visit today. He increased my order for physical torture therapy to three times a week for eight more weeks. My evil slave driver therapist will be thrilled.
  • Jungle Boy panicked last night after he went to bed. He wailed that he'd brought his P.E. clothes home but forgot to give them to me to wash over the weekend. Although it was late, I reassured him that I'm such a martyr cool mom that I would stay up late and get them washed. So of course he forgot to bring them to school today. *sigh*
  • The chocolate bunnies each of the kids got for Easter had nutrition labels on the package. They were four servings each, and each serving had 42% of an adult's daily saturated fat requirement. Yep, those bunnies were all eaten within about 24 hours. Blech.
  • We have suddenly gone from bundling up at night and hearing the furnace go on over and over to sleeping with the windows open. It's so distracting. I love listening to outdoor night noises.
  • We had a big paint bubble in our exterior paint near the front door (be glad I wasn't blogging when we had our house remodeled and somehow managed to hire the worst contractor on the planet). Although it's been crazy tempting, the kids have managed to restrain themselves from popping it. A visiting kid today did not have such restraint. Note to self: need to call painters for estimates.
  • Easter leftovers are even better the next day. Everyone should have a lovely Greek mother-in-law who makes homemade stuffed grape leaves.
  • Jungle Boy is learning to play "Tequila" on the trumpet. When he practices it, I crack up every single time. Always reminds me of this scene:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eggs and Sausage

Mmmmmmm. Around here we're eating eggs and chicken-apple sausage for breakfast. I would have taken a picture but it's already in my stomach.

We celebrated Easter yesterday in the Greek Orthodox Church*. As part of the preparation for Easter we fast from meat, dairy, fish, eggs, oils, and any type of seafood with a backbone. For forty days.

I'm not a particularly gluttonous carnivore. I can go without meat. But take away cheese, margarine, and eggs, and I start feeling deprived. This year we did not do the full 40 days because my husband has had to do all the meal preparation and cooking, and all the extra planning required was just too much. But I had been especially good during the week before Easter.

Easter Sunday is called "The Feast of Feasts" for a reason. A search on Twitter on the words "Orthodox" or "Easter" showed me that all over the world we Orthodox were doing the same thing on Sunday - pigging out.

At our house we're enjoying all the wonderful foods we have available to us, and all the wonderful leftovers from my Greek mother-in-law's celebration yesterday. And all this delicious eating and celebrating makes my Monday.

To read other "Makes My Monday" entries, visit Cheryl over at Twinfatuation.

* It's a bit of a complex story why Easter falls on different dates in the Eastern and Western churches. When Pope Gregory established the Gregorian calendar, he also fixed the date of the first day of Spring as March 21. The Eastern Church continues to follow the lunar calendar in it's calculation of Spring, so Easter always falls after the vernal equinox (have I lost you yet?). Therefore, Orthodox Easter always falls after the Jewish observance of Passover. Sometimes we're as much as five weeks apart. Sometimes we celebrate on the same Sunday, which is disappointing because I don't get to shop the post-Easter sales to buy things for our Easter. I'm sure somebody will correct this clumsy explanation, but really, do you need any more detail?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finished for Friday: Holiday Mash-up

Lit and Laundry

It's almost Easter for us, so my brain and crafting planning is jumping ahead to what I need to do next. For Christmas, I've got this month's block of the month done on the Christmas quilt.

I've got the first three blocks done on a big Halloween quilt called "Hocuspocusville" from Crabapple Hill. It will have a total of 12 embroidered blocks. Wish me luck on getting this all done before Halloween.

I love the funny little details in this quilt. "Toil and Trouble Employment Agency." Snicker.

There are several references to the Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter. It actually stitches up pretty quickly since there are no color changes.

I'd like to make something for the 4th of July, but it's almost too late. I'm that slow to finish things.

Did you get any projects done this week? Maybe something around the house? Finish a book? If you have a recent post, I'd love to have you link up and share. Then please visit the other participants. And have a happy holiday, whatever the next one is for you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Hubs

This is a typical day in our house. Somebody goes to make a sandwich for their lunch and complains that "there's no bread!" Here Jungle Boy is demonstrating the no bread phenomenon. All those bread bags? Contain the ends, which apparently are poisonous, because nobody eats them. My husband always calls the end of a loaf of bread "the hub" so now the kids call them that too.

Nobody eats the hubs from regular bread. But get some nice French bread from the store? Suddenly everyone is begging for the hub. Whatever.

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by Angie over at Seven Clown Circus. Go join her and read some great photo stories.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I haven't had much patience lately. Every day, first thing in the morning, I am reminded that 1) I am in pain and 2) I still can't walk. Hobbling around with a cane, feeling like I have broken glass inside my hip joint, is wearing away at me.

The doctor says I'll be better in about six months after my surgery. Until then, it's endless days of physical therapy and exercises at home every day. To drive myself even crazier, while I do my exercises, I listen to a mix of Disneyland music on my ipod. I wish I were actually at Disneyland, walking around with my kids and my friends, but it will just have to wait.

So I do what I can. I got some dishes done yesterday and had to lie down for an hour afterwards. My husband has been such a saint about doing all these things. I'm grateful, but I really wish I could do them myself.

The twins are overdue for a birthday party. To make matters worse, the kids didn't get a fun vacation for either ski week or Spring vacation. "Everyone went to Tahoe mom!" I wish we could have gone too. I think it isn't fair that the kids don't get a break just because their mom can't walk. But my poor husband took a lot of days off from work to take care of me and he can't afford any more.

Lent is almost over, and Sunday will be Orthodox Easter. I can't sit in the pew or stand, so I'll be celebrating the midnight liturgy here at home while my kids and husband sing and light candles at church. It's the most beautiful service of the year. Next year. I'll be there again next year.

Today I opened my blog reader and was reminded just how small my problems are. I'm learning a lot about patience from NieNie. If you need a little patience and inspiration from a remarkable woman, read what she's written today here.

I guess I can be a little more patient after all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Worst Easter Ever

No, not this Easter. Waaaaay back when I was a kid. We had a pet raccoon named Ricky. Little Ricky had been abandoned in a tree by his mother. Funny thing, when you call up the zoo and ask if they want a raccoon - they sort of laugh at you. I guess they get a lot of calls like that.

So he stayed, and he was a pretty cool pet. Until one Easter.

You know, Easter. That holiday where the Easter bunny leaves little plastic eggs all over the yard? That holiday where the kids go running out whooping and scrambling all over the place to find the eggs because they have candy is inside?

So picture the scene that Easter morning about 1970 when four kids went running outside and found. . . nothing but empty plastic shell pieces.

Apparently Ricky had already found what was inside those eggs, and during the night he went on to find and open and devour ALL of them.

We kept finding half eggshells for years. In the gutters. Up trees. He must have had quite a party that night before, and dragged his treasures all over the place.

Obviously I've never gotten over it. My kids love this story because it's like some sort of unimaginable horror to them.

I hope your Easter was better than that one. I'm looking forward to Easter next week, because we're Greek Orthodox. Having Easter on a different date has its perks. I get to shop the after-Easter sales. Gotta fill up those plastic eggs. . .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Finished for Friday: Gotta Love a Man in Uniform

This week Jungle Boy had his first Boy Scout meeting. Even though he'd only been a scout for a few days, I wanted to convert his Webelos uniform shirt to his new and improved Boy Scout shirt. Because I'm a cool mom like that.

When last I had an adventure in ScoutPatchLand, I used the easy to apply gummy adhesive stuff. "Just stick it on!" they said at the Scout store. "Works great!" Sure did! All those Cub Scout patches went on easy-peasy.

Taking them off however, was another matter. First I pulled the patches off. This left big gummy splotches of blech behind. I tried all kinds of stuff to get it off. Hours to go until his meeting and I was staring at a ruined shirt. I grabbed the car keys to get him a new shirt at the Scout store because you know, cool mom.

The kind elderly gentleman at the scout store tried to talk me down. He told me I wasn't supposed to pull off the patches and assured me that if I used "Goof Off" the blech would come right off. I buzzed back home and grabbed my trusty bottle. After another 40 minutes I had a shirt with plenty of blech left that smelled like lemony Goof Off. Jungle boy didn't get to wear his shirt to the meeting that night. My cool mom level took a dive.

But the trusty dry cleaner got all the adhesive blech off, and I've sewn all his new patches on. I'm scratching this off my to-do list now. *Phew*

What have you finished up this week? Add a link below and grab a button from my sidebar if you'd like to play along. Thanks for joining in!

Lit and Laundry

Pre-Teen Humor

My kids love to tell me how obsolete I am. Every other phrase out of Drama Girl's mouth is "mom, nobody says [insert any word here] any more!" She latches on to words like "pond." "Honestly mom! Nobody says pond any more!" So I do my best to drop it into conversation wherever I can.

This trend extends to all phases of my worldly knowledge. This is an actual transcript of a conversation with my son. I think the stubbornness has gone too far.

Lit and Laundry

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Lit and Laundry

On another note, I'd like to thank everyone who gave to the March of Dimes already in memory of Maddie. In one day, over $20,000 was raised (the widget on yesterday's post is a little slow updating). An amazing testament to the power of the internet and the charm of a special tiny little girl.

Her family website is up on a new server here if you'd like to leave Heather and Mike a note. Teams around the country are organizing to walk in Maddie's honor in the upcoming March of Dimes walk. You can find a link to the current list of teams here. I would if I could, but I can barely make 7 minutes on the treadmill these days.

Some families we are born into, and some we create, and still others are created around us and welcome us as one of their own. The blogging world is the latter. Whether you got to know Maddie through her mom's blog or not, many other children will benefit from the love that is being shown for her this week. Thank you for your generosity.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Help A Friend

Please support the March of Dimes today in memory of Madeline Alice Spohr, who died yesterday. Maddie was born 11 weeks premature in November 2007. You can find her story at The Spohrs are Multiplying. My heart goes out to the Spohr family during this sad time.

Update: The Spohr's site has been temporarily suspended due to unusually high traffic, but it is in the process of moving to a new server. Click on the widget above to read about Maddie at the March of Dimes site.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Beware!

It's scary enough going into the kids bathroom any time, but today there was a whole army of ducks armed with what appears to be a toothpaste cannon.

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by Angie over at Seven Clown Circus.

Extreme Crafting Part 2: Competitive Trash Collecting

Quilters are not the only competitive bunch out there. Embroiderers and other stitchers like to band together via the internet for fun little parties. One of the more common types is a "Stitch Along" (SAL), where a pattern is posted, usually monthly, and everyone makes their own to display. I usually can't keep up with stitch alongs or with "block of the month" quilts but I've finally found something created just for people like me.

The Totally Useless SAL

The goal of this online adventure is to save all of our stitching throw-aways for the year and display them in a pretty see-through container. You see, when you stitch, there is always that little bit left in the needle after you finish the thread and clip it. This is called an ort. I am not making this up. It's from the old English orte, meaning scrap, but you probably knew that already.

So each month at the new moon, we will proudly display our collection of orts. I don't have a cute container yet, but here is my lovely collection from the top of my sewing wastebasket. I didn't want to dig too deep into the tea bags and tissues.

I know, it's a pathetic start. But if you cheer me on, I'm sure I can collect plenty of orts. If you would like to join the Totally Useless SAL, be sure to visit YoYo at Dragon My Needle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

When the Tooth Fairy Cheats

Of all the crazy traditions that enslave parents, probably my least favorite is the whole tooth fairy rigmarole. Sure, it was cute and simple when they were about 6, but now that they're pre-teens the whole process is nearly impossible.

First, the fact that I never seem to have a dollar in the house. Between "Can I get a snack after softball?" And "Can I have some money to buy this book?" I am usually without cash.

Then there is the whole sneaking into the room business. On any given day, their floors are either clean and neat or piled with "projects" - land mines that could trip up Indiana Jones.

But yesterday the tooth fairy got lucky. Drama Girl lost a tooth, put it in a baggie and forgot to put it under her pillow. How happy was the tooth fairy to see it there on the kitchen counter! The husband had a bill to slip underneath and voila! Mission accomplished.

This makes my Monday! To see other pleasures, join Cheryl over at Twinfatuation for Makes My Monday.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Extreme Crafting Part 1: Death By Quilting

I always knew quilters were a bloodthirsty lot. Behind the kind quiet demeanor of your average quilter lurks a murderer waiting to strike with her weapon of choice - a table runner.

If you haven't seen it yet, you should check out Pat Sloan's deliciously deadly quilting challenge to determine the "Death By Quilting Queen."

The concept is pretty simple. Quilters signed up and a list was created on Yahoo. Each person was e-mailed a pattern at the same time, and their goal is to finish and send their table runner to the person downstream on the list. If they receive a finished runner first, they are "dead" and must send their unfinished project to their assassin, who completes it and sends it on.

Cutthroat quilting. I love it. I didn't get in on it this time, but watch out if there's another round this summer. . .

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finished for Friday: Easter Sampler

This is a little stitchery sampler I worked on while I was stuck in my hip-torture machine for a few weeks. It's about 14" by 17" and you can get the pattern or kit here.

I also read a few books, including The Lord of the Rings. I read the whole thing every few years. Now I'm reading a book on parenting teens. Scary stuff. I miss those preschool years!

Lit and Laundry

Finish anything up this week? Add your link to the Mr. Linky below, and feel free to grab my button from my sidebar. Any type of finish "counts." Thanks for joining in!

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Lefton pitcher

I have quite a few pieces in this Lefton pattern "Heritage Brown." This pair lives on my dresser.

The Lefton Company was founded in 1941 and beginning in 1946 much of it was made in occupied Japan. The company still exists, although it has changed hands, but it still makes collectible china in its factory in California. This pattern dates from about the 1960s.

Join Coloradolady every Thursday for Vintage Thingies Thursday.

Join me tomorrow with something you've finished up this week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to Short-Sheet a Bed

  • First, select the bed to short-sheet.
This one is too carefully arranged. She would notice if one item were out of place.

This one is too high to reach, and because it wasn't even made in the first place, the intended victim would know something was up.

This one is perfect. Sort of made, sort of messy - and the owner isn't likely to notice anything suspicious.

  • Next, remove all the coverings but leave the bottom fitted sheet. Lay out the blanket with the top sheet face up on top of it.
  • Tuck the top of the blanket and sheet firmly under the top of the mattress.
  • Fold the bottom of the blanket/sheet up so it looks like it would if the bed were made the right way. This creates the "pocket."
  • Rearrange the coverings as they were before. Enjoy the fun when the drowsy bed owner tries to crawl between his sheets and discovers he's trapped. Break up the fights when he blames his sisters.

Happy April Fool's Day!

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