Saturday, July 31, 2010

Simple Buttons Made Complicated

The sewing obsession is getting stronger.

I mended a few more things and added some cute buttons on a sweater. It's a black cashmere cardigan and it had lost a couple of the original black buttons. I tried putting some mismatched buttons in an attempt to be cute, but didn't like it that way. I was trying to go for a dainty pearl look, but the buttons I just found weren't as pearly as I would have liked. Fortunately or unfortunately, I couldn't put the button-hole around them. They were too big. Back to the search for the right buttons. The question is: How many buttons will I go through to find ones that fit? I'm sure there is some way of knowing, perhaps measuring them, but we'll see.

My kids are in camp next week and I'm going to clean my office and make a sewing area for my machine. I figure this is the only place that I can get away with having it sit out for me. My husband grew up with his mom's sewing and gets strangely uptight at the sight of a sewing machine. I've had one out a few times on the dining table and he gets anxious about when it will go away.

My office on the other hand is my own personal space. It used to be a storage area, but I spied the giant surface area and instantly saw a desk. I got an extra tall office chair and set up shop. There is plenty of room for my sewing machine and space to lay out material, too. The computer doesn't get much use anymore since I've gotten my laptop, so I can easily tuck that away, too. I'm excited.

Who'd have thought cleaning would excite me?

And while typing this, I can hear my dog nosing around upstairs in the kitchen. I wonder if I'll find the garbage over-turned or that I forgot to put my turkey bacon away from breakfast. Don't you just love surprises!

A tad earlier, while browsing the two fabric stores that I've linked here, I heard some banging and I yelled, "Hay!" to catch the dog at something. I ran upstairs and found him lying as innocently as if he'd not done anything wrong. He, in fact, had not. It was my neighbor below me on the hill. I wonder if he heard me.

He probably did. Like the other neighbor next door who had a worker building a fence and I thought the kids were pounding on the dining room table one morning. I yelled to knock it off, very loudly, and the banging stopped. Only, it wasn't my kids and the Worker Guys looked at me funny after that.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh Rats!

Today my oldest daughter was sitting at the computer next to the window when she told me she saw a rat. The window looks out over our back deck, three stories off the ground. It's not uncommon to see squirrels and birds and I call the area back there our back yard.

My garden is back there, too. And the morning glories that I grew from seed - that, I must add, give me such joy in the morning that when I feed the dog, I pad out around the corner just to look at the blooms. We used to have wisteria before I killed it. Apparently it needs water. We're also growing gardenias, which are my husband's favorite flowers.

One time I had some lettuce planted in - wait for it - a planter and I saw a squirrel dig some up and run off with it. I chased it down, but he got away. I figured today's sighting was much of the same. I kept grilling her whether she saw the tail. "Was it fluffy?" No, in fact, it wasn't. Her description very perfectly described a rat.

When she told me the direction it ran to, down the corner of the house, I immediately went one floor down to the the deck off my bedroom. On that deck, we pretty much store stuff. That's where we keep stuff that is about to go somewhere else. I had just put several bags of clothes and toys that we're going to give away. These were pretty big bags. The deck also had a few boxes of stuff that I don't know what to do with. I think I put them there thinking they'd be easy to take care of, but never got around to it. Besides all that stuff in limbo, we have a reclining exercise bike, my treadmill, drying racks for laundry (filled, of course) and a TV sitting on a giant butcher block with drawers that, rather than go in a kitchen where it would be perfectly suited, it collects dust and holds our CD collection. Did I need to mention that all of this is outside?

I went to work and brought all the things for donation inside and threw away two or three bags of garbage that we've been storing as stuff  all this time. I swept and the next thing you know it, my lower deck is in very nice, clean shape. There is also nowhere for any rats to hang out, make a nest, or find food.

Feeling quite satisfied with myself, except that I'm not sure where to donate the stuff, I went about my business. After coming home from some adventures, I was in my living room when both of my daughters start making a commotion trying to get me to look outside. Lo and behold! There is a rat next to my dog's water bowl as if he's washing his hands about to make ratatouille. He had big dark eyes like the cat in "Shrek" or that ridiculous guinea pig in "Bedtime Stories." I didn't even know what to do. I'm not the type to catch it and kill it with my bare hands. So, I did what any other person would do without a clue: I ran after it and yelled. I then stomped on the deck to scare it even more. Then I got the willies and shivered a bit. Then I went inside without the foggiest notion of what to do next, except blog about it, of course.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Bubble Bath

Is there such a thing as having too many lazy days? Wait. I don't want to know the answer unless it's no. In fact, I don't want any external sources to define what is right for me.

I'm sitting on my bed and surfing the Internet, one of my new favorite pass-times, and listening to my girls. They're in the tub, locked in their own bathroom and having the time of their lives. They must be total water-logged prunes by now (does that make them plums?) but they sound so happy.

We have switched, for the most part, to showers for actual bathing since it is a significant reduction in water use. And the girls almost never use their own bathroom for anything besides clandestine mess-making. For such an infrequently used room it sure gets messy. I don't like that they've locked the bathroom, nor do I understand why they would even need to, but I feel pretty confident that I could open it or bust the door down should I detect danger.

The water must be cold. I took a shower as they were filling the tub and I didn't get much warm water for myself, forget the fact that I like my showers hot. I lost track of when they went in, but it's been long enough for even the hottest water to cool.

I'm in the middle of several other tasks besides listening to joy. I'm partway through wrapping a couple watches to send to an Army buddy to repair. Sure he's in another state and we have watch repair services in my own town, but why not give my business to a friend I haven't seen in 20-years? It seems like a sentimental way of making functional the watches that I have only kept for sentimental reasons anyway. (One of the watches is my Cinderella watch that I got when I was in Kindergarten.)

I'm in the middle of sewing a few repairs, too. The first mending job that I picked up was a wool turtleneck. As it turns out, I already fixed it and forgot. Nothing to be done. The second one was fixing the adjustment strap on a sundress. There was a little plastic circle that connected the two parts to adjust the strap. I don't have a replacement little plastic circle so I might re-rig the thing. My next project was to replace some buttons on a sweater. I needed a seam-ripper to take the current buttons off and spent time looking for my seam-ripper, only to get distracted my Milano cookies.

So after deleting a section on my lunch that just seemed too prosaic to post, I picked the lock on the bathroom and stuck my hand in the bathwater. The girls are in a nicely warm bath with enough bubbles to make them look like arctic seals. They're fine. And enjoying the jets that almost never get used but make nice features to brag about. I can go back to being completely lazy and mending/surfing/letting myself get distracted. Again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stuff and Nonsense

I wonder if this interest in sewing is to satisfy my desire to create or to procrastinate my writing. I may or may not have mentioned that I'm writing a book about my Meniere's Disease and it's off to a slow start.

"Look! Something shiny!"

But I've come up with a plan. First I'm going to mend all of my clothes that need it. There are several little holes that need to be sewn shut and seams that have come apart. Then I'm going to make some adjustments to clothes that I won't wear for some little something that doesn't look right or the fit isn't right.

Next, I'm going to make my girls dresses with some material I bought to make myself a skirt but decided that it just might be a bit bold for me. And then, I'm going to tackle the ultimate challenge and make myself a skirt. Hopefully by then I'll have dropped a couple more pounds.

I've been counting points for my own self-prescribed Weight Watchers and it's working out nicely for me. Especially on days that I'm not working. I worked today. In any case, whether it had anything to do with this or it was just my clothing choice for today, someone asked me if I lost weight. :) It's funny how a random compliment can be just as satisfying as that Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream was that may or may not have wiped out any gainers I just made.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lazy Days

I'm married to a go-go guy. He doesn't believe in - or apparently even need - those days where you lay around doing nothing. I'm sure it's probably lie around doing nothing, but I don't like to lie.

Anyway, I just worked three days in a row and I feel like doing absolutely nothing today. I have a list of things to do and think I will probably, eventually do them, but in the meantime, I'm feeling so darned lazy. The thing is, I think I need to be lazy now and then. I think that a rest recharges me in a way that nothing else does. I'd actually take a nap right now if I it wouldn't send me over the edge with guilt.

And it's gloomy out, too. This summer seems to be quite a bust. Usually we'd be complaining about the heat and wishing we had AC about now, but I'm about to put a sweater on. It's a soup or tea kind of day with a blanket and TV to top it off. My only pair of pants that fit are in the wash and I'm in my pjs at past-noon-o-clock.

I'm going to let you in on a secret, too. I have been wanting to sew. I haven't let myself get started since there are about ten projects I'm in the middle of right now. And when I say ten, I really mean that they can all be called one and it's to clean my house. The house that will never be clean for more than seven minutes at a time. That, and the painting. I still haven't finished the painting from last summer. And those packages I'd like to mail out, which are on the to-do list mentioned above.

Sewing for me is a pretty weird thing. I've been sewing by hand forever. I have bad luck with sewing machines for whatever reason and I usually avoid them. But I have one and I know it cuts the work down quite a bit. My desire is to break it out and whip up some stuff. Clothes. Skirts more specifically. I have all the stuff ready to go (material, zipper, pattern) and have had it for several years now. I just need to give myself permission to start a new project and give in to my strange desire.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Dog Ate My...

Ant bait.

I would never put my children or pets in harms way on purpose. Of course I wouldn't. The other adult living in my home, however, put an ant trap on the floor in the dining room where my dog, He Who Will Eat Anything, could find it and start chomping on it this morning.

I just have to shake my head. How did he not know better?

As soon as I heard the crinkling of plastic I looked over to snatch the bait trap from his jaws and quickly called my vet. After reading the ingredients to the receptionist, she put me on hold. Upon returning to the phone, she told me to bring in my dog for fluids and observation. I love my dog, but I don't love my vet. Every time I take in a pet it's a minimum of $300 at a pop. Given the amount of stuff my dog eats or gets into, I would be living in a van if I took him in for everything.

So, I did what a normal skeptic would do. I called Poison Control. First of all, I was surprised that I didn't have the number handy on my phone list. It seems like a sensible thing to have readily accessible. Secondly, I got the answer I was looking for. Ant baits have mostly Boric Acid in them and it's not really toxic - especially in such a small quantity. The woman on the HotLine wouldn't have been too concerned about a one-year-old ingesting an ant trap and certainly a 90-pound dog is better off than that.

I'm giving him my own fluids, by way of a bowl of water and observing him myself. It's not that I can put a price on my dog, it's just that he's got an iron constitution. He ate an entire pan of brownies once and didn't get sick. I think he'll be fine. And while I am a cheapskate, if he had consumed bleach a bottle of Asprin, I wouldn't have even called, I would have run out of the house without even a bra on.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New and Improved!

I've decided to return to Blogger. I think it has something to do with the fact that Blogger is where all my favorite blogs reside and it's very easy to work with - more familiar.

It also has something to do with the fact that I am drawn to re-invention as much as the next guy. Whenever I hit a rut, I like to try something new to get myself out again. I miss having my own website, though I don't miss the work involved in the upkeep. This site should offer the flexibility without the hassle.

So anyway, blah blah blah I've found a new home. See you around the neighborhood!