Tuesday, August 30, 2011

That's All Folks!

I've finally finished binding the last three baby quilts.  I love small projects; not quite 'instant gratification', but pretty darn close.  With these out of the way, I can make room for other projects to take to retreat.  Decisions, decisions...

Co-Defendant #2...this is as close to pink as she'll ever get

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken

Extensive scientific observation, which is to say, mothering, has taught me that children are a lot like politicians.  Most are charming, persuasive and, typically, as is the case with my kids, pretty darn good lookin', too.  The flip side is that they can be (and usually are) sneaky, underhanded and conniving.  Bill Clinton's got nothing on my kids 'cause they can shade the crummy truth 'til the finished product resembles a Rembrandt painting, ya'll.  If either of the Co-Defendants ever ran for public office, they'd win for sure.  Although unspoken, they're philosophy is 'What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine.'  See, what'd I tell you?  Politicians, for sure.

Things routinely go missing in our home, only to pop up in the oddest locations.  Scotch tape in the underwear drawer.  A mini-set of screwdrivers gettin' down with the Legos.  Glue?  Scissors?  Nail clippers?  Check the kids' rooms first...and get back to me when you find out where they've hidden my sanity.

So, yesterday afternoon, it should've come as no surprise that, when I needed one most, I couldn't find a band-aid to save my life.  For the record, I don't keep them in the bathroom where they belong.  No, no.  I hide them because the Co-Defendants consider them fashion accessories, not medical devices. 

I ranted, I raved; no one confessed.  Are you surprised? 

Two hours later, despite both kids' rooms being ransacked, no band-aids,  but, you could see carpet...at least, I think it's carpet, it's been so long.  AND they learned something new...trashcans are for....TRASH!  Who knew all that crap wasn't supposed to go UNDER THE BED?!

Exhausted and peeved, I sat while Dear Hubby made dinner.  If that's part of what it's like to be a man, sign me up 'cause I could sooo get used to someone else slingin' the hash...that and the being able to pee standing up thing they do.  Fifteen minutes into my Post-Rant rant, I got one of those feelings that can be summed up thusly: Oh, sh*t!  Trudging to the nearest cabinet, I found, cleverly ensconced in a dry-goods canister, my stash of band-aids.

Sorry, Hubby, I'm not gonna be hungry 'cause I'm havin' crow tonight....YUMMO!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Add Caffeine

My eyes are scratchy, neck stiff, head pounding, fingers sore. 

You'd think, by age 37, Id've learned NOT to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.  What can I say?  It's my Mother's fault.  She made  me go to Bee last night, so by the time I got home, I'd gotten my second wind...that, and I flipped over to Lifetime Movie Network and got hooked on one of those true crime dramas. (Wow, thanks kids, for teaching me how to shift the blame!) 

I managed to cram in some shut-eye before rousing the Co-Defendants to get ready for school, hoping their eyeballs wouldn't roll back in the sockets, heads pitching forward into bowls of apple crunch cereal I'd groggily shoved into their haggard faces.

So, what do I have to show for three whole hours of sleep?

Two bound quilts...and that hangover feeling without the alcohol consumption.  Pass the aspirin.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quilt Retreat Makes My Car Bloat

If ever there's physical proof that hope springs eternal, look no further than the boxes, duffel bags and wheeled suitcases that many quilters lug to a quilt retreat.  Exactly how much do they believe they'll get accomplished in roughly two and a half days of sewing?  Unless, of course, they're one of those lucky ducks that go for a week long doozy or book a quilting cruise.  For those folks, I say 'You suck' 'Have a swell time and bring me a souvenir!'

I, for one, pack like I'm leaving home for a 365-day-straight globe-trotting adventure...my Mom packs like she's never going home. 

So far, I've got:
  • 5 quilts that need to have the binding stitched down (by hand, 'cause that's how I roll)
  • my crazymomquilts quilt-along W.I.P. that needs sashing and borders
  • a comfort quilt still in need of its outer border; backing fabrics have been chosen, but I'll have to piece them
  • 1 batiks mini-sampler to assemble
  • 1 mini-tablerunner that needs binding
  • and a partridge in a pear tree

And, oh yes, my sewing machine...duh!!  Ask me about the time I got to a quilt class and forgot the foot pedal.  On second thought, don't...I might kill you with my Death Ray Glare.  As you can see from the photo above, everything I need for retreat fits neatly on my kitchen table.  Yeah, right...

Packing for a quilt retreat is an occasion for me to deliver my Sermon on the Mount of Fabric speech...to myself, at least, because there's certainly no one else listening.  If history is any indication, I won't listen to that inner voice that shrieks 'Enough already!'  Come time to leave, my little Pontiac Vibe will be straining to contain every bag, box and basket I've crammed into it's measly interior.  My internal dialogue goes something like this: What if you run out of things to work on?  Whatever would you do then?  Well, DUH, I'd run to the nearest quilt shop and make my credit card squeal...again!!  My Mama didn't raise no fool, ya'll! 

Would it be unreasonable for me to rent a U-Haul trailer?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Resolution Update

The Co-Defendants and I were up bright and early this morning and, as threatened, I forced them to perform strenuous feats of manual labor...for all of about 45 minutes.  The dishwasher was unloaded and most of the house had been cleaned by the time Hubby staggered from the bedroom.  Being a generous lot, we saved the bathroom clean-up for him (smile). 

Which left the rest of the day for the kids to veg out in front of the TV or attach themselves to a DS (bad mom! badbadbadmom!) and left me time to sew the binding on these lap/crib-sized quilts...

My (only) New Year's Resolution was to complete one charity quilt per month for 2011...the quilts above make numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.    YESSSS!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Comfort Quilt

It must be that I channelled all that anxiety excitement about the start of the new school year tomorrow.  That's the only way to explain actually getting an entire quilt top pieced in just a few hours...

Horses aren't my thing, but I think it turned out well.  However, I don't think my daughter will forgive me for saying 'No, it's not for you'.  I still have to piece the back and am still debating about adding a second border of the blue bandana fabric to make it just a bit bigger.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In The Works

With the kids starting back to school on Thursday, most of my free time (yes, I know...moms get free time?  You may stop laughing now) has been devoted to filling out paperwork, attending orientation (no, I do not want to be a room mom), writing checks big enough to make the pen weep and generally combating whatever anxiety I may be feeling over how the year will progress.  Which reminds me, my Xanax is ready for pickup at the pharmacy...

Here's a corner shot of what I hope my entire quilt from the Crazy Mom quilt-along will turn out to look like.

I laid out the little demo for Hubby and asked him what he thought.  After picking his lower jaw up off the floor (I can't believe it...you actually asked for my opinion?  Did I marry myself a comedian, or what?) he said he liked it...not 'it's fine', which is his typical response, but 'I like it'.  Now, it was my turn to pick myself up off the floor.

The rest of the pictures are for a remembrance quilt I'm making for a local lady...

It'll have two more sets of the tan/blue strips and another two rows of horses.  I'm thinking the tan for a border or this...

...or maybe both.

The back will be pieced from 2 or 3 of these fabrics...

...but, I'll definitely use the Army fabric.

Happy quilting, ya'll!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Child's Guide to All Things 'Mom' (The First 12 Years)

Several days ago, the ladies from Rants from Mommyland (http://rantsfrommommyland.com/), posted comments from kids about what they've learned from their Mom.  Several days later, I'd finally worked up enough courage to ask my kids that very same question and felt fairly certain I'd get answers that were way more profound and would prove for all-time that I am an utterly fabulous Mom.

Seth: 'I can't think of a single thing.'
Paige: 'Nuttin.'

I feel so...validated (sigh).

So, I thought with 12 years of mothering under my belt, I'd share with them (someday, when they might be interested) some of what I've learned being their Mom.

  • I've never, ever fallen off a turnip truck.
  • Although I was born at night, it was not last night.
  • The more vehement the denial, with its accompanying escalation in volume and wide-eyed expression of 'who me?', the more I doubt the plausability of your story.
  • Leaving the house in the dead of summer, garbed in a hooded sweatshirt, may have worked for the Unabomber, but generally means that a child is hiding something, somewhere on their person.
  • I have eyes in the back of my head AND I'm psychic: this is how I know you're behind me making faces and miming all sorts of obnoxious comebacks to the butt-chewing I just dealt you.
  • Your sibling will rat you out just for the sheer pleasure of the act.
  • I am ashamed to admit there are times when I'm unsure if you'll grow up to become a criminal or a lawyer.  This is why I refer to you both as The Co-Defendants.
  • I'll always look under the beanbag chair, the bed and in your closet.  'Clean your room' means the room, the whole room and nothing but the room, so help you God.
  • Any child who, in Mom's absence, says 'Mom says it's okay to ________', is lying like roadkill.
  • A backpack that travels to daycare on any day other than Thursday contains contraband.  Confiscate it and then FRISK the child for good measure.
  • I can tell when you don't flush or wash your hands.  The absence of running water sounds is a big clue.
  • My Gingher shears aren't for opening packages of granola bars.
  • A stealthily closed bedroom door means I'll find a child sitting in the living room, lights blazing at 3 a.m. watching King of the Hill on a school morning.
  • Convincing your sister to take her Nintendo to daycare after yours gets confiscated is a huge 'no-no'.  I will, however, give you points for cleverness and thinking outside the box.
  • Brushing one's teeth requires actual hand movement to manuver the brush around the inside of your pie-hole.  Chewing the toothbrush doesn't count...and use toothpaste while you're at it.
  • Standing under the shower for 20 minutes while staring at your toes and belting out the lyrics to 'I'm in the Lord's Army', doesn't qualify as bathing.
  • Cologne is intended to accent your overall awesomeness, not mask that water buffalo smell you've acquired.
  • If I can smell your cologne/man lotion before you reach whatever room I'm in, you're wearing too much.  You have that man-tramp smell like that jerk from the Carrie Underwood song.
  • I will call your teacher to verify your story, no exceptions.  The sooner you catch on to this undeniable truth, the sooner you can begin to hone your craft as a future con artist.  Or lawyer.  Same thing.
  • Moms enjoy learning things from their kids.  However, if you begin your lesson by saying 'um, uh, hey, hey, hey Mom, guess what, umumum, uh...', you've already lost me.
  • Please do not drop bombs like 'Steroids shrink your junk' while Mom is driving as this may result in a nasty fender-bender.
  • Motherhood bestows on most some ladies a twisted sense of humor. Remember, I'm the one with the naked baby pictures stockpile and I made up your nickname..don't push it.
  • Mommy is not your friend.  You want friends, go next door.
  • Mommy has a name.  No, you may not address her by it.
  • If you can understand the words coming from Mom's mouth, but her lips aren't moving, it's fairly safe to assume she's major-league ticked off and it would be in your best interest to hide out in your room...'til it's time to leave for college perhaps.
  • Calling Dad at work to request takeout for dinner because 'Mom's had a real hard day, Dad', still means Mom will rat you out for your bottom-of-the-barrel test score.
  • Regardless of how mean, low-down and awful you may find Mom to be at any given moment, she still loves you no matter what.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finished! Well, Almost...

I have f i n a l l y finished the blocks for my baby-sized quilt top as part of the Crazy Mom Quilt-Along.  I am really pleased with Amanda Jean's directions, which are clear and easy to follow and her suggestion of using an extremely small stitch length to help the strips snug up together nicely.  Her quilt didn't have sashing or borders, but I'm seriously contemplating them for mine.  Yes, I said mine...m-i-n-e! MINEMINEMINE!  My daughter's already asked if she can have it....MINE! MINE! MINE!  This should be a statement she understands clearly as it's a favorite of hers.

Anyway, here's what I've got to work with...

I'm thinking black for both sashing and inner border and finishing it off with a border of the leftover solids  featured in the blocks.  I shall ponder my options....

Okay, I've pondered and that's how it'll be...well, that's the easiest decision I've made all day.  Now, my pillow is calling me.  Goodnight!


Want A (12 year old) Guy Wants...

Mom: 'What theme would you like for your birthday party this year?'  I rattled off several options, each one greeted by an ever increasing amount of bodily twitching and what sounded suspiciously like retching...

Seth: 'Geez, MOOOM!  NONONONONONONONO!  I. Do. Not. Want. A. Cake.  I want a cookie cake and all I want on it is Happy Birthday, Seth with a big yellow smiley face in the middle.  Green plates and cups, that's it, nothing on them!'

Mom: 'What about balloons, some decorations?'  I was beginning to think it'd wind up looking like I was holding a wake instead of party.  Who parties without balloons, for Pete's sake?

Seth: 'Mother, listen to meee...nothing except what I've already told you.'

By now, the conversation was beginning to sound suspiciously like previous ones we'd had before, only in reverse, with him talking to me like I was the kid.  I could already picture the look on my MIL's face and hear her mental critique 'Geez, ya cheapskate...couldn't even spring for some balloons, could ya?'

But, I suppose it turned out rather well...lowkey, but that's what he wanted, so that's okay.

He got two sets of Legos...they make such sweet music when you suck 'em up into your vacuum...a very satisfying sound  and quickly set to work putting the set above together.

I thought I was going to have to sedate the dog..not a happy camper, that one.

Yeh, this didn't last long, either, but they certainly looked like they were enjoying each other's company at the moment.

He's twelve with leg hair longer than mine in wintertime (and pit hair, he gleefully informed me, although I'm so not checking).  His voice changes occasionally which is rather entertaining, but as a Good Mother, I don't chuckle (in his presence).  I still get my hugs, although not in public and not actually of the full contact variety.  I'm waiting for the day when all I get is a fist-bump....(sigh)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Modern (In)Conveniences

I believe it was Greek philosopher, Plato, who said 'Necessity is the mother of invention' and he was right.  Wherever would we be without things like fire, the wheel, penicillin and HDTV?  And let us not forget 100% cotton fabric and a rotary cutter--oh, you're not a quilter?  How........odd.

Then, there are those things that, although lovely to gaze upon (Hugh Jackman, anyone?) or while away an hour or two (hellooo, Facebook), are really nothing more than time drains and just another item to be marked off the ever-lengthening list of things requiring my attention.

Which leads me to where I am at this moment.  Contrary to what some may believe based on actual, almost daily, face-to-face interaction, hurting feelings or just generally being irksome, isn't my goal.  Actually, my e-vile plan is simply to drive folks over the edge and around the bend..which is where I am.  I am not so vain as to believe that 'un-friending' people will alter irrevocably the surface of their social landscape or leave them curled in a fetal position whilst sucking a thumb.  But I'm too damn tired to message each individual friend (ones I've actually met in the flesh); virtual friend; passing acquaintance; co-worker; and yes, even family so this will just have to do.

No, I'm not closing it all down entirely.  I'm just doing some serious pruning of the Facebook vines.  If you choose to go that route and be offended, so be it, but that's on you.  I wish you well and, should we run into one another down the road (and for some of you, we definitely will), understand that it's not you, it's me.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Perhaps It's Best They Don't Know

I've often wondered what my great-grandparents would think of our fast-paced, techno-overloaded, in your face society with its no-holds-barred attitude.

Take television, for instance.

Do ANY of us really care to hear former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson discuss his, um, johnson and shill for an E.D. drug company?  If by some stretch you don't know what E.D. is, please Google it as the mere thought of him and it gives me the willies dry heaves.  Do moms want their sons to be regaled with horror stories of dryness/wetness/itch/odor south of the belt?  I haven't yet had THE TALK with my son, but thanks to House Hunters, I had the joy of explaining that yes, indeed, my son, those two men do sleep in the same bed and no, they aren't brothers.  I don't want to know you spent twelve hours in the Emergency Department because your little blue pill worked so well that you're now blind, deaf and mute from lack of oxygen to your brain; that your 'plumbing' leaks; or that it's now so much more comfortable for you to do number two.

I can just see them, these two simple country folks, spinning in the grave while the evening news anchor gushes like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert, delivering his salacious bounty of all things related to cigars, stains that just won't come out and an Arkansas Willy that simply wouldn't be contained.


While I give a nod to the irony that, by blogging, I too, add my bit of poo to the pile, I'd like to think that even I have my limits and that some things are better left unsaid and unseen.

Which brings me to my next rant:  VISIBLE UNDERGARMENTS.

I am not talking about pantylines, as those are forgiveable, especially if you've chowed down a few too many donuts and lattes and have to squeeze yourself into your skinny jeans 'cause the others are at the dry cleaners.  I'm talking visible to my eyes, proudly displayed for all and sundry to enjoy, your Victoria's Secret unmentionables.  I have not a care for your choice (or lack thereof) of derriere covering:  bikini, granny-panty, thong, commando?  My policy is don't ask, don't tell.  And, no, Mr. President, I for one do not care if it's boxers or briefs.

However, I must tell you, and please have someone standing by to hold your hand and the smelling salts because the shock may be too much for you to bear all by your lonesome, visible butt-floss IS! NOT! A! FASHION! STATEMENT!  It is a flashing-neon, high-wattage, Vegas-style shout out to every human with a pulse in your immediate vicinity that you, my friend, are bona fide trash with a capital T. 

As the mother of a tween boy, my message for you is simple...


Monday, August 8, 2011

Your Honor, I'd Like to Enter Into Evidence...

...photographic proof that, yes, indeed, I did take pictures of more than just flowers...and mixed drinks (but the drinks flowers were sooo pretty).

Tortuga Mexican Grill, Galveston...

Moody Gardens Aquarium, Galveston...

Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi...

Joe's Crab Shack, Corpus Christi...

The drive home...

You Asked For It...

Samantha K, are you taking lessons from my kids, 'cause now I feel just a smidgen guilty for teasing everyone about my hunky men fabric?! 

So, without further ado, I give you...

...camping hunks that could make even this Mother Nature hater change her mind!!  ENJOY!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Crazy Mom Update

I bet you thought I was talking about me..


Here's the progress on my Crazy Mom Quilts quilt along project...

The night is young and the fabric pile is high...it's off to quilt I go!

Quilt Shop Hoppin'

I've always known I married the best guy ev-er.  Not only did Hubby book, plan, map out and drive our entire vacation, but he planned our route around several area quilt shops.  No, I won't share him.  And no, he doesn't have any brothers.  It sucks to be you!  I'm so terribly sorry you're missing out on all his hunky charm and uncomplaining willingness to sit in an idling truck for hours on end, but we must all play the hand we're dealt.

I am utterly spoiled, because the man took me 'round to six, that's SIX, quilt shops.  They are Beefore It's a Quilt in Port Lavaca; Golden Needles and Quilts in Rockport; Heirloom Elegance and The Quilt Cottage, both in Corpus Christi; Quilters Patch in Victoria; and All Around the Block Quilt Shop in Giddings. 

Now, my children judge a quilt shop's worthiness by whether or not they have a kids' area so, I'm sorry to say, most of the shops failed miserably.  Thank goodness then, that I judge based on staff friendliness and whether I can feel my latent ADHD kick into overdrive and submit to the overwhelming 'look here, look there, look everywhere all at once' that comes from sensory overload.  Exactly how many bolts of fabric can you fit into one quilt shop?  The world may never know...but it's sure as heck a lotta fun to try and figure out!

Thank you to each shop for making my credit card moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (YES, YES, YES!).  I never realized that little plastic card was so slutty!!

Golden Needles and Quilts was having a fat quarter sale and I got a free fat quarter for spending $25...can you say yummy camping guy fabric?  I'd unfold it and let you drool, but you can go buy your own damn hotties, thank you very much!  I didn't catch the lady's name, but she was very nice, didn't hover and checked back every once in a while to see how my purchases were stacking up.  There was room after room of fabric fabulousness...stop by if you're down thataway. 

This bountiful bundle came from Quilters Patch The shop was filled with cheerful ladies who were very helpful, but not hovering which drives me bonkers, and frankly, I don't need a chauffer to get me to Insanity.  I like a shop where they take the occasional 'pulse check'...you know...are you doing okay, can I help you with anything and then let you go on fawning and fondling to your heart's content.

After my husband took those l-o-v-e-l-y shots of me in my bathing suit, I couldn't pass up this fabric panel which made me see my motherly physique in a whole new light.  I can't decide if I'm the pear or the pineapple.  Melons, anyone?

Here's an inside shot of Quilters Patch...many thanks to owners Karen Leach and Sherry Ware for giving me permission to take a photo.

And last, but certainly not least, is this heavenly haul from Heirloom EleganceI swear I know the owner from somewhere, but considering I can't remember my own kids' names half the time, I can't even begin to say where I know her from.  Paige spied the bag pattern and just had to have it made up with the pirate fabric.  I hope to have it done by the time she graduates from high school.

I've listed links for the shops I featured above.  I'm sure they'd love to see you come through the door!


Happy quilting, ya'll!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Vacation Head-scratchers, Bribes and Oh-hell-no-you-didn'ts

It never ceases to amaze me what will come out of the mouth of a child, particularly mine, at the most inappropriate moments imaginable.  Be it burp, snark or something potentially off-color and/or embarrassing, it will be uttered at a volume and pitch guaranteed to send me scurrying under the largest rock I can find.

Then there are the adults; you know, the parents.  The responsible party, the grown-ups, the we-know-better-'cause-we've-been-alive-longer crowd.  Yeah, right.  Here are just a few little nuggets (and a few substantial turds) from our vacation...and a few 'isn't that just the oddest thing ever' head-scratchers thrown in for good measure.  Enjoy!

'SHARK!  Oh, my bad...look, DOLPHINS!'...Seth

'Hey, even Mama would fit in there!'...I'll refrain from mentioning the child by name. 

No matter how far you may roam, there'll always be a reminder of home once you get there.

Gotta love the view from our hotel window...dead people truly make the best neighbors!!

'Heck yes, I'll have another!'...Mom

'Do you eat the shrimp's poop or do they clean 'em out first?  And, hey, hey Mom, do they make pepper from roly-poly bugs?'...Paige (I'll never look at a peppermill quite the same way again...EVER)

'Look, something else with big guns'...Clint (with a wink...you clever fellow, you)



The Big 1-2!

Seth turned the big 12 while we were on vacation.  Here are a few highlights...


Rainforest Pyramid

Yes, it's a butterfly on a lady's butt...too good to pass up

The Aquarium Pyramid

Sister picked out a book and bookmark for him