Sunday, September 30, 2012


Photo courtesy of Bing

Well, at least I didn't lose my schmit during what turned out to be a week-long blogging absence.  Nah, I just spent it plotting packing for and then attending a quilt retreat with my mom and aunt.  I'm not sure who was more excited to see me pull in the driveway...the Co-Defendants, Himself, or the dog.  There's more mud in my house than out (thank you, God for the rain!) and I feel like I've been run over by a bulldozer from lack of sleep, but what the hell, it's only once a year!

I didn't get a ton accomplished, but I'd say I made a fairly respectable showing.

All Thursday afternoon I worked on this quilt top which was for the kids' school fundraiser...last year.  Ahem...I finally finished it at the ass-crack of dawn on Friday; that's roughly 2 a.m. in case you're wondering.  And yes, that's a technical term.

Considering the one I did get finished for the fundraiser only brought in a paltry sum, this one's gonna get donated to a local shelter.  No, I'm not still pouting about that.  Much.

Friday, in between breakfast, a nap, lunch, a nap and dinner, I managed to get a grand total of 338 sashing and print strips paired up and stitched for a bed quilt for me and Himself.  It helps I already had everything precut, but I was never so glad to put away those batiks and not touch them the rest of the weekend.  Hey, I'm pacing myself!
An aerial view
Side view

This is the pattern I'm using...

Himself vetoed the pink sashing by making some snarky comment about the connection between the color pink and gonad shrinkage.  Yes, I married myself quite a commodian.  That's a toilet humorist in case you're wondering.  And yes, that too is a technical term.

There's more to show and tell, but I am exhaustipated and I seem to be growing a 60 lb dog out of my armpit as I type this.  Lulu Foo-Foo is apparently feeling quite neglected. 

I'll be baack...

Photo courtesy of Bing

Friday, September 21, 2012

While The Cat's Away...

Mama Mouse will play clean out the cesspool that is The Diva's room!  This is exactly how I pictured spending my day off...along with doing laundry, swabbing toilets and generally picking up the homestead.  I have threatened, pleaded and bribed.  Today, I grabbed a Hefty trash bag, checked that my immunizations were up to date and entered The Pit.  Even Captain Studly's room isn't this bad and he's thirteen!

After two hours, the trash bin was well fed...
The neighbors gave me a funny look when I took this picture

and I'd barely made a dent.

I'm not even counting the stuff I smuggled into my trunk for donations.   But, do I feel guilty?

  That's a negative, Ghost Rider.   The Diva wanted to know if I'd thrown out her most favorite stuffed animals.  No (that's the truth).  Did I throw out other assorted treasures?  No (that's a lie).    Can I live with it?   You bet your happy hiney.   TGIF, y'all!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Clever Beastie

Animals, like children, are extremely clever beings.  Take our dog, Lulu, for instance.  She looks so pitiful, doesn't she?  Before you break out the oohing and cooing, let me present my case.

Here's her dog house...that's 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.  She does not stay outside.  Ever.  During the summer, she sleeps on the floor.  Wintertime, she's in our bed.  On MY side.  Wench!  And she must be lifted in and out as jumping isn't so hot for her back.  It's Himself's fault.

Her butler...

The thorn in her side maid...

Easy livin', right?  I'd say so.  And I've never met a canine with such a sensitive stomach.  My poor laundry room will never be the same.  I swear she plans it.  "Let's see, hmmm, it's been seven whole days since Mom cleaned the laundry room.  Can I get a cleanup in aisle 3, please?"  I pity the sucker that pulls up that linoleum.  Get your hazmat suit, hon!

Which leads us to Lulu's chef...yes, I said chef because I'm currently cooking the dog her dinners because nothing is agreeing with her.  White rice and ground beef.  For a dog.  Only in America.

You can't tell me she doesn't know what she's doing!

Man's best friend, my fat fanny!

TGIF, y'all!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

God bless the Canadians!  Hell if I know if they invented hockey, but bless my soul, are those players ever hot!  Big, rugged burly men on skates smacking the crap out of one another with stick or fists?  How can you not love that? 

And now there's one more reason to celebrate the awesomeness of my northern blogland buddy, Melanie.

Melanie, how did you know my yesterday was crap?  The package arrived today and I held off on opening it for THREE SOLID HOURS.  How's that for restraint?!  Alrighty then!

I feel rather sheepish since all I sent her was one measly pincushion and look what I got in return...

The lighting doesn't do it justice.  Moose pencils for me and the Co-Defendants; button push pins; bath salts with a message on the back "For days filled with crooked seams, lost points, or when the school calls!"; and two my moi and one for The Diva.  I love the cathedral window pincushion and have got to try to make one myself.  The Diva snatched up Thing One and Thing Two so fast, it was a blur.  Perhaps she recognized kindred spirits.  I am truly spoiled...and I like it!

Thank you, Melanie, so much! 

I'm so blessed!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bound and Determined

No, the title's not a reference to a new S&M book series...sorry.  Did you know Walmart is now selling the 50 Shades series in shrink wrapped packages?  LOL!  Don't want the masses gettin' all hot and bothered in the aisles, now do we?

Where was I?  Oh, yeah...

Nope, this is about good old fashioned quilting.  Yes, I did some quilting yesterday!  SWOON!  At the end of the month Mom and I are going to our annual quilt retreat and the theme is 'A Texas Christmas'.  Easy right?  Throw in Santa and some barb-wire and poof...a Texas Christmas.  Yeah, not quite.  And I'm not redneck enough to create a manger scene with baby Jesus wearing a ten gallon hat, although I'm sure someone somewhere in this state has done just that.

Now, you may be thinking that since I'm a Texan that I love all things Texas.  You'd be wrong.  First of all, brace yourselves, I detest football.  I'm sorry, but it's not a sport and not even tight fitting uniform pants can change my mind.  For the record, the only good sport is Detroit Red Wings hockey (or Dallas Stars if I'm in a pinch).  Armadillos, those armor plated rodents, dig holes in your backyard and you have to dodge the dang things when speeding down the road.  And the weather...ugh, don't get me started on that!  There's not much Christmas-y about Texas.  There are occasions (like autumn and winter) when I envy my Yankee brethren their weather patterns.  There, I've said it.

As it is only September, Christmas won't be on my mind until at least late October so coming up with an idea was a tad difficult.  Here's what I've got...

It you haven't had enough coffee yet, it's a mug rug.

I thought a red boot would be Christmas-y, but now that I think about it, I've only ever seen Santa in black or green boots.  Sigh.  I chose the boot fabric because it looks like leather.

I fringed the edges because I thought it looked appropriately rustic.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I just didn't want to do a binding.  I'm going to go back and add a rhinestone star as a spur and possibly, but don't hold me to it, some leather or twine accents at the corners.

It has been an age since I got anything quilt-related sewn.  Mending uniforms and taking in swim trunks just doesn't cut it in the creativity department for me.  I'm hoping to get more done this weekend.  The Albatross is still waiting...lurking on my table.

Lee from Freshly Pieced is back...yippeee!  I'm linking up with her.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Then It Cliqued

Ahh, cliques...the hair flipping, eye rolling, lip curling, you can't hang with us because the label on your butt is so last season...'oh. my. gawd Becky, look at her is sooo big!'

Wait a minute, that last part's from a Sir Mixalot song...oops!

Anyhoo, you get the point.  I thought, erroneously as it turns out, that I was done with cliques once I left the confines of high school.  Stupid, stupid girl.  How could I have forgotten I'm the mother of a girl?

The Diva got her first taste of one of these coteries last year when she was painfully excluded from playing with the cool girls because she was too 'tomboy'.  Frankly, this just means she could beat the snot of out 'em and go on about her rat-killin'...but was still so uncool that to be seen in the same day with her would've sounded the death knell for everyone else's social life.

Imagine my surprise (and skepticism) when she announced last week that she'd been assimilated into the in-crowd because she was now considered 'friendly' to the group.  Sounds like the Collective from Star Trek.  Or the U.N.

Funny how you don't hear about male cliques, now that I think about it.  Nuh-uh.  Guys have gangs or if they're honorably inclined in the behavior department, 'bands of brothers'.  Girls?  They have Estrogen Posses.

It's woefully inadequate to tell The Diva to just be the same sweet girl she's always been.  "Just be you and remember when it was you on the outside.  Don't be mean to the non-groupies, okay?" I lectured from the driver's seat.  Cue her eye roll.

If she starts wearing skirts and headbands and gives up her dream of being able to pee while standing, I'll give 'em a ringing endoresement.  Until then, The Estrogen Posse rides again!

Wish her me us luck!

Monday, September 10, 2012

For the Love of Pete, Please Shut Up!

Just an FYI for all those folks whose grasp of the English language is a bit lacking:

'Like, um, uh' does not in any way, shape or form, constitute a complete and coherent sentence.  Please learn to speak or shut the hell up.  I cannot fathom why any right thinking individual would put you in the public eye when you can't communicate effectively.  Please read a dictionary.  NOW!  You know, it's a book?  With words and definitions?  No, there aren't pictures.  You have to think, painful as that may be for you.

As a side note, and since I'm in a snarky mood, it's inaccurate to address me as 'dude' because the good Lord made me perfect female.  No, those aren't tumors; they're breasts.  I'm sorry your girlfriend bears a striking resemblance to Calista Flockhart, but most normal women have bumps on their chest.  It's a burden, trust me.  If I were that flat, they'd throw turf over me and heavy, grunting, sweaty men would throw around a pigskin whilst trampling over my loveliness.  See, I didn't even use 'like' in that sentence!  IT CAN BE DONE!

Like, um, uh...thanks for your time, dude.

Here endeth the tirade.  Pardon me while I step down off my soapbox.

UPDATE 10/26/12:  Judging by my email inbox, this post managed to piss off more than one foreigner which I find somewhat amusing considering most foreign folks have a better grasp of English and how to use it than alot of Americans.  Keep calm and read on, my foreign friends!  I am not referring to you in the above post.  Ever talked to an American teenager or twentysomething?  If not, do so and you'll hear what I mean.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Mother of All Headaches (aka Kids Parties)

Much as it pains me to admit, I really owe Himself a huge debt of gratitude for fortuitously ensuring I'd be pregnant, not once but twice, during the hot Texas summers.  Mind you, it starts 'warming up' by the end of April.  Instinctively, my man knew that I was not a woman cut out to host kid-centric parties.  The thought of a marauding horde of mini-mes breaching the gates of our castle gives me the hives.  I'd rather be decapitated with a grapefruit spoon.  Playdates (and just who the hell coined THAT term, anyway?), where the Co-Defendant to friend ratio has historically been 1:1, is my limit.  Go ahead, call me a sissy; I'll wear that moniker with pride.

It's difficult enough to come up with new and innovative gift ideas for my own offspring, let alone anyone else's.  Sadists will throw out the 'no gifts, please' comment just to watch the unbelieving masses squirm.  Who're they trying to fool?  I'm operating under the assumption that my or my child's mere presence at a juvenile soiree just ain't gonna cut it for the birthday child, thank you very much.  The 'gifts optional' route is no better.  Does anyone really take the word optional seriously? 

"We want her to have friends', Dear Hubby intones from his throne (the leather one, not the porcelain one).  "Send a gift!"  Right-o, old chap!

My children, especially The Diva, whine occasionally about the millstone that is their summer birthday and how it's just not fair they don't get to star in an over the top birthday production complete with bouncy house, clowns twisting anemic balloons into bizarre animal shapes and a miniature pony (I shit you not).  My response never varies.  "Look, Sunny D and a cookie cake during the school year *at school* is the absolute best I can manage.  Take it or leave it." 

I know that sounds heartless, but my birthday is January 1st.  Was I in school when my birthday rolled around?  No.  Did classmates ditch winter vacation plans to come to my party?  No.  Have I suffered any ill effects?  Only if you count the fact that I'm a registered Democrat.  Otherwise, no.  Face it, do you really think the Joneses are going to forgo that sunny trip to the Bahamas just so little Dick and Jane can come to my kids' party?  Would you?

When all else fails and their lower lip sags so low I could practically turn them into upright vacuum cleaners, I appeal to their greedy grub-grabbing inner selves.

"Okay, I'll go all out: bouncy house, rent out the gymnastics place or even (God help me) cross the threshold of a Chuck E. Cheese's for you and 5000 of your closest friends so long as you understand this translates into fewer presents from Mom and Dad." 

Ding-ding-ding!  A family party it shall be!

Bad mommy...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

For Moi!

There, that's the extent of my French vocabulary.  Actually, that's not true, it's just that the rest of what I know is dirty.  And no, I didn't learn it all from that damn Moulin Rouge was Catholic high school.  Let's just leave it at that, shall we?  Ahem...

I've said it before, and because the Co-Defendants have sucked out whatever brains I've ever had, I'll say it again...and again...and again, that opening my mailbox is about as fun as a rectal exam by an arthritic physician.  There's a visual to stick with ya!  Seriously, you don't have to thank me.

But today, the postman was my buddy and not just because the man likes to gossip!

My pincushion from Ohio Michele arrived!  The Diva was thoroughly put out that the package wasn't for her.  What did fuddy-duddy old Mom need with a surprise package anyway?

Lookee what I got...

The card is gorgeous and I know my mom will try to snatch it from me since peacocks are her absolute favorite.  The whole pretty package was tied with the peacock fabric.  Michele, I love it!  Thank you!!  It's so cute and tiny, kind of like one of those pups Paris Hilton likes to lug around in her purse only without the shedding and snarling and it's useful...squeal! 

Happy day, y'all!

Pinning the Albatross

So, in an effort to be truer to the process pledge I took some time back, I'm gonna bore you to tears with info about the quilt that refuses to be quilted.  I blogged yesterday that I'd had serious thread breakage and batting issues after loading this baby onto my mom's quilt frame.  I swear, this'll be ready by the time Captain Studly walks down the aisle.  He's only 13, surely there's plenty of time!
Anyhoo, I managed to dodge a trip to a heretofore undisclosed destination...yes, I'm being evasive on purpose and was left to my own devices by Himself and the Co-Defendants.  YAY, peace and quiet!  I've never pinned a quilt on carpet, always on linoleum.  My knees are thanking me and it wasn't as difficult as I'd anticipated.  Thank heavens for small favors, eh?
Now, it's all pinned and ready for Lennie the Featherweight. 
I checked out a blog post over at The Amateur Quilter about quilting a big-ass quilt (his words) on a home sewing machine.  Considering the quilt he whipped out appears to dwarf mine, I'd say there's hope for getting this puppy done. 
Wish me luck!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blog Hop Winners!

Here's Himself choosing two lucky winners from my blog's giveaway in conjunction with The Quilting Gallery's Celebrate Back to School blog hop...

Thanks to everyone who participated, left such nice comments and decided to follow my blog.  I hope you'll stick around and experience even more of this family's craziness with an occasional quilt post thrown in for good measure.  I'm very sorry I didn't get to personally reply to each comment.  Having never participated before, I really underestimated the number of visitors I'd have.  Mea culpa!

That said, without further ado, I give you the two lucky winners...

Lisa Lisa wins Bundle #1

Ruth Ann wins Bundle #2

I've sent each of you ladies an email notifying you of your win!  Congratulations!

If I haven't heard from either lady within 24 hours, I'll choose another two names.

Thanks again for visiting and playing along.  I hope everyone had a blast on the hop and look forward to doing this again soon!

Happy quilting, y'all!

Last Call for Hoppers!

Comments will close at 2pm CST for Come On Baby Let's Do the Hop in conjunction with The Quilting Gallery's Celebrate Back to School blog hop!  You've got 8 minutes...GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

(Not) Quilting The Albatross

Photo courtesy of bing

Apparently I'm not meant to quilt Captain Studly's airplane quilt as all my efforts at getting the #@*&% thing done have been twarted.

See, I got it on the frame...which only took me 45 minutes.  I sold my spleen to buy Masterpiece and The Bottom Line threads.  Actually, that's not true...I hijacked the Bottom Line thread from my mother.  Oopsies!  I prayed 'Please Lord help my shoulders relax, my stitches to be even and my thread to not break'.  If it didn't go against all my religious beliefs and good old-fashioned fear of what happened to those poor bastards in Pet Sematary, I'd've sacrificed something small and furry.  And yes, I know Pet Sematary was about burying a beloved pet in a cursed graveyard and having it come back as a killing machine...just work with me here, okay?!  Anything to get this damn thing finished!

I changed the needle, cleaned out the machine's innards and oiled it up like a Chippendales model before a calendar shoot...all this BEFORE I loaded the albatross onto the frame.  Did it work?  Hell, no!  Haven't you been reading?!  I got all the cloud fabric quilted (one pass on the frame) and encountered thread breakage three times before I decided 'screw it, I'm throwin' it on the Featherweight!'

So then it became a matter of removing it from the frame...funny how unloading it only took 5 minutes.  Damn quilting trolls!

Look what I discovered as I was unloading the top...

That's the batting literally shredding pulling apart a cotton ball!  I suppose now I should say 'thank you Lord' for not letting me get any farther into the whole tortuous process.  I've used this company before, just never this type of batting.  Never again, I tell you!

So, an hour of the frog stitch later and it's all unquilted, ready to be pinned (ick!) and loaded under the lead foot of Lennie the Featherweight.  She's gonna kick quilt butt!

Where's the wine?

The Myth of the Relaxing Holiday

I absolutely adore three day weekends, don't you?  Lazing around, swilling adult Capri Sun pouches (thanks for that moniker, C!), and soaking up some rays.  Yeah, right.  Holidays such as these are for the childless and retirees.  With kids, let's face it, there's really no such thing.

This is how my Labor Day weekend has progressed thus far...

Friday afternoon, Captain Studly had a friend, J, over to spend the night (sorry no prior parental approval).  They decided to camp out in the backyard, in 90 degree heat, to keep as far away from The Diva and Wonder Mom as possible.  Never mind the West Nile epidemic we've got going on in our area.  I sprayed enough pesticide to keep the little buggers at bay (mosquitos, not kids) that the boys will probably have kids born with six heads.  Saturday morning, I spied J sleeping atop the trampoline...nice.

After dropping off J and meeting his dog (don't ask how THAT went), we made an emergency trip to the LQS to pick up my BOM.  I'm now three months behind.  Sigh.  Right about mid-afternoon, Captain Studly decided 'Holy crap, Mom's off this weekend!  I must get sick...yippeee!!'  And wouldn't you know it, Himself was out of town to a car show.  Naturally.

By this morning, Captain Studly seems a bit better.  Himself has been umbilically (is that a word?) attached to the computer; I've been chained to the washing machine and my list of chores seems to be breeding like bunnies.  Holiday, my fat fanny!

This is what I managed to accomplish Saturday.  Ever have times when you feel creativity must be forced?  I am, once again, in a slump with my quilting.  Cardmaking, however, has proved another matter entirely.

A reminder: The Quilting Gallery blog hop ends 9/3 (at least, for my blog it does) so get your comments in to be entered for the drawing.  Remember, only one comment!

I have managed to get Captain Studly's quilt loaded onto mom's quilting machine and am giving serious thought to working on it today.  I'm thinking, I'm thinking...

Happy Labor Day weekend, y'all!