Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wardrobe Refashion

I'm always inspired by this site. I've never taken the pledge or submitted anything but believe me, I've go enough to do it. Here is my first endeavor. I took a jumper that has been sitting in my closet for many years. I think the last time I wore it was in 1997? I never had the heart to throw it out, even though there was a nice grease stain on the front. So, I cut off the top, put in an elastic waist, cut up a hanky, made a pocket to cover the stain, and now I have skirt loveliness. How'd I do? Did I pass?

Show and Tell

I have a few things to share today.

A purse knit by my Aunt. Don't you just love the colors?

Mom's Granny squares. She's made about 50, intending to make a vest but has since changed her mind.
My new quilt I won on ebay. It is so bright and cheery. This quilt was made from all kinds of fabrics, most especially double knits, which would probably make some quilt purist cringe. This thing will be indestructable! I just love the retro look of the fabrics. It was made by piecing the log cabin strips by hand onto a backing fabric, which forms the quilting on the back. There is no quilting on the front. Each block then is prequilted when the whole thing is put together. The front must be pieced together, the the backs slipstiched. Tons of work involved in this thing. I won it from Calamity Kim. Check out her blog. She does some amazing collage work in fabric.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this"

I went to Lansdowne Christian Church this morning to celebrate the 103rd Memorial Day service of the Grand Army of the Republic. This is my father's church. I don't attend very often, but when I do, I am always struck by the truly spiritual touch, the modern, yet, old ways of worship, the public speaking aloud of concerns and joys during prayer, the pauses, my Dad striking his chest during a prayer, sometimes the memorization of the text, and always lots of hymns. This is a very small, old (age wise) congregation. They have one child, who attends church but attends our youth group. We share an Associate Minister within the two congregations. We are a large, very active, intergenerational congregation, with much to offer, yet I believe this older congregation has just as much to offer us. We are trying to come together but today was yet, another day, where we failed to do so. An important day in each congregation with no thought to sharing this day with each other. I think it is a lack of communication. I am not even sure our congregation is even aware of this celebration at Lansdowne. I am saddened that I had to decide this morning where I should go, which worship should I attend. I am happy with my decision, though and found the service wonderful, touching, and historical. I will attend more often.

My Uncle was the speaker today, the subject being Lincoln's Words in His Time and Ours. He spoke of the first official Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetary, with the house enshrouded in black, flowers placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. He recited the Gettysburg address, and recited this quote "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." Speaking of the relevance of this statement to today as much as then. He spoke of history not being that long ago, despite the perception of it being ages ago, especially to youth. He spoke of Lincoln, the man, his humility, and his faith though he never joined a church. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was the first time that I heard my Uncle speak in person (I've seen him on TV). I sat with my Aunt who sang very softly, but when she did, reminded me of my Grandmother. My Sister and her husband behind me, with Carl, who sometime in the service snuck out to be the acolyte. We could see him behind a flag and My Dad whispering to him. I loved it.

After Lincoln's words, the Auxilary to the Sons of Union Veteran of the Civil War read the actual declaration made by General John Logan, spoke of the ritual of the vacant chair and sang a song. They were dressed in white with red/white and blue sashes. Then the VFW post, who has been participating in this service for 87 years, made their presentations to the alter. Very official with their salute at the end of each presentation, with a few whispers as to order. A beautiful song "Sleep Soldier Boy" sung by a friend, once again, a first for me to hear her, and lastly taps at the back of the sanctuary, with the door open, for the neighborhood to hear as well.

It was only the second time I can remember ever truly memoralizing for Memorial Day. The other time was with Girl Scouts. Typically we view it as a day off school, work, time for cookouts, or various sales at retail places. Something to think about.

I was unable to stay for conversation, lunch, and music much to my disappointment. But I had to divide my time and attend the picnic at my congregation.

A good day.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

And These Things Do Please Me Well

A housefull of kids, eating, playing, spending the night, going to church.

My children shining in a performance together

The knowledge of who received my love rug and love it, say it even smells good (patchouli).

Good cycle classes even though there were primarily two of us all week.
Pilates - I love Laura!
Time well spent organizing my studio and calling it a studio.
A wonderful choral concert.
Reconnecting with an old friend, whose influences on me and my children were important.
Songs shuffling on my ipod in the kitchen.
Good, old fashioned potato salad.
1234 cake.
My sister called with one word "Nocturnica". Grace Potter and the Nocturnals appeared last night at the 8x10 (I didn't go). In honor, I share this video. I still haven't found myself but the person videoing had to have been right, smack dab behind me. She's freakin' rockin'!

Joseph and the Amazing Techinicolor Dreamcoat. The cast, the crew, the dreamer, the artists, the band, the hairy Ishmaelites, and especially the Narrator and Nephtali, but really everyone involved in this wonderful production. It was an incredible show.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Clean Plate Club

This is the show/recipe I saw. She also made a salad of fresh greens, sliced strawberries and a dressing of strawberry jam, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mmmmmm. Needless to say, she has better presentation on tv, but all 4 of us were members of the clean plate club. This was a keeper, or as Shorty would say "Tastes very musty" as in must have some more/must make again.

Food for thought

My local Super Suppers has closed. I don't think they were even open 9 months. It was close, convenient, and suplemented on the nights I had to work. It just so happens that the day I received the email about the closing, I chose to take a nap, and instead watched Rachel Rae. She was making Sammys. Don't you just love that? My Handsome Prince and I, since Emma was little, sing a song every time we make sandwiches. It's from a Fred Penner tape Em had when she was little.

Sandwiches are beautiful
Sandwiches are fine
I like sandwiches, I eat them all the time
I eat them for my supper and I eat them for my lunch
If I had a hundred sandwiches, I'd eat them all at once!

(this is sung very dramatically, with a huge finish!)

I promptly went out and bought one of RR 30 Minute Meal books and we are having sammys for dinnner, complete with song, and a lovely strawberry and lettuce salad (lettuce that I'm attempting to grow). Just the thought makes me smile.

PS My aunt and uncle remember this tape, but the song they sing is "The cat came back, the very next day..."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

State of Affairs

In the midst of everything, we wait again. And we have our answers, expectations, more questions, and our comfort. We are trying to take care of some loose ends, booking hotels in Italy, getting orders to attend a military academy, arranging our work schedules so we can take 6 weeks off, finding Emma an apartment (no campus housing for this one), deciding whether we can afford a beach house, can we do it now? performances, performances, performances (5 this week) and more. In the car, with screaming baby, laughing children, my husband called my cell, from Baltimore to Chicago, confirmed the news that yes, another spot, another surgery. I've just been waiting to say anything.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Cheers! Black and tans on the deck.

And something to make you laugh.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


My sister and I are having a knit a long. After attending the Sheep and Wool fest last weekend, we have many, many ideas. We are starting with the Noni Adventure bag in huge form. Check out there web site here. The adventure bag is in their Fall 2006 line. I found it at my local yarn shop. Here is my color choice. I haven't seen hers yet, but when I do, I will post a photo. Does anyone want to knit-a-long? If so, just leave a comment. If not, enjoy our progress.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Separated at birth?

Audrey 1996 Illustration for Ramona 1981
How did they know what Audrey was going to look like 12 years before she was born? This book was pointed out to me by the librarians at our local library when Audrey was about 4, then the book was given to me by my MIL because she thought it looked so much like Audrey.

This is Sam

Emma shared this with My sister and me. She said it reminded her of Sam. Check it out!

These are My People

Grandma and her granddaughters and great grandchildren.

Uncle Dick and Sammajamma. Uncle Dick is a true Papa, loving, funny, tender.
This is the hysterical. Can you see the genuine laughter on their faces?

Emma and Maddy. I could just eat her up!

Mother and daughter, My Grandma and Aunt.

An Uncle with his nephew.

Sisters caught in a not so unusual, silly act.

Sam saying his abosolute, favorite word in the whole world!

Cousins in conversation. I'm missing a photo of my cousin John. He was in a couple but they were not good. Sorry John. I think that is everyone.

When we got home, Rachel and I met our Mom and Aunt at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Here are the ladies. Aren't they cute?

We had a good trip. It ranged from hysterically funny to sad. We got lost, took many wrong turns, and exits, while the kids asked "Do you know where we are? Did we take another wrong turn? When are we going to be there?" They were so patient, flying, delays, driving, visiting. They were also obnoxious, making us laugh with their silliness. We visited with our Grandma, our Uncle and Aunt, and had a gathering at our hotel with all who could come. At one point, Uncle Dick stated that this was not right, that Christine should be there. It wasn't right. She should be there with the cousins and her children. It was a moment of unsureness. Did we do the right thing? Was it too soon? Or will there never be a good time, when the two daughters of his brother visit, the gathering of family, bringing with them the reality of loss. So hard. But we told stories of life now and life as kids. We heard of Christine's magic show at a birthday party of John's that we did not know about. After everyone left, Rachel and I cleaning up, we embraced and cried, about family differences yet the importance that we all felt of being together, loss, stories told, our Grandma and her force of connecting us and concluded it was a good trip. Our children saw and heard of their family they know little of and know of the goodness of family, immediate, and distant. And when home, met up with the ladies who have influenced us to be the perfect travelling companions for each other, to laugh with and at each other, to be sisters. And that my friends, was our trip.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Off We Go!

Here we are, My sister and me!

She loves me.
I love her too!
We leave this morning with all children in tow to fly to Chicago area to be with family. Our Grandma has never seen Sammajamma and it's been 3 years since she's seen all our kids. It's the right time to go.