by ee cummings (1894-1962)
Tonight, Tim and I are going to get on the same page about gift ideas and shopping, and hammer out a list of activities for advent, like last year. But for now, I'm enjoying the final days of November. As well as looking at this lovely chickadee while I
order things on-line/read blogs work.
And while I was typing, Aidin's "something she wants - desperately" arrived. Oh, yes, maybe I'm ready to decorate after all.
that we had such fun at Eliot's school's Thanksgiving feast.
that we were seated with one of Eliot's best friends and his family.
that we saw Ben, who was passing through.
that the house got cleaned up before the 14 guests arrived.
that the mashed potatoes were mashed the night before.
that at least one of my pecan pies didn't flop.
that the turkey was cooked to perfection.
that everyone brought such delicious side dishes.
that no one gave me crap about the lack of green bean casserole or cheezy carrots.
that my mom always makes the gravy.
that our families like each other.
that we got to see many of Tim's cousins on Saturday.
that we got to see many of my cousins on Saturday.
that at KU had a winning season, despite the disappointing loss to Mizzou on Saturday.
that we spent Saturday night in KC at my cousin's and Tim didn't have to drive so far to and from Arrowhead Saturday and Sunday.
that Eliot's bout of throwing up on Sunday night proved to be a passing thing.
that we are happy and healthy and enjoying the end of November before the headlong rush into Christmas.
that things can get back to normal around here.
Don't let this bit of pre-holiday fun fool you. I'm really home cleaning house like a mad woman, but here's a meme stolen from Estea.
Here’s what you do:
1) Answer the questions and type into Google image search
2) Post a picture from first results page
• the age you will be on your next birthday
•a place you’d like to visit
•one of your favorite places
•your favorite object
•your favorite food
•your favorite animal
•your favorite color
•name of a past pet
•where you live
•1st grade teacher’s last name
•your middle name
•a bad habit of yours
•your college major
•your favorite holiday
(It's too close to call)
Enjoy this holiday!
Hello, friends! I wanted to share with you all the lovely, handmade things I received (or bought with money I received) from friends and family for my birthday.
First up, from Michelle, a lovely, sturdy tote bag in Joel Dewberry print. I love it. It is just the right size and weight. The pictures fail to capture it's true charm. Thank you my dear!
From my dear friend, Keela, not one but two necklaces, hand-strung with pendants - although the green pendant that goes with the tourmaline strand was worn with a wire and didn't make it for the close-up. I totally think Keela should open an etsy shop. She creates such wonderful pieces of jewelry - and I have been the fortunate recipient of many.
My cousin, Jody, made me this wonderful cross-stitched reminder. So appropriate for me. I admire her neat and tiny stitches - and her patience for cross-stitch. I have started countless cross-stitch projects, big and small, and have never completed one. One of the most ambitious projects that I started, on the plane on the way to England in 1992, she finished for me about 2 years ago. Thanks, Jo.
My mom and Aidin worked together to make me a Christmas tree, which I haven't photographed, but it is a replica of this one that my mom made for herself years ago. I know it is a cheesy combination of Styrofoam, a hairspray can lid, bottle caps and gold spray paint, but oh, the sentiment! I've wanted my own as long as I've lived on my own - and now I have one. Yea!
And also from my mom and dad:
A gift certificate to Sarah's and (drum roll) my mom's old Viking Husqvarna sewing machine - if it can be fixed. I know it is not handmade, but I'll be making all kinds of creations with this gift. I cannot TELL you how excited I am about this! This is the machine I learned to sew on. See all those funny little knobs? Those are different stitches. My current machine does a straight stitch. Bring on a pattern with buttonholes!
I still have a little money left. I may have to call up Julie and have something custom made. She has wonderful jewelry made from sea glass, and she just happens to be my office mate's sister. So I imagine I could get free shipping.
I didn't sign up for the Handmade Holidays, although most people on my list will be getting a little something handmade by me. But little people in my life need legos and lincoln logs and american girl dolls, and lots of books, and I just can't make those.
And if you're still with me after that very lengthy show and tell, here's wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving. May you be surrounded by those for whom you are most thankful.
Seriously, you've got to be sick of these by now. But strangely enough, I'm not. I've got it down. I'm in the groove. And every fabric combination makes it a little bit different. So here is tote bag/pencil roll # I've lost count, for Isaac.
In case you're wondering what all that empty space is off to the right on the pencil roll, it's a pocket for a pencil sharpener and eraser.
The birthday party was at a local Karate place. Eliot and I dropped Aidin off at the party, went home for a bit and went back, hoping to score some cake. Instead we got roped into playing a tag game, during which I torqued my knee a litle while chasing the birthday boy.
And Saturday night I to dance on said torqued knee in the Choreographer's Showcase at the Lawrence Arts Center. Note to self: do not play tag immediately prior to a belly dance performance. It was okay. I stretched a lot. Sunday morning the stairs were tough, but I was fine by midday. Whew!
I'm stressing a lot over the events to come this week. Namely, hosting Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday in our house that currently looks like it was hit by a tornado. And I still haven't bought the turkeys yet. Guess where I'll be after school? Waiting an hour in the check out line, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to Friday - I'm spending all day in my pajamas in my sewing room. If I can just get past the rest of the week!
Til tomorrow, friends. ~L
Well, she's Student of the Year in our books, but Aidin was her elementary school's Student of the Day today.
She got to put a bunch of things that were special to her in the display case,
and tell her classmates all about them.
(Can you tell she's a little American Girl obsessed at the moment?)
And have a special guest visit for lunch. That would be me.
Actually, school lunch was pretty much the highlight of the day for her. It was the first time she'd eaten school lunch - and I enjoyed eating my own breakfast this morning instead of packing her lunch for her.
I hope the little things, like school lunch, and sharing the things you love with others bring you this much joy over the weekend.
See ya Monday.
I was stitching last night for something larger than me. For Rachel K. Bosveld, who wrote as a 7th grader:
I feel lost in emotions they wrap around me like a blanket and hold me tight
I touch a butterfly as it flutters past
I worry about dying without having done all that I could."
She was right to worry. Rachel enlisted in the Army when she graduated from high school in Waupun, Wisconsin in 2002. She was an artist, who loved to draw forest scenes, play her violin and act in the high school drama club. She hoped one day to become a graphic artist.
Rachel felt a great sense of pride to be following in the Army footsteps of her father who served in Italy in the late 60s and her brother who served in Alaska. She came into her family as a neglected baby, adopted by the foster parents she was placed with. She idolized her brother. She told her mother, in reference to her decision to join the Army, "Mom, I have to do this... I want to keep up the family tradition, Except, Mom, I'm going to be the first girl in our entire family."
And she was just a girl. Not a woman. But a brave and strong girl with a tenacious will to live. At 18, she graduated from boot camp in October 2002 and was quickly deployed to Iraq. On September 12th of 2003 the Humvee she was driving was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. The Humvee burned up from the inside out, but with gritty determination, Rachel wrenched open the door, dislocating her shoulder in the process. Once she was free of the burning vehicle, she started taking small-arms fire until another Humvee arrived on the scene.
She survived that attack, but for only another six weeks. She was patched up and sent back into duty as a member of the 527th Military Police, guarding the Abu Ghraib Police Station in Bagdad. On October 26th, 2003, Rachel was killed during a mortar attack on the police station. She was 19 years old. And her funeral was held on what would have been her 20th birthday.
It breaks my heart to think of Rachel and all her untapped potential, frittered away in an unfortunate war. And perhaps, had circumstances been different, she might have just celebrated her 24th birthday. She might just be starting out on that graphic design career path. Instead she is a statistic. A statistic with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
I stitched her name as part of the Mother's Day Project. I wished, when I e-mailed to become involved, that there were no more names of women service members who lost their lives in Iraq. My stitches were tiny. Her name is so small. I started out with a variegated green rayon thread to honor her love of drawing forest scenes, but it tangled and looked terrible. I ripped it out and began again. It is now stitched in a variegated red to purple DMC floss. Red for the blood she spilled, pink for the girl she was, purple for the bravery she showed.
Each stitch I made was a prayer. A prayer for all the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who are doing their patriotic duty, under grave circumstances whether they believe in their mission or not. And I especially prayed for our good friend, Joe, who is currently serving out his National Guard commitment as an M.P. in an Iraqi prison.
Please keep him and the rest of our bravest and finest in your thoughts. As well as Rachel.
I know that I am busy. I know that I tend to take on more than I can really manage. I know that I have my fair share of stresses, but when you massage therapist says, "I'm beginning to think RELAX is not in your vocabulary", it really brings it home.
Friday afternoon my friend, Jamie, and I took off for the quaint little town of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, and The Elms Resort. The Elms is this grand old place that has been around for years. Harry Truman stayed there the night of his Presidential election. The place is host to three friendly ghosts.
We had signed up for the Girlfriends Retreat package which included a bottle of wine in the room, breakfast and a massage for each of us. We walked into our room and found this:
Um, not to be a snob or anything, but we don't drink white zin. I guess there was some confusion because another party had booked the girlfriend package under Hanson as well. In the room above us. And evidently they did request white zin.
So we departed the hotel for the quaint little downtown to find dinner and found an art crawl as well. We visited the town museum (which boasted that Lyle Waggoner was from Excelsior Springs and was the first Playgirl Centerfold) and the adjoining old bank building which had a fantastic ceiling and two lovely murals.
We also visited two charming shops where original art was on display, with artists on hand. Wine and nibbly bits were offered, and we had so much fun art crawling and chatting with the locals that we almost missed out on dinner. Luckily we made it to the little pizza place in time to order a great spinach & mushroom thin crust and woof it down before closing time.
It was so great to just hang out with my dearest friend and talk and talk and talk without being interrupted by children or husbands or mysteries to solve. We spent a good deal of time talking religion and politics - two topics that I share with only the select few. It is so much easier to discuss these things deeply with someone who shares your own view and isn't damning you to hell. ;)
It was very late when we finally turned off the light, but still kept talking for a bit.
In the morning we enjoyed breakfast in the beautiful dining room
then headed downstairs to the spa for our treatments. (The spa robes were fabulous - the shoes were horrific. Note to self: next time, bring your own flip flops.)
A one hour massage, a manicure, and a facial.
In between spa treatments, we hung out in the sauna.
We left feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to make it an annual retreat. Especially now that we are mature ladies of 40. We've earned it, don't you think?
Report on the spa weekend tomorrow. Let me just say that it was fabulous.
And I got the birthday present done before I left. Another pirate bag/pencil roll for Eliot's best little buddy at school, Nathan.
As I was sitting in my rocking chair Thursday night, embroidering the name on the bag, I happened to be watching an episode of Globe Trekker on PBS that gave all sorts of information about the REAL pirates of the Caribbean. I love those little bits of serendipity.
I'm now out of pirate fabric, so I guess this is the end of the pirate bags - for now at least. Aidin has already planned a pirate theme for her birthday party - next MAY!
Hope your weekend was great.