Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, Monday!

Greetings world. It is Monday. We are all back to school and work. I dreaded it, to be honest (see previous post about first day of school.) It's a year of big changes and though I look forward to the surprises and blessing that will come, I was dragging my feet a little.

Part of that is college begins and it means I won't see my oldest for weeks. I gotta tell you, even though it's the fourth time we've sent him off to school and it still stinks. A LOT. Do I want him not to go? No. Do I want to hold him back? No. Do I want to see his face every day? Yes. I can't help it... I love the morning routine of sending off, hugs and kisses, lunches made, chatting, "Have an amazing day!" as they head out the door. And though I do it... texting just doesn't cut it.

Every year it's an adjustment and I'm working on it. I know a woman who didn't miss a beat when her oldest went to college. She said "I have 3 others at home." I know another who went to bed for a week and didn't come out, though she had 4 others at home. I fall somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum.

Today, I feel good. We are all where we are supposed to be and I feel good knowing that. While I'd prefer to look at college guy every day, I do not want that at his expense. I am happier knowing he is happy.

So Happy Monday, one and all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School

Today is my last First Day of school as my youngest is a senior this year. While he will go to college next year, move-in day is not the same. This is an end of an era and it's a little bittersweet.

I don't, not even a little, wish to hold back time or return to a different time. Which is not to say that I don't fondly remember chubby arms, sticky kisses and dandelion bouquets. What I'm saying is I love my life and am so thrilled with the children I am blessed with and who they have become that I eagerly look forward to who they are becoming too much to wish for times gone by.

The little routines of the first day of school though... Pictures on the porch, seeing their excitment, soothing jangled nerves, packing lunches, new clothes, school supplies... I love it all.

I started writing this yesterday waiting for the senior to return home, but then the news of the day and activities of the evening pushed this post aside. Yeah! Great first day. It's wonderful to see the excitement, feel the anticipation and share the challenges. Have I mentioned that I love my life ~ imperfect, crazy, messy, happy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Project #25 Shirt

This shirt, which has become my summer favorite, was made from a shower curtain. Seriously. At my local thrift shop, I discovered this shower curtain, made from the softest, sheerest cotton with sequins and beads sewn along one row of paisleys. I knew it would make a great shirt. I was originally thinking about a long sleeve tunic, but the curtain had two seams which made pattern placement tricky. Because the fabric hadn't been washed before becoming the shower curtain, the seams were a little wonky and I just didn't want them in the finished shirt. So sleeves were out. Instead, this tunic/shell was born and lucky it was, too, as we had the hottest July I can remember and I didn't wear a single shirt with sleeves the entire month ;-)

This little project, completed in about an hour, combines two of my very favorite things... handmade and re-purposed. I have a table cloth with a stain that is destined to become a nightgown... Stay tuned!

Project #24 Dress

Well, it's been so long since I updated this blog that I don't remember the exact timing of the finished projects... But that's not important is it? This little dress is from a McCall's pattern for a sweet girl who turned 1 in May. I used snaps in the back instead of buttons and love the way they turned out. I thought it looked a little plain, so added rick rack and some decorative stitching (which did not turn out perfect, but...) The red and white stripes are perfect for a summer frock and the rick rack -well rick rack is fun, isn't it. I used the blind hem to hem the dress. As I've said before, the blind hem though tricky, makes a finished garment look fantastic. It also improves the way the garment hangs. If you've never tried it or been frustrated by it, it's worth the time and effort. Practice, trying out the textbook instructions, then tweaking it until it's your own. Once you've successfully done it, you will understand my love for it!

Summer garden

Well, I've thoroughly enjoyed this summer. Now we are beginning to think about fall and school and blogs...

When we first moved into this house, I had a very large garden for a couple of years. But as the boys got older, more involved in activities, I preferred to be at those activities, rather than tend a garden. The biggest time culprit in a large garden is the harvest. Trying to preserve the bounty is a job that cannot wait for games or concerts or camp outs and at the time, I made a different choice. Within a year, my husband poured concrete on the unused garden space. Harsh, not really, we have boys, active, fun loving boys and this new concrete surface was suitable for basketball, four square, lacrosse, tennis, badminton, you name it. It's been a perfect spot for the boys and their friends to grow.

This year both hubby and I had the itch to go bigger than our raised beds will allow. Since the old space wasn't possible, we began anew. As anyone who's tried to turn grass into garden, this was quite a challenge. But we did, fairly successfully. We made trellis tee pees out of curly willow. I saw similar tee pees on a PBS Victory Garden tour, made with a straight branches. But, I had curly willows that needed a good trimming and I love being able to repurpose. We made 3 and they are architectural, functional and beautiful. The most amazing thing is that some of the branches, which we cut with regular tree trimmer thingies, actually started to grow. They must have rooted in the ground and now are covered with new growth.

We started seeds indoors this year, but somehow in the transfer to outside, the pots were mixed up and I ended up with cucumbers on every trellis and no zucchini anywhere. We bought some unique seeds this year, including a Lemon Cucumber, which is named so for the color and shape of it rather than the taste. I don't think I'll plant 'english' cucumbers again as they were disappointing. We've had such an abundance of cucumber that all our neighbors are in supply too.

I am currently fermenting pickles in a crock. Fingers crossed for delicious sour pickles!