Friday, September 12, 2008

Looking for Breakfast

The kids have been complaining that there's "nothing to eat" in the house. In truth, the house is so over-stocked with food that anyone who ever read The Poisonwood Bible would blush with shame. The problem is, it's mostly food that you have to actually cook - chickens and roasts and bags of potatoes and so on. So I'm trying an experiment, keeping in mind that I'm going to be out of town tonight and again starting Wednesday. I gave each of the kids a $50 gift card and told them to go out and purchase 3 days' worth of meals for the family. This will not be "their" food, but food which must be prepared and served in a communal setting.

It will be interesting to see what comes home. I'm reasonably certain ice cream will be involved.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Am I going a bit overboard?

When my sister got married a few years ago, my mother went quietly nuts. She took a course in floral design so she could do all the flowers herself. She traveled to the midwest (repeatedly) in order to help pick out and pay for the perfect dress, veil, wedding shoes, reception shoes, etc., etc., etc. She painted little river rocks with flowers and the names of each and every guest (over 100, if I remember correctly) to use as place markers for the dinner. She agonized over the preparations, and durn near missed the wedding itself because she was still perfecting the set-up of the reception hall until just before the music started. All I could do at the time was shake my head in wonder and disbelief.

So now my brother's getting married. I asked him what I could do to help (from 1400 miles away). He said:

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
In other words, don't go nuts and then try to bring it all in your suitcase.

Well, then we had some trouble sourcing the dresses, so I worked it out with a seamstress on this end. And I painted the shawls, cause it was fun and I wanted to. And for the same reasons, I made some jewelery to go with. [Dan, stop reading. Go away. Don't you have chores to do? Stop goofing around on the internet.] And I knew I didn't have time to finish a prayer shawl, so I worked a deal with a friend to have a quilted prayer cloth made instead. (Wait till you see. It's beautiful, and we're going to have the guests sign it with fabric pens before the ceremony.) And there's the garter. And the bride has rethought her wedding dress and is now wearing something a lot like the ones we had made, so I really want to paint a shawl for her in some nice subtle ivories and pearls. And I'm screwing around with PhotoShop and my favorite local printer to make 10 dozen wedding favors. And little sachets of birdseed so the guests have something to throw at the couple after the ceremony. And souvenir t-shirts for the wedding party, including one with iron-on flowers for the 4 year old flower girl. And I'm really, really having the time of my life with every bit of it.

But suddenly, I'm thinking I may not have a lot of room to talk about Mom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Sign of the Times

This morning, as I trucked on up the road with Nora in tow, it occurred to me that a light pair of gloves would be nice. And I find myself realizing that sandals are no longer as comfortable in the office as they were (although I'll still wear them occasionally, just to celebrate the wonders of working in a casual office). The goldenrod is in full force these days, and although the roses are offering one last burst of glory before they fade, the rest of the garden is looking fairly spent.

On the other hand, the dahlia I planted last spring and had since forgot is now in bud. And the palladium's that I gave up on some time ago aren't a no-show after all; they're simply about 2 feet shorter and 2 months later than I expected. I wonder if I could winter them over as house plants to get some size on them, or if they need to die back like tulips and other bulbs. Anyone know?

Also, it's almost time to divide some perennials. If you're in the area or I'm going to be in your neighborhood in the next month, and you want anything, just let me know. I'm especially blessed with seeds for hollyhocks and cone flowers this year, so if you know anyone with a new condo (hint, hint) who might like something to dress up the garden, speak up.

(Oh, and the soft focus on the rose is the result of my camera fogging up in the morning cool while I was trying to take the picture. I kind of like the effect.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sleepy Morning

The radio said it was 46° out this morning. It was a chore to get up, get all the walking gear on and force myself out into the world.

Marilyn aparently felt the same way.

But off we go . . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wedding Garter

Here's the results of my attempt at Eloping . Frankly, I'm just never going to be a lace person. I thought I'd bang it out over a Sunday afternoon, and instead I spent two Sunday afternoons and three more stolen bits of midweek evening time to finish it up. The blue is that Glimmer alpaca, and it twinkles prettily even though it's incredibly soft. The silk for the ties is Debbie Bliss' Simply Silk - gorgeous stuff, but very slippery. I used my favorite washable and "dries flexible" fray check to secure the ends, or I'm sure it would slip right apart. The pattern called for narrow strips of elastic to be run through the eyelets below the ribbon (in this case, I cord), but I substituted some round elastic cord I found in Wally-World's fabric notions, then secured the ends together using the kind of crimp tubes one normally uses to finish off the ends of a ribbon or cord necklace. The result was kind of like those old hair elastics we used to use 20 years ago with the metal crimp. I wove it through so that the elastic crimp is on the private side of the garter, opposite the silk bow on the public side. Then I slammed it into an envelope and sent it to Maine, priority mail. The last bridal shower is Thursday - let's hope it makes it!

Meanwhile, Nora and I made a trip to the emergency vet on Friday night because the poor baby had a urinary tract infection. She had all the classic symptoms, and I have reason to be sympathetic towards this particular ailment. Besides, she was desperate to go out every 15 minutes or so on Friday evening, and then cried every time she squatted. So off we went. I called ahead and explained to them that I had a dog who did not like strangers on principal, had a history of abuse and neglect, and was now in a foul mood due to her illness. (Just last week the trainer was telling me that she "didn't know how this dog was ever going to be vetted.") But they were waiting at the door for us, then put us straight into a room where she could calm down and feel a little safer. Then I fed her bits of treats through the end of her muzzle while they swooped in quickly behind her and stabbed her in the butt with a sedative. Fifteen minutes later Nora was flying at altitude and we had no problem with the exam. $220 after that, we were discharged with two kinds of pills and a dog that was temporarily in love with everything that moved. So all is well.

Oh, and great day at market on Saturday. My best yet. I'm told that the couple who walked away with about $100 worth of prints were the owners of a major kitchen implements company you may have heard of. I really wish I'd remembered to print some more business cards out so I could have passed them one.