Tuesday, August 30, 2005

But, Mom...

I got my driver's license when I was 19. When it arrived in the mail, my mother opened it, as she did all of my mail back then. Mixed in with my license, was the license of another girl of the same age, height, and weight.

My mother took it upon herself to write a letter to the girl, while returning the license. She read it to me. It was a plea to the poor girl to meet my dateless 22 year old older brother. My mother was neurotic enough to worry about Larry's single status. It was 1971, and I guess he was headed to confirmed bachelorhood or some such thing. Heck, at 19, I was almost an old maid.

Anyway, as she read me the letter, I thought it was a little too pathetic to ask a stranger to date your son, but I would never have said that outloud. I would have gotten smacked for it, besides, Larry was attractive. I'm not sure if she ever told him about the letter, though.

Instead, I told her the girl was black, as indicated by her race status on the license. She tore up the letter immediately, with this very unhappy look on her face. I kind of wish now I had kept my mouth shut and waited for this whole "date my son, please" scenario to play out. I wonder if I would have wound up with a black SIL, which would have been alright with me.

Next time: Why I waited until age 19 to get my license.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Lots of Thread

I have many spools of thread, some bought by me, and some given to me by my MIL. She has given up sewing, but will go over to SIL's if she ever has to mend anything. I was hoping to get her serger, but SIL has it. I guess I'll save up and buy my own someday. My regular sewing machine is alright, though. It's a computerized Brother machine that I bought at Sam's Club many years ago. It has an automatic buttonhole maker and a nice array of stitches. I have to find that instruction booklet, though.

I have inherited MIL's large cone collection of threads also - the ones you use on the serger. She gave me her round thread holder that hangs on the wall with the smaller spools of threads, and two wooden spool holders, one that hangs on the wall, and the other that sits on a table or shelf. Right now I have the round thread holder hanging on the wall next to the window in front of my sewing machine, and the wooden cone thread holder is just below it. I am ready for any color material. I just found out that the cones don't fit my sewing machine very well, but if I put one of the smaller spools on my spool holder, I can then put the cone thread over it. It works better well, and since I have so much cone thread, it's great.

I also have a lot of fabric, so I've started sewing some things again. I found a green plaid material that was perfect for making placemats out of it. It has a strong piece of thick thread running through it, and I only had to cut the material, then do an edging stitch to make placemats. I had enough material to make 9 of them. I will use them when I have the family over for dinner. I have made enough napkins in the past to keep me outfitted for a while. I used some decorator materials that my MIL had been given from her neighbor who sewed draperies for a living. Most of my materials have come from that source, and I'm very fortunate to have such high quality material for free. I found a box of pieces that might be enough to make window swag type curtains for the living room. It's a nice print with blue and green flowers on a light background.

I tried to make a dress for a baby shower this week, but didn't get past trying to cut it out. I had the cutting stage. I would work well with someone else who would do the cutting for me, and I could get on with the actual sewing of the article. The material was the same material I had used to make a dress for my DD, so I figured if I didn't get it done, I would just get the old dress from the box of baby stuff and give that as a gift. Well, I looked in the box and found 3 playsuits in great condition instead. So what, if they didn't have tags on them. One of them was quite nice, with smocking on it. The other two were just these casual little playsuits, one was yellow with a teddybear on it, the other pink with a pink appliqued apple on it. Well, one woman at the shower looked at the smocked outfit and said, "I had one just like this when my daughter was little."

Then she scrutinized it as though it might have been her kid's originally. Since her DD and my DD are the same age, she probably had the same exact outfit. I guess I looked cheap, giving used clothing, but I also made black beans and rice to put in the family's freezer, as that was the original idea for the shower. It was going to be a casserole baby shower, and then some of the women said they wanted to give gifts, too, so that's how we came to gifts and food. It was all appreciated, of course, but it took me some time to cook those darned black beans from the dry stage. I hope they liked it.

Today, the baby, Lydia Rose, was at church. She's 4 weeks old and she was wearing pink bunny slippers. So cute. She so skinny and long, with long tapering fingers. Her mom is breastfeeding, but was told to supplement with a bottle because she is not putting on weight fast enough.

Anyway, I didn't give her a homemade dress, and I don't think I should feel too guilty about that. I did put an effort in, and when I stop to think about it, I just wanted to impress peeps with my sewing skills, which might not be the best thing to do. Before you know it, someone will come to you with some sewing they need done. I don't sew for other people, unless it's a dress for the temple. Even then, nowadays, I sew for my family and that keeps me busy enough. Currently I am changing some pajamas for my DH. They are actually women's pajamas, but you wouldn't know it from the flannel fabric, just from the way they button up. He requested that I change the buttons and buttonholes to the other side, because that is what he is used to. Well, I started on one of them, anyway. There are 2 pairs and DD has the same pajamas. I have one of the pairs like theirs, so we can all dress alike come Christmas in our red flannel pajamas. I could not resist, because the pajamas were on sale for $5 a pair. I also have some fabric to make pjs, but I might just make nightshirts for me and DD and pjs for DH. One of the pieces of flannel I bought for DD has pizza on it. If I don't make pjs out of it, I can always use it to make pillow cases, which she also needs. I know she is looking forward to having pajama parties in our house once we get the family room fixed up. The family room is right outside her bedroom, so she has the perfect set up for having a pj party. The lower level is her bedroom, the family room, and her bathroom. The family room has an outside sliding glass door, and a door that leads to the garage.

Well, tomorrow is the first morning we have to get up at 5:20 AM. Seminary classes begin for DD. This is her second year, and it will be great because they now meet in a church member's home, with all the kids from our home Ward. Last year, it was at the church building with kids from different Wards. Some of those kids were really grumpy in the morning. DD was assigned to take role, mostly because she was the only one who made it to class on time (last year is was 6:15 AM, this year is it 6:00 AM). Her taking role made her a target for the other kid's ire. I felt sorry for her, being ridiculed for doing the right thing.

Anyway, I should be in bed right now, but I did take a nap yesterday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A/C finally fixed

But not before the a/c belt broke again, after only 2 weeks of service. On Saturday, one of the hottest days of the year, I had to drive to church at 3 PM, the hottest part of the day. The A/C squealed as I went up the driveway and hot air blowed out for the rest of the 3 mile trip to church. DH was already there, because it was a baptism, and he had to fill up the font with water. I sweated bullets and used so many kleenexs to mop the water from my face. It was a good thing I had decided not to wear makeup, as it would have looked horrendous when I got there.

I gave a talk about the Holy Ghost, but before my talk, the husband of the woman being baptised, sang "How Great Thou Art". Oh, was he ever good! I was totally surprised at how wonderful a voice he had. I melted into tears, just before getting up for a talk. I guess it was cathartic, though, and I was calm during my talk. A lot of other people cried during his performance. It was a moment that I was glad I had witnessed, a truly beautiful memory. The woman and her son and daughter were all baptised, but the son had problems because he was frightened of the water. They tried 3 or 4 times, but he still had to be baptised early on Sunday morning because part of him was sticking out of the water. The whole body has to be immersed in order for it to be right.

So, I have been sick on Monday and Tuesday, but I'm feeling better now. I changed the curtains in the dining room, because the old ones were sheer and let in so much light that I'm sure it doesn't help with A/C in the house. I am going to change the kitchen ones, too, as they are lace and I have 2 pairs that will fit nicely and not let in as much light. I put my two hanging plants out on the patio cover, and I'll take them in when it gets cold. I am growing basil on my windowsill, and it's great to be able to just snip it off when I want some.

Someday I know we will have a deck. Right now, there are sliding glass doors on the dining room, but no deck, just a white railing there so no one walks out accidentally. We need to do so many improvements until we can do the deck. Right now there is only the subflooring in the dining room. I am thinking of buying a big piece of canvas to paint and cover this like a rug until we can finish the rest of the room. It will get crown molding, chair rail, finish painting (almost finished, but need to do a little more), wainscoating on the bottom half of the walls, and some border print. Then we can do the flooring, which I think will be tile that will go from the dining area into the kitchen.

We also have so many other things to do in the family room. I guess it will all get done eventually.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A/C is cool, if it works, and right now "my man", as my Aunts in PA call him, is out getting the van's A/C fixed. He went over to his friend Phil's house where Phil does some mechanic work.

So far, we had some work done at the Shell station down the street. Some of it was unrelated to the A/C, but the bill was about $500. Gotta love that $86 an hour labor charge. The next week, the belt broke. DH fixed it. It worked for 2 or 3 days, then the compressor went up, smoking and all. So, now the final fix is in, and I think we've spent about $1000 on it. Oh, well, we will have to keep the van for another 2 years, unless the motor goes up in it.