Ugh

According to the statistics provided by the ever-helpful WordPress gnomes, my last post was in October.  Hmm…my, where hath the time doth flown? 

I started blogging back when His Awesomeness was a wee-ish tot as an outlet for frustration and angst (and whatever else you’d like to call it) on the parenting front and it morphed into an occasional commentary on life, marriage, and quilting liberally sprinkled with my native tongue, sarcasm.  

Mostly it’s fun.  Who doesn’t like kvetching about offspring, stretchy pants that don’t stretch, and parent teacher conferences where you’d really like to pull a Rhett Butler and ‘frankly, my dear…’ but don’t want to be that mom?

I have a sense of humor:  morbid at times, definitely off color (because vulgar is my second language) and occasionally totally inappropriate for the moment.  So be it.  Or should I say ‘fuck it’?  And yes, I spelled out the entire nasty word.  No asterisks today for you in blog land.

I haven’t felt funny, upbeat or remotely human in ages.

I could point at any number of things, all of which most of us deal with at some point in our lives, so it’s not as though I’m saying I’m special.  I’m just…done.  It feels achingly familiar to the post partum depression I had the pleasure of experiencing after the arrival of the spawn minus the plan to do myself in.  And yes, at that time I gave it serious study.

All in all, things are going swimmingly for The Co-Defendants.  Hurrah!  We are passing with flying colors (grades, not gas…well, both, but gas involves glitter because my little snowflakes are special), getting along (at school, at home not so much) and one of them has even found amor.  So it isn’t them.  I haven’t had to bury a body so you know it isn’t Himself, bless his heart.

It’s me.  I admit to being a Type A personality, as near to anti-social as one can get without garnering the crazy cat lady moniker and not getting in the least that whole human contact thing.  The humor has fled.  I don’t feel funny; I feel angry.  Angry me is unpleasant.  It’s seething and simmering.  Hell, I don’t even like me.  

So if you all will bear with me while I figure it all out, I’ll come back and be kinda-sorta-mostly funny.  And if the f-bomb has run you off, well, I guess I’ll wish you well and you exit stage right.  Watch the last step though…it’s a doozy.

If there’s anything funny about it, just know I’m typing this on the toilet and trying to wrangle a phone and a needy dachshund at the same time.  There’s a visual…and maybe some humor.

Until then, I’m afraid I am one giant stagnant soup of fuck-it-all.

Blogging, Quilting and Griping (and possibly cursing)

Do you know what happens when you go almost an entire month without blogging?  I do.  But you knew that right, that I already had the answer because, naturally, if I’m going to pooch screw something I’ll immediately get on here and tell y’all all about it.  Because why writhe about in angst and shame alone, amiright?!

For the love of Pete, all I wanted was to update about my progress on the mystery quiltalong.  Hey, I’m ahead this time!  And then, boom, there’s the payback for my chutzpah. ūüí•. The entire post was written and all I had to do was hit publish, but no, I had to go back and correct that grammatical error and poof, the entire thing swirled the bowl and was gone with a resounding flush. ūüöĹ

So, here I am trying for Blog Post: The Redo.  Wish me luck.

Tomorrow is the day for another clue reveal in the Chasing the Sun mystery quiltalong of which I am taking part.  You can find the page on Facebook and join in…it isn’t too late!


This past clue is the only one I’ve managed to finish ahead of time, never mind that they’ve all been bite-sized and really manageable.  With me, there’s just no telling what’s going to happen.  Kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, only without Gump.  Or the chocolates.  Sigh.

At any rate, I’ve stitched up a heap and wound up with some bits, pieces, strips and even some blocks.  Some of the bits I can’t explain, like four strips of one inch blocks…ūü§Ē

And four of these purple thangs…ūü§Ēūü§Ē

And one itty bitty square in a square…ūü§Ēūü§Ēūü§Ē


Best not to think on these things too long.  I need all the brain cells I can muster.

The first block to be completed was the Children’s Delight.  I’m still questioning the wisdom of the deep purple, but the instructions called for black, so…dark purple, black…same difference.


Golly, I love the orange Grunge…so much, in fact, that I went back and bought the rest of the bolt.  Hey, it was lonely in that shop!

Each of the clues has involved what the designer called ‘Unit A’.  After dealing with sixty of them over the course of virtually every single clue, I have renamed the little turds.  No, that’s not it.  I could tell you, but the sound of my mother’s voice enunciating not only my first name, but my middle name as well in That Tone that all mothers use, is the only thing stopping me.  Little bastards.  No, that’s not it either.

Don’t ask me what my problem with them is because I can’t tell you.  It’s like the adage about trying to define porn: ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it’.  I hate Unit A almost as much as Brussels sprouts and every sport except hockey (go Red Wings!)

In the end, what I’ve got (so far) are 4 Children’s Delight blocks, 16 Courthouse Steps and 60 eff…, I mean Log Cabin blocks.


There’s still a truckload of fabric left to be cut. Better hope no one comes to visit because there’s no where to hang a coat.


While I bide my time until tomorrow’s reveal, I’ve pulled out Double Delight by Bonnie Hunter again and am in the process of piecing 130 3 1/2″ nine patches.  Yes, that’s 1-3-0.

At least they aren’t Unit As.

Still at it *sob*

The hand quilting of Mary Ellen’s sunflowers continues.  

That sentence could pretty much be the blog post in its entirety, but I have this love affair with the English language so I’ll carry on for a bit.

Since the February retreat, I’ve accomplished very little on the quilting front.  It seems the quilt just doesn’t want to be quilted at home.  It needs my retreat buds as much as I do.  For an introvert, that’s a little weird, but there you go.

There are nineteen blocks, plus an abundance of sashing and nine patches.  I have finished the quilting on exactly one block.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s a picture of my start.  


This isn’t a process I can rush because my stitches wind up looking like a drunken sailor made them.  Not pretty.  Watching TV while quilting is out because I get distracted.  In a moment of weakness I thought I’d watch some Outlander and manage to keep on task.  *Graham McTavish, slobber, stitch, slobber.* What a truly stupid idea. ūüôĄ
Pandora and some earbuds seem to be my best bet.  Classical for smooth stitches; ZZ Top for when I want to look back and wonder where I went wrong.  In the words of my grandmother: they’ll never notice it on a galloping horse.  Alrighty then.

Anyway, some progress has been made.  

From the first outlines of the petals, flower center, and three concentric rings…


To the beginnings of a crosshatch design…


To a completely crosshatched block.


Tomorrow I’m having a quilt-in with my Mama and a friend so maybe I’ll get more done.  My needles are loaded and ready to go and I’ve even made the first stitch.


Here I go.  Again.

Of Quilts, Kids, and Questionable Odors

Mine is a world filled with the wondrous wonderfulness that is beautiful fabric: its softness, its supple textures, its exorbitant price tag.  Pretty fabric, lovely fabric, jump into my stash.  

I always say this weekend I will sew, which roughly translates to after tending to everything else.  

This weekend, ‘everything else’ has amounted to a plethora of experiences, some of which I’d just as soon avoid.

First up, letting His Awesomeness get behind the wheel. ūüėĪ  

This child, like his father before him, is a curb hugger.  I cannot tell you the times I’ve shrunk toward the driver’s side in an effort to, please, sweet baby Jesus!, don’t let us hit that mailbox!!  He doesn’t seem to appreciate that there’s plenty of asphalt for all to enjoy.  Never mind the fact that there is no oncoming traffic.  Meanwhile, my posterior is doing something my Mama nicely refers to as ‘working buttonholes in the seat’.  As much clenching as my butt cheeks have done, you should be able to bounce a quarter off ’em. Not that you’d want to since we’ve never formally met, but, you know.  Frankly, driving lessons should fall to the father, I mean biological here, not God, but boy have God and I had some pretty intense conversations during those drives.

In an effort to relax, I turn to Lennie the Featherweight.  Sewing for me is like a wonderful night on the town with a good looking man without all those pesky expectations of what happens when you get dropped at the door.  Lennie doesn’t care if I drink or swear, wear undergarments reminiscent of grannies and he certainly doesn’t expect to be invited in for a nightcap.  

On that note, I finished one flimsy and have moved on to another.  Clearly, quilting it isn’t high on my list of priorities, like shaving my legs in the dead of winter.

I don’t name my quilts, but this one reminds me of water flowing over rocks.  I love it.   

 
I’ve started another one that’s all flannel, because obviously, when the temperatures start to climb, you want to work with fabric that’ll  make you sweat like a hooker at a Saturday night tent revival.  Idiot. 

   

This past Friday, I said goodbye to my favorite volunteer who is moving to be closer to family.  I’ll miss you, Mr. Todd.  

And to round out my week, our newest furbaby decided it would be epically delightful to roll in something that smells of a wonderful dichotomy of sewage and death.  My Lulu never did this.  I can only guess that it’s a hound thing.  Bad Ziva!  

I’m hoping this next week leaves out the surprises and just leaves me with a tighter tush.

Eating Road Grit in an Online Quilt-along

I believe ’twas the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, who penned something along the lines of ‘The best laid plans of mice and men‘.  Then again, it could just as easily have been that bard of 80s movies, Chevy Chase, who as Clark W. Griswold, Jr., uttered my all time favorite quote from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  No, not the “Merry Christmas, kiss my ass, kiss his ass, Happy Hanukkah” one, but the “Eat my road grit, liver lips!” one.  

That one sums up my current position in an online quilt-along I’m subjecting myself to, I mean, hahaha!, participating in.  It’s a mystery quilt from the queen of Leaders and Enders, Bonnie Hunter, called Double Delight.  

I’ve never met Miss Bonnie.  Internet images show a perky lady, glasses perched on her nose, smiling cheekily for the camera.  I follow her on Facebook and Instagram, slack-jawed that she gets so much done.  She occasionally posts something about taking a break to eat or take a walk or clean up her sewing space, but I don’t see how it’s possible.  She’s so prolific, she’s practically the Octomom of the quilt world. 

Before y’all go gettin’ yer backs all up and think I’m making fun, pipe down!  I’m jealous as all hell.

Back to the point of the post.  So, I decided I’d jump in and go for it.  I’ve done a quilt-along before and had quite a rousing good time.  Why not?

Idiot. 

Smart folks would’ve read the directions first. As it was, I purchased the required fabric because Maison Imperfect is not a bastion for scraps.  I finish a project and the dregs, I mean scraps, get shipped outta here.  Be gone, wretched beasts!

Then, I read the instructions.

Cut 6,000 2 5/8″ squares from the neutral fabric and sub-cut into half-square triangles; cut another 9,000 2 3/8″ squares from the puce fabric; scramble madly through the medicine cabinet for that last remaining Xanax; cut 10,000 1″ squares from who knows what; then finish step one by standing on your head and whistling Dixie backwards” or something along those lines.  

My head did that “Exorcist” twisty thing and my eyes rolled to the back of my head and I began to have uncharitable thoughts.  At least I didn’t go for projectile hurling.  I began to believe that The Co-Defendants may be on to something and I really am The Village Idiot.

 

Clue #1 aka I am an idiot
 
But my Mama didn’t raise no quitter!  I endeavored to persevere and cut and cut and cut until I thought my hands would surely fall off and my rotary blade was as dull as the last boyfriend I had before I found my Prince Charming, Himself.

He was quite the troll.  The last boyfriend.  Not Himself.

Anyhoo, I got it cut out through Clue #2 and then, naturally, the poop hit the fan.  Doesn’t it always?  I’ve spent since the week before Christmas with some kind of wretched sinus nastiness that will. Not. Let. Go.

And, poof, like a fart in a whirlwind, there went my advantage.

Our group leader, geez that makes her sound likes she’s leading a cult!, posted Clue #2 on Saturday morning.  I’m still sewing on Clue #1.

  
And that, my friends, is how I’ve started my quilting quest for 2016.  I could lie and say I’m pacing myself, but let’s face it, that’s what I do at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

I will eventually finish this quilt because there’s too much moolah and time invested and it will be a lovely quilt.  And just think of all the scraps I’ll get to banish from my kingdom when the dang thing’s done!

Drink Me

My quest for all-natural remedies for my fibro pain is never-ending.¬†¬†After the Lyrica fiasco, I’m no fan of¬† the¬†pharmaceuticals that clog the airwaves day after day and the over the counter stuff¬†taken at a level to make a dent in the pain would seriously pickle my liver.

My acupuncture lady, Miss J, bless her heart, introduced me to essential oils as a relaxation tool.¬† I’ve used them for any number of ailments and a panic attack or two with varying degrees of success.¬† She also likes Chinese herbs.¬† The stuff she has us taking for allergies smells like His Awesomeness’s socks and has a fleeting (thanks be to God) taste of celery.¬† Works like a charm but the ick factor is substantial.

I came upon a recipe for turmeric tea that claimed to help with pain.¬† What the heck…I’ll try anything once.

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Now, before you even think to ask me what it tastes like, take a good long look at the above photo.¬† Folks, I scraped similar looking stuff out of the diapers of The Co-Defendants.¬† The University of Texas jerseys are this color.¬† That’s right…baby-sh*t brown.¬† The picture doesn’t even do it justice.

The recipe said I could add honey to taste.¬† There aren’t enough bees on the planet to make enough honey to make this stuff palatable.¬† But I was game and drank most of the concoction.¬† It was a struggle as¬†breathing post-sip only intensified the taste.¬† However, I¬†am happy to report that my pain level is actually significantly diminished.¬† Is this due to the turmeric or the shock of drinking what amounts to swamp water?¬†¬†The world may¬†never know.¬† Will I drink it again?¬† Possibly, but¬†I must find my big girl panties first.

 

A Break from the Norm

It called to me.

It was the siren’s call of yet another hobby.

I have tried to resist but the pressure was too much and I caved like fallen arches on a senior citizen (or my husband, same difference).

Beading.

The hobby I swore I’d never touch.¬† The hobby my daughter loves, if only to open the boxes and bottles and jars of plastic and glass little babies and gaze upon them, pausing to lift¬†one here and there to the light for closer inspection whilst admiring their cut and clarity.¬† Too bad they aren’t diamonds as the dang things cost almost as much.

Today I bought myself a ‘starter’ kit and got to work.

Behold.

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It’s purty and¬†Mama is happy, happy,¬†happy.

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My How Time Doth Fly

Almost a month since my last blog post?¬† No wonder I’m having withdrawals!¬† Today also marks my one-year blogiversary with WordPress.¬† Who says I can’t commit?

I spent most of my day anticipating a phone call from the school because *gasp* we were¬†expected to experience our first of the season¬†ice storm/blizzard and I knew for certain they’d be calling¬†for all us hardworking parental types to come pick up our offspring.¬† The blizzard and the call never¬†happened.¬† Yep, it’s icy on the trees and the power lines, but let’s¬†be honest, this is¬†central Texas and heavy¬†snow only happens in my kids’ dreams.¬† My mother is ensconced at an end of year all-crafters retreat in north Texas and is iced in until at least Sunday.¬† We should all be so lucky.¬†¬†I’m here, confined of my volition, for the weekend with¬†the family and one of my son’s school chums, hunkered down so as not to run into a googly-eyed redneck hell-bent on making a grocery store run for beer and pretzels before the expected weekend snowpocalypse.¬† At least I have the dog.

On the quilting front, I’ve managed to accomplish something although I’m not sure if I like what I’ve got.¬† That’s not true.¬† I don’t like it.¬† At all.¬† It’s a quilt top I promised Dear Mother for the opening of her retreat center.¬† I had a vision when I started.¬† Or maybe it was more like a hallucination.¬† What¬†is in this coffee?!¬† Anyway, Dear Mother wanted quilts that she could cover the entire bed surface as well as the pillow with.¬† I do believe they used to call those bedspreads, but I’m not arguing with a woman on a mission.

Here ’tis…

016

Sorry for the bad light and the fact that it’s hung sideways.¬† The sun has fled and the Jolly Green Giant wasn’t available to hold this puppy up.¬† The colors are actually¬†brighter in person.¬†¬†The borders are mint green with a darker polka dot.¬† My mother requested something ‘frou frou’ and girly so this is what she got and, in true maternal fashion, she says she loves it.¬† I don’t know that I want her to be honest.¬† And don’t tell me if you don’t like it either.¬† Let me have my delusion, okay.

I did finish another Tula Pink block which has kept me from total quilting depression.

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This one called for twenty¬†1 1/2″ squares…cut separately and then sewn together.¬† Luckily, I laid down the pipe long enough to say to myself¬†well, that’s totally stupid¬†and actually strip-pieced and then cut them out.¬† A moment of genius if I do say so myself.¬† And I do.¬† Say so myself, I mean.

So, bring on the snow!¬† I’m all set for the weekend.¬† There are, after all, four bottles of wine in the fridge.

I’m linking up to Amanda Jean and Richard!

Where There’s Smoke

Childhood fun involved teepeeing someone’s house (that’s wrapping it in toilet paper and then praying for rain).¬† Adult fun (the kind that doesn’t keep¬†you outta heaven)¬†involves acupuncture.¬† Yes, it’s an exciting life I lead.¬† But before I get to the pinning du jour, let’s take a little side trip, shall we.

Now, I firmly believe that if we women can expect our waistlines to expand to Titanic proportions, have boobs big enough to feed Africa and stretch marks that closely resemble all roads leading to California, it’s only fair that the menfolk should suffer the monthly indignities of bleeding and cramps.¬† I’ll have to ask God about that little design flaw when I get upstairs.

Anyhoo…today’s acupuncture appointment was all about cramps and bleeding and bloating.¬†¬†Admit it, you’re riveted..and you totally¬†envy me.

Well, Miss J had a fix for that, too.¬† Who knew?¬† I thought it was all about needles.¬† Not so, grasshopper!¬† Today I was introduced to mugwort (not to be confused with Hogwarts) and FIRE!!¬† So, I got tiny dabs of mugwort applied to my big toes (think of those giant-assed termite mounds Steve-o would gush about on his wild¬†Australian¬†nature show¬†only on a much smaller scale) which Miss J then lit and snuffed out just before they reached my toesies.¬† I lay there and watched smoke emanating from way down south.¬† I swear you can’t make this crap up.¬† I’m not sure what this was supposed to do for my girl parts, but it was good fun and a heckuva lot more exciting than say,¬†fighting the urge to yak or watching bumpers rust.¬† Then Miss J broke out her needle collection…and headed for my ears.¬† Now, I like to think I’m a fairly unique individual, but I can assure you with 100% accuracy, that my girl parts are not in my ears.¬† I may on occasion have my head up my behind, but everything else stays where it’s supposed to.¬† I’d like to say now that needles in the ears hurt.¬† You there!¬† Stop rolling your eyes.

I got a few more needles down my legs, but it seemed the excitement was over and there was no more smoke.  Too bad.  For a minute there I thought I was at a luau and I was the suckling pig.  Where were the native men in their grass skirts twirling flaming torches?

I got sent home with four whats-its…one in each ear and one on the inside of each ankle.¬† I’m fairly certain that ‘whats-its’ is the technical term.¬† If memory serves (and it usually doesn’t) these are to keep pressure on key points until they, or the body parts they’re attached to, fall off.¬† Yay me.¬† Behold…

No, that's not a pimple.
No, that’s not a pimple.

 

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And here’s me, feeling better…

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Maybe next time, there’ll be smoke AND half-naked men.