Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday De-Cluttering

Michaela over at Scriptorium Blogorium has a wonderful post today about "false projects" that really hit the nail on the head for me. I'm making progress by not bringing home anything that needs to be mended (I used to do that), but now I need to get rid of the backlog of projects that are too much trouble to complete, or not useful even after completing. I am not required to complete every darn thing I ever began in the past! Especially if a long time has passed and nobody would use it anyway (Barbie clothes come to mind here).

So a huge round of applause and a big ol' thank you to Michaela!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Springtime

I spent a few minutes outside today in the garden, such as it is. I cleared the beds around my tulips and soaked up a little sunshine. In between the tulips are hostas and violets, but as you can see they aren't up yet.

Around the base of the huge maple tree.

North bed by the front porch

This afternoon I got a phone call from Dr. Hair requesting a photographer for when he arrived home from school. This is the teenage transport:

The Summermobile!
Dr. Hair is the gent in the maroon shirt. I think teenage boys are great! I gave the truck the name of Summermobile and the boys had a good laugh.

I'm So Vintage!

Last Friday night we had a Talent Night at church. For last year's event, not realizing that it is an annual show, I took a little of everything. This year I concentrated on my sewing and took a whole rack of items I've sewn through the years.

I wish I'd saved more!

One dress I'm particularly proud of and have kept for forty years was made from this pattern and I wore it in High School. 1973-1975

Bodice Detail

Fabric loop button holes

My mother taught me was that a deep hem, (see above) was a sign of a well made dress or skirt. The deep hem gives weight to the bottom and helps it to hang beautifully and not easily fly up in a wind. (She also taught me to iron, which I didn't do before showing this dress.) Anyway, I loved, still do, this dress. At the time I wore it I weighed about 110-115 lbs. at 5'7".

Here are three more examples of my sewing, these are some of Noble's that I saved.

Smocked Christmas Dress worn at age 16 months (1990)

Smocking detail

Dress worn at age 3 

Back view

My personal favorite, worn at age 5
When I visit my parents this summer I'll look for a photo of me in the polka dot dress. They have all my childhood and teen photos. Maybe it's time I got them for myself!

I'm 54 years old and it feels really strange to visit vintage patterns sites and see patterns from my life! Anyway, I wanted to share my favorite dress.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Do you mind? You're interrupting!

We're grooming!
Calico and Timothy - household cuties.

Friday, March 9, 2012

More Archeology

Every wall and ceiling in this house, built in 1923, is covered in wallpaper, up to four layers! Family and friends have asked why we don't just paint over it. Well, here are some pictures to answer the question:

Corner of Master Bedroom

Same corner with ceiling

Above the window in the Master Bedroom
The paper has separated from the wall in a major way in most of the rooms and the plaster underneath needs some repair too.

Besides stripping part of the wall in the bedroom I've begun stripping in the stairwell and upstairs hallway. Actually I got really sick of the paper one day and just started ripping!

Before I moved in my husband made me promise that I wouldn't pull up the carpet. I broke that promise after about a month. I kept smelling something foul and discovered it was the carpet. Noble helped me move furniture around and I did a section at a time until all the oak floors were uncovered.

This is the color of the 40 year old smelly, dirt encrusted carpet. When I pulled it up I found that the rubber pad was decomposing and had to be swept up (sort of like the black stuff in the bedroom). The stairs are the last part and I've procrastinated because it's so tedious.

This is the color of the wallpaper and the paneling in the living room, stairwell and upstairs hallway:
Dusty pink, mauve and blue/grey

Floral paneling that looks like it should be in a Doublewide

I began peeling off paper and immediately liked what I saw:
Warm floral - same shades as green carpet
The next layer was very nice too:
Tweed with tan, cream and green
But the earliest layer is my favorite:
Tan with white fern leaf pattern
Any of the three layers underneath would have been lovely. Why did she (the former owner, a little old lady) choose the incongruously cool pink and blue when she had a warm olive green carpet?

The pink and blue finally got to me and I started ripping. Some time soon I'll finish the removal. In the meantime I'm looking for information about repairing the plaster and preparing it for painting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

JET got a haircut!

JET on Christmas Day
 Sometime after Christmas, he got a haircut, but it was still fairly long. Too long to suit me.
Then last week he called me and said, "Uh, Mom I was wondering if you'd call Kim and set up an appointment for me to get my hair cut." "Of course." "And uh, I was wondering if you could pay for it."
"Yes, JET."

JET before his haircut 

JET after his haircut

He's happy and so is PFCMom

The Fishbowl of Politics - Glad I'm not there

The other day I read a Yahoo article about Ann Romney and tried to comment, for about an hour I tried to comment. No matter what I did I couldn't get my comment to post. So here it is, in response to all the bozo's who ranted and dissed her for saying "I don't even consider myself wealthy.":

I wouldn't trust a President who is deep in debt and had no clue about interest or investments. How could he guide the economy? A wealthy man who is not in it for the money is more likely to serve the interests of the common man, than one who is after the $500K salary. As for Mrs. Romney, I'll bet Melinda Gates would make the same comment. Wealth, like age, is relative to where you are. Remember when you were a teenager and thought that anybody over 30 was ancient? Now that you're 40 you realize how wrong you were at 16. Perhaps she doesn't feel wealthy because she doesn't think about it. She doesn't obsess over money, unlike the multitudes who think debt is a tool and that keeping up with the celebrities is what life is all about. Or perhaps because her health is precarious she doesn't feel wealthy. She did say, "It can be here today and gone tomorrow." Especially true with socialist in power wanting to redistribute wealth. The Romney's have paid more in taxes and more in charitable contributions last year than I'll ever make in my lifetime. They are generous with what they have and are not elitists, but regular folk who have been greatly blessed; and what's more they know how to AND want to use their blessings to serve this country. What are you afraid of? They are not seeking power to enslave us (unlike the current occupants of the White House), nor are they seeking publicity and celebrity. Mitt Romney believes he has the ability to turn this country's economy around and help EVERYONE have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. He's not going to hand it to us on a platter; he's going to open the way for us to work hard and keep the fruits of our labors. What's not to like? Please stop calling her names--Explain how YOUR choice would be better.

It's a Mental Thing, and other news

I made a new batch of hand lotion today from a bunch of odds and ends. Several weeks ago I decluttered an area that is extremely easy for me: The medicine cabinet and toiletries stockpile. This area is easy because I don't have emotional attachments to itch creams and expired prescriptions. I threw away lots of stuff and junk, pulled together all the first aid supplies so I can see where the holes are; and organized what's left so I can find it when needed. Now I'm working my way through the shampoo and conditioner from hotel stays before I buy more, and I'm happy to know that I don't have to buy bath soap for the next year or so. I do, however, need toothpaste!

Today I gathered up all the oddball lotions and the almost empty bottles from around the house and stirred them into one luscious pot of fruity smelling rich lotion. I bet I can go another whole month before I have to open the big new bottles in the stockpile. I love saving money!

Decluttering and dejunking is difficult for me because through all the years of being "poor" (read-in debt up to our eyeballs) I have developed a scarcity mentality. It's very similar to the old folks who grew up in the Great Depression--better hang on to this, I may need it. I DO NOT like this mental state, but I'm not sure how to overcome it. However, I'm determined to keep working on it.

In other news, I'm working on Noble's 2012 Easter Dress; however, because it is a surprise for her I can't give any previews. Look for it the week of April 9.

I recently got some books from the Library, among them one called "The dirty life - A memoir of farming, food and love" by Kristin Kimball. Totally wonderful book! She a New York City journalist who goes on assignment to Pennsylvania to interview a farmer on a Community Supported Agriculture farm. Somehow during the interview(s) they fall in love and end up moving to New York state and buying a huge derelict farm and begin working it using giant Belgian draft horses and hand labor. Kristin has a delightful voice and witty turn of phrase (kind of reminds me of "The Egg and I" by Betty MacDonald). I laughed out loud, cried real tears and felt my heart swell. But then I like this kind of book. I highly recommend it, especially if you like memoirs, this one is great.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I've been dealing with vertigo, again, this week. It drives me bonkers! Thursday I decided to just work in spite of the dizziness. I fell down only a couple of times; but I got back up and continued. I keep thinking of the pilgrims and pioneers who moved from place to place expanding this country from the Eastern Seaboard to the West Coast. Those men and women had to work whether they felt well or not. A cow doesn't wait patiently to be milked; crops have to be grown in order to be able to eat. They couldn't call for pizza delivery or Chinese take out. So I girded up my loins and took fresh courage and just went to work--next door at the rental house my parents bought and we are preparing for rental occupancy. We have a deadline to meet and have to get all the work done soon whether I feel well or not.

Sorry for not blogging about interesting things this week. I hope to do better next week.