Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Aprons, everywhere II

Another fantastic give away and a great recipe for key lime cupcakes is over at the secret Stitch Club, http://secretstitchclub.blogspot.com/2009/06/all-things-lime-recipe-and-giveaway.html

go look, you won't be sorry!

Aprons, everywhere!!!

There is a great apron giveaway going on over at http://aprongoddesses.blogspot.com/2009/06/sugar-pie-chick-giveaway.html
highlighting some very cute convertible aprons. Just go look, don't enter (kidding.... maybe).

I have now worked two days in a row and survived, though I am really tired. I have tried to be very careful about how far I push myself, and I think I'm doing okay.

Sarah was just taking pictures for her facebook, I think, but she sure looks cute from work today. When did she grow up?

I'm going to try and make coasters tonight, hopefully they will look cute. I may even try the oven mitt pattern, though I think it's a little dorky.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Busy Days are Back!

Wow, it's only Monday and I'm tired! Yesterday we went to the national Gallery and saw an exhibit of Luis Melendez, considered the premier Spanish still life painter. The works were magnificent, it was hard to believe they were from the 1700s. His use of color, light and detail was amazing. Next we met Lou's dad for dinner in Dupont Circle and had a really good meal. Since it was our anniversary, we splurged and had dessert, ummmmmmm creme brulee!

Today is the first time in 7 weeks I worked a full day. It was nice to have everyone coming up and welcoming me back, and Siane, my supervisor, made sure I did not overdue things. Thankfully this is a somewhat slow time of the year, so there wasn't a lot of stuff backing up.

If you are interested in quilting, please "hop" over to www.tinkerfrog.blogspot.com and read about the fantastic weekend Tara and Amanda Jean have planned. I'll be checking the calendar and the plane flights to figure out if there is any way I can go. Improvisational quilting sounds just like something I could get into.....

I promised myself that my angeling project would be finished by month end, and I'm still hoping to make that deadline tomorrow but since the laundry water overflow it's so soggy and smelly downstairs I don't know if I could really spend time sewing right now. I think this was really the last straw and that we will have to pull that disgusting carpet up now. yuck.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunny Saturday

We are having a really lazy day around here today. Yesterday Sarah scored over 600 on the GMAT and is happy with her score, so we had a celebratory dinner with Sara B last night at an Indian restaurant then came home and watched Elizabeth. Going to bed so late made everyone lazy.

Lou and I managed to stabilize the ceiling fan in Lill's room so it doesn't make much noise. I also managed to overflow the laundry sink so once again we are trying to dry out the carpet downstairs...it is truly sad. I think we really need to rip it up and put tile down. Area rugs would be easier to clean when the tub overflows, and I think as long as we have the amount of dog hair we have generated by LuLu and Violet, that sucker will overflow.

Popcorn and a movie tonight-oh yeah...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mrs. Doubtfire

Well, I am doing it again. I sent off an apron swap package, checked the delivery confirmation and it was delivered last Saturday, and I haven't heard from the recipient so I feel like what I sent didn't come up to snuff. It's a package I would have liked (pictured a few posts back) but I guess I missed the mark on this one, too. I am angeling another person, that package is almost done, and I have entered the I Love Lucy swap. If I get the same type of lukewarm or non-existent responses, I will probably not join another. Oh, where does this self-doubt come from?

On the flip side, the surgeon's appointment went very well yesterday! My final surgery will be in a month; I'm waiting for the office to call with the date so I can make arrangements to go back to work, take off for that surgery, etc. I am getting my life back: I can stop wearing sports bras.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Double Duty Day

Today is double duty: Father's Day and Lillian's 24th birthday. We've sent her presents and email cards, and she'll be over at Linda's today for brunch, but it's not the same as being together--sorry, baby.

When the Atlas roared into space Thursday, we got an added bonus. Lillian was one of the scientists interviewed by Fox News about the launch. (just a little kvell:
http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/video/video/asu_moon) I don't know how long the link will be active, but it's great to see that she's articulate and excited about what she's doing.

Red is getting stressed about the GMAT but we're trying to keep it in perspective, wish us luck.

Happy Father's Day, Lou, you deserve to still be sleeping at almost 11 AM since we had such a disrupted night. Eventually I will find a comfortable position and not send you out of the room with all my twisting, turning and groaning.

Rain (again) and hopefully some sunshine today. I'm starting to feel scaly. I'll probably do laundry and finish up my angeling project, I think I'm pretty set on coasters because the ones Omi made are so cute.

I entered another online contest at http://aprongoddesses.blogspot.com for a really cute bib apron. I am so enjoying the different things people are doing; the creativity is fantastic.

The sun is finally out and I think I'll go enjoy it for a while before the next storm moves in. According to Friday's Washington Post we have had twice the monthly level of rain for June already.....yuck...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Garden Partying

Today I feel almost normal! Yesterday's report from the oncologist was great-for all intents and purposes she's very happy-and I'll see her again in 6 weeks.

But, what really makes me feel good is that I finished a WIP (work in progress) today. Before I had surgery, I signed up for a garden theme swap thinking I'd have it done before the surgery. Partners weren't assigned until after my surgery date, and it took awhile to get my act together to get my project done once I got home. My partner has a gardening apron
, so I made her a garden party apron! It's a double layer half apron, the bottom is a happy floral print covered by a sheer embossed (circa 60s) piece from a tablecloth I found on my vintage fabric wanderings. The pocket has a gold braid necklace with a sparkly drop. I'm pretty sure she has a deck, so I thought an ice cream party with berries from the garden would be perfect-I do hope she grows berries! My package includes 4 ice cream sundae dishes and an ice cream scoop. The best part, I think, are the flamingo sunglasses I found for her in case it's too bright outside. I sure wouldn't mind getting it. You can click on the image to see the detail....I'm not sure how to enlarge it yet.

Tomorrow I will start an angeling project. In an earlier swap, some people bailed on their responsibility to make the package-hard to believe of the crafting community, but things do happen. I offered to angel a person who never received her package. The theme was dream vacations. It was the perfect excuse, I mean reason, to check out the grand opening sale at G St Fabrics at their new location while Omi was here. We found some great stuff-I got a very soft impressionist type print, a bright Van Gogh/Toulouse Lautrec type of print, and a wonderful dreidel print. Aprons, here we come. Though my person's dream vacation included Italy, I spaced and only focused on the Paris part. So, in addition to the artist prints, I got this cute "travel to Paris" quilting print that will become oven mitts or coasters, I haven't decided which yet. Maybe I'll send an Italian cookbook to cover that part of the trip.....but, the important thing is that I'm sewing again, and enjoying it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Green Monster

I am ashamed to admit it: I am jealous of all the young SAHMs whose blogs I have been visiting because they understand how to use this computer stuff so well. Really cool pictures, really cool comments, lots of pretty wallpaper, etc. Well, I guess I will break down soon and call Tara and ask (maybe plead?) for help on how to spruce stuff up.

I saw a darling 4th of July apron giveaway on the apron goddesses' blog-go visit and sign up for it! Again, I just love everything people are doing with aprons....too many ideas, too little time!

Tomorrow I will sew on some UFOs that I haven't been able to sit and deal with since the surgery, but I think I'll be able to manage some time now. Swelling in the tummy area has really gone down with the ibuprofen regime, so sitting in a regular chair isn't so bad anymore.

We have lots of green tomatoes out on the deck, and I really hope the birds leave them for us. The gourd seeds have also sprouted and the vines are starting to grow up the bushes in the front of the house and over the pussy willow next to the deck. Louis is definitely inventive about using our sparse sunshine.....

I miss Omi, but I know she was ready to go back to her life rather than visit mine. We will see each other in Cleveland in August, and I for one am not going to be the one to trample on her "happy". I'm too busy finding my own.

Life is good. I'm ready to be back in it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Going Postal

Omi is definitely keeping her promise to Lill to get me walking some each day. Today we went to the Postal Museum and though it is small compared to so many other places here, we spent a lot of time there because it was amazingly cool. Then, after a rest and snack at Capital City Brewing Co., we walked up First St. past the Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress, etc taking pictures like tourists and having fun until we walked on the wrong side of a barricade and got questioned by the guard-figuring it was going to be pretty bad if we had to call Louis to come bail us out. Fortunately he believed us when we said we had just not paid attention.

Today I received the package from Busy Bee Quilt Designs with my winning pattern in it; and Michelle sent a few other things to keep me busy. I love getting acquainted with this online community of craftswomen. The ideas they have are so fresh and young-gives me all kinds of things to steal when I get back to sewing my aprons!

Tomorrow Omi and I will venture out to the new G Street Fabric Store-the grand opening weekend sale after their move. They're advertising $2.97 quilting prints-great apron stock since I don't seem to be going anywhere with my quilting.

Lou wants to go out for Italian tonight, and since he has been doing so much cooking and cleaning since I got sick, I am taking him out. It should be a lot of fun, though Sarah went off with the girls to a movie-it looks too much like rain for them to venture down to the ballgame downtown.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I SAW it

In keeping with her promise to Lill, Omi got me out walking yesterday. We metroed to Arlington and watched the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldiers, then watched a wreath placement ceremony. We walked over to JFK's memorial, but I didn't walk up the final hill. We stopped when we needed to, drank when we needed to. Since it was early and I didn't want to disturb Sarah, we stopped at the Smithsonian to have a quick look-see. We saw the finalized display of Old Glory-the flag that inspired the national anthem. But the BEST: we saw Julia Child's kitchen!! It is amazing, and the exhibit is so cool because they have a video running of her cooking shows, interviews, etc and they are a sight to see. It's almost as good as Lincoln's hat or Dorothy's ruby slippers. It was great. My pictures came out crappy because I didn't know how to turn the flash off and it reflected against the windows; but Omi got some great pictures that she will share once she downloads them to her computer.

I joined another apron swap....need I say more?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New challenges

Each day I try to challenge myself with doing a little more; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I finished the first blouse for Lill except for the buttons and buttonholes and it looks so cute on her. I need to sit for another session to do the buttonholes, I realize I have to be fresh to try them. I also cut out the basic of the second blouse pattern and pinned all the darts, etc. and realized that I had tried too much. I'm not ready for all the bending over the table to lay out and cut a pattern.

Yesterday was another post surgery first: I put on real jeans rather than tie-on pajama pants type bottoms. It was a good feeling. I also drove in a real downpour without feeling stressed, and that felt good, too.

I got an email from Siane, my supervisor, that according to HR I have used up all accumulated vacation and sick leave; I guess I will never understand how excel spreadsheets calculate things because I thought, when I looked at my leave balance sheet before I left, that I had about 7 weeks available. Siane emailed that I may have looked at the wrong figures, I honestly don't know. I guess my feeling is if you add up what they tell you you have, you should have that. If they include projected hours on the chart, they should tell you they are projected numbers. Ah well, it'll just make life a little more interesting around here.

I'm still waiting for the sun to come out today-I hope it happens. Omi is coming in from CA this evening for the week, should be fun.

I've offered to angel another vintage apron swap package because there are still about a dozen people who haven't gotten anything, I don't understand how people can do that....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Three more perfect words

As I told my family and friends, I thought "cancer free" would be the two most important words I would ever want to hear. I have three more: VERY LOW RISK. These are the words the assistant from the oncologist office said were on the report from the lab from San Francisco, as in "very low risk of recurrence". I can say a tremendous weight has lifted from my spirit, and I am definitely ready to move on and get back to my life.

That may take a while-I still have absolutely no stamina. It took me an hour and a half to organize the secretary and pay three bills. Then I had to go take a nap for 2 hours. Hopefully this will stop soon and I'll feel like a regular person again. I have all these wonderful WIPs (works in progress) and UFOs (unfinished objects) that I want to work with. I did get out for a few errands yesterday and found these wonderful sunglasses as part of the garden party swap package-they are flamingos--I mean, how can you have a garden party without flamingos? Sarah's response is that only I would have a garden party with them; I'm hoping she is wrong.....

I really wanted to get gourd seeds to send too, but I bought the wrong kind and haven't been able to find the right ones anywhere. The gourds are so much fun to grow, they spread everywhere, and then if you let them dry out you can paint them and use them as shaker noisemakers. We learned about them at Girl Scout camp years ago. they make great bird houses, too, but I may already have talked about this-I can't remember and don't want to go back and check my other posts.

So, I've gotten nothing done on the quilt challenge for the nine patch; but I may be able to catch up with the easy method if I ever get to sit down long enough at the sewing machine. I haven't made anything for May for the "I count too" challenge, but I'm not that concerned about that.

Hopefully, tomorrow can be a sewing day-wouldn't that be wonderful?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Glad we have a downstairs

there is something about the community that a college/university such as Brown creates. Maybe it's because of the small total population compared to a state school like Kent, but there's a real caring and sharing that develops and "plays itself forward" so to speak. I think it was spring break freshman year that Sarah's buddies Saskia and Eli came to visit and see the DC sites. The yellow room had more than ample sleeping space, and the kids had a ball. then, winter break this year Saskia stayed with us while she interviewed for a job after graduation, she's one of the lucky ones and got it. We offered her space while she looks for an apt, but it turns out another Brownie will already be starting her job and they will be rooming together and she will find the apt. We are, however, storing Saskia's "stuff" while she does Bike and Build this summer. So, the yellow room now has three girls' worth of stuff in varying degrees of "I'm going through it to get rid of what I don't need". Not much different than a few years back when Lilli's friend Ben had a summer internship on the Hill and stayed with us since his internship didn't have a stipend and housing isn't exactly cheap around here. When Ben asked why we were willing to put him up (and feed him, his girlfriend, and on occasion his brother) Lou said it's because that's what we do-whether he meant as a Brown alum (he is) or as Jewish parents wasn't clear and didn't matter. Either way, it's clear that years down the road when these kids have children and their children's friends need a place, they will most likely offer it because they've been recipients.

Today was a pretty good day though it did wipe me put physically. Sarah and I did the first leg of professional clothes shopping before her internship starts; and since there really wasn't a place for me to sit down while she tried on lots of stuff, it did wear me out. However, she got some very nice things that say "professional" rather than "cute college girl who doesn't know how to dress for the real world". I'm really proud of the her, making the choice isn't always easy. Now, she needs some nice blouses and of course shoes, and hopefully we can work on those this week.

After a long talk with Lou I realized that I am not really ready for a 6 hour car ride to Cleveland when Omi gets here in two weeks. I'm doing well, but that is really pushing it. Instead, we will do the touristy kinds of things that involve sitting on metro and places that have opportunities for me to sit down when I need to. It's probably a better idea than 12 hours in the car on four days....

I have planned the apron for the garden apron swap-I know I'm late but that's okay-and it will be really cool. I'm doing a variation of an entertaining apron of my mom's. Rather than dotted swiss, I'm using a patterned sheer voile-like material for the top layer (one of my vintage finds) and a bright flower print for the bottom layer. The waistband will be the sheer over the print, and the ties the sheer alone. Little pockets, I haven't decided yet on one or two, will be in the print, probably with some lace edging and some really cute pink beading-just an idea that I want to try. If it looks goofy than I'll take it off. I'm trying to decide whether to make matching printed coasters. The thing I love about these swaps is creating a package I would want--and there are just so many cool things out there to play with! the kids are wondering if I'm ever going to get the aprons up and running for sale--eventually. Right now I'm experimenting with patterns and ideas. I want to send some of the gourd seeds for the really cool ones that you can make native american shakers out of; but we only saw them at Bruce's Variety and we haven't been there since before my surgery. Hopefully, after the doctor's appt tomorrow we can see if they still have any. We had so much fun making those shakers at Girl Scout camp, and Lou's made a couple of bird houses out of them for the magnolia tree which are in use this spring.

and last but not least, we have a "regular" who shows up at the hummingbird feeder who is clearly identifiable by a white band around his neck. We've named him Eric, which shouldn't be any surprise to anyone in the family......

Good night and G-d bless.