Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sabbath Leaves

Our Beautiful World: I had so much fun tramping through the woods yesterday looking for a Christmas tree. It was cool but not too cold, wet but not soggy, the air smelled wonderful.
Blessings: For wonderful parents who drive 20 hours out of their way to come visit for Thanksgiving and spend the entire time serving my family.
Striving: To get through the coming month with grace, neither forgetting to do anything nor forgetting to make memories with the children.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hide and Seek

New game around here, hide and seek. My hiding place in the corner behind the coat tree, no one ever finds me. Tee hee hee hee. I'm so sneaky,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Review

Thanksgiving went off well, the only hiccups were when Nutmeg knocked my computer desk over, (incredibly, my ancient laptop continued playing You Tube Christmas carols without a blip) and when the Arizona wing of the family found that their turkey had not defrosted. You might wonder why this was our problem, well Mr. Moss had the fantastic idea of hooking up the webcams and having dinner together. 3 siblings in Arizona and our family and Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon. The younger siblings were in Montana because they couldn't come to Oregon.
This is the Arizona part of our Family, oddly the girl on the screen is not a member of the family, but a friend. It was so fun to see everyone preparing dinner together.
This is the Oregon wing of the family just before digging in.
And Moose finishing off a bottle of Sparkling Apple Juice.
The food was great, we tried sausage in the stuffing this year and decided it was OK but we won't do it again. My yams were great. Pies tasted fine.
It hardly felt like work, my mom kept everything so organized and I feel like I hardly did any work. I am so glad someone else made the rolls. I don't ever want to do Thanksgiving alone again.Dad spent the whole week fixing up little things in my house like sticky doors, crossed hot and cold water lines and my broken FAUCET! I think my parents should come visit more often! We miss them already. The first think Nutmeg said this morning was "I want Grandma." The kids are counting down to the drive to Montana for our Cool Yule.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Motley Crew and a Terrifying Tale

These are our Thanksgiving pies, a sad display, I know. We were a sight to behold, Moose strumming on the guitar, Boss Moss teasing Nutmeg, Commander C stirring the lemon Pudding at the stove, Boba Fett stirring the pecan pie, Grandma Whitehouse making the meringue and Samurai Mom getting ingredients for two pies at once. Mom put the crusts in the pans so they looked much nicer than when I do it and I thought that was an auspicious start. But alas it was not to be.
The pumpkin had this funny bubble in it that split and then sunk, the lemon meringue has questionable pudding and a flat split meringue. And the Chocolate pecan, well it boiled over in the oven making the pie look very sad indeed and in smoking up the kitchen right now and the corn syrup burn on the bottom of the oven as the turkey roasts.

Let us hope that they taste good and that the smoke alarm does not go off.

Before I tell the terrifying tale I will mention that I made a Chocolate Pecan for the ward pie contest this year and I was robbed. First, I looked at my pie after the judging and there is NO WAY 3 judges tasted the pie, there was a half teaspoon sized bite taken out, that is all. Secondly, the judges were all men and the winners were all fruit pies, obviously they were not qualified to judge a chocolate pie. I had sufficient praise from others however. Now, on to my tale.

It was Thanksgiving 1997, London.
Our abroad program was an American school, with American students and British instructors.
Happily, the director of the program arranged a Thanksgiving day feast at a small French restaurant. We all convened and while the dinner was not quite a traditional feast the basics were there and it was acceptable. Then it was time for desert. The servers went around the room taking orders apple or pumpkin pie. Some ordered the apple but most drooled at the prospect of some pumpkin pie and ordered that in their southern drawl (most of the girls at Hollins abroad were from the south.) The instructors did likewise on our recommendation. The pies arrived and those who had ordered pumpkin were a bit perplexed. The pumpkin was not a custard pie but a pie like an apple pie, with little slices of pumpkin in a syrupy filling! I am not joking people! We were appalled but tasted the pie with trepidation followed by disappointment, it was gross. No rich velvety delight for us. We vehemently declared to our British Instructors that THIS was not pumpkin pie and tried to explain it though none of us knew enough about baking one to do it accurately.
Ironic that in England we could not get a custard pie.

(Proof I was there at the infamous Thanksgiving feast, I have no idea who these people are, but the woman in the center was our Shakespeare instructor and the man sitting was her partner. I thought that was SO shocking and metropolitan.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Can't Take the Pressure!

I love that I have blog fans. But I can't handle the pressure. I have been very busy the last few days cleaning for Thanksgiving festivities and entertaining my folks, I haven't had time to blog, but my fans are so disappointed that I am not blogging, I have been ordered to sit and blog but I can't do it on demand people. See Samurai Mom stressing about blogging on demand.

I think my family makes me a little silly I am actually contemplating getting a dog, a cut little Scottie I think. My dad informs me that they don't shed. I have always said "No animals in the house." I am not an animal person but the boys deserve a dog.
Comments?

Friday, November 21, 2008

All The News That's Fit to Sew

Let the joyous news be spread: Violet has been repaired! When the shop called and told me she was fixed I was beside myself with joy. NOW I feel I can post about our weekend of fabric.
This is Fabric Depot, the first time I walked in, I cried tears of joy. I had never seen so much fabric in one place. The picture is part of the store, I couldn't fit it all in one picture.
This is the lining for my new coat.
This is the lining, green wool and pattern laid out. Guess what? I am about half a yard short on the lining so if anyone is headed to Fabric Depot, let me know.
Nutmeg likes to help me sew. She is in charge of pins. Don't panic! She is more nimble with pins than most male adults.This is Nutmeg trying not to cry when I told her she couldn't put pins in her mouth until she was 10 years old.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shalom in Eggplant

My latest knitted sweater. With its completion the Crazy Christmas Knitting can begin.
The Shalom.
Knit in Cascade 220 with double strands on 10 1/2 needles. It was a very quick knitI haven't blocked it yet, I like it too much to take it off. It is very warm (in fact it might be too warm for a fine day like today) and I love the button.

Get in Shape Girl!

Remember this?!? If you are too young, don't worry you didn't miss much except a near brush with an eating disorder.
Another thing about not being as young as I used to be is that I am less confident confident that the remaining traces of motherhood will disappear from my body, especially with Candy Cane Joe Joe's and Pumpkin Pie hanging around the house. Since there are only a handful of activities I will even attempt, let alone enjoy (archery, kayaking, hiking, swimming, yoga, and going on walks) I have settled on walking.
When did I decide this? Last night in bet at 12:30 am. Did I go this morning? No, I slept instead. What am I going to do while walking? Knit and listen to stories on Moose's iPod. What about the weather? That, you see, is a big problem, but today was a beautiful fall day, too bad I was asleep.
I will try again tomorrow. Do you dare me to wear a side ponytail?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Evidence That I Have Given Up

A few days ago I posted in on my Facebook status that I had given up. I received many friendly admonitions to keep holding on and to eat some ice cream. I don't know what my friends thought I was giving up on but I was referring to my kids. I am just going to let them run the show from now on. I gave a valiant effort for 8 1/2 years, but now I give up.
As evidence, yesterday I sent Moose out to the store just to buy corn dogs for dinner. We NEVER buy corn dogs, I think they are the junkiest food you can have. Yet, there I was telling my husband to go buy a box.
As further evidence, the children have had corn dogs for 3 meals in a row now. I mean really compared to sugary cereal corn dogs are the healthy breakfast choice, right?

Monday, November 17, 2008

They don't make them like they used to...

Just a few observations about my trip to the sewing machine repair shop today.

The thing about sewing machine repair shops is that they are really the pharmaceutical company reps of the sewing machine world. They aren't in the business of fixing beloved ancient sewing machines they are in the business of selling outlandishly priced, sleek, shiny computerized machines that do everything but play music while you sew.

So when I arrive at the shop of course I have to try to guide in a 2 year old and open the door while holding a bajillion pound sewing machine. (I don't know how much it weighs - but it is all steel.) Then once I get in (this has happened more than once) there is no one to help me so I put my machine on the desk by the door, remember this is a heavy machine. Sooner or later some middle aged lady hustles up to me and says "Oh, don't put the machines on the glass!" Ummm, where am I supposed to put it? It weighs a bajillion pounds. You would think that instead of a little sign on the desk that you can't see when you are lifting a vintage sewing machine, maybe they should put a small table out specifically for resting your machine????

Then said middle aged lady takes me and my machine to the back of the shop and proceeds to say with a heavy sigh. "I don't know if he can fix it. It is SO old." with the subtext of "You are so stupid, why don't you buy one of our fancy, sleek, plastic machines?" When I brought Violet in for her fist check up I got the same attitude "Why would you buy such an old machine?" Hmmm let me think $50, style, tons of functions made of steel so it is more durable than ....well anything but a determined 2 year old in a messy sewing room, no computer parts to freak out on you....

I miss the little man that used to run the shop, he was nice. He seemed to like old machines and he would take pictures of the kids with a Polaroid camera for the kids to take home. They used to sell used machines back then. I miss you old man who used to run the sewing machine repair shop.
Anyone know of a sewing machine repair place in Portland that does not discriminate against old machines?
I think once Violet's remains are safely back in my possession I will send this post to them anonymously.

In Memorium

Violet the Kenmore sewing machine was made in Japan before I was born. She was a lovely shade of vintage mint green and I am sure made an anti-feminist housewife very happy when her husband bought it for her. Not much is known about her early life except that in her youth she sewed through some one's finger, but I like to think she had been abused and that is why she did it.
After she sewed through some one's finger she was left with the injured person's roommate who many years later sold her to me for $50.
It was love at first sight. Violet had more than 50 attachments, cams, monogramming plates and automatic buttonhole feature and many, many feet.
Violet sewed Nutmeg's purple and black dress (my piece de resistance), Little Red Riding Hood , the Smocked Easter dress and the Petite Blythe wardrobes of 2007-8.
Violet met a violent end when Nutmeg pulled her off of the sewing machine table because the cord was wrapped around the leg of a chair she was moving.
I wish we had pictures of all the fun times we had together. Remember the time I thought she needed an expensive repair and I fixed her myself? We are hoping for a resurrection but there was a broken piece of metal involved. If you know of a organ donor we would gratefully appreciate to donation.
-Heart brokenly,
Samurai Mom aka Sewing Dervish.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sabbath Leaves

Our Beautiful World: Last week when I was outsize winterizing the yard I found these little mushrooms growing on our mossy tree. I tried my hardest to get a good picture of them. I love moss and mushrooms.
Blessings: I am so grateful for Facebook. No, really. it is so fun to be able to keep up with people that have moved away and keep tabs on what your friends are up to on days when you don't see them.
Striving: to be nicer, to be more disciplined.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Yes, it is true. Candy Cane Joe-Joe's are in Trader Joe's stores now. Get them while you can!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bowling while Babywearing

This is one of my favorite babywearing memories. We were bowling and Nutmeg was asleep. It was a little difficult to bowl with her foot getting in the way, but I am terrible bowler anyhow so it didn't make a difference.
This website is having a fun babywearing photo contest. Do you think I will win?

International Babywearing Week

I have been feeling some sadness lately that the things that defined me as a young mother have gone. I am still the same mother but the seasons has passed. I find it strange that people who are meeting me for the first time don't know that I am a babywearing, EC'ing, homebirthing, lactivist, attachment parenting, crunchy mama.

Nutmeg is almost 3 and it is no longer remarkable that she doesn't wear diapers. I never have occasion to strap her on my back - she would rather be running. I no longer make enough milk to feed the world and grow the chubbiest baby that you have ever seen. My "Got Breastmilk?" bumper sticker is somewhere in the pile of stuff that I never look at. I don't speak up during labor discussions because it hardly seems relevant NOW that I gave birth to my babies upstairs on my own bed in this very house. That Nutmeg's birth was the single most glorious achievement of my life.

So when Mommy Bee reminded me that it is International Babywearing Week I felt compelled to make a statement saying this is one of the defining activities of my life. Babywearing made me the mother I am. Babywearing created income, identity and some of the most precious moments of my life. Through babywearing I have taught others how to connect with their precious children. Baby wearing inspired me to make art.

Through babywearing I have lost weight, made friends and been the object of curiosity. I was so used to people staring at me for having a baby strapped to my back that I hadn't noticed that they don't stare anymore, I am just another mother with 3 adorable moderately behaved children. Unremarkable.

When I received my first sling I put it on with a sack of potatoes to practice before the baby came, I have never, ever looked back.
I went everywhere with my baby on my back from hiking up a slippery muddy slope in search of a view to jumping on a trampoline.

This is a compilation of art I have created about babywearing, others have made for my babywearing business, and photos of me, my children and my baby carriers (all homemade.) The slide show is crude- I have no idea how to do this properly.

Thanks to the lady at the Breastfeeding Class for introducing me to slings, to Tracy for insisting that I try a wrap and to my babies for riding around for 7 years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miss Mossy Lush and Lacy

Well it is finally done. Not that it took me that long to knit, it is just that I was so afraid of finishing it that I left it untouched for the month of October.
This pattern is Lush and Lacy from Sweaterbabe. I knit it in Swish Superwash from KnitPicks in Dublin. Thanks to Mom for the Christmas sweater yarn!
The color is really much more vivid in person. I wish we had better photos. I will be finishing this off with some shiny jet buttons. I love the peplum and the flared sleeves.

Miss Messy

In school I would ALWAYS come out of art class covered in whatever medium we were working in, paint, clay, glue, metal shavings, slivers of wood. My clothes took a beating.
I am still like that. I guess that is one great reason for knitting and sewing - very little residue left on my clothes.
Even when I garden I get filthy. A friend asked me yesterday if I had ever heard of gloves. Gloves, who needs them? One must really get into something for it to be worth doing, no?
So this weekend I have primed, primed, painted, painted, painted and painted again the upstairs bathrooms. My hands have so many colors on them right now. Yesterday I had to wear a ribbon to church in hopes of camouflaging the grey primer at the crown of my head. Hopefully I all of the paint will wash off by Thanksgiving. Meanwhile I will be covered in Grass Cloth, River Rock and Bitter Chocolate.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

He Was Beautiful


The other night I had a dream, a vision of the second coming.

We were standing in a building when suddenly there was a tremendous boom accompanied by an engulfing bright white light that shot in from the atmosphere like a comet. The light was bright brighter than anything you have ever seen but it didn't hurt your eyes. It penetrated the whole world. Every corner, crack and crevice was filled. There was not a soul on earth that didn't see the light. "So this is what it means" cried out my soul "When they say that when he comes again everyone will know it."
And HE was there. His coming had knocked out all of the windows and everyone in the world could see him from where their windows had once been. We were all drawn to him. He was beautiful, blonder, younger than I imagined and did not have a beard. I could barely keep my feet on the ground as they kept rising up behind me so I could fly to him.
Those who were not believers tried to rationalize it all away but they could not because he was there. We were sorry for them but he was there and our hearts were filled up.
I went to him and told him I was not worthy. He understood.

Mosiah 27: 31"Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God;"

Saturday, November 08, 2008

3 Reasons In Which It Is Frightfully Apparent That I Am Not A Young As I Used To Be.


1 - I am not adjusting well to daylight savings time and I find it harder and harder to stay up late.
2- I know why women wear nylons - they are like make up for old looking legs
3- (and most devastating) I can no longer eat as much cake as I like.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Impressive


He isn't even president yet and already I disagree with Obama's administration. Today Mr. Obama announced that if Bush doesn't do it first the first thing HE will do is push through ANOTHER economic stimulus package.
Right. Like the one the "evil" Bush Administration called for earlier this year, the one that didn't work?
Wow, fantastic change there Barry.
Maybe for a CHANGE he could look at not spending our way out of a recession.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

And Now It's Time For Silly Pictures with Samurai Mom

I especially like the forest background of my curtains from our first apartment. I wish those would break too, so I could spend the money and make new ones. What ugly curtains.

Fabric Rundown - Super Long, Super Crafty.

I have an entire room full of fabric. I try to use up my stash when I can, but sometimes you need to go out and buy the right fabric for a project.
This is a stack of fabric that I think I can use up this winter,
This is 1.5 yds of black pintucked wool. I bought it to make a knee length black skirt to wear with darling cardigan sweaters. I didn't make the skirt because I was worried about the appropriateness of the pintucks. After digging out the fabric, I think it will be fine.
This is 4+ yards of a soft silky knit fabric with silver highlights. It is very slippery. I bought this 6 years ago when I was pregnant with Boba Fett hoping to make the Maternity Dress that was the answer to all pregnancy woes. I did not. I would still like to make a knee length dress with 3/4 sleeves and a cute bodice, but I don't have a pattern or a serger that works. I am afraid of slippery knit.
This is some of my cowboy fabric obsession. You know, the one where when I see cowboy fabric I have to buy it and I do not know why. Well I was thinking Nutmeg and I could use some tiered flouncy skirts that match. But we will NEED cowboy boots with such an endeavor. Something I never thought I would want let alone need. Anyone know how to get some 9 wide brown cowboy boots - cheap?This is some fabric I bought recently to make a stylish skirt. Trouble is I can't decide on a pattern. Do I want to go for the decidedly tricky to cut out and hem bias cut skirt, the trendy yoke skirt for which I do not have a pattern or the tried and true gathered skirt with narrow waistband? Then I saw this pattern McCalls 5631 while looking for McCalls 5531 and said"Wow!"
but the problem is I can't do waistbands, because of where my waist is bands always get crushed and crumpled beyond recognition. I like A with the ties on C but no contrasting band, yes on trim. Ideas?
Next we have this fabric that I just had to have. I was thinking pajama bottoms, but when I got it home I thought - pajama bottoms will not show off the big print to it's advantage. So what to do with it? 2.5 yards.
I have had this plaid flannel for 7 years, original plan- pajama bottoms. Since I am in need I am thinking pajama bottoms again but there is 3+ yards of it I could do something ambitious like a dress, but then is plaid really the right fabric for a dress for a lumpy lady??

And now we have come to the patterns.
This is the coat I will be making. View C with a hood. Check out this example . Long story about how I went to Joann and settled on some ho hum fabric for it and even had it cut but then didn't buy it because I didn't LOVE it and I want to LOVE this coat. So I am planning a trip to Fabric Depot next weekend. Originally I planned flannel with a fabulous lining but now I am wondering if wool (lined fabulously) would be a better choice for the wetness of Portland. But then there is the wash ability factor - would it be TOO warm? And wool is so much more expensive that flannel. I am thinking about mossy green regardless of the fiber. I need advice.

Also I have these patterns that I would like to make but do not have suitable fabric in my stash.

View C
The middle View. I made the other view before the Infamous and Fantastic lime green drapery skirt. I want one in cotton with the ruffles. But I would have to buy more fabric. Ouch!
And the middle view but I am wondering if it would even look good on me. The lines are so classic it could be fabulous but my waist is not narrow it could be a disaster. And I would need to buy fabric.
And so gentle readers, do you have any advice? Opinions? Fabric to donate? Patterns to suggest?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Things in My House That I hope are Broken Beyond Repair.

The kitchen faucet.

Ok, there is only one thing but I really hate that faucet and I want it to just die already so we HAVE to spend the money and get a new one.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Indisputable


John McCain isn't my first or second choice for president. I would have rather seen Romney or Ron Paul on the ticket. I do however urge you to vote for John McCain.
Here are some facts you can not dispute.

John McCain has served our country all of his life.
John McCain literally suffered in the service of his country held as a prisoner of war for more than 5 years in Hanoi.
Allowing Obama to become president over McCain is an insult to all people who devote their lives to this nation.
John McCain loves this country.
John McCain has the humility to take the blame for his failed marriage.
John McCain is qualified to defend our country.
Barak Obama never admits any wrongdoing, he always weasels around it. Humility not one of his strengths.
Barak Obama has never accomplished anything as a lawmaker.
Barak Obama wants to change America. (I like America, don't you?)
With Barak Obama as president our nation will be vulnerable in SO many ways (see Joe Biden if you want an example.)
Barak Obama is against letting people use their agency. What is the most important gift our God has given us? Our agency.
I do not believe Barak Obama tells the truth.

And a question... Why does Obama keep all of his records even the proof that he is eligible to run for president if the United States of America secret? What is he hiding?

I don't think John McCain is the best candidate for president that we COULD have but I think that he is the best we DO have. Please Vote McCain tomorrow. Please value character and leadership above smooth talking and nice presentation.

In Memory of Our Liberty.


I was pondering the future of our nation this morning and I sat down to the Book of Mormon heeding the promise that it is written for our time and will show us all things that we should do.
I opened the book and the pages fell to:
Alma 46
3 Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah
4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.

10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous' sake.
11 And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it-In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our childrenand he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

Insert a different name for Amalickiah and president for king. Think about how "wroth" the people are with their brethren in power. Think of the constitution and our 1st and 2nd amendment rights. Think about activist judges who do not judge but legislate.

If the book of Mormon is written for our time, what is our Title of Liberty who is our Captain Moroni? Is it you, is it me, is it your son? Is it the prophet? Who will defend out nation?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sabbath Leaves


Our Beautiful World: Isn't the marriage of a man and woman beautiful? What a blessing to have a companion for life and eternity. Ying and yang, to parts making a whole, two people becoming one.

Blessings:I am so grateful for Sarah who took time out of settling into a new house, six beautiful daughters and helping her husband recover from a stroke to take some very special pictures for our family. HERE is a preview of them. I hope Heavenly Father gives Sarah extra special blessings for this kind act of service.

Fasting for: Our country that the Lord will protect it and guide the voter's to choose candidates and laws that will be good for our country. For the good people in California who have been fighting tirelessly to protect marriage in their state. We know that wheresoever California goes there goes the nation. This video is heartening.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Reading List** With Update***



This month was fruitful but full of light reading. After Middlemarch I was in fine shape for anything but I chose to take a reading break so I read:

Goose Girl - By Shannon Hale
Read it in one night, one very long night. So cute a novel based on the fairytale, very creative.
4.5 out of 7 thimbles because it was entertaining and creative.

Austenland - By Shannon Hale
Also read this in one late night. Very fun and cute but predictable. Girl gets inheritance of a vacation to Austenland and place where you dress and act in Georgian style and find love.
3.5 out of 7 thimbles

Sister of My Heart - By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Read over a few evenings and one VERY, VERY late night. Tears were shed, friendships re-kindled. I loved this book. A book about sisterly love, marriage, and trials.
Recommended.
6 out of 7 thimbles

Eight Cousins - Louisa May Alcott
Still in the first third of the book. Not loving it - cute but fluffy. Not Little Women - not so far anyway.

***I forgot to mention***
Emma Brown - By Clare Boylan and Charlotte Bronte
Apparently Clare Boylan took Charlotte Bronte's unfinished manuscript and turned it into a book. I picked it up when I saw it at the library because my favorite book was written by Charlotte Bronte and I hopde this would be exciting. Alas, Bronte only wrote the first two chapters and Boylan them proceeded to re-write A Little Princess and the classic governess falls for someone in the house she works for, he is above her station, she is abused and thwarted story. I read the first few chapters and decided it wasn't worth my time. I have read those books before.
The Bronte Chapters 5.5 thimbles out of 7.
The Boylan Chapters 2 thimbles out of 7 for lack of originality and inability to hold my attention. It is not hard to keep me entertained.