It’s Halloween?

Moms (and parents in general) are masochists. Some of us are out, wearing our mortification like badges of honor. Some of us closet ourselves away, hiding our shame in the dark recess behind the two-sizes-too-small black dress from six years ago and the college sweatshirt we can’t bear to toss in the garbage bin despite the fact it looks like something the cat chewed on then spit out in the middle of the kitchen floor. We huddle in the corner atop the mountain of shoes we haven’t had occasion to wear since our impregnation with the spawn of Satan. Sometimes we get so comfortable in our little closets, we stash chocolate behind the vibrator we haven’t had time to touch since our boobs became food sources for our creatures.

Still, we take these creatures, who unwittingly torment us, into public. We do it willingly, dressing them in their finest and spit shining them on the way into whatever new hell awaits once we cross the threshold of Walmart or its equally evil counterparts.

One particularly fine day, I traipsed through the Walmart parking lot, stopping three times to tie shoes. I hadn’t had the forethought to buy Velcro shoes for the children and, apparently, a child of mine tying their own shoes required the starts to align just so, the angels to break out in chorus, and God to smile down in pity rather than the sadistic smile with which he preferred to grace me. By the time the gates of hell whooshed open and lured us in with promises of low prices, I knew it would be one of those shopping trips.

We managed to find nearly everything on my list, I’d fished out all the extras the kids tossed into the cart every time I turned my back, and I aimed my mini caravan toward the front of the store. Absently snatching the bottle of dish soap from child three’s mouth, I nearly ran into child one who stood, feet planted apart and arms crossed, directly in my path. His angry scowl puzzled me and I wracked my brain for some item he’d declared a must-have that I’d vetoed.

“You didn’t tell us it was Halloween today,” he growled in his most stern voice.

Thoroughly confused, I replied with all the sweetness I could muster. “Halloween is months away. Move your butt or you’re going as a smear on Walmart’s floor for Halloween this year.”

He moved his butt. He marched it right up to a group of four nuns who stood in the cleaning products aisle, obviously debating which cleaning product would help them achieve the cleanliness closest to godliness. At first, the sight of one of God’s little lambs didn’t interrupt their spirited debate, but when boy child tugged gently on a habit, they all turned at once, and I nearly quaked at the hive-mind action.

“My mom,” he punctuated with a glare at me, “didn’t tell us it is Halloween today, so that’s why we’re not wearing our costumes. Are you the penguins from March of the Penguins or are you from Happy Feet?”

Jaws dropped. Not just mine. Not just those of the nuns. Every single person who happened to be shopping for cleaning supplies stopped, stared in wide-eyed horror, then picked their jaws up off the floor when they realized they were gawping at a precocious child and a waddle of nuns.

My sweet, sweet, boy child hadn’t finished. Yet. “Anyway, we don’t have our candy, but we can pick some up while we’re here. This is Walmart, you know, and they have everything here. We can get groceries and mom can get wine and the parts to fix all the stuff we break all in the same place. So we’ll get some candy. You’re kind of big for trick or treat, but if you come to our street (boy child inserts the name of our street here), I’ll be waiting at the door for you. But you have to say ‘trick or treat’. It’s the rules, you know. No, not rules….”

He turns to me. “What are those rules that aren’t rule kind of rules?”

“Etiquette?” I managed to squeak.

He returned his attention to the nuns who had clamped their mouths shut tight, most likely praying furiously that they didn’t burst out laughing and insult my humiliating child. “Yeah, that stuff she said.”

The youngest of the nuns–yes, I’m assuming because, frankly, it’s damned difficult to guess ages among penguins–hunched down on eye level with the little man. “We truly appreciate your kindness, but I’m afraid we can’t trick or treat tonight. We have to work this evening.”

“Hmmm. Your boss must be a real jerk to make you work on Halloween night.” He reached out his pudgy little five-year-old hand and patted her on the shoulder gently, commiserating with her as only a child could. “I know how it goes though. My dad’s work is full of jerks, too. Dang government sends him all over the world. It’s poopy, but you gotta eat, so you gotta follow orders.”

I have to give the nuns props. Apparently, they go through rigorous training to keep their faces straight. I had no such training. My lack of training earned me another scowl from boy child.

“Well, we have to go home before this milk gets warm and turns into cottage cheese, but you can come to our street next Halloween and we’ll give you extra candy since you don’t get to trick or treat this year.”

Masochism. It’s the driving force of parenthood.

Monday madness

So, Mondays around here aren’t generally anyone’s favorite day of the week. Until today, however, I’ve never had a kid refuse to fix their hair because they are “protesting against Mondays”. Her hair still isn’t fixed but we managed to wade through this crap:

“Monday is a snuggle day.”

“Monday is not a snuggle day. Monday is work-your-butt-off-to-catch-up-on-all-the-crap-you-didn’t-do-over-the-weekend day.”


Mondays aren’t all bad though. Proof? I got fabric in the mail today. Now I love getting fabric in the mail, but it’s just so much more fun when it comes wrapped up like a happy little present. Chrissy and Linda at Sew Lux Fabrics & Gifts tickle me polka dotted when I get their fabric in the mail.


Monday Morning Happiness


In pretty much every other way, though, today is blech. Mountains of laundry, bedrooms that look as though they had a personal sized tornado spin through them, dishes, kids that won’t shut their traps and do their school work, etc. all tend to put me a little on edge. I think I might console myself by having Eddie bring home dinner and then lock myself away to do a little bit of sewing–once this new fabric comes out of the wash, that is. I’ve got a knit roll to make and send off this week (hopefully by tomorrow) as a prize for a lucky knit-along winner and a few other projects I’m working on, so I have plenty of ways to keep busy while avoiding the rest of the world and living in my tiny slice of heaven also known as the sewing cubby hole.

Osnaburg and a busy month!

I am late to the show. Again. It’s been busy here, but more on that later. Right now I want to say that I love Osnaburg fabric. Really, I do. And I’ve enjoyed working with some of the light-weight types. But OH. MY. GOD. I’m gonna flip my lid here and just say that medium weight is my nightmare. I love it. I love the course, slubby texture. I love the dark flecks peppering the fabric. I love the unbleached charm of it. BUT…the shrinkage is going to kill me because it takes a nicely textured fabric and turns it into a scrunched up mess after laundering. Then, when some anal retentive person (I will not name myself here) spends half a lifetime ironing it, it’s still overly textured.

On the left of the photo we have the unpressed swatch, on the right, the swatch that has been ironed so much it should be like crispy bacon right about now.

osnaburg from hell

The Osnaburg from Hell


I know there’s definitely an improvement, but it’s still so crinkly I may go mad looking at it. Maybe I’ll just toss it back in the wash and iron it while it’s damp. Any pointers?


Now, on to other things. It’s been crazy busy here. It’s always crazy busy here, but lately, I’ve been crazy and busy. Why have I been crazy…err…crazier than usual? Because there is so much clutter in my house that I feel like I’m having a mental avalanche every time I walk through the damn house. Seriously. I’ve been ready to snap for weeks because every time I get one area of the house looking nice, one or all of my freaks walks through leaving death and destruction in their wake. Okay. Not death. But destruction, for sure.

I cannot keep up. And adding insult to injury are the hordes of neighborhood kids who keep crawling out of the woodwork. I do like kids…I even love my own, but I am drowning here. There are, on any given day, up to a dozen kids other than my own banging on my door, pulling my screens out of the windows, stealing bikes, raiding my garage refrigerator (not to EAT the food…No…they destroy it all over the floor of the garage), trampling my herbs, pulling the leaves and blooms off my blueberry plants, climbing on the roof of the garage, falling out of our trees, breaking the fence, or building “forts” in our yard out of anything and everything they find in the piles of household items left on the curb for the garbage collector. And of course, said building materials are things like dresser mirrors which end up shattered and scattered through my yard.  And then there is the oh, so sweet little girl who whipped her pants down and flaunted her vagina at the my prudish boy child. Not a week later, she punched Kearsey in the nose and gave her a gusher of a nosebleed that took over half an hour to stop. Neither last nor least, we had Ari get bit by a neighbor’s dog. It has been a pleasant month so far. Wouldn’t you agree?

The thing that burns me up the most about all this ridiculous nonsense is that there is never a single parent in sight. We deal with all these kids (at least four of them are under five), give them snacks, sometimes help them with homework, fix up their boo-boos, deal with the behavioral issues, pull them apart when they’re beating the shit out of each other, etc. Only once has a guardian/parent even been out to check on them and that was after the vagina incident when the girl was outraged because I sent her home and told her not to come back over unless she faithfully took her meds every day. (You can surely imagine how much of heel it makes you feel like to have to say that to a seven year old–but it couldn’t be helped since she wails on everyone or behaves appallingly every day because she refuses to take her medication for her issues and her grandmother won’t make her. Me…I’d pry her mouth open and throw the fucking pill down her throat.)

Do you deal with this madness in your neighborhoods?

So, aside from all the kid drama, purging the house, and dealing with a week of uncertainty with the command wanting to send Eddie on a ten month deployment (set to leave less than a month from when they started talking about it, no less), it’s been mostly normal around here. With all that stuff, though, it’s not been even a teensy bit normal. I haven’t knit a single stitch since the second day of the month. I have only touched the sewing machine once this month and that was a five minute job putting a patch on Eddie’s uniform. Fun stuff.

I’m really in need of some calm, boring days where the house isn’t a cluster of kid stuff thrown everywhere with no one willing to pick up, days where school goes smoothly and quickly, days where I have fifteen minutes to mix up a batch of cookies, a day where I can manage to get my teeth brushed and hair brushed before noon, a day where I can sit on the porch with my loverly hubby, sip some coffee, and knit while we enjoy a quite evening.

In short: I need a miracle.



Random springy stuff

The weather this week is absolutely gorgeous. I’m deep into spring madness. The kids have spent hours outside every day soaking up the warm sun (and more than a few tons of dirt, I’m fairly certain–at least their clothes have done so). Eddie and I have been uncovering all the overwintered herbs and flowers from their cozy blankets of leaves and have been delighted to discover that almost all the plants are peeping through the soil already.

With my sewing room finished and the kids playing outdoors, I’ve managed to get some time to do a bit of puttering in my sewing room. I have all my granny squares quilt pieces cut and sorted, some of the blocks planned out, and this morning, I whipped up a little mug rug to match my sewing haven’s color scheme. Since I can never be parted from my coffee or tea for very long, it’s pretty much a necessity for me to have a hoard of coasters around to keep from getting coffee rings on everything. This is way prettier than a ceramic coaster:

Promenade Mug Rug

Mug Rug in Promenade for Riley Blake

The colors suit my springtime mood quite well. It almost makes me as happy as the flowers I picked yesterday when the first few tulips decided to shout hello to the world. I quickly snipped them and tossed them in a pitcher along with nearly the last of the daffodils.

Hello Spring

Hello spring!!

Since my loverly hubby is making dinner tonight (don’t get jealous, it’s kid food: hot dogs and mac and cheese) I’m going to be able to spend a little more time in the sewing room cutting into some of these lovely bits and pieces to make a few more mug rugs, a notebook cover, and a kindle sleeve.

Scrap Fabrics

So many scraps, so little time


Lest anyone get the wrong impression and think I’m some superhuman who can whip up things left and right and have a sparkly house and still manage to powder my nose: I don’t. I have to let so much slide just to carve out time to do any of the yummy things. I still have lounge pants on and my hair is in a messy pony, made worse by the headband holding back the stray tendrils. I’m a disaster, and perfectly happy as such. ;)


It’s a snuggly sort of day

Ever have one of those days where you want to ignore every single person on the planet (including your family), hole up in your favorite lounge pants with a cup of hot chocolate, and do nothing at all other than what makes you happy? I am having one of those days. So far, I’ve gotten the lounge pants bit down. The hot chocolate is going to happen here in a bit. The other stuff? Not likely.

Around here, we’re getting tormented by spring. She’s giving little promises of showing up, and no sooner does she pop her head around the corner than Old Man Winter smacks her upside the head and knocks her back a bit. I have daffodils blooming and it’s cold and wet and all around crummy outside, so I haven’t even been able to get outside to pull the weeds around them.

So, today, if the planets align just right, I might curl up for a while and work on finishing this bit of squishy goodness. Forgive the picture. I was too lazy to get up and take a decent photo. Seriously. I was that damn lazy.



It’s coming along much better (and I’m happier with it) since I frogged the whole thing again and got rid of the wretched curling edge.


Once the kids are in bed for the night, I’m hoping to cut into some of this yummy awesomeness and get a bunch of 2.5 inch squares made for the top of the Granny Squares Quilt ala Blue Elephant Stitches.

California Girl

California Girl by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda

California Girl is, hands-down, my favorite fabric collection ever. So far. When it comes out in yardage, I might just buy it, wrap myself up in it, and stay that way for a month or two. Right now, though, I’m going to find a snuggly blanket to wrap up in while I sip my hot chocolate and knit. (For the record, I’m very glad I’m not in school. My kids are trying to diligently work on their school assignments, but I think they feel like snuggling in for the day every bit as much as I do.)