Saturday, December 30, 2006

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
William Gladstone (1809-1898)

Global Observance of Peace
Before heading off to bed tonight, I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on some blog reading. I started off with Mrs. Staggs' A Happy Miscellany , always a pleasant interlude to my day. There I read of the What if For Just One Day . . . blog and was immediately compelled to write my own post in support of the effort to observe two minutes of silence on 12/30 in recognition of the desperate need for peace in our world. So, please take two minutes tonight and silently consider the need for peace, tolerance and understanding among us all. It's a small step for each of us individually, but collectively what amazing possibilities lie before us!

Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.
Buddha (560-483 B.C.)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Inexcusable Absence

Well, it's been a while since I posted and I'm afraid I have no acceptable reason to explain my absence. If I were Anne of Anne of Green Gables, I might be able to come up with a somewhat implausible, but highly entertaining, reason why I haven't. As you might have guessed though, I am not Anne so it will have to remain a mystery as to why I have not posted. (*hint - It might have just a little, tiny bit to do with laziness)

While I absolutely love the wonderful homemaking and craft blogs out there, and I do mean love, there are times when I feel like I have a bit more in common with the women in an Anne Taintor image than I do with Martha Stewart. So, I will leave you with a couple of images that are truly speaking to me during this festive, holiday season while I try and think of a decent blog entry to post next.


Monday, October 16, 2006

King Kitty

My parents have been carousing out east coast way for over a week now and expect to be gone for another two. While I'm thrilled they are kicking up their heels at various east coast hot spots (you know how those relatives can party!), I'll be just as thrilled when they return. For one, I miss them terribly. I speak with my mother every day and it's hard to not be able to pick up the phone and chat. I do have to admit that my parents have called often since they left 10 days ago, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not just to check and see how we or the children are doing. It's primarily to see how their very pampered pet cat is doing while visiting us.

We're familiar with pets around here. We have had a multitude over the years and currently house 1 fish, 2 gerbils, 2 cats, and a dog (you'll recall I discussed her here). We're terribly fond of our pets, most of the time anyway, but we're not what I would call pet obsessed. While I have to be honest and say that pet baby talk does often pass my lips, that's the extent of the pet pampering that goes on in this house. My parents and their cat however are another story.

You could tell when they brought him over that they had many things to say. Far more I might add than I did when I left my oldest daughter with them for the first time. First, he likes only one kind of litter. My parents didn't elaborate much here and frankly, I'm not willing to test this. He also likes his litter scooped right away (who can blame him?) and then smoothed out carefully. He likes his canned food damped slightly with a bit of water; just a drop or two. He also is very fond of running water and would appreciate it if we'd run some for him often. He loves hair elastics, paper balls and, despises most humans - when he deigns to notice them that is. My husband refused to believe this even after repeated cautions. One evening soon after Tigger was dropped off, my husband tried to cuddle and pet him. Tigger allowed this at first but kept up a continuous yowl and growl. I warned my husband that this meant he wasn't happy, but he blithely ignored me and insisted that even though he sounded vicious, he was obviously enjoying being petted. The next thing I heard out of my husband's mouth was - yeah, you guessed it - "OW!". While I acknowledge that it was unkind of me, I could barely breathe because I was laughing so hard at Tigger's show of "appreciation" and "enjoyment".

While Tigger is indeed large of girth, he's no match for our portly pooch, Layla. This however doesn't stop him from asserting his superiority and demanding acknowledgement of his illustriousness. This acknowledgement hasn't come easily to Tigger, but he is undaunted in his quest. When clear submission wasn't forthcoming, he waited until she was in her crate for the night, went up to the grilled door and lambasted her. The fact that she was sleeping was unimportant. He hissed. He growled. He batted at the door of the crate. This seemed to satisfy him, although to all who have witnessed this battle, Layla remains unimpressed and unlikely to call Tigger "Your Majesty" any time soon.

As Tom Petty said on his album "Wildflowers", it's apparently good to be king, even if only in your own mind.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sisterly Affection - Part Two

R- eldest daughter - 22
C- middle daughter - 17
M - delightful, engaging, and intelligent family matriarch

The Scene: Evening at a typical American family home. Light filters down over 3 people playing UNO at a dinner table while waiting for expected guests. Joyous laughter is heard and giddy happiness is evident on their faces.

R: C, it's your turn to shuffle.
C: I hate to shuffle.
R: Okay, it's still your turn to shuffle.
C: No. I hate to shuffle.
R (groans in an exaggerated fashion): Oh, please. Give me a break! It's your turn to shuffle!
C: (stubbornly) I hate to shuffle.
M (reaching for cards): Here. I'll do it.

M shuffles the cards in a graceful as well as adroit fashion and deals a hand for each player. Being that R is the next person clockwise from C, it's her turn.

M: R, go ahead. It's your turn.
R: No it isn't. C didn't shuffle, you did. It's C's turn.
C: I'm not going. Mom shuffled for me.
R: It was your turn to shuffle! You didn't. Mom did. Therefore, it's your turn to go first.
C: Mom shuffled for me, therefore it's your turn to go first.
R: No it isn't! You did not shuffle. Since you did not shuffle and mom did, YOU go next!
C: I'm not going to go next.

Let it be clear at this point that there is an innocuous UNO card showing. No "Wild Card Draw Four", no "Skip", no "Reverse" or "Draw Two". There is no harm evident for the player going first.

R: (R has what appears to be a teasing grin on her face, but it is belied by the cool, steely look in her eyes.) Fine. I'm leaving if you're not going to play properly.
C: (shrugging) Okay, go ahead. Whatever. I'm not going first.
M (Calm, collected demeanor starting to crack): What are you two going on about? Someone go next!
R: I'm not going next.
C: I'm not going either.
M: Who cares who goes first? Someone take your turn!
(M takes a look around the table at her daughters. She looks a bit wild and honestly can't even remember why they wanted to play this foolish game in the first place. She takes a calculated risk and, crossing her fingers behind her back, asks C for her cooperation) C? Why don't you go ahead?
C: (C looks over to her mother and decides to be helpful and gracious) Okay.

Play resumes - finally.

Scene closes (thankfully!!)

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Well, after weeks of procrastination, half pint jars of apple butter now grace my shelves. The house smelled lovely all day yesterday as the apple butter simmered. Quite a change from the smells I'm normally accustomed to facing each day. As a small sample of the olfactory goodness that is my home I give you two examples: the dog (please tell me why their breath smells the way it does?) and the shoes of the youngest (I'm sure I need say nothing else about that scent). Suffice to say, neither smell is quite as nice as the apple butter.

There's something so incredibly satisfying seeing those jars lined up on a shelf, isn't there? I've still got close to 20 lbs. of apples to deal with. I'm thinking that canned apple pie filling is next on the agenda. If I'm not ready to start chucking the apples out the back door for the raccoons later, I might try my hand at some applesauce too.

Laziness, as appealing as it generally is to me on a daily basis, might not be an option tomorrow.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

Oh, how lovely the children at right are. Such a picture of sisterly love, affection and assistance! Of course, the minute the illustrator's back was turned, they began arguing over who had turned the rope enough times, who had the prettiest dress, who was spoiled and indulged, who worked the hardest, who never worked at all, and, of course, that perennial favorite - who was mother's favorite. At least, ignoring the jump rope for the moment, those are the arguments that I've heard my own three daughters engage in on occasion.

Early last week, I left my youngest at home with my husband and headed off with my middle daughter to visit the eldest, who has lived away from home for over a year now. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We'd head off to the local market, pick up something yummy for dinner and dessert, and head over to her place for a fun DVD. It sounds good in theory but . . well, you'll see.

First the market. We spent what felt like hours searching the market for something that everyone wanted to eat. While it didn't help that we were there around 7:30-8:00 pm and many of the "hot buffet" and soups were being put away for the evening, it still took far longer than it should have to agree on something to eat. Finally settling on fresh pasta, fresh alfredo sauce, and salad, we headed out, happy at last. That is, until we actually got there. Once we arrived, my oldest and middle decided to argue over who was actually going to cook the pasta and warm up the sauce. I kid you not, 10 minutes tops to "cook" dinner and they argued over who had to do it. Once I put the pot of water on the stove, difficult task that it was, we spent a blissful 30 minutes or so of argument free companionship. Of course, we completely forgot that the water had been boiling for the same 30 minutes - all alone, without pasta. Upon that realization, I, once again, put the pasta in the water. This made me somewhat churlish and irritated since I'd already cooked dinner at home for my husband and daughter. Heading back to the living room with the girls to await the pasta, I cuddled my oldest on the sofa. My middle daughter took one insulted look and insisted that it had been "ages" since I'd held her that way. Keep in mind we're talking about a 22 yr. old and a 17 yr. old, who, BTW, I cuddle and hug every single day. While arguing about who got the most of my attention, the pasta boiled merrily on, completely forgotten. No one had thought to set the timer.

With the preparation of dinner out of the way, (if that's what it could be called - tortellini that was practically bursting it was so overcooked) it was time to check out Rebecca's assortment of movies and make a selection suitable for dinnertime viewing. The girls insisted that the choice of "Resident Evil", "Resident Evil: Apocolypse", "28 Days Later" and other assorted zombie films were indeed appropriate for viewing while eating pasta and salad. I found myself less than enthusiastic at the prospect of such stellar storytelling and visual mayhem. I suggested "Die Hard". Now, at first this may seem like an unlikely choice, given that there is indeed mayhem, visual and otherwise. However, the film does have a decided lack of zombies - a significant plus in my view. No deal. Caroline was adamantly against Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman at their finest. Maybe "The Ref"? Nope. Bec had already seen it with her boyfriend recently. "The Matrix" (always a crowd pleaser)? Bec and Andrew just saw it recently as well (sheesh, don't these two ever do anything other than watch films that I want to watch???). How about "Monsoon Wedding"? Are you kidding? Subtitles . . . tonight?? And so on and so on. We finally agreed on - drumroll please - a Joquain Phoenix film called "Clay Pigeons". A sigh of relief was had by all . . . that is until we actually attempted to watch the film. Oh my. A worse film you couldn't hope to find. Ever.

With dinner completed and a film partially watched before being abandoned in disgust, it was time to head home. To say I was drained and cranky is an understatement. It appeared that the stars were simply not aligned for a stress-free evening with my girls. To add insult to utter injury, the following morning, my youngest daughter informed me that the dinner I'd made sure I cooked for her and her father the night before went uneaten. The two of them decided that they'd eat out.

Life remains seriously unfair.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn Reading Challenge Update

It is with heavy heart and shame that I admit the "progress" I have made this autumn with my reading challenge. Apparently I have descended into whatever level of hell it is that takes away the ability to focus on anything edifying for any decent length of time but still allows you to devour a Nora Roberts book in an afternoon. With that insight into my brain (what's left of it), you'll understand why Devil in the White City is no longer one of my "current reads". While I know that my daughter and husband found the book highly enjoyable and interesting, I'm not feelin' it (as my oldest would say). The Portable Dorothy Parker is a better choice for me right now and I'm getting ready to start on Sailing the Wine Dark Sea.

Did I really say I'd read Walden???

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another Birthday!

We've been fortunate enough to celebrate another wonderful year in the life of my oldest daughter, now 22. 22! I still can't believe that number. I remember holding her in my arms like it was yesterday. I vividly remember all those feelings of being a brand new parent. Pride, worry, and confusion were rampant. Most of all though was the sheer sense of wonder that this small being had made her arrival and was now part of our lives. Forever. In our hearts, our minds, every fiber of our beings.

She's grown into quite a woman. Unbelieveably accomplished and competent, she's a bedrock for the small company she works for. I continually remain in awe of the scope and range of her abilities, both in the workplace and without. She has a wonderful sense of humor and fun hidden (only slightly for anyone who knows her) beneath a more serious demeanor. Her very tender heart is evident to anyone who spends longer than a few minutes in her company and her sense of loyalty and consideration run deep. She's extremely talented and creative, but has a strong streak of pragmatism running through her that keeps her grounded. She makes the world a better place simply by her existance.

I know that I go on and on about my daughters, but I feel so incredibly fortunate to not only be so proud of my daughters, but enjoy their company so much. They are truly the most wonderful friends I could have. It is absolutely impossible to sum up the incredible human beings they are with mere words. I simply know that I am beyond grateful that they are a part of my life.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad Days

The day before yesterday was a bad day. There are a myriad of reasons why that day was a bad day, but I'm convinced that it could have been nothing other than a bad day because of my choice of ill-fitting undergarments. I know of no woman who is happy the day she has to wear her "emergency" underwear.

Note to self: No matter how compelling "The Gilmore Girls" DVD appears to be the night before, it's important to put a load of laundry into the washing machine.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to School Week - Decorated Notebooks

Well, I finally had a day to myself and was able to decorate the notebooks that I wrote about earlier. I started with this one:

Just a simple one to jot down plans, thoughts, or other insprirations.

Then came this one:

I'm not necessarily crazy about this one, but I wanted to do nature notebooks this year and this was my attempt at using what I had on hand instead of running out to the scrapbook store. Susannah's nature notebook was next:

This one I liked. I hope she does too. Finally I did one for her just to have:

I still need to do one for her copywork, but I was done for the day.

Don't forget to check out Clarice's finished project and also take a look at my daughter Rebecca's finished projects here and here. What a fun project!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Not Back to School Week

We "school" year round here in our house, but as Clarice says about her family, even we feel the back-to-school vibe around this time of year. Generally this doesn't mean much more to me than I get to haul out the fall decorating things for the corner cupboard and heave a serious sigh of relief that the heat is over, but this year I want to make a few changes to our routine (or general lack of).

I don't often mark the beginning of the school year with any sort of tradition or celebration, but this year I'm thinking that a small gift or two might be a good way to help us incorporate some of those changes to our routine that I'm planning. Clarice has inspired many of us with her composition notebook redecorating. Since compiling and maintaining a nature notebook is high on my "to do" list for this year, I thought I'd decorate one of the many main lesson books that I have on hand for my youngest to use. Since learning cursive is high on her "to do" list this year, I thought I'd decorate a composition book for that purpose as well. How much nicer could it be than to do your work in beautifully decorated notebooks and composition books?

Now, if only my ideas for incorporating exercise, more vegetables and a cleaner house into our routine for the coming fall were as easy to implement, I'd be a happy woman.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Autumn Reading Challenge

I'm sad to say that I've spent the summer reading books that aren't exactly what I'd call intelligent, stimulating or otherwise scholarly. They've been lots of fun, and I think there's definitely room in a reader's library for "fluff", but with the fall coming on, I'm looking for a reason to push myself a bit more intellectually. While poking around blogland this morning, I came across this reading challenge from Seasonal Surroundings. This definitely intrigued me. So, with an aim to challenge myself a bit and clear off my "to be read" shelf, here's my list:

One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter Thomas Cahill
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America Erik Larson
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran Azadeh Moaveni
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
The Razor's Edge W. Somerset Maugham
The Portable Dorothy Parker Dorothy Parker, Marion Meade (editor)
Walden Henry David Thoreau

Well, there's some intellectual stimulation there. If I were really serious though, I'd add some Aristotle and Plato - something I've been meaning to read or reread for years. I'd even add George Elliot's Middlemarch, which I've been avoiding for even more years. Oh well, maybe for a winter challenge??? :-)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Work in Progress News

It is with deep regret that I report the status of my work in progress. As you will recall, I have had my difficulties with my current work in progress. While the dyeing process actually worked (thanks again, Angie for the dyeing tips!), my attempts at stitching a passable motif were challenging at best. I was determined however to complete not only this project, but two more similar ones. That of course, was before the dog had her say in the matter.

I won't go too far into a description of my dog other than to say that she eats anything in sight, whether edible or not, which makes her not the most trustworthy of pets to leave alone. Textiles, including all of my throw pillows, have long been favorites of hers. Being a dog of eclectic tastes though, textiles are not her only choice of chew toys. Magazines, for instance, are another popular treasure. Of course, only certain magazines are deemed appropriate for total destruction. "Mother Jones" and "The Nation" are current destruction targets, making it obvious that the dog is frustrated to have her values as a conservative, right-wing, Republican thwarted in a house of left-wing liberals. Regardless of her taste in literature, she apparently developed a taste for my current work-in-progress, now the work-that-is-no-more, last week. Why she chose to take only that piece carefully out of my handwork basket, I don't know. There was nothing overtly liberal or Democratic that I can point to about the design of the embroidery, but perhaps she saw something subversive there that I missed. Regardless of the reason, the item is now gone. Truly and completely.

There it is. The whole, sad story of the work-that-is-no-more, once the work-that-had potential-even-though-it-was-a-pain-in-the-nether regions-at-times.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Birthday Season

We're right in the middle of one of our "birthday seasons", those periods during the year where numerous members of the family celebrate the time of their birth. My middle daughter happens to be one of those celebrating this month. It seems impossible the little (relative since she was nearly 9 lbs at birth), helpless, and fragile newborn at left is now a beautiful, incredible, and capable young woman at seventeen. I have to admit, she's still as much of a clothes horse as she was at 2. Still as determined. Still as sure of herself and, most definitely, still as charming.

I wish I could tell you how proud we are of her. It's impossible though, since I simply can't express how deeply the woman she's becoming impresses me. She has a deep and caring heart, one that is touched often by the clear need evident in so many areas of our world. She fervently supports Doctors Without Borders, not only as an abstract concept, but financially with the money earned from her job. She's an amazing person, someone that I feel so privileged to know. Warm, caring, intelligent, loving and ethical. Oh -- the list goes on and on. There isn't enough room in this blog to detail how many ways she's special, miraculous and wonderful. A very happy, heartfelt birthday wish for a wonderful and exciting year ahead for this daughter of mine.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Horror in a Small Town -- or Hazards of the Department of Licensing

I recently had to brave the wilds of the DOL in a humble quest to renew my driver's license. A request complete with impossible tasks, obsequious kowtowing, terrify officials, and intimidating fellow petitioners.

While I realize that the DOL isn't a favorite place for most of us, I have a particular revulsion for it. I'm not entirely sure why, but the mere site of the place as I'm driving by can make me shudder. Every five years though, I must conquer my terror and venture into the abyss to request a license renewal. Friday afternoon was such a day for me. One that I still hesitate to recall.

I started my afternoon adventure attempting to squeeze into the ridiculous area that they have set aside for parking. I will say no more of this part of the quest other than to note that this must simply be yet another sadistic attempt to determine worthiness. Having gathered my courage, I walked steadily, with head held high and eyes straight ahead, into the building and toward the "take a number" machine. Having gotten my number of "95", I looked up toward the 2 counters made available for the many and varied petitioners, hoping to determine the likelihood of escaping alive in time to cook dinner. The fearsome red numerical display and bored, but malevolent mechanical voice detailing which aspirant needed to head to which counter was terrifyingly clear -- 95's audience was some time away. Pizza was a likely dinner choice.

As I sat, hoping to look both accomplished and patient, I started to look around the building. As was to be expected, the place was devoid of anything remotely interesting. During my absent minded perusal, I happened to see a small, nearly invisible sign which read "Checks and Cash only. Checks may be made out to "DOL"". Oh no. I quickly looked through my bag and, sure enough, the checkbook was missing. Great. I searched again, fruitlessly. There was no help for it, I was going to have to add yet another labor to this quest. Off I went on my search for an ATM machine. I headed first toward an easily accessible bank. No good. Only a "drive-thru" ATM there. (an aside - who decided that *any* of these machines are "drive-thrus"?? My husband at 6'3" with chimpanzee arms has trouble reaching those things, much less the short stubby arms attached to my 5'4" frame) Okay, there was a market that might have a machine. Yes! There it was. I reached into my purse for my ATM card and . . . nothing. No card. There was a moment of panic before I remembered that I'd given the card to my daughter so she'd have some cash for a snack during a break at work. This was starting to look ominous. Were these signs? Was the universe trying to tell me something? I decided that I would not be faint hearted. I would persevere! Even if it meant traveling through our small town at the absolute worst time of day all the way to my house and back (checkbook safely ensconced in purse) to the DOL for another attempt at license renewal.

I marched in more confidently this time. I took yet another number - "111" this time. As it was much closer to closing time, everything and everyone in the building seemed more tense, agitated and shrill. The atmosphere was definitely deteriorating. The older couple seated next to me, newcomers to the area, suddenly realized the "cash or check only" sign. Panic ensued. The toddler, who had before been content to follow around his brother (albeit attached by a "leash" to his mother) had finally had enough. He attempted time and again to test the length of the leash, each time shrieking after failing to achieve any further distance. Scowls appeared on brows and girls whined to their father's about their test results. It was getting ugly.

To allay the mounting terror any of my readers, I will tell you that after much time and travail, I did indeed prove worthy of a license renewal. I will leave out the more harrowing elements of the quest, such as having to answer "add 10 lbs" to the question of whether height and weight were correct and the beauty advice of the person taking the photograph ("I like the red hair (my natural color) better from 5 years ago" and the more humiliating "no one even needs to see this picture ever"), and just leave you with the knowledge that I prevailed. It's over. The world is safe again.

Ta Da

Well, here she is in all of her shorn glory. Would that my recent license renewal picture from the Department of Licensing picture turned out as nicely.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bosom Friends and Remembrances

My youngest daughter, now 9, has always been the one to challenge. The one voted most likely to break a limb at any moment. The one guaranteed to face the terrifying aspects of a child’s world like bees, sirens, our steep driveway (perfect for racing down on her scooter), and math with nary a flinch. Among many other things, at 3, she was a demon with scissors. Having seen what she was capable of with her sister’s Barbies and her own stuffed animals, we kept a careful eye on the numerous pairs of scissors lying around the house (not to mention eternal, watchful vigilance over the cat and dog's coats). She eluded us though on one particular occasion and, having tired of giving Barbie and her pals new ‘dos, she turned her sights to her own coiffure. Fortunately, we’d learned a lot by the time she was 3 and found her quickly enough to keep her from looking like Demi Moore in “G.I. Jane”.

I breathed a sigh of relief once that stage was passed. I figured that, while I’m sure many challenges faced us in the future with this one, another attempt at her own version of “Outrageous Makeover – Hair Edition” wouldn’t be one of them. I was mistaken. A few days ago, I was called in a hushed voice by my daughter’s young friend to my daughter’s bedroom. There I found a sobbing and inconsolable child curled in the fetal position on the bed. As I didn’t see limbs askew or blood, I wasn’t terribly worried, but it was obvious that something was wrong. After much gentle coaxing, I finally got the story. Although, really, once she sat up and looked at me, the reason for the tears was clear. A large, 3-4” section of hair was missing from her blonde locks. Right. From. The. Front. I was completely flummoxed. What on earth could have possessed this child (at 9 for goodness sake!) to cut her hair? The answer was simple – at least to her. One of her childhood storybook heroes is Anne Shirley, the plucky heroine of the “Anne of Green Gables” novels. In a moment of tenderness and generosity, she wanted to give her own bosom friend a lock of her hair just as Anne once snipped a lock of Diana’s hair. Once said lock was cut from the front however, they both panicked and attempted to rectify the horror by beginning to “even up” the rest of the hair. I’m sure that’s adequate enough of a visual that I needn’t say more.

I quake with fear for the future.

I’m getting too old for this.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Work In Progress Update

  • Tangled strands of floss - numerous
  • Times stitching ripped out and tried again - too often
  • Amount of times lace has ripped from edge of handkerchief from strain of being pulled taut in embroidery hoops that are supposed to be keeping the work taut without you pulling on it - once
  • Amount of times color of floss has been deemed utterly and completely unacceptable - 3
  • Amount of times the recognition of the extra work involved in changing unacceptable floss has lead to new appreciation for previously unpalatable floss - 3
  • Times needle has pricked sensitive skin on thumb or forefinger - 4
  • Times unladylike exclamations were made about needle's character and ancestry - 4

Summation of work-in-progress? Difficult at best, rating an "orange" on the "Work-in-Progress Frustration Scale". Stay tuned for further updates . . .

Friday, July 28, 2006

Needlework Frustration

Look at that cheerful, composed and confident countenance! This is a woman who knows her needlework. She isn't the least bit concerned about learning a new stitch or trying a new pattern. She is sublimely confident that no handwork is beyond her scope of experience or effort. While I endeavor to feel like this woman while attempting to work on some current project, it happens more than I'd like to admit that I end up frustrated and feeling incompetent.

I have friends who are able to begin a project at a moment's notice. I'm unfortunately not one of them. I like to take a bit of time and think about planning a project. Then I like to think a bit more about it. After I've had time to really consider a project, then I start to think about what I might ever, in the whole wide world, need for the project. Once I've determined what my project needs and compiled a list (often in my head instead of on the more logical piece of paper, where, of course, I forget essential items every single time), I will then spend some time thinking "I really need to get started on this." I realize that in the real world this is called "procrastination", but I like to think of it as being carefully and completely prepared.

I spent large chunks of today getting a project ready to work on. I took lovely old, lace trimmed linen handkerchiefs and dyed them with coffee to get just the right color of creamy ivory. I lovingly washed, dried and pressed them. Given that I rarely view anything to do with housework, and especially laundry, with anything remotely approaching "love", I think it's safe to assume that I felt very tenderly toward these embryonic projects masquerading as simple handkerchiefs. Getting that lovely creamy ivory shade right though was the last thing that went right today with this project. I won't go into the sordid details, I will just leave you with this sentiment: Don't feel too tenderly toward handkerchiefs that you are attempting to use as part of a larger project. The bitterness of their betrayal will haunt you forever.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Menstrual Marketing Madness

Have you ever watched a commercial on television or seen an ad in print and wondered aloud to yourself why any company in their right mind would have paid good money for it? I realize companies paying money for insipid, insulting or just plain stupid ads isn’t an incredible revelation to anyone, but sometimes there appears an ad or a marketing campaign that just begs to be noticed for it’s sublime ridiculousness. I recently discovered such a marketing gem.

The other day I had occasion to utilize that marvel of modern female life, the sanitary napkin. As I am a woman of a “certain age”, this wasn’t the first time I’ve used such conveniences, nor will it be the last. However, this time was a bit different. I happened to glance down at the little piece of paper covering the “wings” of the pad and noticed some lovely script writing. At first, I assumed it was just a fanciful rendering of the company name. But lo, I was mistaken! Instead of the company logo or name, there was a sentiment expressed. You know, kind of like those foil wrapped chocolates with little sayings inside the foil? Tired statements that have lost whatever truth they might have contained due to overuse or just plain cheesiness. This however was different. No such warmed over nonsense for this company. Written in elegant and flowing script were the words: “Have a happy period.” Well now, isn’t that nice? I’m nearly certain my entire period would have been dismal and without hope but for this charming sentiment. Who knew it was this easy to make women happy?