Couldn't be more different than me

He couldn't have been more different than me in high school. He was outgoing and popular. We went to the same school and the same church, attended the same youth camps and revivals. He came with friends. I don't think I ever met his parents. My family was at the church every time they unlocked the doors. So much so that they finally just gave my Dad a key.

He was in the theater group and on the year book staff. He had a shock of white in the back of his otherwise dark hair about the diameter of a quarter. No dye would stick to it and he couldn't cut his hair to hide it. It made him different and easy to recognize from the back in the school hallways. Being his friend made me feel more popular, even though I really never fit in with the popular crowd I so wanted to be a part of.

After graduation, my church attendance gradually dwindled. I think he went away to college, so I wouldn't have seen him there anyway. He became a lawyer. I became a homosexual. And while those two things don't seem to be related, they did shape our lives and the men we would become.

He's married and has two grown kids. I'm not allowed to marry, despite our wedding rings, and have one growing kid.

We worked an awards ceremony together in our senior year. He was on the stage, doing a hilarious show. So confident. So funny. I was in the orchestra, running the sound system. He kept swinging the microphone by the cord (yes, microphones used to have cords) and causing it to short out. I kept handing him new mics and he kept swinging the mics and they kept going out. Don't remember how often it happened. Maybe once or twice, but I remember it like the scene from Father of the Bride when Spencer Tracy's pants stuck to the floor. I felt bad about it until later that night when my Dad explained that it was his fault because he kept swinging them around like a fan blade in front of his face. All part of his act, but too much for the old sound system that my typing teacher had borrowed.

I didn't hear from him for 30 years. Had forgotten about him. Like everyone else from the distant past, he remained in the distant past for good reason. That past was painful and it was dealt with. And, I had realized that as painful as it was, it was what made me who I am today. I would not be me if not for it. And, I'm pretty darn happy with who I am, so I had to accept the pain of the past instead of continuing to hate it and fight about it.

Now, through the miracle of facebook (may not sound like it, but that's just dripping with sarcasm) he has returned. I think he was a little offended when I told him I thought he'd grow up to be gay. After all, he was so dramatic and outgoing.

Now, he's back. And, he has questions.

I wondered if I should answer. Should I bother? Does it matter?

Actually, it does. In some small way, it's like facing down the demon of the past. A statement that this is who I am. This is what I believe. There is no shame.

I've only recently come to accept some of that stuff as just the way it was for me. I've forgiven those that called me names. Forgotten the hard things that were said. So now, I can write to him about them from a different perspective. Not so much angry about what happened to me and more willing to report on it from a distance. More willing to see it for what it is...the life of a person who is real and has been true to himself, despite the words that were said and the deeds that were done. Less of a story about personal hurt and more of a story about what it was like.

And, this blog has been a big part of that. I can write about myself and what happened to me and what is happening to me now with confidence. Partly because I know I can express it in an interesting way. And, because I know that I'm not unique. Each of us has gone through one or more trials and while mine might have been different in circumstance, each of our stories is about how we became who we are today. I can tell that without getting angry about it. Anymore. And, maybe, if I'm lucky, he'll share his story with me.

And, you get a double dose of way back Wednesday today.

This morning, I taught my daughter to make pancakes.

I don't remember when I learned to make pancakes. I do remember telling my Mom one day that I always burned the first one of the batch. And, she said "honey, everybody burns the first pancake of the batch." I don't usually burn the first one anymore, but before she started, I did tell Sydney that there was no disgrace in burning the first one.

We greased the griddle. I still make pancakes on my Mom's cast iron griddle that I borrowed in 1982 (possession is 9/10's of the law, Mom). I showed her how to pour the batter so it didn't drip and how to watch the pancakes for bubbles around the edge that indicate it's time to turn it. I showed her how to wiggle the spatula as you push it under the cake and how to hold the spatula so it is almost parallel to the griddle. And, how to flip them without leaving a stream of batter all across the griddle and onto the stove.

She learns fast and was very proud that she didn't burn one. She made very little mess and the cakes were delicious.

If only I could get her that interested in cleaning up.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Lane


good luck/bad luck

I'm enjoying a time of great personal good luck. It happens some times. It's not that my luck is ever really bad. Stuff happens, but I've found, at least for me, bad luck is more a matter of how I look at stuff. For example, I've learned, when "bad luck" happens to ask a couple of questions, like "Did I bring this on myself?" Usually, if the answer to that one is yes, it's because I've procrastinated about something and let it turn into a crisis. Like the time I missed paying the electric bill and then wasn't really in the mood to open the mail when the 1st cutoff notice came, so I didn't start making calls and arrangements until the day before they were supposed to cut the power. Boy, that was a close one. But, no one to blame but me. Another question I ask is "Is this something that happens to everyone?" I mean, it's not bad luck when someone dies (although the deceased may disagree). It actually happens to everyone and everything. So, no need to feel unlucky because I need to attend a funeral.

So, by the time I've discounted my "bad luck" as either something I caused or something that just happens during the natural course of a life well lived, there's not much left to go into the bad luck category.

Good luck, on the other hand, is abundant in my life. Like yesterday afternoon when the man called to tell me that there was nothing wrong with my car, except that someone (a mechanic that has lost a customer and shall go nameless (this was just the latest in his list of mistakes)) had overfilled the transmission and it had "burped" out the extra fluid in the driveway. And, luckier still, they didn't charge me anything for checking it out. All I had to do was get back there to get the car (and I still need to clean up the fluid spill. this may be a good time to have a 12 year old). And, my company was having access problems and I couldn't interface to work from home, so I had a "free" day to kill any way I wanted to. Double good luck. And, while I was on my 3 mile walk home from the transmission shop, I walked past a house that was giving away flower pots. I filled my arms. Triple good luck.

But, then I got tired and had to start dropping off pots in out of the way places to come get them later. By the time I got home, the five I had started with had dwindled to two I got home with. Glazed pottery flower pots are heavier than I thought they'd be. Or maybe my eyes were just bigger than my arms.

Imagine Sydney's mortification when we drove through the neighborhood this morning, picking up pots that had been hidden behind fence posts.

Maybe that's what put me in the especially good mood on the way to work.

May your good and bad luck be nothing more significant than your perception. Here's wishing you a great day. See you on the www. Lane


2 steps forward, one step back

Or maybe I should more appropriately say, a lotta steps back.

I did get two quilts basted this weekend. This one is in the frame for some hand quilting, which I'm enjoying very much. I took it outside, frame and all yesterday and quilted for a couple of hours in the swing, enjoying the breeze.

And, this one, I knocked out last night. It's all pin basted and ready to start machine quilting.

And, last night, when we left the house for dinner, we saw a large puddle of red transmission fluid under my car. A very large puddle. So, I'm out to look at that. I'm really hoping I don't have to have it towed to the shop. Grrr. Either way, I guess I'll be working from home tomorrow and walking back and forth to the shop. Good thing it's only a couple miles away. Lane


The yard

Okay, so I'm just back from the doctor's office for my regular checkup. It was all good news, so continued existence remains an imminent possibility (my sarcastic way of saying all is well). And, a good thing because I still have too many UFO's. I know Rob was really excited because he doesn't want to be a single parent. So there's two good reasons to keep slogging on.

Here are some yard shots. But, they aren't very good. The flower bed is beautiful, but hard to catch all the detail in a picture. You just have to see it. Let us know what time you'll get here and we'll have coffee and cake ready. Right now, the beds are full of tall pink phlox. They love it here and don't mind the clay or the heat. They'll bloom most of a month and then receded and other things will kick in. I do like a lot of variety in my beds. And, this weekend, I need to start moving some things around. Not everything is happy in its current spot.

This is along the edge of the daylily bed. Looks sad this time of year, but it will perk back up in a few weeks.

And, this is along the other side. You can see my sitting area in the corner. 2nd favorite spot! Most favorite is the swing that I can sit in and look at the beds from the outside.

I'll try to take some better pictures this weekend and show some of the best spots.

Okay, so I've been working on the Indian Orange Peel quilt. And, I am sooo frustrated. I'm on the third border side. At this point, it's time to set it aside for the weekend. I just want to get all those curves together. I'm having so much trouble getting points to match. I just need to continue to plug my way through it and stop worrying about it being perfect. In this case, done is going to be much better than perfect. And the thing that's frustrating me most is all that paper. It is so in the way as I try to go around this curve and then that one and back again. Grrrr.

My plan is to baste two finished tops this weekend so I can work on something else for a while. I want to get one ready for machine quilting and one for hand. I have a free standing frame (oval, maybe 18" x 24") that I've never used and I want to get a quilt in it that I can just leave in the sewing room, all set up and ready to work on. It's been so long since I did any hand quilting, and after all this hand piecing, I think I can make really tiny stitches now. but, I'm going to need to get a poly batt. I've hand quilted through the cotton batt that I like for machine quilting and I want to try something a little easier to get the needle through...something a little less dense. Don't know what I'll baste for the machine quilting yet, but there's plenty to choose from.

That's all the news that's fit to print. Everyone have a great Friday. I'm going to put my headset on and work really hard so the day will pass fast. I'm definitely ready for the weekend to begin.



You are so lucky...

I didn't publish my original post. I'm so glad I didn't. It was all politics and one thing I've learned is to never discuss religion or politics with my friends. That's how we can all stay friends.

So, with that topic off the table, I'm looking around for a topic that would be just as rousing, just as exciting, just as open for comment and opinion. And, I'm finding nothing.

I'm sickened by what's going on in the Gulf of Mexico. I can say that without being political. I'm sick of war and infighting and mean people and murders. I'm bored with people being rude to one another. Sick of watching them zip through traffic with absolute disregard to the safety of others. Disgusted by those that would harm children or the elderly or animals or anybody else that can't defend themselves.

And, I'm trying to turn my thoughts to more pleasant things.


I want to think about what wonderful things are happening to Betty White. Can you believe the success she's having?

I want to think about yellow cake with white icing and toasted coconut. And, sweet custard chocolate pie with meringue.

I want to think about beautiful fabrics and how they can be combined into lovely works of quilt art.

I want to think about the potential for my daughter to be president...or at least a really successful dentist.

I want to think about new cars and new car smells and roadtrips to exotic and wonderful places.

I want new carpet. I want new clothes. I want more time to do the things that are important to me.

I want to make home made icecream with fresh peaches.

I want to eat more vegetarian meals.

I want it to be cool enough to leave the windows open for the breeze, and I want to reupholster my wing back chair.

I want everyone to be happy.

Somebody send me the magic lamp. I think I'm ready to make my three wishes now.



A man's wallet

This is the first 'mess' of green beans and the only onion from our little garden. All my life, I heard people say, "pick us a 'mess' of...", or "y'all come for supper 'cause we're cooking a 'mess' of...". I always wondered what a 'mess' was. How much. What quantity. Because the way my Grandmother cooked, it was a half a hand full of something to a 'mess' of something else. So, I asked my Grandmother one day. And, she said a 'mess' is always "just enough for supper". So, a mess is just enough. As is evidenced by my fabric stash, my sewing room, my closet, and pantry.

But, I digress. What's really on my mind today is the shooting pain down my left leg, from hip to ankle. Clearly, in the case of my wallet, a 'mess' is not "just enough". It's too much.
Rob accidentally washed my wallet a couple weeks ago. He found it before it went into the dryer. He carefully emptied it and propped it open and let it dry. But, despite being saved from the dryer, my wallet clearly shrunk. Now, it's thicker and I'm going to have to empty it. I don't know how my Dad did it.

My Dad's wallet was more of a filing cabinet. If my Mom asked for a receipt, or a blank check, cash, a credit card, the car registration, or proof of insurance, his hunting license, or the paperwork from the last set of tires they bought, the business card for the pest control guy, the measurements for the new kitchen countertops, or any of a hundred other things, out came the wallet and from it would be produced a pristinely folded and pressed small square of paper, which when unfolded would reveal itself to be the requested document. It was amazing. And, I'm convinced just a little magical.

As I remember it, that wallet was over an inch thick. I don't know how he sat down on it. But, he did. His wallet went everywhere. It went to the lake, to church, and it was there when we did yard work. He could sit on it all day in an uncomfortable plastic boat seat. It was, and as far as I know still is his constant companion.
I know that wallets came and went over the years, but I will always think of him carrying a very soft, black leather wallet, stretched beyond all hope of a shape, and holding everything that he needed for any situation.

And, again, I find myself trying to imitate him and have everything I need within my reach anytime I need it. And that's how I ended up with a pain from my hip to my ankle. Sometimes a wallet, no matter how much of a mess, just isn't enough. It would be so much easier if men could carry a purse. We're stuck with messenger bags and backpacks. But, messenger bags and backpacks don't fit in lock-able office drawers like purses do. I don't know what I'll do with the excess junk. Maybe I need to carry a filing cabinet? Would it look funnier to carry a filing cabinet on my back or a purse under my arm? Which would be most likely to draw unwelcome attention?

Take care and have a great Way Back Wednesday.



How training a puppy and training a girl are similar

Okay, I know all you Mom's out there just cringed. How can that mean, cruel man speak of his darling, precious little girl the same as a dog. I'm not saying that. Not thinking of them the same at all, except that when we got them both, neither one was housebroke. Neither one understood the word "no". Neither one knew any commands. I'm just saying there have been similarities between them. Just sayin'. Not saying they're exactly alike. Exactly.

I was thinking of all this at 6am when I was walking the dog. Sydney tried to break her to the leash. And, she had no success. Then, the puppy pulled the leash out of Sydney's (undoubtedly limp) hand, trying to rush her back home, and ran out in front of a car. And, Sydney hasn't tried to walk her since.

But, we can't take the dog anywhere until we teach her about the leash. And, we can't teach her about the leash until we take her somewhere. So, I decided to take her on my morning walks around the neighborhood. The neighbor saw us starting off that first day and wasted no time telling me that I would never teach that dog to walk. And, for about 20 minutes, I wondered if she was right. So, how did I teach her to walk on the leash? The same way we taught Sydney to live with us.

First, we started out spoiling them. Low expectations. And, both lived down to them.

Then, we inflicted an iron rule on them both. Rules. Commands. Okay, so one has learned "go wash the dishes" and the other has learned "heel", but they're both commands. With the puppy, I held the leash clinched in my fist and showed her what I wanted her to do, occasionally lifting her off the ground by her underchest harness until she got the hang of it. With Sydney, it was consequences, like having to rewash the same set of dirty dishes over and over until she finally understood that clean meant squeaky, not greasy.

Then, there were rewards. Okay, so it's more expensive to give a pre-teen girl treats than it is to push a piece of kibble under a dog's nose, but treats work the same way for both: 1) you do what I want, 2) I tell you you're a good girl, and 3) I give you a little something to let you know I appreciate it. Like nail polish. Or costume jewelry. Or a yogurt flavored chewy treat. (you decide who got what).

And, finally, we have compliance. Now, it took one of them two weeks and the other two years to understand compliance. But, whatever. So long as we get compliance before it's time to apply for a driver's license, it's all good.

Right after we got Sydney, we read somewhere that the secret to training a dog was exercise, discipline and reward. Hey, they don't bother me if they're tired and happy. Or locked in their room. Over the years, we've followed that, so we're in good practice for actually training a dog. Good thing we had the girl to practice on.

Take care and have a great Tuesday. Lane


It was a happy Father's day

Ya' know, some of the best days are when the least happens. At least for us. When Rob and I talk on the phone in the mornings about what happened between the time he left for work and the time I dropped Sydney at wherever she's going for the day, the best report I can give is that nothing happened. And, we enjoyed a similar experience yesterday. There was the exchanging of cards, me to Rob, Rob to me, Sydney to both of us (double fathers makes for several interesting exchanges per year). Then, there was puttering around the house and then the shopping and then we went to the movies to see Robin Hood (very good movie (i even managed to stay awake through the whole thing)). Chores in the afternoon and then steaks and baked potatoes and salad for supper (the perfect manly meal). A happy Father's day call to my Dad. And, just when we were getting tired of the sound of one another's voices, the weekend was over.

The perfect nothing happened weekend. Perfect to celebrate Father's day. No arguing, no unpleasantness. Peace reigned supreme.

I did manage to get out in the yard for some pictures. I don't know what this daylily is. It bloomed at the end of a scape of double ditch orange daylilies and as you can see, it's not double. Genetics are a funny thing, huh?

This one is one of Rob's favorites and you can see why. It's called Highland Lord.

This is a triple ditch orange. See all those petals? There are 18, three layers of six petals each. And, very orange, even though the picture looks yellow. I think these are called ditch because they're so common. As I understand it, triple orange is the dominant genetic form of daylily and if allowed to cross with any other, will produce a triple orange seed. I try to pull the seeds so I don't get any more and instead rely on division to spread them.

And, we're not sure what this is and I'm hoping my Mom can fill it in. We have two of them and we think they're either Charlene's patio or Yabba-Dabba-Doo. They are scarlet red and you can see how lovely. And, they're prolific bloomers this time of year.

I got all those strolling around yesterday, pulling weeds. I go out and enjoy the beds every day. They are a peaceful place for me and I have sitting spots in them and across from them so I can look from either view.
Hope you had a great weekend and that your Father's Day was fun. Take care and we'll see you on the www. Lane



You might feel let down today and your first inclination is to fill in the emptiness with additional excitement. However, further analysis reveals that you may need peace and quiet at this time instead of more noise. Unfortunately, you won't likely get what you expect now... (Rick Levine)

Criminy, what does that mean?

Okay, so I don't put too much stock into my horoscope, but it is fun to take what they write and try to make it fit into my day. And, this one seems more applicable than usual today. I've been talking to Rob about being an "excitement junkie". I miss the stress of homework. I miss those huge projects I've been working on for the last year and a half. I miss the excitement of starting a new quilt pattern. I love the excitement of finding a special bargain on ebay. In fact, I've been using the excitement of the bargain to supplement the lack of excitement at work, much to the excitement of mastercard.

It's weird. Missing the stress when I hate to be stressed out so much. Missing the deadlines. Missing the travel.

But, it's a good time for all that to be over. I'm finding that the heat just takes everything out of me nowadays. So, it's a good time to just sit back and relax. Walk in the garden, take it easy on the weekends.

I'll get over Jones-ing for excitement soon enough. I'll get my job Mojo back. And, I'll stop Bogarting all the ebay bargains. And, hey. My horoscope said I wouldn't likely get what I EXPECTED. It didn't say I wouldn't enjoy it.

Take care and have a great Friday. It's the weekend and I'm piecing Indian Orange Peel borders. Again. Second time better be the charm cuz those puppies are a pain in the arse.



An old man and his dog

I never knew the old man's name. I called his dog Me Too because the old man held a sign that said "Homeless. Hungry. Anything helps." and around the dog's neck, you'd often see a sign that said "me too". He stood on the same corner every day, he and his dog and his sign and his backpack and a large jug of water. He always had a smile. After he got to know us, he always had a joke for Sydney - "Did you hear about the cat that ate the ball of yarn? She had mittens". He told that joke more than once. And God bless her, Sydney laughed every time.

I'd pull up to the stoplight and he'd wander over to the car and we'd shake and chat for a few minutes. If I had money, he had money. And, so did Me Too. I found him sick one day, barely able to stand up in the heat. He was with a group at the time. I went home, and packed a huge bowl of cold pasta salad with chicken in it, an extra large juice bottle of ice water, and a can of dog food and Sydney and I took it back to them. And, I made my own family wait to get their supper that night.

Often, Rob will go buy a short stack of Wal-Mart gift cards and hand them out to the homeless. When he gave one to the old man, we found out that his camp had just been raided and the police had taken a box cutter to his tent, so the old man and Me Too were sleeping cuddled up under a tree. The gift card was enough to buy a tent. And, he was so appreciative, I thought he was going to cry.

One day, when I pulled up and we were chatting, he explained that he'd be gone for a month or so. He had prostate cancer and was going into the VA hospital. A veterinarian around the corner had agreed to board Me Too. About 5 days later, he was back on his corner. There was nothing the doctors could do.

A few weeks later, he stopped being regular on his corner. He was there sometimes, and at other times, it would be someone else from his group. Then, I didn't see him again. Then, I saw Me Too walking with somebody else.

Someone once told me not to give money to "beggars". They were only going to spend it on beer and smokes. My feelings are; that doesn't matter. I give them money to make me feel good and it's between me and my karma. If they chose to spend it on beer and smokes, that's between them and their karma. And, besides all that, who am I to judge that beer and smokes aren't the best use of the money to that particular person. God knows I have my crutches to help me deal with the hard realities of life. Even though my hard realities are nothing compared to the homeless'.

It's not charity. It's sharing my blessings. I like to create a relationship when I'm sharing. I stop to talk and to shake hands and to pet dogs. The couple I'm sharing with now is a man and woman who have a huge white dog with a brown patch around his eye. They're such a happy couple. Always laughing and joking and hugging and bumming smokes at the stoplight. Nothing inappropriate. Just happiness. If I have money, they have money. And, so does the dog with the brown patch around his eye. His name is Cisco. I made a point to find that out this time.

There have always been people that didn't fit into society. They've wandered the world for all time. Their stories are in the bible and there's a wandering "beggar" of some sort in almost every book since. I think the homeless are the wanderer's of our generation. No place to fit in. And, they end up alone. Standing on a corner. Homeless. Hungry. Anything helps.

If I've had a hard day at work and I'm really stressed out and angry, my mood changes immediately when I roll down the window and say something nice...Hey, man, how's it going? Hot enough for you? Hope this helps. Take care and have a good one.


Okay, that's enough of that heavy stuff for this Way Back Wednesday. Here's a pic of my Indian Orange Peel so far. This is the center of the quilt. To piece the border sections together, I had to pull paper from some of the pieces. Finally finished that and am now ready to get sewing again.

Y'all take care and have a great one. Lane


Boy Scout Dinner

I don't ever remember having scout dinners as a boy scout. But, my Mom surely made many of them. They're simple and I think they're healthy. Well, not to sure about cooking on aluminum foil, but I don't do it often, so it will have to be okay.

First, take a big piece of foil.

Add sliced potatoes.

Sliced cabbage.

Sliced onion, salt and pepper.

Add a ground beef patty seasoned with salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Seal it up and cut a vent in the top.

Bake it in the oven or cook on the grill at 350* for 40-45 minutes.

They're great, unless you don't like cabbage. I mean get real. How can you not like cabbage. We're going through green vegetables fast and I can't find one she really likes except green beans. So, I feed her lots of Broccoli because I like it. And, she makes this same face when I make her eat it. It's a win-win for me.

Jeez. She's so twelve-and-a-half. You can't see it here, but she's graduated to colored nail polish on her fingers (she's always been able to pick any color for her toes). Nothing wild, but more grown up than little girl pink. Hopefully, she'll learn to "color within the lines" this summer. Take care and have a great Tuesday. Lane


From this to that

I had the best time redoing these tables over the weekend. These are a pair of early American maple end tables that my Mom bought in about 1976. They were perfect with the LR furniture she got that year. And, they were basically in use in her house until the late 90's when they came to me, first one and then the other. We've been using them as bedside tables since. And, they had seen all the better days they were going to see as early American maple end tables. They are veneer, so not worth refinishing, but they were too cute to discard. And, they hold a lot of family history.

I've been painting furniture lately and walked out of the bathroom the other day and saw the poor table on my side of the bed and I had an idea. I thought about it for a while and then talked to Rob about it and he said okay, but reminded me that he ultimately wants to build us new tables to replace these. I couldn't wait.

So, a trip to home depot and a few hours in the garage and here they are, on their way to a more life as bedside tables.

I am enjoying them very much and they still catch my eye when I go around the corner and see them. Before, they just disappeared. Now, they make a statement against the red bedroom walls.

Y'all take care and have a great Monday. I got lots done over the weekend, so more photos coming soon. But, I'm so far behind reading blogs. I'll catch up as I can. Lane


A little sprucing up

That's exactly what this poor tired bed on the dark side of our house needed. This bed runs up the north side of the house, around the outside air conditioning unit and then around the corner and ends at the garage door. I thought the aspidistra was dying on the front because that faces west and it gets a lot of sun. The plants looked sad and brown. But, when I cut the dead out of the bed and moved a little bit from where I didn't want it to where I did, and got a few years of oak leaves out of it, the bed looked pretty good. Unfortunately, it was a mosquitoe hotel and when I stirred it up, they all went through the open garage door and into the house. The three of us spent all of Saturday night swatting and slapping and scratching. We were smarter on Sunday when we planted the white impatiens and red begonias around the edge. First, we didn't disturb the aspidistra and second, we left the garage door down. But, even with that, the mosquitoes tried to carry us off, one drop at a time.

These pictures are from the back garden. First, to the right. The gate you see is the same as what you saw in the previous picture, upper left corner, from the inside. Still, not much color, but things are getting ready to bloom and fill this area in.
And, this is to the left. You can see the tall pink phlox just getting started. I have those all over and they will bloom for a large part of the summer. The daylily show is changing from the common orange and yellow to the specialty daylilies that are left, so there should be a good bit more show.

Here is a pink one that bloomed next to my glider. When the sun is shining, I love to sit out here. The mosquitoes don't bother me so much in the sunshine.
And, just talking about those skeeters has got me itching all over.
I did finish the feather quilting project. Got the last stitches on the border Saturday night and never got around to washing and blocking yesterday. Too many other things going on, I guess. And, I was working with chemicals and the last thing I want to do is get anything on that quilt.
I've been refinishing some very small furniture and remembered how much I used to like to do that. Fortunately, we have enough pieces that need work that I should never be bored. I have clearance to repaint some tables next weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. After that, the end tables in the living room need refinishing. And, I have a dresser... Always gotta have a project.
Take care and have a great Monday. Lane


tick-tock, tick-tock

The sound of the Friday clock.
Slowly the second hand passes the 12
And every second seems like more...


Ha! You thought I was going to use a bad word, didn't you. No, not today. I've already been admonished today for saying ass. As in "what a dumbass" when the decorator painted the people's house purple on HGTV this morning. They didn't like it. I didn't like it. Sydney? She liked it.

I'm just waiting for the day to be over. I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy and hopefully, at least some of it will be mentally stimulating. All these weeks I've been waiting for my boss's presentation to be over so we could rest for a few days and now we've done everything we can. The rest is up to him. So now I can finally take a half hour and clear off my desk. Do a little filing. And, a little dusting. It's way past time.

On a side note, I have finally broken all ties to Martha Stewart. Yesterday, I sold her stock...stock that I lost my shirt on. Thank goodness I didn't let her lose very much of my money. Who knew that she'd come out of jail worse than when she went in??? Isn't pennance supposed to make people better? I mean, she changed her format to the one thing she can't do. She tried to run a talk show. And, she CAN'T TALK TO PEOPLE!

I held that stock for years, hoping that it would go up. Thinking that I couldn't afford to sell it. But, yesterday, I cut my losses. And, what did I buy? I bought into a company that makes parts for those huge windmills for windfarms. That's much more in line with my priorities today.

So, farewell Martha. Here's your ring back. The engagement is over. You should have seen it coming when I recycled 5 years worth of back issues of Living. Oh, and take my feedback. You did better talking at people than you ever will talking to them. Stick with what you know, girl!

Love, Lane

p.s. if Martha leaves feedback like Emilie did, I'm gonna just die. Sink right into the ground like that building in Guatamala.


The best laid plans

Well, it is the first day of summer vacation for the kid. I thought I'd try to make it special and take her to breakfast before dropping her at summer camp. It's too early for summer camp and there was nothing on the plan for today and I thought breakfast would be a nice little bit of the day when she wouldn't be bored with the little kids and when we could spend a little extra time together.

My vision: I'd let her sleep late and she'd get up singing happy songs about how school was out. We'd get ready for our days, pack our lunches, head out to a restaurant where a waiter would take my order for a nice healthy breakfast that included eggs, biscuits and fruit. Then, we'd head back to the house, pick up our lunches and go do our separate things.

What happened: I let her sleep late and got 5"3" of attitude, huge hair, and grumpiness, followed by complaining about what she had picked to take for lunches this week. At this point, she'd been up for 50 minutes and I'd spent 25 minutes of that walking by myself and another 20 showering and getting ready, and those other 5 minutes were about all the father/daughter time I thought I could handle. So, I stepped her back and gave her another 5 to adjust her attitute. After that, it was all sherry and giggles as we did my morning garden walk and finished getting ready. She picked a burger place for breakfast and rushed me through the whole thing. "Hurry, hurry, hurry, I want to get to camp and see Shelley (the camp counselor)". "Stop singing. You don't know how." "Don't dance. You don't know how."

She's so lucky. She has no idea how few parents are actually happy enough to sing and dance. Even if they don't know how. One day she's going to remember that it wasn't all fighting about homework and chores.

On a side note, I'm going to have to be careful what I blog about. After my post yesterday about the sudden summer storm, we had a gulleywasher yesterday evening. There were even some blown down trees in the 'hood. Thunder, lightening, the cap blew off our chimney. No serious damage and thankfully, no hail.

And, the kid finally has a college fund. I realized yesterday that, after two years, every extra dime wasn't going to clothes, dolls, and legal fees and it was time to put that extra money into her continued education, or I was going to start spending it on myself. So, I opened the account, deposited a nice chunk of quilt fabric money (yes, that's what I would have spent it on) and plan to watch that 1.1% apr make it grow. Right!

Anyway, it's a start. Now if I can just be regular about putting money in every payday, maybe she won't spend all her adult life sleeping on our couch. Yes, our couch. I plan to turn her room into a second sewing room the day after she moves out, so there won't be anyplace to sleep but the couch.

Take care and have a great Thursday. I'm a little behind on my ambitious plan to finish the fancy quilt and get working on the Indian Orange Peel. I put the last quilting stitches in today instead of last weekend and now I need to bind it. I promise, pictures are forthcoming. Lane


The fishing trip

Once I was young. A very long time ago. And, I decided I wanted to go fishing. Now, I've never really gotten the whole hunting and fishing thing. I'm sure that in part, that's because meat comes from the supermarket. I don't really want to be involved in the killing of it. Never did. But, my Dad loved to hunt and fish. I can remember that he would leave before dawn and stay out most of the day. When we had a travel trailer, we kept it at the lake like a summer cabin. We could go out for the weekend and my Dad could fish until his heart was content. Now, as far as a hunter goes, I don't remember my Dad killing much. I think he was into it for the outdoors and if it had been socially acceptable, would probably have hunted with a camera instead of a gun. But, as a fisherman, he almost always came in with a big haul.

I wanted to be more like my Dad when I was a teen. But, we were so different. I'd rather be inside. I preferred the air conditioning or the heating, or better yet, a big roaring fire. I'd rather stay in with my Mom and my Aunt Seal (Lucille) and make Christmas ornaments.

But, on this particular weekday, I decided to go fishing. I must have been 16 or 17 and was a new driver. I borrowed the Suburban and the flat bottomed aluminum boat and off I went. I cannot tell you how I got that boat trailer in the water to get the boat off of it. I can't back up a trailer to save my life. But, somehow, I did get the boat in the water.

I remember paddling around the lake with my rod, casting and catching nothing. I didn't mind that I wasn't catching anything. I was paddling along the edge of the lake and enjoying the scenery. I remember watching a snake swim by. It was fascinating to watch that whipping back and forth and moving so fast through the water, head up. And, paying much less attention to me than I was to it.

I paddled around for a few hours. Occassionally tying up to a tree, but mostly just floating along. Enjoying the peace, the quiet, and the sunshine. Birds chirping. Occassionally a fish breaking the water for a bug, so I knew they were in there. They just were not interested in what I was throwing.

I "fished" for a couple of hours. And, then the wind picked up. A nice breeze that felt good. And, then a black cloud passed overhead. Even as a teen, I was smart enough to know it was time to get off the water. I paddled for shore with the wind at my back. I moved pretty quickly, but not quickly enough. First there was thunder, then lightening. The rain started just before I got to the boat ramp. I do remember how I got that boat out of the water. I drove the Suburban across the ramp, perpendicular to the boat, and dragged that boat out of the water and onto the trailer. I was in a hurry at this point. I knew that the road I had traveled through the pine woods to get to the lake was red clay. And, water and clay do not go well together as a road. By the time I got the boat on the trailer, the rain had turned into quite a shower. One of those summer storms that dumps a lot of water in a short period of time and then blows on by.

Slowly I drove out onto the road. Thankfully, there was no one else on it that day and all I had to do was stay on my side. I came to a hill and slowly edged my way up it. I can remember the back wheels slipping in that red clay as I crept up the hill. And, when I got to the top, I hit the deep mud and despite all the care I was taking to drive safely, as I started down, I slid to the left. And, I put the two left wheels of that huge Suburban in the ditch. Not a deep ditch, but made from the same red clay as the road. I tried and tried to get out of that ditch. I even unhitched the boat and trailer and dragged them to the side and tried to get out of the ditch.

I looked down the hill and I saw that at the bottom of the hill, the ditch leveled out to the same depth as the roadway. There was my answer. Just drive to the bottom of the hill, pull back onto the road and then drag the trailer down to the truck.

If only it had been that easy.

The Suburban was riding on the edge of the ditch and every foot down hill meant spinning the tires and dragging the bottom of the Suburban across the ridge. But, I got to the bottom. And, instead of finding flat land, what I ran into was a small pond that had formed that was so full of the red clay that it looked solid. But it wasn't. Just more water and mud. Defeat.

Me. Long country road. No vehicle. And, this was before the age of the cell phone. Well, they had cell phones. But, they were the size of a shaving kit and we certainly didn't have one.

At that point, I got lucky. A man drove by and stopped and asked if he could call someone for me. I gave him my home number and a dime. And I waited. Right there with the Suburban and the boat at the top of the hill while the sudden summer storm blew itself out and moved on. And waited.

And, waited.

Finally, a Ford Bronco with a winch on the front drove down the road and parked facing me. My Dad and a guy he worked with got out. In their work clothes. They secured the cable to the front of the truck and quick as a whistle, they had me out of the ditch. My Dad backed the truck up and hitched up the boat and drove me home with the friend following us. But, while we were alone together, I had to explain why the boat was at the top of the hill and the Suburban was at the bottom. That's when the trouble started. You see, if I'd just left the Suburban at the top of the hill, there probably wouldn't have been any trouble at all. But, I'd dragged it along that ridge for probably 50 yards and the mud in the wheels was, well, you can imagine. Packed in ever crevice and crack. My Dad set me to washing the mud off the bottom of the truck and went back to work. If I remember right, it took most of the rest of the day. But, I got it really clean. Or at least I tried to do my best.

My Dad was so upset. Running off the road for the first time was bad. Trying so hard to get myself out of it was bad. But, nothing that happened that day was as bad as my Dad being mad at me. He hardly ever got mad, so when he did, I knew I'd done the wrong thing.

As far as I can remember, having to clean up all that mud was all the punishment I got. But, I don't think I ever went fishing again. I'm pretty sure I never tried to back up a trailer again. And to this day, I get nervous anytime I have to drive on a dirt road.

That's it for this Way Back Wednesday. The story of my last fishing trip. Oh, and a bumper sticker I saw this morning that made me chuckle: "Midwives...they help people out!"

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Lane


Yesterday morning...

Okay, yesterday started out just fantastic for me. You guys know that Rob and I are trying to spend more time together, focused on one another. And, we achieved what was for me the pinnacle yesterday morning. I took some fingerwork and he took the laptop and we went out to the greenhouse and watched the sun come up. I sewed, he played music for me and web searched. And, we were just together. Us and the sun and the birds starting to sing. Nothing to distract us from chatting about nothing in particular. It was truly intimate time.

After that, it was gardening and lawn mowing and forcing the kid to do our bidding, which we always enjoy to the fullest.

Then the movie. Now this may have been a great movie. Rob and Sydney certainly enjoyed it. Somehow, I managed to sleep through all but the loudest explosive scenes. I think it was because we'd had such a large meal of grilled steak, grilled zucchini and baked potatoes. And, I didn't have that huge $6 bucket of popcorn to munch on for 2 hours and keep me awake. So, next time we go to the movies, I'm going to skip the lunch and munch the corn and enjoy what I paid so much to see. I can sleep through a movie on my own sofa at home for practically free.

And, the pie was a disappointment. The apples were not tart enough and the whole experience left me flat. It smelled so good and cinnamon-ey while baking. And, when I cut it, it looked perfect, with sliced apples and the soft sugary goo that fills in the empty spaces. But, then I took a bite and all I could taste was the crust. RATS! Homemade pie is too much trouble if you don't get the reward of melt in your mouth yumminess.

And, today, it was back to school for the kid. Two days left for her and then summer camp. She's excited to be out, which I don't understand because they aren't doing anything but playing these two days anyway. And, I'm stuck at the office, where we are not playing. RATS! again.

Take care and have a great Tuesday. Lane