Sometimes the best takes a really long time

In the late 90’s, before I found my quilting obsess…uh, hobby, I was an obsessiv…uh, enthusiastic knitter.  I made some awful sweaters as I learned to knit.  But, I made a few nice ones, too.  Some I still can wear, at least around the house and one or two are good enough for public viewing.  And, some will be disassembled and turned into Linus afghans.

Just before I found quilting, I was crazy about cable work.  I made two cabled sweaters.  The first one is bright blue.  It was an acrylic sweater and I thought of it as the “muslin” for this sweater.  I wrote the pattern myself, using the cabling chapter from a knitting book.  The hand written pattern is long lost. 

After I had made the blue one, I decided it was worth the investment into wool yarn, which was pretty expensive.  I made the sweater; the front, the back and both sleeves.  I blocked the pieces, ready to put them together…and my old iron spit a brown stain on it. 

I packed the whole thing in a bag and put it in a drawer.  And, there it sat for about 10 years while I learned to quilt. 

Late last year, I pulled it out to finish.  I put it together and made the collar.  I know a lot more about handling stains now than I did then, and I hand washed it, which I’ve done with all my other sweaters…except the blue cabled one.  I don’t know if it was the cabling or what, but in the wash, my sweater grew.  It ended up big enough to fit the jolly green giant and no amount of blocking was ever going to fix that.  I let it mostly air dry and then I put it in the dryer. 

I dried it a couple of times, and it came out just right, everywhere except he bottom hem.  That ribbing was 63 inches around.  I don’t know what I did, but suspect that I used the same size needles for the ribbing as I did for the rest of the sweater and I used the same number of stitches, when the right way would have been fewer stitches and an increase where the ribbing stopped.  When I tried it on, it looked like a bell.  It hung from my shoulders in waves around me. 

I was very discouraged.

But, I kept thinking about it.  It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what to do, but you can tell, it worked.


Yes, that is me, in a wool sweater and shorts.  It was 80* here yesterday.  But, it’s pretty much a perfect fit, eh?

This is a better picture of the sweater.


Closeups of the cabling.



So, how did I fix the ribbed hem?

I crocheted three rows of really big stitches on the inside, going from one rib to the next, skipping over the “negative” spaces between the ribs.  I let each stitch be a half inch long.


It didn’t take very long, and it reduced the size of the hem to something that would snug around me.  And, it stretches enough that it’s not a problem to put the sweater on.  And, unlike just running a yarn circle around the hem and cinching it up like a belt (yes, that was the third runner up of ideas) it keeps the ribs from bunching up by controlling how far apart they can get. 

Now, will we ever get a day that’s cold enough to wear it?  Who knows.  It’s cool outside…but not cool enough for a thick wool sweater.

We got the results of the MRI yesterday.  She’s torn her ACL and her meniscus (sp?).  Surgery is required.  But, we got the nicest surprise.  The doctor came in and it was like he was a different person.  I don’t know whether he had a bad day last Thurs or if he just wasn’t very personable because he didn’t know anything to tell us.  But, yesterday, he was gentle, kind, understanding, sympathetic, talked to Sydney as the disappointed little girl she was feeling like.  Very nice.  When he left the room, I looked at Syd and asked her if this was the same doctor that we saw, just a week before.  Rob even askod if it was the same one because he was nothing like I’d described.  So, it just goes to show you, you can’t judge a book by its cover; you have to get to the meat of it before you know what it’s about.  We have to wait two weeks for the swelling to go down and for more healing to occur, then we can schedule the surgery.  The good news is that she should be healed and ready to play for her sophomore year.  And, we don’t have to do track and field practices and meets this year. 

So, that’s our little saga.  The bad doc turned out good, the bad sweater turned out good.  The girl is turning out good, if she can just keep her sights on the future and not wallow in the present too much.  Rob and I think we’re handling it all just right by being up front and honest and straightforward and just talking to her like an adult, but breaking it up so that we talk about it for a few minutes and then let is rest for a while, and then we can all talk about it some more.

Be well.  Lane

keeping a general ledger

I wrote the best post before I left this morning.  I wrote it in Windows Live Writer, just like I always do.  I included pictures, just like I always do.  I clicked publish, just like I always do...and I got error 403: forbidden.

I only had a couple of minutes, so I had to walk away.  Unhappy. 

That's a google error and there are as many solutions listed on the internet as there are named descendents of Abraham in the Bible.  And, none of them seems to apply to what i was doing. 

I was able to find more specific information when I included "windows live writer" and "error 403" in my web search.  Hopefully one of those solutions will work tonight.  Unfortunately, I'm just not sure how much time I'm willing to keep putting into making google work as a blog publishing platform.  There certainly are a lot of other platforms out there for me to continue to put up with google's nonsense. 

So, I decided I'd share something I did this week, as a parent, that has been the absolute best idea. 

We give Syd an allowance.  Just a bit of pocketmoney that she doesn't have to earn because we don't pay her to carry her own weight around the house.  But, we also want her to be able to buy things she wants.  I wish a little less of it went into the vending machines at school, but it is what it is.  She is good with her money and I don't worry about it too much.  When I was her age, I spent part of my money in the vending machines and concession stands, too. 

What I wasn't so good at was making sure I had money on Monday when it was time to pay her.  Okay, so if you give your kid an allowance, and you're inconsistent like me, then you've probably run into the situation where you thought you'd paid but they said you hadn't.  Who is right?  Or, you loaned them money and forgot to collect it later. 

I decided that we needed a general ledger for me to keep up with her allowance and loans.  Plus, we're adding a new feature to her allowance.  We increased her allowance, except she doesn't get all of it as a cash payment.  She gets the same amount of cash she was getting before.  But, a portion of the new amount goes into savings and she can pick the charity she wants to donate it to.  And, another portion goes into savings for her to purchase some larger ticket item that she wants. 

We want to reinforce the lesson to save for what you want instead of borrowing for it and we want to reinforce the lesson to give to charity.  This seemed a good way to do it. 

But, I couldn't do it without a general ledger to keep up with it all.  So, I found free general ledger pages with 4 columns and headed them Charity, Savings, Allowance, Loans.  And, starting with this week's allowance, I filled it in, including a loan I made to her on Tuesday and a loan she made to me on Tuesday night.  I paid off my loan and she paid off her loan and now the balance is just the amount she has in savings for later.

This is going to make things so much easier.  I think I've paid her for a check she got for her birthday about 4 times because I couldn't remember and she kept saying I didn't pay.  She also said I owed her for the week before Christmas and the week of Christmas. 

Sheesh, is there no end to paying? 

Anyway, we're started with a clean slate and will keep up with it going forward.  No more talking about the past and what I owe her.  She doesn't get the whole, I feed you, I clothe you, I shelter you, how can I owe you? 

Be well.  Hope you're having a great Thursday.  This afternoon, we get the results of Syd's MRI.  Cross your fingers! 



January Linus finish

I recently read a post from a blogger who said that she never speaks of her donation quilts, because doing so would mean that she’s doing the donation work for her own glory and not for the glory of charity.  She learned this from her Grandmother, who gave selflessly and silently. 

I couldn’t help but pause and think about my own donation work and me banging on and on about it.  And, was I drawing the glory of the donation to myself?  Was that wrong?

I realized that’s not why I talk about what I donate, quilts or cash.   I had to think about why I talk about it and whether what I say about it is wrong. 

First, I had to realize that when I talk about my Linus quilts, I’m not saying, hey, look at me, I’m a really great guy, I make Linus quilts.  When I talk about my Linus quilts, I talk about what I’m working on, which is what I always do on my blog, and what I happen to be working on a lot this year is a group of Linus quilts.  Ten of them.  My commitment to me.   

And, second, I talk about my Linus quilts to find other people that are also making donation quilts, so we can share that special feeling that comes from doing so.  And, I talk about them to bring attention to Linus. 

And, third, I don’t think that whoever is judging whether good works are good enough or done in the right spirit actually cares whether I bragged about a quilt or not.  I think that judge cares about that warm child that wraps up in one of my donation quilts, and that’s all.  Period.  My willingness to reach out and give a comfort to someone I’ll never see or know.

I realized that what she does is right for her.  And, what I do is right for me.  And, we don’t have to feel the same about it to both continue to do good works.

So, with that said, here is January; the fish quilt.


For me, this quilt really went south in a hurry.  I’m not loving the layout.  It’s nice, but it’s not my usual work.  There’s not enough variety.  This was the first pattern I started making for Linus; large blocks of color coordinated fabric that I could finish quick.  But, these blocks just don’t turn me on anymore.  I think it’s time to ramp up my patterns for Linus.  I certainly enjoyed piecing the more complex I Spy quilt than I did this quilt.  And, the next quilt, in the planning stages now, is a more complex design built from a need to use up some orphan blocks and change them from something ugly to something wonderful.

The fish also didn’t turn out as wonderful as I thought they would.


The whole quilt is quilted with columns of fish, all swimming in the same direction.  I think the thing I don’t like about them is that they barely show up, but they were a lot more work than I wanted them to be.  That much work should show. 

Anyway, there’s me, going on and on about how this quilt doesn’t pass muster for me.  But, I tried new things and that’s how I learn and while I would like it to have turned out better, I still managed to make a pretty cool teen sized quilt. 


Another thing I’m always banging on about is how normal my family is.  You guys have gotta understand.  Nobody is more surprised about this than me.  All my life, being gay was abnormal, or so I was told, so finding that a steady and strong relationship that includes a child when the couple is gay is just like a steady and strong relationship that includes a child when the couple is straight is always a bit of a surprise for me.

You may remember that last Friday was parent’s night at the game.  And, you’ll likely remember that I was nervous about it.  But, the night turned out so normal, it could have been right out of a TV sitcom.

All the parents and their girls lined up in order and we all paraded onto the court in a very long curved line.  We were about 6th in line.  The coach went down the line and called each girl and her parent or grandparent or aunt or uncle or older sibling, or whoever that girl was grateful to for making basketball happen for them this year.  As she called the name, the group was supposed to step out and as she called the next name, they were supposed to step back.  She called Sydney’s name and said that “Sydney is accompanied by her two dad’s…”  Okay, maybe it was just me and my nerves, but I’d swear that there was more applause for us than for anyone before us in that line and more than for most of the girls later in the line.  Why?  I don’t know.  But, many of the parents in the stands were from the opposing team.  They didn’t know us from Adam and Steve.  Maybe it didn’t even happen.  But, it felt like a real acknowledgment of the courage it took to step out there.

And, then it happened.  That embarrassing TV moment.

Rob and Sydney stepped back and I was left out in front of the crowd alone, looking around in amazement at what I was feeling.  And, then I felt a gentle tug on my shirt as Sydney pulled me back in line. 

And, everyone laughed. 

It was one of those surreal moments that you’d think would have to be planned and staged.  But it wasn’t.  It was our real life. 

And, it was great.  I was not being laughed at.  I was being laughed with.  Laughed with because it was funny.  Not because it was wrong or embarrassing.  But, because it was funny.  And, people will remember how normal and funny it was somewhere way back in the back of their mind.  Maybe it will soften a prejudice.  Maybe it will just be a funny story to tell at a dinner one night.  Or maybe it will just be stored as a normal, routine event in the life of parents everywhere.  I know I’ll never forget.

Be well.  Have a great Wednesday.  Yesterday was Sydney’s MRI.  We’ll get the results tomorrow.  That’s when the fun begins.



When life gives you lemons

What does one do with a prolific lemon tree, whose fruit is ripe in winter? 


We got a lot of lemons this year.  Maybe 25, which for our medium sized tree seems a lot.  We’ve used them in tea and Sydney loves to just peel and eat them.  But, they’re really ready now and it’s time for some consumption.  And, they’re huge Meyer lemons.  They’re sitting on 4 inch tiles in this picture.  They are the size of a large fist and both juicy and sweet.

Anyway, there will be pie and Syd is looking forward to some lemonade, but for now there’s lemon cake.


Three layers of lemon sponge cake separated by lemon curd and frosted with a lemon cream cheese frosting.  The cakes stuck to the pans, so there’s a LOT of cream cheese frosting to make it look like a cake.

Anyway, it was a complex recipe and I wouldn’t want to have to bake one every day (unless that’s all I had to do), but it was a fun cake, too. 

I also spent 6 hours in the floor on Saturday, tieing the second wool suit quilt. 


This one has a green and blue plaid back.


It’s going to be perfect, but I need a low humidity day to wash it so I can hang it on the line to dry.  Hoping to get one tomorrow.  Next is two smaller quilts for the head rests of the recliners.  We’re still in the design stage for those, tho.

And, I spent a lot of time quilting fish into a linus quilt.  That’s done and it’s ready to bind and I’m hoping to get that done tonight or tomorrow morning.

And, I did a lot of hand quilting.  Ohhhh, how relaxing.  I was just getting over being ill, so I didn’t spend a lot of time outside, for fear that my allergies would send me back to feeling bad, but that didn’t stop me from a lot of very slow and pleasant hand work.


This is the last block for stabilizing.  Next are the borders.  And, then the fun quilting starts.

Thank you all for all your reinforcement of my feelings about Syd’s knee and the ortho doc.  It’s one thing to feel a certain way, but it is so much better when people reinforce that and let you know that it’s okay to want to slow things down and take them at my pace and not at the doctor’s.  Syd’s already out for the rest of this year’s games, so there’s no hurry to get her back on the court.  We can take our time and get this done right.  And, that means right for us.

Be well, have a great Monday.  I hope you all got to do things you wanted to do this weekend and that your weeks are shaping up nicely. 



Time keeps on slippin'

Today is a pictureless post.  Not because I wanted it to be, but because there just wasn't time at home and google has become picture restrictive. 

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin', into the future...

This is definitely one of those weeks when I just want to shout STOP THE MERRY GO ROUND, I'M GOING TO BE SICK. 

But, there are times when even that doesn't work and the merry just keeps going around, faster and faster and faster, and life laughs at you for daring to wish it would slow down a bit.

It's times like this that I like hand quilting.  Hand quilting requires slowing down and since I can't control any of the other stuff in life and make it slow down, I can slow down my quilting to something that's ever so slow and routine and relaxing.  And, I got another Dresden Plate block quilted in the process.  I have one more to put the stability quilting in and then the borders.  Nothing is going to be slower than all those long, straight lines to stabilize the borders.  Ideally, I'd like to sneak out of the house this weekend and spend some time with my quilt in my lap in the sun room, enjoying the warm January weather for the couple of days that it's going to be nice and warm.  Not sunny, but warm and drizzly days...best days to quilt, huh?

Tonight is Parent's night at the game.  Remember, I mentioned a couple weeks ago how nervous I was about both Rob and I escorting Sydney on the court.  Okay, so it's funny how something that felt so important then, seems so trivial now. 

Sydney won't be playing tonight.  She injured her knee in the last game she played.  She sat out for a while and then tried to practice and couldn't.  We went to the orthopedic doctor yesterday and next, we get an MRI.  In the 92 seconds that he could spare us to make his first impression, he said surgery twice and left Sydney weeping.  We'll let them do the MRI, because that process is already started.  But, we'll likely go elsewhere for any treatment.  I was not impressed with the doctor, the practice, or the staff except for his nurse practitioner, who was the only person that seemed to care that Sydney was young and afraid and in pain. 

Anyway, this likely ends this year of basketball.  And, track and field, which comes up in a month or so.  Oh, well.  As I said to Sydney, the end of this basketball season is about a quarter inch in the yardstick that measures a life.  But, until we get the diagnosis next week, I'm not going to make her quit the team, which means she's still there for practices and games.  So, we'll be there for parent night. 

A couple days ago, I mentioned that I was going to use freezer paper to make quilting templates to quilt some fish on a Linus quilt.  I got some questions, so I thought I'd update how that worked.  It wasn't too bad.  I cut a bunch of them and pressed them to the quilt front.  I sat with the bulk of the quilt in my lap and quilted away from me, down one side of the templates, planning to work the length of the quilt, and then work up the other side of the templates, pulling the quilt toward me.  On that first row, the paper was still really stiff and unfolding the quilt from my lap caused some of the freezer paper to let go.  I had to iron the paper back to the quilt before I could do the second side.  The next row of fish, the paper was softer and it worked better, but still, some of the points of the paper released; the fishes mouth and the points of the tail.  I started catching them with straight pins as I'd near them.  That worked okay.  I also found it was easier to put the quilt on my sewing table and pull it toward me than it was to fold it into my lap and quilt it away from me.  If you're planning to do this, don't iron down more templates than you absolutely have to at one time and be prepared to drop a pin in any points that come loose as you go.  I do plan to continue quilting this quilt with this marking method.  I've done three columns of fish and will likely to two more and then just quilt some waves to finish it out.

Be well, have a great Friday.  I plan to spend the weekend resting from this week.  I have had 4-6 meetings every day and there's no sign that it's going to ease up any time soon.  And, since neither Rob nor I ever had a sports injury, we're learning to work that part of the medical system, too.  I wish I was one of those people that could just go with the flow.  But, I'm not.  I still pretend that I can control the flow.  And, the Universe says "ha-ha-ha-ha-hahahaha"



And quilting, and quilting…

Okay, so the drawback to finishing three quilt tops is having to stop and quilt them.  Okay, not really a drawback, more of a reward.  But, I’m in a really creative mode right now and stopping to quilt is just not as appealing as it sometimes is.


And, it’s not really the quilting, it’s the stabilizing quilting that is not appealing to me.  You know, the work that you have to do before you can get to the fun part.  The thing that keeps me going is knowing how much easier this will be to handle under the machine when some of the pins have been replaced with long lines of quilting. 

The theme of this quilt is fish.  I’m thinking of quilting it with long, vertical rows of fish.


This fish.  Well, maybe this fish without the fins on top and bottom.  Those seem a bit of overkill.  Anyway, I was thinking I’d cut a dozen or so out of freezer paper and then iron them to the quilt top and quilt around them and move them to the next spot and quilt around them.  Can’t do that if I keep the fins.  Anyway, just a thought.  Linus quilts are a good place to try new things.  And, if I’m not going to like it, I can pick a good stopping point and just let them end without feeling like I have to rip them out.

I was also piecing on this mystery quilt. 


I stopped because I’m just not loving that light green.  And, because it is a shaded fabric that is light on one end and medium on the other, so I won’t get consistent coloring out of it.  The pattern instructions are pretty hard to understand (they could take tips from Bonnie Hunter) but I managed to get through that and even learn a new skill using the tri-recs ruler.  But, I can’t make myself cut that light green fabric and sew it to the dark blue.  Because if I hate it, I’ll have to pick out 48 (or 72…did I mention the pattern is hard to follow) diagonal seams.  Better to wait a bit and see what the next clue brings. 

One other note, from another day.  I write my blogs in Windows Live Writer and love it!  I really, really find it to be the easiest thing in the world to do and one click gets it published from my computer to my blog.  The only drawback is only having access at home.

Last night, I took Rob out for Daddy’s night out.  We really needed it.  This parenting s**t is HARD.  I thought it was hard teaching her right from wrong.  But, it’s even harder teaching her how right and wrong fit into the bigger world. 

Be well.  Have fun.  Find something you like and wrap yourself up in it.  Today, I’m wrapped in the fact that my family is weathering a storm like an old, reliable, comfortable ship.



A piecing machine

Okay, not sure what I’ve done to blogger, or if blogger has just done another stupid something, but I can’t post pictures from my computer anymore.  I’ve said it over and over.  The people at Google are listening to the wrong people.

Anyway, that just leaves a moment to post a blog.  I got lots of piecing done this weekend.  This is another Linus quilt that’s all pin basted and ready to start quilting.


I know it doesn’t look like much in the picture, but it’s all based of the colors in this cool fish fabric and looks really good.


And, I got another wool suit quilt top pieced and it needs another good ironing and it will be ready to tie.


In fact, I was rolling right along, and then I got stuck at a roadblock on a mystery that I got involved in.  The instructions are very confusing and it’s taken me a while to figure them out.  And, replace a piece of truly butt ugly fabric. 

Be well.  Have a great Monday.  Lane


I spy quilts

Well, first I spy quilt is pieced.  Linus has sent a special plea for teen sized quilts and I’m thinking about adding either a border or another row of blocks to make this one just a bit longer. 


This is such a cheerful quilt and Rob’s already tried to claim it.  I really hadn’t talked to him much about it.  He was looking at it and pointing out all the different things this morning and I explained the concept of the “I Spy” quilt and that all those different things are the whole point. 

And, Barb did such a good job of fussy cutting these.  There’s a bit of everything here.


Badges and basketball players and tractors and boats.


Butterflies and people and fish and numbers.


And, chickens and jelly beans and basketballs and baseballs and bears and even a bluejay.

Fun to make, fun to play.

Barb sent enough squares for more than one quilt.  I thought that maybe I could move some old stash and try some speed piecing and I played with a pattern and this is what I ended up for the next one.


Same quilt, but with just two fabrics used in the borders. 

Does anybody else draw patterns on sticky notes?


I swear I was listening in that meeting yesterday.

Be well.  Have a great Friday.  I RSVP’ed for tomorrow’s  Linus meeting this morning, so I’m committed to get out there and do things with people. 



Once upon a time

A long time ago, when I was young and beginning my career, professional people didn’t wear shorts and flip-flops to work.  Professional people dressed for their jobs in professional attire. 

Ladies wore dresses or something unheard of today…a pants suit,

Designing Women designing-women-cast-2.jpg photo

and, gentlemen wore suits and ties.

Now, it’s not like I was a lawyer or anything.  I worked in a call center and no one ever saw me face to face.  But, that didn’t matter.  It was believed that if we dressed professionally, we would  behave professionally.  I won’t get into whether that worked or not because it was the 80’s and professional behavior still involved drinking with the boys and upper management flirting with the “girls” in the office…in front of people…like there was nothing wrong with it.  Sheesh!

Anyway, I wore a suit or sport coat, with a tie, to work every day except Friday.  On Friday, we had casual day and you could wear your slacks and an open collar shirt.  Not jeans, but still, more casual than Monday.

I dressed like a fashion plate.  Not because I could afford it, but because I had a lot of friends that were hitting that 35 hump and their bodies were changing shapes and I benefitted from their hand-me-downs.

In the 90’s, I hit my 35 hump and those suits no longer fit, which was okay, because by then, jeans at the office were the thing.  Much more casual, much more resilient, much much much more comfortable.  I left my suits in the closet, pretending that I’d ever be a 29” waist again.  They hung there as a reminder of what used to be, covered in their dry cleaner’s plastic bags.  So many people were donating their suits to goodwill at the time that they had no value, so rather than donate mine, I got the idea from Martha Stewart to cut them up and make them into a quilt. 

Now, here’s the thing about cutting up a suit that dearest Martha didn’t mention.  While the shell of the coat and the lining of the coat are both clean, what’s between them is a filling of dust that has been trapped by many dry cleanings and when you take the lining out of the coat, you release that into the environment.  I got through 3 suits and a sports coat before I got totally sick of the whole thing and donated the rest to goodwill.  I couldn’t breathe and the dust layer in the extra bedroom that I was using as a sewing room was a quarter inch thick. What a mess. 

Anyway, I cut the suits into 5” squares and sealed them into a ziploc bag and there they waited for the day that I would get back around to that project.  It became my oldest UFO and was bagged up and ready for at least 10 years.  In that time, I collected other pieces of flat suiting fabric and a piece of red and black plaid for the backing.  I think most of that came from my Mom’s sewing room.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Rob moved the quilt we were using as a lap robe in the living room into the bedroom to protect his dog’s chair from damage…yes, it is a people chair, but the dog thinks she owns it.

Anyway, about that time, I was assessing my UFO’s and decided, hey, why not start with the very oldest one.  I don’t have to work them in order, but still, the first one is a good place to start. 


The quilt is about 52”x68” and is going to make a great laprobe.  You probably see the mistake I made in the sides (top and bottom of this picture).  I didn’t see it until it was all assembled and I took that row out and tried to fix it and made it worse and then tried to fix it again, thought I had, sewed it all back together again, and realized I’d made the exact same mistake I’d started with.  Not taking it apart to fix it again.  This will do. 


It is tied at every intersection with #5 black pearl cotton thread.


And, it’s backed in this great red plaid that reminds me of a sleeping bag.

I photographed it today, just after finishing.  Next step is to toss it in the wash and then line dry it.  Most of this is wool with a bit of poly thrown in, so it can’t go in the dryer.  I’ll need a low humidity day when I can hang it on the line and we’re looking forward to that kind of weather this weekend.


In the meantime, hanging on the back of the sofa, you can’t even see my mistake.

And, I have enough squares to make another one this size, but in the trip around the world pattern and two miniatures that we’re going to put on the back of the recliners to protect them from hair products.

I can hardly wait to start the next one. 

Be well and have a great Thursday.  Saturday is Project Linus day and I’m planning to attend.  I need to get something cut that I can piece at the meeting and I’m planning to take Alba, so people can ooh and aah over her. 


It will be her first outing.

She’s so excited.



Warm Win

Today, I’m getting to wear my new vest for the first time.

I got this yarn from a friend whose Mother had passed and she sent the yarn through me to Project Linus.  I donated most of it and I kept some to use on my own linus projects and I kept a little bit of it for me.
I had four and a half skeins of this beautiful yarn.


Look at that label.  This yarn is so old, you could only buy Wintuk from Sears.  I’m estimating 70’s maybe.  Anyway, it’s a beautiful gray brown and I immediately fell in love. 

I wanted to make a sweater, but I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough yarn, so I decided on a sleeveless vest.  It took me a while to find a pattern that I wanted to make, but this one won.


It was very simple to make and I whipped it out in about a month of knitting during family time (when I should have been hand quilting). 

This morning, I hid the last of the loose threads and now, it’s ready to go, on another cold day in Texas.


[And, yes, Sydney, I am sucking in my gut.  Bite me.]

I love to knit.  It’s fun and most of the time relaxing.  Not every project comes out this good.  I recently finished a sweater that I had knit several years ago and now, I’m trying to “fix it” so I can wear it. 


We are fighting teen acne.  Really, I never thought that I’d be the one playing mother or saying “it’s the only face you’re going to get and it has to last a really long time” and “you may not care what you look like now, but you’re going to care in 30 years and in 50 years, and taking care starts now.”

I really thought peer pressure would take care of this.  But, it hasn’t and I’m the one that gets the rolled eyes when I ask “have you washed your face since basketball practice?” 

But, you know what?  Four months ago, the poor child was having an incredibly bad outbreak.  It was so bad that it has left a few tiny scars.  When washing and medicating with over-the-counter products wasn’t working, we went to the doctor and he’s started us on treatments that are helping.  But, I still have to remind her to keep her face clean because it is not a miracle cure. 

Man-mom is a harder job than it looks. 

At next week’s game, they’re having parent night and each girl will be escorted on the court by her parents.  The mere thought of it takes my breath away.  The stigma (that probably only still exists in my memory) of being gay parents; of being such a minority with so many quietly prejudiced against us; unknown enemies; it makes me break out in a sweat. 

But, Sydney is proud of us and she is not at all ashamed to have her two dads stand up with her on parent’s night.  And, if I’m not going to stand up and say, “hey, we’re doing this and we’re doing a pretty good job and we’re not ashamed”, then who’s going to say it? in what generation? 

The time is now.  The day is today.  In the 80’s, when so many of us were dying, we used to rally and march and chant “We’re here.  We’re queer.  Get used to it.”  Next week, I’ll have to step out of the crowd and silently live those words again.  Just the two of us.  Proud.  Tall and standing beside our student (an athlete on A/B honor roll, well behaved, called a “good kid” by campus police…we must be doing something right.)

Be well.  Have a great Wednesday.  Lane


Open letter to Quilter’s Newsletter

Dear QNM.  What’s up y’all?  I’ve been a faithful reader for years.  In fact, when a lady got tired of you guys a few years ago, she gave me all her old copies from the 90’s, so I’ve actually read back issues from before I was a quilter. 


All those little sticky note pieces?  Those are all quilts I’d like to make from your publication. 

Recently, I’ve become a bit disenchanted as it seems that you’ve chased after the newest trends in quilting, relaxing on the news sections and the instructional sections that made you famous and focusing too much attention and ink on the hate filled comments of some of your readers.  And, personally, I’m not much caring for some of the newer patterns…note how many sticky notes are on the left side of the picture above and how few on the right side, where the newer editions are stored.

But, despite that, I’ve remained a faithful reader of every issue…they don’t even get time to warm up on these cold days before I’m ripping through the plastic to get to the goodies inside.  I’ve read them to keep up with the news in the quilting community and to become a better and more inspired quilter. 

But, I need to tell you that I’m getting really frustrated by your subscription department.  And, I’m not thinking that their values reflect the values that drew me to your publication.


You see, in the last 6 months, I’ve received at least 5 threats to discontinue my subscription unless I pay NOW.  But, when I log into my online account, I’m paid through March of this year.  You probably can’t see the small print in the picture, but this threat says I’ll be cut off as of January 4.  Huh?

This is the most likely reason that I would end my subscription to your magazine.  I had similar experiences a couple years ago and dropped both those publications because of it. 

I think you can count on my subscription this year…and hopefully my approaching expiration will not cause you to step up your efforts to collect early.  But, I’m not sending the money one day before I have to.  Before I choose to.  And, I’m only being bull headed like this because of all those previous “reminders”.  This never would have caught my attention except for their frequency.


And, for all my regular readers:

Tonight, Sydney has a far away game that Rob will be going to.  I’ll be coming home early to feed the hounds and let them out.  I’d like to think that I’ll get lots of quilting done, but I know that what I’ll end up doing is sitting in the floor and playing with the dogs until I tire them out and they head off for a nap and then I’ll get just a few minutes to sew before I’m too tired to safely operate heavy machinery. 

Okay, so Alba Tross can’t actually be qualified as heavy machinery. 


It’s more likely I’d get tired and my seams would go all wonky.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  I’m still in the middle of too many projects to have my own work to share today.  Too many projects means I don’t make much progress on any of them. 

All the rows of the I Spy quilt are assembled.  Now, it’s time to press the seams and start joining them. 

Be well.  Lane


Not much to show for it

For such a wonderful and fun weekend, I don’t have many pictures to show for it. 

First, we went to Syd’s basketball game.  The coach had two people signed up to keep score, and because the other lady is a very regular volunteer and because I didn’t care what I did, I worked the gate for the freshman game (boy, did I miss my hand sanitizer).  Soon as that was over and the girls had eeked a win past the team that was supposed to be their biggest competition, I passed the tickets off to another volunteer and we hightailed it to Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe to see the Texas Blues Healers…
with Rob’s best friend and his wife.  One of these guys works with Rob, and apparently, he’s really buttoned down at the office, but he was really relaxed and a lot of fun at the show.  They're all in their late 50's to mid 60's and the newest member of the band started with them 15 years ago and I think they've been playing together for 30+ years.  We had a blast, with live music until 8:30 and we ate some really good sandwiches and then, it was time to pick up the kid and see the end of the varsity basketball game.  Unfortunately, they didn't pull a win out of their hats.

Next morning, I got to sew.  A lot.  Like a "sew in" lot.  I got all the blocks made for the I spy quilt and laid them out in the order I want.  After that, we took our dear friend LD to lunch.  Oh, how we all enjoy our outings with LD, even if it’s just a quick lunch.  I had a salad because I'm trying to be good like that, but I did finish LD's chicken and dumplings because the place we went has the BEST!  Okay, the best storebought.  After all that food, I was ready to get home for a nap. 

And, then, there was more sewing. 

Yesterday, I wanted to tie the quilt I’ve been teasing you guys with and it’s basically a plaid quilt top on a plaid backing and I did not take sufficient care in stretching the back and I ended up with a mess where the lines that should have been straight across the quilt, ran at opposing diagonals toward the center.  So, after I’d put in all the ties and gone back and tied half of them, and after a trip to the grocery to give me some space from my mistake, I pulled it all out and started over again.  I ended up spending the whole day, sitting in the floor and by bedtime, I could barely move.  I sat with my legs out.  I sat indian style.  I sat in child's pose.  I stopped periodically and just stretched.  And, I was still stiff and sore by evening. 

This morning, I got up and got the first two rows of the I spy quilt assembled. 

And, then, there was some serious stretching, or I’d have spent the whole day stooped over and groaning. 

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend, embraced in cold weather and sunshine and happiness and tiredness. 

The more attention I pay to myself, the more I hear myself say.  One of the things that I am saying to myself is that I want to be more involved.  I want to have different things to do; things that involve people.  I knew I would have fun this weekend and so I made myself open to that fun and made myself get out in it.  And, as expected, I loved it.  The busy-ness of it; the small quiet moments of it that seemed so much sweeter for having spent the less quiet moments with others.  Hearing people talk.  Being open to them.  No judgment unless you count me judging that not stretching that quilt back out was a beginner mistake that I couldn't live with.

And, no broccoli in my teeth.

Be well.  Have a wonderful start to your week.  It’s still cold here and I am enjoying that, too.  It won’t last long and it’s nearly time to cut the roses and plant the lettuce.


Lead with an apology

How do I give advice to a child that is having the same problem fitting in that I do? 

There was a huge amount of conflict at basketball practice yesterday; the result of a week of feedback that she’s being bossy, and when she gets that feedback, she’s being rude. 

Yesterday, I had a meeting with a lady that I had made angry because she kept ignoring the problem I was asking her to solve and saying “my team just did what they were told”.  Okay.  That’s great.  But, what you were told was clearly wrong.  When I got that blunt, she didn’t like it.  Didn’t matter that my original goal was an agreement that “hey, that doesn’t make sense (which she freely admitted).  I think we should change it.”

Both resulted in the same outcome; having to talk to somebody that’s mad and/or defensive.  My advice?  Lead with an apology.  Worked for me yesterday and I told that story to Sydney so she could see that it worked yesterday.  Since she was staring off into the corner of the ceiling, she could have been listening to my story…or she might have been saying the pledge of allegiance over and over in her head.  Who knows. 

But, that doesn’t keep it from being sound advice given.  Whether she can take it or not is up to her.  The really sad thing is how long it took me to learn that lesson so I could give that advice.  No one will more freely acknowledge that there is a reason this child was matched with this adult or that a higher power had something to do with it.  I’ve said it before; she and I could not be more alike if we were genetically related.

My other piece of advice?  Deal with it while you are young because a reputation of “doesn’t play well with others” doesn’t end with childhood and can ruin a career, no matter how smart you are.


Remember yesterday, I was talking about getting out among people?  Well, seems like this weekend, we’re gonna make up for it.  Tonight, I’ll be keeping score at the basketball game.  After that, we are having dinner with Rob’s best friend and his wife.  And, tomorrow, we’re taking LD to lunch. 

The thought of it all makes me quesy.

But, knowing that I am one bad smell away from being a cave dwelling hermit, and not wanting that to progress, actually getting out and among people is the only possible solution.  No matter how much it hurts. 

And, all because I’m afraid they’ll judge something I say or do.  I’ve let myself get so paranoid.  I’ve let a few people tell me so often that what I do is not right and not good enough that I’m starting to believe it.  I don’t sit at table with other people judging whether they have broccoli in their teeth.  But, I sure as heck will judge myself and be embarassed if it happens to me.  Too much inner judgment is a very bad thing.  Too much looking inside and not enough looking outside is a very very bad thing.


And, speaking of doing things with other people, I got six more blocks made for Barb and my “I spy” quilts. 


41 left to go.  Most important lesson learned so far?  Let go of matching.  Donation quilt.  Will not be judged.

Ooooh, just realized how close that sounds to the preceding section. 

It’s Friday.  I am tired.  I am glad this week is ending and I hope to balance some of this “among the people” time with a good old fashioned nap. 

Be well.  Have fun.  Be nice to somebody.  Get out among, even if you just talk to one person. 



Not a new year’s resolution

Now that the pies and cakes and cookies and candies of the holidays are all gone, it was time to start working on what they did to me while they were here.  I was seriously considering covering the mirrors with black crepe.

I am an emotional eater.  If I am uneasy, frightened, angry…I eat.  If I don’t have my normal structure…I eat.  If there’s too much available, I have to have a bite of it all before I can walk away.  I’d say it’s a compulsion, but it’s really more of a bad habit combined with a coping mechanism.

I could feel really bad about that, but this year, I took advantage of having a partner that I could be honest and open with and I talked about a lot of what I was feeling.  And, honestly, I’m lucky all I do is eat.  So, I’m not going to feel bad about it.  And, when I’m feeling strong, like I am now, I’ll do the opposite and work those worry pounds off. 

My employer ran an article about the new year and weight from a health insurance perspective and I downloaded one of the workout apps on my iphone and I finally got around to downloading my music to my iphone and I’ve found a really good stretching workout that I can do on days when I take long walks and a really good workout that focuses on a strong and flexible back and legs that I can do on other days, combined with a short walk.  A good portion of my workout time this week was spent finding those and that worked fine because it’s been raining all week and walking was pretty much off the table.  But, even the prep work to find the app, download the workouts, sample them; it was all contributing to the goal.  And, that feels good.

The most important thing is to find something I enjoy enough that I can look forward to it.  I relish the thought of all those back stretching yoga poses every morning.  They actually feel good.  I have to remember; it’s not a burden to take care of myself. 

Along with that, there’s my regular meals, which are healthy and well balanced and correctly proportioned and prepared with the max flavor and the minimum unnecessary fat.  Really, all I had to cut out was the bedtime sweets, which according to every dietician, are the devil’s own bad idea.

I’m already down 2 pounds.  But, I do catch myself wandering in circles in the kitchen at about 8pm, looking for cake scraps.  One trick I’ve learned, and I don’t know why this works on me…probably because I’m secretly really lazy…but I floss and brush my teeth when I find myself wandering for snacks.  Given the obligation to floss and brush again if I eat, I’m just too lazy and can happily pass on the snack. 

Yeah, I recognize that for the rationalization that it is, but I’m not arguing with anything that works this good.  It has something to do with making a choice.  I choose to floss and brush and then I choose not to do it again.  It’s so much easier for me to do stuff that’s a choice than it is to consistently do things that i see as an obligation.


I got up this morning and made my first I spy block. 


Barb cut the 4.5” squares with her “go” and sent them.  I dug through my 2” strips this morning for strips long enough for the borders.  


I think I should have plenty, huh?  Anyway, now it’s just figuring out how I can mass produce them.  I haven’t made this block before, so I’m looking forward to this little project.  This is one down and there are three more ready to start.

This year, I’m hoping to start going to the Linus meetings every month.  Like signing up for the BOMs at the quilt shop, it’s another attempt to get me out among people.  I am incredibly guilty of spending too much time alone.  What better way to combine quilting and fellowship than at a volunteer opportunity day. 

But, first I have to go to that pesky job again.

Don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky I am to have it.  But as my coffee mug says, “a bad day quilting is better than a good day at work.”

Be well.  Have fun.  Start something new or finish something old.  Add a little fun to your day.  If you set half a candy bar down today for tomorrow’s snack, blow me a kiss.



A very silly post

Okay, not ashamed of it, I am from the generation that ate spam.  Slice it, fry it, eat it in a white bread sandwich with american cheese product (which has nothing to do with real cheese) and mayonaise.  Small town living in the 70's remembered. 

If you're not from the U.S., Spam is a meat-like product made from some leftover parts and canned in a tin that requires a key to get it out.  And, while many people, who would not otherwise be priviledged to eat meat are glad to get it, it's become somewhat of a joke, hence the new meaning of spam; spam mail...not really mail, just something that resembles real mail.

I have become the recipient of a ton of spam from my blog lately.  Things like:

This blog most helpful for users of internet and completely interesting was found by me to be for battery jumping cable.  Please to help all users in world by continuing posts on this topic.  See my blog at louisvittonbags.crap

Okay, so it doesn't matter that the topic of the post was vintage sewing machines and had nothing to do with battery cables, louis vitton bags, or the internet. 

It's all about enticing me to click that link.  Who knows what's on the other end of that link because I will never, ever click it. 

Fortunately, they don't show up on my blog; just in my email. 

Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to get them to go away without losing comments that I WANT to read.  I could set up word verification again, but what a total pain that is.  So, I live with it and keep my finger poised over the delete key whenever I'm reading email. 

When will people learn?  If I wanted a louis vitton bag, I'd contact them and ask for one.  Bothering me is not going to generate an interest in purses. 

Yes, this post is lame.  But, it was the best I could do, considering I had to leave early for work this morning and don't have any pictures of any progress to share.  The only exciting thing is that I'm about to start an "I Spy" quilt as a sew-a-long with a follower friend.  We're both making them for donations.  I hope to post pictures of both of them when we are done...not that I know how long it will take me.  But, it should go pretty quick. 

I'm also working on my secret project that I hope to share in a few days.  And, I signed up for the $5 quilt block at my LQS and a four month "mystery" quilt that is rediculously expensive for how much I know about it, but hopefully will give me some more face time in the shop.  After I decided not to teach anymore last year, it's been really tough to get myself in there and I really want to support their small business and watch it grow. 

I'm very seriously looking at my UFO's and I want these couple of projects to satisfy my need to start something new.  There are some really beautiful quilts waiting to be finished at my house.  If it just wasn't for this pesky job I have to do, so that I can afford to eat.  And, that's another thing; eating takes too much time out of the day, too what with cooking and time spent sitting at table.  And, what's the good of eating?  It just settles around my middle and means I have to add time to my workout, which also takes time from quilting.  So, see? If I just give up eating, I can spend a whole lot more time quilting. 

Have a good Wednesday.  Be well and laugh much.  Lane


Look back to the beginning

I’m working on something that I think is going to be a lot of fun for everyone, so I’m going to hold back until it’s finished and not show pictures as it goes.  Something fun and fast and masculine.

Anyway, I thought this was a good time to look back at my beginning machine quilting, just to show how all this got started.

This is the first thing I ever quilted.  I’ve claimed other things were my first, but that’s because I made this before I even knew it was quilting.  A lady named Roleen brought one to the office, I guess to show hers off.  I can’t really remember.  This was probably 20 years ago.  Anyway, I loved it and she shared the pattern, which I drew on a piece of brown paper sack…and still have.


It was a quilt as you go.  I cut the muslin back in the diamond shape and layered on a piece of thick poly batting.  Next came the center diamond.  And, then I added the strips of very early 90’s holiday poly/cotton fabrics in log cabin style.  Today, I’d call it a disaster, but for it’s day, it was da’ bomb to me.  It’s about 4 feet across and it makes the perfect tree skirt.  If you look real close, you’ll see that when I ran out of seam binding, I went and bought more, but wasn’t smart enough to take the original piece and ended up with a maroon instead of a red.  Didn’t stop me.  I just kept going.  Anyway, it’s been under the tree every year since the year it was made.

The second thing I machine quilted was this little 9 patch. 


It was another quilt as you go.


Make the block, layer it with batting and backing and quilt it.  Then, use strips to join the blocks in a method that Leah Day has made popular again and I’m seeing mentioned more and more often.  Again, this would be a disaster today.  It is the only piece I machine quilted on my old Singer that I don’t have anymore.  I struggled to quilt this because I didn’t have a walking foot and the top fabric kept shifting.

My mentor asked me one day if I “lost control of the machine” and gradually, as I used it in a sitting, it just wouldn’t do what I wanted anymore.  She explained that’s because it was belt driven on the inside and that belt would get hot and stretch and the machine just couldn’t do what I wanted it to do until that belt cooled.  It was like she was there.  That exactly described my experience with that machine.  That and it rocked and swayed and was loud as a tornado, even though it wasn’t very old.    Course, I didn’t have the good sense to oil it or take it in once a year for a checkup or do the maintenance for myself.  In all the years I had it, I only had it serviced once.  Yikes!

Live and learn. 

Anyway, my mentor sold me her mother’s Bernina 930 and that’s what I do all my quilting on now.  I don’t piece on it because it’s all set to machine quilt.  It’s great to have that machine, just waiting for quilting, without having to adjust anything to do it.

When I got the Bernina, the first thing I quilted was this hot pad.


This was a leftover block from a maple leaf quilt I had pieced and was thinking of hand quilting.  Instead, I machine quilted it…

What a mess.  Gradually, I’m unquilting it and going to do it again because it’s a very cute quilt top.  But the quilting is truly disastrous. 

So, from tiny seeds are mighty oaks grown.

Okay, so that’s it for me today.  Just another Tuesday.  Work, eat, play, sleep, work, eat, play sleep…

“Every 15 minutes, it’s breakfast.”  Anybody remember who said that?

Be well and have a great Tuesday.  Lane


Life happened…

This time after the holidays is all about starting new stuff for a new year.  I can certainly build up some excitement for that.  But, before you can more forward, sometimes, you have to finish things up.  That was the case with Easy Street.  I’ve got it to a good spot where I can walk away and think about it. 


The blocks are all pieced, but they aren’t joined.  It’s a pretty big quilt and what I hoped would show up is not what really showed.  My black on whites are too dark and my greens are not bright enough.  It’s not big enough for our bed or small enough for a lap robe.  But, if I break it down into pieces, I can get at least 3 lap robe and baby sized quilts out of it.  That is a huge head start on my commitment to Linus for the year (10 quilts).  I can certainly get behind that. 

After I laid this out and looked at it, I put it away because finishing this quilt was not part of the plan for the weekend.  And, I need to think about it.  Wait for inspiration. 

We were doing other new year tasks.  Sydney and I both went through our clothes.  Sydney donated no less than 50 shirts that she’d grown out of in the last year.  And, some that went to dust rags.  I went through my closet and I had less to get rid of.  I had to look at my shirts and decide if I was really ever going to wear that shirt again.  Some are older than Sydney.  Some went to quilt fabric and some went to the goodwill box. 

Then, I went through my pants.  I decided that I needed three categories.  Those I could comfortably wear today; those I could uncomfortably wear today; those that I cannot wear, otherwise known as the goodwill pile.  I have to accept that I am not going to get into those clothes again, short of a serious illness, which is not worth it.  Rob lovingly said “you might” and I said, if I do, I’m celebrating with new clothes.

Together, we put together four large boxes of stuff.  And, we’re not even finished.  Life happened in our closets.

I completed the day by cleaning out the fridge.  Whoo-hee!  Ain’t my life exciting!  Time to get rid of all that stuff that builds up, open jars that will never be finished, stuff gone out of date, the older bottle when we’ve opened a new one.  Life happened in my fridge.

The one other thing I accomplished was a serious look at my quilt UFO’s, PHD’s, collected fabrics, and WFI’s (waiting for inspiration).  Twenty-four.  Sounds like an appalling number, but I just can’t manage to feel ashamed of it like other people do.  I’m not going to list them here because I don’t need to do that.  But, they’re all in the closet, and inventoried and now I know what to work on before starting something new.  So, I pulled out the oldest UFO, from at least 10 years ago, maybe more, and I am completing it.  Except I ended up with enough squares to make multiple quilts, so I’m going to make us a pair for the living room.  They won’t be identical, but they will be close.  And, they’re going to be fun and have a long story.  Life happened in my UFO pile.

Soon, I will be inventorying the quilt collection and doing some write-ups.  One more in the list of things to do.  Life happened in my quilt collection. 

Life happens all around.  And, then we clean up after it.

Be well.  Have a wonderful Monday.  It was Sydney’s first day back to school.  Too many days of sitting around.  I got my first Microsoft parental report on her new laptop.  We sat and had a short and very quiet talk (if you want to scare a kid, whisper when you’re visibly angry).  She tried to argue, but the report told the story.  She tried to explain, but the report told the story.  And, when I told her that we would be going back to the previous laptop restrictions, she didn’t bother to argue.  We did good.  Life happened and we cleaned up after it and we’re going forward. 



Other sewing

You guys know that I make all kinds of stuff.  Nobody bothered to tell me I couldn’t when I was younger…or if they did, I didn’t listen. 

Long time ago, I started re-upholstering and making curtains and drapes and clothes and THEN I started quilting.  Anyway, I’m quite proud of some of my work.  Other things, not so much.  But, I learned and got better and better and the fourth time I reupholstered my antique sofa was much better than the first time.  Or the third.  We don’t talk about the second.

Anyway, 14 years ago, when I moved into this house, I made a curtain for the foyer window.  It was white polyester that was woven to look like Linen.  I thought it was da’ thing in 1998.  It was a foot shorter than the window is and I don’t remember if I did that on purpose, or because I didn’t have enough fabric and wouldn’t go buy anything else.  I would show it to you, but when Sydney took it down to clean around the window before I hung the new one, my answer to her “should I wash this?” was “throw it away.”  Over the years, I had grown to really dislike that white not-quite-a-curtain.  I don’t care that the polyester fabric was still in great shape, hand not yellowed nor dry-rotted.  Get it out.

And, I made this.


Because living with a fabric I don’t like when I have 9 million yards of fabric just shows a lack of effort.  And, Rob and I could never decide what we wanted here.  Anyway, this is where my treadle sits and I sometimes come here to sew and quilt. 

I made it out of what looks like a Jenny Beyer border stripe, with an orange-red background and green and gold and goes great with the vintagey feel of the foyer.  It is two sided, so from outside, you see the same thing and it goes really well with the yellow-gold exterior house paint. 

Remember this coat?


(Okay, still not a great picture, but at least I got my face in it this time.)

I think I made this last year to wear to Minneapolis and then, didn’t wear it.  And, I’ve made Rob give me his honest opinion about it.  And, I’m glad I didn’t wear it on a business trip.  But, it does have a great place as a more casual winter coat.  Worked great in the grocery the other day…at least it fit.  This is Texas.  Everybody has a winter coat.  But how many years old is it?  I was going to write a whole post about ill-fitting woolens from the grocery on Sunday and how that’s just fine in Texas.  The last thing you’re judged for here, fashion wise, is your winter coat.  (But, I have a nice one, don’t I?  And, it’s not even my good one.)

I think I can actually hear the wool blanket and the denim lining laughing at the cold wind. 

Okay, it’s off to work.  Last day for Syd’s holiday from school.  Let’s hear it.  Awwwwww.  She and I both need structure.  Without it, we eat.  And, forget where we put things.