More shirt making

I looked back and I've featured a shirt or my apron in the last 5 posts.  Gonna be the same today.  I"m also getting a lot of housecleaning done and last weekend, I sealed all the grout in the kitchen tiles and it looks tolerable again.  Still looking forward to a new kitchen, but it's part of a lot of other decisions, like do we still want to live in Texas, so it's "on hold".  We had a conversation about it yesterday.  An honest conversation that set the tone for the day.  We had a great day, laughing and watching TV and a trip to the grocery.  It's always good to be on the same page.  And, we may have made a new plan.  A plan that gives me what I want without spending a fortune that we'd regret if we move in a couple years.  

So, the yoke for Syd's shirt became a very frustrating story on Saturday that ended with me ordering another yard of fabric that will be here later this week.  But, I was in the mood to sew, so I pulled out a piece of fabric I bought for myself and started cutting.  I was hoping to finish this weekend, but there were too many other things I wanted to do, so I only got this far.  The side and underarm seams are just pinned.  I'm glad I did.  I'm not struggling near as much as I was with Syd's shirt.  It will be good to have one under my belt when I get back to hers.  It's so much easier to sew for me.  I'm right here to try it on every step of the way.  

I love olive green.  

It's so hot out.  I know it's been hot everywhere the last couple weeks and at the rate the climate is heating up, I worry about how many more summers until crops start to fail.  My Dad was telling me this weekend that they had 100* days when he was a kid.  My grandfather walked through snow knee deep to get to work.  But, those were anomalies.  These extreme weather conditions are becoming the norm and we should all be concerned.  This squirrel has it figured out.  He laid there the whole time I was having lunch, not feeling threatened at all.  It's better than him laying in my flowerpots.

I had to put a shade cloth over my strawberries.  Rob and I talked about them the other day and whether they should survive in this heat.  They look awful, but they're still making berries (tiny, hard berries, but berries).  And, they're sending out runners with baby plants on them, which I've been waiting for all summer.  This is where I plan to get my free plants from.  

And, the limes are in bloom and making baby limes.  I've been drinking lemonade from the lemons I harvested last December.  The limes should be ripe next spring and perfect for margaritas.

My Grandmother used to make fried apple pies.  She started with dried apples that she would stew, then roll out a biscuit crust and add the apples, seal them with a fork around the edge and fry them up.  They were soooo good.  I decided I wanted to try it, but baked instead of fried.  I used canned apple pie filing and added a little cinnamon.  They baked up perfect in about 12 minutes and they were delicious and much easier than making an actual pie, which would have required the oven be on for an hour.  The crust was a little dense, so next time, I'm going to try it with ready made pie crust, cut it in thirds, roll it out and add a little filling, fold it over, crimp, and bake.  We'll see but I have great hope.    My un-fried pies.


I watched the hearing from Thursday night.  I keep wondering how election denying politicians feel.  Do they really believe the election was stolen from trump?  Or are they just saying it because he told them it was how they'd win.  There's no denying the evidence of sedition, possibly treason in trump's actions those two months between the election and the attempted coup.  There's also no denying that there has been NO evidence presented to prove the big lie.  So the people that still believe the big lie have to be doing it on purpose, choosing not to see the evidence right in front of them.  Those are the people that frighten me the most.  They're like zombies in the way they don't think.  And, we are not taking the people spreading the lies  down fast enough.  

To win, the Democrats don't need money.  They need message.  Every hour of every day, there should be a news conference by a different Democrat, explaining the lies and demanding the truth from the deniers until they've all been shown as the frauds they are.  But, we're not.  We're acting like ladies and gentlemen because that's what 80 year old politicians do.  It's time for young people on the Hill.  The Ds also need to give up on some of the ridiculous controversial bullshit and focus on doing the people's business.  

So, yeah, blaming both parties, because I don't think either one is representing us.  

Everybody have a great week.  Find something you love and do the hell out of it, but remember to stay cool and hydrated!  



Playing inside

I don't believe Rob and I are more sensitive to the heat than our neighbors, but we do adapt to it differently.  Everything we are going to do is done by 10am, and we're in the house.  Ever the busy one, I'm getting some really good deep cleaning done, and some sewing.  I'm so glad we had the house insulated and the air conditioner replaced a couple years ago.  

One of the things I worked on was the July American Stars BOM being run by Barbara Brackman.  When I saw the picture of the block, I was like, no way.  Who has time for that?  But, then I made it and it worked out fine and it really wasn't that hard.  I pieced it traditionally, marking each match point on each piece to get them to align correctly.  I only had to pick out a couple seams.  And then when it went together and I laid it out, I thought 'what shape is this?' parallelogram maybe?  But, it really was square and just needed to be blocked to shape.  7 of 12, so more than half way there.  

Sydney came for dinner Saturday night so it was time for her to try her basted shirt on.  I noted some adjustments and yesterday, I took it all apart and started to put it together "officially".  And, I messed up the yoke and instead of coming out a little bigger, it came out considerably smaller and I am still not quite sure I understand how I did that.  But, you know bullheaded me, I kept sewing pieces together and this morning, while was lying in bed waiting for the day to start, I realized I'm going to have to take it apart and cut a new yoke.  Fortunately, I didn't get further along before my smart brain overrode my bullheadedness.

The new yoke will have a seam down the center.  I've never done that but have owned several shirts where it was done.  It'll be fine and the princess will never know.  And, you won't tell, will you?

Syd is doing well.  She and her boyfriend are both looking for new jobs.  They've decided that unloading trucks and stocking shelves (the reason for the extra width in the yoke) might not be worth the pay.  She brought me her IRA statement so I could tell her what it meant (these people keep sending me letters and I don't know what they mean).  I explained that she had a retirement account that her previous employee had established for her and emphasized how easy it was to save for retirement since she hadn't even noticed that they were taking money out of her check to do it.  I could see her face light up at the thought of having access to some savings, but then explained that if she tried to take it out, the government would get most of it.  I don't know if I convinced her to keep adding to it.  Hopefully her next employer will do the same thing and get her to save without noticing it.  

The Texas Red Star hibiscus has bloomed some more.  What a beautiful flower.  

Last week, my boss asked me to do the thing that broke the camel's back.  I've been to him twice in the last six weeks to tell him that my workload was too heavy.  Both times, he either made my work more complicated or he gave me additional work to do.  I was pretty upset about that and when he asked me to do an additional task, I said no, I'm not accepting new projects at this time.  And, he mealy mouthed about how he didn't expect me to do it right away and I very clearly stated that I'd already approached him about my workload and maybe we needed to find someone that could meet his needs better than me and move me to different responsibilities.  I am lucky enough to have such a specialized skill set that I could do that.  And, he is working on ways to lighten the load.  He says he didn't realize, and I agree that he is oblivious enough not to have heard what I was saying.  But, I've got him listening now.  


Cleaning and sewing feels like rearranging chairs on a ship that republicans seem determined to sink.  

Conservatives pretend to be downtrodden.  That "they" (we) are trying to take away conservative rights to believe whatever bullshit they want to believe.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  They're welcome to believe whatever batshit crazy bullshit they want.  But, they can't force me to believe it.  They can't force me to believe that equal rights are only for them.  They can't force me to believe that straight, white and christian are the only way to be and the only people to respect.  

I don't think they realize that we've been watching.  Watching their high holy leaders fornicate outside of marriage with basically anybody, which is the opposite of what they tell their followers to do.  Watching people with skin tones different than mine rise to positions of power, from which they can represent and raise up other people like them and are actually doing the work to make things better for everyone.  Watching them selectively use parts of the bible that point at me, but ignoring the parts that point to them (where in the bible does it say to hate and hurt people?) .  

The other day, I found myself wondering whether I could still "pass" for straight if I had to and I was ashamed.  Ashamed that a bunch of assholes could make me think that.  And, more devoted than ever to fight back in every way I can.  

Everybody have a good week.  Be brave.  Be strong.  Be kind.  Let's not let the haters make us change.  



August's weather early

It's in the 105-107* range around here now.  That's normally August weather, but climate change is a hoax, right?  Over the weekend, I did my watering, but that was all I tried to do outside.  By 9:30 every morning, I was in a lather of sweat and ready to hit the showers.  But, that's okay.  I did lots of stuff inside.  I did some grout patching and house cleaning and a good bit of sewing.  

I got my apron finished.  Rob gave me a tea towel with the saying on it.  I don't think he realized it was a line from an old song.  It was 30" square and I couldn't think of anything to do with it that would let me enjoy the saying, until I thought of mounting it onto the new apron I'd been planning for a while.  My old apron has been washed so many times that it's nearly threadbare, and accidents seep right through it to my clothes.  I wanted my next apron to be thick, so I chose a nice heavy piece of French linen.  The tea towel was light, almost cheesecloth weight, so I used some interfacing that I bought online and was too heavy for shirts (I don't know enough about what I'm doing to buy stuff like that online).  I ironed it to the saying and to all the edge stripping.  All that's left is the D rings or button to hold it closed at the neck.  I haven't decided which to use yet.  

I also got the big pieces of Syd's shirt cut and basted so she can try it on.  I bought an extra half yard of the fabric and it was just enough for me to get all the pieces because of the print.  I didn't cut the collar or cuffs yet as they'll need adjusting based on how the other pieces end up going together.  There's plenty of fabric for that as long as I'm careful.  

The only flower pictures are this iris that's blooming.  We picked these out of a field in Arkansas on vacation and brought them home and found out how aggressive they are.  I ripped most of them out because of that, but left a couple that I think I can control.  Beautiful little flower, isn't it?

And, this swamp lily that hasn't bloomed in a couple years and is really putting on a show now that there's more sun where it lives.


I don't have words today to express my hurt at what the nazi repubs are doing to our country and our freedoms.  History has shown where this goes next if we don't start to successfully fight back soon.  We have lost the ability to message.  We have lost the ability to hammer day after day, hour after hour at their false narratives and their hate speech.  I watched video of Pete Buttigieg successfully doing it to a fox news anchor this weekend and I have to say, it was beautiful!  I hope he does more messaging because he definitely knows how to do it.  I hope I live long enough to see him become President.  

America was great until the magas came along and tried to ruin it.  Time will tell if they succeed, but I get up every morning with the thought that we will prevail over hate...or I wouldn't be able to get out of bed.

Be well!  Have a good week!  Keep faith that our country can survive.



Independence Day

It's hard to celebrate all that the U.S. is today.  But, it's easy to celebrate all that being a U.S. citizen means.  I've grown up living a life of relative freedom.  After I came to Austin, I was able to find out who I was and who I didn't want to be and develop that person into who I am now.  It's been a long haul but I had support from almost everyone around me.  I've been free to improve my life and own a home and build savings for retirement and I've been able to share some of that to help give the same advantages to others.  And, I've been free to love whoever I loved that loved me back and today we're celebrating the 7th anniversary of our official marriage.  If you don't look at all the hate and anger, it's pretty cool to be a U.S. citizen.

But, the hate and anger are real, too.

Saturday, I finished re-assembling the shirt I took apart for myself.  I realized as I was cutting it that I was using the same pattern I used all those years ago to make it, but the pattern had been re-drafted to fit me over the years.  I don't know what size it was supposed to be, but it was huge.  I took 3 inches out of the side seams and two inches from each shoulder.  The only wonky thing about it is the sleeve hems.  They're pretty narrow.  Once the shoulders were raised where they needed to be, there wasn't much sleeve length to play with.  

I really like the fabric and am glad this came out well.  It's a quilting cotton, so it's a heavier shirt that most.  Here's part of the redrafted pattern.  I've added pieces and taken pieces away over the years until I figured out how to make it fit.  I'm making myself an apron, but next weekend, I'm going to start a shirt for Syd.  I took her measurements and feel confident that I can adjust a pattern to fit her.  

One day long ago, someone asked if Canada had a July 4 and, like everyone else this joke was played on, I said I don't think so.  The punchline was of course EVERYbody has a July 4, but not everybody has an Independence Day.  Whether you're celebrating Independence Day or it's just another manic Monday, find something you enjoy, maybe something that you're free to do and others aren't, and do it like you were gonna lose it.