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Category Archives: Now For the Weather


So, when I do go ahead and try to take pictures, it surely must be on the most dreary day of the month. Well, sure.

It felt so nice to finally have my cutting table cleared enough to start a brand new project, even a small one. This time, the occasion was a baby shower. Since one of my main goals was to use up some of the supplies on hand, I went with these cute quick change bags (which were inspired by these, as you will surely be able to tell):




[The little pinwheel tag is also handmade, but not by my hands — that would be thanks to my sister, Michele.]

It was fun and super-quick to put together. I think my next project may also be a baby gift, but not the same one. Or it may be a little re-fashioning project that I should really get a jump on before I blink and the cooler weather is nothing but a fading memory. (I say that, but I think we all know that we Houstonians will be referring to this years big SNOW DAY — now with 99% less snow — for many days to come.)

As for the rest of this weekend  we have (Lord willing) basketball, Children’s Church, and maybe some fun baking. Wishing you a great weekend!


31 Days: Personal Victories

Today was a busy one. So busy, in fact, that excuses for veering away from my original, well-ordered plan popped up at nearly every turn.

It was very tempting to listen to the little devil on my shoulder [a devil which sounds suspiciously like me] that was tempting me all morning long.

See, if the pre-school costume parade ran long, would it make sense to go for only the last little bit of bible study? I could always borrow the dvd portion and catch up on it later. Besides, there was so much to do at home! Maybe I should just forget about going to the study at all — I mean, there’s no way that I wouldn’t be at least a little late anyway — and just plan on going home.

The parade ended at 9:40. Hmm. That would mean there’s only…an hour and a half left. Oh. Well, when you say it that way, it sounds ridiculous. To Precept!

(Time well spent, as always.)

Then there was the question of whether or not to go to early voting to cast my ballot. With so many days left, is that really necessary? But I was practically passing by the polling place, so why not! Twenty minutes later, I was glad I could cross that off the list, too.

Ah, but here’s the real test: Was there enough time left to justify going all the way back to the gym to squeeze in a workout? By the time I got home, changed, and had a bit to eat, there would only be thirty minutes left. And no classes, and I love a good class.

Oh, who am I fooling?! As if I really spend more than thirty minutes on a treadmill — please! At the rate this week is going, I may not have another opportunity to go until the weekend, so I got up and went. And I was happy — thrilled! — that I had an excuse to leave after thirty minutes. Man, am I out of shape!

Did I feel like an idiot leaving after thirty minutes? Sure. But do I actually think that everyone there was agog that my commitment to fitness was so obviously lacking? Well, yes, but I also know that has more to do with my brand of crazy than anything based in reality.

All in all, a very successful day! I can’t believe I managed to get out of my own way three times in as many hours; that may be a record.

In other news, I put on a sweater this morning, realized that it looked just as unflattering as it did every time I put it on last winter, and decided to rid myself of the collection. You may see me in the same shirt every day, but at least it won’t make me feel like Grimace.

Also, speaking of cold, it’s been mildly chilly here for all of four days, right? My hands are already a dry, burning, flaky mess, and my lips are beyond chapped. Winter should be lots of fun! (Guess it’s a good thing we’re nowhere near winter….)


Let’s Pretend

So, last week I got tired of waiting for Fall to arrive. I decided to try to coax it into existence.

We made pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins, chicken potpie, and two kinds of crisp (but I can’t find a link for the pear-cranberry one; it’s in this month’s Everyday Food, though.) That was last Monday.

Then we waited. And waited, and sweat some more in the blazing heat, and then waited still some more.

Finally, on Friday, it dropped down into the high 80s or something like that and we the people declared it FALL!!

The kids were so excited to be able to wear their hoodies in the morning, especially when we got to walk to school. (Momma doesn’t walk to school when it’s steaming hot at eight in the morning. I just don’t.) They do not, however, understand why it’s not a good idea to start decorating with fresh pumpkins yet. I should get a couple and let them see what a couple of weeks in the heat/humidity does to them, but they’re young; there’s plenty of time for that later. It was already hard enough to see my son’s crestfallen expression when he came racing down the stairs to see if all of the leaves had fallen overnight on September 23. For real.

Meanwhile, as the temps creep back up, I’m unwilling to relinquish my happy hold on a milder season. You won’t find me zipping up a hoodie anytime soon, but other than that, I’m going to keep right on pretending that summer’s over. The calendar says it is, after all — just ask Joe.

We Cannot Handle

Way back in the day, I was working at a convention in Tennessee. It was January, and there it was pretty cold, but it didn’t seem that cold, you know? [I seem to remember hiking from the hotel to the magnificent outlet mall/Willie Nelson Museum wearing flip-flops….] The distributors that had made the trek from Hawaii, though begged to differ.

“We are from Hawaii — we’re not used to this cold!”, one told me. “We cannot handle!”

Sister, I hear ya. When it gets down into the 20s, and there’s talk of snow, we cannot handle.

Even my finials were chilly.

Looks a little cozier wrapped up in a swanky ruffle scarf, no? Heck, why not pile ’em on?

To tell you the truth, I was excited to have an excuse to try out this tutorial now — while it was still fresh in my brain — rather than wait til next winter. What are the odds that I’d remember that, “hey, I wanted to make some of those cute fleece scarves” by the time Christmas rolls around again? I think we all know the answer. If not, I’ll give you a hint: I’d already forgotten that I’d bookmarked the link to the tutorial.


Sorry About That, Plants

You would think that we’ve been in a bubble, far away from the persistent cries of our faithful newspeople:”Remember the three Ps: plants, pets, and pipes!!”


I told Kevin last week that I felt like we weren’t doing enough, seeing as how we’re among the few in our neighborhood who don’t have bedsheets strewn over every shrub. His reply? “Pah. How many of our plants are tropical, anyway?”


…most of them?”


By then, it was too late: the wilting had already begun. They’re hearty little buggers, so I’m hoping they’ll come back once we hack down to (now) dead leaves. Still, I feel so bad when I look at those poor things, although, given my track record of killing the unkillable, they probably never had a chance to begin with. Poor, poor plants.

In other news, I’m considering adding a line item to the household budget for tea. Keeping my gigantic mug [thank you again, Mikey Boy!] full is becoming a bit pricey, but totally worth it. Hey, at least I’m rotating the old inventory in the cupboard through at a rapid rate—bonus!

When Do We Settle In For the Long Winter’s Nap?

Not like I’ve been really burning it up around here, but hibernating sounds like such a wonderful idea.

It’s so cold. So very cold. Of course it could be worse, but we don’t live in the North. The trade-off for relentless, scorching summers is supposedly moderate cold in the wintertime. Moderate. Not hard freeze, right? Our house, for one, was not built for that sort of thing. I was not built for this sort of thing; it’s hard to function when all I can think about are my stiff, chilly hands.

Moving on (because there’s only so much talk of the cold that I can take, even when I’m the one doing the talking/whining)–

I am, however, filled with out with the old/in with the new spirit! So far, I’ve filled five Hefty bags with old clothes, shoes, etc. that had hung out in our closets. Huzzah!

Yesterday, I basted one quilt which has been languishing in the to-do pile after the last craft hope project, and started sewing the bindings on another. There are still three more to go, but I will be so happy to see them all complete. I even found backing fabric for two of  the remaining three [already de-stashing! Woo!], which should speed things along. The backing issue is a major roadblock; it takes me weeks before I figure out what to do, which is ridiculous but true.

Right now, there’s a pot of rice pudding simmering on the stove. I should say “experimental” rice pudding, since I’m making it with leftover Promised Land eggnog. Let you know how that turns out. Even if it’s not any good, it will hurt less than pouring the nog right down the drain; there’s only so much one girl can drink (which, in my case, is not much. I did enjoy the couple of glasses that I had, though, Mom!) Luckily, Rachael Ray’s Everyday magazine had a list of suggestions, and rice pudding was one of them. I threw in some raisins in an attempt to capture a nice rum raisin flavor. Besides, what good is rice pudding without raisins? No. No good.

The laundry, she calls. I’m trying to get the downstairs chores out of the way before Friday, which is when THE FREEZE arrives. The trick will then be convincing the two squirrelly chilruns that a snuggly day upstairs will be fun. I need to get to thinking about how to sell that, and then how to pull it off without driving the three of us stark raving mad in the span of ten hours. Let you know how that turns out, too.

Switching Gears

I don’t know when I’ll learn not to put so much trust in the weather forecast. Yesterday, the news reports made it sound like today was going to include rain of epic proportions. Well, what kind of fool would I be to actually plan on taking the baby around grocery shopping in that kind of mess? No, no. I would instead come home after dropping off Joey, stir up some hot chocolate, and compile my list for another day.

The only problem (I mean, if you would call it that)? It stopped raining at 8:45.

Hmm. And me without my list.

So, we went shopping for clothes, came home for a break, and then went shopping for the food (with list in hand, thanks to the break). And I’m glad I did, because it hasn’t rained again since, and I would’ve been fuming if I’d put the grocery shopping off until Saturday. Oh, how I hate going to the HEB on the weekend. Must we all convene in the meat aisle? Really?


On a completely unrelated note, here is a little gift I put together for my friend who is expecting a baby boy in the very near future. I love the elephant flannel more than I can tell you, which sounds like an exaggeration, but I can assure you it’s not. Ridiculous, you say? Perhaps. I put it out there, though, as fair warning to the next friend (whomever that may turn out to be) that has a boy, because the odds of you seeing this fabric again are very high indeed. Unless you’re Lisa [who doesn’t read this blog, so I’m pretty sure you’re not], and in that case, you’ll be receiving a quilt of entirely different fabric; it just worked out that way.

Are you getting a glimpse of what it’s like up in this brain of mine? Is it any wonder I have trouble finishing what I sta– ooh, look—I see something shiny!