Is Garfield in the House?

Tonight is the Blue and Gold banquet for my son’s Cub Scout pack.  My husband is the committee chair, so he’s in charge of organizing this annual event.  Last year, we played dumb and held the banquet at a local restaurant … it was easy on us, and was acceptable. 

This year, we started a new pack, and therefore have a new sponsor…all in the town we live near (instead of the town where the girls go to school).  And ummm, really?  The town has just two restaurants, both of which close down after lunch, and neither of which could seat our group of cubbies and parents.

Plan B: we decided it was easiest to have our banquet at the church who sponsors the group as they do have the facilities to handle all of us.  But, then there was the matter of food.  We couldn’t really have the event catered, due to costs. 

So, I volunteered to handle the food.

{gulp}

Saturday evening, I put a red checked napkin over my shoulder (ambiance is necessary) and commenced to stirring in the pots, making my special spaghetti sauce.  Mama mia!  Last night, I put together six pans of lasagna, tempting Texican pseudo-Italian fare that is oh, so good.  That, along with chicken tenders (for those children, like mine, who do not care for lasagna), green beans, eight loaves of garlic bread and a salad should serve the masses … and cubbies and their parents, too!

After the kids went to bed, I then printed emblems and names, and ironed them onto tshirts for the graduating eighth graders at the girls’ school.  By the time 3 am rolled around, I was finally ready for bed!

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    Lessons in Swedish Weaving

    Our little quilt group got together on Saturday, so a few folks could teach us how to do Swedish weaving (aka Huck weaving).  Of course I went!  If it’s not something I’m allergic to and it even vaguely interests me, I’m game!  I purchased the Monk’s cloth necessary to weave on, and then purchased a couple skeins of cotton (instead of polyester) yarn.  When my MIL pre-washed the Monk’s cloth, she put my yarn into mesh bags and washed it, too.  It was rather entertaining to wind into balls (read:  knot), but we did it. 

    First, it was SUPER SIMPLE!  If you can count the stitches and read the pattern, you can do this.  The cloth is much like large-squared Aida (used for cross-stitching), except it’s not as stiff to begin with.  And the idea is that the stitches are hidden on the back, unlike cross-stitching.  As I read more about this embroidery technique, I found that Aida cloth could be substituted for the Monk’s cloth, especially if one wanted to purchase the pre-made items such as baby bibs, dish towels, etc.

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    For supplies, we needed the Monk’s cloth, 1 skein of veriegated yarn, 1 skein of complimentary yarn, a pair of scissors and then a Bodkin needle.  Our quilt group member and teacher gave us the pattern that she learned with, to practice with. 

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    I found a few online resources, including a couple who offered free patterns.  I’ll post a photo of my finished (hehe, or would that be Finnished?) product, when I’m done with it:

    And here’s a few photos of Swedish weaving projects from the teachers in our group:

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      I Was Ordered to Make Something Special

      First, I am excited to tell you that I sent off the patterns for my next quilt design, “Swell Squared,” to Linda at AbbiMays.com yesterday!

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      She should receive them early next week and have them for sale soon!  It’s a gorgeous quilt, if’n I do say so myownself.  I considered keeping it, then decided to give it to a virtual friend’s daughter for her high school graduation gift.  I know, I know – someday, I’ll keep more of the quilts that I make! 

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      I also had to make a quick run into my local quilt shop, to pick up a new wavy rotary blade (the kind that cuts like pinking shears), so I can cut up some fabric to make for table runners for a dance at the girls’ school …

      when I went to the checkout, the lovely lady said (rather loudly, which startled me):  “CONGRATULATIONS!  Oscar is giving you $50.”

      Wow, how sweet!  Who’s Oscar?  And why is he giving me money?

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      I seems that they have a program where Oscar (their computer program) keeps track of all you spend with them, and once you reach $500, you are gifted with a gift card, worth $50 – to spend in their store, however you want to!  I was totally tempted to turn around and spend it immediately … but, then realized that an impulse buy would be fun for a minute, but it’d be way more fun to wait and buy something I really want down the road.

      When the gal had finished, she said to me, “Here’s your card.  Now, you make sure you make something special for yourself.”

      I looked at her, and said, “Of course.  Everything I make is special, isn’t it?!”

      That brought a few giggles from the ladies waiting to check out … and from the staff.

      Can I just make one little comment about all of this?  I think it’s a fabulous program, in fact I called Linda before I was even out of the parking lot, to tell her we needed to do the same with her online shop (and since I’m her computer geek, it will fall to me to figure out how to make it work).  But, ummm, to the ladies at Creation’s in Kerrville, if you’re reading this?  I think Oscar needs a new name.  Honestly.  How many men would really give money to a woman, to go to spend in a quilt shop?

       

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        Leftovers Again?

        For those of you who have followed the never-ending saga of my skin allergies, the story continues.

        I saw a different derm this week.  Her son is in my daughter’s class in school.  I’ll call her Dr. Italy.

        She concurred with everything my derm in Utah said.  Yeah me!  I firmly believe in everything Dr. Y in Utah told me, because once I changed my lifestyle and lived within the parameters he suggested, my skin began to clear and the allergies all but left the building.

        But, this time, I’m suffering from total body blisters.  I’ve never been this blistered before.  Ever. 

        And Dr. Derm-a-Idiot gave me a script for meds that were mixed into my usual Vanicream.  That works, though it takes about a week of putting it on the affected areas, before it really works.  To top that off, I’m allergic to it on my hands, so I had to find an alternative way to apply it to my body.

        Anyways, Dr. Italy took some swabs for labs and thinks I have a staph infection, on top of the unknown origin of dermatitis.  I’ll know Monday when the test results come back.  She also gave me a shot of antibiotics – said if it was a mild staph, it’d start to go away in a few days.  And if it is a staph, then she’d prescribe more antibiotics next week.  I’m to use the cream Dr. Y in Utah had prescribed to me, twice daily on the affected areas.  Right now, those areas are my left arm (below the elbow and down to the wrist) and my neck.  She asked me to remove all jewelry, too, saying my necklaces may be aggravating that area. 

        And the kicker?  She told me to wrap the affected areas in plastic wrap for about 30 minutes each day.  Said it helps make the skin absorb the medicine.  Yeah, leftovers again. 

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          This n’ That n’ the Other

          Been a week of trying to get back into our groove, after the break and holiday last week.  Youngest daughter is having a hard time of it, as she’s still not getting enough sleep.  I guess we could put her to bed at 7 in the evening, but gee, it’s still light out and there’s no way she’d go down at that time! 

          All three girls did extremely well with their third quarter grade reports … DD#1 has been keeping up with handing in her homework (she *does* it, she just doesn’t hand it in all the time), DD#2 has a 95 in spelling, which absolutely stuns us as she’s, ummm, how to put it gently, she’s not always interested in Mr. Webster’s opinion on how to spell things.  DD#3 is in first grade, so they are ranked by letters and not numbers – and, of course, her teacher thinks she’s wonderful (and if you compared her to the spirited boys in the class, she’s the queen). 

          Yeah, I have some great kids – blessings, most of the time.

          I still get riled up, occasionally, about their education.  For instance, the girls wear uniforms to school.  Occasionally, if they participate in something, they get a free dress day (still with rules, though).  In January, they had to attend a PTC meeting to perform some songs…so, they earned a free dress day for attending.  But, then this week, we get a note that says if they pay $1 to a charity that the school was supporting, they’d also get a free dress day. 

          Help me to understand this, please?  I do know that my tuition dollars go toward the church and school’s agenda.  We signed on for that, when we agreed to put them in a parachial school.  We personally work hard to instill a sense of moral and social obligation to our children — if someone is in need, we should help them if we’re able.  But, to make a student pay to get a special treat (i.e the free dress day) so that the school has extra money for a charity?  I’m a bit reluctant to call that a “special treat.” 

          I don’t know, it just hit me wrong when I read that note.  I suppose, as adults, we get special treats all the time for our money.  But, we have a *choice* to pay or not to pay.  With the school, all year, they’ve been gifting the kids with the free dress days for their participation in various events — so, the kids get used to and excited about being special enough to earn a free dress day.  Then, toward the end of the year, they hit the kids with something new – and the kids want to get the free dress day, because they’ve earned it all along and it’s a great sense of accomplishment.  But, now, it’s not some event they’re going to – it’s soliciting funds.  Pandering. 

          I told my girls if they wanted to do it, they had to pay with their own money – not with mine.  And, of course, all three of them wanted to do it, so they cracked open their piggy banks and got their money together.  But, it still left a bad taste in my mouth.

          We hit 90 degrees in these parts yesterday.  In March.  Already.  Is that a sign of our summer to come?

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