Monday, August 11, 2014

A Roadtrip, By the Numbers

I just got back from a road trip with my little boy.  I took only him and we did mostly baseball because during the year it seems I am mostly with his sister doing mostly dance.  I wanted to have some boy time. So here is a breakdown of our trip in numbers and pictures.

1,234-- miles.  I did not make this number up. I consulted Google maps when it was all said and done and this is the number of highway driving miles he and I chalked up in 5 states.  My right foot is tired.

34.9-- top average gas mileage as calculated by my car.
64-- average speed.  Cheers to the interstate highway system!

480,234-- this is the number of calories we consumed.  OK fine, I made this up.  But the point is we did not follow any eating healthy guidelines.  We wadded up my BS in Human Nutrition and chucked it out the window.  We ate ballpark food and barbecue. Snowcones, pretzels, corn dogs, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, draft beer, Dr. Pepper, lemonade, and a Krispy Kreme donut. or 2.  Needless to say, today, I feel sluggish (nearly dead) and if I don't eat some vegetables stat, I am going to code.

5- Our 5th ballpark on our MLB park tour was Kauffman Staduim, Home of the Kansas City Royals.  We really liked this place.  Nice park, nice weather, nice people.  G played catch with some boys outside the stadium while we waited to go in.  G actually got cold which meant I was comfortable and very happy!  George read about George Brett in the KC Hall of Fame.  We sat under the fountains in hopes of hauling in a homer during BP.  The Royals beat the Giants, there were fireworks, and we gave that park a thumbs up!

+10- Bonus Points for Kauffman.  Shandy in a can-dy! Went down nicely after 503 miles.

42- Instead of going to Memphis to eat some of the world's best BBQ, we went to President Clinton's Library in Little Rock.  I couldn't help but think, "Wow.  That thing looks like a trailer!"  Apparently I am not the only one, as a friend from Arkansas called it the "Presidential Mobile Home in the Sky."   But in all fairness, it was nice.  We both enjoyed the Chihuly Glass on display in the galleries and around the museum and the train turned pedestrian bridge across the Arkansas river.

92- degrees and 4,000% humidity as we sat on the sidewalk outside the ballpark to watch BP and warm-ups.  

2 - The number of times we got to see Alex play this weekend.  We know him from our town and he is playing AA ball in Arkansas.  George thinks he hung the moon!  He is a great kid, umm, guy, worthy of George's admiration.  He fielded more questions than balls while we were there - with a smile upon his face. 

33.5- Inches.  Alex brought George a broken bat as a souvenir.  A Maple Old Hickory still sticky with pine tar, dusted in baseball dirt and splintered just above the top of the handle.  33.5 inches of hopes, dreams, blood, sweat, and tears.  Happy to be broken because it went down in the line of duty - putting a smack on that little leather ball.  It is a gift I will never be able to top. Ever.  Proving once again the old adage, "One man's trash is another man's treasure".   It is a treasure.  In the event that you are reading this, THANK YOU ALEX!  

 2- The Travelers have 2 mascots, Ace and Odie.  Odie is the opossum being downgraded to sidekick status as the newer, tougher, more serious mascot Ace the horse comes on the scene.  I found this a bit disappointing.  I mean, some of the greatest mascots are scattered across the country in our Minor League ball parks.  Rubber Ducks, Chihuahuas, Iron Pigs,  Flying Squirrels are just a few.

12 - The number of inches a Batter Up Corn Dog is at Dickey Stephens park.  This guy ate 'em all.  He is growing because there wasn't much he didn't eat this weekend! 

3- Hours. The length of the nap this guy took in the car on the way home.  

All of these numbers add up to a great time.  I loved getting to be with just G.  No looming tasks, no practices, no chores- just fun on the agenda.  I hope to make this a tradition and go even longer if his sister goes away in the summertime to camp or dance.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rain Out

One of my favorite movie scenes comes from Bull Durham.  Crash Davis, the catcher, and the rest of the team are bogged down with life on the road and a rough season of minor league baseball.  Crash is the older wiser player who has been to "the show".  If you don't speak fluent baseball, that means he had at one time made it to the Majors.  Crash takes on the role of team leader and tries to impart some of his wisdom to his younger, dumber players.  So, Crash and the boys need a break, but there is none in sight. Crash, standing at the ball field explains to the others, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you get a rain out." And this is what occurred next...... 

If you didn't click the link to the video, you should.  But if you are really against it, I will tell you.  Crash then proceeds to turn on the water sprinklers.  "Oh My Goodness! We've got ourselves a natural disaster."  They then partook in some boy like shenanigans of running the bases and sliding in the mud.

Sunday, as the rain and sleet and sub-freezing temperatures rolled in, I found myself thinking of this movie and desperately wanting a rain out.   I must admit the emotion I felt when I saw my school district was closed was not all that different than the Durham Bulls experienced that night.  I cheered!  I danced!  I quoted Crash's line.  I needed a day at my house with a clear calendar.  I needed a day where I got to focus on my kids.  I needed a 3 day weekend and God delivered in the form of an ice storm. Sleet fell like manna from heaven. It was just what I needed when I needed it.  

Today I went back feeling much better about having the energy to go the distance.  I went back thankful that relief sometimes comes in unexpected ways.  And I  leave you today with high hopes that some well timed "rain outs" come your way.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Folsom Prison

A first grade homework assignment demanded that I stroll down memory lane into the uncharted waters of my hard drive looking for pictures of the boy from each year of his existence.  It was kind of depressing because I am reminded how quickly the time goes.  And also, my children's childhood memories are all on a piece of technology that is likely programmed by the manufacturer to self destruct.  But this gem made me smile. My little buddy was not yet 3 years old when I took this video.   This was his favorite song.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No Soup For YOU! (or Me)

For the last two days I have gotten out of bed at 5:30 AM (in the dark before the dawn- just to be clear!) to begin preparing Chicken Bacon and Wild Rice Soup so my family could eat something hot, delicious and homemade for dinner.  On Monday, I had the thought to put it in the crock pot to simmer into yum yum all day.  I fried the bacon.  I made the cream portion which is shockingly similar to making gravy--No wonder I like cream soups so much.  After this, I put it in the crock pot.  ONLY I forgot to add the chicken broth and the rice soaked up all the "gravy" and I made wild rice play dough.

So today, I got up resigned to make it on the stove.  I cooked rice, made the soup gravy and mixed it into a lovely soup.  Did I mention I started this process at 5:30 AM?  It is worthy of reiteration.  I turned off the stove and asked my husband to place it in the fridge when it wasn't boiling hot. With that, I walked. out. the. door.  I could come home from work, add the rotisserie chicken and bacon, heat it up, and we would be eating good.  ONLY HE forgot to put it in the fridge. So instead of almost done dinner, I found 9 hour old congealed cream soup.

I wanted to fall on the floor and cry.  I wanted to kick my husband in the shin.  I wanted to toss the pot across the room.  But, I didn't.  Tears, bodily harm, and pot chunkin', while satisfying,  would not bring back my soup.  As I collected myself and got a handle on the death of 2 soups in 2 days, Mr. Iron Gut ACTUALLY, for real Y'all, asked "Why can't we eat it?"  Rather than deliver a lecture (straight out of my college food bacteriology course) about temperature abuse, toxin producing staphylococcus, chills, sweats, dehydration, projectile vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, bloating, excessive gas and other lovely forms of gastrointestinal distress, I simply replied, "You can. Let me know what happens."  
He Did Not.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What a Feeling!

Today, in Texas, we got a dusting of snow.  If you are from the South, you know the kind..Just enough to make everyone lose their minds, buy out grocery stores,  and call everything off, but not enough to have any fun.  As it turns out, being free on a weekday evening is a nice thing!  We went to Bath and Body Works to pick up some teacher appreciation goodies.  We went to Sephora and I picked out some new mascara that will hopefully stay on while the kids opened and tested all 1,683 bottles of nail polish in the store.  The girl picked a glorious sparkly red and I opted to give the much raved about Dior Show a shot.
After this, we arrived home at 5:00 where we finished homework, picked up a bit, cooked food in the oven and had a few minutes to sit down and blog!  I would not trade the joy they get from their various activities, but there is not much in life that is more refreshing than an unexpected break.  If only it were bad enough to extend through the day tomorrow!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Progress and a Coaster

I have gotten a lot of stuff started this week.

1. 2 solo dance costumes requiring alterations.

2. Lola's Quilt.  I am expecting a niece any day now and it dawned on me I did not make her a quilt, so I better get on it.  I dug into my stash and found an Amy Butler Soul Blossom strip set.  It seemed to call out LOLA!  Oh, by the way, her parents have not shared her name with the family, so I took it upon myself to name her Lola.  Her sister is Isla (I-la) and I like the ring of it, Isla and Lola.  I cannot wait to meet her and learn the name her parents have in mind.  But until then, "Her name was Lola. She was a show girl......"  

3.  Another baby girl quilt.  Simple squares of grey and cream and navy print.  It will be lovely!  

4. If you are counting, this is quilt #3.  Michael Miller Ta Dot- quite possibly my favorite fabric line of all time.  It would make a lovely gift for Valentine's, My Birthday, Mother's Day, Anniversary, Martin Luther King's birthday, President's Day, Texas Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo, Flag Day, Easter, or National Buy Your Favorite Quilter Some Polka Dot Fabric Day which is RIGHT around the corner!   I also am using Gypsy Bandanna. Happy fun prints!  This one has me a bit stumped, but I think I have found the solution and inspiration to go forth.  Paisley and polka dots---this one may have to be pried from my grasp.  

5.  Handy dandy Ott Lite, Quiet and trusty Janome - I use this machine for piecing and most small projects.  A pom pom that I need to hand sew back on a knit hat.  A coaster.  We will look at that in a moment.  And a frog that my sweet girl bought me in her quarterly school auction.  I like frogs and it was sweet, but I think she had ulterior motives.   I was a bit miffed at her for making me dash home and get her tennis shoes for PE.  I handed down a fee of a Starbucks Hot Chocolate purchased for me and a punishment of being forced to wear unfashionable tennis shoes to school ALL week.  THE HORROR.  Shortly after, she comes bearing gifts......I still love it though.  

6. A scrap stack just out of the package from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics so I can make color coded bins for all of my fabric scraps.  
At $10-12 a yard for fabric, I admit, I hoard every usable inch of it.  It is getting a bit out of hand, but with no scraps, I will never be able to make something like this scrap vortex quilt...........

7. A rag doll in desperate need of her yarn hair.  She has been bald for about 400 days now.  Poor Baby!  

8. Back to that coaster.  I mostly keep it rated G around here, but this jumps right over the line.  It cracked me up and I had to have it.  I find great humor in old fashioned photos being captioned with modern day thoughts.  (Those e-cards crack me up too.) 

There you have it.  My kitchen table.  Thank goodness for our island where we eat our meals!  It may look messy to you, and also to my husband, but to me it looks like progress.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014


So what makes me come alive?
Taking perfectly lovely fabric, cutting it to pieces, mixing it with friends and making it into something beautiful.
 For Babies

 For Friends

 For Graduations

For Raffles

For Special Teachers......
You get the idea, right? 

Hand pleating miles of net to become a tutu.

My first tutu- a Halloween costume for my little girl. 

Making a pair of jumbo size pants into pants that fit.

Reading.  I love big books and I cannot lie.  I have about 60 ready and waiting in my old school keyboard Kindle!

Writing.  I enjoy putting thoughts into words onto paper.  Sometimes they take me on an adventure I didn't see coming.  Sometimes they give an answer I couldn't find.  Sometimes they are just for fun.

Cleaning.  Just seeing if you were paying attention.  If you know nothing about me, you would still know that I hate cleaning!  I love clean though.  Weird, huh?

So this year, I am going to make 12 quilts.  Yep.  One a month!  I made my list and I would really like to make 16 quilts, but that kind of put me in panic attack mode, so I am going to go with 12.

I am also going to read 12 books this year.  It is not much, but I am making 12 quilts, so back off!

I am going to make another tutu and dive a little deeper into costuming.  And I am going to take another 2 pairs of jumbo pants and make them fit.  It will be my Super Bowl Sunday tradition.

Finally, this is the toughest one of all, I will clean up my sewing area to help maximize efficiency.  I will also clean out one cabinet a week to purge this place of excess and help me be a little more clean.

I am going to bring JoY to the World (sing it!) one stitch at a time.  That's my dream.  And you are coming along and I am going to write about it all!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014..... Get Set!

Ahhhhhh!  It is January 4 and I still have yet to firmly embrace the New Year.  Maybe it is being home with the kids and the fact that not much really changed at the stroke of midnight.  Maybe I am a little overwhelmed at the things I would like to do and see happen in 2014.  Maybe I just need a little bit of quiet time.  In search of that, I ran away from home for a little bit this afternoon.  I got a pedicure.  I was drawn to dark royal blue polish this time.  Very uncharacteristic.  RED is my signature color.  You know you want to say that in a Southern Draaaaawwwwll as Julia Roberts did in Steel Magnolias only pink was her "signachuh cullah." Anyway, I picked a shiny blue polish off the shelf and looked at the name of the color....I always look at the name of the color.  People get paid to name those colors and I want to see just how clever they are and I want to see if the name of the polish speaks to my mood.  And the color was called Resolution by China Glaze.  What!?! Even my nail polish choice was telling me to get it together.
I interrupt this post to let you know that my son is walking around the house blowing a duck call and I am not sure if I want to bust out laughing or scream.   I just laughed.  Now my daughter is playing jingle bells on the same duck call. 1)I hope no one has the flu.  2) HOW DO I EVER GET ANYTHING DONE?
So I have thought and thought and I have a list a mile long of this and that and little things that I want to do, but I do believe that I have distilled it all down to one goal or resolution  or mantra if you may.

Drum Roll Please.....................

In 2014, I will live by this quote from Dr. Howard Thurman, author and pastor.

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Ok, lets be honest.  I found the quote on Pinterest.  I had to research the source.  Buuuuut, inspiration can be found anywhere.  Right?  

And that's where I am today. Getting set!  Looking at the things that make me come alive!  At the present moment, post homemade spaghetti and meatballs, post shoving the last of the Christmas decorations into the attic, that is a book and a bubble bath!  Excuse me while I get to livin'!  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014....On Your Mark!

Oh my, how the time flies.  Very cliche' saying it,  but it is true.  2013 was a pretty good year, though as I try to really reflect on it, all I see is a blur.  A blur from behind the steering wheel where I spent much of my year driving up and down the road to baseball and dance and back again.  And believe it or not, I liked that part of my year very, very much.
I learned some lessons in 2013.  I learned that the only one who really has my best interest at heart is myself. I learned that the voice of God maybe is not a voice heard by my ears, but a feeling felt deep in my gut.  I learned that when I put myself in a place where I am not able to use my gifts and talents, I wilt. I learned that my dad is on the short list of people who probably have my best interest at heart too. Well, I have always known this, but now I really, really GET it.  I learned a whole new level of respect for our nation's educators and that I will probably purchase all my teacher gifts at Spec's from now on.  At the end of the day, these people deserve a nice glass of wine.  And if they don't like wine, Spec's has an INCREDIBLE selection of Gummi Bears. Who Knew?!?   I learned just how much I like Gummi Bears!  As I make my plans and set my goals for 2014, my #1 priority is to use these lessons to guide me and make 2014 a better year for me and my family.   That will make for a HaPpy NeW YeAr!