Filed under: *eep!, Awesomeness, friends IRL, Hooray!, I feel so smart!, In The Southland | Tags: Being Southern, fashion and sewing
Ok this is going to be FUN!
We met with the designer yesterday. His name is CJ Bryant and he does all sorts of things,not just wedding dresses, but that’s what he won Best New Designer for at a show in Charleston. He is working on a web page so when that’s up I’ll post a link to it. What’s funny is that the stuff he wants us to make is COMPLETELY different from the stuff he had in the show.
Bless his heart. He’s a young fellow, just starting out, and I really think Peaches and I can be a big help for him. He has some great ideas but needed a little bit of guidance on materials and laces and construction technique. However, he’s a smart fellow, caught on quick, and I think he will do VERY well in the future.
His dress ideas are…well… beautiful and very unique…not the typical Satin-sequins-make-the-bride-look-like-a-tart/cupcake sort of thing. He wants to make them from cotton sateen, with fine vintage cotton laces and tulles. He is looking to appeal to a non-typical bride who wants an heirloom quality dress, which is where Peaches comes in with her sewing and embellishment expertise. I will do the construction of the main part of the dress, and she makes it unique and beautiful.
When we started with the discussions, I threw out there that I would NOT work with charmeuse or chiffon. Then when he pulled out his drawings, I noticed on the notes that he was considering charmeuse for one of them. When we began discussing the construction materials, he said “well, I was thinking charmeuse but I guess I’ll revise that.” I apologized, then that working with that stuff was something you had to do all the time to be good at it, and I did not, so would be uncomfortable with risking his investment in the fabric with my potential screw ups. We then agreed that it would be really pretty out of a cotton sateen. Colors were discussed, Peaches was pushing for ecru, he stuck to his guns (Proud of him!!) for white.
We also discussed production work, and since he is leaning hard toward couture pieces rather than production work, we are both happy. If he wanted production, he’s wind up with cheaper materials and assembly-line type clothing. Peaches didn’t want her stuff being made into that, and I was not thrilled about the idea of churning out dress after dress…BORING. BUT, he said no,he wants his stuff to be known for quality, and to be the kind of a thing a bride would want handed down. With the proper materials, a well made dress will last for generations. His styles are also the type of thing that could be handed down, as they are not ‘trendy’ at all.
So, we are going to get started on this quite soon!
So, I’ve been blogging now for about 10 years. There’s 6 years worth here, and another 4 elsewhere that I don’t remember. Maybe some of you do…doesn’t matter.
Anyway, there are a few blogs I’ve followed throughout my writing ‘career’. I like to follow people who aren’t like me…or don’t seem to be. People from different places, different stages of their lives, that sort of thing. If all I ever read were Middle Aged Southern Women With Guilt Complexes it would get real old real quick. I can get that at home all day long.
I like meeting people who’s blogs I’ve followed. You kind of get to know someone through their writing. The first virtual friend I met was Northern Girl. She had a thing in Charleston and drove down to Savannah for a day, and we met up, went to the beach, ate lunch and connected face-to-face. It’s interesting how comfortable it is to meet someone you kinda know about except for those fundamental things like what their voice sounds like or how they walk.
Last night I got to meet Renegade Evolutionand Mr E, on their way down to Florida. I’ve followed her writing for 9 years now, and while we are…shall we say….Different in many ways, there’s much in common as well. We had dinner (Terry was there too) and it was this sudden yack-fest like Old Home Week or something. It was fun to meet her in person because she’s this wee little bit of stuff with a massive head of hair (even contained in a hat is was like a horse’s tail) which I’d known about but seeing is believing.
If you read her blog,she’s kind of pugnacious, and puts herself out there as some kind of unrefined hick, and while no, she wasn’t dressed in Talbots with Papagallo espadrilles, she wasn’t a goober straight out of the woods “here wanna buy a bag of meth?” either. She and Mr E were delightfully….(please don’t hit me, Ren) Normal, regular folks on a trip to Florida stopping for dinner.
And I REALLY like having a real picture in my head, complete with tone of voice and how she walks (excellent posture btw, even with back issues) to put with the words on the screen.
I am hoping we can meet up again. Next time we’ll go up there and get that tour she promised.
Ok, yesterday I went to Peaches house. She wanted some help figuring out how to install and use her ruffler, a complicated and scary looking device that is actually HUGE fun to use, but she couldn’t figure it out and neither could I. I didn’t think about this. Anyway, we futzed around with it for a while and couldn’t figure it out. So she said “Let’s go to Savannah to the store where I bought it.” and proceeded to tell me the life story of the woman who owns the store on the way down there.
I have a ruffler for my old machine, and a ruffler is essentially a ruffler, but different brands install differently, and we simply could not figure out how hers went in.
Then she said “you know what…you need a more contemporary machine. The one I gave you is old. Here, take this one” and handed over a BAM POW sewing machine (I thought the last one was BAM POW but apparently it’s just POW) that does everything but the laundry. And now my head is full of visions of this reproduction clothing WITH EMBROIDERY on the collars, cuffs and hemlines. AND, that place we went, with the woman who knows stuff? CARRIES SOFTWARE for the machine! Of embroidery patterns that are HISTORICALLY PROPER for the stuff I want to make! I plotzed. Right there.
So, in exchange for figuring out how to do the machine embroidery of the type Peaches wants on her heirloom childrens clothing, and doing it for her, I get the use of the BAM POW machine and all the WHOOPDEDOO accessories, and can use it on my own stuff as well!
And we did get the ruffler figured out.
And I realize I’ve kind of been ALL SEWING ALL THE TIME here lately, but those of you’ve who’ve read my stuff for any amount of time know that I get on an idea like a freight train, and it’s all I think about until something new comes along. #4 will be coming home in a week, from having been gone for 2 months, so you’ll probably be hearing about him a good bit.
There are so many things I used to hear as a child, when I was moving slower that my parents thought I should. “Get a move on!” and “up and at’ em!” and “shake a leg!”…stuff like that. I wasn’t lazy, I just didn’t move as quickly as they thought I should. I still don’t. howver, I do hear myself sometimes saying the same things to my kids. they aren’t lazy, they just don’t move as quickly as I think they should.
My days look kind of like this:
2 hours of frantic activity
7 hours of do whatever needs doing at my own pace.
7 hours of high paced activity with occasional moments of slow.
It works, but when something comes along and interferes with the system, I get a little cranky or tired or even upset. I don’t like systems to be messed with.
The other day, I had a usual Wednesday Thing. I meet with a group of ladies at a house for a couple of hours. Sometimes we eat lunch together, sometimes not. The one who’s house we meet at asked me to get there an hour early so we could go over something. Well, she’s a Talker. I am not. I am a Do-er. Talking exhausts me. I can Do and Do and Do all day long, and have something to show for it. but talking for a couple of hours requires so much energy of a sort that I don’t have, and by the end of the thing I was flat WORE OUT. Then another friend showed up, with a big casserole dish full of food that I wasn’t expecting, and that was like…Woah. She gave me food. delicous food, too. i never expected that to happen.
Anyway, I am supposed to meet with The Talker Friend again today, and I anticipate it will be interesting and fun, but also exhausting. I am preparing for this event by remaining in my bathrobe until the last possible moment. The phrases from my childhood are bouncing around in my head. “get a move on!” and while I don’t expect friends to show up with casseroles, there are plenty of leftovers in the fridge, in the event I don’t feel like cooking supper.
Hm. My coffee cup is empty and if I’m going to spend several hours with The Talker Friend, fortification will be required. Caffiene and a bagel, yes.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, family, friends IRL, home and hearth, Hooray!, kids, oh HELL no!
It’s smoky around here. They’re calling it “The Sweat Farm Again Fire” because the same area burned a few years ago. It has the entire region under smoke. We are not in any danger, it’s a good bit south and west of us.
I spent a couple of days with a good friend. She and I have known each other since 1983, longer than I’ve known Terry. Though we’ve lived apart all this time, we’ve always kept up, managed to squeeze visits in when we could, shared triumphs and woes, laughed at the same ridiculous situations, complained about kids and husbands, and generally done that whole Sisterhood/Best Friend thing. We have each other’s backs, and that’s a good feeling.
We started making Plans a while back. Understand that ideally, Terry and I will live to be 90 and die together in a plane crash, but I know that is not likely. Statistics say that husbands die first. With that in mind, we decided when both of our spouses are dead, and we’re old ladies, we’re going to pool our resources and share a house in her hometown of Ocean City NJ. She describes it as some sort of Yankee Shangri-La or Nirvana or something, and since I have NO hometown,having moved a lot all my life, it sounds like a nice place to me. We both know each other well enough to know when to go into our separate rooms and leave the other one alone. I love to cook, she doesn’t. I hate administrative stuff, she excels at it. We are not alike, but our skill sets are very complementary. It would work.
Just getting away for a couple of days, being able to gripe, and listen to her gripe, it was very restorative. You know how women are, we need to gripe, not solve things. It isn’t about solving a problem, but about having a sympathetic ear, someone who says “Oh Good Grief! Are you kidding me?” We both did that. Then we went to a movie (Thor…they got Loki ALL WRONG but Thor was definite eye candy) Then we wandered the town square and ate at The Redneck Gourmet and found cool things in antique stores. She gave me her old sewing machine (which is a good bit newer than my old sewing machine) and I promised in exchange I would make some girly things for her daughters.
Oh! I found glass prosthetic eyes at one of the stores, but didn’t buy any, thinking I’d look on Ebay for some cheaper, but the ones there are about 3 times as much so I may send her back to the store, or arrange to need another visit, because when I saw those eyes (they look incredibly REAL) I had an Artistic Vision. I want to make something using those eyes, I don’t know what, but they’re too good to pass up. I am thinking perhaps a flower on a long stem with an eye in the middle…I don’t know…or perhaps a rotifer… I have no idea but who in their artistic right mind could pass up a handful of realistic glass eyes? The only reason I passed them up was lack of cash on hand.
When I got home, the kitchen sink was full of dirty dishes with dried on food. Understand that while I am not the world’s greatest housekeeper, the kitchen is Sacred Territory. And not only was the sink full of dirty dishes, the dishwasher was EMPTY …so it wasn’t as if ANYTHING had to be done. I cleaned up the kitchen, even before unpacking my suitcase or getting a restorative cup of coffee. It took less than 5 minutes so I don’t know why I’m complaining except for the intense feeling of disrespect that wafted off the mess. “I’ll throw it in the sink. Mom will take care of it.” I knew it was the boys mess because Terry’d been at work from 6am to 9pm while I was gone. A plan was formulated.
About 30 minutes later CJ and David came in from work. “HI MOM!”
“Come in here please I need to talk to you.” (commence verbal horsewhipping and guilt trip application)
“MOM!” (CJ attempts to get huffy) “How come the first thing you say after being gone is to fuss at us?!”
“CJ! How come the first thing I see when I walk in after being gone is a sink full of dirty dishes and sticky counters?”
(more attempts a huffiness,however who does he think taught him? he’s dealing with a master.)
“Well FINE THEN” he says.
“Alrighty, here’s the deal.” I say.”If this happens again, you are welcome to cook your own food. You have a refrigerator and a microwave in the game room. You can use those. I will not cook for you any more if I find this kind of mess in my kitchen.”
the party went well! By 6:45, most of the boys (one was later due to a soccer game) were in the back yard, pelting each other with pine cones. Who needs video games when you have pine cones? I can hear it, 80 years from now, they’ll be sitting with their great grandkids and saying things like “Holograms! We didn’t have no holograms when we were kids, why, when I was a boy all I had to play with was PINECONES and proud we were to have them too!”
Then they ate, 6 boys, 36 hot dogs and 2 giant bags of Doritos and 48 cans of soda. You do the math. Oh, and 2 cakes that looked like Lego bricks.
When dusk started in, CJ (he’s 19 and really wanted to be here) took them all into the woods across the road,with flashlights. Other than The Pastor’s Son meeting up with a briar patch (he took it in stride, and so did his father, our church’s youth pastor), and The New Kid getting a bullfrog tadpole dropped down the back of his shirt. The New Kid moved to town about a month ago, and kudos to his mom for letting him come. TNK even got a nickname, “J.Bob” and there’s no surer sign of acceptance into a group than to get a nickname that isn’t derogatory.
By 9 people were coming for their kids, and they all seemed reluctant to leave, which is another good sign. As they trickled out kids were settled in with a video game, driving badly and wrecking their race cars and making any parent watching ponder the wisdom of teaching them to drive in a few years.
And it would appear they enjoyed it enough that #4 wants to do it again, for no other reason than to do it again. Maybe in May, before school is out and everyone evaporates for the summer. If all it costs is 36 hot dogs and 48 cans of cheap soda, I’m ok with that.
So, I have this friend on Facebook. I knew her in high school and we did that whole reconnection thing. Anyway, her mother has this happy philosophy that once a woman turns A Certain Age, birthdays should be celebrated every month. Now, it’s not the “give me lots of presents” celebration, but that one day a month (hers is the 21st) one should eat ice cream for lunch and do as one pleases the entire day.
I’m thinking an appropriate time to start would be when I turn 50,
about 25 year about 4 years from now. Think of it, set aside 1 day a month to celebrate that you’re still living. I would have a Dairy Queen chocolate dip cone,or perhaps a Baskin Robins Jamoca Almond Fudge on a sugar cone. Or maybe, if it’s a warm day, a Chik Fil A lemonade. I wonder what Mom would do if I started sending her a birthday card on the 20th of every month, or flowers every 4th month, or a couon for lunch at Olive Garden…hm.
Is there a woman in your life that you’d love to celebrate the simple fact that she’s still alive?
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, friends IRL, home and hearth, In The Garden
After a few days off. I had a D&C Monday and have been feeling wan and precious, plus a friend was here to help and commiserate, which is always lovely. she even rearranged the inside of my fridge…and before you gasp and say something about her temerity…now I can find everything in it! I love that she did that because I am always doing stuff like that and turnabout’s fair play. AND I CAN FIND EVERYTHING. She said “you have 3 half bags of mozzerella cheese. If you kept your fridge organized you wouldn’t have stuff like this” and she’s absolutely right. See, this is the kind of friend I need. One who can say “look here…” and I know where her heart is.
Anyway, we had breakfast yesterday at Waffle House. (Do you know what she does? She gets a waffle, no syrup, and bacon, and makes a sandwich of it. I am totally doing that next time. It looked delicious.) She asked me “how often do you clean your baseboards.” and I answered “I think I’ve done them twice since we moved here.” (We’ve been here 5-1/2 years) and she said “Good. My mother would do them every week and I think that’s excessive.” and I replied “I do them when I notice that they’re covered with crud.” That’s my entire cleaning philosophy. I do it when it bothers me.
I will vacuum the floors once a week or so. With pets comes hair and with boys comes dirt tracked in. Once a week there. I’ll mop when I notice splatters or maybe when someone is coming over. Once a week, at the most, usually less. I’ll clean the toilets and sinks weekly (I’m not completely gross),and the tubs less often but at least 2 or 3 times a month. I mean…I don’t HATE cleaning, but it’s not my favorite. I’d rather be
playing solitaire on the computer learning how to use my new camera and editing software or working in the yard.
I got a new rose to plant. I love me some roses, and my favorite are the David Austin variety. I ordered it a week ago, with a request that they go ahead and ship it because even though we are technically Zone 8 we are closer to a zone 9 due to the coastal influence, and they didn’t say “oh no! we can’t do that! We never ship to Georgia until February!” because there’s Georgia Athens/Atlanta mountain foothills which needs February, and there’s Deep South Statesboro flat, coastal which is nearly a completely different climate. And I wanted my rose. The customer service person wrote right backand said “Sure thing!” and less than a week later, here it is, in a bucket out back, waiting to be planted this afternoon! (with #4 digging the hole for me, as D&C preciousness will not permit heavy lifting on part).
I love to plant a rose, you have what looks like a bundle of green sticks with a cluster of brown roots, plain and dull and not very attractive. Stick it in the ground with some manure and love, water it good and in a couple of months it turns into something that produces lovely, fragrant flowers for years and years. The David Austin roses are particularly satisfying,as they tend to be extremely healthy and generous bloomers. *AND* they don’t look like your hybrid florist roses. I have several, and I highly recommend them, particularly if you like roses that smell amazing.
What do you like to plant?
Terry had such a good time with the National Championship (War Eagle! Hoot!) party he held in the mancave, he wants to do it again. I’m down with that. Men in a cave in the backyard,far enough away I can neither hear nor smell them, that’s my kind of party. All that is required of me is food- and not even that, really, but I offered because the gratitude at him having a party in the cave and not in my living room is thick and heavy. More tamales, he said they were a huge hit and Brandt even announced they were the best he’d had outside of the roadside stand in Oaxaca (what were you doing in Oaxaca? Um…let’s not discuss that, he answered). Last night as we were munching on chips and cheese dip at El Sombrero, I opined that a wee crockpot full of said dip might be good at the party and Terry concurred. However, our wee crockpot tends to get a bit hot and can scorch dips. It doesn’t have a setting, just “hot”, so we, being problem solvers, are working on a way to convert it to some sort of double boiler, maybe with a large beaker as an insert.
It turns out a couple of men who Terry didn’t think of inviting last time got their feelings hurt, and that’s part of his motivation for doing it again. He also wants to set up the firepit in there, and maybe even make a grate so they can possibly grill bratwurst or something, or hang a dutch oven full of chili. I don’t know…this thing keeps growing and growing. It is not, however, any of my concern. Other than the tamales. I already have everything needed to make the tamales except the corn husks and thanks to a very large Hispanic population in Statesboro, they’re very easy to come by.
Terry has never been a huge socializer. We just aren’t party people, preferring normally to have a couple of people over for dinner and shooing them out the door by 9. Even in college, a ‘party’ ment a few of us in Terry’s apartment and Buckaroo Banzai on TV. (or B’nook-a-noo Buzzno…which is what one of us called it when we were enebriated)
He is, however, really enjoying this bit of playing a host and having several friends over, and I am delighted for him. He gives so much of his time to everyone else, and to see him be able to cut loose with friends and just BE A GUY, all while staying at home so he doesn’t have to drive…it’s a good thing.
And the whole entire Super Bowl Sunday evening, I can just…watch a movie, read a book, and NOT wear a frenchmaid’s outfit or serve the men. Nor would they even think to suggest it, lest Terry, who’s 6 inches taller and 50 pounds meaner than any of them, whup their ass.
I grew up before home computers, cell phones and the like. We got our first microwave oven when I was in 9th grade, and I didn’t have a color tv until after Terry and I got married.
So, I learned the art of writing a letter. Y’know, with a pen and a pretty piece of stationary, the kind that has matching envelopes and you put a stamp in the upper right hand corner. I have an address book. Not a ‘page’ on my computer, but an honest-to-goodness address book, with real pages that are alphabetized. It’s kind of falling apart, I think I need a new one. Mom gave it to me right before our wedding. Now it has crossed out addresses from when friends have moved, relatives have died, pages are falling out because I’ve just about used it to pieces. I’ll look for a new one,I think. Come to think of it, I’m about out of notecards too, and stationary. The last letter I wrote to a friend was on notebook paper, but she understands. Her stationary is like that too. I have a friend in Australia whom I’ve been corresponding with since we were 9, I got her address through the National Geographic Pen Pals club (I guess they don’t do that anymore). Here we are, 46…and still writing paper letters by hand, exchanging cards and occasional gifts…all via snail mail. Come to think of it, I owe her a letter.
One of the effects of having grown up without email is the understanding of the importance of a thank-you note. As I type that right this minute I am overwhelmed with a sense of hypocrisy, because I just now, right this minute, realized I never wrote a thank-you note to Jerseychick for the Christmas gift she sent…(Hangs head). Generally speaking, the people who send gifts in the mail are older folk, parents, an aunt, grandparents. These people CERTAINLY didn’t grow upwith email, and sending and receiving thank you notes in the mail are expected. Offense is taken if they don’t get one within a week or two after an expected date. Sometimes, enough offense is taken that they simply won’t send another gift until they get a thank-you from the previous one.
I don’t have a problem with that. I love sending personal notes on a pretty card, and receiving them, as well. However, I am having a terrible time teaching my children that.
Then they were young and malleable, I’d make them sit down Christmas Day afternoon, right about the time they’d start whining about being bored, and make them write everyone a thank-you note. Up until they left home, I’d do that. When they were teens,and they’d say dumb things like “They know I appreciate it, why do I have to write a stupid note to tell them?” and I’d reply with “They’re old school,and expect it, and you won’t get another gift from them until you do.” I would say “Come in here and sit down for a minute” and put a piece of paper and a pen in front of them, and say WRITE. They’d gripe and complain eventually do it.
Now tho, I am fairly sure…make that almost certain…in fact POSITIVE that they don’t do it anymore. #4, who often times shows more sense than the older 3 combined, will write a note willingly, and include a drawn picture in it. In fact, he’ll do it for no reason other than to write a letter. The other 3, of course, are too busy to take 5 minutes to tell the senior citizen member of the family,the one who lives alone across the country and would give their left leg to get a letter from someone young, and just write a flippen letter to them. I give them envelopes, paper and stamps. I put a pen and paper in front of them and still they’ll waffle around and make excuses. But then when they don’t get a gift…they wonder why. Dumbasses. I have even tried to compromise a bit and give them the email addresses of those same relatives (who still really like a letter by post, but will take what they can get) AND THEY STILL WON’T DO IT.
So one of my resolutions this year is to send real paper letters more. My grandmother, 98 yrs old and in a nursing home in Texas (a very nice place, not a grim type place) adores letters, but she really actually loves the email,because her eyesight’s going and email can be typed out in HUGE font size. For every email I send her, she writes a letter back and includes a recipe or two for #4, because he writes her as well. I have friends around the country in various states of distress, and I want to send them silly encouragement cards, because I love it so much when I get one. I am tired of all my mail being bank statements and catalogs. I want some PERSONAL stuff, hand written just for me, and I bet you like getting them too!
Now, how do I get my young adult male children to understand that old adult female people require a note with a stamp on it occasionally?
Do you like getting personal stuff in the mail?