Tuesday, 26 February 2008

It's Not a Sweat Shop...If There's No Sign On The Door!

Believe it or not, my 5yo Babydoll is addicted to ironing. Don't cringe. She's safe, I watch her with a close eye. She just loves pressing wrinkles. And she does a good job, I might add.

It was sew-sew weekend. Or I should say a 'sew good' weekend. There are two finished flimsies. One for a little babe born just Thursday eve to a Winnie the Pooh loving family.

And the colorful one is for baby Evan, born two weeks ago.

I am still working on my MIL quilt. It is about 80% quilted now. Though there was a breakthrough at my Wednesday quilt group. My quilting, all but meandering, puckers a lot. Where my seams cross I always have gaps and extra fabric. When pinning, 'they say' don't pull it too tight, now, I think I don't pull it tight enough. Marie in my group suggested I [straight] pin my quilting path ahead and sew on forward. And it works, not a pucker to be had!
I will post the finished product in a few days.
We have a trip planned to the in-laws for Saturday and all will be revealed, finally.

Other verry good news in the family: My stepdaughter GirlE has had a break through as well. Most of you know she suffered brain/spinal tissue damage in a car accident in 2005. She was recovering slowly, needing assistance to walk and her legs' body tissue suffering a cold hard condition. The doctors felt she just needed to pull herself through and that's hard on a 11yo. Her mother has taken her to a 'healer' who reckons her injury is more in her stomach and kidneys as a result of the seatbelt. He has treated her and after a few weeks of severe diarrhea, there are signs of huge improvement. It seems her system is cleaning itself out. (Note to self: learn more about these 'healers'! Anyone know how they work?)

Yippeee!!! They report she will be as good as before the accident. Her mother is hugely convinced and confident --which in itself is a huge win, as we all know our mental beliefs have a huge impact on physical healing too! We are so excited to see her on Saturday. The best is DH--the joy in his eyes when he told me her progress was lovely. I am so happy for him and her.

I'll sign off on that good note! Have a good day!

Monday, 18 February 2008

All Things Good

As I drove to work this morning, thoughts of the weekend put a smile on my face. Yes, it was a good weekend.

It might have been my one-to-one time with Babydoll. She is usually Daddy’s girl, so I was thrilled to get her all to myself, while DH and Cutiepie hung out. Mom and daughter spent Saturday shopping, visiting friends, attending a birthday party.

It might have been our impromptu visit with a friend enroute to the birthday festivities. Together, mom and daughter ooo’ed and ahhh’ed over our friends’ 11 month old baby girl.

It might have been the long brisk walk with a good friend on Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful, the air was brisk and the trek around our local reservoir was refreshing. It was that perfect one-to-one time for quality friendship.

It might have been a Sunday visit from family and friends on Sunday. More good company, and not least of all, the food and drink.

But it probably was the new way I’m styling my hair. You would never know with me. But it was that good.

The weekend came to a leisurely end with my sister-in-law’s family on Sunday. After blissful hours of browsing fabric, cutting pieces and visualizing quilts with SIL, dinner was served. SIL brought with them the most sin-delicious chocolate coffee cream cake.

Now, for someone who rarely has caffeine and never has coffee, you might think I’d pass on the cake. Oh, no. Oh no siree! People, it was chocolate and buttercream, need I say more? And it does not help that I am a firm believer of the theory: It’s bound to happen, now or later. Might as well make it now. So, you see, I easily allowed myself a second portion. Besides, my tea was half full and still hot; and everyone knows I only drink tea to partake the sweet goodies.

Dotted throughout the weekend, was some quality time with DH. When we found ourselves curled on the couch with our red wine night cap, I heard the cake call out to me once more. Oh yes. I’m weak.

We lie in bed still. After more than 3,000 nights spent together, DH knows full well a jittery silence. I was wired, wide awake. In an effort to head off the chatty insomnia that would inevitably keep a very tired DH awake, he pulled me in closer and said,

“You have to be up very early in the morning. You really should try to go to sleep.”

“It’s o.k. honey. I plan to have cake for breakfast.”

Friday, 15 February 2008

It May Not Be An Oscar...

Wow! I’m breathless.

I’m honored to accept two lovely awards from fellow bloggers.

How cool is this? Not one, but two Oscars!!

I would like to thank Cathi for the “You Make My Day” award. I’m forever indebted to her as she got me started working on my blog, she has brought quilting, along with a variety of crafts, to life for me in Ireland and she is a dear friend and astute listener (reader!). While her life was swirling with the usual winter bugs upseting her, her DH and her adorable girls, with her mother’s recent diagnosis with illness as well as her father’s health concerns, with worried thoughts of a summer in Oz in suspension, this thoughtful blogger considered others. When direction for my work/life balance made an abrupt u-turn, of which I quickly and cunningly did a bloggity makeover (for my sanity and for entertainment’s sake), she spotted the upheaval at root and immediately fetched me out. Was I alright? I remember that day; she made my day.
Thank you Cathi.

Thank you Anna, for the“Excellent Blog” award.
Gosh, I'm chuffed!! When I began this ride, I never expected to find a friend, let alone a fan in a land so afar, yet so parallel online. Anna’s a Southern Bell and verry like my girls’ disappearing TH, an emerging double syllable from her son’s one-syllable words equally charms Anna. What is it about written musings that keeps us captive and amused? In reading about her one and only Bubs, I think to my own babes while dreaming of the colorful paths they'll tread and, more importantly, whose paths they'll cross.

And for this, I'd like to thank Babydoll and Cutiepie for providing never-ending writing material.

I'd like to thank DH for his silent appreciation and support of this hobby. This blog serves as an outlet for me and he knows all too well, happy wife = happy life.

I'd like to thank all my friends and family who forgive me this guilty pleasure. Blogging has long since robbed valuable time once spent letter writing and mailing photos. I solemnly promise to remember and restore such humanly touch and joy experienced in sharing that which is brought by your real-life mailman.

I’d like to thank Banana and Tanya for their never-ending support and advice in all my offline escapades. It’s their shoring up that allows me to take tension-tied stakes and turn them into laughable posts.

I'd like to thank Rebecca and AnneMarie for their inspiration in quilting, my other quilty pleasure.

And finally,

I'd like to thank the original cast of my blog world: Shannon, Erin, Megan, Cathi, BigMama, Antique Mommy, PW and Attack of the Redneck Mother. They inpire, they inform, they entertain, and most importantly they make me smile on the bleakest of days!

And I'd like to thank those that continually inspire me: Kathy, Kate, Bonnie.

And of course,

I’d like to thank my lurkers and ask them to delurk!

I'd like to thank Irish Broadband for a speedy connection.

I'd like to thank Canon for a camera to afford me colourful pictures.

I'd like to thank my computer for marching the sands of time.

I'd like to thank Blogger.

I'd like to thank …

I'd like …

If only, you could see me in my designer gown.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Covet Those Memories!

This is my MIL's 70th birthday present, or rather my present to her for her 70th birthday. Seventy presents on her birthday would be a bit much, don'tcha think?

Now a flimsy top, it awaits sandwiching and a whole lot of pinning!

The whole clan is in this quilt. You can even see her with her husband on her wedding day in the upper far left. Very romantic!

Reminds me, Happy Valentine's Day all you Internets!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tick Tock

You may remember the quilt for my mother-in-law and her 70th birthday…still. Lordy, the lady is now 70 years and 7 days old and I still have yet to present a finished quilt to her.

Pardon me, but my gig is making baby quilts and the impact of a day passing, a week passing within one project is so minuscule it’s alien to me. And yet, I feel a certain urgency with this quilt. The quilt will soon belong to someone whose longevity precedes its very threads.

Unlike the smaller colourful quilts sporting nuances of liveliness and the joy of things yet beholden, this near-complete quilt embraces the pieces of a time gone past. It captures the love and life of family in each row, speckled with images aged in sepia tone conveying an era, an existence and, most importantly, a gift shared over the last seven decades.

So much is happening in our abode, there is blame to half a dozen reasons why this quilt is not finished. The girls and sickness, I and sickness, job searching, job beginning, cleaning and preparing for au pair, welcoming au pair…take your pick, I have plenty of excuses.

Why just yesterday…I darted from room to room, trying to rush out the door by 6:30am. That was before the morning had spun me merciless. My schedule begins at 5:30am, but on this morning, Babydoll decided 4:30 would do just as well. After soothing her back to sleep, a feverish Cutiepie awoke at 5:15. Babydoll was now back awake. Once both were settled in makeshift beds on the couch, my morning marathon began.

“Can you put Dora the Explorer on?”
“Mommy, I need a pillow!”
“Can I have a drink?”
“Mommy, the TV stopped!”
“My blanket fell off!”
“Mommy, I’m hungry!”
“I want cereal!”
“I want cereal too! But no milk. Spoon, Please!”
“Mommy, can I have orange juice?”
“Mom, Babydoll’s kicking me!”
“Mommy, the TV stopped!”
“But I don’t want Babydoll to look at me!”

A long suspecting silence from the TV room until finally, the reason emerges.

“Mommy, Cutiepie knocked over her cereal!” All over the white rug.

After clean up and a quick two minutes spent on showering and preparing myself for the outside world, I decided at this late a point, another measly 10 minutes wouldn’t make a difference. The damage had been done. It was now after 7am and this new timing meant a long two hour drive to my new job, once affectionately coined, “Worth the Drive”.

For the next several minutes I explained, in a very stern voice, that as much as I loved them, Babydoll and Cutiepie must find a way to sleep until 7am or otherwise sit unsupervised, self sufficient upon Dora TV recordings until the rest of the world awakes at a sane hour. After being sprinkled with snotty wet kisses and bad baby breath, I continued my frantic march through the house en route to work.

It was then I saw and heard the notion of time and all it meant. From the corner of my sewing area, there is a silent ticking, a slow ticking away of time. Awakening me, though this was not my countdown to work. This clock was of a different kind. It is the kind that matters.

Family photos peeked out from the folds of fabric reminding me of time well spent.

Tick. Tock.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

[Dating] Game Over

Well, have I left ya all in a holding pattern long enough? Are you ready for the next dose of the Great Job Search of '08? Hopefully this is the last chapter…until the next book is published, that is.

It Could Be Love, Inc.,
Well, never trust a fickle man. After one mysterious text message, I have yet to hear back from ICBL. Besides, he was in a rebound relationship and I'm not sure I'd wish that on anyone.

Mr. Right Job Right Now
This match never made history together, accurately enough. No complaints though.

Love & Company
This relationship had me questioning everything. In the end, it was a lot of head games and promised more of the same for very little in return. Other than being close to home, it was just another pretty face.

Older But Secure
I was wooed by security but awoke in reality, thanks to one insistent girlfriend's thorough scrutiny. Boredom and blah would not bed me down. I'm ashamed to admit, but this relationship ended with a Dear John letter. Feeling a tad bit smothered, I ran from OBS into the arms of WTD.

Worth the Distance
Rejected twice, persistent WTD was determined to win me over. And they have. After much counselling, we've come together as a match. I have my space—working 3 days in the office and 2 days at home—for top respect (aka money and benefits). Distance being the only issue in our relationship, we'll focus on early quality time, not quantity. It is refreshing confronting our issues early on; if it goes awry we know why.

This month I happily rejoin the ranks of the gainfully employed.

Don't you worry, give me a few weeks and I'll be my old self again. Complaining, whining, and crying out for my long lost freedom