Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Made Especially for You


On most nights, there is a certain level of commotion that follows bedtime. More often than not, it is crackerbox Cutiepie poking at Babydoll, putting off her beauty sleep. (Mother like daughter, I know. We like our sleep!)

Regularly, we hear Babydoll cry out, “Daddy! I can’t sleep. Cutiepie is giving me a headache!”

Recently in the car Babydoll reciprocated. After some bickering, Cutiepie screams out, “Mom! Babydoll is making me a headache!”

How thoughtful of her.

Update: Notice the brightly adorned tiaras/crowns worn by the girls. Each girl made their own from kits from Twirly and Banana, their beloved adopted godmutters. Separate gifts, yet clearly great minds think alike! Thank you!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Dinner Date with LoveandCompany

The Great Job Search of '08, Part Two

He says: So, do you come here often?

She says: Occasionally.

He says: What sort of music do you like?

Seeking to please, she says: All sorts. Probably not heavy medal as much.

He says, What kind of fun do you like to have?

She says: I’m quite agreeable to most things fun. And you?

Insistent, he says: Well, do you like outdoors or indoors?

She says: Both, which do you prefer?

Politely demanding an answer, he says: You must have an idea of what you like to do?

Dam officially breaks. Beware of flood.

She says, Well, actually, I’d like to have your children.

Frantic eyes seek out waitstaff.

He says: Check, please!

If you need a translation, in terms of job search, email me and I’ll reply once I’m through crying. Or you can just substitute "money" for "children", sniff.

To Be Continued

Monday, 21 January 2008

No Time for Broken Bones

My batting has arrived!! Who’s got time to bat an eye? Not I!

The numbers are still on the money. For the price of my batting with shipping included (well over the cost of the product!), there is still a savings of several hundred euro. The best part is I now have a couple crafty cohorts who will in the future order with me, thus reducing the shipping costs per person!

Now that I have enough batting to sew 2, 3 or 56 quilts, I must get moving sewing!
****
Last night Babydoll accidentally shut the kitchen door on Cutiepie’s finger. It was very precarious for a time while we contemplated an evening trip to the ER (for you yanks) or A&E (for you Paddys).

Dad: It looks very bad.
Mom: Oh, she has pudgy fingers.


An hour later
Dad: It looks swollen.
Mom: Nah, she just has fat fingers.


At bedtime
Dad: I think it’s really swollen.
Mom: I’m telling you, she's got fat fingers.

Cutiepie’s therapy bill in 12 years: €4,213

****

My present project is my mother in law’s 70th birthday present. This is a photo of a quilt I recently saw (sorry, credit not known) at the Tinahealy Agriculture Fair.


For MIL, I’m duplicating it and throwing in a dozen family photos in sepia tone. I can’t wait. Tonight I hope to sew my blocks. It should go rather quickly...barring any broken bones.

I don't think I can fool DH twice in a row.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

A Past Life Relived

The Great Job Search of '08, Part One

It’s been nine years since I last dated, and yet, these days I feel like I’m back in the singles' lane.

You see, lately I’ve been on the lookout for Mr. Right. Mr. Right Job, that is. When I sought Mr. Right, I kissed a lot of toads to find my prince. Let’s just say I’m thorough and I persevere through the muckiest of swamps. If only someone had said to look under the nearest clover patch serving Guinness! I could’ve saved myself a whole lotta warts.

Things can get pretty personal when you search for any one thing with the word right in its title. Painfully so, remnants of my single days now haunt my search for Mr. Right Job…

Bachelor Emloyer #1 CouldBeLove Inc.
Our introduction took us well into and over lunch hour. Instantly, I'm happy with CouldBeLove Inc. It was perfect; not too demanding, close to home and yet, there was the money. After a tour, I was asked if I could see myself there. My knees weakened. We ended with teases of another meeting. We met again; I was introduced to others. After a month of courting, CouldBeLove, Inc, broke the news. There had been another. The decision was hard, but they could love only one. It was not me.

My ego lightly bruised, I bounced back when a friend fixed me up.

Bachelor Employer#2 Dot.Com
Dot.Com reminds me of long lost relationships in San Francisco. High flying, fancy d├ęcor, hip and young, this prospect had the eye and the money for me. Upon our first meeting, I was lured by tales of fun times and friends. I was feeling frisky.
I emailed after our first meeting, yet didn’t hear back. I called and was told Dot.Com would get back to me. Eventually, we met for another adrenal rush. I told all my friends about Dot.Com and our future to be. I gushed.
Another week and no call. Another week passed and I called, desperate to see Dot.Com. Another message left and then the email. Dot.Com had decided to hold off our engagement and maybe, well maybe in the New Year…

I had been played; I was deflated and humiliated.
After two months of dating gone nowhere, Christmas set in as it does on the single life. Heavy, dim and empty of all joy. There I was single and lonely, unemployed and broke, my head hung low. Is it me? Am I too old? Am I too desperate?

The usual New Year extravaganza approached as did the usual mistrust of the hype. I awoke amid resolutions and fresh snow. Donning new motivation and drive, I networked untouched crowds, polished my goods and awaited my suitors like a newly-tuned siren.

Within a week I had seven calls and three dates set. My mojo returneth.

Bachelor Employer#3 WorthTheDistance
Anxious to get back in the game, I met with WorthTheDistance. It was a long distance relationship, but after sweet promises—pension, health and money—my heart quickened. WorthTheDistance spoke of an early morning schedule—a sure fire way to my early-bird happiness.
WorthTheDistance has professed love with me and, sadly, another lover, closer in location. And yet, they find me more compatible. WorthTheDistance would think it over and call me.

Bachelor Employer#4 Mr. RightJobNow
On this date, it felt good to meet on the basis of just ‘cause. Just ‘cause I was asked. Just ‘cause it’s important to know what’s out there. Just ‘cause I knew I could impress. Just ‘cause more experience in dating could help. This date could end up being Mr. RightJobNow. The money is ok and the location is fine. If I consider this relationship, it would probably not be my last.

My friend who introduced me to Mr. RightJobNow told me I’m really, really liked. Mr. RightJobNow should be calling me back.

Bachelor Employer #5 OlderButSecure
I always liked bald men. So when I saw this classified, it boasts of traditional values and wholesome returns. I could live with that. I agreed to meet OlderButSecure. It was an instant match. My professionalism and quick step was appreciated and I, in turn, responded well to the orderly and secure environment. No surprises and certainly no hidden agendas.

About the same time OlderButSecure was arranging my future meeting with his mother coworker, I had begun to realize there had not been a single question for me to expound. As can happen with mature partners, there was so much bragging and lecturing from the podium, it left little time for discovering me.
But OlderButSecure was close to home and it was a relationship that could live up to its name.

Besides, after CouldBeLove, Inc., and Dot.Com, my heart could take only so much wrangling. I accepted a second date for next week.

Bachelor Employer #6 Love&Company
My mind was swimming with eternal possibilities one day, when out of the corner of my eye, I caught a friendly cute number oh-so-close to home. I had heard of Love&Company long ago from another girlfriend. She had ooo’ed and aaah’ed at what it had to offer. Then as if on cueue, my neighbor introduced us. After a shy first phone call, Love&Company expressed real interest in me, but admitting excessive commitments, Love&Company asked me to call back in a week. Great. (sarcasm). Another one I’d have to chase for attention.

I was exhausted, but not forgetful. It was now three weeks into the new year and that bad boy Dot.Com was on my mind. Should I call? Would I look desperate?

As I reached for my cell phone, in a moment of weakness charading as confidence, there sat a text message blinking brightly.

Hi Sherry. This is CouldBeLove,Inc. Can I call you sometime?

OMG! Now this looks like the dating game, feels like the dating game, but really, could this be a booty call in The Great Job Search of ’08?

To Be Continued…



Thursday, 17 January 2008

Friday, 11 January 2008

Antony da Turd vs. Anthony the Third


Living in a foreign country and raising small children in a land different from your own rearing, makes for interesting parenting. Although English is English, vocabulary and diction in a different culture can bring about the slightest twist to spoken pet peeves habits. Both girls are becoming true Irish lasses with the sing-song accent and all.

My Irish DH grew up pronouncing 'th’ with a silent ‘h’. I’ll admit it is cute when dating and tolerable when married, but when parenting, I struggle with whether or not to correct.
Even in our early days of dating, I corrected. Like when DH lost his golf head cover, I immediately interceded when he told the marshall it had a ‘tree’ on the front. When I saw the blank look on Mr. Marshall’s face, I corrected my DH and said, “He means, it has a numeral three on the front.

Fast forward nine years, and what I hear is,

“Mommy! I cut my tongue.”

And in my head I think, “What in god’s name are you doing with something sharp in your mouth?”

But I say aloud, “You cut your tongue? How?”
They get me every time.

“NO, Mom, my tongue!”

“Your tongue?”

With a shoved thumb in my face for clarification, she declares,
“Nooooo, Mom, my thumb!”
Oh.


****


The other day Babydoll came to me and said, “Mom, I’m tirsty”

“You mean, th-irsty?” Emphasis on the ‘th’.

“Mom, I’m tirsty!”

Thirsty?” More emphasis.

I felt DH’s casual glance across the room, probably wondering how long I could keep up this verbal battle of the TH.

Babydoll, too, was relentless.
Mommy, I’m tirsty!” And apparently, she was parched.


Knowing I would get no backup relief from DH, I spoke to the only other speaker in the room, 3yo Cutiepie.

“Cutiepie, what is it, is it tirsty or thirsty?"

She looks up as if to wonder what the big deal is and says, nonchalantly,
“I’d just say, I want a drink!”


Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

That headline didn't come out right.

What I meant was, Another One Writes Like Us!

One day an email arrived in my inbox from an American reader who lives in Ireland—and she quilts, nonetheless. So far, three for three. Just call it internet dating…for friendship.

And so I emailed back and arranged to meet. Sorta like when you find a sweater that fits you perfectly, you don’t just buy one, you buy one in every color. I went beyond the ordinary, “Nice to meet you” and I said, “Hi, when, where and how do I get to meet you in person?”

Finding an American woman, in Ireland, who is my age bracket, who quilts, who is a mother, who lives nearby is a win-win. Heck, even if I don’t like her, with all those things parallel, it’s cardinal law that I be her friend.

Fortunately I do like her. A lot.

Early one morning I loaded Babydoll and Cutiepie into the car and set off to meet this American.

Following the crunch of Christmas and our *cough*qualityoflife*cough* choice, cash is stretched to say the least. Anne Marie, American reader abroad—sounds lovely, doesn’t she?—had said she had begun to get back into quilting recently and was anxious to do more. Keeping to my budget and knowing Ireland’s limited quilting retail, I decided on one gift our hostess might appreciate. I scoured my fabric stashes for some select fat quarters of my personal favorites. Cutiepie helped me tie a ribbon on the five or so folds and off we went.

People, have you ever taken a wind up car and offered it up to a Mercedes Benz collector? Take a moment and visualize that. Yeah, that was me.

Anne Marie had the most gorgeous stash after stash of fat quarters. Designer fabrics in matching kits, I only had dreamed of seeing in the lushness of my homeland. Otherwise known as aisle eleven of JoAnne Fabrics Craft Super Store. I had to hold my mouth shut just so I wouldn’t drool on the stuff. It was a humbling few moments.

But you know, Anne Marie, she ain’t all that. First of all, I doubt seriously she would go for a splashy Mercedes. She has the spunk and fun of that wind up car. Secondly, she put me at ease irregardless of my blunder. And thirdly, she makes you feel at home, which was great as my kids were virtually invisible during our nonstop chatterfest thanks to her daughter and sons, who I reckon are as entertaining hosts as their mother.

We talked and talked and laughed and laughed. She’s begun a blog, and I’m happy to introduce her on my blog. She is funny. Most of you know I’m smitten with Pioneer Woman; well folks, PW has a contender. Anne Marie is a true funny *cough*pretending-to-be-naive *ahem* Farmer Girl *ahem* *cough*-to-get-out-of-work-on-the-ranch*cough*, not to be missed. Check her out.

We left her lovely abode and set off home. But not before we finished off her generous supply of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies (yummy). In delight I clenched tightly to some lovely fabric she insisted I have. Quite unlike me, I’ve even already used some of the gorgeous peachy orange cotton in my nine patch fish squares.




I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to find and meet other bloggers in Ireland. I’ve been fortunate to meet Cathi, another American, and she has opened my channels to people far and wide, down under in Oz, cross the water in England, even over the way in Africa.

Though, I have yet to meet a true blue (green?) Irish lass blogger. What about all those great Irish writers?

In case you don’t recognize it, that’s a challenge to all you Irish ladies: Start your blog. Write. Tell us your stories. Tell us porky pies (that’s ‘lies’ to you Yanks). I don’t care; just entertain us. Because goodness knows I’d love to add another blog to my reading list, cause you know, like, really, like totally I have all the time in the world. Don't you?

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

My 2008

One morning this weekend I snorted some white powder. A first. By accident. In the freezing cold.

Something about that frosty ingestion made me wonder about 2008 and what it has in store for me.

Sure, the white powder was merely a snowflake flittering about the wrong place while I drew in breath and pondered up at the sky’s offerings. Still, it was bizarre and unusual for me, and at minimum, it felt weird. Standing by the ol’ Say No to Drugs, I wondered, could this be a metaphor for something else?

Not long after, I began to notice other things very uncharacteristic of me.

On the first day back to school I drove home in a sea of worry after dropping off Babydoll. Was she going to be safe? Was she adequately supervised? Her day doesn’t finish til 3pm…that’s a long time from home for a four year old. Might she find herself in harm’s way?
I have never worried excessively about my children. When I relinquish control of my children to someone or something, I make peace with my decision. I don’t leave them unless it is in my heart to be OK with it. In fact, the only thing I might revert to is whether the minder is OK.

But here it is day two of school and I’m still worrying…Is Babydoll ok at school?

I analyze my concerns as if it’s an electrical short in life’s wirings or perhaps reverse mentality? Maybe 2008 is going to be a life-changing year? Sorta like that episode for George Costanza? You know, in the Seinfeld sitcom when George learns if he acts out the opposite of his gut reactions, his new opposite choice provides a better outcome. Only my bizarre fortune will last 365 days and longer, not an ad-interrupted 55 minutes.

Even in my crafting, I did something remarkably unlike me. I took absolutely gorgeous fabric and cut an itsy bitsy piece from it. Never in a million years would I have allowed myself to mar something so beautiful for such a small need. But I did it and it felt great, and the benefactor scrap quilt looks even better with its charming three inch contribution.

I think, for me, this New Year brings with it many unknowns in regards to family, work, income, home, and relationships. I plan to take it one day at a time, feeding myself healthy portions of positive thoughts and innovative ideas for the best outcome. I can feel it. It's going be my 2008.

For today it’s raining heavily outside, and I don’t need downpour in my eye to know changes are at hand.