Sunday, November 30, 2008

And so it begins...

The frantic Christmas season, that is. I had a wonderful visit with my family for Thanksgiving. Thanks so much to all of you who sent emails and comments wishing my mom well. She was released from the hospital at 10 pm the night before Thanksgiving and although she continues to be tired, she was thrilled to be home for the day. She has been diagnosed with colitis and diverticulitis and has some fun times ahead until her condition can be brought under control with diet.

Traditionally, my mom and my daughters and I head out on Black Friday. We no longer go to snag bargains but we just think it's fun to be out in the chaos! LOL. But because of the circumstances, we didn't make it. I did take a quick visit to the JoAnn's in the town where my parents live and picked up a couple things. The pink plaid is a flannel for pj pants and the argyle is a sweater knit that I plan to make a tunic length top/dress to wear over leggings.

We started a new family tradition this year that was hilarious. The Ugly Ornament Exchange. Everyone brings a wrapped ornament, as ugly as you can find. (JoAnn's had the motherlode of ugliness at a bargain 60-70% off!) Then, everyone takes a number and we do a Dirty Santa gift exchange. It was a fun exchange that even the kids could join in. Afterwards, my brother hid all the ornaments around my parents' house. A fun little surprise for my mom when she gets better and is up and around. LOL

So now the Christmas shopping begins. I haven't purchased a single gift yet. I hope to do much online and I've already warned the kids that this is the year I really mean it when I say I am cutting back! We had planned to go get our tree today but it is nasty so I think we'll hold off.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Knowing when to punt

First of all... thanks so much for the unanimous vote on my request for the jacket closure. Leather tab closure it is! I neglected to mention both trims were from M&J Trimming. Never ordered from them before. Guess I will now.

Anyhoo... one day can make a big difference. As of yesterday, almost my entire family was planning on arriving on Wednesday for Thanksgiving. Mom & Dad... two brothers... two SILs... three nieces/nephew. My three kids were thrilled with all the arriving guests and kept throwing out ideas for when they arrive. My son SET THE TABLE for Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday!! China... Crystal... the works! I started annoying my kids with "To Do" lists. Two turkeys. Lots of cheese & snacks. Liquor store run. Baked goods in the freezer. Do the laundry. Scrub the bathroom walls. Then I began annoying all the family that were coming with plans of "family photo", trips to the zoo, Christmas tree farm, game night, etc. But, bottom line is we were all very much looking forward to getting together.

Then BAM. "Bon, Mom's in the hospital. Better call Dad." Damn.

Hopefully not life threatening but days of tests ahead.

So plan to have all the east coast family come to the midwest no longer makes sense. Time for Plan B. Lucky for us that not many people are traveling this Thanksgiving. Snagged two frequent flyer flight tickets on Delta for my son and me.

Crazy thought - can I pack 26 pounds of thawed turkey in my suitcases? Yeah, probably not. But we just moved turkey day to my parents house where my mom can lay on the couch and convalesce with her family around her.

Anyway... Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Mine have already started.

Gobble gobble.

Need some help / advice

I am making Butterick 5142, view A (cream version shown above) in a cranberry red. I can decide if I want to use a frog closure like this one:

Or if something like this tab would be nicer.

Any other suggestions or sources of closures?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

America's Next Top Model

Proud mama moment about to launch.

My daughter was recently invited to be in a fashion show. She did not want to do it. AT ALL. Good mom that I am, I told her to shrug off her nervousness and told her it would be rude to decline. (Actually, the words "Suck it up" might just have come out of my mouth.) Dontcha just love me!

The rehearsal was Tuesday night during which I received quite a few texts from my daughter with the theme, "I can't believe you made me do this." Turns out, the models don't just strut down the runway in a cute outfit. No..... You are actually assigned a theme - the outfit is just one aspect of the theme but you also must dance a routine to the song that has been choreographed by the organizers. my daughter was assigned Clumsy by Fergie and was expected to trip deliberately as part of the routine.

She was fantastic and when she hit the runway, all signs of nervousness disappeared and she looked like a beautiful, confident young lady. I am so proud. BTW, the outfit was quite cute. Top and skirt are both from BCBG and found at Macy's.

Here she is awaiting her turn and wishing she was anywhere but there:

And this is her on the runway looking FIERCE!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have any good camp memories?

My dear friend Jen is writing a book with a camp theme and is looking for some inspiration. I had fun recalling some of my camp adventures today and maybe you will, too. In her words:

I'm past the 20,000 word mark on the 50,000 word novel. Although I have more than half to go, I feel I have crossed over the top of the mountain. Still a few peaks to go, however, and I need some help.

I need some inspiration. My story is about a 10 year old girl at typical camp in New Hampshire. Mountains on one side, lake on the other. An out of control fire on the first night consumed the high ropes course so now the campers are going to have survival training and overnight camping trips in the mountains. She also likes a boy who has been hanging around with her arch enemy - a snooty rich girl who never has to wash the toilets like the other campers do.

Anyway, I want to add some realism so I'm looking for memories. If you've ever been to summer camp, please share with me your best or worst memories of it. I'm looking for specific events as well as generalities such as how you were dismissed from the campfire or how the day was structured. I'd also be interested in hearing about any odd personalities you encountered. You can leave them in the message section or email me at In exchange, I will send you a copy of the novel when it has been edited. If it is ever published, I will also send you a signed copy.

If you think of any fun anecdotes, please do drop her a note or visit her blog to leave a comment. I can't wait to read her book when it comes out!!