Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And don't drink and blog either. Your spelling gets all crummy.

As usual, the only person in this joint who has plans for New Year's Eve is our 5-year-old daughter. She is off to a sleepover at a friend's house, where she will be able to stay up late and blow party horns and eat popcorn to her heart's content. If we are very, very lucky, her daddy and I will hit a Redbox on the way home so we can watch a movie as soon as the little one goes to bed, allowing us to have some grown-up entertainment before we pass out from routine exhaustion at 10:30.

Once upon a time, pre-children, we would have spent the evening with a few friends, making a huge meal, playing board games, and getting more and more toasted until midnight. There are a number of reasons we don't do this anymore, children being only one of them. Many of those friends have moved on from us, or we from them - depending on how you look at it - and at least one of them is slowly, but surely killing himself with alcohol.

I joke a lot about drinking and getting drunk, and I have certainly tied one on a time or two, but in the last 5 or 6 years, I have hardly tilted back a glass at all, and I cannot even remember what it is like to be truly inebriated. Maybe once a month, my husband and I remember that we have some rather tasty beer way in the back of the fridge, and if we decide to have one, we have one - which we share. And I never finish mine.

This is partly because too much alcohol can trigger one of my massive headaches, but this is usually avoided if I drink as much water as liquor - though it keeps me in the bathroom during all the fun stuff. And any kind of a hangover when you have to get up at 6:30 am and keep two kids entertained for the rest of the day is just too much of a handicap.

But, frankly, getting a good buzz on has just lost a lot of its appeal for me. A few years ago, I had to cut off ties with an old friend because his drinking had gotten out of control. There was a time when I thought my job was to try to help him, then another friend revealed to me that she was a recovering alcoholic, 16 years sober, and she explained a lot to me. Suffice to say, if you have a friend who is drowning in alcohol, you cannot fix him. You can only "raise the bottom" by walking away and saying, "I cannot have you in my life until you are sober." And I did this, and it hurt like hell, and I questioned what I did for a long, long time.

Then, later, he truly hit bottom. He drank so much that his organs began to shut down. He was hospitalized, and each day the doctors told him he might not make it to the next morning. And each day, he kept making it to the next morning anyway. Eventually he was released into hospice, which required him to start AA, and for the next three years he was sober.

But it didn't stick. My friend who is a police officer in the town where he lives, and who knows him as well, responded to a call last night, and found him on his sofa, wasting away, drunk and despairing. He was in such a bad state, he had to be hospitalized for a psych evaluation as well as for medical reasons. I don't know yet what has become of him. I'm scared to find out.

So, if you're gonna party 'til you puke tonight, please have a designated driver or take a taxi or stay home. I've lost more than one person to alcohol, and I don't want to lose any more.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's quilted...for extra softness

Whoo! Christmas week is finally over and life returns to semi-normality. Husband-man was home all week, and thank god because as soon as the week started I got knocked down by another 4-day migraine (yep, Christmas day too). So he spent his week playing mommy while I lay in a dark room moaning and contemplating the mechanics of self-induced head removal. I met with my new boss on Monday (just before the migraine hit - quite possibly a sign from the universe that I just did something dumb by taking this job) and realized that I was gonna be needing me a part-time nanny toot sweet (that's French for "right the fuck now"). Placed an ad on Craigslist on Wednesday, interviewed candidates over the weekend, hired one last night - and she starts tomorrow. I love the internet. Of course, the new job brings in just enough money to pay for the new sitter with very little left over, but the whole point of this endeavor is to give me a break from the 24/7 job of being a mommy for at least a few hours a week. Mama loves her babies but Mama needs a leeetle more intellectual stimulation in her life or she is going to keel over from brain atrophy.

So, today, while Itty Bit was napping, and in between Biggie Bit's requests for snacks, drinks, and entertainment, I finally finished the damn scarf I'd been wanting to make. I can't even remember now where I had seen a quilted scarf and thought, "Hey, I could totally do that!" But see one I did, and in one of those fits I get where I buy a whole shitload of something, thinking it's going to be the perfect thing - and such a bargain! - I bought a ton of sweatshirt fleece on Etsy. Then I started cutting up a bunch of fat quarters, sewed them together, and sewed them to a long strip of the sweatshirt fleece. Once I turned it inside out, I figured I'd just topstitch around the edge of the whole thing, but then I thought that even that wouldn't really be enough to keep it from rolling and getting out of shape, so I decided to stitch each rectangle individually. I even had a moment of clarity and used pink thread for the top and white thread in the bobbin. It then occurred to me that this was kinda, sorta, almost quilting. And that was a lovely thought, no matter how glorified it actually was.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday baby girl

Mama finally finished binding your quilt in time for your birthday. She lost a lot of blood doing it, and is now legally blind - but don't you worry your cute little head about that. Mama loves you and doesn't mind suffering for you at all.

Friday, December 12, 2008 guys!

As many of you know, I'm kinda new at this whole blogging thing - as new at it as I am at sewing, actually, since I started doing them at roughly the same time. And, as you may recall, a few months ago, a lovely reader (who, I am sure, has impeccable taste in all other matters) generously gave me the Primitive Excellence Award, which you can see at the column to the right.

And since I went on from there and invented the Ugly Mug Award and promptly offended many, many people, I figured that was the end of blog awards for me. But, no - for today I have received the Kreativ Blogger Award. TWICE!

The wonderful Karen from the great state of Indiana and the divine Grace from I don't know where, but I'm gonna guess somewhere down under because she emailed me at like 3 a.m. this morning and uses the word "mum" for mom, both have kindly passed this honor on to me. Wanna see it?

Now, I made fun of my Primitive Excellence award, since it was clearly intended to honor those who sew in the primitive style, whereas I sew like my people just discovered fire. And I certainly do not wish to offend the wonderful, lovely, talented, and just gosh-darn sweet ladies who decided I was worthy of being awarded something, but...

Didja notice it's spelled KREATIV???? And I'm an EDITOR??? Are you TRYING to kill me??? I love you girls, I really do, but, goddamn, I get twitchy just looking at that word.

I am supposed to pass this on to 5 people, and I suspect all 5 have probably been awarded with this before, but here goes:

Vicky W. from Field Trips in Fiber - because she has awesome glasses, is absurdly talented, and posts a great weekly list of great things to check out in other blogs.

jen from Haphazard Thoughts - because she is just starting out on this whole sewing/blogging thing like I am and I want her to keep it up. I'm convinced that blogging about sewing has really helped me keep on sewing.

Kate from KateKwiltz - because she called her kitty a "spiteful little shit" (and because she's, you know, cool and talented and helped me pluck up the courage to say "no way" to the crazy party - thanks, Kate).

Kathy from Kathy's Quilts - because she makes lovely quilts, and has the ultimate good fortune to hail from Coon Rapids, MN. I just imagine all these people shooting down rivers flowing with raccoons.

And Joyce from J's Quilting Blog - because her work is uniquely her own, in a way I would like my own to be someday.

You know the drill - pass it on to 5 people.

(Oh, and BTW - I kicked MAJOR ASS in that interview this afternoon.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


So sorry for the spotty posting lately. I was recently contacted by an old friend - by her husband actually. She and I were once the closest of friends, like sisters, but things deteriorated after my first child was born. It's a long story,one I'm sorely tempted to recount here, but I won't bore you. Suffice to say it ends with me actually performing her wedding ceremony, only to be completely ignored by her at the reception, and later, as we were planning a baby shower for a friend, her statement that she was having a lot of trouble mustering up more enthusiasm for other people's babies (my second child was only a few months old at that point). Add to that a lot of insane drama that I put up with because I loved her, but which, ultimately, was too much to deal with. And, oh Lord, there's so much more than even that. 10 years worth. I had to break away, for my own sanity.

And now she and her husband have just purchased their first home and they want me to come to a housewarming party. A party that will be full of the crazy, drug-taking, alcoholics whose company she ultimately decided she preferred to mine. And he tells me that "it would mean so much to us both" if I came.

I do miss her. I miss her sense of humor and her intelligence, and how we understood each other so well in so many ways. I don't miss the irrationality, the constant hypocrisy, the incessant drinking. I know that I am truly happier without her - and yet I ache to have a friend like that again.

Anyway, this has all been clouding my mind lately, pushing aside the thoughts I should be using on quilts and handbags and other happy projects. Fortunately, there is a Harry Potter marathon on TV today, and I can occasionally lose myself in the story. The friendships those stories portray - those are magical creatures. I wish such things were possible in real life.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Flash o'stash

I've got nothing to report yet on the job (and thanks, everyone, for all the good wishes) and no projects in the works that I haven't already gone over, so here are some pictures of my latest fabric acquisitions (which I purchased anyway, even though I bought fish, too).

Got some half-yards on sale from Sew Thankful.

And got this jumbo jelly roll (64 strips) off eBay. I have no idea what the fabric is, but surely I could make something fun and colorful out of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Woo hoo!

I have been chosen to compete in the Bonus Round for the fabulous prize of being Assistant Editor of a local magazine!!!! I have until 5 p.m. Friday to edit a rather poorly written article as well as make suggestions for improving and organizing a sidebar which contains extra information on the subject of the article. And the best part is that I am willing to bet cash money that I know the writer of this article - a guy who writes for nearly every rag in these parts and generally sucks as a writer, but he gets articles done fast and a good editor can make his crap work. I've made numerous silk purses out of his sow's ears, so I feel pretty confident that I can do the same thing here.

Wish me luck!