Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thievery and Other Foolishness

Grocery stores and I go way back.  My earliest memory of going to the grocery store involved a little bit of crime.  I was probably 4 or 5 years old, and there was this great candy out at the time…perhaps you remember it?

I'd had my eye on this candy for quite some time…I think I remember seeing my neighbor Cindy with it once and knew I couldn't live without it.  I mean, come on, she listened to the Fat Boys

Every time we checked out at IGA, there it was…staring at me.  Now, I don't know how this idea popped into my head at such a young age.  I guess I was born a rebel.  (Takes long drag on a Virginia Slim…)  But I decided that I needed to steal this candy (because asking my mom was not an option?), and there was only one way to do it.  I quietly grabbed the candy while my mom's back was turned toward the cash register, hid it in both my hands, and proceeded to perform the "I really REALLY need to go to the bathroom" dance.  So, we hurried out the door with our cart, dancing all the way out to the car. And to my horror, I could hear the candy moving around inside the box with each little jump I took.  Surely I would be discovered!  I jumped a little less vigorously…no reaction from Mom.  Shwew!

I sat in the back seat of the Chevy Celebrity with my prize clutched tightly in my sweaty palms.  Should I eat it now and risk Mom seeing me?  No.  I will perform this in full Shakespearean glory…all the way to the bathroom.  We arrived home, I rushed to the bathroom, closed the door and devoured my little box of gum-candy.  It was the best tasting candy I'd ever had (at that time)…it tasted like victory.

I wish I could write that my mom suddenly burst through the bathroom door and caught me red-handed (or orange-mouthed), clued in by the overwhelming scent of oranges and high fructose corn syrup.  And that I received a spanking and was sent back to IGA to fess up and pay up.  But no.  She never knew.  And I wish that I could say something cool like, "And that was the beginning of my run-ins with the law…", but alas, it was not.  And that is because I was born the Oldest Child…Type A…Brown-Noser….Goodie Two-Shoes...Rule-Follower…People-Pleaser.  I was punished by my own guilty conscience…"What have I done?  This isn't how my parents raised me.  Can kids go to jail?"  And thus ended my life of crime.  I was the thief…and my own police officer.

Other Foolishness…

I made an owl for our goddaughter.  Got some ideas from different stuffed owls online, put together my favorite pieces and came up with this…

I must say, I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  Then, one day, I came home to discover this…

Mayhem!  Foolishness!  Paul Terry!  (That's our dog's name.)

So, did a little amputation surgery on the owl, and gave it to her for her first birthday, sans a middle toe.  I think she loved it anyway.  :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

T-Shirt To Pillow

One of my family's favorite past times growing up was rearranging furniture.  It's just what we did, often much to my dad's chagrin because we usually ended up needing his muscles to move something big.  Sliding the furniture was never a good option because we needed to preserve the 70s rust-colored shag carpeting.  It's something I've carried with me into adulthood.  I've had piano students come in for their lessons and say, "Wow…again?"

Apparently it's contagious because I've gotten my husband into as well now.  He called me from his office to chat and when I asked what he was up to…rearranging.  I'm completely to blame.  I was so excited for him to be rearranging his office furniture (I'm easy to please!) that I wanted to get him something to spruce it up even more.  And now for a slight rabbit trail...

I'm not a mega baseball fan, but I have been to a few St. Louis Cardinals games in my day.  There used to be this player on the Cards with the last name of Duncan.  One day, he got traded, so we scored "personalized" Cards gear on clearance!  What a stroke of luck!  I got a t-shirt with "my" name on the back;  however, the fit was a little off.  It turned out to be more for a husky boy than a young lady.  And with each wash it seemed to get even more short and wide.  So I thew it in my closet; strike three--it was out.

Back to sprucing up the office…  Light bulb!  My husky boy Cards t-shirt can be turned into a pillow…and taken to hubby's office for a little new decor!  20 minutes later…voila.

Front of old t-shirt
Back of old t-shirt
He loved it!  What a sport.  It is now proudly displayed on his tiny office couch.  And can I get a hallelujah for a 20-minute project?!  Man, I love that instant gratification stuff every now and then.  Just a side note if you're interested in whipping up a pillow out of an old t-shirt.  It turns out that most Adult Small and Medium t-shirts fit perfectly on an 18-inch pillow form, so really, you just need to stitch the top and bottom (and where the arm holes were).

Speaking of baseball, I was reminiscing today about my time working at the old folks' home a couple of years ago.  We watched the Cardinals on tv, and occasionally made signs to cheer them on as we watched from the living room.  Here is one of my favorite people (who I miss dearly) holding up her sign to root on the Cards:

I aspire to someday be as kind and gentle a soul as she was.

I hope to post some pictures of some newer (and less instantly gratifying) projects I've worked on soon; stay tuned.  Go Cards!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Well, I have nothing from my sewing room to share with you this time around.  So in lieu of a picture of some homemade creation, here is something completely different on which to feast your eyes:

Why not?

I have been sewing away on some things, but they're either not finished or are gifts for people (and I don't want to ruin the surprise).

My family came to visit us this weekend, and we played a board game called Name Five.  Basically, it gives you a category and you have 30 seconds to name five things in that category.  Simple enough but always fun.  The stars aligned and I was lucky enough to get the category "Good Things About Getting Older".   A category made for me--Score!  In way-less-than-thirty-seconds I rattled off my list of five items, at the top of which was "getting to wear elastic-waist pants".  No sweat.

I've been old for a very long time now.  In fifth grade, Mrs. Niehaus introduced us to music from different eras.  To take us back to the 1940s, she played "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" on a record player.  She told us to ask our grandparents if they remembered this song, and I did.  It was all downhill from there.  I bought my first Big Band cd when I was in the sixth grade, along with knock-off CK One perfume and a Calvin, ahem…Kermit, Klein sweatshirt:

When I was 19, I went to a Glenn Miller Orchestra concert with my grandma, great-grandma and great-aunt.  I was everyone's junior by a solid 45 years.  And it was incredibly hard for me to hold back the tears as they played Moonlight Serenade.  I was probably the only one there without silver hair, and when I went up to buy a concert t-shirt at the end, the merchandise man asked, "Are you sure?"  Unashamedly, it's still my favorite pajama shirt.

While sometimes I have a hard time making conversation with people my own age (introvert, right here!), sit me down with a senior citizen and we're old chums.  Conversation flows freely and I'm quick to throw in a "They sure don't make 'em like they used to" or "When I was a kid…".

I am well aware that old age is no picnic; but I can't help but look forward to certain things.  I will dye my permed hair bright red, wear hot pink lipstick on my lips and probably teeth, go out in public in polyester clothing that doesn't match.  I'll strut my stuff in orthopedic shoes, and if I must, have a cane with a horn on it so that young hooligans know to move it or lose it.  And I'm crossing my fingers to be in a senior citizen synchronized swimming group.

Take us out, Glenn…