Friday, April 16, 2010

Bits & Pieces

Not sure where this is going . . . or where it came from for that matter. Pretty much, it all started when I finished the top for Amber’s baby quilt tonight. Her baby isn’t due for another two months and the quilt just needs to be tied and pekoes put on. Reagan was lucky to get her quilt when she was three months old, so you see I can improve! However, while working on these two quilts, I have learned something about myself. Actually, two things about myself:

  1. I am not a book-learner. I’m a jump-in-head-first, Papa Berenstein Bear kind of learner. I usually end up with more “that’s-how-it-shouldn’t-be-done” moments than “ah-ha” moments. 

  2. I am a multi-tasker. Oh, wait, I’ve always known that. The new thing I learned is that I am not a multi-finisher. I buy all the stuff to start multiple tasks. I start multiple tasks. I finish very few of the tasks I start. I start multiple NEW tasks. Good grief! No wonder I hate water. My entire life is spent trying to keep my head above it! Every day I get out of bed is an exercise in futility as far as keeping my head above the pool full of projects crowding around me in various stages of doneness (or un-doneness).

I actually came to this realization about myself because I needed some more room on my sewing room table. In order to get more room, I was going to have to move some things. If I was going to move some things, I decided I'd better try and organize my sewing room. If I was going to organize it, I would need to group all the projects and their supplies together. In order to do that, I would need to write a list of all the projects. Well, there’s no way that list is getting posted here! The very first thing on the list (as Nathan will attest) is a pair of camouflage pants I promised to make him and never delivered on. I don’t remember what year that promise was made in. I’m sure I bought the pattern. And the fabric. It a sure fact I won’t be able to have Nathan speak at my funeral because he won’t be able to get past the fact that I still owe him a pair of camouflage pants. Are there sewing machines in Heaven? I mean, are there sewing machines in Hell?

As my nightly rituals started, randomness (and a tad bit of the quirkies) set in. Everywhere I turned I was noticing things I needed to take pictures of so that I could make comments on them. First off, Alan went camping with the scouts so I have the entire evening to do with as I please. After awhile of doing as I please, I decide I’d best go and lock things up. It’s a good thing I decided to do that because once I got upstairs, I noticed the front door was wide open. I immediately shut the door and locked the knob, the deadbolt and the deadbolt (yes, there are two deadbolts) and then lock the chair in. A chair under each doorknob is the first clue that I am spending a night alone. I think I learned it from my mother but it doesn’t matter because it’s my obsession now. Anyhow the whole time I’m shutting and locking the door, I’m thinking to myself (obviously to myself because I’m alone), “Self, are you sure you’re locking the Boogey Man out? Or, since the door was left open for several hours, has he already come in and you’re locking him in?” Well, now, that’s a thought with an ominous answer, if it has an answer at all.

My next thought was, “If I was watching this unfold in a television show, what would I be telling me to do? Would I be on the edge of my seat hoping I could lock the doors faster or would I be screaming warnings to the stupid woman who did not seem to realize that an unattended, open door could mean only one thing - someone else was in the house?”

So, to appease the nagging voices in my head, I begin a search of the upstairs, trying to remember if I had heard any noise that was strange or out of the ordinary. Well, that’s pretty hard to remember because I’ve always joked about the ghosts I hear in this house. And they’re usually upstairs when I hear them so I would have just subconsciously dismissed any creaking floorboard or flushing toilet or dragging of the maimed left foot or rattling of chains as “My Ghost”. I search anyway, turning on all the lights as I look behind doors and in closets. I won’t look under the beds though. The Boogey Man can hide under there all he wants. When I was little I always dreamed of snakes and reaching hands that lived under beds and sofas and chairs and tables and waited for me to walk by close enough so they could reach out and grab my ankle. Snakes were the worst, though, because they could slither under closed doors. Okay, I gotta stop. I’m alone tonight and I going to creep myself out.

Okay, so, I’m searching the rooms and I turn on the light in Grampa’s Fishing Room. Not sure why we call it that except it’s Grampa’s and it’s loaded with fishing knick-knacks and pictures of fish hang all over the walls and thought-provoking fishing quotes are placed randomly about. And this is what I see: 
All of a sudden I feel like I have long golden locks of curls and can smell porridge cooking and am looking over my shoulder, listening for a “Fee-fi-fo-fum”…. Oh, wait, that’s a different story. At least I had a good laugh there in the doorway all by myself. I think I was by myself. Like I said, I didn’t look under the beds.

I guess I can never say Alan doesn't look out for me and take care of me, either. They have a new product line they're selling at the store this year and part of it is an ointment. Supposedly it will relieve joint pain and other pain caused by arthritis. Alan's gullible. I'm a skeptic. The main ingredient of this ointment comes from Tahitian Noni, which I think he said is a fruit. I've gotta eat my words here, though, because for some reason, the ointment does work. So, I now smell like a Noni bush. For those of you who know Alan, you will also realize that he has now become the Tahitian Noni salesman's best friend. One day a large box comes to the house addressed to Alan. Later that night he comes into me bearing gifts:

Yes, the salesman has sent him four (4) large bottles of Noni Juice, which in the multi-level marketing world is a little bit pricey. However, Alan tells me these four bottles are just for me. The salesman has promised Alan all the little woman's ailments will go away by drinking just one (1) ounce of this elixer before every meal until the four bottles are gone. Of course, at that point, I'll be addicted and will have to get a second or third job to support the Noni habit (since my first job supports my black juice habit). However, does Stepford Wives comes to anyone's mind but mine?

I finally broke down tonight, though, and drank my first ounce. It didn't taste near as nasty as it smelled and I've only thought about going and putting Alan's slippers by his La-Z-Boy (which would be the Papa Chair in the previous photo) one time. And I caught myself before I made it all the way upstairs. Good thing, too, because Alan doesn't have any slippers!

Now, I have some questions. Mostly inane but questions, just the same. If you have the answers, I can’t offer a reward, but I can certainly give my gratitude and you could sleep better at nights knowing I wasn’t tossing and turning under the weight of all these unknowns.

1.  If they refer to ‘packing the kitchen sink’ when they mean you packed everything, why aren’t kitchen sinks big enough to hold all the dirty dishes? If the sink would hold the dirty dishes, I wouldn’t see them and therefore wouldn’t feel the nagging need to do them.

2.  Who do I have to talk to, how many signatures does my petition need, do get popcorn made the national anytime food? The way I make it, it isn’t buttered, just salted a bit with butter salt and I cook it in olive oil, which is healthier than when I was growing up. Back then it was cooked in vegetable oil and slathered in melted butter (and not the water-based oleo we use today). Popcorn in the big silver bowl with embossed clumps of grapes all around the rim together with tall glasses of ice water was the TV-watching treat of all time. We could make it through Bonanza, The Big Valley, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, The Dean Martin Show, The Smother Brothers Hour, Carol Burnett and, of course, The Lawrence Welk Show. And the old maids left in the bottom of the bowl, coated in the remaining melted butter were to die for - and fight for. I don't own nor will I use a hot air popper because there are hardly any old maids left. And, what's more fun than walking back into the kitchen during a commercial expecting to find the popcorn finished only to realize the lid was left off the popper and white kernels are scattered on the cupboard and floor and spraying out of the still working popper! So, please, let me know what the procedure is to nationalize this popped best of all foods.

3.  Why was the world so anxious to get rid of pop bottles? That was one of my many memories of going to my grandma’s in Cherry Creek. We’d stop at Lamb’s Service Station, which was about 15-20 miles away and get a bottle of Nehi pop out of a machine or one of those chest fridges. I’d have it drunk by the time we got there (I don’t think it was even a 12 ounce bottle back then). For the rest of our stay at Grandma’s the empty pop bottle would roll around the floor of the car until we returned it to Lamb's on our way home. That way we didn’t have to pay the deposit on it. Golly - I’ve forgotten what my question was….oh, yeah, why did we get rid of bottles if someone is now making a million by only manufacturing the top part of the bottle and making me buy it so I can turn my can of pop back into a bottle? If it’s not broken, why did we try fixing it?

4.  How many knives does a person have to have to be able to have at least one of them be sharp enough to cut a wet noodle? And why do I keep this whole drawer full of knives when, in reality, there’s only about six or eight that actually work?

5.  Now, for your preschool readiness test: Is this a picture of a pair? (Yes) A pair is ‘two’ and this is definitely a picture of ‘two’ earrings. Now, the tricky part: Is this a matching pair? (No) To 'match', two things must be the same and these definitely are not the same. And, why would someone buy a pair of earrings that doesn’t match, you might ask. Well, somebody didn’t. Somebody bought two separate pairs of earrings on two separate occasions. And somebody has worn the matching pairs of earrings on separate occasions. Now, you might ask yourself, how does somebody put in two matching earrings in the morning and yet only take one earring out when the day is over. Don’t ask me for the answer to that one! I’m the one with the questions, remember? We're not talking tiny little pearl earrings, either. I should have put a ruler up to them when I took the picture. Trust me, though, they’re of significant size (give me the 70’s back anytime and I’d be just groovy). The next part of the question I don't like to ask myself is, “Exactly what part of the day did I lose one of these significantly large earrings and how long have I only had one earring in?” Now that the Fashion Nazi doesn't live at my house, I have no way of knowing these things.

6.  And, in closing, all my chairs are placed under the doorknobs. But if Joe can kick this door in, knocking half of the deadbolt out (does that mean I'm left with a 'dead' or a 'bolt'?) and taking down part of the door jamb when he was still a teenager, and Nellie could take out half of the repaired deadbolt with part of the door molding still attached several years later, and if it remains only half of a deadbolt to this day, just how safe am I really? I guess I'm either 'dead' or I should 'bolt' while the bolting is good. Maybe I really should go look under the beds. Hmmmm. No.

So, here we are, forever later (because, once again, I have no internet access). Oh, wait, I just looked and it's working now. Yeehaw!!! Now I just have to cut and paste (which is actually two things and I already pointed out how well I can multi-task!) And I keep burping Noni Juice so, on that note, I’m going to go see if I can finish something else before the clock strikes. . . whatever the next thing is it's going to reach out and strike. Might as well do something, since now I’ve missed my ritual watching of Perry Mason, I Love Lucy and My Three Sons. Oh, well.

May you have more color than Perry; not be ruled ‘incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial’; not be as crazy as Lucy or as perfect as the Douglas Family!


  1. What a crazy world we grew up in. I lock our bedroom door when Roger is gone. I used to put a chair under the door knob until I prevailed and he relinquished with putting a lock on the door.

    As for the juice, I was taking Mona Vie. I gained 40 lbs. on it so gave it up for Activia yogurt. I had the aches and pains regardless of what I was eating. The Activia is cheaper and it works better on the digestive system.

    I have a desk full of papers to be filed and genealogy findings I just might use sometime. I don't have the unfinished sewing projects on a table. I put them in a drawer since I hardly sew any more. Ooops, I forgot about the pants Roger wants me to fix that are laying on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed.

    Let's face it. Some of us are procrastinators. Nathan may never get his pants. I gave Roger the material for a pair of pants back when polyester sewing was "the thing" and he never did get them. I found the material and the pattern in a box when I was clearing out storage boxes to make extra room in the closet. The sewing room is called just that, plus guest bedroom, plus "my room", plus Roger says, "I'm not going in there;" plus the trampoline is in there, if you can plow through all the furniture to get to it. The trampoline hurts my knees but I just might use it sometime.

    Well, enough said. We are all human, but the best part is we are RELATED to each other, and I am the oldest in the family. You are the youngest so I wonder what the two in between us do for their little quirks in life?

    I love your blog, blahg, blawg, whatever you want to call it. And I'm amazed at how well you can do it all without an Internet connection, and I love your multitasking abilities. Mine stink. I will never have a blog people enjoy reading as much as I enjoy yours. Keep it up, girl. We love you.

  2. Where to start...I have NEVER put a chair under the door, or have I? Something's ringing a bell...I vaguely remember putting a piece of furniture in front of a door, but I have no clue where or when. So, obviously my memory's so bad that I may have put a chair under a door after all.

    I have no unfinished projects, everything in my house is organized and labeled, I finish every single thing I start, I have one set of knives and they are always sharp and ready to chop, dice, julienne, cut, rip open a fish to get the guts out, slice and be used for protection if I were ever to be left alone. Oh, and one more thing...I'm the liar in the family.

    I actually have determined that I have double A, double D...Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. I cannot read a book for more than 3 minutes at a time, I do a little of this, then a little of that, some of the other, now I'll do this, then I nap, then I crochet, then I play Solitaire. Once in a while I do something meaningful that may or may not help someone else besides me.

    And don't forget I'm the one with the acute case of OCD so all the problems the two of you talked about that you have are my fault.

    We all need to get a life so we'd have something else to do besides blog, but then life wouldn't be worth living and I might be tempted to use one of my sharp knives in an not-so-constructive manner.

  3. I'm not going to least all the bizarre things I do...I just want to say that I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. Your earrings reminded me about our little outting today. So sorry that Amber, I mean the fashion nazi doesn't live there to help you out. Thanks for all your help and fun today. love you!

  4. Nellie: Even though Amber was perhaps the King in the Fashion Nazi Organization, you were her close Second in Command. And I'm still moping about the pair of earrings you wouldn't let me buy yesterday and, what was that comment, "Gypsy Ears"? I'm irreversibly crushed.
    Sharon: Where is that piece of polyester knit now?? Not only would it be a collector's item, but I'm sure we could use it to make a cool quilt. I'd be game for starting another project. And the Noni juice is getting nastier the more times I drink my little shot glass full.
    Betty: Since I've seen your bead closet so I totally believe the bit about everything being labled (the OCD in you perhaps?) but I'm struggling a bit with the 'no unfinished projects' statement. I'm gullible but, really, you are my sister. And I know for a fact you haven't finished the project I've sent you. Oh, wait, I haven't sent it to you yet. Oops, it's on my list of projects so just know you have an unfinished job that you haven't started yet. And, just for the record, scissors (with a 4" blade)are my defense weapon of choice . . . or a crochet hook. Both of which I can take in my carry-on bag on the plane but Alan can't take his little pocketknife.