Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm too young to quilt

I've started sewing. I guess I should say again. I sewed in jr high and made a skirt that made me look really hippy which is hard to do to a prepubescent completely rectangular body. I also made a stuffed elephant. I made a bag I put my scriptures in for a few years as well. My mom sewed and so I tried. Then I went to high school and decided I didn't want to take home ec. and I never wanted to go near a sewing machine again. I took yearbook and did my best to be in every club picture and place myself in the book so my posterity will believe I was one of the most popular teenagers in Taylorsville, UT.

My friends Rachel and Rosy gave me a sewing machine for a wedding gift. After having our first child, I made Christmas pillowcases and matching stockings. They are nothing fancy, but they hold a good amount of candy. That is really all that is needed in stockings. (And the foot needs to be big enough to hold an orange.)

Three years ago I bought a bunch of felt material to make rag quilts. I washed them, ironed them, folded them, and placed them into a box which I left at my mother's until she made me take it. This year I decided this is the time to do something with the box. (It did not fit into our fire pit.)

I opened the box and realized that NONE of the material matched. I then went back to the fabric store and bought 8 more yards of material to give some variety to the 4 yards I already had. I cut a lot of squares and I started to sew. I sewed and sewed and sewed. I sewed so much and so inexpertly that my $100 10 year old Brother sewing machine decided it didn't enjoy being used this much. It started to double up on my bobbin thread and eat my material. I don't know much about sewing, but I know this is bad. I cleaned it and I oiled it and I did my best. I finally donated it (It did not fit into our fire pit.)

I started to research sewing machines. I started reading about them and I called really old ladies at church to find out what they use. (Some of the really old ladies, the ones that still have eye sight read this so that is why they are being described this way. They are actually 10-20 years younger than my mom so I guess I would describe her as one foot out of the grave. I know the saying is one foot IN, but I think my mom would agree that she is mostly in the grave with just a foot sticking out.) (She reads this too)

I decided on a Bernina. I went to the Bernina store. The first Bernina I saw was on sale for $3299. I started to laugh. I then found a sewing system for $16,000. It included a long arm quiliting machine attachment and table and I was hoping a couple of example quilts as well. The owner of the store headed my way and asked what I was looking for. I told her I was looking for my $100 Brother 10 year old sewing machine. She helped me find a bottom of the line Bernina. She then helped me sign up for a "how to use your machine" class. I thought I didn't need this class but I did. I had no idea why my machine had two thread holder - one vertical and one horizontal. I learned I had attachable things and I learned that a walking foot costs $150. I sat next to a lady who chose buying a new machine over a car. I realized that once again I was over my head, but I decided to go deep. I signed up for a quilting class and class to sew kath an easter dress. I bought GORGEOUS material for it and realized I could have bought a Gymboree dress for full price for what I spent on material. But if I'm going over my head, I want to make sure I can't swim to the surface to easily. I am a certified scuba diver, after all.

Looking back on the whole experience of buying a machine, more material, decent thread, bobbins that actually fit my machine, and taking over half my kitchen table, I think I should have saved money and space by buying a bigger fire pit.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What will I be when I grow up?

Katherine did her own makeup. I told her I wanted to take a picture. She said, "Wait and I'll get on my bathing suit." It is a new suit and it is leopard print, but the poses were all her.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My weekend

1. Katherine tells me that I am beautiful and really skinny. I tell her that she is my favorite. James says, "But fat people are really cool because they get so big that they start to float in the air." Not letting him watch Harry Potter or Willy Wonka again.

2. Instead of just watching Star Wars films, Seth now runs around with a clone mask on and watches them with the mask on. I now know where he is in the film by the soundtrack.

3. We spent the weekend at Big Sky because I had continuing law classes. While driving there, listened to lawyer show. Found out he met his wife because nude photos of her ended up on the web and he represented her.

4. On the way home, Kevin wanted to see how much snow stays at the lot we are planning on buying. While there, decided we should climb a tree to see what the view would be from second story. While climbing down, Kath started to pray that I would make it down safely. I fell the last two feet. I told Kath she needs more faith. (I rotated my shoulders oddly and now I am in pain. Instead of going to the doctor with two kids, I think I will see if it goes away on it's own with a little help from Alleve.)

5. Smelled all the clothes while unpacking to try and figure out what needed to be washed and what didn't. Ended up throwing it all in the wash except for 5 items of clothes. Now I am waiting for the washer to finish so I can take a shower.

Overall it was a pretty normal weekend. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I would like to know how the kids bathroom could smell like urine already when I cleaned it the day we left and we have been home 12 hours. So, yeah, a normal day for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ice Fishing with Kevin Rencher

Last night, my husband and three of his buddies went ice fishing. Now when you think of ice fishing, you probably think of drilling a hole in the ice, putting a wood shack over it, sitting in the wood shack with a little fire going and watching your poles all day long to see if any fish have dethawed enough to eat something dangling in front of them. I also see the guys drinking beer and talking about sports, but Kevin and his buddies are all LDS so they would only have root beer in beer bottles. But if you get the organic, all natural root beer, it has some bite to it.

The four outdoorsmen did not ice fish this way, however. They all got on their winter hunting gear, some with camoflauge even. They went out to the ice and used a gas powered auger to drill some holes into the ice. Kevin had purchased five ice fishing lines that they placed over the holes. Ice fishing lines, in case you don't know, look and work a lot like a mouse trap. Once a fish is caught, a spring is sprung and a bright orange flag sticks up. You can be far away and still see if you have caught a fish. No need to watch the hole and wait for your line to go taught. The four outdoorsmen didn't wait. They put the lures in the water, went back into our condo and cooked a nice steak dinner. After dinner, they looked out the window and didn't see any flags, so they decided to play wii. (They did choose a hunting wii game, so camoflauge did come in handy.)

Two hours later, they decided to check the flags again. This time, however, it was dark and they had to go outside. They bundled up and walked out onto the lake with head lights on. No flags were up so they were back playing wii ten minutes later. Some of the guys went home and the two left checked the lures again at midnight. After all of their hard work, they caught two fish! They brought them inside, cleaned them, cooked them, ate them and went back to bed. At seven, they checked the lures again, found nothing, cleaned up and went home.

Overall, it was an exciting event. My children were able to watch grown men work hard to catch and eat food. Actually, no they weren't because my children were asleep during that time. Come to think of it, my children really just learned that if you tell your families you are ice fishing, you can go to a buddy's house and play wii for a few hours on a Friday night. I'm not sure that is a lesson they really needed. Kevin has mentioned, though, that he is thinking of becoming an outfitter for ice fishing. He just needs to invest in a few more wii games first.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Learning to be Rhett Butler

I'm sitting at my kitchen table at 11 am, having not showered yet. My daughter is in the shower and my son is in the bath although he is screaming he wants to get out. I am sitting here trying to decide if I want to wash my hair today or just add a bunch of gel to it and tell everyone it is on purpose.

I went to book club last night. It's an interesting experience for me. I don't believe I am taken seriously AT ALL there and it has caused me to reflect. In college, I did my fair share of hanging out with "intellectuals" or at least people who would like to be considered intellectuals. I was an English major, after all. I could give a feminist interpretation of any book on the market. Aah, the glory days. I don't do that now. I read classics, history, biographies, and trash. I don't interpret any of them. I take them at face value and move on. Half the time, I don't remember what they are about. The book club reads good, deep books. Every once in a while, something light gets in, but not often. I make good comments, but mostly I make everyone laugh.

Last night was the book exchange that happens every January. When my package was picked, it was commented that they would like something light to read. I had picked two books - Bringing Home the Birkin and The Liar's Club. I loved the Birkin book and it was passed around, but I put the Liar's book in so that mine wasn't the only light book in the room. So while I don't feel taken seriously, I do feel as though they like me. I notice the room gets quiet while I tell a story and suddenly everyone is listening. Perhaps I am really loud, but I don't think that is the only reason. They especially enjoyed my tales of Barry. (I highly recommend Bringing Home the Birkin, by the way. Made me want a $20,000 purse.)

So it seems as though my perception of myself is an either or. I am either pseudo intellectual or I am taken lightly as the humorous one. I think it may be the curse of the stay at home mom to wonder if she can be taken seriously while not being "out in the world." At pottery class, I stated my occupation as a stay at home mom with my eyes down on the table. I realized I don't see my education as helping me right now and that I am constantly looking for greener grass. My new years resolution is to change this aspect. I have decided to believe that you would have to be extremely intelligent to have my sense-of-humor and to dress my children as I do.

Or I need to learn to just not give a damn.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Barry Manilow

Kevin's Christmas present to me this year was Barry Manilow tickets. Although I wish it was actually Barry coming to my house, I happily accepted the tickets. I flew to Vegas on Tuesday and watched Barry Wednesday night. This would be my fourth Barry concert. My first was with Kevin in Iowa. It was two hours long and ten years ago. When we lived in New York, I found out that Barry would be performing at Bryant Park for GMA and so I took the train in. I was eight months pregnant, but the free shirt still fit me. Barry ignored the crowd until the film was rolling, but I decided he was unhappy because he had gained some weight. Two years ago was my first Vegas concert and I was four rows back. When he did hip thrusts, it was definitely in 3D. I think I flinched a few times. I bought a pink hat with Manilow in sequince and a flip book where I could watch his hip thrusts any time I felt the need. My last time was Wednesday. Kevin thought it was Barry's last concert ever, but he is actually moving down the strip to the Paris. His first show is in three months. This time I bought a Barry watch and a shirt for Katherine that says "Manilow Girl." I would like to pass Barry on.

I thought I was a fan. I thought I could be classed as a Fanilow. I thought I had enough memorabilia to classify. Then, the night of the show, I decided to go to dinner at Bennihana's. It is an open seating restaurant where you watch the chef cook your dinner at your table. I was grouped with three couples. I kept to myself until I realized that the two women to my write were discussing the Paris. Woman #1 was saying how she spent the day at the Paris taking pictures of the Barry pictures. She had gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower because it had a really good view of the Barry poster still on the side of the Hilton and it was only $15. I guess there were also pictures of Barry at City Center. Woman #2 said she felt bad that she couldn't go this time, but would go next time. I asked them where they were from. #1 was from Florida and #2 was from California. I asked how they met and they said through the concerts. There are 20 of them who have become friends because they go to the Barry Manilow concert a few times a year. A FEW TIMES A YEAR.

They told me about how they had seen Barry a few times in the hotel getting a drink, but they respect him and keep their distance. The stalkers are called Maniloonies. #2 paid for her meal with a Manilow credit card. They go to the Manilow Convention every year. Since going to Vegas, it has become more elaborate with shows and dinners and Barry sometimes drops in and says hi. I had no idea. I didn't realize that women went to the concerts monthly and that they all were in the front two rows and that there were special ways to get those seats and that they all wore special clothes to the final show and that there were certain words they sang to certain songs really loud. I thought I was over the top with a watch, but I think a credit card is above me. You don't even get frequent flyer miles to Vegas; it just donates money to charities. (I need benefits from my credit card. I am not that giving) They all wore head bans on them and made signs to say goodbye. I sat next to an elderly couple and a ten year old. I don't think he and his thirteen year old sister wanted to be there. They didn't seem to know any of the songs like their mom did. The thirteen year old did have a nice bracelet from Tiffany's and a Burberry coat. I figured she must have been bribed to come to Barry.

So I finished my dinner in a bit of a slump. I had lived a lie. I thought I was a huge Barry fan, but I was really just a 3 on a scale of 10. I realized that I'm not really a fanatic about anything. I thought I was eccentric, but I'm starting to think I am not. I am just a normal person who has seen Barry 4 times. So now I am thinking of becoming a Maniloonie. I think I have decided that if I run a 5k by July, I am going to the Manilow Convention. If Annie runs a 5k by then, I am taking her with me. I think I may be scared to become a fanatic alone.