September 26, 2020

Today's bits of random...

First of all, thank you all for your encouragement to find some way utilize that very ambitious project.  After mulling over all the possible options, I finally decided to make it into a pillow, as Juli encouraged me to do...and with that...

Is it perfect?  No, it is not.

Nope, not perfect in the slightest.  I knew going in that a standard insert wouldn't necessarily work due to the odd measurements, but I plan to order some batting to fill out the empty parts.  I also will be actively encouraging everyone not to look TOO closely as I really shouldn't be allowed access to a sewing machine...much less a needle and thread - in fact, after I hit publish, I really wouldn't be surprised if the Crafting Community Brigade didn't show up to confiscate the sewing machine.

At any rate, it is done (for now) and we plan to love it until it falls to pieces sometime in the next six months or so.  In the meantime, we shall celebrate the fact that I remembered HOW to attach the zipper foot, FOUR YEARS later, without having to resort to Google or the kind ladies at JoAnn Fabrics - and we will not discuss the fact that I did NOT remember exactly how the zipper foot worked at first and that there may have been some MORE stitch ripping before I got it kind of right - no, we shall not discuss that, AT ALL.  Because, let's be honest, this particular project has been nothing but ripping out multiple stitches.

Also, we shall not discuss the fact that I may, or may not have ordered a new, small project that may, or may not, wind up being a birthday gift for a certain person two doors down...if I don't mess that one up too badly.  I *think* I have the orientation of this project right; so there's that.

(We shall not discuss the fact that I've already had to rip out some stitches just one day in.  I'm beginning to think needle work may not be my forte, y'all)

Moving on...

I had a virtual lunch date with my co-worker (friend) on Monday.  The Husband was scandalized.  "You'll be eating together ON the computer?!" (Please explain to me HOW this is different than sitting across the table from her? 😕).  

We actually didn't "eat" together, but instead spent our lunch hour chatting - it was SO nice just to SEE her face.  I love her dearly but...and I'm trying really hard not to judge...during our "lunch" she mentioned that they've been out to eat - many times, she took her mom to a local restaurant to eat and that she has visited her daughter at college and took the daughter and her room mate out to eat (all inside) and that she has been to many (completely unnecessary) places because she can't "just stay home because she would go crazy!"  But then she added, "It's not like we are hanging around strangers though."  Ummmm?  Then she ended the conversation with, "Let me know when you are ready to meet up for lunch out."

Ummm...maybe when COVID is gone?

I get it, technically, we can go out to eat.  Technically, we can go to Home Goods, Marshall's, Macy's, etc.  Technically, we are allowed to do that in this state.

I also get that staying home is hard.  Not seeing the people we love is hard.  But for me?  For us?

We are staying home as much as humanly possible.  My immune system is compromised (thanks psoriasis - which, can we all agree, is THE most inane way to be compromised), The Husband has several underlying issues that could really be serious if he were to become ill with this disease.  

So, no.  We are staying home.

On to a different topic...

I recently ordered, read, and adored What Unites Us by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner.  Y'all...I loved it.  I cried over it.  I laughed over it.

I remember watching Dan Rather since I was tiny.  He has been a part of my entire childhood and most of my adulthood.  And a fellow Houstonian - so you kind of people.

This book is a reflection on patriotism and what it means.  This book isn't my usual pick but something compelled me to pick it up (and, immediately ordered another for different birthday that is coming up) and it was worth it.  

In this narrative, he reminds us of all the good that is still out there - despite the horrors that are currently exploding onto our televisions and news feeds.  

So, if the current news cycle is depressing - read this book.  Really, it should be required reading in every high school, in my opinion.  It gave me a glimmer of hope for the future.

September 13, 2020

A tiny empty drawer

During a lull of "work" on Friday, I tackled three of the six drawers in the dining room sideboard.

Apparently, we have a severe infestation...

of pens.  Seriously...where did all these pens come from?

Shockingly, the majority of those pens actually work.  I know this because I tested each and every one.  That much smaller group off to the right?  Those are the ones that are sketchy.

It also appears that I have an affinity for note cards (actually, I've always known this about myself) as I unearthed cards I didn't even know I had - which is good news for the pen pal project.  I even uncovered cards that have a rendering of our house on the front, along with our names and address that we received after we bought this house that I had completely forgot about.

I also have an affinity for Post It Notes, pads of any kind and office supplies - this was realized when I uncovered at least SIX rolls of tape.  It should be noted that tape is a rarely used supply in this house.

I have a very loose plan (i.e., whenever I have a moment or three) of going through every single drawer and every single closet in an effort to control the chaos that ensued when we moved in four years ago.  Now, how this will shake out considering the fact my husband likes to "hide" things when he helps "tidy," remains to be seen.  BUT, so far those kitchen cabinets, the junk miscellaneous drawer (as the Suburban Correspondent calls it - WAY classier than "junk" drawer) and the utensil drawer are staying fairly tidy.

Today I went through one drawer where we had been storing old movies, DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes.  Yes really.  For the longest time, we had a VCR that actually worked and all the little people that used to visit pre-Netflix loved to watch Man-Child's old videos of Pooh Bear, Peter Pan, etc. - although they could not wrap their little minds around the "rewind" concept.

And, as of right this very minute, there is an actual empty drawer in this house.  The Husband must never learn of this as he will want to fill it with something.

That drawer won't stay empty for long though.  I have a dresser in my dressing room that I would like to get rid of and, although, I'm sure a great many things in there will be headed to Goodwill or somewhere, there are other things that will stay and will need a new home.

September 4, 2020

That ambitious project? Yeah, I'm throwing in the towel for now and other random bits.

I've had fleeting thoughts about posting every single day since my last post; but by the time the rubber hit the road, I was just too tired to even try. And then, inevitably, the following day I had forgotten all about it. *sigh* 

You would think in the middle of this pandemic, with absolutely nothing going on; I would have figured all this out by now. Sadly, I have not. 

But the reason I am here to today is to tell you that I've finished that "ambitious" cross stitch project . Break out the champagne. Or not. 

As I was nearing the end of the project, I realized I had made a grave mistake. Can you spot it?

My project vs what the finished product SHOULD look like.

Astute readers will immediately realize that I stitched this entire project in the wrong orientation, thus preventing me from actually finishing the project!

I'm not going to lie.  I cursed a blue streak and then immediately thought about starting over.  

I talked myself out of that crazy notion and tried to figure out whether or not I should just move the upper embellishments down.  I quickly realized that would involve more brain power than I currently possess.

So I called it good enough.  This was the one project I had actually planned to keep - mistakes and all.  Until I realized that there is no real way to pop this into an actual frame based on the size and orientation.  The white stitching around the edges is meant to help keep the fabric from unraveling; it's not supposed to show.

The Husband suggested that I could have it custom framed - I am not doing this.

Then I thought, maybe I could turn it into a pillow?  But every inch of our seating in the living room is needed and this pillow would be one that couldn't be "used."  Besides, I want our house to be welcoming and comfortable.  So, having a pillow that couldn't be used?  Not going to happen. 

The jury is out on what I will actually do with this - any suggestions?  

I'm not going to lie - the thought of re-doing the whole darn thing is still swimming around in the back of my brain; but for now I'm putting away my needle.  And who knows, maybe I'll find another project.  We shall see.

Other than the utter aggravation of the nonsense in the previous paragraphs - I'd like to tell you about some things that have absolutely changed my life.  I wish I were kidding, as these are arguably NOT actually life changing.

Our flatware drawer has always been an absolute hodgepodge thing which could induce nightmares for some of us (and by some of us, I mean ME).

We had one of those standard flatware organizers

Almost exactly like this one.

The problem with this organizer was that it didn't have enough slots for our flatware.  We had the teaspoons mixed up with the salad forks.  As if that wasn't horrific enough, this organizer slid around in the drawer and half the time you'd have to yank the organizer back down to the drawer front to barely be able to reach the serving spoons that were house in that upper slot.

Sure, this is a first world problem - as in why am I even talking about this kind of first world problem.

Pre-pandemic this would have been such a minor annoyance that I would have most likely lived with it until the end of time since I only wandered into that drawer occasionally.  But since I've been home?  I'm in that drawer MANY times every single day since March 18th.  

So maybe a day or two after the kitchen cabinet organization day, I found myself searching online for a better option for the flatware drawer and I came upon this...

It's an expandable organizer that fits the width of the drawer perfectly, has enough slots so the teaspoons and salad forks have their own homes, the serving pieces aren't hiding in the back AND? Best of all it doesn't slide around in the drawer.  

One more annoyance out of my life - I call that a win!

The other life changing item that has entered my life is the O Cedar Spin Mop.

Now, I know you are all thinking at this point, that I have lost my damn mind.  And normally, I'd agree with you.  I've always hated mopping floors.  My last mop was a Libman Tornado mop.  We had a love/hate relationship.  I like that I wasn't constantly touching the mop head to wring it.  I loved that it was machine washable.  I figured this would be the mop would be my top choice for the rest of my life.  It is kind of a pain to put together and take apart.  And woe to you, if you lose that little piece that holds it all together.  I mean seriously.  I had to take that tiny piece and show it to my family, told them where it lived and threatened them with their lives if it were ever to disappear on their watch (as if they ever mopped) that's HOW important that tiny little piece was.

Until Beth wrote a post that introduced me to Go Clean Co on Instagram AND the O Cedar Spin mop and I was intrigued.  After obsessively stalking Go Clean Co.'s Instagram, I finally bought the mop.  And now, I can honestly say I don't HATE mopping (and joy! No tiny piece to keep track of!  And the mop head is machine washable AND - even more important, no tiny, little piece to keep track of! Yes, I had to mention it twice because of all the angst that tiny little piece brought into my life!).  The floor is dry in mere minutes - making it perfect for all hard flooring; particularly wood.

Unfortunately, this mop does NOT perform miracles though as our tile still looks dirty after being freshly mopped...but that is the tiles problem (they are ugly - see above picture for a snippet); not the mops.

I have also embarked on the note writing project mentioned here and have already received a reply; which completely made my day.  And, my mother in law was absolutely overjoyed with the random note she received; according to The Husband who just randomly called her.  He had no idea I'd sent her the note - but was so appreciative at how happy it made her.  Particularly, since she lives alone and the isolation has been hard for her.

So, to recap...

  • What do I do with this practically worthless sampler now?
  • If you are in need of a flatware organizer - the one mentioned above may fit the bill and may alleviate some of your nightmares.
  • The O Cedar mop is the new love of my life (slight exaggeration - but not by much).
  • Sending random, out of the blue notes makes people happy! And helps the post office.  It's a win-win really.
So here we are on the cusp of a long Labor Day weekend.  Have a great one - and be safe while you celebrate.