Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of an Era

Today on the last day of 2009 marked the end of an era in the company where i work. Co-workers, many who had worked 10, 15, 20 years or more bid farewell as they left their jobs. Some took early retirement, others took an early leave package - the majority were strongly "nudged" into going. Many would be taking a short break before once going out into the work force and trying to find another job. After so many years at this company they will likely find it difficult, kind of like being married for so many years and then all of a sudden having to go out in dating world again. It's all so different and uncomfortable, you no longer have the hang of it and are lacking in flirting skills. About 2% of those leaving were giddy with joy at the chance to start over and do what they've always dreamed of - writing, starting their own business, staying home with small children, etc., but most were angry and bitter. Although i am grateful that i wasn't tapped on the shoulder with the suggestion to take an offer, i kind of envy the ones that are leaving. They will have several months to really explore what they want to do and have an opportunity to change their lives completely if they so desire. What would i do if i had been given this chance? the possibilities are endless and therein lies my problem - i could seriously put forth strong efforts to get my own business going, pursue a different career entirely or even move to another country.
well who knows what 2j010 will bring and once the dust settles they could still come around and tap on my shoulder -- of course this time the package to leave will probably not be quite as nice -- knock on wood and i'll hope for the best. Happy new year everyone and may 2010 brings us all prosperity and the answers to our life dilemmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Genius Lesson

My sister sent me the following in an e-mail and i thought i would post here as well.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before,
but had once failed an entire class.
That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK,
we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D!
No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased as bickering,
blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Technology really has me frustrated right now. Although we've come along way in technology, what good is it when it doesn't work?! My cell phone service is not working and apparently it hasn't all day. However it shows i have bars so i should be getting service right? Not so, as everytime i try to make a call i get a 'call failed' message. And trying to call someone else who  has this service (using my landline phone) gives me a fast busy signal.
i try to get on my provider's web site to find their phone number and my computer is super slow. All connection are good and working but i'm having trouble getting onto their pages. When logging into the site there is no indication that there is a global problem. I'm finally able to get through to the provider and after a suprisingly short wait i'm told that there apparently is a global, repeat GLOBAL problem causing the service to be down!
meanwhile i can't get ahold of my daughter who is not home from school yet and of course can't call home to tell us what's going on because she has the same service.
Ah yes technology, gotta love it - but not at the moment.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


There is that word again. It comes up more and more lately. So much is happening right now with uncertainness in the work place and with relationships. On a positive spin times are right for changes in career and life purpose. The problem is in determining what of the many choices available to go for?

From the many choices of starting your own business through direct sales – Tupperware, premier jewelry, pampered chef, Original Limu, Ardyss, Miche, CAbi or through opening your own franchise – Sunstone yoga, McDonalds, etc. the list goes on and on. Uncertainness in the work place could be a blessing in disguise. Many of my co-workers have taken the plunge and are either leaving to change careers or are working their own direct sales biz to supplement future retirement or what would be even better “retire” early from the daily 9-5 and live life on their own schedule.

I’ve taken the plunge into a couple of the above just because I like their product so much. We’ll see how things go – all I know is life is short and I certainly do not want to be working the 9-5 at 65 because social security can’t help cover my retirement or my 401K has been wiped out due to yet another recession or bad money management (on the part of the Company THE MAN has chosen to manage employee 401k).

As someone once said, “All of our tomorrows are shaped by what we do today.” If you could pursue your heart’s desire what would it be and what’s stopping you? What are your obstacles? How can you overcome them? Baby steps…..

And with that I’m off to buy another Miche (or two).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Boys!

Well went and stood in line and got my photo and autographed copy of the Deen boy's new cookbook. They are too cute for their own good and i cannot believe how close i was to them. And their manners and whole demeanor are unbelievable. Their mama has raised them right and do her proud! If i had been the swoonin' type i definitely would have. Unfortunately the only camera i had to take a photo was with my camera so it's a little blurry... bonbones de primera!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Good food and friends

Had lunch with a good friend today. It had been awhile since we'd gotten together and it was great to catch up on each other's lives and hash around ideas. Macaroni Grill was the restaurant of choice and the atmosphere and pasta got our creative juices going and we discussed entrepreneurial options. She wants to do kitty things and i'd love to do quilty crafty things - from kitty mugs, embroidered t-shirts, kitty mats and quillows. Next step i think is to get our web sites going and inventory to sell. Stay tuned....
On another note, my son went out to buy a laptop, finding nothing in his price range for the functions he wanted, he decided to buy rock band instead - i am now learning to jam out - a little We Got the Beat anybody?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Deens are Coming to Town!

I am so excited!! The Deen brothers will be in town on Sept. 16 for a book signing of their cookbook entitled - what else: The Deen Bros. Cookbook. The book features not only recipes but tidbits and stories of their travels through the southern states from Florida all the way to Colorado and on up to Washington!
From Coconut Fried Shrimp, Chocolate Chip Cake, Ratatouille Supreme with Pepper Jack, Lemony Honey Almond Teacakes and Texas Margaritas - it all sounds yummy and i can't wait to try my hand at them.
This will be a treasured addition to my cookbook collection and who knows maybe Mama Deen will drop by for surprise visit? I've got my copy, now just waiting for the date - Check out the great photo on the cover.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

I was finally able to make it through this book. It took me a couple of times to get into it as some of the language was a turnoff. The second time i started reading it I almost put it down again because it seemed to jump around alot, but i stuck with it and it was a very good story. The book takes you through the adolescent period mostly of Oscar's life, a little bit of his sister's side and alot of his mom's side to show how Oscar's life came to be and end the way it did. Oscar's mom is also from the Dominican Republic and the story very much features their culture and beliefs especially in the scenes that take place on the island. A strong testimony to how the children can end up paying in one way or another for the sins (or in some cases bad luck) of their fathers (or mothers, grandparents, etc.).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

for love of....

It seems like a woman's quest to do something fulfilling with her life has been going on forever....whether one is a homemaker or working full-time for many of us we still are not satisfied even though what we may already be doing is an important thing (i.e. raising a family, taking care of the home, contributions at work, etc.). For some of us there is something lacking and sometimes it can take us years to discover it. Or if we know what it is to be able to use it in a way that we can make a living out of it so that we can do what we love all the time and not just in our spare moments.
The movie Julie & Julia is a perfect example of two women who discovered their passions - cooking and then writing for Julia. Writing and then cooking for Julie. I have not read the book but the movie is so heartwarming and humorous depicting a time in their lives when both were searching to leave their mark on the world in some way - even if only in their surrounding world, but something that they felt good about. I completely could identify with Julie - I wonder if she is an Aries? Her comments (and those of her friends and family) regarding unfinished projects sounded so familiar....
And Julia's love of food - a woman after my own heart, no wonder Julie was inspired by her! Julia definitely had one of the best husbands around. The movie definitely has me wanting to cook again and i'll definitely be trying my hand at her Beef Bourgingnon

Sunday, July 12, 2009


In this day and age when people are losing their jobs, homes, 401K, barely making a living and looking to save any way possible, it's amazing some of the littlest things that people will sweat about. For instance whether to help in the green efforts or just to save on electricity, some people are haning their laundry out to dry versus using the dryer. Myself, i love the smell of fresh sheets - but sheets, blankets and comforters are about the only things i hand dry outside.
mostly because i don't like the stiffness in my clothes if hung outside and i do not have the set up to hang that many clothes out (or a handy husband).
A small community in the state of Vermont however has part of their town in an uproar over their right to dry clothes outside. Many people consider it an eyesore and feel it brings down their home value "would you like to see that outside your window" says one lady. I look at it like a tv program, don't like change the view. Is this lady constantly staring out her window that she would she this all the time. Does her neighbor hang dry clothes 24/7? If it bothers her that much perhaps she could add a trellis or something to block the view. If you didn't view the story this morning on CBS Sunday Morning check it out -

Watch CBS Videos Online
Honestly some people get their panties in wad over the littlest things - me i'm more worried about the Obama's plan for our health care and how all that will net out. Get real people.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bargains galore

Today i took a day off today. Wanted to do some things around the house and work on my sewing/quilting. took a little trip to my local dollar tree store. love that place! every single thing is $1! EVERYTHING - so don't ask, cause it's a $1 (you wouldn't believe how many people do ask). Since this store is not on my route with my grocery store i usually forget about, but i've really got to go there first before going to regular store. i would save so much on paper goods, personal care, party decorations, i mean everything!
For instance i bought 3 packages of very large safety pins to use for quilting. Each package had 50 pins in it, each cost package cost $1, so a total of 150 pins cost me $3 at dollar tree. Then went to Joanne's craft store where a package of 20 large quilt safety pins cost about $2.50. I would have had to buy 8 packages and spent $20 - just on the pins! i saved $17 by going to dollar tree. Love it!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New beginnings

Well my baby has graduated high school. Empty nest you say? No, she will be attending community college like her older siblings until she decides exactly which of her many interests she would like to develop into her career. Who knows where her endeavors will take her but wherever it may be, this one will enjoy life no matter.
Would that I had to do it over again I would have given it my all in order to get a full scholarship somewhere (anywhere!) and gone off to explore the world – regardless of what my parents wanted. They wanted me (and my sisters) to stay and study close to home. None of this going off into a scary world where only God knows what could happen – COULD happen. But what if nothing bad had ever happened – all those chances and experiences lost.
I gave each of my kids that chance and tried to tell them. Of course they know all and do not listen. I said get a full paid scholarship to anywhere (through grades, sports, whatever) and you can go – not one of them did. So they go to the local community college and stay close to home.
Me, I am still working towards my BS and grab a little adventure when ever and where ever I can. Tonight it’s off to sewing class to learn another new trick and ideas. Very tame for most I know but some traveling adventures are coming up on the horizon…..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer's blooms

Well i didn't get to set up my vegetable garden over the long weekend like i wanted but the flowering garden i started last summer is doing pretty good again this year. The rain we've had has really helped. I read somewhere that to get the Hydrangeas to turn blue color it has to do with the acidity of the soil. I'll need to look into that more to get mine to turn blue again. Maybe i can start on the vegetable garden in a couple of weeks. This year the cilantro seems to be doing really well too. It's so nice to be able to just go out and cut some fresh for the guacamole - yum~!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend come and gone.

Well another holiday weekend has come and gone. I was able to get some of the things on my to-do list done – like replacing Mom’s door, getting my daughters’ charm bracelet (her graduation gift), and I finished my first quilt top!! I started another blog for the sewing projects - As soon as I can I’ll post a photo, I still need to actually put the batting in, the backing and then bind it all together, I need to take two other additional classes for that. Hope to have it all completed by end of summer along with some other sewing projects. You can check it all out there.
I was hoping to get my garden going this weekend but just didn’t happen. Probably won’t get to that till mid-June and it may be too late for some veggies, but since we are in Texas I think they’ll probably still do good since our summer usually drags on until at least October.
Next week is my youngest daughter’s graduation. She opted to have a charm bracelet instead of the usual class ring. She will get more use out of it. How many people actually wear their class ring past their senior year anyway? I added three charms – 2009, Virgin de Guadalupe and a longhorn (her high school mascot). Her big sis pitched in for a fourth charm – a peace sign – cause the little one is a wanna be hippie. Due to all our family drama we probably will end up not doing anything. Why does everything have to be so complicated? I’d like to do a brunch but we don’t even have a table and chairs for people to sit in and if we take everybody out, well that can get very pricey. So it may just be the five (or four if my son is still ticked) that go out to lunch that day or the next. I can’t wait till I have my empty nest and they are all living out their own family lives. Till then I just take it one day at a time.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home Depot, Mom time, weekend just started...

Well, the long holiday weekend has just started and am already SO thankful there are still 2 more days left of it. Today was spent traipsing through Home Depot looking for a door for my mom's house. For some reason she decided she wanted to paint the front door. Which overall is not a bad thing as the door is the same one that's been there since we moved so many years ago. So a good coat of paint would have done it good, yet she decided she wanted to paint it green. The green she ended up choosing was not the color she had imagined it would be once dry - a dark dull forest green. Instead it was a very bright emerald green color - kind of like the entry to the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz.
Anyway she was very unhappy with it and had decided to just go buy a new one. So off she goes to the Home Depot (keep in mind she is 70ish) and picks a door and asks if they could install, etc. Well Home Depot said they had to go out and measure the door for themselves before they could install. So fine she sets up an appointment, they never showed. Sets up another one, stand her up again and on and on until finally she just says forget it give me back my money (she had already paid for the door!).
Now in this day and age what company is so not needing the business (other than an oil company) that they can get away with providing such poor customer service!!
So my husband and i decided to get her a door and he spent the day installing it - looks SO MUCH better! i should have taken some photos (i've got to get my own camera, always have to borrow my daughter's). He did a good job with some help from our son. While they worked mom and i chit chatted about sewing projects, work, and the weather.
Anyway after some rest, (there's no place like home) i'm going to try and finish the Quilt Top this weekend.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Of Church and Priests and such.

An old school mate of my husband’s came to visit the other day. They/we hadn’t seen each other in at least 20 years. He lives in Mexico and as he “graduated” from their school he is a priest and has been moved a couple of times. So he no longer has his parish close to my husband’s home town. Yes my husband also attended the seminary for many years until one day he decided to try and cross the border to earn some money for books and tuition to continue going to school. He was about 20 years old and once he got over here, he enjoyed the freedom and ease with which one could earn money, how easily he found a job earning minimum wage but living a good life with that small amount. As we have been married over 27 years needless to say he did not return to the Seminary. One other schoolmate (among others I’m sure) also did not finish and is now married with a family and living in Houston. They did not have the commitment and desire of a priestly life and it was well they realized early on. I wonder though if my husband’s family had been able to pay for all his schooling, he wouldn’t have left to earn money, would have he continued and eventually become a priest? And thus have ended up like Father Cutie?
As all the escandalo unfolds with Padre Alberto Cutie [] – I wonder again why there is not a better system in place in regards to the education and formation of priests. The Catholic Church can be so strict and has so many guidelines, yet just because someone goes through the studies and agrees to all the rules, it seems these are the main things encouraged for them. I do not necessarily agree that they must be celibate but can certainly see how hard it would be to be married and have a family when you want/agreed to dedicate your life to the church and God’s teachings so for that reason alone it makes sense. Would a wife be able to handle her husband spending all his time at church, visiting hospitals, sick people, etc. I mean they have no other life but the church. Of the priests I’ve known, that is what they do – and out of those very few seem to have that speaking ability that I think is also very essential. And the couple I have ended up finding and loved to listening to - end up leaving the church because they are not able to be celibate anymore. And it is so unfortunate because these are the priests that were encouraging and motivating people to come to church and would use everyday happenings and teach how they relate to God and the bible and how we in turn can become better people. Mass was always super packed when these priests were around.
Just this Sunday I became so frustrated with all the crying and whining of all the children (and so sorry to say it was our raza who once again do not make their kids behave and are rude). The priest did not appear to be in a good mood as he was very somber and did not like how the little altar server girl was helping him (poor thing probably won’t be doing that service anymore). Plus he rushed through the prayers and spoke very monotone and his accent was hard to understand at times. With all the distractions going on the Mass might as well have been in Latin for all the good I got out of it. Surely speech classes are given in the Seminary, this one must have skipped out on a few. I think a passion for the Lord’s work and gospel should definitely be a requirement, plus a love of people and desire to help humanity. I know I’m not the only one whose opinion is to get rid of the celibacy rule and let’s get some priests who love what they do and can inspire our young people (all of us really) to go to church and learn about the bible. I get so sad when my desire to learn and hear God’s word ends up taking me to another church and events because I’m not getting what I need from my own religion/church.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Old Craft Store

As I learn and grow in my quilting skills and knowledge I’m amazed by how many shops are out there specializing in quilts. I guess until you become involved in something you don’t really “see” some things you know? On my travels I’m going to make sure I find and visit at least one quilt store in the area whether to compare shops, fabric or local customs it should be fun.
Inspiration and creativity come together in this little quilt shop located in the square of the historic Old Downtown area of Carrollton, Texas.
They offer a large variety of 100% cotton fabrics and quilting notions. You can also find an array of classes for the beginner to the most experienced quilter. There are even classes to help you improve your techniques in other areas such as making pants that fit, making patterns that fit and photo quilts among many others.
Wanting to join a quilting club? They have those too – including a book club featuring books with storylines on quilting of course! I recently joined what they call Moda U. One Saturday a month, members get together to see the newest fabrics from Moda, play Quilt-O (Bingo) to win a free pattern, see the latest kits, share tips and show finished Quilts – whether it’s your own or a family heirloom. It was quite fun and I’m looking forward to next month’s meeting.
There is also have a post office located inside the store for fast and easy shipment of purchases to anywhere in the U.S.A.
Whether looking to learn a new skill, ideas for new projects or an opportunity to make new friends – this little shop is a gem. If you are ever in the Dallas, Texas area you’ll want to stop by and peruse the place just off Interstate 35, take Beltline exit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Helpful quilting sites

Still working on My First Quilt and its coming along nicely. It can be hard to get in sewing time after working all day and then coming home to make dinner, do household chores, etc., etc. - you know! But I think I've made some good progress and am almost done. I've also been browsing around on the internet and have found a few interesting quilting blogs and sites. The Online Quilting Blog even offers online lessons/tutorials, free quilting patterns (including a list of other web sites that offer free patterns, photo gallery, tips and a chat room.
The Moda Bakeshop features their fabric line (Moda) and free patterns and photos of the projects. Both definitely worth checking out.
It's so wonderful to see that sewing and quilting are still alive and well in this day and age when so many of the "old fashioned" type of home projects seem to be waning. I'm not sure if sewing is even taught anymore in high school (I don't think it is). It was back in my day when i took home ec. i made a sundress. I think a quilt would have been easier, especially since the dress included a ZIPPER! Anyway i am learning so much from the blogs and sites i come across. Hope to feature more in future along with my own projects and now that i've learned to work the embroidery part of my machine, i'll be incorporating some of that on my future quilt projects, especially for the labels! Happy quilting!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Inch by Inch

It’s so exciting to see all the bits and pieces coming together. All my classmates have chosen such different fabrics and we are all using the same pattern but each has its own personality. It’s amazing to see how the different colors (some that you wouldn’t even think would look good together) and patterns work to make each and everyone beautiful. I’ve put together all the strips and triangles into one square. Next step will be to put each of these squares together with the sashes and borders to make the large quilt top. What is that saying – yard by yard it’s hard, inch by inch it’s a cinch – and it truly is.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On my way..

Second day of quilting class and we got to use the Thangles! A neat little invention that helps you make perfect little triangles into perfect little squares in such an easy way. Being a first timer I thought they were fun and was disappointed when I was done ripping them off my material - it’s a stress reliever! For homework we have to sew all our strips together (3 strips of two different material) and then cut those into squares. It was a relief that I didn’t have to buy a special foot (1/4 inch quilting foot) for this. Hopefully I won’t need it down the line, that’s just one more expense and my regular sewing foot seems to work just fine. I can’t imagine all the time and effort it took back in the olden days to put these together and sew every stitch by hand. How fortunate those who have quilts from long ago that have been passed down through generations. They are true treasures. I found a fascinating web site that features and sells antique quilts from as far back as the 18th century. If I ever get to York Village, Maine , Rocky Mountain Quilts will definitely be a stop on my itinerary. It’s so neat to see my first quilt start to come together and I love being able to have this time to sew again

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Yesterday I attended a class to learn how to work my new sewing machine. Although I had experimented at home with it, it kept beeping and stopping. Upon checking the owner’s manual, it went into a long drawn out explanation that gave the impression the beeping had to do with the settings. I was so glad when yesterday I started sewing in class and it began giving me the same problem. The teacher at first was just as perplexed. So she adjusted the thread somewhat. Still beeped. She took the thread out altogether and rethreaded the whole thing. Beeping stopped. As the class progressed I noticed a little tab peeking out from underneath my machine. Unsure if i might break something i none the less pulled on it. Low and behold it was a little trouble-shooting cheat sheet! And there under number 19 (a little light flashed on stitch number 19 when it beeped) it mentioned “may need to readjust threading”.
I also learned that i didn’t have to follow the instructions per letter in the owner’s manual for my bobbin. The book gave a complicated process that i was having trouble with. The teacher said i could do it like i’ve always done, just wind the loose end about 5-7 times around the bobbin and go. worked just fine. I’m such a rule follower that it makes me nervous to try something new, different. What am i afraid of? i don’t know, it’s something i’m working to overcome - sometimes the rules can be broken with no harm done. This is what i’m hoping to work on by quilting. Yes there are certain rules but doesn’t appear so when it comes to fabric - Colors do not need to match - it can be as wild and as funky as i want it to be. looking forward to these experiments.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's a Thangle?

Thangles, dayglo tape, blocks, triangles on a roll. These are just some of the new terms I learned last night at my quilting class and yes dayglo tape is exactly what it sounds like. A roll of brightly colored tape used to mark our rulers (at least that’s what we did last night) in the various positions needed to keep track of where we will be measuring and cutting for different widths of cloth. I’m sure it has other uses but we haven’t learned them yet. And triangles on a roll are just that – a big roll of paper triangles to use as patterns to cut the fabric. How cool is that! We will be using Thangles instead of triangles on a roll which are basically the same thing except they come in strips instead of on a roll, but the lesson on how to actually use them will be next week.
Quilting, I (and my classmates) are learning is turning into an expensive little adventure, especially for those of us who also just purchased sewing machines. In addition to the above we needed thread, cutting mats, rotary cutters, pins, seam ripper and a quilt ruler. Having sewed off and on through the years I did have some of these supplies but not all. We also learned to never, ever leave our cutting mat in the car. A class mate left hers and by the time she got in the car to come to class it had bent out of shape from the heat (and it wasn’t even a very hot day). Now she has to purchase a new one and at $25 her cost in this venture has just gone up.
But all in all, we will take away a valuable skill and an item that will last for years to come –as will most of the supplies with proper care – and that is what we are anticipating. By the end of the class we should all be very familiar with quilt-speak.

The thread goes where?

Well, I’ve taken out the new machine to familiarize myself with all it’s fancy gadgets and workings. After several tries I was finally able to get my bobbin threaded after spending a few minutes figuring out the example drawn in the instruction book, yet I still don’t think I’m doing it quite right. It kept getting tangled up on the bobbin and ending up in a big mess that definitely would not work. So I managed to figure out a way to get the thread on there tight and managed to thread the machine. I then went through some old scrap material I still had (I keep everything!) to test some of the stitches. It sews beautifully!
However as I went through the various stitches, the machine kept making a beeping noise and stopping. Apparently it is factory set and although I moved the knobs to adjust the stitch length, it still keeps beeping. This will be very annoying if it does this while I’m in my quilting class so I found a class for next Monday morning – lesson 1 to learn how to work my machine. I had already been through this series of classes with my previous machine and now I’m back at square one.
Well it will be worth it, this has some really neat stitch options – ivy and starbursts among others and I can’t wait to use them on upcoming projects.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quilting Here I Come…

Well I’ve done it. I signed up for My First Quilt Workshop at The Old Craft Store. It’ll be one day a week for the next 4 weeks and at the end I’ll have completed a small quilt – big enough to wrap the first grandbaby in (whenever he/she may come) or to use as a sofa throw or wall hanging.
Another reason I need my “nest” empty now, I need the room for all my stuff and the kids are way overdue on leaving - I plan on making one room my guest/library room and the other will be my sewing/scrapbooking/all-around craft room. Again don't understand those ladies who get depressed over having time to finally do what they want. What did you want to do before you became a mom - do it now. Life is short, bring the experience around to a positive light.
I nixed the idea of inviting my mom, she’d want me to pick her up, etc. and I’ll barely have time to get there from the office before class starts. Plus I don't think her sewing machine is one of those you can tote around and we need to bring our own machine for this one. I’ll also need to stock up on Slim Fast or something to drink on the way there as dinner will be out of the question and by the time I get out of there it will be too late to eat (don’t like to eat past nine at night). I’ll have some me time (hard to come by in a full house) and perhaps make some new friends, yikes and I’ll have to take a change of clothes, not too comfortable to be sewing in my work clothes. Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be more stressful than fun. It is only one day a week though for four weeks. I can handle that.
Once I’ve learned the proper quilting process, my next project will be to make a t-shirt quilt out of all those old t-shirts that I’ve kept for the kids - T-shirts from camp, girl scouts, boy scouts, sports, school spirit, and vacation souvenir t-shirts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reviving an old hobby..

A few years ago I purchased a new sewing machine. I had sewn a lot when my kids were young making nursery items and as they grew I also sewed their play clothes and Halloween costumes. As I began working full time and the kids got busy with activities I no longer had time to pursue this hobby. Attending the state fair one year I came across a sewing exhibition that featured all sorts of sewing machines. I became inspired and later went to my nearest Joann's crafgt store and purchased one hoping to get back into sewing if nothing else for mending clothes and the like. I became so frustrated with trying to figure out how to get the bobbin to work I gave up and set it aside. The machine sat there for a couple of years gathering dust until a few weeks ago when I came across some free beginner sewing classes at the store where I purchased the machine. I became excited about sewing again and using their embroidery equipment and my machine for the embellishment made this little Easter drawstring bag. I did get a little discouraged when the fanciest stitch I had on my machine was this little double zig zag. Everyone else had much fancier machines with stitch options such as ivy, hearts, swirls, etc. Needless to say I was easily swayed to purchase an upgrade of my machine to get some fancier stitches. I found a place called The Old Craft Store that teaches beginners to quilt and can't wait to use my new machine and begin sewing in earnest again. My mother used to love to sew and I wish she had the confidence to attend classes like these to get back into it as well and so she can make new friends. That was something that really stood out to me that in the classes I attended and even when visiting The Old Craft Store, I saw no Latina's or anyone from any other culture. Growing up many women from our family and my mother's circle of friends sewed so it's bizarre to me that I see very few women of other culture's at craft stores (and I live in a large multi-cultural city). It's so satisfying to work on something that eventually comes together into something that can be used or worn for generations to come. Perhaps I'll get my mother to come along, she would like the mother/daughter time anyway.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God works.....

in mysterious ways. I was running late getting off work so i knew i wouldn't be making it to the Mass for Ash Wednesday. Had just enough time to get dinner made and take my daughter to to help out at the Wednesday night CCD. The place was super packed - people standing out the door not able to fit into the church that's how crowded it was. It might have helped if they had scheduled a second Spanish Mass but since this was the only one the whole world seemed to be there. So after dropping my daughter off I drive back home - as usual I'm going a bit fast and almost missed seeing a little old lady sitting on the edge almost of her driveway and waving frantically. I quickly stopped and rolled down my window to ask if she needed help and turns out she had fallen while taking out the trash into that sitting position and couldn't get herself up. Lord only knows how long she had been sitting out there hoping someone would come by and help her. I kept picturing my own mother who also lives alone and although there are many helpful neighbors around, if none of them happen to go outside she could be stuck for hours in a bad situation. I helped her up and got her standing and she mentioned she still had another trash bag to take to the curb. Once I knew she was steady on her feet I left her in the driveway and went and got her other trash bag and took it to the curb. She appeared to be living all alone as well. Her little pomeranian dog came to the garage door and yapped at me but wouldn't go any farther - some help he would have been. Couldn't bark loud enough for even the neighbors to hear. I knew God had directed me down that street to help her as I usually go home a different way. I know many people have helped my mom out when she was in a bind and I was glad I could pay it forward to someone else and this lady was not seriously hurt thank goodness. If I couldn't be in Mass tonight I'm glad I was able to be in his service by helping out a neighbor.

What Empty Nest?

Most people’s children leave the nest when they turn 18. Some leave for college or travel the world and others just to be in their own place. I constantly read or hear about so many mothers upset about empty nest syndrome – feeling their lives now have no meaning and they have nothing to do since their children are gone. I envy those women with empty nests! My youngest will be graduating from high school this year and just like her older brother and sister – she will not be leaving to go off on her own. The same as it was for me and my two sisters – however unlike my mother who did not want us to leave and did everything to prevent it – I DO want my children to go out and spread their wings. Alas the economy among other things has kept them at home while they work and go to school. Grandma (my mom) is no help either constantly telling them they don’t need to go off into a dangerous world and should stay home until they marry, etc. as is the tradition in our culture. And while most moms would probably be thrilled to still have her “babies” at home – I am not. Having married young (19) to get out of the house and had children young (21) at the insistence of my husband, I was looking forward to some ME time and trying to improve the relationship with my husband and having some fun. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my children but what once was a perfect house for a mom, dad and three small children is definitely not the case now that we are five adults. And to make it even worse we only have 1 ½ baths with the main bath only accessible from our bedroom! With everyone working odd hours and needing to take showers also at odd hours – needless to say it ruins the mood. And again the economy doesn't help making buying a bigger house out of the question right now. I long for the day when I can stay in my PJs all day Saturday….watch an R rated movie without feeling uncomfortable if the kids walk in during a sex scene….be spontaneous in the bedroom, living or kitchen for that matter….a whole day of uninterrupted work on any one of my many hobbies…be able to take off on a moment’s notice for a three-day fun-in-the-sun weekend. There is so much to do and see out in the world that I not only long for the day I have an empty nest but for the day I can retire from work to devote more time to experience everything. A great article in the New York Times sums it up best -

Ash Wednesday

Not having had a very good Catholic upbringing I’m not sure what we should be doing on this day other than going to Mass, getting ashes on our forehead and not eating beef or chicken. The reason I say I didn’t have a good Catholic upbringing was because yes we went through all the obligatory motions of going to Mass every Sunday, participating in the various events at Church and attending CCD (Sunday school) but I never knew the why of a lot of our rituals and traditions and I never asked. This is what my parents said we did and we obeyed without question – didn’t question anything back in those days. I didn’t pay attention to what the priests said because frankly they were boring and I couldn’t relate to anything that they said to my life and how to apply it. As I followed the same pattern with my family, the cycle continues of this is what we do because it’s always been done, end of story. I think it’s sad that most of us do not have the knowledge that we should about our Catholic faith. And I find more fulfillment and knowledge when I attend other faith sponsored events instead of at ours. Don’t get me wrong ours leave you feeling good and can restore the spirit but I don’t always feel that I know the why behind things and how can I do this on a regular basis at home, must everything always take place at church only to “count.” I have found some great resources at Women of Faith (not for catholic) and the Magnificat Breakfast and Dr. Italy’s Web site. Now I just need to discipline myself and get back into regularly practicing my faith. I haven’t even decided what I’ll give up/sacrifice this year. And if we should not go about with sad faces demonstrating our “suffering” of having to give up chocolate or whatever and meat on Fridays why is it ok to go around with the ashes on our forehead all day long for the world to notice. I know that’s the ritual but it seems contradicting. So it is we shall get Ashes on our forehead and another season of lent begins.