Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saying Goodbye

This morning we went to say our final farewell to my grandmother.  It was more difficult than I had anticipated. 

When I got the phone call last week I wasn't surprised. She was 86, had lived a very full life and had been ailing the last several years.  I wasn't overwhelmed with sadness. I was sad that she was gone. Sad for my Dad, and my cousin Michaela ( she was mostly raised by my grandmother). Perhaps I was even a little sad that I didn't have what I would consider a typical grandmother/granddaughter relationship. It's difficult to maintain a relationship with someone when you grow up feeling inferior because you were born the wrong gender. There were other issues, but this was the primary one.

 Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with being female. I don't believe that my male cousins are somehow better than I am just because they were born male. I like being female. I like the fact that at the end of my life I'll be able to look back and remember that I was able to do things that they couldn't do. Because I am female. I gave birth to 3 beautiful children all of them over 8 lbs. These 3 children are my legacy. They are here because I met, fell in love with and married their father. But, I gave them life. It was both an amazing and painful experience. I was able to labor for hours to bring them into this world because I am female. I am female and I wouldn't change a thing. 

Sitting in the second row of the chapel with my family this morning I wasn't overwhelmed. 
* There was music
* Reading of Psalms
* The pastor spoke and I was okay.

* When my Dad got up and gave his eulogy. Suddenly,  I was overwhelmed. Listening to him say his final goodbye to the woman who gave him life was more emotional than I had anticipated. For the first time I saw my grandmother through his eyes. How he saw her. Seen through his eyes she was an incredibly strong, fearless woman. A woman who when she walked into her kids' school the Principal and staff quivered in fear. A woman who wasn't afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believed in. A woman who was generous with her time and had a strong sense of responsibility. Looking through my Dad's eyes I saw a woman with a strong sense of family. I saw a woman I would have been proud to call my friend. Hearing the emotion is his voice triggered this overwhelming feeling of sadness. I didn't know this woman. I knew a different woman. One who made me more miserable than not during my childhood. I felt such sadness.  Sadness that we missed having a loving relationship because of her preconceived notions of ( what felt like ) my unworthiness. I wish I had known the woman I saw through my father's eyes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's Pinterest{ing}

I have a confession to make. I LOVE Pinterest. It's one of my all time favorite things.  A site that you can collect ideas. It's wonderful.  I have other things I need to do during the day so it isn't practical for me to be online for hours at a time. So, I try to be smart. I limit myself to once or twice a week, usually on the weekends and [almost] always at night. Perusing Pinterest at night means I'm usually not disturbed and I can window shop til my hearts content. I consider it a reward. After all I was good all week, no one died on my watch, laundry was washed, dishes were done, dinner was cooked. These are all good things and deserving of a reward. And Hey! Pinterest browsing is fat free! Big bonus there.  So, I'm going on and on about this latest fad... I have several folders with A LOT of info inside them. However, I'm not just collecting information I am also trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone.  I have tried several of the recipes I have saved ( that will have to be another post) and a few of the craft idea's I've saved as well.  

Today I am going to share my experience making (sewing) a messenger bag. You can find this tutorial at .  Before you see the pictures of my messenger bag I need you to keep in mind that despite the fact I have a sewing machine, I have use it very little. When I have used it, my projects have been very basic. Curtains for my living room, my girl's room and my room. Quillo's were also made ( many years ago). If you're unfamiliar with the term quillo, it's a quilt that folds into a pillow. It's an amazing thing. Really.
Amber's instructions we pretty basic and fairly easy to follow. Any mistakes that were made were my own.  One of the bigger challenges I had was reading it straight off the computer. If there had been ink in my printer I would have printed the directions out. Also, when cutting out the material I made several mistakes and at least once had to go back to Joann's and buy more material. Learn from my mistakes people and CUT THE BIGGER PIECES OUT FIRST. You'll be happier for it, trust me.   I found that despite the fact that my scissors are really excellent, I wasn't happy with the way they cut the material. It was choppy in places. I think my scissors are better suited for cutting out actual pattern pieces. If you have the money go out and buy a rotary cutter ( I love mine- I bought it after I messed up the first cutting) and a self healing mat ( get the size you need). Also a yard stick is a beautiful thing. When used with a rotary cutter your cuts will be straighter. 
I found a pin showing someone using a pony tail holder as a guide for sewing straight lines with your machine. I gave it a try and found it worked surprisingly well.  Over all I didn't have a lot of trouble sewing the bag together. Most of my issues were I sewed too far in from the edge of  my material. Which if you sew, you know that means you have a smaller area when you're all finished. I also had some issues with the handle. Most of that was due to the fact that I'm not really comfortable with my machine and didn't know how to move the material in a way that would allow me to  sew multiple layers in order  to make it sturdier. 
Over all, I am pleased with my first try. Pleased enough that I already have material bought and cut out for my second bag. Which I hope to make before I leave on my trip next week. :) We'll see how much I get done between now and then.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your week is full of sunshine.