Thursday, September 29, 2005

Having a Fit

In dressmaking, a fit is also known as a fitting. I've been attempting to fit myself with the dress I am working on, which for most aspects is okay (but not ideal-Mom usually helps me with fitting issues, but she is away at present!). I only have trouble with back adjustments, hemming and now in the shoulder over which I am just about ready to have a geniune fit, as in hissy. I have no idea what has happened, in the mock-ups the shoulder was never an issue and now all of a sudden I have this diagonal wrinkle indicating stress at the shoulder. I've tried resetting the sleeves. No change. I've since taken out the shoulder seams, but that didn't seem to make a difference either. Now I suspect the collar is creating the strain, which is what I feared and now I dread re-doing. I have clipped the seam allowances to 1/4 inch already, which will make reconstruction a challenge, but I've got to get this right. The wedding is Saturday, and I pretty much lose tomorrow since I'm going with friends to see Coldplay in Virginia. I don't like the other options in my closet, and I'm getting down to the wire here.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Opinion poll attn: Paul, Astrid, Inge, MK, Mom, and other comment makers

To those of you who actually post comments, how do you like Haloscan as opposed to Blogger comments? I'm torn myself, there are pros and cons which are about equal so if I get some response to this query, it may sway my decision.
My favoritist thing about Blogger was the free email notification of new comments, this is especially handy if someone responds to an old post where I am unlikely to check, Haloscan provides this feature for $...I don't wanna pay for it, but Haloscan has better spam blockers....hmmm

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My day "off"

Today, Saturday, I got so much done! I think I'm getting better at having time to myself. I started the day early 7ish am, so I could cram in a lot of stuff on this my day "off" (of mothering, that is). I made sure to begin right with reading all of Colosians, since that was last week's homework assignment for my new bible study, then I planned the meal I will be serving to some new friends tomorrow evening. After breakfast I had errands: video store, to return Star Wars IV again; fabric store for notions and thread for the fabulous dress I am working on; hair cut (not so happy about this, but it will grow back); supermarket and finally the liquor store. I needed bourbon (which I learned is whiskey, bourbon sounds much more sophisticated) for a pumpkin cheese cake recipe. I got carded again...must have been the bad haircut. After putting the grocercies away, I was off to the park to walk a couple miles, then came back home, had some lunch and set to work on my fabulous dress.

I have designed this dress based on shirt and skirt patterns that I had developed in my patternmaking class last spring. The motivation for getting this project completed is to be able to wear it to my friend's wedding on October 1...which is fast approaching. It is a simply elegant claret silk dupioni wrap dress with 3/4 sleeves and A-line knee-length skirt. The skirt sports a little surprise interest in back with three on-seam godets. I founds some sparkly rhinestone buttons which I will most likely use at the front closure, unless I find a brooche or something better. I've been "in the zone" on this dress, and it feels really good to be sewing something beautiful.

At 5pm the kids came home from being with M (their father) and I was "on" duty again. L has been sick and the boys were exausted (which means easily prone to melt-down) so I distracted them with videos while I made bannana muffins and sausage for dinner. (I was going to make pancakes, but decided muffins wouldn't make them all sticky on the couch.) In the middle of my mixing and baking, L got really sick- more vomitting all over herself and me. So I repeated the bath, change clothes and all vomitous items into the laundry drill from the other day, and then finished making dinner. Promptly after L finished eating, I popped her into bed, let the boys finish their movie while I baked homegrown pumpkins for the cheesecake. The cheesecake is cooling now, and between it and the muffins, my house smells delicious.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Someone must be praying extra for me today...

This day started with disaster written all over it. We all overslept, and I was awakened by the phone ringing (usually a mood buster). It was my mom on the phone calling to say she couldn't help watch prettiness this morning for couple hours while I taught the boys their lessons, because she was feeling ill. We had just made this arrangement for Thursdays, just to give me a little more uninterrupted teaching time, so I being still groggy, hadn't even remembered about it. As I started to wake up a little it did begin to bum me out a bit. It has been especially difficult to get in the groove of teaching again since our foiled vacation plans last week. Anyway, I got over it, but the children had their own funky mood today which compounded matters. D did not want to do his math lesson, or phonics for that matter, and K was getting so frustrated over his reading, the boy needs to be more patient with himself. Meanwhile L didn't want to get off my lap and insisted she have the linking cubes (math manipulative that D was supposed to be using) or was grabbing at my book. Flustered with her beligerance, I finally put her in her room and closed the door. Two seconds later she comes out (she can open doors now, don't know what I was thinking) and proceeds to throw up on the living room floor. At this I decide it's time for the boys to go have some outdoor play while I clean up barf.

Outside L seems totally fine, collecting feathers and stones while I play soccer with D and K. It was the perfect day, warm September sun, crisp leaves gently floating down on soft breezes. We kicked the ball around until it was lunchtime and things seemed to be calming down. L actually ate most of her lunch, D and K ate all of theirs! (my kids aren't big eaters, yet) But, she seemed extremely sleepy so I put her down for a nap right after lunch. After sleeping about 45 minutes she woke crying (not normal behavior) so I go in and she starts throwing up all over me and herself. Poor thing. I give her a bath, change my clothes, strip the crib and start some laundry. I was planning on using her nap time to finish our lessons, but that just didn't happen, she didn't go back to sleep. So, we watched a little bit more of the specail edition Star Wars DVD we rented and then played outside some more. L wanted pizza for dinner, so I indulged her with a homemade mushroom (and pepperoni for K and I, plain cheese for D) pizza. She ate well and then looked so tired I put her right to bed again. After dinner I took the boys outside, made a fire in the chiminea and we roasted (or is it toasted?) marshmallows until it got dark. For bedtime reading we read our history lesson, about the pyramids, so we wouldn't be so behind tomorrow. It was a perfect evening.

Several times today I had the thought "this is a perfect day" and then remembered how the morning went and the afternoon, and still despite those unplanned events, it was still a really good day. I guess it's all about frame of mind, a couple weeks ago this sort of day would have undone me.
Thank you, Lord.

I'm thinking about my doorbell...

White Stripes sings My Doorbell, which is very catchy, and actually had me thinking about my doorbell. I bought a little (cheap) one from Lowes that simply sticks to the outside of my house and through the magic of radio signals rings on a receiver plugged into an electical outlet inside my house. I thought the concept was brilliant because it required absolutely no wiring, meaning I could do this myself. (I like to do things myself, by the way.) The only problem is that this stupid doorbell likes to ring whenever it pleases...sometimes when pushed, sometimes not, or perhaps it just takes awhile to get the signal because often, on days I have visitors, it will ring much later, waking me in the middle of the night.

*Please also note I've switched to Haloscan for my comments here...Blogger was letting in a lot of icky spam.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Well, at least we had two nice days on the beach before we had to evacuate. This is Prettiness (in pink) and her cousin (in aqua) enjoying the squishy sand.

Friday, September 16, 2005


My vacation at Holden Beach, N.C. was cut short because of Ophelia. On Tuesday morning as my sister and I were heading out to buy some toys and games and return some videos, a man walked up to us with a paper in his hand: a mandatory order from the mayor to evacuate the island. They would be closing the bridge at 6pm and after that there would be no getting off or on the island. We had suspected this might happen after watching the weather reports over the weekend, but we kept praying Ophelia would stay out at sea. We packed up our belongings, all of them, and decided to go inland to Lumberton and stay at a hotel in hopes that the bridge may reopen the next day. The town officials had their meeting and decided to keep it closed for another day. After stalling as long as we could at the hotel and then at the public library (we tried a museum, but it was closed due to the inclement weather--it was only raining in Lumberton) we all decided to part ways and head back to our respective homes. Yesterday they reopened the bridge, and Holden Beach did suffer some minor flooding and strong winds, nothing serious, but it was too late to drive back...eight hours in the car with three children is not something you want to do four times in one week.

The local news stations in Lumberton thought it was big news that vacationers and residents of Holden Beach were coming there to wait it out. Channel 13 interviewed several of my family members and filmed me retrieving diapers from the car in the rain. Shortly after their crew left, channel 5 showed up asking if they could do the same... we declined. Five minutes of fame in a day is plenty for this family.We didn't stay in Lumberton long enough to see the report, but my sister told me yesterday she did find it here online.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

natural disaster

I don't write about politics here, or national or current events, mainly because that is not the point of this blog, however, I have been going back and forth whether or not I should say anything about the devastation brought about by hurricane Katrina. Everybody's talking about it. What is left to say?

Only this, I am sad, so sad for all those who are grieving their lost and dead relatives and friends, for those who have lost everything they have ever known in this life, for those who are orphaned, injured, ill or dying because of the damage of this event, and for the havoc this will wreak on the ecosystems, water supply and farming in the south. May God be glorified in the midst of the suffering which we know causes us to depend on Him. May God bring healing and peace to the survivors and their families. May God provide His people with the mercy and means to help our neighbors in their time of need.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Goodbye Jeanine

In about ten days my mother's second book will be on the shelves. It is titled Goodbye Jeanine: A mother's faith journey after her daughter's suicide. Buy it, read it. There is none like it yet available.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Sunday, August 21, 2005
At the airport:
I reached the check in counter and presented the man behind the desk with my driver's licence and passport. "I'm sorry," said the man, "but your passport is not valid."

WHAT?!! My heart began pumping so fast I'm sure he heard my panic. The man calmly pointed to a small portion on the passport below a blue line which read : Passport not valid unless signed.

Oh, duh. I dug out my pen and signed it. Phew, that was close. I was also a little nervous about the weight of my luggage, but that also seemed to be okay. Double phew! So now I sit on the first and easiest stint of the trip, Baltimore to Atlanta, after that it gets a little more complicated.

Not even halfway there yet. but on my way to Tokyo! Food has been okay in flight, and there have been several movie selections.

Monday, August 22
Now in here in Tokyo, at the Haneda airport. I arrived at Narita airport and made it through immigration and customs just fine. "Do you have anything to decware?" the customs officer asked me. I stifled my impulse to giggle, "No," I replied. Then I was on my way to buy my bus ticket for 300yen at "Friendly Limosine" to ride another for an hour to the Haneda airport. I'm waiting now for the last stint of this trip, Haneda to Misawa a one hour flight! Going on 25 hours without sleep. I felt dizzy like I was going to fall over waiting in line at customs. I found it entirely difficult to sleep on the plane, perhaps only got about an hour or hour and a half, but not consecutive.

As I landed at the Misawa airport, I was greeted by all 7 of my brother's family waving. I waved back. Later that night they told me they saw me waving too.

Went to bed early and had really surreal dreams where I was I was back home and very disappointed my traveling was all for naught. I was running around yelling, "What is real?!" I was relieved to awake and realize it was just a dream.

The rest of the trip I will tell in pictures, enjoy!

(please pardon the shifting of verb tenses, I was copying most of this from my travel journal)

Tues, Aug 23 The farmers market in Misawa.

"No touchy peaches," scolded the little old woman to my nephew on a previous visit. Look how carefully each one is individually wrapped.

Tues, Aug 24 Across from kimono vendor was this magnifcent display of authentic Samuri armor.

Isabelle eats squid at the sushi place. I ate a squid too, not bad tasting, but a bit too rubbery for my preference. My favorite was the eel (I'm not certain it was eel, but after describing it to someone who knows their sushi, he seemed certain. Anyway it was yummy whatever it was.)

The pink sushi restaurant. (out of order, this was on Wed, Aug 24)

Tues, Aug 24 Kimono and obi from back.

Tues, Aug 24 My kimono, a gift from John and Susan.

Tues, Aug 24 The whole clan, minus Sam who was sleeping in the carseat.

Tues, Aug 24 The birthday boy, William! It was at his request that we go to the beach on his birthday.

Tues, Aug 23 Isabelle at the "other" Miss Veedol's beach.

Tues, Aug 23 Abbey poses by the Mexican restaurant on base, we ate dinner here for Williams 6th birthday.

Wed, Aug 24 Isabelle (and the others) give me a tour of Tonami Clan Memorial Tourist Village. It is sort of like a Japanese version of Jamestown.

Wed, Aug 24 Samuri room

Fri, Aug 26 After Susan takes me to the Cake House for milk tea and chocolate cake, the whole family takes me to the "Sumo Noodle House" for dinner. I think these noodles are called "udon".

Sat, Aug 27 A stop for bento boxes for lunch, Abbey and Laura pose by the bay.

Sat, Aug 27 Isabelle at the Snow Monkey/ Wild Pig park.

Sun, Aug 28 My nieces had lots of fun doing my hair each day. This is one of Laura's creations.

Mon, Aug 29 A brief stop at the fish market, to buy rice balls and just have look around.

These put Maryland's crabs to shame.

Mon, Aug 29 mmm, Octopus!

Mon, Aug 29 A gallery displaying local artist's wares in the mall at Hachinohe.

John, Isabelle and William

Tues, Aug 30 A trip to the Oirasi Gorge with my brother, Isabelle and William.

Tues, Aug 30

Tues, Aug 30 This was my last day in Japan.

Wed, Aug 31
A very long day. I was wakened in the night by another earthquake (my second on this trip, and ever), but it wasn't severe, I just felt the bed shaking for a couple minutes.
The trip home went very smoothly, basically I just did the same things in reverse order. My luggage was searched at the Narita airport in Tokyo. I was pulled aside where a tiny Japanese woman very carefully rifled through my belongings with gloved hands. She seemed more embarrassed than I when my underwear and bras started falling onto the floor. (I had that suitcase crammed full). Afterward she said smiling, "You have a lot of souvenirs." I had to claim my bag in Atlanta for customs where my suitcase was one of the last ones off the plane. I almost fell asleep standing up waiting for it. I was more uncomfortable on the plane this time, and the movies weren't as good. The upside however, was that I finished reading Harry Potter AndThe Half-Blood Prince and that was thoroughly satisfying, but now I'm itching to read book 7. I hope I don't have to wait another two years.

My boys were excited to have me back, and quite clingy and affectionate (that was nice), Prettiness on the otherhand, took a while to warm up to me again. She had really bonded with her Oma.

Now I'm trying to get reaclimated to my environment and get over this jet lag, which has sort of screwed up my daily biorythms.