Sunday, August 27, 2017

August Update...and My New Mission from God

Random shot of downtown Mobile at night - police patrol on horseback! Very cool.

We also went to the Journey concert at The Wharf in Orange Beach with friends, and this is in the ladies' restroom at a cigar bar - love it!

Since Drew had a job as a waiter all summer (thank you, God), we didn't take a big vacation, but did do a deep sea fishing trip out of Orange Beach. This is Drew and his girlfriend, Camille...

and this is Camille's sad face when the guide told her she couldn't keep her triggerfish because it wasn't big enough.

I love that you can tell these are brothers, and not just by their haircuts and faces. I took them to Academy to get fishing shirts, and they chose the same style.

Here's the entire haul - yum!

Also, Lucas turned 15 and wanted to take friends to Owa, so there he is just above the camera with legs flying around. I loved that place, but wait for the trees to mature or the weather to cool off one, because it is HOT! Nobody passed out, though, and the rides rival Six Flags over Georgia.

And now, the piece de resistance! This is the Silken Straw Summer Sweater that I found yarn for last year during our Grand Canyon trip when we stopped in Flagstaff at a fiber festival. It took me 5 months to do it, but I finished it this weekend. Let's have a look...what a beautiful fabric it makes!

But a wee bit snugger than I was hoping for. Oh well, everybody on Ravelry says it grows, so I'm optimistic.

Well yessiree, they were right! Ignore the mad face, I just make that a lot now that I'm 50. I do wish it wasn't that long, but I'll make it work with better bottoms...because Lucas said it looked "bad" with these pants.

So here's the unblocked neckline, and I visited Heidi at Mobile Yarn because it said to line the neck and arms with I-cord, but I couldn't do it, so she showed me a crab stitch, which is single crochet going backwards (to the right). That finishes it neatly and keeps the opening from growing like the length does.

And here's that after blocking - what a difference!

So yeah, it perfectly matches Dean's most-hated pair of pants I own, so I'll wear these out to dinner with the ladies at some point.

And it's perfect with my CVS leggings! Now to find some leggings I can wear with it in public, since I stopped in Target tonight to get an appropriate camisole, as it is indeed see-through. And I have to be more careful with my blocking, as one side sags more than the other to the point that it looks asymmetric on purpose.

We break for an artistic potato chip dropped in the sand during Dean's birthday beach cookout at Fort McRae near Pensacola.

And these are 7 of those ugly dolls that my MIL made in 2 weeks - yes, mine took me a month, and she made 7 in 2 weeks.

Okay, if you're still here, then I'll tell you about my mission from God. I had a patient who was waiting in the hospital almost 3 months for a heart transplant, and her mom said she could use a smile. I immediately thought about Lucas's videos, but they're a little violent, so I figured we could make a happy video instead, which also would mean starting a new YouTube channel to put it on. I asked for her favorite song, and enlisted Lucas to film my office staff dancing to it (Bruno Mars 24K Magic, if you can believe that). We did it in one take with no prior planning, and only one person knew the words, so that was rough, but I was happy with our effort. The evening after we filmed it I had to drive across the Bayway to go to a work function, and I got this sudden feeling that my patient wasn't going to make it. I mean I even started crying, but then it occurred to me that other kids might be stuck in the hospital and might like to see their own doctors dancing and being silly. This whole plan unfolded over the next 30 minutes or so, and I realized we could even film dances to encourage sedentary kids to get up and dance while they're watching the videos on their phones, and the patients could even request certain songs or doctors, etc.

So that was a very weird thing, but I texted Lucas that I'd pay him extra to get the thing edited and uploaded before he went to bed so I could send it to my patient's mom that night. The next day at 10 AM, a doctor from the hospital called to tell me my patient's heart stopped, but they were working on her. That's when I knew that God put that whole plan in my head. She ended up living with the help of machines for another week before she died. And that's all I have to say about that.

So we've made 4 videos with a 5th one due out next week, and this is the biggest one so far that we filmed at the hospital. Pretty good work for a 15-year-old with an iPhone camera, I think, and his editing is superb! Feel free to share it with anybody who could use a smile.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Roundup

Yeah, maybe I'll just start doing seasonal posts, since I'm so bad at keeping up with everything. So I decided to go after that boyshort I tried a few years ago when I first attempted a swimsuit, and I forgot the puny little lining McCall's thinks will suffice. They literally tell you to lay it on either side of the inseam and sew it like this, and you're done!

This is looking down into it - they don't even have you secure the other end - I thought it would be caught in the leg hem, but nope!

So of course I opted to make a-whole-nother (that should be a word) bottom out of black lining then slide it inside and sew them together with the waistband and leg hems. Now I used my Jalie running short waistband to buy some tummy coverage, and that turned out great, but the legs...not so much. Here's my view of the left leg treated like a bikini bottom with elastic, and the right leg has the leg band from Jalie. The problem is that the boyshort is still too large at the bottom, so it looks like I'm wearing a diaper cover or something.

I don't think you can tell from here, but Lucas immediately started shaking his head and declared it looked like I was trying to wear boy's shorts....which is EXACTLY what I'm trying to do! He thought the whole look was ridiculous. Drew had already told me the elastic treatment was terrible, but he also agreed the banded leg was no better. So I guess I'll chop these back down to regular swimsuit legs and add elastic. So much for trying to hide the cellulite!

In other news, I tried my hand at gardening...

and don't you wonder what's buried under there? Lucas also said it looked like a gravesite. Amazingly, 4 of those 6 plants are still alive!

As are both of these lilies...

which actually sprouted even more blooms a week after I planted them.

And in homemade food, Lucas helped me make the "tableta" that we had in Belize, which is a bag of coconut flakes, a can of pet milk, and 2 cups of sugar, and was WAY too sweet, though tasty.

And my Mom got a homemade butter-maker that is a mason jar with a spinner that you turn for about 15 minutes till you've made butter from your cream. Don't forget to add a little salt.

And these would be the French sandwiches Lucas made for Dean on Father's Day.

Here's Robbie and me sporting our Alabama Chanin-wear into Ruby Tuesday's for lunch! Robbie's dress was beautiful - wish I caught a picture of the whole thing. And I stretched my shirt out enough to wear it with the blue AC skirt, but not one person said a thing about it at work, though I got plenty of weird looks. That always lets you know that they think it's odd and they don't know what to say. Oh well....

Let's pause for a couple of gorgeous sunsets from Fisher's in Orange Beach...

And in knitting news, here's a Little Kindness Monster I knitted for Mobile Yarn to donate to abused children.

What a cute little hat!

Lucas wanted me to leave the mouth off, because he said maybe the kid would have a bad secret to tell it, and now it's smirking when it should remain non-judgmental. Hmmm....

And FINALLY, Drew decided he needed new shirts, but clarified that he wanted to MAKE his new shirts. He figured if he's going in the military after college he needs to know how to sew, though I'm not sure who told him they'd have machines set up. Anyway, I got a Kwik Sew pattern and cut it out for him.

So this isn't too bad for his very first V-neck which we only basted, but why in the world did Kwik Sew make the band so wide? Obviously we'll go back and fix that, but he also discovered that he has to grade out at the waist since it's tight over the belly.

From the back, this looks like a folded-over collar, but it fits him well through the shoulders, so he's happy with it.

Oh, and it was my birthday yesterday, so here's a neat hair clip my sister sent me. Check out her website if you put your hair up!

We had a lovely dinner, then Dean surprised me with tickets to the Molly Ringwalds concert downtown (because this is my big 5-0 and that's an 80's band - I didn't stop dancing for 2 hours)! Can't you tell Lucas is excited to be there for the festivities?! Maybe he's sad because he didn't get to go to the concert.

Okay, what have you been up to, and what are you doing for the 4th? And yes, Robbie and I will be having another Alabama Chanin airbrush day when the weather cools off, so start collecting your fabric!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mother's Day Roundup

It's been a somewhat eventful month - we'll get to the crafting first. I finished the Alabama Chanin T-shirt embellished with daisies that I found on the internet (one daisy, and scattered them on the shirt).

Apparently I used an old pattern, or I gained weight since I haven't been running lately, or something, because this sucker is TIGHT!

I was hoping to wear it to work, despite both boys' opinions that it looks VERY homemade due to the neck and armhole stitching, and the outside knots at the center of each daisy, but for now it has to be home only.

I'm thinking of adding gussets on the sides, though, to widen it at the hips, since I have more of that T-shirt material left. I think I must've meant to use a pattern from the Craftsy Sewing with Knits class that fits nicely over the hips and that I've made 2 shirts from for work. Dangit! Don't you hate it when you're in love with something until the end and then it disappoints? Very depressing.

Here's a beautiful carved Indian elephant that a student gave me as a gift - one piece of wood and can you see the baby inside? Bet this guy wasn't depressed when he finished carving this!

And one night we came back home at night to find 3 HUGE owls sitting on a neighbors' mailbox. They took off right in front of us, then one sat glaring at us from a tree before flying away - very cool.

So here's our awesome Mother's Day weekend. We went to the beach and Drew's girlfriend joined us since she's gotten a summer job nearby. Lucas was truly thrilled to drive the boat - despite the face and non-chalant attitude.

Beautiful weather to head to Fort McRae!

Jake jumped in and out of the boat himself, despite this also being his 11th birthday, and had fun in the water.

When we got home, Drew cooked teriyaki salmon with vegetables for me.

Lucas gave me a first aid kit for my purse and a jewelry holder, but I don't have a pic of them - boo.

Jake was worn out, as expected, but apparently he also picked up something, because the next day he went out in the morning to pee and wouldn't come back in. He just lay on the porch and refused to get up all day, so I ran him up to the vet when I got home, and he had a temperature of 105! The hypothesis was near heatstroke due to arthritis flare from all the activity, but the x-rays and labs all showed he was perfectly healthy for his age. The poor baby wouldn't meet any of us at the door for a couple of days, and went about 5 days without eating his dog food. He did eat cheese wrapped around pain medicine, and is slowly getting back to normal, but it was pitiful to watch him avoid us and pant like he was running a marathon.

So he's more active today and actually ate his breakfast on his own - hooray! Now I'm off to rescue that shirt and figure out which pattern I should've used. Hope you're having a productive weekend!