Sunday, February 28, 2010

Question for the Sewists...

So Sandra Betzina is coming to Mobile for a 3-day "sewing retreat" where you pay $350 (what?) and get to pick the Vogue patterns of your choice, alter them with her help, choose your fabric and sew as many garments as you can with her. It says she has fitting tester garments or something suggesting you try on things to see what you need to alter. Now I'd say WOW, but it starts at 2 PM every day and goes "until???" which I guess means you leave when you get tired or the store closes.

Has anybody ever been to one of these? I can't imagine why it costs so much (other than you're getting Sandra Betzina's help, hello!), so I'm thinking about going but I don't want to waste my time or money if it's just a lecture. Plus I'll have to arrange for childcare after school. Plus I may miss dinner with the family.

There's also a "trunk show" where she shows you stuff she made. Huh...don't know what I'd learn from that but it's only $30! Sign me up! Seriously, I'd appreciate your thoughts and feelings on courses like these you may have been to in the past.

Productive Saturday!

Okay, first I got a shirt done in about 3 hours last night, which is great for me. I'll review it shortly at, but I've got a lot to do today first.

Next,and more importantly, this was the funniest thing on Saturday Night Live last night. These ESPN skits are always sponsored by a feminine hygiene product and the stuff they come up with is hilarious. After the "crouton" comment, Dean had to get up and leave because he was laughing so hard. We haven't had good belly laughs like that since we watched The Hangover. But if you don't find humor in feminine hygiene jokes, please do NOT watch this...consider yourself warned.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Just a Spaz

I was trying to find the clip from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest where Jack Nicholson shuffles in drooling to the group meeting after having his first shock therapy, then smiles and tells everybody he's just joking - that would've been a great intro today, "ya' mental deficients!" (I couldn't find the quote on the web and that's all I remember.)

So it's a muscle spasm in my neck, and the tingly fingers are leftover from sleeping with my arms over my head and stretching out those nerves. Have you ever gone to sleep like that, and when you wake up your arms are just dead - you can only fling them around by the shoulder and they're totally numb? It's kind of fun, but apparently leaves a little nerve damage after a while. Just for completeness, I'm having an MRI in a couple of weeks to be sure there's no impending paralysis, drooling, or uncontrollable flatulence. (But if it's normal, how do you explain the flatulence, doctor?)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


See, I NEED a brain transplant - that doctor's appointment is tomorrow, not today. That was a hair appointment I had this afternoon. Highlight and trim...nerve conduction studies...same difference, really. Maybe the chemicals on my head are the problem, but I'm originally blonde anyway. It's a congenital defect in my case.

I did at least get my Burda shirt pattern cut out and tissue-fitted, but now I've got to read the reviews again - seems there was something no one liked about the facings. I think Deepika (the sewing website guru) said, "nothing says homemade like facings."

And if I'm going to be limping around drooling I CERTAINLY don't want my clothes to look homemade!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Pain in the Neck

Oh people, I've had what I'd call a crick in my neck for several weeks, coming and going, but for the past 2 weeks it's been my constant companion. But here's the ticky part: it was really bad while we were skiing, to the point I had to work with the pillow to get any sleep, and Sunday both hands and the bottoms of my feet went numb. The hand numbness has stayed - just kind of a tingly asleep-feeling, but it a tumor? (It's not a tumah! I can italicize but I can't give it an Austrian accent.)

Dean's differential diagnosis includes a disc problem and something called "spinal stenosis." Ooh, that sounds progressive and debilitating. I'm picturing eventually dragging my leg behind me as I limp around drooling. (The bells! The bells! - with a French accent.) Will I eventually have to type this blog with my feet...if they even have any feeling in them? Can uncontrollable flatulence be far behind? (It never really IS far behind, is it?)

I've started ibuprofen to help any inflammation, but what if surgery is down the road? Will I have a scar on the back of my neck? Hey, I can tell the kids I'm not really their mother - they've seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers and would totally believe it. Maybe we should watch The Stepford Wives to really set it up! (I thought we were friends....I thought we were friends...) Oh, even better - "Boys, Mommy got a brain transplant - no more Mad Cow!"

Well, the neurology appointment's tomorrow afternoon - I'll see which angle we'll take then. Meanwhile, I better get started on that shirt I was going to make - you never know when you'll lose the use of your arms...thank goodness I've got one-touch sewing - I can run it with my feet! (The seams may be a little crooked...)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Would You Believe....?

Well, just a little more pain and suffering from Delta. The plane left an hour late from Steamboat, so we had to do an OJ through the airport to catch the second flight. (No, we didn't kill anyone, we just had to run like the wind.) And I had a little scene with Omar the flight attendant, but since my name is not in the newspaper today I am not EVEN going there. Let's just say a letter to Delta management is being drafted. We enjoyed a lovely Vietnamese dinner in Pensacola on arrival, then had an uneventful drive home. The kids were dead on their feet so I told them to get straight in bed.

Then Lucas drops the bomb: neither gerbil is in the cage. F***!!!!!!! (Quick, give me a Thin Mint!) Then I notice that there is debris all over the floor....all over the house....they've run under every piece of furniture and trailed dust bunnies everywhere, along with other, uh, stuff. They're singing that great Johnny Cash song, "I Been Everywhere."

"I've been to Drew's room, Lucas's closet, your pantry, the kitchen, your closet, the laundry room, oh, I BEEN EVERYWHERE, MAN!" (It's an awesome song if you don't know it - used now in a rental car commercial I believe.)

Our heads are spinning Exorcist-style - it's 10:30 PM on Sunday - how can this be happening? We do a methodical sweep through the house. Drew's room is quickly searched, vacuumed, and doors are shut - good night! Scream if something crawls up next to you on the pillow, sweetie. Lucas's room is next, but while he brushes his teeth I hear sobbing. He's spotted a large pile of debris behind the toilet and apparently thinks it's a carcass of his beloved pet. Turns out they dragged a red crayon in there to hold hostage, and since no ransom was forthcoming they devoured it....which explains the red poo....which is very helpful when vacuuming on dark carpets...but I digress.

After an hour of searching, Dean the gerbil-whisperer finds both of them and miraculously doesn't kill them on sight. They (heretofore known as Criss Angel & David Blaine) are deposited back into their cage, and everyone has a peaceful sleep...after Cloroxing & vacuuming.

I'm mostly pissed because they jumped in the laundry basket with 4 yards of clearance fabric that I was planning to use for thermal tops and chewed their way to oblivion - gerbil bastards! Now to whom can I write a letter....?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Not-So-Perfect Ending

Delta bastards! We got to the airport early and noticed some flights were circling first before landing because visibility was poor, so several were delayed by 30 minutes to an hour. We're about 10 minutes from boarding time when they announce our flight is circling waiting to land. Other planes are loading up and taking off. Then my phone rings with an Orbitz alert that the flight is cancelled. Are they crazy? Delta's announcing it should be here shortly. Fifteen minutes later they tell us the plane went back to Salt Lake City - flight's cancelled. Meanwhile Continental and United are landing and taking off willy-nilly! Only 1 other flight diverts from Minneapolis.

And guess what - there aren't any more Delta flights till tomorrow afternoon. And they won't give us hotel or food vouchers since it was weather-related. Some passengers got quite vocal about why the other airlines were still flying, but I just quietly told the kids that Delta sucks and never to fly them as adults. Lucas had a few things to add: "If I was the president I would shut Delta down! Because of Delta we're living like homeless people!" (This was after sitting in the floor waiting on luggage for 30 minutes - he's obviously quite dramatic.)

Thank Heaven for entrepreneurial Girl Scouts selling cookies in the airport. Though really, was that a good idea to expose little girls to angry passengers? "My flight got cancelled - give me a box of F***ing Samoas!"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Snowmobiling Anyone?

Look at this snow - it's been snowing every day since we got here. Here's a shot of the snowmobiles lined up at our viewpoint of the Continental Divide - hey, I've heard of that place.

And this company was cool because they let the kids drive in an open meadow - yikes! This is Lucas, who turned out to be a speed demon and nearly threw his mother off the back of the thing with a sudden acceleration. Drew was more conservative with his driving and even deferred the second time - takes after his mother.

One awkward moment on the way there - we were in the shuttle with a talkative couple who wanted to know where we were from, then the man said he'd been to every state except 3, and Alabama was one. He didn't feel the need to go there since so many Alabamians still remembered "the recent unpleasantness." I was thinking, "Lord, why would he bring something awful up in front of the kids?" Dean and I clam up and he says that he's referring to the Civil War - huh? Luckily a woman from Georgia was there to jump in and talk about how she's still considered a Yankee. People are odd....hey, tell me where you're from and I'll think of something ugly to say about it.

And one amazing thing - Drew was in ski school the last day with a 10-year-old boy from....Alabama.....Mobile actually....who goes to the same school! What are the chances???

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Accident-Free - Ignore the Bruise!

Another great day of skiing - snow's coming down in buckets! If you don't tuck your hair in it ices up, I've discovered. I also took a self-portrait while Dean and Drew did a run, and dang at that bruise in the center of my forehead! It looks like I slammed headfirst into a tree - nice!

The funniest thing today was when we were coming down a nice green run and I hear this screaming kid behind me. "Aaaaaaaaagh! Aaaaaagh! Aaaaaagh!" He comes around and I see that he's about 4 or 5 and is holding onto his mom's ski pole while she barrels as fast as she can down the trail. I'm thinking that if they crash it won't be pretty, but she ain't slowing down. They pass Drew and Dean and the kid lets go of the ski pole once, but she yells at him and he grabs it again - screaming the whole time.

My possibilities were that he was having an accident and she was trying to get him to a potty, or possibly her husband was dying at the base and she needed to hear his last words. Dean said he thought he heard the kid say, "But you're not my mommy!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sledding Fun

Oh, they love the sleds! And being my children, they had to pose for a picture in crash positions. We also went tubing last night - may try to post some video here later. Another day of no falls - woohoo! Could it be that the YMCA workouts really did help? On the other hand, my heart rate after breakfast was 120 bpm. Maybe that was due to altitude, dehydration, or pulling on both knee braces then wiggling into the ridiculously tight ski bib.

Lucas has learned to ride the lift now, so we had one nice family run down some greens before I bailed out. They wanted to do a much longer run, but in the afternoon my legs are whipped, so they dropped boring mom off at the condo and went in search of adventure with dad. My type of adventure on the slopes usually involves the Ski Patrol, and we'll have none of that this year!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Orleans Mardi Gras

Well, this is what happens when you walk around the French Quarter the weekend before Mardi Gras - you find Elvis(es)! There were also scantily-clad dancing women posing for pictures, but I wasn't so interested in that. We had lots of fun and ate some good food, then had a wonderful time at Endymion.

This is my lovely neighbor Ann whose husband rode with Dean on the float. As you can see, my drape was a nonissue because of the beads, but the bodice also appears to be a nonissue, since it looks like I'm not WEARING anything under the beads - I would've enjoyed a little more coverage (as would the rest of the crowd, I'm sure).

Now I have to qualify that "wonderful time" a bit. They throw mighty big beads in New Orleans, and if you don't keep up a defensive stance, you'll get pegged. Which is what happened to my forehead with a BAG of huge beads. You can see 3 lumps if you look hard, and I later found more on my left temple and the top of my head. The odd discoloration is due to an icepack I guess, but luckily the mascara didn't run - hell YES, I cried. And I wasn't the only one: Ann suffered an eyebrow gash that bled, Dominique suffered a lip abrasion, Joanne thought she broke her finger, the list goes on and on. Somebody lined us all up for a picture, but between the concussion and the champagne I can't remember who.

For Me????

A HUGE thank-you to Katie for giving me this award - she has a fabulous blog that inspires me and intimidates me at the same time. The women I've met through are prolific sewists who routinely whip things up overnight.

I believe with this award I list 7 little known facts about myself and nominate 7 more blogs for an award, so here goes:
1) I worked as a morgue attendant in medical school. I did the night shift, & have a ton of stories, but you really don't want to hear them.
2) I met my husband in medical school - we were anatomy lab partners. Who knew that pulling all-nighters (uh, that's studying all night, lest you worry) with the smell of formaldehyde in the air could lead to love?
3) My brother and I were walking with my dad one day when I was about 9 or so, and an old man stopped to tell my dad what fine-looking boys he had there! My dad said thanks and we went on. I asked why he didn't correct the man, and he said, "Aw, Lynn, he was old. He can't see." I grew up thinking I looked like a boy.
4) I think that "funny" is more interesting than "beautiful" (see #3) so I'll always go for the laugh. My motto has been, "if you can't be sexy, make 'em laugh."
5) I love working with kids because they'll usually cut up with me, even if their parents won't.
6) I enjoy skiing even though I'm scared to death of getting hurt, so I'm very proud not to have fallen today. Three MCL knee sprains will do that to ya'.
7) I could spend all day reading people's blogs, but I don't have enough time, so I can only list a few of my favorites:

1) My friend from Pensacola started blogging and that inspired me. is now defunct because she's so busy, but you should just start from the beginning because it's so funny - this selection is one of my favorites!
2) Two On Two Off is awesomeness from Alaska, and Dawn even poses in her new creations in the snow.
3) Living Stones is by a high school friend of mine who's a teacher with 5 children. When I feel overwhelmed I check out her blog to remind myself what being busy is really like!
4) Resolved to Worship is also amazing - I think she has 7 children and is a professional photographer. You just need to scroll through the pictures - stunning!
5) I love Katie's blog, but I guess that's illegal giving her an award she gave me - sorry!

That's it, off to go tubing with the boys!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Lord IS My Seamstress!!!

Well I know you're sick of hearing about the dress, but I had to sew the zipper seam up completely because I had left a tiny spot open wondering how to get rid of the pucker. So I decided last night to use the iron and finish the dang thing, but I needed to remove some basting I put in first. So I rip some stitches out then unzip it to get to the inside seam, guessed it, the zipper pull came right off! Yes, I cut off the bottom of that zipper but I had some stitching that was stopping the zipper pull, only I didn't realize it was the stitching I ripped out.

It was a humbling moment. My first thought was, "Not again!" My next thought was that God did not want me to wear that dress. But something said maybe this is how to solve the dang pucker problem without ripping out a whole seam. I tried for a few minutes to get the pull back on the teeth with no success. Then I was nearing desperation and I figured I'd throw it under the machine and finish the seam up while the zipper was undone.

I did this, and what do you know - that pucker is so much better now! Then I tried about 5 minutes and got that zipper pull threaded right back on the teeth, and hand-stitched the rest of the seam closed. SUCCESS! That dress is now ready for wearing. So the lesson is if God gives you lemons, then maybe you should get some sugar and a pitcher and get busy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Something Funny Happened at the Red Light...

On Sunday we were stopped at a red light at the busiest intersection in Alabama (according to a study a few years back), and I noticed a man in an empty parking lot wrapping a chain around his front bumper. It was partially torn off the front of his van, and I assumed he was securing it so he could drive. I was thinking how he looked like Santa Claus with his big belly and long white beard, then I noticed that his belly was hanging out substantially from under his shirt - yuck. Then he turned around and I noticed his pants were riding quite low - crackalackingly low. By then the kids had noticed him, and he got in the van to drive off. Surprisingly, he took off in reverse quite forcefully, and we noticed that the chain was in fact tied from his bumper to a large metal pole holding up a billboard. Hmmm, what a novel approach to ridding one's vehicle of an unwanted accessory!

This forceful reverse doesn't have the desired effect on the wonky bumper, so he gets out again and proceeds to bend over the bumper, mooning the whole intersection (have I mentioned there are 5 lanes just in my quadrant of the intersection, all staring at him now). This is when the car erupts into cries of "Do you have a camera?" and "Get your phone! Where's your phone?" Drew and I simultaneously reached for the phone to record the moment (for posterity), but the light turned green, so I don't have anything to post.

I wonder if you can win money on America's Funniest Home Videos if it's not actually a video of your own family...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Seventh Grade Assignments

When I was in the 7th or 8th grade, we had a big assignment to write a "magazine" with an advertisement, movie or book review, fashion review, etc. Well Drew's class had to write an "argument" about the topic of their choice. The majority of kids picked abortion to write about. (I didn't know what abortion was in the 7th grade - I had just learned about French kissing...and from a classmate's experience, certainly not my own!)

Drew chose gambling. I feel sure he picked that topic because we bought Lotto tickets a couple of weekends ago while in Florida, and gambling is illegal in Alabama. One of his friends picked age discrimination. At dinner Drew was telling about the age discrimination argument:

Drew: "So you may have this kid with great ideas of how to make money for your company, but you're not gonna hire him because he's too young. And you may have this old guy who's made MILLIONS of dollars for your company, but you're gonna fire him because he's so old."
Lucas (7 years old): "Man, that's just WRONG!"

Dean and I nearly do spit-takes here at the conversation our boys are so wrapped up in, but I guess it beats a debate on which Spongebob character is the funniest.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mobile Mardi Gras

Holy moly - this is the most loot we've gotten at a Mobile parade! Granted this was 3 different parades in the space of 1 hour, compared to Endymion in New Orleans which is 1 parade lasting upwards of 3 hours. But last year we had floats zooming by us with only a couple of riders hanging on and nothing being thrown. Drew said this year maybe they'd have Nascar pulling the floats.

And we finally figured out what the colorful tubes of paper are that they throw. You break off each color and blow through it and out fly beautiful streamers - so fun to cover your brother fun to clean up later.

Next weekend - New Orleans Mardi Gras and the wearing of the homemade dress - cross your fingers...

He Won't Even Make Eye Contact

Oh, poor Jakey didn't like being boarded last weekend when we were out of town. He was so depressed that we let him sleep in our room to make him feel special (he usually sleeps in the laundry room to give our clothes that doggie-fresh scent), but from this picture I'd say the depression is still hanging on. And it doesn't help that our ski trip is coming up with more kennel-time for him - poor baby! We may have to call in the Dog Whisperer...oh, no, that guy would just yank him around on his leash and tell him in a harsh tone to snap out of it. Maybe some doggie-Prozac instead!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Christmas Router

So after Christmas a couple asked me to pass along a gift to my mom and stepdad. Mom and Jim take off the wrapping paper, and it's a computer router. All our mouths fall open - I'm thinking, "What an unusual gift." My mom & Jim gape at each other and she exclaims, "How did they know we needed a router??? Did you TELL them? You sneaky thing, you must've told them! We were just talking about buying a new router!"

Dean and I gape at each other and say, "Uh, no, uh, we didn't know you needed a router." And we're thinking how savvy this couple is to buy someone a router for Christmas! Who knew they were so into computers?

Then it slowly dawns on me - they haven't opened the box yet. I think everybody's unwrapped a present and thought, "THIS is my gift?" Only to find out that's not what's really inside. So I suggest that they open the box, and then it dawns on them that maybe this is not really a router...and sure enough, it's a beautiful Christmas sweater!

Thank heavens my mom didn't listen to me a few minutes earlier when I said, "You know, I think a router deserves a thank-you phone call instead of a note." Imagine how awkward THAT call would've been!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ding-Dong, the Dress is Done!

Finally! All that's left is sewing in the nametag - I've given up on that damn zipper pucker (at the bottom of the zipper if you look hard, but between the psychedelic pattern on this thing and the general debauchery of Mardi Gras, I don't think it'll be noticed).

Couple of comments from the family: Dean said it looked like I got up from the table with my napkin - haha! He's right - this drape doesn't drape, but it may come in handy for spills. It mainly serves as a focal point to draw your eye away from the incredible wideness of the hips. When I asked him to take a picture of the back, he said, "Let me see if this has a wide-angle setting." The boys got a hoot out of that one.

So I may take the drape off....I'm debating. Oh, and I didn't flex my muscles in the picture - I didn't want my pecs to be embarrassed by my deltoids.