Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where'd June Go?

Holy Cow - I can't believe June is almost over!  It's time to pick strawberries here in Minnesota, so after work today, the English Major and I picked 15 lbs. of them.  Yum!  I'll be making strawberry bread, strawberry jam, and enjoying as many fresh strawberries as I can before I need to freeze some.  

Now that July is looming, the sign-up sheet to work the county fair booth has gone around at work, and has reminded me of last year's NOTE TO SELF to get some tatting entered in the fair.  Last year, there was not one tatted item entered.  As Wanda (tattrldy) said last year, if nothing else I could be preventing tatting classes from being eliminated from the fair altogether. I am going to enter what I can - a doily, a bookmark, and hopefully I can get an edging on something QUICK! (I'm a slow tatter - any suggestions?)   Actually I have a month - but with grad parties, a wedding, sewing projects and the veggie and flower gardens that have an over-abundance of weeds, I will have to get myself organized.  (Not to mention, I do have a full-time job that interferes with these things.)  I have two doilies to post and get some opinions on which one to enter - just have a little to go to finish them and get them blocked first!

And, my 9-patch project is moving along nicely.  In order to keep up with the goal of one 9-patch block per day, I've been doing several at a time because I KNOW I won't get to it every single day.  I am ahead on that project for the moment - I have 42 blocks done and only need 23 as of today.  We'll see how long I can stay ahead.  This scrappy project is giving me thoughts of attempting a crazy quilt with tatted embellishments.  Just a thought at the moment, but on my list of things to do someday.

On with enjoying our short-lived summer here in Minnesota - Art festivals & baseball!  

Monday, June 7, 2010

The 9-Patch Project

I noticed a little summer quilting project at Rosebud's Cottage.  Starting June 1st, make one 9-patch block per day until mid-August, and end up with a quilt at the end of the summer.  Now this sounds like a great way to use up all those scraps I keep collecting!  Not only that, but I think that even I can keep up with 9-patch blocks.  No pressure - one a day or play catch up when necessary.  The original project instructions are here if anyone else is interested in an easy summer project.  There will be simple sashing and setting instructions later in the summer.

OK, so it's June 7th.  I whipped up 5 blocks after supper tonite, so tomorrow night I can catch up the other 3.  My plan is to use up scraps and not try to match every little piece.  This is very hard for me - it seems like I want everything to be just-so, and I'm not even thinking about it until I catch myself doing it.  This will be my first unplanned, scrappy quilt.  Very scrappy!  I hope it's not ugly when I'm done.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Wild Child and the Social Butterfly

No crafting here - just some "Mom" ponderings about being terrified and helpless when your child is in another country facing machine guns, as well as being proud of the blossoming taking place!

I used to call my youngest the "Wild Child".  She was a little maniac when she was little - dirt just jumped onto her, and I worried about her climbing the street sign on the corner before the school bus arrived.  She was always, however, pretty shy around anyone but us - not very outgoing, and pretty much afraid of every living being.  Even 3-day old puppies.

My oldest was always Ms. Social Butterfly.  This child could play on the same swingset as everyone else, and end up being the only one with clean clothes.  She always had to be with friends, at a friend's, or have friends over.  Always ready for a gathering, and always wanted to bring friends with no matter where we were going. This girl got the outgoing personality trait.

We always wonder what our children will "grow up to be" when they are little.  I remember cringing when the Wild Child would answer me when I asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  "I want to be a daycayo pwovido just like you!".  [I was a daycare provider for several years, and really encouraged her to choose a different career.]  The Social Butterfly changed careers a few times over the years - teacher, veterinarian, nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, forensic scientist, researcher, nurse again. 

They have blossomed into beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, strong young women.  The Wild Child is now the English Major, and the Social Butterfly is now my Uptown Girl and has decided, after 6 years, to go back to school to be a . . . Legal Assistant.  I'm very, very happy to see her so determined to do something.  I think she has been waiting to figure out just the right thing for her, and now she finally has a goal.

The Wild Child/English Major is currently in the Dominican Republic on a 5 week student volunteer trip.  [She started a blog before she left, not knowing if she would be able to share her experiences as they happened.  She barely has had connection at all, so maybe she'll transfer her journal at a later time when she's home again.]  She left on Mother's Day, and spent the first week going to a school for Spanish immersion - language, cooking, and dancing.  She lived with a local family there, so she got a good look at the daily culture.  She then spent two weeks at a ranch in a remote area, living in barracks and walking to a nearby village to teach English, Math and Health subjects to children mostly aged 8-12.  They also worked on construction of an annex to the tiny school.  She witnessed some very, very poor conditions. It seemed a little intimidating to think my baby was taking anti-malaria pills and sleeping under a mosquito net.  Then I thought tarantulas were intimidating, until she got stung by a jellyfish!  

After the 2 weeks of volunteer work, the students have been enjoying some adventure travel. I thought they wouldn't need to worry about 'critters' or danger anymore.  Ha ha! The thought of spelunking (dropping down a hole into a cave system, and then swimming through areas when necessary!) drives me crazy.  Then they went white water rafting.  (Not something you'd catch me doing in a million years!)  On one of her calls, she told us she was OK after the little rafting accident.  Little?  Accident?  They crashed into a raft that was stuck on a rock, she got flipped out and ended up underneath the raft.  Yes, out of sight for a bit, much to everyone's panic.  I tried to react during this conversation without falling off my chair so she wouldn't start crying.  Yikes!  That was a close one, and could've ended much differently.

During the same phone conversation, she proceeded to tell me about the 6-hour bus trip across the country to their next destination.  And how they were stopped by military police.  And how they were surrounded by machine guns.  And that they almost had to get out and unload everything for inspection, but were finally let go after conversation between their leaders and the police.  OK, that made my heart beat quite noticeably!  (Remember, this is my child that was afraid of everything!)

I'm anxious for our conversation tonite.  They went kayaking and exploring more caves today in a national park.  I hope kayaks are fairly tame.  I am just so darned proud of this young woman.  She has been horseback riding through the countryside to experience rappelling down beautiful waterfalls, as well as learning about another culture and teaching about her own.  She's never been away from home this long.  Maybe she really is a Wild Child.

I never dreamed that my girls would be where they are right this minute.  But I always wondered what it would be like to see them grow and blossom and mature.  I couldn't be prouder of who they have become, and who they have yet to become!