Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finding Bright Spots in the Clouds...

Yesterday, Darling Daughter, who is very private with her emotions, called me at lunch to ask if she could please come home. Our general rule is if you don't have a fever, nothing is broken and you aren't puking, you go to school. However, my stoic baby was sobbing into the phone that one of her classmates, a friend, had died in her sleep of natural causes and she just couldn't "deal" with continuing through her scheduled classes trying to hold everything in. Without hesitation I asked hubby dearest to pick her up and I rushed through my work to be with her.

DD is not one to pull a drama card or be hyperbolic with her emotions so I knew this was a rough one. In the last year DD has not really talked about her Aunt Gayla's passing nor has she ever really expressed her feelings over the other losses in her life. I admire her inner strength most days and worry about a future implosion on the other days. No child of 14 should have to be so mature and in control of her emotions as ours is. At the same time that I am proud of her maturity, I am also concerned that I shouldn't sit her down and some how force her to release her emotions. Short of flogging DD and screaming, "Emote, you! Emote already!!" I just sit patiently waiting for the opportunity to help her grieve her losses.

Her expression of grief on the phone was the crack in the door I needed to put my foot in and open up a dialog. DD told me a story about an island project the classmate had completed with her last year. When I asked what her friend's "thing that was uniquely her" was, DD without hesitation said, "Her laugh. It was really loud and real." As DD is the shyest teen I have ever met, I can totally see how someone who embraces their joy and wraps it in a loud and true laugh would be envied by DD. 

DD and I spent time talking about the friend as well as Gayla. We talked about how her other classmates were behaving and that grief is such a tricky emotion. We talked about heaven and laughed when I made the statement that when I get to heaven, "Jesus and I are gonna have a come to Him meeting" about why certain things happen like the death of children.

Then when I thought I couldn't feel more relief at our sharing, DD asked, "Do you think we could make some more phone cozies today? I feel like being creative." Holy-all-things-that-glitter-are-gold! The light bulb came on...where I had been starting to worry that my compulsion to create was becoming obsessively crazy, DD in essence had just told me that I had taught her a positive coping mechanism. When you are sad, create something. When your day is tough, create something. Turn to your creative juices in times of crisis. Then we talked about positive and negative coping skills.

When I went to bed last night, I didn't worry about my child for the first time in a very long time. I didn't stress about whether or not I was being a good mother or if I was going to break her. I slept last night feeling proud of myself for the good things that I was teaching this beautiful sassy girl even when I didn't realize she was watching and learning. It was in one of those dark clouds of life that I saw the sun peaking through.  

Phone Cozies


HOO! HOO! are you calling?
Darling Daughter was thrilled when I introduced her to Pinterest. Then she was fantastically over the moon when I started making her things that I found on the addictive web site. When she found a felt phone case that looked like an owl, she was spastastically over the moon until she followed the links through to some one's Etsy account and found that for the low low price of $19 we could buy the case rather than follow instructions to make our own.


DD told me as if informing me that the government was run by little green and purple men, "Oh that sucks! And did you know that some people want you to pay them anywhere from $.99 to $5 to purchase a PDF they put online for their paper crafts?" I explained my frustration over etsy and paying $4 on etsy or PDFs of instructions for crochet projects. I also told her about the greatness of the challenge of figuring out the puzzle of "How it's Made" just by looking and trying.



We rollin' old school...

My little stinker drew her cell phone and then spent about 15 minutes designing her owl case around that trace being sure to include 5/8" for seam allowance. We purchased some felt from walmart for $1.50 and within an hour had our very own case. I took my $17.50+tax, shipping and handling that we saved and purchased $15 in felt (64 page-size sheets in all colors of the rainbow). Darling Daughter sketches out the critter and cuts out the felt. I sew it all together using clear thread and my sewing machine. We even have broken out the embroidery floss that we use for friendship bracelets to add some details and such.

Chocolate Milk!

We would love to hear from you! What critters do you think would make cute phone cozies? We've made a penguin for me and an old-school game boy case for girl child. I think we need a frog and a fish and a piggy.

Instructions:
1. Trace your cell phone on a sheet of paper
Pre-sew Penguin and sketch
2. Sketch your critter; you can look at some on etsy and pinterest for inspiration. Think in layers (ie main body, layered circles for eyes (large white, medium color, small black), etc. (add 5/8" seam allowance to your traces going forward). NOTE: IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH THIS STEP, NOTIFY US. DARLING DAUGHTER WILL SKETCH SOMETHING FOR YOU TO USE AS A PATTERN AND SEND IT YOUR WAY...she's crafty like that!
3. Using scissors or a rotary cutter, make four pieces of your main body. This gives the case the quilted look and provides quite a bit of protection.
4. Stitch a 5/8" seam all the way around 2 sets of 2 bodies (one is the front and one is the back now)
5. Stitch the faces and details to the front main body.
6. Lay your phone in between the front and back body pieces (like an oreo cookie) to make sure it fits.
7. Using embroidery floss, you sew three sides of the case together leaving one end open for phone entry.
8. Send us a picture of your creations!!!

I think on the next one we make, I am going to make a third layer of the body to provide a space for your debit card or a little cash for those days you just don't want to carry a purse!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Apron Mania



Upcylced Men's Shirt Half Apron
Upcycled Men's Shirt Full Apron

Step 1: Iron a button-up shirt with a collar so that there are no wrinkles and the seams all line up.

Step 2: Fold the shirt as pictured, matching up your seams for even cutting.

Step 3: cut from the base of the collar to below the arm pits to removed the sleeves (you'll use these on the half apron later)
Step 4: (not pictured) cut from the shirt tail to the arm hole on the left and right seams. (Pictured) Then cut the back off around the collar's base. The Collar becomes the neck band of the full apron. If you cut it cleanly, you shouldn't have to finish any edges except to attach some rick rack in the final step.


Step 5: Using a six-inch by 1.5 yard swath of broad cloth for your ruffle, begin by hemming one side of the material.

Step 6: Pin tuck the broad cloth (right sides together) onto the shirt tail of the front of the Full apron. I iron mine to make sure they lie flat during stitching.

Step 7: Stitch the ruffle onto the shirt front (right sides together!).

Step 8: iron and hem the rough edges on the apron and use ribbon at the bottom of the past arm holes as your ties. After hemming, I used a medium width rick rack on the outline of the apron from the top collar on the left all the way around to the top collar on the right (above the ruffle.) Rick rack hides a multitude of sins in sewing. HEHEHE!

Finished full apron.


For the half apron, I used the extra material from the sleeves and back of the shirt and the matching broad cloth to make a multi layered ruffle and front pocket. You could also put pockets on the full apron if you want.


Blink Three Times and It's Over...

1975
Before we were school aged, my sister Gayla had a nightmare about snakes. The next night I had a dream about snakes. Gayla said, "Weren't they scary?" as if she and I had stumbled into the same haunted house and were part of a special snake dream survivor club.

Then I remember Sister told me, "If you are having a scary dream, blink your eyes three times and you'll wake up." In 30+ years since that sage advice from a four-year-old, any time I have a nightmare, I blink three times and wake up almost instantly.

2004
Last night though, I was having a nightmare, blinked my three times and stumbled into another nightmare. This continued three or four more times until I was sitting in my aunt's house at her grand, round, glass-covered table across from my beautiful Gayla. We were eating breakfast and laughing. Sister laughed as she corrected me, "Jaimee, it's 'Minter' not 'minnow' and 'cedar' not 'cheater'." I was three instead of 37, and I was yanked into another dream where Gayla was not. I started screaming, "But I didn't blink three times!" The next thing I remember is Hubby Dearest holding, rocking, and sssshhhhssshhhh-ing me because I was screaming and crying in my sleep. He's a good man and I am bat-crap crazy.

Maybe if I keep blinking three times, I'll wake up from THIS nightmare.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

J-me-ism No. 3 and 4

I didn't say it first but I love it!

It's not a lie if you believe it.

In customer service, perception is reality to me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happiness Report: Focus on Marriage Week 3 and 4

Actions speak louder than words...

I can tell hubby dearest and darling daughter that I love them every hour of every day. However, it wouldn't mean a hill of Hershey's kisses (ooh...that sounds like yummy heaven) if I didn't back it up with "proof" of my affection for them.

In addition to hugs and kisses, I have focused this last week and the next on showing them that I love them. For Valentine's Day, I received a box of bouji-bouji couture chocolates. Instead of hiding them away, I brought them home to share with HD and DD. I wanted them to experience amazing chocolate. Also, the hubster has been given a fishing freebie to use whenever, with me taking the girl child to her hockey games. I also have been leaving him steam messages on the shower glass in soap (although he did ask me why I was drawing butts---THOSE ARE HEARTS MR. ROMANTIC). I have also been following him into the garage when he takes his "breaks" and really listening to him when he talks...I have to stop that though because it makes quitting smoking that much harder. We really need to find him a keep-your-hands-busy hobby so he will quit too.

Thank you for continuing to support this little bit of crazy each day! Visit my blog each Thursday to see how My Happiness Project is going! Here's the plan by month so far:

  • January--BOOST ENERGY
  • February--REMEMBER LOVE MARRIAGE
  • March--AIM HIGHER WORK
  • April--LIGHTEN UP PARENTHOOD
  • May--BE SERIOUS ABOUT PLAY
  • June--MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS
  • July--BUY SOME HAPPINESS
  • August--CONTEMPLATE THE HEAVENS
  • September--PURSUE A PASSION
  • October--PAY ATTENTION
  • November--KEEP A CONTENTED HEART
  • December--BOOT CAMP PERFECT HAPPINESS
  • 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

DING! I have a plan....

For almost a year, I have been trying to figure out what I can do to bring distracted driving to the attention of the world. I began with writing to my legislative representatives...not so epic fail. That made me mad and sad so I went back to the drawing board. What I have come up with so far...EDUCATE, EDUCATE EDUCATE. The Texas legislature presented regulations to our governor and he vetoed it. Although I don't agree with Gov. Perry, I do see the value in his suggestion that we educate our citizens about distracted driving.

I created a blog for this purpose and hope you will join it as well. www.TexansAgainstDistractedDriving.blogspot.com. Thank you as always for supporting my craziness. I promise not to hold you liable when I am committed. :-0)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sister Was My Hero...

Lying in bed unable to move for the stabbing pain in my right back side yesterday, I was once again struck by how much my Gayla was always my superhero. In 2003, Sister and I lived together in an apartment in Bedford. A similar stabbing back pain grabbed hold of me in the middle of the night. Because I thought it was rude to awaken Gayla at 2 a.m., I decided I would try soaking in a hot bath for a bit.

It took all my strength to make the bath and get into it. As I lay there praying for magic relief it dawned on me that I might not be able to get out of the bath on my own and that mental picture of sister finding me stuck in the tub seemed more rude to her than waking her up. To boot the pain was worsening. I used the last of my strength and dignity to drag myself from the tub and squirm into some sweats.

I then proceeded to literally crawl on my hands and knees toward Sister's room. The clock on the VCR in the living room indicated that I had been trying to crawl to Gayla for help for more than an hour. I decided 4 a.m. wasn't as bad as 2 a.m. so I curled up in the fetal position and began to holler for Gayla to help me.

Sister ran out of her room ready to take on whatever intruder was attacking her wailing sister. I think she was almost disappointed that it was just me crying like a big baby on the floor. She had the stance of a woman ready to take someone out. In hindsight...very very funny. Nevertheless, Gayla always kept her cool. She helped me up and took me to the nearby emergency room where I was x-rayed and diagnosed with a severe back spasm.

Never to leave a job half-way complete, Gayla took me and the three scripts for pain and muscle relaxers to the all-night pharmacy. While we waited for the scripts she made me eat Whataburger breakfast burritos and hash browns. At 6 a.m., Gayla put me to bed fully medicated. She then readied herself for work.

Sister never complained about that night. She never made fun of me for being needy or for scaring her to death with my pain-filled cry. She just took care of me. Gayla always took care of me. She stayed with me at the hospital after my hysty and, even after I was married, sister stayed at the hospital with me the night they were ruling out a stroke during a really bad migraine. Gayla may have looked like a wee woman, but her inner strength and willingness to care for others made her larger than life. I love my hubby dearest and know that he did his best yesterday, but I miss my Gayla's TLC more than ever. She was my super hero sister and always saved the day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wish Us Luck on the PUCK!


My girl on D is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! Look at her
defending her goalie!
There's another word that goes with luck and puck, and I am not thinking buck, cluck, or duck...yep...the alphabet! That's the one!

HOCKEY, HOCKEY, HOCKEY, HOCKEY, and HOCKEY....and that's if they just play and don't win...if they win then those should multiply. Hubby Dearest and Darling Daughter have playoffs and tournament, respectively. I am think I will take off Monday just to recoup (and possibly attack DD's rooms with a few trash bags). What are your big plans?




Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursdays are Happiness Reports: Focus on Marriage Week 2

NOTE: Last week was fun. Hubby Dearest and I have taken to spending time making each other laugh and that seems to have strengthened our bond. Our senses of humor really are pretty spot on. His Valentine card to me said he loved me more than BACON. Mine to him was of two old people molesting one another. Our funniest moment though is going to YouTube to find a porcupine video mentioned on TMZ. It was so gross we couldn't quit laughing, and now we just greet each other with animal noises and fall out laughing. He really is my soul mate in every way.


This Week: Fight Right

According to Gretchen Rubin's book, conflict falls into two categories...that which can be resolved and that which cannot. Example: what to have for dinner and it's converse how should we spend our money. Conflict is a fact of life. Here's what I am focusing on this week:


Tackle only one issue at a time and avoid "you never" or "you always."

I am also intrigued by, "It takes at least five positive marital actions to offset one critical or destructive action." My bubba and sister-in-law went to a marriage seminar last fall where the speakers suggested if you ever feel criticized by your spouse, you should raise your hand at which point the offending spouse should pay you five complements to right the wrong (or something like that). We as a family have since taken great joy in raising our hands to each other's mis-speaks (FUNNIEST STORY SO FAR: Hubby dearest is fishing with my daddy and brother. Daddy said something to pick at HD. HD raised his hand. Daddy saw him and retorted, "Well then you better call your therapist or your wife 'cause I don't care if your feelings are hurt.") This made him laugh...me too.


Thank you for continuing to support this little bit of crazy each day! Visit my blog each Thursday to see how My Happiness Project is going! Here's the plan by month so far:

  • January--BOOST ENERGY
  • February--REMEMBER LOVE MARRIAGE
  • March--AIM HIGHER WORK
  • April--LIGHTEN UP PARENTHOOD
  • May--BE SERIOUS ABOUT PLAY
  • June--MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS
  • July--BUY SOME HAPPINESS
  • August--CONTEMPLATE THE HEAVENS
  • September--PURSUE A PASSION
  • October--PAY ATTENTION
  • November--KEEP A CONTENTED HEART
  • December--BOOT CAMP PERFECT HAPPINESS

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Aunt J-Me is in Desperate Need of her Red Dress Moment...

If you haven't discovered Jenny Lawson at The Bloggess dot com, then you are missing out on one of the greatest un-met-yet friends you could ever have. When Jenny writes, her irreverent outlook on the world reminds me that I am not alone...I am only too chicken poo to write what really runs through my brain. For my inner rebel, I embrace this woman, a self-proclaimed better-than-Mother-Teresa (my theory: she's a saint who you wouldn't be uncomfortable to be yourself around; no judgy judgy going on...relief). My suggested reading guide to introduce yourself...start with Beyonce the Metal Chicken and read all about him. Then when you finish laughing and catch your breath, you can look for Jenny's Traveling Red Dress Project, which gets me to my blog for today...


PHOTO SOURCE
When I saw this beyond-stunning woman's second photo shoot in a red dress and re-read her posts, it dawned on me that I am in desperate, desperate need of a "red dress moment." Jenny wrote, "I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies. I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be."

For my entire life I have wanted to be "intensely amazing" and I have spent the last year in desperate search of the woman I want to be. I have survived the greatest heart break of losing my sister friend, I battle daily to overcome chronic anxiety and depression, and I am learning to love myself as much as I love the world. It's time for me to stop wallowing in my misery and step out in the brightest, most shocking, and most vivid me there is.  I need and want my red dress moment.

I have created a check list for the launch of the new me (feel free to throw some assistance if you have an idea or suggestion):

1. Check my wreck and get off my duff.
2. Find a red dress, size 24-26 (I envision a 50s style little number in taffeta or silk; the red should be a cooler red and steer clear of orange red; plus I am not into strapless so much).
3. Day (or two) of beauty...hair, massage, the whole nine yards.
4. Photo shoot...hoping my hubby's cousin will do the honors.

Once I have accomplished my goal, then I want to send my red dress to join the lovely gowns that are already a part of the Traveling Red Dress Project.

Jenny, thank you for inspiring me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You know if I say it three times, I must really mean it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day Challenge

It's vital to me that the people in my life know that I love them, and I try to spend every day sending out that love in a multitude of ways. I know the arguments for Valentine's Day and somewhat agree that it is a day of commercialism at its ugliest sometimes. However, knowing that every day is an opportunity to love those in your life, I can happily embrace today for what it is to me...ANOTHER DAY TO LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE.

Always the romantic, I give the little finger to spending money to prove my love though. Instead, I am spending today tackling my "Friends" list on Facebook and the Contacts in my telephone and e-mail lists. Over each name I am sending up prayers of thanks to God for each person in my life. He knows their needs, and I am praying my love will please Him and He will take care of them all.

What if we all did this today? What if everyone prayed for everyone? What miracle would change the world?

All my love to you all!
J-Me

Rainbow Granny Blanket...Not Yo' Granny's Granny Square

Somewhere in the beginning of my endeavor to keep my hands busy in order to stop smoking, I had a flash of creativity and wanted to make a rainbow afghan. I knew exactly to whom I would gift the treasure and prayed over them the entire time I have been working on it.

To begin, I purchased one skein of Michael's Impeccable yarn for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and Violet. I started by making a Granny square and just kept making it bigger and bigger until it looked like I had used up almost all of the yarn. Then to finish it out, I single crocheted my way around until the yarn was gone.

7 Skeins "Impeccable" Yarn (Michael's)
H/8-5.00MM Hook

RED
Row 1: chain four and slip stitch into first stitch to make a loop.
Row 2: chain three, double crochet three times and combine first chain and 3 DC with a slip stitch (first cluster); chain three; double crochet four times, SLST (second cluster); chain three; double crochet four times, SLST (third cluster); chain three; double crochet four times, SLST (fourth cluster); Slip stitch into top of first cluster
Row 3-4: create clusters in red
Row 5-6: continue to create clusters in ORANGE
Row 7-8: YELLOW
ROW 9-10: GREEN
ROW 11-12: BLUE
ROW 13-14: PURPLE
ROW 15-16: VIOLET
ROW 17-18: RED
ROW 19-20: ORANGE
Row 21-22: YELLOW
ROW 23-24: GREEN
ROW 25-26: BLUE
ROW 27-28: PURPLE
ROW 29-30: VIOLET
ROW 31-?: Single crochet following the Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Violet until the yarn is gone.

Monday, February 13, 2012

J-Me-ism No. 2

I didn't come up with this one but it is on its way to being a top-ten favorite all time of mine:

I think you are neater than socks on a chicken.

Dreamstorm...What if You Had the Superball...

$360 million! Oh to dream...

Let's go with the standards, pay off all our crazy debt, set up our darling daughter for life, invest enough to live comfortably on just the interest. Now for the dreaming part...

Huh...after spending just 10 minutes writing every crazy dream I could think of (charities, fishing in all 50 states, land and house next to my parents with an ice rink and hockey team, private school, my dream "office", chef, maid, personal trainer and driver), I deleted it all. I think I would live the secret millionaire's life. I might still get the land and build the house next to my parents, but the rest of the time I would spend the rest of my life going out and finding worthy people to whom I would give it away every day. Our population shows to be 313,008,000...That means I could ideally give each person in the US a dollar and still be pretty dang well off! Plus, I wouldn't have to give anything to that 1% who were already taken care of. If I had purchased that winning ticket, I would finally be able to prove to everyone who always tells me I cannot save the world that I really could. WONDER J-ME TO THE RESCUE!

Friday, February 10, 2012

J-me-ism No. 1

Don't say, "I couldn't be more _____" (fill in the blank with a negative emotion) because God will throw a metaphorical mud pie on your misery, and you won't be pleased to know He made it with manure.

The strangeness that runs through my brain before I fall asleep...

There is Only Love...Crochet Hearts


Round 1
1. Chain 4 and slip stitch through first chain to make your standard granny ring.
2. All of the first round are in this ring.
        a. chain 3
        b. three triple crochet (total 4 tcr)
        c. three double crochet
        d. single crochet 1
        e. triple crochet 1
        f. single crochet 1
        g. 3 dc
        h. 3 trc
         i. chain 2
         j. slip stitch

Round 2
1. Chain 3
2. In first chain of round 1's TRC, single crochet three times
3. Repeat in next two TRC
4. Single crochet into each of round 1's DC
5. chain 1
6. Single crochet into next three DC
7. Single crochet three times in next three TC
8. Chain 3 and slip stitch in center

Round 3
1. Chain 3
2. Single crochet in top of chain 3 from previous row
3. Single crochet in each stitch all the way around until chain 3 from Round 2 but be sure the chain one at the point of the heart.
4. On last stitch of this round chain 3 and slip stitch in center of heart.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursdays are Happiness Reports: Focus on Marriage Week 1

Welcome to February fans! This month's happiness project leg is focused on dancing a jig with my marriage. As Gretchen Rubin writes in her book, "...my marriage was the foundation of all the other important choices in my life...the atmosphere of my marriage set the weather for my whole life." Hubby Dearest is who he is and that includes some amazingly good attributes and a few not-so-wonderful characteristics. The amazing WAY OVER THE TOP SUPERB trumps the eh's. So why do I focus on the annoyances? I would give this man any major organ of his choosing to save his life, so why get bent over him falling asleep on the sofa? CONCLUSION: I am the only person I can change so I am going to let the petty go and embrace this amazing man for ALL he is.


Let's start with my head. I am adopting Rubin's 12th commandment as my mantra this month: "There is only love." From this moment on, I refuse to think unkind or critical thoughts about my man (or anyone else). I will not even listen or put up with anyone else who criticizes.

Also, to help with this mind set, I will spend the next week complimenting my man for the everyday wonderful he brings to my life. I will not nag him about anything. Also, I will not expect praise for my contributions to our household.

I think I will also hug my husband more. I think we've gotten into a groove of quick pecks on the lips when leaving and arriving home and we've forgotten to hug one another with our whole selves. Don't go pervy on my here; I seriously mean hugging without sexual expectation. Rubin wrote in her book, "We hugged--for at least six seconds, which, I happened to know from my research, is the minimum time necessary to promote the flow of oxytocin and serotonin, mood-boosting chemicals that promote bonding."

Check List for Week 1:
1. Repeat, "There is only love."
2. Don't criticize.
3. Compliment and praise.
4. Don't nag.
5. Do not expect praise in return; do just to do.
6. HUG it out!

Thank you for continuing to support this little bit of crazy each day! Visit my blog each Thursday to see how My Happiness Project is going! Here's the plan by month so far:

  • January--BOOST ENERGY
  • February--REMEMBER LOVE MARRIAGE
  • March--AIM HIGHER WORK
  • April--LIGHTEN UP PARENTHOOD
  • May--BE SERIOUS ABOUT PLAY
  • June--MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS
  • July--BUY SOME HAPPINESS
  • August--CONTEMPLATE THE HEAVENS
  • September--PURSUE A PASSION
  • October--PAY ATTENTION
  • November--KEEP A CONTENTED HEART
  • December--BOOT CAMP PERFECT HAPPINESS

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Aloha Mama and Daddy

Well, I finally figured out my funk! Mama and Daddy have been on their Hawaiian adventure for the last eight days. I didn't quite recognize at the time that I was worried for their safety, but after seeing them this morning, I am finally back at ease and the light bulb has flashed. Just like when Gayla spent a week in Mexico by herself, I was worried for my mother and father. Good heavens! Come to think of it, I may be worried most of the time now by the unknown (and probably unrealistic and irrational) future. Craptastic! How does one not spend their life worrying about how it is going to play out? Look out below, Funk! J-Me is coming back around. :-P

Monday, February 6, 2012

Come Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouting at Camp High Point

Many of you read my letter to the Girl Scouts USA a month or so ago. It gives me great pride to shout to the world that the persistence and full hearts of a few good women have persuaded the powers that be to allow a volunteer-led camp week at Camp High Point in Mena, Arkansas this year.  READ ON TO GET THE 411!

Packer is the beauty on the left...
she's also my sister BY LAW!
A Special Message from the Camp Director, Packer!

As March 2012 approaches, and we, as Girl Scouts, turn our focus on celebrating Girl Scouting's 100th year in the United States, I can't help but to think how excited Juliette Gordon Low must have been on that day when she phoned her cousin and said, "Come right over, I've got something for the girls of Savannah and all America and all the world and we're going to start it tonight!" Today, I feel that same excitement as I share with you the opportunity to experience Girl Scouting at Camp High Point 2012.

For 100 years, Girl Scout camp has been an honored tradition of the Girl Scout program; Camp High Point has been a part of that tradition since 1946! This year, I invite you to continue the tradition and spend a week at Camp High Point enjoying everything camp! Some of the camptivities (activities you do at camp) planned include exploring traditional camp skills, such as hiking, knot tying, fire building, tent pitching, and outdoor cooking. You will have the opportunity to stargaze, canoe, make crafts, play sports, sing, make S'mores 'round the fire, have a sleep-out "under the stars" in the Meadow or "with the stars" in one of the Sky Houses, and enjoy a campfire at Lone Pine. The pool will not be available, so the Creek that meanders through the camp property will be your source of water fun for the week! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention all the friends you'll make--silver and gold!

The camp staff for Camp High Point 2012 is unique because it is a group of Girl Scout volunteers who have a special place for Camp High Point in their hearts. Collectively, they bring more than 100 years of experience to camp. Many of the staff attended summer camp at Camp High Point as a girl, trained through the Counselor-in-Training program, and spent summers there as staff. Others fell in love with Camp High Point after sending their own daughters to camp. Still others "caught the fever" of High Point just by hearing of the wonderful things Girl Scouting has to offer in the program. The experience and interests of these volunteers will offer a comprehensive camp program--straight from the heart! Each volunteer must pass a background check through Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. So no mater if this is your first year, fifth year, or 25th year, come out and join us--let Camp High Point be the camp of your dreams!!! See you in June!

Packer--AKA Dana Moore




Friday, February 3, 2012

J-Me Choos Slipper Pattern


If you liked GoodKnits.com’s doublecrochet Mary Jane Slipper “recipe,” then I hope you’ll like me alterations. The holes in the other patter were too big for my giant little sausage toes so I played around and created a single crochet Mary Jane Slipper. Hubby Dearest calls them J-Me Choos.


Single Crochet J-Me Choos

Round 1: 8 DC into a magic loop [OR chain 4, slst to first chain, 8 DC into circle.]

Round 2: 2 SC into each stitch, slst into top of the first SC, ch 1. (16SC)

Round 3: SC into each stitch (16 SC), ch 1.

Round 4: 1 SC into same place, 2 SC into next st, *1 SC into next st, 2 SC into next* to the end, slst into top of the first SC, ch 1. (24SC)

Round 5: SC into each stitch (24 SC), ch 1.

Round 6: 1 SC into st and into the next, 2 SC into next st, *1 SC into each of the next 2, 2 SC into the next* to the end of the round, slst into top of the first SC, ch 1. (32SC). Note: if you need more narrow slippers, then decrease by increments of two single crochet.

Round 7: SC into each stitch (32 SC), ch 1.

Round 8-12: 1 SC into each st.

ROW 9: 1 SC into first 23 stitches. Ch 1, turn.

Row 10-23: 1 SC into each stitch. Ch 1, turn. NOTE: THE LENGTH OF YOUR FOOT FROM TOE TO HEAL SHOULD DETERMINE HOW MANY ROWS YOU COMPLETE.

Row 24: SC into first 10 stitches, SC 3 tog, SC to end. Fasten off, leaving long tail to seam up heel. Fold slipper in half and seam up the back with hook and slip-stitch OR a tapestry needle and whip-stitch.

Join MC [Aunt J-ME thinks this means multi-colored; I just stuck with one color the first go-round] yarn at center back of slipper, above the heel.

SC into same spot and then SC down the side of the DCs of the slipper toward the toe. At the corner, sc3tog [together?].

DC into 5 DC of the slipper, then sc3tog at the next corner.

SC on the sides of the DCs of the slipper toward the heel, slst into first sc.

Make a second round of SC in MC yarn, if desired. Make sure to sc3tog in the "corners" by the toe area.

Make a third round of SC using CC [?] yarn. You can incorporate the loop closure while you're making the round or simply add a chain loop after you've finished the edging and button placement.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to be Heard: Plant Some Grass...Follow the Roots

If you haven't heard, I'm MADD AND SADD. Except in this case I am a mother and sister against distracted driving instead of drunk driving (although I am pretty firmly against that too). A distracted truck driver who probably was fiddling with his cell phone, killed my beautiful sister Gayla almost one year ago. I feel more and more anger everyday and, for months now, I have felt compelled to DO SOMETHING to change how we as a society view being distracted by cell phones in the car.

When I printed out the PLEDGE last week and tried to get my loved ones and co-workers to sign it, I was appalled that more than one person laughed in MY face and said, "That's not gonna happen. You'll never get that to go." Well, myMama always says if you want to get something done, tell me I can't do it. DING!

I have no idea what I am doing or where to even begin. Since I am a nerd-by-nature I will start with research, and who better to glean ideas from than the mothers who got in the world's face more than 30 years ago when it was almost a joke to drink and drive a car. To learn more about what I am ranting, Read this excerpt by Laurie Davies from the Fall of 2005:

Twenty-five years ago, a heartbroken mother made a pledge in her deceased daughter’s bedroom. She would do something about the outrage of drunk driving—a decision that quickly inspired a handful of grieving, determined mothers to join in the fight. Though united in cause, they had no office, no money and no clout. In fact, all they had was sorrow, pluck and a picture of a pretty, 13-year-old girl killed by a drunk driver. Yet they initiated one of the great grassroots successes in American history. They were as their name suggests: MADD. As their fledgling organization grew, they stood toe to toe with politicians who knew the stats but did not act. They took on a powerful industry that put profit over safety. They challenged a society that viewed drinking and driving as  acceptable—even laughable. And they caused a visceral reaction. The getting there wasn’t easy. It was tough. It was messy. And it was fraught with obstacles. Yet MADD proved, time and time again, that it would not be bullied or derailed. In fact, MADD blazed a trail that other organizations have since followed. They made hard, cold statistics come to life. They did not just say that drunk driving killed thousands and injured millions. They held up photographs—and described every nuance of their loved ones’ lives—to prove it. As a result, a mountain of traffic safety and victims’ rights legislation has been passed. Annual alcohol-related traffic fatalities have dropped from an estimated 30,000 in 1980 to fewer than 17,000 today. And, perhaps most important, society no longer views drunk driving as acceptable. Looking back over 25 years, it’s an amazing story. A grieving mother’s determination sparked a volunteer movement that swept the nation and has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

I may not have a plan, but I have passion, which in my world is fuel. So world, be forewarned, I have planted some grass seeds and am tending them. Watch out! The roots are going to strangle out our society's acceptance that distracted driving is just a fact of everyday life. 

Mary Jane Slippers (Crochet)

I am disgruntled and in shock that so many people feel the need to sell a crochet pattern. Thankfully, there are angels like GOODKNITS.COM who still share the info with us all. Check out her free mary jane slipper pattern). I made a pair last night of 100% wool and will felt them today!



Crochet Mary Jane Slippers
by
Lisa Gutierrez

Round 1: 8 DC into a magic loop [OR chain 4, slst to first chain, 8 DC into circle.]

Round 2: 2 DC into each stitch, slst into top of the first DC, ch 2. (16DC)

Round 3: 1 DC into same place, 2 DC into next st, *1 DC into next st, 2 DC into next* to the end, slst into top of the first DC, ch 2. (24DC)

Round 4: 1 DC into st and into the next, 2 DC into next st, *1 DC into each of the next 2, 2 DC into the next* to the end of the round, slst into top of the first DC, ch 2. (32DC).

Round 5-6: 1 DC into each st.

ROW 7: 1 DC into first 23 stitches. Ch 2, turn.

Row 8-19: 1 DC into each stitch. Ch 2, turn.

Row 20: DC into first 10 stitches, DC 3 tog, DC to end. Fasten off, leaving long tail to seam up heel.
Fold slipper in half and seam up the back with hook and slip-stitch OR a tapestry needle and whip-stitch.

Join MC [Aunt J-ME thinks this means multi-colored; I just stuck with one color the first go-round] yarn at center back of slipper, above the heel.

SC into same spot and then SC down the side of the DCs of the slipper toward the toe. At the corner, sc3tog [together?].

DC into 5 DC of the slipper, then sc3tog at the next corner.

SC on the sides of the DCs of the slipper toward the heel, slst into first sc.

Make a second round of SC in MC yarn, if desired. Make sure to sc3tog in the "corners" by the toe area.

Make a third round of SC using CC [?] yarn. You can incorporate the loop closure while you're making the round or simply add a chain loop after you've finished the edging and button placement.