Monthly Archives: September 2011

Raising The Flag In The Rain

The boys’ Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop helped the local fire department raise a huge flag today for the annual parade. I was there to take pictures.

They used a huge flag (40 ft, I believe they said it was) and raised it between two ladder trucks. They wanted the scouts to help keep the flag off the ground while they raised it up, and the scouts did a great job.

Everyone at the fire department posing for pictures, all nice and dry.

holding the huge flag across Rte 17.

Cody holding the flag

Dylan holding the flag.

Evan holding the flag

Raising the flag

having fun while raising the flag

that's a big flag...

in the air

time to take it down

wet scouts, wet flag, but still- having fun

my favorite picture out of all of them


Why I Will Never Be A Craft Blogger…

Dylan has wanted to play a musical instrument for years now. Part of the fourth grade curriculum at my boys’ school is to teach the kids to play the recorder. Dylan has been looking forward to this year, not only to learn how to play the recorder but because later on this school year, he’ll have the chance to pick out a ‘real’ instrument to learn to play (and he has his heart set on a trombone).

Now, Cody did all this last year. Cody survived, but he has zero interest in playing musical instruments. His recorder is barely touched (I swear), and rather than buy Dylan a new one, I’m having him use Cody’s. He wanted his own, and I told him that Cody’s is becoming Dylan’s, and that there’s no point in me buying him a new one when we all know that Cody has all the musical ability of a tone deaf cat. Dyl agreed, and to sweeten the deal for him, I offered to make him a new carry ‘case’ for it.

Dyl cheered right up at that.

So off I went to Walmart, where I bought a 1/4 yard of black and white fabric with musical instruments on it and a 1/4 yard of cord. I chose this fabric because of the trombone- I pointed it out to Dyl and he was ecstatic.

I thought that this would be a great way to get me into craft blogging. Here’s a simple project, could even be sewn by hand, etc. But… I figured out why I will never be a craft blogger.

I didn’t take pictures of the entire process, lol. I have a shot of supplies, a shot of ironing, and a shot of the finished product. Oops! Bear with me- it’s been awhile since I’ve written a tutorial, and since it was almost 1am when I started working on this bag, I may skip a step or two!

The first thing that this project needs is a snappy name…

Marching To His Own Beat
a simple carry bag for a recorder

The supplies

Supplies:

1/4 yd fabric of choice (I found this musical instrument motif fabric at Walmart for $4 a yard.
1/4 yd cord, ribbon, yard, etc that matches your fabric.
thread
sewing machine
recorder
pins
not pictured: loop turner/knitting needle, crochet hook/something to thread the cord

1: With right sides together, iron your fabric so that the fold is nice and crisp. The fold will be the bottom of the bag.

2. I used my recorder as my guide to measure the width. I made the bag wider than the recorder, so that it’s easy for small hands to get the recorder out of the bag.

3. Use the recorder to measure the height of the bag. Cut, and then fold the top layer down, iron flat, and then sew to create the casing for the cord. Repeat for the other side.

Measuring the height of the recorder

4. Pin and sew both sides of the bag. Don’t sew all the way up- start sewing under the stitching for the casing. Reinforce this stitching by stitching forward and backward a few times, then sew down to the bottom of the bag.

5. Using a loop turner or (if you’re like me) a knitting needle, turn the case right side out.

6. Using a crochet hook or some other item, thread the cord through both sides of the casing, tie the cord in a knot.

Finished!

7. Insert recorder and enjoy!

Ready for school!


It’s That Time Of Year Again

Harvest Days is this weekend, and that means one thing in the eyes of my boys…

Carnival!

The last two days, that is the only thing that the three of them have talked about- which rides they’re going on, how many times they’re going to ride them, which friends will be there and at what time and by what ride are they meeting.

Even wearing my long sleeved shirt, a tee shirt, and a sweatshirt, by the end of the night, I was frozen through.

And we still had to walk home.

But- I did get some pretty cool pictures out of it. In July, I played around with some long exposure effects during the Fourth of July fireworks show.

Fireworks display- taken 7/4/2011

One of my boys running through the yard with sparklers, 7/4/2011

I loved how the 4th of July pictures turned out, and wanted to try the technique out on something else. Knowing that it’s hard to get good shots of moving carnival rides, I thought that I would try out the long exposure technique and see what I got.

First shot that I was happy with- Wipeout, 9/15/2011

Zero Gravity- 9/15/2011

Swings And Zero Gravity, 9/15/2011

Because it was 6 when we got there, and still light outside, I did take some ‘normal’ shots as well.

Zero Gravity, 9/15/2011, I used PW's Boost and Seventies Actions on this one.

The Edge, with my 7yo on it, 9/15/2011, PW's Boost and Sunshine Actions

Wipeout, 9/15/2011, PW's Boost and Sunshine Actions


The Need To Just Write…

In 7th grade, my English teacher expected us to write in a journal, which she would then read (or not, if we marked the page as ‘do not read’). We were graded on just the act of writing, and not the content that we wrote about. We groaned, we didn’t look forward to journal day, not to mention those books sat in her room, on a shelf, and were accessible to anyone who happened to use her room (like during study halls). So you couldn’t really be ‘free’ in your writing.

I blog. And I would like to think that I’m the type of blogger that lays it all out there. And, as it turns out, I’m not. I would never make it as a published author- I don’t like people reading my shit. The only reason that I can blog is because you people are nothing more than figments of my imagination… (In reality, I don’t have to see your faces as you read this, so I like to pretend that each of you is a sexy, intelligent man with a six pack and a big… smile on your face).

After the seventh grade, I didn’t stop keeping a journal. I’ve kept one off and on for years. I kept one all through high school and college, would write when I needed the release after I got married and had kids, and when my husband left me back in January, I ran out and bought a new, pretty journal and carried it with me and wrote everything down.

It was the only way that I could keep my sanity in a time of stress and hopelessness.

When I write, I don’t feel like I’m writing. It’s thinking on paper. Half of it doesn’t make sense. I repeat myself. I dwell. I ignore. I dream. It’s not the story of my life, day by day. It’s not me writing ‘Today it was cold. Today, I worked. Today, I ate green beans and ham.’ Because that isn’t how I think. Anyone who reads them would probably be able to find insightful details into my life- but, more likely, they’ll just think I’m some deranged lunatic.

Mike read the journal that I started after he left. I bought another one, kept it hidden. He found that, and read it. I have one more, and he knows about it, and he keeps asking to read it. And I refuse to let him. Because to me, it’s an invasion of privacy. You can’t read someone else’s thoughts, nor should you try. Yes, we all want to know what other people think- of us, politics, whether they truly love our pumpkin bread as much as they say they do, etc. But, we have to ask ourselves- do we REALLY want to know what so and so REALLY thinks?

The answer has always been, for me at least, no. I like living in my own little world, the sky is purple and the grass is blue, and everybody knows me there and doesn’t mind that I’m a little bit weird (ok, so I’m a lot weird), and they smile and nod when I go on a tangent. Because in the real world I may come off as weird and awkward, I love having a place where I can be completely and totally me.

So- I journal.

Besides, anyone reading my journal would think that I’ve gone off the deep end, since I tend to write what I’m thinking, and often, what I’m thinking is long and ramble-y and I may start off talking about why I journal and why it’s private for me and end up talking about the purple coat I saw today and how I wish I had the money for it but if I had the money for it, I’d end up spending it on things that I really need and not things that I don’t really need, even if they are really kick ass purple trench coats…

Where was I again?

The blog is different. The blog is where I go when I’m happy and want to talk about trivial things. The journal is where I go to leave my pain.

It’s why I haven’t discussed what is going on with my marriage and my life (too much, anyway). All of that is written in a teal journal that I keep on my nightstand. It’s why I haven’t written anything about what else is going on in my life, that’s in a notebook with a pink skull on the front.

The reason that I’m writing this is because how often and what I write has become a Topic Of Conversation, and that just isn’t cool with me.

And, I hope, that some day soon it blows over and my journals become what they once were again. A place to release my frustrations, my pains, my fears.


Weight Loss

In January, after my world imploded when my husband decided to leave me, I found myself not eating. I didn’t want to eat, I wasn’t hungry, and the only reason that I did eat was because I knew that I had to, because I had three boys to feed and I didn’t wanted them to see that even when the world is upside down and inside out, that LIFE goes on. So- I found myself eating less than normal.

After a week of this, on a whim, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I had gone from an ugly 245 pounds to a slightly less ugly 235 pounds.

I had lost 10 pounds in a week. And I had done nothing to lose that 10 pounds.

It got me thinking, and rather than think ‘oh, I’ll starve myself and lose the weight’, I thought ‘I’m going to do this right. For my kids.’

 

These two pictures were taken roughly a year apart. The one on the left was taken in August 2010, on our trip to Tennessee. The one on the right was taken at the end of July 2011, when we went hiking at Starved Rock State Park.

My arms are still big. I still have fat rolls. My boobs need a lift (ahem). But, and it’s hard to tell from the second picture, I have a curve now. And hips. Hips are good. I’ve gone from a size 22W to a size 18 (no W).

This morning, I weigh 202 lbs.

Two. Hundred. And. Two.

I’m now fifty-two pounds away from my goal, five pounds away from the halfway point (goal weight is 150).

Last week, I bought a shirt that sells in my store’s JUNIORS department. Yes, it’s the largest size we make for juniors (19), but that’s not the point. The point is- it fits, I can wear it, and I’m proud of that.

There’s a lot more that I need to do- I need to tone, I need to work out, but right now, I’m happy that I can buy clothing that fits, that I can walk into any department store and be able to find *something* that fits. And some day soon, I’ll be able to walk into any store that sells normal clothing for every day people, and know that I will be able to find something that fits me, without having to hope and pray that they carry sizes for larger people.