Saturday, November 23, 2013


I have been sewing like a mad woman lately. Canning season ended the other month and Dan has been working a lot of evenings, so I've been filling my time with some garment altering and sewing. As soon as I get some pictures, I'll show you my latest project (click here to see what pattern I used). Until then, let me show you one of my projects over the summer.

I spent some time this summer refashioning some of my skirts and dresses so that I would actually wear them. I had two in particular that I wasn't wearing at all, and I figured if I hemmed them shorter, I'd probably actually wear them.

Above is one of the skirts I shortened. I generally like maxi length skirts, but it was the wrong fabric for a long skirt. It's Shwe Shwe, purchased in Swaziland 10 years ago, and I sewed this skirt not too long after that. It's fairly heavy, because it has a tight weave and lots of white printing on top. Long summery skirts need to be lightweight and airy or else they're just too hot for me to wear in the humidity. Plus, it felt too loose and bulky at the hips. So I took it apart and made a shorter skirt with a different pattern. And here's the new version: 

It was a success! I wore it to a family wedding soon after finishing it.

And as a side note, I had to laugh at myself while I was shortening some of my skirts and dresses this summer. Remember when all those postings about modesty were flying around facebook? Here people were talking about how they began to dress more modestly, and I was baring more skin!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I got my hair cut. I didn't actually cut off as much as I'd planned. Somehow I let the hairdresser convince me that since I like the freedom to not spend much time on my hair, I should keep it long enough to pull back into a pony tail. I think she was right, but part of me was really feeling like having short-ish hair again.

I go in spurts with my hair and over the past decade and a half I have alternately grown my hair out and then cut it short (I even cut my hair myself from time to time. I actually trimmed it the week before our wedding because I didn't have a hairdresser I trusted back then.). These past couple years have been the longest that I've had long hair.

A few hair cuts ago, I realized that I use hair cuts as a form of stress relief. Something about the change and having control over something. And sitting in a chair while some one washes, cuts, dries and styles my hair. I love it. My hair cuts are also fairly spur-of-the-moment. I go about twice a year, and I rarely schedule the appointment more than a few days in advance. So I was feeling antsy last week and so, voila!



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For My Brother

A few weeks ago my brother asked me what my typical day or week is like. I found myself stuck trying to explain it, and when I did, I felt like I sounded like I don't do all that much. I know that's not true, so last week I decided to write down my activities for a day. Here goes.

6:30 - Alarm went off.
6:35 - Got up to exercise (Good morning, Shaun T!)
7:00 - Put towels in washer, hung up diapers inside on drying rack
7:15 - Mixed up baked oatmeal. Put in oven.
7:30 - Shower, get dressed, make bed. Elena wakes up.
8:00 - Oatmeal is done. Take out of oven.
8:01 - Pick most of the basil from the garden.
8:10 - Went back upstairs with Elena to get her changed after she used the potty.
8:25 - Ate breakfast with Elena (Edwin is still sleeping!).
8:30 - Edwin wakes up. Get him dressed. Strip sheets off bed so they can be washed. He eats breakfast.
8:45 - I start cleaning up from breakfast.
9:00 - Begin making pesto. (Kids help pick the leaves off the stem and wash the leaves. Elena escapes to her bed with Blankie Bunny when I start using the blender.
9:55 - Finished with pesto making/cleaned up. (We got over a quart!)
9:57 - Put the wet wash in the dryer.
10:00 - Redd up. Start getting ready to go to the Delaware Children's Museum (DCM).
10:05 - Kids eat a snack while I finish getting ready.
10:15 - Put sheets in washer. Make "to do" list for the afternoon.
10:30 - Leave for DCM.
12:00 - Return from DCM.
12:30 - Eat lunch.
12:55 - Clean up lunch.
1:25 - Clean up toys.
1:30 - Put chicken on to cook for broth.
1:40 - Put Elena down for a nap (diaper change, read a story, etc.)
1:55 - Naptime for Edwin. (also known as awake-playing-quietly-in-his-room-time) Read a story.
2:05 - Computer time for me. E-mail, pay bills, read blog postsetc. (sometimes also known as "waste time on facebook)
3:15 - Put sheets in dryer. Eat a snack while sitting and reading.
3:45 - Elena is awake. Kids get up. Eat a snack.
4:00 - Letter activity with kids. "E"
4:35 - Redd up again (I had to use this PA Dutch term, of course!). Tape some broken kids' books
5:00 - Patched moth holes in cashmere cardigan while kids played. Read a book to Elena. Spun Edwin around in the desk chair one time.

I stopped writing things down at this point. I can pretty much tell you that after that I probably took care of the laundry (meaning, it got piled onto the futon and remained unfolded for a few days), and started supper prep. Dan had been gone all day and was working that evening (residency is so much more than just the shifts he needs to work), so we had leftovers of some kind or another for supper. After supper, I cleaned up the kitchen, played with the kids or read to them and then we went upstairs for the bedtime routine which includes a bath (some nights), brushing teeth, pajamas, reading a story and singing a song. I would've had the kids in bed by 8 pm. I'm pretty sure I had a nice list of things to do for the evening, but I can't remember what it was at this point. Either way,  I don't think I did them. I sat on the couch and read instead.

So, there you go, brother!