« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

July 29, 2008

Carried Away

Bags, bags, and more bags. I experimented with a black background when photographing this one. Snappy, eh?

parlor2.jpg

parlor3.jpg

Posted by WonderGirl at 12:43 AM | Comments 1

July 28, 2008

Case of the Missing Blogger

Oh, busy life. Busy, busy, busy. Life, life, life.

I've been trying to knock some things off my Summer To Do list before SCHOOL STARTS! Yikes! What in the WORLD happened to the summer?

So, I've been the missing blogger. My poor, neglected blog is a casualty of my now much more organized and productive life. Guess something's gotta give, huh? I'll be more talky as I mark more things off my list, so don't bail on me. Although, to be honest, I think everybody else is so busy with their own lives, they haven't missed me much. Which works out well. We're all too busy for the internet these days, right?

So, what have I been doing, you ask? (Because you're totally, geniunely interested, right?)

-sewing like a fiend lately, because I know those days are numbered. I've actually got a few Christmas gifts out of the way, if you'll believe it!)
-organized ALL our files and family papers (very ugly job, I assure you.)
-got caught up on about a month's worth of coupon clipping and filing. (oh how untorturous that sounds now. It was really quite agonizing.)
-made trips, visited family, enjoyed summerly things
-cleaning, painting, repairing a rental property that has recently come into our possession. (how cool is that?)
-potty training! That's almost three down, one more to go. Yeehaw!

Next to do, get all the school stuff sorted out, get the kids up to date on drs apts and scheduled things, finish work on the house, and find a renter!

So I'll be around, in between projects. In the meantime, perhaps you'd like to hang out at YouTube, or CollegeHumor. There's lots of good stuff there, like this little gem, The Font Conference, passed along by King Pen. It's hilarious. But do come back eventually, yeah? We'll have some coffee or something.

.

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

Posted by WonderGirl at 11:08 PM | Comments 1

July 24, 2008

Mastering Puns: Check.

capt.jpg

HeroBoy was on the potty today, doing his business. He sent the Duke to me with the message that the mission was accomplished, and he was ready for my assistance. (Um, yes, I still participate in this event, because the alternative is not pretty, trust me.)

Anyway, so I head to the bathroom, and see that he has assumed the position. (Is this funny to anybody but parents of small children?)

Me, laughing: So, I see you're ready, huh?

HeroBoy: Aye, aye Captain. --pause-- I'm reporting for DOODY!!!


Gold star.

**It occurs to me that sometime in the future, he may not appreciate detailed potty accounts published on the world wide web. Hm.

Posted by WonderGirl at 12:46 PM | Comments 5

Tomorrow's End

sunroad.jpg

King Pen has a quote from St. Augustine on his facebook that I really like.

"Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever, and your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow."

Convicting words. Beautifully crafted. Expertly wielded. I get the body part-- it makes sense. Being a good steward of the physical form we've been given has countless benefits, as well as being good keepers of the temple, which we are.

But, as to the other, taking care of the soul...

It's so easy to lose sight of the eternal state of things as we wander these mortal fields. I suppose it is, in some way, a defense mechanism- to avoid thoughts of our measured portion on earth. To believe we have a thousand tomorrows shields us from our Last One. From goodbyes, from departures. It shields us from our unfinished business, our unspoken words. It shields us from unshown kindnesses, from ungiven hugs, every good intention and thought that we didn't follow through on, because we thought we'd get to it tomorrow. From the sins we plan to repent from sometime in the future, from the Bible reading we intend to start, the church down the road we plan to visit. If we don't think about it, then we don't have to be afraid of what we didn't say or do that we should have. We don't have to worry about what we'll regret.

But it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. By not thinking about it, by fooling ourselves into believing death is far away- in an old folk's home when we're wrinkled and ancient, then we don't say and do what needs sayin' and doin'. We make our regrets a reality. If we instead, lived each moment with knowledge, tommorow is it! Tomorrow is the last day-- oh how different we would be, how different the world would be! How forgiving and gracious and merciful we would be. How peaceful and appreciative and kind we would be to one another! How much would we seek to please the Lord, knowing we would be seeing Him face to face the next day? How easy would obedience fill our hearts, how easy to resist evil, knowing, oh Lord, just one more day in this fallen world?

I wish it was more like that, I wish I was more like that. St. Augustine had his Last Tomorrow, but he left words that live forever. Words of warning, words of encouragement-- and if he had waited too late to say them, if had he waited one day past his appointed time, then they would have never been spoken aloud. But he didn't. He didn't count on tomorrow.

And neither should we.


Posted by WonderGirl at 10:25 AM | Comments 1

July 23, 2008

Tote Me

serenitytote5.jpg

serenitytote4.jpg


The more I make 'em, the more I wanna keep 'em!!

Posted by WonderGirl at 1:44 PM | Comments 6

Day to Be Glad

Today, my mother celebrates her birthday.

I wish I was there to bake her a cake, watch her open her present, and make her know that is special to me. I have to hope that she knows without those things-- and I think she does.

Love you, always, Mom. When I'm here and you're there, when I'm this and you're that, through ups and downs, wrongs and rights, from beginning to end.

A day to be glad, a lifetime to be blessed.

Posted by WonderGirl at 1:31 PM | Comments 0

July 22, 2008

Susceptible

As I'm going from one chore to another today, I had the following thought:

I wish I could just be on the internet in my head throughout the day. Like, be washing the dishes and browsing blogs in my brain.

Which, I deduct, makes me a prime candidate for an evil scientist somewhere who has a penchant for implanting mind-control chips in people's heads.

(But don't spread that around.)

Posted by WonderGirl at 4:39 PM | Comments 0

July 21, 2008

Boho Out and About

My dear bloggy friend, Teri, bought the Inari BohoTote. Being the intuitive (and utterly adorable) person she is, she knew I'd love to see it in action, so she sent me these vacation shots.

Aren't they cute together?

bohotote.jpg

tote2.jpg

Thank you, Teri. You're a doll!

Posted by WonderGirl at 11:56 AM | Comments 3

July 18, 2008

Living for Me

Oh, how I miss our church in B'ham. Well, thank goodness for the internet, and email newsletters from the pastor! In the last one, he included a quote by J. P. Moreland on how sin curves us in on ourselves. Warning-- yeowch! Anybody else out there besides me loving self a bit too much? Watch out, then. This'll sting a little.





Pursuit of the demands of the empty self and the cultivation of a life of self-denial under Jesus' lordship constitute two very different approaches to life that produce radically different sorts of people. It is here that the two different understandings grab us by the throat, shake us to the core, and demand we make a choice of lifestyle strategies. This choice is as important as any one you will ever make, and that is not religious hype; it is the sober truth.

If pleasurable satisfaction is your goal, then from morning to night your habituated focus will be on three things - "me, myself, and I." You will constantly be monitoring your own happiness temperature, and your activities (job, recreation, church involvement) and other people (friends, spouse, children, and even God himself) will be mere things, objects that simply exist as a means to your own happiness.

You will have great difficulty forming meaningful attachments to other people. If you are shy, you will withdraw from people - not to find solitude to reenter relationships with solid boundaries and emotional/spiritual refreshment, but to attack them and find safety that keeps you from having to change. You will hide from others and fail to give them what they need from you to grow in spiritual formation and friendship. If you are outgoing, you will repress your fears and shame by becoming socially aggressive. You will talk all the time in social situations and not develop skills as a good listener, or if you don't know how to listen to others, it will be a front to earn the right to turn the conversation back to you at the earliest opportunity.

After several years of this sort of life, you will become a self-absorbed, empty narcissist. A culture of people w who live this way will be a culture that elevates celebrities. A celebrity is someone given attention because of his or her image or ability to get others to live their lives vicariously through the celebrity's life, such as it is. This is an ugly form of codependency between trapped empty celebrities and passive empty fans! Empty selves exchange a life of drama for Turkish Delight."

Not much left to say after all that. I realize that one of the blessings (sometimes disguised as tribulation!) of motherhood is the opportunity to confront my selfishness on a daily, no, HOURLY, basis. I am confronted by my self-centered behaviors and laziness All.The.Time. God knew that I needed four children! It's a lesson I seem to require every fifteen minutes, judging by the demands of family life.

Thickheaded as I am though, I have figured out that I am the happiest and most content when I surrender, when I sacrifice, when I give. Not that the lesson stays long, because I eventually wander back to selfishness and poutiness and entitlement and all that. If I decide my needs are not being met, whatever those are, that I don't get to jog enough, or write enough, or have peace and quiet, or go shopping-- well, then. Am I happy? No!! Not at all! I am downright miserable! The more I analyze just what I need to make ME happy, the farther away from it I get.

But, If I stop looking at how others can meet my needs better, and instead look at how I might meet the needs of others better-- and then DO IT, well, I find myself inexplicably, happier! It's not a trick, or denial, or suppression of how I really feel. I am genuinely happy and satisfied. It's the workings of the Holy Spirit within us-- that when we are obedient, we are happy. We're created that way. When we give, we receive. When we minister to, we are ministered upon. When we bless others, we're blessed in return. You know it, and so do I! So why? Why do we try to fulfill all our own desires? Why do we constantly try to manufacture our joy and contentment? Because we believe the lie, because we sin, because we're human.

We'll never get the results we want, if we don't reject those lies, and embrace the Truth. Pursuit of our own happiness leads in the totally wrong direction. It's about laying down that old, sinful man within us, and picking up the cross, and going that-a-way, the way He went. It's about serving others as Jesus served, loving as Jesus loved, living as Jesus lived.

So, after reading Moreland's sharp words, I ask myself, who is benefiting from the work of my hand today? Who am I serving? Who am I loving? Who am I living for? Oh, it's true enough that I made the meals and did the laundry and met the other daily needs. But what was my heart like today? With whose happiness was I concerned? Only I know that, only I know how generous my spirit was, or wasn't.

Tough questions. Sad, though, because the answer should really be very simple.

Anyway, just some thoughts today, a little introspection, outrospected. Ha.


Posted by WonderGirl at 3:44 PM | Comments 4

July 16, 2008

Dreadful

adamduritz.jpg

Seriously, Adam? You're not tired of 'em yet?

-sigh- Alrightie, then.

Posted by WonderGirl at 12:05 PM | Comments 3

Haint in the House?

I think we have a boogie man.

Or well, I suppose it could be a squirrel in the attic. Rearranging furniture. Vigorously.

Something's weird up there, though, and it kept me up all night long.

I was, however, already too awake to begin with, having a touch of insomnia. I will not tell you what time I finally crawled into bed-- nor how long the spooks kept me up. Let's just say, I can count the number of hours of rest I got on one hand. Half a hand, even.

So, I'm off for more coffee. Back later.

Posted by WonderGirl at 9:27 AM | Comments 2

July 15, 2008

The Secret Keeper

A handmade envelope, colored with fat crayon strokes and penned with a childish hand, bears the words, "The Secret Keeper". Anticipation sparks off my fingertips as I lift the flap and tug out the contents of this carefully constructed gift.

Inside, I find a polaroid picture of a duck, sitting on it's nest, an egg peeking out underneath it's feathers. There is no explanation, nor any need for it.

And yet, I am struck by something I can't quite explain. (How feeble the body expresses matters of the spirit!) I feel as if I'm on the brink of a great epiphany, as if I hold a very important piece of the puzzle in my hands. The moment is silver around the edges in my mind-- it stands out, it's important--

And then I see it- the unbridled awe of childhood, the sweet, inspired efforts of young love, the natural, hidden mysteries of a duck's egg. Somehow, it is all there. It is, in every way, a good and perfect thing. It is the Perfect Secret. Perfect in the keeping, perfect in the sharing.

I can't say why the moment resonated within me-- but I understood it in my blood. It moved me, settled in, stayed. It gave a name to that safe place for the good things in life... those that are hidden in plain sight-- innocence, and love, wonderment. His Secret Keeper showed me so much more than a duck on a nest. It reminded me that what is good and right in this world is being preserved by someone. Not just by someone, but Someone. Joy and mercy and purity and all that can be called good, was given form. Mysterious, divine, perfect form- one I cannot begin to understand. It was wrapped up with care and pride, and made a gift to me. Me! And it doesn't go away.

When the rest of the world is quite awful, when I am quite awful, it's still there. When I wander away, when I become jaded and cynical, when I shrug off virtue and reject joyfulness-- still, there is this gift untouched, even by my own hand. It is a sweetness pressed onto me, an imprint of righteousness that I didn't earn and don't deserve, but can't live without. I've been given an almighty gift, a high and holy secret keeper, stitched into the dark recesses of my soul. All that is good in me rises from that place. All that is decent and loving and worth anything at all, is born there. Hatched mysteriously, wonderfully, like a duck's egg.

And, like all perfect secrets, it is as wonderful in the sharing, as it is in the keeping.

de.jpg


----As an afterthought, please forgive me for lofty language, for fanciful constructions of grammar. It's not that I mean to paint rainbows and butterflies with my words. If that happens, it is because my aspirations reach farther than my skills. But, still, I find myself compelled to try.----

Posted by WonderGirl at 10:07 AM | Comments 0

July 13, 2008

The Backroads

stea.jpg I think I left without saying goodbye, didn't I? I've been in the great state of Mississippi for the last couple of days visiting kinfolk. I ate tomato sandwiches for lunch every day. Went fishing with a cane pole. Drank gallons upon gallons of sweet tea, sometimes sun tea. Swatted mosquitos and picked figs and watched westerns. Attempted (but failed) to camp out with my 3, 5, and 7 year old. Went through old photos and quilt pieces, lazed in the porch swing till midnight. Fell asleep listening to a symphony of crickets and frogs every night. Got sunkissed, overfed, much hugged, and a little bit spoiled.

It was exactly wonderful.

And now I'm back, bone-tired and happy to be in my own bed, but already missing those who've loved me longest.

Tomorrow, I'll get life all back to normal, and in a few weeks, I'll strow it all up again with another summer trip somewhere. Isn't that the best way to pass the season? I love the freedom of summertime.

Anyway, I know I've been a little abbreviated with my blogging lately, but don't give up on me. I've still got the heart for it, I promise. Always more to say than time to say it... but I'll catch us up this week, mkay?

Okay, I'm off. Sleep tight, moonlight. See you in the bright and early.

Posted by WonderGirl at 10:28 PM | Comments 1

July 9, 2008

My Wishing Star

st.gif

I'm gonna tell you a secret. I'm gonna tell you what my wish was. You know, the one I made when I blew out my candles this year... or when I saw that shooting star? I know you're not really supposed to tell, but I'll tempt fate anyway. I wished for ONLINE GIFT CERTIFICATES TO FABRIC STORES.

Yup. I'm not a complicated gal.

I love me some fabric. I get a literal pang of longing over some of them. Give me a little Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganeli, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry-- and I'm in heaven. There are some amazing designers out there, but unfortunately, you don't find much of their stuff in the local fabric stores. Actually, you're pretty lucky if you even HAVE a local fabric store these days. They are going out of business left and right, because people don't sew the way they used to. It's so much easier and cheaper to mass produce stuff now, that there's no point in sewing it yourself unless you just WANT to. But, boy do I want to!

So, finding these incredible fabrics is an online hunt. I cast my net far and wide, looking for sales and shipping discounts-- anything that will make these fabrics more affordable. I want to make a sling with the best fabric I can, with the least cost. Yeah, "duh". I know. But what I mean is, I am trying to make my slings cheaper than others you'll find out there, but I don't want to compromise by using ugly material. Bleh. Nothing worse than a bolt of awful material. But I can only afford the designer stuff when I can get a good deal on it. So I spend A LOT of time treasure hunting on the internet.

And now--- (stay with me, because I've FINALLY come to the point of this blog post!) for those of you who have inquired about my fabric sources, I've compiled a list of sites I order from frequently. It's not a complete list, but these are the larger sites. I occasionally order from a smaller boutique, but I find their prices are less fluid and I do better with the warehouse type sales. Also, Ebay has been awesome for fabric, too, if you can find a seller with several items you want and combined shipping.

Fashion Fabrics Club
Mood Fabrics
Trendy Fabrics
ReproDepot
Fabric.com
purlsoho
Fabric Depot
Sew Mama Sew
Ebay
Denver Fabrics
Imagine Fabrics

Warning: All it takes is a little browsing, and you'll be hooked. Once you see some of these lovely fabrics, you'll start racking your brain over what you could do with them. You may even start using your birthday wishes on gift certificates. Mark my words.

Oh, and if you are a fabric guru yourself, please post a link to your favorite online fabric source in the comments. And do tell what you enjoy sewing with those fabrics if you have time!

Okay, 'nuff lallygagging. I am off to pack for a midweek trip to see some Mississippi family. More later.

Posted by WonderGirl at 9:25 AM | Comments 3

July 7, 2008

My Arch Enemy

Dear Sewing Machine:

I think the time has come to call this what it is. War. Your skipped stitches and bobbin catastrophes and broken threads are all part of a systematic campaign to drive me entirely insane*. We are locked in a battle of good and evil. I, being good, and you being EVIL. Not just evil, but EAVE-ILL.

If I could strangle the life out of you, I'd be sorely tempted today.

And still you sit there, acting like you've done nothing wrong. Perfectly quiet. Not moving so much as your pedal foot. I can see you from here, all smug and silent, feigning innocence and all like, "what? i'm inanimate! stop personifying!"

You just shut up, you spawn of darkness. Don't make me unplug you. You just don't know how close you are to being replaced with this cute little number:

hello-kitty-sewing-machine.jpg

I just wanted to warn you. I am sorry you've been lured to the darkside, because we used to have something good. We had a beautiful relationship, you and I. But you went and got mad with power, and here we are. My advice, dear fiend who was once my friend, is you better hightail it back to the good side. Otherwise, I'll be forced to, um, well use the Force on you. I don't want to have to team up with Hello Kitty, because I think she's got issues all her own, but I will, dadgummit. You're pushing me to it. Never mind that Hello Kitty looks like she's got a shiner and she's drunk as a skunk. (I'm pretty sure that's her pink tongue lolling out.) Still, she's looking pretty good next to you, the Dark Lord of Stitchery.

Mkay.

That's all I have to say. (I won't even bring up what's going on with your zig zag stitch-- see, I'm trying to compromise here.)

So, get it together.

Sincerely,
WonderGirl

*entirely insane. Would that include writing (and publishing) letters to your sewing machine? Yes, I do believe it does.

Posted by WonderGirl at 2:53 PM | Comments 5

July 3, 2008

Commenting

Anybody having trouble commenting on the Sift? My sister said she tried and my blog lamblasted her with obscenities. Hm. Virus? Spam? Hacker? Or just a cranky blog?

So, please, do me a favor and try to leave a comment for me. If you can't, then let me know via thesift(AT)yahoo.com. Thanks!!

Posted by WonderGirl at 5:24 PM | Comments 11

Cat and Dog Diaries

(Hilarity from Andrea Harner.)

DOG DIARY

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!


CAT DIARY (language, folks.)

Continue reading "Cat and Dog Diaries"

Posted by WonderGirl at 1:10 PM | Comments 1

Love Always

hug.jpg

Nothing feels as good as an Old Spice hug from my papaw. I don't even mind sharing it with Chipmunk.

Posted by WonderGirl at 10:44 AM | Comments 5

July 2, 2008

Recovered

It's amazing the difference 24 hours can make. I in no way resemble the whiny, stiff-necked, pitiful creature I was this time last night. Which means, King Pen can chunk those papers he was having drawn up concerning my living will, or a competency petition, or something equally sinister. (And I'm not so sure there weren't some divorce papers slid in there as well. hmf.) Oh, I joke. I'm not a very good patient, that's true, but he's a very good caretaker. We're both glad I'm better, though, and we avoided legal action once again. Good man.

Anyway, I predict by tomorrow morning, I'll be completely back to normal. Yay! Just in time for a weekend trip to Monroe for the 4th. Monroe, where young folk live! Monroe, where more than two people actually know my name! Monroe, where not every third person is wearing camo crocs! Yippee!!

And -sigh-.

I gotta learn to love this place if I'm gonna live here, right? It's just a bit bleak at the moment...

But now's not the time for that post. I'm headed to bed, where I shall dream of the delicious food to be had in a few days time. Tomatoes from the garden, here I come! Sweet dreams, butterbeans. See you in the morning.


Posted by WonderGirl at 11:54 PM | Comments 1

Fallen, Can't Get Up, Etc. Etc.

Oh well for my triumphant return to blogging yesterday! I fully intended to take the world by storm yesterday afternoon... till my back went out, in a blaze of invisible thermal agony. Including the lightening bolts.

bb.jpg

(And yes, it fried all the hair off my head and clothes from my body, just like the picture. You know me- I am not one for exaggeration.)

Gar.

Embarrassing. Why does it never go out when I'm lifting a car off a toddler, or performing some Olympic gymnastic feat for the gold? No, it's never something impressive. It comes with a sneeze. Or as I empty the lint trap to the dryer. Or, as I was unlatch the lock to a pool gate, like yesterday. -sigh- I very innocently reached over to catch the clasp, and I am suddenly, violently aware of a spinal riot occurring between my shoulder blades. It was all I could do not to drop poor old Chipmunk on his gigantic head. Instead, I was able to lower him to the ground, on my way down. Nah, it wasn't that bad. It really hurt, but I was able to manage it for most of the afternoon. But by last night, I was totally out of commission. Luckily, a good night's sleep (in traction, of course) set things right. Nevermind that bottle of wine. It was medicinal.

So, I am much better today. I think if I minimize lifting and pulling and unlocking evil pool gates, I'll be back in tip top shape in a day or two. I mean, all except for being bald. It'll grow back, right?

With or without hair (or clothes) I just need to get back to normal life, because I have stuff to do, yo!

I can't be held back.

Can't keep me down.

(Excuse me while I channel my inner Billy Jean.)

Okay, I'm off to physical therapy my day. I'll hop back on later. Oh, alright, I'll gently and carefully settle myself back on later. Ha.

Posted by WonderGirl at 10:03 AM | Comments 0

July 1, 2008

Here We Go Again

Wow, that blog hiatus FLEW by! But here it is, July 1st, and I'm back in the saddle again. I've got tons to write about, pics to share, blah blah blah, but it'll have to wait till this afternoon, because we're hitting the pool before it gets too hot.

So, um... stay right here. Don't move an inch.

Oh, alright, I'll leave the window cracked for air.

S'good to be back.


Posted by WonderGirl at 9:57 AM | Comments 3