Thursday, September 27, 2007

No more tin grin!

This was Mike first thing Tuesday morning:

This was Mike just a few minutes later:

As you can imagine, he is quite happy!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You just don't see this every day

Snapped on the Gene Snyder Freeway, just south of Louisville, heading home from the cross-country meet last weekend:

Dress-up boys

I thought it was kind of amusing to see how the Taylor guys were attired on the night of Friday, Sept. 7. Fred had a dining in, which is a big fancy dinner just for the military people, no dates. He was looking sharp in his blues:

Meanwhile, Mike was doing his duty as the FKHS eagle at the football game:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Harvest time

Way back in the spring, Annabelle's school had a science fair. Her project had to do with how seeing color helps somebody working a puzzle:

Lots of kids did experiments on plants, and when the science fair was over there were lots of guinea twigs in need of good homes. We took in a tomato plant that had been part of Annabelle's friend Katherine's project, and that poor plant languished in a disposable cup on my window sill for a couple of months.

Fred eventually took pity on it and stuck it in a flowerpot on the back porch. And my neighbor Tammy took pity on it on several occasions and fertilized it (Thanks, Tammy!). And lo and behold, that poor plant--probably raised on Sprite for its formative weeks--actually bore fruit!

We've been watching this one tomato slowly ripen for the past few weeks:

Today we decided that it was time to harvest the crop before a skunk or raccoon beat us to it. Annabelle and I went out together, and she plucked the tomato from the vine:

We cut it in half and each enjoyed a delicious, if somewhat small, feast. Sad to say that as meager as this harvest is, this has actually been one of my more successful gardening experiences, at least as far as vegetables are concerned!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sew what?

When I was visiting in Florida this summer, my mom showed me this really cute pattern that she had found. It's a 1952 Butterick pattern that they had re-released as part of their "retro" line:

I thought it was just the cutest thing, so when I found myself in a really wonderful fabric shop in Louisville last month, I picked up my own copy as well as some cool fabric.

I didn't want to cut into my pattern and fabric until I knew that I had the fit right, so I traced the pattern onto interfacing and made the top of the dress out of buck-a-yard fabric from Walmart . . . twice. Apparently 2007 Bonnie's boobs are a good inch lower than 1952 Bonnie's were, so I had to move the darts down. And I don't know if 1952 Bonnie was smoking more or maybe she just didn't like the cheese dip quite so much, but I also had to add a couple inches in the waist to accommodate 2007 Bonnie.

Once I had the alterations right, making the dress wasn't terribly tricky. It felt good to set up my serger again, which has been waiting patiently in its box for at least 4 years. I felt very clever when I applied the differential feed of the serger and finished the bottom of the circle skirt, thus gathering it just enough so that it folded easily for hemming. (Anybody who has every hemmed a circle skirt without a serger with differential feed can vouch for the fact that this can be a tricky proposition.)

I bought some smokin' hot red shoes and some red earrings and a red bracelet (and a red necklace that I wound up leaving at home as I felt like the black seam binding at the neckline was enough neck detail), and voila! I was ready for the first luncheon of the year yesterday:

Mike took this picture as a joke. I think I'll get an 8X10 printed for Fred's desk:

It's kind of like domestic cheesecake. I wish I had thought to do a whole series: me vacuuming, dusting, etc., all the while channeling my inner Donna Reed.

Now that the dress is done, I'd like to keep sewing, and I already have my next project picked out. About 3 years ago, I got Annabelle a stuffed anteater sewing kit for her birthday. We're going to work on that this weekend.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dude, where's my car?

Mike had a cross-country meet up in Louisville today, which meant he had to get up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus with the rest of his team at 7:30. Fred and I drove up at a more reasonable hour to watch him run and then take him shopping afterwards for a friend's birthday present.

As you might imagine, Mike was rather disgusting after having run 5 kilometers. He took off his wet shirt and sat on a towel on the ride over to Toys R Us. I suggested that when we got there, Fred and I should get out of the van and he should just change into his regular shorts real quick rather than going in to change in the restroom and then having to carry his soggy running shorts around with him.

He thought that was a good idea, so when we got there we stepped out of the van, leaving it running so that he could have the A/C and wouldn't get even sweatier changing into his dry clothes. Apparently we weren't giving him enough privacy, so he stuck his head out the door and asked, "Hey, can't you guys go stand up by the store?"

"Fine," I said, "we will meet you in the store." It never occurred to me to add, "Please turn off the car and bring the keys when you come." You can see where this is going, can't you?

Sure enough, we had all been in Toys R Us for a few minutes when Mike said to me, "Hey, did you know you didn't turn off the car when you left?"

As Fred sprinted for the parking lot with Mike hot on his heels, I stood there with my mouth hanging open, praying to whomever might be the patron saint of cars, fools, and parents that they should find the car right where we left it.

The car was indeed sitting there, so all's well that ends well. I, however, am looking forward to the day when my grandchildren do something especially boneheaded, and I can say, "Hey, did I ever tell you about when your dad left our car unlocked and running in a parking lot and went shopping?"

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hi ho, hi ho, it's through Ohio we go went!

Annabelle and I had a wonderful weekend in Pennsylvania! The drive up was uneventful, and we stopped along the way in Ohio to have a snack with my invisible friend Patty and her kids. I have "known" Patty thanks to the wonders of the Internet for about 8 years, but this was our first time to meet in real life (IRL). It was so nice to finally meet her, and I wish we could have hung out for longer, but I still had several hours of driving time facing me, so I couldn't linger for long:

As you can probably imagine, there was a lot of squealing and jumping up and down when Katherine and Annabelle reunited. We took our Playstation and the Dance Dance Revolution game, and the girls spent a lot of the weekend "dancing" along with Katherine's little sisters.

On Saturday we went to the beach. "The beach?" you ask. Yes, the beach--the lovely shores of Lake Erie. It surprises me to no end to be saying that, since everything I ever knew about Lake Erie I learned from an old Saturday Night Live skit, and it was NOT flattering (and good grief, doesn't Bill Murray look YOUNG?!). But yes, the beach was wonderful, and the girls had a great time:

Saturday night we went to a baseball game, the Erie Seawolves versus . . . hmmmm, somebody else. Altoona, perhaps? The kids got their picture made with Mr. C. Wolf himself:

Sunday was full of shopping and more Dance Dance Revolution and supper at the Olive Garden. Then all too soon it was Monday, and we had to leave.

We stopped in Ohio again for an IRL encounter with 2 more of my previously invisible Internet friends. Again, Kim and Melanie and I have been posting on the same message board for ages and know so much about each other yet had never met before. Here we are with our girls outside Panera:

I have spent the 2 days since we got home resting up and recovering from all that driving and those late nights spent hanging out and chatting with Katherine's parents. Believe it or not, we actually outlasted the girls! It's nice to know that with just a day's drive Annabelle and Katherine can be together again.