Wednesday, September 28, 2005

It was definitely worth the mess!

Here's the shirt the bouncy girl tie-dyed her very own self... admittedly with a bit of technical assistance, of course.

I made her a "Good morning, Sunshine" shirt while we were at it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I must be nuts!

Anyone who'd set a 6yo up to tie-dye with permanent dyes must be nuts. Ah, the crazy things grandparents find themselves doing...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

On a happier note

The tiger costume I made turned out to be a huge success--the right size and greatly appreciated. Beware! Here comes Hobbes...

Alas, my flute

While it is no surprise that my fingers are no longer so cooperative at flying through rapid runs up and down the scale, it is rather disconcerting to find that I no longer make the clear, sweet tones I used to be able to produce. But the hardest dose of reality of all is the realization that I can no longer play in tune--this is not the flute I learned on and I don't know on which notes I need to roll in a bit and which notes require rolling the flute out as far as possible. 'Tis indeed disconcerting to find that one's attempts at "music" clashing with the music of others! So, alas, my poor finds itself spending more and more time alone in the dark of its case...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Interruptions ARE your job.

Recently, our pastor mentioned that once, when he was trying to get a project finished and feeling frustrated at repeated calls/interruptions from parishioners, his wife pointed out that "those interruptions are your job". Her comment stopped him in his tracks because, of course, it is true!

Well, ever since he shared that, I've been thinking how the same is true for parents; we have a daily "to-do" list that we try diligently to finish. Our children, though, seem to think their needs, problems, concerns and worries are far more important than any "to-do" list...and they are right! Parenting, like pastoring, is a calling in which the "interruptions" are the most important part of the job!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Today was the first day

Today was the first day that the house seemed empty and quiet. That could have been because school is back in session and the little group of neighbor boys have all started kindergarten so there are no more happy shouts of little boys at play resounding through the yards. But it could also have been because just about anything would seem quiet in comparison to how I spent yesterday--watching aerial acrobatics and the amazing Blue Angels with over 200,000 of my closest friends and neighbors at what may be the final Great State of Maine Air Show. Unfortunately, Aviator Dave wasn't part of the crowd. Too bad he couldn't make it, as I'm sure he'd have loved the show!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


According to this article, it's perfectly fine that, during this "empty nest" life stage, I'm focusing on doing what "I" enjoy -- exploring and discovering new things about "me" and what I enjoy and can accomplish. It's okay. Not only is it okay, but it's probably very, very good. Pretty cool, huh? See what you have to look forward to all you who are still in an "overworked and highly stressful" stage of life...a season of life in which you get to explore new options, discover latent talents, and find your own (likely long-repressed) self before moving on to whatever life season is next.

Now, I have a couple of tie-dye projects to tend and then there's a preschooler-sized fleece tiger costume that calling me...

Note to my children

I just wanted to let you know that I am very, very proud of all of you; you've each become an adult with whom, should we meet as strangers, I would love to become friends.

So, fear not, your mama's doing just fine, fluffing those feathers and flying about exploring the options and taking every advantage of this opportunity while it lasts...because who knows how long this delightful season may last as there seems to be always something unexpected to be encountered around the next corner.

Note to any parents reading this: I have often read that, just when your children start to get interesting, they leave you. Well, I am here to tell you that the stage after that, when they move on to being your friends (even long-distance friends!), is every bit as special in its own way, as that oh-so-short tiny baby stage.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"There is a life after children, and it's a good one."

My friend's daughter just left after stopping by to give me a haircut. While she was snipping away, she said, "So you have your days to yourself now, I bet you're loving it." And, you know, she's right. I've said many, many times that my favorite "age" is whatever age my children are right now...and that hasn't changed. They are now at my very favorite age! I love that they have all grown into responsible, independent and surprisingly mature adults. I love that they can live their own lives without my constant input. I also love that they sometimes share glimpses of those lives with us.

I suppose we really should admit that the OC loves that, after all these years, when he gets home, now he is always first in line for attention. :D

There's a story behind that title up there. Long decades ago, a friend and I were herding our gaggle of little ones around a yard sale when the seller motioned us over and whispered, sotto voice, "There is a life after children, and it's a good one!" There have been times (such as when I had to deal exhaustedly with a houseful of sick, cranky, barfing little people) when I have clung to that phrase just to get through the next hour.

There is a life after children and it is a good one...but it's made better because of those very same children!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I've discovered a new art form!

So, one day C and I were talking on the phone and she mentioned that she was sending me the link to a tie-dying supply co-op, as a sort of hint, I suspect as her little ones seem to be quite fond of brightly colored, tie-dyed clothes.

"Hmmm," I thought, "here's something I've never done before." So...I joined the group and sent off for an assortment of industrial fabric dyes, some supplies, and a book of directions. When the packages came, I tucked them away to wait for a more propitious time. That time came this week. So, after doing more research with the internet and a library book, I gathered my courage and an old tee shirt, mixed bottles of dye and did a first, experimental trial. And .. it actually worked!

Tye-dying is a rather lengthy process involving prewashing, careful folding, a presoak, applying the dyes and wrapping the dyed bundle in plastic so the dye can soak in overnight. Then comes the "unveiling" with lots and lots and lots of rinsing to remove excess dye...and you finally get to see your new creation...for better or for worse.

Well, that first shirt worked so well that I decided to dare to take a go at dying new shirts--the child-sized ones I'd picked up in a package of five in the boy's underwear department...starting with a shell-like Fibonacci Spiral.

Folded bundles of little shirts don't make as big a canvas as "big" shirts so, to get a different effect, I tried the next two shirts with a mono-color scrunching technique.

The pink scrunch shirt turned out nicely enough, but I really, really like how some of the blues separated out of the lilac dye.

Well now, that was fun! Hmmm, what else can I do with little white shirts and squeeze bottles of fabric dyes? Hmmm, we need something appropriate for a boy. Hmmmm, how about something with a (surprise!) train theme? Hmmm, how about a shirt with train tracks? Yes, that's it! Train tracks. Little boys like trains...especially our little Michael boy:

Now, that leave's me one shirt left to turn from plain white into a piece of art. Spirals and all-over patterns are all very nice, but how about...about...

Ah! That's it! What if I did this...and this...and this...

Yay, it worked!

I think I'll call this one, "Good morning, Sunshine!"