Thursday, December 25, 2008
Abby and Donovan are getting a divorce. It's not been a fun few weeks. The economy is tough and Abby, who has been a stay at home mom, is trying to find employment so she can pay rent and the like. Being the holidays complicates it because so many places are only open a couple days a week for two weeks, and nobody is calling back right now. Someone she used to work with gave her a lead and we're praying it pans out. Between us, the family members on this side, we'll take care of the boys when she has them and it won't cost her anything. At issue is custody - who has them when, who drives how far and such - as well as dividing up the possessions. It's horrid to have this happen after 6 years of marriage, especially since it involves the same two "friends" that were involved on Donovan's side last time. Now Abby's feeling like she made a mistake to let him come back 4 years ago. However, hindsight is far more clear than seeing through the trees of the present, and I've spent a lot of time reminding her that none of us can see the future. I am praying this doesn't crush her spirit. She has such a sweet spirit...She's going back to school to be a teacher. She was going to do healthcare because it's supposedly faster but I reminded her that her whole life, all I've heard is that she wanted to be a teacher and that I thought that her love of kids would be better served that way and she decided to stick with her original choice. She's going to go to community college for the basics and then transfer to a larger school. It will save money and she can take lots of the classes online.
JR threw a rod in his truck. He kept telling them something wasn't right. I guess he knew what he was talking about. He is officially laid off till after the first of the year, at least. He can't get hold of unemployment, again because of the holidays, when he calls like they told him to do - but the website says if you don't file in a timely manner you can lose benefits. He needs money too...bills have to be paid.
I made way too many things I didn't take pictures of. I made pajamas, t-shirts, a maternity top, sweat pants, underwear, a couple girl's purses, and a nightgown. I am selling one of the girls' purses in my Etsy store. I cut out too many pieces so I decided I might as well just make and sell the extra if anyone will buy it. I guess it's time to take the stockings out of the store for now as well. I keep trying to sell things but nobody seems to want to buy them. It's frustrating.
The dryer quit. It's going to cost at least $300 to replace. I got a crack in the windshield of my car when a little pebble from the sand/chemical truck ricocheted and hit the windshield. That will be another $300 to replace. Then there is the issue of the tires on my car. They are going to need to replaced within the next couple of months.
Still, all in all, God has been good to us. We're all still alive. The kids are healthy. We have roofs over our heads. We have food in our tummies. We have each other. It will work out for the best just like He promises us in His Word.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."(Romans 8:28)
He is faithful and good. We are blessed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is a newborn size fleece diaper soaker. It is used in place of rubber or plastic pants. This is made of an outer layer of fleece with an inner centered "wet spot" protector consisting of ripstop nylon and another layer of fleece. The stretch on the legs and waist goes from side to side. It is very absorbent and helps keep the moisture in the diaper from leaking to the outside.
This is a flannel diaper. It will fit a baby from newborn size to toddler simply by folding in the tabs on the front and folding down the upper part of the back and front. You go from overlapping the folded-down back over and around the folded-in and folded-down front and pinning it with one pin to using it like a regular old-fashioned prefolded diaper. It is made with a layer of flannel on the top to start. This is followed by 8 precut layers of what is called an "insert" that is sewn together with a zigzag stitch and then straight stitch to prevent excess fluid loss through the diaper. This is placed on a bottom layer of flannel that has a layer of the same size of french terry on top of it. The diaper is pinned together all the way around and then fold-over elastic is applied with a lightning zig-zag stitch, stretching the elastic where needed like around the legs, in the front and back, and using it more like bias tape the rest of the time. It is very absorbent and soft. This, and the soaker above, was made as a requested sample from a prospective customer and mailed to her. They are in the process of deciding whether or not to invest this amount of money in something that they will then use as a constant thing. The difference between cloth diapers and disposables is significant but some people just can't commit to using cloth for their baby, and that is okay. We all have our own preferences and limits. She's sending me the samples back so I can use them to show to other people who might be interested in the diapers.
This is a freshly-made green bug-and-frog Oma Blankie. It is listed on my Etsy site in hopes of earning some extra finances. Hubby's pay grade got bumped back down when he did so it's going to be really tight this year. I can't work outside the home, but I can sew, and that is what I'm doing. I have two more quilts planned and partially assembled already.
This is the blue bug-and-frog Oma Blankie. It is also listed on my Etsy site. I am hoping this one sells as well. I've really had fun sewing this last week even in spite of people who don't show or who ask for samples and then disappear. I guess that's just gonna happen no matter what you do, isn't it? It's better to just let it slide than to get all whacked out about it.
Go here to find my Etsy store.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
This is what it should look like with the elastic pinned, right side out, to the boxers, right side in.
Make sure to check that your elastic is far enough down from the top of the boxer fabric that you can sew it to the fabric without catching in the edge of the elastic. This will make turning the elastic to the outside easier and look more professional.
On my machine, stitch number 6 is the lighning zigzag stitch. This is much similar to the zigzag stitch, except the stitches are broken into sections to allow for greater stretching. It is purported to be more sturdy when sewing elastic for waistbands and other applications requiring the elastic to have more give.
(Continued on next entry due to photo limitations)
Check often to make sure that the elastic is staying where it's supposed to be by lifting the fabric and assuring that the elastic is being appropriately attached to the fabric. If there is a line on the elastic like mine has, make sure that line isn't rising above the place where it should be depending on where you pinned it.
(Continued in next entry)
Here are the two pair I made for my identical twin grandsons. I believe if you click on the pic you can see a bigger copy, and you will be able to tell I used one side of the elastic as the outside for one pair and the other side for the elastic on the other pair.
I hope this helps people who needed assistance with applying elastic in this manner.
Monday, August 25, 2008
In the meantime, I do try not to dwell on it too much. Sometimes it doesn't work out well. Other days I do well. Any progress is progress, right?
I've been to the doctor as has my husband. Other than our age-related limitations, we're doing well. Labs were within normal limits. All else is acceptable.
I am working on a few more craft items right now. I am in the middle of making 2 pinwheel quilts with bugs - one with blue and one with green. I just made some flannel cloths for Abby to use on Patrick's bottom since the terrycloth washcloths are too rough. I have many other things in the works since it is getting closer and closer to Christmas.
I need to hit the sack. I'm trying to re-establish a bit of a normal schedule now that I have an OAB pill that works and I don't live in the bathroom any more.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The soakers are done.
I also did a set of soakers for Kenny because he can't decide if he's potty trained or not. He'll be good for a while and then, like he did at my house the other day, he'll sit in his chair and pee on the floor through his clothes. It's not like he doesn't know. He just does it. I made the soakers for him so if Abby needs to use them he has them. She can use them on Patrick when he gets older anyhow, so I only need to make one more size - the size between those and the ones he's in now.
I have the quilts cut out for the twins but I'm lacking the energy and motivation to sew the pieces together and make the blocks. Once I get going it will go quickly. It's just a matter of getting off my backside and starting that first block; sewing that first seam will do the trick.
I have a lot to iron. I just caught up on laundry and most of my dresses and such need to be ironed. I haven't ironed for over a week so now I really just buckle down and get it done. I'll probably do that tomorrow.
The garden is doing well. We have lots of cucumbers and the tomatoes are starting to get ripe.
The pullets should start laying soon. I can't wait to see the multi-colored eggs. It's going to be neat to have blue and green eggs in my fridge. The turkens are large birds and so are the Marans. The Ameraucanas will be smaller birds and they are noticeably more shy and mellow than the Turkens, but more outgoing than the Marans trio. Turkens are inquisitive and smart. Ameraucanas are quiet and gentle with bright eyes and pretty colors - their muffs make them especially cute, and their color combinations are incredible.
I did give two of the Marans cockerels to a lady with a farm. She said they have been good boys. I'm really glad she took them. They have a lot of room to run around and about half as many birds as we do to hang out with. She calls me about every 2 weeks to give me an update.
Life is slowly and surely settling into a routine here. It's all going to be good in the end.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Today the rest of the elastic showed up - I ordered more after I ran out. Now I can do the other 8 diapers and get them to Abby. Patrick will have 3 dozen diapers then and all he will need is some liners for when he's a bit older and wets more when he goes, and he'll need some larger soakers (covers) as he grows because the ones I made are quite fitted.
Abby's birthday is Thursday. I got her an outfit that I think she'll like, on clearance at WalMart, which gives me a perfect excuse to get her more things. I'm making her a pair of pettipants to go under her summer dresses to help with the chafing issue, and I found some fabric to make a really cute top from. I'm hoping to have that done by Friday when they come for dinner. We're grilling hot dogs and burgers, I think.
I moved the chickens around today. The young ones, being much more in number, are now in the larger portion of the coop. The 13 older birds are in the smaller part. This is only for about 3 weeks. Once the babies are 16 weeks old I can start feeding everyone layer feed and then they can be mixed together. It will be a little chaotic at first as the pecking order is established, but it will work out. By September I should have about 42 girls laying eggs for me, and 5 roosters who will, hopefully, get along so I don't have to cull anyone. I'm praying they just get along. They're all pretty birds and I don't want to butcher anyone right now.
I need to make banana bread in the morning, finish up the diapers, make the pettipants, and maybe get started on the top. Once her stuff is all done I am going to get started on the quilts for the twins since they turn 5 on August 3 and they get another quilt at 5. C's birthday is the 13th and I'm not quite sure what to give her. I do have some blocks from a round robin I could put together and machine quilt for her if I have time and am feeling up to it. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll come up with something.
I'm going to try to sleep tonight. I pray I can lie down next to hubby in bed and fall asleep. I'm tired of sleeping in the chair.
When the diapers are done and I take them to Abby's house I'll get pics of them and the covers and of Patrick wearing them. He's cute as a button in them. They also lessen diaper rash and are much cheaper to use. I think they're great. I'm making some as soon as I have some time and sending them to an organization that gives them to low-income moms who want to cloth diaper their babies but can't afford it. I think that's a great thing to do. I sure wouldn't want to wear plastic underwear!
Friday, June 27, 2008
I have one dozen done. The others are waiting for my eyes to stop hurting so I can finish putting them together.
I found a free diaper pattern I tweaked, as usual, while retaining the original shape. Instead of stuffing them with liners each time, I just sewed 6 rectangular pieces of flannel together with a zigzag stitch and sewed them inside the diapers. That way it's all together already and there's nothing for her to lose.
These diapers use pins, not snaps or velcro or aplix. The nicest thing about that is that they can be used from birth through potty training. Most of the newer cloth diapers come in sizes, which means you buy new ones each time the baby outgrows the ones you already have.
When I diapered my kids, I used the same diapers all the way through, so I was glad to find this pattern.
The person who made the pattern also has in the instructions to sew the front and back of the diaper together and then turn it right side out, after which you add elastic to the legs. Not for me. I use FOE (foldover elastic) to bind the edges of the whole diaper and stretch it pretty much as far as it will go on the leg area. This saves time and also puts a nice edging on the diapers.
The soakers will be made of fleece with an extra piece of fleece and a piece of microfiber fabric sewn in "the wet spot" to help limit soak-through episodes. These particular soakers have bands at the leg openings and waist instead of elastic, which I like for a couple reasons. First, they are a bit more trim. Second, since most of my family inherited at least a piece of my intolerance for latex or rubber products, the use of elastic can be irritating. That's why, when I found this pattern, I downloaded it to use for the soakers. I downloaded all the sizes so I can make bigger ones as he grows.
I'm not using PUL for the soaker, either. PUL is a polyurethane laminate over fabric that makes it pretty much waterproof. It's all the rage in hand-crafted baby diaper covers these days. However, since polyurethane is a byproduct of petroleum refining and that is associated with the latex issue, I'm not using it. I'm hoping the soaker with the extra wet spot protection will do the trick.
Yes, she'll have to change him a little more often. No, they're not as convenient as disposables, and she will have to carry a bag to put the wet diapers in and such. However, they are MUCH cheaper than disposables and better for the baby, not to mention the environment. He will like the feel better. It has to be hot lying in plastic and paper and petroleum beads every day. Cloth which will breathe and let his skin do the same will be much better.
I also found a group that provides hand-crafted diapers for low income moms and after I finish these diapers I am hoping to feel up to making at least a few dozen and donating them to this organization. When I post the pics of the diapers I'll include the link to it. I believe they also accept cloth menstrual pads so I can make some of them too. Mine are great. It's much better than paper and plastic (again?) and feels softer on the skin. I don't get a rash from the flannel ones, either.
I guess that's enough for today. Have a blessed weekend.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
This morning I got my courage up and went in the chick area outside - the roofed one - armed with the shovel, rake, and broom, and proceeded to rake, sweep, scrape poop, and shovel stuff up. Once I had it at least 75% cleaner, I added some fresh hay and spread it a bit so that it will absorb some of the poop and some of the remaining dampness and then in a few days I can do it again and we'll have a clean outside area for the babies.
I can't do anything for the hens right now outside-wise. The dirt is either dirt or it's mud. They do have much more room inside, though, so they can go in there if they get hot or need a dry place to hang out. We do need to put some perches in there, though, so they have a place to sit that's not on the ground. Maybe I can come up with something.
I've been sewing a lot. I made a new dress, some headcoverings, a jumper, a blouse and a nightie for me as well as a jumper for Becky and a top and shorts for Abby. It's good to feel up to sewing. This week I need to start on June's birthday presents. Kenny will be 3 on the 15th and Tobie will be 7 on the 21st and they both need quilts...Kenny's will be a quillow and Tobie is getting a denim/flannel rag quilt since he outgrew the one I made him when he was younger. He asked for it specifically so that's what I'll make him.
I did call Tech Support and they helped me rig up this computer the right way so that the mouse isn't acting all whacky and the internet doesn't keep shutting down all the time. I'm most of the way adjusted to it now. In fact, the regular computer feels weird. Today I went to Walmart and got some stuff and picked up a dinner lap tray thing they had there to put the laptop on. I didn't know you're not supposed to put it on your lap or it can overheat. Now I'm not using a kid's tray...the one I had been using had given me a bruise from where the folded up leg piece rubbed against my knee.
I'm so blessed...yes I am...God is good.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Cuckoo Marans chick
The chicks are getting big. They love to go under the outside overhang, which we have blocked off so the big birds can't beat them up. It'll be at least another 12 weeks before I can blend the group, by which time the babies will be big enough to hold their own against the grownups.
They like scratch grains in small quantities. They love worms. They'll also eat dandelion greens and bugs once they figure out it.
The big birds have picked up with laying again. I'm getting more eggs than we've had in a few months. I'm thrilled with that. They love dandelion greens, worms, old buttermilk, cottage cheese, bread and all kinds of leftovers. They far prefer the goodies to their regular food, just like they'd rather drink out of a mud puddle than drink clear water from the waterer. Go figger.
I'm kinda tired so this will be short but I wanted to get up the pics of the 6-week-old birds before they were older.
Have a blessed week.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I believe that I at least bruised my tailbone. It HURTS. If it hurts this much to bruise it when I'm on narcotics, what would it have felt like if I wasn't on them? My youngest daughter did hers a few years back but the bruise she got was about 1/4 or less the size of mine.
Instead of sitting or lying around and fussing, though, knowing already that position and activity level really usually doesn't affect the fact that I'm going to hurt whether or not I like it, I did make myself get up yesterday and do some of the things I usually do. It makes no sense to sit around and then get sore from not moving. That just makes it worse.
I did have to take 1/2 a 7.5/750 Lortab Monday night but haven't had one since. I'm going to need one soon, though. I can feel it.
If I sit in a hard chair on a round pillow (my equivalent of a donut cushion) it helps my butt feel better. However, due to my reaction to this dose of Methadone, my feet swell up like dinner rolls rising on a baking sheet. If I put my feet up, my butt hurts.
Hubby was messing with me Monday night - I've become quite the klutz since I started taking more meds than I eat - and he said, "I can't take you anywhere!" I looked back and said, "Well, it looks like you can't leave me here, either."
I'm going to see my doc when I can get in this week. I don't want to and I'm not sure how it's going to feel driving my stick shift car but I need to see her and I'll be careful and drive like a geezer if I need to. After a couple weeks when I can tolerate the manipulation, I'll go to my chiropractor and have her abuse me a bit because I'm pretty sure I'm out of alignment now.
This also made my shoulders tense and my head hurts. It's not the AFP. This is a headache.
Ah, life is wonderful.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
A Marans chick
One of our 15 Turkens
A White Wyandotte
An Ameraucana - I'm not sure if you can see her green legs or not
This is a little group of girls being girls
The babies are going through almost 4 pounds of food a day now. I'd forgotten how much they eat when they're growing. It takes a lot of energy to get so much bigger than the chicks are at birth as well as changing the fluff they are born with for feathers of many colors. At 4 weeks, they are at least halfway feathered out. Another 2-4 weeks and they'll be done with that.
I cleaned the covered over outside area yesterday, swept what the rake wouldn't get up, and this morning I put down a clean flake of hay. It smells a lot better in there now.
Argh...that reminds me that I need to clean the baby coop area. 36 chicks can make a lot of droppings in a week, and that stinks. I guess maybe later today I'll clean that out and replace the litter so they don't smell up the whole yard.
I added some plus-sized pettipants to my Etsy store. The headcoverings aren't selling, but I think maybe these will because every plus-sized woman who wears dresses with bare legs in the summer will suffer the consequences of chafing, which is very uncomfortable. Abby has already asked me for some. I'm probably making hers today if I get enough sleep in a while to be safe at the machine.
I need to go see my pain doc today, too, so I have to try to take a nap this morning after hubby leaves. I see her at 10:00 and she's about 35 minutes from here. If I sleep till about 8:30 and leave at 9:00 or so just in case I should be fine. Friday I see my psychiatrist. It feels weird to not be seeing either one of them more than every 2 months.
I should get my morning started. Hubby will be up shortly.
Another night with no sleep....~sigh~
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I made a new headcovering this morning to match my newest dress.
I didn't have one that looked good with it, at least not in my eyes, so I pulled out this fabric and made it.
I made it in the "D" shape that makes it more full and that way it doesn't have the wings that some of the shorter ones do.
I added ties to the bottom front so I could keep it on my head since I don't do well with elastic. It makes me itch or it squeezes my head, or both.
In a burst of creativity, I added a "brim" made of cotton quilt batting and another piece of fabric underneath and once it was all in one piece, I did some simple stippling on the brim to make sure the batting doesn't slide around.
I took off my glasses for this pic because the glare that shows up on pictures bothers me. You'll have to excuse the bags under my eyes. It's a mixture of lack of sleep and allergies.
I like how this covering looks. Maybe I'll make a few more in different colors.
I'm noticing how the longer I wear the headcoverings, the less I care about what other people think or say when they see I'm wearing one. I tend to get a bit more courtesy from most people, like doors held open and "excuse me" from people who cross in front of me and stuff, but I'm not asking for it. It's just happening. I don't know...maybe they think I'm a nun or something.
* * * * * * * * * *
Today I took Becky and her kids to the mall for a while. We walked around, then stopped and had pretzels as usual. I bought her kids each a new outfit at Penney's. I got a couple cute new cards to send someone when the urge strikes. I found more than a few things I would like to buy, but I am trying to be a bit more frugal with our money so I didn't do it. It wasn't all that easy because back when I was working I pretty much spent what I wanted, when I wanted. However, our family finances come first, and it's a bit tight lately because hubby didn't have overtime for almost a month so we're still catching up. Oh yes, and then there were the truck tires, and the 1/2 cow and the butchering fees, and the chicks, and more chick food, and the stuff for the garden, and gas for the mowers...
Now we have a bearing gone on one rider mower, and hubby thinks the pulley needs to be repaired as well. On the other older one, we have a problem with it liking to eat belts, and they are almost $30 each. Fortunately the first yard mowing of the year is almost totally done and hubby says the rest can be done with the push mower so we can wait till my disability comes in to fix whichever rider mower is cheaper to fix for now. The older one needs a newer, smaller deck, and that's going to be around $1500 with labor and all. It also needs new blades.
I am thankful God provides for us and watches over us and makes sure we are not overwhelmed as long as we remember that He sees and knows all we are going through and He is there with us - all we need to do is call on Him.
I pray peace and blessings on all of you, and have a good week.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The dappled willows in the front did badly last spring and summer. We lost two of the three plants we had. We also lost a couple rose bushes and a peach tree.
I took clippings from the remaining dappled willow, put them in rooting compound, and we'll see if they take.
We have new daffodils I planted last fall.
We just put in new hollyhocks- I got the roots at ChinaMart and planted them in the other half of the hollyhock bed.
We got a new rose bush.
I found a bulb for a blue bearded iris and planted it for hubby. He loves irises more than I do. I hope it does well.
We also have the Rose of Sharon we planted last fall. We got that at the farmer's market for $5, I think.
I have tomato seedlings and broccoli plants growing now. I planted the cucumber seeds two days ago. I have lettuce going but it never does very well for me. I'm not sure why. Maybe I don't thin it soon enough. I also planted some chives.
The chicks are growing like crazy. Man, can they eat! We went through 50 pounds of starter/grower in under 3 weeks. I know they're growing, but there is a huge difference in feed between 19 chicks and 36. Oh yes...and the poo issue. I have never seen so much poo at once.
They're feathering out now and look really cute. I can't wait till they get big enough to let out in the porch area so they can get fresh air and sunshine, but that will be another 3-4 weeks at least. They have to be fully feathered first.
We need to get a bigger feeder. I'm using two of the red plastic ones and they clean them out in less than 24 hours. I'll do that in a couple weeks when my disability comes in. In the meantime, I'll feed them twice a day. It won't kill me.
Finally, after a lot of work, I have my bra pattern almost right. I made yet another one, changing the pattern again and using a different technique to apply the interfacing, and the resulting bra was *this close* to what I wanted to see. One more slash and tape session with the cups and I should have it just where I want it.
Here are a couple pics of the bra itself. One is on the hanger, and the other is on me so you can see that there is no fat hanging over the top of the side pieces, which is a major plus for this pattern. It's comfy and supportive, and it fits.
Here it is on me.
I like how the black looks with the gray. I was going to do it all gray but really had trouble finding lace the right width and specifications that matched or at least looked decent so I decided black was going to be fine.
Once the pattern is settled, I have some really pretty fabric to make a few with. It gets frustrating that not only can I rarely find bras that fit, but that most of them are ugly and either white, nude or black. Plus sized women want nice bras in nice colors, too. Off-size plus sized women want them as well.
And this is where I've been and what I've been doing since I posted last.
Monday, April 14, 2008
White Wyandotte chick
Getting used to the new living space
We got the chicks last Thursday. I'd forgotten how much more work they are. I don't mind, though. They're cute enough to make up for it!
I can't wait till they're big enough to go out with the others. After that it will be culling time and then we'll have lots of pretty new eggs and lots of pretty colored new birds. I love this time of year!