Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm poolside in Houston. . .

It's 9:00 tonight.

And we're lounging around on pool floaties and enjoying this gorgeous night. The home overlooks Memorial Park in Houston. A tropical storm is about to hit here in a few days. Dolly is her name. It's all over the news. But now it is calm. I have a few mosquitoes bitting at my ankles.

I am on vacation.

My camera battery is dead so I'm taking this picture off a wonderful mac pro laptop with the built-in camera.

I really love vacations. I feel so creative. I am working on a line of fabric... and I've been somewhat stumped during my regular business hours. But now that I'm on vacation, I feel nothing but creativity. I keep drawing them out with my brand new felt pen and sketchbook. I have unlimited ideas!!

I have my feet making waves in the pool and I'm watching my shadow from the sun behind me and my mind is free. I dreamed I was in the singing group The BeeGees this morning just before I woke up. And Barry's mic was off but he didn't know. I looked around the audience worried but the audience seemed to be enjoying him regardless... and I woke up relieved and smiling.

I was the female singer of the group.

That's why I love vacations. I can dream. And I dream of anything and everything.

When you're on vacation, you have all the time in the world... to dream. And I do.

I fly out of Houston tomorrow night and will stay in Dallas until early Saturday morning. I probably won't be back until I return.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Friends on facebook

I don't recall how I ever came to sign up on facebook.

I've been finding myself going on there more and more lately and typing in names of old friends and acquaintances to see if they're on facebook.

It's become a bit addicting.

"Whatever happened to Gary?" I'd wonder. "Is Scott on facebook? Cindy? Nathan? Jennifer?" I would type in their names. Some friends I haven't seen in years. We were such close friends at one point in time, and then came moves across country or marriages and we lost touch. I look there to reconnect.

Most of the time, I don't find anyone on there, but on occasion when I do find them, I select Add Friends next to their name and wait for them to confirm and accept me as their friend. Sometimes they don't show their face in the facebook photo so I can only guess if it's them or not by their name and location only.

It's like I'm 9 years old! I sit there wiggling in my seat in anticipation for them to say, "yes, I confirm we are friends!"

I feel bashfully vulnerable.

Nearly everyone confirms yes, but then there are a few I haven't heard back from. And when after a fews days have slipped by without receiving confirmation from them, a bit of an uncomfortable anquish starts to stir in me.

It's silly to feel that way. I know that. Confirming or not confirming friends on facebook does not constitute real life. So I allow those silly feelings to quickly dispurse from me.

Maybe they're not online and haven't seen my invite yet. Or that wasn't them after all .. just someone who shares the same name.

I am reminded back in time when we moved across town into another house and into a different school. I was 9 years old.

I knew no one.

So one saturday morning, feeling bored and lonely without my old friends around, I walked down past our barn and through the apple orchard and carefully climbed through the barb wire fence at the end of our property and entered the new residential neighborhood. I was determined to meet and make new friends that day.


"Do you have any kids my age?" I would ask parents door to door.

Ya wanna play? I would ask whenever a kid answered the door.
Ya wanna be friends? I'd ask another.
And they always said, yes and that was that.

When I was 9, I hadn't learned that deep, all-encompassing inner space of feeling self-conscious that I feel even now.

There was never any second guessing. I simply asked and we were instant friends..

On facebook... in some sort of small way, reconnecting with friends is sorta like being 9 all over again. You can't be friends without first extending the invitation and without the other party confirming they want that, too.

By the way, this is not an advertisement. It's just me chatting nervously and squirming around while waiting back to hear from some old friends from long ago. If you'll excuse me ... I'm gonna get back online and see if they connected.

And who knows, maybe I'll see you in there, too! I hope so.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The sun sets on a 3-day weekend

Here I am pushing Kate on her cart this afternoon. I say, "put yer feet up!" And she would! And off we'd go! (Tyler was with his mom at the pool! Yeah. We were all envious in this hot weather!)

It was such a nice weekend.

I filled it up as full as I could fill it. From watching the fireworks to outdoor parties to barbecues and sitting outdoors long after the sun went down, talking about all kinds of fun and interesting topics over candlelight.

This is my beautiful mom who put on little Kate's summer hat just in time for me to snap my camera.

I got inspired by my brother and Angie's yard. So I went home and started digging up old yellow grass in my backyard to re-landscape it. I have a plan but it's just not in clear focus at the moment. But it's there. It will look beautiful once I'm done.

Can you see us in this picture? It's me and my mom and Kate. It's sorta like looking for a lost easter egg, isn't it?

What a weekend. I scrubbed and polished my bathroom so if necessary I could eat off it incase of an emergency. I painted my outdoor furniture and hanging pots. (and my grass because I used spray paint). I washed my car. I mopped my floors. I mowed and I pulled up weeds and I swept my patio. I bought groceries. I did a ton of laundry and caught up on last season's LOST. And each night between 2 and 4:30am, I'd toss and turn looking for the coolest corner of my pillowcase ... flipping it over and over and over again... laying sideways on my bed just across the sheets and remembering as a kid sleeping upstairs in hot, muggy Swansboro, (the friendly city by the sea) North Carolina in August visiting Granddaddy without air conditioning.

I love the Fourth of July. It is my favorite holiday. I usually spend it somewhere else. Within the past five years, I have spent two in Maui and one in San Antonio and two here in Santa Rosa.

A zillion years ago we spent the summer (and July 4th) of 1976 traveling across country with my mom and our next door neighbor's mom and seven of us kids and a nanny. We saw the Badlands. And Yellowstone. And Mt. Rushmore. And the nickel factory in Sudbury, Canada and we visited Toronto (including stopping in (after a long drive) at the Defranco Family's house in Welland) where Tony's father was so kind and invited us into their home and gave us the tour of their home back then and my sister still teases me to this day. Yes. It's true. I had my mom take a picture of me sitting on their toilet so I could catch their coodies.

I'm still that way!!! Cooties are good and bad. I love catching GOOD cooties. Isn't that silly? If I have a favorite friend sit in my backseat of my car.. as I step out of the drivers seat and when no one is looking, I'll scoot in and sit in that seat as my friend for just a moment to collect the coodies.

Just shoot me now.

It was a fabulous trip. We were in Williamsburg, VA that year. And Boston. And Philadelphia. And all through the Amish country. We visited relatives in Long Island and throughout Virginia and we learned to play horseshoes like riding a bike. And then then there was Swansboro. A place all of it's own. And it was the perfect year.. as we celebrated the 200th year birthday of our country.

I really want to re-experience those drives back across country again. If you never have. Please do. We really do live in a wonderful world.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Another Dick and Jane Lunch box

I loved my lunch box. Each year I would pick out a new one. I would thoughtfully pick them out as carefully as I would pick out a puppy from the pound.

When I was in the third grade, this wonderful lunch box carried more than its share of bologna sandwiches, cookies and bananas. I collected pretty rocks in this box as I zig-zagged my way home from school. It also housed school papers and artwork and was a shield from the Boriolo brothers that warm afternoon when they decided to bombard Terry and I with cherries from their aunt's front yard tree.

And who can forget the stink that would rise up from the blackened banana peel left inside the box over the weekend. Nor the sour smell from the thermos. My mom would fill it up with soap and hot water and let it sit overnight on top of our kitchen counter before filling it with Kool-Aid's Tropical Punch.

So you can imagine my pleasure when I was asked to design the second Dick and Jane lunch box for Michael Miller Fabrics. You might recall the first one I did looked like this:

It's a double-honor since I also designed all the Dick and Jane fabric. Inside this lunch box, there's enough fabric to make a lovely soft book.

This newest Dick and Jane lunch box contains a pattern and enough fabric to make a really cute Easy Breey Backsack by Lizzy B Creative and should be available in various quilt shops near you.