gently prying the fingers off my psyche

My life, in boxes. Here my entire love of sewing is represented, compartmentalized. Two of my sewing machines await Moving Day, on the top of my other (main love) machine (tucked away in cabinet).

We moved into this house five-plus years ago. One of the first things we did – I massively pregnant – was to repaint the room for our baby on the way. A couple months ago for the first time we changed the purpose of the room – from my children’s bedroom (Nels had arrived in 2004) – to my sewing room. Today I swept cobwebs out for the last time; took down my homesewn curtains. Tried to feel a “fuck yes!” instead of sadness. Our first home as a family.

Ralph, gleefully removing the expensive, low-energy compact bulbs to take with us, while replacing them with cheap ones. My husband is very sweet. He moves about two-hundred percent of my speed. He accepts that for me, packing one box is emotionally draining. He says things like, “That’s a very good idea!” at any suggestion I have. He gets on chairs to change bulbs and I take a picture of his ass, which I think you’ll agree is most excellent.

After today’s work, the good news: 1 out of 3 of our bedrooms is entirely clean, entirely packed, ready to go. The bad news: I will be having minor panic attacks as I drift in that purgatory for nesters – unable yet to make a new home, dismantling the old.

Nels, on the kitchen counter as Ralph cooks breakfast (photograph by Sophie). He likes robots. He likes bacon and eggs even more. He waits patiently for them.

Loaves and Fishes. Except not Fishes.

Grocery Opus, Week 2: The topic of discussion is bread.

In recent years there have been some times in our life where our family eats nearly a loaf a day. This is usually due to the following two factors: 1. a lack of planned snacks or lunches, and 2. a proclivity towards toast for morning breakfasts (my husband’s doing mostly).

Knowing this, as I embarked on my once-a-week plan I could not quite bring myself to buy several loaves for the week. A side note: it is comforting knowing that should I choose to do so, I could put loaves in the freezer. Bread doesn’t last forever in a freezer, but under a week is perfect. Simply put the loaf in as-is (no additional wrapping), and take it out for an overnight thaw. This includes dinner rolls, hamburger buns – anything at all bread-like. This is also a great idea for appetizers or snack breads (my bruschetta could use a stored loaf, either whole or pre-cut) in case you ask company over for the next day.

The first and second weeks I followed through on the once-a-week plan, I simply bought one loaf of bread. I thought – well, I thought I would run out of this bread and bake more. As it turned out, with the substitution of other items for snacks (veggie sticks and hummous, tuna noodle casserole, biscuits with hard-boiled eggs) we did not in fact eat as much bread. This helps bolster a point: some things we think we need (and therefore buy in quantity), are actually only self-perpetuating habits (this is also my theory as to why bulk-Costco shopping does not in fact save a great deal of money; or at least, that the savings are countermanded by the increased consumptive rate the buying often fosters).

The last couple weeks I have bought one loaf of bread and have only baked two batches of biscuits to supplement. Given we have discovered bread is not a daily need, it makes it all the more likely we will be encouraged to make bread from scratch. And at $3 – $4 a loaf, losing out on a couple loves a week from the grocery bill is a bonus.

Here is Week #2’s shopping list:

1 head red leaf lettuce
1 head romaine lettuce
1 lb. fresh green beans
1 bunch celery
1 small head cabbage
5 lbs. clementines
2 lbs. carrots
4 oz. sprouts
2 cucumbers
large jar pickles
tostada shells
1 1/2 lb. pistachios
2 pounds vine tomatoes
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
2 lbs. extra-lean hamburger meat, all natural
1 can each tomato sauce, petite diced, and tomato paste
2 cans coconut milk
2 cans baby corn
1 can medium olives
2 lbs. angel hair pasta (buy one get one free)
2 lbs. raisins
5 lbs. all-purpose flour
baking powder
salt and pepper shakers
1 lb. frozen peas
2 lbs. oven fries, frozen
1 bag potato chips
1 pound butter
18 eggs
2 lbs. extra sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. shaved parmesan
1/2 pound swiss cheese
1/2 pound deli ham, all-natural
1 gallon organic milk
1 quart half and half
1 package sourdough hoagies
4 hamburger buns, 100% whole wheat
12 pack Red Hook beer
Glad Press-N-Seal wrap
3 bars coconut castille soap

The total came to $154.

because, you know, you all GIVE a shit about what we eat.

I am feeling duty-bound to report occasionally following up my grocery opus from the other day (thanks to those four people who actually trudged their way through that one, by the way!). So far we are well-fed, our fridge is tidy, and I have bought nothing – not even a cup of coffee or one roll – from a store since Sunday.

I am devoting less time mentally (and yes, emotionally), physically, and financially to food, without sacrificing the quality of what we eat. Yet, I have to reorient myself in small ways. Today in my two-hour break between being home from playschool and leaving on a trip with a friend, I had to cook a lunch (broccoli from Sunday night’s dinner with homemade ceasar dressing, hardboiled egg, and cheese cubes), then rinse and soak beans for tonight. I also made up fresh biscuits, slathered mustard and stuffed with corned beef, and prepared carrot sticks (for Sophie and I on our trip). These food errands while juggling kids, doing dishes, washing and folding laundry, helping my children clean their room, serving lunch, cleaning up after lunch and putting my son to bed, and assimilating freshly-washed hand-me-downs into their closets while winnowing out the grow-out for other families. I ain’t saying it wasn’t fun; it was. But the food preparation and cleanup this entailed when I normally would have grabbed a sandwich from a deli (and while I was there, bought a Vietnamese coffee. and some spicy pepperoni. and…) required an adjustment.

There have been only a few hiccups in our meal plan. Tonight my husband does not succeed in cooking the beans for dinner long enough (I had left instructions but somehow he didn’t get it) so at 7 PM they still needed another hour and we were already late for dinnertime (read: kids were gnawing on the table legs and, occaisonally, each other). Normally we have canned refried beans so to graduate to dried-and-soaked ones is still new. However! I had one large can in the pantry (as he pointed out) so those were heated while the whole ones were cooked and preserved in the freezer for a dinner next week.

Tomorrow we have enough dinner to invite a friend; I do. She’s bringing fresh, delicious beer from our favorite brewery. For now: a cuddle with my daughter and Season 2 Disc 2 of NBC’s “The Office”.

prepare to grab at your chest, because I am going to bore the tits off you.

I’m going to warn you – this will be a long, laborious, boring entry to many. The truth is, though, a few people write me every week or two to praise my efforts and chronicles of being a housewife and to appreciate my writing. Some of them, yes, are even impressed with my career advances in housewifery! (these are the ones that don’t live near me where they can see the broken dryer in my driveway, the holes in my socks, and the state of my lawn!)

So anyway. I am responsible for (at least) four people’s every piece of nutritional intake, three meals a day plus desserts, snacks, and beverages. Every day, 7 days a week (minus a few of my husband’s would-be clandestine hot dogs at, yes, the Safeway gas station! Jesus.). It took me a while to figure out how phenomenal this responsibility is; but now I truly get it. This week I am offering up both my philosophy and a few practical approaches to feeding a family good food.

As a rule, I try to eschew the more typical views: that food is something incidental, something we deserve convenience with, and something that should only consume a miniscule amount of our financial resources (look it up: in most other parts of the world 70% is a more realistic figure). Neither do I believe food should be the obsessive enterprise in our life or that orgiastic pleasure should be achieved each dinner. I believe there is an art and a science to feeding a family in the way that works best for the family. I am seeking out methods that are economical and embrace both my talents and my personal values – nutritional, social, environmental, and ethical.

My personal pitfalls are not lack of skill nor tiring of the job. I love cooking from scratch and can’t remember the last time I opened up a can of soup nor bought ready-made frosting. My struggles usually deal with thinking too much on food and making my day in large part about mulling over recipes, securing the groceries, and making the time to cook. What I’d prefer is to feed the family well, to spend money on products we believe in without using the purchase as a “shopping spree”, and to spend less time thinking about food (what to make, when to make it, how much is left, etc).

A couple years ago I attempted to buy groceries for the week. I fell prey to two common problems with this approach. The first is this: if you don’t follow your plan to the letter, you often end with extra food (in raw form or leftovers), food you ultimately end up throwing out. The second potential difficulty is if you schedule meals you aren’t that excited about cooking or eating, you will not enjoy the experience and you will start to – you got it, think about food some more. Two other potential negative aspects of this approach to note: it elminates meal spontanaety to some extent, and the other partner, if you have one, may have difficulty stepping in and making the meal(s) you’d planned.

However, in the last couple years since I last tried weekly buying, I have learned a few tricks. So the last week and this I felt emboldened to try the method again.* Here is how I went about it.

First, a few days ago I re-organized my pantry. This experience was actually pleasant for me as I discovered I really used most of the food in my house – there were no cans of this-or-that, no stale spices, no random baking ingredients, no processed pasta helpers or pudding mixes (incidentally, the intimate knowledge of and use of my own pantry is one of the tricks I learned over the last two years). It took me about thirty minutes to get my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer in good order; mostly, it was in good order because I use it a lot and have been slowly weaning myself from unneccesary items.

So now I knew what I had in my house. I knew exactly what kind of dried beans I had, how many cans of tomato sauce, and what the status was on the baking powder. I had an organized and uncluttered fridge and freezer (the freezer becomes important, as you will see). From there, it was very easy to come up with a week menu – considering first any perishable groceries needing to be consumed (in my case, four pounds of corned beef from a favorite market, a bag of baby spinach, an opened can of coconut milk), thinking on the pantry items (the cashews would make a good match with a savory Asian dish; my mom’s home-canned tuna should be considered), and consolidating ingredients for the week into more than one meal (for instance, my favorite red sauce recipe makes up enough for two dinners). I made a simple grid of six days and wrote out the dinner plan (no fine details).

Now, at this point I had to think of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and beverages (by this I mean alcoholic, and we limit ourselves to beer and wine). My goal is not to eat out or shop again until Saturday, when my husband and I have our date. In any case with this method you want to have some snack ideas so you don’t fall prey to ordering a pizza at 2:30 in the afternoon when your energy is shot and everyone’s crabby and dinner is a few hours away (or is this just me that does this?). Thinking of all this extra food in addition to dinners sounds terrifying but it’s really not. If you eat large family dinners, you probably eat leftovers the next day and mostly snack for lunch and have easy breakfasts. As long as you keep some staples in your house, you only need to think of fresh snack ideas you may enjoy over the week – items like fruit, lunch meat, maybe soup ingredients. List these breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas – the ones both in your pantry (for instance, cornbread or oatmeal cookies) and the ones you plan to buy – in another column next to your week’s dinners. Add any appropriate items to your shopping list.

Finally, you should think on any household sundries you may want to buy from your store – toothpaste, laundry soap, light bulbs, etc. Add these to your shopping list.

Now you have a menu and a shopping list (you can take both to the store). Here is my week’s menu:

Now, I am familiar enough with shopping that I write the list in the order the ingredients are laid out in the store. After I have the list, the family loads up for our shopping trip. Making the menu, the list, and buying the groceries took about one hour. Here was what we bought:

1 head red leaf lettuce
2 lbs. carrots
8 jalapenos
1 spaghetti squash
2 shittake mushrooms
4 granny smith apples
1 bunch celery
1 can tomato sauce
1 can petite dice tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 cans green beans
1 package spring roll wraps
1 lb. organic tofu, firm
1 package rotille pasta
1 large canister oatmeal
four-pack Guinness
4 Port Townsend Brewery beers
1 lb. coffee from Sunrise Coffee (local)
Large sour cream
2 lbs. butter
2 gallons milk
2 lbs. extra sharp cheese
1 jar peanut butter (no added ingredients)
1 package frozen steak fries
1 lb. ground pork (all natural)
1 lb. leanest ground beef (all natural)
1 loaf bread (whole wheat)
4 hamburger buns (100% whole wheat)
seasoning salt
tinfoil (100 ft reynold’s wrap)
12 roll toilet paper
package of 2 pastry brushes

The total was $127.

When I got home and before I put groceries away, I cleaned the fridge of anything from last week that wouldn’t be used. This only turned out to be about 1/2 cup of taco meat, two servings of peanut sauce, and some leftover hot cereal. Anything still edible (say, last night’s dinner) was already parsed into leftover servings and on the top shelf where my husband can retrieve it (by the way; he is instructed to take the leftovers to work and, if he doesn’t eat them, to dispose of them and bring back clean
dishes. I don’t care if he eats them or not, although he usually does – I just don’t want to be stacking up leftovers all week long
.) The groceries are then put away.

The freezer deserves a tangential mention here. My freezer is 40% full of whole grains and flours. Besides these items and ice cubes, I freeze in very small spurts of time – a few days for meat, a few days for bread. So the pork and hamburger I bought today will spend a couple days in the freezer and be taken out the day before I cook them. This is mostly psychological so I’m not seeing red meat in the fridge for a few days and worrying about it. We make bread in our home, but it is good to have some in the freezer if you anticipate running out and don’t want to do another store run (where you are guaranteed to come home $30 short for “just a loaf of bread”). I also buy butter when it’s on sale to freeze (we are a no-margarine zone) and I freeze items like homemade frosting that are often put up in large batches. It takes time to know what freezes well (and by “well” I mean effortlessly, with no double-wrapping bullshit). I am not a big Freezer Fanatic but I have learned to use it and keep on top of it.

Back to this week. These groceries and this amount of money (along with what I have in my pantry) will keep my husband in lunches at his work (mostly leftovers, as is his preference) and supply lunch, breakfast, and homemade non-processed foods for our week, as well as our liquor bill in its entirity. It also will (hopefully) afford me a significant less amount of time in THINKING and PLANNING food (because I did this today). All in all, I spent 1 1/2 – 2 focussed hours on this project and I won’t have to shop again this week.

That’s as clear as I feel like making it. If you should decide to try some of these ideas, here are a few more tips:

1. Make one of your primary goals to KNOW what food you have in your home and how much of it you have. Maybe this seems daunting; it used to be to me. Grab the courage to throw out things you don’t use, or use them up and don’t buy them again until you plan on using them. I also posit this sort of mental inventory is much easier for someone who is primarily a homemaker and not an earner. If you are tracking a full workday or share cooking and buying duties you will have to be more creative in making this happen.

2. Make your secondary goals to A. NOT throw out food, and B. Enjoy the food you eat. This also is tricky; often people going for the weekly shopping will at first try to be economical. A small grocery bill doesn’t make up for three days of whats-it “healthy” casseroles or many reheats of the same soup (individual family preferences vary here).

3. Consider shopping at one grocery store, if there is one you like to support (even if prices aren’t rock-bottom – remember, your time is worth something, not to mention your petrol!). Multiple trips to different stores mean you will likely tire of the exercise and increase the likelihood you will make impulsive buys.

4. On your weekly grocery trip, stick to the list. Even if you see lovely seasonal tupperware or a yummy tea – do NOT buy it. Tell yourself that if you really want this thing you will put it on the next list (next week). A little longing never hurt anyone – and impulsive shopping adds up.

5. Caveat to rule #4 – you can deviate a bit from your list (celery was on sale today). A bit. Now, PUT THE ITEM YOU BOUGHT ON YOUR LIST. Take it home and make mental (or written) inventory. You should have only bought one or two “extra” things.

6. Post a similar menu as the one above up on your fridge. This will release you from thinking about what to cook, it will remind you of what ingredients you have (esp. the perishable items), and enable others to help you cook if you feel burnout during your week.

7. Streamline what’s in your kitchen by learning to cook from scratch. Keep condiments down. A fridge full of condiments that don’t get used creates a cluttered fridge that you won’t really enjoy looking in. Just like your pantry and freezer, know and use what’s in the fridge.

And finally, a few evaluation tools at the end of the week:

1. How much did you enjoy what you ate?

2. Did you throw any food out?

3. What did you do with the time you would have spent at the grocery store or thinking of what to eat? Did you find yourself thinking of the meal plan or could you release that concern?

4. How much did you spend? What did this compare to previous weeks?

5. How happy were you with the leftovers? Were those eaten happily or did you make too much? Not enough?

6. What did your family think of your meals? Did your partner (if you have one) step in and help?

Finally – I encourage you to gauge your success not by what your grocery bill is per week. Grocery bills are useless to compare because each family has different members, different values in terms of food quality (local and fresh or not; organic or non; vegetarian or non, etc). However, this method will enable you to KNOW more about what you spend since you will have one ticket per week.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

* I chose a weekly frequency but you could buy for two weeks or more. I like the relative spontaneity a week plan affords me and I also don’t want to look at a packed fridge at the beginning of the food term. This method keeps my fridge rather svelte.

on the brink of a minor exodus

This morning at 7:30 I slip out from between my two children as they sleep. Like magnets they click together and resume their mutual slumber. Into the kitchen, start the coffee. Turn up the heat. For the second morning in a row, I stand at the window of my sewing room and smoke a half a cigarette. I take a quick shower, wipe down the bathroom floor, and put my clothes and towel in the laundry.

I peek in the bedroom and my children still sleep. In the kitchen, still in my towel, I make and put a puff-pankcake in the oven and set the timer. I have been baking hot food for breakfast the last few days, too. Yesterday was corn pudding, the extra portions of which I shared with two good friends.

Today I will be in charge of finishing packing the family’s clothes and toiletries, rolling up freshly-washed sleeping bags and putting the rain boots in the car. I will also balance our checkbook, finish the laundry (which includes, rather oddly, a large rubber snake that was inadvertantly peed on by Nels), put cat food and water out, buy our Thanksgiving groceries (mercifully only a two-store stop), pick up a gift for my sister’s birthday and wrap it, and buy buttons and ribbon for clothes I finsi. And maybe – just maybe, if I have time – finish sewing a pair of pants for my son.

Today after my husband gets off work we will venture out on Highway 101 for an hour and a half’s drive to my family’s cabin at Mason Lake. My great-grandfather built it, and it’s a log fucken cabin – not a “cabin” that is actually a cute little condo (although many of our neighbors have “upgraded” to such forms of vacation dwellings). I have mixed feelings about the cabin. Amongst them are an antipathy toward the legacy of my grandmother’s (gone four years now) authoritarian regime and grandfather’s (my lone surviving grandparent) patrician assholian nature. I also feel a slight skin-crawl at my own mother’s crowing pride at the place, which is really a kind of ugly lumpy edifice and includes such things as a “deer-hoof coatrack”. But I am still glad it’s there and if it passes out of my family’s hands in this lifetime I will miss it.

As I type this the house is filling with an eggnog-y smell and hums with the dryer. Sometimes I wish I could wake up to a mom in the house.

surrounded by liquid hot sugary magma

Question: What says, “Soft Ball, Hard Ball, Soft Crack, Hard Crack, Chicken”?

Answer: My candy thermometer, which as it turns out is a total mystery in every way. I believe those first four descriptions relate to stages of candy as you cook it on a hot stove and reference what would happen if you dropped a blob of the boiling mixture into water – who would do such a thing, I ask you? It’s fucking LAVA! – but as it turns out these descriptions are pretty goddamn important if you don’t want to end up covered in sticky sugary confection along with anything in your kitchen or family that you hold dear.

So I’ve made these damn marshmallows twice now. Or should I say four times? Four times I have made the effort and twice I have ended up with actual marshmallows. The thing of it is, the first time everything went off easy so I guess I got cocky and that’s where it’s gone wrong twice since. I mean, I have a degree in chemical engineering but the process here is a mystery.

Do you know what happens when you allow your marshmallows to go one degree past the “soft ball” stage? If you’re me, you continue glibly on and then end up with something I christened “Assy Taffy” and probably tastes delicious – if I can ever pry it out of my pyrex pan. How about the second time this happens, where you wisely do not even bother combining the sugar molten lava with the cold gelatin mix awaiting in the KitchenAid, and just start over again? Well then in your pot that lay fallow on the stove percolates a brown sugar molten mess that even when cooled will still stick to your sink when you pour it down the drain. Which I did, because I was too scared to flush it in the toilet and not cruel enough to throw it in my lawn. It also makes a good depilatory agent as well, as I found out.

And yes, this week’s third attempt did in fact result in beautiful, tasty marshmallows that – should you be given some (email me your address and I’ll mail ’em) – I hope you at least realize the pain and suffering I went through to provide them.

Speaking on the issue it occurs to me that I am risking my life or at least limb in the kitchen often while I’m preparing our meals. Today for lunch I cut up a delicata squash (about a 4 on the hazard scale) which threw me into a cold sweat, remembering the last pumpkin I dismembered – carefully – to roast. I either need a sharper knife or a chopping block before I try that again. It would be really awkward for my kids to wake from their afternoon nap to find me on the kitchen floor exsanguinated.

Oh yeah, and I voted today. Hope you did too.

accomplishments that are worth a damn to ME anyway

Tonight I brought the following dinner to a friend who recently had a baby:

  • Chicken salad
  • (chicken marinated in lemon juice, soy, rice vinegar, and sugar, then broiled)
    red-leaf lettuce, cucumber, carrot, baby corn
    sweet sesame dressing

  • Cold sesame noodles
  • Peanut sauce
  • Rooster sauce
  • Satsuma mandarins
  • Two-layer cake with chocolate frosting (my friend’s favorite), all from scratch.

I also made marshmallows and sewed hats.

And no, I don’t work my ass off nor have a messy home nor a rigorously clean one. Nor do I use TV to “babysit” while I do these various activities. I do however have a relatively ordered home, a joy in learning how to care for it, a husband who participates in housecleaning, and children who (more or less) know how to entertain themselves or even assist me in the sewing room or kitchen.

I have found my groove in life, again.

buns in the oven

I have discovered recently that I am an overbaker. It comes by naturally – my mom is, too. I’m not sure if my dad or brother ever baked anything but I’m sure if they did, it was crumbly and dry. Never soft, chewy cookies in our household – always the crispy ones which are still better than No Cookies so we made do (did you know cookies should be taken out of the oven while they still look wet?). I have this fear of baking something with a gooey middle, but then I realize it has never happened in my life except that one time at the Farm when the gas oven assed-out on me. So the possibility enters my mind I need to take things out of the oven sooner.

So today I am making a Quick Plain Cake coupled with a rather fancy frosting – the “Best Chocolate Frosting” from Pasta & Co. Coupled on top of my efforts regarding overbaking I have managed to make the moronic error of putting too much flour in the batter, resulting in THREE cakes now cooling on my windowsill. The cake was originally intended for a friend whose dinner we are providing tomorrow; now I have two additional portions to attend to.

As I type this my son is climbing all over me me. He’s wearing nothing but his sister’s “Friday” panties, a drawn-on goatee he supplied himself with, and a smile.

np – Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” which I really can’t help but like. One of those overplayed songs that somehow hasn’t lost the charm for me.

gearing up for Halloweiner

This morning I awoke amidst the three others in my family, burrowed under blankets on a large mattress Pangaea on the floor of my kids’ room. These measures are necessary because we are currently having our house interior painted and sleeping in a freshly-painted room is, well, kind of gross and scary. That’s OK because I am secretly (or not-so-secretly) a big fan of family-sleeping. So last night I was only too thrilled to move a TV into the kids’ room and watch a movie (a “conventional but entertaining sports flick” indeed – I’m coming to believe the Disney sports films – The Rookie, Invincible, etc. – are my version of other women’s romantic comedies – which I don’t watch – perhaps because they are always well-crafted, contain a good period soundtrack, and are comforting, formulaic, and only mildly emotionally moving), a late-night snack, and all-night family snuggle.

This morning I disentangle myself from the litter and start coffee; Ralph and Nels soon follow in waking up and while I shower Nels lays on the floor whinging as Ralph washes breakfast dishes (apparently being hungry for ten minutes in the morning is an existential nightmare for our son). After getting dressed I snuggle next to my daughter’s sweet body and we lie in bed quietly for a while. Then she starts talking, whispering to me of a purple dragon, a dragon “that saves people”. She sits up cross-legged and holds her hands in front of her, meshes the fingers to cup someone gently, and tells me the creature has long claws to hold people, as she talks she is gazing off, remembering. “The dragon had a very friendly face,” she breathes, her smile beatific.

Today has been a near-madhouse of activity, mostly including family events – playschool responsibilities, Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating – and significantly hampered by having the house torn apart for painting. But yes, I got all my Halloween sewing done, easy. And don’t think I’m not thrilled that I have had emails asking me to post photos! And you would think I’d get to breathe a breath of relaxation now the Halloween sewing is done. My last day of my sewing workshops is tomorrow, however – so I have to prepare for that. Zippers. Funsies.

Nocturnal animals in my car, from the other night’s late-night grocery run. Which I and the kids enjoy. Note Nels’ many layers of scarf, which he wore all night without even toppling over.

one of those ways people think I’m a Good Mommy, but I’m actually a Bad One

Today after a breakfast out (I begged Ralph and he only begrudgingly agreed) we took the family to Slobberdale so I could buy fabric. Because I am a huge frakin’ sewing dork. This year for Halloween my daughter is going to be a Corpse Bride so I have to get crackin’ (Nels’ “Ice Bat” is all done). I just got home with my fabrics and pattern, threw the kids in bed, washed the fabric while cutting out the pattern:

(Butterick 4887) for her gown. I’m doing a lace overlay and a tulle peplum and currently cutting out tulle and it’s really, really weird stuff. Oh, should this be going on my sewing blog? Too fucken bad!

In other news, ever since Girls’ Movie Night (v. October ’06) I can’t stop thinking about Patrick Swayze. And not in a pervy way, either. More an intrigued way. Why doesn’t he work much these days? Why has he aged less like a person and more like a sleek rock formation? How did he get away with his hair for so long? Why doesn’t he have a better ass? I just told Ralph to go rent me another Swayze film – I gave him a trifecta of choices in order of my preference. “And,” I said, “If those three are all out, then someone in this town loves Swayze more than us – and we should just back off.”