Was in my drafts folder – even virtual things need cleaning out…meme

An interesting meme that’s been floating around:

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland/world
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen michelangelo’s david in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistene chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies.
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in london
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the alamo in person
96. swum in the great salt lake.
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

Finishing projects

A while ago, I made some posh pillowcases, using this tutorial Posh Pillowcases   Easy basic sewing, which produces a very fun pillowcase. And the tutorial then proceeds to show you how to add a crocheted edge – also very nice and easy crochet.

This summer, I finally dug them out of my WIP bin, and added the crochet edge to all 8 of them. Now, I am no longer storing them in the wire project bins in my sewing room, but can actually put them in rotation on my bed. And there is something yummy about using them on my bed. I just adore laying my head down for a rest on my own handmade with love pillowcases.

Here is a photo of some of them – I used different edgings than the ones in the tutorial, just for fun. And I am showing the front and back of the pillowcases here so you can see the combinations of fabrics that were used for the inner pocket and outer case. I love that pocket feature because the pillows no longer fall out of their cases.

Crochet trims… So many to patterns to choose from, so little time.#finishingwips #crochet #handmade #summer2016

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So. Much. Fun. to mark these off my to-do list and enjoy them.

2016 – Not the best year….

A little dramatic perhaps, but it does feel a bit as if 2016 is out to get us.Some of it is trivial – like the mower deck falling off the mower (with a couple of acres of grass to mow) and the volvo window getting cracked and the axle on the boat trailer failing (mid trip) which all happened on the same day in early July.

Some of it much more serious. My father had an ICU incident – spent 5 days in ICU recovering from a bleeding episode related to warfarin misdosage (most likely – harumph) and requited an emergency trip to another state far away to get my paralyzed mother resettled in a nursing home and care for him. This was late May – then in June I spent another 2 weeks working on their house – think hoarders, think haven’t moved in 50 years – think lots of trash and outdated clothes and a ton of decisions needing to be made. I also had to resettle my dad after his 5 day ICU stay and then a month at the rehab facililty where my mom was staying. My goals were to get the bedrooms cleaned out so a hospital bed could be moved in for my mother making her care easier, and bedrooms for people to stay overnight in should an emergency arise, and to clear the floors and halls so someone hired to clean could actually clean. I worked like the dickens – my mother will never forgive me – but most of my goals were completed and they have a cleaner, safer place to live since they refuse to move and make their situation better.

Back home by July 4th to try and enjoy some summer with my boys. But then the man about the places Grandmother began declining – and there was some sorting and shifting of her worldly goods. Just makes you stop and think about that thing you just have to have – will your children or grandchildren be sorting through it some day?

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy old things. I love vintage linens and domestic items – I like vintage sewing and knitting stuff. But mostly I like it when I can use it and it has a memory tied to it. Cute vintage napkins, great! Hanging onto my ugly artwork from my childhood, not so much.

Pre IB English papers from 1981-1982… Ancient history.

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So what do you keep? What do you throw away? In this digital age, I think it is nice to keep a virtual record sometime – but not boxes and boxes of actual high school writings of a nearly 50 year old. These got pitched – forever erased except for this one picture.

Middle school art portfolio- pretty sure I picked the right profession.

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It was a bit fun to see this artwork from my 8th grade art class – but also fun to pitch it. Will I ever regret throwing it away? I hadn’t spared a thought for it during my 20s, 30s or 40s so far – so no, I don’t think I will.

My mother saved ALL. THE. CLOTHES. Now, I have saved a few pieces from my children’s lives. I have their going home outfits. I have their christening gowns (I made each one a christening outift to give to them when/if they ever have children – should they want them). And a couple more outfits that I either made or they wore and loved – but overall, very very little. After all, I had three boys and one income so hand me downs were important. And then we passed them on to a nephew or someone else needing jackets or pajamas – I just couldn’t fathom letting them rot in an attic until ..forever. My mother had a different opinion. So polyester plaid suits of my dads from the 70s, my 4 year old selfs favorite swimsuit, girl scout unis, leotards from ballet, every baby outift we ever had. It was easy to pitch a lot of it – elastic disentegrates and things get mildewed in the humid climate where my parents live. Fabric itself rots or gets moth holes. I did save a few pieces for posterity – a layette knit by my dad’s mother. A dress sewn by my grandmother. But only if they were in great condition, and potentially usable again should I someday have a daughter in law that might love vintage baby clothes as much as I do.

What the well dressed small child wore in the late 60s – ask me how I know.

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A ton of it got donated though. And sometimes I wonder if I am too ruthless. And then I think about what it takes to store and preserve these things which I cannot use and may never use – and then I feel glad to have space in my closets. Space. For air circulation, so I can see what is in there, so I can have room for guests to hang a coat – none of which was possible at my parents home.

Yes – vintage cigars – circa 1966 – when I was born. You do the math – you will know how old I am…

Vintage cigars….

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In the end, I did have my father there to help with some decisions. After all, it was his stuff. It is my mother who will never forgive me. But I am ok with that. Healthcare workers and cleaners can now do their jobs – people can now come visit – emergency help can now be called in should there be a need. The house is STILL very full of stuff  – but a lot of the mold, mildew, termite food, roach food, rotting stuff is now gone.

And me – I have a box by the backdoor for Good Will right now. Something new comes in, something old moves out. I am also frantically going through unfinished projects and saved fabric scraps trying to USE them – not let them rot and get full of bugs – either use or donate or make a plan for it – and hopefully, when the time comes and I cannot do this type of stuff any more, I will be gracious enough to let my children pass it on, or pass it on myself. Getting old sucks in many ways. It is scary. I am going to try to do it gracefully.



The weather is warm and we are getting regular rain, so there has been a lot of mowing and weeding needing to be done. My fingernails are in a constant state of grunge – even if I wear gardening gloves.

Mother’s Day was a lovely weekend. The eldest and his girlfriend came by and cooked dinner for me Saturday night. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh corn, and lemon cake – all my faves. Sunday night the other boys cooked a lovely shishkabob meal. Boys went with me on my errands, and helped around the house, and they started building a picnic table for the yard, so we have a place outdoors to eat and even work/craft. I even got flowers. Such a lovely, and low key relaxing weekend it was!

And there's cake! Triple lemon!

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A photo posted by Robin Ray Lamb (@willowcaroline) on

This week my seniors took their IB Maths exams. Fingers crossed they did well. I get a bit of a break in the afternoons right now while the seniors take exams. Trying to use that time wisely to catch up and wrap up. We have 2 weeks of classes left, and then exams for all the rest of the students. June will be here soon.

Knitting continues in spare moments.

Sweater almost done – raveled here: Moonshine 2. Hoping to finish the button bands this weekend, and call this project finished.

Started some socks –

Sock knitting on a Friday night…

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Raveled here: Great Grey Owl Socks. So far, fun to knit – and distracting me from those buttons bands. Sigh.

And then there is the garden – I really should be out there, picking these and weeding:

Thanks Eli for getting the bird net in place in the nick of time! #nomnomnom #happyboyishomefromcollege #homegrown

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So – May is a month of finishing. Starting May 2nd, my IB Seniors will be taking their exams for three weeks. So I am effectively done teaching them. I still have 2 classes of juniors, but my workload is now cut in 1/2, which is nice.

The middle son had his last university exam on Friday evening, so his dad drove 4 hours to Clemson to pack him up yesterday, and today they will drive home, and the first year of University will be complete. I am excited to have him home – he is less so – after all he really enjoys his school and the freedoms of being away from home. But he will get over it and reacclimate to family life. I did send a care package for finals week – full of homemade chocolate chip cookies and other stuff. Now he can repay by helping keep the lawns mown – insert evil laugh.

Hmmm. Wonder what could be in this box… Or where it is going? #doingthemomthing #finals week #nomnomnom

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So – May begins the ending of the 15-16 school year. The last baseball games of the season will be the next week. The last classes taught will be at the end of the month – and then June will arrive with finals and then freedom from teaching until August.Whew. Let the end begin!

Home Alone

This weekend the guys were all away. Next weekend the hubbler heads down south to pick the middle son up from his first year at university -and then we will be a family of 4 in the house again. And the week after the eldest son’s girlfriend will be home from school as well – so they will be by more often as well. So soon, the house will be buzzing again. So I tried to enjoy the quiet of this weekend.

I did manage some sewing. I made some more project bags for my knitting. In an effort to use up stuff I have, which includes using my grandmother’s endless supply of zippers, I attempted to modify the wonderful tutorial by Betsy Makes and make some larger bags.

I have all these 14 – 16 inch zippers from my grandmother’s stash. Most of them are very vintage – old metal zippers from 30s – 50s – so they cannot be trimmed to size. So I knew the bag needed to be wider. I also have several sweaters on the go, and wanted something larger for them. I also had several pieces of fabric gifted to me at some point. So I wanted to use those up.

Here are the results of my experiments:

More project bags complete…

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So first, there is the huge bag:

This fabric was a bit tricky to work with – given the stripes. It didn’t make sense to cut it down the middle to make the smaller bag. So I left it long. The bottom is the big blue floral part of the repeat. Positives: It is large – 22 plus inches tall. It will hold all the stuff for a sweater project I am about to do for my husband. And I matched the stripes one each side. The Negatives: It doesn’t really stand when empty. It can be made to stand, but the bottom is a bit small because I decided to use a 3 inch corner to make the bottom contain all the blue floral repeat. I was tempted to fold the top part over and put a button and loop to make a fold over top. But in the end, it is perfectly functional and is already holding all the stuff I need for the hubbler’s sweater.

After I made the tall one and decided I didn’t really want any more tall ones, I cut my fabric in half and made 2 smaller ones.

The large one has a green lining and I used scraps of it for the loops on the smaller ones. The smaller bags have purple lining. They have different colored zippers. The aqua zipper is a polyester zipper from the 70s. The other 2 zippers are metal zippers from way back – they have interesting rounded fronts where the end of the zipper pull ends up.

I ran out of the stiffener I used on the first bag and the tall bag. So these 2 smaller bags have batting scraps sewn in. The wide opening is nice, and makes these bags bigger than the original footprint or the first one I did. (original post here: First project bag)

So much fun to use up stuff I already had, and make some functional bags for holding my projects. Now to get back to knitting!

This week in review

Hmmm… what is up?

Cookie baking – for one son away at university. Next week is finals week, so I baked cookies and made a care package for him. And next weekend his dad will be heading out to fetch him home for the summer!!

Hmmm. Wonder what could be in this box… Or where it is going? #doingthemomthing #finals week #nomnomnom

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This morning I took a nice walk along our river park to the post office. Thursday I stayed home from work due to a stomach bug – almost never miss school, so this felt weird. I slept most of the day. Then Friday was rainy rainy rainy – all those April showers you know. It rained hard into the night. So this morning, the sun is out, not a cloud in the sky, and I chose to enjoy it with a walk to our downtown.

Gorgeous morning for walk to post office and weaver street market.

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Stopped in to the market to say hello to the oldest son that works there. And then walked home where I face a quiet weekend because the man about the place has taken the youngest boy fishing a few hours north of here.

Sleeve progress..

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Being home alone means I can clean in peace and enjoy the clean, burn scented candles, eat when and what I like…. all nice and restorative, but also a bit lonely. And I am not in the mood to clean. So I may knit more on my latest WIP – need to get this one off the needles. Because I have a project for the hubbler – a cardigan made of fingering weight yarn (ACCCK!)

Yarn for Chris. Fingering weight sweater coming up- yikes!

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But there are also tomato plants needing planting, and a garden to tend. But it is very wet – better to wait until tomorrow on that. So I shall crank up the BBC Radio 4 Extra and listen to my favorite comedies (I can play them throughout the house – so no matter where I am – laundry room, kitchen, office, cleaning a bathroom – I can laugh and hear) while I do exactly as I please, and wait for my guys to get home.

Some garden snaps that make me happy :


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Balm to the soul…

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