Hooking up

I’m always happy to find a good thrift store denim skirt, and in the spring got a real gem: a slightly flared, eight-gored number from Nordstrom. I wore it a couple dozen times this past summer alone.

However, in the course of moving a couple months ago, I tore one of the waist hooks and though I tried a variety of methods, couldn’t salvage the original. (It was not a sewn hook, alas.) I had bought a pack of Dritz sew-on closures, meaning to replace it immediately, but you know how that goes. Exactly. I “hemmed” and hawed, and tripped over it a dozen times while it sat, on the floor at the foot of the bed,, oh-so-patiently-waiting, hoping to be repaired and worn.

20131216_095941But this morning, in a fit of industry, I already had a needle and thread out, as I had sewn a page into my journal. (This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and it won’t be the last. It’s the perfect way to attach pages that I’ve written in other places to the “regular” journal that I’m keeping.) Having finished that job, I had ample thread left on the needle, and figured what better time 20131216_093609than the present. So I got to work, and attached the hook. Yes, a crappy looking job, if ever there was one, and not one I’m proud of, as a seamstress. But, it gets the job done.

Until I tried to put the skirt on. It’s pretty obvious, from the picture, that this was never going to be that easy of a job. Why? Because as you can see from the right-hand picture, the new hook is considerably wider than the previous one. Sigh. Now I had to remove the catch on the other side of the skirt. Because the original closure was set into the fabric like a rivet, there was no way for me to re-sew it. Plus, the one that I was now going to remove would have to be 20131216_090712trashed, too. I was really hoping that it wasn’t so sturdy and well-attached that it would rip the fabric, like when I had torn out the first one.

Grabbing a pliers from the kitchen, I managed to pinch the bar enough that I could remove it from the denim. I felt a bit like a dentist during this part of the arrangement.20131216_093504 Goodness, look at the teeth on that. It amazes me that I was able to rip out the hook on the other side.

Next part was attaching the new bar. Because I had, rather fortuitously, run out of the wine-colored thread I used initially, I figured there was no point in going back to it, and just opted for a matching blue. This time, I was much more diligent in both attaching it in a both a manner that would secure it, and having that manner be attractive workmanship (workwomanship?).

Mission accomplished. I can now wear my favorite denim skirt again, and am doing so today.


No words…

Because someone broke into my house and stole my laptop.

With all my writing. And pictures.

The DVD player is missing, too, but I don’t care about that.

Because it’s not about the object.

It’s about the contents.

Hitting the pawn shops tomorrow. Hoping for the best.

Hope wasn’t on the hard drive. It’s on the heart drive.

Five Minute Friday: Home

There's no place like home!

“There’s no place like home!”

It really didn’t hit me until after my mom died how much responsibility a woman is under to be the thermostat of the home environment. “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” couldn’t be more true.

So the fact that while I love the idea being a homemaker, I basically suck at the actual practice of it. Oh, I can vacuum and dust like I trained at Downton Abbey, but I’m not good at decorating, and if it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t send a single birthday card. Preplanning meals and cutting coupons are things I admire and long to do, but along the same lines as I admire people who work with lions at the zoo. Cool job environment, but one to be approached warily.

Maybe it’s the depression and the ADHD or something, but all the best laid housekeeping schemes in the world, all the planning calendars and color-coded file boxes I ever start end up gathering dust while I spend another week in bed with the covers pulled over my head to ward off engagement with the world.

When I played house and dolls as a child, I never once incorporated the line, “Oh, and here’s the mommy doll. She’s too sad to get up today, so the laundry will probably mildew in the washer. Yay!”

Nope. Never saw that coming.


What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The skinny is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after midnight via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Feast your eyes on today’s buffet of tasty entries by clicking on the picture to the right!

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Dinner with the Pope

He actually enjoys drinking Fanta with dinner.After the second bottle of wine, His Holiness really loosens up. He kicks off his red loafers (yes, loafers) and slips off his zucchetto. Another glass or two and it gets easier to see that he’s just another white-haired old man, frustrated with the way the world has changed since he was a boy. Certainly many good changes, to be sure, but “the young people, nowadays…” I nod sagely.

The table talk almost instantly quiets down, as it usually does once His Holiness starts in with that tone of voice.  The other men, most of them with white hair too, even if their skin isn’t, lean in a little, their soutanes rustling around their legs like ladies’ long dresses from a bygone day, equally weary of and curious for these stories. Will it be the Hitler Youth? His years as a professor? Time spend with John? with Paul? with John Paul? Will he become increasingly strident during this monologue, or disgusted? He definitely won’t whine. (That’s a little hard to imagine anyway. The Pope? Whine? Maybe back when he was a little boy in lederhosen. Do German children ever whine? Maybe once.)

But tonight is different. Because I’m here.

Dinner with the Pope, in this day and age, isn’t like having dinner with any other man. The micro-thin veneer of respectability sported by the ultra-worldly popes of the Renaissance (like the sexy Borgia popes with their in-house mistresses and the gentle pitter-patter of the ever-increasing number of their soon-to-be-legitimized children’s feet swelling to the din of a thunderstorm down the halls of the Papal residence) has grown thicker and harder than a granite countertop.

While that may be good (indeed, almost "American" in its sense of puritanical respectability), it makes my job much harder. I’m only a little ashamed to have used, over the years, my “feminine wiles” to get a man to do something for me, though I’ve yet to use them to get a man to do something for me that he didn’t want to do anyway—even if his desire was subconscious. And though I am very conscious that I am surrounded by men whose very public pronouncements of chastity do little or nothing (depending on their cultural background) to mask their all-too-masculine appreciation for feminine attractiveness, they are still churchmen and so we must maintain the veneer. In fact, if only for tonight, I am happy to do that.

I’ve occasionally wanted to be a nun in my life, but never so much as now, when having a veil and no makeup might lend a force to my words that no amount of eyelash batting and under-the-table footsie can give. But no amount of soft and sexy can compensate when you have to give a man hard words. Words that tell him he’s wrong. Every word as hard as a brick. A brick he can either use to build a bridge for further discussion, if he’s wise, or one he can use to brick himself up into a wall of stubbornness, if he’s not. While I’m hoping for the first, I’m figuring on the latter.

“Your Holiness, I’d like to ask you something.”


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What’s Yours?

Calvin and Hobbs ResolutionsEverybody makes ‘em. Nobody keeps ‘em. Yeah. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions.

You have to admit, they show good intention. People always mention that they want to lose weight, start exercising, manage their budget better, invest wisely, save more money, become a better parent, the lists go on. And on.

Why, honestly, do we bother? I have never yet met a person who made a New Year’s resolution that they managed to keep. Ever. Past February. (If you have, please comment, because I want to arrange a meeting with you and other world leaders.) Given that, I am starting an entirely new style of resolution, which is based on the principal of reverse psychology. It’s a well-known fact that, since the Garden of Eden, people can’t seem to avoid doing either the very thing someone tells them not to do, or just the opposite of what they are supposed to do.

So, my New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  • Utterly trash my home and become an unrepentant hoarder;
  • Become a recluse who shuns human contact, especially with my aging parents and any close friends;
  • Gain as much weight as is humanly possible by never cooking or eating anything healthy, let alone by attempting anything that even resembles exercise;
  • Never keep track of appointments or dates and never, ever return phone calls the same day;
  • Avoid anything that smacks of spirituality or any kind of organized religion;
  • Shamelessly prowl Facebook and Twitter All Day Long;
  • Relentlessly pursue anything that might depress me, most notably by staying in bed all day;
  • Spend my money on whimsical items that have no enduring value whatsoever; and
  • Write as little as possible.

I’ll NEVER tell you how that’s going.

People Watching


rubber_gloves (Photo credit: How can I recycle this)

It was the child that caught my attention. (Let’s call her Bonita, ‘cause she was just that cute). Dancing around the end of the aisle without a care in the world, brown braided pigtails bobbing as the soles of her shoes flashed in time to her footsteps. Clearly oblivious that others were watching. Adult others. Also clearly oblivious was Bonita’s mom, who was checking the end cap display of French-fried onion rings for untried nuances to her stand-by green bean casserole. Her quest for culinary enrichment had momentarily blinded her to the fact that Bonita’s new obsession was a dirty rubber band that she found under the same end cap. Joy unparalleled! Stretching it on her fingers and discovering the fascinating powers of its elasticity was clearly a discovery that, for Bonita, was unrivaled by anything of Newton and Einstein.

Thunk. The can hit the floor. “Oh my God! What are you touching?!”

Why is watching people so entertaining?