As is quite obvious from these posts, I loved sewing. It was something I could do well, and it gave me a great feeling of accomplishment to wear my creations and clothe my children in them as well. I did sew for others at times. The most challenging jobs were when someone else started a project, couldn't finish it, and asked me to complete it for them.
I am in awe of the talent of some of our friends out there in blogland - Barb, who has created herself into a business on line; Denise, who designs beautiful cards for every occasion; Kelli, who hosts us every week with Show and Tell, and shows many of her creations during the week; Robin, who sews and knits for her new grandbabies; those who do wonderful quilts and wall hangings; my niece, Karen, who reminds me of myself at the same age, but who has taken it WAY beyond my skill level.
There are such gifted writers - those who think deep thoughts, those who give us devotionals, those who make us laugh - I guess my gift is telling stories, and it is fun to go back in time and write it down for posterity, and for fun. It's been great to bring back the writing enjoyment that I haven't used for years. In fact, I wish I still had the things I wrote in college. Unfortunately, I threw them away when they became mildewed in my crawl space!
I never thought of myself as talented, but as my sewing ability grew, I did feel good about that. I don't do crafts well at all. Our ladies' group at church used to have monthly craft nights. I always knew I wasn't going to be able to do the project well, but I went for the fellowship. If you don't believe it, let me tell you about the night that one of my friends was in charge of the project for that night. I kept telling her I wouldn't be able to do the project, and she would always tell me it was so easy anyone could do it. I always tried, but it never turned out right. One night she said, "You aren't kidding, are you?"
I learned the sewing basics in junior high and high school, but really took off when my college roommate sewed everything she wore and I began watching her and learning. It soon became not only a way to create, but a way to have a nice wardrobe without spending a fortune. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be true any more - the cost of patterns, fabric, notions, etc. has gone up so much that it seems to cost as much to sew an outfit as to buy it ready-made. Not to mention the fact that I can't see to thread a needle any more. If I decide to go with Lasik surgery, maybe I will be able to try again. So many wanted to know if I sew for the babies and the bigger girls - I don't for the reasons mentioned above - but especially the eye thing - and laziness! I guess I could get one of those threader dealies if I got serious about sewing again, couldn't I? It's the only thing I can't do with my near vision.
My little allowance wasn't much in those days, but it is amazing how far I was able to stretch it - I re-used patterns over and over, just changing them enough so nobody knew it was the same except me. And there was a store in town in those days that had great sales - I can remember buying yards and yards for kids' outfits for 50 cents to $1.00 a yard.
Someone mentioned the polyester double knit era - I remember the day I discovered it and the fact that it was 60 inches wide, and took much less material to make an outfit. It didn't need to be ironed. But - it was HOT!
Two people reminded me that the dresses in the one family portrait were Gunne Sax - thanks, I know I could count on you.
Some mentioned that it was as much fun to look at the things in the background of the pictures as it was the outfits - it's true - you can tell what era it was, can't you?? The records and stereo, the knick knacks, the colors - the shelves were created and built by DC, and served us well for many years. Sure beat the book shelves made out of boards and bricks that we started out with in our first little duplex.
I was noticing the Christmas tree in that one picture of Kristen and me in the red skirts and flowered blouses - I couldn't believe how barren it looked - not just the lack of branches (that was in the days when the kids and DC went and cut down the tree every year from the woods), but the amount of things hanging on the branches - we sure have added a lot of ornaments each year - and now have two trees' worth.
Changing the subject - someone asked me how I am enjoying retirement. I have not looked back, and have no regrets. I went up to visit my old office the other day, and took the girls along for "show and tell." It was fun to see everyone, but there were no twinges at all. I think I'm starting my 9th week already - I think. I've lost track of time. I do know that today all the faculty are back for their big "retreat" - which is a nice word for a long, all day meeting. Then tomorrow is orientation for the new MSW students that I admitted last spring. I had thought I'd go up and meet them, just for fun, and maybe help Peter with the orientation, but I'm rethinking that - we'll see.
I'm thinking of trying to get a little retirement job, if I could figure out how to go about it - when I'm exercising at the gym, sometimes I watched a bit of t.v. - the transcribed dialogue at the bottom of the screen - I would like to have a job doing that transcribing, because I simply cannot believe how badly some people mess up the spelling of what they're trying to say - I don't know if they can't hear well, or if they're just dumb. I think I could do it much better! Seriously, I don't really want to have a job at all, but if I did, and if I could do it at home, I think this would be a fun one - I just cannot believe they let such embarrassing mistakes go on the air and don't fire the person behind the scenes!
Last - and on an entirely different subject again -- You remember those 23 or more days of 90+ degree weather that broke that 134-year record? It finally ended, and in fact, got quite cool. I love it. There is a hint of fall in the air. I'm sure it won't last, but it's been great. In fact, we had 3 solid days of rain and 60-degrees or less - the nice, gentle, soaking kind of rain that can really help the farmers. Sorry, all of those who had outdoor weddings! We've been praying for rain.
Here are some pictures of the lake that lives in the middle of our town. It's a beautiful spot, and has been the catalyst for people on vacation to go back home, pack up their stuff, and move here - hoping to find a job when they got here!
This lake is beautiful - but unfortunately, it is somewhat of an illusion. It's not really a lake. It's a reservoir. And it belongs to another town east of us - a ditch company. It is the water that irrigates the farmers' fields when it doesn't rain. So here's what happens when the farmers need it, and there's not enough water in the river up the canyon to keep the water levels up. Not only that, but the only ones who can use their boats on this lake are those who own the houses on the shores - they pay a mighty price to have private access to the water for recreation.
If you look carefully, you can see a group of gulls lined up along the tiny stream of water trickling through the mud:
Here is a view of the small beach, which had to close down early this year (usually stays open until Labor Day) for obvious reasons:
It's sad. I always wonder what the tourists who come through here think when they see a sand hole instead of the beautiful lake of the brochures and Chamber of Commerce propaganda. At times they have emptied it purposely for maintenance - and then they find really interesting things that have been lost from boats, etc. There are some legends about what they might find, but mostly they're just that - legends. Hopefully when you come to visit me, the water will be back!
Have a great week!