Sunday, August 17, 2008

Comments on the Comments

Friday's Show and Tell was such fun for me - all of these "I Used To . . . " episodes have been fun, but for some reason the comments on this one have led me to want to respond to many of them.

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!


Mike Golch said...

Dawn. Lack of rain for a long does silly things like dry up lakes and reservoirs.
I hope that you had a Grand Day today! Hugs and God's Blessing.Mike G. said that!(It's an A.A.thing of mine)

Jess said...

Loved your post, and indeed you are a great story teller. I'm sorry about your sight....too bad they don't make an automatic needle threader!

Have a blessed week

Christa said...

Love the pictures of what you sewed. I used to sew alot until I went back to work. Been looking at wedding dresses, I'd love to make my daughters but that decision hasn't been made yet, we have an appt. Tuesday at a Bridal shop. We will have an indoor wedding, but the reception may be outside, they need a plan B incase of bad weather. The date should be announced this week.

Oh, my sewing machine has a needle threader which makes threading it real easy. There are threaders for hand sewing also.

The twins look so cute.
Have a great day & God Bless

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Glad to know you're enjoying retirement. If you're meant to get a part time job I'm sure the right one will be revealed.

Hope you have a great new week.

Love and hugs,


Robin said...

Oh Dawn - you just sound happy and content. I am really glad for you! And you do have talent both in writing and sewing.
And you can still buy fabric inexpensively at Walmart and JoAnn's with a coupon. And I always look for the weekends when patterns are on sale for $1. Otherwise, I could never afford to sew!

Susie said...

Hi Dawn,
I tried to comment last night, but blogger was being a beast again :(
So glad retirement is agreeing with you. I often wonder now how I'd ever find time to work and do all the things I have to do!

Karen said...

Aw,the lake looks so forlorn!

I agree, sewing isn't much of a savings these days. However, I do save money by not going shopping. Somehow when I'm at the store I can justify so many more purchases than necessary simply because it's on sale or a good deal. I do save money by just sewing from what I have at home. :) LOL.

What kind of machine did you sew on back in the day?

Penless Thoughts said...

You can tell from your posts you are enjoying life. Such a very important thing!!!

Reynie said...

We've had such a draught in GA the last few years that our lakes look like that as well. I have a pond behind my house that now looks more like a gigantic mud hole. Yuck!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. And you asked what a Sr. Learning Designer is... It's just a fancy title for a trainer. Using various adult learning principles, I consult on the learning design (decide which is the best way to present the content in electronic format) for elearning courses (online training courses).

nancygrayce said...

I love reading your blog! I know you are loving the cooler weather. I wish it would cool down is raining...but that just makes it HUMID here.


Linda said...

I do enjoy visiting you Dawn. I have to say that I really admire anyone who can sew. It is a skill that simply eludes me. I get behind a sewing machine and suddenly become the biggest klutz in the world. My Mom is the sewer (she made everything from little suits for my brother to a maternity coat for me), and it is my theory that that particular gift skips a generation!
The twins are growing quickly. I sometimes really wish I could slow time down a bit.
I think your rain has made it all the way down here - where our lakes look exactly like the one in your picture. Some of the smaller tanks haven't got a drop in them.
But it has rained for the most of the day, and we are so thankful. When it rains here you almost feel like stepping outside and doing a little jig!

Nancy said...

You are a talented story teller and I love to stop by and catch up on all that's going on in your life... present and past!

We've had some fall weather too, which is very unusual because August is our hottest month. Normal temperature is 95 to 100 but it has been in the 80's... just perfect!

I'm with you on retirement... just perfect! I never take a single day for granted and thank God for this fantastic blessing.

Needled Mom said...

I do hope that the improved vision will get your creative juices running again. Your sewing was lovely and I know it would be again.

As you stated, the cost of sewing is no deal these days. One must just love the thrill of making something. I continue to be amazed at the cost of patterns alone. YIKES!

Glad retirement is agreeing with you. It truly was the best move I made. There still are not enough hours in the day.

The lake pictures are amazing. What a difference when the water is used elsewhere. The snow on the mountaintops behind it makes a gorgeous sight.

I'll recommend you for the new job. :) Hugs.

Maine Mom said...

I'm glad you are enjoying your retirement with no regrets!

I am not a crafty person, either. I would be right there with you messing up the project!

The "lake" is beautiful...when it's there!

Sherry said...

Does the lake look better after all the rain you just got? We loved to walk the lake and then let the dogs swim, towards the end of the school year though, there wasn't enough water to let them swim without getting muddy and gross. Maybe after we move back next time:). Just kidding

groovyoldlady said...

Ah, needle threading. I usually rip my glasses off and place both the needle and the thread about 2 inches from my eyes.

You should SEE the positions I get into when I try to thread my machine! (Maybe THAT's why I get so cranky?)

Hootin' Anni said...

Dawn...this was the most interesting and heartfelt blog entry I've read today. I so enjoyed it.

And the lake photos. Yep, that too brought back a lot of memories for me. It is a beautiful area of your town, to be sure. I love being there for fireworks...or even Horsetooth too. Been there also on the 4th sometimes.

And Eaton Ditch Company. [or is it Windsor now that I think about it I'm not sure of myself] Uhhuh. I remember that too. Why today, for me it was like going home again.

Thanks for the super post.

Judith said...

Oh the memories, back when moms stayed home more with their kids,and made all those outfits. You sew very well.

Good luck with checking out part time work. Hope you find what's just right for you.

Sioux said...

I've sewn but never been more than an adequate seamstress, but our youngest daughter, Christi, can sew anything. When she was in high school I bought her a formal from a Penney's sale catalogue. The next year she cut it off to tea-length and did something else. The third year she made a ribbon bolero. She also one who can embroider, and it beautiful on both the front and back.

As to weather, we have had rain the past weekend, and it's much cooler. As we are going to Alaska Sep. 4, I am afraid it will really be cold up there!!

Sharon Lynne said...

Enjoyed your post! I've read 2 in this sitting. The lake pictures were interesting. Kristin and Kevin are so cute. Glad the twins are doing well.

I don't know what kind of TV you're watching at the gym, but sometimes computers do the translating. Maybe it's one of those computer programs where one talks...and the computer does the writing.

Theresa said...

What a beautiful place to sit and enjoy. I'm glad you are loving retirement. I'm loving working part-time, although my wallet isn't loving it.

Barb said...

You're so right about the cost of making your own clothes now, Dawn. I made all my clothes when I was in high school because it was so much cheaper to sew, I could have more outfits if I made them myself.

Now? The very hardest thing about my new on line business is trying to find bargains on fabric and patterns and notions. If I priced my things to actually include a NICE profit, I'd be out of business in a heartbeat, the prices would have to be so high. Sad.

It's sad that a pattern cost $14!

Sioux said...

Sorry about your friend's dad. The only Nazarene minister I knew here ws in the 1950's. He was Reverend Snow. Son named Johnny. As Johnny would be over 65 right now, I cannot think there would be a relation. What was the father's name?

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sioux said...

Those were the exact years when I wasn't here. We moved in 1961, and Daddy died that year in a wreck. I didn't move back here until 1979...then to Hobbs NM for a couple of years...then back here FOR GOOD!

Tammy said...

I enjoyed reading these sort of rambling posts, we're having a nice conversation! :)
Yes, your sewing talent was amazing...since I don't sew at all, I truly admire those of you who do!

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