Wednesday, August 21, 2013

coat hanger ugly :: retro crafting

I love that scene in
where the food critic
after sampling the ratatouille
travels back in time
in his mind
to when he was a child
eating a bowlful of his
mothers stew.

Like that.
Food has the ability to trigger
As do scents and fragrances.
A song.
And apparently

Before my sister's family
relocated to Pittsburgh
we visited her
and the fun shops of Noblesville
While there I spotted a vintage
shirt that had
disco fun written all over it!
My boys were repulsed
by it...
which encouraged me to want it
all the more.

It was like five dollars.
I had to have it.

When I took it to the counter
much to my boys chagrin
I noticed the hanger
from which it hung

You know...
one of those 
old crochet covered hangers
with variegated acrylic yarn...
that I know I
made back in the seventies.
This particular one
was the genuine article.
it was not included with the purchase.
But the seed was planted.

when the sisters
were hanging (excuse the pun)
around the table
leafing through magazines...
something we do
there was an article entitled something like
ugly vintage crafts updated.

Guess what was a feature?
the crocheted hanger!

It was destiny.
I have no idea why  that project
made its way into 
my brain this morning...
but it did.

So I got busy.
Playing with cotton yarn.
Letting my mind travel back to
my kid-hood.
It was like muscle memory.
I whipped that baby up in 
less than an hour.
Now I'm reliving
a time where
wide lapels
and a groovy pattern

Who knows where this may lead?
String art?
Which will take me down 
the road of
Tuna casserole
Root beer floats
Bologna sandwiches 
with Campbell's Tomato Soup
While listening to
Perry Como (my family totally gets this!)
Elton John
The Beatles.

It may be ugly
but I'm totally diggin' it!

What was your crafting passion
in the
60's... 70's...80's?

Give it another run...
you'll be amazed at where it 
will take you.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

be yourself

Words of advice.
It's part of our job description
as parents.
The instilling and sharing of wisdom
that takes years
let's face it
we are still stumbling and learning ourselves.

When situations arrive
and we scramble
and pray
pray some more!
that we have done enough
to equip our child
for the road ahead.

As a precaution
we begin
the reiteration process...
just to make sure we have
done our job well
crossed our t's
dotted our i's
(thus far)

Somehow knowing we've done really well
and at the same time
screwed up.

Firm handshake
polite words
say thank you
stand tall
look who's talking to you in the eyes
you know the list.

Quickly followed by the
parental assessment process
voicing our concerns
and foibles
with each other
hoping we did something
right vs.
permanently damaged.

Hard core parental stuff.

just getting on with it...
life that is
our regular day
hoping to restore calm
put our minds at an ease.


After taking the garbage to the road
Rudy saw something
that he wanted me to see

It spoke to him
like a nod and a wink
that purple flower among all the gold
it spoke of individuality
standing out
not just standing among
being true to who you are
"being yourself"
because that person is
so freaking amazing.
It spoke to him of

Who is completely sure
and unsure
of who he is.

Secure and insecure.

Confident and apprehensive.

Typical and unique.

by a flower
in that the words we kept 
returning to...
be yourself
will take him far.

"Do not be conformed to this world."
Rom 12:2

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

like e.t. and elliot

that symbiotic relationship
that by definition
if I remember correctly from
homeschool biology
involves two different species
who depend on each other
sometimes to sustain life.
so maybe not that
but close.
That psychological connection
is what I'm getting at.
Remember when E.T. would feel
what Elliot was feeling
and vice-versa?


Some might call it
a mother-son bond.
Of course
I feel that connection with all my boys
some of my guys are more vocal
and will confide all
they are going through.
Not Joe.
He's more private and quiet.
That strong silent type
that'll keep you guessing.

When we explored
The Catcher in the Rye
this past year
Joe declared it his favorite book.
For those who know nothing about its history
(not referring to the crazy associations
that the Internet has spawned )
it is quite simply a novel about
Holden Caufield
a young man who is at that
pivotal point in life
torn between adolescence and adulthood.
Joe related strongly.
Isn't that always the precursor
to loving a book?

In a world where kids
grow-up fast...
Joe was happily rooted in 
Don't get me wrong
I saw the changes he was going through
the eagerness to accept more responsibility
the willingness to try new things
and explore the world
that fidgetiness I've witnessed in my teen boys
that screams out
"I want more"
change is a tripping stone for many.
Joe among them.
Count me in
But it is inevitable.
Now Joe would challenge that statement
with a

Celebrating his eighteenth year
was a quiet family event.
Graduating from High School
passed equally so
as Joe told me
he didn't think it was 
deserving of a big party.
(Mom still disagrees
but will honor his wishes)

This has been a long
to the point of this post.

This past week
Joe's big bro Josh
came over with some news.
The construction company he
 (and his Uncle Doug...cousins Gabe and Matt)
works at
wondered if he'd be interested in a job.
Although he didn't say it 
as I was jumping up and down
was written all over his face.
he doesn't shy away from hard work.
He loves physical challenges.

He also loves his free
that allows him to stay up until
playing PS games
waking at 3ish
(yep...that's p.m.)
helping around the house...
Oh, and he does...
a lot!

A life that allows him to
play when he wants
and work when he wants.

Side jobs and scrapping part-time
had been serving him well.

But I did see 
something else.
A teetering.
A glimpse that had him wondering
what it would be like
heavily sprinkled with
I like things the way they are.
Fear of the unknown.

This job is a full-time position.

My stomach started to cramp.
My heart raced a bit.
so did Joe.

We are suffering together
as we navigate through the

We've survived the 
first day at the office
for safety tests
paper work
I'm sure a bit of teasing encouragement
from Uncle Doug
drug testing.

Today is his first
official day
on the job
where he will be doing grunt work
mixing mud
climbing scaffolding 8 stories high...
he can't wait for that part!

my stomach hurts.

Maneuvering the twists and turns
of these monumental moments...
first day
 first week
first month
as we make our way to normal
(for us, anyway)
and feel the
with that 
payroll check.

"E.T. phone home!"

Being mom.
It never gets easier.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

5th row

That's what I'm talking about
right there.