16 October 2019

2019 Maker Faire

I will be at the Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire this Saturday at the Goodwood main branch of the library. At my crochet hat booth people can pick up cards that will have this URL, so I thought I'd put something crochet-related up top! I've crocheted a lot this last month, once the booth was confirmed. Will take pictures and update my crochet hat album on Flickr.

Flickr has changed its policy to not allow unlimited number of photos for free account (fair), so I may find something else. Perhaps I can make an album in Blogger itself -- I have about 50 styles of hats I've done so it wouldn't be a huge album. Will keep pondering.

I can make custom hats to order -- I need to know a few measurements (or at least the general age of the recipient) and style selections. $20 for hats with a face (the characters) and $15 otherwise. Shipping will be extra.

Thanks for taking a look, and hope to see you at the faire!

28 May 2019

God's Doors Are Open to All

I have THOUSANDS of words to write about this project, but for now I want these gorgeous images on the top of my blog, which has been sorely abandoned while I've been writing for Baton Rouge Parents (and getting the art project approved by our church).

Love wins, and LOVE ALWAYS WILL.

25 February 2019

Mardi Gras Grinch

I've lived in south Louisiana for more than eight years. My first Mardi Gras season included a couple of Baton Rouge parades and one in New Orleans. I had a BLAST at the Baton Rouge one, and I really enjoyed collecting beads and throws.

New Orleans was different -- we had to park far away, we got soaking wet from rain and the other people along the parade route were rude and ungracious. I still don't understand the etiquette -- is neutral ground where anyone is allowed to stand? And anything else people have to stake out for days or hours in advance? There was so much space and so many throws! It left a bad impression anyway, and I didn't want to get into a physical fight with drunk people so we moved away to behind some barriers at a turn where no people were (because the riders would have to throw farther and you'd get less stuff).

Then my morning sickness started on the way back from that first NOLA parade, and so forevermore I will associate the smell of cheap plastic Mardi Gras beads with nausea. Ugh. That started the aversion to Mardi Gras season, parades in particular.

Now with two kids who are native Louisianans I should be more into the parade scene, right? WRONG. I am still very much a Mardi Gras grinch, probably even more so factoring in the hassle of taking children to parades.

Basically now we only go to Southdowns, a family-friendly, low-key parade that is near our house. We still have to drive, but we understand the timing now, know a family who lives near enough to walk near the parade's start, so after it passes we can get back in the car and scoot back home. It's at night, but still doable. Even that doesn't seem "worth it," but we go anyway.

The idea of taking my kids to a double-digit number of parades EACH YEAR astounds me. I've read tips and tricks and poems and other blog posts from New Orleans moms about that very idea -- and they're doing it whole heartedly. It baffles me. What is the point?!

So my question is - am I alone in my grinchness? Or is there a quiet minority that doesn't prioritize the parades, the accumulation of crap (we have enough without competing for it!) and the inevitable melt downs (by mama and/or the kids)?

I'm still down to jam to Mardi Gras mambo and for kids' trike parades. I don't crave king cake, but that's mostly OK with me too and is certainly a marker of the season. But the parades seem like too much work for very little pay off. Clearly my mindset is different as an outsider, an introvert and a lazy person!

04 January 2019

Things I Bought in Danville Over the Holiday Break

We just got back from a week-long trip to my husband's parents' house. It was actually a fairly low-stress visit, although we didn't get any snow like we'd been wishing for. (It DID snow in Oklahoma, of all the nerve... something like 4 inches!)

While we were there I bought a few things, and I thought I would catalog them in case anyone else finds the humor and absurdity as I do. Here's the list, as best I recall, because I don't track my receipts in any logical fashion (in fact I'm searching for a missing Walmart one to return a clip-on light that won't actually work on a bunk bed, but I digress).
  • Three $3 pillows at Target, since the "no-flat" pillows provided had gone flat LONG ago. These are not great pillows, obviously, but we made them work for one week. (There was oddly one pillow that was fine, as it was the "crib" pillow and rarely used. I made Liv use a flat pillow, since she uses flat-ish pillows at home!)
  • $13 slippers at Target because my feet hurt when they aren't in shoes and the skipper socks I packed didn't provide enough support.
  • Target clearance -- I hit Target at the 50% mark and at the 90% mark. At 50% I got a few cookie/candy things (I didn't hit the sauce while at my in-laws, but let me tell you I HIT the sugar hard ... pretty sure I'm making the wrong choice, health-wise, but here we are). At 90% off I was able to find several really great clothes deals -- mainly shirts and sweaters for the girls for next year but also SOCKS -- 50 cents for a pack of six kids' socks in holiday themes. I got two packs but at the register realized I should have got them all -- in all sizes -- as they would easily be donated to the "Sock It To Them" drive the libraries here do every December. I also got some gift tags and a sticker scene for the girls, and wishing I'd bought multiples of that too, as it would have been a cheap (30 cent!) gift to pass out to classmates next year (although this year I didn't even do ANY gifts for classmates ... it slipped my mind entirely with the mid-December school play eating up most of my brain band-width). I also got the girls a set of 10 Bonne Bell lip balms to share and a mascara 4-pack, both for 50% off. My very best purchase was a $1.49 Hello Kitty flannel night gown that fits Jane now and SHOULD still fit next year. She was DELIGHTED and my only sadness was there wasn't one in Livia's size or anything remotely comparable!
  • Hobby Lobby clearance -- we checked it out when it was 80% off and all I got was a frame ornament (mother-in-law mentioned that she doesn't have many (any?) ornaments with just Livia's picture), some snowflake paper (not sure why -- I don't do a holiday letter, don't have many people to WRITE letters to anymore, but maybe the girls will like to use it next year). The frame ornament was missing its backing and any little plastic piece that might sit in front of the picture, but otherwise it was fine and those things seem easy enough to hack with recycling materials. Shawn's cousin's son was working the register, but we couldn't talk him into a further (or five finger!) discount -- LOL!
  • Hallmark clearance -- we went to the mall to "walk around" and most of the stores were pretty sparse. The girls got Mary Poppins bobbleheads at Hot Topic, but Shawn bought those, not me. I got my mother-in-law another frame ornament at the Hallmark Christmas clearance. Only 50% off, but it was cute and grandparent themed.
  • Food Lion -- a variety of groceries, mostly for the snacky New Year's Eve supper I like to eat: summer sausage, velveeta-rotel cheese dip and chips, onion dip and chips, sparkly grape juice, and cheese and crackers. I made my mother-in-law pay for most of the other groceries -- for the suppers I made, meatloaf, mac & green beans and spaghetti, salad and cheesy bread. She also covered the lunch and breakfast stuff, the girls' foods and even my Diet Coke! (She actually bought Diet Dr Pepper, and it was a refreshing change.) I also had to buy some ibuprofen, a new, softer toothbrush and some kid toothpaste (I really thought they would run out, but Shawn managed to make the meager, flat tube last the whole week).
  • Marshall's & Ross -- these get confused because it was one trip, but I bought a grey cardigan (probably my fifth?!), but this one is darker and has a different detail with some elastic in the back to give it some shape. I also bought a pack of thank you cards, since I never remember to pack enough (I wasn't expecting more gifts for the girls from cousins' families, but we did get a few things, including a book Jane loved about Princess Jasmine, so I think we need to watch Aladdin soon), and a 5x7 frame for a black & white picture of Liv I brought to my in-laws as a gift. I ALMOST bought 2 small reindeer-dressed Cabbage Patch dolls that smelled so great and were SO cute, but I didn't (although looking at prices online of the current iterations it was less than a third of retail price!). I did buy a few discounted Christmas books to add to our collection -- that's the only thing I have left to do to put away Christmas, wrap and pack our 48 Advent books for Christmas 2019. 
In addition to the Cabbage Patch dolls that I didn't buy, I tried on a couple fancy dresses that didn't make the cut, mainly because I don't really NEED fancy dresses or have a good place to wear them. But also I was overstuffed with stuff to get home as it was. I almost bought a "Joy" holiday sweater at an outlet place near Hobby Lobby, but my mother-in-law pointed out the makeup stain on the back, and even at $6.50 I didn't feel like trying to get it out. I'll probably think about that sweater anyway, especially next year when I need something to wear to a sweater party! (Unfortunately it's rarely cold enough for sweaters like that ... so maybe I'll get over it when the heat cranks back up outside.)

We're home, I got an amazing night sleep although still tired from the travel and the non-stop work today putting away Christmas stuff. I wasn't the best for my kids -- seeing all the excess Christmas gifts and piles of things lying around didn't help. I didn't purchase anything today, as I was able to make our meager cupboard work for one more day, but I know tomorrow I'll be hitting that grocery store HARD.

Hope your 2019 is bright!