I defended my Ph.D. thesis on October 29th 2004. The next day I woke up unbelievably liberated. I went for a run around Greenlake and on my way home I stopped at an estate sale where I admired a hand-stitched patchwork quilt top with vintage fabric. It had no back and was coming apart in a couple places. The woman running the sale said I could have it for free, so I took it home, delighted. I mended it and splurged on nice fabric for the back, and then I hand-tied it and hand-stitched on the binding. For a few years it was on the guest bed and then in the nursery. Now it’s on Henry’s bed where I think it looks cheerful, although some might argue that, strictly speaking, it’s a little girly for an almost four year old. Don’t worry- I have a new quilt underway for him.
But this patchwork quilt I will always love for being handmade, for having history, for being a gift to me on a happy, carefree day. For bringing love to our guests and to our baby. For cuddling us while we read bedtime stories. When it wears through in places I patch it up. The new squares blend in with the old and even add dimension.
Fell off the wagon with blogging the last few days. Weekend trip to Portland to visit with my parents. Goobs got sick again and has been needy- wanting to be carried constantly even while napping. I did wear him over to the mall today. It’s a short walk but I generally avoid it. I had a dress that I’d gotten for $5 at Goodwill with the Macy’s tags still on and a “no receipt return” barcode. I figured that trying to return it was worth a shot, particularly since I decided I’d need two new white shirts to get me through Placement Week. It worked! Goodbye size twelve bamboo print dress. Hello $96 store credit. Total scam. I don’t feel bad about it though. Someone bought that dress. They never wore it and had the right to return it. A right they donated to Goodwill and I bought for $5. So instead of supporting sweat shops and the rest of it when I bought my two new shirts, I was supported jobs for the handicapped and a philosophy of reusing. Right? Scams are fun though. The only problem is I’m not quite sure I love the shirts. They don’t fit quite perfectly and I’ve been thinking lately that I should only invest in well-made, well-planned things that I will have for years and love. I picked up this cheesy style book at the thrift store and am worried my shirts don’t fit all these criteria. I’m thinking of exchanging the less tailored one for new underwear and investing in one of these instead. They are made in the U.S.A. What do you think?
I do spend less time thinking about this stuff than is implied by the fact that I’m posting about it here but the whole dressing well thing is new and elusive to me.
Goobs got a tricycle! I found it on Craigslist and met a tall, classy woman at the Queen Anne Safeway at the top to pick it up. It’s shiny and red and perfect in every way except that I wish it had streamers. I may have to buy those separate. No rush though. Just so we have them for the forth of July parade in Gearhart.
Yesterday I neglected to mention my inspiration for the hippy quilt. My blog de jour. Stay at home mommies get all my attention these days. Just an observation. Last night I had trouble falling asleep hearing Henry’s voice saying the names of his friends: Neko, Mia, Alasdair, Nam, Nona. I HATE the idea of uprooting him. Once when we leave and then again to come back. Meanwhile the Wiz is happy at work, and I am very happy as a stay at home mom. Plus I would love to have another.
I need some guidance. Do you hear that higher power? I humbly beseech your guidance.
Oh, BTW, Sam and I were on the radio. Only listen if you are struggling with insomnia. And then feel free to laugh- particularly at my first contribution which was a nervous, confused noise of agreement elicited when Sam asked me to confirm some small fact at a point where I was not listening to a word he said (worried about Tina actually who I heard trying to sooth a crying Goobs just up from his nap in the other room). Also at the trippy sound effects that enhance my last goodbye. I’ve always wanted to be interviewed on NPR.
“New” dress and skirt from St. Vincent dePaul ($6.49 and $4.49 respectively). When I tried them on I had an image of wearing one of them with a cardigan, drinking tea on a summer evening in an open space with the Westfalia lit up behind us. Maybe a kerchief tied over my hair.
I wore the skirt around town today- to story hour at the library, the post office, the park, Trader Joes and co-op preschool- and I loved how dramatically it billowed in the March gusts. I did not love how it almost fell off before I figured out that the drawstring is there for a reason.
First thing manana Goober and I leave on a day trip to Bellingham with a friend. We’re visiting another friend who has a new house with a view. Very exciting. Today I managed to exploit our coming trip as an excuse for a visit to Goodwill where I, of course, got lots of crap but only spent $16. Some of my scores are pictured above. I’m kind of in love with the painting. Since the photo I’ve cleaned the splooge off with bread (thanks Morgan!) and removed the frame to be painted. I also have to point out that Morgan actually wrote her post about how to clean paintings because I e-mailed her a question about it. I was trying to clean up my Edna Blair. How awesome is that? Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah, name dropping and bragging about my awesome eye and burgeoning art collection. Now back to bragging about the crap I got for $16 which also includes a brand new Suess and a Mercer Mayer and a frame and a clock.
Other improvements include cleaning out the car and retouching the worst of the living room- photos to come after more progress is made. Retouching over the fireplace made me realize that wall was pretty discolored with smoke so the retouching is more extensive that I anticipated and also more gratifying.
Oh, and I also bought myself a new lipstick (for the first time since before our wedding!) in anticipation of DC. I’m a la di da fancy lady now.
I got these rad earrings at Value Village for $3.99 yesterday. They complement a necklace my mom gave me several years ago.