Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Being a perpetually enthusiastic, gotta try new things kind of gal, I enjoy new beginnings.  So, even though I don't "resolve" to make certain changes in my life, the new year gives me an opportunity to make a reset.  The beginning of the school year in September, with all of its intensities and new routines, flows right into the holiday run-up.  For me this included a month of nearly solid internship commitments and then the entire family has collapsed into a heap of matrix-attached goo for the past two and a half weeks.  It's a recipe for reflection, and as I start to think about getting geared up to start another push, of *course* I look at what's worked and what hasn't.

What's worked:  2013 was my first year in my forties, and I've embraced full adulthood.  I like the person I am, and I'm not inclined to change her.  What I am inclined to do is be who I am, a lot less apologetically.  I'm accountable to God and I'm accountable to my beloved husband.  That's it.  Trying to fit myself into a mold for someone else, no matter how much I admire that someone else?  Forget it.  I have a job to do - it's not anyone else's job.  I *like* being busy and doing things.   So you're likely to get more of my enthusiasm poured out.  Hope you like it - if not, you might want to run.  ;)

What didn't work so well:  2013 was the year of the crash diet.  -sighs-  Did they work?  No, at least not for more than a few months.  2014 is a year where I take better care of my physical self, and work towards my strengths.  I need to get my kiddos out and about too - so we will be pursuing long walks and upper body strength.  My foot has gotten so much better (thank you Lord!) that this seems possible.  You want to really appreciate something?  Have it taken away from you.  I haven't been able to indulge in proper walks in years, it's time to do so.

Slight changes in course:  I've been quite cerebral in the past few years.  This is a year for me to DO more.  More sewing.  More writing.  More *praying*.  More serving.  I feel the press of time - I want to make good use of every golden hour, for I don't know when that Trump will sound.  The more I do, the more I pour myself out, the more joy I have.  It's just how it goes, you know?  That means I'll be looking for ways to work smarter rather than harder on the home front - it's not like I ever really get that sorted to my satisfaction.  I'd like to spend more time in the garden and outdoors generally.  It makes for a happy Hearthie.  Carpe diem!!!!!!

Little Things:  I'm teaching myself to make corsets this year (see the All Laced Up blog link on the left hand side of this page).  I'm stuck wearing gloves this year - and will thus be cranking a few out, because I can never find what I want.  (But this is news?)  I have a TON of sewing projects that have been hanging fire... I could make a list but then I might have to go hide under the bed for a while.  It's not just the corseting that will be keeping me busy, I assure you.  Let's see.  I should be finishing my internship in the next month or so... need to figure out where to serve the church.  There are kiddo adjustments to be done. Sewing for the Tabernacle project at the church.  More tea parties.  More time with friends.  More hospitality.  More dusting.  :p

So... as always, I have so much stuff I'd like to do that it will take at least five of me to get all of it done.  I'm not going to apologize for that or try to adjust it down to "reality".  I'm just going to go for it, and enjoy whatever progress I make.  Please come along with me and enjoy the show - it's more fun to be a bouncy rabbit when you have some company!

Friday, December 27, 2013


I took some lame lace gloves that I picked up at the mall and made them into fingerless, lined gloves.  (I have to line the lace - sort of misses the point of keeping my hand from the sun).

I'm not wild about them, but hey - finished object.  And I'll wear them until I can get materials to try my hand at a from-scratch version.

 Before:  Yeah.  Shouldn't have bought them.  Hate having to look at things that people have to get out from cases for you... :p  And I was discouraged - this was the ONLY pair of not-fuzzy-warm gloves the mall had to offer the other night.

Before and after.

After:   Eh.  The pink was too light and the whole effect is way too foofy for my taste.  However.  They'll do to drive 'round, at least until I can get some others made/bought.  It's been in the mid-70s here.  I do NOT want to run around in my fuzzy gloves - or in my leather driving gloves.  Not.  And I learned that fingerless gloves aren't the most complicated things in the world.

Construction notes:  I took the lace gloves, cut the fingers off, cut the thumb off, cut the lace ruffle off, and lined the back with a square of scrap satin from stash.  Translucent ribbon on top for finishing and 'round the wrist to fasten.  Also from stash (and from the dollar store).  Basically out the $12 I spent on the lace gloves, which was too much.  :P  But oh well.  I did all the sewing by hand, it being too small/fussy a job to put through the sewing machine.

I think I'm going to get some plain tshirt knit and ornament it up a bit.  These are rectangles with a thumb hole, I think I can handle that.  ;)

Oh, and I'm going to try to be "fashionable" and make them a bit longer, since fingerless gloves are being worn mid-forearm at the moment.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My husband is a sweetie

Props to the husband-man. 

My hand is starting to make scar tissue in a couple of spots and I'm sad about that.  (I guess I shouldn't admit to being vain, but whatever.  Truth is truth).  DH noticed that I was sad and asked me what was up.  Normally I wouldn't tell him - but I've been working hard on being more forthcoming (and *truthful*, even when I think I'm being silly) so I told him that I was sad about my hand. 

Later, when I got home from the Massive Mall Hunt our church runs every year... where I spent my time as hunted hunting down gloves... I came home with these babies and he told me that A) they were quite fetching and B) he's always liked fingerless gloves.

And that helped.

And he's awesome.  So... there.  :)  It has been reported to me that hearing positive reports about husbandly behavior is a good thing, so there you go.  A positive report. 

Also - aren't these cute?  I know I said "not fuzzy" but ... "not fuzzy" at Christmastime apparently isn't a glove option.  And I do need something to walk the dog in. 

Oh yes, I'll walk the dog in these.  Of course!  :D

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Wild World of Gloves

I'm not a big glove girl.  It rarely gets cold enough here to warrant the wearing of gloves and I run warm, particularly my hands and feet, so the last thing I want to do is wear gloves in the summer.

Guess what?  All the burn resources tell me that I should keep my burn out of sunlight for the next year.  I burned the back of my hand, aka a place that is exposed to sunlight if *I* am exposed to sunlight, including while I drive my car.

I guess I'm breaking out the gloves... because I want to do everything I can to minimize scarring.  (I scar easily).

Right now we've finally reached the stage of oiling.  I'm lathering my spankin' new skin with Vit E several times a day.  Finally finally out of the polysporin and bandage routine.  My skin is SO ready to be done with vaseline based stuff!  I continue pushing vitamins.

So.  If you have some glove resources.... or burnscar remedies.... send 'em along.

As for the rest of life - I just resumed something approximating my normal level of manual flexibility, so I'm not sewing.  I'm playing Minecraft and um... yeah.  Not really much else.  Bored, ready for more energy!

Hope everyone is having a good evening............. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

California's State Religion?

is probably the cult of the body.  If so, taking vitamins is a major ritual for all natives of the Golden State.

I *take* vitamins.  Err.  I have a vitamin bin and I fill it up and sometimes I actually take them.  :p  I have it all written down, and there's reasons for all the horsepills in the box.

So anyway.  I'm recovering from this burnt hand and all of a sudden I turn into pregnancy girl.  I'm NOT pregnant, but the way I want to eat and nap, I might as well be.  Floppy McCraversons, that's me.  I've been reading up on the healing arc and saw that increased calorie/increased vitamin dietary regimes are the usual in burn wards.  Well... I could *take* the vitamins, right?

Took the vitamins.  Two days running.  Third day, Floppy McCraversons went away.  Didn't think much of it, just figured I'd gotten through the hurdle.  Didn't take my vitamins for a couple of days.  FC came back.  Took my vitamins.  This time, four hours later (and a bit of good news) and I'm pinging off the walls.

Oh, and my appetite?  Went from Feral Preggo Girl to Less Than Normal.

Mind you, I "take my vitamins" ... and I get fairly regular about them when I'm dieting.  I think I just decided to A) increase my vitamins (I have certainly increased them until I have new skin - but I meant for the duration) and B) actually take them.

It's not time to go pedal to metal on my waistline, I'm just holding fire for now.  But ... when I can, I'm going to need everything I know about myself.

And now I know something more about something I thought already sussed out.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Personal Style Solutions

Random: Does it ever feel like you can dress everyone except yourself?  All the unpaid fashionistas I know are like me, can't dress themselves but ... other people?  Easy.

Went to the mall with my mom today.  She's been retired for about 3 years now, and she's recently lost a ton of weight.  (Glad to see one of us truly succeeded with paleo!)  She looks amazing - especially for 72.  If she didn't have a dowager's hump (drink your milk and stand up straight, children!) she'd easily pass for five years younger. 

So - her old clothes don't fit, and while she likes to look put-together (no track pants out of the house for my mom) she doesn't need corporate clothes.  She just wants to look good.

Mom (who doesn't care to have her image on the 'net, more's the pity) was once asked to model sportswear in NYC.  I mean someone walked up to her and offered her a modeling job - but she had to emaciate herself and she wasn't into that, so she said no.   She's *that* good-looking.  (With a habit of nearly never wearing makeup and a five minute beauty routine).

Is it a huge jump to think that my mom looks AMAZING in sportswear?  I kept trying to convince her to wear interesting textures, buy some good jeans... she's still wearing the styles she wore as the senior person in the office, with 40 extra pounds that she's no longer carrying.  She said she was worried about dressing too young... she makes me laugh.  She wouldn't dress "too young" on a bet...

So.  All that to say, I feel like everyone has a mood or two of clothing that suits them to a T.  Finding it and embracing it is where the awesome hangs out.  You can't be "too pretty".  You can be too immodest, too sexy, you can dress too youthfully - but you can't be too pretty.

Now to get Mom to buy some jeans that fit...........................

Just Stuff

Where have I been?   Busy.  And injured.  :p

I see I last posted Sunday the 1st... frankly, I'd been pre-posting.  So - what have I been up to?  Not sewing, although I did cut pajamas for my son - hopefully I can sew those up this Friday.

Lots of followarounds for church.  I hooked up the deacons and the ushers.  Normal errands and whatnot.  Got a cord of wood in on Friday.

I splashed boiling oil over the back of my hand on Thursday.  Prayer answered - it didn't hurt like a burn does, not ever.  It ached from the swelling that night... and that's pretty much it.  Now that the blisters (second degree burn) have broken, the skin underneath isn't terrifically happy, but it *still* doesn't hurt the way burns hurt.  (I burn my fingers on my iron pretty regularly, first degree only, and they hurt lots more than this has, although they're not as much of a pain in the butt). 

I've been freaked out by the whole thing even though God's gotten the pain away.  It's embarrassing, quite frankly.  I am *so* afraid of pain.  And even without pain, looking at my hand and getting grossed out... yikes.  This sort of thing shows you what's really inside.  So much fear and anxiety in my heart - as I said, it's embarrassing.  (Thanks for the tea and sympathy, friends I've shared this with - I might not have hurt, but I've been super stressed!)

God has been at my back, directing me, taking care of all the "stuff" and showing me what to do and getting things organized - and what do I repay Him with?  Fear.  -sighs-

Well.  I know it's here, I guess I just have to fight it with more faith!!!

Random:  Why does Chrome have a harder time with composition in BlogSpot than does IE?  Aren't Chrome and BS both owned by Google?  -makes my head hurt-

Not much else up... enjoying a nice fire and a pleasant evening at home.  Went to the mall with my mom today, not much lovely around except some cashmere sweaters.... ;)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sewing Notes: Waist Stay

I like to add waist stays to my long heavy skirts - the stay keeps the skirt where it belongs.  I don't have a particularly well-defined waist, so loose garments tend to slide down.  Not pleasant.

"Waist stay" sounds like a terribly technical thing, but really it's not.  It's just a ribbon about 1/2" smaller in total than the waist measurement on the skirt itself.  You sew it in, really just on the seams, put in a hook and eye (or a very flat button) and voila - waist stay.

A picture is worth 1000 words.........

This is the waist stay I put in my new denim skirt when closed.  Do you see much difference in the way it closes things?  Of course not.  (You do see the interfacing.  Always interface your zippers, even on heavy fabrics).

Here it is buttoned with the waist stay open.  You can see how it's just a smidge larger than the button closure, making for a nice snug fit. 

I weighed the denim skirt in question the other day.  Five pounds.  Five pounds of fabric, hanging off my waist.  Yes, it *does* slide if it's not given a bit of help.  This little ribbon is my "little help".  :)  You wouldn't think a hair ribbon from the dollar store would do that...

I find as I read further in "couture" sewing that mostly it's just about the differences in craftsmanship and materials.  You really can do quite a few little couture touches at home, and they're not particularly difficult to do (at least one at a time!).  Fine craftsmanship is always worth the work. 

No, it's not an overnight thing, learning any craft - but I find that it's worth it. 

Such a small detail to make such a difference.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Old School

I've had a couple of ladies goggle at me when I transport my goodies around via dishtowel, so here's an instruction.

First you must start with the good dishtowels.  The ones your grandmother embroidered.  This is vital.  (Okay.  You can use any dishtowel so long as it's thin and bigger than your dish.  Terry-cloth toweling need not apply).

You may *line* the dishtowel with terrycloth if the dish is particularly hot. 
And then you simply tie the ends together diagonally over the top of the dish.  Tie them in good square knots, not slipknots.  (Important!)
Whee!  You have your very own handled dish-carrier!  :)  Yes, I really use the knotted bits to carry the dish, although of course I test it first. 
Item two:  My back has been killing me  - I have short legs, am short generally, and tend to flop myself into my computer chair, which ends up with truly abominable posture.  My daughter has been angling for a rolling chair - so I snagged the dressing-room stool we'd had from MIL out of a corner, and gave DD my rolling chair.  I'll report back - it's a couple inches too long, but so far... it's better. 
 In related news, I'm starting a blog up for my corseting adventures... because of the subject nature, it will be a bit more "blue" than I keep things here at TBL.   I'll have a link on the sidebar here later.  Wore a ready-made corset yday and it helped the back a good bit.   You ever get the feeling that we moderns think we're so smart but we might be missing a few things?  :p 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Learn to Sew!

I've had a couple of folks ask me for resources in learning to sew, so I'm going to put up as exhaustive a blog/link source as I can. 

First, the blog.  How have I learned to sew?  I learned the basics of sewing when I was in school, we used to have this class called "Home Ec".  I'm not very fast at learning muscle-memory tasks, so I wasn't a straight-A student... but I did get the general idea.  And my Home Ec teacher wouldn't let us *touch* fabric until we could sew curves and corners flawlessly.  (We used pictures of cats, as I recall - sewing without thread on the outlines).  Mom sewed, so she showed me a few tricks.

But basically I started sewing with my own machine knowing:  1) how to thread it, 2) how to sew a straight, basic seam, 3) that you have to press between stages.  I was able to struggle through making very basic cotton curtains for my son's first bedroom...

So, how did I get what learning I have?  (I'm no couturier!) 
1) I just started sewing.  I started with very basic items - I think I started with an A-line wrap skirt.  This is absolutely the way to start!  Little fitting, no closures, and you still end up with a finished product.
2)  I read up on bits as I went along.  "How do you put in a zipper"? 
3)  I started reading sewing blogs.  Almost all the bloggers will put in instructional bits and bobs occasionally - some do it regularly.  Bloggers have helped my sewing more than anything else - that's how I found out about the cardinal "interface under every zipper you sew" rule - it's *not* in the pattern instructions!
4)  I challenged myself progressively, and was willing to do it over in six months or so and try again. My first clothes weren't that great, but they were wearable, and I *wore them*.  Which motivated me to improve.
5)  When I decided to pick up more specialized skills, I hit online classes.   You pay for these, but not much.
6) When my sewing machine got upgraded, I went to all the sewing classes that my sewing shop offered.  I learned a *lot* about my sewing feet that I'd not known, and it has made a very great difference in my sewing acuity. 

Things I would pass along to folks wanting to learn to sew:
- Go ahead and make that first skirt from quilting cotton.  It's cheap, it makes a great A-line skirt (it's crisp, it holds out well) and there are a lot of cute patterns to play with.
- But switch up your fabric as soon as you're pretty sure you're not going to make a total botch.  Lightweight denims are easy to work with, as is linen and shirting weight cotton - and so is lightweight washable wool.  Okay, wool is a total dream to work with.  And a "real fabric" won't be a tell that you've made it yourself.  I know the embroidered denim with the twee flowers would make a great skirt - but it's going to feel SO homemade.  (BTDT). 
- Start learning to fit your figure as soon as you're comfortable sewing that straight seam.  Fit is *everything*.  
- Joanne's is a fine place to buy thread, most notions, and constantly has its patterns on sale.  The fabric is really hit or miss - and it's expensive.  See if you can't find somewhere else to haunt. 
- Online fabric stores are the bomb, once you know what you're looking for.  Fabric is such a tactile thing... :p
- You need one basic book about sewing.  The older, the better.  It's a reference book, it can be totally boring. 
- A meticulous nature is a blessing.  I don't have one.
- Make sure to cut carefully, and on-grain.
- Start cruising the online sewing community, and bookmark the sites that give you good info/sew to your style.  Read, read, read.
- Buy good scissors, good hand-needles, keep everything sharp - and if your sewing machine is wonky, have it checked.


Tilly has a very straightforward style, and has *the most basic* learning to sew instructions that I've found online. 

Gertie:  http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/
Not updated with as many lessons as it was before she started sewing professionally, but her archives are useful, and she's got a lot of eye candy. 

She's specializing in knits these days, but she's very careful about fitting her patterns to most body types, and she's extremely pleasant reading. 

Specializes in historical sewing, with historical accuracy.  Does a lot of historical sew-alongs.  Beautiful clothing, lovely attitude.

Specializes in patterns for the pear-shaped figure.  Very cheery writer, cute patterns, clear explanations.

As I go along and see good instructions (or just instructions for something I've been wanting to try) I pin them to my sewing stuff pinboard.  You'll have to sift through the other things there, but there's quite a list:  
http://pinterest.com/hearthrose/sewing-things/  Pinterest has a lot of tutorials, look around!

I picked up some good information from watching the Great British Sewing Bee on youtube.  :)

Surf around - most of the blogroll stuff on most sewing blogs tend to be extremely safe viewing and you'll come upon gems.

Collette patterns have good clear instructions, fwiw.  They don't fit me well, but the instructions are good.


Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book:  If you can find a vintage copy of this book at an estate sale or thrift store - snag it!  I have two, very slightly different copies, and they're worth their weight.  Really good instructions, very clear.

I have a few fitting books, none of which make me blindingly happy... but I think "Fast Fit" by Sandra Betzina is the best of the lot.  (I have high hopes of the craftsy course I bought on fitting - it gives a new approach.  I'll post back about my work in this area - I have a very hard-to-fit figure, so if it works for me - it works).

Threads Sewing Guide is a good overall guide book.  If you can't get a vintage Better Homes - or if you just want to add to your library, it's recommended.  Lurvely pictures, it has.

I *really* like Sewing Machine Classroom - I didn't think it would be all that helpful, since I know how to use a sewing machine, but I was very wrong.  It's one of the more useful books in my collection.  Put that with the Better Homes and get going.

Hopefully all of this helps someone out.  I love sewing.  It's not the fastest thing to get amazing results with, but once you learn anything, no one can take it away from you.  :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blog Party: Thankful for our Hubbies: Day Five

It's day five of being thankful for our hubbies... and it's Thanksgiving Day here in the States.  :)

In other words, it's a good day.

I *could* gush about my husband some more.  After the past four days, you've kind of gotten the point that I think the world of him, right?  But I want to hit something that's been hitting me.

I am thankful that my husband has my back.  And that I have his back.  And that we're going in one direction.

That's really the point of being married.  You have one another's backs.  You're one flesh, you go one direction.  One person fills in the holes that the other person has.  Now, my hubby and I are extremely traditional in our gender roles.  He won't even LET me do some of the "boy stuff" that I learned to do as an only daughter.  And that's totally fine... you know he does it 10x faster and more efficiently than I could.  Why duplicate effort? 

But if you deify who does what... you're getting the point backwards.  We do this because this works for us.  And we're trying to accomplish the same goals. 

People who know us peripherally are forever telling us that we have nothing in common, they don't know how we stay married.  -eyeroll-  Maybe because we have the same goals, the same values?  Maybe because our parents and grandparents were married 'til death did them part and that's what we regard as normal?  (Speaking of things to be thankful for....)

I love my husband a hairs-breadth short of idolatry. 

And I'm thankful for him, every single day. 

To all my readers - Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful for our hubbies, blog party day four

Link: http://turtleandcompass.blogspot.com/2013/11/think-on-these-things.html

I am thankful that my husband knows how to use his hands.  It is but to mention to my husband that X is out of whack to see it get fixed (this *always* disorients me).  I'm pretty sure that my hubs could build a house with a helper to help hold the other end of the heavy bits. 


He decided we needed a walkway up to the front door.  So he busted the concrete lip we had on the bottom of the lawn. 
He decided that our patio (that he and his mom built) needed to be stucco'd and have glass windows put in.   So he did that. 

Here's the walkway, after he put in the bricks.

He tiled the entry.  He put in the laminate floor. 

He's painted every wall in this house, he's rewired a few of the lights, the flooring has all been put down with his two hands, he considers major home repair a pleasant weekend's work. 
My husband is good with his hands, and I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful for my hubby: Blog Party Day Three

Linkie:  http://turtleandcompass.blogspot.com/2013/11/think-on-these-things.html

I am thankful for all the usual things that we are thankful for, when we have good husbands.

I am thankful that he works hard at his job.  (I am thankful to our Lord that he has a good job to work hard at!)

I am thankful that he loves our kids and spends time with them.

I am thankful that he is more than willing to be the heavy with the kids!

I am thankful that he comes home every night.

I am thankful that he loves me.

I am thankful that he makes me laugh.

I am thankful for date nights and the time he chooses to spend with me.

I am thankful for the way he makes me feel.

I am thankful for his strength.

I am thankful that he's a man of his word.

I am thankful for our love and for our marriage.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful for my hubby: Blog Party Day 2

Blog Party here:  http://turtleandcompass.blogspot.com/2013/11/think-on-these-things.html

The second thing that my husband does for me is encourage me in my self-improvement projects.

You're thinking, "aww... that's so very fluffy".  But "support" in this case means that he approves the project, gives me a budget, and reminds me that it's okay to work on whateveritis instead of polishing the cat. 

Then he pokes me to make sure I keep going.  And teases me about the things I am *still* not very good at (maintenance), which makes me a bit better at them.  (a bit).

He laughs at me and doesn't take me too seriously.  He *doesn't* think I'm all that and an apple pie.  He critiques my work all the time... and I end up going back and grumblingly redoing it, because I know that he's right. 

He pushes me to be better by giving me intelligent feedback, and he's not afraid of my sadface when his feedback isn't positive - he knows that's part of honest feedback. 

He makes me better.  And I'm thankful.  :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thankful for my hubby: A blog-party

Velvet is hosting a blog-party, inviting us to post five days of things we are thankful for in regards to our beloved husbands.   Linkie Joy Here:  http://turtleandcompass.blogspot.com/2013/11/think-on-these-things.html

Start at the very beginning... the very best place to start....

The very first thing that my husband did for me, literally the first words he spoke directly to me were to compliment my appearance.  I've never had a good self-image (to put it mildly) and he's always made me feel pretty - in a very real, very practical, very earthy way. 

He took this girl:

Gotta love the 80s... there were two choices for glasses for girls.  Bad, and worse.  I'm about 12/13 here.

And turned her into this girl:
15, not quite 16 here.  Why I forgot to take my retainer off for the picture... :p  But you get the idea.

Take a look at the posture in the first picture, if nothing else.  Slumped and apologetic.  And yeah, that second picture might be a tad too much cleavage for school, but DH enjoyed it...

So.  Day 1:  I am grateful that my husband makes me feel beautiful.  Being told that I'm beautiful makes me want to work harder at being beautiful, so that I can keep making him smile. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Morbling: Long Dark Denim Skirt

I cut this denim out quite some time ago, and this is my tried & true A-line skirt pattern... what took so long? 

Eh.  I was just being lazy.  I sewed a bit, stopped a bit, sewed a bit. 

Note:  Sewing through this heavy a denim (the heaviest fabric I have used to date) is gnarly.  I broke THREE needles today - one flew towards my eye, making me grateful for eyelids and the "close eyes at sudden noises" reaction.   The drag made the topstitching weird, and it's also laying a bit oddly right now.

But - it's denim.  It'll settle.  This is the heavy blue denim you see in men's 501s.  It's meant to soften over time, not start out soft.  I wear my other denim skirts constantly, particularly the lighter blue denim that I made a year or so back.  Same pattern. 

Differences:  Because I used a darker denim, I chose to topstitch in ivory.  It matches the topstitching on the dirndl I made.  (Same fabric).  I might try wearing this as one of the dreaded "double denim" outfits.  Or not.  ;)  I used the same shamrocks for the hem topstitching. 

I put in a waist stay - there is no way I'm going to try to have a skirt this long and heavy (it is quite heavy!) that doesn't have a stay.  It would just slither down my nonexistent hips and find an uncomfortable spot to squish.  (This has happened, can you tell?)

Knowing how much use I've gotten from my other denim skirts, I expect to get a tremendous amount of use out of this one.  These are my "jeans", and they get that much wear.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


An idea.... what if we brought back trousseaux for our kids? 

Hope chests!  :)  I think both boys and girls (or both young men and ladies) could benefit by a hope chest slowly being filled throughout their teenage years.  They could add to it, their parents could add to it, and when the young lady married or the young gentleman went out on his own, they could take it along. 

I have a 13yo boy, so I think about what would be awesome to put in a hope chest for him... first, I probably wouldn't get a cedar chest, I'd see what I could do to find a trunk.  Trunks have a much higher coolness factor for guys.  Then - maybe put in a nice tool every year?  Like a cordless drill, and a really great hammer or... yeah, I have no clue about tools.   A set of kitchen things (cast iron frying pan, a good chef's knife, a dutch oven).  I don't know that the boy would want linens.  A throw might be nice, if it was utterly masculine.  Dunno. ?

I do have a daughter... and I'd love to make her a traditional hope chest.  Cedar, 'cause I *would* stuff it with linens and nighties and things.  (Yes, a trousseaux was originally all the clothes the bride would need for her first year of marriage - after that it was the husband's problem to provide them - and no, I wouldn't do that because of the way we run things these days).  A couple of pretty chemises.  The same set of kitchen equipment that the boy would get. 

I think it would be awesome if I could make a quilt for both of the kids prior to their wedding day.  Of course I haven't yet finished my own wedding quilt (18 years later) so - ahem - this may be my brain outrunning my fingers yet again.  But it would still be awesome.  ;)

At any rate - the hope chest and the trousseaux are NOT out of date - not if we don't want them to be - and they help keep our kids' eyes on the marital prize

What do you think?  Cool or crazy?

Friday, November 15, 2013

CaliGirl Hair

It was time to get the highlights re-lit.  Okay, I was massively overdue 'cause the beginning of the school year was super busy and it takes for-ev-er to highlight hair my length. 

My stylist got happy and sat me down for a full head of foils today.  LOVE IT.

Before (yeah, massively overdue for the cut too):
After.  With a blow-out.  I could do without the blow-out, but they won't let you leave the salon with wet hair.  :p
Front.  One of my online friends told me I looked really scary.  I find this moderately amusing/pleasing.  You always have to watch the quiet ones!

Probably the best pic of the various colors.  I know it came out lighter than my stylist was expecting - I got her talking!  I have bits that are nearly platinum blonde.  But it looks very CaliGirl cool.  If it doesn't wash and settle in with my natural self, I can always get a tone-over dye.  But ... I like it.  LOL.  It looks like "me", you know?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Old School + New School = Awesome

Yesterday I was thinking about how old-school my choices are, and I was wallowing in the fabulousness of clotheslines, feather comforters, fireplaces and dirndls.

I'm glad that I have a dryer, because when I throw my dog bed through the dryer, it kills all the flea eggs.   This is a good thing.
I'm glad that I live now, because when I want to wear a dirndl and a skirt to my toes, no one cares.  Back in the day, fashion was more conformist.
My dishwasher - I <3 my dishwasher.  And my clothes washer too.


We should be more conscious of our choices.   If something in life isn't working, look at it - hey, even when things work, if you have time, take a look at them.   Humans invent things endlessly, that's kind of what we do.  You're a human, you can do it too! 

But don't just look forward for your choices.  Maybe what worked for 1000 years still works.  Maybe whatever it is is best suited for a certain climate or set of conditions... so if you try it and it sucks, then go on to the next thing.  Like, I am forever blinking at people doing handstands to keep the sun off their skin here in the Southwest.  Um.  There's a climate like that in the Middle East (SoCal is quite Israeli, from what I hear).  So... why not check out what they wear?  Oh, long.  Loose.  Light colored.  Want to try that?  Yeah, pretty comfy.  Maybe we should do *that*. 

People might have already solved the problem you're looking at... why not check out what's come before?  It takes less time than coming up with something out of the blue, and you're likely to know the consequences (environmental, time and upkeep, cost, etc) of whatever it is. 

For instance, I'm planning to learn how to make corsets in the new year, as my sewing skill of the year.  (Learn or Die).   But as I'm looking at corsets, I see that the super-waist-nipping corsets weren't always the thing, those are fairly recent.  What *was* the prevailing thing was a ribcage-covering corset.  So, maybe after I learn to make a corset-corset, I'll reinvent and rework stays?  Because I don't always want something carving into my waist, but bras are very poorly engineered for allday, everyday wear, at least for those of us who are busty.  (Divots in your body, not a good sign).   But my dirndl?  Soooo comfy.  That tight ribcage thing takes the weight off my shoulders and distributes it across my back - giving me better posture while it's at it.  Better. 

I focus on clothing because I like clothing.  But maybe you're into something else.  Think it through.  Look back, look forward, think of new ways of doing things. 

(Hat Tip:  Mrs.  Johnson - http://thepracticalconservative.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/bring-back-actual-domestic-engineering/)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Color Psychology in Practice

I've been musing over that David Zyla book I reviewed a few months back (http://hearth-tobelovely.blogspot.com/2013/07/book-review-color-your-style-by-david.html) and how it might be most felicitously applied to everyday life.   See, I bought a new bedcover this summer, and very shortly thereafter, I realized that I hated it.  I hated it to the point that it made me uncomfortable and vaguely angry whenever I went into my bedroom. 

Well.  *That's* not good!  I changed a couple of the other colors in the bedroom - used different sheets, changed the curtains... still hated it, but I wasn't on edge any longer.  Then my new kitten was diagnosed with giardia and sentenced to quarantine for nearly a month.  We quarantined her in our bedroom, since that's where she'd started out her stay in our house - we have an attached bath with a eensy showerstall that is perfect for a cat zone.  And the very bored, 9 - 10 mo kitten took care of the bedcover that I hated so much.  (Thank you kitty!)

Today, kitty finished her meds, and I changed the bedding to our winter feather comforter with cobalt blue duvet.   (Kitty can now be summarily dumped in the hallway for midnight transgressions against bedding).  Ahhhhhh.... peace at last.  But what happens when I change back to summer-weight blankets?   I started shopping around.  Having been burnt by the burgundy/gold coverlet of anger, I started thinking, "Well, what colors are supposed to be tranquil for me?  How about hubby?"  (You have to think about your spouse too!)

According to Zyla, my tranquil color is supposed to be the lightest color within my iris.  That'd be a light aqua.  What's DH's?  A light aqua - or perhaps a baby blue (depending on his mood - you know irises).   Blue is a soothing color for most people... a relaxing color. (Blue)  Mixed blues, with aqua predominating... that would be awesome for a coverlet. 

And then I started aching to sew a quilt.  Well.  Not to sew one, but to craft one.  Because I adore making beautiful things and getting exactly what I want is a pain... and also I can't bear to throw away fabric scrap, so I have drawers full of the stuff.  :p

And this.... this is how pinboards are born.  http://www.pinterest.com/hearthrose/quilting-inspiration/ Will I make a quilt by June, when the grey cloudy days of Spring give way to the heat of summer?  Stay tuned...........................

Thursday, November 7, 2013


An important Christian virtue is hospitality - it's one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  I used to be super hospitable, my door was always open, but not so much anymore.  Not that the door has closed, but I've stopped inviting folks.  Life got busy, I got focused on perfection... eh. 

So DH and I decided to stop fliffyfluffing around and start just DOING IT - opening our doors to folks, inviting them over.

I was going to a women's Bible study for quite some time, and it's stopped... I was meaning to invite a couple of the girls over for coffee.  I finally got that done today.  Yes, I have all the gear to go completely insane... but I didn't want to do that, I wanted to have folks feel at home.

So I brought out my teacups and my coffee and sugar and cream (yes, I have china, yes, I use it).  I put out the white tablecloth on the end table I pressed into service as a coffee table.  I invited a couple of the ladies over... we sat and chatted for a couple of hours.  It was nice!  Not earth shattering, but nice. 

The other night, we had a family about the same size/constitution as our own over for dinner.  Again, not earthshaking, but it was fun. 

I like doing this stuff... it's fun to get back to it.  No, the cleaning and prep is a pain, but having folks over?  Yes please.

And I like to feed people, which should surprise no one.  :)  You know, you don't have to get all fancy or expensive when you offer hospitality.  This was candied ginger and pecans - both of which were in the pantry.

In both cases, the invitees were *thrilled* to be asked to come over.  People are so very lonely these days.... you really don't have to be perfect to offer up some fun. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Direction?  Taken.  :)

DH thinks I look cute, but where is his beer?  -lol-

Details:  Heavy weight denim, about the same as you'd find in a pair of Levi's 501s.  (I bought it for a six-gore skirt, which I cut and then had enough left over for this vest). 

Pattern:  Folkwear Drindl pattern

Changes:  I didn't use the facings, since I was using a heavy-weight denim and anyway I don't like facings.  They'd have made major marks after getting worn in a bit (this denim will fade/soften with wear, it's all-cotton).  I used bias tape as facings instead, and sewed it down within an inch of its life.

Additions:  I embroidered topstitching on the hem, neckline and armholes (although the armholes are only in blue, so you won't be able to see those until the denim starts to fade).

Comments:  This was fairly easy to fit (thank you, Craftsy class) and sewed right up.  I ignored the directions.  I will almost certainly make more, my husband really likes me in this kind of thing.  Next time I'll make the underbust version of the dirndl, which was what I think he was hoping for, but boning and more advanced fitting... well, a girl has to start somewhere!

Friday, November 1, 2013


I don't do Halloween, but I do take the kids to the church carnival so they can have the fun of dressing up and acquiring candy.  I dressed up in my normal clothes, but in a combo I wouldn't ordinarily put together.  (Vest, peasant blouse, long wool skirt).  DH liked it so much that he thanked me for wearing it last night before we went off to sleep.

This is absolutely unprecedented.  DH tells me I'm pretty all the time, but he's not particularly into any of my clothes.  (I pester him about this pretty often, hoping for some direction). 

I knew I looked good - it's a good silhouette for me, even if it does look a bit costumey... but oh.  You liked it that much?  Pity he couldn't see me blush 'cause the lights were out.

Well.  Hon, you just gave a wife with a sewing machine clear direction.

This, now THIS is going to get dangerous........................................

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happiness is...

... taking a walk.

It's not a big deal to most of you, I know.  But it's a big deal to me.

Nearly six years ago, I broke my foot in half.  Two bones broken, a bit chipped off, three bones dislocated, all at the joint in my arch.  Surgery.  2" long pins (three of them).  PT.  More surgery (pins out, thank goodness, they feel weird).  More PT.

If you've ever wondered what the gnarly scars on my foot in the pictures are - that's where I got 'em.

I was told that ... I was nearly certain to get crippling arthritis in my arch, sooner or later.  I was told that I'd never wear heels again.  That I needed to wear super-supportive shoes forever.  That some stuff was just not going to be fun, and to deal with that.  To push in PT, but not push IRL. I was told that when the crippling arthritis showed up, I could expect to have surgery to permanently freeze the joint in my arch, which means that I expect(ed) to finish the last couple decades of my life using a cane. When I said that I liked to hike, the doctors shrugged at me.  Oh well. My break was bad enough that I was told to be *thrilled* with not having to use a cane now.  I've had several doctors ask me, in awe, who put my foot back together again.  It was that bad.

So I've sucked it up.  I've worn the shoes a size - or two - too big for my feet, to accommodate the bump my bone grew over the injury and the extra width.  No heels after the permanent swelling in my foot pooled blood up by the toes and broke capillaries... which remain broken, years later.  And when I wanted to take long walks and I did, and I spent the day after with my foot propped up.... I sucked it up and got on with life.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I walked farther than normal... and realized that my foot didn't hurt in the bad way.  Sure, it hurts more than the other foot, but it'd changed.  And then if you saw the post about the heels, you saw that I bought some heels last week!  And they hurt but not shockingly.  (I'm not taking up wearing heels regularly, no worries.  Stupid I'm not).

But today.  Oh today!  Today I walked up the big hill on the block next to mine, a good 25 minutes (and it's a BIG hill, designed to get those calves and thighs in top shape) ... and my foot doesn't hurt!  It doesn't hurt at all!  NOT AT ALL!  (Well, no more than it does at this hour every day, but that's the swelling so whatever).

Please celebrate with me, this is a huge deal.  This means I can take walks again.  Real walks.  I'm going to work up to it.  But WALKS.  Oh... this means so much to me.  And I wanted to share my joy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Types of Wives

This is for Elspeth.  :)

Different men want different things in women.  When we, as women, are told that "all men want X" that's not necessarily true.  And if you've got no X in your personality/looks to build on, you're just going to get all frustrated.  What you should be doing (if unmarried) is building on your best characteristics and learning to be flexible.

So far, this is the list of the types of wives I've come up with:  (most women incorporate some/all of these characteristics, it's a weighted thing, not an absolute)

Solace:  Life is hard.  Wife is soft.  This is the wife that exists primarily to comfort you, whose very being is respite from the battle.  The men that pick this sort of women usually have had some sort of conflict (physical conflict) in their lives.  Soldiers, police, guys who *used* to live in the hood?  Yep.  Sweet faced wives who can cook and make a house into a home, who are low drama, low conflict.

Stimulation:  Most of the gents who pick this sort of wife tend to be very intelligent.  They want someone interesting to watch, someone who breaks the tedium.  My mom is absolutely this type of wife.  "Hey honey, do you want to go to China?"  Yep.  The bouncy wife, always enthusiastic, always finding new things to see, to do, to participate in.  High energy, likes projects, hates sitting still. 

Status:   This is your gal who cares about the brand names, who cares about her appearance (and never skips the gym or the spa appointments), who went to a good school and who keeps the appointment book on lock.  Friends?  Yes.  Frenemies?  Yes.  Social and ambitious.  She runs the PTA, she's on every committee.   She can work a room, she keeps up on things.  It's not an easy job.

Stage-manager:  (Hat Tip to MizD)  This is the wife whose husband is frequently busy and/or travelling.   She takes care of things.  Everything.  She runs his appointment book, she buys his Christmas presents, she takes care of all the kid stuff... now, some of us do that because we're SAHM.  This wife will do the managerial job regardless of her work status, because it's part of who she is, and who her husband is. 

Personally?  I'm very high-solace, with stimulation and stage-manager thrown in. ( But mostly because I'm a SAHM).  I watch people - I know when some men are like, "ew.  short chick with curves and a sweet face. ew." and contrariwise when the guy who's had a hard day sees me and is like, "ohhh, nice.  Squishy!"

I haven't given much thought to types of husbands, although I will offer that a man without a strong protective streak is unlikely to choose a high-solace wife. 

So, there you go, E.  Later I'll write on HHH... the post that's been nagging at me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Food for Thought

I'm a good cook.  I started cooking dinners when I was 10 years old.  My mom worked long hours and I was on dinner duty - either that, or we'd have been eating dinner at 8pm.   She taught me her methods of menu-making, and then I got married and shuffled them all around.  And then we went off grains, so "I'll make some pasta" isn't on the list *either*.  

This is how I plan my dinners:

Main dish - this is almost always meat

Side dishes - at least two
  • Ideally I play old-school and have two veggie side dishes, one yellow/orange, one green, one of which is raw or close to it.   This can be as easy as sautéed carrots + a green salad, or you can get fancy with orange/onion salad & sautéed spinach. 

Carb - optional
  • We don't eat wheat (well, the kids do) so our carb - when I include it - is potato or rice.  I know the other starchy root veggies count, but I'm really the only fan around here, so I include those in our diets sparingly. 
Sauces/condiments - when possible (my family loveeees special sauces/condiments, like hummus, peanut sauce, etc).

I try to have one star of the show for regular days, and the rest of the items are served relatively plain.  So - maybe I'll make bacon sautéed brussel sprouts... which I'll serve with roast meat or roast chicken, maybe some rice and pineapple. 

I extend that rule (including more fancy things) for bigger meals and feasts.  If *everything* is seasoned within an inch of its life, you won't be able to taste anything.  The palate needs a break!  Mashed potatoes anyone?

Same thing for menu planning.  Once or twice a week I'll really pull out the stops, but the rest of my meals are easy to deal with (even if they aren't all that "quick" as I am home all the time and a long-cooking item isn't a problem).

Once a week, weather permitting, I make soup or stew for dinner.  Sometimes that's served with salad, sometimes not.  (Mostly depending on whether that day was grocery day).

Variety is important.  Rotate your menus.  I do this with an excel sheet.  Rotate your cuisines - African, Asian, European, etc.  Rotate your meats.  No one - not even *my* husband - wants to eat beef every.single.night for a week.  I go to the store a couple of times/wk, but I keep track of what I've been serving so we don't end up eating the same thing over and over and over.

Balance your meals.  Heavy meal?  Light dessert.  Light meal?  Heavy dessert.  Rich food? Make sure there's something sharp and savory along with (like a pickle or an onion salad or...) to break up the heaviness.  Super light food?  How about a bit of soup to accompany it? 

Match your meals to the weather.  We're having cool, cloudy weather... I think I'll be making some rich, warm food.  When the weather gets hot-hot-hot, that's the time to serve something light, with a wide variety of vegetables and maybe something interesting to drink.

Match your meals to your schedule.  My week's schedule and my menu go on the same page, so that I don't decide that on one day I'll spend three hours cooking and five hours scrubbing.  If you're going to do Spring Cleaning, use your crockpot.  Or serve sandwiches and re-heated soup from your freezer.  Balance!

Try new recipes.  If not once a week, once every couple of weeks, include something new.  You might find a new friend.  :)  If not, no harm, no foul - tomorrow you get chicken and rice, all will be well.

Be willing to bring out your family's favorite foods, so that everyone knows their special foods will see the light of day. 

Have fun!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Courtship - Mine, at any rate

Elspeth over at http://lovingintheruins.wordpress.com/ was asking me to corral up my thoughts about the types of wives and make it into a post, and then she was talking about the types of husbands.  I solicit your thoughts on the types of wives before I gel that post together, but I can talk about my husband a bit. 

I have a degree in Women's Studies, and therefore can say categorically that what follows will *not* be politically correct.  You have been warned.

My husband and I met... well.  I suppose we set eyes on one another sometime in grade school, since we went to the same church, same Sunday School.  We were even in the same Christmas play in 5th grade.  We didn't move in the same circles, and though I have a few memories of him here and there, we didn't "meet". 

The first time I can remember him speaking to me was in junior high, age 11.  I was just starting to get curves and had put on my very first blouse for a grown person.  TERMINAL embarrassment, of course - I spent the entire day with my shawl wrapped firmly around my body.  He walked up to me, smiled, and got me to show him my shirt. He complimented me, and walked off.   -jawdrop-

The next time I spoke to DH, it was Halloween.  We were 13.  He was taking one of his younger friends trick or treating, and for some reason they'd come over to my neighborhood rather than his (it's a 10 minute drive).  I was giving out candy... he smiled, said hi, said he might be back... the porchlight stayed on for a long time that night... -jawdrop-

The next time I spoke to DH, he called out a compliment to me as I was passing by one winter's morning in high school.  I couldn't see him properly, due to some issues with my contacts, or the lack thereof.  No one else (other than family) told me I was pretty.... ever... -jawdrop- 

Being the age that I was, I didn't really put any of these things together.  In hind sight, it seems like God kept throwing us together until we stuck... it took until the second semester of our freshman year, when we ended up in the same Contemporary Living (aka sex ed and how to fill out forms) class for us to meet.  And it took a while before I paid attention to him.  I mean, you're 6' tall, have a mustache, and you're confident... SURELY you are not a freshman!  Therefore I thought he had to be the dumbest senior *ever*, since our class was a mandatory freshman class.  You'd have to be asleep to fail it.

Oh.  Not a senior?  And interested in me?  No way. 

It took my husband six months of compliments to convince me that it was not going to scar the eyes of America if I wore something less covered than a turtleneck and calf-length full skirt. 

By the time sophomore year rolled around, I would have done *anything* for him.  Dance on sharp glass?  Not a problem!  I wanted to be *his*.  (I used to make him really mad by writing "property of ..." on my wrist with his name in a little box in ball point pen). 

I wanted to be loved, and I wanted to give my whole self (not ...ahem... in the Biblical fashion, but in the truest sense of the word - my whole self, my heart, my soul, every bit of me) to him.  If I could have rubbed my scent on his forehead to keep off the other women, to claim him  - I would have done so.  Primal doesn't *touch* how I felt about him.  I guess teenagers aren't shy about admitting their less PC cravings. 

Of course, timing being what it is... just before our sophomore year was up, his father died.  This was rather a damper to our romance (as his dying had been).  I've put that ... badly... but... well.  I was 15.  I didn't understand, and he was a 15yo boy.  He didn't communicate.  He disappeared.  He reappeared, sober and withdrawn, at the beginning of the next school year.

Bereft of his attention, bereft of my best friends (all of whom had moved that year, thank you to the daddys' 20 years in the Corps), I hung around him and his group of friends anyway.  Followed him like a very annoying puppy. 

Much soap opera that no one cares about that year.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned - you should see what a teenager will come up with!

Eventually he looked me in the eye and called me back to his side.  I was at his feet in a second.  If he'd have let me kneel, I assure you that I would have done so.   Yet more soap opera, ah dear high school.  (If you have teenagers, imagine yourself in love with your spouse at 16/17 and ... well, try not to rock and whimper too loudly, it disturbs the pets). 

My heart has ever been his on a plate.  All I've ever wanted was to please him.  To be enjoyed, to be loved, to be appreciated. To be owned, to belong. 

Now, practically speaking, I wanted a man who was strong enough to stand up to the tides of crazy that I put forth.  I am extremely intelligent, quite emotional, and I enthuse.  I didn't want to run some man's life for him.  I wanted someone strong enough to let me be all of what I am - and not change who *he* is. I wanted to be cherished for myself.  I hate being micromanaged, give me a task and go away.  I like being protected, and my small self finds herself quite nervous around not-protective men. 

But really, ultimately... I think God made me particularly for the man that I married, and I think He just kept throwing us together until we got the idea.  Took us a while... we could have easily been married on my 18th birthday.  We didn't get married until the summer a year after I graduated from college.   We were silly, silly rabbits.  So much wasted time!!!!

I love my husband with all of my heart, and I cannot imagine life without him.  He is mine, he is part of me.  I am his, and I am part of him.  We've let some insane stuff come into our lives, and we've survived all of it.  (Thank you, Lord!!)  We're more part of each other than the first day we met, more in love than the day we said our vows. 

And I don't think there was more than a paragraph of this that was relevant....... :D  I'll have to edit, if I'm going to write that wifey post. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

One part of the room done

I know, I keep saying the room is done and then we change things.... I actually took this pic for our friend who painted the big picture (Michael Fee if you're into it).

But it looks pretty cool, so I'm sharing.

Shoes and Social Stress

I had a really unexpected present yesterday. 

I broke my foot *very* badly about 5 years ago, and I'd been told that my days of wearing high heels were over.  My days of wearing anything but extremely sensible shoes were over.

It sucks, but there you are.  I am the queen of cute sensible shoes that work with dresses.  You need help, ask.  I'm your gal.

But still.  When you wear a knee-length skirt, sensible shoes look odd.  Maybe ballerina flats don't look too odd, but I can't wear ballerina flats, they hit my foot in the wrong spot.  (Always have, even before the break). 

Took the kids shoe shopping yday and decided, "what the heck, my foot's been feeling a lot better lately, why not give it a try..." and meep!  They didn't hurt.  Well.  Of course they hurt.  1) They were inexpensive shoes 2) I haven't worn a heel in five years 3) I'm used to really sensible shoes with a big toe-box 4) Yeah, my foot still doesn't appreciate heels

BUT.  It wasn't the white-hot "get me out of this now" pain.  Just - a not comfy shoe.  I can *deal* with a not terrifically comfy shoe, I'm female.  We all have the shoes you wear to walk into a building and then sit down. 

So I bought two pair of heels yday.  Not expensive, they're meant to walk in and sit down.  And I know, your sitting shoes are 2-3" higher than mine.  Whatev.  They're heels!  :)  Oh, and they're my proper shoe size, not the size or so larger I've been wearing to accommodate my extra-high arch and foot swelling.  (Another win). 

That should have made me awesomely happy...

But we're doing something crazy this weekend and I'm stressed.  :p  It's a good thing and I'm totally looking forward to it, but I'm stressed over it.  Social stress.  We're inviting a couple over for dinner that we only know from a couple of meetings.  We really thought they were awesome and so we invited them for dinner, but I swear it feels like dating again, stress-wise.  :P  I don't know why "invite a nice couple for dinner" feels so stressful, but it does.  Don't care, it's going to be awesome!   Once I get there and on the other side.  LOL.  I'm such a dork.