Organization Station

Elena's toys have outgrown
her toy box.
This weekend
TFP took it upon ourselves
to seek out a new method of toy storage.

We ended up with a Closet Maid Cubicle
from Target.
(Pronounced: Tar-Zjeh)
The baskets on top?
My current quilting projects.
And my iron.
No longer strewn across the dining room table.
The place meant for eating.

as it happens,
no one in this house is currently doing anyway
as DRL and Stella are perfecting their upchuck reflexes
and I am walking around in a dress made of kitchen towels
and bits of dried up reconstituted milk.

I paint a pretty picture, don't I?

In light of the current state of peristalsis in my humble abode
I will be working from home today.
Ordinarily I would relish such an idea.
Today, however, I had Big Plans.

A large part of which involved wearing these:

Salutations from the Vomitorium,


A Passion for Fashion.

I officially own a pair
skinny jeans.

I mean SkINNy jeans.

That is all.



Completely Incomplete

Lucinda and I finished all twenty
of our friendship quilt blocks.
(Laid out in order from left to right.  Her #1, then mine. So on and so forth).
I think we initially planned on doing one a week.
Or maybe even every couple days.


We are apparently both
extreme overachievers.
We ended up doing one a day.
I love them all.
It is hard to pick a favorite.

Every single block I made took me out of my comfort zone.
And I think my favorite of the ones Luc made
took her the farthest out of hers.
The purple.
The green.
The circles.
The planned imperfection.

This SCREAMS my style.
I heart it.

And then
there is this one:
Her #10.
The piece de resistance.
It matches so seamlessly with the #10 that I made it's almost uncanny.
She used every single print
in the fabric line.
And the pattern?
It's called "thrifty."

Supposedly, she is not a thrifty person.
Doesn't clip coupons.
Shop sales.
Look for a bargain.

And then there's me.
I refuse to pay full price for the nonessentials in life.

That stuff ALWAYS goes on sale.
I don't think I have paid full price for one item
in Elena or Stella's wardrobe.
ONE. And I know exactly what one that was.

But I digress.
I also love the juxtaposition of this block being named "thrifty"
and the extreme expense of this particular line of fabric.

Now I am saddled with the monumental task
of choosing a fabric for the sashing.
Along with a backing and binding fabric.
What to do?

I'm debating between a nice linen fabric.
Or the same purple that is in my favorite block of Luc's
and the fabric that I made the applique Cooper birdie out of.

Maybe I'll veer totally off course and choose blue
as DRL suggests.

I think I need another bottle of Pinot to help me decide.


(Ps: Luc, this one's for you!)


Wednesday Wisdom

*Texas is hot. Too hot. I miss Minnesota.

*I sent the quilt in the above photo to my niece for her 1st birthday. In June. I'm nothing if not prompt.

*Oops...I haven't officially mailed it yet. Tomorrow, hopefully.

*I booked airfare to visit Luc in one month.  I have no words to describe how excited I am.
To meet her, finally. To actually hear her voice.

*Would you believe we text back and forth most days yet we have never actually spoken?

*She is missing Cooper lately. A lot. Do me a favor, wouldjya? Hop on over to her blog (click here) and leave her a comment. Give her some cyber love, peeps.  Or say a prayer, if that's more your flavor.

*I have finished the blocks for our friendship quilt.  So has she. Tomorrow should be a great mail day! 

*I attempted to make Elena another Oliver&S tank, and screwed it up royally. So, being the improvisational visionary that I am, I edited the pattern just a bit and made the tank into a dress for Stella. I'll snap a photo tomorrow.

*I can't stop taking fuzzy photos with my 50mm.  Seriously. I'm addicted.  And I am not afraid to admit it.  "Hi, I'm Athena, and I'm a bokeholic."

*Last night I stuck a glass of red wine in the fridge to cool it a bit, and I forgot it. Then I drank it...cold.  Pretty sure that's about as redneck as it gets, but I am equally certain that I really don't care.  It was gooooood! (Better once it warmed a bit...but still. G-o-o-D!)

*I am considering reading The Mists of Avalon.  I am hoping I can talk my dad into sending me his copy.  Dad?? You there??  Knock knock?  Wouldjya? Couldjya? Puhleeeeeze?!?!

*I wish all my books weren't in storage.  I have an equally strong desire to bust out my copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and re-read that monstrosity.  So loooooong but soooooo good.  

*Who is John Galt?




Here are a few snapshots of some of the blocks 
I have sent Lucinda
for our quilt.

(Oops! How'd that photo get in there?!)

(You can't see much in this photo, 
at least not clearly
but I LoveLoveLOVE 
the bokeh I get with my new lens.)
*Did I mention I LOVE it?!*

I have all but one quilt block completed for our friendship quilt.
I can't blog the rest until Luc gets them.

This last one I made
tested my...

And it is quite possibly the single handed best thing
I have sewn
so far.

And it's got a lot of mistakes.

I can't wait to share it with you.




Today for lunch Elena had
a Lunchable.

I told her to sit at the table and eat her food
all up.

I then went into my office to get some work done.
When I came out, I saw this:

Not only did she make a turkey + ritz flower
but she bit into each processed turkey circle
just enough
to make a perfectly shaped

My girl's got skillZ.

that's right.
With a capital Z.

And here
just for teasers
is a sneak peek of block #7 
that I will be sending to Luc once it's done.

(Have I mentioned I am OBSESSED with my new 50mm???!?!)



Summertime? Bummertime!

Note the temperature:

I am melting.
Or baking, slowly.
I can't decide.

I keep telling myself it'll all be worth it when it's 70 degrees here in December.

And then
it's 100 degrees at 8:00 at night,
and the mantra stops working.

It is so hot that I want snow.



Musings on A Mess.

Here are 18 reasons why I do not have a clean living room.
And probably never will
save the early early 
wee hours of the morning.

1) The quilt I am currently working on. Due to it's white color, it cannot, will not, take residence on the floor.  Ever.  (I will likely need reminding of this at a later date.)
2) Pajamas purchased for Elena in the hope that she might actually go to sleep. Sometime. Preferably before I do.
3) My bag 'o stuff.  It also doubles as a purse, a thug defense mechanism, and a hiding place for travel-size vodka bottles.
4) Baby. Of the cute-as-heck variety.  Currently not for sale.
5) Toy that Elena left on the floor. Serves as obstacle for Baby to avoid whilst attempting forward propulsion.  Also doubles as impalement device if used correctly.
6) Toy box. Where most of the toys do not take residence, as they prefer the floor, the couch, under the ottoman, and in my direct path while walking, half-asleep, in the dark to fetch a drink of water (or travel-sized bottle of vodka.)
7) Stray sandal residing next to item of unknown origin.
8) MacBook. Device utilized for the systematic entrance of blog posts. Designed to provide insight into the world that is mine.  And that is crazy.
9) What I turn to when those bottles of vodka run out. Current varietal: Sauvignon Blanc.  Why it's half full is anyone's guess.  Really, it should be empty.
10) Framed photographs of Baby.  Slightly crooked.
11) Blatant advertisement for organizational guru and/or intern who wishes to seek out and destroy all things Clutter.  Pay: Nothing.  Benefits: Negative. Usable Experience: No usable.
12) Yoga mat.  Use of which has made my muscles very, very, extremely, I-can't-believe-you-did-that-to-me mad.
13)  DRL's jeans.
14) The chair in which Baby eats her food.  Not to be set on high surfaces (such as the table), or left unattended.
15) Butterfly scarf. Doubles as Elena's princess robe, Queen cape, and kangaroo pouch.
16) Sewing paraphernalia.  Necessitates exhibit 1.
17) Plastic toy about to be hurled across the room by Baby who is unaware of her coordination and strength.
18) See 17.

I promise that if you ever come over for dinner I will clean up.

I can't promise you won't step on a toy.
Or that the Baby won't be on the floor.

And I cannot, will not promise my office will be tidy.

I am a realist.



Four Wheels

While the family Pelton was in Minnesota
the last two weeks of July,
we spent a few days at my mom's place
in western Wisconsin.

My step-dad has a four-wheeler.
Elena has always been terrified to ride it.
Until now.

Her Uncle Phil convinced her to get on and go
for a little ride
around the yard.

Her cousin Logan was helpful
in that regard, too.
Hopping on, bravely, in front of his daddy
for a tour of my mom's 4-Acre front yard.

He was brave
certainly she could be brave, too.

I managed to steal the
contraption from Phil
and steal a few precious moments
with my first-born.

I (obviously) cannot take credit for this photo
but it is one of my favorites.

In other child-related news,
the most recent fruit-of-my-womb
in one day
starting clapping
and drinking from a cup.

Oh, and she ate from an apple.

It was feral, and wholly strange looking.
She was laying on the floor on her stomach
the apple in front of her.
But still, she did it.
And that,
is what counts.



How To Make An American Quilt

Remember Cooper?

I remember Cooper.
And I never knew him.
Yet when I close my eyes I can see his face.
It truly is the strangest thing.

How do you miss someone you never knew?
How do you grieve for a life that was gone before you knew of its existence?

With great caution,
and courageous might.

I have been working on this blog post for nearly two  years.
I have never put in words what Cooper's life has done for me.
The hole his death has left in my heart.
I was always afraid that my grief
for the little boy I never knew
was somehow



But I have realized the reason for such profound sorrow
and magnificent joy
when I think Cooper's name.

She says I am her gift from Cooper.
Perhaps she is mine.
I think that her soul and mine
were sisters somehow.

In another time
and place.

And we were brought together again
in this life
by Lucinda's precious baby boy.
The boy with a devilish grin
and a halo of hair.

Like an angel.

I cannot think of Cooper without 
at once
crying and smiling.

I cannot imagine what the memory of him must do to his momma.
His daddy, too.

It seemed fitting that the first block I made
for the quilt Lucinda and I are making together
honor him.

His legacy.
His birds.

The middle of the block: 
an owl and a pussycat. 
Not a care in the world.
(The owl was Athena's bird, by the way)

The main fabric in the block Lucinda made.
The owl and the pussycat.


Neither of us knows what the blocks the other is making
look like.

They are a surprise.

I have three more done.
I cannot blog them until I send them.

I am curious to see if there are more similarities in our block-making.

I cannot wait to see this quilt come together.
It will serve as a constant reminder
of the ties that bind.

How the hearts of friends
may be separated
by time
or distance
but will find a way
to each other.

I am so blessed to have met you, Lucinda.
I am thankful for you every day.

I hope that
when we finally
that you don't think I'm a giant dork.

Oh wait, I AM a giant dork.




When I was a freshman in college
i took an English class.
As an assignment, we read the play Fences by August Wilson.
It was a book about neighbors.
About family.  The ties that bind.  And sometimes separate.

And it is also a play about race.

The other day I was checking the Status Updates on Facebook.
A friend of mine from high school
who is a current United States Marine
posted the story about the 10 christian medical workers
who were killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

Usually I just read the posts and move on.
But I noticed there were comments.
Curiosity got the better of me and I read further.

What I found was infuriating.
One man said, "Kill 'em all" in reference to Muslims.
Or possibly even Afghani people.
A woman then agreed.
Being the instigator that I am I could not sit idly by
I chimed in with the following:

Remember, we are fighting terrorists NOT Muslims.  There is nothing wrong with muslims as a cultre of people or as a religion.  There IS something wrong with radical terrorists.  We must always differentiate.

The response received was simply,

Funny, they all read the same book.

I was furious now.
Bigotry disguised as patriotism.  
I reminded this woman that Adolf Hitler read the Bible.
That he was a god-fearing Christian.

Somehow, that was okay, though.
Because he read the Bible in Germany.
The country of his birth.

Logically, I presume this woman thinks it is wrong for any 
American citizens to be Muslim.
Or Islamic.

Jihad, and the treachery that the Taliban carries out
is specifically spoken against in the Qu'ran.  
It is considered wrong in the eyes of Allah.

Just as Jesus declares judgement of others as wrong.

The news is reporting that there are talks of building a Mosque 
blocks from Ground Zero.

Call me crazy
but I am okay with this.

I think it will show Americans that 
it is not Muslims that we should take issue with.
It is not Allah.
or Mohammed.

It is not the book the Taliban reads
or the lord they worship
but the acts they engage in that are to be abhorred.

If we stand against a Mosque at Ground Zero
shouldn't we also stand against
in Poland?

Or Shinto temples in Hawaii?

We must be cognizant of the choices we make
and the manner in which we are required to stand by them
so as to be fair.

So as to be just.

Ayn Rand wrote a book
called Atlas Shrugged.
A central theme of that book was
to check one's premise.

Never has this been more true.

I am sorry for getting all political.
I know it's not "wise" in the blog world.
I apologize if I have offended any of my 7.6 readers.

But I could stay silent no longer.



Sunday Secrets

Elena is currently wearing a very fitted "Madonna 1987 World Tour" tee.
With a pink petticoat skirt.
And bright blue eyeshadow.
She exemplifies the 80's.
And I am so proud to be her momma.

I am in love with red wine.
I never in my life thought I would say that, but it's true.
I am Paul Giamatti from Sideways.

Joe Montana is currently playing a game of flag football
with Dawson Leary.
I am at once awed and disturbed.

I covered some serious ground on my
duvet cover quilt this weekend.
Enough to realize I don't have the materials to make it large enough
to cover my bed.

DRL and I went on a date on Friday night.
We saw Inception.
It was amazing. And confusing. And wonderful.

I need a good book to read.
For lack of anything book-ish in my house
I am re-reading the Twilight saga.
I don't really want to.
All of our books are in storage at my mom's place in Wisconsin.

Stella is crawling.

I am glad I know how to cable.

I had a meeting with the bride of the first wedding
I am officially photographing.

We agreed on a fee.
And a time frame.

I can now afford to purchase the elusive 50mm 1.4 prime
the I've been lusting after for the better part
of a year.

I have almost finished a knitting project
for Rebecca's new baby.
I cannot finish it until s/he is born.
As the S/He part is important for the final details.

I got in a discussion on facebook last night
regarding bigotry.
And ignorance.
It made me angry.
And sad.
Let's just say that I don't think it is fair to discount an entire
group of people because of the actions of few.
And let's just say that not everyone is so

I am sorry that I have been such a sporadic blogger.
I will try to be better.

go read the REAL Sunday Secrets.



Far Far Away.

*Photo Courtesy of Heather Ross*

I just bought every single piece of this collection.
19 fabrics total, I believe.

I am going to engage in my first quilting bee
with my blog bff Luc.

It was inspired by a quilting bee/swap that my other bff Rebeccca
and her cousin are doing.

Lucinda and I decided to stick to one line of fabrics.

Given her advanced talent, Luc will be going first.
She is going to make two blocks
exactly the same
and then send one of them to me.

I will do the same,
and send one of my two blocks to her.

And so on and so forth
until we have enough blocks to assemble
an entire quilt.

(I don't even own A gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.)

I get off topic sometimes.

I cannot wait.

And Luc, I apologize in advance
for my lackluster performance in the
block-making department.

But what I lack in skill
I make up in heart.




We spent two weeks in Minnesota.
It was great to see my mom.
My family.
My dearest friends.

But I was surprised how ready
at the end of those two weeks
I was to get back to Texas.

To come home.

I was sad to leave my friends again.
And the cooler temperatures.

But I have come to realize that this is my home now.
It is where I hang my proverbial hat.
Where my family is.
Therefore, where my heart is.

It is more than just the place I live.

Minnesconsin is where I come from.
Where I will always belong.

The home that I will find with my eyes closed.
Through heavy rain in the dead of night.

It is nice to belong here, too.
To feel comfortable in two spaces

To fit.

I know I won't feel this way forever.
There will come a day when I won't be able to wait
to move back.
To the snow
the frigid temps
the amazing summers.

(okay. NOT the frigid temps. I will never miss those.)

I finally understand all the cliches
about home.

I am living them.
And I am not afraid to say it.

On another note...

I am getting ready for Longhorns football.
Really ready.
I might finally become a fan of college ball..