I wouldn’t exactly call them “free”.

free punches in faceNo, really.

All the people I want to punch in the face have actually earned it.

I just wish people would stop picking on my kid, that’s all.

Jeans aprons, as promised.

I have photos of two of the three aprons I made recently for a favorite things party.  We were to bring three of a favorite thing (purchased or homemade) with an approximate $10 value.  We wrote our names on three separate pieces of paper and placed them into a bowl.  Near the end of the party, we each took turns picking three names out of the bowl (checking to make sure we didn’t wind up with our own name or duplicates), and those women got the items we brought with us — after we explained why the items were our favorite.

I came home with a handheld (It had a strap so I could wear it on my hand.) canister of pepper spray, a homemade bar of lotion (similar to those you can purchase through Lush), and a bag that contained body scrub, cherry Twizzlers, and a bottle of Coke.  During the party, we munched on appetizers and traded ideas for favorite activities, date night ideas, local restaurants, etc.

My aprons were actually a representation of a favorite thing that I couldn’t package and gift away: the craft group I attend at the library.  The aprons were a project that I learned at that group.  I confess that the jeans for the two aprons pictured here came from Goodwill.  Normally I would balk at cutting up a perfectly good pair of jeans, but I couldn’t resist the bright colors.  The Christmas apron looks black, and I haven’t the means to fix that, so you’ll have to trust me when I say it’s actually a Christmas-y green color.


(The ribbon bows were sewn on by hand so that the usefulness of the pockets wouldn’t be compromised.)

Christmas apron

(I machine-stitched the patches, but they didn’t overlap across the pockets too much.  My favorite part is the row of miniature cookie cutters along the middle section.)

The third apron was made from a pair of ecru jeans.  I added a ruffle of polka dot fabric in shades of brown and a striped brown ribbon across the pockets and where the ruffle met the denim.  I had to replace the belt loops with the ribbon because the originals were poorly placed for my purposes.  (I did the same thing with the Christmas apron.)  If I ever get a picture of it, I’ll include it in another post — or maybe update this one.  It’s not as exciting as these two, but I think it turned out pretty cute.

Band Camp: Week 1

I had originally planned to post pics of three aprons I recently made for a “favorite things” party, but I forgot to take the pictures before I gave away the aprons.  I am currently soliciting pics from the new owners of said aprons.  Yeah, I’m like that.  In the meantime, please enjoy my anticipated anxiety about the upcoming marching band season!

BratzBasher started Band Camp this week.  She went from a 12pm wake-up to a 5:30am wake-up.  I think she’s finally adjusting, though.  Next week will be half days.  That’ll leave plenty of time for her to finish her summer reading before school starts.  That doesn’t mean she will finish, but she’ll have the time to do so.

The good news: BB is now the senior tuba/sousaphone player in the band.

The bad news: There’s only one other tuba player, and he’s a freshman.  BB’s showing him the ropes, though, and rolling her eyes every time I quote Spiderman at her.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

The biggest obstacle this week has been getting BB to eat breakfast.  Like me, she sometimes has trouble eating early in the morning.  Fortunately, her tummy likes Toaster Scramblers.  They’re better for her than Pop Tarts or cold cereal.

Tuesday and Wednesday, I went to camp with BB so that I could help with uniform fittings.  We needed to make certain that returning band members still fit into last year’s assigned uniform pieces, including pants, jacket, shako (hat), dinkles (shoes), and gloves.  Some had grown and had to be assigned new pieces.  One girl actually went down a size.  We didn’t have enough jackets in her size last year, so she had to take the next size up.  This year, she had better luck.  Seniors get fitted first (getting first pick of available uniforms), then Juniors, and then Sophomores.

Freshmen get whatever’s left over.  That makes for a lot of hemming (both raising and lowering).  For one girl, we have to turn what was normally a regular-length pant into a short-length pant.  Of course, next year, we may need those pants to be regular-length again.  They are also two sizes too big.  They’re quite baggy on her, but what can you do?  Not much.  I’ve got them hanging up in the front room right now, awaiting my needle and thread.  I need to finish them today so I can drop them off when I pick up BB this afternoon.

BB’s favorite moment of Band Camp so far (from what I can tell): having the newbie face his sousaphone towards the wind for the first time.  It was something BB learned about last year.  To hear her tell it, the wind nearly knocked her over her first day of camp.  I think she’s enjoying being the experienced one, but I can tell she misses her old section buddies and their goofy ways.  I keep reminding her: “He’ll catch on.”  And then they’ll really have fun.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to help out while looking as inconspicuous as possible.  I don’t want anyone getting any ideas that I can take on a leadership position in band boosters at any point in the future.  That’s really my greatest fear — trumping my fear of spider crickets (aka camel crickets).

Be glad I didn't choose 400 x 300.


Actually, the worst thing I can imagine is a giant spider cricket telling me that I’ve been elected President of the Band Boosters.  I think I would die of a heart attack.

Do you know how it feels…?

…to be trapped under a giant pile of your own dirty laundry in a room with a closed door and music playing so loud that no one hears your cries for help, and you have to try to get someone’s attention by sliding a hanger back and forth under the door?

Neither does any teenager I know.trapped under laundry

You need WHAT by 6:00 TONIGHT?

BratzBasher informed me at 1:30 PM today that she needed a long-sleeved, black blouse with collar for her school band concert tonight.  Sigh.  Seriously?

Foo4: How long have you known about this?

BB: Um…since yesterday afternoon.

Foo4: Really?  Only that long?  This band director apparently has no concept of prior notification.

BB: He said we probably knew somebody we could borrow a shirt from if we didn’t already have one.

broccoli costumeSince I don’t have a black dress shirt, and Merkin’s is way too big to borrow, we went to Goodwill.  Love that store — especially since all but $5 of the cash in my wallet was earmarked for BB’s counseling session this afternoon.  BB tried on three shirts and we got one that’ll do just fine.  It’s in the washer now.  Sigh.  At least it wasn’t a broccoli costume.

This ever happen to you?  If it has, please feel free to comment — especially if it was a broccoli costume.

Happy (?) Valentine’s Day!

If anyone is still out there, that is.

I just haven’t been in the blogging spirit since Christmas.  There’s something about the post-holiday season that really gets me down.  I don’t think I’m coming off any kind of high, and I don’t think it’s lack of sunlight (tried using a light box, but it didn’t help).  I just get moody in January, and it hasn’t gone away yet.  Yeah, I know it’s the middle of February.  Maybe it’s the snow and the cold making me want to hibernate.  Maybe I just need to get out more.  Okay, this topic has grown tiresome for me.  Let’s talk about Valentine’s Day.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Do you find it an annoyingly pink, commercial scam?  We used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I don’t know.  Lately, it’s seemed more like an obligation.  It’s Valentine’s Day.  Have to do something.  I’ve got a friend who never celebrates it on the 14th because that’s the day her husband married his first wife.  It’d be sort of like celebrating the anniversary of a failed marriage, I guess.  She doesn’t understand why he chose that day to get married, but I’ll bet it had something to do with being able to remember his anniversary.

I have a hard time remembering the exact date of my wedding anniversary.  If I don’t have it in my phone and on the calendar, it’ll just pass on by without my even realizing it.  I’m not sure if Merkin finds this amusing or annoying.  He’s taken to casually reminding me that it’s coming up.  He’s much better at remembering things than I am.

Anyway…back on topic.

BratzBasher can’t stand Valentine’s Day.  She thinks it’s too pink and girly and forced.  She cringes at the sight of hearts (though she won’t hesitate to eat them if they’re chocolate) and lace.  She groans at the sound of cheesy poetry and love songs.  It’s kind of fun to tease her about it.

BB’s German class had to make valentines yesterday.  The teacher typed up a list of “sweet nothings” that they could put on their valentines, but most of the class resorted to googling bad pickup lines.  Much giggling ensued.  I haven’t seen BB’s creation yet, but I have been assured that it’s funny.

If there’s anyone still reading this, I have a question for you: What’s the best — or worst Valentine’s Day that you can remember?  I’d share a story, but — as I’ve already stated — I have the worst memory, and I’m drawing a blank.  Well, I do remember being embarrassed about carrying a teddy bear around my high school.  Oh, that isn’t embarrassing?  It played “You Are My Sunshine” and came attached to balloons.  Okay, I know it’s actually sweet, but I never liked drawing attention to myself in high school.  My boyfriend that year was a hopeless romantic, though.  He even listened to Michael Bolton.  Okay, part of me was happy that he did something nice for me for Valentine’s Day, but I guess I would’ve preferred him to be a little more discreet.  I hope his wife appreciates the attention more than I did.  Hopeless romanticism shouldn’t be wasted on us stick-in-the-mud types.

I did get the funniest valentine from my sister.  Bythelbs sent me a card with a picture of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.  The front said, “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”  On the inside, it said, “End my agony and be my valentine.”  I showed it to the ladies in my craft group at the library.  They all got a huge kick out of it.  Even BratzBasher liked it.

And now, for your amusement, I found this on Swoonworthy.net:


(BratzBasher can’t stop laughing.)


Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I wanted to share some music I’ve been listening to lately to get me in the Christmas spirit.  I found a few videos of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.  I like that this one reminds us of Christ’s entire life and mission on Earth — not just his birth.

Have a very merry Christmas, and may you and your families enjoy the blessings of Christ this holiday season.




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