Wardrobe Malfunctions

I recently uttered a sentence I never, never, never thought I would say: I need a sewing machine. I don’t quilt, crochet, or knit. I tried rug hooking once, but couldn’t get the hook dislodged from the wall after I threw it. I have, it is true, been known to cross stitch, but not with any real skill. Although I did cross stitch a bird silhouette with the motto “Tweet Deez” for a friend, and it turned out nicely. But there’s no door between my kitchen and dining room. So you see the need.

There are a few things believe to be true about a house. One is that I find it barbaric to have a bathroom directly off a bedroom. The other is that one should not have to look at how the sausage got made when one sits down to eat said sausage. At some point in my home’s history the swinging door between the kitchen and dining room was taken off. I can see some conflict with where the door probably rested when opened. It’s not a large dining room. You’d have to be careful not to pop a guest in the back when coming through the door. It is my desire to keep from unintentionally smacking a guest in the gourd with a swing door that has lead me to decide a curtain might be a better option. This will need to be sewn. Also, I change out pillows and seat cushions roughly every other month. It gets tiresome hand-sewing pillow covers. And? The only good part of that movie with Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling where he plays the creepy guy who dresses as a woman at some point and probably killed Kirsten Dunst and chopped her into a million pieces is this one dress she wears. It’s just a little ‘70’s style shift made of cotton lawn. I think I could make it. And I will keep thinking that until proven wrong, which will probably be three hours after having purchased fabric to make the dress.

Due to the profound kindness of a few family members, I have a new-to-me sewing machine. It has lots of pieces. I don’t know what any of them do yet. Well, I can figure out what the buttonholer attachment does, but making something with buttonholes is about as much an option as squeezing some Kingsford to make me a diamond ring.

The other hand-me-down I ended up with is a pair of leather New Balance walking shoes. I KNOW! From a distance they look like regular trainers.They fit me perfectly. If you’ve ever seen my feet you understand what a miracle of sport shoe engineering this is. They make my feet feel like fluffy bunnies are mating on cotton candy clouds. They are awesome, and I will never disparage ugly walking shoes again.

The other day I had some stuff to do around the house, and that usually involves paint. As a preemptive measure I’d put on one of my designated painting shirts. Truth? Most of my shirts are designated painting shirts. I can get paint on a shirt just looking at paint chips. It’s a disease. Same with food. I used to think my friends were psychic when they could tell me what I had for lunch. This particular paint shirt is a men’s big-n-tall denim special I got sometime during the Clinton administration. I had to make groceries so I threw on my swanky new walking shoes, buttoned up my denim shirt, and got in the station wagon full of a sewing machine and its table that hadn’t made their way inside yet. I looked like I was on my way to pick up my sister wife.

Normally when I’ve got on my paint-splattered clothing, I fool myself into thinking I look artsy. I get out of my funky little retro-styled wagon, bebop around with a bag my husband got me from Ten Thousand Villages, and think, “I’m an artiste! I don’t look like a middle aged woman who’s off her meds! I look ARTSY!!” I find if I think to myself in exclamation points, it helps keep me delusional. This time all my look said was, “Yes, checkout person, I have a binder full of coupons that will force you to ring up my basket of groceries in FOUR separate transactions! And while we’re talking, don’t you think that Redbook cover is a little racy for the checkout aisle?”

When I was little I used to put pantyhose on my head to make long hair. I think my adult version of that is pretending my paint-splattered wardrobe is artsy rather than pathetic. I have come to peace with that. Also? I ROCK those walking shoes.

Reality Vs. Fantasy: Living Room Edition

I have to paint the living room and dining room. I’m having a hard time choosing a color. I probably wouldn’t have such a hard time if my living room had any style to it. Our house is full of old stuff. Mostly in a good way. There’s a table from my grandmother’s house; a chair from his grandmother’s house; his grandmother’s hope chest; a library table painted green that possibly came from an aunt, but could just as well have come from the feed store my family used to own. Most days, I think we’ve done a good job melding our stuff together. My decorating budget hovers someone south of a quart of paint, so I do what I can.

Right now I hate everything. Part of this is sheer envy. We have neighbors who just finished building their starter castle behind us. Until today, there was no privacy fence so I could get glimpses of shiny stainless steel, artfully aged copper, high arches, and a real live laundry room. I fully expect the fence to help me with my kitchen and bath envy, but it doesn’t change the fact I have to paint the living room and dining room.

Last year for my birthday, my mom got me this fabric that I’d been lusting over. It’s very me. Traditional, but not. Oh, and loud. I wanted it for my dining room chairs. I love the funky print with the traditional mahogany Queen Anne chairs. So I got to stapling. (By the way, if you recover chairs a lot or just have need of a good stapler, this one will change your life) The good news is there are so many colors in it, I can pretty much use whatever I want for the walls. The bad news is I’m going to have to take to my fainting couch if I look at another paint chip.

What I Have

What I Would Like

Reality Vs. Fantasy: Grocery List Edition

What happens to me when I go to the grocery? Here’s what I think: Pressurization. Work with me. I walk into that vestibule area where the carts are kept, right? The doors close behind me. The doors into the grocery proper are also closed. This causes some kind of pressurization force that sucks out my ability to get what’s on my grocery list.

And it happens on purpose.

It’s a plot by the grocery. Truly it is. When you go off the reservation with your grocery list, and you DO, you don’t go all crazy in the produce section. No way. It happens in the cheese shop. (Or at my grocery, The Cheese Shoppe.  Yes, their Muenster IS JUST THAT FANCY) Yes, blue cheese is on your list. You were going to make dressing. But why have blue when you could have bleu? Suddenly, that $35 a pound Fiorin Blue Pecorino is EXACTLY what you need to put a little zip in your salad. Why? Because the $28 per pound Swiss Raw Milk Raclette is horrible in dressing, silly! But! It would be excellent with beer and cornichons! TO THE OLIVE AND PICKLE BAR! (They do not, regrettably, call it The Olive Barre)

And those artisan loaves are beautiful, but you could make them yourself and they would be so much better. And you know what they’re good with? The $26 per pound Vermont cultured butter, DUH. And you better get the good flour. Bread has so few ingredients that they’d better be quality, right?

Then you need basics: Chicken breasts, pasta, vinegar, and OOH! THERE’S A SEASONAL OREO SELECTION! Let’s see, we’ve got mint, something orange, a Golden Uh-Oh. Wait, Oreo Golden Uh-Oh? That doesn’t sound very good. In fact, that sounds like something you’d accuse a toilet-training toddler of.  I mean, I get it. It’s vanilla cookie with chocol…CHOCOLATE DOUBLE STUFFED! Y’ALL, SHUT UP! There is an Oreo that doesn’t just have double the Stuf. It has double the CHOCOLATE Stuf.

So… milk, sandwich meat, do not look at the seafood, OMG, organic wild-caught mahi mahi is on sale super cheap, laundry detergent. Is it just me or are grocery store candles starting to smell a lot better? Cranberry Currant Basil Wooden Wick Tender Moments Flameless Soy Candle? Why not.