My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

One of “those” wives. August 15, 2014

 

Here’s the dealio -

 

With my current project affording me extra thinking time, I started to remember when my dentist man was one of the lowest men on the totem pole in the military (we’re talking E-3 here).  I would meet these women in the higher ranks who were sort of loud, sort of  know-it-all’s, sort of obnoxious and sort of ran ram-shot over most of us younger gals… and civilians.  They sort of scared me.  I remember telling him that I never wanted to act like that.

 

 

kitchen

 

 

Nearly 20 years later and here I’ve discovered I’m “that woman”.   Well crap!

 

In the military world, I was in the middle somewhere.  Not a fresh newbie wife who knew nothing of what was about to happen to her and not the 20 years in veteran wife who had seen it all, either.  Nor was I so ingrained into the military lifestyle that civilian life scared or called to me.  I knew how to get certain things done easily and still had questions about others.  And when I was around other military wives, I fit in just fine that way.  Not too quiet, not too loud.  I knew “my place”  (don’t try to tell me mil wives don’t have a pecking order!).  Not to mention we’ve been in and out of the military, active duty and reserves and in different branches.  We’ve been around!

Now in the civilian world… all these attributes mean I’m loud, I’m abrupt.  I ask too many questions.  I know a little about a lot.  I’ve been to more places than most people I’m around and experienced things they may never know or understand.  I’m self-reliant and I get it done and now.  (As my poor dentist man recently learned the hard way.)  I may at times, even run ram shot over people to get things done.  “Waiting until your husband get’s home” may not have happened for months, so I’ve gotten used to packing, discipline, home maintenance, school, doc visits, paperwork and anything else the average civilian does with their spouse, done solely by me.  Not because my dentist man is lazy, but because that’s what we’re used to.  That’s what most military spouses are used to.  The last few years in particular!

 

So where is this all leading to?

 

Looking back at those loud, obnoxious, know-it-all women, I now understand them a little better.  I get that they’re loud because that’s how you get heard.  They seem obnoxious, because you sometimes have to be pushy to get things done and really don’t need your approval.  And maybe, just maybe the really did know-it-all… or at least a lot.

 

I think I’m starting to like this part of me.  I get it done.  I get it done quickly.  I have endurance and flexibility for the insane, crazy and throw-up-your-hands changes in life.  I know what I want, because I’ve experienced it.  I know what I really don’t like, because I’ve experienced it.  I also know that I do need my man for support, but I don’t need him right here with me all the time.  A weekend trip (or his two-week tour this month) can sometimes be a welcome break to remember how much I love him.  I can deal with the big boys – once you take on the military to get things done, state officials and inept renters start to feel like small potatoes.

 

While I’m still “finding my place” here –  instead of shying away from this crazy woman, I think instead, I’m going to let her out a little more often.  Enjoy her a little more, and if the people around me find it a bit too much, they’re probably boring anyways.

 

 

0815141358[1]

 

 

I want to be the type of wife who would do THIS while her dentist man is gone!

 

 

 

Fire in the bush August 11, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Family,Home improvement,Homeschooling — blankenmom @ 12:06 am
Tags: , , ,

 

 

0802142007a

 

 

 

We’ve been spending our days of late working outside on our giant juniper bush.  It was blocking our view from downstairs and in our area, having a juniper bush that close to the house is a big ol’ fire hazard!  We’ll miss the bunnies scurrying into it, but not enough to risk fires.  No worries, they still have the lower part of the bush, sage brush and junipers on the side of the house.  Bob, Bobbett and the little Bob’s will be well taken care of!

 

 

0803141736

Local fires smoke blowing through.

 

Between 110* plus temps, trips and camp, it’s taken a little longer than I had planned on.  I had multiple projects slated for my summer.  The comical part was that we were only able to get about 125 ft x 5 ft x 6 ft.  We still have about 125 ft x 25 ft down the hill to go!  We’re saving that fun for next summer – do we know how to do summer or what!

 

There has been no sewing, no interior projects, no other yard projects.  Just… the bush.

 

 

0620141712

 

 

My children strongly dislike me now.

 

 

0810141846

I know, it looks pretty hideous now.  This time next year it will be all green again!

 

 

Our legs are cut, bruised and scarred.  Our arms itch.  We’ve all discovered that we’re allergic to the darn thing (good thing it’s going!).  Multiple hornet nest and various other interesting bugs.  We’ve discovered muscles we didn’t know we had.  And we’re all sporting lovely farmers and sock tan’s.  Try to be classy in heals when you’re sporting a sock tan!  

 

 

0620141712b

Blocked view

 

 

The good parts though – we all have a healthy glow.  We now have a view from downstairs.  There will be far less of a fire hazard next year.  The boys made a little cash.  I also now know how to  make any necessary repairs to my chain saw.

 

 

0810141846a

New view

 

 

I also got to spend several days, without distraction, with the boys.  Good or bad, we talked – a lot!  I know their plans for life.  I know every lame joke possible.  I know what they’ve been Youtubing and listening to on Pandora and Spotify.  I know what they want for Christmas and their birthdays.  I know what they think on current politics.  I know what kind of girls they like.  I know every.last.detail. of what happened at camp.  I know every useless fact that has ever come off the internet!  Grumbling or not, they obviously needed the time to share.

 

 

0620141746

 

 

What an amazing thing to end up knowing my boys so much better, because we took a huge project on together.  Somethings a little too much?  Kids may grumble and groan at the prospect of work.  Before, during and after.  I may have wanted to wring their necks at some point (or several) through the process, revoke every dime I had offered them, or send them back in, but I knew this is what they needed.  Someone to listen between the lines, between the complaints, between the “twig” jokes.  Our kids are talking to us.

 

 

0805141409

 

 

Tonight after picking up the last few branches in 102* temps, tired and hungry, I was sort of bummed it was over.  We start school Sept.1 (I love it when the 1st lines up on a Monday!!), then they go back to schoolwork and a schedule.

 

They are the biggest reason I love summer!

 

 

0802142046

 

 

 

 

Home Alone July 31, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Church,Family,Hubby,Pets,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 11:14 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

 

 

IMG_3800

 

 

On Sunday afternoon I handed over all three remaining chillens’ to a youth pastor who took them to church camp across the state.  For one week, someone else took care of all three of my younger boys.

 

My house is empty.

 

For the first time in my *cough* 38 years… I have the entire day to myself.  For an entire week no less!  It’s also the first time my dentist man and I have ever been alone.

 

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this?

 

I will admit there has been some nekedness involved, merely because I could.  Not to mention it’s been hot as heck here!

 

 

temp

No, we don’t live in Death Valley and no, that wasn’t directly in the sun.  INSANE!

 

What did I do with all my new-found time alone?  Not much actually.  I took the time to clean (and have it stay that way).  Made some homemade ramen noodles, soon to be attempted in a gluten-free version and had some long discussions with the dogs.

 

 

 

0724141056 (1)

Can you tell they’re listening?

 

 

Oh and had a lovely date night.  We’ve actually been sneaking pre-made Amy’s meals all week.  Mmmmmm!

 

Mid-week the oldest called since he knew I was going a bit stir-crazy.  It was nice to catch up and hear his voice.  Eight hours is a long time to go without a conversation I’ve discovered.

 

Next year I may be more prepared for this week.  Plan something a bit more exciting or go somewhere, but for this year, the experience was enough for me.  To be alone.

 

I pick them up at 2:00 tomorrow and while I’m enjoying getting to hear my own thoughts a bit, I will be ecstatic to hear the boys’ craziness again.

Even if that means putting bottoms back on.

.

.

.

IMG_3799

.

.

No worries for my neighbors, there was a sundress involved in this picture.

 

Planet side July 20, 2014

 

 

earth

 

 

 

No, I haven’t fallen off the planet… it’s just summer craziness.  And with us that always includes some sort of drama.

 

Between beach trips, dog watching, lost military paperwork, evictions (not ours), camps, summer classes, heat waves and colossal yard projects, we’ve just been stretched thin.  Due to some lovely hay allergies (read: I sound like a barking seal), I’ve been forced to slow down for a week or so.  Which is making me grouchy.

 

I’ll leave you with this little picture.

 

 

face

 

 

Today at church I saw a man.  He looked very similar to the husband in the couple that has been “mentoring” me through the bible.  (I *love* these people!)  So one would assume I know what they look like.  In my snot-bogged brain’s stupor I mistook this man to be the husband.  “Hey (insert name)!  Say hello to your wife for me!”  His face was the perfect definition of confused.  As I walked on further I realized… I don’t think that was who I thought it was?  I know, I know, we’ve all done this.  I got home and texted them just to make sure.  Sure enough, they weren’t there tonight.  

Instead of being completely embarrassed, I’ve decided I’m going to do this every week, sans the name, just to make him wonder.

 

I’m slightly evil.  I know.

.

.

 

Sew seamless June 23, 2014

Filed under: Sewing,Sewing lessons — blankenmom @ 1:31 am
Tags: , , ,

 

 

IMG_3797

 

I wanted to demonstrate how you can make a seamless elastic top seam like you would buy in the store.

.

You could just sew straight through the elastic on this top, but it would make a very noticeable line across the top.  Which, unless you are adding it on purpose with a design in mind, wouldn’t look very good for this particular look.

.

We want a clean line that doesn’t look like anything is really holding it up so that the pleates can fall freely.

.

.

I’ll start by saying, all I did to measure this was wrap it around me.  I will also make sure to mention (if you didn’t read the other post on this dress) to make sure to measure it around your largest body part.  Once done, sew up the side seam or seams to make a long tube.

When selecting an elastic for this dress, I wanted something larger so it wouldn’t roll or fold.  I wanted it to act as a foundation and as a sort of facing.  It also had to be able to hold up a large amount of heavy fabric.  I believe this was 2″ elastic.

.

.

IMG_3788

.

.

.

Sewing the end of the top to the end of the elastic.  (Ok, you could really do this with the machine, but I was watching the World Cup, but you get the idea.)

.

.

.

IMG_3791

What it should look like when you’re done joining the two.

.

.

.

IMG_3792

.

.

.

Flip the elastic over, only showing the fabric.  Here is where you would normally sew it down, creating a seam line.  Instead, tack the elastic down at the side seams and any other inconspicuous places, making sure to add a mark for front and back if necessary.  (Some tops or dresses this isn’t necessary as it’s obvious, but this type of dress, it’s a bit harder to tell.)

.

.

That should be all you need to keep the elastic in place and from flipping every time you try to dress.

.

.

A very nice clean look!

.

.

.

IMG_3795

 

 

Bob Ross moment

Filed under: Church,Made by me,Places,Sewing — blankenmom @ 12:57 am
Tags: , , , , ,

 

 

bob-ross

.

.

… “You made a mistake?  Turn that mistake into a happy little bird.  That’s it.  A happy little bird.”

.

If you’ve never seen Bob Ross’ show, you have no idea what I’m talking about and now officially think I’m nuts.  Go google him.  He was awesome.  He was also excellent at putting my first-born down for a nap with his quiet tone and calm.  I’m sure the hair helped somehow too.

But beyond that, he teaches a great lesson.  If you make a mistake, you can always turn it into something good!  I got a “two-fer” on this post.  The dress I just finished (and LOVE) was designed around a mistake I made.  And some people I have met at church have shown me that even when we make a mistake, God can use it to make something great!

.

Let’s start off with my spiffy new dress shall we!

.

.

 

IMG_3797

.

.

IMG_3795

.

.

IMG_3796

 

Amazingly comfortable btw!!

.

.

.

So you’re asking… “What was the mistake; it looks fine?”

.

That nifty little pleat in the front and back weren’t at first supposed to be there.  It was supposed to be one piece of fabric, wrapped around.  That’s great when you wrap the fabric around your pathetic little chest to fit it and forget that you have an ever-growing posterior.

So what fit up-top, didn’t so much around the middle and ended up looking more like a stylin’ hospital gown with cheeks flapping in the wind.

So a back was also cut out and I figured I’d just gather.  So boring!  When I wrapped the dress around “Betty” for the night, I just really liked the way it looked.  So clean and simple.  And if I really wanted to add more, I could always add a pin or a belt.

.

When I first realized what I had done, short-changing my backside, I thought I had ruined a yard or so of fabric.  But when I sat and thought it out, it turned out perfectly!

.

.

Now, on to the people I met at church.

.

On my day to volunteer, I had asked the woman who oversee’s our area if she knew of anyone that would be able to help us out with “that house”.  You know, a little business advice.  I obviously suck at this and needed some serious guidance.  She thought for a bit and said “Yes!  Can you come by next week to meet them?”  I of course said yes excitedly and even offered to volunteer again since I was there.

.

After service, she brought them over and I explained the situation.  They talked with me a bit and I became sort of disappointed that they didn’t have much in the way of business advice as they don’t have rentals.  However (and that’s a GIANT however) what I got instead was not only much better, but what God knew I needed instead.  The encouragement, advice, scriptures, prayers and reassurance that God can turn a mistake into something amazing was much more than I was expecting.

.

.

The place we live in now is called Selah, meaning to pause and reflect.  After meeting these people and a few others here, I really believe that we are here to pause and reflect.  Regather.  Recoup.  Learn and get ready for the next adventure God has in store.

Have you made a mistake?  Selah – Pause and reflect on God’s goodness.  The answer will come and His goodness will set things right.

.

.

selah

.

.

As for your sewing.

.

Turn that mistake into a happy bird… that’s right… a happy bird.  Or in this case, a purdy little dress.  That’s right… a purdy little dress.

 

 

IMG_3787

 

 

 

Birth control named Shadow June 14, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Family,Made by me,Pets — blankenmom @ 12:16 am
Tags: , , , ,

 

 

wall hanging

One of the things I’ve been up to this week.

 

It’s been about four weeks now that we’ve had the puppy.

.

It’s been a very loooong four weeks.

.

.

At one point the third-born asked, “Is this what it’s like to have a baby?”.  Which made me pause… yes, yes it is very much like having a baby.  A baby that chews on you with Parana like teeth and goes to the bathroom in random corners of my house, but still very much yes.  The biggest difference being that you can, if you need to, leave the puppy in her “cage” without CPS becoming involved.  I however, hesitated to say this as he was lamenting at having yet another shift at watching her while I needed to head out the door and I’m still hoping for grandbabies in the future – the distant future!

.

As I drove away it occurred to me; schools should start handing out 8 week old pugs to teenagers.  Boys and girls.  To be given to the disabled at the end of the puppy stage.  When they’re fully potty trained, done teething and relatively listening to commands.  After all, that is what happens at 18 when they move out, right?  At least we hope?

Early morning wake up calls, late night potty breaks.  Meals usually including some sort of medication that the puppy absolutely refuses to take.  Messes in random places, shoes missing, and doing nothing without knowing exactly where that little devil is!

.

Am I making you want a puppy?  Yeah, it’s working about that well for the boys wanting kids about now too.  But in due time, I think they’ll come to realize as the puppy grows, that it was all worth the work… the scratches, bite marks, funny smell in the corner, the lack of sleep and not being able to do what they want for the time being.  But just like kids, all you really remember are the good things when it’s all said and done, after all – they are the good things!

.

.

puppy

Ahhh… a sleeping puppy.  Quick – go take a shower, clean the kitchen and make dinner!

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers