My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Sitting still is for the bored March 18, 2015

 

 

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I’ve been on a daily quest to make phone calls all day.  By the time I’m done telling insurance that no, the contractor isn’t crazy, and telling the contractor yes, insurance is crazy, driving one kid to tech school and back and two others to homeschool swim, and various other add-on’s, caveats and addendum’s, it’s dinner time.  And then I’m pooped… headed to bed.  It’s a sad, sad life.  *HA*

 

Ok, really I love that they’ve got this all going on.  I just wish the phone calls could be done.  It’s been almost 9 months since we’ve been paid for the rental and we’re coming down to our last and still need repairs done.  But we’ve come back from worse, and now I know the routine.

 

But the crazy current schedule still leaves me with my weekends open.  Sundays have been spent looking for another new church.  Saturday’s in particular I’ve made sure to schedule nothing on purpose.  A girls got to relax!  Even more so when your husband comes out to the deck you’re sitting on and says “You alright?  You look sort of out of it?”  “Hmmm, just relaxed?”  Yeah, it’s been so long since he’s seen me relaxed, he’d forgotten what it looked like and it made him worried.  Need to do it more often I guess?  I’ve also managed to run out of projects.  No, back up.  We’ve run out of money to finish several started projects.  I’m left with pulling things apart.

We’re still waiting to put the floors back in, so I’m pulling all the trim down in the mean time.

 

 

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I do still have one section of floor to rip out, but I’m dreading it.  It involves the front loaders.  *sigh*  I’ll get to it!!

 

 

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The t.v. turned terrarium is sitting next to me, waiting for its innards.

 

 

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The kitchen is still waiting for its island, all marked out and ready.  Plans sitting in my planner.

 

 

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And the lights, only one of which works, waiting to be replaced.  Replacements picked out.

 

 

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Main section of the quilt is finished and waiting for its border.  I’ll get that when the next really good sale comes up.

 

 

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Pillow cases done and ready to be sent off.

 

 

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BUT (notice it’s a big but – *giggle*) I have one project that I’ve been saving.  My son’s girlfriends dress.  I felt so awesome that she asked me to make one for her.  So I’ll be enjoying this one… and I can afford it!

 

 

katelyns dress

 

 

I managed to find a pattern for the top, but nothing that remotely came close to the bottom section.  Thinking about it… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a pattern with pleats?  Or at least with sharp, numerous pleats.  Cheerleading skirts don’t count here.  So I’ll be making the skirt portion myself.  I’m also a bit excited since we discovered we’re the same size.  Hey – give a nearly 40-year-old woman some excitement!

 

 

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We’re using Linen instead of the shiny material used here so that she can wear it as a simple summer dress, nothing too fancy.  I’ll make sure to show the stages.  I’m looking forward to making it.  I do love making dresses – can’t stand wearing them.

 

Various projects laying around show I’m keeping busy.  Spring is springing and I’ll soon have outdoor projects to add.

 

We may be in a holding pattern, but that won’t keep me still!

 

 

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Take it down a notch… or ten. November 3, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Church,Hubby,Knitting,Made by me,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:29 pm
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I’ve gotten quite a few easy projects done this last weekend.  Easy sometimes is a good thing.

 

The shirt I made I had planned on wearing to church the day I completed it, but somehow it ended up with a funky smell before it was even worn?  So, it’s in the laundry… I hope that smell goes away?  

 

My mother-in-law bought some very yummy yarn a few weeks back, but it was a bit spendy, so we only got one skein of the Alpaca/Silk goodness.  What exactly can you do with just one skein?  Well thank goodness it was a big skein and Ravelry is awesome.  I searched for the yardage and voila!  Infinity scarf, with beads no less.

 

 

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She’s going to love it.  And the lard I rendered for her this weekend.

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Yeah, you heard me, lard.  Don’t be jealous!

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I also made the most epic pajama bottoms ever!

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I know, they’re awesome right!

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I had actually planned on seasonal and regular stash p.j.’s, but alas, one needs to know how much yardage is needed before one buys.  Remember that kiddies!  These took me about 2 1/4 yards because of the pattern.  Without the pattern I could have gotten away with the 1 1/2 yards I have.  I guess the regular stashes will become an excellent pillowcase for me!

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And, as I type, I’m wearing the most comfortable pants I think anyone should be allowed to wear in public.

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Wow… uh pictures really do add weight?  

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No matter – these pants are awesome!  I made them out of “jegging” type material.  Very heavy, fairly thick (meaning no see-through cheeks going on) and uber soft.  And I mean, uber.  And the bonus, my dentist man asked where I bought them – always a compliment!  I will be making more of these.

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See, I have been productive!

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So productive, I’ve been running ram-shot right over people who clearly don’t deserve it.  While sending our potential new renters their background check packet, I managed to scare the pants (figuratively I hope) off the poor woman!  I’ve been so used to having to deal with thick-headed, lying… well, our last renters, that I didn’t even give the poor people a chance to breathe.

After a very personal sermon at church this weekend on gratitude, I realigned myself, took a breather and remembered that “that house” may be our curse, but to someone else, it may be a blessing.  If I’ll let it.  So I’m loosening my grip, taking a breather and taking the “DEFCON 1” level down a bit.

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Productivity is a good thing.  Scaring people to get it done, not so much.  It’s good to know I have it in me though, for future use.

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And tonight, our nice wood guy made his final delivery of our 3 cords of wood, at about 10 pm.  The guy likes to work!  So hopefully I can burn off a bit of that pent-up energy stacking, and stacking, and stacking.

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Oh who am I kidding… that’s what I have boys for!

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This counts as P.E. right?

 

Home Alone July 31, 2014

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

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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

 

Bob Ross moment June 23, 2014

Filed under: Church,Made by me,Places,Sewing — blankenmom @ 12:57 am
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… “You made a mistake?  Turn that mistake into a happy little bird.  That’s it.  A happy little bird.”

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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!

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

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Amazingly comfortable btw!!

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

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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.

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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!

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Now, on to the people I met at church.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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As for your sewing.

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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.

 

 

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Up to all good! March 21, 2014

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Has it really been so long?

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It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here.

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From signing up to volunteer at church and at the local pregnancy center to woodworking and making felted baby rattles.  Throw in a sick dog, boys activities – including the big one and I’ve hardly had time to sit still.

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The whole time I could hear a good friend in my ear asking if I’ve started my sewing room yet?  I’m workin’ on it, I’m workin’ on it!

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I’m so glad for her voice!

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This is what I have so far.  One wall partially completed with 3 more walls to go.  And yes, the chair looks really low.  I made the desks standing height so I’m not sitting as much.  I’ll be purchasing a “standing chair” in the near future.  I’ll also be organizing VERY soon.

Just for future reference if you’re thinking of doing something similar….. measure the length of your pedal cord.  They’re about 2 inches too short and I’ll have to make a small “stool” for them.

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Paint color suggestions?

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In between sawing, I have been sewing.  I’ve made two shirts and a pair of pants.  My favorite being this completely simplistic, but totally awesome, sparkly shirt.  I’m in love with it!

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*sparkle, sparkle, sparkle*

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I managed to get only one of our new light fixtures up outside.  Mostly because…. it’s good to know how many light fixtures you actually have on the outside of your house!  We found an excellent deal at Costco and bought three, only to realize we have seven lights!  I ordered the remaining lights elsewhere, at far less of a deal.  Now if the high winds could just die down I could actually put the rest up?  In the mean time – I’m enjoying the new view!

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And lastly, a Pinterest find.  Felted baby rattles.  Something good to do while you’re watching your favorite show.  I love the results – I’ll definitely be making more for future cutie-patooties!

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*rattle – rattle*

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So I now have a clean garage.  A second-born signed up for classes next year at a tech school.  3 boys in 4-H.  A first-born with a job at the naval base and a dentist man who is happy that it’s been very quiet.

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I swear it started out as a decent conversation! March 8, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Church,Family — blankenmom @ 9:19 pm
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Tonight on the way home from church, sandwiched together in the cab of our old 85′ Dodge Ram, the three youngers and I were talking about what we heard at church as we made our way to BK.  Don’t look at me like that – we don’t eat there very often… much.  Anymore.  Ok, it was late and we hadn’t eaten yet.  So there.

 

While sitting at the window, having already ordered, pulled around and paid, we were apparently waiting for them to kill the cow as we had been sitting there for quite a while.  We didn’t mind since they had already given us our soda’s and we were relaying to the youngest, who goes to the middle school group, what was said in the main church.

 

The pastor’s wife spoke tonight and did a fine job.  Her talk was excellent.  One of the stories however spoke very much to my children:

“When I was 12 years old, I went to a party at the Y.  It was a pool party.  There were several of us 12-year-old girls.  All obnoxious and we all thought we knew everything.  About an hour and a half into the party, they all started screaming and jumping out of the pool claiming there was poop at the bottom of the deep end.  I was entirely too stubborn to fall for this and the lifeguard proceeded to explain that they were remodeling and because of that the ceiling tiles were falling and sometimes they made it into the pool.  Satisfied with this explanation the girls all piled back in.  About 30 minutes later, they all piled out again, convinced it was poop.  I wasn’t going to stand for this.  I shouted for someone to give me their goggles.  Threw them on and swam down.  I snatch that pile up and brought it to the edge of the pool to prove them all wrong and show them how silly they all were.  And that’s when I realized what it was.  The lifeguard cleared out the pool and the swim part of the party was over.  But even after washing my hands, I still couldn’t eat my pizza with my right hand.”

 

I know – EWWWWW!

 

Her point to the story was about our perspective compared to Gods.  She thought she was all that and knew what it was, but 10 ft of water clouded her judgement.  The same goes for when Satan tells us something is right, when we know it isn’t.  The great deceiver will cloud our judgment, like the 10 ft of water,  and tell us “Go ahead.  Pick it up – it’s just…..”.  God put it that far away from us for a reason.

 

Excellent story to relay this message!

 

Now as I’m telling our youngest this, and we’re still waiting for that cow to cook, he asks “What kind of poop?” as if it truly matters.  “Well people poop of course?!”  My second-born asks “Why would it matter – poop is poop?”

 

And that’s when I exclaimed “I think I’d rather pick up dog poop with my bare hands than people poop.  People are nasty!”  I then turn to look inside the closed window of the drive through to see 5 teenage girls attempting to squelch their laughter at the conversation taking part inside the cramped truck cab.

 

And here people, is another lesson from tonight’s sermon – The folks inside the drive through CAN hear you while you’re at the window…. talking about poop.  Or you know, whatever else you talk about.

 

 

20 days fast January 10, 2014

 

Our church is doing a 21 day fast.  The fast is anything you feel you can’t live without.  If it’s your morning coffee – go without it.  If it’s having a drink – go without it.  If it’s sports – go without it.  If it’s shopping – go without it.  If it’s food, they suggested The Daniel Diet…. to which our family had a good laugh over when we discovered we’re essentially already on it.

Mine, mine is media.  I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a news junkie.  My daily routine starts off with news, continues with news and ends with news.  Websites, YouTube videos, talk radio, magazines…..  granted it can be a great teaching tool at times, but at a certain point it can become too much.  So – I can go without it.

I will admit however that the 21 days threw my bit of OCD off, so I’m going with 20 days…. yeah, I should probably have worked in an “anal retentive fast” also, but one thing at a time here.  So no FB, no news outlets, no websites, no talk radio and very limited t.v. only after the boy’s head to bed.  I’ll be catching up with the blogs I’m missing in a few more weeks.

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Don’t…. it’s pretty sad and pathetic.

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However, on the bright side, I am getting quite a bit done.  I’m finally getting my sewing room put together and my dress started.

After watching the sales for several months and doing some major research, I managed to find an excellent deal on a new compound miter saw plus a stand – on sale (I love sales!).  Even after looking on Craigslist I couldn’t have found it cheaper, so I’m pretty pleased with myself!  Along with another new tool from several months ago to keep things looking clean when I put the tables together.  Granted the room won’t be done over night, but at least it’ll start to look like a sewing room again.

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And tonight while my dentist man is off at reserve duty, I managed to get the curtains down.  *cough, cough, cough*  They may have been up there since the Carter administration?  The curtains are washing as I type and hopefully, not shrinking.  Wait…. is that a light switch?  I didn’t know that was there!

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At this point, I have no idea what’s going on in the world around me, but I know there is a giant pot of Chili cooking, curtains washing, wood cut, dogs walked and three boys that have had their mom’s undivided attention for the last week, so maybe the outside world can wait two more weeks after all?

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