paradise is you

The kids are out of school for Spring Break. Don’t think I even get how I’m supposed to be this schooling parent. In fact I think I have given up trying. I am often at a loss as to schedules. I don’t fit in with the culture. My kids had conferences last week and it seemed like for all the haranguing about standardized tests and attendance, the school staff and admins are lost and jumbled about it all. One of my children had a low (for the child, anyway) grade in a class. Now last week the child and Ralph tried to get to the bottom of it, and the teacher had a bunch of assignments incorrectly allocated. But here we’d confronted the child the night before – and the child had cried – over this mess. I don’t know if I’m supposed to not give much of a shit, or if I’m supposed to bust in there and straighten everyone out. And it’s hard to get too excited about something, grades and such, that seem entirely meaningless.

So anyway, school is whack and I am amazed they like the good parts – of which there are many, they’re called “other children” – enough to tolerate the rest. But they are enjoying themselves and this gives me immense pleasure. I know they appreciate that we support their rights to do what they want.

So I figure my job is to keep them in school clothes, and try my reasonable best to support them in their extracurricular activities and social lives, and feed them, and provide a safe, loving home for them to rest and recover in.

My son’s birthday is tomorrow – he turns eleven. I am hardly prepared – mentally, emotionally, or any other way, really. I sound a mess and maybe I am.

This afternoon I picked up my car from the shop. Gotta rob some rent to pay for that. But that said the kids and I were grinning like fools to have the car back.

And we were driving home and laughing with my mom, talking about our cat, trying frantically to bury a slimy mushroom on the floor. And I realize that with the little ones by my side, I’m really at my best somehow. I don’t know I’ll ever do much better. It’s like a really small, ignoble little victory in my heart, that I’m really okay with this.

stuff that happened

Opening Night!

Tonight is opening night for RHPS by the Driftwood Players, and I am so excited to go to the first official performance. I can tell you, if you are a local, you should check it out! (Or even if you’re not that local!) As for the bouquet, I am faithful to a local florist and I adore her. She continues to impress me both in quality of work, and in generosity. This little bouquet is fitted with lots of glitter, fishnet, exotic purples and reds, and shiny black boa-feathers. I love it!

Dinner Date

Last night, out late, very tired – but cheered immensely by the company of my family.

Meemerd

An inside joke between my Friday-date children and I. Little E. drew a “Meemerd”, and I adore it.

***

Last night we had a total of six “extra” kids in and out our home. I made a slow-cooked chili, honey cornbread, a fudge-frosted zebra-stripe cake, and served iced wild cherry Pepsi. At the end of a long night five of the six did not want to leave, and a few of them outright begged to stay.

Ralph and I are doing something right.

lock and load

I get home in the gloaming, darker and darker earlier at the end of summer. I put the bike inside and take my dog out for an evening piss. Halfway up the block I hear the unmistakable run of a child and look up to see a glowing white shirt, blue jeans, tossed long brown hair: the neighbor boy rounding the corner, running to my home. He’s been gone a few weeks visiting his father and I can tell he came running as soon as his mama let him.

“I got here as fast as I could!” he announces with a flourish – happy, proud of himself.

“I can see that. Welcome back,” I tell him. I give him the dog’s leash and he hardly breaks stride to run to the library and find my two children. Only a few minutes later they’re outside my open kitchen window, their voices bright and breathless and excited to reunite.

Later, as in late: Ralph and I go out to Aliens (1986) at the theatre, just a handful of us in the place, eating popcorn with real butter. The movie is awesome – I’d never seen it on a big screen. I startle – quite badly – at the parts I thought I already knew, and the Director’s Cut editions. Ralph, who’s never seen the film, is placid as a lake next to me. The film is better than I remember and Ellen Ripley might be the best action hero ever. Yeah. Kind of reminds you how unimpressive, if amazingly pricey, most action films are today. #getoffmylawn

shout-out to John P.

PIKACHU I CHOOSE YOU

I present you two custom hats for my little ones. Who are into Pokeman like you wouldn’t believe.

Pikachu & Raichu

Plotting

All Ears

Phee’s Raichu hat was made from orange minkee. Extremely messy to work with, although not the worst I’ve sewn with.
Pikachu & Raichu
I Choose You!

For a change: a super-super fast project, and a very inexpensive one (it cost about $4.50 per hat). I also drafted the patterns by hand. For sewing, I used a walking foot, although I am adroit enough at handling fleece it wasn’t needed. A stretch needle assured no skipped stitches; I also double-stitched each seam for sturdiness.

I am particularly proud of the Raichu ear squiggles. For those, I sewed a tube from a long strip of fleece, simultaneously attaching 1/4″ elastic at the seam as I stitched, and stretching the elastic while I sewed. Ralph turned the tube and the squiggles curled up on their own.

Normally I don’t dig working with cheap-ass fabrics and this time was no exception. Particularly working with inexpensive fleece, ew. The main point is, the kids are pleased.

Dharma Skye

Recipient To-Be

Meet the child who will be getting the custom-made, gratis, “Wollen Jas Blauw” (except it won’t be wollen nor blauw, I’ll bet…)

Dharma Skye

Dharma’s mother wrote me:

“… Dharma Skye. She is 2. It is unlike me to ask to be considered for this gift but our sweet Dharma is missing her right hand and always wants her sleeves rolled up to be able to have her right arm free to use it. I was thinking a jacket that fit her right arm would be awesome. Not sure you would want to make a jacket with two different arm lengths* but that is what would work for Dharma …”

I had eleven applicants for the jacket, most of whom sent me email. I truly hope I didn’t miss anyone, in responding via email.

If you are reading here I want to thank all who responded, and who wrote a bit about their child. Many sent pictures and I almost died at how sweet all these children were. There was this one baby in the bath? I WANTED TO SMASH MY EYES OUT, FROM THE CUTENESS. I wish I could just get paid and sew coats, the perfect coats, or whatever, for every child who needed or wanted one.

Thank you so much, dear readers and supporters.

* Wow. I so want to sew a jacket with two different arm lengths. I am incredibly excited.

Wollen Jas Blauw

special just FOR YOUUUUU

Wollen Jas Blauw

It’s official – I’d like to make a gift-version of Wollen Jas Blauw for your kid. That’s right, your kid. Or a kid you know. The child should be anywhere from very wee (a baby) up until around five years old.

There’s no catch at all; I need to sew a sample and want an end-destination for it.

Since this is custom sewing there are a few things you should know.

1. Make sure you consider the child’s preferences as the number one factor. Maybe YOU like the coat but the kiddo is like, “meh” about coats in general. If the child is age two or up, they likely have preferences about fabrics, warmth, color, and motifs (i.e. the crest on the arm). These preferences may be stated aloud or you may be able to just notice them (as in the case of warmth). The more details you send me the more likely everyone will be happy. A picture of the kiddo is bonus as I can get a feel for colors and temperament, etc.

2. Colors and materials will be at my discretion but again, any input from you is fabulous. I will likely not make up a wool coat for various reasons (mostly because many kids object to wool), but rather a poly fleece one.  I would consider a poly fleece coat of this type to be fairly light, good for layering – depending on where you live.

3. The absolutely best thing you could do for me if you’re selected, is get a good, natural-light photo or two of the kiddo in the coat. But this is not something I require, at all… it just makes my day.

Please send me an email at kelly AT hogaboom DOT org if this is a fit for you!