Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ouch! Ouch! Blueberry! pretty picture...

Growing up on the farm, we always made jam, jelly, and preserves during the summer.  Blackberries, plums, figs, pears, peaches, and even  watermelon rinds processed their way through the kitchen into jars and jars of homemade treats.  I never remember working with blueberries, though.  In fact, I'm not sure if I ever tasted a fresh blueberry until I was grown.  (I think Mama planted a couple of blueberry bushes once, but if I remember correctly, they came to a sad end before yielding fruit).  Now I find blueberries readily available, and love eating them on cereal, with yogurt, on salads, and in cobblers.

Today for the very first time I made blueberry jam using this recipe for blueberry jam from A Few Shortcuts.  This recipe made 3 half-pints and almost 1 other pint, and it was REALLY, REALLY easy.  (When I used this recipe, just to remind myself, I checked out general canning procedures at "Canning-the Musical" on Southern Plate.)  Now we just have to see if one of the jars refuse to seal.  That's the one we claim for home.  The others can be gifts. 

Yummmmmm. I'm sipping some iced tea to sooth my tongue, 'cause it was SO-ooo good that I burnt my tongue but good tasting it.

Here would be just the place to insert a picture of the little stash of jam, but my camera is AWOL.  I know it 's at the bottom of one of my bags and bins of craft supplies and flotsam left over from gymnastics camp crafts, part 2, which I have not blogged about at the Sm'Arties blog because, well, no pictures.  When I last saw camera, we were at the gym, the camera had escaped its little pouch, and was spotted with Mod Podge and a little paint. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sew Helpful

Amended to add:  Cynthia's invisible zipper tutorial looks great - I think I will try this method next time.  Thanks to Jennifer from Sewplicity for recommending it!

Sew4Home has a great post:  You Asked For It  -  a long list of detailed sewing basics.  I'll look at their invisible zipper tutorial later this evening before I attempt my second-ever invisible zipper installation.  I have never thought of using an invisible zipper on a pillow, but what a cool idea.

And look at this post about sewing an invisible zipper with a facing from Colette Patterns!  How cool is that?  I plan to line my skirt, and may try to make this technique work to attach the lining, skirt, and zipper all in one scary step.

Here is the skirt I am working on:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are you stalking these children?

I think I will step into controversy:

Twice in one week I had a child (2 different children) inform me that someone was stalking them. 

"Stalking us," that was the exact phrase.

Incident #1
In the first case, at Gymnastics Camp, on that beautiful day when we went outside and spray-tie-dyed T-shirts, a girl, a 9-year-old, I think, sidled up to me and spoke low, out of the corner of her mouth, "There's a stalker over there." 

Me: "What?"
She: "There's a stalker over there.  That lady is stalking us."
Me: "Where?"
She: "Over there, in the window.  That lady is looking at us. She's stalking us."

OK, seriously, who taught this little girl that no adult is allowed to LOOK OUT HIS/HER OWN OFFICE WINDOW at a bunch a rowdy children who have appeared on the lawn unexpectedly without being accused of stalking? 

This is what we were up to - in case the stalker wanted to know
I explained to her that this lady probably was sitting at her own desk in her own office, and heard us having fun, and since this area did not usually have a rowdy bunch of children having fun, she looked out HER OWN WINDOW to see what was going on.  Then she saw us with the T-shirts and spray cans and was curious to see what we were doing.  That's not stalking, looking out your own office window.  I tried to limit the sarcasm in my reply, but probably failed.

Can you imagine if I had stomped up to the window and hollered, "KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR DESK! STOP STALKING THESE YOUNG'UNS!?"

Incident #2
Later that same week, my daughter was hanging out with a couple of friends, and one of the friends reported to me that a lady was "totally stalking us." 

Me: "What? Who was stalking you?"
She: "A lady.  She was stalking us."
Me: "What do you mean, stalking?  What did she do?"
She: "She was looking at us."

That's all.  A trio of giggly girls caught her attention, and she...the nerve of her!...LOOKED at them.  She didn't keep looking.  She didn't follow them.  She just looked at them.

I know it is hard to balance, to teach discernment.  It's easier to teach a child that no one has the right to look at you, everyone is a danger to you.  It's easier to raise children to be fearful, untrusting, always scared, but, hey, at least they are safe. 

Please, while we teach our children to take care, let's also teach them that adults who look at them are almost always NOT the Bogeyman.
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