Monthly Archives: February 2008

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The Six Word Memoir

At my January book group meeting (speaking of which, this month we read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Loved. It. Ahem.) one of the girls started talking about six word memoirs. She’s a high school English teacher and she said she’d given her students an assignment to write a six word memoir. She said, for example, Hemingway once wrote his 6 word memoir — “For Sale: baby shoes, never used.” Wow. Think about that. What a story those six little words could tell. We had a very lively discussion about six word memoirs and I made a note that this would be a fun blog topic. And then I promptly forgot about it.

So, imagine my surprise when KBG tagged me to write a six word memoir. (She wrote a great one, by the way.) So, I started thinking about it again. What would my six word memoir be? I thought of several, depending on my mood and couldn’t choose just one.

Bow Tie

Here’s one, for those days I’m sick of working:

Wasted Life. Stuck behind a desk.

Or, how ’bout my activities:

Work. Sew. Read. Cook. Knit. Repeat.

Or maybe the real me:

Loves to sew. Adores her family.

Then this afternoon, I got to thinking about it. I googled six word memoirs. A ton of links came up and among all that reading, it appears that a new book containing six word memoirs entitled Not Quite What I Was Planning is about to be published. Very interesting!

So, how ’bout you? Can you write YOUR six word memoir? Give it a shot. And after you’ve tried it, check out this link that contains some fun ones (don’t peek or you’ll be influenced!) Among my favorites (’cause a few sneaky peeks won’t hurt you LOL):

An embroidered sampler, with some unpicking.

Hasn’t been a Jane Austen Romance.

Laughed out loud, cried in silence.

Monkey Swap
(This picture is for Jewels. Proving that, Yes, I Can
screw up a monkey sock and have to rip back 8 rows because
I tried to knit while talking. Or talk while knitting.)

Now, the rules for the six word memoir meme say that I need to tag someone. That’s always been the HARD part about memes and awards. I have so many of you out there that I’m attached to and I can’t ever pick. I hate that part — it just feels too much like picking someone for the grade school dodge ball team and I was always the one who didn’t get picked. And if I can’t tag others, then I don’t feel it’s fair for me to accept tags. Junie Moon just posted on this topic this afternoon and I’ve decided to join her in her “Please, No Tag Awards” movement. I hope you won’t misunderstand me — I enjoy doing memes — if I see one out there that I like (like this one, for example) I’ll probably just horn in and do it. I love reading others memes — they’re often a good way to get to know each other. I’m just not crazy about the tagging part of it. So…’nuff said, I hope that all made sense and that I didn’t step on any toes.

Cookbooks

Just a few more items…

You knitters out there should check out this cool little sweater that Cami has made. I saw this in progress in January — it has the coolest little twisted stitch all along the button band!

I feel it my duty to issue a blogland warning. Danger Will Robinson! SOMEone who lives in a yellow farmhouse is trying to kill us. As evidence, I refer you to this smore’s dessert (ok, I know I asked for it, but I didn’t know it would be that good.) And now, she’s posted these cookies. I made them over the weekend and Holeeee Cow, are they ever fabulous. But don’t click on my links. I mean it. Don’t do it. I don’t want to be responsible — just because my diet (what diet?) is down the drain, doesn’t mean yours must be.

Now, scurry along and work on your six word memoirs. I’d love to see what you come up with!

XOXO,
Anna

P.S. Anyone else having trouble with bloglines? I’m getting notified about a day late about posts. It’s driving me nuts!

The Valentine Swap

Thanks for all of your wonderful comments about TheSecondChild’s exciting adventure to Australia! We’ve had a quick call to let us know he arrived safely in Brisbane. I think he’s in a good program and probably as soon as they got all those E.T.’s gathered together, they gave them each 60 seconds and told them to phone home. I just hope my little monster isn’t exhibiting any of his alien behavior yet!
(Note to Jeanette: If you haven’t received your swap gift yet, read no further!)

My fun Valentine Swap gift from Jeanette arrived all the way from Norway yesterday. She sent me a lovely set of dishtowels, some woolen pot holders and a fun little tetra bag. Look at all the wonderful hearts on everything and all of the hand stitched blanket stitching on those potholders. I don’t know how she knew I needed potholders, but I’m nearly desperate, as the ones I have are very grungy looking. And, I can always find a good use for small bags — this one will be just perfect for my camera cords and batteries that have been wandering around looking for a home. Thank you, Thank you Jeanette, I heart it all!!!

Jeanette's Swap

Jeanette is away on vacation, so I’m taking a chance that when she gets home, she’ll open her mail before she rushes off to read my blog LOL! It took me a long time to decide what to make for Jeanette, but one day I read on her blog that she liked Nancy Halvorsen and Voila! I just happen to have True Friends embroidery designs by Nancy Halvorsen for my embroidery machine. And since I carry a little sewing bag (thank you quilty peep Gurney!) around everywhere, I decided to make something similar for Jeanette*. I included the scissors, thread and needles and some Nancy Halvorsen fat quarters that I forgot to include in the picture. I hope Jeanette can use a little sewing kit since she does a lot of hand embroidery. Thank you very, very much Mrs. Pocket for hosting this fun swap!

My Swap

I’ve had a fun morning in the dungeon. I cut out a pantsuit (pantsuit??? does anyone even use that word anymore?) that’s been aging in the stash for several years. My work wardrobe is getting pretty threadbare, so I thought I’d try and whip something out this weekend. (Notice how my pincushion (thanks Jade!) coordinates with my fabric LOL!)

Sewing

The pants are done, but sadly, I’ve decided that the jacket will hang better if it’s lined, and since I have no lining, it won’t get done this weekend. Hopefully, I can find a nice lining fabric this week. I really should be working on the little gift bags for the wedding shower, but why work ahead? It will be so much more fun to stay up sewing all night the night before the shower. You’re all with me, right?

I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend.
XOXO,
Anna

*The little bag pattern is from Sew Pretty Homestyle by Tilda.

Up, Up and Away

{Sniff}{Sniff} This morning, we packed up TheSecondChild and shipped him off to Australia for a semester abroad. How exciting is that? Oh to be young again! I really wanted to slip into his suitcase, but sadly, the pre-wedding diet just hasn’t been quite up to par.  I’ll miss my little Sweetpea.

TSC Goes to AU

As I type, he’s sitting in Los Angeles waiting to catch his midnight flight to Brisbane, where he’ll have four days of partying orientation. Then he’ll be off to Sydney where he’ll be going to school for the next 4 1/2 months. He just called and he’s found  four other students (all girls no less — that’s my boy LOL), and, poor babies, they had to spend their afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier. What a life!

A few months ago after all the Australia arrangements had been made and we were discussing the excitement of it all, TheFirstChild said “Uh … Mom? Will the best man be at my wedding?” DOH! What a stunning lack of planning that was. Needless to say, we’ll be interrupting his semester of fun hard work with a trip home in May for the wedding. (There goes my plane ticket down under.)

TSC Goes to AU

So, you sweet Sydney bloggers, if you happen to see my little heathen cherub wandering around the city, slap him upside the head and tell him to go back to his flat and study give him a big hug from his mom.

A few odds and ends:

  • If you’ve always wanted to make a Dear Jane quilt but never quite got it together, help has arrived! Anina is hosting a Dear Jane along. I freely admit to being a big wimp about it, not to mention just a bit overloaded at the moment, so I’m sending you over there to be my proxy. I do love that quilt — go sign up!
  • I wrote up the little pattern for my crocheted valentine cards and you can find it here. I hope it makes sense, I’m not a pattern writer!
  • Lookie here what Sharon sent me!
    Gift Bag

    She showed these little gift bags on her blog one day, so I happened to mention how perfect they’d be for the bridal shower. She’s such a sweetheart that she made me a sample, so I could see if it would work out, before I bought the pattern! It’s perfect and soooo cute. That Zombie Genius Monica designed this cool little bag.  It’s called the Wash Tub Ditty Bag and if you can’t find the pattern at your local shop, you can find it at Kris’s quilt shop. You’ll be amazed at how easy they are to construct — just what I need for some quick party favors. Thanks heaps Sharon and Monica!

It’s a clear, beautiful, cold night here, so I’m off to check out the eclipse!

XOXO,
Anna

Irish Hiking

Wow! You guys are the best commenters ever! Thank you very much for all your wonderful comments on my “I Am” post. I hope lots of you will consider writing about where you’re from — I love reading those posts. I even had a non-blogger e-mail me her awesome story — how cool it that? (Hi Anna!)

Irish Hiking Scarf

A few months ago, Carolyn posted her beautiful version of the Irish Hiking scarf. And then Junie Moon did too. Well, that was it — I LOVE cables, so I had to make one for myself.

Irish Hiking Scarf

I used a yummy soft yarn called Serendipity by Dancing Fibers. It’s 60% superfine alpaca and 40% merino wool. The color is SDS208–dark red. I didn’t really think I was a scarf-y person, but I’ve really enjoyed it this winter. It’s co-o-old and windy out there! TheEmptyNestChild seems to think it’s his napping shrug.

Irish Hiking Scarf

Blog reading has been frustrating for me these past few weeks as I’m seeing lots of inspiring quilts out there and I don’t have time to make them. I’m itching to do some quilting but I think I’ll be limited to fairly small gifts/projects as we enter the wedding/shower season. And, it’s busy, busy here this week because we’re packing TheSecondChild up for a semester abroad. Several of you asked me for a pattern for my little crocheted valentines and I promise, as soon as he’s out the door this week, I’ll get that pattern posted.

XOXO,
Anna

I Am

Almost three months ago, Molly wrote an amazing post entitled Where I’m From. It was beautifully written and I was captivated. She included a link to tips on how to write a similar post of one’s own and I was tempted, but the holidays quickly took over and I forgot about it. Molly must have known how her post touched me though, as last week she issued the challenge again. I love reading these posts and would love to see more from many of you. Here is my version of where I’m from.

I am from pioneers. Strong, independent people migrating for faith and freedom to worship as they pleased. The gathering of the saints. From Scotland, England, Denmark, Wales, Ireland, New York, Ohio and beyond, they all traveled west in the mid-1800′s. They gathered in the Midwest, then walked west. Some leaving so late in the spring, they barely survived an early winter in the mountains, near starvation. Stubborn, hearty pioneers.

I am from generations of hard-working women filled with hope and loss. A grandmother with a 4 yr. old daughter who fell into the cauldron of boiling laundry water and was scalded to death. Another who reared 10 children (and lost 2) on her own in a two-room cabin. And yet another with almost grown children whose husband returned from a mission with a new wife half her age to embrace polygamy. She slammed the door in his face and booted him out. Strong, proud women.

I am from generations of robust, yet gentle men. Grandfathers who loved their children. Trappers, coal miners, shopkeepers, farmers, innovators. Grandfathers who built things, gardened and loved the outdoors. And one in particular who let two little girls sit on his lap and put his beautiful white hair in curlers.

I am from maternal grandparents who died too young. And paternal grandparents who are terribly missed. Who adored their grandchildren and left them with memories of evening car rides on temple hill , eating ice cream cones and singing songs. Tales from the mountains, coyotes, cookies, and Avon. I am from visits with these grandparents and their legions of siblings, listening to tales of “the old days.”

I am from perfect parents. Who protected their two most cherished of possessions and guarded them from tragedy and loss. Who told their girls for twenty years that the dog hit by a car had run away. Who cried for twelve hours before they could explain the house fire that took their girls’ maternal grandmother. I am from parents who never argued in front of their girls. I am from unrealistic expectations of marriage with no confrontation.

Girls with KittiesI am from the happiest of childhoods. With a sister 19 months younger who made the best playmate. We played house, nursed our dolls and dressed up our dogs. We lived in pretend worlds on swings, hunting lizards, sleeping in tents in the backyard. Bliss that went awry in adolescence when I was so mean to her. I am from sorrow for those years. I am from primary, mutual and seminary. A childhood full of church and a close-knit family of four. Lavish Christmases, huge Easter baskets, cats, dogs, gerbils and parakeets. Monopoly, Life, Risk, Twister, and Trouble.

I am from moving around the country every few years. From Utah, California, Ohio, Utah again and Alabama. From broadened horizons and many acquaintances but few friends. I am from a painfully shy adolescence where the slightest criticism sent me into a closet or under a bed. I am from books. From Anne of Green Gables, Caddie Woodlawn, The Girl of the Limberlost, Up a Road Slowly and many, many more. I am from needle and thread and projects that could fill tens of lifetimes.

I am from a beautiful, well-read mother with an English degree. A mother who patiently endured my fits while teaching me to sew — the gift she freely gave me that I cherish the most. A mother who quilts like a dream and cooks like a pro. I am from casseroles, cookies, cakes and the best pot roast on the planet. I am from beautifully set, well-balanced meals. A mother who taught us homemaking while emphasizing education the most. A mother on the edges of those women’s libbers of the 60′s, who insisted her daughters grow up strong, educated, and able to support themselves and their children in the event of tragedy.

Pink Jeep

I am from a tender, compassionate, fix-anything father. A father who was our biggest cheerleader and was always there to answer our smallest question. Who suffered through three solid days of explaining what “x” was doing in the number system. Who adored his little girls so much he made a pink jeep for them and taught them about cars. A father with a bizarre sense of humor and jokes that kept us laughing. And groaning. But most of all a father with the biggest heart in the universe. A heart that has betrayed him for 30 years, but through the miracle of medicine has been held at bay.

I am from warmth and love and happiness.

I am from family.

XOXO,
Anna