Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alice’s Restaurant

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant...

My friend has been doing something called Blogtember with her blog. It’s kind of a game with prompts to follow every day that tell you what to write about. My friend is extraordinary! She’s doing a great job!

So when I read her blog the other day, it was creative writing day. The instructions were to write a very short fictional story that started with the sentence below. Since I sometimes I write little stories, and I enjoyed hers, I thought it would be fun, even though I’m not participating in Blogtember. I’ve written a story on my blog once or twice before. So here I go!

"To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century." 

All I could think about was getting out of these work clothes and into something more comfortable. It had been such a stressful day. I was so tired, both mentally and physically. I just wanted to stay home.

I slipped off my shoes and stretched my bare feet as I found my favorite slippers. Next was the dress, which I carefully put back on a hanger so it wouldn’t wrinkle and I could get one more wear out of it before I had it sent to the cleaners.

I went in the bathroom to find my sleep pants. They weren’t really sleep pants but I wouldn’t wear them anywhere except to bed so that’s what they became. They were soft t-shirt material that felt good next to my skin. The well-worn Eagle’s tour shirt was flung over the shower door and I grabbed it and pulled it down over my head. It felt like velvet on my weary body.

I wandered to the kitchen and glanced at the clock. I had about two hours before I had to be there. It would take me thirty minutes to get ready and about twenty minutes to get there. That left an entire hour that I could relax before I had to get busy.

I looked in the fridge to get a beer but then I decided that I might smell like a brewery when I got there. Since I really didn’t know all of the people who were coming I didn’t want to make a bad impression. So I opted for wine instead. One glass of wine wouldn’t hurt and I’d be relaxed and ready to socialize.

I grabbed my goblet, my knitting and the remote and settled into my comfortable recliner. I never thought I’d be a recliner type of girl but that’s what I’d become. Every night I’d make my nest, gathering everything I might need and putting it within arm’s reach. Then I’d kick back, turn on the television, find a movie or good show and knit until I had enough energy to move from the chair to the bedroom and go to sleep. How exciting my life had become.

There was an old black and white mystery on and I draped a blanket across my lap and started in on my latest project. Knit one row, purl one row; the rhythm was relaxing and familiar. It was no brainer knitting and I didn’t have to pay attention.

The ringing of the phone startled me. I fumbled around, searching for my glasses that I thought I’d been wearing. Sometime or other, without realizing it, I’d put them on the table. Hurriedly I peered through them to see who might be calling. My heart fell as I glanced at the screen. It was 10:30 pm. I was supposed to have been there at 7:00. Caller ID said it was my friend. I didn’t answer.

I swallowed the rest of my wine, turned off the television and went to bed.

My friend Kathy has the right idea!
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant.
Walk right in it's around the back...

I’ve got the knitting bug again! Then only trouble is I have a few things started and nothing finished! It does keep things interesting though!

Just a half a mile from the railroad track.
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Car Wash

Hey, get your car washed today 
Be in our band, you don't have to pay.

It’s homecoming week here. That means mums, parades and crowns! Mums are a tradition in Texas. A bit strange, but a tradition nevertheless. But what started as a simple corsage has morphed into something, well, hideous! Tiny girls are seen with monstrous contraptions completely covering their chests as well as most of their body, weighing them down until they resemble little old ladies, stooped and bent over, all in an effort to display their pseudo treasure. One flower, two flowers, even three or more, ribbons, bells, helmets, plastic figurines, stuffed animals and even lights adorn these prized possessions. They’ve become so noisy and distracting that most times they aren’t even allowed at school until possibly Friday, the night of the homecoming football game.

Unfortunately, not being of the cheerleader mentality, I didn’t even think of little Starr having a mum like all her classmates. It clicked on Thursday. I had saved a couple of garters (the male version of the homecoming mum) for some unexplainable reason. They just happened to belong to Ty in his younger days, which made them all the more appealing. I knew Jenn, my very talented and creative daughter in law, could take these and re-fashion them into something glittery and showy, although mumless, that could compete with any of the pricey (some of these contraptions run into the hundreds of dollars) ornaments the others might have. And she did!
Up close bling.

Finished non-mum with Dad's name even!

Something else that often accompanies homecoming week is rain. It was a cloudy, drizzly week that cancelled some of the traditional homecoming activities. And it actually rained all day until just a few hours before game time on the big day.
Friday night football by Alan Swinford

Even though it almost ruined some of the excitement for the queen and her court of duchesses, I’m ever thankful for the superstition (or not) of the carwash. It’s said that if someone washes their car it will surely rain soon and dirty the newly cleaned auto. So thank you, all who washed their cars this week! Despite the timing, we sure needed the rain.
A cloudy West Texas day.

Working at the car wash 
Working at the car wash, yeah 

A couple of years ago, in fact, probably the main reason for this blog, I participated in something called Knitayear. It’s back! The originator of the project describes it like this:
Knit, crochet, you name it. Join in!!

At the end of the project you have a fiber diary, ultimately creating a personal record of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed the endeavor, which you might not understand unless you like a bit of fiber yourself. And I finished. Now my dilemma has been to decide if I want to do it again. I have four very long strips that really aren’t anything and probably never will be. Do I want more?
365 days of knitting...

I have started. I just have to decide whether to continue or not. If I do, it will be a separate page on this blog and not at the bottom of each post like I did before. That’s because I don’t seem to have the time I did before. Or maybe I just don’t have anything interesting to say to post as much.

We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned…

Those cars never seem to stop coming.
Keeps those rags and machines coming...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Low Rider

All my friends know the Low Rider. 
The Low Rider is a little higher…

Have you ever seen a low rider? According to the Texas State Historical Society,  a lowrider is a motor vehicle that has been lowered to within a few inches of the road in the expressive style of la onda bajita, the "low wave," or "the low trend."

When customizing a car comes to mind, it is usually about improving the car’s looks and performance. Engines are super-sized. Enormous tires are added and elaborate paint jobs are painstakingly applied, all in the name of supercharging the vehicle. That is, unless it’s a low rider.

When it comes to customizing the low rider, nobody is worried about making the car go faster. It’s all about making it low and slow. The suspension is radically lowered, sometimes within only inches from the ground. The roof line is transformed and the body is altered and adjusted. Paint jobs aren’t just a traditional covering. Glitter, stripes and even portraits adorn the sides and tops of the cars.

Photo from Nostalgia on Wheels blog
The outside of the car is not the only thing decked out. The inside is just as amazing. Comfortable and luxurious, with seats of leather and plush fabrics, amazing sound systems and even wet bars. The objective is a sexy, stylish and sophisticated automobile.

Driving to work I noticed a truck parked on the shoulder of the road. It looked really odd, and I thought all of the tires and wheels had been removed. I was feeling sorry for the owner when I noticed the tires were there after all. It was a low rider that apparently had some kind of mechanical problem. It stayed there on the shoulder and I passed it twice every day, for at least a week. Finally I stopped for a picture.

I think this is a work in progress because it seemed to be primer paint.
Close up of tire/wheel position on the road.

One morning a big Dodge dually was parked in the ditch on the inside of the truck. I wondered as I passed, if it was the owner or someone wanting to enhance their low rider with free parts. That afternoon it was gone. For some strange reason I was relieved. I had worried something would happen and the vehicle would be vandalized. I’ll never know. Hopefully whatever had gone wrong would be repaired.

Seeing the tires so close to the road made me think of a quote I’d seen recently. “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don't change it, you'll never go anywhere.” Maybe it’s time to get out the jack.

The Low Rider drives a little slower. 
Low Rider, is a real goer, hey… 

A friend of mine from high school sent me a birthday message a few months back and she told me this: “I so wish you could teach me to knit and crochet...I still have the mittens you gave me for Christmas and treasure them to this day.” Wow, what a surprise! I never would have thought she still had them, much less held them with such regard! About a week ago I got another surprise. A childhood friend posted a picture of a hat I’d knit for her when I was in junior high or maybe the early years of high school. Her post just said, “Look what I found!”
Judy's hat. We don't know how old it is but I think it qualifies as an antique!

I know that was my first try at two colored knitting. It was hot pink and bright green. The houndstooth pattern wasn’t hard but at that time it was a bit advanced. I was excited that I could figure it out. I know she wore that hat and liked it quite a bit. The fact she still has it gives me a feeling that warms my heart as much as her hat warmed her head!

It goes to show that the love in every stitch transfers, and lasts, through the years.

The Low Rider don't drive too fast. 
Take a little trip, take a little trip, 
Take a little trip with me…

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Teach Your Children Well

Can you hear and do you care and 
Can’t you see we must be free to 
Teach your children what you believe in… 

It’s that time of year! School is starting. I love the ‘new’ associated with school. There’s smiling, polished faces dressed in their new clothes carrying new backpacks filled with wonderful new supplies. It’s a new year, most likely with a new teacher. It’s time to renew old friendships and begin new ones. It’s time to learn.

For the first time in a long while we had a new first grader at the house. She was excited because we were excited. And she couldn’t believe the bus would come all the way up to the house to pick her up!
First day waiting for the bus!

All of the Littles except George are in school now. It’s bittersweet. I love that they are growing and learning but I also long for the time when they were babies, no worries or cares, wanting to sit in my lap. We could do nothing together and have a good time. We still enjoy each others company, when we have a chance to be together. But schedules, both mine and theirs, activities and life in general make those meetings few and far between.

Now we have one in Kindergarten, two in first and one in fourth grade Time seems to pass so quickly.

I asked each of them about school this year. Starr, moving into a new state, besides a new school, has some cultural factors to overcome. In Texas, where Spanish is a common second language, she’s hearing words she’s never experienced before! The morning of her second day, before she was ready to get on the bus, I asked her what her teacher’s name was. She thought for a while and finally said, “Mrs. Tomato”. I laughed because I thought she was playing. She was serious. But when you’ve never heard Maldonado before, Tomato is pretty close!
She's really paying attention!
Belle is our kindergartner. She’s 5 going on 20! Her mother says she’s a lot like me because we have common interests: shoes, clothes, pedicures! One day last year when Callye was getting her ready for pre-school she burst out crying. “What’s wrong?” Callye asked. Belle, between sobs, told her the problem. “I don’t have any diamonds on my jeans!”

When I talked to her the other day, in her grown up Belle speak she told me she’d already gotten in trouble. “Oh no,” I said, “What happened?” “A girl was shaking me in the bathroom and I shaked her back and it got me in the OOPS can!” she said breathlessly. “Did the other girl get in the OOPS can too?” “Yes, she did!” she said. And without remorse I said, “Well good!”

Caleb is our little dinosaur expert. Except the other day he was Spock. He’s got varied interests which he seems to have inherited from his uncles. He can recite information and whether it’s correct or not, convince you! He is comfortable playing with a group of kids or he is perfectly content being alone. When his mom asked him last year what his favorite thing about school was he said the cafeteria! She told me he rubbed his belly and said he really liked that place! He also had a crush on his teacher last year. He liked her so much he was going to marry her! He didn’t have a lot to say about school so far this year. All he told me was that his new teacher was pretty! Hmmm…I wonder if she’s going to replace last year’s crush!

Evan is a big kid now. He’s into listening to his music, dancing and just being a cool kid. He’s getting to the age where he can throw a little attitude to and fro, much to his mother’s chagrin! She had an interesting conversation with him when he came home from his first day of school. “Mom,” he said, “My teacher is old fashioned. She called earbuds headphones.” She said, “Well that's what we called them when we were young.” And he, in his fourth grade superiority voice says, “I can't believe they had earbuds when you were young.”

I figured out their graduation years. That was an eye opening experience! Evan will be the class of 2022. Caleb and Starr will share the distinction of being in the class of 2025. And Belle will graduate exactly 50 years after I did. WHAT?? She’ll be the class of 2026. And they’d better watch out!

And feed them on your dreams 
The one they picked, the one you'll know by. 

Here’s the Quaker Yarn Stretcher blocking.
It really grew with the blocking!

I liked it so well I'm making another with this yarn. It’s almost finished! 

Fun with Brenda’s handspun yarn!

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry, 
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.