Home improvements and delicious food

Kiki came to visit and, as usual, we got a lot of little things done around the house to make everything a bit more pleasant. And also ate yummy things.

Replacing the blinds

The blinds in my sewing room/bedroom have been up for 14 years. If you don’t believe me, believe this blog post from November 2007. (Why wouldn’t you believe me?) They were basically destroyed, so it was time.

One thing I haven’t taken down are those flags. Probably about time.

I also had to change out the curtain rod brackets because the blinds stick out so much, and I put up some hooks to serve as curtain hold-backs.

Medicine cabinet

This one involved a lot of cursing. Removed the plate glass mirror and put up a medicine cabinet. Yay more storage! Feel free to nose around in my medicine cabinet. Nothing interesting there. I wish I had a better “before” picture than a selfie from a dress I made. Alas.

Picture rail

Kiki was dismayed by the lack of artwork above the TV. I am still waiting to hang stuff after we painted. (Okay, that was like four years ago.)

Another part of the project involves getting a print (a drawing of our house) framed that’s been sitting on my mantle for six months. That’ll go next to the house numbers. I might need to move the house numbers, because I keep thinking it’s a clock and that it’s 8:14. (It’s usually not. Well, just twice a day.) Not sure what else I’ll put up there. Oh, and that ledge was repurposed from the nursery as well. And I hung the bracket upside down first. Fun!

New curtain rod/hemmed curtains

The curtains behind the sofa have always been too long, and I should be embarrassed by how long it took me to realize I could just hem them. I do sew, sometimes, you know. I also needed to replace the cheap curtain rod that sagged in the middle and sometimes fell down.

Oops, I went a tad too short. Oh well! Also our sofa is way wrinklier than it was six years ago! But also there’s a cute doggie that wasn’t there before, so it’s all worth it. (Look how unchewed my ottoman was in the first pic. Sigh.)

We also hung some artwork in my office. (Yes obviously I am still obsessed.)

Speaking of, I also got this Christmas ornament. I posed it in front of our Mardi Gras house float (it was in a book!)

And I think that’s the majority of the projects. (I won’t take a picture of the under sink organization in the kitchen, though it is nice.)

Yummy things we ate and drank:

Homemade pizza (crust by King Arthur, sauce by Smitten Kitchen), this winter squash bake from Smitten Kitchen, a pavlova from the San Lorenzo, my Italian margarita, and Kiki at the taco place (mmm margaritas.) Not pictured: the amazing hummuses from Saba.

13 years, 11 months

Yes, Oliver is taller now. Not that much taller, he has shoes on and Linus and Miles don’t. But they did get measured at the vaccine clinic last week and Oliver is 3/4″ taller than Miles and an inch taller than Linus. So.

(And yes, I took this on time, but haven’t had a chance to post it til now. Kiki was visiting!)

(And yes, we got an outside outlet, finally! So exciting!)

(And yes, they’re going to be 14 in a month! Hold me, please.)

Making an outfit (accidentally)

In the past couple of months, I’ve made three items of clothing. It just so happens that they all kind of go together. Well enough to put them all in one blog post, anyway.

Item 1: Calder shorts by Cashmerette

This was the second pair of Calder shorts I’ve made. Because I’m shaped like a rectangle (no waist to speak of), the first pair I made was sized not exactly right (not really too small, but, well, okay, a tiny bit too small) so I wanted to try again, this time just maybe making some minor adjustments to the seam allowance. I didn’t want to go up a whole size, as that would be too much, and also I’m very lazy and wanted to use my existing pattern.

In the end, it worked out fine, maybe they’re a little too big, if anything, but no biggie. I definitely need to hem them a bit more though. If I have them pulled down to where my waist would be if I had a waist, they’re too long.

I made them with a cotton flannel from Joann’s. Shorts in flannel? Why yes. I live in Louisiana where winter shorts are totally a thing. (A thing I made up, maybe. I think these would work really well with tights.) I love this fabric – it’s super easy to sew and it comes in a million patterns and it’s soft and inexpensive. Oh, and I lined the pockets in some leftover supima cotton that they don’t seem to sell anymore but it’s so silky, I love it.

Item 2: Blackwood cardigan by Helen’s Closet

This is my second Blackwood cardigan – the first was appropriated by Linus. He likes to wear it around the house. I made this one out of some french terry I bought a while ago from some online store and have been sitting on (not literally.) I decided to put the loop side on the outside so it would be a darker red. (The “right” side is more white/red variegated.) I like the way it looks, but the loops do tend to catch on things and get snagged. Oh well, live and learn. I love the rainbow serger threads I bought, they make for a really fun inside view!

Item 3: Akita top by Seamwork

A couple of weeks before my friends and I went to the fake Rosebud Motel, I ordered some fun Schitt’s Creek-themed fabric from Spoonflower. I was going to make a skirt or something to wear when we went. Well, it didn’t come in time, and I decided I didn’t need another skirt. I wanted a shirt, and I remembered how much I like the Seamwork Akita. I’ve made it a few times but those don’t, uh, fit anymore. So now I have one that does! And I absolutely love the fabric.

It’s a really fun pattern to sew. If you have non-directional fabric, it’s just one pattern piece, but because mine is directional, I had to add a shoulder seam. No biggie. Then you bias bind all of the raw edges and sew up the sides. Super easy and I like the shape. I didn’t get any good pictures of the sleeves but you get the idea:

Well, you get the idea.

(Turns out this pattern isn’t on their site anymore. Not sure why!)

Well, turns out they all kind of work together – the red in the cardigan is the same as the red in the shirt, and, well, gray goes with everything. So there you go, I accidentally made a whole outfit!

A visit to the Rosebud Motel (sorta)

There’s a cool store in Hattiesburg, Mississippi called the Lucky Rabbit that seems to be obsessed with Schitt’s Creek as my friends and I are. So Jen, Stephanie, Terry, and I made the two hour drive yesterday to go!

Here we are at Mardi Gras last year! So fun.

Anyway. There’s a little “Rosebud Motel” set right there in the store, and it’s pretty amazing how detailed it is, if not completely accurate. (For instance, Moira’s wig wall was not really in David and Alexis’s room as it was here.)

Me on the left, David on the right, in case you didn’t know.

Wide shot of the whole room

(If you need more pictures to see what the actual room looks like to compare, well, just go to Netflix and start at episode 1 and watch it again if you haven’t already. Or even if you have!)

13 + 10

Miles was not into smiling before 7am. Hard to blame him.

Getting back to normal

Yikes, it’s been a while since I posted, and a lot has happened. Well, for one, we came home. Wheee!

Let’s see, the last post was taken on a Saturday, and power came back on late Monday night, so we went home on Tuesday the 7th. All told, we were away from home for 11 days, and boy was our fridge gross. We’d thrown out all of the food the previous Friday when George and Miles and I went to check things out, so it could have been worse, for sure.

Gas was still hard to come by when we got home, as were groceries. Even now, two weeks after coming home, stores aren’t fully stocked. But it’s getting better.

We had to get a tree removed, and while we had a crew, we also had them prune some of our other trees. I was sad to see the tree go – though I’m hoping that the increased sunlight in the yard will mean my new plants from when we had the yard redone last spring will start thriving.

Just a stump.

It’s sad to look out of the upstairs bathroom window and not see the tree, though.

I’ve also been sewing a bit more. I made a new cardigan for myself and a skirt for Terry for her birthday.

I’ve also been baking a bunch. I found this no-knead recipe that is so easy, it seems silly not to make bread every day. Well, last night it was pizza. We also made flour tortillas the other night because, why not?

Ziggy is still cute.

Oliver has eaten avocados.

The boys still haven’t gone back to school in person yet – this week has been virtual. In theory they’ll go back to campus next week. (Mold issues, not COVID.) And soccer was supposed to start last week, but we’re waiting on that too. Hopefully soon!

So yeah. That’s about it for now. Yay for fall!

13.75 years old, Evacuation edition

I wonder how many monthly pics we’ve done while evacuated? It’s not the first monthly pic we’ve done away from home, but it’s usually because we’re on the fun kind of vacation.

Still don’t have power yet, but Miles and George and I went to the house the other day and everything looks fine. We cleaned out the fridge and the yard so now it’s just a waiting game. Some of our neighbhorhood has power, and they say Wednesday so we’ll see!

Is this Schitt’s Creek or is it life?

Because suddenly I find myself living indefinitely with my family in two hotel rooms, squabbling siblings included.

The 'Schitt's Creek' Motel Is For Sale: Photos of the Real Rosebud!

Okay, fine, we’re really staying in a Courtyard by Marriott on the outer edge of Houston and we’re probably heading back to Louisiana soon.

16 years ago I was blogging about our evacuation from Katrina, so I figured I should probably blog about this.

We booked hotel rooms on Thursday but for Sunday and Monday nights, reasoning that we could cancel them if we needed to. Well, we didn’t need to, but we did need to tack on Saturday night. Good thing, because if we hadn’t left Saturday we couldn’t have.

We packed up the car with a few changes of clothes (you’d think I’d have learned from Katrina?) and the boys and Ziggy. After 11 hours of winding back roads, torrential rain, horrific traffic, and a lot of snacks, we made it to our hotel. (Normally it would be 6 hours.)

Yesterday a friend went by our house and checked for any possible damage. The news was good! A few ridge caps from our roof are missing, the shed fell over, and the top half of a tree came down. We won’t know until we are able to get back in if we have any water damage or something else, but fingers crossed everything inside is okay.

We will stay at my mom’s for a while – we have no idea when power will be restored to the city. But Baton Rouge isn’t in great shape either, which is why we’re staying in Houston as long as we can afford to.

So yeah, that’s where we’re at. At least this time we don’t have to re-plan a wedding!

(More random evacuation photos.)

First day of 8th grade!

That is the sound of silence. Yes, it’s very quiet in the house now. Gloriously so, in fact. The boys went back to school today! I mean, who knows for how long. So I am going to enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.

And with masks, since that’s what they’ll actually look like for most of the day:

and waiting for the bus:

And just for funsies, the first day of school ever, ten years ago yesterday, and today.

They’re a little taller now.

Last day of summer

Tomorrow the boys go back to school! I am both sad (won’t get to sleep late anymore) and anxious (duh) and excited (I like our morning routines on school days even if it does mean waking up at 6am.) Also they’re going to be in eighth grade which, I mean, what.

(Next year, high school. Let’s not think about that.)

So this is the last day of summer break. It’s been a quiet one. We didn’t do too much aside from our trip to California. Went to a few Jesters games. Ate at some restaurants in that glorious month of June when we thought things were going back to normal.

And now we live in the worst place on earth for COVID, I know too many people who have gotten it (vaccinated and not) and I am disgusted with the state of humanity in general.

I was supposed to go to Las Vegas at the end of the month with friends to see Morrissey.

Obviously that’s not happening anymore.

Okay, this was supposed to be a happy post. YAY SUMMER. The good things about this summer? It rained nearly every day so I didn’t have to water my plants very often. I think I only had to pull the hose out once.

On the other hand, about a third of the plants we had put in are not at all thriving. That makes me sad. But I’m going to try not to stress about it.

We got to see old friends, that was fantastic.

What else did we do this summer? I cut my hair. Ziggy remained cute. Oliver and I put together a puzzle. We visited Grandee and Larry. I begrudgingly made more masks. Stocked up on COVID tests. Sewed shades for my office. Kept a houseplant alive.

So, that’s it, summer of 2021.

One hundred and sixty-four months

Well that’s not gonna happen.

It’s that time of year when I panic that their birthday is coming up. It’s okay, though. I can handle 14. It’s fine. It’s fine.

We went to California and here is a post about it

The boys and I went to California last week to visit my brother and sister-in-law and niece, and I will never be able to spell “niece” right the first time.

It was a tough decision to go, after we found out that Molly’s services were being held while we’d be away. She was never far from our mind during the trip, especially on Monday.

We arrived Wednesday evening, and were pretty exhausted, so we had some pizza and went to bed. I slept terribly that night, for some reason (oh right because I’m old and have insomnia) but fortunately, we didn’t have a ton planned for Thursday. Ellie and I went for a walk, where we did a little light celebrity stalking. Later, we went swimming in the neighbor’s pool and hit up Target for supplies because Friday we…

went to Disneyland! We got up super early and were on the road a bit after 6 so we could arrive around 7. In the cars on the way there (I was in the girl car with Jennifer and Ellie, and the boys rode with Uncle Evan) we all were on our phones at exactly 6:59:59 to get reservations (or whatever they call it) for the new Star Wars ride. I managed to get them for us, yay!

We spent the entire day at the park. This should really be its own post. We rode a bunch of rides (the Rise of the Resistance was completely worth the stress of getting on it, and we didn’t have to wait in any line at all, which was nice) and walked a zillion steps and had dinner at a Tiki restaurant (so good) and my feet are still disgustingly blistered, but it was worth it.

Oh, and Linus is now obsessed with Dole Whip. Hard to blame him, it was delicious!

Saturday we mostly rested, except we went and got some famous Italian sandwiches from a place down the road for lunch. In the evening, Evan and I took the boys to a LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) game. It was fun. The food was good. I got a jacket which will come in handy during football season here (they have the same colors as the Saints) and the boys got jerseys and as usual when we go to pro soccer games, the score ended us 2-2.

(I guess we have a streak of draws too.) (When we got home, we watched Season 2, Episode 1 of Ted Lasso.)

Sunday, the kids and I went to visit my friend Robyn who used to work at Automattic, and I made a new best friend who is three years old. We had delicious ice cream after hanging out at her house and eating pizza.

Maybe my favorite picture from the entire trip. My heart was in a puddle here.

Monday was the day of Molly’s service, and I still needed to take the boys to the beach, so we stopped for some flowers on the way and made a little tribute to her at the beach. Now, she probably preferred a more tropical beach, but I like to think she would have appreciated it, even if it was cloudy and the temperature was hovering around 68 degrees.

The boys filled their bathing suits with sand and Miles swallowed half of the Pacific Ocean, so we left after a couple of hours before heading back to Evan and Jennifer’s to relax and pack. (Boo!) A few of us went to the Huntington for a sunset stroll, which was stunning, but also, my feet were still killing me. So kind of painful too.

We came home yesterday after a long day of travel to a heat index of 105 after a week of 70s, but Daddy and Ziggy were very happy to see us!