Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Eye of the Needle

Grandma Rice used to have quilts set up in her living room. Mother would go over and help her sew, not tie them, while we sat quietly underneath and pretended to be in a little neat tent on some wonderful adventure, sort of a magic carpet upside down. Mother used to sew fabulous quilts out of something soft and satiny, but she was always good at threading the needle. For the purposes of today's blog, we are just talking about Grandma, for reasons I'll explain.

Grandma also used to embroider pillow cases, and crochet the edges as well. She taught me a little bit about it, let's say she tried. The most fascinating part was trying to tie those little french knot stitches. Hers were nice and tight. Mine were like blobs of ink. The concentration was such that you stuck your tongue out while trying to get them to work.

The point of all this is that she reached a time where she couldn't see well enough to get the thread through the needle and would just ask me to do it. That was cool, but in the back of my mind, I thought: "It's right there, big as the sky. How can you not see it?" It took me all of two seconds to thread it and hand it back to her WA LA. She had one of those little gizmos where you somehow attach the thread to it, shove the little pointed metal thing through the eye, and there ya go. I never even tried it out, why bother, being Miss Eagle Eye?

Tonight I sat down to do my yearly mending, hemming a sleeve that had come undone on a blouse and lowering the hem on a pair of slacks. I dug out my "sewing box", which in a former life was a Christmas cookie container. It's a pretty thing and I can cram all my sewing stuff into it, seeing as I don't need all that much. I had left a needle and thread all ready to go from last time, so fixed the sleeve in a flash. Then I had to "refuel." My goodness, you'd have thought little elves had come in the night and fused the eye shut!

I tried it with my glasses on. I tried it with my glasses off. I even stuck out my tongue for effect! It was ridiculous. I moved my arms around like a conductor trying to thread that needle and finally accidentally got it through, a big relief. But then, I ran out of thread again! I wasn't as lucky the second time...other than my grandson came by for a few minutes...so I pretended to be like Grandma and asked him for help.

The most wonderful thing happened. He couldn't do it either! We decided the eye of the needle was much too small, the thread was probably poor quality, and the lighting wasn't good from that dumb lamp.

Apparently it's a genetic thing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

As The World Turns...

Got a phone call yesterday while I was at the grocery store, but didn't recognize the number so just let it go to voice mail. I paid for the groceries, put them in my car and checked the message as I slid into my seat.

It was Bishop Pectol's voice saying something about a "glass ball and flames" but "all was well." He said something about they left it by my front door. When I got home there indeed was a little box by the door. Inside it was a little fire extinguisher, empty, and the strangest thing underneath in the bottom. It looked like a burned glass sphere...which it was...a little 3-inch glass ball with fish in it that I got at the Dollar Store and put out in a little spot in the yard at least two months ago.

Robin Pectol had been driving by and noticed what looked like a little smoke out back. She circled around just to make sure everything was ok. Lo and behold, the smoke turned to flames around a decorative glass ball, which just happened to be sitting on some bark chips. She tried to kick up some dirt to put out the flames, but could see that wouldn't work, so she called her husband to bring a bucket of water QUICKLY. He drove over with a fire extinguisher, which didn't quite do the trick. They ran to my neighbor's and together put out the fire with the hose.

Pretty good neighbors, huh? It's an interesting feeling to find out everything you have has been threatened while you were out, but you don't have to worry about it. Indeed, all was well.

It was the weirdest thing. After all summer of sitting in the same spot, it chose yesterday to instantaneously combust. The effect was exactly like those little magnifying glasses we kids held in the sunlight until the paper started to burn, like magic. The globe was still warm to the touch an hour later; the glass on the bottom charcoal black. Sobering.

I can't imagine the odds it took for it to catch on fire at that time. Even greater seem the odds that Robin was driving by just when it started, that her husband who just happens to manage Emergency Essentials in Orem, was handy and prepared, not to mention Reggie, next door, being at home and having his hose available.

I walked all around the yard to see if there was anything else that might cause a similar scenario, since I set out a lot of things for kids to enjoy as they walk by the house.

Thanks to EVERYONE involved! And now, like Paul Harvey used to say, you know the rest of the story.

Prayers answered each and every day...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Swan Song

While sitting in my hot tub tonight, I noticed that the crickets have lost some of their enthusiasm. Instead of sounding like the Tabernacle Choir, they're sounding more like a family reunion group, a little draggy and off-beat. Methinks the "first chairs" have gone where there's a little more S'uthun accent.

The summer nights have been as bold and expansive as Gregory Peck swooping across the valley on his horse to the strains of "Shenandoah" in How the West Was Won.

The music of Fall is always wistful to me, like a beautiful song you wish would go on and on, like Shari Lewis and Lambchop's "This is a song that never ends; it just goes on and on my friends..."

Why is it that a song you love ends way before you wish, but one you don't like at all seems to have never-ending lyrics?

That's how I feel about fall and winter, consecutively.

On a more cheerful note, I looked at the calendar and noticed there are nine more paydays til Christmas. Ho Ho Ho

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Snip Snip Snip

Since I'll be working in Provo rather than Orem starting September 1st, I've been trying to figure out a working morning schedule, so as not to be late at the new office. I'll need to find an extra ten minutes to add to the routine to be prompt, either that or find somewhere to cut out ten minutes from the current routine. One thing I know for sure is I don't want to drag my body out of bed ten minutes earlier!

You know how you fight with your hair more and more every day until you know it's time for a haircut? Well, this past week has been increasingly like that. If they had an "I can't come into work today because my hair is just not cooperating at all" leave clause, I'd have used it.

For some reason, my thoughts got tangled up and I thought it might be a clever idea to get a shorter haircut, thus gaining a few more minutes in my schedule. This is probably similiar to ideas that seem good when one is imbibing in alcohol, but is not so in this case. While I was waiting for the stylist to finish up on another client, I looked through those big shiny books they leave lying around and found a style that looked really good on a woman of my age. She had beautiful silver hair, which thanks to Sally Beauty, mine is not. I admire people who can carry that off, but have seen "what lies beneath" on my head and it's an ugly salt/pepper, not attractive at all.

I like my stylist a lot and we always chatter away pleasantly. Somewhere in the translation of the photo in the book to her scissors today, we missed the communication link, probably by a couple of inches. No hair on my head is now currently longer than 3/4 of an inch. My son's friend, Stirling, just got off his mission Thursday and when Kyle saw me today, he said "Mom, Stirling has hair longer than that!" So you get the picture.

I washed it, put light gel in it, blew it dry with my head upside down, put some hair spray on the roots...and absolutely nothing happened. I look like Mary Martin in Peter Pan, only with dark hair and no green tights. (Did you know she is Larry Hagman's mother, the guy on I Dream of Genie?) The world's smallest curling iron would laugh hysterically if asked to participate. I would need one with a rod the size of a Q-tip.

The positives are: 1-People are too kind to say "Whatever happened to your hair?" 2-I won't have to get another haircut for months or even buy new shampoo this year (as Kyle pointed out) and 3-I'll save some time in the mornings, probably enough to take up dancing or something.

I bought a new pair of dangling earrings in some wild hope that people would notice those and not the cut; at least it'll give them something to say. Sort of along the lines of a friend with a less-than-beautiful baby you see for the first time. You can always say "What a sweetheart, and such a lovely blanket!"

As they say, "The only difference between a good haircut and a bad one is six weeks." So that will be approximately Oct 2nd...