Current projects

I know, it’s been a while since my last project update. I am currently in the middle of three different projects and planning three more.
The first “in progress” project is the one I have been working on since my sister told me she was expecting a baby girl. My niece, Ella, is now 2 years old and I am still working on a soft pink blanket for her. So, I have decided to make it a twin size blanket, made in a traditional granny square pattern, but with mini stitches (so a 4 stitch by 4 stitch square is 1 square inch). It will be soft baby pink and pearl white. That one will be finished by September.
The second “in progress” project is a jelly roll style quilt for my other niece’s high school graduation. I need to finish the quilting part of it and the binding tonight so I can give it to my in-laws tomorrow to bring it to her for me. I will post pictures of it tomorrow after it is complete.
The third “in progress” project is a crochet afghan for my in-laws. Their birthdays are within 2 weeks of each other, so I would like to give them this as a birthday present. It is an afghan done in rounds, a square pattern, in maroon and cream. I need to finish this one by the time The Man comes home next weekend so I can give it to them both when they visit. I will post a picture a bit later.

Projects in planning phase are going to be fun!
First, there is the aprons for charity. One of my BFFs, M, knows a family who was struck with a personal medical situation and is doing a yard sale of hand made goods to help raise money to help the family. Between end-of-bolt out of season fabric deals and eBay, I have a bunch of different holiday themed fabrics, so I am going to make some different holiday themed aprons to send her to add to the yard sale.
I also am going to make The Man a quilted tablet case. I’m thinking either something in his two favorite colors, sky blue and smoke gray, or somehow working his family crest into the design somehow. The whole thing will be double quilted to provide extra padding.
The third project I’m planning will be a surprise to everyone, including me, since I’m not fully sure what it will be yet.
Stay tuned for pictures and updates to the projects as they become available!

If The World Had a Front Porch


Can you imagine how great things would be, how peaceful and friendly if every home had a front porch? If we all had that single reminder to take things slower, to sit for a few moments and enjoy their surroundings.
Not all front porches would need to be large, just enough space for a chair or two, so people can relax in comfort.
The presence of a front porch provides a place for a person to have so many moments, so many coming of age activities, so many treasured memories that will never fade from the picture of your youth.
It’s a place for many evenings star gazing with cold sweet tea. It is a place to enjoy cook outs with friends and neighbors, or lazy afternoon chess games. A place to sit with loved ones while watching children chase fireflies or to enjoy a fireworks display.
A front porch is the perfect place for a romantic, soft kiss goodnight after a first date, or to talk out the resolutions to school-yard fights. It’s the place to discuss football or dream of college and freedom. It’s where teenage boys fret over asking their girlfriend to the prom, or where teenage girls fret that their crush won’t ever notice them.
All in all, the song is right, if the world had a front porch, things would be better. We would have a lot more Mayberry and a lot less everything else.

Raising an Unplugged Millenial

The Man and I have taken a lot more flack for this than I care to admit. When people find out that Mini Man doesn’t have an iPhone or an iPad or an iAnything or a TV in his room we get the looks, the questions, even acusations of neglect! How is it neglect to not have a tv in his room?

We made the choices for him we have for our own reasons. There are times i think Mini Man is the only 10 year old without an iPhone, or iPad or iAnything. Is he really the only kid in his class without his own computer?

He has to go outside to play and talk to friends, he has to ask before using my computer for the internet. We monitor his web browsing and it is limited to educational needs only . A computer will not raise my child, that is my honor.

He doesn’t just turn on the tv and fall asleep at night. If he isn’t tired at bed time he may read a book. And he does. At 10 he has read the Sword of Truth series, he loves fantasy books, just like his parents. He is so far above his grade level in reading it amazes me. He also writes. As the son of a blogger and with a father who writes like The Man, you bet Mini Man writes well.

Yes, we do have a wii, but its in the living room and its use is monitored, but, I honestly can not remember the last time it was even turned on! I don’t have a problem with that. He has a Ds but its use is also controlled and monitored.

Unlike many of his classmates, Mini Man is not overweight, he knows how to act around people, he can compose proper letters, he is well read, and can use his imagination!

If a child like that is abuse or neglect, then, I guess he is both. But, tell me that again in 7 years when the acceptance letters from Ivy Leagues are coming in daily or the scholarship awards are coming in. Tell me then that we did the wrong thing because my respectful well rounded child did not have a tv in his room, tell me that all the monitoring was wrong when he is defending those who were not given boundries as kids, or when he is preaching, or getting a PhD in Theology.

He has set his own goals in life, and we are simply ensuring that he has the tools within himself to make it where he wants to go.

Until then, check your kid’s browser history and tell me my choices are wrong.

Most Asked….

I am what Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, calls an accidental country girl. Growing up I never thought I would marry a southern guy, I figured I would live in the city somewhere and, if marriage happened, great, if not, that would have been ok too.
But, as fate would have it, I did meet and marry a wonderful man. People who knew me growing up would never have guessed I could be happy as a country girl. 20 years ago I would have agreed. The world outside of the area I grew up in didn’t exist to us.
One of the questions I am asked the most is “What is the biggest difference between up north and where you live now?”
When I think about this question I can’t pin point one single difference that is the biggest. I can only speak on where I grew up in NYC compared to where I live now, in Razorback Country. But, this has been my experience.
When the Man and I moved to his home state, we had been married a few years and I had spent some time with his family during vacations and things. I thought I was ready to live in this part of the world. Hey, I lived in Alaska with him for three years, I could survive Arkansas, right?
Well, I wasn’t as ready as I thought, but I am a quick learner. I grew up with the notion that Arkansas was completely backwoods, that the residents have no teeth, and that everyone married their cousin. I was wrong, of course. But the differences?
One of the biggest has been the pace.
Things in NYC go quickly, everyone is in a rush, everything is scheduled. You don’t take the time to know your neighbors. Even the speech patterns are rushed in NY. People only say half of most words.
Down here, though, things move slower. The only schedule to keep is dictated by the rice and cotton crops for some people. There is nothing quite like sitting on the front porch in the evening with a glass of sweet tea and taking the time to know and care about your neighbors. They speak slower down here. They finish words and, I have to admit, there is nothing more heartwarming than a southern drawl coming from the Man.
Another major difference? Community.
In NYC, it takes major disasters to bring communities together. You can live your whole life there without knowing who plays for the college football team.
Down here? Well, if you don’t have what you need by game time Friday night before the high school team kicks off, it’s hard to find an open store until after church on Sunday. Everyone roots on the local high school team on Friday nights, unless you went to another school and they are playing each other. And there is never any traffic on Saturday during college football season, and Thanksgiving is a big day because it is the day before the Boot Bowl. A major tragedy strikes, such as the recent tornados, and there are boots on the ground in effected areas before the twister even lifts off the ground, and the local news stations hold a joint telethon for relief efforts.
The food.
In NYC, its not hard to find good pizza, or Chinese, at 2am, even delivered, or you can walk into a place and get a single slice of pizza, no problem. The bagels are out of this world. And two words: Street Food.
Down here, Papa Johns is considered good pizza, but they don’t deliver after 10pm, and forget about Chinese takeout, it’s all buffets that don’t deliver. Bagels are frozen hockey pucks, and the only hotdog carts are at baseball games. But, I know a few good places for catfish.
All in all, though, they both have their advantages. And I can’t really say one is better than the other. One is my past, it made me who I am and shaped the person I am, the other is my present and is shaping who I am becoming and who Mini Man is becoming.
I love being a proud member of The Accidental Country Girl Club and wouldn’t change it for anything!