Look what is in my house RIGHT NOW:
Compared with the 1962 Singer I’ve been using (goodbye, Old Paint), it is like a spaceship. I hear the Also Sprach Zaruthustra theme whenever I look at it. This is the beginning of a new Sewing Age. It makes buttonholes! It finishes the edges of your seams! There are nineteen different stitches to choose from! It comes with accessories! (Cat butt not included in all models.) And I think the Swiss Army made its ballistic nylon cover:
Best (early) birthday present EVER. Thank you Mom and Dad!
This is only a test.
Like the rest of the blogging world, I won’t be posting the rest of the week because of Christmas. But I have more plans than celebration and vacation–I’m going to attempt to move the blog to Blogspot (gasp!) to help with the organization and overall look.*
So I will leave you with three things to read for the next three days:
- Tonight I’ll be reading The Tailor Of Gloucester (this link even has the illustrations!) to everyone. Mr. Isbell can humor me, Toby can look at the pictures of the mice, and I can commiserate with the Tailor about not finishing his projects and buttonhole quality. And we can all say NO MORE TWIST.
- If you’d rather read something to yourself or if your cat has a longer attention span than mine, I recommend the Christmas chapter in The Wind in the Willows. It’s the winter chapter where Mole rediscovers his old home after living at Rat’s all summer and takes Ratty there on Christmas Eve. There are also caroling field mice.
- And if this is all too cute, here’s something adult you can read: It’s Nigel Slater describing Christmas in Vienna in a Guardian column last year. You will want to listen to Strauss.
*I am a little nervous about this, but I have reinforcements I can call in (hi Amber!) to fix things if the move goes horribly awry. So if you don’t see a blog here next Monday, don’t panic; it just means that I’ll need another week to have someone who knows what she’s doing fix things.
And after today, I will have time–I have tomorrow through January 4th OFF. I’m going to try to finish that taupe cardigan (I have to start over on the back, though, so it may not happen), sew two shirts, and knit one of these cowl-y scarf-y things:
(Found, along with a pattern, on the suitably titled CopyCat blog of craftiness.)
Yesterday marked the Winter Solstice, so at least we can have more light as we fight “the depressive psychological effects of winter on individuals and societies,” which Wikipedia defines as “coldness, tiredness, malaise, and inactivity.”
I’ve mostly escaped malaise and Mr. Isbell and I have been pretty good about staying active, but the coldness this year has been getting to me. My fingers and toes are ALWAYS cold, and Toby and I are in front of the space heater like it’s a roaring fire. (If only it were.)
But at least December is almost over, then there’s just January and February. We can do it, right?
Got it! Good photo! Did the studio send out the buffet for you?!! Is that a hotdog/cigarette/donut you’re eating?!! Who is the young lady in front of you?
I really must know what you have in your mouth. Dad is curious, too.
Please reply immediately. Love, Mom
2. Speaking of parents, I was visitng last Sunday and my father had taped part of a sales flyer shouting THESE ARE THE FINAL DAYS to the calendar in the kitchen. With six days left until Christmas and Snow-mageddon on the way in just hours, I couldn’t agree more.
3. And, from The Onion: McCain Stares at Screen, Attempts to Write Family Christmas Letter:
Forty-five minutes later, after two aborted attempts to compose the letter from the point of view of the family cat, Oreo, and another about what 2009 held in store for the McCain clan, the Arizona senator took a break to make a cup of hot cocoa and listen to the grandfather clock ticking in the background. “Jesus,” McCain mumbled. “Jesus Christ.”
So awesome. Go read all of it.
Oyster stew is a traditional Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve supper in my mother’s family, but only she and I like it. Mr. Isbell doesn’t care for it either, but since he was at band practice last night, I made some for a week-before-Christmas-eve dinner for myself. (And Toby. Toby, I discovered, is a big fan of oyster stew.)
I’ve started reading some M.F.K. Fisher again, to compare her with Laurie Colwin, and in Consider The Oyster I found this about oyster stew: “mildly potent, quietly sustaining, warm as love and welcomer in the winter.”
And also very popular with spoiled housecats.
This was on the Writer’s Almanac site last month. Don’t worry, the deer is not being hunted…
A Deer in the Target
I only got a ten-second shot,
grainy footage of the huge deer
caught in the crosshairs
of a ceiling security camera, a scene
of utter chaos in a strip mall store,
shown on the late local news.
The beautiful beast clearly scared
to death in this fluorescent forest,
its once graceful legs giving out
on mopped floors, think Bambi
as a fawn its first time standing.
Seeing the scattering shoppers,
you’d think a demon had barged
into this temple of commerce,
as they sacrificed their merchandise,
stranded full carts and dove for cover.
And when the aisles were emptied
of these bargain hunters, who was left
but an army of brave red-shirted
team members, mobilized by
the store manager over the intercom
to drive this wild animal out.
I wager there’s nothing on this
in the How to Approach
an Unsatisfied Shopper
section in the Target employee handbook,
but there they were: the cashiers
and stockers, the Floor Supervisor,
the Assistant Floor Supervisor,
the Store Manager,
the Assistant Store Manager,
the District Associate Manager,
the District Supervisor,
the District Assistant Supervisor
and visiting members from
the Regional Corporate Office,
running after it, it running after
them, bull’s eye logos on their red golf shirts,
everyone frenzied and panting: razor hooves
clattering on the mirror-white floor tiles,
nostrils heaving, its rack clearing
off-season clothes from clearance racks.
All of them, in Target,
chasing the almighty buck.