Thursday, December 14, 2023

Life's Embarrassing Moments.

Life is full of embarrassing moments. Being an introvert I have had more than my share.  Every generation has those moments. As new parents it is embarrassing to have your toddler have a meltdown at inopportune moments. We feel it's a reflection on our parenting abilities. Then the tables turn and many teenagers get embarrassed by their parents. A thirteen year old rarely wants a kiss goodbye from their mom. A lot of my childrens embarrassing moments are based on me sharing too much with others. One of my daughters would get embarrassed when I told how many garbage bags of what she considered  treasures I took out of her closet. I didn't mean to throw away her collection of dryer lint in many beautiful colors. I won't site anymore examples but we have all had them and many will never be forgotten. Most aren't embarrassing anymore but beautiful memories. Even me sharing too much on this blog causes some eye rolling.

I am 76 years old and I thought I was beyond being embarrassed, but I was wrong. Recently I attended a play in Baraboo Wisconsin that my grandson was in. I decided I would try to look a little appropriate so I got some dress shoes out of the closet. They were Born brand and even though they were probably out of style, they looked in excellent shape. I have no idea how old they were, but they were probably quite old. These aren't the real shoes, but similar. I don't have a picture of the real shoes and I will explain why.

Before the play we decided to go for dinner in Wisconsin Dells. It was the day after my birthday and my family wanted to treat me to a birthday dinner. We were a bit early and decided to check out the Root Beer museum.  I didn't even know such a museum existed. I was walking around and started feeling a little unsteady. I thought that is just great. I hope I don't fall. When I got back in the car, I looked down. On the floor board it looked like someone had dropped a chunk of chocolate. On further inspection, it was a sole from a shoe. I was still oblivious. I said "someone lost part of their shoe".  Then the light bulb went on, and I realized that it was ME. Part of my shoe bottom had come off. I took off the shoe and inspected it. Oh my gosh, the whole sole was cracked. I looked at the other shoe and it was in the same condition. No wonder I was unsteady on my feet. I was walking on an unlevel surface. I had no choice but to pull both the soles off the bottom of the shoes right down to the foam insole. Now what to do? Fortunately Wisconsin Dells has an outlet mall. I put my shoes back on and walked into the mall. It felt like I was wearing bedroom slippers. I made a beeline for a shoe store. The first one I saw was the Sketcher store.  I tried on a couple pair and settled on the new Sketcher slip-ins,  I kept them on and went to pay for them. The sales person looked at me like I was a bit strange when I gave her my old shoes and an empty box. I asked if she could put them in the trash. She then had to make sure the shoes I had on matched up with the empty shoe box. When I passed inspection, I paid for the shoes and we were on our way. It was a blessing. I love my new shoes. They work as advertised. Just slip your foot in. No bending over or sitting down to put on my shoes.  Was this embarrassing at the moment? Yes, but as with most of these situations,  it made a fun story and I probably have the most comfortable shoes I have ever had. At the restaurant they offered me a birthday shot which I declined. I didn't want to be unsteady in my new shoes too. Lesson learned, even expensive shoes have a shelf life.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

2023 Christmas Crafting Project

My family loves traditions especially my youngest daughter. As the years go by and families change it becomes increasingly difficult. We have to create new traditions. Children grow up and some move away. Eventually they create families of their own and then there are great grandchildren, grandchildren and in-laws. It can get really complicated with these extended families and travel schedules. Everyone has to be flexible. This is why we try to maintain just a few traditions. Most years around Thanksgiving my daughter comes to my house. We go out in the woods and cut pine and cedar boughs for decoration. It is a simple tradition but always fun. Afterwards we may go downtown and look around for new ideas, but mostly it's about spending time together. 

Another tradition is planning a Christmas craft we can do together. We decide on something that can be done in a few hours. This year we wanted to try folding a paperback book into the shape of a Christmas Tree. Thrift stores are the perfect place to find supplies without a huge cost. If it doesn't work out, we don't want to invest a lot of money. For this project we looked for Christmas stories in a paperback book of about 350 pages. The resale stores usually save the Christmas books until the holidays and put a lot of them out together. They are usually 50 cents to $1.  There are also a large variety of picture frames for under a $1. A book, a frame, scrapbook paper and some glue is all we needed for this project.

The plan was to come to my house, but we changed the location to my daughter's house. She has a She Shed full of paper, trimmings and about anything we needed and even some things we didn't even know we needed. 

This was the process. After choosing a book without a lot of cuss words or compromising situations, we started breaking down the spline so the book would lay flat. Finding the center of the book and pressing down in both directions was the best way to flatten it out. Next we started folding each page. First fold from the top right to the center and then fold again to the center. Continue folding about fifty pages toward the back of the book. Then in reverse and fold another fifty pages toward the front.

When all the pages are creased and folded they will stay in place. After the tree is finished, it's time to pick the background paper, decorate the tree and glue it onto the backing. 

These are our completed projects. Cute, cheap and fun to make. At first I thought it would take hours to fold all those pages, but it didn't take long at all.

These are a few of our crafting projects from the past few years. A painted gnome sign, a fabric Christmas tree, tee shirts and a candy cane vase. I still have most of them except for the candy cane vase. In the future we will not be making anything with real candy canes unless we store it in the freezer. You guessed it. Last summer that one melted into a sticky puddle. Good thing we have picture memories.

Next week we will be making Christmas cookies. All of my grandchildren want to come which makes me very happy.  
Make Your Own Traditions Whenever You Can.