Tag Archive | Old stuff

Little Blue Man

If anyone happens to have old blue jeans waiting to be thrown away, let me know. I’m planning on making some kind of denim jumper. With it, I plan to single-handedly destroy the notion that denim jumpers are frumpy homeschooling-mom-wear. More likely I’ll just confirm this pervasive belief, but hey; I can try.

In other news, today I discovered that I can knit and walk at the same time if I tie my purse to my backpack. It’s a beautiful arrangement; walking home from the library after a good study session, watching the setting sun make everything pink and golden, watching people mow their parking strips and making friends with needy cats. Now I can have all this — and be knitting at the same time. What a wonderful life. People look at me funny. It doesn’t bother me, though. I know that they’re just wishing that they too, could have a coffee-colored cabled cardigan on the needles.

I was also herded by an extremely gregarious dog named Indie. I’ve never met Indie in my life. Until today when she proceeded to orbit me whilst her would-be owners discussed her reprehensible behaviour in raised voices.

Mr. Indie-owner: “We just can’t keep her, Sharol, we can’t!”

Sharol: “She’s almost trained! Just give me time!”

[Indie becomes a Sofia Satellite]

Mr. Indie-owner: “You see? You see what she’s doing? That dog is a menace to society!”

[Sofia looks back, wondering if she needs to return Indie to her proper place before Indie follows her, Sofia, home]

Sharol: “You, Girl! Go! Just go! Indie!!!”

Poor Indie. I left.

Finally, in my quest for strange old songs, I’ve found the ultimate stalker song.

What on earth could have inspired this?


I’m back!

Is anybody still listening?

What, just because I stop writing for a month or two, you don’t check it every day anymore?

What? You never checked it every day anyway?

WhatEVER. Fine. Be that way. I don’t need you.

But since you’re here and haven’t left off reading yet, let me tell you what I do when I procrastinate.

What I Do When I Procrastinate

Sometimes I obsessively clean my room.

Sometimes I do weird little school things that really don’t need to be done. Like cleaning out my almost-empty binder.

Sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom, put body butter on top of the warm dehumidifier, and watch it melt.

(It’s not actually body butter; it’s coconut fat that I use as body butter. I was given body butter by my grandmother one year. I decided I didn’t like it, so I scooped it out and re-used the jar for coconut fat because I read somewhere or other that coconut fat is good for your skin. That’s just how I roll.)

Tonight, however, I decided to spend four hours of my life I could have used to study microbiology to make a wallet.

It’s monogrammed.


Cross stitch really isn’t my forte. I don’t do it very often (okay, so this is the second time). It’s tedious. I’m afraid I’ll wear my eyes out and have to get glasses. But it does look nice, doesn’t it?

Cross stitch:

a stitch in which pairs of diagonal stitches of the same length cross each other in the middle to form an X .

A. Regular old cross stitch. B. Some weird, fancy kind of cross stitch. Ignore B.


So basically, you use the holes in between the weave and the weft of the fabric to make little crosses. But what if your fabric doesn’t have nice big holes?

Then you do this:

Use a piece of canvas on top of whatever material you want to decorate. Don't worry; the final product won't look like that. We'll get it out at the end. I promise.


Unless you split a thread while you’re working it. That’s not good. Don’t split threads.

Then, work in your design . . .

Incidentally, an old-school cross stitchress (yes, I made that up) would probably be horrified at the way I do it. She’d tear my hair out of my scalp, thread her needle with it, and use it to show my how it’s done properly.

Fortunately for me, I don’t believe any old-school cross stitchresses read this blog.

The back. Note the extreme messiness. "The back should be just as beautiful as the front." That's what the old school says.

You know what, though? Cut me some slack! I had to learn how to do all these old-fashioned girly things all by my lonesome self. Just me and Back to Basics. Oh, Back to Basics. How I loved that book. It was my all-time favorite book as a child. I’d have my father read it to me as bedtime story. Back to Basics has instructions on how to do everything the old-fashioned way. I highly recommend it.

Back to Basics doesn’t have cross stitching, though. They probably thought it wasn’t utilitarian enough.

Anyhow, when you’re done with your pattern, you have to get rid of the canvas. How do you do that?

Very carefully.


What you want to do is pull the canvas apart, unraveling thread by thread until it’s history. I’m not going to lie. I used my teeth. I know, I know; “teeth are jewels, not tools.”

But it worked.

Ta da!


I hope you appreciate this, DB.


Old pictures

Okay, so not really that old. Not my definition of old, anyhow. But I was going through my pictures today and I thought I’d share:

This is a paper boat that my friends and I set asailing one summer’s day after high school orientation day one year. We supposedly went fishing, but caught no fish. It was a happy day.

My friend and I took this picture one day. We thought it was funny that the guy’s shirt is dipped in the water.

Though later, when I was showing m photos to an older lady I know, she assumed that we had been stalking this “attractive young man” as she deemed him, and laughed at our shamelessness for a solid minute before I could explain that such was not the case.


Pie. I like making pie.

Courtesy of My Brother Erik

This was the last time I ever slept in public without a blanket over my head. I can’t believe I’m showing this to you.

I mean, look at this picture. I’m gorgeous. These two were taken on the same day. I don’t understand how someone as attractive as myself could pose for such a hideous picture.

And finally . . .

What you’ve all really wanted to see . . .

The last time I wore pants. Gross.

The Civil War

I’ve always been fascinated by the Civil War era.

The year is 1861. The gallant Southerners, feeling their whole culture and way of life being threatened by the conniving ways of the mercenary Yankees, have left the Union in a huff. The Union inexorably refuses to recognize such rebellion. The clash! Gray against blue. The Confederacy struggles to free herself from her stern old mother; struggles for freedom and recognition, like a pent-up teenager who just wants out of the house. The boys in blue might be outnumbered, but they have a dream; they fight for the green hills of Dixie; the glorious Cause. The Yankee boys aren’t fighting for a Cause; they fight because they have to fight; because their government says so. But there are so many of them; and besides, they have the might of the mercenary North behind them! Everyone knows that all Yankees care about is making money; no wonder they’re the ones with the industry and factories; they’re the ones with all the industrial resources. What has the South to fall back on? They have King Cotton! England’s textile industry depends on King Cotton. They’ll never let the South fall! Or will they? Scratch that idea; and now, the Yankees have penned the Rebels in. The blockades won’t let anyone in or out. Without access to Europe to barter with, the Confederacy is on her own.

New Year’s Day, 1863. Abraham Lincoln delivers the Emancipation Proclamation. AHA! Now the Yankee boys really have something to fight for! Now there’s glory and romance in’t! No longer is it a “rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight;” no longer is it a political battle; a stupid war to try and keep a People who simply won’t be kept. Now it’s “As Christ died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on!” Here is a Cause; a Cause as great and greater than any Southern rebel has.

1864: it’s all over. The Confederate boys are crushed; but wait; are there any Southern boys left? Or are they all small boys and old men? It’s true; the South has no more boys to give. It’s all over.

And yet it’s so not.

I’ve never been able to take sides about the Civil War. Who was really right? North or South? And if they were, were they right enough to make a fruitless war that killed so many? A war that made widows from happy wives, and old maids from hopeful young women? A war that crippled and decimated an entire generation?

Sarah Ballou lost her husband. Here is the last letter her husband penned her. The first time I heard this letter read was in history class. I was fourteen. I heard the last line and scrammed out of class. I didn’t want my teacher to see me cry.