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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Batch cutting

I woke up this week on Monday and decided it was time I took some time to sew for myself.

Things have gotten a bit thin in the practical clothing department - a combination of a lot of quality time spent sewing for family and a combination of the influence of that stupid Kondo book (my apologies to anyone who thinks it is not stupid - just reflecting on my own situation) which has meant that every time I remember some odd garment that would be perfect for an odd occasion, I realize I have decluttered it out of life.

A person who saves things just in case is really swimming upstream these days. With both my daughter and one of my sisters all into minimalism and decluttering I have been talked into saying real dumb things to myself like "have a worn this in the last year?" before throwing them out.

Any realistic person, particularly one who sews, will tell you that not having worn something for a year is a completely meaningless criterion.

Reasons that a person might not have worn something for 12 months might include:
  • no one has died recently and that is a perfect funeral outfit
  • no one has gotten married recently and that is a perfect vaguely related to somebody on some side wedding guest outfit
  • forgetting you owned this item of clothing
    • because your closet is so full of other more recent sewing projects it was jammed in a closet corner
    • because your mind is elsewhere like on what you want to sew next so deeply that has pushed the what you have sewn already stuff out of your brain and through your ears into space or something like that
    • because you just forgot - which in itself means nothing and is a sign of nothing OK?
  • that this garment was so a) tedious b) slow c) tricky to sew that by the time it was finished you were so sick of the sight of it that you ignored it for a good long while
  • it needs some sort of alteration. No need to explain further, we all know how we all feel about alterations
  • you decided to change your look or style or whatever and went through a period where you decided you were anti-blouse and a knit person until the random moment when you remembered that knits cling and you really suit blouses
Well none of the above are good reasons to kiss any garment goodbye and send it on it's way thanking it for its service.

Although right now if I could get some things back from Value Village like that blue blouse that had a FBA and really fit or that Persian Lamb coat I might kiss them then.

All of this is to explain why I woke up this Monday morning and said "my turn."

So for most of this week when I wasn't working or being semi responsible or dog walking I cut out a bunch of projects, all things I need for the immediate future which next month is going to include state parking it to Texas and back.

Little explanation on the state parks and my husband.

Although the rv is pretty comfortable my spouse is an out in the woods versus a rv park with golf carts kind of guy. 

I like this myself, apart from the coyote sauntering past me sewing at the picnic table part, but it has very specific wardrobe requirements. Like warm clothes for when the propane runs out, or sort of publicly decent housecoats for going to the bath house for a shower because the hot water has run out because, well see above.

So I kind of let everything slide this week except cutting out. This is what I have on the table now:

4 pairs of knit jogger/sweatpants
2 pairs of linen wide legged pull-on pants
1 housecoat (that's what you call them in Canada. A lounger? bathrobe?) with a zipper to go in it
9 tee shirts
1 sort of sweater coat thing in really cool speckled jogging fleece
3 pullover Lovenotions Constellation tops
8 pairs of underwear because I had a lot of scraps and well that propane thing
I pair of knit pyjamas in a style that a six year old would wear in a snowflake print I was hoping to use up at Christmas

Of course I have a list too of things to make for other people, including an apron for a florist one of my other sisters works with, but my plan is to try to get as much of this done as I can over the next few weeks, and pack the rest up for finishing on the road, we leave on February 15th.

When all of this utility sewing is done I will turn my attention to a hopefully more interesting spring wardrobe. Right now though I am sort of looking forward to just getting some new things to wear for real life.

And I will post pictures.

In the meantime I will post a picture of what is in front of me now, my daughter's dog Reggie. I am sort of the designated dog sitter around here, Reggie and even my newly single long ago first husband's dog, because I like the dog.

Reggie is the biggest character though.

If you make eye contact he comes and sits on you, all 80 pounds and more or less you need a crane or another person to get him off, because he sure likes laps.

He also eats whatever isn't nailed down. This starts conversations around here like 

"Belt. Do you think I can leave my clothes for work laid out, even the belt. No you are right maybe not the belt. Better put it up somewhere high." 

Last time we had him he ate three pounds of butter and one pie, although he is a very neat eater. 

So far his personal best is an entire pineapple including the green leaves at the top. 

Not any dog can do that.

Well here is Reggie.


Probably resting up or at least digesting something.

He has to pace himself. I guess we all do.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

Messages we send children

Before I get to what's on my mind tonight I should apologize for being a rotten sewing blogger. 

In the last four days I have made two garments for my daughter-in-law and another jacket for my husband. But before those could be photographed, which is what a good blogger would do, the jacket went off to work on my spouse and the things for my DIL got packed to be delivered by my daughter who is flying out tomorrow to meet the new baby.

Oh well.

For the next little while I am going to be making some crazy things for myself and you know I do stand still enough for pictures.

Now back to the subject at hand.

For various reasons this week I have been thinking of the things we say to children and how those things, if we intend to or not, get carried away with them as part of who they are, for life.

That's a pretty significant responsibility and it is something all of us need to be mindful of.

Right now I am considering all the times we affect young children not by what we tell them they can do or who they are, but of all the times we limit them by carving off some experiences as not for them.

I am thinking for example of toys, among other things.

I have three grandchildren here, the two girls and a boy. 

Over the holidays a woman my daughter works with sent over bags and bags of American Girl doll clothes her own kids didn't need any more.

It was quite a haul, a huge number of outfits and even an American Girl bicycle. Imagine how cool that is.

Well the girls have been happily playing with all this stuff for a while now and little Billy, their brother, has just been relegated to watch and plead for a chance to put on some tiny jacket, some pair of tiny shoes.

Last time I was over this week doing after school duty he told me that more than anything in the world he wanted and "American Girl Boy doll."

Of course he did.

So on the way home I swung by Walmart because it was on the way and checked out the toy department. Myself and another grandmother, who was there looking for a baby doll for her African Nova Scotian granddaughter, went through the shelves. I was pretty pleased to find that there was quite a variety, Asian dolls (now that's about time), dolls in wheelchairs and dolls with arm braces. Dolls that looked like the people who would play with them.

And me, I found an 18 inch boy doll for Billy.

Well this is what he thought of that:




Of course if I had been thinking ahead I would have realized what would come next - a request for clothes. Pyjamas, a bathing suit, and of course, because this is Canada - a hockey uniform.

This last one made me smile.

Billy's dad, my wonderful son-in-law, tells a story of when he was a kid and quit hockey. He just decided he would rather stay at home on Saturdays and watch the cartoons than go to practice, like his brothers.

Well the first Saturday morning he did this his dad threw a Sears catalogue down the stairs to the basement. "Here, if you are going to stay home, pick out a dress," his dad said.

The irony of course is that one of his brothers, down at the rink, would end up coming out as gay. 

They all love that story now.

The thing is of course not that boys can't play with dolls (or bake in Easy Bake ovens as this viral campaign proved) but that by not giving young males little people to play with we are, even unintentionally, cutting them off from opportunities to think about and practice taking care of other little humans. 

What a terrible thing it is to dam up something like that flowing in any child.

I was thinking of this after Billy, with great gentleness. held a newborn last evening, or of my son in California who takes care of his infant daughter as completely and as carefully as his wife.

Billy's sister already plays hockey. I am thinking that next time he is over he and I are going to cut out some doll clothes. I am sort of disappointed in myself that I didn't think of this before.

He would like that.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

It seems to me we all like making resolutions because most of us have some degree of hauntedness about things we should be doing but aren't.

Social media and technology has made this ridiculous. It used to be that all you had to deal with was the relatives saying stand up straight.

Now Bloglovin' and Pinterest are crammed with charts on a better you that say #1 Get up earlier! #2 Work smarter! #3 Work faster!

And of course in the off time you are supposed to practice mindfulness and Self Care.

There are apps to make sure you drink enough water and get enough sleep.

Well listen.

Here's what I think. 

If you are overwhelmed.

Two things to do:

First.

Recognize the beauty of boundaries. Women need to do this.

The way I see it what we owe other people most is this:


  • Listen
  • Recognize that if someone is cranky there are probably other things going on you don't know about. Give them that benefit of the doubt
  • Take care of as much of your own shit as you can 
  • If you need something ask clearly and be OK with the response (women in particular waste lives hoping people notice and will provide, mostly they just need clear asks)
  • Listen
Second

Note not on this list is fixing everything, or worrying yourself sick for their sake. I remember always the advice a woman in a playground gave me about children years ago.

Don't do for them what they can do for themselves.

The flip side of this of course is that when someone can't do for themselves you can then be fully available.

If you want to eat better:

Do more of your own cooking.

The main reason people don't eat well is time. 

Figure out what you can make fast yourself and you will eat better. Avocado or tomatoes on toast is just fine if that's what you want. Make yourself a soup with vegetables in it and make salads with leftover cooked vegetables. Have this in the fridge.

By the time you figure out how to negotiate that new diet plan there will be something else on the agenda. (Note everything on Facebook is "backed by science". Also note there is more than one scientist).

If you want to exercise more:

If exercise is a should not a want for you, here's what I think.

Again two things.

One.

Go outside more. Most people when they are outside don't just stand there. We are not counting lying at the beach.

If you are outside you will walk, pull weeds, shovel snow, talk to the neighbours.

Two:

Do more around the house.

This is my observation.

All those fit old ladies are really busy. You see them mowing their own lawns. Spring cleaning. They hustle and they bustle. From the minute they get up until the minute they go to bed.

A distant relative by marriage just died.

She was one of those tiny busy old Greek ladies, she cooked, cleaned, gardened full time nearly to the end of her life. 

She died a few weeks ago at 105.

Without paying any attention to her breathe or her core.

Finally, since I appear to be kicking off 2019 in a know it all mood.

See the funny side in everything. Particularly yourself.

Believe me it's there.

Happy New Year




 




Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 my sewing year in review

Whoa, it's nearly New Year's Eve again already.

I spent the day down in my sewing workroom (I have decided to call my sewing space, now nearly an entire lower floor of my house my workroom - because I am hoping it sounds more like a place where I am not going to be interrupted and because, let's face it, sewing is the real work of my life) cutting stuff out and thinking about my sewing year.

Like some years this one had a few unexpected turns and this affected my sewing.

This was the year when I really got into sewing for other people, my immediate family, in a big way. 

Looking back I understand things I did now better than I did at the time.

Being a person who is alive I had some challenges/adaptations to work through this year.

My two sons were both living in the US and I felt the distance. My dear DIL became pregnant and there were more than a few days when I wished I could just drive over and see her and I couldn't. My daughter was hit quite suddenly with a neurological condition that changed her life. 

So this year I was a person who sat in her house and thought well what am I going to do about all of this?

Well what I did was decide to sew for them.

I made my daughter soft and comfortable clothes, my boys shirts, my daughter-in-law maternity clothes and the exciting new baby nightgowns, sleepers, car seat covers and pretty much every thing else I could think of. I made the grandchildren here bathing suits in the summer, Halloween costumes in the fall, and Christmas outfits this month.

In my own crazy way I sort of tried to keep my family connected and together with pretty much the only tool I had which was my sewing machine. I mothered the best I could with seams. Because I really had to find a way to keep mothering this year.

Of course this kind of sewing didn't serve the blog or my communication all that well. I couldn't post surprises and it wasn't always possible to get pictures taken so I really sewed far more this year than you saw here.

But I have a lot of faith in my blog readers and I sort of felt you understood.

My connection to the sewing community really strengthened this year and that was one of the best parts of 2018. My funny and interesting friends at the local sewing guild, those of you who left comments here on the blog and on Instagram, and even folks who read my book and took time to write and tell me their own stories all meant a lot.

I also was able to get to know new members of the sewing community better. I managed to keep my one resolution to sew more Indie patterns and that really opened up a new world to me. The young digital designers, the mom entrepreneurs in particular, really inspired me. Some of my favourite patterns of the year came from small designers and I intend to sew more from these sources.

So what am I going to sew in 2019?

I am going to be open to whatever flies in through the open window but right now here are my thoughts:


  • I will continue to sew a lot for my family. I really got to know everyone's preferences better this year and sort of understand what their different wardrobes look like - I want to build on that, sort of collaboratively. I really enjoyed making people I love, clothes they love.
  • I am probably going to continue to find ways to reach out with my random handy hints on sewing and share more of that - if I have made a mistake and fixed it or found a less stress way of doing something I like to communicate that. Not sure what that looks like though, more blogging, some tech sheets, Youtube, I will have to figure that out.
  • I am going to work on my own style. My own wardrobe didn't really develop much this year and I feel a need to do some taking care of myself that way right now. Sort of confused because some of the current trends and things I see other folks make I like, don't always work for me. Seems like a good year to define my own style more. Putting a lot of new things in the closet seem overdue too.
Not that's enough about me.

What I want to hear now are your plans.

What do you want to sew this coming year?

Where do you want your sewing to take you in the new 12 months?

Maybe even not what you actually should do, but what do you want to do, what are your sewing wishes for 2019?

That's it.

Let's make sewing wishes.



Saturday, December 29, 2018

My review of the Eversewn Sparrow 30



When I was at QuiltMart in Portland last spring I had a chance to see and test sew on the new Eversewn machines. As a result of that experience, and great conversation with Philipp Ueltschi chief of Eversewn and yes also of the famous Bernina family, I was lucky enough to have an Eversew Sparrow 30 sent to me to test.

Those who follow me in Instagram will have seen periodic posts on this machine and the various projects I have sewn on it.

I have a lot to say about this machine, and the thinking evident behind it, and that is one reason why this very detailed, long, review has taken some time to write.

I have strong feelings about any reviews I post on this blog.

I don't know about you but I am somewhat overwhelmed at the amount of marketing information across the blogosphere, presented as product reviews. Who needs more of that?

The fact is that I if I don't like a product I won't post anything about it at all, except in circumstances where I feel I want to warn my fellow sewers about something that I feel might cause them angst. Who needs more of that either?

I only write exactly what I think about any product I use.  I want to make sure that I have thoroughly tested anything new before I comment on it.

Also, full disclosure here, about 20 years ago I did some educational work for Pfaff and one project for Brother. I am pretty familiar with how some aspects of the sewing machine industry work. 

I know for example that there is a huge difference between "demoing" or even test driving a machine and using it day-in-day-out for a wide range of sewing challenges. 

For that reason I wanted to really use and live with this machine, and assess it based on other machines I have worked with, before I talked about it.

So to put my comments into context, these are some of the projects I have made on the Sparrow 30 over the past 6 months:


  • Men's shirts - this was useful in testing buttonholes, for ease of use and reliability, and for stitch quality through various thicknesses, as well as the ability to edge stitch precisely (needle positions were helpful here)
  • Swimsuits and lycra leggings - these were great test garments for the stretch stitches - I used both the reverse action triple zig-zag and the narrow zig zag for some details, as well as the triple/multiple zig zag for top stitching through thick chlorine proof elastic
  • Fleece- multiple layers of thick fabric (pressure foot adjustment used here)
  • General dressmaking (zippers) children's and baby clothing - cotton woven, rayons, and knits - both cotton lycra and modal or rayon
  • Mending - darning, satin stitch and various utility stitches. Fabrics included denim and outwear
I really feel that my observations on this machine are based on some pretty thorough test sewing, under a variety of conditions.

Note: I am a garment sewer and although I tried out and played with the alphabets and many decorative stitches I didn't actually complete a project with any of these features.

Now before I get into the specifics of my experience with this machine I want to put this machine and the Eversewn company into what in my own opinion only, is context within the industry. 

For a start I have to say the one question I hate being asked most by new sewers, or worse still by the non-sewing relatives of potential sewers is "what is a good machine to buy for someone who is just getting into sewing?"

I really cringe when I hear this because I know that the machines they have budgeted for are more than likely not all that well made and, my worst nightmare, would be so frustrating to the new sewer that they might even give up on life's best activity.

As a general rule, cheap machines are cheap machines, and who wants to tell any mother that? 

I am also equally frustrated by sewing machine dealers who present that the only machines worth sewing on are the same price as a small car, or that they should also be the same size as one. 

$5,000 before you can try making your first skirt? Really?

I have always felt that to bring in all the happy sewers I would like to into the sewing community there needed to be an achievable alternative.

So last spring when I was in Portland I wondered if Eversewn, with its very reasonably priced, feature rich machines, and cool sewing notion kits, might meet that need. And that it might fill what I saw as a definite gap in the current menu of sewing machines on the market.

That's what I wanted to find out.

That's why I was eager to test this machine.

I also have to tell you I was intrigued by Philipp Ueltschi. 

Obviously sewing machines are in his blood but it needs to be said that these are not Bernina machines, I see many aspects that I would call Bernina informed. Eversewn is Ueltschi's own project and if I were to put it into one of my own sentences I would describe this project as:

"Sewing machines made for millennials by a millennial who also happens to know an awful lot about sewing machines." 

(Note sure if the company would agree with this assessment but it's how it looks to me).

More specifically my assessment for my fellow sewers would be that this:

The Sparrow 30 is an A1 machine, that performs very, very well and has a whole range of very useful/sophisticated features that are simply not usually found in machines at the price point. 

A new or returning sewer who has a specific budget would in no way be settling at all for less features with this well-priced machine, in fact, relative to the competition in this area of the market, would be getting far more for her money than she would get elsewhere.

Now let's get into some of the detail and some of my own favourite features. 

Here are the highlights:


I am one who is more interested in sewing functions than in a number of decorative stitches so here are the things I liked, and liked a lot in this machine. All are features seen most often on much more expensive machines:

  • The metal body: Although this is a fairly light machine (ideal for some of the sewing retreats I took it on) it is solid. You just can't compare the feel of an all metal body to one that doesn't have it. That said this machine does go really, really fast when set to top speed and although it stayed still no problem at all on my study sewing table at home, there was some hopping when I sewed fast on a portable table. Putting the machine on a piece of old yoga mat fixed that.
  • Needle up and needle down: My lovely old vintage machines don't have this and I really miss it. So so useful as a necessary third hand when top-stitching/stretching swimsuit elastic.
  • Variable sewing speed: Being able to turn down the sewing speed when doing careful work like topstitching makes all the difference.
  • Needle threader: no explanation necessary.


  • Thread cutter: I don't always use this, often like to trim my threads closely myself, but when I do I always appreciate the long threads on the underside that don't pull out.


  • Single pattern/tie off function: Neater than sewing forward and backwards at the beginning of every seam, although you have to figure this out, it really does a single pattern of the stitch rather than a mini reverse and forward like some machines.
    • Adjustable pressure foot pressure: This is sort of an old school feature but a really useful one I wish they still had on every machine. Loosening the foot pressure for polar fleece was useful, as was increasing it for lining.


    • Great lighting: For some reason a lot of new machines don't have this. The Sparrow has nice strong light in the stitching area, which I really like:

    It should be noted that the LED lighting here does cast as sort of yellow halo around the lit sewing area, something that startled me at first, but I don't notice anymore.


    • Really great buttonholes. Some truth needs to be told here. A straightforward mechanical buttonhole often produces a more reliable buttonhole than many of the real fancy computerized ones. In fact one of my sewing partners, a former high end sewing machine dealer, told me when she watched me make buttonholes on this machine that in her opinion this traditional system makes some of the nicest buttonholes ever. A button placed in the back of the foot determines buttonhole size and the lever that is pulled down whenever buttonholes are made, regulates consistent size for each buttonhole:
    • Ease of use: we are going back here to a machine for a new sewer. The Sparrow is sprinkled with a number of really useful illustrations, particularly for threading:



    • A nice simple to understand control panel of common stitches on the machine face: It was so interesting to me that our 9 year-old just sat down in front of this machine and she knew exactly how to thread and use it. No problem at all.

    • An excellent, stable extension table. I was also very impressed with this, particularly since I had just recently tested a top of the line that did not have these little feet and as a result extension table on that machine bounced around annoyingly:


    Issues with this machine.

    I found this a nice, easy, comfortable machine to work with. Of the eight sewing machines I have in my workroom this in fact is the one I reach for when I am in a hurry and just want a reliable little bit of sewing done with little fuss. This says a lot.

    The only issue I had was with some "bird nesting" in the bobbin area when I was just getting used to the machine. 

    After a bit of double checking (an old sewing machine technician friend of mine always used to say that the first place to check for an problem would be in the chair in front of the machine ...) I decided that this important thread guide was essential:



    Yup this first upper thread path is super important. (Note I put the handle down to take this picture but of course it needs to be up for sewing).

    I missed this a few times (and am not sure if the thread cutter didn't jangle it out when I had been casual about getting the thread in here) and got a thread nest in the bobbin area. 

    Interestingly the only consistent problem reported by new users for this machine, as reported online, were those lower area thread nests - my suspicion now is that those problems might have to do with missing this thread path. 

    Since I have started paying more attention to getting the thread in there and in threading the machine with the foot up (to open the tension disks) and making sure I "flossed" the thread in between the tension disks I haven't had any further problems with messy bobbin thread at all and subsequently sewed for months since then for hours and hours without seeing this issue again.

    So final verdict:

    Great machine, more than excellent for the price. A machine I will happily take to classes, and recommend to anyone who asks and is looking for a nice, reliable, high feature, good value machine.

    An overdue option for those in the market for a new machine too, who are often so overwhelmed by all the choices.







    Friday, December 28, 2018

    Favourite pattern time: Lovenotions pullovers

    One of my pleasures this Christmas was to discover and sew Lovenotions new pullover patterns, the Navigator for kids, the Constellation for women and the North Star for men. I have no affiliate relationship with this company but do note that there is currently a 20% off discount if you buy all three at the same time - something I wish I had done.

    Before I go into the story of my own versions I should show you the pattern pictures from Lovenotions:






    I have made a ton of fleece/hoodie/casual knit jackets in my time. I compared my experience with sewing those with this new pattern, so far I have made the women's and men's version and will be making some for the kids soon too, and have been really impressed.

    I started off with the Constellation for women because I was on the hunt for nursing top options for my daughter-in-law. When I saw that this jacket was "nursing friendly" because of the unusually long zipper opening for a pullover, it just jumped off the screen to me. I have already been sent pictures of Maddie nursing Anika in it and yup, it works pretty well.

    I have also realized that the longer zipper places this jacket sort of between a pullover and a full zip jacket.Of course is easier to make than a full jacket because there is no zipper-ending-in-the-band situation to deal with (although of course you could use this pattern for a jacket too by just bringing the zipper right down the front if you wanted). This longer zipper makes these tops is so much easier than a pullover that you have to haul over your head to wear.

    I can see that this would make it a good top for kids or even older people because it would be so easy to put on and off.

    I was also impressed by the design details that all give a professional look but in fact represent easy techniques that make the garment very beginner friendly.

    For example:


    • The bottom pockets are really one big kangaroo patch pocket basted to the lower body piece. The edges of the pocket are just strips of knit or ribbing. Really about the easiest outerwear pocket I have ever seen.
    • The under collar is finished with a turned and stitched binding before it is attached to the outer collar - once the under collar is stitched to the outer collar around the edges the finished neck edge is just hand or machine stitched down over the neck seam. I am going to think now of other places where I can use this technique. There is actually a live link to a Youtube video on how to do this in the instructions, which would be useful for a new sewer or just a visual learner.
    • The zipper suggested is longer than necessary, you just trim the bottom off after it is all stitched in, so it is easier to hold on to and so there is a place to park the zipper tab while the zipper is being applied - there was a far bit of thinking ahead in this pattern. There is also a Youtube video link too for the zipper.
    As far as style features all versions have collars or hoods and the woman's also has a sort of shirt tale view without a banded bottom. That's the one I made for Maddie and will make for myself.

    I ended up making three men's versions and one women's for Christmas. Here is my youngest son Ben in his:




     Really a winner of a pattern. Today I actually cut out three more by popular demand, those will be ready to share soon.

    Monday, December 24, 2018

    Flypaper thoughts Christmas Eve 2018 version


    • Well where have I been?
    • Planes, trains, and automobiles
    • OK not trains
    • No one has read my memo requesting transcontinental train fare the same price as the current equivalent of being in a glove box for half a day with the option to spend $20 on pesto salad, minus the pesto and minus the salad up higher in the air than anyone lets themselves think about
    • I made a good business case
    • We could fill those trains with middle aged women who like to knit and want to have their scissors and circulars handy
    • And stretch their legs and play cards in the observation car
    • Or take advantage of the five pieces of luggage currently allowed on most trains
    • Listen there is a huge audience quite happy to be captive who has already figured out quite a few years ago that it is the journey that matters 
    • Tap this market
    • Until they do I am left to wonder why on earth anyone has a beer in an airport bar at 7:30 a.m.
    • Unless they are folks who are wishing for trains
    • My trip to Berkeley to meet the new granddaughter was wonderful
    • This one is going to be a real piece of work, highest of praises in this family
    • She's starting out by being really good at being a baby
    • So proud of my son who could work as a doula if the tech industry crashes
    • Does the middle of the night feed with her one bottle of the day
    • And changes sides to replicate the breast
    • That's my boy
    • And discovered this trip at Stonemountain that my DIL is a world class fabric shopper
    • She feels every piece and drags the bolts around so she can put them together so she can decide which one would be best
    • I am bringing a machine next time and we are getting right into it
    • This is of course as good as it gets
    • Made three meatloaves, 2.5 chicken pot pies and two curried vegetables for the freezer
    • You can take the woman out of Nova Scotia
    • Plus cookies from the NYTimes since I am old school but cool school
    • I have missed you so much since you left my house
    • But know I now where everything is in your kitchen
    • I can let out my breath
    • You are still you and I am still me
    • Bless the daughter-in-law who gave me that back
    • Going to be a wise mother
    • Stopped over for a day in Vegas due to a flight cancelation
    • First time I went there for a conference 20 years ago I thought it was glamorous
    • This time I noticed the runs in the show girls stockings
    • And the diaper sized safety pins holding some outfits together
    • Doesn't matter how many feathers or how high the boots
    • I still see students
    • And want to ask them
    • Does you mother know?
    • Are you a mother?
    • Maybe who was in the Rat Pack were rats
    • No undoing that now, not going back
    • Think the town knows that
    • Came home and sewed some Love Notions North star pullovers
    • Got to do my own best patterns list
    • Might put that near the top
    • Speaking of which
    • At the top of my list of things I was not expecting
    • Was the bidet contraption my husband attached to the toilet
    • Surprise
    • Your Christmas present!
    • I recognize a man who remembered it was Christmas when he was in middle of the plumbing department
    • Hopes he likes his pullover
    • That man's a star
    • Merry Christmas
    • It feels like a very good one