Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Matters Tortuous and Things Pleasant

Paul and Steven are off on Steven's "13 Trip" as per our family tradition. They're camping in Yellowstone National Park where it's snowing and cold but they are happy as clams. Thankfully they took warm gear but it was cold enough this evening that they fried their burgers over the fire and ate them in the tent and oh, people, I cannot tell you how glad I am it's them and not me. I can handle tent-camping to a certain point during the day but when night falls it's like labor kicking into high gear and I know I have a long, tortuous night to live through before morning comes.

Speaking of torture, last week when Paul and I were in Portland it was right in the middle of the Rose Festival which meant that we had to walk among these carnival-type rides to get where we were going. I find these things horrifying the way they swing live humans way up in the air and flip them around and spin in circles and all kinds of unspeakable things. I can't stand to watch but I could still hear the victims screaming, and I told Paul if anyone ever wants to get some information out of me there's no need for CIA-style tactics; just stick me on one of those rides and I'll tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

Shopping is another thing that other people find enjoyable and I would really really rather opt out of. Second handing isn't nearly as bad, however. Exhausting, but not as painful as hunting for modest teenage t-shirts at Gap.

So today Emily and I had a Big Day In Town. The most important task was going to the doctor and drawing three vials of blood to see if she's allergic to Oregon like I suspect. Then we roared all over town in the van to track down all these wonderful things for her new Shimmering Lime bedroom that I narrowed down from many visits to Craigslist. First a mattress set, then a wonderful canopy bed frame, then out of town to pick up a 30-year-old dress form from England that someone offered to give her after reading Sunday's column. (Bless you, Jim and Sally) Ok, I guess that wasn't for her bedroom exactly.

Meanwhile she has been wanting a loveseat for her bedroom and I wanted it to be a hide-a-bed to use for sleepovers. How often do you see hide-a-bed loveseats for sale? Almost never. Impulsively we stopped at Goodwill in Junction City and asked if they have any, and were told there's one "on the truck." So we went out back and the nice guy put us on the cool lift thing to hoist us in, and there was a dirty but wonderful hideabed loveseat. So we bought it. And by the time we got it all in, the van was stuffed full. How satisfying. And I was planning to have the living room furniture professionally cleaned soon anyway so we'll do her loveseat too and be good to go.

Oh, yeah, there was one more thing. I've been wanting to upgrade my very old sewing machine and had my heart set on a Janome 4400 when a Janome 4800 showed up on Craigslist. I went to see that today too. Oh my. Beautiful and shiny and complete, and the nice Latino lady had bought it new a year and a half ago and sewed very little with it. I offered her less than she had listed but she said no, she needs the money to get her citizenship, so of course I felt sorry for her and paid the full price. I think Emily was surprised I didn't offer her a hundred dollars more just to help her out.

I was utterly exhausted when we finally came home but not too tired to try out that wonderful machine. Oh what balm for my shopping-weary body and soul to find that I can push the little buttons and make it sew a lovely design and I don't have to adjust the tension or anything. Jenny has been trying to piece a doll quilt by hand and in a burst of inspiration I sat her down and showed her how to sew it on the new Janome, and off she went. I put the speed thing on super-slow so she was well able to control it.

How wonderful it is to have proper tools for the job, and to not have to shop very often now that Amy's home, and to know Paul and Steven are the ones camping in Yellowstone and I am not.

Quote of the Day:
(from the archives--when Paul and Ben were on Ben's 13 Trip)
Me: Today Dad and Ben are going to get bikes and ride around Yosemite.
Jenny: Oh, I thought it was Gethsemane.


  1. Ah Yellowstone! Our family's home away from home! I am a HUGE fan of camping, even tent camping. I realize it's not for everyone but with good quality gear ( re: warm sleeping bags that are rated well below zero) and a great air matress I can sleep like a baby! We've had snow on campouts too and winds so fierce you couldn't have a campfire. That's a great time to stay in the tent and play some games by lantern light. SIGH

    I despise those rides as well. The one that makes my stomach turn just looking at it is the one where it gradually goes higher and higher and then it finally flips over. ICK! Yeah, I would divulge anything and everything as well!

    Great bargains! I love it when I get a good deal!


  2. you are definitely my kind of lady--I LOVE second hand shopping and craigslist. We are moving soon as well as adding a new member to the family so needed a few things for the house as well as more beds, etc. Craigslist and Goodwill & other thrift stores to the rescue! Just makes my day. This post just captured that feel. ahhhh...