Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Show life

This is Herschel.  This has been Brittnie's main priority for the last few months.  It's nearing the end of school show season (I think) and I have not yet posted any stories about this.  No I'm not saying I haven't said or posted anything about it on social media sites because if you know me you have already seen a few posts.  I can't help it.  She amazes me (almost daily).
This has been a huge learning experience for my girl.  I love what it has done for her.  Anyone that knows Brittnie knows her unquenchable love for animals (of every kind)  so it was really no surprise when entering her first year of high school that she chose AG as one of her classes.  Now I never took this class in high school maybe I didn't really have what it took to take such a demanding class (maybe its not that demanding, maybe it was just that I grew up in town and any animal other than a dog, cat or occasional turtle freaked me out...I don't know)  Looking back there is a few things I would have changed about those years...anyway let me jump back on track...this is about Britt.  She was so excited to be taking this class and having the opportunity to participate in FFA but most of all she was excited about getting to show an animal.  She chose pig.  Not sure why I never really asked her.  But her daddy showed pigs in school so maybe he had something to do with that choice.  We looked around and called all the farmers we had bought feeder pigs from in the past but no one had any ready when she needed one.  Her teacher MR. L. found her one talked the guy down to get us a better price for it. (show hog prices are you kidding me?  Come on) We bought a pig a few weeks later than all the other kids in the area and she was small but Britt was sure she would be fine.  Britts school does not have the money for an AG barn to keep the kids animals in on property so animals get to live at home with the students. I kind of like this.  Britt gets to spend unlimited time caring for her pig and not having to worry about if someone can drive her to the school barn and back.  pig needs food? walk out back. pig needs her hair brushed? walk out back. pig need to be walked?  walk out back.  pen needs cleaned? walk out back.  No added miles on the car or time worrying about if you have a ride to care for pig.  And really shavings mixed with poo HELLO fertilizer for flowerbeds and garden right there in our own back yard.  There have been some draw backs.  Because we weren't exactly prepared for "show pig" she has to live outside.  She has a house to get inside to protect her from weather, but the cold has had its impact on her weight gain which has hurt Britt in the show ring a little.  But that hasn't slowed Britt down.  She still gets after it every day.
She regardless of what her peers think this is a pretty amazing thing shes doing.  The ones that pick or make fun are not the ones getting up an hour early to go outside in the freezing cold weather to make sure a pig has not frozen water & something warm to eat.  These kids aren't getting up at the butt crack of dawn on show day to load a not always predictable animal into the back of a trailer and be at the show early enough to not have to fight a crowd at the wash area to bathe a pig.  BATHE A PIG!  This seems crazy to me too but she does it.  Every single time.  I feel like this first year of AG & FFA has already matured her in ways she has not yet noticed herself.  She is learning to deal with all types of people, she is meeting lots of new friends while still holding strong to the old ones.  She is learning how to behave when all eyes are on you.  And learning a level of respect that I don't think any other kids learn if they don't take this class and participate in this organization.  Is she still a silly girl with teenage girl drama yes. (sadly there is no miracle class for that yet)  But she has changed.  When you see her you will see it.  She has developed this crazy confidence, dedication to something other than silliness, respect for others, teamwork, leadership and the ability to not care what everyone thinks of her.  A lesson it has taken me nearly 40 years to learn.  And maybe she doesn't have it in perfect practice (as she fights with her sister like a child almost daily still) but she is changing and I can not wait to see how it all goes for her over the next few years.

I find it funny that every single show Britt has been to Nat is always there.  The reason I find it funny is because a pig show is the last place I would have thought Nat would want to be.  A little bit of background story on Nat.  She is a girly girl in every definition of the phrase.  And maybe this is the very reason she and Britt get along as well as they do, ya know that whole opposites attract thing.  Nat and Britt have known each other their whole lives.  They were pretty destined (or cursed) to be best of friends as Nat's mom and I grew up together too.  They are so funny.  Britt all dirt, boots and animals and Nat is all neat, skirts and purses.  That is where the funny to me part is.  It's not what I expected.  But Nat has been by Britts side at every show, helping with pig every way she can, gently reminding Britt that Herschel is just glorified bacon and is going to have to visit the butcher soon, organizing the show box because it looked messy and out of order.(a job she has to do every single time messy Britt gets in the box (poor girl, just like her momma)  She always makes sure Britt looks her absolute best before going into the show ring right down to her FFA tie being straight and her shirt tucked in properly.  Always there to help with hair and make up.  And last but not least she is always there to sit in the stands while Britt is in the show ring saying a little prayer, holding her breath...waiting to see if the judge likes what he sees with a gentle reminder that no matter what the judge says and no matter what place he gives her and her pig she always has someone waiting to tell her she did a great job.  Someone not her parents that push and push for her to do her best.  But someone on her level understanding the hurt when the judge doesn't pick any better than 5th or the excitement when he picks 3rd for your pig.  Someone that is always willing to listen to why it makes you mad without trying to make you feel bad for not doing better.  This is what I see Nat doing for my Britt at every show.  I don't know if they see all this but I do.  I see the most amazing support system my girl has in one person.  Don't read that wrong, Britt has a huge support system I mean after all her dad, Mr L. and a ton of others have nearly bent over backwards to help her to succeed in this organization.  But for emotional support, Nat gives at a level that I as mom can't.  I'm gonna hate it when showing is done if Nat doesn't come over as often. (but she has to come over for breakfast because we gotta have some of that "glorified bacon" right?)

One of my favorite "show moments"  Sperry FFA kids presenting our country's colors while the National Anthem is being sung before the show this past Saturday.

Only 2 shows left.  Britt and her pig may not be doing as well as others we know and have met but let us not forget that this is her first year and for that she seems to be doing better than some thought she would.  And I don't just mean placing with the pig.  She is a different girl than she was 6 months ago when she walked into Ag class.  Wanna know the cool part...she has so much more to learn & the best is yet to come.

Thanks for reading

Have a great day!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Welcome to my store!

Yep, I opened an online store.

Yes it may be another of my crazy hair brained ideas but it sounded fun to try.  So...I'm going to try it for a bit and see what I can do with it.

**So come on in and take a look around my fun online store and let me know what you think and check back often to see what else is new.

Check it out here...

And did you catch the name?  40 kinds of crazy.  That pretty much explains me and my life so why not enjoy it right :)

So far there is only a tshirt, a phone case (for Galaxy s3) and a couple different key chains.  I get to design everything and can not wait to make some more stuff to offer everyone. (and to buy them myself so I can show it off)

I don't set the prices, but I do get a % of the sales.  I feel like this is pretty fair because they don't charge me for the web page.

Check it out even if you don't want to order please share my page because someone may find something they can't live without (I hope).

Thanks for taking a minute to check it out

Have a great Sunday


Saturday, February 8, 2014

The black hole of unfinished projects

Let me be the first to say that I think maybe I should have been diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) many many years ago.  Like maybe when I was a little kid but probably even as recently as my married years. I love to make things. And I love to collect items that no longer serve their original purpose that could be re-purposed into something useful again.  The problem I have is I will start something and get distracted (sadly this happens way too often) and the project gets set aside in a closet or another room or the shed but most the time it gets slid into what my Britt has aptly named "the black hole of unfinished projects" (under the big couch) there probably aren't that many projects actually under there but every time we move the furniture she always asks what I want to do with all the things under there and I always say put the back under the couch until I can get to them.  So now I can be working on something or mention a new project and she always gives me grief about how it's just going to land in the black hole under the couch.  So I try really hard not to prove her right.

Anyway there is a reason I started with these ramblings...I walked into Britts room the other day and this is what I found.  A bit of history on this item.  Nanny found this horse shoe wreath at a garage sale several years ago. And when we first moved into our home there was a tons of western decor and I was sure I could use it.  The plan for this item was to put a mirror in it and hang it in the front room.  Stephen mentioned one time that with it being made from real horse shoes that it may be too heavy for that.  So in my head I heard its not useful right now get rid of it.  But I am much like my mother and have a hard time getting rid of anything.   So in the black hole it went.  Until this past week when Britt drug it out and gave it new life as a cute functional jewelry organizer.  I love it like this and it works with the way she wants to decorate her bedroom.   I have a bit of an idea to help make it work better for her so I just need to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for some cork board and some fabric of her choice so she will be able to push her earrings into it as well.

So now there is more room under the couch and one less unfinished project in our home.  Thanks Britt for using your imagination, hopefully now that you've made something the desire to create and reuse things will grow in your heart and head as it has mine.  It makes me giggle though just thinking about how much you are becoming more and more like your mother every day (I ♥ it by the way).  And that maybe one day when you have your own couch you will have your own black hole of unfinished projects your kids can make fun of you for.  It'll be a nice change.  :)

Have any unfinished projects or a stash of them?  How 'bout looking in there and maybe finishing one up...see how it feels.  Just seeing her use one of mine makes me want to finish up something else from in there...I'll post later and let you know how that goes :)

Have a great day!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

10th Anniversary/birthday...what?

Let me just start at the beginning...a long time ago (just over 10 years)  my brother and sister in law found out they were expecting again.  It had been what seemed like forever since the last baby and I was extra excited because Dave is my only sibling and what ever babies they had were all I was going to get as an auntie.  I couldn't wait.  I will not ever forget the day we found out their big surprise.  I was at Mike and Nanny's house and they stopped by to tell us what the doctor had to say.  They were having an ultrasound that day and we were kinda waiting on pins and needles to see what the baby was going to be...boy or girl.  It was funny how Dave said it too...I remember him saying "you want to know what the doctor said the baby is?"  We were all like duh!  he said "Well they said we are having girls"  (the words may not be exact but it was along this line of conversation)  I remember it took a few seconds to realize that he had said "girls"  as in more than one girl!  Yep they were being blessed with twins ( I don't know if this is 100% correct but for some crazy reason, I feel like it is.  Or some variation of this anyway, after all it has been 10 years and I am so close to 40 my mind gets fuzzy sometimes) 
As the time passed and it got closer and closer to Janae's due date I was going nuts trying to figure out what to get for these special girls.  I wanted something different, something not the same as everyone else was getting know the typical 2 matching dresses, matching shoes, bags, bottles and so forth.  I wanted something that would stand out.  Something that said these are from Nanny Tammy.  Something that wouldn't get stuck in a box when they out grew them or handed down to the next batch of babies in the family.  Something that would show everyone how special twins were and something their momma or daddy would always be able to tell a story about.  Only thing is I don't know that I ever really told them my "story" for giving the gift I did.  And I know I never shared how terrified I was about giving something that I made myself.  I guess I never really thought anyone would care how much I worried about taking those two gifts to that shower that day.  

I pondered what I could do for the girls for so long, and one day I made mention to a friend (Amy) that I needed something for the shower for Janae and the twins.  She said "make them baby quilts"  I laughed out loud.  Like really laughed.  I had a sewing machine that Denise had bought me, but I didn't know anything about it really, I could turn it on and sew a straight line but that was about it other than checking the bobbin thread and I only knew how to do that because uncle Mike showed me how.  So yeah, making them baby quilts was not really something I could do.  And I told her as much.  She didn't let me push it aside that easily though, and looking back I'm glad she kept talking that day.  She had been quilting a bit and had some fabrics and a pattern that she promised would be easy.  I trusted her, she came over and showed me what I needed to do.  Turns out it kind of clicked for me.  I felt like I was putting a puzzle together.  It wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated it to be.  I explained to mom that I needed to go buy fabric so that I could make the new baby twins quilts.  I am sure she thought I was crazy (probably because she remembers that while in Home EC in high school I had managed to sew my index finger)  Anyway, she went with me, we picked out some sweet baby fabrics, I wanted them to be the same but a bit different.  So I played with the pattern and the fabrics and came up with 2 variations that from a distance looked the same but when you really look at them they were quite different. (like we would later learn the twins are exactly different when you look past the first glance)  It took me right at a month to finish up the quilts and two days before the shower I was stressing about how to wrap them and everything, I bought nice large plain white gift boxes and pink and purple wide ribbon and tied a nice big bow on the plain white boxes that held a tissue wrapped quilt that I hoped they would love.
I worried like crazy about how Janae and David would feel about the home made gift.  I did not spend a ton of money on the gifts and this worried me greatly.  As I had seen my momma work long and hard on a hand made gift for someone once when I was little and I watched as it broke my mommas heart when the gift was pretty much cast aside because it was home made and it wasn't some pricey store bought item.  I don't know how I could have handled that kind of hurt.  I just wanted them to love the quilts as much as I loved them.  (I know, that is asking a lot, I really just didn't want them to wish I had bought a gift after all that work)

It has been ten years now since I started quilting and though I don't do it often and I don't do as good a job as some (most) people I can say that I do well enough that the quilts I make last.  I don't know if they last a lifetime because well its only been ten years. 

The twins have seen me quilting more than a couple of times through the years and just a few years ago they were watching me at the kitchen table and one asked me if I could make them a blanket.  I replied with I already have made you one.  Have you not seen it?  My thought was because they were to little to remember them being used when they were babies, and I was sure Janae had them put away (or maybe they just didn't realize where the blankets had came from).  So I told them I made them some when they were just tiny babies and they should ask their momma if they could see them.  

I got a text a week ago that was inviting us to the twins 10th birthday party.  Geez...can you believe they are already 10?  I know me neither.  And I should have asked what they wanted for their birthday before the week of their party but you all know me...I am Queen of procrastination!  I text Janae on Monday before their party asking what they would like...I got back from Katie "a bag like you made Christie with a horse on it, a blanket, a rubber band thingy"  from Christie "a soft blanket, rubber band thingy, swim suit or wii game" 

My brain stopped at "blanket"  I almost instantly knew I needed to make them new quilts, something big enough for them to snuggle in as the tiny ones I had made them before couldn't keep them warm now they had long since out grown them.  And then it jumped to "what the heck is a rubber band thing?"  that was explained to me.  Turns out I knew what it was but didn't at the same time...does that make sense?  No?  Oh well lets move on.

I had to work Tuesday night and I sleep during the day when I get off work.  So I didn't get to go shopping for fabric until Thursday after which I thought to ask Janae "when the girls say soft blanket do they mean quilts?"  To which she replies "No, you know how kids are when your trying to grocery shop at walmart and they are all "mom I want this, mom I want that...they pointed at a blanket at walmart I just didn't pay attention to what they pointed at"  Girl, I know exactly how that is...except 9 out of 10 times if my girls see it they toss it in the basket while I'm not looking and I don't know it until we are checking out.  Sometime not even until we get home with too many extra items. 

Anyway this is the moment of total panic about "How in the **** am I going to get 2 five foot by five foot quilts finished by 12pm Sunday afternoon?  I mean really.  This is crazy, maybe I should just go get the girls and take them back to walmart and ask them to show me the blankets they wanted.  I really don't know what I was thinking.  But I had already bought enough fabric to make both quilts...with "soft" fabric for the back and everything.  

Good news (well depends on how you look at it)  Now that I am working nights at work my sleep cycle is totally out of whack and I almost never sleep anymore on my days off so I stopped all the belly aching (in my own head, no one even knew I was really freaking out, well until after midnight Saturday night poor Britt knew) about not having enough time, I bit the bullet and got started late Thursday afternoon and worked all night.  Didn't go to bed until after 4am was up and out of the house to go buy the rest of the stuff to do the quilts and returned home.  Had a bit of time to try to nap because I had not slept in forever, had to take Britt to get clothes for her ffa show, had dinner with friends, a pig show see where this is going right...I had no time.  What was I thinking?  Let me tell you.  I was thinking I wanted those sweet girls to have the best soft blanket.  One better than you can find at the local walmart.  I wanted them to get to snuggle in those blankets and feel warm and loved.
So yeah I didn't sleep for anything last week and I can't tell you how much help Nikki and Val and Britt were and even though they didn't all help sew the quilts, they sat up with me at the kitchen table talking and visiting, telling me to nap and get started again, asking me to show them(Britt) what to do so it could go by quicker and pushing me when I thought I just couldn't finish.  I taught Britt a little about piecing blocks and pressing...just enough to make her want to do more...I can't wait til my next weekend so that she and I can take some time to make something :)  

I picked out colors of fabric that I thought matched the girls personalities and had planned on just giving them the one I thought they would like but after a bit of discussion Brittnie and I decided on putting both quilts in a package with both their names on it and let them open the gift together and sit back and watch who picked what quilt.  Turns out that was probably better because they picked exactly opposite of how I had called it.  But who knows, they are twins and they share a bedroom and I'm going to guess that they will both be using both quilts before we know it.

Here they are, my sweet growing like crazy nieces posing with all their quilts for a picture for their crazy Nanny Tammy (pst...the crazy ones are always the best)

The little quilts are just over 3'x3' and the new ones are 5'x5'  They have some time to grow into them.  The rate I am going they will get another one when they turn 20 ;)

I know that at age 10 they probably have no idea the amount of time and love that goes into making something like this (even though it really did only take a few days compared to a month 10 years ago)  They may never know that they are the very reason I even learned this art to begin with.

I work well under pressure, so shh...don't tell anyone but I am glad they asked for "soft blankets" and that I was too scatter brained to actually go buy one.

So yeah, 10th anniversary of my quilting and a warm fuzzy 10th birthday gift.

 Have a fantastic day!