Crafty Update: Soul Shakedown Party

I should probably mention that I’ve been convinced by a couple friends to open yet another Etsy shop for selling handmade hippie stuff. It’s called Soul Shakedown Party. Right now there’s just a pot holder listed…because every time I make something, one of my friends wants to own it before I can get around to listing it. Which is definitely a good thing!

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This skirt looks amazingly cute on Jenny. If she says it’s okay, maybe I’ll post a picture of her wearing it. I had no idea skirts were so easy to make! I would have been doing this years ago!

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Here’s a gauzy cotton peasant shirt with some decorative beads and a little rasta trim embroidered on the hem. Coocatchoo snatched this one up right away!  Today I’m working on embroidering a silk tank top with an “Om” mandala design. Hopefully I will finish it today and have pics up soon!

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Random Pet Peeve(s)

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People who drive cars that look like police cars but are not. Why would you want to do that? Why?

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Also, Beyonce. Look, I can take five notes and repeat them incessantly in a whiny voice, too. But I don’t call it music when I do that. By the way — nice hair, B.

And finally, micromanagement.

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Thank you, and goodnight.

Yellow Index Cards: Hospital Helicopter

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I think this is my favorite of the Yellow Index Cards. I would normally save the best for last, but I really needed this to laugh at today.

The back wall of our classroom was all windows. They looked out onto the front lawn of the campus and the rural two-lane highway on which we sat. The building was very new and modern. In fact, my graduating class of 1996 was the first class to attend all four years in the “new school.” The older historic structure in town, where my grandmother had graduated in 1944, was remodeled and turned into a middle school.

One day, in the middle of a lecture that involved transparencies on the overhead (this must really show my age), a medical helicopter flew by on its way to our tiny local hospital. Usually if someone was medivacced to our hospital, it signaled an injury so severe that our small facility was the quickest option for treatment, even if it wasn’t the most well-equipped. Needless to say, this was not an every day occurence.

Mrs. Robertson was a little…shall we say…oblivious. In more ways than one. But on this day, when her class full of students rushed to the bank of windows to ooh and aah over the helicopter buzzing by at eye level, she didn’t even notice. She never looked up from her teacher’s edition textbook. As we had gotten up, she has been immersed in her book, trying to find a specific passage. She found it by the time we all got back to our seats and continued her lesson.

It was the one time that semester when that sisterly connection I told you about Jenny and I having in that class all the time actually flickered amongst all of us. Questioning faces, heads turning every which way, silently asking the persons on the other side of the room, “Did that really just happen?”

And then we went back to our sketching, sleeping, note passing, and candy eating. Just another day. Typical.

Tasty Thursday: Chicken Tacos

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A couple weekends ago, I had some people over for dinner and board games. (I love Trivial Pursuit, and I am not ashamed to admit it.) I made chicken tacos using the crockpot. I love my crockpot. Here is the very easy recipe.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 jar salsa
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2-3 jalapenos, chopped

Put the chicken, onions, and peppers in the crockpot. Mix together the salsa and taco seasoning. Pour over the chicken. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8. When it’s done, use a fork to shred the chicken. Serve with tortilla shells and all kinds of toppings, like lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Since shredded meat is the basis for 99% of all Mexican food (well, maybe Americanized Mexican food), this mixture can be used to make whatever you like — tacos, burritos, salad, nachos, you name it.

Dude! Pam’s Pregnant!

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You know why this is a good show? Because I totally feel like all these people are my crazy coworkers, and I love all of them in spite of (and sometimes because of) their flaws. Except Ryan. I really don’t see any redeeming qualities in him. And I am super excited for Pam and Jim that they’re going to have a baby! And they’re not. even. real. people. As someone who has worked as an office manager for 70+ employees, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this show. As my mother would say, “Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.”

I really want to have a Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro Am Fun Run. And then a “The Office” party to watch all the best episodes with mixed drinks. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?


Yellow Index Cards: Dazed & Confused

I had a hard time coming up with a title for today’s yellow index cards. This title could have applied to many people and many situations at our high school. And again, I’m not trying to name names. There are two cards today because they involve the same person, and I feel them to be…complementary.

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This sketch was done to capture the utter ridiculousness of a class presentation in an advanced level biology class. This is — verbatim — the title of the presentation and the opening remarks. Also, an accurate representation of the presenter’s posture…sitting on a desk. “Just chillin’…y’all need a ride?”
Have you ever played that drinking game, “I Never?” This person’s parents never caught him with a roach clip in his gym bag. Never ever. Nuh uh. No way. No how. And yet, today he is an upstanding, responsible professional adult and even a doting parent to lovely children. Guess some people’s gateways lead to different things, huh?

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The same person depicted trying to corral fruit flies for our ubiquitous, semester-long experiment involving genetics. Oh, how I miss the noxious ear-wax smell of fly nap…the eternal restraint we learned by not clapping them dead, mashed on our palms like annoying little gnats. The guilty acquiescence to drugging small insects with sedatives.

Not.

I do, however, miss the smug pleasure of watching pot-heads try to accomplish things requiring a lot of concentration. It’s like watching a kid figure out how to tie their shoes. “Mom! Look! I DID IT! AWESOME! Now I can go ANYWHERE!”

Why do people always say they would hate to go back to high school? I’d go back today in a heartbeat. It was so much more entertaining than adulthood.

Dogs Like Hammocks Too

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Birdy has been enjoying the new camping hammock I have hung on my porch. Doesn’t she look relaxed? 🙂

Yellow Index Cards: Duck Nappers Anonymous

Right now I’m pretty sure the look my dog is giving me is saying, “Remind me why you’re doing this again?”

“Because, Bird,” I say. “This was funny once, so it must be funny now. In fact, I just laughed out loud, and this was 13 years ago. What?”

Birdy continues to look at me quizzically, which is an expression she seems to reserve for particularly perplexing moments. At the sound of the flatbed scanner sweeping, she retreats into the other room. She would normally be at my feet and has exited to protest the futility of her life, with her head on her crossed paws. From the futile padding of her pink reclining chair. Gazing dolefully at her favorite futile play-thing.

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Mrs. Robertson’s 1995-96 AP Biology class was simultaneously the most boring and the most entertaining class of my day. I was terrible at science, so I didn’t pay that much attention. But I have always been committed to finding creative forms of self-entertainment and looked forward to the 90 minutes I had every day to practice that. It’s an only-child thing.

The neighborhood kids thought there was something wrong with me because I never came outside. They knew I was in there and imagined me (they told me later) perched in my second-story dormer window, hoping emphatically I would be asked to join in.

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I was more likely sprawled blissfully on the gray fox shag carpet in the living room floor, listening to Beatles records on my dad’s hi-fi with his expensive padded headphones over my miniscule ears instead of the tinny $10 Sony Walkman headphones that I owned.

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Or I was digging holes under the backyard holly tree to give a proper burial to the most recent prey of my two fat orange tabby cats. (Two of the more pitiable victims were two tiny identical gray mice, who I named Eeeky and Squeeky and carved an epithet for, into the smooth green bark of the holly on its eastern side.)

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Or I was perched on the smooth, flat riverstone that lay at the entrance to my mother’s pastel azalea grove on the north side of the house, writing poems and stories in a journal and imagining myself as a famous writer, imagining herself in such an idyllic spot.

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Me (L), Jenny. Yes, we are still that cute. Though not nearly as tan.

My fellow only-child buddy and AP Bio lab partner, Jenny, understood this entertainment-of-oneself fascination and encouraged me to explore it during class, for her own entertainment. She aided and abetted by providing me with the very art supplies used to create this frivolous series of sketches. Jenny always had yellow index cards in her backpack. I’m not sure why. I think because she was organized enough to have index cards, but if my gut instinct is correct, she always had yellow ones because it was her least favorite color, and she used the cards in order according to color preference. Okay, really, that would be me. Jenny will have to tell us herself.

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For those of you who don’t remember, this is a scene illustrating the story Mrs. Robertson told us one day prior to doing an experiment of some sort on water fowl, about how she had come to obtain the birds we were about to test. Do I remember what we were testing them for, or what the result ended up being? Of course not. I don’t even remember if they were alive or dead. We could have been testing feces or feathers or skin cells. Who knows? But because I documented it, I remember the story of the ducks’ provenance.

In the sketch, Mrs. Robertson is crouched beside the lake at Isothermal Community College, in the next town over. She is there under the cover of night, flashlight and fishing net in hand. Her car is shown parked in the one parking spot available at the lake, waving a flag that reads “Duck Nappers Anonymous.” Near the beam of her flashlight, we see a duck who is obviously freaked out, and a thought bubble by her head explains, “Heh. Heh. Heh. They just THINK I’m getting pond water!”

A second later, a diabolical afternote: “AP Biology SUCKS!”

In the distance, approaching on an access road, is a blue Nissan campus security truck, ego inflated by a flashing light supported by its roof. This type of vehicle was notorious for busting the secretive activities of high school students, whether we were trying to make out or trying to smoke pot on the college’s soccer field, which happened to be surrounded on three sides by thickly forested pine groves. (It was appropriately located on Piney Ridge Road. I like it when things like that make sense.) More than one of us carpet burned our knees in Clark Griswold station-wagons, eluding at high speed on back roads the tin-can, pseudo-po-po in our tanks with the faux-woodgrain accent trim. As if they were Homeland Security. Oh. Wait. That was before Homeland Security existed. I suppose rather than Guantanamo, we feared…not arrest (they weren’t real cops)…not our parents (they probably would have just laughed)…but perhaps embarassment, which is really one of the only things teenagers have to fear in small towns.

Anyway, when Mrs. Robertson mentioned this caper, off-handedly in the build-up to the duck experiment, Jenny and I looked at each other, and then around at our classmates, engaged in their own personal little bubbles of distraction. We shared an expression that we still share often — a sisterly acknowledgement that something is happening here that only the two of us are appreciating. This is a connection on which I still base a part of my evaluations of friendships. Nowadays Jenny lives about a mile and a half from me with her husband, in an actual city, hundreds of miles from where we grew up, and on occasion, we still share that expression. And whenever that happens, my heart just leaps with the excitement of being “in on a secret.”

Crafty Update: Patchwork Panel Pants

My friend Jenny says I should post more stuff about my craft projects, since my blog is called “She’s Crafty.” The problem is that I always forget to take pictures of my projects. Since she made that comment, I’ve been trying to become more diligent about it. These are some slightly ill-fitting (though for $3.50, ill-fitting can be worked with) Goodwill  jeans I altered for her by sewing patchwork panels down the sides. This can also be done with corduroys, chinos, and what have you. Also, skirts. If anyone wants some, let me know. As I always tell Jenny, I enjoy being needed and sharing my crafty skillz, and I am fine with being paid in beer and/or Mexican food. (And so on.)

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Klutzy Update: I broke my face!

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Hey everyone! Sorry I have been missing in action for a while…I had a little scuffle with some concrete and some broken glass about a week ago, and I’ve been focused on letting my injuries* heal and not thinking about blogging. But I am back now, and I’m doing pretty well. I look a lot better than I feel at this point. More regular posts to come! Peace and love…Megs

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*This is where the cute doctor glued my face back together since I waited too long to get stitches.

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