celebrating 45 years of "meh"

Stupid sewing tricks

For Christmas, my mom hooked me up with a Singer sewing machine. I asked for one because I am not paying gobs of money for throw pillows and window treatments and cushions. Problem is, I haven’t sewn in a LONG time, and they were Halloween costumes. Here’s a description of those costumes, along with a bonus #metoo moment that nobody even blinked about in 2003 but is awful to re-read now. The good/bad thing about sewing Halloween costumes is that they only need to stay together for 6 hours tops.

Based on recommendations from MetaFilter, I ordered this out of print book from Amazon (KIM PRIME!) to help me brush up on the basics that I forgot over the last fourteen years.

I bought some remnants from Jo-Ann Fabric, a good pair of fabric scissors, and some extra bobbins (that don’t work with my machine model). On Sunday, I went to the craft room and got down to brass tacks.

It took me 10 minutes to wind the bobbin. After that, I got down to brass tacks.

The first exercise was going through all of the stitches on the machine and changing stitch length and width (how zig-zaggy the needle goes) for each one. The result is kind of pretty!

The second exercise was to draw flowers on a piece of fabric and sew over top of the drawing. Flowers? Psht. I decided to create a work of art and embroider the term of endearment that WM and I use for each other.

(sic and with love)

If I get good at this I think my side hustle will be creating throw pillows with swear words appliqued to them.

Happy first birthday, Murphy!

Happy birthday, Murphy!

Murphy Maximus, 1 year old.

Although he came to us in April, Murphy was born on January 15, 2017 in Missouri. Judging from his disdain of the dark, he likely spent his first months in a dark cage. He didn’t sell, so a courageous rescuer snatched him up before his time ran out and brought him to Pottstown, PA. Nearby, a stupid couple in New Jersey searched Petfinder for a Cocker Spaniel pup to fit their sedentary, quiet lifestyle and to be a companion to their sedentary, quiet Ollie. Kismet!

He was nine pounds when we got him. Today he is 43.5 pounds. That puts him 2 pounds larger than Ollie, and 2 inches taller at the shoulder. He’s probably not finished growing yet. Obviously, he is not the Cocker Spaniel we were told we were getting. Murphy loves to drink cold coffee from our mugs. We have learned to put up our mugs when we are finished. He loves to snuffle Hershey’s Kisses out from the bag in the pantry. We moved the bag to a higher shelf. And that’s how it goes with Murphy – we are always struggling to stay one step ahead of him to keep him from killing himself.

His first day. He was so tiny!

Murphy’s Loves:

  • Ollie
  • WM and me
  • His crate
  • Kong toys and chew antlers
  • “Hunting” through the ivy in our back yard
  • Chewing
  • Human food
  • Watching me practice yoga

List of things Murphy has destroyed/damaged in his first year

  • Bathroom
  • Leather boot
  • Longaberger basket
  • 3 quilts
  • stairway trim
  • 3 teeny beanie babies
  • corner of end table
  • 2 dog beds
  • plastic pitcher
  • several rope bones
  • silicone dog water bowl
  • 2 charging cables
  • pencils, numerous
  • socks, numerous
  • Mom’s checkbook cover
  • rolls of paper towel, numerous
  • rolls of toilet paper, numerous
  • our lawn
  • back screen door
  • my office chair
  • seedlings torn out of backyard flower pots, numerous
  • nights of sleep, numerous
  • savings account

Reasons why I am happy we have Murphy:

  • He has such exuberant joy at every small thing. It’s infectious.
  • He is a staunch defender of our little home. No pedestrian, chipmunk, or leaf can pass by our front door without a bark of acknowledgment.
  • We have to move more to keep up with him, and to wear him out.
  • When he slows down, he is a world-class cuddler
  • And this gorgeous pile of shmoo that I get to cuddle with every night


In the spring, I’m going to get him a little agility set and teach him to jump on command. (This won’t work, but blogs/journals are all about intentions!) In the summer, I’m going to set up my classy pool (it’s a $10 pool from Target) and he’s going to have a blast.

Murffles, you’re a good boy. Happy birthday and we can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Our Adventureland bathroom

Once upon a time we had a lovely half-bathroom downstairs. And then we got a puppy! We decided that when we went to work we’d have him stay in the bathroom, because it was larger than a crate and he’d have room to run around.

It worked out really well … until one day it didn’t. Murphy started howling as soon as I’d put him in there. And while we were gone, he dug into the drywall and clawed into the door trim trying to get out. Something happened in that bathroom that upset him. We don’t know what, but the bathroom was no longer an option. It wasn’t healthy for the bathroom but much more importantly, it wasn’t healthy for Murph.

Puppies aren’t always easy but they are always worth it.

Turns out, Murphy is a crate-loving dog. We borrowed a larger crate for downstairs, filled it with a blanket and toys and Murphy happily trots inside every day when I get my coat. (Ollie, our best boy, is still free to roam the house.) He dozes in it on his own while we watch TV at night. I thought crate-loving dogs were a myth like the runner’s high or children who give to charities without parental prompting. I was wrong!

This left us with a happier pup but still a damaged bathroom. WM patched the drywall and filled in the gouged wood. We took the gate down. And then it was time to paint. Our house is decorated in a very subtle Disney theme. We have a lot of stuff hanging around from our various visits. Which is how we ended up with an Adventureland themed bathroom!

WM painted the walls with the leftover Whispering Wheat paint from the office. He painted the trim a deep green. I wasn’t 100% on board with that color at first but it really grew on me. We replaced the plain white blinds with a wooden shade. So far so good.

A wooden shade.

And then we went a little nuts. We found some attraction posters to frame. We bought bamboo shelves from Amazon (KIM PRIME!) and put some of our Magic Kingdom souvenirs on it.

AND THEN WE HUNG A FAKE PARROT FROM THE CEILING to pay homage to the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Most little birdies will fly away, but the Tiki Room birds are here every day!

There’s one more thing we’re waiting to do (we are waiting for the perfect thing on eBay) and then we’re done.

Make two things: we need a new door, an essential for a bathroom. Murphy locked it one day and WM needed to drill into it to get it open. (This was not the mysterious event.)

Puppies aren’t always easy, but they’re always worth it.

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