I know…I have been delinquent. But there are reasons. Three primary reasons.
1. With the work on the heater, it has been too dusty to keep the computer on it’s customary, distress-painted, black desk. And so it’s been floating about the house. And I feel disoriented. And so I haven’t blogged.
2. I have developed some bad varicose veins just behind and below my knee. This means that sitting for long moments can be painful, as bending my knee is not good for them. These veins have been my nemesis this pregnancy. I am now feeling so good! I am energetic. I am inspired! But then my 34 year old veins decide I’m too old to be pregnant (or something), and they give me problems. I never had this before…even while carrying twins. So yes, I gave in and bought some compression thigh highs. Anyone who knows me well, knows the depth of my dislike for any sort of nylon stockings. And so, needing to wear these things for 4-5 months, every day, is enough to make me crawl the walls. Crazier than normal. Unhappy, in an understatement. And yet, I love my baby…more and more…and I will wear compression stockings and smile. I did order some with open toes, so then at least I will have my toes back!
3. Our fantastic camera is dying the death. Either that, or we need new batteries. We really didn’t think it was the batteries, so we were in despair. We do not want to lose this slice of our life in photos, especially with building the Masonry Heater! And every spare and not spare cent is going into the heater, so no new camera coming up. We decided to order good batteries and just make sure that is not the problem. So pray. Because although this is not an iphone, and it is not a jazzy, complicated camera, it takes very good pictures. And we love it dearly.
So there are my main three reasons that I have been sadly lacking in blogging power. There are more…
1. I have been sewing. Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not enjoy sewing. But I was having a hard time finding winter maternity wear that I liked and was in my price range. So I ordered some fabric, more was given to me, and I settled in for an entire new wardrobe. A month or two later, I have it. I am very, very happy. Comfort. Not heffalumpy. Kind of pretty. I love this wardrobe! And the cool thing is, at least the dress part I can turn into skirts for next winter. For you seamstresses out there, here is what I did.
I cut the sleeves off of t-shirts that had nice, small neck holes. Then I cut the lower half off the t-shirts. I used some of those lower halves to lengthen sleeves on short sleeved maternity blouses. The skirt part I made two different ways:
A. I started out with a normal skirt pattern. I cut it taller than for a normal skirt. I put darts in until it fit onto the t-shirt top I had ready. But at the waist, I added a half circle of stretchy fabric. This gives me a nice, large bubble of fabric that on most of the dress things, will last through the 9th month.
B. I cut a normal skirt, only more narrow because for this one, I didn’t add darts.. The back I cut taller, to come up to the t-shirt I had cut short. The front I cut to stop below my tummy. I took a large rectangle of stretchy fabric and gathered it on all four sides to fit into the tummy space of the dress.
I liked both ways. There are pros and cons for each. This, by the way, once you have your pattern down, takes very little time. The darts gave me some fits, but otherwise, very simple.
For my maternity blouses, I made several with a pattern my sister gave me. Most of them I sewed into peasant blouses. I made the sleeves long enough to keep me warm this winter. I made all but one blouse and one skirt out of warm, stretchy, comfy fabric. So there are the details for any curious seamstresses.
This all sounds simple. Laugh. Because it wasn’t. There was an enormous amount of trial and error. An enormous amount of groaning. And by the end…I admit…some words would escape that should not be heard around here. My very last blouse went together like a dream. My very last skirt didn’t. But in the end, with enough tweaking and fixing, I love this wardrobe. So that, I suppose, is what counts.
AND I AM DONE! FINISHED!!!!
This morning I got up. I felt very happy. I felt as though several tons of bricks had fallen from my aching back. I fixed some clothes for the twins. I copied a pattern, as I may be sewing a summer blouse wardrobe come spring. (Do NOT mention that to me, though!) And then, officially done, I cleaned my purple room and put it back together.
Notice the small computer station, with even a little ledge to slightly elevate my feet.
2. I have been doing apples. At $10/bushel, how can one go wrong? I ordered three bushels. And now I want to say those other words at the sight of them. I am weary of doing apples every day! But at the same time, I am very grateful for them. Our favorite apple product (besides apple crisp), is apple chips, so I keep the dehydrator running. It’s small, so it takes about a dozen apples every day. I’ve also been doing applesauce to keep up with the ripening ones. I still have about a 3/4 box to go.
I made the cake for the mom’s night out party with my vbac group. It is mostly made of eggs, (8 of them), almond meal, and honey. We had such a lovely evening! I took the twins with me, and they thought a pj party was awesome. We all sat around, talked about babies and birth stories, and did jamberry nails. These ladies are lovely. I am grateful for new friends!
3. The Masonry Heater Saga Continues.
I’ll be honest, I’ve had moments of temptation to hate the guts of the heater. But I just can’t. We are so excited about it! It’s one of our dreams to build our own heater, and it’s coming true! The down sides? It takes nearly every minute of Craig’s time. He comes home from work, eats, and hits the heater. Saturdays are big heater days. I am not used to this! My husband spends time with his wife and children! He sits down, and we talk…we go on walks…he helps me with dishes…he helps me train the kids in the evenings…he plays ball with Bomani. But all that is up to me right now. And I’m squeaking under it. But lest I overstate my case, he does still help me with some of that! The other thing is, it’s taking money to build it. A fraction of the cost of buying one. But still–money. So we scrimp and we save, and I buy bits of food at the supermarket.
Ahhh. Sometimes it just feels good to complain.
But! Let me catch you up in pictures on the heater saga!
So, not only did the mud floor crack, but the twins had a heyday on it one evening while I was sewing and Craig was occupied outside. They danced around on the still damp mud, and scratched gleefully with their little fingers. But Craig repaired it, and it’s now a super, solid floor.
Here he was working on sizing and counting to know how many firebrick to buy.
Firebrick! These high quality bricks you need to use for the firebox and oven part of the heater. This was a pre-run outside.
And now the real building begins!!!
The exact precision that is necessary for this part of the heater blows my mind. If Craig were not such a super careful, expert builder… But he is!
The above picture is going to be the floor of our oven, where we will bake. The groove is made for a metal air intake pipe, which Craig is welding and creating out of scraps. Have I mentioned that he is amazing?
And that is the…okay. I forget the name for it. But this is opposite the fire box door, where air will circulate out into the rest of the heater.
If anyone has burning curiosity, call Craig. He knows what he’s doing. I’m learning as he goes.
And yes…I still have kids.
She is playing basketball.
They are fishing.