Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

• The dress for Emily is progressing at a snail's pace. Yesterday I had to buy another yard of silk because the bodice isn't working. So, I'll have to cut out new pieces and try again. I came up with a solution in the wee hours of the morning as to what I need to do this time. I had really hoped to have the dress mostly assembled by now and it's still in pieces all over the house. 

• We are finally going to rip out the carpet in the den and the hall! I'm so excited about getting this done. The plan is to put ceramic tile in the utility room, kitchen, den and hallway. I am beyond ecstatic over never having to clean that carpet again. Wish I could rip the carpet out of the entire house, but that's not in the budget. I have the name of a contractor, who does good work and is reasonably priced and plan to call him today to come out and measure. The goal is to get this done by mid-May before Sara comes home from school. The sooner the better as far as I'm concerned. Once I get him scheduled, I'm going to paint the hallway so that will be done before the new floor goes in. Yippee!

• And then there's work. But let's not go there...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Love You Daddy

I was in a meeting this morning about our website and in the course of adding a task to my calendar, realized that it is April 7. Forty-six years since my father died one Palm Sunday night as he played with my baby sister Julia. I've been thinking a lot about him lately due to my sister Jane's upcoming article (see post below) about how our mother raised us on her own. 

My memories of my father are few because I was so young. The most vivid are of hearing the sound he made right before he died and kneeling next to his bed as the priest administered the last rights. He is a presence in my life at unexpected times. I look in a mirror and see the echos of his face in mine. I look at a photo of Dad as a young boy and see my son. I can trace some of my personality traits to him. I wish they were the better ones, but I'm not sure they are. I do not handle money well. That's one trait I wish I had from my mother. My father was a charmer. People loved  him. I'm not sure I got the Chesnutt family charm. My brother did and my children have it, especially my son. 

There have been times in my life when my anger at my father for dying on us is overwhelming. And there are times still when the grief is as fresh as if it had just happened. In the early 60s in small town Texas, there were no grief counselors. We just dealt with it the best we could. It was strange sometimes, being the only child I knew, aside from my siblings, whose father had died. We were the only members of a club that we didn't want to join. I felt set apart, different. I did fine with my friends' moms, but would barely speak to their dads. Dads were alien territory. Even as an adult, I've had a problem even acknowledging Father's Day exists. The anger again.

But through it all, I have always loved him. And even though he was not able to be a physical presence in my life, he has been there always. Because I carry him in my heart with me. 

Needle and thread time

I am currently in the throes of sewing my daughter's graduation dress. School requirements are that the dress be 'xerox paper white' (no cream, ivory, etc), and have at least, 2 inch straps (no strapless). Long or tea length. Emily and I came up with a design that she loves and I am working to make it turn out the ways she wants. Since there were no patterns that remotely resemble what we want, I found a vintage pattern that I thought would work as a guide. So far, it's going well. I got the lining basted together and tried that on her last night for fit. I am going  to have to take it in in the back, but it's coming together. So, a few more snips with the scissors and I will be able to move on to the satin. We are using a satin fabric, dull side out, with silk georgette over it. I'll post photos as we progress.