Monday, August 24, 2009

It's amazing what you can finish

When there are no teenagers hanging around your house, you can do all sorts of things.

Like wipe a kitchen counter and it stays wiped.
Like see your laundry room floor for the first time in years.
Like get rid of that odd unidentifiable smell coming from the one bedroom.
Like sit in your living room without the TV on.

But mostly, you just miss them...and their crumbs and puddles and their dirty wash and their unique odors and the sound of them laughing at Sponge Bob.

So, over the weekend I wallowed in self-pity for a while, then got up off my butt to sort, clean, and trash things. Then I got down to the serious business of an empty-nester with books to read and things to stitch!

Stitching is up first: I finished Indigo Rose's Bee Charmer. I completed the stitching Friday night, then put it together as a biscornu on Sunday. I was going to finish it as a mattress pincushion, but this came as a kit and there wasn't enough fabric to make the mattress sides. And after looking at it closely, the design was really made to work as a biscornu. If I had finished it as a square, the design would have looked wrong. If you are familiar with this project, you'll notice that I left off the tassels. I didn't like them. Too fussy. So I'm happy with this!

Sunday I finished a book that I'd put aside for a while, The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. The beginning was a bit slow - I just couldn't understand the main character's attraction to this painter...but then history comes into play and the book picks up speed. I really enjoyed it.

Also, when I drove John to Allegheny Thursday, I started an audiobook, Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Now, it's categorized as a children's book, but let me tell you, I thought it was wonderful. It's not very long - 7 hours long - I was captivated every minute. If I had kids that were 8 or 9 or thereabouts, I'd absolutely read this aloud to them. Gaiman is an excellent narrator, so if you're not into reading aloud, you could listen along with your kids, but I think that being the reader would be just as much fun as being the listener.

And now I'll close with pictures of my New College Girl.
Her Dorm, and her room is on the third floor:
Herself, humoring her parents:


  1. Your biscornu is so pretty, I love the colours. I'm with you on the tassels.

  2. Great finish! Love that bee button.

  3. Hey, i remember what a clean & tidy house was, that was before my middle daughter came home from uni, now it's a distant memory, lol so make the most of it!!

    Love you biscornu finish :-)

  4. Gosh, Lee, you've turned that 'sad' energy into some positive ones. I admire you for getting all those things done! We're not quite there with the empty nester thing but getting there...

    I loved the Graveyard Book too and I was surprised to find the author such a great reader. I have also listened to his Stardust too.

    Your daughter looks very a very mature way.

  5. Cute biscornu! I agree about the tassels too.

    Hey...that place looks familiar :)

  6. Oh, Lee, anytime you want me to call you at midnight or text you at 1 am, count me in. Oh and my laundry is on its way to you now and I'll expect some home cooking to come with it when you mail my clothes back! :-) Just messing with you. I'm sure that it is hard. You know my answer though.

    Love the biscornu! It does fit this piece very well. The bee is perfect for the piece too!

    I am going now to see if that book on tape is available through my library. Logan (nephew, almost 9!) is coming this weekend and we try and find non-tv/video game things to do. One of our favorite activities is to go without electricity; lights, tv, etc but we do use flash lights and air conditioning! We eat by candle light, play games by candle light, etc. We started it a couple of years ago as an Earth day challenge and he's loved it ever since. Darn it! Its checked out and both are past due! The other idea I have is to check out a book on stars and take him out to the lake at night. Have to see what the weather is like first. Thanks for the idea!

  7. I like the biscornu - you will remember it marks the beginning of a new life, in a house which stays clean (I can get so fed up with tidying and cleaning young people's mess... but I know I shall miss them like you do !)... I bet you are also very proud of them making their way into life in such a successful manner.
    Save teh Graveyard's Book for when you are a Gran... ;-)

  8. Love the finish, that charm is so cute! Your daughter's dorm looks very nice. I am down to two teenagers now and as my little girl is only a freshman, I have some time until the empty nest happens. I am not looking forward to that. Keep your chin up.

  9. Love the biscornu! It is so sweet.

    I love Sarah Dunant... just finished her latest book. I think "The Birth of Venus" was my favorite. I will have to look into the other book, I've heard good things about it. I just finished listening to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Angel's Game" and omg, it was incredible!

  10. In one way I look forward to that empty nest that I will one day experience and in other ways I dread it will all my heart.

    Your Biscornu looks simply gorgeous! Great work and your college girl looks beautiful!

  11. I am still in awe at how clean my empty-nest home stays, Lee! Can one son at home really make such a mess?

    Colleen's dorm looks beautiful--hope she's loving her freshman year!

  12. Goodness Lee,
    I peek at your posts now and again and I have been reading about your daughter going off to college.I think of my son who is only 12 but growing up and becoming independant so fast.I've been thinking lately how hard it is to let them grow and in a sense,let them go.I think they grow while our backs are turned don't you? I know you will have sad days but just look at what your daughter has become! How beautiful she is!How proud you must be! Love the biscornu by the way.

  13. Great biscornu!

    I just finished reading The Graveyard Book and actually got teary-eyed at the end!

  14. Hear hear about emptynesters! We spend 20+ frantic years with kids underfoot hanging out for the day when they are gone and then several decades more wishing they would come home more often.