Monday, October 25, 2010

Channeling June Cleaver

There hasn't been a lot of sun in Southern California, for a long time. We usually get a nice hot summer where the ocean gets warm, you can surf till dark in just your bathing suit, and then fall comes, the kids go back to school, and then the weather gets really good, and there is still plenty of time for fun outside till dark. Well, it's almost November and I'm beginning to think maybe California is the new Oregon? The good news about rainy, cloudy weather, it provides more time for sleeping, eating comfort food made in a yellow bowl.... or adventures in the sewing room. Last week, Barbara Billingsley died. She was more famously known as June Cleaver of "Leave it to Beaver". She was Ward's wife, Wally and Beaver's mom. An American Icon.

June was a great mom. Never got too made, was always polite, didn't use foul language, made nutritious meals for her family, wore an apron, wore pearls. I'm beginning to think that just wearing an apron and pearls can make housecleaning a lot more enjoyable and dinners more delicious and healthy. Uh oh, there goes the mind of Catherine...

Anyway, last week it was raining, again.... it way my day off, and I was trying to think of something I could make for a friend who's birthday was in September... Her day happened while I was busy off seeing America and as a firm believer in the Birthday Season... which means gifts up to six months after or even more are great.... Just bring on the Birthday Booty, or in this case give. Anyway, I like to give things from the heart and was waiting for inspiration. Well, rain, a tired body, and lack of surf provided it. That and June Cleaver on the brain. I'll make an apron!
Like I said, I like to give things from the heart. If I can use things from a past garage sale, thrift store, or other fabric store finds, all the better. I sat in my comfy chair and envisioned what was in some of my scrap and salvage boxes. I made this apron with all things I had in some of my many nooks and crannies of the sewing room. The body of the apron is a tablecloth from the 60's that was stained and had a few wear holes. The stains and holes were covered with heart appliques I made using wunder-under other and bits of fabric that I liked. The pocket is a sweet old napkin, rick rack embellishments were left over from another project, the ties and the front belt are two different ginghams that I had in other scrap boxes. I was quite impressed with the end result. So much so, I just had to go put on my pearls and channel a little June Cleaver.All from a rainy day that caused those creative juices to start flowing.... For the love of a friend who will finally get her dream kitchen... All the while I'm stitching, I'm thinking she's gonna feel the love in the stitches and that the meals she prepares while she wears it are gonna be that much better and the dishes she cleans are gonna be that much cleaner. All from an apron!

Next time you start thinking you have to throw something away because it's got a stain on it, or somethings not perfect so you get rid of it, sit back for a second and see if there's something else you could make from it. Or someone else could make something with it. One woman's trash could end up a sewing room treasure.

Thank you June Cleaver. For my love of aprons. My love of pearls. For the countless hours of entertainment you provided when I was sick and got to stay home from school and watch television. With no remote control. In black and white.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Of Visualization, Travel, and Athletics....

I've often told my kids and my patient's, "it all starts with a thought, you've got to visualize it first". Today's blog is dedicated to the Wright Brothers. I went many places on round two of "All Gone to Look for America" and had originally thought I'd just blog every day during the adventure. Life had it's way with me so now it's a week later I'm home, and I'll just blog about each spot as I feel led. So keep posted if you want to hear about Kentucky, Ohio, The Outer Banks of North Carolina, Coastal Virginia, or New Jersey. For now I'll start with Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.See that monument if the rear of this photo? Well that's the point at which the Wright Brothers had their first flight. All something like 3 or 30 seconds. Each flight got longer and longer. Started on hill, now we think nothing of jetting across the country or flying to the moon. I'm not good on dates and numbers, only general ideas, and I am overwhelmed at times to think of how these two brothers figured out the basics of flying, the time and energy and brilliance it took, and where flight has ended up in roughly a hundred years. I mean, all my far away adventures happen because of flight, so I'm just gonna say Thank You Wright Brothers!I was pleased to see that the brothers also required a bit of sewing in their quest for flight. Good strong sewing machine helped make it all happen. Not to mention math,physics and all that other stuff we occasionally think of as kids that we don't need in school.... Which brings to mind why I'm even writing now. As I stood up by the monument, after going though the museum and walking in the National Park, I could envision those boys and all their friends and the people who made it possible, up high on that hill, arms outstretched, thinking like they were birds. I really enjoyed the afternoon at the museum and learning new stuff.

We got home, I went back to work and went back to the business of my regular life, trying to fit exercise into a busy work schedule, laundry, the dog,etc. One day last week, I was in Elia's yoga class. I was so happy to be stretching and moving and doing all those good things. Part of the series of postures or "asanas" moves from Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III) to Dekasana (Airplane). I know that part of yoga is attempting to just breath and clear your mind of everything before and after class, but I'm still a baby yoganini and so I have to visualize what I want this big gyrl body of mine to do, otherwise, I'll never do it. I love the warrior postures in that I just feel strong and graceful when I practice them, in a way that the only other time I feel as strong and graceful is when I'm surfing well or coasting down a big hill on my bike with my hair blowing behind me. So on this particular day, I'm breathing and concentrating, and suddenly, I am back on the hill at Kitty Hawk. The wind is blowing, my face and heart uplifted, my warrior is stronger and my airplane wings are just a little bit stronger. I'm back on adventure in North Carolina, for just a moment. When it happened again on Friday afternoon in another class, I thought, "I guess I better blog."Around the memorial is inscribed "conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith". I'd like to add a little bit of imagination helped. At any rate, if you make it to the east coast, have a stop by Kitty Hawk and the museum. I don't have any food places to recommend for the area, just a great memorial. Until the next time.....