Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Mother Fucking Lion King

I had planned on writing about some wonderful progress in my sewing life, I got a new sewing machine, my serger was fixed, and I just finished a beautiful coat for Operation Clothe Margie. That was what I was going to write about, until death and destruction hit.**

Every morning I wake up and take Velcro and Timmy outside. Before hitting the back door I glance out the mudroom window at my beautiful pond, grab the fish food and while Velcro does her morning ritual, I feed the fish. Today was no different. I bounded out of bed, very excited to start my day and before grabbing the koi pellets took my initial glance outside.


I jump through the door and before I can even take a close up look at what used to be my pond I am greeted by several bunches of grapes on the patio. What the hell went on here whilst I was sleeping? (I am currently reading Wuthering Heights). I turn the corner, stepping over the fallen bunches and am hit full on with my worst gardening nightmare.


Plants were EVERYWHERE! The pond was strewn with debris! The water itself looked like a bubbling vat of spa mud. Falling to my knees I wished for the best and started fishing out, no pun intended, my fallen plants, hoping to find some signs of life…

At this point tears are rolling down my face. I am trying hard not to look around me and just to focus on the pond, but it is so hard not to just drop my head into my lap and cry. Most of the plants were ruined. One was thrown, or dragged all the way to the shed. Our beautiful expensive lily had all of its pads shredded, or pulled out from the underwater planter. Several loose slate slabs that had previously flanked the pond, were now like sunken treasure at the bottom of the murky mess.

Please let my fish be okay. Please let my fish be okay. Please left my fish be okay.

I had scooped every bit of plant life left in the pond out. Alas. Nothing. Oh, but wait. Was that a flash of orange? Handsome Rob?

I get up from my praying stance and begin to assess the damage. Not far from my vantage point shiny flashes of scales, much like confetti dot the yard. I follow these trails, noting their color. That must be Ira. Oh, and here are Marie’s. Apparently when Raccoons go to the fish market, they like to take their purchases out of the store before they eat them.

Fins. Entrails. Scales. That is all that is left.

I am just devastated. Manny offers to come home and help clean up the mess. I can handle it on my own. The water is so murky, I have a hard time finding plants, most of which when I do find are torn to shreds. The pump has been disconnected. My rose bush has been trampled on. Several roses are crushed, or broken. Grape bunches have been pulled down. Apparently someone was going all out last night. Candle lit meal. A splash in the pool. Roses. Grapes.

I am a mess. And it only gets worse. I have salvaged what plants might make it, repotting what I can and I hear a cry I have only heard once before. Whipping my head around, Timmy is slinking off towards the bushes with what appears to be wet leaves in his mouth… no, but wait. Several birds are crying in distress above him, following his every move!


Covered in mucky pond, wet from head to toe I am chasing Timmy around the yard, baby bird in his mouth. Am I on a fucking African Safari? He doesn’t know what to do. This is his first bird. Please let it live!! By the time I catch him and when he finally drops it, I get a close up view of the young starling. It still had its downy feathers. White and grey and soft.

So there you have it. Mother Fucking Lion King. Circle of life. Fucking predator vs. prey. I buried the starling under the rosemary, choked out a little speech of “now you can give life again, becoming part of the soil.” I cleaned up the mess. The pump is re-attached. Plants back. I hope Handsome Rob did survive. I’ll never spend money on expensive Koi again, even if it is my birthday. I refilled the bird feeder. And just a moment ago I peered out the mud room window, hoping to catch a flash of orange, and a beautiful bird was bathing in the spout of the pond.

Nature has returned. I only wish my sanctuary would too.

**Side note, I just peered out my office window and caught a glimpse of my back fence neighbor without his shirt on…ewe. There are two kinds of men out there, the ones that take their shirts off, and the ones that don’t. I prefer the latter.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


My evil twin was in town last week, Madge. Some might call us doppelgangers, others, sisters separated at birth, but today I shall call her my evil twin. I don’t get to see her very often, but the few times a year she graces my homestead, we have a grand-ol-time.

This visit, as like many, she prodded me to make some clothes for her. And unlike other visits, money changed hands and I started sewing. The commissioned series I will call “Summer Fashion Madge 2007”. Summer Fashion Madge 2007 will consist of four pieces. A coat, a jacket, a fancy blouse with bow and a handy knit pullover (wrinkle resistant, of course).

Now, for those who know me, I sew many of my own clothes, which is easy, because I know my shape and size and I can just start cutting. When it come to other figures, and figures come in many shapes and sizes, it becomes a bit more difficult, so sewing from a pattern comes in handy, as patterns have already solved the fitting crisis for me. I have become savvy enough throughout my sewing life to figure out how to alter patterns to work for my taste, and so the last three pieces I am making for Summer Fashion Madge 2007 I am going to work from a pattern. However, the first I am not.

Two or three years ago I created a jacket inspired by my brothers six years serving in the US Army. When he returned from his fourth tour overseas he gave me one of his name tags, I set it aside and used it as the jumping off point for the jacket below.

Madge, whose family has strong military ties, immediately pushed me to make her a similar version. And so, the first piece for Summer Fashion Madge 2007 was an easy decision. Not having a pattern makes it a bit more difficult to re-create, but I think I can get close. I have a dress-form, which makes sizing a bit easier, and a few hours before her plane left I was able to get her into my studio for a quick fitting.

Thus is the progress so far:

Unfortunately, as I was rocking out to the new Interpol yesterday and serging the inside sleeve to remove excess fabric and create a smoother line my serger plum stopped working. Did it not enjoy this indie New York foursome? I don’t get it. So I was making great headway… and BLAM, a wrench was thrown in the works. I am hoping it will be an inexpensive fix, cuz I am itching to continue!!!

So until it is up an running again I shall make some more flower arrangements (look how much this one rocks!!!!) You should smell it too. Chocolate cosmos, pungent roses, bright California poppies and fuchsia… who could go wrong???

Does anyone know of a cheap deal on a serger?