At the lake, again.

And we’re back from another trip to the lake with Will and the kids. Because it’s July and it’s hot and the best solution to all that is to just head to the lake.

Betsy Beagle, an admitted non-water enthusiast, realized her wanting to be with her people outweighed her dislike of water.  And so not only did she dip her toes into the water, she joined us on a boat ride! I’m pretty sure she had no idea what she had signed up for, but she made the best of it.

Walker, age 4, feeling he had mastered water skiing, decided to give knee boarding a try and of course nailed it his first go round. Nailed it to the point of within a few feet of starting out, decided to try out tricks, like going one handed and cutting across the wake of the boat, as one does when you’re just starting out with a new skill. It was his attempt of doing what he so nonchalantly called “A 160-100” that caused him to wipe out though. You might say that one should know what the trick is called before attempting it, but when you’re 4, these things matter little. You just go for it.

For the record, it was a 360° he was attempting, but it will forever be known as the 160-100 with a shrug of the shoulders and a flick of the hand as one says it.

Our last morning, I woke up early one morning to the sound of Edie knocking on Will’s door across the hall. She had tried water skiing over the Fourth, but with the lake being so choppy, she couldn’t quite nail it. I knew she wanted to try it again, but I also knew my girl was not up for giving it a go with everyone on the boat. Since she was a baby, she has always preferred to work on new tricks in private, not unleashing them until she absolutely, positively knew she could nail it.  And so, when I heard her voice that morning,  I could hear the determination in it. I knew what she was up to and I was not wrong.

Which is why the only photos I have of her skiing are from Will’s phone.  Which is actually as it should be, because while photos and videos are nice, sometimes the best memories are the ones that have no documentation, because we’re too busy being in them to stop and capture them.

Although when a big old carp comes swimming up to the dock and you manage to hook it, it’s awfully nice to be able to show exactly how big that fish really was.

A flowery skirt.

Having successfully made myself a few A-line winter skirts with a pattern I’d drafted myself, I decided to pull out said pattern to use in in my efforts to refresh my summer wardrobe. I must have put the pattern in a very safe place though, because I couldn’t locate it. I spent two days going through all the piles and bins in my sewing nook to no avail. Realizing I was losing focus, I sucked it up and drafted a new one. Thankfully I found the notes I had made when making the first pattern, so I had those to go by.

Pattern drafted, I quickly got the skirt cut out and sewn together. I was a little too generous with wiggle room in the waist as well as the curve of the hips, as I’ve already had to take the skirt in once and mean to do so again. I need to go back and adjust the pattern as well, which  has already been labeled and placed in drawer where I keep all patterns for safe keeping.

The fabric came from a long ago tag sale – it still had the original stickers from the manufacturer. It’s completely synthetic, but lightweight – it feels like parachute silk to the hand. It has this interesting texture to it as well – I tried to capture it in a photo – be sure to click on the close up of the fabric to see it.

Now that I’ve gotten the hang of zippers (it only took close to 30 years of sewing!), I’ve started utilizing them more in things like skirts for a more tailored look. I’ve also realized how much quicker it is to whip up a skirt with a zipper and not elastic or a drawstring. I was in such a rush to finish this skirt that when I couldn’t find my interfacing to do the waistband lining, I texted a neighbor that sews. Thankfully while waiting for her reply, I found just enough to finish the skirt, as the idea of heading out to Joann’s at 4:30 on a weekday was just too much to bear.

The end result still needs a bit of adjusting on the fit, but it’s sort of the perfect Becky skirt – a little wild but incredibly comfortable.  It’s already become a go-to for throwing on in the morning with a T for early morning walks with the dog.


My friend Steve called me up a few weeks ago and asked if he could stay with us while in town for his upcoming college reunion.  But of course! Could he bring his college roommates too? It wasn’t the first time he’d brought total strangers to stay at our house, but giving me a heads up was thoughtful – and how could I say no? Continue reading

On the porch, in pots.

When people find out I’m a free lance writer, they tend to assume I write about food. So when they find out I mostly write about gardening, they then begin to assume that I’m some fabulous gardening guru and start asking me questions about their gardens or tell me they’d love to come see mine sometime, which leaves me in a bit of a stammer because my gardens are really not all that. For starters, I’m lazy. Secondly, my lot gets lots of shade, so there are any number of plants I would love to have that just simply, don’t do well in our yard, like roses. Continue reading