Thursday, August 19, 2010

Having said all that...

Of course, there's other stuff goin' on too.

After givin' us a good scare a few weeks ago, mom seems to be doin' fine now. While I was off for the extra two weeks when I would otherwise have been drivin' to San Saba I spent a lot of time with her. I went to Sam's for her once or twice and took her to the commissary on base, where she shops once a month. My job there is to lift and haul all her heavy loads, crates of water and such, back to the house. She and dad used to do this, and when she was stronger, she'd do it all herself. I've begged her to let me go along with her, and this time, because of her weakened condition, she finally did.

I tell you what, that woman can shop! I feel like I'm 10 years old again when I'm followin' after her with that second cart. She'd see something on a shelf and say "OK, I need three off those. OK, give me ten of those." Eventually I started asking "Really?" It was amazing. Jezus, is she feeding an army? And no, to answer your question, it's not me. She's not feeding me. Not much anyway. She just stocks up for the month.

In case you're wondering, those two carts ended up amounting to $325.00 worth of groceries. Plus a $10 tip to the little Korean lady who bagged everything and loaded it all in the car.

I tried to keep all of my job drama from mom during the week, so as not to worry her. But she could feel it in my voice. I denied anything was wrong for a long time, but she finally worked it out of me.

She finally asked me if I'd been laid off, and I told her I had, to spare having to lay out the grizzly details. Of course, she was very supportive, and told me that she'd help me out with money if I needed it. But that's the last thing I want to do. I told her I'd be fine. The folks on Ft. Hood have assigned me enough classes that I'll be OK. I'll never let this shit take me down to the point where I need mom to bail me out. I know how to do this part-time crap, and everything will be fine.

Also, bein' off gave me the time to begin a project that I'd promised a friend I'd complete a long time ago. My buddy John Hoenow, who works as a guard at San Saba and has a liquor store there in town, asked me a good while ago to make him a leather possibles bag for hunting. He'd seen the leather case I'd made for my recurve bow and asked me if I had any leather left.

I told him that I had a bunch of the stuff layin' around, and sure, I'd make him a bag. But that was last year some time. He probably figured I'd blown it off a long time ago, but I actually started to try to figure out how I wanted to make it a long time ago. I was just afraid to start, for fear It'd turn out cheesy.

Feeling bad about all the procrastination, I finally got the leather out and started to look it over before this last road trip. I took the leather and stuff on the road, thinkin' I'd have some time here and there to get the project started.

Sheeeeit. NOT! But then, after coming home, I found myself sittin' here at the house over the last two weeks, stayin' up late at night, unable to sleep from all the shit that was unraveling in front of me, worryin' about the future. It was really therapeutic to be able to forget about all that for a time and concentrate on something else.

Like I said, I started thinking about how I was gonna put it together a long time ago, going over lots of different design ideas in my head and worrying about whether or not my skills would be enough to build the bag I knew I wanted John to have.

When John asked me to build it I'd gotten excited, but at the same time I was nervous as hell. I wanted to make sure the bag would stand up in comparison to real, antique hide bags.

Bottom line, I wanted to make a real possibles bag that he could use on his black powder hunting trips. One that would be strong and sturdy enough to last. I'd never built a bag like that before and I was afraid, from the ones I'd seen, that I didn't have the materials or skills to get it done. So I procrastinated, thinking about it and putting it off.

Once I got on with it though, it came together amazingly fast. It was just a process of figuring out what part of the thick hide I wanted to use for the body of the bag. Then, as I cut and turned the pieces, the rest of it sort of came together in my head. I found the long pieces that would be sewn onto the body to make the sides and straps, and then I started to figure out how I was gonna decorate it.

I knew I wanted to have some fringe on it, and I wanted to sew some beads into it too, but I also didn't want to tart it up too much. The last thing I wanted was for the bag to evolve slowly into something that looked like a purse.

So, I experimented with some fringe on the flap, and was really happy with that. Then I put some on the straps, thinking I'd eventually bead those sections. But after looking at it for a few days I decided that I didn't like that stuff. It was too much. So I took those off and started to think about the bead work.

Now, let me tell you, it's been a LONG time since I did a lot of bead work, and my eyes are NOT what they used to be. But with a head lamp and some good reading glasses, it's surprising how easy it is to get that nylon thread through the hole in that itty bitty needle.

Lots of ideas for beading the bag are still runnin' through my head, but the one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to do some kind of monogram. I started out slowly, but then in time the old skills started to come back to me and I was really happy with the way it turned out.

I'm still workin' on it. I took off some of the fringe on the front and am in the process of resewing it on the other fringe with some bead work to decorate it. I've also got some cool ideas for the strap. I'll show pictures of the final product when I get it done.

And the last thing, I've got two tickets to see Gordon Lightfoot tonight in Grand Prairie. Denise and I were gonna go, but a friend of hers out at work suffered a brain aneurysm and died the other day. She wants to go to his service tonight. I told her I'd blow off the gig and go with her, but she said "No, you go. Ask Glenn if he wants to go with you." I did, and he does, so we're good to go. We're gonna go to lunch after I get out of my lunch time classes and then when he gets out of school tonight we'll head out. It'll be fun.

So, everything is getting back to some sort of normal, despite the recent unpleasantness. Life goes on, and I'm determined to have a good time at it. So keep comin' by. There'll be awesome food shots and all the same old shit on display, I promise.

Oh yea, we started a new pool season last night and I won. All is well. Cheers!


Sarge Charlie said...

you have my best wishes and prayers for your mother my friend.

*Goddess* said...

Hey, those are some nice, neat stitches. Now about these pants I have that need hemmed....

Gordon Lightfoot?! Have you ever heard the Christmas medley ALL set to the music "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"? OMG, and it WORKS! BTW, have you ever heard the "condensed" version of "Wreck" from Tim Hawkins? Hilarious.

FHB said...

Sarge - Thanks man. And my best wishes to you and yours.

Goddess - What can I say. I've got skills. And no on both of those, but I'll look them up.

Mushy said...

Mom's like yours...still shopping and driving to have her car serviced...the whole gamete of things she's always done. I suppose it's good for them...I'm pretty sure our mom's well tell us when they're ready to throw in the towel.

Good looking bad 'bout "man purses"?

FHB said...

Mushy - Yea, she's doin' her own thing, and I'm happy as I can bee to see it. But I can't tell her anything, or she'd be havin' that operation this week! I just live in fear of getting the call some day that she's fallen and broken a hip.

And yea, I can set you up with a "man purse", if you feel like sashayin' over in that direction. I'll take orders. Just know that with 9 classes goin' now, it'll be a while before you see it.

dick said...

You'll drove all the freaking way to Grand Prarie just to hear that spare sing that godawful Edmund Fitzgerald song?


Oh, and the key word I had to type in to post this was "milf".

FHB said...

Dick - Yep, and we ended up missing half the friggin' gig. Story to come, at some point. But it was fun.