The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

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The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


woman wearing clown costume weaves a chair seat

Yes, I fixed my dining room chairs. But, only two of them. Because my hands are withered and sore after doing these two, and I used enough fabric to circle the globe….twice. I swear.

This one turned out to look a lot like my college dorm room. I had a peach comforter and I used light green floral to accent everything. Gag. Some of the fabric is at least twenty years old and came from the now extinct TG&Y. All this chair is missing is a duck with a bow around its neck stenciled along the arm.

I did this one second and thought about the colors a bit more before starting. Unfortunately, I ended with that gingham print which ends up being the dominant pattern. I do like this one more, but lets just say this was an experiment.

All the knots that tie the fabric strips together are on the bottom. That was the hardest part, retying the fabric so the knots wouldn’t be on the top or sides.

I still need to tuck in a few on this chair, but my hands are too mangled at the moment.

Not a bad fix for a while. When and if and when and if and when I can spend some extra cash on the actual cane, I think I’ll re-do them. Or I’ll wait another 25 years until these fall apart and then I’ll sell them as vintage antiques. Har har.

Now, let’s talk about what I was wearing while doing this little project.


-it was snowing
-it was a Saturday
-I have a very meager and pathetic wardrobe
-I wanted to feel vintage, like the fabric I was using…


Brace yourself.

Yes, this is me. In capri pajama pants OVER, mind you I said, OVER a pair of long johns. Add some striped grey and pink wool socks and top it off with an ancient LA Gear sweat shirt that my elderly neighbor found in her house and thought one of my kids would like it. Please don’t tell her it’s one of my favorite things….she really thought my kids would like it.

Ellen helped me. The weaving is easy, the keeping the fabric tight is hard….on the hands.

I thought this chair would be a pretty blue and brown and white. I had gobs and gobs of fabric and thought I’d finish the chair with those colors.

Uh, nope. I had to break into the peaches and pinks and greens before I finally had enough fabric to finish the darn thing. That is why I have a lot less fabric stored in my fabric box.

You could do this with really cheap polyester sheets. I know this, because I also used some really cheap polyester sheets in the project. The longer the fabric the better so there are less knots to tie.

Can you see why my back is sore? I found the direction on how to weave the seat with fiber rush on line (that’s what was originally on the chairs) and I decided I could probably do it with fabric just as well. So I did.

The End

Guess what I did?

Wanna guess what I did yesterday?

Here’s some clues…

1. My hands are aching.

2. My back is sore.

3. It was snowing, raining and really cold outside yesterday. (That’s for all you crazy people that are going to guess I was gardening).

4. It has something to do with repairing something that was broken.

5. I spent no money.

6. Think about the room that I talk about the most in my home.

7. I have a lot less of something stored in a box….a lot less.

8. My hands, did I mention how sore they are?

9. Calico Corner, TG&Y, Wal-Bart, Gibsons and JoAnns all played a part in my activity.

10. Who grew up with a TG&Y store? We called it Toys, Guns and Yo-Yos.

Do you know? Huh? Can you guess?

Pictures and the full story at ten.

Dear Mom, I’m sorry.

Dear Mom,

I’d like to apologize to you for making you live with me from the ages of eleven to twenty.

I’d like to say I’m sorry for all the times you were explaining the ways of the universe to me, but I couldn’t understand anything you were saying because I was too busy rolling my eyes to the back of my head and sighing very loudly.

I totally understand why you sat down at the piano and banged out gospel songs after you would send Rechelle and me to bed and vacuumed the house at five o’clock in the morning. It was your way of irritating us while avoiding beating us to death.

I’m sorry you didn’t have a blog to escape to.

I’m sorry I thought you were stupid for making me do all those useless tasks like; clean my room, do laundry, help make dinner and spend time at home. It was so hard for me to do those things when I was walking around with my eyes rolled back in my head, I hope you understand, because I can see quite clearly now….especially since I got glasses.

Remember all those times you said, “I hope you have a kid that is just like you, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about?!”

I totally understand.

I also want to thank you for teaching me the fine art of embarrassment. Remember all the times you sang and danced in the car to songs you didn’t know? Remember how you would get out your Mary Kay lipstick in the compact case with the three shades and apply it with that little retractable brush while looking the in the rear view mirror? Ugh, that was so embarrassing, and yet, brilliant. Remember yelling at us down the stairs in the basement to move the car because we parked it in the wrong spot on the driveway and when you finally poked your head through the door ranting and raving we were filming a spoof for the Johnny Carson show with a few of our friends? Oh, wait….that was Dad, never mind. But, wow, that was really humiliating, thanks Dad, I’ll keep that one on the back burner.

Again, sorry you didn’t have access to a blog.

I also want to retroactively ask your permission to wear all your clothes and your pearl necklace that I broke. Also, I won’t get ticked when I see you likewise raid my closet and show up at school wearing my choir dress that no fewer than twelve other girls own and have no doubt that you are wearing the choir dress….to school… front of everyone….my choir dress… public……dear God, that was a priceless moment, I don’t think I can top that one. Nor was I able to convince the entire school that you were NOT MY MOTHER.

I’m sorry for the times that I didn’t claim you as my mom.

I’m sorry for not thanking you for all the time you spent driving me to dance classes. That is, until you discovered Rhonda Jarrett and her VW Bug and basically turned all parenting responsibilities over to Rhonda, the perfect older girl in the neighborhood that was able to protectively herd Rechelle and me through junior high and the first two years of high school. Thank God for Rhonda.

I am in serious need of a Rhonda and her VW Bug right now and also, could I get a male version of Rhonda for the boys?

Mom, I want you to know that at some point in my twenties you became a very smart woman with great ideas. I hope I can live long enough to become a smart woman with great ideas, it appears that I’ll be teetering in that dancing in the car phase for many, many years to come. I fear I’ll become so proficient at embarrassing the kids that it will become my normal to sing in an opera voice to all the songs on the radio and shake my shoulders while holding the steering wheel………wait……is it normal to do those things when the kids aren’t in the car? I think I have a problem.

Mom! What am I going to do?! When am I going to be normal?

My kids are too spread out for me to have a break between wanting to bash their faces into their smelly laundry and looking at them with love and admiration for MOVING OUT OF MY HOUSE! I am always going to have someone in emotional upheaval, hormonal egress and behavioral malfunction.

Mom, please feel sorry for me.

I really am sorry for having been a teenager and putting you through hell. Now, will you please come get all your grandchildren……wait, leave them here, come get me and take me home with you? Please, rescue me from these kids! They are driving me CRAZY!!!

I love you the most.

Your Favorite Daughter,