Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I took a walk Tuesday

After days of rain, Monday was cold, dry and sunny, so I put on my sneakers, earmuffs and back pack, and hiked down to JoAnne's and the dollar store .  Along the way, I savored some of the sights in my neighborhood.  This sturdy old maple is well established. So much so that it has started its own fern nursery in the moss on its branches.  Ah, the verdantWillamette valley!

I noticed geese feeding on the same grass plot day after day.  I think the go there because it has so many slugs.  The slugs thrive on the abundant goose poop. (sings)n"It's the circle of liiiiiife!"

Leafless branches against a sky so blue is not a common sight around here.  White clouds, gray clouds an clouds as black as a bruise are more to be expected in late February.  Or fog.  Or rain.  You will also notice that the tree trunk is tightly twined with English Ivy,  Around here, Ivy qualifies as a noxious weed.  English Ivy and Himalayian Blackberries have divided the world between them. Ivy gets the shade and blackberries take the sun.  Colonial nations invading a new land and dispossessing the natives.  It happens all the way from plant life up to and including international politics.  American democracy is considered a noxious weed in Egypt.
Here's another invasive little thug.  They should all be so pretty!  One of the treats of living in an older neighborhood is the well-established gardens.  This place has a fig tree, an apple tree and a pear tree along the street.  This is the house that had the geese drunk on fermented apples.  The violets have spread out from the rockery, crossed the sidewalk, and are invading the parking strip.  Go Violets!

Today, Wednesday, the weatherman predicts snow in the hills around the city.  I had planned to go to my writer's group at the community college, but the college IS at the top of a hill.  Dunno if I want to chance it.  I HATE snow with a sullen, unwavering hate, and would rather not drive in it if I can at all avoid it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012



Before you freak out, I am not going to be offended in any way if you don't participate. I've been tagged a few times and not responded.  I just thought I'd try to ask funny questions.

The Rules Are:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag eleven bloggers, however, you can break the rules and tag fewer people if you want. Make sure you hyperlink their names/blogs.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!
6. Have fun! 

Questions Curmudgeon asked.
1. Why is your favorite color your favorite?
Yellow looks like sunshine, and sunshine makes me happy.

2. Do you prefer dogs or cats or do you just hate animals, and want to kill baby seals?
I am a cat person.  Dogs are great pets.  Cats are people.

3. How much time do you spend on the computer?
4 to 5 hours a day.  I'm retired!

4. Not including porn, what do you do on the computer?
Pffft!  I write my books and check in with my blog buddies and keep up with the e-mail.  And I follow Girl Genius.

5. Are you a clock watcher?  Bonus question: Other than me, who would ask such a question?
Any prospective employer is likely to ask that question.  I'm not a clock watcher.  I've got one built in.  Unless I'mreally in the creative zone when time become irrelevant.

6. What do you look for in a partner? Don't say sense of humor, It only lasts while you're dating. 
I need a partner who is cheerful in the morning.  My first husband threatened to smack me with a rolled-up newspaper because I was so damn chipper in the morning.  The husband I have now,while not a morning person, none-the-less manages to be pleasant before 8:30 AM.  I adore him!

7. What type of clothing do you prefer? Grunge, conservative, flamboyant, none, Village People, or however you want to answer. I personally like to dress like Flash Gordon.
I tend to be a dramatic dresser.  Everything you put on says something about you.  I like my clothes to say, "Here I AM!"

8. What is your favorite type of music? Don't give me that "I like all music." crap.
I like soft jazz and bluegrass.  Rap is not music, though I concede that it is poetry.  Heavy metal kinks my nerves.

9. Do you believe in the paranormal, Ghosts, ESP, levitation, spoon bending? No Zombies! How many fingers am I holding up?
Paranormal?  Yes.  Ghosts?  Yes.  ESP? Hell yes.  Levitation?  In my wildest dreams.  Spoon bending? I've been doing that in the garbage disposal for years.

10. The most important question: Do you have a inie or outie belly button? Like those are words.
Before I was pregnant, it was an inie.  This is one of those changes they don't warn you about.

11. What kind of car do you drive. Just to avoid embarrassment I drive a 93 ford F150. If you drive a Mercedes or something don't answer, or lie, because the rest of us will hate you. 
I drive a 2001 Ford Taurus.  Before that, I drove a Honda Civic for twelve years.  I just HATE car shopping!

OK, now I come up with questions and tag people.

1.Hot buttered toast or a Danish?

2. Those little tubs of jelly they offer at Denny's - what's your favorite?

3.What modern convenience would you most hate to lose?

4.What do you want for your birthday?

5.What is Kierkegaard's view on transubstantiation?

6.Given enough whiskey, would you eat haggis?

7. Maracas or tambourine?

8.  Superheros - who would you want for a roommate?

9. Why?

10.Favorite author?  (After me, of course.)

11.Where were you born?

I'm not going to tag anyone.  Go ahead an answer any questions that strike you in the comments.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and just lie there, savoring my warm, comfortable bed, listening to DH breathing beside me, and counting my blessings with joy. As soon as my feet hit the floor I'll be almost 62, but while I  drift between dreams and reality, I am in my prime - old enough to know better, and still strong enough to do it anyway. In that cozy semi-consciousness, my best ideas come out to play.

Last night, I dreamed about a cake.  It was pink and hat-shaped and made with strawberry jam.  I woke and began planning.  I'm going to make a pink hat cake for my birthday piece-a-palooza.  I am no master baker by any means, but this, I think I can do! I have fabulous home-made strawberry jam from Sully's.  I'm going to walk down to Joanne's and get some fondant sheets today and see if I can create fondant flowers.  Gotta have flowers on my hat.  If the fondant doesn't give the desired results, well, there are completely organic violets popping up in the back lawn, so I can always fall back on Mother Nature.

How to get everything down to the Milwaukie Center for the party?  I have half a dozen big, strong market baskets made in Ghana.  They area bit bigger on the inside than they look on the outside, and they are so well balanced that you can carry more than you are strong enough to lift.  I'll start packing baskets today.  Cups and saucers, teapot and cozy, Sugarbowl and creamer.  Paper plates. Ooooh, I'll stop at the dollarstore and see if they have pretty pink paper plates and napkins.  And maybe I'll wear my pink sequin tiara!  This is going to be so much fun!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

fun times

DH and I went to another home and garden show today.  He had been scheduled to work all weekend long, but luckily, they didn't need him after all, so we got to go play.  And what we found, much to our surprise, was that Toyota was paying us to test drive their new cars.  Yes, you enter your name and e-mail address, but for $10 each, hey, they can send me all the data they want.  And I can ignore and delete it over and over and over . . .

But to my great surprise, I really enjoyed driving the Prius.  It was very responsive, the cabin was surprisingly comfortable, and the back-up camera was too cool for school.  We didn't get to try the automatic parallel park, but if it lives up to expectations, Rock my world!  DH drove the SUV and liked it alright, but actually preferred the Prius. In a couple of years or so, when our current vehicles become more trouble than they're worth, we could very well be buyingToyota.

And after the test drive, they gave us VISA cards with $10 on them.  Wheeee!  Then we stopped and answered questions from a survey group, and got $5 Starbuck cards each.  So we wound up earning money at the show.

Lots of fun things to look at.  DH bought a jar of jalapeño stuffed olives.  I didn't see anything that I couldn't live without, (except of course, the man I came in with.)

Lunch at Kornblatts - oh how I love their matzoh ball soup!  A quick stop at Lush where I bought a mango bath melt.  And then, on the way home, an estate sale!  They had some pretty china teacups, but I was being strong until DH talked to the sellers and made a deal to get 16 cups and saucers with 16 stands, for $50.  Looks like I have begun celebrating my birthday a week early!  Wah Hoo!

He explained that the cups were to help me bribe folks to come to my piece-a-palooza.  Everyone gets to choose a cup to take away with her.  Isn't he a wonderful guy?

I'm getting excited about the piece-a-palooza, even if I don't have a lot of people coming.  We will sew "quick and dirty" pieced comforter tops for  Medical Team International. We will eat pizza, drink tea and coffee, eat cake and laugh lots.  And I just realized that, since it's essential to figure in a "fudge factor" when making quick and dirty quilts, obviously I'll need to provide fudge for the sewers as well.  And a fruit plate, and a tray of crunches . . .

SO, if you're free on Saturday the 3rd between 10 and 3, come on down!  You don't even need to know how to run a sewing machine.  We will need people to pin strips together, people to decide which fabrics are dark and which are light, and especially, people to help me celebrate my birthday. It's at the Milwaukie Center on Rusk Road right off the Milwaukie Expressway.  And if you help with the quilt tops, you can take home a china cup and saucer! Such a deal!  How could you stay away?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Now here's a hat that I can be proud of.  Dave's hand-spun, hand-dyed, kermit-green hat.  With a ruffle.
High style posing with no makeup what-so-ever.  But it's a cute hat.
DH has been enjoying a glass of red wine every night for his heart.  His last bottle was a souvenir of a trip to Puerto Rico.
 It's a full-bodied, slightly spicy variety with a suprising bite in the finish.  All gone now.
While he enjoys his glass of wine, I savor a carton of yogurt out of the freezer.  Then Fly helps me clean up. He shoves his face in clear to the eyebrows.  Oh, we do knowhow to party in this house!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Your input in regards to the hat really rings true.  Too busy.  Too, too much going on at once.  A three-ring-circus on a merry-go-round with a paint-ball tourney in the foreground.  I will bear this in mind in future.  And sometimes, it's good for the hubris to create something so ugly that people laugh at it.  Thanks, Sophane!

Here is something much more comprehensible and calm.  A quiet sunrise. Early riser's bonus.

Monday, February 20, 2012

significant fail

Trying to use up the ends of skeins, sometimes the color and pattern doesn't work out the way you hope. the multi-color goes with the orange and with the brown.  The orange and brown go together beautifully.  But somehow, the orange, multi-color and brown are not playing nicely together.  So, my artistic friends, who can analyze why this didn't work?

By the way, notice the cute little lifted edge on the brim?

Here's a close - up.  this is what you get if you have knitted several rounds, discover that you had a twist in the work, then just twist it right and carry on.  A twist in the knitting is not a mandatory visit to the frog pond.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Who knows first aid?

TW hosted Knitting this month.  We celebrated "Butter Week" which is the Russian equivalent of Carnival. We had tea cakes (of course) and pate' and dark rye bread with butter and honey and Russian Caravan tea and deviled eggs with smoked turkey in them and then TW cooked us buckwheat blinis with cherry jelly.  So much for the diet!

We ran out of coffee, so TW  dashed downstairs to find more and in her hurry, stumbled and tore her thumbnail loose.  Pat, bless her heart, is a scout leader and so was elected to do the first aid since all scout leaders know and practice first aid all the time, right?  She graciously formed a bandage from part of a napkin and neatly tied the thumbnail back in place.  TW took some painkillers, and the party continued.  We bussed the table and did the dishes and put the food away for TW, so she will likely finding things in all the wrong places for days, but it beats having to wash the skillet with a  wounded thumb.  As usual, we laughed and talked and sang and had a grand time.  Sue is going to preach a sermon on the seven deadly sins.  Lynn, Jenny, Maggie and I burst into, "The Seven Deadly Virtues" from Camelot and did a surprisingly delightful a capella impromptu job.  We even remembered all the words!

Toward the end of the party we were discussing memorable weddings.  Sue remembers one where the groom worked at a funeral parlor, and most of the ushers worked there as well.  The best man passed out from heat and/or hangover, and the groomsmen all lifted him up to shoulder height as if her were in a coffin and carried him out of the church.  That makes for a memorable wedding.  Outdoor weddings are attended by sound effects (Flatulent cows and chatty horses) uninvited visitors (yellow jackets invading the reception buffet, a crop-duster working the field next door, neighbors' dogs and kids.) I remember when DH's brother got married in Las Vegas.  Of course they process wedding through just as fast as they can, so you arrive on time and wait while the folks before you finish up.  The chapel they had chosen had several halls which were all busy, so you could check out the other weddings while you were waiting for yours.   Picture the groom, a tall, handsome african american man, in a chrome yellow suit with a white shirt, a purple tie, a white fedora, and chrome yellow anaconda skin shoes.  The brides maids wore show purple satin cocktail dresses that looked spry-painted on, and from the back, the three of them looked like a bunch of purple helium balloons.  They carried purple and yellow bouquets and all had two-inch long yellow fingernails.  The bride wore a short white gown with a deep neckline exposing gallons of coffee-colored bosom that surged and rippled like a vat of pudding every time she moved.  Her nails were purple, and her eye-shadow was yellow.  Oh, and her shoes - yellow anaconda, just like the groom's, only with four inch heels.  One does not forget  a show like that.  I felt quite colorless in contrast.

So what might be your most memorable wedding?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Searching for distractions

I need to get started pulling the paper together for our taxes.  I really do.  I have cleaned the litter boxes, swept and mopped, run a load of dishes, and two loads of laundry.  I'm running out of excuses.  Whimper.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

knitting HAS been happening

 Another bamboo scarf, with a border of crochet this time.  don';t know why the color came out  like this.  It's much bluer in real life.  these little scarves are so quick and easy to turn out and so soft, warm and versatile.  It works around the neck, or as a head scarf.  These are like potato chips for me.
Then I used up some of the last of the gifted brown and orange yarn to make a little hat for Med Team Intl.  I did most of this while waiting for appointments.  Taking the cat to the vet, taking the cellphone to the apple store, taking the laptop to the apple store.  You spend a lot of time waiting for people to be ready to help you, and I wait so much better with something to knit.  IfI weren't knitting, I'd have to get out my nunchucks and put a lot of people out of my misery.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

thumbs up

I never think to do before and after photos until it's too late.  But then, I so rarely expect "after" to be so different from "before."  Today, I hired Lisa Nowak, Young Adult writer, independent publisher, and gardener to come over and prune my rosebushes. I have a black thumb, and my husband's favorite garden tool is the flame thrower, so the roses have sort of gone feral. Well Lisa whipped them back into shape and taught them a lesson they will not soon forget.  She even moved one that was starting to lie down to get into the sunlight. Then, after dealing with the four that I had in mind, she took me around front and got to work on a climbing old rose that has been growing through the chain link fence for so long that one big cane has completely enveloped a section of wire.  This whole pruning thing is magic to me.  She eyes the rose bush, then goes for it scientifically, whacking off pounds of canes, branches and twigs.  I know that the bushes wil be happier, but I'm always afraid I'll cut the wrong things, or cut too deep and kill the poor plant.  I know, rationally,that roses are hard to kill, especially in this climate, but as soon as I get those clippers in my hand, my heart fails me.

Lisa filled two yard debris cans with chopped up rose canes, and left another can's worth of Japanese quince suckers and dead daphne bushes for me to load up for next garbage day.  She even let me help espalier another rose against the front fence.  I got to put a rosebush in bondage.  It's gonna be gorgeous when it blooms!

There is a great deal of pleasure to be had in watching a competent professional go about a job.  There is even more pleasure to be had when that professional is a friend with whom you share many interests. And if you need to pay to get a thing done right, isn't wonderful to be able to give the money to someone you like?  all in all, a most satisfactory morning!

Monday, February 13, 2012

over shoulder boulder holders

I got fitted for a new bra today.  In my youth, I  was - oh heck - who besides me gives a rip how lovely I was 30 years ago?  Let's just say that fat and gravity have had their wicked way with me and I need a lot more structure now.  And, as most women realize, going into a department store lingerie department and trying to find brassieres that might actually be what you think might possibly be the correct size is an exercise in frustration and futility.  A 36D is not the same shape and size in any two styles.  One flaps loosely around the ribcage and the next inhibits breathing.  Another has cups that would hold you and two BigMacs, the next leaves you overflowing top, bottom and both sides.  You want to get it to fit close enough to the ribs to stay in place, while not squeezing up those armpit rolls and back boobs. You want the cups large enough so that the front of the bra doesn't become a tiny trampoline, stretched across the chasm, but not so big that they wrinkle. So I bit the bullet and went to a fitter.  At least she knew her stock and I didn't have to re-dress every time I needed to find something else to try.  Instead I stood half nekkid in the chilly dressing room and tried not to study the ruins of my body in the mirror, while she bustled around her shop, finding possibilities and fielding questions from her junior staff.

One thingI have had to resign myself to - the bigger the bras, the less likely they are to be pretty.  White, nude or black, with minimal decoration.  If I was still a frisky little b-cup I could go with patterns and pretty colors and matching little panties.  I could look for lace and embellishments and whimsical trimmings.  The less you actually need a bra, the more you have to choose from.  The more you need to raise the fallen, uplift the masses, and support the weary, the fewer options you have.

It ain't cheap, either!  I wound up with two comfortable bras and spent over $100.  This is clearly a wash -one-and-wear-the-other situation from now on in.  But I stand a bit straighter, and my shoulders will no longer have those gouges pressed into the flesh. What do truly buxom women do? Going commando throws my balance off as it is.  How do the braless Walmartians manage?  They sure don't make any sudden turns, I can tell you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

sticker shock

Took two cats to the vet today for checkup and distemper shots.  Paid the bill.  Brought the cats home and ate four chocolate chip cookies before I could get control of myself.  Why is comfort food so bad for you?  Why is pet care so expensive?  (This I can answer.  They have to pay the salaries of all those vet techs and receptionists and vets, and they have to pay the electric bills, and the insurance.  The medicine and syringes don't come free, and someone has to mop the floors - have you seen the price of mops lately?) Anyhow, I have been trying for a six weeks to lose weight, and I am down four pounds.  Whoop!  But I can't count on losing weight the week I host a knitting tea.  And then, there was the week we went to the Brazilian carnivore restaurant, and I pretty much reverted to my ancestral raptor persona.  -- I dunno how it is, but my life is just filled with feast days.  Why don't we celebrate with a nice bunch of carrots or a big glass of water?  Why does a sweet and milky cup of tea comfort so much better than a strong acrid black brew? Why is fat and sugar more celebratory than lettuce?

Now the kitties are feeling half crappy and it's all my fault.  They don't love me anymore at all today, even after I spent all that money on them.  And Friday I take old Candy in for yet another expensive appointment when she will be weighed and palpated and have her temperature taken again (How Rude!) and It will cost close to $100 before we even make the appointment for her surgery.  At least she is being good about taking her pills and antibiotics.  DH holds her on his lap and rubs her ear, and while she's blessed out, I shove the pill down her throat, and follow it with the squirt of the antibiotic.  Then her rubs her ear for another minute, and she forgets that she hates us all.

But we love the kitties, and we are responsible pet owners, so we fork over the $$ and get them their shots, even if they resent us bitterly.  I think God must have similar feelings about taking care of us stubborn, selfish, short-sighted humans.

Spring is on the way.  There are snowdrops in the front yard, the daffodils in the back are up a good six inches, and the Canada Geese are pairing up.  The big homogenous flocks are separating into couples, and the males are hissing at one another and sparring all over.  Love is in the air!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Thank God for friends

So on Saturday, I had breakfast with BF and PL and we talked about writing and motivation and why my story is stuck.  And a different perspective is exactly what I needed.  I had written myself into a corner, and they opened a door right behind me.  So I'm back to work on my paranormal romance.  Yee haa!

We have had unusually warm and sunny weather lately, and yesterday afternoon I put on a coat and hat, went out in the yard, and just sat in the sunshine, watching the wind in the trees, listening to the birds, and feeling the sun on my face.  It was wonderfully theraputic.  I felt happy and strong by the time my butt got too cold to sit out there any longer.

Yesterday I took pour old cat to the vet because she has another sinus  infection.  I keep telling the doctors that she has nasal polyps and they keep ignoring me.  This doctor heard me, agreed with me, and referred me to a clinic where they have the equipment for feline nasal surgery. Moreover, this doctor is one who talks to the animal, saying, "Oh, honey, I know you don't like that.  I'm so sorry.  Let's try it this way - real quick.  Oh baby, what dramatic sneezes!  You really are uncomfortable, aren't you?"  He is also the first vet to provide antihistamines to dry up the congestion and make her more comfortable.  We are doing big antibiotics, and she is feeling much better already.  Friday we go in for her pre-op visit.  Meanwhile, I am going to bake some chocolate chip cookies for Dr. Horton.  So nice to meet a vet who doesn't treat my babies like animals.

Today, I got myself to the doctor - time for my yearly dermatology exam.  My blood pressure is 114 /60.  I get a gold star on my chart for that.  I take only one prescription medication (prozac) and I'm allergic to only one medication (morphine makes me itch and hallucinate.)  The nurse practically kissed my cheek for being such a fit and healthy specimen.  And, for dermatology, they don't need to weigh you, so I got no scolding what-so-ever.  I left home at 7 and was home by 8.  In, out, everything looks good.

I am, however, developing sebaceous keratosis in my golden years.  It's benign -  kind of like raised liver spots.  As far as I can tell, you get to decide whether you want to live with dark spots on your face and hands, or with scars from having the spots scraped and fried off.  Decisions, decisions. As it happens, today I am wearing my knee-high boots, black tights, and a purple tunic because when you get  to my age, you don't especially give a shit what people think about how you look.  Since the spots are no where near big enough to frighten children, I think I'll continue not giving a shit.  Knee high boots give one a lot of attitude.

Now I'm off to recycle plastic bags, stop at fourbucks coffee shop for a chai latte, then go get my hair cut.  Lord how I love being retired!!

Hope you have a happy, busy day, too!

Monday, February 06, 2012

calling Billi-Jean

Dear Billi-Jean,

You wrote a wonderful comment about how much you have enjoyed Sanna and about the many lives my books have touched.  I want to persuade my publishers to bring out all the Sanna books as e-books in the near future.  If I can make a case for an eager market, I will have a better chance of getting my point across.  May I reproduce your comment?

And why are you not blogging yourself?  I would follow you in a hot minute if I knew how to find you.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Getting in touch with my inner recluse

I have not been getting out and about much.  Spending a lot of time with the sewing machine and the audio books.    Using up gifts and donations for the Medical Team International  I still have to tie this one, but it's the latest from my work bench.

And here's the back.  This is the technique/ design /plan I'm going to use for the Piece-a-palooza. You tear the fabric into 6inch strips, sew them end to end, to end, then cut the looooooong strip into pieces as long or as wide as the quilt you want to make, and sew them side by side by side.  The randomness dances gleefully through the work, and there's no way to do it wrong.
      As for the knitting, I have been taken with double knit.  Here's the sample swatch I did to figure out how she is done.  It's very important to keep the stranded yarns between the two sides of the fabric.  Being able to carry yarn in right and left hand makes it easier, but I'll never be able to do this while watching TV or chatting with someone.  It takes eyes, hands, and full attention.

This shows the other side as well Everything that is orange on one side is green on the other side, and the fabric connects where the colors change.  This would be great for wool potholders, tea cozies, or really thick hats.  A sweater out of double knit would be almost too heavy to wear.  The technique could be used rather handily to make a multi-pocketed tote, though - leaving the top sections of the work open.  Hmmmm.. .

Sorry for the oh so dark photos.  The cell phone isn't the best camera. (yeah - poor workman blames her tools.)

I did get out on an expedition yesterday,though.  A first time in my life sort of thing. My niece, who has children in their twenties, is getting married in December.  I have been out of touch with her for decades, and we recently re-established contact.  So she generously, lovingly invited me to join her on an expedition to find her wedding dress.  I have never been wedding dress shopping before, and I was thrilled!  Her half-sister came along as well,and we had a ball.  We pulled dresses here and there, then she came out and showed us - It was so much fun!  She would model one dress and we would say, "That's not bad." and make notes about the good and bad points.  Then she'd put on another, and another.  Then she stepped out and she was just glowing!  The dress was so flattering on her, and she even walked differently - like a princess!  She stepped up on the podium and tears came other eyes.  You just know when the dress is right.  Not only that, but she got a deal on it!  Woohoo!

The thing that surprised me, though, is that all - absolutely all of the wedding gowns are strapless.  You can buy a little jacket to go over your shoulders if you want, but your wedding gown will have no sleeves, collar or neckline if you buy it this year.  On the other hand, the silhouettes  are all over the map.  Ball gowns, hoop skirts, A-lines, mermaid, empire columns and, for the reception, trains that can be bustled up. Bustles, for cry-sakes!  Oh,and how many sequins, beads, artificial pearls and crystals gave their lives for those dresses?  Lace, ruched satin, feathers, chiffon, - there was one dress with enough tule to outfit a tribe of bee-keepers.  Anyone wearing that would look like the Barbie doll stuck into the top of the cake.  Just because I didn't see any, I started wanting cream-colored velvet with long sleeves, a draped neckline, and a simple straight skirt.  Maybe a satin belt at the waist.

And after you buy the gown, there's lingerie, (Gotta have a strapless bra and a long petticoat) and - accessories -  Oh, the accessories!  A tiara, a necklace, matching earrings and bracelet, gloves, and veil.  How long should the veil be?  How many layers?  What sort of edging?  Rhinestones, pearls, Spanish lace, swansdown? Tule ruffles?I had no idea!  Mom bought my first wedding gown when I was 18, though I didn't get married till I was in my mid 30s.  (And I was corseted into that sucker like Scarlet O'Hara.)  Then, when I married DH, I made my own hat, (Spray-painted a white hat pink, then sewed dark and light pink roses all around the crown.)The mother of the best man sewed my simple little raglan-sleeve pink silk dress with the elastic neckline. (I could weigh 300 lbs and still be able to get into my wedding dress!)  TLB made our cake (divine!) and we had the wedding and reception in our back yard.  It was SOOO nice, friendly, happy, celebratory!

So my niece has now to shop for lingerie, shoes, jewelry, and dresses for her four girls.  Four completely different body types and personalities.  We're thinking any style that suits the individual, and a unifying color.

But it was so wonderful to be an honored relative.  My eyes get damp just thinking about it.