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dooley's Blog

Rain, rain and more rain

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:59 am

Remember back around August when I was wishing it would rain. Well, I take back all of those wishes. We have had more rain during October and November than I remember ever having when we lived in Arizona. I know the difference. In Arizona everything was brown. Here everything is green and soggy.
This week, it rained 5 out of the 7 days. Not a gentle rain that soaks into the ground though. Nope, it's a steady down pour that stands in puddles and makes everything soggy and muddy. Our road is dirt and it gets slippery muddy when it rains a lot. I slid around a corner today. I didn't go into the ditch because at that point there wasn't a ditch to slide into.
I guess the upside of the rain is that I got a lot of sewing done this week. I cut some more stuff out today so my tub of waiting projects is full again. Some of that will be Christmas presents. I still have quite a lot of that to get done. We didn't go to the farmer's market yesterday or today because of the rain but will go on Tuesday and Wednesday this week instead of Friday and Saturday. Or maybe we will go on Saturday. Depends on how much produce Rick has to sell.
One of the cloudy days this week we went to the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana. We've been having fruitcake from there over the years but had never been there. We had lunch there as we had a coupon from the Sunday paper. They do have a nice lunch. Just sandwich, soup and salad but it was good. We didn't buy a fruitcake. I can't eat it because it's too sugary. All that candied fruit just isn't in my diet. We did, however, go across the street to the Russell Stover candy factory and outlet store. Chocolate is on my diet. Isn't it on eveyone's diet? I had to get the sugar free kind and dr says it has to last until Christmas, sort of like an advent calendar. He got a box of bloopers that's much bigger than my box. I wonder if it will last him until Christmas. We bought a Whitman Sampler for his mom. It's in a tin box. I have been gathering things to send to her. I want to get her a sparkly Christmas ornament that she can pin on her window drapery. I send her one every year but I don't know if she saves them or not as she doesn't have much space. I think I will make her a tote bag that she can hang on her bed to keep small things in where she can reach them. Books or magazines maybe.
If you know of anyone who wants a little rain let me know and I will see about sending it their way.

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I've been keeping myself so busy!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:16 am

When we moved here to Texas I quit working and after a while I was bored and didn't have anything to do. There is a local farmer's market in town that is small and they were looking for people to come and sell yard sale stuff to make more bodies in hopes of attracting more attention. So, dr and I started taking stuff we found at yard sales and stuff that somehow got moved with us. After a little bit we decided we needed to sell something that had a little to do with food so dr started selling honey and barbecue sauce and I started making aprons and tote bags. The honey and barbecue sauce didn't do very well so he went back to the yard sale stuff.
I started making tote bags. I line them all and they could be reversed if people wanted the plain side on the outside. But, I generally use a print on the outside and a solid inside. After saying that I have to tell you that I've made three or four with the plain side out. Men would rather have a plain bag but don't mind a plaid or innocuous print inside. I make them in all sizes from 12"x12" to really big 18"x18". Our neighbor had me make him one that was 24"x24"x12". It's huge. It has padded over the shoulder straps. He takes it to the warehouse store and fills it with the things he buys so he only has one bag to carry. He enjoys the look on the clerks faces when he hauls out his bag. Until last week he has always been able to handle it. But, last week the stuff ended up really heavy. He said he bet he had over 100 lbs in that bag and he was glad the man who filled it accompanied him to his truck or he would never have gotten it out of the shopping cart. When he got home he used his two wheel dolly to haul it out of the truck and into the house. I asked if he didn't think about unloading some of it and he said, "No, because he had me make the bag so he wouldn't have to make more than one trip to the house with his stuff." We enjoyed a good laugh about it and he laughed along with us. I like making people happy.
I started making regular half aprons and kitchen bib aprons. They are of lightweight material and some have pockets and some don't. Then one of the farmers wanted an apron with one big pocket to pick his peas and okra. And with a little imput here and there one developed with velcro at the bottom so they can empty it easily at the end of the rows. It will hold enough to fill a five gallon bucket. I had to recall them last week. One of them was saying it worked really well but when it rained and things were wet the water soaked through the back and make his jeans wet. So, I bought some vinyl tablecloths at the thrift store and recalled the aprons and lined the back with the vinyl and that fixed the problem. I still have a couple floating around but haven't seen the guys to tell them to bring them back for fixing.
Then, a friend and I decided that if the men had a farm apron then the ladies needed a garden apron. So, with a little discussion I came up with a bib apron with three pockets in the middle for gardening tools, gloves, etc. There is a big pocket at the bottom that buttons. It holds what the lady picks from her yard or garden be it produce, flowers, herbs, etc. Then, up at the top there is two pockets sewn one on top of the other for kleenex, cell phones or notebook. Whatever the lady needs outside with her. Add in barbecue aprons with big pockets to hold sauces, tools and spices and kids play aprons and I have a rather long list of things to sell. Now, they've begun asking if I have anything for the holidays. I did have two and sold one of them today. So, I can see that this week I will be working on aprons and totes with a Christmas theme. I also need to make some more of the ladies garden aprons and I only have about a dozen totes left. We're working on getting the paperwork done to make it a proper business with all the legal stuff involved. That should be set up by the end of the year. It will be called "Pea Pickin' Aprons."
We are getting business cards made and some labels to sew in the seam that says "Pea Pickin' Aprons", Madisonville, Texas.
What started out as a way to help attract customers has evolved into something much more involved. Now, people come and look and we discuss what they want and what sort of material I have. I can tell them the colors and they let me choose the prints. If they don't like it, I can hang it in the stand and try again but so far I haven't had to do that.
I'm making aprons and tote bags for family Christmas presents and I've sent Texas tote bags to all of my sisters.
Last week, I only sewed four tote bags because I just had to do some work in the yard and the house needed a bit of clean up. We went grocery shopping a couple of different days.
I guess I am not bored and looking for something to do now. I find it a bit difficult to find time to get everything done. dr says, "You are retired. Do it at your pace. Don't rush it!" I do like sewing and creating new styles. It should do rather well between now and Christmas if I can keep up the amount of stuff in the stand.
The farmer was going to close after Christmas but says on nice sunny Fridays and Saturdays we can set up but he doesn't want to sit out in below freezing weather. I can't see doing that myself but on a sunny warm day, why not?

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