I have the bestest mother ever.
A few days ago, I called her to tell her something, what it was now, I can’t remember. Early onset senility, doncha know. Anyhow, she told me she had packed up the stocking she took home with her (who takes a stocking home anyhow?!), as well as a few other things in a care package for me.
I didn’t think much of it. To my recollection, my mom’s sent very few, if any, care packages. That’s not to say she doesn’t care about me; she does! She just rarely thinks to pack up a box of stuff to send off to me. She is really good about buying things for the girls, especially when I ask for something specific. And she loves to cut out clippings from The Washington Post, little articles she thinks Kurt or I might enjoy.
I also wasn’t expecting much because we just got done with Christmas. My parents had gotten me some nifty gifts — my dad’s hand-me-down lens and a fabulous new cookbook from my mom — plus they’d just traveled all that way to be with us for the holiday.
But you know, my mom hit it out of the park with this care package.
I opened it up, and the first thing that fell out was a microfleece nightie. I dug further, and out came some really nice pinking shears and a pair of razor-sharp dressmaker’s shears. And that’s when my jaw dropped to the floor.
She had noticed I need some quality sewing equipment. She and I had gone shopping one day while she was visiting, and I had found this awesome pair of brown slacks. Being the midget that I am, they had to be shortened, and my mom offered quite graciously to blind-hem them for me. Straight hemming I can do; blind-hemming, not so much. She also had a skirt that she had brought with her so I could help her decide how short to hem it, so we spent one evening sewing together.
Just call us frontier women. Next thing you know, we’ll be wearing hoops under our skirts and saying, “gracious!”
But it was such a pain to try to cut down my pants in preparation for hemming. My pinking shears kept getting jammed, and my mom was amazed that I didn’t have any dressmaker’s shears either. I don’t do a whole lot of sewing, you see, so to invest a lot of money in something that won’t get used very often didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. When I started my own sewing kit, I opted for cheap pinking shears from Walmart, which are now hopelessly dull. But now! Now I have super sharp shears, which will make sewing so much easier. And more fun to boot!
The nightie, though… the nightie is the pièce de résistance! While we were in the midst of our evening of sewing, I brought out this old, ratty nightgown of mine to see if she could help me fix the hole in the armpit. It gets a bit drafty, you see, with a hole in the armpit. The thing is, I actually got the nightgown from my mom. I’m sure she bought the dang thing in the 1980s, if not the 70s, and it’s this dark blue flannel plaid. But I love it so much! It’s got buttons at the cuffs, which makes it so that I don’t get my hands wet when I go to wash them (my arms are abysmally short), and it goes all the way to my ankles, and there are pockets. Pockets, I say! Plus it has a matching bathrobe, which hasn’t seen nearly the wear that the nightie has.
When I brought out the nightie to see if my mom could fix it, she burst out into that tinkling laughter she’s got. (For real, people, my mom tinkles when she laughs. It’s this beautiful sound, almost like windchimes ringing. I can’t explain it; I just love it.) She was amazed that I was still wearing that ratty old thing, almost older than I am, and that it was in such terrible disrepair.
So when she got home, she hied herself off to Penney’s and bought me a nice microfleece nightie to replace that sad, old ratty thing. Tonight, just after dinner, I could hear my new nightie call my name. It’s been chilly in the house lately, and I was shivering a tiny bit.
I am shivering no longer, that is for sure! I am toasty warm in my new nightie, and it’s the softest thing I have felt in a good long time. It’s even warmer than my new Snuggie! (Shhh, don’t tell my husband.) Sure, I look like an 80-year-old grandma in this long nightgown, complete with smocking down the front and tiny white bows adoring the placket. Boy, am I toasty warm, though! Besides, Kurt says I look cute, and that’s the only opinion that matters.
In other fantastic news, my husband made a snack tonight that was to die for. Really! We were flicking around the channels and landed on “Good Eats,” one of our favorite shows, and Alton Brown was describing how he lost 50 pounds by eating the right kinds of foods. (Um, Alton Brown did not have 50 pounds to lose, in my humble opinion. The poor guy is looking downright gaunt now, and older than his mere 47 years.) During the show, he made these sardine toasts that made Kurt’s mouth water. So off Kurt went to the kitchen, where he found a can of sardines and started marinating them in their oil, plus some sherry vinegar (yes, I have sherry vinegar on hand — doesn’t everyone?), lemon zest, and parsley. He made broiled toasts from my homemade hearth bread and topped them with mashed avocado and the marinated sardines. The final garnish was a wee bit of coarse sea salt.
Folks, I have never had sardines before, always being rather afraid to try them, but these were goooooood. So good that I wish we had more sardines! But alas, I will content myself with the small serving I had tonight. At least until I head to the commissary to stock up on more sardines, that is!