January 11: Tell Me a Story

Discussion in 'MOC 2021 Challenges' started by bestcee, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. zinzilah

    zinzilah One step at a time

    Sep 30, 2011
    682 words
    People who knew me were surprised to hear that we've got the cat. I was a dog
    person forever, I was in fact looking for a dog for Mila who wanted to get a dog,
    but then I saw her, tiny thing with milky blue eyes and an antenna tail stuck up
    in the air with dignity and challenge. My heart went pitter-patter & I had warm
    feeling in my tummy, and I wanted to take her home and sped the rest of our
    lives together. But we were looking for a dog. Mila & I were going through the
    adverts in local search sites, exchanging the photos of the dogs from the local
    kennels looking for home. So I came across an advert in the paper with pics of
    the cutest gray kittens for sale, found the woman who bred them, looked her up
    on FB and saw the pics of the freshest litter. The little girl cat Favilla born first
    in the litter of four was just the cutest, I showed her photo to everyone at home,
    and everybody went Aawww, she is so cute. After a short discussion with Mila, I
    called Evgeniya from Russian Emerald to find if we could get her. We were told
    that the kittens of this litter were all spoken for, & we'd have to wait till the new
    ones are born, but a few days later the lady called to ask if we were ready to take
    the kitten from this litter, as somebody on the waiting list lost their job due to
    the unforeseen circumstances (covid, lockdown) & backed out of the agreement.
    I said yes before I spoke to anyone I think, & was thrilled to find out it was the
    very kitten I saw first, Favilla. She shares birthday with my best friend Pauline
    which makes her even more special if that were possible. We visited her in July
    and August, and brought her home September 6th, when she was ca. 3 months
    old. She is the smartest cat I have ever seen, she comes to dinner when I ring a
    bell, sits by the door and meows when she wants to go for a walk. I put a leash
    on her and she reminds me to give her a treat, and waits by my shoes until I am
    ready.. Favilla, or as I call her Waffle, is very companionable, warm & friendly.
    She would follow you everywhere, even bathroom, and occasionally sit on your
    shoulder or head. Waffle knows who feeds her, too, so I get extra snuggles after
    she has eaten. Unless of course her favourite Mila baby, our lil' lady is sitting on
    a sofa with a blanket on her. Favilla loves Mila. She waits for her to come home
    from school, she would jump off my knee as Mila walks up the stairs, and sit up
    looking expectantly at the door.
    When I potter around the house, Waffle is with me, attacking the mop, inspect-
    ing the sink, sleeping on top of the laundry pile, or sitting on the fresh linen
    observing the world. And when I am in the kitchen, she is sitting on her little
    napkin on the wooden board next to the cooker, When I sit down with my
    laptop, she'd gracefully jump onto my knee, walk on the keyboard, and settle
    on my lap, sometimes tucking herself into the available space, but recently she
    would turn around pressing her back into my tummy and push the laptop with
    all four feet. She knows she will get away with it, anything for my girl. Today
    we went for a walk, washed the floors, and dusted, and now as I scrap, Waffle
    is lying on my lap asleep very sweetly. I can not imagine my life without her
    any more, neither do I want to. I am grateful for every day I wake up and know,
    there is a sweet kitten waiting for me, for the affection and friendship she offers
    to us, she is one good thing that happened to us in 2020.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  2. CathQuillScrap

    CathQuillScrap I'm just using my indoor voice

    Sep 28, 2019
    Journaling is 805 words - story is in gallery
  3. Electra

    Electra Junk collector or treasure seeker? You decide

    Apr 19, 2015
    Well, this was a tough one. I did NOT want to do this. But I did. 587 words
    bestcee likes this.
  4. tammybean004

    tammybean004 Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2015
    Journaling in the gallery credits:
  5. mary kate

    mary kate Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    I loved this challenge! 735 words, journaling with credits in gallery.

  6. Annsofie

    Annsofie Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2017
    657 Swedish words, 731 English words
  7. cla

    cla Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2014
    :circlesThanks for making me journal - 949 words!
  8. BevG

    BevG If I can't remember it, it didn't happen

    Dec 26, 2015
  9. Smwhite

    Smwhite Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2013
    Wow.... it's been a while since I've journaled this much! It's 543 words long!
    A Morning at Oak Glen web.jpg
    Here's the story:

    Riley’s farm is our go to place for apples in our area. It holds many family memories for us. We first went to Riley's when our kids were small, they loved to come and pick apples... it was a visit to the country for them.
    The town of Oak Glen is about two and a half hours from our home, so it was an all day trip when we would go for a visit. Riley's has several orchards, and they have a large barn where they serve wonderful BBQ and baked goods featuring apples, what else! When we would go we indulged in not only the BBQ. Tom loves their pies. We usually come home with one of their huge 5 pound apple pies and several hand sized pies as well.
    They also had hay rides the kids loved riding in the horse drawn hay wagon. Another activity we enjoyed was going to their cider house and pressing our own gallon of cider. Between the six of us no one was overly tired operating the press. Going to Riley’s Farm was an annual visit for our family.
    One year the adult fellowship we belong to at our church arranged for us to come with our families on a Sunday morning and we had a time of worship in one of the orchards. We all brought lawn chairs and sat among the apple trees and had a wonderful time. It was so peaceful there and it made such a good memory for us all!
    Riley’s Farm also hosts a number of historical events throughout the year. They host Revolutionary and Civil war re-enactments several times a year that are open to the public. In addition they also offer field trip programs for school children highlighting the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Gold Rush, and Colonial Farm Life.
    Another time, we attended a “Christmas in the Colonies” Dinner held in the Hawkshead Tavern at Riley’s Farm. Hawkshead is an 1800’s colonial style tavern and at the holidays they have a Virginia style Christmas holiday meal that they serve. The evening begins with drinks on the lawn along with tomahawk throwing, colonial style shuffleboard and a bowling game.When dinner is served it’s inside the tavern on long tables and is served family style. The menu included: Sally Lunn (bread), Corn Pudding, Corn Chowder, Jefferson Chartreuse, Cider Baked Ham, Mt. Vernon Pie, Maple Pecan Bread Pudding. The staff is dressed in period costumes and their conversation with guests reflects the period as well. During dinner a small band played, with two fiddlers and someone playing a tin whistle. They played christmas carols and a few period tunes. After dinner there was a demonstration of colonial dances which we all joined in and singing christmas carols. It was a lovely evening we enjoyed… a different kind of dinner out!
    The pictures here are from our most recent trip to Riley’s Farm. We drove out to pick up a 5 lb. apple pie and some hand pies to bring home. Unfortunately, the Farm was not open as they reduced operations due to Covid restrictions. So we looked around the farm, stopped to take a few pictures and went to a local restaurant in Oak Glen to purchase hand pies to take home.
  10. Coady

    Coady Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2017
    Thanks for the challenge! 610 words.

    Smileark likes this.
  11. angiekey

    angiekey Permanent residence in the gutter

    Dec 27, 2014

    Word count: 1,059. I had so many photos to go along with this story that were important to me to include, but I wanted to make sure I met your requirements of >50% of the page dedicated to journaling, so I decided to pair it up with the challenge for Day 6 and together, they make a 2-page spread that records the whole, sordid story. ;)


    I’m not sure if I want to chalk this up to sheer hubris, or biting off more than I could chew, or simply getting ahead of myself. Maybe a combination of all three. But it’s an excellent example of learning lots of lessons, one right after the other, while refusing to stay knocked down, and ultimately finding a way to make a win out of what would otherwise have been a major loss. So it’s a story both worth telling, and worth recording.

    I’d tackled a couple of the ByAnnie patterns by the time I spotted the debut of their Divide and Conquer travel bag. The moment I saw the Intro video on YouTube, I was in love, and I just knew it was the solution to my laptop bag woes. You see, I use an oversized 17” workstation for my photography and digital art. It’s really tough to find cases and bags in that size, and when you do, the selection is slim and none of them are cute. Of course the solution would be to make my own, and this pattern was the answer!

    I took my measurements and confirmed it would be a perfect fit, ordered the pattern, and when it arrived and I read the instructions, I was so intimidated, I stuck it in a drawer and said “someday when I’m a better sewist.” I wanted to get a couple more projects under my belt before I tackled this monster of a project.
    Someday finally came in the fall of 2020. Why not? We’re stuck at home for this pandemic, we had our first airline trip in over a year coming up, and my new Bernina sewing machine had all the horsepower I needed to tackle this project. So I gathered my supplies, ordered my fabric, and got to work.

    My first lesson learned - don’t order panel fabric for a ByAnnie bag unless you really, really know what you’re doing. I’ve never worked with panel-style fabric before. I didn’t realize the design would be rotated 90-degrees. It runs from selvedge to selvedge. That meant if I followed the cutting layout in the pattern, the design would run the wrong direction on my bag.

    My second lesson learned - If you order fabric online, pay close attention to the scale of the design. I didn’t realize just how huge the flowers were going to be on that panel! It’s a stunning design, where the flowers become larger as you move down the fabric, but by the bottom, they’re giantnormous. So big, a single flower could take up the entire pocket of the bag front – and I was making the large sized bag!

    After staring at the fabric for a couple days, moving my rulers around, cutting pattern pieces out of Swedish tracing paper and doing a lot of talking to myself, I finally landed on a solution.

    I divided the fabric into thirds. The top third, mostly dark blues representing the sky, would be used for the outer edges of the bag around the zipper closure. The middle third, containing the smallest of the flowers, would be used for the front and back exterior of the bag. And the bottom third, containing those gigantic flowers, would be used for the interior pockets and shoulder pad.

    Now all I had to do was completely re-draft the cutting layout and quilt my fabric in these three horizontal strips, with lots of runs of short stitches.

    I was so relieved to have a solution that didn’t involve buying different fabric, I didn’t mind the extra quilting work. And thankfully, the rest of the project went along well, with no further hiccups or incidents of me making things unnecessarily harder on myself.

    I sewed this over the course of two weeks. Each time I stopped sewing for the day, I had to mark the directions so I knew where I left off and would know where to pick up the next time I was in my studio. I made a point of taking photos as I went along, in no small part to keep myself motivated. This was the most complex bag project I’d undertaken, and I didn’t want to get discouraged – seeing how far I’d come definitely helped me stay motivated and realize that I was making progress and really could finish this thing.

    And then that final interior seam came together, and that final bit of piping went into place, and with a flip and a zip … it was done! It was like pure magic - I couldn’t believe it! So I quickly grabbed my laptop, and slid it inside …

    … and discovered my laptop was 1.5” too big for the bag.

    What the f------?!?!? I felt like a bucket of ice water had been poured over my head.

    As I stood there, staring at the results of my hours and hours of toil, that was when I had an epiphany: when I bought the pattern, I had my previous HP 17“ Z-book. Remember when I said I put the pattern in a drawer and it sat for a while? Well, while it sat, I got a new, upgraded HP 17” Z-book. And its case is just shy of 2” wider than my old one. I never even thought about the need to re-measure.

    Measure twice, cut once. Isn’t that the saying? Well, we’ve always joked that in the Flinn family, it’s “Measure once, cut twice, it’s still too short, say a bad word, and go back to the store…” I guess I proved that axiom still holds true for me. Ugh!

    After I threw a little temper tantrum, I decided I’d spent too much time and money on this project to simply ditch it as unusable. Instead, it made a great lesson learned. I immediately began sketching up the pattern changes to make myself a new Divide and Conquer that’s 2.5” bigger in both width and height – 13.5“h x 18.5”w x 8.5“d – to actually fit my laptop. But the very best part of this story? The silver lining?

    My Mom was in need of a new laptop case, and her 15” laptop fits perfectly!

    It became her Christmas gift, and once I get my larger, re-drafted bag made, we’re going to have coordinating custom Angie-Made laptop bags.

    Now how’s that for conquering anyway?
    honeyandcheese and bonnenuit like this.
  12. breeoxd

    breeoxd CT - Krista Sahlin

    Nov 2, 2010
    555 words. Thanks for this!
  13. crazycat1126

    crazycat1126 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2013
    I have to admit this had me stumped for quite a few days but after I found the photos, the perfect kit in my stash, I was able to get up to 528 words. :-)


    Now on to the next challenge... more journalling - yikes!
  14. Amson

    Amson Yoo-hoo!

    Sep 30, 2010
    Thanks for the challenge. I have wanted to write up this time for quite a while. 896 words and journalling in gallery.

  15. tinkerbell1112

    tinkerbell1112 Offical Ambassador of the Magic Kingdom

    Dec 31, 2011
    When I go in, I go all in apparently.
    Journaling: 1393 words

    I'm a Warrior, but I didn't know it until 16 years ago. After Asher was born, I remember noticing that I was struggling with a few things. I was struggling going up and down the stairs, I was struggling with neck pain, but mostly I was struggling with opening his diaper tabs. I found this very strange. I was at a regular doctor appointment for something one day and mentioned it to him. He wasn't too concerned at first. I remember he cracked my neck like a chiropractor and sent me on my way. While it must have helped my neck, it didn't help my hands.

    I said so the next time I saw him. This time he took it a little more seriously. He sent me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist asked me some questions, took some blood, and if I recall correctly, was thinking maybe I had arthritis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As she described these things to me, I kind of felt like she was crazy, truth be told. But I went with it because I wasn't sure what was wrong with me either. This period of time was a bit fuzzy, and I can't recall if she prescribed me anything or simply said I was good to go. But I remember it was a fairly short relationship. I went on my way and continued on with my painful hands.

    Fast forward a couple more months and I was back at my regular doctor for something and he asked how it was going with the rheumatologist. I told him it wasn't, but that I was still experiencing the pain and difficulty in feeling things in my fingers, and in addition the neck pain was back. This time he took an x-ray of my neck. As he looked at the x-ray, I just remember the look in his eye as he turned to me and said he was going to have to refer me to a neurologist. I remember this feeling of dread - a neurologist is who takes care of those with brain issues. I scheduled the appointment with the neurologist, who honestly, gave me the impression that he didn't think I needed to be there. Eric was in Texas already when I went to get my MRI. But when I went back to get my results Eric was with me. I don't remember much of the appointment, but Eric does. He tells me that the Doctor appeared to be convinced even up until he pulled the results of the MRI up on the computer that I was there unnecessarily. Eric says that the moment he pulled them up on the computer he could see his face visually change directions from "yeah sure" to "oh, ok". That's when he broke the news to me that I "most likely" had Multiple Sclerosis. He gave the disclaimer of "most likely" because my brain showed activity that I had experienced an MS attack at some point. But that they couldn't be certain of a diagnosis until my brain showed more lesions (showing another attack) so that they could compare or unless I did a spinal tap so they could draw spinal fluid and test the proteins in my spinal fluid. I said give me the spinal tap.

    Eric went back to Texas and thankfully Dad & Diane were living with me at the time while their house was being built. I took the spinal, and the results were conclusive. I even had a nurse friend who has MS look at them as well, and she agreed. Because we were moving to Texas, I said good-bye to the Neurologist after he gave me the diagnosis and said I'd find a new one in Texas.

    When we arrived here, one of the first things I did was look for one and I found one that was in the same building as my OB. I couldn't stand him. He told me I was fine and that I was in remission and that I should just come back to him after I had my next attack. This went against everything I was learning about medications and how you should treat MS. But, I was planning on having another baby, so I just said good-bye to that relationship, went and had another child, and said I'd find a new Neurologist after I was done having children.

    Once Ada was born, MS hit me like a brick on calm waters. About 6 weeks after she was born I was a wreck. I asked the MS Society to recommend some Neurologists and picked one that had a few in the practice so that if I didn't like one, I could maybe try another. That's how I ended up with Dr. Barry, and I'm here still. Feb 2007 was my first appt. He put me on Tysabri, an IV administered medication, which I started the following month. I had a great run on that medication until my JC Virus count went over the safe threshold. This meant that Tysabri was a risk factor now for me to develop PML, a brain infection. So, I had to go off of the medication which had worked for me for 10 years. In October 2017 I took my first oral medication. I missed going into the infusion suite each month (I really did - I'd developed a relationship with the nurses and some patients who were there with me at the same time each month. I also enjoyed the forced quiet time to read or scrapbook on the laptop because it was 2 hours I HAD to do nothing). But, I really enjoyed the freedom that taking one pill a day allowed me instead.

    Having Multiple Sclerosis has not been easy. It's been an up and down road. Sometimes I feel so good I ask Dr. Barry to re-confirm I really have it. He then pacifies me and shows me my MRI with all of its lesions and points out why my brain and spine shouldn't have what it does. Then other times I feel so crummy I wonder why I ever doubt it. Over the years it's caused me to experience pain, fatigue, frustration, but mostly fatigue. The fatigue is crippling. But the number one thing I always said to myself was that I was not going to allow my MS to get in the way of doing anything for or with my kids. If it was 101 and they wanted to go to the zoo, even if I was having a rough day, and I knew I'd need to sleep for 2 days after, I went to the zoo. The past 15 years are scattered with moments like that. The past is also scattered with moments of me crawling into bed at 7pm or falling asleep on the couch or having sandwiches again for dinner because I'm too tired to cook.

    I never hid my MS from Asher & Ada, but I never used it as an excuse either. I did use it in factual basis when talking. They needed to know what I have. When Asher was in 8th grade, I took him with me to a Med sponsored event to listen to a talk given by a Neurologist about MS and an experience by someone else. It was Ada's turn this year, but alas, Covid. The more they know the more they will understand. I don't want pity, but I do need understanding.

    This disease has not defeated me, but it has altered how I've gone through life. I have had to pick and choose what is important to me each day. Maybe my house isn't spotless, but my kids have always had help with their homework. Maybe I don't get to go out and do all the things like every other parent does or schedule all the fun outdoor stuff like others did, but my kids always knew they were loved. Over the years I've had the occasional privilege of being there for a couple people as they were also diagnosed. It's a very scary and emotional time. I try to remind people it's also not a death sentence.

    I'm an MS Warrior. It wasn't a job description I would have chosen for my life, but it's one God chose for me. I wear my armor with exhausted pride.

    bestcee likes this.
  16. Enid

    Enid Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
    Thanks for the challenge 507 words
    bestcee likes this.
  17. morgyns

    morgyns Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2015
    Word count 762
    I hope this sequence of little stories/memories count as a story for th journalling.

    My Poppa (Grandad) was Scottish and being a true Scotsmen he didn’t like to spend money on things he deemed unnecessary or that he could DIY himself. This led to him making, fixing or assembling many different things around his house (and sometimes others). Over the years we witnessed many crazy ideas happen, some more hilarious than others. Family gatherings usually contain at least one Poppa anecdote about funny things we remember from his time with us.
    I have wanted to write a list of these things for the longest time, so here is a compilation of some creations that I can remember.
    My grandparents' house was sadly broken into a couple of times when they went away (to visit us or my cousins). As a result of this Poppa came up with a few different things to; prevent the break-ins occuring and to stop certain things being taken. First off he created a fake alarm light to stick to the outside of his house. For this he used an old moisturiser container, he painted the container white and it had a bright red lid. He attached this to the house above a window near the front. I didn’t at all look like an alarm to us, but he never got robbed again so maybe it worked.
    One of the things that was taken in each break in was the TV from the lounge room, his solution to this was to chain the TV to the handles on the window with a huge chain and padlock. Yet another totally unnecessary thing to do and would have caused way more damage and cost than just letting someone take the TV. But he gets points for ingenuity.
    On another occasion we (the grandkids) came to visit and found in the spare room (where we all used to sleep) a long piece of string stuck to the wall next to one of the beds. Poppa came in to explain what it was. First of all the string was stuck to the wall with a piece of blu-tac, it went up to a little hook further up the wall, then back down and was attached to the main lightswitch (attached using wall putty). He gave us a demonstration that we could pull the string while we lay in bed and the light would turn off. His thinking was, he didn’t want us to get up to turn the light off after getting into bed at night. I mean this was rather genius, poor execution as it looked terrible. But it worked as he had intended - too bad it couldn’t turn the light on again hahaha.
    There was also a time he wanted to update the driveway, so he decided on painting it…. With house paint. I remember it being a rusty red colour which really didn’t look great, not to mention he didn’t have enough paint and couldn’t finish the whole driveway. It looked horrendous to say the least, but lasted longer (in patches) than we expected. There were still some remnants years later when Nana had to sell the house.
    For this story I will start by saying when my family moved back closer to my Grandparents we had a dog that couldn’t come and live in our rental property, so Nana and Poppa kindly offered to have the dog at their house. Poppa was now on a quest to keep the dog inside the yard. I guess most people would head to the hardware shop and grab a gate or fencing supplies, not this man. He remembered he had an old fly screen door in the garage that would be perfect to use as a gate. I mean who wouldn’t have this thought right? The only problem with this was, the door was about 2 feet shorter than the width of the driveway, so what does one do to make the door/gate longer? You get a second flyscreen door of course. I am not sure if this was a new door or another spare one he happened to have/acquired. Either way he cut down one door and attached it to the first - probably usually glue and or more wall putty. He then added a hinge to the fence and the gate and voilà a gate was born and the dog couldn’t escape. The gate held up pretty well over the years, with some repairs, replacements here and there. All of us grandkids were told off for climbing over the gate, instead of opening it many many times.
  18. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

    May 2, 2012
    Came in at 511 words. Thanks for the challenge, Courtney. SO many stories that need telling. :)

    bestcee likes this.
  19. lulyg14

    lulyg14 Testosterone Overload

    May 4, 2013
    524 Words (more for page 2)

    We lost an amazing woman during this terrible pandemic. Blanca Rosa Gonzalez Rivas was born in Ahuachapán, El Salvador in a small farming community. She had the typical childhood of the time – hard work but lots of fun too. I think her father was rather strict, but her mother made up for it. There was a funny story about her sister Mila and her getting into trouble with a burro. I don’t remember the details but it made her laugh so hard every time!

    She met Bob’s Dad in El Salvador where they fell in love. But he came to Chicago to make a better life for himself away from the life he had in El Salvador and she waited for him to get married. I know her parents weren’t happy about her waiting, but she was sure about her choice. They got married via proxy and she arrived in Chicago - where they took some lovely photos with her soon to be lifelong friends - Carmen Bardie and Tonita Torres. While they were not able to have children right away – they found a community with good friends and spent much time with several nieces and nephews that came to live with them while they studied in high school and college – including Yanira, Claudia and Ernesto. What a tremendous opportunity for them to study in the US and for Ramon and Blanca to enjoy the company of these young adults.

    Finally, with a little medical intervention, they were finally able to have 3 sons. Ramon, Rick and Robert (aka Bob). Blanca’s Mom came to help out with both Ray and Rick – and stayed for 1 year I think each time! She had lots of funny stories about driving her Mom back to El Salvador through the US and Mexico. I can’t imagine driving that far with a toddler, a 1 yr old and 3 adults!! I wish I had some photos of this time in their life. Unfortunately, Blanca’s mother passed away before Bob was born and was not able to help – I am sure Blanca missed her especially.

    I only got to know Blanca when I started dating Bob, not before his father passed away when he was 16. Of course, the boys were Blanca’s everything. She was such a smart and hard-working lady. She never got passed the 5th grade in formal education – not too strange in a rural farming community in the late 1920’s. She was a private nurse with many important families in El Salvador – many of those relationships that even continued when she came to the US. She worked as a nurse for many years – even well after we were married, and when she should have been retired. She worked at several hospitals – including Weiss but didn’t get any true credentials – even though she could have through her work experience. Ramon did not want her working outside of the home after the boys were born. He was very old school/macho but again was part of the culture he was born into. The last places she worked was a nursing home in Skokie where they loved to call her Bianca!
  20. bestcee

    bestcee Lorelei and Rory are my neighbors

    Dec 18, 2013
    I"m working on getting through all your lovely stories! I have been checking for compliance - at least the journaling and my challenge rules! As I go. I hope you used in-store kits - then you'll be fine.

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