For the first two years of our marriage, Matt and I rented out the upstairs of my mom’s house. At the time, my mom basically ran a boarding house. After building her big dream house after my dad passed away, at some point she decided that it was too much house for her alone and started taking in boarders, mostly extended family and people from her church who needed a place to stay and couldn’t afford a lot of rent. During the time of this story, the house’s other residents included my mom’s sister and her grandson, and another guest who will remain nameless.
This last boarder was the sort of person who you never knew what sort of stuff she or her associates might be into. It was during the months that she stayed there that all of this went on.
I was 22 years old and living at home after a stint away at college, and my father had recently passed away. Battling insomnia, I had been lying in bed for hours. As I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling, trying to will my mind to settle down and stop thinking long enough to let me fall asleep, I kept imagining weird, creepy faces floating around my room. I told myself that this was the beginning of dreaming and I was FINALLY starting to drift off to sleep, and the dark nature of what I was seeing must be due to stress. But sleep still eluded me, and I was starting to get creeped out, so I decided to get up and read or watch TV or something. Continue reading
Photo credit: the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.
In the run up to Halloween, I thought I’d share some of the spookier experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Apart from assuring you that I am not making this stuff up, these are submitted without comment — you can make up your own mind about what, exactly, it was that I encountered. Watch for more of these stories to appear over the weekend.
Back in the fall and winter of 2004-2005 I spent several months temping in this iconic downtown Tulsa building. It’s one of the oldest buildings downtown, built in 1917, and I believe it was considered Tulsa’s first skyscraper, although the tower section wasn’t added until 1929.
I was working for the building management office at the time, as a shared receptionist and operator for several different businesses in the building. If I recall correctly, the management’s headquarters were on the 9th floor (it might have been the 7th; either way, it was in the oldest part of the building), and they had a big office suite with a private lounge where I would often go to grab a nap on my lunch hour. Back by the lounge was a large private bathroom. The whole area was pretty secluded.
I’ve been crocheting like a madwoman lately, and it feels a little like I’m having an illicit affair, stepping out on my first love, knitting. All the hallmarks are there–knitting takes more time and commitment, it’s more work and, after years together, the shine has worn off; yet I still love it and have no desire to call it quits. Crocheting, on the other hand, is exciting and new, it doesn’t really want much of a commitment and it provides me with loads of instant gratification.
As I’ve been threatening to for a few weeks now, I spent the weekend setting up my “new” knitted and crocheted accessories shop on Etsy, Marzipan Pie. I used to run a similar shop under the name Vanilla Fizz, but that was so long ago that I actually thought it might be less confusing to tie the shop name into the blog.
I originally wanted to wait until we got our new camera so I could take better pictures, and now that the deed is done I kind of wish I stuck with that plan, because the pictures that our cheap-o point-and-shoot Vivitar take haven’t gotten any crisper. But my budding photographer husband is still shopping around and trying to decide which camera he wants, and I’ve got some Halloween related items to sell, and the window on that is closing soon, so I figured I’d better just make do with what we have and hope for the best.
One of those Halloween related items is a set of crocheted “eyeball” coasters. I also thought it would be cute to make a sleep mask out of a pair of them, as seen below (click to embiggen):
They’re simple to make: Just make a basic granny circle, single-crochet the first round in black for the pupil and the second round in whatever color you want the iris to be, then double-crochet two rounds in white. For the mask, simply make two circles and stitch them together slightly above the center. For the ties, you can knit two icords, or chain stitch two chains, or simply attach some ribbon or a strip of elastic. To make it a sleep mask, you’ll need to sew some soft fabric onto the back to block out the light (and prevent stitch indentations from covering your face when you wake up).
Or you could just buy the coasters here, and/or the sleep mask here.