Olympic Fever

We have been watching the Olympics here pretty much nightly. Honey is a huge fan and watches as much as humanly possible, which means I’ve seen more than my fair share of badminton, dressage and rowing. But we’ve also seen some pretty awesome Olympic moments, like Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals — which was pretty darned awesome.

For me, I think two of the most significant competitions involved Dara Torres and Constantina Tomescu-Dita. By now everyone has heard of Torres who, at 41, is competing in her fifth Olympics and arguably in the best shape of her life. It was a little disappointing that she didn’t win gold but two silver medals is nothing to sneeze at. Tomescu-Dita absolutely owned the women’s marathon, winning a gold medal at the young age of 38. (Silver medalist Catherine Ndereba, who is reigning world champion, is 36.)

Part of watching the Olympics for me is marveling at the feats done by young, world-class athletes. This year, however, has been as much about finding inspiration in my peers. Torres, Tomescu-Dita and Ndereba are my contemporaries, not teenagers or 20-somethings. It’s hard not to be a little awed, and also to wonder what I could still accomplish even now at the ripe “old” age of 37 (at least for another two months).

One of my favorite quotes comes from a news story about Torres and her wins:

“If it helps anyone else out there who is in their middle aged years, [who] maybe put off something they thought they could not do because they were too old. Or maybe thought because they have children that they can not balance what they want to do and being a parent,” she said. “If that can help anyone out there to show what I have done and that you can do it, then I am absolutely thrilled.”

Maybe I won’t be heading off to the Olympics anytime soon but I’m more fired up than ever to follow my dreams, whatever they may be.

Fun and Games

Let’s play a game of “Pretend.”

In this game of ours, we’ll pretend that this is post 299.

I have big plans for post 300 but have not yet gotten my act together with what I want to do. In the meantime, I have all these things I want to blog about. It’s like a laundry list of bloggy randomness at this point, because I’ve put off posting anything in anticipation of the big 3-0-0.

But if this is post 299, the point is moot. And I can babble away about the various and sundry things that have been on my mind.

  • My oldest child has finally gotten a job. I was so focused on the fact that I’d no longer have to pay for his gasoline that it took a couple of friends to point out the benefits of having a child who works at a craft store. Um, like, duuuuuuuh.
  • I convinced Honey to let us join a pool this year. It’s a Swim and Racquet Club. Doesn’t that sound fancy schmancy? LOL! We have a nice public pool and outdoor water park not far from our house but it stays packed. Our pool is in a neighborhood that’s about as close to home as the public one and much less busy. Plus, better hours. So far, I’m loving it and the kids are, too.
  • I got through a few customs (including the one here) this week (boy, is it great to have teenagers home to help with the little one!) and decided to do a little crafting before the next round of sewing. So far, it’s shaping up nicely. No pics yet but I will give you a hint: it involves wood
  • At the last minute, my sewing class at the quilt shop last weekend ended up with only one student in attendance. What a sweet, sweet girl! She works at the shop and signed up at the last minute, encouraged by the shop owner to do so, even though she’d never sewn before. And I have to tell you, it was such an amazing experience to not only teach someone to sew but to have her leave at the end of the class with a finished skirt. She was so excited and wore it upstairs, over her jeans, to show it off before heading to her grandmother’s house to do a fashion show there. It really made me realize how much I enjoy sewing and the teaching process. (BTW, if you are in the area and interested in learning how to draft your own A-line skirt, I’m teaching a class on it at the end of the month. Drop me a line and I can send you the details.)
  • Last weekend also marked lucky number seven for the Indie Craft Experience. I have been waiting to attend for more than a year (we missed last year due to a last-minute trip out of town to visit family) and it was a-maz-ing. Loved it, wished I could have stayed longer, can’t wait to go again. Met some great, talented people, including the folks from Janome’s Threadbangers, the Sublime Stitching gang and one of the people behind the upcoming Handmade Nation documentary. After we left, Honey said, “It must be really nice to be among your people,” and he was right on about that. There’s more I want to share but I’ll just give you hint No. 2: swag is good!
  • A couple of folks I know are behind the new Pimp Stitch site. If you’re into embroidery — or just interested in giving it a try — then you won’t want to miss it. To mark the launch, they are giving away some free patterns each week and they are majorly cute. I love Missy and Amy’s art, so I couldn’t wait to download the patterns.
  • The lovely and talented Melissa is busy working on the next issue of her online parenting ‘zine, Root & Sprout. If you haven’t visited, go now! And if you enjoy it (and I’m sure you will), you should definitely consider submitting an article.

Whew! See, I told you it was going to be all over the place. Now that you’ve made it through all of that, here’s what you have to look forward to for my next post, No. 300: a giveaway. Actually, TWO giveaways. I can’t guarantee that the post will be ramble free, though.