Friday, January 30, 2009
It started to weigh on Sherry and Valentin's hearts that he was breaking the law by continuing to live here. So they looked into the process for how they could get a visa for Valentin. Nothing was really going to change; he already loved his adopted country, and he certainly loved his wife and child. He just wanted to show his respect for this land by keeping its laws. So they traveled to Mexico and his home and filed the paperwork while visiting with Valentin's extended family.
Horror of horrors, his visa was denied! They could not believe it. Sherry was placed in the sickening position of having to take their son and fly home to Iowa, leaving her husband, Little Valentin's daddy, behind. At first she hoped all would be cleared up in 6 weeks. Six long, sad, lonely weeks without her husband, without Daddy. Then weeks stretched into months. They got a lawyer. They got a state legislator on their side. More paperwork. The months became seasons. MORE paperwork. Waiting. More waiting. They were able to fly down and visit Valentin but then they had to leave him once again. Their church helped some, but maintaining two households plus all the travel and legal bills was very draining on the family finances.
I prayed for this situation faithfully for months and then somehow I lost track of it. I no longer saw Sherry every day, as Lil Miss A was now in 3rd grade, on the other side of the building, so I didn't bump into Sherry constantly at the school, and I failed to check on her. A couple of weeks ago I finally saw her and asked how things were going, and was shocked to learn that Valentin had still not received permission to return to Iowa!
Well, here is the happy news! After well over a year apart, the family is about to be reunited at last. Sherry told me she got a letter yesterday saying Valentin can come home to his family! Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
On a side note, and not meaning to detract from Sherry and Valentin's joy, I would like to point out that Sherry and I live in the same county as Postville, infamous for its ICE raid, deportations of hundreds of illegal workers and house arrests of dozens more, families torn asunder, the utter desperation of parents unable to be with their children and children taken from their parents. Heartbreaking stories - but those involved were breaking the law of the land. Now here are Valentin and Sherry. They did their best to uphold the law, to fix what was broken, and have been punished for it.
This nation's immigration policies need one giant overhaul.
* Names changed in respect for the family's privacy; if they ever give me permission to post their real names, I shall do so.
I'm sure you are thrilled to know that this is done. I know I am.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I wish I had seen this before I did the chairs I have done! I would have done things differently.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
We joined Netflix in December of 2005. We have suspended our membership twice, I believe; in fact, I think we out-and-out canceled it the first time during a family budget crunch and when we went back a few months later, we were amazed to find that they had saved our queue and we were able to jump right in again. We have been very pleased with our membership, though depending on how busy we are and how tight funds are, we have bounced up and down in different membership levels. Netflix was how we found Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica, and now we're working our way through The Wire.
Netflix will have its 10th birthday this September. With the addition of streaming video to the computer, it became an even better value; with the addition of streaming to our XBOX, and thus to our flat-screen TV, it has become a really remarkable deal for this family. We still get disks, but most of our watching is Watch Instantly on our TV. We have a few shares - like, maybe, 3 - of Netflix stock, and it has stayed steady and high through all this Wall Street mess. Part of what we think makes Netflix work so well is the customer service. We send our disks to the nearest center which is in Des Moines. They get our disks overnight, ship them right out the same day, and then it takes 2 days for the disk to get back to us. If we get a bad disk, we just click a few buttons on the website and they send us a replacement immediately without a fuss. We have misplaced a disk twice, and each time, they said they would not make us pay for the disk this time. (Each disk was eventually found and returned.)
Here are two interesting articles I'd like to show you:
How Netflix Got Started: Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings tells Fortune how he got the idea for the DVD-by-mail service that now has more than eight million customers Interesting how the initial response rate to the free trial was 80%! How many startup companies can say that?
Netflix: Streamers Rent Fewer DVDs That's true for us, certainly. We are on the 2-at-a-time-unlimited plan. Sometimes we'd like to have more disks available, but we don't really need them, and there's plenty else to watch on Stream Instantly.
Monday, January 26, 2009
This is a vintage 4-page pamphlet on embroidery on gingham published by the Coates and Clark Company. Not sure of the date, but it's pre-zip-code. I'm only uploading a small version of the front page here. To find all 4 pages in a better resolution, click here for Flickr.
I have decided to start uploading some of my old instruction books and other interesting stuph. Hopefully someone will find it useful. This one is a vintage instruction sheet from the Nelson Knitting Company, makers of the original Red Heel socks, teaching you how to make a sock monkey. Only a thumbnail is on this blog; click here to find both sheets in a much bigger, printable size on Flickr.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I like this so much better than our not-till-you-turn-16-missy! rule.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It is also kind of risky to leave bored children at home with a mom who is attempting to work full time from home, but I guess that's another matter entirely.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
We, the birds, wish to inform you that we LOVE cracked corn. You may fill our feeders with it any time you like. In fact, now would be quite convenient for us. Now, now, now.
With warmest regards,
The sparrows, chickadees, goldfinches and spare woodpecker
I stopped at the bank and the post office on my way back, so all told it was probably about a half-mile walk. My thigh and butt muscles were saying, "What are you doing up there, anyway?" They have had it pretty easy for the past couple of weeks. After they realized what we were doing was walking, something they dimly remembered, they quit complaining and just got to work. The plows are out. Plows are big, scary, rather dangerous vehicles; you have to watch out for them, since the drivers are high up in their cabs and usually concentrating on what they are doing and not watching for pedestrians. Still, there's something reassuring in the sight of a big yellow snowplow with flashing lights rumbling down the street. It means someone else is out there, civilization has not broken down completely, and we are not cut off from our loved ones. (Besides, Lenny has taken to plowing out our parking space in front of the house for us. He sure doesn't have to. He's just nice.)
Once home, I let Bo loose in the yard while I did the most minimal job of shoveling a path from the back door to the street (that's the door everybody but traveling salesmen and the county assessor uses anyway) while he bounced around in the drifts. Then we fed the chickens and refilled the bird feeders. I couldn't find the bird seed. Maybe we have run out. Anyway I filled the feeders with cracked corn, which, if they will eat it, will be good high-energy keep-warm food.
Now we are inside in a warm, cozy house and I need to get to work. Coffee is on, cats are sleepy, candles are lit, snow is falling outside. I do love my life!
I just have to say I'm so happy with my natural grey color! It's not completely grey, it's about 60-75% grey with the old dark brown mixed all through. It's still too short, as I cut it again once more to get absolutely all the dyed stuff off, but the color - well, if I went to the beautician's and asked to have it colored to look like this, I think it would be very expensive! I seriously love it! I expected to endure it, to accept that this is me, and to go on with my life. I didn't expect I would love it so much. :o)
Monday, January 05, 2009
This is Gretl, my Sunbeam MixMaster Model 10, from the early 1950s. She works great, but she was pretty ugly - peeling, chipped paint, decades of built-up gunk in her vents. Yuk. I got on a cleaning-and-repainting roll this weekend which began when I took apart our Oster toaster oven, which also works great but is unsightly, and cleaned all the glop out of it, plus scrubbed and scraped and scrubbed until I got all the melted plastic off the glass door (it was the remains of a bread bag that had melted to the hot glass and had been there for a couple of years now). While I had the toaster oven apart, I painted the formerly black metal housing jadeite green. And it looked so great that I got Gretl out, took her apart too, and repainted her in jadeite green to match. I made the Sunbeam decal for her. It's not exactly what she would have had brand new, but it's similar.
She still purrs like a kitten, despite the fact that I ended up with a mysterious spare spring after putting her back together. I hate when that happens!
Saturday, January 03, 2009
They have this wonderful barrel full of scraps and bits and you can get all that you can cram into a little baggie for $4.75. And with a little effort and careful folding, i can cram a LOT of pretties into that baggie!
The red and white is one of the Zoomin by Clothworks line. I love that fabric. It's so hard to find a true red and a true white.
I love those pockets! I found that pattern here. They're a little tedious but they come out so cute with a contrast lining.
It's reversible, sort of, with a lining but no pockets on the inside.
This baby is on eBay this week. I have never tried to sell one of my own homemade aprons before, just vintage ones from estate sales. I'm anxiously watching to see how it goes.