Dad, Peppers and Owls

Blogging has been part of my life now for many years, and it is most unusual for me to go a week without writing, much less over a month.  But this month has been a most unusual month.

My 85 year old father passed away quietly in his sleep on Sept. 13, 2015.  The photo below is Father's Day 2014 and represents him well with his dapper bow tie and baby blue eyes.  His passing put in motion a flurry of activity as my brother and his wife drove up from Florida to help plan the funeral and spend a week here handling numerous items associated with the passing of one's last living parent.  My mother went to her heavenly home October 2012.  So, so many things need to be done.
To add to the misery, if you will..... earlier in September I was stung by a yellow jacket and had a severe allergic reaction that lasted several days.  As I recovered from that malaise, I thought I was oh-so-clever to harvest this beautiful bounty from our garden and spent an entire afternoon cutting and chopping the peppers.  This picture, below, does not do the harvest justice as there were so, so many green peppers and a huge bucketful of sweet banana peppers.  Where am I going with all this?  Well, we all know..... or should know..... that when cutting jalapeno peppers one should be careful and wear gloves to protect the skin from a pepper burn.  BUT one should also be aware that sweet banana peppers can burn one's hands in the same manner.  I learned this the very hard way.  Within an hour of chopping the final banana pepper from the bucket, my hand started to burn.  The hand that handled stripping the seeds and membranes out of the pepper.  It was horrible...... a burn like I've never experienced.  The only relief I could find was gripping a bag of ice.... for hours on end....awful.  At 2 a.m. in the morning I stumbled onto this website explaining yellow mustard would give pepper burn relief.  (As a side note, reading in her comment section, other people had this type of reaction from sweet banana peppers too.)  Immediately after glopping a gracious plenty of yellow mustard all over my hand, I found relief from the intensity.  After a few more applications, and another hour or two later, I could finally go to bed and get some sort of sleep.  The burning stayed in my hand until mid-day the next day.  It was truly awful.  That next day was the day my dad passed away.  Since mid-September it's been hard to find any sort of 'normal' footing.
Things are beginning to slow down, a little, though Melissa certainly did not need to share her cold with all of us...... and I am turning back to sewing.  I'd started this cute top for Melissa 6 weeks ago and am trying to finish it for her.  She usually doesn't let me make anything for her, other than pj pants.... but this cute owl rayon challis fabric seemed so 'her'.  I'm copying a rtw shirt she loves that her bookbag is destroying, to give her more options in her wardrobe.  As a college senior at a university that has an expansive campus (i.e. lots, and lots of walking) that bookbag seems to get heavier and heavier and takes such a toll on her clothes.  I'm using NEWLOOK 6374.  Seems the exterior pattern jacket lists the pattern as S0803 which is strange, as all the pattern pieces note NEWLOOK 6374.
Here's where I'm at after modifying the pattern significantly to mimic the rtw shirt.  I'm stuck on the placket.  After I took this photo, below, I ripped out the seam, re-crisscrossed the placket and will see if that works better and doesn't pucker.  I am determined to master the placket insertion because I really like this look too and want to make more shirts this way.
My handmade wardrobe is far from complete and I certainly found that out recently as there were no appropriate handmade items to wear for the funeral and a few other occasions.  But it's a curious thing about having handmade items in one's wardrobe..... on some of the more stressful days, when I could, I'd wear one of my favorite handmade items, and felt such comfort. 

I hope to catch up on everyone's blogs soon.