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.


  1. Oh my, Lisa. I can hardly imagine the physical pain you went through with the burning from the pepper harvest. The only good thing about it is that I know you wil nowl never handle anything other than a sweet pepper without rubber gloves on. Thank heaven you found relief with the mustard suggestion.

    Had your father been ill? Or was his death sudden? My sympathies sent to you, and your brother. Losing a parent is never, never easy, but always emotionally charged.

    You are such a talented seamstress! You do what I cringe to think about doing: Deviating from the pattern! Changing things more to your own liking. Being creative! You go, girl!

  2. Thanks for sharing. It is one tough month.
    It's a blessing that your father passed in his sleep.
    Beautiful family!!!

  3. What a month - the burn would have felt awful - I should think it irritated all the nerve endings no end. And with such a poor nights sleep, you would not have been in a good state for the news of your father's death. These things certainly rock one's world, and the disruption to routine just makes one feel even more at sea. I hope things are settling for you.

  4. So sorry to hear about your father, Lisa. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Your poor hand, I'm so pleased the mustard helped. Very handy to know for the future. Your daughter's top will be lovely, I love those dear little owls. Sounds like your middle name should be perseverance also ;)

  5. I am very sorry for you loosing your father, Lisa! I think that you departed in harmony. The picture of you three is so beautiful. You poor daughter with your burnt hand. So good your brother and his wife came to stay with you so you could decide things together!
    Melissa will be happy to get such a nice shirt! :)

  6. I'm really sorry for your loss and am glad to hear, that you had loving support and that you're back on track. Pepper burnt fingers sound so awful, this is real "learning by burning". Looking forward to hearing/seeing/reading from you!

  7. Lisa, so very sorry for the loss of your dad! I understand how very sad your September has been!

    And sorry to hear about the burn....I can identify!!! I hopefully will never experience that again! Thanks for the link....that information was good to know!

  8. Lisa, I am sorry for the loss of your father. God can provide the strength you will need in the coming weeks and months. I will be praying for you.

    Burn from jalapeno isn't fun at all, I got one last time but with Thai chili :) Since then I always use glove when picking up the chilies.
    Can not wait for the finished Melissa blouse, I just finished my blouse and also get a trouble of sewing the placket. But luckily I found the tutorial with video from Angela Kane. You can pop over my new post for the link :)

    P.S. I really love to see your beautiful family photo and your harvest garden :)

  9. Oh Lisa! you've had such an awful month, I'm so sorry. My thoughts have certainly been with you since you mentioned your father's passing on IG.
    I did not know about the burns you can get from peppers though. Actually I hadn't even heard of banana peppers! I've always worn thin rubber surgical gloves when cutting chillis etc, just because I'm worried about not washing my hands adequately afterward and inadvertently touching my eye or something. Thank goodness.
    I'm still thinking of you and hoping October brings nothing but loveliness for you.

  10. So sorry for your loss. My Dad is reaching a similar age and I worry all the time for him. I found a few years ago I made a navy wrap dress and that has been my "funeral dress". Not the happiest outfit in my wardrobe but fits a need.

  11. All best wishes and condolences on the loss of your Dad. It is a lovely photo of you all. You all look so happy. I hope sewing helps take some of the shock and upset away. The fabric is lovely and I'm sure your daughter will appreciate it. Sorry to hear about your burn. Trish.

  12. Lisa, I am so sorry for what you have been going through! That is such a nice picture of you, Pepper and your Dad. I enjoy seeing the different things you sew. Nancy

  13. Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear of all that you had to go through in september. Hope you've managed to go back to a more normal life again and can at least cope a little bit with your loss. Loosing a parent must be unspeakably awful. Your Dad looks like a very charming old man in the picture you shared. It's a wonderful picture.

  14. Hi Lisa. I just discovered your blog and I am enjoying it.
    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my father 13 years ago and I still miss him every day. I will pray that you find comfort in the memories that you have of him.
    I was also sorry to read of your hand burn. Thank you for sharing the remedy above with the mustard- that is good to know. I hope the last month has brought you some rest and peace.
    Wishing you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa