Thursday, May 19, 2016

Keepin' it Real

It's nearly summer time and my closest friends and family know that my beverage of choice for the summer months is Iced Tea from the local dairy distributor. It's sweetened tea and comes in a plastic gallon-sized jug. Love the stuff.

iced tea

The other day, before heading to a friend's house for a semi-sorta-weekly hand sewing get-together, I loaded my car with my sewing supplies, fabric, and a Mondo Bag (made of absorbant fabric) full with two quilts that were ready to bind--nearly complete projects (part of that secret project stuff I talked about last week).

On the way, I ran couple of small errands. UPS store for a package drop-off and the Byrne Dairy store to replenish my diminished supply of tea back at home. The most significant detail in this part of the story was that the clerk who cashed me out at the dairy store asked if I wanted a bag for my jug-o-tea. I thought for a minute--I usually don't take a bag because the jug has an easy-to-carry handle--then I decided the bag might come in handy when I carry the tea and the rest of my quilty stuff back into my house later after the sewing get-together.

Off I went to sew and relax with friends. With all the crazy activity and tight deadlines in my work studio, this was a nice opportunity to unwind and take a small break from the frenzy.

I finished the binding on one of the quilt projects and got a good start on the second one. Great conversation, good food, lots of laughs - typical girlfriend sewing evening. But, as always, the time slipped by and it was time to head home, driving under a beautiful clear star and moon filled night sky.

Upon arrival at home, I made a couple trips into the house with my belongings. First trip included the mondo bag full of quilt/binding projects--I set those down by the kitchen counter. Back out to the car for the rest of the stuff, including my flimsy  little bag with the tea in it.

As I reached the kitchen counter, I felt the weight in my hands shifting ever so slightly, and I realized that I didn't have the bag with the tea-jug by both of its handles. *Rut-roh.* As I felt the weight shifting even more, everything started to move as if it were a movie running in slow motion. It was too late to make adjustments, and before I knew it the jug slipped out of the bag. . .



Glug-glug. Glug-glug-glug.

The jug dropped three feet from the counter edge to the hardwood floor and cracked. Thus began the tide of sweetened tea splashing onto the floor from the gaping hole in the side of the jug. Soon every crack in the floor and the kitchen carpet were saturated--and fingers of the sticky fluid were racing toward the refrigerator to settle in underneath there, too.


It only took a moment for realization to sink in and, once the slow-motion footage stopped, I acted quickly and did what any busy, deadline-oriented quilter would do. . . I grabbed the bag full of quilts and got them out of harm's way.


Next I grabbed the jug (one might think I should have grabbed that first!). Now only about 1/3 full of tea, the jug and its remaining contents went in the sink in a single, sweeping, sticky wet movement. Swiftly, I grabbed the roll of paper towel next to the sink and ripped off three or four squares to begin the late-night clean up. (Three or four? Seriously! What kind if miracle of physics was I expecting from these disposable paper products?)

To switch gears only a little. This week is Quilt Market week - the big trade show that supports the quilt industry. Vendors include pattern and book authors (like myself), fabric manufacturers, and industry distributors--all scurrying this week to get their products ready for the grand display. Among the buyers: your local quilt shop owner. Due to my current project commitments, I am, sadly, not attending this Spring's events in Salt Lake City, but I'll watch with great interest from the sidelines as the pictures of the industry's latest offerings appear on social media outlets.

The booths will be beautiful and well-staged, showcasing the newest and finest 'perfection' that this industry has to offer. I'm sure you'll see many of the same images on your social media feeds. As you ooh and ahh, keep in mind that behind every beautifully-staged photo, is often a wild ride of spilled iced tea and frantic clean-up.

Quilters, like many small business owners, are a lot like ducks that swim across the water's surface. Beautiful, calm, and purposeful to those who see her from the waters edge. But underneath the surface, practical webbed feet pedal like mad to maintain forward progress in a changeable watery environment. 

Just keepin' it real this week. That's all. And laughing at myself just a bit.

By the way, the quilts survived unscathed. The Mondo bag holding them, not so much. Nothing a little laundry soap won't fix.

The carpet didn't fare well . . . It was long past time to replace it anyway. A new one was ordered first thing this morning.

And the worst part. I'm still out of tea.

When your world hands you chaos, how do you 'keep it real?'

Happy Stitching!
joan ford


  1. I've never bought tea in a jug, preferring tea steeped at home and stored in a glass jar. We add only about a tablespoon of sugar to a half gallon of tea to take away the bitterness. Most folks around here drink something that I liken to syrup: tea with much too much sugar.

    Keep paddling.

    1. I agree! I never thought I would buy tea in a jug, either, but there is something about this stuff that has me by the tastebuds!