7 Quick Takes: 3/8/13

It’s Friday once again, and you know what that means……7 Quick Takes. I’m joining up with Jen as always, at Conversion Diary. Go check out what everybody else is talking about this week.

1.) I made this soup this week. It turned out so great! It was very flavorful, and oh so healthy. My family loved it and there was enough leftover for another meal. I recommend trying it…it’s easy, tasty, and filling. You can’t go wrong with this.

2.) Monday night, one of my favorite shows airs. I don’t know if any of you watch Switched at Birth on ABC Family, but this week’s episode was phenomenal….I talked about it in a post earlier this week. This show is so well done, and there is a lot that can be learned from it. Check it out if you haven’t yet!

3.) Tuesday my sweet, sweet dad tried to get reservations for our family at the Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner while we are in Florida. It would have been to celebrate my 20th birthday, and mom and dad’s 25th anniversary. They are booked SOLID the whole week we are there, but that is fine with me. Just being on this trip with my family is all I need. I am so excited just to be there!

4.) Wednesday night I took the online test for the Jeopardy! College Tournament……My family makes it a point to watch Jeopardy! together every night. If we aren’t home we DVR it, and watch it later. Dad and I each take the test every year. I felt so dumb last night when I saw some of those questions, and I learned that I know nothing about current pop culture……

5.) To go along with the above, my dad was on a game show, just not Jeopardy! He was on Who Wants to be a Millionaire a few years back when Regis Philbin came back and did a week in Prime Time. We are quite proud of him around these parts. Even though he has this under his belt, Jeopardy! is the one that we both would really like to try and get on. I have watched Jeopardy! since I was in elementary school, of course I didn’t know anything back then, but now I look forward to sitting down with my family for a half an hour each night and watching it. Sounds odd I know, but we love it!

6.) You guys all know by now that I like to read. I bought a copy of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables this week. If you have not seen this book, it is HUGE! I put it on the counter and the cashier picked it up, looked at it, and (dead serious) asked me if I planned on reading the entire thing. I responded (very politely), of course…why wouldn’t I? Well, she said, it’s just soooooooooooo big! I am undaunted by this. I will be in a car from Mid-Michigan to Florida. I need LOTS of reading material! When people tell me that they don’t like reading, or that they could never read a WHOLE book……I don’t even want to think about it……I can’t imagine not wanting to read, there is something amazing about a book, here I hope this will help you understand what I’m talking about….

7.) One of my favorite ladies is performing at our church this weekend and I am so excited to get to meet her! Chonda Pierce is a Christian comedienne and she is amazing! She has a wonderful testimony, and when she sings….ah! I can’t wait! She is supremely funny, I know that we are in for a treat this weekend! 
I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy this time with your family and friends…I know I will!


History in the Making

Monday night the writers and executives at ABCFamily made history. They presented an episode of their hit show Switched At Birth entirely in American Sign Language (ASL).

I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you that may not have watched it yet, but the previous board decided (due to budget cuts) to close down Carlton School for the Deaf, and sell the property. The deaf students blame the pilot program hearing students for this decision from the board. This episode, though centered around saving Carlton becomes about much, much more than that.

In 1988 students at Gallaudet University staged a protest. They wanted a deaf president. Below is from their website…..

In 1988, Gallaudet University was the site of a student-led protest that today is called Deaf President Now, or simply, DPN. But DPN was more than a protest. It also was a unique coming together of Gallaudet students, faculty and staff with the national deaf community—all bound by clear and defined goals.
The DPN supporters believed that the time had come for a deaf person to run the world’s only university for deaf and hard of hearing students. When this didn’t happen, the result was a protest whose effects are still reverberating around the world today.
DPN was remarkable not only for its clear sense of purpose, cohesiveness, speed, and depth of feeling, but also for its ability to remove the barriers and erase the lines that previously separated the deaf and hearing communities. In addition, it raised the nation’s consciousness of the rights and abilities of deaf and hard of hearing people.


This is message was given to us by Carlton guidance counselor Melody played by the wonderful Marlee Matlin. The students took over the school, and didn’t give it up until they got what they wanted. Matlin’s character in the show, we are told was involved in the Gallaudet protest, tells the students as much.

Throughout the course of this current season, Matlin’s character has been teaching a class on Deaf Culture, and the trials that are still being faced today. Matlin and the cast have a way of conveying such emotion in their words, yes their words. Sometimes their performances, and stories fill me with such emotion that it hurts. You realize in these weekly lessons from Melody, that there is so much taken for granted, and you gain such respect for, and knowledge of this culture.

There was so much more to this episode though than just saving the school. There was no sound. None…except for at some key points in the story there was subtle background music, but nothing beyond that. It forced you to pay attention. Whether you sign or not, you were either watching the words on screen, or watching their hands. I did a little of both. If I saw a sign I was fuzzy on I’d read the words, otherwise I was watching hands and reading lips. Not only did you have to pay close attention, you wanted to! My dad, who has never watched this show, watched it with us that night and was hooked.

You never realize how loud total silence can be. All I could hear was the ticking of the clock on my wall, and it drove me absolutely nuts, but on that same token I can’t imagine not hearing it. I’ve learned so much over the course of the last few seasons of this show, but never expected what we were given on Monday night. It was more than saving the school, it was about saving their freedom. Their freedom to be deaf, the freedom to hold tight to their culture, their friends. Being able to go to school and fit in, being able to learn in a friendly environment. Isn’t that what we all want? I can’t imagine if the deaf school near us closed. I’m hearing, but I would be one of the first ones to stand up and fight. Michigan School for the Deaf has such an impact on our community, and if this story were to translate to real life around here the community would fight back.

I urge you to take an ASL/Deaf Culture class….it will change your life like it did mine. I do not regret learning ASL. It is a language, a skill, and a history that I will take with me for the rest of my life. There is something so fulfilling and beautiful about having a conversation with someone in ASL. Do your research! There is such an important history linked to the Deaf Culture, and some of it will truly change your views, I know I did! To end, I would like to share with you one of my all time favorite music videos…From the Deaf Performing Artist’s Network (D-PAN) here is, Waiting on the World To Change  Enjoy!


Refashion #1

Good morning all! Today I’m going to share with you my first refashion from those deals I scored at Goodwill last week.

This is the article of clothing that I began with. I started with those pesky shoulder pads, and just ripped them out……literally ripped out….of all things, they were VELCROED in!!
After that, I did pick out the velcro strips using my seam ripper, and I also picked the the two halves of this dress apart so that I had the skirt part to use. 
(Let me apologize for the complete lack of pictures in this post) Once I had my two pieces, I cleaned up the top of the skirt and measured my elastic. I used a one and a half inch wide elastic, and just sewed it directly to the skirt. I like the look of it better (especially on this skirt) than doing a casing and threading the elastic through. Make sure though, that when you are sewing the elastic on you STREEEEEEEEEEEEEETCH it as much as you can! If you don’t, your skirt waist band won’t stretch, and that my friends could be a problem. 
I also decided that instead of letting a perfectly good top go to waste, I’d find a way to use the other half. I turned up the bottom hem of the top halve, and sewed a straight stitch all the way around. 
(This was before I’d cleaned it up a bit) Turns out, this makes a pretty cute little jacket! 
Now, for the finished skirt: 
It’s pretty comfortable, and surprisingly a really versatile color for me. So this refashion is pretty simple I know, but I ended up with more out of it than I planned! Check back next week for the second refashion that I have planned!


7 Quick Takes: 3/1/13

Happy March 1st! I don’t want to tempt fate when I say this, but I will be enjoying a nice relaxing Friday today, and to start off my relaxing day….joining Jen at Conversion Diary for some Quick Takes.

Here we go!

1.) It is no secret that I love books, and I I am not ashamed to say that I LOVE used books. Used books are a story all their own (and they are dirt cheap!!). I just bought (from Amazon.com) A Countess Below Stairs and An American Heiress . From what I understand they have kind of a Downton feel to them, and I spent next to nothing to get them. I will let you know more once I have a chance to read them, but I’m pretty excited!

2.) I ventured out to Goodwill this week, and I bought three items….you can see my post about them here….I’m a pretty frugal  thrifty person. I have already done some prep work with what I bought,

I tore out shoulder pads…literally tore them out, they were held on with Velcro!! I then used my trusty seam ripper, and separated the two halves of the dress. It will eventually be turned into two separate pieces, a skirt, and shirt/jacket/multipurpose item.

3.) Also from Goodwill, I bought this gorgeous purple dress.

I payed $12.00 for it, it was smaller than what I would normally wear, and it still had it’s original tags on it.

this is a one hundred dollar dress! I couldn’t pass up this kind of deal! I spent a looooooooooong time inspecting this dress, and I now have a wonderful (wearable!!!) skirt! (I will post a short tutorial later, it was pretty easy to do though).

I know it looks uneven, but that is just the hi-low hem!!

4.) Here is another from Goodwill: Brand new, right size, just a little shorter than I prefer, cute with jeans or leggings,

Have I mentioned how much I just adore Goodwill!

5.) I have begun to work on my vacation scrapbook. I bought a Smash Book, and it’s pretty plain just as it is so I spiced things up a little bit by doing a Disney inspired theme on the cover.

6.) I bought the ingredients this week to make this recipe that Janssen posted. It is a vegan Thai Butternut Squash soup and it looks delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try. I will let you know how it turns out! I have never tried anything like this before…but I love butternut squash, and any time that I can find some new way to cook with it I’m willing to try anything!

7.) I always try to find a good way to end these posts, something that sort of ties all of my random ramblings together. There is nothing that can do that this week. I think my post may be too random, however among the randomness there is beauty. Like the things that I find and buy at Goodwill. Someone looked at that odd yellow dress and tossed it out, but I can see the beauty in it….with some work the beauty comes out. Much like our Creator, we may not see beauty, or meaning in ourselves or other things, but with the Creator always sees the beauty in what we see as random, or meaningless.

Have a great Friday everyone, and a great weekend. Check back later in the week for those tutorials, I’ll try to have them up so you can see the finished products…..if you’re interested that is.