#2 daughter and I dropped off #2 son early yesterday morning and went to the local French bakery, where we enjoyed apricot Danish, prosciutto and fontina croissant, visiting with people we knew, and brainstorming about the new forms my old job might take.

We went from there to the grocery, and thence to Hancock Fabrics, where — seamstresses take note — patterns are on sale. Simplicity is 99 cents this weekend, and Vogue is $3.88, which is a serious bargain.

 This is Vogue 7941, one pattern which we both bought. It has no collarVougue7941, an asymmetrical closure with a high stance, and interesting details with a simple shape, so it is a good representative of the spring styles. It also does not require buttonholes, so that is a big plus right off.

My SWAP planning has been derailed by my uncertainty about my job. I have decided to stay on where I am and embrace the new possibilities, but I am not entirely sure what I will be doing. I had intended to make my SWAP Part II suitable for climbing on ladders, but I think I may now be doing more presentations and also more computer work at home, so I may really need a combination of suits and yoga pants.

21807 004 In addition to the lovely jacket pattern, I picked up new buttons to replace the fine vintage ones on my gray jacket, one of which broke.

These are not much like the first set, but they are distinctive. I intend to sew them on today, and we shall see how they do.

If they won’t work for the jacket, they will do nicely for Erin, the cardigan I am very slowly knitting.

Having completed our pattern purchases, we continued to T.J. Maxx in search of teakettles.

21807 005 We were entirely successful with the teakettle quest, and here is mine, looking sculptural on a marble-topped table.

This is because there is no surface in my kitchen which is clean enough for a photograph. We did no cleaning yesterday, just playing and errands.

Having scored our teakettles, we carried them around with us, dangling from our hands like purses, while we checked the other things we typically buy at T. J. Maxx.

There was no Yorkshire tea. However, we bought shortbread and Turkish Delight. We also bought shoes in the $10 shoe clearance.

“I have loafers for climbing ladders and pumps for parties,” said I, “but I think I need a sensible low-heeled pump for presentations. Something stylish I can wear with skirts or pants, and can stand up in for hours comfortably if I am doing a workshop.”
“Like these?” #2 daughter held up a pair of chestnut brown Liz Claiborne shoes.
“Yes,” I responded, “but not with those pointy witch toes.”

I don’t see the sense in having the toes of your shoes go out beyond the toes of your feet for four inches. Didn’t that go out in the Renaissance?

No, #2 daughter assured me. This is required now in a shoe. The only alternative is a ballet flat, and then it has to be in bright colors or encrusted with bling. She held out a glittering gold shoe to demonstrate.

“A pointed toe doesn’t look witch-like. It lengthens the leg,” she insisted, stepping into a pair of glen plaid mules with pointy witch toes.

21807 003She has an inseam of about 40″, so it seems a bit redundant for her, but the shoes do not look bizarre. In fact, I insisted she buy them. Whereupon she insisted that I buy these handsome shoes with not quite so excessively pointy and witch-like toes.

I cannot believe how many pairs of shoes I now own. I have never had so many shoes in my life. I am having storage problems with them.

But these are very nice shoes, and quite comfortable, since the pointy bit doesn’t even begin until your own natural toes have finished.

We threw our bags into the car, which was becoming quite full of bags. Then we went to the store where I work, where the Saturday worker met me with an agitated whisper.

It was JJ. She has an excellent line in agitated whispers.

“I don’t have anything to sell anybody,” she hissed.

From this I deduced that The Empress had not let her in on the little secret, and I tried to be reassuring. “It’s not your fault,” I said. “Just apologize, and keep the store looking as nice as you can. We’re buying things that we know are here.”

We made our purchases (from the hidden stack of books behind the counter), picked up #2 son, and headed home. The mail contained the contract for my latest encyclopedia entry and my new book club book, as well as the details of the area Mardi Gras celebrations.

We had lunch, welcomed #2 daughter’s friend and relaxed for a few minutes while he told us about the future of artificial intelligence, and then the two of them left for The Big City. #1 son’s friend came by for a jam session, and #2 son and I went to the basketball game.

I had never been to a basketball game before. I have watched my kids playing the game, so I am familiar with it, but it is different at the university.

For one thing, they play much better.

For another, there are many picturesque customs in addition to the game. There was a band, and people dressed up in costumes who danced and mimed little dramas, and cheerleaders with pompons, and whole sections in the audience where people knew the words to the songs and the choreography that went with them and all of them would stand up and do these dances all together when the band played particular songs.

One of the best parts was right before the game. There is a clock telling you how long till the game begins, and all the players had come out and circled around the baskets throwing the ball and I suppose warming up. Then they returned to their locker rooms and a fellow with a megaphone (and a microphone too, of course) led us in calling the mascot in. At this point, a cartoon of our mascot woke up on the giant TV screen above the gym, looked about himself at the stone labeled “1871,” and then ran down the years to the present. He then ran down the main street and there was a sort of light show of the mascot running into the gym. #2 son tells me this is very common, but I thought it was extemely cool. When the creature supposedly arrived at the gym, more dancing and music and carrying on broke out.

Not only did this beguile the time while we waited for the game to begin, but there were further examples of it throughout the game. There would be a loud honking noise, a bunch of men in suits would come out onto the floor of the gym carrying chairs, a cheerleader would do handsprings down the length of the floor, and the band would begin twirling around with their tubas. I suppose the idea was to distract the audience from the men in suits until the game could begin again.

We were playing Ole Miss, and both sides played very well, it seemed to me, but we won, which was of course the best outcome. Whenever our lads got a basket, there was loud cheering and applause. When the other team got a basket, there was near silence. This is better than  if there had been booing or something, but it still seemed unkind. There was a smattering of applause each time, and I wanted to join in, just for politeness. However, #2 son had made the error of wearing a blue shirt (we had completely forgotten that it is customary to wear red clothing to the games) and was already feeling self-conscious about it, so I refrained.

The game was very fun, and I got a good bit of the Bijoux Blouse knitted as well.

We got home at dinner time and passed a quiet evening.

Today there is church and then I have a baby shower to go to. I am hoping to get some housework done, so as to begin the week in an orderly fashion. It has been a fun weekend, though, and a little disorder is not a bad price to pay.