Have you ever had a wonderful, spectacular and slightly crazy idea that you just knew you had to carry out? You know, those ideas that plague and delight you at night. right when you are trying to fall asleep? Ideas that then make it impossible for you to sleep? Well, if you have, you will be able to relate to the crazy and insane adventures that are so very much fun that I always seem to be getting myself and those around me into!
From quilts, to crafts, to school work, I always seem to be making something “outside of the box” so to say! My mind seems to be always spinning with new ways to do or make things. Adding twists to make things unique or better, at least in theory! Now this talent or affliction of mine (I think you can call it both!) didn’t just appear out of the blue one day and as I will explain it’s not all of my fault. But to truly understand what I am talking about I think I should share about some of the predicaments I have gotten myself into. Where to start is the question?
I suppose we can start back to when I was four or five. You see I have always liked to create things! You know those coloring pages you would get to color with crayons when you were little? Well, one of my earliest memories is of hating to color in those pictures. Staying in the lines was dreadful to me. So, while other kids contentedly colored nicely in the lines, I would turn my paper over to the backside and make my own picture. To all the other kids’ horror as they would say “you’re not coloring in the lines” to which claim I would refute with the aid of my twin sister, Katie.
You see, whether there is a crazy mishap or a crazy success, there are sure to be three things involved: 1. a crazy idea 2. Megan and 3. Katie. Well actually, you see even if there is no crazy idea involved you’ll still get Megan and Katie as Katie likes to say “We are a package deal!” And where you have this package deal, a crazy idea is sure to follow! So, in the end, no matter what, you end up with all three Megan, Katie and a crazy idea!
Just like Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!”
Katie and I are a team and together we can get a lot accomplished!
There was this one year that for history we were studying the Oregon Trail. We started off with the usual, you know reading and studying about the time and customs. Then we got one of those infamous coloring sheets. Now as you may be coming to realize, this was not destined to be a coloring sheet that was nicely colored in and added to the collection for the final report. Dear no! I saw that coloring sheet that was a map of the Oregon Trail and it was all over. Months later, after trips to the printing shop to get the picture enlarged; trips to the fabric store for fabric and buttons and all sorts of notions and with the help of Katie, a four by six foot quilt that was a map of the Oregon Trail was made. It was complete with one inch covered wagons with buttons for wheels, traveling to the forts and landmarks that were slightly bigger, along the embroidered Oregon Trail!
Did I mention this started off as a typical school history lesson? Or what about that time when relaxing in the evening while watching TV turned into anything but a relaxing project! You know the plethora of fancy cake making shows that were all the rage? Well, after watching a couple of those shows, Katie and I felt confident that we could also make a fantastic cake for our 13th birthday. So, numerous sheets of balled up note paper, late nights of planning and and a couple days of baking later, our first cake materialized, leaving in it’s wake a kitchen turned on it’s heel!
If you are thinking this was the ending of the cake story, you are mistaken as we quickly were recruited by our little brothers to make them their birthday cakes and then we were making friends’ cakes and one thing led to another and before we knew it we had the privilege of making a wedding cake at the age of 14! Now the kitchen craziness that ensued with the creation of our other cakes paled in comparison to the chaos that a wedding cake makes.
Dad even got into the action as the hours quickly ticked away into the night and at about one in the morning, the day it had to be done, I fell into bed to catch a couple of zzz’s before it was off to the wedding with the cake. All because we had innocently been watching tv one night.
Or there was that time when we were 9, that with the help of mom we threw a surprise party for our friends 10th birthday because we all know how grown up 10 is when you are 9. But well that’s another story… There was that one time when I was walking along trails near the McKenzie River and the admiration of a flower and the subsequent picture that was taken turned into a magnificent quilt complete with real bark, twigs and beads that we gave to our mom for Christmas.
If you have never made or witnessed the making of an art quilt, then you surely are missing out and maybe that’s a good thing as insane laughter, bizarre conversation and floors get strewn with fabric as Katie and I barter and make deals as to what goes into the quilt. “We have to use this brown fabric!” “Absolutely not!” “It’s perfect” “No don’t you see that awful yellow undertone?” “You’re just seeing things!” “Am not!” “Fine! You can use that green thread, if I can use this fabric.” Yep, that is what goes on in the hours we spend in the sewing room. You’re welcome to come see any time, if you dare!
When we were younger mom would try and convince us of the insanity of the plans we would come up with. But slowly we have convinced her that most of the time, we can pull it off and then again there are those times that she agrees to let us keep our latest creation a secret for a time so that she won’t get stressed out about it and for a good reason. I don’t think I have yet told you about how Katie and I are always pushing the deadline to the last minute! Once we were entering a quilt in a quilt show and we were just finishing it an hour before the turn in deadline. The people at the quilt show called us about three times as we rushed to finish and did last minute things like clipping threads in the car. We made it in time with about ten minutes to spare!
When my sister Katie went gluten free we decided to have a baking day with our other gluten free friends and one thing led to another and before we knew it we were entering some of our creations into our church’s pie competition. Well, with four of us entering pies, it became apparent that we could not write Katie, Lydia, Jacob and Megan as the people entering the pie as there was not enough room to put down all of our names.
So, after we had turned in our pies Katie, Lydia and I sat around talking about what we should call ourselves. Lots of weird and bizarre suggestions were made but none seemed to fit. Finally we found a name, “Kately Jam” which is a combination of all of our names Kate for Katie, Ly For Lydia, Ja for Jacob and M for Megan! Happily, Jacob agreed to our name and ever since we have been a gluten free cooking club and have gone on to win baking and cooking competitions at our church as well as the county fair!
Since we have been so successful with our creations, alright most of our creations (we have had some things not turn out), we are now working on a cookbook. A few months back, before Katly Jam was to bake three new pie’s for a competition mom exasperatedly said “Why can’t you make a normal pie! Would it be so bad to make one normal pie?” She felt better about our plans in the morning and was just a bit tired that night and yes it would be “so bad” to make a normal pie.
So yes we do come up with crazy and insane ideas and yes sometimes we do push it a bit and yes sometimes it does drive our parents crazy. But lest you think they are completely innocent, let me explain how it is not all my fault and that it is in my blood. You see Katie and I are the result of two people who also are always leaning towards the side of the spectrum of crazy ideas and thus when you combine their genes you get kids with, well… insane ideas!
My dad is the guy who has pulled off full on dinner parties at our house in about six hours. Yep, it’s not a complete shock to us at home to get a call say around noon saying that dad has invited so and so over and then he invited so and so and pretty soon we are having ten guests for dinner who will be arriving in a couple of hours. Boy do we have to kick it into high gear clearing the laundry from the couch, cleaning up lunch and breakfast from the kitchen and putting our school books away to make or house presentable. This is also the guy who built his own house from drywall up: cabinets, floors, tiling you name it.
And then there is my mom, who in first grade, gave a surprise party for her teacher and even had her adult children at the party and didn’t tell her mom until the night before that she was in charge of the cake! Or that time she had an Ooey Gooey Messy Art Camp at our house one summer. Or last year when she was Cubmaster, Den Leader, taught a literature class and was the Speakers for Jesus facilitator…. One week it was pizza a party at Speakers, the next week it was 20 plus Cub Scouts and their families running around our property for a potluck. Or just the beginning of last Fall when our whole church was invited over for baptisms and a potluck and 140 people showed up at our house!
So, now you know it runs in my family from my parents to my grandparents. Making me a hopeless case of crazy ideas! Consider yourself warned if you don’t want to be part of a crazy scheme or big idea because then I’m not the person to be around. My big ideas are happening all of the time and if you are around me at the time, well chances are you’ll get roped in to the crazy and sometimes scary world of Megan’s ideas. In fact, if you don’t want to be part of a crazy scheme, you should probably steer clear of my family all together!
Off to My World of Ideas,