Tuesday, December 10, 2013

counting down to Christmas

I found some tunes on the radio and we put up the tree today, I'm getting there. I say we put the tree up but so far it is just the tree and the lights. I guess that is better than nothing?  I'm trying out some green LED lights this year, last year I tried out the purple, but they ended ujp being way too dark, and I didn't think they looked good mixed with the white... so, it ended up being all white lights, but this year.... I am going against tradition altogether. I put on lime green lights tat I got at Sams for Halloween. I just knew they would be perfect on the Christmas tree.... I am still not sure... but they are on and I'm not taking them off! 
The lime green would be perfect with Grinch-like ornaments, and I may do that yet. I think a Whoville tree top star would be cool. 



So, we went to the Artwalk in Alpine the weekend before Thanksgiving, and got snowed in. Well, not really so much snow, but tons of ice.  The little cabin we stayed in was cozy and warm, but  the walk was pretty miserable, though we got to see some really wonderful artists, and I ate fried pickles...which is one of my favorites!   We stayed in Ft Davis the first night and skipped the receptions that I really wanted to go to. But that was even nice. We stopped at the Mercado and got a couple of hens and a bottle of wine, and made dinner  which was wonderful and I enjoyed the wine.
 

The next morning, my son made breakfast for us... which was really wonderful! He is really getting to be good at making things, he even made toast on the griddle... which is my favorite! Ended up the road on to Alpine wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. There had been a car go off the road just North of Ft Davis, on the road to  Balmorhea, and we drove about 30 all the way, but from Ft Davis on to about 4 miles out of Alpine the road was actually clear. go figure. 

 We ended up cooking dinner instead of going out, and we played out with the dog, taking turns freezing with her. She didn't want to come inside, She absolutely loves the snow and ice. My son skated around and spent a lot of time on his bottom! But he loved every minute of it. When we finally went home, the roads had cleared a lot, only making us drive really slow a couple of times, just in case. Everything was melting but the  further North we got, the more the

clouds were building, It looked bad, but ended up not being bad at all. Our electricity had been off while we were gone, I don't know how long, but there had been power outages all over town. The house was cold but it was good to be home. '
Mom stayed over for a couple of nights, and we had Thanksgiving with my sister's family, My daughter and grandson were here as well, but seems like we didn't get to visit at all. 

 We  had another cold spell this past weekend, a lot of ice and school was called off on Friday, which makes it bad for my son, he has his GT on Friday, and I don't think they will be able to make it up... 

So, between being sick, holiday and company, getting the chance to snuggle...and the ever growing pile of laundry, and projects, I haven't got anything done!


Forgot the gloves!
I am working on a quilt, well, actually three quilts, I started one a while back, it isn't as far along as I had planned, but it is ready to be in the frame, I just have to get that frame out and put up, one is already all cut out and in the process of being sewn together, and one is half cut out. I dyed fabric yesterday for the last pieces of the quilt that I am sewing, and for the other half of the quilt to be cut out.  If that makes any sense. 
I've dyed cotton, flannel, and chambray

these are ready to go.
I can't wait to finish them, they are all three for Christmas presents, soo.... I'll not show the whole thing, that way no one will know who itis for...


getting set up is my favorite part of sewing!
I love sewing with this old machine, and it is handy to take with you when you travel. I do have a cheap little portable, and heck, my old Kenmore and Brother are portable, but there is just something that makes you want to sew on these little Singers.


what not to do with your cutting mat!
I ruined my cutting mat, one side only, when I was painting something or other, but then I stuck down pieces of tape, and who knows what...So I add this as a "what not to do with your cutting mat"... I know, I know, I should take better care of things ,but you iknow... I never take the time to put something down to catch paint, glitter, tape, paper mache, gosh, really there is too much to count when I start messing around... I do put the mats up usually, but sometimes, I'm in a hurry, and well... I just don't think about having to scrub off all that stuff.  I seem to put a lot of junk onto my cutting mat, and I really do turn it over sometimes, and sometimes I get out my good mat, and use it  then put it away quickly... I use it for silks and fabric that I want to be extra careful with. 
Strings off the Chambray that I dyed.... All I can see of these is making some jewelry!





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lost and Found

My back porch has been in bad shape for a long time. When my house was built, it was built by a notoriously bad builder, and he obviously did his usual work on this abode. The layout is bad, the kitchen was tiny, not made for an actual family, though the house is three bedroom/3 bath. One would think the house was built with a family in mind. But in the last part of the '70s, this part of the country was in a boom, there were no houses to be had, and thousands of people looking for a place to live. The construction business was in full swing and no one really cared what they did, just so they got the houses up.
I didn't buy this house, and I would have never thought to buy this house... At that time, I was in school and was thinking about my date on Friday night, but someone bought the house. Nearly 10 years later, my husband bought the house from that person...  then another 13 years or so, we married and I moved in.... Not my choice. I mean, I chose to marry him... but I had lived in my dream house before I divorced, the house I was "raised" in, and really never wanted to leave it... but... things happen,... and after I divorced, I moved into a townhouse  and then after I married, moved into this house because it was practicle... and have been here ever since...

When my husband was in High School he bought a house down the street from his parents home, I know... 16 years old and very responsible. He traded houses with his brother when he got married, and then they found this house, I guess his ex wanted it pretty much, they bought it, furnished it, and then, they divorced. He lived here for a long time all by himself. It looked like a bachelor pad really.
 He had two water beds, an office full of everything but office... and a pantry full of junk food!
Seriously. The walls had never been painted.. the carpet and drapes were all the original. It had nice furnishings, he did have good taste, but it was very sparse. Which for most people would be nice. Me? I like things around me that mean something to me, remind me, soothe me, give me inspiration... I like family stuff...

So my loving husband  told me  I could do anything to the house that I wanted to, within reason...it took me a few years, but I painted and replaced curtains, drapes, and some furniture, but really didn't change much other than adding my junk to the house, changing the office into a nursery, and adding people to the house.

 It was home, and I enjoyed it... but I would have changed the kitchen, definitely the kitchen. It was literally 8'x10' which made it so much smaller with the counters, refrigerator and stove. Now, I know that a lot of people have tiny kitchens, but... I had not had a small kitchen since I was first married years before, and even that kitchen was bigger. My townhouse had a bigger kitchen. My old house had a 32'x16' kitchen and a pantry and cellar to keep overflow in and I didn't bring all my kitchen stuff... but what I brought never fit into this tiny kitchen...

The kitchen should have been first to be remodeled, but sadly, it was pretty far down there on the list. I could live with it I told myself, we needed to take care of other things... like kids and I could live with just painting and curtains...

I did joke around that I was allergic to this kitchen, every time I went in there I got a headache... and seemed to be the honest truth. I thought it was just tension, tight quarters and all... Having two little ones running around underfoot and a cat and sometimes my husband cooking bacon for the family...it was really cramped. Matter of fact, I got really irritable in the kitchen... I just figured it was tension.

So, after my husband passed away, there were a lot of things that went neglected for a few years.., I didn't have a normal job, and with the kiddos, I didn't want a full time job... I went back to work at the college, teaching in the evenings in the Continuing Ed dept. and did what I could to keep the house going...
But one of the things that needed repair was the roof... It had to be replaced pretty soon after my husband passed... the insurance was a pain in the butt... they didn't want to honor the claim... and my father in law had to step in and talk to the insurance company...   and the job got done, though they balked at the back porch. They said it hadn't been replaced the last time there was a storm and it wasn't covered... so it didn't get done. . at the time, I didn't have extra money to put into the roof... we needed to eat...

When they built this house, they left a small bit of concrete at the back, behind the garage with no roof I suppose, that is the only explanation for the reason that the roof that is over it now could have so much damage. Whoever put it up, and I'm hoping it wasn't the contractor, did a really poor job of it... and it caused a lot of damage to the adjoining structure. They lifted the roof of the garage up and inserted a couple of pieces of wood and used a couple of 4x4s for posts on the yard side, they had tucked the flashing under the porch roof line, not extending it over to the new porch, just wrapping it somehow, thinking that would keep rain out? I don't know the reasoning behind that...
 It allowed the water to pour down and into the wall of the porch, which rotted all the 2x4s, and the siding and doorframe...Well, it caused more damage than it would have cost to pay for it outright at the time, but...I just didn't have the money...

So... the kitchen, it was probably the last thing on the list, especially not having extra money... but it was just hard to work in, and the final straw was the cabinet over the little peninsula that had been drooping... I mean literally drooping. I had marked a pencil mark because I thought it looked like it had come away from the moulding... but I wasn't sure.  Sure enough, after 6 months there was a noticeable gap there... then after a year, it had grown to more than a quarter inch... I asked someone and they said it was fine....

I had china and crystal in that row of cabinets.I started to worry about the weight of it, but people told me not to worry, that it would be bolted up there and wouldn't come down... that's what cabinets are made for.... so I put it off another year...

sure... it's fine...

I don't know what prompted it, but it slipped down another quarter of an inch and I got worried... so I called on my handy man... that's what I call him, though he says he's not that handy... but I ask him to do and fix everything and he obliges... He said he could look at it... when he got the moulding off, it had about an inch and a half between the ceiling and the cabinet top... not a good thing. Soooo.... I said, can you move the cabinets that are here... and put them there?? take out the sofit... since it is wasted space?  He says sure... kind of shrugging his shoulders...

So that is how we found out there was black mold above the stove...

... so out came everything, down to the walls, and replaced with a nice, roomier, brighter and cleaner room  with a lot of cabinets and counter space. The refrigerator was moved and now we have a kitchen/dinette that is not quite as big as I would like, but bigger than it was.  And you can't begin to imagine how much lighter it is without that ugly cabinet over the counter.... I love the light...I'm broke, but I love how it has progressed.

The rest of the house was in need of repairs, the electric and plumbing was horrible, out of date and dangerous. It is like the Money Pit... The walls are insulated but not much, and neither was the attic, so I had insulation added to the ceiling, the walls will have to wait. I would love to just go through and 'fix' the whole house... but I don't have the money.

But that back porch.. it just couldn't wait. The wood is rotted, it is falling down, and I am afraid that one of the kids will get hurt. Really, it is literally falling down.

So it came down... Thanks again to the 'handyman'!!   Honestly, it  had needed to be torn down for the past  6 years, the six driest years in the like six decades  they say... And wouldn't you know it,  the next day after it was torn down....we had torrential downpours... I'm not kidding. You can imagine my horror, watching the deluge, hoping that the piece of tin keeping the rain from entering the closed in porch would hold. It was an afterthought, you know, that ... what if it rains... will it get into the back porch??

... So, I am watching the slow progress, as we are in the wettest Fall in many, many years. So it is going to be much needed...  It will be nothing fancy, just enough to keep the water out of the house and the sun at bay in the Summer. That was the main purpose of the roof anyway, at least I guess it was, or to have a place for a bbq pit to sit...  I don't know, but for the past three years, it has been home to the cabinets that were torn out of the kitchen, the only ones that didn't have mold in them, only to be ruined  by rain. Welp. they got tossed since they got soaked. Thank God. The porch is cleared and it gave me incentive, that and the rain, to do some cleaning on the closed in porch.

There is stuff in the closed in porch that has just been shoved there, through work on the kitchen, through clean out of my husband's storage building... through clean out of the kids rooms... extra Christmas decorations... stuff that needs to go!!!1
 I don't know how much will get done, I don't have that much energy, but I'm going to give it a try!!  I know if I am not up to having a garage sale, I can always take it to the charity shops.

Sigh....

Slowly but surely... it will get done... the house will be nice... We won't have junk, well... other than good junk... and it will be all right. I keep telling myself. It will be all right. I'm broke... but it will be ok.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Pioneer Woman does it again!

I just love Ree Drmmond, the Pioneer Woman. She has the best blogs, blogs that usually make you laugh, sometimes to think, and sometimes to cry. Her recipes are to die for and she is just a powerhouse... she home schools her kids, she writes these wonderful blogs, has recipe books and kids books and a wonderful husband.... and she has a cooking show on Food Network.... I think she is amazing.
Well, today she is giving away another one of the beautiful mixers in turquoise and floral. I enter her giveaways, but I have never won anything.... but I have hope.  I am hoping that I win this mixer... I covet it. I am in love with it.... and I need it!
Well, ok, so needing it isn't part of the equation, I don't NEED it.... but it would make life so much easier. Like when I got the food processor, I didn't NEED it. I wanted to update the way I prepared food. I had used the old hand cranked grinder for everything. I made chow-chow and relish with it, as well as grinding venison, pork, beef.... well, everything that had to be ground up. I didn't use it for pecans though, I have a modern chopper for that. You know, one of those little gizmos that fits on top of a glass jar, you turn the handle and it feeds the nuts from the top through the grinding teeth and into the waiting glass jar?  Oh, come on, doesn't everyone use that?
OK, so my kitchen is still kind of out of date. My food processor is the same one that I bought about 20 years ago... my blender is near 30. OK it is about 35.... but it still works great. I do need to update. I have my Aunt Billie's stand mixer from the 1950s... and a hand mixer that is only about 10 years old. I do have a microwave. I do have a toaster oven, and a coffee maker that my old boss bought for me, yes, I haven't worked for him in a dozen years, but.... OK, I don't like change.
I would love a new mixer.

I haven't been working on jewelry this week. I had a bad spell with my eyes, but I worked on a kimono that I've wanted to try out. I made my own pattern based on another one that I saw, but I didn't like the way it looked, but the idea was good, so... .I drafted the pattern, cut it out in fabric and have it most of the way finished. I can't tell if it will lay well still, I used a heavy material because it was handy... but I did have fun hemming it.
I own a few machines, sewing machines that is. I own quite a few, but the thing I love about some of them is that they have all the gizmos that go with them. Usually it is the old, old machines that have all the added feet. The newer machines might have some feet, but they deny the coolest feet, making you spend a fortune for the ones like lace attachment, cording, bias binder foot.... I know not many people use those, but, darnit, they used to come standard on the old machines.

I have an old Singer Featherweight that has all the bells and whistles, so I tried out one of the feet, the hem roller, on my Brother and it worked, well, pretty much worked, the shank is just a little bit too long, or the attachment shank is a bit too tall, but with three hands you can make it work....
I hemmed the whole of the fabric with just a quick pass, and I was so pleased.
Yes, I could have used the Featherweight to do the hemming, but it doesn't have a threader on it. I have to have a threader if I am sewing by myself. Or a bunch of magnifying glasses, and I just didn't want to mess with that.

When I get the finished product done out of the right weight cloth, and screen printed, I'll post a picture. OK, when I find the cord from the camera to the computer, I'll post a picture. Yes, I have lost it. I do have the Cannon, but I am wanting to use the camera that has the bigger screen that I can see instead of having to use the little view finder. ... Nothing can be easy around here.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goodbye to October {Next blog down is Halloween.Day of the Dead Blog Hop post}

Hope your Trick or Treating was fun tonight, I've been blue all day, feeling my age. My 11 year old decided he didn't want to do anything for Halloween this year, his bestest friend went as a gladiator, and was sooooo cute!  I think my son had second thoughts when he saw his friend's costume, but it was too late. We only had a few kids come by, usually there are a lot around 9pm since the church by us has a carnival of sorts going on each year, but this year, I don't know if parents are just Halloweened out or what. They did have a lot going on this past weekend, and I guess it being a school night.... more candy to eat is what I say.

The Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop in my post below, I started this necklace but put it aside and did the Gothic necklace instead....
I finished the Day of the Dead necklace. It turned out cute, but not what I planned.... OK so you know by my last post that not much ends up like I start out with. i am not sure that I like it, too much gliter I think. I had a hard time with the glitter on the vinal, geting it to stick down but not be rough... I ended up using a glitter glue, making a design, then when it was dry, I used a jewelry glue, and we will see how it goes. I lightly sprayed the polymer skulls with acrylic after they were painted, and I kind of like where they ended up. I couldn't decide if I liked them or not, but.... this is  one of those necklaces that is just for fun, not for profit things!

I cut the vinyl for several other projects, a couple of bracelets and a ring, when I had this large piece left over, I knew it had to be for something big and bold! The picture doesn't show it well, but I ruffled the vinyl, which was a bit tricky to keep it even, and it came out pretty cool, gave some dimension to the piece.  I used a velvet ribbon attached with black wire, then wrapped with wire, and left it as just a tie. I think in hindsight, I might like a clasp. I had fun with the polymer and remembered that I don't make polymer beads because it takes so long. I respect everyone that works with it. Glass as well. I just don't have the patience to work with either. Every now and then it is fun to go back and make flowers or skulls! but not something that I want to do every day.  I still like to make masks, but really, I haven't been working much with them... I am trying to make a vase out of clay, I made some pieces of graduated color polymer for a project that I was working on and loved the colors so much I wanted a vase out of them.... I just haven't gotten far with the design, I thought I knew the shape I wanted, but.... I got to thinking that it needed to be taller to really use the way I want to.... and the design I started out with was too squat to be useful......... Pictures if I ever get it made.
Well, here's to the last of October 2013. May it be remembered fondly. I don't know about you, but I am so ready for Thanksgiving. I miss family and friends so much, and good food.... and cool weather....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Gothic Halloween~~Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop

The past few weeks have been spent dreaming of possibilities, what's possible to do, what's possible to just dream.  The Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop reveal is today, and all the thoughts and dreaming of possible designs finally down to this........
Before I show you.....
I had someone ask me how I can work on jewelry if I am blind.... or in other words, they just don't get it, the concept of blindness... One time I had surgery and explained to the aid who came to help me to the facilities that I couldn't see... when I came out, by myself, I wandered to the bed, she said..."I thought you couldn't see"... well, no, I can't, it is the only big white blob in the room, I figure it is my bed....
I thought I'd share a little of my work with you, and let you see how I can work... and see... and sometimes, not see....
 Some of my jumble of tools, This isn't everything, but I've been working on the kitchen table this week (again)... I can't hear the door or the phone in my workroom, and I can't see or hear my son, and he's been sick again, so.... here I am, tools and junk on the table, and yes, I fell off the wagon again, that's a Dr Pepper sitting there. Bad for drinking a soda, and bad for having it on the table while I am working.
 moving over a bit, my tools and necklace board, I don't use this much, but love it when I do, I have one that is printed on the fuzzy velour necklace stuff that I bead on, I use that more often. More often than not, I just measure on me...
I don't always keep my tools in such a mess, but lately they have been put away, and they got dragged out, put up, dragged out.... I haven't worked much in the past 6 or so months that I don't use them as much as I need to.
 This is more often than not how I work, sometimes on a piece of paper, sometimes off the top of my head. I usually know what I want to make, then just do it, or sketch out just the parts that I need help with... sometimes I will draw and cut out a piece that I want to make, but like the bat in the picture, I don't always follow my drawings or cut outs anyway, so why bother?
I doodle more than I sketch. If given colored pencils or markers, I will draw all day and forget that I am supposed to be working!
 Here's a peek into my junk box. I love this thing. I keep it full of pieces that I either messed up working on or spare parts that I didn't use. Sometimes it overflows into a bowl or even into a box. These are just polymer clay that has been cooked and some are even painted.  I say they are polymer, but I see a piece of glass peeking out from the box as well.
These are the most important items in my toolbox now. I have a number of magnifying glasses, but these two are my favorite. I also have a pair of jewelers lenses that I clip onto my glasses, they are for when I am putting in a small screw or threading a needle, not for normal use... though the doctor told me to get a pair of the glasses to use for regular work, I don't like wearing them for everything though. It is difficult to look at anything but close up items, so, I use the little flip down pair.
I love this one, it clips on to what you are working on and you can move it. It also has another base that has a strong magnet on it. I sometimes like that better when I work on a metal tv tray. Yes, I do have a few of those. I bought my son and I the divided plastic trays and love those, You can sit and work and have little copartments for everything you are using, though mine is always running over.
They make these with lights, but I haven't found one that really lights up enough to really help
This is the magnifier that I wear around my neck. It is necessary now to use this one in conjunction with the clip on. It has a light but I don't like it either. Not bright enough. Funny, I need a lot of light, but the mix of medications makes it almost impossible to have a light on. Some days (most everyday from late May to mid-October) I spent in a darkened room, laying down most of the day. I am off four of the medications now and my cornea is almost healed, the retina is stable, Yipee!
Day of the Dead sketch
Now the blog post, I removed a lot of this, I had kind of made fun of myself for being ADHD, changing the plans and welllll... I thought instead of scaring everyone with the way my brain works, I'd pare this down a bit... I fumbled with several ideas; Day of the Dead, Halloween, scary, Gothic, fun....  Several sketches and ideas later....
head for Spiderus

Spiderus necklace idea
Another Halloween idea... I like this one
 
I had bounced a few ideas off my son, and he likes that goth look, and I have made a few pieces that everyone loved, I thought OK, so here's the opportunity to do something a bit different, what could I use, since I am not going to cut out anymore vinyl, and I don't have any latex, and..... well.... I thought about using the vinyl tape as the base to build up resin and make a pendant, embedding a bat and maybe a moon, or....
 You can call me crazy if you want, but I had fun making this, and I really had forgotten how fun it is to make bats.
I made a rough sketch and then cut out the drawing and used it behind some parchment paper to a roughed out bat, it turned out cute?
There was only one change that I made. The eyes were just kind of cartoonish when I put in the white eyeballs, I kept them for a minute until I put the lids on and... ewww, they just looked pretty bad, so I cut them off and built up the face again and hollowed out the sockets for some glass.  I smoothed it before I stuck it into the oven, and when it came out, I just had to do a bit of sanding here and there,  and voila, I had a bat. Just to add the eyes, that in hindsight, would have been cool to just imbed a couple of glass beads into the clay instead of having to glue them in, but...
I wanted something gothic, but not all in clay, and I don't want to do a lot of metal, so I decided to try using resin on paper, since I have this cool scrapbooking paper that is pretty and I love the blue color, and... well, the first attempt was ok, but I didn't use the vinyl tape on the sides and I kind of had a mess, then I found a squeeze bottle that had a really great small tip, and that helped get the resin in just the places that I wanted it to be, and I made some pretty cutouts, inked them, backed them with sticky, black card stock and inked the sides, then resin-ed them and glittered them, and stuck in some stuff and decided I like the purple beads that I have.... hahahah So I cut out a few more pieces and got out the purple ink and did the magic all over again. after I cut out he holes I went back and reinforced the back and put more resin over the glitter, and poked through the hole again, so it would be stronger.
There was a slight hiccough with the bead portion of the necklace. I thought that I could use Fireline, but the bigger cut stone that I used chewed right through it, so I used a black plastic covered wire to string them
 added a few extra bangles and so forth, I used the pigment and then gave it a light spritz of acrylic sealant, and with the pretty clasp (that I stumbled onto, it was marked 'charms' and was on clearance)...I like how it turned out.



By the way, I did make the vinyl with polymer clay flowers and skulls, a picture of it is in the blog above this one.  I love flowery skulls :)

 Go by and give a visit to the other participants in the Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop, they can be found here Blog Hop  or by clicking on the names below.
Have a Boooooootiful week!

 Participants for the Blog Hop



Kathleen Breeding  http://99bobotw.blogspot.com


Dianne Miller  http://www.artbydianne.blogspot.com

Lisa Liddy  http://www.lisaliddy.wordpress.com

Toltec Jewels  http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com


Laura Medeiros  http://Www.zoeowyn.blogspot.com

Veralynne Malone  http://www.veradesigns.blogspot.com





Jenny Davies-Reazor  http://jdaviesreazor.com/blog







Stephanie LaRosa  http://Www.stringaholic.blogspot.com





Nicole Valentine Rimmer  http://www.nvalentine.blogspot.com




Sarajo Wentling  http://www.sjdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com










Dawn M. Gallop  http://www.flipflopsandpoptarts.com
 Christine Damm   http://storiestheytell.blogspot.com

Have Fun!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day of the Dead or Halloween?

I posted that I was intered into the Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop, and I really am excited about it, but I have only had one or two days to work on the theme, and I am still not sure what I want to do...
I played with the flowers our of polymer clay, to do a Day of the Dead theme, but then when I started making a skull... it didn't look much like Day of the Dead, it looked more Halloweeny. so I decided to go that direction and do something scary... but then again.... I don't really want to go that direction, maybe just leave that skull and do another...
my son wanted me to do Halloween anyway, he wanted me to do a latex Gothic type necklace, but I am thinking more of a beaded spiderweb with a spider with a skull head, ala  Spiderus from Miss Spider's Sonny Patch Friends.... So I'm still up in the air about what I am going to do. At least I am thinking about it, and plotting and planning!

I've been back to the eye doctor, and the meds that I was using for the detached retina caused an ulcer on my cornea, and the treatment hasn't been helping much, so he wants to put a patch of sorts on the cornea, with stem cells in it, that will heal the cornea, he says that the retina is stable now, so I should have some relief, but the pain is so much that I can't be too happy. I can't hold my eyes open for long, I can't stand light, I can't see anything more than cloudy forms in the right eye, and the doc says the left is sympathizing with the right, but when the right is bandaged, the left eye still hurts and is still blurry... what is that?
So....
I feel like I am back to square one.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Halloween soon!

You can feel it in the air today, that Fall feeling! Yipeee!!!
I am excited, as normal for Fall, but this year it seems that we are in that weather pattern that we normally don't get... a slow change in seasons. We are in Indian Summer right now, something that is not normal for our part of the woods... er, desert.  That slow change that brings cooler nights, warmer days, and that transition into the cold part of the year is not a normal one for us. Normally, we get a freeze just before Halloween that brings the most beautiful colored Fall leaves, followed the next day by 60 mph winds that blow all the leaves away.
I'm not saying that won't happen this year, I am  just saying we have a chance that maybe, if the weather holds and we hold our mouths just right, we might have more than a day of beauty around here.

I love this time of year.  The cool mornings, wearing a sweater with my shorts and flip-flops, sitting outside with coffee or pumpkin latte... mmmmm....
I love baking, and I found a recipe for pumpkin coffee cake with pecan pie crumble... mmmmm. When I find the recipe again, I'll link it here.  I don't know about you, but I am really excited about trying some new recipes. I have vowed that this year, I am going to perfect my pumpkin soup. I bought a "kit" to make some about 10 years ago and it was nasty. I don't like sweet soup, and this was sweet. I like savory soups, and have tried every now and then to make a pumpkin soup that is nice and savory, with just the right amounts of spices that let you know it is pumpkin, and keep it from the sweet side.  I bought a couple of pumpkins already, and I will write the recipes down so I won't leave it to chance if I make it right I want to be able to do it again!

Speaking of Fall.... I just entered a blog hop for Halloween!!!  I am so excited! it is Suburban Girl Studios Halloween/Day of the Dead Jewelry Bloghop and I can't wait to get started. The jewelry has to include at least one art bead, and I don't have much in the way of artbeads for Halloween... so I am making something. I don't know what yet, but we can narrow it down,
1. I know I won't be making anything out of glass....
2. I know I will be making something either for Halloween, or Day of the Dead.
3. I know it will have to uber-cool....
I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween. I love costumes and decorating for Halloween, but I don't like really celebrating the holiday, Extortion and strongarming aren't things I want to teach my kids, but it is so fun to go out and be a bit scared and giggy.... I can't refuse.  My son loves  to decorate the yard, he decided last year that he was too old to dress up.... he was just going to hand out candy... until the last minute and he decided he needed to be something. Zombie.
Well, that's all we could come up with at the last minute. He has a vampire cape but we couldn't find it, so zombie it was, he had fun, and went around with one of the neighbor kids, leaving me to hand out candy. He wants to be chained to the tree out front this year.... to scare the kids that come by.  I don't know if this will happen or not, Oh, we have the "chains" but I am thinking that it might not be such a good idea. We have a tall  statue we put on the front porch, that lights up and laughs eerily,  and a spider that drops down, and a creepy door mat that scares the crap out of you if you don't know it is there. We also have eyes in the bushes and spider webs and bugs and rats all over the floor of the entry way, I set up a "lab" complete with buzzards eggs, spare eyeballs,  Vampire coctails, etc.... it's fun, and the little kids get scared, the older ones usually don't until the spider drops on them... then they holler and we all laugh. I don't know about a live zombie.... maybe....




Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dust Bunnies and Duck Dynesty

bedroom after part of canopy taken down
I've been not working for so long that I am climbing the walls. I had internet and phone problems and let them talk me into going digital... which meant that I had to clean house... sweep the dust bunnies that look like the were-rabbits and clean the mound of paperwork that I have neglected... off my desk. Well, it didn't end there. The first set of cute cable guys didn't install the system where I could use phones through  the whole house, me, didn't know, or rather understand, what they were doing or not doing... so I had to have them come back out... except it wasn't the cute cable guys, it was a not so cute, not so nice, and my dog didn't like.. cable guy, who didn't understand why I wanted more than one phone.... and then he told me that I could get phones that work off one...duh, yes, I know, but I don't want to buy a new phone system right now, I told them I wanted my old equipment to work...

OK, so he asks where the phone is hooked up at... well, the kitchen was the first place and then they plugged into the bedroom, and that is where the equipment is... so he tells me, you'll have to move your bed out from the wall... since that's where the plug is... right smack dab in the middle of the headboard.
So... he says that is probably why they didn't do the work in the first place... Well.... they unplugged my old line they could have at least said something. We have 6 lines in the house, which not all of them are where I want a phone, but darnit, if I want a phone there, that is where it should work....

So... he reschedules me.

I took apart the canopy to the bed, cursing every step, and believe me, if I knew or could use more curse words... they would have come in handy. I only have a few in my vocabulary, and I might have made up some of those, but I could have used a broader set of words to curse that oversized monstrosity. I found that I hadn't cleaned all the dust rabbits either. And I found the stones to a ring that my daughter had given me one year for my birthday, one of those interchangeable rings.... so the venture paid off... The stones had fallen out of the box I guess, and got caught on this little ledge on the bedframe. I suppose that the two missing still were sucked up in the vacuum.

The next cable guy that came out was a bit cuter, and my dog really liked him... he stands on the porch and asks me if this order is right... His work order said to fix a crooked face plate....

What?

bedrom after cleaning and painting I didn't put the canopy back on... I like this
Yep, that was his work order, so I go into the whole story, which is now ingrained in my mind so I can recite the whole scenario to whomever wants to listen.... and some that don't..... so I get finished and he says.... I'll have to charge you for that....

WHAT???

So I call the office and start in on them... in the meanwhile the guy fixes my cable, and then he tells me that if he fixes the problem, he won't be able to put a phone in the bedroom.... What???????
So I am going up the ranks at the cable office, first I got Austin, they gave me to their supervisor, who in turn had to talk to the supervisor, and gave me to the office in Odessa... because that is where the tech was from... and I was on hold.... the tech came in and said....
I can give it a quick fix and I won't charge you for it, and you can keep your phone in the bedroom....

He said, just tell them I didn't do anything and they won't charge you either....
So with a splitter and a new cord and some creativity, I have working phones and didn't get a charge.... I love that guy.... And if I was 20 years younger.... I would have asked him out on a date....

That has been the highlight of my month thus far....

I entered my necklace into the challenge Blogger/Non-Blogger, but I am the only one that voted for my necklace... I am bummed. It is so hard for me to put my work out there for people to see.... I just don't want to be judged at all... and that is a hard thing. I have so many reasons not to want to put myself out there.... so many reasons that I want to be private.... I have had such a hard time just letting myself be seen. Physically and metaphysical, I just haven't wanted to just allow myself to be seen.

I know a lot has to do with my ex, who judged me harshly and incessantly, and with my husband's one sister-in-law that has been so very mean and vicious over the past 5 years... ah, who am I kidding, My husband couldn't stand her for a long time before his death, but since then, it has been pretty brutal.  But the truth is, I have been judged all my life. If I am honest, it has made me who I am, Kind of cowering and in the shadows as much as possible. I never wanted to be called on in school, I never wanted attention. I wanted to be part of things, like clubs and choir... but I wanted to be part of the group and not to stand out in any way.

Does that make sense?

Nope, not in the slightest. I was Historian for the Junior Classical League in High School and the Area representative for the Texas State Junior Classical League... and Secretary in the Women's Choir in
High School, then on into college and after,  I was on the governing boards of a number of organizations, actually until just the past few years I have been out there, doing what I like, but I try to keep under the radar.... It is contradictory, I know, but that's me.
Matter of fact, that I write a blog that is public is rather contradictory. I have written for 5 or 6 years now, but I kept it semi-private. In the end, I made everything very private... but now, I am saying to Hell with it, those people that want to snoop on me, have a ball.... If you think that you can somehow hurt me more... have at it....
So.... mystery solved... or at least part of it. This is me....
I am pretty hard on my friends, and for that I am a bit ashamed. I pretty much won't tell anyone about my past... if I do, it is only after a number of years, and under the request of ... not secrecy, but of a request to not go out and blab to the world, what my business is.  I have tried to open up more and allow people to see me, my past, my family... but it seems that 'friends' aren't so willing, even after saying they are going to respect my wishes and not go around and talk about me to everyone they meet.... to honor my friendship... You know, that old, I told her, who went and told her friend, who went to her BFF who went to her friend.... and I hear about it from her.... or my father in law.... Whatever the case might be.... I drop friends for that.
I also drop friends who judge me....
I dropped a friend who I really love in that special friend sort of way. Someone that I admired and really liked. ..... That was hard, but it was over the judgmental attitude... you know, that attitude of I know this is what you are thinking, because I am smart and I know this is your ulterior motive....
That was a tough one. .. I don't like to be told that I am something, when I am not. I don't like to be judged for being conservative or liberal... or in the middle of the road. I don't want to be told that I am something based on one statement that I make... You know... I just don't get people... they say they are very "tolerant" of this and that, yet when it comes right down to it.... they aren't.  They won't tolerate your opinion unless it is the same as theirs... I don't want to live in a world where people are all the same... how boring if you both like the same movies, think the same thoughts, walk lockstep...
That's ok.  Drop me if you want... think what you want, but don't go of  on me, telling me that you know my heart... because unless you have known me for a very, very long time....you don't...
Even then.... you might not.... I am complex. I am me... don't try to make me out to be someone I am not or who you want me to be...

So...... off my soap box....

I have been going crazy, yes... very crazy, not being able to work. I try little things, but at least moving and cleaning have helped me stay busy, and I haven't had time to be too fidgety.
Today though, I wanted to take my son to hear Willie Robertson, from Duck Dynesty, speak at one of the local churches. We went out early but they were parked way out by the highway and down the farm to market road and I knew there was no chance for us to get in... so we were going to wait for the second program, but I just got to the point I couldn't see any more... so I called a neighbor that I know would be going... and sent my son with them. He enjoyed it a lot, but I didn't want to try to go, the lights hurt my eyes so much and after driving into the sun and sitting in traffic, my eyes were too sore to think about going.... I used all my drops and ointments and had a lie down, and felt a bit better...

I have been so bored, terribly so when my son is gone.. I had a sweatshirt for my mom, I wanted to make it into a jacket seems like for ages, just never getting around to actually getting it out... I have just kept putting it away. I'm not in the painting mood, but since I have nothing else to do.... I got it out and started stenciling and stamping and painting...  I didn't have a plan, and I don't have any fabric in mind to use for the cuffs, etc... so I just started in with colors she likes. I should put a humming bird in, since she loves them so much, I'm not done, I can put in anything I want...
It is as ready as I want it to be, all that needs to be done is  to sew on the front facing, collar and cuffs, and cut out the bits and pieces that need to come out... I will just have to wait until another day to finish it... I am still off and on again about sewing. I don't want to sew my fingers so I'll wait until a day that I have more sight.


Waiting to be finished into a jacket