Why is it that I got a slew of comments yesterday from people saying "this post is interesting" or "I enjoy reading things like this and I want to read more," and several other really irrelevant and inappropriate things?
I WAS TALKING ABOUT MY SICK AND DYING PET, YOU HEARTLESS ASSHOLES! IF YOU'RE GOING TO POST NONSENSE COMMENTS AT LEAST PRETEND YOU READ THE THING! THE ONLY THING YOU SUCCEEDED IN DOING WAS PISSING ME OFF, YOU UNFEELING FUCKS!
No, I did not approve any of them because I was insulted. This is my blog, damnit. If you're just here to slip in a comment and you're not even going to pretend to read, go the hell away. You could not have picked a more tactless time to prove your idiocy.
Lady Vox did not survive the day yesterday. She was dead when I got home.
I wish keeping pets wasn't so hard. There should be some rule that they outlive us, or at least die when we do. We give them everything, sometimes more than a child because a child can grow up and take care of herself but a pet never can. They depend on us for all of their lives. And when they die, it's very hard not to wish we could die too because we're certain there was something we could have done, if we had only known.
I'm taking a break from small creatures to love and care for and just focusing on my sweet and beloved cat for now. One’s heart can only take so much of this.
She was sleeping on the ground of her tank when I got home on Sunday. She never does that, she spends most of her time in the tree. She was breathing, and she moved a little - only a little.
She was still on the ground yesterday morning, but also still moving a little. I don't think she's eating. Or drinking.
By the time I got home late last night, she developed those post-orbital spots that Naggy had before he died. Because of where she is in the tank, I can't tell if she's breathing, but I can tell she's still alive by the color of her skin: dull green with brown splotches - a sign of stress. Naggy turned completely and beautifully green when he died, the natural color of a green anole.
I don't know what I can do for her, but I hope she can hold on today for me to get home. For some reason, I feel like she'll be ok if I'm there with her. You know finding a vet for a tiny lizard is near-impossible? I can only do what I can.
I had to put gas in my car before heading home from work yesterday. The nearest place to the office to get gas is part of a strip mall that features a Target, Walmart, Michael's, BJ's, Toys R Us, Petsmart, and a handful of other useful shops and restaurants. You can probably see where this is going.
From the time I left the office, it took me forty minutes to get to the gas station (keep in mind that it takes me about thirty minutes to get home from the office), and another hour to get to the parkway that would lead me home. It was dreadful!
Stay away from places where people can shop! They're evil! I just needed gas!
I consoled myself with a nice Five Guys burger for dinner after that ordeal.
You know what's funny? When I left the office yesterday, my supervisor said "drive carefully!" And then he laughed and said "rather, walk carefully!" It was funny, because it was true. I didn't have a problem driving, it was the walking that I had an issue with.
But, no slipping today. I don't think my knees could take another fall like that anyway.
We ended up with a good two feet of snow before it stopped sometime Saturday night. Digging out yesterday was a trial when all we had was a tiny auto shovel and a broom.
I made it to work fine this morning, but I slipped on the ice INSIDE the parking garage. Tore my jeans, hurt my knees. I bruise pretty.
I understand that snow can drift inside a parking garage (and it did) but the ice?!
Now that a few other joint and muscle groups have reported in, I'm finding that I definitely impacted more than my knees. My supervisor sympathized, so I’m sure the few minutes that I was late won’t hurt my record, and no one was around to see my crazy ice dance. Thankful for that!
I guess I can't put off buying new jeans any longer. This was one of my good pairs too.
I knew someone in college who had the wonderful talent of smiling graciously and saying "thank you" whenever anyone paid her any compliment. I told her about that once, that she says thank you were most anyone else will try to act like it's no big deal. She said it was because it is not her place to downplay someone's opinion. She said a person is giving a compliment for a reason, and it's not up to her to determine if it's genuine or not. I must say, I loved complimenting her, because she was always so gracious about it.
When I get compliments, I remember her. Being modest and bashful is one thing, but I've stopped trying to contradict people’s opinions. It does not hurt to be gracious.
Experiencing a painful episode of laryngitis. It started on Wednesday, got worse on Thursday, blew up on Friday, stayed that way on Saturday, got a little better on Sunday, and now I'm somewhere between Thursday and Friday. This has all the good stuff: coughing, congestion, there was even some wonderful fever. And my voice which comes and goes but mostly goes. I'm supposed to be singing on Saturday too.
By chance, my mother called on Friday morning. She sent dad over with provisions (soup and juice) and then sent him over to get me and take me home for the weekend, where she could make sure I was eating soup and drinking tea and getting rest. I love my mother.
I know she had an ulterior motive, too.
For a while now, my mother wanted a dog. She has been looking at a Yorkie for months and found someone who had a Pomeranian at a good price. On Saturday afternoon, the guy she found delivered mom's new, eight week old dog - the runt of four.
Buffy spent the rest of Saturday being afraid so we let her sleep. We played a little on Sunday, but she still slept most of the day, which was fine because I was still not feeling well anyway. I heard she got out of her pen some time this morning (it's the best we can do for when my parents are at work and until they can get her a crate for the night), but seems to be adapting well to her new surroundings. She's pretty well paper trained and I did not hear her bark.
Dad didn't want a dog. But, I told mom that he would change his tune when the dog arrived and he certainly did. Callie hissed at her, but she's a pretty mellow cat and I'm sure she'll get used to it. It will be two weeks before I see her again. I wonder how much this tiny thing will grow.
I'm still coughing. My voice is still MIA. My throat is very raw. But, I've got some nice tea and maybe I'll actually be able to get some sleep tonight too. Here's hoping!
Around 1400 or so yesterday, I had a tickle in the throat and a little cough. I took some stuff and set up the humidifier before going to bed, but woke up with no voice today. I didn't give it permission to have the day off! No fair!
I can't tell if it's chest or nasal congestion that's causing the problem. Isn't that weird? But, other than the lack of speaking, I'm feeling fine. By the way, the funky dizzies of last week seem to have passed.
Maybe I should make more of an effort to get some decent sleep. Otherwise, I'll spend the whole season getting sick after sick after sick.
Not blues, really, maybe just boredom. I'd like to stay home, play games, crochet some stuff. Sadly, I must go to work (this keeps the bills paid, so it's not completely a bad thing). I'm not sure if I have any PTO to use for the rest of the year. So much is going on, I would really love a day to just sit and rest and occupy my mind with other things.
I got to go to brunch today! It was great to see everyone. Then I hung with my parents for a bit.
Mom is getting a dog. She wants a Yorkie, but will very likely end up with a Pomeranian by the end of the week. Dad doesn't want a dog. I tried to tell him that he has to live with it, though. It's mom's bonus money that she's using. She can spend it how she wants!
After I got home, I played an old video game for a while (anyone remember Secret of Mana?). I needed a little break from yarn. Tomorrow, it will be back to work.
Remind me to check with Fox and Fae and my parents about New Year's Eve plans this year. I want to have a big mondo movie night again like we did a couple years ago.
Despite what I say, I really do love this time of year.
I just opened my curtain and was greeted with the first snow of the season. This is an image from my window. In the few minutes it took to load the picture to the computer and start typing, it's really picked up.
Big, fluffy flakes floating, rather rapidly, down to the ground, dusting the trees and the cars and the grass.
I had a lot to do today, but if it keeps up at this rate, I won't be going anywhere.
It's ok. It's beautiful. And a fine thing to see when I first look out into the world.
It was some years ago when I wrote this post about people's choice of words during this time of year.
This year, I own a business and thoughts of how to greet people are on the minds of many of my fellow sellers.
The general consensus is that "happy holidays" is the path of least resistance. There are many who choose to stick with what they know, and a small handful of people who are still under the impression that theirs is the only faith in the world and it doesn't matter what other people believe.
Perhaps it should not, but when you deal with other people, as retail shops do, it is good business sense to consider everyone.
The problem then turns into this: to be all-inclusive is to be exclusive to some. To speak from your heart is to speak only to those who share your beliefs. From my previous posts on the subject, it should be clear that I do not agree with this, or rather, I do not think it should be this way.
So, what are business owners to do? Whatever they want, really. Even the generic terms offend people. There is no way to approach this without offending someone until everyone understands, and embraces, the differences of the people around them.
Yesterday, while I was just sitting at my desk minding my own business, doing my work like I should, when I suddenly felt very dizzy. It was like my chair was on a moon bounce and there were a ton of kids bouncing around. Then I felt sick. Then I got a headache.
The headache is still here, and I'm crazy sore in my neck and shoulders. And every now and then I still get kind of dizzy.
Phoenix thinks I have an inner ear infection. That means doctor. And likely some drugs. And maybe some other not fun stuff.
I don't want to go to the doctor. Though, it is about time to get the follow up to see the progress from all those damn pills she put me on this summer.
I've mentioned to my roommates before that I don't want to be renting forever. I love the condo we're living in right now, but we've really reached our limit with it. I would really love a house, and I would really love to buy one. Since I can't afford one on my own, but the three of us might be able to afford one, the best way for it to work would be for me to buy and them to essentially rent from me. This also works because they are going to need a big house someday, with room for all the kids, so they're not ready to buy right now.
Sunflyr sat Phoenix and I down the other day and said he was ready to get out of the condo and into something bigger. Specifically, something that has room for him to make armor. Right now, he can only work on the tiny porch, and that doesn't do in the winter! I'd like a separate room for the computer and where I can keep and work with my yarn (and possibly keep the cats away from it). Phoenix would also like a separate room for the computer, where she can study and maybe do some crafting with me. We're all in agreement, we need a bigger place. And they also seem to agree that my initial idea of buying with them renting from me is a good one.
So, how do we make this happen?
Well, the first step is to get a list of what we need. At least three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. A garage or a basement. A free-standing house, not a town house (though, if that's all we can get, we might compromise). We would also like a fire place, but that's more of a really really want than a need. And, we know we need it to be relatively nearby to where we are now, so I don't have far to go to work, Sunflyr doesn't have far to go to work, and Phoenix doesn't have far to go to get to her carpool to school. We know how much we need our monthly payments to be, though we don't know exactly how that translates into what we can afford. I also have a teeny tiny bit saved for a down payment, it would be nice if it were more, but we can see what we can get with this. At the very least, we might have to stick it out another year while I build up my savings and try again next year.
Once we have our list solid, we will contact the realtor who found us the condo. She's a crazy lady, but she knows what she's doing. She found homes for three of our friends (and ours), so we know she'll be able to do something for us.
I'm ready to think of houses again! This time, with a little help from my wonderful friends, I might even be able to make it happen!
I found an item on Etsy that is not legal to sell (not just on Etsy, but at all). I reported it weeks ago, I e-mailed Etsy about it. My roommate reported it. What's the point of having policies if Etsy takes their good old sweet time to enforce them?
My next step will be reporting it to the FDA. I know I'm right about this. I usually don't go back to see if something I've reported was fixed at all, but I've been checking on this one. It's serious. It's. Not. Legal. I can't let it go, I'm very concerned. What else can I do?
Oh, and since I’m not posting this on the Etsy forums, I can tell you, dear blog readers, what it is. Someone made earrings out of prescription antibiotic capsules (in the family of penicillin, which many people, including myself, are allergic to). Coated or not, they are still filled with a controlled substance. I know that is not legal.
So they tell me. I would not know. I've never been to a store for their Black Friday sale. For the past six years, I've been at work. I remember last year being bored beyond belief (and on the day after Christmas too). I talked to Adolf on Tuesday and I've already been approved to have this day off next year. I still probably won't go to any of those sales, but it's my turn to have off of work, dagnabbit!
I actually have quite a lot to do today. Hopefully that means I won't be nearly as bored as last year.
I just read an article about the increase of pet abandonment in this hard economic time. I couldn't imagine having to give up my beloved pet. If it's her or me, I'd have to pick her. My cat eats, my cat has essentials. If I have to live on ramen, I live on ramen. If I have to move, I go to a place that allows my cat. I could not just abandon her.
I understand that times are tough. I still have a job and many people do not. I get this. I just don't understand how this life, a beloved and trusting companion who depends upon its human caretakers for food and shelter and love, can become expendable.
I know for a fact that I would be in much worse shape, mentally and emotionally, were it not for my cat. Her presence brings me joy. She it a part of my plan if I should have to evacuate my home. When I took her in, I made a commitment, a promise. I have no intention of rescinding that. If times get harder, I will still have her.
It makes me sad that people can be in such a difficult place that these little lives are suddenly unimportant to them. I'm sure they don't see it that way. They see dropping their animals off as their last service to their pets. The problem is that everyone is doing it, and most animals meet their end at the shelter because shelters are overcrowded. And the pet's last thoughts are wondering why they are without the comfort of their human companions, and then they think nothing.
Some of you have expressed worry that my recent wave of short posts and missed days is conveying a kind of distance. The main reason that I've only been giving you a few lines is because I still strive to post daily (which, clearly, hasn't been working anyway), but sometimes I'm just crazy busy. Now, I moved craft stuff to its own blog and try to limit talking about it here, but it doesn't always work. The Gnomes have taken over!
So, on that front: I was hit with a big order at the beginning of the Renaissance Festival. Someone who works at the booth with my dad tried to buy my Halloween Witch - at the precise moment when the person who did buy the witch got it! That's pretty exciting for a new shopkeeper, really. So, this gent asked if I could make another witch for him. And, he wanted to know if I could do a Gnome in the colors of his favorite sports team. And, his office is holding a charity auction in November so he wanted four whales, a squid, and a dolphin for the auction. And, he wanted to know if I could make pirate Gnomes (which were already in development for a friend's birthday present).
The Pirate Gnomes this guy wanted were to be gifts for some of his friends. One of them is also a faire employee, and he showed off his Pirate Gnome to everybody. Another faire employee saw it, loved it, and ordered twelve more. September was, by far, my most lucrative month! In addition, someone liked the squids and ordered two of those. That cut into the time I wanted to spend making holiday Gnomes, and honestly, I haven't gotten into the holiday groove yet. A few are done, I just need some sunshine to get them photographed and listed.
Still on this wave, I've been working really really hard on my newest line of Gnomes. I had to learn a new craft for them, and I've been spending a lot of time perfecting it so it will be ready. Also, this new line will be very different than my other Gnomes, and I've been working hard to get the packaging just right too.
On the non-crafty side of things, there has been the kitten fiasco, which you did hear about. The epic Monty issue, which has also been put on another blog so those who want to keep up can and those who don't can simply not go there (I am aware that this blog is not updating on the sidebar. I haven’t figured out what can be done about it yet.). The only thing about that is that I can't separate myself from that situation like I can put it on another blog. The Montyverse will affect this blog, as much as I try to give you, dear readers, the option to stay out of it if you choose. I can't do anything about that. That has been quite a lot of my distance.
There's more. I've been dating a guy, henceforth to be known as Robin (as in Robin Hood, not the better half of Batman), for some seven months. Dating in the sense of dating only, there were no ties, no commitments, really no definition to our relationship at all. This in itself has been a point of struggle for me, mostly because I felt I was becoming a kind of person I never wanted to be. Without going too much into the realm of TMI, let's just say I struggled a lot with this not-quite relationship that had no definition, no label, and no solid investment even though investments were made.
That being said, Robin opened up an interesting conversation last Thursday. He was nervous, but he denied it when I said so. Robin has a close female friend who lives in Ohio, and she regularly gives him very sage advice. The most recent bit seemed to be that he was reluctant to put any kind of definition to our relationship because he's going to school and he doesn't really know how things will be in a year or two when he graduates. He was afraid to give me any kind of hope that there could be something more because of this uncertainty. The Sage told him to stop making decisions for me, which is advice she's given before. I suppose enough became enough, perhaps he was struggling with our lack of definition too.
In any event, we talked. We also learned that both of us had been acting exclusive for the duration of our "just dating" phase and it was high time we put some officiality to it (like my new word?). So, I can now say that I have a boyfriend. My roommates said "it's about time" at the news. It's nice to have moved out of the realm of unsure, really.
So, that's it in a not-so-nutshell. Lots of things have been happening. Lots of my time is spoken for. I also feel like I'm in a far better place today than I was even a week ago.
That's right, fleas. Whoever the doctor was that they first brought her to was an idiot. The doctor I worked for would never recommend a cat with an infectious disease be adopted to a home that already had cats, and would never recommend a cat with fleas and too young to treat for them be adopted into a home that already had cats.
She's too young for flea shampoo and most flea treatments. Phoenix had been washing her with regular pet shampoo, and it was killing some of the adults. Unfortunately, just washing is not enough to break the life-cycle. And the fleas that weren't dying were just running to the safety of her head, which was naturally not washed. You could watch the fleas crawl out of and back into her fur.
On Monday, Miss Luna started scratching more than I normally see her scratching. That was it for me. I ordered some Frontline; Aura is just about old enough for it. I treated them both yesterday.
I'm happy to report that Miss Luna wasn't scratching much this morning, and I haven't seen any fleas on poor Aura's head. I hope that means it worked!
It's time again for the annual Leonid meteor shower! We must love the Swift-Tuttle comment because it produces some of the best meteor showers.
The best viewing times for us East-Coasters is before dawn, around 3 or 4 am Tuesday, with good viewing as early as 1 am. The Leonids get their name because they seem to radiate from the constellation Leo, which should be nice and high in the sky. If the sky is clear and there isn't a whole lot of light pollution, it would be worth it to get up and see this fabulous meteor shower!
It's too hard to catch up on the days I missed but just to tell you.
Saturday started with Aura sneezing. A lot. She was sneezing Friday night, really, and very snotty. Phoenix was planning to take her to the vet because it might be a flair up of her, wait for it, Feline Herpesvirus. Apparently, Herpes-1 is what caused the infection in her eyes that resulted in her very near blindness. I had two conditions for bringing this kitten into our home. The first was that she didn't have any diseases that could infect my cat. I was not given all the information. My roommates never said the kitten had Herpes. They said the vet said she was ok to be adopted. No responsible veterinarian would ever recommend a sick cat with an incurable contagious disease to be brought into a home with perfectly fine cats. If I had all the information, I would have said no. If they pressed, I would have told them to wait until I took Miss Luna to my parents' home where she wouldn't be exposed. The damage is done. I didn't know, we brought her home, the other cats are already exposed. I can't take Miss Luna out of our home now because she'd only bring the virus to Callie. I hope Miss Luna doesn't get sick. And I hope she forgives me for not asking more questions.
Phoenix also let her two cats lapse in their inoculations. She should have gotten them up to date before bringing a new cat into our home. There is a vaccine against Herpes-1 (it's part of the Feline Distemper vaccine: Rhinotracheitis) but, like any virus vaccine it doesn't prevent one from catching the virus, only helps to lessen the severity of it. Miss Luna is up to date, so if she gets sick, it shouldn't be bad. The other two cats had minimal coverage, if any at all.
The first step was to take Aura to the vet, where the doctor told us he never would have recommended a cat with her condition to be brought to a home with other cats. Still, she's with us now, our cats have already been exposed. The doctor recommended a specialist if we wanted to see if her eyesight could be saved, and gave us some drops for her eyes and an antibiotic for her sneeze. He also was very kind to update the other two cats on their vaccines without a full office visit (and thus, more money). He didn't have to help them out like that, the situation we've put our cats in was not of his making, after all. Very kind.
The first vet also said that Aura had all her shots. She's too young for shots! I didn't realize this at the time either. This leads to my second condition. I told them they really need to consider if they can afford another cat, especially with Phoenix going to nursing school in January. Phoenix said they had. I think they were only considering the extra cost of food and litter and maybe annual shots, not that this kitten has a disability and will need extra care. Phoenix admitted as much to me. Even I didn't figure it would be like this, though. Of course not, I didn't know.
This kitten has Herpes. She will never be rid of it. It can lie dormant in her for a time, but it will regularly become active. When she's shedding the virus, she may experience symptoms (swollen eyes, sneezing, she may even have the sneeze for the whole of her life) and she may not. Those times will be when our cats are most likely to contract it. We can quarantine her when she is showing symptoms, but we won't know when she's shedding the virus without them.
The Feline Herpesvirus is also very common. It's likely that our cats already have it and have just never shown symptoms. It's also possible that recent exposure, or even just the stress of the new kitten in their home, can bring out symptoms. If left untreated, it can cause the cat to stop eating and therefore lead to death.
The new vet suggested sending Aura back to the shelter for more care while she's still shedding the virus. That's not possible, as it wasn't really a shelter, but the home of a friend who has a soft spot for animals. He doesn't have the room to quarantine a sick kitty, he doesn't have the funds to get her the meds she would need. We've already done it. Our cats are already exposed. It does no good to send Aura away now, especially when we will give her the care she needs.
I know it's the only thing we can do at this point, but sometimes I can't help but feel like I made a bad decision that put Miss Luna at risk. I didn't have all the information I needed and I didn't ask for it. I could have and I should have but I didn't and it's too late now. I would like to come back to this post in a few years and say that Aura is doing fine and hasn't had any more symptoms and the other cats are also doing fine and haven't shown symptoms and wasn't I silly for worrying. That's what I would like to say.
Look away now if pictures of cute kittens with bloody, hemorrhaging eyes disturbs you. (And the picture may be a little dark. I'll try to lighten it up this evening.)
I know a great chap who takes in stray dogs and cats and things and tries to find homes for them. This tiny little five-week-old darling wormed her way into Sunflyr's heart, and he brought her home to live with us yesterday.
Her eyes look pretty awful right now. She had some kind of infection that caused tissue within her eyes to hemorrhage through her pupils. All of this will eventually be reabsorbed by her body so she won't look so undead. The vet said she has no sight, but we're not convinced. Her eyes focus towards sound, she even followed Phoenix's hand from side to side and when Phoenix moved her hand up, Aura focused on the shadow of it on the floor in front of her. It was really quite extraordinary. It's hard to say what she might be able to see when the hemorrhaging clears up.
We're treating her as if she is a blind cat. However, she doesn't run into walls as much as one would expect with a totally blind cat in unfamiliar territory. I remember reading a book about taking care of cats many years ago. One of the suggestions was to tell a cat when you're going to touch her and ask permission before picking her up. This seems like a good idea, since Aura mostly can't see our hands coming for her. If we do it consistently enough, she's going to get used to the sounds of "I'm going to touch you" and "I'm going to pick you up" and can be prepared. She does not like to be carried. I imagine it's very confusing.
We were a little worried about taking this kitten into the home, mostly because of how our three cats will react to her. Will they mess with her because she is blind? Will they be angry at us and experience some negative behavior changes? Maybe. Introducing a new animal into a home is always a process.
Now, we decided to seclude her in a room for the night and while no one is home. When Sunflyr first brought her home, he put her on the floor, in the carrier, and went to the bathroom. Miss Luna (I'm so proud of her!) came in to inspect the tiny black thing in the carrier. The other two cats were nowhere to be found. When I got home, Aura was chewing on Sunflyr's arm, and Miss Luna was busy begging for dinner. We put Aura in the laundry room for the night, and she started scratching the door (I think this is part of how she explores, she had to touch everything with her paws). Miss Luna sat in front of the door looking very concerned. Dréa and Roscoe only started coming out of their hiding places when all the people were home. They did not approach Aura or the door to the room she will be in for the next few nights.
Miss Luna does not seem phased at all. The only difference in her behavior is that she's curious about what is on the other side of that door. She's not hostile to Aura, she's not mad at me, she's not showing her frustration by tearing things apart. Ok, granted it had only been a few hours since Aura was brought home, but you would think if it bothered her, her showing it would be right away. Like the other two cats did with their hiding and their distance. I'm sure they'll all come around, but I am particularly proud of my baby.
As in "I know you all, dear blog readers, are pulling your hair out to know the outcome of last Friday's costume contest."
There were about ten of us participating. Sometimes it draws a bigger crowd, it felt rather small this year. We had people as celebrities, people as puns (two people as the same pun, even!), people in cheap store-bought things, and one person in an unbelievably impressive latex mask.
But, the important one, as you might imagine, was this one (taken on the office camera):
Yes, my forty-some hours in front of the sewing machine yielded top prize! Huzzah with me: Huzzah! And the top prize, by the way, is a free day off with pay. If anything, I thought that troll-like mask would win. It was something to see. She got a runner-up, though.
Do you know what this means, friends? It means that, after years of working hard and trying to express my creative side with costumes, I feel my effort, time, attention to detail, and all of that other stuff have finally been recognized. Nineteen hours of gluing sequins to a pair of red shoes wasn't impressive. Painting my skin blue with eye shadow wasn't impressive. Painting my friend as Darth Maul wasn't impressive (that would have counted as my win, it was my work!). Before this day, I had never won a single costume contest. Not one.
Granted, two years ago, Fyrecreek as The Phantom got written in and took home the People's Choice award (a $25 gift card to Walmart, the land of almost anything you can possibly want. I think I bought a video game, but I digress). It wasn't really winning the contest because I didn't enter it, but I think that little victory is what gave me the nerve to enter it this year. Maybe judging standards were changing. In fact, there were people on the judging panel two years ago who said they volunteered to do it because they knew I was going to make something great and wanted to bring some quality to the people who win these things.
So, what does this mean for my future costume endeavors? I don't know. I'm still going to put everything I have into future costumes, that's just the way I build costumes. I have no plan for next year's costume yet, but there's plenty of time for that. I have a feeling they may try to vary who wins from year to year. With this in mind, one of two things will happen. I will enter with whatever fabulous costume I make and be expecting to not win, or I won't enter because I don't need to win. I didn't enter when I needed to win, you see, so now that I don't, it doesn't really matter.
Maybe that kind of recognition was a silly goal. But, it was my goal nonetheless (almost to the point of obsession, I admit it). I'm still baffled as to why it was so elusive! But, I've accomplished it now. I've finally gotten what I've wanted since at least college when I really started to exercise my costuming skills. It's a nice feeling!
Now, gentle readers, you won't believe this.
Enter Monday. WAM entered the costume contest too. She had a Renaissance wench outfit. It was commercially made of thin velour and she liked to tell people that she found it on sale ($8 marked down from $50). She had a huge problem with me winning the contest, which she expressed to at least three people, but probably more. I say at least three because those were the people who told me about it.
One of the reasons I should not have won was because I talked up the judges. I did speak with the judges. I went over to their table because it was the only one that that the candy I wanted on it. I snatched it up and spun around, intending to quickly walk away. One of them asked me a question (probably "So, you made that?" or something like that, I don't really remember) so I turned back around and answered their questions. I think part of what impressed them was that I had a character, not just a costume. A character who was scanning other contestants with her tricorder and keeping in touch with her ship via the communicator! Haha!
Another reason I should not have won was because my costume looked good, but it wasn't original. "If you've seen one Star Trek costume, you've seen them all," as reported by one of the judges who she complained to. He told me he responded with "you know she made that, right?" But, making your costume is immaterial to she who buys, I guess. "Between you and me," he told me later, "she wasn't even on the radar. If it wasn't you, it still would not have been her." That felt good.
Another reason I should not have won was because two of the judges knew me personally so they were just playing favorites. Pat was the recipient of that comment, and he told me he was on the verge of telling her to shut up, saying that I won because I worked hard, put effort into it, and deserved to be recognized for it. Humph!
WAM even tried to tell me that I shouldn't have won. She said it in a roundabout way, "I didn't think you would win," but I managed to avoid getting into that by saying I thought the mask was awesome.
Sure, I've been bitter about losing costume contests before, but only when I felt they really were not deserved. A purchased costume is low on my list of awardable costumes. I like to see others doing the things I strive for myself: creativity, effort, even a passion for it. Besides, my bitterness has never been to bash the winners to people around the office, but to just not enter next time. We'll have to see what next year will bring.
I keep several blogs to put different topics in their own place. This helps me feel a little more cohesive, and it allows you, gentle readers, to keep up with one, two, or all of them as they interest you.
The only thing about doing this is that I can't separate myself from what is happening in any given area of my life. Sometimes, I wish it could be so.
I had a headache on Friday and so didn't go to my friends' annual Halloween party. I opted to stay home and sleep. It helped, because the headache was very obviously caused by fatigue. I had stayed up very late almost every day last week and it finally caught up with me. Yesterday was another get-together and it was great, even in the rain. Today is godson #3's first birthday party.
I am nearly finished with a project I've wanted to work on for two months. Yay!
I need to stop staying up late like this though. I think it's time to revisit my to-do lists, now that I don't have the faire to worry about. I've got to get better organized. I keep wanting to wait for a day, but that day just isn't coming.
Since I didn't finish my costume, I resurrected my steampunk costume from last year. Fox has a picture, I'll make him send it to me, because I know I still haven't posted it up for you. So sorry, dear blog readers!
On the bright side of things, this was the last day of faire. I'm happy to be getting my weekends back. This was the first year I had three jobs during this run. It was almost more than I could take, but I did it. Go me!
I've got a ton to do before I get to bed tonight. I'd better get to!
I totally wanted to be in the car and heading home by now. I was hoping to finish my costume so I could wear it on the Day of Wrong, but I still have an hour of work to do, and I have a few other things to do before I get on my way for the weekend.
Now that all my outstanding orders are complete, I can focus on other things. I can finish my Halloween costume that I started on Monday. Or, I can try to give my back a rest from hunching over the sewing machine and instead hunch over my lap desk making Art Cards for no reason other than I want to.
Ah, my job! My provider of food and shelter! The location of that rectangle where I spend most of my time! The keyboard with its letters rubbed off! The distant sound of the coffee machine signaling that the wake-me-up brew is fresh! Ah, my job!
After a long vacation, the only thing I can really do is be thankful that I have a job that makes vacations so wonderful. It wouldn't be a vacation without a job.
I managed to get one more day off to rest up from my vacation. I haven't really been resting, though. I've been using this day to work on this year's Halloween costume. I won't quite finish it today. Maybe tomorrow.
While this day was cold, it stopped raining in the early morning.
I finally bought a Half Moon. It wasn't a breaking of the bank. It turned out to be the same style as the one my mother got a couple years ago. I bet she'll be happy that I can give hers back to her. Since this one is a Spring/Fall jacket, I may have to get a heavier poncho or cloak later on (probably next year).
New coat and no rain made it a much better day than yesterday!
So, who remembers yesterday when I said faire would be fun even in the rain?
IT WAS THE MOST MISERABLE DAY I HAVE EVER SPENT AT FAIRE!
Seriously. It was raining. It was cold. It was muddy. It was being absorbed by the fabric of my skirts. It was gross. It was just plain miserable. Half of the people who were going to come did not bother. Around 1400, I went out to the car and removed those mud-soaked skirts and put on a nice pair of baggy pants.
I stayed the day by sheer stubbornness.
It was miserable. But, I've had my nice warm shower and my really yummy dinner, so now I'm going to curl up in my soft warm bed. Good night!
Yesterday, my guy took me to Medieval Times. I had been before, but it was new to him. It was a good show, as always. He also showed up at my door with flowers (that Miss Luna wanted to eat) and a little cake. It was a good day.
I overslept a little today. I wanted to head to my parents' around 1000, but didn't actually hit the road until 1100. As soon as I got here, mom and I went out to lunch, then we came home and each took a nap. Isn't that a funny saying? To take a nap. Where do we take this nap, and why?
Dad managed to get off of work a little early, so we picked up some pizza and went to my grandmother's. My aunt was visiting from Utah, my aunt and uncle who live somewhat nearby were there. It was a nice little party.
Then, we came home and watched some TV while I finished the very last piece of all my outstanding orders. Outstanding! I think I shall give my hands a rest for a few days.
And, on that note, I'll give my self a rest and get to bed. Tomorrow is the annual Faire day! It'll be fun even in the rain. I say so.
I hate driving anywhere in town. I can take it if it's just on the freeway or parkway, but when I get into the little streets where there's a light at every block and some roads only go in one direction, I get nervous. I decided that it would be easier to drive than to take Metro, though.
Fox came with me to help navigate. It was such a comfort to have someone there. I'm not sure I looked as nervous as I was. It made the drive not so bad. Thanks, Fox!
I decided to use some PTO for the week of my birthday. The last few days, when I wasn't working at faire, were filled with planning those days off. Everyone wants to spend time with me for my birthday. Sometimes, I just want to stay home and sit around.
Today, Fox and I are going to take a two hour trail ride. It will be the longest ride we've gone on since we started riding. Should be great fun.
Tomorrow, I will visit Monty, if I can.
Wednesday, Fox and I are going to kayak (0o\ - Dan the Kitten says hello) Mattaponi Creek. While the two of us have been out before, we haven't been out there before.
Thursday, my birthday, the guy I'm dating is taking me somewhere.
Friday, I'll spend the day with mom and have dinner with her and my grandmother and aunt.
Saturday and Sunday will be spent at faire with dad and friends in our traditional manner.
Thankfully, I managed to get the following Monday off too. That's my vacation from my vacation!
Someone posted a thread on the Etsy forums this morning asking for witty replies to the people who say we (as professional artisans) don't have a real job. Some people came up with some pretty funny things. I was thinking about this question, and thinking that, as a ventriloquist, I should be able to come up with a funny retort to everything.
I know my skills as a ventriloquist have nothing to do with my ability as a comedian (really, I know this!), but that's not the point.
The point is, I NEED A GNOME PUPPET!
Don't get me wrong. I love Gloria and we work well together. But I need a Gnome! Noam, the puppet version! Maybe I need to find Noam's voice before I find or make him in puppet form, but seriously! Why didn't I think of this before?!
Pat and I had a great day at King's Dominion. We had great weather and people didn't really start showing up until later in the day, meaning lines for the things we wanted to ride were rather short. We did do a whole lot of walking. I expect my legs will be telling me about it for some time.
We only went to three of the nine Halloween things they had going on (most of them were haunted house-type mazes) and they were pretty scary. I'd be happy to go again next year. It was really great. Just as long as I'm not in the front, or the back of the group.
The back was the worst. "It's behind me, it's behind me! MOVE!! It's still behind me!!"
I know what I want to make for my Halloween costume this year. It will be one of my more involved costumes, as I'm planning on actually making the clothing, not just altering something that's easily purchased. This character is going to be great.
However, I learned today that some major Halloween costume company makes this costume. It's not quite the right color (near as I can tell on the website) but it would save me money and time if I just purchase the thing.
Now, here I am, with a mind to spend quite a lot of money and time to make my costume, as I often do, faced with the simple solution to buy something comparable that I won't have to alter.
The truth is that I take great pride in making my costumes (yes, I know I still don't have a picture of the steam punk from last year). However, year after year, I see that effort unrecognized, with the exception of one. So, do I stick with what I know, and put forth the effort and watch that go unappreciated again? Or, do I take the cheap way out, buy the thing ready-made and save myself the time and a few bucks? Buy a pattern, fabric, thread, and embellishments that I have to assemble, or buy a shirt? What difference does it make if I put forth the effort or not?
Yeah, I know. It's a significant money difference, but will I really be ok with it if I sell out just because I'm tired of my costuming work being unappreciated?
So, I just realized today that I haven't done a serious workout since August. More than a month! Gah! My pants felt a wee bit tighter today, and we just can't have that. My corset from the weekend was a trifle snug as well and had to be a bit let out. We. Just. Can't. Have. That.
So, I put down the Gnomes and the other things I've been working on and got my bum on the elliptical. And I'll do it again tomorrow. And Friday. I'll be on my feet all day Saturday, and then I'll hop on that contraption again on Sunday. And so on.
I wonder if half of why I've been having a hard time sleeping lately is because I haven't been exercising. Really, I never feel so good in my own skin than when I keep the muscles under it moving. It relieves stress, too. Maybe not as much as making Gnomes, but I certainly have more than my fair share of stress to relieve.
I'd get up early in the morning to work out like I did when I lived at my parents' house, but I think my elliptical is getting old and it squeaks awfully. I don't want to disturb my roommates. I just need to schedule my work out time and keep to it. I know I can.
In the morning, that is, when they were calling for it. It suddenly changed to the afternoon. Oh, and it did rain in the afternoon like they eventually said it would. Meteorology is like divination in many respects.
I was talking about getting a nice pair of Catskill Mountain Moccasins by the end of the season. I ended up spending half the money for boots that are just as nice (even if they didn't make a casting of my feet) and didn't have to wait ten months to get them. They also seem to be less maintenance as I don't have to treat them for things like rain, and I spoke with more than a few people who said they haven't needed their boots resoled going on ten years. My new boots are decorative enough to go with even my faire gowns, and neutral enough to wear them with jeans in the winter. I think I made a good investment.
There are two things that I would like to own. First, I've decided to go ahead and get a Kindle. The system works with the audio files I found, many books are available that I initially figured were too obscure to be available in Kindle format, and I might even be able to prop the thing up and read while crocheting. I think this will be the most useful of my options. Maybe I can become the avid reader that everyone seems to think I should be.
I also want a pair of boots. Catskill Mountain Moccasins, in particular. They have a shop at the Renaissance Festival and every year for fifteen years I have ogled and drooled and dreamed about a pair of custom-made boots. This year might be the year, if I can continue to sell Gnomes like I have been.
As for Gnomes, the big order I just got has been reduced to half of the first expected amount. That does mean half the payment for half the Gnomes, but it brings them to a much more manageable number, and I don't have to kill myself quite so much to get them done. Whew!
I accepted an order that will test the limits of my Gnome making ability. It will be the most Gnomes I have ever made in a week. Every spare second will be spend Gnoming. Thankfully, one of my roommates is willing to help with some nice hand and wrist massage. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
I already told you that I burnt myself with the iron on Tuesday. It's almost gash-like, on the outside of my forearm near the elbow. It wasn't so bad on Tuesday. I even felt like I didn't rub it or bang it very often. It hurt more yesterday. It's killing me today. And I discovered I run into walls a lot. And I open the car door with that part of my arm. And when my bag falls off my shoulder, guess where it lands? I'm getting sticky vitamin E everywhere. And I can't sleep on that side (which is ok because I normally sleep on the other side, but if the cat wants pettins, I can't help her).
Yeah. Domestic fail. Just when I thought it wasn't so bad.
I am an advocate of audiobooks. I've always wished I read more, even as a child. My lifestyle has always been just too active for books. Many people, when they learn this, express surprise at the knowledge. Apparently, I seem to others like a bookworm. Nope! Not I! Not because I don't like reading or what I can learn from reading, just that there always seems to be so many other things to do with one's day than sit around (even if one is improving their mind while sitting around).
Since I've started spending every spare moment with yarn in my lap and twisted around my fingers, my life has become many moments of sitting around. I'm ok with this, because I enjoy crocheting immensly, but something has to fill the void. I was spending a lot of time on hulu.com or watching any one of my DVD collection. But, one gets tired of sitting in a computer chair at work and then doing it some more at home (though I could take DVDs into the living room, Hulu had to stay on the computer).
Sunflyr gave me a compliment of audiobooks in mp3 format a while ago. They're great! But, I currently have them everywhere. I have the mp3s on my computer, I burn the current book to a CD so I can listen in my car, and I load them to my mp3 player so I can listen at work if I happen to have an hour or so to do that. It generally still plants me in front of the computer when I'm working with my yarn, as my mp3 player is an ancient beast of a thing that, I'm very sorry to say, is on it's last legs (sound only comes through one earpiece). And, eventually, I'll get through all these books that my roommate gave me and I'll need a source for more.
So, I was thinking of getting a subscription to audible.com. I can still listen to files on my computer, I can still record them to CD. But my ancient, beast of an mp3 player is not compatible with Audible files. Basically, if I go with the Audible option, I can only listen on the computer or in the car with a CD (because who has portable CD players anymore?). There is a plethora of things compatible with Audible files (for example, Amazon's Kindle is, while Sony's Reader is not), but I currently don't own any.
And, here I am!
Do any of you, gentle readers, love the power and freedom of audiobooks? Do you have an mp3 player or digital reader that you use for your books? I want to know! What service (Audible, purchase and rip your own, something else) do you use? What player do you have? I still have a few books to go through before I'm going to need more, but I'm looking into my options now.
There's nothing like trying to press a round, loose, pleated, embroidered skirt with a big hot plate of metal at 0530. I knew I should have done that last night. But, then, 2300 isn't much better than 0530 for needing to be coordinated while handling hot things.
While I was working on the super order I have (to the soothing background of the original Star Wars saga), I had another idea. I had asked on the Etsy forums not too long ago if anyone could think of any way that I could reuse (instead of throw away) all of the things from my days as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. I mentioned that I had a ton of plastic bags and old catalogs and I thought I could use them to package my stuff, but was worried if it would be too tacky to use things covered with Mary Kay trademarks when I'm trying to show I support handmade and build my own brand. (For the record, I have long since ceased selling Mary Kay products, not to say that there's anything wrong with Mary Kay products.)
The most useful idea people could relay to me was to shred the catalogs and use them as box filler (as opposed to just crumpling up the pages, which was my first thought). Great idea! But no one really had anything to say about how I could get some use out of the hot pink plastic bags.
This morning, I remembered reading once about cutting up plastic grocery bags and crocheting something like a tote or purse or something. I am so doing that! I have a ton of these bags! I have eighty five little ones and somewhere close to fifty large ones. Since they're thicker than regular grocery bags, I can cut them into fairly thin strips. I cut up twenty little ones today and strung them together to see how it might work. I think it might work! I'm psyched about this idea to use those bags without the branding conflict.
I don't know when I'll have time to make my plastic 'yarn,' let alone make something out of it, but there it is. Now I have a use for all those bags! I'll get some pictures and maybe make a tutorial on the craft blog in case other people are like me and are inundated with plastic bags (be they grocery or otherwise) and reluctant to throw them out (and keep forgetting to take them to the grocery store where they have recycling bins). Eventually, I'll make crochet use out of all those grocery bags too. The ones with holes in them that we can't use for cat business tend to just pile up. No more! I have a plan! A tote bag, a purse, a hat, a plan!!
Pat and I were going to go to the beach. We had to cancel that for this year.
LDS and I had planned to pack up the boys and take them to an outdoor festival today. But, the boys took a long morning nap and I wasn't feeling well.
I ended up just staying home, working on the super order I got last week to the wonders of TV on DVD (today's feature was Firefly). For some reason, my roommate's PlayStation 2, that serves as our DVD player, has issues with my copy of Serenity. Not fair.
Tomorrow, I have crochet in mind too. The feature of the day might be Tin Man. I have some time to decide, though. I'm between audio books right now. It's nice to (kind of) watch something while I'm working too.
"A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier." ~ Unknown
"An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose." ~ Langston Hughes
"'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. 'I don't much care where...' said Alice. 'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat." ~ Lewis Carroll, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." ~ Martin Luther
"When I'm old, I don't want them to say of me, 'She's so charming.' I want them to say, 'Be careful, I think she's armed.'" -G. Stoddart
A few weeks ago, I had an idea. (This happens a lot: me, having ideas.) It means that I must learn how to make a certain kind of prop for my Gnomes. At first, I thought I would just buy them, but inspiration hit to make my own. I'm very excited about this idea. I made two yesterday, completely without a pattern or a tutorial. I am crazy excited about this. Here's a little preview for you!
These might be in the shop in time for the Winter Holidays, but I'm working on so many commissions right now, I can't promise anything.
I was so tired that I felt nauseous. Can you believe it?! The headache has happened before, but I sure don't recall the sick feeling. Oh, except when I used to get migraines. This headache was definitely very close to being a migraine (except that I don't seem to get them anymore since I started the Blood Type Diet). If I still got migraines, I wouldn't have lasted the day. As it was, I did manage to get Lady Vox some crickets and listen to Fox tell me about the kittens before taking a nap.
Fox and Fae have a newish place, I might have mentioned it. There are many stray cats around and one of them just had three adorable kittens. I got to meet them on Sunday night. So cute and little and furry! With the help of another friend, they managed to get all kittens and Mama into the apartment so they can work on taming them all and take them to a shelter to find some nice homes.
I really really want a kitten! But, every time I think about it, my beautiful Miss Luna looks at me with her sweet, unconditionally loving eyes. I have room for another cat in my life, but I'm not sure about my current cat. I'm really enjoying this bond that has grown even stronger since I took Miss Luna with me when I moved. I don't think she'll appreciate another cat to deal with. Even a young one that she can train. It's hard, really. I don't want her to be mad at me and I really love our relationship as it is. Fae said she would be sure to take the kittens to a no-kill shelter. That pleases me. I think I can live with that. It'll be hard, because they're, oh, so sweet! But I can live with that.
Dad and I made a quick trip to the fair to see the show. This year, they're doing one for September and a different show in October. We'll see the latter when we go for my birthday, but we would miss the September if we didn't go today.
It was an ok show. I'm glad we got the chance to see it.
Yes, yes. I've decided. If I get out of work early because of the holiday, I'm going to bake. I need to make some corn muffins and I'm going to make some cookies. And I'll probably do it while some sappy chick flick or fun cartoon DVD is playing with a glass of wine and a pile of yarn. That sounds like a good plan.
WAM caught me in the kitchen this morning. Her nose and eyes were red like she had been crying. She said that she overheard Adolf talking to another coworker about "animals and salt shakers" and was so distraught by the comment that she had to run to the bathroom and throw up.
I reminded her that Adolf likes to joke about things and suggested that she misheard. "No, no," she said, "he was completely serious." She wouldn't tell me the exact comment because I was in the middle of preparing breakfast.
Knowing that WAM likes to run to HR when something upsets her, I let Adolf know she was upset about something she heard him say, still certain that he's not some crazy animal murderer.
He thanked me for it, said he talking to WAM to explain that the salt shaker comment had nothing to do with animals. It was about how some people break the bottom of plastic salt shakers at fast food restaurants with coins so that all the contents spill out when the next person picks them up. I did that too. Funny. Has nothing to do with animals. I have no idea what WAM thinks she heard.
I'm hoping she's not mad at me for telling him about it, though. Really, is it not better to get the truth than to get upset over a misunderstanding? I know she would not have approached him herself, and I think he deserved the chance to amend her conclusion, since it was not correct. She hasn't approached me about it yet. Maybe she won't. Maybe she feels better, now knowing that what she heard really wasn't what was said and doesn't blame me for telling Adolf.
I had to come home and take a nap. The thing about this busy time of year when I'm working seven days a week (and now add my Etsy business to the mix), is that it totally throws off my circadian rhythm. I'm eating dinner and going to bed much later on weekends than I normally would, and it just puts everything out of whack.
I was so tired today that my eyes were burning. They still are. Maybe I'll get to bed a little early today too.
This last day of August is almost feeling like a crisp day of autumn.
I love this coming season. I'm ready for it to get here.
For some reason, whenever I think of the changing of the seasons, I always want to play a game of Harvest Moon. The funny part is that it's an RPG, you really can't play "a game." I've been too busy for games lately anyway.
In other news, I would like people to stop trying to remember my birthday because no one seems to be getting it right. I'm not that important. I get it.
So, in case you missed it, the Maryland Renaissance Festival opened yesterday. It was a much better day after I took care of the wardrobe malfunction.
Today, I was charged with visiting a friend who lives a good hour south of me. I'm still learning my way around this strange country of Virginny, but I did find it! Yay! My mom offered for me to take their GPS with me. I declined, but I think I will invest in one of my own. Just in case.
It was so fun to spend an evening with my friend over yummy pasta! [And thanks for dinner (and lunch, and dinner, and probably lunch again too!)]
Well, I did finish that one I had been working on as I wanted, and it's awesome! There's a part of me that hopes no one will buy it, because I know I will not be able to duplicate it. But, there's an equal part of me that hopes the person who does buy will will love and cherish all the hard work that went into it. That is what would really make me happy.
But, I didn't get to bed early like I wanted. I got to bed late, actually. It wasn't because I was working, but that the guy I've been seeing (I still don't have a name for him....) decided to come over and harass me. Because of our schedules, and adding that the Renaissance Festival opens tomorrow, I didn't really mind.
But, I didn't get to bed early. Hopefully that won't lead to a yucky Friday.
Some of the late nights I've been having have been my own fault. I've been working hard on Halloween designs (wait till you see them!) and have been staying up late to finish that last little bit. I've been working on one in particular for the past three days that I've been able to work. I'm going to finish it tonight. I say so.
Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it rather quickly, as it is very close to done, and get to bed early.
Is it sad when I get my news from the state of the flags in front of the office building?
Walking through the big open mezzanine in front of the elevators, I glanced out the window as I usually do. I had to back up because my brain vaguely noticed the flags were at half-mast. The double-take confirmed, so I had to go find out what happened in the world that I had missed.
It makes me wonder how many people here don't even notice the state of the flags. OBC's company flag has been at half-mast for a while because we recently lost a valued long-time employee, but that was just our flag. This morning, it was all three: country, state, and company. When the country flag is at half-mast, something happened.
I often quote Paul Simon "I can gather all the news I need on the weather report" when talking of my take on news. While that's true, it seems I also get news from the position of the flag.
Happy 50th anniversary for the 50th state's statehood!
I used to have a friend who was from Hawaii. I often hope she and hers fare well.
My aunt and uncle are planning a trip to Hawaii this January. They want my parents and another couple to go and visit my second cousin who lives in an awesome home on the big island. Though I would love to go to, it would fall to me to take care of Callie. The best way to do that would be to stay at the house for those ten or so days. That's not a difficult thing to do. I would still be close to home if I had to take care of something, I might be able to take off of work so I won't have to make that horrid drive, and I could crochet to my heart's content. Oh, and I might be able to meet up with Fox and Fae during that time.
I think my mother is against the idea, but I want her to take the opportunity. I spent a day in Paris because I didn't know when I would get another chance. We've all talked about visiting our cousin since he moved out there. I think they need to go. I'll hold down the fort!
That is, getting really really sore hands and wrists when you spend two days crocheting constantly. But, I've got to get my holiday designs done! And then photographed, and then posted to the shop. Whew!
That is, outside of still being up to my eyeballs in yarn.
I got another order last weekend from a friend who wants a Gnome, and a basket, and a cape. She's got three color choices (for Gnome clothes, the basket, and the cape) and simply told me "I like jewel tones, surprise me!" I'm seriously fretting about picking colors for her! Her husband mentioned teal. Teal and amethyst purple look great together, but I can't come up with a third color to match it (the Gnome hat is burgundy). I'm just at a loss!
It will come to me, I know it. Eventually.
Other than that, I've been working hard on Halloween designs. I'm filling my evenings with them. I couldn't do much work yesterday (though I did a little) because of Phoenix's birthday dinner, and I couldn't work Tuesday because I was visiting Pat.
I think that's the joy of a busy life, full of creative hobbies and lots of friends!
Fox came to visit today. We went shopping, and had lunch, and did some simple hanging out. It was great that my friend finally got a chance to visit. And that he didn't mind that I was utterly exhausted from yesterday and didn't have the energy for half the stuff I had planned. That's for next time.
Apparently, there was a fairly recent incident of a person (or persons) buying handmade items from various sources and selling for a profit. This is normally an ok thing to do in a capitalist society, except this person (or persons) was passing off this work as their own.
As my information goes, this person was found out, called out, and removed from the venues they were selling from. Yay! A triumph for handmade artists everywhere!
The party has now started to attack those who got them removed from such venues (ie, the artists whose work was stolen). They have a blog which they update with personal information and indicate that a seller or artist has been reported to their state tax authority. It's an amusing read, actually, because it looks like they're taking the date that a seller signed up for the venue and comparing it to the date that public records indicate they registered to collect sales tax in their current state.
This is laughable to me, because those dates have nothing to do with each other.
For example, I registered on Etsy in April of 2008. I registered to collect sales tax this month. By this person's reason, I have been evading my state taxes for more than a year. What the public information doesn't state is that I did not live in this state at the time I registered for the site, and I did not open the shop until May of 2009. If they had this bit of information, they could further try to say I was evading my state tax for three months. Again, the information not available is that I have made no state taxable sales in that time. I admit that part is sheer luck, but it's the truth. If I don't sell in the state, I don't have to pay state sales tax. I haven't had an in-state sale yet, so I'm perfectly legal.
I just find it interesting that this self-righteous party is so quick to accuse others because they were found out, but their accusations are not based on facts. They're based on unrelated dates with a lot of assumption thrown in. Granted, it causes trouble for the people they attack, but it also wastes the time of investigators and the money of the tax payers (which includes the accusing party, does it not?).
Today was kayaking, but not like what we usually do (that is, going from point A to B and back again). We pitched a tent, put up some tables and camping chairs, spread out some picnic blankets, and knocked about Spa Creek.
There were nine of us and, while most of us had Hobies, enough variety that we could try other kayaks too. The initial plan was even to get some friends who didn't own kayaks to come out and try ours and have some fun. All of them cancelled on us, though.
But it really was a great way to spend a day. We all had a picnic lunch and even played a few games. It was very different than how we usually kayak. And great fun!
It was also very hot. My mother and I were worn out sooner than everyone else and retreated to the comfort of her air-conditioned home to get some energy back before I drove back to VA. Still, a fun day!
I came to my old home last night. I didn't sleep very well (surprise). Today, I went shopping with my mother, went with my parents to the Ren Faire grounds to pick up my participant pass, had lunch with them, then visited my grandmother. Oh, and topped it all off by watching the Nats win another home game. (Yay!)
And I'm still awake now to tell you so. Tomorrow, Fox carefully planned a big kayak and picnic day. It should be lots of fun and maybe a bit more restful than our regular kayak outings. We'll see. Goodnight!
So, the story is that the Internet service has been down at home since Sunday. (I honestly don't know if it was back up and running yesterday, too busy to turn on the computer.)
But, seriously! Two days with no Internet is bad! I run an Internet business! I need my connection!! The things I can do from here at work are very very limited (because, you know, I'm supposed to be working and all). Here and there is ok, but I certainly can't run my business from the 'other' office.
If things aren't back to neat today, I'm going to have to take my laptop to Panera or something and get my work done there.
I've noticed children, people in general, really, tend to get very attached to certain things. These things may be a toy, a movie, a book, something like that. And why not? When you're young, those things are your world, and you only keep things in your world that you adore.
As we get older, we leave those things behind. Maybe something happens to them, like they break or something. And then, years later, we might remember it and go searching for it, or we might just randomly come across it somewhere. Then, we work to own it again and are filled with childlike joy at having it, and all the memories that it induces.
When my brother and I were young, my parents had a subscription to National Geographic World. It was the National Geographic for kids. Simple, right? Each issue had some kind of nifty pull-out, a map or a poster or something. I remember one that was a beautiful unicorn painting, and on the back had drawings and information about other creatures that never were. I loved that poster, and I had it hanging on my wall for years. I remember taking it down to paint my room, and my cat, Nick, who had a paper fetish, destroyed it. It was gone. I was sad.
Years later, something reminded me of that poster and I went searching. I was able to find that it came with the December 1986 issue, but National Geographic didn't have any of those back issues in stock anymore. I tried the Want it Now feature on eBay, but people kept wanting to sell me the December 1986 National Geographic (not National Geographic World, a different publication). For long stretches of time, I would give up looking, then search again only to come up nil again.
Just a couple weeks ago, LDS mentioned a book she was looking for but couldn't find. I told her I can find anything and found her book. I also had another inkling to search for this magazine and poster again. This time, I found it at a wonderful little site called Pastpaper.com. Within a week, it was ordered and handful of days after that, it arrived.
I must admit that I made a funny, cute little squee when I gently opened the magazine and saw the poster folded neatly inside. I was glad no one was home! I know I was handling it like it would fall apart if I sneezed. It is almost 25 years old, after all. Now, I need a frame. No, I need a frame NOW!!
Anyway, looking at that poster, and remembering how very fond I was of it also reminded me of something else. The nifty dragons on the back of the poster always reminded me of the Flight of Dragons. This was an animated film based off of a couple books and released in 1982. I found a re-release on VHS that I bought for my brother about a dozen years ago. There has never been a DVD release. Seriously! They can put the Last Unicorn on DVD but not Flight of Dragons?! What's up with this!?! I don't have a VHS player anymore! Gah!!
I did find a site that might have a bootlegged, recorded from video, DVD. I'm taking a chance with it and seeing how it is.
Maybe it's my impending birthday that's making me want to reconnect with all these cool things I had when I was growing up. I think if I had kids of my own, the pull would be stronger. Though, I do want my godsons to be able to love what my brother and I so dearly loved. I wonder if my parents did this too.
I've been getting a lot of campaign mail lately. From people running for county council in a county and district where I do not live.
I wrote to one of them, expressing my displeasure at receiving multiple mailing from their office when it should be very clear to anyone with functioning eyes that I don't even live in that state. The reply was "oh, the board of education has you listed here." Really? But that's not the address that's printed on the envelope and inside the letter, now is it? If they've got a Maryland address for me, why oh why is my Virginia address getting printed on the letters?
I must say, I'm sure glad I don't live in that district where the representatives are so eager to completely waste their funds on someone who is not even in the right state.
When I see you it reminds me of my single life, how free it was then!
The grass is always greener on the other side, my friend. Maybe someone will always want what you have, even if the time for getting, or keeping, it is long past.
1 thing I love you best is always so positive.
It’s getting too late for that. But it’s ok. It means my life is what I make it. That’s good enough for me. Many never get that chance.
I just have something against trying to pay for retirement and college at the same time. If it doesn’t happen soon, it won’t happen.
I don’t think there’s any one or thing to blame. We all struggle through this life because the next is unknown. We have faith about it, but no way of knowing.
I don’t watch the news. If I listen to it at all it’s because I’m waiting for the traffic and/or weather reports. I can’t take it otherwise, it makes me cry. Even the happy stories. It’s too much for me.
Only tell me things I need to know! Most of it, my day-to-day won’t change with or without those reports. When it will, that’s when I need to know.
Of computer time, that is. We're perfectly happy with this.
I've been doing a lot of bike-riding, and working on the commissions I have lined up, and re-organizing of my room. And I’ve become more active in the ministry, planning for our next holiday. So much to do, so little time to spend blogging.
Remember on Friday I mentioned that one of my coworkers asked for a massive commission? Five each of Piggies and Gnomes and some needle felted shrooms. And someone else asked for a cape to keep her Gnome friend snuggly in the approaching cooler months and a little travel basket so he can accompany her in style.
I'm working on everything! Really!
The parts of the last few days that weren't filled with a meeting, a movie, and a visit with Monty have been filled with yarn.
I made time to squeeze in a project of my own too. I had to. I left work early on Thursday because I couldn't breathe, my heart was racing, and I could barely see through my tears. I fought heaving sobs all the way to the store, where I bought the things the doctor wanted me to take. I then proceeded to fight that gripping terror all the way home, trying very hard to ignore the "I would rather die than deal with this" thoughts that went through my mind the whole way.
A phobia is defined as an exaggerated and illogical fear of something. It doesn't really help to be phobic about something, even know it's completely irrational, when it's something you have to do. As Monty put it on Sunday "if I don't take my meds, I go crazy. If you don't, you die." Being inexplicably terrified at the thought of taking pills makes this a very difficult thing to do. Whether the levels of those substances in my body are actually low enough to cause death should I let them go remains to be seen, but it's a variable no one really wants to explore.
But I know that it's there, and that's a start. I decided to make myself a Happy Pill. His name is Phil, the Pill. I used my favorite color of purple and gave him a big smile. Phil is going to help me stay on top of all these pills. I put everything I need for the day in a pill case the night before. I take some immediately upon rising in the morning, and bring the rest with me to work where I'll take them after eating something. Phil sits on top of my alarm clock, blocking the view and the buttons. I can't turn the alarm on until I move him, and I can't move him until I've put the pills for the following day in the case. In the morning, when I take the first two, Phil goes back on the clock so I have to move him again in the evening when I get my pills ready.
It's working, but then again it's only been a few days. I'm still pretty certain I'll start making up excuses to stop taking them in a month or so. That's how it always seems to work. Or, I'll miss a day by accident and just give up from there. I know how I am. I've always done this. I'm hoping this time, Phil will help me see it through for the four or five months that the doc wanted me to take them. Then I can get tested again and she'll say everything's fine and I won't need to take so many anymore. That's the goal. I'm trying. I'm really trying. Maybe I'll get a picture of Phil for you sometime later.
You might remember last year when I entered a fan art contest for this awesome webcomic, the Dreamer. I entered again this year.
Wouldn't you know, I won! Yay! What fun!
I love fan art. Seeing how different people express their love for something in so many different ways. Everyone had such wonderful art!
It was the pick up I needed. After yesterday's panic attack over vitamins, I was just feeling miserable. Shaky, weary, heart racing, just wanting the day to be over so I could get home and sleep. Then I saw that, and the shakes and the pounding pulse went away. The work day ended with one of my coworkers placing a massive commission.
It's called pharmacophobia, and it is far more incapacitating than gephyrophobia and nosocomephobia, both of which I have admitted to before. On an unbelievably monumental scale. Makes the other two seem like casual observances.
My parents and I went to the dentist today. I didn't change doctors when I moved because I've been going to this one for years and it's not that problematic to take a day off for the good ole dentist every six months. By chance, it was also the day that the new Harry Potter movie opened.
It was good. I feel like it wasn't as action-centered as some of the other films (though the parts where there was action were very well done). But it was good. A satisfactory chapter in the cinema tale.
I don't seem to have the mind to say everything I really wanted to say about it. Maybe it's just bedtime.
My dislike of doctors was temporarily lifted, but it's back in full now. I know not all doctors are created equal, but why am I plagued with the ones who don't listen to me? Their shiny, expensive education does not give them leave to ignore my concerns. At. All.
The reason for going in the first place was because there is a mass on the back of my neck. It's under the skin, very solid, and quite painful. It appeared almost five weeks ago, the first morning of the kayaking trip after I spent the evening being eaten alive by mosquitoes and flies. This made me believe that the painful lump was just an upset lymph node. In my experience, they go away in a few days and don't hurt like this one. My nurse-to-be roommate thought it may be a cyst. There is another just above it, but this one is behaving like a lymph node should, swelling up and going away as it does its thing without pain. It was almost four weeks since it showed up that I went to the doctor. She liked the lymph node theory and so ordered blood tests (to see if there's anything there that will tell me of an infection) and an ultrasound (to find out what the lump is actually made of).
The ultrasound indicated a plain old lymph node. The technician called in the on-site doctor during my scan who sounded very perplexed when I affirmed that I was not feeling unwell and had not had any recent cold or illnesses of any kind. She kept asking, as if the third or fourth time would yield a different answer from me. Blood work came back with nothing on pinpointing a cause of an overzealous lymph node. I've been ordered to wait and see how it is when six weeks from its appearance have gone by. If it hasn't changed, they'll do more tests.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel with a rock-hard bed and even harder pillow, and woken up feeling like someone breaking your neck would feel better than the soreness in your muscles? That's the kind of pain I've been in for four weeks and change. And I have to deal with for two more. Joy.
But, that's not even half of the issue.
The blood tests came back showing that I am anemic. This, they say, is related to a suspected iron deficiency and have ordered more test, which may result in the need to take an iron supplement of some sort. They also found that I am deficient in vitamin D, and said I need to take a prescription and over the counter supplement to correct that.
Now, when I spoke to the doctor a week ago, one of the first things I told her was that I am awful at taking pills. I don't even take a multivitamin. I'd sooner reach for a cold washcloth and take a nap when I have a headache than a bottle of painkillers. I really detest taking pills and do so only as a last resort. She told me then that I really should be taking a multi, and since I don't drink milk (intolerance, not choice) I should have a calcium supplement as well. I can almost guarantee that I'll be on this bandwagon for about a month. Then, I'll stop taking them again. So, with this knowledge in mind, the only thing she can recommend is more pills? So, now I go from taking none, to needing five or more? What the hell is this shit about?!
I didn't actually talk to the doctor about my tests and the recommendations from there, I only spoke with the nurse. I called her back and told her I needed alternatives to all these drugs. The response I got was "this is what we do in a case like this." If I were a case, that would be a fine argument, but since I am a person, they can tell me I need pills without offering alternatives all they want.
See, I know there are alternatives. If I'm iron deficient, I should eat more beef. If I'm vitamin D deficient, I can spend some more time in the sun. There is nothing that is wrong that can't be corrected by simple, natural changes. I'll even concede taking a multi and calcium supplement (for now), but the other things have other options and I'm not just going to start choking on pills until they've been attempted.
On the bright side, I'm not diabetic and my blood pressure and cholesterol are in pretty good places. Still, the initial reason for going to a doctor has to wait and I am not going to have unnecessary pills shoved down my throat.
I walk the path that is my life. I know not where it will take me. It is a journey marked with wonders: new things, creative springs, simple pleasures that keep my days bright. Learning is my purpose, creating is on my trail, the destination is yet unknown. Come walk with me for a time. You may find something you did not know you were seeking.
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