Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Mathematical Mystery of the Mid-Life Crisis

Am I the only person to question this??

I have too many thoughts; I just can't seem to HELP it. In addition to having too many thoughts, I wonder about too many things...including the ever popular "Mid-Life Crisis". I'm pretty sure it's a hoax, although I couldn't say precisely who perpetrated it initially (well, outside of the obvious - it has "Guy Thing" written all over it :o)

Personally, I think it's all about Denial (and I don't mean that river in Egypt). How else could people justify completely ridiculous and often irresponsible behavior when they are supposed to be old enough to know better? My husband always used to tease me that when I hit 40 he was going to trade me in on a newer model. Living in the south, these [highly delusional] plans morphed into thoughts and comments about doing a "twofer" (that's Southernese for a two-for-one deal, by the way). He thought it would be a grand plan to cash in his "old" 40 for two "new" 20's. Of course I felt obligated to point out that his pacemaker probably couldn't handle it (he doesn't actually have one but he IS, after all, several years older than I...)

Anyway, somewhere along the line it occurred to me that this thing known as the "Mid-Life Crisis" is an absolute mathematical impossibility. Think about it: in order to have a crisis in the MIDDLE of something, don't you have to know when the END is?? How can you possibly figure out where the middle is without prior knowledge of the end? I'll admit that the left side of my brain IS sadly lacking, but even I know there is something not quite right with this equation.

Maybe it was the cancer diagnosis at age 40 that prompted this line of thinking. The thought that if I didn't make it the full 5 years out (to the ripe old age of 45) it would mean I should have already HAD my midlife crisis at the age of 22. So did I miss it? Can I reschedule?

I think I'm going to have a mid-life crisis; they sound like fun. Maybe I'll just declare myself a late bloomer, go Nike, and "Just Do It". Yep, that's what I'm going to do, so I suppose I'd best get to it. I wonder how my husband would feel about a Harley Hog this Christmas. You know, come to think of it, he hasn't had HIS crisis either. Guess we might just end up with that twofer after all...

To read the other sections contained in my Squidoo lens ('cause yep, there's more :o) visit 3, 2, 1....AARRGH!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Frittering - Er, Make That Twittering Your Days Away...

To best understand where I'm coming from in this post, I highly recommend reading "Techno Twit and the Digital Suicide Attempt" posted in April of 2008 (It'll help - well, maybe :o) I really couldn't say why I did it; I shouldn't have (really) but I did. I signed up for Twitter. Why? I dunno - temporary insanity perhaps? Personally, I think the umpteen blogs, communities, cliques, groups, promotional sites, advertising sites, retail sites, networking sites, centers, albums, (yadda yadda yadda) I belong to should be more than enough to do already. AND let us not forget our very own twenty something page website (click here to go see it) I so stupidly opted to do FROM SCRATCH (to save money that we did not have) and now MAINTAIN (to save more money that we still don't have) for our not-for-profit farm. Attempting to promote the shops and our site, I signed up for something that looked helpful only to find there was another something to sign up for that came after it. It got to the point that I had to start jotting them down on a handydandy 3x5 index card to keep them all straight, then had to transfer it all to the front of a 4x6 index card when I ran out of room. Do I need to follow up with obvious? I am, of course, now on the back of that 4x6 index card and eyeballing some notebook paper (as said 4x6 is almost full on both sides :oP

I gotta wonder, though, about this latest craze: Twitter. The first thing you're asked upon joining is, "What are you doing right now?" Of course me being me said, "I'm typing this stupid sentence on Twitter..." Or words to that effect, anyway. It's a little on the voyeuristic side of life, isn't it? Why do you care what I am doing right now? Are you that bored? Why do I want to know what you are doing right now? What do I care? PLUS; if you want to be obnoxiously pickyabout it (and apparently I do), whatever I say I'm doing "right now" on Twitter can't be what I'm doing "right now" because "right now" the only thing I'm doing is typing on Twitter. So, now that I belong to this ridiculous group, does that make me an "official" Twit? When I type what I am doing now (but am no longer doing, about which you should not care) do I then become a Twitter-er?

I will very likely leave this site to go to that site to say what I am doing now (but am no longer; about which you probably will not care). Other than creating an immediate need for Tylenol, is there a point to this post? I seriously doubt it, but you know what? I don't care :o)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Forget the Interior...How About Exterior Design?

~♥~ Quickie Post ~♥~

Neuroses notwithstanding, it is the goal of every artist to produce something people will genuinely appreciate. I am totally artistically insecure, having been raised on the premise that art is not a "real" profession but a hobby, plus I've only recently emerged from the creative closet (er, so to speak).

I tend to assume the worst of ambiguous comments like, "Wow, that's really something!" or "My, how unusual!" Considering I have used those very words when confronted with something unexpected that requires immediate feedback (like maybe a nose ring or hot pink hair), it's not much of a stretch to think those phrases can be used against you in return.

So how can you tell when someone reaaalllly loves your stuff? When they purchase a piece of your work and use it for exterior design, of course:

Imagine my surprise when one of my customers, Shannon (who did tell me a whole bunch of times how much she loved this sketch), said she wanted to use "Mama N me" [shown left] for her tattoo [on the right]. It was done in memory of the baby girl she lost, and other than changing it to color I'd have to say her tattooist (is that even a word?) did a great job ~ wow! So, I'm thinking I can safely say that Shannon (for sure :o) likes my work...

If you'd like to visit Shannon's shop, she has some lovely pieces of handmade jewelry at:


Oh, and thanks for the "impossible to misconstrue" compliment Shannon; we who are ridiculously insecure salute you :o)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aren't We Done YET??

A quick interim post (or status update, if you will :o)...

It's amazing just how complex the simple things can become. Like getting organized (and staying that way ~ for crying out loud!) It didn't sound like a monumental task for my summer, but I have decided that I am able to complicate even the simplest of projects (I apologize to those who are offended for using the "P" word; p-r-o-j-e-c-t) in an unbelievably short period of time.

Granted, taking a house that appears to have survived some sort of internalized natural disaster is a bit less than simple, HOWEVER, it has recently come to my attention that complicating projects can indeed be elevated to an art form (and I'm just so there :oP

I did manage to get some things done though, see?

and here...

I suppose I should confess to being hopelessly addicted to storage bins and tubs (They're just so handy). My father gleefully clipped and sent all of the funnies from Cathy (comics) when she was have her storage container crisis ~ the store ran out of her existing color of choice. Honestly, what's a girl to do? Of course you know she had a meltdown over it (Irving may not have understood, but I was totally empathetic :o)

We did get a "trashed" 5 drawer lateral filing cabinet gussied up from its industrial grey and rust finish (ick) to something a little easier on the eyes...

Considering there are approximately 2 square feet of open space in my office, it was a little dicey trying to get a picture (although I think you can get the gist :o) Inexpensive picture frames were used to cover the mangled and missing label holders on the front of the drawers. Turned out pretty neat, didn't it? My daughter gets the credit for the initial sanding ~ she worked like a Trojan on it!

Time to get ready for church, and then maybe I'll see if I can put a few more things in some bins this afternoon. if I'm now in my early 40's, maybe by the time I actually get it all put in bins, organized, and labeled it'll be ready for the move to my new home in Geriatricville, USA. Possibly even in time for my 96th birthday.

... or not...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

5 - Creating OOAK (Order Out of Alarming Kaos :o)

My house scares me. Not because it's evil or eerie or even somewhat eclectic (which it is :o) but because it has been invaded. By what, you ask? Well I'll tell you ~ my house has almost completely disappeared under a deluge of craft supplies and vintage items that span decades (literally). First there was my own personal stash (which was already a teeensy bit *cough, cough* out of hand), THEN there were the boxes and bins belonging to my grandmother (Nana), the ornaments made by my great grandmother (her mother) and so on.

Some of it has been fabulous fun to sift through, like the family photographs dating all the way back to the 1860s (translation: watch for a blog post on my heritage scrapbook album, I'm so into it :o) There was the vintage jewelry she had stuck in a seriously tacky ceramic container; Trifari pieces that were drop dead gorgeous and some other amazing bits and baubles (hours of fun trying on and bringing back some fond memories). These fabulous finds were mixed in, mind you, with some cheesy plastic jewelry and dead tape (eew).

Then there were the things that were not so fun. Like the piles and piles of knitted "squares" that were NOT square (or any other easily identifiable shape; Nana had Alzheimer's). She made them by the dozens ~ no two the same size or shape - complete with holes and dropped stitches - impossible to use for anything. But the thing that really hurt my feelings was "The Tree". I've unofficially dubbed it, "Lamenting Loretta: A Felonious Folly" as this is nothing short of criminal...
Needless to say, I will be dissecting this and remaking some of the pieces into vintage jewelry for my shop (after I pick out the "keepers", of course ;o)

To top it all off are the evil dust bunnies on crack that I seem to be chasing
everywhere. Have you seen them? They look something like this...
Note the small beady eyes which have no problem spotting clean surfaces in dire need of a "dustover". For the past several years I have been battling them to no avail. Craft supplies and everything else had to be kept in boxes, storage containers or bags to prevent a light coating of dust from rapidly accumulating. It was a constant battle to keep up with that seemed to be getting worse, and I fought it bravely right up until the cancer. Now, I'll be the first one to admit I don't like to clean. While I may derive that certain satisfaction that comes with a job well done, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I liked it. Along with a cancer diagnosis comes surgery (or in my case surgeries), chemotherapy and a whole host of other raindrops on your parade that cause a lot of things to fall by the wayside (cleaning being one of the first casualties in the new war).

Why am I off on a tangent telling everyone about my dust? Because there's a moral to this story. A number of years ago, we remodeled the house and added a much larger central heat and air unit. In addition to some serious square footage, we added a half roof on the back side which created a nice big roof instead of several smaller ones. We also ended up with some storage space for "outdoor safe" items. Had it not been for the air handler going out a couple of months ago we would never have discovered that the people who installed the very expensive, brand new unit forgot to seal off the air intake. What does this mean? Well, instead of pulling air from the house, it was pulling air from the attic between the roofs. Nice hot, stuffy, dusty, gritty air which burned up the coils in the old handler and cost us around $1,300 to replace. Of course the man that owned the business that did the installation of our new A/C retired quite awhile back...probably to some remote island in Bimini. The moral? Check behind your contractors (which we did) even if they come highly recommended (which he was), and if you haven't a clue what to check find someone who does (that's the part we missed).
Anyway, if I can put in about 8 to 10 hours a day, I probably have a mere 6 - 8 months of cleaning and destashing left do. I'm sure if I hurry though, I can Git 'er Done (as they say). Hmmm, you know I don't remember seeing that big box before, maybe I'll just take a minute and see what all's in there...

Friday, May 9, 2008

4 - Finding That Ever Elusive Happy Medium...

I think the first issue here would be to determine precisely what that statement means. Now that I have allowed my creative self to emerge, I probably need to strike some sort of balance between work, creativity and family, don't I? Of course being a perpetual smart-alec and sitting here reading the words "happy medium" conjure some entertaining definitions to go along with the meaning of that particular phrase. It could be a perky palm reader, for example; or - since it's relevant - I can declare a pencil as my personal "happy medium". Well, using it does make me smile most of the time....

Is it just me or does everyone assume that they're the only one with a specific problem? I logged on to Ning the day before yesterday to see that another FAM had posted in the forums asking for advice on what to do when your husband starts complaining about your involvement in your crafts/time spent on Etsy. You're kidding! I thought that was just MY husband doing that (see what I mean?) Of course I was morally obligated to respond with a bit of cheer:

See me scooch over to make room for you in this here boat (because guess what? we're in the same one!!) I also work in a school system, so soon to be summer (thank goodness!) and I too find myself "stuffing" my creativity anywhere I can fit it. To make you feel a tiny bit better, my DH was laid off about 2 months ago and is temporarily ALWAYS home :o he's now beginning to grumble about Etsy himself....

So even though it's not a solution exactly, I vote we start right here -
"Support group, party of two"
Of course we should definitely order something from A Sugar Affair's shop (and it's gotta have chocolate in it) to have at our first official meeting...

What really surprised me was the number of posts after that - there are a whole bunch of us! It's nice to know that you're not the only one having technical difficulties with a specific issue; of course no one had a solution to her dilemma as they were all suffering from the same problem, but it sure is nice to know you're not alone. And what is it that you do when you have a group of people all suffering from the same issue? Well this was my suggestion:

As unofficial acronym queen, I vote we just get a yacht, load up on the chocolate, and - because this is starting to sound more and more like a support group meeting, I'll make a motion we go for a "team" anonymous group and call ourselves E.A.T. (Etsian's Anonymous Team) which not only meshes with Etsy, it covers the chocolate issue too....hahahahha :o)

Interestingly enough, in the past few days since that little group discussion of ours I somehow managed to become so completely eclipsed by my own creative monster that I pretty much ignored my poor family altogether. Hmmmm, I wonder if I'll find that balance someday - probably not. Although I have pretty much worn myself out, I did produce some nice additions for my shop:

First up were the magnets. Why? I don't know; apparently Sebastian didn't have a clue either, but we had a grand time :o) I've only posted one set thus far, but of course made lots more (I found an empty spot on my dining room table...tsk-tsk, can't have that, now, can we?)
Okay, empty spot on dining room table - check! Now then, what was I supposed to be doing again?? Hmmm.....

Oh, I know! I can't believe I forgot about them. I wanted to finish some of those Pink Ribbon ACEOs I was working on for Breast Cancer survivors/supporters/ survivors in training (a.k.a. those till in treatment). So I did some of those too....

My very good friend Suzanne was having a terrible week at work, so I thought it might cheer her up to have a sketch of one of her photographs. I chose a gorgeous shot she took of a heron (wouldn't expect something with such gangly legs to be so regal looking, would you?) I think it's safe to say I surprised both of us with this pen and ink :o)

Oh, wow! I just remembered that the pink ribbon charms had come in and I wanted to make some BC bracelets...

and of course in addition to these four are a number of others (all different), and then there were the earrings...

Oh yeah, the "Siblings" sketch I was working on; slipped my mind. A pair of African Antelope that I finally finished. They looked so cute curled up together in their little hidey hole, I just had to draw them. The common name for these little guys is "dik dik", so of course I named them "Dik Dik and Jane Jane" (haha :o) I really thought that when I got through with these two I could keel over somewhere, but I remembered those charcoal pencils I just got...

I dubbed this one "On the Line" as this little fellow was indeed sitting inside a pair of jeans on a clothesline. There was some additional relevance in there, however; my creative benders this week seemed to have crossed the line. Maybe one of these days I'll be struck with brilliance and actually find that ever elusive balance. I'll be sure to let you know if I do. In the meantime however, I have a custom order for some graduation gifts I'm supposed to deliver tomorrow. I believe it was 7 of my origami "stacks. Funny, I'd forgotten about that....