Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday cheer

Well, Thanksgiving came and went.
Now we can check Christmas off that list of holidays crammed in at the end of the year. 
Christmas Cheer
Every Christmas Eve, the family I have living near me gets together for a little party.  Always there, are my two sisters (Steph, in red; Renee, the tall silver one), Steph's fiance (they got engaged just Christmas Eve morning!!), Auntie Donna (the 'flapper', there), Donna's hubby, and my hubby.  This year our brother was going to join us, since he is nearby and we all recently reconnected (sadly, it took the death of our father, this Spring, but doesn't that seem to happen a lot with adult siblings?).  Unfortunately, he has been going through some of his own things, and wasn't up for a party.  I get it, I do, but it was sad that he didn't make it.
Each year, we rotate the venue between me, Steph, and Donna (since Renee lives in a tiny cottage on Donna's property, the three of us are the only ones with 'homes').  This year was to be my turn again, but Steph and her guy just bought a house this Spring and wanted to host.  Fine by me...way less work!
It was great fun...lots of laughing and eating.  Steph made a delicious dinner of beef roast, stuffing, roasted root veggies, green beans, sauteed cabbage, and some meatless 'meatballs' for the veg-heads.  I brought rolls, and Renee had a cheese plate for before dinner...to go with the deviled eggs and other pre-meal snacks.  Lots of cookies followed dinner, too.
We had a Yankee swap...handmade gifts only, this year! 

Now we're on to New Year's Eve.  Another new year is right around the corner.  Another year gone by without a real vacation, but lots of work and working out.
We're treating ourselves to a trip to Bermuda for New Year's Eve.  It was to be mild and 70's...getting away from this cold 40 degree rain we keep getting here on the East Coast.  Instead, the weather is getting worse there...colder and rainier.  That's fine...we just need to get away from phones, computers, and work.
Two more days of work, a night in Boston, and an early flight out Sunday morning and we'll be on our way to relaxationland.

Christmas Day, we set out for our usual tradition of a movie and Chinese food (Hubby being raised Jewish, and me being raised to drive 2 hours to spend an awkward day of sitting in the corner while the men in my dad's family 'passionately discussed' nothing in particular).  The theater was packed.  Each year it gets more so.  But the movie was AWESOME!
We saw Django Unchained.
My favorite part of the movie!
(source: ranker.com)
I like most of Quentin Tarantino's movies.  But I absolutely fell in love with Christoph Waltz's character in this movie.

And, after the movie at the, in my opinion, over-crowded theater, we had to have dinner at our second choice (the Thai place we like) because the Chinese restaurant we like was too crowded.  I never thought I'd hear these words, but Hubby is thinking we need a new Christmas tradition, since ours is no longer 'ours'.  I am amazed at the crowds compared to the dozen or so others we saw the first year he dragged me out to a Christmas Day movie!  I can only assume families are getting increasingly tired of spending time together on Christmas?

No matter...January is coming.  More importantly, December 30 is coming, and I get to go away for a few days.  No getting up at 3 a.m. for 5 days!  I'm hoping it will recharge me, not only at my every day paycheck-providing job, but also in the studio.  I'm giving myself this year to make my final decision on my Etsy site: to continue or shut down.  We shall see how the new year treats me.

OH, and in other news...
For anyone following my other blog (barracudadiaries.blogspot.com) where I am attempting to restore an old 1967 Plymouth Barracuda, I had a kind of cool thing happen.  In the grand scheme of things, it's really nothing, but I got pretty excited about it.  I have a twitter account for that blog and facebook page, like I do for this blog.  Well, the twitter is brand new.  As of a few days, I had just a few tweets and no followers.  I'm still trying to get some traffic.  But the fun thing was my first follower.  My only follower as of now.  Gas Monkey Garage!
(source: discovery channel (UK))
I know...it's not like they know me personally or even really care about who I am or what I'm about.  But, I've been watching their show, Fast 'n Loud, since I found it on the Discovery Channel.  They crack me up and they fix cars!  So, I have my classic car and I watch this show and now they are my one follower on twitter.  It just makes me happy, that's all.

Well, on that note, I'd like to wish everyone a super fabulous new year!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So easily distracted

I thought I'd do some etsy shopping today.  There was one thing in particular that I kept checking out on my phone yesterday, decided I'd go ahead and buy it today, but it is gone.  But, just that little set back had me searching again for a gift for our family gift swap on Christmas Eve.  The only real problem is that I tend to just find lots of stuff that I want!
Never anything I need...just fun stuff that I would totally buy if I had unlimited funds.

Like these awesome shoes that I want simply because they remind me of a pair my grandma used to have.  We used them when we played around the house.  I'm not sure where I'd wear them in my life now, but they are gorgeous!
(source: 9LivesVintageWears)
And, our upcoming trip has my mind wandering even more when I'm browsing!
I love this!
(source:Gracie Designs)
This is super cool, but it's also a definite 'unlimited funds' kind of want:
(source: The Steam Emporium)
And after all of this, still no idea what to do about our gift swap!  We have a $20 limit, and it has to be handmade...we may make it ourselves or buy handmade.  The biggest struggle I have is trying to find something for everyone wrapped up in one gift.  But, it just doesn't have to be that way...I'm always making things harder for myself.  There are few things out there that will be 'the perfect gift' for everyone in our little group of 8 totally different personalities!  I'm slowly coming to grips with that. 
Or, maybe I just make something edible!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

A beautiful Thanksgiving Day

At this moment, I'm thankful for this beautiful day. I got to go for an early run this morning!

This year marks our 12 wedding anniversary.  Tomorrow is the official date, but we always use our day off for Thanksgiving to celebrate, since it was actually Thanksgiving day when we got hitched.  This year is also the first year in several years that I actually have the whole day off.  Having left my job at the animal hospital when my dad's health started to decline so rapidly, I don't have the type of job that requires me to work when the business is closed.  Even better, I volunteered to do an 'overnight' shift Friday/Saturday.  That means, I got out of work yesterday at noon, have today off, and don't have to be to work until 9 PM on Friday! 
Today's agenda, now that I got my run out of the way, includes tearing into one of my piping hot cinnamon rolls, walk to the beach and pick up our freshly baked bread at the bakery, then some Detroit Lions football and beer, followed by massive amounts of turkey and whatnot.  OH, and probably my regularly scheduled workout...just to make sure I can handle all the food and beer!

I have been trying to make time to make my snowflakes, too...
I want to get some up at the bakery; but, also get some up in my Etsy shop this year.  I'm just not sure I'm gonna make it!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday spent with the people you love and are thankful for (or not, like us...we'll be alone, the way we like our thanksgiving/anniversary).


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

the long and the short of it

Craft fairs are a weird thing for me.  I only usually go if someone else I know is planning on going so that I at least know I will have someone to chat with.  In my experience, that's pretty much all I end up doing.  There's a small sale here and there, but I am in awe of the people who are able to use craft fairs as supplemental income.
Let me also state that I took ONE photo of my booth, as reference mostly, I had been instructed once to send a picture of a past fair set up when I applied to a holiday fair several years ago...you never know when you'll need proof.  For some reason, my computer (that I already hate because of how loud the hard drive is and how slow it is to do ANYTHING) won't recognize the files.  So i can see my latest pics on my camera, but not on my computer...which is not helpful at all.  Technology and me...we are not friends.  Never have been, and I fear never will be.

Which makes me sad, since I would love to some day be able to, at least, make some part time money online.  I get nervous when I fire up the ol' laptop to check my etsy site, just to end up sitting for 30 minutes waiting for the darn thing to stop creaking!  I suppose my troubles could be solved with a bigger budget, but that's just not happening right now.

So, I have no pictures from the fair.  The first day was so cold near the end that I didn't want to go back for the second day.  I had sold a few things to friends who came to support me and local artists, but only one snowflake to a stranger.  Same thing next day...friends showed up, lots of people lingered, and even came back for a second look, but nothing major.  One of the ladies who runs the fair apparently does all her Christmas shopping at the fair.  She bought my last 8 snowflakes!
That means, back to work on those! Last year, I never got them up on my Etsy shop, because they all sold at the bakery.  This year, I was planning on bringing leftover fair flakes to the bakery and making a bunch for etsy.  Now I'll be making snowflakes non-stop for the next two weeks!

Now I'm considering a couple other fairs this winter, to see if I can snag a few more holiday sales.  But that means more time off work, so we'll see.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Falmouth Artisan Fair

My oh my, where does the time go!?  I feel like I have been more busy since leaving my job at the vet, than I did working two jobs!
I had decided months ago to participate in an art/craft fair at the farm where my sister works.  It is finally happening this weekend, and I feel greatly under-prepared.  I mean, I have my displays made and a general idea of how to work my 4 foot table, but I didn't get nearly as much product made as i was hoping.  I am also nervous, having sold only a couple items on line this year (one was a custom order).  I did, however, have a surge of friends at work buying stuff.  All sparking from a gift I made a friend!
At any rate, I've been working away at trying to get stuff together that I think will be a good representation of my work...in real life.
Three new earring designs...they make me think of little hard candies!

My new favorite necklace...I'm loving the combo of paper pendant and metal chain.

These tiny trees are spin-offs of a larger, pink version I made for my friend who just finished her chemo/radiation.
I am always pleased with the finished product, but I feel the internet makes it hard for people to see the real excitement of how strong these paper pieces really are!  I'm hoping by being out there, and promoting myself a bit, that I may get more online traffic.  I do have plans to peddle my wares to local shops this spring, if I have success this weekend.
My little packaging station.
 I also, since it's pretty clear around here that people are beginning to think about holiday shopping and wintry decorations, I have been a snowflake making factory when my fingers start fumbling with the tiny strips of paper I use for my jewelry.


I was able to sell these at my friends' bakery last winter and they did really well.  They're a lot of fun to make...and they keep my hands busy, and away from the cookie jar!

Well, last week was our Hurricane Sandy, but yesterday and especially today, we are getting a lot more rain and, I think, heavier winds.  We lost power again yesterday evening, too.  I'm sure they are closing all or our Cape beaches, as I type this.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I hope I can get back to blogging once I'm not working around the clock!

Monday, September 10, 2012

My poor little one.

Clearly I have been busy, as most everyone else in the world...it can be the only reason I would neglect my blog for so long, right!? 
Well, of course, that is the main reason.
Summer, with my new schedule, just doesn't lend itself to much blogging.  I used to have 3 days when I could get up early and blog...my day off, and the two days I worked at the vet and didn't have to be in until 7 a.m.  Now, I have two days off, but since I am up at 3 a.m. the other 5 days, I've actually found myself sleeping in a bit, and not getting that time to blog, before heading off to do my chores and errands for the day.

As we've all come to realize, here in my blog world, I have become a master of excuses...but, I'm comfortable enough with that, that I find no need to apologize for it.

I had big plans to have a bunch of new stuff ready to sell at the craft/artisan fair I'll be going to early November.  Yet I have some how managed to make it to (nearly) mid-September without getting into my 'comfortable cushion' zone.  And now my in-laws are in town.  So, we will be spending a lot of time with them.  They would let me do my thing, but it's just two weeks we see them, so unless I feel an unrelenting urge, they will get the free time we have.

Today is actually a busy day for me, though, so I think I will take the day to myself.
Here's why:
Our little baby had a rough Labor Day weekend.
Saturday, when I got home from work, I noticed Moxie's right eye was looking a little filmy.  By the time I got home Sunday, she looked like she had a cataract.  She had a tiny mass on her bottom eyelid that we asked the Dr. about last time she had her check-up.  He said that they could remove it if, cosmetically speaking, we wanted to.  He said the only issue would be if it seemed to bother her, which it didn't.  We decided that, at her age, we would just have it removed when I decided to have her teeth cleaned so that she would only have to have anesthesia once. 
Except things never go as planned, do they?
After the long weekend, and then when I got home from work on Tuesday to see there was no improvement in her eye and that she didn't really want to open it much, I called to get her in Wednesday morning.
It was pretty nerve-wracking to hear the doctor say things like 'refer you to an opthemologist' (who was booked for at least 2 weeks!  And, 'the stain looks weird'.
Basically, he stained her eye to see why it was so filmy.  When he did that, you could see a green (from the stain) ring on her little eyeball.  That was the ulcer, probably caused by irritation from that tiny mass.  The problem he was having was the way the stain was forming.  It looked to him like perhaps the ulcer was already healing.  But more likely, it was because of how deep the ulcer was into the eye. He explained that if it got too deep, it would cause the inner liquid part to get sucked out.  I mean, without being too graphic, I'm sure you can figure out what would happen...it's just like any other liquid filled object with a pinhole in it!
He told us we could wait and try to see the ophthamologist in a couple weeks or he could schedule surgery for the next morning to remove the mass and see if we needed to to the more intense 'flap' surgery (I can't for the life of me remember what he called it!).  'Closer to $1000 range, if we do that,' he added. 
Well, she's our baby...we're not going to say no!  Having worked there, I knew the surgeon was highly skilled.  I knew they wouldn't do anything that didn't need to be done.  And I figured I could get a break if I needed it.
Decisions made, we got some antibiotic eye drops for her.  But that's not all!  This is where my love and awe of biology really hit a high note!  They drew some blood from her.  Then, they spun it down to separate the serum.  Then, they handed it to me in an eye dropper bottle.  'What do I do with this??'
Give her 1-2 drops in her eye, twice a day!  Is that crazy??  I have been putting part of her blood back into her eye to help it heal!  Science...biology...it's so damn fascinating to me!
 
So we took our little girl home for the night...loved her as much as we could before Hubs had to bring her in on his way to work the next morning.
By noon, I got a text that she was out of surgery, and doing fine.  They removed the mass, but just did a procedure on the cornea where they sort of rough up the edges of the ulcer to make it easier for new cells to form and heal.
So, now we have this to deal with for two weeks!
Poor thing!  She doesn't even like wearing sweaters!  Jason said she cried for an hour the first time she had it on.  So, she only has to wear it when we're not here to make sure she doesn't scratch her stitches out.  The bummer is that, with the in-laws in town, we are not home as much as we normally would be!  She doesn't even seem to notice it anyway, but if she goes to scratch her ear of neck, and then decides her eye is a little itchy, that's when we stop her.  She such a good girl, though...the hardest part is having to put some sort of eye drops in SEVEN TIMES A DAY!  They gave us a second antibiotic drop after the surgery.
Today, I'm taking her in to get more blood drawn for more serum.  Then next week some time she will have her check up to make sure things are healing properly.

I'm not sure it's clear here, but right by where that white dot is, she has a sort of 'divet' on her eye.  That is the ulcer, and it looks like she has a tiny crater on her eye.  Just below is where the mass was removed, where she had 2-3 stitches put in, and where the eye boogers are collecting these days!
 
I am hoping that one of the doctors can look and see if they think I can stop putting the e-collar on her.  Her eyeball is much clearer, but I don't know what the ulcer should look like.
 
So, that is my excuse for not hanging with the in-laws today!  I want to spend time with my ailing puppy!  Though, to be honest, she acts as if nothing has happened.  I'm a very proud dog-mom!
 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

time keeps on slippin'...

This summer is flying by...I just don't know where time goes anymore.  One of my customers said, 'it's called 'getting old'!'  Damn!  I think he may have been right.
But, no matter, we have to keep on moving and doing what we're doing, right?
As I mentioned some time ago, a friend of mine has been going through some chemo treatments.  She's funny and upbeat and she's been that way since the minute I first met her when she pretended to be offended by one of my anti-child comments (she has a couple kids, but they are high school age...one just graduated, actually).  At any rate, I was inspired to make a necklace for her.  Sort of a breast cancer awareness-type idea, but without being obvious.  
The tree is the perfect symbol: strong and grounded.
I am in love with this design, too!  I like how it turned out and will probably end up making more (got lots to do for the fair in November!).

Her partner (the friend who found her and brought her into our group...I know, at a certain age, people tend not to refer to their significant other as 'boyfriend/girlfriend'...I'm not sure where they stand.)...anyway, his father is having major medical issues as well.  The two of them have been going through so much lately...it breaks your heart sometimes to think about the pain your friends have to endure.  It has been a terrible year for this circle I'm in.  I am happy it is speeding by, quite frankly!

In happier news, I got to hang with one of my sisters and my brother this weekend.  We have a strange dynamic, in that I have spent little time with most of my family despite the number of years we've been on this Earth, and not so far apart.  I truly believe that you can't force a relationship, even if there is shared blood...there has to be a reason, in my opinion.  So now, our dad's old car has brought us together, and it makes me happy to have a common bond.

More agony...I have jury duty today and I am not looking forward to it.  I don't think it's fair to make a person drive an hour to get to the courthouse!  Aren't there people who live closer who can go?!  I mean, there are two other courthouses within 20-30 minutes of me (one of which I went to last time I had jury duty)...doesn't it make more sense for me to go to one of those?  I really hate the political machine/system...perhaps I'll start with that? :) [update: I drove an hour to get there, sat for an hour and a half before the judge came in to tell us there were 3 cases possibly going to jury and that in about 45 minutes he'd let us know; and, that some of us may get chosen for the jury.  Instead, about 30 minutes later, he came back in to let us know that everyone settled and we were all free to go.  Home by 11 am!]  I lose faith in the system each time I see some of the people who could possibly be on a jury, though.  Myself included!!  There was one girl I wanted to punch out, she was so annoying!!

And...I have more friends leaving the cape.  Last night I went out for a sort of 'girl's night' to celebrate our friend's promotion and probable transfer.  And, the reason for her transfer, her girlfriend's acceptance to Simmons College.  Another co-worker is transferring to our new Foxboro store. We were trying to plan a get-together for her too, but my jury duty and another friend's wedding were major wrenches (the stupid thing, of course, being that I am already done with my civic duty for the day!) And yet another friend has left altogether to concentrate on her other TWO jobs and her family.  It is like a mass exodus from our store. 

I'm just a little overwhelmed, I guess, with so much to do all of the sudden.  All of this, plus the car restore, plus my prep for the craft fair (and my etsy shop), plus all the house repairs I will probably have to do myself, and I'm still trying to workout most days.  I know I can do it all, but days like today, where I kind of feel like it's a free day (because I was expecting to be gone most of the day) I just want to veg...and not feel guilty about it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

work, work, work

Is it too early for snow?

I'm not complaining about it...I'm just so busy!
I haven't done any craft fairs in a while.  I know I didn't do any last year, but I think I did a couple the year before?  It's so hard to keep track of things these days!  At any rate, I'm planning on doing the November fair at the farm where my sister works.  It will be a good time to get my snowflakes out there, and I'll finally get my jewelry out there for people to see in person.  I feel like the paper jewelry is a hard sell online.  When I'm out wearing a piece, or even better, when my friends are out wearing theirs, someone always comments on them.  And many of my friends say, 'oh! That's different in person than I expect from the pictures!'  I know, I know!  With the internet, it's all about the visuals!  I am trying, and hoping, to get my new camera to work for me.  I have several new pieces just waiting to be photographed...why is time always an issue!?

I'll tell you why:  to many irons in the fire.  Is that the correct saying?  The last time I tried doing craft fairs, I felt I didn't spend enough time preparing.  This time, I'm using as much free time to create product, work on packaging, and sketching out my table displays. 
As if that wasn't enough, I am trying so hard to keep up with my workouts!! They are always the first to go when stuff piles up; but, how am I supposed to have enough energy to work, work, work if I don't finely tune this machine!?
Which brings me to my other project: Barracuda Diaries.  My sister and I have inherited our father's 1967 Plymouth Barracuda, which we are trying to restore and get back on the road.  That means a lot of travel time for me, since the car is at her house.  And, it also means a lot of research, since neither of us knows anything about cars, past where to put the gas!  It'll be fun, though, if you're so inclined to follow along.

I think I am done with all the extra socializing that summer brings to Cape Cod, though.  Maybe.  Weddings are done.  Friends have all gone home.  Now we're back to the usual engagements. 

In other news, if anyone remembers, I'm still growing my hair out.  I'm about an inch and a half from my minimum 10 inch donation length.  My friend in chemo just had her second round...the one when they said she would begin losing her hair.  Her son shaved her head for her this week...she's breaking out the wig.  Just a day before I found out, I commented that I have always wanted to shave my head...just once, to see how I'd look.  If I was to do it today, I'd probably still have enough to donate, with the extra length from scalp to tip.  But, I think it may be awkward for my friend...I don't want that.  So, I will wait it out...for now.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

my new toy

This is it.  The big step into merging my old school photography habits with the new age of digital.  I know, digital is not new.  But, digital SLR's have been so far out of our price range that is has always just been a dream to some day own one.  I have been using my little Canon Elph for years.  Just dealing with the mediocre 'shots' (really hard to actually call them photos) because of the complete ease of transport.  I will not lie...I LOVE being able to stash my camera in my pocket...but I miss taking good photos.
But circumstances seemed to come together in the form of a death and a wedding.  My siblings and I got a little bit of money from my dad when he passed away, and everything has been settled.  In the meantime, friends of ours are getting married next July and have asked me to be the photographer.  They have seen stuff I did back in the day when I used my old film camera and like my style.  And, since they will be chartering a lobster cruise for their day, it is obviously going to be super casual.  As they put it, they just want casual, fun shots but don't trust friends enough to let them have disposables on the tables.
So I found a good deal, and decided to use some of my 'unexpected' money to finally buy myself something nice...and fun.
Overstock.com had this Canon Rebel T3 kit.  Camera body with 18-55mm lens, battery, charger, strap...the usual.  But, also a 75-300mm zoom, extra battery, 16gb SCHD memory card, lens cleaning kit, LCD screen protectors, camera bag, memory card wallet, cables for playing video straight to computer, card reader adaptor, a dvd on how to use the camera, and a tripod!  I mean, some of the stuff is just silly stuff, but that's a lot of accessories!!  And, with overstock, the shipping was just $2.95!!  So even with shipping, I was excited to finally get my D-SLR camera kit for about $720!!  It's the 12 megapixle version...the 16mp version was another $300 or so...and that's outside my budget for toys!
Today, we are off to spend a day wandering around, learning how to use this thing.  With any luck, I will have some nice pictures to share in my next post!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chemo and Weddings and a busy week

(Source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Ficklepicklefun?ref=seller_info)
This made me chuckle a little.  One of my friends is about to endure the first of her chemo treatments today.  I think she has 7-9 weeks of it.  She's such a strong person, though, I have no doubt she will come out on top.  The night before she was set to have her lumpectomy, we had gone out for some beers and to listen to a U2 cover band.  We found out the next day, that she was headed into her appointment.  

In happier news, we're attending a wedding on Saturday.  Two of my old co-workers are getting hitched.  They have transferred to Missouri, but all of their family is here, so it'll be a lovely Cape Cod wedding.  I made a pair of earrings that didn't quite live up to my standards to sell, but they are perfectly fine for me AND will match my dress beautifully!  One of my other friends is buying one of my necklaces to wear, too, and has requested a matching pair of earrings.  So that is what I will be doing today...after my trip to the recycling center, grocery store, and my final attempt to find Hubby a shirt to wear!!  And all of that comes after the coffee and walk to the beach.  Assuming Jason gets up soon.

I bought a new camera last week.  Well, I ordered it...and it is scheduled to arrive TOMORROW!!  Also tomorrow, is the big day for the move of the Barracuda to Steph's new house.  That means, I won't get to play with my new toy until Wednesday afternoon!!  And then I can use it at the wedding to practice for the wedding I will actually be playing photographer at next July. 
Get ready for lots of pictures now...I'm hoping this new camera will finally ignite that spark!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

March!? Really!!??

WOW! I have been M.I.A. this year, so far.
Not for no good reason, though. 
Sadly, just before my birthday, my father decided on his own to stop going to dialysis after his birthday on St. Patrick's Day.  And so was rushed to the hospital when my sister found him on the floor, hallucinating and dehydrated.  We had been trying to get him into assisted living, but he fought us on the issue.  Obviously, he had done serious damage by missing an entire week of treatment (that's 4 treatments altogether). 
To shorten the story, he was transferred to a rehabilitation center, but also put into hospice care.  His life expectancy, in the time between his birthday and the beginning of April, went from 'possibly 6 months' to 'we just don't know...it could be any time'.
So, my sister and I, from that point had the unfortunate task of visiting my father, who knew he was dying, and getting his affairs in order.  And then, on the morning of April 12, I got the call that he had passed.  And I was relieved that it was over for him. 
And so that was April...

May and June have just been busy with work, mostly.  I left my kennel job the beginning of April, mostly to spend more time with Dad, but also because the whole experience made me realized that I didn't want to be working all the time.  I have things I am ambitious about, and I would like to live my life more freely.  But, to make up for lost wages, I am working full time at my Trader Joe's job.  And I'm enjoying that! 

A friend of mine had a birthday this month (actually, last month!).  She is also a facebook friend, and had seen my jewelry on my fan page.  At work, she commented on how much she liked it, so I made a custom piece for her birthday.
(I just can't get this picture to flip!! but you get the idea, right?)
She has become my number 1 promoter!! 
Another co-worker saw it, and I just finished a custom piece for her sister's birthday. 
She gave me some pictures of Mandalas...I am so happy with how it turned out!)
The first friend has now commissioned me to make a set of 3 necklaces for her nieces (triplets!) graduation.  And another friend wants me to make one for her to bring on her Caribbean cruise in November!
I am also trying to build up my stock for my etsy shop and the craft fair I am planning to attend in November. 

I have managed to get out a couple times to socialize, too. 
One of our 'couple friends' invited us out for dinner at one of our favorite nearby restaurants, Summer Stock.  I like it because it has an adjoining lounge where they have live music some nights.  Very 'cocktail hour' kind of feel...just what I like.
And then of course the birthday lunch for my friend...it was a beautiful day, I wore my yellow dress (which everyone commented on, as I had to change at work...'thanks! $5 at the goodwill!').  The minute I got into my car and started to drive home...we had a crazy downpour of rain!!  Perfect timing!
Other than that, it's been a quiet summer so far.  Work, workout, work on jewelry.  Not much time for anything else it seems, but I'm such a home-body that it suits me fine.
However, my 'major promoters' are really pushing me to sell my stuff locally.  But before i can do that...more work,work,work!  You gotta have stuff to sell if you want someone to sell it!

Steph and I have finally finished taking care of MOST of dad's stuff.  There are a few more things to get out of the house, then we have another major project:
Dad agreed to leave us the 1967 Plymouth Barracuda.  It is something we tried restoring with dad while he was alive.  We had a bumpy road, with dad's mood swings, so it just sat there.  Now we want to do it in his memory.  I'm hoping to document/blog the whole experience.  You can read about it here, if you're interested.

Monday, July 2, 2012

hhmmm??

I'm trying to post again...having issues...new post coming soon.  If anyone is still out there waiting...?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Birthday 'weekend': Day 2

After a fun-filled day of shopping on Thursday, I was surprised to find myself wandering around a shopping complex the very next day.  But, I wanted to go check out a restaurant that had been recommended by my friend all winter long.  Trying to reign in our spending, I decided lunch would be better than dinner.  It was such a beautiful day, I had planned to walk in and out of shops, have lunch, grab a cocktail outside, and a little more window shopping.
Instead, my usual mood set in, and I didn't want to spend more money on cocktails when I knew I could have a gin & tonic in my own back yard once we got home. 
We had lunch at a place called Bleu. 

My friend told the food is all very fresh because the chef has limited refrigeration, and therefore brings stuff in fresh, daily!  She also told me that the portions are generous in comparison to the prices.  The draw for Hubby was the 5 cheese mac & cheese with linguica.  It came, piping hot, in a huge bowl.  He took half of it home.  I had a harder time deciding on my meal.  There was a lovely turkey and bacon sandwich on cranberry-pecan bread.  I thought about the quiche; or, maybe the Croque Monsieur.  I ended up with the ham and Gruyere buckwheat crepe with mushrooms and poached egg.  Oh my! I didn't quite finish it, but I wanted to!  It was a ham and cheese sandwich wrapped in a delicious pancake with an egg on top!  Breakfast and lunch rolled into one neat little package!  We were very pleased with the food.  I had a pomegranate margarita, too. 
We sat by the open windows (outdoor seating not yet set up) with the sun pouring in. (that's not us, I took this off their website)

After lunch we walked around.  Stopped in at the bookstore and pottery barn.  The saleswoman immediately commented that she liked my dress.
This is the dress I wore, with my little blue crocheted sweater over it.
On our way out, she said, 'now I remember what your dress reminds me of!  You look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she is at the derby, or whatever.'  I have never seen the movie and had no idea what she was talking about, but I laughed and left.
We headed over to the restaurant where we ate on New Year's Eve, to maybe grab a drink and sit outside, but my tummy was super full and, as I said, I could have a 'free' drink at home.  So we sat by the fountain (which also is not running yet...just because it was a beautiful spring day, doesn't cancel out the fact that it is still March, and we have normal temps on their way back) and soaked up a little sun.
Before heading home, we stopped by Cupcake Charlie's to get Hubs a cupcake.  He went with the Chocolate Raspberry Surprise.

Why didn't I get a cupcake, since it was MY birthday??  Well, because earlier in the morning, we went for our walk to the beach, as we like to do when we both have the morning off.  And, we always stop at the Underground Bakery for our coffee and to say hi to our friends.  Hubby works there a couple days a week, and Laurie & Ian are friends of ours (Laurie was the one who convinced me to run that 5K last September), so she made me my usual Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse birthday cake!  Hubby doesn't like peanut butter very much and especially not as dessert. 
So I have a whole cake to eat!!  I certainly didn't need a cupcake to go with it!  I didn't even bother slicing...I just dug right in!!

Today...no big plans.  Just winding down and preparing to get back to reality.  I can't believe how it really does feel like I've been out of work for a long time.  It's only been a day and a half, really, and then today...but it seems like longer.  That means I'm relaxing, so that's good.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Birthday 'weekend': Day 1

I treated myself to an extra day off this week.  Today is my birthday and I took it as my regular day off; but, I also requested tomorrow off for a mini vacation.  To top it all off, I only worked until 11 a.m. yesterday.  By the time we were headed back home from the store, I said, 'oh! I totally forgot I was at work this morning!!'
We have been wanting to go to Ikea to replace some stuff around the house. 
This is the set we have.  They have, of course changed to bowls, but there were still some blue and brown in the old shape, so we got those.
We had a couple bowls to replace, and our duvet cover was thread-bare.

This one's not on their website or in the catalog, but we happened upon it in the store!
It seems that, if you are the type of person who doesn't regularly buy things for yourself, the list is fairly long when you do eventually break down and go shopping.  As we were wandering around the store, we found several other things that we've been wanting to replace.  We have just a couple pots/pans left with Teflon, and they are peeling.  So, we took the opportunity to buy a shiny new skillet, so that we can completely rid ourselves of that nasty Teflon!
I sat in a chair (one I have, that my mom gave me when she moved) and put my feet up...I decided that I would use some of my birthday money from my MIL to buy myself a footstool. 

I got a beige cushion, though.  There was an adorable cushion with acorns on it, but the chair cushion I have is already a crazy pattern, so it would've looked ridiculous!
While wandering around the dining room sets, I spotted a cute outdoor set.  Now, Ikea has some really cute sets this year, including one that has a great canopy thingy.  But they are all priced per piece and we just don't have the money to spend on something just because I think it's beautiful.  However, the set I spotted was sold as a set: table, bench, and 2 chairs.  For $99!!
Not a great picture, but it's from the Ikea.com website.

Sure, it's a luxury item, but it's something we have been talking about for years.  We thought we'd just get a cheap picnic table, but we haven't had any luck finding one under $100 anyway!  Now we just have to find a flat area to put it...that'll be the hard part.
The very difficult part about shopping at Ikea, is that there are so many things that 'we could use' or have been 'meaning to get' that are really great deals.  We don't NEED them desperately, but the store is an hour and a half away...it's not a regular trip.  In fact, it had been two years since our last visit!  All of the displays, oddly enough, make me wish for a tiny city apartment to decorate!  Hubby says he likes going there because it reminds him of when we bought our house, and when we had to go for stuff for our Nantucket apartment.  It's a strangely romantic place for us to spend the day.
I had checked out the website before we went, to see if there was anything I wanted to find at the store.  I signed up for their 'Ikea Family' card.  I could've gotten a free coffee, but didn't.  I did, however, get a free vanilla cone!  They have some deals around the store, where members save on certain items...usually around $5 off.  The deals are scattered and you really have to look for them, but of course nothing we bought was 'member priced'.  They did have a set of the dishes we already use for $5 off, though.

So, that was yesterday.  Today we are headed out of our little town AGAIN to grab lunch at a French restaurant my friend has been talking up.  They have a 4 cheese and Linguica mac&cheese, so that was enough to get my hubs there!  It's in a shopping complex that also has the cute place we went for New Year's Eve AND a cupcake bakery.  Looks like we may have a nice day for shopping and cocktails!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Custom order and an oatmeal review

I finished my custom necklace a whole week ahead of schedule!  As I was making it using a free minute here and a free minute there, it seemed like it was taking longer than anticipated.  But I guess that is the nature of a project that has 'drying time' to account for.  I think it came out great.  Very close to the original sketch.  The shape is not as severe as it is in the sketch, but working with paper has its limits.
My birthday is around the corner but I got a gift this week.  I don't get to the bakery much these days since I'm not around when Hubby walks, and he's been very busy lately so he doesn't get his afternoon walks in as much.  But this past week, we headed out for a walk (my day off, so we went before he was off to work) in the morning. 'Happy Birthday!' Ian exclaimed.  To which Hubby replied, 'it's next week'.  Then Laurie came out, 'did you give her her gift?'  The next thing I know, I'm holding a box with the word 'SAMPLE' stamped on it.  It made noise like little beads in a cup...kind of like a rattle.  I opened it to find 6 instant oatmeal cups!  'I love oatmeal!' 

I later found out that when it arrived they asked Hubby if he like oatmeal, and he said no but that I loved it.  So they said to give it to me as a birthday gift.
Well, I tried out a cup this morning.


 'R.U.NUTZ?'  It has walnuts, almonds, flax &sunflower seeds.  It also claims to have a 'dash' of brown sugar.  Now, I don't use sweeteners in my oatmeal, so to me...all I could taste was the brown sugar. 

Don't get me wrong, it was tasty.  Sometimes sweet is nice.  I would totally eat it again, if offered.  But, I went to their website, because I was curious as to what the price was.  Granted, if the bakery decided to get this for their shop, they would be getting wholesale prices.  But, to buy it at their online retail shop, Umpqua Oats sells cases of 12 for $42!!  That's $3.50 per cup!!  For $2.29 I can buy a months supply of steel cut oats at work.  Throw in some nuts and seeds and it's the same thing...convenience is so overpriced!  I mean sure, it's all natural and wholesome and full of fiber and protein, but you really can get the same for less with just a tiny bit of leg work, you know?
So bottom line: very yummy...a bit pricey.
And for the record, I still have 5 more flavors to try!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

what a yummy day!

The only crappy (pardon the pun) part of today is that I am sitting here waiting for the septic to be pumped! Eww...I know, but that is my life.  Hubby made the appointment and then said, 'oh, I have to be in Boston that day!  I can change it if you like.'  No...what's the point. I just hate having people over to 'do work' at the house.  Do I sit outside and chat?  Do I offer them beverages?  Do I watch through the window to make sure I'm ready with the check when they come in??  Of course, in this day and age, I could've probably given my credit card number and not even had to have been here! Doh!  Oh, well.

Today really has been 'yummy', though.  I got to work this morning (at my Trader Joe's job) to find out that I had a half hour at the end of my shift for a 'tasting'!!  We have a new flyer coming out next week and so this week, the crew gets to taste a sampling of what's featured.  I got to try the Sesame Almonds AND the sesame cashews, because they were opened by mistake.  Both very good.  We have Chili and Lime cashews that are FABULOUS, too.
There have been a lot of new products coming out, too.  Kimchi and Kimchi Fried Rice, for instance.  The straight Kimchi I have not tried, but the fried rice is very spicy...so I think we can assume the same is true for the other. 
Do you like warm chocolate chip cookies?  Do you like them 'deep dish style' with a gooey chocolate center?  Well, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the Journey to the Center of the cookie is for you!


Let's see...what else did I have for 'lunch'?  A small taste of butter lettuce with Pear Champagne Vinaigrette; a taste of the (fairly new) Harvest chicken salad


 oh, dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt!

 pasta with canned artichoke hearts & Italian Gorgonzola; the crispy rice cereal is also in the up-coming flyer, so the demo girl made rice crispy treats with peanut butter and melted chocolate.
So, even though I have to get up at 3a.m., sometimes my shift ends better than others!  I love that they let us try all the food there!  Sometimes, I feel like a commercial or like I am writing my own flyer notes, but I like to share what I learn.
As a side note:  if you, like me, are not that into blue/Gorgonzola cheeses, but are curious or like it a little milder, try the Italian version.  It is much milder, not so tangy, and very creamy. 

We also have a Blue cheese featured this month that I have not tried...it is very smooshy...I don't think I'll like it, so I'm putting off tasting it.


oh, I almost forgot what won my award (in my mind...not an actual award) for biggest surprise: the NEW crispy chickenLESS nuggets!  Texture and taste are spot-on or near spot-on, and they are actually crispy!  It's not the product in the box...it's a new one...in a little bag/pouch.
Having just found it sort of difficult to find pictures of the newer products we have, I was thinking maybe I should get back to a food post.  Like I did when I would have cheese tastings for lunch on Sundays.  I'll have to give it some serious thought...I do love eating!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's Happenin' here

I can't believe how long it's been since my last blog.  I mean, I've gone longer, sure, but time is wacky...especially with the time change yesterday.
My sister and I have been dealing with some stuff with our ailing/aging father, which as anyone who has dealt with aging parent issues knows, is not a fun, easy, or quick process.  It's come to the point where he's resisting any suggestions from us anyway, so everything we've done so far has been a waste of time.  And that is enough to make one lose all track of time!
And of course, work.  Still hoping to cut a day, which will mean cutting a whole job.  And that job has asked me to work a shift I wasn't hired for because the other girl is 'getting tired of doing it' now that her 'kids are getting into baseball season'  and she would 'like to see some games'.  Please!  I'm so tired of this.  So, of course, hating going to work 2 days doesn't help time go by very quickly.

Here is the bit I'm excited about.  An anxious excitement, really.  I was contacted through etsy to do a custom order.  My first (well, my first through etsy, from a stranger)!  It is for a woman who sponsors a girl in India.  There are limits to what goes through the mail for these things...paper only.  Everything has to be mailed in a regular letter sized envelope.  No cardboard mailers, no metal...just paper. 
So I am currently, between the two jobs, touring assisted living places, and begging my father to come to his senses, making a paper cross pendant for a necklace to go India. 
The sketching was easy, but then when she decided which one she wanted and I actually had to figure out how to make the piece...the anxiety definitely kicked in!
Step 1: make a metal frame to shape the cross.  I gave her the option of a squared off cross or this more 'shapely' one.  I wasn't thinking about how to actually shape it!  A metal frame (this was my 3rd attempt) with more metal shapers for the inside.
The result was much better than I had anticipated by the struggling I did to make it happen!
Now comes the hard part of getting all the quilled little bits inside and somewhat symmetrical.  Although, that should help it hold it's shape.  The finished product should be really cute.  It's for a 10 year old girl, so it'll be all pink and yellow and pastel inside.  The whole thing is just an inch long and about .75" wide.  I'm excited to finish it.  I just wish I didn't have to wait until Wednesday to finally get the time. 
Oh, and Moxie got a gift from a co-worker of mine.  She (the co-worker) had gone to Las Vegas for a conference, and left her cat at the kennel for a week.  She brought back gifts for us kennel girls as a thank you for taking car of her cat (who is super cute and cuddly, so that was gift enough!). 
Moxie got a bandanna that says: 'What happens on the walk, stays on the walk. Las Vegas'
She's not keen on wearing 'clothes' so I only did it for the picture. 
Her eye and ear are looking good, too.  Can't wait to not have to keep putting goop in her eye and clean her ear every other day.  Although, I swear to be a better dog mother and clean her ears more often, so this doesn't happen again!
Well, we finally got our new scrub uniforms in.  Navy all the way, now, with monogrammed tops!  I also noticed when i went in to do my extra Sunday night shift, that they've started scheduling me at 7:30 rather than 7a.m.  Which is fine with me, except that I'm still going in at 7 if i know it's a full kennel.  Last night i went in to walk 4 employee dogs and take care of 2 employee cats.  I wonder if the owner, who is always complaining about costs v. revenue realizes that he just paid wages for us to take care of pets that he's getting no revenue for?  Talk about a negative situation!  At least he has money for our uniforms!!  Blargh!! This job depresses me more and more...I'm shutting up now..
Happy thoughts....
Happy days...
We're going away in a couple weeks!! (well, just for a day, but yippee....road trip!)
It was light at 6pm. last night....but now it's 6:30 and the sun's just coming out...I love sunrise.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Swedish, French, Chinese

My birthday is coming up and, as usual, I'm dreading it.  No, not because I'm getting older.  And I guess 'dread' is a pretty severe word to use...more like I could take it or leave it. 
The decision to do or not to do something in celebration is always an issue for me.  On the one hand, it is fun to hang with a bunch of friends and have cocktails and cake and whatnot.  One the other hand, for me, I hate being at a function that's purpose is to expose me to everyone around me!
So, i generally have my sisters and aunt come over and we have a little tea party or an early cocktail party...or, sometimes one flows over into the next!
This year, I took the day after my birthday off just in case I decided to do something, even though this year I am leaning closer to hanging out by myself, possibly sleeping, the whole day.
Then this weekend I thought it might be nice to not work on my birthday, either...take TWO whole days off!  And, get ready for a shocker, maybe leave the Cape and spend a fun day with Hubby!  Oh my!
We need a new duvet cover, desperately...i realized that ours has ripped from one end to the other!  Through all the washings over the past 8 or so years, it has become completely thread-bare!  You can probably guess our bedroom is not one of those that you might see in a magazine!
We haven't been to Ikea in forever,and it's always a fun place to spend a day, in my opinion.

Even though we never get to buy all the things we want to (though, I always want a cinnamon roll, and I always get one!), we do need to find the cover, and we have broken half of our soup bowls, so there are things we need. 
My thought on the day was to go to Ikea and then we could hit this restaurant my friend has been raving about, on the way back.

It's a French restaurant and she says everything is fresh (the kitchen has little refrigerated storage, I guess...everything comes in fresh daily!) and she and her son had been going for lunch nearly once a week and said the prices were good.  But, that is for lunch...I think the dinner menu is a bit pricey.  We are still deciding what to do about that...we do like to have drinks with dinner, and that can get expensive.
One way or another, though, I will have cake!
I LOVE peanut butter mousse cake...but this is, well...just look at it!!!

And, for the Chinese bit....
No, I'm not getting a puppy for my birthday, but this adorable 8.5 week old pug came in for an exam and vaccines yesterday!!! I saw her on the schedule and I was giddy all day waiting for her to show up!  She looks just like my Moxie did when we got her...so soft...so sweet...such a cute little pink belly!!!   Puppies are the best thing in the world, bar none!
Well...off to work; but, sadly, no pug puppies are due in today.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hello, March

It is hard to keep track of time this winter, with the unusual weather we've been having.  Our little corner of the world has mostly been getting an ocassional rainy day, or warmish spring-like weather.  We've had a couple bitterly cold days, but only one major 'storm' that required shovels and plows and the evidence of that was gone within a matter of just a couple days.
So, to think that it is March and we've not yet really had to deal with 'winter', it is hard to grasp hold of the idea that Spring is on it's way in just 3 weeks (by the calendar, that is)! 
And March brings my Dad's birthday, which is now the anniversary of the day I had to say good-bye to the sweetest cat ever to be a part of my life, which also happens to be St. Patrick's Day...just a good day to drink, for whatever reason, around here.  And, my birthday, which usually ends up being me wanting an excuse to have cocktails and cake.  This year, though, I'm taking time alone.  What better day to 'recharge' than one's own birthday!?
March also happens to be time for Moxie's annual exam and vaccines.  Last year, she got 3-year boosters, though, so she wasn't due for shots.  But, of course, there's always something!  She's had a little bump on her eyelid, that wasn't worrying me, but it started to get bigger and formed a scab, and i figured I'd have it looked at.  Especially since she also, clearly, had another raging ear infection!  The eye thing is a cyst.  They are often benign and only really need to be removed if they start scratching the eyeball.  Dr. Dan stained it to make sure there wasn't any scratching, which there wasn't, but she has a little conjuctivitis from it.  Her ears?  Well, one was fine, but the other (the one that always gets infected) was severely infected again.  So, now, our little beauty is getting joint supplements AND eye meds in the morning; and, eye AND ear meds AND her joint PILL in the evening; and, I have to flush her ear every other day!  For two weeks.  But for the love she gives us...totally worth it. 
We're off to see another band of friends tomorrow night.  This one is made up of a few friends who are all in other bands as well.  I have been getting up at 3 a.m. for work lately, but since the band is playing at a sports bar just about a mile from our house, I can't not go for a quick listen.  Then Saturday we have a dinner party for our friends' engagement.  So much for giving up socializing!
Today, I am relaxing.  Kicking back with the dog and listening to the rain, while wrapped up with a blanket and a hot cup of coffee (a bottomless cup, of course).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the haps

I have been feeling so much more positive since my last post, where I revealed that I was going to attempt to be more positive.
I feel like I have more energy, now that I'm not wasting so much of it thinking about those little annoyances of life...you know, those ones that EVERY person has. 
Some time ago, I offered/suggested that I take 3 hour lunches at my vet job.  Between noon and 2, everyone is coming and going on lunch breaks, and from 2-3, there's not usually much happening.  To add to that, one of the doctors usually doesn't bother coming back after 12, b/c he's part time and hardly ever has clients booked later in the day.  But, I only did it the week I mentioned it, and then it's been too busy for me to do!  Yesterday, I found out the other kennel girl was taking 2 hour lunches, so I decided to day (where there is absolutely nothing for me to do) that I would take a long lunch.
So here I am...blogging away to kill some time. 
I am feeling good about my new plan to try to 'do everything'.  I just need to jump right in.  I mean, when I was working full time and going to school full time, I still kept the house clean, and did those necessary daily things.
Luckily, my little week long sleep-deprived tantrum about nothing getting done around the house prompted Hubby to take my car for it's yearly inspection for me.  Surprisingly, it passed...even the emissions test!  I guess whatever Midas did, worked.  I was just saying to a couple peeps at work, who both had headlights out last week, that I can't remember ever changing mine...in the 11 years I've had it!  Hubby thought I jinxed myself, but if they were dim, they were still bright enough.
This whole business with my car these past few months has me thinking about a new car.  Of course I can't afford one now, and I'd really rather not get into all the hassle until there are really no other options.  There's also the issue of the title...I have OWNED this car for 6 years...but I never got the title.  It is still filed away in Boston somewhere.  Being so emersed in this digital age, I am HOPING it is still on file and available.  I was so embarassed to have never called for them to send it, that I even tried paying for a replacement, saying I'd lost it.  But they know!  'That is still at the Boston RMV.  You'll have to call and get it from them.'  Which I never did.  Again...procrastination is my biggest fault (in my opinion).
But I'm thinking maybe another year with this Cavalier...we're just coming up on 124,000 miles on this 12 year old beauty.  I was hoping I could get at least 200K, and maybe I can, but in the event that I do need to get a new car, my sights are actually set on Chevy's new Sonic hatchback!
(source: Chevy website)
It's nothing fancy.  And that's what I love.  And hopefully, by the time I'm in need of a new ride, I'll be able to find a used one.  The new ones start at around $14,000...which is actually quite cheap, I think?  I'm still rooting for my 'Green Monster' a.k.a. 'The Stagecoach'(b/c of how it creaks like an old buckboard) to hold out for a few more years, though. 
Tomorrow is day 13 of my work week!  I work until 11 a.m. and then take my poor little Moxie to the vet for her annual exam and to see what the nasty little bump on her eye is all about.  And then...a day off.  To hopefully make some jewelry (I have a belated birthday/engagement party on Saturday and thought I might make myself a new necklace to wear), maybe break out the clarinet and/or guitar to start practicing again, clean the house, workout, and spend a little time with the guy I live with.
I hope everyone is having as positive a week as I finally am!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No more excuses!

I just ate an entire pint of Ben&Jerry's Bonnaroo ice cream.  And, it was worth every single one of those 1200 or so calories it contained.  Coffee and malt ice creams...whiskey caramel...toffee candy...utter heaven!
So, now I should get my butt downstairs to the treadmill, but I really just want to relax (again).  I have found myself thinking a lot more on my drives to work.  I keep thinking about how much time I waste each day...and how much time I spend complaining about how little time I have!
I have become a complainer, big time.  And I'm not super happy about that.  I get so frustrated when people spend all kinds of time wishing they had this or that, and never stopping to appreciate what they do have.  And that is the person I seem to be becoming.
This week has really done me in!  All of my positive attitude is asleep!  I've been getting up at 3 a.m. every day since Wednesday and the early morning hours are full of random thoughts! 
What could I possibly be thinking about at 3a.m. (other than the memory of my warm bed and soft pillow slowly getting colder as I drive to work)? 
I think about what I should do when I get out of work...which turns out to NEVER be what I actually do when I get out of work. 
I think about what to blog about.
I think about all the little side projects I have started and let fall to the wayside.  Clarinet, guitar, reading (the stack of a half dozen I've started)...CLEANING!
I think about shopping...I imagine how much fun it would be to take a day and just shop and lunch and hang out. And then I remember that I hate shopping.
I think about what to make for dinner...what to have for lunch.
And, lately I have been trying to decide if I have it in me to buckle down and really get some jewelry made to take to some of the little boutiques around here.
So, as I get closer to my day off (just 4 days to go now), I have been thinking about what to do with the day.  I am HOPING to get some work done.  I'd love to get a couple pieces working, maybe take some time to do some sketches to work from, since that seems to help once I get into the studio.
I've actually learned something about myself this week.  Even though I often complain about not having enough time to do everything, I know that I do not use my time wisely.  I COULD do everything I want to do, and work two jobs.  And I've decided that I will.
I've already been adding in home cooked meals every night.  Which, of course, calls for menu planning and the dreaded grocery shopping.  I've slowly been clearing out my basement, taking a bag or two back to the redemption center after work now and then.  Working out is also getting some time, though not as much as it used to...that is my goal next week, to put exercise back at the top of the list.  Unfortunately, I've gotten into the mindset that it's either gym or studio...I am on a mission to do both.
I want to be that girl who can do it all.  I want to be bad ass. 
From now on, I'm on a mission to stop making excuses!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is it March, yet?

I can honestly say that, for the whole month of February (so far), I have been oblivious to what day it is.  I get up knowing which job I have to go to, but beyond that my life has been a jumble of tasks I seem to be doing on auto-pilot. 
pay bills...make dinner...eat in car...work...workout...sleep...feed dog...buy food...clean house...sleep...work...sleep...work...
I feel like a robot!!
Last month I sketched out a necklace I thought would be pretty.  It came out great!  I made it a couple weeks ago and it has been sitting on my kitchen table waiting for the finishing touches. 
And now, having just uploaded this picture and looked at it again, I realize that I put the top bit (where the chain will go through to hang it) on wrong!  Luckily, since I just attached it this morning, the glue is not dried yet...I've fixed it.  I am really happy with this one, since it came out EXACTLY as I imagined and sketched it!  It's actually small enough that I may consider making it a pair of earrings and maybe make a slightly larger version for a necklace?  We'll see.  I have had zero time for any sort of crafting this month, and I don't see much in my future, sadly.

A lot of my time is being shifted to my health and well-being, though,so it's not all bad.  I've started working out again...for the most part.  I got on the treadmill for about 30 minutes a day, most days this week.  I've just finished my first week in my plan to be healthy again.  I am planning weekly menus, doing a 'healthy' shopping trip once a week (at the end of my Sunday shifts at Trader Joe's...what a convenience it is working at a grocery store!), and cooking almost every night (or eating leftovers).  This week I'm going to start strength training again.  While I love crafting and would LOVE to have enough time to focus on it more, I think I need to take care of myself first.  My 38th birthday is just about a month away, and until I'm happy with myself (health-wise), I'm afraid I won't be able to concentrate on anything else. 
The hardest part of life is definitely finding time for all the things you want to accomplish.  My poor clarinet and Hubby's guitar are doing a great job of collecting dust.  I don't have high hope for the vegetable garden this year.  But I feel like, if I can get back into shape and be healthy and energized, then the other things I want to accomplish can be added gradually into my life.  I can have it all...I can do it all.  I'm the only one holding myself back!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lists

I don't know if this will work, since I have never posted a video, but I'll try.
Most mornings I wake up to The Go-Go's '100 lists' song in my head!
There are always at least 100 things to do most days, and when you're under the weather for a couple days, they start to back up like Memorial Day traffic on Cape Cod (regional comparison, but you get the idea).
This particular morning I got up and started the coffee pot, muttering to myself about all the calendars I need to print out! One for my Etsy schedule, one for my workout schedule, one for my new (healthy) menus, maybe one for home improvement goals...why is there always so much to do!?
And why does it take me being sick and inside my own head for two days while I try to rest??
Oh, that reminds me...note to self: get tax stuff together for accountant.  At least the accountant has to do the hard work!
I know I'm not the only one out there making lists all the live-long day, but I hope that now you will also be transported back to the '80's and this awesome bouncy song to get you through your lists!


Monday, February 6, 2012

a (gross) little helpful hint

I apologize in advance for this post.

For those of you with weak stomachs, maybe this isn't for you.  If you don't have kids, this isn't for you, either, really.  It's just something someone told me once, and I'm thinking about it now because of how my cold has advanced.  Yep, I'm about to talk about sicky stuff...
Now, I can't remember who told me this, but I'm sure it WASN'T a doctor.  I believe it was one of the many mothers I work with at one of my jobs.  I'm almost certain it was one of my mangers who recently had her second baby.  At any rate, I really don't know how the conversation got started; and, I am fairly certain I came in at just the right moment to get this invaluable information.
What is it, already??  Well, she said that kids who ate their boogers had better immune systems.  And, of course, that makes sense!!  It's like your very own homemade flu vaccine!!
Anyway, I'm at the coughing up nasties stage, and that made me think of that story.

And so, Good Morning, to you!!

On a less disgusting note, I've been pinning some stuff to my Pinterest boards.  Nothing substantial yet, since I've been working and sleeping and not much else trying to avoid the state I'm in now...which, in hindsight, was a waste. 
I'm still not sure of the PURPOSE of it all, but I'm trying.
I have a couple sketches for new pendants that I'm hoping to work on over this next week.  That will be fun.
My new schedule at T.J.'s has me starting work at 4 a.m. now (instead of 4:30) so I'm out before noon all this week, so that gives me plenty of time to play around in the studio!!

Here's one that I've finished.  I get so excited when I have an idea in my head and it works out.  I get even more excited when that idea DOESN'T work out, but instead, I make it better while working on it!

I got a matching blue leather cord for this one.  Can't wait to (try) to get some good pics and get it in the shop this week.

Did everyone stay up late for the Super Bowl last night?  Out here on the East Coast, it's another crazy year with the Giants and Patriots playing again.  I wanted to watch.  I skipped the party we were invited to so that I didn't get everyone sick, but I planned to watch alone (until Hubby came home at the half).  It started at 6-ish.  I watch an Absolutely Fabulous marathon until the start, basically.  I did get to see the end of the President talking with what's-his-face from the Today Show.  I missed the kickoff, but saw the Patriots safety replay.  I saw the Elton John Pepsi commercial and then I went to bed. 
I tivoed the whole thing to catch the commercials, highlights, and Madonna's halftime show.
I'm sure there are better Super Bowl Sunday stories out there!!

Happy Monday, to all...and to all, a ...better Tuesday??