Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shrinking My Brain

I'm just home from Dr. M-, and we talked a good deal about what I blogged on yesterday. He thinks that my issue is I'm putting myself last in line in deference to the needs of others. He thinks I need to take a time out from the phone and social contact.

It's weird. In a way I agree with him. It's hard to argue when I feel like I did when I used to work, pushing myself so hard even though I can feel myself physically failing. I don't know how noticable my fatigue is yet, but I can tell something big and bad is going to happen soon if I don't slow down.

On the other hand, how do I stop? How do I say "no" to the clearly urgent needs of others? And how do I say no to myself when I am putting myself in harms way?

Until last year when I got sick, I knew how to do it. I seem to have forgotten where I put that skill.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Running Close to Empty

It seems that the more opportunity that comes my way, the more I do. The last week has been crazy-busy and I hope is going to slow down soon. Never mind that there is no sign of it... I can still hope.

In the meantime, over the past week, I've dealt with the demise of Lisa's car and my mother's emotional reaction to it. I've dealt with new-car shopping, making the ultimate decision that I will take Eric's Lexus and send my car onto Lisa, getting ERic's car use-car checked today, only to have it drop dead during his drive home. Arranged for my own car to be tuned up on Friday before turning it over to Lisa; had the belts tightened today, had it smog checked and registered yesterday.

Attended my GLASG meeting on Saturday; showed my jewelry publicly there for the first time ever. Then was invited to share in a booth on Sunday to show again, and spent the entire day outside. A great learning experience but tiring.

Watched and dealt with Cosmos's health slipping. I've increased his IV schedule to two days on and a one day break. He gets significant numbers of pills three times a day. IN addition, Sunny gets pills two times a day and eye drops three times a day.

Eric's family has brought lice home from school again. Eric is dealing with the majority of the issue, but I am trying to arrange for Gabby to get a cute short hair-cut from a real salon. She's a girl. It's a shame she has to lose her beautiful hair, but at least she will look good in the process.

My diet is going to hell. I see how well Angie is doing; Vennie is really back on track too. I, on the other hand, keep putting myself in situations where I am bound to eat and then I do. All the wrong stuff, too. I don't know if this is classic stress-eating, a phase where I just don't give a damn about what I stuff in my mouth, or the fact that I am so tired. Any one of them alone would cause me to deviate and I ahve a feeling that my issue is some combination of the three.

I'm also still recovering from last week's Cimzia shot, but my Crohns symptoms are starting to get bigger. When Eric & I had lunch out today, my benign choice burned the heck out of my tongue. Sure sign of fissures developing again. I hate that. And no, it may hurt to put things into my mouth, but it doesn't stop me from eating.

I'm also still trying to attend exercise class as much as I can; Uncle Al is in the hospital and I'm listening to my mother stress over that, and I just can't remember what else.

I'd like to take a nap just about now but I need to change the sheets on my bed. Then leave for Exercise Class.

I'm tired.

A Conversation with Ian

I had the opportunity to speak with 9-year-old Ian on the phone last night. As usual, the conversation turned to our respective pets.

"And how is Tribble?" I asked him. Tribble is his very ancient rabbit.

"Tribble is fine." Ian replied. "He is very old though. He is old enough to be a grandpa."

"Oh I think Tribble is older than that," I said. "Trible is old enough to be a great great great great great grandpa! But I don't think he has any babies. He's just like Cosmos. Cosmos doesn't have any children either."

"Really?!" Ian responded. "Cosmos doesn't have any puppies?"

"No Ian. Cosmos never had children."

Ian was quick to retort, "Why didn't Cosmos have children with Sunny?"

"Well, Cosmos and Sunny are both boys. They can't have children together." I didn't want to mention the neutering aspect at this point.

"Aunt Laura," Ian replied with a slight caustic tone in his voice, "Haven't you ever heard of Gay Marriage?" (Gay Marriage? Ian, you're nine! What do you know about this subject???)

"Yes I have, Ian." I said. "But I've never heard of Gay Childbirth."

Ian was quick to counter that point. "What about the pregnant man?"

I gave in. There was no way I was going to explain that one to a 9-year-old.

* * * * *

Later, I spoke to Adele / Mommy about the conversation. She does not know where Ian heard about any of this. But she says that he does watch the news fairly regulary. He particularly enjoys the BBC. That would explain a lot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Visual Impact

I am a visual learner. That means that I comprehend much more quickly when somebody shows me how to do something rather than me reading it out of a book. Eric used to be astounded that I wouldn't understand basic concepts of the computer that "everybody knew," and then, as soon as he would show me, I'd know how to do what it was that he was demonstrating almost before he was done with the demo. But that's just the way that my mind functions the best.

That explains why I can't figure out how to download music from Itunes (it's on my New Year's resolution list this year which I've almost halfway completed already, thank you!) but anticipate the day that Eric comes over to load my first music on my Ipod. By the way, Eric says that I.P.O.D. stands for "I paid over double."

So given my propensity for not understanding written directions well, it's been terribly frustrating to me not to take good pictures of my jewelry. I'd read lots of blogs on the subject. Lighting. Background. Tripod. Timer Button. Macro. The first three were easy for me. I could see how my pieces looked better in natural lighting, at certain times of the day, and even figured out the painful lesson not to shoot them against black backgrounds. But the timer button? The Macro? I read the instructions put out by Sony for my Cybershot camera. Maybe they're perfectly clear; maybe they're not. But I certainly wasn't gaining any level of comprehension by reviewing them.

Then came Eric & my trip to Cambria last weekend. (I will blog about that very soon; I promise!) If I am anything, I am a shutter bug. I love getting the candid shots, and the not so candid too. I took 182 photos in the course of 48 hours. And, as I spun the dial around on the back of my camera, the lightbulb (yes, it's a flash bulb) suddenly went off in my head. To get the Macro - which is the flower button on the back of my Cybershot by the way - I had to spin the dial on the back of the camera to the "P" marking! The timer button? That was the little clock. Push it once and it delayed the shot for 10 seconds. Push it twice and the time delay was only two. This revelation, by the way, came to me as I was shooting a spectacular series of sunset shots.

So come this afternoon, I finished a commission piece for a client. We're on a very tight deadline, so I did not wait until morning when the lighting would be optimal to take and send approval photos. I shot this afternoon and just kept my fingers crossed.

The pictures? Supurb. Professional. At least in my humble opinion. And the best thing about finally learning how to get the money shot? Once you know something... really know it, you can't unknow it again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Add fruits & veggies to a pot. In this case, I put in onion, mushroom, celery, carrot, yellow pepper, dried cranberries, & slivered almonds. Add two cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Add two cups of Cous Cous. Mix well. Turn off heat, cover the pot. Come back in 5 minutes.

Fluff the Cous Cous and it's ready to eat.

I added Happy Together Orange-Chili-Garlic Sauce and cubed grilled chicken breast into my bowl.

Low calorie, healthy, filling, and it tasted good too.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Easter Sunday dawned sunny and clear in my neck of the woods. Slightly cool by Los Angeles standards, which was perfect for what was planned. Adele, Ian, Eric, Gabby,Miles & I were going to visit
Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark for a day of picnicing, animals, rides, and strawberry picking.

Ready? Set? Definitely ready to go!

Are we here yet?

"Laura! We can't roll you. You weigh at least 300 pounds!" Not, kids. Not.

Tractor Pull

Soaking up the sun.

Strawberry Fields Forever.

Horsing around.

Gabby. A REAL Cabbage Patch Doll.

Free Strawberry Eating for everyone in the fields.

For more pictures,

Click Here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

When You Lay Down With Dogs...

When you lay down with dogs, you may come out with a very different perspective on life. That in addition to the fleas, of course.

This is what my TV looks like from my perspective on the sofa. Standard older-model 27" television in a very old IKEA Entertainment Center. No big deal.

That is, until you lay down on the floor in front of the TV with Cosmos. (Cosmos's head in lower right hand corner of picture.)

In Cozie's world, the TV looms very large. And yes, he is quite a fan of the Law & Order series.

Once you gain perspective, it's not so surprising that he is consumed by watching his television. It's more surprising, though, that Sunny - and all of my other dogs that came before the current two - don't.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Size Matters

I have two bathrooms in my condo. Both are about the size of a postage stamp. But the guest bathroom is actually a bit larger than the master, and I have had a bathroom rug in there (in front of the tub) for quite a while. It is a favorite location for Cosmos. It's softer than the tile, and conveniently located not only in front of the tub, but also in front of the pot. He can harass me from there almost anywhere I am.

After the Fab 4 broke up last week, I took Vennie's comment about there not being a rug in the master bathroom to heart. But because space is so tight in there, I got a tiny one, about 18" x 2'. It's identical in color and shape to the one in the front.

Today I was in the master bathroom taking care of - ahem - business. Cosmos came in, and there was an astonished look on his face. A rug. In his master bath! BONANZA!

But although I call him my little one, he is not a tiny dog. He squeezed himself on the small rug, turned around in circles, always to the left, and could not figure out how to fit himself on the mat. He couldn't understand it! He KNEW that he had laid on that rug before, just knew it.

The poor dog has been going in and out of both of his bathrooms since that moment. It's kind of sad. He does not understand why he fits on one of the rugs and not the other.

Sometimes it's not to easy to be a dog. And yes, size matters.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Back to Business

Now that all the fun and games are over, it's time to get back to business. I have taken several orders for my jewelry, and also found a great deal of the missing pieces (took my visitors to get me to declutter enough around here to realize that I had thrown them into a basket in my studio) and started photographing them. The end result is that I have achieved a lot, but have a lot more to achieve.

These two pieces, both 'Shoe Candy', were a custom order. Instead of using my own beads, I used the beads of a client, mixing my own accent beads and Swarovski Crystals into the mix. I ended up with something far more delicate and colorful than I had previously been making. I'm thinking about adding something like this into my Shoe Candy mix although I have to think about it. If I go into full production with these, they take far longer to make than what I've done to date and I will have to charge more for them. Hmmmm... perhaps they might make terrific earrings?

These are two pieces which were lost and found, and now listed on my Etsy site. Sometimes it's hard to list things for sale and know that I may have to let them go. Repeat to self: I can always make more. I can always make more. I can always make more.

Then there is the Fruit Bracelet project. Again a client order, I started it a couple of days ago, but to my chagrin, the bracelet is turning out far larger and more cost intense than I had intended, and I cannot let it go at the quoted price. The good news is that my client also specified that she wanted something delicate, and this is far from that. So I reorganized my mind as to how I will assemble this piece, put the original aside to be worked on later (I'll offer it up on Etsy), and I'm starting again tonight. I know for sure that my newer design is going to work well for both of us, and I'll still get it finished in plenty of time for her event.

And finally, I'm still working on this:

It's off of the hoop now and lined with leather, but I need to get the fringing done, then attach it to the collar. It's a huge piece, close to my heart, and needs to be done right.

Ahhhhh... and people think I live a life of leisure out here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Well, Week #1 I was terribly sick with the flu. But Week #2, I was just-plain having fun!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are these worth?

I don't know, but one thing I do know... The whole is far greater than the sum of the component parts.


Related Posts with Thumbnails