Friday, November 30, 2007

getting messy, again...


I'm nearly all packed up for the show tomorrow. Just need to pack the car tonight or early tomorrow morning. Depends on how much I can stand the boxes piled by the front door. shudder...I must be maturing as I starting to really like things put away and organized. Thank the stars, the gals are past the whole "Rip it open, take it out, throw it all over the place" stage. Well, mostly.

I feel excited and a little nervous...I still need to get some clothes pins and pack a few more things. I just remembered, I should have some bags or something to put stuff in! Didn't even think of that. Thankfully, my mom made me (a few years ago) a pretty plastic bag holder and I'll bring that.I need to get my business cards as well. I guess I should finish my break and go back to work! lol! :)

Places of Goodness...

Yesterday I made a wonderful discovery...Little Red Hen! Let me just say this is a wonderful blog by Penny McAllister. I'm loving her style and can hardly wait to get a copy of the latest Home Companion (for which her work is in). :)

Also, she is having a give away...last day to sign-up is Dec. 2. She is giving away a beautiful Christmas ornament she designed. Love it! :) Share this with others and enter. I think I'll enter my mom's name as well(she doesn't have a blog)...:)

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Yesterday was SO windy. Norrie and I went for a walk to the post box and when we turned to go back home (we live in a hilly part of town), all these leaves seemed to parade up the street. It was so amazing to see them, dancing up the street and disappear out of our sight.

At times the wind was so strong and powerful it seemed like the leaves would fly out to orbit. Amazing. It helped that the sun warmed up the ground a bit. When I first moved back East, I thought the sounds of the winds through the trees sounded like the howls of wolves. I still do to an extent, but now I can imagine it to be the music of trees and the winter sprites calling to each other as we shiver into Midwinter (Winter Solstice, December 21).

Speaking of Winter Solstice, I have saved a few sparklers for that shortest of days and longest of nights. My family is planning to do our newest tradition of lighting the darkness with these hopeful reminders of brighter days. I just wish I had stock piled more of them. Does anyone know where I can get more sparklers? Do they sell them for Christmas? I hope so! I love the smell of sulphur and I believe is meant to purify in older traditions. Either way, it's fun to light them when the world seems so dark and cold. But we'll also have to save a few for the "most depressing" day of Jan. 24th as well. Things to remember now before we get too carried away with the over-consumerism of this time of year. Remember Charlie Brown! ;)

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I want to write about a short film I saw last night. It's title might put some people off as it's very earthy, to say the least. I was skeptical of it myself but thought, I'd give it a try. It's called "Doggie Poo". If you have netflix.com you can view it under the "Watch Now". It's about 30 minutes long and is probably one of the most thoughtful/beautiful films I've seen in a very long time. One has to have kids or some life experience to understand it. The music is so touching and the stop motion art, is very well done. It's one of those films that stays with you and addresses those feelings of why are we here? What is our purpose? If you've got netflix or can rent this little film, it will be one of the best things you've done for yourself. This is what most art should aim for...oddly, titled "Doggie Poo". lol! :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I still don't get Easterners...

I've been living in PA for about 4 years, now. And there are still a few things I don't get about the natives of the area...or at least those who still refuse to admit it's really, really cold and go around wearing shorts or only 1 layer. I don't get this. Maybe they have skin colored thermal underwear and I just never really took time to look at their bluish skin or unusually dark brown legs, but what in the world are these people thinking?

"When it's cold, it's cold", at least that's the way it was in Southern California. However, it seems like the mentality over here is, "When it's cold, it's not cold enough..." to break out the winter coat, wear the gloves/scarf/hat and snow boots and wear a thicker sweater in the house. I just don't get it. When I'm cold, I don't say, I'll bear it out or act like I'm not cold. That's insane. That's like being stung by a wasp and refusing to run into the house but walking extra slowly to appear calm (while you scream on the inside).

It just seems like there has to literally be a blizzard outside and 5 feet of snow before some people will stick gloves on their hands and order coffee instead of a cold drink. I don't know...maybe these people have electric tee-shirts that keep them warm but I will be wearing my winter coat with a sweater and thermal underwear. I did forget my gloves today but at least I had my big fluffy hat on. Let them mock me and call me cone head, but at least my ears are warm and cozy.

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Apparently, the cold has already taken it's first yard item to the next realm. I, finally, dumped the half frozen sandbox that had become our temporary outside pond and when I went to rinse it out with the hose, the nozzle was totally busted, spraying water everywhere. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know you had to bring that in too. I'm going to make Jon take the hose in, next. Fortunately, that was disconnected or we might have pipes doing the same thing. It was REALLY windy today and it was a pity as Jon and the gals raked 8 bags of leaves the other day. I'm more inclined to mow them up but it's been too wet for that lately. Now, our yard has leaves again...oh, well.

We finished the Ginger Bread house. It may have an "accident" where teeth marks will appear as we're all staring at it. It really looks good, I must say. We're out of milk at the moment, so this might have to wait till this is remedied.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I made two pizza's from scratch last night...Norrie loved it, Lydia not really. It's always like this...one likes something and the other doesn't. Actually, the only thing they like together is quesadilla’s. So, we have that on hand, thank goodness!

I pulled out two boxes of Christmas loot and discovered I had packed some Halloween/Autumn stuff in one of them as well. Gee, that makes sense...so, I need to get a box just for Halloween stuff. Annoying to say the least.

We have this Christmas tree that is about 3 years old and I decided to only put up half. I used an old barbell weight and that is the base (until I get a bucket and cement it in). I put it on a table and it looks very sweet. I like little trees, I think. Plus, the white Christmas tree is so lovely and makes me happy. I cemented that one in a bucket too. I recently got a pink tree and it has lights set in it...it is so charming! I thought I'd always love green trees but colorful ones are just fun! I've seen blue feathered trees and these look interesting but are a tad pricey at $40! The next tree we get will be a small live one...

Anyway, the 3 year old artificial tree has given up it's branches as I used it to decorate the fence. I thought I was going to get blown away! The wind was tremendous and I'm really glad we got the house insulated. How did we ever stand it before?? No wonder I was always sick or achy. Anyway, I want to put some bows on the fence and I'd put on lights but it seems like so much work...we shall see.

The furnace just kicked on and it's starting to warm up a bit but my feet are cold. I need to put on my sneakers...I'm excited about the craft show on Saturday. It's making me wish I could convert my front porch into a little gallery/shop. Just a thought but a fun one too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Finished!



I finished about 35 paintings (still need to do about 10 more) and then I will do one more for a commissioned piece. I listed a huge batch tonight...like freshly baked cookies, I tell you! :) I feel good and honestly, if I didn't paint I think I'd probably get depressed. I can always tell when I need a little artistic time...something feels like it's missing.

Here are a few paintings I just put up on eBay!




This was a really fun batch to paint and I had no problems with focusing my attention. I also found out it's rather nice to paint in the morning by the front window while my little one watches a Sesame Street or draws. Nice quiet time after the rush to school and morning chores.

Last night


I wrote this blog but couldn't put it up because my internet connection went phssst! This has been happening a lot lately and makes for an annoyed Emily...ah, well...Fortunately, I saved the post and here it is, albeit a tad late:

I had a sore throat on Sunday (worked in the garage without a scarf or warm jacket...shame on me) and felt the effects by the time I had to go out to a client. Good grief. I slept so much on Monday and even napped today with my youngest, thus nearly missing pick-up of my eldest from school! Talk about panic!!

I'm starting to sneeze a bit but no ear pain, so that's good. I'm so nervous about Saturday. I just hope I can make everything look presentable and we have a good crowd. The weather looks good so far...but that can change in one gust of wind.

With all the plans for the Christmas show on Saturday, I've been getting into the mood for Christmas way earlier than I have ever been. The day after Thanksgiving, instead of shopping and going crazy (like a lot of people do, apparently), we just relaxed and then left to go to a tree lighting in Hollidaysburg. This was SO much fun...I've never been to one and even though Mr. Nelson was challenged by a massive Collie (and started barking in the middle of Away in the Manager), it was fun. Jon's folks sang their hearts out and froze their appendages nearly off. I was frustrated that they had them standing on these stupid rafters in 20 and colder winds. Why not let them stand around metal barrels with wood burning and sing from there? Or have heaters or something? Anyway, it was a bit too "TV perfect" if you ask me (esp. with the Weatherman right there chanting words of encouragement as he ran about trying to stay warm as well).

There was such a huge amount of people I thought I was in Pasadena for a while...though much colder, of course. We saw some cute little shops which I will be investigating soon and there was a free petting zoo and horse drawn carriage (which we didn't try as we had our dog). After this, we got some burgers and went to see the Lakemont Lights and had a good time there as well.

Saturday, we relaxed, did more house stuff and I forget what else! lol! Oh, yes, I worked with a client and she told me how they were already getting their real Christmas tree. Now, I want to get a real one too and nearly got everyone to go. But we chickened out as we thought it was too early. Still, I really want to go soon and go on the horse drawn carriage there...
We stopped at the Salvation Army (that's what we did) and I found the oddest but cute dolls there and some good books for the kids. Then we stopped at Wall Mart to price fish (live Beta's that is) and as we were leaving nearly got hit by a crazed driver. I couldn't believe it as we were already half way across the pedestrian walk path and this nut nearly hits Lydia and me! I was so stunned...Jon pulled us out of the way and the driver stopped, thank god. I stared at the driver and waited to see if he'd apologize but he just stared back like he did nothing wrong. I mouthed the words, "What the hell?" and started to get enraged. If I had any sense I should have punched in his car hood but I was too flustered and upset. We got into our car and I saw where the guy parked. I had Jon drive back and I took down his license number. I'll be reporting this jerk. As we drove out, I saw the security guard...fast asleep in his truck....of course. Thank God our guardian angels and Jon were not sleeping!

So, that was Saturday...oh, and we visited one of the elderly people bringing our dog as she loves dogs. This made her day, I hope. Next day, back to work and got a bunch of raking in...phew and another client. Monday came by and we went to the art store in the rain as I was getting cabin fever. I made the mistake of getting one of those pre-fabricated Ginger bread houses...they are so much more work then you'd ever guess. I just want to dunk the whole thing in milk and eat it. I broke my hand mixer (the second one now...and both doing Christmas stuff) trying to the get the icing to mix. The directions said only 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of water. Not so! It needs at least half a cup of hot water! So, I have a half set ginger bread house and I hope to God it doesn't crumble till the girls get to see it all pretty...sort of.

At least I'm finished with the angel clothes peg dolls! There are nearly 24 of them and they are so sweet. Now, I have to paint all my little paintings up and do one commission. I feel tired just thinking about all the paintings but happy to do it.

The only thing I need to do next is go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day and though there are a few rotten apples out there, most people are good and this makes all the difference. :)

Elf children begin their walk


Elf children begin their walk, originally uploaded by emily999.

through the forest...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

snowpeople and dog


snowpeople, originally uploaded by emily999.

Had some fun at the Lakemont Lights display. Also, found out all the profits go to community groups in the area...like the chorus' and much more.

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Had a great conversation with my mom last night...ah, how great it feels to talk to mom, I must say. It's always good to talk to someone who understands you. Now, I have to call my sister...hint, hint.

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Been having a bit of a spell with certain relatives. I love them but some of them make it really hard to be around. One relative really made me sad this season as she refused to come to Thanksgiving dinner if I even invited one person (even though it was theoretical or someone who is very old and has nobody). I've always suspected this might happen if I ever invited a friend and when it came out, I felt sick to my stomach. It destroyed some of my feeling of joy in thanks, let me tell you, but not all of it. It's amazing I she didn't boycott the in-laws house when my bestfriend, Caroline, came over. I'm still angry at this relative.

I'm tired of bending over backwards for this person. Jon and I are thinking of inviting a few friends/family for future events and if she wants to come or not, that's her choice. It just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving if you're not allowed to even give someone an invite to the dinner. Good grief! grrrr I'm tired of living by a Scrooge mentality and only dreaming of having friends over. Very frustrating. My own dad/mom-in-law are certainly not like this.

Anyway, deep breath. I know everyone has quirky relatives and really it's not always that bad...just makes you feel a bit repressed, I guess. In other news, it's 1 more week to the art/vendor show at Father Kelley's Hall! I'm really excited and I hope I can show my stuff to the best of it's advantage. I hope there are outlet's for lights and it's warm. I just got through putting up the 100 year old shelves (chestnut wood) with Jon in the garage...it was freezing in there. Reminds me of the art show last year...and I got a horrible cold from that. Hopefully, I was moving around enough to warm up and I hope the Hall is warm too.

I've finished nearly everything...a few fairy ornaments need to be tutu's and I have to pick up some more mattes for the prints...otherwise, it's all coming along! It should be fun and I hope a lot of people come out to this event.

I think I'll plug it on the Altoona Mirror web site as well...though, that's probably being done, but just in case, I'll do that.

I have one other client tonight at 5 and then, it's all about the art/children and life for a bit. I think I need to get some new batteries for the camera as well.

Tra lalalala~

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Angle shot


Angle shot, originally uploaded by emily999.

New work at the cafe


New work at the cafe, originally uploaded by emily999.

I finally had a chance to drag my sick husband to the cafe and get some work up. It only took about 45 minutes to hang everything...still, it's been a few weeks longer than I expected to get it up. Glad it's done.

I have a few new things up...wall sculptures, which have a folky feeling to them. I really enjoyed making these and will be doing more. I'm also going to make a specific piece just to display at the cafe...or coffee related, I should say. :)

Anyway, lots of fun stuff even with everyone being out of sorts. I feel sort of sick to the tummy...I hope I'm not getting the flu. I know my youngest is feeling cranky. I really don't want to be sick for Thanksgiving day...but we shall see.

I'm having major homesickness right now, as well. I didn't realize it was going to sneak up on me like this. I really hate this feeling as it makes me bitter for what I do have at times. But I will not let this feeling overwhelm me...

Anyway, I'll just focus on what I can do...and that is make my artwork and hopefully a turkey tomorrow. My mom emailed me and told me all these recipes for cooking it...I hope I can borrow a few ideas! :) Thanks, Mom!! I love you! :)

The Snow Fairy


The Snow Fairy, originally uploaded by emily999.

Soon to be on eBay...postcard size (5 by 7 inches).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Feeling better today...

Took it easy, again. Started to feel like I was getting a sinus infection (okay, I know I have a slight one). But if I take it easy and don't stress out, it most likely will go away. At least I hope so...it seems to help if I don't go outside when it's cold. I wish I had a face mask to wear...cold air really bothers me. In other words, it makes me cough and I get a headache very quickly. So, I have to watch that.

Otherwise, a good day. I'm learning it's a very good idea to clean up a project before starting a new one (which I have a tendency to do). I just put it all in it's own little box and move to the next art piece. This helps so much. I feel like I've solved a long battle or something. Anyway, one of life's little realizations.

I can hardly believe it's going to be Thanksgiving this Thursday. There is a lot to be thankful for and a lot to pray over as well. My thoughts go to my aunt and her two sons in the military. I pray they are safe and come home soon. I also pray for the wife and family of our friend who passed. I hope they will be able to heal and be strong after all their sorrows. And I pray for all the people who I care for in working with the elderly and for the caregivers themselves. It's interesting how walking a different path, gives you so much more insight...It's a good to try a different direction every now and then.

And I pray for all those who are suffering from the recent Cyclone in Bangladesh and those who are in need. I can only hope there is aid going to them and we can bind as a whole world instead of separating ourselves when there is such need. I often think how like Scrooge we are and how if we listen to kindness and charity, we can change like him too. It might not even be money but how we vote and how we treat each other by what policies we support. If we vote, does it do good for many or good for a few? This, to me, is the deciding point on many issues. This is what it means to see how we can create good or let people fall apart with neglect or worse, ignore.

I used to think we should be like Jesus...or like Gandhi. Now, I think we should be more like Scrooge...do positive things locally and do good works because we can.

New work coming up!

At last I have a few new pieces I finished! Here is the first one...

Make someone happy

I'm going to made this one into a card as well. I'll probably have these listed on ebay tonight.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ghosts? and thoughts...

I recently saw this video about the "Ghost at a gas station". I've heard different feelings on it...it's a blue plastic bag, a ghost, etc. To me, it looks like a bug sitting on the glass of the security camera. Or it could be a doctored video, as some suggest.

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Well, this week is Thanksgiving. Sometimes, I'll get into a funk and feel like why don't I have more or why is life so difficult and hard sometimes. And then I look around me and I see I'm not seeing everything around me. My recent complaint was not having a cup holder in the car. But for goodness sakes, I have a car and something to drink, let a lone a hand to hold this something. I started to feel ashamed for being so petty and shallow. I started to think about what I do have...my family, food for the table, pretty good health, humor, legs to walk with, my art, strength and so much. It's funny how things begin to get into your mind that your somehow without because you don't have ___________ (whatever that is). I decided to remember all the happiness I do have right now. Happiness doesn't come from having the most up-to-date car, a great figure, a beautiful face or perfect grades or home. Happiness comes from being in the moment, taking care of the things you have and loving the people in your life. We all have to love something as a 95 year-old woman told me recently. I think this is very true.

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Snow is falling in my dreams


Snow is falling in my dreams, originally uploaded by emily999.

And in reality! Went to work today (left around 6 in the morning) and it was snowing/raining! I was nervous but it wasn't so bad. Oddly, our side of the hill gets more snow...I guess the slight elevation helps with that. I don't mind as the sweet dark eyed Junco has returned! This little fellow really makes the cold a bit more bearable.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Busy day out...

(aaaalydia* typed by Lydia age:5)

Today wasn't too bad to wake up to but a little stressful for other reasons. Had to be at a client's home at 9am and did that. I think she may be getting more dementia as she seems to zone out more. I felt a little sad about that and it made me feel nervous. One minute your talking to a person and the next, their sort of not seeing you anymore.

The next client I had today was much better...plus, she had a dog. This is a 95 year old woman and to be quite frank, I think having a pet keeps people sane. I've worked with quite a few people and the most together people, so far, are the ones with pets. The most normal people seem to have a pet or two (maybe even 5 critters but not too much more than they can handle) and they just seem happier. I was really surprised and happy by this as it makes me feel better about having a few critters of my own. I guess I started to feel like I was a farm because a few people have thought that having more than 2 pets was "crazy". Well, I feel justified now! :)

In fact, I feel like very blessed to have these critters in my life. How much more emptier my life would be without them. I must say I've learned so much from having these little beings in my life; each one has brought some new understanding or insight about life. It also made me see how different a dog is from a cat but how both respond to kindness.

I'm not one of those who feel animals are "little children" and baby them (though Mr. Nelson is subjected to wearing a coat on occasion)...I hope I see them as much as a whole being rather than what I want them to be.

Anyway, such was my day...in-between this, we went to the market and a small vendors/yard sale at a local church in Bellwood. It was a bit lukewarm as the upper floor was way overpriced and the bottom floor was sort of picked over, I guess. I guess I felt a bit annoyed because I didn't have a lot of cash on me...so, when the gals wanted these cheap ladybug magnets (that were overpriced), I felt annoyed. Then, we got toys that should have been marked a 25 cents but the people were to stingy to mark them down for the kids. Plus, I saw a cool looking carved trunk but this old man bought it...dang. Sometimes, I just get irritated by stuff like that. Also, the building wasn't marked correctly and we drove for 5 blocks past it and they misspelled a few words on their signs (Jon caught this that...I was too busy checking the gas as we were getting low).

Why does it seem like I nearly always find cool things when I don't have the money? SO ANNOYING! lol. Plus, I found out I don't get paid until a week after I'm supposed to by this company I work for. Good grief. I might have to get a 3rd job. :(

Anyway, I'm going to have to try and get some art out on eBay because I really like doing this and I feel like it's time. Oh, and the 3rd annoying thing is I didn't get to go to the cafe and put some new pieces up! Just realized that one! Darn it!

Now, I will focus on the good things...Met a very person today who loves dogs and understands the importance of having pets (regardless of age of our selves). The other good thing is Jon is cooking dinner..."stir fry", as he calls it and it smells very good (garlic and onion)! The third good thing, I get free hugs from my little ones, among other random attacks of initially loving expressions, sigh...4th I'm very glad I have a place like this blog to spill my guts, to an extent, and just ramble on. lol...hopefully, those who read this don't think it's too annoying. The 5th thing is I have a bit of time to do some art tonight and don't need to be anywhere special. Sixth, the family is happily relaxing and being together. Seventh, that there are blessings to be seen everywhere.

Friday, November 16, 2007

IT'S FRIDAY!

It's been a busy week...good grief. But for the first time in a long time I felt mentally prepared even if my body was a bit reluctant to get going. I will probably forget to write half of what's been happening and remember later on. Not a problem...

Anyway, last week was the hoagie returns. Boy, does that seem like ages ago...Let's just say, I had too much of this and had to start doing more veggies. I just did not feel great. On a bright note, I REALLY love soy beans. My goodness, these are so wonderful with lime and chili powder. I love them more than chips! That's pretty amazing, I must say. To top this off, the gals have found a new love in lime as well. I was really happy about this because I see fish in the future with lime and veggies to boot.

The weekend was heavy with work but that's all right. I'm trying to prepare myself for annoyed clients and not let myself get pulled into their anxieties. But if worse comes to worse, I can always ask for a different client. I hate to do this but I'd rather not feel negative feelings from anyone. So, we shall see how this weekend goes.

Had a work meeting on Wednesday...it was nice to see other caregivers and I was a bit jealous some were even friends. How do they meet each other? I never met anyone but my clients and just the people at the home base (for assignments). But we shall see what happens. I had a good time, won some brownies (which we all loved) and then it was allergy shot, pick up kids, market, etc. Phew.

Did a small amount of art...as I've been trying to get St. Therese photos I've made framed for the show on Dec. 1st at Father Kelley's Hall (in Altoona, if you're interested/close by). I hope a good crowd of people show up. Part of my sales are also going to my gals school...so, all in all a good thing.

I finally got my free turkey but it won't fit in the freezer. I guess I froze too much stuff from the garden (zucchini) and have it in the fridge part. I hope it doesn't thaw out too much, otherwise, I'll be making the turkey.

Today was bowling day for the kids and I tagged along. It was very stuffy when we arrived and I nearly left but decided it was only once and thought we'd stay for an hour. We did and to my surprise somebody actually started to smoke with all these kids there! I went up to the lady behind the counter and asked her not to let people smoke. She did and they put it out. I didn't feel like I did anything out of the ordinary (my dad always protected us from smokers...they'd actually smoke outside in the play area at fast-food areas! Disgusting and hurtful). Then, a mom came up to me and thanked me and then another woman said she didn't like it either and could hardly wait for the laws to change in PA. I felt vindicated. I really think we're too polite sometimes and grit our teeth instead of saying, "Please don't smoke near me or my children".

I was thinking about why it's obviously bad to smoke around children. The #1 reason is second- hand smoke causes cancer. The #2 reason should be that it's EXTREMELY addictive. Guess who gets to smell this? Kids...if they are allowed to be near this. Not very smart if you want to keep kids from taking drugs/cigarettes, etc. Sometimes I feel like I'm one of those annoying women in the 1800's who were against drinking. lol! :) Nearly every morning, I see parents driving their kids to school...while the parent is smoking away. The strange thing is, most people who smoke will get offended if you shake your head or say you shouldn't be smoking around your kids. Honestly, if I was a cop, I'd fine the parents for child endangerment.

We had to leave early as it was starting to give me a headache (though it was fun to see the kids bowling...I felt really sorry they were all being exposed to this awful air...would we allow kids to walk around radiation plants unprotected and be exposed to cancer? That's the same thing...) and Lydia hit her chin on a table playing around. So, we left, we all had showers, washed all our coats and clothing to get the smoke out and I nasal flushed as well. I wish I could clean out their noses like that but they are too young. Both gals were down and tired and I think it was from the stink in there. They're usually very upbeat and happy after a walk in the woods but here they were looking ill. They perked up after a short nap.

One of my wishes, besides laws to protect people from inconsiderate smokers, is to start a bowling alley smoke free. I just know this would be a huge success in this area and would attract A LOT of families. I told Jon this idea and he liked it too. Could you imagine a smoke free area for families to hang out in the Winter time or even just at night? It's a pity I'm not more monetarily endowed or else I'd start one right now! I know this would attract families who just want a clean place to have fun as well as people who can't be around smokers or don't smoke. Sometimes I wish I could get some investors to back me up or win the lottery. sigh...

We also made chocolate chip cookies this afternoon...that was nice. The gals are actually starting to get the concept of measurements and I'm starting to memorize the cookie recipe...amazing. It was the perfect afternoon for this as there were snow flurries and the cold just seemed to be everywhere. Fortunately, the house is staying so much more warmer since we insulated. I can hardly wait to do the walls next. What a difference.

I have plans to teach a group of gals how to knit. I hope it goes well...I know it's hard to do this sort of thing for the first time but if I go slowly it should be fun. I'm excited about it and hope they will be too.

I can hardly wait till my gals learn this stuff...well, they know how to sew a bit. They just need the time to do it. I think knitting would be more challenging than crochet...but all in time. I just wish they'd sing Christmas carols with me when I play the piano. That's all I ask!

On a totally different note, I hope to get a few things up on eBay tonight. I hope I can get this done as I have postponed this because of all the other work. I might have a few things to put up. I also really want to change a few paintings at the cafe tomorrow...it seems like ages since I did that. Amazing how plans change in a few moments.

I think the gals will sleep well tonight as we were so busy today. I had a good day and feel like I made an effort to get along and stood up for our clean air rights.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas Tree with clothspin Fairies

Getting ready for a local art/small business show for Dec. 1st. I did a batch of Clothspin fairies among other things...

Monday, November 12, 2007

sisters


sisters, originally uploaded by emily999.

from a photo session two or so years ago...

what a weekend...


I worked a bunch of hours at various jobs, this weekend. I think it might be too much as I feel stressed and didn't have much family time. What's the point of making a little extra money if you don't see your family? That's how I feel, at least. Actually, the reason I'm doing that is I just want to save up for Christmas presents...but I feel annoyed by everything. I feel a bit bad as one client is being EXTREMELY fussy (she has some sort of obsessive compulsive behavior about clothing "biting" her...itchy, I guess). Basically, she had to change her shirt 5 times...Good grief. Usually, I can get her to focus on stories or jokes but something changed and she's being very tiresome. I also got a new client and she's wonderful however, her son smokes and I got a migraine from that. He didn't smoke when I was there but I could smell it and was nearly chocked from it. Thank the stars I had to go out and empty the trash. Still, it was very difficult...I may need to change her because of the smoke. I felt sorry for her grandkids.

Then, I saw an ad in the paper for a guinea pig looking for a home and missed that one as I got a very negative response from Jon in this regards. So, I felt bad about that too.

Now, it looks like Lydia has a cold and I feel stressed out that everyone blames me for breaking her bed and they are sleeping on the mattresses on the floor. This wouldn't give someone a cold, would it?

I just feel a bit surprised and tired by this weekend. I met a new person client on Saturday night and she had mild dementia. Basically, she thought I was trying to sell her something and asked me to leave 10 times in the first 20 minutes. Finally, I asked the nurses to help and felt so awkward. I we both were "forced" to sit together and I tried to keep her calm. One nurse kindly told me everything...the woman gets more and more agitated and finally is wheeled off to her room after having hysterics...After she had her meds, I was allowed to take her for a spin and she started yelling and wanting to go back. I spotted a piano and thought, "what the hell" as I'm usually too shy to play for anyone but hoped this would be a good idea. Believe me, it's not easy when you've got someone getting more and more agitated. I asked her what her favorite holiday song was and she couldn't remember...I prompted her and said what about "Silent Night". She nodded and I played that. She quieted down and listened...I kept playing different songs and more Christmas pieces. A lot of the elderly people seemed to calm down. It was strange and nice and I was relieved to see I did something to benefit them. I don't know how the nurses there have to deal with all of these poor souls. If you don't have a heart of metal or at least covered in metal, you'd be crying all over the place.

One of the clients, an ex-priest, kindly told me I made a lot of people feel good...just by playing the piano. So, it was worth breaking out of my shyness...If ever I'm called there again, I'm playing the piano for an hour and I don't care if anyone gets sick of me! lol!

I really wish I didn't have a slight nasal headache...I guess it's from the damp weather we're having. Or else a cold...

I did do quite a bit of artwork...actually, I started new projects which I know I shouldn't do that but I just started feeling the need to make pretty new sculpture/ornaments. They're all abstract shapes and some hearts...I love the feeling I get getting my hands dirty from making things. It's a joy to me. I wish I could get my one obsessive/compulsive client to do this but she is so high strung and acts like she's above all of "that" stuff. And what do you do when this person is 93? It's not like you can say, "hey, snap out of it!" I'd love to take her to The Dream restaurant or just get her out of there for a few hours. I feel like I did something wrong and I don't know what it is. I even had the gals make her a Turkey wreath and she was critical rather than grateful. I just hope she didn't have a stroke or something because she wasn't like this last week or all the weeks before this. Very strange. I should just think of it as a job, I know...and leave it there.

I do feel better writing about all of this. And I got to cuddle with my dumplings last night as we watched "The Wizard of Oz". That was fun. I got them interested in it by asking questions about what's going to happen and what did they think.



This is an old pic of my gals...but I'll forever think of them like this...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mr. Nelson is prepared though befuddled...

Nelson is thinking, "what in the name of all that is good has happened...? Why am I forced to wear a coat, mom?"

Don't know if it's a cold or allergies..

But I'm up at 4:25 am and I just did my nasal cleaning routine...so, now I can breath again. Very annoying...I should have done it way earlier but thought I could get away with another night. Anyway, I was reading a blog (rock paper scissors) about how her kid has allergies. There was an interesting video from the perspective of kids who have allergies (food). I could totally relate not because I'm so allergic to foods (milk does a whammy on me) but about that outside feeling...feeling left out because you physically can't do something. It's that Charlie Chaplin feeling of looking inside a window, wishing you were inside and there's not much you can do besides walk away. Thankfully, a lot of people are becoming much more aware about allergies and being sensitive to this problem. On the whole, my allergies are much more under control (still get my allergy shot once a week and have my allergy meds 2x a day). I had a bit of a fall out last week after we crunched a bunch of dry leaves...the dust/pollen I guess was high (didn't have any rain for a few weeks) and this made me have a slight migraine. Still, I bounced back quicker than I used to. So, this was a relief.

With this current job I have, there is a lot of driving. Since I work primarily on the weekends, this isn't too bad but I am nervous about the snow. I hope my 4-wheel drive is going to be all right and I can handle the weather.

Jon splurged last night and got us a heated mattress pad. This is REALLY good (though I can feel the coils a bit) and keeps you warmer than a space heater. I really like it. Plus, it's not a pain to get out of bed and feel like you're loosing your warm spot. It actually knocked us out when we tried it...kind of funny; like falling asleep in a giant mother's arms. lol!

Now, I want to get two more for the gals and maybe even some for Christmas presents. The first time I heard about heated mattress pads was way back in the mid-90's. I was a Target cashier and one customer has just bought one. She said this is the best thing in the world...getting into an already warm bed. Since then, I've thought about that for nearly 15 years, apparently, and now I have one. How funny...

Last night was Lydia's first teacher's conference. Went well and for being 5, there certainly is A LOT of pressure to achieve well in grades and reading...all this in kindergarten. I think it's a bit overkill myself...I don't think reading is that much of a need at 5 or 6 even...Honestly, I didn't start to love reading until I was 10. Jon was much earlier in that department...but he was probably gifted or above level in this regard. I'm just glad she's getting attention she needs. I think one of the problems isn't so much that the kids need to read by 5 or 6 but that they have to go to all day kindergarten. This is a bit much, really. And I do know why it's like this...both parents are forced to work...sometimes 2 jobs each. To be quite frank, this really stinks and stresses the family out. I know it stresses me out having to do artwork and tend to kids and work on the weekends being away from the family. I feel like it's wrong and is going to give a whole lot of wrinkles and gray hairs to a bunch of people for no reason. But it's this or not paying the bills.

Actually, the real culprit is not being paid fair wages (as if this weren't obvious) and being stressed out to make choices that tear up families. I'm thinking of time. Time spent fretting about being "perfect" (no messes, fixed up to the nines home/car, or just not having the resources of people to help out when you need it such as child care) or time to just go for a walk outside of the city and stare at the stars.

It's funny how we devalue time by either watching too much TV (or internet) or else play video games and these things have little show for all the attention we give it. I recently talked to my friend, Caroline, and we both have a habit of sitting when we watch TV with something in our hands. It could be knitting, paints, a baby, etc. We just don't feel the need to immerse ourselves in TV or the internet. I'm not saying we should be multi-taskers or something like that...but rather, TV should be something that is very little used or is like background noise while you paint or talk with your kids. I guess I see it as fluff. I do focus on some shows but usually the writing is pretty bad and I can solve the story by about 10 minutes into it. Actually, if you're a good reader (read a lot of books) you can do this as well.

I've even gotten bored with movies and (hate to say this) some blogs because of the writing or lack of it or too much of it. I know this sounds critical but it's just my opinion and everyone has a right to their own thoughts (thankfully).

I guess I think it's best to just do what you want to do, don't worry about whether you sound good to every freaking person out there and do what makes you happy (as long as it doesn't hurt someone else). That's one of the realizations I had recently. I was stressing about an upcoming art show and how I thought I HAD to make sales. And I thought, why? If you sell one thing, great. If you sell nothing, that's all right too. The main thing is to have fun. This is a new experience for you, you're learning and have fun with it. That's the main point of this. Have fun, enjoy the day and show this little part of the world you're art. What more can you ask? So, I let go, as Jon said, and I feel a lot better and excited about everything. I'll do my best and have fun.

There is another thing I want to write about but I also want to give it an entire post...I was reading a bit from the Dali Lama about attachment and true compassion. I think this is the key to giving up hurt feelings and seeing people for who they are instead of what they are "supposed to be". One example he mentions is how we see our friends. If they react to us in a different way then we expect, we often feel hurt or confused. But if we see them without attachment and as true sentient beings, we see them as a whole person. I hope this is understandable because it's so important. If we see our friend as a whole, we understand that they have needs, frustrations, joys, and so much more. We see them as much as possible as a whole person and can react in a way that is compassionate. It's not a feeling a pity or that they are lower than you...as the Dali Lama says, but as true compassion. It's a difficult thing to grasp as I think a lot of responses are based in judging and gossip, unfortunately (interestingly those are the very things Jesus taught against as well).

Once I understood this concept, I could see why I have certain friends in my life, am able to get past hurts I've been through and still have a lot to go. Let me just say, it answered a lot of questions of why _________ (fill in the blank). I'm going to eventually share the whole passage the Dali Lama wrote. It's a good feeling to find wisdom and thoughtfulness just by chance, it seems.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Zip, zip, zip, zip

That is the sound of a heavy duty winter coat...four of them. We're cold out here in the East as snow flurries are starting!! The wind chill is numbing...so I guess that's pretty cold. Still, supposed to get colder.

Today is doing all right so far...had a few potty accidents from a certain kid I know, but otherwise all right. I also made 3 turkey wreaths...or rather the kids and I did but it still needs to be glued down. I had a request from our adopted great-grandmother. So, I made 3 for a few other grandparents....I hope they turn out well.

I feel pretty upbeat even if I have to go thru the garage and see if I can find the parts to make a bed for the eldest kid (because I broke the other one, wah). OH, well.

Well, I have lots to do and little time...good grief! But all good things, thankfully.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New work at Cafepress!


I just finished putting some new work at my cafepress shop. I did an image of St. Therese on notecards as well as on several other products. There are two different images...one is St. Therese with a Morning prayer she wrote. The other image is of Saint Therese. I enjoyed this creating this imagery and will have to look into other Saints as well.

Happy Monday!






It's cold outside with a slight layer of frost on car windows but nothing too hard to manage. Of course, I wore my trusty winter coat...the one with down. I don't care if I look like an enormous black caterpillar, it's warm! I made the earlier statement about the frost sound so nonchalant but it's actually annoying to have to scrub that off the windows so I can actually see traffic. I need to look into various defrosting products...but what I may just need is to clean out the garage and park in there. Still, one of those round plastic dish scrubbers might help in the short term.

The Art show at the gallery looks like it was pretty good! I'm glad...hope I made one or two sales. We'll find out soon enough. I'm going to have to get whatever didn't sell and bring it to the Christmas boutique at the Father Kelly Hall for Dec. 1st! I'm excited about this and hope I can make it look as good as I imagine. Perhaps, a sketch of it will help me get an idea of how I want my table to look...Exciting!

I had to work for a few hours in the morning on Saturday and Sunday. Caroline actually made it over here...I'm still in shock! She had both her little kiddos...so adorable! I love the 8-9 month age! Plus, her daughter, Sarah, reminds me so much of my eldest.


Must be the personality or sweetness. Norrie cried and cried because she didn't want them to leave...what a sweetheart. She really loves Jacob and just loves playing with him. Jacob has the cutest face...chubby cheeks and looks like Spanky from the Little Rascals.

We got to see the Railroad museum and actually didn't have to pay as they were closing earlier than the sign said...


I was glad about that...even if we were short on time. The kids all had fun with the kid friendly displays and we had fun looking at all the period pieces. I really loved the poster...talk about vibrant colors and the artwork!

We may meet in Pittsburgh next time...there are some really great museums there for kids and grown-ups. Sometime I would like to go to the Andy Warhol museum but I don't know if this is kid friendly.

During all this weekend, a few bad things did happen. I overworked, got a huge ear ache and got exhausted. I was cleaning and moving things around like crazy. I even broke my eldest little toddler bed in the frantic feeling of clearing the rooms. Dang! So, I'm going to have to figure out something for their beds...the mattresses are fine...might have to splurge and get a bed for her. My goal was to paint the 1920's headboard that came with this house and make that into a bed (was going to do that next summer). But I may have to do it sooner...Plus, I don't know if this will fit a twin mattress (I think it had a rope base for springs...so, this would take a little adjusting, paint and so forth. But it'll be fun to try and get it together as well. I love this headboard as it has floral moldings and would look so very shabby chic when finished. We shall see...

I was embarrassed as we forgot to clean the rat cage and it was stinky. I'll clean them today. Mr. Nelson was being a bit of a pain and I felt bad that he would run everywhere and make the floor dirty. I could tell Caroline felt better being at my dad/mom-in-laws because they didn't have any pets. I'm just a pet person...oh, well. I'll try to do more clean up.



The best thing about them coming over was we got SO much stuff done. Still, we did see how much more we needed to do too. It's a good goal and I love having good company over. It was so sweet to see Caroline was patient with my kids, loving to all of the kids and just great to be around with. I wish I hadn't been so grumpy with my ear ache and snappish. I was also upset I missed out on an hour of sleeping in as I TOTALLY forgot about the time change! I was so annoyed at myself. I hope my client didn't feel my annoyance as I was a little less cheerful and felt so tired. I'm glad she told me about wanting a turkey wreath from my gals. We'll do some special things for her and all our dear grandparents. I've already got a list ready of things to make for the holidays.

This is another perk for working with elderly people. They help you remember holidays and thank you notes and just being thoughtful. On the whole, they are quite enjoyable.

I was going to sleep in the parking lot till my shift started but ended up being hounded by security. I went to wal mart and got some cinnamon buns for everyone and then I drove to Lakemont park.



I got some pics of the lake and visiting Canadian geese! I was very happy about that. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I am tired...

It was one of those days where you just feel like you're running and running and running. Oi...I woke up for work and realized Jon had let me sleep in and ended up having to rush. Made it on time and worked hard to create a happy home for my client. Then, it was rush back home, clean up and hope Caroline would make it (she did!). Then, happiness at having them arrive and hanging out. We went to the park and played in the evening sun as it set. Then home again, take-out yummies and finally back home to eat. Then, another rush to get beddings, market trip and so on. Still, more with pulling out the old playpen and all the crumbs and memories seemed to poor out.

Finally, a calm moment of just sitting here now...I think I'll make some mint tea and go to bed. I have to get up at 6 tomorrow and go to a client at 7 till 11 am. I got a call for 5-7pm for a call out but won't be able to make it. I just have to give time to my family and visiting friends.

I hear my husband coming down the steps...probably to remind me to go to sleep soon. I just feel so happy right now that Caroline and her family are here, my kids are sleeping and I can finally relax.

Also, I stopped at the Art gallery...seemed to be doing well! Probably stop by tomorrow and look around as well with Caroline...hopefully, won't be too much with little ones.

I'm so tired right now, my hands are shaking...I guess I'll sign off. Have a good night, folks. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

3am...

I'm up at 3 in the morning because I feel a bit sick to my tummy. I don't know if it's the ice cream I had or because Jon showed me this scary, stupid video off of youtube.com. DO NOT WATCH this if you get scared easily as it'll make you jump. I think I got even more scared because Jon worked it up to be about a ghost following a car, that you could hear something strange on the tape as it was recorded and so forth. I'm still angry about it as it scared me so much, I almost threw up. The hairs on my arms seemed to dance all over me and I almost started crying. I guess I took it seriously that it was an innocent ghost recording. Now, I feel betrayed and anxious. I do not like jumpy, scared in-your-face stuff. Why put your self through stress like that? There's enough really scary stuff out there and I don't need to watch this sort of thing. So, Jon is in the dog house.

I guess I was really tired at the time after a nice evening out at Garvey Manor trick-or-treating with the kids. We even had a moment to visit my client and show-off the costumes. I used last year's dino/dragon costumes instead of the lady bug/butterfly one's. Basically, I didn't know if people would get my ambiguous costumes (ladybug on leaf and butterfly on leaf) and the dino/dragons are cuter as well as more recognizable. Much to my happiness both gals wore them (two years ago, Norrie didn't want to wear it) and this made them worth the time I put into those outfits. Not that I didn't do that this year...Last year, they just had mushroom hats (hey, they were fly catcher mushrooms...cute and warm considering how damn cold it gets usually).

All this and I dropped off a bunch of paintings/brooches at the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts. I think there was about 50 paintings (maybe more) as I went through part of my at-home gallery. I had a few from years past but on the whole, there was a lot of new work. I'm glad to have some place to show it and hopefully a few will get bought and find good homes.

After this, got my allergy shot and did some shopping at Ross. All this wore Norrie out and she was SO cranky. At about 4:30 she had a melt down and after, I said, "Are you all done?" And she said, "Yes, I am." I picked her up and held her till she fell asleep, thankfully and then tried to doze my self. But it was like every animal in the house and noise outside seemed to echo in my room. I couldn't sleep at all and finally had to get up and make a snack for Lydia.

It was a long day, let's just say. One thing I just learned from one of the gals on flickr (Texas to Mexico) is something about soy beans called Edamame. This one has cucumber sticks with chili and lime. I just about ran to the 24 hour market to get some lime and chili when I saw this. Oh, lovely delicious-ness! :) I will be going tomorrow at first light and get everything I need. You can add Edamame with steamed zucchini as well (and I actually have 3 left from the garden...a late, last minute production from the garden...this week everything died off and I have to remove it all and till the ground/save a few more seeds).

Right now, I'm having my peppermint tea and it's cooling effects are starting to take over my icky tummy feeling. I feel an urge to do some baking as well and will be making a few baked goods, I hope. Supposedly/hopefully, Caroline is to come this weekend...I had a bittersweet time last week with the baptism. I was grateful to have it done with the family but sad the god-parents weren't here. Still, better late than never, as the saying goes.

Hopefully, I can now go to sleep with visions of Edamame in my head. I have more to share tomorrow...including a cute purchase of a Halloween statue (it was only $4!). But now, I have to go to bed and dream happy dreams.

Okay...now I'm hungry. I wish my mom was here and we could bake some cheddar bread...

Sociable

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