A rare bit of clarity from a cluttered mind

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Ok, fine. I have New Year’s Resolutions. Sure I do. Doesn’t everyone?

I won’t list ’em out…I’d rather accomplish them and then gloat.

Don’t deny me the gloat.

Or, you know, fail miserably in solitude.

Anyhow. Since the first of the month, I’ve been working on a goal, slowly but surely.

Things are improving.

But I’ve made a rookie mistake.

Oh yes.

I got on the scale. A lot. I mean several times a day.

You know, there are some people in this world that are already in the groove of their personal health, and they tell me “well I weigh myself once a day and that gives me an idea of how to plan the day.”

Yeah. Good fer you.

I am not one of those people. I tend to, uh, well, a bit of OCD.

If once is good then eleventy kabillion is better, right? Right?

I mean once after you pee, after you shower, when you take a sip of water, when you sneeze, after blowing your nose, before dinner, after dinner, in the middle of the night when you are pacing the floor wondering why you are such a nutcase.

Trouble is, if you spend all your time looking at just the numbers and the results (how they fall short of goal), you are missing the most important part of the process.

(This may be why my last boss grew weary of me…she being ALL about the numbers.)

So yesterday, I weighed myself and I was pissed off. I mean, I’d weighed the day before and it was a yay! And then today it was a boo. One day? How can I go from yay to boo in ONE FRAPPING DAY?

Because you can. The body is funny that way. Especially the female body. Today is good, tomorrow is bloat, next day who knows.

So as I was fuming…my mind clicked in and my mouth took over, without my permission.

I shouted at myself:


And I realized that has to be my new philosophy.

No more weighing. Screw that. I need to simply eat a little better and exercise a little more and when I feel good just…you know…allow myself feel good without ruining it.

And when I feel poorly, try to figure out how to feel good again.

And leave that g’damn scale in the closet.

I’m telling you, get off the scale, get on the treadmill has deeper meaning than just my expanding waistline.

It’s a new way of life.

How about get off refreshing my Esty page and get on some crafting?

How about get off the internets and get on some writing?

How about get off wishing and get on to doing?

And I’ve now redlined and revised every single one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

Get off the scale, get on the treadmill.

Meaning…Karen, stop dithering and start doing!

And *then* you get to gloat.

I will SO do the superior dance (for those who remember Dana Carvey’s character, the Church Lady) when I make all of my 2010 goals.

Tis the Season


Yesterday was a weird day.

Sure, mid-December always gets a little bit dicey when going out to run errands, but yesterday was especially odd.

I had a list of things to procure and not a lot of time, so over lunchtime I started at the top of the list. First stop, Home Depot.

Oh Home Depot, I know so many people love you, but I rarely visit your orangey evil warehouse.

I needed some tools (I have a fun Christmas project for The Good Man’s little sister in progress). Since Home Depot is the Wal-Mart of hardware stores, and I wanted to spend only a little green, I decided to give it a try.

Wow, did you know there is some sort of force field going on in Home Depot? As soon as I set foot in the lumber aisle, I became invisible! It was really instant and rather startling!

The U.S. military should look into this!

The secret to a true complete invisibility shield!

A girl in the lumber aisle.

I found that on the tools aisle, I was only partly invisible. If I said, “hey, I need help!” then they could sort of see me. It wasn’t just me either, there was another woman trying to get help regarding a door knob she was considering.

She got the attention of one male employee who condescendingly answered her question then walked away…though she wasn’t done asking questions.

Oh, I did discover that in the gardening section, by the small pink canvas pruning gloves? They could see me fine.

Something about hardware and lumber.

Weird, huh?

My next errand was to go to the post office. A gift ordered online had arrived. Yay!

Well, it being mid-December and at lunch, the post office was crazy busy. We use a very small postal annex with only two employees, so that makes things an even bigger holdup.

It was a very, very long line.

Well, you know, this is to be expected this time of year.

Except for the cranky old man and the horribly cranky old woman in line behind me.

The old man kept cranking about how he can’t believe the lines and he had been there and hour before and the line was this long so he went and had lunch to wait it out and wouldn’t you know it the line is still long and how can this be!

You get my drift.

Then the lady chimed in.

“There are just too many people these days. Too. Many. People. You know why it is so crowded don’t you? Because of all the immigrants. Obama keeps letting all of those immigrants in. They all want the free stuff so those damn people keep coming in and it is just too crowded!”

Uh. WHAT!?!?!?

Crazy old bat continued on that line of rant for a bit longer, then went back to complaining about the line. She said, “Why is there only one person working, where is that [racial epithet redacted] who works here?”

I was horrified. Absolutely stunned into a horrified shock.

Evidently the “spirit of the season” is discrimination, racism and anger.

Once I picked up my package, I got in my car and made my way out of the parking lot. As I waited to turn out into traffic, I had the audacity to wait for a group of six kids from the nearby high school walking by on lunch break.

Audacity because the evidently impatient man behind me felt I shouldn’t have paused. So he laid on the horn and yelled “GOOOO!”

Well, clearly the spirit of the season has infected me as well, because I unrolled my window and shouted “WHAT THE F–K IS YOUR PROBLEM!?!?”

Tis the season to be assholish, fa la la la, la la la la……

Look at me pass on the season’s cheer….

I think I’ll hunker down at the house for the remainder of the year. It seems better that way.

A different idea for a Fall decoration


It was long strange series of clicks that landed me on a particular page, written in Russian, but with a really wonderful series of how-to photos on making roses from maple leaves.

Maple leaves?


I was sort of suspicious at first. Was this going to be hard?

And to make it worse, I don’t have a Maple tree anywhere nearby. By looking at the photos, it was clear that for this project, you’d need big leaves.

As I gazed out my window, pondering, my eyes landed on the changing leaves of my fig tree.

And so…I carefully collected flexible leaves, brought them inside, followed the photographs…and produced:

Pretty cool, huh?

The fig leaves sort of ooze a fluid when they break, so they may not be the best choice, but they worked!

Oh, and as an afterthought, I tried Google translation…heh a TOTAL afterthought.

Here’s the page again, in English.

But honestly, the crafter has done such a fabulous job of step by step photos, who needs words!

These are a few of my favorite things


Over the weekend we had to make one of those never any fun but always essential visits to Target. You know that trip, the list includes toilet paper, laundry soap, toothpaste, etc.

You spend a hundred bucks and don’t even bring home anything fun.

I was *very* adamant with myself on this trip that I would get only what was on my list, and not wander.

Oh, I can wander. At a Target? I’m a wandering, shopping fool.

But no. The Good Man and I made a list. A thoughtful, in depth list. And I promised to stick to it.

Gah! But it’s Taaaaarget!

No, no. Must be austere. Financial times are tough. Tighten the ol’ belt and whatnot.

So I pushed that little red shopping cart up and down the aisles. Razor blades, check. Kitty litter, check. Toilet bowl cleaner, check.

But then. Oh then…I rounded the corner, and at the end of the row, I landed promptly in the…oh sigh…school supplies aisle.

And by aisle, I mean huge display.

Oh yes, Target has the “back to school” on with gusto.

I caught my first whiff of brand new three ring binders and I was suddenly intoxicated.

I stepped into the brightly lit and vibrantly colored area, eyes wide, wandering around like a hillbilly at Times Square.

It was delicious.

They have one whole section devoted to Crayola items. I *adore* all things Crayola. Those are some damn fine people who put out the Crayola product line!

I’m not going to lie to you, I plucked a sixty-four count box of Crayons from the bin, lifted to my nose, and sniffed.

*sniiiiiiiiiif* Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

I fondled a twenty-four pack of fine line Crayola markers. I even took them from the rack, intent on purchase.

But, no. No, damnit, I must be strong.

I looked at notebooks. I do love a fresh, clean, happy notebook full of blank pages, just waiting to be sullied by my new twenty-four pack of markers!

No, no. Steady soldier!

My eyes grew hazy as I gazed at the selection of pens, Elmer’s school glue, hole punches, pencil cases, protractors, and back packs.

Gad, it was heady stuff! I loved every minute of it. I basked. I wandered. I touched and sniffed and generally fell in love all over again with school supplies.

Mind you, I don’t miss school. That part was never fun, but the school supplies! Oh the supplies. So great.

After leaving the store with my purchases, (I held strong and stuck to the list), I noted that two storefronts down was a Staples.

Egads, I had to walk past it!

But no, I’d had my hit. I was still riding high, so I was fine.

I walked past the Staples strong and confident, the waxy smell of Crayons still lingering in my nostrils.

You are the sum of all your learning

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Back in my college days, I lived for a couple years in a sorority house. There were twenty-eight girls, a house mom and a cook. All of that living with a bunch of strangers was quite a life lesson for a nineteen-year-old girl, I assure you.

Those twenty-eight girls came from a variety of different backgrounds, with different values and talents.

Much of what I know and much of who I am can be traced to those days.

Recently, I’ve had a real dearth of creativity. Like a desert in a drought. My creative mind is dusty. The Muse, she’s out to lunch. A two martini lunch.

I’m learning, with the help of my extraordinarily talented and creative cousin, not to worry so much when the creative well has run dry. Be confident, he tells me, and The Muse will find her way home.

I’ve also gotten suggestions that creating something, anything, can also kick loose that block, get the gravel out, and let the magic happen. (this the basic tenet of the good folks at NaNoWriMo)

And so, when I get all creatively clamped down like this, I often go back to something I learned back in those sorority days.

This great girl from Roswell and I made fast friends (we’d both had to endure the same crazy roommate in separate semesters. This sort of experience bonds people). She’d grown up showing pigs and living on a ranch and was a much more creative person than I was at the time.

Not to be all stereotypical, but those ranch woman can out cook, out craft and out wrassle any of their town raised counterparts.

Anyhoo, I don’t really remember the events that lead up to it, but this friend of mine, at my request, taught me how to do a counted cross-stitch kit. It was a simple pattern, but when I was done, I was so pleased. It was a nice distraction during those long days of studying.

Doing cross-stitch is not especially hard, but can be time consuming, and there are certain stitches for certain patterns.

My friend very patiently showed me how to sort the threads, how to tape the sides of the aida cloth to keep them from unraveling, how not to pull the stitches too tight, how to fix mistakes, how the back of the cloth should look as clean as the front. All of that.

And so, over the weekend, I had a coupon for Michaels, and yearning to create, I picked out a very simple kit. A “learn a craft” kit that I think is made for kids.

But that doesn’t matter.

Today, I very carefully applied tape to the aida cloth. I sorted the threads and counted to be sure they were there. I folded the cloth and marked the center lightly with a pencil, and I got out my highlighter to mark off my progress, all the way my friend taught me lo’ these almost twenty years ago.

Whenever I start a new cross-stitch, I always think of my friend. She is with me, guiding my progress the whole way. She is forever a part of me. That’s a happy feeling. That’s the family you make over the course of your life.

So here we go! Let the creation begin!

Oh, wait. Well. There is one change. One update that will take place this go ’round. A necessary adjustment, if you will.

Yeah. My lighted magnifying class. Sadly, I don’t have twenty-year-old eyes anymore. *cranky*

Oh. And getting to work on my cute frog cross-stitch isn’t the only bit of using my hands that I got up to today.

I also got busy on these:

Ooh, I feel The Muse on her way back already! Here Musey, Musey, Musey!! Want a cookie?