Saturday, February 27, 2010

Angels among us

Sometime my thoughts are more random than others. Today I want to think about the angels in my life. I need to think about this because I am having an especially crappy day and its not even 9am. So, angels, angels, angels...
I like to think there are angels all around, watching over (hopefully not too judgmental or keeping notes) ever present, waiting with flaming sword in hand to smite whatever needs smiting. (and like in 'Dogma'...gonna take me to a cheap Mexican joint and down shots of tequila) But sometimes they are just people...everyday, ordinary people who are in the right place at the right time.
Once my car broke down on Front St. in Toledo, backing traffic up for a few blocks...not especially knowing what to do, I left and went to the 7-11 to call...someone, anyone. I walked in and a man said he would call someone for me. He said that he was and Ohio State Trooper and could get a wrecker right away. Thanking him profusely I turned to watch the idiots who would honk and flip off an obviously empty car. Within a minute a wrecker was there! I turned to thank my trooper and he was gone...I was standing in the door so he didn't get past me...I asked the cashier if he saw the guy who called for me and the cashier said..'no guy in here, just you'...
I turned back and my car was in the parking lot of the 7-11, the wrecker pulling away...I tried to flag it down to...I don't know, do whatever you have to do to get a wrecker service paid for, but the driver just drove away. Getting in, my car started! I had to sit and process this for a minute. What just happened? story and I am sticking to it.
Other angels are just people who will jump in with a kind word, a knowing smile or even a helping hand. Last night on the Etsy chat someone was being especially nasty to me...(to Me!, I know!!!) and some other 'Estian' jumped in and defended me. Small potatoes in this world of strife, but it made me feel like someone had my back.
So, today I am going to focus on being someones angel, even if it means I have to hold my snarky tongue, smile at some screaming brat so the mom wont think she is the worst mother on the planet, or hold the flippin' door so granny can get her lotto tickets and a pack of Lucky's...cuz I wanna be an angel too.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I have to constantly remind myself that I am a lucky person who has a wonderful husband, great home, interesting friends and a comfortable life. I get to feeling sorry for myself pretty often for stupid reasons...real stupid reasons like not being a size 9, having to deal with snow or having to grocery shop...I hate grocery shopping (do you know what you want to eat next week??? neither do I!). So from time to time I make a mental note of the things I am thankful I will post a few.
1) Wheels on luggage. Whoever invented those really deserves a Nobel prize.
2) Gas station coffee...cheaper than Starbucks and as I am no expert, just as good
3) The Internet, where else can you shop, chat with friends 1000's of miles away and listen to obscure music all at the same time and in your jammies!
4) Exchange students...they make you appreciate your own country so much more, they bring good presents, you can make them do the dishes and if they cause problems you can send them home...
5) chocolate popcorn cakes...not sure thankful is the right word, maybe appreciative of what they are trying to be.
6) Old friends...they remember what you did in the 6th grade but don't mention it because you know what they did in the 6th grade too.
7) New friends...they haven't heard your tired old stories and think you are cool...
8) On Star...omg, these people have bailed my lost a*& out of more sticky situations they you can imagine...I can get lost in an elevator and without On Star, I would still be driving around in circles in Fort Wayne.
9) international, free, free, and free is always good!
10) 60's can listen all day and not hear the word bitch, booty, or ho...(ok, The Who did that that song 'Who are you" and let an F-bomb fly...but that was cool!)
11) Jimmy Buffett...the only thing that can make this pasty faced middle aged white woman think about coconut bras and boat drinks in the dead of winter.
12) Silent movies...I still get a thrill when I watch Harold Lloyd hanging off that building and remember they didn't have stuntmen, fancy camera tricks, or computer generated effects,..that dude was really hanging from that clock! (You tube...'Saftey Last'...check it out!)
13) This blog...a wonderful place for me to bitch and moan, get all the wierd thoughts out of my head and have people write me nice things about it (never happened in school...)
OK, there are 13 reasons that I should be filled with gratitude...but that size 9 thing really pisses me off!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A shout out to all the wild women out there

To those of your who knew my mother know where my rather 'interesting' attitude about life comes from. My mom was an original new woman...and she didn't take anything from anyone (including me!) She worked her whole life, raised (to a greater or lesser degree) 5 kids, took in stray relatives, sewed, decorated cakes and made a mean pot roast. While I have no memories of her reading stories, giving kisses or cuddling, I DO remember the night someone tried to break in to our house...she handed him his ass in a hot new york second all while my Dad snored his head off. By the time the cops got to the house she had taken him to charm school and then some. All the cop said was 'Lady, next time just shoot him in the leg and drag him in the house".
My mom was all of 5 foot 3 inches of pure orneryness. One night we went to their 'club'..the Moose (I have no idea, don't ask) there was a dance going on and I was trying to be a good daughter. Doing the typical girl thing we went to the bathroom together. Two women were in the stalls just bad mouthing my mom...Mom turned to me and said 'LEAVE'...I did! Next thing I know, some big ole white haired, polyester wearing shamoo of a woman came crashing out of the door and into the display case opposite. My mom came out a minute later, pointed to the coats and walked out the door. I never asked what happened and she never said.
Wild women make the world go round! Sure we all need the June Cleavers to make the cookies and head up the PTA's, but we also need the hard-ass women. The women who raise kids alone, who feed a family on $30 a week and can change their own oil.
I know the acorn didn't fall far from the tree when I channeled my 'inner Helen' and confronted they guy who tried to steal my purse (MY PURSE!!!) at the local Meijers...he grabbed for my purse and I slammed my cart into him and stared him down defying him to make a move...he backed away and ran...dammit, I only had $6 but that wasn't the point.
So, to all the wild women out there, raise your glass to yourself, you deserve it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow'bodys bizzness if I do...

Woke up to about 4 more inches of snow and decided I am not a cold weather person. Some people marvel at the wonder of nature, the beauty of an icicle, the intricacy of a single, not so much. I have lived in Michigan my entire life and have just about enjoyed all the snow I can stand. The year I lived in snowed. (but that was a blessing because at least one person in the state knew how to drive in it!)
I have trick-or-treated in snow and hidden Easter eggs in snow...I have made my fair share of snowmen and snow angels (and not always because I fell down drinking) I hate the idea of snowball fights and can't skate on a bet. Sledding is cool, but involves a lot of work. The memories of the bread bags on my feet to help put the snow boots on don't help. And we wont talk about the cross country skiing incident.
Snow means frozen key locks, slippery steps and ice on the car windows. We finally bought a car with a remote start, but because my brain is frozen, I forget to use it. Snow means windchill factors and frozen boogers...snow is not my friend.
There are some things I like about colder weather...awesome coats with fur collars, boots (cool ones, not the mukluks I got when I was 13) hats and scarves in vibrant shades to cheer you up, hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, snuggling...not having to shave your legs or paint toenails. (aw, hell who am I kidding...I don't do that anyway). But those things are not worth the 5 full months of bone aching cold we deal with here in Michigan.
And why am I still here??? we couldn't sell in this market, hubbies job, family, friends...simple bullheaded determination to be strong in the face of the sock off of me...I have told David at least once a year for 30 years...10 minutes after your service, I am heading for Hawaii. I may show up with a mai-tai in one hand and my carry on in the other...Michigan, my Michigan, my ass!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making something out of nothing

Having just opened my ETSY shop I am confronted by the task of getting the word out without being obnoxious, pushy, and down right needy. I probably should apologize to all my facebook friends for bombarding you with new posts of new product. I promise it will slow down as soon as I do. Promise...cross my heart...
My problem is I love to create. I love to find weird stuff and attach it to other weird stuff and make something kinda weird or kinda nice. The necklace in the picture is made from some buttons and a sweater clasp I found at the Goodwill. I like it, and if I didn't already have a butt load of stuff already I would probably keep it...and if I don't sell it, I guess I'm gonna keep it anyway.
My shop is not necessarily about selling, (tho waking up to find someone ordered something is a thrill) it's more about creating, looking past the obvious and seeing what could be. A life lesson ...urg, I don't want to get all televangelist on you, but perhaps there is a lesson to be learned.
Or maybe I just need an outlet for my creative energy. When I was a kid...maybe 3 or 4, my mom had a lamp shade that I swore I could see horses on. No one else could see them, so (being the helpful child I was) I decided to color them know, so the rest of my family could enjoy them too...I thought I did a pretty good job, they were running all around the lampshade...purple, green and brown horses...For some reason my art was just not appreciated and I spent the rest of the day sitting in my room waiting for DAD to come home. Lesson: art can cause big trouble.
So, now I am an adult and can draw on my own lampshades if I want! I can glue weird things together and call it jewelry or just enjoy looking at things and wondering what it will become.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Things I have learned from Sophie

We adopted a bulldog puppy a few months ago. Her given name was Ann but as we already had Annie ( a beautiful shepard, guardian of the long as it is not too scary and dosen't involve a vacuume cleaner) so we needed to find the proper 'bulldog' name...She became "Sophie Mae" on the way home. Sophie is a typical bulldog in the fact that she is thick as a yard of lard, determined to be wherever you are, smarter than she looks (no snide comments please!) and just happy to be here. I didn't want a puppy and especially didn't want the fun and games of training, but she was the runt, no body wanted her and has a wonky leg...all the things that will cause me to make rash decisions that alter my life.
Training came easy and she learned quickly that I am Alpha dog and all good things come through me. Being the manipulator she is, she very quickly learned the 'puppy dog eye' trick, the 'tiny squeak of pity' trick and the 'I know, I' m a bad dog...just don't beat me' look. She should run for congress.
What I forgot was how much having a puppy can teach, for all my friends...the Official Things I have learned From Sophie list.
1) Sleeping is a joy and should be engaged in as much as possible
2) Sleeping is only trumped by eating, same rules apply
3) Always be happy when anyone walks in the room, if they love you they will be nice, if they don't it will confuse the be-jebus out of them.
4) wag whatever will wag...
5) if you screw up either be proud, hide the evidence or slink away and hope no one notices
6) wake up happy
7) you are beautiful if you think you are
8) try everything once
9) being nice gets you goodies
10) shoes are good, some better than others
11) don't get caught (especially in reference to #10)
12) being small doesn't mean you won't bite
13) learn something everyday, even if it is by accident
14) be nice to Alpha dogs, they can give treats
15) always wonder what is in the next room
Sophie may never win any beauty contests...(her lovely underbite has given her the nic-name Vampire Dog from my brother in law...) wont be in any dog agility contests in the near future or be seen peeking out of a designer handbag by the likes of Paris Hilton. No, Sophie will be content chewing on my most expensive shoe, eating whatever I put in front of her and sleeping in her box content with her raggedy toy dulldog. What a life!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Having a wonderful time, wish I were here

I am not sure about anyone else out there but I never ever thought I would be this age. I just couldn't comprehend being over 50...much less 52. That sounded so ancient when I was 13. Now that I have reached this advanced age, I find myself wondering how I am suppose to I still lay on the floor and watch TV? (and can I get up if I did?) Do I shop at the same stores...(well, no because they are all closed)...Do I still drive around endlessly on Friday night thinking I am having fun??? Short answer, no.

Being AARP age seems kinda odd and liberating. When I turned 40 I was more bull*&%*, no more dealing with control top panti hose, pointy shoes and and tight jeans. (well I still do the tight jeans thing) Turing 50 seemed like a piece of cake...then I realized, I could assume I was half way through this life at 40, but at 50??? not so much. And yet, I feel better about life more every day...sure I am under employed...(whatever the *&^% that means) over critical and uber-sensitive about woman's issues. But life in general is pretty good considering the alternative.

But that still doesn't answer the 'act your age' question. Do I get any odd body part pierced? Do I go sky diving, (yeah, probably not) start wearing plaid and fishnets???

The answer for me is to do what I want, sure I got a pair of bright orange high tops but wont be seen wearing skinny jeans. I got a tattoo, but it covers a biopsy scar. I got all the 'non factory issued' holes in my body I need, have been known to dye my hair various shades of burgundy (and not always by choice!) and intend to be happy in the skin I am in. Sure I will be on a diet for the rest of my life, and it sucks to be me. (I mean, how can a one lb bag of candy turn into 3 lbs of weight???) And even while I am typing this I am listening to Beatlerama on the Internet...cuz those are my boys and y'all can just deal!

My goal...worlds number one coolest Aunt ever. I want to be the Aunti-Mame of the new millennium...the wacky one you invite to your sex toy parties even when I am 80. I want to live the life I have been given to the best of my abilities and not wonder what people may think. It worked for me in the 70's and still seems a pretty solid plan.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

junk vs junque

Today I needed to kill about 4 hours while my exchange student daughter bowled her little heart out, so naturally I went to the antique mall. These places are great to find some weird and wonderful things. I personally go for the more weird, but that's just me. Today, for example, I bought a ancient wind up squirrel with the fur missing from his tail and his ears loved right off. Maybe...1930's...He was in a bag in the bargain bin looking all lost and forlorn, so naturally I took him home. The lady behind the counter (an antique herself) wanted to know if I was planning on fixing him and was shocked when I said, 'nope its perfect just the way it is'. Shrugging, she stuck it in my bag and gave me a 'whatever' look.

I then went to the local 'craft' stores to find bits and bobs for my jewelry business and found people standing in front a 1000's of beads and pendants trying to match them up. Yes, its creating, but is it creative. Nothing in these shops gave me half the thrill of discovery as the antique store did. Stringing beads together in a prescribed fashion is fulfilling, but looking at some ancient wooden game pieces and wondering what I will do with them is thrilling. Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but I love when I find a bag of broken jewelry and buttons and can hear it say...'we will be so awesome as a necklace buy me, buy me, buy me...'

I love the unloved. I find beauty in things most people ignore. I think that is why I love antique hardware so much. The detail in an antique door hinge or an escutcheon plate amaze me. Everything had style...something we have lost along the way. Give me the broken toy, the runt of the litter or the crayon with out the label every time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

working hard or hardly working

Working on some new projects for my ETSY site and am struggling with my goals. I do not want to slap things together just because they are here and would work. I need to put product out there that I would wear ( but anyone who knows me knows my taste is a cross between Annie Hall and Rosanne Barr...for those of you born after 1980, google 'em). I love the concept of making one of a kind (OOAK, in the trade!) items and to be able in some small way to contribute to the whole 'green' movement (tho frankly...I'm just cheap). And I have found I am fond of the whole 'steampunk' look. Yes, if given half a chance I would be sporting jet black hair with an electric blue streak, a corset, a teeny-tiny top hat, 3 inches of mascara and granny boots. (for those born before 1980, google it).
My plan is to have 100 items in my shop this weekend. I can do this, I got stuff waiting to be photoed and listed, but is it my best?...and what is my best??? The things I this icon necklace don't get much interest...but then again, it is a competitive market out there.
I love making these things and it keeps me off the streets and in the goodwills, salvation army's, antique malls, estate sales, and once the weather breaks...(oooOOOoooo) garage sales start.
Some day I will blog about the art and science of finding a good garage sale. (note: if there are baby swings and tiny tikes in the driveway avoid, avoid, avoid!)
So, today I will put the finishing touches on a cool 'steampunk' style broach and finish working on a brass escutcheon jeans jacket pin (that will end up on my coat and not in my shop!) and not think about the amount of time I have spent dinking around trying to recreate myself...again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

grouchy warnings

Woke up this morning feeling very, very grouchy...and aparently the vibes are coming across because both dogs are hiding and the cat begged to go outside. David has the day off so somebody needs to pray for him...its gonna be a long day.
Why would a perfectly 'normal' person wake up feeling any different than any other day...hmmm could be:
A) my 27th year on a diet
B) knowing when I get up there will still be dishes in the sink, floors that need to be vacuumed and a hand made present from the cat hiding somewhere near my shoes
C) realizing my career choices may not have been very well thought out...anyone need an over qualified, under computerized, middle aged white woman...apparently not
D) living in a state that is slowly sinking into the abyss right before my eyes and all I can think of is palm trees...
E) more snow...
so, hopefully I will put on my big giant bra and go to town ( consisting of Wal-mart, 2 farm stores, a Sav-a-lot, and 98 gas stations) and see if I can break this mood...hell, I might even live it up and go all the way to Coldwater and go to Big-lots!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First post

As this is my first post to the wonderful world of 'blogging' I hope to keep it short, interesting and relatively error free. There is a spell check, but is there an intention check???...can't seem to find it..Oh well. I plan on posting something every day (lets see how that goes!). It may be my ranting about everyday annoyances, random thoughts or general whining about being self employed. (ie: worst company Christmas parties ever) So lets get this puppy off the ground!