Amazingly effective

18 11 2009

It’s amazing how the human body and brain can push through pain.  Through the moments of passing out for 3 hours or hiding under my pillow, I’ve been amazingly productive.  I have to admit that I have plenty of practice at this – I’ve been having severe migraines since I was 10 years old.  This is why I consider disassociation a TOOL and not a DISEASE in people with chronic illnesses.

I imagine it’s like the accounts I’ve read of how soldiers survived and kept their mouths shut during torture and imprisonment.  Wow, that’s a cheerful thought!

Anyways, stuff I’ve accomplished in a fun and numerical way:

1.  Finished the other half of the Christmas stocking for LJ.  Shaun’s grandma made stockings for all her grandchildren and we had someone copy them for A&E (back when we thought we were only going to adopt A&E) the first Christmas they spent with us.  Last year I refused to put up stockings because we didn’t have one for LJ.  This year we will!

2.  Ordered supplies on the internet.  Seriously, getting the best deal online without getting ripped off is hard work.

3.  Put together a pipe accessory kit for our lovely Etsy customers.

4.  Took pictures, edited pictures and listed about 10 things on Etsy.

5.  Went to the fabric store and bought some cute fleece, some micro-fiber for our custom pipe bags, and some flannel & jersey for “fashion” pipe bags.

6.  Got a new computer.  It’s super duper fast and runs photoshop incredibly well, but the firewire ports aren’t working and that makes me pissy because I don’t have access to the servers right now.  I did set up the old computer on a nightstand so I have it to fall back on when I need it.

7.  Joined 2 pipe clubs online.  Somehow, Shaun became one of the most viewed pipe restorers on the internet (page 2 of Google, bitches!) and since I run the internet profiles, I figured I should meet our demographic.  It’s fun to talk to guys though – since I worked for an automotive advertising company for like FOREVER, it’s kind of my niche.

8.  I think I finally had a breakthrough with LJ in regards to our relationship.  It worked out the way most breakthroughs do – we had a major fight and then after we were done screaming at each other, some unabridged honesty showed up.

9.  Moved the birds to my nightstand and away from the window for the winter.  I don’t know if it was grief that her friends had all migrated away or that she was cold and itchy, but Cami pulled out a ton of feathers.  She’s doing a lot better now, but the birds love to torture me when I lay down.  If I don’t give them proper attention before I go to bed, I get pelted with seed and pine shavings all night. For such little birds, they’re incredibly talented at throwing things.  I get revenge by spritzing them with rosewater (alcohol free of course) and yelling RAINSTORM, RAINSTORM, RAINSTORM! in the mornings.

10.  I cleaned the living shit out of the bedroom.  Since I’m in here 24/7 right now due to the headache induced narcolepsy, I figure I should at least make it a pleasant place to be.  It’s kind of hard to tell how much cleaner it is unless you spend a lot of time in here, but it is vastly improved.

In general, un-numerated manner, I also wonder why people recycle circuit boards from computers without thoroughly glazing them with acrylic or glass.  Do they not realize that most of the components are TOXIC???  Yes, it is absolutely a good idea to take circuitry apart without gloves or a mask, cut it, and make candle holders and jewelry out of it.  Can a sister at least get a plastic lamination sheet?  Some diamond glaze?  A thick layer of Elmer’s glue? It amazes me that our government worries about flavored cigarettes being sold legally to adults when equal retards are taking electronics apart, grinding them into toxic dust, and then selling them without a single precaution?

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t recycle dead computers into new and useful things, just that there are safer ways to do it.  Raise the price a couple of dollars and buy some sealant.  Put it on thickly enough that the surface is smooth (the microscopic wires easily get under skin and it not only hurts like fuck, it’s not that good for you.)  Just writing that paragraph makes me want to smack the person who caused the label “do not eat” to be put on those rare earth magnets.   Or the Kleenex brand for refusing to use recycled or sustainable paper products instead of rain forests.  Or the goblins that keep stealing the red straws from my Cans’o’Air.

Speaking of that, I wonder if one of those air mattress pumps would work to clean my computer.  Experiment engage!


Internet superstar

27 09 2009

It’s been an odd couple of weeks since my last post.  It hurts my brain just to think about it!

1.  Shaun and I went to my high school reunion.  In school, we used to say that no one would show up to our reunion because our class lacked school spirit.  Seriously, the student council didn’t give a rat’s ass and neither did anyone else.  It was 1999 and we were all facing going into college or into the work force with little to no money.

There were maybe 50 people at the reunion and I did see a friend who I’ve known since kindergarten.  We didn’t talk much in high school and I think I found out why.  She made a passing comment while we were catching up that stuck with me.  “Of course you’re doing well, you’ve always been perfect.”

I wonder how many people actually know that’s not true.  I screw up as much as anyone, I just don’t tend to dwell on it or get caught in the downward spiral of screwing up.  I’m not even an eternal optimist – I’m definitely not one of those smiley, cheerful people.  It’s food for thought.

2.  Sick kiddos.  Actually, only one was sick.  The other was faking it.  A had a fever and just laid down and stared at the TV.  Her school has had about 50 different viruses going through it, so we thought it was strep at first.  It wasn’t so it may have been a UTI (just a very small amount of bacteria was in her urine) or it could have just been one of those flu bugs.  She’s all better and back to her goofy, normal self.

3.  Ramping up for the “anniversary effect” of the PTSD.  A goes through the anniversary effect during October.  It seems like every time she had to move foster homes, it was right around Halloween.  That stuck with her.  Last year was TERRIBLE so hopefully this year we’ll be prepared for whatever comes.  I’m already stocking up on aromatherapy stuff and reinforcing the fact that she never has to go anywhere again.  She’s home.  She’s already started to panic a bit so we adjusted her morning medications and that seems to have helped.  We’ve also briefed the school and we’re keeping on them about her mental state – it took a while to get them to take us seriously but now it seems like everyone is on board.

With LJ, we’ve just seen more sexual acting out.  He retreats to this fantasy world inside his head and doesn’t seem to realize what he’s doing.  It’s not regression – it’s more like he’s living in a fairy tale.

He’s been talking a lot about “grandmas.”  His favorite kind of pie is the type grandmas make.  Grandmas make sweaters.  Grandmas take care of you and give you cookies.  Grandmas have white hair, wrinkles, and glasses.  Yesterday, I finally got fed up with it (in Goodwill of all places) and told him that he got his grandmas and they weren’t going to change.  Neither grandma has white hair, neither one knows how to make a scrap of clothing, and one of them couldn’t bake a pie if her life depended on it. In reality, there’s no such thing as a “perfect grandma.”

I grew up without grandparents being an active part of my life.  Neither set approved of my parents’ marriage and we most often just made it on our own.  He did spend a lot of time with his bio-grandparents before he came into state care, so I don’t want to ruin those memories but he’s taking them a little too far.  I don’t want him to get older and see them and realize how bad it was for  him.  They loved him – they just don’t have the skills to take care of themselves, much less a child!

We went through this a month or so after he moved in with regards to his bio father.  It got to the point that I had to sit down with him and ask if he wanted to know the truth of the matter or just continue to believe what he did of his dad.  He said he wanted the truth, so I told him.   I may have to enlist my dad to explain it to him.  My dad’s childhood is very similar to LJ’s and they have this great bond.  I think he’d take the truth better from Dad than from one of us.

4.  Sick mommies.  It’s been odd – very odd.  My grandma was sick for a bit, then my great-grandma passed away almost a week ago.  Then grandma went down to FL to bury g-gma next to g-gpa and she got back yesterday.  My sister has been sick and my mom was for a little bit but recovered very quickly.  Then a couple of days ago I started having a fever and today my throat feels like I swallowed some hot sauce.  I must have gotten that strep that was going around.  *sigh*  So, tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor and get more antibiotics.  I’ve only been off the antibiotics from the surgery for a week!

5.  Flooding.  Lots of it.  We live northeast of Atlanta and thankfully in the foothills of the Appalachians so our land is soggy and puddly, but we didn’t get any water inside the house.  Thank God!  Even 5 miles away houses were destroyed and the traffic accidents have been terrible.  We went to an antique store yesterday – it’s about 7 miles from our house – and on the way home saw two accidents happen. My heart goes out to everyone that lost their homes, cars, and in some cases, families.

6.  Big internet sales!  Since we’ve been home bound from the sick babies and the flood, I’ve been on the internet a TON.  We’ve sold a couple of pipes, sent some lace to Japan, mailed  out 6 books on bookmooch, and I’ve started uploading a ton of stuff to flickr.  I’m working on a pipe resource, so hopefully I’ll have that available soon.  I also want to get some pipe related merchandise up in the Etsy shop, but I’m missing my computer parts.  I’m spending time with a hard drive clock today.

7.  Got LOTS of fabric.  I love Goodwill.  Seriously.  I got a ton of fabric for an average of 30 cents a yard and I also got some bed sheets and pillowcases that I can use.  I found some gorgeous blue eyelet cotton that I was SUPER excited about.  Got some corduroy, some raincoat material, a ton of cotton, and some linen.  It’s going to be fun!

This has been a long, long post lacking in cohesiveness, so I’m going to end it here.  Hopefully I can pick this blogging habit back up so I don’t end up with 300 things going on at once.  Good times!

The Abused Lace Liberation Project

11 07 2009

I mentioned yesterday or the day before that books aren’t the only thing I tend to liberate from abusive situations.  It’s amazing what people will give you if you simply ask.  I have the heart of a restorationist.

My granny used to make lace and I remember sitting with her while she crocheted these delicate little pieces of art.  I love lace and embroidery, but most of the time when I find them, most of it is too mildewed to salvage.
Being lace is normally seen as a formal item, it’s often “put away for something special” then the box is moved and moved and moved again until it ends up in a damp corner of the basement.

I came across several huge stashes of lace a couple of years ago.  I was hunting for antique books out in the country and I met a couple of elderly ladies who made dolls.  I was admiring the dolls and noticed that they had boxes upon boxes of lace stuffed under a table.  I asked about it and they mentioned that most of the dolls had lace on their dresses, but now that their eyesight and ability to hand sew was gone, they just put it away.  I asked if I could buy it from them and they looked at me like I had dropped in from another planet for about 30 seconds.

Then, shockingly enough, they looked at each other and one said “you can have it all for $5.  You just have to carry it out yourself.”  Yes, ma’am.  I got this.  It filled up the entire back cargo area of my Durango, with the 3rd row folded down.  They asked me what I was going to do with it and I told them “I don’t really know yet.  My Granny made lace and I love it, so I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it.”

When I got it all home, I started sorting through it and I did end up throwing out about half of it.  The rest has some very interesting pieces and I’ve used it on different projects.  Most of it though, is really just too special for a hack like me to use up.  While I love textiles and fabric arts, I have about as much talent with it as I do with gardening.

A few days ago, I decided to sort it all out and start selling the more interesting pieces on Etsy as supplies.  There are some very talented people on Etsy and I’d love to see my liberated lace end up on their projects.

I dug it out of where I had stored it (neatly packaged in a dry, safe place) and I’ve been sorting and smoothing and rolling hundreds upon hundreds of feet of lace.  My back and shoulders are KILLING me.  I’m nearly done – I have about 10 lbs of lace to go – but I know one thing.  I’m going to need a database to keep track of all this.  I’ve got about 200 bags of different patterns and colors so far.  It’s amazing. I have handmade pieces, commercially made pieces, some that have been threaded with ribbon, and some that have been laser cut from fabric.  There are some that seem starched flat and some that are so soft they seem to have been made from alpaca yarn.

Here enters my good friend, Excel.  I’m going to need it to inventory all of this with the research and photos and measurements each bag is going to take.  I’m hoping to learn as much about the construction and designs of lacework as I know about book making and restoration.  Well, maybe more like the amount I know about china and depression glass (which is just enough to keep myself out of trouble with Grandma.)

This should be fun.  If anything, it will free up that storage space for books…