Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Just Get Me to the Church on Time

So, my very dear friend, Melissa Parker got married last weekend.  It was a lovely wedding, just what one might have hoped for.
I've known Melissa for 20 years, we met in college.  Don't do the math, if you don't mind.
Anyway, so, yes, Melissa and I met in college, in the Costume Shop, actually.  If you follow my blog at all, you probably know that I'm a costume/seamstress/designer by trade.  I majored in Costume Design and so did Melissa.  We had the luck and blessing to attend college during a time when our program was strong and demanding.  Because of the demanding parts of it, there was a tendency to bond strongly with those with whom we were in school.  And because of this, there is a core group of us that remain friends to this day. We all knew each other in college and then roomed with one another in various configurations at one time or another.
As part of my career history, if you will, I've done a lot of work in bridal, which means that when one of my close friends gets married, I make the dress.  The amusing thing about being at the reception and the fact that there were many friends there meant that there were several women whose dresses I had made!
So, we went to the reception, at the lovely Joseph Smith Building and it was delightful.  I sat at a table with the aforementioned college friends and what a great time.  I sort of felt bad for Melissa for having to sit at the head table and miss out on the hilariousness that was us.  Because it was pretty hilarious.  I did get told to calm it down and threatened to be taken out a few times because I kept collapsing into giggles.  Which were made more obnoxious by the fact that I am currently plagued by asthma.  What that means is that I would laugh, snort and then stop coughing.  I'm classy like that.
During the reception, Melissa decided to open up the mic for people to say nice things if they wanted.  She came over to our table to let us know that there would be an open mic if we were interested.  We stared at her incredulously and then Ruth voiced what we were all thinking, which was "are you sure you want to inform us of that?  It could be dangerous."  And it was.
A lot of people got up during the eating to say nice, lovely things about Melissa and David, and they were all true, because Melissa and David are quite lovely people.  So, we got the bright idea that we could lighten the mood a little.  And, to quote Stephanie "This could be the best wedding memory ever, or an epic fail."  Well, it was us, so there was little chance of an epic fail.
So, Stephanie and I got up and went to the mic.  And I started by saying how wonderful Melissa is (she is), and how much she deserved to be happy (she does) and how pleased I was that David made her so happy (he does).  Then Stephanie took over the mic for a minute to say a few things and I gestured to the remaining members of our table to join us at the mic.  They all came up, I found some music on my phone, Ruth found lyrics and we sang Chicago's "You're the Inspiration" with harmony and plenty of soul.  We ended to a round of raucous applause and huge smiles and a big group hug with Melissa.  Best wedding moment ever.
There is video.  I will post it as soon as I get my little paws on it.  Because, kids, I don't do things like that very often.  I am not a performer, and neither are most of the rest of the girls who sang, that's why we're backstage. (To be sure, Stephanie is an actor and a theatre performance professor, but the rest of us aren't).
So, to say the least, we made a memory!!!!
It had been a long time since all of us had gotten together, so seeing all of those girls and having us all in one place at one time, was pretty epic.  We decided that it has to happen much more often, and we are currently planning a Vegas trip, since that's about halfway between the LA peeps and those of us here in Happy Valley.
So, here's some pics.  We rocked it.

Shop girls from 20 years ago.

Look, it's me and Holiday Barbie!

Picture this singing Chicago. Yep, it was awesome.

Hey, Hotstuff.

This is my fave face, ever.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I am not a star chaser.  I am not a romantic.  I am not the dreamer of impossible dreams.  I am a realist, a pragmatist, very likely, a pessimist.  I am not sustained by dreams and hopes, I am sustained by action.  I like to analyze, dig, learn. I am comforted by knowledge, solid knowledge.  I don't like hearsay or promises. Words mean little, actions mean much.

I think there are many people for whom dreams are enough.  Their lives may be ugly or unpleasant, but the dream of something better, the hope of something more is enough to sustain them, to keep them going in whatever sphere they have been placed.  When things get bad, they can look to this beautiful dream, they look up to the stars and they can think, someday, it will be better.  Someday, this dream will be mine.  And then they can carry on, endlessly, with infinite patience.

I do not understand this. I am not this way.  And because I am not this way, because I am a decision maker, I think my way is best. If I decide I want something, really want it, I go after it. I will weigh the pros and cons of getting it.  I will think through and decide if the costs of getting what I want are outweighed by the want itself.  If the pros outweigh the cons, if what I want is worth the cost, I will go after it.  If they don't, or it isn't, I will forget about it.  I will no longer hope for it or dream about it really.  My way is not best for some people, I know this.  But I do not understand.  I cannot live comfortably or happily with uncertainty, with hopes.  I have to have steps to achieve those hopes or they stop being hopes and become impossibilities and what is the point of impossibilities?

I like to know what I'm up against.  I don't like surprises and I don't like change.  I like to be able to rely on things, to know if I do x, y will happen.  I'm not an idiot.  I know that things happen that are out of my control, I hate it when they do, but I am aware of the likelihood of it happening.  And, when those things do happen, my reaction, after my initial freak out, is to figure out my new situation.  I want to know what happened, what caused it, how to fix it if possible, how to live with it if not.  How to solve the problems it brings with it, how to find the joy in it.  I dig, I seek, I learn.

The same applies to myself.  I want to know why I do things, why I think things, why I react in a certain way to this, that or the other.  And so, I dig within myself, because I need to understand.  Understanding is safety. It provides a solid base from which to move, it helps me curb my detrimental things and grow the good things.  I am not always successful, I freely admit this.  But, I try.

When I decide to do something, I come up with a plan.  If I do not have a plan, I feel like I am floating.  I don't like floating.  I need a tether, or preferably, firm ground beneath my feet.  I need security.  I don't always have it, and lately I don't have it at all, which makes me out of sorts and cross.  And so, I make plans.  How do I find security?  How do I put an end to it's absence?  How do I regain control of my life, my destiny, my future?  What do I need and why?  And then, hopefully, I will go after it.

This world, this life, is brittle and ugly and unpredictable and brutal.  But, it's also filled with joys and beauty and love.  I am going to find the ones I can have and go after them.  I'll ignore the rest.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Well, dammit.

I'm a chatty person by nature. I like to talk.  And sometimes I do it incessantly, much to the dismay of those around me.  You should see me on percocet, it's ridiculous, I really cannot stop talking.
Anyway, there aren't that many people with whom I feel free to say whatever comes into my head, with whom I can hold the most random stream of conciousness conversations.  When you find someone like that, and that someone talks as much and the same way you do, it's delightful.
When I have someone like that, I don't post on my blog as much, because, let's be honest, this blog is an outlet of sorts.  It doesn't care what I say and if those reading get bored by, or don't like what I say, they can stop reading.  It's great.
And I am.  Because my chat buddy, my friend of words, has left me for the time being and I have much to say and no one to say them to.  I don't function well that way, hence the blog.

So, it's been a really lousy week, despite the fact that it is only Tuesday.  But, bad things come in threes, right?  So, hopefully I'm done with the bad things this week. That is if the first thing can be counted as a bad thing, which I'm not sure it can, because it doesn't really compare on any level to the other things.
So, here they are, in order of occurence.
Sunday afternoon my face swelled up a rather ridiculous amount.  And very suddenly.  It looked like I had a goiter on the side of my face.  Only one side swelled, fortunately.  It didn't hurt, it didn't itch, there was no bug bite, it just swelled up.  I assumed it was some freak allergic reaction and took a benadryl, which completely knocked me out for the day.  I'm a wuss when it comes to drugs.
Monday morning, I woke at three with a raging migraine.  I laid there for an hour or so, in too much pain to get out of bed and find my meds.  Finally, it eased a little bit for a moment and I got my meds and crawled back into bed.  The meds sort of worked, enough for me to eventually fall back to sleep, only to be awakened by my alarm an hour later.  Ugh.  So, I dragged myself out of bed, got the little one ready for school and then sent her off while I crawled back into bed for a while.  I slept until 10, at which point I got up to get ready and go to work.  On the way there, my face swelled up again, my head was still feeling like a sabre was digging out my eyeball and I was hammered, not to mention looking like a freak.  So, I went over to my mom's house.  So, ok, migraine, swollen face, missed work is bad #1.  It was ugly.

Bad #2, my friend and chat buddy is currently missing from my life and it leaves a big freaking hole, which I DO NOT LIKE.  Especially because...

Bad thing #3 has occurred and I want to talk to friend about it and can't.
What is bad #3 you ask?  I have to move out of my house.  Yep.  Sucky, and quite unexpected.  I won't go into the dirty details, suffice it to say I have to give up my lovely and beautiful abode and try and find something else. Small Daughter, naturally, is not happy about it.  I had her psyched up to move before, but that didn't happen and it took some time before she stopped being annoyed at me about it. Today, when I told her about moving, she was much displeased.  There were tears.  Not nice things were said to me.  She's angry and sad, I don't blame her, I feel much the same.
But, I found an adorable house not too far away that (mostly) fits within my price range, so here's hoping I can get it.  It's very old, adobe, high ceilings and has walnut trees.  All good things.  It's small and there isn't much storage, but it will do, and as I said, it isn't far away.  So, cross fingers for me and the girl, because I think I really want this house.

The idea of going from being a home owner to being a renter is a bit (no, a lot) unpleasant, but, there it is. It's reality, and reality kind of bites sometimes.  Fortunately, it is also sprinkled with some rather lovely bits inbetween the nasty ones.  I'm going to need rather a lot of lovely bits for the remainder of the year, God willing.

Hope and Glory?

Hope is a beautiful and necessary thing, but sometimes, what you need is guts and fearlessness.

I have dreams.  It's about time I chased some of them down.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This is Kevin.

Not the girl.  The girl is Small Daughter.  Kevin is the pumpkin.  He's in a seatbelt, because, well, she didn't want him to get injured in case of an accident.  Must keep Kevin safe.  
Why is he called Kevin, you ask?  No idea.  That's his name.
We found Kevin at the grocery.  It seemed he needed to come home with us.  At least according to Small Daughter, and she knows.  You see, according to Small Daughter, Kevin was attacked by an evil wizard (I am not making this up) and he removed Kevin's face.  Gone.  Wiped out.  And, it turns out, Small Daughter is the Faerie Queen and is the only person who can restore Kevin's face.  So, we brought Kevin home so that Small Daughter/Faerie Queen could restore Kevin's face.  Not only was Kevin's face wiped out, but before it happened, he ate WAY too many pumpkin seeds and he wasn't able to digest them, so she was going to have to do surgery to remove the pumpkin seeds before she could even start on the face.  As we were leaving the grocery, I told Small Daughter to hustle.  She climbed out of the car cart, then dragged Kevin out after her.  She turned to me and said, "Sorry, mamma, he's a bit of a slow poke as he hasn't any legs."  
"Oh, well, will the Faerie Queen be restoring those as well?"
"No.  They got chopped off.  I can only fix magic problems."

I took pictures of the restoration and surger process, it's quite fascinating.

The first thing she did was draw a new face on Kevin.  It wasn't quite up to snuff, so she drew a new one.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that, because it was awesome.
Here she is beginning the removal of the excess seeds from Kevin's insides.

This bit is kind of hilarious, because she really hates pumpkin guts.  They gross her out.  This is actually the first time she has been willing to remove any of the guts herself.  Usually I have to do it, which ends up with me flinging pumpkin guts at her just to amuse myself.

She removed the guts, then separated the seeds from said guts, because although Kevin was unable to digest them, she didn't think she would have that problem herself.  After she removed them, I took them in the house to wash and roast them for her.  Then she moved on to the most important step.  Restoring Kevin's face.
She started out the restoration with a proper pumpkin carving saw-thingy, but broke that rather quickly, at which point she came into the kitchen, showed me the two pieces that were the result of her zealous work and said, "Well, I guess I'll have to use the dangerous one, then."  And took the knife outside with her.
Here on the left, you can see her checking the eyeholes.
And, finally, on the right, the restored Kevin.  He was extremely grateful.  In case you wondered.

After the process was finished, she decided to paint a portrait of Kevin with his parents.
In case you are wondering what the spots are underneath them, they are the various stages of mold that a pumpkin goes through before we push it off the wall into the garden.  
From the top down they are:
Slightly moldy
Kind of moldy
Really moldy

And lastly, the fruits of her labors.  If you notice that she looks kind of sad, well she is.  Look closely at the arm holding the white bowl and you may see the bandaid at her elbow bend.  In her desire for pumpkin seeds, she disregarded the Queen Mother and got herself nicely burned on the seed pan.  First burn, which really, isn't too bad for a girl who's been cooking since she was three.

And there you have it.  The Faerie Queen's restoration of Kevin.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Third Time's a Charm

I keep trying to write a post, but they keep coming out muddled and far too raw.  I don't mind a certain level of exposure here, obviously, since I blog, but I'm having a hard time keeping that level down.

I turn 39 tomorrow.  I'm old.  Ask any 19 year old.  I don't feel old, really.  I don't feel as old as 39 was when I was 19. Part of that is probably my young daughter.  I'm old enough to have an adult child, but I don't.  I have a very young one.  My BFF is a couple of years older than me and her kids are younger even than mine.  And, I don't think we act our age when we are together...We've been friends since I was 19 and I don't think the dynamic between us has changed much since then.  How can I possibly be nearly 40 when I still stay up too late with her, howling with laughter the same way we did 20 years ago?

At 19, I thought 39 would be vastly different.  I thought I would be solidly married,  2 or 3 kids, nice house, part time job doing wedding gowns in my own studio, husband earning a solid living.  Instead I am divorced (nearly), 1 child, no house of my own, working full time at a job that doesn't pay enough.  Sigh. Being a grown up sucks sometimes, I admit.  It has it's ups, but it some hella bad downs, too.

So, since I can't manage to say it myself, this says it for me.

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid-flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And that you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every goodbye you learn

Veronica A.Shoffstall

So, yeah.  Happy Birthday to me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Yes, folks, it's getting to be that time of year again.  Maybe not for you, you people who don't have degrees in Costume Design, who don't build costumes for a living.  But for those of us that do and do, oh, yes, it's time to start thinking of what to do.

There are two people I make costumes for, without fail, every year.  My niece (who is now 16) and the Small Daughter.  The niece is easy to please, if it's beautiful, she likes it.  The Small Daughter, not so much. Man is she picky.  Niece decided to be the TARDIS this year, which is awesome.  Being the girly-girl cheerleader type that she is, she doesn't want to be a blue box.  Oh, no, she wants a TARDIS themed ball gown.  Bring it on.

The Small Daughter has also decided.  Rapunzel.  From Tangled.  BORING.  I tried to get her to go for Eleanor of Aquitaine.


Okay, how about Elizabeth I.

Again.  Vetoed.

Hmmm.  Anne Boleyn?

No way.  Well, drat the child and her dratted opinions.

Maybe something more...princess-y.  Because, you know, Eleanor of Aquitain et al aren't princess-y enough.  Srsly.

Ok.  Lady Amalthea?

No? Really?  Are you kidding me?  She's skinny, lanky, childish and has long blonde hair!  And a purple dress!  LOOK!  A PURPLE DRESS!  No?!?!

She wants Rapunzel.  And not some beautiful pre-Raphaelite Rapunzel, either.  She wants this. 


It's so embarrassing.  I mean, where did I go wrong?

Obviously, I'm going to take liberties.  If I'm lucky, she won't be able to tell the difference between Rapunzel and Lady Amalthea, right?  Ha.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Migraines are evil.  There's no two ways about it, they are pure evil.  I'm fairly certain the devil invented them.  I get them altogether too often and it's starting to affect my life.  Oh, who am I kidding, it isn't starting to affect my life,  it DOES affect it, in a very bad way.  I missed work yesterday because of one, at a time when I can ill afford to miss work.  Not only are things starting to get a bit busy, but I am running out of sick time, and I am sure it doesn't look good for me as an employee to keep missing work once or twice a month.  I'm not really sure what to do about it.  I've changed my diet, I exercise more often than I did.  I know I need to reduce the amount of stress I experience, but there isn't much I can do about that.  I have meds for said migraines, but they don't work as well as they used to and I am only allowed so many per month by my insurance company.  Hooray for American healthcare.  Apparently, according to Selecthealth, my migraines should magically limit themselves so I don't run out of meds before I'm allowed to get my next batch.

Anyway, I hate migraines.  They leave me sick and depressed and terribly tired.  They make me feel bad for Small Daughter because all I can do when I get one is lay in bed and wish someone would chop off my head. She is a sweet and lovely girl, and sadly, she is all too used to me with a migraine now and knows what to do.  Which is, go easy on Mamma, don't get in trouble, rub Mamma's head, keep quiet and try to take care of herself.  Don't get me wrong, when I have one, I do still manage to feed the child, etc.  But, she ends up watching far too much TV while parked next to me on the couch or bed.  Yesterday, I took her over to my mom's, as I was planning to go to work, but by the time I got to my mom's house, I was ready to throw up, so I just collapsed on the floor and my mom was kind enough to care for the child most of the day.  I'm counting my blessings in that regard.

I've got to find another option, however.  Things are getting to a point at work where I really can't miss a day unless someone is dying.  And, I don't want to miss a day, as it reflects poorly on me, and I like to think I am a responsible person.  I don't like slacking at work.

Last night, as is often the case, my head exploded.  It was really, really bad.  I took a shower and then laid down on the couch so I could keep an eye on the Small Daughter.  Eventually, her dad came home and took her downstairs for the evening and I passed out on the couch.  Sometime around 2 am, I finally managed to crawl into my own bed, after taking 4 ibuprofen and hoping for the best.  My alarm went off at 6:15, as usual, and I sat up and promptly laid back down.  Still there.  I took a migraine pill and went back to sleep until 7, at which point I felt ok.  So, I got up, started getting things ready for school, made Small Daughter's lunch, went into her room to get her clothes and was attacked by a wave of pain so bad that I just curled up on the floor for a while.  I finally recovered for a bit, got the child dressed and started to gather up all the things for school and work.  Another wave of pain hit and I sat down on the couch, then laid down, figuring it would pass.  It didn't.  Small Daughter came and laid down with me and we both fell asleep.  It felt so good.  She was laying on my chest with her head pressed into mine and the warmth and pressure helped the pain enormously, bless her.  We slept there for a good hour and I finally recovered and took her to school, an hour late.  Yeah, I'm lame like that.

But, the three days that my migraines last are up and I am fine again.  Until next time.

In other news, I had a fitting with a bride tonight, I am making her a custom dress.  She looked fabulous. Perfect.  Gorgeous.  I was so pleased, and even more pleased about how excited she was about how good she looked.  Hooray!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Because I Knew You

I'm not a huge fan of Wicked, most of the music doesn't really do it for me. But, this song is lovely and this performance is even lovelier. Kristin Chenowyth was performing at the Hollywood Bowl and pulled this woman out of the audience. The result is quite joyful.

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made from what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good
And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for
But then, I guess we know
There's blame to share
And none of it seems to matter anymore
Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood
Who can say if I've been
Changed for the better?
I do believe I have been
Changed for the better
And because I knew you...
Because I knew you...
Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good...

Friday, August 23, 2013

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
-Mary Oliver

Monday, August 19, 2013


School starts tomorrow.  I am so not ready.

We went to the store tonight to get some of the things she will need for school.  Like, you know, a backpack.  I mean, she does have a backpack, but it's huge and she isn't.  I hate the ginormous backpacks they make for little ones.  We bought a plain black one that I am going to make a new front for.  She wants an Eiffel Tower backpack with a matching lunch bag.

We didn't get home from the store until after 8.  Small Daughter has to be in bed by 9.  That sort of thing always screws with my evening.  I have other things I need to do as well, like exercise and alter some boots for a drag queen.  Her calves are too thin.  ;)

I'm really NOT prepared for the idea that Small Daughter will be a first grader, though.  Yikes.  How did that even happen?  I've had several people ask me lately if I was going to have any more children.  All things considered, that's highly unlikely.  I'm already getting too old right now.

She went to meet her teacher and see her classroom today.  My mom took her while I was at work. Fortunately, she loves her teacher and thought the classroom was cool.  Hopefully this means that there will be no tears in the morning.  At the moment, she is very excited about the prospect of a new school year at a new school.  I am praying that it remains this way.  Besides, I'll probably do enough crying for both of us.  I am such a baby when it comes to these kinds of things.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

There is not much worse than breaking your child's heart.

Oh, Do Shutup

Right now, I am looking about me, pondering the future and it is at this point that my life says to me

"Dear Tara, give up now.  You will die before you ever get back to London.  Your dreams are not going to happen.  Your life will be one endless drudge of trying to earn enough money while still being a proper mother."

To which I should like to reply.

"Dear Life, do shutup."

Is This Love?

"It was rather
beautiful; the way he
put her insecurities to
The way he dove into
her eyes and starved
all the fears
and tasted all the
dreams she kept
coiled beneath her

Christopher Poindexter

Saturday, August 17, 2013


It's been a long week.

We are in the famine stage at work right now, there is nothing going on and I basically only show up to get paid.  Dig about, find things that need to be done, that sort of thing.  In a week or two we are going to be absolutely buried with work, which is actually pretty ok with me.  It makes things go faster, the time pass better.   I like to be occupied.  But, it's a lot of work and it is not going to be easy switching between shows, trying to make sure that everything gets done.  I am very good at organizing things (though you wouldn't believe it to look at my house), and I kind of relish making things work smoothly and knowing I had a hand in it.  I am grateful for the fact that there isn't a lot going on right now, though, because I've had to go to the dentist multiple times, I have to take some time off for Small Daughter's school things, etc.  I'm not going to be able to take any time off come September, so I have to take care of things now.

Added to the work boring is, yes, the dentist visits.  I hate the dentist.  Hate.  I have unfortunate teeth anyway, so any visit to the dentist brings pain and high costs.  I have a new dentist, and I really like him, but ugh.  Having people poke around in my mouth, spending so much time numb and or bruised, etc, is not awesome.  Yesterday when I went in, they put me on the nitrous oxide and I don't know how long I was on it for, but I think it was too high.  I was completely gone.  And then I started throwing up.  Fortunately, they hadn't begun working on me yet.  So there I was, flat out, nitrous mask on, unable to open my eyes or do anything really, barfing in the dentist office.  The dental assistant had just come in and I freaked her out good. I managed to turn my head so I didn't barf on myself, but it was all happening in a weird slow motion for me. The dentist came in and the hygienist and they sat me up, got a trash can, removed the nitrous.  Apparently, I was ice cold and white as a sheet, so they covered me with a blanket, etc.  It only took about a minute for me to come round.  I hadn't eaten and I had taken my penicillin on an empty stomach (bad Tara), plus too much laughing gas and BAM.  It was extremely weird feeling, I have to say. The hygienist brought me some crackers and apple slices, all I needed was a juice box to complete it. They went ahead and did my procedure and then I left, but I had to sit in my car for a while afterward before I felt ok to drive home.

One interesting side effect that I have noticed about dental work and pain and too much medication is that it makes me depressed.  I think it is the complete lack of control over things.  I can't make the numbness go away faster.  I can't make my teeth stop being crappy.  I can't make the pain go away any faster.  And I just feel like crap afterward.  I'm a control freak and this sort of thing robs me of my control to a certain extent.  I don't like that at all.  Plus, there's just something about pain that is depressing.   I have a lovely friend who deals with chronic pain.  I don't know how she remains positive, but she does.  She's an amazing woman and when my life seems crappy, I realize if she can find happiness in hers, I can in mine.  I've tried to tell her how wonderful I think she is, but I'm not sure I get it across.  Because, she really is amazing.  In spite of her chronic illness, she is raising three beautiful girls who are beautiful spiritually as well as physically.  Yeah, she's awesome.

But, on the positive side, my brother lives 1/2 mile away from me, now.  His little daughter and Small Daughter love to play.  I've spent two evenings over there laughing my head off with brother, his wife and their teenage daughter.  I've discovered a new and very effective way to annoy brother.  All I have to do is join the teenager (she's 16) in fangirling.  She fangirls about One Direction, I fangirl about Benedict Cumberbatch.  It's very effective and drives him crazy.  Much hilarity ensues.  I love all of their kids but the teenager and I are particularly good friends.  I'm very happy they moved back.  I've been a bit lonely lately.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I feel like throwing things.  Or kicking things.  Except kicking would hurt as I am only wearing very bare sandals, so my toes would take the brunt of whatever I kicked.  Which would be fine if I were kicking a pillow, but a pillow wouldn't be such a satisfactory thing to kick.  What I'd like to kick is a metal pail.  Down the hill.  So that it made a great clanking noise and irritated the neighbors.  I'd follow it up by throwing rocks at it, so they too would make a great clanking noise.  And also irritate the neighbors.  No, the neighbors haven't done anything, I just feel like being irritating.  Misery loves company and all that.

Now would be a good time to start some demo on the house.  I wouldn't mind taking a sledgehammer to a couple of closets that have annoyed me since I bought this house.  The problem with that is that I would be left with a giant mess to clean up and nowhere to hang my clothes because the resident handyman probably wouldn't have any time to finish the remodel.  Dammit.

We're trying to figure out a way to physically subdivide this house so that both of us can stay in it without stepping on each others toes or getting in each others way.  I think it's a good idea.  If there was a physical division of space, it would be like living in a duplex, but much cheaper for each of us than trying to maintain separate households.  Plus, Small Daughter would have easy access to both.  The problem is, whenever I get a clever idea like this, I want to start NOW.  I want to put things in motion, get it all moving and get it done.

Ok, the real problem is, I can't do a whole lot of it myself.  I haven't the expertise.  And the resident handyman works a lot.  As in, probably doesn't have time to do it right now.  So, where does that leave us? Not sure, really.  Except that it leaves me antsy and frustrated.  And wanting to kick things.

PS- Saw this quote the other day...

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without also protecting yourself from happiness.

Dammitall anyhow.  Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Things

Despite all my downer-ish posts, there are indeed good things happening in my world.  Small Daughter is finally getting comfortable in a pool, learning to swim for real, thanks to the hard work and focus of her 12 year old cousin.  She has done more for her in the past two weeks than I have been able to do for the past two years.  It's awesome, and Small Daughter is SO very proud of herself.  And, I'm proud of her.

Also, I was able to get her into the elementary school I want her in, HALLELUJAH for that.  I haven't been terribly fond of the school within whose boundaries we reside, and I have heard good things about this new school.  Plus, it starts earlier than her old school, so I will be able to take her to school myself.  I am very, very pleased about this.  It took a lot of begging and pleading of my case to get them to let her in.

Thirdly, my older brother and his family moved back to my side of the lake, within about 1/2 mile of us and I am VERY pleased to have them back!  I've missed having them nearby for the three years they've been gone.  Plus, having my niece that close is very useful, as she likes money and I like paying her to clean my studio.

So, yeay!  Happy things are afoot!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Well, Bless my Soul

Dear blog reading friends, all, what?  5 of you?  I am sorry I have been such a downer of late, but I am very grateful for your indulgence.  I'm trying to fight my way out of this mess/funk/whatever you want to call it, and blogging does help me do so.  It helps me hone in on things and it also show me that I do, indeed, have some lovely friends.

In an effort to "buck up, little camper" as it were, I attempted multiple times to post a hilarious video of the Small Daughter riding my exercise bike, but for some reason, silly blogger won't let me post it.  Dumb website.

Maybe I'll try it again, here.

This had me laughing like crazy, although I'm not sure why.  The second one I took is funnier, but as it took an hour to upload this one, and the other one is longer, I think I'll pass on that until I figure out a better way to upload.

Post Edit.  Stupid thing didn't work properly anyway.  It's acting like a damn gif.  Oh well.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I dreamed a dream...

Once upon a time, long, long ago...ok, not THAT long...there was a girl who had a goal.  And this goal was a good goal, and this girl was a clever girl.  Being a clever girl, she devised a plan to reach that goal.  She worked hard, stayed focused and achieved that goal.  Or goals, really.  There were several.  And then she achieved what she thought was sort of the ultimate goal.  And after that, she got lost...You see, after achieving that sort of ultimate goal, she wasn't really sure what to set goals for.  And more than that, her life was no longer her own and the achieving of said goals wasn't really up to her anymore.  And she wasn't really sure what to do.

When I was young, I knew what I wanted.  I mean, I KNEW, and there wasn't going to be much that could dissuade me from achieving what I wanted.  When I was in early high school, I had long term goals, mid term goals and short term goals.  All to achieve what I wanted out of life.  I knew I wanted to have a good job and be able to earn a living doing something I wanted to do.  And I knew the way to achieve that was to go to college.  And I knew the way to get into college was to get a scholarship (my parents would not be able to pay for my education, I had always known that).  And I knew the way to get a scholarship was to get good grades in school.  And I knew the way to get good grades in school was to do my homework and kill the tests.  So that's what I did.  I worked hard in high school, did my work, got into the advanced classes, sailed through the AP tests to earn college credit, did the extracurricular stuff and WHAMMO.  I got what I wanted.  Good grades, which got me accepted to good schools, and yes, a scholarship at one of them.  So, off I went to jolly old BYU.  I couldn't afford any of the other schools that I had been accepted to, dang it, because a couple of them were pretty posh.

During my high school years, there was a lot of stress and unpleasant things that happened in my life, but I wasn't going to let those things get in the way of WHAT I WANTED.  Granted, due to circumstances beyond my control, I did have to put college off a year to work, but I had earned enough credit in high school to skip my freshman year, so it wasn't a big deal.

So, I went to college, and I aced college and when I graduated, I had a job waiting for me.  And when I got fed up with that job, there was another job waiting for me.  And when I started to get tired of that job, there was my dream job waiting for me.  And I went for it.  It wasn't luck that led to me having these jobs waiting for me.  At least not completely.  It was because I was GOOD at what I did.  I worked hard, I put in the time, I developed the necessary skills (and the God given talent I had) and I got those jobs based on merit.  I was the one for the job.

So, yeah, solidly set goals and a serious determination got me what I wanted.  I was determined to not let any setbacks prevent me from achieving those goals.  And there were setbacks, let me tell you.  There were major things that got in my way, that could have prevented me from achieving my goals, but I didn't let them.

Along the way to the major goal, I had some bucket list type things I wanted to do.  And I did them.  I wanted to spend some time in London.  So I did, with some very good friends in a fabulous little flat.  I shared a rickety bunkbed with another girl in a long narrow room which housed one other girl as well.  We had minimal storage space, no private space, the tiniest kitchen ever and it was glorious.  Best time of my life.
I wanted to work in various and sundry theatres in the US.  And I did.  I wanted to be a designer for a bridal company, and I was.  I wanted to create beautiful things, and I did.  It was awesome.  I look back on my college years and the years just following and they were fantastic.  Wonderful.  Perfect.  Even with all the issues and problems that occurred.  I made, and still have, some amazing, beautiful friends from that time in my life.

Then, after working and having a great time for a few years, I got married.  Getting married was only sort of loosely on my goal list.  I wasn't really sure that I wanted to do it.  My parents had gotten divorced my senior year of high school and the parents of two of my BFF's were divorced and those that weren't, most of them had troubled marriages.  It didn't look good to me and wasn't something I really wanted.  I certainly didn't want to do it when I was younger, but as I got older I realized that maybe I did.  And, eventually, I went ahead and got married.  

Fast forward 5 years and I achieved my biggest goal, which was to have a child.  It wasn't easy, in fact, it was damn hard and nearly killed me (literally).  But that's another story.  She was worth every bit of it, though, the Small Daughter.  She is a treasure and the absolute light of my life.  (And is sitting here next to me with the raddest Heather Locklear hair, ever)

And then, I thought I had achieved it.  I had college, England, job, marriage, baby.  All that was left was to live my life.  Which I did.  And then a few years ago, it all went belly up.  Big time.  And I wasn't sure what to do.  And I tried to regain control of things and it didn't work.  And then last year, my marriage went belly up.  And I have been trying to regain control of things ever since.  And I am doing a lousy job of it. Sometime between having a baby and losing my marriage, I lost my ability, talent, drive, whatever, to achieve the goals, or to even set them, really.  I'm sort of adrift in things right now.  I don't even know what goals to set.  What do I want to be?  Who do I want to be?  What do I want to do?  I have a job, but that is all it is, a job.  It isn't a career, I will never make a good living at it.  Do I want to switch?  Should I switch?  I know what I want, big picture-wise.  I want to have enough money to properly raise my daughter.  I want to be the one to raise her.  And I still have yet to figure out how to achieve that.  I want to get out of this...funk, I am in.  I am swimming through a very thick cloud and I can't seem to find my way out.  Or find the determination to do so.

Well Good Grief

It has been a hell of a week.  I got dropped by one of my closest friends, my house is an unmitigated disaster, I had my wisdom teeth out and then got told by my live in nephew that he is embarrassed by my house. Oh, not to mention the fact that Small Daughter has brought to my attention how skinny she is compared to how chubby I am. (I try not to react, I don't want her thinking one is better than the other, even though I want to be thinner)  At the moment, I kind of feel like I don't know which way is up.  I don't know where Small Daughter will be going to school.  I don't know how I am going to manage to get everything done that will need to be done at work,  as well as find time to keep my house clean, make meals and take care of the most important thing in my life, which is the Small Daughter.

I know I shouldn't complain.  Everyone's life is busy, everyone has their certain trials, and heaven knows, I'd rather have mine than others.  But, since I no longer have someone to vent to on a regular basis (goodness, I was spoiled) I'm going to vent here.  The beauty of venting on my blog is that the reader can stop reading at any time.  Unlike venting to a person, who, if they are kind, don't usually cut me off mid vent.  I feel that I am probably overwhelming sometimes with my venting, my talking, my opinions.  Because there is a lot of all of it.

I think my biggest issue is the feeling that I have lost control of my life.  My house is out of control and messy.  I have no control over the schedule at work, although I have to make sure things get done in time, I have lost control of my physical self and gotten heavier than I have ever been before.  I need control.  I am a bit of a control freak, I admit it.  But, I am SO very tired that sometimes I feel like trying to wrest control of my life back from the chaos might take more effort than I can expend.  On the other hand, if I DON'T regain control of my life, I will continue to feel exhausted and it will probably get worse.

So, I don't know.  I guess I just need to suck it up, push through, get things back together the way they should be and hope for the best, right?  A life of chaos isn't much of a life, anyway.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

An Island

This, people.  This.

I've built walls, 
A fortress deep and mighty, 
That none may penetrate. 
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. 
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

Don't talk of love, 
But I've heard the words before; 
It's sleeping in my memory. 
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. 
If I never loved I never would have cried. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

I have my books 
And my poetry to protect me; 
I am shielded in my armor, 
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. 
I touch no one and no one touches me. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

And a rock feels no pain; 
And an island never cries.

Sometimes, caring about people, letting them in, allowing them into your heart is shit. They're just going to stomp on it anyway.  I'm so damn tired.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I'm sitting on the floor in my "studio" (really, the other end of a very long and narrow front room) listening to the littles as they watch Wallace and Grommit, their laughs and giggles and gasps punctuating the plot of the movie.  I should be cleaning, sorting, etc.  I've vacuumed up enough dog and cat hair to make another whole animal, the amount of dust and lint is rather appalling.  My mouth is sore, but certainly not as bad as I had expected it to be, thank goodness.

My mind is a bit spastic today, hopping from one thing to another.  As I cleared the stuff off the piano, I thought, perhaps I should post this on KSL and get it out of my house finally.  As I vacuumed the dog hair off the floor, I thought, I need to check the price on pine flooring and see if I can get some at a decent price and if I can, can I make it match the flooring that is in the studio?  I want some grapes.  Maybe I should write a blog post.  I wonder if the kids want popcorn.  And on and on.  Sometimes I think my mind would like me to anything but clean.  Because, obviously, I am not cleaning right now.  Blog post, yay!

It's hot and a bit muggy outside.  I wish it would just storm.  One of those dark, loud, banging storms, strobing with lightning.  I love it when the thunder is so big and loud that it shakes the house, but I remain cozy and safe behind my walls.  When I am cranky or wound up, a storm always makes me feel better.  As if the weather is responding to my mood and doing my yelling and fighting for me.  I like to curl up on my chaise in my window and watch it rage, and then I don't feel so like raging myself.

The past little while, I've felt more like raging than usual.  I've resisted, mostly, but only because I have to.  I've no one to rage at anyway, not really.  Small Daughter doesn't deserve it or understand it.  Teenage boy would probably just be scared of it.  Mike has had enough of it to last him three lifetimes.  Instead I knit furiously or scream into my pillow.  Alas, though, my pillow, while absorbing the raging quite well, doesn't ever respond and is, therefore, a less than stellar partner.  Venting to a pillow does have it's limits.

Fear not, though.  I am ok.  Just...ragey.  I'm working on being satisfied with the lot that is my life.  And I am reminded that it could be worse.  Of course, the fact that it COULD be worse, doesn't necessarily make this better, as it could also be better.  But, it will get better, somehow.  Either I'll get a raise, get offered a job closer to home with more money or Small Daughter will simply grow up and not need me quite so much anymore.  Then I won't feel actively guilty about not being around so much, right? Right?

Yep, I'm rambly.  Apologies.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cranky Mamma

I had two of my wisdom teeth pulled today.  I know, I know, why now?  Who gets their wisdom teeth pulled at age 38?  Me, that's who.  And, ow, by the way.  I am sore and cranky.  I had to have the top two removed because they have been causing some problems with my jaw for a long time and the dentist thinks they may have been contributing to my migraines.  So, hallelujah if that's the case.  I could stand to have my migraines ease up.  Fortunately, said dentist doesn't think the bottom two wisdom teeth are causing any problems, which is good because they are completely encased in bone and it would be a beast to get them out.  The top two weren't horrible.  Well, not yet anyway.

So, being the sort of person that I am, busy and whatnot, I didn't think to clean my house before I had them done, because, you see, I clean on the weekends.  I wasn't really being the thinking ahead sort of person this week.   It happens.  Anyhow, so, got the wisdom teeth pulled, then went over to my mom's for a bit to lie down.  Small Daughter was over there being babysat, and it was easier to crash there than to try and bring her home and crash.  Besides, niece was over there, too, so it gave someone for Small Daughter to play with.

So, knowing my house was rather untidy, I wasn't looking forward to coming home.  Mike had removed the faucet in the kitchen earlier this week because it was right nasty and making our water smell and taste dreadful, but he hadn't had a chance to get a new one on.  I asked him to please make sure that got done before he went out of town, because the kitchen was starting to smell, due to the dirty dishes.  He texted to let me know he had gotten the faucet replaced and that the Boy was cleaning the kitchen.  (We have a 17 year old living with us now, in case you didn't know.  Nephew of Mike.)  So, I was looking forward to at least having a tidy kitchen, because I'm not supposed to do anything for the next couple of days.

Well, guess what?  Kitchen not clean.  Grr.  Sore mamma, angry mamma.  Face is puffy, kitchen smells, front room is a disaster, bedroom a bit of a mess.  We won't even talk about my studio, the nursery or the bathroom.  So, I popped a couple of ibuprofen and set to work.  Lame, I know, I lived with it messy all week, why did I care now?  Well, when I am in pain or upset or angry, I cannot abide a mess.  It just adds to the overall frustration and displeasure.  Knowing that I am going to be in pain all weekend, I can't just leave the disaster as it is.  So, yeah.  Kitchen is tidy (not clean, though).  Front room is tidied and vacuumed.  Bed is remade, laundry put mostly away.  There's still a basket to go, but I gave in.  I may regret this in the morning.

Why not take something stronger than Ibuprofen, you ask?  Being high on LorTab doesn't go well with having a Small Daughter to keep an eye on.  So, Ibuprofen and Tylenol during the day, blessed LorTab at night.  Wish me luck!  If it swells up amusingly, I'll post a pic.  Right now I can't tell if it's swollen or if that's just my regular facial chub.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Working hard or hardly working?

So, this being a working mum thing is not super awesome.  Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have a job I mostly enjoy that has health benefits.  I know those are hard to come by these days.  But, having been a (mostly) WAHM for the past 9 years, this full time work, long commute gig is hard.  And yes, I know Small Daughter is only 6.  Previous to her, I had my wee nephew full time at home while I worked.

Now, please understand, while I am lazy in many ways, I do enjoy working.  I enjoy the challenges that come in my line of work,  I enjoy creating things and I enjoy getting paid for it.  But, I also enjoy being home with my daughter, seeing how she grows and changes, letting her sit in my lap while I sew, or watch her copy me by draping dresses on her child size mannequin.  I enjoy her chatter, I like to know what she is doing and how she likes to do it.  And, you know what?  Those things are hard to accomplish when I leave for work at 7:30 am before she is even awake and I get home at 6 or later.  That doesn't leave much time for interacting with her, especially when I still have to take care of dinner and attempt to tidy up the house, maybe do some laundry.

This is the first summer that I have had to work full time away from home and I feel like I missed it.  We didn't do ANYTHING.  We didn't make it to the waterpark, didn't go on any trips, only went to the pool a few times.  It's disappointing and, of course, makes me feel like I am not the best mother that ever lived. 

There are too many things to worry about when one has to work full time.  Where do I put her in daycare?  If I put her in daycare, will that change where she has to go to school?  How do I choose the right school and will they even let me put her in said school?  Am I making enough money to pay for daycare?  If I have a family member care for her, will it cost any less and will I be overburdening them? 

I think it is probably a bit easier if one is making a decent amount of money at one's job.  It makes it a bit easier to choose a school, one can put the child in a good private school.  One can be more discerning when choosing daycare.  One doesn't have to worry so much about taking a day off here and there to take care of said child because, well, vacation, sick days and less of a need for that day's paycheck.

The thing is, I make an ok amount.  There are a lot of people who have to survive on less, and I honestly don't know how they do it.  Well, I expect they experience a lot of stress.  I experience a lot of stress just thinking about it.

Truth be told, I'm probably fussing about nothing.  I want what I want.  Which is to make enough money working part time to support my daughter decently, so that I also have time to, you know, RAISE her, myself.  She's my daughter, I want to be the one to help her grow up.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Loneliness or Solitude

Alone, lonely, solitary, solo, abandoned, individual, forsaken.  There are sundry words to describe it, to use for it, but they all mean something slightly different.  Which one am I?  It varies from day to day, I think.  Some days I am solitary, but not lonely.  Some days I am lonely.  Somedays, today, I feel a bit abandoned.  Forsaken.

12 years ago I was happily alone.  I was not completely solitary, I had roommates, friends, etc.  But I was ok alone.  I was happy alone.  I was GOOD at alone.  It was my life and I could live it the way I wanted to.

Fast forward to now.  I don't know how to be alone anymore.  11 years with a companion can do that to you.  You get used to their presence.  Heck, one year with a companion can do that to you, especially if that companion shares your heart.  You start to rely on them, not for anything specific, but for the fact that they are there.  Someone to talk to, someone who cares what went on in your day, someone to tell about your obnoxious visit to the dentist or the crazy actor you had to fit that day.  Someone you want to hear.  For their voice as much as anything they might say.  Someone with whom you fit.  Easy, comfortable, comforting.

And then?  It goes away.  The bond is broken or the person leaves.  And you are left with...what?  Loneliness.  It isn't the same as solitude.  I like solitude.  I don't like loneliness.

“How we need another soul to cling to.”
Sylvia Plath

Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.  ~Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now
Loneliness can be conquered only by those who can bear solitude.  ~Paul Tillich

Monday, March 25, 2013

Geeks rule

I was a geek in high school.  Not popular.  Not cool.  None of that.  I didn't want to be, though.  To be perfectly honest, I thought those people were idiots.  Why would you want to be like them?  They were dumb.  And overly concerned with how they looked, what clothes they wore, what bag they carried, etc.  I was more concerned with getting into college.  Plus, I liked smart people.  Especially since I was a smart people. 
Things haven't changed.  I'm still a geek.
And just to prove it, check out my awesome shoes.  My brother painted them for me.  It's ok, you can be jealous.  See, even geeks think about the clothes they wear.  They just like things a bit...nerdier.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ride the Rails

I ride the train to work most mornings.  Not because I am particularly green or anything, although I am somewhat, but because I do not like to drive.  On a traffic free day, my commute is about 35 minutes driving.  On a normal day, it is around 45-50 minutes.  On a bad day, 90.  In my mind, that is a lot of time spent staring at the road doing nothing useful.  Sure, I listen to NPR, but I'm just sitting.  And I don't just sit very well.  I like to be doing.  Sadly, the highway patrol frowns on knitting while driving.  And so, I ride the train.  The lovely Utah Transit Authority recently revamped the schedule of the train that I take, adding more trains and adding an extra car to said trains (thank goodness) and so I gave up my usual spot on the last car and exchanged it for one on the first car.  My reason for the change is simple.  Not very many people ride the first car, and fewer people is fine by me.  I am not one of those travelers who likes to converse with a seatmate.
The other rail cars on the train are new, with that chemical new car type smell.  They have new blue fabric seats, clean white paint, chrome and grey plastic.  All shiny and new.  The added car?  Not so much.  It was built in the early 70's and they didn't upgrade it or change it.  Maybe UTA just ran out of money, maybe they just thought it was retro cool.  And, it is.  It's my favorite car.  There is so much more personality in it than in the sterile, industrial feel of the new cars.  Brown vinyl seats, industrial tile floor, luggage racks, heavy sliding door (that will totally take you out if you aren't watching), the works.

And, it has that smell...not a bad one...of must, and age, and people and time and energy.  There's a vibe in that rail car that doesn't exist in the shiny new double decker cars.
I sit on my brown vinyl bench seat alone, next the window and things are different.  No longer am I just a commuter in the rush to the daily drudge.  No, I'm a traveler, on my way to somewhere exciting.  Perhaps off on a cross country adventure.  Perhaps off to see long missed family members, or to meet a lost lover.
As I watch the scenery whip by, with the houses and cars just a short distance away, I imagine what it would be like to be whisked off on a long distance rail journey and wonder who or what would be waiting for me at the end of the line.  Will I end in a lonely hotel while I look for a job?  Will I find friends and family waiting for me?  Or will I step off the train into the arms of the eager lover?
And so, I sit back, and I enjoy the feeling and the journey, which ends all too soon at my station and my job.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Last Plantagenet

I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't really that big of a deal, but the finding of Richard III's body gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure.  Now, I will grant you, that is the nerd/geek in me talking.  My facebook feed was full of references to it.  Which says something interesting about my friends. I think there were two or three posts about the super bowl and the rest of it was Downton Abbey and Richard III.
And, it seems appropriate that such a villainous king should be laid to rest under something as ignominious as a carpark, does it not?
Perhaps he wasn't quite as villainous as we think.  Well, as some think. I'm willing to be a large number of you don't think about him at all.  Ever. But I do.
It is said that many of his crimes were falsified and/or attributable to someone else, with the exception of the Princes in the Tower.  But isn't that enough to make him a villain?  The murder of two innocent boys, one of them the Crown Prince and only 12 years old, to boot?  Fat lot of good murdering those boys did him, anyway, he only reigned for 2 years.  He could have been Edward's regent for longer than that.
Dear Richard,
Karma's a bitch. You killed the boys, you end up in a car park.
How's that for fair play?
Now, they just need to tell me they've found the actual remains of King Arthur and I can die a happy woman.  To be sure, they'd have to figure out exactly who King Arthur was, first.
Want a good read about the History of the Plantagenets?  Check out the series about them by Thomas Costain.  It's fascinating, starting with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and ending, of course, with the death of Richard III on Bosworth Field and the subsequent succession of Henry Tudor.  It's confusing as all get out, but is definitely worth the read.
A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!  Or this carpark, it will do as well.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Health and Wealth....or Just Health

So, I mentioned on Facebook the other day about how fate seemed to be shouting in my face that I needed to get off my lazy ass and lose some weight.  That morning my jeans were too tight.  That afternoon when I got  home there was a Women's Health mag shouting at me about the best way to get fit and healthy.  That night, while sitting on the floor with The Small One, she pointed out how big and fat my belly was.  In fact, she told me I looked pregnant.  Good times.  Nothing like a little hit to your self-esteem to get you motivated, right?
Now, to be sure, as my dear friend reminds me regularly, I'm not fat.  And I need to learn to be content with the body I have.  That being said, I'm not content.  I was a thin girl most of my life, even skinny at some points, so being...not a bit difficult for me.  And, you know, I made a human, which takes a toll on one's body.  I will never be as thin and fit as I was when I was, say, 25..

I'm the absurdly thin girl in the glasses.  This was, of course, 13 years ago.  My metabolism was still high and I was much more healthy eater.  Not to mention the fact that I got regular exercise.  I don't do that so much anymore, my life seems to have gotten in the way, a bit.
Add to that the fact that I just scheduled a photo shoot with an amazing photographer, well, there's some more incentive for me.  I want to be fabulous.  
I know, it's silly.  I've fallen prey to the stupidity that is pop culture.  Why should I be concerned about it?  I'm not really that fat.  I qualify as chubby.  But, my girl loves me, chubby or otherwise.  So do my friends.  In fact, they don't even see it.  If I were to show my dearest friend a picture of me today, I doubt they would even notice the chub.  What they'd notice is what they love about me.  I feel the same way when I see a picture of my friends.  I see what I love.  I see how beautiful they are.  Or how fun, or how delightful.  I see how they love their children or what they are doing.  But, no, I don't tend to see that about myself.  I think many of us are like that.  Too many fashion magazines.  Too much pounding into our skulls how we aren't thin enough or pretty enough.  And yep, I caved.  
But, don't worry.  I won't go too far.  I don't want to look like that girl up there.  I was that skinny in my 20's and it was part of who I was.  I'm not that skinny any more, and it would take WAY more effort than I am interested in investing to look like that again.  I have more important things to do that be skinny.  But, you know, I would like to not squish over my jeans when I sit down.  I would like to be thin enough so that my dear sweet, honest girlie can't tell me that I look like I'm pregnant.  Will it happen?  I don't know?  It's either that or become ok with the body I live it.  They both seem difficult to obtain. 
My end goal is to weigh what I did before I got pregnant.  I think part of my problem is looking at that end goal and seeing just how far away it is.  And, it's far enough.  20 lbs away, if you want to know.  So, I've decided to take it in 2 week bites.  I can do anything for 2 weeks.    So, 2 weeks from now, I hope to be 5 lbs lighter.  We'll see what I feel like doing for the 2 weeks after that when we get there.
Wish me luck.  It means no more brie and olives for dinner for the next two weeks. No crab and goat cheese ravioli.  It also means watching my too skinny daughter eat up creamy, gorgeous delicious foods in an attempt to fatten her back up, while not having any myself. It may kill me.

I'm a Greedy Beggar

You know what I want?  I want joy and happiness and beauty and enough money to travel and help out my friends who need it.  And a pair of really fabulous shoes.
Since I was planning to move this weekend (yeah, that didn't happen) I had been purging my belongings in an effort to fit into a much smaller space, so I got rid of a lot of my shoes.  Nearly killed me, that.  I hate purging my shoes.  It's silly.  I'm in a job where I'm on my feet much of the day, plus, we've had epic snow here and I have to walk about a 1/2 mile from the train station to work, so I've been wearing boots.  Not cute fashionable boots, of which I have 5 or 6 pair, no, useful boots.  Saloman, to be specific.  They are neither cute nor fashionable.  They are flat, with grippy soles and they keep my feet warm.
When there aren't large amounts of snow on the ground, I'm still on my feet for much of the day and I still have to walk 1/2 mile to and from the aforementioned train station, so I wear sneakers or boring flats.  So, I have a TON of gorgeous high heels, really sexy high heels, that I NEVER wear.  But, I can't bring myself to get rid of them.  Perhaps I ought to be more glamourous.
I love fashion and shoes and makeup, and yet, I show up at work everyday in jeans, a tshirt and snowboots with a scarf on my head and no makeup.  Something is wrong here.  Oh yeah, I'm lazy.  And lest you be confused, the scarf on my head is a headscarf, not a big winter neckscarf, cause that'd be weird.
But, high heels give me joy.  However fleeting.  So does cheese.  And good friends.  That joy isn't as fleeting.
As the move this weekend didn't happen, and it appears I am staying in my house for the next several months, at any rate, I decided to put my purging and organizing to continued usefulness.  I spent all day today covering boxes in pretty fabric so that I can properly organize my sewing stuff.  Moved some shelves in, started putting away fabric.  What a daunting task.  But, I will continue to purge as I do it.  This is a good thing, right?  RIGHT?
Here, let me show you the fruits of my labors so far.

Aww, isn't it pretty?  All blue and tan and grey and black and french.  I have a tendency to be half-assed when I start a project like this.  I am determined this year not to do that.  I will do it properly if I'm going to do it.  Problem is, it takes SO LONG.
I think The Small One may have had a better idea.  This is how she spent much of the afternoon, the lazy infant.
Laying in my bed, eating chili and watching cartoons on the kindle.  Or playing games.  Or harassing the cat. Just depends.
I want to go back to Ireland in my dreams tonite, but I'd like to have a companion.
It's after 2 am.  I'm tired and have insomnia.  Can you tell?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Better, Someday

I dreamed last night that I went to Ireland with a friend.  We flew to Ireland and wandered around different places and had a wonderful time.  And then, we got separated.  My friend and I were heading for a train or a ferry or some other sort of transport and my friend made it on, but I did not.  There was a lot of confusion, a lot of things going on, and then I realized, I was alone.  Alone in a country I did not know.  At first, I was worried and a bit frightened.  What would I do?  Would I be able to find my friend?  Would my friend be able to find me?  Did my friend even WANT to find me?  Perhaps not. 
I sat in the station for a while, trying to figure out what to do.  And, then I realized I was in a new country, and yes, perhaps I was alone, but it didn't change the fact that it was a new country with new things to see, new experiences to have, new people to meet.  So, I got up and I went out into the city and started to explore by myself.  I saw my friend in passing periodically, a face on a passing train, the back of a familiar coat exiting a store I had just entered.  Having dinner with someone else.  It seemed my friend had an adventure to find on their own, and apparently, so did I.
I think Ireland would be a lovely place to do that. 

It's been a hell of a week.  Things haven't gone right, I feel all sorts of loose endish.  I wasn't able to move into the apartment I had been planning on.  I spend too much time away from The Small One, what with commuting and working all day.  My house is a half packed disaster.  I don't know if I'm staying in this house or moving to a different place.  The Small One has been out of school since before Christmas due to serious illness and major weight loss.  She is due to start back on Monday, and, I confess, I'm a bit worried about it.  I don't want her to get sick again, she can't afford to lose weight like that, but she does need to go back to school. 

I think I'll go back to Ireland.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who Am I?

Ha, I still have Les Mis on the brain. 

So, throughout my life, I've identified myself certain ways and been identified certain ways.  Labels, I suppose.  Some people really dislike being labeled, they feel it limits who they are.  And I can see that.  Some, labels, however, can be useful.  Like I said, I label myself a certain way, and it does change and has changed throughout my life.  And some labels I apply to myself cautiously, because they don't always mean the same to an outsider as they do to an insider or to me.
For instance, some of the labels I apply to myself are Mormon, Mother, Friend, Designer, Cutter/Draper, Feminist, Pro-Choice, Liberal. 

I have noticed, after the last election, that those last three are sometimes gravely misunderstood.  Feminist does not mean man-hater, Pro-Choice does not mean pro-abortion and Liberal, well, that's a whole other ball of wax....

The extent to which I identify with certain labels changes as my life changes, and the labels themselves may change.  At one point in my life, Career woman and Feminist were some of the more important labels. 

I have to say, and it isn't how I thought I would be, that Mother is the most important label to me right now.  It is the one with which I most identify myself.  I have a great job that I love in my field of study, and I am very good at it.  I am an ardent feminist.  I am a Mormon.  But, if I had to give you the single most identifying label, it is Mother. 

This thought has come to me lately for two reasons.  One, I am currently a single parent.  (That's another story)  Two, The Small One has been sick since Christmas. 

Being a single parent throws into focus just how much of one's life is actually spent parenting.  And how we think of it, what we think of it.  Now, I am lucky, my mom and step-dad live with me, so I do not actually have to do it all alone.  But, their obligation is only so much.  Their willingness extends greatly, but they have raised their kids and I feel like she is my responsibility when I get home from work.  Sure, sometimes I am a slacker and let her stay in their room watching TV and irritating the dogs, but mostly, especially when she is sick, I feel an obligation to not bother them about her.  She is mine, and it is my job to take care of her.

When I was younger, and even after I married, I thought, I want to work full time, even when I have kid(s).  I couldn't IMAGINE myself wanting to stay home and be a housewife and a mother all the time.  Heh.  Shows what I knew.  I never stopped working part time, but, I loved staying home with my wee girl.  I loved being her mamma, the center of her universe.  And I loved that I was in a position where I could do both.  Full time Mamma, part time wedding dress creator.  And when my wee lass got sick the first time (meningitis at 6 months) and there was a very real chance I could lose her, it was hammered home to me just how much this label of Mother meant to me.

So, yes, fast forward to now.  Single parent of a sick child.  We got parainfluenza the day after Christmas, and it lingered.   She got better and went off to school for two days when it started back up.  Day 3?  Nope.  Fever.  And it just got worse.  Fever, cough, headache. Called the doctor.  Just the flu, keep her on fluids.  Two days later, her throat hurt.  Crap, must be strep.  Off to the doctor again.   Nope, no strep.  Just the flu, make sure she gets her fluids.  Several nights in a row with The Small One waking up 10 or more times a night, crying and gagging.  Freaking out because she felt so wretched.  Yesterday, she got even worse.  At this point, I am running on fumes.  I've not slept more than 2-3 hours a night for a few nights.  All day today, she would cry, doze off, wake with a start, crying and kicking and coughing.   I've gotten nothing done.  I've held her, rocked her, cuddled her,  fed her, forced fluids down  her, bathed her, medicated her, massaged her head and neck and face for endless hours.  I'm so tired.   I'm on the verge of tears myself.  I've run out of patience.  I've resorted to telling her if she doesn't take her meds and drink and eat she will have to go back to the doctor, or worse, to hospital.  Everytime she lets out a cry of frustration and pain, my nerves tense up.  I'm so tired of hearing it.  I'm worn out.  This is one of the worst parts of parenting.  There's just no respite.


I would take this pain and illness from her in a heartbeat.  Because worse than the aggravation of tending to a cranky sick child, is the sorrow and pain of the child.  My heart hurts that she has to go through this and there is not a damn thing I can do to help.  I'm Mamma.  I'm supposed to fix things.  I'm supposed to make it all better.  And I can't.  And it kills me.  I would trade places with her so fast, remove all that pain from her.  But, I can't.  So, despite my frustration and fatigue and nervous tension, I will continue to sit up with her at night, and cuddle her feverish little body as long as she needs it and rub her head until my fingers feel like they might fall off.  Because that is who I am.  I am her Mamma.  My label is Mother, and I wouldn't give it up for anything.