Thursday, November 15, 2012

Housewifery: Day (I don't want to count that high)

I quit my job in February of 2011. At the time, there were medical things that made life complicated (turns out there still are, but there were more pressing ones then), work was DRAMA filled and not worth the pay, and I was burned out there, anyway.

It's been almost two years. It has gone REALLY fast.

I've spent my time getting our fledgling hot sauce business off the ground and creating recipes that are healthy, delicious, and/or use our sauces as an ingredient.

I had to say goodbye to our much loved senior Boxer dog, Buster, and have welcomed two young goofball Boxers (Bento and Rousey) into our home.

I have become involved with a group of business women that promote small business, the local economy, and give back to worthy community charities.

I bought a sewing machine for $50 at a friends' estate sale and have been remembering all of the things my Grandma taught me as a youngster. I have a huge stack of fabric in my craft cupboard and took advantage of a sale at Joann's that netted me 15 patterns for $1 EACH.

I've been sewing wrap dresses inspired by Diane Von Furstenburg, and recently started a fundraising project turning donated people sweaters into doggie sweaters. The "upcycled" (this is a popular term with the hipsters and on Etsy, which, let's face it, is mostly hipsters anyway) sweaters are sold in my Etsy shop and then 50% of the profits is donated to a different animal rescue every month. (November is STARS, December will be Boxer Butts and Other Mutts, which is where Bento came from).

I've been hand-embroidering sneakers like crazy, mostly for weddings, but some for softball teams, family pictures, etc.

I've also been traveling a lot, taking trips to Oregon two to three times a year and also to Arizona, California, New York, Virginia, Washington DC, and very nearly Chicago. I'm hoping to take a month and do a big cross-country road trip next year... we'll see if I end up with the time.

Mostly, I get up every day and try to be a good animal mommy and housewife, try to ignore my fibromyalgia instead of whine about it, and try to clean at least one thing.

Sometimes it's even me.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bleach Designs

I attended a "Crafting Day" this afternoon at a friend's house. It ended up being just she and me, which was actually great!

She had several projects going, we did some string art and then she bleach dyed a couple of shirts and a skirt. It looked so easy, I decided to try it myself.

On my way home I picked up the necessary items (plain green shirt $5, bleach pen $3).

I googled "How long do I leave bleach on a shirt" and chose this page for my answer.

I've seen this kind of thing on Pinterest before, but I free-handed the feather while looking at a drawing of a peacock feather.

I love it.

Left Pic: Before.  
Center Pic: while bleach was setting - about 10 minutes.
Right Pic: after a rinse in hydrogen peroxide and water (1/10).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Facebook Explained: Home Screen

Is your newsfeed clogged up with status updates? Is your ticker driving you crazy? Hate timeline?

If you have no idea what any of those things mean, this tutorial is for you!  It will be a little bit long, so there is a "jump" (kind of a shortcut that gives a preview of the post here, and if you want to read the whole thing you can click just below where I say "Here it is!" below to see the rest).

When you log in to Facebook, your screen probably looks a little like this:

This may seem like a lot to take in, just as it is!

I'm going to break this screen down into components, and you will learn what each component does and how to navigate it and/or change it.

Ready for the "Jump"?  Here it is! (it will take you straight to the rest of the post!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Facebook, Explained.

I'm going to start a series of tutorials for Facebook.

You could say I am inspired by my parents and those of their generation, who aren't familiar with all of the ins and outs, especially since major components of it seem to change in a big way on a regular basis.

I'll start tomorrow.


Monday, February 27, 2012


I've often thought that I should have a particular theme for this blog and stick to it.  The problem with this is that I, myself, am WAY too ADD to do this.

One day I am crafty, one day I am cooking, another day I am ranting about something or reminiscing a favorite memory. I just can't narrow it down because it's a real representation of what is swirling around in my mind.

I love photography, home decor, and am constantly making things out of other things. I love animals (we have 5 pets) and love to travel.

Today I don't really feel inspired by anything, I have a lot of hot sauce work to do and that's kind of taking over my brain today.

So I'll leave you with a cute picture of our puppy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bad, Bad, Bad.

Facebook has been the death of this blog.

I'm not giving up, but it's been so much easier to just post little bursts of things on FB than collect my thoughts here in one cohesive post at a time. I have managed to post somewhat regularly to our food/recipe blog, but that's different.

All of last year was crazy. As you can see, the last two posts were nearly five months apart!

As much as I'd like to blame all of my problems on Facebook, that really isn't fair.

The true culprit is Depression and Anxiety. I have acquired them both genetically, and once I quit my job they started to creep back in. I held them both at bay for most of last year with Lexapro, something I had been on since about 2003, but I started to wean myself off of it due to several side effects I didn't want to cater to anymore (the worst being VERY vivid nightmare/hallucinations nightly for the last five years).

Going off of any kind of medication can be difficult, and I did this as slow as possible - I took almost three months! Choosing to go OFF of a depression and anxiety medication over the holidays (and during the darkest point in the year) was probably not the most fabulous choice, but I suffered through (as has my HusBean, friends, and family).

I was hoping originally to not be on any kind of medication for depression OR anxiety, but have found that at least during the winter, I just can't do it by myself. "It" being life.

Last year was largely overshadowed with medical issues in our household, fibroid for me, the decline and eventual passing of our family dog, the near-passing of one of the cats, getting HusBean on a new regimen to battle his Diabetes... and then I was diagnosed with PCOS in December.  In the process of that diagnosis I was referred to a new primary care doctor (I chose to leave the last one when she wasn't interested in removing the fibroid) who I finally met with this week.

I have suffered from neck/back and random joint pain and chronic fatigue for many years and no doctor has ever done much about those complaints. Sometimes they would have me sit up straight, feel my back and say "you're fine" or prescribe me a sleep aid so I can sleep through the night and not be so tired during the day.

This new doc listened to my history and my complaints and while she is having the lab run some blood tests to rule out other things, she is calling it Fibromyalgia for now. You can go read about it for yourself, but the main thing to understand is that it is not a disease, but more a name for a group of symptoms that have no other identifiable cause.  The symptoms are often exacerbated by depression, they generally go hand-in-hand but it is not a matter of the body pain being "all in your head"... it's real, and it is exhausting.

The doctor prescribed me a new depression medication (hooray!) which is known to also help somewhat with fibro symptoms.

Another thing that is helping with depression and anxiety is that we got a new dog! After Buster passed we decided to wait awhile before getting another dog, as having three cats, a dog, and an exotic can be a lot to manage at once, but we happened upon this guy and fell in love.

I learned about him from a Boxer Butts and Other Mutts (a rescue organization) on Facebook (see! It's good for something!) that my cousin is associated with.

I was in Portland in late January and saw his picture on their profile. I copied it to my phone and sent it to HusBean, and that was pretty much it. By the time I got back to Georgia everything had been settled and we drove to Asheville, NC to pick him up the very next day!

We have named him Bento, HusBean says it is because he is our little happy-meal. He is just over a year old and still quite energetic, so there is no sleeping all day for me anymore and we go on 1/2 mile to 1.5 mile walks daily.

I'm hoping to get back in the routine of blogging here, and other creative projects (and housework!) soon.