Tuesday, March 31, 2009


You know that feeling, don't you? It's when you know the cold ketchup is going to taste perfect on the burger that's still sizzling from the grill. It's when you the aroma of melting chocolate chips wafts from the sheet of cookies in the oven and makes you drool. It's when the thick green leaves of the first daffodils push through the last snow of the winter. It's when the announcer calls the name right before yours and you watch that person walk across the stage to get their diploma. It's when you're fifteen and eleven-twelfths old and jingle the car keys in your hand, as if you're gonna walk right out the door by yourself and go for a long drive with no one else in the car.

It's when you know there's something good coming out of the kiln and hopefully sliding off the mandrel without a fight. . . but having to leave the house before you get a chance to hold up the mandrel, twirl the bead around in the light, and finally put the vise grips on the mandrel and gingerly start twisting and tugging. Oh, and don't forget that you want to take a decent picture instead of a quick snapshot because you want everyone else to be as in love with that particular bead as you are at that particular moment. . .*sigh*

This playing with glass has its moments of exquisite anticipation, doesn't it?

P.S. You'll notice I restrained myself and did not insert a link to any old ketchup commercials :) That's me, brainworm and earworm free. . .except fot the title today, heeheesnickersnickersnort

Another P.S. Now that Mallory cyber-twisted my arm (wink, wink), I guess I'll have to at least give you one link so you don't have to waste all that time hunting for the ketchup commercial :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Aegishjalmur for PEtra...and I Kinda Like It, Too

Last time, we were talking about irresistible, as in irresistible color combinations, irresistible signs, and the irresistible urge to create with them. PEtra noticed that the aegishjalmur symbol that has inspired my latest beads looks similar to a sign she scribbled on a piece of paper. This particular rune is supposed to "render the wearer irresistible to others," according to The Complete Book of Amulets & Talismans by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler.
You set the wheels in motion for more thought, PEtra. Could you hear the wheels creaking and turning in my brain as I went about the usual family stuff this weekend? Sketching the rune's eight branches with the triple bars and curves last night, I was thinking once again about symbols and how they boil down an idea into its very essence. Why would this particular arrangement of lines around a simple circle have such drawing power? I don't know, but I'm about to try to find out. Wanna come along with me?
Okay. First thing to note is a little tidbit from the other book I've been reading lately, Lee R. Gandee's Strange Experience The Secrets of a Hexenmeister. When looking at hex signs, those with eights in the pattern (i.e. eight points on a star, eight petals on a flower) have to do with earthly things. Well, that certainly seems to jive with the eight branches on this rune-- making yourself irresistible to others is pretty much an earthly concern, huh? Oh, and for the record, I happen to think this rune pertains to more than just love and lust! I think being irresistible could be a huge advantage in almost everything you do that involves interacting with other people. Imagine, you wear a pendant with the aegishjalmur, and you feel confident that other people will want to help you when you ask questions or need a bit of extra help. Skeptical as I am about the universe feeling your vibes and bringing you whatever is on your mind, I do believe our state of mind influences our confidence and that, in turn, greatly influences our approach to any given situation. Uh, huh, next time I know I might have to deal with someone difficult during the day, I might be inclined to wear a pendant with a pattern inspired by this rune!
Hmmm. Those are my thoughts about it, just from what I've read recently. I have two or three different books about symbols, and I have browsed through them off and on for the last few years, reading about whatever sign or symbol is holding my attention at the time. Runes haven't really captured my imagination yet; they keep getting pushed into the background by other things. I think it's about time to do a bit of googling and see what online info I can find! Hang on a sec, I'm going to another window to get us a list of links :)
Wooohooooooooo, check that out-- some 11,200,000 results! Don't worry, you can click that. It's only the first page, not the entire eleven million! Oh, oh, look here, too-- image results for aegishjalmur. Aha, looks like it's a rune for protection and irresistibility in battle! I like that meaning more than the simpler one given in the book I mentioned above, although I imagine all of these meanings might be used if you think about how invincibility in battle could be applied to modern day life. Now, if you'd like to learn how to pronounce such words as aegishjalmur, try this site.
I can see how this could go on and on, so I'll stop there (but you know I'll be surfing some of those links before long, right?). Hope you've each had a wonderful weekend, and that those of you who are about to start your Monday have a good one!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Here It Is, Deb! The Not So Perfect But Still Irresistible Orange Bead :)

If you read the comments on blogs you visit, then chances are you were wondering what in the world Deb was talking about yesterday/late last night in her second comment.
Well, she was talking about seeing this not so perfect coral, turquoise, and black bead in my newest BeadArtists.org gallery page. Do you know how there are times when you make something and you feel so drawn to it that you don't care about obvious mistakes? This is one of those beads for me. Deb loves oranges, so the streaks of different oranges playing in this coral glass appeal to her. I'm not an orange person, so I'm a little bit surprised to say this, but the oranges in this speak to me, too.
What's funny is that I was trying to adapt a rune pattern to a three-dimensional bead, and the rune is one for making yourself irresistible to all who see you. I only got half of the eight branches of the rune, but this bead is irresistible to me. I also made a huge mess of the black stringer work, but somehow it doesn't seem to matter this time.
Oh, and Betsy, this is a case where my butter knife wasn't picked up and used soon enough to straighten the edges of the stringer as I was laying it on the base bead. If you can nudge a line of stringer before it melts and attaches all the way to the base bead, you can give it a much straighter look than if you let all the wiggles show. This hint will also work for curves if you have a tiny pick or tool with a curved spatula end. Simply take that tiny curve and use it to guide the stringer over or out as needed. Once again, timing is important, so do your nudging before the stringer is melted into the base.
So, that's all there is to say about my favorite bead this week...except that I can't wait to get my non-jewelry making fingers busy and craft some way to hang this pretty baby from a leather string. She's just begging for some wire wrapping and dangles from the lip, don't ya think?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

May They Come to You!

Honor and riches-- may they come to you. Honor in all you do, and enough riches to let you do almost all that you want to do.
Peace, Ang

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breakfast: Leftover Cornbread and a Pork Chop

Now, that's some serious good eatin', right there. Leftover cornbread that crumbles when you take a bite and smokey bits of pork chop pulled off the bone make a delicious breakfast. I'm sure we have discussed the finer points of cornbread before, but let's do it again, just because I like to talk up Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, which according to their box is "America's Favorite." Proclaiming themselves "America's Favorite" might be a strike against them in old timers' eyes, but I don't mind 'em getting the big head because I think their cornbread is right tasty.

This would not be the prevalent opinion in our family, though. In fact, this glowing opinion of cornbread out of a box might readily be greeted with a laugh and a "what do you know about air brakes on a banty rooster?" Laws-a-swanee, I even bake that boxed mix in a pyrex dish instead of a cast iron skillet. Could be the end of me, I reckon, but I won't give in and see the error of my ways.

Can I take you back to my grandmother's kitchen so you can see why boxed mix cornbread is such sacrilege? Imagine yourself waking up in an old farmhouse on a summer morning. Your bare feet hit the still chilly linoleum floor as you roll out of your side of the bed. Your cousin or sister might still be snoozing over on their side, snuggled up with most of the quilts pulled over against the wall. You stare at the dated wallpaper for a minute, trying to convince yourself it's time to ease on downstairs and then outside into the dewy grass on your way to the outhouse. On the way down those painted and worn stairsteps, you can see vague hints of sunlight through the front door and past the porch and shaded yard. You round the corner into the living room and head for the kitchen. By now, your feet are used to the morning chill of the floor. Later in the day, you'll remember that feeling when you come inside seeking a little bit of relief from the hot sun.

As you walk by the kitchen table, you lift the cotten dish towels that are spread over the biscuits and (hopefully) bacon left from when your Granny and Granddaddy ate their breakfast much earlier in the morning. You could head for that table practically any time of the day and find leftovers setting out. If you found the cornbread before your cousins and brother and sister, you grabbed your favorite part while the gettin' was good. I always liked the edges, where the crust was a little bumpy and had breaks in it. My sister usually liked the middle, the smoother the crust and the thicker the inside, the better. Granny sure didn't make that cornbread from a mix. Her cornbread was coarser and not as sweet as my beloved Jiffy, but I liked it a lot at the time, especially with some grape jelly spread on top. Granny also made cornbread to feed her chickens sometimes, and you wanted to make sure to avoid that stuff. It was thick, dense, and had not a hint of sweetness. Yuck. . . but the chickens liked it, and it was cheap to make a batch.

Now, come on over to my mother's kitchen as it was when I was a kid, pull out a chair at the table, and grab yourself a stick of cornbread. Still not from the box, but somehow tastier than Granny's. Mmmm, I loved when she baked cornbread in the cast iron pan with the corn-shaped troughs that formed sticks of crusty cornbread. Leftover cornbread never lasts long in my mom's kitchen. In fact, there was a time when she'd make extra cornbread to leave on the stove for all of us cornbread snitching snackers.

So, you see, my love for cornbread that only requires me to add an egg and 1/3 cup of milk is a bit of a sacrilege. My only excuse is that I love the sweeeeeeeeeeeet taste and smooth texture of Jiffy. Guess that would be the sugar-seeking gene from the other side of the family coming into play.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shhhhhhh! Don't Tell My Mom, But I Am Bored!

I took pictures of beads. I put some of the pictures in my BeadArtists.org gallery. I made two beads that were so-so. I went to town and bought a slice of cheesecake for my lunch (and picked up the chocolate milk, skim milk, and a loaf of bread). I went back to the torch, pulled some stringer, and then decided I still didn't know what to make.

I watched the cats. Momo is starting to feel the call of the wild. She's paying attention to all the birds, stalking across the banister, and sneaking up behind the chairs to get better views of the birds in the yard.

I read some more about amulets and talismans. Guess I could count that as work since it's basically design research, right? Yeah, that's it. Design research.

Kids came home, ate as if they didn't eat their lunches at school (which is more than a distinct possibility, as I've now seen firsthand when subbing), and then played with Tyler until his mom got off work.

Ho-hum and hum-drum. Sorry to spread the boredom around, but some days just don't inspire much mouthing off from me :)

P.S. Don't tell my mother I said I was bored! She'll find something for me to do!

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's the Real Thing-- Recycled Good Luck Signs

The single rosette is the most basic motif of hex signs and it is one of the most ancient designs in western culture. The rosette appears on buildings, furniture, gravestones and pottery. The rosette design is a symbol for luck and the scalloped border symbolizes smooth sailing. The color red is used to symbolize strength and green is a life color. This sign with the red rosette is a potent safeguard against harm and portends good luck in life."--Pennsylvania DutchHex Signs
Reduce, re-use, and recycle. That's the mantra of the green movement, isn't it? Ever thought about how much you do of each? The new issue of National Geographic came yesterday (or maybe it's last month's edition, and I just remembered where it was when I cleaned off the desk?). There's an article about saving energy and reducing our carbon footprints, and it has me thinking and re-thinking my own ideas about reducing, re-using, and recycling. The authors point out that we can't do everything at once, thankfully, so my musings right now may or may not be translated into action, but they are necessary musings, nonetheless.
Re-using things has always been my favorite mode of saving the earth. Got a soda bottle and some Crystal Light or Kool-aid? Then re-use that bottle a few times before you recycle it. Got a stack of newspapers and a box to pack and mail? Then re-use that newspaper to cushion your package. Heck, if you've ordered something and it arrived with the dreaded styrofoam peanuts for cushioning, then save those peanuts and re-use them next time you mail a package yourself. Got a stack of old blue jeans that have regrettably shrunk? Then save them to re-use for a patchwork quilt to keep you warm (okay, I haven't done that myself, but I happily use the blue jean quilt my mom made for my dad!). Got soda cans and an urge to create? Then use those cans to make a three dimensional rosette hex sign for good luck :)
Reducing my consumption has always been a tough one for me. Oh, I am far from being a shopaholic, but we're talking about energy consumption. I. have. to. have. my. car. That's no stretch of the imagination for many situations, but shouldn't I be able to consolidate trips and cut back on actual miles? I'm getting better at this, little by little, over the years. Reducing my energy consumption inside the house should be a project for me. The experts say you can't do it all at once and should start with small changes. I can do that, and articles like the one in the Geographic are responsible for reminding me that I can do it. I can unplug items that aren't constantly in use (nasty phantoms sucking energy just 'cause they're plugged in). I can choose to not fill the bathtub to the brim with hot water every single night (I admit it, hot water is a weakness...but surely, I can cut back). I can turn off lights, only do full loads of laundry, and use the oven wisely. Occasionally, I need to be reminded (and/or shamed into) to try harder and make wiser choices.
Recycling is not a problem in our house, except for finding places to store the stuff between visits to the recycling center (so we don't have to make the trip every week). Yes, Mother, I know you bought those big yellow containers with wheels specifically for that purpose. They keep getting re-purposed, though (they are pretty darn cool boxes-- how could I resist?). Do I think we could recycle more? I imagine so, and once again, that article has me thinking about my approach.
Do what you can. Think about how you can do more and turn those "more" actions into habits. Recharge your own willpower/enthusiasm batteries. Every little bit helps :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

So, How Is *That* Good Luck, Mom??

Last time we went to Kentucky, "Grandma" Vicky gave me this piece of wood from a fallen barn on their farm. I happily put it in the back of the van, knowing I'd find something to make with it.
Yesterday, I couldn't torch buy wanted to make something, so I got out the piece of barn wood. Hmmmm, seemed like the perfect palette for some hex signs. A distelfink (which is really based on a goldfinch!) for good luck. A star ringed by a brown circle for good luck throughout a lifetime. A rosette for even more good luck.
While I was drawing the hex signs on my piece of barn wood, James and Kate were drawing good luck signs on paper plates. Kate let out a big sigh and lamented that Grandma Vicky didn't give her that piece of wood. A few minutes into this conversation, I explain to the kids that Vicky gave me that piece of wood from a barn that had fallen down. I wondered aloud if I should give Vicky this in return.
Katie looked at me shrewdly, then says, "Well, maybe you should give it to Grandma instead since her barn hasn't fallen down yet. Grandma Vicky's barn already fell down so the good luck signs won't help it."
Guess she's got a point, huh? So, ladies, don't know which one of you will get the sign. . .or maybe I'll keep it and make something else for you all :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This Cat Got 'Tude

This is Tom. Tom, the tomcat, who likes to fight on our back porch, under our back porch, around our back porch. Since the other neighborhood tomcat hasn't been hanging out here, Tom is having trouble deciding how to spend his visits here. Rumor has it that the neighbors down the street let him hang out inside their garage. Rumor has it that I may love cats but ain't no toms gonna mark their territory inside our garage!
Wonder if he pee'd on the tires before he climbed into the wagon?

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Healing Power of the Calendar

Our calendars carry such incredible healing power at times, don't they? Today is the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, and simply knowing the calendar says it is spring has made a world of difference in my outlook. If I were in the southern hemisphere, I'd be filled with yet another kind of excitement because my favorite season is autumn. Either way, that writing on the calendar has a power over my mood. . .and today, it is a healing power since I have been suffering from a need for warm weather and green leaves and sparkling strong sunshine!

Healing and protective powers have held my attention lately simply because I have been reading about amulets and talismans and find these subjects fascinating. Where do logic and science end and spirituality and belief begin? or do they exist entwined in our minds? Which has more power over illness or other problems that require healing? How do we use the two together to make ourselves whole and to grow stronger each year?

What if spirituality and belief could ward off physical illness so that logic and science were never needed to solve those problems? What if logic and science could create spirituality and belief for those who cannot find it for themselves? What if, what if, what if.

I have spent a good deal of this morning and early afternoon creating glass talismans related in one way or another to the day on our calendar-- Friday. Friday is associated with the planet Venus, the planet Venus is associated with all things feminine, and I have used feminine colors, as well as designs related to feminine characteristics.

Yesterday was Thursday, and Thursday is associated with Jupiter, making it a good day to create a healing talisman such as the ones in the picture-- the paper sketch from the book on the left, and my glass interpretation on the right. "They" say that the power of a talisman comes not simply from the symbols and marks upon it. Instead, the power comes from the faith and intent of the person who placed those symbols and marks. Do I know exactly where I place my faith? No, but I have faith in the fact that we all need some sort of faith. Do I have the intent to help someone in some way with these talismans? Yes, same as when I make my sculptures and hope they find the right home, hope they "speak" to someone in a way that somehow makes that person stronger.

Ah, but since "Thursday's child has far to go" before all her domestic chores are done, it's time to stop the rambling thoughts and wish you a wonderful start to spring/fall!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pack a Pic-a-nic Supper, Put on Your Jammies, and Go Watch That Sunset!

That's exactly what Kate did one night last week. Packed herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a yogurt, and some crackers. Carried a pile of blankies out to the front porch and spread them into a comfy roost. Watched this glorious sunset.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Into the Known Go I. . .

Into the known, go I.
Much feared has been the evil eye,
but I believe it is that within my own soul that will make me cry.
For how can we change that which is embedded,
and how can we erase that which is permanently marked?
All I know is that I shall take this eye and claw with me, the better to protect me where I go.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What I'm Wearing Today

Growing up, I always wanted to be Irish. When I was in my early twenties, I mentioned this within earshot of my mother. She didn't realize I'd never caught on to the fact that the Duncan's in the family tree were from Ireland. My great-grandparents, or was it one more generation back, came over from Ireland.

When I was in my mid twenties, I told this story amongst a group of women who were either German immigrants or the children of German immigrants. St. Patrick's Day was not high on their list of "must celebrate" holidays, so it wasn't much of a conversation starter. . .except with Lorna. Lorna looked at me, smiled her sweet smile that included eyelids crinkling and sparkling. Then she touched my hand and said, "Have you never looked at yourself in the mirror? Look at those blue eyes and freckles. Look at that glorious dark brown hair with the hint of red in the sunshine. How could you not know you are Irish?"

Seems I'd also missed the other big clue-- my gift of gab, obviously thanks to some silk tongued ancestor who must have kissed the Blarney stone!

So, since I'm just on a lunch break and must hurry, I have to leave you with my own version of an Irish blessing. Call it my version of "May the road rise to greet you" and other such sentiments.

May you always be around the people who love you most.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Do I Do Pretty? Ummm, Sometimes :-)

Pretty is pastels, brights, touches of whimsy. Pretty is feminine and deliciously detailed. Pretty is a handful of glass that blends right in with a bouquet of flowers. . . and pretty is just what I usually don't do. Ivory plus the essence of woman-ity plus bold equals sensual, elemental, powerful but not usually pretty.
Pretty didn't seem like the right adjective for these beads, even. At least, it didn't until I took this picture which is definitely pretty :)
You know what? I am now compelled to dabble some more in this Pretty genre, might even become fixated on figuring out how to marry soulful and pretty in my own unique union. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Finding *the* way to express something in your own style? Finding *the* turn of phrase or medium that exquisitely echoes your very own desires and designs?
Oh, it is exquisitely satisfying, creatively speaking, when you do happen across the unique combination of components that makes your smile explode from ear to ear! The dabblings of this past week are small, literally small compared to my usual sculptures, but I hear good things come in small packages. For instance, now that I am subbing, I may end up working many school days as spring blooms and teachers with built-up time off feel the fever. If that happens (keep your fingers crossed because I kinda like subbing and kinda like a certain paycheck for certain work), then I'll have to squeeze glass melting into much smaller time slots for a while. Aha! Perfect fit-- smaller works of art, smaller time slots, not smaller satisfaction. Hmmm. . .
Of course, you know my muse travels any which way the creative wind blows, and tomorrow should bring my five pounds of dark ivory glass. There's nothing like a bountiful stock of your favorite color to spank the muse's behind and get her working on something big, you know. Boy, oh boy, these two directions of mine don't even begin to encompass all the possible directions for a person to travel with glass! Can you imagine ever getting tired of glass, ever running out of creative roads to explore?? Not me! I. love. melting. glass.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Awww, Go Fly a Kite! Seriously, March Breezes Are Here! Go Fly a Kite :)

Evening. Daylight Savings Time, without the sunlight. March breezes. Commander Rex Star Wars kite. Yoda kite. Tangled, three-tiered kite.
Fun at Grandma and Granddaddy's.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend as much as I am enjoying mine :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bead It! Just Bead It!

Love him or detest him, doesn't matter. Bet Michael is singing in your head right now, all because of the title to this post and the way it sounds so much like "Beat It." Beats me why I'm in a mood to link you to all sorts of old songs this week, but hey, maybe I'm just "Heartless" when it comes to inflicting earworms on my online friends? Oh, and just to give your ears and mind whiplash from my radio newscaster weird segue brain, let me ask you this. I'm not a pop princess or a dancing queen, so this preoccupation with pop music is strange. Speaking of strange and dancing queens (and no, I'm not gonna go with M.J. again here-- it's going in a little different direction, LOL), if you pronounce ABBA as "ahhhba," then when asked what Fred Flintstone says, why don't you say "yahhhhhhhhhhhba, dahhhhhhhhhhba, doooooo"?
Ahem, back to the gist of the post. Bead it, just bead it, baby. That's what I've gotten the urge to do this week. Even before Ricky's niece Heather sent me a message asking if I know anything about glass bracelets (not the bangle kind, the bead kind!), the itch to bead the glass was wanting to be scratched. Of course, I know about glass beads :) I just like glass sculptures better because that's where I spread my creative wings without too many flight mishaps.
So, the question is, why in the world haven't I made beads more often so I could stay in practice? Remember all those admonishments that rang in your ears and scraped your nerves raw as a newbie? "Practice, practice, practice is the key." "It just takes a lot of practice." Alas, it is true for me, at least, that whatever I've been doing consistently is what looks best. . .and whatever I haven't been doing (such as beads, maybe) consistently looks best-be-thrown-in-the-garden.
This alabaster baby gives me hope, though. Yep, I think the bottom part of the Nile green alabaster looks frothy, but I managed to lower the flame and dethrottle the gas enough to keep from shock-popping the entire rod of glass all over my workspace. Believe me, that's a start! And the stringer work? Well, I put the symbols for "om mani padme hum" all around this focal, and they look decent enough. The thing about practice and stringer? I haven't practiced stringer work enough since I set up the big girl torch last June. I still haven't found that sweet spot of the flame where I feel like I could write a book before putting the nub of the stringer down on the worktable. I know those sweet spots exist because I found them with my Minor and with my Betta-- glorious spots where I could crank up the flame and still write smoothly. **sigh** Those were good spots, but they involved the dreaded practice, practice, practice.
Practice, practice, practice. . . That's gotta be the new mantra for me. Yep, I feel it. Gotta get some stringer work going on. . . and on. . . and on :)
Hey, Happy Friday! Remember, "Practice, practice, practice" can be a useful mantra for many different areas of your life. So, want to have a good time this weekend? Then, practice, practice, practice, baby :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lady Snotsalot, Kevin Bacon, and The Beauty Shop

Believe it or not, I have this unwritten rule that I don't watch television or read books during the day while I'm at home working the glass artist and online marketer of glass art angles. I waste enough time online cruising my few favorite sites for new threads or posts, so I figure I don't need to add an addiction to Oprah or Dr. Phil or The Young and the Restless. We all know I'm already addicted to books, so you'll understand the idea of keeping them out of sight when I'm working.

Ah, but yesterday, yesterday was indeed a different story since I have come down with some sort of lovely itching, sneezing, runny nose virus. You know, the kind that makes you wish you'd never see, let alone touch, a box of Kleenex tissues again. You know, the kind of irritating and annoying little virus that doesn't count as being "really sick" but still manages to kick your butt. Yeah, that's the one, the one where you really ought to just suck it up and not whine because other people in this world are facing much more serious issues. . . and it's true, it's just a cold BUT dayyyyyyyyyummnation, it sucks! It sucks, and I am now referring to myself as Lady Snotsalot of the Puffy Eyelids.

So, Lady Snotsalot of the Puffy Eyelids rode her Chevrolet to town and retrieved some cold medicine from the WallaceWorldEmporium (that would be Wal-Mart, our only store with everything, but the name just doesn't sound ridiculously regal enough for Lady Snotsalot). Wonder of wonders, the cold and allergy medicine made the Lady slightly sleepy. Uh, huh, I crawled onto the couch with a blanket, but not before turning on the television and hoping to run across a fluffyfunny chick flick to pass the time.

Bingo! Queen Latifah and her girls were in The Beauty Shop, entertaining themselves and me with all sorts of banter and comments. Well, seems I missed some good parts, like Della Reese's crabby "I don't want no damn cappa-whatevers" and the explanation of "the man bag" (*snicker* because it turns out "that brother is gay alright-- he's happy as hell "). I also missed out on a few Kevin Bacon scenes, but sheesh, you can just look at this picture and tell he put a hilarious spin (or swivel if you watched him walk) on his villainous character. Jorge (say that with the trumped up "I'm reeeeeeeeesh" accent, "Horrrr-hay") drove his Jaguar (once again, use the "I'm filthy reeeeeeesh and came from Europe, doll" accent, "yag-u-war") to Miss Gina's beauty shop so he could spy on the competition. Oh, lawdy, lawdy, you might not be from the Footloose generation, but you have to appreciate this man's ability to take on a character. Anyway, Lady Snotsalot of the Puffy and Drooping Eyelids did see enough of the movie to be entertained.

Today, the Lady is adjusting to the antihistamine and is awake for now. Guess she, um I mean *I*, should get to work. Hope your day is a fun one, as fun as a Thursday (already? you sure? where'd I miss a day this week??) can be!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Smile, Baby! It's Granddaddy's 68th Birthday!

Happy, happy 68th Birthday, Pop!
We haven't been to Kentucky since the old computer went kaput, so I don't have any Granddaddy pictures to show. . .guess cat and kids will have to do for now :)

Hope your day is filled with laughter & love, Daddy-O!James and Kate are anxious to come tell you Happy Birthday. They are snoozing just as late as possible (no surprise there), so it'll probably be after school when we call you.

The Rottens insist that Momo likes to watch television with them. I think Momo just likes her spot on the couch, is what I think. Did you see that smile?
What would a "Happy Birthday, Pop" entry be without a story or two about the Granddaddy? Hmmm... did you ever hear the one about the gullible oldest daughter and the walking encyclopedia of purposely twisted information? Uh-huh, that would be me and my father. Pop has always had fun telling me the answers to life's important questions, and he's never missed an opportunity to have fun in the process.
Me (at about 7 or 8 years old): What's that white line on the side of the road?
Daddy (without skipping a beat): That's the motorcycle lane.
Me (clueless that I'd been had): Okay.
Me (fifth grade, doing homework): I got all the abbreviations done except for one, and I just can't find it. Anyone know what R.I.P. stands for?
Pop (with all sincerity, LOL): Rhode Island Police.
Me (who would remain clueless until the next day in class): Oh. Thank, Daddy.
Those are the classics that practically everyone has heard, but I can tell you that I never ask my father a question without expecting to hear a smartass, made-up answer disguised as the real information I am seeking :) You'd think, having been duped, I would've been shy about asking Pop questions, but nope. See, the thing is that my dad knows something about just about anything. . .and he's good at explaining things in a way that I understand. He really is my walking encyclopedia :)
I love you, Pop! Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dropped the Ball and Gone AWOL. . .

How do all of you with outside the home jobs keep up with real life and keep a presence online? Last week was a fun one for me, but subbing all four school days made the idea of coming online a wee bit daunting. Yep, I guess I'm one of those all-or-nothing kind of people, because every time I started to sit down at the computer in the evenings, I would get discouraged because I didn't think I had time to do everything. If I could find a picture to share and start writing a blog post, then how long would I have left to check everybody's FaceBook status? If I started catching up on everyone's blogs, would I end up just leaving comments on one or two and neglecting the rest? If I had something to post in a Lampwork Etc. show and tell (which I didn't, btw), then shouldn't I make sure the blog was updated so people would be enticed to click the link and come visit? Can you say "puppy dog chasing its own tail round and round and round"??
So, that was my week, and again, I have to say those of you who work outside the home and work online have my admiration!
Now, it's Monday morning catch-up for me. I do want to mention the Zachary Cruz story again, just as a reminder that we can all still pitch in to help the family of the almost-but-never-6 year old Zachary in their time of loss. If you haven't run across this story, here's the website dedicated to this "explorer for hire". (Thanks, Mona, for the heads up on the story.) You can leave a word of sympathy for the family or donate money to help with his funeral expenses. A lot of sellers on Etsy donated items from their shops to the Zachary Fund, and Marcy posted this link to those sellers. Every thought counts to those heartbroken parents, ya know? I'm going to go donate right now-- I thought I'd really dropped the ball by not doing so right away, instead of adding it to my to-do list. It's not too late, though, and I hope you'll join me if you haven't already.
May each of you have a Monday full of good things-- good health, good hugs from your family, good food on your plate, and good thoughts to keep your mind happy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Has You in It's Grip... and What Is Your Vice?

Poor mannequin, she's had a rough tumble or two lately, mostly due to a combination of children who find her fascinating and a mother who can't get hold of that teeeeensy spring that connects her now absent left foot and calf to her left knee. And, yes, the very same aforementioned children are also fascinated with turning the handles on the vise. That, my friends, is going to become a vice when the vise gets unwound all the way and falls on somebody's toe! I do admire the mannequin for her attitude, though. Look at her, sitting jauntily there where I posed her because I don't have any new glass to show you! Isn't she the picture of joy, with her casual pose that seems to say, "Ta-daaaaa! Look at me, living life and being free"?

I want to live like that. Alas, I think I can imagine living like that in minute detail, but as the Brad Paisley song says, "I'm so much cooler online." I find it very easy to think and write as if I am a carefree soul living all turns of life joyfully, but in real life I find it isn't so easy. Sat-on-the-sunglasses-again, spilled-espresso-before-I-got-a-single-sip, screwed-up-the-paperwork, and forgot-to-do-the-laundry real life. . . that's where living your ideals and dreams and inspirations gets a little dicey from day to day, don't you think?
Well, I started writing that this morning about 6a.m., and it's now about 9p.m. What has me in its grip right now is my failure to remember how to do slope, slope intercepts, and word problems that use slopes to answer questions. Last time I subbed for the seventh and eighth grade teacher, she was impressed that a sub could teach the math lessons for the day. Today sure humbled me. I could not remember enough of that math lesson to really teach it to the seventh and eighth grade class. Okay, so subs aren't really expected to run with every lesson plan. . .but I feel bad. These kids need to review this information for the upcoming ISAT tests, and I let them down by not fully using the available time for review. I'll be there tomorrow, too, because the teacher is still sick. . . so I'm off to google some stuff and maybe find a different review approach that will jog my memory. Wish me luck, 'kay?
P.S. The rest of the day was pretty good, and I am amazed at how much fun it is to discuss fractions with fifth graders, watch sixth graders work hard to complete their test plus review work, see eighth graders willingly grab their Accelerated Reading books when they finish other assignments, and laugh with seventh graders over a game of spelling word S*P*A*R*K*L*E* gone crazy :)
Another P.S. Hope everyone gets a chance to pass along the word about helping Zachary's parents in their time of need, and hope each of you is blessed with many hugs from your families and friends this week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Friki Diki Psychedelic Dream Tiki (say that ten times fast!)

She's a Friki Diki Psychedelic Dream Tiki, and I think she belongs in the place of her dreams, don't you?
Where are your dreams telling you that you should be these days? Are you listening to what they say?
Just a wee bit of thought for the evening. More rambling, positively mouthy and quite possibly funny, tomorrow. Thanks for being patient with my quiet mood-- heck, I know you know me well enough by now to be able to appreciate a little bit of quiet once in a while :)