Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yarn Harlot--- Take Your Best Shot on Canada Day...



The day after tomorrow it's Canada Day---a grand holiday for all Canadians.

It's a day to remember how Canada became a country, the anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867 which united two British colonies and a province of the British Empire into a single country called Canada.

We Americans think that was a great day. And that is because we feel blessed to have such a wonderful country as Canada on our northern border. We feel love, friendship, and a host of other positive feelings for our beloved neighbor.

Now, to the point of my post today. I have received this week some emails from Canadians who hate me, declaring that they "can't wait for Yarn Harlot's Canada Day Post" and how they "can't wait for her to write anti-American remarks like she did last year". What they are referring to is how I wrote a protest to Yarn Harlot's 2009 Canada Day post because I felt she had ridiculed America in it and had taken some cheap shots against America while writing praise of her own country.

When I wrote my protests and comments, YH (who is incapable of taking constructive criticism) banned me from her blog and wrote a whiny post implying that I was an evil, dangerous stalker, for which I received an enormous onslaught of negative hatemail which continues to this day.

God, the people writing me the hatemail cursed me for being "dangerous" to the point that they suggested YH notify Homeland Security! It was so utterly ridiculous that I actually laughed. And, like I said, I receive hatemail to this day simply for my protesting her criticism of my country. NEVER, and I say NEVER, did I ever threaten her physical safety or anything of the sort!!!!! It was simply an exchange of emails---because in answer to my comments, she wrote me protracted emails where she childishly insulted my intelligence.

Basically, Yarn Harlot cannot take criticism. And her whining to her cronies has branded me as evil, for which I have received ugly, hateful emails and comments since then.

And before you get angry at me, thinking I'm a "ranter and raver"--let me tell you that I'm not the only American who feels insulted by YH's Canada Day posts. Which leads us back to the point of my post (and I'll repeat)---that on Canada Day the Yarn Harlot always writes a blog post about it, proclaiming her pride in her country--as she should. But in doing so she frequently feels it necessary to declare her love for her country by doing a strange thing---she writes the blog post in a way in which she sneaks in some comments that many Americans interpret as cheap, ridiculing, rude, pot-shots at America.

Why does she do this? We Americans have no idea. We celebrate our 4th of July (Independence Day) three days later without feeling it necessary to compare ourselves more positively than Canada. That would be silly---we're both good and wonderful countries---EQUALLY SO.

But Yarn Harlot feels it necessary to describe our country in a less than flattering light when comparing it to Canada on Canada Day.

Oh, it's done in a subtle manner---a joking manner, even. But the jokes are wearing thin. They're wearing thin because she's been doing this for quite some time, as described next.

Lest you think I'm the only one who has protested this habit of Yarn Harlot's (or lest you think I'm imagining things) let me remind you that I never said a word about the topic until 2009. But I was not the first. In fact, one year (2007) she offended so many Americans with her Canada Day remarks that in her 2008 Canada Day post she began it by writing a highly arrogant "explanation" of how she writes her Canada Day posts, completely denying that she had written things which offended Americans.

Her cheap pontifications of an "explanation" in 2008 can be seen here .

What is really funny is that, in that arrogant explanation, she actually makes a statement admitting that "every year she gets a whuppin' for this."

Which means that she has been counseled about this ugly habit of making rude remarks about Americans many times before!!! So I was NOT the instigator of this issue at all!!

As for me, I am going to take this opportunity today to do exactly the opposite of what Yarn Harlot's probably planning to do on July 1st. Instead of writing a post about my country's July 4th Independence Day while adding rude pot-shots at Canada, making thinly veiled insults about Canada, or arrogantly comparing the two countries with America being portrayed as being the "better", like Yarn Harlot does in the reverse--- I'm going to write a post which talks about how much I love and revere Canada.

Yes, it's true. I love Canada with all my heart. I love Canada as much as I love my own country. And I'll tell you why.

And I am going to break down this huge topic into a smaller piece---that of my own feelings for Canada based on my own life's experiences.

First and foremost, let me remind you that I grew up as a "Diplomatic Brat", a rather rude term for the child of diplomatic parents. My parents were US Foreign Service Officers and were transferred every 18 mos to 2 years to different countries overseas, where they worked for the American Embassy in whichever country in which they were stationed.

And due to the transient nature of diplomatic families in that lifestyle, we always had friends hither and yon in many other countries due to the inevitable fact of crossing their paths in all the constant globe-trotting within the Diplomatic Corps.

In the Diplomatic Corps, we also made the acquaintance of many international friends from other countries' diplomatic corps who were were also globetrotting. And thus, we met and befriended many Canadians. We loved Canadians because they were our "neighbor buddies" and we felt closer to them than we did to people from other countries. We loved them because Canada has always been a friend to the United States of America and vice a versa.

And now I'm going to tell you one of the greatest reasons I love Canadians.

It is because they helped saved some of our asses one time---a very dangerous time.

It was 1979, and the United States Embassy in Tehran, Iran, had just been stormed and overtaken by Iranians.

Yes, it was stormed, for political reasons having to do with the ruling Shah and other political reasons during the revolution which was occurring in that country. And when they stormed the Embassy, many American diplomats and military personnel were taken hostage by the Iranians---and you can read about the situation which led up to this incident and the American hostages' horrifying ordeal here.

But....not every single American was captured and taken hostage.

Want to know why?

Because a wonderful thing you can read here about, called the "Canadian Caper" , happened....

Basically, some Canadian Embassy diplomats saved 6 Americans and hid them in their homes---at a great personal risk to themselves. And they helped those 6 Americans sneak out of Iran. The Canadians performed this dangerous task with no hesitation---out of pure hearts. And the US Diplomatic Corps hearts were filled with gratitude for this sacrifice by those brave and courageous Canadians.

The story is nervewracking and full of horror and danger--you can read about it all over the internet---and it still brings a tear to my eye today----because my family had friends in that particular American Embassy. In fact, the breach of security of that American Embassy caused my father and others to work for the next ten years on newer and more tighter security measures to prevent a similar occurrence.

It wasn't the first time we Americans have nearly been massacred overseas and it won't be the last. You guys already know about the time me and my mother were almost killed in an anti-American event in Damascus, Syria, in 1998. (An event which lives on in my nightly PTSD nightmares to this day--a recurring dream where I'm running for my life in a foreign country, and where I wake up in a cold, fearful sweat almost every single night---which the therapists have as yet been unable to help me overcome.)

Anyway, those of my generation will never forget the 1979 incident whereby the Canadians put their own lives on the line to save some American diplomats.

And so I would like to say:

Canada? I salute you! You are WONDERFUL! You're tops in my book!

And no matter what negative or ridiculing things Yarn Harlot might say about us Americans on her Canada Day post, it won't matter to me. Because I still love you. And I will never forget, to my dying day, the time Canadians put everything they had on the line for some Americans.

I love you guys and so this is my tribute to you guys on your Canada Day.

May your celebratory holiday fireworks be beautiful, my friends.....



(and P.S. to the Yarn Harlot---if you make anti-American comments on this Canada Day's post, I will send them to all your various publisher companies along with a letter asking them not to sell anymore of your books in America.)



Now I Understand Why Eve Ate The Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden....


There I was, minding my own business, knitting on the final sleeve of the Little Red Riding Hoodie (which seems like it will take forever to finish), and I began hearing the siren's song of.....well....

My cherry tomato plant.

The cherry tomatoes growing from the Topsy Turvy planter are all in various stages of size and color, from small and green to....um....larger and "reddish".

I tried to ignore the call of the tomatoes but their insistent whispers kept interrupting my thoughts and logic....

"Come on, Bo, we're ripe enough to eat......"

"Some of us may not be deep red in color but we're almost there....what's another day?"

"We taste just as good a day or two before we finish ripening as we do when we're all the way ripened...."

"Nobody will know if you pick a few of us.....nobody's counting..."

"Just pick a few of us....just to get an idea of what we'll taste like when we're fully ripened..."

"There's no cherry tomato swat team that's going to swoop down and arrest you if you pick a few of us...."

Finally I couldn't stand it any longer! And so I jumped up from my knitting, throwing the LRRH sleeve down like yesterday's trash--- and I ran into the kitchen to grab a collander out of the cupboard.....

And then....well..... I couldn't stop myself!!!!

Feverishly, I snatched a few of those cherry tomatoes off the vines!

And then I sliced them up, sprinkled salt & pepper over them.......and then.....





Friday, June 25, 2010

When Good Cats Go Bad.....


Nobody said it was easy,

No one ever said it would be this hard,

Oh, take me back to the start.....

("The Scientist", Coldplay)


I've been trying to drown my melancholia since Jon left by working on my deck garden. I still get tears in my eyes from loneliness but I've been plugging onwards, working with the plants and also keeping house & taking care of Blaine.

Speaking of the deck garden, see the above picture of a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter? That is the image that is shown on all the TV commercials regarding the results of planting tomatoes in their "upside down" planter.

Their picture of the planter shows the plant growing upside down, right? So you have to hang the planter fairly high so the growing tomato plant doesn't grow right into the ground----which Blaine and I took great care to do so.

Yeah, and we're just now getting the fruits of our labor---big fat cherry tomatoes which are turning from green to red---so that's a good thing.....except that....

.... the plant absolutely did NOT grow upside down. See? The below picture is how the silly plant grew! It totally REFUSED to grow upside down and chose to grow upwards instead---and is now a couple feet HIGHER than the planter itself, after curving every single one of its stems to grow upwards! I might as well have planted the plant in a container. So the moral of the story is don't believe everything you see on TV...

As I said before, I'm still morose and melancholy but working on the deck garden helps.

Everything was going pretty calm this morning. The cats, as usual, were sleeping like the lazy little butt-heads they are.

And Little Baby was doing her usual, which is where she sleeps in the most strangest positions. I think she is a cat-contortionist...

She stretches before she goes to sleep---and then she's out like a light.

She sleeps frontwards....


Reaching out with a paw....

And some unexplainable positions, like grabbing onto a chair leg.....

And then it happened. While I was out on the deck something began going on in the dining room behind my back...

Leonard apparently had performed one of his usual mischevious tricks----that of teasing Little Baby......

Because all of a sudden I heard a major catfight erupt....

Which sounded like they were killing each other.....

I witnessed the whole thing---and this time I caught Leonard in the act. Not that he's the only perpetrator of cat fights. Little Baby has started her fair share. The punishment for catfights around here is that the one who started the fight has to take a "time out" in the basement in order to contemplate their sinful cat nature. So I simply pointed my finger at the basement door and Leonard pranced away to his banishment, happy as a lark that he'd just irked Little Baby no end....




Tuesday, June 22, 2010




Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart?

Who holds the stars up in the sky?

Is true love just once in a lifetime?

Did the captain of the Titanic cry?.....

("Someday We'll Know", New Radicals)


I'm so lonely and sad today that I have been reduced to listening to sad songs like "Shannon", "Maybe Tomorrow", and the theme from the movie "Platoon". I'm so lonely that I've been crying pitifully since about 9:30 this morning.

When our houseguest Jon left.

Hell, I'm crying as I write this.

I was extremely lonely before Jon came. Being too afraid of going out of the house most of the time--especially in a self-imposed "hermit-ism"--- is a wicked kind of solitude---and loneliness.

For weeks Jon was here, staying with us, because he was searching for work. He lives in Texas. And he's one of Blaine's best friends, left behind when Blaine and I moved here to Kansas after getting married. But lately, the construction work of which Jon has always made his living dried up down in his area of Texas. And, as it turned out, it wasn't much better here. He came up here to seek work but the past few weeks were cruel to him---and his finances are so depleted now that he was reduced to borrowing money from Blaine. As it stands, he's in a very real and true danger of losing his house. He needs so many prayers....so many prayers.....

And so today, after fruitless weeks of looking for steady work in the surrounding area, he was forced to leave and see if his fortunes would fare better in Dallas, where he has a couple friends in the construction business who might be able to hook him up with work.

I got so used to Jon being here. He would make phone calls inquiring about work---and then wait anxiously for answers. As he waited, sad and frustrated, he would sit down in the living room playing online poker on his computer and watching TV---and I would sit upstairs in my studio making jewelry and watching my TV. He is a very large man. But he was a gentle giant. He helped me stake my tomato plants as they grew. He played TV "Jeopardy" with me. I helped him watch after his two rambunctious Chinese pug dogs. And he sat, protectively near me, when I was forced to go outside the house to a family dinner this past weekend. And he replaced a burned out lightbulb in my bathroom when Blaine kept forgetting. I made his salads at dinner time. And I washed his dishes along with mine and Blaine's.

He became part of our lives.

And then this morning he finally had to leave, to go in search of work in Dallas, since the construction work here was apparently no better than that in his home city of Austin, Texas. And he's usually the type of unemotional guy who just leaves without a word. But this morning he came upstairs to my studio to tell me he was leaving.

I told him I wished he didn't have to go....but he had to go. I told him he was in both mine and Blaine's prayers. He looked reluctant when he walked out the front door.

And I had no idea how hard I would take his leaving....

I had enjoyed having a longtime friend in the house.....but now he's gone.

And so I'm alone again---just like before he came. And having had a good friend in the house for so long makes my solitude and loneliness all the worse.

Anyway, all I'm left with is the plants of my deck garden, my jewelry hobby, and two grumpy ass cats. Leonard is nowhere to be found right now. And Little Baby is not speaking with me for some reason. Perhaps she thinks it's my fault that Jon left. Twice this morning she distinctly turned her back on me.

So I don't even have her to cry with today....

And so I fill my lonely hours with my hobby---jewelry making. I've made a lot of jewelry in the last few weeks, and I guess I must keep on going in that pursuit, as my shrinks and therapists all encourage me to do. If you won't get too bored I'll show you some pictures of the things I've made. I have lots of other pendants and beads made but haven't strung them yet. I know some of you have seen the following pictures already on my Twitter account but I'm hoping these are better snapshots (in better lighting) than those. (If you click on the pictures they'll get bigger for a better look.)

Below is the one I like the best. It is a picture of Michael the Archangel.

Below is a couple pendants I made. The pendant on the left is one I made. The one on the right is one I bought.

And below are the fruits of my labor---from my deck garden. My plants (and asshole cats) will be the only beings I can talk to during these long, hot days now. I have been faithfully harvesting whichever snap beans (haricot verts) look ripe each day----and I keep adding them, one by one, to a freezer bag--- to freeze them until I get enough of them to make a dish out of. And the picture at the top of this blog post is that of my Topsy Turvy cherry tomato plant. Notice the red tomato teasing me to pick it. But I'm going to wait till it's truly ripe.

I'm crying so much that I can't see the computer screen very well so you'll have to excuse any spelling or grammar errors.

What a damn FOOL I am to be such a frigging idiot---such a big damn baby!

Below is a pink mosaiced pendant I made.

And below is a haphazard necklace I made with very large, multi-colored glass beads.

And below is another of my favorites, the pendant which has a picture of The Mourning Angel on it. And that's about how I feel today---like I'm in mourning. I'm walking around the house crying as I do my chores. I hope I can stop crying long enough to water the plants of my deck garden. It's very hot outside and they need water---but I don't want either of my neighbors to see me bawling like a complete fool.

Below are some buttons I made.

And below is another guilded necklace I made.

And another one below.....

I guess that's it for the jewelry fashion show. I'll keep on making things.

Anyway, it's back to the days of solitude, where I wait endless hours for Blaine to come home from work---or the appointments with my therapists. But the house feels so awfully empty without Jon. But I need to stop crying. I don't want Blaine to see me like this. He wouldn't understand.

Blaine truly tries to understand my mood problems as best he can, but he generally leaves it up to the shrinks and therapists to understand better. He supports me in my various therapies---and my hobbies ---but he has no idea what to do when I cry. He gets frustrated and angry that he can't "fix it".

But there is no fixing it, really....


Through early morning fog I see

visions of the things to be,

the pains that are withheld for me,

I realize and I can see

That suicide is painless,

It brings on many changes,

and I can take or leave it if I please...

("Suicide is Painless", Johnny Mandel)



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Never let it be said that I don't have a green thumb....


As part of my therapist's orders to "do something that gets you out of the house more days than just when the mobile therapist comes", I agreed, grudgingly, to do his suggestion of a deck garden. And I think I've done it well, even though I begrudge my work out there because it cuts into my jewelry making in my studio. (You know, I love to hide in my studio and Blaine has to practically drag me out of there....)

The above are what I call my "monster tomatoes". Every time I tie a piece of yarn, anchoring the stem to the stake in order to keep the dang things from falling over, they grow another dadgum foot. I've warned them that their glorious foliage and yellow flowers had damn well better produce good (and plentiful) tomatoes.

OK, and the below are my snap beans. And lest the little plants don't look like much, see the next picture....


The below are the kitchen herbs. They're all growing well except the cilantro, which is doing awful because I allowed it to flower. After I took the picture I pruned all those flowers off to see if we can get the plant to do better.

Now, here is where I think a giant false advertising campaign has been done for the infamous "Topsy Turvy" Tomato Planter. In the TV commercials, the tomato plant looks like it's growing upside down. But in real life, as you can see, the stupid tomato plant curves upward, determined to grow upwards---and not downwards as in the TV commercial!

But the direction it's growing hasn't affected its tomato growing ability. Below is a picture of one cluster of tomatoes. There's a lot of these clusters all over the plant---yeah!

I can't wait till either the monster tomatoes or the Topsy Turvy tomatoes get ripe. I'll eat them with relish---and if some don't ripen and stay green, well I am known all over the south for my fried green tomatoes recipe, a secret recipe I'll never reveal!!

Oh, and here are the pitiful marigolds. I think they got envious and discouraged by the height the monster tomatoes are growing---almost my height---and so they're pouting.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just When I Thought It Was Safe To Go to Walmart With Blaine....


When the music plays,

I hear the sound I had to follow,

Once upon a time,

Once beneath the stars,

The universe was ours...

("Your Wildest Dreams", Moody Blues)


You know, I don't go to Walmart with Blaine very often---and I have very valid, sound reasons for not going.

First of all, Walmart is the size of 2 football fields. And I swear, it never fails that if we forget something, it is all the way back to a location of that exact 2 football fields of distance---which Blaine always makes ME go to retrieve the item---and so I end up having to walk the length of 2 football fields TWICE.....once to go get the item and twice to return to our current location.

But actually, I have other, more worrisom reasons for my hearty dislike of going to Walmart with Blaine.

Bless his heart, but that idgity Blaine is a very methodical, inquisitive, and stubborn creature. He approaches every situation as if for the first time. Especially when he's grocery shopping at Walmart. He does not "get into habits" when it comes to his shopping finesse, like I am. Allow me to explain:

For example, I have been buying groceries for my entire life. I think I know what I need by now. Especially in Walmart. So if I were to cruise into Walmart for groceries, it would only take me about 20 minutes for the entire trip since I know exactly what I want and where it is----the same crap I have wanted for decades---and so I can blaze a trail through crowded Walmart aisles at a speed of about 45 miles per hour, knocking hapless Walmart customers' buggies aside as I go---snatching the same old items I always buy--- and then bullying my way into the shortest cashier line.

But Blaine? HELL, he's a horse of a dang different color!

You would think that a grown man (who stayed a bachelor for all the years after I divorced him---but let's not speak of it) would damn well KNOW what in the hell he wants when he goes to a Super Walmart grocery center for the 3,829th time, right? But nooooooooo! He DOES KNOW what he wants...... but he just can't resist checking every single solitary detail of all the other competing brands of his preferred product EVERY DAMN TIME HE GOES INTO THERE.

I mean it, he actually does that EVERY time he goes! And it drives me mad!

For example, Blaine will go shopping for staples like olive oil, sugar, sugar substitute, coffee, milk, cat food, bread, beef, chicken, fish, coffee creamer, tomatoes, etc.----and you'd think those things wouldn't take an eternity to choose, right? He's been buying them for his entire lifetime.

But not Blaine. Don't you think he'd know by now what he always gets? Nooooooooo! For Blaine, unbelievably, it DOES take a frigging eternity. The following are the things Blaine examines before he buys the same damn things he's been buying his entire adult life:

1. Expiration date. He will literally check EVERY SINGLE item of whichever product he's buying to see if he can get the one with the furthermost expiration date. Do you think he'd be satisfied with a fairly far away expiration date? Noooooooo!!! He wants to get THE ABSOLUTELY FURTHERMOST expiration date of all the products on the shelf. I have nearly gone certifiably crazy at the times when he's checked 23 cartons of milk or 15 containers of cottage cheese for the furthermost expiration date.

2. Cost and details. Okay, by now I think Blaine should know how much orange juice costs, or how much his same old mineral water costs, or butter, or cheese, or whatever. And he always buys his favorite brands every single time he buys those items. So don't you think he'd just grab the same brands that he always gets? Nooooooooooooo! He checks the details and cost of his favorite brands of stuff against EVERY SINGLE OTHER BRAND OF that stuff---even though he KNOWS DAMN WELL which brand he's going to get, regardless of the cost! There have been ugly incidents in the past where I couldn't resist hollering at Blaine something to the effect of: "DADGUMMIT, Blaine! What in the hell are you looking for? Bionic balogney?!"

3. Coffee quality. I have never seen Blaine buy the same coffee twice. Literally. In all his complete adult life he has never bought the same coffee twice because he's always on the eternal quest for a better coffee bean blend, a new coffee-bean country of origin, a new coffee bean flavor (i.e. the one he bought today with supposed "subtle tones of cocoa" in it)---as if he's a Knight Templar searching for the dang Holy Grail! And not only that, but he's a coffee snob. No Folgers or Maxwell House for him. But about his search for the perfect coffee--- I mean, if it were left up to me, I'd pick out one good coffee that I know that I like and buy it every single time. But do you think that Blaine would settle on one coffee blend that he really likes? Noooooooooo! He's not happy till he's tried every dadgum coffee brand in the world from every single country in the world, from every coffee bean roast from plain to dark, every flavor from "Breakfast Blend" to "Nicaraguan grown", Starbucks brand to one of Whole Foods' Market's snooty brands, you name it. And, worse yet, he SNIFFS every single dadgum coffee bean in the same manner that connoisseurs inhale cognac fumes.

4. And then..... finally.... this is the WORST habit Blaine exhibits to torment me in Walmart... Bold

Blaine is on a never-ending pursuit of embarassing the daylights out of me whenever we're in public. And why he chooses Walmart for this criminal act, I'll never know. I got so angry with him for his behavior once that I once refused to go to Walmart with him for months.

But yesterday, in a fit of weakness because he had bribed me with a shopping trip, I let my guard down and went with him to the Olathe Super Walmart to do a little grocery shopping with him.

It happened on the laundry detergent aisle...

I was strolling along, silently waiting for him to check every damn laundry detergent brand known to man, when it happened...

Suddenly, I heard the single most loudest, offensive, nauseating FART that I've ever heard in my life. I mean, it was not only loud and gross, but its detestable noise echoed down at least the next 3 aisles while its "fumes" wafted in all directions for a 40-foot radius. And at the end of the long fart (which sounded like a Louis Armstrong jazz trumpet) it gave a couple of extra "pops" just for good measure!


I was positively mortified. I mean, this wBoldasn't just a normal fart. This was a pathological fart. So I looked around to see what kind of creature on earth had produced it..... and then, just as I dreaded and suspected, I saw.....

... that the deadly fart had come from Blaine. And there he stood, in all his farting glory, gazing at me with that mischievious look I know so well...

....and then he exclaimed loudly, for all the Olathe Super Walmart customers and workers to hear:

"BO!!!! How COULD you???!!!!"

And, instantly, every single shopper and Walmart employee within 200 feet stared at me in horror and disgust.

To say I was embarassed is an understatement. I was so horrified that I turned and fled down 6 aisles to the vegetable section, where I cowered behind the onion bin--- trying to recover by convincing myself that nobody in the vegetable section had seen or heard the whole horrific incident.

Unfortunately, in only a few minutes, every single person who'd been on the laundry detergent aisle came ambling down to the vegetable section in the natural flow of the product aisles, straight to where I was standing, where I stood breathing heavily from my desperate sprint--- whereupon they all began giving me angry scowls as they spied me huddling in shame behind the onion bin.

Oh, the humanity!

And, in a minute or so, Blaine appeared too, pushing our buggy while laughing his fool ass off.

I threw him an exasperated glance and hissed: "I'm going to do the exact same thing to you some day!"

He just kept on laughing, knowing I'd never have the nerve to do it....

...nor the farting skill...

You know, if farting were an Olympic sport, Blaine would always win the Gold....


* *

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

That Dirty Little Secret....Me.


Man wonders, but God decides,

When to kill the Prince of Tides....

("The Prince of Tides", Pat Conroy)


I need to be up front about something. About why I am filled with sadness.

(Never let it be said that I'm not up front about what I'm thinking, right? You know you will never get anything but abject honesty with me, good or bad.)

But first, allow me to tell you how my world has been changing lately. Because, as you know, I have a lot of therapy going on. The mobile therapist comes on Wednesdays to make sure I get out of the house for at least one day in the week, even if it's only for a walk. Then on Thursdays I go to the Center for 2 things, my 1:1 hour-long appointment with my therapist, and my 2-hour DBT group overseen by my therapist and a second therapist---and it's very intense. It's look-you-deep-into-your-eyeballs intense. And then on Fridays, my case manager comes to my house to review the week's therapy and results.

All of this is time-consuming and draining. It's draining because when you have 4 therapists in your head every week, and you're trying to learn the stuff they're trying to teach you, AND you have paperwork homework to do.....well, it's exhausting.

Also, one of my diagnoses is severe PTSD and one of the nice little benefits of that is that I get very poor sleep, causing me to be fatigued all the time. I have a repetitive nightmare pretty much 3 or 4 times a week on the average. And I also have frightening flashbacks at the drop of a hat---even seeing something on TV can trigger one---or a song, or a poem....anything.

Also, the side effects of a couple of my meds is fatigue and sleepiness. Very frustrating when you're trying to get things done. And also, I feel a lot of guilt about causing my family so much money in expenses for my psychological treatment. I am not insured and so expenses must be paid for in cash. My meds alone cost nearly $3,000.00 a month. And my therapists cost nearly $8,000 a month. Yes, I feel a lot of guilt.

Next, I have taken up a new hobby of jewelry-making. I took this hobby up because of 2 reasons: one, my psychiatrist's urging for me to take up something other than knitting as he feels knitting has become "too automatic" for me. The other reason is because my Mumsy, a very lovely, talented artist, feels the same way---and so she has sent me hundreds of dollars of supplies for that new hobby. And then Blaine built me my studio to perform it in. (Between the two of them, I have everything I need for this new hobby.)

So my new studio has become my sanctuary---where all my hobbies are located, including the Magical Yarn Closet--- and even down to the oven for which to bake the clay I make pendants and beads from. Everything is neatly placed, including all the beading/polymer clay supplies, my sewing machine, and the much-loved large flat-screen TV. I hide up there and create jewelry. (My kind of crazy jewelry.)

There is a quirky boutique and another shop which have expressed willingness to market my jewelry for a cut of the profits. So my task right now is to keep on making jewelry in order to build up an amount of stock to begin selling with.

Also, my shrink said yesterday she would like me to make some of that jewelry for other mentally-impaired people, in order to give them a boost or cheer them up, to give me some degree of "fulfillment". (NO JOKES ABOUT MY CRAZY-LOOKING JEWELRY, PLEASE!!)

And also, we now have a houseguest, Jon, who is staying with us while he tries to get construction work, since the construction jobs have dried up in Texas. He is antsy and anxious, as the job situation here has been hampered by design problems and rain---thus he is still not working, although he would do ANYTHING the job sites would ask of him. He still needs your prayers, desperately, so that he does not lose his house back in Texas, the house where Blaine and I lived for a short time after we were married, until we moved here to Kansas.

I do not mind Jon staying here---in fact, I'm glad he's here. I like the company even though we don't hang out. He stays downstairs with his computer and I stay upstairs in the studio. But his staying here does create a little more work for me, in the way of dishes and clutter. I truly don't mind. But it does take up more time in my schedule.

All of this leaves little time for blogging.

Normally, I'd assimilate everything together and keep on doing what I'm doing. I would keep on blogging. But I'm getting less and less inspired to tell my daily stories in my blog. And so I've let it go of late. I'm only half-heartedly and half-assedly writing it---definitely not my usual earnest conversations with you guys.

(Is "half-assedly" a word?)

And herein lies the crux of the matter.....

Many of my blog's readers are more inclined to concentrate on my negative qualities than my positive. This mystifies me. Why would anybody care? I mean, SO WHAT if I am not a perfect person? And SO WHAT if I'm opinionated and those opinions don't always jibe with certain others' opinions? And SO WHAT if I'm a no-holds-barred argumentative person who stands up to those negative-focusing people?

And what ended up happening is that almost all of my blog's readers have gone to lurkdom.

So therefore, why write the damn blog? I will NEVER be able to accomodate those idiots who call me names and gossip about me---or those people so filled with hatred that they feel compelled to write the cruelest of comments to me. Because I will always refuse to be anything other than myself. And I always thought that living in America meant I had free speech, even on my blog, and that people unhappy with my blog would feel free not to read it if it offends them so much.

I mean, I don't understand it. I am a person who likes reading what other people write about themselves on their blogs. I very much like for them to be honest, even if I don't care for their opinions. That is what makes the world interesting to me---that we are an imperfect species and the differences are what makes the world go round.

Just as our leaders are imperfect at times, so are those of us who are just common citizens.

And thus, I haven't felt like blogging because I figure all the people who sit in judgment of me are sitting like vicious cats, waiting to pounce on my next move. And my loyal readers have been trounced upon---placed in a position where they are not eager to be identified as a reader of my blog. And really, I understand. I really do. Because honestly, in this negative environment, who would want to admit they read my blog?

So, I know that many of my friends and lurkers would never want to admit they read my blog because of the reputation it carries, and so I'm saying it for them. I am unpopular and despised by a number of bullies and sanctimonious asses and, thus, it has become a bad thing to admit to being a reader/commenter on my blog.

But that saddens me that many of my loyal readers, who are my friends, don't want to admit to the knit-blogging world that they are readers of my blog. It's like a dirty secret for one to be a reader of my blog. So what I get every day is a very high blog-hit count from hundreds of readers----but also.....hundreds of lurkers.

And so there goes my open dialogue with those who are interested readers. I have no idea what my friends are feeling. Or the lurkers. And thus, gone is the fun of blogging. I could better spend my time doing all the other things that are now crowding my schedule. Because I no longer care to be spotlighted as some sort of evil entity. Which isn't me. I am honest.....not evil!!

And before any of you say "it's my own fault", I don't believe that for a minute. Believe me, hundreds of people STILL DO read my blog--- so my honesty, openness, and unpopular opinions hasn't cost me readers.....it's just that, for many, reading my blog has become, like I said before, a dirty little secret.

And I don't mind that people won't admit that they read my blog. Because I am told that if they admit they read me, they suffer the same negative fallout that I've been dealt ---from the same negative people who hate me. So I understand, I really do. And I don't think less of them for it. Who wants all that negativity? Not everybody has the argumentative nature I do---and not everybody wants that kind of discord in their blogging lives. So believe me, I do understand.

I even consulted my therapist about the matter. He says that if it no longer brings satisfaction to me, to leave it and concentrate on those things that bring me happiness. And currently, what brings me a tiny degree of happiness in my mentally-impaired world is my studio and my new hobby of jewlry making.

As a matter of fact, I'm expecting another box of supplies today from my Mumsy.

And by the way, those of you who have criticized and blasphemed about my mother are true blue fucking criminals. If you knew my beautiful mother you would know her innocence and sincere charm and artistry. I am so very lucky to have her. In fact, I think the Lord gave me to her because He knew she'd always care for me, even in my imperfect state. I have always been a broken person who my mother has tried to help. I don't know where I'd be if it weren't for her.

Or Blaine.

My father said it all. Years ago, when he lay on his death bed, dying from the last gasps of alcoholic ravages, he struggled to say to me: "Blaine is the only man you've ever been with that I approve of. And that is because I know he will always take care of you."

And he was right. Blaine has sworn to always take care of me.

So anyhoo, that's my daily dose of honesty for you. And don't worry--I don't expect anybody to comment on this post either. It's a problem that I have to decide for myself---I'm not trying to manipulate anybody with what I've declared. I have to decide myself whether to keep on blogging or not--a very difficult decision. But I have to admit that the thought of not having to read those negative comments is inviting...

(And I bet my depression will just THRILL the people who hate me. Well, all I have to say to them is HAVE A FUCKING BALL.)



Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Yeah, I'm Still Practicing Making Jewelry...

I'm still making jewelry, and we still have a houseguest (Jon) and I'm trying to fit all that around my therapy schedule. And today my Wednesday mobile therapist wants to come over today instead of tomorrow, but I also have a shrink appointment.....

I know it's probably boring to see somebody's amateur attempts at making jewelry but it's all I got this week. Here's a pendant and some beads I made for it.

My first attempts at making both round and "cut" beads from a "cane":

Here's where I tried to make some "leopard" beads but my sister said they looked more like slices of a Snickers chocolate bar.

So I made a candy pendant instead of a leopard pendant for them.....



Friday, June 04, 2010

My New Obsession....er...Emotional Medicine....



How can we dance when our earth is turning?

How do we sleep while our beds are burning?.....

("Beds Are Burning", Midnight Oil)


My world has been turned upside down lately, and so whenever I get a free minute (and I don't get many these days) I run to my art studio and close the door----so that I can wrap myself in some psychological balm.

The reason my world has been turned upside down is that Blaine took the entire week off from work to have time to do major spring cleaning, building shelves in the garage, pack boxes of junk in the basement to put out for trash pick-up, vacuuming cobwebs off the ultra high ceiling of the living room, steam cleaning the carpets, and putting up new blinds on the living room windows.....

Also, with Jon staying with us for the time being, having two men in the house increases the clean-up chores for me, like doing dishes, cleaning clutter all over the house, and other things. I don't mind having Jon stay here---he's quiet and independent. I'm more than happy to help him out while he's out of work---so that he doesn't have to pay $50 a day for a motel room. But with two men underfoot....well, you can imagine the messes.

I had my long day of therapy yesterday and I needed every minute of it. I am clinging to my therapists right now. My new therapist, Jack, told me that I could call him anytime for a "coaching call", in which I tell him I'm flipping out and he calms me down. He has me practicing some Zen mental exercises to teach myself how to self-calm and self-soothe.

But enought about that. Here's what I've got going in the studio that totally engrosses me and gives me some measure of relief from the stress this week:

I am making polymer clay jewelry---a new hobby for me. And I love it. I'll show you some of my first attempts. I hope I'll get better as time goes by. Below is what one of my "angel sets" looks like before going into the oven.

The picture at the very top is the "golden angel set", the first of my "angel sets", including "angel wing" beads. I transferred an angel image onto that pendant. And the picture above is how the polymer clay things look before I put them into the oven to bake. (You make a little accordion doohickey to bake the round beads on so that they don't go rolling higgledy-piggledy.

Below is my collection of supplies, which keeps growing by the week as I discover more ways to improve my techniques and decorate the baked clay jewelry. God bless my Mumsy who gave me most of my beading and polymer clay supplies.

Below is the convection oven Blaine bought for me to bake my clay in. And I have an oven thermometer on the baking trays to make sure my clay is baking at the proper temperature. (Before I got the thermometer I burned several pieces to a crisp.....)

Below is my first attempt at a pendant. I'm not thrilled with it.....

And below is another one of my angel sets---the "blue angel set"--- in which I also baked some matching "angel wing beads" to go with it. I decoupaged an angel image onto it. (It looks better in person, believe me.)

And below are the matching round beads to go with the blue angel set:

Anyway, today my case manager is coming at 1pm and I really am glad about that---I need to vent even further and ask him about more techniques to handle my flip-flopping emotions caused by all the stress this week. I hate to say it.....but I really can't wait till Blaine goes back to work. I need peace & quiet--- but with him home demanding that I help him with all those heavy work chores, I am in a Defcon 1 emotional tailspin.....