Windows and A Tornado

September 10, 2009 at 8:43 am (Crazy Shit, dreams, Nate, Relationships, The House)

Guess what one of my dreams featured last night? I’m not sure if I had two dreams or one dream, but it seemed like two dreams. In one dream, I was in a high rise, more like a hotel, but there was bad weather outside, rain, and I felt a draft from the huge windows.

In the next dream I saw a tornado through large windows. I literally saw the vegetation being pulled from the ground, ala “Twister,” and while I ran to a stairwell and hid because I believed the windows would be blown out, the two ladies in the room with me didn’t run, and the windows didn’t blow out.

These are actually all good signs of transformation and moving on with my life. Oh, did I tell you that I dreamed I was getting married the other night? Yeah, to our bartender, Candyman. Oddly enough, I was very calm in the dream about getting married, very peaceful. This is also a good sign.

Perhaps this is because I found an odd e-mail from Jeff at my secondary e-mail.  It read (with poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation preserved):  “I want to congratulate you, with your win. Though lies, and being friends of the COURT you have won. I don’t know what you’ve gained, (and what harm you did to Nate, by going this path) but I hope you’re happy.”

My first response was “Huh?” I don’t see us agreeing with the Court’s suggestion that he and Nate undergo counseling at the same place and letting the doctor decide as to when or if they would have counseling together and future visitations as a win. I was under the impression we had an AGREEMENT, not a win or a loss. Besides, no one really wins.

Nate said, after I told him about the e-mail, said, “That sounds like a great e-mail to me!” I said, “Why?”  He said, “Because Daddy never just gives in like that.”  Or something along those lines.  Yeah, I know. And given that the e-mail was sent… a week after the hearing. I’m not sure what all that means. Bullshit probably.

The new counselor did tell me that Jeff had missed his initial appointment and as of that time, had not called to reschedule… being in contempt of the agreement that we both call within 48 hours of the hearing to schedule our appointments and the Court’s insistence that we all attend each and every counseling session as scheduled.

The counselor asked if I thought Jeff would be compliant with the Court’s order and I said, “Only if you don’t ask him to seek treament for his alcoholism and don’t tell him that he’s wrong about anything.”

I’m not lying. I don’t have to lie. The truth is bad enough. I’m contemplating writing a want ad in the paper to trade houses with someone who wants to live here and I’ll go live where they live, and we’ll owner sell our places to each other for the mortgage payoff, so long as they are similar. LOL! Impossible dreams are my forte.

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Thursdays

June 6, 2009 at 9:47 am (AZ, Black Stone Cherry, Chico, Memories, Nate, Relationships, The House, Work, Writing)

Are when Nate and I see our respective counselors. I like both of our counselors.  They’ve given me a lot of insight and hope into our situation but that doesn’t mean its fun getting there. It never is.

Nate is very open to counseling but the things they have coaxed out of him so far are disheartening. Disheartening for a parent who cannot see into the mind of their 12 year old and find all of the feelings they have stuffed down inside of it and the realization that we have so far to go.

Having been through counseling before, and being in counseling now, I know how much it hurts to dig shit up, to face it, and to deal with it appropriately. My heart aches for my son.

Nate and I both learned, over a period of time, not to express any emotion in front of Jeff. To do so, opened us both up to ridicule. Nate maintains that facade and he maintains that facade emotionally as well. He doesn’t talk about his father but I know he’s still there, in the back of his mind.

While Nate can maintain that facade while he is awake, he cannot when he sleeps.  Although his father’s name was not mentioned, I could tell the counseling started roiling the bottom of Nate’s pond. It wasn’t unusual for Nate to talk in his sleep and wet the bed after an episode with his father.

Thursday night, after he went to bed, right about the time he hit REM, I could hear him start chattering. I’ve heard him say “no” and “quit” and “stop” but for the most part, its mumbling. I had a very hard time getting to sleep myself, as my mind just refuses to shut up, hence the doctor’s appointment on the 16th. Somewhere around 3 a.m. I was jolted awake by Nate yelling and as the fog in my mind cleared, I heard him mumbling again.

A short time later, Chico woke me with his whine/bark asking to be let into my bed. As I reached over the side of my bed, I heard Nate say, “Don’t pick him up, ” from the bathroom across from my bedroom. I did anyway and Nate asked where some clean underwear were and I heard him rummaging around in the dark, then he entered my room, I thought to retrieve Chico, but he laid down at the foot of my bed and went to sleep.

I had a dream later that morning about Jeff calling. I heard his ringtone and actually answered the phone. The conversation was benign, almost surreal. I don’t remember much of it, but remembered thinking in the dream that he didn’t ask about Nate. Not surprising, the interpretation for talking on a phone in a dream is that you need to confront issues you are trying to avoid, and to speak to someone you know, means that you need to confront that person.

I figured that out as soon as I woke up. Didn’t really need an interpretation.

I talked to my counselor about the other events in my life, separate from Jeff, that I’ve had to deal with, especially in the last two and a half years, starting with Kevin’s suicide in November of 2006, AZ’s engagement in December and, of course, the housefire. She asked, “How did you put one foot in front of the other?”

I answered, “Nate… and… that’s just how I am.”  At least, that’s what I choked out between sobs.

She gave me, ha ha, writing assignments to be completed as we move through the process. She said, of course, that blogging and journaling is an excellent way to express my feelings. I had read on one of the news services that therapists were assigning patients to start blogs. Oh boy, I can’t wait!  (Laugh, that was supposed to be funny.)

That reminds me of David Bowie (Jareth) from the movie, Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen it, he would say something mean around the little trolls and then he would say, “Well, laugh.” Then they would all laugh with him.

Nate’s grades, really not a laughing matter. He’ll either fail the 7th grade, or he may have to attend summer school. I’m prepared for either. His counselor has some theories about his poor school performance and what we can do about that. When I picked  him up from school on Thursday, they were in the middle of their awards assembly.

When he came out I lightly asked him if he had gotten an award for the most days spent in lunch detention. He smiled and then I said I was sorry and he said, “No, that was actually pretty funny, M.”  He said a little later, “I would like to get an award.” We talked about goals and that this year is over and there isn’t anything he can do about it now, so, he needs to look towards next year and about what he can do to achieve his goal of getting an award, for something, and not the most days spent in lunch detention.

I mentioned, as I have before, The Golden Horseshoe Test, which is given each year to WV 8th grade students to test their knowledge of WV History and I told him that he would be reading “Rocket Boys/October Sky” in conjunction with WV Studies. I told him I make sure we made it down to the October Sky Festival and help him study for the test.

Then I said, let’s just get through the next couple of days…

The weather is also no laughing matter. Its 58 degrees outside and I have my furnace on. ITS JUNE 6TH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!! Oh, its Troy’s birthday. Happy Birthday Troy!!! Its also Chris Robertson’s birthday (from Black Stone Cherry). Happy Birthday Chris!!!

I’m not working today, but I’m still working. I’m catering a tea party for 10 five year olds and their mothers. Yes, I know, its five year olds, ten of them, and their mothers, but I need the money and its only three hours… I look to the fact that I found a BEAUTIFUL dress at a local department store that fits not only waist but my bosoms as well. This, this an anamoly and I have to capitalize on that.

So is my life today.

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Did You Say It?

June 2, 2009 at 1:38 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, General, International Travel, The House)

Rabbit, rabbit, that is. I did! Then realized that my registration expired on my vehicle on the 1st.  Not so lucky, or maybe it is that I realized it and can get that taken care of this week.

Sagacious Hillbilly asked just how happy I wanted to be. Well, we all know that happiness is relative. You may be happy in one aspect and miserable in another. Some people say that happiness is a choice you make everyday. I try to remember that. I try to look on the bright side.

Things could be a lot worse. Changing your life is a difficult maneuver and is never without a shit-ton of stress. Stress makes me crabby. Stress makes me thin which then leads to my clothes not fitting which makes me crabby. If I exercise to offset my stress, well, that just makes me thinner too, which then makes me crabbier because, again, my clothes don’t fit and then I get crabby because I don’t have a lot of money to buy clothes that do fit.

However, speaking German makes me happy and I did write my host parents today using the new Deustch-Englisch dictionary they sent me for Christmas. I asked my host father why the German word for thunderstorm is Gewitter when the German words for thunder and storm are Donner and Sturm. It should be Donnersturm because Germans love compound words. By the way, the German word for lightning is BlitzenDonner and Blitzen, get it? I hope you get it!

And, because peaches make me happy, I’m eating some Carbmaster yogurt. A lot of calcium, protein and peaches, not to mention some L. Acidophilus and B. Bifidum for healthy intestinal flora.

Do you ever watch BBC? I love watching the show about being what you eat except I never was sure about how much the folks weigh because I didn’t know the equivalent weight measure of a “stone.”  I now know a stone is 14 lbs. I also watch “Clean House” because it makes me feel better about the fact my house is not nearly as cluttered as some out there. And, I also watch “What Not To Wear” and take Clint and Stacy with me when I actually do go shopping.

Okay, I’m sorta happy now. I have to go mow grass before work. And just so you know, if you ask for a Hummer in Germany, they’ll give you a lobster. Tschuss!

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Great Weekend

May 26, 2009 at 1:08 am (AZ, Memories, My Travels, Relationships, The House)

We all had a great time at King’s Island. We rode Firehawk at night, which is the one that you lay down on and it flips you upside down and around and you feel like you’re flying. It was AWESOME!

Cam said he liked Vortex the best, and Nate liked Diamondback. Rosie cracked me up all day long, Collective Soul sounded great, the lines weren’t too long, we got soaked on White Water Canyon, and a nice sunburn. I thought I had dislocated my shoulder on Son of Beast but it stayed in place. I slept most of the day, including during a huge thunderstorm. I had a small lake in my hallway from the damaged shingle on my roof, but otherwise, it was a great weekend.

I did text with Lex in between all of that. He’s not doing so well today. I know him well enough that I expect this to continue for a while. Even though we’re only supposed to be “friends with benefits,” I wonder if he’s even ready for that. Hell, its a great thought, don’t get me wrong.

But, even great thoughts are not ideal thoughts. Lex is a lot like me. Even though the desire to have sex is there, its a desire to have sex with one particular person, not just anyone. Not saying that I’m “just anyone,” just admitting that I’m not “that particular person.” I fall somewhere in the middle. Actually, so does he.

I know that ache. Its the worst sort of paradox that the one who you normally go to for comfort is the one causing the pain and you have no where to turn. He didn’t know how right he was when he said that I would understand what he was going through.

He meant that by what we had gone through with AZ long ago with a crazy chick (chronicled in The Fourteen Years War posts), but as he doesn’t know, but all of you do, I understand more of where he is just from what happened with AZ.  Something he doesn’t know and doesn’t need to know.

Hell, I don’t even want to know.

Maybe if Lex figures it out he’ll let me know.

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99.97

May 16, 2009 at 1:13 am (Alice in Chains, Black Stone Cherry, Crazy Shit, Music, Nate, T-Bird, The House, Work)

Today has been one of the most angst filled days of my life. If have trouble finishing my food, you know, something is wrong. I got a voice mail on Monday or Tuesday wanting to know about his visitation with Nate. I didn’t answer.  I went over and over in my mind what I was going to say, and somewhere along those lines, my thoughts changed from what I was going to say to him to what I was going to write in the Court papers.

I started it out longhand, sitting at the Chef’s Table at the restaurant between shifts. I thought a lot about what went into that paper. Then I sat down and wrote it out like it should have been written. Then I went and picked up the 12 additional pieces of paper I needed, and I filled those out.

I was nervous and upset and scared. I felt like I had a basketball in my throat and iron-tipped butterflies in my stomach. But, I did it anyway.

I know what he’ll say in his response and some of it may be partially true and some of it will be outright lies and I really don’t care. I’ve been through enough that whatever happens, I’ll survive that too.

What I’m totally amazed by is what I can accomplish when I’m not having to deal with him. I, for the most part, have my house cleaned, at least, the important parts. That’s even after I spent MY DAY OFF at Nate’s school and MY OTHER DAY OFF at my parents’ place, went to Nate’s band concert, made three trips to the Courthouse, a trip to the YMCA, called my counselor, called Nate’s doctor’s office twice, wrote the petition, filled out 12 pages of information, made copies, took care of my cats, the dog, made sure Nate took a shower, had his homework finished, went to Wal-Mart, took T-Bird to the unemployment office and her doctor’s office, I blogged, went to the grocery store, twice, actually made dinner, twice, and I slept. 

All that, even after I worked 99.97 hours on my feet in the past two weeks.

And in four hours and 51 minutes (or around about then), I’m leaving for Rock on the Range. I’ll not get to go to both days, but by golly, I’m going to see Black Stone Cherry and I’m going to see Alice in Chains!!!!

That doesn’t mean I’m not being hyper-vigilant and that I’m not nervous as hell, but, it will be really nice just to get away for at least one day.

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#957

September 8, 2008 at 9:52 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, AZ, Beading, Crazy Shit, Friends, Music, My Travels, Nate, T-Bird, The House, Work, Writing)

Does anyone remember my good ole days of writing? I used to write funny shit, light-hearted stuff, stuff about work and Nate, and even when I wrote about Jeff it was more out of a funny pity than cold, hard hate. When I wrote about religion with fervor and belief?  When I still loved AZ and had stars in my eyes?  Remember when I used to really write? Like poems and short stories and novellas? When I researched and put a hell of a lot of work into my writing instead of mere stream of conscious stuff?  When I would spend multiple posts, sometimes a months worth, explaining the who, what, when, where, and whys of Jeff, AZ, and T-Bird?  When I made up my own spells at the ends of posts and spoke of magick?

I just went back and deleted all of the doubled posts from when I transferred over from Blogger, so I took a peak into my former life. I can say its a lot of the same angst, but in there somewhere was a lot of snarkiness and passion for the written word. A reminder that I used to write fiction, long ago, and enjoyed it. That I used to post pictures of my beadwork, that I used to bead a lot more than I do now. I wrote about my experiences with my friends and my travels to see those friends. Well, I guess some things haven’t changed.

I still quote lyrics in my writing. I can still be snarky. I still use writing as therapy. I can still put together a mean blog post.

I can’t help but remember though, that it seems my life lost a lot of its light when Kevin died, when AZ got engaged and married, after the house fire. 

And, I still haven’t spoken to T-Bird about her e-mail. Frankly, I haven’t found a way around the pain yet. I don’t know if I ever will. I have supported T-Bird almost unconditionally, keeping my opinions and criticisms to myself for the most part. And when I did speak up, it was gently, without malice. Keeping silent, when I could have said so much because, “one should be kind in their words, as they do not know the battles that someone else is facing.”  To attack me, my son, and my parenting skills in one fell swoop, well, she may as well walked up and stabbed me in the heart.

To respond in the fashion I wish, would make me no better. We all have failings as parents, as humans, and as humanity. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a HUGE SOFT SPOT where my only child is concerned, but I’m not oblivious nor blind to his failings either. However, something has to be right, or wrong, if the only people who find fault with him are his father, who is the most negative, dreary, look for the worst in every person on Earth kind of guy, and T-Bird, who is so fucking anal about her kids, especially the one she gave birth to, that you can’t breath wrong around them that she isn’t up in arms.  It almost cost us our friendship once, I’m afraid it has cost us our friendship this time.

Like I told her when she e-mailed me about responding to her first e-mail, “There’s very little I can say to make this situation better, but a whole lot I can say to make it worse.” And I mean it. You may say, “But, Nanner, if you respond honestly, she may learn something.” Since when is it my job for people to learn something? I’ve learned that my best friend could ball up 12 years of friendship and knock me in the gut with it. That’s what I’ve learned.  I really don’t give a fuck what she learns.

Unfortunately, its the kids who are the losers in all this, and I don’t mean mine. I mean her’s, who call me Aunt Nanner. Especially the little ones, who saw me more than they see their own biological mother. I miss the kids. But, T-Bird was big enough to invite me to her son’s birthday party, and I will be big enough to go because I wouldn’t disappoint him and selfishly, I want to see the little ones.

So, no, I’m not the person I used to be. I wish I could find her again.

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Ridin’ the Storm Out

August 26, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Alice in Chains, Black Stone Cherry, Friends, Music, My Travels, Nate, T-Bird, The House)

Low Pressure System Fay is expected any moment and is expected to drop 1-2 quick inches of rain on us. Whoo hoo.

It seems as though my possible trip to Arizona coincides with our bartender’s wedding. Even if I gather the funds for the trip, there’s a chance I may not get the days off to go. I almost cried. Talk about deflating my balloon. I have not been in a very good mood since. However, all hope is not lost. Not yet…

Nate had a great first day in 7th grade. He said something to the effect that he won’t have any homework this year. Then he backed up and said, “SOME teachers won’t be giving homework.” Ahhh, but I bet the rest will!

I was inundated with memories of the fire today. Its the 26th, so… perhaps my cell memory is working overtime while I’m not paying attention. On the 28th it will be one year and seven months and three months since Hermione died. Sometimes, it seems like yesterday. Sometimes, its just another day. Last month I barely recall the 28th of the month. I know I found Leslie, our pine snake, under the planter the day before, so my thoughts were full of snakes and beetles and wolf spiders.

I’ve been listening to the new Black Stone Cherry CD, which has nothing to do with fire. Although I was supposed to see them within days of the fire… but I’ve listened to BSC a shit ton of times since the fire and not had the weepy, flashback effect. I have not heard “Home” by Daughtry, which is guaranteed to bring back bitter memories, since it was so popular during the time Nate and I lived away from home.

Somewhere, deep inside, we boil, and when we boil, things come to the surface to be recycled.

Remember Nette? T-Bird’s friend that I helped rescue from her boyfriend back at the beginning of this month? Well, after her boyfriend’s friends came and picked up her stuff, Nette didn’t have a couch, a chair or anything else to sit on, so I gave her my loveseat. Hell, it only collected crap anyway and I need a place to put my curio cabinet (if I ever find another one that I like). It makes my living room much roomier and, well, fuck, whatever. I knew Nette didn’t have the money to buy something new (or even used), so I just gave it to her. Pay it forward, ya know?

I had mentioned that I had the loveseat while I was up there last weekend waiting on the guys coming to move the stuff (before we realized we had the wrong date). So, Nette and I, while not bosom freunden, have established a friendship. She called me a few minutes ago and asked my advice about getting back some money T-Bird owed her. I told her that T-Bird and I weren’t talking and when she asked why I gave the vaguest answer I could. While I may involve you, bloggers, involving someone much closer to the source is not something I want.  No sense and no use.

I made up my mind a while back about T-Bird that if she asked to borrow money, I had to decide whether I could afford not to have it paid back. I had to ask myself if I could give and give freely, because the chances of reclaiming said money was extremely slim. So, if she asked to borrow money, if I didn’t have it, I didn’t have it, and if I did, I did, and if I needed it back, like $20 or $50, I made it clear that I needed it back.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you the amount of money she’s helped me spend over the years, especially in the past… year and seven months, since her nephews moved in a day or two before my fire. Probably enough to fly to Phoenix First Class and stay at the Hilton for two nights. However, I did it and I did it willingly and without remorse. I can’t take it with me anyway.

And yeah, I think she played me some. Maybe a lot. Maybe a lot more than I’m willing to admit.

I’m also having to see Jeff everyday again. He’s done quite well over the summer. I don’t trust him not to start some bullshit though, but, I let him know very quickly that I have other options for picking Nate up from school. A thinly veiled threat? Why, yes, thank you for noticing. Its like dancing with the devil in the pale moon light.

I think I’ll be in need of some Jerry counseling tonight. Jerry has a song called, “S.O.S.” It stands for “Shit on a shingle.”

Both beard and my face growing longer,

The stench of decay growing stronger,

Reality and dream intermingle,

Contently swallow shit on a shingle.

That was sort of random, but its what I’m listening to right now. Just… ridin’ the storm out.

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Crazy, As Always

August 8, 2008 at 10:59 pm (Alice in Chains, Crazy Shit, Music, My Travels, Nate, The House)

So, I got my ticket to the Alice in Chains show in Peoria, AZ for September 20th. Remember last year? I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it to New Orleans? I’m pretty much in that same quandry right now. I’m just much better off than I was last year, if that tells you how bad things were last year! I’m very fortunate. I know I can make this happen.

******

My eyes! My eyes! Are so screwed up! The doc said it looks like I’m having trouble with allergies. It feels like someone ran a railroad spike into my right eye. It looks like my right eye has been on a three day drunk and smoking pot. If only. I’m starting to think its my contact lens solution…

You know what this means, right? Yeah, no beading! I’m getting a little ticked off and poor. I have to sell jewelry. I invested a huge amount in the Bead & Button Show and more beads, etc. I have to start selling again, but, I have to be able to see to do that.

*******

My son continues to surprise me. We heard on the radio about an open call for kid models, for free, at our local mall. He said, “Hey, I wanna do that.” He is a cute kid, tall and skinny, with a 12 year old six-pack. I told him I’d take him if he really wanted to. He says he really wants to try out for it, and he seems to have a good attitude about it, so, why not?  I think his motivation is wanting another PS2, since his bit the dust. I told him he’d just have to wait because he has a PSP and a Nintendo DS and maybe, yeah, he should try working for it instead of just expecting me to shell out the cash. Famous last words, right?

*******

Its already beginning to feel like Fall. Today was just glorious. Tonight the low is supposed to be 55.  Good sleeping weather!  Here’s the shit of that though… the natural companies are asking for rate increases from the PSC… to the tune of 46%. In other words, my gas bill will be going up 46%. FORTY-SIX PERCENT! And you thought it was tough putting gas in your car! Now, see, last year I kicked around the idea of getting one of those mini wood burning stoves, just in case of apocolypse or something similar. This would be something similar.

So, now, I’m in the market for a wood burning stove. My house is so small, that even the smallest ones would heat it. That will save money in the long run, and the smallest ones typically do not require a pipe. That would be even better. After my last electric bill, which wasn’t so horrible, I still upped my thermostat to 76 during the day. Having a big ass tree in the front yard assisted with keeping the cooling bill down. I kept my ceiling fans running as well so it felt cooler.

The cost of wood you ask? Free. I live in West Virginia! My parents own a farm! Its FREE! I could probably carry enough home in my car to last for a while. One good load in my dad’s truck – $70 in gas… versus $160-$200 a month.

Okay, that’s all I have for now. Happy Weekend!

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Superstitious

January 27, 2008 at 11:12 pm (Cats, Crazy Shit, T-Bird, The House)

I went to T-Bird’s today and right now I’m washing clothes. My goal is to have my washing out of the way before tomorrow. I’m trying to like hell not to go to T-Bird’s tomorrow, even though she’s getting a new tattoo. I want to see the tat and I’d like to see how he did with it. She’s also taking a picture of Smokey with her so he can let her know whether or not he can do a tattoo for me, which is Smokey’s face and the names of my deceased cats around him in a circle.

I’m, yes, somewhat superstitious. January 28th of last year, I washed clothes and took those clothes to T-Bird’s to dry them while I helped her with the kids. I came home to my house on fire and my life turned upside down. Pardon me if I prefer to stay home and put my house in better order.

I came through it stronger and wiser.  The last thing to return, oddly, has been my empathic abilities. Those taps on the shoulder are just now returning. Not that they haven’t been around, because I can definitely see by how people react to me at times that they’re still there. Perhaps I switched to “innate” versus “conscious.”

Perhaps it took speaking to the spirits again for them to answer. I entrusted the care of my cats to my grandmother, knowing I’ll see them all again someday and it was time to let go.  I did that after watching an episode of John Edward. It gave me peace.

T-Bird and I have talked numerous times about trying to find John Edward tickets close by. I’ve looked on T-master a few times and the shows were always too far away or sold out. Well, not this time. I bought two tickets to the Washington, D.C. show on June 20th.  You should have seen her face when I told her. I got the cheapest tickets and we’ll just be happy to be there.

And, I wanted to thank all of you for your prayers, thoughts, monetary contributions, and phone calls. Words could never express how grateful I am to have been shown the best humanity has to offer, no matter how it made its way to my doorstep.

And because I don’t have time to properly post all of the pictures I have backed up, I’ll just post the Valentine’s Tree…

cats-nate-041.jpg

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Making Plans

January 25, 2008 at 10:02 pm (Beading, Black Stone Cherry, My Travels, Nate, The House)

It was 7* here this morning. Time to start planning a vacation with the Natester. I’ve had my eye on the Southwest for a while now. Nate has a love of things alien and I have a love of things beaded so Arizona is the place for us.

The original trip entailed flying to Las Vegas and making the four + hour trip to Flagstaff with a stop over at Hoover Dam, spending a few days exploring (Grand Canyon, Sedona, Glendale), and then making a lengthy trip to Roswell, NM and visiting Carlsbad Caverns.

Following a short discussion about recently obtained information, Nate and I decided to forgo Roswell and Carlsbad to spend more time in Sedona and the GC. (It appears as though Sedona is known for its little green men and vortexes, not to mention, the oldest bead shop in America.) Glendale is home to the Bead Museum, although I promised Nate that more time would be spent having fun rather than bead shopping.

The greatest thing about planning this trip is that my GM lived in Flagstaff for eight years, so she has the skinny on all the cool things to do so we don’t get caught up in all the tourist traps. I told her I was certain that Nate would bring home a little green man on a leash if I allowed it. A-Rod has also spent time in Arizona and mentioned that Nate and I take the “short” mule ride down the canyon.

Since we’re going (hopefully), the third week in March, I figure we might be able to snag a mule or two. However, neither of us were overjoyed at spending seven hours on a mule, no matter how beautiful it is.  We decided a moderate hike would better suit our hyperactiveness. We’ll either do the 12 mile rim hike or the more strenous Bright Angel Trail to the first resthouse (1.5 miles down, feels like 150 back). The rim hike might be better since we can stop and grab a shuttle bus every mile or so if we so desire.

I’m also planning a trip to the great state of Wisconsin the first week of June! That’s right, the teaming metropolis of Milwaukee and all the beads I can roll around in. For you non-beaders, Milwaukee is home to the annual Bead and Button Show and I’ve signed up for a three day class on jewelry design and if I’m lucky, I may catch a glimpse of Sherry Serafini.

If you take a look at her website, especially under “neck pieces” and “media and awards,” yes, you will see why Sherry is my beading goddess. Her work is so inspirational and just drop dead beautiful! I love the Swarovski rivolis. I’ll be having some of those before long. If you look at her website under “neck pieces,” the rivolis are the crystal centerpieces for  #20 and #21. She is truly a beading guru and she just released a new book called “The Art of Bead Embroidery” which will soon be gracing my shelf (and will undoubtedly end up dog-eared.)

I also just purchased some antique beads, which are classified as 18s, 20s, and 22s. The 22s are said to be small enough to pass through the hole of an 11, which is what I use most of the time. I picked up an antique purse from E-bay for the beads only and I have another antique purse here which is beyond repair. I’ll photograph the designs and see what I can do with it all. Additionally, I found an Ott-Lite on sale at Joann.com for $50 off!!!!  The small versions of those suckers go for $80 or more.

And Black Stone Cherry will be releasing a new CD come late Spring/early Summer, so look for me at a couple (5 or 10) of their shows and the word through the grapevine is that my host family will be making a sojourn through Texas sometime this year, so look for me also in the Houston area, time and date to be announced. I have been informed by the Natester that he would like a tour of NASA while we’re there. I think that can be arranged. Maybe it will inspire him.

Speaking of Nate and inspiration… I will be setting up his Math-a-Thon webpage for donations hopefully by Sunday night. He’ll be collecting donations for St. Judes by doing 250 math problems. You will be able to make online donations if you desire. I told Nate that I would not make a set donation amount, but rather I donate by the number of problems worked correctly. This inspires him to work harder toward his goal.

I also have numerous goals for the house this year, including, wow, painting the outside, putting in a small counter beside of the stove, enclosing the porch, buying and installing insulated blackout drapes for my bedroom and the living room, and, you know, putting up more pictures and buying a curio cabinet.

My cousin and I are also conspiring, I mean, collaborating on a beaded/painted portrait. I guess I should get moving on some of that. I’m taking a couple of ideas I saw in a beading magazine that doesn’t pay me to advertise for them and I’m combining those with her rich talents to come up with something that’s probably been done before but we’ve never done it so it’s unique and new to us. I’m working on a long overdue necklace for Hoss’s lady and don’t forget the Alice in Chains jacket, which gets more interesting and complex everyday.

My timeframe for completion of the jacket and a bead embroidered bracelet that survived Ye Olde Fire is before June 1st.

Wish me luck.

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