The end of May

A happy bunny moment:

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It seems surreal that May is at its end.
It feels like I have been in a tunnel? Cavern? Or just in my own head?for this entire month.

I’m happy to say I’ve started working on my jewelry again. I haven’t touched the stuff for ages now and one morning I said “it’s time”. I just finished assembling four necklaces and completed a couple of rings. Here’s one of the rings:

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I haven’t listed any of the pieces on Etsy but will very soon.

I must say, it feels good to be updating my blog again. Perhaps my June resolution should be to update a bit more regularly.

Thanks for reading and stay positive!

Buds!

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Until today, I thought our April showers were bringing swampland rather than May flowers. Admittedly, I was avoiding slogging thru the muck and therefore did not spend any time admiring the trees. Last evening I popped my head out after the latest storm had passed and said ‘Hey! The lilacs and apple trees have buds!’ Dave, who has mowed the lawn and done some trimming, gave me a blank look. ‘Well yeah.’

Okay so I’m not a natural gardener. I know the skill is in my gene pool. (Somewhere. Most likely in the very deep end. To tell the truth, I’d rather stick to the shallow end with a sparkling cool drink resting on the ledge. Maybe with a delightful snack next to it…but I digress.) My maternal grandfather’s yard was nothing short of amazing. Fronted by a rather busy street, Grandpa’s house was flanked with box hedges trimmed with a military precision. Walk up to the unassuming front door and thru the house to the backyard – a different time and space awaited.

The hedge continued standing sentry on the perimeter of the double deep lot. In front of that, giant hydrangea bushes. And the center of the yard? The largest, and tidiest vegetable garden you have ever seen. Stand on the small patio, sound dampened by two rows of bushes, breathing the scent of sweet basil, one was transported to another world. A place of grasshoppers and caterpillars, humming bees and birds of every color. Lately, my mind has been returning to that yard. As Thomas Wolfe so famously said, “You can’t go home again.” However……

‘Hey Dave….what if we put in raised bed(s) and planted herbs and stuff?’
Dave just looked at me and took a deep breath.
Right. The truth is: While the gardening skill might lurk deep inside me, the passion, the true love that created the yard of my childhood memories, doesn’t.

‘How about we plant a couple of hydrangea bushes?’
Dave brightens.
‘We could do that.’

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget, we’re in this together.

Haircare(s)

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Lately, I find myself spending more time staring into the mirror. To be more precise, staring at the top of my head. You know…at the part with new growth. As odd as this may sound, I am – and there is no better word for it – baffled.

About ten years ago, my naturally curly hair friendly stylist, Nikki, wondered, aloud, if I would like to add some highlights to my hair. I had never colored my hair. My hair tends to be dry so I didn’t want to do damage plus I liked the color; a nice warm brown that suited my skin tone. On the other hand, I have a great stylist and there’s nothing wrong with a little change. (Or a lot of it for that matter!) Over time we decided on a lovely auburn shade with highlights here and there. Love it.

On March 19, the governor closed all beauty salons.

On April 23, I am baffled.

In March, I had to postpone my hair appointment. Today, I am looking at about two months of new hair growth. A couple of things here: First, it is just not fair to be this much grayer… But second….what is that other color growing out?? Did recessive black hair genes just kick in? Did this happen at some point in the last couple of years and I just never realized? I’ve heard of stress causing biochemical changes, but hair color? Not gray mind you, but the actual shade?

I’ve been pondering what to do. Obviously, I won’t be able to go to my dear Nikki for.. don’t know.. a month? Two? Three or more? In the meantime, this really isn’t the time to dither in the Kroger hair care aisle to select a color to experiment with at home. (It takes me an hour just to pick out mascara.) So I guess I just answered my own question. Nothing to do. On the bright side, I am a bit curious to see what color eventually appears. In the meantime, at least I found my products on Amazon. And there is plenty of time for me to plan a welcome back to work gift, party, parade, (you get the idea), for Nikki.

As always, thanks for reading and stay safe. We’re in this together!

Book orders

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I got off to a slow start today.

I stayed up late last night to finish a book, A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths. I happened to buy this book in January – or was it February – before the pandemic had been declared. I realized, at the time, this was the fifth in Ms. Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series but decided to buy it anyway. I was actually rather proud of myself: me? start reading a series out of order? Unheard of! I congratulated myself for such rebellious behavior and plopped the book on my ever expanding ‘to be read pile’.

A couple of weeks later Dave and I went to the library. I happened to see The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – the first in the Ruth Galloway series. What the heck…I checked it out. Read it. Loved it. A dandy mystery with a wonderful lead character. Dr. Ruth Galloway, an archeologist, is a stand out in the genre. A great character and a very interesting story line. Being a mystery lover, I am always delighted to ‘discover’ an intelligent and engaging series. (I know this one has been out for quite awhile – I’ve come to the party a tad late.)

By then, our governor had closed all non essential businesses. No more trips to the library or bookstore for my entertainment – I would have to make due with the umpteen books sitting/piled around my house. What to read? Revisit a comforting old favorite? That would be perfect to sooth the nerves. Or… As I stood in front of my overcrowded bookshelves, my eyes landed on book number five in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series.

Damn.

I ordered books two thru four from thriftbooks.com. Devoured them. Loved them too. So much so that today I have ordered the next three books. (And a couple from James Doss. His were easy to rationalize, I can’t find them in my library branch.) I’ve learned my lesson. No more random starts or stops – begin at the beginning and stay the course. A lesson for our times.

Exercise and wine.

I’ve gone back to basics.

A few years ago, I admitted to myself it was time to start exercising regularly. It wasn’t that I never exercised, I just never found an exercise I liked well enough to do on a daily/weekly basis. My unofficial hobby became searching for a likable activity.

I tried gyms. Hmmm. I approached my first gym membership with enthusiasm: stationary bike, tread mill, mixed with weights, right? Great… but there were a few things… like the time it took to get the place and back home was almost as long as a workout! And working out in a gym, for me, was okay but I disliked waiting for machines, wiping away someone else’s sweat, and having other people impatient for me to clear off. Next I tried various exercise classes. The dance workouts. I drew the line at the paramilitary stuff. Nothing struck a chord.

So.

What did I like? Walking briskly. I love riding my bicycle although I can’t stand a stationary bike. And yoga. Perfect. Cheap and easy, I can walk or ride my bicycle daily – weather permitting. As for yoga, I adore YogawithAdriene.com. My new goal(s): keep sane, healthy, and finally lose that pesky last ten pounds, through daily basic exercise.

And a bit of wine always helps.

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Little things

Like after a sad day and wanting nothing more than to turn it off for just a bit, coming across a Harry Potter movie marathon.

Or a nearly full candy dish:

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My grandparents kept a candy dish of hard candies in their living room. Grandpa would tuck some in his pocket and carry them everywhere he went. (Looking back, I think his hard candies were his habit – especially after he gave up his cigars.) Sometimes he would have those sweets that were hard on the outside with gooey centers. Not my personal favorite. During the holidays, Grandpa would have Christmas mello cremes, my very favorite. I never saw these delightful treats outside of my grandparents’ house. I didn’t even know they were called mello cremes: I referred to them as ‘like candy corn but in Christmas shapes’. Until recently.

Last Christmas, I decided these candies needed to be in my home. I searched and searched and finally found them. A perfect addition to the holiday! These, which are better than I remembered, are by Sweet Gourmet and, of course, can be found on Amazon. Dave and I agreed mello cremes should make seasonal appearances in our house. So why am I showing Christmas shapes in March? Because the Easter shapes were sold out and I wanted my sweet treat! I took a gamble these would not be too stale and happily aren’t. Well. Come what may, a short break, all thanks to J. K. Rowling, SyFy, and Sweet Gourmet!

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Happy Bunnies

I was watching our governor’s daily Coronavirus update when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Two bunnies were racing across the yard:

I guess we have some truly yummy weeds growing outside my kitchen window.

Anyway….

Like most everyone else, a lot of my extra brain space is used up with our pandemic. I’m making every effort to find those little happy moments, like these two visitors. In that vein, I’m thrilled to report my stitches from my oral surgery have been removed!

My periodontist took out the stitches yesterday and declared me healing. Not “healed” mind you, but on my way. He said it will still be a month before I can eat anything crunchy and six months before the graft itself is completely healed. Drat. Still, it is great to be another step further along. My craving for popcorn increases.

Thanks for reading and stay safe and healthy!

Time to unblock……

I’ve spent a whole lot of time feeling disconnected of late.

I think the oral surgery was far more than I expected. Usually I gauge the seriousness of a procedure by how long severe pain lasts, but this time I’ve been achy and tired for almost two weeks after the event. Dave reassures me by very kindly reminding me that I “had a lot of work done”.

And I can’t rule out the Coronavirus as a contributor to my current state of mind (or lack thereof). I’ve done my shopping and Dave is working from home. Our governor has taken actions designed to slow the spread of the disease. It is necessary, practical, and I’m glad that sensible, proactive steps have been taken. (I admit it plays into my hypochondriac tendencies. So far I’ve been convinced I’ve had the virus, IBS, and possibly the plague. Henny Penny has nothing on me.). I hope to continue to support our small businesses. We can still get take out from our favorite pub, and who knows – maybe even our neighborhood coffee shop. Well, we’ll play that one by ear.

One bright moment I almost forgot about in the past couple of days:

I decided last week, (pre closings), I needed to get out of the house. I signed up for a two and a half hour watercolor class. I’ve had some past experience and training with watercolors but it has been years since I’ve painted. I thought a couple of hours out and refresher class should lift my spirits.
My end result:

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Not only did I enjoy my time out, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed watercolors.

Sitting here today, I must admit I feel almost like I’ve woken up. I think I’ll spend my time working on my clay, or paints, and feeling lucky to have my family.

Thank you for reading.

Donuts and Scotch

I’ve come to understand that each and everyone of us has that ‘thing’ (or things). That ‘thing’ which is unique to each person: a nagging ailment/phobia/disorder – a chronic condition/burden/’thing’ that challenges us and accompanies (haunts) us throughout life. Where do these ‘things’ come from? Genetics? Predispositions? Misspent youth? A past life determination? Prelife choice? I kinda like that last option. During a ‘fit of fancy’, (as my Grandmother would have called it), I visualize waiting in line. A voice cries out “next!”. My turn. “Now”, says the disembodied voice, “for this upcoming lifetime pick three burdens from column A, four challenges from column B and two blessing from column C.” Looks like I choose periodontal disease.

Hummph. A frustratingly seemingly unending ‘thingy’. Once settled in, periodontal disease has no intention of leaving its dark cozy corners. I have regular cleanings/check ups with my periodontist and also my regular dentist. I get excited when the newest model of electric toothbrush hits the shelf. I have a stash of proxy brushes in the perfect width. I make a special trip to CVS for my preferred dental tape. I can’t remember all the surgeries and treatments I have had. I have planned nutritious soft food menus for post treatments to insure rapid recovery. In short, I have fought the good fight. In December, my periodontist said I needed more surgery. A gingival graft to rebuild my gum line.

After hearing that, (“it is not an emergency – no need to schedule right now”), I went home and sulked. That news made me – well – mad. I spend so much time, effort, and money and here I go again. Right? I ranted a bit. Sputtered. And then gave up. I had the surgery on Tuesday. It was a painful one. But I have decent pain killers. I have to admit, I’m still a bit, (or a lot), sulky. Oh I think I’ll heal fine, I’ll just be cranky about it. I know I need to come to a different point of view but not just yet. Right now I’m going to just eat soft foods and watch movies. But I’ve been thinking… donuts are soft, (must be gluten free for me. I think that was a column B option), and hey – a nice single malt scotch whiskey would lift my spirits – and cut down on my need for the pain killers. Now that’s a plan!

Thanks for stopping and reading!

Jewelry photo moment

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/737266154/ombre-bright-red-mauve-orange-and-yellow?ref=shop_home_active_21&frs=1

I seem to be in a lull.
Not Creating jewelry.
Low Energy. That sort of thing.

It’s not that I’m being lazy, just a uninspired.
It will pass.
In the meantime, while editing my Etsy store, I realized how many of my pieces use this sometimes pointy oval shape.

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/736334362/lightly-distressed-black-polymer-clay?ref=shop_home_active_25&frs=1

This is a pleasing and friendly shape to me. My favorite:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/741700768/linked-two-piece-olive-green-and-yellow?ref=shop_home_active_7&frs=1

I think my designs will need to deviate a tad. Or a lot. Hey, I’m thinking about new stuff already! A very good sign indeed.

Thanks for reading!