Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Goodwill Adventures of an Injured Craftaholic...and the Pinterest Vortex

Today I ventured out of my seclusion.  Not far, actually...just around the corner to the Goodwill.

The doctor says I can't lift anything heavier than a milk jug, but stresses how much I need to walk.  So I walked  around my apartment.  Sometimes I wrapped up the cord, strapped on the black bag containing my wound vac (sounds fun, huh?), and ventured outside a few steps.  Needless to say, my apartment walls are closing in on me.  In truth, they already have closed in on me and are crushing me into the dust. The longer I'm here, the more our clutter, etc is driving me crazy.  So what do I do?  Go to Goodwill to buy more clutter! Oh wait, I meant go to Goodwill so I could walk around and look at stuff. ;)

Almost immediately, I broke something.  Yep, I'm a smooth one.  In my defense, I picked up the jar, and the lid flew off.  The tape wasn't on there securely, as it had been on all other jars.  Have you ever experienced  that moment when you know something bad is about to happen, and the world goes into slow motion while you stop breathing, but to no avail?  I was suspended in that vortex, as the doomed piece of glass plummeted to it's tile-floor death.  Luckily, another shopper ran for help.  Being a responsible citizen, I stayed in place to make sure all the other bargain-hunters wouldn't be injured.  Since I currently have the speed of a snail on muscle relaxers, this was probably a good call.  After an eternity....or ten employee FINALLY came to dispose of the shattered glass, and I was off to wander aimlessly, looking for treasures. 

I discovered Goodwill shoppers can be a bit territorial.  While browsing the baskets, I saw one that was rabbit-shaped...with RED eyes (the basket, that is...not the shoppers). As I was contemplating why anyone in their right mind would have such a horrible thing in their house, I unwittingly began eavesdropping on a squabble. Two of my fellow shoppers on the next aisle over were arguing about personal space.  Let's call them Invader and Annoyed for ease of storytelling.  Invader was getting way into Annoyed's space.  Annoyed told her to stop.  Invader said Annoyed was crazy.  Annoyed became more annoyed and pointed out the vastness of the store.  She told Invader, "Look around, we are in an ocean and you are determined to crawl up in my little shell with me!  I'll be done in a minute.  BACK OFF!"  I guess Annoyed had a crazy look in her eye, because Invader backed down and walked away. 

Darnit!  I was all set and ready to witness a full-blown Goodwill death match.  Alas, my dreams were thwarted...

However, my violent dreams were forgotten once they announced that everything with an orange tag was 30% off!  Goodwill shoppers go a little crazy and I must admit, I did get excited.  I decided to take a second look.  I mean, I can't pass up a sale at the Goodwill!

I blame my sudden urge to peruse the thrift stores on Pinterest!!!  If you have been in a hole and haven't discovered this site, go check it out.  I'll warn you though, it's HIGHLY addictive...and I seriously believe it's a vortex that distorts the space-time continuum....
I have been sitting here now for a couple of weeks with nothing much to do.  At first, I hurt too much and was pretty heavily medicated, so I would just lie here in my recliner, scrolling through pins.  Once I eased off the medication and gained some mobility, I knew what my mission in life would now least until I heal more fully...

What is that mission you may ask?  I'll tell you...


Ahhhhhhhhhhh!  It's an obsession.  I've been creating scrabble tile jewelry, little glass fridge magnets, charms, and have shrinky dink paper ready to go...

I have begun to collect every jar, box, Pringle's can, toilet paper tube, tin can, and anything else I can think of.  I need to start drinking those little bottles of Starbuck's because they look like old fashioned milk bottles, and there are crafts to be done with them.  I've put out a Facebook alert for all my friends to save liquor bottles if they party over New Years.  I want to refinish old dressers, shelves, and tables.  I want to pull all the drawers out of my dresser so I can put them on the wall as shelving.  I want to create a bookshelf out of the dresser that will no longer have drawers...

I have a burning desire to hunt down old apple crates, beat up pallets, rustic doors, weathered ladders, and vintage tea boxes to use them in creative ways.  I have looked at everything in my home and wondered how it can be re-purposed. 

I have somehow recently acquired a small addiction to vintage jewelry.  I am itching to create my own with resin.  I pulled out my grandmother's jewelry box and have been googling incessantly to see if anything has value (not to re-sale, just so I don't re-vamp something that should be left alone).  

Just a small sample of the jewelry my grandmother had...

I am dying to find a big, ugly picture, so I can jack the frame and use it to create a groovy magnet board.   I am looking at all my pictures to see which one I can make into a dry erase board.  I am going to make picture frames, gift card holders, photo boxes, and wall art from old CD cases.  I am going to use all those old DVD cases that no longer have DVD's in them (grrr....does that make you crazy or WHAT???)...I'm going to make coupon organizers and notepad holders out of those.  The old, scratched CD's will become magnets or ornaments.  

I am determined that my friends will all receive handmade gifts from now on, such as bath salts, sugar scrub, or bath oil.  Or little pies in Mason jars, or DIY candles, or or or....well, you get the idea.  

What does this all this have to do with Goodwill?  

I found a wooden plaque to re-do with my own art.  I found some interesting bottles for a dollar or less.  I found an armoire I'd kill to paint for $54...but I had to walk away...such a sad day...

I found a jar with all the green, teal, and cobalt blue floral beads that I've been thinking would be great in my bathroom...for a steal.  My inner toddler screamed with excitement over the dollhouse I found, but I somehow managed to pull myself away....but it would be SO much fun to decorate and add furniture...look, it even has a little porch swing! 

My motherlode came in the form of 2 bags containing jewelry-making supplies.  Container after container of beads, findings, tools, wire, etc!!!!  If you have priced that stuff, you know we are talking some serious $$.  I was actually saying earlier in the day that I'd love to try my hand at it, but I couldn't afford to buy the things I'd need.  I got a ton of stuff for about $9 total.  This was confirmation from God that I should make pretty necklaces!!! (Ok...maybe that's stretching it a bit, but I take the signs where I can) 

I mean....LOOK at all this!!!

The only problem now is me.  I am so exhausted after my trip to Goodwill that I don't have the energy to craft!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

World Domination and the Little Guy

I'm not sure why, but I have a thing for the little guy with dreams of world domination.  Maybe I admire their spirit.  Perhaps I feel sorry for them.  Or maybe I secretly long for supreme power?  Could that be why I blog?  I feel the need for followers...
I've loved Brain the longest.  He toils away each night, trying to take over the world.  His only companion is the lovable, yet clueless, Pinky.  If you never watched this cartoon, I'm sorry.  Your life is not complete.  Here is an example of his awesomeness.


Plankton was my next love.  While most people prefer the goofy singing sponge, give me the maniacal little guy with dreams of taking over!  

A while back, I fell in love with Dr. Horrible.  Neil Patrick Harris plays the lovable mad scientist in love with Penny, a girl from the laundromat he's never spoken to.  His dreams of ruling the world are constantly thwarted by the "hero", Captian Hammer, who is a complete jerk.  Dry humor, mad scientist bent on world domination and singing...pure genius.  Joss Whedon, I bow to your greatness.  Of course, NPH, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day also help to make this amazingly epic.  I love all three!  

If you are still with me, you have by now realized I carry a PLATINUM nerd card.  

Does anyone want to apply to be my minion?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Thoughts...

            This time of year always gets me a little depressed.  I thought in the past it was because I was alone.  This year, I have a wonderful man and his two daughters to celebrate with (along with the already wonderful family God has blessed me with).  Still, I find myself getting a little sad.  I've come to the conclusion the holiday melancholy is more than just who I'm with. 
            I can't figure out what it is though.  I do find it sad that we are so commercialized.  I'm sick of retailers corrupting Christmas songs with attempts to lure shoppers to their stores.  I'm completely disgusted with Black Friday, and this year is worse than ever.  They now have stores opening at midnight on Thanksgiving!  People get killed in that rush to find the cheapest toy or laptop.  Is it really that important?  Let's open several hours earlier so the injuries can begin faster! 
            The holidays also get me thinking a lot about the world.  Everything is about peace, love and goodwill to all.  It makes me sad that we aren't that way all the time.  Why do people only serve at soup kitchens during the holiday season?  Why is that the only time, besides Easter, that people go to church? 
            I'm going to try harder this year to focus on the positives.  I've noticed over the years that our tree has very few store-bought ornaments on it.  I'm glad of that.  My daughter and I have always enjoyed making our own.  I think as the season gets more and more politically correct and commercialized we need homemade ornaments more than ever. 
            All over Facebook this year has been "30 days of thankfulness" status updates.  I love this and am participating.  I know that personally, I need all the thankfulness reminders I can get.  I have decided that December needs to stay in the right focus I'm doing things to purposely keep Him in my thoughts.  
            I like the idea of homemade gifts and acts of service.  Another idea I read is to purposely give a "gift" to God.  This can be whatever you pray about and he lays on your heart.  (spend more time with Him, give up something, finally forgive someone, etc)  This is very personal and should just be between you and I'm praying about what He wants me to give.  
            Since I'm a Facebook junkie, I love the spirit of daily thankfulness, so I'm considering ways to continue that. I thought about posting a scripture a day, or posting quotes from Jesus.  I've decided to let God lead me.  I will post something that glorifies God each day.  It may be a scripture, a quote, a thought, or whatever else God places on my heart.  
            I am praying for a joyful holiday season.  If I keep my eyes on the Lord, how can I be depressed?  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

See you later, daddy

Early Friday morning, Nov. 4, I received a call that my daddy had gone to be with Jesus.

Obviously, my emotions have been going crazy.  I should have spent more time with him, I wish Alyssa had made those butterscotch cupcakes for him sooner, etc.  I guess no matter when it happened, we will always have those regrets.

He called me Thursday night.  We chatted about how busy I've been, etc.  I told him I missed him and that we had to get together soon.  My last words to him were, "I love you."  At least I can feel peace about that.

I will never again get to tease him about being old, fight with him about his psycho cat, watch sci-fi movies with him, get annoyed when he gets onto us about texting too much, or discuss traditional vs modern music in church. I will never again get to eat his homemade ice cream, gang up on him with my stepmom, or get a daddy hug.

I know he's with Jesus.  I know his legs don't hurt anymore.  I know he's happy and at peace.  I am thankful for that.

But I miss my daddy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Have Public Schools Lost ALL Common Sense?

I know a seventh grade honor student.  She makes good grades, and up to now has never really been in trouble.  She has recently been studying to take her SAT as part of the Duke University Talent Search.  The other day, this child made a stupid mistake.

She now has a $400 ticket, 3 days of suspension, a month in an alternative school (where they send the thugs), and she may get kicked out of her magnet program.

If I heard that, I'd think, "Wow.  She must have done something awful."  Some of the things that come to mind are cussing out teachers, flipping over desks, drugs in the locker, etc.  Did this child do anything like that?  Nope.

She wrote her name on a wall...with a washable marker.

What ever happened to "let the punishment fit the crime"?  Yes, there should be a consequence.  Make her wash the wall and put her in detention!  If she makes a habit of it, increase the penalty.  Even real courts take a person's record into account.

Apparently public schools are so worried about gangs, thugs and maintaining order that they have lost all  common sense.  It just breaks my heart that a good kid is getting hurt in the process.  Oh wait...this is the same school that wouldn't give the child a pad when she started her period early because she didn't have a quarter...

Dont' even get me started on that...

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Apathetic Generation

We couldn’t reach a debt agreement, so we raised the debt ceiling
And we wonder why people are going bankrupt
We watch as social security gets cut more and more
And we wonder why younger people disrespect the elderly
We take prayer out of school and make Christians into a joke
And we wonder why kids are losing all morality
Our television, movies and video games are getting more violent all the time
And we wonder why our children are
We can’t be bothered to get involved at our child’s school because we are too busy
And we wonder why our kids don’t take school seriously
We don’t have time to read to our children
And we wonder why they don’t like books
We see pollution, bullying, and homelessness, but we look away
And we wonder why our children are apathetic.

Maybe we should look in the mirror?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What is Love?

I was listening to the radio the other day, and they were talking about how people change when they get into a relationship.  The conversation was about where the line should be drawn.  If your partner gains 20 lbs do you drop them?  100 lbs? All agreed that if your significant other changes much you have every right to move on...the argument was that it's no longer the person you fell in love with...

I think the whole conversation showed a completely wrong attitude about fact, what they described isn't love at all.

Everything in that little radio bit was selfish.  Their entire focus was on "me".
In our culture, that's how love is viewed.  

I think love should be a commitment to put another person's happiness above your own.  I'm not saying we should let ourselves fact, if we love our partner we should try to stay healthy for them.  What I'm saying is that if our focus is selfless instead of selfish, wouldn't our relationships go a lot further?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Happy Place

I love Bay Area Park.  I think it's because it doesn't feel like Houston.  In fact, it's one place down here where I can go to escape traffic noise.  It has the feel of being off in the country, by a lake.

This place helped me maintain my sanity last year.  I spent most of my lunch breaks there....thinking, praying, writing, taking pictures...

It was my quiet place.  It still is.  There are times I go there just to get away.  

Bay Area Park does disappoint me though!  

These signs are posted everywhere:

Damn.  I REALLY wanted to agitate an alligator...and introduce him to my five pound chihuahua...

(By the way...being the Grammar Nazi I am, I must mention the incorrect word choice on the sign...if you see it too I love you!  I mean, really?  If the city pays for a sign you'd think they would have someone edit...)

Here's the crazy part...I was there once and saw someone letting their two dogs splash around in the water.  Now I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking that if the city takes the time to post these signs, there just might be alligators lurking somewhere.  

But maybe that's just me...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It's raining outside.  Ordinarily, I love this weather.  I like to lie on my bed, snuggled up in one of grandma's quilts, and watch the drops from my window.  I love listening to the rumble of thunder while reading a favorite book. I live for these days. They are my favorites. 

Today it's just gray, cold and wet.  God has created a perfect setting for the way I'm feeling.  

My teenager started off the morning by being difficult and making me late for work.  I had just about let that go when I received the call that my uncle had passed away.  Besides the worry for my aunt, I began to really think about death. I thought about when my mom and I found my stepfather on the couch, after the heart attack in his sleep.  I thought about the aging family members I have, and all their health problems.  I thought about my great-grandfather who was no longer in his right mind after a traumatizing assault, and who eventually ended his own life.  

I thought I would be fine staying at work for the day.  An hour later, I was on my way tears.  

I'm not even sure what I'm feeling...other than the incessant throbbing from a splitting headache.  I should take a nap, but that requires going home.  And home is oppressive today.  

Instead, I'm sitting at the library with a laptop, attempting to write.  On the way over, I thought of so much to say.  Now words escape me.  

The only way to describe my thoughts today?  Disconnected...



Monday, July 18, 2011

For the single ladies...

I wrote this a while back, but I think it's funny.  So I decided it needs to be on my blog!  Please take it with a grain of salt...I was being silly that day.  This is what happens when word nerds sit in drive-thru lines for long periods of time...

My intense frustration at my isolation
Is leading me to devastation. 
I need salvation in the form of adoration
From a man who won't be an irritation. 
I'd like to take a vacation in God's creation
With a man who will stop my desolation. 
I'll starve myself to emaciation to find a man in a high paying occupation
That will kiss me in the precipitation. 
The only problem with this approximation? 
It will surely lead to fornication!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Avoiding Church...

Another Sunday has come and gone...and I never made it to church...again.  Why do I have such a problem conforming?  Why can't I just make myself get up, go eat donuts, sing for exactly 20 minutes, listen to a sermon and then go to Luby's with the rest of the crowd?  Every week I say this one will be different.  I go to bed with the best intentions, and I even set my alarm.  I begin to head in to wake up my teenager...and then I stop.  I stay in my pajamas, grab something to eat, and get sidetracked.  Time seems to fly by...I look up and it's noon.  Poo.  I did it again.  So I firmly resolve that next week will be different, and the cycle begins again.

I love Jesus.  I really do.  I love most of the people...the ones that talk to me anyway.  Is it that I'm looking for a perfect church?  After sitting here thinking about this a lot today, I have come to the conclusion it's not church I'm opposed to but the idea of having to get ready for it.  It's having to take off my pajamas on a Sunday and actually GO somewhere.  Sad, but true.  

Why is that a bad thing?  I mean, isn't Sunday about rest?  So many people let the sun set on Sundays feeling more exhausted than before.  This seems counterproductive and not what God had in mind.  Just a theory though...

As in many things, I think it lies in balance.  Yes, I should go, but some people do need to learn that they can chill on Sunday.  Kick back with the family.  Enjoy life a little. 

Mixing up that church routine wouldn't hurt either.  How?  I don't know.  Start a creative arts ministry for teenagers and let them run the show once a month.  Have an all music service once in a while.  Meet at a park for worship one fall morning.  Have real testimonies.  Be real people.  Get out of your $150,000 house (or more) and see how the rest of the world lives.  Be open to having gay people at your church.  (Gasp!) Jesus loves them.  Why can't Christians?  That makes no sense.  How can a man having premarital sex with his girlfriend be accepted but not a lesbian?  They are both sinners...just like you and just like me.  

I have a hard time with church.  I know I'm supposed to be there for God, but all this bothers me.  Every time I turn around I hear someone talking about how church people are the worst.  They are the most judgmental and often very hateful.  It makes me sad.  

What's even more sad is that my teenager wants nothing to do with church youth groups.  She will go to Sunday morning service with me, but she really has no interest in her age group.  Having recently moved to Houston, she doesn't know anyone.  I told her she should go to make friends.  Her response?  "I don't want to make friends at church.  They don't understand me, and they don't accept people."  The sad part?  I can't really argue with it.  I tell her that she needs to focus on God and that there are serious ones there....she just has to be patient and she will find them.  

But I know how she feels...maybe there is a deeper reason for my church avoidance...

Getting all "blogged" down with decisions...

I finally bit the bullet and started a blog! This is something I've wanted to do for a while, but the process is overwhelming. On the surface, you might think it's a rather simple process. Pick a blog site, name your blog, apply a template. Done.

Anyone that knows me well at all will realize how much I struggle with making decisions. The tendency to over-analyze everything is a curse. (Note that the word "analyze" begins with "anal"...this is very appropriate)

Dilemma number one: What site do I use?
Being the lemming I am, I jumped off the cliff and followed my few blogging friends from Facebook.

The name was my second dilemma.
I thought of several overused sayings, awkward windows into my head, and titles suggested by friends. My math genius college friend does get props for his suggestion, "It's a Heatherful Life". Maybe down the road I will actually get good at this and use his creation. We shall see.

Being a very visual person, I was also stressed about how the blog would look. A little voice told me something profound though....
It said, "you can always change it later."

This led to an epiphany! I can change all of it later...or just create a new one.

I do believe "rambling out loud" totally sums it up.