Thursday, August 30, 2012

first day of school again

the first day of school has rolled around again. i drove my daughter to her hell hole. she told me while we sat in bumper to bumper traffic, that she wished she could go back to when she was a freshman. that was when she could walk into the building and not be filled with crazy levels of emotions.  i understand her anxiety. in preparing for this day, i too have had a lot of trepidation.

when i went to high school, i could count on the specific smell of freshly sharpened pencils and it being too hot out to wear one of my newest woolen skirts. now, it is a smell of hair product, new backpacks and some stuff you just can't put your finger on.  i would guess some of that is testosterone and estrogen raging against the machines if i had that chance.

as the usual end of summer panic sets in, my husband entertains notions of saving a crumb of it for his mental scrapbook. his summers are filled with long work days, fresh salads for dinners and weekend travel with the kids. the reality of this is, he plays hockey 2-3 times a week, nods off before some dinner slop is hastily pulled together. he fantasizes and makes do with a couple of days in some NH campsite with the younger smart-ass set.  this is his vacation. mine is when he goes.
they top off this rougher vacation pass by visiting one of his clients and his wife. they  have a lovely vacation home on a lake in NH. i usually take photos of the brood before they strike off in their faux-camping phase. this is just in case i need to have a park ranger find them. fresh photos are a benchmark of this experience.

i enjoy staying home. me and the dog. and whatever child has a scheduling conflict for this 'vacation'.  the hosts of my family (other than the campgrounds) are a very nice, older couple. they are well off and are happy to have my husband and kids visit. they are not interested in my dog... which is great news for me. i have enjoyed the family free experience with glee each time i have had to say no thank you to the invite.
 my hubby does a lot of work for them, and apparently this time through, brought some of it with him. luckily for him, this is an overnighter of a visit. no greater amount of time could be set aside to deal with a dream to-do list.

one of the things that happens on this trip, is that my eldest is called by the wrong name for days on end. she is hugely good natured about it and tries to ignore the whole thing. ignoring is different than planned distraction. she brought her computer, headphones and other stuff with her. i think her strategy will work, since being called holly, kelly, hailey and other variants is not her thing. it is especially pointed as her given name is halley.  she is pleasant enough about it, but it is understandably wearisome. she has other issues on her mind this year. the main one is that she will be returning to college in 3 days. last year she had an apartment 'off campus'; this year she will be enjoying on-campus digs with 3 other living, breathing, digital art majors. they are her friends too.  so she needs to bring less to school with her.  it is obvious, that our basement will remain cluttered for a while longer.

the boy, who has had a bucket list from hell this past year, will be returning to college during the first week of sept.. he has been a snippy, inconsiderate lump a lot this summer. i am looking forward to the end of this miserable version of him. last year he could not wait for us parents to hit the road. this year, i suspect that it will be the other way around.  perhaps having stuff on his now broodish little mind has been as hard for him as it has for me. he claims his current reticence is due to his upgraded social life. i think that there is some truth to this. there is a large component of less contact with his mom and dad is likely to keep him off of our radar more. this strategy may be simple, but effective. he only has 3 1/2 more days to keep things moving along harmoniously. it is possible that he could accomplish his goal.

of course, while i am dragging around town to handle the needs of the now high school sophomore, the boy is being showered with foodie gifts from his hosts as they all rough it together. his hosts prepared a feast of macaroni and cheese with lobster in it for his and his sister halley's(kelly-halle-hailey-holly...) dinner. coming back to the house will undoubtedly fail to meet his newly expanded dreams of real life.

simultaneously, my widget and i were at a sporting goods store. we were on the hunt for a good backpack that said, "i am cool, in spite of wearing this dorky book-toting/supply bag".  her considerations while trying to select a nice accessory included: does this backpack make me look nerdy?  but does it make my butt look big too? just the classics, ma'am, just the classics.

my head hurts from the anxiety of all of these considerations.

in dealing with all the logistics, it is time to make some floral goods. it is the best way i know how to cope with stress. make something.

these are some of my new lockets
with their special hiding place 
behind the flowers

another locket shot

bridging the gap into autumn colors

flying lockets

late day earrings

it smells like autumn coming

time to pack the car to take the eldest to college.
(please forgive my slow posting. it took 3 days to get this written) 

what a week!!


Friday, August 24, 2012

pillow talk

long have i waxed on about my PG rated fantasies here. i am after more hours than i can count, home alone. the silence punctuated by the cyclic running sounds of the air conditioner is simply HEAVEN on EARTH.
miss twentysomething is at work, the boy who likes to aggravate is at work with my husband, the widget is off with her bff at another teammates home. it is just me, the dog and the filthy tumbleweeds here. Is it wrong to say how much i absolutely LOVE IT?
i apologize to all if i am insulting them, or to you reading if you are in a mentally cluttered hell of your own... aka at the merciless whims of others.

this week has been extra sloggy. no real work has been accomplished. just too many things have been going on.

  1. tess' bff is visiting, for high school "hell week". for scheduling reasons above and beyond sensible control, she needed to be in providence, while her family was out of town. they still come and go, as her dad is working and her older sister has the same preseason crap to deal with. still, it made a lot of sense for her to bunk in with us. i am sure when she hits her twenties, we will not have stupid conversations like the one we had this morning.  Me: "k, did you brush your teeth?"  K:" ugh do you think i should?"  Me: "yes, you probably should".  {who is fifteen and doesn't know this yet? also who is fifteen and occasionally likes boys? also, who is fifteen and had me go pick her up at her house because she forgot her toothbrush there days ago? who is fifteen and has dropped a lot of IQ points just cause her head is not filled with life crap yet? the answer to all of these questions is K, she is fifteen.}
  2. son had work to do that actually tired him out. it included a trip to the DMV, which translated to 3 hours of sitting around with the milk and honey of Rhode Island car drivers. i can easily say, it is air conditioned adequately, so that would not have been a travesty for me to do. the point of being there was to get a car registered. one with power steering, all 4 doors that open and close, windows that open and close from each spot in the car. a gas cap that is attached to the car... not one that can fly off the trunk if you forget to screw it back in to its proper place after pumping gas.   Also the boy had to wait around for something else that day, an alarm company, and the end all be all was at the tire store. we needed to replace all 4 tires on the car to make it safely drivable. when we returned home to have dinner, all passive aggressive eyes look to me, to figure out what it is for common dinner. what ensued was a great grand group of misadventures. my son was watching "LOST" reruns. i was tired and as hungry as everyone else. i was talking to him and he was not amused. he wanted to become one with the sofa. eventually, he got annoyed enough to do the following. text me this message: "STFU".  this simple acronym spurred me into insanity. hurt and rage do not cover my emotional wealth at that moment. for those of you not into stupid stuff, this means:  "shut the fuck up''.  die child of mine for saying such a thing to your mother and suggesting/lying to say you meant to say it to your little sister. we both know you did not. 
  3. husband bought me a moving sofa when i started to drive. it may have been around $7oo. it was a navy colored buick lesabre. it had single seats for the front and back that were both covered in plush velveteen material. the car industry kind. in return,  my paycheck automatically deducted money to pay off a loan we took for a red 1985 mustang. husband wanted a muscle car baaad. we had no kids then. however, the car fell into disrepair as we fell into having children. it has sat in the driveway for nearly 20 years. earlier this summer there were columbines growing out from under its wheels. i loved that. i have been heard to say, i am one bad tattoo away from being officially poor white trash.  rarely do we enjoy all of our utilities working at the same time... we have too many cars in our one car driveway, the house is small and cramped, and we eat from the lowest pricing of the grocery store a lot. (mostly because two kids in college and a heart attack victim have left me with less choices for serving food and the pocketbook to do it with).  so  yesterday after a summer of father-son bonding, the mustang was fixed up well enough to be sold. it was bittersweet. 
  4. i applied to two shows by the same promoter. he is a swell guy and helps loads of people with his vision of things. sometimes, he gets ahead of things. simultaneously, there is a facebook page that is invite only and filled with info about shows. we of the crafting sort have taken to chatting through this forum.  also, i have had to remind myself many times over, not everyone has the same relationship. so yesterday and the day before, many of the folks on my circuit weighed in on the fact that they had made it into one of the shows i had applied for. now the fees for doing the  show will cost $450 to be paid up front for december dates. not only is this inconvenient, but it is gonna set me back to square one for a while.  this having been said, one of the members of our crafty tribe announced that she was in! this was done publicly on our facebook forum. many others ensued. i am not trying to be a bitch, but not everyone heard their news. so it was upsetting since i was one that hadn't gotten the word yet. i tried not to say STFU but it was eating at me. eventually i did say something about this on the fb page.  really, everyone should be told at the same time. also the artists that were in, should NOT have crowed about it. adulthood and grace should have inserted itself to say, not until everyone knows. this is what private messages are for. 
so i am if nothing a bit grumpy. between this and wanting some sugar really badly while i got a full body set of hives in response to my insulin meds... well grumpy just begins to cover that mess.
today's silence is heaven on earth. i am enjoying it to the max. hell, i may even take a shower and vacuum finally. luxurious style isn't it?

why did i call this post "PILLOW TALK"?
in my mind's eye, i have developed a line of sofa pillows that i call Pillow Talk. they have sayings needlepointed onto them. kind of like on my great grandma emma's sofa and living room chairs. you know the ones... they never got soiled because they were covered in plastic sheathing? yep. 
to balance these leg-sticking covers, i want to do a bunch of pillows for my sofa. 

clearly a forerunner as of this week is 

a second choice is one holding my family crest on it...
an ostrich with its head under ground. 
surrounded with midievel heraldry symbols and a shield. 
this represents the inability of all my family to deal with shit head on. 

the third is a quote from the chairman MAO...
"it is always darkest before it goes completely black."

surely, there are other choices, but i am now tired and not gonna list them. i am gonna take another leg to my nappage with the getting is good. 


fresh flowers are drying as i write this. 
soon my pretties... we will be ready to harvest a new batch. 
and they will become new lockets. 
in two sizes 
and two metal colors. 
hands are rubbing together in glee here!

green tea rose

chambray flower

sunset rose

peace rose


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a summer-free summer

this summer never got off the ground. it was filled with a lot of going to and fro to places that were deemed essential for making things go forward. not enough of it was dedicated to relaxation, fresh lazy meals and seeing my intact brood all together.

instead i had little sleep and weird dreams to fill that in. like just tonight's dreams were filled with two of my friends coming to visit my tree house home and wrecking their car as well as my tender edifice as they tried to move off of a porch outcropping. ok, i know, weird as all heck. still it was a dream.

in fact, yesterday should have been composed in blocs of time. not regular ones like minutes and seconds, but just chunks. that was the way it was dedicated to being.

  1.  first bloc, take one child to field hockey practice... for preseason{day 2};
  2.  take bff to another location for another sport preseason practice {morning day 2} at an hour later... her ride forgot to come get her;
  3.  an hour later, pick up first child who is now melting down over not having a copy of her well dr.'s annual visit report from last year; pick up guest child from remote practice location; 
  4. meeting a friend for coffee since i have a gift for her and have not seen her all summer;
  5. interim between meeting and pickup of kids, go to dr's office to find a copy of medical records. told that it takes 3-5 business days. if non-official report is given, it is  immediately available. small victory cheering ensues.
  6. rush to meet friend for coffee and sit. evidently one of us is in the a/c and the other is baking in the sun on the patio. both considered late. 
  7. meet husband and son to switch cars and be left at husband's client's home to wait for ADT, the alarm people. they are scheduled to come from 1-3 pm to change a battery in their carbon monoxide alarm. 
  8. two hours later, no internet service, no ipad battery left, one magazine read, no ADT sighting, husband and son return from using car to client's house. we switch autos again. husband and son are in said car, arguing in the post driver's test passing mode. should be exciting time for kid, but he has as always, pissed off the dad. passing his test was accomplished with many caveats. 
  9. run south on highway to get food and layaway for child three. preparation for second athletic event of day. pick up jock clothing at store and find a rarity: cute shoes for me! shorty cowboy boots in red and black. perfect for upcoming long skirt and jeans weather. not real cowboy boots, but a nice inexpensive facsimile. 
  10. guest child goes to second pre-season practice of day, my own child gets to go to second athletic event of day... summer hockey season semi-final game. 
  11. as girls get their second practices accomplished, a buyer comes to look at a red mustang that has been residing in driveway for 20 yrs in all different states of disuse. the boy is again moping, since his bedroom overlooked it in the driveway. his personal dreams to fix it up and drive it, now dashed. the car has sold to a neighbor's friend. it is part of making me really poor white trash anyways, so i am glad to see income generated from its sale and space freed up in the driveway. 
  12. guest child gets ride home and is sporting a sprained ankle. practice was great. a teammate stepped on her ankle after she rolled it during practice.  she is staying with us, since her pediatrician dad and his dad, a pulmonary specialist are on the cape vacationing together. no help here... we are out of ibuprofen. ice packs are applied. 
  13. people are pissed that i haven't mailed stuff out. don't know when i would have found the time to be that efficient. 
  14. light is perfect outside, so a few photos of new floral lockets get snapped
  15. dinner, made in tandem by the boy and me. pasta, sauce, coleslaw. 
  16. waiting for eldest to get out of work at 10:30 pm. to give a ride home. 
  17. edit locket photos while awaiting trip to get eldest from work. 
  18. no ibuprofen in house for guest child who has foot propped up and is exhausted from practices. 
  19. finally start work day. totally tired myself. throw in towel and deal with insulin. now hives of days ago, finally gone. only one to remain is on right thumb. what is that all about?
  20. give up and promise to make a fresh start on next day. 
  21. sleep.
rinse and repeat. 

after all, it is 'hell week' at the high school. 
why not here too?
 just another day in my life.
 jam packed and all over the place. 
not truly productive.

locket photos are as follows:

closed locket

open locket

maybe i can catch a few more minutes of sleep, now that it is quiet here again?
i am going to give it the old college try. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

growing flowers & growing up

too much is packed into any single day. this is what has happened after my introduction to and acceptance of computers. i live by my own within arms reach by the way... so i am a big part of the problem. ok, perhaps i mean addiction. the real thing of it is, as much as it would be really swell to slow down to appreciate the little things in life, it is really hard to do just that. 

for 15 years, we have belonged to a swim club. it is a little place in the middle of the woods in seekonk, ma. i have hated, loved, sunned,  laughed, reveled in, swam, played in sand and on tennis courts, cooked for the masses from the snack bar and for my own little family and many other time frittering activities . it has been a lifesaver and a pain in the ass. what it has most been, is the touch stone for my kids to grow up in. they learned to swim here. my daughter met her best friend here. my son fell smitten to a girl's charms for the first time here. my little girl nursed under a tree here. it has held a lot of my own life and social fabric over the years, i met several of my dearest friends here. 

sometimes you simply outgrow that which is dearest to you. for this i am horribly sad. my youngest, who visited in utero for her first time, said this to me this week. it is sad, but i think i need to relinquish my death grip on my membership there. i need to grow up some too. 

these days, my work is what makes me move around and forward. i am totally invested in varied components of its day to day workings. i need electricity and the internet and a charged camera to keep moving things along. in spite of using mostly hand held tools and low tech methodology, periodically, i need the comforts of my own digs. additionally, i have a lot of stock i like to draw upon, to create stuff with. bringing all of it along to supervise my children at the pool is no longer as easy as it once was. 
there are also many commitments that pull me from place to place as i move from craft show to open air art gigs. i know i am changing little by little, but it is with bittersweet sadness that it happens. 

i guess having two kids in college should have been a wake-up call, but i do not like change. even if it is very slow,  methodical and so subtle that it has gone unnoticed.  i think i just need to accept that i have changed already. dangitall. 

my body has developed diabetes, which is totally controllable as i tweak medicines around, exercise more and eat healthier.  my blood pressure which was a little scary high a month ago, is now in a very nice place. i have two friends who make cool belts and i would love to wear them... so this belly fat has GOT to go.  it is time to cede to the personal needs and adjust for the second half of my life. even if i am doing it while kicking and screaming all the way. 

in the mean time, i shall be fiddling with my floral pieces. trying out fresh garden themes and wearing them to the supermarkets around town. how else would i get ambient feedback and maintain a reputation for eccentricity?  i would love to be as adventuresome as iris apfel and create gobsmacking style as i convert oxygen to carbon dioxide. perhaps i already have started. call me a grandma moses wannabe.  costume jewelry addiction is my medium.  i would love to take a page from my own sensibilities and be as innovative as some have suggested my own jewelry style infers. to live what i fantasize; new goals are to be dreamt of, striven for  and hopefully achieved.  i always am facing some personal challenge or another. perhaps just trying to take them in stride is the only way i can move along as the slip stream of life pushes me forward. 

this week, in a post block island show aftermath, i worked on several different things. 
the first of which was repairing my depleted stock. secondly, was the joy of reconnecting with a few of my wholesale customers. i spent time on line at the DMV, which is one of the seven circles of hell that Dante described. it was nothing in comparison to the undescribed eighth circle also known as Walmart. 
i did make it to the swim club for my 3rd time this summer with tess and one of her friends... so that was good. And, i made the following bracelets. i think this week has been pretty full. 

these are some of the chain bracelets 
that are popular with all kinds of ladies...

i spent a lot of time watching the block island guests 
flow in and out
while making stuff to refill my trays.
these were part of that collection... 

more of the boldly patterned flower-fete

if in doubt, make a pearl necklace.
loads of future brides come to Block Island to check it out.
one never knows if a statement necklace is part of that.

speaking of brides and stuff... 
my pal from the craft circuit requested a necklace for her special day. 
this is what ensued. 

fresh earrings

 it is time to do some work, sorting, storing, making fresh space for glorious things. i have been stocking up like a crazy person for the holiday season. i bought a lot of gorgeous vintage new old stock lucite beads. their colors made me feel as if they were made just for me. this next week or two will be spent playing with them... in new combinations. bright, happy, fun-filled mixtures. they will be paired with my autumnal palette of flowers and really,  i just can't wait! 

adieu for now... xoxo.w.