Thursday, April 18, 2013

absent in mind, spirit and blogging

it has been a month and a half or longer since i last wrote anything. for who knows why, other than things have been very busy. i am happy that i am not imprisoned or unwell. My life is just busy enough to have me challenging a lot of new ideas and older commitments.
this month has brought a lot of fresh stuff my way, most of it is absolutely  wondrous and spectacular. so i thought rather than go into detail ad nauseum, i would just list some of the top notes from the recent events.

my list of some current personal events...
in NO PARTICULAR ORDER
 {ok?}

1. spring is finally happening.
i was beginning to unravel 
now i am super-grateful for the break in weather and the generous potential of upcoming months.


2. Three of my most profitable and favorite shows to do, are all scheduled to take place on the same weekend in december. 
splitting hairs is rough enough on any good day. 
i am deeply perplexed as to how to manage this terrible turn for my holiday planning.
it seems logical in light of this, that i now try to change things up and add in a 4th application for a show on the same weekend. 
perhaps things will shake out well in the long run!
it is after all, still april. 

3. i was accused of intellectual theft by another jeweler/artist. 
then her mother got on the bandwagon.
(although probably offered as parental support,
it served as an act of infantilizing her daughter's business experience.)
i believe that her accusations are wholly unfounded.
if she were half the business person that she considers herself to be,
she would have contacted me privately via email or snail mail, not as a private message on facebook.
she would have asked before accusing me of the things she has.
sometimes things evolve organically, along parallel lines independently of one another as in this particular case.
my response would have been to consider her requests and to respond in kind.
instead, i have been verbally assaulted and threatened.
this simply makes me mad and stubborn. surely not the end result dreamed about.
my work is in no way constructed or designed to infringe upon anyone in any manner.
i do research to ensure that this is my result.
what i do, is of my own making; from the hand painted flowers, to their jewelry applications.
if this were not so,
many folks would be paying royalties to the egyptians of the ancient world
or major costume jewelry companies such as Monet, Trifari, Miriam Haskell, etc.
they have all used the process of layering floral components.
this is not a new thing, such as the wheel once was.
everyone uses layered flowers and wheel ideas freely.
honey and sugar go a lot further than vinegar and vitriol. 
i do not take intellectual theft lightly at all.
asking before accusing is a better process.
any kind of plagiarism is a big NO-NO in my world. 

4. Jimmy Choo, the god of great footwear, had a couple of special meals with a friend of mine. 
SHE is the great chef of Kuala Lumpur 
Isadora Chai. 
her face graces many a magazine cover in her part of the world... 
making any trip by a newstand, "surreal" as she says it. 
seeing her own face look back at her from the tiers has got to be both exciting and a little creepy.
Mr. Choo, has enjoyed, admired and inquired about Izzy's jewelry worn for both these occasions.
the Chef and i are working through some plans for our future together, 
designing and marketing fresh glittery statements. 
good thing i am on Pacific Rim time for the greater part of it all. 


5. One of my dearest friends, Sydney,  is a Torontian. 
she has surfaced from the mire that can be all consuming. 
i call it parenthood. 
she is a woman who dresses for her own ideas, comfort, pleasure and entertainment. 
she is a magnificent human and i am so grateful she can snag a few moments to share her life with me... 
if only through the graces of emails and photos. 
here she is on the streets of Toronto named as a street fashionista! 
once a stand out, always a standout. 
(and yet a wonderful mum in the mix of her boys being boys)



7. when spring starts to edge into summer months, the show season will be fully underway.
i was considering  taking a weekend off from the carny circuit in june to attend my college reunion. 
the idea of having that for a goal to turn back time, aka lose weight and find my legitimate waistline, 
has been tampered with. 
MY dear friend from down under,  Rebecca Courtenay 
and her identical sister Mandy, will be visiting the USA for 10 days. 
i am planning on breaking out of new england and meeting them in the flesh in new york city. 
it is my own doublemint miracle. 
i am so excited about doing this i cannot say!



8. and to top out my list, 
here is the last item for now...
my work was accepted into the Boston Museum of Fine Arts gift store in Boston. 
i am surely as excited about this as anything. 
my rep posted this photo to announce this piece of news. 


9. in a rather half-assed manner, i have been participating as a 'guest creator' in a friend's book.
boy, i take the worst photos of some half done or overdone efforts.
if i could just make this right for her... that would be super-duper cool.
just like the invitation to join my efforts into her amazing volume.



and since you have been so nice as to stay here and look in on my world... 
here are a few pics of fresh 2013 bloomers. 

a ring assortment for SMYLE, 
a store in e. greenwich RI

some flirting with chain bracelets 
available through Silver Circle Gallery 
in Putnam, CT.

mixed beaded flower necklaces
getting ready for 
Aine's in Reading MA

Five Flower Bracelets
for Etsy and Facebook ladies

my own version of the Yellow Brick Road.
it is my starting point from which i start and follow...
i cannot make my lovelies without my flowers. 

More flowered necklaces destined for mixed New England stores...

a pair of earrings that are colored to match a place i would like to go to...
one with tropical waters and sandy beaches preferably. 


Mixed post earrings getting prettied up for my first big girl show of the season...
CRAFTOPIA
april 28. in pawtucket ri. 
so excited... it is the kick off of my season and a lot of my dearest friends will be there!


finally...
 let me not gloss over the profound loss i feel over the entire exposure to craziness,
 a loss of sanctity and well being
with the bombings in boston this week.  
 the safety of my dear eldest daughter 
who was only a couple of blocks away in her college library at the time... 
came into question. 
her proximity,  innocence  and ability to deal with the aftermath has been tested.
luckily for everyone, she has taken it in stride pretty well. 
i really didn't have any of this in mind when i made my fledgeling effort to let go (as a mom)
and encouraged her birthright to go to college. 
i am very grateful that humans are a resilient bunch
 and
i am really happy when i see
 goodness rising from people who have the most to lose.

so i have this last pic to share with you...
my hope for some worldly peace
through flowery appointment. 


xxoo. 
W.

Friday, March 1, 2013

sixteen candles

it was roughly 16 years ago give or take a few minutes, that tess joined the world in her own style.
my third and beloved kid was born in a hospital with midwives and doctors in the room. my husband was nursing a cup of jello. he always has had stupendous timing. still, he is delicate and needs to be fed no matter what. even if it is a momentous and deeply painful experience...for me. of course, i am the more obvious of the two of us. he seems to be the one who goes home and cries about the births and then throws up. i just tried to get to the other side of them, where the pain stopped and i could get a turkey sandwich or something to eat.

so tess was made a part of our lives on this day. she was the go-to gal to explain stuff to her older siblings. she always listened to the music on the radio in the car and knew the artists playing. the other two did not... at least for another 15 yrs or so.
of them all, i always felt that she and i shared a slipstream space. i have been know to get oddly irritated with her about "nothing". the reason for this, is that before she would say something, i could say what it was on her mind and would feel like she already had spoken. therefore our combined wavelengths made me feel as if she was nagging me. it has held some weirdly uncomfortable moments. she has looked flabbergasted by my being irked. upon my explaining things to her, she has usually accepted things.
she is gifted with a finely honed sense of humor, a quick mind, good sense of self esteem , athletic skills and a generally nice personality. lucky duck.
she is also the one that will be putting me into my grave first. her experiences are more of a conventional sort and for this, i am totally unprepared to deal with them.

school up and until this year, has been relatively easy for her. she is not like her older sister who would sit in front of a computer at 10 and just hammer out a cogent and well posited paper in one go. tess is a plugger. she sticks with it all. her habit until middle school was to do all of her homework on friday afternoon for the weekend so that she could be free and clear to do what she wanted for the next couple of days.
she is social and has traveled amongst the same kids she went to pre-school with. her current best friend is from this group and has been her home fry since they were 4 years old. there are others from this class of weinerschnitzels, but tess and kenz continue to travel together navigating the crap fest that is high school.
the girl was "forced" to learn to skate on ice, when she was little. i tried my damnedest to learn as an adult, but i really am not made for gliding around on slippery water. it is one of those skills that is best learned when young... along with french. she was fine doing some figure skating, but i insisted that she try to hang with her dad and older brother, and see if she liked ice hockey. there was an opening in the program that husband and son were leading an instructional program with. she got all suited up in hockey gear, tried it once and now 9 years later, has not looked back.
the teams she was learning to play with had no goaltenders. for a tuition break, she was offered that position. she loves tending goal. it suits her to the nth degree.

college is a ways off, but she already is making tons of plans for her investigation and application processes.  we hope with her rarified skills as a goalie, she will have some options that others may not have had.

all in all, she is rounded and enjoyed as people go. still she is sixteen now. and i just can't bear it. i am now the bad guy in the decisions about what is happening. my feelings were hurt when her older sis and bro made plans to come home from college to specifically spend her birthday with her. her response was that she made plans for her friends to go to a trampoline jumping facility. it sounds really fun... but she chose to do that instead of spending the time with her family.
one of the guests, has a little sister who is not barred from the proceedings and is included in potentially going out to dinner with her older sis and friends. the only way this scenario would work is if their mom takes their family to and from the jumping place and resto.
i am sad, because, i would have liked to be part of her birthday. even if the only thing she might want from me is a ride. the other mom gets to spend time with her on this auspicious occasion. and is also permitted to entertain a presence at the resto for their dinner celebration. my husband wants nothing to do with this entire evening... and is irritated with me for uttering the phrase
"so this is how you are going to play out your birthday?"
nobody is around that remembers when i used to bake biscotti all the time, drag around in my filthmobile to every event, in spite of not wanting to do 4 per day or walk the dog. 
they all have a convenient memory about what has been a big deal or not a big deal. 
i think a girl's 16th birthday merits some attention. i may be the only one. like i said, she is the most conventional kid here. she wants very little to do with her parents in public, if possible. i should have seen it coming, but not having done so, i am a little blind-sided by this. 

i will put on my big girl panties and if permitted, take her to the jumping spa, and to dinner with her friends. i will offer any who need them, rides home.  i will wait out my time in the bookstore across the street with the older sister, as we await the older brother's return for spring break. all will be fun, saturday, when the royal one has stated that we can celebrate with her then. 
and i shall tuck my tail between my legs ... whimper to myself and try to like the wound quietly, that my muddled feelings are experiencing. let me be minty fresh and filled with crushed ice as well as a hefty bourbony insert, as i try my best to be a good happy birthday mom. 

and as always, she only cares about two things on her cake. 
one that it is chocolate, so i am going to try to make this delightful red velvet  layer cake with cream cheese frosting. 
and with the utmost of luck, it will look something like this:
the second obligatory part of this cake is that i has words written on the cake to the birthday gal herself. 
traditionally, they say:
HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, TESSA!
AND YES, IT IS A FAMILY TRADITION. 

THIS IS A VERY QUIRKY CREW. 
so happy birthday to you queen widget. 
enjoy the hell out of it. 
if you are very good, i will send you a birthday card as my father sends to me...
signed in quotes...
love, 
"MOM".

some dysfunctional traditions need to be started or continued. 
you know how it is?

xoxo. 
w. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

coffee or tea?

everyone has their own kind of world. Madonna, the pop star, is and always has been a material girl living in a material world. i can identify with that. a lot of the time. i seem to be a binary girl though.
it all comes down to the randomness and statistical evaluation of twos.

   recently, i allowed the household stores to winnow down to nearly nothing of greedily consumed favorite choices. in other words, we had run out of the good stuff. the essentials like corn chips, cookies, celery, non-wrinkled carrots, and olive oil were gone. it is my opinion, the most awful thing to run out of around here is coffee fixings. that happened too.
   i seem to have a denial based system that is self adjusting. if i run out of my own preferred coffee, i am off to the store lickety-split. if my husband runs out of his, i am fine with his inconvenience. that is until it impinges upon my own well-being.
   as no good deed can lie unpunished, i offered him some of my own starbucks brand coffee. i began to feel badly that i was allowing him nurture his lazy and passive aggressive side.  his solution to not having the coffee he liked in house for personal brewing, was to purchase a cup at dunkin donuts each morning. now it seems like this might be a little of a splurge for him, however he receives countless gift cards from generous parents in his hockey world as thank yous for teaching their young'uns how to skate and play hockey. so he never spends a dime to snag his coffee in this manner. unless you consider his driving to a DD for his morning cuppa. then you need not worry again on that account, since he is using my car and therefore gas he also has not purchased. (note, this is the gashole experience... ranted at another time surely?). basically, he is only out for the time used in procuring a cup.
   so i offered him my grounds, which he greedily accepted. not one time in the several days that he was footloose and running around town, did it seem a good idea to stop in at the grocery store. i really think it was not on his mental to-do list. in the best of times,  he is a mixed skill grocery shopper.
   his dad used to drag him and his brothers through PXs wherever they were stationed. they were an air force family with 6 kids and plentiful needs to fulfill.  his dad would make all three of his sons trail him every saturday with 3 shopping carriages filling them as they rolled. one might think one of the daughters would occasionally take this trip with their dad or that the boys might have a baseball practice to go to...but alas no. i think that this has put a crimp in my hubby's ability to shop well for useful products in all aspects of his life, except for those from a hardware store or lumber mill.
digression now complete, my hubby was waiting for some coffee brewing convenience to come his way without making it happen himself. i can get over this.  i am directed frequently by my own culinary and convenience drives. it is not unreasonable to consider that i would be off to the market soon and would bring home the goods.
   what brings me to this silliness is that i was looking in my own passive way for my hubby to say," wow, that was some delicious coffee! i will not be drinking that dishwater that i now realize has been my mainstay for one more day! and thank you so very much for educating my palate as to what civil tasting coffee might be.".
yup, my fantasy.
what really happened when i asked...(since i have to ask), is that he said my coffee tasted moldy to him.

MOLDY???? 
what ?????
 are you crazy????? 
seriously???? 
really???? 
are you kidding????

two days later after i pulled myself off of the ceiling, i went to the grocery store and purchased his can of store brand coffee grounds. they cost $3.49. i would be less than likely to even augment soil around  my plants roots with their spent crushed hulls.
i asked him if i got the right kind of coffee and how was his morning cup that first day. he said it was great and he enjoyed it.

i nearly fell down to the floor, as if i had been gut punched. good thing, i am really used to this sort of shit.
MOLDY???? really??? 

i am off to have my own cup of nicely brewed breakfast blend and some pre-warmed milk with raw sugar. it is going to set my day apart... as it tries to do each day. inevitably, my own world is fine, but the dramatic festival that is my life WITH my kids and hubby and dog, well that is not my fault. i need this indulgence. it makes most everything work a lot better. the responsibility of this little day-centering ritual is my own piece of nirvana.

i am only able to deal with this quirky element knowing he has a bad sense of smell and therefore taste.
there. poof. rationalized. until the next time i am affronted by this anasmia influenced event.

now, back to the question that is binary influence. i think of it as PLINKO. the game of chance from THE PRICE IS RIGHT. the tv show. Plinko is a game that is constructed so a contestant drops a disk into an slot opening at the top of a board. at the bottom of the same board, are a grouping of spots with prizes noted. i love this game, cause it takes a while for the disk to drop all the way to the prize. most folks will drop their disks hoping to get a car out of 3 parts of the disk landings or a buttload of money.
either would be a great prize.
   my life is plinko based. i start every day with a set series of tasks. if i had my druthers, i would accomplish every little thing i may have considered to be on the day's list. NEVER happens.
the vagaries of my weird sleeping, the dog needing to go outside, the drama of one of the kids, the aforementioned coffee crisis or any other weird thing always surfaces.
the option to drop that disk and have it travel in a straight line from top to bottom of the playing field has about a zero to negative googleplex chance of happening.

i try to make the best choice i can (pretty much like everyone else in the world). for the most part, things work out ok. still, there are very few days when everything goes well. you know the joy and amazement that would rule your emotions if you hit every traffic light on green for a long strip of travel? i am looking for that. instead i am plinko-ing along.

last night i said i was having a pretty good day and my husband told me that 'the boy' had called from college to say he was written up at school, for cutting his roommate's hair in the mens bathroom.
really???
amazeballs!!!!
and now back to worrying about him. we figure that he will eventually get kicked out of school there. all experiences with him are leading up to this inevitability. for some reason, his brain is made of swiss cheese and it is not accepting info about organic chem at all easily.

plinko. binary life. one choice and then another. never truly a myriad of great choices... just selecting out the worst of many evils until only two remain. then the plinko-ness of it all settles in.

i can only take so much of this crap. it bodes poorly for a woman with moldy coffee and a need for a good vacation.

here is what has been working pretty well. 

wedding necklace

bracelet for a friend
it just needs a bird on it.


earrings galore
just need their wires


mixed bracelets



time to get up and make a trip to the post office, have lunch with some jewelry friends and stop morphing into the green chair in the living room. 

xxoo. w.



Saturday, February 16, 2013

waiting for the other shoe to drop.

for once, i really have nothing to report on in my life.
the past couple of weeks have been reeeeediculous. the widget had midterms, so the household crap piled higher than usual... recyclables, calls to the vice principal, doctor appointment making, bad teacher commentary, dishes, dog hair, etcetera.

of course i know when someone asks, what have you been up to? the answer is generally, i am just waiting for a shoe to drop. one always does. i can't really fathom why, but my life is seriously ridiculous. there is no reason for it. i just can't seem to ever make plans. really, what is the point? something always creeps into my reality to mess with any sense of harmony.

for example, our local gas company is owned by some british conglomerate. they run it by some absolutely irrational set of rules. a few months ago, our service was shut-off. we could not enjoy hot food or hot showers. it was during the deeply disturbing period where we were trying to figure out why our 15 year old daughter was throwing up every day(since august '12). that is a lot of discomfort to experience on top of the inexplicable crapfest that is high school. they shut our service off because we owed them $241and change. now in my mind, that is again just so silly, i have no response to it.
so my husband chose to deal with his life by his now annual trip to the woods to go camping. his dream is to sit around a campfire to read and commune with nature. he has been reading "the last of the mohicans" for about 8 years now. not what i would say, a good reader. he is tenacious perhaps, but not progressive. so i said, GO! you are bugging the bejeebers out of me. just deal with the gas company before you go.
so he paid the bill, scheduled his jaunt to the outer wilds of western Massachusetts and left me to stay home one morning to meet the gas rep who would hook the furnace back up and the water heater and the stove and the oven and the clothes dryer.

fine. 

well they called me to say, that they would be at my house to reinstate service in about half an hour. nothing. more nothing and finally at 5 pm, i called to find out where they had been all day. i truly was angry about the irresponsibility of this. turns out that they had been calling my husband's phone in the woods, where there was no reception. i didn't understand why, because i had gotten the original call to make sure i would be home to let the workman in.
so while i was hoping a yeti would visit my husband in the woods, make his life a little more inconvenient, and validate my frustration with him playing chicken with our bills... nothing happened.

through another series of phone calls, i was able to determine that we were not considered a high priority of anyone at the gas company. the long story bores the snot out of me... the short version is that it took 3 more appointments with them to ascertain that they still were using the wrong phone number and were for magical reasons, constantly canceling our rehook-up of service. the child underwent an upper and lower GI series to determine that she was well enough. this took place during "Super-Storm Sandy". the gnarly hurricane with a cape. our daughter is healthy with no apparent issues, she is just stressed out beyond reason. seriously, who wouldn't be?

the end result was that we got our service returned to us. the cause of the mishap was not that our bill was  overdue, in fact someone from the gas company had read our meter wrong. they reported to the company that we owed $4000 which represented a two year period of non-payment.
my not having had service, a hot shower or a non- microwaved meal for a month made me more taciturn than i want to be. i was able to catch them in this stupendous failure to serve us legally and rightfully. not that anyone or any commission could advocate for us, but we were allowed a credit on our bill of $25.oo. that is not a big gift, especially for nearly a month of significant inconvenience.
 i think i did groan and grumble rather loudly. 

meanwhile my husband was visited in his woodsy camping trip by a black bear. in my mind, it served him right. he always likes to leave this shit to me. this is only because i am the reasonable one. if adequately provoked, i can ask enough questions to make a case for nearly every event. information to me, is ammunition. in my mind, everyone thinks i am a bitch and he is a swell guy oppressed beyond function. it is not the case and they do not live in our shoes. i do the weird and heavy lifting. he  often gets credit for more than is his share. i become more grey haired daily. which is ok in the long run, because i want to tint my hair pink. i think helen mirren channeled my dream recently.

so why is this being reported? well after my daughter had her midterms and a series of totally unreasonable things happen to her in school, at least one of which was illegal... the gas company came to visit us again. it is kind of like a bad fairy or the wicked witch of the west rolling in with her flying monkeys just  to torture us.
they were here to shut-off our service all over again.

HEAD-SLAP!!!

only rarely, but more frequently do the weather forecasters get the weather systems right. they reported that we would be having a severe storm last week. it was blizzard grade. NO-one disputed the authenticity of these reports. YET the gas company was going around the neighborhood telling at least half of us, that our service would be turned off.
shockingly, THE BLIZZARD HIT. 
it was perfectly on time and as intense as it was reported that it would be. 
naturally, the power went out. this act of nature intervening with regular domestic services caused our heat to go with it. the furnace is somehow electrically driven. i got a tutorial on this, but it was so Rube Goldbergian, that i glazed over during a portion of the lecture naturally, i will need to ask for another explanation of this.

so no heat, no electricity, no light, no patience, and gratefully, no daughter. in a move that was sensible against all odds, she chose to wait out the storm with her best friend and her family. none of this shit ever happens to them. there is NEVER any service interruption or inconvenience in their cute little world. also they are very mellow people. so the entire blizzard was kind of a kick for them. they ate well, sledded, played in the snow, drank hot chocolate, at spaghetti and meatballs, ordered take-out pizza... like any other weekend in winter.
i cooked by flashlight after 4 pm and daylight before that.  working hours were short due to lighting issues. we were fine, the ole yeti repeller hubby and me. it was kind of beautiful and serenely quiet. i enjoyed it mostly. i dug out the car and the front walk too.   the dog couldn't find a spot to pee or poop for days, unless i walked him for that purpose.  eventually his neurotic spirit  was overwhelmed by his biology. it was kind of relaxing since i had no ability to make things go the way i wanted them to. so i fantasized that i was on a frontier and could deal with things. i had to go with the flow.
fantasizing this way was the operating sensibility that got me through it all.

so after not needing to go to the emergency room, nor deal with a teacher-related issue, nor console the girl over the unexpected, inconclusive break-up with the first boyfriend,  i returned home after picking the child up from school. i thought i could have a cup of tea and work. nope. only days after the blizzard, the gas company was waiting at my door to shut our service off AGAIN. they are relentless and driven by irrational behavior. they do not serve their customers well, nor do they treat their employees nicely.
i am perplexed by their way of doing business. the fact that they have no competition to force better service is a loss to our community.

i chose to delve back into my fantasy world; the one that is all clean and puffy and white.  i wrote a check to keep my gas service intact, just a litttle longer. i was told that things would be fine, at least until they sent out another agent to shut us off in a couple of days, as the computer would instruct them to do.

this reality shows the load of snow on my street, bridging my fantasy with the crazy reality that continues to insert itself. the skies were so very soft, romantic, pretty and cotton candy colored. it was a much nicer version than the one i was to experience only a couple of days later. it bridged the crap-fest that is the gas company visits with a little bit of natural beauty.

sunset over the post-blizzard treated street

i baked scones in preparation 
for  the snowfall, iciness of the power lines and wild 60 mile an hour winds. 
these are just basic currant with vanilla ... so good i may have eaten most of them myself. 
messing with my blood sugar levels unpleasingly.
i have  too little personal control when it comes to any buttery treat. 


and i made a stab at a graphic that i photoshopped text onto to become my valentine's day card. 
i believe it is possible that my epitaph shall include a record of my implosion 
due to photoshop illiteracy.


and a bunch of nice earrings were constructed finally from my painted flowers. 
these were accomplished in small spurts during and after the storm. 

this palette reminded me of my daughter's christmas cactus 
and the color of its blossoms.

the contradiction of the blues and oranges, 
reminded me of hot and cold water running into a bathtub. 
opposites, but so great blended together. 


and finally, for this rant about nothing..
the happy snow loving dog. 
the one who still can't quite get the hang of running in the ice crusted snow 
without sinking and getting stuck or slipping. 


just for reference, this was last summer
and this was last week.


yup, i got nothing to say. 
and i am waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

xo. 
W.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

unrealism

i am sure i should not say anything. so often i feel this way. it is hard to not start to twitch though.
the past two decades, i have spent my time as a stay at home mother and earned some money to help my family with groceries and occasional niceties. it is a career path in my mind that is flawed. having done absolutely everything within my power to raise my brood, i am at best proud... and at worst, frustrated.

my daughter has had a few events over the past couple of weeks that were untenably frustrating as a side-liner. i have to let her try to run her own life. at least as well as she can. luckily, my now 21 year old daughter is able to offer some realistic and responsible input as i mull my options over. if you are one of my blog readers, i apologize profusely at this point. i feel as if i need to continue to vent.

my most recent rant on the state of teachers at her high school ought to be over. i would be remiss not to add another story to the mix... just to keep the context of what a high school student might be contending with.
there are several stories that still rankle... however the one i would love to report on now has both my husband, my 21 yr. old daughter and myself just angry. purely and simply angry.
the girl took a high school mid-term exam recently. as she recounts, she noticed at 3 minutes before the end of the exam, she did not have an entire exam to complete. how would she have known? it was quiet in the room for the test takers. she was missing an essay and graph. when she reported this to her chem teacher, it was disregarded. i called the school to speak to an administrator. eventually, the teacher told her that she had failed the mid-term, based on her performance... but in light of missing a part of her exam, he would give her a "C" for her grade. considering she studied what she could and had a much higher grade in this class going into the exam, i felt that this was unfair and inequitable.

she was bereft about this turn of grading events. she really wants to go to college to play sports. ice hockey is her choice. she has already been playing for 8 years and it is in her blood.

what sets my teeth on edge is that this chem teacher not only told her he was giving her a grade that was based on an incomplete exam, but "HAYZEUS" had spoken to him the night before about this grade he was to give her.
he is a latin man and apparently teaches a lot of the class in spanish. as my daughter is not spanish in any way, nor does she speak spanish(in spite of 3 years of classes through middle school), she ought to be taught in the language of her country. i am digressing again.
what got my attention after being told she was awarded her grade after a call from Jesus, was that this man asked her what religion she was. then pursued that to ask if she was Catholic or Jewish. then asked what religion her parents were. then pursuant to that line, asked if she went to church or to synagogue. then followed that with whether she believes in God or not. and it digressed from there. he turned to another student near my daughter and spoke in a derogatory manner about her in spanish to the other student. one does not need to understand the spanish to comprehend the body english involved.
this school does little to make me happy these days.

now she also got her grade from her calligraphy teacher. she created (in her mind) an elegant calligraphed menu for a project. the teacher had been absent more than 50% of the classes and when she did show up to teach, wore a sports jersey and puffy bear claw slippers. this grade was also disagreeably received. seriously, how can a no-show of a teacher be considered as having any sense of elegance if she is teaching in slippers with claws on them?

i begin to think that i ought to be in the school every day. culling information from the ongoing antics of  this professional crew for a sitcom. i am also pissed off, since the principal told me the last time we spoke, that i was unprofessional in my need to speak with him without an appointment. i am sorry, i had NO FUCKING idea that i needed to be professional as a mother with an issue. this man is as big a beanhead as any of the people in this school.
it is beginning to make the teachers on the tv show "GLEE" look hugely NORMAL.

i am off to the school in a few minutes to pick up my daughter to go to the doctor's office. it is bound to be another posting topic, as it too is just fraught with unneeded crap. how is this continuously happening to the same girl? really, isn't high school enough of a problem that we all try to come out of as  close to unscathed as possible? this just seems like it is a joke right now.

so i have been making things that are a lot less or a lot more colorful and controlled. it is a teeter-totter in my mind. no balance from one side to the other per se, just a fulcrum of florals in the middle. i have gone from creamy bilaterally symmetrical off-white colors to the other side of things in a bright lemony yellow misto of textures, shadings and shapes.
the flowers are my balance. they are always there. mother nature is culpable. she follows her own rules and continues to make beauty where there is none. her anger is sheer wrath when let loose, but in this one nice way, it is simply a thing to make my heart sing. let's face it, i need some singing happening.

lemonade III bling added.

creamy demure mixed whites

wish me luck, i am off to take the girl from the portal to hell, aka high school to the other end of that portal, the pediatrician's office. 

i need a coffee, bad. 
with a shot and a beer. 
it is only 10:30 a.m.

later, lovelies. 
xow. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

vicarious living

i am sure most folks lead a more exciting life than i do. i know this because i seem to be living my own vicariously. it is likely that this happens to loads of folks... they are just more sensible than to report on it.
this week has been a rough one, since my daughter has had the returns on her mid-term exams come in. of course that can go either way, well or crappy. in her case it did not go particularly well. she has some of the quirkiest teachers to ever cross the threshold in any academic institution. the result is that she has experienced the unfairness of laziness in academia.

for one teacher, his accusation just before the holidays, of plagiarism was the shot heard round the world.  a meeting with a vice principal, my husband, myself and the teacher who accused the child, along with our daughter yielded spectacular results. the first was that i got into trouble for trying to tell that teacher to simply "shut-up". this is not a pairing of words i ever let my kids use, so they all know that my blurting them out is a sign or extreme frustration. it was resolved that the girl did NOT PLAGIARIZE. the teacher offered to apologize to the class and set things right. her grade was respectfully returned to an "A" as it merited prior to the accusation. now several components of this experience have lingered. one was that another student did plagiarize on the same assignment and she got off easily. she was awarded a 45% on her paper. signifying a fail for the assignment. my kid was lumped in with her and it lingered along with her, since mr. doo-doo head NEVER apologized for his accusation nor did he reflect that my girl honestly earned a good grade.
not only has no apology been issued, but the entire school knew of this accusation of intellectual theft. at the time we all(except mr. dd head) knew that the stink of it would travel with the girl for quite a while.
not only has this experience been frustrating, but no-one on school staff has managed to check up on the outcome in the post-holiday/ mid-term time. surely, they see one another at school and can have a quick discussion in passing? what does happen in passing, is that the teacher has been overheard in the halls of the school not one time, but 4 separate times since, discussing my daughter's performance in this class and the grades she has earned. it has happened in the teacher's lounge also. i know this since a teacher reported it to me directly. so in normal places, this might be cause to fire such a bad instructor.
not in providence. which really sucks as far as i can tell.

as for mid-terms. the same poor girl took a chem test. she studied and studied hard for it. unluckily for her, she did not receive some portion of the exam that included a graph and an essay. so her exam was incomplete and she was failed in it. her grade coming into the exam was an "A". why would any teacher knowing their class at all... not question the failure of the student at such an exam, when up until that point, the work had been exemplary?
i think that when asked if she could take the parts of the test that were missing from the exam booklet, her teacher said no she couldn't, but he would give her a "C" for the exam.  again, injustice. at what point did taking exams, quizzes, doing homework and in class assignments become the entree to buying  a used car from a slimy salesman? the man would neither allow her to contact him over the long weekend by email or phone. so paranoid about her getting ahold of him. yet... today, after awarding her a B to shut her up, he inquired indelicately about her religious life. he did so, after he explained that his offer of a "B" was because he had talked with God the night before. not only did he ask if she was catholic or jewish, but how did she attend services and did she believe in God?
i am sorry, but the course was in chemistry. not philosophical or religious upbringing. this must be against some rule of the school?

then of course, there was the math test. her calculator batteries died in the middle of the exam. she replaced them the next day with what she thought were fresh batteries. unfortunately, they were not. so the teacher refused to allow for her to take the missing part of her exam at all.
can i please get a break for this kid somewhere?

just when things settled down from yesterday, her boyfriend broke up with her. no reason in particular, but still he knew she was having an exceedingly bad week. i would say, he is hurting what is already pretty broken. so she has been in tears for days now. today's breakup was the icing on the pity party cake.
i asked my hubby to bring her a bunch of daffodils to cheer her up and he did ok on that. he also brought a lifetime supply of m&ms.
surprisingly, i am impressed on his sense of what to do. he has never been broken up with, so he has no idea how awful it feels.
 I KNOW!
how the hell is that possible?
well, it just is. 
the same girlfriend for 10 years, going nowhere fast.. and then me. 
poof. 38 years of dating and no one has ever broken up with him. 
i must tell you... he can be really irritating too. 

i digress...

anyways, i am miserable. i live through each one of these tear-filled experiences and hope for a kind, warm, even resolution. some type of human connectedness where no pain is involved. i am constantly reminded that life is just not fair. i am her portrait of dorian gray. i feel it all and am trying to advocate reasonably for her in her unfair experiences. the thing with the boyfriend is sort of not particularly fair, since she had NO idea it was coming. they are really great friends, but the boy is a senior and tomorrow he turns 18. it is a sneaky ass way to get out of any valentine's day hullaballoo too. poor daughter. she turns 16 in a few weeks herself. so i am a little broken hearted for her. 

what she shocked me with, after  several hours of crying, was that the break-up is imminent. not a real firm thing. he just wants to think about things for a little bit. as he ought to if he has doubts. she of course has a retaliatory plan to simply dump him. firm and unwaveringly for public record. 
so i credit her with a resilient plan of attack.
 personally, i would make him a cake for his birthday and talk through what he is feeling at sea about. of course, she is two years younger and is not experienced enough to do that. i am unwilling to coach her on these tactics, since this is the crap of life that one must endure and hopefully learn from. i am pretty willing to do one thing though. that is burn the grey sweat pants that she has lived in for months. there are 3 pairs of these narsty things. it hasn't yet been done, since in reality, they are my husband's pants. he would be upset to miss out on their coziness. still i truly despise sweatpants. i have never worn a pair and never owned a pair. it is a no-brainer for me. 

so i am on my 4th life as a 15 year old now. reincarnation does not only happen through death and resurrection. it seems to happen through proximity. and i may add, it is a bitch every damn time. 
i am not looking forward to grandchildren sharing this nonsense with me. hopefully they will see me as totally addled and out of touch. that is my plan. 

i just wish my girl felt a lot better. this is hard shit. 

on a sunnier note, i made a third incarnation of a beloved necklace. It is sunny and yellow. warm and mixed of brightness and sparkle. i can only hope it holds some magical power that will thrill someone as much as me. i am considering adding more silver and crystal necklace strands in its bounty to glimmer and glint with cheery, non-wintry light. also, it may wind up staying with me for a snick of time. i am pretty greedy ...
Lemonade III 

and for some limey goodness... on a citrus colored theme, 

granny apple green 
bubblemania necklace

other stuff is made in different levels of completion. this is good, since a lot of it has been repairs. 
repairs are just thankless time-using tasks. of course the owners of the pieces are happy that they got done, but they are pretty much complete re-do items. after 10 years of service shouldn't a piece of costume jewelry be freed up from service? or perhaps replaced? it would seem that would be an option. i guess i am happy that my people really like to wear their things into the ground.  that they seem to span over a long period of time, without disappearing from fashionability or personal style, well that is just so sweet. so on i go to fixing the last 2 pieces in the library of renovations. 

here is just one of them. i forgot to take pictures of the rest. they just needed to be returned to their homes asap. things get lost here often. i try to keep order, but i am in the midst of a lot of different stuff on every given day. i am thinking of a tagging system or a clapper to keep pieces located in my work areas. it may be helpful. 

cynthia's necklace. 


time to color up some fresh flowers. the temperature is dipping from the sultry 60's of earlier today. i missed my painting opportunity, but will still need to run in and out of the house to do what i can. i need some fresh blossoms baaad. 

so see you later alligators... time to get back to the paintbox. 

xxoo. 
W

Thursday, January 24, 2013

nothing is what it seems to be...

this morning... albeit much later than i wanted it to be, my husband announced two things. the first was that we were out of milk and that he would go get some. so there would be coffee on my horizon. (yay!!!). would i mind waiting until he came home from his tennis game at 6 pm.(GRRRRR!)
 the second was that the dog had thrown up on the kitchen floor (sigh...) AND that it was weird looking, so he had saved it for me to examine. so he softened the blow of my not getting coffee simultaneously with letting me know i had already managed to sleep clean through a laboratory kind of hazmat situation. 
in that moment i saw hundreds of dollars floating away to unspecified vet bills in my future. 
sigh...
naturally, the dog threw something up that was unidentifiable to the male of the species. meaning the dh dared not look at it closely. 
i took one look at it and saw clearly that the pattern from this week's roll of paper towels was in the mix. no wonder he did not know what it was. the evidence of shredded saran wrap at the base of the open kitchen trash was not a distinct enough clue. and yes, i buy a different pattern on paper towels to help identify the age of the upchuckage. it is a little bit of domestic CSI. or ambient carbon dating. at least i knew when the offensive paper towel had been used/eaten. 

the dh  has NO idea that i make dinner here every night, (ok, maybe he has some clue) and that spectacular and delicious rolled tenderloin of pork filled with baby spinach, feta cheese,  a pesto of sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives and a little bit of lemon zest  served with a raspberry mustard balsamic vinaigrette on raw spinach salad (so it's a theme park here) and a side of white plain unembellished basmati rice (for the picky ass teen and her bff staying over)
did not come out of thin air. 

it required that i pat down the pork tenderloin before placing it into a hot cast iron pan before it went into the oven. thus ensuring a surface crust would form. insuring inherent the flavor going over the taste buds would be appropriately intensified. 
of course THAT was what the dog ate and threw up. 
he would not know that, since he did not participate in anything other than telling me i was grouchy that evening. it was simultaneous to having our 15 yo female house-guest explain the game of football to him. 
 i hate to say exactly how many times i have done this very same task. 
so maybe he is not a guy hardwired with a football comprehension gene. 
maybe he thinks we eat takeout from down the street every night 
maybe he thinks i enjoy working around all the weirdnesses of people who eat here. 
maybe that dog is a cat. 

see, if the dog was a real dog, he would have re-eaten the disgusting mess on the floor. 
i would not have had to clean it up. 
ok, maybe that is only labs and golden retrievers. 
i can give him a half pass cause he is only half golden retriever. 
maybe the poodle half is what separates him from the disgusting riff raff of doggery?
i just don't know. 

so the man is not always manly, he is too sensitive. he has a fake laugh for sharing when he is flirty and trying to get out of doing something like putting the double hung window sashes back into the frames that he took them out of about 15 years ago. 
i have carbon dating on this too. 
it doesn't matter to me that he bitches so loudly that my ears hurt when Spring rolls around and the gas company comes looking for some payment on a jacked up bill from our non-energy efficient house. 
oh the bitching is loud and whiny then. 
consistent too. like the sun rising in the east and juliet is the moon...

so let's keep track here. 
husband does not understand football. 
does not replace windows. 
is a carpenter... and a really good one i am told.
the dog is not a retriever. 
the dog is a cat. 

then there is the teen aged girl. 
she thinks she lives in a dorm or something that is not here.
she has had the same water glass in her room for months. not cleaned or used... so that is a wash, pardon that bad pun. also a bowl with the entrails of orange slices. another empty bowl with the entrails of salsa. she will not under virtually any circumstance eat tomato on anything from a hamburger to a salad. however before she can get the jar of a salsa open, she is drooling. lest you suggest it is because the tomato product is cooked in the salsa, i will counter with a claim that she enjoys her pasta sauce on the side. because, it is a tomato product. 
and then the general mess of her room... 
it is lead off by the extra mattress in the middle of her room. upon which she has no countable number of books and papers in piles. they remain until the dreaded mid-terms have been completed. 
while the bff was here for 3 days and nights... 
she slept on this disgusting mattress and had her own piles of study materials. 
of course the child had not migrated her crap onto the mattress until the bff had vacated. 
still there were movable piles of paper, books, and other unknown substances. 
i cannot even begin to think of why there are occasional spider or bug bites on the kid. 
she has been asked to clean this room unnumbered times. 
the thrill of dusting and vacuuming is not one i hold dear, however i do feel it needs to be done every decade or so. if the kid would move some of her crap out of the way, i would do this. 
 i have done it for her siblings before her. 

i also would like to say that she is an enigma wrapped up in a convoluted pretty girl package with some deeply seated guy stuff in the mix. 
she belches so loudly, that she has stopped football practice at her school as she has passed the team midway through daily practices. the team members were penalized by the coach for not doing what drill he was barking out one day. the team thought he had said something, which they couldn't understand. 
it disrupted the flow of the exercise. t
just the girl 
belching. 
true story. 
never ending, but still true. 

i could not be prouder. 

i know others have lovely children. 
they enjoy sitting at meals on occasions with their families. 
i know that some husbands come home and do not groan as they cross the threshold and wonder what happened all day in their absence. 
i know all of this. 
still i think that my people somehow think i am a magician. 
if i poof hard enough, their fantasy or expectation will become real. 
a home smelling like snickerdoodles or hermits 
and clean as can be. 
with fresh linens everywhere they ought to be, 
a home with furnishings that looks like a page from architectural digest or something. 
(that magazine sucks by the way).
it would all be completely doable, if only a few of the folks here were exactly what they thought they were. 
 a lot wealthier. 
it could happen, 
just if i could  hire an actual carpenter to show up and replace my fucking air-sucking, wind tunnel in the kitchen, double-hung sashes that let out all the heat on the east side of my house. 
yep. nothing gets done here. 
and it is because i think in my real life i am a princess. 

what i really am is a bad mom. 
i just don't care to wear myself out anymore with this crap. i would rather make stuff like this. 
a pair of funky floral cuffs from old belts i snagged one of them at the local thrift store. 
i made the top cuff  from my son's belt and i am keeping it for myself. 


or this version of the red and purple one

or a bracelet/necklace


or a few flowery charm bracelets

or this tray of rings.

or 
my bed to sleep in. 

well nobody is perfect. 
i am going to sleep soon and consider who i really am in my other world. 
tomorrow is day two of mid-terms and that much closer to cleanliness in part of this house
(i am not holding my breath here, you know?)

and the dog will continue to think he is a poodly prince, 
the husband will continue to think he is a king, 
and the teen gal will continue to think she is in college. 
perhaps my son will begin to realize that he IS in college and 
my oldest who is working and being paid for something she loves, will continue to be the only grounded one around here. 

like i said. 
i can dream right?

g'night all. 
xo.
w.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

late nights upside down

i only really know two jokes. telling either of them makes me terribly self conscious. it may be because they both are making fun of populations of people that i easily could be part of, but for one reason or another i am currently not. so as my way of attempting to be politically correct, i will apologize up in front. i am sorry. truly, i know it is an american thing this silly little joke. and it is not the kindest of things to pose as questions. it has a corollary in my insular little world.
  here goes...

question:
what is the difference between a tornado and a divorce in the south? 
 answer: 
not much, either way someone loses a trailer home. 

so why did i go out of my way to ask such a silly thing?
well, i have a little trouble fitting in with the rest of my world. i don't sleep regular hours and sometimes i am completely upside down on those. right now, my australian period is in play. the one where i fall asleep as the sun is rising and awaken just before the phone call from my high schooler comes asking where her ride home is. 
i really hate that phone call. 
it embarrasses me... as does all of these weird hours  of wakefulness and sleep do. 
of course, my doctor and i have spoken about it and she seems to feel it is fine if it affords me time to be productive and comfortable enough in daily stuff that i feel needs doing. 

so this has been going on in some form or another most of my life. i am happy at night. late at night. when there are few other folks out there in the world enjoying productive lives. 
if i were prone to calling it something that others could understand, it would be that its the third shift. 
luckily, with the internet and other entertainment, i am never really alone during these hours. 
i have a sweet friend i chat with on a pretty regular basis, and she is from australia. 
her world is exactly 12 hours off from my own. 
well i mean i know what part of her conventionally experienced day we can chat and overlap with activities of child rearing, jewelry findings and grocery shopping. i really enjoy our time together such as it is. 

why did i tell you the silly joke? 
well it is because often i try to re-set my internal clock to coincide with my family members' biological wavelengths for more harmonious living. it is not easy. having had the flu the last couple of weeks, i was tired out beyond reason and did little more than change the tv channel or sleep. so my own habits reverted to this upside down schedule. i am back to trying to get into a more daylight driven experience, but it is not always easy. no matter what time of day or night i put myself into my sleep coma, i am pretty sure my darling dog is going to wake me up between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m..
it is inconvenient at worst. but it does happen. nearly every night.  sometimes he just glares at me out of his pretty brown eyes as if to say, why can't you turn out the lights? i am trying to nap here.  so i have to try to be kind about our stealthy sorties in the darker hours to do a quick neighborhood check and piddle. i check, he piddles. 

he is likely to do this in the middle of the night as a long standing habit, since when we brought him home to live with us, he was not yet housebroken. i am enough of a hippie, that crating him to teach him when he could go outside seemed sort of inefficient and cruel. instead, i spent a lot of hours when it was dark outside, out in my back yard with him. he was housebroken in just a few days. my family took credit for this in their usual way, not having had much to do with this process.  it wasn't a terrible hardship on me, since the 4th Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire had just been released. i needed to read it to keep abreast of my daughter's progress with consuming it. also, you literally can read by the light of the street lamps in my neighborhood. 

after all is said and done, it works out for everyone, in spite of my quirkiness. this family has NO shortage of quirks in each member. so i am just gonna have to keep rolling with the needs that are expressed regarding late hours and when the puppster wants out. 

this is why i do it. 
he is adorable and my buddy. 
in spite of what the kids say. 



he is a good companion and scares the snot out of anyone unwanted on our front steps. 
two perfect reasons to have any dog ever. 

for the most part, he is delicate and misses all of my clutter, i mean my work areas, like he is picking his way through a mine field. only when his tail feathers are too long and he is excitedly wagging, do things go out of place. they can get caught in the mix and get relocated across the room. i can deal with that though. 
here is what he is able to move around without missing a step. 


i have trays like this all around the living room... with projects in some phase or another. things rarely go amiss unless i am involved. that is of course a much different story and one of terror for sharing around a campfire some night. 

so i am going to give this ole weird sleep thing another go ... since the pup has had his 2 am constitutional in the snows of new england. i need to rest up, because my daughter's school has set their clocks during mid-terms for a two hour delay of the start of school. the premise was that it would be risky with the amount of snow predicted by morning. it has started and stopped. the accumulation is about an inch, maybe two inches. last week we had significantly more and there was no kind of acknowledgement of any commuting/traffic inconveniences. 
so in their mighty foresightedness, the school dept. has not only delayed the start of school for two hours, but also the exam schedule for another day. 
my daughter is much like water... always finding a way into any crevice. she interprets these events as an opportunity to stay home from school to study. 
this looks a lot like something else when she does it. one hand on her iphone, one on my computer, some chocolate snack on her lap and gossip girls in the background of either the tv or the computer. 
while she studies. 
yeah. 
right. 
i am best off not watching this, because somehow it becomes my problem. 
her feeling is that since i use the computer while watching t.v., she ought to be allowed to as well. 
this is not a good syllogism. 
she lives dangerously. very dangerously. 
i am often editing photos, surfing the wily outpost of facebook, or even in a pinterest fugue state. 
i am not writing critical essays that will be evaluated by some of the most casually insane teachers of this century. i have met them and they really are so very deeply perplexing, frustrating and troubling, i find anything other than the best imaginable focus to contend with an outcome of any interchange with any of them is a scary thing. it requires consistency and deep attention. 
none of which, if i were in her place, i could attempt in this age. 

it was harder when i was in school, as the internet was probably a fantasy of the then 8 year old Al Gore. not the functional life blood of every red-blooded american teen these days. 
you know who they are... the ones that say in very condescending tones,
"mom, it is intuitive. why don't you get this?"
 shut. up. you . little. shits. 
i can reupholster a sofa, make a roux, and still answer 2/3 of the jeopardy questions while offering directions to get somewhere by car on one ways streets. pretty much all at the same time and you still do not know how to load a dishwasher or that women have TWO ovaries. 

i keep my temper in check as often as possible. 
and sleep to offset the deficits that conditions like these offer daily. 
and when i snag that few moments of light that will be coming my way in a few more hours, i will photograph the fleet of rings and bracelets i made last night. 

cheers! mates... see y'all soon i hope. 

xo.
w.