Easter

My last post left me feeling vulnerable and uneasy, wanting to reach out but knowing there is no one there.  Last night my dreams were full of departed spirits, my sister was there, as well as a slew of beloved pets.  I saw my brother in law there too, although he is still alive.  They were always together, B and T, it must be so hard for him with her gone.  They loved one another very much.  When her kids were little, my sister used to take them to the Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn.  She always made a big deal out of every holiday, although she always forgot my birthday, while being very put out if I dared forget hers or even sent the card ‘too early’.  Every holiday that has passed since she died, has been full of memories of her.  Well sis, no one else remembered my birthday this year either, so it was like old times.  I lit a candle on your birthday.

I spent some time thinking about the Resurrection last night and today, and my dream had an element of rebirth threading through it.  I’m not Catholic, so I will refrain from sharing the tenor of my thoughts.  I don’t wish to inadvertently offend someone, though my thoughts were not negative at all.  “People who matter don’t mind, and people who do mind, don’t matter.”  I don’t remember the source of that quote, but I have always thought it a good one.  Some people seem to be born offended, something I didn’t notice until I was older.  It’s funny now, it wasn’t so much when I was younger; I never could figure out why people would get so mad over little things.

My parents and I had a nice dinner, there was no fighting, everything finished cooking at the same time, the food was hot and plentiful.  We had a baked ham which is pretty much a tradition for us.  Other than the ham, it was a veggie heavy meal with sweet potatoes, spiced carrots, cauliflower, and yellow squash.  The carrots were a new dish I decided to try, after discovering a 3 lb bag of baby carrots in the crisper.  Seriously, there’s only three of us, why do we need 3 lbs of carrots?  My new mission is to use up the carrots before they spoil, I think I’ll make a stew at some point during the week.  After that… chicken soup maybe?  3 lbs is a whole lot of carrots.

If you find yourself with an over abundance of carrots, here’s the recipe I used:

Spiced Carrots, feeds 4-6

2 1/2 cups fresh, uncooked baby carrots, washed and cleaned
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sweet unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/8 cup brown sugar

Add all ingredients except the brown sugar, to a medium sized saucepan.  Cover with lid and cook on low heat until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.  Once the carrots are tender, add the brown sugar and continue to cook until the brown sugar dissolves.  Serve hot.

I imagine the brown sugar could be replaced with a healthier substitute if desired.  Larger carrots can also be used, but you will have to cut them into manageable pieces.  Smaller pieces cook faster.  These make a good side for both ham and beef, provided you like the taste of carrots.

Don’t get excited

Another post within the same month, that’s just crazy.  Computer problems continue, but aside from throwing more money at the darn thing, I don’t know how to fix it.  Essentially, the motherboard is beeping, with no discernible pattern.  The motherboard is a Supermicro C2SBX+ if you’re curious.  It does it when I play Guild Wars 2, and if I don’t log out when the beeping starts, the game crashes.  I read some posts which suggested it might be related to the sound card or audio drivers, but after downloading updated drivers, the mb now starts beeping if I have multiple tabs open in my browser.  Sheeet, I don’t know if I even have a sound card beyond the integrated one.  Sound was never a big deal for me, I prefer silence or natural noises like birds or wind.  I turn the speakers on when I’m playing a game or watching a movie, but otherwise couldn’t be bothered.  I haven’t a clue how to troubleshoot sound card issues, if it is even the problem.  It could be memory, I’m running on 4GB of RAM, which isn’t much by today’s standards.  Could be overheating, could be the motherboard is about to take a digger, could be alot of things.

So while I wait for pixies or the cobbler’s elves to magically *fix* things for me (yeah I know, ain’t gonna happen), I have been reading the business books I mentioned before.  I can only read those for so long, I start feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.  Stepping away lets me put the information in perspective, the authors are not artists themselves.  The info isn’t arranged in an easy to follow fashion, or even in order of implementation.  It’s like reading a recipe that leaves out certain steps, or following directions to someone’s house and the directions tell you to get to C from B, but never tell you how to get to B.  Eventually, I will have to make a flow chart of all the information I have acquired so far, in the order necessary for implementation.  Most of the books assume you’re already fabulously well connected, with buyers left, right, and center… wouldn’t need the book if that’s the case.

I’ve also been sick, it feels like the flu with body aches and fever, and I feel like I swallowed shards of glass… my insides hurt.  I’m not sleeping well either.  Feeling a little better today, though I am still running a temperature and experiencing sharp pains.

Today I decided to do some rearranging and organizing, partly due to the prompts from UfYH.  One of them was cleaning up the “Invisible Corner”, which in my case IS an invisible corner behind my bed.  The stuff there is organized and neat, but it is still a pile of stuff that doesn’t belong there.  There’s paints, canvas, brushes, an easel umbrella I have never used (great idea in theory, but there’s a little thing called WIND which makes it impractical), a basket of unfinished fiber projects, fabric, a few electronics, and a box of costume jewelry.  It’s a very small corner and not the easiest to get in and out of.  Since my easel is now in the computer room, it makes sense to move the paints, canvas, and brushes there too.  Liz the Cat has already knocked down the easel once, and last night tried to sit on the canvas I had out.  Every cat I have had has been fascinated with my easel, it’s very distressing.  They try sitting in the paint tray, then when they get bored with that, see if they can walk around to the business side of the easel… chaos ensues.  It’s a collapsible easel… boy is it ever.  The fabric should go into the closet with the rest of my stash, something I will have to sort through eventually, but not today.  Not sure I have enough room in the closet, guess it will be one of those “make it fit” situations.  I’ll then earmark an hour to go through the basket of projects and reclaim the yarn.

I’m one of those people who like to sort through my emotional issues while I clean, it helps to do something practical while wrestling with something completely impractical.  I have since come to the conclusion that many people are simply fish heads and I shouldn’t allow myself to be bothered by their hurtful words and behavior.  They are stupid and I am not, if they want to act and be all evil, they’ll do it alone.  The main situation was instigated by someone I now believe is bipolar (being the most logical explanation), but overall they’re a big hive mind of nastiness and I want nothing to do with any of them.  Fish heads stink, and so do these people.  Fish hats however, are darn cute and the two should not be confused.  I wonder if it’s worth getting into details about what hurt, if it would help me to let it go, but I don’t think it would.  I was lied to, used, unjustly attacked, made into a target of other people’s insecurities, all while I was grieving over my job loss, my sister, my cat, my cousin’s suicide, struggling with new dietary challenges, and trying to process the decline in the health of my parents.  Who does that to someone?  Selfish, evil people do that, that’s who.  I don’t care how pretty they try to look and sound, or how many smilies and “lol”s they use.  Perhaps they are more selfish than evil at heart, but that doesn’t excuse the harm they caused.  The last straw was someone telling me that they’re my friend, when they had absolutely no intention of actually being my friend, it was another lie in a long series of lies.  This came on the heels of another so-called friend who was, for all intents and purposes, a life sucker.  I literally felt suffocated when they were around, as if they sucked up every bit of oxygen they could, and were siphoning my soul out through a straw. It was unpleasant, and I felt guilty because they seemed really nice otherwise.  I felt so much better when they weren’t around though, and I needed to be honest with myself.  And, that isn’t even the half of everything I’ve had thrown at me.  I must be putting off distressed vibes, because my border collie just came in to check on me.  She usually sticks by my mother, but will periodically check on me “Everything okay in here?  Good, now pet me.”  She’s one of the best dogs we’ve ever had, especially in contrast to my mother’s crazy-ass corgi.  Mean, crazy, corgi, apparently it’s uncommon for them to be that way.  It was sad, but also a relief, when the corgi passed on.  It was hard living with her, but she had a good life and lived to be 10 years old, which was average for the breed.

It’s time for me to finish cleaning up the corner of doom.  Wish me luck.

Feeling like writing

rekindledWith Spring finally here, flirting with us between the clouds and the occasional rain shower, I have been feeling like writing again.  I saw the above quote a few weeks ago.  It was something I needed to hear, just when I needed to hear it most.  A big thank you to the person who posted it.

 fall

I’m still broken-hearted over several things,

and I spend way too much time reading the posts under the Love tab in my reader;

however I have been making things too, so it hasn’t all been time wasted.

 

 

Aside from making plans, I finished a pair of socks.  I finally realized that my feet aren’t as large as I think they are, so I cast on for two more pair in a smaller size.  I am getting more confident with my sock making, though I am still making plain socks rather than those with lace, cables, or twists.  My left foot has been giving me pain for several months now, but I don’t know why.  With my luck, it will probably fall off when I’m least expecting it, “Dang.”  On the bright side, sock making will go quicker with only one sock to make.  I started crocheting a pullover, but I will be frogging it soon.  I don’t have enough yarn to finish the design I have in mind.  It was a fun attempt at any rate.  I almost finished making a cushion cover, but the cat found the pieces first, and now has two new cat blankets.  Funny how that works.  She has her eyes on the afore mentioned pullover as well.

I have been studying up on the business of art, and in so doing, discovered that my feelings of being lost and overwhelmed are not as uncommon as I have been lead to believe.  Making a living as an artist requires one to wear many different hats, creating is a full time job in itself, but we also need to be business managers, marketers, and accountants.  Fortunate are the artists who have business partners, it must be nice to have someone at your back (without a knife in one hand).  At the moment, I am focusing my studies on art writing, which ironically means I am not currently making the art I am learning to write about.  It will all come together, it has to.

Crap_1

I’m struggling with computer problems, and I have a GPU on order which will hopefully fix things.  It needs more than a GPU, however it would be cheaper to buy a new computer, than to upgrade this one.  I may have to replace the monitor, it needs more RAM, the operating system needs to be upgraded, the list seems endless and endlessly expensive.  I do have a spare monitor, but it is smaller, 15″ compared to the 22″ I am using now.  It will take some getting used to.

I finally came up with a logo design, after dropping the whole thing and doing everything BUT think of logos.  Once I get my artist’s statement the way I want it, along with decent photos of my work, I plan to start a new blog.  I never did make the portfolio site I wanted, mostly because of the expense.  The business books I have been reading have been stressing that I need something though, even if it is only a blog.  It will need to be focused on my art, which this one is not.

My dreams have been infrequent.  One night I dreamt of an old love, he was smiling at me; it has been an eternity since I last dreamed of him.  Another night I dreamt I found a huge stash of wallets, it was a happy dream.  Most recently, I dreamed of admiring a woman, wishing I were as beautiful… but she was plastic like a doll, and her flaws were covered up with heavy make up.  When I woke, I realized I shouldn’t compare myself to these mannequins I see on the web and in print.  I don’t need surgery and make up to be attractive, no one does.  It doesn’t mean anything.  It’s fake.  I could do with a hair cut though.

Those are my thoughts lately, as well as my goings-on.  I still struggle with intense self doubt and depression, which is why everything takes me ten times longer to accomplish.  Hopefully I am almost through with my cave time, did I mention my sunflowers from last year, reseeded?  I didn’t expect them to, but they did.  It was a good reminder that good things can happen at anytime.

Almost Thanksgiving

Wow.  It’s hard to believe how fast the time is passing by, I feel like I am living in an alternate reality, “November?!  It’s not November, it’s still June…”  I look outside and wonder when the leaves fell from the trees, it seems like it was overnight.

I guess I have been keeping busy, though I don’t feel like I have done much at all.  I had intended to write something thoughtful regarding what has been playing on my mind of late, but the words don’t want to come just yet.  Was it Hawthorne who said, “we must not always talk in the market place, of what happens to us in the forest.”, some things are best left unspoken.  This is a lesson I don’t always follow, it took me a while to learn what it really meant.

Anyhow, here are a few of my projects in the works.  I’m still working on the scarf I spoke of a few posts ago, it’s taking forever.  I think the yarn is cursed.  Instead, I’ve worked on more pleasant things.  I also dyed my hair and cleaned the bathroom, not exactly pleasant but at least both me and the bathroom look presentable.

I’m still reading your blogs, even if I don’t comment as much.

rufflerosepillow

I started a Ruffle Rose pillow using the Lionbrand Homespun that belonged to my sister. I might even finish it.

squares30

I have 30 squares made for a blanket for my bed. The squares are 5″ across.

tigerscarf

This is the tiger scarf I made ages ago and mentioned briefly when I first started the blog. I recently added the crocheted edge to one side. I’m deciding what to do with it next. It’s a hard scarf to photograph, it’s long and skinny, and curls up into a tube.