Thursday, April 28, 2011

A reality check

Just a heads up to all you ordinary (and sometimes goofy looking) guys out there... here's a little brush of reality for your day:

is not gonna happen to a guy like this:
Unless he has tons of this:
But the truth is, that if you have tons of this:
And you look like this:
The reality would be this:
Which might be worth it for some.
What you should really be looking at, fellas is this:
But hey, but if you'd rather keep hunting for unicorns and the Holy Grail, have at it.

And ladies, FYI, this:
doesn't exist either.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Selective friendship and Drama Drama Drama

This has been a busy weekend filled with highs and some pretty tremendous lows. Yeah, lots of lows. I don’t really feel like I got a weekend because I spent most of it running around. Holidays, what a hellacious pain in my ass.

There was some significant drama this weekend. I was supposed to attend a meeting with the regency group leaders Saturday night. However, before that, in email discussions on the transfer of the presidency of the Oregon Regency Society from me to another leader, I was enlightened on her final plans which were not at all what she represented when she was convincing me to hand it over to her. This was someone that I had trusted. This admission of hers led me to the harsh realization that she had stood before me as a friend and lied to me to achieve her ends and gain control of the organization and its membership. She had full-on lied through her teeth. And she still claims she did nothing wrong. It was a crushing epiphany—because I had invested a lot of love and friendship into her and her actions were almost too impossible to believe. Part of me still believes it wasn’t really her, and that it was her being led about and manipulated by her two friends; because I still can’t believe that she would really have that horrible a character. I thought she was smarter and a better person than that.

I was unable to control my emotions—I cried like an idiot when I first read what she sent me. I realized that I’d been naïve and had been fooled and decided not to go to this meeting lest I gouge her eyes out with my fork or kick one of her idiot-helpers in the wiener (if there is one there at all)—because the Lupron brings the anger to a whole new level. Instead I gathered my impassioned wits, I made sure the local leadership folks whose time-investment and hard work would be affected by her rash and stupid decisions had *all* the information they needed before attending this meeting so that they wouldn’t be shafted without even realizing it. They apparently had to pry the truth from her a number of times during this meeting.

Yesterday, an email was fired out by one of her two idiot minions dismissing everything I (or anyone else in the organization) had ever done or contributed to the group, and gave the credit to her instead. It was insane. I opened it up (I was at Dark Horse Comics in Milwaukie) and said “HAH!” really loudly in the middle of the comic store (kind of embarrassing). I looked at my husband in downright disbelief and read him the email, to which he laughed in utter incredulity. What that email did reveal in the end was that these were the quality people who are behind this new ‘leader’ and how low and classless they really are. It also reveals with stark reality, how clueless they really are about the whole organization. They think it’s just balls and dancing and teacups and all about them. Utterly, entirely, wholly without a single clue.

But hey, drama is just drama. The real thing that weighs down my heart is the betrayal of someone who I thought was an actual friend. Someone who I had grown to care about enough to defend her irrational swings of behavior and interest, her brash tones, her impulsiveness to others, and to keep her reputation intact among her peers in spite of her actions in the past (she’d done something really selfish and stupid to the same ends last year just after my father died but then had a lapse of conscience). She never got along with any of the other people who threatened her for being put on equal footing as she as leaders. She was jealous. I should have known then, and had I been smart enough to realize it, this would not be an issue today. I’d have given the leadership of the ORS and the RSA to the people who should have had it; the people who set up events and don’t act like they were gods for doing it. The members who went above and beyond to create beauty and elegance without taking credit for what they spent from their pocketbooks. The people who did it out of love for what the ORS stands for. Hindsight is always 20/20. I see now why I was hesitant though—but I am not always quick enough to trust my instincts. I allowed her push me over the edge and believe what turned out to be outright lies. I never should have. I can’t help but still doubt it was all her. That’s love for you.

Now I have to read emails being dispatched from her decrying how she was ‘treated’ so ill by me and dismissing my efforts and those of all the amazing people who make up this organization. Strap that cross to your back girl and don your crown of thorns—we’ll all cry for you. ::eyeroll:: I’ll miss you. The old you anyway.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boo hoo wah. Blame it on the Lupron.

I look back on the past two years and I wonder how the hell I made it through with my sanity marginally intact (the jury is still out on it at this point).  It seemed to begin (at least for me) in February of 2009; but on March 13 (Friday), 2009. That was the day where my marriage nearly ended.  From there, the year just went mostly downhill. My father suffered a sudden and rapid decline in his health—I was told I needed to make all these desperate preparations for my mom, dad and brother to move to Oregon; a move that actually didn’t happen until the following April.  This was the same move that ultimately killed my father. That was May of 2010. Of course, before all that, my husband was laid off. Then my difficult mother became so ill on several occasions, requiring hospitalization.  There was the task of getting her back to some measure of manageable health (seemingly against her own will) and placed into assisted care (while battling my family every step of the way).  Then there was also my becoming the guardian to a 38-year-old 2-year-old. Then we went on to trying to survive on the 30%+ reduced income and trying to keep our little house out of foreclosure while battling the whole fertility thing, fighting with my sisters, the surgeries for my abdominal issues, the medications, the ups, the letdowns, the hurt of a betrayal of a trusted friend in the ORS (and subsequent forgiving of her) and the thankless burden the once joyful thing had become.  I wouldn’t wish that on even my worst enemy.

Oh man... I’m TIRED. I’m ridiculously, hopelessly tired.

At SOME point something good has to happen. Something positive. Yes, I have my horse, and I have my husband who loves me and I am proud and happy to have overcome difficult times together, we have a home, our two overweight obnoxious dogs, a cat I insist that I do not like (murdering bastard), at least ONE decent friend who is there for me)... but holy hell people.  It’s time for a break. It’s time for a windfall. It’s time for good news. It’s time for a vacation to Europe with my husband, or I don’t know... SOMETHING. Maybe that rich SOB George Soros will take pity on this poor Hungarican Chick and will say: Hey, here’s some money... buy a horse farm, be happy! You’ve paid your dues.  You’ve worked your ass off and deserve it. You’ve blazed trails through the wilderness so others could saunter down them unknowingly thinking ‘hey, this ain’t so hard!’  Good things come to those who work hard and who are responsible and doing the right thing... right? Isn’t it?  Maybe not.  Maybe this barrage of the impossible never ends for folks like us. If that’s the case, stop this ride, I WANT OFF. :::facepalm:::

This is probably a Lupron-induced diatribe, or maybe it’s just that sense of defeat I’ve been keeping at bay getting an edge on me.  I suppose I can be pleased with some things. I’m at the 12 lb mark as of yesterday morning.  Hubby’s lost almost 27 lbs.  You can really see it on him now.  I have my horse, and my health. I have a marriage that has become so strong and healthy and wonderful in spite of... or maybe because of the bad things that happened two years ago.  I have the idea of adoption to look forward to regardless of the success of this treatment, and we are going to move forward on that. We are registered for the classes required by the state to qualify for the program.  

There are some difficulties I know will get easier. Especially if Mom Satan moves to Puerto Rico as she plans (sometimes she changes her mind when someone asks her how she could leave her son behind).  I can only hope that the job situation will improve enough that we won’t be scraping by to keep the things that make life worthwhile, like this guy for me:

You could go bankrupt buying carrots for this guy. :)

And this guy for my hubby:

It's the black one in the foreground. My hubby's Monster.
I’ll try and stay positive. I keep myself looking forward by cramming my life with projects so I don’t dwell too much on the moment at hand, which is usually stressful.  I’ve managed to fight off hopelessness sans medication for more than nine years now.  But with this Lupron, my moods are magnified.  Anyway, I’m done whining.  For now.  I try to keep it to a moderate level, and try very hard to keep it off Facebook. I’ve been struck lately at how easily a person can come off as a whining fool on Facebook.  Status update after status update of incessant complaints about really superficial and stupid stuff.  OMG... Shut up!  LOL.

/Whinefest.  Ahh.... I feel better.  Have a nice Wednesday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Everything x 100 (and happy Fry-daaaay)

O... M... G... This Lupron stuff is like capturing the word Volatile, distilling it into thick, viscous, concentrated syrup and then forcing it down someone’s throat with a funnel. I am acutely aware of how my emotions have revved up into hyper-drive and I feel things with an intensity that is wholly unnatural. I’m 100% not in control of my feelings. At all. Even in the depths of my worst depression, my sorrow never felt as complete as it did the night before last, when I was bawling like I lost my father again. Why? Because I was watching the end of Juno where Jennifer Garner gets the baby. We’re talking full-on grieving waterworks. I am 100% serious. This is unbelievable.

When I am worried, it's worry x 100. It’s like the world is coming to an end and the anxiety tightens my chest and the all my brain dwells on are the worst-case scenarios; complete with vivid play-by-play imagery. When I am mad, it's mad x 100. For instance, when a stupid teen-aged girl throws a cigarette butt and an empty McD’s fry-packet out of her car, my rage is like She-Hulk, steam puffing out of my ears, teeth gritted, tailgating, braking, screaming, shaking fists, flipping the middle finger, making the pig nose and following them until I realized how INSANE I am being and have to pull over and do a ‘breathe-1-2-3’ exercise to get the fury out of my belly. When I just talk about something that unnerves or upsets me, the words are filled with passionate conviction, and I start smacking things around, chopping the vegetables more violently, and almost becoming irrationally obsessed about the subject.

I am out of control. And this is only the beginning. The first of six shots. I am told the effects will abate a bit with each shot, I sure as hell hope so, not just for my sake, but for my husband’s and the people on the road with me during my commute, my co-workers and mostly my family, who usually invoke the most powerful of emotions... The day before last, I got all emotional about something at work, and thankfully my coworkers were so cool about it, Sherry doing a silly dance to distract me from my crying and freaking out, and Kris came and slapped me (playfully of course). They were funny and it helped a lot. But I can’t expect everyone to be able to humour me out of these irrational explosions of emotion. Holy Hell.

On another less CRAZY note, the Weight Watchers thing seems to be working. In spite of having moments of obsessive thoughts about foods that are bad for me (I dream about burgers, fries, Belgian waffles and cake pretty often), I am managing to stick to the program and I don’t really feel deprived. The funny thing is, I’m actually eating more, and more frequently than I usually do, I’m just eating things with lower calories and making sure I’m not putting my body into starvation mode by skipping meals (a norm for me—I hardly ever eat breakfast normally) or under-eating. I am pleased to see the items in our pantry and fridge taking a healthier turn, and we are still eating delicious things. Last night, I made some turkey meatballs. I sautéed some shallots and garlic and celery with some basil and a few other spices (including a passionate emotional diatribe about a recent interaction that upset me to no end) and then mixed them into the ground turkey with a handful of breadcrumbs, a rasp or two of parm and an egg. I steamed them and then browned them in a pan, and covered them with a marinara. Add some wheat pasta and it was absolutely delicious. A whopping 20 points with double servings of pasta and nine meatballs each, but hey... we deserved it and we both had the point balance to do it.

Hubby has been making a habit of supplying himself with fruit to attack all day—a habit I have picked up. I keep bananas and oranges at my desk all week. With Weight-Watchers, fruit and vegetables are unlimited, so you can pork out to the max on them. If you feel like you want to eat your own arm, make a fruit salad. You can have colossal salads and you only have to count your dressing. If you’re like me, and you make your own dressing from lemon-juice and spices... you don’t even have to count that.

With every few pounds you lose, your points allowance (about 1 point per fifty calories depending on fibre content of the food) goes down, so eventually, you can eat fewer calories a day using healthier foods and maintain your weight. It makes sense. And it’s working, if I can stick with it and not have a Belgian Waffle and double burger and fries melt down ::drool::. :^D

I am at the 8lb mark so far. Not bad for less than three weeks, doncha think? It feels good to be disciplined about something. If feels like it did when I decided to quit smoking in November of 2001. It was a decision. No more excuses, no more justification as to why I can’t, or coming up with reasons why this or that method won’t work for me... I just decided to stop for two weeks for my sisters’ visit and then just stayed stopped. I feel super-supported by my hubby, who started this in January and has already lost 25 lbs. I’m so proud of him.

Maybe I can reward myself when I get to my goal weight, and make myself a whole new Regency wardrobe. Now, I am free to ‘just show up’ to ORS events since I stepped down as the tyrant dictator. I am now free to just sit around and complain vociferously about the whole event but lift not a single finger to help. Sounds like a delightful change. I can concentrate on my costumes and start really trying to make nice things instead of rushing them because so-and-so needs a gown made or I am busy making event arrangements. Yep. Maybe I’ll just do that.  ::mua ha:: Anyway. As I warned everyone on Facebook, if you're sensitive, keep away for the next six months. My filter is severely compromised, if not completely gone.  Oh boy. ::sigh:: I guess I'll figure out who my real friends and family are in the next few months.

My elder (but not eldest) sister is coming to town to show us how it's done. :)

Oh, shoot, I almost forgot! My sister (the Cowgirl Cuisine lady); accomplished horsewoman to the 1000th degree, is going to be coming to my barn in Oregon to hold a special clinic on horsemanship.  She has worked with some pretty amazing luminaries of the equestrian world, including the famous Ray Hunt.  She only has fifteen spots available for those who want to trailer their horses over to the barn for three days and participate.  Here's the Facebook event page (you probably have to be signed in to see it).  Also you can download the flyer here.  I also Craigslisted it.  So if you're within trailering distance, you're welcome to take part, but you have to secure your spot soon, there are not very many spaces.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More projects...

In my work to have fine hardwood Dassenplanks produced to sell, I’ve also started thinking about accessories to sell with them. It’s a natural progression. And one of those accessories is a carrying case for the Dassenplank with room for yarn and a possible skein of on-the-board knitted material. Maybe a few pockets for crochet hooks and knitting needles and accessories too. Then I started thinking about fabrics, and themes and silly things, so I spent the better part of last night working on these:

Spin-A-Yarn ~ Cartouche
Spin-A-Yarn ~ Scroll
Spin-A-Yarn ~ Scatter

I call this series Spin a Yarn. Miss mouse is steadily knitting away, and Ladybird is not being very helpful, batting the ball of yarn about. The little cartouches hold themed items like baskets of knitted material and yarn, a work-in-progress and a smirking Ladybird. The scrolls and cartouche frames are supposed to be golden yarn. :)

So these are my fabric designs (so far) for Spoonflower. I’ve already uploaded these two, I’m also working on a solid with much tinier prints of Ladybird and knitting paraphernalia and a stripe made of a single continuous piece of golden yarn.  That will be tonight when I get home, hopefully.

I might start messing around with different colour configurations for this series. Try different themes, maybe a darker background, maybe one that looks more like toile. I had no idea making tessellated designs could be so much fun.

Knitting/Dassenplank totes.
Anyway, it’s a start. This is the basic idea for the bag. I’ve made something similar before from outdoor yard-furniture canvass; a little striped carrier for my tiny netpad computer. I lined it in fleece which I quilted to a thick (weird feeling) felty-cotton batting to give it more stiffness. It turned out really cute, except I didn’t really work very hard to center the pocket on the front and it looks uneven.

Anyway; this is a rough sketch. They will come in three sizes to accommodate the 1-foot, 2-foot and 3-foot Dassenplanks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday goings-on and grumblings.

[update: Image from work... rainy puddly duckness]
I love rain. I always have. It promotes this desire for cozy snugglings by flickering fires and lots of drinking of tea. It doesn’t however, match well with sitting in one’s office gazing out at the bleakness of the day after having to drag oneself out of a warm, snuggly-blanketed-curled-up-warm-doggy-and-purring-cat bed (yes, they were piled on me like cordwood and I was not objecting). I truly, absolutely ABHOR Mondays. And I do not look forward to a whole day of it. And this morning is already shaping up to be a gloomy and icky one. Outside the kitchen window I see only sodden trellis, with the occasional sodden chickadees hunched in the little diamond-shaped gaps. I’m still in my Jammies when I should probably already be dressed and getting ready to head out the door. Motivation? -0-

Back in January, my husband started doing the Weight-Watchers program. I followed along for a bit, but he insisted I needed to get my own calculator and figure out my own points system... so I did. I started it last week. Hubby’s already lost over 23 pounds on the program (damned men and their fast weight-loss!). We’ll see how I fare. Weighing myself regularly is really depressing. I have about ten less points than he does a day; and so far I haven’t had too much of an issue staying within the daily limit and have not felt deprived at all—except maybe for a burning desire for a huge freakin’ burger and a pile of crunchy fries, and lobster and chocolate and more fries (I grew up in Belgium, remember? Fries are essential...) and now that I mentioned Belgium, I want to make up a batch of Belgian waffles to boot! GAH! Instead, I’m forced to weigh every slice of Tillamook cheddar I eat (gads, cheese is fattening!), and measure out the cereal and milk with my measuring cups and calculate the damage a slice of turkey meatloaf and saltine crackers can wreak.

We had a break from the pinching and measuring on Saturday night. We went to a nice little restaurant called Nel Centro in Portland to celebrate BFF Steph-II’s 25th birthday (she’s a youngun’). She had a long table set up and a bunch of friends and family there. It was hella (yeah, I said hella, live with it) fun. We got to hang out with Miss Charlotte and her husband Patrick, who turns out to be a really affable and excellent guy; and I laughed until my makeup raccooned around my eyes as it always does. I had lovely lamb-chops and chocolate crepes. Since it was a decent restaurant, the portions were not so large as one could feed a third-world family on for a week... they were quite moderate and tasteful. Less decent places tend to prefer quantity over quality and heap on the slop like they’re feeding hogs.

One of the funniest parts of the night was when we were all walking out onto the street and Stephanie II asked me: “Hey, did I by chance leave a pair of shoes at your house?” I paused to think and replied... “Am I wearing them?” and S-II glanced down at my feet and exclaimed: “YES!” to which we all burst into laughter. I had no idea I was wearing S-II’s shoes. I found them in my shoe-bin. I have had a shoe-addiction problem in the past and over the past few years, I’ve been winnowing down my huge collection of heels that I never wear into a manageable and modest assortment I can choose from for the occasional special event. However I only have mostly super-tall heels. When I was getting dressed to go, I found these cute twenties-style black shoes in the tumble of my other shoes. They had a small heel—which is what I wanted, and I thought they would do nicely. They looked familiar, were within my personal taste levels, so I figured I’d bought them and forgot I had. They were a smidge big, but quite comfortable. As soon as S-II mentioned it, I realized they were probably hers, because she has a particular style, and they were exactly the sort of shoe I’d imagine her wearing. It was pretty funny.

I woke up Sunday morning with a double zit right on the very tip of my nose. Makeup makes me break out... now I look like a female WC Fields with a danish-pastry nose. I HATE ZITS. I have this almost irrational unease with the idea of anything gross accumulating underneath my epidermis. I am almost obsessive-compulsive when it comes to blackheads and white heads. Gross. The perils of makeup. That's why I don't wear it often.

In a few more days, I will be going on to the Lupron. I am not looking forward to it, and I have apologized to my husband ahead of time several times to insure he knows that my irrational, crazy behaviour is not voluntary. A friend of a friend shared that she’d been on Lupron and she’s surprised she’s still married. I am officially scared. My blog might also reflect this Sybil-like transformation if it does occur. I might start blogging about my newfound affinity for attempted homicide and public nudity (be afraid!). If my blog goes silent, I very well might have been arrested or locked in a loony-bin for the duration. You never know. Just saying.

Work on getting my Dassenplank developed is marching forward very nicely. I think I might have stumbled on to an excellent partner and he has really great ideas to make the dassenplank even better than my original one. I am also working to create a custom fabric with some office-specially style artwork through Spoonflower so I can make custom carrying cases for the dassenplanks. We (Brad the magical-I-can-build-anything man and I) also talked other possible collaborative projects. So exciting!

Anyway, that’s the Monday update. Not quite so bleak.. but yet, I haven’t left for work yet... so I don’t know.


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