Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I'm a Stay-At-Home Mom

Feminism in Mormon-land gets REALLY complicated really quickly. Its a fascinating and at times challenging balancing act. (Warning: I will get religious at times. Its my blog and I can if I wanna).

I know views of women inside the church by those outside the church can be... a smidgen on the negative side. I had the experience in college with one of my favorite psychology professors who I'd taken several classes from discovering after all that time that I was in fact a Mormon.

You should have seen her jaw hit the floor. She gawked at me like I was a side show freak and then sputtered a line I will never forget: "I never would have thought that you would be a member of so patriarchal an organization!!"

Then it was my turn for my jaw to hit the floor b/c coming from her "so patriarchal an organization" was dirty words. I then laughed and responded with something to the effect of "Clearly, we're not who you think we are." It turns out her source of what she thought we were about was a disgruntled former member.

I've had MANY people throughout my life be surprised that I was Mormon, although they're not usually so  specific about the cause of their surprise. I usually just get "You're not like the other Mormons I know." And I never know exactly how to take that. I hope its a good thing. That I'm doing something right. On the other hand if its a good thing that leaves me with the fear that perhaps my fellow members are doing something wrong. But the alternative is that I'm the one who is way off and needless to say that thought is... uncomfortable.

But I digress. Basically a lot of people group Mormon women in the "must be barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen popping out whole herds of crotch parasites while singing jaunty tunes, making bread from scratch and carving ice sculptures for relief society" or something to that effect. I should probably top that off with "is a good 'yes wife' who does as she's told and knows how to grovel properly and bow and curtsey before the men folk".

..... Yeahhhhhh. Needless to say that is NOT ME. In fact, it is so far from NOT ME that I will get a little bit, um, violent, in my expression should anybody try to tell me that I should be like that.

Now the flip side of this is where it gets a bit complicated: If you WANT TO stay at home, and reign over your crotch parasite herd while singing tunes and kneading bread I say "More power to ya". If you want to go out and have the high power career "More power to ya".

My clearest thought is this: If it makes you happy, and you pray about it and that is the path that your Heavenly Father has for you and you wanna do it: then GO FOR IT.

Not all of us or supposed to be Susy Homemaker and not all of us are Patty Highpower. Some of us don't fit remotely neatly into either of those molds and some of us will fit neatly in to both of those molds at different times in our lives.

That said, the person who tries to shove me into any mold is liable to get a knee to the groin. And I think that my INTENSE reaction to that has more to do with my firm belief in the sanctity and divine right of agency. It is given to us to chose. No one has the right to take that from us. Not even God. And He doesn't and He never will.

So call it feminism if you will but either way I think that women, AND men, have the right to chose.

That said, I am a stay at home mom because I chose to be. Because in my little heart of hearts, I've prayed about it real hard and the place I am supposed to be right now, for better or worse, is at home with this baby.

Now there are other women whose lives, personal situations, etc are different and can manage better than I can the balance of career AND family, but I don't think I am that person. The message that I feel strongly about right now is that nobody can love and teach my child the way that I can love and teach him. That right now, with this kid, it needs to be me.

And I feel that this is the time and the season for me to have my children. To get my "child bearing years" done and over with. Do I still want to go to graduate school? Oh my gosh yes. Is now the time? I've prayed about it and its a resounding "no". I figure that 30 is creeping up on me by the day, and yes LOTS of women have children at MUCH older ages than 30, but it ain't gonna get any easier the older I am. In fact its pretty much all gets harder and higher risk and with my luck I probably shouldn't push it.

But more than anything, to me, this path is what feels right.

Are there lots of amazing careers I could be having? Sure. Could I positively impact the world, and make my mark on history? Sure. But I can only say this: In this time and this place, in doing what I'm doing with my one little child, I am doing the greatest good I can possibly do in all the world. And I know that to the core of my soul.

One final thought on Feminism Meets Mormon-land (don't worry I'm sure I'll revisit this topic in depth) - Mostly in regards to the secondary claim that we're supposed to be good subservient yes-wives.... Oh HECK no.

And here it does get complicated b/c the person I will submit my will to is my Heavenly Father. I chose to do this because every time I have I have found greater joy in His path for my life that I could ever have planned for myself.

Extend that thought to - I believe that God leads and guides a church. He has a Prophet and 12 apostles just as He has done all through out history. I believe that God leads these men and guides and directs them. As long as they are following direction from Heavenly Father what possible arguement could I have to submitting my life to the guidance and direction they receive from God? So one could argue that I am "submissive to men".

However, I will state this: my obedience is not blind. I have the right to pray to God myself and ask for confirmation that the things I am being taught and asked to do are right and good and true. And you better believe He and I have LONG chats about things and I don't generally do anything unless I believe it to be right. Sure once in a while, I'll go on faith and just do it, but I always get my confirmation that its right.

You could argue I've simply been brainwashed and conditioned and all of that. Go ahead. But this is my life, and I believe.

One final thought to my final thought: regardless of gender I don't think anybody has the right to make some one else feel degraded and inferior, especially not with in the bonds of marriage. I believe that is NOT what God intends for His children. I think it should be a partnership. Sometimes he leads, sometimes I lead, mostly we discuss things a lot and pray about it and try to follow God's lead.

If that's feminism then I think God is a feminist.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lately I've had occasion to ponder a lot on PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I know several people who suffer from it. Some IRL, one or two online. I could possibly even consider myself to have a little bit of it.

But I guess the odd thoughts I've been having is about its evolutionary course.

That might sound strange, but this is me we're talking about.

I've had a really raw couple of weeks. Something about my Mom's 20 year bone marrow transplant anniversary and a couple other significant events in lives of people I love dearly have brought my emotions dangerously close to the surface. I seem to always be on the verge of tears. And I'm not a person who cries often so we've been pondering tryin g to figure out what our issue is.

My first thought in this random jumble I'm going to try to bring into a coherent train is this:

Flash Bulb Memory.

This is a phenomenon in psychology. Basically attach an intense emotion - good or bad - to an event and you'll remember it for ever. Some argue this is why women have such good memories because for them everything is emotional. Think about the CLEAREST memories from your early childhood. There is almost always a strong emotion attached to that.

In terms of evolution this makes perfect sense. Odds are good if it scared the crap out of you or made you blissfully happy its a good survival practice to remember whatever it is clearly so that you can avoid/repeat the behavior as often as possible.

Now make that moment the most intensely negative experience of your whole life.

We'll break it down to monkeys.

Mr. Monkey is living in the jungle doing his monkey thing. Mr. Monkey has a near death experience with a jaguar and nearly gets ate, he's badly injured but he miraculously survives. Over the coming weeks and months Mr. Monkey now jumps at small noises. He has little monkey flash backs every time he sees anything that remotely reminds him of the jaguar. He has nightmares where he relives the moments that lead up to the attack.

What possible good could this torture do him? Well, the smart monkey option is to remember as clearly as possible what lead up to that attack so that he can avoid it in the future b/c the smart monkey goal is to avoid becoming jaguar lunch. Now he's hyper vigilant and you can be dang sure no jaguar is gonna get the jump on that monkey ever again.

... assuming of course he doesn't condition himself to ignore all the stuff that makes him jump b/c he's tired of being afraid and then he gets ate.

Well... here's where life gets complicated.

#1. We're not monkeys. Our traumas are not often jaguar attacks. PTSD is most commonly associated in the public mind with war veterans, but they're not the only ones that experience INTENSE emotional/physical trauma.

Human beings with our so superior intellects, have invented all sorts of ways we can torture and traumatize ourselves that don't leave a single exterior scar. But that makes them no less real.

I think that PTSD is essentially flash bulb memory. Except in this case the flash bulb was a super nova. The traumatic death of a loved one. The severe illness or injury of ourselves or people we care deeply about, a parent, sibling or child. The loss of some one you care deeply for. Years of abuse where the terror and fear burn a pattern of pain deep into the psyche.

I think that PTSD is infinitely more common than we think about it.

And whats amazing is how much it can surprise you. You can have a severely traumatic event. One you recognize as a trauma. And you move on you think you work through it. You do the best you can. And years later all of the sudden you completely and totally FREAK OUT and you're left shocked and gasping.

What on EARTH just happened? Why on earth did I just react like that? I'm past this. I'm fine now. I have 1 million reasons why this should not bother me. But suddenly its raw and its fresh and its stripped down to the open wound that was there all those years ago.

Maybe if you're lucky it doesn't hemorrhage like it did the first time. Maybe if you're lucky you can staunch the bleeding much faster than the first time. But all of the sudden you discover the wound you thought was fine is definitely not gone.

I think that just because you know something in your mind, this intense, super nova flash bulb memory has burned that thought into the very fibers of your being. Your body doesn't care that the mind knows that everything is just peachy now. Your body knows that "a broken heart" isn't just a metaphor. Your body knows that it can literally feel as though its heart as been torn from its chest and put in a blender and it does not want that to happen again.

And so in spite of your super intelligent, evolved brains protest your body is going to have a Grade A Freak Out. The right trigger got flipped and here you are back again. B/c after all the years of training your brain you discover the body wasn't paying attention to the lesson.

The good news is that  you can deprogram this reaction, mostly, over time. You learn to anticipate it. You learn whats going to cause the freak out. And while you can't help the initial response, that core emotional shock wave, what you can help is how you react to it. Do you feed it? Do you fuel it? Do you toss a couple sticks of TNT on top of your little glass vial of nitro glycerin?

Or do you call the bomb squad? Take deep breaths, focus on recognizing the reaction for what it is and then attempting to control your physiological response through various relaxation techniques. Eventually the body can be taught that A+B does NOT equal "End of the WORLD". Your brain knows that. It knows that A+B is cancelled out by F, G, and H which negate the effects of A+B, but thats not how your body thinks.

Your body is primal and its memory is event driven. As far as its concerned A+B = Worst Thing Ever. Therefore anything that reminds it at all of A+B will lead to MELT DOWN.

So the bad news is, odds are even with years of work, A+B is gonna make the body a little twitchy. You're gonna feel those over tones of grief and loss and mind numbing terror. BUT the good news is, that A+B doesn't have to ruin your life, your year, month or even a whole day. A+B can make you have a bad spell that you recenter for a bit and then you're fine.

Bastard thing of it is, you can go years with out A+B causing a problem and then it just goes and sneaks up on you and the body goes... "OH! OH! OH! Its A+B!!! Its been a LONG TIME but we remember THIS IS BAD!! AUUUUGGGHHHH!!!"

And then you're almost back to square one again. Some how its worse if you go a long time between exposures. The familiarity conditions the response and the brain can jump in and short circuit before the body gets into full blown melt down mode. But go a long time and the brain is a lazy slacker. If you don't use it you lose it. So A+B shows up and the brain is busy taking a snooze at the desk while the body, like the primal animal it is sniffs the wind, recognizes its old foe and with out the brain to enter the disarm sequence, launches back to its old programing and freaks out.

I may be talking in circles here but I need to.

I think I had some PTSD in response to my mothers leukemia when I was 8 years old. Someday I'll tell you the whole story. But now I'm starting to wonder if theres any correlation between a PTSD freak out I had at age 12 and the onset of my clinical depression.... I never noticed the time line similarities there but they are definitely there. And now that I'm reliving my memories, as we hit the 20 year mark, I find that familiar tension in my chest, my eyes threaten to tear up and I want to curl in a ball and weep for my terror for my Mommy....

Its been 20 years. I should be fine. But some how there I am all over again.

I dunno maybe its partially the anniversary. Maybe its reading somethings from friends dealing with their versions of the nightmare, maybe its conversations with people I love dearly having their own version of this hell. But its intense and I'm just trying to breathe through it....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why I Blog

This is in response to a question by Aunt Becky: Why do YOU blog?

I actually started a few blogs back when, mostly as a place to rant and flame and say whatever the hell came to my mind in a place that I could say ANYTHING. I don't even remember the urls. I went so far as to set up dummy email accounts just so I could have a blog attached to nothing else in my life so I could say ANYTHING.

I was afraid to flat out post ANYTHING on a blog that people I know read mostly b/c I do in my little heart of hearts believe that words MATTER. Theres a right way to say things and a wrong way to say things and you should never ever put in print something you wouldn't mind having posted in the village square. Relationships can be horribly, irreparably damaged by the wrong words.

And so, those blogs died quickly. Mostly, I think, b/c once the fire of my anger was gone... I didn't have much use for the blog.

Next I started Fleipaper for all my non facebook friends and family as a place to post updates and pictures and not have to spam my entire address book. It also has the perk of any person who whines that they don't know whats up no longer has any excuse - go look at facebook or my blog. I'm sorry but I don't have time to call EVERYBODY. Its not personal. I'm just a flake and I'm that crazy/insane pretty much all the time b/c thats just how we roll.

And then I kept posting these mile long Notes on facebook b/c they weren't necessarily appropriate for a "family blog" and it was then I decided what I really needed was my own space. A blog just for me. To say anything and everything. The good, the bad, the ugly, the boring, the stupid, the rants, the random, the I need somebody to talk to and its 2 am and I can't sleep and I can't call anybody and wake them up but I have to think this through in words...

And that is how we have "I Like Sparkly Objects". Its the place where I am me. Grotesquely verbose, definitely nerdy, occasionally angry, and always saying what I need to say. B/c I think if I couldn't get things OUT there I might actually just die.

I don't really censor myself, but I do try to not be hurtful. I have a loyalty to the people that I love. And although they might occasionally make me crazy I don't want to just flame out on them in a public forum b/c thats just not the kind of person I am. And honestly I've actually found it really helps me to more rationally evaluate the situation if I do it from the round about arms length method I use here for topics like that.

I need the rant. I need to vent. I need to get it out. I need to understand exactly what it is about the situation that is making me crazy so that I can process through it and find my way out the other side. What I do not need to do is completely destroy my personal relationships which I could easily do if I flat flamed out.

And ya know what I am WELL aware that I am probably the only person on the planet that ever reads my drivel (except when I read a post out loud to my husband and inflict my ramblings on him) and I am well aware that I am probably occasionally DEAD boring and absolutely no fun to read. And ya know what? I don't give a flying flip.

I don't. I write because I NEED TO. Its almost a form of mental exorcism. I have to just come here and mind purge on to this screen and send it out to pollute the internet. I doubt I will ever be popular. I'm no where near as funny as Aunt Becky, I'm not any sort of celebrity or passionate activist or insanely talented like Pioneer Woman or any of the greats. I am simply me.

I'm Ami and this is my blog. And if you ever do read all the way to the end of one of my epically long posts - wow. Thank you. I'm honored.

.... And slightly concerned for your mental health....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


20 years ago today.... I was a little girl who had just been on her first major road trip.

My uncles, along with some family friends, my sister, and I had driven the 20+ hours from Phoenix to Houston. I had no idea what to expect. I was so conflicted b/c in my mind Houston, Texas looked like a city from an old western movie and yet I knew Mom was there because of MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is the best cancer treatment center in the world. And I had such a hard time picturing this big fancy hospital in the middle of a town made of wood buildings and dirt roads with horses.

Turns out Houston was a lot like Phoenix only GREEN. I'd never seen so many green plants and rainstorms in my young life. And MD Anderson was mind numbingly huge and complex.

And my mother .... was a pumpkin.

That was my first thought anyway. When she had left Phoenix she'd had SOME small amounts of hair left. Now she was completely bald and the medicines they'd given her had made her swell up a fair bit and turn a little orange. Clearly, my mother was a pumpkin.

She was in an isolation room. I could see her through double paned glass and talk to her via intercom. I couldn't hug her or touch her. No one could. The doctors administered drugs to her through long plastic gloves built into the opposite wall and once a week a person in a bubble suit could come through the air lock to clean her room. Everything that came in had to be sterilized.

After 3 days of radiation treatments where she received the same amount of radiation that you would have received if you were at ground zero Hiroshima when the bomb went off, Mom had no immune system left. The littlest bug could kill her inside of a few hours.

I remember watching the day of the transplant. We were all gathered around the window. Momma was SO so excited. She held the catheter line up for us to see as they pushed in 3 BIG fat syringes of bone marrow in through the tubes that came through the wall. She gave us a big cheesy grin and a thumbs up!

We went to check on my Uncle Mike (one of my mother's younger brothers) who was her bone marrow donor afterwards. He had 6 little round needle holes in his butt. 3 of them on each cheek. He told Mom that now he can really say that she was a pain in the ass. (In fact until Mikey passed away 2 years go, every year Momma would call him and thank him for saving her life. And every year he would say "I love ya sis. You're welcome but you're still a pain in the ass" lol).

That was 20 years ago. And I still bawl like a pathetic baby every time I really think about it. I have no words to express how amazingly grateful I am to God, to science, to the doctors and nurses and to my Mother for being a fighter and going to hell and back so that I could grow up with my Mommy. I would not be a live today if it wasn't for her.

In so many ways I owe who I am to my wonderful amazing mother. You could not ask for a more loving and accepting, caring and compassionate person. Don't get me wrong - she'll kick your butt up between your ears if you really need it, but only b/c she loves you. I think she has done a SUPERB job of balancing being a mother and being a friend and that is not an easy line to walk.

For better or for worse, hers in the voice in my head. I found that out when I went to college. She's the one I hear, encouraging me, chastising me, reminding me and helping me.

She hasn't always been perfect but I can say this: Whenever it has been pointed out to her that something she has said or done was not right or hurtful or whatever, she never, EVER did it again.

As a kid, shortly afterwards I presented a picture to her transplant physician, Dr. Anderson (who just happens to share a last name w/ the hospital), it said in big crayon letters "Thank you for saving my Mommy's life". I want to say it again. Preferably through a mega phone from the top of a tall building, on the 6 o'clock news and on the front page of every paper in the world:

Thank you to every one involved in making it happen. Thank so much for saving my Mommy.

20 years baby. Here's to 20 more and many, many more after that!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I should so be sleeping right now. And I'm not b/c I'm packing, or more correctly, I'm procrastinating my packing.

See.... I'm really, really fricking tired of packing. And I don't wanna deal with it in that nearly violent way. And yet I HAVE TO pack. And I don't DARE go to sleep with out it 99.9% done b/c I know me and my extremely unfortunate tendency to hit the snooze button.... repeatedly. And I CANNOT miss my flight.

But I'm tired. Its been a long fricking day. I had to do laundry in that oven we call a laundry room. 5 loads of it no less. AND I have to go unbury the fricking kitchen so that I have clean sippy cups to take with us to Houston. And for some reason all I want to do is SCREAM. And then go to sleep.

I think 3 days in a row of crap for sleep are catching up with me. So... you get to listen to me whine about it. Don't blame me you're the one reading my blog. (I'm operating under the delusion that ANYBODY reads this drivel).

On the other hand I did find another kinda cool article. And I have to admit the comment about the "Young Women of Excellence" award made me laugh out loud, cuz I SO know what she means.


And I'm really starting to get annoyed with 9 Chickweed Lane. Mostly b/c its author seems to have given up the daily laugh variety of comic for the comic novella experience. And this doesn't so much annoy me that he's gone novella b/c he actually does it extremely well. But mostly I'm insanely frustrated to get my story one line at a time. Its insanely annoying. If you're going for the graphic novel, and you REALLY like to go for the tense, cliffhangers, its NOT NICE to do that every day for weeks on end.

And just to add to my INTENSE stress Adam and I have FINALLY started to get it together with the whole budget thing and am discovering how painfully far out of bounds we've been living. And it kinda makes me wanna puke and die everytime I think of it... which would be every other thought.

And I'm going to miss my husband. I hate taking trips with out him and not just b/c baby wrangling solo is a special kind of hell. I need to be with him. It just... centers me.

And so I don't wanna pack b/c I don't wanna leave him. I desperately want to see my family and spend time with them but the cost is leaving my heart behind and I desperately miss it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Random List of Fascinating Articles

So we're gonna have the "Link-Mania" experience b/c I've found a whole list of fascinating articles.

Interesting article about Sperm Donation from the Kid's perspective. This hereby adds weight to my thought that this is probably not the best idea (the anonymous variety - the 'infertile couple' version is usually less bad - unless of course you wait to tell the kid they're a donor baby until you and ur husband are going through a nasty divorce and THEN you can inflict some serious trauma on your child...)


Cool site set up about LDS women. I like it. Its my perspective on the thing. So I'm a Mormon female. That does NOT in anyway inhibit my rights or abilities. I'd deck the dude that tried.


And this one is FASCINATING. Mormon dude who owns a major PR firm did a survey on what people across the nation think of Mormons..... Yeah.... we've got some SERIOUS work to do. However, I do LOVE this dudes sense of humor. His response to "do mormons practice polygamy?" is my new favorite quote: "If I wanted to be excommunicated from the church I'd practice polygamy. The other sins take longer."


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Friday

So today was a good day. In spite of the fact I made a really ugly ring this evening... lol

I had serious brain fog this morning due to the fact that Mr. Caleb decided to get up last night and then didn't have the courtesy to sleep in the next morning. I finally got my brain back late afternoon but the damage to my working productivity was done.

But at least my kitchen is clean AND I made dinner (ooohhh ahhhh). And I made a third Wire wrapped solitaire ring (looks gorgeous!) in record time and was able to drop that off at Kathleen's house so she can take it with to England. I did a full shank wrap on this one. I only did a half shank wrap on mine. I like the look of the half wrap better but there are other people who prefer the look of the full wrap.

So .... in the video she says you can use a stone as small as 8x10mm in the pharaohs ring. I probably would have done well to note that NONE of the demo rings she had were little ones.... Why? B/c sure, you can make it.... but its UGLY. Or at least I think its ugly. I'll hold on to it and maybe somebody else will like it but ... I just DON'T.

I really wish I had a good lapidary shop in town where I could go buy cabochons. Go and like browse the selection and hand pick what I want. The whole internet buying as made me slightly nervous after the whole "big fricking hole in the front of my stone" fiasco. I trust Rio Grande not to screw me over, but they're VERY into the wholesale thing and I don't always need a dozen of everything ya know?

So my dork self had an interesting experience that I think only goes to highlight the fact that in spite of the fact I have made massive leaps and bounds of progress in my social/emotional health and functioning I still have a little bit of a um... paranoid dork side.... That or I just hope that everybody else has an inner insecure 16 year old girl who is constantly afraid that she's completely blown it some how.

So I have this cool group of friends from my Evony days. They're my guys (and gals) and I love them great big bunches. A couple in particular seem to actually genuinely LIKE to listen to me rant (who woulda thunk?). And so post Evony we have a Skype chat room where we all get together and talk (okay I may in fact do more than my fair share of the talking but if you're reading this blog you've probably caught on to that by now...).

But so my dork self, high off of the multiple reassurances that they do in fact really like me and are glad to have me join their chat, and claim to enjoy my rants (one guy actually claims to find them relaxing?!) AND the fantastic fact that my girl crush on Aunt Becky has progressed so far as AIM friends (SHE FOLLOWS MY TWITTER!! Oh lord I am such a pathetic fan girl.... *headdesk* Don't mind me - I SWEAR I have met ACTUAL celebrities and not been this big a dork).

So basically point of this monologue is that all of the sudden earlier this week everybody on Skype... vanished. All of the sudden I was the ONLY little green online checkmark. And I'd say 'Hi' and come back hours later and there would only be my sad lonely little "hi" sitting there all alone.

At first I figured they were busy or something, but then it was like DAYS. Like 3 of them. And I was really starting to wonder. Did all their computers break? Is the internet broken for large swathes of the planet (sadly I did check the news just in case... even more sadly, I just admitted it). I even went so far as the REALLY crazy thought of - one of the guys is taking off for a few days to go to a funeral, and his departure roughly coincided with the start of the radio silence, so I even sat there and puzzled if maybe he was secretly some really talented psychopath with multiple personality disorder and I'd somehow managed to be duped that this one person was really a half dozen different people (its the internet, anythings possible right??).

Yes, my pathetic attempts to cover the truth know no bounds to their creativity. We finally decided that there was no way somebody THAT crazy would ever be capable of being that consistent and generating such plausible back grounds etc. SO... we were left with one poopy crappy option.

It was me. I'd finally made them all throw up their hands and scream 'dear lord does she EVER shut up???" and they'd all left in disgust... And so I apologized on Skype and said good bye. And didn't say another word. But like the pathetic dork that I am I'd log in every few hours to see if anybody had shown up, seen my pathetic-ness and taken pity and reassured me that I'm really not that annoying... and a day and a half later.... nobody had said a word.

I was ready to cry. So one last ditch effort later I logged into Evony and sent two letters to two of my favorite people asking if I'd offended them or they were just sick of me and saying sorry if it was either of the above.

And then like the sweet wonderful people they are, they either gave in to my pathetic whipped puppy-ness or saw my letters and really were just busy, but either way they both replied and told me I wasn't horrible and various forms of crazy life had happened and they didn't hate me and I hadn't offended anybody.

And the sun came out through the clouds... lol

I am so pathetic. But it makes me happy.

I have a bad, bad track record with internet friends, particularly of the male variety. Its part of why I was so nervous initially to get involved with my, now, husband. We hadn't actually met in real life. BUT he had dated my best friend for YEARS and I loved how he treated and talked about her. So I knew he was for real at least. I knew he wasn't some 60 year old guy in his underwear or a 13 year old kid messing with my head. But 1000 miles apart and the chemistry was amazing and so I dared to hope it was real... And then most amazing thing happened there - we met in real life.... and it was even better than online.....

And that would be why we're married. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Random Stuff (as per the usual)

I've decided that plastic storage organizer makers must have an allergy to squares. You can find rounds and rectangles and heck even octagons. But no squares. Made myself crazy for a solid hour trying to find one online before I had a massive "DUH!" moment and went and raided my tupperware stash and Voil à! We have square container! 

Basically, I have this serious awesome sauce tool bag from Kathleen that she found on ebay for cheap. Looks just like one of those 8" square tall electricians tool bags only in cute colors (pink and brown). And while I LOVE IT, I have some seriously heavy tools in there and the bottom of this bag is a little square pull out drawer, which is AWESOME from the organization stand point, BUT they made the thing soft sided... 

Soft-sided drawer vs friggin' heavy stainless steel tools....

Yeeeahhhhh thats what I said too. SO, we need something a little more macho and definitely hard sided in the bottom of the bag. We have now found TWO suitable containers in our tupperware stash. After being a total dork and calculating the volume of both, I've discovered theres like less than 1 cubic inch difference in their volumes. So basically they can both hold the same amount of crap (which is impressive b/c my money was so on the one container being bigger) but the debate is... which one do I want to use?? 

One container is a square and slightly taller than the other and comes from my old college tupperware set. Fairly ideal. The other container I do actually like a bit better, its brand new, a little bit narrower and shorter but its longer. The long one is easier to get in the hole in the bottom of the bag b/c its shorter, and the length might prove useful. But really the length isn't THAT big a diff (like an inch) and somehow I feel like its more responsible to use the old one and save the new one for food...

Yes I really am blogging about a decision over tupperware. Shut up. Its my blog and its helping me think. You want deep or humorous go read some other blog. This is me polluting the internet in my own personal fashion. 

In other fronts, life continues to be pretty good. Except for the fact thats its 4 am and I'm not asleep yet. It was 3, I was about to go to bed when Adam slept walked his way into the bathroom to pee and banged the door thereby waking the small child who then screamed until I gave up and got him. Clean butt and a bottle later he's back to sleep, but now we've crossed my 4 hour mark so I need to eat again. And so here we are. 

I'm in another conundrum. We bought an 18x13 malachite cabochon. We were supposed to get two but apparently wires got crossed at some point and only one was ordered. So it gets here and we have problem #1. The stone cut, polish and color is gorgeous but theres a big friggin hole in the middle of the front of it. It's UGLY!

So I figured fine, no problems, I'll just use that one for my copper practice ring. Well copper practice ring was made, except due to the fact that I attempted to use dead soft copper wire instead of half hard b/c thats what I had, the ring is kinda funky and basically its best to just chop the stone out and cut my losses. 

So... do I put the funky stone in sterling silver?? And we did order a two pack of 10x8 malachite cabochons, b/c that was the smallest size that she said you can fit in the pharaoh's ring. Except, I'm staring at them and they just look SO tiny I'm not sure that they'll look good with such a large setting. I dunno. I think I'll try it with one of them and see. I just hate to waste the silver. But then again Kathleen was going off today about how much fun she has melting silver down and how if you screw up you just melt it again and start over so maybe there's something to be said there... I think thats what I'll do. I'll try it. 

But not tonight. I really need to get to bed. 

And one last thought - I know I'm leaving town soon, but it doesn't feel like it. I dunno. Somehow isn't real yet. Which I suppose is kind of a good thing. Or maybe bad. I dunno. I need to make packing lists and getting ready. 

I'm kinda worried about Adam while I'm gone. He's been on the depressive side lately and I just feel bad leaving him all alone for so long. Especially right now. I really wish he could come with. I'm gonna miss him like crazy...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good Day!

Today was a good day! Yes it got a little bit hair pulling stressful with the kiddo at one or two points but the end of it was really, really good.

I spent an hour on the phone confounding Apple tech support. But 4 support people later I finally had my answer to a problem I'd been having for several months.

And then Adam came home and we did the chiropractor thing and then came home and I made a quickie dinner and then thanks to some awesome team work we managed to get a load of laundry done and mostly put away, installed the new latch on the outside of the bathroom door to keep the kiddo out, got the kitchen clean, swept the kitchen floor, picked up the living room and set up Mint.com to help us keep track of our finances. We got the kiddo to bed at a reasonable hour.

I made our second dinner (you eat every 4 hours on the Skinny Chicks plan) and we got to sit and visit for a while which was really nice. Read scriptures, said prayers, then Adam went to bed and I rewatched the video segment on the ring I learned to make tonight and then attempted to make said ring.

It didn't go nearly as well as last nights project and I think that was 98% my fault. I wanted to do my first attempt at the ring using copper practice wire rather than risk the sterling silver on a learning curve. Well, the problem is that tonights project called for half hard wire and I only have copper in dead soft. But I figured I could just fudge it and it wouldn't make that big a difference... right??

Wow... I do hereby respect my teachers wire temper recommendations. I've used dead soft before with no problems. Tonight.... it was a royal pain in the behookey butt. That wire bends and mars if you breath on it funny. This pattern really depends on the wire having some body and direction all on its own. So having wire that resembles playdough was not helpful. Took me over an hour to do one ring with no shank wrap.

I also discovered that I need to return my sliding pin vise b/c its defective. I couldn't figure out what the deal was and why I was having such a problem getting my pin vise to work and then I looked at the end of it. Its supposed to be split like a + on the end and mine is... not. It looks like mine was sliced by the drunk machinist. Mine is more like _|- and I'm probably being a bit generous there.... So yeah THATS going back to the supplier for a new one.

But either way I still had fun trying something new. I learned a lot and got to play with my sparkly objects which makes me VERY, very happy.

Oh and just to make life a little bit better I got a TON of feed back on last nights ring and it was all glowingly positive which makes me amazingly happy.

This week might have started out crappy, but right now - Life is Good. *knock on wood*

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

See my PRETTY!!!!

And with that spastic header you just HAVE to see what I just made:

That would be an 8mm Amethyst CZ, set in sterling silver and custom made BY ME to fit perfectly on my right ring finger. OH MY FRIGGIN HECK YES I SOOOOOOO DID THAT!!!


I'm only slightly proud of myself. Which is why you're getting pictures taken in my bathroom, by me, in the middle of the night, one handed with my gimp camera that I have to hold the battery IN so that I can actually take a picture with it.... 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blah blah blah

You know I'm feeling angst ridden when you get multiple blog entries in close succession.

We did the communication thing. It went better than it usually does. Thats hopeful. Now we need to see if any actual change comes out of it.

I'm feelin less driven to desire forms of self medication but still not exactly brimming with joy and hope. One step at a time.

It was a crappy day. Not being able to vent combined with dealing with a VERY energetic child made for a seriously high stress day. I actually had to take a nap at one point b/c the alternative was violence. I just needed to calm down. I was that worked up.

Did some shopping and got 4 of the 6 stores hit. Then came home and had the talk.

I want to work more on rings but I need the findings and stones to get here before I can finish. So annoying.

Think I might go to bed early tonight.... That or cry some more...

Just so you don't freak - no its nothing of eternal consequence its just ... stuff.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Children are Cats

Ya know whenever I would see or hear of a character or person in a movie/tv etc who was usually a single female who desired to adopt a child or give birth or whatever, so that "she has some one who is excited to see her when she gets home", previous to now I always said that she should get over that notion and go get a dog.

After having children of my own, I've decided that this was erroneous and unfair. I mean who am I to judge dogs so harshly. The women in question should go and get a cat.

After all dogs are social pack animals. A well trained and socialized dog comes when called, is obedient to your commands and adores you without question at all times.

Children are cats.

They completely ignore you unless it suits their purpose.

It will ONLY suit their purpose to DEMAND your attention whenever it is the least convenient time possible. If they don't demand you completely abandon your current task in favor of one of their choosing then they will insist on HELPING you but only in a way that makes it completely impossible to continue with your task.

And ignoring them when they have decided it is THAT TIME can only be done at your own peril lest something you care for deeply gets completely trashed. The more expensive and impossible to replace, the better.

Any actual directions or commands will be treated as request that can be ignored unless it happens to suit their purpose (ie they were going to do that anyways) unless you actually physically intervene and cause the order to be obeyed. At which point they will protest, scream, pout, whine and otherwise express their frustration for extended periods of time afterwards. And then probably destroy something else expensive.

Litter boxes are a decent analogy to diaper changes.... really the more I think on it the better this works.

So yes, any person who desires a child so that they can have someone "happy" to see them when they get home should simply get a cat.


This is a public site so this will have to be cryptic for personal reasons. Don't ask I just need to talk in circles.

I think that being LDS is designed to make you deal with your issues and trust in God in part by banning all the usual methods of self medication. Think about it you hit a problem. Life sucks. Most people bury that sort of thing with sex or booze or gambling or drugs or really all of the above plus all manner of creative options to try to kill the pain.

A good practicing Mormon isn't allowed to do any of that so you're left with the initally painful alternative of having to actually deal with your crap. Which I mean everybody does eventually. You can only bury for so long before you wind up hitting bottom and going to a twelve step program. So the goal I guess is to pay the piper early and get it over with before you have to pay your tab with punative interest.

But what happens when you can't talk about a thing b/c talking about it further will only make it worse. And its really bothering you and you have no way to fix it. Everything you've tried has failed. And you're left hurting and confused and clueless how to make it better. And suddenly some of the self medication options are sounding very attractive but you can't b/c that would just cause a whole NEW problem and thats the absolute last thing I need right now.

So I guess you just have to trust in God and let it go. But right now... that sounds like a non answer...

And I'm sure all of this is really my fault b/c it wouldn't bother me if I were being a good girl and reading my scriptures and saying my prayers as faithfully as I should. And I even got smacked up side the head for it spiritually at church today.

And right now all I wanna do is curl up in ball and self medicate..


I've always been a fan of creativity. As a kid I LOVED all manner of arts and crafts and was generally considered "better than average" in ability. I even had a piece go on one of those public art displays of elementary school kids artwork. It was a big frickin deal when you're 8. In other creative venues as a kid I loved to sing in choirs, put on miles long soap operas with my barbies and play piano. I hit middle school and took up choir, theater, hand bell choir, cross stitch and crochet.

We moved to Sugar Land for my last year of middle school where I was in kind of a funk and decided to ditch choir and theater and instead went with Art. Art was fun and I was surprisingly talented to the point that there was some jealousy issues with the art teachers previous star pupil not liking me very much. And while I really enjoyed it, I often found it frustrating because nothing ever looked like it did in my head. Other people would tell me it looked great but when I looked at it all I could see was the flaws.

So in high school I instead went with dance and theater as my creative outlets, along with some pathetic attempts at writing poetry. I continued to be good at arts and crafts, discovered scrapbooking and loved photography. But scrapbooking took too much time and made a huge mess. Photography was frustrating b/c of my limited skill set and equipment kept me from being able to take the pictures I knew were possible.  I did some sewing and that was fun but I needed money to make it a habit.

I'd never be the greatest dancer. In fact my big achievement was knowing that I was finally NOT the worst dancer in the class. lol. Oddly that didn't diminish at all my LOVE of dance. It was passionate and fulfilling and wonderful. I still miss it...

Then I went to college, screwed up my joints so I couldn't dance anymore and had almost no time and no money for crafting. I did some attempts at scrapbooking but those quickly died with my full schedule. I think my biggest creative outlet was singing. I even got good enough my junior year before my mission that I was asked to sing a solo... in public. It was kinda cool.

But really I got extremely focused on academia and largely left my artistic outlets behind. Sure I crocheted like a mad woman but that was mostly to give my hands something to do while I studied so I could focus better. I did take one design class - an intro architecture class and I kicked butt. Third highest grade in the class. I didn't get into the architecture program although I applied. I decided ultimately that was a good thing b/c I can really make myself crazy when I let the nitty gritty detail oriented perfectionist take over and that is what architecture is all about and I don't really like that side of myself. I'm more of an idea person so it was probably a very good thing I didn't go into that program.

I did do some sewing in college but mostly... its a lot more fun to make clothing when you look the way you want to in it. When you're plus sized and nothing looks like you want its hard to find the joy in making wearable art...

But ya know - my necklaces and my earrings... no matter how big I am they still love me.

Mostly in college my artistic side was only ever used to create gifts for other people.

I've become increasingly fond of jewelry the older I've gotten. I mean I have ALWAYS loved sparkly things and pretty stuff since I was a kid, but it seemed to reach all new heights as I got older. Wedding ring shopping with girl friends in college, browsing the artist stalls at the Renaissance Festival... I discovered whole new worlds of sparkly objects that delighted and amazed me.

Then when I was on my mission we went with an investigator to a big super saturday relief society activity where they had all manner of classes and activities going on and as part of that I got to make a bracelet. I loved it. I wore that bracelet for years until I broke and I nearly cried.

Then I had a problem. I had this LOVE of jewelry and now I had a clue how to MAKE IT. But financial restrictions made it stay in the realm of day dreams as I gazed longingly at beads and findings in the craft stores and drooled over finished jewelry I couldn't afford but studied how it was made and what it was I liked about it. And plotted ideas for the day I would finally be able to afford to make my own pieces.

After my mission I did discover all new levels of the culinary arts thanks to Food Network and my summer in France. So that was a good creative outlet.

I graduated and life pulled me in the direction of databases as a way to earn money ... for now. And then the economy melted and suddenly my job was gone too. I couldn't go to graduate school yet. We needed income and it needed to be something I could do from home most of the time because I had a baby on the way and didn't want the kid to be raised by child care.

So this lead to plotting. I considered taking up baking cakes professionally. Or culinary school. But the problem with both of those is they require a million hours of training and practice and I was pregnant so that was pretty much out.

And then Kathleen called and asked if I wanted to come play with beads. And then asked if I knew how to make a website and explained her business idea.

And then I got to play with jewelry for reals. And I have discovered by far the most intensely satisfying art form I have ever gotten the chance to play with. For the first time ever I can make things that look even BETTER than they did in my head.

Its wonderful. Its amazing. And I cannot express how grateful I am for the chance I have now to learn and to do this. I think I will find a way to make jewelry for the rest of my life.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Life is Good *knocks on wood*

So, I'm almost afraid to post this and say this with out knocking on wood like REPEATEDLY b/c I'm just paranoid that way. My living room is cleanable. It gets cluttered but it can be cleaned fairly quickly and easily and with out much fuss. My dining room is progressing towards clean and I have high hopes of it actually being clean sooner rather than later. I feel like the tide has been turned in the war with my house and that while it will take a while I can actually win this war.

I'm losing weight. I've lost over 12 pounds so far and I feel great and I don't feel at all deprived. Me. This is ME saying this. HOLY FRICKITY CRAP.

I am SOOO excited for this next week. A few weeks ago we bought a training DVD set on wire wrapped rings which I simply devoured and I am now so excited and anxious to actually try my hand at this awesomeness. Well TONIGHT Kathleen actually ordered the stuff so that I CAN try it. :D :D :D

AND as if that weren't enough there's an Art conference here in town this week and I'm registered to take TWO classes which I am seriously excited about. One is on metal stamping and wire wrapping and the other is on resin clay beads which look like a fun thing to learn.

AND plans with the shop are progressing VERY nicely. I've got our floor plan drawn up. The business plan is being drawn up and Kathleen is going to be home this week and I am SO excited to see her and get to babble at her and with her and make progress on all sorts of stuff. I am like ready to start bouncing up and down and just be tickled pink about it all.

AND I was feeling slightly worried b/c basically some of the things I'm doing are worth a lot more than I am being paid for them, especially if they are as successful as I think they're going to be. And while I don't want to be greedy... its kinda my brain child and I would love to take part in its success but if it were just me it would never go anywhere b/c I lack resources to make it do so, but how do you say that exactly. And I was just mostly going w/ "this person is the person I know them to be they're not going to short change me". And today the person brought it up and we talked about it and they said exactly what I'd been thinking and its even better than I was kinda hoping it might work out to be so that makes me very happy and I feel MUCH better and am back to feeling 100% better about things.

And so now I'm excited and happy and I wanna run with this thing and bounce and jump up and down and GO FOR IT. And we're getting there. Slowly. But now I lack patience, especially since what I really wanna do is get a megaphone and tell EVERYBODY what we're up to b/c I'm so excited but we REALLY don't wanna do that until like we're locked and loaded and starting an advertising campaign b/c this is a COOL idea and we don't want anybody else to filch it.