Sunday, November 30, 2003

short blog hiatus...

Slogging through final back in a couple of days. Carry on without me... *sniff*

Saturday, November 29, 2003

I need another pill...

for paranoia that is. Oh dear. It turns out I misinterpreted the message sent to me by the feltmaker who also does swirls. Egads. She didn't mean to encroach upon my designs at all, but was just sharing that she was doing a similar hat and that she greatly admired mine. I had to send a message back telling her how embarrassed I was for becoming slightly protective. I feel like a moron. I should feel like a moron. I'm always assuming the worst.

Maybe I should be a lawyer.

Friday, November 28, 2003

maybe I overreacted...

Just that--about the hat, I mean. I think I'm tense because I can't be with my hubby. I don't know. If I move more than four feet, my mother asks me what I'm doing. It's like being trapped with the Verizon guy, except it's "What are you doing now?" I'm a very quiet person, but she talks incessantly...her picture is in the dictionary under that word and her mouth is flapping away (an animated gif!)...we actually laugh about how much she talks.

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

Perhaps the turkey is killed at Thanksgiving as an act of sublimation. I wince, but oh how I love her still.

hell's fury should be tempered by good food and fellowship...

Thanksgiving has been weird. First, I'm separated (by miles, not by divorce) from my husband, which I don't like at all. And which neither of us will opt for again. Then, I cook a delicious dinner yesterday for my mom (I wanted to be with my mom this year)...that was good: watercress wheatberry quiche in phyllo dough, mixed spring greens for salad, pumpkin barley soup, homemade bread, etc. Yummy. Christmas music is in the background, despite the marital circumstances.

Then, today, I realize I have to get studying for my finals (background music changes from Major to minor key) and then I get this email from someone on the International Feltmaker's List that I am copying her hat design. Um, yeah. Turns out we both took a class from the same instructor, Jean Hicks and my "swirly" topped hats look like her "swirly" topped hats. She said she was contacting me for "ethical reasons." She was very nice about it. But, IF ANYTHING, we are BOTH copying Jean. Is the "swirl" copyrighted? (Changing from minor key to outright DIRGE here)... Am I going to be contacted by other feltmakers to retract my dome tops and tiers, rolled brims and use of hat bands? Has the Fedora been released from copyright? How about the pillbox? I guess it hacks me off because it's the holiday and she waited to drop said bomb on me then. I really am not sure what to do. There ARE other people who are inspired by the quintessential swirl...and I sent her links to those other folks who like to give their hats that structure, too.

On a brighter note...Thanks for all the nice holiday and hat comments everyone has been leaving. Here's hoping you were with the ones you loved and ate all you could hold.

Oh well, there's some Dos Equis in the fridge...and some chilled pumpkin pie. My mom is still here tooling around and driving me somewhat insane...I love her anyway. :-) For all you grammar grapplers, I'm too lazy to go back and change my tenses... heh

Thursday, November 27, 2003

happy thanksgiving...

Happy Thankgiving everyone! It also just happens to be the Rocky Top Brigade's Tailgate Party today, hosted by our favorite Hillbilly, Buddy Don. His blog is hysterical...especially if you are from the South.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

chick in a hat...

Go see how cute Lori looks in her hat! Oh, I am so pleased...I think it suits her nicely. Thanks again Lori...I am so happy that you are pleased with it! Also check out Lori's fantastic Art Cards...wonderfully whimsical and beautiful!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

redneck rollercoaster...

A "friend" of mine took a picture of this homemade rollercoaster in a nearby small town. Redneck ingenuity is wonderful, ain't it? (I was born and raised here; I can say that...) Click for the glorious full view.


I was about to snap yesterday. It took me almost two hours to take my "quiz" last night. Man, I will be sooooo glad when this semester is over. Plus, I was having a serious financial crisis yesterday that had me really stressed out. I got that resolved, not really happily, but resolved nevertheless. Financial strain really gets me in a bad mood quickly. So I am in better mood today.

And speaking of feels like WINTER outside. Two days ago it was 70 degrees. Today, it's officially nippy and cold. I wanted to wear one of my hats, but I can't wear the merchandise! I need to make more for myself, so I'll have hats for all outfits. I have some new styles in mind that I want to try, too. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to do all that I want to do! Most hats I see that are similar in quality to mine are about $125 and up, so I don't feel like I'm overcharging, although I'm probably ripping myself off in the process. The wool I use is top-notch and really expensive, so I need to be careful...I have a hard time charging people. And I have to force myself to not do trades all the time so I can get other artist's cool stuff. Bleh. I'll be glad when we get through this tough spot and get back to having a normal life. We are truly scraping by. I want to do my fiber arts so bad though that I'll work my ass off, even though I know I'm making about dollar an hour. You have to start somewhere. And it has paid some bills for us.

Oh, I'm rambling...more later. Today's my long class until 10 pm...bleh.

Monday, November 24, 2003

if it only made sense...

Isn't this just a little weird? Here, come pet the one that we aren't going to kill and eat its body...of course we'll rip out the innards, the feet and other "unattractive parts." But isn't he cute? Nice little turkey. I could be a better vegetarian, as in I could read the label on EVERYTHING to make absolutely sure all ingredients were not derived from meat juices, etc., and I could NEVER buy leather shoes again (which I do try ever so hard, but break down about once a year in disgust of the poor veggie selection). I did totally eschew leather clothing and bags. But I used to buy about 5-10 new pairs of shoes a year, so it's better for the wallet as well! I just don't understand how we can be sweet to some poor animal and turn around and send it to a slaughterhouse where animals wail and poop on themselves while in line because they can smell the blood and death that awaits them a few feet away on the killing floor. Egads, we are terrible keepers of the Earth. We have the choice and we choose to kill. I think that separates us from the animal world--in a bad way.

So, to completely contradict myself, I am glad that the sniper got the death sentence. Save the turkey (he didn't do anything except gobble); get rid of the guy (because he terrorized and killed his fellow human beings with no regrets). Makes sense to me. There aren't many social worker-types who believe in the death penalty, but I do--but only for the truly unconscientable acts of murder, torture and terror and when guilt is truly beyond the shadow of a doubt. BUT, I could NOT pull the switch or plunge the barrel. Go figure.

I also don't believe in the insanity plea. Really... even though I believe people can be and are perfectly insane with mental illnesses beyond their control. It's like letting someone off because they are "sick and demented" or "uncontrollably angry." It's tragic, but everyone is culpable in my opinion. If you shoot my mom while you are having a hallucination, I think you should be held responsible. I think you SHOULD get help during the time served, but you shouldn't get off "easy" in terms of sentencing because of it. I wouldn't want to see your ass back out on the street a mere five years later because you got on anti-psychotics and you got to feeling better.

I must be feeling bitchy today. What the hell. Lunch is over.

spinning out of control...

I can't stop spinning. I can't stop spinning when I need to be studying. Washing fleece, carding, spinning...spinning roving I got from from SAFF, spinning and plying...2-ply, Navajo ply, spinning, spinning, spinning. Just me and my little Ashford Kiwi. It's just a little beginner's wheel, but it does a nice job on the kinds of yarn I spin up. I'm just interested in the basics at this point. Spinning is just a wonderfully meditative activity--and God knows I need meditation right now.

Of course it would help to STUDY since all my finals are on or due by Dec. 2. And they ain't gonna be easy. I can't wait until this semester takes its claws out of me.

Thanksgiving is kind of a bittersweet holiday this year. Hubby will be with his family out-of-state and I'm going to stay here and spend some time with my mom. She didn't have any plans (as my family never does for any holiday), but I just have a feeling I should be with her, so that's what I'm going to do. Maybe it's because my mom turns 70 next month or because I've had dreams about losing her recently. Her mom died of a massive heart attack when she was only 44 years old, so I'm glad I've had her this long. My mom is really the only person in my family I'm very close to.

It's a rainy, cold Monday, but what do I care...I don't have a window to remind me...lucky me.

Saturday, November 22, 2003


I am miserably failing on my promises of pictures... I promise there will be pictures soon. Things have been really busy and I had to prepare and send out several packages this morning to of which was Rase Hall Studios. Thanks Lori! Don't forget to check out her Art Cards. They are on my wish list for sure.

There are two batches of fleece drying on the deck and a navajo-plied skein getting the big stretch over the tub. I swear wool is going to start popping out of my ears...wait, that sounds kind of gross.

Yesterday was our annual marketing retreat. I never look forward to these things, but it was okay. Someone always puts on a cute skit that worth a big laugh and I got to relax with some people I don't get to spend a lot of time with. We did some Myers-Briggs testing and that's always fun to see what kind of personalities are in the room. I am still, and maybe even more so, an INFP. I scored ZERO on Extraversion!!! So, guess what, I'm usually not the person wearing the lampshade at the least not the first.

Okay, I haven't eaten since breakfast I'm hungry...catch you in a little while.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

name your PC day...

Yes, it's "Name Your PC Day." What idiot came up with that? Anyway, my PC is going to be "Winky" from now on.

I never did get around to posting pics of the skeins (shame on me). I'll try to do it tonight. Hubby and I ran errands most of the evening. I am having trouble getting a base on a project of mine that I need to send off post-haste. It's a big felted wool ball with a little dancing mini-doll on top--serves as a pin cushion--but I can't seem to get a suitable base. I think I'm just going to felt a rope for the ball to sit in. This is kind of a prototype, but it was requested from a lady who came to the Foothills Guild Fair, so I'm trying to get two of them done for her. In the future I want to weight them and put steel wool in the center so it will be a "self-sharpening" pin cushion. Ah, live and learn. I'll take a pic before I send them off.

Well, Winky and I need to get back to work, so we'll see you later.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

not so bleh...

It's been cloudy and rainy for about three days now, which makes for a serious depletion of vitamin D. Whatever. I'm back to my cranky, but somewhat happy self today--just kinda tired. Group class was especially exhausting last night...a lot of heavy duty stuff happening to people in the group.

I can't hear out of my left ear...I suppose I've avoided going to the doctor long enough. After last year's barrage of doctor's appointments, surgeries, etc...I just don't wanna go to any of them anymore. I've filled my quota, damn it.

Hopefully I'll post some pictures of the skeins I've produced over the past few days...about 15 ounces of fiber! That's a lot of spinning and plying.

I had lots of weird dreams last night. That always begins my day in a sort of fog.

Baxter took pity on me last night and didn't try to suffocate me. I swear he reads my blog.

More later, but before I depart, I leave you with the GREEK MACHINE. Go forth and be nonsensically wordy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


That's how I feel today. I am enduring a major tectonic plate shift in the hormonal landscape and I feel rather tired and melted. Just...bleh. Bleh is no good. Bleh must be endured with a kind heart, so person experiencing said "bleh" doesn't start feeling worried or guilty about being bleh. Bleh is a pain my ass. Bleh is exceptionally bleh when I don't get home until 10 pm from class tonight. Then I'll have to complain about being bleh and go right to bed--feeling bleh.

On another note, Baxter, our giant geriatric deaf white cat, has decided that he, too, could collect my life insurance by smothering me in my sleep. He prances around on the bed for several minutes at bedtime and finally settles...across my face. He positions himself so that there is a vacuum seal of cat flesh and hair around my nostrils. He's trying to kill me--purring all the while. I move and he slithers his fat little body right back over my face. I probably have two lungs full of dander. Maybe that's why I'm so bleh today...I'm not getting any oxygen at night.

Maybe I should nominate Baxter for the My Cat Hates You site.

p.s. Thanks everyone for the kind condolences for Peanut. She isn't suffering anymore, so we will just be glad we got the privilege of getting to know such a stellar little kitty.

Monday, November 17, 2003

what a bitch...

It's Monday and I'm at work. Bleh. Must study for lunch. Bleh.

I haven't been wanting to blog about Peanut, because she's gone. My dad had to put her to sleep. It took him two weeks to tell me about it. I was so busy with studying and the show that I didn't have time to keep up with what was going on (another reason to make sure you aren't so busy you miss important occurences). It broke his heart I think and my dad is not one to show any emotion or attachment to anything. It just sucks. He said little Peanut tried to follow him around and talk to him right up until the very end. Blessings, Peanut, you were a sweet little kitty...thanks for keeping my dad company while you were here.

On a brighter note, you should go see Lori's art cards. They are awesome! I'm going to get some when things are not quite so tight financially. I love the sense of whimsy she has in her beautiful work. I'm always running over to her art blog to get a dose of happiness.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

no. no. NO!!

It can't be Sunday evening already. I have been so wonderfully RELAXED this weekend. I napped, watched movies...well, cleaned the house, but it had to be done. I had destroyed the place getting through my little busy spell. Right now, Rooney is on my lap purring away and I have been spinning yarn and Navajo plying it. I think Navajo plying is so cool that I'll spin just to ply. We rented Identity and it was pretty good. I love any movie that has Cusack in it. He picks the oddest and most wonderful scripts.

Friday, November 14, 2003

adding myself to the yack-o-meter...

I brought in one dozen hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the office this morning. Er, I accidentally ate four of them on the way in. I don't feel so good.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

finally, the new hats...

I finally had a chance to update my website with the new hats. I'm really digging working with bunny wool. Mama wants bunnies now, too. Papa ain't so sure...

take a look-see...

The Volunteer Tailgate Party XV--Starfleet Version is over at Inn of the Last Home. Take a look at what this nutty bunch of people are up to.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I adored the movie...

now I adore the soundtrack...magical.

We all need a little more magic in our lives.

ha! ha! ha!

You have to see this sign taken at the Knoxville Zoo by Queen MedB.

it's only natural...

Hollywood, sensationalistic media and other blow-smoke-up-your-ass-types provide to us a mystical view of ordinary pain and suffering. And so that's my take on the treatment of the subject of dissociative identity disorder (used to be multiple personality disorder).

That was the subject in last night psychopathology class. People often confuse schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder, but they are extremely different illnesses. Schizophrenia is a disorder marked by severe disorganization of thought. Associations are terribly loose and sufferers battle against auditory hallucinations and often sound like they are just stringing miscellaneous words together (called "word salad").

Dissociative identity disorder is the occurence of two or more distinct personalities within one person. It is a rare disorder, although prevalence studies vary. It sounds like a Hollywood movie doesn't it? The Three Faces of Eve, Sybil...both real people; both recovered. In fact "Eve" later became an advocate for dissociative identity disorder research and treatment. We viewed an interview with Eve and she was a charming older lady at the time of the film's production. She was positive, compassionate and dedicated to helping others who suffered with the disorder. We also had the privilege of viewing another dissociative identity disorder patient who was 26 and had 10 personalities. Creepy, huh? And that's usually as far as people get---creepy.

But it isn't really creepy, it's an ingenious human survival reaction to situations that are beyond our tolerance. Most sufferers have been victims of tremendous abuse during childhood...things regular folks couldn't even dream up...being buried alive, burned, mutilated, tortured, sexually assaulted, beaten repeatedly, shocked...things that make us all shudder and recoil in disgust. So, these kids dissociate and become "separate" to survive. You've heard people say "I'm going to my happy place now" when things are unpleasant--it's the same concept, except to an unimaginable extreme. Different parts of their original personality become severely compartmentalized and they retreat to these different compartments to escape. The mind has protected the child, but the surviving adult is left with a highly complex and debilitating disorder. The goal of treatment is reintegration of the personality fragments and since these patients are usually highly motivated to get relief from the intense pain and confusion in their lives they supposedly have a good prognosis.

Great stuff for the cocktail party, eh?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


As I know when I do too much and push myself over a ridiculous finish line, there's the aftermath...the letdown, the melting, the undoing, the unraveling and detangling. I know myself well enough to not pay attention to the tired feelings, insecurities and obsessive self-examination. I have to just quit and allow myself rest until I get my bearings again. It's like coming out of a fugue state...Iowa? how'd I get here? How did I gain that 15 pounds? What's the green stuff in the fridge? a wet sock thrown against the wall.

I turned in a pretty mediocre research paper, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances and I am proud of that. I finished the online exam and got a decent grade. I'm between more to go and I'm going to right to bed. Tomorrow I'm going to bed immediately after work. And I can't wait to be LAZY, actually TALK to my husband, snuggle with my kitties and be slobbered on by my dogs.

After that, I might make a hat.

Monday, November 10, 2003

back from the dead...

No, wait, I'm still dead. And how.

I'm one little iota from just curling up in my office and balling my eyes out I'm so tired.

But first, craft fair news. The fair was really exhausting, but successful, althought I did about half the business I had hoped to do. Knoxville is hardly as hat-accepting as Nashville folks. Everyone went ooooh-ahhhh and went on and on but said they just don't look good in hats--even though they all looked great. Nashville folks weren't shy about it and flailed their arms about in excitement when they tried them on. But, probably about 75 people took cards and several folks wanted to know about custom hats including one charming woman who found an awesome bright pink cashmere coat at a vintage store and wants a custom hat to match it. I did sell my ghost town hat (it's black with white buildings on it) never makes it to the website before someone runs off with it...I guess I need to make more of those.

I also sold one of my big dolls...Penelope/Priscilla (I never could consistently call her one or the other). That was a big purchase. It's really hard to see the big dolls go, but it helps me move on to make more. The small Mini-Peep dolls sold out and I had to make more right there in the booth. People were buying them before I could finish them. Whew. No rest. But I could make little people all day...

The best thing about my booth was that it made people smile. When people tried on the hats they giggled and when they saw the dolls they stood and stared with the most charming child-like looks on their faces. It's the connection that feels so good.

So back to being dead. I am dead. I got so overtired that I lashed out at my husband after we got home in the most awful of ways. I balled my eyes out. I tried to work on my research paper immediately after the show. Finally, by 9 p.m. I could see straight and had cried myself into a state of stupor. I went to bed.

I got a call from my boss this morning and the layout I had ordered for this morning's meeting never got done while I was gone. She rescheduled the meeting with them but never called me back to tell me, so I went to the meeting anyway and met with the few people who actually showed up for it. That seemed awfully passive-aggressive to me. There wasn't anything I could do about it, but I have had to take off some vacation days to get school and arts stuff done by their respective deadlines, so... I dunno. I'm too tired to assume that kind of stuff. I think I get a little paranoid about others' intentions when I get too tired.

So, I have to pull a paper out of my ass tonight and take one of those dreadful online "quizzes." After class tomorrow night I am going to crash immediately after work for a couple of days and then clean up the horrible mess I've made of the house at the end of the week.

And start all over again, I guess.

I'll be posting all the new hats later on this week, too.

Thanks for all the well-wishes!!! I appreciated them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

wish me luck...

Heck, if you're in the Knoxville area, come see me and partake of my hatmaking...

not dead yet...

I'm not dead yet and I'm going to take that as a good sign. Classes last night were really exhausting. We had a really emotionally intense group session last night which wound me up even tighter than I already was and I couldn't go to sleep. I am really, really tired today and I'm approaching zombie status. I'm not quite as stressed as the last few days though because I think the big push is here and I know I can only do what I can do and that will have to be good enough. I think the anxiety before the "doing" is what gets you sometimes. I also saw some "old" school friends last night and that was really great and helped me feel connected and good about life in general.

I brought three hats with me today to work on at lunch in the office. I hope I can sew in two bands and pin in a third, which would be a record for me in one hour. I hope I am making sense. I'm scared to think that I am going to do so much writing this weekend with the show going will probably be full of grammar faux pas and stream-of-consciousness gobbledy-gook. I have to be able to think straight to write and right now I can't think straight. I have that heavy feeling in my head--the tired fog.

And I started 11 sentences in this post with "I." So, I'm self-absorbed on top of everything else. Heh? *sputter*

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


I'm kind of grumpy. I'm more than kind of exhausted. I slammed a door into my head last night (I don't feel like explaining it, sorry). People who usually get on my nerves are REALLY getting on my nerves. Got school tonight, so I don't get home until 10 p.m. Ate beans last night and tooted all over my husband in bed last night *grin*. Tired. Whiney. Tired. Whiney. Repetitive.

Addendum: You really must check out the funny cake recipe over at Laura's. What a hoot!

Monday, November 03, 2003


I'm not quite sure how I am going to get through the next eight days. This is the week of the show, the research paper and another one of those "quizzes" that take two hours to finish. I did get five pieces off to the Appalacian Center for Crafts. And I have several new hats that are drying and waiting for hatbands and tags. It's the school work that's putting me over the edge. I want to be excited about the show, but I can't fully enjoy it because of the mountain of reading, writing and studying I need to do before Tuesday. I brought two hats to work so I can sew in a couple of hatbands at lunch. I hate to bring my books into the booth this weekend...not very good salesmanship to be studying while people are browsing your stuff. Well, one good thing is that after Tuesday, I did what I could do and I'll get to breathe a little again. I hope to make enough money to send all four kitties to the vet and get a small drum carder.

Bleh. Gotta get to work.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

post halloween blahs...

Halloween is over and we had a whopping six trick-or-treaters. Three groups of two. Hmmph. Psychos have ruined Halloween. I remember when we'd get in a little group and trick or treat for hours on end, going from neighborhood to neighborhood. The worst thing that happened to us was getting a popcorn ball in a sandwich bag and not knowing whether or not we should eat it. People watched for us as they drove by and we were greeted at nearly every house with smiles. I didn't have crap for costuming, so I went as the proverbial hobo with a straw hat, fake freckles and a big black ball of black wax over a couple of my teeth. I wore a big plaid shirt and jeans and carried a paper bag. It may sound sad, but I had a blast every year and I didn't worry about psychos. I worried about whether or not a kid dressed up as a ghost was going to pop out of the woods and scare me shitless.

Now kids trick or treat in a couple rich neighborhoods or go to church and school parties. If they trick or treat at all they are armed with two to five adults who wait at the curb like pissed-off bouncers.

I hate that kids are missing what we had. It makes me kind of sad.

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