Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WHAT NOW?

About 15 years ago, I got this idea about what I'd like my future to be like.  It wasn't anything I'd thought about much before, but sometimes your future plans just kind of occur to you out of nowhere, you know?  The idea came to me almost fully formed, and in my head it was a good thing.  A comfortable thing.  A thing I knew would be nice.

It wasn't like, where I'd like to be working, or living, or about kids, or about being famous one day (that wasn't something that lasted very long, haha) it was just this idea about where my life might go one day.  I knew it would have to be something I cultivated, or at least didn't ruin, (and to be fair, there were bumps along the way and maybe I didn't do everything just right) but it became such a particularly pervasive idea that I never even questioned it.  I was just convinced that one day, it would be.

I never told anyone about what I wanted, not even my closest confidant.  Even though I'm not a particularly private person, this one thing was just for me.  I'm not going to tell you what it is now (sorry) because it's still a very private sort of thing that I don't think I could explain, even if I wanted to. Even more so, anyone I told would think me foolish. Well, foolish or not, I believed in it so completely that I didn't even question it.  I'd catch myself thinking, "Well, when this happens..." as if it were already written in stone.  Call me an optimist!

BUT...

Over the last few weeks, it has occurred to me how stupid I've been.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's stupid to have plans, or to want things, or to even make plans for things that might be a bit fanciful, as long as it's rooted in some kind of reality.  My problem is that I what I wanted was technically rooted in reality.  Hell, it was fucking prosaic!  I think that's why I believed it so wholeheartedly. It's like wanting chocolate ice cream after dinner.  Chocolate ice cream is great, but it's a normal, boring thing. I wanted that, planned for that, only to realize that if I went to the store to get it that it was a certainty that chocolate ice cream wouldn't be for sale anymore. Heh. What I was looking for wasn't anything I could control, or even plan on. It was just something that I held on to because I liked the idea of it, and now, after all this time, it finally clicked that it wasn't going to happen.

Bleh, I know I'm not making much sense here and I'm sorry.  I'm not writing this because I'm depressed, or destroyed by the realization of it all.  I'm certainly sad, and maybe disillusioned, because who wouldn't be after believing in something for 15 years only to realize that it'll never happen.  Not even close.  Mainly, I just feel like an asshole.  I know that no one reading this can do anything about it, and no amount of platitudes will fix the way I feel.  I'm not even certain that my life would have benefitted from what I was looking for, except it felt like it would.  I'm writing about it because sometimes I think you need to let things out into the universe so that you can make some sense of them.  That's one of the reasons I like this blog.  It's mine and I can talk about whatever I want, and if you don't like it, you can go have sex with yourself. :)

Don't worry, my life isn't going to be ruined without this...direction...I was looking for.  At least I don't think so.  I think that there will always be a part of me that has some bit of hope that one day...far in the future, I might get a little taste of what I was looking for.  I'm sure something else will occur to me in time.  I just can't help but feel a little lost right now, and maybe a little empty.  A person can't believe in something for so long, and realize that they were wrong, for it not to leave some kind of scar.

So now I've got to figure out what is next.  That should be easy enough, right?  Haha!

What now, indeed.

Monday, March 27, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) I had a nightmare last night!  It wasn't like one of my normal nightmares.  It was more realistic than any dream that I've had in a long time and it has stuck with me all day.  I"m going to write it down so I can get rid of it.

I dreamed that Steve and I went on a trip with a bunch of people we barely knew, kind of like when we went to Ireland. Almost the second we landed, we found out we were in a war zone, and we couldn't get back on the plane, so we had to follow this man into what looked like shopping mall.  The man said for us to follow him, and to do what he said and that we'd be safe.  We were safe, for a while, but I kept getting separated from everyone and mixed in with the local people, and then rejoin them later.  I was terrified, so I would do whatever the people in charge told me to, and we'd move from room to room of this place in order to get out.  At some point, I lost all of my stuff, I was completely cut off from everyone I came with, and some man I didn't know threw some clothes at me and told me that I had to pretend to be a local, and then he pushed me into the hallway and told me to make it back to the airplane on my own.  I had no idea where I was going, or what I was supposed to be doing, and I didn't know anything about the culture of the place where I was, so I had to make my way all the way back to where we had started from, all while trying to pretend I was someone I wasn't.  I also never found anyone I knew after that, so I was alone and so scared. I never made it back to the plane.  I think I might have gotten shot a couple of times, but that is when I woke up.

Haha, I used to have bad dreams where I'd have something important to say, and no one would listen to me.  Now I have nightmares about being left alone and confused. Abandonment issues much?   Seems like I'm going backwards somehow.

2) Friday afternoon turned out to be beautiful and bright.  I'm not normally an outdoors kind of person, but I'm trying to change that, at least before it gets so danged hot that I can't breathe.  So I took one of our folding chairs and sat in the backyard for a while.

I was crocheting and listening to an audio novel, and it was nice, but the house blocked the breeze and I ended up getting a bit too warm.  In March, y'all.  I only sat out there for about an hour or so before going back in again.  Things ended up getting a bit crazy by the end of the day, and so I didn't look into a mirror again until right before I went to bed, and that's when I found out that I was sunburned. Badly sunburned.  it looked like I'd spent a day on the beach!  I'd been wearing a V neck t-shirt, and my chest was bright red.  My arms weren't so bad, but the top of my head was burned, and my cheeks and nose were burnt, too.  It was crazy!  

It's only March, and I've already got tan burn lines!  I dread to think about how hot it's going to be this summer!  I'm determined to spend time outside, though!  Imma get me some vitamin d! :)

3) For anyone who prays, or maybe sends good vibes, if you wouldn't mind sending a few out to my brother, that would be awesome.  He got sick enough to have to go to the ER last week.  As you know, my brother can't talk, so trying to figure out what was wrong with him was hard to do.  They did a bunch of tests, and as it turns out, he has an internal birth defect that my family never knew about that is now causing some serious problems.  I won't go into detail, mainly because I don't understand it all, but he is going to have to have some major, fairly invasive, surgery to repair the problem.  The surgeon will basically have to open his chest to rearrange his organs.  It's going to be scary and hard to do.  Also send some prayers and vibes to my mom, too, because she is scared to death about all of this and is having to make some frightening decisions for my bro.  I'm sure she'd appreciate it.  We all would. Thank you in advance.

4) I love adult coloring books.  I really do.  I'm picky about the ones I buy, but I have a lot of them because the art is usually really spectacular.  I only have one problem.  I can't bring myself to actually color any of them!

I KNOW!

Part of the problem is that I feel weird coloring in a book.  I respect books.  Cutting them up or writing in them is weird for me.  Yes, even these coloring books, because these aren't like the pulpy ones we had when we were kids.  These are proper books!  The other problem is that I don't like using colored pencils or crayons to color with.  The color just isn't saturated enough for me and it makes me not like the finished image.  I have one book I tried to color in with markers, and the ink went right through the paper.  I literally have one red ladybug colored into an otherwise empty coloring book!  You'd think I'd quit buying them, but I don't.  I want to color them, but I don't want them to look bad! What can I do?  The only solution I've had so far was to make copies of the pages and color those, but the paper quality is bad, which makes it less fun to color.  Bleh.  I'm way too picky about this stuff for my own good, I think.

Artists.  Am I right? :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

BUTTON, BUTTON, WHO'S GOT THE...

One of the things I remember most clearly about being a little kid was visiting with my Grandmother Martin.  Maybe it's just mistaken, fuzzy, little girl memories, but it feels like I was at her house more often than I wasn't.  I never minded because I loved my grandmother a lot, and being there wasn't like being anywhere else that I knew.

She grew up hardscrabble, a daughter of sharecroppers, hard core country, but not in that redneck, NASCAR, pop-country music way that people think of as "country" these days.  She was born, lived, and died pretty much all in the same little patch of dirt in Limestone county, and I'm fairly certain that that was exactly the way she wanted things to be.

At her house there wasn't a room set aside, filled with plastic Fisher-Price junk for us grand kids to play with.  Nor did we haul bags of toys or video games back and forth when we visited.  When we were at Grandmother's house (and she would not be called Nana, Granny, or anything else except for Grandmother) we played cards, we played outside, in the barn, in the woods, or we found something she had stashed away to keep ourselves occupied, and boy did she have things stashed away.

Like a lot of people who lived through the depression, my Grandmother kept odd things.  She wasn't a hoarder or anything like that, but she was a very dedicated keeper of things that she thought might come in handy.  She also kept a treasure of "important" objects. It was through her, and the things that she kept in that tiny house of hers, that I developed a love of old things. I'm not talking about fancy antiques, although I can appreciate those on their own merits, but I'm talking more about old pieces of junk jewelry, old coins, old yearbooks, worn wooden tools, old quilts and other things that have stories attached to them. When my Grandmother passed away in 2006, I inherited quite a few of her special things.  It would probably seem like a lot of trash to anyone who didn't know her, but to me, they were all things that were special because SHE thought they were special.

One of my favorite things that she kept was an old, White Owl cigar box full of odd buttons.  I"m sure I've mentioned those buttons a time or two before.  When all of the grownups were in the kitchen talking and I was bored, I'd sometimes go and get that button box just to play with them.  That box had a specific sound, a very distinct smell, and it was endlessly fascinating to me for whatever reasons.  I'm sure they were all buttons from her family's clothes, and not things that she arbitrarily bought, so keeping them made sense. Divorced from their purpose, though, they became something much more interesting.  That box of buttons was the inspiration of my own, albeit less utilitarian, collection.

Whenever I go into a junk shop or an antique store, I always look for the jars of buttons.  Sometimes the ones you find aren't anything special.  It's hard to explain why that is, but you just have to have an eye for it.  Some jars came from people who were trying too hard to be "Shabby Chic" (bleh) and some are really just new buttons bought in a mix, like from a craft store.  The ones you want are the ones that make no sense all together.  There's no scheme, too many colors and shapes, maybe a little dirty, and usually in an old peanut butter or jelly jar. You can usually tell by looking closely if they are old, but sometimes you only find the good stuff once you open the jar.  Of course, I'm not EDUCATED on buttons.  I'm sure that there are people out there that could tell me if I had anything really valuable, but to be honest, I don't particularly care if they're valuable. I like them for other reasons.

I know that buttons must seem like such a silly thing to keep.  They are such ubiquitous things that most of us don't really think about, unless we lose one of course.  They are just a part of your everyday clothes, something you touch without thinking about them, but I think that's why I like them so much.  I like the idea of having something that was used, and that passed through a lot of hands to get to me.  Every time I get a new jar of buttons, I look at them one at a time and wonder where they've been.  I always separate them by color.

There are always more white buttons than any other color, which isn't surprising.  The plain ones got the most wear.  I like to imagine some grandfather's hands, buttoning up the same plain shirts every week to go to church, or maybe someone who had a job interview buying that shirt to look nice.  Some of the white buttons are made from mother-of-pearl, with traces of the oyster shell still visible on the back.  Some of them are tiny and feminine, and I wonder if they were on a long ago wedding dress, maybe a pair of gloves, or a baby's special outfit.


The neutral ones are second most plentiful.  Except for the ones made of wood or coconut shell, those are my least favorite.  It's hard to say why, except that I'm not fond of brown and gray, but occasionally you'll come across an interesting one.


The multicolored ones are my favorite, as they are the ones that are the most varied in size and shape.  I imagine most of these were from women's and children's clothes, or that there were some flashy guys out there back in the day.  There are huge buttons that I know had to have come off of someone's winter coat, and some that I know probably came from a woman's best Sunday dress.  Sometimes there is still a bit of material sewn on to the button so that you can see the fabric that they were attached to, which is fun.  


 

 

 

I also keep a separate jar of buttons I like the best, regardless of color.  These are the ones that catch my eye.  I don't know why, but they are the fun ones, or at least the ones that are the most different.  Some of them are pretty old, I think, and all are interesting in some way.  They also don't always make sense, fashion wise.  There's one in there that is shaped like an eggplant.  I have no idea what kind of thing would have eggplant buttons!


I have buttons which I don't keep with any of the others, but that I haven't taken pictures of yet.  I have some of my Great Grandfather's WWI uniform buttons and one shell button from the around the civil war (which I mentioned the other day.)

I suppose that it seems silly to get excited about something as silly as a button, but these are things that someone touched, used, and they had a history with someone somewhere.  These buttons were saved by someone for some reason, and I like to think about where they've been.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you about my buttons!  

 











Thursday, March 09, 2017

UGH, FEELINGS

OK, I'm about to do something that I don't do very often and I know it's going to make some of you really uncomfortable.  I'm about to feel feelings on this blog.  I know for some of you, that means you're not going to read this entry, which is fine. That's why I'm warning you now, so you don't have to read any further and get my feelings on you.    I hope you'll come back soon!  :)

OK, so now that they're gone...

This isn't an easy thing for me to do.  I spend most of my time pretending that I don't feel a lot of emotions, because I have found that most people have no patience for them.  Plus, I'd rather be the one who people come to when they have issues so I can help them, rather than bothering people with my own things.  I've been told by a good friend that that's not a great way to live.  So here I am. There are parts of this that I'll have to leave intentionally vague, not because I want to be mysterious, but because I don't fully understand everything myself and I don't want to have to come back and revisit this and fix things.  My main reason for writing this is for a bit of catharsis, rather than wanting pity or anything like that.

For the past month and change, I have felt afraid.  I don't really know what of, exactly, but I feel like I'm waiting for something significant, and possibly bad, to happen.  I usually equate this feeling with finding out about some big, important change somewhere.  You know what I mean, right? It's like when you find out you are losing your job, or someone has died, or something bad just happened and there is nothing at all you can do about it. It's a scary, being-pulled-by-a-riptide feeling and nothing you can do will change anything.  I realize how that sounds and, trust me, I know I sound like a crazy person.  I've tried putting it off to not feeling well, or my spine issues pinching nerves that mimic an anxiety attack and stuff, and maybe this is some mix of that affecting me.  I'd be glad if that was the case.  As for anything actually happening, nothing at all is going on with me, and I've checked with the people I'm close to and nothing big is going on with any of them. So unless they were lying, I'm not picking up on any cues (vibes, whatever) from them about anything that should make me feel like the world is falling in on itself.

I also feel completely powerless.  Some stuff happened last month.  It wasn't anything bad, but I got dragged into it unwillingly and I felt like I didn't have a choice in the matter at all. Then I was criticized for not living up to expectations.  Other things have recently happened that make me feel like I have very little say in things these days, and that I'm given no warnings or explanations when stuff changes that affect me.  I'm afraid I'm going to go blundering into some situation not understanding the new rules and I'll end up making a fool of myself or doing something wrong, and instead of being told how not to do that people will just watch me do it and be embarrassed, or worse, they'll pity me.

I feel afraid, powerless, alone and stuck.  I don't really understand any of it, and that makes me feel even more unhappy, because I usually tend to know myself really well.  I also know I'm not the only person who ever feels this way, but it's new to me.

Don't get me wrong, things are for the most part OK. I am functioning like a normal person.  I'm not hiding under a bed and not talking to people. I'm dealing.  But underneath the normal is this stuff and I don't know what to do to fix it.  I hope whatever is going on will correct itself soon, because feeling like I'm waiting for a piano to fall on my head is exhausting.

So there are my feelings.  I have them.  They are gross.  I'm sorry.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

THE EYES HAVE IT!

You want to see something weird?  Of course you do, what am I asking?  But first, some background.

Last week I had to go for my annual eye exam.  Thankfully, the last few times I've been to see the optometrist, my eyes haven't gotten worse and my prescription has stayed pretty consistent.  Since there wasn't any hullaballoo about getting new glasses this year, I decided to ask about possibly getting some colored contacts in addition to my regular ones.  If you've ever seen me up close, you know my eyes are a dark, chocolate brown.  Actually, it's kind of weird, because my dad had light blue eyes and my mom has greenish, hazel eyes. My brother and sister both have blue eyes. I am the family abberation (in more ways than one, probably. ) So let's give it up for whatever recessive trait I inherited!

I've been told I have nice eyes, and I'm glad some people think so, but still...I've had brown ones all my life.  I wanted a little change and this was the least permanent thing I could think of.  The contacts lady at the eye doc was super helpful and she ordered me 4 boxes of non-prescription colored contacts to try out to see which color I would want.  While I was hoping for a big change, the colored contacts didn't make a huge difference because my eyes are so dark.  You could see a bit of difference, but on the whole, it was subtle.  I tried to take a picture of my eyes to see which one I liked the best, but the pictures were a bit blurry.  Apparently my iPhone doesn't like close ups.  Sorry about the quality, but here is what I got:

Here are the blue ones.  They are only blue around the edges and they aren't that noticeable.

Ignore the black circles under my eye, friend. I haven't been sleeping well.

These are the green ones.  I really like them because they make my eyes look like my mom's.  :) 

Still not that different, but different enough.

These are the gray ones.  I actually have two of them in one eye so that the color would show up better, so this is not what my eyes would look like if I wore the gray contacts, but I thought it was neat looking anyway.

I'm staring into your soul right now.

None of these are the weird thing I wanted you to see, though.  Since I was having so much trouble getting a picture of my eye in focus, I got out my macro lens and asked Steve to take a picture of my eye.  He obliged and this was the result:

Borg? Cylon? From Westworld? You pick.

You may have to embiggen the picture to see what is so weird about it, but the macro lens picked up the dot matrix coloring of the contact and you can even see the word "demo" that is stamped onto it.  It looks like I have cyborg eyes!  It freaked me out a little.  I'd never seen what a colored contact on an eyeball looked like up close. Now we both have!  Haha!  
Look into my eyes!  RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!


Sorry about all the eye closeups, if eyes freak you out.  Just know that these eyes have a lot of love, laughter and compassion in them.  Well, usually.  In light of full disclosure I've been told there is a bit of devilry in them, too.  :)



Monday, March 06, 2017

DANG NATURE, YOU SCARY

This isn't a real entry.

Well, it is, but not a normal one.  I just came across this video on YouTube and developed a brand new phobia!  Please join me!



All together now:  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWTFAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING: THE BLOG OF DOOM

1) I finally recovered from my birthday, thank you very much.  I was so full that day, y'all.  I really was. I still went out and bought myself some ice cream cupcakes, because I wanted something to blow a candle out on top of (I've got my priorities.)  But by the time I got home all I wanted to do was sit and not move very much.  Steve, bless him, still wanted to take me somewhere to get dinner.  I'd told him several days earlier that I didn't want to try and eat at a restaurant because it was Valentine's day and trying to do that is a nightmare, so I told him take out would be fine.  At the time I thought it would be, but I was so not hungry.  He was really insistent on doing something, so we headed out to go to a grocery store for sandwiches, figuring that it wouldn't be so crowded.  Wow, were we wrong.

OK, so here is something I don't understand.  Why are there people - grown up, seemingly otherwise capable people - going out on actual Valentine's day and buying gifts at 5:00 PM?  Shouldn't that be something thought about in advance?  Granted, I suppose that if you want to buy flowers or something, maybe you don't want to do that the day before, but still...  Eh, anyway, the grocery store was so full of people that we couldn't get any service, so we left and hit a drive through.  I was OK with that because I knew I wouldn't be able to eat much.

I feel kind of bad.  I don't think I was a very good Valentine's or Birthday date.  I hadn't been feeling well for a week or more, and it was making me edgy and unhappy, so I'm sure dealing with that was no fun for Steve.  I tried to explain, but it's hard to explain not feeling well when there isn't a specific, hey, this hurts, kind of problem.  He's patient, though.  Got to give him that. I think he's just biding his time and collecting enough evidence to have be committed.  :)  Anyway, the day ended OK and I barely ate anything for two days after.

2) Dear Lord.  I'm 39 years old now.  I've got a lot of shenanigans to take care of this year.  I'm going to need your help.  :)

3) Y'all, I thought I was going crazy.  Seriously, like, genuinely crazy for the past couple of weeks.  I was on edge like you wouldn't believe and I was having what felt like the world's longest anxiety attack.  It was awful.  I think I've figured out what was causing it, though, or at least I hope I have.  You remember last year I told you about having all of those spine problems?  That was about a year ago, wasn't it?  Dang.

Anyway, when I was going to physical therapy, the therapist told me I'd need to be careful when I went to the gym, so I didn't cause myself any damage.  I managed to start going to the gym again (off and on. Shut up.) and I wasn't particularly careful.  I can't be 100% positive, but I think I pinched some nerves in my neck and back using the elliptical machine.  One of the main feelings I get when I have an anxiety attack is it feels like my neck is clenching up.  Kind of like how you feel when you know someone is watching you. It never occurred to me that I'd hurt myself, but I'm pretty sure I did. I had to stop sleeping with a pillow and basically start sleeping on ice packs, but the feeling is finally starting to fade. I don't think it's completely fixed, but at least I don't feel like the skin across my back is trying to creep off anymore.

Of course, I could be wrong and am really having a perpetual anxiety attack.  If that's the case, when I'm whacked out on psych meds and hiding under a bed all the time, we can all come back and giggle at this blog entry.  I give you permission.

You know what sucks about hurting myself at the gym (if that's what I did?)  I literally don't know how to exercise anymore.  I can't run, I can't...ellipticalize, riding a regular stationary bike puts my neck in a bad position, and I can't lift weights anymore.  I was going back to try and lose a bit of the weight I've put back on, and now I have no idea what to do.  The only thing that has seemed to help lately is just not eating, but if I want to, you know, stay alive, I can't do that very often.  What am I going to do?  I don't want to keep gaining weight!

I don't know how to work my body anymore!  It's quite frustrating.

4) Steve and I had a fun day on Saturday.  He's been listening to the Dirk Gently audio novels while driving to and from work, and he wanted me to hear them too, but we don't carpool anymore and are only in the car together for a little bit at a time every few days.  We decided to take a road trip to Guntersville, mainly just to be in the car to listen to the book, but we figured that we might as well enjoy the destination as well as the journey.

Once we got there, we walked around a bit. We went to some antique stores and I found some more buttons!  When I told the man who worked at the store that I collected old buttons, he gave me a tiny, civil war era button made from a shell for free.  I thought that was very nice.  We drove to a place that sells catalog returns and overstock.  It was mostly furniture and house goods, but I FINALLY got a sink to replace the janky one in the front bathroom for when we get a replacement vanity cabinet.  We drove to Albertville and found the silver fire hydrant, which is the millionth one produced in Albertville and was chrome plated and on display.  I like the whole "Roadside America" thing!  Now I want to see more weird Americana!

We basically drove around all day and listened to the book.  Most people drive around to talk, but it's nice to not talk sometimes, too!  The Dark Tea Time of the Soul is a little confusing, but still a good book. :)