Monday, December 31, 2007

Ring In the New!

I've got two new blog links for you. I've been a fan of both of these artists for many, many years. Get a cup of whatever and go visit for a while. Megan does it all and Rice is a fellow Texan. Both are extremely talented.

Here Chez Bead-Mused we are doing our traditional junk food, movie watching, game playing, puzzle working New Year's Eve. Then we stand under the shelter of the front porch (shelter from the bullets shot into the night sky) and listen to all of our neighbors bring in the New Year. By the way, it is a balmy 70 degrees under a crystal blue sky, but it will drop down to about 32 tonight just as the New Year literally blows in. Sounds like a good night for cuddling. Later, beadlings et al!Baby Gecko

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ring Out the Old

I still have laryngitis. You might think this is a blessing for my loved ones, but you would be wrong. I squeak my through as many conversations as possible, all the while my sister telling me to be quiet so I'll save my voice. I go through this every year, so it's old hat by now.

The kids had a great Christmas. I hope you and your families had wonderful holidays. Please stay safe and have a . . .


Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Ni . . .cough . . cough . . hack . . hack

I am sick. I have laryngitis. It's my yearly bout of laryngitis. Just when I thought I might make it through one year without it, it jumps on my back like a rabid monkey. T-man and I did our shopping yesterday. *whew* Some time in the not so distant future, we will actually shop in November, or maybe even October.

I wish you all a very merry Yuletide celebration! I'll be back Wednesday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Solstice Snickerdoodles! Sniff, Achoo!

An afterthought, another thought, oh my stars, it has happened.I could not figure out why I feel like crapola, and then the allergy count came on the news. Because we've already had a freeze, the f#;*%ing cedar has pollinated and those of us with "cedar fever" are going to be miserable until it rains/snows/sleets. Crikey, I hate those trees. Here is a quote from Untwisting The Cedar: the myths & culture of the Ashe juniper tree by Elizabeth McGreevy Seiler: "The mountain cedar, alias Ashe juniper, blue-berry juniper,post cedar, cedro, sabino, rock cedar, and Ozark white cedar, grows everywhere.It takes over and forms impenetrable thickets of twigs and branches that poke your eye and tear your clothing. Come winter every year, their clouds of yellow pollen roll down from the hillsides so as to plague you with months of sneezing, watery eyes and itching. In short, they plague you with that most famous allergy: cedar fever. Just when you're clear of the thickets and cedar fever, you hear that nothing grows under the damn scrappy trees except rocks and all they do is sit there all day sucking water from the aquifer. Hell, you figure, these cedars aren't native and they are totally useless, so, let's annihilate them all!" I've got my chainsaw and my bio-hazard suit, and I'm ready to get rid of some trees!

Snickerdoodles, snickerdoodles, rah, rah, rah!
Good with cocoa, good with cider, sis boom bah!

I slept. I slept so well, it's freakin' awesome. I wish I could do that every night. My baby felt better this morning and went off to school. She did not want to miss the Christmas party, and she took along a box of snickerdoodles made by yours truly out of the giant box of cookie mix. Yum.

Today is my sister's birthday (not the baker, the other one with the grown boys -- I have two sisters and a brother, four nephews and a niece). Today is also the Winter Solstice. Well, astronomically speaking tomorrow is. Solstice is one of my favorite times. We have a big fire with our Yule log out in the back 40 (yards, not acres). Cookies, cocoa, cider, laughing, watching the moon rise, looking at the stars. Then the days start getting longer and warmer. At least they do until February when we typically have at least one good ice storm. Like I've said before, we don't get snow. However, we do get ice. Last year we were all stuck in the house (with the pup) for three days! But we had fun!

Today, I have the house to myself. It is almost clean, the tree is ready for its ornaments, and tonight we'll go look at the pretty lights. I'll bake more cookies today. Finish up with the light housework tomorrow. Then everything is taken care of until January 2.

So, I want to get up earlier (I've been doing so) and to start being more active (a little of that as well). GG will laugh at this -- I want to better organize my studio and I want the business part of my business to become more organized! But how do I explain this next change, which is the most important?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Art is not a thing, it is a way." I want to live as an artist. I don't want to just play at it, I don't want to just say "I'm an artist". I want to truly live as an artist. I want to be immersed in my art, coming up for air when my family comes home in the afternoon, sleep the sleep of the righteous, do my yoga and pilates in the morning, and then immerse myself again. I want this to be my daily schedule from now until the sky falls down into the sea. You might think this would be easy to do. Ah, non, non, non, mes amis! C'est très difficile! Something always comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the machinery. But that is probably my own fault becau

oooooh look! A puppy!!

Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate. I hope it's sunny wherever you are. I hope you stay warm and dry and loved. I will be back Wednesday morning!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Poor Baby!

You get a short post today, kids. You may remember from yesterday that I went and had lunch with A at school, where we ate food prepared by the cafeteria staff. Normally, she takes her lunch -- I don't necessarily agree with the dietitian on what is nutritional. For instance, I believe a green salad would be much healthier than a burrito! But I digress. Around 6:00 last night my entire digestive system went on strike and informed me not that not only was nothing else allowed in, but what was in was not allowed to stay. And around 4:30 this morning and again at 6:30, her digestive system told her the exact same thing. So, she's curled up in the chair, wearing her big fleece robe and looking like something the cat drug in and forgot about for three days. And that means no cookie baking til much later (hopefully she will feel better by dinner), plus my day will be devoted to her. We did get the living room furniture rearranged, an the spot for the tree is cleared. T-man finally threw away a bunch of crap he was holding on to for some reason or other (safety manuals from a two jobs ago, for instance). He proudly showed me box, but he had that look in his eye that said "what are you throwing away?" Ugh. ¡Hasta mañana!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So This is Christmas

Okay, I've finally got a bit of Christmas spirit. Pam wanted to know if I had gotten it from a bottle. *snicker* Not yet, but I am spending Christmas Eve where I am not very wanted and don't really want to be, so it may well come from a bottle that afternoon and into that night. I'll try to be good, but I'm not promising anything. Oh, the things we do for love. Pass the spiked nog, please. My recipe for egg nog calls for egg nog (duh), cinnamon, Cool Whip (or comparable whipped topping) and Bicardi black or gold label rum. Put everything in the glass/punch bowl to taste. Yum!!! But not yet -- we'll have the first cups Sunday night, then Monday night, then Tuesday night. And then we'll have it again New Year's morning, but probably without the rum.

Hey, guess what? I slept last night. I realize it was from sheer exhaustion, but I did sleep. T-man had to leave at 2:30 this morning to be in Plano by 7:00. For you non-Texans, that's driving from just south of Austin up to just north of Dallas. And he got there just before 7:00 as planned. I vaguely remember him leaving. He should be home about the same time as A. I would have gone with him, but I had already promised to eat lunch with A at school. She was honored for her scholastic performance this past six weeks. She was very happy that I was there. She's going to be in junior high next year. Hard to believe, isn't it? (That was directed to all the adopted aunties in her life!)

We're putting the tree up tonight, but no one knows that yet. Tomorrow night, we want to take A to look at lights she hasn't seen since she was just a year old --- 37th Street in Austin and the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. We used to walk to the Trail of Lights from our old house in Austin when N was in grade school and A was just a sprout. It should be fun.

I have my first big beady income to-do for 2008 already planned. See? Making plans for changes is already working. So, first there was getting up earlier. The next change on the list is to become more active and work with my army of doctors to get all this excess weight off me one way or another. I'm stopping short of liposuction, but if I thought it would work without being in horrendous pain and the insurance company would pay for it, I'd do it. My third 2008 lifestyle change will be listed tomorrow morning (and maybe a couple more). Remember -- changes, not resolutions! There's a rumor that if you do something for 90 days it becomes part of your lifestyle. Three months doesn't seem that long in the great scheme of things, and that's how I have to look at it -- it's not that long in the great scheme of things and I'll be a better, healthier, happier person for it.

GG, Cat, T & JulsHave I mentioned that I have some of the best friends a person could ask for? The other High Priestesses of the Temple of the Goddess of Beading have arranged for me to attend the 2008 Texas Bead Retreat. This will be the very first time I've been able to go. This is a picture of us taken this past April. By the way, those tumblers are full of Cosmos. Never again, never again, never again. My Bead Angels are flexing their fingers, ready for more work regarding that first beady income to-do. I'll get a picture of them next time we are all together. I'm already planning our first pot-luck bead class for 2008, which T-man will be teaching. And Pam and I have some things we'll be working on very soon.

Go check out Art Bead Scene's 12 Days of Beading. It's great, with quite a few links for wonderfully beady things. Don't forget Suzanne Cooper's Countdown to Christmas. And tomorrow will be Margot Potter's last installment of Ornament Thursday, with lots of eye candy.

Tomorrow is cookie baking day. Just imagine my children when they get home, greeted by the smell of freshly baked cookies (mmmmmm) and the sight of mom covered in flour and drinking wine straight from the bottle (Oh MOM!). Did you know that Costco sells this giant box of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix? It makes 18 dozen cookies, I kid you not. Sorry, no homemade cookies here, except for the Tollhouse cookies. I leave all that to my youngest sister who proudly shows off her baking skills every Christmas. I will take my homemade lemon curd pie to Mom's, though. So tune in tomorrow beadlings (and others) for more items for change, maybe a picture of the tree, and other various and sundry STUFF that makes my world go round!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Insomnia, Insomnia, Insomnia

If you say it over and over, it's almost hypnotic -- insomnia. It could almost be a mantra -- insomnia. It's like the words to a song (with BIG apologies to Def Leppard):

"Oh, I got insomnia, insomnia
Oh can you feel it, do you believe it?
It's such a horrible insomnia
(when you get that feelin)
You better believe it!
(better try sleepin')
Cos it'd be a miracle, if I could sleep
Oh babe, you say you will
(rock me to sleep)
Start rockin' baby
No snores for me"

Crapola, I haven't had more than 12 hours total over the past three nights and it's starting to show. Many, many years ago Steve Martin (he's so dreamy to me because he's so friggin' intelligent!) was on David Letterman. It was probably during the height of his stand-up popularity and he came out with these tiny paper bags taped under his eyes. When Letterman asked about them, Steve burst into tears and went on about how tired he was and how he hadn't gotten any sleep and it caused the bags under his eyes and the makeup department couldn't hide them. Well, today I have those very same bags.

It would be different if I hadn't gotten sleep because I drove nine hours straight through to Alpine right after T-man got home from work, or we drove 20 hours straight through to Pennsylvania, or (here's the big one) I was driving straight through to a bead retreat in Napa Valley (someday, kids, someday). I can handle that type of staying awake. Remember when we were younger and pulling an all nighter (for whatever reason) was NOTHING?? We even got up the next day and stumbled to class, even if class wasn't until 1:00. I won't be able to get a nap today either, because I must go to COSTCO (say that with an echo to get the full effect). Yes, it's grocery day. I'll clear some more stuff out of the living room and try to bead a bit tonight and probably head to bed around 8:00.

Back to yesterday's topic of lifestyle changes for 2008. Don't laugh too hard when you read this one, okay?. One of the big things I want to change (drum roll please) is to start getting up earlier. Yep, yep, yep, the insomniac wants to cut her sleep time even more!!! There you go. That's what I leave you with today. I want to become an early riser. That and the fact that there is no Steve Martin fansite and I can be the first to register one on Rotten Tomatoes. Hmmm . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

It's cold as all get-out, but it's gorgeous outside. Oh, I know you folks that live up in the frozen north laugh when I talk about the cold. But you should realize that before the blizzard at Thanksgiving, the last time we saw snow was Christmas of 2002 when we visited T-man's grandmother in the mountains of Pennsylvania! It just doesn't snow here. It does get cold, but usually with rain. However, the past two nights have been crystal clear and in the mid-20s, with crystal clear days that warm up to the low 50s. Brrrrrr. And yes, I do want to make it to Alpine some day, where it snows every winter and the mid 80s makes for a heat wave. But there are so many things I love about that area that make up for the temperature.

I finished part of the special project, and today hope to finish it. Then I will send the designer pictures, mail the project and right after Christmas I'll post the pictures. I don't want to unveil it before the proper authorities (lol) get to see it. That just would not be good manners.

Now, are you sitting down? No coffee in your mouth? Swallow, sit. I cleaned house yesterday. No, no, no -- nothing big, but I did clear out the corner where I was doing my photography. We also moved some things around, which made the room look a bit bigger. Today I need to clear my beady stuff from the living room. Then I should have the space for the Christmas tree, which please A immensely.

I'm also doing something else I don't usually do. I'm making changes (not resolutions) for 2008. 2007 has not been the best year. T-man believes it is because I swerved slightly from what the universe directed. He keeps pointing out that when I do what makes me happy (rather than what I think people want me to do) my work is better and more profitable. It's not that I do this to make money, but those darned kids have to be fed on a regular basis! Anyway, more along this line throughout the week. I just got a call from T-man and must rush something to him at the office. Stay warm wherever you are and have a peachy-keen day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

What If There Were More Than One Of Me?

Well beaders and others, I tuned in to QVC yesterday and caught Margot on the air. The woman is gorgeous and her jewelry was gorgeous. I found out that Mom has been a fan of hers for quite a while.

I must clone myself today because there is simply that much to get done. Have you ever wanted a replicator like they had on the Star Trek series? I'll take one if I can get Jean-Luc Picard to control it! Mmmm -- sexy bald man. We always wondered why, with all the technological and medical advances of that era, did he remain bald? Oh well, who cares? Please don't tell T-man. Let's just say it was a big relief to him when Steve Martin got married. I'm not sure he can handle all of my crushes at once.

If one more of me is good, why not two or even three? I just have to be careful not to let the copies make copies, because a copy of a copy loses all integrity, right?? Come on, think about it -- more of me would be a joyous thing. There would be more of me to love without my gaining another 40 pounds! Or this me could bead while another me cleaned the house and a third took over civilization and ruled the world my way. You know I'm right -- just think about putting a menopausal woman in charge. And you can bet your bottom dollar I would fill my cabinet with OTHER MENOPAUSAL WOMEN. Bwaaahaaaahaaaahaaaa!!!

As an end note, I must leave off the typing because Baby is determined to sit on my boobs. Yeah, yeah -- get all your shelf jokes out of your system. She got shut in my room yesterday and now she needs to be reassured that I have not deserted her. Do you have any idea what 10 pounds of gray cat on your boobs feels like ?? And just try to bead that way, much less type. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Quite the SS Today

No silly, it's not the name of a ship! It's another one of those days. However, this morning at 10:00 Texas time, I'm going to tune in to QVC and catch Margot on the telly! Yep, the Impatient Blogger herself will be hosting Suspicion Marcasite. I think I'll give Mom a call, too. She loves marcasite jewelry. And while I watch, I'll keep beading. I'm working on a very special item today, so special that it put everything else on hold until it's finished. I'll have pics next week. So, until Margot magically appears on the telly, I'm going to enjoy a nice big bowl of oatmeal (hey, I like it, okay?) and another cup of hot coffee. I hope you all enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beady Day

Yep, that's what it is -- a beady day. I'm going to make a fire and bead my fingers to the bone. There's really not much going on over here. How is it in your world today?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Totally Pissed Off!!

UPDATE: It's gone, along with a couple of others I didn't know were there. Check out Clara's comment below. I've never had much luck with Norton or McAfee. The nice thing about Spybot is that it was created specifically to get rid of adware, spyware and malware, which Norton and McAfee just don't. And avast! sends off these whooping alarms, which can scare the crap out of you. The only problem there is the human factor -- I could not sever the connection fast enough. But all is well now, and I am a happy surfer once again. I am half way through the newest project, which is a beaded business card holder. It's an elegant design, and will be offered in several color palettes. It will be unveiled in a few months, so you will have to be patient. Adios, amigos!

I am soooo pissed off. Yesterday I was surfing for Christmas crafts for A so she would have something to do during the holidays. I clicked on a site and got a freaking trojan called "SpyShredder" and now I'm working to get rid of it. So, until it is gone, no emails from me to you. I've got the virus scan running, I'm clearing out all the files for this pain in the ass, and then I will run Spybot. Spybot -- it's a good thing. So now you know what I'll be doing all day. While everything is being cleaned up, I'll bead. Checking the computer will give me a good reason to get up and move on a regular basis.

If you should have this happen to you, DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO BUYING SPYSHREDDER!! It is a fraud. They fool you into thinking you must buy it to get rid of it, and it will infect your entire system and you will have to take your computer out and shoot it! Okay, maybe not that, but you will spend considerable time and money getting it fixed. T-man recommeds avastAntiVirus, Spybot and Registry Medic. They are all free and they do they job, and they will all three be run on this computer today. Crikey, I hate this. Too bad the people who create these things don't use their power for good. GGRRRRRRRR!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two Posts in One Day! It's a Festivus Miracle!

My day got a little brighter around 3:00 today. Guess that just goes to show you miracles do happen. These are my two.

Blah Humbug

Crikey, it is such a nasty day here on the prairie. *sigh* Sometimes I think I would be happy living in Hawaii, where the sun shines almost every day. Then I remember things that occur in Hawaii, like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes. Nope. I guess I'll just stay here for a few more years.

I do not like this time of year. I used to like it, when I was younger and had a sense of wonder. But now it's just too stressful, too commercial. I detest going into the stores right now. There was a story on one of the local news channels about how this year we seemed to move from Halloween straight into Christmas, with no Thanksgiving. Did you notice? There wasn't much said about Thanksgiving itself, and little was said about Thanksgiving sales (what happened on Black Friday?). I totally understand why craft stores start putting Christmas items out in July, but the grocery and hardware stores?? That started in September!! And the stress, oh my stars, the stress is just horrendous. T-mas is already feeling it, which makes me worry about him. It's not just monetary stress, either. There is the stress of which house do we go to on which day, traveling when we want to stay home, putting up with things we'd much rather not, what should we get for whom, etc. And I'm a bit sad that Thanksgiving was just glossed over. I appreciate that day, even if it is solely an American holiday. It reminds me that I should be thankful for all that I have, like a good husband and wonderful children, my supportive family, a good house, food to eat, loving friends. If we could channel some of the appreciation for what we have, rather than the commercialism of the season (which grows longer by the year), back into Christmas maybe it wouldn't be so depressing for so many people. By the way, A pointed out to me that we could make presents for everyone this year and boy, is she ready to get started! She may have an idea there.

So, on this dreary, wet, cold, dismal day during this overly commercialized, stressful time of year, I leave you with some tasty links.

Queen of SparkleMelanie at Earthenwood Studios has this great ornament in her Etsy shop. She has several "queen" ornaments, so there is probably one for each of us! She also has a wonderful step-by-step post on her blog of how the ornaments are made.
Heather's Tags
Heather Powers has free gift tags with her original art on her Humblebeads blog.

Suzanne Cooper has some holiday freebies on her site. And free box templates which are just the right size for jewelry here. A few bright spots in this horribly dreary day. I'll post more as I find them. I hope you are having a good day, wherever you are.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Itchy Fingers

That's right, I've got itchy fingers. They are just itching to bead today, so this won't be much of a post.

By golly, it's Friday. I know that doesn't mean as much to me as it does to those of you with 8-to-5's, but it's a good thing. Tomorrow, we have an office party to attend. T-man is very excited about this, as we have not been to an office party since before we got married! It's just that none of his employers since then (1) had holiday parties or (2) scheduled him so that he could attend. And the entire family is invited to this one, so the girls will get to spiffy up a bit so their proud daddy can show them off. This is a photo of them that I took two years ago.Thanksgiving 2005 at Lost Maples

Y'all have a good weekend and I'll be back on Monday!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Everything Takes Longer Than You Think It Will

Oh, such profound words of wisdom they are! Where to start, where to start, where to start. First, we did not drive to Fort Worth. No, no, gentle reader, we drove to BFE! We ended up in a small town called Brad at the intersection of TX16 and Hwy180. What is Brad close to? Palo Pinto. Yes, that is correct. It is also close to Possum Kingdom Lake State Park. It's between Mineral Wells and Breckenridge. Let me begin the comedy of errors for you.

We left at 7:00 a.m. after putting Miss A on her bus. Oddly enough, T-man (also known to some as Wilderness Man) starts driving in the opposite direction of that which we need to take! I ask "where are you going?" He tells me he doesn't want to drive behind the bus and its many stops. So, we took the LONG way back up to the new shopping center with its new Whataburger and Starbucks. Yes, Kyle now has a Starbucks!! All is right with the world. T-man still can't explain our ciruitous route. He hasn't had his OJ yet, so maybe he's a bit discombobulated, which is why we headed toward Buda before turning around and going back to Kyle. We get our food, then walk over to get the coffee, then we take off. I ask him where we are going and he shows me the map. So I look and I tell him that this is NOT a four hour trip, and besides that, going through Fort Worth to get there is taking the VERY LONG WAY. So we map out our new route. Now, get this, he does not have a delivery address. So when we get to Goldthwaite he calls the number he was provided. The guy who answers gives him directions from our new route, telling T-man that he believes the road we need to turn right onto is "Davis or something like that" and that it is "very close to the intersection at TX16". Okie dokie!

As we leave Goldthwaite, we notice that phone reception is rather spotty at best, and suddenly these guys are calling wanting to know when we will be there. Evidently they have neither any idea where Goldthwaite is nor how far from them it is. At this point in the drive, we have to find a really high rise in the terrain to talk on the phone. After wasting 30 minutes doing this, we give up and keep driving. It's a beautiful drive, mind you. But there are long stretches of nothing but hills and dales, goats, sheep, cattle and a small herd of antelope.

We finally get to the intersection of TX16 and Hwy 180, turn left and start looking. THERE ARE NO ROADS TO TURN RIGHT ONTO and THERE IS NO CELL SERVICE OF ANY TYPE. Yes folks, welcome to BFE. So we keep driving. We drive 10 miles and come to the intersection of Hwy 180 and TX16 CONTINUING NORTH. This happens to be the intersection the guy was referring to -- it never occurred to him that where we would be hitting Hwy 180 from TX16 was 10 miles away. Just after this intersection is a road called "Brad Road". Now I want to describe for you Brad, Texas. It consists of the highway intersection, a tiny little store, a sign indicating Possum Kingdom Lake State Park is 17 miles north, a road called Brad Road and a road called Upper Brad Road (Lower Brad road is way back the other direction and it was a left-hand turn). There is no "Davis" or anything else, because we drove a ways up Hwy 180 to check and had to turn around. So we go back to Brad Road, which is little more than a jeep rut. We are loaded down with a collapsible water tank that weighs 750 pounds, on a single axle flat bed trailer pulled by a two-ton diesel pickup. It was a fun ride. Little did we know that the fun was just beginning. We get to two gates, both of which are locked. Behind gate number two is a guy with a gimme cap, sitting in a truck. He gets out, asks if T-man if he is who he is, and tells T-man he doesn't know what happened to his note pad with the combination to the lock. Kids, there are no less than seven locks, all clipped together, on this gate! But we are informed that the dude who went to get the sand should be back soon.

I must mention here that I have needed to pee for the past 30 minutes. So now we must wait for the sand dude. Oh look, here comes sand dude. He has a small pickup pulling a small dump trailer loaded with sand. He introduces himself and unlocks one of the several locks, then he tells T-man that there will be a bit of an incline on the "road" and is that going to be a problem? No? Okay, follow the sand dude.

Let me just say that the road to the locked gate was smooth as glass compared to what we now find ourselves on. And sand dude takes off and promptly loses us. We come to a turn in the road, but we cannot tell which way sand dude went, so we continue on. Did I mention that this is also one of those roads in a pasture without fences? In Texas that means loose livestock, and we pass a small group of lovely black Angus bovines taking a rest, joined by a big chestnut horse. We drive on and come to a little house, go past the house on an even more rutted, rough road and come to another locked gate. Yes, it is locked. T-man BACKS THE TRAILER DOWN THE RUTTED ROAD because there is no place to turn. We come to another open gate, but no one has driven on that road in a while (T-man got out and used his tracking skills here). But there is a place to turn around, so he does. As we come around the curve, we see that road is now blocked by a big black Angus bull and his harem of about eight lovely ladies, and they are not inclined to Moooooove. So, I stick my head out of the truck and yell at them to git, go on now, moooove. They do, but one has the audacity to moo back at me!

So off we go, back down over the road from rutted hell, to the fork we passed up. We take the fork, and now we see what he meant by a short incline! Short incline my ass! I've climbed rocks with less incline than this (back when I was trim and slim). We bounce our way into a clearing containing two small trailer houses (nope, not manufactured houses -- these are true trailer houses), and new metal house in the process of being built, stupid sand dude, six latino guys who speak no English and are doing all the work, the homeowner who is filming everything, one other guy who seems to be a foreman, and the leader of the pack, whom we will refer to as college-educated-dude-from-Fort-Worth-who-knows-nothing-of-the-real-world (CEDFFWWKNOTRW). When I ask if there is a restroom I could use, he suggested the cedar trees! Mmm, what class! This gets better. When T-man asks if they have a tractor or some such equipment with which to offload the tank, the foreman says "we can probably just pick up and take it off. It shouldn't be hard with six of them." He calls the latino workers to come do this!! That's when I got out of the truck to watch. Fortunately, T-man declines that offer and suggests that they just take it off one piece at a time. I get back in the truck.

Okay, the tank gets taken off, and we start to head back down the rutted road that makes for nightmares, but first we have to get the combination to the lock. We are given the magic number and off we go, bumping and jostling all the way. We get to the gate (I'm not quite crossing my legs quite yet), and I get out to unlock the gate. Crikey!! Which friggin' lock is it? So T-man gets out and we divvy up the locks. The combination does not work on any of them! We try again, and a third time because that's supposed to be a charm. Well, it isn't. I'm pretty close to leg-crossing time now. But wait! Here comes a truck! It's gimme hat guy!! And yippee, he has the notepad with the combination, which turns out to be totally different from what CEDFFWWKNOTRW has given us! How ignorant are these guys and how did they manage to sell this tank to that homeowner??? Hallelujah, I can now find a bathroom!

We head off in the direction of Breckenridge, where we will pick up Hwy 183 back to Lampasas, then we will pick up Hwy 290 into Dripping Springs, go past my granparents' old house and my mom's road in Driftwood, on into Kyle and home. We find a gas station/convenience store that sells diesel and I go in for the potty. What relief! Now, to find food, because it is 2:15 and we are starving. Yes, we started out at 7:00 a.m. for what was supposed to be a four hour drive but it is 2:15. So, I inquire as to the whereabouts of a Dairy Queen (all the small towns in Texas have them) or other fast food. Well, they are on the other side of town, far past our turn onto Hwy 183. So we buy a snack and REAL Dr. Pepper, the ones still made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar!Yum!

After lunch at the Sonic in the bustling metropolis of Cisco, we get back into the truck and head back home. We have decided that this part of Texas will not be considered for our retirement, for many, many reasons. We got home at 7:45 last night. The considerable drive caused my sciatic nerve to be pinched again. Ouch. But as my sweet husband pointed out to me, I got to spend the day with him. Yes, yes I did. Oh, the things we do for love.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

I won't be here tomorrow. T-man has a tank delivery waaaaaaay up north near Fort Worth. He does not like to take long drives by himself. Right now, he is probably on his way back from Lake Buchannan -- just a hop, skip and a jump away. Anyway, he asked if I would ride with him tomorrow. I said yes, fully cognizant of the fact that I will have to haul my fat butt out of bed at (as Anne T says) 0:dark:30. I'll take something to read and something to bead. Oh, the things we do for love.

Today I'm going to take some pictures for the Etsy shop. I've neglected it lately and it is feeling sad and lonely. Okay, not really, but I am feeling a bit guilty since I have a tray of fabulous earrings that need to be sitting there in the "shop" and not on the coffee table. I also need to redo some of the current photos and get some holiday specials up there. And I have an order of patterns to mail, since the printer finally decided it would start working again.

By the way, it is FREAKING cold out there. See? It's so cold I can't even use the word I prefer. I took A to school this morning and the thermometer said 31!!! On the upside, it's not raining/sleeting/snowing.

I leave you with a suggestion to read Clara's comments on yesterday's post, Fan Club Blues. My dear friend Clara definitely has a song for every occurrence! Adieu, mes amis! Au revoir!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Fan Club Blues

Let's reminisce. First, I'm going to pretend that we are all the same age, which means you remember how your mother cried when President Kennedy was shot, you had a shoop-shoop hula hoop, you watched men walk on the moon and you know the words to all the songs the Monkees sang. Oh, and you remember when David Cassidy was . . . , well *sigh*, you know.

And if you remember that, you remember the teen fan mags. And how you could send your dues in to the fan club of your choice. And you could write fan letters. Did you ever write a letter to your secret crush? You don't have to answer that. It's the next part that is important.

Did the object of your adoration write back? The good manners that our mothers taught us back then dictated some sort of reply. Emily Post said so.

And I hear you asking, "T! Why on earth are you writing about the '60s? Did you get lost in a time warp?? Are you having Partridge Family bus flashbacks?" Nope, nope, nope. Look back up there at the part that is important.

Several months ago I sent an email to a fellow beadwork artist. I told her how I have admired her work for several years. I also told her that she was a big inspiration to me when I decided to apply to art shows. And I told her that it was her work that made me realize that I can be well paid for the pieces that I create. I also asked her a few questions about her experiences with art shows. I figured that since she is 1,000 miles away she wouldn't feel threatened by any sort of competition, even if she considered me in her league of talent. Do you know she never replied?? This is a professional, who has been published in Beadwork Magazine, who wins awards at art shows, has pieces in museums and galleries, yet she did not have the good grace to send back a reply. How rude! Even if the reply was "go blow it out your ass" there should have been something, right? Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect her to spill all her secrets, but the questions I asked were not along the lines of "I'm thinking of doing this, too. Can you tell me how to get started?" (and those of you who know me well, also know how much I detest that line of questioning). I had already gotten started, I had already had several large sales. I just asked a couple of questions along the lines of categorization of the art form. Again, how rude of her not to answer!

So, I promise, if you ask me questions like that, I will respond, even if it is to tell you to go blow it out your ass. However (BIG HOWEVER), if you come to me and ask "I've been thinking of doing the same thing. Can you tell me how to get started?", I will hunt you down like the mangy cur that you are. I will spill and mix all your beads, I will tangle your beading thread, and I will bend all of your beading needles. And then I will make a bonfire of all your beading magazines and books. Are we clear? Good. Have a nice day.