Sticky Post...Looking for me?

I'm not hanging out on LJ as much as I used to do... I'll still post sporadic updates about my life in general, and I try to catch up on reading everyone's blog when I can find the time (I suppose I really ought to set up an RSS feed at this point - just call me a luddite!), but my focus these days has been on my art and dance blog, work, teaching, and business. So if you're looking for me, and don't find me, try looking and commenting here: I love you all, and I'd love to see you there!


PS. meriwynn is now blogging at Martialartess.
      My Dad has started a blog about aging with diabetes and kidney disease.


Looking for me Part 2...

I've had some requests for more posts. I'm not particularly happy with Livejournal in general... no real reason, just a general malaise, especially about how people on LJ don't tend to read outside blogs and outside people don't tend to read LJ blogs...  and I've been feeling the need for a real, personal presence outside of my stitching business, blog and website.

I'm doing some real work on getting unstuck from some of my back patterns right now, and I'd like a place to share the journey. I want to be able to maybe help some other people who might be in the same or similar situation mentally. And I want to develop another business and share the journey. So in any case -- I'd love for you to come join me, feeling free to comment.

My 18th century salon type thing is now open, and most likely  I won't be posting here again.

See me at Lady of Toad Hall.
And I'm still at Stitching with a Shimmy if you're interested. :)


Life, career and happiness...

I need to vent a little. I'm frustrated. First, though, let me apologize for not getting holiday cards, posts or emails out this year. I think you'll see why in a few paragraphs.

<rant on>
My day job is no longer my dream job. This has developed by many, many routes - from just being in the same position for almost 8 years to management changes that have changed the corporate culture.

Because of this, and simply changes in my mindset, or maybe a reset of my old mindset -- I'm becoming more and more creative, in dance, needlework, and mixed media! I am listless at work and off and on have even had small panic attacks on Sunday evenings when I think of going into the office on Monday.

At Thanksgiving I found myself in the hospital having gall bladder surgery -- and with a week and a half to two without work looming, sick as i was, my blood pressure was lower than it was in college. And I'm guessing that with the health improvements over last year, the lower numbers are probably the accurate ones, when I'm not stressed.

Obviously, the "pragmatic" side of me says, "You have a mortgage. You still want kids. You need to keep the income as long as possible." And frankly, I realize that being overwhelmed and out of balance over the last three months have been due more to the situation at home impacting being able to relieve stress than anything else. Already I am starting to pull things back together again. (If no one's told you, the other half of Cheromilly, and her son moved into a place of their own at Christmas, and she bought a car last week (just in time for the snow to hit so she couldn't go test for her license this week!) The house is ours again! yay!) The EO and I are trying to get used to not only having a quiet house, but also being able to actually accomplish housework/repairs without tripping on people. As things get pulled together I will be able to focus on getting stuff done so that maybe I can move away from corporate life sooner rather than later, and balance my spirit with my income in a better manner.
</rant off>

For now, though. I feel stuck. I'm not. I'm making progress. Much progress, actually. I actually wrote the above a couple weeks ago. Now, I've talked to the EO about the whole thing and realized that part of the issue is that I DO see movement. But because of this I want it all right now! That's not so conducive to actually accomplishing much -- it's when we find ourselves stuck like deer in the headlights.

But since November I've managed to up the blog posts to regular postings. And my hits have gone up exponentially. I've created several beaded pins, and just need one more set of photos so I can put them up on Etsy. The marketing research has sent me in a direction needlework-wise that I've WANTED to go in, and I'm about ready to get the website up and launched. (Website design is tedious for me.. the design is ok, but the coding is not my forte). I have put the book on hold until I have the energy to write more at home as well as at work. Right now short blog posts are about all I can handle.

I think I originally wanted to ask advice about jumping in headfirst, but I've worked it out pragmatically now, and I think I've identified the evil little tapes working in the back of my mind. After all, it's not like I haven't done this sort of thing before. I can deal with the corporate culture; even thrive in it, now that I don't have an invisible (even to me) illness hanging over my head. And I can pull a business up by its bootstraps in my not-so-copious spare time. Knowing what I'm dealing with helps immensely in knowing how to deal with it.

So anyway. Send your love and good thoughts to Cherie and Kiddo (who turns 12 TWELVE!!!! in February!) and think good thoughts for all of us (y'all as well) as we navigate this new year.


Squirrels # 6 - A reason? A war?

I think I may be getting a handle on this thing.

Here in North Carolina, we have several kinds of squirrels - grey, the kind that hate DH; fox squirrels, wow I'd like to see one of these cuties in the wild!; flying squirrels; and the endangered miniature flying squirrel.

I think the issue may have to do with the last. You see, back when DH was a "tween" there was a big storm, not an uncommon occurrence in North Carolina. Apparently, though, this storm knocked a nest of miniature flyings squirrels out of a tree in the back yard. DH's dad brought the poor little ones inside and the family nursed them to adulthood. Imagine little flying squirrels launching themselves from the schimney top to the heads of unsuspecting visitors to the house!

When they were old enough, the family released them back into the wild, where they apparently integrated back very well.

Miniature flying squirrels are nocturnal. Grey squirrels, are, of course, diurnal. I think there may be a war or at least tension between the two groups. Because of his kindness to the little flying ones, the grey squirrels now hate my husband - and apparently his father. They are literally eating the outside of his house. Nothing, including cayenne pepper, seems to keep them at bay.


Squirrels #5 - Government Facility

It would be easy to write DH's antagonism to squirrels off as a vibrant imagination (he is, after all, a writer) if it weren't for the confirmation by outside sources -- like coworkers.

DH spent several years as a contractor at one of the government facilities out here. He and his coworkers used to walk across the campus for lunch on a regular basis. This route took them through an outside picnic area - with trees. Where acorns regularly beaned him. And we always thought he wore that hat to keep the sun off his head!

After a week of this, one of the guys asked DH, "Why do acorns keep hitting you and only you on the head?" DH just pointed up. There they were -- three of the little rat-finks, looking down at them. While his friend watched, one of them hauled off and threw an acorn - directly at DH's head. "Dude, they really do hate you!" said his friend. And reported to me at the first opportunity. This was probably the first time I really started to believe him.



Squirrels #4 - Enter Me

I've not had the same issues with squirrels over the years - I tend to think they are quite cute, and although annoyances when I want to feed birds, not a horrible thing. We used to have one outside an apartment in Eugene that we called Napoleon becuase he'd stand up on his hind legs, cross one paw over his chest and, well, frankly look like Napoleon Bonaparte. He also had a tendency to stand in the middle of the parking lot and attempt to control the cars. I wonder how long he actually survived...

Then there was the squirrel on the UO campus that Christie taught to expect food, and who was very angry that I didn't provide it -- but I try to forget that incident as it almost ended in rabies shots. Terrorist extremist squirrel trained by a FRIEND of all things!

The squirrels in Longview, WA were cheeky critters. Maybe they were spoiled, having a suspension bridge built just for them, but they would stop in the middle of the road and try to stare you down as you drove, daring you to hit them. I thought they were insane, but still cute.

I am, however, losing patience with the acorns planted in my garden now sprouting oak trees under the tomatoes. But for the most part - squirrels and I have a live and let live philosophy.  My oregano is still in one piece - after a whole season of growing! (Just a LITTLE gloat there, sweetheart!)


Squirrels #3 - Home Invasion

The squirrels have even taken it a step further and performed home invasions -- DH suspects the same operative as in the Oregano Caper.

As I recall the story, and remember that this is second-hand, something had gone wrong in the kitchen - probably involving smoke - and DH had decided he needed to open the windows.

The most effective window for these sorts of operations is, of course, the sliding patio door. It was duly opened, and DH began the return trip to the kitchen. And almost fell down as a small, grey fuzzy creature zipped between his legs and sat in the middle of the kitchen, chittering at him. This was BC (Before Cats), so you can't even blame Paddy - oh wait. She was in MY house at the time!

"That's the last straw! This is MY apartment, you little beady-eyed, bushy-tailed interloper!" (He may also have used some of those unrepeatable words for squirrels, but they are, well, unrepeatable.) And the chase was on!

The squirrel did not want to leave; maybe he was hoping DH had a stash of the oregano somewhere and was looking to raid it; maybe he just wanted to torment DH.

Whatever the reason, though, the little brushtail made DH chase him around the apartment for half an hour before skittering back out the same hole in the screen he had used to slip in. Personally, I think DH should be glad it wasn't a full contingent of commando-squirrels, but only the scout.


Squirrels #2 - Oregano Caper

Then there was the oregano. A friend had given DH an oregano plant, growing nicely, that he put on his patio so it could get light and continue to grow and hopefully thrive.

He then went inside and started cooking dinner.

Who knows what made him look - some small noise, some innate sense of threat -- whatever it was, look he did. And there, outside the sliding patio door, looking smugly through the glass and stuffing hte end of the oregano plant into his cheeks, was one of the local grey squirrels. As the DH took his first annoyed steps toward the door, the little tree-rat turned his back on DH, twitched his tail three times, leapt into a nearby tree and disappeared.

My future husband was not amused as he looked at his now-empty flowerpot, and invented three more unrepeatable words for squirrels.


Squirrels #1 - Lunch

This begins a series of articles I've been wanting to write for a while about my family and their quirks. We'll start with my Dear Husband, because he volunteered, and I promised miladycarol the squirrel stories.

I don't know what my husband did to antagonize the squirrels - and I don't mean in our yard - I mean all of them. I think they may have taken a hit out on him.

The stories go back to his college days -

He, like so many college students, was short on money. using his last five dollars to get lunch at the school cafe, he set the lunch tray down on an outside table and turned his back to get the ketchup.

He swears he was only turned away for a moment -- and when he turned back, the squirrels covering his meal scattered. All but the littlest, who grabbed the last French fry, looked up at DH with beady black eyes, chittered, and ran, leaving him stunned and with only crumbs. DH invented an unrepeatable word for squirrels and thought, "Peanut butter for another week. Rah." :)