Tuesday, January 31, 2017

So Long, January...

It's already the last day of January. 

This month I successfully did the Ultimate Blog Challenge, which means I posted just about every single day this month.  It helped me get back into the swing of regular blogging, and although I don't think I'll continue posting quite so often, I do intend to be a lot more regular about it.  I love my blog.  I love having some sort of documentation I can look back that captures moments and helps me remember what was happening in the world around me.

Time flies, and I wanna keep track of it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Less is More

Right now, I'm reading yet another book on living with less.  This one is called The Joy of Less by Francine Joy.  And yes, I think the title is a bit of a pun on her name.
It's similar to Marie Kondo's book on the same ideas, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Although I did a lot of getting rid of a lot of stuff that didn't "spark joy" and did find the KonMarie Method I learned about in that book to be pretty magical, I'm ready to downsize even more now.  And this book, The Joy of Less is a great inspiration.

I also recently watched the documentary film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.  It's currently streaming on Netflix for free!

And I'm listening to the Audible format of the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. This book isn't about downsizing your stuff, but instead your commitments and the things you spend your time on.  It's a great motivator for doing the KonMarie method on your whole life.

I'm making small changes on an almost daily basis since I'm filling my head with the words from both of these books and film.  I tried to do the KonMarie Method as suggested in the book- in a fast a furious way.  And that worked great, because I had a lot more then.  I'm now trying to be more congnizant of the things I bring into my home, and into my life.  If they aren't the important things, they really don't belong.  The less I have, the better I can care for and appreciate the things I do have.  That applies to possessions, but also the way I spend my time.

For me, reading this stuff and keeping it in my focus for a while feels essential.  I hate the complicated feeling I get when I have too many things around me or too many things to do.  Even when it's good stuff.  It's true what they say, too much of a good thing isn't a good thing.

I've moved a few pieces of furniture out in to the garage until I can drop them off at a donation center. I also took some vases I didn't really like off our mantle.  At first, it looked a little weird.  I'd just gotten used to those spaces being filled up.  But I realize, I like the extra space.  Not every corner needs to be filled.  I like a little extra breathing room around here.

More of less.  That's what I'm aiming for these days.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What High School Taught Me

Last night we went with some friends to see a high school production of Beauty and the Beast.

The girl who played Belle came out for her bow at the end of the show, with the rest of the cast, and of course, she got a huge applause.  She was crying, I'm assuming, because she was overjoyed and proud of herself.  And we all know what a great feeling that is.

Whenever I see one of these high school musicals, it makes me regret that I wasn't in choir or drama, and that I never once tried out for anything.  I was so afraid of rejection and failure, that I thought I was better off not to even try.

I played it safe, and I never risked making a fool of myself. I'm sure I missed out on so many things because of this.  And oh, what a waste.

But, I can still learn from this lesson so that one day I'll won't look back on the age I am right now and think "Oh, why didn't I try __________?"

I still fear rejection.  Age doesn't solve that problem. But stepping out of your comfort zone helps you become more brave every time you do it.  I'm wise enough to know that is true.

Friday, January 27, 2017

No Apologies

I was thinking again today about what I wrote yesterday.  About how during a concert, sometimes things don't go according to the performer's plan.  But as a professional, they roll with it.  Sometimes so smoothly, that a mistake can go unnoticed.  Because the mistake really isn't what matters. And to apologize would put the focus on the wrong thing.

I was thinking about how I have been in similar situations before. Especially when it comes to tuning my guitar onstage during a performance, and having to play through a song when I can tell I never quite got it in tune.  And I'm pretty sure I make faces that make my discomfort in the moment clear.  And then the audience has to feel uncomfortable too.  Then, maybe I apologize after the song is over.  And if I do, really, it just calls attention to what went wrong, and negates what went right. And again, that makes the audience uncomfortable. 

So to add to all that Jonatha Brooke did right during her concert on Wednesday night... She didn't apologize for having a string go out of tune. She just rolled with it.  And figured out the best way to handle her little predicament.  And when the song ended, she graciously accepted our applause.

That's something to remember.  That's a lesson.  There are times to apologize for sure- Like if you've hurt someone.  But there are also times when an apology would just be self-serving.  And so, it's better to just let it go.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Better Than Perfect

I just got back from Austin... A quick 24 hour hour trip to see Jonatha Brooke play at the One World Theater.

She played a solo show, and this was an intimate venue- My favorite kind! Jonatha has a long and loyal following, so she played songs from each of her albums.  At the beginning of the show, she mentioned that she had to relearn a few of them, because they were about 20 years old.  They're also some of her greatest ones, so I know I wasn't alone in feeling grateful she went to the trouble.

One of the crowd favorites is her song, "Because I Told You So". Like just about all of her songs, it's in a non-standard guitar tuning.  She has to do a lot of quick, between-song-tuning. As I've heard her say before, she told the audience that she uses these tunings because she's a self taught guitarist, and that's just how she figured things out.  It's also part of what gives her a magical and unique sound.
Jonatha Brooke.  Tuning.

But because I've also written quite a few songs in non-standard tunings, I know doing all that tuning at a live performance is sometimes nerve wracking.  Sometimes, what you think is in tune, ends up showing mid-song that it is in fact out of tune.  And that is not an awesome discovery. But that's what happened to Jonatha during last night's performance of "Because I Told You So."

It must have been driving her crazy because in the middle of the song, she tweaked a knob or two on the guitar for tuning adjustments. But things were still off.  So she tried it again, a little further a long in the song.  But nope.  It had just gotten too confusing and weird for subtle adjustments mid-song.  So she kind of whispered and laughed, "Ugh. This is so embarassing."  And then stopped playing the guitar, started stomping her feet in rhythm to the bridge of the song and sang it and the final chorus of the song a capella.

And for me- that little mishap was the coolest part of the show.

It's why we go to live performances.  It's not to see perfection.  Last night in Austin, we got to see Jonatha in a intimate, beautiful venue and she delivered an intimate and beautiful performance.  Far more beautiful than perfection. To hear her voice, all by itself, emphasized the emotion of that song all the more at just the perfect moment.

And that's why she's a pro.
Better than perfect.
Me and Jonatha Brooke

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Too Much Happiness

My friend Steve and I are Austin-bound today.

This haul from Dallas to Austin is a slightly long drive for a concert, except that it's Jonatha Brooke and we love her so. She hasn't performed in Dallas in over 10 years. And she's not heading this way for her current tour. We gotta do what we gotta do.

So off we go!
Too Much Happiness...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Reader's Digest

There are times when I'm not in the mood to read a book.  It's a rare occasion, but when I feel either too tired, or just need a break- I read a magazine instead.  The nightly habit of reading is so deeply rooted in me, that I don't know what I'd do with myself if I didn't read something for at least half an hour at the end of my day. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to get to sleep.  Or I might die.  It seems like something horrible could happen. And so I read. No matter what.

The other night, I finished one book but wasn't ready to start a new one just yet, so I decided to pick up a magazine from my pile.  I went for a Reader's Digest that was from September of this past year. 

Reader's Digest Magazine

Is that magazine still around? Am I an 80 year old woman you may ask? Well, no- I'm not.  But this is actually my Dad's magazine subscription and he's nearly that age...

I remember in the 80s, when I was a kid, Mom and Dad subscribed to Reader's Digest. Sometimes, after Mom finished looking at it, she'd mention certain articles and I'd get curious, and then leaf through it myself. It had (bad) jokes, and some cartoons. It was full of random human interest stories.  The magazine even had a little word definition quiz.  I remember taking the quiz every now and then, and while I always got some of the words right, it wasn't the majority.  They were hard.  But I thought, "Maybe I'll learn these words by taking the quiz." 

But I don't think you learn words just from seeing their definition once in a Reader's Digest "Word Power" quiz.  Instead, you learn new words from overhearing them, or reading them and being curious enough to figure out what they mean.  And then understanding what they mean well enough to use them in a sentence.  That's when you've really mastered a word.

I was pleasantly surprised last night when I took the "Word Power" quiz.  Out of 15 words, I knew almost all of them.  And the ones I didn't know, I made a good guess on.  I bet the last time I looked at one of those quizes was over 5 years ago, maybe even 10.  It could be that the words they now choose have gotten easier, or maybe all these hours upon hours of reading in the bathtub has taught me words that wouldn't have otherwise been in my vocabulary.  But if you read enough, you come across a lot of words.

Besides the "Word Power" quiz, this issue had all sorts of articles about the brain, which I'm always interested in.  Reader's Digest is still worth reading.  I just wonder how many people under the age of 45 even know about it...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Art Begets Art

I love going to live performance events.  So when a friend asked me to go see Pilobolus, a modern dance group I had never heard of, I said yes.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it, and how inspiring the whole thing was.  It was visually and creatively stunning.  Here's a little except of the show they are currently touring in the US now, called ShadowLand.

The music was the perfect compliment to the dancing and visual imagery. My friend and I noticed on the program that it was all written and performed by one artist.  And his name, like the dance group, was one I had never heard before... David Poe. 

I've been listening to everything he has on Apple Music since finding out about him that night. The collection of songs from the "God and the Girl" CD is the one that I have not been able to stop listening to- it's very stripped down, intimate, acoustic... And oh, I could listen to a few of those songs over and over and over. And I have been.

There are so many talented artists in the world, it's impossible to know of all of them, but I really can't believe I've never come across David Poe before.  So glad to have gotten a chance to see Shadowland- for the dancing, the music, and the inspiration it brought me.  I just finished writing a song that I probably wouldn't have taken the time to capture had I not been sitting around, figuring out how to play David's song called, "Honeymoon".

Art begets art.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Give Me Love

Today, there were marches across the nation in support of women's rights.  And of course, I'm all for that.

But, I didn't march. 

Lots of my friends did though, and so many of them posted pictures on Facebook.  Pictures of the crowds, and of course pictures of all those posters they were marching with.  Lots of those posters were clever.  Some of them were a little vile and even a little off topic, but that's okay- because many people are mad right now.  And they've got to express it, and say it, and look out for the way people (all people) are treated. It's all okay.  Freedom of speech, for everyone, is so vital.  And thank God, that in our great nation, we have that.

Rather than marching this morning, I will be singing tonight.  I've thought about the songs I want to sing tonight to express myself.  And they're all about love.

Like so many, I am a little baffled that our current political situation isn't reality tv, but is actually real life.  Sometimes, when I think about it I feel scared. And sad.

There are many diverse opinions out there.  But it isn't that one is right, and all the rest are wrong.  Even if it feels that way sometimes, that just isn't the case.  As cheesy as it sounds, I do believe those words of the Burt Bacharach song that says... "What the world needs now, is love sweet love."  Love and acceptance.  We don't all have to think the same way, and have the same opinions.  But we need to be respectful and kind. We all have love in our hearts.  I really do believe that.

So my focus is to remain on love.  Love for myself.  Love for the friends I agree with and the friends I don't.  Kindness to everyone that comes in my path in this wonderful life. It's easy to be loving and kind to the people who are loving and kind to me.  But it's important to go beyond that... So I just have to stay focused on LOVE.  And keep saying it over and over and over.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Why 2 is Better Than 1 (When We're Talking about Days of an Estate Sale)

Show me the way!
Last night I got online and looked up local estate sales.  I was jonesing for some vintage jewelry, because as I mentioned in a previous post, I can't seem to get enough of it ever.  In the pictures listed about this sale I was interested in, there looked to be at least three tables full of vintage costume jewelry.

It is ON!

Today was day 2 for this sale, which is both good and bad. It's bad because it's an entire day that other people got to look at all the sparkly things, and maybe buy them, before I had a chance. But it's also good because some sales, like this one, mark things at a discounted price on the 2nd day.  Everything at the house I went to today was 25% off.

There weren't 3 tables of jewelry anymore.  But there was about 1/3 of one table full of costume jewelry, most of it from the 1950s and 1960s.  There prices were okay, but they were made better thanks to the 25% off deal.  All of the necklaces were way over priced, but I was able to snag a couple pairs of earrings, pins and brooches.  I came home with quite a haul. Look!
1950s and 1960s costume jewelry score!
Not too bad!  I asked the sellers if yesterday they had as much jewelry as the online pictures had implied. They told me that yes!, there had been a lot of jewelry but that the crowd was huge, ladies were pushing each other into the jewelry tables, and everyone was complaining about the long line out the door too get in.  Oh yuck.  I'll happily take Day 2 with 25% discounts and much lighter crowds.  There were plenty of treasures left by the time I got there. And I didn't get pushed once!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Our Brush with the Law: Mall Cops

Last night, my brother, Fleetwood and I went to see “Singing in the Rain” at the AMC Theater at NorthPark Mall.  Sounds like good clean fun, right? Our night ended as we were kicked out of the parking lot by a brigade of 3 mall cops, driving go-carts accompanied by car that looked something like a 1977 Gremlin. They told us we needed to leave before the police arrived if we wanted to avoid jail time.

For what, you might ask?

Well, obviously for talking in my car on a cold night after seeing the movie.  According to these mall cops, this is known as LOITERING.  And it’s a pretty serious crime.

Because the movie ended a little after 9pm my brother walked me to my car in the parking garage.  Then, I drove him to his car in a different outside parking lot. During that little walk and short drive, we started having a great conversation.  The kind of conversation that you end up sitting in the car for longer than expected because it's so great.  Until you’re surrounded by mall cops with flashlights pointing in your faces.

As my brother and I had been talking, out of the corner of my eye, I kept seeing yellow lights slowly drive past us.  I didn’t think anything of it, because there were lots of cars in the parking lot, and drivers seemed to be coming and going while we sat and talked.  But then, after about 25 minutes, I heard a little tap on my driver’s side window.  It startled me, and then startled even me more when I saw a young man in some police-looking uniform with a flashlight.  I opened my door and he asked us what we were doing.  So I told him.

With his mall cop authority, he told me we needed to move along, as Northpark Mall has a “strict policy about loitering.”  Were we loitering? Really?

I would like to add a little of the backstory here.  My brother is one of my favorite people.  He's my biggest cheerleader, and I am his.  Since we met at a movie, we hadn’t yet had a chance to catch up at all, so we got to talking in the car.  I've been struggling a little lately, and he was coaching me through some things, and it was a very meaningful conversation. 

We told the mall cop we’d leave as soon as we finished our conversation. We weren't doing anything wrong, and I would hardly call what we were doing loitering.

But within about 5 minutes, I saw his little go cart drive up to my car again.  This time, he gave me a warning: Go NOW, or the Dallas Police will be called. 

Fleetwood told him that if he wanted to call them, that was okay.  But we were going to finish our conversation.  There were still lots of cars in the parking lot and it wasn’t even 10pm yet.

I guess my brother’s response really fired this guy up, because within a few minutes, we saw 3 go-carts pulling up and surrounding my car.  There was also the Gremlin looking car with flashlights on the top, making it look like it might be the head mall cop. 

And apparently, it was!

This man, Parker, shined his flashlight in my face, and as I rolled down my window, he asked me with his country accent what we were doing.  So, we explained again.  And he told us that we needed to leave before the cops arrived, warning us that they had "already called 'em",  and that we were “probably going to jail.”  For some reason, he also felt the need to tell us he was a retired police officer. Somehow, I doubt it.

At this point, Fleetwood and I had actually wrapped up our conversation and were ready to leave anyway, but it sorta became a battle of the wills.  This threat of going to jail was a little too enticing to leave the scene of the crime. I would love to know how a real police officer would react to this whole situation. But my brother took the high road, and just made a joke saying, “Ok Parker, I’m getting out of the car and walking to my truck.  Please don’t shoot.”  And the mall cop said in a very gross tone (sounding like one of those backwoods bad cops you've seen in movies before)  “Well, I don’t have a gun.”  And I swear, he said it as if he was implying that if he DID have a gun, he might use it.

After Fleetwood and I both got home, we were texting back and forth, laughing but also so damn mad at that guy!  I actually looked up the definition of loitering and it’s this:
to stand or wait around idly or without apparent purpose

Hmmm. First of all, we were inside my car.  Secondly, once the first mall cop asked us what we were doing, he knew our purpose. We were finishing up an important  conversation. He should have left us alone.

My brother looked up Northpark Mall’s “strict loitering policy” which basically said  overnight parking or camping is not allowed. 

So we weren't loitering by any standards.  We were just being harassed.  By mall cops.

This is all so stupid it's funny, but its also is enraging. Fleetwood and I are both enraged that these guys are so bored, and so pathetic that they have to harass us for talking in my car.  Enraged that they would even consider wasting the time of a Dallas Police Officer to intervene. And enraged that rather than patrolling a parking lot to make sure NorthPark customers are safe, they’re instead gathering up all of their staff to gang up on a brother and sister who are just talking. 

It's guys like these that make such a joke out of mall cops.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Singing in the Rain

It's a rainy, dreary day here in Dallas.

But that's a great thing.  Because you see, I've got a great excuse to wear my cute rain boots.

And even better...Last night I bought tickets for my brother and I to see "Singing in the Rain" at an AMC theater tonight, in celebration of the movie's 65th annivesary. 

My brother is acting like he's going with me just to appease me.  I don't think he's ever seen the movie before.  He has no idea what greatness he's in for.  What a glorious feeling!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Love People, Use Things

I just watched the documentary, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix.

I've heard the two men who go by the moniker, The Minimalists, on a few podcasts, and so I knew of this documentary a few months ago.  Today, I happened to see the title pop up on Netflix- and it was FREE to watch.  How much more minimalistic can you get than that?  So, of course, I watched it!

I'm always aiming to consume less, buy less, be happy with less and have more time freed up from not shopping and caring for unnecessary things.

It's a great film to watch if you need a little inspiration on the topic.  They talked to several "experts" in the field of living with less. They ended the film with this simple take away, and I think it's a great~

Love people, not things.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Creativity Needs Solitude

Let me start saying I love Fermin.  I'm glad we're married, and that I have a partner in life. I love sharing a home with him.  I know I am lucky.

And having said all that: he is going out of town today on a business trip. It's his first trip in a couple of months.  And I am so excited! 

Fermin used to go into the office each day, but didn't travel much.  When he first took his current position, he was supposedly going to travel 50% of the time, and work from home the rest of the time.  I remember feeling a bit sad and anxious that he might be gone so much that I would get lonely.

He traveled more when he first took that job, a few years ago.  But his trips were and are always short, and he's only away a night or two.  He was rarely out of town two weeks in a row, back to back.  It certainly wasn't too much. For the past year or so, his travel is even lighter. There will be stretches of a month or more that he doesn't travel at all. And he works from home pretty much every day, hardly ever going into the office that's about a half hour drive from our home.

It's been a weird adjustment over time.  I went from having all sorts of time at home alone, to now, barely any at all.  Our house is small, and the walls are thin.  I used to sing, write songs, and even occasionally record them when I knew there were no other humans in the house that might overhear me.  But these days, I just can't do it without feeling like I'm being overheard.  I know Fermin is busy, doesn't care about hearing me, etc. but still. It's stifling.

Creatively outside of solitude is hard. First world problems, I realize.  But not having had much of a creative outlet lately has taken it's toll on me.

That's why, I am pretty stoked that I'm about to have the house to myself  for the next several days. If I want to sing all day I can.  If I want to write some songs, I don't have to feel embarrassed as I'm working out the kinks. And there's likely to be nothing but kinks since I'm so out of practice. But here I go...

I need to get a little bored and a little lonesome in my solitude.  It's the best path I know to creativity.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Perfect" Starring Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta 1985

This video started it all...

I saw it on Facebook at the beginning of last week.  I can't actually count how many times I've watched it, but it was a great pick-me-up anytime I had needed a little break while working on the computer last week.

I found out it was from some movie called "Perfect", and all week, I looked forward to renting it (thank you, Amazon) and seeing if the movie could possibly live up to the hype of this shorter video clip.

Shockingly, it did. I have a few comedies that make me laugh until my belly aches- (Waiting for Guffman, Zoolander, the original Dumb and Dumber) and I have to say, although this isn't a comedy, the way it's aged since 1985 has morphed it into a very, very funny movie.
I can't imagine how Jamie Lee Curtis was able to pull some of these aerobic thrusting scenes and those faces she made without laughing.  And I wonder what that's like for her to watch it now, with her husband, Christopher Guest beside her.  I only wish he would decide to make some sort of a movie spoof on this whole premise. 

That premise being... How the co-ed workout clubs of the 80s were the new singles scene at the time. I guess men and women working out together in the same athletic club was very cutting edge at the time. I love the leotards.  Everyone's legs looked so long!  I think aerobic "dance" classes were probably a new concept then too, and one of the main moves in the choreography was the pelvic thrust.  It was used often and suggestively throughout the movie.  These scenes would go on for a good 5 minutes, and there were several of them.

Anyway, it may not have been a good movie when it came out, but now, 32 years later, it's pretty mesmerizing.  You will not be bored I promise.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Upcoming Repurposing Projects

I was sifting through my hoard of vintage jewelry pieces earlier this week.  I picked a few things that I set aside so that over this weekend, and next week, I can clean these things up, and make them into something new. Here are the things I picked:
various vintage costume jewelry pieces circa 1950-1970
All of them definitely need a little TLC, started with a good cleaning.  A few of them are broken. Some of them have lost their mate and therefore need to find a new purpose.  Some of them, okay ALL of them, need updates for sure.

 vintage Richelieu earrings
The rhinestone and faux pearl earrings are extremely grimy, but I see serious potential!  They will soon be morphing into a pair of pierced earrings, with small changes that will give them an updated look, while still keeping their vintage charm.  That's the plan anyway!

vintage heart jewelry

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about mismatched earring pairs.  I've looked at lots of other jewelry designers creations for inspirations on this.  With Valentine's Day about a month away, hearts seemed like a good idea right about now.  I think these two hearts compliment each other well and will make a great pair of mismatched earrings.  The gold heart was a charm, and the green heart was a small pin.  I've already removed the back, and have added an attachment to that it can easily be made into an earring soon.  Not exactly sure of my design yet, but I can't wait to figure it out.  I'm really excited about these!
art deco rhinestone earring

This is one lone earring who lost it's mate.  And is missing several of it's smaller rhinestones. It looks odd clipped on to an ear actually anyway.  I like the idea of how this will hang as a focal point for a necklace.  It's very cool and is full of possibilities to be a gorgeous, one of a kind necklace.  It's probably been very bored for the last 50 years or whenever it lost it's partner.  But to this lonely earring I say~ it's time to reinvent yourself and get back out there!

1950s rhinestone earrings
Lastly, these pretty 1950s rhinestone earrings... One has lost it's clip and is missing a small rhinestone. I think (and hope) I just might have a spare rhinestone the right size around here somewhere. And they're both very dirty.  But neither of those things is a big deal or a reason to be shut up in someone's drawer any longer.  I can't wait to do something with these two!

So there it is.  I've got my fun work cut out for me.  Sometimes, I have so many projects I want to do that I get a little overwhelmed, and then nothing gets done.  So I've narrowed it down just just these 4 things that I've posted here today.  My plan is to post up all the "after" pictures on the blog next week!  Yay for accountability!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I have watched this little video a few times today, and tear up each time I see it.  I LOVE to watch someone's raw emotion- when it's something sweet like this.

As I'm sure you've heard, President Obama surprised Joe Biden with the Medal of Freedom today.

I was also going to post Biden's great speech after, but decided to keep it short here.  You can dig that stuff up on YouTube on you're own, and see as much of this whole thing as you want. And I highly recommend it!

It's so endearing to see their mutual admiration and appreciation and well, ...LOVE for each other. That is not politics we're seeing.  That's just real human connection.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why I Have Type 1 Diabetes

I have Type 1 diabetes, which is a auto-immune disease.  It's a debatable as far as what the trigger is that makes some people get it. All that's known for sure, is that my own body attacked the cells that produce insulin, so I don't make my own.  Instead, I inject insulin throughout the day... mainly when I eat anything. 

Not to sound too much like my dad BUT... he always, always, always brags about how he never gets sick-Like him... rarely do I get sick. (knock on wood) Sometimes, I feel like I'm coming down with something, but my body seems to fight if off before I actually declare myself SICK.

Last night, I woke around 3am feeling awful.  I was chilled and achy and a little nauseated.  I thought for sure I would be in bed all day today feeling miserable. But when I woke up this morning around 7am, I felt a little off, not 100%, but I was able to go on about my day.  And now, later in the afternoon, I'm feeling even better.

I like to believe that I have a very strong immune system.  My own non-scientific explanation of why I have Type 1 is because my immune system is so hyper-vigilant, that it actually just overdid it one day and went nuts on those insulin producing cells, mistaking them for an intruder that needed to be taken out...  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Own Munchausen

After writing my post yesterday about the book I'm reading My Sweet Angel, which covers the topic of Munchausen by proxy, I read a little more about that disorder online here.

Munchausen by Proxy is psychological disorder in which "the parent (usually the mom) either fabricates an illness or induces an illness in their child." As I had previously mentioned, I've read about that topic before and found it fascinating.  It all sounds so gross and pathetic for a mother to get such pleasure out of all the attention that comes with having a sick kid.

The part of the term "by proxy" is defined in the urban dictionary as "the ability to do or be something without actually physically doing it."  Oddly, you don't find much online about Munchausen without the by proxy.

I got to thinking about my own odd childhood behaviors around the topic of Munchausen.  When I was early elementary school age, I loved "being sick" and staying home from school.  Mom would make a trip up to the school to pick up my homework, the teacher would send me little "get well soon" note, and I got to eat jello and watch tv all day. Fun! Once, in 3rd grade, I missed a solid 2 weeks of school due to a SEVERE cold.

Another time, around that same age, a girl in my class broke her arm and got a lot of attention.  It seemed pretty awesome to me as I watched people fawn all over her.  Her cast was signed and decorated by all the kids in the class.  It looked like such a fun adventure that I wanted a broken bone too!  So I started jumping off our trampoline in the backyard at home, landing in odd positions in the hopes that something would break.  But, I was apparently made of pretty tough stuff and nothing broke.  I did however, somehow talk my mom into getting me a sling for my fake injured arm.  But the sling just wasn't as cool as a cast and I never even wore it to school.

Moving along with a new tactic for injury, I tried hitting my ankle with my baton over and over until it looked a little red and swollen.  I claimed that someone stepped on it during storytime at school.  Mom actually took me to the doctor, and although it wasn't broken, maybe it was sprained or strained he said, so.... I got crutches!  I totally one upped the other girl in my glass with the arm cast. I needed even more help and attention than she did because of my crutches.  All the fun came to a quick end after about 2 days.  I was getting blisters on my armpits from those crutches because they were rubbing against my skin.  Painful.  Although I wanted attention for having a fake broken bone, I did not want the pain.  So, I ditched the crutches, claimed a miraculous recovery, and went on with my life.

Thank God I got over my Munchausen.
And thank God my Mom never had it by Proxy!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Why Must I Read This Kind of Crap?!

This was my most recent haul from the public library...
Recently, I've decided to think a little more about the books I choose to read.  I wrote a blog post about it a few weeks ago that you can read here. I tend to lean towards crime/suspense type novels.  Sometimes, true crime, but usually fiction.  Books like Gone Girl.  Books that probably are just not all that good for me. And while I'm not swearing them off completely, I am cutting way down on them.

So, the fact that of these 4 books I got from the library, only one is anything about murder is progress towards that goal.

However, when I sat down with all of them over the weekend to see which one I wanted to read first... Guess which one I went with?  Ugh.  Yep, the true crime book called My Sweet Angel. It had me at munchausen by proxy. I've read about this weird psychological disorder before and found it fascinating. It's when a parent, I think it tends to usually be the mom, thrives on having a sick kid that she can take to the doctor all the time.  Thrives on it so much, she causes her child to be sick.  And often, it leads to the child's death. Super, duper weird.  My Sweet Angel is the story of a woman that clearly has munchausen by proxy and killed her 5 year old son, after making him sick for his entire life.  But I promise, after I read this one gross book, I'll fill my head with better stories of hope and triumph.

I mean it this time.
Don't judge me.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I'm Keeping Him

Like I said in my post yesterday, I have a thing for vintage costume jewelry.

Also, like I said, I opened up my online shop, Resparkable Vintage, so that I could make a little money to support my habit. I recreate, or repurpose vintage jewelry into new, more wearable pieces.  I also sell some pieces in their original condition, if they're in great condition and don't need any repairs.  Sometimes, it's hard letting certain items go, but I just remind myself that the more I sell, the more I can buy!  And, I want to spread these pretty things around- there's really no good reason to hoard them and keep them all to myself.

So, when I ran across this little penguin pin, I fully intended to sell him.  I even went so far as to list him in my shop late Friday afternoon.

such a dapper little fellow!
He's over 50 years old, but he still sparkles and looks pretty flawless to me!  He's got 9 (my lucky number!) royal blue rhinestones on his belly, and the rest of him is a brushed gold tone metal. He's a signed J.J. (Jonette Jewerly Co.) figural pin, which are highly collectable little pins. 

Knowing how special he is, I figured my days with him were numbered, so I pinned him to a baby blue sweater I wore to a dinner party on Friday night.  He added just the right amount of sparkle I needed, and although he's small, he does make a statement.

This morning, as I was getting dressed, I decided to pin him to another sweater... and again, he added the perfect amount of sparkle and made me feel so happy. 
say hello (again) to my little friend
Throughout the day, I kept thinking of all the things I could pin him to, and how cute he'd look on all of it. Except....I knew he'd be waddling off into the sunset with some other girl soon.  I was just keeping him warm for the next lucky person.

I posted something on Facebook about him, and wrote something about my fondness for him.  My brother wrote, "Maybe he's a keeper." The second I read that, I knew that was true.  Maybe someday I'll be ready to sell him, but not today!  He is a keeper. Why in the world was I selling him if I feel this way about him? 

So nope, he won't be waddling off into the sunset with anyone else... He's my lucky little penguin and I'm keeping him!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vintage Jewelry Junkie

Hi.  I'm Kerri.  And I'm a Vintage Jewelry Junkie.

There.  I've said it.  Admitting you have a problem is the first step, so they say.

I'm not even sure when my habit of buying costume jewelry got so out of hand.  I went to estate sales very regularly- Thursdays and Fridays of most weeks- and little by little, my collection started growing. It seemed so innocent at first.  Jewelry is so little that I could come home after a whole day of "estate sailing" with just one innocent little bag full.  I never needed any help with carry out, and no one but me really knew how much I was accumulating.

Eventually, not only was I going to these weekly estate sales, but I was going to auctions, flea markets, antique shops and even bidding online for jewelry. 

At some point, I had to buy some storage containers to hold and organize my growing collection. And then I had to buy more containers.  And more. Then, I dedicated a closet in a guest bedroom to all things vintage jewelry.

So there it is.  I can't seem to stop it with my vintage jewelry addiction.  Clearly, I buy a lot of it. Some might say, too much. I realize it's much more than one girl could ever put to use on her own. But it is what it is.

Nearly 2 years ago, I opened up my Resparkable Vintage Etsy shop online. I decided to start selling some things mainly to support my habit. In my shop, I sell vintage jewelry, and I also sell repurposed vintage. The more I sell, the more I can buy.  And since I'm not even considering giving up my habit just yet, it seemed (and still seems) like my only option.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow Day in Dallas

Hammock in the snow

You may think we're lazy people around here, to have our hammock out in the middle of Winter.  I mean, c'mon!  There's snow on the ground!  Who's gonna lay in that any time soon?

Actually, me.  I plan to lay in it in the next few days.

That's the thing about living in Texas.  You can never really put your hammock away, except honestly- in the summer time when the mosquitoes and extreme heat make it a miserable experience.  In the Winter, Spring and Fall our hammock gets the most use.

Although it's snowing and 22 degrees currently- after the weekend, we'll be back up in the 60s and 70s.  I'm not kidding. Monday's expected high is 62, Tuesday's is 74. 

See?  We're not lazy.  We just like to plan ahead.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Starting a Bullet Journal

I've only  just recently started hearing about Bullet Journaling.  How am I so late to the game?  This idea is right up my alley!

The past few days, while waiting for the highly recommended Moleskin Dotted Journal to arrive from Amazon, I've been looking at Instagram feeds, and various blogs getting inspired.  If you just search the tag, #bulletjournal, well... you can get lost in it for hours upon hours like I have.

This was probably the first blog post I read about keeping a Bullet Journal. I knew it was for me immediately when I read this:

A bullet journal is good for…

- People who have a million little to-do lists floating around
- People who like pen and paper to-do lists
- People who are into goal-setting and habit tracking
- People who like stationery, journaling, scrapbooking, beautiful pens, etc.
- People who really love planners
- People who want to really love planners, or who want to be more organized
- People who would really like to keep a journal/diary but are having trouble sticking with the habit
Ummm... yes.  Yes to all of the above!

Over the weekend, I went up to Michael's to look at what kind of cute stickers and paraphernalia I could find for my new obsession.  But I know how ridiculous I can be when I'm first excited about a new endeavor, so believe it or not, I didn't buy anything that day.  I decided I'd start with what I already have sticker-wise, washi-tape wise, and colored pen-wise. I had great self control that day and vowed to only buy things for journaling when the need actually arises.  I have tons of that stuff already, and for years, I didn't even really know why.  I just buy it and look at it and think, "Gosh, I LOVE this stuff."  Maybe Subconscious Kerri new about Bullet Journaling long before Conscious Kerri picked up on it.

Being that it's the new year, it's the perfect time to get started on this thing!  I've got so many new habits I want to implement and keep track of and now I feel like I have a fun way to do it.

My moleskin journal was suppose to arrive yesterday "by 8pm", the tracking said.  But something went wrong, and now the Amazon site is telling me it's out for delivery and I'll have it today by 8pm instead.

I'm ready to bite the bullet.  I'll definitely keep you posted as I go along...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Canadian Goose

Here in Dallas, it doesn't get very cold.  But when it gets cold, we are not acclimated for it.

Just a few days ago, it was 70 degrees.  Just now, I got in from a walk and it's 35 degrees, but my weather app says it feels like 30. 

But I love it!  I'm so happy that it actually feels like winter today. And that I can finally put on my new Canadian Goose coat Fermin gave me for Christmas.  The only thing that felt cold while I was outside was just the parts of me that stuck out beyond my coat.  My face felt absolutely frozen.  If only Canadian Goose could come out with a face mask!

I'll probably only get to wear my new coat a handful of days as long as we're in Dallas.  But I'm all the more ready for Colorado now!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The New Celebrity Apprentice

The host of The Celebrity Apprentice is no longer Donald Trump.  And the catch phrase is no longer, "You're Fired!"
You're Fired

Because, as you know, that guy has gone on to be the President-Elect of the United States.

Now, the host is Arnold Schwarznegger.  And he doesn't fire people... He instead tells them, "You're terminated. Get to the chopper."  Yes.  It's true.  He even threw in a, "Hasta la vista, Baby."

You're terminated.
I was thinking just how stinky that board room must be, as he lights up a cigar towards the end of the show. He also insists that the "celebrities" refer to him as Governor in the board room.  Even though he's no longer the Governor of California.  Hmmm.

Is this real life?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Self Imposed Deadline

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I've been wanting to start a podcast for months.  So many months, that we may actually be talking about a year. But obviously, a podcast is not something a boss is demanding of me.  No one's going to fire me if I don't do it.  And there isn't going to be a protest in the streets if I never get around to it.

Yet, I'm sort of driving myself crazy with the wanting to do it, without the follow thru.

So boss or no boss, I set a deadline for myself, to take what seems like the first step. One little step. My simple task, which really doesn't sound so overwhelming is this:  
Make an outline for the first 10 episodes of my podcast.

When I set that deadline, I thought I was being overly generous with the amount of time I was giving myself.  I was giving myself 3 weeks. I figured with the holidays, I'd be busy, or lazy, or whatever.  So I went easy on myself and just gave it a good solid 3 weeks.  I figured sitting down to do the outline might take an hour or two at most.  And then I'd marinate on it and make some tweaks here and there and then by 3 weeks... it would be masterful.

That was the plan.  But you know what they say about plans...

Now, I've got one week remaining until that self-imposed deadline.  And I have given my outline no time at all so far.  

But fortunately, I saw that looming deadline on my calendar this morning, as I looked at January for the first time.  And it reminded me, I better get crackin'.  Because although there is no boss that's going to fire me over this, I will be disappointed in myself for letting this procrastination continue. Putting stuff off, or having the "I-want-to-do" list remain stagnant never feels good.

Even if the outline I make is a disaster, and I realize I don't have enough ideas for my podcast, that will tell me something valuable.  That will be a step forward.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. 
The Dallas Skyline- With a NYE Firework Display for 2017!
For the past several years- with the exception of a year or two here and there, I've gone to my friend's NYE party. (The above picture is the view from their balcony. And it wows me every time I'm there.) No one gets dressed up, and no one drinks much (if at all).  We stay in, eat some snacks, play some board games, and get caught up.  It's very low key. And for me, it's the best party in town. So once I got invited the first time, I decided this was the place I really loved to be as we mark the end of one year, and welcome in the next.

They always have stacks of colored sticky notes and Sharpie pens to write down New Year's resolutions, or goals, or whatever you want to call them.  You can write one or more, or none.  At some point, if you feel like writing one down and sticking it on the "Resolution Ladder", you do it. If you want to initial it, great.  If you don't, great. Like the party itself, the resolution making is very low key. 

Previous year's sticky notes with resolutions are usually posted somewhere, so it's always fun to look at what we intended to do over previous years and whether we accomplished those goals or not.  Sometimes, you see the same damn resolution, over and over, year after year.  But that's life, right?  You have good intentions, and sometimes, you live up to them.  Sometimes, they fall by the wayside.  But if you want, you get another crack at it the next year.  And the next. And the next. 

Last night, I saw some previous resolutions I had made. I didn't really remember them, let alone, achieve them.  Which was a great reminder:  If I really want to work at something and make it happen, I need it in my awareness on a regular basis.  Because life fills up with so much.  You have to choose what you're going to focus on.

So I'm writing my goals on my own proverbial sticky notes, and putting them on my own proverbial ladder where I can see them daily so that this year- 2017- can be one of my best years yet!

The 2017 Resolution Ladder.  With previous years sticky notes photo copied to the left and right.
This is Day 1 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  I'll be writing every day during the month of January.  What a perfect time to start a more regular blog writing practice.  Happy New Year, Everybody!