Talking to Strangers

Had to call tech this morning to help me with setting up DNS for a website and got a very nice guy on the phone. He took about 15 seconds to help me and the rest of our nearly hour-long talk was about moving to a new state (or part of a big state, in my case,) family, religion vs. spirituality, death, suicide, tattoos, art, love, allergies vs. colds (I have the former, he the latter) and we were quick friends probably never to speak again in our lives. Who knows. It was a wonderful conversation and he made my entire week. I love him and I don’t even know him.

His nephew lives in Texas and I urged him to visit. He’ll be riding a Harley, or so he said. I hope so.

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2nd Pfizer Shot and the After-Effects

Photo Make Corona Small Again by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

After waiting the 3 weeks for the 2nd Pfizer shot, the anticipation of side-effects was unnerving. I was a slight wreck knowing what could happen. So many of my friends (particularly on Facebook) had spilled the reality of chills, fever, fatigue, nausea, and feeling like they’d been hit by a truck…. so I was duly anxious about my own suffering after the 2nd shot.

It wasn’t that bad. I slept a LOT, the worst being joint pain (arthralgia), a little dizziness, and general fatigue. The side-effects listed on medical websites included headache, fatigue, chills and shiver, diarrhea, fever, arthralgia, myalgia, and nausea; solicited local side-effects included local pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, itch, warmth, and swollen armpit glands. Coulda been MUCH worse.

I did have severe local pain where they stuck me, as I did with the first shot. That pain has yet to subside enough to raise my arm without helping it up. Yoga was fun. Had to help my arm up with my other arm. But sleep came quickly around 9pm despite taking cat naps throughout the day, while the dreams were intensely active and any waking was immediately followed by slipping back into dreamland. Roughly 65’ish hours later, I feel pretty good. And I’m at least temporarily immune to COVID until I’m not, while being less susceptible to severe illness from the virus.

Bravo to everyone who worked to get these vaccines out to the public as quickly as they did. It went VERY smoothly, fairly easy sign-up to “get in line” both times, and all the volunteers who were administering shots, and the others who ushered us in and out, were stellar in their tasks. A truly remarkable nationwide event. Thank you.

‘Time to get back to creating beauty…


Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

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Stuffing Plush Frogs for a Friend

White Frog cloth cutouts

Recently a friend asked if I’d like to create some frog forms to stuff. I was ON IT…

  1. I had never created a stuffed plush before, at least not on this scale (and previous attempts were thwarted by the difficulty of stuffing stuff);
  2. The pattern became a little complex in that I had to intuit the differing sizes and layout as I sewed;
  3. I’m madly in love with the white fur frog.

It was a pleasant weekend experience but it was also VERY time-consuming. Cutting the pattern and sewing together the top/bottom went fast; stuffing the frogs wasn’t as straight-forward. I tried using only the poly-fil dry fiber, which is great for giving the frogs “scaffolding” and helping them sit up, but made the the frog forms stiff and very un-interesting. Because poly-fil pellets are INSANELY expensive, I used rice or beans for the arms & legs so they’d be more floppy, but too many beans and/or rice made the figures collapse when I sat them up. Sitting up is probably the way they’ll be displayed so it’s a balancing act between the lighter-weight fiber fill and the heavier beans or rice. If there’s a formula out there for using both successfully, I haven’t found it yet.

Let me know if you’ve come across this problem and how to trouble-shoot a solution without too much difficulty.

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From Being Carded to the Suggestion of a Senior’s Discount

It wasn’t too long ago, maybe 10 years or so, that I was last carded. The college-age waiter was probably bucking for a big tip as he checked out my ID, but it felt nice. My favorite moment of being carded, only a year or so earlier, was while checking out at Central Market. The cashier was giving me some major evil eye; I thought she might be a lesbian and that was her sexy look, or maybe she thought I’d stolen something? (it was quite an evil eye) when finally, after the conveyor belt of foodies displayed coho salmon, endive salad, an expensive Prosecco, and dark chocolate, she asked “could I see your ID?”

Ahhhhh, yes! Of course! My ID!!! really??? then wondered how many women under 21 bought that level of taste and sophistication for dinner.

Fastforward to yesterday when I picked up a couple of bottles of wine and some beer for a party I was attending. The guy, a nerdy middleaged man, asked to see my ID….. um, why?…. (I look roughly my age, emphasis on ‘roughly’ with the rainy weather)

Him: I thought you might qualify for a senior’s discount

Me: (showing my ID while evil-eyeing him)

Him: Oh, you’re not quite there yet! I’ll be there in a couple of years, looks like you’ll get there sooner!


Was he trying to make me feel good about almost making it to the fucking senior’s discount?
I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or ball punch the prick. Considering there was the foodie conveyor belt between us, punching him in the balls was out, and I wasn’t in the mood to get moody over this shit, so I laughed and walked away with my booze.

Then proceeded to get pretty schnockered at the party.

I have nothing against senior discounts and intend to use them ALL when I get there, but this idiot’s social skills could render him a eunuch someday…

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Three Months In, Still a Pandemic

So we’re now 3 months into 2021, still fighting a pandemic, while millions of Americans have finally been vaccinated. This is only slightly comforting. All the while I’m still isolating, building art garments and creating beauty, taking care of my acreage and my animals, and connecting with friends as often as possible. I am living life, just not quite like it was before. I’m patient. I know things will change.

Still creating robes of various sizes and colors, now I’m pajama deep into making adorable children’s sizes. I’m also in search of the perfect fabric for a ‘smoking jacket’, the kind Bond may have worn, or maybe Gomez Addams while hanging out with Morticia, doing absolutely nothing but adoring her while puffing on his stogie.

Creating something unique is cool; creating something iconic is way cool. Even better? creating it in miniature size.

Around here it’s always ‘back to work’ because those smoking jackets for kids sure as hell won’t sew themselves…

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The Golden Thread

I was never really great at anything even though I was willing to try. Actually I was pretty good at drawing as a child… I was obsessed with building layouts and blueprints to a strangely excessive level for a 4-year-old. But that’s another story for another day.
My sister could sew, she made good grades, socialized well, had a car at 15’ish while I didn’t get my first car until I was over 18.
While I was none of the above – but perceived everyone as having a skill, or a talent, or a gift – I got by pretty well pretending to display those qualities.

photo of golden thread, but not THE golden thread.
Piece of golden thread, but not the actual golden thread of my childhood

One day on the way home from school, I was probably in the 2nd or 3rd grade, I spotted a little golden mass of yarn on the sidewalk. It couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 inches long, all curled into itself. I picked it up and started fiddling with it, and I kept fiddling with it, thinking if I could maneuver it just enough to make it into something resembling a sweater, then it would magically become one (I knew how to Dream Big at an early age.) But it never became anything other than the golden piece of yarn it was. Maybe it was that small but significant confidence I was feeling, that something in my hands could be transformed into something else, that later caused me to push hard to paint, to draw, to sew better, to somehow create something out of practically nothing.

Fast forward to my much older self: I’m a maker now. I make things out of other things and, in return, they make me happy. When others see my work, it appears to make them happy, too. Isn’t that what makes life so rich and expansive?

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