Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jan against machine

What started out as a really good day quickly turned sour.  I took the Igster to daycare and needed to pick up some sour cream for the coffee cake I was going to bake.  Not being a big fan of Pick n Save, but it was right on the way home and with the price of gas, it became an option.  I walked in and went to the dairy case, picked out 3 containers of sour cream and some butter, because I figured if I was going to run out of anything it would be butter.  I walked the mile back to the check out counters and there is no one checking out, no human that is?  So, there are a few customers using the do it yourself lanes and I am not a fan of those either.  I push the Start button and scan your first items is said to me.  I scan a sour cream, dink, it registers, Place item in the bag, I did, place item in the bag, I did, place item in the bag, I DID!!!  Figuring it wasn't going to stop telling me to put it in the bag, I tried to scan another item dink it worked, then another sour cream, nothing, another sour cream nothing.  Then out comes, place item in the bag...again.  I leaned forward and said, I DID!!!  Finally a kid came over and said they are having problems with the machines?  Well then why is no one checking out?  So I said to the kid, I did not start out my day to fight with a machine and he said neither did I .....we were both laughing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Been a while

Can I tell you what a blast I have been having.  I am selling off stuff that I have been dragging around for a while and I put it on Craigslist and cleaning house.  I feel much better, some of this has been a weight around my neck and I am letting go.  I am in a few challenges, one is the Sketchbook Challenge and the other is the Fiber Art Challenge at Fiberwood Studio, the challenge is called "Changes".  I have the last one done, and the Sketchbook challenge is every month, this month is "Spilling over".  I love the fact that I am being expanded to create more and more and I love this kind of challenge.  Now if it were a foot race, I would let you win, these are not winning things, these are just what their name is "Challenges". I am on an endless challenge to clean up and make my basement studio workable.  It is an endless state of chaos, and that is pretty much how I roll.   Try as I might to clean up and organize, my default setting is organized mess.  I am hand knitting a sock from handspun yarn, it has a shaped instep, so it is proving to be kind of weird.  All is well here,  Life is good.

Friday, March 11, 2011

In a time of Pain

It is the time of year when many people get depressed.  The political unrest, the economy, and now the earthquake.  The color here in Wisconsin is blah and after a long winter, it takes a pretty hardy person to endure the long dismal days of this Season.  I was cleaning stuff out and found this little story by Charles Swindoll, from many many years ago.  I thought it was appropriate
The Oyster and it's Pearl
Pearls are the product of pain.  For some unknown reason, the shell of the oyster gets pierced  and an alien substance- a grain of sand- slips inside.  On the entry of that foreign irritant, all the resources within that tiny, sensitive oyster, rush to the spot and begin to release healing fluids that otherwise would have remained dormant.  By and by the irritant is covered and the wound is healed.  by a pearl. No other gem has such a fascinating history.  It is the symbol of stress...a healed wound an precious tiny jewel conceived of irritation, born of adversity, nursed by adjustment.  Had there been no irritating interruption, there would have been no pearl.  Some oysters are never wounded...and those who seek for gems, toss them aside, fit only for stew.
No wonder our heavenly home has as it's entrance "pearly gates".  Those who go through need no explanation.  They are the ones that are bruised and have responded to the sting of irritations with the pearl of adjustment.  It is possible to endure adversity and come out a winner.  When your first irritation of the day comes along, quickly tell yourself, "God is in control"  and mentally make the pearl of adjustment.
I think I know very many Pearls, I just love this comparison or description, and when I get to feeling like, "shit", I think of what a pearl I will be.
If you are feeling down take a moment to think of how beautiful you are going to become from that little piece of irritation!!!

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Small Security and Comfort

A small endearing little gesture, a couple holding hands.  You don't see it so much anymore.  I was in my car and a young couple was crossing the street and the guy put his hand back to lead her across the street with him securely guiding her.  I miss that, it is such a sweet sincere thing.  Sometimes you see older couples walking hand in hand and it just makes me smile.  There is a tenderness when a man wraps his hand around yours and makes you feel so safe.  I remember the first time I held hands with a guy, his name was Peter, he was a little dorky, this coming from the tom boy dork.  We walked to the Zoo with about 10 other kids and he grabbed my hand and my heart jumped.  I looked at his big 8th grade hand encompass my girly hand and I think I can almost still see it.  I feel in love with his hand, it looked so tan and masculine holding mine.  Seriously he was just a body connected to "that hand".   I always liked holding hands.  One bad experience was one Sunday when I was real little we went to church and a lot of men had those gray tweedy dress coats and my dad had one.  I got pushed away from my dad and saw his coat and and grabbed the hand hanging there and then looked up to see it wasn't my dad, sheer panic, but my dad grabbed me and lifted me into his arm and saved me.  They both exchanged laughs but I still remember how panicky I felt.  Good thing it wasn't the pirate or I would have been scarred for life, and that my friends is another story.  The last time I held my boyfriends hand that I remember we were sitting on the couch pretending we at a movie, he was too sick to go anywhere and we had popcorn, soda and a movie on TV.  He was a good hand holder, and I can still see his hand too, it was rough and calloused from Ironwork, but it made me feel so secure.  I am missing him today, a little more than usual.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Baby I'm amazed!

Can I just say how much I love music.  I am watching the DVR with Oprah and she has talented kids on.  Lenny Kravitz just came out and is jamming with a teen, like they have played together for years.  How do they do that?  He just gave the kid a signed guitar, what a great gift, what a great talent.  I am one of those people that God did not grant the gift of music to.  My gift is my creative brain/mind and hands, but he did give me the gift of appreciation.  I appreciate music and I am not picky, I love Opera to some Rap and everything in between.  I love the twang of the Hillbilly music my dad loved, I secretly love the backwoods country/bluegrass, to the Black Eyed Peas.  My music collection is eclectic, I love yodeling, and if I hear a Native drum beat my body moves to it.  I love Pink Floyd, AC/DC,  Led Zeppelin.  God gave me the ability to turn on electronics, Ipod, stereo, Pandora and appreciate the music of others.  Don't get me wrong I have tried my hand at playing an instrument, I envisioned myself playing folk guitar on the porch with my  halter top on and ripped jean shorts and wedge sandals.  Oh yeah, my long dark hair swishing around as I sang from my heart, when in fact.  We had no porch, I had a guitar but baby I could only pick, G-L-O-R-I-A  Glllllooooooorrrria, so slow I made it into a waltz.  I don't know what a rift is or a bridge unless it's the thing you drive over.  My dad could blow a harmonica like a star, I blew spit into it and swelled the reeds and made my tongue raw.  I just don't have it.  I love to sing and loud, because the rule is if you sing loud you sing well...LOL  NOT.  So I have the greatest appreciation for music, not mine but for other gifted people that have that talent.  I will stick to what I do best fiber.  It is my passion.  Now to put on some music.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

End in sight?

I really don't want to get involved with this political stuff, I am tired of this bickering.  I understand people are upset, I understand we have problems to fix.
There are so very many things we are never made aware of, until after decisions have been made and the damage is done.  Our State is in financial crisis, as are many families.  So the first thing a family has to cut to try to make ends meet is probably Cable TV, or at least premium channels.  I had to do this and I enjoy my TV, but something had to give.  I am not a martyr in any way, but people are complaining that the parks are going to take a hit.  Well look at it this way, I love my parks like anyone else, if in fact I love it that much there is nothing stopping me from going and planting a million dollars worth of flowers, other than I don't have that kind of money, or mowing some grass.  We can live without "beautiful" parks and they can be regroomed when the economy kicks in.  The land won't disappear, it will go back to what it once was.  I say let the parks go.  Education trumps all of the Parks and Parties.  We need to educate our children and young adults, this also falls on the parents.  I think it was last year that MPS was giving Ipods to students that came and ate breakfast for free. Excuse me did I say that right?  Yes, they want to encourage children to come and eat a free breakfast.  Here is my take on that.  Tough crap!  If you don't want to come and eat, I am not going to bribe you with a steak let alone an Ipod for which you need an account to upload songs and if you are eating free breakfast you don't have the money to buy songs, you should buy food.   What is that about?  Now I do believe that the children shouldn't have to pay for their parents inability to feed them and they should get food at school, but when I was poor, I would buy a loaf of cheap gooey white bread and generic peanut butter, we had to eat it not only for lunch but sometimes supper.  I am not a fan of PB & J to this day, I have had enough.  My son did not get free "anything" at school.  So MPS wastes alot of money and I don't care where it came from Federal whatever, put it to better use, you are not a soup kitchen, educate our children to get better jobs.  Little known fact, my SIL works at  company that sells bags and boxes, here in Milwaukee, Ex Gov Doyle sweetend the pot for an Illionois company to come to Wisconsin to help create jobs, I am not sure of the actual $$ amount but it was let's just say billions.  The company moved across the border in Kenosha and all of the workers commute except maybe 20 new hires.  Now that was profitable for Wisconsin.  How long will it be to recoop that billion?  Instead of working with companies here, we will bring other States companies and their workers over the border and still not create jobs.  They say if you want to fix the fat, ask the little people, the bottom feeders and the low on the totem pole people to find out what is going on above them.  We all are going to feel the pinch, as a small business owner I am feeling the bite, I am not alone and I know this.  I will survive this, but will our State if we don't all do something?  I do not believe in Union busting, but for over 30 years I paid to work, does that sound right?  If I didn't pay my dues, I would not have had a job, I paid into a pension that I am thankfully collecting and my family doesn't or won't have that ability.  If I missed a day of work, I did not get paid, I had no paid sick days, I did not get accumulated sick time.  I only got paid for the days I was at work.  In my Union contract, I paid into my health insurance, my vacation pay, my pension and negotiated raises that were for the last 20 years pretty much defunct.  These items were all negotiated, and called collective bargaining.  If you are Republican or Democratic, or Independent these are all Collective Bargaining units.  I am none of the preceding I am for a fair government.
I read this story many years ago and it has resonated with me forever, think about it.
A Repulican father calls his Democratic, college daughter and asks how she is doing in school.  "oh dad, I am working my butt off, trying to get good grades and I study and I am tired of all of this work, but I want to do well"  the father, I am proud of you sweetie, how is your roomate doing?  "Dad she is partying and having a great time but her grades reflect it, she is flunking."  there was a silence....Honey, why don't you go to the Dean and ask if you could take your A's and give some of that grade to your roomate to bring up her F to a C?  DAD!!  I work hard for those grades, she is out doing nothing, how can you even think that I should do that?   Honey welcome to the Democratic party.
I used to think that I wanted to be a Democrat because of course they believed in Democracy and defended our freedoms like speech etc.  I thought Republicans were affiliated to the Republic of China which I thought was bad.  Now I don't think either, I think Independently for the Right person to do the Job, I don't care what party is, they are all crooked and all have bad ideas and good ideas.  There is an old saying " when you retire you want a Democrat in office because they GIVE so much money away and while you are working you want a Republican in office. I am retired and have not got a break yet?   I just want someone to FIX this mess we are in, I don't care if they are a Factory worker, Millionaire, Nurse, Teacher, let's just all share this hit and  move on to a better Wisconsin, or we will all go down.  Besides I haven't done my taxes yet and I want my refund, if I get one.  I am done and this is the last you will hear from me about this subject.  We need help, we need to all share in the pains.  I don't know what it will take but we need to pay our debts.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Behind me now

With Sheep in the City behind me, I have been busy getting back into the groove.  I have some loose ends I need to finish.   I have my "Changes" necklace to finish.  I am spinning Quivet, need to finish that.  I bought some Alpaca,  want to spin that.  I have sweaters coming out of my ears and I need to catalogue or put them so I can see what I have to and this is a swear word "Organize" them.  The shop is clean after the show.  I just unpacked my suitcase, and filled the dirty clothes hamper, so that means wash.  I have my new Sketchbook challenge, "Spilling Over"  still thinking about it, I was going to do something with my brain spilling over, I need to think on that one.  Spinning Guild is this Thursday and I am the program, doing Garneted yarns.  So what am I doing?  Making notes..hey I went to visit my mom yesterday and I was laying on her bed watching her knit on a baby blanket she probably started 10 years ago.  It is a fan and feather knit, and it was so good to see her knitting and guess what she knits wrong, she twists her stitch on the purl...LOL  I tried to explain it to her and then I thought, who cares.  She mentioned there is an aide who is expecting and she would like to make this for her.  I told her I am a little embarrassed, here I own a yarn shop and she is knitting on crappy and I mean crappy acrylic.  LOL, she too laughed.  I will have to bring my knitting with me now.  I am going to buy her a shuffle today and put a book on it, so she can listen to a book while she is sitting in her chair.  I think the shuffle is easy enough for her to use, the only button she will need is the big middle one.  I hope.  It was cute, she took forever to get across the row and she said "look how slow I am"  I said when was the last time you knit??  Why do we expect to be so good at something we have not done in Years.  We are our worst enemies aren't we?  I want to go roller skating...can you say broken bones...I used to skate, but I want to do roller derby.  I think it would be great, what the hell am I thinking, I can hardly walk some days.  Our mind still thinks we should do it, but man our bodies say...hell no!!!  Step back and give yourself a break.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Spilling Over

That is the theme this month for the Sketchbook Challenge.  Last month it was "opposites"  I did a portrait profile, kind of like can you see the Old lady and the young girl.  This months theme is perfect, because my head is exploding with spilling over things. I have so much I want to do now that Sheep in the City is behind me.  I bought some beautiful gray alpaca to spin, it will make an awesome beret, or cowl, I do wear cowls.  I have some dying to do to make silk caps for the mitten class, coming soon.  I also have some dying to do for some nuno felting and hope to have a class when it gets a little warmer.  I think it is starting to feel like Spring is in the air.  It just smells like it outside, even though there is snow on the ground it smells like spring.  just a thought!!  So yesterday we go out for our walk and it looks like some furry animal has slept overnight in between my back steps and a trash can.  Iggy is smelling around the steps and I can see furry hair between the dark slot.  For fear that it is a rabid raccoon, or scratchy cat, I pull Iggy to the car and hope that the animal leaves now that we are gone.  I come home from taking him to daycare and it's still there, great, is it dead?  So I stand on the landing of the steps and pull a bag of garbage off the top so I can see it better and maybe it will take off running.  Uhhmm  it was a rice broom, that was bent over, no running away there.  I need some more sleep!!!