Cinderella, Cinderella!

I just watched a really cool documentary on the Doc Channel called The Cinderella's of Santa Fe. I taped it because it was set in New Mexico which I have developed a strange obsession with recently, but that is another post. It turned out to be a great example of indie work all around. It follows a group of women and one token guy who want to live out their creative dreams but have to make ends meet by working other jobs instead. Sound familiar? I thought many of you could probably relate and would like to know that you are not alone.

I loved all of the arty details of the film including the graphics and the music. I would recommend it if you are someone who dreams of being able to live life on your own terms. These ladies may not have all of the answers but it is nice to see the issues explored. Many of them complain about how the arts are so unappreciated in our country. They talk about their counterparts who have the same college degrees as themselves and are supported in their countries by grants and funding to be able to create full time. One of the slides said that the U.S. Armed Forces currently has close to 200 bands and that the funding that goes to support them is twice the annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts. All I can say to that is WHY?

There was also some interesting discussions of the Jungian archetypes of Cinderella, Evil Stepmother, and the Fairy Godmother, etc. I did not know that the Cinderella story was first seen in a Chinese tale dating back to 860 A.D. and has been seen in many cultures since. I like how they described the Stepmother/Stepsisters as representing all those people/forces keeping us from our dreams. For some of the girls the evil stepmother was actually found inside of themselves, including doubts of their abilities and talent. I think we can all relate to that.

It looks like the Doc Channel owns the rights to the film and it is on their regular rotation of films. The same filmmakers also made American Waitress, New Mexico which I have set to record later in the week. I'm looking forward to watching it too.


Random Thoughts

There is still time to buy your handmade Valentines cards from Hearts for Haiti with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Border's relief efforts in Haiti. Here are a few of my favorites that are for sale in the card section of their site. The top card was donated by jbart.etsy.com. This set of 20 mini cards portray images of original acrylic and digital artwork by Karen Altman. They would be perfect for you older child to pass out to their closest friends and are far superior to the standard fare found at the market. They were donated by twigstudionc.etsy.com.
I have bought Valentines Day gifts for just about everyone that I can think of from the site. I admit it's much harder to find gifts for the guys but I have managed. Since my shop is closed at the moment, I have their Etsy mini on the blog for now.

I have practically been a social butterfly this weekend. Last night I went out to dinner with Mike and his mother which is our traditional Friday night event. It's important to Mike that all three of us are there or it just isn't Friday night. This was the first in almost a month that I've managed to make it out. It was a hassle getting there obviously but it was well worth it. Today we had some company including Ani which lifted my spirits considerably. Tomorrow we have our Rep Theatre tickets for an afternoon showing. I called ahead and had mine changed to handicapped seating. I'm hopeful that it won't be too much trouble to get me there.

This week Ani was talking to me about some little power struggle going on in her classroom between the girls. I replayed it to a very uninterested Mike and then later when we were watching TV I had a revelation and said, "I think the real problem is M. not G." Mike said I think the real problem is that you need to get back to work so that you stop thinking about this elementary school drama.

He really wants me to try to get into work some next week. I just don't think it is worth it to spend an hour getting into the office with the drive and hassle of getting into the building, work for a half day and then turning around and doing it again to get home. Especially since it's really not busy right now. If it was three weeks ago when we were super busy I would make the effort but even my boss told me that it just isn't worth it right now. In 2 weeks I will hopefully be able to put some weight on it. I will still need my walker but it won't be like it is now. I think I will go back part time on days that I can get someone to stop by and help me get to my car the following week. After seeing me hop my way to the car, down the steps, and on the sloped driveway my mother in law has forbidden me from doing it by myself.

The worst pain I'm dealing with right now is actually from the incision on the right side. It's the one that only had 7 staples and 2 screws. The other side had 14 staples and 6 screws but it hasn't caused me much pain since a few days after the surgery. I think the surgeon pinched my skin when putting the staples in on the right side. Mike said they looked bunched up when they were removing them and there was a lot of bleeding. They are covered by some type of bandage so I can't see if there is anything wrong but Mike says I would know it if there was an infection. It burns and is uncomfortable but it is manageable so I'm not going to worry too much about it.

Hope you all are having a good weekend. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.


Wedding Planning From my Couch

My husband has had the same best friend since he was 4 years old. He grew up next door to Chris and Mike and his twin brother treated Chris like he was their triplet. He and Mike roomed together in college and when Chris moved back here 5 years ago they picked up their friendship as if they hadn't been apart for almost a decade, including starting the band Mike had always dreamed of. Chris brought his girlfriend Tif here to live and we have become good friends as well.

When I first met Tif I remember thinking that she was very sweet but that she was going to be too normal for me to get very close to her. My friends have always been a bit on the eccentric side and because of my own quirks it's important to me to know that other people have their own. Well, I totally misread Tif. Yes, she dresses relatively preppy, is very outdoorsy/athletic, and is a successful Professional Organizer (runs Your Life Organized in the St. Louis area.) All of these are about as opposite of me as you can get but underneath Tif has more than enough quirks to make it interesting. She has been a great inspiration to me in a lot of ways.

This summer Chris finally decided it was time to make it legal, after six years together and everyone close to them so sure that they were meant to be married. They are working with a very conservative budget and paying for much of the wedding themselves. They have downsized their expectations while still finding a water location in the area. There is going to be a lakeside wedding outdoors and the reception will be in the same location indoors. The boys will be playing their music at the reception.

I've been helping as much as I can from the couch since Tif is in the middle of her biggest season of the year at work and she has been struggling to get the planning started. I've enjoyed looking up photographers and narrowing the choices, looking at bridal shops and figuring out what other vendors we need to be booking. Her Mom is an artist and does booth designs so she will be in charge of the decorations but I'm hoping to help get the beach theme in place. Here is the website which she whipped up one afternoon for the wedding.

At the top of the page is the mood board I did for the wedding on Dessy Design a Wedding Styleboard Tool coordinated with the new Pantone Wedding system. I discovered the tool from Thyme2dream's blog. She is currently giving a $20 gift certificate to her Artfire shop to anyone who makes a mood board that uses one of her pieces. I found the hair comb which goes perfectly with Tif's theme and would look lovely in her long dark hair on the big day. As long as she likes it I plan on using the gift certificate to get it for her.

The dress if one that we found online that she really likes from David's Bridal. I found the picture of the cake which I think is so fun. She wants cupcakes which this has along with a small cake in the middle. The seashell decorations are the perfect beachy touch.

It has been really good for me to have something productive to work on during my sick leave. It looks like I'm going to have another week to be a horizontal wedding planner. The surgeon removed my staples on Monday and said things appeared to be healing properly. But they did not recommend that I go back to work next week. They want me to keep it elevated for another week to avoid swelling which could seriously slow down the healing process. I am going to play it by ear as we go forward.


Peace Paige

So the physical pain is mostly over from the fracture. I still have some discomfort if I move it the wrong way but I'm pretty much off all of the pain meds now. Now comes the part of my recovery which may be even more difficult for me I'm afraid. I have to keep myself from going into a major Depression from the boredom and inconvenience. I am highly susceptible to a depression this time of year even under normal conditions. The holidays are over and my craft show season is done so there is always a big letdown in January/February. Once Spring comes around I will get a pick up from the weather change and more light during the daytime.

With this situation taking me completely out of my routine for weeks of time if not months there is a big potential for a mental downturn. The only thing that I have going for me is the fact that I and my family are all on high alert for it. It is usually when I'm not expecting it and have my guard down that the worst depressions sneak up on me. In this case I'm watching for the signs and trying to stay positive as much as possible.

Mike and I both are great creatures of habit. This is one characteristic that most bonds us together. We hate change and we have our routines that we live by that helps keep us sane and balanced. The broken ankle has destroyed the routines completely. I have been sleeping on the couch every night since the fall. It is easier for me to get to the bathroom and I can slide on and off my rolling chair to get where I need to go in the house. Mike has been wanting me to use the walker more because it will help me get back more of my normal life. I got myself into bed yesterday which was a major accomplishment. I actually got emotional from the normalcy of laying in my own bed. The smells and the feeling of laying there was so sweet. It really is the little things that you miss when you can't get to them.

One of the ladies from the office came by on Friday to bring some cards and gifts and it was so nice to sit and gossip with her about the office for a few minutes. After I had told her all my stories about the fall/surgery she said, "I'm sure you don't want to hear what we talked about at the staff meeting this morning." I was like "no, please tell me." It was nice to be thinking about something from my normal life and not about my problems for a change.

I go in to see the surgeon tomorrow afternoon. He will remove the stitches and put on whatever permanent cast I will need. I'm hoping for an air cast since those can be removed and cleaned. I'm hoping that I will feel more confident and secure once I have a solid cast on my whole foot. I'd like to be able to go out to eat this week and we are going to figure out a way to get me back to work. I'm going to take this week off as there is nothing to rush back to right now. The semester started last week so the busy time is over. I need to work on getting myself out of the house, down the stairs, and into my car by myself. If this isn't going to be possible than I need to get my schedule worked out so that I can get rides from other people in the office from my area.

I have terrible balance and with the extra weight I'm carrying right now there is no way I will be able to use crutches to maneuver the steps. We rented a walker which I need to practice with and we also have the wheelchair that I can use once I get to the office. It is going to be difficult however you look at it. I really hope that my ankle is healing well and that I will be able to put weight on it in 3 or 4 weeks like he originally said would be possible if the surgery went well.

The pictures at the top are from a barn on the farm. My mom originally spray painted "congrats Angie, Sr. 89" on the barn when she graduated High School. She put "peace Paige, Sr. 91" when I graduated since I was such a flower child at the time, imagine that. There are pictures and dates for each of my other siblings as well. They are fading fast so I took a picture of them a few months ago when I was home.


Shopping For Haiti

I am starting to feel more human today and a bit more myself. While shopping around on Etsy I found a few co-op stores that are donating all of their proceeds to Haiti Relief. First up was Craft Hope. Here are the details:

All proceeds of the Craft Hope Etsy shop will benefit Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. All items have been generously donated by the crafting community. If you'd like to donate an item please visit the Craft Hope website (www.crafthope.com).

And then I found Hearts for Haiti. Here is their story:

This is an Etsy collective of donated items from hundreds of Etsy shops to raise money to rebuild Haiti. 100% of the proceeds from this shop (minus Etsy fees and Paypal fees) go directly to DoctorsWithoutBorders .... The theme for the next few weeks is on heart items but we have more than just that.

I did some shopping for myself, I totally needed a few treats after the week I've had. And then I forwarded the Hearts for Haiti link to Mike to do his Valentine's shopping. They have some great gift ideas. I told him to shop freely and without holding back, knowing that 100% of it was going to Doctor's without Borders.

After watching way more CNN than is good for anyone the past week I was looking for more ways to help. Giving cash is the only thing I knew to do from this couch. It's nice to find a way to combine some shopping with my donating. I have always supported Doctors without Borders and am happy that the money is going somewhere I trust.

Seeing the people laying on the streets with broken bones like my own going completely untreated has been so difficult. They are actually dying from these fractures as they go untreated and develop infections. I am so lucky to have access to the best treatment in the world and more pain meds than I want to take. It breaks my heart to think of the pain they must be in. So many of them have very treatable injuries with simple basic medicine. As I lay here with my pain under control and leg set and healing properly I feel blessed. Blessed beyond words...


Surgery is over

The surgery went fine. I had some very sweet nurses that took extra good care of me. The anesthesiologist was a funny guy and all in all the day wasn't as bad as I had been dreading. The print above of Sheldon Bunny is by Loser Pet Shop on Etsy. I can totally relate to his pain.

Last night is another story. The nerve blocker that was supposed to last 24 hours in my leg unfortunately wore off after just 8 hours. They had given me 2 of them knowing my history with dental pain blockers wearing off in mid procedure. I spent much of the night in horrible pain even with the painkillers. It is starting to get a bit less throbbing this evening thankfully.

I actually had to call the exchange in the middle of the night since I didn't know if I could stand it. My surgeon had made the prescription for only one pain med at a time. The last script had been for 1 or 2 as needed. I wanted to be sure that this one wasn't a much stronger one that would keep me from taking 2 at a time so I called just to be safe. They had a Dr. call me and he told me I could take 2 along with an Ibuprofen and to ice it down. It got me through the night and I've been okay with just 1 at a time today. I know that I have a very low pain tolerance but the intensity of this pain was overwhelming. It was a constant relentless pain, not just the throbbing that I had gotten used to.

As my sister said my body is probably annoyed that I let someone put foreign objects inside of me and is fighting back with the pain. There are actually 2 screws on one side and 6 on the other with the plate in between. I have no idea how big the incision is but I'm betting my career as a sandal model is definitely out at this point.

Thanks for your positive thoughts and prayers. Mom said that I was handling it much better than she would have expected. I can be pretty whiny on a good day so they weren't expecting me to be so positive with an actual crisis.


Just another Day

Yesterday wasn't as bad as it could have been. We managed to get in and out of the house/car without doing anymore damage to my ankle. I have a more solid cast on now so I'm not quite as worried about accidental pressure. We got to the medical center yesterday and into the waiting room when the front desk girl tells me that I was at the wrong office. They have 3 different locations which they neglected to tell me when I made the appointment. I got lots of sympathy from the old ladies waiting. One of the old men started telling Mike how to get to the other office. He said that it was less than 10 minutes away. His wife understood my pain and said, "but she already made it into the waiting room." That is the real battle at this point.

So we finally get to the correct appointment and we were in and out in less than an hour. The ortho surgeon told me what I knew he would, that he recommends surgery. He wanted to do it today but the swelling and bruising is so bad they have to wait a few more days. It's scheduled for Friday at 1:00. Mike will take off work and we have a 3 day weekend with MLK day on Monday so the timing is pretty good. I don't really feel like messing with a second opinion. He said all the right things.

He said that it will hopefully keep me from developing arthritis in it, will heal more quickly and correctly, and will actually be less painful in the long run. Of course the first 48 hours will be painful and difficult but after that there will be much less movement in the ankle. Right now every time I move I can feel the bones and ligaments popping and rubbing together. It is incredibly uncomfortable. He also said if all goes well I should be able to walk on it with a walking cast in 4 or 5 weeks. I won't be running any marathons this year but that can wait.

I got off the nasty Vicodin which wasn't allowing me to knit or do much of anything productive. I got a prescription for Darvacet which makes me sleepy but doesn't make my head feel like mush. I've only taken 3 today and I'll try to keep it that way tomorrow.

We've been trying different ways to get me around but so far the only thing that works in the house is my old reliable office chair. My couch is so low and without the strength I cannot pull myself up from it. I can scoot onto the chair and roll my self where I have to go. Mike has brought a few rentals in for me to try out but so far nothing has worked. The wheel chair was a real lifesaver yesterday getting me around town. Mike smashed his fingers in it when he was opening it up in front of the med center. He said it was twice as bad because he couldn't unleash the torrent of profanity he needed to because of the old lady brigade going into the building.

I went ahead and put my Etsy shop on vacation mode. I actually had a sale late last week but the buyer was very understanding. It's a Valentines gift so they are happy to wait until Mike can get it in the mail next week. I'll keep you up to date.


A Few More Days Of Hell

So I'm starting to adapt to my life as a temporary invalid. (Above is my foot in happier times this past summer on the farm.) My couch is my true domain for the time being. Mike is actually being a surprisingly good nurse. He is not the most patient man under most conditions but he is doing whatever needs to be done to get us through this situation. I am trying to stay positive but I had my first major meltdown this afternoon. I'd had a particularly rough bathroom trip, (I will spare you all the gory details). I lost it and started crying from the pain and the complete loss of dignity. Mike held my hand and comforted me for almost an hour.

I've only taken a few Vicodin today, only when I really needed them. I'm not at all crazy about how they make me feel so I really don't foresee a problem with getting off of them. It's like I'm fighting my way through cotton for the first few hours after I take one now. I can't form a coherent thought and I'm just in slow motion. It doesn't really put me to sleep either just a kind of hazy place. It does dull the pain, I just wish it didn't do the same to my brain.

We go to the orthopedic doctor tomorrow at 1 pm. Mike is going into work for the fist few hours and will then come home. I'm seriously dreading the transport process as much as what he might have to say to me. I have terrible upper body strength and pulling myself up and/or using crutches right now seems like an impossibility. Once I have a real cast on the ankle I'm hoping I will have more stability and confidence. Right now it has a splint and ace bandages wrapped around it. If I go down or put any accidental weight on it I could do some more damage. I do think the swelling has gone down so I hope he'll be able to tell me if I need surgery or not.

I have a friend who is a surgical nurse and she told me to try to avoid surgery if at all possible. I certainly will but if he says it is the only way for it to heal properly that is what I will have to do. If he seems at all uncertain I will probably go for a second opinion. I've had at least 4 people tell me the name of a good ortho Dr. so we shall see.

Some friends came over tonight and we watched the game and ate pizza. It was nice to have a bit of normalcy. She brought me a gift basket complete with yarn and stationary. This super sweet couple is planning their September wedding and so I offered to do some research for her on vendors and other wedding ideas. It will be something productive to do with my laptop as I recover. As I get a clearer head I will hopefully find some other ways to spend the weeks I will be off work doing something for the business. We shall see...


The Day From Hell

So we didn't get another snow day unfortunately for me. While I was scrapping my car off this morning I fell and fractured my ankle in two places. I drug myself through the snow to get to my purse and called Mike on my cell phone. He was thankfully off with a snow day and inside the house. It seemed like hours but I was probably only in the snow for less than 10 minutes. I'm still having flash backs of the helpless feeling I had as I laid there not knowing what to do . No one could see me from the road or if they could they didn't bother to stop and help. If I had been out there for much longer I quite possibly would have gotten frost bite, it was almost below freezing this morning.

He got me into my car and because it's my left leg we decided the quickest thing to do was for me to drive myself to the ER. The nurses said it was one of the first times they had seen someone with a fracture drive themselves to the hospital. The only other option was to call 911 and who knows how long that would have taken. When we got there it was already filling up with emergency situations because of the ice and cold. We were the first to get x-rays and got in and out in less than 3 hours which is pretty fast for this ER. I had to listen to a meth addict in the waiting room tell me about how she pulls her own teeth out with pliers but she couldn't get one this morning because it was in the back. I guess things could be worse.

Because it is fractured in two places I will probably have to have surgery to set it. That is going to be a total nightmare. My Mom will likely have to come up and help as Mike won't be able to take off to stay home with me that many days. I go in on Monday to see the ortho surgeon. I'm already dreading the getting in and out of the car.

Mike did go get me a fold up wheelchair which was only $150. Hopefully we'll be able to sell it on Craigslist when this is all over. It will help me get around the house easier and will hopefully allow me to go back to work in a few weeks. I can put it in my trunk and when I get there I can call security to come and help me get into the building. We'll see how long it takes to get to that point. With all the extra weight I'm dragging around right now it could take longer.

He also got a wireless router so that I can lay here on the couch and stay connected. This will definitely help keep me sane. I will have time to get a lot of knitting done. Thankfully my hobbies are pretty low impact so I can continue to do them unlike some people. I will really have to watch myself to make sure I don't end up in a major Depression.

The pain is really bad tonight but they gave me Vicodin which helps numb the pain somewhat. I'd really appreciate any positive thoughts or prayers if you do that sort of thing you could send my way. I've never asked before but I feel like I need it now more than ever.


Two Scarf Day

I know this is no news flash but it's too damn cold this week. There are record cold temps expected later this week and snow on its way (keep your fingers crossed that I get a snow day tomorrow). Yesterday I had a student come into my office and start removing a few of her many layers. She started unwrapping one scarf and then another. I laughed and said that it was a two scarf day if there ever was one. (The colorful scarf above is keeping my wise man statue warm in this shot and was knit in a soft wool/silk blend.)

That got me thinking. I've been selling my scarves for 3 years now not to mention all the ones I've gifted through the years. On a day like today, when even people who don't normally wear scarves are wearing them, I wonder how many people out there are wearing one of my creations today. It could be close to 100. I've sold at least 400 scarves or scarflettes in my time, although not all of them were cold weather scarves. At least 50 of them were purely fashion accessories. But if you are like me you wear one of them and stack it with a scarflette to keep the chill away, which is what I have on today.

It gives me a thrill to think about all the people wrapping my scarves around their necks today. Hopefully my colorful creations give them at least a tiny lift in spirit as they go out into the Arctic air.


2009 Ups and Downs

I'm finally getting used to writing 2010 now so I'd better do my recap of 2009 soon before I forget all about it. 2009 was a bit of a roller coaster for me internally if not so much external. I didn't necessarily have any major life upheavals but I had some epic funks and came to some important decisions about my life. I thought I would break it down by the Ups and Downs of 2009. Some are business related but most are personal.

The 3 pictures are of Kate on the farm last week. One minute she was flying through the air, wind whipping through her hair while jumping off of the old cellar. 10 minutes later she had unceremoniously fallen on her bottom while playing on an ice patch. Am I a terrible aunt for recording her fall, I don't know I'll leave that judgement call to you.

First for the Highlights:
  1. Lenox Knits had a great year in sales at the indie craft shows. The Rock N Roll Craft Show in November gave me my biggest profit from a show ever. Strange Folk was another successful and fun weekend.
  2. Grew my blog followers to 365 which constantly amazes me. I also achieved a Google Page Rank of 3 which made me happy even if I don't fully understand what it means.
  3. Got my new DSLR camera (Canon Rebel Xsi). Because of my great craft show results I was able to treat myself to something I wanted but didn't necessarily need. I've gotten such a great deal of pleasure out of taking pictures the past year which I never saw coming.
  4. Celebrating our 5th wedding Anniversary. I wrote all about it back in June in a whole 4 part series.
  5. Our great summer adventure including Alabama, New Orleans, and a cruise to Mexico. Was the biggest and best vacation Mike and I have ever taken together.
  6. The trips home to the farm with the kids. All those years spent yearning to get away from the farm and now I see it as a retreat and the nieces and nephews all view it as one big playground.
  7. Discovering Roller Derby and meeting Phyllis from The Office sitcom at a match. Sometimes it's the little things that make the year special but I really looked forward to going to those matches with Mike and his Mom.
  8. Repertory Theater season tickets, a professional live theater here in St. Louis. This was the first year we have done it as a couple and I've really enjoyed the shows . We splurged on our seats and spent around $600 on the season but it was totally worth it.
  9. January 21, 2009. Need I say more...
So here in no particular order are the lows from 2009:
  1. The girls moving to Texas. This was the hardest thing I've dealt with in awhile and brought on a pretty major Depression. I still miss them dearly but it's getting easier.
  2. My weight gain. I went back on my meds last year and the weight gain creep began immediately. I have let myself get out of control again and will be joining Weight Watchers again this month to hopefully get a handle on things.
  3. Lack of Etsy sales and general unhappiness with my on-line venue choices. I am really unsure of the direction I want to go with on-line sales in general and I'll be doing a lot of thinking about this.
  4. Seemingly never ending construction at work that went on way over it's scheduled completion date. The huge increase in enrollment this year has been a major headache also.
  5. Reaching my late 30's and one step closer to that dreaded number. This transition hit me especially hard as a childless woman as I discussed here.
When it comes down to it I have a lot to be thankful about. I have a great family and husband and my time with my nieces and nephews is something I cherish. I'm content with my job and hobbies even with the ups and downs. Thanks for sharing all of it with me this year and I can't wait to share all the surprises from 2010 with you as they come along.


Back to Work

I'm happy to be back among the blogging. Of course I'm also back at my full time job which is not so great but it's all a balance in life. Thanks to those who continued to drop in on me even when I was in hibernation mode. I didn't get nearly as much done over the break as I had hoped. The monster head cold that hit me midweek really disrupted my agenda. I got lots of reading done but not much else. I didn't even do much knitting. I made myself a hat which Mike said made me look like a bag lady. He says that about 1/2 the things I wear but this time I agreed with him so it got frogged (ripped out).

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the kids. I think Kai and Ani enjoyed getting caught up with the girls so the round trip to get them was worth it even it Mike totally didn't get why I was doing it. The shots above are both from the old '57 Chevy truck. The top shot is completely unaltered and I love the care free nature of it even if you can't see Kate. The second one I played with a little bit and it has a more serious feel, which could be their new album cover as the kids like to say.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the business and my goals for the new year but I just don't have the time or energy to get into them today. You could go read Nancy's post over at Nfall2rt and I could easily say ditto to most of it and save myself the effort. We appear to both be unhappy with the current state of our Etsy endeavors and hoping to get reinspired to living a creative and handmade life in the new year. I'm sure I'll have more to say about my thoughts on another day but for now I'll leave it there.

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD