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July 2008
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September 2008

A different approach

    Well, I still don't have my pictures, but I've got the next best thing: Melinda and Mark's blog. Go to http://markandmelinda.blogspot.com/ to see some pictures from the Big Event!   I'm still waiting on my disc from the photographer - as soon as it arrives I'll post more.  In the meantime, Melinda has some of her favorites on their blog.  Go check 'em out!


We're back.....

....and completely tuckered out, but oh, the wedding was beautiful!!!  I'm not going into detail today, but as soon as I have the pictures all lined up I'll give you a full run-down.  Melinda and Mark are happy as clams and everything went off without even the thought of a hitch.  So stay posted for pictures!  Wooohoooo!


Best-laid plans, blah blah blah

   I had all kinds of grand ideas about having everything completely organized and ready for our trip to West Virginia this weekend.  The packing would be done, all the details attended to, my hair colored, and I was going to have time to play on the torch.  Well, let's just say my plans went someplace very warm...in a thing called a "handbasket". 
    I am running around like a headless chicken trying to locate everything we'll need for the trip, make sure it's washed and wearable, and get it all packed up.  My van is a disaster area.  I can't find Shyla's bordetella vaccine record for the kennel.  And Zeus got very, very sick Monday night/yesterday - as in "there goes our gas and food budget for this trip" sick.  I may have to take him back to the vet yet today.  (Poor little dude is so miserable....I feel for him, I really do.)   Not to mention that youngest child is convinced that the world will end if he doesn't have a car charger for his multimedia player because oh my GOSH, how do I expect him to travel 8 or 9 hours without constant electronic amusement?  And his battery only lasts for, like, 3 hours!  HORRORS!!   Sigh. 
    Of course, all the details will come together somehow - they always do - but I'd feel a lot better if I didn't have this nagging fear that my sister's going to have a drooling idiot for a matron of honor.  On the bright side, though, I did get my hair colored!  And I was good and didn't color it bright fuchsia or something funky like that, since I suspected Melinda might not like that in her wedding pictures.  Pretty good thinking for a drooling idiot, eh? 
    So I'm off to run in circles a bit more.  Once we return from the BIG EVENT - and catch our breath! - I'll post pictures of all the fun and games.
Tum - tum - te- tum.....tum - tum- te - tummmmmm......


I think I'm in withdrawal

        Since my little bead-peddling trip to Indiana last weekend, I haven't had time to get to my torch.  Running errands, cleaning house, having company, getting ready for our trip to WV - all these things seem to take all my time.  The last couple days, though, I've noticed I'm feeling a bit - unhappy.  Dissatisfied.  Even (on occasion) grouchy.  After some thought, I believe I've found the root of the problem: I'm experiencing torch withdrawal.
         Before you laugh, consider: for a couple months now, I've been able to get to the torch at least twice a week.  For the past few weeks, it's been almost every day!  But since last Saturday, I haven't even touched Sparky.  Any activity that you enjoy on a regular basis is going to leave a gap if it's suddenly removed from your daily routine, true?  Well, I'm feeling the gap, folks. 
        My love affair with my torch has been going on for over 8 years now, and the funny thing is, I really didn't expect to ever love lampworking the way I do.  I took my first class mostly to help out a friend, and instead was completely hypnotized by the whole process.  I love the thrill and the satisfaction I experience when a bead comes out of the kiln looking just as I dreamed it would - or sometimes even better!  Lampworking is such an intense process that you can really lose yourself at the torch.  There's no room for distraction - that flame hurts - but there is plenty of time for decision-making and reworking.  That color combo doesn't work for you?  Cover it up!  Your hollow bead collapsed?  Fine, turn it into a barrel!   Glass is actually a pretty forgiving medium, as long as you respect its limits - but those limits are pretty wide, which allows for vast creativity.  Not to mention the fact that there's always a new tool or a different type or color of glass being developed to tempt you further.  Right now I'm lusting after something called "veiled glass" that creates the most luscious swirls of color in a bead...also some more silver glass....oooh,and one of those cool presses....You see how it goes? 
        So now that I've identified the problem, the solution is pretty simple.  Today, once all my "have-to's" are out of the way, Sparky and I are going to have some quality time together.  Who knows, I might even get him a little present of some new glass.  Or frit.  Or maybe I should try some of that palladium leaf, I've been wanting it for ages....


Go figure

       Sometimes you get a piece of information that makes you blink, sit back and say "Really!"  It may even be something that you've thought about before, but for whatever reason - context of the information, who it is you hear it from, etc. - this time it hits you.  Well, yesterday it hit me.  I think I have allergies.
        Okay, okay, so that's not exactly earth-shattering news, but I really never considered the thought that I might actually have allergies, let alone allergies severe enough to affect my day-to-day life.  (Duh!)  Oh, I've tossed the idea around, but I never seriously thought I had anything to worry about.  Until yesterday.
        Yesterday I went to the doctor, because my ears have been painful and "plugged" since last Friday.  I thought it was swimmer's ear or something similar, or possibly an ear infection.  Instead, it was - and I quote - "eustachian tube dysfunction, probably caused by allergic reactions".  Say what?  Allergic reactions?  What's that mean?  Are you saying I have - gasp! - allergies???   Um, yes, Mrs. Bolinger, that's exactly what I'm saying.  In layman's terms, your body doesn't like something - or several somethings - in your environment, and it's responding by creating vast quantities of gunk in your sinuses to try and keep those somethings out, which in turn is blocking up your ears and making them hurt.   Oh!  Well, if that's all.....wait.....but how do I make it go away?  I DON'T?!?   What do you mean, treat the symptoms?   Oh jeez......
        Yeah.  So apparently I am allergic to __________ (don't know what yet), and that is the reason I'm constantly stuffed up and fighting earaches and the like.  And yes, I do feel kind of dumb for not figuring this out myself.  All the signs were there, I just didn't read them.  Now I have some sort of nasal spray that I'm supposed to use for a couple weeks to see if it helps, blah blah blah, go from there.  Great.  I don't like spraying things up my nose.  Not only do I find it annoying, I'm pathetically bad at it.  Last night I tried the stuff for the first time and my first squirt wound up in my hair.  Lord knows my schnoz is big enough that it should be hard to miss, but I'm gifted that way.  Sigh.   Now I'm stuck with squirting junk up my nose every day to try and keep stuff OUT of my nose (that's interesting logic) - and in the meantime, I'm doing my bit for the economy: I'm supporting the tissue companies.
Lovely.

Aaaaaa-choo!


Running just to catch myself

    You know, I really admire those folks who update their blogs regularly (or even daily!), add photos and fun little links, all that stuff.  I am not one of them.  I'd love to be, but I'm not sure that I will ever reach that level of organization and dedication.  However, in a valiant attempt to keep up, here is a little retrospective of the last week and a half or so. 
    I did manage to tell you about eldest son's 16th birthday (waaaahhh!), but I neglected to tell you that my birthday is the day before his, and two of my dear friends from Indiana drove up to see me!  Shelley and Lori are two of the coolest women I know. We've been through a lot together - having babies, losing parents, etc. - so it was really special for me to have them here.  These two women have waaaaaay too much blackmail material on me!   We shopped, ate, talked, shopped, talked, ate, talked.....yeah, it was like that.  It was so fun.  I actually teared up as they were pulling out of the driveway to head home.   Lori brought her two youngest kids, and my crew was ecstatic to have more youngsters to run around with, so it was all good.
LoriStephShelley
 (L to R:  Lori, me, Shelley)

    The day after oldest son's birthday, the kids and I drove down to Ohio to see another dear friend.  Dawn lived right around the corner from me in Indiana for 10 years, only to move to the west coast in 2003.  Needless to say we've missed each other a lot, so whenever we can get together we do.  It had been two years since we saw each other, and longer than that since our kids had been together, so it was great to catch up.  Dawn's another one who could totally blackmail the socks off me.  Aren't friends wonderful?
Dawn
      In betwixt and between all my reunionating (hey, I just made that word up!), I was torching like a mad woman to get ready for an art glass show in Fort Wayne.   GlassLink  (http://glasslink.biz) is a nifty stained glass/art glass store in town that sponsors a yearly glass festival with all sorts of demos, make-and-takes, vendors and even a "community" project.  The owners, Jon and Danielle, are great folks and they do a bang-up job with this every year.  This year's festival was very well attended and I think everyone had a great time.  If you go to their website and look in the gallery, you can see a picture of me doing a lampwork demo!  (I'ze famous!)   It was a ton of fun but boy, was I tired when I got home Saturday night.  Craziness! 
    So, that's what life has been like for me lately.  Of course there's been all the usual stuff - dishes, meals, Mt. Washmore - going on in the background.  But friends and festivals are much more fun!  Now we're getting ready for Melinda's wedding and thinking about school (eeeek!).  Hard to believe it's August.  Where has the summer gone?  Hope everyone out there is having a good summer!