Lovin' this...

Working on my stuff to bring to the monthly beader's lunch, but had to share this T-shirt comment:

I have multiple personalities and none of them likes you!

Dunno...it just tickles my contrarian center...



Dang...don't do that! I'm not too good at the great reveal. Probably comes from having an extraordinarily snoopy mother, but I'll do the best I can.

First, these are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

And now... seven facts about me in no particular order, thanks to Jael of http://jaelsjewels.blogspot.com/ :

1: I'm no good at promoting myself - my friends say 'get your work out there!' but for me it's like putting a child up for adoption - what if I do so and nobody wants it? (no offense meant to the adoption movement, of course...)

2. I'm a Michael C. Hall fan... missed his earlier work, but watching "Dexter" is another one of my guilty pleasures. Thank goodness for replay websites!

3. I'm an old folksong junkie - in both senses of the word 'old' ... Kingston Trio, Clancy Brothers &TM, and popfolk geniuses like Jim Stafford and the late Roger Miller.

4. I'm a 'mirror-writer' -- that is, I can take pen and paper and starting on the right, write to the left so that it can only be 'read correctly' when reflected in a mirror. Good penmanship, too. It's not a skill acquired thru practice - I've just always been able to, from the first attempt. Apparently my left/right brain hemispheres are scrambled like an omelet...!

5. I'm a clutterer. Not so much a hoarder, but if something falls from my hands (and it does quite frequently after 4 arm/wrist surgeries) I don't want to lose focus on what I'm doing. As a comedian once described himself, "I'm anal...I have a lot of little piles here and there..."

6. I'm pretty good at prognosticating (and also procrastinating...that's another story), but some of my 'misses' have been WAY off the mark, such as when Gracie Allen died, I said "George Burns won't last the year without her.'' I was off about 30 or so years, but who's counting...
and worse, "CDs? Who's going to be willing to buy an expensive player and have to rebuy every record in their collection?" In my own defense, I saw the outcome of the Beta/VHS coming way early...

7. My favorite color is periwinkle.

Ok, Jael, happy now???

Now, with apologies beforehand to my victims, here is my tag-list:



End of the Month...or... Creativity isn't just for Artists

Here we are just a few days until November. In some ways it's my favorite time of the month (so to speak). The first weeks are easy, when I've gotten my hard-earned benefits such as Soc. Security and foodstamps for the month. (Hard-earned, you ask? Damn right! I worked for 40 years--I paid it forward out of a lot of paychecks!) Anyway, shortly after the first of each month I make my assault on Mejier's and/or Wal-Mart, getting my really inexpensive instant coffee and one of my guilty pleasures, flavored creamer. I've run the sale sheet for Mejiers with a lot of BOGOs (Buy One, Get One free) so it's pretty much in and out after swinging by the great veggie section for the big bags of lettuce and the little carton of salsa that goes on my scrambled eggs the next morning. Then I go to the W-M nearer my home, and go right over to the meat department where I find the least fatty of the huge beef briskets. That raises eyebrows as I use my food card...I guess it's assumed I'm going to toss it on the barbie and throw a party.

Actually, I take it home and whittle on it. If you're not familiar with this particular cut of beef, it looks like a flattened acorn. I take the big top part and into the slow-cooker it goes. The middle part gets partitioned and goes into the freezer. The last part gets sliced thickly on the diagonal and I pan-broil the slices now and again when I'm in the mood to pretend it's steak. Quite a lot of mileage out of a $30 piece of meat... at least 10 or so meals. I'll have big bags of chicken thighs, too, and a couple of pounds of turkey-burger.

No matter how I try, though, those last few days are an adventure. Out comes the big crockpot and the Uncle Ben's rice, and the big cans of chicken broth I never touch earlier in the month. Anything at hand goes into the pot with the broth, and when it's bubbling, in goes the rice and a few tablespoons of Clover Valley Soul seasoning and however many eggs I have left, up to 5. This lasts for at least 3 days, for each meal. I'm not whining... it's really very good! But what it REALLY does is make me genuinely appreciative of the comparative bounty of the earlier weeks.

This Saturday is going to be a particularly neat day for me - I not only get my monthly allotment of food credit ($132 for the month), but it's the day my beading buddies and I go to a great restaurant called "Crazy Buffet" and for $7.98 enjoy a terrific lunch/sushi bar, and spend about 2 1/2 hours admiring and bartering for each other's hand-crafted beads. Out of the 7 of us, only 2 are sushi freaks, and we enjoy enough for the whole group. Excellent quality, and given the amount of sushi and sashimi we gobble up, it'd be worth around $50 in any regular non-buffet restaurant. If fish is heart-healthy, I hope it still counts to eat it all in one sitting once a month..!

I'll be busy for the next two days making beads and pendants to, hopefully, sell during lunch, so I may not blog until afterwards -- I'll scan them first and post them here. Any of my beads and pendants, etc, are available for sale, BTW... just email me.


I'm a kitten person...

Don't get me wrong... I adore my two cats, T'elma and Dharma (personality-wise, between the two of them they make one great cat). But I'm a sucker for kittens. I don't go to cat shows because kittens might be there. I can withstand the temptation to gather cats up en masse, but get me near a kitten and I'm a blob of jelly in seconds. I guess it's understandable, since I'm one of those people who love babies, but try to avoid being around kids from 2 on up for more than a half-hour or so.

It was frustrating when my two kids were little, finding so many 'adults only' rules on apartments I wanted to rent, even though I fully understood the reason. (All you need is a hot-wheels tricycle going back and forth under your bedroom window early on a Saturday morning to understand...) I wonder, would an 'adults only' restaurant be legal? Friends laugh at me knowingly when we're sitting in a restaurant and that first shriek fills the air (and probably goes down the block, too...). I get out so infrequently (usually once a month to a beader's meeting) that it makes me want to run shrieking myself. Once is ok...parents can't anticipate the first one... but to let it continue should be worth a ticket and fine at the very minimum! ;o) Or maybe a citizen's arrest for disturbing the peace?

But back to kittens... I once heard someone (not a kitten 'owner') call them 'guileless.' Yeah, right. Kittens are not born with much in the way of social skills, but most come with a full complement of guile, which we immediately play into. Two genes click on the moment their eyes focus... the mischief one and the 'ain't I cute' one. Then I'm lost...one more victim of kitten hypnosis.


"The Positives of Poverty" ...or... "It ain't Easy being Poor"

No, I'm not going to whine. That's a totally useless, time-wasting, and energy-depleting activity. It also wrenches the soul.

Instead, I want to point out the positives. I'll try to avoid the word 'joy,' although there are a few; I prefer to think of them as challenges well met.

I don't recommend that any single woman of modest means stay in California. Once a bastion of creativity and individuality, it has morphed (beginning with Gov. Deukmejian) into an 'I get mine first, then yours, too' mentality. When I left, I left behind a rented 'home' the size of an inexpensive travel trailer with a bathroom smaller than some shower stalls I've seen... with a rent of $600.

Eventually I fled to Illinois - ten years ago - and have never been happier. I had to do it after I became eligible for SSI and with a small settlement from a work injury (resulting in 4 surgeries). The difference in rent was a real wake-up!

I also found very helpful store clerks...folks in the heartland seem to like to be helpful. I believe that's what has fostered the spirit of volunteerism that seems to be rampant here. When you're not able to work anymore, it's nice to be able to do for others as one can without resenting the time it takes away from earning a living.

Now I live on what it used to cost me in rent...just a tiny tad over $600. After working like the proverbial dog ... probably a sled dog ... for decades, I avail myself of things I paid into -- Social Security, food-stamps, heating/cooling programs. I do volunteer work for my community (generationsofhope.org), wracking my brain monthly to make things of interest to kids from 7-18. (Not easy!) Other times, you'll find me making beads and designing jewelry to supplement my 'income.' (There should be a better word for it, considering that it incomes and outgoes usually on the same day...how about 'ingo'?) You'll find some on the side of this blog soon.

You'll also find a 'donate' button. This will be to help defray the cost of supplies that I use to make items for the kids of GoH, as well as to replace the findings that suck so much out of my decades-of-hoarding collection of end-caps and tiny accent beads when I make them.

As to the 'positives' I promised in the title of this entry...they'll be along quite often. I intend to make hints and discoveries part of many blogs. Here's an example - why buy conditioner if your hair is in good shape except for vexing static electricity? Just pass a fabric softener sheet lightly over your hair and your hairbrush... static gone, and one sheet will last a very long time. Considering you can get a box of them at a dollar store for very little more than that, it's a great savings over a year. I'm not going to turn into a low-rent Heloise, but every little bit helps.


Just What I Thought... Pt. 1

Listening to one of my neighbors talk about her 50th high school reunion just confirmed what I've always thought... reunions have diminishing returns as time goes by.

I attended my 20th reunion. (I didn't want to go to my 10th H.S. reunion because...well, I didn't think it was enough time for people to mellow, for the jocks to settle down and the nerds and other 'second class students' to blossom.) Joy abounded -- the jocks were, for the most part, beginning to cultivate beer bellies, and the popular (pretty, of course) girls going quietly (or not) into matronly early middle-age. Everyone was looking furtively at everyone else, and you could almost hear the wheels turning: "...at least I'm not the only one..." or, worse, "...at least I don't look that bad..."

I haven't been interested in attending any other reunions. It could only go downhill from that one, plus I'm not sure I want to know why some folks weren't there. Curious, for sure, in the way we see an accident and think, thru our sympathy, '...sure glad it's not me...' So, SRHS, enjoy your trips down memory lane, and a hearty wave to you all, but it's BTDT for me, sans T-shirt.


Dewdrops falling in your mailbox...

It occured to me that the best way to help folks understand how neat Dewdrops are (see post below) would be to share some. So... if you'd like to have a little sample, please send me an email (use the comments link--I won't publish inquiries), and I'll send you information by email on how you can see them for yourself and use them in whatever project you want. Cost-free aside from a couple of stamps for return mail SASE, they'll speak for themselves! And an Entrecard 'drop' would be nice, too, for which I'll reciprocate if you're even *close* to appropriate for Art, Hobbies or Fashion.

I keep forgetting to invite you over to my Flickr album, which is also forgotten by me when I finish and photo my pieces. That's got to stop, Kelly! Show your stuff! Since it's all for sale, I might as well show it to folks who might be interested, huh...


I wanna be Smart...

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I'm in love with a car. I haven't been this taken with an automobile since the REAL Volkswagen bug went out of production. I did have a brief fling...well, not so brief - 9 years - with my Suzuki Samurai (and it never flipped over once!) but the SmartCar is my longed-for set of wheels.

Not that I will ever have one - my days of actually acquiring what I'd like to drive are over, I think. And if they're REALLY smart, somewhere down the line they'll make it a hybrid - that would be astounding mileage!

In the meantime, if anyone would like to buy me one, I'm not proud. Well, I am, but I'm certainly not stupid...!


When I first started 'playing with glass' I discovered that just as many artists were interested in the little dichroic half-rounds that I was making as they were in the more 'artistic' items I created. Well, that's ok! These dewdrops are now what helps put food on the table and keeps the gas/lights on. They're devilishly labor-intensive, too, so most of the folks who buy them ultimately appreciate the little jewels they've acquired. (For information, email me: kellythek@gmail.com)

While I'm mentioning artsy things, let me again mention my friend Jael Thorp, who does phenomenally amazing things with my little Dewdrops -

Here is her Flickr album - worth perusing just for the 'wow' factor!

Jael's quite a gal - She donates a lot of her work to causes such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, as well as a good portion of her profits to the discretionary fund at her minister husband's church in Rantoul (IL). And she does a whole lot of kindnesses just out of the overwhelming goodness of her heart.
Hugs to Jael!