Friday, May 29, 2009


Edit: I had a great idea if ya'll think this would be fun! Whoever can send me the most unique, funny, weird or otherwise cool sticker for said hardhat, gets one of my handmade mugs or cups! Now, I get to pick the mug or cup and it might be one that has a small blemish in the glaze or something. And, of course, I'll pay the shipping so, sadly, I must limit this to my US or Canadian readers. So?!!!! If you want to participate just email me and I'll send you my snail mail address.

None of the guys seemed real excited about getting a little, pink pig sticker for their hardhat. I thought they were great myself. But then, I have butterflies on my hardhat too. Some of you may know that we often get commemorative stickers for the jobs we work on and a lot of the guys display them on their hardhats. You may be able to make out the sticker that occupies the place of most honor on mine (near the top of the hat). The job I'm on right now is a large Piggly Wiggly warehouse, so therefore, the pig. So, anyway, I had a great idea. Any of you work for a company (or other entity) that has stickers? Want to send me one to put on my hardhat? Or, just a sports team from your state or something more anonymous like that. In fact, a sticker of a geographic nature would be great! They have to be of a small size (about 2"x2" max.) and not too terribly obscene. I thought that would be great; to display tokens of my wonderful readers!
This is probably the one that gets the most comments, especially from the Hispanic men. I think the Spanish word is the same and they seem to want to understand if that's what I really mean. lol! After they work with me for a while they don't ask anymore. Just kidding. Sorta.

In other news, it has stopped raining!!! So, I stopped on the way home and bought some more stain for the house. I hope to get a lot done on painting the existing siding and completing the north side of the house. I also have a date tomorrow night. You know that old saying, 'the best way to get over one man is to get on top of another'. Ack! Did I say that!? Guess I'm a nasty ol' construction worker after all. lol! Hey, I have to keep with the title of the post. Nah, that's probably part of the reason I have had trouble getting over what I have; I'm not going out enough. So anyway, I know this one's nothing serious but that's fine. He's good for a good time and he's sweet.

Hopefully, I will have some house photos soon of something I have completed. It may not be much but maybe something. I would like to completely finish the north side of the house very soon so I can move on around.

*Dave Mathews Band

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ever Present Past

Okay, if ya'll are getting sick of seeing my artwork just let me know but this one has a story behind it. Seems that since Dale and I parted I have had a spat of calls, about a variety of things, from a couple of 'ex's'. Now, I take pride in that I am still friends with the vast majority of my 'men' but I thought the timing on this one was interesting. Ya'll know how I like "meaningful coincidences" and that sort of thing.
So, many years ago, right after I divorced, I dated a man that had a daughter of about 13. Sweet girl, very smart and she barrel-raced, so I did this portrait of one of her horses for, I believe, her birthday. I have only seen this man a few times over the years and the last time I spoke to him was probably 3 or 4 years ago. Well, he and I have a good mutual friend, the superintendent (Daddy Rabbit) that I went and worked for, just a week or so ago, who needed a welder. While working with Daddy Rabbit, I asked him how said man and his daughter were doing (something I usually don't do) and the usual pleasantries. He said they were fine and he believed the daughter was graduating from college that week actually. Now, I know Daddy Rabbit never mentioned anything to the man, but lo and behold, who calls that next week but this man? Seems his daughter did graduate and her request for a graduation gift from him, was for him to find me and ask if I would do a second, matching portrait of another horse of hers that was, unfortunately, struck and killed by lightning. I hated to hear about her horse but was glad to accept to do another portrait for her. Just for information, this portrait is done in ink.

*Paul McCartney

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You

For all of our military folks out there, past and present, 'thank you' does not say enough but it's heartfelt anyway. We are forever in your debt.

This photo is of my one and only (so far) public works at the Alabama Veteran's Memorial, that Allen built, btw, and that I was lucky enough to work on some also. About 20 or so Alabama artists were commissioned to create these sculptures for the regiment of columns that are part of the memorial. I believe I showed the memorial in it's entirety last year. Not that I think my work is all that great, but many of you have asked to see more of my artwork. The ship depicted is the USS Alabama and the flower at the base of the rifle is a camellia, our state flower.

*Alanis Morissette

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I think the natural world is conspiring to try and teach me something. Last spring I briefly dated a fellow that brought me about 5lbs. of wildflower seeds that are native to this area. I kinda feel bad that I didn't like him better because he brought me, literally, about a truck load of flowers and plants for my garden and yard. Anyway, I sowed the seeds that spring after preparing the soil and fertilized everything. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do to get the seeds to take and then....nothing. I think I had maybe two flowers sprout last year. I thought, well, maybe they will come up later, and bloom in late summer or fall. Nothing. So, I just forgot about them, assuming that they were just not going to take. I had failed to do something right and was not going to have any flowers.
Then this spring came. They are so thick you can't walk amongst them without stepping on some. And several different kinds. Only one type is blooming now but the others will each follow in their turn. It's incredible how many there are and makes a beautiful display. So, seems that I did do everything right; I just needed to have a little patience. The flowers will bloom when they are ready.

This past week, for three days in a row, a large hawk has flown over my truck just as I make the last turn in the drive up to the house. Now, I've seen hawks many times in the sky over the house but it's very unusual to see one so close to the house and have him fly so low over my vehicle. He's usually only 10 or 12 feet above me. He's (or she) is very large and beautiful. On the last day I looked up the symbolism for hawks and found that they represent insight and perception. I haven't seen him since that day. Perhaps he left me some the last time he flew over.

*Guns-N-Roses (a favorite band of mine, btw)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let Me Explain...

First, let me say that ya'll are some great people and I love ya, every one. I appreciate so much all your comments and sentiments. It really just astounds me that people that I have never met would take the time to show concern for me and regularly read my disjointed ramblings. You know, I never really meant for this blog to go in this direction. I don't really mind; it's all part of life I guess, and I actually don't disclose everything but I don't want it to turn into some kind of melodramatic free-for-all either. I've told a lot of the stories and experiences because I thought it might help someone else going through something similar (and from emails I've gotten, it has) and just because I wonder if other people wonder about some of the same things. Or am I just psycho? But, really, so what if I am psycho; it makes for an interesting story!
Anyway, I think I need to clarify some of the stuff that I wrote in that last post. Unfortunately, when I get upset and aggravated, I tend to just blurt stuff out and not take time to really explain what I'm thinking. So, to that end, let me try to clear some stuff up.

First, I'm not having issues with the experience of blogging specifically. It's real life that I'm having the problems with right now! And I'm not having a problem with sharing these experiences really; I guess I'm just frustrated with trying to explain what's going on (not that I really need to) but I do feel some obligation to let ya'll know some of what's going on if I just drop off the face of the earth for a while.
Secondly, I am definitely very tired physically. I figured it up the other day and in the past 20 months (aside from weekends and the occasional sick day), I have been able to take a single, one week vacation. Seven days in a row. In almost 2 years. Oh, I did get three days in a row the other week when they thought I might have had a heart attack. Now, I certainly don't want to sound like I'm complaining about having lots of work in this current economic climate but I'm tired. And ya'll know what I do for a living. We haven't been pouring a lot of concrete lately but I've been doing an unusual amount of welding, which makes me very tired. And for the past two weeks we have been having to partially hand-dig a footing inside the building that is about 250 feet long. The dirt under the slab is so hard we are having to jackhammer it out. That's some hard dirt. This tiredness leaves me with little energy sometimes to work around the house, which leads to other frustration.
But mainly, lately, the upset and frustration is from the personal disappointments that keep coming up. And I'm not disappointed for myself necessarily; it's my seemingly inability to help or assist anyone else. It seems that for most of my adult life, I have been the "jumping off" point for numerous people, friends and family that feel that they are at the end of their rope and so they come to me, for some reason beyond my comprehension. Now, this part I don't mind; I would love to be that strong person that can help anyone but I can't and I fail them and then they're gone. Oh, let me go to Annie, she'll help me (i.e. let me move in with her, support me, etc. etc.) Oh, but that's still not enough, so let me throw my whole life down the dark hole of despair now! Annie's a strong person; she can handle it. My brother actually said those words to me right before he killed himself.
So many people (here in real life) have told me that I just need to write people off; don't open yourself up, don't even try to help people. They're grown adults, they can do for themselves. I know that you can't help everybody, you can't support people in unhealthy cycles and all that. People do have to pick themselves up and resolve things in their own mind. But can't you be a helping hand? I do not want to become a cynic and hard-hearted.
This is mainly what I meant when I said, in the last post, that I should be able to do something. I mentioned a family of my own but I misspoke on that. See, I tend to see people that have a family as doing something worthwhile, NOT that anyone who doesn't have kids is wasting their lives. NOT true and plenty of people that have kids just should not. But so many, especially a lot of the bloggers I read, seem to have such great kids who are aspiring to do great things for our society or great jobs or just completely 'green' lives and that's good. I actually have never wanted kids of my own (and turns out just as well as I probably can't have them) but I feel for the little ones that don't have a family or a good life.
I also don't know that I am particularly interested in having a husband and I know everybody has gotten the idea that I do because I haven't explained things well. It's not really something that I will get into, for fear of offending, but let's just say that my reasons for wanting a man around are not quite that "noble". God knows I don't need one around to do for me. Or get his paycheck. NOT that women that have a husband (or mate) use them for that only. It would just be nice to have someone to talk to when the lights go out, ya know. But I'm a complete person by myself and enjoy my life for the most part. And I have plenty of friends and buddies.
So, I've probably left something out but that is the main gist of it all. I am going to try to continue to post but it may be very erratic for a while. I might post several times over the weekend and then disappear again. I might just post photos with no text for a while. I think that may be an interesting concept. Especially if the photos ....interesting. And yes, I'm going to rewrite that sidebar description!
But, as I said before, ya'll are a great bunch of people and your comments really do help me and make me feel better. You just don't know how much. And thank you for continuing to check in on me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Until Further Notice

I really appreciate all of you who have read this blog and endured all of my craziness and bizarre stories. I also greatly appreciate all of your wonderful and kind comments and encouragement. I'm trying to make a concerted effort not to make this sound like a whinefest and explain things in a rational manner, so to that end, I am leaning heavily towards just shutting my blog down. All the old info will be left up but I don't know that I will add anything new.
As I read the description on the sidebar, I realize that this blog is not about anything even remotely like what I'm spouting it is. In fact, I'm sick of this house and about everything else, including myself. I planted this garden and all the while wondered what the hell am I doing this for. I'll never eat most of it and sure am not going to invest the energy to put anything up. I'll give away most of the food it produces, so it won't be wasted, but really, I don't know why I went to the trouble. I don't eat much anymore and don't feel like going to the effort of cooking for just me. I think that is the main thing: all of this is not worth the effort for the sole benefit of myself. And yeah, I know, an independent woman like myself shouldn't put such emphasis on being part of a pair. However, it's not that so much as I have the firm belief that we are here to help and benefit each other, not to just serve ourselves. And I should be able to do something, even if I can't have a family of my own. But it just seems despite my best efforts, my building this house and attempting this particular life (and documenting it here) is of no benefit to anyone, not even myself. Well, it benefits me in that I have a dry place to sleep but other than that, what the hell?
This all sounds pretty crappy and like I'm being a butt I know, but I'm just being honest. There's no point in this. I am, however, not wallowing in self pity and just planning on laying down. I've got a long list of things I'm going to try to bring some meaning to all this. I've printed off some applications for things, located some sources for volunteering my time. Maybe join an appropriate organization or two. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for but I know something's got to change. Am I feeling pretty down? Yeah, I am and know that is a lot of this but I know also that I have felt bad with my heart again this week and I'm getting more tired at work sometimes. I don't know, there just has to be more to it than this. I've just got to figure out what it is for me.
Thanks again for reading.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fat Chance

Much to my dismay, all of the heart-shaped rocks I have found in the past year (which are the only ones I've found) have been on this job that I'm on, that I hate so much. But I noticed this one recently that is smack in the middle of the path that leads up to my house. I decided just to leave it where it was.
And as a funny side note, when I had dinner the other night with my buddy, we ate at a favorite Chinese restaurant of mine. My fortune said, "you will soon witness a miracle". Ha! Not that I connect the two or believe in fortune cookies but I could arrive home one day and find the woodland elves had come and finished my house.
*Phoebe Snow

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Variations Of Green

Longtime readers will remember that, at times, I work on some interesting restoration projects and not always new construction. An article was published this month in a local magazine that featured one of those projects we did a few years ago. I believe the magazine is still out this month.
I am one of the featured craftspeople in the article. Which just amounted to a very small description of some of the work I did. The photos are supposed to correspond with work we each did but the chimney pot they show is not the one I worked on. That's okay though. It was nice to be mentioned anyway.
In between rain showers yesterday I managed to plant most of my garden! I tilled in a bunch of new composted manure and then set out all the seedlings I had started. Which we mostly tomatoes, peppers, squash and cantaloupe. I direct sowed okra, green beans and zucchini. I still need to plant corn and might put in some sweet potatoes.
There is just not a lot going on around here. It's raining so much (not complaining though) that I haven't really been able to get a good project started. I did get Allen to help me haul a very large rock over to a nice area of the yard so it can become the base for a sculpture I want to do.

The lavender seems to like it's new location along the drive. The cuttings I took from these plants are all still doing well. One of them is looking kinda poorly but it's still alive. I'm going to let them get bigger before putting them out though.

Happy Mother's Day to all mamas out there. Hope you have a great day! I'm off to my mother's house later today. Thankfully, she only lives about 30 minutes from me.
Tomorrow I get to go work on another job to do some welding for a new AC unit being added to the building. It's for an old buddy superintendent of mine and I am sooooo happy to get to go to another job. Anywhere, other than the one I'm on. Unfortunately, it's just for one day. I don't know what it is but I just HATE this job I'm on. I like the crew and boss but hate, hate, hate the job. I've been there 14 months and I guess I'm just sick of it. OK, so, I'm done with my complaining I guess.
Wish I had something more exciting to report but I still haven't found a big sack of money or giant gold nugget. I did however, find a big 55 gallon drum that these rains have washed down the creek and onto my land. It will be perfect for making the rolling composter that I have just been wanting and came very close to buying a while back.
Funny thing too, I have been searching for just the right wall cabinet for my bath lately and haven't been able to find what I wanted. Well, that didn't cost $600 anyway. So, I kinda put that on a back burner and yesterday a catalog showed up in the mail that has just what I want in it! Guess you just have to be thankful for all the little things too.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Nothing But Flowers

Turns out I had a fairly nice birthday; other than getting older! First thing that morning, on the way to work, I saw the Switchman once again on the highway. I know, I know, but it just makes me smile to see him and he always waves and makes a big deal. It's good for a laugh.
I got to leave the job a little early to go teach my welding class and the boys are doing very well on their projects. Our training facility also has a complete bath with shower so I cleaned up for dinner while I was there and the boys were working. When I came out, one of the 20-something boys said, "wow, you look nice!"

I had a nice dinner with one of my favorite buds and he bought even though it was my full intention to pay since I had called him. We caught up on a lot of news and such. Afterwards, I did just a little shopping and bought a dress! Maybe I can find somewhere to wear it.

Allen bought me a really nice plant stand for my deck. I think a nice, big fern will look good in it. Mama sent me some money with which I am going to refurbish my kiln and get to making some pottery again.
Oh, The Man From 12 Years called to wish me a happy birthday. I know I said he was gone but he still calls to see about me and I still try to encourage him (in his efforts to resolve his grief and problems). But I am letting him work things out on his own, as is the only way to do.
The flowers are mostly native ones from this area that I just transplant to beds. The deer are not attracted to them since they are used to them also. The next to last, purple flowers are a type of catmint that I bought. Blooms very profusely and earlier than the standard catmint.
Am now going to try to work in the garden between showers.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Digging In The Dirt

Yes, that is actually a song title. Anyway, look at these great strawberry plants! They are just loaded. I can't wait until they ripen.
Oh, I finally responded to comments on that last post. Sorry it took so long.
This past weekend I finally got to turn the garden in between rain storms but it has rained almost continually since so I haven't actually planted any more than what you see. I have trays full of tomato seedlings, cantaloupe, peppers and squash waiting for the weather to break. Maybe this weekend will turn out nice, at least one day.
The tiller is not so bad to use. It's fairly easy to maneuver and such. Still ladies, if you have a man that does this for you, give him an extra smooch or pie or whatever.
Thursday is my birthday and so after my class in the afternoon (I'm teaching welding for my company) I'm going to take a buddy of mine out for dinner. He's been having a very rough time of it lately, more than me!, and I figure we can both use a diversion. We worked together over on the railroad job and he has helped me out on numerous occasions. He is also leaving to go to a job in Georgia so I may not see him for a while. There are rumors that I am on the list to go to Georgia also but I think they may be mistaken. It is a VERY rough, hard industrial job that will require 60-70 hours a week. Good pay but I'm too old for that crap. And too damn cranky.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Burn My Heart To Stone

First off, thanks to all for the well wishes and offers of help and support from you local bloggers, Karen and Linda and everybody. I'm doing better and I think everything is OK. I had to have a stress test done on Wednesday and it came out fine. I really never got a definite answer from the doctor about the EKG that showed a heart attack. They actually ran it twice and compared it to the one I had last year. It was different and consistent with a MI. So, after the stress test the Doc said he felt everything was OK (no blockage, no damage) but couldn't be sure that I did not have one. I feel much better now but still have some spells of my heart skipping, which for me is normal.
This past year I have been finding these heart shaped rocks all over the place, so I finally started keeping them. I think it's kinda funny that I can find these when I think most of ya'll know my frustration at never being able to spot 4-leaf clovers, arrowheads or anything of that nature. Maybe it's a sign to me. If only my heart were as hard as these stones, my life might be easier. Maybe it wouldn't be easily upset.
My brother and sister called after Mama blabbed about what happened and wanted to know what is going on. I don't say much to them because I feel it is kinda pointless. The older I get, the less I feel I have in common with them and the more our lives become different. They both have families with children and live very active consumer-type lifestyles. I'm always afraid I'm going to offend them with my joking around and any talk of what I do is just boring to them. They do not like what I do for a living and have even suggested that I do not reveal that info in order to meet a suitable man. Of course, I'm not going to mislead anyone about myself. I mean, when do you stop? I'm proud of who I am.

I did go back to work on Friday and that was OK. They had gotten another welder with the company to come do some of my job so that will give me an easier time next week. All my welding should now be on the ground and not up in the structure of the building. A funny thing happened Friday also. They had one of our backhoe operators come out and do some digging for us and we were chatting at the end of the day, before we got tools up. Out of the blue he just mentioned something about "that man from the railroad you were so crazy about" and we laughed and joked about that for a minute. The Switchman had actually crossed my mind earlier because this other welder drives a truck just like his and I kinda laughed when I saw it sitting by the connex.