Saturday, March 29, 2014

Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You

So today I was helping Allen pack up and move some merchandise from a booth in a flea market/ antique mall type thing and I ran across a very old Glen Campbell LP.  It must have been one of his first albums and out of curiosity I went down the list of song titles, which you all know I use as titles to my blog posts.  As I read the very last one I heard the angles sing and the light shone 'round about me.  Or maybe it was just Allen telling me to hurry up any rate, as I read those words...Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You...there could not have been a more clear sign from Above.  It was the title for my next glorious post. You know, the one where I explain why I'm so looney lately and hopefully propels me back into constructive musings and actions. 
All of you that have read my blog for very long know that I am a restless spirit.  Always have been.  I love my place here in the valley and the people and creatures I share it with, but it still thrills my soul to pull out of that driveway and be on my own.  The itch is overwhelming at times and I had laid around here so long feeling like crap that I could sense the moss starting to creep up on me.  (And yes, if you're wondering, the Rolling Stones are a favorite of mine.)  But it's not just the lack of travel; it was the frustration of not being able to do some things for myself and the inability to explain to anybody why.  Other than the Klippel-Feil, I have no official name to put on what this is that has made me hurt and feel so bad this past year.  And you might say, well, what does that matter?  Well, I guess only folks that were raised like I was or have been diagnosed with something unheard of would understand.  I was repeatedly told growing up that I'd either need to stay around home my whole life or have someone else look after me.  'Don't go far because you can't make it'.  But I did make it, and I've got out there pretty damn far, and I've never asked anybody for anything.  I've been given a lot but I didn't beg for it.  So, yeah, to be able to explain to folks that are just waiting for you to stumble or looking for an excuse to say, 'well, you never should have done that to begin with!  Look at the shape you're in now!'  It does make a difference and I wanted to write about the frustrations that people in my scenario face, because I know there are lots of us out there, but it all came out wrong.  It just sounded like me whining or I was just making stuff up. So, I figured I needed a little time off.  A time to indulge me and get my head together..  I had to scratch and God knows I love a good scratch.

Now, before any of you give me a big lecture on not caring what judgmental people think..I get that and I don't really, but some of the eye-rolling and snickering can be a little trying.  If any of you out there have fibromyalgia or something similar you know what I'm talkin' about.  What was more upsetting to me was trying to explain to people that I used to work for, why I can't do some of that work anymore or why it's taking me so long.  Businesses don't care, they need their product.  And most of them are understanding but after a time, and you don't hear from them anymore, you begin to wonder or you just know you've lost another client.  Our health care system is also very frustrating.  I was SO fortunate to get to see Dr. Nabors (who shall hereafter be referred to as the BFD), something I'm truly grateful for, but then I feel like an idiot because he can't find anything and I can imagine he's wondering if I'm making all this up.  According to the tests, I'm the healthiest sick person you've ever seen!

So, long story...the frustration got the best of me.  I had to get away for a while.  I didn't actually go on any road trip but I did go out on my own some.  The sunny days have helped and I've been making more pottery.  After a while I think you just learn to work with certain limitations, if you have them.  I throw for about 30 minutes; that's about all my hips and back can stand.  Then I just get up and do something else for a while.  Then, when I feel like I can, I throw some more.  In 3 weeks I've been able to come out with 2 good firings and have delivered new work to Birmingham.  The universe also knew what I needed and I've been able to visit with several good friends lately.  I even had 2 lunches in one day with two separate friends!  These are other artists too, so it was especially nice.  I even saw some people from my old construction company.  It was, unfortunately, a funeral for one of the ladies from the office, but we all agreed she would have been thrilled at our little reunion and we talked for a long time.
One of the best things this past week though, was I got to visit with a dear friend who I have really missed the past few years.  We email occasionally but I really haven't seen him much.  He is the Guru of Grump.  The King of Crabby.  He put the 'Cur' in Curmudgeon.  He is the BFA, the Big Fancy Architect and it did me good to get to see him.  A few of you very long time readers may know he is the architect that designed this house.  He might deny that because I have had to change a few things he drew, but I think of it as his design and I'm very proud of it.  We tease each other relentlessly and that's one reason why I call him the BFA.  I've met very, very few architects of his station that would dare stoop to be friends with a lowly construction worker so we like to rag each other.  Of course, I've also done a crap load of work for him too but I wouldn't have traded a bit of it for even a shiny, new, straight-claw Estwing.  Well, all except that time I had to climb up in his attic in the summer and block some holes the squirrels in getting in through.  That sucked! *ahem*.  Anyway...

So, I hope to be posting some useful info soon.  I'm trying hard to get back to my old self.  I'm gettin' the itch really bad to finish this portion of the house too, so hopefully I'll have something to show on that before long.!
The spring garden is planted but it's still so cool here it's not doing much.  Well, other than the rhubarb!  That might take over the house this year at the rate it's going. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gone Daddy Gone

Gone walkabout.  I'll see you when I see you.  Take care everybody.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I Feel A Change Comin' On

Of course, it's not really hard to, given the warm weather and all the things blooming now.  Oh, I'm so happy for warmer weather.   I fed a lot of my bulbs with a good dose of bone meal and they are all doing really well this year.

The girls are so happy too, to have new grass springing up to munch on.  Just in time because I had pretty much ran out of any greens to give them.  We got down to bare bones this winter.

Tons of blooms everywhere but nary a bee in sight.  That's just a very bad sign.  I saw a few honeybees a couple of weeks ago, right before everything really started to open, but now that there is actually something for them I haven't seen any.  I remember when I was a kid, you had to be very careful walking around any blooming tree because the bees would be swarming them so thickly.  I had hoped the bees would find some refuge on my land, since I don't spray any of those ^&*&#@!@&**(*!!  chemicals that are killing them but I guess they are just getting hit too hard everywhere else.

I also had a wonderful firing last week.  Everything came out great.   It takes me a while to get up enough work for one load so I think I'm probably going to revamp things in my art.  I think I've written about this before though.

I basically only used 2 color schemes on this last batch and was very pleased with both.  I'm gonna keep it that simple until I run out of those glazes and then probably start a whole new design and look.

The girls recently enjoying a very warm and sunny day in their dirt bath. 

I am feeling pretty good, body wise, these days but still working hard on trying to restore my motivation and energy for things.  I think I'm making progress but it's slow.  I knew it would be rainy today so I worked all day yesterday in the garden and got the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage planted.  Some taters also but I need some more.  Also planted sugar snap peas.  That's a new one for me and I like to eat them but some people let them mature and use the peas as chicken feed and that was one thing I wanted to experiment with.  The green onions, lettuce and spinach I had previously sown are coming up now.  I am quite anxious to have some fresh salad makings.
I also got the asparagus bed topped off with new soil and mulched good.  It'll be a while before that starts coming up though.  Very anxious for that too!  Sorry for the lack of garden pics but by the time I thought of it each day it was already too dark.

Once I get my brain to working a little better I plan on having some more informative posts to put up.  More than just, hey, I did this and here's the chickens doing their same ol' thing. LOL!   Hope you are all having a nice weekend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Long Way Home

We've had some really beautiful weather lately and I've felt pretty good, so I got a wild hair and went to visit Rickwood Caverns.  I'm not sure if Rickwood is in the county we live in but it's only about 40 minutes away.

We were not really impressed with the cave, especially at $15 a person to tour it, but the area is very pretty and they have some nice hiking trails.

This loop trail was only about 1 1/4 miles but it was very nice.

I have never seen these type fern grow so prolifically anywhere else.  All the rocks look like they have these big bushy afros. lol!  It's pretty cool.

So, we had a nice time and got some good exercise.  Something I am sorely in need of.

I'm not sure what species of fern this is....resurrection fern maybe??  If you know please feel free to say.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Appalachian Springs

 First one of the year....

I'm so looking forward to warm weather this year.  Something tells me I'm not the only one.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Slow Like Honey

The watercress that lives in the overflow of my spring is loving the warm/cold/warm /cold/ warm again weather.  I guess it's sunny and warm enough for it to start growing but cools off again before it starts wanting to bolt.  It has been in this sort of perpetual green but not blooming state for weeks now.  When it starts blooming it gets too spicy for me to eat.  I often forget about it, especially if I'm not in frequent moods for salads, but it's a wonderfully nutritious green and I'm lucky to have to grow here naturally in such abundance.  Wonder if I could sell it to some of those fancy-smancy restaurants in Birmingham??

So, I am feeling better but I can't say I have a lot of motivation for writing lately.  I don't quite understand it.  The brain fog is mostly gone but my thoughts flow only slightly faster than molasses.  I sits and thinks a lot.  But sometimes I just sits.  I do have a strategy of my own for correcting this and I'll let you know how that goes.  For now it just seems I've had the wind knocked out of my sails and the breeze just doesn't want to pick back up.  I will also probably remove the pottery page from my blog here.  I am producing a little pottery but I hurt so much at times and never really know when my back and hips are going to cooperate so, I think it's time to stop taking orders.  If people want to buy the stuff as I'm able to produce it, that's fine, but I hate to make people wait so long for a product.

In regards to that, I've been thinking about what else I can do, when I'm not up for pottery.  Most people assume that ceramics would be like my first love but that's not true really.  Sculpture is what I really enjoy.  It's just easy and faster to make money with pottery.  So, maybe I'll finally start doing a bit more sculpture.  It is actually easier on me because I don't have to be bent over continually or sitting down.  I'm also looking into maybe more drawing and photography, so on that subject I have a question for you!  If you have a good SLR type digital camera that you really like, what kind is it and why do you like it?  Conversely, if you have had one you don't like or it didn't meet your expectations, what was it?  Thanks!