Friday, May 4, 2018

Twenty year bead obsession

I made glass beads for many years.  I started in March of '98.

I loved making glass beads.  I learned sooooo much from online friends and "real life" friends like Robin, Dilly, Janie and Nancy.

The glass rods came in so many colors and combining colors for a new color was fascinating.

About four years ago I decided to change over to making paper beads.  A whole different process but still the same feel of love for the bead.

It's been fun experimenting with different kinds of paper: sheet music, Christmas wrap, old catalogs and calendars and my secret obsession (although I've posted so much about it I don't think it's a secret anymore), Cavallini paper.

I tried many different crafty things before beads came into my life but none of them stuck like beads.

Truth be told, I kinda sucked at the other things so I'm still thanking my lucky stars the beads showed up.

The other thing I'm so thankful for is that glass came to me when I needed it most.  My best friend, Sue Lange, died in October of '97.
I was at a loss.  My world stopped.  Life began to move again (slowly) when I started melting glass.

Because of glass, I made new friends.  None, of course, would ever take her place but they filled the void - a bit.

So, twenty years making beads.  It's been a hoot.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Oops #2

No dead cats this time.  This oops is about too many 'terps.

I'm a Sign Language interpreter (terp) as everyone here already knows.  Unless there are some new-comers.

I went on a job recently and to my surprise (it's happened before, more than once but not frequently) there was already another interpreter there.

Oops.  We made sure there wasn't another Deaf person at the site that was waiting for an interpreter and then did "rock, paper, scissors" to see who would stay.  

JK on the hand game.  We spoke like two professionals and then I hit the road.

Obviously there was a mix up by the customer when sending in the request to the agency I work for.  Even more interesting was the fact that the other person was there from a different agency. hmmm

Later that afternoon I got a text from the interpreter who stayed and she said that another terp showed up for the same client.  Now, that has never happened before. double hmmmm

I've also gone on a few jobs only to find out upon arrival that the client wasn't actually DEAF!  That one was a royal mix up.  Actually, now that I think about it, that happened a few times.  Once, the person had a hearing deficit but didn't know Sign Language. 

I believe technology is strongly behind the errors.  As much as I love the new stuff that's out there that makes our lives easier (most of the time), it also causes some big-time boo-boos.

I love freelance work.  

Friday, April 27, 2018


This is the story of a dead cat.

Neighbor #1 lives across the street from us.  She went on a well deserved 4 day vacation.

She asked Neighbor #2 (who lives right behind her) to watch her cat while she was gone.  The cat goes out twice a day which has never been a problem

The day after #1 left #2 came to our door early that morning to ask for our help.  She couldn't find the cat and then discovered it had been hit and killed around the corner and was in the middle of a busy street.

I called the local police department and they said they'd send someone from public works to pick the cat up.  They asked that #2 go stand by the intersection.

Petey went with #2 for moral support.  Before the city guy could arrive a kindly pedestrian came along and picked up the cat and put it in the box that #2 brought along.

Now Petey and #2 went to #1's house to put the cat in the back porch until they could contact #1 to find out what she wanted done with the body.

As they rounded the house into the back yard - guess who was sitting at the door waiting to be let in?

So . . . . now what?  Who did the dead kitty belong to?

#2 decided to take the boxed cat back to her house and I'd redirect the city guy to pick it up there.  The body was destined for the city dumpster.

As #2 stood waiting for the pick up she began to wonder if the cat actually belonged to one of her neighbors who lived directly across the street from her.

Enter Neighbor #3.  #2 crossed over the street and knocked on #3's door and asked if her cat was there.  #3 immediately said "why, is he dead???"  She took a peak into the box across the street and started to cry.

Enter Neighbor #4 who lives right next door to #3.  She came out on her porch to see what was going on - alerted by #3's cries.

#3 said "my cat was hit by a car and is dead."  #4 pointed toward #3's house and shouted "isn't that your cat under the porch?"

Yup.  You guessed it.  #3's cat was safe and sound and probably wondering what all the crying and yelling was about.

So if you're missing a cat, you'd better hurry up to the city dumpster.  It's been a few days.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Florida, 2018

 In no particular order (well, maybe reversing the timeline).  This is Gulfport.  A small community very near our rental.  Such a fun place to hang and we did that a lot.
 Our last evening in Gulfport.  What a beautiful view.
Don't we look serene.  Florida will do that for ya.
 Not sure we would have ever found this place if a friend of a friend didn't recommend it.
 All the food, and I mean everything, is made from scratch.
 A park we hadn't been to in a few years.  Nice to touch base again.
My bestie, Kathi.  We've been buds since the early 70s.
 Fort DeSoto.  Hadn't been here for 8 years.  Outstanding.
 A park downtown St.Pete where we love to walk and watch.
 Loved this restaurant in Gulfport.  We sat on the porch pictured below.

 A new addition (the equipment, not Petey) to the downtown park.
 Augie chillin' at the park.  He likes to watch too.
 A favorite in St.Pete.  Home of the "hubcap" pancake.  Yes, I had one.

 Sunset at Madeira Beach.
 This store/restaurant is a favorite.  It's wild and wonderful.  Made the Sicilian I'm married to a happy man.  We visited several times.
 John's Pass out on the beach.  Stores, restaurants and people.
Petey bought a folding bicycle and spent a lot of time riding on the Pinellas Trail near our house.
 Kathi introduced us to luxury movie watching.  We loved it!
 Had to check it out . . . cuz, Dead Bob's.  Fun place, decent food.
 One of our favorite places in Gulfport.  It is always hoppin'.
I love palm trees.  I'm fondest of this particular kind.

All in all, Petey and I agree that this year was the best ever.
Counting the days until our return.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Random (non-political) thoughts

The first "random" thought isn't actually a thought but a tip.
Yeah, a tip from Ellie. I can feel your excitement.
It's a breakfast tip.  I went for a long stretch of time not eating breakfast.  Particularly when I was employed by the public ed system.  Particularly when I was working at the middle school - high school level because lunch was so damn early.  
I could not eat breakfast at home and then eat lunch at 10:20a.  Just not possible.
So I went without and ate like a ranch hand during "lunch."
I've been retired since 2006 and was still skipping the morning nosh until a year ago.
I was thinking I needed to give it a try again.  My friend, Mary VanderVeen, was extolling the virtues of Kashi GoLean one day so I checked it out.  I decided against going the milk and bowl route, though, and sprinkled some of the cereal on top of Greek yogurt.
I'M IN!!! 

Here comes a random thought.  I was thinking about the word "pretty" the other day.  Obviously it is used to describe something or someone who is pleasing to the eye.

But it is also used, constantly, in place of "very."
"That restaurant was pretty awful."
"I'm pretty tired; can't climb that mountain today.  It's pretty high."

Don't you wonder how subbing "pretty" for "very" ever came about?

Post Olympics: I'll confess, I didn't watch much of it.  I "pretty" much waited for clips on Good Morning, America.  We did, however, watch some curling.  Much, much more interesting than I thought it would be.  "Pretty" exciting, too.

Packing for an extended stay away from home becomes way more stressful as one ages.  I think it has something to do with forgetting stuff ALL THE DAMN TIME.  

How long has that remote mic been attached to ear buds???  My bestie, Jeremy Dutkiewicz, enlightened me just last week about this "pretty" cool piece of technology. I'm not a huge ear bud user but the mic has allowed me to make calls during Augie walks without having to take off my mittens to do so.  Also, picking up poopies during the walks is a lot easier now that I don't have to juggle the phone.  It's a whole new world.  I got to enlighten my older sister, Stacey, since she knew nothing about this mic thing.  I love paying it forward.  

I think I'm done with random thoughts.
I hope you have a "pretty" nice day today.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Me and my watch

I've worn a watch for many, many years.  I'm not sure how old I was when I got my first watch but I wouldn't be surprised if it was when I was in junior high.  I'm pretty sure wearing a watch at that age was cool.  That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

I've had the stretchy band, the leather band and the bracelet arrangement.  Loved them all.  I felt naked without my watch.

I've noticed since the cell phone craze started that the young 'uns don't wear watches because - well, they always have their phones. No need to take up wrist space when your cell is right there.  
All. The.  Time.

A while back I had an issue with my watch quitting on me.  I thought it was a battery problem until I discovered my watch had solar power.  I did the research on what you're supposed to do when your solar watch poops out and that seemed to help.  

Until recently.  I did the whole bit about setting it on a window sill to catch as much sun as you can here in Michigan during the damn winter. I also turned on the high intensity light that I use to make beads with but neither option worked.

Then I thought - should I actually try going without a watch?  Will my life continue without incident if I do? I actually own a cell.

Then the pluses occurred to me .  It would end the frustration I've been experiencing of late when I look at it and the time is way off. After some squinting I realize the second hand isn't moving. Frustrating.

Not wearing a watch will certainly free up wrist space which means MORE BRACELETS!!!

Lastly, no watch may signal to the younger generation that I'm as cool as they are.

Humor me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Homage to Jazz

Not the music - the exercise.  That's Jazzercise, folks.

Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with the music but ya'll know me well enough by now to know it's all about the Blues for me.

I'm talking about the experience I have 5 times a week - when real life doesn't get in my way - to sweat, sing and dance.  It's fun as hell and good for me, too.  A win/win.

This ain't your granny's exercise program either. That's not to say there aren't grannies there - they're there by the handful.  Probably more of them than the young ones (probably because I only go to the morning session) but that's the beauty of Jazzercise.  It's an all-ages work-out.  

This morning I was between a 20-something kid and a lady in her early 70s.

I started going to Jazzercise back in 1990.  Back when we wore spandex and those leg warmer things.  The unitard.  The thong looking leo on top of shiny tights.

For the record, I never wore those thong things.  I never thought my butt could handle it.  Or the poor suckers that stood behind me.

Back in the 90s I was gettin' it done with high impact and high intensity.  Time has a way of changing life and I no longer crank it out with high intensity but I'm hanging onto the high impact.

Honestly, now that I'm not bouncing anymore, I really feel like I'm getting a better work-out.

I've said this many, many times:  Jazzercise lets you age through the program.

I'll stay as long as possible.