Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Cards running late...again

Every year I say, "This will be the year everyone will get our Christmas cards BEFORE Christmas!" and every year I fail miserably. I think last year I didn't even get them out at all. I figure once mid-July comes around Christmas cards are really a mute point.

So just before I open Word and actually write out my post-holiday cheer I thought I'd write a quick blog for a touch of inspiration. It comes to no surprise to me that after my marathon and nursing my foot I am finding it hard to start up a running routine again. Running is many things if not one of the most frustrating of all exercise possibilities. I was barely able to run 3 miles yesterday. I couldn't believe how fast I lost all those months - practically a year - of hard work. But just before I got to the point of beating myself up over it, I took a step back, inhaled deeply and reflected...

I ran 3 miles. This time last year I could hardly run 1, but what is important to remember here is that I ran. I can run. Sure I ache and with my foot I have yet another ailment to be irritated about, but if I am being completely honest here I would probably lose interest if this all came easy for me. Where's the adventure if there's not some kind of struggle to overcome, right?

My heart goes out to a very dear family member of mine who, due to a series of unfortunate events, has found herself in a temporary state of disability and of all the people in the world who can read this, I hope she is one. Today, tomorrow, and the days to come I run for her. I run through my selfishness and self doubt knowing her struggles are greater but not without hope. I run to let her know that in time she will run too (yes run) and sometimes we have to go through the bad days to really appreciate the good ones.

In the meantime I give a shout out to all the women in my life: Osteoporosis is not an old woman disease. Educate yourself. Love yourself. And have a great start to a new year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Bazaar

Well, it would have been better if more people actually came because when people were there, they bought stuff. A poorly advertised event is one in which I will not be returning to. I lived. I learned. And now I am moving on.

There is a whole subculture in the bazaar industry. People hold close their trade secrets. Never ask an apron maker where she gets her fabric or a snack maker how they get the wasabi to so beautifully and evenly coat the sunflower seeds because you will be met with a deep stare, then a plastered smile, followed by a comment of, "mumble, mumble, mumble."

My fellow vendors were generally kind-hearted and we talked more than sold, but so goes the way of a bazaar vendor. One show can make you thousands, where others one simply prays they will make enough to cover the cost of their table.

It's fun making things that have not been on the market. I am now known as "The Dinosaur Lady" or the, "oh my gosh, did you really make this?" lady. So if you are looking for a teddy bear, that perfect hat or scarf, or fleece blanket do not come knocking on my booth. All you will find are new twists on old ideas, and stuffed delights that bring you back to when you were a child. And if you are pleased enough you will buy it, take it home and share the delight with someone in your life.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It must be nice being a dog

As I come to a stopping point in my crafting madness, but still a bit buzzed from the coffee overload I partook in at 5pm, I reflect...

To say the least, I am so excited for my first holiday bazaar. However, I am a poor manager of time and this, I am afraid, is an extreme understatement. I didn't want to be working like mad up to the last second and yet here I am neglecting the gym, using the TV to put my children in a lobotomized state of complacency so I can sew in the next room and not walking the dog.

Ah, Artex. When Erick brought him home last Christmas as a gift to me I cried with joy. Soon I began to cry out in irritation and anger as he chewed his way through my floors and any possible wiring he could put his mouth on and yet, no sparks. Lucky dog. Having lost his cow bone, a few days back I got Artex a soft plastic toy I was hoping would subdue him in the coming week as my crafting load was shifting into overdrive. He immediately tore it up and ate most of it spending this week with diarrhea and more whining than usual.

While I sat hand sewing closed some stuffed dinosaurs, I shook my head and started to feel a little sorry for him. All he wanted was attention. A simple walk. I instead gave him a 'pacifier' because I am too consumed with my doings. To make me feel worse, it backfired and gave him a belly ache and just at the moment of complete sympathy Artex, who was previously sleeping off his boredom, yelps and looks at his butt. I stop and watch as he excretes some of his toy. Gone completely crazy from boredom, or just because he is a dog, Artex is once again chipper and happy to see he has his toy back and begins to play with it despite where it just came from. Does he know?! Because he obviously didn't care as he thought we were going to play catch as I grabbed a rag, took it forcibly away and settled down to do more sewing.

Do not fret. He got his walk in and he got an extra bonus of going to the dog park. Ah, the life of a dog...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

LA vacation part two: J-tree dude

Nearly a month later I finally get a moment, late at night, to finish writing about our experience in LA. When the snow and ice hit a few weeks back, I closed my eyes real tight and thought about the desert. Not just any desert. The Joshua Tree forest was located within a desert I had never experienced before. Here in Washington/Oregon, the deserts are high, cut from glaciers and full of juniper and whistle pigs. The Joshua Tree desert is full of cactus, rattle snakes, sand and million pound rocks that felt like sandpaper and looked as though they had been meticulously placed on top of each other. Awesome.

I love camping and car camping is like going to the spa. No worries about what I couldn't carry, no minimalistic thoughts and no need to shovel a hole to do my business. The ground was extremely hard and the threat of snake bites in the butt loomed, so I was so pleased about the outhouses. We even lucked out of the often rancid olfactory overload in which outhouses produce (even in the chilliest of climates) because some very nice person lit a candle that lasted our whole stay. Both nights were clear and even a little too warm the first night.

Ah the first night. Vali and Gio had all their friends gathered around the fire. We were in happy spirits and ready to let loose when a couple of Navy guys asked if they could share our site. Gio had rented three spots and it ended up that we only needed two, barely. So being of good humor, as a collective we accepted these strangers into our site. Aside from them, the group as a whole did not know each other and connected only by Vali herself but nonetheless these guys were deemed "the strangers". The strangers tried too hard and talked a little too much. They were visiting to do some climbing and given the perfectness of the rocks, I would have even been tempted to scale a few if the opportunity arose. They were from San Diego and were obviously surfers from their sun-smacked skin and bleached hair to the on stranger's super lame lazier gun tattoo on his forearm. They stayed only the one night and were gone when we returned from one of many of our day hikes around the park.

Vali and Gio have a good group of people they surround themselves with and it was a real treat to be within it, if only for a few days. We took the warm atmosphere home to a typical Northwest pre-winter chill and dug right back into life and when I open my eyes to look at the stiff, frozen outside I smile. The trip was needed and leaves my pending winter warmer than usual.