Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fit4Life Friday

Nspired by Faith has started a Fit4Life day on Fridays. She says, "The concept of Fit4Life is to share our goals for our lives and how we are going about reaching those goals with others. These goals can be anything that makes you a better you."

She is kind enough to let me participate, even though my goals are likely pretty different from most others'.

So let's see. My goals are:

1.) Gain 15-20 lbs.
2.) Start doing yoga again
3.) Find SOME way to make more of my calories healthy
4.) Remember to take my supplements more often

This week, I gained some. I think I've gained close to 3 lbs since my last doctor visit two weeks ago. It's HARD, I hate it. I hate that most of the things I have to eat to gain are grossly unhealthy. Like I mentioned last week, I upped my "nutritional drink" (store brand Ensure-type junk) to two a day most days. Instead of calling it Ensure, they should call it "Sugar in a Can".

I've not been a good exerciser for the past several years. I have to be careful, of course, and not do anything that burns a lot of calories. I started doing yoga a few months ago and liked it, but like with all things, I stopped after a while (for no particular reason). I also like pilates, but that's one I'd have to be careful with.

As for my supplements, I was doing really well with those when we were trying to get pregnant. However, since going on a break, I've hardly taken anything at all. I'm a vegetarian, so that probably isn't the best idea.

We'll see how this coming week goes. I'm hoping to gain at least another pound.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Picture this scenario...

... it's a hot and humid, very very windy day. My hair is up in a ponytail, but the wind and humidity have pretty much ruined any form of neatness it may have had. My cheeks are flushed from the heat, and I'm dressed in athletic shorts, a t-shirt, and old flip flops.

I went out to do two simple things: return a couple rental movies, and drop something off at my parents' house. While at their house, I remember I need to go to Lowe's to get some paint cards and bug killer and I also realize that I need to buy a wedding gift for my cousin, to send along with my parents tomorrow when they go out of state.

So, I go by Lowe's and head over to Bed, Bath, & Beyond where my cousin and his fiance are registered. When I get nervous, I get fidgety with my hands and have to keep them busy playing with something, like a hair band or a clean tissue or... my keys while I'm driving. Now, this is not normally a problem, but it just so happens that a very sweet and thoughtful person gave me a cute, little miniature pen on a hook thing and I hooked it onto my key chain. The traffic is making me anxious, so I nervously play with my keys hanging from the ignition.

Apparently in playing with the keys, I turn the pen on (you twist it) and when I arrive at the store and get out, what do I see? Due to the force of the car moving, the pen had written all over my leg, under my knee! Not just a few strokes either... A LOT. I roll my eyes at myself and go inside.

As I walk in, there is a girl probably a few years younger than me dressed very nicely with perfect hair walking out. She looks at my flushed face surrounded by my messy hair, then looks down at my leg and back up at my face again with a look that is saying, "WHY did they let this person out of her padded cell?!" Now, a few years ago I probably would have been MORTIFIED at this, but today I think it is absolutely hilarious.

I go to the bathroom to wash it off, buy the gift, and drive home. I get out of the car, look down, and I had done it again.

Why DID they let this person out of her padded cell?? *giggle*

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rantings of an Underweight Crazy Woman

I am underweight.

I am not bulimic. I am not anorexic. I never have been and never will be. I am probably one of the worst emetophobics in the history of emetophobia, and cannot even fathom the idea of making myself throw up. I realize I am underweight and need to gain 15-20 lbs at least. I WANT to gain weight.

I wear a size 0. It's hard to find nice clothes in a size 0. I can't wear kids clothes because they are not made for people with curves. I am a curvy, underweight size 0.

I am healthy. I am not malnourished. My cholesterol, blood sugar, electrolytes, iron, kidneys, and liver are all perfect.

Now that you know all this about me, it's time you know some other things.

Don't give in to the weight double standard. If it's not okay to say nasty things to and about fat people (and it's NOT) then it's not okay to say nasty things to and about skinny people. Unless you're a doctor or other medical professional that has valuable and important information, just zip it when it comes to a person's weight. If you're proud of your overweightness, that's fine. I'm not stupid enough to assume that just because you're overweight that means you're unhealthy and lack self control. Can't you pay me the same respect?

I am not a skeleton, nor do I look like one. I'd appreciate it if you don't refer to skinny people as "skeletons" or "aliens" or "bobble heads" or "broomsticks" or "twigs" or "looking half dead" or "disgusting" just to make yourself feel better. Or any other reason, for that matter. I thought the whole name calling thing died out in junior high. I guess some people never grow up.

Do not call people of bigger sizes "real women" just because they are not underweight. Last time I checked, I had all the parts necessary to qualify as a "real woman". All natural born women are real women... size has nothing to do with it.

Do not accuse me or any other skinny person of having an eating disorder. You have no idea what is or is not in a person's head. Why assume? It's rude.

Do not tell me or anyone else to "go eat a ***insert expletive of your choice here*** sandwich, for pete's sake", or say ""Why doesn't someone get them some donuts??" (I'll take a chocolate cake Krispy Kreme, if anyone's buying.)

Do not say superficial crap like, "oh she was so pretty before she lost weight" or "guys only like REAL women with meat on their bones, not those skinny bobble heads" or "that is sooo unattractive". Gee, thanks. Thank goodness I left my cares about what others think about me back in high school. I guess some people do grow up.

Look. I don't say nasty things about people who are overweight. I don't call them names. I don't mention what they should and should not eat. I don't accuse them of having eating disorders (and yes, overweight people can have them too). I don't say superficial crap about their looks. I don't make fun. Is it too freaking much to expect the same thing in return?

Yeah, I thought so.

Marriage, uh, Wednesday?

So, I'm only two days late!!

It figures that his week Christine would choose to talk about supporting him in his work. I'm wondering if she has a hidden camera stuck somewhere in my home that she's used to get me this week. *giggle* Some of you know that my husband has been working out of town for the past three weeks. I've seen him all of a few hours in that time period, and he hasn't had a day off at all since then. Needless to say, I'm quite upset (as is he). Thankfully it should be over soon and he'll come home tomorrow.

But, I certainly haven't been the joyous wife I should have been during the time. I haven't been mean to him, it's definitely not his fault. But I have let it get to me, big time, and I have been pushy and naggy into trying to get him to resolve the issues in the ways I think he should resolve them. It's sooo hard to not give input when something seems so straightforward to you, even if it's not really that straightforward in reality.

I adore my husband's strong work ethic and dedication to his company. That's a character trait I've never had and probably never will. I don't like working for people, I don't like strict schedules, and I don't do well mentally, emotionally or physically working outside of my home (hence the jewelry business). However, he seems to thrive in a workplace. His job has been (mostly) a blessing but lately it has proven to be somewhat of a curse as well. But instead of trying to get him to fix it MY way, maybe I should just shut up and pray for him to fix it God's way. Ick. I don't like letting go. Can we say control freak? ;o)

I've done alright for my goals last week. I was successful in getting the house sparkling clean by the time he was originally supposed to come home. And now I've been successful in letting it get cluttery again! *sigh* Does part of the Honor Your Husband Challenge include a maid service? ;o) I've definitely done well with taking care of me, or at least better anyway. As for the reading and praying, I started to but have not been regular with it yet.

So goals for this week are the same as last I suppose.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What is white?

Can I just say that I hate food? Ok, I don't really hate food, I just hate having to stuff myself with it until I'm miserable. HATE.IT. I've now upped my consumption of "nutritional drinks" to two a day, earning me 700 liquid calories. I'm used to the taste now and can almost chug them, which is weird considering I never chug anything. I am not a chugger. Chug not I do.

I decided I should eat more pasta since it's, well, yummy and also high in calories. I had a weird craving hit me at the store one day and bought a container of Easy Mac. Yes, folks, I bought Easy Mac. Can you believe that? I don't eat stuff like that, ever. I usually only eat one of three kinds of pasta... whole wheat penne or couscous, plain medium egg noodles, or Annie's whole wheat organic mac & cheese (which is rare). So what possessed me to buy Easy Mac, you ask? Well, the blue box mac & cheese just sounded good, and I've been home alone for about three weeks now and there's no way I can eat a box of mac & cheese all by my lonesome... stuffing myself or not. And let's face it, left over blue box mac & cheese just isn't good. "It's the Cheesiest!" turns into "It's the Clumpiest and Nastiest!" So I see the little container of lone serving Easy Mac and think to myself, "Self, don't do it!" but I did not listen. I brought it home and it sat on my kitchen table for a couple of weeks. Two days ago I decided that it sounded like it might be a decent lunch so I cooked it.

If you've ever made Easy Mac, you know that the directions say 1.) to ignore the white powder because it's necessary for the pasta to cook correctly, and 2.) don't drain the water after cooking; it's needed for the "cheese" sauce. Now, I'm not usually in the habit of ignoring random unknown white powders in things, but I figured that Kraft wants my repeat business so they're not going to poison me. At least not too badly anyway. So I ignored the white powder. As for the water issue... I was obedient and fully intended on leaving it in the container. However, the directions made no mention of the fact that the pasta drains itself. I'm not kidding. Apparently the pasta got nasty with the water, and the water jumped ship and decided to decorate my microwave. My pasta was dry. I poured in the "cheese" stuff packet, and it did not make sauce. It made "cheese" stuff clumps. I sighed and micro-boiled a mug of water and poured some in. It made a somewhat saucy somewhat clumpy "cheese" stuff mess.

It sort of tasted like mac & cheese, but Annie's is so much better. Now tell me, how is this process any more convenient than opening a box and cooking on the stove? I had to micro-boil a mug of water anyway since my needed water obviously did not read the directions on the container. I feel like I had reached the epitome of laziness. "Oh hey, look at me, I'm too lazy to cook from
A BOX!" (I realize that these things are pretty much marketed to kids to cook, safely, after school or something... so please don't shoot me! I'm not insinuating your Easy Mac eating children are lazy. I, however, am... Easy Mac or no.) ;o) I still can't believe I ate micro-cooked bleached white noodles covered in "cheese" stuff. With some kind of freaky white powder mixed in. I'm telling you... this eating a lot of calories thing? It's highly over-rated.

I'm a horrible painter. So horrible that when I painted my house, I got "oopses" all over the ceilings. My lines are not clean. Sue me! I figured I would get a can of paint and touch it up. The whole ceilings don't need to be painted, just my mess ups. No big deal, right? You can't mess up white paint, right? HAH! I went to Lowe's this week and bought a can of plain white paint. I decided before I start painting all over the ceiling, I better test it to make sure it's the right color. So I tested it in a small part of a wall in my office. Now, my office is supposed to be painted buttery-yellow and rich red, but I have not done it yet even though I bought the paint a year ago. It's still plain old white with one very big
blood splatter paint test spot. My dog used to growl at it. It looks that dangerous. Anyway, a few hours later I realize that apparently white is not white. My test area does NOT match. Huh? Now tell me how I'm supposed to match the "white" on my ceiling. It's not like I can just cut a huge chunk out, lug it down to Lowe's and say, "Hey! Match this, will ya?" I'm NOT painting the whole ceilings. So I see two options. One, leave the "oopses" and declare it "modern art" and two, hire a painter to paint all the ceilings in the entire house (plus my office... because if I'm hiring a painter, I aint playin').

Anyone need a mostly unused can of paint that could quite possibly be the beginning of the next unsolvable, universe altering question... "What, really, is white?"

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Photo Hunters - Shiny


Now I'm sure you're wondering what the sam hill this crazy looking contraption could be and what the yahoo it has to do with "shiny"?! It is a professional grade rock tumbler and its job is to make things shiny! My wonderful parents (Momma Belle and her Hubby-Beau) gave this to me for my birthday last week. It was the perfect gift... just what I wanted! (Of course, I only dropped about 100 hints in the past few months...)

So what does it do, you ask? Well, it can obviously tumble gemstones, but I don't use it for that. I use it to polish and burnish the metal pieces in my jewelry. Lemme tell you, it gives sterling silver a professional show-room shine! I couldn't believe it when I first saw the results. I'm obviously in love, here. I'm in love with a rock tumbler. Shhhh... don't tell my Hubby-Beau, k?

Anyway, onto the real shiny stuff. I wish I had a better camera so you could see for yourself the lovely shine my new toy leaves!

Jane's Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Earrings**:

Sterling Swirly Toe Ring:

Parallel Chain Maille Earrings:

Euro 4-in-1 Chain Maille Earrings:

Copper & Carnelian Ring:

If you likey, please visit our jewelry website where we have hundreds of shiny items for your inner Belle!

**These Awareness Ribbon earrings are the first item in a line we are creating in honor of my grandmother, Jane, who passed away from breast cancer complications a few months ago. 50% of the profit from every item sold in the Jane's Hope Collection will go to The Rose, a breast cancer charity based in Houston, TX.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

At least I'm not dying... today...

I guess I forgot to mention on here last week that the lab report on my mole came back negative. I'm sure all of you were just bursting at the seams, waiting for that information! ;o)

When the doctor walked in with the report I said, "So am I dying of cancer?" and he replied, "Well, not today. But I can't make any promises about tomorrow." Then he read the long drawn-out medical mumbo-jumbo report that went on and on and on, none of which I could understand (except for "non-malignant" - THAT I understood!) and then looked up and said, "So it's basically a mole. Or a freckle, rather."

The mole hole is finally healing up nicely. The stitches came out last Friday. It's still sore though. In case you're in the mood to get a gross visual, part of the scab came off today (and no, I didn't pick it off - though I must admit it was very tempting! It's itchy and was driving me nuts!). It feels tight, like my skin is stretching. Well, duh, I guess it is stretching since they cut only, you know, a whole inch off of my already tight belly skin. I wonder if it will get all extra funky looking if I ever get pregnant.

Oh well. At least I'm not dying.

Ugly Like Me

Do you ever have days where you're disgusted with yourself? Yeah, that's me today this week. All these things I've been going through, all my "defining moments", have really made me take a step back and peek into the depths of myself and closely look at what's inside.

I'm not going into specifics because I don't want people yelling at me or people coddling me, and I'm sure both would happen. I don't like what I see. I don't like who I am and what I've become. I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

This is the song that's going through my head today.

"Outside" by Staind:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Product Review: Rotting Fruit, Anyone?

Since I'm trying to gain weight, I've been forced to mostly give up plain water. *cries* Since I cut out coke (that's all soda, for those of you who don't live in the south), I've come to love me some plain water or some lemon flavored non-sweetened sparkling water (La Croix is one brand). Unfortunately, God decided that water doesn't need calories. I think God and I need to have a little talk about that one. Anyway, I've been trying to down some other beverages (NOT coke) that have calories, or else it's wasted space in my teeny tiny belly.

There's sweet tea of course, and then sometimes I'll drink juice. I'm not a huge juice fan, but there are a couple I like. One I've come to like is V8's V-Fusion. It's a mix of 100% fruits and veggies. Now, I've always liked carrot juice. Momma Belle used to make it fresh and it's deeee-lish with an apple thrown in.

So last week Momma Belle and I ran to the grocery store while we were out doing some other stuff. I wanted some juice, and I happened to see that Juicy Juice now has some 100% fruit and veggie juice mixes. I thought to myself, "Self? Try it." No angelic choir was present this time... I should have known right then that it was a mistake. Why buy something new when the thing I know I already like is right there and only two cents more? Two cents, people. TWO CENTS. But yeah, I'm that cheap and I bought it. Orange Mango or something like that.

I stuck it in my fridge, unopened, and forgot about it until today when I walked into the kitchen about to drink another sugar-loaded "nutritional" drink ("nutritional" in whose eyes, exactly??) when I remembered this juice. I got all happy and opened it. I poured a glass full and sniffed it. "Hmm... that smells weird. Almost like rotting fruit." I figured, what the hey? It must be one of those bizarre freaks of nature that smells weird but tastes good. I sniff it again. "Ummm, yeah, this smells not that great." I shrug and give it a big gulp. Lemme tell you, it tastes just like it smells. Rotting fruit. Nasty as all yahoo! I promptly ran to the kitchen and poured the rest of the glass down the sink, and the remainder in the fridge? Yeah, I'm crossing my fingers at it like it's about to try and suck my blood.

Remember, I like carrot juice, so that's not it. I thought I liked mangoes too, so I don't think that's it either. I think Juicy Juice just decided to take their less than appealing left overs (bruises, mold, and all) and is throwing them into a blender, declaring it a healthy surprise for your kids. Don't buy it! It's tasty, people. Really nasty. It seriously tastes like you would imagine rotting fruit tastes. And if you've been unwittingly feeding it to your children? Please stop. They might get nightmares (I know I will)!

So, to recap:

V8 V-Fusion? Gooood. I'll be buying it again.
Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise? Nasty! Stay away!

That is, of course, unless you like the taste of rotting fruit. Then more power to you. Long live the moles.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Marriage Monday: 30-Day Honor Your Husband Challenge

So it has been a while since I have participated in Marriage Monday, though I promise I still love my husband. *giggle* I sort of went no-meme for a while as I dealt with some things both physically and mentally and didn't feel like posting much. But I hopped over to Fruit in Season over the weekend and saw that Christine is hosting this new challenge that starts this week and as I heard an angelic choir from the heavens singing the Hallelujah Chorus, I thought to myself, "Self? Do It." (Yes, I talk to myself. No, I don't hear angelic choirs... but it would be cool, no?!)

Christine has said that we should give ourselves a list of goals each week to accomplish. Now, I'm *not* a goal-oriented person, so this might be hard... but I will try! Here are my goals for this upcoming week:

* Find and pull out my copy of The Power of a Praying Wife and start reading it again and praying for my husband daily again. I pray for him almost daily, but mostly prayers of protection. He needs more. I need more. This is a good goal. (Feel free to pray that I meet it! Do they have a Power of a Praying Bloggy Friend?)

* Have the house decent looking when he comes home from his very long business trip this week.

* Work hard on myself. This might seem like a selfish goal, but it's not. I already take really good care of him, but not so much myself. He really appreciates it when I try my best to make sure I eat enough daily and take care of me.

So those are my goals. They won't be all that easy for me, but hopefully I'll be able to accomplish them.

Do you want to join the 30-Day Honor Your Husband Challenge? If so, pop on over to Fruit in Season and say hi to Christine. If you haven't yet "met" her, just tell yourself, "Self? Do it." (And make sure to listen for that Hallelujah Chorus...)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Blogging Story

I found this idea on Boomama.

The Blogging Story Carnival.
Check it out, yo! (Or as my friend Jeanie would say, "Yo! Check it, homeslice!")

How did you start blogging?
I just decided one day that I liked to write and I should write, and I enjoyed reading other peoples' writings on their blogs... so... here we are. I really don't remember what exactly possessed me the day I started it. I know we were in the middle of house hunting for our first house, and I was stressed and crazy (oh wait, I'm always stressed and crazy) so maybe that had something to do with it.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?
Well no, and I obviously have not become a blog with a big following. But I do have some regulars and I love you all! You make me want to keep plugging along, even when I don't feel like it. :o)

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
I've talked about why I blog here. Have I been successful? Sometimes. I don't really have a plan. I'm not much of a planner.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Yeah, I'd say so. In the beginning, I was focused on writing serious well written posts all the time. But that's just not me 24/7. If you know me for real, you know I'm goofy and weird and sometimes spunky. Plus, I got bored with not having enough serious things to write about. So I decided to join a few light-hearted memes and have met some great people through that, and I am really glad I did. Now I just write about whatever comes to mind, whether it be earth shattering and deeply theological thoughts or about... things... coming out of my bleed-me-dry mole hole and big ugly spiders traipsing about my house with bumpy baby butts. You get a little bit of everything with me, I guess.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
That people love comments and always appreciate them! I would have left more comments on fellow bloggers' posts. I mean, they just make you feel good and all loved up! ;o)

Do you make money with your blog?
Well now, that's all up to you and whether or not you buy my jewelry that I neeeeever talk about on here. ;oP

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
The ones I talk to regularly know about it. Most of them read it. My husband of course (a non-commenter! ;oP) and my parents (both non-commenters!!) and that's all I know about because, well, no one tells me they read it. But who knows? Maybe more do. There's always that possibility, and this is why I don't share embarrassing stories of my insane family members. No, really. You know how every family has "one of those people"? Well, mine has about, oh, 10. *giggle* I don't think any of my in-laws read it.

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
For one, have fun doing it and be real. And two, get out there and make some bloggy friends! (Oh, and leave them some bloggy comments.) :o)

Go on, join the carnival. You know you want to. I mean, if you're truly my followers and all...

Photo Hunters - Hair


Here are a couple rather unattractive make-up free unstyled hair photos I took of myself when I cut it a while back. I cut about 6" off or so. It's actually even shorter now (a bit under my chin) but it's up in a ponytail today and not fit for pictures. :o) I looove short hair!

And as a bonus, a picture of the good dog, Trixie, before we cut off her long shih-tzu hair. Now it's kept really short like all the rest of the pictures I've posted of her. I miss the shaggy look!

The Belles on Weight Gain

Daughter Belle: "I wish they made a Calorie Pill so I could take a few of those and not have to stuff myself silly all the time, trying to gain weight."

Momma Belle: "I think they do. They're called M&Ms."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Who knew?

I found this little quiz on Nspired by Faith. It looked fun, and I'm bored, so why not? (Edited for sensitive eyes.)

You Are Amy Lee!

Gothy, expressive, woman-in-pain

Who looks darn good in a corset

"When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears

When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears"

Who's Your Inner Rock Chick?

So this is sort of funny.

I'm so not goth. Not even close!

The only time I've ever worn a corset was when I had to wear the horribly uncomfortable corset-bra thing underneath my wedding dress. I should have burned it, but it's in the back of my closet. It will never be worn again though, I can tell you that much.

I am expressive, and I am in pain a lot lately... but I only wish I could sing like and had the songwriting talent of Amy Lee! My Immortal is one of my all time favorite songs. I can get lost in it... the haunting yet beautiful background music, the deep lyrics, the vocals?? Aaaahhh. I just love it. I like the duet she did with the dude from Seether... Broken? Fantastic. (Right about now, if he has looked up any of this music, my dad is falling over in his chair drawing up plans to disown me, his only child... ;oP but hey, I likes what I likes!)

So who knew? My inner Rock Chick is Amy Lee of Evanescence. Could be worse, that's for sure. Want to play along? Leave me a comment and tell me all about your inner Rock Chick!

Excuse me, I think the black fingernail polish is calling my name...

Spiders and tigers and bears, oh my!

A few minutes ago, I noticed my good dog pawing at something over against the wall. Knowing the habit of the neighborhood scorpions to decide to infiltrate our humble abode, I figured I should check it out. Much to my relief, it was not a scorpion, just a spider. Now, I'm not fond of spiders, but knowing that most of them aren't a danger makes me not freak out over one anymore. (Yes, I know that Texas scorpions aren't a danger either, but come on. They're just freaky and scary anyway!)

I leaned in to see what kind of spider it was (we get these totally harmless but incredibly dangerous looking black ones with red back marks!), and I couldn't tell, but I did notice that its butt was kind of bumpy. I wasn't thinking about this fact very clearly (I am tired... it is 2am, after all, and I wanted to go to bed an hour ago but was too riveted by a google search on what can make for cloudy urine -- yes, I'm that much of a nerd) and decided to just kill it.

My husband is not here tonight, so there weren't any big shoes around. I wear a size 5 shoe and when it comes to spider squishing, I'm a firm believer in the bigger the better. We don't have any bug spray, so I decide Lysol is a safe bet. That stuff will kill anything. So I spray it with Lysol, and of course, it freaks out and slows down enough for me to feel secure in squishing it with a smaller-type shoe. So I squish it, but it's a very determined little bugger and it does NOT want to die. I squish it 4 more times before it dies. It's then that I realize that there are little moving things all across where the spider had crawled in its final moments. What were these little moving things, you ask? Well, at first glance, I thought they were ants. We're always battling ants in Texas. I'll tell you right now, they were not ants. They were little baby spiders that I guess jumped off of big momma's butt when I started inundating them with poison. Little baby spiders. A TON of little baby spiders. Crawling on my floor. Probably jumping on my head, running up my nose, and trying to eat my brain. I think that portion of the carpet is now completely disinfected for life. And there are who knows how many dead and disinfected baby spiders now sitting in my vacuum cleaner. I love Lysol.

I haven't stopped feeling little things crawling all over me since. I'm not sure I'll get much sleep tonight. I'm completely skeeved out! Like I said, I'm generally okay with most spiders... and I will leave them alone to live their happy spidery little lives if they're outside. But they aren't allowed to survive if they breach my doorway... especially carrying little babies on their butts!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Shameless Plug

So here's where I officially start to advertise our jewelry business Two Belles & a Bead. We are a mother and daughter team of jewelry designers, specializing in gemstone beads and most recently wire work. There's "Momma Belle" (my mom, Karen) and "Daughter Belle" (me!) and our Beaus (the hubbies).

Our new website is a treat and at the moment it has over a hundred items from which you can choose. From simple and fun to simply elegant, there is something for everyone! We also take custom orders and can make just about anything. Our prices are affordable and fair, and we offer free shipping anywhere in the US! (We do ship internationally, but our shopping cart isn't set up for that quite yet, so until it is, those will be done through email.)

We'd like to invite you to take a gander and maybe even sign up for our newsletter. We will be hosting some sort of contest this summer for our newsletter subscribers. We're not fond of spam (the kind in the can or the kind in your inbox) and vow to only send out GOOD emails... and they will be good! As a subscriber, you will be eligible for member-only sales, promotions, and contests.

There will be a link in my blog sidebar from now on... with the sole purpose of taunting you with our goodies. I hope you don't mind. ;oP This website is long awaited, and we are very excited it is finally here! We hope you will be too. :o)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Photo Hunters - Shoes


I'm late... again... but here are my photos for this week's "shoe" theme. I originally had the perfect picture in mind. When I was in high school, we went to Arkansas and Tennessee for a family trip, and we came across this enormous "shoe tree" that had literally hundreds of pairs of shoes tossed up into its branches. I have a picture of my cousin and I standing underneath it, but I am not sure where the picture is at the moment. I tried to find it, but gave up after digging around in the garage for a few minutes when I decided that it's probably best if I stop lifting and moving heavy boxes around while my mole hole (see previous post) is still healing. Sooo, anyway, I bring you the alternate plan.

My everyday shoes - a pair of brown suede flip flops and a pair of black suede-ish flip flops. I wear flip flops everywhere unless it's cold or rainy.

And the sweetest pair of pink baby slippers ever made, for the little girl alive only in my dreams, hopefully to be realized someday.

The Tale of the Mole Hole

So let's see if I can blog about something other than jewelry tonight, hmm? This week has been interesting. First off, my husband has been gone the entire week, 9 hours away... I'm not cool with that! I miss him, and I hate when he's so far away. His job is a huge blessing, but sometimes it just plain stinks.

I turn 27 next Wednesday, and I'm not cool with that. I'm almost 30, childless, and still have someone go with me to the doctor or dentist so I don't have a panic attack right in the middle of it. This is not how I imagined my life would be.

Speaking of dentist and doctor... I have a new cavity. I can see it. One of my teeth filled earlier in the year has suddenly become hypersensitive to temperature. I'm due for a cleaning next month, so I'll take care of them then I suppose. I'm NOT COOL WITH THAT. It doesn't matter how well I take care of them, they still stink.

I need to gain about 20 lbs, and my doctor wants me to go on a crazy med. I feel completely safe calling it a crazy med because, you know, I am crazy and I accept it... so I'm entitled to call it a crazy med. ;oP Paxil CR. It scares the poop out of me, and I haven't entirely decided if I'm crazy enough to try it. One day I think, "hmm, ok... I'll give it a shot" and the next I'm thinking, "umm, HECK NO". They think it will help me relax enough to eat better and gain weight. The thing is, there isn't a medical cure for phobias. All it will do is make me numb. I don't want to be numb, I'd rather be terrified. And as soon as I got off of the drug, I'd be terrified again, so what's the point? It's not very safe to take while pregnant, so if I do take it, I'd either have to forget the idea of getting pregnant (which, at this point, doesn't seem like that big of a deal since I'm thinking it's just not going to happen anyway... it's been two years... it's not looking good. Oh and did I mention the sr. doctor saying that I'd probably miscarry anyway because I'm 20 lbs underweight? Thanks, doc.) or take the (slim) chance of getting pregnant and having to wean off the drug immediately, which can be, well, a nightmare with the withdrawals.

Well, I surprised both my doctor and the senior doctor when my bloodwork came back perfect. They suspected malnutrition and anemia, but nope, everything is perfect. Even my B-12 (I'm a vegetarian, so I do supplement that). Of course, not being anemic, I now do not have an explanation for why I'm so tired all the time. But at least I don't have to worry about miscarrying a child from being malnourished. Count your blessings, right?

I'm down one mole. I had it cut off Wednesday. This is the little one that changed colors. She's pretty sure there's nothing to be worried about, but wanted to test it for peace of mind, and instead of just doing a biopsy, I opted to have it cut off. Yeaaaaahhh. Not sure that was the best idea! No one told me there would be stitches involved. I guess that's probably common knowledge, but um, hello, I've never had any kind of surgical procedure performed on my body so I would have appreciated that little gem ahead of time. ;o) Two stitches, my first ever. On my belly. Do you know how hard it is to function without moving your belly? Yeah, doesn't happen. So, it it doesn't hurt too much after the first night, but sometime during that night, my stitched up mole hole decides to start bleeding and doesn't stop for 24 hrs. Now this is probably not an earth shattering event, unless you're a 27 yr old home alone childless phobic pessimistic hypochondriac. (Told you I am crazy.) I woke up Thursday morning and promptly checked the mole hole, saw that the band aid had completely soaked with blood, ripped it off (ouch, by the way) and started shaking. There was this... thing... hanging out between the two stitches. Now, I knew better, but I swear it looked like a piece of tissue hanging out of me. The sight of my first ever stitches with a... thing... hanging out of it was enough to cause panic. I called my ex-nurse mom and begged her to look at it. "It's fine" she says. "No, it's not fine... I'm going out anyway to buy a torch (another day, another blog) so I'm coming over, and you're looking at it..." Of course, it is fine, and of course she confirmed that it was just a semi-dried blood clot like the remaining non-crazy part of my brain knew, and not my, you know, spleen hanging out or something (which would be a medical marvel considering the spleen is on the opposite side from my mole hole). So I go buy my torch and a new tube of Neosporin (my old one expired a few months ago, and that just won't fly) and a box of way too huge non-stick gauze pads and some waterproof band aids (FYI, not good on raw skin).

I slap a new band aid on the mole hole and go on my merry way. I might ought to mention that when the old band aid was removed, the... thing... was removed with it. Yay. A little while later, the new band aid is completely soaked with blood. So I call my mom again, and "it's fine, but call the doctor". So I call the doctor and wait a couple hours for them to call back and tell me to apply pressure with a band aid and if it doesn't stop by morning, to call again. So I apply THREE band aids and lay down to take a nap. About an hour later I wake up and my white t-shirt has three large spots on it. Large BLOOD SPOTS. I'M NOT COOL WITH THAT. Call mom again, freak out again. She assures me that it will not bleed forever. I worry about having to go back in to the doctor to get more stitches. A little while later, dad brings me some big honkin' band aids left over from when he had abdominal surgery last year. My poor skin is totally raw by now from the ripping off of band aids. I put on the big honkin' band aid and go to bed early, praying and praying that it will stop bleeding. I woke up this morning with the big honkin' band aid soaked with blood. *sigh* I ripped it off (*YEEEOOOWWWCHH*) and look, and lo and behold, the mole hole has stopped bleeding. It's a miracle! I have been looking down at it all day, fully expecting the bandage to be soaked with blood, but so far not another drop (that I can tell). So, try as it may, the mole hole did not bleed me dry. *whew* I'll tell you one thing. All the rest of my moles? They're just going to stay right where God put them. I figure He in His infinite wisdom put them there for a darn good reason and if He wants them gone, He's quite capable of doing it without stitches. Long live the moles.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Get Hammered

So what do you do at 2am on a Saturday night? I was hammering! These were sooo fun to make. There's nothing like beating the yahoo out of a piece of wire, lemme tell you. It's a great way to get out all those frustrations! And the result is a cool and fun piece of jewelry. :o) I will definitely be trying these in sterling, and I might even *gasp* play around with my soldering stuff!

Sorry I haven't been posting too much lately. My life is sort of all jewelry all the time at the moment, but hopefully soon I'll get back to posting some non-metallic posts.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Photo Hunters - Art


So it's been a while since I've participated in Photo Hunters. I haven't had much time or energy to figure out photos on topic lately since I've been working almost non stop on our retail website (which is up, functional, and almost complete!). But! Today I checked the site and saw that this week is too easy. I am a jewelry artist, with a recent emphasis in wire work and in the process of learning chain maille. For those of you that don't frequent my blog, the following pieces are done in copper because I practice my "art" in copper before moving on to the more expensive metals (and I just flat out love copper!) Soooo anyway... here are some photos of my latest pieces of art, completely handmade except for the beads. Enjoy!

Mobius Flower & Wrapped Briolette Earrings

Byzantine Weave Bracelet

Simple Glass Ring