Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear Myspace

Dear Myspace,

I'm sorry to say that I think it's over. I've left you for another social network. Stop crying; it's okay. Your heart will go on. And on. You see, lately I've forgotten to come and visit you. I just don't even think about you anymore. My other social network has fulfilled me in ways you never could. It's a network where the cool kids hang. You know, the ones that like the fact that they are no longer in junior high?

I just couldn't take your large graphics, constant surveys on who I "have a crush on", gaudy sparklies, and, well, your Tom anymore. It's just not my bag, baby. What? You think this is sudden? Oh, honey, it's been a long time coming. You're just dense, Myspace. Dense or deaf. My maniacal screams through the monitor were not getting through that thick skull of yours. Or was it the awful, automatically playing music keeping my pleas from reaching your ears? I know how to push a play button, Myspace. Don't patronize me.

I just don't find you mentally stimulating anymore. Actually, I never did. I faked it. Pretending to enjoy my time with you, I tried leaving comments and picking mildly classy layouts. But I was never really into it. The entire time I was daydreaming about a day when I could enjoy social networking again. Well, my time has come.

Sorry, Myspace. I'm leaving you for Facebook. Yes, Facebook. You read that right. Where grownups go to interact with their weird international friends who add extra vowels where vowels are not needed. Where we create secret groups and spend entirely too much time debating the fine nuances of items such as knitted baby hats. Where we are free to post strange status updates voicing our random mindless drivel and comment on them, endlessly chatting about the intricacies of the finer things in life such as toe hair, wall hangy thingies from Michaels, and chocolate. But not together. Because that doesn't even make sense. But I digress. Stop distracting me; that's not helping your case.

My point, Myspace: it's over. We're through. Kaput. I am no longer one of your peeps. I've grown up and branched out and have no more use for you. So please stop sending me emails from people I do not know who think I'm hot and want to be my friend. I'm really not that cool. They just think I am. But hey, I kind of think I am too, which is why I must call us quits.

Goodbye, Myspace. Goodbye.

(Or: "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!")

(But no, I'm much too classy for that kind of talk.)

(See what kind of bad influence you are? Shame on you, Myspace. Shame.)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Macro Mayhem

After surpassing even more goals, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge and order my beloved Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. I ordered it quite a while ago, but the camera shop was closed for Sukkot, so it didn't ship for a week or so.

It came in yesterday.

I was afraid to open the box.

Then I opened the box and inside that box was another box.

I finally got up the nerve to open that box and take off the top piece of styrofoam.

Then I saw the big, honking manual.

I started to read the big, honking manual, then realized I cannot read Japanese.

Then I realized that I cannot read French.

Then I found the English portion and started reading.

I became very confused. This is a serious lens. I barely know bokeh. My brain can process "bokeh" but "magnification priority" and "infinity compensation mark", not so much.

I carefully put it on the camera body. I think it might actually be heavier than the body itself. Or at least even.

Then I played. I need some macro practice. And maybe a monopod or something, cause boy there's nothing like watching camera shake in action through that type of magnification! I'm glad I'm not a surgeon. *wink*

But it was fun playing around. I need lots more practice.

The nose agrees.

I'm thinking about posting an extreme macro close-up every week or two and seeing who can guess what it is. That would be fun. What do you think?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear Birth Parent

As a part of our adoption profile (aka "scrapbook") we had to write letters to the birth parents. We wrote one as a couple then each wrote one individually. I had been dreading it for months and I'm so glad it's complete. See, our home study was approved this week and now we're legally able to adopt.

We mailed off our scrapbook to the agency's main office yesterday. Now it's just a matter of someone picking us. In most cases, we won't be told when our profile is viewed. We prayed over it before sending it, that God would bless each person who reads it and that the right one would choose us. I'm not sure what I feel right now. Not much, really. Defense mechanism, I'm sure. I don't think I'll be excited until that baby is in my arms.

Of course, right after it was sent, I was told that writing "dear birth parent" is offensive and not a good way to start the letters. However, this is what our agency recommended and they've been doing this for longer than I've been alive, so hopefully they did not steer us wrong. The case workers are going to review it when it arrives and offer suggestions for changes if any are needed. I be scared, y'all.

All in all, we ended up with 15 pages of pictures (the joint letter was integrated into two of the photo pages), our two letters (which are each about three pages long!) and a couple of pages that were pieces I wrote during this journey. I thought you might enjoy reading my letter. I took out the names of family members that may or may not like having their names out on the internet.

Anyway, here it is.

Dear Birth Parent,

First let me thank you again for allowing Dustin and I to open up our lives to you, and for considering our home for your child. I can't begin to know what you're feeling, nor can I guess at what brought you to the place you are now. I only wish I had some magical words to share that would bring you comfort, but what I do have are prayers for you and the little one you are carrying. I hope this book we've put together shows you who we are and the loving, supportive home we have to offer a child.

I've had a heart for adopting for almost as long as I can remember. I have a vivid memory of sitting on my high school best friend's bed one weekend, playing the board game "Life", daydreaming about what our futures would be like. How our husbands would look, how many children we'd have, what their names would be. She was raised by her mother and step father, and that had sparked a discussion about adoption. Of course, back then I was pretty clueless about the entire process, but it put a bug in my ear and a thought in my head that from that day on has been cultivated into a desire of my heart. When Dustin and I learned that we could not conceive a child, as devastating as that information was to me, after going through a period of grieving it also sort of clicked deep down. This is the road we're meant to travel. My desire to birth children melted away and in its place was the knowledge and peace that our family would grow purely by love rather than by blood.

Texas born and raised, I grew up in a stable and loving home with Christ as the foundation. I am an only child to Chris and Karen, who today remain two of my best friends and greatest inspirations. Married for well over thirty years now, they instilled in me many values that have helped to shape who I am. From a young age, I've had a deep love for God. My parents tell me that when I was a very small child, I would gaze through the car window at the sky and blow kisses to Him. I started singing to the Lord when I was little and have never stopped.

I had a happy childhood and many friends. I met one friend in particular when I was about three, and we remain friends today. We loved playing Barbies and My Little Pony. We used to get into all sorts of trouble, from putting on her mom's makeup to sitting under the table in a restaurant, crumbling up little packets of crackers onto the floor and quietly laughing to ourselves while the other restaurant patrons shot looks of horror at our unsuspecting parents. A few years later, we took ballet lessons together while we secretly crushed on church boys. Many years later, we cried tears of joy at each others' weddings.

I was home schooled from first through eighth grade and attended a Christian high school where I graduated Valedictorian with honors. My parents somehow managed to maintain a balance between pushing me to do my best and letting me have fun being the child I was. They expected me to work hard in school, but the drive that pushed me to the top was really all mine. That drive followed me to college, where I attended for two years with a major in computer science. It took that experience and two crazy but cool professors for me to realize that my true love lies in the arts. Writing, music, photography, designing -- these are things that have been a part of me my entire life, yet I failed to give them the attention they deserved for so long. Today I am a singer/song writer, blogger, jewelry designer, business owner, and aspire to someday be a published writer. My love of the arts has been fulfilled in my life, but an even deeper longing is still calling out -- the desire to be a mom. My hope for our future children is that they push themselves to be the best people they can be while still listening to their hearts and following their dreams. We will always do everything we can to help them set and achieve their goals, both in education and otherwise.

In high school, I spent a lot of time with a few very close friends. I have never been very athletic, but I've always loved bike riding and rollerblading. I was involved in a few singing groups and loved writing poetry. Volunteering as an assistant in our church's nursery and babysitting a neighbor's granddaughter were things I enjoyed often.

I met the love of my life while in college. Dustin was a world away, stationed in South Korea, but we somehow managed an unlikely meeting on the internet and later went on to meet in person. The day he flew to Texas to meet me, we decided to do dinner with my family and then catch a late movie as our first date. I remember that day like it was yesterday. We went to a little locally owned Chinese restaurant that has since shut down and planned to see The Bone Collector at the big theater. Interesting first date movie, I know. But no matter, to this day I'm still not sure what the movie is about. Dustin had my undivided attention and my mind was too busy reeling from the excitement of meeting him to pay attention. I drove to the theater, my dad's little red Toyota puttering along... until it died, that is. We sat there on the road, unsure of what to do, until a car full of strangers came by and offered to help Dustin push start the car. And so he did. My tall, handsome Army man push started my little red clunker on our first date and didn't even complain. What a catch! It was undoubtedly the best first date ever.

That began the start of our wonderful life together. Dustin is truly my best friend and my rock. That man constantly amazes me with his wisdom and intellect, yet keeps me in stitches with his crazy sense of humor. He is a great balance of strength and gentleness. I've not met a child that didn't almost instantly adore him. It's really no wonder, since he's like a big kid himself. He's such a good man and excellent husband... I can't wait to see him grow into a great dad. We consider our marriage to be strong and full of love and respect. Respect is important to both of us, and we plan to be a good example of a healthy marriage to our children. Dustin has always supported me in my good days and bad. Last year when I tragically lost my beloved granny, he was the perfect picture of tender strength for me. Granny was one of my favorite people on the planet. We used to sit and talk for hours. She possessed the kind of wisdom that only comes with age and her simple faith in God. Dustin was completely there for me and my family during that difficult time. He's such a treasure.

As you can see, family is very important to me. Growing up, we spent summers and the Christmas holidays traveling up north to visit relatives and that was always a lot of fun to me. I've always been pretty close to one of my younger cousins (I am the oldest on both sides), *name*, who is about to get married! Another cousin and his wife just had a little baby girl, *name*, named after our late granny and I cannot wait to meet her. My mom and I are very close and my mother-in-law is someone I call a dear friend as well. Just recently my dad's brother *name*, his wife and three kids moved to our town. My aunt *name* and I love to sit and chitchat, and our families enjoy getting together for holidays and BBQs and such. My baby cousin *name* is just the sweetest thing, and I'm very much looking forward to giving her a little buddy to play with!

I'm having a bit of a hard time finishing this letter. I feel like I still have so much more to say to you, yet I'm finding myself with so little words (which is a rarity!). I want you to know that even though I don't know you or your story, I have already been praying for you and your child for quite some time. The enormous decisions you're faced with in this season of your life must be such a scary thing and my prayer for you is that the Lord gently guides you through each one. If He happens to guide you in our direction, we would be honored to be the family that loves and raises your little one. If he guides you in another way, rest assured that you still have our prayers. We truly believe with all our hearts that every child is a blessing... now we're just waiting to be a blessing to one in return.


Friday, October 24, 2008

What does your name say about you?

On a forum I'm on, someone posted a link to this site where you type in your name and it analyzes your personality based on it. Now, please note, I do not believe in or agree with the Kabala religion or whatever it is, but the link thingy was kind of fun.

And so right. Well, almost.

This is what my name says about me, in case you're interested.

  • The name Crystal creates a very independent, practical, analytical nature with skillful business abilities.
  • You desire freedom from restrictions and authority in order that you can pursue your own ambitions.
  • This name gives you leadership qualities and you are seldom happy in positions where you must direction from others.
  • Material and financial success are the focus of your interests, but sacrificing much for material ambition will result in a lack of harmony and balance in your personal life, particularly a lack of appreciation for social courtesies and things of a more inspirational nature.

  • I'm not quite independent due to my current limitations, but the desire is there in my nature and I fully believe I could be if I didn't have anxiety disorder. And a shugah daddy (I kid, Dustin, I kid...).

    I don't think I sacrifice much for material ambition, but I think I could if I didn't have a good head on my shoulders regarding financial stuff. In fact, before I got old and wise (stop laughing) I could spend with the best of them. I still like pretty things, but I like even more a reasonable amount of financial security (AKA, our savings account). I don't know about that social courtesies and inspirational nature thing. I'm inspired by a lot of things and hate when people aren't courteous... but I don't see how materialism has anything to do with that.

    So what does your name say about you?

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    "Nursery Inspiration" - a page from our adoption scrapbook

    Or: "How Crystal's baby's nursery SHOULD look but never will because while she is quite possibly a veritable genius when it comes to jewelry/blogging/being Dustin's wife/being a phobic/ruining baked goods/eating chocolate, she is not nor will ever be a good interior designer."

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    I am so attractive...

    ... to the weirdos.

    I don't know how or why, but my blog attracts the strangest traffic. Each week brings me new laughs when I check my Google Analytics stats. It never gets old! Here's what has brought hits to my blog in the past couple weeks. I promise, these stats are for real. No words have been changed to protect the non-innocent.

    "how to get my husband to adore me" - I'm so glad you asked. First, you must demand chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Men like to be bossed around, you know, buying tons of chocolate for their damsels in PMS distress. Next, you feed him lots of healthy stuff that he hates, like spinach and lentils and fish oil that's supposed to taste like pudding. Finally, make sure to leave many annoying comments on his blog. Husbands LOVE this. Wait, what? That will never work, you say? Mwahahahaha! Oh, but it does. Right, hon?

    "how big is a mol" - perhaps a better question might be WHAT is a mol?

    "find your soul song"
    - Hurry up soul, find it already!

    "breast cancer awareness wah pedal"
    - Ok, now I don't think I've ever blogged about a wah-wah pedal. I totally should though. Wah-wah pedals are awesome. I don't have one, but it sure would be fun. Show of hands: who knew Crystal owns an electric guitar? Oh yes, I do! A gorgeous shiny one. I should take a picture. It sure would look even prettier with a wah-wah pedal, though I think a pink one might clash.

    "do you want fries with that song"
    - I generally prefer my songs to be trans-fat free, thanks. Oh, what the heck? Sure, I'll take a small fry. Extra ketchup, please.

    "crystal+blogspot" -
    I am the Crystal on blogspot?! I'm so glad you found me. *Whew!*

    "making a meal out of a mole hole" - Thank you so much for ruining what little appetite I had left... never mind on those fries. You are so disturbing.

    "a soul would have one mol" - Again with the mol?

    "how to pronounce humuhumukununukuapua'a" - I wish I knew, but alas, I do not. I shall defer you to my father, expert in all things Hawaiian pig-nosed fish.

    "why athletic shorts smell when i go outside" - Ummmm... perhaps a better question would be why did they invent showers?

    "orange rotting fruit" - I have some rotting potatoes. Will that suffice?

    "my life with this finger that song my soul" - The soul of mol that is be with toe.

    "whats that song that goes butt naked sitting on the bathroom floor" - The song loves the American people. It did not go butt naked sitting on that bathroom floor.

    I feel so dirty now. And very not hungry.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Cranbery Baked Oatmeal

    With the fall season here, don't you get the hankerin' for some cranberries? All red and juicy and plump, these gorgeous little gems are a staple in the American diet, especially in the colder months. It's easy to see (and taste!) why.

    I don't cook breakfast very often these days. I'm not much of a breakfast person at all myself, and Dustin usually drinks a high impact breakfast smoothie each morning. I say high impact because it has everything but the kitchen sink. Organic yogurt, milk, at least one kind of protein powder, raw oats, a mixture of fruit (usually banana, peaches, strawberries, or blueberries) and a couple handfuls of baby spinach (nope, you can't taste it). It gets him through til lunch and is packed with nutrients.

    This weekend though, I wanted to do something different, so I decided to make some baked oatmeal. I've made this before with mixed results. See, Dustin doesn't like mushy oatmeal. He'll eat raw quaker-type oats or cooked steel cut oats, but that's it. He does not like regular cooked oatmeal. The first baked oatmeal recipe I tried, he liked. The next one or two were too mushy and he was not a fan.

    This one is non-mushy and tastes great. I made it with cranberries this time, but next time I might go for blueberries. Yum.

    Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

    2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    A few dashes of cinnamon if desired
    1 cup milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1/2 cup sucanat (sucanat is unrefined evaporated cane juice... you can use regular brown sugar if you don't do natural stuff.)
    Dried cranberries or other fruit of choice, optional (I just dump some in until it "looks right")

    In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sucanat. Stir in milk, eggs, applesauce and fruit and pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until well set.

    I refrigerate the leftovers. It's good both hot or cold.


    Monday, October 20, 2008

    The Monstrous Crib of Hideousness

    Please don't think I'm awful for hating this crib. The crib looks better in the photos than in real life. The walls, on the other hand, look even more rosey in the photos!

    Repainting them is not an option. See, remember, I painted the rest of our entire house over the course of the past two years. I.Hate.Painting. Plus, I really really really suck at it. Big time. Hence hiring the painter guy. He did 100% better job than me; the paint is just so light, we didn't see the touchups that needed to be done in the lighting we had when it was finished. Dustin and I even looked. Dustin still can't see them, but he's just blind (he loves me, love is blind, right? Something like that, anyway.). In the early daylight though, they show.

    The only thing I like about this room is the fact that we decided to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. I love that and will probably do that elsewhere too. But I hate the color, and want to seriously harm this crib. I've never liked light toned wood, at least wood with too many yellowish hints in it like that. A true natural like pine or something can look nice for some things, but this crib has an odd tone that makes me want to puke. Cherry is ok (our floors are fake "natural cherry") and walnut is nice. I like espresso colored furniture the best (hence my dining table and living room armoire) and those black cribs are pretty sweet too. Espresso is my favorite though and what I would get if I bought everything new.

    So here it is, the monstrous crib of hideousness against its backdrop of too-light-and-rosey walls. Ignore the trim. And the orange chair that is, for some reason, still in existence. I placed the trim on the floor to make sure we still had it all, but it is not yet attached or re-painted. The trim and door will be lighter, like almost white. Or I might take the almost-white back and get pure white since the walls ended up being so light.

    *sigh* I hate being so picky, but this is really bugging me and I'm not entirely sure why.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    A recipe for disaster

    I love recipes, but just the ones that make food. The ones that only make disaster? Not so much.

    The paint in the nursery dried and I discovered I liked it on the paint card a lot more than on the walls. It has too much of a rosey hue in the background and is too light. I pretty much hate it, but now I'm stuck with it.

    We put the crib together today, and the crib looks awful with the floor. Actually, I don't even like this crib without the floor. It's huge and, well, kind of ugly (to me). I don't like the color and never did, but I was being frugal and frugality doesn't always breed gorgeousness, you know? I thought I'd be okay with it, but I'm not.

    After putting it together and seeing spots
    that need to be touched up on the too-light-and-rosey walls (actually, I'll probably be calling the painter back to do a second coat), and seeing the monstrous crib of hideousness, I totally lost it. Cried for an hour, letting it all out at my poor, confused husband. I cried about things from 15 years ago that I didn't even know were an issue. Who knew the monstrous crib of hideousness could be therapy?

    I feel like the nursery and making material preparations for this baby is the one and only thing I can control throughout the whole process... and I can't even get that part right. I just want our baby to come home to a room that's pretty. The baby won't care, but I do. I bought a crib I hate and picked a paint color that's not that great. I should have just gone with green for the walls and not looked at Craigslist. Now I'm stuck with too-light-and-rosey walls and left wondering whether or not I want to waste money for a new crib in the colors I like. So, I guess I'm materialistic. I want a nursery that looks like it's out of a magazine, not one that looks like someone threw up all over it. Blame it on society. Materialistic beasts!

    I feel like a failure of a mother already.

    I'm not cut out for home decorating. I'm just not. I have nice pictures in my head that I can't translate into reality. I have a nice picture of being a mom in my head as well... will I continue to fail at that too?

    Don't mind me. I just hate this crib.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008


    Two people are painting my nursery, my dad is mowing my lawn, the groomers are cleaning and trimming my dogs' hair, and what am I doing?

    Just sitting here on my booty blogging for you, telling you all about my laziness.

    Aaah, this is the life.

    Now, where are my chocolate bonbons?

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Baby Wee for the Handy Soul

    If you use Gmail, you're probably all too familiar with those "web clip" advertisement links that appear in that little line above your emails. Now usually they seem to pick up keywords from the emails themselves. Targeted advertisements? I don't know.

    The other night though, I saw this headline:

    "Boxer soothes fists with son's wet diapers"

    I quickly became confused. Very confused. And disturbed. Bewildered, even. I must have read the line eight times before finally succumbing to the pressure and clicking on the link. I could not wrap my mind around what this could possibly mean. My first thought (now this was at 3am, mind you, and after a week of little sleep at that) was something like:

    "Boxers? Why would a kid in diapers wear boxers?"

    My next thought was along the lines of:

    "Boxers? Why would a dog have a fist and wrap it in a diaper?"

    I've never claimed to have rational thoughts, you know, and certainly not at three in the morning. So I read it. Let me be the first to tell you that it's all kinds of wrong. Never in a million years would the idea of a Ukrainian boxer using his son's bodily fluids to promote healing have crossed my mind.

    What's even more wrong, however, is why Google decided to flash it in my Gmail. It's not like I spend my days writing emails on baby wee and soaked diapers. Or boxers. Or dogs, even. I'm thinking that the whole targeted marketing thing is failing a bit.

    Or is it? I mean, I did click. The concept of soaking my hands in urine no matter how sore they may be, however, does not.

    I think I'm finally proud to be an American again. Land of the no-hand-soaking-in-pee; home of the brave. Just not that brave.

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Holy giant moth, Batman!

    Batman is right because during our first encounter with Giant Moth, we were unsure whether or not it was of the blood-sucking-yet-crime-fighting species. Slightly disappointed, upon closer look we discovered that it sadly was not.

    I've seen some big moths in my day, but this one was huge. I'm estimating that his wingspan was about five inches across.

    Apparently Giant Moth has a certain fondness for our red door because he made more than one visit. Unfortunately, he decided to leave and discover brave new worlds before I was able to get a better photo of him.

    Now you know how often I don't wash my windows.

    Notice Giant Moth's torn wing. It kinda makes me wonder what kind of eeeevil villains he overcame that day.

    What a hero, that Giant Moth.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Well Helloooo, Mr. Random

    It's 4am on a week night. My husband is already gone to work for the day. I'm having one of my normal bouts of insomnia and am putting together an order online for some jewelry supplies.

    My cellphone rings. I pick it up, slightly panicking, thinking it's the man and something bad happened. The caller ID says "private". I answer anyway, thinking there's a possibility it could be the man calling from some other line to tell me something bad happened.

    "Are you awake?"

    *confused silence*

    "I'm sorry?"
    "Did I wake you up?"
    "I think you have the wrong number."

    *confused silence*

    "Is this (fill in last 4 numbers here)?"

    *confused silence*

    "So, yeah, I think you have the wrong number."
    "Is this a (fill in city name here) number?"

    *confused silence followed by my impatient silence*

    "You've really... you really confused me just now."
    "I'm sorry."
    "So did I wake you up?"

    *annoyed blood pressure rising*

    "You were awake already?"
    "Huh. So, you wanna chat for a while? I'm bored outta my mind."
    "Well, I'm kind of busy, so..."

    *louder and more firmly* "I'm kind of busy, so..."

    *confused silence*

    "Yeah, well, I hope you find who you are looking for. Have a good night."


    I call my husband to tell him about this bizarre call, slightly freaked since I'm home alone. I double check all the locks on the doors and turn up the volume on my ears to make sure I hear anything out of place. Hubby reassures me it was nothing to worry about and gets back to work.

    Ten minutes later, my cellphone rings. I jump out of my skin and right before having a heart attack, I see that it is only hubby calling.

    Apparently Mr. Random has not found who he is looking for, because someone J-Diddy works with has just received the same phone call. Her number just so happens to be one digit different than mine.

    People, please don't do drugs. Please.

    And please don't chat with Mr. Random when he calls you at 4am. Bored as he may be, I don't think he needs that type of encouragement.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    It's the neverending saga...

    ... of the certain home goods store that shall forever and a day remain nameless.

    Oh yes, bloggy buds. The story lives on. And on. And on. It never dies. It never sleeps, though it haunts me in mine.

    This latest chapter in our little story does not include a package, however. Oh no. This time it includes a random online banking check-in (which I try to do often to keep up on the finances and such) and a credit to my card. A credit for the exact amount of my original purchase, for which I was charged but once.

    So now the story reads:

    One order
    Of six items
    Sent twelve times
    With zero dollars out of my pocket

    People, you cannot make this stuff up.

    I'm not quite sure what to do at this point other than curl into a fetal position, crying and questioning my very existence on this insane planet. With the economy being in the toilet and all, is it really wise to both waste product and give away free cash? I'm thinking that's a no.

    I owe all of my jewelry customers a big apology. Never have I sent multiple products over and over again for free. I didn't realize this was how retail worked. They don't teach you these fine points of business sense in college, you know. If only all businesses operated backwards this way. Can you imagine?

    One mortgage note
    Twelve houses
    Zero monthly mortgage payment

    One full time job
    Plus twelve hours overtime
    Zero income

    One Crystal
    Twelve blogs
    Zero sanity

    I always liked math in school, but this has been a wee bit ridiculous, don't you think? My brain hurts.

    Monday, October 06, 2008

    It's a Dirty Job

    But someone's gotta do it.

    That someone is me and my mama. Those fingers in the photo belong to yours truly. Surprisingly, they are actually pretty clean for an afternoon at the bench. Those fingers usually walk away much dirtier than that, but it was a relatively small job and I had already washed them a few times in between.

    That green stuff, if you're wondering, is a safety tape that helps protect my tender little digits from burns while polishing metal. You'd be surprised at how quickly metal heats up to incredible ouchiness while being polished by a rotary tool at 22,000 RPM.

    My poor little fingers. I abuse them so. You see the bandaid under the safety tape? That was from jamming the tip of an X-Acto knife into it while cleaning my bench. Cleaning is bad, bloggy buds, and trying to put a cover on an X-Acto knife when the cover belongs to your OTHER X-Acto knife, so it does not fit this one properly is even more bad. I jammed it in pretty good. Shhhh, don't tell my doctor... I'm not exactly up to date on my tetanus shot.

    Ah well. All the dirt, shmudge, cuts, bruises and burns are worth it cause those dirty and abused fingers make such pretty things.

    Like this pair of tassel earrings:

    Or this textured pendant made from metal clay:

    How about some gorgeous pink coral stones from Hawaii?

    Or another PMC pendant, this time with a Celtic knot:

    Aren't you glad we aren't afraid of getting our hands a little (or a lot!) dirty?

    I'm guessing we won't qualify for a visit from Mike Rowe.

    Sunday, October 05, 2008

    This Dude Rocks

    I think he's my new hero.

    Excerpt from YouTube:

    "Jay Whaley, a goldsmith and university instructor from San Diego, demonstrates the process of making a silver bezel from rough-poured ingot through smooth-finished bezel."

    Dude does this in a mere 2 minutes, 35 seconds. Is that cool, or is that cool?! The big tool he uses to draw the wire is called a rolling mill, one of the three biggies on my wish list. Only his rolling mill is probably one of the ones that costs more than I make in a year.

    The stuff heroes are made of. If you're a metal head like yours truly, I mean. *wink*

    Friday, October 03, 2008

    Free Bag?

    I'm there, yo.

    I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to accessories, except for jewelry of course. I generally do not pay more than $20 for a purse, and that's on the high end. I buy cheap and somehow they still last longer than I care for them to. My latest purse came from Target. If I ever spend big bucks on a bag, it will be a handmade one, a one-of, not a mass produced "designer" thing. But since I don't pay more than $20 for a purse, that will likely not ever happen.

    So as you see, I'm very frugal when it comes to accessories (except for jewelry, of course!), so winning a free bag is just my style.

    Wish me luck! (And enter yourself here:

    They've got me pegged

    You Are a Life Blogger!

    Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
    If it happens, you blog it. And you make it as entertaining as possible.
    You may be guilty of over-sharing a bit on your blog, but you can't help it.
    Your life is truly an open book. Or in this case, an open blog!

    Thanks to Jessica the Rock Chick (who will always be an A-List Blogger in my book!) for the post idea.

    Indeed, I'm pretty much an open book... and like it says, perhaps sometimes a little too open. But you know, I've gained a lot in my transparency and I think some of you have too, so it's all worth it.

    Because, I mean, who wouldn't learn a valuable life lesson while reading the locked-in-bathroom incident or the tale of the mole hole? These are quality reads, people! And I know that blogging about the infertility has played a part in my healing. Really, this blog and a couple of people who shall remain nameless (you know who you are) have been instrumental in my survival these past couple of years. I hope that this particular chapter of our book somehow helps out someone else as well.

    When I started blogging, all of my posts were serious. You can go back and read, if you want. I had a problem at first wanting to say something if it wasn't something meaningful. Boy how things change. *grin* I think they started changing with my participation in Thursday Thirteen. It helped me let loose a little, and somehow my blog morphed (ooh that's a fun word!) into what it is today. Sometimes I go back and read old posts... to get a laugh or just to see how things have changed. Whether it makes me laugh or cry, I always find it interesting. I can't help it, yo. I like reading my blog. (Is that weird?!)

    Hopefully you do too. Cause if you don't, I will surely hunt you down. I have scary dogs, you know. Just don't feed them cookies. If you feed them cookies, they'll love you forever. Heck, if you just come visit them, they'll love you forever. Okay, so maybe they're not so scary. Come to think of it, what good are they anyway? One has never met a stranger, and the other one only hates the bug guy. So if you are the bug guy and you hate my blog, I'll hunt you down with my scary dog. If you're anyone else and you hate my blog... well...
    I blow my nose at you!

    Thursday, October 02, 2008


    That's the sound I heard early yesterday afternoon. Someone was at my door. Who could it be?

    FedEx guy, of course. What was he delivering this time?

    A box from a certain home goods store which shall, yet again, remain nameless.

    And what was in that box from the certain home goods store which shall yet again remain nameless?

    Five of the six original items that I ordered but once yet arrived eleven times already. What else could it be? I mean, these things are obviously drawn to me as if I'm emitting bamboo/wood-like photo prop item vibes. It's only natural that this set arrive at the mother ship too. Heaven forbid they get left out.

    Why five instead of six?

    The tissue box cover is on back order

    What ever could have caused that? Surely not the fact that they sent their entire fleet of bamboo/wood-like photo prop tissue box covers to me already! Oh no. That can't be it.

    FedEx guy must think I'm insane. Just wait until he returns later, as I'm certain he will, with the back order.

    Bamboo/wood-like tissue box cover, anyone? I'm not quite sure I'm calling them again. I'm not quite sure it will even matter. I fear that for every time I contact this company, they will send me even more random items from their inventory. Maybe they're trying to unload before the end of the year for tax purposes. Maybe they want to have pieces "conveniently" go missing so they can have a big insurance claim. Maybe they think I'm cute. Maybe they read my blog and wanted some press.

    Maybe I'll start randomly mailing them things. A toothbrush, perhaps. A candy wrapper. A dog. My bills. Do you think that will stop the madness? Or am I forever stuck in a groundhog-day-esque nightmare of repeat tissue box cover shipments?!

    Come quickly, Lord. The world has gone mad, the home goods store that shall yet again remain nameless is composed entirely of ding-dongs, and my house simply is not that big.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2008

    Nothin' quite like...

    ... a man and his gee-tar (yes, "geeee-tar" is how you properly pronounce "guitar". Texan 101.).

    And ooooh, the bokeh. Canon 50mm 1.8.


    *another sigh*

    *daydreams about her future macro, for which she still has commitment issues*

    *one more sigh*