Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I am sick.

I have a terrible head cold.

And yet...

... due to my relentlessly inconvenient and unfortunately necessary day job, I am in the office, sixty miles from home.

Jesse was kind enough to put me to bed early last night, and that helped a LOT, but it sure didn’t cure me completely.

I will spare you the disgusting symptoms, but this is going to be a long day. I am only going to make it through with many drugs, most of which will slow time to a crawl and kill a bunch of brain cells.

My only consolation is that I can run around to the offices of the people I don’t like and sneeze on their keyboards, lick their computer mice, and breathe all over their phone receivers.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Which Road?

I ran across an interesting article today – Weekday Misery, Weekend Pleasure,
in a blog called The Simple Dollar. It’s an interesting read, and ties in with some other stuff I’ve been seeing about people who are using the recession as a time to reinvent themselves.

I find this dangerously enticing.

Many of us out there – heck, most of us, I’m sure – have things that we do to pay the bills that are less than pleasant. This is because things that more fun than a barrel of monkeys get done for free or next to nothing, and you’re unlikely to get big bucks for it. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend your life doing something that’s sucking the life out of you, draining your soul bit by bit.

The first step to take is glaringly obvious, especially in the current economy. Which bills are you paying, and can you get rid of them? Is there something you can do without, if it means doing without that job you hate? In my case, getting rid of the day job would get rid of a horrible commute – several hundred dollars and at least four hours a day, gone! That’s a pretty big incentive.

Then there’s this part – what do you DO all day?

Do you shuffle paper?

Do you dye poodles pink to match their owner’s handbags?

Do you save lives?

Do you file the serial numbers off mysteriously acquired valuable property?

Do you scrape gum off the underside of restaurant tables?

Do you write fortunes for a cookie company?

And when you do whatever it is that you do – how do you FEEL at the end of the day?

I’ve had a job that included gum-scraping, and whoo did it SUCK. And at the end of the day I felt dirty and abused. I’m not sure what school one attends to become a poodle stylist or an author of cookies, but doesn’t it sound like a wonderful idea; to re-invent yourself?

I know the economy is a mess, but what better time to decide what you’re going to be when you grow up? I mean, I know we all decided once, but look how that turned out. It seems reasonable to get a do-over.

When I was VERY young I was convinced that I would grow up to be Aquaman. While I could probably buy the spiffy waterproof hero suit, and gender reassignment surgery has come a long way, I don’t have any idea how to have gills installed. So I’m going to assume that Aquaman is out as a career option.

I suppose I could become an underwater welder, but that just isn’t the same, somehow. I wonder if this is where the whole Seamonkey obsession started?

Anyway – point, and I do have one, is that when you come out of this period of vast national upheaval, do you want to be on the same path? Or would you like to travel a different road? I’m going to be doing some heavy thinking.

I bet a lot of you are, too.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What'cha Makin'?

Well, as usual, I've been so busy I'm crazed. But here's the update on what I've been doing, and what's on the curing rack: Zen Tea, Wildwood Rose, Almond Cocoa Butter, Gardner's Soap and Ginger Silk:

I'm searching for new stuff for summer more updates on that, soon! Now I'm off to stamp and wrap and slice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Stress Fractures

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this lately, but people are stressed out right now. I don’t think I’ve had a phone call in the past week that wasn’t an argument, someone hoping to get something they weren’t entitled to, or to get out of something they’d committed to.

There’s one gentleman who calls me at work, at least once a week, to complain about a real estate transaction that took place in 1974. Nothing I’ve said (“Dude, I don’t know what happened, I was in sixth grade at the time”) has convinced him that his calls are misplaced. I’ve gotten phone calls asking me for money I don’t have, to pay debts that I don’t owe. I get honked at every time I’m in the crosswalk, because although I have the little green “walk” guy telling me to go, I seem to be preventing some douchebag in a Beemer from running a red light.

All in all, there are a lot more riders on the crazy train lately.

As much as the crazy was starting to rub off, I decided I wasn’t going to rent it head space. Just because I’m dealing with lunatics doesn’t mean I have to be one, ya know?


Here are some ways to keep from taking somebody else’s problems home with you, and ways to decompress after those encounters. I can’t take full credit for these ideas – they come from a super-cool blog called Zen Habits (http://zenhabits.net/).

First of all, you have to be Teflon. If somebody has an incorrect idea, or a desperate need to lay blame, that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. You don’t need to fight or argue, because that drags you down, but you don’t need to passively carry their problems around with you, either. Let it roll off and drift away. Someone else’s feelings of resentment, anger, sadness, or fear all have one thing in common. They belong to someone else.

Mind you, I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about people. Absolutely you should! And of course, you have responsibility for your actions. But you don’t have to be the owner of every crazy idea that gets tossed your way. Kids automatically know this – I’m rubber, and you’re glue.

Next, try disconnecting for a while. If the office is where things are tough, carry your lunch outside and relax under a tree while you munch. Or take a short walk to get away. Heck, lock yourself in the ladies room if you have to, but get some time to stop and breathe without being hounded. The negative stuff is in a forum or chat room? Close that browser window! Distressing phone calls? I know this is heresy, but ----- turn off the cell phone. Shut off the Crackberry. Very few of us on earth are so important that we need to be available at every minute of every day. If you’re not the Pope or the leader of a world power, we can get by without you for ten minutes.

And you know, without me even mentioning it, that I think a hot bath is a great hiding and destressing place. Get into a hot tub, with your favorite soap or bath bombs or loofah or what have you, and do absolutely nothing until you’re all pruney and relaxed.

Get some unconditional love. Pet a dog, or skritch a cat. They don’t care what you weigh, or what your credit score is, or whether your mother said you were a failure. My dog loves me even when I have horrible bed head and morning breath – it just doesn’t matter to him. Even a cranky, early-morning not-awake mama is aces in his book. Fur therapy works wonders!

And be good to yourself and the people around you. Things are tough all over.

PS – As soon as I finished writing this, I realized that I could do something nice for you guys, and that would help make my little corner of the world nicer, too. So if you’re ordering anything from me for the next ten days, just say “blog post” in your comments to me, and I’ll give you a free bar of soap, your choice of scents. You can use this on my website or on Etsy. Just promise you’ll use it to relax and unwind.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Pitter-Patter of Little Feet

No, I'm not pregnant.

First of all, a big fat thank you for the scent suggestions for body frosting. I fully intend to get some of them up and listed in my shop, soon. I haven’t done it yet, and I do have a reason.

You’re right. It’s another post about:

Why I Don’t Get Enough Sleep.

In my never ending quest for a truly restful night, Jesse and I went to bed early last night. The dog, wonderful boy that he is, had been sleeping with us for a week or so and because he’s both wiggly and smelly, we were exhausted. When the Bander-boo zonked out on the couch, we knew we had a chance to get what we’d been craving….. LEG ROOM!

Anyway, we went to bed early. I could tell that I was going to sleep well, and that it would do me a world of good.

Until 3 am or so, when I had a rude awakening caused by SOMETHING running back and forth across our roof. Said something was clearly pretty heavy, because at first I thought it was the dog. So it was a passable imitation of a 100-pound lab running down a flight of stairs. That’s pretty thumpy.

If you guys recall, I spent some time last month babbling about wildlife that come to our house to eat avocados from our tree. One of the grazers is a raccoon. Not a little cute raccoon, but a large mean overgrown scruffy raunchy raccoon, with one cauliflower ear and a look on his face like he just kicked a coyote’s ass. Other people have local wildlife. WE have R.O.U.S.s.

Apparently once you’ve eaten all the avocados you want, you can take them up on the person’s roof and do a little dance with them, and invite all your raccoon buddies to go bowling by rolling rock hard avocados over bumpy Spanish-style roof tiles. Then you can argue about who brought the last avocado and squabble for a while. When that’s done, you should launch yourself off the roof and into the top of the tree.

That’s the point where we arrived. Jesse grabbed the flashlight from the nightstand and we ran over to the window, where we pulled back the curtain to see a vast, smelly, evil, cranky raccoon clinging to the tree right on the other side of the glass. He looked pretty pissed off that we were shining the light in his eyes. If it hadn’t been for the glass he probably would have spit in my eye. As it was, he gave me the finger and sauntered off into the night.

So. I won’t be sleeping terribly well for the next few nights. I’ll sleep great on the weekend, because Saturday morning Jesse and I will have a coin toss to see who has to climb the tall, rickety ladder with a saw, and who gets to stand on the ground and tell the other person they’re doing it wrong.

If I’m the one who climbs and I fall and die, I want you all to tell the cops that the raccoon pushed me.


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