Jewelry Update

hope1I stopped making excuses, and started making jewelry.  I am so incredibly glad that I did, because I had forgotten how much I truly enjoy it.  I’ve been experimenting with new material, and discovered that I pick up new techniques really quickly.  My time may be directed from this blog to my jewelry, but I plan to post from time to time.  If you’d like to check out what I’m working on, please visit my Facebook page. If you ‘like’ and share, it’d be greatly appreciated!

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Rambling

jewelry2In 2010, I taught myself how to wire wrap, and I made some jewelry.  I found a lot of satisfaction in the entire process, and I like to think I was pretty decent at it.  I really enjoyed making jewelry.  I’d go to antique stores to find bits and pieces of things to incorporate with my beads and go home to sit for several hours with my tools.  The end result always made me so proud, and I couldn’t wait to wear it or give it as a gift.  I actually still wear a few things that I made, and it makes me smile every time.

jewelry4So, why did I stop?  College.  The time I spent making pretty things was replaced by writing marketing plans and sales presentations.  I’ve been done with college for a year, and I still haven’t picked it back up, or even looked at my supplies for that matter.  I really want to, but something just keeps giving me an excuse.  For instance, I started this blog, so now I feel like my creative time is consumed with writing.  I’m enjoying this blogging process, but I’m wondering if I enjoyed making jewelry more.

jewelry3Another excuse: I want to try out soy candle making.  I really, really do.  I haven’t purchased the supplies, but I figure once I do, I’ll let that consume my time, so there’s no point in starting on the jewelry.

I guess some people would do all of these at the same time, but I’m wired to put 110% into everything I do, so I can really only concentrate on one thing at a time. Maybe I’m just thinking too much into it (which is often the case), and I should just do something.

jewelry1I think I’ll pull out those jewelry supplies… 🙂

 

St. Jude Give Thanks Walk

stjudeNovember begins the wonderful season of thankfulness and giving.  This year, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is holding a nationwide “St. Jude Give Thanks Walk” on November 23, 2013.  This walk will be held in 75 communities spanning 38 states, and participants will raise to money to save lives through sponsorships donated by generous hearts like yours.

St. Jude is located in Memphis, TN, and serves to “find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic disease through research and treatment.”  For more information on all of the wonderful things they are doing, please visit St. Jude Quick Facts.

My mother-in-law is among the thousands who will be participating, and she’d really appreciate your sponsorship.  Please click here to help save lives this holiday season!

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Table Talk

If you  own just one piece of furniture in your living space, own a table. I think 90% of all memories are made at a table. I may be overestimating that percentage, but then again, I’m from the South where we incorporate food into everything we do.

tableI’m pretty sure that I bought my dining room table before I bought my couch, and to this day, it’s really the only room that I feel is completely finished.  The rest of the house needs work in some shape or form, but not my dining area. I made it my priority.

My husband and I eat our meals at the table, and sometimes my dog sits at the table as well. When we have kids, they’ll be sitting here with us every night. It’s necessary to take the time to unload your feelings of the day on that table, share stories, and just be together. The table strengthens relationships.

When my family gets together for the holidays, a birthday, or just because, we always end up sitting around the table for hours. We eat our main meal, sit for a while, eat dessert and drink coffee in the later hours, and if we’ve sat there long enough, we may go back for leftovers. I remember when I was younger, the adults would play board games and laugh like crazy. I’m not sure why we haven’t played a board game in the recent years. Maybe I should suggest that we do. Anyways, everyone sits around that table and catches up on life. It’s times like these I’ve always cherished.

Friend gatherings are much the same, only there’s less eating and more drinking. Whether we are at a friend’s table or at a restaurant/bar table, there’s always good times to be had. The conversations that flow between my friends over drinks at a table are irreplaceable. I should probably start jotting some of them down for use in a later blog post.

Groups at a table are the best, but even in solitude, a table can be amazing. I write at my table. I find that my head is clearer at the table with minimal clutter. Again, it’s my favorite spot in the house.

Obviously, the table has been historically symbolic, dating back to Biblical times. Here are a few quotes that I enjoy:

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” – Albert Einstein

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” – Ronald Reagan

“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it is holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being, so the goal is to always establish common ground.” – Madeleine Albright

Self-Censorship

I’ve only written nine blog posts, and I can already understand why people write under pen names.  I have so many good ideas, but when I begin to type them out, I know I won’t have the courage to hit “Publish”.

Writing is much harder than I imagined it’d be.  Not only am I exposing my thoughts to a random audience, I’m also putting them in writing, so they’ll never really be erased.  My website may eventually be taken down, but I’m sure these blog posts will still be tucked in a small corner of the world-wide web for someone to dig up later.   

I just keep thinking (the curse of an over-analytical brain): What if my words come back to haunt me one day?  30 years from now, will I be proud of what I wrote today?  This is followed by a ton of other related questions, and it gets rather overwhelming. 

I feel like I’m holding myself back from my full potential as a writer when I constantly censor myself.  It’s not fair to myself or the people who could be reading the things that I don’t have the courage to type.  It’s almost like I’ve put a net around my creativity.  Parts of it are able to seep out, but the core of my creativity (the good stuff) is stuck in the net. 

I thought I was ready to bare it all and be ME, but it doesn’t look like that time has come.  Actually, I don’t know if that time will ever come.  I still intend to post on this blog, but I don’t know how long my watered down creativity will suit me.

Until next time…

Fall = Frightful Fun

Fall is here!

This weekend we enjoyed our first real chill in the air here in Memphis, coupled with a beautiful full moon.  If that doesn’t get you in the Halloween spirit, I don’t know what will. Now if I can just find a black cat…

HauntedHouseMy husband and I look forward to Halloween every year.  He was in theatre in high school, so obviously, he enjoys costumes.  I, on the other hand, just like an excuse to be someone else for a day.  I  normally pick a strong female character. I think I always have.  My mom would take me shopping for a costume, and I always went for something strong, scary or weird.  I never once was a princess.  Not to say that princesses aren’t strong female characters…  Okay, maybe I am.  I guess they’re good role models, but most of the time they rely on a man to save them.  That wasn’t my style then, and it never will be. (I will say that I enjoy Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but her story is a little different.)

beetlejuiceIf I recall correctly, my childhood costumes consisted of things like: a sorcerer, an alien, Beetlejuice (this one was hilarious), a vampire…

When my husband and I moved in together, we decided we’d host a Halloween party at our house every year. Last year, I was Poison Ivy, and my  husband was the Riddler. I glued fake ivy leaves to a dress, which took a couple of weeks, made a headband and found some red heels. Most all of it came from the thrift store.  It was an easy costume that turned out pretty amazing. My husband made his as well.  We’re such a crafty couple.  We changed almost every light bulb in our house to red or black, had spider webs everywhere and of course, a fog machine. I made Halloween themed food, and somehow we ended up with every type of alcohol under the sun. Needless to say, it was an absolute blast.

HalloweenWe’re gearing up for our second annual Halloween bash next weekend.  We’ve been decorating since September. I cannot wait!  This year, I’m going to be Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I fell in love with her character instantly. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, I strongly suggest you do.  I could dedicate a whole blog post to her, and maybe I will.

If I don’t post before the magical 31st night of October, I hope everyone has a spooktacular, safe Halloween!

Feel free to share you Halloween costume/party ideas below.

Finding Peace

dad1My dad wasn’t perfect, but he was MY dad. I loved him dearly. He never had much to say, but it didn’t matter because sitting in silence on the tailgate of his truck was all that we needed. He was shy, had a low self-esteem that later allowed an evil woman to tear his world apart, and he had a drinking problem. He had a bad, bad drinking problem. I’d like to say that the drinking problem was caused by my ex-step mother, better known as the evil woman or Satan, whichever name you prefer, but truth is, he was drinking before he met her. My mom couldn’t handle it, so she left. I am so very grateful that she did.

When I remember my dad, I remember the early years. I remember the Christmas Eves spent at his house, just me and him. He could wrap a present like no other. I remember him grilling on the porch with the record player blaring, while he was burping the alphabet. I remember his favorite color: red. I remember his black creeper van and his red Chevy s-10. He loved that truck. I remember the day he carved my name in the big tire at the playground. I remember how he preferred to drive barefoot. I remember how he loved Ole Miss and Nascar. I remember how much pride he took in his home, always keeping it spotless.

dad2I remember the little things in fragments. I don’t really know much else about him. Like I said, he never really had much to say. It doesn’t bother me because I know how much he loved me. I was his first born and his only daughter. He never wanted to disappoint me, but unfortunately it took years for me to realize this. I could never understand why he couldn’t put down his beer can. I would plead with him and draw him pictures of how he made me feel. He’d cry and tell me he’d do better. Later on, I’d find a bottle in the toilet tank. Classic hiding spot. I should’ve just enjoyed his beer drinking days.

The years pressed on and things got worse. The home he once took so much pride in was falling apart because the evil woman wouldn’t get off her lazy bum to clean, and she preferred gambling at the casinos instead of finding a job to help pay the mortgage. He worked every day and came home to a wife that abused his daughter and took him for granted. Instead of finding his backbone and fixing what was broken, he just opened another beer and drank until he passed out in the living room chair. It was around this time that I started having ill feelings toward him.

When he lost his job and started passing out in neighbors yards, I threw my hands up. I was humiliated of the person my dad had become. I still could not understand why he couldn’t stop drinking. I didn’t have much to do with him for a few years. I felt guilty, but I just couldn’t handle it. It was too much for a teenager to put into perspective. Out of sight, out of mind… at least I thought.

dad3I still worried about him constantly, even if I only saw him on major holidays. He ended up losing everything he had and moved in with my grandma. It was during this time that he tried to commit suicide a few times and ended up in jail. There were many false hopes that he would turn things around. It never happened.

I came by to see him on a Christmas Eve, and I realized that my dad was no longer a functioning human. The hard liquor that he had been consuming for the past few years had literally pickled his brain. I still don’t know if he knew I was there that night. He’d have his good days, and I’d call him and we’d talk a little, but I couldn’t put my anger aside long enough to have a sincere talk. He had put my grandma, my uncle, and me through so much, and it seemed like he didn’t even try to do better.

One day, out of nowhere, I had an overwhelming sense of peace about the whole situation. It was as if the last 20 years were all okay with me. I wrote him a letter and told him that I forgave him for everything. I truly forgave him in my heart. It was the best feeling in the world. I called him, and we said we’d have lunch soon.

dadI never had lunch with my dad. He died suddenly a month and a half later at the age of 49. I cannot imagine the guilt I would have felt had I never told my dad that I forgave him and that I loved him. He died knowing that it was all okay, and in a way, I wonder if he held on to hear it. God gave us that opportunity to make peace, and I will be forever grateful. I hope that others will be given the same opportunity before it is too late.

A few takeaways:

1. Alcoholism is a complex DISEASE. People do not choose to be an alcoholic. It literally takes away their life, while it merely inconveniences your life. Do not stop loving someone because of their disease. You wouldn’t stop loving someone because they had cancer.

2. Do not hold grudges. It does nothing but destroy your inner strength and bury your happiness.

3. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Yes, this is said over and over, but it could never be more true.

4. Love and RESPECT your parents. Unless they have done physical harm to you, there is absolutely no reason to give them any less.

I acknowledge my past, but I do not live in it. I take what I have learned, and I apply that to the things that impact my future. LOVE. SMILE. BE HAPPY.