I’m worried that I’m becoming a worse and worse writer, especially since I got my camera and actually (for the most part) learned how to use it. Now I show pictures instead of describing things. It’s making me lazy. Or at least that’s how it feels. I also feel like a post without a picture is boring and will just get passed by. I have zero evidence to support this of course, I’m just coming at it from my own point of view; I’d probably skim a post without pictures. Then again, I’d probably skim a post with pictures too because I’m terrible at reading my Live Journal friends list…
All week I’ve been working on my snow fairy painting and I’ve been making pretty steady progress with it. I’d say I’m about halfway finished, but with the exception of making arms, the hardest parts are done, the parts where the chance of screwing up is high. Although I’ll still probably screw it up somehow, I almost always do and it’s been a long time since I’ve made one of these. This one’s definitely not as “sweet’ as the original snow princess, she’s more robust, less fragile, but I’m okay with that. And maybe it’s just because this one is bigger than the original it feels that way.
Yesterday me and the kids went to the post office to see if my Zazzle products were here yet (to ideally sell at The Conservatory, but what I REALLY want is my own button maker). They weren’t and so our next stop was Alma’s Cafe, which is really just a diner/family restaurant and not a cafe at all (to me, a cafe is where you buy biscotti and fancy coffee), but they have really good food and Blake and I go there Saturday mornings for breakfast so we know the waitresses really well and they know us, therefore it is a safe place. Wes got a chicken burger, hold the fries. Madison got fries and gravy, which is originally what we were all going to get but then we changed their minds and I got a hot roast beef sandwich with gravy on the fries. It came with vegetables but who wants that? Especially after gravy touched them. It was really good! The only thing I’ve been disappointed in at Alma’s is the ribs they have from time to time. Their lasagna is really good, it comes with Caesar salad and garlic bread for like, $6.
Anyway, we went there and talked to Tonya, the waitress, and just talked amongst ourselves about random crap. Wes was cute, he brought his own money and on the way there I told him about tipping (because the original deal was that I’d buy them each fries and a pop, gravy optional, but he wanted a clubhouse so I told him he could buy that with his own money; in the end I just paid for everyone though, which was fine). He thought that was a really interesting thing and we talked about it all the way there, like how much you tip (I didn’t know the actual % so I just told him like $1.50 on a $10 meal), who you tip, how you tip and why. After I paid and we left Alma’s and we were halfway home, Wes told me that he left $1 of his own money on the table for Tonya because she was a good waitress. I thought that was cute.
I forget what we did when we got home so it must not have been that interesting.
When Blake got home from work, we decided to go out to dinner so he could eat, but I was still full from lunch so I figured I would just get an appetizer of some sort if I got anything at all. We ended up at Fran’s in Barrie, which is another diner and is apparently open 24 hours, which I didn’t know and is good to know, where I had a strawberry margarita and Blake had…I forget, probably a burger because he’s boring…and I ordered breaded mozzarella sticks and ate half of one but just couldn’t go any further. I’ve tried mozza sticks many places before and I’m always let down. The *idea* of them is good, but the reality is just…barf. The margarita was nice though and big.
Blake was saying how he was afraid that once winter hit I’d hibernate and stall any immersion therapy efforts because the weather was bad, but that I surprised him by going into town all the time. I couldn’t post this as it was happening for obvious reasons, but I walked into town every 3 days in December to see if the comic book shop had Doctor Who #2 because I’d bought Blake #1 and #3 for his stocking for Xmas. I probably drove the guy who works there crazy and I also think he’s pissed at us for not buying the Walking Dead compendiums for Xmas like Blake had suggested as a possibility (but didn’t commit to anything) when we ran into him at the grocery store in October. As much as I’m all about shopping locally, the comic shop in town wants $60 per volume, but on Amazon, they’re $40 with free shipping and I get points on my Amazon Visa for buying them there. I can also even lower the price by using the points I’ve already accumulated. So that’s a no brainer. The bummer part is that when we talked to him about Walking Dead – again, this was just in passing – and he mentioned the compendiums, he said he only had volume two in stock and that he would have volume one back in stock soon. We said cool, that maybe it was an Xmas idea. A week later, he’s calling our house to let us know that compendium one was in and he’s been mentioning it to us, really hard selling it, ever since. I think he’s finally given up but he isn’t as nice to us as he was when he thought we’d be dropping $120+ in the shop in one go. Oh well, I guess that’s his problem. I cannot stress enough that we never committed to anything and the only reason I even know how much the compendiums are on Amazon is because I added them to my wishlist once I knew they existed like I do everything else.
I told Blake that lately I’m feeling really overwhelmed by everything, that there’s too much happening, all of it good, and I’m just waiting to hit a brick wall. I’m walking into town to eat in a restaurant by myself AND with the kids, which are two very huge things. It’s not that long ago where I had a hard time eating in a restaurant, period, and once I had two kids, I really had a hard time being the only adult in a public situation. I never felt I could handle both of them along with my own anxiety, which was made worse by the mere idea of a tantrum (which neither of my kids have ever really had, so it was an irrational fear) or navigating public bathrooms.
I’m forging a face-to-face working relationship with a shop in town to sell my paintings and various other things that I’m working on. The crappy part about that is The Conservatory isn’t doing so well and they’re going to make a decision in March to stick it out a while longer or close down. Rob said that his overhead was about $1k/month and that he was just breaking even. Now they’re only open 3 days a week because of winter hours, which is common in our town, but I also happen to know that Rob was offered a good job and he’s not sure he can do both, especially since his wife just got a new job herself and can’t help out with the shop like I guess she had been before. He told me all this the first time I met him, when he half jokingly asked if I wanted to buy an art shop. When he said that, I suggested that our local Guild of Artists and Artisans could maybe run the shop as a co-op of some sort but even I’m not sure how that would work. I just know it would be in the best interest of everyone involved. I dunno, it was just an idea.
I’m painting again, which I think is a good thing. Painting is so easy for me and I think why I stopped was because it stopped challenging me. I mean, I pretty much have the formula down pat at this point. I also thought that if I took pictures, I couldn’t also paint, which is funny because the reason I wanted to learn how to use a camera in the first place was to take better pictures of my paintings. The thing is, I like painting. It is such a zone out, no-brainer thing for me, that I think I don’t really care anymore that they’re all mostly the same – I think I like that about them – or that I rarely sell any. I like choosing the colour scheme for the piece and the papers for her dress and the jewels for her bindi or boobies and the lace for the trim on her dress, or the marabou, or the tulle or whatever. I like choosing the elements that go into each piece. And I think I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that lack of sales and comments do not = worth. *I* like them and they can decorate my house indefinitely for all I care.
I’m still trying to work out how photography is going to ultimately fit into my life. I like taking pictures. Taking pictures is fun. Getting a good shot is like, the ultimate natural high and to me, a good shot is something I’d potentially use as my desktop background or post on Pinterest. I haven’t taken many of those yet, but I’m still learning and trying to get comfortable in my own town, which is going to primarily be where I’ll be taking pictures for the next 4 years. I honestly don’t know if going to school and getting my photography certificate is what I want to do anymore. It seemed like a good idea at the time and I convinced myself that if I did it, it would open up this whole new life, but I’m not sure all that hard work is worth the pay off. There’s this blogger who’s doing this “focus 365” project where there’s a prompt every day and the idea is to take 365 pictures. Obviously it started on January 1st so I’m already behind, but I showed Madison and she said she wanted to do it. I looked at the prompts for the month and completely blanked on just about all of them. I’ve never been very good at writing prompts or deadlines, which is why I never signed up for LJ Idol despite wanting to, so I don’t see how photography would be very different, especially when my entire world is this house and I really really don’t want to show y’all my messy, cluttered, undecorated house with all its cat-scratched, dog-chewed, mismatched furniture. There is nothing nice or artistic about my house. I’m slowly trying to work up my confidence to be able to walk into town with a camera and explore but I think I need to be able to do that before I’m being given assignments possibly twice a week. There’s also the fact that if I did take one or two classes a week at Georgian college, I would be perpetually tired. Or at least I think I would be. Classes end at 9:30pm and it’s 40 minutes away. My “normal” bedtime is between 8pm-9pm. 9:30pm at the absolute latest. I’m not sure I could go to bed after 10pm twice a week and keep my sanity. I mean, keep in mind that sleep is the foundation of good mental health and while I trust my meds completely, I know that lack of sleep is a seriously bad thing for the mentally ill. Mostly though, I’m afraid of class affecting my job. Taking the class at MacLaren in the fall where we got home at 10pm-ish Monday nights was okay though and didn’t affect my job at all, so maybe that’s just an excuse. I’m just not committing to this school thing as a goal to work toward because I don’t want to do all this crazy mental work to get there just to jump into a more stressful situation. I just think that’s too big of a leap, too much to think about, especially because I don’t know where that’s going to lead. I mean really, what am I going to take pictures of? Madison. Wes. Blake. The dogs. Stuff on the beach. Maybe eventually the historic buildings in town and the people in them. It would be cool to do what Thea does and take pictures of families and couples and kids but running a photography business is a step further than school which is definitely too big of a step to contemplate.
I just don’t know how I’ll be able to paint, go to school, take pictures for my assignments, take pictures because I want to, edit said pictures, sleep and work all at the same time. I realize lots of people have much more on their plates but that’s a lot for me. I mean, until recently I was completely unable to work at all because that was too much and then working full time ended up being too much so now I’m part time and I love my hours.
There’s also the Guild of Artists and Artisans which I can’t decide whether or not to join. I think I can commit to one meeting a month. I think I can commit to volunteering my time to help us all do better financially, like with the studio tour in the fall or other events. I think making art friends, even if they all are a totally different generation than I am, would be a good thing. But I am so so scared because I’ll have to do this alone, Blake can’t come with me. Well actually, I’ve been e-mailing back & forth with the guy who runs the group and I was up front about the fact that I have “issues”. I asked him if I could bring Blake with me for the first meeting or two and he said that was fine, but to let him know so he’d know to get out the appropriate amount of seating. Blake thinks the guild is a good idea but I think we still need to talk about it some more. They took a break from meetings over the holidays but the guy said they’d be starting meetings again in February and your membership fee is for the calendar year, so the sooner I get my application in, the better. Membership is $50 and I think to be in the studio tour you have to pay an extra $75. If I sell one painting, my membership and studio tour fee is paid for and one of the group’s goals is for everyone to sell as much as possible, so if all goes as planned, I should be able to sell at least one painting. And if I don’t, then I just don’t do the tour next year. No big deal. Honestly, the only con I see to joining the guild is the fact that I have to do it alone. But also what if I don’t like some of the people there? Then what? Or what if they don’t like me? I think I’ll just have to figure that out as I go along, I guess. I think today while I dye Madison’s hair, I’m going to work on my application and get it in as soon as possible.
I just don’t know what kind of life I want, honestly. I don’t know what I’m capable of. I keep surprising myself though, so that’s probably a good thing.
I don’t think Blake and I talked about anything else last night.
Earlier this afternoon, the neighbour kid, Jacob, came over to see if Wes wanted to play. Wes said yes and got dressed and went over there but Jacob was home alone so Wes wasn’t allowed to stay. (We have a rule about that.) When Wes came back home, he said that Louie, their wiener dog, was bleeding all over the place and then he showed me the snow under our carport from where Jacob and Louie waited for Wes to get ready and it looked like there’d been a massacre. Neither kid knew why the dog was bleeding, just that it was one of his paws. So I put on Blake’s shoes and went next door to investigate and Louie, who is old and so so sweet, let me check all his paws for cracks or cuts but I didn’t see any and by that time Jacob said the bleeding had mostly stopped wherever it was coming from. So I checked his paws again just to be sure, and that’s when I realized that he’d ripped off one of his dewclaws somehow. I told Wes and Jacob to stay outside with the dog so he didn’t bleed on the carpet (and I figured the cold snow would make it feel better) and I went back home to get gauze and medical tape, both of which we have a ton of leftover from when I had a gaping wound covering my abdomen, and then I went back next door to bandage up the Louie’s paw. We had to bribe him with treats but he was really good and I think I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. Then I unrolled half of the tape (it’s the kind where you have to take the paper back off of it for it to stick) to make two rolls and left one with a bunch of gauze at their house and told Jacob to tell his dad to wash the wound and change the bandage in a couple of days. I figured those were the instructions for my wound, so it would be the same for a torn off dewclaw. I didn’t wash the wound when I bandaged it up because while Louie was being really good, he was whimpering in pain and really unhappy so I didn’t want to actually touch the wound, especially since he doesn’t know me at all and sometimes snaps, apparently. I figured he’d been walking around in a foot of clean snow for at least half an hour and that as good enough.
Now Madison’s at the drugstore with her brother buying a bottle of hair bleach because we’re going to bleach out the attempt at pink (her virgin hair just did NOT hold colour at all because it was way too healthy, plus her hair was brassy enough even after toner that Pretty Pink Flamingo Manic Panic, which is the pink I’ve been using since I was 15, turned mostly orange – well, you’ve all seen the pictures). After we bleach out the pink, I’m going to put in the turquoise Splat dye that we’d bought originally and that she wanted originally because that dye means business and I’m pretty sure she’s going to get the result she’s looking for. I dyed my hair with Splat in the beginning of December I think and it hasn’t even started to fade yet. The box says the dye lasts 6+ months and I believe it. Honestly, I’ll probably get sick of the pink myself before then and bleach it out because I ended up not liking the Splat shade but I did like their bleach so I’ll use that again.
Anyway, the kids are back so I guess it’s hair doin’ time. Peace oot.
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