December 30, 2013

Oh, Carolina what you been fed?

Above is “Raspberry” by Grouplove, as recommended by Alex and Ronny during our friend post-Xmas/pre-2014 party yesterday. Ronny said he was reading something about them or about the album (Spreading Rumours, downloading now…) where the writer said they made the best Pixies song of the last 20 years. I couldn’t agree more. The Pixies are currently touring without Kim and have new material created without Kim and I’m sorry but no Kim, no deal. Pun intended! I listened to the first song they released without her but I thought it was garbage so I never bothered with the rest of it.

In other Pixies news, I Kickstarted a big Pixies coffee table book for Blake for Xmas like, almost a year ago now? And they said they’d deliver by Xmas but like, 3 or 4 days before Xmas, they sent out an e-mail saying “sorry, not until February…” and I was like, “GEE, THANKS FOR TELLING ME THAT A FEW DAYS BEFORE XMAS” because I only got Blake 2 things and that was one of them and it’s not easy for me to get out and get something else, also I don’t exactly have money to buy more things so that was a bummer.

I also Kickstarted the game “Stonehearth” because I thought Wes would like it and their delivery date for beta was supposed to be December 1st but they e-mailed and said they weren’t ready and that instead they were going to release “alpha 1” version of the game that is super bare bones and glitchy and you can’t save your game I think on Xmas Day. I haven’t bothered to download it yet because…

…for Xmas I got the 2 newest Sims expansions so now I have ultimate power!!!!!! (For someone who refuses to play with mods or custom content created outside the Sims Exchange.) I’ve spent the last 5 days creating my family and building my house. I’m about halfway finished the latter.

Xmas was good, everyone liked their presents and we had turkey and stuffing. Actually, Xmas Day, ALL I had was stuffing for dinner, then later on I had a turkey sandwich. The next day, Boxing Day, we went to my mom’s with my brother and there was a super creepy moment there where John and I said the same random thing at the exact same time, “this ham has the texture of cat food” and it was like we were one. My mother just about had kittens, it was so funny.

I talked to my brother a lot about his girlfriend. They’ve been together for 9 months, met on a dating site, she’s THIRTY (he’s 28 ooooooooooooh la la), she’s Croatian and then at the end of the night when we dropped my brother off, I got to meet her. She’s a giant! But then again so is my brother so that’s probably good. Anyway, she seemed alright in the 20 seconds I said “hi” and “bye”. In that 20 seconds I could tell she was leagues more mature than my brother, also good.

I am SO grateful that my coworker could fill in for my mornings on Boxing Day and Friday because Boxing Day was an early morning with having to pick my brother up (and we were running about 2 hours early because Blake and I had a miscommunication) and a late night for the same reason, so I would have been useless at 5am Friday morning for work.

Not doing anything for New Year’s Eve because I never do and I have to work in the morning BUT the Winter Classic game is in the afternoon so that’s definitely in the cards. Speaking of cards, Wes is like, a Cards Against Humanity savant. This was one of his contributions last night. He’s TEN.

I made my mom a painting for Xmas but it wasn’t finished until late Xmas night so I didn’t have an opportunity to take pics of it. Well, good pics anyway. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out but she liked it and that’s all that matters. In the new year I’m going to post what I made my Secret Satan but I think she’s going to be in high demand so I’m not going to post her until I have prints etc. set up in my Zazzle shop, pending the pics I took before I shipped her off to the US are good enough.

So yeah. Happy New Year if I don’t post before then!

December 24, 2013

Sounds of laughter, shades of life…

I guess I’ll start in order of things happening, although honestly I’m a little foggy on when I was told what, specifically, but that’s neither here nor there I guess.

Saturday night was Blake’s work Xmas party and I had taken the day off work to get my shit together, get there, stay there and come home in one piece. Well, I was successful. The theme of the party was “black & white” so I wore what I wore to Blake’s grama’s funeral and probably what I’ll wear to my grama’s funeral (in a weird coincidence…), which was a black tulle skirt with a black tulle flowy Free People-y dress/top thing, fishnets, Docs. Oh and I wore a floor length hoodie over top because it’s winter and I don’t care how well heated a building may be, I’m probably going to be cold.

Right before we left, Blake said something like, “your grama fell last night and she’s in the hospital, but she’s okay” and well, she has brain tumours so it’s obvious why she fell but what does that mean? But since it didn’t seem immediate, I just kept getting ready and figured my mom would tell me the next day that my grama broke her hip or something “not serious”.

The party was okay. We hung out with our friends Charissa and Gary, which was cool. A bunch of people came up to Blake and he introduced me to them but I couldn’t tell you what a single one’s name was or even what they looked like. I just smiled and nodded and played with my phone (which, Blake’s work being a telecomm, was perfectly okay). The food was not my thing. They started us with squash soup (barf) and salad that both looked and smelled weird so I didn’t eat that either. The main course was a small steak with fake grill marks (which I ate) and a piece of chicken that Blake says comes from some frozen food company (did not eat). And roast potatoes (did eat) and green beans (didn’t eat). Dessert was a chocolate mousse and/or cheesecake thing that I tried to like but it was just texturally weird so I left most of it on my plate. There were prizes. Charissa won a phone (all I know is that it’s Android, whereas she’s a Blackberry holdout)  and Blake won a stuffed panda to add to my collection. His work has animal mascots that swap out every now and then and right now it’s pandas, probably trying to capitalize on the fact that The Toronto Zoo has two brand new ones. Anyway, I have most, if not all of the mascot plushies, from the last 8 years. So that was cool. There were also light-up fake ice cubes at each of our place settings with the name of the party on them. After dessert, they announced dancing was going to start and as if on cue fucking Blurred Lines came on, which was funny because I told Blake earlier that week that I bet I’d hear it at LEAST once while we were there and it was the first thing the DJ played. Hilarious. That was our cue to exit so we left and came home.

On Sunday I think John texted Blake or there was some sort of silent communication that it was okay to tell me that my grama had fallen because one of the tumours in her brain had started bleeding and that she was at St. Mike’s, the big scary Toronto hospital, the ICU of which I spent a month in, having undergone brain surgery to fix the bleed. The finer details I found out yesterday from my mom in an e-mail. I guess my grama fell and pressed her Life Alert button to get help, so it’s a g0od thing she had that or who knows what might have happened.

After surgery she was in the ICU but could remember her name and the answers to all the questions they asked her so she was a-okay. Still has terminal brain and lung cancer, but isn’t going to die of a slow brain bleed at this stage of the game. So that’s good. And my mom just e-mailed me to say that my grama’s being moved to the less scary hospital closer to home so while she won’t be out for Christmas, she’ll be more easily accessible by everyone she’d normally spend Christmas with.

Last week or the week before when Blake, my mom and I were hashing out plans to get together for “Christmas” (which is happening on Boxing Day, just as it has been for most of my life), I asked my mom if she had invited my brother and his girlfriend and she casually mentioned that my brother had not been replying to her e-mails but that they were both invited if I wanted to ask them.

MINEFIELD!

So I hummed and hawed and dragged my feet and had started a conversation with my brother about random things last week but I was sort of dancing around the whole Christmas conversation because if he’s not answering my mom’s e-mails (and based on some things he said to me a few weeks ago), then I don’t want to get in the middle of whatever it is he’s mad at her for this time. Things are going good between me and my brother so I didn’t exactly want to rock what can often be an extremely volatile boat! But yesterday my mom e-mailed my brother about my grama with the subject line “important” and cc’d me on it, so I texted him to check his e-mail. He went into action mode and asked what he could do.

I don’t know what my mom answered (she doesn’t “reply all”, which is super annoying but you get used to it) but that’s when I asked him via text if he and his girlfriend wanted to come to mom’s on Boxing Day if we picked him up and brought him home. He waited a while before he replied and he wanted to make sure it was not an inconvenience. LOL We live 2 hours away from both him AND our mom and our car can only sit 5 people including the driver and we’re 4, so no, not an inconvenience AT ALL, Chad…but no, I promised him it wasn’t a problem and that Blake had made the offer ages ago (which is true and my brother and I had talked about in like, Sept.) and it was all good. So he said that he would be coming but that his girlfriend had to work. I felt like I’d won a marathon. I was totally expecting him to go off on me about our mother about whatever was eating him to not reply to her e-mails but he didn’t and he was gonna set aside his shit so we could all support my mom while her mom’s in the hospital having her last Christmas, so that was awesome.

The only thing I was worried about was the fact that I have to work tomorrow, Boxing Day and the next day, which would have been fine if it was just us, but with picking my brother up and dropping him off, we’re adding 4 extra hours onto the day. BUT! Since I worked Black Friday and will be working tomorrow morning for her, a coworker has agreed to do my mornings Boxing Day and Friday so we can start earlier and end later. Hooray! Total life saver!

Then on Sunday we’re having “friend Xmas” with Ronny, Alex, Deanna, her boyfriend Bradley and Madison’s girlfriend Ramona whom I don’t know at all. Much Cards Against Humanity will be played. Pizza will probably be eaten (unless Madison and I can find anything worth making on the Pinterests before then). Drinks will probably be had by those in the room who brought them.

And THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN on New Year’s Day it’s the Winter Classic game between Toronto (yay!) and Detroit (also yay! but also booooo!) and I got myself a fancy Winter Classic jersey with part of my Xmas bonus just for the occasion. After I’m finished writing this post, I intend to write Ronny and Alex an e-mail inviting them over to watch the game. Ronny’s from Militiagan, he’s got a horse in this race. Blake’s from Militiagan too but loving the Leafs was just part of our vows and that is whose jersey he shall be sporting on the day of the big event. Truthfully though, I really like Detroit and always have so while I obviously want our team to win, honestly it’s just cool to be playing each other on New Year’s Day in an outdoor venue. I am fucking stoked.

And I think that’s probably all I got in me for the time being. I hope everyone who celebrates has a Merry Christmas tomorrow and to everyone else, enjoy your movie and Chinese food!

December 16, 2013

Hungry Like the Wolf

I have a problem with food. A problem I’ve touched on here, but it goes so much deeper than that and I’m starting to think maybe I have disordered eating of some sort.

Thinking about what to have for dinner is absolute torture. It is my nightly hell and most nights I just don’t even bother having dinner at all. I just can’t think of things to eat. I jokingly made this venn diagram and put it on my webcam, but really it’s true…

I look at the Pinterests trying to find things that look appealing, food porn basically, and stuff looks good but then I look at the ingredients and they’re either gross or really bad for you. We’ve exhausted the Jamie Oliver cookbook I think. I mean, there’s just not a chance in hell I’m eating curry. It’s just not happening. I don’t care how “lovely” it is. Just no.

I usually eat once a day. If it’s on my own during the day it’s one of the following things:

– P.L.T. (Peameal bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
– Sunny McMuffins (sauteed onions & garlic scrambled egg with cheese on an English muffin)
– Macaroni and cheese (homemade, Kraft Dinner’s pretty much off the table completely)
– Zoodles with bread and butter (Like Spaghetti-O’s but a billion times better and animal-shaped.)

Uh, yeah…and that’s pretty much it…and that’s only if we have the ingredients or if I feel like eating/making it, which often I just don’t. Cannabis is supposed to give you the munchies but it doesn’t for me. (Or at least most strains don’t) It makes me not feel sick and therefore that sort of stimulates appetite by default but it doesn’t make me hungry or really crave anything. I went through a phase where I ate Quiznos a lot, but that didn’t last long before I got sick of it. I can’t eat McFood anymore. It’s just not possible. The texture, the taste, it’s just vile, I can’t. We tried Wendy’s the other night because I’d never had it before and I wanted to try their chicken burger, plus they have sea salt fries that are supposedly hand-cut and Blake said they’re the best out of all the McFoods, so I wanted to try them.

Well.

It was eighteen fucking dollars. I couldn’t even believe it. For crappy fast food. Whatever.

So I try the fries and they have so much salt on them that to me, they were completely inedible. I took about 3 bites of my chicken burger and the texture was just off. I mean it was crunchy and spiced okay, but the chicken itself was sort of rubbery and untrustworthy. Sketchy. So we brought it home and Wes gladly ate it.

So all of the restaurants in the near vicinity that we know about are pretty much off the table:

– No subs. No Quiznos. No Mr. Sub. No Subway. This also applies to delis so my formerly-beloved Dino’s is off the menu too. And Fresh-A-Fare.
– No pizza. None of the local stuff, none of the chains (*gag* seriously), not even my beloved Pie. I just can’t eat it.
– No more breakfasts of eggs and a breakfast meat of some sort. I don’t like sausage, I don’t like ham, bacon’s too greasy/fatty/too little actual meat on it to be food and I’m kind of exhausting my (previously thought to be) die-hard love of peameal bacon.  I don’t like omelets. (I like making them for other people though. Sometimes.)
– McFood is out. This includes: Harvey’s (CDN chain), KFC (and any fried chicken, as it turns out), I wouldn’t eat Taco Bell if you paid me, Burger King is barfola, Wendy’s is obviously not happening…that’s all I can think of at the moment.
– Chinese food I am just over mostly. I only ever liked beef & broccoli stir-fry but now the beef in it grosses me out, and sweet and sour chicken balls but now I think they’re soggy and the chicken is gross, I used to like honey garlic ribs but they’re too fatty and kinda fall into the same category as bacon. I like the outsides of egg rolls. The insides are gross, I feed that crap to the dogs. So yeah, with one exception, which I’ll get to soo, Chinese food is out. Also “Double Happiness” in the next town over was not happiness at all, it was more like “Double Crappiness”. >:o(
– Boston Pizza is out with one exception. I just don’t like anything on their menu and I’ve tried a lot of it because there’s one 15 minutes from our house.
– Swiss Chalet’s ribs used to be half decent. Not good, but okay. Now they’re just fatty and gross, to the point where I wrote headquarters about it. So that’s out. And truthfully? When we went to Haugen’s last time I couldn’t eat my ribs there either because they just kinda skeeved me out and that’s my favourite restaurant. :o/

I can’t think of anymore places off the top of my head, but you see my dilemma. And it’s not like I only eat restaurant food, it’s just that those things give me ideas as to what we can eat at home. Or sometimes we do go to restaurants, especially if we have an appointment somewhere for someone.

Still on the menu:

South St. Burger Co. (just a small burger with ketchup so I get some protein; this shit’s gras fed, free range and tasty as fuck)
– Crazy bread from Little Caesar’s.
– Chicken fried rice from a couple of places.
– Mall teriyaki
– Caesar salad from Boston Pizza
– Yam rolls from Furusato (sushi)

And that is literally all I can think of. I mean talk about a first world problem. Oh no, I can’t eat at this plethora of restaurants. I know. But it’s seriously problematic for me. I go to the grocery store and I’m just completely lost because I don’t know how to make stuff that’s good for me that I’ll actually eat. I look at the grocery store sale flyer every week for inspiration but they either run out of what I want or there’s just nothing that seems appealing. I used to eat things from the freezer like TV dinners, noodle bowls, Hot Pocket type things, but now I can’t stand that processed shit.

So now I literally don’t know what to eat. My menu is so limited that I’m sick of everything but my “condition” or whatnot prevents me from trying new foods. Sort of. I’ve found that the cannabis *has* made me more adventurous when it comes to trying foods I normally wouldn’t eat, even if I’m pretty sure I won’t like it – like spanakopita last night – but only in small doses and so far nothing’s been successful.

I eat a lot of smashed potatoes or roasted potatoes and carrots. You boil them for a while and then you bake them; or with smashed potatoes, you smash them with a fork on cookie sheets and drizzle olive oil on them and sprinkle salt on them and then you bake them and they are very delicious – zero nutritional value though. So that sucks.

And that’s all I’ll eat in a day, like 10 baby smashed potatoes an hour before bed. It’s not healthy.  It’s fucked up that I will go days without food because I can’t think of anything to eat, right? Like I will starve for up to 3 or 4 days until I finally have to eat something NOW like Zoodles or Lipton chicken noodle soup or a peanut butter sandwich.

I don’t weigh 100 lbs so obviously I’m not anorexic but when I don’t eat, I get headaches and I have dropped a little bit of weight. Plus like I said, it’s not healthy, people need to eat, right?

I just dunno why I have such a huge issue with this. People usually know what they want to have for dinner within 5 minutes. If I haven’t eaten already, which is likely, I start thinking about it at about 2pm and I usually can’t think of anything until after Blake’s already home, if at all.

That’s part of the reason I’ve been trying to do more of the cooking, because theoretically I’m making things I like, but  the crockpot chicken teriyaki for example, I didn’t like it and didn’t have any. Blake and Wes ate the whole thing. I just think I don’t like chicken anymore at all, and I didn’t like the sauce, which is the whole point. But for another example, I like roast beef and that’s not something that can be made at 6:30pm when Blake gets home from work so unless it’s a weekend, if I want that, I have to make it myself and that requires planning.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m at my wit’s end. I go through the Pinterests every single day and very few things get repinned. I just don’t like, I don’t enjoy, eating. There is something functionally wrong with me. I’m defective.  I wish I knew how to fix this and be just like everyone else.

December 12, 2013

Song Lyrics Go Here

It’s so weird. Normally I start my posts with a title and normally they’re song lyrics because I’m completely unoriginal. I’ve been sitting here this morning listening to music with the WordPress window open, waiting for the perfect song to come on but none did, not even something super cliche like Cypress Hill (who I genuinely like and not just because they write songs about weed).

So Friday I got my prescription for medical cannabis and between then and Sunday afternoon, I started looking at the three growers listed on the Health Canada website. See what you have to do, which I now know because of Jackie Walters at Peace Naturals Inc. (one of the growing companies), who answered all my questions, is send them your original prescription copy, along with the grower’s paperwork which is just asking about your mailing address and your doctor’s info and just clerical stuff really, then they ask you about your ailments and symptoms and your experience with marijuana and then you fill out and sign a medical disclosure form that just states that they’re allowed to speak with your doctor about your condition. It’s actually a lot of paperwork but easy enough to fill out and Blake witnessed and signed the parts that needed it and yesterday before my shrink appointment we sent everything to Peace Naturals registered mail (because that prescription is valuable) and now we wait for them to approve me which they said would normally take 2 days or so after they received my package.

As it turns out, their PO box is like, 45 mins from our house which makes me wonder if their grow is too. It’d be cool to get a tour of the facility. I’ve never seen a weed farm before. I bet they’d say no but I’m going to be a client with them for the next year (pending the paperwork all goes through; I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t), can’t hurt to ask. Especially since Jackie seemed pretty eager for me to jump on board as a client, which isn’t surprising as they’re the latest addition to Health Canada’s 3 grower operation (not exactly the $3bil one we were promised, but it’s still soon).

On Friday we went and saw my grama and we had a good visit. When we get there she’s weepy, then while we’re there and having conversation she’s good, but when we leave she’s weepy again. She seems to be hanging in there okay. She’s pretty fucking skinny though and I really wish I could convince her to get a weed rx too because she’s not eating and she feels sick when she does. Man, if I were at the end of my life, I’d wanna go out eating. But that’s just me. And I don’t even like food all that much.

Speaking of food, I’m not much of a cook. This is common knowledge. In theory I *should* be a good cook because growing up I did so much of it with my gramas and stuff (“Cooking is an art, baking is a science.”) but after Wes was born and I’d taught Blake all the recipes I knew, I let him do the cooking. The reason for this is that ever since I became pregnant with Madison, cooking smells really bother me. You think I’m a picky eater? I’m an even pickier smeller. If I smell something cooking too long, I no longer want to eat it. I feel sick. That has only gotten worse since pancreatitis. However, I’ve  found that since I began medicating with cannabis and have had a better appetite, I have a better tolerance for cooking smells and so I’ve been trying to do a little bit of the cooking, which Blake is grateful for and my shrink is impressed by.

I started out small with just simple cheese omelets with sauteed garlic and onion, which I made for the whole family for a while. Then I started making Sunny McMuffins, a slight variation on the cheese omelet only this time with peameal bacon and on an English Muffin. Then one night I saw that we had pork chops in the freezer and Shake & Bake in the cupboard, along with two boxes of cheesy potatoes which are terrible for you but good sometimes, and Blake was going to be home late. So I made dinner and it was more or less ready as soon as her got home (by total fluke). I mean, that’s obviously a very simple meal that anyone could make but our oven’s tricky and getting the timing right so the potatoes would be done at the same time as the pork chops is hard and we also had peas, but those take 5 minutes in the microwave.

Yesterday I tried making these chocolate and peanut butter squares and I followed the recipe to the letter but they turned out so hard that they’re almost impossible to eat. Pinterest did me wrong!

Pinterest did me right last night when we made mini chicken pot pies with cream of chicken soup and Pillsbury biscuit dough in muffin tins. Madison’s vegetarian so I invented a version for her with tomato soup, cheddar cheese, corn, peppers, onions, garlic, basil and oregano and she was a big fan. I asked for other veggie ideas for this on Twitter and my friend Quelyn suggested a potato soup base and Deanna suggested broccoli soup, which would also work pending Madison likes broccoli soup (I don’t know that she’s ever had it). Anyway, everyone was a fan of those and everyone helped me make them. Wes grated cheese while I chopped veggies, Blake chopped up the chicken breast for ours because I really really dislike touching raw chicken. It seriously skeeves me out. I’ll do it, but I will bitch and moan the entire time. So he did it, then he went back to work. Then Madison put the dough in the tins and we each filled one (there were 10 biscuits per can and we used 2 cans for 2 kinds), then she sat in the kitchen and talked to me while we waited for the pies to bake.

Just now I finished putting in the ingredients for crock pot chicken teriyaki which will take about 5 hours to cook. Then I also have to make rice, which I’ve never done before so Madison will have to show me how to use the rice cooker. Then I also have to stir-fry the cabbage mix and bean sprouts we got for the occasion. I guess you would just stir-fry them in a bit of oil until they’re tender-crisp? That’s what it looks like they do at the mall. I told Madison I would make her extra stir-fry so she can make something similar using tofu and this jar of honey garlic sauce we have in the fridge.

I’m not becoming some domestic goddess housewife person or anything like that, I’m not about  to do anything crazy like clean something or vacuum or put away laundry. But for now making meals sometimes is working out okay so I’ll go with it. Truthfully I don’t even know if I’m going to eat any of this teriyaki because I don’t really like chicken but we’ll see.

Anyway, that’s all I really have to say.

You can still get free shipping in my shop for the next 4 days!

December 9, 2013

November Webcam Roundup

Here are some of the webcam pics I saved from Camwhores last month:

Fear my anacondas.

To see the naughty shows and pictures, you’ll have to head on over to Camwhores

December 6, 2013

Victories Big & Small

Today I had a win.

Blake and I went to the doctor today. We went in together like we always do and I sat in the chair closest to the doctor and Blake sat beside me. After a minute or two, the doctor came in and sat down and said, “what can I do for you folks today?” So Blake went first, as we’d discussed prior to arriving, explained his problem and listened to what the doctor had to say. Then it was my turn.

Going to the doctor freaks me out at the best of times, but asking for what I was asking for made me especially nervous. I was asking my doctor for a prescription of 3 grams of cannabis per day, ideally for one year but I’d gladly take whatever…

I had brought with me a cue card of all my talking points, which were just in point form since he had my medical history right in front of him and remembered me as soon as he saw the word “pancreas”, but by the time the doc and I got around to discussing the matter I already had them memorized.

I talked about how I started medicating with cannabis in August after a particularly brutal pancreatic attack (while on crutches) and that since then I’ve only had two minor pancreatic attacks that could be controlled with low doses of hydromorph contin over the course of a day or two. I said that it replaced tecta, gravol, zofran, domperidone and one other anti-nauseant that was also an anti-psychotic and virtually all painkillers. It helps with nausea and heartburn and if you control that, I think the pancreas stays happy (or at least mine does). Marijuana also helps with lack of appetite and oddly, anxiety if you can believe it.

As I’m saying all of that, he’s going through my file – which isn’t even the whole story, it’s just the bits and pieces of it – and he’s nodding along as I say all this, then he pauses, looks at me, and asks, “Are you still seeing Dr. Shrink Lady?” to which I confidently and triumphantly said, “Yep, and here’s a letter from her saying that she’s okay with it.” *passes him legit letter from Dr. Shrink Lady* He looks at it, sets it on his desk and we start talking about Canada’s new system.

On October 1st, the government decided to stop being the middle man, so you take your prescription and fax or scan and e-mail a copy of it directly to a grower, of which, last I looked, I think there were 5 on the Health Canada website. He didn’t believe that any of them were shipping product but they are and even for the ones that aren’t, you need to show a prescription to get on their mailing lists.

So, he signed my prescription form, for exactly what I asked for, that I got from the Health Canada website, said good luck and to tell his secretary to make a copy of that for my file (I had her make a copy of my letter from Dr. Shrink Lady too) and sent me on my merry way.

Now I have to make a purchase from one of the growers on the Health Canada website and the receipt, along with your prescription are supposed to be like, cop kryptonite or something? :oD I think it just means you’re allowed to have something like a month’s supply per your prescription on you at any given time, which is a lot (to me) and not go to jail or have it confiscated. So that’s awesome!!!

And that’s all I have to say (today) about that. I have to go get ready to see my grama. Who I called yesterday to arrange to see today after Blake was done work, all by myself. I hope that sentence made sense because I was proud of myself. Also there was a semi-emergency this week and I had to drive us home in the dark, which I was also proud of myself for.

Anyway, gotta go!

December 3, 2013

Thanks! I got it on Etsy!

I think if Etsy ever does a large ad campaign, “Thanks! I got it on Etsy!” should be their tagline. People are constantly saying to me “oooh I like your [whatever]! where did you get it?” and the answer is always, “Thanks! I got it on Etsy!” because chances are, whatever it is, if I’m getting complimented on it, I probably got it there.

I just spent the day tidying up my Etsy shop for Christmas and adding something new. Allow me to present to you the following:

This is a set of seven 4.5 x 2.7 inch rectangular stickers, featuring some of my most popular paintings.
Included are two mermaids, two princesses, an angel, a fairy and a bee girl.

On Zazzle, these stickers come four to a sheet but all of the same design, so I bought a whole bunch of sheets a while back of all the designs I had uploaded at the time in order to offer you guys a variety pack for Christmas, the idea being that they could be put in Christmas cards or used as stocking stuffers.

~*VISIT MY SHOP TO GET YOURS!*~
(Supplies are limited!)

But wait!
There’s more!

Have you ever wanted to buy one of my paintings but felt that it was too cost-prohibitive?

Well maybe this will help:

Use coupon code MARYSBOYCHILD on my Etsy shop during checkout and receive free shipping until December 16th!

Why December 16th? Because I figure that’s the latest date  to order a painting from me if you’re in the North America and still have it arrive by Christmas.

For overseas orders, I’d say the 12th of this month at the very latest for it to arrive by Christmas and even then I’m not making any promises.

Small things from Etsy, like stickers, ACEOs and zines, are sent by Canada Post letter mail and shouldn’t take anywhere near as long as paintings to arrive at their destination. The last ACEO I mailed out was going to Spain (from Canada) and it only took about a week. Again though, that was letter mail. Packages require duty and taxes etc. so they just take longer.


“Red and Gold 2/8” mixed media ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5 inches

So that’s what’s happening over on Etsy…
ZAZZLE is a whole other ballgame.

Zazzle has deals on literally all the time and unlike Etsy, you can’t create your own coupon codes so you’re at the mercy of Zazzle execs. Right now, for example, it’s “Cyber Tuesday” on Zazzle and if you use the code “CYBERTUESDAY” during checkout, you’ll receive 20% off your order, which is actually a really good deal, but it’ll be something completely different after midnight tonight.

My Zazzle shop isn’t the most well-designed thing on the planet but that’s simply because Blake and I haven’t found the time to get together and make it look like the rest of my sites yet. One of these days we’ll get around to it, but for right now it’s simply functional.

In my Zazzle shop I have all kinds of things: 1″ buttons, more stickers (different shapes and designs than the bundles I have on Etsy), postcards, greeting cardsposter prints, iPhone cases and silver-plated necklaces in about 13 of my most popular designs. And I won’t lie to you, the quality is actually really good. The greeting cards came out beautifully and I’m assuming the postcards are the same. The buttons are adorable, I have them all over my camera bag and purses. When I designed them though, I wasn’t really thinking and realistically I should have put my Etsy shop’s URL on one of the edges in mouseprint. Oh well. I’ve sold 3 of the iPhone cases, all to the same person, so I think it’s safe to assume that those look good too (I don’t have an iPhone so that’s one thing I haven’t purchased myself). The silver-plated necklaces should be like the 1″ buttons and since the 1″ buttons are great, I’m sure the necklaces will be too. And that brings us to posters…since my house is full of originals, it seemed like a dumb move to spend money on a poster of something I already own. I have little doubt that they are of the same quality as the cards, though

ANYWAY!

If you’re going to buy handmade this holiday season, which you should toooootally do, my shop is a good place to start!

Just sayin’.

Peace!

PS. Don’t forget! Back issues of my old zine, The Paper Blog, are also available in my shop!

Trying to make ends meet, trying to find some money then you die…

It’s 4:30am and I just woke up. It’s almost time to start work. (Realistically it’ll take me all morning to write this.)

Blake and I have been talking a lot about life and we’ve come to the decision that we’re NOT going to move and that this house, despite its faults, is going to be our forever home because Blake only has to commute twice a week now (which was the main reason we were going to move in the first place), Madison’s going to be out of the house in a couple of years and Wes is going to follow shortly after so once they’re gone, it’s not like we’re suddenly going to need more room. It’s just going to be me and Blake and the dogs (Madison’s taking her cat when she moves out and another one will not be gotten).

Yeah, this house is not even remotely close to my dream house, but it’s redeemable and now that I know we’re here to stay, I can do certain things I couldn’t do before, like potentially the “teacup wall” or bringing back the wildflower garden (or a version of it). Sometime soon Blake’s going to have a dishwasher put in. I asked him if it would be possible within the next 10 years to put a roof on our porch so it would actually get used and he said that was a definite possibility.

We’re eligible for a mortgage 3x the size of the one we have now and we looked at a lot of really pretty houses that I’d love to live in, but there’s no point in getting a mortgage bigger than the one we have now for a house that’ll be too big in a few years and honestly? I don’t really want to have to clean a big house.

Once the kids are out of the house and it’s just us, we really only need a “home base” rather than a fancy house that impresses people when they see it. We don’t know what the future holds, obviously, but I haven’t seen much of this world and I kinda thought traveling might be a possibility, once the kids reach independence, and traveling is expensive. I’d rather have a small, functional house with disposable income for things like travel, as opposed to a nice, big, fancy house where your only option is to sit in it because you can’t afford to do anything else.

I’ve been saying this whole time that I wished we didn’t have to move because I like being 10 minutes from the the world’s longest freshwater beach and my whole mental health support network is up here, so this decision is not unwelcome.

Do I wish we had a nicer house? Of course. But now that we don’t have to be “safe” because we’d planned to sell the house one day, we’re free to do all kinds of things to it to make it the one we want to live in. I don’t know what all of those things are yet, I haven’t thought about it (we only made this decision a few days ago) but now that my imagination is free to go there, it’s gonna go there.

The teacup wall, as some of you probably remember, is something I came up with a long time ago, pretty much when we first moved to this house in 2005 and it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. The original idea was to cut off the backs of teacups and teapots and stick them to the wall using something like maybe stucco or some other type of “outdoor wall cement” but now I’m thinking a better idea would be to leave the cups and pots intact so the morning glories and moonflowers have more room for their roots. Also cutting a teacup in half is probably a really difficult thing to do, especially when you don’t even have a saw. I’d still have to drill a hole in the bottom of each teacup for drainage but all I need for that is a masonry bit and I just watched some stoner kid make a bong out of a Patron bottle and a masonry bit, so if that kid could do it, I’m pretty sure I could too. Or Blake could. I think what I should do is put up sheets of that wood that has all the little holes in it, prime and paint it and then wire the cups and pots to that with stainless steel wire. Where I would get stainless steel wire or if that’s even a thing, I have no idea, but I would hate for the wire to rust and then 10 years from now my cups start popping off the wall.

Before I can do the teacup wall though, this whole room needs to be rebuilt. My office actually used to be a carport but they made 3/4 of it another  room because they put in a gas furnace and didn’t have anywhere else to put it (the house had electric baseboard heaters previously). The problem, though, is that we doubt this room is legal in any conceivable way. They used chipboard for the outer walls. CHIPBOARD. We’ve had nothing but problems with the roof in here leaking because since this room was never meant to be a room, let alone a heated room, they didn’t vent the roof/ceiling properly so the warmth from this room causes ice dams on the roof which fucks it up. That’s going to be the next big project: fixing the roof. Again. This time though, I think we’re going to see if a metal roof is possible.

Since this room used to be outside, the whole length of it to my right has vinyl siding on it which means that hanging anything on that wall is pretty much out of the question. And that sucks. So when we rebuild this room, that’s coming off and we’ll put up drywall.  Then we’re going to try and find something creative to do with the furnace. Obviously it can’t go anywhere else, but maybe we can build it in and make built in bookshelves around it or something.

Another thing on the list of things to do, since this is now our forever home, is improving the lighting in this house. You rarely see the inside of my house because the light, or lack thereof, in this house sucks, especially in the living room. We already plan on painting the living room, including the ceiling, so we’ve decided that when that project rolls around, we’re going to look into built-in ceiling lighting because as of right now, there isn’t any and it sucks relying on two yellowy lamps to light the whole room. I’d also like to put a ceiling light in the hallway because there isn’t one there either.

Something else I’ve been thinking about now that we’ve made this decision is the Springwater Guild of Artists and Artisans and next year’s studio tour. After the tour, the guy who keeps everything organized for the guild asked us to let him know if we’d be interested in doing the tour next year. I replied with a polite, “No thank you,” for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that we weren’t sure if we’d be here next year. But now we know we are.

The thing is though…it’s $50 for membership into the guild and for that you get to attend meetings to plan the studio tour, you get one picture on the main page of their site and one picture on your bio page on the site, that also has a link to your site or your shop or whatever you want (I link to Etsy directly from there). To be in the studio tour it’s $75 on top of that. I’m not getting any traffic whatsoever from the guild’s site to my Etsy shop. I sold 4 greeting cards at the studio tour, which I think totals $32 – minus the processing fees for two of the cards because the lady paid with Visa. I also volunteered a lot of my time and energy for the project with pretty much no return. Another “benefit” of being in the guild is that sometimes opportunities arise like when I had my work up at the township office for all of August, which are cool, but others aren’t so cool. (I have a really really hard time forking over cash for “exposure”…)

Financially, this is a no-brainer. This year I lost money on the whole guild thing. However, I am part of this community now for better or for worse (after 8 years of living here haha) and maybe this is really stupid, like throwing money down a hole, but I think paying $50 to be in the guild is sort of like…helping out your community? Or something? I like that the guild exists, even if it doesn’t really benefit me at this point…maybe it will one day? Does that make sense? And as far as the studio tour, I’m still thinking at this point it’s a tentative “no”, but we’ll see what I create between now and May-ish, when I have to decide. Who knows? It’s quite possible the studio tour isn’t even going to happen next year. Also, in the new year I plan on making smaller paintings (8 inches x 8 inches) with a lower price point, as well as a couple of batches of ACEOs, and I’m wondering if I had those at the studio tour this year, if I’d have sold any of them. I had two ACEOs on my table for sale, the only two I have left, but I don’t think people really knew what they were or what to do with them, especially since they’re the same size as my business cards, which resemble artist trading cards. I think if I were to do the tour next year and have ACEOs on my table, I’d have one or two in small frames as a suggestion as to what to do with them.

I just think, maybe, now that I know what to expect from the guild, from the people in the guild and the studio tour, that maybe I should do things differently in the new year. We’ll see.

And like I said to Blake a few weeks ago, maybe a better idea would be to take the $125 I’d be spending on the guild and studio tour and try running some Facebook ads. I don’t even have to do it to know that I’ll get a better ROI.

Like I said, we’ll see.