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Spindles and Etsy

Yes, we have an etsy store. It was done for a number of reasons, but mostly to let Jamie and I continue to create, but not keep absolutely everything we make! LOL If we had, we'd be living in more of a museum than we are already. It is certainly nothing that will support us - but it *will* let us buy materials to make more stuff. We've had a good reaction to it - lots of great reviews and some repeat customers. But then I get a letter from a customer that makes it worthwhile to have all the headaches of running an online store.

"After dealing with food poisoning for a couple days, the thing that made my day when I was finally out of the woods, was getting this work of beauty. It didn't take long before I put it to work. It was a world of difference. The spinning was eeeeasy to get and it lasted longer than my el cheapo drop spindle I got the first time. I didn't know what the heck I was getting into but it is not just pretty, um...yes it is so pretty, it works so good I can hardly believe that I spun so much so fast, since it works so good.

To top it off, you even wrote me a personal note!! Ya know, I will just have to buy more. Jasper happens to be my favorite stone unless it is amethyst. Hmm....a whorl of amethyst? Or maybe don't pay too much attention to me...ohh.....amethyst and brass? Stop me now. If you do that, be sure to let me know. I do need more than one spindle if I plan to play it. Or..I'm addicted to spindles with an antique spinning wheel right behind me. But spindles are so simple. No drive bands, no flyers, etc.

Enuff said now. Cheers!!"

Yeah, we keep running the etsy store because it makes us feel good.

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crap week

Tussled with my brother after I discovered he was driving a wedge between my parents and I. Tried to resolve a mistake I made in regards my parents. San Bernadino. My dentist of 18 years died. My dog is sick. Feeling never good enough after a couple of incidents with my daughter. Had to tussle (a little) with the new dentist to get a tooth pulled. There was something else, but I don't remember it. I mean besides massive pain. I didn't even notice it - I noticed I was rolling around in the bed and crying. Gee, Vic, what's your first clue?

On the up side, Mayson's ninja turtle pajamas are almost finished. A pair of slippers done and another started. My "new" sewing machine shall now be known as the Little Engine That Could. (Compared to the Bernina which was the Workhorse That Never Quit. Well, until recently.) While that was a nice discovery, the crap threatens to overwhelm.

health

As usual, it is Monday, I hurt like hell, and I am evaluating life. The topic at hand is the severity of incapacity I deal with. I walk a weird line. I can do anything I want. I don't suffer until afterwards. It could be toward the end of the activity, or the next day. I have to weigh the odds before I do anything, or go anywhere. To my friends, it can appear that I'm not nearly as unable as I really am. I'm aware that several friends are of that opinion. It's nothing new, but it is always a little hurtful. Even though I shrug it off, there's a bit of sting. And ... Are they right? Could I do more? Am I taking advantage? Usually, my answer is "probably". Unless I ask the question on a 'day after'. Right now, I hurt so bad that the morphine isn't even taking the edge off. Translation: I didn't take enough advantage of the good natured and giving people around me this past weekend. To the doubters (be they close friends or nodding acquaintances), May you always have health good enough that you can doubt the health of others. In other words, "May you never know my situation."

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Note: Black History Month


I've been wanting to get this off my chest for a number of years now. This (Black History Month), and the other targeted months, weeks, days, holidays, etc, were originally created to fill in our knowledge with information not taught in schools. Yes, it is great information. yes, we need to hear about it. Only it isn't Black History Month. It is American History, damn it.

Let's expand the thought. The impression given about any targeted campaign is that it solely done by the targeted groups. Seriously, did you know that the Civil Rights Movement wasn't a struggle by one group of people. It included people of all colors and cultures fighting to eliminate a disgraceful pattern of treatment toward a particular group of people. It makes it more historically important knowing that it was Americans fighting together for something good. Yet, history seems to focus on it being a struggle by blacks for their rights. Keeping the focus on the color/culture is what angers me.

We are tending to treat all of history as being separated columns of events, separated by which culture or which skin color it was involved with. This, and others of its ilk, promotes separatism and segregation. As long as we think of information as separate, then we cannot eliminate it. 

Teach us this information. I certainly want to learn about these inventions and innovations that have previously ignored. But tell it like it really is: American History. American People. American.

Let the television pop-ups appear all year long. Please tell us about the cultures involved - it is interesting and probably intertwined with the accomplishments. Just focus on the tidbit you're teaching me, not color/culture of the American who did it.

Until we present the accomplishments as done by an American, it will remain something that someone else did, not something one of *us* did . 

Finally, we (I) need to think more globally. I want to know about the time someone flew in the air, even though they weren't the Wright Brothers here in the USA . (So you can sleep tonight: it was a pair of French brothers in a balloon in 1780s.)  As long as we think of people as Americans first, then people of a particular color/culture, we are doomed to see *only* that and not beyond it.

I want to see beyond. I want to know what the global citizens did, not what genes they were born with, or traditions they grew up with. 

Whew. Brain dump and rant over.
Immigration

Today's emotional hot button is illegal immigration. I hear so many sound bits on the topic that I, too, become enflamed easily. I am against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Talk about pissing off people! Whoa, Nellie!

"This country was founded on immigration." True. In its early history, even, the USA was created and populated by illegal immigration. In its *recent* history, though, this country has problems with immigration and over-population. Enough that laws and quotas are in place for people from other countries trying to get here. Illegal immigration affects those numbers. Many who wish to legally come to this country cannot. It pisses me off that people who want to follow the laws are denied (at least in part) because of those who circumvent the law.

"Why do you hate them so much?" Not even on my worst day. I have sympathy, empathy and even respect for people so desperate that they feel the need to take their chances like that. But no hatred. That's the silliest thing I've ever been accused of.

"You're a bigot." Where did that one come from? I respect the law, so it's a racial bias? Umm, no. I don't care what color skin is tinted, or the color or shape of eyes, or even the primary language. If a law is broken, it is broken. Pretty simple, with no hidden agendas.

"They've been here for so long, we *need* to grant them amnesty." We *need* to eat, drink and breathe. Most everything else is a choice, no matter how much we might want it otherwise. Success in not getting caught for a long time doesn't mean the law isn't being broken. Every day is a new offense, and a new chance to get caught and pay the penalty.

"It's a crap law." We cannot pick and choose which laws we want to ignore. If a law is so egregious to the populace, we need to change the law. Until that time, either obey the law, or take a chance of paying the penalty. Make an informed choice.

"It's a victimless crime." In what world do they not impact the local economies? Welfare, insurance, rent, police, crowding; lots of impactful nouns can be applied here, all of which include the illegal use thereof. Overtaxing existing systems makes it difficult (if not impossible) for people who have legal need and legal access to make use of those systems.

"They do the jobs no one else wants." I thank them for that, though I disagree with the argument. The jobs are usually manual and don't pay well. They are hired for those jobs because they can't insist their bosses follow minimum wage or safety laws. They are offered those jobs because their bosses don't want to (or can't) follow those mandates. We don't know if legal residents would take the jobs or not. They haven't been given the job offers.

I'm sure there is more to my rant, but I have a headache.

Banner "War"

It is the night before a big medieval event. Not Portrero big, but large for me. As usual before any kind of people gathering, I am a nervous wreck and I haven't slept a wink. My shyness kicks in when I'm alone, mostly. As we arrive at a gathering, I summon up my courage, get out my shield, and paint a smile on my face. But, Jeezo-pete, it's killing me. 4:30 in the morning. We'll be up at 7:00. So I thought to myself ("Self", I said...) What can be more useful than staring at a blurry ceiling and fending off loving cats? All my gear is set up by the front door now. Spinning wheel and stuff to spin. Lucets with spares to teach with and cord aplenty. Lightweight material for a veil, needles, thread and scissors. A couple of small things I want to discuss with my mentors. My meds.

A glass of milk, one more morphine pull, and I'm tackling the sleep demons again. Only I'm not. I'm writing in my journal. Oy.

Stories from childhood

We used to go camping in Mineral King, when it was a game reserve next to Sequioa National Park. It was a two-hour drive up a little tiny twisted road. We would go for a few weeks every year, just prior to Labor Day (cuz that's when it snowed and the road closed for the winter). Talk about heaven! It was a nature wonderland. Only problem was that the troublesome bears in the National Park were shipped off the to game reserve. So there were bear. There were also rangers. Wonderful rangers who got to know us since we were there so long every summer. Mom would make them homemade ice cream and we would listen to their stories. Sometimes we even had stories of our own ...

One year I came up later than the family (just after I graduated high school, I took a job as a summer camp counselor and joined the folks after the camp season ended). Dad had set up a "bear line". It was a two-rope system. One rope was about 1-1/2 feet off the ground and surrounded the camp. The second rope was a couple feet higher, around the camp. There were bells attached so when an animal disturbed the rope, it tinkled. The heights were set to about where they would stand and walk, or go on all fours. We were there so long that we really made it a home away from home, too. For example, Mom had a sewing machine set up in the tent! There was also a rope, about 7 feet off the ground, that went above the picnic table (where we played cards every night until the bears ran us out), across to another tree. We used it for hanging laundry and lanterns. There was an oven set-up in the campfire ring. See? Home away from home.

Anyway, one day a ranger brought a new guy over to introduce him to us (and get some ice cream, of course). The veteran ranger was explaining about the bear line and that they let us keep it because we were at the bottom of the campground, where all the bear trails intersected. Throughout the explanation, the new guy kept glancing at the laundry line. 7' high, remember? My mom, bless her heart, just leaned over and tugger at his sleeve. When he turned around, she quietly said, "My husband is from Texas". That's all. It was enough.

PS - I see that I thought about my Minderal King stories once before, a long time ago! http://maedb.livejournal.com/505293.html

ice cube trays

An announcement: I filled the ice trays and put them in the freezer. All of them. My hands did not turn purple and shriveled up. They did not fall off. They did not leap to my throat of their own accord. I did not fall to the floor in s fit of apoplexy. I survived unscathed. I await my medal of courage.

Crossposted to Facebook so both daughter and husband can see it. Not pointing fingers, just sayin'.

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must not go postal, must not -..

Rush to post office today with a couple of packages. Not a big deal, just go to the mailbox area. Open all night, self-serve kiosk, secure bin for the boxes. Two people in front of me, not usually a problem. Unless it's today and I'm in a hurry. First guy never used a self-serve before, moves slowly, and actually stops to place the postage on his package at the kiosk, instead of a desk one step away. Oy. Next guy is actually pretty fast and then my turn. I step up and a little woman in a vest (and a really heavy accent, hard to understand) throws herself between the kiosk and me.

"No, you no use this one. Two more kiosk in there. You use those."

"Why?" That started a deluge of words that pretty much meant to just go do it. Fine. I go searching and find the two kiosks she was talking about. Both in use, and both by people who have never pushed a button before. It took all my restraint not to push them to the side and do it for them. But security was already looking at me funny. Finally it is my turn and I fly through the buttons, having done it a million times before.

Only now it is 5:01. The employees have disappeared, the doors are locked, and there is nowhere for my packages to go. I go through hell with the one remaining employee and end up putting my stuff on top of a big pile of other packages. Then I join the other people at the door yelling for someone to unlock the door and let us out. Eventually, someone comes, but she won't let us out until the people on the outside understand they are closed and go away. Oy oy.

I really do understand the saying "going postal" and, unfortunately I sorta empathize.

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Vicki Eldredge

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