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Mail Call April 28, 2008

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship.
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Is collecting your mail the highlight of your day?  It is for me, sometimes.  Sure….there always seems to be a bill of some kind, but usually, there’s something equally delightful to off-set it.  Take Friday, for example. I had a most excellent mail day.  A package from Catt with some cool new presses, a gorgeous bead that I had ordered from Hayley, and a total surprise package with the cutest turtle shelf-sitter (inside joke) and gorgeous bracelet from my friend Lisa, who just happened to instinctively know that I needed a little pick-me-up.

Saturday, it was a bunch of movies from Blockbuster.  Granted, I have to pay for the priviledge of having movies delivered to my door.  But on a no-make-up Saturday when I don’t even want to leave the house….its sooooooo worth that monthly subscription fee!

Today was a really exciting day at the mailbox.  Not only did I get the latest issue of the ISGB “Glass Bead”, but my visitors guide to New Orleans arrived, too!  So obviously, as soon as I’ve signed off here, I’ll be cozying up in bed, admiring the work of my contemporaries and dreaming of my cajun vacation!

Now where did I throw down that gas bill…………oh well, we’ll worry about that one tomorrow.

Planning the perfect party….. April 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Philosophy, Pop Culture.
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We always focus so much on the food, and the table, and the drinks, and the atmosphere.  But the art of planning a truly great party has to begin with the guest list.  So pretend for a moment that you’re planning what will be (for you) the ultimate dinner party.  You want conversation that will span generations and include discussions that are witty, literate, intellectual, political, and just generally stimulating in all aspects.  The participants include yourself and nine other people; living or dead, real or fictional, famous or infamous.  Be creative, and add your list in a comment.  Here’s mine………

Steven King

Erma Bombeck

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Jesus Christ

George Carlin

Maya Angelou

Benjamin Franklin

Leonardo da Vinci

 

Can’t you just imagine some of the conversations??  C’mon now….its your turn!  😀

Anticipation…… April 19, 2008

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship, Parenthood.
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Is it really the best part??  Sometimes I think so.  I’m never happier than when I’m planning something.  Doesn’t really matter if its a simple movie date, or a full-blown vacation, I’m just thrilled to pieces anytime there are plans to be made, and something to look forward to.

Consequently, I’m a really, REALLY happy girl right now.  One of my best bead-buds, Deanna Chase is coming for a playdate weekend in just two short weeks, and she’ll be here at the perfect time to meet the rest of the Smoky Mtn. Firecrackers at our next meeting!

Three weeks after Deanna’s visit, my son will be graduating from high school, and we all know there are tons of festivities and activities to plan for around that time.  In celebration of finishing school, B.W, and I will be meeting my best friend Marte and her son Adam in New Orleans for an eight days of fun during the week of July Fourth!  We plan to tour some of the galleries and museums, do the haunted walking tours of the historic cemetaries, maybe gamble a bit at the new Harrah’s casino, take a riverboat cruise, see the Audobon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas, and of course, eat entirely too much fresh seafood!  Living in land-locked areas that are pretty much the capitals of beef consumption, Marte and the boys and I will be taking full advantage of all the fresh catches that the gulf will provide.  😀  And we’ll cap our week off with the Dueling Barges Fireworks show from the bank of the grand Mississippi River.

After spending all that “quality time” together on vacation, B.W. and I will have to come home and start packing up his room, because the first of August will find him moving to Nashville and getting ready to begin his classes at Nashville Auto Diesel College.  I think he’s finally beginning to get a little excited at the thought of stepping out on his own, moving to the city and taking the first steps to a career for which he’s already shown great aptitude.

And if that weren’t enough excitement to make for a fabulous summer, I just found out this week that I made it into GlassStock again this year!  My friend Carol Crye and I both made the draw, so we’re gonna plan a couple extra days after our classes, and spend some time with our friend Kaye Husko torching and playing with what we learned, as well as doing some exploring on the beautiful Oregon Coast.

And with a jam-packed schedule like that, I suppose I should quit planning the activities and go make some beads so I can plan how to pay for them!  😀  Look for a ton of new stuff coming up on Etsy this week. 

Hermit Heaven….or was it Hell? April 14, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter.
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This past weekend was such a treat for me.  My son had plans keeping him away from home all weekend.  My mom, who is usually here in the studio working on Saturday and Sunday, was off visiting my aunt in North Carolina for her birthday.  I made absolutely no plans for the weekend, other than planning to enjoy complete solitude. 

I arrived home from work around 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and from then until around 9:30 on Sunday night, the only other living creatures I laid my eyes on were my dog and cat, and Mother’s two kitties that I was babysitting in her absence.  I never fired my torch once the entire weekend.  The only business-related activitiy I did all weekend was shooting and editing some bead photos.  No torching.  No listing.  No packing.  Complete freedom from responsibilities.  Didn’t have to cook unless I was hungry.  Didn’t have to do anything for anyone, actually.  Sounds like bliss doesn’t it?  Or at least you’d think so………

Saturday actually passed in a blur of enjoyment.  I read a book, picked out all sorts of pretty baubles to match some floral beads I’d made and started a treasure bracelet, fixed myself a gourmet omelet and a blueberry bagel.  Watched mindlessly entertaining dvds with absolutely no redeeming social value or intellectual enrichment.  All in all, a perfect day. 

Then Sunday rolled around, and I was determined to pass the day in a perfect repeat of the day that had gone before it.  What I discovered, is that I’m not actually that good at relaxing.  I found that I had to work harder to accomplish nothing than I would have if I’d just gotten off my duff and actually done some real work!  By the end of the day, I was as restless as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  I was frustrated that my dog had never learned to keep up her end of a conversation.  I was pissed that my kid had traded his day shift that would have had him home by 3:30 for a night shift that would get him here just before bedtime.  Most of all, I was terribly upset that I’d frittered away another day just for the possibility of proving to myself that I could do nothing for that long if I really put my mind to it.  *sigh* 

So today as I greeted yet another Monday (feeling terribly unprepared for it as usual), I did it with the realization that I was right all along…..there really IS such a thing as too much relaxing.  At least for me.  The next time I get a weekend of pure solitude, I’ll approach it with just as much delightful anticipation……and armed with a to-do list for one day that will make the busiest bee look lazy! 

Creature of Habit April 12, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter.
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In my younger, wilder, less complicated days, I used to be a really impulsive out-there kinda gal.  I’d run off for the weekend at the drop of a hat;  Redecorate on a whim;  Even (gasp!) leave the laundry and dishes undone once in awhile if a better offer came along!   But it seems that jobs, motherhood, and financial responsibilities effectively turned me into a “planner”.  One of those stodgy creatures who likes to know what she’ll be doing for every waking moment of every day.  I find myself on edge if I don’t know what the next move is gonna be.  And planning something big?  Forget about it!  I’ve almost given myself a nervous breakdown just trying to set a date for our vacation this year!  LOL!

So I began wondering why it was that such a scheduler/planner/organizer extraordinairre was having such a hard time getting into a rythym of blogging?  Finally it struck me…..while I usually had time to carve out a block of moments to write, I rarely knew what I wanted to write about when that blank screen was staring me in the face!  You know how it goes…..sometimes the hardest thing is the starting.  I’ve been prodding one of my online buddies to start journaling, and it finally struck me that this blog is nothing more than a public journal.  So I can’t expect her to heed my advice if I’m not practicing it myself, right?

So I’m making this committment….for the remainder of April, I pledge to have at least one new blog entry every other day.  I’m hoping for more of course, but that’s the public goal.  So if any of you want to hold me accountable, check back on my progress.  They say forming a new habit is just a matter of doing it for two solid weeks, so I guess we’ll test that theory.

To aid me in trying not to publicly humiliate myself with failure, I’ve been cruising some of the online bookstores, and a bunch of websites for topic suggestions.  I’ve spent the last week compiling lists of things I want to write about.  Some serious;  Most completely silly.  But just feeding my muse has been great.  All week I’ve begun to feel that little tickle in the back of my brain…..the one that coaxes some of the best ideas out into the light, so we’ll see where it takes us.

What about you??  Any new habits/committments that you need to make in your life? 

Decidedly Single January 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy.
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What is it that makes us want to be on our own or to couple?  Is it a trait in our DNA, or societal pressures?  Is it ever-lasting love?  Whatever it is that drives most women to marry…..or at the least co-habitate…..I don’t seem to have it.

 Some girlfriends and I were having a discussion a few days ago, and we were all doling out advice on love and men and marriage, when one of the girls made the comment about how much our advice is colored by our own experiences and whatever baggage we’ve gained along the way in our relationships.  And it hit me just how true that is.  And while each of us would only ever give advice that we thought would help the others, our point of views are so vastly different that we all have varied answers to the questions at hand. 

Now I’ve been married.  I’m not anymore, so obviously I wasn’t very good at it.  I got married at 23, on the spur of the moment….on a lark….ran off and eloped with a man I’d only dated for four months, while my parents were in Florida celebrating New Years Eve!  Any strangers reading this won’t realize what a shocking statement that is….but anyone who knows me now has trouble believing that I would EVER do anything that impulsive.  Let alone anything that life-altering.  But I too was young, naive, and in serious heat once, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  At least it fit into that whole “I’ll try anything once” ideal that I had going on in the eighties.

I was lucky in that I married a decent, hard-working man who was NOT a sociopath in any sense of the word.  But after having lived on my own for a while, just sharing my space with another person was a big change.  Couple that with having my new step-daughter on the weekends, and my own son being born two years later, and I no longer recognized the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent single gal I’d once been.  And neither did my husband.  I was now, and forevermore, that person called, “MOM”.  Not a bad trade by any means, and certainly not one I regret.  But I buckled down, and tried my best to become what I thought that word meant.  Mom= homecooked meals, pta, scouts, clean house, playdates, birthday parties, and made-from-scratch baked goods at least twice a week!  And all of this on top of working another full-time job outside the home.  For my husband, Dad=life as usual.  Somehow, that didn’t exactly seem like a fair trade.

So after 10 years of marriage, and neither of us knowing what happened to that carefree girl he’d married, we decided to call it quits.  It was a very amicable divorce, and I’m happy to say that 10 years post-divorce, we’re still the best of friends, and are quite comfortable co-parenting our now 18 year old son.  I’m also happy to report that the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent, single-gal Angie is back with a vengeance.  I like not having to work around anyone else’s schedule.  I like making plans to do what I want, when I want to do it.  I like having two closets and not having to share a bathroom with a hairy man.  I like reading as long as I want at night without having to worry if the light bothers someone else.  I like being able to eat cold cereal for supper three nights in a row and not having to feel guilty because I didn’t cook.  I like not having to clean up someone else’s mess.  I like always being in control of the remote.  I miss regular sex, and the intimacy that comes from that connection present when you’re part of a couple.  So its a trade-off.

But I did have to stop and think about some of the advice that I’d been so freely dispensing to some of my girlfriends when they were complaining or venting about their husbands and boyfriends, and not let my personal choices temper my responses to them.  Because while I like being single, not everyone does.  And don’t get me wrong…..I still have great respect for the institution of marriage, and more admiration for couples who make it work long-term than you can imagine.  Its work.  HARD work.  And a successful marriage is a rare thing in this day and time, and all the more special because of its rarity.  But its still not a project I’m interested in taking on again anytime soon!