Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot Time

It's relatively cool outside. Yesterday clouds, and winds from the north, finally broke the recent streak of triple digit weather. Very nice. My house is still holding on to the heat that built up the past couple of weeks. It's an old house, and it absorbs the prevailing temperature in its bones, in this case sending waves of warmth bouncing around inside. So, it's cool and in the 70s outside, but over 86 F inside.

I've been had a pain killer defying headache for the past few days. I've been cranky from the triple digit, sneers at my air conditioner's attempt to cool me, heat. Hot weather does not inspire me to create jewelry. Hot weather doesn't inspire me to do anything, except continually check the calendar, counting the days until the weather will cool off. Oh, and get a touch whiny, and very lethargic. There's Summer, and there's crazy hot, humid Summer.

Unable to corral my overheated, sulky self into creativity at this time, I decided to start working on listing destash stuff. I figure that working on listing destash items will either spark my creativity, or kill time for the rest of Summer as I muse over whether or not to keep those beads I've never used. I'm good either way.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

My TWest Treasury!

Making Treasuries is addictive, calorie-free, fun. My latest Treasury:

I Love Colors - Great Greens

I have more ideas for future Treasury themes, and new theme ideas often surprise me.


Friday, June 26, 2009

There's an Etsy Sneak Attack Today!

Sneak Attack
Friday, June 26 at 7:00 pm EDT

What is a Sneak Attack? From the Handmade Movement web site:

"It's a way to support independent artisans who are trying to sell their wares online. Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop!"

Etsy Forum thread for today's Sneak Attack,
Sneak Attack Friday June 26th

You can support Sneak Attacks by making a purchase from the lucky "victim(s)", and/or by posting in the thread.

Fabulous fun!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Distractions are So Distracting

Not a bad morning. Just a few pesky surprises. eBay related - someone trying to do something they shouldn't, and front yard related - the gentleman who cuts my yard is out of town until Monday. I try to be prepared for dealing with life's ins and outs. I'm good with the expected pesky stuff. I'm dreadful with the unexpected stuff that sneaks in behind me and smacks my bottom. Being like this isn't related to my being disabled. I've always been this way. My stoic resolve is a bit thread bare these days, though.

I did eBay out of necessity, to have funds 'til next I get paid. I'd forgotten that eBay is web central for all manner of nonsense. The gentleman who cuts my yard being away is a reminder that I can no longer do everything that needs to be done. Bummed, I moped for a while. After about 3 minutes of moping, I started to fall back on old, comforting, bad habits. But...wait! I couldn't find my old, comforting, bad habits. Shopping therapy? Loss that with my income drop. Psychological eating? With my gastrointestinal problems (the surgery threat) I'm not so much into eating. Guilty pleasures? The only one I have is watching ANTM, and the season is over. Since I couldn't think of any bad habits to fall back on, I decided to pull myself out moping with positive reinforcement. An affirmation. That's the ticket!

I began telling myself that I was strong. Then, my mind began drifting, and before long I was humming the theme music to "The Bionic Woman", the affirmation forgotten. I remembered another time I tried affirmations, telling myself "I feel good", but I wound up humming James Brown songs. I'm not really feeling fortified, but not feeling as down, either. I wondered if I were too easily distracted, but I lost that train of thought when I saw the beaded crochet bracelet I'm working on. Which was lying next to a book I'm reading. Which has a bookmark I made in it. I wondered where another bookmark I made was. Then...what was I talking about? Oh, yes. Focus! How my morning is going. Well, I'm still going, and dealing with life's ins and outs. I've never been to In and Out Burgers, but I've heard they're really good...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There's an Etsy Sneak Attack Today!

Sneak Attack
Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 pm EDT

What is a Sneak Attack?

From the Handmade Movement web site:

"It's a way to support independant artisans who are trying to sell their wares online. Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop!"

Etsy Forum thread for today's Sneak Attack,
Wed, June 24th at 7:00PM EDT

You can support Sneak Attacks by making a purchase from the lucky "victim(s)", and/or by posting in the thread.

Fabulous fun!


Vroom! Vroom!

This morning, the paratransit ride back home from the grocery store was exhilarating. We were going against rush hour traffic, so our side of the freeway was almost empty of traffic. Sailing along, watching the landscape zip by...I had a good time. I realized that I missed the sensation of motion. My walk, which is actually a step-drag, is too slow for me to really garner a sensation of movement. Most of my paratransit rides are in stop and go traffic, inducing queasiness more than anything. But, this morning the ride was smooth and fast. For a few minutes my mind was free of worry and the weight of living life disabled. I was flying. I was giddy and giggling with the surprising feeling of unfettered joy. Nice.


Monday, June 22, 2009

There's an Etsy Sneak Attack Today!

Sneak Attack
Monday, June 22 at 7:00 pm EDT

What is a Sneak Attack?

From the Handmade Movement web site:

"It's a way to support independant artisans who are trying to sell their wares online. Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop!"

Etsy Forum thread for today's Sneak Attack,
Sneak Attack Monday June 22nd

You can support Sneak Attacks by making a purchase from the lucky "victim", and by posting in the thread.

Fabulous fun!


Createability Team Member Showcase #4

Createability Team Etsy is a group of artists with disabilities or who are caregivers to disabled people. The team exists to provide support and advice to each other, as well as opportunities to chat and promote.

Createability Handmade Items Search

Createability Supplies Search

Createability Vintage Search

Here is Showcase #4 of Createability Team Members:

ImagineMDD - Jewelry

Juliana's Creations - Jewelry & Tee Shirts

Merigreenleaf - Jewelry, Hats & More

Penelope Design- Neckwear, Clutches & More

Web Scrapbooking - Scrapbook Pages & More


Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Signs of Summer

There's a cicada near my front porch singing, "I'm Just a Love Machine." Judging by his lack of action, none of the female cicadas are buying his line. I think he is less Smoky Robinson; more the guy on the dance floor who warbles the words while dancing with you.

Although I've already combed out many pounds of their hair, my cats are still shedding at an amazing rate. Yet, they are not going bald. I think cat hair is how new matter is generated in our universe. I think it's the best way to explain how such relatively little feline bodies produce such vast quantities of hair. The hair is coming through a worm hole to another dimension.

It is still dark outside, but I'm already sweaty and hot. I mean, dewy and glistening.

Ah, Summer in Texas.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

My TWest Treasury

I snagged a TWest this morning! Have a look!

I Love Colors - Purple Passion


Pragmatic Girls Wanna Have Fun

While at the grocery store yesterday, there were a number of folks having what appeared to be grocery cart races. Turns out those folks had won a contest at their jobs, and the prize being everything they could get in their carts within 90 seconds free. Sweet. I imagined what I would do if I won such a prize. First, I'd get a pinch hitter, runner, grabber, whatever. I move too slowly, and poorly, to do the race myself. The participants were heading straight to the meat department. I, or rather my stand in, would head straight to the personal item, and cleaners, departments. All those things that make my bank balance cringe when it's time to re-stock. Toothpaste, deodorant, personal items - ahem, antihistamines. Washing powder. I would top it all off with loads of IAMs dry cat food, too expensive for my current budget. I enjoyed rooting for the contest winners. I did ponder that my related fantasy was so pragmatic.

I think what is fun for me has been redefined by my life's twists and turns. Accomplishing the basics has become my new fun. It's fun when after paying bills I have money for groceries from one social security payment to the next. Every day I don't have to have major surgery is a fun day. I have fun when I can finish basic housekeeping before the pain from my damaged nerve puts me down. Not laugh riot situations, but I do get the warm fuzzies. Pre-disabled life is becoming a vague memory. I still mourn for the loss of mobility, and the addition of daily pain. I probably always will, but I don't stop living life disabled when I'm mourning the loss of my pre-disabled life. The changes in my life have changed what I consider to be fun. My fun has changed to what I used to consider pragmatic.

I still have fun. I think I do. Knowing for certain might be fun.


Friday, June 19, 2009

There's an Etsy Sneak Attack Today!

Sneak Attack
Friday, June 19 at 7:00 pm EDT

What is a Sneak Attack?

From the Handmade Movement web site:

"It's a way to support independant artisans who are trying to sell their wares online. Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop!"

Etsy Forum thread for today's Sneak Attack,
Sneak Attack Friday June 19th

Fabulous fun!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Acronym Overload

I getting acronym overload. SEO. CEO. CFO. M-I-C-K-E-Y, oh, wait, that's not an acronym. MOUSE, which is an acronym. IKEA. No...wait, keep IKEA. Much easier for my non-linguistic self to pronounce.

I TIRE of having to constantly ASK WHAT someone is SAYing because I DON'T KNOW what ALL these ACRONYMs MEAN. All of the words in caps are acronyms. Even the word acronym is used as an acronym. I don't like excessive acronym use, but I do like Acronym Finder. Guess what web site I was playing on this morning.

I haven't been making a lot of jewelry lately. Once I'm done moving my items to my new shop, taking more and better photos, and tweaking my listings' titles and descriptions, I can go back into a creating routine. I miss creating more often, but if I don't finish moving, photographing, and tweaking first, I may never finish doing those things. I haven't whined much about doing these things. Either I am growing as a person, or I'm rocking the antidepressants. I'm good either way.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

End of the Day, Found Out About a Giveaway

Desert Soapstone is having a Blackberry Amber Glycerin Soap Giveaway on their blog. Hmm...amber...I love the scent of amber. Amber and blackberries? Heaven. I'm entering!

Posted some things on eBay, non-Etsy things. I was excited about the five free auction style listings, until I saw eBay's "new and improved" - cough, cough, choke - listing format. Horizontal scrolling; mish-mash layout; and a few acres of dead space between the end of the listing and the place a bid button. I can't see a potential bidder spending any time looking at my listings. I didn't want to look at my listings. Ah, well, if it seems too good to be true...

Added June 18, 2009 - No word from eBay about the problems. However, they did shut down one of my auctions because they said I was listing a pirated copy of a dvd. It is an original edition of the dvd, signed by the person who made the dvd. Good grief. You know a business is doing something wrong when getting their services for free is not appealing.

I hope your day is going well, and your evening will be wonderful.


Where Have I Been and What Have I Been Up To?

Well, for many weeks, I was pretty much out of it due to gastrointestinal, omg I might have to have a major operation, much pain, problem. Didn't have surgery, thank goodness, though it still looms over me. I've been catching up on making and listing items for my shop; moving items to my new Etsy shop - BeadDance Jewelry; and taking and re-taking photos of my items. Quitting smoking is still a priority, now that I'm not on the edge of facing major surgery with a long recovery.

I'm in a Treasury! Pearly Goodness created by CindyLouWho2. Remember, with Treasuries it's great to click on the selections, and to leave a comment for the curator to let them know what you think about their selections.

Interesting...eBay now allows "your first five single-quantity auction-style listings to be listed on the site in a 30-day period have an Insertion Fee of $0.00 for eligible categories." The things I would list on eBay are in eligible categories. I used to sell my jewelry on eBay, but the listing fees sucked the profits right out of me. Five shots at earning some money, without being eaten alive by eBay's listing fees sounds good to me. Final Value Fees are still in effect.

Me learning about, and implementing, SEO stuff and thingies. "Thingies" Oh, yeah, I've got a ways to go on this particular learning curve.

All in all, I'm here, and I'm happy to be here.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quitting Smoking

Thanks to the increase in cigarette taxes, I am on the path of quitting smoking. Yay me. My resolve is solid, although my enthusiasm is vague. It's not that I don't want to quit, I just question myself when my motivation is primarily external - the cost of cigarettes, as opposed to internal.

I look forward to the joys of being smoke free. Right off the bat, I realize that I could have timed quitting better than I did, say starting right after I changed the kitty litter. I will be changing the kitty litter today, when my sense of smell is newly returned. Yay me. As the aroma of used kitty litter wafts through the air, I again consider teaching my cats to use the porcelain throne. I doubt that this will happen, though. Because, a) my cats have never learned anything I tried to teach them; and b) with only one bathroom in my home, things could get ugly should my cats and I all need to use the facilities at the same time.

I find myself sniffing things, eagerly exercising my returned sense of smell. I sniff my books, my coffee, my air freshener, with wonder. I love the smell of books. I luxuriate in the smell of my coffee. I realize my air freshener is not as "spring time fresh" as advertised. It's a whole new world, just waiting for me to smell it.

So, I continue on the path of quitting smoking. I chomp my nicotine gum, chanting a mantra of "What's that smell?"


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vicki Diane Artists of Etsy Exposed Treasury

CreateAbility has a second Vicki Diane Artists of Etsy Exposed Treasury! I'm in this one. Happy dance! Take a look at the some of the faces of my beautiful CreateAbility team mates.

The Createability Team Exposed 2 Treasury


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

To Fret, or Not to Fret

I haven't blogged recently because I've been fretting about being re-evaluated for my paratransit transportation. Positive outlook is essential for living a good life, but my life experiences have taught me that I can get my feet kicked out from under me. So, I keep a positive outlook, and I fret. Combining the two isn't easy, but I manage. I received notification that I can continue using paratransit transportation. Relief! With many of my brain cells released from the onus of fretting about paratransit, I'm back to blogging.

First thing this morning I discovered my cat's water bowls, and the newspaper I put under them, were in the middle of the kitchen floor, on top of a bunched up rug. The water had not been spilled from the water bowls. Since I had not yet had coffee, I ignored the situation. After having some coffee, I decided the water bowl relocation was done by my cats, or poltergeist activity. The likelihood of poltergeist activity is equal to the likelihood of my cats dragging both water bowls on a bunched up rug, and the newspaper they rest on, 3 feet without spilling the water. Actually, the potential of poltergeist activity is more likely. I put the water bowls back where they belong, straightened the rug, and filed the incident under, "Nothing I can do about it.", aka "Whatever." Poltergeists or unusual feline activity are not fret worthy.

Today is trash pickup day, so I donned a jacket because it is a bit chilly outside. Bright green plastic clogs, and purple and black plaid flannel pajama bottoms - complete with bleach stains - completed my taking the trash to the curb ensemble. In my little world, the fashion police cannot write citations for fashion faux pas committed on one's property. I did run a comb through my hair, my nod to keeping America beautiful. My appearance when taking trash to the curb is not fret worthy.

Since I was already dolled up, I decided to do some gardening. Grabbing my favorite gardening tool - a spray bottle of Roundup - I toddled around my lawn spritzing anything that didn't look like grass or did look like monkey grass, a plant I loathe due to its tendency to spread everywhere. Someone who loved gardening planted monkey grass before I moved into my house. I've spent the past 14 years trying to get rid of the monkey grass. Occasionally, I consider spelling out my initials in my lawn using Roundup. My gardening technique sends shivers up the spines of true gardening aficionados, and those who believe that a lawn should be all the same color - green. Spots of brown deadness on my lawn are not fret worthy.

I don't have a set criteria for what is fret worthy. I just go with the flow, and maintain a positive outlook. At least I hope I do. Ah, man...


CreateAbility Team Member Showcase #3

Create Ability Team Etsy is a group of artists with disabilities or who are caregivers to disabled people. The team exists to provide support and advice to each other, as well as opportunities to chat and promote.

CreateAbility Handmade Items Search

CreateAbility Supplies Search

CreateAbility Vintage Search

Here is Showcase #3 of Create Ability Team Members:

Berry Blue Creations - Angel Guard Bags, Pillows & Aprons

Sparklerama - Miniature Toys, Gifts & More

Made by Mari - Soap, Suncatchers & More

Crochet by Msa - Doilies, Bags, & More


Monday, March 30, 2009

I Won a Feature Cafe Giveaway!

In my March 13, 2009 blog entry I mentioned that an Etsy seller, and CreateAbility team member, Carapace, had an interview and giveaway on the Feature Cafe blog. The giveaway was for one custom drawing by Carapace. After making my blog entry, I decided to enter the giveaway, and I won! I requested the drawing be of myself having coffee with a dragon. I love coffee, and dragons. And, I love this artwork. Below is a link to the beautiful artwork created by Carapace.

Friday the 13th turned out to be a lucky day for me. I'm still doing a happy dance about winning,


Friday, March 27, 2009

Save Money and Time - Nature Made

Save Money and Time Key:

= Excellent

= Good
= Better Than Nothing
= Just Dreadful, Run Away!


Nature Made Wellness Rewards

Nature Made is a retail line of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements. They can be purchased at many grocery stores, pharmacies, and online through various vendors. Nature Made has a Wellness Rewards program in which each product is worth a certain number of points. After accumulating a certain number of points, you can redeem them for a $5 or a $7 Nature Made coupon. That's $5 or $7 off of one Nature Made product, a nice savings on products I buy anyway. The coupons are always an option for redeeming your points. Other items for which you can redeem points vary. I've redeemed points for samples of Soy Joy, and a cd sampler of classical music.

There is no cost to participate in the Wellness Rewards program. I often clip $1 Nature Made coupons from sales fliers, and use these towards purchasing Nature Made items which I then use to get points through the Wellness Rewards program.

Nature Made multi-vitamins do not have artificial colors; artificial flavors; preservatives; yeast or gluten. Their herbal supplements are consistent in quality.

Always talk with your doctor, and your pharmacist, before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement. Just because something is sold without a needing a prescription does not automatically mean that it will be good for you. Be sure that any vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements you consider taking will not interfere with your current medications, or medical condition.

Nature Made Wellness Rewards FAQ


Emoticons Courtesy of Free Emoticons

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today is Epiliepsy Awareness Day

Purple is my favorite color. Epilepsy Awareness Day is another reason for my loving purple. From the Purple Day web site:

"Founded in 2008, by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26, people from around the globe are asked to wear purple and spread the word about epilepsy."

Purple Day - Support Epilepsy Awareness

It is my pleasure to post links to two CreateAbility Team Treasuries which support Purple Day!

CreateAbility Supports Celebrates Purple

Purple is for Epilepsy Awareness


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Misconceptions - Support Systems

I originally posted this on my previous blog, on October 23, 2007:

Some folks assume that if one is disabled, there is a safety net that automatically deploys. Not true. If there was not a support system of family and friends as a safety net prior to becoming disabled, a safety net does not miraculously appear upon becoming disabled. Life is tough for anyone lacking a circle of supportive friends and family. Life can be
devastating for a disabled person without a circle of supportive friends and family.

Isolation can be difficult for anyone to deal with. Loneliness, boredom, feeling unfulfilled, and depression can be experienced by any isolated person. For disabled folks, add frustration, and fear.

A disabled person without a support system can be frustrated because the simplest tasks can be a challenge. The simple task of taking the trash to the curb can be more than a 15 second chore for the mobility impaired. In my case, I have a walker and a sharply sloping, uneven driveway. I have to mentally prepare myself because I know that I'm going to be in more than the usual amount of pain when I'm done; and make sure I take my emergency cell phone to call for help in case I fall. Getting groceries can be frustrating. For the mobility impaired, getting a few, light weight items can be relatively easy. However, add milk, or washing powder, or any heavy weight item to the grocery list, and it can take a lot of creativity to figure out how to get that item home. Without a support system, a seemingly simple task can become a challenge; a source of frustration for someone already dealing with a mountain of frustration.

Some situations induce fear in anyone. Natural disasters, or home break-ins. When it happens, you run, so you can get away. Unless, you are mobility impaired and you can't run. Being disabled, and without a support system, means that some part of you is always aware that if something catastrophic happens, you may not have a way to get out of the situation. Since I've been disabled, someone broke into my home, while I was there. Before being disabled, if a thief broke into my home while I was there, I would have gone out of the nearest door or window and run. I couldn't run when that thief broke into my house, though. Fortunately for me, I had a very loud alarm system and had picked up a very sharp knife from the kitchen. More fortunate - the thief was not interested in hand to hand combat with me, and ran off. Running away from danger is imprinted on the core level of the human animal. Not being able to run when necessary; hoping that someone will stop and help you when necessary - these are the everyday, fear inducing truths for the disabled person without a support system.

Taking on the responsibility for the well-being of another person is a huge undertaking. I'm not asking anyone to do that. But, knowing that your neighbor has difficulty getting their trash to the curb, so you take it for them, and bring the trash container back up, is manageable. Knowing that your neighbor has difficulty getting heavy grocery items, so occasionally you offer them a ride to the grocery store, and carry the heavy items indoors for them, is manageable. Knowing that your neighbor is alone, so every now and again, you call or stop by just to make certain they are all right, is manageable. Letting your neighbor, who is alone, know that there is a space in your car if there is ever a need to evacuate the area is manageable. Any of these things may seem like no big deal to you, but they can mean the world to your neighbor, whether that neighbor is disabled or not, because then your neighbor knows that they are not fully alone.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


Spring has sprung. The time of year that brings blossoms, new growth, and the awakening of life dormant during Winter. Vivaldi provides the background for a time of color, and renewal. Fresh, inspiring, and welcomed. Or, so I've heard. At my home, Spring is the time of year when weeds wake up and usurp my front lawn; creepy crawlies are back crawling creepily; and temperatures threaten to reach air conditioning required levels. Less Vivaldi. More National Geographic theme, with a fair amount of hard rock. Still, I like it, although Fall and Winter remain my favorite seasons.

I didn't have to check a calendar to know that it was Spring. Sprouting claws of gi-normous, purplish green weeds start slithering out of the ground, bent on world domination. Think Day of the Triffids or Audrey II from Little House of Horrors. The weeds can only be controlled by using a flame thrower, shot gun blast, or Roundup weed killer. I use Roundup. Not as dramatic as a flame thrower or a shot gun blast, but also not going to land me in jail when using it. I do think things through. Most of the time.

While nailing the 50s' scifi film wannabe weeds, I am mindful of fire ants, because Spring is when they are stirring around in preparation for Summer. Such aptly named critters. Bright orange red in coloring; totally psychotic in temperament; and their bite is an acid burning jolt of lasting pain. Spring is also the season when I see many carpenter ants, 1/4 to almost 1/2 long reddish and black color ants. Not aggressive nor poisonous. Their bites don't even break the skin, they just pinch. Thankfully, there's nothing of interest to either carpenter ants, nor fire ants, inside my house. Then, there's the little bitty black ants, reminiscent of the ants I experienced back in California, except a lot more neurotic. Understandably. Living between the psycho fire ants, and the humongous carpenter ants, it is not surprising that the little bitty ants seem to be in a constant state of needing a Valium. I see these little bitty guys about once every 3 or 4 years.

Ah, the signs of Spring. The swallows return to San Juan Capistrano. The iris bulbs bloom. And, a carpenter ant is walking on my window, looking vaguely confused. Spring has sprung. I love my home, and I like Spring - ants and weeds and all.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Strange is Strange

Strange is a strange word. It's one of the few words I can think of that has such differing definitions. Many words can mean different things depending upon how they are pronounced. Such as the word nice. Said in a clipped fashion, it usually means "Yeah, whatever". Said in a drawn out fashion - niiice - it usually means "I'm impressed" The word strange is usually pronounced only one way, although the meaning varies.

Some Definitions of strange: unfamiliar; extraordinary; unaccustomed; singular; unique; peculiar; odd; quaint; outlandish.

Peculiar and Odd

There was a time when being called peculiar - odd strange bothered me, and I would try to change myself. I may as well have tried to not be an air breathing organism. Like breathing, my being these sorts of strange is an integral, unchangeable, part of my being that happens without conscious thought. I am what I am. Now, when someone refers to me as peculiar - odd kind of strange, I smile and say, "Right back at 'cha!" and move on.

Unfamiliar and Unaccustomed

My response to being called unfamiliar - unaccustomed strange varies, depending upon how good my day is going. When I've been called this sort of strange, it is usually accompanied by the sort of intense scrutiny that is normally reserved for viewing photos of Bigfoot. That looking at a bug through a microscope stare can chap my hide. I'll usually say something along the line of, "[whatever caused the comment] is not that unusual.", and engage, and try to enlighten, the individual. Okay, maybe a few times I've said, "Welcome to Earth."

Extraordinary, Singular, and Unique

When called this sort of strange, I just coo, and preen.

Outlandish and Quaint

I put these two together because I've been called outlandishly-quaint, and quaintly-outlandish strange for the same thing. For example, I read a lot. I've been called outlandishly-quaint strange for having more than 500 books in this age of electronic this and that. I've been called quaintly-outlandish for the majority of books being in the science fiction and fantasy genres, usually because that person doesn't like those two genres. In response, I say "Really?" in a vaguely disinterested manner, and either: a) go back to reading my book; or b) proceed to tell the person about a sci-fi/fantasy book I've recently read.

Overall, though I'm not unfamiliar nor unaccustomed to the singularly extraordinary statements I get from unique, and sometimes quaint, individuals, I find some of the outlandish ways I am perceived to be oddly peculiar.

Ain't that strange?


Monday, March 16, 2009

My Purpose in Life

I originally posted this on my previous blog, on January 4, 2008:

One of the hurdles in my living life disabled is finding a new Purpose in Life. My pre-disabled purpose in life primarily revolved around two abilities: physical, and working multiple jobs if necessary, to achieve my goals. My current physical condition precludes most of my pre-disabled activities. My pre-disabled work skills didn't translated into post-disability income earning capability. So, I set about finding a new Purpose in Life for myself. Something more than my Social Security check being a source of income for utility companies, landlords, and such.

At one point, I decided to become a proponent of the disabled. Armor flashing as I boldly strode into the uninformed world! Smashing myths, crashing through barriers, and opening new doors for the disabled! All done to suitably magnificent choral and orchestral theme music, of course. The reality was that there were numerous agencies, and far better equipped individuals, already doing the necessary smashing and crashing. I mentally canceled the orchestra, and sent the choral group packing. I went for the position of semi-cranky ambassador of being disabled instead. Nice. Doesn't come with its own theme song, though.

Next, inspired by the extremely fertile, feral cat living in my backyard, my next Purpose in Life took shape. I would become a cat rescuer, socializing feral kittens, and working towards getting every cat in the country spayed or neutered, and into a good home! My bathroom became a feral kitten nursery. My fingers flew over my computer keyboard, as I searched the web for cat rescue organizations, and created "kittens looking for good home" posters for veterinary clinics. I learned that there are many cat rescue organizations, and they needed money (which I did not have), not kittens (which I had in abundance). The extremely fertile, feral cat in my backyard sneered at my attempts to capture her (I continually tried to trap her, in order to get her spayed). There were many problems with my new Purpose in Life, not the least of which was what to do with the unadoptable kittens? I thought a death sentence was extreme just because a kitten was not a people person. I kept the unadoptable kittens. Have you met Athena, Mad Martigan, and Bear?

My Cats

They are sweethearts whom I love dearly, but they were all feral, unadoptable, hellions as kittens. I would have been suspicious of anyone who did want to adopt them. I had to drop being a cat rescue crusader because I couldn't afford to take care of anymore unadoptable kittens. So, I brushing the mouse toys off my lap,
bandaging scratches from kitten Bear, dodging bites from kitten Athena, plucking kitten Mad Martigan off my chest, and wiping the kitten food out of my hair, I pondered what to do next.

As of now, I still looking for my new Purpose in Life. I'm not sure if it is out there, waiting for me to find it; or unformed, waiting for me to create it. I just know that it is out there, somewhere. And I bet it comes with really cool theme music.


March 16, 2009:

I originally wrote this over a year ago, and it is still applicable. I'm still searching for my purpose in life, and I still hope it comes with really cool theme music.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

CreateAbility Team Member Showcase #2

Create Ability Team Etsy is a group of artists with disabilities or who are caregivers to disabled people. The team exists to provide support and advice to each other, as well as opportunities to chat and promote.

Items for sale on Etsy by Create Ability Team members can be found by doing a search on Etsy with the word "createability": CreateAbility Etsy Search

Here is Showcase #2 of Create Ability Team Members:

One Fold Designs - Handmade Greeting Cards

Poppy Raye Studio - Jewelry and Paintings

Akua Designs - Jewelry, Ornaments, and Delights

Matt's Crafty Wife - a.k.a. Crochet by Anastasia


Friday, March 13, 2009

Save Money and Time - Walgreens Online

Shopping online can save money and time. "Save Money and Time" blog posts are where I share my experience with online businesses and such.

Save Money and Time

= Excellent

= Good
= Better Than Nothing
= Just Dreadful, Run Away!


Walgreens Online

During a time when I did not have reliable transportation, Walgreens.com was a life saver for me. I couldn't consistently get a ride, or pay for a taxi cab, to the grocery store. There were days when I ran out of food. Walgreens.com provided a way for me to get basic food stuffs, and necessary personal items. After being accepted by the DART Paratransit program, I had a way to get to the grocery store, but I still use Walgreens.com on occassion because the shipping charge for orders weighing 10 pounds or less - $5.49 - is cheaper than the fare I pay to ride paratransit. Also, many items ship free by themselves, or when combined with a $50 or more order of other qualifying items.

The Good

Many items stocked in the brick and mortar Walgreens can be purchased online.

Save money and travel time on free shipping, or 10 pounds or less, orders (compared to cost of riding paratransit).

Ability to get people and pet food, personal items, as well as some OTC medicines, delivered to your door.

Delivery is via UPS, which for me is faster and often more reliable than USPS.

The Mediocre

Walgreens shipping department doesn't always pack items properly, but items damaged due to Walgreens improper packing can be replaced or refunded with a toll free call to Customer Service.

The Bad

Items from the weekly sales ads may not be at sale price when purchased online.

Outside of the 48 contiguous states, shipping charges are high.

Prescription delivery. Standard shipping of prescriptions is free to all 50 states, but Standard shipping prescriptions can take two weeks, or more, before they are shipped (then add the time it takes the carrier to get the prescription to you). Two day and overnight delivery of prescriptions are available, but are very costly.


Emoticons Courtesy of Free Emoticons

Create Ability Team - Latest Happenings

Create Ability Team Etsy is a group of artists with disabilities or who are caregivers to disabled people. The team exists to provide support and advice to each other, as well as opportunities to chat and promote. Items for sale on Etsy by Create Ability Team members can be found by doing a search on Etsy with the word "createability":

CreateAbility Etsy Search


Relatively new, and growing, is the Create Ability Team Group on Flickr. Flickr is for online photo management and sharing. The Create Ability Team Group on Flickr is a place to peruse photos of items made by Create Ability Team members.

Also Happening:

Create Ability Team member Carapace is featured on the Feature Cafe Blog. Check out Carapace's interview, and enter her Giveaway. The Giveaway ends Friday, March 13th at 11:59pm, Eastern. Congratulations Carapace!

Check out the Createability Team Promotions March 2009 thread on the Etsy forums for the latest listings and specials of Create Ability Team members.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Living Life - Adapting vs Settling

Adaptability is a phenomenal asset. It allows us to change as our environment changes, and still flourish. Adaptability is a two-edge sword, though. Often, we may not notice when adapting morphs into settling for the way things are - inertia.

When I became disabled, my income dropped by 75%. I cut expenses. Plain pasta with a sprinkle of grated cheese became my daily meal. Clothing is rarely purchased, and only if my clothing is falling apart, and replacements can be found at deeply discounted prices. My home is kept dim to cut electric costs, with the drapes close because open drapes let out the air conditioning, or heat. I stopped going anywhere other than to the doctor; pharmacy; and grocery store because of transportation, and other, costs. I sensibly adapted to the loss of income, but at some point I went from adapting to inertia. I settled.

Enjoying meals was a distant memory. Eating became an annoying chore. My standard of dress became "street legal", i.e. I was suitably covered, without regard to my appearance. I memorized the layout of my home, but never looked at it, because the light was too dim to see it. I no longer had enriching, fun experiences. Living life became a vague memory that would sometimes surface in a dream. Existing became all encompassing.

Little things began to wake me up from my day to day existence. I realized I had blinders on to the possibility of other inexpensive food stuffs. I noticed that I would throw on any clothing, of any color and pattern, as long as I was covered up. Anyone who stopped by my home would say the same thing, "Why is it so dark in here?" I realized that while I had made necessary changes, I had forgotten to keep going, to keep living. It was worse than being in a rut, because I didn't see my life as being monotonous and static. The inertia was a blanket that seemed to keep me warm, but was actually smothering me.

When I truly looked at what my life had become, I was surprised. I had lost more than my income and my physical well being. I had lost myself. Overcoming inertia is difficult when one knows what needs to be done. Overcoming inertia while having no clue what needs to be done is baffling and frustrating. I do things to get back to living, so far with limited success. I used to think I was re-building my life. Now, I understand that I am building myself a new life, from scratch. The life plan I had before becoming disabled is no longer workable.
I'm feeling my way through a maze, and I frequently arrive at dead ends. But, I keep going because I don't want to adapt to existing. I don't want to settle. I want to get back to living.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Save Money and Time - Books & DVDs

Shopping online can save money and time. "Save Money and Time" blog posts are where I share my experience with online businesses and such.

Save Money and Time

= Excellent

= Good
= Better Than Nothing
= Just Dreadful, Run Away!



PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.

PaperBackSwap is for the exchange of used paperback books, hardcover books, and audio books. You post a book, someone requests that book from you, you mail the book, and receive a PaperBackSwap credit. You can use that credit to order a book for yourself. There are no membership fees, no hidden costs. PaperBackSwap requires a book to be in good, not excessively worn condition. You can set up additional conditions for books, such as non-smokers setting up a condition that they do not want books that have been in the homes of smokers. A great way for readers to save money.


SwapaDVD is a place to swap original, playable DVDs that you do not want to keep. You post a DVD, someone requests that DVD from you, you mail the DVD, and receive a SwapaDVD credit. You can use that credit to order a DVD for yourself. There are no membership fees, no hidden costs.

I did not rate SwapaDVD as high as PaperBackSwap because you cannot set conditions on SwapaDVD. SwapaDVD requires the DVD be playable. I've received a few scratched discs that play fine. However, the majority of DVDs I've received have been pristine, and many have been new and unopened. If a DVD is received that does not play, contact SwapaDVD and they will return your credit. Overall, I think SwapaDVD is a great way to watch DVDs without spending a lot of money.

For the sake of full disclosure: I will receive a referral credit if you use the links above to join PaperBackSwap or SwapaDVD. However, you do not have to be referred by someone, or use the above links, to join PaperBackSwap or SwapaDVD.


Emoticons Courtesy of Free Emoticons

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Create Ability Team Treasury!

A Treasury, curated by Flamingolady, features a colorful sampling of Create Ability team member's creations - including one made by yours truly! I hope you will take a look at the Treasury, and have a click or 12 while you are there. This Treasury is up until Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 10:47 am Eastern time.

Colors of the CreateAbility Team

I have a song in my heart, and a crick in my neck. I think I will belt out Broadway show tunes, after I take a Tylenol. Every problem should be so easy to fix.


Sunday, March 8, 2009


I originally posted this on my previous blog, on October 20, 2007:

Physical impairment does not equal mental impairment.
I use a walker, and my movements are slow, and laborious. Many people assume that my mental functions are also slow and laborious. People often speak very loudly to me - apparently assuming that since I move slowly I must be hard of hearing; and/or speak to me as though I were 2 years old. These same folks are consistently surprised when I speak to them as an adult, with some college - which is what I am. The Speak Loudly When Doubting the Person Can Understand You syndrome is one I have never understood. Speaking to me as though I were a 2 year old, I think, is because they are assuming that since I cannot walk normally, I cannot think normally. Assumptions.

Please don't assume. Being in a wheelchair; using a cane; using walker; all signify only one thing: that person needs mobility aid. Being unable to speak clearly means that there is a physical impairment of one's ability to speak, not that there is an impairment to one's ability to think; to understand; and to feel.

If you don't want to say "Hello" or "How are you?" to a disabled person, I hope it is because you aren't the type of person to say "Hello" or "How are You?" to strangers, not because that person is disabled. When you speak to a disabled person, speak to them on your level, just as you would an able-bodied person. If we don't understand you, we will let you know...just as an able-bodied person would.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Now Shipping to Canada

I spent the past few weeks learning about international shipping, and now I ship to Canada. Living in an international world, and I'm an international girl. I want to expand shipping to other countries, eventually.

My thanks to Create Ability team members who helped me learn the ins and outs of international shipping.

I've been to the southern portion of British Columbia - breathtakingly gorgeous. That's all the travel experience I have with Canada, so far. I would have loved to go to Vancouver, and hang out where they filmed Stargate SG-1, and Stargate Atlantis, and just be a total fan girl. Ah, well. Traveling again is one of my "hopefully one day, in the future" things.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Create Ability Team Members Exposed!

On Etsy in a Vicki Diane Artists Exposed Treasury! The Treasury is up until Saturday March 7, 2009, 8:23 pm Eastern.

The CreateAbility Team Exposed Treasury

Congratulations to the CreateAbility team members featured in this Treasury!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Disability In - Shyness Out

Before becoming disabled, I used to be shy. Talking to strangers? Not so much. Yelling in public? Uh-uh. A lot of my shyness went out the window when I became disabled. Maybe, it was all the doctor visits - how can shyness survive my going around clad in a hospital gown and undies? Maybe, it was all the stares as I moved slowly, and painfully, along with my mobility aid - how can shyness survive when almost every time I enter somewhere I'm hit with a spotlight that causes folks to stare, or turn away? Maybe, it was just me adapting to my new situation, and discovering strength I did not know I had within me.

I want to take care of myself. I want to be independent. I want to do everything for myself. The reality is that there are now some things that I cannot do for myself. Like when I go to the grocery store, and the item I need is on a high shelf, out of my reach. Pre-disability, I would shimmy up the shelves in a way that would make any squirrel proud, and grab what I needed.
Now, when I'm alone on an aisle in a store, I will bellow out, "Hello!" in order to get someone who can get that out of reach item. My leg doesn't work right, but my voice is just fine, thank you.

Or, when my paratransit ride parks on the far side of a parking lot, unaware that I'm ready to go - my walking across a parking lot is a daunting, time consuming, and very painful task. When my paratransit ride is parked on the far side of the parking lot, I will ask an able-bodied stranger to walk across the parking lot and let the paratransit driver know that I'm ready to go.

I don't automatically ask for help. I want to be independent, and I debate with myself everytime such a situation comes up. Do I really need help? But, if the fact is that I am facing a situation that I cannot physically cope with, or I will probably come to harm by trying to do it myself, then I will shove aside my shyness and do what is needed. Now, I can approach a stranger. Now, I can shout.

I am not diminished by being disabled. I have found new strength.


Monday, March 2, 2009

CreateAbility Team Member Showcase #1

I have a shop on Etsy, BeadDance Jewelry, where I sell the jewelry I make. My online shop allows me an opportunity to earn an income, working within the constraints and limitations of my disability.

Etsy is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell items that are handmade, as well as vintage goods and crafting supplies.

I joined a group on Etsy - Create Ability Team Etsy. Create Ability Team Etsy is a group of artists with disabilities or who are caregivers to disabled people. The team exists to provide support and advice to each other, as well as opportunities to chat and promote.

Items for sale on Etsy by Create Ability Team members can be found by doing a search on Etsy with the word "createability": CreateAbility Etsy Search

Periodically, I will post a showcase of Create Ability Team members. Here's the first:

Ophelia's Apothecary - Lotions, Creams, Sprays, and more

Cindy Lou Who 2 - Gemstone, Pearl and Shell Jewelry

Unusual Feline Objects - Feline Fun Objects, and more

Stuff by Steph77 - Greeting Stuff, Magnetic Stuff, and more

Sierra Pelona Crochet - Hand Crocheted Lace, and more

Flamingo Lady - Jewelry, Magnets, and more

Carapace - Original Illustrations, Jewelry, and more

There will be more Create Ability Showcases in the future.


Helping the Disabled - Some Dos and Don'ts

I originally posted this on my previous blog, on June 25, 2007:

Since I've been disabled, I've been fortunate to interact with a lot of people who want to help me. A heart-felt thank you from me, to each and every one of them. Sometimes the help, though well intended, is not so helpful. The help is always given with the best of intentions, but sometimes the end result is not so good. All of these situations have happened to me.

I'll Get That for You
Please, continue to help, but rather than automatically doing it for me, ask me if I need help. Sometimes, I may be struggling to accomplish something that you can do quite easily, like picking up an item I dropped. You can pick that item up faster, and easier, than I can, but sometimes I really need to pick that item up myself, just to re-affirm that I can still do certain things.

Ha, ha, ha! You Don't Need That Cane (Walker, Wheelchair)
Yes, you are trying to get me to smile, and that can be a nice thing. However, I do need my mobility device, and I'm not particularly happy about needing my mobility device. I will always smile, and welcome, a friendly "hello".

The Arm Grab and Drag
I do move slowly. Please do not grab my arm and try to pull me along at a faster pace. Even with you grabbing my arm, I cannot move at a faster pace. The end result is always my having a sore spot on my arm, or I fall, or we both fall. Please respect my person, and my personal space. However, in emergency situations, please feel free to snatch me up, throw me over your shoulder, and run like crazy.

I'll Take That Walker Out of Your Way
My walker may seem like it is slowing my progress, but it is actually keeping me from falling over. I appreciate that you want to be helpful by getting things out of my way, but I really need to keep my walker.

Yes, I have had a surprising (to me) number of people snatch my walker away from me in an effort to help. I am left stranded, until I explain that I need my walker in order to move without falling over.

Let Me Help You Up (Down) Grab
I can really use help maintaining my balance, especially in a situation involving stairs without hand rails. But, please do not grab my hand, wrist, or arm and pull. We are both likely to take a tumble. Be certain that you are standing in a stable position, and offer up your forearm for me to hold on to. And, please understand that we will have to move at my pace (very slow) rather than your normal pace (much faster than I can manage).



This blog is about the differences, similarities, disappointments and triumphs I experience as I live my life disabled.

I became disabled when I was around 40 years old - femoral neuropathy. After becoming disabled, I've had to shuffle through my life knowledge, and re-apply lessons learned to my new path. So far, there have been some abysmal downs, and some instances of shining hope. I'm still on my journey, and I'm still learning. Perhaps, what I've learned can be helpful to disabled, and able-bodied folks.

I will post about my experiences with businesses, groups, and day to day life.
There will be kudos for some, and a veil of disappoint for others. I may ramble, rant, and wander off topic on occasion. That is something that hasn't changed because of my being disabled.

Some of my posts will be transferred from another blog I had, but most of the posts will be new. I hope you will enjoy your time here, and perhaps learn something new.