Purple Striped Crocus Bud

I didn’t post yesterday because I was doing my best impression of being a zombie.

In an attempt to try and reset my sleep schedule to something that even remotely resembles normal, I got the wild hair to just stay awake the previous night and all day yesterday. I cannot remember the last time I attempted an all nighter like that. Probably back in my early twenties when my body didn’t rebel quiet so easily.

I actually managed to make it to about 8:30 am before my body couldn’t handle it and crashed for about 45 minutes. After that, I was awake until I headed to bed around 11 pm last night. So, in a roughly 36 hour time frame, I only got that 45 minutes of sleep. This on the tail end of getting an average of maybe 4 to 6 hours (at best, but more often 3 to 4) of extremely restless sleep for several weeks.

What’s really messed up? Even after being awake that long, when it came time to go to bed, I was still wide awake and needed to take something to help me actually get to sleep. I’m not sure that the whole adventure actually managed to fix anything.

I did get some solid sleep when I finally fell asleep, though. It’s probably the first full night I’ve gotten in well over a month (if not more, I honestly don’t know anymore). Sadly, I think I’m more tired today than I was yesterday after no sleep. Dang! My poor body and brain is so messed up.

The upside to that? I think I read something like 3 books over that 36 hour period.

Yesterday was also release day for one of my favorite authors and is the other big part of why there was no post yesterday. Because of the no sleep marathon, I was still up when the book dropped into my reading ap. Of course I started it pretty much the second I could and there was going to be no putting it down once I started.

I’m going to need to try and find some more active things to do today to shake the remaining sleepies.

 

Wet And Rainy

Our wonderful streak of warm, sunny days has ended and today is wet, rainy and dreary. Not the least little bit conducive to getting my camera out past the overhang on my porch.

It is a good day to go hole up in my studio and see if I can actually manage to get that little project finished. I’d love to get it done and get that mess put away so I can start on the next item on my to do list. At the very least, I need to get a photo or two because I’ve promised and haven’t pulled through just yet.

Also, it would be good to take a few steps away from the books for a bit as I’m getting rather frustrated with what I’m reading lately and I’m not entirely sure how to fix that. I have a few books coming out this month that I’m looking forward to, but there are still a few days before the first one hits my reader.

For now, I’m off to play with metal clay.

And… More Crocus

I’m really hoping to have some different flower photos for you soon, but I’m only seeing some tiny buds that still have a ways to go before there are flowers. I think the next ones I’ll get will be my other batch of crocus blooming or the hyacinths will flower out. Not sure which one will pop first.

Of course, there is a chance of snow later in the week, so there is also the possibility that even those won’t actually happen. Or if they do, they won’t be very pretty. I’m just going to have to wait and see.

Sunny Crocus

I love it when I’ve worked out a plan for a day or even the weekend only to realize at the last minute that, Oops! You have something else to do!

I had planned on getting groceries while BG was at dance today, which is a long one, and leaving open the rest of my day today and tomorrow to try and get caught up on some things. It wasn’t until this morning when I was getting ready that I realized it was a watch day and I’d be at dance with BG and my grocery run would have to be put off until tomorrow.

Seriously… love the old age brain.

While it feels like I’m never going to get all my stuff done that is on a massively long to do list, I actually did make a lot of progress getting things crossed off that list this week. Even with the hiccups and flat tires. I still have a massively long list, but it is now a slightly shorter, massively long list.

And… I have pretty flowers coming up, so that makes everything better.

 

Another Hyacinth

Looking at this, I realized how funny looking hyacinth buds really are. They are just so odd looking at this stage when you get up close on them. I have no clue what color this one is going to be. Pretty sure it is one of the new ones I planted in the fall, but I’ve already forgotten what colors of each thing I planted were, so I guess it is going to just have to be a surprise.

I’m still in my studio today hoping I can get this project finished without any more hiccups.

I Have Crocuses!

I knew I was close as I’d seen the little leaves popping up. I swear I just checked the day before and didn’t see any buds. Then yesterday, BG tells me I have something purple blooming. I expected maybe one small bud where you could see some color. Nope. They were all almost fully open. At least for this bunch. I planted a couple, so I should have another bunch blooming soon.

Hello spring! Glad to see you finally showing yourself.

I’ll be busy in my studio again today. I promised Sam I’d try to get some photos of my PMC project along the way, though it probably will just look like an ugly lump for a bit yet depending on how far I get today.

Black & White Hyacinth

It isn’t quite as pretty of a day today as yesterday, but at least we are seeing the sun more consistently.

I have another busy day today and it feels like even the days I don’t have a ton of stuff scheduled, something still comes up that needs to get done. While it looks like I have a couple of “free” days that are open this week, I know that by the time they get here, there will be something that decides to fill that space up. And I haven’t even hit the busy point of my year yet. April and May might just get ugly.

I’m realizing that with this new position as a reviewer for Envie!, I’m going to have to make some modifications to how I work my review posts here. Or at least when I write and post them. I’m not sure what will work best yet, but for now, I’ll be writing up the reviews for any books that would be potentials and leaving them as drafts until I’ve decided which one will be submitted for the next issue. Any reviews that wouldn’t work for the magazine will still be posted as I write them, I just have to make sure the one for the magazine gets published there first. This might make things interesting as I work out the kinks for that.

I have yet to cross any of my many upcoming projects off my list yet. I have started on one, but it is taking way longer than I expected to really nail down what I’m doing. I’ll probably have to spend at least a part of my day in my studio trying to finish that up tomorrow.

I’d say I’m looking forward to summer so I could already be done with the chaos, but I really don’t want to miss out on everything tied to that chaos. There is just too many fun and exciting events that come with it.

Feeling Springy

We have an absolutely gorgeous day here today. It would be amazing if this was an indication that we were past all the cold and nasty and headed into warmer weather, but anything goes around here this time of year.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll have much time to actually enjoy it much as I’ve got a nice long list of errands I need to run. I managed a few minutes to get a couple of shots of my hyacinths breaking out and starting to bud. Even more reason to hope we are done with the freezing temps. I think I’d cry if all the flowers I planted last fall don’t actually bloom out because they froze.

I’m so ready to start seeing some color again.

Last Year’s Rose

I’d say that I’m planning on playing more with the new software today, but I’m starting to accumulate projects that I need to be working on. While my calendar for March isn’t nearly as full or as colorful as April and May, March is when the crazy starts to really seep in and I need to get those projects done before that happens. The projects are all creative in nature and I’ll be sharing those when I get to them.

I’m also struggling to come up with my next submission for the magazine. I’d had plans in place and fingers crossed for a book on my TBR, but it didn’t work out. Now I’m scrambling to find one that will work and I have to work that in along with the projects. I still have time, but I was really hoping that I’d have a whole lot more cushion to that time.

If I don’t get all of that at least planned and organized, time is going to sneak up on me and bite me in the ass and something is going to slip. That means, I’m going to probably going to be busy. I have a feeling that between the upcoming projects and the insanity that is my calendar in the next several months, I might just be a bit of a mess for a while.

Brittle Winter Veins

PSA from a whiny, wimpy girl:

Whiny, wimpy girl cannot recommend attempting to repierce your own ears. Especially if you are whiny and wimpy, cannot handle pain (at least in odd areas that aren’t used to feeling pain) and may potentially faint in circumstances like getting your blood drawn.

No. Seriously. Just don’t.

Except, this whiny, wimpy girl is also an idiot and did just that yesterday.

Somehow, at some point, I must have scraped the inside of my earlobe and when I didn’t wear any earrings for an extended period of time, one of my holes closed to the point I couldn’t get an earring in. Over the last several months, after I realized this was an issue, I’ve tried to see if I could manage to get various different earrings in, but was never able to.

Idiot that I am, I really didn’t want to try and go somewhere and spend money to have someone poke that hole back open. I was also pissed that I have all these amazing earrings, many that I’ve made over the years, that I couldn’t wear. With MC’s scholarship ceremony (which was really cool, BTW), the ballet and a whole list of things coming up in the next month or two, I was determined to figure out exactly how closed off it really was.

I grabbed a pair of small studs that I’d be able to leave in for a while. In all my attempts, I’d never gotten the post to go much past the opening. Yesterday, when I tried, I had this immediate “pop” and that sucker was in farther than I’d been able to get it. It didn’t even really hurt much, though there was a little blood, which I was handling decently at the moment. I thought “Awesome! This is going to be easier than I thought!”

There was still some resistance past that point, so I pulled the earring back out, cleaned it up really well, coated it in alcohol and tried again. It would NOT go any farther. I twisted my earlobe to see what the backside was looking like and I could see that there really only was a small layer of skin to get through. No big deal right?

So wrong!

Did I mention I’m a whiny, wimpy baby when it comes to certain pains? And yes, I have been known to pass out getting my blood drawn.

I was now feeling a bit lightheaded after that little bit of blood and the longer it took to finish, the more my stupid brain focused on it and the worse I got. It didn’t help one bit that this tiny piece of skin was stubborn and I think holds about 95% of my entire body’s nerve endings, every single one of them telling my brain “This shit hurts!”

I’m in the bathroom off my kitchen having decided that right before the kids get home was the perfect time to do this. The pain and queasiness got so bad, I felt like I was either going to throw up or pass out, so I had to lay down on the floor. I’m laying there and imagining MC walking in from school and freaking out to find his mom half in and half out of the bathroom on the floor like an unmoving blob, so I forced myself to get back up not wanting to scar the kid for life.

Nothing I did got that paper thin layer to break. Each time I took the earring out to clean it and reposition it, I got queasier. My brain convincing me that breaking through that skin was going to create a gush of blood. I did get a little smarter at that point and started using some ice on the lobe to numb it up, but that only dulled it down a little.

The earring wasn’t doing the trick with a dull post end, so I got a pin and did the same thing. Cue even more pain. And still no break through. I resorted to putting pencil eraser against the back of my earlobe hoping to give it some leverage. This between breaks of me sitting on the toilet lid with my head between my legs trying to get the room to quit spinning while yelling at myself in my head for being an idiot of extreme proportions.

But apparently that didn’t help. I was still a frickin’ idiot. A stubborn and determined one because I WAS going to get to wear my earrings again, dammit! After more ice, a really numb earlobe, MC getting home and laughing is butt off at me then hightailing it to his room so he doesn’t have to see his mother lose her lunch, I manage to get the tip of the pin to finally break through. Yes!

Uh, okay. Nope. The skin is now broken, but it refuses to open up enough to let the post of the earring through. This starts another round of fighting off passing out or puking.

More ice, more wimpiness and lots of whiny whimpering later, I finally manage to get that damn earring all the way through, shockingly, with no more blood. So yes, I did what I set out to do, but damn! That was such a bad idea. I’m so lucky I didn’t actually pass out and crack my head open on the toilet.

It wasn’t until it was all over and I was still fighting of feeling queasy hours later that I realized that part of why it was so frickin’ hard to break through that layer of skin is because it was probably a thin layer of scar tissue.

So, no. I really, REALLY don’t recommend this method. Just go somewhere and have a professional do it. It is over in seconds, not nearly an hour. And if it hurts, you can blame their technique and not your own personal idiocy. But hey! I can now wear all those amazing earrings I have sitting around collecting some tarnish.

 

 

Last Of The Snow?

It is still way too early to tell. As of right now, we don’t have any more in the forecast. It is one of the reasons why I hauled MC out yesterday afternoon to try and get a few more photos for his senior pictures because he was adamant he wanted some done in the snow (because that is SO him, the gamer guy that rarely leaves his lair to venture into nature).

We’d had a beautiful, if cold, perfectly clear sky, sunny day. All day. I’d been watching the light trying to figure out the best time to try and get my shots. Just as we walked out the door, clouds came rushing in from the west and killed the light. Of course it did!

I still managed to get a few good ones, but I need to do some editing on them as they aren’t quite good enough. MC said he wants to do some with a range of backgrounds like sunset or even in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. I actually think it is a brilliant idea as I’ll have been taking pictures of him all throughout his senior year. Talk about putting together a true senior portrait package!

They won’t look all perfect and professional, because doing portraits is so not my thing. But… I have several that are really good already. I’m going to have a hell of a time trying to decide which one(s) I’m going to want to print to hang on the wall. I may have to come up with something really creative and do something like a large collage with all of them. I don’t know yet, but something.

On a side note, I’ll be editing my private post with the most current update on that situation for those that chimed in.

Frozen Bubbles!

I did it! I braved the horrid cold and managed to get several amazing shots yesterday. It took a little while as the area I set up in still wasn’t entirely protected by the wind and they broke easily. I felt a bit like a circus monkey in the process.

Blow a bubble, set down the bubble stuff, drop to my camera and attempt to focus only to not be able to find the bubble in my viewfinder because it had already broken. Pop up, rinse and repeat over and over. I did my best to keep them in mostly the same location, but I still needed to refocus on every single one and that sometimes took longer than the bubble could last.

Broken Soap Bubble
Broken Soap Bubble

I got nearly as many broken bubbles as I got whole ones. I almost love the broken ones the most because the way they collapse or break adds so much character and interest.

Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble

There are so many things I love about doing these. One is that they are very much like snowflakes in that each one freezes a little differently and creates different feathery, snowflake like patters across the surface.

Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble

It is amazing to watch the process of those patterns forming as the bubble freezes.

Broken Frozen Soap Bubble
Broken Frozen Soap Bubble

I had done a little research to see if there was something I could do to make my bubbles stronger. Found that using glycerine is supposed to help and I think it does some. Sadly, it also looks like adding that makes these so much harder to freeze. Of course, it took me about 15 bubbles before I realized these weren’t freezing the same as the ones I did last year, so I had to run back in and remake my bubble solution before I could get any decent photos.

Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Soap Bubble Just Starting To Freeze
Soap Bubble Just Starting To Freeze

Still Frozen

We started the day with negative wind chills and me on edge because it was the first time MC ever really drove on anything that wasn’t just wet. The roads weren’t horrible, but there were still patches of snow and some ice here and there, so I was kind of a wreck until I got his text that they made it to school.

I’m very much deep into hermit mode right now. It is kind of a downside to being a SAHM, at least for me. Outside of getting BG to dance, there aren’t a whole lot of things that I HAVE to get done. When it is bitter cold and dreary and I’m still feeling cruddy, it is way too easy to opt to just stay bundled in some blankets with a book. I haven’t even felt like writing a review I’m so deep into that mode. I love that I can do this when I need to, but I hate that it is so easy to do outside of those need to times. I feel like such a slug.

One of the few things I’ve gotten the energy to do (mostly because it is one of those things that really needed to get done) was update my calendar with all the upcoming events, mostly the latest rehearsal schedule for BG. All of these don’t start until April, but with this year being so different for her, it is the first time I’ve seen how much extra time the girls that assist have to spend at the studio when it gets closer to recital time. My four days a week at the studio is going to explode into almost every single day. There are a few times that her entire Saturday is going to be spent at the studio. When I say her entire day, I mean from something like 3 until almost 10pm. If Saturday had been one of her assist days or she was a ballet assistant (only juniors and seniors, so maybe next year), it would have been even longer.

When BG and MC were talking about snow days and how they would impact the last day of school and BG’s recital dates, the topic of MC’s graduation came up. I had a moment of panic that I hadn’t put that date on my calendar yet and thought there would be a conflict with one of those rehearsals. Turns out that is one of the very few days I have on my calendar that didn’t have BG at the studio. Such a relief!

I knew this was going to be kind of a crazy year, but I had no idea that I was barely going to have a moment to breath this coming spring. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad about taking this time to be a hermit.

Perfect Conditions

The weather is absolutely perfect today for me to get out and play with these again! It is cold as hell, absolutely still and the sun is even peeking out every once in a while. This will be the first real chance to try this again since I’ve gotten my new camera, so I’m over the moon excited. I just have to get up the energy to bundle up enough I don’t end up a frozen human. Only the bubbles are supposed to freeze.

Bubbles In Ice

Seems like all I have the energy for right now is to share photos. I didn’t even get out the other day when we had another freezing fog. Granted, it wasn’t quite as nice as the last one, but still.

Pretty sure I’m at the peak of this stupid cough and it is kicking my butt. I’m at that point where everything hurts from all the coughing. The muscles your body uses to cough are so much more than you ever realize until every single one of them are screaming at you to just stop already.

Having my week feel condensed because it is going to be bookended by nasty winter storms isn’t helping at all. It’s still a little early yet, but they are calling for a potentially nasty ice storm this next weekend. Any errands that I would normally do over the weekend, like a grocery run, need to get done in the next couple of days. Knowing I have to do it while coughing the whole time makes me want to throw a toddler tantrum, complete with kicking and screaming. Except, that will just hurt and make me cough more.