100 Things: The Cassette Tapes

Empty, but for dust and memories #cardcatalogThe first thing I did was one of the two things I least wanted to do: tackle the cassette tapes. I have a card catalog full of them. Well; had. I mean, I still have the card catalog – it’s just empty now as I write this.

Dream, if you will, not a courtyard but a card catalog with 30 drawers. Each drawer full of cassette tapes. About 20 tapes fill a drawer. That’s a lot of tapes. *Someone* in this house likes music. What is that, 500 tapes? 600? MATH.

Over the course of six days, I whittled that down to two and a half drawers, and the “half drawer” are tapes that I’ve put the CDs for on my Amazon wishlist, with the thought of picking up one per month and tossing out the CD when I do. Yes, I buy things off my own wish list, don’t you judge me, Earl. The rest of the tapes are mix tapes made for me by friends and/or are things I can’t replace (like the tapes my mom made for me of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, off of albums I used to listen to incessantly when I was a child). Book on ALBUM! What are albums? Go ask your parents, kids.


Dear Coffee; it’s not you, it’s me

Dearest, darling coffee. You know there’s nobody I love quite like you. We’ve been together for so long, in various stages. From cheap instant coffee, to a French Press trial (verdict: too complicated to use pre-coffee), to different brands and flavors and sometimes with cream and sometimes without, sugar, no sugar, shots of flavor….

Six months ago, I dialed back our love affair. My mammogram and ultrasound showed a cyst, and while there’s no concrete evidence because it appears that all women are different and react differently – go figure – one consensus is that caffeine may affect cyst development. I knew I was going to have another mammogram/ultrasound in six months, so I decided to dial back the caffeine and see if that made a difference in the size of my 3mm cyst (we can call him “Lenny”, from that episode of the X-files with the murderous detachable twin). So for six months I had less and less caffeine. It wasn’t as hard to give up fully caffeinated coffee as I thought it might be, but I found I couldn’t give it up 100%. I tried, but the medicine I take when I get migraines has caffeine in it and I noticed headaches the next day or two after that (caffeine headaches, not residual migraines)… so I got down to 2/3 decaf, 1/3 regular. That seemed to work for me. Not so much that I had the jitters, but not so little that I got headaches.

Last week I got my six-month follow-up mammogram and ultrasound, and while I got a clean bill of health, there were no changes in Lenny — he was the same size now as he was then. And you know what that means? Besides the fact that he is a round hypoechoic lesion and minimally complicated? IT MEANS I COULD GO BACK TO 100% CAFFEINATED COFFEE!

With a lilt in my step I was off to the grocery store, happy for a number of reasons.
- Coffee wasn’t the culprit, I could go back to being awake all the time!
- For reasons I don’t know but guess has to do with weight in shipping, a lot of decaf only comes in either bags, or plastic containers. Since Tim and I use metal coffee cans for bacon grease (and we eat a lot of bacon), I’m hoarding tin cans because I don’t go through the caffeinated coffee as fast (you can’t use the plastic ones for hot bacon grease. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.)
- Decaf coffee tastes like donkey balls (I assume; never actually had donkey balls, but they don’t sound appetizing, and neither is decaf). I prefer flavored coffee right now, and decaf pretty much comes in one flavor: ass. I have found one flavored decaf, a French Vanilla that smells vaguely like cat piss and thank god can be tempered with creamer, and balanced with whatever flavored caffeinated coffee I can find.

Needless to say I was oh so happy last Tuesday morning when I could put TWO scoops of regular coffee in my pot instead of one, bringing the decaf down to one scoop – until I run out of decaf and then, SEE YA! Wouldn’t want to be ya!

Fast forward to 3 AM Monday morning when I am wide awake at ungodly o’clock for the third or fourth morning in a row, having heard, oh, I don’t know… a dog fart three houses away, and I have to accept… I’m not sleeping as well, this week. I wake up at the littlest noise. I can’t fall back to sleep. I have trouble falling asleep.

I suspect it’s the caffeine.

I suspect I should go back to 66% decaf/33% regular.

It’s not you, coffee. I love the ritual in the morning. I like waking up with you. I like choosing a mug for the day (and collecting mugs… and making mugs…). But we might have to make some changes to our relationship.

O Captain, my Captain!

Like most of the world, last night, I was stunned and heartbroken to learn of Robin Williams. 

He and George Carlin were my favorite two stand-up comedians. I’ve only seen Carlin live, and wish I had pestered my dad more to get me tickets when Williams played Gator Growl here in Gainesville when I was a child (as it was, I stood outside the stadium and tried to listen, but all I could hear was screaming laughter).

Probably like a lot of girls I wanted to be Mindy and wanted a frustrating but amazing friend like Mork. 

Good Morning, Vietnam is one of my favorite films. I loved The World According to Garp (“We’ll take the house. Honey, the chances of another plane hitting this house are astronomical. It’s been pre-disastered.”), the little known Moscow on the Hudson, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, The Night Listener (filmed at my friends Beth and Joe’s next door neighbor’s house in New York). His one-shot episode on Homicide: Life on the Street remains one of my favorite episodes to this day. I laughed myself sick through countless viewings of Aladdin, and his voice work as the Kiwi on the Opus Christmas Special “A Wish for Wings that Work” gives me the giggles every single year (“AAAAAAAAAL-batross! She left me for an AAAAAAAAAL-batross!”). I could go on; I’m sure you all have your favorites, as well.

I’ve never struggled with depression. I’ve been depressed, but I’ve never fallen into that deep well that my – albeit brief – training at a suicide prevention hotline taught me was so hard to struggle out of. What that training also taught me was that if you are in that well, it’s hard to reach out for help even if it’s what you want the most. Especially if you have a plan, because that is when you are at your lowest and most vulnerable to those lies depression whispers. So if you, or someone you love, is struggling with depression, reach out. You are special. You are important. You are needed in this world. Depression lies. Addiction lies. Love is the truth. You can get help online at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to someone who cares.

Thank you for reading. My heart goes out to Williams’s wife, children, and loved ones. He touched more people than he could ever know.

This will be cross-posted later today to my work FB and G+ accounts; I actually wrote it for them, first, but decided to cross-post here, because my heart is still stunned and silent. I apologize in advance if you follow me there and see this all over the dang place.

100 Things

So it looks like buying/selling/moving is being pushed back towards the Fall, which is awesome (who wants to move in August in Florida anyway? Who wants to hang insulation and drywall in a small hot AC-less workshop in August? And the longer it takes to apply for a loan, the better we look to banks, having taken the last few months to do some prep work on loan application.) but it will also be slightly stressful (November is one of my two highest sales months, so a bad time to close down for a few weeks. December is better than November, but usually based on things I make in November… however, eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize — moving into a place where HaldeCraft has more room will only make everything easier and better going forward. A dip in sales is nothing compared to what I can accomplish with more room and better workspace).

It also gives us more time to go through the epic amount of STUFF in this house.

I was reading a thing recently, I forget where or would link to it, but it was essentially tips on de-cluttering your house over the course of 100 days. It had something like 60 tips, but the first one was the one that really jumped out at me… make a list of 100 things that you’ve been avoiding doing, and do one of those things every day. I figure we have about 100 days left in this house (cross your fingers) so that works out perfectly. The fact that I’ve been working on my list for three days now? And am not finished? SHUT UP, stop staring at me and giggling!

Here is my problem: I am struggling trying to find 100 things that are small things, even having broken some things up like “weed the strip of garden right next to the house” and “weed the triangle birdbath garden” rather than one big “fix the front yard, again, you lazy fool” sort of thing. So I’m happy that “hey, there’s not 100 things to do!”… however, many of the things on my list are going to take more than one day. I have a card catalog full of cassette tapes. Remember those? (Either card catalogs, or cassette tapes?!) I want to go through the tapes, compare them to my CDs, pitch tapes I also have in CD, buy MP3s of ones I don’t have, or just single songs if not the whole album. 30 drawers full of tapes. I suspect that will take me more than one day.

So will going through about 15 long boxes and close to 20 short boxes of comic books, pulling what I want to keep (Sandman, Hellblazer, Strangers in Paradise) and donating the ones I no longer want, or ones that I bought when working at the comic shop because all the other collectors were buying them. There’s a group in town here, The Sequential Artists Workshop, and I’m hoping they’d take the rest in donation. If not, some comic collectors at the next Friends of the Library book sale are going to spaz out. Anyway, I can guarantee that going through those boxes is going to take more than a day. Longer, if I can’t stop myself from opening and reading something. I AM MY OWN WORST ENEMY.

Some of the things I want to clean/go through/de-clutter are what they call on UFYH, invisible corners. Stuff that’s been piled up and in the way for so long that you don’t even see it any more. That should make for some fabulous blog fodder, with before and after pictures. Or just pictures of me hiding under my desk, chewing on my hair.

But that will be later. For now, I have to go get ready to start my day. In a few hours I have my six-month follow-up mammogram-and-ultrasound (so glad they’re doing both today, so I won’t get a call-back). Hopefully the story of this one will be much less exciting than the story of the last one. I’m hoping for “the only thing they saw was Clippy, The Happy Biopsy Marker.”


Jam on it! Or; my friends are turning me into a girl.

Recently someone said to me, “as long as you don’t start shaving your pits, then I wouldn’t know you!” and I had to just blink and keep my mouth shut, because it’s my LEGS I forget to shave. I’m definitely a pit shaver and always have been. TMI? Possibly. Also kind of funny, see “then I wouldn’t know you.” Uh, clearly, you don’t.


We were at a girly get-together, and I’d made a joke that my girlfriends who got me into this Jamberry nail thing are turning me into such a girl that the next thing you know I’ll start shaving my legs. The first time I heard these nail wrap things mentioned, was back in March. I overheard Sharon talking about it to Lala, and on the way home That Poor Man was all, “did you hear Sharon talking about some sort of nail thing?” and I was all, “yeah, and thank GOD she wasn’t talking to me because my hands are way too busy to get into nail polish stuff.”

I used to be into nail polish. Starting in my teens, and going until about mid-twenties. But it chips, and it stinks, and I was always out of nail polish remover, and it’s messy, and blah blah blah. Eventually I quit wearing it on my nails when I got a job in a document production department and was typing for hours a day; it would just chip right off so what was the point? I think I kept doing my toenails for about another four or five years until I realized nobody ever SAW my toenails except for me and Tim, and it didn’t seem like the kind of thing he noticed… and so then the last time I was out of nail polish remover I just let it wear off and never put it back on.

Aaaaaaaaand then. And then Sharon had one of those online parties. The kind of party that the women at the Engineering company used to have all the time, in person, like Pampered Chef and Candlelight and all that crap that really, please, just give me the catalog and tell me how much you need me to order and leave the the fuck alone. Don’t make me come to your stupid party and play stupid games and get lectured on how my life would be so much better if I bought a cucumber scented automatic potato dicer. This party that Sharon had was online, and it was even suggested that you wear your pajamas and be drunk for it, and hey, those are two things I’m good at!

So I went to the online party from the safety of my couch, and Sharon’s friend, a Jamberry rep, sent me some free samples when I said that yeah, a lot of the designs are neat and stuff I would have totally been into years ago, but now I use my fingers way too much in way too many dirty things (clay, dye, soap, more clay) and there was no way some plastic thing glued to my fingernail was going to hold up to that. I had kind of assumed it was some sort of polish deal, because my Pinterest feed is full of friends pinning fancy-ass stuff to do with your nails that involve three jars of paint, a toothpick, and scotch tape. Turns out these are heat-activated wraps; thicker than scotch tape but not as thick as a band-aid, and you heat it to set it and trim it around your nail.

Here are the samples after about ten days in clay, and heavy handwashing in hot water -


While the samples weren’t my “style” (do I even HAVE a style?) I decided to give them a shot. Especially since our friend Lala became a rep for them (a link to her store is a few paragraphs up). Since then, I’ve tried…

Under the Sea My friends are turning me into a girl - My nails are done for the third time in about 15 years. I can't believe how well they hold up when working in clay. #jamberry #queenannejn
Under the Sea; Queen Anne
Flourish So much color; such wow
Flourish; Vintage Deco

So. I’m not hooked, by any means — at the gathering I mentioned above I was probably the one with the least number of sets to her name. But I like them. I can see that I would use them more than nail polish, that’s for sure. They come in enough funky styles that the ones I would be likely to get (IE, not the French Tip things) would match a variety of my moods. I would recommend them to my friends, if Sharon hadn’t recommended them to all my friends already! (We have a large number of mutual friends, go figure.)

If you’re reading this and you haven’t tried Jamberry and you’re curious, feel free to ask any questions. This post isn’t about trying to get you to buy them, though, it’s more about “shit I’ve been doing in what spare time I do have”. Because I have a few spare minutes to write a blog post! Who am I!?


Hey baby, you come here often?

Because I sure as heck don’t. It’d been so long since I logged in, WordPress forgot who I was (and there’s no way I’m remembering a password). It’s all good, now, though, I got in – clearly, since I’m writing this and you might even be reading it.

What have you been up to, people? I’ve been doing everything except writing.

Not quite 80 degrees yet but over 90% humidity. It should be in the mid 90's by noon. #gainesville #nepark #dailywalkI’ve been walking a lot. I got a FitBit Flex about two weeks ago, and since then have walked 50 miles, given myself shinsplints, pulled every muscle in my legs, gotten new shoes, taken a few days off to do mild stretches and let my legs talk to me again, gotten a shoulder holster for the dog’s water bottle, and generally felt a little bit less like a slug. Except for the days when I’ve been resting, THEN I feel like a slug.



I love a good ghost story, especially haunted houses. But do I believe in ghosts? Hmm. Well, I’d have to believe in an afterlife in order to believe in ghosts, and since nobody has ever sent me a postcard from the afterlife, well… Well. So, what then? What are hauntings? I suspect that what we think of as being haunted by something is more (subconsciously) reading our own regrets/fears/memories into a place or event. Things like regrets bring up a lot of emotion, and not emotion that people are comfortable feeling, owning up to, accepting.


And we’ll just get a goat instead of a lawnmower. HAHAHAH j/k

If you didn’t know us, you might think that in dreaming about getting some property we’d be dreaming about filing it up with animals — especially food-producing animals to go with our garden, or fiber-producing animals to go with my yarn hobbies… or better yet, both, because neither one of us wants uni-taskers.

But nothing will harsh your dream of having livestock like having had livestock already.

Cows Cows Cows
Cows Cows Cows

My folks (bless their hearts) (and “my folks” at this point in my life refers to my father and his second wife) had this grand plan to raise a few cows and sell meat… somewhere? A farmer’s market? It doesn’t matter because of course none of that came to pass, because they screwed up and gave the cows names. WAY TO GO. Once you name them, they become pets. Even if their names were things like “Whopper” and “Big Mac”. So, essentially, we wound up having four or five super-expensive, big, ornery, hungry, completely non-snuggly pets. I hope to Gawd I have faced down my last bull while blocking a broken fence. ::shudder::

Sheep Sheep Sheep
Sheep Sheep Sheep
Lamb meets nose Sheep Sheep

Sheep? Cute as buttons. I love the smell of sheep, the sound of them, the stupid way they butt their heads at you for attention. Do I want sheep? Fuck no. I’ve had sheep. My folks (and again, bless their hearts) had a great idea to get a few sheep and sell the wool (profit!). Do you know anything about sheep in Florida? Florida is very hot. Sheep are very wooly and warm. About the only sheep that do well down here are Gulf Coast sheep, and about the only thing their wool is good for is making scrubbies for dishes when steel wool just won’t get off the grime. Our sheep were also notoriously horrible mothers, and a good portion of them abandoned their young… meaning come February or so, we usually had at least one lamb in the house, sectioned off from the dog, near a heat vent, getting bottle fed. So that wasn’t awkward. And having seen my dad do it, I have less than no desire to wrestle a sheep to the ground and give it an inoculation. It’s like going ten rounds with a wild animal that can kick in four directions, and bite, and screams the whole time. Also it weighs a couple hundred pounds. GOOD TIMES, YO.

Chicken Ducks Ducks
Rabbit Rabbit Dog meets duck

Chickens. Ducks. Rabbits. About the only one I would even consider doing again would be rabbits (and the place we’re looking at has wild rabbits, which would be close enough to “having rabbits” for me). Roosters are mean as fuck, chickens are great fun to watch but dumb as stumps, ducks thinks everything that moves are a food source, and rabbits breed like, well, rabbits; they will also eat their young at the drop of a hat.

If you think it’s hard to get someone to come feed your cat while you’re on vacation…? Imagine asking someone if they could come out and also feed and take care of your livestock. No, we don’t want livestock. Been there, done the time. Tim had horses when he was younger, and he doesn’t want the work of it any more than I do. We’ll stick to dogs and cats. And wild birds, owls, chipmunks, raccoons, rabbits, foxes, whatever else lives on or near the property we get.

In which I tell you everything and nothing.

An old tree with a swingEven though it’s all I want to talk about – and trust me, my friends have figured that if they hold still long enough I *will* talk their ears off – I’m trying to be rather vague about things on the blog. The Readers Digest Condensed Story is that some friends of ours are moving soon, and we want to buy their place; their neighbors don’t know yet that they’re moving so we’re trying to keep everything on the down-low until they announce. But at the same time it’s all I’m thinking about. All Tim is thinking about. All either one of us can talk about with each other.

We’ve always wanted property — I think I might have said this in a previous post. But just like wanting to win the lottery but never buying a lottery ticket, we have never really started to move towards buying property. This feels like the kind of thing the universe is lining up once you admit you want it; yes, we’re saddened that our friends are moving far away. But what could be more convenient for them than having someone lined up to buy their land and house, which otherwise might spend weeks – but might spend months – being up for sale? And their land and house is offering almost everything we had mentioned to each other we want? We had always kind of imagined that whatever piece of property we bought would have a stream, or pond, or some sort of water on it… but really, in the grand scheme of everything else our friend’s place has to offer us, that’s negligible.

And I’m fully aware that anything can happen; of course we’re hoping for the best case scenario (they tell us a price that nobody wants to haggle over after which we easily get approved by a bank for a loan) but the worst might happen (the price is out of our range, and we wouldn’t lose friends over haggling, or we don’t get approved for a loan, or for some reason they decide not to sell after all). Anything can happen. But I have to live in a place in my head where it’s going to happen, because worry doesn’t do me any good, but planning does.

SO ANYWAY. Because I feel comfortable that their neighbors don’t know me (although I have met one family, years ago), I feel comfortable rambling on for a little with no specifics (and if you recognize any of these photos, please be vague in your comments, just because)…. It’s five acres, about a twenty minute drive outside of Gainesville, the house is a little bit smaller than our current house BUT it has a garage/workshop that is almost the same size as the house and it can be used for HaldeCraft, it’s got a lovely porch, is mostly clear-cut so there’s wonderful areas for gardens, and enough trees to block the sound of traffic.


Living in the future is awesome but it makes me feel like I’ve turned into my grandfather.

I can't do that, Dave.

So much technology this week. So much wow.

A couple of weeks ago, my laptop shut down unexpectedly, while I was doing something. Since then, it’s been overheating (OK, it’s always run a *little* hot sometimes, but this was noticeable), I’ve gotten the Blue Screen of Death at least twice, and it keeps telling me to run diagnostics but then tells me that nothing’s wrong. PSYCH. It’s also been telling me things like, “your battery is at 80%, plugged in, and not charging!”. Er?

Yesterday it shut down again as I was doing something, and forget it. Restarting was not happening. I spent probably an hour and a half as it offered me restore points earlier and earlier in its life-cycle, but none of them would restore (even though it would think about it for a really long time before telling me that). Finally a “restore to factory settings” was my only choice. Did I want to back things up before then? Oh, sorry, just kidding, I can’t do that, Dave.

I had backed up when this all started happening, so it looks like I only lost a few things — most of the best photos I upload to Flickr, all the photos I took the other weekend of the property we’re going to try to buy are still on my camera, and with the exception of photo editing, all my HaldeCraft stuff is backed up online. Ooo. Except for my most recent quarterly sales tax file; it looks like I backed up the day before I did that, and then didn’t back up again. Whoops. Good thing they already cashed the check — guess I did it right, then! ANYWAY. My point is that I haven’t lost much. I had a bit of a flurry finding the disc for the program I used to make my yarn labels for HaldeCraft – those would have been a pain to recreate in a new program – but for the most part, backing things up to my super-old desktop computer, and relying on the cloud, seems to have saved me many a headache.


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