Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I 'Make Things'

What is the difference between a craft room & man cave? Let's have a comparison.

Craft Room = organized space of all things crafty, room to spread said crafts out, creative headquarters for artsy types, colorful 'things' for projects as yet unknown, cat haven

Man Cave = foolish nonsense abounds, testosterone corral, dog shananigans area, poker palace, masculine movie theater

And, yes, it's true. I make things. I have a whole craft room for making things. To be honest, it's not the WHOLE room. There is a guest bed & furniture in there in case we might have an overnight visitor. It's also a good place for (literal) cat naps!

Cop'er likes to complain about all the 'things' in the room. I believe I have heard him refer to these 'things' as... junk. Some of that 'junk' is from my college days (art major!) and very expensive to replace in case i decide to take up pastels & pen & ink drawing again!

(I know you are laughing about that!)

Needless to say, I like to go into the man cave & point out his 'junk'... the paddle from your fraternity days? Really? The strange smoking frog your brother gave you???


You wanna talk about JUNK?

But to make my point, I do make things in the craft room. Just the other day, I assisted AriCaVa in putting together invitations. She came over to use the (very organized & labeled) supplies & low & behold - I had everything she needed! Just think of how much money I might have saved her!

I'm doing watercolors now as well, but I don't do them in the craft/guest room... There's no DVR in there...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Angels Among Us

Earlier this year, I signed on to become a Chemo Angel. There are different levels of Angels and I opted to become a Card Angel. I was to be assigned someone who is fighting cancer at this very minute. What was most appealing about this organization was that, I would be 'required' to write cards & letters, uplifting messages (or, in my case, boring topics about me!) and the occasional, small gift. This option was perfect for me because I write all the time anyway (I dont know what I am writing, but there is pen in hand)!

It took a little time before I received my assignment, but I finally did this spring. That's when Moonstone (yes, this is just her name while in my blog) came into my life. Moonstone is a young woman currently battling evil breast cancer. She's married & has an adorable little girl... and she's going through chemo.

I've had great fun these few months thinking of topics to write about, finding different cards to send, looking for small gifts to send in the cards. Somehow I find words enough to fill the cards, but I'm not at all certain she's not tossing them in the circular file when she gets them!

Ok, that's not completely true... I know she looks forward to these cards. We have become Facebook friends & i get to 'see' more of her & how she's doing through that portal.

I am so proud of Moonstone to have kept such a positive outlook on things even as she's going through the treatments she is! I'm not sure I would be as strong as she's been. I can tell from the things she writes, the comments she receives & the wonderful vibe that she exudes how special she is. She has a deep & obvious love for her family & friends & it's infectious!

There are days when I can't think of anything to write - you know, I don't have a rockstar life! - but then I think of Moonstone & all she's going through & how this little thing I am doing might be making her smile on a rough day... and suddenly I have a burst of inspiration!

I have high hopes that one day I won't be writing to Moonstone... at least not as a cancer patient. I am hoping for beautiful days - cancer free days - filled with more family & friends & love than she can handle!

If you are looking for a small way to help someone dealing with cancer, think about becoming a Chemo Angel. It's one of those easy, feel-good things everyone can do!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Can you Learn to Write Creatively?

That is a question I will attempt to answer in the coming months. You see, I have enrolled in a creative writing class. It's through the county parks & recreation program, so it's not going to be too taxing. I just hope it's full of inspiration!

I'm going to write "the great American novel" after all. But, first, I need an idea!

I think what I am looking forward to the most is having time to focus on writing. It's actually something I enjoy. I know other people feel that it's more chore than pleasure, but, for me, having pen in hand is relaxing & freeing & comfortable.

I've written fairly regularly in a journal since I was a sophomore in college (& if we do the math, that is 16 years). It's changed over the years from the way I actually write -- as in, handwriting -- to the things I write about, to the people who have come in & gone out of my life, to the format of the journal (sometimes more drawing & inspiration than reflection). One thing remains the same... no matter where I am, you can pretty much guarantee that I'll have pen & paper with me! (ok, pens are a given since I am a pen freak, but paper is another story!)

Currently I am trying to keep an 'art journal' in addition the traditional type. I have been inspired by this blog (Alisa Burke). Such amazing stuff! Just goes to prove there is inspiration everywhere - you just have to look for it!

And in the coming weeks you should be on the look for creative outpourings of a struggling writer! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What is a "Grayzeeelife"?

Well, sit down for a little storytime, kids.

Forget that. I don't have a real story for this. I needed to make up a name for my Zune (for you iPod people, that would be the Microsoft equivalent). I didn't want to use my last name and I couldn't think of anything catchy. Then I decided to reference the craziness I felt in my life. 'Grayzeee' was born.

It's a combination of my last name & an alternate spelling of 'crazy'.

Then I had to come up with something for my blog. Needed to be reflective of my personality. I thought - hey, I'll use that 'grayzeee' name again. Since the blog was going to be about my life, it turned into "Grayzeeelife"...

And now, I've made a logo for my blog too! (I know this is a long time coming since I am a graphic designer & all.) I guess I didn't want to use all my creative juices in one sitting!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ragweed: What is this thing you speak of?

I don't know about the rest of you, but this weather is KILLING me. I, as many of you know, have allergies. Allergies so bad that I get shots twice a month. Big deal, right? Well, I suspect some of you may not have the commitment to going every two weeks to get your shots. I know there have been plenty of times I haven't wanted to go, haven't made time to go and just don't want to deal with it.

But then...

You have to go MORE OFTEN when you miss your timeframe. It's like this. When you first start getting shots, they give you a small dose, then it gradually gets bigger until you are at your maintenance level. For some that's once a month, one a season, etc. For me, it's twice a month, or every two weeks. They have a 7 day grace period and I sometimes I have to use that if I'm going to be out of town. But when you miss your window altogether, they drop your dose down & have to build it back up - meaning you have to go to get shots more often! See, this is not a good thing to miss!

(And let me add, the more you have to go to get shots, the more you have to pay!)

When I was tested to see what I was allergic to, some things were a given like dogs & cats. I have known I was allergic to them since I was a kid & my eyes would itch like crazy if i got a face-full of animal fur. What they also discovered was that I was allergic to pollen, grass, dust mites and ragweed.

Just what is ragweed, you ask... It's a weed, most common in the Eastern states (hello, blogging from VA!!!), that lives only one season (right now?!) but produces up to...

are you sitting down???

... O.N.E. Billion. pollen grains. That's PER PLANT, people! Not only does it have lots to spread, it can spread it quite far. Ragweed has been measured in the air 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere.

It really looks like there's not running from it!

Needless to say, this has been an 'icky' week for me with the hot, post-Labor Day temps & dry, windy days. Bet that ragweed is in every nook & cranny of my world about now!

There is good news (albeit pointless in my book)! I'm not allergic to mold & those levels are quite high right now. I would like someone to tell me how that works with the drought we are in!

Anyway, i'll just keep plugging along, plugging things up, coughing & sneezing things out... all around annoying my husband with the sounds one with allergies has!

Someone pass me a tissue, please!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blogger's Advice to Bloggers

I am a regular follower of "The Pioneer Woman"... love, love, love her blog. She talks like I would when I am writing & I find myself laughing outloud. Her post today was "Ten Important Things I've Learned about Blogging." Once again, I found myself laughing... but then it made me come over here to my blog & give it a little attention and some love. Everything needs love to grow, right?

So, I was contemplating The Pioneer Woman's #2: Blog Often. The problem with this is that my life just ain't all that exciting! Work, home, work, home. I think that's the drill most of us do, right?

Sure, I could 'humor' you all about how I had to go out looking for Jakester, because, for the umpteenth time, he escaped the fenced in backyard. On a normal day Jakester doesn't listen to me. On a day when he's free to wander the wicked streets alone, he listens to me even less. To make matters worse, it's like he KNEW Cop'er wasn't home & thought that was an even better reason to cross the street and make a turn... away from me. Dogs are nuts! Nuts, I tell you!

But I don't want to relive that. Boring stuff.

I'm contemplating putting together a list of "Truths"... you know, those things that have just 'come to be' through life. Obviously this might take a little thinking about. I can't throw it all together in this short little blogging time.

I could mention my new "toy"... bought a Droid 2 this weekend. To say it has bells & whistles would be an understatement. Who knew 'back in the day' that phones would be used for more than just calling people?? Now I can check Facebook on a whim, download an obscene amount of games to play when i should be working, text until my fingers fall off and take pictures better than one of my real cameras!

Of course, since I got a new phone this weekend, it'll be obsolete in a matter of days... Time to start looking for a new one!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cruisin' State of Mind

Right before Christmas this year, I'll be heading down to Florida to start to beginning of my vacation - a cruise to the Caribbean. I can't wait. Now that my work trip is over, I can fully concentrate on something much more interesting... what I might do & see on my week in the Western Caribbean. The possiblities are endless.

It's true, I have been to all these ports of call before. But ya know what??? That just means even more relaxation for me! I don't have to be rushed to keep a sightseeing schedule. What could be better than that??

This will be my 5th cruise... all have been in the Caribbean. You can't beat cruisin' down the islands while everyone else is bundled up in their winter gear. I think I might even squeal with delight at the thought of it!

With 4 cruises under my belt, I'll be more than happy to see things such as those below again... It'll be greeting an old friend. (An old friend that requires me to save to see her, but it's ok... she's worth it!)