Thursday, October 31, 2013

sometimes you just have to

Earlier in the week I had my day planned:
LabCorp for quarterly bloodwork,
blog post,
finish earrings that are designed and wired,
draw blueprints for new display,
Lowe's, and
build displays.

I finished and marked off the first two just fine and was putting gas in the car when I heard it.
A tiny voice.
A beautiful voice as familiar to me as my own.
A voice that has been silent for far too long.

It was the road.
Blue sky, bright sunlight, crisp autumn air and the road calling to me:
What's a girl to do?

I ran home long enough to grab my GO bag and camera batteries.
[What do you mean, What is a GO bag?
I always have a little backpack packed with sunscreen, bug spray, almonds, dried fruit, bottle of water, clean socks/undies, deodorant and toothpaste because you never know when you might have the opportunity to GO]

My favorite regional park -Black Hill, near Clarksburg- is a little over 40 miles away, through some beautiful countryside. Windows down, radio up and cruise control set to a reasonable speed instead of how fast I want to drive, it was a lovely drive.

I spent the afternoon writing in the sunshine
and taking pictures of sugar maples.

And those displays?
They'll get built soon enough.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thanks to Sheryl i am changing our quote

This morning when I went to moderate comments I found a one from Sheryl saying that I inspire happiness for her.
sniff... sniffle... that is perhaps the greatest thing anyone has ever said to me!
Gosh, thank you Foxy.
It made me think of this quote from Mother Teresa that is never far from my heart:
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.

I fall short all the time, but I try; I really, really try.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

quickly random

I am so excited by today's jewelry that I couldn't wait until the next jewelry round-up to share.
I found this crazy bow with a cascade of pink berries a few years ago. Having never seen anything like it before and it being the just-right Niki price of $6 meant that it had to come home with me.
The intention was to wear it in my hair, but the right outfit never came along.
Last night I decided that i wanted to wear this super soft burgundy sweater for the first time this season - i love, love, love sweaters and welcome each one back joyously when i put it on for the first time - and thought the pink button-down and jeans would compliment it nicely.
Then realized that this was the right outfit finally for the crazy pink berry pin. I am so happy to finally have a chance to see how cool it hangs that i actually got up earlier than necessary to get dressed.
So happy.

Yesterday i trimmed my hair and added some more layers.
It looks pretty cute, but the cutting was prompted by a philosophical conundrum. The cooler weather has really made it nice to wear bouncy,  haphazard curls -yes, i am probably the only person who purposely makes her hair look haphazard- but a few days ago something crazy was going on with my hair. One side was perfect and the other was a train wreck.
I mean, what was i supposed to do with that?
Just average my head?
After thinking about that for a while i decided the easiest course of action was simply to cut my hair.

Is there anything cuter than wee, tiny baby animals?
This ginger kitten was less than 10 days old and could barely open its eyes.
Love it.
It took a lot of will power not to adopt him .

Speaking of love, have i ever mentioned my affinity for polishing silver?
That is probably because i hate polishing silver.
As a kid i didn't really like it.
But then i decided that it was cool to watch the glean emerge from the grime.
Well into adulthood i liked polishing.
Until i worked at an antique store where i stupidly admitted to liking it.
Guess who polished all the time?
For hours on end?
Now even the smell of polish makes my hands itch.
Wanna guess what i am avoiding right now by writing this blog post?

Friday, October 25, 2013

because i am right

An optimist's life is not as easy-going as her attitude.
People are always trying to convince her that the world is a terrible place.
Well, no duh.
Of course the world is a terrible place. I am an optimist, not an idiot.
However there are moments that validate everything.
This is Emily and Kristen.
They were shopping in the store today and asked if I knew how to get to the ice cream place. I am not from Arbutus, but remembered that fTM Amy gave me and Rachel & Jen directions to the hidden ice cream cottage. I sorta half-remembered what side of town it was on, but it called the hidden ice cream place for a reason, so I gave them my best guess and sent them off with a mazel tov.
Why do you care about this?
See that ice cream in Emily's hand?
It is for me.
They walked all the way back here to give me this homemade peach ice cream because "you were so nice and we like your store." They were all shy about telling me and I squealed with delight when they finally told me that they bought me ice cream.
Take that pessimists!

Friday, October 18, 2013

some random Friday thoughts

We have discussed how I talk to myself even more now that I spend so much time alone in the studio. It has escalated to arguments.
This morning I was choosing a purple tank top to wear under my cardigan (how AWESOME is it that it is cool enough for a cardigan?). Obviously I have more than one -because, purple- and I said out loud Do you want sequins today?
At which point I responded -out loud-
Of course I want sequins. What kind of stupid question was that?
The scariest part?
I was actually indignant with myself.
Do you think I need to get out of the studio a wee bit more often?

Do you remember that i was putting together a silent auction for the Soroptomist Anniversary and Awards Dinner?
Wait, did i even tell you that?
Well, i had the opportunity to organize and stage a silent auction for the first time.
It was quite the experience.
There were 30 items, many of which were baskets or vignettes that i designed. It was a very different way to utilize my creativity. I liked doing it, but am glad it is only once a year.

Last month I was having a conversation about dreams -no, not with myself; I just can't remember with whom I was speaking- because I remember my dreams every day, which is sometimes very cool and sometimes not so much.
Anyhoo, during this conversation I realized that I have never had one of the most common dreams: that I can fly. Everyone else in the room had, but as hard as I tried I couldn't remember even one time that I had dreamed about flying without mechanical help.
So last week I dreamed that I was at a museum/movie theater/mall/science center/school and if I needed to get quickly from one place to another i'd fly instead of running. A few other people were flying too, with wing suits or special capes, but I could just naturally fly.
Oddly, i can still remember exactly how it felt to fly -kind of like swimming, but different- so i have caught myself a few times recently  thinking I should just fly up to the library.

A few random posts ago i posited that a true football fanatic would drive an RV with goal posts on the front.
I'd like to add that if you turn your trucklette into a giant purple shark, you also qualify.

I recently had KFC and the colon box is no longer being used.
 Do you think someone finally realized?

My stove has been a source of deep consternation since i moved 7.5 years ago. Yes, it is an apartment stove, but it is from like the Korean War Era and is an odd size -19 inches- that they don't even make anymore. The oven is so small i use quarter cookie sheets and 8X8 casseroles. Cooking, which i love to do, is a chore.
In May i finally asked my landlord for a new one because the oven has started to act up, but no new stove yet. A few weeks ago it simply would not heat up. The pilot light was going fine and i could hear the gas turn on, but nothing was catching so i banged on the center fire pipe in frustration with the closest metal implement i could find (a ladle in case you were wondering).
Good news: i didn't blow up.
PSA: don't bang on the center fire pipe of a gas stove that is turned on because that is simply dangerously dumb.
So after not blowing up i asked my landlord again for a new stove and it seems that there is a small chance that i might actually get one.
For those of you who have listened to me whine for years about my stove, but haven't seen it and think that mayhaps i am exaggerating about the suckage, here:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hereford Fall Festival

Well hello there friends.
No, I was not kidnapped by aliens; I have been crazy at work in the studio getting ready for this weekend's Hereford Fall Festival in scenic northern Baltimore County.
Do you like wine tasting, cool farm equipment, hay rides, festival food, crafts, chain saw carving, helicopter rides and/or baby pigs? Then this is the event for you.
Taking place on Mt Carmel Rd, off of I-83 the festival runs both days.
Come say hi at the NikCo booth!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

because you need to know

If I had a unicorn, i'd call him Eddie.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

chicken, chicken, cow

My BFF is having a farm-tastic giveaway over on her blog.
Jump over and leave a comment on this post and you could win one of these fabulous Quirkees:

and some yummy homemade peach salsa.
If you convince a friend to enter you get another chance.
Contest closes at midnight EDT on Saturday, October 12th.
Good Luck!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quick Quotes 10

This morning, on the phone with Rea, The best defense is a strong offense if you're a near-sighted rhino.
I dare you to try to come up with the conversation we were having to illicit that little gem.
Here is a helpful hint: she had mishearing something i said as "a hot hippopotomus".


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Indian Summer

ahhhhhhh, Maryland...
Just when i am excited about getting out my fuzzy blanket you throw a week of sweltering temperatures at me.
Nice, then way too hot.
But today was just lovely.
I like October.

Friday, October 4, 2013

teal for TN (warning: not a happy post) (though it is at least clown-free)

Trigeminal neuralgia [also prosopalgia or Fothergill's disease] is a disorder in which the largest cranial nerve -responsible for the motor function of chewing and facial sensations- is damaged, often but not exclusively from swollen blood vessels scraping the protective sheath of the nerve.

Because the trigeminal nerve runs from the temple to the jaw and across the cheek in three branches the pain associated with TN can strike almost anywhere in the face leading to frequent misdiagnoses. Some patients experience symptoms for years, often undergoing unnecessary dental work before receiving the proper diagnosis.

Symptoms include sharp, intense pain described as "stabbing electric shocks, burning, pressing, crushing, exploding or shooting pain that becomes intractable" and has been called one of the worst pains known to medicine.
Sometimes attacks are triggered by talking, eating, brushing your teeth, wind, loud noises, touch or high pitched sounds; however, sometimes there is no apparent cause.
Episodes can last anywhere from a few seconds to hours and sometimes occur in clusters of up to a hundred attacks in a day.
All of this cheerfulness has led to TN being nicknamed the suicide disease because, well, okay, that's self-explanatory.

If you've made it this far in the post you're wondering what in the world this has to do with The Nikiverse.
In January of 2012 my beloved BFF was finally diagnosed with TN after having pain so bad that it would incapacitate her and she'd fall down repeatedly at work for several months. Of course first she was treated for sinus infections, ear infections, some other stuff that has all blurred together and checked for seizure disorders and brain tumors.

My soul's twin, the one I have loved since we were toddlers, has the suicide disease.
That isn't the kind of thing that could keep a girl up at night; nope, not at all.

Treatment is a combo of anticonvulsants and pain management. In some patients with  specific blood vessel swelling there is a medical procedure that can be up to 70% successful. There is also current research being done on using healthy nerve cells to repair the damaged ones.
However, in many patients it is a chronic condition that often worsens over time as the nerve degenerates.

I haven't shared Rea's condition until now because it is her story and her decision about who knows.
Today is finally the right time to share the information with all of you because Monday, October 7, 2013 is the first internationally recognized Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day.
Here is an article about how awareness is being raised around the world, as well as a PSA.
I'm not gonna ask for contributions or anything like that; I know we all have limited resources and causes that are already dear to our hearts.
I just wanted to do my part to spread the word that this disease exists and strikes 1 in 15-20,000 people (hard to pinpoint the exact # as it is so often misdiagnosed).

On Monday I will wear teal -the designated TN ribbon color- for my Rickki; that and prayer are the only things I can do to help her.
        It would make my heart happy if you would too.
You could also drop by her blog on Monday to let her know that she isn't alone.

[I will share her email privately, if you ask]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

can corn salsa?

No, this is not a food post.
Yesterday I went out to lunch with Diane B and after dropping her off back at the museum I was behind this truck on Key Highway.

Do you see it?

Look at the ear of corn.

Is it just me?

Here, let me enlarge that for you:
It looks like that corn is dancing, right?
As soon as I stopped at the red light behind the truck I started laughing at how all the other produce was just sitting there, but the corn, oh the corn was gettin' down.
In fact, it took a few seconds to realize that those green arms and leg aren't actually supposed to BE arms and a leg, just artfully peeled husks.
You see it right?
I'm not nuts, right?
Okay, maybe I am projecting because I love corn and music, but I swear that ear of corn is doing a happy jig.
And why wouldn't it be happy?
I'm sure it is on its way to a party with great music, food and friends and lavishly decorated with balloons, streamers and corn-fetti.