Thursday, September 10, 2009

The big dipper...

I got pictures of my gourd dippers I did the other day. These are all home grown gourds, the designs were all sketched freehand then wood burned and I used leather dye on them. Then I used paste wax on the outside and beeswax to seal the inside. I'll be listing them on Etsy and also taking them to next years rendezvous if they haven't sold yet.

My smallest dipper, simple tribal design based on beadwork found on artifacts from the great lakes:




Tiny running horsies and hoof prints:




The biggest one, just has random designs:




And last but not least, my favorite of all of them. From the front it looks pretty simple:


but on the back of the dipper it has a horsie!!!



And the gourds I shipped out made it to their destinations in one piece, that is a load off my mind. I always worry myself sick until my babies get to their new homes.

This is the part of Sprockets where we dance!!

So yesterday Brego got to wear side reins for the first time. I've been doing mostly ground work and just little rides or climb ons (since I am still black and blue and my finger still hurts like a son of a gun). He is doing better with his "whoa" and I'll probably work him on the long lines before long and start fine tuning those controls. But he tends to toss his nose in the air when he doesn't want to do as he is told so I put the side reins on him so that they would only kick in if he tried to avoid pressure by nose tossing. It worked nicely and by the end of our work time he was lowering his head and rounding his back more, keeping his head in a better position with no nose tossing even if I was asking him to do stuff he really did not want to do.

I'm working on some knit and gourd items for a craft exchange I signed up for. Can't wait to be able to post pictures! But I won't do that until after I ship them out. I did finish my gourd dippers though! I'll be posting pictures of them later today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The specialist thinks I was right...

We went to a rheumatologist today to see if she could help us figure out what is wrong with my hubby. First, it turns out the receptionist's husband has the same first and middle name as my husband, and their families come from the same area of the country and there were a couple of other odd coincidences. How weird is that? It's not like "Tracy" is a real common name for BOYS anymore.

Anyway, the doctor was very nice. I caught myself admiring her skin through the entire exam. I felt kind of weird about it but man, her complexion was this almost blue black ebony with a slight mahogany around her eyes... and absolutely as smooth as possible. Normally I react that way to very translucent porcelain skin types... because I've always loved really pale skin but sometimes you just gotta give some props to high quality skin of any shade.

Eh, that was a weird tangent to go off on, lol. Sorry.

So, anyhooooo.... we talked, he brought out his list... she wanted to draw blood to rule out a few other things... then she made him take off his pants and put on a paper gown (HAHAHAHA!!! afterward he asked if I wanted to keep it, lol, because I always keep his socks they give you in the hospital, the ones with the tread on the bottom). Then when she came back after letting him change she checked all these pressure points. He hurt in all but one of them. Turns out those tender points are one of the only ways to diagnose fibromyalgia. The only ones that didn't hurt him were the ones on the top back of his neck.

The blood tests she took are to test for other things that can cause his clusters of symptoms and if he comes back without any of those then it's pretty much as diagnosed as this syndrome can get. So she gave him a med that helps with some of the issues that the drug out doctor gave him doesn't address and we will see if that helps. If not she will try Lyrica next. And now I am on the hunt for things like diet and exercise and other methods of minimizing the symptoms.

Fibromyalgia isn't life threatening but it sure as heck can make you feel like dying. You won't die of it, but chances are you will live with all your life. The other meds seem to be helping some, it can take a full 6 weeks for them to reach full effectiveness but he seems to be doing better mood wise and energy wise after less than 2 weeks.

So, the short symptom list:

* Body aches CHECK!
* Chronic facial muscle pain or aching CHECK!
* Fatigue CHECK!
* Irritable bowel syndrome CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!
* Memory difficulties and cognitive difficulties CHECK!
* Multiple tender areas (muscle and joint pain) on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, knees CHECK!
* Numbness and tingling CHECK!
* Palpitations CHECK!
* Reduced exercise tolerance CHECK!
* Sleep disturbances CHECK!
* Tension or migraine headaches CHECK!


* "Fibrofog": Cognitive or Memory Impairment CHECK!
* Cold Symptoms CHECK!
* Skin Complaints CHECK!
* Depression and mood swings CHECK!
* Morning Stiffness CHECK!
* Fatigue CHECK!
* Nausea CHECK!
* Dizziness CHECK!
* Jaw Pain CHECK!
* sensitivity to odors, loud noises, bright lights, some foods CHECK!
* Changes in weather, cold or drafty environments, hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states), stress, depression, anxiety, and over-exertion can all contribute to fibromyalgia symptom flare-ups. CHECK!CHECK!CHECK!

So we finally get some idea of what might be wrong and... it's this barely even understood set of symptoms. *sigh* But it sure does seem to fit the troubles he has!


That is when my alarm clock went off today. Man, I wish they offered evening classes for high school. This is just stupid early to be up in the morning.

I am not looking forward to 9 months of this crap. 9 months a year for 4 more years. Normally I am looking forward to school starting and getting back on our school year schedule but this year, ugh. Homeschooling is starting to sound attractive, lol.

You know, I would love mornings if they just started later in the day. *sigh*

Monday, September 7, 2009

When you wish upon a star....

Saturday night I was at my in laws and we had a cook out and bonfire and watched the stars until the big full moon made them impossible to see. A shooting star zipped by and I started to make a wish... and realized that for the first time in my entire life I had no idea what to wish for. I have always made the exact same wish on every shooting star, on every first star, on every penny tossed into a wishing well.

I gasped, and with a slight break in my voice I explained to my family what was going on in my mind. My mother in law had a huge grin on her face and expressed her happiness at my happiness... and my husband said, with a deadpan tone, "Just wish for cash now." lol.

On a completely unrelated note, I worked on 4 gourd dippers today. I will try and get pictures tomorrow. All I have to do is wax the insides. Tomorrow is also first day of the new school year. Tsu has a doctors visit, and I have a stack of packages a mile high to ship out but all my cash is still waiting to get transferred from paypal. Busy busy day tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

For everything *turn turn turn* there is a season *turn turn turn*

I was singing this to myself today as I was spinning some alpaca wool that I was given by a lovely lady (Thank you SpottedTApps!) who I know from She sent it to me right after the rendezvous when she saw my pictures of myself spinning wool into yarn on my drop spindle.

I am hooked. This stuff is so soft and fluffy and delicate and delightful and spins sooo nice. She sent me some roving (stuff that is all combed out and put into a long "rope" basically... so it is pretty much ready to spin) and some raw (fresh off the animal with nothing done to it). I have never spun raw fiber so I haven't tackled that yet. But I spun up the roving today and it is wonderful stuff!

The raw fiber:


I would have started in on it weeks ago but I got some custom orders for my knitting, then the order for the gourd, then I wrenched my finger around and so my hand didn't work. But it had been sitting there, taunting me, almost painfully taunting me... so today even with my sore hand I just HAD to spin it up.

The yarn made from the roving:


It makes me wish I had an alpaca, lol.

Oh, and also... I haven't coloured my hair in like 5 months. There is so little of it I kind of got into this "why bother?" mode with it. It was getting to the point that my attempts to hide my hair loss were just looking like... like attempts to hide hair loss.

Look, scalp. *sad face*


Anyway, it's pretty normal for me to let my roots go for 3 or 4 months because i am cheap and lazy. Until now it has always been the same bland dirt colour as always (blech) but today I looked in the mirror and thought, "Oh funny, I have a piece of wool stuck in my hair." So I went to brush it away and... IT'S ATTACHED!!!! I have a grey hair! Not only is it silver grey but it is about 4 times thicker than my normal hair and slightly curly! Like a thick silver pube sprouting from my temple!



And I am absolutely delighted!

Seriously delighted to the point that it made my day. I must be a sick human being to be HAPPY that I have a grey hair, hahaha!

I also bought myself a second wig. It was super cheap so i figured what the heck.


I think it looks silly with those curls but whtever, hehe.

I also decided to cut my brown wig, lol. Still working on it. It was cheap so I figure if I mess it up no big deal. I don't actually wear them yet, just getting ready for the day when I have so little hair that it makes me not want to leave the house.

And last but not least... for the first time in a decade I was able to pick up an actual pencil and pen and draw on paper. I was only able to make two small sketches, and the proportions on the head and neck of the full cartoony horse are so off it pains me to let anyone see it but... yeah. For the first time since my arms went bad on me I drew. Looking at that head sketch I'd say it shouldn't take me much to get it back. I just have to be VERY careful because I was hurting a little by the time I finished the ink outlines. But look how steady the ink lines are! I never ever thought I would ever be able to do that again.