I Will Always Love You….

My girls (my great nieces) are growing up so very fast, the oldest one just turned 13 in May. An actual teenager in Earth years but she has one of those old souls.

She is so wise for her age, wiser than me some days, as she proved to me today as we had a conversation driving up the road.

We were doing a photo shoot for her new CD. Everybody’s first response is that she is beautiful. She is, no doubt about it; she is gorgeous. She is also, smart, talented, funny, goofy, wise beyond her years, a loving person who wants to see good in everyone. She is strong in her faith. She will not do anything she finds distasteful. She is focused. She is driven. She will not put her name on something she is not proud of. She is so much more than what people see.

They simply do not know her like I do. She always tells her other sisters that I love her more because I have loved her longer. I love them all, in different ways. They are all so very unique. They all have their strengths and very singular personalities. I give them the attention each needs. It’s just that right now the focus is on the older one getting her CD done.

We were alone on one of my favorite crooked country roads. It is the second round of photos for the project.  Her parents leaving her in my care,  had left us  to do what we do because they had to take care of some other things. We were fighting for time, there was a thunderstorm not so far away.

We did the shots and as always, I had music playing from an old cell phone. The song “Forever Country”, which is a mashup of some classic country songs sang by some of the greatest voices from the past and the present,  came on. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9gAXwYZtfk

We were looking at the shots we had just taken, she has to proof each of them. As we stood there flipping through pictures, we began singing along with the song. At the end of the song the last song they blend in is “I Will Always Love You” came on. As they began to sing that part, she laid her head over on my shoulder and sang to me.

Of course, I cried. In that moment, I knew that I was loved as deeply and as innocently as anyone could ever be. She wanted nothing but to in her way tell me she loves me. She does all the time but that time was a little more special than all the times before. No one saw it, no one was supposed. It was a moment but one that I will hold in my heart forever.

Trying Hard Not To Give Up On Me….

I am in a blue funk. That is one of those moods that you just don’t want to deal with anything. You don’t want to get out of bed. You make yourself but you really don’t want to. Today I didn’t, until I absolutely had to. Thanks to my handy dandy mobile secretary, my cell phone,  I did some things from my bed but that was it.

I am trying not to give up on this dream I have. I am trying to figure out how to shatter the “glass” ceiling and just bumping my head over and over.

What I am doing is getting attention brought to my jewelry from all types of people, fashion bloggers, artists, people I know, opera singers, photographers but no sales. YET!!! I am having fun doing it the creating  but if I could just get more sales, then it would me make me feel better about myself.

I realize that I have tied too much of my personal value to my jewelry projects. I shouldn’t do that. I am not what I make. I am more than what I produce yet part of me looks at what I have accomplished with pride. I started this knowing nothing, I have learned everything the hard way.

I am in that place you sometimes get in, you know that downward spiral you get in when it is not going exactly how you planned. Yeah, I am in that thing.

I don’t like this and tend to be somewhat silent until I figure things out. I feel like I bother other people when I am like this and Lord knows I never want to feel like a burden. So, I just keep quite. I muddle through it. I get there, just sometimes not as quickly as I would like.

I know what I make is not who I am. I get that but it is nice when someone sees value in what you do. Some people do, don’t get me wrong, but there is just something when people put some money down on the table and say I want to own this, I think it is of value.

I promote it everywhere I can think of.  On Facebook, Instragram, Pintrest; a couple of people share it, yet no sales on the web store.

So I work, I play, I enjoy the making much more than the business end of things. I am much more of a piddler than a business  woman.  I missed a chance the other day by simply not having business cards with me.

It will be okay. I will be fine. I just need to relax. So much so I took myself to the movies yesterday and I hate going to the movies by myself. I needed to escape. However, the movie got me thinking more than ever. I saw a group of people. One was fearful then resolved. One was hopeless and gave up on herself but rose to fight for the person she loved, and three helpless people who were out of anything to fight with. She of course came to the rescue of the three.

As much as I believe in other people, it is hard for me not to give up on me. I will fight for others much harder than I will fight for myself. Maybe she and I are more alike than I imagined.

The movie I saw was Wonder Woman. Somewhere maybe there is that connection. I just need to get my fight back up.

Return on Investment

I am in a slump right now. Not saying much about it, trying not to let anything show.

I have written many time about my jewelry making business and my photography business. They are both kind of hit and miss. Right now it is a miss.  The photography is more of a hobby with an occasional paying gig from time to time.

The jewelry is different. I would like to see it grow and prosper on its own.

I get excited when someone expresses interest in a piece. When my person looks at and sees a comparison to a beautiful piece of art or speaks about what makes the piece special, I kind of blush and I am speechless. Nothing I do can compare to what he does.

Just today, I got three inquires about new posts. I got excited. Every time my phone made a sound I checked it. Bad, bad idea. I was so hoping for sales that I was jumpy about it. That is not the way I should be.

I should just relax, let things work out as they will and enjoying the process of making. The new things I am learning. The things I learn from my mistakes. Those moments when I look at a piece and realize that it is actually pretty and I made it. I should revel in that, not in what might sale and what won’t.

Being human, I would like to get a return on my investment. I would like people to put there money down and say that something  that I made is pretty enough to buy it.

I want people to want to share my items. Only my best friend usually shares my posts with her friends on social media to try and help me out.

It is a struggle for me to do the business end of things. I love the creative part. The business, I feel like I am charging too much or not enough. I don’t know how to do stuff like this.

I don’t want to seem pushy but I would like to see it succeed.

I got taught a lesson last night by a six year old. She wanted to build a “ghost buster pack”. She had a large frisbee from the back of my car. She got paper and scotch tape. She cut small strips of paper to make the straps. Well, I knew it wasn’t going to work but she was sure it was. Well, we tried it. It was not going to hold. I explained to her why it didn’t work.

We tried again. This time using paper, because in her mind, the paper was going to work only this time we used duct tape. Once again, it didn’t work.

The third time, we used a plastic bag cut into strips and used duct tape. By the time we were finished, she could actually slip her arms through it and wear her “ghost busters pack”.

She wasn’t making anything to sell. She was just using her imagination. She knew what she wanted and had a general idea how to do it. She just needed a little help.

Maybe that is my legacy. Maybe it is not what I sell that will be the return on investment. Maybe it is the fact that these girls see me take chances, that they see me never quit. That the know that I work through problems one step at a time. Maybe that is much more important than anything I could ever sell.

So, it may be time to put on the black dress I wear for photographing formal occasions, put on my soft soled shoes and go unnoticed for a while. I will continue to make. I just won’t put it out there for the world to see. I will make for the joy of making. I will bask in the silence of doing without expecting a sell. I will just try to relax and let my imagination take over.

I Like Using My Hands…

I love to work with my hands for many things but for the purpose of this post, we will limit it to jewelry making.

When I am working with my jewelry, I lose track of time.

I love to take parts and pieces of things and put them together.

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When I am working with my glass, I talk to it. Court it. Make it feel special. I tell it the things I want to hear. It going to be hot in there but just hold it together and you will become something amazing. When it comes out of the kiln in one piece, I tell it is beautiful. If it comes out broken, I still try to finish it and make it something interesting.

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As I have worked more with the glass, I feel like my skills are improving. Stay on task. Learn all the rules. Safety first. Have fun, first and foremost have fun. Learn something new. Add to your skill set.

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I bought a grinder, I am one of those females who get excited by power tools. Dremels, grinders, I even looked at a saw the other day. It has made a world of difference in my final product. While I am grinding the glass, I forget to worry. I run on caffeine and anxiety.  So when I are shaping the glass, I listen to the hum of the grinder and I watch as this glass in my hand becomes something that is desirable. Something I long to be.

I don’t worry about what is going to happen later at work. I don’t wonder what I have done wrong. I just sit there music playing in the background, listening to the hum of the grinder and work with my hands. I relax. I let the grinder do its job and I create something beautiful. The thing with glass is….it is fragile. Just like us humans. Glass breaks easily!!!

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For my birthday, my person fed my passion. He bought me glass and kiln paper for jewelry making. Then he gave me some lights that I can embed in the jewelry. Once again stepping it up a notch or ten.

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Taking it to the next level. I told it that it would be something amazing when it came through the fire. Just like me.

Live Like You Are Dying…

I didn’t realize how long it has been since I have written. Sorry about that. I have just been trying to deal with life. A great deal has been going on and honestly, I haven’t been writing in my journal the way I should. I am beginning to feel it.

I have been battling with what I wrote about in my last post. Feeling not good enough.

I am seeing some things I don’t understand and I am not saying anything. I just don’t get it. I am working on my jewelry more and getting more of it out in the world. I am not seeing the results that I would like to see at this moment but I will so until then I work.

I have some friends who are helping me promote it. So, I promote it myself. I am not so good at promoting myself. That don’t be prideful thing.

I have had some fun along the way, don’t get me wrong. I have had some pretty cool things happen since I last wrote.

I have ridden in a helicopter. I have walked into a burning building. I have (hopefully) given someone one of their best birthdays ever and I stood under a waterfall (sort of) just for shits and giggles.

I might should go back and explain some of this.

I work for an agency who deals with many different types of emergencies. Sometime the helicopter lands and our local hospital. Recently, we were allowed to take flight with one of the crews. I was so excited. Remember, I am learning to fly with this blog.  The only time before that I had ridden one, I was terrified to the point that I didn’t enjoy it. This time, I luxuriated in it. I took photos and video and I wanted to remember this with the awe it deserves.

Now walking to a burning building, I was a little more nervous about. I was facing one of my worst fears. Fire. There is a reason why I fear fire, my grandmothers neighbors died when their home burned down when I was a child. I don’t talk about it much.

So when I was invited to join a local fire department for a burn, I said yes. As the day grew nearer, it took more resolve on my part. I invited a guest to go along with me. They said no. I told those that mattered to me most what I would be doing and I set off on my way. Just in case something went wrong.

It was right comical to watch me put on the gear. It took the whole village dress the idiot. They kept saying it is your first time putting all this stuff on. One of the guys must have sensed that I was nervous because he asked me if I wanted him to go in with me. What a relief knowing that someone had my back when I felt very alone in a group of people. He was going to make sure I got out of this thing safely and more educated.

While inside the house, we had an visitor. A black snake. The guy who was there for me, told me to stand still, he would get the snake out. I learned that most firemen will run INTO a burning building and FROM a snake.

I learned about how gasses burned off, rollovers, how to turn off the beepers that go off if you don’t move enough inside the fire. I made human connections with people who hear me but never see me. These people appreciated my effort to understand them and what they do.

Then came the birthday day trip (let’s just say part one of the birthday trip) I say this because I am planning something else, I am keeping that one quite though. Haven’t mentioned it to a soul. Until now, I really can’t keep a secret.  Part one, we enjoyed food, laughter, found a new place to explore and at one point I even took him by him arm for a second.

Yesterday, it was rainy and cold here. We went to look at how high the water ways were in the area and we wound up at a place where the water was rolling off the rocks in water like fashion. I got some great photos and while he had the camera, I was debating with one thought, I want to be standing in that water. I want to see what it feels to stand in a waterfall. Although, this was not an actual waterfall per se.

Now, the air temperature was cool. That water had to be really cold. I let him do his thing and I talked myself through it. I would need to take my jacket off, I was within running or a very swift walk to the car, I had another jacket in the car, I really wanted to do this. I told him I wanted him to take the photos but he would have to be quick because as soon as I did what I was going to do, I would need to go directly to the car. With those words, I stepped into the surge of water cascading down the rock face.

It was flipping cold, I haven’t see any of the pics but I am sure the look on my face is awful. I enjoyed every second of it as long as I could. I was soaked. I was cold and I was happy as a clam.

No, I don’t have a death wish. I am (to quote the Tim McGraw song) living like I am dying. Because I am, we all are. Every day we are getting closer to what is inevitably going to happen to us all.

So I am less than a month from 49 and I feel like a kid.

Not That Girl Anymore….

I have always allowed myself to feel second rate. It is nothing I consciously did, it was just that I always felt inferior.

My sister never studied and she was a straight A student. She could pass a test and never open a book. She was the basketball star, she has kids and grand kids.

I struggled with each and every C that I earned. I was the band geek, I did run track for two years but I was average at that. Band was more my thing. I never managed to bring life into the world and it is too late to start now.

When trying to learn new things, I go through the same process and come test time. I panic. I know it is going to happen and I prepare for that.

In my jobs, although competent to do jobs I have had, I live in a culture that uses fear and threats as motivation. So by the time I had left a job, I was beaten down.

Here is the thing though, now I don’t  allow that to happen to me. I am not the best in the world but I am not the worst either. I do there very best job I can for the people I work with and those I serve.

I give the best of me to my person, my family, my friends and my co-workers. This time though, I save a little bit for me. I learn something new every day. I will get something on my mind and I will research it. I never want to stop learning. I allow myself to meditate and contemplate life and the world around me, I make sure I write in my journal to get my feelings onto paper. Even when it hurts that is when I need to write most. I love sharing my love of journaling with others.

I may not be the cute little thing  that men desire, I know my flaws better than anyone, but I have a good heart and a thirst for knowledge. Most recently have been studying up on hydroponics and aquaponics. I may never use it but I can speak clearly about it. Then again, I might use it. You never know.

I am secure in who I am when I are working on my job and if there is something that comes up that I haven’t handled before, I call on the resources at my disposal.

I have grown a great deal in six years. Some may see it as a good thing, some may see it as a bad thing. I see it as an amazing thing. I am happy that I have taken some of the chances I have taken. I used to be the kid who was scared of her shadow, the one who was always at the back of the line. Now, I found out that me might get to do a ride along in a medical air transport unit and I was the first to shoot my hand in the air and almost scream I want to do it.

I want the most of the time I have left here. I don’t want to live my life as someone who is afraid to take risk. I might get rejected, I may very well fail but I won’t be found not trying.

Living life as a second class citizen, an option, that is not for me anymore.

My Mom is Soooo Cool….

Yesterday, I went and picked up my mom to spend some time with her. I had went to my parents house the day before, laid down on the couch and went to sleep. There is just something comforting to me about being there.

So, after I got up yesterday, I went and picked up my mom, we had lunch and then we went back to my house for a while.

I had told her about my newest fascination, fusing glass, but I hadn’t really shown any of the newer pieces I had made to her.

Now if you have been following this blog for very long you know my mom had a stroke about a year and a half ago. Since then, she has moments where she gets more irritated at things she didn’t use to let bother her. She has plenty to fret over. She just worries a little too much. Yesterday was one of those days. So, I went and got her out of the house.

We were looking at the glass piece I had made and she asked some really great questions.

Are you going to put them on ribbons or chains? Do you have a market for them yet? How do you file it? How long does it take you to do a piece?

I was really surprised that she had taken such an interest in this project. She had given me that camera I use several years ago. At the time it was one of the best out there. It had traveled many miles with me. It has captured a lot of moments.

My mom just lets me be who I am. I can honestly talk to her about anything, from how I am feeling about life to what I am working on to the craziness I deal with in my work life. She doesn’t judge me when I feel like I am losing control. She just lets me work my way through it.

She really liked the designs of the jewelry. She told me she didn’t know who I came up with the things I did. She made suggestions on what type of chain I should use with them.

When we were going back home, she seemed much more happy and relaxed. She talked more about happy things than what she had been worrying about earlier.

I could have very easily lost my mom and I know none of us are promised another day, so while I have her or while she has me, we are going to have fun “girl days”.