Lace and Feathers

Lace01Lace02

It was  a beautiful day in New York today.  I decided to tak e a walk outside during my lunch hour for a change.  The park seemed too crowded,  so I headed to M&J Trimming, one of my favorite notions stores in the city.   I can spend the whole day in there just browsing.  I just wanted to unwind and be amongst things I’d love to run my fingers through and texture I can touch.  I was hoping to browse their shelves and shelves of lace to find something to experiment with as far as “imprinting” on polymer clay is concerned.  I browsed, I touched, and picked two patterns.

On the way out, I stopped by their wall of feathers and a lightbulb lit up in my head that made me pick up one.  (Projects will be in the GothamChick blog.)

Pheasant Feather

Sometimes, all it takes is a quiet moment to help me get myself out of a rut.  Sometimes, it works, sometimes it doesn’t —sometimes it just doesn’t go.  A momentary distraction, I guess.  It helps.

People seem to be busy today, or tonight in Manila.  I didn’t hear from BFF Fe.  She has a funny habit of waking up at 2am which is now past, so I guess she’s fast asleep.  (She finally did say hello when she woke up Friday morning.)  I did catch my youngest brother, Nikki.

By evening, my allergies hit me hard.  My eyes are puffy and teary, and the allergy meds are taking time to kick in.  I”m trying to just “quiet” down before I turn in.  The boy’s homework’s all done, bathed and he’s headed to lala land.

I’m still struggling through the allergies.  I just logged on because I had to print something out.  I guess my lace and feather will have to wait until tomorrow when the allergies will hopefully be gone.

One of those days…

Pink RoseSome days are better than others.  Sometimes motherhood can be such a challenge, and try as I might, I feel like I’m not performing as best as I can.  Am I teaching my son the right things about life?  Am I succeeding in trying to make him a good person?

It is not often but my son can drive me to tears sometimes.  In his innocent way, he doesn’t realize he has such power to tear my heart to pieces.  It’s not his fault.  Perhaps it is because I am his mother and he is my son.  He is, after all, the most important person in the world to me.  His happiness reigns supreme over mine.  It is difficult to put into words even now…  I can’t help but wonder how many such sacrifices and heartaches I have caused my own mother.  She wouldn’t have told me, like I am keeping things to myself now.  He wouldn’t understand anyway.

So I let the tears flow… I wipe them away… I take a deep breath, and I look at him from afar.  I call him to me and ask for a hug which he gives so lovingly and unconditionally.

Sansa's Bouquet and my long weekend

Antique Gold Polymer Clay on Antique BrassThe greatest fulfillment I get from crafting my own accessories is when I come up with something I can wear and I get complimented for it.  I had stopped working for quite a bit since the start of the year but have started fixing my supplies and trying to get organized again.

I’ve been concentrating on creating pieces I can wear and sort of “experimenting” on new designs for the shop (for whenever I will open it again.).  Here’s my first antique brass and polymer clay necklace completed last week.  The pendant has been with me for quite a while, having been completed earlier this year.  A polymer clay cabochon was set over an ornate antique brass pendant, and the outline of the inner setting was lined with glass bugle beads.  (Crafter tip: I line the base of the cabochon with polymer clay to have the cabochon and any embellishments a medium to attach to.)

Filigree connector: Antique Gold Polymer Clay on Antique BrassFor polymer clay embellishments put atop the antique brass filigree, I press slightly to let the filigree’s pattern sink into the base of the clay, then I glue it from the back by painting superglue over the holes in the pattern to secure it.  I used a double-sided rose bead to connect the filigree.

I did three each of the filigree connector but it came up too close to the nape, so I am going to reduce this to two filigree connectors per side.  It’s an elegant yet understated piece perfect to wear over a turtleneck or a low cut blouse.

I’m thinking of calling this Sansa’s Bouquet, from a favorite series now playing on HBO entitled “Game of Thrones.”  (For more pictures, click here.  How-tos on the beads and filigree to follow in my GothamChick blog in the coming days…)

Why do I even work with polymer clay and all these?  I like creating.  I like doing something productive.  Some people bake.  I craft.

I like learning about new things.  I really got into polymer clay because of my sister, Ofie.  They have yet to work with the clay I brought home and all the tools I brought her last December, but I’m hoping that she can start experimenting, too, to create the souvenirs they were hoping to create and maybe start a business with.

I make my own molds from actual cabochons and assorted findings.  Buttons are a good source for shapes and textures, too.  Some pieces I create freeform by molding the clay by hand.  I’m hoping to one day create a collage pendant made from different elements instead of a singular cab.  Getting there.

For now, I’m feeling all pretty wearing my latest creation.  I still have to get back to practicing stringing beads, and I have been pooling my rose quartz beads together.  Rose quartz has been said to be a “soothing and very happy stone.”  Crystals and Jewelry further says:

Emotionally rose quartz brings gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance. It raises one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It helps balance emotions and heal emotional wounds and traumas, even grief, bringing peace and calm. Rose quartz removes fears, resentments and anger. It can also heal and release childhood traumas, neglect, and lack of love, in part by enhancing inner awareness. It can help with reconciliation with family and others. Overwhelming or unreasonable guilt is eased by rose quartz.

In the psychic and spiritual realms, rose quartz is often used to attract love, and for love spells. It is also used to ease the process of transition in dying. Rose quartz can be helpful for dream recall and dream work.

Physically rose quartz is used in crystal healing to benefit the heart, the circulatory system, fertility, headaches, kidney disease, migraines, sexual dysfunction, sinus problems, throat problems, depression, addictions, ear aches, slowing signs of aging, reducing wrinkles, spleen problems, fibromyalgia, and reaching one’s ideal weight / weight loss. Rose quartz is also helpful and protective during pregnancy and with childbirth. It is also sometimes said that rose quartz is helpful for supporting brain functions and increasing intellect.

So in the meantime I keep a stone or two always in my tote.  Need to keep my brain cells and my heart healthy.  (Ha!)  I’ve always liked it because it was pink.  Just hate that it reacts to silver-plated findings, so I cannot use silver plated pins to string it with.  (Again, taking care of me.)

Monday… I liked the long weekend but sometimes staying home is even more tiring.  I’ve whipped up a bistek dinner, ginisang chayote (sayote) for lunch the next day, a lobster dinner yesterday, and negamaki for lunch today, so after three and a half days of cooking, it’s time to do leftovers.  (Thank God!)

Time to get dinner ready.

Pass me the bouquet please..

Aren’t these flowers gorgeous?

One of the ladies on the floor had received them earlier in the week, but she was going on holiday beginning Friday and was going to be away until Tuesday. The lilies were proving to be problematic because someone on her wing was allergic to them. Would I like to put them on my credenza and maybe take them home to enjoy them over the weekend? How could I resist this shower of pinks and magenta? Of course I said yes! I did take them home, sans the pungent lilies, and I patiently carried them on the bus. They now grace my living room coffee table where I hope to see them through the Memorial Day weekend.

I’ve cut the stems and changed the water religiously. The cattleyas are actually in their own individual water tubes and are holding up quite well. The roses are blooming ever so elegantly. I’m trying to figure out how I can cast a petal or two in resin on top of a polymer clay base perhaps? If I could only stop them from wilting and fading away, I would…

I love pink but the truth of the matter is, my favorite roses are the yellow kind for as long as I can remember. But what do I care… I am trying to savor the beauty of this bouquet for as long as I can. Thank you, Jana!

So we’re off until Monday.  My Saturday started off with a pleasant surprise when I received an e-mail from a total stranger regarding an online query I made middle of May.  I had actually totally given up on getting an answer until I realized it was the middle of summer in Manila, and most people are busy either trying to enjoy the last bits of their summer break there, or trying to get ready for the resumption of school.  It’s one of those things I’d categorize under “kindness of strangers” and charge to the universe for its generous spirit.  You ask, you get an answer.

Chrysler Building Zentangle Part III finally finished the last bits of the Chrysler Building zentangle and have glued it together rather seamlessly. I spent time at Michael’s trying to find a suitable frame and matting, but that proved to be quite a challenge. I have instead gotten a mounting board and will continue my search for the perfect frame at a later time. The piece measures 25 inches top to bottom but should do well in a 24 inch tall frame. I don’t want to experiment on getting an unmatted frame and do the matting myself as this is one finished work I intend to keep for myself as the first bigger zentangle piece I have completed. I’m proud as can be, no matter how amateurish the piece may seem. It’s the point of finishing it and actually succeeding in retaining the features of the building although I feel I could have done better.

I’ve already started outlining my next project in pen which is again, an original photograph I took of a longer shot of the Chrysler Building. (Yes, I just can’t get enough of it.) And what do you know? I watched Men in Black III today and some of the scenes were played out from the rafters of the building where the gargoyle-type structures jut out of the corners of the building.

The widest base of this piece will be approximately 10 inches from end to end, so top to bottom (including the extended spire), the graphic will be approximately 36-40 inches.  No, I will not frame this as is but rather photograph the piece when I finish it and “shrink” to an easier to manage size.

And what do I intend to do with this when done?  Maybe make prints to give away as gifts…  Use it as notecard graphics…  Or just decorate my attic wall with it.  I just might find enough energy to attempt an actual cityscape next, unless I find my Eiffel Tower pictures or I go for the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park first.  (I’ve kiddingly told Fe that I might end up zentangling the entire Manhattan skyline one day soon.)

I’m trying to keep my hands busy.  I can’t be kneading clay during my breaks in the office always, and while I used to do it, I don’t like lugging my pliers to the office to work on jewelry pieces.  (My boss doesn’t even like seeing me holding the blackberry!)  I like the thought of being able to zentangle in the cafeteria or down at the park during my lunch hour.  It’s also something I can easily bring to and from home as I work on it.

Plus there is a soothing comfort to filling in spaces and then seeing something created from what would otherwise be thoughtless scribbling.  I feel like the whole exercise is akin to taking a journey that involves teeny-tiny steps around the spaces I’m trying to draw in, and which brings me to some other place when I’m done.

A special birthdate

Saturday, May 26, is the birthday of three very special people to me.  My youngest brother, Nikolai and one of my favorite god daughters, Andrea Isabelle, are both turning a year older.  and there’s my classmate since grade school, Pia. What a special day indeed!

I just hung up the phone with Nikky who is attending a friend’s wedding somewhere in Cainta. Eeya is now a special ed teacher in Singapore and I’m hoping to touch base with her before the weekend is over. Pia, I need to find out first if she is already back from Europe. Each of these special people deserve a separate post altogether which I hope to do during this long weekend. I am just so happy to have been blessed with their love.

Happy, happy, happy birthday!

The Chrysler Building: Zentangled

Work in Progress: Zentangling the Chrysler Building as of 23May2012It’s finished that it’s not.  You can see the white spaces in some areas of the drawing, and just so happy about the way it turned out.

Thanks to Fe for the encouragement.

I hope to finish this over the Memorial Day weekend while I’m trying to get started on the long shot of the building.  (Can’t stop!)

I knew the sun from yesterday was too good to be true, and while the streets of Manhattan are dry today, there is zero visibility outside the building from my floor.  (41 storeys above ground level.)

It’s been a busy day at work.  Friends had popped in and then out, so I have been by myself mostly today.  I understand.  People have their own business to take care of wherever they are.  Fe was caught in traffic for one, so I didn’t expect her during our usual witching hour online. =)  I know she’ll say hello her morning.  We all have things that keep us busy.

It gave me some time to catch up with work, and to just sit back quietly and write.

Almost done now

Work in Progress: Zentangling the Chrysler Building as of 22May2012My zentangled Chrysler Building is beginning to take shape indeed. 

The picture on the left is two of the three pieces that make up the bottom third of the building.  I wasn’t finished with the rightmost “side” of the bottom piece when I photographed this yesterday, and after a mishap with the cutting, I have the bottom complete now, but I am not going to take a photo until tomorrow.

I have “connected” and “stitched together” the top 4 pieces into two separate pieces.Three pieces ready to be put together to form my first large scale zentangle project of the Chrysler building.  I’m actually all excited, despite the “errors” or “corrections” that need to be done as I put the finishing touches to the piece.  There are white spaces to be filled in, angling to be corrected, and connecting patterns to make the “stitching” invisible to the eye.

I’m actually very proud of my first attempt. There are a couple of lessons learned from this, though,  like not being too tight with the “cuts” when I section the pieces.  I should’ve also stuck to my original plan to do the rendering while having an actual photo of the original handy so that I can attempt to mimick the shading of the photo.  (Which will hopefully make it less flat.. but I’m quite happy with how I seem to have managed it even if I didn’t do it as planned.)  I am actually thinking of doing a second rendition of the same piece, if not a more ambitious longer shot of the top of the building.  (I am still trying to decide which one to do).  You can see I’m inspired to keep doing this.  =)

Why do I even do it?  It’s good therapy against stress.  I actually get to do a lot of thinking while I draw and fill in the different sections.  Seeing the completed work after I’ve succesfully drawn into the spaces in between surprises even me.  It gives me something productive to do when I am restless or when I am in a creative rut.  It helps me rest my mind and calm my heart — a friend’s admonitions that have inspired me to try and do just that through this project.

We do what we have to do to get through each day.  There is something that hypnotizes me as I ever so light-handedly let the signpen glide through the paper to let the ink rest where I want it to rest.  There are strokes that I can do haphazardly, but most of the time, I have to be deliberate and slow. 

I’ve made “me” proud.  “Good job, Pinay New Yorker..” — this is one piece of work you can be proud of.  (Patting myself on the back, I know..=)  Reminds me of the song “Do I make you proud?”… I ask myself.. and deep in my head, I hear a smiling “yes”.  And I tell “myself”, “This one’s for you…”.. and deep in my heart, I hear an inner voice saying “Thank you..”.

Walking my little guy to school

Today was one of those rare occasions I got to walk Angelo to school because his Dad’s away on business for two days.  It’s one of those things that throw ourschedules kind of “off” because it means walking instead of being dropped off for him, and it means leaving for work a tad bit later for me.  (Note to boss has been sent.)

So we walked.  It’s approximately 7 minutes each way, and is a pleasant walk as long as the sidewalk is not icy in the winter.  We walk hand in hand when we cross, and he often tugs at my arm if I’m holding my tote and my purse.  My boy has grown indeed.

I ask him about his friends in school and have such fun teasing him with this girl he has always liked.  He talks to me about his current favorite shows like his namesake, “Angel”, whose reruns he catches during breakfast.  (Yes, my son is named after a vampire — but one who is supposed to be “the Champion”… and yes, he is MY champion. =)

Our walks are always a fun time for us as mother and son.  I like that he is very expressive and inquisitive.  He’s been reading chapter books of late, and has taken a fancy to Paula Danziger‘s Amber Brown series.  He’s already on his third book and I asked him if he was being assigned the books or if he had chosen them, and he said he had picked them because he liked the stories about Amber Brown.  It’s actually a very realistic and straightforward story about divorce and how a nine-year-old copes with the reality of her life and the changes brought on by her parents’ situation.  There is a lot of humor as an eight-year-old like Angelo will appreciate because there’s a lot of “snot”, “slime” and all the other silly things second graders laugh about as well.

He asks me to stay until they start letting the children in at 8am.  I asked if the other kids wouldn’t think that weird or make fun of him for it, but he seems to genuinely enjoy that Mom is right there on the sidelines with him.  My son has his own mind about what he thinks about what other people think.  Even as a four-year-old, he would ask to sit on my lap in front of other children and when I tell him the other kids might tease him, he nonchallantly tells me, “I don’t care.”

They grow up so fast.  I try to savor him growing up and then realize he is not as little as I had gotten used to thinking of him.  He is growing up with a mind of his own.  At eight, I had many hopes and dreams already.  I had my “problems” in my little world.  School was fun but was sometimes a challenge.  Friendships were beginning to get complicated, although I remember how I would play early morning patintero with some of the girls in a social hall.  By the time the bell rang, we would all be sweaty and dishevelled and would sometimes get a good scolding from our teachers for being so boyish.  =)

Mine has a thing for his red CARS jacket which he should really leave in the house now that the temperatures are milder.  But he says he likes it, and he’s not giving it up — not yet.  He is still a very picky eater, but when he likes something, he eats it day after day after day.  I love it most when he laughs hard — and his whole body shakes as the laughter consumes him. 

I like it when he holds my hand as we walk.  It fits perfectly in mine and there is the reassuring grip from his tiny hand.  One day I will look up when I talk to him instead of looking down as I do now.. even then, he will always be my baby.

When the unexpected happens

There are three sets of parents grieving the loss of their young sons over the weekend in Manila.  These people are not personally known to me but I had come to know of them through the social networks.  Four young men in their teens with only one old enough to drive were on their way home from a party at 4am in the morning when their car hit a lamp post and all four young lives came to an end.  Just like that.  Two of the four were siblings.  A fifth young man would have been in the car with them but he chose to go to another party and so was not with his bestfriends.

I grieve for the loss of the young lives, and I grieve for the loved ones they left behind.  But it was their time.

The thing is, we never really know when our time is up.  We may be healthy as a horse and still find ourselves on death’s door because of a car that ran out of control, or perhaps a misstep, or some unscrupulous or criminal elements lurking where we are.

Around 2 weeks ago I received a most disturbing voice message that went into my phone the moment my son was having his first communion.  It was a minute and a half of whispered threats that someone was going to kill me.  I have to admit, it unnerved me.  I saved the message and tried listening to it some more.  The caller ID was a different numerical prefix, but the same 7 digits as my own phone, so it wasn’t difficult to figure out that the number must have been “masked” or altered.  With the advances in technology these days, they can even make it appear like you are calling your own phone.  I shrugged it off as a prank which I am sure it was.  But things like that makes one think about what’s out there.

Then there are my friends who are battling second round bouts of cancer that have moved to other parts of the body.  We hear about people just keeling over and dying because of a heart attack.  You really can never tell when it hits you.

I am trying to set my affairs in order, just in case.  (Again, you’ll never know.)  My will, which I had started writing, is still a work in progress.  My bestfriend Fe loves to surf YouTube for music and would often post clips dedicated to this or that friend on her wall or on her friend’s walls, and I have tasked her to make sure that the right music is played at my wake or memorial service and when I am cremated.  I like that she doesn’t think it’s a morbid topic, so she says yes to everything I say.  Others would shirk away and ask why I’m talking about these things — that I was being morbid.  But morbid as death may be as a topic of conversation, it is inevitable.

I don’t know where death will find me.  If it will be expected or not.  If it will come creeping upon me on my sickbed, or if it will just snatch me away like it did those four young men.  I’ve had a good life.  I have accomplished most if not all my dreams, I’ve done most if not everything I had hoped to do at this point in my life.  I still have other dreams, of course, for the future — like seeing my son graduate and be a grown man.  They will come in time.  But from this vantage point, I can already say I’ve had it good — I’ve been luckier than most.

So…I wish to be cremated.   I find it so sad that we only visit our dead loved ones during All Souls’ Day, on their death anniversaries or on their birthdays.  The rest of the year, their resting place gathers dust, is occasionally cleaned or scrubbed, but lies there unattended.  I’d rather that my ashes were spread out somewhere to join the earth again. 

I want to write the programme for my own memorial service.  I will list down who will eulogize me, will get to do the readings at the final mass, and I will choose the songs to be played or sung.  (And no, I am not going to rob my other BFF Donna of her chosen theme song to be played as her casket is being lowered to the ground: “Give Me Just a Little More Time”. LOL)

I wish my things to be distributed as I will declare them to be given away.  Although I am still ambivalent about donating my body parts to science or to organ recipients — I am seriously considering this.  I don’t have riches or treasures to bequeath, but I have some practical possessions that mean something to me which I want to find a home with some others who might give the same meaning and value to them. 

I am by no means brave.  I’m just trying to be ready, even if no one can ever be truly ready.  It happens IF it happens — WHEN it happens.  I don’t have a bucket list — and I have no plans to write up one.  I’m taking life as it comes, a day at a time.

Taking care of Me

I’ve had a productive day.  I just finished spending the afternoon working on two pairs of pants… soaked my feet in bath salts, but had to stop short of giving myself a pedicure as I can’t find a pusher.  (For the nails..)  I have the living room all to myself.  Before I start working on dinner, I thought I’d write.

It’s a beautiful day in New York today.  Just said hello to my bestfriend, Fe.  She’s off to breakfast now, though. =)  (SHAMELESS PLUG: Atty. Fe Siton now writes a weekly column for Inquirer’s BANDERA, “Ibandera ang Batas” which comes out every Friday.  Do watch out for her.)

Answered a couple and wrote some e-mails.  I love that technology keeps us all connected, but nothing beats a phonecall or even snailmail.  I love receiving letters and holding what I read in my hands.  These days only Fe writes that way anymore. =)  Everyone, it seems, or most everyone is just a text or an e-mail away.

Even my Globe OFW Sim has been quiet except for the occasional rave or rant from Fe.  My sister texts me straight on my US phone, and most of my friends in Manila who are on Blackberry do BBM (Blackberry messenger — Reminder to self: BBM Toks.)  My closest friend on my GLOBE sim is Globe itself who doesn’t let up with all the promos which I don’t think I’m qualified for anyway because I’m on “roam”.  Duh..  Text me something please!

There is the occasional Facebook or Gmail chat.  Still, most days, things are quiet.  Maybe it’s the timeline.. maybe it’s just work.  It’s Saturday here and I’m already thinking about Monday.

Meanwhile, I’m taking care of me.

After lunch with the boys in Minado, I walked over to Utrecht (Art Store) in the same strip mall and found certain shades of Sculpey Polymer Clay on sale for 77cents apiece!  Take note, though, that NOT all Sculpey is on sale — only a number of shades and they were all practically gone by the time I got there.  Still, 77 cents on 8 2-oz blocks is still a bargain.  Other colors are priced just under $2.  (Still  a good buy…)  I love browsing this art store even if I am no artist.  I’d love to know what the different paints are for — acrylics, oil, watercolor (I work with) and pastels (which I am trying to work with..).  All that paper!  (Me and my thing for paper again…)  I would’ve gotten some molding compound (my favorite liquid mold, OOMOO is available here but not at Michael’s) but they weren’t on sale and I still have quite a stash.

Bought myself a few tools — a flat iron for the hair because my hair is in a rather unwieldy shape because I’m growing it.  Got a haircut a week ago which was great, but because the longer hair hits a wave, it looks “bulky” and funny to me.  It’s still short but not quite as short or trimmed tightly as I have been used to, so the mornings find me spending a bit more time to look decent.  It doesn’t help when it’s humid outside, too, because then it takes three times the effort, no thanks to my wavy hair.  So I thought I’d help myself with a flat iron — a first time for me, so wish me luck.  (I think I remember how the stylist used it when she fixed my hair after the cut.. Well, I think. LOL)

Found this utterly gorgeous polish I saw last week, but which I thought I’d get this week, and get it I did.  It’s “LIVE YOUR LIFE” by Nicole by OPI.  (Talk about message marketing..)  It’s a pretty concoction of light pink glitter in various shades in a clear polish with flecks of little pink hearts.  Cute, huh?  (It’s the girl in me…)  Sometimes bits of color like that can really perk me up even if it’s going to be on my toenails which are mostly hidden in closed shoes during the week. (Or I might take out my sandals and slippers for the commute this week if it doesn’t rain.)

And I’m finally sitting down on my workstool and creating something for myself.  I’ve put the shop on vacation for now and am concentrating on creating pieces I can wear.  I got a strand of beautiful mother-of-pearls the size of M&M Peanuts in very elegant shades of white, yellow and sand beige, and I was hoping to make a choker out of it but I am having a tough time stringing the pearls correctly.  Stringing, if you must know, is something I’m still learning but I haven’t quite given up on it.  I’m getting the hang of making the knot fall where I want it to, but I still end up messing things up every third or fourth bead.  Sigh… practice, practice, practice — I tell myself.

And I’ve been writing.  I even almost wrote prose again.  =)  Well, got a line or two out then the idea went pfffftttt…. Sigh… I haven’t written prose since I got here twelve years ago.  I don’t even try anymore.  Maybe I’ll start encoding my “ancient poetry” written in my younger years.  (My oldest having been written in 1979…the others I had lost..)  I brought them here to New York scribbled on notebooks and compilations of paper one time I came home from Manila — and I have promised I would start encoding them before I “lost” them.  I just haven’t quite started because there is a ton of them.  There was a time in my teens when I wrote more than one poem a day for quite a stretch.  Imagine.. four liners to  four stanzas long and longer .. I seem to have run out of juice after I drifted off to college.. adulthood got the best of my creative streak where poetry was concerned and seems to have put an end to it.

I’m trying to take better care of me.  I’m reading more and trying to consciously spend more time doing the things I like to do a few minutes everyday — one of which is spending time here.  I’ve also been good with the vitamins per my doctor’s admonition.  Little things that I keep forgetting, so I finally put a reminder on the blackberry every night.  I’m trying to enjoy the little things and putting them all in a small bucket of  “happy”.  It’s like stringing together old jokes that were once funny and are funny again when I play them over in my head.. funnier still when replayed one after another.

I just remembered there’s week-old cake in the fridge — I think I’m going to have some.  (Might microwave it to make it a little moist again.)

Meanwhile, I will go back to Winterfell and King’s Landing as I try to get on with Book III of a Song of Fire and Ice, “A Storm of Swords.  ”  And there’s the pearl stringing to redo…