Monday, February 11, 2013

Hands Suck...

...when they don't work very well. this is my life right now: on fish oil, and glucosamine/chondroitin; resting at times, not doing anything at all; wrapping my right hand at night, and dipping my hands in melted paraffin wax in the morning and at night (see below). this is the worst my hands have ever been, and it's reduced me to tears every day for the last week.

add to that how i unexplainedly jumped in the search listings and had a huge influx of orders over the last two days and i've been packing up and remaking stuff non-stop, and i'm one drained woman. don't get me wrong-- i love the orders and making money, but when you're hurting badly, it's hard to focus.

 i'm also starting acupuncture as soon as i can get into the place. wish me luck that it works. here are my hands after the paraffin dries. lovely, huh? i learned quickly that i need more wax in the container (an *approved* container-- i didn't melt candles in a pot!).

"mummified" (23/365)

and no, i shouldn't really be typing much.  i'm trying to get around to the blogs i read, and i want to keep up my photo a day, but to all of my blogosphere and etsy team friends: please don't think i'm ignoring you.  i'm just trying the best i can right now, and trying to prioritize.

please think good thoughts that something starts working for me.  i realized the other day that with all my various ailments, it's been a rare day that i haven't been in pain for seventeen years.  i just want to feel better.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Yesterday, I really wanted to put some flowers in the little milk bottles I bought at the garden and antiques show...

"A Little Happy Place" (22/365)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Scenes from an Antiques and Garden Show

For the second year, my friend Carla and I went to the Garden and Antiques show here in Nashville. This is a total paradise, and of course we walk around oohing and ahhing and taking picture after picture. I'm glad I had a budget; at one point, Mr. Calm texted me: "Buy anything you want." Uh, really, Mr. Calm? You sure you mean that? ;) Had I followed that advice, Mr. Calm would have come home and promptly keeled over.

"Floating" (21/365)

I think this is a great shop display.  Tiny little bees, with a few frogs and dragonflies thrown in.

I did buy this, minus the droopy rununculus.

Isn't her face beautiful?

I got one of these, too, although you can't see the owl I got.  He's now on the porch with my other birds.


I'm regretting not getting these vases...

...and this portly little pig.

We love this show, although we were one of the woefully underdressed (lots of dresses and heels abound).  Thanks go to Carla for helping me carry my heavy yard ornaments to my car.  I'm sure you'll see those later in the year in a picture or two. :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Yum Yums Chase the Blues Away

Mr. Calm is away until tomorrow night takin' care of business, so I'm alone and a little blue that my honey isn't around. YD, who is driven to become the next Cupcake Queen, came over with Hot Cocoa Cupcakes. Although I still miss my honey, these were tasty.

"Hot Cocoa Cupcakes" (20/365)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Secret of My Success

Everyone has a base point, or a secret, that they start out with that ends up making a fantastic product. It might be a piece of wood, or a skein of yarn... mine is five basic ingredients measured, melted, hardened, and mixed.

So, for all of you who've enjoyed my lip scrubs, or those of you just curious, here it is in its natural state before flavor and colors are added.

"Master Mix" (19/365)

Not much to look at, huh?  But it makes such a wonderful product.  I'm very proud of how I, a non-chemist kinda person, was able to think up this recipe.  I make up a huge batch and store it in a plastic container, and take out four ounces at a time to make into things like Pink Icing, Choc•O•Rama, or Margarita.  Making such a huge master batch is such a timesaver, as I run out of a few flavors each week.

What helps your business run smoothly, or smoother?  And is there one special thing that all your creations grow from?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Got it at Goodwill

I have to admit, I'm not good at getting deals. I didn't inherit my mom's mad skilz, nor did I pick anything up from my MIL. The closest I got was back when I was 25 and saw an old wooden medicine cabinet out at the curb on our street; I took it home, repainted it and added new knobs, and now I have the best damn spice cabinet on the planet.

A couple of months ago we went to Goodwill and found this for $14.99.  Yes, $14.99 for this 24-inch piece of mottled glass that has lights behind it.  I've seen pieces like this at IKEA... always wanted one, now I've got one. :)

What's the best deal you've found?

"Get it at Goodwill" (18/365)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Calgon Would Be Better

Yeah, I said sometimes the pictures would be mundane. ;)

My life right now: a naproxen a day just so I can work and type.  The pain in my thumbs has spread across my hands.  I was so intent on making bigger batches of inventory that I wrapped labels around probably a hundred tubes; now I'm paying for it.  But I absolutely refuse to allow my carpal tunnel to make me give up yet one more thing I love doing.  I've got enough brains to figure out easier ways to make and package my lip scrubs, like "dipping" the tubes into the scrubs, and using a food processor to mix them.  I'm considering hiring OD to come over once a week and wrapping labels...

I realized yesterday that I've lived with daily pain for about seventeen years now.  Either tendonitis in my elbows, or bursitis in my knees, or Achilles heels, or carpal tunnel.  I thank God exercising actually eliminates the Achilles heel pain.  I don't know if it makes me strong or stupid to go through all this with almost no pain relief.

"At Least I'm Not Doping" (17/365)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Would You Like Fries with That?

Yesterday was a lazy day. OD usually visits us; as I have hair shorter than my husband's now, I don't have hair to play with anymore. So, I paid OD back for all the years when she was little, and she would sit on the couch, I on the floor, and she'd do my hair. Most often, it was a style I couldn't wear out the door, but who doesn't love someone, especially their daughter, playing with their hair?

Of course, I did OD's hair nicely, trading her tight curls for loose ones. But it started off with a "Darwin Award" moment, when I grabbed the HOT BARREL of the curling iron instead of the handle!! Lord, she's lucky I didn't drop it on her head. I have some tight skin on my middle finger, but I got my hand under ice water right away.

Afterward, we took her to lunch at Steak N Shake. Frankly, I got sick of the place awhile ago, and they couldn't get my Chocolate Fudge Brownie Shake right TWICE, but I do enjoy their tiny little fries.

"Yes, I'll Have Some Fries" (16/365)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good Pizza

Yesterday was the day we usually go to the art crawl, but I am so sick of being cold (despite how much I love snow) that I asked Mr. Calm if we could just shine that on and find a new pizza place to try out.  We found a place with a 96% rating on Urbanspoon, and yes, the reviews were spot-on: really good pizza, and great service.

We started out with some cheese bread, which was delicious.

"Yumminess" (15/365)

After, we went home and watched "The Paperboy".  I highly recommend this twisted little movie.  It was nice to see so many good actors in top form (Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, and John Cusack in a really surprising role).  The only drawbacks were that Kidman and Efron's Southern accents weren't up to snuff, and Nicole Kidman is looking a little too plastic nowadays.  Actually, it might have been the character styling, but it was distracting.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snow Day!

Crappy picture, I know. But imagine my delight to look out the window at 10 p.m. and see snow flying nearly sideways across my neighborhood!

"Wish it Would Have Snowed During the Day So I Could Have Enjoyed it" (13/365)

Thursday, January 31, 2013


After all this cold and being stuck indoors, I'm ready to break loose. How 'bout you?

"Shake it Up" (12/365)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sucker for Vintage...

Vintage-style; I love it.

"I am SO Dragging My Husband Back to This Store" (11/365)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lip Scrubs A Go-Go

For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath about how I store my lip scrubs, here you go:

"Crowd" (10/365)

That's pretty much it: in a cardboard box. And now the box is full, so I have to start a new box.  Lots of pretty colors, huh?

And there are four new flavors of lip scrubs in my shop this week, which now has over 100 products.  100!!

"Apple Pie"

"Blue Raspberry"

The next two are already at Lalalita Body Co:


"Root Beer" (my favorite soda)

After these are set up in my shop, I'll be introducing their matching lip balms.  And then it'll be a little while before I introduce any new flavors (unless I do the mad scientist thing again and make my own), because I promised myself that I'd dial back my addiction to buying scents/flavors and only do it once a month.  Well... we'll see how that works out. ;)

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I almost never crave pancakes. But I suddenly needed a fix yesterday morning. Where do you go for a pancake fix? A restaurant that's known for pancakes.

"See You Next Year" (8/365)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why I Don't Package Orders in the Morning...

Venus is the reason I package orders at night instead of in the morning now. I'm the Designated Cat Letter-Inner, and she doesn't let me forget it. Repeatedly. Every. Single. Day.
"Let Me In!" (7/365)

I love her dearly, but wouldn't it be nice if cats (especially the ones who like to talk) had a little switch that you could turn off from time to time?

Friday, January 25, 2013

We Have Blooms!

Ice is falling from the sky here. But we have a little bit of sunshine in the living room. :)

"In Bloom - January" (6/365)

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Seriously, all I ever do is eat the fudge stripes and chocolate cups out of it.

"Give Me Fudge" (5/365)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clowder and Murder and... Hardees

A group of crows is called a murder. A group of cats is a clowder. What do you call a group of old men that gather at Hardee's?

Breakfast Will Keep Us Together (4/365)

It's not a singular phenomenon, nor is it indigenous to one area.  Every Hardee's I've been to (and in your area, it may be called Carl Jr.'s) seems to have one big corner set aside for the over-sixty-five set.  I remember once several years ago walking into the midst of them and getting several looks that screamed, "What are YOU doing here?"

Yes, I'm making fun.  But it's also nice.  Perhaps in 20 years Mr. Calm and I will be able to sit closer and fit in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sound Advice

I've always enjoyed the "sage advice" from old ads... My favorites were always the "horrors of halitosis" ads.  Just imagine what fresh hell the world would be if halitosis truly were as bad as the old ads made it out to be!

This old Lucky Strikes ad is equally hilarious.  Don't eat-- smoke!

"Sound Advice" (3/365)

Monday, January 21, 2013

January Tulips

I've missed taking pictures. My daughters aren't at home anymore, my life is pretty busy with my shop, and most of my picture-taking involves products, which can get pretty mundane.

A year ago, I got a book written by a professor who decided to take a picture a day for one year. There are hundreds and thousands of people who do this online, but I loved the simplicity of his book. Sometimes it was just a picture of the vase of flowers on his kitchen table; other times he would find where his hens would secretly lay their eggs (and who knew hens did that!), or just a picture of his boyhood bedroom.  Other times there was a sad picture in the bunch, as when his new dog killed one of their chickens.  It was life.

So, to keep up this blog, and to do something else besides work on body products, exercise, keep up this house, eat, and watch t.v. (uh, wait, sounds like I already have a lot to do...!), this will also be a 365 Pictures blog.  Even if it could be voted Most Boring Day Ever, I'm going to try to find something to take a picture of and post it here.

Yesterday's White Castle sign photograph was 1/365.  This is 2/365.

I had a bad day the other day, and Mr. Calm came home with this.  I know what kind of smile he was wearing: a smile that said he bought those to cheer me up.  They're on my mantle now, waiting to bloom.

"January Tulips"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Will You Be My Valentine?

I wasn't sure this was for real when I saw it yesterday. Turns out it is.

Might be fun as a gag if you're in a secure, well-established relationship... but if the new man in your life takes you here near the beginning of your relationship, might be time to re-examine things...