adventures in craft shopping

(I went to go write this onto tumblr and realized that it was really long, so I deleted it and decided to write about it here)

Jamie and I went to a local craft store the other day. Our area has a handful of craft stores and, hell, even some of the local Walmarts have a decent craft section (not as amazing as they used to be back in the day, but working their way back to it). This particular one I wanted to go to because they have a better fabric section.

Jamie and I went wandering through some aisles, wandered through beads and papercraft sections, the woodworky things and the kidstuff. I found a kid’s dress and pointed out that a) Cricket would look super adorable in it and 2) I could probably make one myself. Jamie agreed on both things (it was one of the dress-up dresses. sequins and tulle. I don’t do sequins as a craft because of childhood and the constant dealing with sequins)

Jamie found a couple things that he wanted to try/play around with, so he grabbed those. I found some yarn on sale that was really pretty and really tempting. But, I reminded myself that I have no room for more yarn and while the stripe-gradient thing was really cool, I have no idea what I’d make with those. I have a skein of one of those stripe-gradient yarns and I haven’t messed with it. I have a plan for it, yes, but I’m not sure how it’ll go. And, I was mainly here for fabric.

Like I said, this particular craft store has a better fabric section. So, off to fabric we went, circumventing the yarn area. We found some fun print fabric that would be cool to use, some glow-in-the-dark fabric that was more expensive than I’m currently willing to pay (I have small projects and I’m cheap. cheap also means more various fabrics)

I’ve been looking, off and on, for a specific fabric for a few years:: white with red polka dots. I’ve found white with pink-and-red or pink-and-purple polka dots, I’ve found white with green-and-blue polka dots, and I’ve found red with white polka dots. White with red polka dots is hard. I had figured I’d have to use red felt, red fabric, or even a red fabric sharpie (which I have all three), but, just in case, I’d like to look.

I found white organza with red polka dots. Score. I can work with the see-through fabric, I have white fabric at home. So I go to the counter to get it cut.


I am ignored by the woman at the counter, who has seen me walk up, and continues working on folding fabric in front of her. Ok, cool, finish up what you’re doing (the retail monkey in me is screaming “acknowledge your customers!”) and I can wait patiently. I work retail, I’m not going to be a dick. I was also raised to be polite and wait patiently despite my grandmother’s best efforts otherwise.

Another woman comes up and another customer just dumps all this fabric onto the counter, joking about finding more stuff (a woman after my own heart. more power to you lady). The employee asks if she has her ticket and calls out a number.

There’s a ticket system? Since when?

There’s no notation to “take a ticket” or “please have numbered ticket ready” or anything like that. The woman who has steadfastly ignored me demands to know if  I have a ticket. I told her: I’m sorry, I didn’t know I needed one. So she calls out another number.

Are you fucking kidding me.

A woman who has grabbed a ticket from a pull-out machine that I had no idea was there because it blends in with the surrounding area hands me her ticket. I told her I could wait, no worries. She insisted I take her ticket and she grabs another. She was super cool and I thanked her and said “Shows how often I’m here, doesn’t it.” and we chuckled a bit.

The woman who has ignored me and gotten mad at me about this whole ticket thing calls out the number and I smile and ask for half a yard please. She unrolls it and I can see where someone just eyeballed it and cut it haphazardly. She measures half a yard, does a cut, and then uses the handy-dandy little pre-made cut area in the counter to cut the fabric. She doesn’t smooth it or even seems to care when it bunches up.

I don’t care, I want my little bit of fabric so I can get out of here. It’ll be enough for what I need.

Without looking at me, she tells me that this fabric is non-refundable.

Really? Really. It’s fabric. It’s cut fabric. Why would I want to return it anyway? I tell her that’s fine, take my ticket and half-assed folded little peice of fabric, and walk away.

We walk away far enough and Jamie can see that I’m a little mad at the whole encounter. I point out that I’m glad I didn’t have a lot of fabrics I wanted cut and that I’m not going to come back for fabric, I’ll just shop online or something. (which sucks because I prefer physical contact with the fabric I want. I want to see it and feel it before I make a decision).

We go up to stand in line and the woman in front of us insists we go ahead of her because she “has so many things” and we have one or two (we had like five but they fit in the palm of Jamie’s hand). The teeny tiny girl in her early 20s was there ringing people out. She’s super nice and even if I look at her name tag I can never remember her name. She always has a smile on her face and is always wonderful. I like her.

We had a better experience with the cashier and the couple of fellow customers than we did when dealing with the fabric people.

As we were halfway across the parking lot, I told Jamie: the longer I work in retail, the more I fucking hate people. Jamie told me it’s because I have higher standards because I work in a retail environment and have higher expectations.

I looked down at the fabric in my hand as I sat down in the car and saw that the red polka dots that I saw in the store are bright neon pink.

Jamie told me it was ok and I told him I can easily fix that. Hey, I’ve got fabric markers, I can do it.


Yarn hoarder

Jamie and I are working on re-arranging and “cleaning” the craft room.

Part of re-arranging the craft room was to take out the cat food and cat litter totes out of the closet and put them in the pantry, which meant that while I was sweeping and moving stuff around, Jamie had to pull out the little wooden shelf-thing from the pantry. It works out because now I have the wooden shelf-thing in the craft room and it is…stuffed with notebooks.

Jamie bought this reinforced basket hangy thing to put in the closet and shoved about a tote’s worth of yarn into the sections, and then realized I have way more yarn than that. So I have 3 totes of yarn in the basement, 1 tote of yarn (and hooks, needles, etc) in the bedroom, and I found skeins of yarn shoved up in other places (whoops).

Hi, I’m Manders and I have a problem. I have a lot of yarn.

I also have a lot of notebooks.

I’m not done with the craft room just yet. I have a few more things to do, rearranging things and putting supplies where I want them, and probably annoying the cats by moving them around when they’re in my way. Beric has learned that where I’ve put one of the shelves is the best place to catch some sun.

The end goal is to take the craft room back from the cats for the short amount of time that I can take it from the cats before we bring in the grow-lights and shelves for the indoor-growing portion of gardening.

an update of sorts

+ I’ve been trying to get myself to write an update and I’ll start and then just stop after about 80 words and stare at the screen while listening to things.

+ Flurries appeared the night before last. Sigh. While I love winter (and the idea of staying inside or watching the dogs play in the snow–this will be Dunk’s first winter! I’m excited), I really do not love what cold weather does to me.

And because this has appeared, I have already started having physical issues doing basic things at work. I had to fight with one machine to lock it back up to the point where one of my minions cracked up watching my struggle and had to tell another minion that, for now, if we need certain things out of the stock room, I’d have to get someone to grab the boxes because I can’t do it right now.

I was really hoping I’d have at least another week or so before this would start. The downside is that this is showing me that it’s getting worse. (there’s really no reason why picking up a box should cause pain to shoot up my arm)

+ The wind is horrible. A peice of siding has peeled back again and thwacking the house. But! No fence panel has fallen, so that’s a huge relief

+ Boss can’t look at me with a straight face while I wear my Doctor Who scarf, my minions think I’m weird but find it hilarious (success!)

+ I spent time trying to convince one of my minions to check out NoSleep podcast because she was trying to stealthily take a photo of me to send via snapchat to her boyfriend. So I told her about the horror story about snapchat (season 4, episode…4 or 5). So hopefully I can get someone to start becoming an avid listener

+ Still working on the story that has decided to slowly make its way to novelette form. Sure, it’s still on the first draft, but I’ve also hit a point where I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to do, where my basic idea was heading, and now everyone’s just waiting in the wings. It’s trucking along and I’m enjoying it, I just…forgot what to do. (I have forgotten how to word)

+ I realized I have a first draft of a short story in a notebook and haven’t typed it up yet.

+ I still can’t find the first partial-draft of a short story I just labeled “Pig Dreams.” It’s probably somewhere in the Giant Tote O Notebooks. I have also lost notes for another story, they are probably also in Giant Tote.

Oh well. It’s nothing new.

+ I’m starting to work on some breif conversation snippets along with notes of what to research for a story idea I typed up as a reminder to myself on my phone. I have so much reading to do for this, and my initial intention is for it to be a short story. But, honestly, I don’t know how long it’s going to be. The research aspects are mainly so I can hit the correct historical bits that need to be hit as well as certain names that I need to make sure I spell right. The downside is: I might end up down a rabbit hole of weird shit.

+ We ended up with some chair cushions. Dunk’s crate now has a nest of fluff on top of his blankets, Cricket is slowly pulling the foam out of her cushion in large chunks. Not chewed, but just chunks so I wonder if she has realized that it tastes nasty and thinks that the next peice won’t taste as bad. Firefly wound up with the outdoor two-peice cushion and has used it as the base for her happy nest of blankets, and Bug has the last one. Bug has not destroyed her cushion so far (but she did steal a pot holder to lick to death yesterday) and seems to be using it as a pillow while her blankets are her bed. It’s adorable and hilarious.

+ Jamie grabbed me one of the Yowie things (the chocolate is gross but I love the toys). I popped it open and wound up with a bald eagle. An angry bald eagle. He’s a majestic little peice of plastic and has been sitting in front of the computer monitor for the past two days and I can’t help but laugh at it. Is it an omen? Is it a sign of things to come? Who knows. I just find the whole thing hilarious (and at least I got a new Yowie toy instead of another beaver)

The night is dark and full of terror

The line “The night is dark and full of terror” seems rather apt right now.

Reality is…well…weird right now. Eddie Izzard jokes and Voltaire’s “Hell in a Handbasket” have been popping in my head off and on throughout yesterday and this morning. If I give myself time to think about it, panic starts to bubble up and the feeling of dooooooooom rises.

Yesterday, both Twitter and Facebook were full of thoughts on the POTUS election. Jamie and I did our parts and voted–not like it matters anyway due to the Electoral College, but it does give us little people a sense of duty, satisfaction, or whatever that we did our part. On the other side, we did have our Congressman vote and our two referendums put to vote, so that does actually get done by majority instead of an elected board of officials.

I have seen notations of pain, fear, excitement. I have seen posts of calm, it will be ok, and “I am behind you.” It’s been an interesting mix.

Honestly, the whole thing terrifies me.

I pointed out to my coworker last night that it didn’t matter who won, because either majority party elect had terrifying aspects. And now we have a gentleman who…seems more like he belongs in a 3-ring circus than holding the highest office we have to offer in this country.

Politics aside, the reality we face in the upcoming years terrifies me. I fear for my life, Jamie’s life, my friends and families lives, and everyone else’s.

On the selfish side. I’m scared my marriage is going to be annulled. I’m scared for Jamie. I’m scared about the future of either of our possibilities of getting the medication we need (but mainly Jamie). I’m scared of the having the basic right to see Jamie in the hospital taken away if our marriage is annulled (and vice versa).

As a pagan woman, I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to other people when hate-filled people find out that someone isn’t a Christian. (And, being in this area, I’m afraid of hate-filled people finding out that someone isn’t their specific sect of Christian and taking it out on that person). As a pagan who loves a Jew, I am fucking terrified of what’s going to happen to him.

As a woman, I am scared for other women (all women, not just cisgender). As a person, I am scared for other women. Women should have full control over their body and shouldn’t have to worry about getting prison time for having a miscarriage.  I am terrified that “back alley clinics” will find their way back into our timeline.

I am scared for anyone who is LGBT. Jamie is a transman and I am terrified of the future for him. I am scared of the possibilities of the hate crimes escalating and things being “ok” because “they were asking for it.”  or some other nonsense. I am scared for my other trans friends, just as I am scared for my gay and lesbian friends and family.

I am afraid that so many people will have to hide who they are. I already have a couple of friends who are terrified to leave their home for fear that something bad will happen. I am afraid of even the very near future: how many people are already terrified of the holiday season? What is going to happen? As someone who works in a retail environment, it is an unnerving thought.

I would say I’m afraid for anyone who isn’t a heterosexual cisgendered white man without disabilities, but I’m afraid for them as well.

We live in a bright, beautiful, bizarre country. Technically, Jamie and I live in the South and that has it’s weird little notions already (yay for Virginia). I don’t want to see it get smacked backwards after all of the innovations we have done.

I fear we have not learned from history and we are very much doomed to repeat it. I just really hope that other countries are keeping an even closer eye on us and, if it comes down to it, will do what it takes to stop those in charge from repeating atrocities of the past.

I fear for my country. While I can say that I believe that our upcoming President is a madman, I have hopes that he is not a new Polpot, Stalin, or Hitler. I fear the possibility of interment camps, I fear the rise in hate crimes.

But fuck if anyone thinks I’m going down silently or without a fight.

On a lighter note pertaining to this:

Jamie texted me the lyrics to “Hell in a Handbasket” by Voltaire yesterday and said this should be our new anthem. It’s fitting. I also got a text a few minutes ago stating that we grew up on video games and Evil Dead, we prepared our whole lives for this. lol It’s true.

Like I said, I ain’t going down without a fight.

Life rundown

Well, it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted, which has blown my “I’m going to try to update at least once a week, even if it is something ridiculous” idea. Meh. Oh well I guess.

I have no idea what the first 7 days did besides work, sleep, take care of pets, housework. So, I’m going to talk about what I do remember.

This past Thursday, Jamie and I headed over to his cousin’s place and we hung out, watched youtube videos, and discussed all kinds of random things. The idea, originally, was to hang out and play video games, but we ended up telling each other about random things and had to look them up on youtube. These included watching half of Begotten, which I don’t reccomend to most people because it’s fucking weird and we used it as a jumping off point to discuss art and people who feel the need to have to over-explain their work. I got him to watch a couple Jan Svankmajer videos on youtube, which prompted the usual “God damnit, fucking dolls.” comment from Jamie (who hates dolls, especially porcelain dolls).

Noah, in turn, showed off videos by Glass Animals (and watching the Jan Svankmajer films later went “Now I see where they got it from!”), hit up Hulu to see if there was anything while we discussed “old” Adult Swim shows, and went back to youtube because I mentioned Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared and he had to see what I was talking about. He agreed it was very much in the same vein as David Firth and mentioned that he still can’t get Rene (his wife) to finish watching Salad Fingers.

Beyond Thursday, we hit a sad note: Cocoa, our rat, died in her sleep. She was about 4 or 5 years old, and we’d had her for a while, and the downside is that we’ve been kind of keeping an eye out for her to leave us because she was getting on up there in age.

Honestly, we had no idea how old she was before we adopted her with her cagemate Butters. So there’s a high likelyhood that she was older than the estimated year or so that we figured. They both stayed with us for quite some time and I asked Jamie if he thought we should keep the cage for just in case or donate it to one of the rescues we work with (even though we don’t work with them as frequently as we used to, we’re still kind of “in the game” but more so in the background as the “occasional people”). He said it’d be a good idea to just keep the cage until someone says they need one or the whole “every couple of years rats show up at the shelter or pound and they have no idea what to do with them” thing that has apparently started to become a “thing.” (sigh)

Cocoa will be buried, along with her cagemate, as soon as we get the chance. Until then, Cocoa is joining Butters in the basement freezer.

Jamie started going off about “no more dead animals in the freezer” and I pointed out that it’s only Butters in there. He quipped that we still have that container of dead mice and I said they don’t count because they’re food. He said he’s not eating them and I said neither am I, implying that it’s too much work, and he said he’d have to text David and see if he needs them for their snakes.

It may sound morbid, and to most people I guess it is. But I also grew up keeping dead animals in the freezer every so often (hey, it happens, especially when they die in the middle of winter and you can’t bury them. at least I’m better than my dad, who ended up leaving one of mom’s dogs (who died of natural causes) in a trash bag on the washer during winter because the basement was practically an icebox). Besides, I’ve got to find a nice spot in the backyard to bury them (Butters died when the ground was too hard to dig–during winter. Yes I know it’s now September. It’s been a busy year)

On a lighter note:

I have picked the “last” of the tomatoes, as Jamie has said he’s cutting everything down now. I was able to get one Ugly Tomato out of the bunch, a ton of romas, and Dunk ate most of the cherry tomatoes. I’m fine with this and we’ve learned that Dunkdog loves tomatoes (fine, whatever. as long as he doesn’t eat too many and doesn’t eat the stems, leaves, etc). And at least the tomatoes that have grown have been small enough to where if he eats three or four one day it’s not going to hurt him. I’d prefer he didn’t eat tomatoes, but he’s a stubborn dog and I can’t stop him if my back is turned and looking for things to pick.

Count Chocola, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry are now available. Candy corn is now available. And Pumpkin Spice everything has come. There’s Pumpkin Spice Cheerios now and I have to wonder what the fuck is wrong with people when we get to the point that cheerios and cat litter now have the same “Limited Edition” flavor/scent. Yeah, I love this time of year as much as anyone, but it’s starting to get out of hand.

But, this also means that The Country Store in Bonsack is starting to carry their little selection of Halloween earrings. Jamie and I hit up the store this past weekend (Saturday maybe?) and found that they had two of their tables set up as clearance tables (the tables are usually for the various plants that they’re selling during the spring and summer). Jamie found a little jewelry box for his grandmother, I found an infinity scarf, and he found two ornaments for his coworkers. He also found a little pomeranian ornament and I grabbed a pair of poison bottle earrings and a little ceramic snail. It was a lot of fun and we always find some little goody down there. Their Halloween, Fall, and Thanksgiving stuff was out so we looked around.

At some point over the weekend, Jamie lost his glasses and we’re not sure where they’re at. They’re not at the Bonsack Walmart or Kroger, they’re not at Game Junkies (where we stopped by over the weekend so Jamie could buy a game, which he promptly lost, and I could by a gameboy and game), and they’re not at the Walmart Marketplace store on Orange (where I got me some Count Chocula!), so I’m waiting until a little after 9 to call the Country Store and see if they were found up there.

I haven’t finished my craft project, but I did work on straightening up the craft room a bit. I’ve worked a bit on writing and I’m at the point where I find that the story I’m working on is stupid as hell, fucking redundant, and I am a fake. I have to remind myself that it’s the first draft, I’m allowed to fuck up as much as I want, and it’s actually coming along nicely.

And now I’ve got to do a bit of research for Jamie, work on laundry, and figure out a way to make it feel like something is trying to exit my brain through my ears/eyes. Yay migraines.

Tell a story

I was speaking with my mom last friday (because it was my birthday. yay birthday) and my main goal is to make her laugh. I love making my mom laugh. Be it with a joke, a story, a terrible side comment while we’re out. Anything. If I can make my mom laugh, she can be happy, and that’s the important bit. (my mom is awesome)

She asked me if I had gotten a new job yet or if I was just taking this time as an “extended vacation.” I told her I was looking for a new job, but in the mean time I’m working on writing and cleaning and dog stuff. Mom told me that I should write because I “tell good stories” and that I would be great at it. She continued with saying that I should tell my funny stories because it makes her laugh and I could “easily get a lot of followers.” lol

What caused this was I was telling her a story, to make her laugh and to show how derpy Cricket is.


Since it’s hot outside and we live in SWVA, it’s muggy from 8 am to 8 pm. We have a short time for yardwork between 7 am, when the noise ordinance is over, and 8–maybe 9 if we’re lucky. Or, between like 7:50 pm to when the sun goes down and we no longer have visible light to see by. But my tomato and melon plants and corn are thriving, so there’s that (however, the grass has come back so now the areas look like a grassy plane with plants)

We own a kiddie pool. A Bright. Neon. Pink. kiddie pool. I got it on sale for $5 like two years ago. The dogs use it as a giant water bowl and the only dog to ever lay in it was Hobbes (and now he can’t because some fucking peice of shit fucking stole him out of my yard. lured him out of my yard and sped away. I wish nothing but bad, horrible, terrible luck on them and I want my godsdamned dog back).

Currently, Dunk-dog will step in it and stand there most days and Cricket will step in it occasionally. Firefly and Bug will drink out of the kiddie pool, but that’s it. Bug thinks it’s a ploy for something and Firefly knows that if she’s not careful the giant water bowl will turn into the giant bath bowl and that’s never good. Firefly is weary of any large body of water that is not a dog dish.

Jamie bought a sprinkler, saying it’d be great for the dogs before realizing it’d be a great waterer for the garden…if we can get it to do a 180 sprinkle instead of a 110 sprinkle. Bug and Firefly see it as a barrier of awful, Dunk thinks it’s weird, and Cricket’s like eh, whatever and walks around. Currently, we haven’t used the sprinkler for them specifically. We’ve just played with it. Normally, we use the hose and its sprayer-of-many-settings.

Bug and Firefly are terrified, hanging back if I fill the water bowl and kiddie pool or at least being a few steps away watching me wearily as I water the garden. Dunk stands near me but doesn’t want to get sprayed in the head. And then there’s Cricket.

Cricket is our black derpy border collie. She’s average height, but mostly black. So, we worry about her when she’s out. Sure, we have half of the area shaded by our awesome tree, but she’s …special. She’ll stand on the porch or patio in the blaring sun and just stand there. Every so often she’ll stand in the kiddie pool or hang out in the shade. But then she’ll stand on the porch or roll in something in the sunny area and be a silly dog.

So, I was watering the garden. It was after 4pm and I try to stick with what my grandmother told me: if you water your garden, don’t do it between 10am and 4pm because that’s the hottest part of the day and it’ll just evaporate and you’ll have wasted your time.

I changed the setting from jet (to get to the farthest garden spots) to shower (to get to the closest areas) and realized that Cricket was just standing there. So I sprayed her a little.

She walked away, played with Firefly for a bit, and came right back. So I sprayed her again.

I didn’t hold her down and spray her, nor did I chase her with the hose (because, hell, if I wanted to, I could chase all the dogs and spray them). I was like 5-10ft away from her.

I put the hose down, I had finished with the garden, and Cricket immediately came up and jumped on me, grinning like a goober. I rubbed her ears, laughing at her, and then she got down, shook excess water on me, and ran away to go play with Dunk.

I got my dog with the hose, and she got me back.


I told this story to my mom and she howled with laughter.