HOLIDAYS, New Years Eve, etc…..

Welp, holiday times. Weeeeee. I used to get pretty worked up over holidays and all the shit that goes into it. All the presents, food, parties, decorations, hell, I even played Christmas music. (It was strictly one album, the Peanuts Christmas. Best one, all the others suck.) I still enjoy giving gifts to people I like and a few decorations but it’s excitement has greatly diminished the past couple of decades. I’m perfectly ok with that. So yeah, writing a holiday blog makes a lot of sense, yeah? Yeah.

Last year was stressful because of all the Gran Bullshit. Jesus. I will take a moment to go off on a tangent here …. I have some lessons learned to share.

Things to do before you die: (not a bucket list, but a to-do list)(don’t wait till your almost dead to think about this shit – do it now while you have all your faculties)

  1. Please make sure your person or people who will be dealing with you shit know where some things are. Things like your driver’s license, social security card, last will and testament, trust papers, last wishes of any kind and money bullshit. They can’t do anything without it. I never found several of those things Gran had hidden. Or the garage door opener.
  2. Clean out drawers, closets, desks and cabinets of papers, random doll heads, broken tools and decades of utility bills organized by year, each year tied together with pantyhose. I couldn’t find her driver’s license or social security card but I did find almost thirty (30!!!) years of monthly utility bills, organized by year, each year tied together with pantyhose. I am not kidding.
  3. Please for the love of all that is good and holy make sure your person or people know where the hell your social security card is and that they have authority to handle your estate. One cannot get a death certificate without a social security number. And one cannot do ANYTHING with your shit without a death certificate, primarily anything dealing with money or property.
  4. If you tell your person or people who all your affairs are indeed in order, please make sure that these affairs are more comprehensive than burial/ cremation wishes, where your plot (should you have one) is and what you want to be buried in, should burial be your choice. Also, when you say it’s all paid for, make sure it’s all paid for. Don’t leave them trying to scramble to find 8-10 thousand bucks for a casket and service, etc. And goddamnit if you want to wear those fucking pearls leave them where your person or people know where the fuck they are.
  5. Assign a person to take care of any embarrassing paraphernalia before family members start digging through your shit.
  6. If you have a big house with a lot of shit in it, I suggest letting them know about some good estate sale people in your area to deal with what’s left after they get the shit they want out of the house.
  7. Please please please please please please please discuss this stuff with those left behind. Trying to clean up all that unfinished business (mess) you left behind is not how you want your loved ones to remember you. That clusterfuck kind of stuff can be avoided.

Yeah, so when Gran died she had all the Important Stuff in a trust and me designated as Successor Trustee. Problem was, I couldn’t find her social security card or drivers license so I couldn’t get a death certificate. I couldn’t get a death certificate so I couldn’t handle any of the money or property business so for MONTHS I was paying bills on her estate and trying care for my aunt (who I inherited the care of when she died – imagine a 64 year old first grader) on my not significant paycheck. Getting all the things taken care of wasn’t as easy as reading the will and having the lawyers sign off on shit. It was a nightmare. The only things I could find in the house besides the aforementioned bills tied with pantyhose were copious copies of the map of the cemetery with her plot marked, what outfit she wanted to be buried in and that she also wanted to wear her pearls. Couldn’t find the outfit or pearls either. And that was it! Oh and a house with 50 years of stuff. Ugh.

Anyway, I’d already learned about some of that when my parents died but this shit – jeeeeeesus christ it was nuts. And so my 2018 started out pretty fucking shitty. BUT somehow I managed to not totally flip my shit. I even came up with a good attitude about some Life Things. 2018 became #TheYearOfDoingStuff and #GoBigorGoHome and #PeeYourPantsFun and #IsThisMyLife. Let’s have a brief recap!!!!!

So one thing I hadn’t done in a long time is visit the Pacific Northwest so I took a wonderfully eventful trip to Washington in February to see my friend Lisa get married. That was good times. A winter storm knocking the hell out of the midwest tried to keep me home but I said FUCK YOU WEATHER and made it there via four airports and a train ride. Such a good time! Really, I had fun. I could never live in Seattle but I loved the visit.

Another travel destination I hadn’t been to in forever was New Mexico. Jesus I love New Mexico. That is where Ric and I got married lifetimes ago and where we managed to somehow not die despite all the drugs, alcohol and dangerous mountain roads. And serial killers (covered in a previous blog post). This time it was much safer and way more legal. I went in the summer with a group of my gals and had THE BEST TIME. We will go on another trip together but maybe not all stay in one Airbnb.

THEN I went to Denver. And this was kind of where the whole 2018 became #TheYearOfDoingStuff actually started. Best Supernatural SisterWife and fellow #SPNFGF original (Supernatural Fangirl Friday) and I had been wanting to go to a Supernatural convention SO BAD but were sadly resigned to never making it till I was tweeting with a fellow #SPNFamily gal on the Twitters. She told me how it could be done. She gave me the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, and of course I shared them with Allison. Who talked to her hubs and they came up with “well if we’re gonna go, let’s go gold” so #GoBigOrGoHome became the next hashtag. We went Gold baybee. Christ Almighty was that a trip. I need to blog that shit. Ok so we did that travel to Denver and I got to hug Jensn Ackles (smelled so goooood and he laughed at my dorky ass) (and I ran into his body-guard with my giant backpack) and get humiliated by Misha Collins in front of a thousand people. Going to another con in March by the way. I had always been wary and jealous of the #SPNFamily I saw online and wanted so bad to be a part of it. But held back. Let’s be honest, there are some crazies out there. And I really don’t spend enough time online, and people are scary and what if they don’t like me and think I’m a poser and talk shit and make fun of me. This is not just insecurity speaking. That happened when I tried to be part of another fandom so I said FUCK YOU to all fandoms. ANYWAY, I now have new friends in the #SPNFamily that are the tits. I met a gal online before SPNDEN and she was my den mother, so to speak. Stacie helped me so much and kept me alive during my first con. She’s going to be at NASHCON in March and we are getting ops together. Man. For reals. Don’t not do shit, find a way to make it happen.

And in between all of that was Gish shit!! So I did GISHWHES the year before which was one of the best things I’ve ever done and when they changed it up to Gish and made an app meeting Oklahoma gishers got real easy. And so through the app Gish threw out some pre-hunt challenges and three new ladies wormed their way into my cold dead heart. We uncomfortably met up with some other new gishing strangers for the first challenge and pretty much talk every day now. It was discovered that we all share a strange and powerful love of Supernatural AND THEY WERE GOING TO THE DENVER CONFERENCE TOO!!! So now I have SPNGFF’s (Supernatural Gish Friends Forever)! Sarah, Lizzy and Skyler are super good friends. Our love is young but we’ve had a little bit of drama and talked about real stuff, like feelings and shit so I am pretty confident we are solid. Then in August we did Gish. It was so good. I need to do a blog post about that and share some pictures.

AND THEN out of all that I somehow got the balls to open that Etsy shop. I did do a blog post about that.

OH YEAH! My house almost exploded too!!!! Holy shit that was scary. A gas line broke and flames were shooting up inside the wall of the living room. Had I been home ten minutes late KABOOM. And the animals were all inside too. Thank god I got home when I did. That would have killed me.

To top off the year I spent Christmas in Oregon with my brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew. He is doing so so good and I am so so proud of him. Even though we didn’t make it to the beach it was the best trip out there in forever. My last trip there was when Kaity died. There is a blog post about the clusterfuck that was her memorial. Good times.

This has been the best year I have had in way too fucking long. Man, in 2010 when that sham of a marriage exploded, it has seemed like one goddamn thing after another. It felt like a plane crashed in my front yard and there were dead bodies everywhere. Figuratively and literally. I had to put down most of my beloved animals one at a time. My dad died. My step mom died. My sister died. My brother almost died. And that’s just some of the bullshit. And we capped off 2017 with The Gran Debacle. So yeah, 2018 was the best year I’ve had in very close to a decade. I have gained more weight than I care to admit but I’ve also gained some new really awesome friends, and the old friends are even close. God that is SAPPY.

So, here it is New Years Eve and I’m doing the whole auld lang syne or whatthefuckever. I’m in my pajamas on the couch, with the black-eyed peas in the kitchen and surrounded by the animals. I am grateful to so many people who played parts in all my adventures this year, have seen me show my ass and still love me, kept me going and are my cheerleaders forever. Allison, Sara and Sarah, Liz, Skyler, Stacie, Amy, Tiffany, AnnaLisa and Jeana to name a few. Insert sappy, gloppy, gooey feelings shit here. It is authentic. I’m just not good at sharing it. Love y’all and I’m super glad you’ll be with me for #2019TheYearOfGreatThings, more #PeeYourPantsFun with required #TweetThatShit moments, #Gish experiments, travel and just plain awesome shit that makes us say #ThisIsMyLife. God I feel like that was so gross and sappy. But true.

Oh boy, I did something involving Fear.

Ok so jumping right on in here, I opened an Etsty shop. Big fucking deal, right? WRONG. Very Big Fucking Deal. To me anyway. And then I made an Instagram account for it. Whaaaat?!?! With pictures of me wearing my jewelry. Awkward pictures of me wearing my jewelry.

K, little background ….

So I graduated from college with a BA in Graphic Art. Not computer graphics, but 2D art, like painting and drawing and shit. But I am not good at that. I’m ok with water-color I guess and I like oil painting but am really bad at just plain drawing. If I spent more time working on it I bet ya I’d improve. And I do love dicking around with sketching and stuff. I love color – it’s what I love about painting. I love mixing and using color and I usually end up with something different that what I originally planned. That’s not what this is about though. When I had to take a 3D class and ceramics I went THIS IS WHAT I LOVE. I have always loved doing things like that, putting together weird creations with sticks and leaves, making crowns and shoes and belts and bags with the giant leaves off the ancient mulberry tree in the front yard. I would use paper and markers to make dresses and flip-flops and crowns (what kid doesn’t need a freaking crown and flip-flops?). I would play dress up with my grandmothers fancy gowns and use her jewelry to make (yup) crowns and belts and bras (I don’t know – it was before I got boobs so I was fascinated I guess). I pissed off my mom because I kept taking my music boxes apart to see how they worked. My record player too. Getting older I started doing those friendship pin things, with the weird plastic beads that have the three ball things and fit together and safety pins. Moved up to embroidery floss and knots for friendship bracelets and graduated to seed beads, big beads, glass beads, all beads for necklaces and earrings. In highschool if figured out I liked messing with fabrics, making clothes and bags and shit. I discovered ceramics too.

But college made it all come together for me. I learned basics and techniques. I learned what I really like and what I don’t. I learned what I’m good at and what I fucking suck at so bad. The top three, silversmithing, fiber arts and ceramics. I love those. And since then I’ve wanted to make and sell shit for a living. But fear, insecurity, self-doubt and then more self doubt, alcoholism, relationships, excuses, bills, fear, and ad infinitum kept me from doing anything.

So now, 18 years later, I am finally taking action. My skills are rusty and so is a lot of my equipment. I’ve had to replace some thing and get out a couple of old books. I’ve reconfigured the art room, added shelves and shit. Got my flex shaft set up, made a spreadsheet, and pulled together supplies and stuff I’ve made, started and never finished and ideas I never started. And then just opened the shop. I have a few things up and more to get pictures of to post. I’ve sold two things already!

I have to keep reminding me that it does not need to be perfect the first time. I need to keep telling me that it’s a process and takes a bit to get in the groove. I won’t have a trillion customers all at once and it’s totally ok if my inventory and skill grows slower than I want it to. What’s important is that I am taking the action.

So, there you have it.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SundryAdornments

https://www.instagram.com/making_awkward/

This is fucking terrifying. What if I fail? My stuff isn’t that good. People won’t like it. It’ll never sell. I suck. I will fail fail fail and people will laugh at me and the world will melt and burn and we will all die a horrible and painful bloody death.

That is what my head tells me.

But man, gonna do it anyway. If the planet explodes, I’m really sorry.

Drugs, Adventure and Murder

So back in the mid to late ’90s my husband (at the time, now ex, it’s all good) and I went to New Mexico A LOT. We got married on Sandia Crest, our honeymoon (summer of ’98) was two weeks in a small red, long bed, pick-up with an extra tall camper shell on the back, racing up and down mountain roads, thoroughly messed up, looking for the most out-of-the-way camping spots.
A couple of our fave places were Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte State Park. We camped in the park and along Elephant Butte lake many times over the years (95ish to 99). This happened to be the funtime and place for none other than David Parker Ray and his travelling Toy Box. He was a guy that liked to take his lady victims, hold them a few days, drug them, sexually torture in a obgyn chair he had fitted up especially for his pleasure. He had an rv he kitted out with all kinds of sadistic shit and he’d take them in there and ….. Some of the ladies, after being drugged with psychotropic drugs he let go. Rumor is that the other bodies he dumped in the lake, buried in his yard or left in the barren landscape somewhere. Oh, and he was a Satanist. His designation, not mine.
So it was our jam to get as wasted as humanly possible and still live while spending a few days in remote places no one knew we were in, and do the whole ‘primitive camping’ thing. Once, after one of these escapades, we were so bad off, I’m sure we needed a hospital, but instead I packed us all up (took me a good four hours I was so messed up), somehow got him, all the gear and the dog in the truck and just started driving. I had no idea where I was or where I had been or where I was going. Don’t know how long the drive was really, but it was at least a few hours, I do know that. After winding through unknown uninhabited areas, I finally came to a town, Truth or Consequences. Turns out we’d been camping either in or right near Elephant Butte State Park. Welp, we cleaned up and had a night or two on the shore of the lake, then moved on. We revisited several more times, our last trip the summer of ’99, but by then the bad guy was gone. He was caught in March of ’99 – so he was active each and every time we were there totally gorked out of our minds. I heard this on Casefile (a terrific true crime podcast with one hell of a narrator)  on one fairly recent show, that was in three parts. I was WHAT THE FUCK TAKES THREE PARTS. It is so unbelievable creepy to know I was there, and primed for easy pickins’.
I was able to give the ex the BIGGEST ‘I told you so’ ever. There really were dead bodies in the lake!
Thankfully he and his cohorts were caught and arrested. There are women’s bodies still unaccounted for, and authorities believe there are open missing women cases that could be attributed to him. Crazy shit has been going on like this since humanity began, I know. I am still surprised by the cruelty and depravity of some humans. It’s one of the things that hurts and sickens me about people. Not all people. There are more good people than bad, I tell myself and hope that I am right.
And that, my friends, is the story of the day. I have more to tell, like the time he got drunk and tried to call the cows in the area to the camp site, and they came. An entire herd of cows with at least one in heat. Good times.