The fall

Friday night was going rough.

The booth setup was coming apart as I was trying to get it loaded… I wasn’t getting much help from kiddo… and stupid distractions kept taking up time and making things later and later.

I’d planned to be in bed by about 9, to be up by 4, to be there by 530.

About 10:30, I had just gotten out of the shower, and went across the living room in a towel to close the curtains that had been left open.

And on the way across the room, I fell.

Hard.

Damp feet on hardwood floor, again.

My knee went weird directions… but didn’t go out of place… but, although there was no sharp pain, it was very sore, had three small areas of bruising, and a ring of swelling below it.

But I could hobble to my bed.. so I wasn’t too worried…

Until about 5 minutes later, when I realized I had stabbing pain whenever I twisted my back or tried to sit up.

And it just got worse as a few more minutes passed.

So, I ended up spending from 11:30 until 5 am in the emergency room.

Nothing broken… so they think that the back is just a pulled muscle.

Pain killers and muscle relaxers… it’s still sore today (Wednesday), but nothing too extreme.

Knee also sore still, but I don’t think anything serious is messed up.

But, needless to say, leaving the ER barely hobbling at 5am, I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market by 530 this week either.

So, I’m feeling seriously discouraged right now.

I enjoy making the items… I know that there’s been interest in purchasing them…

But the whole sales process is really being an uphill battle, before things even get to involving any customers.

I have about 3 weeks until the next round, which should be giving me lots of time to be getting things fixed with the booth setup, get things tweaked, and get more inventory ready…

But I just haven’t even felt like looking at it this week.

The stool

This…. is the stool of assisted confidence.

It may not look like much…. but there’s a story.

The market runs for 5 hours.

I knew that with my knee, even with my brace on, standing for 5 hours wasn’t going to be likely to go well, if it was possible at all.

But, at the same time, plopping into a lawn chair wasn’t likely to go well for looking like I actually want business, especially with our open booth design.

And, a chair would be low, needing a lot of pressure on the knee with repeatedly getting up and down.

The barstools I looked at were just the opposite… they would require repeatedly boosting up.

Plus, my fat butt would take a toll of some of the cheaper ones that didn’t look too stable.

So, I was looking online pretty intensively one morning… and getting priced out of reasonable quickly on anything even close to what I needed.

And I was getting worried about it.

Could I even pulls this off if I wanted to?

And then, that very afternoon, there it was.

In the grocery store, of all places!

Just randomly added to the outdoor BBQ stuff like coolers and picnic items… not even put away on a shelf but just sitting in a stack in the middle of the aisle beside the shelf… was a small pile of these stools.

Never seen any other stools of any sort here… or even lawnchairs in this area… but here they were now, just a sort of a completely random addition to the store’s summer items.

Perfect butt height to be able to slide on and off with no knee stress.

Solid, durable metal.. no breaking worries.

Even has a build in handle for making it easy to transport back and forth to the booth.

And pretty, to boot!

I picked it up before I even knew the price… because there wasn’t actually even a sign around for them…. but it was exactly what I needed so much that at the moment, it didn’t even matter.

25 bucks.

Less than just about everything I’d been looking at… most of them by far… and pretty much perfectly in what I could reasonably afford.

A few days later, Boo claimed a matching one in light blue.

A random need makes me worry on it being a threat to the whole thing…. and then, suddenly and randomly, is perfectly resolved.

The stool is far from the only example… but its one of the cleanest…

And so, I’m trying to keep reminding myself to focus on this…

As I’m freaking out a bit.. and trying to take deep breathes…

Dog’s Day

So.. I’ve vented about Mother’s Day on here repeatedly… on the feelings from being a mother and yet not being counted as one on mother’s day not from lack of a child but of lack of any real support that cares.

Well, this year, having the day be all about my mother, to the exclusion of any other mothers, wasn’t quite enough…

This year, it was announced that instead of doing Mother’s Day dinner for my mom, we would instead be having a birthday party for her dog.

Yes, a day honoring the mother-child relationship was instead replaced with a celebration of her dog.

Only my family…

But to really realize the slap, you have to realize that I hate these dogs.

I do not hate dogs in general… but yes, I ABSOLUTELY HATE POORLY BEHAVED COMPLETELY UNDISCIPLINED DOGS.

It’s not even spoiled dogs… some of the most spoiled dogs are also some of the best behaved, especially the ones you see in public.

It’s dogs that the owners have never bothered to attempt to train to do anything other than potty outside (ok, and sometimes even that)

And my mother’s dogs are basically the poster children for that lack of training or any expectation of appropriate behavior.

In spite of now being over 2 years old, the response to everything they do is "they are just puppies, they don’t know any better", rather than teaching them better.

They essentially destroy whatever they can reach (Including rugs and new carpeting and furniture).

If you try and eat, they will bark and bark until my mom gives them food from her plate. If you point out that this is just teaching them that if they bark constantly during mealtimes they will be rewarded with what they want, she will just snap back that giving them food makes them stop barking so she can eat.

Which doesn’t happen. And, one in particular barks constantly anyway, at every passing breeze… which my mother will tell you is a good thing because then you know to go check that it might be something that needed warned about by a guard dog. (Even if 400+ times a day it isn’t.)

They jump and scratch all over people… with uncut claws because trimming their claws supposedly upsets them too much… and if you do anything to push them back or defend yourself, she tells you not to be mean to them when they are just happy to see you.

They jump on tables and counters to grab things to chew up, and its always the human’s fault for having left something like a phone or remote on a kitchen counter knowing that they can jump, rather than the dog’s fault. There pretty much is no safe zone for setting anything down in the house.

Let alone any room for accidents. My wallet falls out of my too loose pockets while I was sitting at the kitchen table? Gone. I fall asleep on the couch one night waiting and my glasses slide off my nose? Gone.

But it doesn’t even have to be loose… I’ve had to set boundaries repeatedly with the dogs chewing on shoes themselves (not just the laces) and damaging them while they were still on my feet.

I got told that I should just take them off and put them in a closet when I come inside when I complained that I didn’t have the budget to be replacing $100 shoes from dog damage… and so, I got up and left. If walking in the door is going to be considered permission for my shoes/pants to be turned into expensive dog toys without even being allowed to tell them no or force them to stop, then that’s going to be the end of my visit.

Which of course always gets treated like I’m being stupid about it… rather than making any attempt to get the dogs to stop… or rather than admitting that other family friends have stopped visiting entirely because of the dogs being rough with their children so there might be a problem.

But then, that’s assuming that you can even sit down.

Often, the dogs are spread out all over the couch, but their pillows and blankets are spread all over the love seat and chair.. but if you move the blankets, the dogs will them get upset and you’ll be told "they live here" if you expect to be able to have a seat in the living room in spite of the dogs’ possessions.

Because, you see, she’d convinced that since she read somewhere on her facebook groups that boston terriers sometimes have to be covered up to go to sleep, the dogs are trained that they have to sleep on a pillow with a blanket covering them. They will literally bark at my mom when they are tired until she makes a bed for them.

But then, that’s assuming you can even get in the door. The gates now have to be kept locked because someone might steal the dogs… in spite of the fact that nobody ever messed with any of our other dogs in the exact same yard. But with the gates locked, if the front door is locked (It frequently is, even when she’s home, for the same reason) you can’t even get to the back door to use the key unless you jump the gates or have a garage door opener (My brother does, I don’t.)

Even though she has a dog door, it has to be kept closed instead of letting them come and go, because she has to go outside with them to watch them to make sure that these 35 lb dogs don’t get taken by a hawk (That nobody has ever seen in the area… that her cat is apparently open game for… that has never touched my brothers previous small dog…) again, due to experiences of facebook group members.

But these dogs do actually need watched, because they will pick up things like pieces of plastic and roofing nails and anything else they can find and try to chew on them… because my mother will then trade them a handful of treats to give it to her.

None of our previous dogs have ever bothered with picking up things like roofing nails from the yard. None. Why would a dog have any interest at all in such a thing?

But these dogs might eat them and die. They go to the vet if they so much as appear to have a tummy ache for a single day… but the yard and house has to be kept tighter than you would for a crawling baby because they might die otherwise.

This also means they can’t be left home alone on their own for very long without someone there to let them out, because they haven’t been crate trained or trained to wait either.

You can point out that other people are able to leave their dogs of this same breed for long enough to go to work each and every day, and it just doesn’t matter… hers just aren’t capable to her, and thus must be catered to.

So rather than take the effort it takes for a brief period to train them appropriate behavior, these dogs end up taking almost as much effort as a young child every single day… a nice substitute for any human interaction I guess.

And so… it’s under this environment that mother’s day was cancelled in favor of the dog’s birthday.

I actually shouldn’t have been surprised. For that matter, the mother’s day pillow that my daughter and I gave my mom a few years ago had long since been gifted to one of the dogs as a chew toy.

But it didn’t stop with just that declaration.

Because then I got told that because I’m so mean to the dogs (expecting them to at least somewhat be expected to behave, or I simply leave and let her have her choice to make to attempt to correct them while I make my own not to be terrorized by them)…

That the dogs didn’t know if I should be allowed to attend.

I ignored it the first time.

The second time, I was informed that I was going to have to make it up to them for being so mean to them to get to come.

Uh, yeah.. no.

Nope.

Not even going there on playing games with required bribes.

Especially after the day before… I wasn’t even in the mood to deal with that sort of stupidity.

And so I didn’t even go.

Didn’t even see my mom on mother’s day, and while I sent my gift with my daughter, I seriously debated not even doing that since she’d decided the dogs were more important to celebrate.

The unfortunate side that I didn’t think ahead to predict was that my daughter wanted to be down with the action, and so I barely saw my own kid that day.

And, of course, the dog’s birthday will likely fall the same weekend as mother’s day every year, so this is likely to become a repeated thing.

Sigh.

I’m thinking I need to schedule myself a nice out of town getaway to just about anywhere for next year.

The pieces

Today has been one seriously rough day.

The morning chaos started with kiddo refusing to get up… And ended with my decision that I wasn’t prepared to do the booth completely alone (particularly physically setting up), and deciding to cancel for today.

Actually, it probably technically stayed with the fact that I barely slept at all and was already about an inch from a nervous meltdown even before the battle started.

So… Things sort of fell to pieces.

Tears were shed… An extremely alone in the world feeling pity party was held…

Let’s just say the mood for the day was extremely lousy, and some stupid family drama coming in on top just made things worse.

The plan right now is to regroup and try again next week instead of waiting until the next date we had scheduled next month. I think it’s going to work out better, and hopefully give us both a chance to feel better prepared and less in over our heads.

It also gives me a chance to look into wheels/wagon for aiding in set up, and figure out my best strategy to go it alone.

But I really don’t want to.

But, like many things… I’m thinking it may come down to a question of whether I’d prefer to go it alone, or just prefer to give up… Because those may be the only two real options.

Sometimes, like today, it sort of feels like life in general only gives those two options.

But, when it comes down to it… I’m reminded of one of the things I’d read regarding abandonment… That pointed out that if they were capable of abandoning you, you were always really alone and doing it on your own anyways but without realizing you were.

While it meant in the direction of k, and does apply there… I think it applies just as much to the friends lost in the process.

Like outgrown training wheels, they appeared to be there, but only because I didn’t really need to put any weight on them. But if they weren’t able to take any weight when they were actually tested, then they weren’t actually being used previously anyway beyond just the mental boost of thinking they were there.

I’m going to bed now… And hoping that doing so just sort of erases this day completely.

Whimsicality and fear

In the nervousness and feeling unprepared for tomorrow… there’s a lot of me that sort of wants to bail. To just back out, and call it a silly goal.

Let’s face it… it is a silly goal on a silly idea…

But silly does not always equal bad.

I’m preferring to go with the term "whimsical" right now.

A silly intentionally designed to be playful.

My self-designed logo, for example.

Whether that decision is from just my own quirkiness, or from a fear of rejection being greater if I tried to be taken seriously and been laughed at as silly is a question that I can’t really answer just yet.

Are these going to be taken legitimately as neat rotating diamonds? Or just cheap kid’s art projects?

But…

I know that my kiddo is feeling the pressure of this as well.

She’s been involved a lot with the painting, and will be involved with the actual booth operations… so she does have connection riding on this as well.

Right now, my biggest wonder is if things are really good enough to sell… not just to someone who is a friend of a family member… but to the general public.

Neat and brightly colorful spinners that rotate between stars, diamonds, and boxes (this is one of few shots in which I’ve managed to catch all three perspectives of them at once, even if the orange box isn’t quite aligned yet) … or just dorky PVC pipe and spray paint?

I can’t tell if the concern is a legitimate worry, or just a spell of perfectionism trying to back me out of trying.

The wood spirals in particular are getting to me… because they are a complete bear to paint without anything dripping and edges getting onto the edge of other colors.

And some of them, black especially or anything involving white, are really hard to fix any mistakes without just completely sanding the area and repainting… because even several coats doesn’t cover over the flaw well.

For example:

Crisp lines, also kind of rough when it’s a surface that’s both curved and in steps…

It looks good from across the yard… which is how these will likely be seen in someone’s yard.

But… will the flaws being so much more obvious up close prevent them from purchasing to get it there? Will they think that it just looks like it was painted by a kid, even if I was the one who did that one?

I’m hoping maybe they might buy out of pity anyway… in support of the token kid involved. Sort of the lemonade stand theory.

It’s a weird mix of knowing how much work went into some of this stuff… being proud of the outcome… and yet still being terrified that it sucks to everyone else.

Kiddo asked me the other night as we stood on the porch "Are we going to try and touch some of these ones up and sell them this round? No… probably not…"

On the same group of items that she’d loved how they looked the day before, and that we’d had a neighbor ask about buying one when we’d hung them out to dry.

And I knew the exact feeling.

This group, actually.

(See the drip on the yellow under the third black stripe?)

And will the PVC versions that spin slower even be taken seriously as anything but a cheater version of the wood ones?

Right now… my confidence is a bit shaken.

But, well…. I guess that it is what it is.

We’re going with it anyway, and hoping for the best.

But, I’m seriously nervous about this.

Tomorrow

So… tomorrow is the big day.

It’s our first day having a booth as a crafter at the farm/art market.. on their opening day of the year.

We’re starting off with just once a month right now, but I have dates marked to set up for an additional round each month if things go smoothly and we can keep both business and inventory high enough to pull it off.

So I signed up for the first weekend for this month, because it made sense to be there on the day most likely to have the largest attendance. Obvious choice.

I completely did not realize at the time that I was signing up for the day before mother’s day.

Which, actually ought to help sales… maybe sell some items as gifts.

But… it’s also exactly 2 years now since the K breakup.. on the day before mother’s day.

For the record, it seems like an eternity ago.

Had I realized it, I don’t know if I would have scheduled it that way for fear of it being a day where there might be a resurgence of emotions a bit… not so much over him as much as over the dreams of what I’d hoped life would be by now that don’t seem any closer to likelihood now than they did when things ended.

But, it’s probably a good thing.

It will keep me busy (seriously busy), but, it also makes for nice symbolism to have a big start of something new on an anniversary of the traumatic end of something old.

And, well, that sort of thing like the symbolism happening by seeming accident has been well represented through this process…. so, I don’t have any doubts of it being by chance.

Sometimes it’s the little things like that, that help with confidence when I’m feeling a bit shaky on the whole idea.

The more things change….

Waiting is killing me.

Tomorrow is a week until the market opens, and still waiting on final word on if we got accepted.

I left a message this afternoon… And didn’t get a call back.

But, there’s a new like on the business Facebook page from someone listed as working for the market.

Maybe that’s a good sign? Especially when I didn’t give them the page link on the paperwork, so they found it themselves.

Or maybe they were liking it to see if it would show anything more, or the watch and see if we posted any better products?

It’s driving me crazier.

But it’s scary and frustrating beyond just the waiting… Because I know that it comes down to this. Someone’s opinion.

And that’s really all that matters between things going down the path that’s been hoped, and having to regroup and decide what’s happening next of the lesser positive options.

If whoever is making the decisions (maybe it’s just this single person) doesn’t like porch decorations and thinks they are tacky… Then all of my efforts and expenses are worth less than just this one person’s feelings.

And I hate this position.

Because it feels like a million other times.

The story of my life sometimes seems to be that no matter how hard I work towards something and how much effort I give… It’s ultimately beyond my control whether or not it fails.

That’s not what it’s supposed to be. The story we all get told is that if you work your butt off and give it your all, your efforts will be rewarded.

Most of you (ok, who I doubt are still reading, but who might read this anyway) already know some of my major examples of that idea failing me repeatedly in the past few years, so I’ll spare the rehashing.

Maybe that’s just a story we get told to keep us working hard, like the Santa story gets used to influence children’s behavior.

I really don’t know anymore.

I know that I’ve given it the best I could do with the circumstances at the moment. Yeah, in an ideal world, there would be lots of social media stuff built up and tons of pics and lots of likes.. But right now, between kid stuff, work stuff, job search stuff, and working on actually making the items… It is what it is.

I just know that fact doesn’t make much difference in the outcomes.

I know God has control of all, and has plans, and all of that. All things supposedly work together…

It just really frustrates me how little difference my best efforts make sometimes.