Monday, August 27, 2007

Oops! I did it again...

Twisted my ankle wakeboarding, that is!

About a year ago, I twisted my ankle behind the boat when I went for a wake jump, landed badly, and my right foot came out of my binding, my left foot stayed in, and the board spun around with my foot still attached. I ended up doing physical therapy for a few weeks, and that took me out of doing any sports for about a month or so.

Well yesterday, I decided to try something new at TSR (the cable park). I had been hitting the booter kicker (curved ramp that throws you up in the air) a lot, trying backrolls (kind of like cartwheels in the air), and have had no problem trying them...landing is another issue...so yesterday, I got ballsy and decided to try a tantrum (backflip). My friend Devin told me to open my chest up/throw my head back. So I said..okay..I'll try it!...

Well, I tried it alright! I hit the kicker, and what felt like minutes...I was just staring at the sky..and that's all I saw...in slow motion, it felt like I was saying in my head, "ooooooohhhhh sssshhhhhiiiitttt!!! I'mmmm nooootttt roootaaaattttinnnggg" Then boom! I land in the water. It happens so fast, really, but you know that feeling that something's not going right. When I landed, my right foot flew out of my binding, and my left foot stayed, the board twisted around torquing my foot sideways and backwards. In the water, I instantly grabbed for the board to turn it the right way, loosened the laces, and took my foot out.

It hurt so badly at that moment that I was in a bit of shock and couldn't swim. I stayed floating for a few moments, then gathered my wits together and scurried to the shore like a dog with 3 legs. I got out of the water..it wasn't too bad. I walked on..discovered that it wasn't too bad. So I kept on riding. I couldn't give in so soon.

It didn't hit me until last night, when I had a slight swelling to my ankle. Then it was getting sore. Walking up the stairs was fine. Walking down the stairs...a true bitch!

I was hoping that I would wake up this morning and it would pass. But you know what they say...It gets worse before it gets better. Yup, I woke up hobbling a bit. At least I can still walk (somewhat). So I headed on to Walgreens and bought a brace and ace bandage.

Work today was pretty non-productive. Between trying to prop my foot up on a footstool under my workbench, keeping the ice on it, and hitting my forehead on my bench pin (ouch!) while adjusting the ice...it was quite an uncomfortable way to work. I did get some stuff done..I set a .32 ct round ruby in a 14kt gold ring, which I'm proud of. Stone setting is not my forte. But it was something I could sit at my bench and do -- usually I'm running all over the shop from one station to another...that wasn't happening today! Tomorrow, I'll task myself with setting an oval citrine and 2 teeny diamonds in a ring, so that'll keep me busy...

This evening, I came home, turned on the tele, and propped my foot up on the back of the couch, laid down, and watched tv. And as of now, the swelling..it was worse than it was this morning...



Hopefully I didn't do too much damage and it gets better (soon!). I don't want to do PT this time around since it's really expensive and takes a lot of time out of work. Instead, I think I'm going to opt for nursing my ankle back to strength by wakeskating when I am able to. It makes me work on my balance (we did that in PT), and I won't be strapped in so much less risk to hurting my ankle again.

But I'm not really bummed about it. I mean, I am, but at least I was doing something fun when I injured it. If say I tripped and fell..now then I would be pissed!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

If you can't buy the rich people out...

...plant (clumping) bamboo???

So we really searched hard into all the options we had to buying out the lot next door for a whoping $65k...and it was really impossible. Really, the impossible part was getting the funding in such a fast manner. We looked at loans for buying land, and they are short term -- 2-5 years, and require a high percentage down. That and our backend(?) ratio (Sean did the research) was to the point where we may or may not get approved, mostly because of our mortgage on our other house.

It's been a lesson to myself...it made me realize exactly how *little* I make. Seriously. I usually don't discuss pay, but since I'm on the subject...last year, I made significantly less than $20k. Pretty sad. I didn't really have a problem with it, until now when I'm actually trying to save, and it's going by so slowly. Such is the life of an artisan...labor of love? Luckily, Sean does well enough to keep us afloat!

A lot of things come to mind...and I am burnt out at work, for various reasons. I'm trying to hold out at work to after x-mas season. But we'll see. Today was my 3 year anniversary there. And I feel like I haven't actually created jewelry (really, designed jewelry) since I started. Polishing, sanding, and doing the blah boring dirty work gets old.

I think, once we're a little more settled, I'm going to try to start a small jewelry line. I need to get back into it. And see how it goes...

But I digress..back to the original topic. We thought of various ways to be annoying neighbors and things like that. Really, I am bitter because I wanted that land but Mr. Moneybanks got there first. Oh well, what can you do. We could be the weird quirky neighbors that no one wants to live by. Get some plates from Goodwill, throw them at each other in the backyard, and have mock yelling and cursing fights. Send our beagle out in the backyard whenever they're having an open house (she is a howler and won't shut up if someone is out there). And then send the other dogs, who may join in the barking, and start yelling at the dogs (gee, that's really annoying, right?). We'll have to be creative with that. Is it obvious that we don't want neighbors ;)

And of course, we've already thought of creative landscaping. Since our back deck is elevated, we see multiple lots over. We'll see all their business, and they'll see all of ours. We're thinking...clumping bamboo. I know I know, we've heard all about bamboo and bamboo haters. But desperation for *tall* walls...besides, clumping bamboo is the non-invasive kind. And I actually like bamboo. A renewable resource and great for crafting.

Just some ideas, but we're thinking of bamboo or trees on the sides of our fence (maybe both left and right sides since we'll have builders on both sides??), some creative shrubbery towards the front of the house. I'm thining xeriscaping something pretty, something flowery, and that attracts butterflies and/or hummingbirds.

We'll have to figure out our lot lines and see where our fence is in regards to the lot lines, and if we want to plant the bamboo inside our outside of our fence. I want to do vines up trellises along the fence next year.

Well, I guess we're not 100% set on bamboo. It's just an idea as something that grows tall and fast (it was the first thing to come to mind). We also want to check out some fast growing trees that may do the trick as well. It's a bad time to do any planting in the heat of the summer anyways, so it gives us time to think about what to do and survey the options...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Creative Spaces

Slowly, but surely, I'm getting the settled in the new house. A huge effort has gone into setting our home office up. Basically, our office consists of Sean's little corner; my drafting table, paper/supply storage, jewelry bench, computer table, and sewing table. The closet is full of crafting supplies.

At the old house, I had two rooms dedicated to my crafting/office, since I could not fit it all in one room. It is nice and convenient to have it all in one place (except for the fact that my fabric stash is downstairs in our master bedroom closet...more exercise!).

What I love the most is the view. There are 3 windows in the office. Two are where I put my drafting table -- a great thing for inspiration. It's a beautiful view -- trees, the street beyond the trees, and the next hill over (we can see cars on 620, about 2 miles away).



View from my drafting table


Sunsets and lightning storms are the best to watch. I can't actually see the sun set from my window since it is north facing, but I can see the sky light up orange, pink, and purple. We can see the storms (which there have been waaaay too many of lately!) roll in, lighting a few miles away.

Now back to the office...I have been steadily unpacking boxes and filling shelves and cabinets. I want to get my jewelry bench and sewing table back in order. I feel that I am in dire need of inspiration and creativity. Work has drained me since I have no creativity there....there are only so many ring sizings you can do before you get really bored...I haven't created jewelry of my own in so long. Years, actually. It has taken its toll. And I need to create again...soon...

Earlier in the week, I had started to cut out pictures of jewelry pieces that I liked. I wanted to make a bulletin board. Two nights ago, I had cut out more pictures. And I desperately wanted a bulletin board for my inspiration, to be hung above my bench. An idea popped into my head...I went downstairs to our garage, picked up a canvas covered with fabric (it was decoration at the old house), got some nails, then headed back upstairs.

I flipped the canvas to the backside, then marked about every 1/2 inch down the short sides. I took my nails and hammered the marks. Sean was playing World of Warcraft and chatting on the microphone. I'm sure I annoyed the hell out of him...but he knows that I do have loud hobbies...the price we pay for sharing an office. I found some cheap yarn in my stash, tied one end to one nail, and proceeded to string from nail to nail, going over the front of the canvas -- creating somewhat parallel lines of yarn across the canvas. It worked out great. Cheap..heck, a free project, and so functional!

My creative spaces are coming along very well...at least my drafting/drawing/jewelry areas, that is. Here's the progress as of today...



Jewelry bench, paper and supply storage, drafting table


Jewelry bench with homemade bulletin board


We ended up going to Ikea this morning and bought some more organizational things. I got a short Billy to put next to one of the big ones behind my computer table. And stocked up on photo boxes and magazine boxes as well. We also went to the old house and took the Ikea Lack wall shelves out to use in our office as well. If you couldn't tell already, our office is extremely Ikea-ized!