My Dear Vagabond Friend

tom-7

Vagabond

Definition

  • 1: moving from place to place without a fixed home : wandering

I loved you dear friend. You were like a brother to me. A very good brother. I will miss you so very much.

I called my friend about a week and a half ago to let him know that all of the efforts he had put in to restoring my computer had succeeded. He was always doing something to help me, just like a good brother would.

We came to know each other 13 years ago now, when I first moved here from California to be near my sister. She was working at the Horseshoe Cafe at the time and he would come in to eat there and ‘pester’ her on a regular basis. They had become friends as time went on. She had an older man friend whom she took care of and my vagabond friend, Tom, became friends with him as well. My sister let Tom know that I was intending to come to live nearby and assured him that he and I would have a great deal more in common than they did.

It was likely the next day after I arrived that he showed up at the older gentleman’s house, where I would be staying for about a month until I found the house I am still living in 13 years later. Tom and I indeed did hit it off in the sense that we enjoyed talking about subjects that my sister felt boring or too in depth; but the friendship would evolve over time.

It just so happened that the house I found was just down a little hill from where Tom had been living for a year before I got here. I didn’t know it at the time as I only knew Tom as much as to meet him initially upon arriving. It would soon be though, that if a holiday or birthday occurred, we would all get together like a family. I can’t even really remember how our friendship evolved other than that because of my sister, her older friend and Tom having already become a little family of sorts, we all ended up being together regularly.

I’m sure, initially, Tom and I may have looked at each other with possible romantic thought; but, you know, it really never manifest that way. It just wasn’t there. We appreciated each others intellect I think and that just superseded everything else. Friendship was simply much more attractive.

People say, men and women cannot begin and remain platonic; but I’m here to tell you that they can indeed.

Tom passed away suddenly, while traveling, on January 17, 2017. He was only 68 years old. As I said at the beginning, I had called him to let him know about my computer because I knew he wanted to know. He sounded sleepy. It was mid afternoon, about 3 or so and I asked him if he was sleeping when I called. “No”, he said, “I ate something that didn’t agree with me. Can I call you back?”

I didn’t bother him that day and may even have let another day go by before trying again. I did have a troubled feeling; but it wasn’t odd for him to behave that way, not call me right back. When I did try to call again, his phone went immediately to a recording, which was, indeed very strange. That had never occurred before; but it wasn’t unlike him to get mad about a phone service, get a replacement phone and take awhile to let me know. Something kept gnawing at me, none the less. I kept trying to call, even asked a friend to try to see if it was something about my phone. Same thing. So, I sent him an email on the 12th asking him to please let me know that he was okay. I kept trying to reach him by phone, but the same thing continued until the 17th when a police officer called me, “Do you know Thomas Fitzgerald?” Dread immediately overtook me. He asked several qualifying questions, like “How do you know him? Does he have any family? When did you last speak to him.” Then he asked me if I was sitting down and delivered the bad news.

I call Tom, lovingly, my vagabond friend because about a year or so ago, he gave up living in his house up the hill from me and started wandering, looking for a new place to settle. This trip, he was on his way to Oregon, where he had a male friend of many years whom he visited at least annually. He loved Oregon, had lived there before and was thinking he might like to live there again.

The coroner’s office said that it was likely a heart attack.

The sad thing about it all is that I am realizing that as much as I knew Tom, I really hardly knew him. But that was how he wanted it and I respected his desires.

I was the only number in his cell phone. I know he had a sister but I don’t even know her name or where she lives. They were estranged. I have no legal rights to anything to do with him, so there is nothing I can do to help.

I truly believe that this is how Tom wanted it. Even now, if he could, he would be saying, “Sarah, now you don’t need to be telling anyone about this, okay?”

I can’t not tell anyone. He needs and deserves some kind of memorial. I want this post to be that for him and I will share it with the friends I have that knew him, and anyone who wants to can comment about their experience with him.

My old pastor called today to offer his condolences and I mentioned things that stand out about Tom. Here are those and many more.

He was a gentle man and a gentleman.

He never held a grudge with me and was terribly tolerant of my own personality quirks.

We fought over what movie to watch. I said he was staid; he liked old, old things that bored me to tears. Black and white mainly. Obscure things, (It was ALWAYS about the music within the story). He would put on WC Fields on his computer and sit there and laugh his head off. I would retire to the kitchen, just shaking my head and proceed to do the dishes. He hated what I liked.

He loved what I would call classical music, he called it simply music and anything else was not music. He was truly a musical genius, had studied it, played saxophone (never for me) and downloaded constantly; delighted with the 2000 plus collection he had on his several hard drives, (which he purchased for the express service of downloading music). He visited libraries everywhere he went to see what selections they had. He made CD’s for me that I never listened to and would find them in my glove compartment with delight in remembering that he had remembered to give me a copy of that particular performance and then would go into the history and it’s value and on and on and I would look at him with a weird look and say, “Okay, okay, maybe someday I’ll listen to it.”

I think I may listen to them now to find him in them somehow.

He was in the main street parade at Disneyland for a time long ago. He loved Maria Callas. Loved, loved loved Maria. Did I say he loved Maria?

He could work any technical appliance and was great with cars. He regularly worried about my car, cleaned the tires to make them look nice with his special tire cleaning stuff. He changed my oil and was constantly after me to change it again because there was a better oil he had discovered.

We talked about anything and everything and laughed a lot. It was very easy to make him laugh.

He was kind.

He liked to talk to people. Everywhere we went, I would be miles ahead of him, finished with my trek around while he was still visiting with the first person he had captured. We went all over together on day trips and had great times, laughing, talking and laughing some more.

Sitting here, I’m remembering what seems like a lifetime of memories. We really did have a lot of fun together. And we helped each other a lot. We don’t always get the family we want but we can always pick who we want to be like family.

Tom was my family.

Yes, I will miss him so very much.

tom-2

One year we took a trek to Willcox, about 40 miles East of Benson to have Christmas dinner at a greasy spoon there. He picked up papers everywhere he went. He was always reading. tom-11

When I complained that all he had was brown and yellow food and no veggies, he revisited the bar to add some color.

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Below was my plates.

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He went back and got some salad stuffs. It just made me cry to see the check-out ticket in his pocket. He was such a nice man.

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He had his van stocked so neatly with his travel gear. When he was in town he always came to visit.

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Below: He had corralled me to drive with him to Tucson so that we could pick up his van that had been repaired. He treated me to lunch while there. On the way back, we had to stop to put coolant/water into the radiator of his car as it was leaking. He got that fixed and that was what he was traveling in most recently. His van is still here in town. I can see the little Jack In The Box antenna toy sticking up over the fence. He loved toys. Was always showing up with some animated thing or a stuffed critter for the kitties.

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Here he was changing my oil and while at it, replacing the plug that someone had put in so tight he barely got it off.

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New oil plug.

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He decorated his cupola with an angel candle holder. He changed it out on whims of fancy. Once it was a dinosaur toy that he painted up, Godzilla I think he was trying to make it.

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He saw me at my worst and never criticized me. He didn’t care one iota if I had make-up on or not; but if I was dressed up nicely, he never failed to compliment me.

I wish I’d hugged him more.

So many more memories, but this is enough to give you the gist of who he was, at least to me.

He took a trip sometime back, up the coast of California and took lots of video images of things he was witnessing as he drove and walked at different spots of interest. He showed it all to me on his computer. I wish I could get his video recorder now because it would be his voice and thoughts to reminisce with.

I shall just have to work hard to keep it in my mind.

Please feel free to comment any stories you may have or sentiments you might want to share.

I want this to be a memorial to my Dear Vagabond Friend, Thomas Francis Fitzgerald.

RIP You very nice man. You deserve a rest.

tom-8

This is the latest music he sent me from his YouTube account on Dec. 26, 2016, just before the New Year. It had this prelude to me; I wasn’t always able to fully comprehend the inferences:

“This music UTV from the  Internet is being sent to YOU my pet , not from a silly mouse but from a frail human , as if you hadn’t guessed. My non de plumb is ever ready to answer, in writing, your most ardent requests, and I hope to always keep our friendship alive and never have  it freeze. My mind, on the other hand, can get too often numb these days and  I resolve  to find ways to keep the glacier and fog  away from it . Being born in August is such a deceitful thing to do, and Obama has made me see it  CINDY !  Yes, you see in just a few days I can say I have lived another year when really I still have over 230 days to go. Finding good champagne is such a bore but now I don’t even  have to go ! Happy, Happy, Happy .( I know NOW you are one in a million . Thank You .  I hope to pull off your lotto winners and all I want is the numbers. You will get the proceeds and you won’t have to  rep  it either ! ) ”

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The Star Client

Star Client

Ms. SpoolTeacher posted an ad for her Peripatetic Design services on Craigslist recently and had no idea what would come of it.

Would you like a new look without purchasing new things? It’s amazing what can be done by rearranging things you already own for a completely new, fresh look. Just need more organization? That too. Is clutter an issue? No need to throw things away (recycle) unless you want to. There is always a way to make a lot of stuff look better. Groupings, consolidation of like items will minimize the impact and can create a museum quality. $35 p/hr plus mileage trip fee to and from your home from Benson, AZ. Skilled, professional, life-long designer/decorator with great color sensibilities and exceptional organizational skills. No implements required, we’ll use what you have.

This she could do 24/7. She loves, loves, loves to deal with the details of “things”.

true freedom

Lone Mountain Collage, San Francisco, CA

Her first real job after returning from a little summer scholarship at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, (right after graduating from high school), was as a “store decorator” at Levitz Furniture. She was only 18, and very intimidated by the others who seemed so confident of their design skills. Her duties were to daily make rounds of all the aisles and replace any items that had been sold out of the vignettes.

The store had a wonderful stock room full of accessories and that was her domain and resource center.

Looking back now she can see how, even then, she enjoyed focusing on the smallest of details. For some reason, it soothed her anxieties.

She could often be found rearranging the contents of a china cabinet to get all of the elements just right. She also loved to clean the stockroom and reorganize it.

When Ms. SpoolTeacher asked Star Client how she found her ad, Star Client explained that one day she was placing accessories and she had her husband hang a collection of stars above her cabinets in the kitchen. After which, she plopped down on her sofa and felt exasperated. She had had enough. She was feeling overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” that she had kept as her most favorite of things that were the result of her downsizing event some time before.

She didn’t want to get rid of a thing, but she had had enough.

Very often, it is just an objective perspective that is needed to reignite the passion to complete the task.

Star Client asked her husband to, “Please get on Craigslist and find a decorator”.

When she rolled across Ms. SpoolTeachers ad, Star Client told Ms. ST that “That was it.” The words of the ad expressed exactly what she wanted.

The email from Star Client to Ms. SpoolTeacher said, “I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better.”

Star Client and Ms. SpoolTeacher had a wonderful time working as a team, going through her treasures and finding their new homes.

If Ms. SpoolTeacher had put an ad for a perfect client, Star Client would have matched the contents to a T.

The minute Ms. ST arrived, Star Client took her on a “tour” and they dug right in. Ms. ST looses herself easily, and they had finished the first room before she thought to take “before” pictures and got so busy in the end taking the ones she did, that she forgot two rooms! Oh well.

Here are the results of their team effort in the main areas. They pretty much touched and moved just about every accessory and numerous furniture items, except of course, the stars!

I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better.

They only took one little break and back at it again, the pups wandering in and out and around their feet. Mostly they just laid around and snoozed.

Mostly they just laid around and snoozed.

This time when Star Client plopped herself down on her sofa, she said, “Whose house is this? Much better!”

"Whose house is this?"

“Whose house is this?”

The thing about it is, it looked very nice before. And she had lovely things to work with.

Ms. SpoolTeacher says that this is The Star Client you always hope you will get the chance to work with.

What a fun day!

Imagine

Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

“Imagine you are being born and society tells you ‘Welcome, you will be cared for, and asks you what you want to do with your life, what is your calling? Imagine that feeling, that’s a whole different atmosphere “ – Daniel Straub, Co-founder, Basic Income Initiative

Switzerland may start paying every adult (whether they work or not) a salary of over $2000 per month, based on the idea that their citizens will have more time to devote to things they are intrinsically interested in, instead of spending the majority of their time worrying about how they are going to survive, as many individuals with entry level positions find it hard to meet their needs. The income initiative promises every Swiss citizen a living wage , so they can always survive without basic financial worry.

Read the article here to consider pros and cons.

Ms. SpoolTeacher has always thought that as citizens, we own the commons. That means that the resources in the ground, air, water, nature, etc. belong to the people who inhabit the land.

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

She doesn’t believe that Corporations own them. She knows that it takes capital, small “c”, to make these resources viable for the citizens and that those engaged in making that happen deserve a “living wage” and their expenses paid for doing it.

Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States

“Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States”. Click picture to read the post by Steve Lovelace

She believes that any investment in research and development is an expense and should be funded by “the commons” who will benefit by the progress. If the commons won’t be benefited, it shouldn’t be being done. Period. If it does harm to the commons, it shouldn’t be being done. Period.

She doesn’t believe that those managing resources as profit making Capitalists should recover money for the investments that “the commons” provided initially; i.e., monies our government has already funded for research and development that is done before profit making Capitalist do what they do. You know, like all the work our government did to bring the internet into viability for Silicon Valley to further improve and develop. And that those same profit making Capitalists owe the commons a portion of the wealth they extract from the commons. It is, after all, our resources that they are given the privilege of “harvesting”.

The whole world is askew. There seem to be two basic camps of thinking…

Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post

two camps of thinking image courtesy of Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post (about food)

Will the chocolate cake be put to the Right use on the Left, or will the Right leave the Left with no chocolate cake at all? The cupcake is pink, so it must be of no use at all or maybe, just maybe Left on it’s own, the pink cupcake has all the Right ingredients after all. Right or Left, Left or Right? Maybe we should be thinking Pink?

Ms. SpoolTeacher believes with her whole heart that all new parents want the best possible for their babies. They don’t want their babies to spend their lives worrying in excess or unnecessarily. The right kind of stress is a good thing. Being in a chronic state of stress with survival worry is not.

They want their children to be free to grow into the beings God intends for them to be.

Well, the most important thing is that we all have food. So let’s quit worrying about all that other stuff and get out there and at least 1% of us plant some food.

White House garden

White House garden: Image courtesy of One Green Generation. (click image to read post at http://1greengeneration.elementsintime.com/?p=982 )

This looks like a pretty good plan, don't you think?

This looks like a pretty good plan, don’t you think?

And live a little more simply, and want a little less in material goods, and start wanting more for each other?

Are you planting this year? Are you helping someone else plant? Are you buying from someone who grows in your community?

That’s where imagining a better future starts. At least Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks it is.

Imagine. Just imagine.

Working From Home

I Sell On Etsy

Working from home. Type those words in your browser and what you get is a bunch of gimmicky ideas for how to “Get Rich Quick” or “Girls Wanted” kinds of things.

Type in Etsy.com and a whole ‘nother story arises. Amazing evidences of wonderful success stories of people who have had an idea and found a niche within which to market it; and who are finding great success doing so and mostly all from the safety, comfort and very cost effective usefulness of their own homes.
Working from homeMs. Spool Teacher is trying to find that one thing that will work for her to do the same, work from home and have success. Success to Ms. ST will be a living wage. As it is now, she does work from home. Yes she does. She uses the moniker of Ms. Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher because at present, she is willing to do whatever her talents and skills give her the ability to market so she can at least keep her head above water long enough while she is Finding That One Thing that will be her turning point..

Ms. SpoolTeacher has a childhood friend who has managed to find her one thing and is working from home, mind you, doing what she loves, loves, loves…she is an ornamental horticulturist and worked long and steady in the business of selling on the road for nurseries. When she finally decided she wanted independence, she barely looked back. She has worked extremely hard to get to where she is now. She’s made it look easy; but Ms. ST knows for a fact that she works relentlessly and with great skill and acumen, and does not waste a minute and that it was not an overnight success. She has tried many roads to get to where she is now.

Succulent Heart Wreath 13 inch diameter

She makes the most beautiful succulent creations, markets and sells them at her shop, Succulent Salon, on Etsy.

She also sells cuttings for people to make their own creations.

Ms. SpoolTeacher really admires her in complete and tries to follow her advice and example.

Ms. ST’s passion is sewing, so of course, the succulent thing would not do for her, though she has a minor collection of them that Friend-in-CA has sent and she treats them like babies bringing them in and out daily because they aren’t hardy in the harsh desert winter night freezes. She loves them. Lately Friend-in-CA sent her a box of clothes she thought Ms. ST could use to up-cycle and sitting there on the top was a little ray of sunshine from California to brighten up her winter months of doldrums.

succulent salon, ray of sunshine from CA

It looked like a sunburst and Ms. ST quickly went out to get some cactus potting soil and put it in a pot almost the same color as itself.succulent salon, ray of sunshine from CA

One of the vendors that Ms. SpoolTeacher follows on Etsy is AllThingsPretty by Debra Dorgan. She thinks this girl has it together and loves the creations she comes up with using all kinds of found resources. It isn’t often that she “favorites” shops that are so global because she really wants to do what she can to support her USA compadres.

But this girl strikes a cord that speaks to Ms. ST’s own aesthetic and resourcefulness and she likes to see what she comes up with next.

AllThingsPretty on Etsy by Debra Dorgan

AllThingsPretty on Etsy by Debra Dorgan AllThingsPretty on Etsy by Debra Dorgan

She feels inspired just looking at her wonderful work..

For now, Ms. SpoolTeacher is utilizing the resources she has on hand to their best use as she sees it. She is developing her own aesthetic and a repertoire of creations to draw new inspiration from.

It’s a process.

puffy hearts on sale at SpareShelf on Etsy

Of course, it’s near Valentine’s Day, so she focused on hearts for the moment.

WillYouMarryMeHeartPocketPillow

pocket, Will You Marry Me heart pillow

using the resources she has to their best result

The longer one works from home, the bigger home one seems to need but one must maximize space and carry on. Bigger is not always better.

You always need a dream anyway, right?

Sew Much To Do

Sew, it’s either feast or famine.

For about a month, there was a slight panic that enough work wouldn’t come in for her to keep her utilities turned on or the computer running.

She knows better than to worry. Her needs are always met. Manna from Heaven, don’t ya know?

Suddenly there were people coming two by two with arm loads of things to be hemmed, nipped and tucked, collared up.

ss.sewmuchtodo 013

Twelve pair of jeans to be shortened a few inches. She made an afternoon and into the late evening, assembly-line event out of this “fun” chore…

  1. Measure and cut X12, √
  2. Finish raw edges with special cam stitch X12, √ (since she doesn’t have a serger and believes in using what she has with a little ingenuity, √)
  3. Change bobbin and thread to black for X5, √
  4. Fold up 5/8″, stitch line 1/2″ X5, √
  5. Re-thread bobbin half way thru X5, √
  6. Change bobbin to gold, thread to blue for X7, √
  7. Repeat line 4 X7, √
  8. Lay down and collapse with stressed out shoulders X2, √ (with pride for a job well done, √)

ss.sewmuchtodo 008

She asked Client if she wanted a double hem or if it would be acceptable to finish edge and turn over once?

Unless you have an industrial strength machine, it is near impossible to get even a heavy duty needle through that lump that is 3 layers of “flat-felled seams” sewn over. She does do them this way but adds extra time/$labor to the job to clip and trim seam (in inconspicuous ways) and do some fancy footwork to get her machine to make it through the bump that is by that time reduced a little. ss.sewmuchtodo 007

A true flat-felled seam can be made on a home sewing machine. It is done by special machines in industrial settings. True flat-felled seam

Industrial machine and flat-felled seams

Industrial strength machines can make it easier at home, but an alternative mock flat-felled seam is more commonly done when sewing for fun.

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And Ms. SpoolTeacher saves all the cut off scraps for….???… something. Did she ever tell you she is a Pack Rat?

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X2 Sous-Chef uniforms snap heads replaced, √
X2 for same client, Sous-Chef uniform sleeves shortened and later the lengths overall shortened also, √

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Hems, loops, take-ups, take-ins, X1, X1, X2, X2, future √

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Old favorite work clothes, some of which she has already put patches on, to have new patches put over the old ones and some other things done…like to “collar up” an old shirt whereby the existing collar is hanging on by strings of threads. sew much to do
(see how she did this here)… another future √ (the picture is from his last batch of which he was very, very happy with the results).

Sew, so now she is a bit oversewhelmed! But grateful and glad it isn’t Cleaning Lady duties. (happy face) (she likes being home with the puppies) (they like it too). She’ll take those too though, Cleaning Lady duties. She’s Ms. Jackie of all Trades don’t ya know!

Today was Driving Ms. Margie day and that is always a reprieve. Ms. Margie likes to go to lunch after and talk like friends for awhile. It doesn’t feel like work at all, but she insists on paying and even for lunch.

And then Ms. SpoolTeacher brought Ms. Margie’s new Wally World cell phone home to have her number ported….cuz how can they possibly expect 90 year old lovely ladies to go through all those silly gyrations?

……    ……     …….. z z z z, trolling, trolling, coffee, ……   !!!!!! X#@$ !!!!

……, about two hours into the phone conversation, Ms. ST said, “Do you have a supervisor?” Then she said to the supervisor, “Do you have a supervisor?” And then she said, “Can you transfer me to the refund department?”……For some reason that girl didn’t need to put in an order for a system check for a 24-48 hour follow-up return phone call to explain why the port wouldn’t go through. By the time Ms. SpoolTeacher got Ms. Margie’s phone charged and back to her, voila! the number had been ported!!!

Oh, the power of “do you have a refund department?!”

It’s either feast or famine, and always Sew Much To Do either way.

Dali-like Dreaming This Morning

Dreams are funny things. The ones you have just before you awake and remember, are near impossible to explain so that anyone can get the gist of what your experience was. Dali, I guess, tried to explain his in his paintings.

Salvador Dali painting hand re-painted by quality artists

When Ms. SpoolTeacher was 17, she was given the gift of a scholarship summer retreat to a college in San Francisco to study art for six whole weeks. It was a magical time. A time that set her sails.

As the wind blows, you must set your sails.

Image courtesy of Edenchanges. Click image to “attend” a lovely motivational blog. Words by Thomas Fuller.

She dreams of that event time and again, but they are always one of those kinds of dreams where you want so badly to get somewhere but your feet feel like lead. They won’t move. You are stuck and distressed.

She was so young when she went and she was not at all well emotionally. It was one of the best experiences of her life in spite of her emotional state.

For the two years that she prepared for the competition, making an art portfolio to send for evaluation, she was in that same emotional state and everything was a lead foot kind of struggle. It would be called depression now. Everything she did for those two years was geared for the hope that she would be selected. She worked after school to earn the money it would take to pay for her room and board and anything else she might need; some more supplies, extra food stuffs, souvenirs. Her wonderful art teacher made sure to give her plenty of supplies from the school stock that met most of her list of required art tools and paints to bring along.

Near the deadline to submit her work, she was missing one piece of art (a requirement on the list for judging) and had to hurry up a pastel chalk drawing she was struggling to complete. Because it didn’t quite fit in the portfolio, a neighbor took a Polaroid picture of it for her to send with the others. (She thinks it was that last drawing that gave her sumbission the edge it needed because to that date, it was the best she had done). She packaged her portfolio just how they said and drove to a third class postal center way out in a remote burg outside of her own little Podunk town to get it sent off.

Art PortfolioBy that time, she had amassed the clothes she would need to take with her should she win. She had sewn her own outfits those same two years waiting and preparing. As it turned out, once there, she bought a pair of overalls and pretty much never got out of them, painting them up as she went.

The dream she had this morning before waking was a little happier than others have been. She was in San Francisco with a friend and had a nice place to stay. It was a bright colorful dream unlike ones before that have mostly been dull and dreary; but there was still a kind of hunger in her soul. She couldn’t get satisfied. She wanted something she couldn’t find. It was the friend’s event this time. The friend was taking a pleasure trip and there was a satchel involved that always had to be kept track of. It was orange, an upholstery weight fabric and had all of Friend’s needed things in it. They decided to go see a movie. Friend somehow got in ahead of her because Ms. SpoolTeacher was busy talking to her sister (who in reality passed just this last Feb. 2013). She was so delighted to see her sister there and had lost track of time and of Friend. So when it came time to get into the movie, she had to climb a funny stair case in a funny building and open a window so that she could crawl in over the head of a bed of a sick person laying there. The sick person’s relative was sitting by her side complaining why the theater did things like this and Ms. SpoolTeacher backed out and went back down to see if she was doing it right. They told her to go back, it was the only way in. But Ms. ST spotted a different, ground level entrance and sure enough there was Friend with her orange upholstery satchel, contents spread all over a table she was sitting at eating with other people and the concession stand was in front of them, behind the table. Ms. ST looked over and it was some kind of spaghetti stuffed in a bread roll oozing with Velveeta cheese and other things she will not eat.

Of course, this barely depicts the vivid colors and autumn charm of the scenes of this made-up San Francisco Ms. SpoolTeacher had going through her brain circuitry just before she woke or of the peculiar emotions she was feeling. Dreams are so funny. She wishes she could paint like Dali to depict the scenes because they were wonderful.

It was a better dream than some she has had, remembering or longing for her wonderful summer scholarship trip to San Francisco, but she thinks it is because she is much better emotionally now and has lots of hope and great expectations for the life still ahead of her.

Lone Mountain College, San Francisco 1972When she came back from that trip to San Francisco, she had wonderment in her mind. She was sure she would be some kind of artist, she was determined that she would be. She had to get a job right away because her family was poor, monetarily. Her mother had already lined her up with a prospect to inquire about and sure enough she got the job. There she would work for about a year as a Girl Friday, working with artists of various kinds. It was a pre-Kinko’s kind of place. The man who had the business start-up had his hands in everything, a true entrepreneur, but one who was more charismatic than successful at that time.

She has had many J.O.B.S. since then, but has always been in pursuit of some way to be free to express her creative side. She thinks this might be the reason why her dreams are more vivid and satisfying now. She has given up giving in to forgetting her dreams and has found that once her sail was set way back then in San Francisco, there was no turning back. She wouldn’t go off blowing in the wind, but she wouldn’t miss any opportunity that would show itself to her that would help her live the dream that she had set her sail on. No one should, give up their dream, even if it is Dali-like.

Okee Dokee, OCDC

OCDC/ Obsessive (Fabric) Collector Designer’s Challenge.

Ms. SpoolTeacher used to be a procrastinator.

“to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”

Actually, she now thinks it wasn’t so much procrastination as that she got bored once she had “caught on” to how to do whatever it was she was trying to learn and she wanted to learn everything! So, she would stash one half-finished project and go on to the next learning curve.

On the other hand many regard procrastination as a useful way of identifying what is important to us personally as it is rare to procrastinate when one truly values the task at hand.

Who knows, but some of the psychological implications fit with her memory of her growth experience early on:

procrastination is strongly connected with lack of self-confidence (e.g., low self-efficacy, or learned helplessness) or disliking the task (e.g., boredom and apathy)…

Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations.

She had to work very hard to become capable of efficaciousness.

Below are three project that are not so much being procrastinated as are being run interference with by actual paid wages for labor, time stealing activity. Plus the projects are all in design mode. Though some would say the inspiration/perspiration factor is at play and only when Ms. SpoolTeacher realizes that perspiration is 90% of the equation and stops procrastinating will the inspiration see it’s fruition. Money being money and essential to staying in house that allows her to create…well you get the picture. She has to do it. Paid labor.

But still. When there are those slots available for perspiration, what does she do? She fights with The Mouse.

Not all time-wasting activities are created equal.

People who occasionally veer off track with inventive, clearly defined diversions before getting to a necessary chore (like working on a crossword for a half hour before writing a speech) may actually be moving closer to their goal, says Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook (Walker & Company).

So many distractions in a day…focus, focus, focus. Darn those paid wages. They really mess things up. It’s the fun stuff like chasing The Mouse that clear the cobwebs from her mind and help her find the answers floating around her, uncongealed, under-defined.

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One of the above projects is (going to be) the prototype for her “instant success” plan. It doesn’t look like much laying there all folded up looking just like fabric, but you just wait.
Haute Handbags

And then there are the Haute Handbags she started as one that became two..Haute Handbags.that are waiting for the right lining fabrics to surface and inspire Ms. ST to fruition.

Haute Handbags

Wackedy Ann and Andy

click to view available ensembles at Spare Shelf on Etsy

Or the Wackedy Ann and Andy ensembles that are many, waiting for something to be done with them…

Or the cut off pants that are becoming a skirt and lace-up leggings…Used to be

What Used To Be

Or the “Scrappy Designer Pillow” that is being made from things that used to be.

That’s the challenge. Which one to complete. Which one to advance. Which new idea to put these all in another pile and start anew.

It’s a challenge alright.

She thinks she’ll watch this video again while she decides. And then she’ll go to bed because ” I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow”, Scarlett O’Hara.

Make yourself smile. Watch this ↓

And then this one below to see how the above video was accomplished:
Very cool.

Do you procrastinate/play/put off till you get inspired?

Well Okee Dokee then.

Is This Info ©’d

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This is pretty cool. ↓
Everybody should know this yes/no? ↓

HOW TO MAKE SYMBOLS WITH KEYBOARD

Alt + 0153….. ™… trademark symbol
Alt + 0169…. ©…. copyright symbol
Alt + 0174….. ®….registered  trademark symbol
Alt + 0176 …°……degree symbol
Alt + 0177 …±….plus-or -minus sign
Alt + 0182 …¶…..paragraph mark
…See More….smiley face
Alt + 2 ……☻…..black smiley face
Alt + 15…..☼…..sun
Alt + 12……♀…..female sign
Alt + 11…..♂……male sign
Alt + 6…….♠…..spade
Alt + 5…….♣…… Club
Alt + 3………….. Heart
Alt + 4…….♦…… Diamond
Alt + 13……♪…..eighth note
Alt + 14……♫…… beamed eighth note
Alt + 8721…. ∑…. N-ary summation (auto sum)
Alt + 251…..√…..square root check mark
Alt + 8236…..∞….. infinity
Alt + 24…….↑….. up arrow
Alt + 25……↓…… down arrow
Alt + 26…..→…..right arrow
Alt + 27……←…..left arrow
Alt + 18…..↕……up/down arrow
Alt + 29……↔…left right arrow

And then there is the question, “How do I copyright?”. ← that link will take you to a government website with lots of info.

Ms. SpoolTeacher went on a mad hunt for symbol images she could use for graphics/pictures to spruce up “the blog”. While looking, she found this ↓ and it was ♪ ♫ to her ears. Poor little Smiley has no ears. Maybe that is why he is so u+2639, (oops it didn’t work), unhappy, (she needs the alt version)….

Unicode smiley characters :
U+263A or alt(+)1 White Smiling Face
U+263B or alt(+)2 Black Smiling Face
Unicode also contains the “sad” face:
U+2639 White Frowning Face

Have A Nice DayMs. SpoolTeacher grew up in the sixties and remembers ←that guy more than the one Wikipedia says “Smiley” had his/her “first appearance” in “1963” ↓

Smiley 1963

Of course the symbol she remembers the most from that era is ↓

The Peace Symbol←The Peace Symbol

and of course ↓ …Twiggy

…who needs no description for those who lived at that time. Of course there was black and white houndstooth, pocket T’s and the Mod Squad.
Hello, is anybody out there?

Houndstooth chair

Photo courtesy of Le Home Brooklyn who has an “upcycled vintage chair section!!!

Back to Copyrighting/Patenting/etc.,etc….

She thinks she has invented the “one thing” she was meant to invent/do. The thing that is/was her passion. Her “Do What You Love, The Money Will Followthing.

So she is investigating patenting it and of course the wheels started turning and she has developed her own marketing scheme and “value-added” products and, and…. the book deal, and and…

and she thinks this will be her instant (40+ years in production) success story.

So what if it’s not, thinking so is probably waaaay less harmful than not thinking so…eh? Think?

Why not. You have to have a dream.

She had a rough week. Her car broke down while far away from home. It took her most of the time since to recover from the emotional tole she experienced for realizing more acutely/again how daunting a task it is to navigate life sometimes.

She realized how important keeping relationships healthy is.

She saw a little more clearly what it is she really wants of her life. She had a moment of clarity and felt liberated at the thought of selling EVERYTHING SHE OWNS AND RUNNING ON DOWN THE ROAD.

Suddenly all the STUFF that seems like a noose around her neck was loosened and she felt like she could ruuuuuuuun!

Then she came back to reality, or at least to this version of the dream, and decided that she just needs to let all the dust of recent losses settle around her feet and turn to fertilizer from which she may grow a little stronger.

Aww….

“♫Car 54 ♪ Ms. SpoolTeacher…Where ♪ ♫are you ♪?”…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”—Romans 8:28

“Consider it pure joy, … whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”—James 1:2-3, NIV

Jackie of All Trades,

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Master of oxford-style baby shoes.

When she was about five, her mother finally let her try her hand at managing a needle and thread. She still has the little creation. It looks like most childhood art, a body, with eyes of sorts and something to reference a nose and mouth.

When she looks at it now, she realizes the work her mother put in to it as well.  All she can really remember from the actual memory of the event is the power she felt, holding that needle and thread.

first stuffed critter

As years progressed, she would ask her mother to use the sewing machine to put in a zipper for a skirt she was making from a remnant of fabric that had a Hawaiian theme with the pattern motif outlined in a gold metallic dye of some sort.

Her mother asked if she wanted help and she assured her she did not. So she opened the zipper and found the instructions, read them and followed them the best of her abilities. It went in, but she learned it was the wrong application for a side zipper, which should have had a lap instead of the two sides meeting in the middle. But she felt powerful again. Accomplished.

She would parlay her love of fiber, fabrics and sewing into a thirty year long career designing window coverings and furnishings for clients. The love of all things fabric and home came together well in that arena, though it was a hard way to make a living. Very volatile. Subject to economic ups and downs, and strictly commission based with a draw of some sort. Let’s face it, almost all luxury items, not necessary for life.

She worked first in the warehouse-to-client option as a designer creating  the spaces for display and eventually as a salesperson, (where the real money was).

She spent a little time in the commercial part, going outside sales, door to door selling business application furnishings.  Still all commission.

Later, and for the longest period of time, she would work for high-end retailers who catered to mostly Doctors, Lawyers, and successful entrepreneurs such as McDonald’s franchisees.

But, she always felt that she had lost that sense of power she had had as a child holding that needle and thread and utilizing her own skills and talents to make things come to life, working for someone else. For all the years that she had been in and out of client’s homes, those Doctors, Lawyers, and successful entrepreneurs such as McDonald’s franchisees, she would fantasize of owning her own business. She planned her escape for many years, socking away money, buying into the American Dream of home ownership as a wealth building device, purchasing stock in the 401K options. She did well enough and one day, after suffering enough, she jumped the ship.

It took her many gyrations to finally get a foothold. She would re-invent herself numerous times. She would have successes and failures. Many wonderful victories. Some very challenging, ‘wondering-where-the-next- food-would-come-from’ times. All exhilarating. All worth it. No regrets.

What she would realize soon enough though was that she had been born the type of person that ‘should have been a farmer’s wife’. She liked the simple life and all that mingling in material wealth was robbing her soul.

The first gyration of her serious business attempts was to try to be a ‘Designer’ on her own. She had some successes, but she could feel the drive wasn’t in her. She loved the design part of it and the handling of fabrics, etc., but the asking people for money and cold calling, and socializing and politicizing and …you get the picture…she ‘should have been a farmer’s wife’.

IMG_1834

…helping a client pick colors

IMG_1846, enhanced

… and paint with them…(playing until the painter came to finish)

IMG_1845

IMG_2711

Helping same client pick and place furnishings…

IMG_2655

…and accessories…

IMG_2626

IMG_1967ec

…and window coverings…

IMG_1828 IMG_2603dngenh IMG_2735 IMG_2668c

Oh, she was so worn out from material wealth. As exhilarating as it all was. It was very, very hard work. Not that she is afraid of work. (4.5 straight hours of pulling weeds for a client.. as one of her Jackie of All Trades commissions lately!)

It’s a different kind of hard…

Will the workroom understand her requirements, worksheets?

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CORSELLIDISCRIPTION1
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corsellicropphotocorner
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Will they make mistakes and she will have to solve them?

Will the client like it when it’s finished?

Hours and hours of pouring over figures and details to make sure those worksheets were right in the first place.

Nope. She’d rather be a farmer. Or at least a weed-puller-outer for a client so that she could spend…

4.5 straight hours in the sun pulling weeds and loved every minute of it. it seemed like an hour, the time went so fast. Several times I had it in my mind that I was at Laguna Beach as the sun was beaming down on me and a cool breeze picked up. Thought I heard sea gulls….
Nothing like doing what you love. The whole time I was drumming up ideas for how I could sell her on letting me “farm” out her little plot of luscious soil to someone who doesn’t have a yard….she’s unlikely to buy that idea, but maybe someone else…Community Gardens all over town. What a concept.
P.S. some cute 1/2 inch little black beetle like bugs were very unhappy at me to loose their shade. They couldn’t figure out where to go, and quite frankly, I don’t know where they all went. They just scuttled off. Ants all around my feet all day and none bothered me. Ain’t life grand!

…a recent post on her Facebook page.

fb.farmerfeet 005

And her farmers-tanned feet to prove it. Calluses and all.

A callus is a toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation.

Kind of like her. Toughened up. Irritation will do that.

Click picture to visit Ms. SpoolTeacher’s Baby Shoe Spool Factory
http://spoolteacher.com/spool-factory/

With Bated Breath

ss.poe.poe

Baited/Bated? (Words we’ve forgotten how to use/spell right, if we ever knew)

Bated here is a contraction of abated through loss of the unstressed first vowel (a process called aphesis); it means “reduced, lessened, lowered in force”. So bated breath refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing as a result of some strong emotion, such as terror or awe.

And here it is as a MASTER OF WORDS would use it:
“Moneys is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
“Hath a dog money? Is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?” Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman’s key,
With bated breath and whispering humbleness,
Say this:
“Fair sir, you spat on me on Wednesday last,
You spurned me such a day, another time
You called me dog; and for these courtesies
I’ll lend you thus much moneys?””

-Shakespeare

And although it’s out of context, here is a little help for those who might like to get a start on knowing what was just said (or if you do, Ms. SpoolTeacher is in awe of you):

cur

/kər/
Noun
  1. An aggressive dog or one that is in poor condition, esp. a mongrel.
  2. A contemptible man.

ducats  plural of duc·at (Noun)

Noun
  1. A gold coin formerly current in most European countries.
  2. Money: “their production of Hamlet has kept the ducats pouring in”.

Do you understand it any better?

In the above excerpt of “Merchants of Venice”, apparently there was one man who abhorred usury, or loaning money with interest (“..according to some jurisdictions and customs, simply charging any interest at all can be considered usury”), and he lent it without; which infuriated another man, who made his living such.

None of which has anything to do with bated breath.

All of which has to do with awe and wonder and wondering if a life can ever be lived to it’s fullest when it wants so much that it is in a constant state of bated breath, of anticipation, of wanting…

In constant hunger of whatever it is it wants

Wanting to know and understand profound things like how a man can make magic with words.

Wanting to know if that is really an Edgar Allan Poe quote or one from the living singer-songwriter Poe, (“Terrified Heart”) rather than the not-so-living author.

Wanting to “do what you love and know the money will follow“.

It’s not such a bad state to be in. Wanting.

It is a bad state to be consumed by usury. Not good. So, therefore, live simply. Live free. Live, waiting with bated breath wondering what wonderful thing is next. Be “terrified of your heart…Of the way it stops and starts.”

The Official Poe Music Network