Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Re-vamped Website Blog


My old website is now being hosted on Pattern by Etsy, but the content and blog are new, so it’s like a new website:

The site also has a photo gallery an Shop page that all my Etsy items can be purchased from. Cool beans.

This will continue to be my personal blog page, and the above blog will be more about the jewelry I make.


Random Thought Process #1


This morning’s random thought process is for those of you who feel like using up a couple of minutes of your lives that you’ll never, ever, get back: I think it’s time that I learned how to sew. You know…with a sewing machine? I haven’t used one since eighth-grade home economics class. It did not go well, and therefore I did not enjoy it. I was intimidated by the sewing machine. At that time the bobbin, and the mechanics of threading the machine boggled my 14-year-old mind and I ended up hating it. Also, putting my fingers so close to a needle going up and down scared me. Several decades have passed, I’ve gotten over my fear of needles, so I think I can handle it now. After all, a person who is able to repair computers and electronics, replace the speakers and glass of her own iPad, and do hand-beaded embroidery should be able to figure out how to thread and use a sewing machine, wouldn’t you think? I CAN DO IT! I think.

Ed knows how to sew. He used to make furniture slipcovers for his father’s business back in the day. I’ve seen him sew tarps and canvas covers. He also owns a sewing machine. However, Ed is not the most patient person in the world, so I don’t think he should be the one to teach me. There would be exasperated expressions, followed by angry words, followed by tears and possibly a door slamming. I would end up hating it all over again. YouTube video tutorials it is! That is, as soon as I do the other half-a-million things I need to get done in the next couple of days. But, by then I’ll be going to Aiken. Maybe sometime the middle of next week?

Now my brain is tired. It’s too early in the day for me to be wearing out my brain. Maybe I’ll make coffee. No, I shouldn’t have coffee when I’m trying to diet, because I only drink it when it’s loaded up with sugar and creamer. But, carrot juice is not going to cut it this morning. Coffee it is!

There. Your time has officially been wasted, along with mine. We’ve just bonded over our mutually wasted time. You’re welcome. Now I feel that we’re close enough that I can ask you bring me a large coffee with extra cream and extra sugar. And a buttered sesame bagel. If I’m going off my diet I’m doing it right! In return I’ll make you a quilt. Someday.

ATTENTION Democrats! Republicans! and Libertarians alike! 


Are you sick of all the hateful bashing on social media? Have you been sucked into a debate by a so-called “friend’s” angry venting? Are you questioning the sanity of some of your Facebook friends? Well then, before you start hitting that “unfriend” button I have something here to re-unify us all – Funny Cat Videos! Why? Because cat’s don’t judge. Okay, maybe cats DO judge, but they can’t talk so WHO CARES? Also, cats will love you unconditionally (but, only if you feed them). Cats will also HATE you simply because you don’t smell right, much the same way we humans do, so put on some deodorant for gawd’s sake.
You say you don’t like cats? Well, that’s just UN-American! Yes, I just judged you, just like a cat would.
So, I present you with today’s unifying funny cat video:

My iPad Art – “Magic is Desire Made Real” – A Discovery of Witches


After playing around and learning the Procreate app on my iPadPro I wanted to make my first real attempt at illustration using the app be a quote from one of my favorite books “A Discovery of Witches.” It’s the first book in the All Souls Trilogy by author Deborah Harkness. I highly recommend it.

I listened to the audible audiobook of same while creating this in my free time over a period of 10 days. My hope is that other fans of the trilogy will get a kick out of it. If you like it and decide to share it all I ask is that you give me credit and do not alter it in any way, including not removing my signature.

If I’m feeling brave enough I may share the Procreate time lapse video of me creating this. I can’t tell you how many times I made changes, and getting the word “Desire” how I wanted it about gave me fits.  It’s all hand-drawn/hand-lettered.





A Party?  Where can I hide? An introvert’s struggle.


I’m an introvert who can fake being extroverted somewhat well for the sake of the person who invited me to said social gathering. I’ll go to your party, and I will make an attempt at small talk with people I don’t know and hate every minute of it. I’ll smile and be pleasant all the while wishing I was home in my pajamas doing anything else. After 45 minutes I’ll be completely mentally exhausted and drained by all the activity and human interaction. If you have a dog I’ll go sit by it. If you have a small child I will sit on the floor and play with it. I’ll step outside often for “fresh air”, and I will try to resist the urge to find a dark corner to sit in until it’s a socially acceptable time for me to leave.

The only time I am truly comfortable at a party is when I know every single person there, and they know me fairly well. Then, I actually enjoy myself. Smaller groups of people are always better. BUT…I have found that as I have grown older, the social anxiety I feel before an event is now much less than when I was younger. I attribute this to becoming less worried about what people think about me, because over the years I found that as human beings go I’m a pretty decent and likable person, and I no longer consider anyone to be my superior. I admire great talent, I admire intelligence, but I’m no longer intimidated by it. Wealth does not impress me. Decent and interesting people do impress me. I avoid people who want to talk politics and religion, because that just isn’t my thing. I also no longer feel obligated to stay in a place where I’m completely uncomfortable. I don’t need an excuse. If I don’t like it I leave. Age is empowering.

I’m intelligent, a quick learner, and I have a natural talent for many things, but because I’m an introvert I spent many years working at home as a (self-taught) medical transcriptionist. It was as close to being my own boss as I could get at the time. I know I could’ve had a career where I would have been promoted to the top quickly, done very well for myself, and made a lot of money if not for my social anxiety and general hatred of office politics. I have a hard time working under people who are less knowledgable and worse at their job than I would be at their job. In the distant past I’ve worked in offices and hospitals, and I’ve worked with the public, and I found that I’m happiest when I am in charge, or working alone. These days I’ve retired from medical transcription, and I make somewhat of a living out of my hobby of making coin rings and jewelry. I have my own cozy cabin workshop, work at my own pace, and nobody tells me what to do…pretty much perfect, except for the “almost” making a living part, but I’m working on that.

Day 81 -40 Pounds



That’s -40 pounds in 2 months and 21 days.

Here’s what’s happened since my last blog post:

A week after my second followup appointment at the wellness center I once again tried going up to the full dose of phentermine, because the weight loss seemed to have stalled.  I stayed on the full dose for 3 weeks until my third followup appointment last week. I told the doctor I was only sleeping 3-4 hours a night and felt better on the half dose, so he said to go back down to the half dose. Done, and that’s where I’ll stay. Also, last month he upped my dose of thyroid replacement because my blood test still showed a low TSH.

My diet is basically the same, only now eating less soups and animal protein (maybe once a week) and I’m now finding new ways to be creative with flavor. I’ve been scouring YouTube for raw vegan recipes that are not too involved and still keep the food as close to it’s natural state as possible. I’m finding great dip, sauce and food combination ideas from YouTube user TannyRaw — a long-time raw vegan who is very upbeat and personable. I find her videos to be fun and very informative, and she addresses some of the issues I’ve been having while transitioning on this mostly raw diet. It’s still not terribly difficult for me to do because I’m very determined and committed, but having a different flavor and texture once in a while is very satisfying. I’m very lucky that I don’t work outside the home, rarely, if ever, have visitors and live with a very understanding and supportive man. I don’t know how well I could have done this if I worked in an office or had friends constantly coming over or inviting me to lunch. It would have been a lot more difficult psychologically for sure. Sometimes it pays to be a hermit. 🙂

I’m still logging my daily food on MyFitnessPal, but that’s only so I can look back on it and see what worked and what didn’t for my weight-loss. It’s not really raw-vegan friendly, and every day it tells me I need more calories and I tell it to shut up. I feel great and energized enough for the small amount of energy I expend each day.  As I DO more I’ll EAT more. I do definitely need to get back into the habit of logging my food AS I eat, instead of trying to remember it all at the end of the day like I’ve been doing this last month. Not good. I’m probably forgetting things.

I upped my physical activity last month with nearly daily weight-resistance exercises using dumbbells and ankle weights, alternating upper body and lower body each day so the muscles can rest and repair. Then I dragged out my old Gazelle to get some cardio until I can clean out the room with my treadmill. Then…the pollen showed up.  Lots and lots of pollen.  I have terrible  pollen allergies and for the last week have been coughing, sneezing, mucousy and have fatigue. I’ve just felt too terrible and tired to work out.  However, today I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel and plan to work out some tonight.

I’m finding I prefer shopping at Whole Foods over Earth Fare. Whole Foods has a much larger variety of organic produce, and it’s fresher. I still shop at Earth Fare because it’s closer to home, but really look forward to visiting Whole Foods after my wellness center followups each month. I wish they’d open one up closer to my home.

I need to write down a schedule for local farmer’s markets so I remember to go check them out.

If data motivates you the way it does me I highly recommend an app called “Monitor Your Weight.”  It calculates time to your target weight, BMI, body fat percentage, average daily and weekly weight loss and SO much more. I love it.

Positive changes I’ve noticed:
My tee shirts are hanging even more loosely at my shrinking belly area.
I can now fit into an old pair of skinny jeans from 8 years ago.
My cheekbones are becoming more visible.
My lower back pain is mostly gone unless I twist a certain way.
No joint pain.
My left knee pain is 95% gone, but I still baby it a bit so as not to re-injure it
I’m almost at my half-way point and still more than a week ahead of my July 4th deadline for being at my goal weight.


Day 37 -26.5 Pounds – My Diet Plan in an email to my brother



My brother saw my Facebook progress post and emailed me asking what I was doing to lose weight. My answer was lengthy, and since I took such a long time to type it I figured I would share it here. Eventually, someone else will ask and I can just refer them to this:

Note:  This lifestyle change is not for the faint of heart and most people who want to know, when they hear what I’m doing, come up with a million excuses as to why they can’t do what I’m doing. It’s all BS, of course, as most people just want to be able lose weight with a minimum of discomfort and inconvenience. I can’t afford to do that anymore…

Hi!  Thanks. The diet is my own, from years of learning what works for me and what doesn’t.  The only diet advice the doctor at the wellness center gave me was “protein, protein, protein”, but I really limit animal protein to one meal a day. The doctor put me on a medication called “phentermine”, it’s similar in nature to amphetamine and not right for everyone, especially if you have an addictive personality or heart problems. He started me on a half dose for a week, then full dose. After two weeks of the full dose I was not happy at all — the weight loss had SLOWED DOWN and I was having some weird symptoms of lethargy, mind fogginess and insomnia. At my 3-week followup I told him this and requested going back on the half dose, which I did. The phentermine is great for appetite suppression, eliminating cravings and boosting metabolism, BUT it causes constipation and dry mouth. I found 3-4 prunes every morning really helps, and LOTS of water. I hope to be off it soon. You DON’T need phentermine to see results similar to mine if you follow my diet.

As for my diet, it’s a variation of a raw vegan diet I did a few years ago, but now with some animal protein added, and occasional soup. At that time I lost a lot of weight with going 100% raw vegan in a short time, but it was unrealistic and hard for me to maintain while living with Ed, who is a big meat eater. So, rather than self-sabotage I now eat ONE cooked animal protein a day:  2 eggs fried in grape seed oil, OR baked chicken breast (3-4 ounces), OR grilled steak (3-4) ounces. For a larger woman or a man they’d need more to feel satisfied, maybe 6 ounces.  I eat mostly raw vegan the rest of the time, but will occasionally make a cooked bean or lentil and vegetable soup when I feel I need something hot.

SALADS — one per day when possible — (NO CROUTONS, NO CHEESE, NO OIL, NO NUTS) JUST the leafy greens and veggies. Make the salad HUGE so you fill up on all those nutrient-dense veggies. I like to follow a lot of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s (Eat to Live – see video links below) principals — “Make the SALAD THE MEAL.”  IF I use dressing it’s a always on the side, with just the tines of the fork dipped in, and never more than 2 TEAspoons.

Fresh organic fruit – at least 2 pieces a day, or a cup of berries will count as one fruit.  I like bananas, apples, oranges, mangos, pineapple cut in chunks, and all berries. If you like berries it is extremely important to get organic ONLY, as they are the most loaded with pesticides of any fruit – especially strawberries. If someone offers me nonorganic berries or I don’t know the source I won’t even put them in my mouth.

JUICES and SMOOTHIES – I don’t used any prepackage crap. ALL natural organic ingredients.  ONE fruit (which will count towards my daily 2 fruits) and about 3/4 cup of carrot juice OR cucumber juice, and often I’ll pour the juice in a big-speed blender (I have a Vitamix) and add a few leaves of Kale or chard or baby spinach and whip it all on HIGH until you can no longer see bits of the leaves – about a minute. IF I add kale or chard to a smoothie I also include a squeeze of FRESH lemon, as this counteracts the bitter “green or grassy” taste. Occasionally I will add a tablespoon of chia seeds or flaxseeds for fiber and the nutrients they provide.  If you want it a little sweet add ONE date or a small squirt of agave nectar. Stay away all processed sugar and honey – it’s too high on the glycemic index.

Even if you simply replace one of your regular meals a day with a green juice or smoothie you will start to see weight loss and other amazing benefits — Like skin issues clearing up, scalp itching going away, mind fog clearing — you will have amazing mental clarity after just a week or two.  

If you want more aggressive weight loss and benefits do 2 or 3 juices a day and eat only salads, but use a large variety of greens and veggies to make sure you’re getting all your nutrients.  Veggies have protein, and don’t let anyone tell you you have to eat meat or soy. You see how big and muscular cows get eating grass? Gorillas? Yes, it may cause diarrhea if you body is used to a shit diet, but it will go away after a few days. You also may get headaches/lethargy and feel like crap as the toxins leave your body, so start it when you know you have a couple of days off, like a Friday.

The first time I went cold turkey with a raw vegan and juicing diet I felt AWFUL for the first 3 days, but I knew this might happen so I toughed it out. When I woke up on day 4 it was like a miracle! My mind was SO clear, I had tons of energy and my mood was absolutely euphoric. 

What I’ve eliminated:

ALL packaged and processed foods.

ALL wheat and rice products.  No bread, pasta, rice, cakes, crackers.



ALL HARMFUL FAT/OIL/BUTTER – I only use a tiny bit of coconut or grape seed oil when frying eggs.




NO ALCOHOL – I don’t drink all that often anyway, so this was an easy elimination. PLUS I can’t have any while on phentermine.


SALT — throw out your salt shaker.

STOP USING YOUR MICROWAVE – it damages food and nutrients at the cellular level.


KEEP A DAILY FOOD JOURNAL – it’s really important and an eye-opener.  I use the MyFitnessPal app. Some days are better than other’s, but I’m not giving up.

My ONLY drink is water, and lots of it. NO diet soda.

The only nuts I eat are in the occasional Larabar I have.

Sometimes I’ll have a small handful of raw, shelled sunflower seeds (1 tablespoon)

Start grocery shopping at your nearest healthy supermarket (whole foods, earth fare, and anywhere they have lots of organic produce and a bulk dry goods section).  Yes, healthy food costs more, but you’ll be eating LESS food so it does average out. Put your money on the plate, and not in the doctor’s bank account. Find a local farmers market for less costly produce.

I consider this a total lifestyle change, and not a temporary diet. I got a good scare when my blood work came back. I’m 52 years old and now at high risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes and have done a LOT of damage to myself eating a crap diet. My cholesterol was sky high, my thyroid TSH was very low, my Vitamin D was almost nonexistent. So I’m now on daily thyroid replacement, vitamin D weekly and daily fish oil. I’m taking this very seriously and I’m not playing around anymore. I don’t feel deprived. I feel like I’m finally being a grown-up and taking care of the only body I have.

I highly recommend two videos:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (the first movie, not part 2 unless you want to watch it after) – available on Netflix and possibly YouTube. (I learned about Dr. Fuhrman on this video).  “Joe” does an extreme juice-fast diet, which is not for everyone, but even for a few days it is a good reboot for your body. You will learn a lot with this movie and it’s HIGHLY motivating. I watch it every couple of months to renew my motivation.

and Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s videos, especially THIS one in two parts as a good starting point: — Part 1 is 14 minutes — Part 2 is 14 minutes

These two videos alone may well change your life. There is a LOT of information here.

If you want to give people the quickest help just refer them to those 2 videos.

I really hope this helps. It’s amazing the changes that take place with your body, mental processes and mood when you start feeding it what it really needs.


New Electric Kettle and Token Jewelry Challenges


After 3 years of my 8-year-old electric kettle’s auto-shut-off feature not functioning, and once again allowing it to boil dry, I finally broke down and got a new one. The old one was white plastic, and with all the scientific evidence pointing to plastic as a carcinogen (especially plastic that’s come in contact with hot water and food) I decided to get glass. However, the lid and pouring spout on the new one is still plastic and the boiling water will still come into contact with it. I couldn’t find an electric kettle that was 100% glass, so this one is better than nothing:  VonShef Illuminating Glass Kettle

A few of my token jewelry listings were deactivated by the selling site I use because someone representing the transit authority of the state-that-shall-not-be-named told the selling site I was infringing on their copyright. Who knew that a decades-old token (35-45 YEARS OLD), that has no real value anymore because it cannot be used as fare for a subway or bus, that I purchased on eBay, could not be sold as a jewelry item? Who knew that by now it wasn’t public domain? What I found interesting was that only my jewelry items where the token was left totally intact, other than a small hold drilled so it could be hung as a pendant or earring, were the listings they shut down. They left the rings alone. I guess the rings are so altered that they are practically beyond recognition as having once been a token as it’s missing the center part, which gets punched out in order to make the ring. That listing, and the listing of the earrings made from those same punched-out centers, were not flagged for removal. There are also at least TWO other sellers selling the same rings as me (not as well made and for more money I might add). I also found someone selling earrings similar to the ones I sold, and there is no evidence in their listing that they are an authorized licensed seller of the transit authority of the-state-that-shall-not-be-named. I’m wondering if my listings were truly found by someone representing the transit authority, or if they were flagged by a jewelry competitor on the selling site looking to eliminate the competition? And just in time for my anticipated busy Christmas selling season…hmm. Either way, sometimes people suck. I’m not getting rich off this token jewelry. It’s not made of gold for God’s sake. So, from here on in no more token earrings or necklaces.

My assistant only lasted two months — Friday was her last day. This is partially due to not having enough work to justify paying someone full time, and the fact that I’ll now be making less jewelry frees up my time to do my own housework and prep my own jewelry packaging material. Ed assured her that we may have her back for the occasional odd cleaning job, but not on a daily basis or any kind of schedule.

So now, in preparation for the holiday season, with my new-found free time I’ll be making and listing more coin rings of different types and countries. You know, when one door closes…, lemons into lemonade, etc.

My Personal Timeline of the Rain/Flooding in Charleston, SC, Hurricane Joaquin


I started this as a post on Facebook that I keep updating, and decided I should also put it here for safekeeping. I’ll update it a few times a day until things are back to normal. We got hit with a double-whammy of a storm front and then moisture feeding into it from hurricane Joaquin offshore. I live in North Charleston, South Carolina, near I-26, Wanamaker Park, Goose Creek and Trident Medical Center.

Read from the BOTTOM of the page UP:

UPDATE Monday 12:25 AM:  We have a leak in the office ceiling. Ed went up into the attic to locate the leak, but there is not much we can do tonight. We have a bucket and towels in place under the leak. 

Also, the swamp has now risen high enough to start overflowing into our back yard. More rain is on the way. 

UPDATE SUNDAY 5:35 PM: THE SUN WAS OUT for about 20 minutes just now
Here are some of today’s news alerts:
1:13 AM: Flash Flood emergency declared for Tri-County area.
12:52 PM: Old Black Road in Berkeley County expected to collapse; resident nearby advised to evacuate.
4:01 PM: SCDOT closes 70 miles of I-95 because of record flooding.
4:27 PM: Homes at North Charleston Peppermill neighborhood being evacuated due to flooding.
5:15 PM: North Charleston: Mayor Sumney announces curfew started at 10 PM tonight.
5:29 PM: Officials urging evacuation for Dorchester County residents within 1 mile of the Edisto river.
All of Charleston County schools will be closed tomorrow.

UPDATE SUNDAY 11:30 AM:  My daughters boyfriend just sent me a text that they’ve made it to Springfield, SC, and so far so good.

UPDATE SUNDAY 10:40 AM: After a night of almost near-constant thunder and lightening, and occasional heavy downpours, I got out of bed at 7:00 feeling like I never slept. Little Ethan woke twice crying, and Eddy slept though it like a log. The dogs were freaked and stayed in my room. The first thing I saw this morning was the Civil Emergency Message on my cell phone. They’re asking people to remain where they are and not go out. Right now it’s not raining, but overcast. Our yard has huge puddles, but no flooding. The “swamp” behind our house is the highest we’ve seen in the 8 years we’ve been here. Small critters are finding their way into the house — bugs, and a slug in the kitchen! On the Charleston Fire and Emergency scanner channel late last night I heard calls come in for an alligator in a trailer park, fires, gas leaks, water rescues, cars trapped in ditches, etc. We are still expecting more rain, but it looks like the heaviest rain is just to our east. Columbia (the central part of the state) is a flooded mess. Boone Hall Plantation got a record 24 inches of rain! We still haven’t lost power. Ed was out on the deck about an hour ago and said he heard a tree fall in the woods (swampy area) behind our house. My daughter is on her way here from Aiken to get the boys, but I’m guessing she may not get far with all the flooding. Part of her route crosses the Edisto river twice, and several creeks. Parts of both interstates 20 and 26 are shut down due to flooding, so she’ll have to take the back roads and Hwy 78. She knows to be cautious. I’ll be holding my breath for the next 2 hours until her arrival, or her phone call that she had to turn back.

UPDATE SATURDAY 9:30 PM: We had a little bit of a lull in the rain this afternoon, but in the last couple of hours we’ve had a few heavy downpours again. I’m hearing loud thunder and seeing lightning flashes, and Doppler shows there’s a lot more rain coming our way. This is far from over. We still have our power, thankfully. The backyard has not flooded any more than it was earlier today.

UPDATE SATURDAY 3:25 PM: President Obama declares a federal emergency for the state of South Carolina.

UPDATE SATURDAY 3:00 PM: It was just announced at a press conference that at 3 PM (now) we are at OPCON 1 — Major disaster or emergency situation is in effect. Highest state of emergency operations and the SEOC is fully activated. I see that Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel is now in Greenville, SC, the northern part of the state.

UPDATE SATURDAY 9:30 AM: It’s only mid-morning, and we’ve already beaten the daily rainfall record by 1 inch. The “swamp” behind our property is the highest it’s ever been, and it’s starting to cross the property line. Our yard is officially starting to flood. The news just said to expect another 12 to 18 inches of rain, over and above what we’ve already had, in the next few days.

UPDATE SATURDAY 8:33 AM: Ed called. All the exit ramps and roads leading into downtown Charleston are blocked. They’re not letting anyone in. He’s coming back home. He saw news crews at the blocked exits.

UPDATE 8 AM SATURDAY Oct. 3, 2015: It rained heavily on and off last night, with thunder and lightening. It’s a moderate steady rain right now. Ed is heading downtown Charleston in his work truck (If he can get there — many streets are flooded and closed) because a customer called him about his basement flooding. Our backyard isn’t flooded, but the puddles I mentioned last night have grown larger, and there’s more of them. I have 3 kids here today: Eddy & Ethan, and 9-year-old Hali, the daughter of a friend who is a tow-truck driver and working today. Keep your fingers crossed that we don’t lose power. I’ll update again around noon and keep The Weather Channel on to see what downtown looks like. Jim Cantore is there.

8 PM FRIDAY Oct. 2, 2015: It’s been raining on and off for the last day and a half. The ground is now completely saturated, and large puddles are starting to form in our backyard, which is the lowest part of our property.