Monthly Archives: June 2012

Eastern State Penitentiary

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Eastern State Penitentiary, a set on Flickr.

We visited Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA, December 23, 2011.


This Clothes Horse is Nekid

The worst thing about losing weight, gaining weight and then starting to lose it again is the lack of clothing options. When I lost that 30lbs. back in 2010 I said I would not gain it back. If my pants were too tight I would exercise and lose it! I got rid of all my larger clothing. All of it.

But then, almost imediately my then new job turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and I used the office Christmas treats as an excuse for adding ten pounds. As 2011 rolled on I got more stressed and depressed and gained more weight until I hit my highest weight again: a whopping and uncomfortable and seriously unhealthy 210 pounds.

My present new job, and two extremely serious flares with IBS, has lightened my load some. At the doctor last week I weighed 206 with all my clothes on. Since then I’ve been paying extra attention to what I am eating, more for the health aspect than anything. I hate my latest version of IBS flare ups. It’s not the healthiest way to lose weight.

But here’s my problem: I have only 2 pairs of pants, one pair of capris, and maybe 2 shirts I can actually wear comfortably or that fit. It’s embarrassing. I’m the office secretary and I slumming it! I can’t go to goodwill and pick up some cheap curvaliscious clothing because there are none there!

I can’t even buy clothes at Walmart right now.

While I’m eternally grateful for my new job and the lack of stress it provides, the money aspect is not so great. We will deal with it but girl needs some new clothes!

This is pretty much what I’m wearing these days. While this might have been ok in my last job, it is not okay in my new job. No one has said anything but I’ve gotten The Look every day from someone in my office, and it’s not someone I can just brush off their opinion. Plus I don’t want to look like a mess. This isn’t about snooty attitudes, this is about respect for my job and my coworkers and how we want to represent our office. I don’t hold a grudge for the person giving me that Look, I would expect more from the office secretary too!

Any tips on taking a limited wardrobe and making it look bigger than it is?


Beautiful Shops, Beautiful People

Since I started checking out I’ve made some fun new discoveries in world.

Lyssa Sutter Creations has gorgeous, and I mean DIVINELY gorgeous, jewelry. I would buy one of each if I could. Lyssa writes, “I have been collecting buttons, beads and crystals for years to make bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I usually sell (more like give away) what I make to friends and co-workers. So now I follow the advice of my dream and sell what I create.”

Mallory Milke Original Art and Prints is a whimsical artist with a real flair for Day of the Dead art. But her prints and iPhone cases aren’t limited to Day of the Dead, she has some other fantastical animal prints (LOVE the elephant!) and other fun accessories to add a little happy to your style. Mallory writes, “I’ve been painting ever since I was a kid, but never really thought of doing it as anything more than a hobby. As I filled up the walls of my home with my own art, I had so many of my friends and family asking for their own that I decided I might as well go for it and see where it takes me. Three years later, tons of empty paint tubes and I’m here, working for myself and loving every minute of it. I get to stay home with my son and create fun, colorful paintings that I love. I’m inspired by things I love, like mischievous creatures, Pretty Dark things and bright whimsy colors.”

Heather Rose Studios is another artist I just love for her whimsical art. She creates her prints using some interesting materials like tar as well as the usual paints and such. Tar. It can be art. Who knew?

Donna from Donna Elizabeth Designs is a woman after my own heart. Not only is her jewelry fabulously Day of the Dead themed but she also uses her shop to help others. Donna writes, “
I use mainly GLASS, VINTAGE BEADS and my FAV VINTAGE CRYSTALS!! Gemstones are another FAV! Very little plastic unless it is vintage!! I have 3 online stores so I stay kinda busy. I’ll be happy to take your wedding and other orders just give me a yell! Great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. I will always try to put my newest listings in the top featured spots below. My shop allows me to help my parents. So thank you. I have been making this crazy jewelry since 1999. I came to Etsy in Nov 2010 as a seller. This isn’t a hobby. This is my love!”

I hope to share more shops with you as I continue to spread my wings and find new places to sell my own art.

Can Work be Bliss? Perhaps


I finished my third week in my new job. A friend and I were talking about that honeymoon period one has in a new job. I’ve been worried about the comfort and ease of transition into the job is just me basking in the glow of my job honeymoon.

Can it really be possible that a job, a secretary position nonetheless, can actually be enjoyable? I used to be so embarrassed saying I was a secretary. This became especially true when I started meeting up with some of my former college classmates who all seemed to have unbelievably cool jobs. I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was a secretary. I always had this feeling that people around me thought I’d really do nothing with my life. That I’d just get married, pop out a couple of kids, get fat, and do nothing of interest. Actually, I had a professor at good old Troy University tell a friend of mine this who then told me.

For years I thought that I was living up to this person’s idea of me. Every time someone asked me what I was doing I’d shiver and mumble that I was a secretary and then try to come up with something to make it sound like a really cool job.

Trying to impress people was a waste of my time. I don’t think anybody really judged me, or at least people who were truly my friends. I even took jobs that I knew I wouldn’t like but would make me seem, at least to me, cooler.

Now I’m back, full circle, to secretary-hood, and I like it. It helps that the office I work in does things that I fully support. It helps that my co-workers make me laugh and have unique and interesting personalities. It helps that when I’m not working I’m usually laughing. Sometimes I laugh and work, and then I have to go back and double check my work.

My hope is that this is not just something rare because it’s the summer and we’re not as busy as we will be in the fall. Or that things are calm for me because I’m on break from school. I really like not dreading getting up in the morning. I really like that I don’t get in the car in the afternoon with stories of horrible bosses and miserable students and work that feels pointless and ultimately is more work with little return.

I feel better. I feel good.

Photos on

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IMGP2199 copyIMGP2200 copyThe LandladyThe LandladyUnconditional Surrender

Photos on, a set on Flickr.

I’ve started adding more and more photographs to my Etsy shop, the2thieves. With Kat’s vet bills reaching right around the $1,000 mark, it’s been quite a switch kick in the pants to motivate me.

All the prints are 8×10 but if you want something larger or smaller, just email me. I’ll make a special posting in etsy just for you.

The only picture that isn’t 8×10 is that of Gracie. Gracie was shot with film through a Diana toy camera, called lomography. Her size is a 10×10. Luckily, more and more stores are getting hip to the idea that not all photographs are standard sized. Square frames are popping up all over.

Kat is doing very well. We had a nice walk this morning in the drizzle. We’re lucky that the rain held off until after we were safely back in doors. She’s zonked out now in pure Greyhound fashion.

I’d Say She’s Feeling Good

If this photo proves anything it proves that Kat is feeling much better than she was.


Kat is Free and Clear! – Kat Kare Fundraiser

Kat has gotten the green light from our veterinarian! Holly, of Whimsy and Wanderlust, took Kat to the vet today for me so I could go into work and open up. She texted me to tell me that the vet said Kat was looking good. Catheter is out. Now we watch and see how she does.

She’s such a great dog. This is from last night right after her small dinner so it’s a bit blurry as she was thrilled to have been able to eat. She’s peeing and pooping normally. I think she’s out of the woods!

Kat says Thank you and…*snore*

Kat is home and curled up on her pallet next to the couch. She ate her dinner with gusto and we have not seen it again in an hour. So this is really, really good news. At 10 I did her catheter flushing. I hope I did it correctly. I was worried I’d give her too much or too little. She behaved so well during it. Even when I had to rewrap her ports three times. The sticky band wouldn’t stay closed so I got my own wrap for her, same stuff. She also took her meds, orally, like a trooper! She just sat down and didn’t fit having her mouth pried open and pills shoved in. She swallowed them down.

After dinner she was up and walking around, bright eyed! It was so wonderful seeing her looking like her old self again. Now she’s fighting sleep. She keeps falling asleep and waking up to look at me. I gave her a mini-massage and a light brushing and sang to her, which she likes. Ah, she’s dreaming now. Her feet are fidgeting.

Thank you so much for your prayers and all your love. We are definitely blessed.

Kat is home!

She’s home! We have to keep an eagle eye on her. If she starts throwing up I have to take her back to the ER vet. She’s sacked out now. She is very very happy being home.


The Love! Kat Kare Fundraiser

Wow, we are truly blessed! Heather, of HeatherRose Studios, shared the Kat Kare entries on her blog and tumblr. Holly, of Whimsy and Wanderlust, has donated some food and some time to watch Kat while Mike and I are working tomorrow. Debbie, of BuckhornCreek, advanced my photograph of the Bonaventure Lady in the Art Live Action in Not to mention a ton of fantastic people in Facebook and who have sent their love, prayers, good vibes, good juju, reiki and other positive energy our way.

The online community has always impressed me with how much love and support it will give out when people need it most. Thank you!!!