My Year In Review

my year in chalkboard

before and after morro bay 2013 was a very good year for me.  I started out not wanting to make a new years resolution out of fear of the disappointment that would always come from breaking it.  I decided to make one after a few days, and I stayed with it, well, until July anyway.  I said I wanted to lose weight and I did.  By July I had lost 70lbs with an android app called Noom, but then the weight stopped dropping and I gained 10lbs back, but fluctuated throughout the rest of the year.  I started out the year at 264lbs, went down to 194lbs and as of today I am 205lbs.  I will make another resolution to get back on my diet so I can get down to the weight that I wanted to get down to.  I know how to do it, I just need the willpower.

xray1 On March 16th I had an accident while riding the bicycle home from the grocery store at night and I broke my arm.  It was the ball of my left arm that fits into the shoulder socket.  I didn’t have a cast, instead all I was given was a sling from the emergency room.  By that time I had already lost 35lbs, and as you can already tell from the previous paragraph, the broken arm didn’t stop me from reaching my weight loss goal.

etsy banner While I was recovering from my broken arm, I decided that I wanted to start a new craft.  Well, it wasn’t really a new craft, it was an old craft that I learned when I was 9 and in the Cub Scouts.  I had some materials, so I wanted to use them up by making a couple of keychains.  I had so much fun that I decided that I wanted to learn a more complicated pattern.  I got so good at it and I was having so much fun that I ended up with about 40 keychains, so I opened up an Etsy shop.  I started out with keychains, and I added dangle keychain style earrings, studs and hoops and I already have plans on making and selling dream catcher earrings.

On June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled DOMA to be unconstitutional and Prop 8 was finally repealed.  HURRAY!  What a glorious day that was for the gay community in California.  In fact, 18 (or 19) states made gay marriage legal in 2013 and legal on a federal level.  The reason I said or 19 is because Wikipedia doesn’t include DC, but says eighteen states AND District of Columbia.  Whatever.  18 or 19, it’s still a huge victory for us.  Illinois is in that 18, but theirs isn’t legal until June 2014.

IMAG2002 In late July I started having pain in my parotid gland, which happens at least 2 or 3 times a year for I want to say the last 10 years, but I am not positive.  It’s been going on for a very long time.  The parotid gland is the saliva gland and for some reason the saliva doesn’t release into my mouth, instead something blocks the way and it swells up to the size of a golf ball or bigger.  I try to milk it so the saliva goes into my mouth, and that does work, but it hurts really bad.  The doctors usually give me an antibiotic and it clears up in a week, but this time it didn’t clear up.  My doctor sent me to an ear, nose throat doctor and to have an ultrasound which showed that I had a stone inside of my parotid gland.  The ENT doctor sent me to have a cat scan with contrast which showed that I had several stones in both of my parotid glands, but the ones on the right side were much bigger than the left.  I had surgery on November 20th to remove my parotid gland.  The area is still numb and I was told it will probably be numb for another couple or few months.  YAY!

My back has caused me tons of pain for so many years and this summer I finally found out what was causing it.  Apparently I have scoliosis in my spine.  I told my aunt about it and she told me that my great-grandmother was born with scoliosis and she lived her entire life with it.  I remember she had a hump on her back, that was the scoliosis.  My doctor sent me to physical therapy for a month and that halted the pain, but it didn’t correct anything.  I have an appointment in January to start treatment up again, and it’s a good thing too because the pain is already starting to come back.  My first treatment was a shock, no, seriously, they put these electrodes on my back and it shot electricity to my nerves to dull them.  They had me do exercises for half an hour and then they would give me a deep tissue massage. The electrode was only applied to me on the first visit, all the other appointments were just me laying on the table doing exercises and then massages.  The last couple appointments didn’t include a massage.

bread slicer pumpkin bread We went to a thrift store in October and I found a bread machine for only $6.  I can’t say I have ever had homemade bread before, like ever, so that was quite an experience.  I did learn that I was doing it wrong for a very long time when I had such a horrible stomachache which felt like I had a 10lb brick sitting in my stomach.  Apparently the bread was too dry.  I read the instructions.  It clearly stated that I was to use exact measurements, no more, no less, so I was only doing what I was told to do, but apparently rules are made to be broken.  Now the bread is light and fluffy and it actually tastes better than store bought bread.  My favorite bread to make is Spiced Pumpkin Bread with raisins.  Have you ever had a ham sandwich or a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with pumpkin bread with raisins?  It’s quite awesome.  Although I will have to cut back on the bread when I start my diet up again.

We also helped feed a couple of neighbors for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which frankly is what the holidays are all about.  It’s nice to receive presents, but it’s even nicer to do a good deed for someone.  I guess those were our good deeds for the year.

Of course we exchanged presents.  I got a Nook HD+ 32GB tablet from my partner, and I gave him a Google Chromecast so he can watch Netflix and YouTube from his tablet, plus I got him Netflix.

I don’t know what will happen in 2014, but I’m sure it will be as memorable as 2013.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Earrings and Keychains Galore

etsy dna earrings

You know the story of when I first learned how to make keychains right?  Do I have to go back down memory lane again?  Oh alright, you twisted my arm.

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I could be wrong on the particular age, my parents would buy us kids crafts to keep us busy.  We learned latch hook so we would make rugs that would end up on the wall for a very brief moment before they disappeared and nobody ever wondered where they went, or at least I didn’t anyway.  I went into the Cub Scouts at age 9 and that was when I learned to make the keychains, but the very simple box one.  I couldn’t even make the circular ones yet.  I certainly didn’t know how to finish them because we would end up lighting the ends on fire and they would turn black.  That was a hazard for a 9 year old to play with fire and to squash the burning plastic with their fingers lol.

I also learned plastic canvas crafts while in the Cub Scouts and I learned how to tie dye a t-shirt at Salvation Army band camp when I was 12.  When I was 17 I learned to make friendship bracelets and when I was 18 I learned to crochet, knit and embroider.

Since then my craft has certainly evolved, unfortunately so has the pain which caused carpal tunnel syndrome.  I have my good days and bad days, but mainly I just work on the keychains and earrings whenever I get the chance.

I started making the Rainbow DNA plastic lanyard earrings recently based on the actual keychains of which I have even made several different styles and color combinations.  I was looking at a keychain and thinking, this would look great on an earring, but on a smaller scale, and here I am now.  The 2nd pair of earrings that I made are a bit more patriotic to match the patriotic DNA lanyard keychain that I have made.

So I’m having fun making them and really, isn’t that what life is all about?  Doing what you love and having fun doing it.  I think it is.  I love the keychains, and I just adore the earrings to match and I think you will too.  So check them out and let me know how you like them.

The keychains are $3.50, the earrings are $5 and the shipping is $2.00 and .25 cents for each additional item in your order.  My Etsy shop is called GayNerd.

Lanyard Keychains

noom keychains

I got bored so I started making keychains.  I honestly don’t know why I started making these again.  I think that I just needed to get my mind off of my weight loss and start focusing on something else for a change.  I literally have a worry that if I focus too much on my weight loss, I might put too much stress on my mind and my brain will release Cortisol, a  chemical which will stop the weight loss and actually make me gain weight.  I read about that.  I’m edumacated.

I decided that I want to focus my keychains on the color green for the Noom app.  Don’t ask me why.  I have a lot of the “Gimp” (as I heard it being called today) so I will be busy for quite a while.  What do I plan to do with these Noom colored keychains?  I’m not sure.  I will have to get back to you on that one.  This will give me enough practice that I will become a pro at making keychains at least.  Look at my supplies…

rexlace Can you say hoarder?  I bought these in 2004 when I was nostalgic for my childhood when I was in the cub scouts which is where I learned how to make the lanyard keychains.  Who knew I would be so nostalgic that I would buy this many?

We went to Michael’s again recently and I went to the aisle that they have these on and they were only .99 cents for the small tubes and the big ones like the black you see here were only $2.99, so they are really cheap and last a long time.  I think that when I bought them, they were half the price, but it was so long ago that I really don’t remember.

So as you can see from the ones I’ve already made, I am doing a square and a round one for each color combination.  Green and black, green and patriotic (red, white and blue), green and yellow, green and white, green and glow in the dark… etc.  I have so many colors that I could literally just keep making green and whatever color until I’ve run out of colors.  I’m sure the green won’t last that long, so perhaps if I run out I might just use random colors.

Again, I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of these keychains.  I will most likely give them away to anyone who wants them, or I might just ship them off to Noom in New York.  I’m sure they would just love that lol.  Here you go, have all of the things that I’m hoarding lol.

A long time friend of mine suggested that I learn the triangle pattern and even sent me a YouTube link.  I tried it, it didn’t work out.  It doesn’t look as fluid as the ones that I know how to make.

Even though I didn’t like the triangle one, learning it did come in handy because one of the patriotic ones (the square one) messed up as I was finishing it off; one of the green strands of gimp broke.  Just as I was about to toss it in the trash I thought, “when life brings you lemons, make lemonade,” so I used the triangle method to finish it off.  Although it looks horrible, but it’s doable.  The green is sticking out so I will have to super glue it.

Some of the gimp that I have are wider than the normal gimp, and I have tried making them into keychains, but they are difficult as heck to make.  I have solid black, green with a pattern on it and an orange with a pattern on it.  Since the green is almost the same color as the Noom green, I might see if I can make it with the black and the green and orange.  I will attempt it, but I can’t promise much.  It would be cool to see how it would look though, so I want to try it.  I might try it soon.

So that’s my “Gimp” LOL I don’t like calling it that.  The box calls it Rexlace.  I like to think of it as just lace or plastic lanyard lace.  Whatever, gimp is fine.  It’s just that when I think of the word Gimp, I think of my photoshopping program lol.

There is a YouTube channel called Laneyards and they have a video for making a hexagon keychain which uses 6 colors.  OMG!  I thought the triangle was hard, I can’t imagine making one with 6.  I actually tried it last night and failed miserably.  I would like to learn how to do it though so I can make a rainbow colored keychain.  That would be really cool.

You know, I was starting to think that I was doing something that was too juvenile or childish, but seeing that guys videos made me realize that it’s not.  I mean, if this guy is making lanyard keychains, and I’m sure many other adults throughout the world are making them, then it’s not so childish after all.  Although, the simple ones I make are probably a bit childish since they are the easier ones that children start out learning, but hey, it’s all I know how to do.  I will try to get better at it though because I want that rainbow hexagon one now lol.

The Search for Childhood Friends

When I got my first internet enabled computer in the late 90’s, I figured it would help me find all of my childhood friends. The ones that I could remember their names anyway. I joined websites like Classmates but they weren’t a huge help because you have to pay them every month. I can’t afford that.

So I’ve basically just been doing a search every year since 1997 and usually with no luck until now. Last year I found 2 friends from the late 70’s, Marla and Jeff. When I was 9, Marla was 5 and Jeff was 10. I considered Marla to be my best friend at the apartment building and I didn’t really get to know Jeff until maybe months before we moved away but when I did get to know him he was my best friend. It was too bad we moved and didn’t become even better friends. I feel like I really missed out on a good friendship.

But I also had a best friend from school named Larry who I’ve searched with no results until last night. Just like when I found Marla and Jeff, I went to Facebook and typed Larry’s full name and I found him. He has been on Facebook for a whole year and I didn’t know. I think that I did find him last year but he didn’t have enough information for me to decide to email him. Also he is a jr. and his name doesn’t say that in his Facebook profile so I wasn’t sure if it was him or not.

I emailed him asking him if he is who I think he is from the late 70’s living in my city and going to my school and even cub scouts with me. He said it was him but he needed more information because he could only remember 2 people from back then. I sent him 2 pictures of me from 1979, 1 in cub scout uniform and another lounging with my older sister. Plus I gave him a huge email explaining why things happened the way they did with me quitting the cub scouts and us moving etc.

That was last night at like 1am and I was tired so I might have over shared with maybe a little too much enthusiasm but I’m sure it didn’t scare him off lol. I tend to do that to people, freak them out with my enthusiasm. I don’t mean to though lol.

I haven’t heard back from him yet but I’m sure I will hear from him tonight and see if that really is him or not. If so then I am so happy that I finally found him after all these years.

Thank you internet and Facebook for bringing people back into my life.