Crafting Pains

I am a crafter. I think I was born a crafter because I love making things with my hands from raw materials. Everyone loves something that was made specifically for them to enjoy.

When I was 9 years old in the Cub Scouts, I learned to make keychains with 2 strands of Rexlace, or as some people call it “Gimp”. I made a few here and there at that age, but never went further with the craft until I was in my early 30’s when I remembered how fun it was to make, so I decided I wanted to learn all over again. I played around with the 2 strand keychains, but still didn’t know how to finish them, so I did what we did as kids, we burned the strands to melt them together with a lighter. That of course was the wrong way to do it.

Fast forward 10 years to a couple of years ago when I broke my arm and decided I wanted to make keychains again, but this time I learned how to properly finish them. I also learned how to make keychains with more than just 2 strands and in many patterns. I went overboard and opened an Etsy shop to sell my keychains. I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but it was fun.

I recently had an order for 200 mini DNA red and white keychains. Unfortunately my carpal tunnel syndrome got in the way, and I was only able to complete half of the order before I was forced to take a break. I shipped out the first 100 in the first week of October, and I just finished the second 100 and am going to ship those out in the morning.

This is a casual business for me. I’m not living on the profits, in fact, when I do get an order, which is very rare, it helps me buy some groceries, or it may help me pay for a new video game, or jewelry that I wanted to buy. I never intended on huge bulk orders like this. It’s nice that someone thinks highly of my work that they want a huge order, but my hands can’t handle the constant torture from pulling strands of plastic lace.

My hands are in so much pain that I wake up every morning in agony. When I go to the gym, if I have my hands up on the bars or on the top of the treadmill, the pain in my thumb is excruciating and I have to bring my arms down to swing.

As of right now, I’m retired from making anything in bulk. I don’t mind making up to 10 keychains,  10 mini or 5 regular size, but that’s it. I’m going to have to just stop the torture on my poor hands. I love the work, and appreciate the groceries and winter cycling gear I was able to buy, but it’s just not worth permanent damage to my hands.

Actually, as of right now I am on vacation from my Etsy shop lol. I honestly don’t even want to think about making keychains and earrings, or even the Friendship bracelets or anything that is repetitive.

Come to think of it, my hands are killing me from typing this blog post. I have to rest my right hand from typing every few minutes, so I’m just going to stop typing and get in bed.

Collapsible Box For My Bike

My bike with a collapsible box

I keep saying that my new $5 back wheel is just a temporary fix and that I’m not going to put any more money into my old bike, but then something happens and I need to put more money into it.  It’s just something that I needed to do to be able to continue using my bicycle.

I think that when I had my accident, the rack got bent somehow because when I put the $5 thrift store wheel on, the rack was pressed up against the wheel.  In order to continue using the rack, I had to unscrew it from the bottom and screw it back on crooked.  It still works, but now my problem is that when I am riding with the townie basket full of groceries, it pulls the rack closer to the wheel, which makes it very difficult to ride.  I tried putting the townie basket on the other side, but then I wouldn’t be able to lock my bike up correctly the way I have been.  The townie basket is in the way and the only way I could lock it up is to bring the basket with me.  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

My partner bought a $5 collapsible box from Dollar General and I wondered if one of those would work.  He bought me a box and I didn’t put it on right away because I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that.  I had 2 options, put it on the way that I did, widthwise, or lengthwise.  I suppose it would work either way, but I just figured that if it were lengthwise, the back wouldn’t be sitting on the rack and it would probably eventually break.  I needed some time to think of how I was going to do this, and today I did it.

I was sitting in my room and suddenly it just clicked.  I thought to myself, I wonder if we have some wood in the back yard that I could cut and put under the box to support it.  I went back there and found a long piece of wood, so I measured 2 pieces the length of the box and cut them. I drilled holes in the bottom of the box and the wood and screwed them together, but the flat head is on the bottom so nobody can unscrew them from the top. The top is just smooth caps so they look riveted. I had leftover wood so I put that in the middle so you can’t really see it. When I was done putting the wood under the collapsible box, I drilled holes in the bottom of the box through the wood and into the rack, but only enough to mark where I was going to drill through the metal in the rack. 3 holes. Of course I had to remove the rack, wouldn’t want drill holes in my wheel. Also it would be very difficult to screw the screws tight into the caps if I have the wheel in my way.

So that was all that it took.  I don’t have any assurance that the box won’t eventually break, after all it is very thin cheap plastic, but it was only $5 so it wasn’t a huge investment at all.  It was a fun little project.

My old townie basket was fabric, so it wasn’t as sturdy as a plastic box.  It only held 1 bag of groceries, of course when I say 1 bag I don’t mean plastic, I mean those reusable fabric bags that they sell at the grocery stores.  This new collapsible box will most likely hold 2 bags which will make it so much easier for me to buy a bunch of groceries on my own.  Whenever I go to the store, I usually have to make sure I only buy a few items, or whatever will fit in 1 bag.  I also had to be careful with weight.  Now neither weight nor quantity is an issue.  I can make the trek to Food Maxx or Dollar General and easily buy 2 bags full of groceries and not have to worry that the groceries might fall out.  Although, I better be careful with pot holes.

The only issue is that when the box is open, it’s close enough to the seat that I’m kind of sitting on it.  It doesn’t make a huge difference to me, but I’m just afraid that I might put too much pressure on it.  I’m sure it would be fine though so I’m not going to worry about that.

The other issue is that I won’t be able to use it at night because it blocks my back light.  I don’t normally go to the store on my bike at night anymore since I had my accident.  I had the accident because it was dark and I didn’t see the thing that I ran over which flipped me off my bike.  Since that happened, if I have to go to the grocery store at night, I walk.  Not having my back light while the box is in use won’t be a real issue because I don’t ride it at night, however, there might be a day that raining and I would normally have the light during the day, but I think that if it is a rainy day, I will just stay at home and wait until it’s not raining, or we can take the car.

I like it and I can’t wait to be able to use it the next time I go grocery shopping on my bike.

I gained weight this week

week_28-2

Well this sucks.  I actually gained weight this week.  A few weeks ago I hit a plateau at 197lbs, but throughout this whole journey I haven’t once gone up.  This is the first time I’ve actually gained weight.

I’m not worried though because I am confident that my weight will continue going down again next week.  Just the other night I weighed myself and I was 192.8 so this is just a minor setback.

I’ve been feeling a bit off today and yesterday.  I’ve been having dizzy spells and today I was dizzy and my stomach was feeling crappy, so maybe something is happening with my body that is causing me to not lose weight.  The only thing I can think is that perhaps the Michelina’s isn’t agreeing with me.  Who knows, but I am going to be strapped for cash this month so I can’t exactly afford to buy the weight watchers.

Perhaps it’s stress that I am unnecessarily putting on myself because I haven’t had a lot of views or sales on my Etsy shop.  Since I’ve been browsing other peoples shops and their items, things have been picking up for me.  People have been clicking favorite on my keychains and my shop, so perhaps being social will help me get some sales.  I was going to save the money from the keychains and earrings for a new bike so I can exercise, but if I have to use whatever money I get from Etsy for groceries then so be it.  I just put my Nintendo 64 on ebay, so hopefully I can sell that to help me with groceries, who knows if anyone will buy or even bid on it though.

I’m sure things will work out and next week I will have more weight loss.  Who knows, I might be 191 next Saturday.  I’m not going to expect it though, if it happens, then it happens.  If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.  No big deal.  It’s not like I’m trying to lose weight to fit into a particular outfit by a specific date or anything.  I’ve been fat all these years, what’s a little set back going to do?  Nothing.  I have to be patient and know that the weight WILL come off eventually.  I got this far in such a little amount of time, so I’m happy with the progress I’ve already made.  No worries.

Until next week I guess.

week_28-2 Update July 15: A few hours after I posted this, I… how do I say this without sounding crude?  I found out that the reason I hadn’t lost any weight that day was because I had a couple extra pounds inside of me waiting to get out lol.  As Jessica Simpson put it, I had to drop the kids off at the pool.  I can still say that I gained weight because I was 193.6 last week and this week I weighed in at 193.8.  This morning I weighed myself and I was 193.0 so at least I am progressing.  I’m not losing weight as fast as I was in the beginning of my weight loss journey, but I am still losing weight and that is all that matters.

My Nintendo 64 on Ebay

Nintendo 64

Today is a sad day for me because I had to put my Nintendo 64 on ebay.  I bought it from someone in 2002 and played it a couple of times, but then I didn’t have time for it because I was too busy playing EverQuest on my computer.  I had a lot of fun playing The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, and I never even got to finish it, but I sadly got bored with it when I got stuck and couldn’t figure out how to continue.  It has sat in my TV cabinet all these years.

I bought the other 2 games South Park and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil in 2010 I believe.  I played South Park for like 5 minutes, but I didn’t play Turok 2 so I never really enjoyed it.  I did however have a lot of time with the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time.  I only got to a certain point and then couldn’t get past it and gave up.

So I made some videos of the game play so you can see that the system and games do work.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil – I have to admit, I have never actually played the game so I had no idea where to go or what to do lol.  http://youtu.be/sm_0yG-m1Ow

South Park: http://youtu.be/elYhbZu3Bls

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: http://youtu.be/698xbfc4QUE

My original thought was to sell this on ebay so I could save up for a new bike, but I have a feeling I’m going to need the money for groceries this month.  I hope we are going to be okay for food, but just in case, I would like to sell this so we can survive.

I broke my arm

So funny story…  I broke my arm.

What happened was, last night I rode my bicycle to the store and on my way home I was riding through a parking lot to go to the sidewalk on Chester Avenue. In the parking lot of the restaurant is a tax place and they put in a walk way to the front door. For some reason they decided to put a curb on both sides of the walkway. There’s really no reason for it. Long story short, I was riding through the parking lot and it was dark so I really couldn’t see the curb and I rode right over it . I went head over handlebars and landed on my left arm. All of my weight broke my arm.

I sat there on the ground for a few minutes because I couldn’t move. My arm was in so much pain that it hurt to even flinch. I decided that I had to get up, but it was very difficult. I got up anyway and went for my phone which was in my left front pocket. Of course I couldn’t pull it out with my left hand, so I had to reach over with my right hand to pull my phone out. I called home and said “help I’ve been in an accident.” I told my partner where I was and he drove right away to pick me up.

He put my bicycle in the car and drove home because I insisted that he put the groceries in the refrigerator and freezer. He drove me to the emergency room at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and they took me to get x-rays almost immediately. It took maybe an hour and a half before they finally called me to go into a room to tell me the results of the x-ray. I just assumed that he was going to tell me that I dislocated my shoulder or just badly bruised my arm, but he told me that I did in fact break my arm. He didn’t put me in a cast and I didn’t have any surgery, he said that the bones were in place, so I just need to keep my arm in a sling for the next month.

I feel very stupid for not paying more attention because I have gone that way a million times and nothing like that has ever happened before. The thing that upsets me the most is that I’ve never broken a bone in my body my entire life. 42 years with not one broken bone. Oh well, I guess I was due lol.

Well, the positive thing about this is that I am able to type this by using my voice on my android cell phone lol. So I guess most of my computer activity is going to be with my voice. On the plus side, I don’t have to do any chores for a while lol. I can find a silver lining in anything.

The doctor said it will take a month to heal.

Writing on and putting up walls

brick wall

I think as a human being we all have the right to our own happiness, right?  I mean, it’s what I would love to believe.  So when I write something silly or even stupid on my Facebook wall, blog and/or Twitter, I’d like to think that I shouldn’t get criticized or yelled at for sharing random personal information about myself.

When people start talking down to me and I have never even said boo to them, I build walls in my head and they usually never come down.  I like to think that I give people enough chances before I put up this wall.  After 42 years of having people treat me like dirt, the amount of chances a person gets goes down.  You have heard of the three strikes law right?  Well, I used to give people 3 chances.  But then I’ve heard the saying “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”  So screw 3 strikes, if you are rude to me a second time then that’s it, I’m done.  And believe me, when I say to you “I’m done” at the end of an argument, that means I’m finished with you.  I may not unfriend you, but I will remove you from any streams so I can’t see what you are saying and I will restrict you from seeing what I say in the future, that way I don’t give you any chances to be rude to me.

Why is it that people are always rude to me though?  I never say or do anything bad to anyone.  I’m never rude or belligerent with people on purpose.  I don’t tell people how to live their lives, so why do people do that to me?  I don’t get it.  This is my life, I pay the rent, I pay the bills, I buy the groceries, I am who is responsible for my life, not other people, so why do they feel the need to criticize me when I say something that is meaningless to them?  I never talk down to people because who the heck am I to do that to them?  So who the heck are people to talk down to me?  Screw them!  Who needs them anyway?

I have built so many walls that if I were building a house, I would have at least 1 floor of a 2 bedroom house completed.  I’m not joking either.  It sucks that I have to live this way.

I am just venting… sorry you had to see that.