Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Greetings 2014

I can't believe we're at the end of 2013 already! What a crazy year this has been.

As always, I review my annual resolutions to see how well I accomplished them. I'm not going to beat around the bush here. Without further ado, here goes nothing...

1. Scoff all you want at me for following the crowd, but I need to lose weight.

I lost 13 of my goal of 20 lbs, then gained 3 back. New goal is to lose that last stubborn 10 lbs. From now own, this will be included in my "mainstays" section.

2. Overhaul my computer, including but not limited to better organization of all files and folders.

I made a ton progress on this, but I still have so much to do that it will now be a 2014 goal as well.

3. Sort through all belongings and get rid of anything not needed or used regularly.

I also made a lot of progress here, but I'm only half way done at best. It will also carry over to 2014.

4. Exhaust all possibilities with the government concerning SSI, college, etc.

Almost complete. College is not possible. SSI will be slightly increased in 2014, and I am in the process of qualifying for my own apartment.

5. Utilize the textbooks, DVDs, and other tutorials I have obtained over the past year.

FAIL with a capital F! In fact, this might be the failingest fail in ugottafriend.com history. Ha!

6. Complete, or at least put a massive dent in all unfinished art and writing projects.

She shoots, she scores!!!!! I feel like I redeemed myself a little here. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I put a ginormous dent in my writing projects. I am so happy that I did this, and I'll be writing more in 2014! I've also completed a couple of art projects for family, and I'm almost done with one big one from college that's been on the back burner for a few years (yes, you read that right). I'll be sure to finish it next year, and I'll share the pic here!

The changes aren't drastic, but here are my new goals!

Drum roll please...

* Get settled in a new place of my own, or at least be on a reliable waiting list.

* Either utilize my possessions, or sell/give away. This of course does not include anything of sentimental value, just stuff with a useful purpose.

* Take updated photos of all art, complete everything in progress, and market my work.

* Have at least one short story from NaNoWriMo published, even if I have to publish it myself.

* Clean, backup, and reorganize my computer hard drives.

* Build or renovate all blogs and webpages until they are what I want them to be.

The Mainstays:

~ Get my health under control (aka DON'T CROAK)!

~ Stay involved in one or more charities/ministries.

~ Read more, write more, and learn more.

~ Strive to be a better person each and every day.

I greatly appreciate all who take the time to read my blog. I look forward to seeing you again in 2014, and I hope it is a most successful year for you! Take care and God bless always.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The last few days, and the next few days

My Christmas started off a bit rough. I left the house early in the morning on Christmas Eve, and found the youngest cat on the property, Lil Bit, dead in the middle of the road. He or she was the runt of the litter and outlived all of them, only to get hit by a car. Such a shame. My uncle is disappointed and said he hopes no more cats find their way here.

The crazy weather has my body flip-flopping from "somewhat functional" to "crash mode" several times a day. It's hard to make any plans when you don't know if you're going to be upright or not. At any rate, I had dinner with the local family Christmas Eve night, and Christmas dinner with my brother and his family. Christmas Eve, I made baked mashed potatoes. Christmas Day, I made three cheese pasta bake with alfredo, cheddar, and fresh mozzarella, crushed Ritz crackers, and bacon from the local butcher. The baked potatoes were especially a hit, and has already been requested by my stepniece at a future event.

That said, I have over-carbed, and my body is paying for it. HKPP and carbs don't get along whatsoever, and although I ate in moderation, it was still enough to be a noticeable issue. My next grocery trip will not include carbs at all, in fact, I will be going to the local produce stand and butcher shop - that's it. I will post my 2014 list of "recipes to nail" soon. I look forward to continuing to learn how to cook. I can't do it often, but I enjoy it when I do.

Not a lot of gift giving goes on these days, at least not among the adults, however I did receive a few sentimental items and a little bit of money - which is always helpful when you have no income. I also received several nice Christmas cards from my friends, including some of my blog pals. I am grateful to all who thought of me. I sold a pair of painted shoes, and turned right around and invested in more painting supplies with the funds. I plan to relaunch my Etsy store in 2014, with a lot more arts and crafts than I offered in previous years.

The next few days, I'll be catching up on housework (between HKPP crashes, mind you) and making to-do lists to knock out in January. I have every intention of resuming art and writing, simultaneously, in 2014. Stay tuned for my annual "resolutions" blog on NYE, as always.

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrated this month.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chocolatier, I Am Not.

Sadly, this...

turned into this.

I make some sort of chocolate candy every Christmas,
but this year, it became dangerous.
A deep stab of the finger almost resulted in an ER visit.
Thankfully, I got the bleeding under control.
The weather is horrible and the roads are flooded,
so I'm really glad that I didn't have to try to drive in that.
Liquid stitches are on the agenda tomorrow.
Unfortunately, my Chocolate-PB Bark was a casualty.
It could have been worse. At least it wasn't my wrist.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tardis Shoes

I've painted a couple pair of Tardis shoes this month.
One pair for my stepmother, the other for a friend's sister.
I've decided to start accepting commissions after Christmas.
Maybe I'll see some Whovians wearing my shoes in 2014. :)

Calligraphy Door Signs

Completed my nieces' projects!
Jo has a purple polka-dot room.
Zoey's nursery is animal themed.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Raw thoughts concerning an article I read last night.

I was appalled to find an article about a Russian actor who wishes he could "burn all gays alive in an oven". I am not gay, but I have gay friends and relatives, and I hope every one of them outlives that parasite.

I posted the article and shared my thoughts HERE.

Read at your own risk.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Education, Understanding, and the Battle of Senses

HKPP is an ion channelopathy and a systemic disease, and it is very complex. Not only has it resulted in kidney disorders, skeletal weakness, reproductive system failure, endocrine problems, and muscular dystrophy, I am also hypersensitive to lights, smells, touch, certain tastes, and certain sounds. Once it became more severe and I realized that I have sensory problems, my life started to make so much more sense. I can remember walking into class growing up and instantly feeling simultaneously drained, nervous, and agitated. I even escaped to the office or restroom sometimes because I just had to get out of the room, and I couldn't explain why, but I HAD to because I was in pain and felt like I was going to collapse. Unfortunately, this was never addressed on a professional level in school, but there were plenty of mean and ignorant people in my life who said I was crazy, faking, seeking attention, and never took me seriously.

I found the same thing happening in college when my health began to plummet again. I definitely don't regret going to college, but I regret spending extracurricular time there, because it did more harm than good. Hindsight is 20/20, as we all know. I also finally figured out that public places like Walmart were a big trigger thanks to the crowd and lights. I shop at smaller grocery stores now (except the occasional Publix run, but I try to go during non-peak hours when few are there...also, thank God for power chairs). I wear sunglasses a lot now, including indoors, and it has made a big difference in how well I cope with sensory overstimulation. I spend a lot of time alone now in a quiet, dimly-lit room, which might sound sad, but I'm going to do whatever helps. People may think I'm weird, crazy, or a loner, but there are reasons for everything I do and I'm finally learning that the criticism of others is their inadequacy, not mine.

This is a big world, and there are an awful lot of people in it that we must coexist with. It should be everyone's duty to learn to do so with respect and grace. Education and understanding are the only way we will progress as the human race. Why wouldn't we strive for that? Is it not our mission to grow and become better with each passing day? We owe it to ourselves, those around us, and future generations.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Today's project

Hand-lettering is very meticulous work.
I decided to attempt something somewhat classy
instead of doing baby cartoony stuff.

There has been a boom in my family since late 2010.
I have 19 new cousins. I'm not exaggerating. Nineteen.
Here are 4 of them (yes, they belong to the same parents).

There are 21 babies total, including my nieces Jo and Zoey.

Their projects are next. Stay tuned. :-)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo is over. December has arrived.

Oh hey look, a REAL update! Stand by for rambling:

NaNoWriMo ended on an extremely quiet note. People dropped like flies after week two. I knew to expect it, but it still disappoints me that most of the cool peeps I just met are already gone. Boo. That's the way the ball bounces in NaNoLand. Maybe we'll reconnect next year.

So what's next for me? Craft projects for family, all of which I am way behind on. I'll share pics when I'm done with each, and don't worry...it's not ALL going to be Doctor Who stuff (but some of it will...I'm just saying...deal with it). :-)

Absolutely loved the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, by the way. Good show!

In January, I will pick up my writing again and begin revising one of my short stories. I plan to complete the manuscript for that story in early 2014, and will pursue publishing via magazines or fiction journals. I won't rule out self-publishing, but we'll see how things go.

I will also attempt to contact charities again for my non-profit eBook project.

I have a local doctor appointment tomorrow. Hopefully, it will go smoothly.

How sad about Paul Walker. Such a terrible loss. He has a 15 year old daughter whom he had full custody of, and his charity work can be found here. Let's show them some love.

I have to be honest and say that December is a pretty depressing month for me, but I am absolutely positive that it will be better than last year. Thank God for that.