Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My hamster, Cherry, died last night. She was already an adult when I got her a year ago. And I had the feeling a few days ago she was reaching the end, but still, sad. :(

Friday, March 25, 2011

So sick

I haven't been this sick in a long time. If I were any sicker or had intestinal pain, I'd go to the ER. Sore throat with a lot of pustules, swollen lymph nodes, aching like crazy, nausea and vomiting almost everything I eat or drink, fever topping 101 (I run a degree subnormal, sonyhis is like 102 for normal-temped people).... Woke up feeling like hell and have felt worsted as the day has gone on. :-(

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tooth #14

I forgot to report! Yesterday Charlotte cut tooth #14, her lower right incisor. Not that this matters to anyone, but it sure makes it easy when I go back to update her baby book!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Phantom of the Opera Christine Daee Dressing/Mirror ensemble

So it's been a few more days. Oh well. I got them up on Facebook. See my page here: Aria Couture and become a fan. I'll also update there more often. I really need to update my regular website, which takes forever.

When Cody first saw this, he though something was missing. Nope, the skirt is sheer!

Separate chemise and skirt, and corset.

The robe is meant to be left open. The original in the film didn't have a closure.

However, a ribbon lets it close beautifully without adding anything to the robe.

Long, pretty train. The entire robe is edged in sequined lace. At the neckline and down to the waist, it's gathered.

Made to bustle by request.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sneaky peeky

More tomorrow night or Thursday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Charlotte dancing to the Family Guy theme!

I watched this show on Hulu when I was in labor. I wonder if that explains her absolute love of the show. :) Her daddy took this video a couple days ago. Watch it with sound.

Three reasons I'm fine not having a car right now

1) Gas is closing in on $5 a gallon here. Cripes!

2) Without being able to get around so easily, impulse-spending has had to stop.

3) Walking a mile to the grocery store twice in one day is no longer even a semi-daunting prospect, which has got to be good for our health.

That's not to say we don't want another car. We do! But we're not in any rush right now. We're looking at something like a newer Nissan Quest. Yes, a minivan, but it looks sportier than the typical 80's-style box minivans.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Our car sold this afternoon. I'm sad. I loved that car.

Cody has laryngitis. It can last a couple weeks. He's able to go to work, but one of the operators is having to make the phone calls he's usually in charge of. He literally can't talk.

The show An Idiot Abroad is one of the best ever. I don't watch it laughing at Karl for being an "idiot." He's really not. I can't stand how mean Ricky and Stephen are to him.

The corset I'm working on for that Christine/Phantom ensemble is amazing. The sequins really catch the light in a gorgeous way. It's unusual how the original closes with hooks and eyes in the front. I'll be finished in a few days. And then I am going to have to update my site. I'm not looking forward to that.

Charlotte is picking a present for you!

She picked a laugh! =D

Friday, March 11, 2011

Final auction prices

The Lilli bracelet (genuine pearl, Swarovski crystal, sterling silver) closed at $50. This bracelet was named after a little girl in Australia, named Lilli, who died of SIDS. Through my etsy shop, half the price of this bracelet sold will go to SIDS & Kids, an organization that is trying to find a way to end SIDS.

The Ashley set (genuine 6mm faceted emeralds, rhodium-plated silver findings) closed at $75. I haven't heard back yet from Ashley's mom in taking a set. I don't know if I will, and don't blame her. Last summer a lot of really cruel people left a lot of evil, hurtful remarks on her blog about the decisions she and her husband made for Ashley (by not just letting her die), and just general insults directed at their daughter. I wouldn't be surprised if she is generally distrustful of everyone online after the attack on her family last year. :(

The Nina set (genuine 6mm faceted sapphires, rhodium-plated silver findings) closed at $90. Nina's mom will be receiving a set. I have heard back from her. My heart is broken for her. Nina, her daughter, passed a little over a week ago, just after her birthday.

The Kate set (genuine 6mm faceted rubies for the earrings and 8mm for the pendant, rhodium-plated silver findings) closed at $200. Kate will be receiving a set. When she saw the photo, she told me she coveted it for herself, and I let her in on how I was going to send her and Nina's mom and Ashley a set, if they all wanted them, and she was excited. Kate pours all of herself, and then some, into her children, and I know she's exhausted. She deserves something nice for herself.

The gift certificate closes tomorrow and is currently at $30.

So far $445, if the gift certificate closes where it's at now. I'm going to let Kate know that, if she'd like to offer the runners-up of the bracelet and Nina set (those two got multiple bids) have sets for their bids ($85 on the Nina set, $35 for the bracelet), that she'd be welcome to. It would add another $120 and bring my donations up to $575 raised.

It's nice helping people out when I can! I may not be able to give money right now, but this is something.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A mystery!

This afternoon a large package arrived for me. I wasn't expecting anything, especially a very large package large enough that USPS made a special trip here to deliver it. It could fit in a regular mail truck if the truck isn't too full. It was about 4' long.

I took it to my sewing room thinking maybe I'd ordered some sewing thing or another and forgot. I opened the box and there was no note of any sort, just three slender objects wrapped in heavy bubble wrap. It was three beautiful scepters! Two of them look very earthy and like some of the tulle is antique. One of them has a heavy glass ball on top. The third is in deeper shades, much more regal. I'd expect each of them to cost quite a bit of money.

I checked the box again, and the return address was just an address in a city I had never heard of. Cody is stumped too. We asked his mom if she knew anything. Nope. We are all completely baffled.

I got new business card today. I thought UPS would never get here. Actually they were delivered at 7:55pm, which I think might be later than they're supposed to be delivering! The gift card and address labels I ordered also arrived. Lame of me to be so excited over the little things.

Earlier today Cody and I were watching Princess and the Frog with Charlotte. She was dancing like a little nut. He said to me that, while we have our stresses and we're worried about not having a car, all in all we're pretty lucky. We have a stable roof over our heads, both of us steadily bring in income, we have plenty of food to eat, we have gas, electricity, are within walking distance of everything we need and can order anything else, we've got five great animals, each other, and a little princess booger who makes us laugh.

And he's right. So the IRS is jerking us around again, claiming to not have received his 2006 nor 2007 tax returns (2006 was the last year he and his ex-wife would have filed jointly, and she is extremely organized and they would have been done), and I clearly remember 2007's return because it was so hard getting his W2 that he had to file an extension, and then ended up owing all of $86, which was paid via bank money order. Randi is seeing if she can fine the 2006 return, though we understand that may have to wait until next month (she's getting married early next month), and I'm 99% sure we have a copy of 2007's return in one of our external drives.

Well, the IRS is holding our 2010 refund over it. But look two paragraphs up. Re-read. That's what's important.


It may take us longer to leave this state, but in the meantime, we still have what we need. We still have each other. We still have each other and our very dearly loved little girl.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New look!

I've had the same layout since day 1 of this particular blog, way back in mid-2009. Charlotte was still a little bundle of "kick mommy's bladder"! I decided it's finally time for an updated look, and to maybe add some focus to this blog. Oh sure, there'll still be the complaining that's kinda sorta stereotypical of me, but I think it would do me some good to add positive focus. Yes, this means sharing recipes and cleaning tips. There's been so much that's dragged me down that I need to thing more about the good, and the good, for me, involves wearing aprons and making whole wheat bread with honey. So that's what I'm going to do.

For now, I'm going to make a sandwich, a peanut butter and strawberry preserves sandwich on some cheater-bread I bought at the store last night because there was no bread flour on the shelf and I didn't feel like tracking someone down to find some in the back.

Auction update

I'm really please that, so far, my contributions have bids of $30, $76, $85, and $200! There is just shy of three days left on the jewelry, and just shy of four days left on the gift certificate. I'm excited to see ho high they go! Payment will be made directly to the Estes family, and I will ship the items directly to the buyers.

I found out there's a UPS in the same plaza I've been walking to do shopping. This is thrilling for me! The next nearest one I know of is just too damn far of a walk with a baby in a stroller to do it often considering most of the way home is up hill, and let me tell you, even a block uphill with a heavy baby (well, she's slim for a toddler, but 21 pounds is still 21 pounds) in a heavy stroller is exhausting! I walked that far with her once, and decided to walk another few miles to wait for the bus to take us to the stop that's half a mile from our house.

But this one is just about a mile away, and it's a level walk! Sad that I'm so excited about this. But then again, it removes the concern I've had about relying on others to get things shipped! I don't have to wait for when someone can come out and take me to the other UPS, or wait until I can stomach walking several miles with half of it pushing a stroller up hill. It's not as easy of a walk as it sound.

The next six weeks I have a schedule packed so tight that there's a lot of pressure, and it's the kid of pressure I love. Got a Phantom of the Opera "Mirror" ensemble, a "Wendy Darling" dress for a mom and a Peter Pan tunic and hat for her son, a Chumash (the local Native American tribe) wedding gown, a couple toddler night gowns, and a matching mommy and daughter Easter dress set. All by Easter. Well, the wedding gown is actually due for pick-up (local client) May 1st. Close enough to Easter.

I'm so relieved to be getting everything back on track. Also my new business cards arrive tomorrow. If it's any indication of how stressful life's been for a while, those getting here thrills me a ridiculous amount.

I do have a massively massive website update to do though. About a couple dozen dresses I still need to add. We can't find a working SATA-USB cable, and haven't made getting one a priority, primarily because that is one thing we can't get within walking distance. So I'm going to order one online and then...update of DOOM!

I'm also going to the Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 exhibit with one of my four favorite aunts in a couple weeks which about has me wetting myself with excitement.

And on a bittersweet note, I just say this article about a little boy obsessed with the Army who hasn't much time left to live. On his birthday, unbeknownst to him, he was going to be made an honorary member of the Army. So very sweet.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wheels for Noah

I'm totally plugging this auction: Wheels for Noah charity auction. It's for the Estes family. They're raising money to help pay for a handicapped-accessible van. Their son's wheelchair isn't the typical, easy-fold one that can fit in a car. It's one specially made for a child with a lot of medical needs, and so they need a van that can transport him in his chair. They've been working hard on making ends meet with a lot of children, as well as taking care of medical expenses for their son. I've donated a few earrings and pendant sets, as well as a bracelet, and a gift certificate. I know some people might be turned off to their blog because it's pretty religious, but they're a good family who need a bit of help. Their small business, Hands and Hearts, also sells a lot of religious items, but also a lot of secular items. I've bought several toys for Charlotte from there. So say Charlotte loves her sorter-thing is an understatement!

Okay, spam-time over. But it's a good cause. Go check it out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who would have thought?

I let mom come back after her 5150 in the psych ward weekend before this last because I didn't want her to have nowhere to stay when she got out. She did better for a while. As in a few days. Then she started bitching at me for everything under the sun again.

If I picked up some fabric to sew, I was neglecting Charlotte, how dare I sew if Charlotte's awake. If I sew when Charlotte's napping, how dare I not spend time with her instead! And no, sewing and talking at the same time doesn't count. Then she said I was lying about having a business at all since I wouldn't take her to my store. Um, Tron is just a movie. Also I had to postpone an in-person fitting for a wedding gown because Mom was too off her rocker and argumentative. She's been trying to sabotage me because she doesn't think Cody and I really need the money I make sewing. She doesn't believe we are really as paycheck-to-paycheck as I say we are. She doesn't think paying for her meds out of pocket are really that expensive. A dozen of them ranging from heart to pancreatic to psych meds, some that are only available as namebrands are damned expensive!!

If I went to the bathroom without Charlotte, how dare I not have her in there with me! If I did, what was wrong with me for not wanting privacy? Yeah, I couldn't even go to the bathroom right. Until about midnight last night, I hadn't been able to take a shower for a full week because she bitched at me if I was in the bathroom longer than a minute. Since she stays up later than even I do, staying up late didn't help.

Yesterday she got an e-mail from social security asking for a third party to fill out a form about her abilities. I wasn't comfortable writing things like she had to be bathed and her hair washed for her, and she had to be spoon-fed. I understand she wants to sound like a complete invalid because social security really should have approved her by now, but I told her I was willing to anyway. She got mad that I wouldn't joyfully do it for her to help her "for once." So she threatened to go back to Winton, to where Cody and I dropped all to go rescue her a few weeks ago.

Get this- she is. She's going right back to her husband's place, though he's been in jail twice for domestic violence against her and the restraining order is through 2013. She also called the guy who beat her up a few weeks ago for the money. Then she got pissed at me for...I don't even know. And went for a walk, said she was going to be gone an hour, but was gone for several hours last night. So I managed to take a shower, but hurried up in case she got home and starte bitching at me.

Among other things, she banned me from checking e-mail, from Facebook, etc.. If I as much as picked up the computer in her presence, she bitched at me. I managed to sneak a few minutes online to post the wedding wrap-up I started weeks ago and she caught me and yelled at me. She also ordered me to ignore my friends because she "needed" my time more than they did. I'm several days behind in e-mails. I dread to see what I've missed, and will likely procrastinate on checking e-mail for another day or two.

Today she started in on everything from how Cody and his mom are afraid of me and think I'm a leach, and Cody wants to leave me but is afraid to tell me. Also my best friends are afraid of me but are too scared to tell me. Needless to say, those who know she's said this about them so far are livid. She also threw in my face how I still battle with having an eating disorder, still have to use a ton of willpower not to starve myself or throw up everything. She also claims that she is the one raising Charlotte and I neglect Charlotte and Charlotte should be taken away from me.

She also said that I have never helped her, ever! She said all I've ever done is take-take-take from her. Uh, what is there to take? We've been giving everything my little family has to give. Without question! From taking her clothing shopping to buying her cigarettes. No question. Just jump to do what she said is what we did. She made me so mad I started yelling at her to just shut up!! Shut up shut up shut up!! For the first time ever I threw something in anger, and that was a dictionary on the floor. There was so much yelling that Charlotte was standing inside my bedroom door, back pressed against the wall, hands over hear ears, crying.

She followed me around the house and into my room and wouldn't leave me alone and accused me of being on meth, crack, heroin (I'm so terrified of needles in skin that it's amazing I sew, I'm that scared, and even Cody had to give me the IVF shots, so the thought of me shooting heroin is laughable), PCP, etc., and said she was going to call social services on me for it, yelling at me while I was holding Charlotte, but that point so scared and confused that the grandma who was so nice to her was suddenly so evil, that she was just staring. I told her to get the fuck out, and she wouldn't. She said I'd have to call 911 and my love is conditional if I made her leave. I see it different. After a point, it's enabling, and we've given her so much already without asking for anything in return. So I called 911. Cody got home while I was on the phone and I had him take Charlotte to the back yard to get here away from what was going on.

Cops came out, including one of the cops who was here last time. Since we've let her get mail here, she's established residency, so they can't make her leave. But she called Richard, who is supposed to send her some money. The police are encouraging a restraining order, which I want to get if I can get to the courthouse. They left before she did, but told me to call back if she gets worse at all and they'd haul her in. I think they were getting angry with her double-talk too.

Anyway she took MY suitcase and packed it though wouldn't let me see what was in it. I didn't even realize until she went to the door with it and I wanted to see what she had in it to make sure she didn't pack anything of mine. She grabbed my favorite socks then yelled at Cody to call 911 on me and said I was lucky I was holding Charlotte, but then dared me to lay a finger on her and told me I'm dead to her. Fine. I don't care. She's dead to me too.

Cody and I have gone through so much for her for the last couple years. We moved her at our expense when she was being evicted, and she blew that. We've sent her money time and time again and never questioned because I felt bad she was washing with dog shampoo and not eating. We've brought her to out home several times in just the last five months. We've given her two cell phones that both ended up stolen within days at a loss of a few hundred to us each time (and she's mad I didn't get her a third one, though we literally have no money right now because we've been supporting her and getting her anything she asked for).

I feel close to a mental breakdown myself. I feel awful that I actually forced her to walk out the door with nowhere to go tonight, but you know what? She did it to me, nine years ago. I had been out of the hospital just three days, and she was made I didn't fold a basket of laundry. My family might remember that hospital stay. Six weeks comatose, blood oxygen down around 60 percent (that's brain-damage level, and yeah, my brain unfortunately can't handle as much as it used to), my leg muscles atrophied from being on my back so long, hole in my small intestine that was draining into my abdomen unchecked, severe toxemia, my heart constantly on the verge of failing.... I wasn't expected to be more than a vegetable after it was over, and somehow lived and am relatively okay. Yet three days after getting out, she kicked me out over a load of laundry, and I was homeless for a couple weeks until an ex-employer of mine found out, tracked me down, and had me move in with her. In that two weeks, I had two abscesses that resulted in ambulance rides to the ER.

So I shouldn't feel bad. Too bad I'm a better person than that. Or maybe a weaker one. At this point, I don't know. I just feel like crying and screaming and throwing stuff and starving myself and screaming some more. I've tried so fucking hard for so fucking long and am so fucking exhausted, and it was all for nothing.