Friday, April 24, 2015

Our little Francy Pants

This is quite possibly very old news but...WE GOT A PUPPY!!!
The last three years have been hard in the dog and cat part of our lives.  To be specific we have lost eight in the the last three years.  Ugg.  All of our dogs are OLD.  We've actually been so lucky that all of our animals have lived to what many would consider and oldish age and most to very ripe old age...but as grateful as I am for that, it didn't make the losses, no matter how old, any easier.
Note to my early 20's self - even though you think keeping one or two pitiful foster dogs every year across a six year period SEEMS like their ages are staggered, they are, as a matter of fact, NOT!  They will all be old At. The. Same. Time.

We needed some young blood in the house.  And no matter how much my dogs disagree, we did!, we needed a puppy.  Like no one has ever needed a puppy.

We started quietly, subtly mentioning it here and there.  Each of us saying it in jest to see how the other responded.  It sorta seemed like we were on the same page.  And without saying it out loud I knew we both understood that when the time was right the right dog would present itself.

Enter the one pound six ounce scabby, patchy haired wonder to be named Francis.

So one day while mindlessly perusing the face books I see this midget of a dog.  His hair, the little he had, was spitting out in a million directions, he had these tiny nubbins for legs, and it took me about three and a half seconds to text Tom and say "can I have it?"
My precious friend Carey... well this is all her fault!  She works at this wonderful grass roots shelter/rescue called Grand Companions in West Texas and Francis-to-be had gotten him self thrown into the clink after having been found hiding under a bush right before the last snow.  Well Carey, being the same kinda animal sucker that I am, fell prey to Francis-to-be's charms and was keeping him in her office (did I leave out that she works at Grand Companions?).  So, long story short, she-posted-him-on-Facebook-I-fell-in-love-Tom-said-YES-and-SaintCarey-drove-Francis-to-be-to-me-that-night!  Six and a half hour drive! That night!  Did you catch the Saint Carey part?

 
So, that is how Francis came to be ours.  Our dogs couldn't be unhappier about it.  But they are all between 10 and 15 years old.  Shockingly they don't enjoy a puppy chewing on their ears or biting them in the back of the thigh while hot on their heels.  The Business Man in particular ... I heard a rumor that he's starting a My Idiot Brother Club (I've been told that if you share his dispassion for Francis you are welcome to join the club!) where he and any of the other dogs can discuss their grievances and plan how to oust Francis from the family.
Luckily Francis is blissfully unaware of their loathing and thinks their running from him is a fantastic game!  Francis does however, have a favorite.  I'm pretty sure he thinks Vincent is the cat's pajamas!  And really who wouldn't?!?  When you've got a jungle gym (climbing up one side of Vincent's back and sliding down the other), a chew toy (furry, moving, no batteries required, tail), a raw hide (Vincent's ear), and a back and head scratcher (the underside of Vincent's chin/jaw) wouldn't you be in hog heaven?!?!!!
video

It's been fun having a baby bugger around the house again.  Of course he is into all kinds of mischeif, but he's small, so it's small mischeif.  He's still in the play hard/crash hard phase.  He can be playing at full tilt and then I can pick him up and he will nap in my lap while I work!  Hammering, sawing, it doesn't matter - he's OUT!
Well, that's him in a nutshell!  The only thing left to tell is how he got his name...I think I'll save that for another post!  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the scariest place on earth

There is no possible way for me to explain, convey, share, describe, depict, illustrate, portray, or in any way make you understand the sheer magnitude of...of...of...well......this place!
Let me back up a bit.  Before our last trip to New York one of my dear friends and fellow jewelers did a little recon to try to discover some possible hidden spots where we might find some great supplies - vintage cabochons, faceted stones, quirky cameos, stuff like that.  Well, did she find it and how!
You might think this is the store room.  It's not.  

This place!  There aren't enough words.  It started when the elevator doors opened and stuff literally spilled into the elevator.  I'm not kidding.  There was no lobby, no entry, no vestibule.  The everything of it all literally began in the elevator.
Backing up even a more.  In New York City space is one of the most valuable commodities.  Most every place is small.  The apartments are small, the restaurants are small, the bodegas are small, the shops are small...with the exception of some chain stores and restaurants, places are small.  Rent is high and space is coveted.  So when I was told that this place my friend had unearthed was 3,500sq feet I thought she had mistakenly added an extra zero.  
But she hadn't.  
It was 3,500sq. ft. and I'm guessing that that did not include the elevator.
Backing up even a bit more.  I don't do terribly well with overly packed spaces.  This might surprise any of you that have ever been to my house because I am a bit of a collector (just hair this side of hoarder!) of things and my house is not, what's the word, um...minimalist.  But when it comes to shopping I'm not very good at digging.  I don't do well in shops like TJ Max or Marshall's where it's just rows and rows of clothes that you have to methodically slide hangers one by one if you want to find anything.  Ugg, just describing it is raising my blood pressure.  So when the elevator doors opened and I saw...well, what I saw, I got weak kneed.  I got a little sweaty, my heart started to race.  I'm not kidding.  This place was no joke!
Let me try to set the scene:  3,500sq ft, boxes stacked 20 high and five to ten deep.  There were five rooms I think, it's a blur.  There were paths and hallways.  The hallways were stacked on either side with boxes and both the halls and paths were littered with the very supplies filling the boxes so everywhere you walked you were crunching over chain and stone.  At first I tried tiptoeing but it was futile so I gave up. 
This was literally what the pathway, if you could call it that, looked like through the entire place!
One room was the chain room.  I'm terrible with dimensions so I can't tell you the size, but it was a pretty big room.  It was wall to wall boxes, like all the other rooms, but in this room there was a clearing in the middle.  But let me be clear about the clearing!  It was somewhat clear of boxes but it was by no means clear-clear.  It was a ginourmous heap of chain.  On the floor.  Chain.  Tons upon tons upon tons of chain.  Imagine with me for a moment, close your eyes and think back on any time when you've gotten a tangle or a knot in one of your necklaces.  It's tiny and you are squinting at it and taking a stick pin to it to try to work out the knot and it is frustrating to no end.  Ok, now imagine that times five hundred and seventy three billion.  There.  You now have the floor of the chain room there at the-jewelry-supply-shop-created- to-drive-me-to-insanity.
That smile, the one there on my face, that is a manic smile, utter delirium had fully set in.
I think I can best describe my mental state by sharing a photo and caption that my dear, sweet, amazing husband, who endured this experience with me for three hours, posted on his Instagram:
"Melt down in 3, 2, 1..."
I think I was saying "uh, uh, umm, uh, uh..." or something akin to that.

Prior to the trip I was describing what I had heard about this place (no description prepared me) to another jeweler friend and she was telling my how I should systematically attack the place. It was a good plan.  It was a plan I was prepared to employ...until those elevator doors slid open and I began rocking back and forth in a ball in the corner.

Believe it or not I've barely scraped the surface of what this experience was...I haven't told you about the speed tour/instruction (which I actually thoroughly enjoyed!) given by the very tall drag queen who said, in a nut shell "don't bother me!"  Or about how once I had my pile of treasures I was told that I "obviously hadn't looked at all because you have missed everything you said you have come for!"
This is what the insides of LOTS of the boxes looked like.  Bags inside bags inside bags.  Overwhelming doesn't come close.  It's what overwhelming would look like on steroids for 10 years.
And did I mention that The Business Man was with us on this little adventure?  
I'm considering using this as the cover shot for his new book: Where's The Business Man?
In those crazy three hours I did find some absolute gems and I cannot wait to begin sharing what I've transformed my finds into...
like these earrings:
I found these wonderful neon orange cabs at the heart of insanity.
In fact I found so many wonderful things that I've been inspired to do another fun goodie box giveaway!  It's been nearly two years since the last one and it was so much fun!  I had every intention of doing them more frequently but time flies when you've been sucked into the heart of insanity!  So, I will be creating a piece using one or more of the items I unearthed, I will post photos, I will announce the terms of the giveaway, and we will get to giving!  Look for more info coming in early May.  If you missed my last goodie box giveaway you should check it out here.  It was fun!  I'm pretty much an expert at goodie box assemblage!  Stay tuned...