Giving Crafting a Try

When I get down, like most people I have to find a diversion to take my mind off things. Some activities lift my mood more than others. Yesterday, it didn’t work. I tried reading a good book, watching an old movie on TV, listening to music, and talking on the phone to a friend. A little of this and that didn’t do the job so I thought about doing a new craft. I have tried many in the past and while I like sewing, painting, clay sculpting and beadwork, I had an itch to go a different route.

When I am in a certain frame of mind, I get crazy ideas. Remember the title of this blog is “call me crazy.” I normally think outside of the box and yesterday was along the same vein. When doing arts and crafts, you start with the chosen materials, what you have on hand or are willing to go out and buy. You don’t want to order them on the Internet and wait for days for delivery. If you are like me, you want to get going on the spot. If you are bored, in particular, there is no time to rush to the art store. It pushes the envelope for sure.

So I looked around the house and the garage for some inspiration. I also took down a craft book from the den shelves. Then on the floor, I spotted what was labelled as the best cheap soccer ball. Eureka! I could use it. It was an old, cheap ball that I use in my home gym for arm toning exercises. It had seen better days and had lost its shape. It would make a unique art project. Now what else to incorporate, I asked myself. I started surveying the scene again and opened all the drawers. I found some cast-off craft materials in the garage and brought them all in.

I started to tinker around and work on a trial basis. I put various items on top and around the ball. I wanted some bright color to offset its blandness. I wanted an irregular sculptural shape to offset the sphere. I decided I liked the look and sturdiness of small tree branches and twigs I pulled off the big tree in the back garden. I accented them with various geometric shapes made of foamcore. It was a nice composition consisting of a triangle, square, cone, and the round ball. It was neat. The twigs were painted black for an eerie touch to match my odd mood that day. The “sculpture” was a found object made of things from the environment. Found objects have been hot since the beginning of the 20th century and I have now resurrected the trend. People enjoy the surprise of juxtaposing odd things in a new way.

The ball was the centerpiece with everything else subordinate. It would look great in an art gallery or displayed in an office. It would be a conversation piece to say the least. It helped me pass the time and get out of a funk yesterday.

Maybe a Second Date?!?

Having a successful blind date is a rarity indeed. I don’t know many people who can say that they have formed good relationships this way. Now I beg to differ—wait till the end. I was fixed up by a friend and agreed to test the water, not having done this before. I was somewhat intimidated about whether he would like crazy me. I don’t think my friend would have suggested the idea if she didn’t think it would work. This gave me some hope.

We planned to meet in two days for coffee to be cautious—just an hour. I suppose this is what most blind dates do. You have to check each other out in terms of looks, personality, and conversational style. I am less of a talker than a listener. I am told this is a good quality when you meet someone new. Let them take the lead which appeals to their ego. Men, in particular, are said to like to dominate at first. I hope he takes at least some interest in my world. I will start with his to be safe. My friend agreed and said, “you can’t go wrong.” She wished me good luck.

The “date” was fine. I was relieved. Here is how it went. We said hello and both parties seemed pleased with what they saw. We sat down and ordered a large mocha latte. We had that in common. While sipping the hot java, he started to talk about his life. He covered the usual stuff: background, job, previous marriages, hobbies, and the like. As I suspected, he liked that I listened. He felt comfortable to go off on a tangent. He said he had a kind of secret life on weekends and hoped that I wouldn’t find it odd.

It was something new to me: using a metal detector to find gold and other buried treasure. He found places where he could use what he said was the best metal detector to find things of value. He had to accept a lot of junk at first. Over time, he discovered some coins, jewelry, and assorted gold decorative items. He said he hit it rich once or twice.

He trusted me enough to tell me his favorite locations. They varied from a playground, park, beach and picnic grounds to a creek and campsite. I was truly fascinated by this strange enterprise. I vowed to look it up online. Did other people do this as well? What does it say about a person. I would soon find out.

Following Doctor’s Orders

When I get tense and overwrought, my stress level climbs. You can’t have one without the other. My doctor is concerned since stress is the body’s arch enemy. It can exacerbate what already ails you and make it worse. He says it is time to take stock of the situation and implement some new health strategies. Managing weight is one of them. Stress can sharpen one’s appetite and help pack on a few unwanted pounds. He mandated that I stop drinking sodas to lose weight. I love them and have been known to indulge in one or more a day. He reminded me of the contents—those artificial sweeteners that are chemical devils that wreak havoc with your system. If you don’t drink the diet brands, you are imbibing tons of sugar. Dieting will, of course, control weight, but drinking soda is a health issue of a different nature. The doctor said to think of sugar, even the artificial kind, as poison. It gets into your cells in any case and messes with metabolism.

“Let’s get on the fast track, Beth,” he warned, “and do it now.” Let’s develop an exercise regime, a simple nutrition plan, and the replacement of all soda with pure, clean water. Given the reputation of the local water in my community, I am loathe to drink from the tap. I hate the taste and imagine that the water is full of chlorine and lead—and who knows what else! There is the additional issue of lingering odor. Most people opt for the tap for economic reasons, but why do I see virtually everyone walking or driving with a plastic bottle in hand? We are obsessed with bottled water in this country, but I am going another route. It is something that has always been available to everyone, but somehow largely ignored in the quest for more Evian.

I have read numerous reviews of home water filtration systems and they sound ideal for personal use. I will get pure water with no residue taste. I will get rid of sodas and drink more water if I am going to go to all this trouble and expense. My unit will be NSF certified as suggested by the descriptions and testimonials. It will be a good motivator for me to comply with the doctor’s wishes. I know that he can nag if I don’t follow up with his program. He is the guardian of my health, he says, and responsible for what I do. He looked at the whole house water filter reviews that I’d printed and thought that investing in one was a great idea and suggested either the carbon kind or reverse osmosis. No one wants to ingest or bathe in corrosion. Any expense is worth getting rid of contaminants. He was proud of my quick turnaround on the sodas.

There is one hidden drawback that you all should know. You have to replace the filters and clean the tanks. Pure water comes at a price in dollars and labor.