Sunday, June 27, 2010

A few steps back but moving forward again

I haven't talked about my ongoing search for medical resolutions for awhile because the latest events haven't been real positive.   The new endo didn't turn out to be very helpful.  She lost my test results and took almost three weeks to get them to me (after I called repeatedly) and I had to argue with her just to get her to send me forward to two other doctors who might be of help.  The biggest argument that I had with her was when she told me that my thyroid hadn't changed at all for two years.  Uh, look again lady!  I told her I had the same two ultrasound reports sitting in front of me that she was looking at and actually had to guide her to "Look here.......and here.........and there........" so she could see how drastically it has changed in the two years between ultrasounds.  Yeah, she's fired too.

The real setback for me was the "official" diagnosis from the pulmonary tests.  The diagnosis is that I'm fat.  {stunned silence}  I can't believe she said that or that they actually put that as the main diagnosis on the tests.  It sounds like they looked at my weight on the chart and stopped right there because obviously no one who weighs that much could have any other reason for pulmonary problems.   To say that I was devastated is an understatement.  I mean, I'm a recovered anorexic and this was like a shotgun blast to my psyche.  Yes, I am overweight but there are a few things that need to go on record here with these doctors who are determined to dismiss me as fat and lazy.

I wasn't fat when all this started.  Two and a half years ago I was a size 14 and that's when the breathing pressure started.  That was back when I was still walking every day.  The problem isn't so much that I can't breathe.......the problem is that the oxygen I take in doesn't get to my muscles.

The reason that I've gained weight is because I can't exercise.  I'd like to see those doctors do aerobic exercise when their oxygen saturation rate is at 80%!  Or even take a walk for that matter.   Personally, I don't think they could even keep up with my daily routine if they had to deal with that O2 sat.  The other reason I can't exercise is because if I do push those oxygen starved muscles the myfascia starts to tighten up on them and that sends my fibro into panic mode.  If I do three minutes on the treadmill I'll be laid up in bed for a week.  And because of the fibro issues, I have to take the maximum dosage of Lyrica which has some of the same side effects as steroids...........weight gain.

So you can imagine what it did to me to hear "You're overweight and that's why you need to be on oxygen".   I think I cried nonstop for a week.  But before I started to cry, I pushed back at the doctor about the results and told her that there had to be more to it because the breathing problem existed before I gained weight.  She read a little further and said, "Well, there is a slight possibility that it could be a problem with the air diffusion from your lungs to your heart.  There's a marker for DLCO that popped up in the test but they don't think that's the issue.  They're pretty sure it's your weight".

{banging head on keyboard}  Let's review for a minute.  The reason I'm on oxygen isn't because I can't catch my breath.  I walk around all day and I'm not gasping, panting or wheezing.  The only time I have trouble breathing is when I turn my head or look down and my thyroid blocks my throat.  The problem is that the oxygen doesn't go where it's supposed to go after I get it into my lungs.   So after I went off on her about that, she finally agreed to get me into see a pulmonologist.  Then I asked her which surgeon she was going to refer me to and she said, "What for?  There's no upper airway obstruction caused by the's just your weight.  Why do you need to see a thyroid surgeon?"   {snarling}  Oh, let's call it a whim of mine.  I still think that having my collarbone jammed into my thyroid gland might have something to do with all that intense pain in my shoulder and throat, and hey, while we're at it I'd really like to know just how far down into my chest this thing has grown since no one has even bothered to look any lower than the base of my throat.  If this is a sub-sternum thyroid, there could be some real problems in there.  It would also be nice to be able to breathe when I look at my feet.  Other people are allowed to continue breathing when they look down and I think I'd like to be able to do that too.   She said she'd get me set up with the thyroid surgeon because "Well, the size alone qualifies you for a thyroidectomy".  

{stunned silence}  If that's true, why do I still have a thyroid?    Why the hell do all these doctors keep resisting me about this???

So she agreed to get me set up with the surgeon............and promptly forgot because I had to call back three weeks later (making it a total of six weeks since I'd seen her) and beg the recep in her office to just transfer me to the endo surgical department and set it up myself.  So I see the pulmonologist on July 27th and the thyroid surgeon on July 29th.

On of the things that pisses me off the most about the pulmonology report wanting to blame all this on my weight is that reduced air diffusion can be caused by fibroid tissue in the lungs which is associated with rheumatoid arthritis.............something my hand surgeon says I have even tho the blood tests are all negative.  That's why the hand surgeon is going to do an open incision when he does my CRS so he can get a deep tissue biopsy that is more conclusive than the blood tests.   (and we have to keep putting off the hand surgeries because resolving the thyroid and breathing issues take priority so I'm limping by on cortisone shots in my hands until that wondrous day arrives)   So you can see why I'm so concerned that the pulmonologist might just take the "you're fat" excuse and not pursue the other potential problems.  There's a lot at stake here.

I haven't felt much like talking about this but since my blog has become something of a medical diary for me so I can track dates and the sequence of events, I thought I better not leave anything out.  For those of you who follow my blog and actually read this, I'm sorry to be a downer sometimes.  This part of my life really sucks and while I try to keep a positive spin on it, sometimes there's just nothing good to say.

However, it does get a little better from here because I had a good appointment with my rheumatologist on Friday but I have to backtrack a little bit to explain the good part.

A problem that has taken a back seat to my thyroid and breathing issues has been my lower back and my right hip.  I've been telling doctors for a couple of years that I can't walk or stand for more than three or four minutes before my back is in excruciating pain.  We're talking about the kind of pain that takes people to their knees and would do the same to me if I wasn't blessed with an extremely high tolerance for pain.  I rate the back pain at a 14 on a scale of 1-10 and keep telling them that it feels like bone on bone coz it's definitely not muscle.  When I'm not standing or walking, the pain is normally around an 8 or 9 but never lower.  The xrays have shown degenerative disk disease and arthritis in my spine so that's what everyone has written it off as and even when I demanded xrays of my hip, they said they didn't see anything but "mild ddd".   Last November I talked the internist's PA into ordering an MRI of my lumbar region just to see if that showed something that might be missed on the xrays.   She did and when she gave me the results she said, "It's just mild degenerative disk disease.  Keep taking your arthritis meds".

I figured that if the MRI didn't show anything then the diagnosis was right and tried to just suck it up and live with it.  It's gotten worse and I started using a cane to get around a few months ago but I figured that's what the "degenerative" part means.  Anyway, when I gathered up all my medical records a couple of months ago it included the MRI report.  Most of that is greek to me but I did see that they found a cyst on my right kidney.  {shrugging}  My body is so full of fibroids that it would only be surprising if I had an internal organ that didn't have a cyst.  I did some research and the cyst is within acceptable size limits for a kidney cyst so that's not a problem unless it starts acting up.  The rest of the report is all in medical-ese so I tucked it into my file to take to my next appointment with my rheumatologist.

That was on Friday and when I handed it to her, she looked it over and said, "Wow!  There's a LOT going on here!".  HUH???   I was told there was nothing at all!  She said that in addition to the DDD, there are bulging disks all the way from L3 to S1 and moderate facet arthropathy which is worse on the right side.  That last part means that the actual bones of my spine are rubbing against each other and the erosion is more on the right than the left which sorta sets me off balance.  It shouldn't be causing the radiating pain down my leg but we'll find out if the kidney cyst has something to do with that since the epicenter of the radiating pain is over that kidney.   The main thing is that she immediately faxed the MRI report over to a spinal pain management doc and I'll be setting up an appointment with him on Monday.  This is the kind of doc that does the ultrasound guided cortisone and spinal epidural shots.  I'm hopeful that if the kidney cyst is a problem he can diagnose it and get me to someone who can remove it.  At this point I'm totally unconcerned about the risks of the spinal shots and am content to be thrilled that I might get some actual pain relief.

This is something positive so I'm happy about that.  My rheumatologist also made me feel a lot better emotionally when she was genuinely angry about the pulmonary diagnosis that I'm just fat.  She ranted for several minutes about how they might as well have slapped me in the face instead of telling me something like that.  Dr. H knows that I used to be an avid walker so she knows that I'm not just fat and lazy.  She took the time to talk to me about why I've gained weight and why nothing can be done about it until some of these other issues get fixed.  She also told me to make sure that both the pulmonologist and the surgeon call her for a consult because she's going to make damned sure they know how severe both problems are to my overall health.

She also had a few strong things to say about the endo not pursuing the thyroid surgery.  She said, "You've had two fine needle aspirations but they biopsied the same nodule both times.   Everyone knows how notoriously inaccurate those FNA biopsies are and with so many nodules with microcalcifications in your thyroid, they're playing games with your life.  We *have* to get that thyroid out of you because the risk of cancer is very real".

{sniffling}  And then she hugged me and told me not to give up.  She said she understands how frustrating it is to be on doctor #11 and still have to keep fighting.  It really did help a lot to hear her tell me to never give up hope and know that I have at least one doctor on my side.  I'll have a little more confidence going into see the pulmonologist and the surgeon later this month knowing that I'll be handing them her card and telling them that I'll be checking to make sure they talk to her.

As always, I'm hopeful that doctors #11, 12 and 13 will finally be the ones who can make things better.  After all, 13 has always been my lucky number.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A little ragtime to start the day

Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I've always had a thing for the music of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.  {cackle}  Yeah, I know.  If you know who they are you're thinking the same thing I am right now---and it's not about their stuff that got played on the radio either.  hehehehehehehehe  I got a kick out of Ray and the guys when I was a teenager and they still make me laugh.

I'm not sure but I think my subconscious convinced me to start a steampunk line of minis just so I could use one of Dr. Hook's songs in a video.

Dr Thaddeus Meets Dr Hook


Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's getting crowded in here


I've been told it's a strange thing to do, but I've always given names to various aspects of my personality.  I don't have a split personality and I don't have clinically diagnosed multiple personalities.......I simply understand that my personality is very diverse and eclectic and I embrace every part of it as a unique individual.

Even as a child I knew that it wasn't a good idea to tell other people about this little habit of mine so I didn't mention things like Herbie (who likes to give human characteristics to inanimate objects).   It's not like I had imaginary friends either.  I suffer from excessive contact with reality which makes it impossible to have imaginary friends. However, I do have a rather bizarre sense of humor and it amuses me to isolate different personality traits and give them names.

Herbie was around a lot when I was a kid and even tho he makes fewer public appearances, he's still very much a part of me.  I think the funniest thing that Herbie ever did was when I was in high school and he took to carrying around a rubber worm in our pocket.  He swore that the worm was alive and had a passion for lettuce and mayo sandwiches.  {pausing to think back}  The rubber worm was stolen by a guy I was dating and I've never figured out if he did it because he wanted a souvenir or if the whole thing was just creeping him out.  {shrug}  Doesn't matter because he didn't last much longer than a lettuce sandwich at a July picnic.  I've never had much tolerance for people who are critical of my whimsy.

But anyway, Herbie is still a vital part of my personality even if he's not as public about it these days.  I still talk to inanimate objects and still bestow human traits on some of them.  It's a handy way to feel for someone who builds builds dollhouses for a living.  Yep, it could even be considered as part of my job description.

{grinning} My favorite was always Trixie.  Ah, Trixie and I had some really good times together.  Trixie is part of my fashion-personality and, well, to put it bluntly, Trixie is *such* a slut.  Going shopping with Trixie was always a hoot!  I can look back at pictures of myself and think, "Yep, that was a Trixie outfit for sure".    She bought things like hoop earrings the size of bracelets, and hip hugger jeans with body shirts that unbuttoned down to there.   She was the one who would unbutton our shirt and tie it up under our boobs as soon as we left the house in high school.   She picked out stiletto heels with open toes and wore them with flirty red dresses whose skirts whirled around our thighs when we walked.  As we got older, Trixie matured with me but her style was still unmistakable.  She wore Donna Karan suits without a blouse, glorying in the black velvet push up bra underneath.  If I walked into the office wearing my notorious black leather skirt (pencil thin with a slit up the back) and a black silk blouse, my coworkers would greet me by cheerfully calling, "Good Morning Trixie!".  {cackle}  Oh yes, Trixie was well known and had quite a following.  People knew that if I came into the office wearing a Trixie-outfit, it meant that I was in a mood to either do battle or have some fun.    (and that wasn't all bad because anyone who has played in the corporate world knows that sometimes a little cleavage or leg is fair when a woman needs an edge on a male-dominated battlefield......and Trixie was confident enough to pull it off)

Sadly, Trixie has been around less and less as my health issues have changed my body structure but she's still a part of me.  All I have to do to get her back in the spotlight is play Bob Seger's "Her Strut" and Trixie comes running.  We have a good time reminiscing about the good old days when we weren't good, we weren't old, and it was the nights that mattered most.

There are others of course.  Emma is the one who is very proper and has lovely manners.  She's most often seen at award's banquets and Women's Club luncheons, weddings and funerals.   There are two mothers..........One is just plain "Mother" and she's the earthy type.  She's very bohemian in style and attitude. The other is "Mother M" and she's the one who gives people flashbacks to Catholic school.  She'll whack your knuckles with a ruler in a heartbeat if you step out of line and she has a very sharp edge to her tongue.

Most recently has been the arrival of Dr. Thaddeus Robertson.  {beaming}  We're all so proud to finally have a doctor in the family.  I'd never given a name to the geeky side of me before so it was high time that I formally recognized that part of my personality.  Dr. Robertson is the one who does steampunk minis because he so loves things that have flashy lights and buttons to push and make gurgling sounds when they work.  He's also a bit of a cynic and a smart ass.   I like having him around and in his own way, he fits right in with the rest of the gang.

The list goes on and on but you get the idea.  It's a quirk of mine to name them all and to acknowledge when they take the driver's seat.  Oh, and the one with the weird sense of humor who likes to talk a lot..............that's just Deb.

On the mini side of things this week, I have two things to share.  One is an admirable speaking-out against art thieves by Grimdeva of Cauldron Craft Miniatures.  Drop in on her blog and see what she has to say.  I think all artisans can identify with what she's going thru and respect her taking a stand about it.

The other is my new toy, the Dremel Trio Tool!  It slices, it dices, it makes french fries in less than 30 seconds!  Ooops.  Wait a minute, that's the wrong tool.  LOL!  Actually, I think the Trio could probably do all of that too but its main functions are sawing, sanding and routing all in one tool.  I rushed to Home Depot as soon as I saw it because this is the tool of my dreams.  It does plunge cuts!!  That's the first and best thing, but it's also a scrolling saw which means that there's no more tearing at the wood with a reciprocating saw blade.  Bye-bye splinters!!  I can do straight edges, circles, and free hand designs with equal ease.  It also replaces my plunge router because it has an adjustable base and it sands too.  The handle is articulated with two positions and it's about one third the size of a regular jigsaw.  That means that it's heavy enough to be a serious tool (my mini jigsaw didn't have enough muscle) but it's small enough to fit perfectly into my hands and be easy to control.  Yes, I'm in love with a power tool and I don't care who knows it!!  Between the Trio and my Stylus, I've got just about everything covered all in two tools.  The only other power tool I really need is my bench sander.   I'm a happy girl.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

House hunting with the hippy quilter

I've been really bouncy lately because of some awesome news.  My friend Kathy (aka: The Hippy Quilter) has been living in the Armpit of Hell for the past couple of years and has been reeeeally uncomfortable there.  Her husband just got a new job which was fabulous news to begin with but the best part is that the new job is in Greeley!  Woooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!   {doing the snoopy-happy-dance}  Greeley is only an hour away from me!  That's close enough that we can do lunch and spur of the moment fabric shopping and see each other more than once a year! I'm really happy that she's getting out of Armpit and even happier that she and I are going to live close to each other again.  We haven't lived close to each other since 1981.

Kathy and I met when I was 17........I was a newly-wed and she was a newly-widow and we lived next door to each other in some tiny little run down duplex apartments next to the railroad tracks.  We were always together and up to something.  Not only were we both artisans even back then, but we knew how to  make our own fun.  One of our favorite past times was to go to "town" and visit the trailer house lots.  Neither of us could afford a home of our own, not even a trailer house, but if we told them we were just browsing, they'd let us go thru the trailer houses and we'd talk about how we'd redecorate them and laugh at how they were already decorated.  I'm pretty sure that if there were any toxins in shag carpeting, Kathy and I would have died a long time ago.  LOL!  We definitely saw more than our share of harvest gold and avocado green kitchen appliances too!  But it was our way of getting away from some of the harsher realties of our lives and we had a good time wandering thru hundreds of mobile homes and mentally hanging curtains and ripping out walls.  We spent a lot of time sitting on floors in empty rooms and being impressed with garden tubs.

So anyway, house hunting isn't a real foreign concept to us but this week we discovered a whole new way to go about it.  Kathy and her husband were in Greeley looking for a house.  Since they're moving before their house in Armpit sells, they'll be renting and finding a house for rent in Greeley isn't all that easy to do.  The online listings are usually for apartments and the few Realtor-listed houses that she'd found weren't what they needed and no one advertises in the newspapers anymore.  Finally Kathy just set out in her car with her cell phone and started driving around looking for "for rent" signs with phone numbers.  When she called to tell me what she was doing I was in front of the computer with my headset and "Operation Find-a-House 2010" began.  I started digging thru the more obscure online listings and classifieds and when I'd find something I'd call her with the address and with the help of Google satellite maps, the driving directions.   She'd take off for that one while I looked for more listings.  When she got to the house, she'd call me to let me know what she found and we'd start again.

Kathy and I have always been in sync with each other like that.   Over the years we've developed some excellent systems for everything from how to paint fence rails in a feedlot to how to get rid of psychotic ex-husbands.   And as with all of our other systems, the remote house hunting worked out well!  I think we were on the 4th or 5th house when she found "the one".   It's a really nice ranch in a lovely neighborhood with five bedrooms and a fully finished basement.  Now she'll have space to lay out quilt blocks again!  She'll also have decent shopping and pizza delivery which she's been living without for way too long.  (I told you she lives in the Armpit of Hell!)  I'm soooooooooo happy that she's getting back to civilization.  I'd be happy for her about that even if she wasn't living in the same state as me again but having her an hour away makes it even better.  I can't wait till she gets moved and we can go have chinese for lunch!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A big yellow clock with a picture of Carrot Top in the middle

Dr Thaddeus Robertson proudly announces the

Incredible Steam Powered Food Preparation Device and Instant Hot Water Receptacle

Ladies and gentlemen, come closer and prepare to be amazed!  Are you tired of always fussing with damp kindling to start a fire?  Do you waste away from hunger while you wait for the stove to heat up?  Tired of your bread burning on one side because of uneven fire?  Do you hate hauling wood?  Wouldn't you love to turn a lever and instantly have hot water for your tea or your bath? 
Dr. Robertson's new device will make all those problems a thing of the past!  Step into the future with the new and amazing steam powered stove!  You'll be amazed at how easy and fast it is to prepare the finest of meals with scientifically precise heating. Control your cooking temperatures with a turn of a dial.  Hot water is always at your fingertips with a simple twist of your wrist.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, we are living the dream of the future! 

When Dr. Robertson unveiled this one, it really blew me away.  There are so many things that I like about it!  The tap and kettle on the reservoir is really awesome because it makes it so easy to fill a tea kettle or a bathtub.  (and it set my mind at ease about the whole tea and bath combination)  The use of zodiac symbols on the dial fascinates me.  I asked Dr. Roberts why he used the zodiac and he only smiled mysteriously and refused to answer.  Oh well.  With the good doctor who knows why he does what he does.  As long as the dial works, that's all that matters.   The fact that he also makes it beautiful just adds to the charm.  

Dr Thaddeus gave me a brief description of the mechanism on the oven doors but honestly, it made no sense to me.   It has something to do with creating a rotisserie effect inside the ovens by turning the air instead of the food.  The brass and copper gauge on the front of the oven door shows in which direction the air is revolving.

I was really fascinated by the burners on the stove top.   The Dr tells me that the burners are designed to hold a pot up high enough for steam to move freely from the bottom to the sides and evenly cook the contents.  It sounds to me like there's a dragon under it blowing steam on the pan!  It's supposed to cook food even faster than a microwave because the reflectors on the back of the stove push the heat back to the cooking surface.  

Dr. Thaddeus went on and on about all the details and most of it went over my head.  The arrogant little bastard laughed and said he thought that it would.  I reminded him that he's small enough for me to stow away inside a shoe box if he keeps it up with the attitude.  LOL!  He mumbled something about a switch under his breath and walked off.  At least I think he was talking about a switch.  That's what it sounded like anyway......

An interesting aspect of living with the Dr is going shopping with him.  Obviously he needs supplies and just as obviously, I can't let him be seen.  I mean, I live in a fairly tolerant area but a six inch tall mad scientist on my shoulder is going to raise a few eyebrows!  So I stuck him in my purse and off we went to the thrift stores.  I stuck my Bluetooth in my ear so people would think I was talking on the phone and that allowed me to talk to the Dr without drawing attention to us.  Hell, three quarters of the world is wandering around talking to themselves like crazy people but thanks to technology no one gives it a second thought.  Score one more for technology.

Anyway, the good Dr and I started thru the thrift store and began with the jewelry.  He didn't find anything he liked there altho I saw a pair of earrings that were really cool.  He jabbed me in the ribs and told me to stay focused.    Little tyrant.   Finally we found the shelves with the clocks and the Dr got excited.  He yelled, "The yellow one!  Grab the yellow one!".   I groaned.  Oh gawd, not the yellow one.  Another sharp jab in the ribs got the point across and I reluctantly picked it up.  I said, "You mean this yellow clock with the picture of Carrot Top in the middle?".  "Yes, yes!  That's it!!" cried the doctor.  I didn't even hesitate and told him, "There is no way in hell that I'm going to walk thru this store carrying a huge yellow clock with a picture of Carrot Top in the middle.  And if you think I'm actually going to go thru a check out counter and tell the clerk that I want to buy it, you have another thing coming".  

I made a mental note to myself that from now on I'm going to tie the little twerp's hands behind his back before I stick him in my purse so he can't poke me anymore.  I'm going to have bruises on my ribs for a week!  Needless to say, I gave in and actually went thru the store *and* the checkout with the gawd-awful yellow clock with a picture of Carrot Top in the middle.  On the ride home the Dr tried to console me by saying, "Look at it this way.  I'm going to destroy the clock and the world will have one less big yellow clock with a picture of Carrot Top in the middle".   Okay, so he makes a good point but it was still humiliating.  However, we had a good shopping day and picked up a couple of mysterious items that the Dr will use in his experiments.  He asked if we could stop at the pet store but I drew the line there.  He acted all innocent and said that he just liked to see the puppies.  {snort}  Yeah, right.   Not gonna happen.

As I write this, the Dr is back in the studio and I haven't had the nerve to go in there yet.  I heard a loud "sproing!" and a crash and then "Ooops, my bad" but I really don't want to know.  I'll check on him tomorrow.  Right now I'm going to go make dinner and have a relaxing evening with my hubby and the cat.  I think the Dr will be so busy that he won't notice that I've locked the studio door behind him.  

This should be interesting

Dr. Thaddeus Robertson has done it again!  This time he has created the Incredible Steam Powered Food Preparation Unit.   He says that's it's also a remarkable innovation in the brewing of tea and taking of baths.  Honestly, I'm not quite sure I want to know how he combines brewing tea and taking baths.  He said he'll unveil his newest creation tomorrow so I guess we'll find out then.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Good Doctor is proud to announce.....

............The Amazing Steam Powered Rocking Chair!  {cue trumpets to made traditional "ta-da" blare}  Yes, here we have it.  The good doctor feels that not having to rock the chair will save people a great deal of energy and make the time spend in the chair more relaxing, which is the goal of sitting in a chair in the first place. 

The Steampunk Rocking Chair features a steam engine under the back of the seat.  A side effect of that location is that the seat stays nice and warm, even in the winter.  Always putting safety first, Dr. Robertson placed brass weights on the front of the chair to balance the weight of the engine on the back and added a nice footrest so the occupant won't fall out.  There are brass rings on the arms to grip if the rocking becomes too energetic.  All the mechanisms are on the back of the chair and the steam powers the hydraulic steel rockers on the sides.  The exhaust is located on the top of the chair.  Be careful not to put your hand close to the steam. 

To be honest, I'm fairly impressed with what the Doctor has come up with.  I hear that he has plans for steampunk miniatures for every room of the house and has already started on his newest creation.  He's being very secretive about it.  I thought it was going to be a bed but he's dropping hints that it might be something that would go in a kitchen.  

The Amazing Steam Powered Rocking Chair is listed in my Etsy store now so go have a look.  It might be just the perfect new mini for you! 

My studio has been hijacked!

Something strange has been happening in my studio.  I've noticed that things have been out of place and it appears that someone has been using my tools.  Both my husband and the cat denied any part of it, so it became a mystery that I was determined to solve. 
I snuck downstairs in the middle of the night and could see a small light coming thru the door of the studio.  As I tip-toed quietly down the hall I could hear a voice mumbling and the clipping sound of wire cutters.  Closer and closer I crept toward the door, silently hugging the wall.  I jumped around the corner of the door and in my loudest voice I yelled, "A-ha!!!  I caught you!!"

There was a scream and I ducked just in time as a pair of pliers flew from the little fellow's hand into the air.  "Good gawd woman, you scared the bejeebers out of me!  Don't you know how to knock?  Maybe you should just wear a bell around your neck so folks can hear you coming.  Now pick up those pliers and hand them back to me.  Go on now. Leave me alone and let me get back to my work."

Needless to say I stood in the doorway dumbstruck at the sight of a little man wearing a white coat and large brass goggles.  He had the strangest contraption on his head that appeared to be some sort of magnifying glass.  His hair looked like it hadn't been combed in a week and one suspender was coming undone.  I noticed that his shoes were on the wrong feet but I didn't think it would be nice to point that out.

I asked, "Who are you?" and was given a stony glare.  "If you must know, I'm Dr. Thaddeus Robertson .  Before you ask me how to cure a headache, I'll clarify that the PhD is in physics, not medicine.  I'm an inventor.  In this grand age of the steam engine, I work day and night to find different ways to put this wonderful resource to work".  

Not wanting to disorient the good doctor more than he was already, I didn't mention that the year is 2010.  Instead I looked over his shoulder to see what he was making.  Following my gaze he said, "This is a steam powered rocking chair.  It will save enormous amounts of effort by rocking itself.  Would you like to give it a try?"   I thanked him for the offer but pointed out that the rocking chair is only 4 inches tall and I'm 5' 6".  Dr Robertson observed, "As a matter of fact it had occurred to me that you are rather tall.  In fact, you're at least five feet taller than I.  Oh well, no matter.  Hand me that copper wire please". 

It appeared that Dr. Robertson had lost all interest in me and was once again absorbed in his work.  He's happily oblivious to the year and the fact that he's living in a world where he's only 1:12 scale. I can only assume that it's the result of an experiment gone wrong that left him one twelfth his normal size and threw him into the future.  Normally I would worry about that, but he makes such fabulous steampunk miniatures that I don't want him to leave!  So we've reached a comfortable existence together.  He's allowed to use my studio whenever he likes and occasionally leaves gifts of his newest inventions for me to find.  On the other hand, I keep a supply of peanut butter crackers in the studio for him and I've convinced the cat not to eat him.

I'll be showing some of Dr. Robertson's work soon and some of it will be on sale in my Etsy store.  Check back very soon to see what he's come up with.   Honestly, for a little mad scientist, he makes some really fabulous minis!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I think I'm giddy

I'm not sure about that because I don't recall ever having felt giddy before I'm pretty sure I'm feeling giddy now.  I got an email earlier today from the Dollhouse Hall of Fame with a picture of the display case that holds my work in the gift shop.  I tried to be cool.  I really did.  Being cool lasted for about three seconds before I was bouncing off the walls like Daffy Duck on crank!  Woooohoooo!   Woohoo!  Wooooooohhooooooooooooooooo!!  Yippeee!  Wow!  Wooooooooohooooooooooo!!!

Wanna see? The whole display case is filled with my minis.  All of it.  How cool is that?

This was excellent timing because it helped to pull me out of a blue funk where I've been stuck for a few days.  Seeing my work in a brick and mortar store for the first time and in such a nice display put the smile back on my face.   I was so happy that I headed back to the studio and finished this retro living room set. 

{grinning} Quite a different style from what you usually see from me, isn't it?  This was FUN!  The colors are so bright and cheery and the fabric is such a flashback that I couldn't help but have a good time.  The fabric will be familiar to anyone who ever embroidered their jeans or painted a VW bus.  Those big yellow and orange flowers were everywhere! 

Of course a living room like this has to have floor pillows.  {wink}  If you remember the flowers, you know why.  Sooner or later we were going to end up laying on the floor, listening to the music because it sounded better in the middle of the floor where you got the full effect of the speakers. 

Here's a close up so you can see the fabric better. The flowers are so cool and I even found a purple fabric for the pillows that makes them look as if they might have been made from faded purple denim.  Okay, a show of hands many of you just had a flashback????  Does anyone else have the urge to go make a batch of brownies?  

So that's been my day and I have to say that a happy day like this was desperately needed.  It lifted my spirits and brought me back to life again.  What would I do without minis?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ooooooooh, pretty!

I had to pop in and share some eye candy!  I'm not a big fan of blue, but when I found this fabric and thought "Wow, that looks like Wedgewood!", I knew that something special would happen with it.  I was right.  {grinning}  Sometimes I surprise myself but Muse knew what she wanted with this set and this is what we got.  

Isn't that blue really pretty!  I love the little pearl buttons with it too.  They have a very nice luster to them.  I listed this set on Etsy today along with the Sweet Daisy Mae bed, but I had to stop and think twice about giving up the Wedgewood.  

Ooops, I need to run.  I hear Napoleon singing a duet with the stray cat outside.  I'm pretty sure they're singing something from the White Album but it's really hard to tell since neither one of them can carry a tune in a bucket.  At any rate, even with a baby gate in front of the screen door, I always supervise their play dates so I gotta go.  {skipping off singing "Ob la di, ob la da"}