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Apr. 30th, 2016

I think my new plan is to upload the old pix onto Flickr. That Windows Gallery thing was too slow and didn't really provide what I needed and didn't connect with anything I needed to connect with. So... I think I'm going direct. And might well just abandon the effort but, until I do, there will be some old pic entries here, for sure.

First up, Mom.



My Dad had a heart attack and died about 3 months after they moved into this fancy retirement place.  They hadn't met too many people but knew some. While I was still there helping Mom after the funeral, two ladies she didn't know well called her one day and invited her to dinner.

Liz (far left white hair) and Libba (center). The three of them got very thick and what a fun threesome they were. They would meet most nights in the bar where this photo was taken.  They liked to sit at the bar and try to get gossip out of the bartender but they were short ladies and their legs had nowhere to perch.

So Mom had a brass foot rail installed at the bar and a small brass plaque bears tribute to my Dad.  I wish I could find a photo of the plaque. Maybe there's one in the pile o' pix yet to come.

Once they got that rail in, they owned that bartender. The one in the background's name was Joyce. Their favorite was this cute young kid named John. He was so sweet to them and they had a lot of booze and a lot of laughts.  Liz went first (she was the oldest) and then Libba died a couple of years later. Mom held out and spent a lot of time grilling the bartender on her own!

The above was at Bishop Gadsen in Charleston, SC.

New Dolls

 

And here are the jungle twins!

Wanna see the rest of the dolls? Flickr or Google

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And finally everyone went home...

The street that my condo is on is one of the ones most impacted by the viaduct closure. It was bumper to bumper all day yesterday. As I lay in bed last night after the game was over, the crowds spilled by and their noise mixed with the traffic in a way that you could tell, just by listening that there was still masses of it.

There is so little traffic - foot or car - this morning that it's kind of shocking. That will change soon enough. There's a MLS game in the football stadium and 1 and the baseball game down the block at 7. But, I don't care. I'm in with no place to go. So all is cool.

I got to the pool early today. As I got there, so did my bud, Brody, and before we had time to even say 'hi' the door opened a new guy poked his head out and asked if we wanted to come in early. So, Sam, is now our new best friend. When the gym finally opened 30 minutes later, the pool was packed but we were firmly entrenched in our lanes so it was fine and dandy. It was a very excellent swim.

I got a note last night from my friends in New Zealand outlining their plans for their next US trip. In the summer of 2017. They were last here at the same time in 2014. This time they are including Montreal, Toronto, Washington DC and San Francisco in addition to Seattle. And they have one week - between Seattle and San Francisco that is so far a mystery. Portland is out. So I'm thinking Idaho, Salt Lake City or Alaska (cruise or regular). San Francisco is a repeat.

They do the greatest trips and I love that they always always make sure that Seattle is in the mix. This will be Scott's 5th visit since his first in the early 00's - pre Julie. She's been with him on the last 3. I met Scott originally in the mid 90's on the internet. I had a page of New Zealand links on my brand spanking new website. (I had been there to visit in 1994 and 1995 and loved the place.) He was wandering around this new internet thing and stumped on my page and sent me an email politely asking WTF? And a friendship was born.

Ok, now I am back from the rabbit hole I fell into after that last sentence. I have a great photo of Scott and my old cat, Bubba, lounging on the couch. I went to find it and, instead, found a bunch of old photographs I'd totally forgotten I had. I miss Picassa which would, for free, wander all over my computer and catalog all the photos for me. I think Windows Gallery will do that. It's installing now. And now it's been set up to go find all the photos.

Time now to go clean up the kitchen from breakfast and get some sewing done.

More

I totally forgot my pledge to clean out the sewing machine on the days that the housecleaner comes. So I did it today. It's a major PIA because it takes forever to get it all back together correctly. BUT there was lots o' lint in there that needed to come out so it was good and maybe it will get easier. I made a calendar note for next time so at least I have a better chance of remembering.

I watched the traffic via Google maps today. My way home from the gym did not clear up until 11. I actually could go to the city pool some - they have early morning hours Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:30-8 which would work. I might try it and then go to the gym mid-mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love the deep water and miss the chlorine (really - it's so clear - bromine is not) but I don't miss the loud and the crowds and having to bring my own towels and the rough concrete that hurts my feet... oh and the crappy showers...and having to pay when gym is paid for... Maybe I'll go Monday and just see.

Tonight there is a baseball game and I'm ready.



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We'll need to make changes

Going into the pool on weekdays at my normal time is no longer viable. It took me 35 minutes to get home today which is only about 15 minutes longer than normal but most of those minutes were spent on a bridge moving too slowly for my speedometer to register and Fridays are generally the easiest weekday traffic days.  Life is too short to do that routinely for at least two weeks. So. I can either change my mode of transport - do walk, boat, bus, walk. Or I can try later in the day. I think, on Monday, we're going try out the mid-morning option.

They have closed the viaduct because they are drilling the tunnel that will eventually, maybe, at some point, replace it, underneath. The viaduct is old and they want to make sure it survives the tunneling. They think the direct underneath tunneling will be done in two weeks, then they can check the viaduct and reopen it.

I'm wondering if it will ever open again. The whole tunneling thing (which was supposed to have been completed and opened by now with the viaduct down and gone) is just one major fuck up after another. That it kills the viaduct loooooong before it provides a replacement (if ever) would be just another fuck up in the giant chain of fuck ups. And it would really fuck up my swimming.

But, that's borrowing trouble at this point. Maybe I'll love mid-day swimming.

The bear/doll delivery his morning is the only thing on my plate for today. Fortunately, it's on my side of downtown. I think I can get there and back with side roads and short cuts. But, if I have to sit in more traffic, that's life. Won't kill me.

Oh and the other big news/change is that today, I stopped my other inhaler. No Advair. No Spiriva. I stopped the Advair last month. And I've been winding down the Spiriva - instead of two doses every day, I've been doing one. And today, none.

It's like getting a $200 a month raise!! I have an appointment with my regular doctor on the 9th. It's my annual lab works, checkup thing. I worked out the giving up inhalers with the lung doctor. I'll be interested to see what the regular guys says. I'm expecting stars and kudos.

New Dolls

Wanna see the rest of the dolls? Flickr or Google

Weird day

My mind is having an ADHD day. I can't seem to get my shit together. It's fine. There's no reason really why my shit needs to be together anyway. It's just weird.

Bears and dolls are all photographed and done. I like having a record but I really have never liked my system of posing the groups. I don't really like the process or the end result. Even though I've been doing it now every month for years. Maybe I should just do a collage of all the individual shots. That would kind of be doable with the bears but I think there are too many dolls.

Oh well, this month is shot so here they are:









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Slooooow start

I keep getting my attention diverted from getting today going. I came back from my swim and got on the computer and it's been one distraction after another ever since. I'm still sitting here with precious little to show for it.

There is no baseball game today so maybe I can get caught up on my general TV watching. I have two dolls cut out and ready to sew and then I need to finish up the group shots and bag 'em all up for delivery.

I just killed another hour dicking around with my Pebble and my phone. I wanted to make it do something that it doesn't want to do. It took some severe words and heavy arguing but I won!!

Ok, seriously, enough of this. I need to move and go do stuff. Like doll stuff.

New Dolls

Wanna see the rest of the dolls? Flickr or Google

Returning the whining

I flipped to the book I bought yesterday when I got to the pool and started my swim. 45 minutes later, I flipped to music. The book turned out to be really whiny. I thought it was going to be an interesting account about how this guy who had been a tech journalist went to work at a tech start up. It turns out he hated the idea from the get go and walked in assuming they were all stupid kids who did not value his experience and so... surprise! That's how it turned out! I'd heard him interviewed and while you clearly got how the relationship ended, there was no hint, in the interviews, that he had sabotaged it. But, reading the first 45 minutes revealed that very clearly.

Respect is a two way street, asshole.

Thankfully, Audible.com lets you return books for full credit. I happily gave them back this one.

Today is house cleaner day. Depending on when she gets here, I may well just grab my Goodwill bag and go make a donation and then run some other errands. I hate being here while she cleans but her window of starting is rather large - anywhere from about 9 to about 11 and if her daughter comes it takes her about an hour and a half. If she's alone it's close to 3. It gets very tedious to be here and hard to plan to be out not knowing when or how long. But, I do love a clean house.

Oh there she is coming in the front door (I see her on the camera) and she has her daughter with her. I'm not even done with my coffee yet. I do need milk and bread... hmmmm decisions - not one single one even close to important.

On Friday of this week, they are going to close down a critical downtown bypass for 2 weeks. It's going to wreck havoc with traffic around here. I have cobbled together an emergency boat/bus Plan B to get too and from the pool if I absolutely have to. Hopefully, it won't be as bad as everyone thinks it will.

And speaking of not bad... baseball. As I was watching the final out last night it struck me how much more engaging watching major league baseball is when your team doesn't suck large eggs. So far, for the first time in for.freakin.ever, the Mariners are starting the season playing good baseball and it's fun. It probably won't last so I've decided to just relax and not project and enjoy what I got now. They play tonight and are off tomorrow.

Today or tomorrow I need to line up the dolls and bears for their group shot. Friday is delivery day. It's actually a week early but my chairs are full. I need to make room for the next group.

I think now I'll go ahead and do my Goodwill/errand run. Amira and her daughter are chattering away... in Bosnian. It's a fun language to listen to but I have no clue at all what they are saying.

Ok, coffee done. I'm out.

And then

Just saw Hunter come in through the front door on his own with the kid who lives with him. No clue what happened. Weird on weird.

The new kitchen rug arrived and while I paid more than I wanted to, it's a perfect match color and print-wise for the space. Now if I can just get the corners to uncurl...

The rug it replaced is 5 years old. If this one lasts 5 years which it just might - maybe even more - that will come out to a little more than a dollar a month. I'm now totally fine with the expense.

Replacement iPod Shuffle on the way.

Pics

The last time Seattle was atop the American League West was April of 2009. 2 0 0 9.



Here's trouble about to happen.



The last doll of today.

Left Out

As when Michael Jackson died, I'm at a loss about this whole Prince thing. I've always kind of known who he was. And, if you asked me who did the song Purple Rain, I think I could have told you but I'm not sure I could have actually recognized the song. After 1971, I just never had any interest in popular or un-popular music. It just was not part of my life.

I know all the words to most all of the music of the 50's and 60's. I know Broadway show tunes. I know a whole lotta old Baptist hymns. In the past few years I've discovered and enjoyed Kasey Musgraves and really love Brandy Clark. My iPod Shuffle for the pool has both of them and a Shane McAnally album as well as a variety of other country, some gospel, a little Abba and some Queen.

When I'm not swimming, I rarely listen to any music at all. It's very interesting to read and hear all the angst and emotion while people rally together to morn, I really don't get it.

Ok this is very weird. I sat down here to each lunch and catch up and noticed that Hunter, the strange guy who lives next door and sometimes brings me baked goods was standing outside the front door of the condo. For a long time - like 15 minutes or more. And then he sat down on the ground rather oddly. And then after about 5 minutes more it looked like he was waving at someone and then two paramedics came and walked him away. That guy is just one weird after another.

I bought some cheap lox somewhere recently.For two days now I've had lox and bagels with onion and tomato and capers for lunch. Not to self: You absolutely get what you pay for with cheap lox. Don't buy more.

One load of laundry is in the dryer and one is in the washer.

Tuesday

Seattle is a funny town traffic wise. Maybe all cities are this way these days. But, a major traffic problem anywhere in the city throws the rest of the city - even areas not anywhere near the issue - into a massive stall. I pass through two relatively distinct areas of traffic congestion on my way home from the pool. When one is backed up, I know the other one will be. Even though the space in between the two is not.

This morning the West Seattle bridge was a huge backup even though, after the bridge it was relatively clear. Turns out that in another part of the city there was a giant backup on the interstate. And still another way north. It's like all the traffic jams agreed to get together and stop everything at the same time. Probably they have their own CB channel.

I'm working on not getting cranky about Mother's Day. As someone who has no mother and who is mother to no one, the constant barrage of Mother's Day talk, sales, suggestions, salutations, and general over the top hype is tedious at best. But, there is no future in my getting all bent out of shape about it. Only two more weeks. And, at least Father's Day (yep, I have no father and I am father to no one) isn't as hyped.

I have a new rug coming for the kitchen today. My kitchen floor is grouted tile that is a bitch and a half to keep clean. Plus hard to stand on. A 5x8 rug fits it perfectly. So I'm always on the lookout for cheap indoor/outdoor 5x8 rugs that aren't a solid color. I got my current one on sale for something like $30. It has served me well but has been forced to serve longer than it should and longer than intended because I haven't found another good sale. It's getting pretty gross. Finally I gave in and paid $70 at Home Depot. It's coming today. Whew.

My iPod Shuffle that I use for swimming, died recently and I got a refurb as a replacement from the vendor. That replacement lasted maybe 2 swims and it died. I got a replacement for the replacement and it died today. This is getting a little annoying. I do enjoy the music and today I got a new book to listen to Disrupted - elder works at startup. Been there, can't wait to hear how his stint worked. I'm thinking about switching to a Sony waterproof mp3 player... maybe.

But now I'm going to start the laundry.

Latest Bear

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New Dolls

Wanna see the rest of the dolls? Flickr or Google

New Day New Week

I felt like crap all day yesterday. I went to be early and woke up a dozen time with shooting gut pain. Each time I went back to sleep easily but finally at 5:30 I gave up. I thought about skipping the pool but started to feel a little better. So I went and was really glad I did. I still don't feel in top shape but at least no more shooting pains.

On the way to the pool, my tire check light came on. You can hit the button to tell it that the air pressure is fine and it will go out. I did. It did. But, after my swim, on the way home, it went on again. I was already past the good tire place but near the Mercedes dealership so I went there. They always piss me off and this morning was no different. But they checked and fixed and didn't charge me and, really only ended up taking about 30 minutes so not horrible. But next time I'm going to my nice tire place.

I have nothing I have to do today. This is when I'm beyond grateful to live alone and be able to wallow in my misery without having to answer to anyone else. And grateful to be retired. I can lounge about and do nothing today if I want. I have time to drop into the snooty Mercedes place to get my tires checked.

So yeah, not a banner day but it could be so much worse. And, at least it's not.

off day

Today has not been that great. I have some kind of abdominal something that is really kind of painful. It's not really getting worse but it's also not really getting better and I'm really done with it. I even took a short nap today. I hate naps but I couldn't keep my eyes open.

And I made my first doll that I don't love. I'm not entirely sure why but if I had a reject pile, he'd go on it. I may have to start a reject pile.



But the next one I like way better.



And a new bear is done.



Plus the Mariners finished their road trip over 500. That's kind of record breaking for them.

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Sunday

I was way ahead of myself this morning. I left the house way too early. I did stop to get gas but was still way too early. I played Sudoku in the car for a while and then got out to go stand by the front door of the gym and wait. A half a minute later my friend, Brodie, showed up. About 5 minutes later the woman who wouldn't let us in early yesterday showed up. It was 20 minutes before the gym was scheduled to open. This morning, however, she let us in!

We figured yesterday there were too many people waiting and she didn't know them. She cheerfully acknowledged this morning that she knew us as regulars. So we had the pool to ourselves in the quiet dark (no lights but there are windows) for the first part of our swim. It was nice.

I'm home now and breakfasted and heading to the sewing machine. The Mariner game does not start for another 3 hours.

It's a really nice, cool, rainy day out.

Nice day

I got to the pool way early but my friend, Brodie, beat me. It turned out to be a nice visit. The regular front desk person wasn't there. The mean front desk person was and she refused to let us in early. No biggie.

After my swim I went to the dollar store and then asked Google where breakfast was. It took me to a strange little enclave in the middle of a very low rent district. It was like some developer (with very nice taste) built a whole huge community (recently) in the middle of this old, sad, low income neighborhood. Turns out, when I looked, it is actually a housing authority development beautifully done.

In the middle of it is a cafe that is also very lovely. Delicious Mexican brunch. Very very delicious. I'm absolutely going back to that place - Greenbridge Cafe.

The on to a very successful Walmart trip and home. I made a bunch of doll faces and a doll. The project of organization of my sewing room is a huge success. Stuff is way easier to get to and find.

I think I'm going to let Amazon bring me my dinner tonight. One order is dinner tonight and 3 more dinners for freezing. I haven't done that in a while so I think tonight I will. Early dinner and early ballgame. 6ish.

Saturday

I did something to my lower back on the left side yesterday. Last night I thought I was crippled for life. Moving from sitting to standing was excruciating. But this morning, it turns out not to be fatal. I think it was just too much lifting and twisting around and toting stuff when getting everything settled in the sewing room. Between old and fat, my body is sure picky about what it will tolerate these days.

I think a good swim will fix this current issue.

Plans are to hit the road after the pool. I need to stop at the dollar store to pick up toothpaste. I love the old fashioned simple Pepsident and the only place I can find it is at the dollar store. Then after blowing that buck, I'm going on down the road to Walmart. Then home.

The Mariners played another excellent game last night and, again, won in the 10th. Zoey and I watched the end of the game from the bed with the lights off. It's a lovely way to go to sleep.

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Resting entry

I finished my snack (watermelon) and am caught up on the internets but I'm still not ready to get back to work. So I'm Officially Procrastinating... but just a little bit longer.

I ordered one of those plastic chest of drawers for the sewing room. It was supposed to come on Monday but it came today instead. It is way bigger than I expected (I had tired brain when I ordered it) BUT, turns out, that with a little more work than I had planned, it works fine. Fits right into my armoir so out of sight but accessible. I had to reswizzle all the organization I did last week but, I think I like this way better anyway.

I want to keep that room sewing convenient while easily transformable into a guest room and tidy. I think, I actually finally have it now. I can roll most of the sewing stuff to the bedroom in a very few trips. Nice. Tidy.

I still have a trip down to the recycle bin and then I'll be done.

Before all that started, I did walk down to the post office which was a very pleasant jaunt with no sun and got a half sandwich for lunch. And then, after lunch, cut out a whole bunch of doll faces and drew the smiles on. I need to sew on eyes and they will be doll ready. I'll do that tomorrow. I also cut out a bunch of hands to match faces. And I cut out the next doll.

So, not a bad day, productivity wise.

I don't want to not finish so down to the dumpster I go. Then that's it. Baseball, knitting, supper.

New Dolls

Wanna see the rest of the dolls? Flickr or Google

Anyone want some Diet Dr. Pepper?

Since the manager was kind enough to procure me some, I stopped at Safeway after my swim and bought a case. Since I had just bought a case earlier in the week, I now have Diet Dr. Pepper to burn. I have enough now to last me quite a while since I generally only drink it at lunch and then only a half bottle. At that rate, what I have now could be a lifetime supply!

The pressure is on today. I want to get the last two scrub dolls put together so I can pick out the ones I'm going to send back to the nice lady who sent me all that fabric. She said that she will give them to the kids of the scrub wearing woman who died. There's really no compelling reason why they have to be sent today but I just want to.

The sun has gone behind the clouds for the first time in days and I can have my blinds up and daylight in. Nice.

No baseball until tonight and no errands that must be done today. So I think I'll finish up my coffee and fire up the sewer.

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Whew... a day

I'm not sure how/why this day turned into such a day, but it did. The baseball game did not get rained out, did go extra innings and was a good game AND we won. Then two shirts and two giant boxes of stuffing arrived. Neither of the shirts fit so I packaged them up and printed out a label. The stuffing is in the closet waiting until my current batch is deleted.

I went to the post office with the package and then the fabric shop. It was hot out which I think made the whole trip more of a thing than it was. Then home to two more deliveries. A hoodie I ordered also didn't fit. But, it's a Walmart so I can take it back to the store where I need to go anyway, probably Saturday after my swim.

And meanwhile there was doll making.

Yeah, I think it's the heat that's making everything seem like such a chore. Tomorrow they are promising better. On the up side, I have teriyaki - just needs a nuke - for dinner so my chores are all done. I have TV to watch and bears to knit.

Here are today's dolls. They are both from the scrub scraps. I have two more to do but they are all ready - fabric/hair picked out and all pieces cut.



Breakfast Baseball

I'm home from my swim and waiting for the baseball game to start. An afternoon game in Cleveland means the first pitch happens before I finish my morning coffee. Nice. Except it's threatening to rain in Cleveland. Roofs, people! It's a thing.

If the game happens, once I finish my coffee, I'll probably move the watching to the sewing room. I tried watching there yesterday but the wifi signal was so weak that it was really a PIA. I thought about and researched several options until finally something on a forum triggered me to try something I was sure wouldn't work.

I have a wifi extender in the living room so that I can have ethernet connections on a wall that is the opposite of where the 'internet juice' comes into the condo without having cable strung across the room. For some reason I thought extending the extender was a non starter. But I had an old wifi extender in the box o' Stuff I Should Have Taken To Goodwill A Few Years Ago. So I hauled it out, reset it to factory settings, fired it up and configured it to extend my extender and damn if it doesn't work! And increases the wifi signal from a speed of 1.2 to 15! No cables. Sweet.

This afternoon I may go to the fabric store. WTF??? You just got a giant motherload of fabric to add to your now already embarrassment of fabric riches and you want more????? Yes, nag, I need face/skin material. I'm totally out of browns and tans. And Thursday is Senior Discount Day.

And I'm out of breakfast burritos again. But I've got the goods to make more. Maybe I'll do that before I hit the sewing machine.

Oh and I got an email from the manager at Safeway. He's scored me some Diet Dr. Pepper. It will be there Friday. I'm to ask for Dave or Ryan. I feel like I'm doing a drug deal here. I actually don't need any right now but, hey, they stuff has a shelf life longer than my own life expectation and I've got room to store. And he's nice enough to respond. So cool.

Zoey is right here this morning helping with this entry.

Yet another amazing thing...

On Monday, I saw this photo on Reddit with a note asking if anyone wanted this stash.



I added a comment asking her to give me a price, that I was definitely interested and I included links to the photos of my dolls and explained they were for the Baby Bank. She suggested that she fill up one of those all you can stuff postal boxes with other stuff, too, and I pay postage and I said GREAT. Then she sent the stuff off to me and sent me a tracking number saying the postage wasn't enough to bother with. The box got here today.

Holy crap. She sent the most amazing stuff and so much of it all!! (I love this photo - totally by accident I got Dora's eye peeking out there - you may have to click to big to see. It's a where's waldo dora the explorer!)



In the notes we swapped she explained that she had some small squares from the scrubs of a friend who died from domestic violence and if she included them could I please use them to make dolls for the Baby Bank children victims from domestic violence?

Seriously? How amazing is that? Turns out there are 5 oh so soft, worn, wonderful squares from the scrubs - 3 different patterns. Enough to make 5 dolls. I'm hoping to send 2 of them back to the woman who sent me the fabric. All she asked was to get photos she could share.

Here's the first one.



I swear there is something magical about these dolls. I am so grateful that I found them.

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Needy Cat

Zoey is now velcro'd to me and has been for 2 days. When she isn't pushing my hands, she wandering around at my feet meowing. Last night she crawled in next to me to go to sleep which she rarely does. Usually when she's this clingy she's saying she wants food - wet food. But, not this time. So weird, this cat.

After my swim, I went to the grocery store/UPS store. At the grocery store, I did my usual check for Diet Dr. Pepper in the six pack bottles. This time there wasn't even a hole where it should be but there was a little Pepsi guy standing there taking notes so I asked him where it was and he told me they no longer carry it. WTF????? NO. I whipped out one of my cards and wrote Diet Dr. Pepper in six pack bottles on it and gave it to the cashier. After a little conversation, I think he grasp the criticality of the situation - either that or he was scared of me. Anyway, he promised to make sure Dave the manager got the message.

I hate cans and I hate 2 liter bottles. I'd probably give up the stuff all together if those were my only options. That probably wouldn't be all bad anyway.

The wifi in my sewing area sucks even with an extender. There isn't good enough electricity in this house to run a powerline and I can't figure out how to use my tablet on my MOCA network. All of the above has now eaten up more than an hour of my morning. I give up.

Today, once I actually get it started, will be cleaning up the kitchen, making dolls, watching baseball (3pm) and then tv while knitting bears. In other words... the usual.

I finished this dude last night.

New Dolls

Wanna see the rest of the dolls? Flickr or Google