Sunday, January 31, 2010

A few of my favorite things

In an effort to cheer myself up while waiting for news about my car, I thought I'd do a series of posts about things I love.

I love fashion. Accessories in particular. Scarves, pocketbooks, jewelry, belts..I am never without some sort of accessory when I'm out and about.

In the realm of jewelry, I have somewhat eclectic taste. I like classic jewelry, like strings of pearls and simple yet elegant rings, but I also like unique pieces that are bold and eye-catching. Keys are a particular favorite of mine. I recently bought two rather ornate sterling key pendants that have low grade rubies set in them. There's something very romantic about them, I think. They look like they ought to unlock something wonderful.

I've had this big silver ring forever. I bought it a few years ago, but I've only worn it a few times. I recently dug it out of my jewelry box and started wearing it more. The only problem is that I keep whacking it against everything. That's the reason why my engagement ring is actually a very small, delicate piece. I was afraid that if I wore a large stone, or one that stuck out, I'd damage the ring. The big chunky silver one is pretty much impossible to hurt, but I can't imagine wearing it every day.

The turquoise band on my ring finger is one that my mother bought for herself, but decided was too bulky to wear, so she gave it to me. It's positively dainty next to the other behemoth.

Now we move on to purses. I love purses. My love affair with purses and shoes didn't really start until I was in my mid twenties. Now I am always hunting for the next Perfect Purse, and that extends to pocketbooks and change purses, too. I found this little gem for $12 on the clearance table at Macy's. I have a particular weakness for Fossil bags, and I could not resist the berry color of the leather, nor the little bronze bird stitched onto it. It's just big enough to fit my mirror and a few tubes of lip balm.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Second Chances

Thursday morning I got up to the sound of my alarm clock and went through my morning routine. Showered, got dressed, put on my makeup, and packed my lunch. I kissed my sleeping fiance goodbye, and headed off to work.

I made it exactly five miles. The roads where I live twist and turn, roll up and down hills, snaking away towards the city where everything finally becomes flat and straight. Going down and around a steep curve, the steering on my car felt oddly loose. One second later, the car was spinning out of control, and finally stopped when it hit a guardrail.

I'd hit a rather large patch of black ice. The entire road was slick with it, so once my car started sliding, there never was a time where it was off the ice. Unfortunately the fact that it was on a downhill curve meant that momentum took over and the car got out of control so badly and so fast that I barely had time to think before it was over.

I hit the emergency button on my OnStar and summoned police. An off-duty officer also happened to be passing by, and he sat there with me and reassured me. While we were sitting there, watching the morning turn from black to grey, another car came hurtling down the curve and spun into the side of the hill. They were able to drive away, at least.

It was over very quickly, really. Police came and went, the wrecker came for my car, and it was extracted from the guardrail and loaded up. I sat in my fiance's car and watched as the police swept away the pieces of my headlights from the road. 45 minutes was all that the entire process took, from the wreck to finding myself at home, stripping off my work clothes, rubbing away my makeup. My car sat in the driveway, its front end crumpled, headlights nothing but wires and smashed bulbs.

I saved for three years to buy that car. The money I made from my first major jewelry sale was the money I opened the savings account with. I researched cars online and drove my old car until it was on the verge of falling apart. I paid over half the cost of my new car in cash, and it felt so good to make that first major purchase in my life. I'd saved all the money myself, not taking help from my parents. I only had to take out a small loan to finance the rest. It would have been paid off this year.

I'm hoping they can fix it, that they don't have to total it. I don't want another new car right now. I want MY car back. The car I saved for and researched and finally drove off the lot in, thrilled at having something that didn't stall or leak rainwater from the doors, something I could call reliable, that started in the cold weather and didn't overheat when it was hot outside.

Of course insurance ruled the accident to be my fault. My deductible is high, but not unmanageable. I'd pay it to have that car back. I'm just waiting to hear if I do get to have it back, or if they'll decide it's not worth fixing. Three years of saving, two years of driving, one second to lose it. I wish I had a second chance with that morning. I'd have taken another road.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Magic Keys

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by the idea of magic and mystery. What kid isn't, really? There's so much magic in childhood. We believe in more. Nothing is impossible. We believe that we can be anything when we grow up, that fairies might really exist, that one day the path we take every single day through the woods will lead us to a fairyland if we only find the right slant of light to step sideways through.

I spent hours playing in the woods when I was growing up, and I spent hours reading books. I loved the thought of other realms awaiting discovery, and wished I could find them.

Alas, eventually I grew up, and became involved in all of the adult things like bills and jobs and having to feed and clothe myself and worrying about the price of gas or if I'd forgotten to unplug the iron. But I still try to hold onto magic wherever I can. I still love being in the woods, and I still love to read, and all the magic I never did find as a child creeps its way into my jewelry from time to time.

I've been working on a series of key pendants, because keys are something else I've always loved. I collect sterling silver key pendants, and I dream of going round to antique malls and buying old skeleton keys. Keys just have so much potential. There's a certain mystery to a key, especially if it's an old one. Who used it? What did it unlock, or what did it keep contained?

The keys I've been making are meant to be magic keys, to unlock those mysterious, wonderful worlds I never quite managed to find in all my years of prowling the woods. Some part of me is convinced that somewhere out there, they do exist.


The Key to the Heavens is one of the more abstract keys, meant to fool the casual eye into thinking it merely a pretty design. Because one can't have just anyone unlocking its realm, after all...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Dark and Stormy Night

January is in its last week, and it seems as though this month has stretched on forever. It started off bitterly cold and then turned into a rain-soaked mess, which we are still in the middle of. Today was the first day we've had in a week where it was not pouring down.

It's been so foggy here that the mornings and nights have rendered the rest of the world invisible to me. When I look out my front door, all I can see of the house across the street is one hazy halo of light from their front porch. The trees are hulking spider-shapes that loom out unexpectedly whenever I leave the safety of my porch. It's wonderful and disturbing and makes me think that ghosts must be lurking somewhere out there, because if ever there was weather that suited a lost spirit, this is it.

Today was unusually warm for the season, and it was like the tiniest scrap of spring crept out for a single day, but next week it will be lost to the cold temperatures again. The ground is soggy, made up of sucking mud that weighs down my shoes and gets all over everything.

Such is winter, here in Kentucky. It's really no more than I expect. The only good thing so far is that we've not had another ice storm, like we did last year.

Despite the brief respite from the rain, I stayed inside for the most part today. I wanted to take my camera out and take some pictures of the bare trees, the flooded creeks, and my poor, mud-caked goat, but laziness prevailed. Not laziness, exactly, because I have been working today. I've been making jewelry, and etching copper, and doing the massive loads of laundry that this time of year generates.

I wish spring were here, and I look everywhere for signs of it, but I find none. It won't be until the end of next month that it starts to show itself in the red buds clustering on the maple trees, and the first crocus blooms pushing their way out of the ground. By the end of March the woods will have the faintest haze of green and Bluets will start to pop up in clusters around the yard.

For now it's just mud, and rain, and ice, and more fog than a victorian murder mystery would know what to do with, and a slow deep ache in my joints that begs for warmer, drier weather. Alas, I must wait.