Wuss

 

 

Yesterday I received an email from a blogger I follow. After letting me know my website is still jacked-up on the “contact” button, he had this to say: “Once a month? Is that it? Wuss. I put out absolute rubbish on average daily. Give us a weekly or close the site down.”

 

I guffawed loud enough to wake the lizards (they’re everywhere, I tell ya – more on them another day) and realized my head must be doing pretty good if I can laugh so heartily.

 

The dude isn’t wrong though, as I have been blogging only once a month, if that. My depression is a bit better, so that isn’t keeping me from logging on. I have some major house stuff that’s been distracting the hell out of me and will continue to occupy my thoughts and time for several more weeks, but it isn’t killing me. It’s just stuff. There are other things going on – health, loved ones, etc. – but isn’t that the case for all of us? Aren’t we all doing our best to keep those balls in the air and away from the ground? I certainly can’t claim to be juggling more than others. And I know it.

 

When yesterday afternoon rolled around, I had, well, truth be told, I had cried three times, been down on my knees praying to any god that might listen once and had meditated twice. By the time I decided to share the email from the blogger, it was mid-afternoon and I was beat. But there was work to be done, and it was up to me to do it. So I did. No sob story, just the truth.

 

To the Brit who told it like it is, I salute you. Not only did your email put me in my place, it also made me smile. I can’t make any immediate promises about the website being repaired, but I will try to do better on the writing front. And on all the other fronts, too. I owe me that much.

It’s a Heat

 

 

It started with admiring outdoor art. Actually, it probably started in 1983 when I first saw “Flashdance,” but that’s digging too deep. Anyhoo, I wanted some outdoor art. Indoor art abounds at the new pad, but the outside is a little lonely. I looked to a painting and found inspiration…

 

 

So I signed up for a sculpture class at a welding shop. I had built myself a maquette made of cardboard and thought it might be possible to finish the piece during the 6-week class. I hoped so at least.

 

 

I got to work and, well, then the US election happened. It was all I could do to make myself go to class. When I got there, the other students were quiet. Maybe we were all heartbroken. I don’t know. Each of us worked on our own projects…

 

 

And we plugged away…

 

 

Once I had cut the pieces for my planned sculpture, I needed to grind them down to remove the ugly coating on the metal. Did I have to? No. I could have simply left the pieces alone and allowed them to rust once outdoors. But I had different plans. And so the grinding work began. Grinding, to me, is a bit tense. As a safety precaution, one has to constantly apply pressure to the on button of a grinder, which wears out whichever hand one uses. And then there’s the body position. I found that holding myself at a slight bent-over angle for so long led to back pain. Not cool, man. And then, as if my body’s tension wasn’t enough, one night I noticed an odd scent in the grinding room. I looked down and saw my hoodie had flamed up from the sparks being thrown by the grinder. I immediately patted out the flare-up, then looked around to see if anyone had noticed. None had, so I went back to finishing the job. Or as much as I could.

 

 

By the end of the session, I had the structure of my piece down…

 

 

But I wasn’t finished. And I knew it. I brought the metal home, hid it away and started my research into metal dyes. That’s right. I wanted my piece to have color. (I figured it would rust, too, but the color would only add to that natural process. Right?) Thanks to the YouTuber, I was able to find a product that looked like it would do the trick. I ordered what I needed and waited. Once the dyes arrived, I knew I had to finish grinding the metal. It occurred to me that I could return to the welding shop and pay them for some open shop time, but when I saw how cheaply a grinder could be had, I decided to just get the tool and finish the task at home. For the record, when the grinder arrived, I considered making its case my new handbag. Yes – I like it that much…

 

 

So. Even though I wasn’t using a 30,000 degree F plasma cutter, I knew enough about grinder sparks to be careful. So I cleaned the outdoor area of leaves and such and got out a fire extinguisher before setting up my work station. I wore all the requisite protective clothing and earplugs and a face mask. I certainly didn’t want to burn down the house, and I surely didn’t want to burn down a Mikki.

 

 

Finishing the job took the better part of a day. But then I was ready to apply the dye. I let it set and then Mister helped me assemble the piece.

 

 

I have to tell you – this was fun. Yes, there were setbacks and disappointments. Yes, I nearly gave myself a belly scar from a spark fire. Yes, it took longer than I expected or hoped. But in the end, I’m fairly smitten with this sculpture. It’s my first. You never forget your first…