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Well, once again, it’s been a while since I’ve been here to put my thoughts down. There’s been a lot going on and it certainly isn’t the stuff I would choose to have happening.

I had some dental work done the day after Christmas. I endured a lot of sensitivity and pain daily until the middle of February when I was finally able to eat on that side of my mouth. Last Saturday I got a call from the dentist’s office asking if I wanted to come in, as I was on the cancellation list, and get more work done. I wasn’t scheduled until April 8. I went in and had the work done and once again I’m back to terrible sensitivity and not being able to eat on one side of my mouth. I go back March 28.

February started with my husband having a car accident at work. He was backing out of his parking spot and backed into a co-worker’s pick up truck, as he was also backing out. The accident was my husband’s fault, so we had to pay a deductible, have $1500 worth of work done to our car and the other fellow needed a similar amount of work done. Our car had to be in the shop for 5 days.

The same week of the accident there was an explosion at my husband’s place of work, in the dust collection/air system of the factory which caused the plant to close for 2 weeks. He had to apply for Unemployment Compensation (UC), which he didn’t get until last week because there was a mix up about his work week.

Last week he was laid off, as they ran out of orders (probably lost a couple because of the accident and subsequent shut down). Needless to say, we’ve been struggling financially. Thank goodness we still had a few things in our pantry and deep freezer that we were able to use to get by.

I’ve had the lovely experience of having a skin infection for nearly a month and as if that wasn’t enough I had bronchitis and a double ear infection.

I’ve been very excited about the new craft I’ve been doing. I got a new recipe for making cold porcelain air-dry clay that you cook in the microwave. I’ve been producing a lot of pendant medallions and putting together some necklaces and earrings. I’ve gotten a lot of interest from friends online and gifted some pieces to some special friends. It does my heart good to make people happy with a little token of our friendship to express what they mean to me.

Some of my friends have expressed a lot of interest in wanting to buy some of my pieces for themselves as well as to give as gifts. They encouraged me to open an Etsy shop. I went on Etsy and reserved a shop name, made up a logo for branding, printed some business cards and labels for packaging… sudden stop! I discovered that selling online isn’t as simple as people would have you believe. You have to have a pay pal account or use the pay system Etsy offers, either of which take a transaction fee for each sale in the form of a percentage of the sale price. Etsy charges a small fee for each listing (picture) you post and they take a percentage of your sale price as a transaction fee as well. They will do promotion for your shop if you pay them. It turns out that my state would require me to collect sales tax on every sale which means I’d have to apply for a sales tax permit (license) for my shop. I’d have to pay quarterly estimated Federal and State income tax, Social Security tax, etc. Because of all these fees and taxes I’d have to invest in a bookkeeping software to track everything, including cost of supplies.

It turns out, after a little research, that even if I decided to attend craft fairs with my pieces, I would need to collect sales tax, so a lot of those requirements would even apply to that activity. I also learned that if I were to set up a string of “yard sales” and sell my pieces I would have to get the sales tax permit.

Suddenly my hobby, craft, went from a fun and rewarding experience to stressful work.

I celebrated my 50th birthday on March 2. I was welcoming of this milestone. I’m not at all hung up about age or gray hair and I’m very much looking forward to menopause. Something else has been happening of late that I’m not liking so much and I’m not sure if it’s related to my disability, getting older, or maybe both. I am so fatigued, I feel exhausted all the time and I find myself napping in my recliner nearly every day. I can’t get to sleep at night because of the discomfort and pain level associated with my disability. My legs have been especially painful lately. My left hip and the small of my back have just been screaming! I’m using my power chair much more than I ever have, hardly walking at all. Sitting on any hard surface immediately brings on a painful numbness in my left leg and foot.

We just discovered that our fireplace chimney is leaking in our master bathroom. We had to have a company come out and inspect it. They found that the seal was broken around the bottom of the pipe, at the roof line. He did a temporary fix (because of the extremely cold weather we’ve been having) and will have to come back when the temps are higher and more steady to do a permanent repair.

As you can clearly see, this year has not exactly cooperated with my optimistic and positive expectations.

This past week, I did take some positive action and cut the last remaining ties to a couple of people who had hurt me and/or my family, removing any existing connection between my son’s previous aide (a friend I’d met 19 years ago) and my Godson (who has refused to speak to me for 2 years). It felt kind of good to finally let go, rather than be reminded of the pain associated with them every time I logged onto social media.

As we close in on one quarter of 2014 being behind us, I’m hoping that things will look up in the days and months ahead.