Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making stuff

Now that I'm retired, all my friends keep asking me the same question: "What have you been doing?" As if they can't imagine how I'm filling all those empty hours.

I usually have the same answer: "Making stuff."

It's my sort-of, almost, kind of part-time job. I do know people who actually make a living from making stuff. And I know how they do it. They work at it. All the time. They are ALWAYS making stuff. And when they're not making stuff, they're selling what they've made. And when they're not making or selling, they are dreaming up new stuff to make.

I approach it a little differently. I like to make things, but -- even though I'm retired -- I have other important things to do. I have to watch HGTV. I have to watch it a lot. OK, I've seen the one where the couple in Cincinnati picks house no. 3, but it can't hurt to watch it again. And I have to feed the cat and empty the dishwasher. But first I have to go get the mail and skim the newspaper. And before I can go get the mail, I have to take a shower and get dressed. And check my e-mail. And while I'm on the computer, I'll do the daily Sudoku puzzle and the daily Quiddler. By then it's lunchtime, and, well, you get the idea.

I'm a procrastinator; I'll admit it. Sometimes I'm amazed I get anything done at all.

I wish I could get up in the morning and get dressed and go to the craft room and work there all day and, at the end of the day, pile up all the things I've made. But that's not me. I feel pretty good if I can get in a couple of hours of work in a day. And if the pile of things I've made is more of a molehill than a mountain, well, at least I got a little bit done.

I am retired, after all.

This blogging business

It seems to me the hardest thing about creating a blog is deciding what to name it. I call my little craft business Blue Moon Crafts, a name I chose probably 10 years ago, too long ago to bother changing it now. But I guess it wasn't very original; other people have used it, too, and they all seem to get there first. So when I opened an etsy store, the name was already taken. (I went with And when I tried, just now, to start a blog, the name was already taken.

So what to call it? I thought about some variations on the moony theme but finally hit on Just Abby and Me. Abby's my cat, a gray and rust female tabby, and it is just Abby and me these days since Pete, our "significant other," died of a heart attack in September after a lengthy battle with diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.

That's Abby in a crock on our front porch in a portrait taken by Pete last summer. It's one of my favorites because it shows a lot of her personality. You cat lovers will know what I mean.

After Pete died, one of my friends said in an email, "I worry about just you and Abby there all alone."

I wrote back that we weren't alone. We had each other. I told her that a couple of days earlier we were sitting out on the deck in the sun, me in one chair reading and Abby dozing in the other chair. After a while, she woke up, hopped down, went into the yard and came back a few minutes later with a mouse she had caught.

"So you don't need to worry about Abby and me," I told my friend. "She's good company ... and she even gets her own meals."