Friday, March 31, 2017

Miracle product for Statin induce neuropathy of the hands - AVEENO POSITIVELY AGELESS Skin Strengthening Hand Cream.

For years I have suffered with statin induced neuropathy in my hands. No matter what dosage of a statin I ingest, within two days of starting a protocol, my fingers first become numb, then extremely painful. It starts in the pinkie fingers and proceeds toward my thumbs.

The pain becomes so intense after about two years, that I have to go off the drug for a period of time. Within two or three weeks, the pain starts to slowly subside, and depending on the dosage and medication, it has taken up to two yeasr for the pain to recede completely and the numbness may never completely leave.  I have never been pain and numbness free.

Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor gave me the best results as far as cholesterol  reduction went but the worst side effects and took the  longest for any cessation of pain or numbness. In fact, after Crestor I tried not returning to statins for a while, substituting Slo-Niacin and other supplements in the hopes I could avoid the dreaded statins, but my blood results were too  poor and I had to return to statins and the resultant pain and numbness.

About two months ago I discovered what may well be a miracle solution to the pain and numbness in my hands while still taking my statin - AVEENO POSITIVELY AGELESS Skin Strengthening Hand Cream . A friend recommended that I try it because the skin on my hands was looking old and papery (at 70, it shouldn't necessarily look like a baby's bottom, but I was getting paper cuts very easily while doing a lot of packing of the "stuff" around the house)

Two days of using this miracle cream and not only had the pain subsided in all fingers in both hands, but the numbness has subsided completely in my left hand and in all but the thumb and index finger of my right hand. and I no longer get papercuts so easily. It has made an amazing difference in the strength of the skin on my hands.  And best of all, I have been able to cut back on the NSAIDS that I was taking for the pain in my hands.

I still wear my hand braces to bed at night as I have a tendency to scrunch up my hands in my sleep and wake up with cramps when I don't wear them , but the shear bliss of being able to pick up a coin with my fingers and actually feel the coin. (Before, I would have to look at the coin and use my fingernails to pry the coin from the table, and I couldn't feel the coin as I was lifting it).

 After close to 20 years of pain and suffering, all I can say is "thanks, Aveeno! You've given me a blessing. "

I found tubes of the cream at my local CVS for under $8, and One tube has lasted me for more than a month. So this is cheaper than the bottle of NSAIDs and a whole lot easier on my kidneys and  liver. And my massage therapist even remarked how soft my hands had become last week!

Sunday, March 26, 2017


I came across this quote on Pinterest the other day across a 50's era photo of a tall man holding a 5 year old girl in his arms, and realized how many times I'd thought that as I've been wrestling with "the big clean out". If any of you have dealt with cleaning out the detritus of multiple generations, you know of what I speak.

My mother graced me with boxes and boxes ...and boxes of "stuff" that I could have just chucked, but didn't, and I've spent months and months going through them, separating the stuff into piles to "shred", recycle and "scan and send on to the cousins". And then there are my boxes of slides and negatives from 4 years of college, 3 years in the Adirondacks and 15 years in California, which she also boxed up and brought along, bless her heart. lots of time bombs there.

So, what have I found? tintypes and old photos of my great grand parents and grand parents as young parents and even as children. Photos of my parents as children and young lovers. Photos of my Dad and Aunt Evelyn during WWII all over Europe and pinup shots that my mother sent to Dad so he wouldn't forget her, Photos of the man I loved and lost - twice. Photos of places that I lived or visited and loved around the world - Paris, the Cliffs of Moher, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Kyoto, DC, Montreal, Yosemite, New Orleans,San Francisco, London, Yellowstone, Rome, Toronto, NYC, LA, the 4 Corners in the SW, and all over New England.

Pictures of my brownie troup from Jamestown NY , my brother's indian guide den. Pics of us up on horses, riding at my uncle's farm or at local stables - of us skiing at the golf course in Jamestown or at Holiday Valley- or just down Cook Avenue.

As my parents' generation passes, and now mine starts to diminish, and our memories start to fade, all that's really left are photos to remind us of who we are- to kick start our memories. I was part of a large, loud , rowdy family. I grew up knowing that my "big boy" cousins  (all 15-20 years older than me) would protect me no matter what, and show me a great time - rides on their motorcycles, trips to stock car races where they drove or to the rodeo when it was in town. My  cousin Bonnie, 5 years my senior, protected me on the school bus if I had to stay late and ride the Big Kids bus home. It was a different world back then, and there are days that I wish I could turn back the clock
Now, most of those Big Boy cousins are gone, and when I look through my high school year book, I wonder what happened to kids with whom I graduated. We move away from "home" almost as soon as I graduated. Dad was transferred from Jamestown to Cleveland and then four years later to Los Angeles, so it wasn't until he died and Mom started returning to Chautauqua County for long visits with my Aunt Ruth that I came back. and by then the diaspora from Jamestown had begun. Industry moved away and the population halved. Very few of my class are still in the area, as there were no jobs for them to return to from college. My friends and I drifted apart, and I don't hear from them much any more. I just found one recently on Facebook- after 45 years! And Mom would smile at that thought. She was still in touch with some of her childhood friends right up to her death.

But these photos that I've found in the boxes  each tell a story. A walk down memory lane. I 'm sure a couple of my friends from college, if they're reading this, are praying that I'm not going to post any pictures of them to embarrass them if their spouses or kids/grandkids  should stumble across them. Have no fear - that promise I made to keep those confidential will stay that way unless you run for public office- then all bets are off!

And now those cursed boxes in the basement yet to be dealt with are calling my name. I would really like to be done with this whole process by the end of April and have the last Pod packed and on its way to Maryland so that I can put the house in New England on the market and move on with my life. I have tarried too long "up North" and a new life awaits me in the Mid Atlantic states, free of encumbrances and many boxes of "stuff". and Hopefully with the opening of my new studio the rest of the boxes of "stuff" that have been sent on to Maryland will be opened, put on shelves and rapidly sold. Fingers crossed all around! Those fingers of mine  are itching to be making things again - lovely metal and glass and clay things.

And, oh yes, if there are any old friends of mine out there wondering about getting in touch, yes, please do. It's been way too long, even if I told you never to contact me again. What was I thinking? We have tales to tell and memories to share, and somewhere on a hard disc I've got the pictures to prove it!

Friday, October 21, 2016

So, it's been a while since I have posted here, while I have been in the process of retiring from my job in the real world, done a house search for my new retirement home in the Harford County area of Maryland, and gone through the extremely painful process of cleaning out a home that I've lived in for over 30 years.

In the process downsizing from a 4 bedroom-den-full craft studio in the basement-garage  crammed full of "stuff" from 4 generations on both sides of my family, I have filled numerous recycling bins, worn out 2 shredders, brought joy to a couple of homeless shelters, and I'm still not quite done. (Thanks again , Mom, I'm sure you're up there chuckling as I've been wading through the boxes that you religiously moved from Jamestown, NY, to Solon, OH, to California, then back to Andover, to Haverhill, up to Maine, and back to Haverhill, however, I do wish that you had kept all my French books and lost Dad's old accounting books from the 1950's and Aunt Evelyn's nursing books from the 1950's - what were you thinking?!). Right now, the house is full of boxes yet again awaiting the next pod south. And once that pod goes, I will need to rent another storage unit in MD until I find studio space and can move all the craft supplies and display units out of storage.

My younger brother, wisely, has decided to stay in California , until the "Grand Clean-Out" is completed before visiting, and cousins in Maryland are convinced that I'm never "really" going to move there permanently. Not that I can blame them. So far, two pods have gone south, and my condo is more than three quarters furnished. Only the really "good" furniture that I want a professional mover to handle remains "up north". Each month as I attend our condo association meeting I take another car full of  "stuff" that I want neither the movers nor the Pod to carry... like unbaked polymer clay, clothes, old family photos or my archive of slides and negatives of photos that I've taken over the years.

So this blog will be a bit different for the next few months. Instead of just sitting here with no change, I'm going to start posting some jewelry ideas that I have , drawings or prototypes, and as the final move gets closer, and I start looking for that ideal gallery/studio space in Harford County, I'll start posting shots of that , too.

My idea is to have a gallery/store in front , featuring primarily artists from the surrounding area (PA-MD-DE-VA) with a front window corner set aside so that featured artists can be invited to come in on the weekend and sit in plain view and create, hopefully drawing in foot traffic. Back of the house will be my work space and a teaching area. I hope to be able to employ veterans who are interested in the arts, to give back a bit.We'll see how things pan out.

I'm still boxing up the basement, wrapping up what feels like a ton of stained glass before the next pod leaves before Thanksgiving, and then hopefully the house can get a good cleaning and go on te market. One of the reasons that I'm pushing hard now is that I've got travel plans in the works for the summer coming up.

I just read a great article on the Afar website (actually 2 articles) about how to choose your travel mates that really struck home. More on that tomorrow. Dinner is calling. Pastitsio (Greek Macaroni and cheese) is one of those comfort foods that once you've had it, stays in your mind as crave-worthy. What can I say- the aroma of hot cheese, ground meat, tomato and cinnamon coming together is just so yummy, it's like a big warm hug from your grandmother. More later from the land of boxes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

links to our Photographing your Jewelry Demo at the IPCA Retreat in Columbus

For those of you who've wandered over here from looking for information on my demo on Photographing Your Jewelry as presented at the IPCA retreat in Columbus last week,  here are my links.
The set up we demo’ed on was purchased from Doug Baldwin at , and as Beth and I indicated, if you ever get a chance to take a live class with him, go for it. Purchase information on his lightboxes is  at the bottom of the page.
The software that I normally use is Corel’s Paintshop Pro X6. They’ve just released version X7, and I’ll be waiting until the price drops a bit, but at $79, it’s still quite a bit less than Adobe’s full version. They're offering a free trial at
Other photography sites that I mentioned included:
Digital Camera Tips for Photographing Jewelry © by Rena Klingenberg
LIGHTING:How to Photograph Jewelry
Table Top Studio: Jewelry Photography
MK Digital – how to photograph Jewelry- Jewelry Photography tips
Focus Stacking And Bracketing Technique For Marco Jewelry Photography
For Cell Phone photography:
Shoot to Sell: Taking Better Photos for eBay, Etsy & Instructables
the Etsy Blog-Top Tips for Smartphone Photography

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bad Blogger!
So, there's been this little voice grumbling at the back of my head for the longest time, since my last post, muttering  "Bad Blogger! Bad Blogger!" and I have been. I suppose I can blame it on my crazy life and a serious case of bloggers' block, but I haven't felt like I've had anything to celebrate or write about since I started house hunting back before I retired.

The search for my new home consumed most of my energy outside of my work life - trips back and forth between New England and  the Mid-Atlantic became the norm rather than something to look forward to- the drive has become something I can almost do on auto pilot now. What does it say when the gas station attendants at the Joyce Kilmer rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike ask where Belle is if she isn't sitting in my lap when I give them my credit card (for those of you who don't know, in New Jersey, you can't pump your own gas, an attendant has to do it)?

So after some starts and stops, having to deal with an unscrupulous seller's realtor who caused me to lose out on two units I would have bought, I finally found what I was looking for, more or less-  a two bedroom , two bath condo with a sun room and a screened in porch  that doesn't require me to walk up stairs in a town where many of my cousins live just far enough outside the Beltway that it's still almost an agrarian community. Except I'm within walking distance to great shopping malls..and there's a Wegman's less than 5 miles away. While I don't see horses in my back yard down there as I do up in New England, when the leaves are off the trees, I can watch herds of deer, the occasional fox and flocks of turkeys wandering around from my aerie, as I fondly call my screened in-porch (which Belle adores).

Of course, there are some flies in the ointment. First and foremost is that it's taking me forever to get the house in New England cleaned out, packed up and ready to sell-and it cost more to do it than I anticipated. New roof, doors and windows, painting inside and out, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the septic inspection. My handyman has been a trooper. Then there was the major set back in January.  While I was down "south", someone kicked in my doors up in New England during a power failure, going through 3 deadbolts, and helped themselves to my jewelry and jewelry making supplies and tools. It took me until April to really get past that mentally and get back on track with the packing. Downsizing from a 4 bedroom house to two , with no basement in the new place, and no obvious location for a new studio has made "making" difficult. My new home town doesn't seem to have surplus mill that would make a perfect studio like my old home town does, so I've been searching for a place to set up my kilns and glass-metals-polymer clay studio for over a year now.

Once the jewelry supplies departed with the thief and the rest of the studio got packed up and moved into storage, my creative side ground to a halt. and now, most of my books are either down south or in someone else's home. I've given away close to 5000 paperbacks and hard covers to the library and tossed over 100 accounting textbooks and references. The stained glass is slowly getting wrapped and moved. what an ordeal that is.

I'd like to have the New England house on the market by the end of September/beginning of October, which means probably one more pod south and into storage- mostly glass and boxes of craft supplies from the basement and den-studio. I've done a lot of running around since April, beginning with a trip to Malta and once my August jaunts are done, that's it. I need to buckle down and get to work. seriously.

so ,what I've decided is that I'm going to do a weekly pictorial journal of the New England house and how it's emptying. maybe that will keep me moving. side by sides of various rooms. befores and afters of the train wrecks . Because as anyone who has ever moved knows, once you start packing in a room, it becomes a horrific mess. and I've emptied this house basically by myself. with very little help from anyone. 4 generations worth of "stuff" from both sides of my family. tax returns. medical records. bank statement. shredding up the wazoo.old family pictures that I've scanned and sent on to family around the country. it all takes time. Mom's bedroom is empty and I've turned it into my office. It's got a great view of the back yard, it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and I can sit in my jammies and work without worrying about anyone seeing me from the street.That's where the scanning and bookkeeping takes place now.  and the websurfing- looking for new ideas. Which I was doing yesterday and I found an amazing multimedia artist  out of North Carolina, Amy Flynn and her "FOBOTS"

These little guys are amazing. She whips them up out of old spice cans, erector sets,  kitchen utensils , car parts and who knows what else and they are the most clever things imaginable.I mean how cute is Rocky and his friend? If you're in  the Bay area, you can catch Amy, along with my polymer clay friends, Ford and Forlano, at Fort Mason August 8-10 at the ACC show .Either of them will make it well worth your trip.

so back to my procrastination.... Saturday you'll see the before and hopefully the after of my dining room. fingers crossed.
and once a week hereafter, another room in its pristineness. well, the basement may be in sectors, because it's big,,,and it's bad,,, and it's dark and scary..... and Yes, Suki and Eddie, I know you don't believe me but I really am selling the house and moving! Honestly, I am!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Patinas, of all sorts

One of the projects in the Metal Clay Masters Registry program is a patina study. I've been working on this for some time- researching patina methods through te ages for silver and copper, particularly; then applying what I'd learned to a variety of polymer clay techniques.

Patinas are funny things - bury a piece of shiny silver in your kitty litter box and leave it for a week and you get a lovely multicolored patina (back in the middle ages, they used horse stalls or the floors of cow byres, but not many jewelers have access to those these days). you can't really control how the patina builds on your piece of silver. You could keep digging it out and checking, but the process frequently does past the stage you want it while you're not looking. And then there are the surprises - sometimes felicitous-sometimes disastrous. Most can be recovered from with a bit of heat or friction. But the outcomes are not always what one anticipates.

it's rather like the surprises one finds in personal relationships - discovering that the super cool old friend you haven't seen in 20 years is now competing in scrabble championships when you expect him to be still racing at Le Mans or Limerock - after all, Newman was still racing at 80 - or still leaping tall buildings in a simgle bound.

well, silver and copper both react to a variety of chemicals, sometimes with unexpected consequences. and then there's added spice of mixing the metals, the chemicals and a bit of electricity... that's my latest tangent. After taking a class on electroforming on glass, I'm fiddling with the hardware, paints, acids and silver. The worst that will happen is that I'll waste some chemicals and have to clean some silver. It's a step back for me to that High School chem class where you looked at your partner and asked "how about we try this while the teacher is out of the room, just to see what happens?" Let's just hope we don't get the same result - they won't be evacuating the school this time - I'll be grabbing the cat and making a run for it out of my house.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Klay Karma 2011 is coming! and we've got a special treat- 5 of them, actually!

Klay Karma 2011 is coming July 22-24, 2011

Join clayers from all over the Northeast for the 2011 Klay Karma Retreat!
July 22-24, 2011, on the campus of Rivier College in Nashua, NH

Registration is now open. Join the klay_karma Yahoo group at  for more info and to download registration forms

This event fills up quickly, so don’t delay!

and as a special treat, this year Klay Karma has added optional classes!

Register for Klay Karma (July 22-24 in Nashua, NH) and you have the opportunity to enroll in up to 5 fascinating classes taught by some of the top Polymer instructors in the country- at a low cost of $50 each!

We’ve all drooled over the gorgeous furniture created by Bonnie Bishoff and J M Syron. Bonnie is bringing her MiIllefiori and veneer techniques to you. See a slide show of her works and learn how to create custom veneers using your canes.

Klay Karma regulars know and love Diane Villano, a double winner (2006 and 2009) in the Clay division of Bead Arts AND a winner of the 2009 Bead Dreams Competition-Polymer Clay division. Her demos enliven every retreat she attends. Diane will be sharing her custom button making techniques, starting with a leaf cane, morphing it into limitless dimensional variations and then creating both sew-through and shanked buttons!

Doreen Kassel, a 2010 NICHE winner, is teaching 2 of her most popular classes , bringing her award bringing Uncommon Creatures to Klay Karma as both tiles and ornaments . Learn how create those clever caricatures, and finish them to perfection, bringing out subtle nuances with multiple layers of paint.

Melanie West and bangles! What more is there to say? Melanie, a 2010 NICHE finalist, will be sharing with us how she approaches organic form, including how to make a light but strong bangle armature using brass channel bangles and Ultra Light polymer clay and how to laminate the armature. You’ll be able to bring your own spin to forming, carving and laminating your armatures.

Check out a full description of each of the classes and download the registration form for Klay Karma 2011 and the optional classes at the Files Folder in the klay_karma yahoo group or the Klay Karma facebook page . This is the only time this year that you will be able to take classes with all 4 of these instructors in one weekend. Don’t delay, both the event and the classes are sure to fill quickly.