Back in the Saddle

Well folks, here we go.

I vacillated for a long while about starting up a blog again. The hesitation stems from how I feel the world has unfortunately developed into one in which if you speak your truth and someone out there disagrees, you will be canceled. We are seeing it all around us now, and it's disheartening to say the very least. There has never been one way to think about things, and there never will. So in the end I decided, fuck it, I'm just gonna go for it. Haters be damned. 

I hope from here out this will be a wonderful way to communicate with you all out there - to think out loud a little, and to share a little bit of my life and inspiration for those that are interested. My sincere hope is that this will be the primary way I interact with the internet in the future, and that the censorship, arbitrary algorithms, and thought control we are all seeing and feeling on social media can be circumvented. 

First off, I feel it's important to know that this will not (obviously) ever be a profanity free discussion space. For better or for worse, I grew up with cuss words and after being in the Navy for 20 years, they are part of my lexicon. It's just part of the way I choose to use the English language (proper Queen's English swearing is especially delightful). There's no fixing me. If profanity is something you take offense to, please move on.

That being said, there are times to use profanity and times to avoid it. If you read something you don't agree with, find offensive (feels like it could be anything these days), or just plain dislike, and you choose to interact with this platform in a disrespectful way, you will be removed. There are 7 billion people on this planet, and while I know I might gather only even the smallest micro-fraction of humans as followers, there are bound to be differing opinions. I have no patience for keyboard warriors and politically correct crusaders spewing their hate and discontent into a creative space. Use the Golden Rule, or leave. 

Now that we got that out of the way, here's a little life update for those of you that might be new to the Anvil + Feather story. This website was started to sell the jewelry I make, but it's 2020 so, PLOT TWIST. So if you were just here for the jewelry and you're wondering where the hell it is, here's your answer:

As of today I have *count them* 98 days until I begin my transition out of the Navy. When I joined I never in a million years thought I would stay in for the 20, but here I am. It was always going to be a year of change, but HOLY SHIT. I know this year has been a dumpster fire for most of humanity, but it was seriously bordering on (dark) comedy for me. On top of all the COVID stuff (from here on out, COVID will be known as the "C-word"), we moved Scott to El Paso in July for his new job - more geographic bachelor/ette time for us *eye roll* - and I came back to Pensacola to finish out my sentence.

On the night of September 16th, Hurricane Sally decided to crawl through Pensacola, and during that storm a giant tree fell onto our house. Folks here were joking that Sally was Hurricane Ivan's attitude filled teenage daughter - since the storms were EXACTLY 16 years apart. Crazy, right? Ivan was stronger, but Sally just took her sweet time, doing whatever she damn well pleased. Ha! The short version of the story is that I had to move out. Luckily we were renting the place. Of all the rooms in the house for the tree to fall into, it was my metalsmithing studio. Le sigh. Rain and wind and glass and leaves were raging into the room (Sally was 1 mph under a Category 3 storm, but let's be honest, I'm rounding that shit up), soaking so many of my tools as I scrambled to get everything out of the room. Ball cap, raincoat, and boots on, I moved everything out of the room including super heavy tools and work tables. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug. Also, it was dark AF out, so I did it all with a tiny keychain-sized mag light in my mouth because that's the only flashlight I had. Fail. That situation has been remedied at least.

No big deal.
*****
Gotta laugh so you don't cry.
*****
The little roof edge right where the tree ends is our bedroom. Yes, the pups and I were home. Happened at 4:30am. 
*****
Rude. 
*****

Two weeks later I moved into a 25ft Airstream Excella, and now I live on base at NAS Pensacola in an RV park with the two pups. Needless to say, I am not able to really make any jewelry for the next few months, not until we move into our house in Texas next summer. I'm feeling there will be a post about tiny living in the near future, so I'll just save that for later. 

Isn't she cute?
I love the awning but got tired of fucking with it - had to take it down all the time because hurricanes. 
*****

The weeks since the storm upended my life have been challenging. I'm only now starting to feel like the dust has finally started to settle. There are so many people on the Gulf Coast right now in similar or worse situations. Everywhere you go you still see street signs blown over at weird angles, and the root balls of tall fallen trees sticking out of the ground. There are still blue tarps on rooftops all around town. It really has felt like an alternate reality. I wondered if I would get out of hurricane alley unscathed...guess I got my answer. So very fortunately, I have my wonderful friend Darci here who still have intact houses and who has been repeatedly welcoming me in for dinners, baths, to do laundry, and to spend time together, and for that I am more thankful than I can say. 

I very much miss creating and fabricating jewelry. It felt like I was just getting rolling when everything came to a screeching halt. All of our belongings are either with me in the camper (and in my office at work), in Texas with Scott, or in storage. I dearly miss my piano as well. But we must adapt and overcome. And it's only temporary in the end.

So there you have it. It's a start, and I guess we'll see where it goes. Thanks for being here.

Until next time, 

M