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Saturday, December 21, 2013

CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS

Does Christmas make anyone else melancholy besides me?  Maybe it's because I'm older now, much older, but I have such mixed feelings about Christmas.  I think about the early ones I had, with my grandparents.  My sister and I sleeping in the same twin bed on Christmas Eve listening for the reindeer, the anticipation building and the agony of waiting until 7 am before we could wake anyone up. Those Christmases were so happy, so carefree. Then there were Christmases when my children were young.  HB and I had so much fun getting everything ready after the children went to bed.  Well, maybe HB didn't have so much fun all the time, because he was the one responsible for putting all the toys together, and it seemed there was always a missing nut or bolt.  The looks on the kid's faces Christmas morning always made everything worth it though.
Now we have grandchildren and the first couple of years were wonderful.  It's been harder since my son's divorce because he has the children every other year and this year is his off year.  We will miss them.  We will celebrate several days later with them and our daughter and her family and I know we are lucky that we have a family to be with.  I think the melancholy has to do with all the people who are gone from my life, especially my grandparents.  My sister and I were so loved by both of our grandmothers and our grandfather.  I'm almost 70 years old and I still miss them.  In memory, I think times always seem better than perhaps they really were in real life.  I don't know, I just know my memories make me feel happy. I'm the one providing the memories now.  I hope someday my grandchildren will remember HB and me and have great memories of our time together.  It's how we will live on.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MORE WORDS

I swear, sometimes these things just jump out at me!!!  This is the best one I've seen in a long time.





Sunday, December 8, 2013

AND IT'S ANOTHER BABY PICTURE

Sorry, I know people aren't crazy about looking at pictures of other people's grandchildren, but I just had to show this one of Jake.  He went shopping for his first Christmas tree.  I just love his outfit, and he has that serious look on his face that his brother always had when he was that age.
                                               

I really liked having something nice to write about since it's been a pretty crummy week.  Sara had a bad fall at Day Spring, the community where she lives.  Since she can't identify where she hurts it becomes a guessing game to find out where the injury is.  This time is was in the place I always feared and knew was coming.  She apparently fell face first and hit her teeth on the floor.  She has a big chip out of one of her front teeth and the other front tooth looks like someone took a chisel to it.  It has tiny gouges all over the front surface of the tooth where enamel is missing.  I called her dentist and we are going in on Monday morning.  I just feel so sad for Sara.  I would give anything, and I do mean anything, if she could just tell us what hurts.  I would also give that "anything" if she could just keep her balance and not fall as often as she does.  She is so sweet and happy all the time. I   don't understand why the most innocent have to suffer so much sometimes.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

A FEW SIMPLE WORDS, LIVES FOREVER CHANGED






Sometimes I read something that just strikes me in the gut.  This is one of those things.....and after all this time it still doesn't seem real.



                                       

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HE OWNS MY HEART

Here is the youngest owner of my heart, our newest grandchild, Jake.  He is so much like his mom was at that age.  He's happy all the time, always smiling, just an all around love.  It makes me happy just to look at his sweet little face.  Being a grandmother is the best!  All 5 of them make getting old worth it.  I am blessed.

                                                           

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ONE MORE TRY

Since selling options are limited I am giving Etsy one more try, but I don't have high expectations.  There are several shops locally they have an interest in my jewelry but they want 50% of the total sale.  Somehow that just doesn't seem fair to me.  I supply the glass, make the beads, design the jewelry, using my sterling silver clasps etc and other findings.  Then I deliver the finished piece to the store.  I would go 60/40, but 50% is just too much.  Here are two pictures of the bracelets I have on Etsy right now.

                                           




I am not ready for Thanksgiving yet, although I have a good start.  We will be small in number this year, just HB, me, Sara, son and the three grands.  Looking forward to that.  Son's GF might be here too.  That will be nice.  It's great to see him happy again.  We all are adjusting to our new normal, but it has been a difficult and extremely emotional experience for all of us. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A FRESH START

I spent the better part of two days working on cleaning my studio.  Here's a before picture of my work table followed by an after picture.




Now the trick is keeping it like this……yea, like that's gonna happen.  I kind of got renewed at the last show I did though, and have decided to kick myself back into high gear.  I want to do some more indoor shows.  I have a couple of ideas for displaying my beads and am looking for someone who can help me construct what is in my mind.
We are off to see the out of town grandkids this weekend!  About 11 hours in the car, but well worth the trip :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A SMALL RANT…OK A BIG ONE

Recently Etsy decided to accept wholesalers as sellers.  This is a crushing blow to those of us who are artists of handcrafted merchandise.  We will be over run in no time by mass produced items at rock bottom prices.  For beadmakers, like myself, the quality of beads you will soon find on Etsy will be inferior.  Beads that are made by wholesalers are often made by children in sweatshops.  The beads are not annealed.  Annealing is a process by which the molten bead is slowly cooled down over an 8-12 hour period.  This insures that the bead is strong and it will not break under normal use….now, if you take it out in the street and let a Mac truck run over it, that's a different story.  Kiln wash is used on the mandrels, which are the small stainless steel rods on which the beads are made .  It keeps the glass from sticking to the mandrels.  Beadmakers, who make beads as pieces of art, clean the kiln wash out of each bead and smooth the holes, where the mandrels were, before they sell their beads, not so for most wholesale beadmakers.  Etsy used to be a wonderful place.  A person could find many beautiful, one of a kind, items there.  Now you will find an item listed as one of a kind, but if you do a search you might find 20 other items that look exactly like it…….So I had to tell you this before I could tell you want else I wanted to write about tonight.  I play candy crush saga…..OCCASIONALLY.  It is not working like it used to, which is kind of making me a little grumpy, and that could be because I am getting bronchitis for the FIFTH time this year.  After a trip to the doctor I started on antibiotics and PREDNISONE……and we all know that I am never at my best when under the influence of PRED.  Well, it does make my joints feel better, but my sweet disposition just gets lost in the shuffle of all the madness, so I wrote this on FB tonight


Dear Candy Crush Saga,
Yes, I play your game periodically and to me it a great time waster, but there are parts of my day (or sometimes night) that a time waster is exactly what I need. I don't have to think about anything but getting little candies all in a neat little row. Kind of sad, but true. I know you are a money maker for Facebook, which is why I don't understand why I, and so many others are having the problems with you that we are.  For the last 10 days I have not been able to collect one gifted life or extra move.  Oh, I've been gifted many.  It's just that every time I start a game you refuse to work, so I have to restart you several times. Restarting makes all those extra gifts disappear. I've cleared my cache, tried Google Chrome and Firefox.  They all do the same thing, eat the bonuses and require a restart.  I'm wondering if this is a ploy to get players to spend more money?  You wouldn't do that to your faithful players would you? Seems like there are other venues on the web who are changing the rules so they make more money.  Etsy comes to mind  See, I don't have to win, I just keep playing the same game over and over, because it's kind of mindless, like I said.  However after playing the same game for 10 days with no extras that were gifted to me, I'm getting a little cranky and I'm thinking I will go back to one of the other games I play…on another channel.
Just my two cents


  I wonder how long it will stay.  Okay, I'm done.  Just pretend you never read this.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ELLEN THIS PICTURE IS FOR YOU

I'm showing you a picture of my workbench in the final days before my show.  I have a dear friend named Ellen whom I've never met in person, but we've been cyber buddies for years.  She always freaks out when she sees my table pictures.  I get the feeling we are polar opposites when it comes to jewelry making :)  I'm one of those people who just functions better in chaos.  Believe me, I don't seek it, but it always seems to be nipping at my heels.  I cleaned my whole table off tonight before I started, yet by the end it looked just like this picture….sigh.
I don't think I have enough inventory for a two day show, but it is what it is.  I've been having a terrible time with arthritis in my hands and fingers.  It runs in the family so I am not surprised.  Just wondering what form of entertainment I will take up next.
Okay here are the pictures.  First is my torch area and then my work table….see, I can't create unless I have lots of choices in front of me…I'm sorry Ellen, I know this probably made you twitch :)

                                                     

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NEW SHOW

I was juried into the Louisville Artisans Guild this year.  I'm really psyched about it.  We do a two day Holiday show Nov 2 and 3.  I'm psyched about that too, but in a much more frazzled way.  My jewelry inventory has been low recently so I've been torching, making many many beads !  I feel okay about what I've been making and slowly I am accumulating  more and more product.  The thing that worries me is setting up my booth.  I have a general idea about what it's going to look like, and we set up the day before, but will it all come together the way I envision??  Stress, I know I could use more of that :)  Here's a picture of one of my new bracelets. It has an antique button clasp and copper findings.  Standing on my arthritic feet for two days will be an adventure, but I love doing shows because of all the interesting people you meet….and the things you hear.  ("Don't buy that bracelet, Sally.  We can go to Michael's, Walmart, etc, and get some beads and make the same thing.")……….Oh really? :)  I'll show you some more beads later next week.  I need sleep !!
P.S.  A stink bug actually dive bombed my face this week while I was torching…….the nerve of some bugs.  HB got him!!
                                       
  




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CASSIDY

This little girl is a trip.  I never know what she is going to say.  She's brutally honest which just cracks me up sometimes because she says what she is thinking.  A couple of weeks ago I was helping her Dad get her in the car.  She looked up at me and said "Happy, why do you have all those cracks in your face?...Oh that's right, I forgot, you're old...never mind."
Just when I thought I was having a good make-up day !! :)




Sunday, October 6, 2013

HOW CAN SOMETHING SO TINY....

freak me out?  Stink bugs!!  I hate them!  I am being attacked nightly as I try to make beads.  Think about it.  I am mixing fire, my fingers, molten glass, and intense concentration with flying things that dive bomb me.  It happened on three separate occasions tonight.  HB was called each time and he came with his fly swatter and killed the pesky offenders, BUT I don't like it when they land in my hair or make a quick pass very close to my torch.  Sometimes they are so blatant that they land on one of my rods of glass and just sit there looking at me.  Last week one landed and became entangled in my hair.  My loud shrieking brought HB pretty quickly to my studio.  By then I had shaken the vile thing out of my hair, but as I turned away from my husband he saw two of them on the back of my shirt!!  Really, I need to complain to HR about my work site.  I wish I could figure out where they are getting in.  At the top of HB's "honey do" list for tomorrow is how to keep stink bugs out of my studio.......I'm such a wuss.  Anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DON'T LOOK IF YUCKY MAKES YOU SICK.

So I mentioned that I recently had eye surgery, although I said it was my right eye and it's really my left.  I had cataract surgery several years ago and my eyelids fell as a result of this...who knew?  So the doctor lifted them, which was really kind of cool since it was all covered by insurance.  Not to mention that it was necessary, since I could barely see out of either eye since my lids were so squinty.  For about a year all was going well and then the left lid fell again, apparently not too unusual, but requiring yet another lift.  This is not a brow lift, but a lid lift.  They cut into your lid and stitch it up into the muscle that is behind your brow bone....Yikes!!  You have to be awake for this because they want you to be able to open and close your eyes.  They do give you a local anesthetic, which, I might add, hurts just a tad more than the bee sting they describe!!  Here's what I have looked like the last 4 or 5 days  This may gross you out.......sorry.  I will show you an after pic in a couple of weeks. It will be better, I promise.
                                       
                                                 

Friday, September 20, 2013

NEW LOOK...KIND OF

I changed things around a little bit, and it took forever.  I had more surgery on my right eye so I haven't been able to make beads.  Out of complete boredom I decided to tidy up my  blog.  I can't help it, I just like orange and pink together :)  Life is great right now.  Baby Jake is growing so fast.  I'll post a picture soon.  Son is happy and grandchildren are doing well.  Life if good!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MAYBE NOT

I've been re-thinking this bead thing.  I don't think I want to quit yet.  I've been in a slump for so long, but for some reason, lately, I feel renewed.  For one thing, a woman with an upscale shop had closed due to her father's death.  She called while I was down at my mom's and talked to HB.  She's re-opening and wants to have my jewelry in the shop again.  That made me smile because my pieces always sold well there.  Recently, I applied, and was juried into the Louisville Artisan's Guild.  They have a 2 day show in mid Nov.  Another positive opportunity.  So, for the time being, the wheels are back on the bus :)
I bought a new photo tent, which I love.  It makes picture taking so much easier.  Here are a couple of photos.

                                         







Monday, August 26, 2013

I THINK THE PARTY IS OVER

I've been a beadmaker for 13 years.  For the last year I have been in a bead slump, in other words my mojo is gone.  There is nothing there...nada, zip, no thing!  I've tried new ideas and resurrected old ones.  Neither method has been exciting for me.  In the "old days"  beadmaking was profitable, which is necessary if a beadmaker wants to continue to buy supplies.  The market is now flooded by a variety of beadmakers.  Many far more talented than I will ever be, but also with some very inferior beadmakers that sell their beads for a pittance.  I think it's time to step away.  I'm discouraged and honestly I'm tired of trying to make the silver glasses sing.  That combined with the fact that no one in the glass industry has ever come up with a decent pink glass has driven me over the edge, but truthfully I was way too close in the first place.  This past year has presented many challenges to me.  Some I've been successful in meeting  head on, however, others have changed me.  I have a show in Nov. that I will do.  I'm going to give it until after Christmas.  I have some new things I am going to try, and maybe I will paint again....  it's time for a cool change........http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bKwRW0l-Qk

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WORDS







I saw this on FB:
Sometimes you just read words that strike you as being true.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older, I don't know, but if you think like this, it sure makes life a lot easier

Friday, August 9, 2013

WHAT CASS AND I DID TODAY



This is what we did since we were both feeling yucky.  Cass had her tonsils and adenoids removed on Wednesday morning and I have been fighting a bout of diverticulitis since Tues.  Neither one of us were liking the way we were feeling so we slept part of the day away while Pop (also known as HB) waited on us.  We ate Popsicles for breakfast and watched Max and Ruby on videos.  Thank you iTunes.  For lunch we had more Popsicles and Cass had a scrambled egg.  When then slept the afternoon away.  Although I have to admit I did spend a lot of time just watching my sweet Cass sleeping, and felt so lucky that I could do that :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

REAL BOOKS

I used to love to read, but in the past year or so, since I got my Kindle I've really cut down on my reading.  I would order new books and start reading them, but never finished.  Today I was in Barnes and Noble and I started wandering the new releases.  I read both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, two of my all time favorite books.  I read both of them in book form.  I wanted to read the author's newest book, And the Mountains Echoed.  I was going to order it on my Kindle, but was wondering if I would leave it unfinished just like all the other ones.  I picked up the book and started thumbing through it.  I loved the feel of that book in my hands.  It had some weight, and there were pages to turn, and it had that book smell, it felt like it belonged in my hands.  It hit me then, this is what I have been missing on my Kindle, all those sight and smells that make a book a book.  A Kindle doesn't feel familiar to me,  It's cold and mechanical, sometimes you have to recharge the battery before you can continue reading.  Holding this book  I felt that desire to read a real book again.  I love carrying a book around.  Reading late into the night was something I always used to do because my books always went to bed with me.
So I bought the book.  Luckily it was 40% off.  I took it to my doctor's appointment and read it while I waited.  The book is sitting beside me now, waiting to be picked up again.  I plan to spend the next couple of hours reading. I am so happy real books came back into my life.  Anyone want to buy a used Kindle? :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

WORDS THAT MAKE SENSE

Just saw this on Facebook....so true.


                           

YEA GOOD NEWS DAY 8

Last week I had my head examined.....by an MRI.  I've had some symptoms that kind of worried me, but most of all I still don't have a good sense of taste or smell.   I lost it after I fell outside of Starbucks and hit my head.....remember, when my sweet husband was sitting in the car and I was banging on the side? It's the Feb. 11 2012 post entitled Oh the Pain.  You can read it here.  It's about halfway down the page.  Anyhow the MRI was normal, which was a relief.  So now I just have to worry about my shoulders, which both have torn tendons.  Damn, getting old is no fun.  The women in my family, both maternal and paternal live a long time, well into their 90's.  Which is great, if you have your mind.  I plan on keeping mine :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

DAY 7

Does it count against you if you just plain forgot.?  I had the best of intentions.  I always write late at night, after I have finished in my studio.  I got on the bed with my computer about 4:00 a.m. ( a perpetual night owl) and promptly fell asleep.  I woke up at 6 and put my jammies on....this happens frequently and always shocks me.  How can anyone fall sound asleep with a computer on their chest and their hand on the mouse pad?  I do it all of the time.  I used to smile at old people who took after noon naps, and now I am one. Karma is real, people!  Okay, it's 3:58 and I am nodding off.....I'm out of here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

DAY FIVE

Well, I finally made some beads that I feel okay about.  My mojo has been out of order for a long, long time, but these beads I can live with.  Actually, they are on ebay, so. I'm not going to live with them very long :)   Well that's not totally true, because if no one buys them ............. they will be mine.  Here's a picture:

                                                       

                                                     
For me, as a beadmaker, the hardest thing to do is put myself "out there."  If no one buys my beads I doubt myself and then I become even more critical of my work.  In the past two years bead sales are really down for a lot of us beadmakers.  The market has become flooded and not with just beads made by people in the US.  There are several countries who mass produce glass beads.  These beads are not annealed (put in a kiln to slowly cool the bead after it comes out of the flame.  This process strengthens the glass) nor are they cleaned.  They break easily and don't hold up for long term use.  People who are just buying beads to make a necklace for themselves or a family member are usually not educated about what makes a good bead, so they buy inferior beads. They are cheaper, but in the long run they are not a good buy.  The round beads in this picture probably take me about 30 min to make each bead.  There are many layers involved and each flower and leaf is made one by one.  I make bigger beads like this.  This one takes

1 1/2-2 hours to make, if every stringer and vine is already made.  It's a tedious job, but I love that part of beadmaking.

                                       

                                       

DAY FOUR

I've come to the conclusion that my life is way too boring to write something on my blog every single day.  Well, actually (these are 4 year old Cassidy's  favorite words right now, "well actually" is how she begins answering anything you ask her) anyhow my life isn't really that boring but the parts I want to share are pretty dull. However, I am going to have my head examined tomorrow, by way of an MRI.  I've had some strange symptoms recently and this is just kind of a random check up.  I had and MRI of both my shoulders two weeks ago and found out I have tears in tendons of both shoulders.  Not the Rotator cuff, another pesky tendon.  Also have arthritis.....damn old age ! :)  I am sure not liking the aging thing, but it is better than the alternative. Sleep well, people, this is all I've got for today.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DAY THREE

Technically it's day 4 since it is after midnight on the east coast, but I'm going to go with Pacific time tonight :)  I have nothing to talk about today, except for random things.  I ate a whole bag of caramel popcorn tonight, kind of depressing, but I have to admitted that it tasted really, really good.  I also played that candy sugar game for more than an hour, while I was eating the popcorn.  Man, am I good at wasting time.  I  started a scarf , that I'm knitting for my BFF, over for the 5th time.  I think it is beyond my talents, but I just hate to give up on it.  I feel like I have to show it that I CAN figure it out.  I'm warped aren't I?  That's all I've got. Over and out.

Monday, July 22, 2013

DAY TWO

The beads that came out of my kiln this morning were, okay,  not something that I would be excited about showing, but not down right ugly either.  I will show them eventually. It seems I have struggled with creativity for the past year.  I think part of that is due to the to the fact that beads do not sell well on ebay anymore.  There are still several artists that do well, but for the most part it is no longer lucrative.  This is partially due to the economy, bling seems to be one of the first things to go.  I've  been making and selling beads for 13 years now, and this is  the worst year I have ever had.  I also think the lampwork bead category became over loaded., esecially with the entry of beads made in China, Japan and India.  Many of these imported beads are poorly made and have not been annealed or cleaned and they are often the product of child labor. Unfortunately many bead buyers do not understand what criteria is desired to produce a well made bead that has the potential to be around for quite a while. Okay, enough about bead woes.  I promise some of my posts will hopefully be smile producing.  I still have something heavy on my mind, but I am sorting my way through it.....messes with my creativity though.  There are people among all of us that  seem to feel joy in producing drama. Unfortunately for them they never seem to learn that they are their own worst enemy.  Sometimes it is painful to watch and other times it is just annoying.  There never does seem to be a good outcome though.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A CHALLENGE

Look to the right.  I saw this Badge after I wrote my post on July 21,  30 Posts in 30 Days.  I'm in.  I need this kind of challenge.  How about you, are you in too?  So my paragraph for the day is this:

I've had a hard time making beads lately.  There are so many beautiful beads out there and I don't feel like I've grown in bead making.  However, I think my watercolor floral beads are okay, so I'm just going to go with them for awhile, but I am going to attempt to expand  my basic design.  I wonder where this will take me?  I hope in a good direction.  I will try to publish my results or failures.  However, I am so picky.  I hope I can find a bead or two that I am happy with.

THINKING ON PAPER

The events of this past year have been heavy on my mind recently. I miss the old me, the one who was happy most of the time.  I had a lot to be happy about.  A forty+ year marriage, three children, all grown.  Grandchildren who made life complete.  I loved the people my children chose as spouses.  We liked each other enough that we even vacationed together.  It was a good life....and then the bottom fell out, when my son's wife left him.  Since then life has been more sad than happy, as I have tried to make sense of it all.  I look at my own marriage and the struggles we had as a couple.  I think about how hard marriage is sometimes, but we always made it through, sometimes because it was the right thing to do for our children.  Now after those 40+ years I am glad we stuck it out. We did the right thing for ourselves and our children.  As we slide into old age, we take good care of each other.  We are a unit.  We both have our own faults and weaknesses, but we compliment each other, we are devoted to each other.
I wonder what is happening to our , (and I mean "our" in a general way) concept of marriage.  I read about younger people divorcing and wonder why people are so willing to take the "easy" way out, because in the long run of things it isn't easy.  I watch my son work so hard to be a good single dad, but it's difficult to take care of three children by yourself, even with shared custody. (Hey it's no easy task  to take care of three when you have a spouse!  I know that first hand).  I'm sure it's hard for his ex too.
This has been a rough year.  Maybe next year will be better for all of us.  I hope so. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I JUST LOVE THESE KIDS


"Cassidy finds a worm and breaks it in half to share with her brother".  My son just posted this on facebook.  Isn't that just typical of a four year old?  This one keeps me on my toes at all times. Look at her sweet brother, willingly accepting her gift.  Great kids!

I have spent a great amount of time attempting to "small" this picture.  It will not cooperate, probably because I lifted it from FB.  So I apologize that my grandchildren are all over this page, but you have to admit that they are really cute :)




Photo: Cassidy finds a worm and breaks it in half to share with her brother.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

LOOKING FORWARD


In life; there are choices. Choose to be happy.

I saw this quote today.  It's where I am right now.  After a really rough 18 months life is looking so much better.  I can honestly say I am happy again.  I have so many things to be thankful for.  Three sweet grandchildren who are living right here in Ky.  I love spending time with them, watching them learn, seeing them grow.  The other two grandchildren are in Missouri and I just got back from spending 5 days there.  Here's a picture of the two boys and me.  I am a lucky person to have all these little people in my life.  Life is good.

                                  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

GRANDSON NUMBER THREE

Here's a picture of Caleb.  He's really the middle grandson.  Since I posted a picture of the other two I figured I better post one of him too.  Then next I suppose I ought to cover the girls, right?  Caleb is a cool boy.  He's kind of laid back, pretty easy going.  He plays soccer and basketball and he loves to draw and color.  He has great color sense.  This picture was taken when he went camping last weekend with his dad and his two sisters.  He told me he had a great time, but Caleb is one of those kids who rarely has a bad time doing anything.  I love his face, because when he smiles he uses his whole face to do it.  Just looking at him makes me happy.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

THERE'S NOTHING WORSE

than a grandmother with a new grandbaby.  We have so many pictures and we just want to show them to everyone.  So here's the latest.  Isn't it the sweetest picture?
Look at Jake, he's smiling, even though he can't really smile yet, and Harrison is so proud.  I am a lucky grandmother. I just thought this picture might make you smile too.




Sunday, May 19, 2013

JAKE

                                                         






Here's our newest grandchild.  His name is Jake Mitchell and he was born on May 4 2013. His big brother, Harrison, fed him his very first bottle and he did a great job.  There is just nothing like a new baby.  First of all you forget how very tiny they really are....and how scrunched up they keep their little bodies when you are trying to change their clothes :0  I had him all to myself for two nights, so mom and dad could sleep.  Rocking a baby in the middle of the night is a little bit of heaven, especially when you are the grandparent.  First off you are not going to be doing it night after night and secondly you are not going to be doing it night after night :)  You get to go home and sleep allll through the night.  After raising one colicky baby who didn't sleep through the night until he was 9 months old and cried 24/7 for most of those 9 months I am very appreciative of a full night's sleep...and that baby is now 38 years old........time doesn't take that memory away!
Here's a picture of Harrison feeding Jake.  He is a wonderful big brother.....  very gentle and very loving. Doesn't this picture just make you smile?
                                 
                                   

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'M BAAACK

It's been a rough couple of months but things are finally settling down.  It took me a month to get over whatever I had.  It was a nasty bug.  Then I went to Florida to be with my mom while she had a mastectomy.  She tried the chemo but it made her very sick so the surgery was the next choice.  For a 90 year old woman she did amazingly well.  She is now taking care of herself full time.
My son bought a house, but while waiting for the sale to close he and his 3 children lived with us.  I found out I wear out a lot faster than I used to.  The kids are 4, 6, and 7.  Very busy and sometimes very messy.  Wouldn't trade the time we've had with them for anything though.
On Friday we leave for St Louis for the birth of our 5th grandchild....another sweet boy.  A whole week of smelling a new baby head.  I love it!  My daughter believes in holding the baby whenever you feel like it so we mostly sit around playing pass the baby.  Every now and then she insists on holding it herself, so we give in and let her hold her own baby :)  This baby has a 9 year old brother who will need lots of attention too.  Although he's so excited about having a brother he has been number one for nine years.  This could be a bit of an adjustment, but he has such a loving heart, I know he will do fine.
I'll post a picture of the new little guy as soon as I have one.  It's Derby weekend in Louisville.  Have a great Derby everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2013

THE COLD THAT WILL NOT GO AWAY

I am now into week four of my horrible, terrible, no good, yucky illness.  This thing has a HOLD on me.  I had another chest x-ray and no more pneumonia, but I got the drags bad.  Every morning I wake up determined to feel better.  I take a shower, eat some cereal....and make a U turn right back to bed. So I sleep for awhile, check my email, play some solitaire and get up for lunch.  Eating takes all my energy so I lay back down for a nap.  The next thing I know it's dinner time, some soup, back to bed and back to sleep.  I wake up in time to take my pills, brush my teeth and go back to sleep.  This is getting old, but par for the course says my doc.  The last time I was this sick is when I had the Hong Kong flu in the 60's.  I had my flu shot this year, but I have heard they aren't as effective as they should be....hmmmm.  HB has it too.  We are a pitiful pair.
Tomorrow I am going out to my studio, even if it's only for 30 min and all I do is touch glass and maybe take some pictures.  I need something to look forward to...you know??

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RAMBLING THOUGHTS FROM A SICK WOMAN

Don't you just hate being sick?  I've had bronchitis for over a week.  Since I have asthma, I'm kind of prone to the lung things.  I figured if I treated it with my inhalers and other asthma meds it would go away...like it's suppose to.  I finally called my allergist last week (he had just seen me 10 days earlier for my 6 month check up) and he prescribed the usual Zpack /Prednisone routine which always works....always, except this time.  Actually I did feel better for 2-3 days and then yesterday it was like someone unzipped me and let all the air out.  I could not find a breath of air anywhere.  I used all my faithful inhalers, many times.  I knew I was in trouble when walking to the kitchen put me out of breath.  You see I was walking to the kitchen because I was hungry, and I was hungry because of that pesky Prednisone, which always makes my breathing easier, and my joints feel like they are in their early forties.  I love the last two things about it, but that hunger thing is a real PITA, because I don't want just a little snack, I want a meal, which on a sedentary sick person never turns out looking well.
By this morning I was wheezing just trying to get out of bed.  The nurse in me said..."Hmmm, pay attention, Harriet!"  So off to the doctor I went.......I have pneumonia.  So now here I am, in my bed, with my own personal pharmacy within arms reach.  I have an extra strength antibiotic, Singular, Zyrtec, Musinex, 3 inhalers, and my hate it/love it Prednisone.
I can't sleep because of the coughing and they want me to cough so no cough med sits in my little store.  There are only two things I am grateful for at this time.  Haagan Daaz chocolate ice cream and my computer.  How in the world would I entertain myself without this sweet little piece of heaven sent technology?  I may have read every beadmaker in the world's blogs by morning.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY

Wasn't I just speaking about time?  Today,well Feb 22, I am 69, as in SIXTY NINE!!  (I think this blog publishes in west coast time, because I wrote it after midnight in east coast time) However, I digress. How can that be that I am that old.?  Oh, my body feels at least 69 many days.  It's creaky and slow to unbend.  My hands and arms no longer look like they belong to me.  In fact I am sure they are my mother's.  There's this strange bit of extra skin under my chin.  I know that it belongs to my grandmother.  All the sudden one day I looked in the mirror and there it was.  I liked it on my grandmother, who was part English, and had the softest skin  It looked right, there, on her face.  In my memory she always had it. I wonder if there was a time in her life when she looked in the mirror and first noticed it.

My body sends me little messages  in many different ways that things are not working as they once did.  Pizza is not to be eaten right before bed because my aging digestive system sends out a shrieking alarm of heartburn which can last long into the night.  My knees protest when I get down on them to retrieve an object that had the nerve to roll under some piece of furniture.  I use this long stick, with pincher's on the end, to reel in objects that have risen above my shrinking stature.

My ears ring..... constantly.  It was very annoying when I first became aware of that incessant buzzing.  Now I hardly notice it.  I forget things ..like where did I put my phone, or what is my husband's name....just kidding about the second one!  I can remember many things from the past, but remembering what I had for lunch yesterday just isn't worth using up those dwindling brain cells.

I wouldn't want to be any other age than the one I am right now.  No way I want to go back and live through some of those years again.  However, I do miss my younger body.  The one that could run down the beach, flying like the wind, beating my dad who was a state champion sprinter.  The body that could carry two kids, one on each hip, up and down the stairs, no aching knees, no shortness of breath.  The girl who did handstands off the high diving board and cartwheels over and over.  I look in the mirror and I still see her, it's the body I don't recognize. My grandmother (see previous post) was right you know, time, which we all take for granted, it goes in the blink of an eye.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

TIME...WHERE DOES IT GO?

Our second grandson turned 6 today.  Seems impossible that he should be six already.  Wasn't it just last September when his Daddy turned 6?  When I was in my 20's I remember asking my maternal grandmother if she thought her life went fast.  She was in her 80's by then and I expected her to say "No, 80+ years is a long time."  Instead she answered "In the blink of an eye."  At the time I wondered how that could be...silly girl.  It does go by, so fast.  When you're young you never think you will feel that way.  When you age you think of it almost every day.

Here's Caleb on his first birthday.  I guess it isn't necessary to say that the cake was his favorite part :)  

Here he is this past summer.  He's such a sweet boy!
                                         

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A LITTLE HEART

I love hearts, so Valentine's day is always my favorite holiday.  I love to collect hearts.  I have a friend who must have 10-15 rocks that are all heart shaped.  Some are thin and very smooth and others are very textural.  Lots of my hearts are glass.  Someday I'll take a picture of some of them.  For today here is a picture of a heart I made out of glass.  It's in my Etsy shop.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/kybeadmaker I used tiny little stringers of glass to make the flowers.  I developed a technique several years ago that makes the flowers look like miniature watercolor paintings.  It's my favorite process to use in beadmaking.

 
I wish I liked the color red because red hearts with flowers on them would probably be pretty, but I just can't make myself like the color .  When I make beads I am driven entirely by color.  Sometimes it almost seems like the beads tell me what colors they want to be.  If you talk to other beadmakers they will tell you the same thing.  We sit down at the torch thinking we know what we want to make but somewhere along the way the bead changes from our original concept and becomes something entirely different than our original plan....sometimes better, and unfortunately sometimes much worse :(.. I'll show you some pictures of those some day too.                                            

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A BEAUTIFUL MESS INSIDE

Does anyone read her blog?  I just found it about a week ago and love what she writes.  She just wrote one on control,betrayal, and perfection,  which was really helpful to me.  Here's the link.
http://www.abeautifulmessinside.com/  I still struggle with the betrayal thing.  It makes me sad and  gives me such a sense of loss.  So many question, so few answers.
I'm leaving for Florida on Sunday.  My mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She's  90  and up to this point has been living a great life, still driving, playing bridge, very active.  Now she's going through chemo.  She's already lost her hair and had terrible sores in her mouth and this was after just one treatment.  My sister and I are going down  to spend some time with her and meet her oncologist.  The cancer is invasive and the chemo was my mom's choice because the cancer has a 70% cure rate.  I don't know what I would do if I were in her situation, but I will honor whatever path she chooses.

On top of all of this my Honey Bunny has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Because of his blood clotting disease he cannot have surgery.  They are treating it with radiation and it has a 95% cure rate.

I'm a little overwhelmed these days, but I think all of us have a pretty good attitude.  My bead mojo is on an extended leave of absence so I have taken up knitting.  For whatever reason, I find it calming.  The grandchildren keep me happy.  I love being with them.  One thing I've learned about life, in my soon to be 69 years, it is what it is.

Friday, January 4, 2013

EXCUSES THAT MAKE ME LAUGH

Most of you know that I have a 36 year old daughter with multiple disabilities.  See Saturday, September 17, 2011 blog entry.  For the most part the grandchildren have been accepting of her, but they all go through an initial stage of trying to figure Sara out.  There is some fear involved because Sara does not ask or answer questions.  She can't carry on a conversation and her walk is kind of staggered.  She also falls a lot.  Sara isn't very good about sharing her dad or her toys.  She's always been number one with her dad and all of the sudden there all of these little kids running around crawling up on her dad's lap, taking up his time.  She has a little bit of trouble understanding it all.  Cassidy, who is 3 1/2 is still leery of Sara and keeps her distance.  She has told me several times she doesn't like her.  I've tried explaining to Cass that Sara is different from most people, that her brain works differently and that she needs to be kind to her.  I tell Cass that Sara was born this way and she can't help the way she is.  Cass is a smart little girl and I keep thinking she understands what I am telling her.

Last week I was brushing Cassidy's hair.  Sara was standing beside me.  Cass told me that she couldn't play with Sara anymore.  I asked her why not and she said, "Because I'm allergic to her."   What a clever little girl!  On her own she had figured out a politically correct way to solve her problem.  It wasn't her fault she had an allergy, but because of that she would have to stay away from Sara.  I laughed right out loud!   I think this child needs to consider a political career.   Needless to say, we need to have some more talks about Sara.  I wonder what her next excuse will be?  This kid keeps me on my toes :)