Monday, August 4, 2008

Life goes on, despite me!

Maybe you've been wondering where I am ... or maybe not. I know some of you are regular visitors, as I've been to your blogsites and we've created a sort of community here in blogsville, sometimes we do wonder where the other has gone when a particular voice has fallen silent. So if you did... here's why.

I returned to the regular 5 day a week, 8 to 5 working world last December. Since then, much of my "creative" aspirations and honestly, juices, have drained, or have been put aside because ... really no reason other than the usual... creativity wanes in the face of the work a day world. It does! It's very hard to maintain that joie de vive when that which is not quite so alluring demands your energies. You plod along then, instead of leaping from bed each morning, tulip-prone into the rising sun. I realize why some societies offer sanctuary to their artists, less taxes, free housing, etc. So they might do their thing unimpeded by the usual worries of life... such as ... how do I pay the bills. That sort of thing.

And so some things have fallen by the wayside, but not forever.

Anyway... so what about the blog? I still am a blogger! I swear! (I actually typed "I sweat" and had to fix it) ... It is REALLY warm here, so Freudian I suppose, in a way ... the "slip" that is not meant to escape the lips but comes out in a like-turn-of-phrase anyway), you know of which I speak. So, I am still writing when I can find the time.

On the back burner then are my beads, or my jewelry making business. Really this is because a rock and roll band took over my workshop and have been keeping the neighborhood on it's toes. I've never looked back. Because my shop is a mess mostly. Shortly, I will be cleaning it out and moving the whole affair to the loft of my little Sears kit house as soon as the just-turned-18 year old (the "was" young man of whom I've so often spoken} "and the band" are situated in what WAS my shop. And good luck to them. I shall carry on in my way, as I've been known to do.

And for those of you who are awaiting items of jewelry... my sister, her bracelet, my friends; Julie, her necklace and matching earrings, Melody, her pendant, others ... their own desired bits of stone and silver strung as jewelry as only I can do (or have convinced them only I can do -- shhhh!).... please keep the faith. Soon. Soon. Soon.

Cheers, all!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the Easter bunny makes an early visit... or does he?

it's not even Easter yet ... although it seems we've had a visitor who left his mark ... could it be? Looks like someone's been busy coloring eggs ... but wooden eggs? Perhaps he couldn't find a chicken!

behind a bowl of tulips I spy a possible suspect! But, Easter's still a week away? What's he doing here?

still... the tulips seem to know something's up! Just look at them! They seem to think spring has sprung...

ahhhh... what's that! ... there's the culprit ... in a flash of green!

a basket of eggs....


spring grasses? Wait! That's no Easter rabbit!

but my own Mr. R. ....the Easter Parrot, no less! Wishing us all a blessed week filled with a dazzle of spring flowers and basketfulls of colored eggs and treasure hunts in dewy green meadows...

can anything come close to a basketful of pastel-painted eggs? A few things... like this sweet little spring necklace with periwinkle, freshwater pearls and glistening citrine, just might!

thanks for dropping by!



Saturday, March 8, 2008

more than a load of abalone

recently a friend asked me to make a memory piece using her deceased husband's St. Christopher ... something fun and reminiscent of the sea and surf, since he'd been a surfer in his youth. My friend appeared truly pleased with my final creation, which is always a treat for me! But ... during my search for special beads for this sentimental project, I was reintroduced to that most beautiful of all shellfish shells, in my opinion, abalone. I always buy some whenever I find it at bead stores and fairs, and have since made other sea-themed pieces, including the one pictured above, which is a simple, small pendant combined with freshwater pearls.

it seems to me abalone used to be easily obtained and I even remember my Aunt kept one beautiful specimen as an ashtray, no less! I've never eaten abalone, but I've been told it's heavenly. Over the years, it seems abalone has been over fished. You just don't see it anymore except on the menus of some very high class restaurants. How sad we humans can't seem to leave a good thing alone.

i remember an aquaintance who came to visit me in San Francisco in the early 80's when I lived with a houseful of roommates out on the avenues. This aquaintance was not a close friend, or friend at all, really, but rather the friend of a friend. Still, I met her for dinner. She was on vacation with her boyfriend ... they'd been abalone diving up and down the California coast, which to me, at the time, seemed terribly exotic. I don't remember much of that particular dinner party except that the "aquaintance" fell asleep at the table, mid-sentence, cigarette in hand, while I looked on in disbelief. Apparently, diving is a good work out!

tomorrow's my birthday, and I recall the days my mother always baked a cake for such occassions. Us kids were rarely satisfied with one piece of course and were always clamoring, dish in hand, for seconds. My mother used to say, "You're eating that stuff like it's going out of style! Tomorrow's another day!" Sage advice! The truth is, we can always make more cake. But abalone?


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

tuesday afternoon

i've been so busy these days I haven't had a moment it seems to keep up with all of you, dear readers. Nor to read all the blogs of my fellow bloggers of whose prose I am so very fond! No fun at all! This is bound to change as I get my groove going. But now that we're nearly skidding into month three of 2008, I'm worrying just a little that a hitch has embedded itself into my "giddyup" ... despite the numerous resolutions (as you will recall ... I went just the teeniest bit overboard!)

I'm finally posting a photo or two today, though not of jewelry, but of number one son's band... still unnamed ... or in the throws of naming. Mostly I loved the photographs and thought I would also add a plug for the lovely young woman who did the photography for free as a promo ... Erika Mounts.

So far the boys will be cutting a demo in late March and as they say ... the rest may be history! I get the awesome delight of listening to them on "nearly" a daily basis as they wail away just a door and a breezeway away (yes, that does refer to the garage, actually). And I am happy to say I have not had the desire once for a set of ear plugs!

It's such a treat to see a dream come alive! For all those who have dreams they let die for lack of courage, or energy, or means or otherwise, I hope these young men will enjoy the wonder of seeing theirs flourish.

Being a mother, of course, I cringe somewhat to realize how easily dreams perish or are crushed, but also know that nothing ventured is absolutely nothing gained. And if no one made mistakes, nothing of any worth would have ever been accomplished in this world.

number one son is upfront center ...Go for it, boys! Break a leg! Well ... no ... forget that last one! No leg breaking allowed!

as it is early morning here in the north country, I will have to rush off quickly to dry my hair ... which is now red by the way! By now you've realized it is not, in fact, Tuesday afternoon, but rather Tuesday morning! And Oh, did I not mention I took a major, crazy turn in life and colored my hair something drastic! RED? Well, I'd become so very bored of my bland blonde (oh, yes, it was bland!) and decided since I am only a year away from being a half-century old ... imagine ... that I should get to make a rash decision. I've made so few of them in my life and really, if one must make a rash decision, let it be hair color which at least can be returned to its original state should the decision not work out so well as hoped. Unlike having breast implants or a nose job or an eye lift that leaves one looking much like a strange dolly. I'm sure you'll think of a few celebrities who fit this description! I'll save the tatooing for when I turn 70. That gives me a good 20 years!

Work! gahhhhh! I nearly forgot... as if anyone can EVER forget work. Believe me, working in Human Resources and especially for a staffing company? I do know that many people forget work ...forget to call ... never show ... never are heard from again? Please let it NOT be one of those days!

okay ... work this morning ...

But on another note... and more importantly, as pertains to shiny things ...I do have new pieces and will be photographing and uploading to my websites on Sunday. About time!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

sunday morning babble

as luck would have it, or lack thereof, number one son lost the cord that allows me to upload photos to my laptop ... which puts me out of business, practically. And reading blogs is so much more fun when there are pictures to go along with whatever prose is smattered across the page. In fact, photos keep us scrolling down for more.

sadly, I must bore you here with no photos, and only me pounding away at the keys until my order comes in. Do you know you cannot just go into any camera store and purchase a cord for uploading photos? NO ... you MUST order such things from the factory or some online store. Brick and morters don't believe in carrying such things, it seems. Also, do you know that such cords cost a minimum of $25??? That's the lowest price, plus shipping ... another $7 for the tiny, weightless cord that probably costs $7 to make. Here, I will end my rant and move on to more happy thoughts.

perhaps you'll recall that I have been learning the guitar since the turning of the new year, and so far I can play two songs. Neither of which you would want to hear me play but to my own ear, they sound rather nice. I don't believe the two bands who wrote the songs would feel the same, they being CCR (Bad Moon) or "every Tom, Dick and Harry" literally (House of the Rising Sun) ... need I say more? It doesn't take a flash of brilliance to realize I was not born for this instrument. Despite the fact that my fingertips are numb and it feels very weird to wash dishes or pick things up with the fingers of my left hand, nor that I have two brothers who are rather accomplished guitarists, nor that number one son seems to have mastered said instrument in barely 5 years. True. I have only played it for a month and a half. Okay ... perhaps "played it" is too strong a term ... fiddled with it might better describe my relationship to the guitar. Still... I will continue with my resolution to "play" an this instrument!

yesterday I spent an entire day cleaning the main floor of my house. Considering there are three floors to this house, that seems extremely sad, doesn't it? The irishman said, why not get someone to come in and clean the house weekly. It would be nice, but ... how long would it take me to clean the house in order to let that person come in to clean the house again? I don't think I could muster the energy. But it does sound dreamy.

last weekend I drove around looking at new houses, something I am prone to do when I am particularly tired of my own house and feeling the urge to move on and experience a new kind of life. New houses smell so wonderful! And because they lack furniture and wall hangings, they are open and airy, simplistic and Zen-ish... and pregnant with possibility. I found a wonderful house that I've been thinking about off and on. One that had a dishwasher even! Can you believe that in 2008 I do not have a dishwasher? We actually had a dishwasher in 1971, when I was in Junior High School! It made a horrible crunching sound as it splashed through its daily rounds. The story goes, (the one my father told, anyway) that I washed my goldfish bowl in that same dishwasher, the kind you had to roll over to the sink to hook up (the dishwasher not the goldfish bowl... stay with me now) and apparently it still had some of that little blue gravel in it, which trickled down into the workings of our "Avacado" colored Kenmore dishwasher, forever cursing it to the noisiest wash cycle in the history of the machine. Personally, I highly doubt I had anything to do with it!

Nevertheless, in this modern era, I've been told (by the Irishman who is a Plumber, no less) the septic system won't hold up to such new fangled gadgets. Who would've guessed? I've always heard that the carpenter's wife is the one without a deck! Well, I suppose I did get a deck built last summer. Perhaps there's a nice carpenter's wife out there I can swap with, then my plumber can build her a deck and her carpenter can install a dishwasher at my house!

as always, I babble on too much....

outside this grey looking Sunday morning, the sky is blustery and the trees are tossing about madly. In the garden, squirrels are hanging upside down from the bird feeders while the little chickadees scold them to get a turn. We've had snow on and off... usually coming at night and washing away by day. It's only mid February but how I am looking foward to spring and flowers and sunny days and warm winds.

ahhhh... guess what just came out? THE SUN!

wishing you a beautiful day...


Friday, January 18, 2008

good reasons for loving fridays

i'm home today!

hooray for Fridays ... I say. And who doesn't! I suppose someone who's Monday began on Friday wouldn't like Friday's too much, unless of course they had a job which entailed testing chocolate or ice cream or mattresses, or how long it takes to fall asleep under a down comforter, or playing with puppies all day. I suppose then one would love their Monday which was really Friday for everyone else, and then the people who loved Friday wouldn't like Friday so much anymore because they couldn't wait wait to get back to their ice cream and chocolate, mattresses and puppies. That said ... what the heck is this post all about anyway?

oh yes, today is Friday. And I have many things to do, but being a free bird on Fridays I flutter around and do the things that give me great pleasure, one of which is shopping for silver findings, such fun, and the others entail eating comfort food like macaroni and cheese and playing with my two unmannerly parrots, my sweet doggies and extremely chubby cat. Such things don't really take getting used to. They are sort of the frosting on the cake of life. Such things are Fridays made of!

i happen to have a rather stealthy parrot climbing up my back right now. He's tired of seeing me type, because he wants me to take him to the kitchen where he can really have some fun. Mr. R is a Dusky Headed Conure and he is very silly and full of play. Problem is, parrots, unlike dogs and cats, rarely nap. They can play non stop all day like a child with ADD ... and with the same attention span, or lack thereof! Needless to say, parenting a parrot is not for the faint of heart, nor the sleepy. The one really good thing is that you can, of course, lock them in a cage and toss away the key ... then go take your nap. I suppose if you are thinking seriously about getting yourself a parrot, that is, something a bit more troublesome than a parakeet or cockateil, I would recommend you borrow one for a month from a friend. At the end of which time, you may have a change of heart! Lovely though they are ... breathtakingly beautiful, in fact, they are also very bright, constantly searching for fun, food, something to chew, and companionship. They don't like being alone but prefer to be in the midst of the flock with all the accompanying noise. And if there is not enough noise, they will gladly create some for you!

right now, ms. L is chewing on my mouse, and mr. R is climbing up an electrical cord. Ahhhh yes. The wonder of parronting.

as you know, i've been working hard to keep up with my New Year's resolutions ... well, thank heaven's I have a whole year. But I have been doing my 4 days a week of exercising ... which by now has merely caused me excruciating pain in my upper arms and thighs! Practicing my guitar, per my son's instructions ... which has left me with burning fingertips that waver between shooting pain and absolute numbness (just wait until the calluses form, he says! I've been reading my books ... now I have two going and finding it hard to get in that 1/2 hour a day! I can, alas, make macaroni and cheese, a good Greek salad and a pretty tasty shrimp curry.

Today, I'm thinking that chocolate brownies would make a quite tasty vegetarian dish ...

I wonder if I have any baker's chocolate? ....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the white stuff makes a brief appearance

it came in the night ... when the house was silent

and we were all sleeping ... okay, most of us were sleeping ... someone was creeping about and leaving their telltale footprints ... Frosty? Is that you?

giant flakes fell from the sky

then sadly ... the grownups had to go to work and by the time they got home...

it had mostly melted away. All that remained was Frosty's skeleton! Not quite a children's story, is it?

I love the snow!


Friday, January 4, 2008

a very misty Friday

home today and i hardly know where to begin. It is the day to bring down the tree and remove the last vestiges of Christmas....

time for the penguins to stop their chorus for another year...

the wreaths on the chandalier must go ... and copious dusting must ensue...

the ornaments must be wrapped and stored...

the little tree, once lush and fragrant is now dry and eerily combustible seeming! it appears cramped in its little corner, sans brightly wrapped gifts beneath it's boughs, now dropping needles and begging to be returned to the earth in the annual "Kelly family" ceremony ... the burning of the tree (before it burns us, of course!)... we, a secret band of pyromaniacs, watch enthralled as the first match is tossed and it goes up in flames with a gasp ... that could've been our living room, we each consider wide-eyed! Still ... always a sad day this! (You're not convinced)

out my window, the cedar is still green and the hazelnut bare... the sky is a dusky grey, the landscape blurred by the rising mist from the earth...

another year begins for us all.

And then there's Mr. R... the imperious green conure, for whom this....

is just another day to make trouble!

With that... i begin the list:

learn to play an instrument -- number one son has offered to teach me guitar! i begin by learning a strange rock riff he feels will 'limber me up' ... sore fingers and tennis elbow later ... ouch?

make three new pieces of jewelry each week ... oh, that one's easy! Right?

take a photography class to shoot my jewelry better

take a class on birds nest rings (the ones with the big, fat gemstones wrapped in silver wire)

learn one excellent vegetarian recipe a month. (Oh, I must've forgotten to mention i went veggie this summer ... for the LAST time!) Not so easy when one must cook meat for the natives. But my thinking is, a good palatable vege dish will perhaps replace meat for the natives, too!

lose weight ... i shall say no more!

exercise 4 x weekly! (good heavens! who's writing this list, anyway?)

write one paragraph per day, whether it be poetry or prose

complete daily studies of A Course in Miracles

take 1/2 hour to read my favorite books each day!!!

take time to have fun with my friends WEEKLY! Go to breakfast, dinner, drinks, dogwalking or laughing over the phone

go to the stables once weekly to be around my favorite animals in the world

invite a friend to dinner at least once a month!

volunteer ... the humane society?

toss out all non-essential things in my home ... give them to the Good Will ... simplify!

purchase a good, sturdy bike and stop driving to the grocery store ... use pedal power!

do the 21 day Master Cleanse! Gaaahhhhh ... this will most certainly be the subject of many blogs entries!

Sign up for the Masters in HR Certification at UW in September

Sit for the SPHR certification exam by summer

get a pedicure before summer

relax more....

have more fun....


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

resolve to evolve

previous New Years when i made an attempt at "resolutions" it seemed "life" infringed upon my better judgement, bulldozing my rosier dreams aside, or else, and more than likely, I just forgot them. Because I was struggling through school, or barely surviving in the city on my own, or too busy with a new job, or falling in love or falling out of it, or going back to school, or raising a child, or assuming multiple new chapters in my life ... all of which could have been preceded by resolutions had I only known what was to come, but that instead just sort of happened, with little effort on my part in the way of conscious decisions for change, despite my best intentions each first of January.

Anyway ... all that aside. What I'm trying to say here is that, this year is different. I've decided to resolve to resolve to change for the sake of my own evolution. Or that's how I explained it to my 17 year old son who asked me as I sat propped up on my pillow staring thoughtfully off into space, journal opened in my lap, pen poised. "What's the purpose?" ... and for once I had an answer that didn't sound like something my mom would've said... as in, "because, that's just the way it's always been done... it's what you're supposed to do, see?"

"To evolve!" I said almost too quickly. And it sounded so eloquent falling from my hopelessly boring lips I realized I was on a roll and determined to let these strange words flow as they seemingly desired... I went on... "to become somehow "better" than you were last year. A better person ... more knowledgeable, more fit, more thoughtful, more loving, more compassionate, more capable, less judgmental, less uptight, more carefree, more competent, more Godlike" okay, okay, I get it! he says loudly, hand up in the air. Need I say I may have gone a little too far with that last one? Still...

in wishing all and myself included an uncommonly blessed season, and these things don't just "happen," we must in effect make some form of effort to create our lives, I believe. Therefore, I take the first plunge and think about what I wish to accomplish this year, but also try to send my mind to the end of the year to feel what it will actually feel like to have accomplished these things ... will it feel good, as if I've truly grown and changed for the best? I'm thinking it will. Perhaps only incrementally, but growth incrementally or staggeringly is growth, which is not stagnation, which means to me doing nothing, basically, but to sit and rot like bad pond water. Not good. Even frogs don't lay their eggs in rotten water. What the heck does that mean? God knows!

i'm still working on my list and when it's complete I will post it here. I'm really hoping to find lists of resolutions throughout the blogosphere ... maybe some that will inspire me in ways I haven't even considered!

Join me, will you, in resolving to become a better person in 2008? Here's to conscious evolution!