Friday, June 30, 2006

Vacation! Posted by Picasa

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! George brought this incredibly beautiful bouquet home to me last night. Be safe everyone! Posted by Picasa

A flower bouquet presented to me at my last Board of Directors meeting. Thank you! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Remembering Milwaukee

Now that I have had time to go through all my bead purchases at the Bead and Button Show, it is time to take stock of all the memories. I had a great time with my friend Vonna, and it is a miracle that we met online, hit it off over the phone, and now talk almost every day. She and I are like getting something extra--like two cherries on top of a sundae. We have a lot of fun. I laughed so hard the first night in our hotel over our antics on the computer that I had tears running down my cheeks. Laughter like that is good for the soul.

My beads are organized, and put away in baggies, with their description, the date, the cost, and the names of the gemstones. I bought four strands of real garnets! That amazes me, since garnets are not cheap and I got such a good price on these. I can't wait to use them. I have a large box of all the goodies I bought there, but the best goody of all, by a long shot, is having a new friend!

Have a great day.

Vonna and Me Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Goodbye CASPAR. It's been a great 15 years.

After 15 years at the same organization, my job ends tomorrow. I am going to turn my attention to a few other ideas for the near future. First, I have two weeks of vacation to look forward to: a week-long stay at the cabin, and a trip to the Airforce Museum in Dayton punctuated by four nights with Michael and Michelle at their new house. Then, I am going to add exercise into my daily schedule, and no matter what, take a nice long walk each day. I'm going to build up my jewelry business now that I have more time, and I have lots of ideas for improving my Ebay Store, sending out newsletters, and I will have lots more time to make beautiful jewelry. I have a lot of ideas for jewelry, and not enough time to make them all happen. It is a big light in my life to have happy customers. What a great way to meet new people, and hopefully spread some "glitter" around.

Change is good. I look forward to changes. Maybe it is because I am older than I was (aren't we all?) but I am not afraid of the unknown anymore. I know that somehow I will land in a job that I enjoy, and that my path will take me to new places and new friends. I am an optimist, happy to say.

Have a great day, and enjoy the open roads.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A visitor at our cabin door. Posted by Picasa

The lake and trees and not much else. Posted by Picasa

Vacation! Posted by Picasa

Pre-vacation vacation

This coming week is the week before the 4th of July holiday, and everyoe walks around in holiday mood. One year, before I met George, I lived in a condo not far from a small lake. The lake is usually the place where hundreds of people go each day to do their daily walk. It is not crowded, but there are always people around. That year, I had the whole four days of the 4th of July holiday to spend by myself. I took a book and my lawnchair and sat down at the lake, and there was NO ONE around. It was as if I was up in the netherlands of Maine rather than a small lake very near Boston. It was rather lonely in fact. Life changes had brought me there, and life changes brought me away from there, and I have never had a 4th of July holiday alone since!

This year George and I are going to First Connecticut Lake, way up at the tip of New Hampshire for our annual week at the cabin. It is a lovely place, very serene and quiet, and we love it there. We can take a boat out to fish, but mostly we do a lot of loon watching with our binoculars at the ready. One year we actually caught a fish in that deep lake, but it is hard, and that was a real fluke. We fish off the dock and have more luck there, but never keep what we catch. It is a beautiful place, and fun to read, cook, hike around a bit, take drives to see the countryside, and every night we go on the "moose tour", where you drive 10 miles an hour at the most up and down the local road, and see the moose that come out every night. Every night they are there, but you never know where exactly, so it is always exciting.

After that vacation, we are going to take another week and sandwich visits to the Washington DC area to visit son Michael's new house, and drive to Dayton, Ohio to the air museum. Vacation, vacation, vacation. Say yes to vacation. I'm ready!

Have a great day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A wonderful trip

I just got back from the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. It was fantastic. On Thursday night, which was wholesalers night, when I walked into that whole huge carpeted and air-conditioned room of fabulous glass artists and bead sellers, I almost cried with excitement. I actually found myself standing there with my mouth open! It was a wonderful show, a wonderful time, and I was exhausted when I got home.

The Bead and Button Show is one of the largest in the country, and I hope I get to go every year. I am committed to growing my business so I can make that happen. I bought a lot of gemstone beads and beautiful pearls, and a lot of artist made lampwork beads. I met some wonderful people, and it was a joy to be with so many people who are in love with beads and glass.

I got to spend time with new friends, the weather was glorious and the whole long weekend was just splendid. Yesterday my flight was scheduled with a three hour layover in Detroit. I had dreaded that long 3 hours at the end of my trip for days. When I got to Milwaukee, I couldn't get the automated check-in to work. I was afraid my flight had been cancelled. The agent told me that they had an overbooked flight to Detroit and they had changed me to a Midwest Airlines flight NON-STOP to Boston, leaving at the same time. I believe I said, "Thank the Lord". I arrived 4 hours earlier than expected. The flight had two seats across, big roomy leather seats, and a wonderful fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I was so relieved and comfortable, I said a little prayer of thanksgiving and almost cried again!

Today is back to work with dreams of beautiful beads still floating in my head. Oh what a wonderful time I had!

Have a good day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Milwaukee Bound

On Thursday I leave for Milwaukee to attend the huge Bead and Button show with my friend Vonna. Vonna and I met through Ebay, and have become fast friends. I can't wait to spend a whole long weekend with her. I have only physically met her once, at the airport in Chicago, but we talk at least once a day on the phone and share a lot of online conversations too.

The Bead and Button Show is so large that I am scared! There are hundreds and hundreds of exhibitors and all the fine glass artists and jewelry sellers are there. Many are there this week taking classes and the full marketplace opens on Thursday. I managed to swim through the muddy waters of Massachusetts licensing and got my tax ID and my wholesalers number. That means that at some places, I get all the goods at 50% off. See why I'm scared? I will take pictures and post them here.

Vonna and I will spend all Friday at the show, have a nice dinner or two, and spend some time making jewelry together. I owe her a pair of earrings, and she is going to repair a three strand bracelet for me. We also plan to do a little lampwork bead sharing. I am one of the few people who get to see first-hand how she makes her beautiful art bracelets. I'm so excited.

So, I'm counting the hours, packing and repacking the little suitcase so I don't take too much, and making some cool jewelry to wear when I meet lots of other beaders who love this stuff as much as I do.

I can't wait.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Bi Bim Bap Posted by Picasa

Bi Bim Bap

George and I found another Korean restaurant tonight to have our favorite dish--Bi Bim Bap. I was shocked to see the dish when it was served to me. This version of Bi Bim Bap was made with shaved beef, little pockets of carrots and bean shoots, and...lettuce! No rice? Well, with all the little dishes of savory Korean kim chee, and other things I don't know the names of, I had plenty of food on my side of the table, but still...lettuce? It was a healthy meal and fun to see someone else's version of this Korean classic. I know that I have turned Mike and Michelle onto this healthy dish, and we never tire of it.

Have a great evening.