Thursday, May 31, 2007

French Ducks

My mother and I ordered these French Provincial Ducks from a catalog when I was visiting her. She paid for them and gave them to me as a gift and they came today. Aren't they charming. George is a little mystified why they are French, but it seems clear to me. Don't they look French?

Morning seems like a good time to stretch out on a satin pillow!

We're going to need a bigger suitcase!

I am going to The Bead and Button Show! I am gearing up for the Bead and Button Show next weekend. I will arrive early Thursday morning in Milwaukee and find some breakfast, and then I have a class that starts at noon in wire-wrapped beads. At 4:00 on Thursday, they open the doors to wholesalers (like me), and we can shop till our hearts or our wallets break, and get amazing deals of beautiful glass and beads. On Friday evening I take another class on Peyote Stitch Beads.

The exhibit hall is immense and it is impossible to see it all in one day. It is impossible to see it all in THREE days! I have made a list of the booths that I need to visit, and making out that list has taken me three days! I bought some amazing strands of beads last year and I came home with a few beautiful artist lampwork beads. I intend to do the same this year.

Some shoppers are there only as collectors of art glass. The best glass artists in the country are there, and the work is amazing. The prices are high for this kind of work, and even though I won't buy any, it will be fun to look and to meet the amazing people who make it. See this dragon? Someone will get to take this home, but it won't be me. Beads start around $20 each for lampwork, and go up from there, into the thousands. But there is something for everyone, and no one goes home empty handed or disappointed. No one goes home hungry, either, since there is a nice little food court with good stuff to eat. It is a lovely carpeted, air-conditioned, well-lit hall, and I'm really excited that I get to go again this year. I just couldn't miss it! So many booths, so little time!

Besides shopping, it is always a lot of fun to meet the people who I have been talking to, buying from, or selling to all year on the Ebay jewelry online groups. I will meet some old friends, visit with some people who I have talked to a lot but never met, and I will make some new friends. I am so excited!

It will be wonderful to fill up my tote bag with new beads and goodies...and to fill up my address book with a whole lot of new friends!

I'm going to need a bigger suitcase.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Felled by a cat scratcher

Last night about 9:00, I was walking determinedly to my computer, and I hit the carpeted cat scratcher thing with my little toe. I thought I had broken it! I yowled in pain, and the pain did not go away. I was on the floor, and eventually was able to get as far as the couch. George came with an ice pack. Keeping the ice pack on the toe was an ordeal, since even touching my toe made me want to scream.

We considered going to the hospital, but I couldn't walk, so how was I to get there? I wasn't going to call an ambulance because my toe hurt. So...I slept on the couch with an ice pack because I couldn't even limp up the stairs to get to the bedroom. Pain!

I took four Advils during the night -- probably overdosing a bit -- and slept like a baby and woke up this morning with a slightly swollen sore toe that is now turning a few colors of pale blue. I no longer think the toe is broken, since I can move it, and I was able to walk and even climb the stairs to a refreshing shower.

I now look at the cat scratcher with alarm. This cat scratching post has seen it's last day in this house. As soon as I can walk, I'm going to go buy a much softer one.

Have a good day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

To each his own

Yesterday I put 15 items up for auction on my Treasures From My Home site on Ebay. I started auctioning items that I have collected over the years on Ebay about two years ago. It has been a fun experience. Selling "stuff" on Ebay is actually easier than selling jewelry on Ebay. And it is amazing how much stuff I have collected that I could just as easily live without. Over the years I have acquired a lot of fun and interesting items that need to find a new home, and Ebay seems to be the road to take.

Yesterday I listed these chicken ceramics that I bought at the Fenton Glass Factory Sale in West Virginia about three years ago. It was a hot summer day and there was a huge tent full of glass and sculptures...maybe the heat got to me...but home with me these chickens did come.

I put them up for sale for $12 yesterday--a reasonable price for a couple of clucks--and boom...I had three watchers within minutes. There are folks out there who really love chickens I guess. It felt a little like having buyers standing out in your yard waiting for the yard sale to begin. Those chickens weren't on the list more than 10 minutes before they got their first watcher.

Getting interested buyers that quick motivated me to list another 14 items. It was 20 cent listing day, so it was cheap, and I had the time, and I even found some "new with tags" clothes that I no longer want to wear. It took an hour to sell a red blouse, NWT (new with tags), about the same time as it took me to take a picture and list it.

I am also selling one of my beautiful Hermes scarves. They now cost $450 new, and I'm afraid I may get kidnapped if I wear one on the street. They are too expensive and "show-offy" to wear to work, and I haven't worn mine in years. I have four of them that I bought when I lived in Chicago and they were a lot less pricey. So, I listed one, an Aztec print in navy, gold, white and hot pink, for $200, and I expect the bidding will go up from there.

I'd rather have the money to spend on beads at the Bead and Button Show than get kidnapped!

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

From one thing to another

I have noticed that my interests change as I go forward making jewelry. I was never interested in bone and ceramic beads until lately, and then their natural beauty started to pop out at me. I went to a bead store yesterday with my friend Connie, and I saw a big beautiful white bone bead...$1.75...and I knew I really needed that bead!

Well, one thing led to another, I came home and found other elements in my bead boxes, and I stayed up way late...past midnight...and got up early this morning to put on the finishing touches. This is my newest creation called Woodland Safari.

It's a beauty, if I say so myself.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Advanced Jewelry Class

Signing up for classes

I have signed up for my jewelry classes at Bead and Button. I will learn how to make these composite wire-wrapped beads to use as focals in my own jewelry, or sell individually to other designers. I can hardly wait!

This is the second class I signed up for today. I will learn the Peyote Stitch technique. This will make silver-capped tubes of beads that I can use to create bracelets, or sell as beads to other designers if I want.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Milwaukee Bound

The big Bead and Button Show is in Milwaukee on June 7th - 10th and I'm REALLY working up some excitement this afternoon. I made my reservations and I am spending this Sunday afternoon looking at the show classes, visiting my friend's websites, lusting after beautiful beads, and looking for good fares on Expedia and Travelocity.

Bead Fever! I went to this show last year and vowed never to miss it. The huge hall is packed with wonderful people selling wonderful art beads in glass and gems and I can hardly stand the idea of not being there. It is an amazing place to be. I have a few friends who I know will be there, and I will meet many people who love jewelry, beads and glass as much as I do!

The beautiful beads pictured here are made by Laurie Donnette. Her website is Currently I'm bidding on two sets of her beads from Ebay, and I probably won't win them, but they are pretty enough to make my day just looking at them.

Now that I am back from Oklahoma and almost rested up, I have a lot of jewelry orders to fill tomorrow and five items to ship out. Lately I have had customers in England and France. It is fun to sell internationally.
I'm going to Bead and Button! Check this out!

Bead Fever

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weather, Wal-Mart & Gasoline

The weather in Oklahoma this week has been delightful. It is like Eden. It is 70 and sunny and beautiful. No wind. I don't remember ever visiting here and having better weather. I especially appreciate it hearing from George that is dropped to the low 50's with rain the past few days in Boston-town. Maybe the three days of thunderstorms and tornados (!!) earlier in my trip blew away all the bad stuff, but I have been loving this sunny cool weather!

I leave to go home tomorrow morning. I am sad to go because I will miss my mom, but we have succesfully brought her around so she feels well again, and she is already starting to get busy again around her house with her projects. She went to the Dr. today for a visit, and is doing as well as can be expected. She is eating right, sleeping right, and ready to carry on again without me. Today she painted a stool that she uses in the bathroom. She also painted a small planter and two cutting boards. She loves her little projects. She is amazing. I only wish you could all see her!

I will NOT be sorry to leave Wal-Mart behind. I am thoroughly tired of that place and have been driving to Yukon for groceries. It has been worth the trip and gasoline. Gasoline...youza. I paid $43.50 to fill up the tank yesterday. Ouch. Oh well. You gotta go where ya gotta go, and far away from Wal-Mart is where I need to go!

So, we'll see you in Boston! Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dial up - you gotta love it

Tonight it took me 10 minutes to log onto Ten minutes waiting for a log-in page to load makes me want to reach for my revolver. As soon as I get the AOL screen the trouble starts. I have to wait for it to load up all the spyware, scam-ware, pop-up protectors, anti-virus craziness and offers of parental controls. By the time I get to my email, to Ebay, or my blog I am already frustrated and have forgotten what it was I had to say.

Dial up is a scourge. They should punish hackers by putting them in a cell with only dial up. I hate AOL. It is the only game in town, and the only way to use my beautiful laptop from my mothers house, but....oh nevermind, I forgot what I was going to say.

I had a very fun dinner out tonight and it was a welcome change. Meeting a friend who you have known for over 40 years makes one humble. So many changes, and yet we are much the same. I had a perfect piece of salmon and a tasty salad and it was great to eat someone else's cooking for a change. The evening was fun and unexpected and the drive home was full of memories. Driving down the long dark highway in Oklahoma can be a lonely experience. I don't think I saw another car all the way home, and it is nice and peaceful to be on the plains in the middle of the country in the middle of the night. Just right.

I will go to sleep grateful tonight, for friends, for my mom's better day, and for...alas...dial-up.

Have a great night.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The beautiful long tailed Scissortail

Out for a drive -- Amazing.

Today I went out for a drive and to get some supplies for my mother. I had a very interesting drive, and it was a beautiful day to be out in Oklahoma.

After laying in the supplies from the nearest Walgreens, which happens to be 30 miles away, I found a Starbucks...the first I'd seen in a week. I had a wonderfuly strong and potent iced coffee and enjoyed every sip of it. Feeling refreshed, I was able to notice a lot of interesting things going on out the car windows.

First, I thought I would mention a large billboard I passed, which said, "Stuck Pipes?" In any other part of the world, you might thing that this referred to a plumbing problem, or maybe a car stuck in the mud problem....but no...this means that there are so many oilwells in the area, that people actually need billboards to tell them where to go to unstick their oil pump pipes. I passed an oilwell happily pumping away right in the parking lot of a Chili's Restaurant. Amazing.

Further down the road I saw a yellow biplane making lazy circles in the sky, swooping down low like a bird of prey. It was a crop duster, which led to five minutes musing what kind of crop they are spraying and how the farmer can afford to hire a crop duster these days. But there he was, and a beautiful sight too. As far as I could tell, he was far from any country road, and there was no way I could turn off the highway to get a closer view, although I would have loved to.

I ventured on to Fort Reno, a historic fort that was used in the Indian wars, and where horses were kept for the calvalry in the Civil War. During World War II, it was used as an internment camp for Japanese, and other prisoners. I often think that anyone waking up there would know that it would be useless to make an escape. There is a hundred miles of prarie between you and the nearest railroad. Today it is used as the OSU agricultural research station, and it has a very interesting cemetery where we have often visited.

At Fort Reno they also have a few hundred acres of virgin prairie. This is land as it was in the beginning, when the Plains Indians roamed free before the white settlers came in with hoes and plows. The prairie is home to all those wonderful plants and wild flowers that you need to get up close to see, and the birdsong that I heard there today was really amazing. I unrolled the windows, and caught a few pictures of the Oklahoma State bird, the scissortailed flycatcher, and saw a lot of bob whites, as well as lazy turtles enjoying naps on the hot asphalt. I wish that I lived long ago when all the prairies were untouched...but then I wouldn't have Starbucks now, would I?

After that I went to a familiar outpost, the Cherokee Trading Post, where they have beautiful silver jewelry, and all kinds of western-themed souvinirs. I have been there so often I wasn't even tempted to buy anything but a couple of postcards for my friends who may not know how wonderful Oklahoma is. Nothing like a picture of a buffalo or a long horned steer to remind them. The trading post has some fenced in buffalo for the tourists to see, but they look rather forlorn and lonely so I don't visit them anymore.

The weather is changing constantly from sun to clouds, and as I drove back, I hit a few raindrops that were soon blown off the car by the hot prairie wind. Soon it was time to get back to my mother, who has always loved living in Oklahoma, and who is also --amazing!

Have a great day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Little House on the Prairie

Things are just different in Oklahoma. And things this trip are different than usual in Oklahoma. It is very green and it is the grass, not the corn, that is high as an elephant's eye. The rain comes every afternoon and big black clouds form. We have had 10" of rain and a constant 1" of rain in the cellar. Pumps are pumping, hoses are squirting, and still there is water in the basement. I am hoping that there are no more tornados. One is enough. They are cleaning up across town, and all the plumbers and electricians are busy. I know.

Yesterday we found out that the water heater had flooded out, so this morning we got a new one installed. I didn't care how much it cost, when the man said he'd be right over, I was very happy!

Yesterday the phone stopped working and AOL crashed, which meant that I had no phone, no internet access and no LIFELINE line for my mother. She is better, but very dependent on others. Not having her LIFELINE working really bothered me, so this morning I was up early to go buy a new phone line, install that, and get a new AOL CD, which solved the internet problem too. Dial up is slow and awful, but it's better than nothing!

I hired two sons of a friend to come this afternoon and help me pull some weeds and pick up some trash that has accumulated over the few months since Mom has been able to take care of things. It isn't really trashy...but just a little littered. One of them found a bull snake in the yard. It was a small thing, and he had it in a jar. I convinced him that if that little snake could talk, it would ask him to take him down to the creek and let him go. No snake wants to be in a hot jar with a small hole in the top. He looked at me like I was crazy (the boy, not the snake) and he went to put the snake back where he came from. God willing, the tornado missed us, but the creek DID rise!

Being in the land of afternoon bull snake saving is a bit of a change for me. I can't say that I enjoy it. I survive it. I was the third car at the Super Wal Mart, and since that is the only store in town that sells anything much, that is a feat to beat the crowds. I bought a new phone line for my computer, and picked up the free AOL disk to update my software to something usable. Early to bed and early to Wal Mart means you connect to the real world, and I was hungry to read the news and emails.

Today I am going to relax by making a strawberry pie. Mom isn't eating much, but I think I can tempt her with that. She is doing lots better, but it will take a village to keep her that way. I am the mainstay of the village, and it seems that my calling right now is to try to see that my mom is where she wants to be. All I have to do when I feel that this may not be the case, is remember how we both cried when I had to leave her in that rest home, and how hard she exercised and worked so she could, in her own words, "blow this joint". Blow it she did, and it is over her and my dead body that she will ever go back there.

Off to surf the web and find out what is going on "out there".

Have a great day.
God Bless us all!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Yesterday evening, the black clouds rolled in. You can tell you are in trouble when the sky is devided into two, with black on top, and light down below. I turned on the local weather channel that has the professional tornado chasers in Norman on cams. They showed a huge funnel cloud circulating with no funnel coming down to touch the ground. They estimated the path the storm would take during the night and it went right over our house in El Reno.

I spent the night watching the tornado reports and when the tornado sirens went off here it really shook me up. After 10 minutes, the sirens went off again, with a different kind of siren announcing the all clear. If I had been conversant in siren language, that is. To me it sounded like just another tornado siren--scary!

Outside there was nothing happening. The sky was a dark menancing gray color, and there was no wind. I felt the pressure change in the air. I watched. I listened. I opened the cellar door.

At eleven I went to bed upstairs. Sleeping was out of the question and then I heard the storm hit. It felt like a hurricane. The winds were 70 mph, and it was raining sideways. Again, the tornado sirens sounded, and this time they lasted for a full 30 minutes. I wrapped up in a blanket and sat on the couch, ready to react if glass started breaking. Nothing broke, no trees came down, but the lightning was striking so fast that it was just constant. The TV announcer said the lightning was striking at 100 hits a minute, and I now believe them.

At 1 a.m., the storm left. The announcer said that people in Piedmont needed to be in their storm cellars, and I knew that it had gone over us. Several semi trucks on the highway were blown over, a business on the edge of town that makes tarps had been destroyed (darn, just when we might need more tarps), and a few trees were downed. They showed the funnel cloud. It was about 1 mile from my house.

We survived it and lived to tell the tale. The plastic lawn chair outside wasn't even turned over, but the huge big garbage bin in the backyard was overturned.

It was exciting. Too exciting. But Toto and I are fine.

Have a great day.

Saturday, May 05, 2007