Sunday, October 30, 2005

Utterly incredible weekend~

This weekend has to be in the all-time Top Ten. Rick and I had such a good time at Prospect Hill. It goes without saying that the food was incredible, and we always enjoy the hot tub and the fireplace, and the weather was wonderful. Saturday we went into Charlottesville and did a lot of looking and shopping. Got Zack's big Christmas present, ate at one of our favorite lunch sites (Bodo's Bagels), hit Barnes and Noble (got this terrific knitting book, can't wait to try it) and Starbucks -- in general, had fun doing normal things but with just each other. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Of course, coming home to Zack was wonderful! He stayed with our friend Shannon, who he just adores. Zack got to help Jake carve a pumpkin, but when Shannon got his hands in the "goo", he wasn't excited! Since Zack has Sensory Integration Disorder, he majorly avoids touching things that are sticky/slippery, so we've been working with him to get him over that. His OT he sees once a week has been such a help, and Shannon, being Zack's preschool teacher as well as a close friend, makes sure he works through things as well.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

pictures from the Pumpkin Patch

Meant to put these up for view yesterday, but with the plumbing disaster, got a little sidetracked!

Yesterday after I picked up Zack from preschool, my friend Mina and her son Will and Zack and I went to Rainbow Farms. They have a pumpkin patch, but they also have a lot of cool things catered towards kids -- like a cool, seasonal playground. All the photos are here:

This picture is my favorite. Rainbow Farms has this huge corn picker/combine thing set up, with a sliding board/tunnel built in, and you can actually climb up into the seat. Zack was ALL about that!

Tomorrow Rick and I are heading out to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary. We're staying at Prospect Hill Plantation Bed and Breakfast -- it's where Rick proposed, and where we had our honeymoon and have spent all but one of our anniversaries. We're staying in Sanco Pansy's Cottage and I am SO looking forward to a fire at night and a soak in the hot tub! Not to mention their dinner and breakfast -- to die for.

Lastly, wanted to share a photo of a necklace I made -- I've been on a necklace kick recently, which for me is strange, as I usually gravitate towards bracelets. I'd been wanting to do something like this for a while -- big slabs of onyx, with the toggle clasp in the FRONT. Want it? Send me an email at and I'll get you details! It's not on the web site yet but will be soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Exciting evening at the Anderson house

Well, we'd just put Zack to bed -- I was finishing paperwork, Rick was loading the dishwasher, and we were settling in for an evening of watching CSI DVDs and making jewelry (me) and snoozing on the couch (Rick). I wandered into the kitchen for a drink just as Rick started the dishwasher.

Horrible noise, bad vibration, then KAPOW! Water shooting EVERYWHERE from underneath the sink. And not just a little bit -- more water than we normally experience in our showers. And did I mention it was HOT water? All heck breaks loose as Rick suddenly loses his mind. Both of us are under the sink (both wearing glasses -- did I mention that HOT water steams things up fast?) trying to turn the valves off.

That does nothing.

By this time, there is water STANDING in the kitchen, making its way into the living room, dining room, and mud room. I yell, "TURN OFF THE MAIN VALVE!" and Rick yells back, "IT'S OUTSIDE!" and I yell back, "RUN!".

Rick runs -- but he's barefoot. And did I mention that we have standing water? KABOOM. Down goes Rick. Hard. I scream, thinking surely to goodness he's cracked his head wide open.

But adrenaline is rushing and he shakes it off and tears outside, barefoot, in shorts and a t-shirt (it's 40° here) and runs to the shut off valve, which is across the yard, at the sidewalk, underground. Why? The only other shut off valve is UNDER the house. And we don't have a basement.

Yep, our house was built by Idiot, Stupid, and Moron.

I'm still trying to turn off valves that I've already turned/stick my finger anywhere to make the leak stop/trying not to get steam burns and Rick rips back through the house.

The valve that's outdoors, underground, in a hole?

It's stuck.

So he races to the garage to look for a vise grip or pair of pliers. Luckily, Rick's tool pegboard actually had tools on it this time. Back out to the hole in the ground to try and blindly cut the water off. Since we've had rain for about a week, he's up to his shoulder in cold, muddy water.

And at last, the water is turned off.

We are both completely soaked, more than a little freaked out, and hoping like heck that the wet/dry vac that I bought seven years ago still works. Thank goodness, it does. After emptying that sucker out three times, we have the water out of the house -- VERY glad that we've ripped up most of the carpet and put in laminate wood floors!

So that was OUR night, how was yours?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bad versus Good -- the eternal struggle

It's the cosmic question -- why do bad things happen to good people, but the worst examples of society are the ones that win the lottery?

A bunch of us have been discussing this very thing over the past few days. One quoted this wonderful passage from Tommy Nelson's book, A Life Well Lived:

"Trials always have a very beneficial purpose. Trials purify you. Trials show you what you are. Whatever comes out of you when you are hit, shows who you really are. Trials make you pray. Trials make you trust. Trials also prove you.... Trials reveal who the real guys are..."

This is very true. Unfortunately, it still doesn't help me much when I want to know why the most undeserving people are rewarded for their dirty actions. I know that God is watching and that old adage, "what goes around comes around" does work, but it's hard to just let things be and let things run their course. There are people out there who run around wreaking havoc on people's lives who are seemingly unscathed by nastiness, who actually THRIVE on it, and it makes no sense to me. And then there are people like my friend Kelly, who has to deal with the most enormously horrible thing, the death of a child -- and she is the most deserving person of GOOD that I know. Puts things in perspective.

I wonder who people who have no faith turn to when things finally DO catch up with them, and go bad?

It's all about this:

So that person whose only joy in life is to cause others pain? Feel sorry for them instead of being mad at them. They may think they are the King of the World, but that world is so small and sad without the richness of calm and laughter and friends. Why waste time on even giving them a second thought? As my friend said, let them get to you and they WIN. Whether it's your job, a co-worker, or a friend that has you troubled, LAUGH about it. After all, really, those losers are kidding no one.

After my chat the other night about Tommy Nelson's book, I realized the joys I have. My husband and I are going to be celebrating our 5 year anniversary on Saturday, I have a wonderful child that is a true miracle (how often does the first round of in vitro actually WORK???), a job I love creating jewelry, and friends who are truly there for me. Who needs more than that?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

One Ebay auction ended, one to go

The Ebay auction for the Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet ended tonight - thanks for the bids! Cassie Donlen herself donated money as well, so the entire cost of the bracelet, not just 50%, will be going to the fund.

Ebay may be tough for selling artisan jewelry, but my shows and web site still keep me so busy it's not even funny. Two years ago when I started this little venture with a pair of pliers from Walmart and some cheap India glass beads from Fire Mountain, I had no idea things would turn out so well! What a major change my jewelry has made from then to now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of my wonderful customers. And Zack's college fund thanks you, too.

The web site will be updated again over the weekend -- have a lot of pretty things to show you! I've been madly working for my next two shows, which are large, three-day events, building up inventory, but I can't help but put a lot of the new things on the site.

This has been such a busy week -- have made the acquaintance of a wonderful lampwork bead artist, Marilyn Jones. She found my site via a friend and we've had some wonderful email chats, and I can't wait to play with her beads! I have a lot of ideas already for her fish and turtles for next summer! Be sure to check out her web site.

More and more as the days go by, especially these past few days, I've been thankful for the friends I have, both "in the flesh" as well as internet friends. I've always been amazed at how the people you think will be your friends forever are the ones that fade away, or fail you, but those who you thought didn't have an opinion end up being the ones that remember you with fondness. I had a wonderful blast-from-the-past this week on email that reminded me of that, and to never take the friends you make in passing for granted. Sometimes, we give too much time to people that are a total waste of energy. Thankfully, in my life, that hasn't happened too often.

So words for the day -- don't burn bridges, be kind, enjoy life, because it's a full circle -- it all does come back to the type of person you were in your life.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bracelet on Ebay

OK, I decided to try another bracelet on Ebay. Ebay has been horrible for selling finished jewelry for the past six months or so and I got discouraged, so just gave that up and kept things on my web site, which did just fine. But I made this one last night and just put it up for bid:

We'll see how it does. It was fun to make, and that toggle rocks.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Zack's funny counting

Zack is so funny! He's known his numbers 1-10 for a long time and is now into higher numbers, but can someone please explain to me how come instead of "seven", he says "tummy"????? It's so cute. I have to get him to do it when I have the video running but so far he won't do it on command.

Just posted new jewelry and an auction to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Had a great day today doing the Part Time Pursuits craft fair at Guppys -- what a bunch of great people!!!!

Exhausted -- off to bed to finish a really interesting (but horrifying) book, "Off Season".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

more jewelry coming soon...

I promise. I have a show this Friday and am getting over a killer migraine, but I have two big bowls of pretty stuff ready to be photographed and scanned. It takes so much time to keep up with the web site, you just wouldn't believe. Invaluable, yes. Easy, no.

Anyway, getting ready to go upstairs and finish my book and hopefully start another (got two new ones from Amazon today, yippee!) but here's a new necklace to feast your eyes on -- blue lace agate with a chalcedony druzy pendant. The druzy was courtesy of my beading friend Lesley. In case you're wondering what the heck druzy is, it's essentially a layer of tiny crystals, like the inside of a geode. The texture is really interesting and the glitter and glimmer is awesome.

I'll be posting in on my web site soon -- but if you must have it NOW, email me at and make it your own.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Back from Yale!

We got back from Yale on Sunday. It rained the entire time we were there, which made me SO glad that the Catoctin Colorfest lost my craft show application! What a miserable time it would have been to have an outdoor show in the pouring rain.

Yale is lovely, but I was taken by surprise that it's a city campus. I guess I thought it was like UVA (my alma mater) and had a traditional set up, but not so. So there were these amazing tall church-like buildings with city streets running between them. At any rate, I'm really looking forward to going back, when we can walk around more. I really miss living in Charlottesville -- college towns have such great restaurants and shops!

Spent the majority of yesterday evening and today filling orders and catching up. I did post a cute and affordable Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet on my web site... here it is....

On Sunday evening (October 16th), an Ebay auction will be going up for another bracelet, this one one-of-a-kind with lampwork beads made by Cassie Donlen -- here's that one:

So if you like it, look for it on Ebay or send an email to and I'll let you know the item number once it posts.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Necklace, Books, Yale

I wanted to show you my latest necklace that is in MY jewelry box! I made it with these amazing ceramic beads that Joan Miller makes (be sure to click here and check out her web site). With all the jewelry that I make, you would think I'd have a stocked jewelry box, but I'm a creature of habit and tend to wear the same things over and over, so I've been trying to expand my collection!

Books -- I haven't posted what I've read lately. I've been on a thriller kick -- read The Resort by Bentley Little. Reminded me a lot of old Stephen King stuff. Just finished a collection by Peter Straub (also Stephen King-esque) that I've enjoyed a little less than I'd hoped, but still had some moments. Next up is a Robert McCammon book, Mystery Walk -- I have a sneaking suspicion I've already read it but won't really know until I start. His book Swan Song has a similar plot to Stephen King's The Stand, but I liked it a lot more.

Tomorrow we're on the road to New Haven, CT, to visit Colin at Yale. Having never been to Connecticut before, I'm excited about seeing what's what. I've even applied to an art/craft show up there, but it's a long shot, so I'm not holding my breath.

Time to tuck Zack into bed -- more in a few days!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Big steps for Zack today!

Zack has food and texture aversion, so feeding him new things is always a challenge. He'll only eat about ten different things, mostly of the crunchy/dry nature. Well, today at preschool, the little guy actually not only TOUCHED jello but ATE jello! BIG step for a child that can make himself sick and gags at the mere sight of something unfamiliar.

Then tonight, Rick and I watched my neighbors kids -- Zack LOVES them and it's such a treat for him to have them over. They brought over some popcorn to pop, and after several false starts, Zack sat down and just ate and ate and ate! I'd tried him on popcorn before with no luck. Rick says it's peer pressure!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

just posted some new jewelry

I had a few minutes so posted a few new pieces of jewelry on the web site. I spent last night cataloging all of the new beads I bought at Intergem and then rearranging my bead cabinet -- things were starting to get overrun and it all really needed reorganizing. Not sure if I've ever posted what I store my beads in, but if you click here you can see -- if you are a beader or a stamper or a scrapbooker, these cabinets are just awesome.

Back to the beading table!