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May 2008
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July 2008

One at a time, please

     I have three kids.  When youngest was born, eldest was not quite 3.5 years old, and darling daughter was 19 months.  It was a little hairy at times (like, every five minutes) but I survived and so did they.  They're all healthy, smart, normal kids who should be able to make their way in the big wide world someday just fine.  But I have to tell you, if I'd had multiples....I don't know.
     Yesterday I watched my friend's two-year-old twin boys, from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.   They are sweet little guys and really well-behaved, especially for their age, but wow.  Just wow.  I'd forgotten what it was like to have to be constantly aware of exactly what a little one was doing.  They aren't the type to climb the bookshelves or poke things in outlets or whatnot, but still, they're TWO.  Good judgement just isn't part of the equation right now, you know?  So all day was spent watching.  Physically it wasn't difficult at all, but mentally?  By the time their daddy picked them up, I felt like a worn-out dishrag.  I'm just not in that mindset any more, and it really makes a difference. 
     So today I am going to hug my kids and tell them thanks for growing up so nicely, and being such good kids, and most of all - coming one at a time. 

Interesting visitors

              I have to tell you, this whole pool project is getting out of hand.  First of all, it has been four weeks since we bought the thing, and it's still not set up.  Between Jon's chest-pain scare, travel, guests, and weather, we are hard-pressed to get more than an hour here and there to work on it.  In addition, our property is mostly clay, liberally seeded with rocks.  For those who may not know, clay is hard!   Think about the clay you used to use in grade-school art class.  Now mix it with rocks and compress it mightily for God-only-knows how long.  Now go out and try to dig a 27-foot diameter circle.  Oh, and to get it level, you have to take it down about 18" on one side, tapering down across the circle to the low spot.  (Are we having fun yet?)  Yeah.  It goes like that.
               Anyway, we've been plugging away at this thing, and yesterday afternoon we were working when we saw something odd on the other side of the pond.  It looked like some sort of small animal had crawled out onto the bank.  In fact, three small animals had crawled onto the bank, and after staring for a few moments, we identified them - baby raccoons!   Now, what in the world three little 'coons were doing out in the middle of the day without their mama, we don't know, but we decided to see if we could get a little closer and get pictures.  And voila! Baby coon   Cute, huh?   When we started around the pond they scuttled up one of our big oak trees about 10 or 12 feet, and then sat there and chirped at us.  We took a couple pictures, then Jon decided to get the video camera and see if he could catch some good footage.  That's where it got interesting. 
          These raccoons were little.   They probably shouldn't have been out without their mama, and they definitely shouldn't have been out in the middle of the day, nocturnal critters that they are.  That right there should've made us think twice about getting any closer, but hey, they were babies!  What could they do to us?   So Jon walked over close enough to get them on video.  By this time they'd come down from the tree and were working their way around the edge of the pond towards the house, probably hunting frogs.  But when Jon got closer, they abandoned the frogs and started hunting HIM.  The little scutters actually got close enough that he could poke at them with the rake - and every time he did, they'd growl at him!   We finally hustled back into the house and watched from inside as they circled the house, explored Jon's car, and eventually trailed off into the woods.  Now we're wondering if something was wrong with them - usually little wild things will just plain run if they're scared, and these guys had plenty of room and opportunity to do just that.  Very strange.    At any rate, our pool work was interrupted once again, and these visitors didn't even offer to help.  Sigh. 


    Hubby and I have been doing a lot of thinking about our finances lately.   This is not something I enjoy, primarily because such activity is usually initiated by the realization that we've done something stupid with our finances.  I do not want to tell you how often this's embarrassing.  But anyway, we've come up with a budget and we're trying very hard to be Disciplined and Orderly and Responsible.  (waaaaahhhhh......) And you know what?  While it really kinda stinks - I mean, who wouldn't rather live a "money is not a concern" kind of life? - it can also be sort of fun.  It's like a game, or at least that's how I'm approaching it.  How much can I squeeze the grocery budget and still have good meals for the family?  How far can I stretch my gas allowance without becoming a hermit?  It's going to be interesting to see how well we do.
    On a semi-related note, I've been making beads like a madwoman.  I hadn't realized how much I missed it until I got back in front of the torch.  Now I want to spend every waking moment melting glass while belting out "Baker Street" at the top of my lungs.  Obviously that is not practical (once in a while I need to change the CD, just out of pity for the neighbors) but there is some justification for building up my stock 'o' beads:  people buy them.  Really!  People will actually give me money for those little bubbles of glass.  Do you see how this relates to Paragraph 1?  I can do something I love and get paid for it!  How slick is that?  And the best part?  Right now, I'm using nothing but "stash" glass and supplies - stuff I've had for a couple years, that's long since been paid for.  So I'm torching away, and there is virtually no out-of-pocket cost.  All I'm out is my time, and as previously stated, I love lampworking, so that is definitely not a sacrifice.  Pretty cool, huh?
    Of course, this all leads to one very important question that I have thus far been unable to answer.  If the beadmaking gig is a moneymaker (and I'm sure trying to get it there!) then I'll need a name for the business.  But what?  "Buy My Beads" seems a little cheeky.  I don't really like using my name - I'm sure there are reasons that would be a good idea, but for me it just doesn't fly.  So I've been going around in circles, trying to come up with a good name that will be easy to say, easy to remember, and feel "right" for me.  Anybody have any ideas? 

Short attention span

    As you can see, I have once again changed the "theme" of the blog.  Hopefully this isn't driving my readers crazy (all three of you!  kiss kiss)  but I have a painfully short attention span at times.  I'd really love to design my own blog theme - you know, funky graphics and cool pictures and all that - but unfortunately I'm not smart enough.  Or something.  So I keep hoping the perfect theme will show up in the preset theme list for me.  I like this one pretty well, but it's still not perfect.  Sigh.
    It feels like a really long time since I've posted, but I guess it's not that bad.  It's just that the past week has been really hectic.  Darling daughter turned 14 last Tuesday ( baby!) and we had her BFF from Indiana up for a few days.  Last Thursday we returned friend to her family, Friday we had local folks here for lunch, and Saturday we spent ALL DAY disassembling the pool to move it from there to here.  (PSA: a 27' pool is a ton of work; if you ever plan to move one, make sure you have lots of help!)  And  Sunday - Father's Day - Jon's parents and grandmother arrived for a visit. 
    I'm one of those lucky people who actually enjoy my in-laws.  They're funny and easy-going and we've always gotten along very well.  I also like Jon's grandmother.  She is 94 and still sharp as a tack, and she was tickled pink to be able to come up and see us.  So we had a really nice visit with them.  Since Larry and Rose live in Florida and Grandma in Indiana, we don't get to see any of them as much as we'd like,  so it's always a good time when they can come up for a few days.  Sadly it was a very short visit - they had to leave yesterday morning - but we had fun. 
    Which brings us to today!  Today I have to run a couple errands and then tackle Mt. Washmore.  The laundry room is a mess of epic proportions - mounds of both washed and unwashed items are reaching critical mass.  I'm almost afraid to go in without a safety line.  If I disappear, tell the kids and Jon I love them, okay?

Oooooh, shiny

    In the midst of all the craziness, I've actually been able to spend a little quality time with Sparky.  It's been almost two years since I was at the torch,  so I was a little nervous that I'd forgotten what to do, but it's all coming back.  The first few beads were pretty wonky, but I'm getting back in the groove more quickly than I thought I would.  New fuchsia flower
Hmmm....the pictures are a bit on the large side - sorry! - but you can see what I've been up to.  Lordy, I do love lampworking!  I even gathered my courage and posted a few on eBay.  I'm not holding my breath there, the economy isn't exactly bauble-buying friendly right now, but you never know.   Hope springs eternal!

                             Juniper hollow

Let's try this again, shall we?

After considerable pondering, I have been informed that the reason my posts were screwed up is that I was creating them in "markdown" format?  Something like that.  Anyway, whatever it was, I wasn't supposed to do that, because I obviously don't know how to do it.  So I am writing this in what I hope is the correct format, and we'll just see what happens!

The last week and a half have been kind of crazy around here, and the next few weeks are looking just as interesting.   I am beyond thankful that Jon's heart is okay, but wow, that episode took it out of all of us!  My dad had serious heart problems the last 15 years of his life - even had a heart transplant - so the very suggestion of heart issues sends me over the edge.  Poor Jon practically had to ask permission to go potty that weekend, I was so protective.  As for doing anything around the house - well, let's just say that as far as he's concerned, the past ten days have been a total loss.  Personally I'm fine with it, but hubby gets a little - ah - over-focused at times.  He's not thrilled that we don't have the site for the new pool ready yet.

Oh yeah, new pool - didn't I tell you about that?  Hahaha.  We're getting a pool!  A family just down the road from us sold us their monster above-ground pool for a crazy-good price, so we're trying to create a level spot to put the thing.  The only truly level spots on our property are all INside the house, and the ground here is mostly clay interspersed with chunks of granite, so it's taking quite a bit of work.  As to why we need a pool when we have the pond - well, let's see.  Snapping turtles, muskrats, algae, blah blah blah.....yep.  That's why.  So we're hoping to finish leveling the site in the next couple days and start actually installing the pool.  It's been in the 90's here for several days now with horrible humidity levels, so digging isn't fun, but the thought of relaxing in that pool is a great motivator. 

We are also going to be seeing a lot of company in the next few weeks.  Right now darling daughter's best friend from Indiana is up for a few days, since tomorrow is DD's birthday (my little girl!).  Next week Jon's parents and grandmother are coming up for a few days.  The first two weeks of July we'll probably be seeing Jon's older brother and his family, and Jon's sister and her family.  Not to mention the local people we'll have popping in and out for lunches, etc.  Looks like the Bolinger Bed & Breakfast is open again!   Thank God we have air conditioning!