From August to September in only one week

 

  1. Monday was a summer day in August. My teenager was still on summer break, the day was hot, the sun was bright.
  2. On Wednesday morning, I went to the dermatologist to ask about a spot (sort of a suspicious mole but not exactly).  The doctor agreed it was worth checking out and numbed me up for a biopsy. I walked out with a dime-sized wound on my cheek well-covered by an appropriately sized bandage.  [Awareness alert and example of white privilege: the bandage color is close to my skin tone so it blends in very well when I’m not using a flash.]    I walked back in 90 minutes later to have the wound re-cauterized and bandaged again. It is best to not walk around with blood streaming down your cheek.

    Hopefully this is all just for peace of mind (worth it!)

    Hopefully this is simply the price paid for piece of mind.

  3.  I placed two bead orders this week — one to each of my favorite online bead stores that just so happen to be my favorite bead stores to visit as well. I received one package in the mail today and plan to pick up the other at the store tomorrow. [Side note: $80 worth of beads may fit in one hand.]  I sold quite a few pairs of earrings at the farmers’ market today and need to replenish my stock, so the timing of all sales — stores with price reductions, stores to me, me to customers — worked out nicely. Now to actually sit down and create! I’ve had a bit of a dry spell but am feeling inspired tonight with new vision for my new beads and some positive feelings. Having a customer return to my booth today made me happy for both of us. She had purchased one pair of earrings last week after I told her why I make them. (The very short story is that I can’t wear most store-bought earrings. My skin is really sensitive to metals, but the earrings I make I am able to wear on a daily basis without any trouble.)  She had the same experience I’ve had, being able to wear earrings again. She returned today to purchase 4 more pairs of earrings. I’m grateful for the sales, but most of all I was happy to make her happy.
  4.  On Thursday, September 1st, the clouds gathered, the wind blew, and the air cooled. It felt as though Mother Nature looked at her calendar and got busy. It rained a little overnight, and then today a storm snuck into town. The wind nearly blew several canopies away while setting up at the farmers’ market this afternoon, but the rain held off until we were taking them down again after 7pm. By the time we drove home, there were flashes of lighting. I feel a little cheated, like a kid whose summer is interrupted by fall. Nothing against fall — I love many things about fall — but I don’t feel like I had enough summer. Not camping might have something to do with that feeling.
  5. Five is the number of Fridays this month — and that’s a good thing, right?
    (Confession: I edited and changed that last bit. I had previously written “– and that’s a good thing, eh?”)  Five Fridays = five market days until the end of my vending season. I’ll miss the people and interactions, but it will be nice to have my Fridays free again.

Bonus pictures:
The Scout goes to grade 11, 8-30-16
first day of school = sad dog
Moses sad under table after his boy went to school

Have you transitioned into fall yet?

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Early September Friday Five

  1. DSCN4518 First Day of High School, resized for webIt’s a new school year and a new way of life here in my world at Spokalulu. SnakeMaster is a freshman in high school and Humorous-Juniorous is about to leave for his freshman year of college; Encyclopedia Blue is back at college for year 4 of 5 (or more… it’s hard to tell), and MusicMan and Rapunzel are enjoying a new phase of married life without the burden of college courses. It is hard to believe that in just a few weeks, H-J will be off to college and we’ll be at a 2:1 ratio of parents to kids for the first time in 22 years.
  2. Just for fun, SuperDad and I looked at some vehicles with towing capacity before poking our heads in some glampers on Labor Day. Nothing moves very quickly here so there’s no need for excitement, but in our slow-as-molasses style, we are beginning the path toward a gentler-on-the-aging-body kind of camping. Give us a few years (like maybe when the child over on the right there graduates) but I will be the proud owner of a smallish camping trailer before I am too old to enjoy it!
  3. Working in a church office continues to be a good fit for me. I grew up hanging around church offices (my dad is a retired pastor) and was familiar with much of the goings-on before I took it on as a job. I enjoy making the weekly bulletin (which doubles as a newsletter) and the little bit of worship service planning that I get to do with other volunteers. There is much I need to learn before being proficient in planning a service (what is really a Call to Worship, etc.) and dealing with money/Quickbooks, etc., still makes me anxious (I do not want to mess that up!) but it is both challenging and fulfilling — and really, isn’t that what makes a job worth going to each day?
  4. There are several older people in our congregation whom I have come to love. I see them aging, slowing down — and in the case of one, visibly becoming frailer each week/month — and it makes me sad. It brings brings them closer to heaven but it brings me closer to grief. I tear up just thinking about losing them. When they die, part of my job will be assisting with the planning and carrying out of the memorial services. It is going to be difficult. Last month was the memorial service for a friend’s husband. He had a long-term disease that slowly took his independence away but the ending was a little unexpected. It was actually an honor to find the right picture to go on the cover of the bulletin for the memorial service and make it all look as nice as possible. I hope I can feel the same way when the sweet older man who tells me “anecdotes” passes from this life to the next. His dear wife died 17 months ago and I think he is slowly dying from heartbreak, which in turn breaks my heart.
    *****Okay, time for a tissue break…

    Some of the photo note cards I make to sell, gift, and personally use

    Some of the photo note cards I make to sell, gift, and personally use

  5.  I continue to stay busy with work, family, household responsibilities, and the weekly farmer’s market on Fridays. Lately I have been averaging about $40 in sales each week, which isn’t stellar by any stretch of the imagination but it isn’t bad, either. I am selling my photo notecards (cropped photos on cardstock, blank inside, stamped and signed on the back) and beaded items such as earrings, eyeglass leashes, lanyards, and suncatchers. Since I enjoy making all of these, it is a pretty decent way to spend 5 hours each Friday. (The market actually runs from 3-7pm but I have to factor in the set-up and take-down time.)
Currently for sale

Currently for sale

I confess that my time spent on facebook probably needs an intervention. It is much too easy to park myself on the sofa in the evenings and get nothing of substance accomplished. Instead of doing many useful things that I would actually like to do (read a book, organize my crafting workspace, clean up my clutter that is strewn about the house in various places, decorate for fall, etc., etc.), I find myself engaging in the online equivalent of small-talk. Yes, it keeps me connected with people from all different parts of my life — and many of you that I know from blogging — but at the same time it has taken the place of reading blogs (which help me to form much deeper relationships). There are times when I have to agree with my husband that facebook is evil. (Not really.) (Yes, really.)  It’s true that sometimes after work I am too tired to do anything more than having to produce a “like” but I suspect it is both a cop-out (facebook rarely requires one to THINK) and addiction to easy social media. I feel guilty when I miss wishing people a happy birthday or special events in their lives; however, it is quite likely time for me to take a little facebook “vacation” in order to get back to meaningful blogging.

DSCN4468 Offering

That’s what I have to share today. What is happening in your world? 

Syringa, Part Three: Canadian Camping Adventures

I’ve met some really fun friends while scrapbooking.

4 Js and a K

4 Js and a K

Twice a year, we get together and stay in what I’ve dubbed “the Cannuck Party Trailer” at a weekend scrapbooking event that takes place approximately halfway between my town and theirs.  At the last crop, we discussed the possibility of me getting my family to join all of their families at a campground for a long weekend.  I started working on my family with this plan right away, and within a few months it was “all systems go!”

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The other gals all have RVs, but this was home-sweet-home for the weekend for my family.  (Not pictured: SnakeMaster’s backpacking hammock where he slept.)

I really enjoy having older kids who no longer need nor want to share a tent with their parents. That big tent was designed to sleep 6 people, which is exactly how we used it for many years; now it is the master bedroom.  I am, however, beginning the chant of “glamping” because I really don’t enjoy having to fully wake up, crawl out of bed AND out of a tent just to walk a quarter-mile to use a bathroom!  Sure, on a starry night it is a lovely walk… but it can be difficult to go back to sleep upon return to bed.

DSCN0914 Thumbs up for Syringa!

Thumbs up for Syringa!

Camping with other people has additional benefits beyond me , the lone female amongst males, having other women around for conversation.  We share “camping hacks” (ideas that make camping easier, such as hanging your roll of paper towels from a bungee cord “rod” on the canopy over the picnic table — truly brilliant and I can’t believe we never thought of something so simple before), beverages, activities for the kid in all of us, and games.

DSCN3770  Black rock with cobalt designsDSCN3769  Turquoise ladybug rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids and moms painted rocks with acrylic paint. These two beauties above were crafted by Humorous-Juniorous, my 18yo son. He’s got some artistic talent.   (What you do not see here is my attempt at sprigs of lilacs. Someone commented on it later on being a really nice purple tree… so at least there’s that amount of recognition.)  One of my friends there is also a blogger, so I expect at some point she will post pictures of other rocks on her blog. She is also the one who made a jaunt into town for this box of supplies…

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Now can you think of a project to do with a box of these edibles?

These ladies have a plan

These ladies have a plan

DSCN0929

Ready… set…

DSCN0930

…Go!

It's better to bite than lick if you want to win

It’s better to bite than lick if you want to win

DSCN0937  donut boys

DSCN0939 donut girls

 This is one game where everyone who plays is a winner. 

I recommend the sour cream old fashioneds.  I had one bite and it was worth every calorie. 🙂

Rock painted by SnakeMaster

Rock painted by SnakeMaster

 

If you haven’t seen them yet, click  over to Part One and Part Two.

 

Syringa, part one

DSCN0876  Syringa

Fields of purple and yellow wildflowers
Tall pine trees, cold water

Walking on an undulating trail
the smell of warm grasses and bursts of sweet floral-scented air
the hot kiss of sunshine, the cool embrace of shade
Dappled light in green and ochre

splashes and shouts, yells and barks
soft voices and raucous laughter

slithering of mud-brown snakes
ascending trill of unseen songbirds

crackling fire and Texas S’mores —
marshmallows, chocolate, tortillas

Sudden storms, sideways rain
And stars that wink while we sleep.

Childhood revisited

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

My grandfather told the story of visiting Yosemite National Park as a child, how he and his brothers had to get off the wagon so the horses could continue uphill on those dirt roads that led up the mountain and then down into the beautiful valley.  His own father and uncle took him to this incredible place, and he carried that experience forward by taking his own children to Yosemite. My mother was equally struck by the beauty and took my brothers, sister, and me there when we were children.

DSCN2970  4x6 rock memories

As I walked past these rocks, I was suddenly jarred by the memory of playing in this very spot with my siblings.

This past week, my husband and I took our two youngest children to experience the beauty of Yosemite.  None of them had been there before, so it was with joy that I watched the wonder in their faces.

Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

 

Our campsite on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park

Our campsite on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park

 

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

I think they liked it, too.

DSCN0518  Top of Yosemite Falls

 
POTW-green
Thank you, Hilary, for the POTW award!

 

Can it please be Spring now?

DSCN0384  resized

DSCN0385, snowshovel croppedI love winter — until I hate it.

The month of March ushered in my intolerance for frozen white stuff that sticks around and becomes ugly on our streets… so ugly that I didn’t bother to take photographs. (That presented a problem here on the blog, but I will give you credit for your imaginative powers.)

Luckily (?!?) it has been alternately raining and sunny here since Monday afternoon so most of the snow is now gone.  Hello, localized flooding with avalanches in the mountains — perhaps spring is coming after all!

This is how we do homework at my house.

This is how we “do” homework at my house.  The 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle on the coffee table soon distracted H-J from his Chemistry assignment.

Spring skiing is where 2 family members are headed this weekend.  That may or may not be why SnakeMaster was wearing his ski helmet while reading a book on Tuesday night. Right after I snapped this photo, I asked if he had any homework. More specifically, I asked if he had completed a book report for February. “Uh… no.”  I’m glad I took the photo before I asked!

I think my kids are pretty typical: we have to ask them about homework on a regular basis. Even the resident scholar has many moments when he’d rather goof off than do his work.

At 14, SM easily “forgets” to practice his baritone or the piano, and homework — when he hasn’t been able to complete it during school hours — is also easy to forget. It’s not that he is avoiding the work as much as he has other things on his mind.

SnakeMaster still loves snow… on Sunday night, he set up a shelter and slept in the backyard while additional snow fell in the darkness.

Crazy winter camping child

Crazy winter camping child

DSCN2762 SnakeMaster winter campout

 

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**Have you entered the book giveaway yet? Go here to enter!**

Beading like a mad fool

Last Friday I drove north toward the border and met up with some crazy Canadians for a crafting weekend (including this blogger). The other gals scrapbooked but I worked with beads until my fingers cramped… and then I switched over to card-making… and then I switched back to beading.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Weekend creations

Nearly everything in this collage of 5 photos was sold as fast as I could make it — and there were others, too.  Not everything has been photographed but I did try to take pictures of the things I sold. I have some awesome Canadian friends. ♥

Jen will be pleased to know that I experienced glamping over the weekend. I have seen the light. Glamping is awesome: you can sit around in your pajamas, giggle yourselves silly, and crawl into bed (if you can figure out how to climb into the bunk without falling down) — all without stepping a foot outside in the cold night. No long walks to the bathroom!

In the meantime, life goes on:  more work than I can get done in 2 days each week, a church women’s retreat this weekend, a work meeting to prepare for on Monday night, the constant laundry and housework here at home (It was hard enough to get it all done when I was a professional housewife!) …and this is where I should probably point out that the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are nipping at our heels…   You’re welcome.

So while I’ve been busily getting a supply of product built up for a craft fair in early December, and working, and heading out on 3 retreats in 4 weeks (I know. It’s awesome) there are a few things that get pushed to the back burner… including reading blogs. Honestly, I was completely caught up a few weeks ago. It felt so good! But  book group, downtime spent with my husband, and kids’ activities take precedence over blogging.

And that is why there was no Thankful Thursday post this week. It will return next week, I promise!

What has been capturing your attention lately?