Friday, August 29, 2008

Reynolds Wrap and Tao

Did you know that packages of aluminum foil, wax paper, saran wrap and others have "things" that you push in on the sides that hold the roll of paper in place in the container so you can smoothly pull out what you need and tear it? How come I don't find this out until I'm 47?!




Tao
One thing I like about Taoism is that it is "a system of thought that tolerates a wide variety of outlooks and accepts that no final authority on which is correct." (Toropov and Hansen)

BTW, the idea of "non-action" (which is an oft heard phrase when discussing the Tao and/or wu-wei), doesn't mean inactivity. As Mel Thompson explains it, "Rather, it is action that is undertaken on two principles: no effort is to be wasted, and nothing should be done that is against nature."

And this philosophy gives rise to the idea that if something is a struggle, perhaps it's not the right thing to be doing. Before you jump in here with a "But…!", let me tell you that my "but" is way bigger than any you could come up with. I am really good at playing my own Devil's advocate. I realize there are many things we could throw out there as potential examples of things that aren't easy and yet seem totally necessary to a happy, healthy life path. But what if those things we think are necessary, really aren't? Shrug. I have no answers, only questions apparently.

Sometimes I wonder about all this wondering. I mean, doesn't it seem, if not downright stupid, at least a never ending exercise in futility? Like, the more I know and learn and muse, the more complicated and difficult life seems? As though, the best life would be one in which someone just accepts stuff and doesn't wonder about things not directly in their path? But then I have to say, "So… is someone with a lobotomy better off than someone who has high intelligence (is that the right word) and spends a lot of time in thought and all that goes along with thought?

And is "thought/intelligence" synonymous with mental struggling? It shouldn't be. Just because someone is of higher intelligence (still not sure if that's the word I'm looking for), does that mean they have to spend their life musing about the possibilities and intricacies of life and death and everything between, before and after?

I feel like I'm on a big mission to simplify my life, on many levels. That almost seems in direction opposition to how I've lived, though, for the past… oh, 47 years. I mean, haven't I struggled and strived over the years to attain more wealth, more possessions, more acquaintances, more intelligence, more answers, etc.? And now, I suddenly find myself wanting to be rid of most of it. I want a streamlined life, in responsibilities, possessions, duties, etc. I've started working on it, but it's not a fast process. I think the easiest is by far the "ridding myself of superfluous material items". Other things aren't so easy.

Responsibilities. Hm. Well, I'm still responsible for being a parent, but I don't expect to be supporting the kids after they're 18. I say "don't expect", but I have learned that nothing in life is certain so I don't project ideas in cement.

I'm trying to sort out my responsibilities to the animals.

I've made myself less responsible to grown-ups.

I'm trying to delegate some of the responsibilities I've taken on over the years. I pretty much handed TMB over to Amber, thank goodness. Alex and Patrice are bailing me out on the overwhelming responsibilities of the SRAJD organization.

Well, I tend to get a bit brain-fried when I try to think of heavy-duty things for too long, particularly if I'm multi-tasking at the same time. :-) So… switching gears here for now and will revisit at a later date.


Jewelry
Had more sales from the website this week than from eBay or Etsy combined. Yay! I hope more interested parties soon discover that my prices are ALWAYS less expensive on the website because there's no overhead.

I have some necklaces to photo and list and I'm really excited about them. VERY happy about how they turned out.

In the meantime, though, here are some of the items still available (click a pic for more details):







I got some wire in yesterday, so I think I have to come up with some designs now. I'll be out of the house for most of this weekend anyway, so having a "travel project" or two will be good.

I'm just not used to thinking ahead about what I'm going to create… but I guess I have to force myself. Ha!


Response to Comments
I'm trying to encourage comments to be left in my blog (you listening, Mom?)… heh.

Sharon, I think every month is cleaning month for me. Ha! Except that I can't get ahead. Behind the fridge?! Eek! I think I'll see that when I move out and the fridge goes with me (or not). Until then, I can only imagine that there are about 40 cat toys under there.

BTW, you're far more forgiving with your sentimentalities than I am. I use the "if I haven't used it in six months, it gets tossed" rule of thumb. But remember, we have no climate changes in the Bay Area. In places with real seasons, I've have to go "a year".


Freebie Contest
My apologies. I am behind in some of my tasks so am taking a week off from the contest and will resume on Tuesday, September 2nd.

That's it for now… TTYL!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm making progress in little ways.

I used to save my jewelry photos as very high res photos AND as lower res with the watermark. I've decided I don't need the high res versions anymore. If there should ever come a time when I am called upon to furnish a high res photo of a piece of jewelry I've already sold, oh well. So this is going to save me STEPS (aka "time") as well as computer space.

What else? Hm... I try to respond to people's emails sooner, even if it sometimes means just a quick acknowledgment. I used to wait and say to myself, "Well, I'll respond to that when I have more time because I want to really give it my attention and tell them everything that's been going on." Ugh! Yeah, when hell freezes over.

Some people I want to get in touch with and/or stay in touch with: Stacy, Margo, Charlotte, Laura 1, Laura 2, Alex, etc.

I've been taking small areas of the house and doing "the thing". "The thing" consists of removing everything from that area and separating it into one of four piles/containers:
Garbage
Give away
Sell
Keep

I hope when all is said and done the "keep" pile isn't too big. My biggest problem currently is the "sell" pile because selling takes time and effort.

Family
Kids' first day of school yesterday (including Mon's first day at high school). Seems okay so far.

Got Gabe's replacement phone, charged it, activated it, and set it up.


Cats
I wonder if I can get down to Santa Cruz on the 5th. I never even knew about these guys.
Project Purr


Humor Fix
cat
more animals

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here we are at the start of another week

Comments
Hi Sharon! Thanks for the comment. I have a question for you (this is me, pretending that anyone who stumbles across my blog will ever return to it... ha ha ha!). I clicked on your name and I admit I was confused about which one was your blog. Is it the LEST street team blog? I admit to being a "street team" ignoramous. I can't figure out how to join the street teams. Which is just as well, though, considering I'm already stretched VERY thin (virtual speaking... in real life I'm anything BUT thin... but now that school has started I hope to join my kids in some post work/school physical activity.

Creations
I'm still absolutely NOT doing the glass thing right yet. "Glass thing" is putting a picture behind a piece of glass and turning it into a pendant. I've ruined about 10 glass pendants so far. Not giving up yet... just going to try other things. I'm stubborn. :-)

Aside from that, I did make some jewelry this weekend that I really like. I'm veering further away from the "easier" sales and closer to stuff that I enjoy making. Here are some examples:





I haven't listed any of this weekend's stuff yet, though, so I'll probably show you the links tomorrow.

Weekend
This weekend was (or seemed) a bit funky... well, not Saturday, but Sunday... I didn't have to go anywhere, so I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted. I made it a mix between jewelry and house clearing. Maybe the "funky" feeling came from the sense of being overwhelmed when I think about or see how much stuff I have in the house versus how much "stuff" I want in my life. It's easy for me to throw a huge amount of stuff away and anything that's really too decent just to thow away, I set into a box for Goodwill. But the tough stuff is the "keep"... it adds up! And the "sell"... that takes time and until the time arrives it takes space. Blah!

Hockey
Mon had her first practice with the new team. She had fun, but I wasn't there. She said everyone was nice to her. Unfortunately, she bunged up her finger a bit, but she SWEARS to me it will be better by Tuesday (their next practice)... heh.

BTW, here's a short video of the tryouts she did for this team. More interesting (IMO) if you have your volume on:


I'm excited about getting her new leg pads next month. I think (hope) she will finally appreciate how much faster she can move with lightweight pads. I think it's awesome, too, that Gabe is volunteering the money he made this summer to help pay for Mon's pads.

Gabe's team had their first game (informal game) on Saturday against San Jose. The very first shot on Gabe went in... ugh. Looked like a softie, but later he told us that it was a deflection off one of his defensemen. It was the only goal against the Jets for the rest of the game (Nando played the second half). The Jets won, 3-1.

Well, I'd better get on with my day now.

TTYL!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stop the madness!!!

Note to self: Dear Laura, please stop volunteering for things, taking on new tasks, or starting new projects. You are over-stretched as it is. You often find yourself over-committed because you've agreed to do something and then your schedule changes and you are unable to fulfill your commitments. The only thing I will allow you to add to your schedule right now is exercise, because I think you'd feel better if you exercised. There. Now go out and learn to say "no" and QUIT volunteering for things. You can't be all things to all people so quit trying. Love, Laura



Jewelry

I made a couple pieces I like. I'm working a little with oxidizing silver. I like the rustic look. We'll still list the more "bauble-y" type pieces because Monica is saving for her new leg pads, but I will try to showcase the new direction items more.



Free Jewelry

Whoops... just realized today's Thursday. Sorry... I've been "off" by a day or two all week. It's THAT kind of week. I will do the "freebie contest" announcement as soon as possible. D'oh!



Speaking of Monica, here are a couple of charm bracelets she did... can't remember if I listed them on the website or not so I won't include links this time.





Oh, and here's a necklace she made that I really like.



Man, there's actually a ton of other things we just put up, but I don't feel like showing them all here. Sigh... If you want to look, there's my eBay listings as well as the website.


And... I actually have a lot to do today so I'm gonna get outta here now and get on with it.

TTYL!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is it REALLY only Tuesday?

This week can't go fast enough.

Mon's still in the midst of her tryouts as a first-year Bantam. I worry that through the whole experience I may be saying the wrong thing or NOT saying something when I SHOULD say something. Being a parent is rewarding but also full of stress.

Well, that's it. I'm consumed by office work, Mon's tryouts, and listing clearance items for sale at the moment.

TTYL!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why I'm so quiet

Just giving you a heads up in case you don't see me around much (online) and wonder if I'm okay. Usually when I "go into hiding" it merely means I'm crunched for time and am working to get stuff made and available.

So... the good news is... you ought to check my website and/or my eBay listings 'cause there are a lot of different things going up right now.

Cheers!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Primal Instincts and Random Hilarity

Oh, today's another big giveaway. Who gets the poor red-headed stepchild? I hope the clasp doesn't cause them too much consternation.

Here's a head's up on the next giveaway



Serendipity
So... to continue along the thought patterns from yesterday (or the day before... I don't remember) on the subject of evolutionary theory. We were discussing primal instincts and I was saying that it almost seems like an easier life to follow (or at least to understand) some of our primal urges/instincts.

I recently read an article in Scientific American (well, okay, it was an "opinion", not an official "article") by Michael Shermer. It was entitled "Wag the Dog" and it really resonated with things I've been musing about lately.

Anyway, the piece is about how dogs can wag their tail a little bit more to the left or a little bit more to the right, and each direction can have a different meaning. That has to do with whether the left or right size of the dog's brain is being activated.

The two major driving forces in humans (and all animals, I suppose) are survival and reproduction. And a lot (if not all) of our "primal instincts" can relate back to these two needs/emotions.

Men need to procreate, so they are (were originally) generally attracted to child-bearing hips (big hips), nursing breasts (big boobs), red lips… other signs of a healthy ready-to-have-babies woman.

Women need men who will protect them… broad shoulders. Why do you think women have "a thing" for a man in uniform? Because of the squared off shoulder pads! Women want/need the alpha male. The guy who will protect them and their home.

This can explain (I didn't say EXCUSE, I said EXPLAIN) why some men cheat. They are hard-wired to want to procreate as often as possible. It's a challenge thing, the caveman hunt. Find, procreate, move on. Even flirting can be a "high" for a man… the ability to attract one woman (or many!) boosts his self-esteem. Self-esteem can be a necessary part of living a long life. But sometimes after that big ego boost the man is blinded by the urge and just can't help himself. So flirting is only the preamble, whether he knows it or not.

I realize I'm not saying anything new or enlightening, but it is to ME because I never knew about, read about, or THOUGHT about this kind of stuff. It suddenly gives life a whole new sense of… sense.

And the most intriguing thing (for me) is the idea that our current emotions might be traced back to our primal instincts. They could be horrid mutations of things we NEEDED to survive.

Jealousy, materialism, anger, the propensity toward obesity, etc.

Okay, enough for now… my brain is starting to hurt. Heh. But aside from my belief that so much of who we are is about primal instinct, I also am very firm in my belief that people often do what they do because of physiological issues rather than moral or ethical (choice) issues. Maybe more on that tomorrow…


Humor
Apparently this family was always finding water all over their pool deck and furniture every time they came home after being away for a few hours. They thought the neighborhood kids were waiting for them to leave and using the pool but they could never catch them doing it. So they set up their video camera and left. This is what they found.


cat
more cat pictures

cat
more cat pictures

cat
more cat pictures

cat
more cat pictures

cat
more cat pictures

And hey, don't forget… it's easy to comment on anything I say… see… down there, just below this paragraph… click on COMMENT. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Eternal Pricing Dilemma

Pricing

Still thinking on the subject of pricing jewelry.

Let's take a look at some common formulas for an item whose factors are as follows:



$125 Materials (lampwork $73, Bali $48, findings $4)
$15 Labor 30 minutes (we'll charge $30/hour)
$28 Overhead 20% of materials + labor mostly because of online costs such as eBay listing fee [$3], eBay selling fee [$14.40], PayPal fee [$10.45]… there are more costs but we'll just lump them together

Okay, now we'll look at this from a couple popular pricing scenarios:



If you take an "average" of all nine of these prices, we end up with $371, which would have given me a profit of $203 (after materials, labor and overhead).



My "Niche"

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was my direction.

I am fully aware that my extreme lack of free time prevents me from exploring a true artistic direction, but I can no longer wait for the timing to be right. I must somehow FORCE my attempt into the little bits and pieces of my life.

I have been feeling very… angsty?... about what I'm creating (or NOT creating). I see so many things that I truly love, artistically, that I know the possibility is out there for me to create jewelry I'm proud of. Jewelry that represents a deeper more meaningful me.

I don't yet know if I *can* physically do it, but I'm not overly concerned about that at the moment. I hear a lot of times about how people are so afraid of failure that they never even try. I don't *think* that's my problem. I truly think it has more to do with I'm just simply overwhelmed and have a hard time finding TIME.

Anyway, I feel like I'm supposed to somehow combine my life philosophies with my creative juices. I spent the last eight years learning to make basic jewelry and now I need to put those skills to use with my innate creativity and say what I want to say to the world (or at least to anyone who will listen).

I don't think "my word" is anything new or bold or enlightening at all. But I do think that some of my pieces will "speak" to others. And communication is always good.

So I think I do have to begin to delve a little deeper and make some decisions about what direction I want (need!) to go in.

Stay tuned…


New Listings

And now, as promised, here are the newly listed jewelry pieces (click here to see any one of the following).










For those who aren't familiar with my pricing, the eBay and Etsy listings get the regular price and the website (www.BrackenDesigns.com) prices are 75% of those prices. So you save a whopping 25% just by shopping at the website. In addition to that savings, I often have a few items at a further reduced 50% off.

Here are the three items for August that are half off the 75% reduced price (click on the item to see details):







Anyway, I'd better go now. More exciting stuff to talk about tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Random Thoughts and Dinosaurs

Random Things
I spent a couple years of my late teens in England and one observation I made was that there seemed to be a handful of rich people and then a whole lotta poor people… and no really much "middle class" so speak of. I found that very different than the U.S. I'd grown up in.

And now, 30 years later… my "U.S." seems to be heading (fast and furious) in the same direction.

My thumb's out of commission. I cut right across the pad while opening something that was in a hard plastic wrap (like from the hardware store).

News report today: Financial Aid Hard to Come by for Bay Area Students. Ugh!

Pricing Dilemmas… ugh!
Those who know me well know I've practically been giving my jewelry away for the past eight years. Once in a blue moon I make a profit on a piece. I can't continue like that. I tried out a few pricing scenarios that others use, but things still seemed to crazy (for my liking). I've settled on about .5 times lower than wholesale, which is still significantly above what I was pricing items for. I don't even DREAM of charging what I'm supposed to charge for retail.

I think part of my problem may be that I use really expensive (relatively speaking) components. I just have to come to terms with the fact that if I use pricy beads, I have to list my finished pieces in such a way that I don't lose money or break even. For goodness sake, I'm not selling components. I'm selling finished jewelry. I do need to make a profit on the finished product. I'll just start with baby steps, though.

New Listings
Tomorrow. I ran out of time today.

Rules for Life by Charles Sykes

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand-parents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule No. 6: It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4)

Rule No. 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we're at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization. (See Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 2.)

Rule No. 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

Rule No. 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.

Why are baby faces irresistible?

This is cool. On a recent Charles Osgood episode, he talked about a study done at Oxford to determine why/how we react to baby faces the way we do. It actually makes a lot of sense if you think of it from a primal and instinctive way. Babies are a PITA (pain in the arse). They need SOMETHING about them to make them endearing enough for us to want to take care of them, love them, nurture them, and protect them with our lives. So they have "the cuteness factor". Seeing an image of a baby face actually alerts a part of our brain for action.

That also reminds me of an episode of Jurassic Fight Club that I caught on TV's History channel the other night. There was a male Majungatholus whose primal instincts told him to procreate with a female Majungathous (these look like T-Rexes). Anyway, the girl is not interested. Then the male sees why; the female has a child… and as long as that child is there, the female is hard-wired to protect it rather than find any interest in procreating. So male knows it has to take the child out of the equation if it wants to hook up with female. Female fights male to protect child.

Anyway, male ends up killing child (sorry for the spoiler), but before he can get female's attention, she attacks and paralyzes him. Then, she goes over to child and sniffs it, determines it is indeed dead. With the instinct to protect the child with her life now gone, she proceeds to eat the child. Hey, nutrition is nutrition.

There's something kind of attractive about primal instincts (to me anyway). I mean, most of us would have gone, "Aw, poor mommy. She's probably so sad now." But the truth is, she's not sad at all. She protected the child as she was "programmed" to and when the need to protect it was gone, she very practically obtained nutrition from it rather than just leaving it there.

I know, this sounds very creepy, but I have an interest in emotions and attachments verses primal responses… so I found it fascinating.

TTYL!

Well, I'd better go now. A lot to do and I don't get home until late tonight.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Migraine Hangover

I feel kind of "out of it" the day after a really killer migraine, but I never know if it's the after effects of the migraine itself or of all the painkillers I take.

Anyway, yesterday, come hell or high water (or migraine) I was going to the bead bazaar at The Gathering. And I did. And it was fabulous.

Can't write details now as I'm just heading off to have breakfast with Alex. Gotta take advantage while she's still here in Oakland!

Okay, sorry for the lame entry today, but I just wanted to touch base. When I get back, I'll be making jewelry.

TTYL!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Scary scary scary scary scary

Okay, so I'm a big wuss and hate confrontation. That's no secret. But I just sent another letter to our family evaluation to try to get things rolling so we can wrap up this last (and it BETTER BE THE LAST!) custody battle... and I don't use the term "battle" loosely, unfortunately.

Keep your fingers crossed that whatever happens is in the best interests of the children.

Other News
I'll meet Mike for his GI consult this afternoon. I wonder if they'll say anything concrete. For the record, he's been doing absolutely fantastic since he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He's lost a bunch of weight, he exercises like 5 times a week or more and he eats REALLY healthy foods and much smaller portions than before.

Jewelry
I put a bunch of new stuff up in the store yesterday, but already four of the pieces are sold. Let me show you which ones...






But... I still have a few new items available (you can click on the photo to see more details):







I think that's it for the super new stuff. I'm hoping to have a chance today to list two nice gemstone bracelets; one in Amethyst and the other in Iolite... so stay tuned.

Humor



You gotta have your volume on for this one!



I love this...



Conclusion
Well, I really should get on with my tasks now. I plan on going to The Gathering bead bazaar Saturday morning (after having breakfast with Alex), but then I'll be on my way to Vacaville later to watch Gabe's first official practice with his new team. I wonder what Mon will do this weekend. She has some hockey options, but... ???

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The title was NOT my idea

Well, okay, I guess it WAS my idea (Laura Bracken Designs Blog), but it wasn't my first (or second or third) choice. Apparently there's another Laura Bracken running around who already stole the minimalist version of the blog title. Heh

It's 3:58 and the notice up there says we/they are schedule for an outage at 4pm PDT... so... maybe I should post this before it goes into the twilight zone... then I can continue later, eh.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I can't think of useful titles on a daily basis... I just can't!

Saturday morning, I delivered the last of my big custom order and that was a load off my mind (there was a travel deadline).

After that, we (the kids and I) headed up to the Vacaville and Roseville rinks for the weekend.

Got home yesterday afternoon totally exhausted, but I still managed to work on a few simple pieces. Photographed them this morning before going to work, and will try to find time tonight to list them.

Had a ton of fun shopping at Trader Joe's for someone who doesn't have access to cool stuff like that but loves Indian food, so I'm shipping her a box of goodies today.

Well, this was a short update. Sorry. I do have a lot more to say, but I'll have to find more time in which to say it.

TTYL!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Decisions

Gabe got offered two very tempting contracts last night and we had to make a quick decision. Luckily, Gabe's got a mentor that we called who helped us think this thing through.

We signed with Vacaville, but Gabe was still totally thrilled to have been offered a position by the Roseville Juniors... especially since he only turned 16 two months ago.

But Gabe needs some more development... going from Norcal A/B to the Juniors would have been too vast a change. I see now he should really have been playing tier prior to now, but you know... you do what you can do with what you got... and tier is about three times the price (if not more) of Norcal A/B.

Anyway, we got home at 11:30 last night and then we all watched Little Miss Sunshine. Ugh... I'm so tired this morning. But we DID need something to unwind ourselves.

Crazy dreams, but I expected that. It happens if I sleep past 6am.

Okay, gonna go make some coffee now and get ready to hit the road again.

Why did I bring all this stuff to make jewelry? I've had NO TIME at all.

TTYL!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Not much today, but at least I feel better

I still fee kinda "ooky", but I think I'm better than I was yesterday. And truthfully, by the time I got home (8:45pm) I seemed to be over the worst of it.

I finished the last of my custom order, all except for one more bracelet that isn't a huge rush, I don't think. I think I can do it in the coming fortnight. All I have left is to "meet up" with my client and give her this last pair of earrings.

Then I can get on with another custom order, much simpler, for an uber patient customer.

Oh, still need to do my write-up on "custom orders"… coming!


Good Stuff in Life
So, there was this animal shelter in Illinois that was getting inundated with animals and was completely out of dog food and resources. A plea went out across the nation, across the internet, and how's this for heartwarming:

BUTLER — After news of a critical pet food shortage at the DeKalb County Humane Shelter spread across the county, the state and the country earlier this week, the shelter began getting calls … and pet food …. and cash … and more pet food … and more cash … and promises of more to come.

“I have never, ever seen anything like this,” shelter manager Carol Mayberry said Thursday, standing amid towering bags of donated food in the shelter’s garage, which was empty just a few days earlier.

The shelter relies solely on donations when it comes to pet food, and shelter officials announced Wednesday that they were running critically low on food supplies.

“Adults, children, companies — everyone has been dropping off pet food,” Mayberry said.

Shelter staff members had yet to pick up the donated supplies of food at their two drop-off points, Auburn Hills Veterinary Clinic, 3120 C.R. 36, Auburn, and Pet Supplies Plus, 4714 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne. Those pickups are scheduled for today.

One man from California, who is getting ready to move to Fort Wayne, saw a news story on the Internet and called Pet Supplies Plus, Mayberry said. Using a credit card, he purchased a large quantity of pet food for the DeKalb shelter.

A company south of Indianapolis also saw the story on the Internet and sent a large donation, Mayberry said.

“A person walked in and handed us ten $100 bills,” Mayberry said. “Others came in and said they had no extra money, but wanted to give what they could, and then handed us three, four, five dollars.”

Mayberry also related another heartwarming story.

Two young girls, about to celebrate their birthdays with parties, have asked their guests not to bring presents, but to bring supplies of pet food to donate to the shelter.

“It’s overwhelming,” Mayberry said. “I don’t know how we will ever thank everyone, but we will try.”


Humor
There was a man who had worked all his life, had saved all of his money, and was a real 'miser' when it came to his money.

Just before he died, he said to his wife... 'When I die, I want you to take all my money and put it in the casket with me. I want to take my money to the afterlife with me.'

And so he got his wife to promise him, with all of her heart, that when he died, she would put all of the money into the casket with him.

Well, he died. He was stretched out in the casket, his wife was sitting there - dressed in black, and her friend was sitting next to her.

When they finished the ceremony, and just before the undertakers got ready to close the casket, the wife said, 'Wait just a moment!'

She had a small metal box with her; she came over with the box and put it in the casket.

Then the undertakers locked the casket down and they rolled it away.

*So her friend said, 'Girl, I know you were not fool enough to put all that money in there with your husband.'

The loyal wife replied, 'Listen, I'm a Christian; I cannot go back on my word. I promised him that I was going to put that money into the casket with him.'

'You mean to tell me you put that money in the casket with him!?!?!?'

"I wrote him a check... If he can cash it, then he can spend it."


TTYL!
Oh Man, I had so much more to say but today (and this coming weekend) are just FILLED to the brim… every single minute.