Thursday, December 18, 2008

gift giving inspirations

I would like to share some holiday gifts I've made this year with you - the trouble with that is some of my family members read this blog. So, I'm going to share with you my inspirations without telling you what I've done with them. I searched for and chose them based on the person, the relationship we share, and their life experiences over the past year. I thought about Goddesses, Muses, meaning and depth and then put my findings on items designed to hopefully inspire and touch their heart(s).

"Even from a dark night, songs of beauty can be born" ~Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey

'I went there of my own free will
I went there in my finest gown
with my rarest jewels
with my Queen of Heaven crown
In the underworld
At each of the seven gates
I was stripped seven times
Of all I thought I was
Till I stood bare in who I really am'
~Inanna, Goddess For Embracing the Shadows

"Won't you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you" ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Malls and I do not make good companions - and I've managed to avoid them 100%! I've done all handmade gifts this year, whether I've made them or purchased handmade items. Now, the wrapping is complete, and the countdown is on for my home to fill up with family!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


New and inspired by a friend's journey: 'awareness'

The charms read," be, here, now".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

love at first bite

i think i am in love with nyc. it's a beautiful, friendly, welcoming, energetic, moving, always moving city. tuesday afternoon, we were wowed by the sights and sounds of times square - then off to see the rockettes at radio city music hall - absolutely wonderful show, it was. we walked back to our hotel afterwards, and stopped at a deli along the way for a snack - good stuff!

somehow I talked mat into an early wake-up wednesday so that we could go to the taping of the GMA show. it was neat :) then all day wednesday we rode a series of double decker buses to see the sights and sounds of Manhatten - first stop; st. paul's chapel across the street from where the twin towers once stood.

the chapel wasn't harmed, not even a window cracked or broken on 9.11 - and for 8 or 9 months it was a refuge for the workers from 'the pit'. there are memorials inside the sanctuary including 'missing' flyers, photos of many of the victims, letters from all over the world, momentos from the NYPD and NYFD.... it was one of those rare moments in your life when you don't even realize that you're crying until you feel tears dripping off of your chin... I'm not sure I can accurately describe how I felt - but the chapel itself held a solemn yet renewing energy. the sadness itself held hope, the tears carried pride along with sorrow, and the echos of countless volunteers that administered to the rescue then recovery workers remain. it took Mat and I a little while after leaving there to get back to normal conversation and exploring - the emotional digestion took a bit of time.

second stop was in greenwich village, where we were on a treasure hunt for an irish pub by the name of 'mr. denneheys' on carmine street, owned by a friend of a friend. the pub was about an eight block walk after disembarking from the double decker bus, and i promptly fell in love with greenwich village. it was much more quaint than the high rises and neon of times square. the old brick buildings each had their own personality, and the shops on street level were the kind that you wanted to duck inside the doorway of each and explore.

when we found mr. denneheys, we were seated and we asked for 'donal' whom I had spoken with by phone the day before, and he came to our table and we visited for a little while. mat had a pint (or two) of guiness - what else do you drink in an irish pub? irish coffee - that's what I had. we ordered a plate of fish and chips that were wonderful. once again, we were on our way, and we took our time getting back to the bus stop and did in fact, duck inside a few of the shops and did a bit of shopping.

it was drizzling with occasional rain, so we got back on another double decker bus and rested our feet while we listened to the tour guide talk about noho, soho, little italy, china town, tenements and immigrants, honey pots and public baths, the east village, park avenue, the waldorf astoria, tiffanys, medical mile.... you could spend so much time in a city that is so rich with history. we didn't make it to ellis island, but will on another visit - I have copies of papers from my grandfather's family - a set in swedish and a set in english from ellis island from 1909, I believe.

eventually, we got off at times square and rested for a little while in our hotel - then we suited up again fancy-like for our next adventure; dinner on the 48th floor of the marriott at 'the view' restaraunt. the entire restaraunt rotates as you're eating, so we could see all of manhatten, the hudson river.... I remembered being a small girl, ten or so, and my dad taking me on a 'date' in rochester, mn at a place called 'the pinnacle' where the restaraunt rotated as well - my two favorite guys have now taken me to the same type of restaraunt on a date :) incidently, I ordered a pear martini before dinner that was absolutely wonderful and delicious ( and should be for $16) - I have yet to work out the precise ratios, but know all of the ingredients to replicate at home :)

I have spared a few finer details - but will add finally, that I was exhausted and slept the entire plane ride, and then the entire trip from raleigh to home in raeford... that means that I had a great time, I think.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I have made another concession to the inevitable process of my body aging.

The truth is, that I've struggled with dime store glasses for reading for quite awhile now, and recently my husband made an appointment for me at his eye doc in reaction to my nonchalant attitude towards eye care. (Or my wanting to ignore the slight but persistent changes to my physical condition as I grow a year older a year at a time.)

I picked up my new prescription eyewear this afternoon, and while I was there I had an adjustment made to the (also) new sunglasses-with-prescription-readers-built-in so that they weren't quite so tight on my head. Two new pairs of glasses, and I have a new outlook on life, literally.

Not related to eyewear, but related to 'truth' is a quote I heard while listening to a story on NPR {tangent - yes, I am a NPR geek and proud of it -and that, my friends, is another sign of aging} while I was driving home from the eye doc this afternoon. I wish I could remember who made the quote, I know it was a person from Russia or somewhere in that general area of the world, but red lights only last so long and I only had time to write the quote, not the author as well.

Anyhow, the quote that quite charmed me into writing it on the back of the statement from the eye doc in the car is thus: "Seek the truth but run from those who claim to have found it."

I just really like thinking about that quote.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

bead shopping in Carrboro, NC

New! I went bead shopping with my daughter at a bead shop in Carrboro, NC this past weekend, and bought some wonderful beads. These are made with czech glass beads (beautiful cobalt blue!), glass pearl beads and tiny blue czech glass beads. They're wire wrapped with sterling silver wire, and hang on a sterling ear wire. I also go to meet my daughter's friend Evan, who is a lovely girl and a talented jewelry designer. (Hello Evan, if you're reading this.)

The pair on the right also feature the blue czech glass beads, fun green crystal cubes, and swarovski elements crystal bicone beads. They're dainty and sweet!

Finally, these fluorite beads (thanks for the correct spelling, Jess) caught my attention also. I've accented them with silver spacer beads and a sweet little crystal.

stubborn acceptance

Sometimes we think we're imagining something just because it's happening around us, sometimes it's really happening. I didn't have that figured out quite right yesterday morning. My husband started with the flu - stomach variety - saturday, and my son got knocked over backwards with it on monday.

Yesterday morning I had an appointment to have my eyes checked, and I noticed that I felt a little 'not right' with a slight headache and maybe just a bit of indigestion, and immediately I chalked it up to a psychsomatic reaction to what was going on at my home. I was certainly just feeling bad for my family members, and my compassion was leading me to imagining I might be getting ill, too. The appointment went fine, then I had a client meeting at 1 pm - and I needed to get a contract written up before then.

So I went from the optometrist's office to my office, and then to the restroom. Again to the restroom, five more times to the restroom ..... and on the last rushed visit, I needed a bucket, too. Ewwwww. The last time I really had the flu my son was 2, I think - he's 19 now. I stubbornly wrote the contract in between running for my life, and then, with tears in my eyes, asked another agent if they would please meet with my client, go over the contract, and get it to the listing agent. Then I prayed (desperately) to God that He would help me to get from my office to my home without needing to be in the bathroom ( I know He heard me, but He couldn't help in that department - I didn't make it.) I had to accept at that point, that I definitely had the stomach flu and not just compassion. Rats! I found a bit of solace in spite of feeling horrible for quite a few hours in the fact that my husband was off work yesterday, so I had a very loving nurse :)

Maybe it's just a 24 hour thing because I'm feeling a bit better this morning, even trying a half of a cup of coffee... and I'm imagining that the Lysol wipes that my husband and I have repeatedly used on every surface in our home have the power to kill those little flu germies and they're gone.


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