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Archive for November, 2009

Thankful for... Last in a Series

November 23rd, 2009 at 04:24 pm

All the little things. Like:

Leisure time. Work comes first at my job as well as at home (and here's to hoping my kids will grow up with this ethic!). But work is not the raison d'etre. How many times have the science studies proven that leisure time is a luxury for those that are able to make a decent living. This is how the arts flourish and where human relations improve throughout the world. When you're not stressed day to day, you are able to do good in any number of ways.

A warm, dry home. I am also reminded of this after too many news reports of the less fortunate and encounters with homeless on the corner.

Nutritious Food. We are able to choose from wholesome ingredients at a grocery. Cooking is a pleasure. And we have a thriving backyard garden of vegetables and fruit.

Yes, little things are good for you!

Little Blush Gold Ring

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Thankful For ... No. 2

November 18th, 2009 at 02:30 pm

Like a computer or a car, life is good when it's not broken and miserable when problems arise.

I'm talking about my health.

Costs little when things are fine, but can be a mess when things go wrong.

To large degree I have been lucky to inherit good genes, strong immunities and a high metabolism.

But some of my health is due to lifestyle choices. The TV is rarely on and I am hardly ever on the couch. The trail calls and walking is the first thing I squeeze in with free time (the dog loves that). Potato chips are never in the house and sweets are homemade - time permitting.

So I am thankful for:

~ getting up from bed without pain (um, unlike when both kids were born via Cesarian, yes I remember that!)

~ useful hands and legs

~ eyesight that can be corrected with plain ol' lenses

~ no bathroom problems (ok, we'll not go there...)

~ a good back, no headaches, few common colds or flus

Wishing these to pass on to my children, and empathy for those who are less fortunate.

Embroidered Thank You Card

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The Little Things

November 11th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

All my little Christmas shopping is done. Mostly stuff for my 2 kids, but a few for my siblings and parents, as well as for the in-law side of things, a teacher or two, a bus driver or so and the next door neighbor (where my daughter's best friend lives!).

Only a few of these did not include a discount, charitable aspect, or support a made in the USA small biz/crafter.

1. Books - bought during the fundraising drive for my son's middle school

2. Doll clothes - made by a crafter at a festival where I also was a seller

3. A couple on-line computer game cards

4. A small rolling suitcase (to double as a sports bag)

5. Watch - using a $10 off any purchase at the dept store

6. Table Ware - a hand made wine bottle jacket and an embroidered bread cover from fellow crafters at shows

7. Mosaic magnets - little artistic works from a fellow seller

8. Digital Camera - second hand from Craigs

9. Long Board Skate Board - second hand from the resale sports store

The last couple are not really 'little' but the costs were nominal.

The big expense are for the kids getting new bikes this year. The current ones are hopelessly outgrown. The trick will be to do it as a surprise. I'm leaving that shopping to my husband (who doesn't have the same brain functions as I do about spending/saving).

It's nice to be done. And wait!! There were spoils from the hunt!

Rewards:
$10 Toys R Us Card
$25 Justice Bucks (pre teen girls clothes)

I know there will be last minute persons to gift and that's a good use.

Now for something completely different. Math and geometry shapes!

Big Purple Diamond Wire Earrings

Intricate wrapped hand formed frames in silver and purple.

Cirle Square Wire Earrings

Lots of squares and more for smart ladies only.

Figure Eight Wire Earrings

Curves in red and copper with a flirty glass dangle.

All available for order on my website Pretty Cheap Jewelry

Thankful for ... No. 1 in a Series

November 9th, 2009 at 07:54 pm

Two more weeks and the oven will be working overtime! (I always magically figure out how to get the turkey done while at the same time baking the sweet potatoes, extra stuffing, and whatever else I try that year).

Before the time zips by I want to share this thought. It's something I can't say at the table. But on my mind and important to take some time to reflect upon quietly.

I am thankful that my kids still think I'm infallible.

It is ok that over the next few years this will change. I want them to be strong, and independent, and shield them from harm. The same as all parents.

It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. ~Joyce Maynard

The important thing is so far I feel good about the job my husband and I have done in raising our two kids. They exhibit good judgement with respect to schoolwork, money, diet, friendship and basic kid responsibilities.

Slowly but surely, I am handing them freedoms. Just yesterday my son wanted to (yet again) spend time on computer games. Instead of giving him a 'yes' or 'no' answer, we reviewed how much time he had spent outside and/or active the prior day, as well as how much time he had already been on line that day. He made his own choice in answering 'What do you think is right?'.

More what I am thankful for upcoming! Let me give you a reason to be thankful! Take $5 off this item from my website Pretty Cheap Jewelry -

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Jackpot Fairy Tale

November 3rd, 2009 at 08:41 pm

It happened last week while lounging before bedtime with my 2 kids. We were all up on my bed (which is a treat when Dad is out of town) and my little 9yo girl was browsing the headboard shelves.

Amongst my old coin collection, heirloom jewelry, and magazines is a small shelf of books. One is a 'birthday record' with nice illustrations of cats given to me 20+ years ago. I have recorded many extended family member's birthdays in it and kept it for reference (yes, this is B*E*F*O*R*E microsoft reminders yadayadayada).

DD9 flipped through the cat pictures and asked me 'Why is this here in the back page?' pulling out some folded cash bills.

OMgosh. CASH. I glanced at a $100 and said 'Yikes, wha??' but then my jaw dropped. I picked up all the money and stared. There were SIX folded one-hundred dollar bills and two twenties.

WHAT??????????

I do not secretly hide stuff. I am not a sentimental person to a large degree. I do not hoard nor keep little tchochkees.

Then I said, 'We better call Dad to see if it's his' (wanting to catch him on his way to the airport for a trip to Italy before international rates set in).

But I knew in my heart it was mine. This book was something I had before marraige, and hadn't looked in much for about 10+ years. I probably hadn't looked in it from just about the time my daughter was born.

So I racked my brain why had I put that money there??!! Was is a gift someone or someone(s) had given for the kids starting out in life (I would have had a 2 year old and a new baby). But I don't think that much would have been gifted.

It definitely wasn't from my marriage, we used gifts for the honeymoon.

And almost impossible that I inherited it because those things had happened more recently.

My husband confirmed all this. 'ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND' were his exact words. 'STUFFING MONEY IN THE MATTRESS??' were some other choice comments. But he was laughing his head off too.

I couldn't sleep for a couple hours. (The kids went down no problem). What should I do??

-Save it?
-Invest in my home business?
-Get some dental work done (a filling had chipped)?
-Invest in some good work clothes (the tailored pants are wearing thin after 6 or 7 years)?
-Give some to my sister (the starving artist)?

Well I was able to sleep after a bit but called my husband one more time in the morning with a decision.

For the past couple years it became increasingly important to me that my daughter have some air travel experience. My son is in front of the curve on this point by going on a number of trips with just my husband when I stayed home when my daughter was a baby. My daughter also is less practical and, I fear, less streetwise in general and I wanted to give her a solid experience in life at this age. (Maybe I fear wrongly).

Anyway, it was decided.

I would take just her on a little trip to San Francisco. An on-line buddy had tipped me off that Southwest had a $25 special for flights within 380 miles (everywhere in the US) if booked by the end of October. Of course after fees and JUNK the fare was more like $50. But still fit my needs perfectly.

Great place for public transportation. We'd not need a car. And BINGO. The new world class science museum in Golden Gate park to visit!

There was a school holiday in January. OK. Booked. We would fly from LA (to Phoenix) to SF and back. Sheesh. So far so good for the air experience.

The next week I studied the AAA guides and internet for small hotels or B&Bs to stay. I wanted breakfast included, walking distance to BART, and an overall sense of the magic of the city etc. Easy peasy. A charming Victorian, near Union Square, kids discount, afternoon tea/wine, all for under $100 (before fees of course). With hundreds of positive reviews.

There's still enough cash left over for the museum fees, a teeny tiny shopping.

And oh yes, a nice check to my sister the starving artist.