Friday, July 31, 2009

Northwest Survives record breaking Heat Wave!

Yes, it's been a scorcher up here, in Northwest, these past few days! Made me (almost) miss Texas, where they actually have air conditioning almost everywhere. Businesses up here, without air conditioning, closed altogether or only opened up for a half day. We finally gave in and went to stay at an air-conditioned hotel, with a nice cold pool. We lived in the pool for nearly two whole days. Lauren has always been a fish, but Bethany and Erynn Jeanne can now swim the length of medium sized pool doing the crawl stroke (or what Lauren calls freestyle). They were proud. Bethany is great at the backstroke too, it turns out. It was a nice retreat!

(Alright, I admit it: I do miss Texas, but I love living up here too. It's so breathtakingly beautiful. I feel as if I'm living in my own little piece of heaven here on Earth. Being near water and the mountains is good for the soul.)

We're back down in the low 80's again -- much more the norm for this time of year. We're also back at home. Heard from my folks, in Texas, that they had rain and temps in the low 80's while we were melting up here in our mini-heat wave. Weird?!

I'm proud to say that I've made it over 2.5 weeks without coffee now. I didn't cheat either -- not once, scout's honor. My stomach is thankful for my sacrifice. I've lost a lot of weight (over 15 lbs.), but I am once again able to eat solid food, with some substance and taste. Well worth the effort and sacrifice!

I've also found something to do with my restless energy -- besides exercise like a mad woman. I've started making jewelry. Kids and I bought some kits a while back. That taught me some of the basic techniques and how all of the tiny, tiny pieces, fit together. So far, I've made 6 necklaces, 3 bracelets, 2 anklets, and a whole rack of earrings. Hope all of my acquaintances, and family, like jewelry: cause I've made (am making) way more than I could ever possibly wear. I'll try to post some photos of what I've made. Let me know if you see anything you like, and I'll send it to you. Jewelry making is great for late nights and insomnia too. I do some of my best work then. I found a clip on earring base for the kids, so they can join in on the fun too. They get a kick out of wearing earrings, without having to have pierced ears.

(Photos of jewelry that I've made -- sorry these aren't my best photos, but they're up here for you to see ...)

If you're interested in jewelry making I'd suggest starting with the kits. They give the best breakdown of simple techniques, with step by step diagrams. Best of all the kits do all of the shopping for you, so you have all of the right pieces, connectors, and hole diameters. No guess work involved. Standing in the bead aisle at Michael's, or some other craft store, can be pretty daunting if you don't know what you're looking for. Then, you get home and -- nine times out of ten -- you don't have the connecting pieces you need, or the holes of your beads don't quite match your connecting wire or string. There are lots of books out there, but I haven't a found a good basics book yet. Most of the books I've found have lots of great ideas, but assume that you already know the basics.

I'm going to look into taking a welding class so that I can make my own metal pieces -- medallions and the like. That would be tres cool! I also met someone at a local arts festival that does amazing things with glass and resin -- for jewelry. Maybe he'll take on an apprentice?

Hope you all are having a relaxing summer! I am praying for jobs for everyone: that those who have them keep them; and those that loose them, find new ones quickly. I am also praying for inner peace, for myself and for everyone during these trying times of economic uncertainty.

God Bless!


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Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts. I'll read them and post them soon! God Bless! M