Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Being too nice doesn't pay off

I'm standing in my friend's apartment as she is crying and sorting out the few things left after she sold her belongings. She doesn't know where she is going yet but decides she will go get her job back. She has been calling her husband but he's not picking up. In fact, he has turned off the phone -- the very phone that she got for him because his credit is so bad he can't even get a cell phone.

She keeps asking me why he did this to her. I answer I don't know. The crying and earth-shattering sobs get worse and I, like an idiot, say "don't worry, it's going to be okay, if you need a place to stay, you can stay in our spare bedroom." As soon as I'd said the words I wasn't so sure that I truly meant them. She immediately jumped on it. I couldn't go back on my word.

She's got one other problem (as if she doesn't have enough already), nobody has bought her two-week old couches. They are nice but nobody wants them. I ask her what she plans on doing with them and after another bout of sobs and what seemed like endless tears she tells me she doesn't know. Then she asks me if I want them. I told her she could keep them in my living room as we are remodeling and it's empty anyway. We are planning to get new ones so they can sit there until she decides what she's going to do with them.

Stating she just got them, that her husband had purchased them for her, she looks at them with a sad look on her face. I feel so bad for her. I tell her she's going to be ok and let's get moving because it's getting late.

Throughout the remainder of the day she cries, laughs and wonders out loud why her husband did this...for the 100th time. I understand that she is grieving and in a lot of pain but I really can't do anything else other than try to be a good friend to her. Encourage her and tell her to put things in God's hands; that all will be fine. To just give it a few weeks and all this pain will be much better.

Tomorrow she is going to go back to her old job and tell them she wants to come back now. Tomorrow, her healing will begin. She says she needs to get back to the world of the living. Get her job back where she will be working and not thinking about all this mess she is in at the moment.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some people just refuse to see the obvious!

After I told my friend about putting God in the center of our marriage and family life I told her she could have that kind of relationship too if she so chose. I took this opportunity to witness to her, really witness to her. I saw a glimmer of hope come across her face.

I invited her to come with us to church on Sunday. She said she would go. Sunday came and went and she always had one excuse after another. I told her that I wouldn't push her and that it would be her decision. Quoting our pastor, I told her God was a perfect gentleman that He would not come into her life unless she asked Him wholeheartedly.

A couple weeks after her birthday she called me again to tell me she really needed to talk to a friend. I went and listened to what she had to say. As I had suspected, the husband was wanting out of the marriage. He was not coming home and hadn't for the past couple weeks. He'd been in town but he was staying elsewhere.

My friend was devastated. He told her he didn't love her as she had destroyed that love with her jealousy-induced accusations every time he came home. The proverbial crap had finally hit the fan. Here she was, out of a job, far from her family ( they are up in New York), no money and no place to go.

Come to find out, she had taken a leave of absence from her job and she had now decided that since she was going to go back home, she would not be asking for her job back. I tried to reason with her as best I could. I explained that she had no money, the apartment she lived in was paid for through the next couple months; that maybe she should just go back to work to make enough money to get back home. She was adamant she was leaving in a couple days. She wanted to get far away from this nightmare of hers.

She had a moving sale and sold all of her belongings that she possibly could. I was trying to tell her she was selling everything off way too cheap. She sold her dining set and her china cabinet for $200!! Same thing goes for the bedroom set. Nothing I said made her listen to reason.

Since she had already made up her mind that she was going back home I didn't push the job issue any more. In a couple days she would be gone and her healing would begin. I hated to see her in so much pain but at least I did what I could to help her while she was here. Going online, I found her some reasonably-priced tickets to fly back home. Everything was turning out fine after all. She would soon be home with her family, I thought, and this would all be only a terrible memory for her; one that would soon fade.

A few days later and a couple days before her flight was due to depart, like a bolt of lightning that comes out of the sky on a crisp clear day, she changed her mind! Being the dipstick that I am I start worrying about her job. I tell her my thoughts and that she better get back in there and get her job back. She acts like she cannot think straight. She is a total basket-case and is crying uncontrollably. I don't know how to deal with something like this as I've never seen anybody in that state of mind before.

I pray for guidance. I pray for her. I pray that God will show me what it is He wants me to do. She calls me several times a day. She comes over to my house. She is angry. She wants revenge on this other woman. She wants me to go with her and sit in this woman's apartment complex parking lot and wait to see if she can catch her husband with the "sewer rat" - as she called her.

For the life of me I don't know what to tell her. I mean this is insane! In the same breath she tells me she just wants to die. She wants to go to sleep and never wake up. I try to explain to her that she needs to think about her two sons. They need and love her. She has three grandchildren that need her around. This woman is 44 years old and she's acting like a love-struck teenager that has been jilted by her first lover. I tell her to get a grip of herself and to not shed anymore tears over a loser dog like her husband.

She smiles through her tears and she tells me I'm right that she's going to be okay and that she hopes the offending party will rot in hell and that he will pay dearly for what he's done. That God is merciful and He knows that she was a good wife and mother and that she is certain that God will take care of him as He sees fit.

In my ignorance I'm thinking she's coming around. She at least has put God into the equation, albeit in a different way than I was hoping but at least she has acknowledged Him. It's a start, I thought.

Night comes and goes and a new day has dawn. Little did I know what was in store for me that fateful day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The saga continues....

Well, as promised, I am writing another chapter in my mini journal of the past couple months during which I endured things that I never dreamed I could.

It appeared that my friend's husband was having doubts about their marriage. At the beginning of the summer he had taken his kids to their biological mother up on the east coast to spend the summer vacation there. I didn't think anything of it and neither did my friend.

My friend and I went to get our bi-weekly manicures/pedicures and she mentioned that her husband had told her it would be okay for her to quit her job if she so chose. That was around the middle of June.

A month later and after two weeks of not seeing or hearing from her, she called me out of the blue and told me she had quit her job. When I asked her how long ago she had done this, she told me since the last time we had spoken. So, she'd been out of a job for two weeks but I had not heard from her during that time. She apparently was trying to work on their marriage. She mentioned she enjoyed living a life of leisure and not having to go to work every day.

A couple days later it was her birthday and she called me to tell me her two sons (grown and in their 20's) hadn't even bothered to call her. How nobody had even sent her a card, a gift - nothing. I, being the good friend (and sucker) that I am took her out for dinner. We talked about girl stuff...the usual. She also mentioned that her husband was acting more snippy with her than usual. He wasn't calling as often and when he came home they fought all the time.

What I did notice about her was that she was constantly calling him. Nothing really to talk about just to say hello and to see what he had eaten, where he was; small talk. When she mentioned that I had taken her out to dinner he did tell her, "Ok, well, enjoy your time with your friend." Abruptly hanging up afterwards. I had a weird feeling that he did not like her hanging around with me...or anybody for that matter. When I told her about my feeling that way she just shrugged her shoulders and said that was nonsense. After eating, I drove her back to her apartment and told her to keep in touch.

The next week when we got together to go shopping she tells me that her husband wants some "time away" from each other because he feels like she's acting too jealous and constantly accusing him of cheating on her. I asked her where that came from and apparently she had still been attacking him about his talking with her now ex-friend every time he came home.

I recalled that she had mentioned it in previous conversations we had had throughout the past several months but I had given it no further thought after I had told her to not fight with him over that. She had, according to her, forgiven him and that she shouldn't be throwing it up in his face all the time or the marriage was going to suffer because of it. I thought she had taken my advice. Wrong!! This woman kept hounding him about his supposed relationship with her ex-friend. In a way, I understood her being upset about this but in my mind I thought she was making a big deal out of it.

First of all, I explained to her, you don't ever confront the supposed "other woman" because if you go and insult somebody like that and there is nothing going on there, after a confrontation like that there might be. Second, don't ever fight over a man. It is not lady-like and only two-bit whores do that. I'm sorry but that is my honest opinion and I am not one to mince words. Third, nobody can take anybody away that doesn't want to go. That's the way I see it. To go and make a fool of oneself like that just isn't something a woman should do. I wouldn't give either one of them the satisfaction if that were me.

When I asked her more about this woman she told me that she had been a neighbor of theirs. That she had two sons. The youngest one was from a relationship she had had with a married man!! When I heard this, my mouth hit the floor. I was like, what the heck are you doing becoming friends with a person like that?! She told me that when she found out that it was already too late that she'd become friends with her and that she couldn't cut off the friendship because of something like that. I'm sorry but I wouldn't allow such a person in my home or anywhere near my family.

Marriages have enough problems to deal with without a friend you have to watch out for in that particular fashion. I mean for goodness sakes, I'm a friendly person but sheesh already! That's like bringing a wolf into your barnyard to see how it gets along with your sheep. Por favor!

After a few choice words about her now ex-friend, she continued on about how a man could even look at another woman having her (my friend) for a wife. I thought to myself...well, she is a little full of herself but oh well.

She then asked me if I would be jealous of my husband talking to a friend of mine behind my back. I told her first of all I wouldn't have a friend like that. Second, my reaction wouldn't have been like hers. I'd have to consider the situation before jumping the gun. Third, how the heck is my friend going to have my husband's cell phone number unless I gave it to her; which wouldn't happen in the first place because I would not allow someone like that near my family.

Now if he went out of his way to talk to one of my girlfriends with any intention other than friendship talk (which wouldn't bother me), then why would I want to keep him anyway? Makes absolutely no sense to me. Oh, I forgot to mention that she said to me, "your marriage is solid because you go to church." I told her, "my marriage is solid because I put God at the center of it." Hello....earth to Mary, earth to Mary.

To be continued.....

Have a blessed evening and don't forget to thank the good Lord for all your blessings. Especially your family.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The past couple months

I'm going to write about the reason for my 2-month long hiatus from blogging. It was a time of sadness, a time of joy, a time of indescribable insanity. Not really sure why it happened, how it happened all I know is that it did. Don't know if I'm the wiser for it or if I still have the big "S" emblazoned on my forehead.

A while back I met a woman and we became friends. We would go out and eat occasionally, share everyday life happenings and she would talk about how her husband drove a big rig and was gone for days and sometimes weeks at a time. We had a few things in common and we clicked as soon as we met.

Several weeks after we met she started to open up more about how her marriage was somewhat shaky. She apparently had caught one of her "good friends" calling and talking to her husband on his cell phone. When she confronted the friend she did not do it in the most diplomatic way possible. When she confronted the husband, he didn't think there was anything wrong with just talking to a mutual friend of theirs. My friend, obviously, did not see it like that. She went ballistic. Try as I might to explain to her that maybe she was making a big deal out of nothing she was adamant that something fishy was going on.

I pointed out to her that her husband wouldn't be stupid enough to mess up a good marriage. After all, my friend was raising his two children from a previous relationship, she loved those kids like they were her own. She dropped them off at school every morning before going to work every day. She got them medical coverage under her policy at work. She was there for them more than he was. Those kids loved her and she adored them. She spent her paycheck on buying things they needed. Her husband, their father, saw them once a week sometimes less. She meant the world to those kids.

At the beginning of July she told me she thought something was going on with her husband. I asked her why she thought this. She told me that every time she called him that he was cold towards her and always cut her off short saying he was too busy. It quickly went downhill from there.

More on this tomorrow. Have a blessed evening and say a prayer of thanks for your family. They are worth more than all the money in the world.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Whew! Busy, busy times.

It's been quite a while since I've been on here. I'm going to fill in a couple of my faithful readers. I say a couple because I'm sure I have no more than that, if at all. LOL!

I've added handbags to my jewelry sales and they are hot! Doing handbag/jewelry shows again and it's a blast. I had almost forgotten how much fun I had when I had my handbag shop. Amazing and lots of fun for sure.

I have a helper that helps me do the shows and it is rather nice. I will have to schedule them around the kids' school after it starts but I don't think that will slow me down too much. I like making extra money like that. The replica handbags are doing excellent!

Maybe I should change my biz name from Rico Silver to The Bag Lady! ;)

Anyway, if anybody here needs a handbag, you know where to get in touch with me.

God bless everybody.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Angels among us

There are times when people go through very difficult times in their lives and wonder where God is in the midst of their suffering. I have had my share of these times and will continue to have them, I'm sure, until the time comes for me to leave this earthly realm.

As I've grown in the Lord, I have realized that it is now easier for me to praise Him for these times as well as for the ones that are more pleasant. The knowledge that God is with me through all my trials and circumstances is the most wonderful feeling I could ever hope to have.

I'm going to write about the time when my son was very young and naive. My son is and has been highly gifted since he was small but has no common sense whatsoever. I have been told by other parents with kids like him that their children are lacking in that area as well.

When my son was in 4th grade I had to pull him out of the school he had been going to and enrolled him in another one due to safety reasons. I found a good babysitter to watch him and my then 2 yr old daughter while I worked. Being that this would be the first time that he would be walking to the sitter's house I called the school and made sure they knew not to send him home on the bus. They knew he'd been followed by a suspicious person and thus my reason for getting him watched by the babysitter. I specifically made it very clear that under no circumstance should they allow him to leave on the bus.

About 30 minutes after they got out of school I got a call from my babysitter because my son had not yet arrived and she was worried about him. I called the school and was told they did not know if he'd gotten on the bus or not. They could not find him anywhere. Needless to say I went ballistic and told the school Principal I had specifically told her to make sure she pointed him in the right direction and not to allow him to get on the bus. I was apologized to and thus began my ordeal for what seemed like an eternity.

I immediately left my job, explaining to my boss what had occurred. I wasn't very far from my home but it seemed like forever before I got there. Thinking he may have forgotten that he was to go to the babysitter's house and could've mistakenly ridden the bus anyway, I drove straight home. My heart beating a mile a minute I was praying frantically all the while. When I burst in through the door I called out his name, no--I take that back, I screamed out his name. In response I got an eerie silence. I burst into tears and loudly screamed at God, "Dear Lord Jesus in heaven, bring him home safely. Do not allow any harm to come to him. You have given me the privilege to be his mother; please do not take him like this." Through my desperation and tears and on autopilot, I called the cops and screamed at them to find my baby. You can imagine the thoughts that were racing through my mind. That was the worst day of my entire life.

After what seemed like a lifetime had passed the cop left and I contacted the school and told the Principal that if anything bad happened to my child that I would sue her and the school district for everything they could ever hope to have. A scared angry mother will do anything for her child.

An hour after I got the first call and after numerous calls to the sitter, my phone rang and it was the sitter saying that my son was there and that he was fine. I praised the Lord for bringing him back to me safely.

I drove to the sitter's house and saw my son and I praised the Lord out loud again for having mercy on me. I asked him what had happened and where he was. Apparently, he had taken a wrong turn and walked in the wrong direction. When asked how he had gotten to the sitter's house the sitter told me he had arrived in a white truck. Still reeling from the roller coaster of emotions I had lived through in the last hour, I asked my son how did he know who to ask for help. He told me he had come upon a lady that was playing outside with her two children in their front yard. He described her as blonde and wearing white clothes as were her two children. When he told her he was lost she told him to get in her truck which was also white, loaded up her kids and drove him to the sitter's house.

Immediately, I wanted to know where this woman was. I wanted to thank her and tell her how grateful I was for her being my child's guardian angel and bringing him back safely. We never did find that house even though we went up and down that street numerous times. The very same street my son walked on that day. Weeks went by, even months and I kept going up and down that street every time I got the chance but the house just wasn't there.

After many months and countless driving up and down that street, I realized that I would never find it. The lady never was of this world. She was an angel God sent to watch out for my little boy on that day. He heard my prayers...loud and rude as they were. More like bellowing, really. I put my faith in Him and yet again, He had given me a miracle.

Yes, there are angels among us. I've seen the work that they do. They have touched my life on more than one occasion. This one I wrote about just happens to be one of them. To me, the most important one.

Thank you, Lord, and I am forever grateful for the miracles that You have given me. I praise Your holy name.

God bless my readers. Trust in God with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. Ask and ye shall receive. With God all things are possible. I am living proof.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I got the answer from the man upstairs...

Well, I visited with my pastor a couple weeks ago and during that time the subject came up about my plans to maybe go back to work. He was very clear and stated I should remain at home for the time being. Ask and ye shall receive. I had been praying about it and I was so excited about the possibility that I'd be going back to work and all the things I would be doing, and so on and so forth. WRONG!!

I asked God to make it very clear what He wants me to do and He did. I guess there is no second-guessing it now. It's okay, I promised I would do His will not mine so ladies, gentlemen and lurkers--I will continue to be a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom for however long the Lord wants me to do that. Which, to me, means that (as always) He will take care of us should our family need medical care.

I must admit now that my heart is full of peace about that dilemma. A peace that I'd never known before. In the past I was always questioning if this is what God really wanted me to be doing in this chapter of my life. Thank you, Lord Jesus for showing me Your ways. I praise You for that.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Contemplating going back to work

At least for the summer, I've been thinking about going back to work. I've called a headhunter and they asked for my updated resume. These are the people that got me the job at JPM 5 years ago. We'll see if things work out. I've pretty much have 3 choices...drive to all the way to where I used to work, which is one hour each way, and I don't want to do that; go work downtown Dallas and although it is much closer, parking fees would have to be paid; or I could take a local job and make much less. Hmmm, I don't know what to think so I'm going to put it in God's hands and let Him decide for me. He always gets it right, unlike me. :-)

So, I'm waiting to hear from these people. I did get a couple calls from other places where I had submitted my resume last week. I chose not to interview with either of those two that contacted me. Then of course there's the little problem that is called IRS. If I go to work full-time they will sock it to us next year at tax time. Argh, I can't win for losing! That's why I'm putting it in God's hands and have Him decide.

Say a prayer for me that things will work out for the best and that I will do God's will, not mine. Also, say a prayer for my little princess...she's getting on my nerves (yes, again).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I got a new car...yes, again!

Yesterday I went to get an oil change at the Honda service department. Yes, I drive a Nissan, or drove rather. Due to the poor customer service at Trophy Nissan and their greediness, I had it serviced at the same Honda place where Mr. Sir takes his Honda to be serviced. It's been that way since I first purchased the Nissan almost 6 months ago. The people at Rusty Wallis Honda have always been very good to us and we've received top-notch customer service.

Mr. Sir decided we should just go look while we were waiting for my car to get the oil changed. We started looking at an Accord but I didn't care for the new body style. We then looked at the Honda Pilot, the Ridgeline and I drooled as I passed the object of my desires...the Honda Odyssey. In the back of my mind I thought to myself, someday I'll have one of those.

We were referred to a sales lady there by one of the ladies that works in the service department. I told her I didn't think we could get anything since I'd had my new car less than 6 months. She said to us it wouldn't hurt to try if I really wanted to get into a Honda. I felt awkward taking my Nissan in for oil changes at the Honda place.

I gave it the ol' college try and was blown away that they were able to give me a great deal....same payment for a much better car. I told her the Odyssey is what I wanted and it had to be in white and I had no money to give them. My mind was thinking it's a long shot and I'm not getting my hopes up. All in all it worked out to our advantage and I am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new Honda Odyssey in white. I love it. Praise the Lord!! Another blessing.

Here's what it looks like.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I am in pain, heart-wrenching pain. God help us all!

As much as I don't want to allow the economical situation of others bother me, it does. I belong to several Christian groups in real life and online. This morning there were two specific ones that touched me. One is a lady that is forced to live with very little food and in a house that is in bad disrepair. Another is a family that has only a few dollars left to their name, is losing the home to foreclosure that their father has left them and they don't have money for gas to get to a job. My heart is aching. I want to cry out to God and ask Him why! Why was I given a heart like mine? Why does the pain of others have to hurt me so much? What does He want from me? What must I do to help these people when they are so far away from me? I can't seem to stop crying for these people. It's insane!

It's as if they are my flesh and blood. I can't help them all financially but I will do what I can with what I have been blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ. It won't be enough, there is no way. And it frustrates me. I want to run and scream at how unfair this world is to so many people. I know God is in control though but I want to be able to help more. I want God to send me a miracle so that I may ease the burdens that these people must live with.

Lord, I cannot do this alone. Please help me. You gave me a heart as weak as mine and now I need you to keep your word and help me be the vessel You intended me to be. It hurts dear Lord and only you can ease the pain. You promised in Your word. I stand on that promise and I know Your word will not return void. Help me to be Your humble servant and show me the way to do Your perfect will. In Jesus holy name I pray. Amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What are the options?

Every day I hear more and more how the economy is really bad and how people are losing their homes, their jobs, their savings, etc. It seems that at every turn there are new homes up for sale everywhere you look. I trust in the Lord and know that He will provide my family's every need. It's hard to say how these people are going to be doing in a few months. Some will probably end up losing their homes if they can't refinance them.

I feel bad for those that are in that situation. I pray that the Lord will enlighten them and show them the solution to their problems. It must be very difficult for a family to find themselves in a predicament such as is happening more and more each day.

There are too many things happening in the world and worrying about having a roof over one's head and food on the table shouldn't be something anybody living in this wonderful country should have to go through.

Just down the street in one community there are several houses up for sale. In the opposite direction there is a brand new community of homes being built, houses starting at twice as much as the one with all the houses up for sale. We went to look at one that was very nice - 4,000 sq ft. 4 bdrm, 4 bath, gorgeous kitchen. Amazing! Price - a mere $365,000. My jaw almost hit the floor; I say almost because it was already close to dragging from drooling so it gently slid and touched the floor and it lay there, motionless. This was the magnificent home of my dreams. Even I, the die hard, self-professed Victorian-era connoisseur fell in love with this gorgeous house. I wanted it. I wanted it bad. I needed it. Like the flowers need the rain. For a fraction of an instant I entertained the thought of jumping in with both feet.

Quickly and with the slap of cold reality that is life I realized that I didn't like to clean the house we now live in and it is only half the size of that beauty of a mansion, I knew it was a no go. Yes, I could just picture myself in such a lovely place and even imagine what it would be like to cook in that dream kitchen. Common sense is not a fun thing at times but this time it gently made itself at home in my cerebellum and I realized maybe this wasn't meant to be.

We went home, I went to bed and I cried. I curled up in a fetal position and I cried. I dreamt about the house, that I lived in it, I woke up and I cried. In the middle of watching my soap opera when I entertained for a fleeting moment the thought of owning the house, I cried. I pitied myself, had a piece of cake and I cried. Not really. It sounded good while I wrote the paragraph though. :)

I did, over the next several weeks, think about that beautiful house. I put it out of my mind for a while but always wondered what if...kinda like when you wonder about an old boyfriend, ya know!

Fast forward 6 months and here I am living in my same old house fighting the same old battle with the dust bunnies. My yard's too small for my liking as is our living room. My kitchen doesn't have all the granite countertops nor do the cabinets give the impression of an elegant, House Beautiful magazine page advertisement. Shoot, right now my dishwasher doesn't even work. I just had to replace the burners on my stove. My bathrooms have seen better days. Somehow, I feel incredibly blessed. In my own twisted way of thinking, I'm glad.

I'm glad that I didn't jump in with both feet into a mortgage that would've strained our budget. Sure the mortgage people painted a rose-y picture for us. They always do; that's the reason many people today are in the situation they are in.

Nope, they can keep their big fancy houses along with the mortgage payments to match. I think I will stay in my humble abode. Non-working dishwasher, small yard and all. Thank the good Lord that He has found it in His infinite mercy to bestow on our family the blessings that He so generously and lovingly does. I know of several people that now see our home as the "mansion" they'll never have. All because they were sweet-talked into buying more than they could realistically afford.

I pray for those that are in such a bad situation. God, however, does talk to us. He does tell us what to do. He does show us the way. He wants to do us good and not harm. Whether we choose to listen to His voice and guidance is up to us. Whether we choose to do His will is our choice. However, when we take it upon ourselves to follow our own desires instead of listening for His voice, it is always a disaster.

Proverbs 3

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

I must admit I was a little ticked that we didn't get the house at first and didn't know why it didn't happen. God works in mysterious ways and six months later, He showed me why He did what He did. So now, I know. Had I not listened to His reasoning when He slapped me upside the head with that nagging little thing we call common sense, I would've been up the proverbial creek without a paddle right about now. Thank you, again, Lord for your saving grace. May you always guide me through your paths and allow me to do Your will not mine.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Homeschool Curriculum Buying Time (Again)!

Just yesterday I got two different catalogs for homeschool curriculum for my kids. One was from the incredibly rude people at Abeka, the other was from Alpha Omega Publications. Each one with their own advertising tactics about how now is the time to purchase because they are being so generous with their percentage off discounts. I'm sticking with Alpha Omega for my Princess and well, the teenager-type doesn't know what he will use next (his senior) year.

I can't believe he will be a senior already. It seems like just a few months ago he was still singing for a dollar whenever his uncle wanted to see him sing and dance. He was 7 at the time. He has grown so fast. This is Giovanni now. That was a quick 10 years that flew by. He'll be 18 in October and he'll be off to Baylor University a year later.

I'm blessed with being able to stay at home and homeschool my kids. I'm blessed that we can afford to purchase the curriculum. I know a lot of parents that cannot. I won't be using SOS curriculum for my daughter, instead I will use the AOP Lifepacs. I like that it comes bundled with a Bible curriculum. One less thing for me to worry about.

I'll have to tell my brother and sister-in-law about the specials as they are also thinking about homeschooling their 9 yr old son. We'll see what happens.

Monday, March 31, 2008

My friend's daughter has cancer

I have a friend from church that I've known for years. She asked me if we could meet sometime during the week so we could talk. She works as a nanny for a lady with two children. She works all week and is busy doing household chores on the weekends. I know she's going through a rough time with her daughter being recently diagnosed with lung cancer and all. First I was heartbroken because I couldn't believe that her daughter, only 26 years old, had this horribly dreadful disease. I totally understood that she wanted someone to talk to so I agreed.

We agreed on a day and I called her, just as she told me, to check and see if she was ready to meet. Since she told me that she would be working when I called, to leave a message and she'd call me back. I waited until 8 pm and after hearing nothing from her I decided to just get in the shower and prepare for settling down for the night.

Sunday, she was not in church but her daughter was as was my friend's husband. I asked him where his wife was and he just said that she had to work. I saw the daughter wearing one of those head wraps and my heart went out to her. My friend had previously told me that she had had to cut all her hair off to donate since it was beginning to fall out anyway due to the chemotherapy.

This friend has left me in situations before where it has financially put me in a bind in the past. More than once. It got to the point where I just refused to deal with her anymore. She promises things that she never delivers. I was hurt by this woman several years ago when she had me order some rather pricey cosmetics for her; I did. She never paid for them. She kept telling me she would pay me, to hold on to them and after the return by date expired, she said she didn't want them anymore. That's when I avoided her at all costs after that incident. She apologized and I accepted her apology and I was lead in another direction in my life. I let it go.

Fast forward 4 years and I'm back at this church and find myself being polite to her as always. She confides in me about her personal life. I pray for her. My heart breaks when I find out her daughter is sick with the most vicious disease that is cancer. I cannot fathom the pain/turmoil she is suffering.

She stated to me that she would love to have a good Christian friend she can count on. Says she has no friends. I told her I understood. She tells me she wants to meet once a week to go walking. She never called me. I let it go. I figure she's busy. She has her own problems to deal with. I understand.

What totally blows me away is that this woman is in need, she asked me for help. She has no friends. Her daughter is very sick and could possibly die from this. Why would she treat my friendship as if it is worthless? I have many other friends that need me. Many that I pray for and try to help out when I can. I put my friends above everything else. If someone needs me I'm there.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say to her anymore. I really don't want to be rude but I cannot afford to waste my time with someone that can't even give me the courtesy of a phone call to excuse themselves for leaving me hanging like this.

Why am I such a sucker? Do people think I'm stupid to do that to me? Should I turn the other cheek as I've done before? I only have two cheeks, dadgumit!! This is so unfair to me. I'll continue to pray for her and her daughter.

I don't pray for healing. Is that cruel? Maybe. The way I see it is we are given different situations to deal with in life that aren't always easy. God never promised us it would be. My husband told me that we need to pray for her to get better. I told him I would pray for her health to be whatever God's will be. I told him if it is our time to go, nothing we say or do will change that. We must pray that God's will be done because our will is not perfect, His is.

Would I pray for the same thing if it were my child? Absolutely! Children are a gift from God and someday all of God's children must return from where they came. I pray that my friend be given the strength that she needs to deal with whatever God's will may be. Her daughter, my friend told me, has said she is ready to go home to be with the Lord. That she is ready if that's what God wants. She is a strong, faithful young lady.

If she's ready to go and has accepted whatever the Lord's will is then we must also be ready for whatever the future holds for her. God doesn't make mistakes. We do, on a daily basis. Remember, let's not pray for what we want or what we think we want and/or need. Let us pray for God's will be done in our lives. Only then will we be in line with what God's perfect will is for us. Nobody knows the whys of life. Someday, however, we'll know why we were dealt the hand we were.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Ramblings

Going to make some candles today. People are wanting spring-y, fresh-smelling types during this season. I recently discovered a wonderful fragrance at an antique mall down the street from my house. It is by Greenleaf and the fragrance is called Timberleaf. It is truly delightful. I'm going to my candle supplier to see if I can mix some oils and come up with something that smells as close to it as possible.

I have to start preparing gift baskets for Mother's Day as well. Luckily, I have plenty of cute baskets to stick a soap, lip balm and lotion in for the least expensive gifts that seem to sell a lot more quickly. With the overall economy and seeing how so many people are really struggling to get even the most basic of necessities met, I must make sure I have items that are reasonably priced. But, reasonable doesn't mean they have to settle for poor quality or unappealing presentation of their chosen gifts.

I will post pictures of the ready to give gifts on here as soon as I possibly can. I can't promise anything will be on here very soon because I have so many things to do. I will, however, make it worth your reading while. :o)

God bless everyone and have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Busy-ness with my Business

I've been away from my blog for a while now because I've been busy drumming up business. My soap is selling very well. Since they are all natural, a lot of people are buying them. Which, in turn, depletes my inventory thus my need to pour new batches. Messy, messy work. I'm trying to convince Mr. Sir that we need to convert the garage into my craft room. This way I can make my soap in there and let it cure without disturbing it.

Next month I start up all my jewelry shows in preparation for Mothers Day gifts the following month. I hope the weather cooperates. By that, I mean I hope it doesn't get too hot. I don't like the heat. Heat and I don't mix well. I even sweat cold. I hate to sweat.

The price of sterling silver is through the roof right now. I'm hoping customers realize this. Currently, I have about 250 bracelets ready to sell and over 400 pairs of earrings. Not quite happy with the selection of necklaces I have but I guess there are all kinds of people with different tastes. Like that ugly, green, lamp work set with gold swirls. Ghastly! Sold it right off my body to a co-worker. I was floored--and a couple hundred bucks richer. :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Mom/Bad Mom

I know that throughout the years that I've been a mother, I've often questioned how good of a mom I really am. One thing I have learned is that it is very difficult to be a mom and a friend to my children. There are days that I don't want to cook. I want to sit and read and not get out of bed. I want to be able to watch TV and order Pizza and not get out of my pajamas.

The weird thing about that is that even when I'm sick, running a fever, body aches and all the wonderful stuff that comes with having the flu, I feel guilty. I worry about the kids not eating the "right" things. What if they don't have the sense to brush their teeth and wash their hands because I'm not right there to tell them? Never mind that my teenage type offspring is already 17 years old and my 9 yr old princess can at the very least pop a Hot Pocket in the microwave to keep herself from starving. We have a pantry full of what I call lazy food. Ramen noodles, canned soup, crackers, cereal, ChefBoyardee, etc. A freezer that is overflowing with frozen dinners for quick, if unhealthy, eating. They couldn't possibly starve!

Why do I have to worry about the bathrooms being clean and the dishes being washed when I don't feel good? The laundry can wait so what is the big deal? What was built into our genetic makeup that makes me feel like I am a bad mother if I skip cooking a meal for my family? On the other hand, if my husband gets sick, I wait on him. If I get sick, he gets take-out for dinner. The clothes remain unwashed, the bathrooms uncleaned, the dishes pile up. He sits and watches TV or plays games on the computer because he doesn't mind living in a messy house.

If I go out to run errands or shopping or to go pray for a family and I'm gone for more than a couple hours, I call home (is that disgusting or what) to make sure the kids have eaten. Can I pick something up for them? Did they brush their teeth? Feed the cats, bird, etc. Why does the laundry being dirty while I'm out taking care of business stress me out?

I can't be a good mom and a good friend to them. Good friends don't make them brush their teeth, clean their rooms, do their chores, etc. Good friends would let them eat donuts for dinner with a glass of soda. Good friends don't care if they have chips for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. Heck, good friends wouldn't even make them take a bath!

I, however, am a bad mom for getting on to them about everything. I cook homemade lasagna only to have them choose Ramen noodles over a dish made from scratch that took me 3 hours to prepare. My chicken enchiladas go uneaten by them because well, who knows what kind of "healthy" ingredient I might have slipped in there. Lobster will go to waste, except for what my husband and I will eat because it smells "fishy". The teenager type will eat grilled cheese sandwiches over anything else.

One day, when they are grown and on their own, they're going to miss me. I just know it and then I will get my revenge. I will go to their respective homes and walk in with muddy shoes and wipe my greasy fingers on their new couches. I will go to the bathroom and pee all over the toilet and not clean it. I will balk at their meal offerings and complain about everything. I will tease their pets until they scream in desperation. Not the pets, the kids. I will leave the balled up paper around their house and not care. I will leave the lights on in every room of their humble abodes. I will invite them over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and serve them all Ramen Noodle soup. I will, I promise, you watch me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My personal struggle as a mom

After I dropped off my son at school today, I began to think about where I'm going with my life. It was the usual start to a Monday morning...drop the teenager type off at college, go pick up some groceries and then head home put the groceries away and start preparing lunch, picking up my son then go home and feed both kids and myself. Another boring, extremely dull day. I moaned about the rainy weather and the cold. I despise going anywhere when it's raining; especially grocery shopping where I know I will be soaking wet after loading and unloading the groceries. I even complained about the lady at Braums not being quick enough for me while she gave me my Dr. Pepper.

Then, in the back of my mind, I thought about how I wished I were still working at my old job where I could still talk to adults on a daily basis. I thought about the extra money I could be making. The fun stuff I could be doing. Daily lunches with my friends and co-workers. Shopping at Galleria during lunch. Being compensated for my time. Wow, that sounded so great to me. What possessed me to leave my job over a year ago? I had good benefits, a good paycheck for the minimal work I did and a really nice boss that spoiled me and let me get away with a lot of things most bosses don't.

As I drove home my thoughts went down a totally different path. It was like an alter ego was saying how lucky I was that I don't have to go to work and drive an hour each way in the horrible traffic among crazy drivers. How lucky I am to sleep late if I so wish and to not have the common problems that go along with a job outside the home; no rushing around, no stress, no having to make excuses for being out when my children are sick. No remorse for leaving them when they are sick and I'm out of sick days at work and I must pull my daughter away from me as she cries for me to stay home with her.

Can we use the money? Are you kidding me, who couldn't use a few extra thousand dollars a month? One thing's for sure, I've learned recently, the more money we have the less we save. Because oh, it'll be fine, we can afford it. We have two incomes. Little do we realize that it is never enough and we would be surprised at how little money we could actually live off.

I was thinking that I have a house that's bigger than we really need. Two cars, one of which is new. I have every hobby I could ever want in my very own crafting room. I got my dream of homeschooling my kids. I am lucky that I can stay at home without having to worry about how we are going to pay our bills on time. We are healthy. My husband is lucky to have a great job that he enjoys going to every day to pay for all of it. We are living the American dream!

So why then was I whining? Because in our me, me, me world we often forget that it isn't what we have or how happy we feel we must be but instead how we deal with the hand life has dealt us. I realized that it wasn't luck that found me where I am today but a divine blessing...many divine blessings. How many women would give their eyeteeth to be in the position that I am in right now? Amazing how we can solve our own problems or what we see as problems, when we delve further and deeper into our own minds and hearts. The most important lesson that I learned today, however, is that even in my wild delusions of self-imposed pity, I recognized that the alter ego I thought was speaking to me was really the gentle voice of God.

Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you shower me and my family with on a daily basis. Please forgive my ignorance and stupidity for not recognizing them when they hit me right smack in the middle of my face. Teach me how to listen to your voice and give me the wisdom needed to know and follow your direction, always.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've gotten my sewing machine!!

Well, last Friday, I got my sewing machine. I am in the process of reading the entire manual as this is a really nice machine and I want to know how to work all the bells and whistles on it. Yesterday I went out and got some fabric for a dress for my little Princess. She got to pick it out and I didn't particularly like it but she did and so we got it. 5 yards of it as that's what the pattern calls for.

Now, in my craft room I have a TV w/DVD Player, a 5ft desk, a shelf for my soaps, a filing cabinet for my files, a printer sitting on top of that cabinet, a book case, a crafting table - small about 24 inches by 40 inches, a student chair w/folding desktop, a lazyboy recliner, a basket of trade magazines, a scrapbooking cart w/wheels, a storage bin with scrapbooks yet to do an extra TV we don't use, 2 jewelry supply carts with wheels - one with 7 drawer the other with 5, a desk lamp and one floor lamp. Now, with the sewing machine and no table to put it on I'm contemplating stuffing a sewing table in there is well.

I was thinking of just getting one of those folding tables that they sell at Sams since that way I can put it away and it won't look too crowded in here. I'm also thinking that if I get rid of the bookcase, I can use that space for a sewing table. Here are pictures of my options.

Tell me what you think would be best to do. The wooden particle board one serves two purposes as seen by pics but the folding one can be put away. Of course with the white folding one I wouldn't have any place to store the sewing machine or sewing notions/accessories.

Pictures 2 & 3 are of the same table. It runs me $75 bucks at Wally World. Table number 1 is just under 50 bucks at the same store.

What dear readers, friends and lurkers say you?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pictures!! Pictures!! Pictures!!

At the constant egging and annoying emails from some people (you know who you are) I've finally gotten my lazy behind up outta the chair and got the usb cable to download the pics of the chaise lounge chair. Here, my lovelies, are the pics for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Men and rings

Ok, what is it with men? A few weeks ago I went to pick up a part for Mr. Sir's rig. I got there and purchased the part and as I was paying for it, the guy that was checking me out made a comment about my wedding ring. "Whoa, that's one huge rock you have there. You must be a very good wife indeed!" I smiled politely and just took my purchase and walked out.

As I was driving home I thought to myself, does that mean that this guy thinks that a "bad wife" gets a small ring or a cheap ring? What does he consider a good wife and what is a bad wife? I've never heard that one before.

The reason I mention this on here is because yesterday, as I was walking into Wallyworld, a newspaper salesman is giving me his sales pitch. He offered me a raffle ticket which he said was for winning a something or other I forgot what it was. As I was filling out the information on the ticket he made a comment about my ring (I know weird huh), he said, "Wow, that's one big stone on that ring, he must've done something really bad or he loves you very much." I got pissed off and I retorted, "Actually, I bought this myself." A lie, I know but what is it with men? I walked away and told him to forget the newspaper delivery thing, I didn't need it after all.

Does a man base the size of a ring for their fiancee/girlfriend/wife on how much they love them? I always thought it depended on how much they could afford. How much they love someone shouldn't be measured by the size of a wedding ring, should it? Am I missing something here?

Also, isn't it quite tacky that someone should point that out? When I admire another woman's jewelry I never say...oh, you must be a good wife, look at that rock! I wouldn't dare insult someone like that. I'm still reeling from that one. I mean I didn't even notice his fingers but after he said that I looked and noticed he didn't have a ring on his. Even so, I didn't say hey, why aren't you married, do women find you that ugly? Tacky right? Rude too.

On that happy note, dears. You all have a wonderfully peaceful night and a rejuvenating sleep. Hope you all had a great Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm finished with the chair!!

Hey ladies! I finally finished the chair. I even sewed the cushion cover by hand. I told you I hate to wait. I finished it at exactly 10 pm tonight. Wow, it looks and feels like I actually accomplished a great feat, minor as it may be. :o)

Now I can rest easy tonight. I hate leaving things undone. I will post a picture of it tomorrow after my fingers have gotten a good night's rest and the pain of the needle pricks has subsided. I'm going to go watch TV for a while and then I will turn in for the night. Mr. Sir has to go to work tonight so I will be up until he leaves then it's night night for this tired ol' lady.

I had obsessed so much over completing the work on the chair that I got heartburn (or maybe it's an ulcer). Either way, I took some Pepcid and it seemed to alleviate the problem. Now I'm going to worry about possibly having an ulcer which in turn will probably give me one if I don't have one or exacerbate the problem if I do. Argh! What is wrong with me? As if I don't have enough to worry about with the teenager quickly approaching college and the expense that goes with that. I'm going to go watch TV now before I start worrying about college tuition and my son going off to college and what if something doesn't go right, and so on and so forth. I'm giving myself a headache just thinking about things I cannot control. And to think I thought I was a super mom. Good night dears!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A new sewing machine!

Since I have been reupholstering the chair I have come to the conclusion that I cannot sew the seat cushion cover by hand. I did all the sewing by hand that needed to be done for the base and my fingers are crying for mercy. I've gone and searched for one online. I want a good one but not one that a real seamstress would use. I went to Walmart, Target, Joann's and Hancock Fabrics to see what they had to offer. Didn't like the prices so I went to Overstock. Bingo! I ordered one for a decent price.

Now, I'm going to wait until I get it to finish the cover on that cushion. I hate waiting for things but in this case it was absolutely necessary that I buy a new sewing machine as I didn't want to spend another entire day or more doing it by hand.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Swarovski crystal supplies

I went to one of my local crystal suppliers. I hadn't been there in several months since I've got a room full of jewelry making supplies already on hand. As you all know, I made the silly little necklace and earrings a few days ago and I ran out of the crystals I used on those and now don't have enough to make the matching bracelet. Why oh why must I always make jewelry in sets, I ask myself. Now is that anal or what?!

So, I go and I look and remember now I'm only going for a gross of one particular crystal in one particular color. Of course they don't even carry the double AB so I'm left with a store full of stones and crystals I hadn't planned on browsing. However, since I am a good customer and I love to shop even when I don't need things just because those things are pretty, well, I fell victim to lowly desires of the flesh. I browsed, I picked up and put back and I went back for more and put it in my "buying" tray. Argh! I left the darn place with over 100 bucks in crystals, stones and findings and not one single item I bought was even planned. Princess cleaned the floors for them as she does every time we go. She's been told by the owner that anything that is found on the floor she can keep. She has a substantial stash of her own "precious" stones and silver pieces. I tell ya, the kid can clean up when she has something to gain. Amazing how bribes work with people of all ages.

Friday, February 8, 2008

As if I don't have enough to do

Well, seeing that I feel as though I have not enough on the proverbial plate, I've gotten a wild hair. Actually, for those that know me, I have several...a head-full really. Gilda Radner (may she rest in peace) would be proud of my curly top.

Okay, wild hair aside. I've decided to repossess my chaise lounge chair from my teenage-type offspring's room. Since the cats go in his room all the time it had cat hair and I despise cat hair on any of my belongings. I got a bright idea! Yep, I get those every once in a blue moon. Anyway, I went on a hunt for fabric. In my mind, muddled as it may be, I had pictured a green, non-descriptive kind of shade....I went to Joanns and about fell over at the fabric choices....just beautiful, until I saw the price; a meager 30 bucks a yard...oh but wait, they had a 30% discount coupon. Yeah right! As if! I moseyed on down to Hancock Fabrics, same thing but only with the same sorry customer service that they've always had.

I went home sorry I couldn't find anything nice enough for the money I wanted to pay. I could handle the 10 or even 12 bucks a yard. This morning, I woke up and went into research mode. I could not believe how many fabric stores they had listed online that are supposed to be local. I jotted down some phone numbers and addresses and called before continuing on my quest. They have gone out of business, the majority. I had forgotten all about Cloth World and apparently so had everyone else because it was now gone.

Suddenly and without warning, into my curly topped head enters an extremely bright idea! Yep, two in one week, I'm tellin' ya I'm on a roll here. Harry Hines!! I am a few miles from the wholesale capital of Texas! I ponder the thought of going the 20 or so miles and think about the gas expense. I figure, what the heck, I'm going to live dangerously. Hop in my freshly repaired and clean car (thanks Liz) and I drive down to what used to be the old red light district. Ha! I'm cruising down the street and see the mess that is now Harry Hines Boulevard. They are building more wholesale warehouses than China Town sells fake Louis Vuittons.

Finally, I'm at my destination. Not before I miss the goshdarn place and have to drive around Walnut Hill and Lovers Lane a couple times. Ok, 4 times. Hey, I'm jumpy from our last accident. I certainly don't want to get rear-ended by some uninsured idiot not watching where they're going. Dallas is full of them, ya know.

Pulled into this little street and was dumbfounded by all my choices! Being the distinguished lady that I claim to be, I went into the first one. I figured I didn't want to spend all afternoon looking for fabric and I certainly didn't want to get caught in traffic on the way back home. They had some lovely fabrics. It was very hard to choose for me. I finally decided on a really nice (to me) tapestry-like print/fabric. Get this, it only cost me 3 bucks a yard! I'm in hog heaven here. I love a bargain and by golly gee, this time, I hit a home run! I am so proud of me (kisses up and down arm in delight).

I've spent a whole day taking the friggin' chaise apart. I'm willing to bet I've gone through more staples than Office Max sells in a month. Nobody told me it was going to be so hard. I'm sure it will look nice once it's done but right now, in my living room, there lies what was once a beautiful chaise lounge. Torn apart, limb by limb, er, arm rest by arm rest. I feel like I bit off more than I can chew. Lucky for me, Mr. Sir came to my rescue. He has his good points, not many but who's counting. He managed to upholster the back side of the chaise and I must admit it looks pretty darn good. I will post a pic once it's done completely.

Have a blessed night everyone!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Earrings

Several of you emailed me wanting to see a picture of the earrings that match the necklace I made a couple days ago. Because I listen to my readers, the two or three brave ones that aren't afraid to read my mindless chatter, I am hereby posting the pic. So, ladies, here are that pair of earrings. They were a little less pain in the rear to make than the necklace but only because I stopped the insanity of all those loops I had to make for each of the dangle-y doodads. Thanks to wrapping all those loops I am now a certified arthritic, over-the-hill, peri-menopausal woman bored to her eyeballs. Well, maybe I was that before these earrings but dadgummit I have to make an excuse ya' know!

I had thought about adding more of the crystals higher up the chain but my pained and crookedly cramped fingers cried out in fear and I, being the good listener that I am, obliged. It could also be that I ran out of that color crystals. Since they are double AB on the surface and my supplier is out I figured I'd have to wait and I hate to wait. Also, I entertained - but for a fleeting moment only - going out to my local supplier; a mad Middle Easterner who calls me friend every time I go into her shop but will haggle with me on pricing until finally giving in when I threaten to go elsewhere for my supplies. Then I remembered it was midnight and no matter how close a "friend" I am to Norma, I highly doubt she would be too happy if I called her and told her I had an emergency come up and would she be so kind as to drive 20 miles in the middle of the night to open up shop for me. I'm not Oprah, you know.

I also didn't dare go to her shop yesterday, first Tuesday of the month, as it is market day at the Dallas World Trade Center. It is packed and parking is horrendous, if you can find a spot at all. I'll just wait until she is open at her shop on Saturday where there is ample parking space and I won't get run over by out-of-town, overly zealous buyers flying into big D to make their presence known at the Market Hall. Nope, I value my life more than that.

The bracelet will have to wait until Saturday and I like the earrings just the way they are. Sometimes a little bit of bling and sparkle is a lot better than too much. Let's not get too gaudy with this stuff you know. You want gaudy, look at my chunky jewelry. Hey, I can take constructive criticism, even if it's from me. Have a marvelous evening, dears. God bless each and every one of you. Hasta maƱana !

Monday, February 4, 2008

I made this necklace last night!!

A lady contacted me asking me to make her a bridal ensemble for her upcoming wedding. She wanted simple. She wanted pearls and crystals. I asked her to do a couple simple things...measure her wrist, give me the length of the necklace she wants made and a few other minor details.

I have her money. I want to know why she thinks I can figure out, from a picture, how long to make the necklace. When I told her she needed to measure her wrist, her reply was..."Uh, well, my wrist is bigger than average." I asked her what size her necklace needs to be...she emailed me back saying the same size that is in the picture!! She sent me a picture that was 2 x 3 via email. Like that is going to give me specifics. I'm near the point of just sending her back her money and chalking it up to experience, a bad one at that. I don't like thinking people are not very bright but I'm seriously considering it on this one.

Last night I made this necklace. It took me forever because of all the crystals I added to the focal area. I made matching earrings too but didn't take a picture of those.

Have a great evening everyone. See all of you lovely people tomorrow. God bless!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jewelry Sales are Good if I Only Had More Time!

Now that my teenage-type offspring is going to college 3 times a week - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I find it difficult to book jewelry shows during the days that I am available to do them. I'm going to have to come up with a good plan to continue to do them. I need to put my thinking cap on as that leaves me with only Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I don't do Sundays.

I've been getting the bug again to make some more jewelry. I was cleaning and organizing my craft room and I saw my inventory of jewelry making supplies and call me sentimental but my tummy got butterflies. I wanted to sit down and play with the silly stuff. The crystals sparkled at me as if daring me to pick them up and create something marvelously blingy with them. The stones -- turquoise, rubies, coral, jade; among others, looked so pretty in a rainbow of colors. The silver beckoned me with its shiny bright reflection. The details of the Balinese silver beads with their intricate patterns took me back to when I first started making jewelry. It is so much fun to make it and then watch people's expression as they pick up a piece, admire it, put it back down, turn back pick it up again and come and pay me for something I enjoyed making so much.

There's nothing like the thrill of selling a beautiful creation made by your own hands. Some, I admit, look really nice; others, I finish making them and I shudder at their "ugliness" and wonder if anyone will ever like that one piece that I find dreadful. Amazingly someone always does. It's funny how beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ebay's fees are going down - so they say....Ha!

I got an email from Ebay, as I'm sure millions of others did, saying that they have listened to their loyal followers--sounds like a cult to me now. According to them, they are lowering their listing fees and their gallery fees, yada yada yada. That's all well and good but if you look at the fact that they are raising their final value fees, among other fees, they continue to nickel and dime you to death. I had been thinking of listing some things that I have just taking up space in my already too cramped abode but now I'm rethinking that bright idea.

What gets me is why would Ebay send out this information when it really doesn't save the seller any money? They didn't actually LOWER the fees, they just redistributed them so that people that aren't paying attention will fall for their marketing tactics. They've gotten so greedy that I think someone that has the intelligence and time, to build a similar website, should give them a run for their money. Why couldn't they leave well enough alone? They were already making money hand over fist on fees from sellers.

Maybe I'll talk to my teenage type offspring about getting some of his like-minded friends to get together and see if they can all put their noodles to work and come up with something brilliant. He's been complaining that he needs money and wants to work. He prides himself with being a nerd/geek. Maybe, just maybe, he is sitting on a goldmine and isn't even aware of it. He told me when he was 5 years old that he would be the next Bill Gates when he grew up. I think it is time I put him to the test, huh? After all, he spends hours on end in front of the computer writing all kinds of programs. Since he's there already he may as well put that time to even better use.

What, dear friends, readers and lurkers alike, say you? Am I blowing a bunch of hot air because I've nothing better to do on a Saturday morning when all are still asleep? Is it a pipe dream? Could it be possible that a couple of teens heck-bent on conquering the cyber-world in this manner succeed? Be honest with me, I promise I won't cry if you hurt my feelings. If I do, you won't know about it. Send me your bright ideas. I know you guys are all brilliant, after all, you do read my blog religiously, correct? I rest my case.

Waiting with bated breath on your comments, drive by postings or mocking email sent to me at this email address.

Have a marvelous weekend everyone!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

My Car Is NOT Ready as promised...ARGHHHH!!

Well, I took a friend's recommendation to heart and took my car in to have the minor body damage repaired. I dropped it off on Monday morning. I was told it would be ready in 3-4 days but for sure by Friday (today). I called the idiot man and he said it wasn't ready yet. I told him he'd had it since Monday and the fool said he didn't actually get to it until Wednesday!!! I am livid. I'm going to bite my tongue for now. Why the foolish man couldn't tell me this when I dropped it off is totally unbelievable. I'm paying this idiotic person a pretty penny and he gives me nothing but excuses. He has a satisfactory rating from the BBB but I'll make sure that he doesn't after I get my car back.

So, here I have been making do without a vehicle because I figured I'd have it by today. WRONG!! Oh, gosh dang it! I so regret taking it to him now. I had three other estimates. The first one was the highest but they were straightforward. I so wish I had gone with him instead of the fool that I picked on this friend's recommendation. Once I get my car back, I will post the name here so if anybody does a search for him they will find out he is not very honest at all.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Memories of Yesteryear

Just today I was thinking about how different it is growing up in this day an age from what it was like when I was growing up. We used to live across from a big city park in a resort town up in the Midwest. Every summer, vacationers would flock from every part of the country to camp out in their expensive RVs and relax by our beautiful Lake Michigan. It was fun getting to meet so many new people each year. I recall walking through the park and playing there until sun down all throughout the Summer.

We weren't well off, in fact, I always thought we were poor. We never got to go on fancy vacations; after all, where does a family that lives in a resort town go to vacation? Us kids, my brothers and I, weren't treated to fast food as often as kids do nowadays. My good times consisted of having a friend sleep over and then we'd picnic in the park or in our own backyard. I can still see before me the tattered sheet we'd lay in the grass and the bologna and cheese sandwiches. We'd pretend we'd been walking in a forest and that we'd take a bit of a rest and break for food before continuing on our quest to find "home."

I didn't even have that many friends. In school, my best friend and still to this date was Lisa Cole. Lisa, Debbie and me were always hanging out together in grade school. Then when we went on to 7th grade, Debbie - being the wild one sort of went her own way. She was interested in boys way before Lisa and I ever were. Debbie was beautiful too. She had the long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She knew it too. Unfortunately, Debbie's mom passed away when we were still in grade school. Then her father a couple years later. Debbie went wild after that and we didn't see her that often anymore. We found out later she dropped out of school and left with a boyfriend to another state.

Lisa and I still talk every once in a while. She got married and had two daughters. She's still living in that same town up in Michigan. According to her, I got to move and live the glamorous life. She got a job as a cashier at the local grocery store. I came to Dallas and got a job at a large bank. Little does Lisa know that she got the better deal. I'd give anything to live in a town like the one I grew up in. The fresh air. The laid back way of life. I miss that.

Kitty Robinson, that was the name of my slumber party partner in crime. We would stay up way into the wee hours of the morning and tell each other stories. She was going to marry Leif Garrett she said or one of the Hudson brothers. I was sure I'd end up with Les of the Bay City Rollers. Not too long ago I saw what they all look like now. Let's just say I am glad those ideas were just childhood midnight talk marathons with my friend Kitty.

I miss living up there. Someday, I hope to return to see my daughter dream up the same wild dreams I had. I want her to experience swimming in the lake, sand between her toes and most important of all, I want her to be able to play in the backyard without me worrying that someone is going to snatch her away. I'm wondering if that will ever be possible in this day and age.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hum Dinger!

On Mr. Sir's recommendation, I allowed my teenager-type offspring to drive my car - yes the new one, from college yesterday. I knew there was a reason why I don't exactly always do what Mr. Sir says. We had an accident. Nothing major, just a little fender bender - to the tune of a grand to fix it, out of pocket of course. Unfortunately, he was at fault and the other driver was nice and she talked to him and said she understood he's just learning to drive. Not sure that soothed his fears as he is quite the nervous individual. I told him it was ok, that we all make mistakes when we are first learning to do something.

Now, I'm sporting a nice burgundy scrape on the passenger side of my brand spanking new car - WHITE car, no less. I've taken it to two different shops for estimates today and will take it to a third on Monday. I remember not even getting my driver license until I was 19. I also remember taking my brother's old car around the neighborhood the first time at the ripe old age of 13. Looking back I realize that I am a very much blessed person and must be God's favorite child because I lived through several miles of driving - on the wrong side of the road, in Dallas.

It was then, I believe, my mother realized that a small town girl like me shouldn't be allowed to mingle with the more worldly and embarrassingly wild teens in such a big city and we promptly moved back to Michigan. I had already gotten a taste of the wild side and being a teen, I liked it.

I'll give it a couple days before I take the teenage-type out for another driving lesson, this time, in the church parking lot. No more listening to Mr. Sir...after all he's a man and he wanted me to take our son on I-30. With the way people drive in the DFW area! Sometimes I wonder why men don't use their brain. I think it's there just so their heads won't appear flat - for no other reason.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Whiling away the time

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you plan something and God, in His mercy and wisdom, has other, more important plans for you?

Here I was planning on embarking on a new venture with a friend and all the time thinking it will work out fine. However, I'd been praying that God would shed His light and guidance on me and give me discernment in this situation and He did...quickly!

This doesn't, by any means, mean that I will give up on my dream. I've only changed gears and am on the right path now. I had, however, been a little bit leery - about this individual. Something just wasn't fitting in with the plans and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Nothing major...just a fleeting moment here and there, annoying really, like a gnat that keeps attempting to land on your face, ugh! I kept batting away at it in my mind. The thought prevailed.

Last week I found out that God has listened to my prayers for wisdom and enlightened me. This particular individual showed her true colors. Alas! I must embark on this venture on my own. But if you really think about it - it's not really on my own. I'll have the best, most experienced, most loving and wisest partner of all. The Lord Jesus Christ. I've opened my mind and heart to Him and I'm so glad He accepted the invitation. Without Him, my new business venture would be a total disaster. Now, with all fears set aside, I believe - truly believe, I will succeed.

Things got turned around just a little bit. I was always afraid to do it on my own thinking I needed someone there to lean on. The Lord knows our hearts though and He knows where my fear was rooted. Amazing how He fixed that promptly. Now I realize there was nothing to fear, I don't need a "crutch" for I have God on my side. I've consulted Him in every thing before taking the next step. He has guided. He has blessed. He has put me in a position where I know that my successes, however big or small, are due to my placing Him and His Kingdom first. I'm not leaning unto my own understanding because, after all, there are days that I can't even understand myself. May His name be glorified and that He never allows me to forget who comes first in my life.

Have a blessed day and remember to thank God for all that you have. We are but as a feather in the wind. Our lives twist and turn with the changes coming so unexpectedly. Sometimes we are flying high and other times quite low but always under the watchful eye of our Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Love To Dance!

You know, I have always loved to dance. My favorite dance music is Salsa and Merengue. Being of Latina and German ancestry it's amazing what you get with these two cultures. Latinos are known for their partying and devil-may-care attitudes and outlook on life...the Germans are stoic and very void of emotion, it seems. My father, of German descent, was the epitome of that culture. Although, I must admit he did like to polka but alas! only after he'd had a couple beers; or five.

I remember when I was a fairly young girl he would pick me up and dance around the room with me. He'd put me down and then dance for me. He would say, "this is the way you dance" and he'd dance until he could dance no more.

When he wasn't cold, aloof and seemingly uncaring, he was a fun dad to have around. Little did he know back then that his dancing would instill in me a passion for the same. I guess that's why I was put in dance classes way back when I was a very young girl.

Now, I see my husband do the same thing with our daughter. He dances with her around the room as she giggles with delight as her daddy, who happens to have two left feet and can't dance to save his life, sashays her across the floor as if he were Fred Astaire and she a miniature Ginger Rogers. In my daughter's eyes, he is Fred Astaire - only better. He let's her dance like nobody's watching. And she does.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Free Jewelry!!

I wanted to add that I have decided to turn this store naming thing into a contest. Soooo, if I choose the name one of you suggests, you get to pick a piece of jewelry from my shop at www.ricosilver.com

So submit as many names as you would like. I've gotten a few so far and there are two or three that are really awesome. I am going to hold this contest open until the end of January or as soon as I find a name that just totally sweeps me off my feet. :-)

Here are some that I've received via email:

Curve Appeal
Elegant Encore
Beautiful Blessings
Saks Thrift Avenue

I'm truly amazed at how smart and truly creative all my readers are. I shouldn't be though, you guys are awesome! Keep the creative juices flowing and keep sending me more names. I've gotten such good selections that I may even give a second and third prize. Yeah, I'm nutty like that. It's okay though, it's all good and in good fun. God Bless you all and keep them coming.

Oh, and Sandra, your Blooming Deals is terrific. Boy, you guys are so good!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Resale Shop! That's it!

Looks like I will be focusing on plus-sized clothing and my store will be a consignment store. Not enough places for the curvaceous woman to get decent clothes at half-way decent prices. What's funny is that when people that I communicate this info hear that it will be a plus-size shop they get all excited. I don't know if it's the sterling silver part or the plus-size clothing.

I'm going to load up on merchandise in a couple days. Name-brand, preferably, but not necessarily. So, if you know of any curvy women size 14 and up, send them my way. I'm sure I can help them get a nice wardrobe together...even accessories, can't beat that.

So, now that I have that all in line I have to think of a name for my store. Any of you ladies have any ideas? If you do, please contact me, if I pick your suggested name, I will give you a free piece of jewelry of your choice from my website.

Have a wonderful evening and a restful night. Be blessed!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ladies Boutique

Last night I went to look at the place that could potentially be where I open my boutique. I had one of my friend's with me who will be my business partner. The place looked like it has the potential to become a rather nice little shop that will be catering to the ladies in the area. I hadn't originally planned on offering fashion jewelry but since I want to make it affordable to everyone, I've since had a change of heart.

Here are a few of the items I will be offering in my shop. I just hope I can pick out the sellers easily. This is so stressful. I am a little bit scared but the shop used to be a women's specialty store so I think the previous shop owner's customers will definitely continue to shop when I'm there.

I managed to get information from two of the people/tenants in the same shopping strip and they seem to be happy and didn't have anything negative to say about the landlord. The best part is that he's willing to just have me do a 1 year contract versus a longer one and the triple net is included. Granted, it isn't as fancy or as upscale as the shops down the road but I just cannot bring myself to pay several thousand dollars in rent when I'm not sure how well the business will do.

Today I drove to the other store that the lady, who vacated the space I'm going to lease, has. She was straightforward about the situation and told me their sales were great but had to close it down because of her mother being sick. It seems, as she stated, it was too much for her to handle and she decided to just close that one store and focus on the one closest to her home.

I did manage to see the type of merchandise she carries. They were nice items, no sterling silver jewelry but nonetheless, they were nice. I have my suppliers inline for the fashion jewelry and the clothing. Although, I must admit, having clothing wasn't in my plans at all. Since I have all those racks sitting in my garage, I guess I'll have to put them to good use.

The space is approximately 1200 sq ft and it seems it will work well since it already has all the slat walls already put in. It also has the two dressing rooms already built-in so that's one less thing I have to do. It does, however, need a fresh coat of paint and some minor cosmetic touch-ups.

Looks like I've got my work cut-out for me. I have to now order fashion jewelry, get merchant account set up at my bank, sign a lease, order packaging material, sort out all the racks, baskets and stuff I have in my garage. The most important thing I have to do, I believe, is pray. Pray a lot that all goes well.

Am I scared? You bet your patooty. But if I don't do it now, I will never know if I would've made it or not. What's funny/ironic is that the racks I bought were the racks that came out of that store. The very one I will be having my own store at. It came around full circle. God works in mysterious ways. I will have quite a bit of Christian inspired jewelry and scripture bracelets in the fashion jewelry. With the price of silver being at an all-time high, I know that it won't be easy to purchase for those that cannot afford it. I still want the customers to have the option. A fashion scripture bangle bracelet will sell for $7.99 where its sterling silver counterpart will cost approximately $40.

Well, I'm off to do some cyber shopping. Say a prayer for me that all will go as God intends for it to go. God bless you all and have a great evening!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I called the cops!

Since a family with several kids moved in down the street we've had problems with the kids riding their ATV in the alley behind our house. Twice I've come around the corner to come head on with the boy, barely missing hitting him with my car (my worst nightmare). I've glared at him and his younger companion and have warned them I would be calling the cops, they only smile and continue to do it. They wear no protective gear and are no more than 10 years old, if that, and the younger one is maybe 3 or 4 years old.

Their ATV has stalled many times in the middle of the alley and I always wonder why I never see the mother doing anything to keep these kids in line. This morning, while I was reading a highly recommended book titled Epicenter, I hear the loud noise of the ATV yet again. I look out my window to see the chunky little kid at it again. Mr. Sir is sleeping as he got in from work at 7 am this morning. Fed up, I picked up the phone and called the cops. I told them I paid too much money in property taxes for this crap to be going on without them doing anything about it. That I did not need to be contacted if they would only do their job and tell these annoying people that they do not live out in the country. They are not back home in a country where they can make their own rules. I was livid as this is the umpteenth time I've called on this. I told them that if they would get here in a timely manner that they would catch the little brat in the act. It wasn't but about 15 minutes, if that, when I heard the siren of the cruiser coming down the alley just a few seconds after I heard the nuisance child roar past our back yard.

Now, I'm peacefully reading my much anticipated book. I'm happy, it's quiet, I'm relaxed. I pray that this lasts. I do not like being mean to kids or keeping them from enjoying themselves but for golly gee, what are they thinking, ya know? First and foremost, safety!! Where the heck is the ignorant mother?? Does she not realize the danger those kids are in? The alley is busy with the neighbors construction trucks and tow trucks coming and going. Not everyone is careful coming around the two blind-spot corners on each end of the alley. The kid is going faster than 10 miles an hour...he's unprotected, there's an incline that he can easily flip over on if he goes too fast. If that were to happen it would more than likely kill him or leave him severely injured. There is nobody out there watching him. Almost wants to make me go and shake the mother.

We need to move out of here...too many Latinos moving in. Yes, I said Latinos, Hispanics, Mestizos, etc. Is that racist? I don't think their being Latino bothers me but I am part Latina and I know my people. That is the reason I want to stay away from them. Most have no class whatsoever. They are rude, inconsiderate and ignorant. They also live 20 people to a house...that is the only way they can afford to live in this neighborhood. Don't misunderstand me, I realize there are undesirable people in every race but man these people take the cake.

If any other Latinos are reading this blog and you feel I've offended you - you know I'm right. Whether you want to admit it or not, it's the truth. And if you will re-read that 5th sentence in the above paragraph, you will notice I said MOST...not all. So don't get your undies in a bunch. It's people like those that give us all a bad name.

You won't find my kids running wild and annoying or being a nuisance to others. I will see to that. Manners and proper etiquette are taught early on in a child's life. I wish these people would learn once and for all that just because they put up with their kids and their loud and annoying ways doesn't mean that everyone else must.

Ok...that's it for my rant for the day. Have a marvelous and peaceful day. Hasta luego!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ms. Prissy!!!

Today as I went about doing my usual Friday errands which included taking my new Nissan Altima to get its first oil change at the Honda place...yes, you read correctly, the HONDA dealer, I was labeled as being "prissy".

Now, being that I took ballet for years and having one of the strictest instructors on planet Earth who enjoyed smacking her students with a yardstick if we didn't point our toes properly, I must credit good old Ms. Mary Tanner with this not-so-newly acquired label. You see, this isn't the first time I've been referred to as Ms. Prissy. I recall, not so long ago, as I was leaving church after Sunday morning service when I heard someone calling out..."Hey, Ms. Prissy, how have you been?" I turned to find one of my dear friends from church smiling at me and coming towards me with outstretched arms ready to hug me. I was dumbfounded...my flabber was gasted - to say the least. She then proceeded to tell me how I am always so prim and proper. In my mind I thought....is that a bad thing?

Should I instead just slouch and shuffle when I walk. Maybe I'm enunciating words and emphasizing my speech beyond a reasonable doubt. Should I wear jeans when I'm at home instead of Laura Ashley dresses - albeit some acquired from the resale shop? I'm sorry, I don't do jeans, if you saw the size of my behind, which by the way takes up two zip codes, not one, you'd understand my plight. Should I (heaven forbid) go without makeup when I go out in public? Should I yell at my child instead of asking her politely to put a toy back that is to stay on the store shelves instead of cluttering up her already messy room? I'm looking for insight here. What is a prissy woman to do?

What's funny is that about two months ago I was at Sams picking up some Green Tea for the teenage-type offspring and as I walked past a couple of Latino women I noticed out of the corner of my eye that when they thought I wasn't looking, they mimicked the way I walk! My little princess looked at me and said, "Mommy, they're making fun of the way you walk." I was seething, to say the least. I mean come on...these were two adult women, for crying out loud! Being the wonderfully diplomatic person that I am I waited to get in line beside them. When they got to the cash register I turned to look at them and said, "If you need lessons on walking properly, here's my card." I handed them one of my business cards, smiled and walked away. The look on their faces was priceless.

It seems that the beatings I took from Ms. Tanner not only gave me very strong legs and taught me how to walk "like a lady" but also earned me the title of Ms. Prissy. Little did I know, back when I spent many a night nursing my bleeding toes, that my hard work and aim for excellence would one day come slap me in the face with a cold reality. I am prissy. At first I took it as an attack on my femininity. Then I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb because of it. Then I realized that the best compliment is when somebody pays me a compliment due to my "prissiness" and I'm ok with it.

So, here's to you Ms. Tanner, wherever you are. You can now rest assured that the smacking with the yardstick on my legs paid off in some weird and twisted way. I'm sure you needed to hear that. What's that you say, Ms. Tanner? Why didn't I go on to Broadway to perform in the Nutcracker? Well, you see, Ms. Tanner, my calling was to be here in the south, leading a prissy life and being made fun of by other less-prissy women. Raising kids, being married to Mr. Sir, staying home and being bored out of my gourd. That, Ms. Tanner, is the reason my parents paid an arm and a leg for all those lessons that by no means were a total waste of time or money. I was destined to be a prissy. I was meant to reign supreme above all other prissies. I owe that all to you, Ms. Tanner. I hope you don't have arthritis now, Ms. Tanner, from all those weird poses you forced upon us - your totally devoted students.

Here is the definition of prissy, according to an online dictionary: