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Mail Call April 28, 2008

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship.
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Is collecting your mail the highlight of your day?  It is for me, sometimes.  Sure….there always seems to be a bill of some kind, but usually, there’s something equally delightful to off-set it.  Take Friday, for example. I had a most excellent mail day.  A package from Catt with some cool new presses, a gorgeous bead that I had ordered from Hayley, and a total surprise package with the cutest turtle shelf-sitter (inside joke) and gorgeous bracelet from my friend Lisa, who just happened to instinctively know that I needed a little pick-me-up.

Saturday, it was a bunch of movies from Blockbuster.  Granted, I have to pay for the priviledge of having movies delivered to my door.  But on a no-make-up Saturday when I don’t even want to leave the house….its sooooooo worth that monthly subscription fee!

Today was a really exciting day at the mailbox.  Not only did I get the latest issue of the ISGB “Glass Bead”, but my visitors guide to New Orleans arrived, too!  So obviously, as soon as I’ve signed off here, I’ll be cozying up in bed, admiring the work of my contemporaries and dreaming of my cajun vacation!

Now where did I throw down that gas bill…………oh well, we’ll worry about that one tomorrow.

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Anticipation…… April 19, 2008

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship, Parenthood.
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Is it really the best part??  Sometimes I think so.  I’m never happier than when I’m planning something.  Doesn’t really matter if its a simple movie date, or a full-blown vacation, I’m just thrilled to pieces anytime there are plans to be made, and something to look forward to.

Consequently, I’m a really, REALLY happy girl right now.  One of my best bead-buds, Deanna Chase is coming for a playdate weekend in just two short weeks, and she’ll be here at the perfect time to meet the rest of the Smoky Mtn. Firecrackers at our next meeting!

Three weeks after Deanna’s visit, my son will be graduating from high school, and we all know there are tons of festivities and activities to plan for around that time.  In celebration of finishing school, B.W, and I will be meeting my best friend Marte and her son Adam in New Orleans for an eight days of fun during the week of July Fourth!  We plan to tour some of the galleries and museums, do the haunted walking tours of the historic cemetaries, maybe gamble a bit at the new Harrah’s casino, take a riverboat cruise, see the Audobon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas, and of course, eat entirely too much fresh seafood!  Living in land-locked areas that are pretty much the capitals of beef consumption, Marte and the boys and I will be taking full advantage of all the fresh catches that the gulf will provide.  😀  And we’ll cap our week off with the Dueling Barges Fireworks show from the bank of the grand Mississippi River.

After spending all that “quality time” together on vacation, B.W. and I will have to come home and start packing up his room, because the first of August will find him moving to Nashville and getting ready to begin his classes at Nashville Auto Diesel College.  I think he’s finally beginning to get a little excited at the thought of stepping out on his own, moving to the city and taking the first steps to a career for which he’s already shown great aptitude.

And if that weren’t enough excitement to make for a fabulous summer, I just found out this week that I made it into GlassStock again this year!  My friend Carol Crye and I both made the draw, so we’re gonna plan a couple extra days after our classes, and spend some time with our friend Kaye Husko torching and playing with what we learned, as well as doing some exploring on the beautiful Oregon Coast.

And with a jam-packed schedule like that, I suppose I should quit planning the activities and go make some beads so I can plan how to pay for them!  😀  Look for a ton of new stuff coming up on Etsy this week. 

Decidedly Single January 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy.
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What is it that makes us want to be on our own or to couple?  Is it a trait in our DNA, or societal pressures?  Is it ever-lasting love?  Whatever it is that drives most women to marry…..or at the least co-habitate…..I don’t seem to have it.

 Some girlfriends and I were having a discussion a few days ago, and we were all doling out advice on love and men and marriage, when one of the girls made the comment about how much our advice is colored by our own experiences and whatever baggage we’ve gained along the way in our relationships.  And it hit me just how true that is.  And while each of us would only ever give advice that we thought would help the others, our point of views are so vastly different that we all have varied answers to the questions at hand. 

Now I’ve been married.  I’m not anymore, so obviously I wasn’t very good at it.  I got married at 23, on the spur of the moment….on a lark….ran off and eloped with a man I’d only dated for four months, while my parents were in Florida celebrating New Years Eve!  Any strangers reading this won’t realize what a shocking statement that is….but anyone who knows me now has trouble believing that I would EVER do anything that impulsive.  Let alone anything that life-altering.  But I too was young, naive, and in serious heat once, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  At least it fit into that whole “I’ll try anything once” ideal that I had going on in the eighties.

I was lucky in that I married a decent, hard-working man who was NOT a sociopath in any sense of the word.  But after having lived on my own for a while, just sharing my space with another person was a big change.  Couple that with having my new step-daughter on the weekends, and my own son being born two years later, and I no longer recognized the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent single gal I’d once been.  And neither did my husband.  I was now, and forevermore, that person called, “MOM”.  Not a bad trade by any means, and certainly not one I regret.  But I buckled down, and tried my best to become what I thought that word meant.  Mom= homecooked meals, pta, scouts, clean house, playdates, birthday parties, and made-from-scratch baked goods at least twice a week!  And all of this on top of working another full-time job outside the home.  For my husband, Dad=life as usual.  Somehow, that didn’t exactly seem like a fair trade.

So after 10 years of marriage, and neither of us knowing what happened to that carefree girl he’d married, we decided to call it quits.  It was a very amicable divorce, and I’m happy to say that 10 years post-divorce, we’re still the best of friends, and are quite comfortable co-parenting our now 18 year old son.  I’m also happy to report that the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent, single-gal Angie is back with a vengeance.  I like not having to work around anyone else’s schedule.  I like making plans to do what I want, when I want to do it.  I like having two closets and not having to share a bathroom with a hairy man.  I like reading as long as I want at night without having to worry if the light bothers someone else.  I like being able to eat cold cereal for supper three nights in a row and not having to feel guilty because I didn’t cook.  I like not having to clean up someone else’s mess.  I like always being in control of the remote.  I miss regular sex, and the intimacy that comes from that connection present when you’re part of a couple.  So its a trade-off.

But I did have to stop and think about some of the advice that I’d been so freely dispensing to some of my girlfriends when they were complaining or venting about their husbands and boyfriends, and not let my personal choices temper my responses to them.  Because while I like being single, not everyone does.  And don’t get me wrong…..I still have great respect for the institution of marriage, and more admiration for couples who make it work long-term than you can imagine.  Its work.  HARD work.  And a successful marriage is a rare thing in this day and time, and all the more special because of its rarity.  But its still not a project I’m interested in taking on again anytime soon! 

Good Things October 2, 2007

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy, Quotes.
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Some of my online girlfriends and I play this game sometimes called “Five Good Things”.  Everyday for a week (or sometimes more), we all list five good things about that day.  The purpose of the exercise is to remind ourselves that no matter how crappy our day feels, there are always still things there to be thankful for, and if we focus on the good things, the bad ones don’t feel quite as traumatic.  Sometimes we have to dig deep to find five things, but if we’ve learned anything, its that practicing this sense of gratitude for the simple things makes us not dwell on the rough stuff so much.

 I’ve had one of those good days today, where five things would just be a beginning to my list.  It seems to have been one of those days where the planets were in perfect alignment to drop things in my lap that made me happy.  I got my hair colored the most gorgeous shade of Addison Montgomery-Sheppard red.  My desk was completely cleaned off when I left work.  Mother and I got a huge order for beads from one of our favorite clients, who also happens to be a gifted artist herself.  I submitted photos of my beads for publication for the first time, and they were accepted.  Adam came to visit B.W. for a few days, and seeing the two of them together reminds me so much of my youth spent with Marte that it makes me feel positively young again.  One of my customers asked me today if I’d lost weight.  (I haven’t, but that’s beside the point, right?)  I got a box of glass in the mail.  And best of all??  One of my friends made me feel very, VERY special today by saying some wonderful things about me. 

Remember that post I made earlier this week about doing something kind for someone special in your life??  Kaye did that for me, and I’m sure has no idea (until she reads this) of just how much it meant to me.  And the best part is that all the things she said about me, are exactly the ways I feel about her.

So today, I want to take that challenge even a little bit further.  This week, you should make it your mission to do some act of kindness for someone who isn’t regular presence in your life.  That random acquaintence, or total stranger.  Look for opportunities to make someone’s day better, bolster their self-confidence, or perform a service that will make them both grateful and curious about who did them a good turn.  I’m a huge quote collector, so here are a few to inspire you to search out those small ways you can improve the life of someone around you.  Pass them on!

*  Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. *  Author Unknown

*  Real generousity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.  *  Frank A. Clark

*  Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.  *  Mother Teresa

*  The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person’s life.  *  William Wordsworth

*  Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.  *  Mark Twain

*  No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.  *  Aesop

Girl’s Day Out September 22, 2007

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship.
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What could possibly be more fun that an old-fashioned girl’s day out??  A girl’s day out at a BEAD SHOW!  Yep, that’s right.  I’ve been a bad, BAD girl today.  Three of us loaded up and drove to Murfreesboro today, and we’ve literally shopped til we dropped.  I got a TON of new silver goodies.  (Well, maybe not a ton, but between Ma and I, we bought waaaaay over a kilo!)  All three of us also picked up Kumohimo kits to start braiding some cords for our lampwork focals, as well as a bunch of c-lon thread and a couple of new patterns for making treasure bracelets.  After we’d shopped away half the day, we stopped at Puleo’s Grill for Sangria and appetizers (ever tried fried asparagus?  If not, you should!), and followed those up with the best cake called Chocolate Lasagna.  I was so completely stuffed, I wondered if I’d be able to stay awake for the two hour drive home!  LOL!

 So what is it exactly that makes a day out with the girls so rejuvenating??  I wonder this very thing every time we have a day like today.  It doesn’t seem to matter what we do, where we go, or how many of us there are.  (With my bunch, its usually somewhere between two and eight of us)  The where’s and whys don’t appear to make a difference……its all about the comfort of the companionship.  With your girlfriends, you can say anything, totally be yourself, scratch wherever you itch, fart if you feel like it, and discuss all those “womanly” topics that make the men in our lives so nervous.  There is something very freeing about spending time with people who will love you no matter what.  So I wanna give a shout-out to Vern and Terri for being those people for me today.  You girls sure know how to have a good time!