Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Sometimes I like being home alone with no radio, no TV, no music – just the quiet of the house. The house makes small talk all the time, but mostly to an inattentive audience, so sometimes it's pleasant to take time to stop, notice and soak in all it has to say and the atmosphere. I like it so much because the place doesn’t belong to someone else. Every stud and beam and door and window belongs to us – our names are on the deed and on the mailbox. And it comes with all the sounds and quirks that make it home.

Home. I love the squeak in the bedroom floor just in front of my dresser. I love the sound of footsteps coming up the front porch steps bringing a visitor or package. I love having a doorbell, not a buzzer from the front door three flights down. I love the sound of the heat kicking in and out, cars going by on the street, the birds squawking and clamoring at the feeders by the kitchen window...the sprinklers that come on in the middle of the night...the landscapers mowing and blowing and trimming during the day.

And as the day winds down, there’s the sound of the Robins at dusk. They have a special call that says, “Hurry home. It’ll be dark before long. It’s time to rest.” It brings back my bedtime as a child - In bed, waiting for sleep, to the sound of the Robins at twilight.
Now when I get in bed at night I open the curtains wide so I can see the woods in the darkness and catch glimpses of the stars before I fall asleep. On nights when the moon is full I love the way the moonlight streams through the windows illuminating the woods and our room with an ethereal light. I struggle to stay awake to watch because I can’t bear the thought of missing any of it. Sometimes I sit on the floor in front of the window, my chin on my arms, watching the darkness and listening to the sounds until I can’t stay awake any longer. In the spring the peepers make such wonderful music at night....the sound of the world waking up from its winter sleep. And in late summer I love the constant nighttime calls of the tree frogs keeping track of each other from opposite sides of the woods. “Where are you? I’m here! Where are you? I’m here” It drives some people nuts, but it’s like a symphony to me. It gives me such a peace.
Home. A blessing we assumed had passed us by -it was such a long time coming. I’m thankful for it most when I come back at night after being here or there and find that Don has left the porch light on for me. It's a welcoming committee of one that says “Hurry and come in. We’ve been waiting up for you. We’re all together again. Welcome Home”

Monday, April 26, 2010


There’s something about those little stickers that come on apples, peaches, plums, pears and oranges that I just can’t resist. For years, the frame on the bulletin board of every office in which I’ve worked has been covered with them and to my knowledge no one has ever removed them once I’ve left – my own version of “Kilroy was here”.

At one company where I worked for over nine years, I covered most of a doorframe in my office with the stickers. It was definitely a conversation piece. The only rival I’ve ever had in that regard was a colleague at the same company who had a couple dozen pencils that she threw like darts into the acoustic ceiling tile of her office. We were a creative bunch. I’m sure maintenance took a dim view of both of us, but no one ever said anything.

The more stickers I stuck, the better I seemed to feel. Well, that’s kind of an exaggeration – they don’t dictate my frame of mind and I don’t think about them all the time or anything (I’m not that over the edge yet) but there is a certain satisfaction in adding to their number and seeing them accumulate.

I’m fussy about my stickers too. Not just any sticker makes the cut. Price stickers don’t count, and the stickers you find on bananas are too big. I have been known to include a couple of those on my bulletin boards and door frames, but I always feel like I’m “cheating” when I do.

If I’m at home with no place to stick them (they don’t go on my door frames), I stick them on my palm, on a fingernail or roll them up into a little tube. I play with them until the sticky stuff on them is gone. Every now and then a stray sticker will show up on the top of the tape dispenser in the kitchen or on the side of the file cabinet in my den. Sometimes I’ll just put them on a piece of paper, which I can then discard. But I can’t seem to just toss out my little sticker friends straight from the fruit.

Nothing like putting a personal idiosyncrasy out there for the world to see but I suppose my sticker fascination is better than being a closet zit picker. Still, after what I’ve just committed to paper, who am I to judge another’s quirkiness?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Invisible Friends

A year and a half ago when I opened my first shop on Etsy, if anyone had told me that I'd be as addicted to it as I am today, I think I would have fallen over. I'm addicted to Etsy the way some people are to Face Book or texting, or computer games. I have to say, I really love my little shop, Olivia's Garden, where I offer my hand made jewelry. The whole process is fun...making the pieces, taking the photos, posting them and then checking the shop 685 times a day (maybe more) to see how many shop views I've gotten or if I've made a sale. The sales seem to be happening on a more regular basis lately I'm happy to say!

But the very best part about Etsy is my group of "invisible" friends. Last summer I found a mention of the Jewelry on Etsy Team (the JETS) - so I emailed to see about becoming a member. They had a waiting list, but at the end of what was a very rough November for me, I was invited to join - perfect timing too. Might be a little over the top to say that it changed my life, but it definitely has had a very positive impact.
Let me tell you about my Jets. It's a group of very smart, very talented, very caring and silly as hell women plus one really great guy - he's all of those things too except that he's, you know - a guy! We live all over the world - Scotland, the UK, Australia and all over the US...and...we all make jewelry. You may think that since we all make jewelry there would be a lot of competition, but nothing is farther from the truth! Camaraderie yes, competition not at all...I've never met a more supportive, encouraging group of people. We chat every day on the team thread. We share secrets for making sales, create treasuries and other ways to promote each others shops, encourage each other to try new things, revel with each other when the sales fairy pays one of us a visit, lament with each other over NPB or difficult customers, and ooh and ahh over every new listing that one of us posts. But it goes farther than just the "business" end of selling on Etsy. I've never met any of these people in person, but I feel like I can call them all friends. We share success stories, home construction, work frustrations, pictures, stories about kidlets and fur babies, spats with spouses, rifts with families, losses of friends or loved ones, illnesses, worries, *Waves*, ((hugs)) and *pinches* on the (_)_). Then there are the nicknames - Glitz, Coolie, Aba, AJ, Bei, Emo, Crayons, Smack, Brassy, Beadz, Gillie, Birdie, Bug, Stout, 3, Satin, Fuchsia, Wearable, OGG, Van, Indie....(and Glitzy calls me Lovelia - which make me laugh every time!!) to name just a few.... and a whole bunch of other really wonderful things. And... we share our creativity. I'm a firm believer that creativity is contagious and my creativity has taken a giant leap forward from being around this wonderful group of people.
My husband and my friends at work laugh at me when I mention these nick names in conversation because they know I've spent time with my "invisible" friends again. I don't care - let em laugh.....I wouldn't trade it for anything! Love you guys!