Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Mini Vacation!

What a fast but fun 2 day mini vacation it was! It was myself, my daughter Chantel, granddaughter Emma and her friend Jordan on an all-girl trip! Woo Hoo! We needed to deliver the little girls to bible camp by 4 pm on Monday. We left around noon on Sunday so we would have some extra time to do something fun and spend the night. We had no idea what we were going to do or where but that was part of the fun.
As usual there were problems along the way! I had just gotten my brakes done a few days earlier and they were working fine until we left! We had just gotten a few miles out of town and had noticed a strange smell but had no idea it was coming from my car! I stopped for gas (good thing)and the inside of my drivers side wheel was SMOKING! It was so hot I thought it was going to burst into flames. I called my husband, who was at the Oregon coast and had just finished crabbing on our boat. He told me to go to his friends house which was probably another 5 miles north of the gas station and he would try to help us. So, off we went, hoping that the problem could be fixed...fast....and that we could get on our way!

His friends name is Bob Barker..no..I'm not kidding! He has a shop and he figured out the problem(brake caliper), got the part, fixed it and sent us on our way within an hour or so. Thank You, BOB!

So, we were off on our little adventure. We headed south on Interstate 5. We had no idea what we were going to do but we finally settled on Grants Pass, Oregon which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from where we live. Along the way we stopped in Azalea and Glendale...where we used to live. We traveled the familiar roads and noticed that not much had changed in the area in the past 15 years. A few new houses here and there and that was it. Truthfully, I was happy to see that it hadn't changed much. I hope to retire there someday and I was happy to see it still had the rustic charm and old fashioned feel to the area. We took Emma into Glendale and pointed out her Mom's elementary and junior high school. She wasn't very excited by any of these things....just wanted to know how much longer until we got to Grants Pass. This area is so beautiful with lots of trees and mountains...it was nice to be somewhere different for a change! We made it into Grants Pass and started looking for a hotel. Chantel was set on staying on the Rogue River so we found a hotel downtown. Our room had a balcony overlooking the river. Very peaceful and pretty. We decided to take a jet boat ride on the river the next morning. We ate dinner at a little cafe next door that just happened to be in the same building as the ticket office for the Hellgate Jetboat Excursions. Bought our tickets for the lunch "cruise" set to leave at 9:30 am the next day.
Let's just say I had no idea what the experience on the boat would be. So we were there ready to go promptly at 9:30 a.m. We were waiting in line for the boats to line up since there were about 200 of us there. Each boat could hold up to 62 people. We had a little less than that in our boat. Emma and Jordan sat in front of us and Chantel and I sat together in the row directly behind them. We had a great driver named Rick and we rode on the Kelly Marie...all of the boats were named. There were life jackets for everyone but they weren't required. We were all warned that we could get wet along the way and told to protect our cameras.....I kept mine in a plastic bag and brought it out when it was "safe".

We took off slowly at the beginning and for the first few minutes Rick told us about the wildlife along the river and all the things we could expect to see along the way. We saw all kinds of wildlife...osprey,a bald eagle,several different kinds of duck,Canadian geese,a deer,a turtle and more I'm probably forgetting! It was a very peaceful ride but at the same time it was a very fun ride....like going to the amusement park! These boats literally float on top of the water (at 45-50 miles an hour!)so they are easy to maneuver and they like to "spin" them so you can get sprayed or doused with water. I have long hair and of course never thought to put it up or restrain it in any way. Big mistake!!! I was combing knots out of my hair all day....and there are still some hiding. If you are in the least vain...don't take this ride! I'm really not that vain and all I could keep saying was "look at my hair"!
Okay, enough about my hair. The setting for the lunch was so beautiful!They call it the OK Corral! A huge green lawn leading up to the massive log building. We had been on the boat for about an hour when we passed the location for our lunch and we went through Hellgate Canyon--it's a narrow passage with sheer rock cliffs. We turned around and went back when all the other boats arrived. We had been the first boat to leave and had to wait for the other boats to catch up to us so we could all unload at the dock at the same time. It was easier to feed us all at the same time and get us back onto the boats in an orderly fashion that way.

We had about an hour to spend eating lunch. The location is like a huge log pavilion. It is covered but open air with 3 large sections. Such a beautiful spot! We had to walk up the hill to get to it. That was not so much fun for me but I made it! There was a young girl singing live acoustic music that added to the whole experience. I can't remember her name but she was very good! Our table was set and ready for us. There were little plates of vegetables and black olives waiting. Then came the pitchers of lemonade, ice water and iced tea. Soon,they came around with a green salad, corn bread and drop biscuits(my favorite). Then it was barbecue chicken and au gratin potatoes. Dessert was a delicious Marionberry cobbler with REAL whipped cream. It was all very good!
We rode the tractor wagon back down the hill when it was time to leave because the girls wanted to take that ride too! I was fine with walking down but could have used the ride UP the hill!

We got back on the boat and headed back to Grants Pass. On the way up Rick had told us he was taking it easy on us because (according to his survey) the ladies don't like to get all wet before lunch so he promised us we'd get wetter on the way back and have some fun (he wasn't lying)! He spun the boat a few times and we rode across the wake from another jet boat a few times...basically racing them back to Grants Pass. I mostly covered my eyes and wouldn't look! I got really wet one time he spun the boat on our side. I was a little bit scared too! My pants were still wet after we got back home many hours later....from the water:)
Still, I have to recommend this to any one who will be in the area for a visit or passing through. It was a lot of fun and I think we're going to go on the dinner trip and bring the menfolk before summer is over!

We had a little time to spare before we dropped the girls off at camp so we took them on Upper Cow Creek Road east of Azalea to Galesville Reservoir and they swam for about an hour. It's very peaceful there and is still virtually unknown. It hasn't changed much since we moved but it looked like they had finally started building the camp ground we heard was going to be built over 15 years ago! It was always a great place to boat and fish when we lived nearby. I sure miss the area....so pristine and beautiful! We used to have a herd of elk that would roam through our back yard. My husband loved to hunt deer in the area. We used to fish all the time. Life was very simple then. Oh....how I miss it!
We dropped off the girls at camp in Glendale on our way home at about 4 pm. They checked in, unloaded all their stuff and moved into their cabin. Of course, Emma wanted the top bunk so Jordon got the lower bunk. Their cabin host was a teenage girl with guitar in tow so I think they'll have some fun with her. I hope they are having a good time. It's hard to leave Emma for so long! It's probably good to let go a little bit.....
Chantel and I continued home. We were both very tired but looking forward to doing it all again sometime soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Girl.....

Here's my girl! My granddaughter Emma! She's the inspiration for emmasgems. She's 9 years old. She's off to Bible Camp this week at the same camp her Mom went to at the same age. It's funny how life is a circle. I never would have guessed that someday I'd be taking my granddaughter to the same camp! She's off to swim,craft,study and stay in a cabin with her best friend, Jordan for 5 long days.

I'm looking forward to the trip to Southern Oregon. I've been missing the area where we used to live and like to go back to see how it's changed. It's been a few years since the last visit so it will be fun. We'll have some extra time before the girls get dropped off at camp so we'll show Emma where we used to live and take her to her Mom's old schools, etc. Hopefully, these are all things she will keep in her memory.

I remember my Grandma telling lots of stories about places she'd lived, other relatives and things she'd done but never really paid attention or retained the information. I listened to her, just never thought that I would forget all of it. Now that she's no longer here some of those stories are lost forever. I do remember some of them. Probably a good time to note that some things should be written down for future generations, photos should be dated, photos should have the place and/or individuals noted.

These are all things learned after my grandparents died when piles of photos couldn't be identified. They kind of lose their meaning to the family....which reminds me that I have a huge box of loose photos.....undated and unidentified! I think this is now on my "someday" list.

I have spent quite a bit of time on genealogy research within my family. I thought it was important to have that information to share with my everyone in my family. It is unorganized and would not be understandable to anyone but me! I was working on a couple different lines at the same time and even I would get confused sometimes! Okay, another thing added to the "someday" list. I think it is important to know where all the branches of your family came from, their struggles and triumphs! To have all of that information available is a blessing. Wow, did I go off on a tangent! Funny how one thing leads to another.....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Life....

I gave my notice at work yesterday. My last day will be August 13th. What a scary but liberating thing for me to do! I will be so happy to have my life back. I worked for 2 years doing the graveyard shift which never quite agreed with me...or my family. I'll miss my job but I'm looking forward to new possibilities. I will now be babysitting my grandkids during the week and working on my etsy shops in my spare time. I plan on getting more done around the house too. My life has been a disaster for 2 years and I look forward to getting organized and finally getting to do all those "someday" projects. I feel so much better now that I have made a decision once and for all. I was having terrible nightmares for weeks because I was in such turmoil over the whole thing. What a relief!

The photo above is one of my beautiful vintage compacts. I will be adding several of them to my etsy shop in the next few weeks. I have so much to add to my shops and just haven't had the time. I hope that will change as soon as I'm done with my job and get "settled" into a routine.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Favorite Etsy Shop Of The Week!

Here is my favorite etsy shop of the week :LaPatisserie. They say they are located in Paris, France(not really!) and make the most wonderful rings and things! They look so good you'll want to eat them! Hard to resist......

Please check them out on etsy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Work & Family

After much thought I have decided to quit my day job! I'm very excited but scared at the same time. I just decided that I had too many obligations and my family was being shortchanged. Now to let the bosses know......

My family is very happy about this though and that is what matters most. I've been through alot in the last few months including cancer so I am very aware of how short life can be. I need to pay attention to my gut feeling that this is the right thing to do. It's been a long time coming. I will be very busy but enjoying every minute of it! I will be babysitting my grandkids during the week. Emma is 9, Evan is 2 and baby Ezra is 3 months old. They are all adorable of course!

My goal is to spend more time creating and gathering for all my etsy shops. I sell vintage costume jewelry and I like to create my own one of a kind jewelry using parts and pieces of vintage costume jewelry. I have a fascination with resin and I like to use that as a medium too!

I hope to start to feature some of my favorites on etsy and to maybe have a giveaway or two in the future. I can answer some questions about vintage costume jewelry but I'm not an expert. I think I've learned a little over the years so we'll see.....

New Pendant Projects

I'm gearing up for the holiday selling season and started working on some new pendants today. Still have to do the resin process but will wait till I have more ready to go. A little goes a long way and I always seem to waste too much . I'm trying to do better on that! These are little 1 x 1 inch brass squares. My silver squares are on backorder. I'm also trying to use up lots of watch backs that I have acquired. I try to be unique and add elements that I haven't seen before. Photos soon! Have lots of ideas and not so much time....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hello! I'm new here.........

This is all new to me and I'm still trying to figure this blogging thing out! My name is Kitty and I live in Oregon. I wanted to post mostly about my etsy business and what I do there but I think you'll read about my family too! You'll hear lots about my grandkids!
I sell vintage costume jewelry on etsy. I really enjoy it alot. Sometimes it takes over my life but I still can't help myself! I work full time too so I keep myself busy between my family, "real" job and etsy! I also make new jewelry from broken bits and pieces of vintage costume jewelry from my huge collection. I will add some photos soon. I'm always trying new techniques and hope to get some new designs into my 3 shops for Christmas. Yes, I do have more than one shop on etsy!
I will also be adding links to my favorite etsy shops too! There are so many great things to be found there.
Please come back and see my photos! Kitty