Monthly Archives: April 2015

Life with Ed, and the Renovation Project from HELL


Ed has been working on a 2-building renovation project in the ghetto for weeks now, that has pretty much taken over his life. It’s been a delicate juggling act with Ed working at the site as much as possible during the day, mostly supervising his workers so they don’t screw up, and then in the evening doing repair jobs for his regular customers who only want Ed working on their stuff. Two nights in a row this week he wasn’t home until after 9 PM, tired and dirty, and hadn’t eaten ALL DAY. Last night he was home at dinner time, but then we spent the evening going through dozens of receipts and doing the math on this big job.

Ed is taking 2 condemned buildings and turning them into safe, livable apartments. Now the owners are telling him they want it completed in 2 weeks, when in actuality he needs about 4 to get it done right. Yesterday was a critical day, with the owners meeting with Ed in the morning at the job site to discuss the progress and cost, and immediately following that two of Ed’s workers decided it would be a good time to ask Ed for more money. When Ed told them they he couldn’t do it “right now” they walked off the job, essentially screwing Ed over at the worst possible time. I quickly put an ad on Craigslist for temporary workers, and in 2 hours Ed got about 30 calls, hiring several new guys.

Last night he called and smoothed things over with the 2 guys, so not only are they showing up for work today, but there will be a handful of NEW guys showing up this morning to work. Ed is going to be running around like a lunatic trying to manage them all. I don’t envy him today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that at least a couple of these new guys will work out and this damn job gets finished quickly.


The Value of Life — What Are Parents Teaching Their Kids About Respecting Others and Themselves?


Listen, this is how I see it:  Police lives matter. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All races lives matter. Animal lives matter. Plant life matters. Insect lives matter. All LIFE matters. We are all connected in ways we cannot even imagine, and our actions effect so much more than just ourselves. It seems like so many people just do not GET that, or care. It may not be a life that is high on YOUR priority list, but all life is sacred and deserves to be respected. I’m not talking about allowing roaches to take over your home, or a virus to take your life, or not defending yourself against a criminal — there has to be an element of common sense, but we must be very careful about our attitudes towards all living things.

Parents need to teach their children the VALUE of LIFE and every person’s right to be treated with respect and individual dignity, because childhood is where these values are formed, and because if they don’t we will have a society of sociopathic, self-centered monsters on our hands. Respect for life starts in the home, through what your children see you do, how you treat them and others, how you react to things, and what they hear you say, on a daily basis. Do you make snide comments about the homeless guy you just passed in your car? Do you spew verbal hatred at people you see on the news? Do you make fun of people less fortunate than you, or laugh along when someone else does? Do you make it known that you resent people who have more money than you? Do you lack respect for the law and in turn make your kids fearful of the police? Do you talk to your kids in an annoyed, disrespectful and impatient way that makes them feel like they are a burden, keeping you from living the life you want? Do you hit them, or otherwise abuse them? Do you ignore them? This is the poison you’re injecting into your kids that will effect how they live for the rest of their lives. Don’t be surprised if they end up alcoholics, drug addicts, criminals, prostitutes, or at the very least spend their lives chronically depressed or angry and making really poor life choices. Mind your mouth and your actions, PUT DOWN the damn cell phone/tablet/video game controller and spend some quality time with your kids, because children are always watching, hearing, and learning more than you think they are.

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings – Don’t Get Lazy!


I love a good storm. As a small child my mother made sure that thunder and lightening didn’t provoke too much fear in me by getting excited when she heard a storm approaching. She’d go “OOOOOoooo” and smile whenever there was a clap of thunder, and made looking out windows at lightening a spectator sport. I’m now one of those people who has 4+ weather apps on their phone and check the Doppler radar several times a day during storm season. I’ll have a different weather map open on each of my 2 iPads, my iPhone, my iMac, and the Weather Channel on TV if a severe storm outbreak is predicted for that day. My family knows this, and while they sometimes like to make fun of me, I’ll be the first person they text when they’ve been caught off guard by a storm with “why didn’t you warn me?” I follow the weather in all my (4) siblings and many friend’s cities with said apps, and often I’m their first warning that a storm is heading their way.

More often than not we get a warning that a severe storm is heading our way, only to have it fizz out just before reaching us, and that causes us to not take the precautions we should. In the past I’ve had lightening strikes fry a computer, modem and router, large screen TV, a TiVo and multiple other small electronics. I’ve lived in many states (mostly in the northeast US) and found that storms are worse here in the south. But once, while living in Vermont, I had a ground lightening strike travel into the house through my phone line and explode in a ball a few feet from my head! I now unplug everything at the first sign of lightening.

The video shown with this article below is both terrifying and amazing. The most frightening storm I’ve ever experienced was while I was inside my own home a few summers ago here in N. Charleston, SC. The lightening and thunder was right here, not distant, and was relentless. I sat in the windowless hallway with the two dogs on my lap, trying to keep Daisy calm. To this day even distant thunder makes Daisy crazy because of that storm.

Pollen is the devil, but Claritin-D is the lesser of the two evils.


I have seasonal allergies (pollen is the devil). The only thing I have ever found that works to keep me symptom-free is Claritin-D. You know, the one where you have to take the slip of paper to the pharmacy counter and they ask to see your photo ID before they give it to you because so many people use it to manufacture crystal meth? Anyway, the stuff works great, but is not without side effects, the worst of which, for me, is insomnia. But, for me the pros outweigh the cons, and so I suffer from sleep deprivation in order not to feel lousy in other, more unpleasant ways. I’ve been taking it for 2-1/2 weeks now, but just realized that for the last week it hasn’t really been working. My grandkids were sick last week while I watched them, and I assumed they too had allergies. Then my sister started getting symptoms, kept saying she was sick, and I tried to convince her that SHE had allergies. Yesterday, she finally convinced ME that I HAD A COLD! So, I’ve been taking this expensive, OTC, insomnia-inducing medication for a week for no reason. I’m looking forward to a decent nights’ sleep tonight.

Today I plan to take it slow and easy, as I did yesterday, and will be out in my cabin workshop making a few coin rings. I have no outstanding orders for the first time in weeks, so I can play a little today. If I feel up to it I’ll turn on the web cam and broadcast live on my Ustream channel, but only if the mood strikes. Sometimes I just want my quiet privacy. Ed is working on his ghetto-apartments renovation project this weekend, so things are quiet at home.

So, I’ve got this thing now…



I have creative ADHD. I jump around from craft to craft because once I master a thing I seem to get bored with it and want to move on to the next. I kept waiting for something to click — the one thing I would enjoy doing over and over and not get bored with it. I think I’ve found it.

I had an aunt who was an amazing, well-traveled woman. She lived all but the last few years of her life in either Brooklyn, or Queens, NY (my mother, her sister, raised us kids on Long Island, NY). When my aunt passed away a few years ago she left everything to me. I’ve slowly been going through her many boxes of possessions, and a few months ago found a box of coins she had collected during her travels. So, I started search out websites and videos on how to make jewelry out of coins and found a guy making coin rings, and it clicked! In the box of aunt El’s coins were two old New York City subway token rings from the seventies. I thought “these would make cool rings if I put the “New York City” part on the outside of the ring. I made the ring. I loved the ring. I posted photos of the ring on Facebook and my friends loved the ring. Requests started coming in for token rings and other types of coin rings and I haven’t stopped making them since.

I’d like to try my hand at other types of metal jewelry and glass bead making when ring orders slow down a bit, but that may not be for a while. Until then I’m really enjoying discovering new coins to make rings out of. I recently started making rings out of Silver State Quarters and love those too. I’ve found other states and cities that have old subway and bus tokens and plan to put them up for sale in my Square store and Etsy shop soon.

If you’d like to check out my coin rings for sale visit my website at — there are links there to both my Etsy shop and Square Marketplace store. In the meantime, if you have a coin ring request feel free to email me and I’ll see what I can do!

The GENIUS that is


Amazon keeps finding new ways to get us to spend money by making it FUN, and nearly painless.  Amazon takes the instant-gratification ball and runs with it every time.  The very first time I bought an ebook on my second generation Kindle I was like a kid on Christmas morning.  “How cool is this?” I thought — press a button and get a book…immediately!  I was hooked.  Last week my newest Kindle Fire HDX arrived, my third Kindle — a gift I chose, but paid for by Ed (now Amazon has me spending other people’s money, in addition to my own).  Then there’s Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Prime, and, and, and…

I believe that technological conveniences feed laziness and make people dependent and soft, but if a techno-gadget is involved I’m easily won over.  Gadgets and technology fascinate me.  I find this new Amazon Dash Button thingy cool, a little ridiculous and guilt-inducing, but so cool (I don’t need it, but I want it).  People love pushing buttons, and Amazon knows it.  People love and will pay for convenience, and Amazon knows it.  It’s satisfying to push a button and know that something fun/cool/convenient will happen as a result.  The new Amazon Dash Button is like having your own push-button genie in a bottle, except that you have to pay.

I would like to say that I am a grownup and will not give in to this new technological silliness, but if the day ever comes when pushing a button means that in 15 minutes a drone will show up at my door with a package?  SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

Amazon Dash Button