Monday, December 29, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Thanks sister Nancy for being more on the ball than I am! At least someone gets things posted now and then.

Where have we been?

Good question! Yes, I know, we went off on our annual retreat and that was it. No newsletter, no emails, no stories, nothing. Anyone curious as to why? We each have our reasons, but the bottom line falls to me [Denise] because I put the materials together that each sister sends, and do the web work on the newsletter. So slap me with that wet noodle, because I did not 'git 'er done', obviously!
The good and the bad; most of this fall I have spent my 'free' time working on bears! Each morning before going to work, each afternoon/evening after work - creating bears packed with memories from the boxes of clothing and stories folks sent me. The upside is that my business did well, topping last years, and helped many with their memories in a special way. The downside is .... no newsletter.
Let's hit the high spots: we had an awesome retreat (see Nan's report) and wish we could win the lottery so we'd have more time to work on our projects without the daily commitment to the 'day' job. Of course, that does require buying tickets, and then the chances are still slim to none!
Veteran's Day: Thumbs up to all our veterans, and those who serve for us now. We will never forget.
Thanksgiving: Linda and Rhett trekked over to Eastern Oregon to spend it with Mother Teresa, and Ruth & Jerry. Nancy and George were able to visit while they were there, and had a great time going through boxes of treasures helping Ruth get things into her new house, sewing room, office, etc. Lynn had to work, so couldn't go with them. Clyde & Chrysta came down and spent a restful weekend with us. Yes, I kept working on bears!
Christmas: We're all getting ready for this special time of year, each in our own way. Snow has hit most of us, and it looks like we'll have a white Christmas for sure. Our biggest Christmas wish is that everyone be safe, whether staying home or traveling.
New Year: We wish everyone a healthy and prosperous year. We'll try to be consistent again! Oh yes, at our corporate meeting we resolved to continue our production of handcrafted, often one of a kind, definitely unique custom made heirloom quality gifts and useful things for the delectation of any interested parties. Now did that sentence confuse you? Good! Bound to keep you tuned in to see what additional craziness we manage!!
God Bless you all, and if you want to sign up for the newsletter, send an email to, subject: Sign me up!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

October gathering

Our annual Ocotber retreat/gathering/corporate meeting was once again a resounding success. This picture is but one of many taken during our stay on Whidbey Island, Washington. We were hosted by sister Linda's youngest son, Erin, who graciously let us take over his house and also served as an excellant tour guide. The absence of stress, the wonderful company, and the creative conversations, along with some shopping at some very quaint shops was enjoyed by all of us. Somehow this annual retreat refuels our creative juices and gets our brains recharged so that we may continue to expand our businesses.
The most important part, though, is the fact that just being together for this short time is a balm for our souls. One Mom, four sisters - how much better could it get!!!! Watch for more news in our monthly newsletter. Go subscribe at
Now its back to work on our embroidery business which is underway. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New "toy" great embroidery to come!!

Good morning everyone. My husband & I have just purchased a commercial embroidery machine. It arrived yesterdery and is set up and running beautifully. We look forward to creating some unique and beautiful items for our customers. I am totally impressed with the ease of operation for this 12 needle machine. Also it is quiet and very well made. Now we must become students and learn about all the wonderful options and nifty things one can do with this machine.
We have just relocated our sewing/craft room and along with that put in new flooring in that room and the adjacent room as well. Whew! Lots of moving stuff around and sorting and pitching (well some pitching anyhow) as well as aching backs.
Fall is coming soon it appears so we want to get these projects finished up so we can settle in for the winter and make beautiful things.
Happy Fall all!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Who is busy, busier or busiest?

The answer would be down to a photo finish, the Michael Phelps 100th of a second, if we could even figure it out! However, everyone is....too busy!
Subsequently our August newsletter became our August/September newsletter. Lazy days of summer is something we have not seen in years. Denise's job allows her more summer flexibility [school is closed!] but then other things take over and the only lazy part is not having to 'dress up' every day. Sweats, jeans, shorts - all good for working at home.

We hope we are back on track, the newsletter is up and running, and you too can get on the list for this FREE newsletter just by emailing us at . We do NOT share or sell our mailing list. You will receive a link to the online newsletter and can look or delete. It won't fill up your mail box!

I didn't say we weren't busy any longer, just on track again. We are each juggling multiple responsibilities which include full time jobs, home businesses, families, and other things we get roped into!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's Summer!!

Summer is here with a vengeance it seems. The forest fires have begun, but luckily for us they are not close by. Unluckily the smoke has drifted here from N. Calif. and is clogging the air.

The last three weekends, I've gone to Saturday Market at Brookings with sister Linda and a trailer of gorgeous flowers from Nelsen Family Farms. We took some of our Homestead Store items along as well, offering some 'Saturday Market' pricing. There has been renewed interest in our Northwest Primitive Bear. This little stuffed guy comes with 3 Salmon which can be fed to the bear. Once the feeding is done, they can be removed [velcro tab on the tummy] and re-fed as many times as you like. Interested? Email us at for info.
What else? Besides the regular daily 'stuff', we are working on some new projects and will share when we can!
God Bless,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Busy? Us?

Oh yeah!! School is finally out, and my 'day job' wrapped up for a few weeks. Now the real work begins as I try to catch up at home. My sisters of course are still stuck with their day jobs, so I dare not 'brag' too much! However, so far I have come to the rescue of one twice - giving up my Saturday and part of Sunday to go to the coast. Rough duty, hm? grins!!
At the Nelsen farm, they are planting, and planting and planting. Brother in law Rhett is on the tractor most of the time and yet flower baskets needed to go to the Saturday Market at the coast. I went with Linda as the 'hired help' and also took some Homestead Store items and advertising [and of course bears]. We sold lots of flowers and fresh peas, the weather was nice both weekends, the farm bought our dinner each day [crab, we had crab!!] I got my exercise loading and think I should have paid them?
Today I am going to alternate between unfinished "Oh My Gaudy" fashion projects and working on my watering system at home. Came home with hoses and fittings yesterday, had to search half the darn town for the simplest thing for my drip system. Go figure.
Bye the way, we are having a photo shoot for Oh My Gaudy in July and then will upload new pictures. They are usually much better than the ones taken hanging on a hanger or on Dumb Dora, so we tend to wait until we have live models!
Finished my coffee, so I better get busy doing some other stuff......
Take care!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Free Newsletter and unique gifts

That is what we offer at The Homestead Store. The newsletter is monthly and free. We send a link so you can view it online and not worry about how you are going to open it, or will your email service handle the size etc. If you would like to subscribe after you check it out, drop us an email at and we'll add you!
Unique gifts? Absolutely! Visit The Homestead Store and you'll find links to many unique handcrafted and often one of a kind gifts for any occasion.
Why do we do this? Because we like to!! Are we crazy? Probably. Perhaps it is just stress relief from our regular week day jobs. Perhaps it is because we can't still the creative side, or quit wondering if we tweaked something would it be better, nicer, more unique. Perhaps it is because we like to make things to preserve memories for others. Perhaps we ARE a bit crazy. Does it matter? We carry and make items you just won't find elsewhere!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WHERE has the time gone??

It has been almost a month since my spring break escape. The weather has been eratic [typical Oregon spring] with some weekends nice and some not. However, we are all 'snowed under' with work, special projects and more work!
We were at our first craft fair of the year, a couple weekends ago. We don't do many of these because we are MAKING things on the weekend! Perhaps if the full time regular day jobs went the way of retirement, we might do more shows/fairs. However, it was good to dust of the boxes, get out the products and have some feedback. A couple sales didn't hurt either. Perhaps the most rewarding -- a couple invites to other fairs from folks who were scouting for handcrafted origiinal products. Right now that is not something we can do, but it could happen during the summer. Primitive frames, rustic frames, kids activity kits, note cards, bears, Oh My Gaudy fashions -- all get checked out and received a good review.
Off to my other job now,

Monday, April 14, 2008


Do you know what this flowering 'bush' is?

I'm sure someone out there will recognize this plant, often used in fence building.

You're probably thinking "just what does this have to do with the Homestead Store?" Right? Not much!! Just seen and photographed on our recent travels. [which should give you a clue]

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We're back!!

Been back a while, but work at the regular day job, catch up on my bear business [there were two dozen bears waiting for my fingers] and our fashion biz Oh My Gaudy have definitely been in the way of writing for very long if at all.

The trip was GREAT! We spent time with grands and saw a lot of sites - I'll throw up some photos before long.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Road Trip!

We're on the road again!!

Spring break is almost here and time to visit the grands, including the newest, Johnathan, who is already a year old. Myself, Mother Teresa, Mom Helen, Sister in law Donna are loading up and heading out. First hurdle is over the Siskiyous about 7:30 this AM, but only cloudy we hope. On south to Bakersfield area. Day two to Long Beach to visit the Queen Mary and then nephew Brandon at Camp Pendleton. Day three - on to Arizona. We'll update later!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Getting ready for spring!

Once again it is time to be ready for spring and all it brings us! The new shoots, green grass, flowers, trees, all the rebirth of the season. I absolutely love this time of year, it gives us all a sense of new beginning and hope. Part of my spring ritual now includes a Celebration of Fiber and Textile which is designed to raise interest in fiber and textile arts and crafts. Last years show was a success and this years promises to be bigger and better.

Announcing the 2nd Annual Celebration of Fiber and Textile!
Nancy Fincher, wife of the Exalted Ruler of the
Mountain Home Elks Lodge, is sponsoring the
2nd Annual Celebration of Fiber & Textiles.
There will be a fashion show at 1pm showcasing the designs of
the Mountain Home High School Fashion Design class.
There will be a silent auction to raise funds for a scholarship
which will be presented to a deserving student during the event.
PROCEEDS go to the scholarship.
Buffet Lunch at 12:00 (8.00 per person)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
American Legion Hall
515 E. 2nd S.
Mtn Home, ID
Contact: Nancy Fincher at 587-4129 or email
Please RSVP by May 10th.
There will be various exhibits for the enjoyment of everyone,
displaying different types of fiber and textile works!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What is a Primitive Frame?

Good question, because there are probably several answers! At the Homestead Store however, it means a non mitered frame, made of recycled wood.

The edges are worn, there is evidence of 'prior use' as one would expect with recycled materials. On the back side a portion of the frame is made to hold perfectly the required size; ie, 8x10 or 5x7 or just about any custom size you might request. Each frame is made by hand, from acquiring the pre-used lumber to ripping, cutting, sanding, painting if desired, sanding again. assembly etc. Some of our lumber is well over 80 years old.

They work well with glass and photos, needlework, paintings....anything that would be set off perfectly with a primitive frame!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Not enough hours in the day.....

As we all well know. Because the four of us work full time jobs, it is really hard to find the time for our own projects, let alone the ones we should be working on together. Another problem - distance!! Linda and I live the closest, about 50 miles apart.
Orders for items we already have in stock are easy. Custom orders are a little harder but never a problem because we each have our specialty and the materials usually on hand to take care of them. So what's the problem you ask? NEW items! When we are in a creative mode. Our best things tend to come from the interchange of ideas and developing the prototypes. Does the distance issue stop us? Not at all. We have learned to work around the challenges and thank goodness for the internet! Not only is most of our business done online, taking the place of brick and mortar stores we don't have the hours to be in anyway, but most of our meetings are online as well.
What does this mean to you? Probably not a thing!! It may however reinforce the thought that where there is a will, there is a way. If you want to do something badly enough, go for it. Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Whenever we stumble across an interesting site or blog, we're going to share. Garden Girl is a blog with great info, check it out!

That's it for today, I've got a list a mile long of things to do. Hip replacement on a memory bear is high on the list. This is one I made a while ago, and it has obviously been well loved. The gma brought it to me with a plea for help!

Then there are the blue baby blanket bears that are visiting as well. Made them a couple years ago, but their owner had an idea for an article for a craft magazine so they are here for a photo shoot. Hmm, maybe this weekend if I can get the right spot of good weather!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Yesterday afternoon was beautiful, and things ARE starting to grow. I can see my snowdrops in the front yard, altho they were not quite open yet. Anemones should be along soon, and the mountain jasmine that grows crazily around my yard fence. If they are as laiden with blooms as usual, I'll get a snap of them.
Today it is off to Medford for jury duty.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Top o' the mornin' to you!

Yesterday was beautiful, you could walk around outside in the sun without a jacket and not be freezing! Is spring on the way? Don't count on it!
Linda came over mid day and we spent the afternoon designing. Oh, sidebar: we assembled the wonderful new Ott-lite my son and daughter in law got me for Christmas. It is a floor lamp style, has an attached magnifier. AWESOME!! This was perfect for matching fabrics and embellishments yesterday. We are working on a new design for Oh My Gaudy and now each have our assignments. I need to develop the rest of the pattern [yes, we make our own] and then mark where Linda needs to add embroidery before the garments are sewn. It will take a combination of both our skills and equipment. Pattern making, sewing machines, embroidery machine, serger, beads and crystals from Fire Mountain Gems, four eyes for detail and balance....and a good bit of finger crossing and prayers!
Today it is off to town for a bit to work on my mother in law's computer, then hopefully not too late home, so I have time for a bit more sewing before the week begins all over.
This week has a bit of a hitch, as I have jury duty - for sure Tuesday and then who knows.
More later if I get time! Oh, we have a monthly newsletter, free, you can sign up for that by dropping us an email

Denise at Homestead Store and Bellybutton Bears

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cabin Fever setting in

A friend sent me this picture because she knows I adore hummingbirds! Doesn't it make you want to be outside in your yard/garden? It sure does me and I want to hang my hummingbird feeders....yeah, yeah, yeah I know its WAY too early but I can dream can't I?
The weather is supposed to be warming some here with the precip turning towards rain.
It has been such a winter around here that there is a herd of Elk ( about 1000 or so) along the freeway between here and Boise! Would almost, note I said almost, be worth a trip to Boise just to see them.
Love and hugs to all, Nancy

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Old man Winter is hanging around SW Idaho

Hi everyone! Apparently Winter has decided to stay with us for a while. Yesterday afternoon about 5pm it began to snow and boy did it snow. We got a good 2 to 3 inches in about 1 hour and then it just kept falling. Probably have at least 8 inches on the ground now, the most we have had in years. Can only imagine how much has fallen up in the mountains where we really need it.

This picture is from our front door looking across the top of our two vehicles in the drive way...yup those two bumps of our unique and funky tree on the corner of our property. It is such an interesting tree that we keep it and the birds love it too. When spring comes, and boy am I ready for that, we will plant flowers around the base of the tree in a neat garden my husband and I made a few years ago and fill the corner with colors!! Hugs to all, Nancy

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ground Hog Day in SW Oregon

We started the morning with only an inch at 7 AM. Luckily hubby chose to drive the truck to town today, as it set in to snow a little more. By 1 PM it was up to 5 inches, and finally quit!

It was 'clean house' day, even though I would sooner have been curled up with a blanket and book.

I did sneak in a couple design moments [clothing for], tromped through the snow to the fabric warehouse to retrieve an armload of future projects, played FreeCell a couple times, cleaned up some old emails, talked with Mom and Mom-in-law, emailed a potential bear customer [], discussed a potential spot on a TV show for the WWII book, Teenager to Technician []. Hmm, when one looks at it that way, it DOES look more productive!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ahhhhh, ocean view and a great conference

Plus a safe trip home! Today the roads are bad, we have snow again and being home inside in the warm is a good thing.

Must get back to book work tomorrow, especially if I don't go to work [due to weather]. This looks to be a busy week, including a meeting on a potential grant. Am I prepared? Probably not, but it seems to be the way I learn things is to just 'jump in'. Which is not to say I don't crack a lot of books or websites to get up to speed.
Oh yes, talked with our grandkids today, each of them. All is well, young Ted is 18 now and thinking of attending a technical school when he finishes high school this year.
I'm yawning too much to stay awake very well,, so am taking my book and heading for bed. Won't worry about the weather until I'm up in the morning.
Hoping you are all well, safely in your homes or places of choice as we begin a new week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I can smell the salt water

or I will be able to by this evening! Heading out for a conference in Seaside, Oregon. 5 1/2 hours if we don't stop [but we will]. This is a Title I NCLB conference, with some parts for teachers and aides and others for coordinators/administrators/secretaries which would include my principal and I. I've never gone to one before, it should be interesting and very helpful with our responsibility levels.

The big plus is getting to the beach [I grew up on salt water smells] and time away from work yet still working.

Almost time to load my stuff in the car. books to read and paper both for the conference and to jot new ideas on....maybe even work on a bear story. You never know!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Hi, we must travel to California on Wednesday due to a death in our family. We lost an aunt and hope to visit with an uncle who is gravely ill. Not a great reason for a trip but we will enjoy seeing family and giving/getting the moral support that is so needed at this time. I am sure that San Jose's weather will feel balmy to us after our frigid temps here. When we fly out of Boise on Wednesday morning the temp is to be a whopping 8 degrees! Yeeha. Here on the home front, work goes on as do the trials and tribulations for my husband with the Elks Lodge. Next month Mother Teresa will be initiated into the lodge, I however, will not be able to be there for that as I am not an Elk! We will catch up with everyone when we get back from our trip. Hugs to all. Nancy
PS>Think Spring!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You never know where you'll meet one

Bellybutton Bears are everywhere - check it out!

Thank you Wendy for the opportunity to work with your vintage quilts. Le Bourdon Home & Garden @ specializes in vintage and French decor. A visit should be on your list.

Right now, I need to work with my new sewing machine, and make myself fall in love with it. Don't know about the rest of you, but a new machine always has a learning curve and sometimes it is not really your comfort zone. However, bears are waiting and I must clear the decks for the next order.

It has been a bit chilly here, with my car frozen shut yesterday morning. The 'bonus' was that the top and truck deck were covered with the most beautiful 12 to 18" frost feathers. Today it was just plain old frost, and thankfully my DH [dear hubby] thawed and warmed everything for me before I left for work.

Off to sew!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Made it through the week!

Between snow days, bus issues, sick kids ~ what a week! Now we are all glad it is Saturday.
I got a new sewing machine, and haven't even had time and energy to unpack it. It is sitting in the living room right now, just patiently waiting. Once I have it up and running I can send my old one in for cleaning and maintenance. When you sew as much as I have this past year, you really need a back up. You don't want to be without your machine for two or more weeks. The new one is a Brother, just a little fancier than my current model, but should be pretty much the same on main features. It DOES come with some cool bonus accessories however, including a spring foot and a walking foot, and a couple other doodahs!
Time to get ready for the day, so have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And then it snowed some more!!!

Hi, we had more snow last evening and overnight. About 6 inches on the ground this morning. It tried snowing off and on this morning but then the sun came out and it was beautiful and bright. Now the temp has dropped down to 23 (so far) and its slippery!!! I should go shovel, since neither my kid nor my husband did.....but I have a sorority meeting to go to in a bit so perhaps that will not happen.. the shoveling part. :)
Hope everyone is warm, safe and sound.
Hugs around,

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Snow? a little!

We are on a two hour delay for school this morning, after an extra holiday day yesterday [not that I get paid for it, because in fact I have to make the time up].

Not the best photo, but you can see the snow laden trees from yesterday morning.

Hope everyone is safe wherever they must travel. Now it is time to get on the treadmill, and then back to sewing if we end up not having school.


Monday, January 7, 2008

And Snow it did!!!

We had blowing snow for a large part of the day, the clouds just sat right down in the valley and let us have it. Course it blew so hard that with the exception of some drifts here and there, most of the snow is somewhere else. However, the weather man is saying we are to get more tonight! So we shall see. Hope you all had a pleasant day doing whatever you did.

Let it Snow

WEll, it snowed off and on most of Saturday afternoon and almost all day Sunday, some melted, but then would snow again. We ended Sunday with about 4 inches of snow on my car but it melted somewhat overnight, then froze and now is thawing again, a little. Schools are closed, but I will be going to work, just probably running a little late, to be sure the roads are plowed and that it is full daylight. Unless I decide to use a sick day and just stay home!! That is an option, my cold is breaking up, but still active.
When daylight comes it will be beautiful out though. Should have taken a picture of the lazy flakes yesterday and then I could have shared it. Sorry, was sleeping most of the day!! Warm fire, hot soup and tea, comfy couch. Linda

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Crafty Fun

Good morning! I crocheted this silly penguin for my youngest sons girlfriend for Christmas. That gal is crazy about penguins!!! It was fun to make up. The yarn I used ( whatever I had on hand) caused this little guy to be shorter and fatter than the "recipe" called for, but Shonda loved him at thats what mattered. I enjoy knitting or crocheting in the evenings while watching television. Keeps my hands limber and I am really not very good at just sitting and not doing anything!! As with all my sisters, I keep coming up with more things to try and create. Have a great week everyone! Nancy

Hey Sisters!

Well, cool, we all managed to figure it out! There IS some redundancy and non-clarity in Google's signup process, plus sister Linna reminded me that I DID already have a Google account, but did not recall that when getting this set up. That is what happens when one is the oldest and grayest of the lot!!!

Moving on ~ if you haven't figured it out already, there ARE four of us, sisters who started our entrepreneurial ventures as children in Alaska. We are long since grown [yeah, older than dirt, just ask our grandkids!] and each have full time jobs, community committments, husbands, kids, grandkids, mothers [one between us, but mother in laws and aunt in laws etc] to keep things busy. On top of that we have an online business together, and individual ones as well. Drop by the Homestead Store or Fabric Creations or Oh My Gaudy or Bellybutton Bears for a look at some of our hand crafted items.

I am on my last day of break from my job at the local elementary school [office manager, Title I Secretary for the district, etc etc] and suddenly my bear orders for January grew so guess what I need to do today? Cut bears!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Eastern Oregon checks in!

I know nothing of blogging, but imagine I can make do!
We experienced a much warmer, though windy, day today.
The ice melted nearly all away,making it much easier to walk around this place we call home. The catle seemed to like the sunshine, too. By tomorrow we will probably have snow again.
Our building project goes on, and on, and on! However we do make pregress and the sewing room is looking better by the day. Hoping to finish up some cupboard doors tomorrow and get started on a counter for the sewing machine. There seems to be a list of other things to do as well, tomorrow, so we shall see what really gets done!
Some of the grandkids were here for awhile during Christmas break, so quite a bit of sliding on the inner tube and many other fun activities were participated in! I know, not supposed to end a sentence that way, but too bad!
Way past bed time, perhaps I will write more again!

Out of the Cron Field

Good cold morning. The first weekend of the new year and there have been alternately snow flakes and crows out in the swampy dead cornfield in front of my house. The snow didn't stick, but the temperature is hovering just over 30 degrees out there. The crows (or are they ravens?) have been in and out of the dead cornfield. This was our early field so whatever gleanings are left are long dead, dried, rained on and sodden and probably moldy, but the crows seem to like it anyway. Beyond the dead cornstalks the pond is alive with ducks, the hayfields home to a variety of birds in continual transition, and the mountain across the river is snow covered half way down the slope. This is southwestern Oregon and winters here are wet. But the wildlife is abundant, closer to my house are the little seed eating birds, cleaning up on the scraps I threw out from the Parrot cage. Interesting to watch that activity also. Hope next week will be more settled and calm and our colds will be gone, lots to do to start the new year and so far all I have managed is to cuddle on the couch with hot tea and cold medicine. Linda

From Idaho

Well, this is my first attempt at blogging! Hopefully it will be a good way to communicate with people. I love the pictures on the first page!!! I will try to come up with something neat to post now and then.

Friday, January 4, 2008

"From Row your Boat to Honk Your Horn to Boot your PC"

"From Row your Boat to Honk Your Horn to Boot your PC" , these gals continue to have productive ideas!
When we were young, back further than some of you will remember [and just the other day to some!] we did not have a lot of opportunities to earn money. We lived on a homestead - only accessible by boat or small plane.
Linda and I, at 7 and 10, started the entrepreneurial push with.........vegetables!
As a family, we all participated in the raising of vegetables to stock the family root cellar and pantry. As I was able, the salad garden [lettuce, radishes etc] became my project with the help of my younger sister. Local gillnetters [salmon fisherman] would come by to visit and bring a salmon now and then to exchange for the fresh vegetables that were so rare.
Now I had my own little rowboat, the P-Nut. Getting permission to go for a row was rather like a child now getting permission to drive the car; you needed a good excuse! Soon we were selecting and preparing bunches of radishes, green onions, crisp lettuce, washing it in our ice cold glacier fed creek and heading out in the P-Nut to sell our wares. We would row out to a nearby fishing boat and make our sales. It has been a long time ago, but I think we charged an entire nickel for a bunch! One of our best customers was Frenchy on the Red Robin.
[Denise practicing rowing with Linda on the seat beside was MANY years later when the girls began the boat to boat sales.]
When I began high school, we moved from the homestead on Glacier Point to another home nearer the town of Haines.
It wasn't like the area [SE Alaska] was over run with baby sitting jobs, newspaper delivery etc. Most people did their own, other siblings or relatives supplied the necessary labor.
However, we had two things going for us; we were raised on a homestead and knew the value of recycling, making do, substitution AND we were pack rats. Our parents taught us to think and develop our own ideas. [Oh yes, great parents were another 'two things' we had on our side.]
So there we were, 4 sisters spread over 9 years, with the eldest in high school.
What could we do? What kind of business could we run? There was a growing collection of rock samples, a lot of interesting pieces of driftwood, some old fish net and the ancient Tlingit dugout we had retrieved while beach combing.
With our parent's help and encouragement, we built a square structure from recycled reclaimed boards and driftwood, right on the edge of the road passing our cabin. We grandly named this the "Driftwood Shack", but a young friend dubbed it the "Honk your Horn" because that was what one sign told folks to do so we would run across the road and wait on customers.
The local tour bus which met the cruise ships, stopped one day and asked if we would be a regular visit on their run. Passengers had expressed an interest in our unique structure! As the seniors poured over our collection, we realized we needed more. Small items in particular were a success because they would fit in a suitcase. Another thought was the folks who did not get off the cruise ships for the tours.
We chose particularly attractive small pieces of driftwood, matched sets of animal teeth for earring and pendant sets, and designed our own postcards. Sister Linda, dark hair in braids, put on her fur look parka and met the cruise ships with our tray of enticing Alaskan gifts. She was soon a favorite with the ship's crews as well.
About this same time, we moved further out the peninsula, and the Driftwood Shack had to move as well. Rather than attempt to move some of the heavier timbers, our Dad helped us construct a new shop - A frames were quite the thing in those days and the winter snow would slide off.
Although difficult to see in this picture, there was a front counter beneath the overhang, and a hinged shutter. On the back side, a real door! One reason for the improvements was the distance from our log cabin in the woods. We could close up our stock at night or take shelter in inclement weather. This structure was also on the main road next to a handy pullout. The tour bus continued to stop on a weekly basis and other folks would come by to see the latest in our collection.
Continued beach combing trips were a must to find that special piece or replenish stock. If a potential buyer said a piece of wood looked like a sea lion, bear, whatever, we always agreed! A prized item were the glass fishing floats - our Dad had a knack for finding them in certain coves.
This was our summer job for four years,
keeping us occupied for days on end. It will live in our memories forever, and is part of who we are today.
We are now much older with many life experiences along the way. Between the four of us, we have learned a multitude of skills, run several businesses, worked in several others, raised children, enjoy grandchildren, have full time jobs in addition to our business together - and continue to have hare-brained ideas! Now and then we say "boy if we had had computers when we were young." Of course we did not even have electricity for many years! Some of our best ideas come when we are brainstorming with at least one other sister...and now we can do that online, via email or in our own chat room. We can share ideas quickly, take pictures and pass them around, help each other out....the list is endless. You can see some of our efforts at

Random digressions

The word is out that blogging is one of the newest acceptable and advantageous advertising helps. As a person with a full time 'day' job, two different non-profits I work with, and a handful of home businesses.......blogging just seemed like one more thing to try to fit in. With a monthly newsletter already in play, websites I should be updating, books I should be want me to do a blog?
Today it is really raining, we had a 2 hour power outage, and it seemed as good a time as any to attempt a blog! Thanks to a friend's direction, and so far the ease of the process, here we are.
I make memory teddy bears [], any number of other handcrafted one of a kind gifts [] and design clothing with my sisters. [].