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. [].