Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons . . .

Our little lemon tree with a branch full of lemons.  Looks like life is giving me lemons so guess I'm going to be making lemonade.  :D
Or maybe lemon meringue pie ? What is your favorite lemon recipe ?
Wonderful comment from Meeling of TheHairyPeach:
Here is a great (and easy) recipe that I've made and it's oh so yummy!

ps - I want to thank all of you for your lovely comments and kind words of encouragement regarding my bout of vertigo.   I am feeling considerably better though still have a twinge of dizziness every now and then.   This I may have to learn to live with, as my doctor ... well to be nice, I'll just say he thinks there is not much that can be done about it. :D

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Touch of Vertigo. . . or. . . Could You Please Stop Spinning?

Have any of you ever had vertigo ? I woke up Friday morning to find the room spinning around me and each step a challenge. Managing to stumble my way into the kitchen, I made myself a cup of coffee and thought perhaps it was just a severe case of morning grogginess. A cup of coffee later, things had not improved.

In the past I've had a condition call "Positional Vertigo". 
Positional Vertigo is a condition where a small crystal of calcium breaks away and finds itself inside the inner ear, there this tiny crystal plays havoc on the tiny hairs that allows us to know what position our body is in . . . are we standing, laying down, bending forward etc. With my past episode of positional vertigo, whenever I tilted my head back to look up I was overcome with dizziness and would lose my balance. A neurologist helped me by showing me a maneuver to repositioned the wayward crystal back out of the way, where it would not bother me and eventually my body would reabsorb the annoying little crystal.

But Friday morning was different. The dizziness was constant, there appeared to be no definite position that was worse than others. However I did try the maneuver taught to me by the neurologist . . . several times . . . nothing happened, the condition remained the same. Eventually I called my doctor. Since in my present condition I was unable to operate a motor vehicle and John, my hubby, was not at home so could not drive me, my doctor phoned in a prescription for a medication to help with the nausea and that also had been shown to have some affect on dizziness.

When John  got home he went and picked up my prescribed medication and I began taking it . . . one pill every 8 hours for 5 days. If after 5 days I am still dizzy I need to go see my physician.

During this I found the best thing to do was simply sit still and so I lounged on the sofa and looked out the window wondering about the strange dizzy sensations, that's when I became aware of another sensation, a pain and achiness at the back of my neck. Now my thoughts went to; "What the heck could I have done to hurt my neck?" And then it struck me. Why the memory completely slipping my mind, I haven't a clue.

Thursday evening John and I were coming home from having had a pleasant evening dinning at a favorite restaurant. As we came down our little two land country road, the vehicle ahead of us appeared to turn left into a driveway; only that was not the case. The driver was obviously not where he thought he was supposed to be and decided to turn around, he may also have been drinking as he missed the driveway to the left by several feet. Anyway he then proceeded to back straight across both lanes of our little country road; without looking and without regard of other vehicles on the road. 
John lay on the horn but the driver continued backing up. There wasn't enough distance to bring our car to a safe stop so John swerved abruptly to the right. Though our road is asphalt it has no paved shoulder, the edge is just a straight drop-off, as our car careened off the road it was like driving off of a curb.  As our car swung violently around the backend of the other vehicle, John managed to keep our car from going too far to the right and into the muddy ditch.  Then there was the return to the asphalted road with its sharp edge; an abrupt, bump up.  
All of this happened very quickly and I had not been prepared so had not braced myself. Even though I was wearing my seatbelt I had been tossed and shaken pretty good through all the sharp swerves and bounces. Afterwards all I could think about was how fortunate it was that John had avoided hitting the other car broadside and had prevented a serious accident. Counting our blessings, I then quickly dismissed the incident. However the incident had not quickly dismiss me.

Today is Sunday and there is some improvement of my vertigo symptoms. Now I can at least look at my computer monitor and not feel like I'm doing barrel-rolls in a small airplane. So if any of you are wondering why I have not responded to your comments in the last couple of days the above explanation is my reason.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Like a Snowball . . . It Keeps Right on Rolling

"Woman, thy name is vanity." Have no idea who really said it or when.
Though it sounds hauntingly like something from Shakespeare it is not, or at least not entirely. "Frailty, thy name is woman" is how it was originally intended and is from Shakespeare's "Hamlet".

Today my mind's not wrapped around this particular quote but in one more up-to-date, more relevant; "Politician, thy name is greed." Or perhaps thy name is corruption, or self-serving, self-centered, arrogant. In what other job or profession does one, can one give themselves the perks and raises that our political leaders do . . . okay, well maybe big shot CEO's with their mega-million dollar salaries. Ironic though that it's the little people like you and me, those at the bottom of this totem pole, that foot the bill. When will it ever end ? It's become like a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and bigger. Will the day ever come when that oversize snowball reaches the bottom of the hill and finally comes to rest, losing all inertia ?

Quite often I find myself seething at the thought that our present day politicians and most of their predecessors saw fit to give themselves the best of all things, a fantastic medical package, superior retirement plans, perks and benefits out the wazoo . . . always skimming off the thickest, sweetest cream . . . and who pays for it ? No happy face here, I think we all know who's pocket it comes out of.

Received an email the other day proposing that government at all levels be scaled back, that all have become too massive, like lumbering dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are long extinct and perhaps the time has come for our over sized government to do likewise. The email made sense, especially the part about how many billions would be saved yearly, but could it ever be done? Doubt it! Politicians are certainly not about to ax themselves out of a job or any of the sweet and overly decadent benefits that have been accumulated over time. Think that would be like pulling bear's teeth !

I've also heard people question the party system, is it needed and what good does it do? Yes guess it has caused division in this great land of ours. It's become an "Us against Them" mentality, which may be fitting if applied to a highly charged sport event such as football . . . our team against theirs. In football, baseball, hockey; team rivalry is fine but has no place in government, a body of people who are supposed to be dedicated to serving this nation and it's populace. Unfortunately they've lost sight of who the general populace is. It's not the upper 1 or 2 percentile with their mega-million dollar mansion, like Donald Trump, the bulk of the US populace is made up of the middle class . . . you and me. The last thing on their minds is to serve us; all they want from us, the suffering middle class, is our vote and our money in order that they may skim the cream off this country and live their lives of luxury.

And so the snowball keeps right on rolling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Florida Sandhill Cranes

Today I looked out of our dinning room patio doors to see this sight.  A Florida Sandhill Crane.
Not wishing to frighten the bird I took a few photos through the glass (and also the screening of the patio), so unfortunately the pictures are not very good.
In the dark photo below I took the picture from another window and you can see how the bird towers above the top of our patio table, which is the dark mass in front of the crane. 
 They are big birds and this one was with a mate, probably a female as she seemed to be busy preening for the camera. 
Now that she has all her feathers in place she poses and looks directly at the camera. 
Here's a few facts about our Sandhill Cranes:
Males and females look alike, males are larger than the females.
Height 2.6 to 3.9 feet (80 to 120 cm)
Average weight males 10.1 lb (4.57 kg) females 8.9 lb (4.02 kg)
Wing span 5.4 to 6.9 feet (1.65 to 2.1 m)
For years now I've been hoping that Santa will bring me a new camera, one that I could capture decent photos of the wildlife that frequent our rural area. But each Christmas all I get is a lump of coal. Guess I need to start being nicer and a lot less naughty.
Later in the day the Sandhill couple decided to visit our neighbor's yard, perhaps they were expecting to visit with the Canadian Geese who've been away for awhile now . . . We think they went to visit relatives in Canada for the Summer. 
Since this is a far as the zoom on my Mickey Mouse camera will get me (and I have cropped the photos as close as I could before they got too grainy)  I  found a photo online that allows one permission to use its images freely.  The photo below is a magnificent one of a Sandhill Crane and its chick.  The little ones are so adorable. :)
Photo from the files of Wikimedia Commons
The Photographer is Dawn Huczek

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Pearl of a Giveaway

Most of us are familiar with Pearl's Bog, "The Beading Gem's Journal"  and many of us are aware of and have entered her marvelous giveaways.  Pearl's  latest giveaway is for an incredible bracelet that is as beautiful as it is eco friendly - made from recycled bicycle inner tubes.  Check it out and be sure to enter the giveaway. :)
If the click on link is not working for you here is the URL - I would not want anyone to miss this outstanding opportunity:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Busy But Getting Nowhere

I guess it's just that time of year when it becomes a continuous game of "catch up".  Between trying to promote my invisible etsy shop,  AlmostPrecious and make new creations I find myself rushing to "catch up" with laundry, cooking, cleaning, gardening, grocery shopping etc. etc.
So today my unfortunately neglected blog is getting a quick promo post . . . and an apology to all my wonderful blogging buddies -  I'm sorry I haven't been dropping by as often as I should to read and comment on your wonderful blogs.   :(
Wish there were someway to make my online shop self-promoting.  :)
Below are a pair of my latest creations - Teddy Bear earrings with pink fiber optic Cat's Eye  beads.
As many of you know fiber optic Cat's Eye beads have motion built into them the "eye" moves smoothly up and down as the bead is moved.  Since these fiber optic beads are top grade "A" beads they have a well defined eye and incredible movement.
Okay now I'm off to try to type up a few more jewelry descriptions for my etsy shop and to take a Gazillion more photos . . . of which only about half a dozen will be good enough to use.  lol :D

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Egret In A Magnolia Tree

I was browsing through some of my old posts and noticed that this one had never been published and was marked as a draft.  Perhaps because it didn't have photos.  I've spent at least an hour sorting through old photos trying to locate the one that had been the inspiration for this post.  Since writing the post below, the yellow lantana has died and we've long replaced it with a type of low growing holly and the small magnolia has grown considerably. My how time does go by.

Occasionally we get a flock of cattle egret that visit our yard in search of tasty treats, tasty to an egret that is. In this photo they decided to descend upon and around our magnolia tree. The cattle egret is much smaller than its impressive cousin the large Snowy Egret, but they are still a very attractive bird and always catch my attention.

Somehow I doubt that "An Egret in a Magnolia Tree"  will ever replace "A Partridge in a Pear Tree". 
BTW -  I've been trying to figure out how one can re-post old posts on Blogger.  Has anyone done this?  And if so how do you do it? I would love to know. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Been a Long - Long Time

Hurray - I made it into a treasury.  I know for some of you who've been in a number of collections this may not seem like a big deal, but it has been a very, very long time since someone chose one of my pieces to feature in their treasury.  Believe me I am truly honored.  :)
If you care to view the collection and perhaps leave a comment, I'm sure the curator would be most pleased.  The link to the etsy treasury is below:

Photo below shows how the art glass bead and silver chain look when worn.  A pretty and becoming piece of jewelry.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LOL But Not About the Cost of Sterling Silver

Lately I've been busy trying to create and put items into my etsy shop, AlmostPrecious.  I'm reverting back to selling my handcrafted jewelry after having sold supplies for a couple of years.

Some times I can spend days or even weeks designing and fabricating a piece, other times it can go very quickly.  My latest piece was a simple leather choker but I invested a lot of revenue into Sterling Silver beads and findings.  A tiny sterling silver swivel clasp ended up costing me $6 and believe me it is a small clasp. 

When I calculated what I had invested in parts alone I was shocked to see it was over $20 , I would have liked to have listed it for that amount - unfortunately that would be impossible as I would actually end up losing money. :(

The only up side is that I adore the piece.  It is one of those things that makes me smile (just like my little Frog Prince makes me smile). 

Last year I tried to sell another creation of mine.  

The lovely rose quartz heart and heavy sterling silver pendant cost me a good chunk of money when I first purchased it.  Now with today's sterling prices it would cost at least $40 all by itself without a necklace. 
Since it is an Awareness necklace I realize it is directed at a specific buyer - someone who wishes to gift a special friend or relative and let them know how much they admire their courage and strength and determination to battle and survive Breast Cancer. 

 I hope that maybe this October (which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month) that perhaps someone will see it and think; "What a lovely gift to give my - sister - friend- mother- wife."  Or perhaps a wonderful soul who battled the "Big C" herself, will wish to own it to let everyone know that the battle of Breast Cancer is far from over.  Someday there may be a cure but today all we can do is support cancer research and "Hope for a Cure".

Monday, October 1, 2012


There is an advantage to living in a deed restricted neighborhood; one doesn't have to worry about have a lime-green and puce house built, smack, dab in the middle of your block.  When we had our modest, little home built, there was a home being constructed up the street and sort-of around the corner from us.  As it progressed, their immediate neighbors gasped in wonder and then, when it was painted, they gasped in shock.

We laughingly call it, "The Pink Pagoda".  From the back it doesn't look too obnoxious, especially surrounded by all the lush vegetation.  It even seems to fit in with the tranquil pond that skirts the back of its property.

However from the front, the street side of this residence . . . totally different story.  No one understands why they decided to place the large, flat side of their multi-car garage, across their front yard.  There it looms like an immense hot pink wall.  I really had to wonder "What were they thinking?"


I'm sure there must be a story behind it, as to why the Oriental touches, why have that large blank wall facing out towards the rest of the neighborhood ... and why they chose hot-passion-neon pink !  A brothel perhaps ?
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