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Archive for January, 2010

Tonight is The Wolf Moon; the night when the moon is at its perigee, closest path, with the Earth and full as well. This is also the first full moon of the year (for the European calendar.) ( The Chinese New Year is in March this year.) The Wolf Moon takes its name from native American myth and belief of wolfs howling at the moon. Coyote certainly does.

All you shark tooth hunters out there in NC, the Museum of Natural Sciences is bringing in Megladon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived in February 13th.  Hopefully there will be a fossil festival of some sort connected to the exhibit.  There are so many rock and fossil hounds that would love to show off their collections and see more about the hobby.   Plus the chance to encourage young children is emence.

I ran across this quote while reworking my bookshelfs and want to share this as wisdom that still reverberates today:

Three people that are the hardest to talk to:

A king bent on conquest,

A Viking in his armor,

and a low-born man protecting his patronage.

As we all begin to ford up our homes and stay warm while unknown amounts of ice and snow come our way (Here In the South we have had more of a bad Spring than a real winter) don’t forget the birds and squirrels. Squirrels for a couple of years now have been stressed in their squirrel sort of way. Trees are not making as many cones nuts and berries as normal so when real winter weather comes then they can get very hungry. Stale nuts left over from Christmass, that half a pack of stale buns in the refrigerator, pop corn kernels at the bottom of the microwave bag, and even the cheap cat food that was snubbed for two days can all go out to feed the squirrels and birds.

The cows in the field at the other end of my neighborhood have been lowing like crazy since noon and now the birds are starting to hit the berry bushes and go to ground. Even my dog is pacing a lot. Last night it was storming in Texas and a cold front was dropping temperatures in Philly.   As of five O’clock there is heavy snow in Asheville and about an inch in Boone.  The positive side to this is that cold causes erosion and brings out gems, rocks, minerals, and fossils in the spring.

Stay warm and well:  If not warm then well and if not well then warm.

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Mars and bread

Today and tonight Mars our beloved red planet will be closest to the Earth.   Let us all gaze at the stars tonight and see Mars come over the horizon.  Just to gaze at the sky and know that we are alive among all the specks of dust and light in the cosmos.

My sister gave me THE Gourmet Magazine’s cook book and while I wont use the recipe for braised veal shoulder (not a vegetarian I just can’t afford veal shoulder a the local Food Lion) this a classic to go next to the Spice Cookbook by Day and Stuckey.   Besides the dessert recipes are mind blowing.  The coffee gelees and steamed puddings sound divine and soon I will have to try something.  Better to have the book than have to clip and save magazine pages.   I tried that and had to throw away the project in frustration.  Way to go sister!!  For someone who is almost my polar opposite you sure can rock the Christmas Tree.

Ever tried to rise bread and either the house is too drafty or the heat source is too hot and you accidentally cook the dough?  Well I have and this was a collosal waste of my flour and time!  Make a rising box!  My mother had a warm furnace room and this was perfect for her bread but I have no pilot light to encourage yeasty goodness to multiply.  The pink insulating board use din house construction is pretty light weight.   Cut five pieces into equal squares and cover one side with aluminum foil.   Use broad pieces of duct tape to create hinges and create an open box.  Spring sun or even direct winter sun should reflect enough light to rise a bowl of dough put in the middle.  You MUST have a plastic clear lid or glass to keep the warmth in the box and to let the sun light through.  In the summer you can skip the lid and use some inexpensive screen or no top at all. (Just cover the dough, no use kneading in gnats.)

For now my domestic streak needs to include folding laundry and dusting off books.
Be well.

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Spring in Winter

Now today is a spring like day! In the 60s and warm and sunny with a brisk wind. Last night the wind blew in a short storm and we could hear it blowing around the corners of the house. If this weather keeps up then I will have to go and weed my garden. This is a very warm winter and February better bring us back to winter weather and fast. For now relish the warmth and thin sunlight while it is here.

I now have four items on Etsy and hope in the four months I have that I will sell something. My beloved husband believes I should be selling thousands of dollars worth of cabochons and collage packs. I can’t thank him enough for believing in me. And then there is a Dear Friend that has spent hours on the phone and IMing trying to help me when the computer goes funny. Everyone needs some support structure and If you start your own business all by your own lonesome then hope to God you have a dog or cactus to talk to. I have checked my sight for miss spellings and to make sure the pictures look right. I made a light drum to show the transparency of the cabs and the best part is that you cant see how jury rigged it really is when you look at the picture.

I have a writers group every two weeks and I would like to say that you have never met a more talented group of people determined to get published. We read a new page or chapter every meeting and this forces us to write or to correct our stories . You have to keep righting and you have to keep working on a home business. Yesterday I created a sales ledger and put two more items up on the shop. Writers can have a hard time. Not only do you have to be good but to get published you have to rewrite your story and be told about your mistakes repeatedly. At least art is objective. (And yes I understand that Artists have it tough too. But today I am sympathizing with my fellow unpublished writers.)

I just went to my acupuncturist today and would like to sing the praises of TRADITIONALLY trained from China Acupuncturists: We love You!! For all of us in pain and with sleepless nights tired of swilling pain killers, you doctors are wonderful. And a thousand thanks to my beloved’s buddy that told him about acupuncture. And if you say “Oh no I’m scared of needles.” They aren’t really needles they are pins. Hey, I tend to get squeamy around needles and I fall asleep on the acupuncture table.

If you are down here in the South East, enjoy the warm weather for a while. Rocks and Sun to everyone.

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Finally Did It!

I finally bit the bullet and put items up for sale on Etsy.  I took the advice of friends that unless I begin to sell a LOT of items should I have to worry about permits.  Everybody in north Carolina needs to remember sales tax.

This is a huge leap of faith for me regardless of if I sell anything.   I know my cabochons are good enough to sell and I have been told I have the “eye” for forming them.  I tried something and didn’t let myself talk me out of it. As trite as it may sound, and it can, sometimes you just have to do it. You can prepare for only so long. Luckily Etsy makes everything pretty easy. Now, I did take over thirty photos of cabochons on different backgrounds for half a day but a picture really can be worth a thousand words.

I can only thank those people who’s advice and shoulders I have been leaning on.

About the weather,  I hope every one has been enjoying the idyllic warm weather here in North Carolina; it went cold again today. Rain has poured like velvety cold curtains all day. A quietly grey day, soothing and somehow of a sensitive feeling to it. The rains of several days ago did indeed bring thunder to the night but today it is quiet and soft.

When I look out into the back yard and see the leafs and rain I am also looking on my little cat Hobbes’ grave. My husband put her four feet down and we put white rocks over the spot. The one that misses her the ,most is her litter mate Calvin. (Yes, we both liked the comic.) Cal may be 16 years old but the old-fart-kitty really dose miss his sister. Anyone who says animals don’t grieve can come and watch him look through all the rooms then start warble-meowing. To all of those people who have lost beloved pets be it a rat, dog, snake, or fish: Mourn well.

And with these sentimental but solemn words I leave you to your own thoughts and this night’s soothing caresses.

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It is warm and almost fall like today, cloudy gray sky with moisture just tickling the edge of the leaves. Rain will come and give us all quite a show as it falls. February will not be as gentle here for Fuquay Varina and Raleigh. whether snow or cold I am not sure but there might be some of the white stuff finally.

I got the book from the library and now realize that the first thing to invest in with asmall business is a pen. PAPERWORK and permits start to come out of the woodwork. The name I want to use for my shop is free and clear of trademarks and being owned by someone else. There can be county, city, and state permits to get for a business depending on what type you are. I remember a past boss of mine, we may have run low on paper cups or had to go out for cookie dough but the one thing he always had was EVERY permit and license he needed up to date and visible. He was a business major not a chef; the chef he hired. And yes he is successful.

While waiting for Martin Luther Monday to be over just so I can call my local business support office, I am still working toward having a shop on line. I took the Etsy suggestion to heart and am tidying up my office and storage room. My storage room is also my guest room so I can now get into it in case a friend comes to visit. When I go on etsy the shops that get my attention are the ones that have good pictures. The product could be just fine but it is the picture that can make it or break it. (Thank you, Dear Friend for telling me to redo my first sets of collage pictures.)

February 9th is the day my Gem and mineral club goes out for its first outing. I just have to say that Tom is really doing a great job with this. (Yes, I use his name ’cause there are half a million Toms in the world.) He try’s to give us all the info in one e-mail, none of this call me for info sort of thing. Hey, he even got us a Google map picture of the mine ’cause none of us have been there. This also makes me think of selling on line. I must give people as much pertinent information as I can; they can’t touch it and pick it up after all.

I am already thinking of my garden and only hope my plans are equall to my energy level this spring. i am thankful that I do have more agave and cactus than I can use so I plan on giving some to my neighbor. Last year she gifted us with a whole bunch of cactus and agave and now I can repay her with some that are more exotic.

May the rains and snows water not just your grounds but the richness of your hearth. God bless the sleeping Earth around us and know that it is alive and waiting to Become again.
Be well, folks

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2nd photo Amethyst from DH, 2009

Hey EVERYBODY this is one of the Amethyst pieces I found at diamond Hill South Carolina. I normally work the dumps (the tailing piles) because the work can be less intensive. Now, then I have seen some people dig all the way to China in the dumps and move small boulders into the back of trucks. But this one was easy compared to boulder digging and China reaching.

So for more possible Amethyst I plan on going to the Reel Mine in late march

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Amethyst from Diamond Hill South carolina

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Yes, I forgot our eye glasses yesterday and even had to go back for cat litter. At least I remembered the soup! For anyone out there that can’t remmber what they have forgotten or forget what they talk about in the middle of the sentence: I’m with you. I’m not elderly or “drain bamaged” I get some serious Fibro Fog. I love that term. Fog is soft and muffling and romantic, when your not driving in it, and it’s a lot nicer than being told I’m flaky. I have lists and notices every where and have to check them regularly.  I have to get some sort of self employment off the ground; it’s the pits knowing that your talking to a possible employer and trying desperately not to forget what they just asked you.

On to less depressing things, folks, the weather is finally sunny and above 40 degrees. I hate to admit it but I am beginning to be a sun lover.  Yes, all my Goth friends and tombstone lovers can recoil in horror but I need my vitamin D and warmth.  My sun room is actually sunny today and all the agave pups are putting out roots! Once the wretched heat of summer comes I can put my baby plants out in the front yard and have them set root.   My town is almost all sand, the results of being on a prehistoric river bed.  It is amazing t me to know that below us is evidence of prehistoric river movement.  I have even found conglemerate stone formed from ANCIENT Cypress mulch.  Sure the stone is not pretty or very valuable but it’s from my neighborhood and part of the local past in a way.

Let us all enjoy the life that is winter and revel in the cold while knowing that soon the soothing warmth of Spring will come.

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Hello Everyone,
It is Tuesday and noon is about the fastest my brain will come on line. It is very strange how all around the Raleigh area there is or has been snow but here in Fuquay Varina it is a non event. For all my MAGMA friends in the mountains, you are lucky. Yes, I know snow gets slushy and eventually muddy but it makes the garden and rocks grow.

Starting on taxes and small business books really helps when the books are back from the Library. So I am waiting for the books to arrive. I worked more on my Etsy site and am just waiting for the books. I have collage packs made up and cabs ready to sell. Believe me the amount of Stash that I have is barely dented by making five collage packs.

In March there is a trip to Bessemer city that I am looking forward to. Hey, it’s outside of Charlotte NC and not a six hour drive into the mountains. Collecting is great fun but greater when you can do it in one day.

February brings Megladon to the NC Museum of Sciences in Raleigh. I really hope they bring me back for the exhibit. I am so bored during the day talking to my toes and playing Farmville is great entertainment.

Soon I will be ale to get to the cabochon machines and work on cabs. I can’t wait! There is something meditative and soothing to see a pattern and unseen form appear through the layers of a cabochon. Yesterday I saw the cabbing machine from hell! (thumbs up) on American Rock Hound and have machine envy. One day I will get my own. Hope springs eternal…

Well I’m off to go get kerosine, canned soup, and pick up eye glasses.
Hugs to everyone!
Nancy

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And that’s what this is in a way, a show for the world to see; a voyeuristic peek into someone elses life and thoughts. But I also want to offer a place for others to speak and be spoken to. I have an abiding love for rocks and stone and have found that there is not much else that Rock hounds like to do other than collect and admire rocks, and talk about the Rocks and Fossils they collect and admire.

Well its January and COLD here in the sunny South and I’m not collecting rocks. Yes, I know all you die-hard hunters out there have your winter coats on and a pick in hand but not me and not today.

I am trying to start a new business selling cabochons and art supplies on Etsy. I have half a mountain of rocks in the basement and enough material, beads, and yarn for a world ending holocaust. I am sorting through web pages and support groups for small businesses and up to my neck in well meant advice. My well meant advice: Find someone locally who can guide you. Almost all cities and town have small business advisers: Use them! Nothing sinks small businesses faster than not knowing how to manage pay scale and the IRS. Heavens knows I am leaning on every adviser, book, and friend I have.

And before I leave you I would like to just say there is not much else more sublime than a warm home, hot coffee, and delightfully cheep chocolate covered cherries on a cold day. If you are like my mom and can’t even get near a sealed box of Queen Anne cherries then reflect on one of the other two.

And now back to the tax books.

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