Missing Charlie

I still hear him in his litterbox in the bathroom, scratching around and tossing litter all over the floor. We miss him at night when he doesn’t sit by WM’s feet. I miss his big fatness crammed in between the sofa and the wall.

Meditating cat.

Meditating cat.

We ordered this fat orange cat statue. It goes with the meditating pig but more importantly it makes me remember my fat orange cat and smile.

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The Island review

The IslandThe Island by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Island is a sweet story of two sets of sisters. Each woman brings her own agenda & problems to a month-long stay in a rustic family beach house. I was supposed to read this on my beach trip in August, but I chose Landline first. I wish I had done it the other way around.

Elin Hilderbrand’s a crafty, crafty lady. Because even if are bored or irritated with one of the characters (for me it was Chess) you still have three other women to enjoy. I especially liked Tate. You know that child who gets no attention because she is happy and even-keeled? That’s Tate. I rooted hard for Tate because her family sure didn’t bother.

In fact, even though this book is supposedly more about Birdie’s & Chess’s stories, India’s and Tate’s stole my heart. India’s story was written very tenderly and went in a different direction than I expected from a book like this.

Sure, there are eye-rolling moments, and maybe if I read this in the dark and damp gloom of November I’d have liked it less and would be railing about the imaginary problems of moneyed women with WASPy nicknames like Birdie and Chess. But it fit the bill for a breezy summer read. When summer rolls around again I’ll reach for another Elin Hilderbrand book.

I keep going back and forth clicking the third and fourth stars. Let’s just call this 3 1/2 stars.

View all my reviews

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Bead Fest 2014

I’m pretty lucky that Bead Fest, “the largest bead and jewelry-making event on the east coast” is about an hour and ten minutes away from where I live. Mom and I head out every year and I spend too much money.

That's me. Vintage Kim. Bead Haven's booth.

That’s me. Vintage Kim. Bead Haven’s booth.

I don’t take any classes, because they are so very pricey. I can’t fathom spending over around $200 for a class and still having to bring my own supplies. I know the classes are hours long and the instructors are top-notch and there is a kit included. But that money hurdle seems really high when you add it to the money I’d spend anyway on beads in the Expo Hall.

This year Mom and I went on Saturday, August 23rd and here’s my haul!

Bead Haven

Bead Haven

These are either going to make an amazing bracelet or a bunch of amazing earrings. Or if I could make brooches, these would be great to sell in November and donate the proceeds to Wounded Warriors! Someone buy these beads from Bead Haven and do that!

Veni Vidi Beadi

Veni Vidi Beadi

I make sure to visit Veni Vidi Beadi’s booth each year. The beads in the tube are pewter spacer beads — the beads that go in between your flashier beads. I liked the fallish colors of the strings of beads you see, and I’m a stupid sucker for grab bag mixes.

Suburban Girl Studio

Suburban Girl Studio

I have seen Suburban Girl Studio‘s face beads in a bunch of jewelry magazines, and I couldn’t wait to see them in person. The seashells will become earrings, and the little ceramic flowers are telling me they want to be tiny pendants.

ParaWire

ParaWire

Some wire so I can make my own earwires and clasps. I also do some wrapping. ParaWire is my go-to brand for all of that. It’s non-tarnish, something I wish I knew about when I started. Some of my old pieces I wear are getting very cruddy looking. I’m not a fan of patinas – I like my jewelry to shine.

And you can't make pretties without the rings, pins, and findings to do so!

And you can’t make pretties without the rings, pins, and findings to do so! I liked BuyBead’s table because it was nothing but findings. No nonsense. Those filigree cones though – I have great plans for them. You’ll have to wait ’til early October to see them.

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Friday 5 (on Saturday): Spending

This should have been done yesterday, but I went to bed at 9:30. On a Friday night! Even though I work all year, there’s always an adjustment when WM goes back to work in September. We were wiped out!

Someone's feeling better!

Someone’s feeling better!

Yesterday’s Friday 5 theme was Spending. Oho! I’m going to NAIL this!

1. What crowd-funding projects have you supported? If you haven’t supported any, were there some that really intrigued you?

I backed 2 projects from Penny Arcade, one from the NJ Renaissance Faire and one from a former guildmate of mine who asked for $13K, received a little over $42K, and delivered nothing. I wrote about this here. And the Kickstarter ripoff is here. I only donated $25 because I (thought I) knew the person and believe everyone with a dream and a plan should be given a shot. Live and learn.

2. How much of your monthly bill-paying is done online?

We pay everything except rent online. Our dee-luxe apartment in the sky still requires a check hand-delivered to the office every month.

3. What are some of the more memorable things you’ve bought or sold in online auctions?

WM is the eBay King of this household. He’s purchased clothes, movies, books, watches, and other miscellaneous tchotchkes. And a Kate Spade scarf for me, at half the store price. Oh yeeeeeeah.

4. What experience do you have with purchasing digital entertainment (music, movies, TV shows, or live web shows, for example) online?

Music: I purchased music a lot when iTunes was selling songs for 99 cents each. I quit when the price of popular singles went to $1.29. That thirty cents per song was the tipping point. Especially since the music I like isn’t really … how can I say this?

Quality music. It’s okay. I like it anyway.

Books: For ebooks, I only buy them if they go under $9.99. I’m already getting a lesser version of the product for my Nook as is, because I can’t zoom in on charts or illustrations. So I’m not paying more than I would for a hard copy version. I feel like I made the wrong choice in going with the Nook. Kindle ebooks are so much cheaper. Nook books rarely go on sale. Most of my reading now is via the library.

Subscription services: We have a Netflix subscription and a WWE Network subscription. We used to plug a laptop into the television. I bought a Chromecast last year, but I never could get consistent performance out of it. Moving our wireless router isn’t an option. Now that we have a PS4, we can stream content through that without choppiness and problems. I’m thinking of the NHL package but $159! Yeesh.

5. What kind of stuff have you bought or sold from personal online craft stores, such as are found on Etsy?

I like Etsy for jewelry. My wedding band is from an Etsy shop. I’d like to sell there but … eh. Too much work. :)

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Today Max has a followup vet appointment. He’s been taking the insulin shots like a freaking champ, and the floods of pee have subsided. My fingers are crossed for a good blood sugar reading and no increase in dosage.

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