About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Throttle Therapy

Yesterday Dave and I got up early and headed out on the bikes for a lake ride. Kickstands were up at 8:00am and off we went. We stopped in Indiantown for breakfast at Cracker's Cafe. This place has the best breakfast and is cheap!!!
After breakfast we headed into Okeechobee and then back south to Port Mayaca. We stopped at our normal spot, the scenic outlook at the Port that overlooks Lake Okeechobee. Our original plan was to ride up to the rim so we could see the lake, but the sun was blazing, so we pulled in under the bridge. This is the Army Corps of Engineers dam at the lake. Lake Okeechobee is just on the other side.

A closeup of our bikes...Dave's is the yellow and black R1, so by process of elimination, mine's the white and red one!!! :)

Looks like I ran over a mustard packet in this photo! It was actually a very large bug! Better the bike than me! But getting hit by bugs and having to wash the bug guts off your arms is a small price to pay for the utter exhilaration of the ride!

This is a shot of a small lake on the outside of the rim. A lot of people actually fish at spots outside the rim...not sure how good the fishing is...but we always see people out there. I'm guessing it's because the best fishing in Lake Okeechobee is only accessible by boat. Lake O is huge...next time we make it up to the rim, I'll be sure to snap some pics!
It was definitely a good ride...about 160 miles. We did have a close call with a pack of turkey vultures. We came up on a pack of about 15-20 of them on the side of the road chowing on some roadkill. These are very large birds and it takes them several swoops of their wings to get their massive bodies off the ground. As we closed in on them (we were doing about 75mph so this all happened pretty quickly), they started to take off. Dave had given me the "heads up/keep your eyes open/something could happen" signal as soon as he had seen them, so I was ready...well as ready as could be. I knew we were both thinking the same thing...please don't take off towards the road, please go the other way! Well, all but 2 of them did just that. The first one that went toward the road actually got up pretty high pretty quick, the second one, not so much. We were both tucked in behind our windscreens (well as much as you can tuck in...you can see from the pics, there really isn't a whole lot to get behind!) and were ready for an impact. Luckily, neither of us hit the second one, but it was a close call...probably missed Dave by about a foot and me by about 6 inches!!! Aahhh...the joys of motorcycle riding in Florida!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

eBay Follow Up

As I posted previously, I was going to give eBay a shot since they offer 5 free listings every 30 days. Well, only one of the five items I listed was bid on. Unfortunately, there was no wild bidding war as I had hoped, and the item sold for the opening bid amount. I started the opening bids very low...much less than what the items would have retailed for...in hopes of drawing in some bidders. Needless to say my profit margin was small....very small! I have mixed feelings about the experience. On the one hand, it wasn't a total loss...I sold an item and was able to send the winning bidder my other site information. On the other hand, four of the items didn't sell, and I'm not sure I can get the exposure I am looking for by only listing 5 items every 30 days (and I just don't want to invest the additional money to list more items in the hope of drawing bidders in). eBay has the biggest audience, but the competition is unbelievable. So, I'm on the fence. Maybe with Christmas approaching, I'll have a better shot!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pictures from the Pasture

Dave and I were over at the neighbors' (Michelle and Ryan's) the other day, and I snapped a few pics of their horses. Four Socks is their chestnut gelding, and Mia is a Premarin mare. While I do not currently ride (although Michelle and my other neighbor, Jeanette are wanting to change this), I love being around the horses. I love the way they smell...especially after they've eaten sweet feed!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Finally Bought a New Motorcycle Helmet!

I've been thinking about this purchase for at least 18 months. My old Rat Fink helmet, which I've been wearing since 2003 is actually still in very good condition, with the exception of the pads inside. I always wear sunglasses or riding glasses and like to ride with my visor up whenever possible. I'm slightly claustrophobic so having the visor closed completely for long periods makes me a little crazy! In any case, the pads have become stained with road debris and since they're not removable there isn't a whole lot I can do. I was back and forth between two helmets, the Ikebana by Shark, which has a very subdued pattern of hibiscus flowers in a silvery blue color, or the Flutter 2 by Shoei. My Rat Fink is also a Shoei and I love the way it fits. I'm not sure if my head has a weird shape to it or what, but I have a hard time finding helmets that fit well and are comfortable. I absolutely cannot wear an Arai, which is disappointing because they have some really great designs. Dave had commented that it would probably be better to go with the Shoei given as much riding as we do, he wanted to make sure I had a helmet that would be comfortable. So, needless to say, I went totally girly and bought the Shoei, which is pink with butterflies! Those that know me know I don't really do the girly thing, not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just not me. In fact, I don't own anything pink, other than my handgun (yes, my handgun is pink...totally ironic, but that's why I did it!). Don't get me wrong, I like to show my femininity, I just don't go over the top! So, I went with this helmet so people would know without a doubt, I am a girl on a bike (sometimes its hard to distinguish between male and female when you're wearing a riding jacket, gloves and a helmet). Why the need for people to know? Because I would like to empower other women and I find riding a motorcycle very empowering. I'm not one of those chicks that rides because she wants to be a chick that rides...I ride because I love to ride. Twisting that throttle and being in control of the bike makes me feel strong, makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. And the butterflies, the butterflies represent change, transformation and growth. That's exactly what my life has been since I met Dave. When I met Dave, I was shy, somewhat nerdy, book smart, and not sure what my path was going to be. Today, I am confident, more outgoing, "street" smart, have accomplished many goals, and am setting more! In the end, my choice of helmets is totally appropriate. Oh, and here are the pics...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Really Great Raffle!!!

I am trying to do my little piece and help promote a raffle being held by fellow jewelry artist and Etsian, Bridget from Heart of A Cowgirl. Tickets are only $2 (or 3 for $5, or 7 for $10) and you have the chance of winning this great Cowgirl Cuff, handcrafted by Bridget. The proceeds from the raffle will benefit Equine Voices Sanctuary and Rescue, a safe haven for unwanted PMU mares and foals. To find out more about this raffle, or to purchase tickets, just click on the Heart of A Cowgirl link above. You can also find out more about the sanctuary by clicking on the Equine Voices link above. I've always admired those who find time to volunteer for such organizations. I've given a lot of thought to volunteering at the local animal shelter, but find it hard to squeeze time to volunteer into a schedule that already includes a full time job, 2 hour daily commute, and part time jewelry business. So, I'd like to think I'm contributing a small part vicariously through Bridget!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hot Off the Bench!

Here are a few of my latest designs hot off the bench. They have been listed in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Swimming on Sunday - A Day in My Dog's Life

I took these pictures of Doom, our pitbull, a few Sundays ago. If there's one thing he loves, its swimming in the pool. He just turned 14, and I am amazed at his incredible drive. I guess we can chalk that up to good breeding (his bloodlines can be traced back to the original pitbulls, the Old Family Irish reds) and a rather spoiled life!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Story for Dog Lover's

Okay, folks. Make sure you have your tissues ready when you read this story. It's a tear-jerker, but has a happy ending. I found this on www.pawnation.com.

Do you believe in canine guardian angels and the kindness of strangers? You just might after reading this story.

Early one morning, Yolanda Segovia's neighbor, Stacey Savige, knocked on her door and asked her to temporarily take in a stray dog she had found. The scruffy terrier mix had no collar or microchip. Segovia eyed the pooch -- burrs sticking to his belly and mud caked on his fur -- and reluctantly agreed to foster him for one day.

An erstwhile hairdresser, Segovia hasn't worked since 2006. At 47, she is a survivor of breast cancer and cervical cancer. A divorced single mother of two, Segovia shares her Port Tampa, Florida home with her 10 year-old son Azaiah and 21 year-old son Christian. Her elder son has Downs Syndrome; he cannot speak or bathe himself, and he has had heart surgery and a kidney transplant.

Azaiah immediately took to the dog, whom he name Raelee. Segovia and her sons bought the dog a collar, leash, ball and brown bed from the dollar store, and all that day, Azaiah played with the dog, laughing gleefully whenever RaeLee licked his face. "Don't fall in love with him, " Segovia warned.

Segovia and Savige made 4000 FOUND flyers with the dog's picture, stuffed mailboxes and put an ad on Craigslist. When no one called, RaeLee stayed the night at the Segovias' house. His dog bed was placed in the living room, but when the boys climbed into their twin beds, RaeLee dragged his bed down the long hallway and bunked with the boys in their room.

By Saturday -- four days later -- no one had called to claim RaeLee, and he was still living with the Segovias. The honey-colored terrier had started responding to his new name. He almost never barked, loved playing rambunctiously with Azaiah, and was tender with Christian.

One afternoon, the dog settled himself on the floor near Christian as he watched a "Barney" video in his room. Segovia was outside watering the plants when the placid moment was shattered by the sound of RaeLee crashing into the screen door and barking crazily. Alarmed, Segovia opened the door, only to have the dog race back through the house towards the boys' room. Segovia followed, screaming when she caught sight of her son. Christian was "slumped over, his body writhing in a seizure, blood streaming from his nose and mouth." RaeLee stood next to him yelping, but suddenly went quiet when Yolanda reached down to hold her son.

"If he hadn't come to get me," Segovia said, "the neurologist said Christian would have choked on his own blood and died." The dog, she decided, was a keeper.

But the next day, Segovia and her sons were heartbroken when someone called to claim the dog they had come to love. Randy Cliff, 34, who lived six blocks away said he has been searching for his dog -- real name Odie -- for over a week. Odie had lived with Cliff, his wife, their four children and infant granddaughter. Savige cried, telling Cliff, "That dog saved my friend's son."

When Cliff came to collect his dog, RaeLee a.k.a. Odie, leapt off the Segovias' porch and into his arms. Christian watched from a window. Azaiah stood on the porch watching the man hug the dog he knew as RaeLee. "We're going to miss you, " he said, tearfully.

Looking up, Cliff took in the scene -- Christian looking scared, Azaiah looking downtrodden -- and asked, "Is that your brother?" Azaiah nodded yes.

With a sudden change of heart, Cliff put the dog back down. "Maybe Odie was supposed to find you," Cliff told a stunned and delighted Azaiah. "Maybe you should keep him."

And that is how the kindess of strangers -- Savige for rescuing a lost dog, Segovia for taking him in, and Cliff for giving up his pet to a pair or brothers who needed the dog more - brought Raelee to live with Azaiah, Christian and their mother.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mud Bog at Palm Beach International Raceway

Last Saturday night Dave and I went to the first mud bog at Palm Beach International Raceway (the old Moroso) in Jupiter. The racing started at 4:00pm, but we didn't get there until 7:00pm and the place was packed!!! The bleachers were totally full, so we walked down to the end of one of the race lanes and stood behind concrete Jersey barriers. We had a great time and spent much of the night dodging mud! Dodging the mud will kind of explain the quality of some of the pictures...they were taken with my cell phone and a few were while I was backing away from the spray! While we have been to plenty of "mudfests" this is the first race we've been to. PBIR did a good job of setting it up, but I think they may have found that they need to make it a little safer for the crowd to watch. We were able to get pretty close to the vehicles as they came down the lanes and there were a few close calls on the opposite side where they only had orange construction fencing, and not the concrete jersey barriers. One of the trucks came pretty close to having a moment that could have been filmed for "Most Shocking Videos"! Luckily, no one was hurt and the racing continued. They raced everything you could think off...trucks, jeeps, cars, buggies, and even a couple of snowmobiles! They also had a pretty big food and vendor area. We're already looking forward to the next one!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quote of the Week

Hold fast to your dreams, for if dreams die, then life is like a broken winged bird that cannot fly. - Langston Hughes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Giving e-Bay a Try

I've decided to give e-Bay a try. They are offering 5 free listings (ok, they're not really free, but pretty close!) every 30 days so what's there to lose? I see many people who have been very successful and figured I may as well throw my hat in the ring. I've sold a few items on there before, but have mostly been a buyer. If anything, I'm just hoping for a little more exposure and I know e-Bay has one of the biggest audiences. Unfortunately, they don't allow you to post links to other venues you are selling on, which to me is kind of surprising since even the handcrafted only sites allow you to do that. Do they really think they are going to lose that much business to the other sites? My plan is to include my business card that shows my other links with any items that sell (and hopefully they do). Maybe it will result in another sale, maybe not, but it's worth a try. So, I'll keep my fingers crossed and see how it goes. If you want to check out my listings, you can use the advanced search and look for seller's ID shellysinc.