Monday, May 31, 2010

Traveling Pendant Score Card

Well I won't tell you where I am standing here, but if you look carefully, the traveling pendant is with me. This story coming up between some other artisans. I am a writing fool these days!

I thought I would do a quick score card of where this baby has been.

It was born on a sunny morning in California by a pack of Lean Dogs. It then was adopted by myself and suddenly Lean Dogs was taunting folks to show off where they are wearing their jewelry out on the town.

Ahem. I don't go out on the town. When I go out (when they allow me) it usually is more of adventure. Honestly, never been arrested!

So from California, to Delaware.
Then it went to my girl friends house where we sipped on tea and played with a
Highlander Kurgan Sword. Big pendant requires a big sword.

Then we went mad as a hatter to a 4 star restaurant owned by some friends (hats included) to have dinner there with pendant. That might be the closest to me going out on the town. Sneaking into the kitchen to pick on the chef however, I don't think is on most folks agenda while going out.

Then a Moroccan restaurant with my son to watch belly dancers and eat with our hands all night. This is not McDonalds folks.

Well this was all and good, but I needed a bit more spice in my traveling pendant adventures. So I figured taking the traveling pendant up 3500 in a C-130 might be cool, and it was!

My bravest adventure yet was my trip to Washington DC with 3 or 4 buses (who's counting, it was a mob!) of 6th graders to the Holocaust Museum.

And now here I am and I still have a few more stories to put up to get caught up, just with the pendant.

So I say to the other Lean Dog fans out there....BRING IT ON!

I know you are out there....come out, come out...wherever you are!

Follow me on Twitter

I try to post my updates there.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

6th graders, a bus, Washington DC and 5 hours in a museum and one traveling pendant

What is more disturbing than the Holocaust Museum? I'll tell you what is more disturbing. Taking 4 bus loads of 6th graders with you to Washington DC to see it, and it is your first time as a chaperon. Now I know you are all saying "Wow, 6th grade and she is just taking on this passage of life?" Well, no...OK yes. But I am innocent! My oldest son who is 16 has severe autism...I never really got into it that much here as this is my play land and artsy fartsy place. But he is mentally about three, cannot speak, has few if any social skills and I love him to death. BUT this leaves going out on field trips to a bare minimum at best.

So when I had the opportunity to go with my 6th grader who is 12 going on 32, I made sure I went. Museums equal art, right? Ahem....not in this case.

So the trip is to DC (Look for the traveling pendant, yes it made it to the capital!) and I have to say I was terrified.

Proof of pendant at the museum.

ACK! NORMAL People! (if there is such a thing) parents and kids....I am use to being in the disability world. This is a strange place for me. Needless to say I moved onward with my three assigned boys, one including my son. I had good kids, really great, no issues at all. Except for the one that kept vanishing and I was responsible for. He tended to follow his nose and not us.
Can someone please tell me where the Holocaust Museum is, I seem to be lost.
My Posse

Our buses park across the street from the Holocaust Museum which is right next to the Smithsonian. Ohhhhhhh Smithsonian. We were told at first that once we were done looking through the Holocaust Museum we were free to visit other museums on the block. Once we got there, we were told that we had to spend all 5 HOURS in the museum of death. Joy. After looking at remnants of peoples snuffed out lives, the Smithsonian would have lightened things up a tad.

All we have to do is go down to the corner, cross the street and go back down and enter the museum which is now disturbingly like getting into Fort Knox since that poor poor man who was a security guard there was shot and killed about a year ago. Airport security should take notes not only on the screening job they do, but with the speed and efficiency. With all my jewelry I was frisked down with the buzzzy thing for medals every time. I had this little gig going after the first few times. A really bad robot dance of sorts. Fortunately the security there are a great gang and had a good sense of humor but still did their job.Our fifth time through security and metal detectors. I make those suckers go off like Christmas trees and hold the line up for 20 minutes. Embarrassing.

We walked through the very crowded and hot museum looking at the most horrific of things and twice we went to the cafe to take a break. Emotionally, it was a bit much and we all just craved to hit the Smithsonian or even the National Monument which was right around the corner. We walked the whole museum and GAH....2.5 hours left!

No cameras were allowed in the museum and really, there is nothing I wanted a photo of. The pile of real shoes, worn by real prisoners who went to their deaths was almost more than I could bare. Mens, womens, childrens even infants shoes. I saw many people weeping at different places in the museum. How could they? How could we let them? How can people say it never happened with so MUCH documented film, photos, physical evidence and survivors with their stories.
Jarod and I outside taking a "mental break" from the museum. And what were we staring at over the wall just feet away...
The Smithsonian. THE SMITHSONIAN! And we get to get take pictures of it from the outside. That's it. Nada...ziltch...ain't happening. Sigh.

Yes, the traveling pendant went, but it was not to the most wonderful of places. That said, if you get a chance to visit DC, you must go...even if just out of respect for those lost and those who had great and unimaginable loses. So most of of our photos are outside.

Now, take 2 dozen 6th graders, 2 hour ride in each direction and what to do you get?

Sometimes, words cannot express the moment....

This is why I am a 100% committed advocate to xanax in the water supply. Hey, I survived and all the kids in my charge came back in once piece....I think.

Found it, tried it, loved it!

I have three VERY classy soap ladies that I purchase from and have been very loyal to them for all of my soapy needs. I use their soaps from everything to just washing hands, dishes, my hair (yup you heard it, my hair), gifts and even washing my stockings and delicates by hand.

The reason I have three suppliers I use is because of their unique style and utmost high quality. That and I don't break out from their carefully crafted soaps.

I have blogged about one and two others will be coming down the road. One I am holding off on till she reveals some new soaps and updates her supplies.

Ok...tried these soaps and I consider them BIG winners. Some others are winners, but will be featured later in their respective posts.

My first summer favorite comes from one of the first Etsy Artisans that I ever purchased from and I have watched her shop grow and just become more fabulous than ever! I went off the track on my usual purchases from her and tried her summer sage soap. Here is her description.

{summer sage} . olive oil soap

Made with gentle cleansing olive oil and my own special blend of sage, lemongrass, and sweet orange essential oils... This soap is bursting with citrus and a hint of earthy sage, along with pretty calendula petals that keep you dreaming of summer all year long.

This soap is stimulating, invigorating, clarifying and refreshing. ♥

I have to say she is spot on. I have found his soap to be an essential in the kitchen. When you are cooking with strong odors such as seafood, onions and such, this is the bar to reach for. I love it, give it a try, I don't think you will be disappointed.

I have featured Epically Epic Soaps on here before, you can find it here. But I have fallen in love with one of her simple and yet mos elegant soaps. If you like Bryers Vanilla Ice Cream, you are in for a treat. Here is her description:

This quietly beautiful soap has become a customer favorite!

Vanilla Bean ~ A goat's milk soap scented with only 100% natural ground vanilla bean. This isn't one of those too-sweet synthetic vanilla fragrances -- just real vanilla fresh from the pod! Words can't describe the exquisitely warm fragrance of real vanilla bean, the fruit of the vanilla orchid.

You can actually see all of the vanilla beans in this soap. Simple and wonderful. I use this one to wash my hair and my face. It has really helped both both a lot. It lathers up beautifully. You almost want to eat it....but don't! I say if you don't try this one, you are missing out!

Finally a new one that just popped up as SunBasilGardens has been on a bit of a vacation while moving. You know those silly rubber bracelets of every shape you can think of that the kids are wearing? Well leave it to SunBasilGardens to snag that idea up in a hurry.

Here is her description:


Scent: Green Apple Lollipop
Handcrafted glycerin soap. 4 oz size. Vegan.
Listing is for 1 soap. Always more in stock.

- If you have kids, then you have heard all about Silly Rubber Bands. It's a daily topic of conversation at our house. This brand new soap is for both Mom and the kiddies. Embedded on top is one silly band, and deep inside the soap hides another. Always made with gentle, all natural glycerin soap. As they use this soap up- inside waits 2 silly band bracelets to wear. In a lollipop scent they will love!

- Type in BOY or GIRL in comments field and I will send an appropriate shape. I have themes: CAR/BAND/FARM/ZOO. Otherwise, I will just surprise you!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Enigmatic Labyrinth

I have a dear friend who worked very hard with me on my golf outing fundraiser. He has some challenges in life, but really is an absolute JOY and PLEASURE to work with and can get the job done.

So he needs a header for a blog and I designed him said header below.

If you want to learn why he is an Enigma you will have to visit his blog and read his stories. It will be interesting keeping up with his daily notes and adventures. I have worked with him long enough to know that there is always something to talk about, and as he said..."You cannot make this shit up." So please give him a visit at

And yes a sense of humor he has.
Contemplative yet slightly evil, but in a good way.
Are we hams....yes we are hams and we shall have some green eggs with ham!
We love our work!

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm back, and the traveling pendant has been busy!

I'm back! Whew...what a month!! I am not entirely sure if I am capable of making a whole lot of sense "yet", but I am going to back up to April 18 and share a small adventure I had with a friend of mine thanks to some other friends.

A few years ago I invited the national guard to work at one of my fundraising events and ever since we have really become buddies. They are top notch, first class all the way and I am proud to call all of them my friends.

Over time I have also had the honor and privilege to tour our base and take a ride in a black hawk helicopter. Not only was it fun, but I learned a whole lot about the guard, their role and a lot of what they do, or at least what our base does. Pretty amazing stuff and I was rather humbled by my experience. I could not believe that I lived next door to this base my entire life and had NO clue what went on there. I would see the planes fly over or parked on the base... never knowing what their role was or the people who took care of them.

This past April I was given the chance to have another experience with them on what is called a BossLift on a C-130. But it was more than just taking a ride. I got to learn about how they work with local employers and guardsmen on trying to get them jobs, keep their jobs and help employers understand their roles/jobs in the guard better. The more I learn the more respect and admiration I have for these fine men and women in uniform.
My ride this past April. Not to shabby.

Sooooooo, we showed up at the air base on 18th and had an introduction with a major general and some other nifty folks and were taken on a tour of the base. We got to have lunch in the chow hall with the other military persons working that day and we were then taken to a hanger where we were processed and prepared for our flight. It took me about an hour to go through the metal detector with all of my bracelets and jewelry and I left my earrings in the x-ray machine, BUT we managed to get me ready and safely on board!
All aboard!

We got in and it is basically a cargo plane with very sparse accommodations for passengers, but all of the essentials. The seats are the best, and after taking off...they really came in handy. You take off in a c-130 like a rocket...not like in a commercial airline where it is nice a slow and smooth. Oh no...these boys mean business and getting off the ground in a hurry is a must. I called the seats the "oh shit handles" because as you take off you end up saying "OH SHIT" while holding on. Pardon the colorful use of metaphors....but I am writing it like it was. It was pretty exciting!!!
This kind of seating is critical on a c-130 flight!

About mid-way through the flight I was invited up into the cockpit to visit the pilots and take a peek out the window. My friend Immanuel, who came along with me for the day, and I went up together for a visit and it was incredible! The view was just astounding and breathtaking! The pilots were very gracious and at only 3500 feet you are able to make out most land marks and I knew exactly were I was. Right over my in-laws! Hehehe.

Me peeking out the window in the cockpit at 3500 feet. The pilots were so super cool!

My view from the cockpit. Hi Mom! Hi Dad!

I stuck my hand through a net and into a small window and got this picture of the planes propellers. No, they didn't break-up...every picture I tried to get came out like this. Isn't that wicked cool looking?

Apparently a flash in dark quarters does not work very well on me if I want to keep features on my face! However, look at that wish you had a pendant that magnificent!
As you can see I was on happy girl while taking a casual flight with some of my friends. You can also see that the traveling pendant had a good day too! To learn more about the traveling pendant you can go here, or here.

This was a big move for me as I had not been on a plane since I was stuck in Florida 1500 miles away from home on 9/11. I was to fly home that day...needless to say I had to find a new way home and was separated from my very young boys for an additional 5 days. So thank you to my buddies at the National Guard for giving me the safest flight in my life and helping me get over a huge anxiety of mine!

For an article in my local paper on the actual flight I took, click here.

Coming up...
Etsy Artians Dancing Mooney, Moaning Minnie, and stories from my fundraiser and a weekend at the races!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm here...sorta

I know, I know! I have not been around or posting like a good girl. And I do have lots of great stuff to put up and share with everyone.

I am in the midst of my fundraising season and I only have 5 days left. Then I will be gone taking a full weekend in at the ******** ******.
(I cannot disclose that information at this time, top secret yanno.)

Will be attempting to walk the ******* ************ ******* Walk on Saturday, May 15. My feet are NOT going to be happy with me. I think hobbling is a better term to use, I won't be walking very well by then.

Awe well, you gotta do what you gotta do. Pain is inevitable, Misery is Optional.

The traveling pendant has a few stories and a few more coming up. Plus I have a few really wonderful artisans I plan on featuring. My life is just 200% consumed with my fundraiser and until that and ****** weekend have passed, I am afraid my ability to write much of anything more cohesive than what you would read in a bowl of alphabet soup is nada.

But really, I am ok....I even went on a **** **** with a 6th grade class to ************ **. See, I am perfectly fine after 2 hours on a bus with them. I look like this all the time.

Anyhoodles, I am leaving a few clues or visual aids on some of the upcoming stories I will be posting after I get through surviving this next week. I have the following week off (Hooray!) So I will be able to catch up with my traveling pendant stories, my feature artisans and hopefully any art work I need to do. Whew!

Lean Dog Traveling Pendant Journeys...
I will have about FOUR!

I had the opportunity to take a friend of mine on a special journey on the 18th of April. It was an honor, as it has been in the past to be company with these folks and this is all I am giving you.

Like the hat? So did I...Ouch you are too late, it is mine! Moaning Minnie from Etsy will be featured soon. I am a huge fan of her hats. I just cannot lower myself to buy one at the mall now. I have learned though, if you like it, grab it. You may never see another one like it again. A lot of OOAK going on in her shop.

Mmmmmm, Kona bar. You wanna eat it, but you are really better off bathing with it. Dancing Mooney is also coming up. She makes some fantastic soaps, jewelry and....

Did I mention I like butterflies?

Kinda reminds of my life some days....but here is another clue for the traveling pendant series...

and yes, one more.

That's a wrap folks! Thank you for patience and I look forward to bringing to you more great artisans and stories. I am also interested in anyone else who would like to share their story.

Namaste and Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there who is or has a mother.