Friday, October 31, 2008

Do You Facebook?

I turned into a big Facebook fan this week.  

I have never been a real social butterfly.  It makes me perfectly happy to hang out in the basement alone making beads and watching musicals on DVD.  I don't have tons of friends.  The people I consider friends are few but real.  Some people have hundreds of friends on their facebook pages.  I am working on it.

Facebook has always been a fun way to keep up with my nieces and nephews, and it turned into something more this week.  First, I got a friend invitation from a girl I had not seen in years.  When I lived in Texas, I taught dance classes for many years.  I had a group of fantastic girls who started with me when they were 10 and when I left them, they were in college.  We did all kinds of things together; I choreographed the book, The Velveteen Rabbit and we did it on TV, I choreographed for them to dance at the State Fair, they danced with me every year in the Sacred Dance Concert.  And, this week, one contact turned into a couple and they are grown and married with kids and companies and I cannot describe how it was to hear from them again.  Two of them are dance teachers, and how proud does that make me?  Love those girls.

And yesterday, I found one of my college roommates I have not talked to in 20 years.  She is just the same, except she has been traveling the world with her family.  She lives in Saudi Arabia right now.  She and her husband are teachers.  Memories of her in college made me stop and laugh.  She was the roomie who could not do her homework alone, could not get herself up in the morning, we felt like her Mother for three years.  And, here she is a world traveler, teaching English to people all over the world. 

Now I am wondering who else will pop up on Facebook.

Do you Facebook?  It is a great invention!
Normal Girl    

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FORR Typography

Round 2, this bracelet belongs to DT.  D is a graphic artist who does amazing work.  She loves typography and so that is the theme of her bracelet.  She started us off with two wood pieces.  She printed a g on one...that lower case g is her favorite letter.  And she covered the other in paper with words.

Close up, and you can see the other side of the white tile.

This is what I added.  Can you tell what they are?  They are typebars from an old manual typewriter.  Yeah, pretty weird for a piece of jewelry, but perfect for D's bracelet, I think.  I had to cut them shorter and drill holes in them to hang them.  I did not have D's favorite g, but I did have d and t.

See the D and the d?  Already, this bracelet is unusual, it will be fun to see what everyone else adds.

Normal Girl

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am SO Unhip

I was reading an article today and the author's bio at the end said she loves bibicafes.  OK, I have never heard of a bibcafe.  Have you?  I thought about it.  What is it?  Why don't I know what it is? How have I gotten so boring?  I used to know all kinds of things cool people know.

Bibicafe.  Bibicafe.  A bookstore with a cafe?  
Bibicafe.  A bible bookstore with a cafe?
Bibicafe.  a cafeteria where I have to wear a bib?
Bibicafe.  A sidewalk cafe that has the menu in a book?
Bibicafe.  Forget it, I googled it.

It is really bibicaffe.  OK, that gives you a big hint, doesn't it?  A bibicaffe is an Italian drink, a carbonated espresso.  Really, did you know that?

Normal (I don't drink coffee, so it is not my fault I did not know that) Girl

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

FORR Wings

This is the first bracelet I received in the Found Object Round Robin.  You can probably guess the theme is wings.  It belongs to MR.

This is the charm I added.  I found the tiny washer on the garage floor.  I hammered HOPE into it and hung it with a blue bi-cone crystal.  I also added a wing charm I had in my stash.  it reminded me of the first stanza of an Emily Dickinson poem:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

This charm was added right before mine by DT.  D painted a Scrabble tile so it looks like the sky.  W for wing.  Then, she added the dragonfly charm to it.

This is the original charm added by MR when she started the bracelet and gave it the theme of wings.  She told us that this butterfly charm is all she has left of a necklace she was given as a teenager.  MM are her initials.  She added a small opal chip.

Three charms, but so cool already!
Normal Girl

Monday, October 27, 2008

Peace and Love

Here are the peace sign beads made into a necklace.  I combined them with seed beads...kind of an updated version of my 1971 love beads.  I wish I had 100 of these beads.

Normal (obsessed) Girl

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tell Me About Your Rags

Wonder Woman and I were putting up decorations in church Tuesday night and we had a visit from Mr. CutebutCrabbyPants.    And it has been on my mind all week.  So, Mr. CBCP walks right up to the stage and says. "Oh great.  I can't wait to tell my wife that you are hanging up the rags again!"   Some of the folks at my church do not enjoy the guitars, drums, and the dancers, but I had never heard such a negative response to the visual decorations.   

Wonder Woman and I looked at each other and started laughing. I laughed because I really get it.  If I went to a church with a choir in long satin robes and organ music, I would be just as unappreciative.  Sometimes, once you get used to something and it feels good, change can be hard.  We did understand, and so we gave Mr. CBCP some ideas on how to deal with the guitars (he really doesn't like those either) and the rags:

- don't look at the rags
- sit farther back in the auditorium so you cannot hear or see so well
- ear plugs?
- wear your sunglasses in the auditorium
- talk to your neighbors during the music so you are not paying attention to it......facing back so you can't see the stage
- Come late after the singing and when the stage lights go down
- sing the song you like while we are all singing the song we like

Do you have rags of your own?  What are they?
Normal Girl

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Give Peace a Chance

These came out of the kiln today.  Peace man!  I am going to use them in my next column in Bead Unique magazine.    You know how hard it is to freehand a round circle?  Imagine doing it with molten glass.  I had a couple that I made so wonky looking that I could not save them.  

I melted them down, reshaped them and turned them into this.  I am hoping they look a little like tie dye and I can use them in the same piece of jewelry.  

Peace.  Love.  Togetherness.
Normal Girl

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greetings from HPB

The Human PinBall is in China right now.  I think.  She has been in Hong Kong this week too.  She is sharing photos of the journey.

This is the view from her hotel room.  HPB, what floor are you on?????  I like the mix of old and new architecture.

All is well, there is an IKEA.  hard to imagine people working Danish Modern into their decorating scheme in China.

Double decker train.

Doesn't this picture make you happy?  It is not candy, it is beads!

The street banner says...Welcome Human PinBall!!!

Not so much different from NYC in places.....a little more crowded maybe.  And they feed you frogs and monkey heads and duck lips for lunch.

Don't get sick, HPB!
Normal Girl

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let the Sun Shine In

I brought some geraniums into the house today.  Later, as the sun was getting lower and shining through the window, I had this amazing pattern on the wall.  I had to just sit and look at it for a few minutes.  What small thing happened to you today that made you stop for a minute?

Normal Girl

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Great TV Conspiracy

My TV died about 6 weeks ago.  So, I spent 6 weeks whining about the state of television purchasing in America today.  My TV was 25 years old, so I was not up to speed on flat screen TVs.  I was incensed that I do not have a choice in buying a television, I had to get a flat screen or nothing.  OK, the flat screen is nice, but it costs 3x what a tube TV costs.    

Meanwhile, I discovered how much more I accomplished without that TV.  I never thought I watched much TV.  I had it on while working a lot of time, but I just listened, not watched.  Apparently I was kidding myself.  Now I know that watching TV with the computer on your lap is fruitless time.

So, in the end, I bought the overpriced flat screen TV.  I plugged it in and flicked through the channels.  I wandered into channels with numbers higher than I have ever had on a TV before, and found music channels for every genre of music ever written.  I had not changed my cable, so how did that happen?  And then I noticed that the people on the screen were looking a little shorter and quite squat.  When I saw Vanessa Williams looking like she weighs 200 pounds, I clapped my hands and thought it was worth every penny!

Normal Girl  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Everlasting God October 19, 2008

Praise in Motion danced this morning.  They are such troopers.  The musicians were not quite together this morning and it took awhile for all of us to get on the same page.  I think the sound guys forgot to turn on the mic of the person who started singing the song.  That meant the kids were not able to tell when to begin.  But they jumped in and did a great job for the rest of the song.  To see them dance to Everlasting God:

Normal Girl

Saturday, October 18, 2008

His Highness

It was senior night last night for the Blissfield Royals and Redwood Nephew #3 is a senior Royal.  So naturally, we all went to cheer.  He made the first touchdown in a game that they won 50-6.  It was so pitiful that by the end I was cheering for the other team to do something well.  I felt sorry for them.  They had only 9 (literally) fans in their stands, so I was happy when they got one touchdown.  So, here is Nephew 3 and my sister The Smelliado being introduced to the crowd.

Here he is running for the first touchdown.  Notice his school colors are also purple and gold.   In this family, we only go to schools with purple and gold color palettes.  The Royals go to the playoffs now.  Last year they got to play at Ford Field.  This is Nephew 3's first year playing football, so we hope they make it this far again.  It is a big deal to play on the same field as the Detroit Lions.

Nephew 2 and Nephew 3 after the game.  Nephew 2 saved a man's life last week by giving him CPR.  He is the kind of guy you want to have around.  We are proud.

Nephew 4, a Canadian wannabe.

What in the world will we do when football season is over?
Normal Girl

Friday, October 17, 2008

Objects in Rearview Mirror May Appear Cooler

The new round robin has begun and I am sending out my bracelet.  It will collect some great charms along the way and come back to me loaded.  I have chosen as my theme, Christmas Carols.  The rule for this round robin is that each charm has to have something on it that we found.  We can add new beads and charms and things, but there has to be at least one thing that was not purchased.  

My starter charm is made on an anagram tile.  It has the capital letter A on the other side.  Anagrams were a fun game before scrabble.  My Mom tells me she played it a lot as a kid.  I decoupaged an old Christmas stamp onto my anagram tile.  It came from an envelope of old stamps that my Grandmother saved for me.  She used to cut the stamps off envelopes that came in the mail.  They were not all that special then, but they are antiques now.  And, of course, I added rhinestones (which really looked red last night when I strung it) and a dangling bead.  I like that you can see part of the cancellation mark and that postage is 5 cents!

Angels we have heard on high..................

Don't you wish you had joined this round robin?
Normal Girl

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autumnal Days

My week has been a blur.  As it is most weeks.  Late this afternoon I was in the car, the sun was shining, and I saw the most beautiful trees.  It made me stop and thank God.  My photo cannot do them justice, I wish you were there with me to see it.  Fall color really just started here in the last week, and it is gorgeous.  We are having the optimum color weather.  Warm sunny days and cool crisp nights make the best leaf colors.  If you don't live where this fall show is happening, I am so sorry.  If you do, get out there and get any eyeful!

Normal Girl

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Care to Dance?

Some of my dancers danced for the rest of the middle schoolers tonight.  It is hard task to accomplish.  Imagine dancing 3 feet away from people you know.  And boys.  You can see every face.  One hundred of them.  Staring at you.  The kids in the audience are great.  They clap, they holler out encouragements.  Still it is hard.  And tonight they were missing their center person, and one had a bag of ice on her arm, and one was dancing for the very first time.  But they did it.  They will lead worship this Sunday morning.  Same song, same dance, but with costumes and hair and live music.  

Here is what I think.  God always helps them on Sunday mornings and their hearts show and it is beautiful. 

Normal Girl

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Mr. Potter

Jack Potter

Dear Mr. Potter,

As Postmaster General and CEO of the United States Post Office, you have a big responsibility.  Perhaps you don't realize that as an employee of the government, you work for me.  You see, I have some problems with the way you run the post office, but they don't let me conduct your yearly review.  And yet, I believe that someone should not complain about problems without offering solutions.  So, when I went into  my local post office today and counted 25 people packed into the lobby waiting to get some help from the one person at the counter, I started thinking.  Since, it is nearly the same length of time to drive my package to Indiana as it is to wait in line to mail it, please accept my suggestions as an offer of good will.

- Schedule lunches for counter workers during slower times of they day, or allow them to eat while weighing packages.
- Offer some entertainment for your customers for those 30 minute waits.  How about a TV?  A guy who plays guitar and sings?  A game of Monopoly?
- Maybe snacks for those waiting, cookies and milk?  Thanksgiving dinner?
- The pick a number system, like at the meat counter.  I could stop in, pick a number, go grocery shopping, have lunch, drive to the Mackinac Bridge and be back in time for my number to be called.
- One of the counter people sitting in the back could sit on a rolling chair and slide along holding my place in line while I run other errands or take a nap in the car.
- Could I call and make an appointment or reservation? 

Please do not hesitate to call on me for additional service to the government of my country,
Normal Girl

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the Biggest and the Blankest

This wall is about 35 feet wide and 976323 feet tall.  If you had this blank canvas, what would you do on it?

Normal Girl

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Homecoming part 2

When you are not looking, one day they look like this, and the next....

they look like this, on their way to the homecoming dance, with dates.  I can hardly stand it.  

Normal Girl


Homecoming weekend at Bay City Central.  Go Wolves!  I have not been to one since my own senior year.  But, this year, Redwood Nephew 4 is on the homecoming court.  He is popular, a BMOC.  And Sequoia Niece 3 is on student council and was in the homecoming parade with the sophomore class float.  I was a consultant on the theme... which was the 60s.  None of their parents were alive in the 60s and I was.  Their float was the Yellow Submarine and they did a great job.  So here is the BMOC and the go-go girl.  How I got such tall nephews and nieces is a mystery to me, but they all are.

Redwood Nephew 4 with parents walking onto the field.  Who knew?

Normal (Auntie) Girl

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bracelet Story #6

You know that I think every bracelet has a story behind it. Some are short stories, some novels, but there are stories. Here is a 50 year story, a design story, and a birthday story.

This is my prayer bead bracelet. Yeah, it has honkin' big beads. My small group made these one night at my suggestion. My brain functions much like the Human PinBall. It is very hard for me to focus on anything for very long, and unfortunately that works for my prayers too. Sometimes I don't even finish a thought. I really hate it. I found this book Prayer for People Who Can't Sit Still, by William Tenny-Brittian. It is full of lots of ideas on non-traditional praying. I tried the one about prayer beads. The author explained that having a tactile experience while praying would make me focus. I thought...yeah right. And no kidding, it works. There are 10 beads on my bracelet and I feel that if I can pray about 10 things without losing focus, it is a miracle! I just touch each bead as I pray. Try it!

And if that doesn't work, the book will teach you to dance your prayers, draw your prayers, journal your prayers, sing your prayers, and prayer walk. And if you can sit down every day and talk to God without your brain interrupting, wow, I find that amazing!

Normal Girl

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plymouth Colony

I feel very blessed to have a lot of information about my ancestors, and sometimes I think a lot about my ancestor, John Jenney, who lived in Plymouth Colony.  He arrived in 1623 on the Little James, 3 years after the Mayflower.  He and his family (wife Sarah and several children including Samuel, whose line I am in) were what we call pilgrims.  You have also heard them called separatists, and they called themselves first comers.  

The whole reason that the separatists left their home was to be able to worship God in the way they felt was right.  These were English people who left England and lived in The Netherlands before deciding to risk it all and go to the new world.

At that time, the Church of England was the national church and people had no say in how it was conducted.  It became so much about hierarchy and titles and corruption, that it no longer felt like it was about God.  The separatists wanted a church they felt covenanted to, one that was about the principles instituted by Jesus and His early followers.  

I think about that decision process.  They left everything they had ever known to go to an unknown wilderness.  They did not know that they would even arrive safely.  If they did arrive, they knew most of them would die.  They could not bring their things with them.  They left family and friends so far behind they would never see them again. 

That is a statement about faith.

I may never have to make that kind of statement.  We are so blessed to live in America where that statement has already been made on our behalves.   Our ancestors came to this land to worship God.  He drew them here and protected them until we stand here today.  I find it so frightening that we have gotten so far from that statement of faith and reliance on God as a country.  Today we have a different statement to make.  This country was built by people who knew God and followed His will.  The farther we turn from Him, the more trouble we will find.

Lesson over. So anyway.....this is the John Jenney house in Plymouth Colony.  He started building it in 1624.  This picture was not taken until 1640.  HA!  This is not the original house, but a correct replication.  John left detailed drawings of what he built.  

John Jenney built a grist mill in Plymouth Colony, so in a way, he fed the colony.  Today, the mill is an educational facility that teaches about life in the 1600s.  

The Jenney line comes down through the generations to Ida Jenny (my great grandmother) to Ezra Taylor (grandfather) to my Mom, and then me.  How cool is it to know that?

My paternal line in North America dates back farther than that, but that is another story....

What do you know about your ancestors??

Normal Girl

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life in a Small Town

I live in a small-ish town in Michigan.  I love it.  But, truth be told, there are some hard parts to get used to about living in a small town.  Yesterday I went to the post office.  I have learned not to go at lunchtime, so it was mid afternoon.  There were 15 people standing in line and one guy at the window.  The rest of the employees were having some kind of party in the back, judging by the singing, clapping and laughing.  Perhaps they could offer a little entertainment when making me stand in line for 20 minutes.  They do have a nice table with tons of old stamps decoupaged to the top, but I have already memorized that.   Maybe I should make a customer entertainment proposal.  Do I send that to the Postmaster General??

After that I stopped at the hardware store for a quart of paint.  A man cut in front of me in line because he knew the man working the paint department. He was happy to see him.   Ron and Jim had a marvelous time catching up and they even opened a bag of potato chips.  While munching, Ron paid so little attention to what he was doing that he made Jim's paint My Little Pony Purple instead of the burgundy color requested.  Then the process started all over.  No complaints, but, couldn't they have offered me a chip while I was waiting for them?
One of the best parts of a small town is the Community Cute.  We have lots of festivals and holiday stuff.  Every fall, we have the scarecrows on the square.  I just love this and some people get really creative.  Local businesses and families put up and decorate the scarecrows.  Here are some of my favs this year.

Love fall!
Normal Girl

Friday, October 3, 2008

Liz Curtis Higgs

Introducing......the world's worst picture.  But, doesn't it look like a though bubble is coming out of her head?

Wonder Woman and the Librarian and I went to birthday dinner (thanks girls!)  and then to hear Liz Curtis Higgs speak at a local church.  I had read her book the Bad Girls of the Bible and enjoyed it.  But in person, she was a riot.  We laughed alot.  I am recommending if you get a chance to hear her, go!  Well, not if you are a guy.  You probably won't get the jokes.

You will understand that God fully appreciates a well used sense of humor.
Normal Girl

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VP Debate

In case you did not catch the debate, here are the highlights:

JB:  Thank you so much Governor for joining me tonight, I hope the family is well.

SP:  Oh, just anytime Senator.  And might I say what a lovely tie you are wearing.

JB: Would you like to get started?  I know you are probably a little jet lagged from traveling in, so maybe we can cut it off a little early.

SP: OK, would you like to talk about the war or tax cuts?

JB:  Governor, I am going to leave it up to you, you choose.

SP:  OK then, let's not talk, let's just go to the local soup kitchen, serve dinner and plant some flowers.

JB: Incredibly great idea.  If everyone here pitches in one dollar, what a great meal we will be serving.  Let's go!

I love political debates,
Normal Girl