Friday, May 29, 2009

A Proud Mom!

It was a wonderful night! Tonight was the boys Senior Awards night and I left there prouder of my kids than when I had arrived...I didn't know it was possible!

They received numerous awards and left there with an additional $6,000 is scholarships. We knew of 2 that equaled 1/2 of the total they won...but the rest was a complete surprise to all of us. One son is just shy of having his 1st year of college paid for and the other just has a few grand left.

*Happy Dance*

Afterwards we all enjoyed a celebratory dinner...filled with joyful smiles and tons of laughter. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to a beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm a slacker!

Since joining Facebook again I've been really slacking on my blog posts! I've gotta figure out how to manage my time a bit better :) Wow...FB can be addicting, but it's really nice being able to keep in contact with my old friends.

Sales on Etsy have been right on target this month so I have no complaints there! I've made a bunch of PMC pieces, fired and polished them anyways, now it's just a matter of oxidizing them. I'll be sure to get the pictures up here as soon as I've finished them. The majority of the pieces I've made are for graduation gifts that people have ordered. I really love's such a forgiving medium to work with..thank goodness or else I'd have a lot of wasted pieces. I tend to start making something...then half way through it I change my mind. Sometimes it's just because the piece isn't exactly what I had imagined or I'm just feelin' wishy washy and want to make something different..hehe

Well I'm off to fire up my torch and make some rings! I hope everyone is having a fabulous looks like the sun is finally back in my neck of the woods...yay!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This could be dangerous....

but I'm going to post it anyways, especially because of what's going on in today's economy.

Some of you may or may not know what I do for a day it's not jewelry...I wish, maybe someday, but for now my official title is Administrative Assistant...unofficially I'm a debt collector. Before you get your hackles up because of my job...finish reading the post. I'm hoping this will give you some tools to help.

How I got this job: Well there were a couple of factors but the main one being because of my own personal experience with debt collectors. My boss thought that because of my experiences that I would have the empathy to do a job that would help people.

I've had my own rash of dealing with debt collections...being on the other side of it especially after my car accident and losing half my wages. I didn't know how to handle it all...I felt overwhelmed, I was literally drowning in a sea of debt. Out of 6 debts only 2 would work with me. I was made to feel like I was less of a person...often yelled at and cussed out on many occasions. More times than not I got off the phone crying and feeling like I wasn't worthy to live on this planet. Dramatic maybe, but anyone who's been through it has probably felt the same way at one time or another.

How I do my job: I listen. I understand. I've been there. That's how I do it...plain and simple. I'm not about to kick you while your down. My job is to help you during a tough time. The only thing I need from you is communication and kept promises. Keep the lines open, talk to me, be open to suggestions. If you can only pay $15 a month on a large be it, I can do that....but if you can't make that payment, call me....let me know. I can help you through this tough time, but I can't do it all by myself...I need you too. I don't want your car, I don't want your house, the only thing I want is to help you get back on your feet again!

My advice to anyone who needs help: Know your rights as a consumer!
There is a law called the Fair Debt Collection Act
READ IT! I wish I would've known 1/10 of it when I was going through all of my hardships. It tells you as a consumer what the debt collectors can and cannot do. It's the most invaluable tool you can have. You can report any violations to your State Attorney Generals office ( or at the Federal Trade Commissions (

If you need to call your debts to do a workout have some things ready. Know what kind of payments you can make per month. Make sure it's an amount that you can do. I can't stress that part enough! Make sure it's an amount that still leaves you money to feed your family, put some gas in your car so you can get to work or search for work and pay for other essentials.

If the person you talk to isn't willing to work with you, keep climbing up the ladder until you find someone that will. I can't make any promises that they will all work with you, but you have to try.

Also, don't avoid your debt. It's not going to go me on this one, I've tried didn't work out so well. If you have avoided your debt and it's been turned over to a Collection Agency, then when you get that first letter from the collection agency there will be some small print that states if you think the debt is in error you need to send them a letter within such in such days...normally 15 days of the letter. Do it! Ask them to show you the original documents in writing. Even if the debt is yours this will buy you a little bit of time to get your bills together and figure out what you can and can't afford to do. Once they've received the letter they cannot contact you again unless it's just to tell you that they've received it. If they provide the documents of proof then you need to call them for a workout. At this point most agencies are willing to work with you....again I say most because there are still some that may not. If you run into someone who won't, then like I said before keep climbing the ladder until you find someone who will.

There are many other scenarios that I didn't cover here, for example what do you do if the lender files a small claims against you, or when a lender sues you. If these things have happened to you or you would like more information on, let me know and I'll write up a post about it.

Take this time to empower yourself as a consumer. More than likely you're in a situation that is of no fault of your own, so stop beating yourself up! Get yourself into a position where you can say that you're doing the best you can with what you have and that's all that you can do!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Survived the Last High School Prom

And yes I cried! As soon as I stepped back from putting on their cuff links, and straightening their eyes started welling up. High school is almost over for them....I hope that they've enjoyed it as much as I did when I was in school. Don't get me wasn't always roses...but my friends were the best and I walked away from school with some great memories!

I'm still working on some gifts and was only able to list a new pair of earrings in my shop:

Raindrops - Topaz and Sterling Silver Earrings
Mother's Day is coming up this weekend! Not only is it a day that I get to honor my wonderful mom but it's a day that I get to call the shots LOL! My wish is their command...*evil grin*...what type of things should I have my kids do?? Just kidding...actually...our tradition is spending it with our family...eating some great food and just enjoying each others company...what more could a girl ask for??

Just in case I don't get the chance....Happy Mother's Day to all of you fabulous mom's out there!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Back in the land of the living!

I'm finally feeling a bit better! My family has passed around an nasty little bug and it seems that I'm finally on the mend. Boy nothing like a good ol' cold to wipe you out for a few days.

Let's see what's new with me, well I got my boys senior photos back and I'm torn. The photos are great, but one of my sons decided that he would wear a ballcap in each and every photo...uugghh! Even the one's for the yearbook...aye! But...and here comes the part where I'm's totally unequivocally him! He always wears his Boston ballcaps...he has a nice collection of them in all sorts of colors so the Leo in him can match them with all of his different shirts, shorts, etc. So on one hand I'm bummed that there isn't one photo of him without his hat, on the other hand it wouldn't be "him" if he didn't wear it! I guess that's what I get for not being present at the time they had them taken...but I had a good excuse...a gem and bead show was going on LOL! Sheesh...what was I thinkin' :/

I'm happy to say that business has been going well. I exceeded my goal for the month, which is always a pleasurable surprise! I've had the sweetest emails from my customers and I tell you they make everything worth it...I'm so thankful for each and every one of them.

I've got some new projects (for jewelry) in the works...and I can't wait to finish them up, I'll hopefully have them listed before Monday. I'll be sure to post them here when I do!

Ohh and my little friend (in my earlier post) whom is actually a Red Breasted Sapsucker, has been at my bedroom window like clockwork always between 6:15 and 6:30 am...pounding away at my ladder. When I wasn't feeling well this week...he wasn't so cute and he wasn't my friend! Because a friend would know that I'm not a morning person at all...let alone when I'm not feeling well.'ve gotta kind of feel sorry for the guy...he's just a confused bird trying to suck sap out of a darned aluminum ladder!

Well all, I'm off to slap some vicks on...I just love the smell of that stuff...brings back childhood memories....I'm weird I know :)