Monday, March 30, 2009

Study study again. I have been working on my Italian quite a bit in the past few days. Tonight, as I learned how to order qualcose da mangiare (something to eat) and made more flashcards, I thought back to my college years. The only class I really needed to study for was art history. I don't recall ever making flashcards for it, but I do remember typing out my notes from class as soon as I got back to my room, and then going over them every weekend. What also proved to be a huge help was my sister. She would quiz me a day or two before my exams, and that was probably a large factor in my receiving high marks on all of my tests.

She is not here to quiz me in Italian, however, so I must resort to flashcards. It is kind of fun though. Learning a new language at 29 is surely harder than it would have been had I done it while in grade school, or at least high school, but I am really getting in to it now. Soon, very soon (ok, in the next few months) I hope to do an entire blog post in Italian.

I wonder if I can learn by osmosis... :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Recession? Not in my little niche.

Here in Missoula I have not noticed much of a change due to the economy. People are still buying jewelry, cars, and furniture. Everyday at work, I notice shoppers walking around with loaded shopping bags. Perhaps this is due to excellent bargains, or just the need for their purchases.

My business is booming, with people choosing to repair their old jewelry if they feel new jewelry is too extravagant. (Our sales are up from last year as well). Also, I have noticed an increase in custom design, which is more expensive than picking something out of the case. I recently finished a piece two weeks ago, and have one on the back burner, waiting for approval (this one may be due to the economy, however, I think it is more about the relationship). I am sending a wax in for casting this coming week, and when it comes back, I will carve another wax using the new casting as an imprint for his ring (this will be another blog post. I think it is going to be so neat!). Also, last night I took in a large commission for a three ring wedding set. The clients are providing a rather large diamond that takes my breath away. Literally.

I should also point out that custom is what I really love working on. I can only hope that this continues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Talk about a rough night. Make that two rough nights. I was in bed by 11pm Monday night and thought that I was tired. Boy was I wrong. At 1:30am I was still awake (and not the least bit tired) and my mind was racing. I just couldn't quiet it. Oliver (my cat) was even suffering from insomnia. I decided to get up for a bit and walked around the apartment, thinking that a little bit of movement would relax me. Finally, sometime after 3am, I fell asleep. Morning came too quickly and I was off to a rough start. My travel induced cold had returned, along with a severe headache and stomach ache. I headed home early to take a nap, which seemed to be a repeat attempt of the night before. Sleep was not an easy endeavor, though it did find me for a little over an hour. Better than nothing.

Tuesday night was much of the same. Although, while I lie awake (and not tired, again) I realized there was a difference in this episode of sleeplessness. I was not anxious about anything, as I had been the night before. I was just thinking. About Italy, work, jewelry, the weather, my house still for sale in Iowa...anything that popped into my head. I tried (seriously) mindfulness of breathing meditation as I stretched out in bed, to no avail. Around 5:30am I decided that I should move to the couch. I fell into a restless and strange dream filled sleep until 7:15am. How frustrating!

I made it through work pretty well. I do have to say that I usually operate well on very little sleep, however, I am feeling the affects tonight. My head hurts terribly, and I am finally tired, although, not exhausted. I can only hope that sleep will quickly find me tonight. I don't know what I could possibly fill a third night with.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More time

I waste so much time. Mostly surfing the internet, or channel surfing on TV, only to find that there is never anything worthwhile on. So, this month will be the last month that I have cable. It will save me $22 (not much, but hey, every little bit helps), and most of all, stop wasting my time. I have many other things that I want to do instead of sit in front of the TV.

They are:

Learn Italian (I've decided that I am going this year)
Design more jewelry
Enter more contests
Build a bicycle
Go on evening bike rides with friends
More hiking
Backpack camp instead of car camp
Photography of anything and everything
Read in the park

You get the idea. I've realized that time seems to be going faster and faster, and I need to get the most out of this life of mine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Iowa Revisited

Reflecting back on this past weekend's events, I don't think that I would change a thing. I've never been one to keep a lid on something this big but I managed, and it was well worth it. I will remember my parent's reactions for quite a while, and I'm pretty sure they will always be wondering when I might surprise them again.

In just three days, I was able to see all of my friends and family that I'd hoped to, met a few new people (Cody, Lisa's seven week old baby) and tried to relax a bit. I have never been so tired as I was this weekend. Chalk it up to not sleeping well Friday night, or perhaps just the anticipation of it all wore me out.

On my way to the airport with my mom, she asked me if I had had enough time for everything. I said that I did, and that I'd enjoyed my time in Iowa, but that it was not home anymore. Things are different. I felt a bit like an outsider with my old group of friends, however I did feel very welcome, and missed. Someone (I'm not sure who at the moment) told me that I probably wouldn't miss home until I had gone back and seen first hand all that I had missed out on since I'd left. I think in my situation, that is not the case. I do admit, I have missed out on things that I would have been very much involved in, but I can't, nor would I ever choose to have not embarked on this new and exciting journey that I am living everyday.

I'm not sure when my next trip to Iowa will be. My family is coming out to Montana in August so I will see them then. Hopefully more people will be able to make the journey as well, so that I may show them what I love so much about my new home state.

Friday, March 13, 2009

After nine months, I'm heading home.

As I try to sit here calmly, I just can't stop smiling. I am finally heading home for my first visit since leaving Iowa last June. And almost no one knows. My sister Michelle is the only one back home that is in on it, and only because she is picking me up at the airport. I have managed somehow to not tell anyone except friends here in Missoula of my plans.

Why this weekend? It has been the weekend I've been lookin at for quite some time because it is my Grandmother's 90th birthday. The family is having a party for her on Sunday and it only seemed fitting that I go when I can see them without having to travel all over the state to do so.

Before March 4th, it seemed like going home was a far off dream. Tickets were more than $500. On a whim, I decided to check prices and they had dropped to $300, which to me was a steal. I called my sister and we concocted a plan to surprise everyone.

Everything is packed. All I need to do now is go to bed. My flight is at 7am and I know that sleep will be difficult.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Prepared. Not quite.

In last week's Health section of the Missoulian, I came across a free class at Meadowsweet Herbs titled "Using Essential Oils". I thought it sounded interesting so I decided to check it out. The class was full, and I recongnized a couple of people from "around" and an aquaintance whom I had met through Justin and Jen. The class was great, and I learned some new information, such as Lavender (Lavendula) is the oil to have on hand at all times. It has pain relieving qualities, can help stave off infections from insect bites, cuts, etc. It's scent, however, is not pleasing to me. If it can help with ailments such as these, I may have to try it out.

Walking out of the shop at just after eight, I was glad to have my camera at hand. The almost full moon was just rising over Mt. Sentinel, with some very amazing light cloud cover. I hurried to my car, only to be disappointed that my tripod was not there. (It goes into the car tomorrow!) Tomorrow night for the Full Moon, the forecast is to be clear. I plan on heading out again to see what nature has to reveal.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Favorite day of the week: Sunday

For the past two and a half years, I have had Sundays off. It was always just another day off until about six months ago. Now, it is my productive day. I actually get things accomplished and enjoy it. Things to do today: laundry and cleaning, maybe venture out of the apartment to go grocery shopping, print pictures after editing, Italian (thanks for the label idea Justin), read the Sunday Missoulian, and just all around enjoy today. This will be my last day off that I don't have plans until March 22nd.

There was the possibility of going snowshoeing again today, but I am kind of thankful that it didn't work out.

Yesterday on my way back to work after lunch at home, I stumbled down a couple of steps and that seems to have irritated my already injury prone hip. So, now I have decided that I am going to do Yoga three days a week. It should help with my balance, which I desperately need to improve, and it is something that I have been interested in for quite a while.

Time to get busy, as I have already lost an hour by default, as last night was Daylight Savings. Does anyone else think that they should just do away with it?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Things change

I don't think I have ever been so happy as I am tonight. My sister is great! She is helping me to obtain one of my goals, which I can not mention quite yet! All that I will say is that it will help me out a great deal.

While life is hard sometimes, I like to think that I can look on the brighter side of things. Having great friends and family helps. Loving my job and knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be is something that not everyone has the luxury of having/knowing. I am one of those lucky people.

All is good here...