Friday, November 30, 2012

It's almost 2013! Lampworking and beads continue

It was bitter sweet to read the posts I have made in this blog - my last being at the end of 2010 almost three years ago!  Mom has passed away since then - in July 2012 - just a bit over 4 months ago.  It was a hard transition for me and I am just now recovering.  It is hard to spend such a large chunk of your life being responsible for a person and then one day wake up and find yourself only having to basically worry about you.  It has not been easy for me at all - there are days when I am grateful that mom is at peace, at the end she was bed-ridden and did little but eat and sleep.  Since she was always such an active person, so full of life, this was hard for her and me.  But there are days when I just wish I could see her for a brief second, just a second or two :).  Reading some of my old posts gave me just a glimpse of the her today. 

I have also said good-bye to my beloved dogs that traveled with me to California in 2008 - both Buster and China have crossed the Rainbow Bridge - they lived very long fun lives, and I miss them dearly.  Since I am not one to live in a home without furry friends I did rescue another - her name is BeBe and she is a Coton de Tulear.  She has a "fur brother" named Sampson who is a Chipin (a Chihuahua, Minature Pincher mix) BeBe is 9 pounds and Sampson is only 3 pounds - so between them they are just 13 pounds - but boy are those 13 pounds full of life!!  Sampson was a gift to my grand-daughters, from their mom and dad,  for "graduating" Natalie from kindergarten and GG from Pre-K.  Its hard to believe that when I last wrote neither one was in school - I miss those days of togetherness, but I am so happy to see them growing into such wonderful little girls! 

I don't see my niece Grace much these days - unless you count facebook stalking :) - she is busy enjoying her first year of High School and "old" aunts don't fit into that mold for now.  I know if I wait patiently for a few more years she may find me interesting again - lol.  Thanks to her, I am still on the ex-smokers list - going strong since June of 2009.  I didn't do it cold turkey - I went the e-cig route, the best decision I have ever made.  If you are thinking of ever going that route please be aware that there are "programs" out there that have you join up and get a e-cig starter for just a tad bit of $$ - the trick is they then start charging you monthly - do NOT join that.  If you are truly interested in quiting and using a quality product check out Totally Wicked, they are honest, dependable and they stand behind their products.  If you need help getting started just shoot me a comment and I will help you get started. 

So now that I have updated you on my "new" life.  I hope you will return to see what I have been creating and learning in this new journey life has tossed at me. My new design - owls

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I get back on track with blogging and then the chaos starts!! It seems that every time I get back to blogging events occur that make it impossible to continue. This time I decided I would still make an concentrated effort to carry on :).

I updated my blog, and BAM poor mom gets sick. At 94 being sick is not just, well, being sick....she lost consciousness in the bathroom, on her feet! Thank goodness I was there so she didn't fall. It was the scare of my life. Anyway, we called 911 and the paramedics took her to Inland Valley Hospital in Murrieta. After they accessed that she wasn't in danger, we waited in a room for over 15 hours. NOT fun. To the hospital's defense, things were done during that time, blood work, ekg, Cat scan, etc... once all of those came back clear I asked for them to do a urine test - and bingo, she has a severe UTI. Very common in the elderly - she ended up being hospitalized.

Now here is an "info- mercial" lol. I signed mom up for a non profit health plan called Inter Valley Health
what a blessing this plan is - for those of you that don't know - there is Medicare part A and B and then D for scripts - instead of using straight Medicare you can opt to sign up for an HMO that takes your Medicare premium and provides you care. It doesn't cost you a dime more, and the coverage far out weighs the governments plan. So look into it if someone you love is 65 or older! Just be sure you shop around - and DON'T use AARP's plan - it is horrible. Find a not for profit plan. I worked in the health field for many years so I had an advantage when I selected mom's coverage, and I will gladly help anyone that emails me for help - as I know how important it is to have a good coverage.

OK - back to mom - she was admitted to the hospital, and I found out that not only does she have Alzheimer's and Dementia - she now has Parkinson's - I had noticed slight shaking, but assumed that it was due to age - WRONG. So if you have an elderly parent and they are shaking - even slightly - get them tested! Mom's UTI is under control now and she will be coming home today - thank goodness. Another note here - if you have an elderly parent and they get frequent UTI's ask your doctor about preventative antibiotic therapy. Basically this is a daily dose of antibiotics for an extended period of time. Normally this would not be recommended for a younger person (to much chance of building up an immunity to the antibiotics) but in an older person it may be just the ticket to ensure quality of life.

So today just may not be a glass working day, as I have to see what mom needs in regard to care etc...but at least she is home and resting.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Back in Action!!

It can't be possible that so much time has passed since I have visited my blog!! I have been in Murrieta CA for a year and 8 months. Where has the time gone??? So much has happened since I last wrote. My brother has been gone for 2 years now - it was 2 years on February 1, 2010 - doesn't seem possible, it feels like yesterday, but forever all rolled into the same emotions. I suppose that will always be the case. At times I am sure he is just a phone call away.

So much has happened since I moved to Murrieta. My son and lovely daughter-in-law, plus my beautiful grand-daughters relocated here 7 months ago. It was a big surprise to me. They called me about 9 months ago to say they had decided that Joe (my son) would be looking for jobs in California. Of course I was happy, but certainly didn't expect it to happen so quickly. Joe was flown out for an interview in May and they gave him the job the next day. By July 4th they were here - as quickly as that. The funny thing is that it was almost a year to the day that I had moved here. God is good! My niece and nephew had purchased a lovely home less then a mile from the home I am in (which, if you have been following this blog, you will know is also one of their homes) and they were wonderful enough to allow Joe and Marcy to rent from them. Honestly, they have been such a blessing to this family.

Anyway, to make a loooong story short - my mom and I and my sis were living in the larger home, but my sis really loved the smaller home down the street (not to mention, that she also longed to live alone again, lol) so we did a switch. Now Joe, Marcy, me and grandma (she celebrated her 94th birthday on January 16th) , plus the grand-babies live in the larger home and Carol lives just down the street in the smaller home. To be honest it isn't a squeeze at all, this house is HUGE - over 2800 square feet with a lovely yard and in-ground pool. Plus we have the best landlords anyone could ever pray for. So that is my catch up story for now.

I have learned a lot since being in Murrieta. I finally feel like I know the streets and I don't get lost as, and I know where the good stores are! I have discovered Trader Joe's - such a cool place - it is a different world in there. The customers talk to each other, and give hints and tips on foods etc..., they don't just stroll the aisles talking into their cell phones - such a treat to actually meet people once again in the store, ahhh the good old days!

I learned that the winds can get really strong in the summer - and that anything you are reading will end up in the pool if you don't weight it down - trust me, it isn't fun to remove an entire newspaper from a pool. It seems to get bigger and bigger, and then it just crumbles into small peices of gunk - UGH.

I have joined Hospice as a volunteer and hope to get a family assigned to me soon. Since I used Hospice for both my dad and then my brother, I know what a blessing having their help can be. So this is my small way of paying back.

OH and I quit smoking - June 16, 2009 - gained weight, but now I am at the gym daily so that is good. I was amazed at the difference not smoking made at my first work out. I used to get winded after just 5 minutes on the treadmill or bike - now I am breathing just fine at 20 minutes on both - that just blows me away. I had smoked for 35 years - started in my teens and never quit! One day I opened my email and found an ad for e-cigs - its an electronic cigarette that produces air mist instead of smoke and doesn't harm your body. It hasn't been approved yet as a quit smoking aide, but let me tell you, it truly is. I purchased one and now I am smoke free!! If you are reading this and are interested in finding out more, just email me at denise @ and I will gladly share the info. I don't want to turn my blog into an advertisement, but I would love to help someone as addicted as me quit :).

I also learned that humming birds are beautiful little creatures, and I really enjoyed having feeders in the yard, until I learned that bees love the feeders and swarm them - that was a scary lesson - lol. So I am not sure if I am going to continue filling the feeders. Sigh!

When I first moved to Murrieta, I would sit out in the yard at night and hear all these dogs in the distance. I remember thinking, wow, people here really have alot of dogs. Well, I have since learned that the "dogs" I heard were coyotes - lol. Now, I find it quite exotic to sit in the yard and listen to them yelp and carry on.

Speaking of dogs, my two little furry friends love the weather here, and they really love the yard. I almost lost Buster a month or so back, he had a slipped disk in his neck, but thanks to The Doctors Clinic in Murrieta, he is on the mend and doing really well. He does miss his buddy Carol though, they had a special bond. But, she is just down the street, so he gets to see her still. It is nice to have so much family near by.

I think one of the best things about being in Murrieta is getting to know my great-neice Grace. What a special little girl - well not little girl - young lady - she is. She is talented in music and school, as well as just being a nice human being. Hard to find that in a 12 year old these days. When I first came here she sensed that I was lonely and would just pop in for visits, it was nice to know that she thought of me. Now she is a bit more busy, and of course she has her NaNa (my sister) here now, so I don't see her as often, but I keep hoping to change that :).

I am also so grateful to be able to share a bit of life with my grand-daughters Natalie and Giannia - 3 and 2 years old. Such precious little girls. Full of energy and fun. To be able to hear their little voices in the morning is so special. Watching them grow and learn every day is a blessing beyond measure.

OK - so I have caught you up on my life in Murrieta, next time I will show you some of the glass I have been working on and we will get back to bead business :)

Hugs to all!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

GG Studio move is Official

Well folks its official - I have a REAL home in California - I am excited and terrified and happy and ....goodness knows what else. My sister always told me that she started her new life at 50 - and that I would too. Of course I have always been a little bit behind her, so I am starting my new life at 51 lol. This past 6 or 7 months have been a whirlwind for me and now I am off to a whole new life.

I hear that California is alot different then NY. I KNOW the weather is alot different, but I hear that California has its own "culture"....I sure hope I fit in :). Anyway, my new home is simply beautiful!! It even has a pool - an inground pool - something I have always wanted, and never thought I would have...not to mention it has 4 bedrooms and a loft that is really a beautiful office space. Then the best part THREE bathrooms - no more waiting to use a bathroom - one bathroom for each person in the house. Now that is LUXURY!!

I already have "California" plans with my neice Grace - we are going to take our "girl" dogs to the spa - no boy dogs allowed! The doggie spa lets you give your dogs a bath and a facial - lol and they leave with a pretty bow - actually I wouldn't mind that kind of treatment! Anyway, it will be alot of fun :).

I hope to be in touch soon - but, this week I am in California looking over my new home and doing a bit of relaxing....have to admit that I am not quite sure what to do with myself - feels a bit strange to not be at the torch, or cleaning beads or...well you all know what I mean.

I am California Dreamin.....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Changes at GG Studio

Well it's official GG Studio is moving to California! I cannot tell you how thrilled and excited I am, this is such a great adventure for me. It's a loooong story but basically it comes down to this - last year my sister encouraged me to come to Alaska to be with her, at the same time the housing market took a tumble and I just couldn't seem to sell my house. To be honest we had thrown around the "move to Alaska" idea for years. Unfortunately the final decision to take the plunge came at the same time the housing market took a plunge!

Sooo...the long story continues - lol. I told my brother, Doug about my decision to move - which was difficult as I basically stayed here in NY to be near him. But, I told him I was putting the house on the market...and that I was sorry but I had to move. It is difficult to be the primary caretaker of my mom at times and my life would change drastically. My sister would be living with me and I could go out once in awhile. Two days after I told my brother about my plans I received a call from him telling me that he needed a liver transplant (he NEVER drank a day in his life) his liver failed for unknown reasons. So we began a journey that spanned 5 very difficult months. I was to be put on as his living donor and hopefully he would get a liver from me. That never happened, after 5 months of fighting to live, my brother came here to my home a day before his birthday on January 29 -
on Feburary 1st he passed away.

Doug was in and out of the hospital and I was in a constant state of stress - my sister Carol spent hours on the phone encouraging me and just listening as I had a few mini break downs :). Of course my plans to move were put on hold during this time as I knew that Doug would need to live with me for at least two years, as he recovered from his transplant.

During this time I spoke with niece Tracy - now this gets complicated - lol - my nieces are close to my age - as my sister was grown and married when I was born - I was a little middle life surprise baby to my mom - who at 41 realized she was expecting me! So my sister could be my mom, and my neices could be my sisters lol. So Tracy says I sure wish you and mom (my sister) would come and live in California to be near me and my family - and I said well, I will go where your mom goes - but I am not sure we can afford to live this is where the story becomes a MIRACLE.

My neice tells me well maybe you can convince my mom to come to California. My husband and I will purchase a home near us and you, my mom and Grandma can live in it and only pay the taxes - say what!!! Yes, for the TAXES - no mortgage payment. So I call my sister and she tells me that she would love to go to California - then the phone lines really burned up. Of course Carol was astonished - we all were - this is such a wonderful gift.

So now here is the kicker - lol - the house is bought - they closed on it last week - it's located in lovely Murrieta California - and that is ALL I know - except it has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and I can still make my beads there! My neice and her husband Nigel purchased tickets for my mom and I to fly to California in a week or so. We will meet up with my sister , her 2 other daughters Kelly and Michelle and my neice Tracy and her daughter - my GREAT neice Grace. The excitement is unbearable!!!

It looks like my home in NY is going to stay in the family for a bit - as my son and daughter-in-law will be the new owners and I am off to Southern California to the Golden Triangle! When I return from my first visit - or maybe when I am there - I will post pictures of my new home! I am looking forward to living with my sister and being close to my great neice - Grace. So through all the darkness of the last year or so a wonderful light has appeared and I am so excited to be making this change. I think my glass art will be effected in a positive way in the coming months and I am looking forward to seeing what I am inspired to create!

One neat thing - I won't be packing my snow shovels!!!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some Fun with Sterling Wire


I really enjoyed working on this bracelet design - I used alot of wirewrapping techiniques and of course some of my boro beads. This bracelet is already spoken for, but I wanted to share the design concept. I tumble polished the entire peice for a lovely high shine....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good Morning!

OK - today I am going to share a bit of a personal stuggle - lol. My YOYO weight - jeez - what a mess. I have spent my entire life on a diet!! Now, I have to admit that I have never had much patience in my life - I like a quick fix, but I realize that the stresses of the last year or so have made me turn to my old friend ice cream, alot of ice cream!! Unfortunately this friend came with a few pounds. So last week I joined Planet Fittness, I am so pleased - this gym is so in line with what I needed. The perfect place for those of us that are shy to go to those "pick-up" or "show-off" gyms. No grand standing is allowed, there is a dress code and the people that go there are REAL. I am so excited.

The other thing I have conquered is a bit strange. Over the last year I developed all sorts of aches - I mean ACHES - everywhere. It seemed like every joint in my body hurt all day, all the time - I kept thinking it was the extra weight or possibly stress. Well I am pleased to tell you that they are gone - almost completely - and all it took was an internet search.

A few days ago I Googled, words like joint aches etc...and came upon a site that discussed that some people are effected by Splenda. Well, I use Splenda in everything (I suppose I thought it would make up for all that ice-cream). Well, it has been 3 days now since I have used Splenda and I am blown away by the difference. So if you find that you consume alot of Splenda (remember it's in soft drinks, diet tea etc...) and you are achy all the time, try this quick fix. Certainly showed me how important it is to pay attention to what you put in your body.

So friends I am on my way to getting myself back on track, and I find that the workout at Planet Fittness has really helped me to feel better about myself and inspire a bit of art in me too!! I am going to give myself 6 months of intense reworking and then I am going to show you before and after pictures - I promise. Since I am still in the before mode I am going to wait so I don't feel so horrible about the before picture :) - I will even give you starting weight and ending weight - NOW that should motivate me to keep doing the right thing!