Ciao 2017

I like to write a post that reflects on the past year.
It mostly for me – to gather my thoughts about what has transpired. 

~ So, 2017 proved to be a better year than 2016. ~

The first big event in 2017 came in February when our first grandchild was bornMy Story

Such a blessing.

He is helping me stay focused on my family.



In the spring, I attended a wonderful art history course on Michelangelo.  That experience has prompted us to plan a trip to Italy in 2018

I had to say goodbye to Homer this year. 

Ms Story

RIP Homer 2003 – 2017

He developed a heart murmur and passed away in April.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about him.

So, to get my dog fix I have been volunteering at the Humane Society.  We get up early on Saturday morning and walk dogs.   



I took some jewelry making classes.  One was in Coronado, CA with Robert Lopez.  Spectacular!

We hit the Big Apple in the summer and met some friends.  Theatre and great food and a ballet at the Lincoln Center.

Spent my husband’s birthday in Santa Fe, NM.  More great food.

And in September traveled to France, Spain and Portugal.  More great food.

I have been studying with Sam Patania – a master craftsman – here in Tucson.  So, my jewelry skills are developing nicely. 

I rebranded my website and opened a better online shopping experience – two things that were on my list to do.

I celebrated a milestone birthday.

Also got to visit Chicago where we lived in the 70’s and 80’s.  Scored tickets to Hamilton which is as good as all of its reviews.  Caught up with old friends.

So as the end of 2017 is approaching I feel very blessed.  I give thanks to my family and friends.  I especially want to say to my husband that I recognize his commitment to making me happy.  That goes a long way as we forge ahead in the 43rd  year of our marriage. 


I am thankful that there are still a million things I want to do and see in my lifetime.  If there wasn’t what would I have to look forward to?

I am thankful for all the wonderful teachers out there and for the opportunities I have to continue learning.

I am thankful for coming through a very difficult time in my life still filled with hope and optimism.

I am thankful that the difficult time helped build my strength and character and helped me learn a lot about myself.

It’s easy to be thankful for all the good things that happen to you.  But the mistakes and disappointments helped me to see the importance in all the little things each day.

I take nothing for granted.  Life can change in an instant.

So good bye 2017. 

Life is good

La Dolce Vita


My journey with beads

Someone recently asked me how I got started making jewelry.  So I have reflected on my journey with beads and thought I would share it.  

First, I started to create some simple jewelry pieces.  It began when we were going out to a special dinner and I felt I did not have the right piece of jewelry.  I had just visited a bead shop for the first time because I was asked to incorporate some beads in a cross stitch design that I was creating for a local needle craft store.  And well….  I couldn’t get all of those beads out of my head. 

I didn’t know anything about jewelry making..  what do you use to string the beads on?  How do you end the piece?  So armed with an antique button, I went back to the bead shop and bought some stone beads and silver beads and got a hasty how to and went home and created this piece.  Little did I know the journey had just begun.

my journey with beads - the first piece

I had no plans to sell my work.  It was just fun creating.  But then I discovered lampworking and for the first time found a medium that I loved.  Glass is mesmerizing.  You work it hot in the flame and sometimes the colors change when the piece cools.  It is mysterious.  It has a mind of it’s own.  And I set out to conquer it.

Fall in Tucson

It’s still in the 90’s but the sun is not as strong and the mornings and evenings feel cooler.  The fun weather of Tucson is about to begin.  The barrels are blooming….  

The blooms are absolutely gorgeous

A few more weeks in the pool.

Then it will be time to think about the fire pit and lovely evenings under the sparkly sky.

We have a vacation coming up. 

Culture and cuisine….  an expedition with National Geographic.

My psyche continues to heal.

Making art is my salvation.

new tag

But I feel the need to banish her again



The Beatles Or the Stones – leave me a comment who you prefer

beatles or stones

Beatles or Stones

Well, I was 17 when the Beatles and then the Stones invaded the US.

I like them both. 

But overwhelmingly I am a Beatles fan.

I think there has always been a battle between these two groups especially as they traded weeks at Number 1 on the charts in the 60’s. 

But I look at the Beatles as a pop group and the Stones as a rock band. 

Sorta like the boys next door and the bad boys.  I was a sucker for the boy next door.

The Beatles were just ahead of the Rolling Stones,

and you might not know this but John Lennon and Paul McCarney agreed to write an original single for the Rolling Stones called “I Wanna Be Your Man”.

The song gave the Stones their first commercial success and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards began writing as well.

Regardless of who you prefer the sixties really had great music!

beatles or stones



Louise in the 60's

ME – 1964

creating the desert in glass and metal

My Mother – Remembering

Happy Birthday

My Mother was born on December 11th so on Sunday she would have been 90.  So I wanted to share some pictures and thoughts about her.

Her Life

She met my Dad when she was just 18 years old,  They used to like to go down to New York City – nightclubbing.


She was so glamorous!


I love this photo taken on her wedding day


They were married for just over 50 years.  When my Dad passed we had my Mom come live with us.


I was an only child and it was really tough taking care of her as she aged.  Eventually she went into an assisted living.


Her name was Marion



High School Reunion – #50

Why did I go to my 50th High School Reunion?

First of all I can’t believe that it’s been 50 years since high school.  It sounds like a long time, but I really don’t feel so different.  I seem to remember those days like they were yesterday.

My family moved from my hometown of Amsterdam, NY just before my senior year.  I have always liked adventure so I really didn’t see this move as a negative thing.  And it was sorta cool to be the “new” girl in a new school.  I made several friends in my new school, had a good year, and went on to college as planned.  For at that age isn’t our whole life ahead of us?  I didn’t look backwards.

I never even said goodbye to a lot of people back in Amsterdam; just the closest of friends.  So for me I went back to Amsterdam for closure; to see where I lived



Mechanic St

67 Mechanic Street – lived here until for grade school



34 Stella Lane, lived here until we moved in 1964

34 Stella Lane, lived here until we moved in 1964


and to see those people who over all the years I still feel very connected to.



I drove around the area, and yes it has changed.  I saw the old high school…  which is now the junior high.



Some friends never left Amsterdam… they see each other every day


I saw the houses where I used to live.  I saw the field that was turned into an ice rink every winter where I went ice skating  ….  Most of the old hangouts were gone.  Stores closed.  New ones built father out of town.  Crime is a problem.  The town is not the town that it was in 1965.

I learned that our class was the largest class to graduate in Amsterdam – 537 students.  So of course I did not know everybody.  And over the years many classmates left the area and spread out all over the country.  This was a milestone anniversary for our class so I was hoping many would make the effort to come back for it.  Not everyone did, but I was not disappointed.  Saw many classmates and even made some new acquaintances.  And was distressed to see the photos of the 86 who had passed away.

So why do you go to a reunion?

  • You have good feelings and want to reminisce
  • You want to see if all those predictions about people came true.
  • You are not who you were in high school
  • You want to remember who you were in high school
  • You want to go back to the roots that made you who you are today
  • And most of all because you can

English Trifle

picture of English Trifle

English Trifle and Memories

I just made dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner with our youngest daughter Jody and her husband tonight.  It’s an English trifle – but a little different this year.  I used pound cake, but I slathered it with lemon curd; and used peaches and raspberries this year (instead of strawberries).  This recipe did not call for a custard sauce; but I added that myself (or else hubby would be mad).  Later I will make the raspberry whipped cream.  My trifle bowl broke last year so instead I used this beautiful cut crystal bowl – from England.

I was first introduced to English trifle at a friend’s home during the Christmas holidays some 30 years ago.  We lived in Chicago at the time.  Our husbands worked together at the University of Chicago.  She had 2 boys around the same age as my 2 girls.  She was from England – new to Chicago.  And we had moved to Chicago for work.  So Chicago was new to me too.  It was the first time I lived in an inner city.  The area we lived in was Hyde Park and it was a small community surrounding the University on the edge of Lake Michigan.  Dee and I became fast friends.  We coffeed while our children played together at local parks.  We went swimming at the Lake in the summer and in the indoor pool at her high rise apartment building in the winter.  We exercised together.  We would take the train downtown for a day’s shopping or for a visit to Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon – to help with our sanity.  We both “tolerated” Hyde Park  and the cold and snow of Chicago.  Our friendship helped.

But then they moved to California and a year or so later we moved to Nevada.  We still keep in touch but it’s not the same.  And Dee’s husband died a little over a year ago.  But the trifle tonight will bring back those days.  And funny –  I can’t really remember that biting cold or mounds of snow, or howling wind.  Or the dirty inner city streets of Chicago.  I remember being blessed to have such a wonderful friendship.  Blessed for those years that helped to form me as I am today.  All that and dessert too.  Merry Christmas.

Birthplace – and birth of a Blog

My first post on this new website blog – the birth of a blog and my birthplace.

Just celebrated a birthday which got me thinking about upstate New York where I was born.

Amsterdam is a small city in upstate New York; its name derived from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

And you guessed it – the first European’s to settle there were Dutch.

The city has been known for its carpet industry and pearly button industry.  And the Mohawk River runs right through the city.

Greetings from Amsterdam Antique Postcard

My parents……Marion and Bill

So hope you enjoy

My tête à tête…….