Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The County Fair, Marking Summer's End

Yesterday evening my husband and I took our grandson to the Hampshire County Fair. Of course he rode on every ride that he could and played every game that he was able to play. He ate popcorn and cotton candy. He had a blast. While I had a good time watching my grandson have fun being there brought back wonderful memories.

When I was little my Dad always took me to the Prince William County Fair.

Back then there was no King's Dominion, no Busch Gardens, none of those places (unless your family could afford Disneyland which mine could not). It didn't matter though, the fair was plenty big and plenty fun. Of course I grew up but still, every year I went to the fair. When my son was born I always took him to the fair. It was something that he looked forward to every year, much as I did when I was a kid. We would always wait and go around 5 or 6 in the evening and ALWAYS on the last night. It seemed more fun that way. We would stay until the last light on the last ride was turned off and they started the tear down. Then we would slowly walk back to the car, look back and sigh. "Oh well, it's over for another year" we would say. Of course the bad thing about the fair is the fact that school was always just around the corner. When the Prince William County Fair was over well, so was the summer.

My son was much more of a rider than I was. When I was a kid my favorites were the Scrambler, Tilt-A-Whirl and the Ferris Wheel. While my son rode those his favorites leaned more towards the Kamikaze, the Zipper and the Round Up. You know, all those upside down rides that you couldn't PAY me to get on. Man, he would ride too. There was no stopping him. Off one and right on another one. The only reason he would take a break was to get some cotton candy, a caramel apple or some other "nutritious" snack. That was okay though, he had a great time...and I had a great time just watching him, as I did with my grandson.

Nowadays my favorite ride is the "sit on the bench and rest ride". I always enjoy looking at the exhibits and the animals but after that I'm ready for a funnel cake and a seat. It's not the same as it was when I was a kid (but what is?) however I recommend that everyone who lives remotely close to a place that holds a county fair go and take it in. It's a great time and it makes for great memories. My son (who is all grown up now) and I still talk about the fair and it always makes us feel happy. After all, what's more important than that?

Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles...Dedicated To The Gypsy That Remains...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What's The Deal With The Tomatoes?

When I was a child my neighbor used to have a small garden. He grew a little bit of everything but mostly he grew tomatoes. I used to love picking those tomatoes off and eating them, digging into them like I was eating an apple. Those were the best tasting tomatoes! I would eat them until I almost made myself sick. Then, after a while, I would go back for more. My neighbor (Mr. Dugan was his name) didn't care because even though his garden was small he always had plenty of tomatoes growing. They just seemed to keep growing and multiplying.

As I grew older we moved away from that neighborhood and, living in a suburban area of Washington, DC, we always seemed to have a yard that was too small to have a garden. So since the time I was around 12 or 13 I have had to rely on buying fresh tomatoes from a local produce stand. Now that's not really a problem except for the fact that I always wanted to grow my own tomatoes.

Fast forward now a good number of years to the present. When I moved into the house that I currently live in I finally had a yard big enough to grow a small garden. I moved here in September and could not wait until the Spring came so I could get this garden planted. Spring finally came (three years ago) and I ran out and got some tomato plants, some gardening gloves and a watering can (we don't have an outside faucet). I get home with this stuff and my husband says, "Who's gonna dig this garden?". I replied, "I don't know, I never really thought about it". I mean, I was just going to dig little holes and plant the tomato plants (I'm a city girl). Wrong!!! We finally got the neighbor to come over with his Rototiller and get this garden started for me. He tilled the garden and I planted my tomatoes. I weeded, watered and cared for those tomato plants and how many tomatoes do you thinK I got? Three, that's all. Out of six plants I got three tomatoes. So I blamed it on them not getting enough sun that year.

The following year I got the neighbor to Rototill a different part of the yard. How many tomatoes did I get last year? About ten or so. Last year I said the deer were somehow getting in the yard and eating the tomatoes. Now, this year I got smart and decided to get one of those Topsy Turvy planters. I figured they would be easier and, by now, my husband is tired of me tilling up half the yard. He says it makes it harder to mow...like that's MY problem, lol. So far, out of this one planter I have gotten one ripe tomato and four that are not yet ripe. Oh, did I forget to mention that the plant is now dying? Pfffft, I give up!!!!

I guess the moral of this story is girls who grew up in the city should just get in their car, drive up the mountain to the produce stand and continue buying tomatoes like they have done their whole lives. I guess you can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl...not this one anyway.

Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles...Dedicated To The Gypsy That Remains...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Christopher And The New Zealand Stag

Let me preface this by saying that I realize that there are many folks out there who do not hunt and do not care for hunting. Being an animal lover I personally don't hunt and I never will. I just don't get the thrill in it however, there are those that do enjoy it so, when it comes to hunting I have always believed in the philosophy of "Live & Let Live". I don't want anyone telling me how to live my life and I don't tell others how to live theirs. When I lived in the city I didn't even think about hunting very much but when I moved to a small town in West Virginia that changed. Lots of people around here hunt. Many folks here feed their families by hunting, this is food that they might not be able to have otherwise. Schools here close for the week when hunting season starts. I mean it really is almost a religion around these parts.

Of all the people here that I know who love to hunt, one of them is very close to me. That person would be my grandson Christopher. Christopher is now 14, getting ready to turn 15 in just a few short months. Christopher started hunting with his Dad when he was very young and, in his short lifetime Christopher has accomplished more in the way of hunting than many people have accomplished in their whole lives. He has hunted for more animals than I can begin to name here and has been very successful at it. Recently he got a black bear (although not his first) and just received his wall mount back the other day...

I love Christopher very much and I am very proud of him. Christopher is mature well beyond his years but, then again I suppose he had no choice. You see, five years ago Christopher was diagnosed with leukemia. For the last five years Christopher has had to fight with everything he had just to stay alive. He has been sicker than I ever want to be and has had to struggle and fight far harder than I ever want to struggle and fight. During his worst days, during his darkest hours, Christopher would always think of hunting. It would bring him peace because that's what he loves to do. During his illness, when he was able, his Dad would take him hunting. This brought Christopher a welcome release from what was going on in his everyday life. When he was hunting he could just concentrate on hunting and nothing else. It brought a sense of normalcy back to his life. Again, he could be at peace.

Once Christopher started to get better his Dad contacted the Hunt Of A Lifetime organization. This organization's mission is to grant hunting & fishing dreams for children age 21 and under, who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. It took a while but they set up a trip for Christopher to go hunting in New Zealand. After the long trip Christopher almost didn't get to go hunting, he got sick the first day he was there. Christopher was determined however and by the next day he was ready to go. On his first day out he spotted a stag. He followed this stag all day but could never get it. He saw others but he was determined to get this stag. On the second day he was successful and he got the stag. Christopher just got that mount back also a few days ago and, I mean to tell you, this thing is huge...

Christopher's Stag

Christopher and the Stag

That's Christopher in the second picture (good looking kid, ain't he?). The doctors tell us that Christopher's leukemia is in full remission. They expect him to be okay from here on out. I have to believe that because the other possibilities are too horrific for me to begin to imagine. Christopher wants to be a taxidermist when he is older and I'm thinking he will be a damn good one. Now, I'm not saying that hunting saved Christopher's life, Christopher saved his own life by fighting as hard as he did to get better and by never giving up. Hunting however did give Christopher the ability to focus on something that would give him the peace and inner strength to go on and fight as hard as he could to rid himself of the disease. So I suppose that my opinion on hunting has changed somewhat and I see that there is good in everything, even if I don't see it on the surface at first glance. Hunting gave Christopher the ability to stay with us and I certainly can't argue with that. I can't imagine my life without Christopher being in it.

Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles...Dedicated To The Gypsy That Remains

Monday, August 1, 2011

There's Nothing Prettier Than Lapis Jewelry

As I posted in another entry I have recently decided to start selling vintage, antique and pre-owned jewelry again. This brought me to the heartbreaking decision that it might be time to sell some of my own jewelry. I have so much jewelry that I really didn't know where to begin to even look for it. Of course I have three different jewelry boxes and one jewelry stand that is filled with the jewelry that I wore on a regular basis. Most of that will be staying with me, they are my favorites and I just can't part with them (even though they probably number in the hundreds).

When I worked outside the home I wore jewelry all the time, everyday I wore different pieces (and a lot of pieces). I have just about every style of jewelry and my choices would vary depending on what I was wearing (always black though, as discussed before). Since I wear black all the time and since I have always been going for that gothic, Victorian, gypsy, Stevie Nicks look, I have a lot of gothic, Victorian and gypsy style jewelry. Most of that will be staying here with me, although I did find some pieces that I had put away that I rarely if ever will wear again. One thing that I did notice when I was going through all my jewelry is that I own an awful lot of jewelry with lapis stones. I suppose that there are a couple of reasons for that. A lot of the lapis jewelry that I have definitely has a gypsy style to it. I also like the color blue and I think that lapis is one of the most beautiful stones that there is. It's also a lot more affordable than say blue sapphires (which I also have but most of those are simulated stones). So I guess those pieces will be staying with me also. I did find one bracelet that I cannot wear anymore that I will sell but that's about it. I guess it's a good thing that this jewelry looks so good with the black that I'm always wearing, lol.

At Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles I do offer a good variety of sterling silver & lapis jewelry. I have a couple of personal favorites, one is this Unique Sterling Silver 5 Strand Lapis Choker Necklace...

Unique Sterling Silver 5 Strand Lapis Choker Necklace

Another favorite is this 925 Sterling Silver Oval Denim Lapis Filigree Band Ring...

925 Sterling Silver Oval Denim Lapis Filigree Band Ring

The really sad thing is this, even though I don't have much occasion to wear my jewelry anymore I'd still buy it if I could afford it, lol. Oh well, I guess I'm just a jewelry junkie.

Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles...Dedicated To The Gypsy That Remains