(I tried to put a cut in here, but I guess I just don't quite understand how it works. Sorry)
To start out with some basics, Jim and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary this year. As always, we are amazed at our longevity as a couple. We work well together, and we fight well together, and in spite and despite all, we care deeply for each other. Thus, we push through the bad times and concentrate on the good ones.
My personal Nanuk of the North.
Jim’s father is 92 now, and still in great physical condition. Of course his life has slowed down a bit, but he is just as mentally spry as he has been for many years and we are delighted that he is still here to spend time with. Jim drops by every morning to say “hello” and check up on him, and he helps him out by shoveling his snow and doing some errands for him as needed. I look forward to spending another Christmas with the two men in my life.
Our snow for the early part of the year was almost non-existent. But our snow for the end of the year has more than made up for that with more than 20 inches in less than ten days. Our snow blower has been non-functional for a few years now, so we are getting our exercise by wielding our shovels while clearing out driveways and walks.
The store is still there and functioning. It has been a hard year for us, as it has been for every small retailer, but we are hanging in there and hope to end the year on an up-note. There are so many aspects of the store that we love, and we have the best customers in the world, so we are reluctant to do much more than discuss retirement at this time. Even though I would love to do my art on a more full-time basis, I really need to interact with others and, I suspect, I would still get a part-time job even if I wasn’t working at the shop.
As always, I have spent whatever time I could creating my artwork. This year I prepared a two-layer jewelry box with hand-painted beaded silk and etched copper work on the lid. This was made for Beading for a Cure and will go up for auction sometime in March/April 2011. It is my hope that it will bring high dollars for the charity. I also had one of my bronze clay earrings published in a book on bronze clay by Yvonne Padilla. It was a thrill to have a project of mine in print again.
ring holder. The plaque translates the Tengwar that is on the
round disc on the front.
I attended Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee in June, although I shortened my usual stay to five days. And I attended the Precious Metal Clay Conference at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in late July, driving to Kentucky after the conference broke up to attend a two-day workshop in torch firing enamels at Thompson Enamel Company. I still love working with my kiln and enamels, but had little time to spend with it later in the year. I hope to return to it in the New Year.
The King and Queen on their Wedding Day meeting some
of their Royal subjects.
We had Season Tickets for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival again this year and attended each Sunday of the Fest. We truly love being out there, away from the walls and roofs of our normal lives. My BFF Sharon came over from Denver again for the Labor Day weekend. We attended the Minnesota State Fair with her and took her to the Renaissance Festival for the King’s wedding ceremony (very posh). And, as usual, we had a terrific time sharing our space with our friend again. Our door is always open to her.
It is our sincere hope that all of you have a peaceful and joyful holiday season and that 2011 is a year of expanding possibilities, love, and extraordinary beauty for each of you. We wish you happiness with your families and careers, and the hope that you will achieve your goals. Thank you for your patience with my annual Holiday Letter, I promise you won’t have to read another one from me until next year.
Sandra and Jim