Think for yourself

A disclaimer before I start a "parenting stories" category for my blog, my kids are grown and I still don't know how to be a parent. The only thing I know I did right was pray for them. Luckily kids are resilient, like a seed in the ground, they come up. We can say we fed and cared for them, but the human potential is just gonna burst forth anyway. It's God's gift and we are privileged to watch it.

We all want to belong to a group, but is it the best thing? When one of my kids was in 3rd grade she struggled with friend groups. Some days she would be allowed in the group, some days she was kicked out. She would come home from school and I would ask her if she was in or out. I always new when she was out because the pockets of her little jeans would be full of wood chips. When she was friendless, she would walk around the playground looking for the prettiest wood chips and stuff them in her pockets. When she got home we would sit on the couch and she would show me her collection and tell me why she liked each one of them. I don't remember what I said to her, just that we sat together and admired them. The wood chips were pretty and each of them was different and I was amazed she even noticed. I still have a few.


Now when I think about my daughter and that time I see a little girl who had resilience and self-respect. She learned to have fun by herself. She learned to think for herself. She learned that self-respect sometimes means you have to walk away and find something better to do.

I think the parenting lesson is to be there when they need you. You can't always fix the problem or change the circumstances, but you can love them while they go through it.

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My helper

my old dog
I was getting ready to fix my kiln so I laid down a tarp. When I came back into the room my old dog was laying on it. He's a sweet old dog.

Necklace made with fireline fishing line

orange and green aventurine necklace
I made this necklace the other day with orange and green aventurine beads. The smaller beads are agate. I had the beads for sale in my store and I kept seeing them as a necklace so I made a long necklace using fireline fishing line. Someone told me about fireline fishing line years ago. I haven't used it much but I like it because it's thin and strong. I do a Peyote style stitching to lock the strand. I am going to use it with pearls in the future.
orange and green long necklace

old dog

dog on his bed in the snow
I shook out the dog bed and left it outside while I vacuumed. My old dog laid down until I was done.

My kiln repair

broken kiln
My kiln broke and I tried to repair it with some old kiln cement I had and it didn't work...so sad. If I had had a good kiln cement it would've worked beautifully.

broken kiln:2
Now I have to take it all apart and clean up the mess.

drill bit for kiln repair
This is a great drill bit. I got it at a garage sale. I bought it because the guy said it was a great drill bit. He was right!

L&L hi-temp kiln cement is the best
I had to wait for the kiln cement to arrive.

wet hi-temp kiln cement
This is what it looks like.

kiln element care
I'm always gentle with moving the element because they get brittle over time. If I break it then I have another repair! But I already found a great video for that.

repairing a kiln
I had to do this in two stages. You can see how I measure the pieces. I cut them with my mitre saw. I always have the shop-vac on when I'm cutting or grinding. I used fire brick from my old kiln which matched the fire brick in the kiln I'm repairing.

protect the elements!
I try to protect the elements, but I usually get something on them. It can damage them if I get cement on them.

butter the fire brick
Butter the surfaces after you dampen them with water.

kiln repair
It's like frosting a cake.

the kiln repair
The cement seems really secure when dry. I hope it works! Otherwise I have to buy a new kiln! Even if I get another 6 months out of this kiln I would be happy!

I used
this video as a guide, but a different cement than the one featured.