Thursday, July 28, 2011

My New Venture

I have experimented with ways to help bring in a couple of hundred dollars a month since I quit teaching. I have done some tutoring and substitute taught once a week pretty consistently. I've looked into doing something crafty... and then a couple of times over a few weeks Paparazzi Jewelry caught my attention. It's a Utah-based business that began in 2008 and is spreading to other states. It's basically really pretty jewelry and hair accessories at $5.00 a piece (+ tax). I never imagined I would do anything like this but it seems to be a good fit for me. I knew it had to be a good thing by the way Danilo got excited about it. We took a full weekend to talk about it and came back with all the reasons why I should do it ( for Danilo to say that is huge). I like it because it's really beautiful stuff for a good deal. I feel like I can offer people something they will want and can afford. It's really low pressure for everyone that way. And I like how I am in control of how much time I want to spend doing it. If you think you might be interested in having me bring some of this pretty stuff into your home for a sale, go ahead and get a hold of me. And if you have any questions about how selling it works, get a hold of me too. Even if you're out of state.

I am having my first sale in my parents' home this Thursday (let me know if you're interested in that, too), but I jumped the gun a little bit and tried selling at the rodeo two nights last weekend in Idaho. We sold 22 items. The concessions stand was a bit more successful than we were, but it was fun to try it out.

And if you're not interested? No big deal. I'll still be the same Brittney you've always known, Paparazzi or no :).


Last weekend we paid another visit to that small town in Idaho I wrote about a couple of months ago. While Pioneer Day is a Utah holiday, they were settled by Mormon pioneers and join in the celebration every year with parades and rodeos and other events that hold the promise of making sweet summer memories. After a weekend enjoying cousins and delicious food and horses and time spent doing what we like to call shooting the breeze in the living room at night, we pulled out for the drive home. It wasn't until I had time sitting in the front seat that I realized for the first time why I think that little town is so dear to me. My ancestors were among the pioneers who settled that valley, and so when I am there, I am standing where they stood. I can't get much closer to my heritage than that. The ranch house we stay in every time we visit was built by my great-great grandfather in 1909. My great-grandfather's house that he purchased for something like $250 in the 1920s is still standing down the road. We are standing where they lived out their lives and there is something so special and important about that and something inside of me senses that when I'm there. Heritage is a powerful thing. When I hear their stories and look at their pictures, it makes me want to live a life of honor so they would be pleased to claim me as their own.

All of these pictures were taken in the same small town at one time... or another.

my great-great grandfather standing with two of his children in front of their log cabin

my great-grandfather, Noel Parke, 1917

Danilo trying to get Gracie to ride a pony, last weekend

my great-grandma, Clarice Olsen, right

my great-grandpa, Noel Parke, back row second from right
I knew him. He always told us he was a "handsome devil."

my handsome man on a horse last weekend

the Parke family float in the town parade last Saturday morning
led by a team of beautiful horses

Noel and Clarice

a few years into their marriage
yes my great-grandfather had a soul patch

Danilo jumping off the board at Rocky Ledge

Gracie thought my grandpa's twin brother was her Great-Grandpa Parke.
Sunday morning she was completely content to just kick back in the recliner and
share the living room with him. When I tried to take this picture she said, "Bye, Mom."
I got the idea and left them alone.

my grandpa and my great-uncle Dar (the twins) with their mother Clarice

Dar and Dianne made up 90 bottles of homemade root beer in vintage bottles for the holiday weekend

Dar demonstrating how to seal the caps on the bottles

my great-grandfather Noel with his three sons, Val, Darrel, and Darwin

Dar sucking in his gut before the picture was taken... but I had already taken it

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 10th

What started out in 2001 as this

has grown into a 4th of July tradition involving in-laws and family on both sides. If you want to stay out, you better be inside or with the youngin's (click on the collage for a better view).

Wait. Who is that going after Danilo? Just my 80-year-old grandfather. He dishes it out as well as any of the rest of us can.

On this 10th anniversary, we'd like to thank our founder, Uncle Russell.