Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy birthday, Dad

My dad and I
My father passed away in late February of 2015, after battling with cancer for more than 20 years. I miss him every single day. Today is his birthday, so in honor of that, I wanted to post the eulogy that I wrote and read at his memorial service. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I wrote it in a daze, a single sitting, typing my heart out, two days before the service. The purple words, including these, are not part of the eulogy. 

Some people make such an impact in your life, are such a presence, that they can never be replaced. It doesn’t seem possible for them to ever not be there. My dad was one of those people. 

We were so much alike that sometimes, ok maybe a lot of the time in my teenage years, we drove each other insane. You know, those huge, life changing things "worth" fighting over: like the length of my skirt, or whether or not clear mascara could actually be called makeup, or the siren call that I felt to wear red nail polish. I wanted to understand WHY, concerning (literally) everything. Everything seems like the end of the world when you are young. Everything seems worthy of pushing the boundaries over. Then suddenly you are an adult and you realize that all of those issues were completely ridiculous. I wear a skirt maybe twice a year, ironically, dad would approve of the length. Clear mascara is absolutely not makeup, and I have painted my nails maybe 10 times in 37.5 years. Like I said, ridiculous. 

The similarities in our personalities, his PTSD from Vietnam, the stubbornness of us both, that arguing, it caused walls to be formed between us and I was just too stubborn to acknowledge, or try to remedy it. Honestly, I didn’t know how. (My dad had untreated PTSD from serving three tours in Vietnam, as a helicopter gunner. He volunteered for all three, the first at age 18. This makes him the bravest person I've ever met. It also means that he was very troubled from his experiences there. PTSD means that you can be laughing and having a great time and suddenly, you are incredibly angry. Sullen. Scary. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with that, as a child or as an adult. I didn't understand him. And now, there is nothing that I wish for more than a time machine, so I could go back to being 4 years old, and we could find help for him. Now, I can't imagine how HE must have felt in those moments. How alone, how conflicted. How terrible.)  Some things need time to heal. Smiles and words of encouragement caused cracks in those walls. Hugs and laughter eventually caused them to crumble. Time passes and shows you how important some things and people are, and that they are WORTH fighting for.

Hans Christian Andersen wrote: Where words fail, music speaks. My dad and I loved music. It was a common ground that we could meet on. Classical, big band, 50s, 60s, early 70s, bluegrass, anything with a bagpipe and fiddle, the list goes on. So many of my favorite memories of my dad revolve around music. Singing Have you Ever Seen the Rain and Fortunate Son by CCR in his truck with the windows rolled down on a summer day. Listening to him talk about the genius of Bob Dylan's early songwriting, two in particular that I remember him talking about/singing: Blowing in the Wind and The Times They are A’Changing. The lyrics are poetry- and they touched his heart: Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won’t come again. 

I remember watching his face light up when a song that he heard in Vietnam came on the radio. And then how he'd close his eyes and sing his heart out. As a young man, he had such hope that things would change for the better after Vietnam. Those songwriters were doing their best to make people aware of injustice, aware that people were profiting from war and death, like it was some kind of game. It seemed to my dad, that once people KNEW about these things, the world would HAVE to change. How could it not? People would not allow it to stay this way. When business continued as usual after the war, I don’t think that he could wrap his head around it. The things that he saw over there, the soldiers he knew that died, it mattered to him. I think Vietnam broke his heart- he fought a war, hoping to make the world a better place and at the end of the day, it seemed to him that we all just closed the book, and put it in the history section of the library and it became a story that we told in history class. It saddened him. It should sadden us all. 

Marveling at his ability to identify every type of tree on a walk, doing our best Louis Armstrong impersonations together, (which must of been horrifying to anyone who had the unfortunate luck to witness it), digging through boxes of rusty junk at auctions in search of treasure, our shared love of fried chicken gizzards, (WHO EATS those?!)... I was a total tomboy, his son, as my mom likes to joke. It is true. I wouldn’t trade any of that for a closet of frilly dresses or red nail polish. He sat through so many viewings of Anne of Green Gables and Annie that he deserved a medal. His love of New Mexico: the food, the turquoise, the natural beauty of the mesas, it was so infectious that you couldn’t help falling in love with it all, too. His appreciation of our Native American heritage: going to pow-wows and instilling an appreciation for the history and culture that was ours to share in. He knew every constellation and the stories behind them. He was so smart. He never stopped educating himself. Books were everywhere in our house. Classics, philosophy, history, astronomy; he had an insatiable appetite for books. I wanted to be smart, just like him when I grew up. I’m so thankful that his love of reading rubbed off on me. Books are great, but the best days of my teenage life were when my dad would grant me the privilege of wearing his Vietnam flight jacket to school. I knew exactly how much he cherished it, so getting to wear it- was monumental. It meant he trusted me. And he beamed like the Sun over the fact that I WANTED to wear it.  

My dad was a warrior. I didn't realize until our very last conversation that his entire mission in life, the role he took on and was prepared to die fulfilling, was to protect me. Protecting my sisters. My mom. His grandsons and granddaughter. His entire mission in life was to be our knight in shining armor. As a young man, he enlisted and was sent to Vietnam. He came home, tried to figure out where he belonged, and found a faith in God that gave him direction throughout his life. He met my mother: the treasure of his quest for meaning and purpose. Romanticized? Maybe, but isn’t that what young love is? My mom and dad built a life together, piece by piece, and they loved each other. But, how do you even begin to leave something like war behind? You just can’t. It becomes a part of who you are. I think that is where his knight instincts developed. The things he saw in Vietnam, the things that he lived through, they stayed with him. He tried to protect us from that world. He did an amazing job. 

We have so many happy memories. So many great photographs to share. I look at both of my sisters, all grown up and beautiful- inside and out. I am just awed by how amazing they both are. My parents did a really, really good job. No matter how long we would have had with our dad, it wouldn’t have been long enough. There is always more to say. More laughter to be shared. My heart is broken and I still cannot grasp the idea that I will never again hear him calling me Sis, or hear him laughing, or have the chance to hug him again.

I’ll close with a verse from a song that perfectly encompasses what I want to say: 

I think about you nearly all of the time,
Sometimes your presence is so defined
Whether you're near or far away
Makes no difference in my heart you'll stay.


My dad always gravitated towards Vietnam veterans. Always stopped to chat with them. Always asked where they were stationed, how they were, if they had found God, if they had eaten recently. His faith was the most important thing in his life. It helped him to heal after the war. It also gave his life meaning. When we arrived at the memorial service, an entire group of Patriot Guard Riders was already there, hours beforehand, waiting for my dad's ashes to arrive. They saluted us as we walked towards them, and asked where the hero was. My dad, the hero. They said that they were here to serve with him on his final mission. It would have made my dad SO damn proud. His tribe was there, without being asked. I can't even put into words how touching their presence was. When we exited the church after the service, they saluted again, and asked to transport my dad's ashes to his final resting place. By motorcycle. I had the honor of holding my dad's ashes, so I handed them to this gentleman for safekeeping. It was freezing. Winter. I was wearing a dress and boots. No coat. I took about 5 steps, and then something made me walk back to this stranger and ask him if I could ride with him. I told him that I didn't want to leave my dad. He didn't even hesitate. He said that no one had ever requested that before, but if that's what I wanted, they'd find me a helmet. I asked my mom if that was ok with her, she smiled and said "Well, you always were his son. He would have loved this." 

That 20 minute motorcycle ride to the cemetery will never leave my memory. We drove through the town where I grew up. Past the hospital where his father had passed away. Past the surveying office where he worked. Past many houses and businesses that he had done the masonry on. Past my school, past the neighborhood where we went trick or treating. Past the place where my grandfather (his father) had lived. Over Sailboat Bridge. Past our fishing spots. Down the road where I caught the school bus. Past the dirt road leading to our childhood home. It was horrible. And wonderful. I haven't lived near this place for decades, so it was cathartic. A beautiful way to end this terrible, sad day. All the way through town, even on the highway, cars stopped, in respect. Men saw the motorcycles and flags coming, and stood outside of their vehicles and saluted my dad as we made way to his gravesite.  More of my dad's tribe. He would have been so proud. I'm sure that he was. 

Happy birthday, Dad. I love you.

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Favorite Things

Johnny Cash quotes
My favorite social media outlet by far is Tumblr. The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words truly applies there. If you are a fan of forest and mountain photography, words that make your soul come alive, and all things cabin-y, then let's connect. It's a virtual catalogue of things that inspire and move me.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


peacesofindigo on tumblr

Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
Ernest Hemingway

Friday, November 4, 2016

Holiday Proposal Sale

ruby engagement ring by peaces of indigo
I've got so many engagement rings, perfect for your bohemian girl. I've marked ALL of them down, for the holidays. Each is ready to ship, each is one of a kind. Just like her.
rose cut sapphire engagement ring by peaces of indigo
Montana sapphire ring by peacesofindigo
You can view my entire sale selection here, with newest pieces showing first:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


So many words swirling through my head. In sleep, while awake, in the inbetween, words. In dreams- an ancient man with shining long black hair is chanting, his face looks older than time itself. So much smoke. I seem to be inside of a teepee. Earthy smells that make me feel sick. A faint drumming that matches the beat of my heart. He tells me to rest, to be at peace. He says that he is singing my spirit back to me. I lay cradled on the floor, held tight by my soulmate. My protector. And I weep, not because I am sad. But because I know that everything will be well..... 

Then over coffee, these lyrics. Her amazing voice.

Something in my heart died last night
Just one more chip off an already broken heart
I think the heart broke long ago
That's when I needed you
When I needed you most
That's when I needed you
When I needed you most
I run around like a spirit in flight
Fearlessness is fearlessness
I will not forget this night
Dare my wild heart
Dare my wild heart..... 

Wild Heart by Stevie Nicks

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


POI on instagram

When you've been up for hours and the sun hasn't even begun to show its face. Your mind is going over the whys and whats and hows and trying to work out all of the details. It's not worrying. It's more logic-ing. You NEED to understand. You need answers. To all of the things. The best remedy or distraction or catalyst for working through this vortex of questions is a good snuggle with your pup under the stars- you didn't plan it. But if you're there, she wants to be there, too. Looking up at the vast unknown reminds you that understanding isn't necessary. All of this happens every damn day whether you notice or understand. Nothing is required of you- it just IS. Similar to the magic of puppy snuggles. WHY do they soothe an overactive mind so well? I have no idea, but this little girl has been the best therapy I've ever experienced. She makes me laugh and just warms my heart with her silliness and trusting nature and her constant need for body contact. And when I'm feeling be loss of my dad so intensely that I feel like I might crack in two, she's there with a gentle nudge and her eyes say 'hold me.' And the sadness slowly ebbs away with each heart beat and mindful deep breath. Because no matter what you are facing, the act of mindful, purposeful breathing helps.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Designs

Fraser fir Christmas tree by Terrain
Christmas is officially on my radar. Today starts the two month countdown. To makers, this is a HUGE deal. There are only so many hours in the day, so making and building inventory needs to start in January- to keep stress low and shopping options varied. I've been hoarding ready to ship pieces all year, so that I would be more ready than ever this season. 
crescent moon herkimer earrings by Peaces of Indigo

I've got SO MANY lovelies to share. 

And I'll be listing them weekly, so you can start your shopping whenever you are ready. I'll be closing shop earlier than usual this year, to avoid the post office lost issues that start around the 15th: no tracking updates for days, lost packages that are for whatever reason delivered a week after Christmas after disappearing off the face of the earth for a week or two, the "I forgot that Christmas is on the 25th!" crowd... And I'm going to stop right there because I can feel my blood pressure rising as I type. 
bohemian star necklace by Peaces of Indigo

So the important details from the above note: 

1. Christmas is coming. 

2. I've got handmade lovelies for nearly everyone on your list, READY. TO. SHIP! 

3. December 12th-ish will be the last day to order ready to ship pieces in time for holiday delivery in the US. November 15th is my last recommended order date for international addresses. 

4. *****  IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!!  ***** (cue carols here)
sapphire and Canadian diamond rings by Peaces of Indigo
Christmas cuties on my tree:
perching owl ornament
log cabin ornament
brushy deer ornament
Happy Tuesday! 

Friday, October 21, 2016


Sunday Drive in Rural Tennessee 

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, 
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, 
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, 
rejoice, for your soul is alive.     Eleonora Duse

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Cabin

autumn is here and I am so very ready
little Gib at the cabin
not all those who wander are lost
This is our third Autumn at the cabin. I'm so ready for it. It's my favorite time of year, mostly because of fires. There is nothing I like better than starting a fire, inside or out, and tending it. The magical flickering of flames, the smell of the different types of wood, I could go on forever.

I love reading almost as much as fire. These books are on my list to read in the upcoming months. {{Just a simple link to each book on Amazon, for convenience. I don't even know how to set up the fancier kind.}}
Norweigan Wood by Lars Mytting
The Artful Wooden Spoon
firewood - stacked and ready 
So much texture, so much inspiration! Happy October! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. Hafiz

Thursday, August 18, 2016


peaces of indigo on tumblr

Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.
-Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Designs

prehnite and sterling silver bracelet with 14k gold details

campo frio turquoise and aquamarine earrings 

Fire quote band and blue diamond boho engagement ring 
I've been creating up a storm for the past few months. So many ideas for new pieces, so many lovelies to photograph for my website. My studio is a complete mess of new designs in various stages of completion. So many great things coming!! :) These are a few of my instant favorites. I've also listed a handful of moissanite engagement rings in ready to ship sizes that are marked down 20%. And for readers of my blog only.... I've set up a 20% code for use on peacesofindigo.com
Use code " 20SGY " when making any purchase over $100 and receive 20% off of your total. Easy as pie.

Happy Thursday, sweet friends! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


morning fog on the Cumberland Plateau
There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things, and because it takes a man's life to know them, the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave. Ernest Hemingway