Saturday, July 29, 2006

Busy, busy, busy.

Wow. I'm ready to go back to work so I can rest! LOL!

Let's see. Thursday was a frenzy of housework and errands. You know, the 50 loads of laundry, paying the bills, changing the sheets, etc. GOOD TIMES. Plus I decided to tackle Jenna's toys. I needed to purge and reorganize after her birthday and the 10 bags Jami brought over from her girls. So off to Target for some storage bins. Jen has toys out on our sunporch, in the family room, and in her room. The house was a MESS for a while. But now it's done, and I feel better about it!

Yesterday Jami and I met Vicki at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Grand Rapids. We left at 8:00, and it's about two and a quarter hours away. Um, not what I expected. Small. 'Nuff said. But we met up with Vicki, and got to see my boyfriend Landon (who is 7 months now!), and meet Vicki's beautiful family. We visited and had a great lunch. Then we took off to Pages in Time, a store in GR, which is really nice. Didn't buy much . . . waiting for the new releases from my LSS. As soon as we got home (6:30), Bill proposed we go to a neighboring town for ice cream. Off we went. No rest for the wicked. I was so tired last night it wasn't even funny. I'm getting old, I tell ya!

This a.m it was off to my mom's to visit with Beth to see how her reunion went last night. We stayed until about 11:30. Then ran to my LSS for some cardstock and to drop off page samples while I had a moment. Then came home and got ready for a wedding/reception. Just got home. The reception was beautiful. The bride and groom looked amazing. The groom's family has been neighbors for a number of years, oddly enough in both houses we have lived in. When we moved into our first house, they loved right across the street. Then they moved into a bigger house. Four years later, we moved, RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from them again. They probably think we're weird stalkers. Seriously, the groom is having some major health issues, and it was such a show of courage how he held up for this event. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Tomorrow I hope to get some pictures of the neighbors. I'm trying a family photo shoot. Wish me luck. No, I'm not going into the photography biz. Just want to take some pictures for Alison's birthday present. They're good friends to us. Then off to my mom's for another reunion update from Beth. Tonight is the formal dinner. The she and her DH go back out on the road on Tuesday.

Three more weeks of summer for me . . . time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin . . .

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

And have you seen this?

New papers and stamps from Sassafras Lass! Cool stuff, I tell ya!

A very productive day!

Finally I got some scrapping time today. Jen went to daycare for the day. And I sat in my scrap room (AKA the dining room) and scrapped all dang day. It's been a while since I've done that. Too long. So here are my Provocraft projects for August.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Forgive me . . .

this lengthy post. It's something that has been churning inside me for too long.

Imagine the day. It's the week before Thanksgiving (irony?), and I'm at school, sitting in the computer lab. See, my room was taken by another teacher during my conference and planning period, and I hung in the lab while waiting for my next class. I called Bill at home . . . he was supposed to be hunting, but had hit a deer with his truck on the way to "the hunt" and was home waiting for the bodyshop to call. We hung up the phone, and about 10 minutes later . . .

The OTP came into the computer lab. "Kay, we've been looking for you. There was an emergency call from Sanford El. You need to call them right away. And if you need a sub, let me know." Can you imagine the fear in my heart? Here were my thoughts. My brother and other sister were taking my dad to a major medical facility, Ann Arbor, for a second opinion on a health issue. (And that is a whole separate post, my friend.) Something MUST have happened with dad. And they called Beth (my sister, the teacher at Sanford Elementary) and she is calling me to tell me something is wrong.

I dialed the phone, calling Beth, to find out what was wrong. Imagine my surprise when it is the OTP at Sanford Elementary. She informed me that Beth had been taken to the hospital, that she had collapsed at school. I didn't even know what to say. I'm sure I blathered on for a bit, casting around in my shocked mind, what do I even ask? Finally it came to me. "Was Beth conscious when she was taken to ER?" Answer . . . no. "So it's really bad?" Answer . . . yes. I almost collapsed myself. Problem was, to leave school I needed to leave lesson plans for the last two hours of the day. And call the rest of the family who was on their way home from a medical appointment which I knew was stressful enough.

Then the clincher. I called the office to say yes, I needed to leave, and I needed a sub. When I was about to hang up, the OTP stopped me and said, you have another call. From your nephew. Now this is Beth's only child. Who is a deputy two hours away from our town. I can't even describe the depth of the relationship between Beth and her son. Words don't quite cover it. He was driving, much too fast I might add, back home to be with his mom. Some resourceful staff member at Beth's school called his police department, and convinced them to give personal information (phone number) so he could be informed of the emergency. Now I love this nephew. He is like my son. So the impact? No words for it.

And get myself out of my building without totally falling apart. Yeah, right. I was basically hyperventilating. Not pretty. Panic? Yep. Pulled a plan out of my ass, and Bill was home (remember, he hit a deer with his truck that same morning) and met me outside to drive me to the ER. It was a blur. I remember seeing Deb, Beth's best friend from school. And Charlie . . . her principal. Why was he looking so pale? And my nephew's dad. Beth's ex-husband. And his wife. Surreal? You betcha. "So what is going on?" I remember asking. No one was saying much at all.

They sent in the chaplain to speak with us. Never a good sign. Not good, he said. They needed to shock her 7 times to get her heart beating. And she was still unable to stabilize, not breathe on her own. Was her family all here? "No, I answered. The rest of our family is on the way from Ann Arbor. Her son is driving (like a maniac) and should be here in an hour. Her husband is on the road in somewhere in the south." Immediately he said, "you need to get them all here ASAP." OMG. He visited about three more times. Meanwhile we are in contact with her husband, my family, and Emily. We called her at college to explain what had happened. Poor Bill. He was given most of those tasks, and he was a wreck.

Because she couldn't breathe on her own, someone was manually bagging her the entire time in the ER. The rest of my family arrived, and one Dr. came in. What he said was a blur . . . "30% function left in her heart . . . quality of life . . . she's in a coma." Those were the lowpoints. And have I mentioned my sister? She is 12 years older than me. The other teacher in the family. My other mother. Can I just say DEVASTATED? Words fail me yet again.

They moved her up to ICU . . . tried to convince us all to see her in the ER while being bagged . . . we wanted her on a ventilator. ASAP. Weird shuffle to move cars, move to a different place in the hospital. Once we made it into the waiting room her son arrived. Think agonizing pain. Multiply it by 1000. That's how I felt. Then the chaplain comes in again. We'd like you to move to another room to speak with the Dr.s. You'll be more comfortable there. Well, I know what THAT room is all about. We sat in that room when it was decided whether Bill's mom was taken off life support. So begins the long walk down that same hall. The one we traveled when Janet (Bill's mom) died.

Luckily we had an IC nurse who came in and took charge. She talked to the whole (devastated) family. Emily showed up, having grabbed a last-minute ride from a friend. The nurse looked around the room as she spoke, engaging with all of us. When she was done, we all sat in shock. We could visit her a few at a time. I wandered out into the hallway, trying to keep myself together. She approached me and asked, "who is the older gentleman with you?" "My father," I answered. She said, "get him out of here. Now. Or your family is going to have another thing to worry about." Wise woman. My dad and Beth are connected. It's hard to describe the level of connectedness. You just can't. And my dad was health impaired. And my dad lost his mother when she was very young. BAD NEWS for my dad. Add his frail health you have a recipe for disaster.

Beth wasn't responding to pain. Not a good sign. Person by person we went in to see her. Family came, family left. Every Dr. said the same thing. Get her husband here ASAP. And he was calling us, his mother, and the ER non-stop. I can't even imagine what that drive was like! Sat in the waiting room all night. Family, friends, coworkers, Beth's former students, nonstop. All night long. And the story unfolded . . .

She was at school, in between classes. She called her DH on her cellphone. Pressed send, and collapsed. Meanwhile, her principal was walking out of the office when a parent stopped in. Her student had forgotten their gym shoes. Charlie, the principal, volunteered to take them to Beth's classroom. When he arrived, she was collapsed on the floor. He performed CPR. 30+ years in education, CPR training, first time he ever used it. Add to that the head custodian in the building, volunteer fire/rescue was available, and responded right away. Plus the head mechanic for the school district was in the bus garage. He was the lead CPR instructor for the fire dept. He responded right away. And the small town where Beth works has only one EMT/Ambulance. Which just happened to be ready to respond, less than five minutes away.

And in the ICU, Beth started to wake up. Early prognosis? No speech, no motor skills left, no memory, NOT GOOD. What did she do? She woke up, and told us about a dream about a family relative, and described the setting perfectly. There goes THAT diagnosis. Every minute of every hour of every day, slowly she improved. She proved every single thing that we heard would happen to someone in her state WRONG. Visitors of family, friends, students were CONSTANT. In three days she was moved to CCU, then to a neighboring hospital for a pacemaker/defibrilator within a week.

Off to physical therapy, and she was able to return to teaching to finish out her last year in education, which had been planned well before this incident. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I can't. Still to this day, I am thankful. Less than a year later, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for our miracle. Our Beth.

And if you made it this far, you deserve a medal. And Beth? If you read this? I hope it's not too upsetting. I Now go see the next post.

Here she is!!!

Pictures taken today. Is she not the most beautiful woman on the planet? That's all I'm saying. I know she's going to knock 'em dead (no pun intended) at her 35th reunion. I love this woman. More than you can imagine.

If you've been following the saga, mom and I bought her a new wardrobe for her reunion. And I made her the jewelry for the casual night of the reunion. The REALLY weird thing about taking her picture today is that the picture where she is looking away is almost AN EXACT REPLICA of her high school yearbook photo. Now how weird is THAT?

Hug your sisters for me today. Tell them that you love them. For me.

Good Enough.

That's what has been on my mind lately. And here is how it started. I did the layout of Hayley, and something was bugging me. It was off, and I knew it was off. The right side was too bare. And yet I wanted a very linear, simple layout to keep the focus on the photo WHICH I LOVE. But I couldn't find a fix in the 5 minutes I allot myself to fix a layout, so I put it up and called it "Good Enough."

You see, I pride myself on being a fast scrapper. And I am. I can do a layout in 30 minutes, and hour tops. I've done some layouts in 10 minutes. I have too many deadlines, and a life, and I cannot agonize over every layout. But unless there is some sort of prize (ie cookie) for being the first one done, or an award for the "Fastest Scrapper in the Midwest," I am not really gaining anything by being fast.

So I put my layout up on the DesignerZine critique forum. First, let me tell you how much I love that MB. It has been so helpful for me to examine the path I am on in the scrapping world. WIthout judgement. Without someone screaming that "THIS" is the way you must do things. Anyhoo, I signed up for a private forum where if you want an honest assessment of a project, and suggestions, you can post your work. So I did. I got WONDERFUL advice, and tried a few changes before ending up with the final product. Much better, no?

So what did I learn? That maybe my "good enough" approach is what is holding me back from the bigger opportunities. And hey, maybe not. Maybe I just don't have what it takes. And that's a reality I may have to face. I'm a big girl, and this is not my life. It is my hobby. And will remain so even if I find out I am destined to be a smaller designer forever. Maybe I need to approach some of my layouts with more thought and more time. And the reality is, I will not be able to do that often with the amount of DT work I have. But I can do this with my own scrapping. The rare two times I get to scrap what I want, when I want, with what I want.

To be honest though, one of the drawbacks of my analyzing my work this way is I have lost a little confidence in my layouts. I did one yesterday for a DT, and was nervous to put it out there. I know I'll work through this. I think this is a growth phase for me, and usually those aren't easy. But necessary nonetheless. I'll work through it. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Company

Went over to our friend's house yesterday afternoon for a barbeque. The menu included "beer-butt chicken," which I can safely say was DELISH! Also a wonderful blueberry dessert, and the kids made ice cream sundaes. We had a great time, and even decided that we are going on vacation to Florida for spring break this year! I am pumped! So one of my goals for the day is shopping for airfare and rental cars. We stayed too long, I'm sure, but had such a great time!

The girls (aren't they just beautiful?) played so nicely with Jenna (or should I say put up with Jenna.) They deserve medals. It's great for us because we adults can just talk while the kids play. Yet I know playing with "J" for any period of time can be stressful. She's a touch demanding, if you know what I mean. HIGH MAINTENANCE. But these girls have impeccable manners and never once complained.

We laughed a lot, and I haven't seen Bill enjoy himself so much in a very long time. We're very lucky to have such awesome friends. I'll write more about the Aerosmith van at another time. It warrants its very own post. Yep, it's that good.

And the dog? Well that's Daisy. And she is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever seen. Ever.

Here's to good friends!

BTW, when I showed our friends my blog, I saw that the blogger bar at the top (in black) was not normal. It is on my computers at home (both Macs). I need help on how to fix it!


I was a lazy blogger over the weekend, because we were busy! Imagine that!

On Saturday I taught a class at the LSS where I design. I was expecting 7 people, and there were 14. But every single class packet was prepared, and not even missing one brad. They are so wonderful to work with! The class went well, and the ladies were awesome. It was a class on using embellishments, and with that many people we ran right to the last minute. (There were 2 layouts, a card, and an embellished chipboard monogram with tool demos along the way in 2 hours.) We laughed a lot, and hopefully there weren't any major complaints about it. It was fun to flex my teaching muscle a bit!

Then off to Frankenmuth to the bead store. I bought more beads to make a coordinating necklace and bracelet to some earrings that I made earlier this summer for Beth. She came over on Friday to try on her outfits for the reunion and looked AMAZING. Dang, I spend other people's money well. When I got home from Frankenmuth I did her necklace and her bracelet. Didn't love it (actually Bill pointed out one of the beads colors was "off"), so I redid it. Love the results. I am going to try to talk her into taking some pictures of the whole ensemble. We did good. That's all I have to say!!!!

Then we went to Bay City to see the tallships (one or two words? I just don't know.) What a sight to see! They were so beautiful, and there was a lot of stuff going on for the celebration. Little tents set up selling things, and pirates. You heard me correctly. There were pirates. The picture of Jen snuggling up to her dad shows a bit about how scared she was of said pirates. And the whole "they're just dressing up like you and Maggi do" just was not working. REO Speedwagon was playing in a park across the river, and you could here them perfectly across the river. And I totally showed my age by being able to correctly by their music. I mean who doesn't know "Riding the Storm Out?" C'mon, people!

We went out to dinner after at Old City Hall and had a wonderful dinner. It was loud and crazy in the bar area (and it wasn't even the pirates) but we love that place. Hit a few of the shops (and yes, the scrapbooking store was one of them), and had a really nice afternoon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

KMA Layouts for July

Here are my layouts for July. I can't put them up on any other boards, but blogs are OK. The DT rocked this month. Check them out! Link is on the right.

I worried about using Scenic Route for all of the "are you entering the DT?" questions. Nope. Not taking on anything else, although I love their product. I don't normally create for a call. Any call. And yet I'm breaking my own rule for the KI contest. Speaking of which . . .

I'm still working on (?) my KI entry. OK, maybe I'm THINKING about working on it. Seriously contemplating it. OK, I haven't done a stinking thing. Besides talk myself out of the whole process. That's where I'm at. I pride myself on being a realist, and I know in my heart I'm not good enough yet. Do I still love KI? Well, yep I do. (Notice two of my latest layouts are KI!) But I see their designers and I'm not there. Not even close. Yet I still love my pages, and the product, lest you think this is a "woe is me" thing. It honestly is not. Just thinking aloud. Move along folks, there's nothing to see here!

Have an awesome Friday! I'm FREAKING OUT about how fast my summer is slipping away. Especially given all of the things I thought I would accomplish this summer. Yeah, not even close. YIKES! I think I have less than a month, although this math teacher is unwilling to do the math. I may just collpase crying if I did. So I'm working with a fuzzy equation, such as "I have a whole month left of summer!" Not.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A layout for the day . . .

It took me a ridiculous amount of time to do this super simple layout. For whatever reason, my mojo has left the building. I HATE THAT! Why can't it be easier to just create when you have time? And I had some time yesterday a.m. Two hours, and this is what I come up with. This layout would take me under a half an hour on a normal scrapping day. AAARRRGGGHHHHH! And today, it looks like no time for scrapping. There's always tomorrow!

I ran into my LSS yesterday and got the new idea books from Elsie and Ali. I get a good discount because I design for them, so it wasn't too bad! I also got a set of the Paper Salon stamps. That's because I stamp all the time! (NOT). WHy do I do this again? Oh yeah, because I'm a major addict.

CHA starts tomorrow so it will be quiet on the MB's for a while. I wish I could have gone this year, especially since the rest of the conferences are so far away, but alas, couldn't do it. Well I could, but "my people" weren't attending. Not my closest scrapping friends. And that's why I woould want to go. I'm not the "here's my card and I'd love to design for you" type of gal. Too much like a businesswoman, and I've known since high school (where I took all business classes) that it wasn't for me. I would have wanted to check out all of the new goodies first hand, and drool! ANd hang with my peeps. That's all. Maybe next summer!

Well off to my mom's this a.m. for some coffee. We are going out shopping for a while to finish up my sister's outfits for her clas reunion. She may be home today, which is AWESOME! I've missed her. A lot.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A funny picture for you . . .

Here is J playing at the spray park. That place is such a gift on a warm, boring day! And you can see how much this girl loves it. I tell you, she embraces life. It's so hard for me to put into words, but sometimes I get frustrated with her hot temper. On the other side is this girl who positively oozes joy when she is having fun. She just feels everything deeply. And it is a blast to watch. I've always been the reserved type, afraid of making an a$$ of myself for as long as I can remember. (And guess what, that mad me an a$$!) Not this one. She won't be afraid of what others think. This girl is going to live out loud. And then some.

So I though just maybe I'd do a layout today. I know, I know, it's blasphemous. And yet, I feel it's time. And this afternoon I plan on taking some pictures, because I'm out of really good ones. Just shift my energies from the layouts that are floating in my head and can't seem to come out. Maybe I'll get really kooky and make some jewelry too. Will wonders never cease?

In the background I'll be watching Season 3 of the Gilmore Girls. Dang, I love that show. I just LOL at all of the quirky characters. Maybe it's because once upon a time I was a young mom myself . . . although not as young as the characters on the show. Young enough though. Although my parents weren't nearly as difficult. Ever.

Another change of scenery, I went and sat out on our sunporch last night, with the windows wide open. I love that room, but when it's hot ouside, you can't enjoy it. I sat out there until midnight and watched the GG on EM's laptop. What could be better? (OK, I know. BORESVILLE.) I should have called my blog "Live, from Boresville." Maybe next time. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Can you say BORING?

Cause that's what my day has been. I know, I know, bored is a choice. But it was the all I had today. I actually had time to scrap today and didn't. Why? My mojo (or my dear friend "Mo" as I like to call it) has taken a vacation without me. Thanks a LOT, Mo!

Jen went to preschool for three hours this a.m. which usually means I can crank out a few layouts. No go. NOT in the mood. So I went for a long walk with my IPod cranked instead. I just downloaded some new tunes from ITunes. And surprisingly they were not country! Instead another song by the Fray (How to Save a Life) and Anna Nalick (Wreck of a Life) and Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." Good tunes. Slightly alternative. From a playlist from Gray's Anatomy on ITunes. My next blog task is to add a media player so you can hear music on my blog. I know, I'm a total computer geek. But I "OWN IT."

As if you didn't already have an idea of how boing my life is, I'm super pumped that I bought the first season of Gray's from Amazon. Was hoping to get it today, but alas, no luck. You see, I don't watch much TV. Not that I don't love it, I just don't have the time. Jenna watches the Disney channel, and that's about all that's on in my house. Also, during the school year we go to bed early. Way early. Boy, I'm sounding more and more boring as this post continues! So no real TV time for Kay. Usually I catch up in the summer by staying up later, but haven't done that enough this summer. My thyroid meds are OFF, and I'm tired way too much. Need to see the Dr. to boost my dosage.

And before you ask yourself, "Could she be any more boring?" let me tell you about dinner. I make this super simple, super delish pesto chicken pizza. Buy a prepared 'za crust. (I get the thin crust.) Slather on prepared pesto, and frozen chicken strips. Rinse a can of black beans and add to your za. Also, chop a few tomatos, and add. Finally cover with mozarella and some parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. I sometimes broil it the last few minutes to brown the cheese. I serve it with a tossed salad. LOVE IT. Got it from the quick and simple magazine. That's me. Simple. As if you hadn't noticed!

Have a great Tuesday. It must be less boring than mine, anyway!

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's Kit Time!

Here are my layouts from the July kit from Scrap Muse. It was so fun working with these vibrant colors . . . I never realize how much I love orange until I get to play with it! If you have a lot of water pictures from this summer, this is the kit for you!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What's new?

Deadlines, that's what! AACK! Sometimes they overwhelm me. Big time. I felt that I had worked ahead before leaving for Chicago, but came back to a few emails with new ones. Good times. I started working last night and have finished three layouts and one card. Two more layouts to do so they can be sent out tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Went to a wedding reception on Friday night. My cousin's daughter got married privately and had a beautiful reception at Ashman Court. Great food, great company. But it struck me that night what a party pooper I am. We are always among the first to leave (because of babysitting), and not a lot of dancing on my part. Like none at all. So what am I going to do when Em gets married? I guess I'm going to have to stay a while and actually participate! What a thought!

Yesterday we went to a neighbor's surprise 50th anniversary. (Happy Birthday Alison!) John, her DH, planned it all and did a fabulous job. We had fun, and Jenna got to swim for a while. It was a hot one though, and today is even hotter. I get in such a cranky mood when it's this hot. CRANKY. That's me!

Just finished the book "We are All Welcome Here" by Elizabeth Berg. Love her! Last week I finished Janet Evanovich's "12" book. I read it in a day. She jus CRACKS ME UP! I mean I LOL, which is rare for me. And finished "Crow Lake" a few weeks ago. I need a new book. Maybe a trip to Barnes and Noble is in order this afternoon. Or maybe a nap. What to do . . .

Well, enough stalling. I guess I'd better do my last layouts. Wish me luck! And have a terrific Sunday!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Some pics of the trip . . .

Just tore myself away from laundry/paying bills/basic reentry. Man, it's amazing what chaos you can create in your life simply by being away for a few. Here are some of my faves of the trip.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Chicago, Chicago, my kind of town!

Well, that's where we are, and where we've been for the since Monday. We're heading back tomorrow. I love this city . . . there is so much to do and see! Although I certainly miss the quiet and the order of life at home. I'll check in with the details when I return.

For now, here is quick rundown:

Shopping on the Magnificent Mile. A LOT of shopping! It was nice that Em and Hayley could shop on their own at times this year.

A trip to American Girl Place. Jen got a doll on her actual birthday! How fun THAT was! She has played with her doll (Jess) a lot so far. Maggi got a look-alike doll that is so cute!

We went to Shedd's Aquarium. We also saw the King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum. Very cool!

We've eaten out at Cheesecake Factory, Bubba Gump Shrimp, ESPN Zone, and deep-dish Chicago Pizza. I may never eat again. I swear to you.

For now, check out some of my BG projects up on this Aussie site. How cool is this? Website

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Miss J!

Yep, we celebrated her big day yesterday with the family. There was a cookout here, and she got lots of toys! It will be a good time finding room for everything, let me tell you! Her actual birthday is tomorrow. I can't believe she will be four tomorrow. And why does that sound SO MUCH OLDER than three? It just strikes terror in my heart, I tell ya! SHe was so cute this a.m. when she got up. The first thing she said when she saw Bill was "look how much bigger I am, Daddy!" Yep, I got tears in my eyes. Because sadly it's true.

So between planning for the birthday, and planning for our little vaca (details will follow), I've been BUSY. First, I finished everything for the SM kit. It is so cool I'm doing more with it after our vaca, which is rare for me. Not that I don't WORSHIP the kits, because trust me, I do. But I make 5-6 layouts each month with a kit and usually I have run out of pictures by the time I do that many layouts. Not this time. Jen got a pool from Emily for her bday (and I don't know which one of my girls was more excited about that) and the pool plus the bikini (or 'kini as Jen calls it) that she got from her grandma conspired to produce the EXACT COLORS for this kit. So more layouts will follow. By the way, the kits now can be previewed before you buy them so you know exactly what you're getting. No more worries of duplicates! Link to site at right!

Plus I did four layouts with Cactus Pink products as the featured artist for July. What a blast! The colors are right up my alley! I will share the link when they go up on the site. I really wanted to get that done before I left for the vaca. I don't want to come home to a "to-do" list of deadlines. I prefer to work ahead. This a.m. I did the layout above for the BPS class. I've been so busy I've slacked off on weeks 2 and 3. BAD STUDENT, I know.

And when I return, I need to do my layouts and card for KMA. That will be fun, because I love the stuff I ordered this month. That will be my only pressing deadline when I return, unless I get an email while away for something last minute. It could happen.

So off to pack. Won't be posting for a few, but I'll update y'all when I return. Have a great Sunday and a great week!

Friday, July 07, 2006


My blog seems to have disappeared. Sending out an APB to find it!

So I've been thinking about this for a while...

pondering it, really. You see, on our road trip to Columbus I saw one of those stickers on a van. You know the ones . . . the little boy (reminds me of Calvin of C & Hobbes) peeing on a logo. You see Ford vehicles with the "Pi$$ on GM" stickers, or vice versa. I've never really been into those things. Can't say I feel that strongly against (or for for that matter) anything.

As we were crossing the border from Michigan, I notice this van. Maybe it was the "I Heart Ferrets" bumper sticker. THAT got my attention. But that wasn't the sticker that caught my eye. It was the little boy peeing on the word Michigan, which I read as "Pi$$ on Michigan." Now it wasn't written in Maize and/or Blue, so I can only assume the reference is not to the school, U of M. So it must be about Michigan. The state of Michigan. And I'm wondering how one develops a hatred of a whole state? Is is the roads? Because they piss me off once in a while. Is it those pesky Great Lakes? It can't be, cause last time I checked we shared those with Ohio, where this notorious van was from. What on earth have we done? As we drove by the van I wondered, were they going to run us off the road? I mean, how BADLY do they really hate all things Michigan? It just makes me wonder.

What would YOUR "Pi$$ on . . . " sticker say? Mine? Bad espresso. Nothing worse than expecting a stellar cup 'o joe and being let down.

Oh, and here's a cute picture of miss J. Check out those curls!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More Fireworks!

Here are some more of my fave pics of the fireworks. I like the way these turned out. If my dang fingers weren't frozen to the camera I could have had some more! LOL! What about the red picture? How weird is that?

It had better be a very productive a.m. VERY. Just got an email from an Aussie site that distributes BasicGrey, and they want to put up some of my BG layouts on their site. Sure, why not. Then it turns out this is the same group that chose my Sassafras Lass layout for a class at a LSS in Australia. Cool, huh? I'll share the link when it's up.

Have a great Thursday. Can you believe it's Thursday already? Especially since it was Monday yesterday! ;)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bogged down with deadlines . . .

but wanted to share a picture of the fireworks last night. I got some good ones, shooting in manual mode, no tripod. Had fun, but man oh man did it get COLD!!!! My fingers could barely move. Jen was pretty freaked out by all of the noise (again). But she was laughing through her fear. That's my girl!

Does today feel like Monday for anyone else? I'm totally lost. But I made my to-do list (which is a mile long) and I'm getting freaked out. We're celebrating Jen's bday with my nieces, and that's coming right up. Everyone is coming to my house on Saturday for a cook out, which is low stress, but I need to order the cake, plan the menu, etc. Let the fun begin! She's excited about her day, and that's all that matters.

In other breaking news, Em's laptop (that is less than a year old) died. Yep, that's right. I was on Apple Support for an hour and had a tech support person walk me through some diagnostics to find out what the problem is. Turns out it is probably a bad memory card, and is covered under AppleCare. But the BAD news is the closest Apple Store is an hour and a half away. But the GOOD news is it's in a WONDERFUL shopping center. The problem is what I really want is a new 'puter for myself, so letting me loose in the Apple Store may be dangerous!

In the scrapbooking world I have to send a layout to Scrapbook Trends, finish an article and two more projects for ScrapMuse, do my projects for my feature with Cactus Pink, and do my three layouts and 1 card for KMA. Today I finished two layouts, one card, and one embellishment for a class I'm teaching at my LSS. It feels good to have that done, at least! So off to buy party decorations and finish some household SCHTUFF. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, July 03, 2006

And a layout!

And a layout of my other girl. I really like the lyrics of this Natasha Bedingfield song. Agreed, it's overplayed. But the message is so true for her at this point in her life (college.)

A fish story

Last night we went boating with a family and did a little fishing. (Well Jenna did a little fishing. Bill and I did a little riding and relaxing.) Here is her fish. I wonder how big it will be in her stories, or is that just a "man thing" to embellish the truth when describing the big catch. We shall see! She had so much fun, and kept wanting Gordon, the driver, to "GO FASTER" when we were sightseeing around the lake. Scary. This girl already has a need for speed. Can't wait for Driver's Ed. Wow.

Not much on the agenda today. It looks like it's going to be another warm one! Have a great Monday!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Am I the last person on earth to see this?

This movie was on twice today, and I just have to say it is one of the most touching movies/documentaries I have seen in a very long time . . . probably sine 9/11. Maybe it's the teacher in me, but it has given me so much to think about today. Here is the link to Paper Clips the movie. It is on HBO so I'm sure it's available to rent. If you've seen it, how did it affect you?

A layout. AT LAST.

A pretty quick one, trying to get some inspiration back. I journaled on the pull-out tag behind the photo about our rituals on our weekly trip to the Garden. New Daisy D's. These colors are WOW. Love them! TFL!

Not another excuse today . . .

for not getting a layout done. Really, I'm boring myself with my excuses. Mojo, I've had enough. It is TIME. This picture is from our trip to a smaller zoo, closer to home last week. I have some issues with the lens I am using and close-ups that is starting to make me MAD. Like "it's time to invest in a new lens" mad.

I've been reading a book about photography Understanding Exposure. I am DETERMINED to learn how to shoot in manual mode this summer. Wish me luck. I've learned a few things, and so far love the tone of the book. The man really has me believing the calculus that is ISO+F-stop+shutter speed. That's no easy feat for me!

OK, time to stop STALLING and do a layout. It's time already.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Better Day, Indeed

Well, my wish came true. I did have a good day. First, the jewelry class went well. I was a star pupil! Had my necklace and earrings done in 40 minutes. Learned how to do the wrap loops (AHA moment, all the way), and how to use my crimper. What more could a girl need, I ask?

Went and picked up mom, and she and Jen and I went shopping for my sister. You see, she is on the road Her husband is a truck driver, and she as a teacher drives with him in the summer. They graduated from high school the same year, although did not know each other. She put my mom and I in charge of finding her outfits for the reunion as she doesn't have time to shop. She will come home a day before the reunion, and has a bunch of Dr.'s appointments to attend. If you know me, you know this is the sister I almost lost at Thanksgiving to a massive heart attack. Back to the reunion. There is a casual gathering on Friday night, and a more formal dinner the next night. So mom and I decided she needed choices. We picked out three outfits for her to choose from for each event. Outfits plus shoes, purses, belts, etc. I think I'll make the jewelry, being the expert and all. It took us a long while, but Beth will look smashing for her 35th reunion. Smashing, I tell you!

Got home, and Bill was working on his ribs. The ones he has been marinating for the last two days. Never have ribs been taken care of the way Bill has. He took out two packages of the ribs, which were enough to feed a small third-world country. So he called his uncle Fred and Aunt Maxine to join us for dinner. The ribs were a bit of an experiment, but we knew they would be forgiving if they were awful. When Bill called to ask them over, he said, "if they're terrible, we'll just order pizza." And it turns out they were pretty darn good, although Bill was a critic of his own cooking. We had a wonderful evening of visiting with Fred and Max, and it just capped off my better day. We're so lucky to have family. So very lucky.

So now it's time to watch Lilo and Stitch. The perfect ending to a perfect day. Happy July!

A Better Day

Yep, that's my plan. To have a MUCH BETTER DAY than yesterday. It's my choice, and I choose to see the good today, rather than focus on the bad. So there. I uploaded a little badge with photos from my zoo trip. I really didn't cut off the heads of the flamingos, etc. It's just that when I uploaded I had them resize the image, and I guess that means crop. Still learning! ENJOY YOUR SATURDAY. I know I will!