Sunday, December 23, 2007

I feel like Sleeping Beauty....

Like I just awoke from a long sleep. Well, maybe not long, but about two and a half months! Since about the end of September, my life has been nuts. Just nuts. I kept intending to blog about things, but wanted to either add photos or details, and time was so short! It was like a fairy tale…..

Once upon a time, in lovely Cedar Park, Texas, lived a beautiful Princess and her handsome Prince. But an evil spell had been cast on them years before…a spell causing them to overspend! The handsome Prince finally found a cure for the spell. It would involve sacrifices, but he was both handsome and brave, so he was ready to fight for the cure. It would also involve his beautiful Princess making sacrifices…so he gently asked for her help. After appropriate soul-searching, the beautiful Princess realized that they could only be cured together, as a couple. So forward they lept, into “Baby Step One”, and farther! She started working part time at Archiver’s, a scrapbooking store. And life as she knew it changed. At least for a while. Gone were her days of leisure. She began to see that she had been wasting away her time, now that she was working far more hours than she anticipated, being hired as part time. The beautiful Princess was going to have to learn efficient time management, if she was going to keep the castle clean and the royal family fed and in clean clothing!

She is still working on that.

Here is what has happened in our lives since my last serious blogging:

  • Joe turned 45!
  • Halloween happened some time in there. Candy was eaten…by the kids. I was really good this year!
  • I bought a new coffeemaker (see here).
  • Friday night football games for the high school.
  • Marching band festivals for the high school band.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed watching Plan 9 from Outer Space, Attack of the Crab Monsters, and The Killer Shrews.
  • I went on a scrapbooking retreat to the Fort Worth area, and had an absolute BLAST with other ‘axe murderers’ from an internet message board.
  • I turned 44!
  • Thanksgiving happened as well, I believe. I don’t really remember because that week I worked THIRTY SEVEN hours in 6 days. That’s kind of a lot for a stay at home momma working part time!
  • I decided that this year our Christmas cards needed to be handmade by me.
  • I also decided that I needed to handknit some of our Christmas gifts.
  • Christmas cookies and breads were baked.
  • Clearly I lost my mind in there somewhere.
  • I was inspired creatively by Ali Edwards’ December project, and have plans for next year.
  • I started a health program with my doctor and have lost 27.5 pounds so far, and two pant sizes!
  • I had portions of my hair colored bright pink.
  • I may or may not have taken photos of some of the above.

    I wish you a very merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, filled with blessings galore!




Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Birthday.......

TO ME!!!!

Yep, today I am 44.

Realizing I have not blogged in FAR too long, but also realizing I have a long list of things to blog about.

For now, I will use this opportunity to allow you all to shower me with well wishes for a Happy Birthday. Ha!

Will catch up on blogging this week, including info from the far points of my life.

I know...the anticipation is killing you. It's okay, you can make it. Deep breaths......

Monday, September 24, 2007

So I am in a coffee mood....

Thus the change to the blog layout. A little change never hurt, right?

Been a bad blogger lately. I know. I was sick for a coupla days with what I believe it a funky crud virus that was going around. Laid me up all day Friday, but I managed to get to the high school's Homecoming game Friday night...Cedar Park won, and the band performed after the game doing their entire show for this year's competitions...all I can say is WOW. It's quite a show! I love to watch the band perform. And Eric has so much fun.

I finished the shower gifts in plenty of time, but forgot to take photos...hoping the mom-to-be will take some for me to share here. Still working on another secret project that cannot be revealed until mid-November!

Joe turns 45 on Wednesday...why does that sound like such a round number to me? I am reminded on how far behind I am on cards...AGAIN. Sheesh. Hoping to fix that in the coming week.

So a little funny about coffee....realized this morning that my machine no longer works (I am now in the market, if anyone has suggestions!). Here's what happened one week ago:

That lovely Monday morning I went to make yummy coffee...Taste of San Antonio from HEB...realized the carafe of the coffee maker was dirty, so filled that with hot soapy water. When I smelled the coffee and didn't hear the maker running anymore, I skipped in for a big ole cuppa, only to find that the carafe was still in the sink, and the water had brewed into the filter container and spilled over onto the countertop. About 2 cups of nice, hot coffee all over the counter. I just stood there and laughed, and when I walked away (to get the camera out of my purse) Joe even said, "oh jeez, get the camera!" We think alike. Yep, it's for a scrapbook page entitled "not a morning person". Well, for that, and he can use a copy for the commitment hearing.

Yeah, nice Monday. So I let the machine rest for a week, hoping it would be okay. It's not. Snot.

We've been watching season 2 of The Office on DVD thanks to Netflix...holy cow that is some funny! Looking forward to Heroes season premiere tonight (we'll be watching it later off the DVR). I've managed to score some nicely bad movies on the DVR lately...including Plan 9 from Outer Space. It's the movie that Jerry, George and Elaine are trying to get to see on the Seinfeld episode in which they wait forever for the table in the chinese restaurant. Quoted by Jerry, "The worst movie ever made." I will let you know what I think....but my guess is that Bela Lugosi in a space movie will definitely place it in the running.

Here's a funny little article for you, from FemaleFirst.co.uk.....kind of the lousy, alternative ending of the Pina Colada Song:

A Bosnian couple are getting divorced after discovering they have been seducing each other online under fake identities.

Sana, 27, and Adnan Klaric, 32, began chatting on the internet - under the pseudonyms Sweetie and Prince of Joy - both pouring out their marriage troubles and declaring themselves soulmates.

But when they finally met up they had a nasty surprise.

They have now both filed for divorce - accusing each other of being unfaithful.

Sana said: "When I saw my husband there and it dawned on me what had happened I was shattered. I felt so betrayed."

Adnan said: " I still find it hard to believe the person who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years."


Later, gators!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stick a fork in me...

I am DONE!

And I think I need a life.

The photo project is complete. All that remains is to order hard copies as I need them.

{insert Happy Dance!}

Final number, for those keeping track: total images from those scanned off negatives and those digitals already on CDs.......

drumroll, please.....

7,536!

Guess that is why my left hand and wrist are sore. (For some reason I 'mouse' with my left hand on the laptop.)

These images are all on new CDs, under new categories, and contact sheets of each CD are printed & neatly tucked into page protectors in a 3 ring binder. Binders make me happy. Yeah, easy to please! You should have seen me giggle when I first used my P-Touch labelmaker. Simply giddy like a schoolgirl.

So while I have been attacking this project head-on, and obsessing about it....who made my house this dirty and messy?? Guess it's time to reclaim control over my house now!

Go, SuperKris!

have a great week!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I'm a poet, and didn't know it....

I have a stie. In my eye.

It hurts, and it's swollen. Everyone feel sorry for me! Just kidding, but it does really hurt and looks icky. Hopefully it'll be better soon.

There's been no blogging because there's really not been any fodder.

I have a few knitting projects on the needles, but as they are 'secrets', I can't show them or talk about them until after they are done and given to the appropriate recipients.

Also, the photo project has reached a new level! Wahoo! The end is in sight!


I have now:

  • scanned the (over 5000!) negatives into digital format on the external hard drive.
  • organized those images into a new system of folder filings.
  • loaded existing digital images from CDs onto the external hard drive.
  • organized THOSE also into the new system.
  • moved images from the hard drive of the laptop to the external hard drive.
  • organized those also into the new system!
  • went through every digital image at this point, and rotated and/or retouched as needed using Film Factory.


  • After all this, I copied the newly filed photos in their folders onto new CDs to keep.

  • created a binder for these CDs, and will create contact sheets for the CDs to keep in the binder (once the black cartridge is replaced in our color printer)

  • And finally, I am uploading all of these images and folders to Scrapbookpictures.com for both storage and for printing at a future time.

Phew!


So while the kiddos are in school, I have been busy, but unfortunately it does not produce very tangible results. I'd really rather have tangible results.


Over the weekend I did have fun....Scrapbook Crossing, a local LSS, reopened with a VIP soft opening Friday night. Jackie, Amanda, Jeanne and I went, and I ate my weight in cold shrimp. I do love that stuff. (Jackie took the photo, so she's behind the camera.)





And on Saturday, two ScrapShare sisters (online friends from a message board) were travelling through here on their way to IKEA and home to San Antonio, so Jackie, Amanda, Jeanne, Alli (Austin area SS sisters) met up with Joanie and Diane. Amy was working at Archivers when we met up there.





Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School started! Another year begins...

I don't remember who blogged it, but I agree...September 1st should be New Year's Day. The start of a new academic year, fall is coming...all that stuff.

Don't you just love the smell of new school supplies? Ok, maybe it's just me. But I loved getting a new bookbag, new supplies, and reorganizing it all so many times. Sigh. The only stressers for me is the supply lists for the different kids. I don't like getting the lists after the first day of school...so much to get in so little time. And there's always something weird to find, too.

So here they are, yesterday morning, headed out the door: Eric is a sophomore this year!

Alex is an 8th grader, and Grace, my baby, is a 6th grader and starting middle school! Yikes.



I hope all of your 'First Days of School' went well. Here's to a great year!

Golden Joe strikes again.....

So yesterday I managed to move a bunch of furniture around, including rearranging my white cubes and shelves in the room I scrap in. In order to make the fronts flush with the 5 shelf unit I have, the back of the 5 shelf does not touch the 2 walls in the corner.

While trying to put things away, my little penguin fell off a cube and into the few-inch gap between the cube/shelves and the 5 shelf. In trying to retrieve the penguin, with kitchen tongs of course, I leaned the 5 shelf back against the 2 walls for more clearance.

I didn't check to see if the top was clear of stuff when I leaned it back. It wasn't clear.

So as I rescue the penguin, I hear "ting ting" as something falls behind the 6 foot shelving unit. I just figured "I won't see that little pail for a long time!"

After Joe got home from work, I was explaining all I got done today, including the little comedy of dropping things behind things.

Joe to the rescue! He used PVC pipe and twine from the garage, adding a refridgerator magnet, and went fishing. Of course it was on top of my wheeled desk chair.

He couldn't get it. Hm.....Leaning over he sees it's not a little pail,, but rather a pink Naljean bottle. Magnet no work. Need the right bait for the right fish.

He removed the twine and magnet, and used the PVC to rescue my Naljean bottle!

Go Joe! Go Joe! Go Joe! (Oh, and he fixed my Adobe problem, too.)

Now you know why he's "Golden". Well, that, and when he need to change lanes, the traffic opens up like the Red Sea for Moses.




Monday, August 20, 2007

The stats are in....

I have completed the scanning! Wahoo!

Days working: 9
Average hours/day: 14

Total images scanned: 5779!!

Loaded CDs: 20

Est total number of negative strips (the scanner takes one strip at a time: 1646

Est money saved over have Target do this: $400!!!

I am so psyched! I have loaded the CDs onto an external hard drive. I am now in the process of moving images from the scattered and out of order CDs into folders that make sense to me. I have moved the OVER FIVE THOUSAND images into folders, and will be starting to load the CDs of digital images I already have into these same folders. (Right now the CDs I had done already are in chronological order, and I want to rearrange the images into folders that match the album categories I use now. Go NOW to read The Big Picture, by Stacy Julian. Seriously. Drop what you are doing and go GET.THIS.BOOK.AND.READ.IT. if you scrapbook. Or want to.)



Here's a little something I found...granted, the negatives are quite damaged, but still...Joe and I ready for his Senior Prom. Yep, that's white tails he has on. And I have VERY 1981 hair, complete with big bushy on one side, the other side pulled up tight in a barette with dangling feathers and beads on it! And yes, we are high school sweethearts!



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket






Have a great week!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A blogger gone MIA....

That’s me lately. You see, I have a project. A larger one than I first anticipated, but rewarding nonetheless.

While my parents are on a “once in a lifetime” vacation celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary, I have borrowed Dad’s negative scanner. I had about 2 shoeboxes filled with negatives (remember those things?), and really wanted them digital. Really.

So I set up a station at the coffee table with my laptop and the scanner, and set about the job. At first I estimated 2400 images. I thought that was pretty close. As of 6 pm on Monday, I am just over 2800 with a few days’ worth to go. I am scanning practically 12-15 hours a day. But it’s so fun to see all these old photos! I had forgotten all the pictures I took when the kids were little, before we went digital. ROLLS of possible Christmas cards. Sheesh. I’ve relived their births, parties, New Year’s celebrations over the years, and some bittersweet memories.

Even though I’ve been at the puter all day and night, I’ve avoided blogging as nothing else is really going on here…just scanning. I think I am becoming radioactive. And I believe I glow in the dark.

I do manage to knit in between inserting negative strips and clicking the ‘scan’ button. I finished a tote bag that needs felting. I am also using leftover Baby Cashmerino (from the granny square afghan) and am designing a wallet-like ‘thing’ to hold my Dave Ramsey cash envelopes in. My first foray into design. So far, so good!

I’m off for more scanning…..hope I return soon with more news!....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We're home again.....

And finally catching up on things.


I meant to keep better stats than this, but I do have some to share:

Days away from home… about 30

Days relaxing on the boat and on the dunes…practically every day in Michigan, and not nearly enough!

When we left Silver Lake, we travelled via ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee.

From there we drove to the Wisconsin Dells, to spend the night at the Great Wolf Lodge (with waterpark!). That was our surprise for the kiddos, and they were very happily surprised!

We then left for a weekend in Hudson with Joe's family, and celebrated his youngest brother's 40th birthday with the whole clan. Lots of fun, cousin time for the kids.

On the way back to Texas we were able to visit with my Aunt and cousin in Kansas City, which is always a treat.


Emails received …1064. Yikes! That took some time.

Books read/reread…. Too numerous to count. Probably around 8. I reread the first 2 of the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber, and read the newest, third book. Sweet stories. Got really hooked on Orson Scott Card (he wrote the Ender’s Game series): I’ve read Sarah, and Rachel and Leah, and am about to start Rebekah. His book Enchantment had me up way, way late at night to finish it.

Socks knitted…..4 pair, and one of those had 3 incarnations before I was happy with a pattern!

Yarns frustrated with….pretty much just the Koigu. The hanks are quite short, and I ran short twice, having to rip back into the leg to shorten the socks. On the second of the pair I ran short AGAIN, with about only 1 inch to go!, but there was enough left from sock #1 that I could add the inch I needed. I don’t think I’ll climb aboard the Koigu fan wagon. The Artyarns is one I just love, especially for the stitch definition. But the color changes in this colorway had me stumped for the right pattern. At least I loved the yarn, since I had to work it and rip back 3 times! I still need to take photos of the socks.

Yarn purchased….only 2 hanks! I bought it from Annie Goatly at the annual Pentwater Art Fair. She raises the goats and llamas, spins and dyes her own yarn. I love the pink and brown hanks I bought, and they have a planned future!

Photos nabbed from the inlaws for future albums ….2 full brown grocery sacks' worth. Yippee!

Podcasts listened to….Lime and Violet , Cast On , Pointy Sticks


The saddest part of the whole deal is not that I didn’t take enough photos (but clearly I didn’t. I don’t know why; I just didn’t take many photos this year).

It’s that somehow, in the process of running the photos through my Film Factory software to organize the photos and use the AutoRetouch, I must have used the AutoRetouch more than once. Most of the photos are what I would call ‘overpixelated,’ for lack of the proper term. I am really hoping that Jackie’s photos will suffice for scrapping for me! We plan to trade CDs of photos when they return to town.

Vacations are so wonderful, and we certainly needed this one, but it's great to be home in our own beds. And we really did miss the doggies.

So tell me, how was your July??

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Giddy Up, Load 'em Up....

It's packing time! Whee!

We are readying ourselves for our trek to Michigan. The kids and I in one car, Jackie and her kids in the other, caravaning for 3 days...the trip is half the fun! I'll be out of pocket for about a month, so no blogging...so I will leave you with the following entertainment, via YouTube. Enjoy!


Paul Potts, on Britain's Got Talent (yowza!):



A Little Bavaria from Blazing Saddles:


One of the funniest comedy moments on TV...the Mary Tyler Moore Show (episode: Chuckles Bites the Dust):


Something just to make you smile:


and finally, the Time Warp. This is a new stand tune for the high school band this year, so we really should learn the dance:



See you soon, we're off to the dunes! Ahhhhh.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And now he has permission....

Eric got his driving permit today! Joe took time off work to take him to the local DPS...and they waited 2 1/2 HOURS before being able to take the test. (Those of you in the Austin area know that this is not unusual, even for the Hyemeadow location.) But finally he had his turn, and passed the test!


So now we will be logging driving hours all over town and in Michigan.


Great job, Eric, I'm so proud of you!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The countdown begins.....

One week from today I will be on the road to Michigan. Jackie and I will again this year caravan our Suburbans with all 6 kids and her dog...three days, two hotels, and countless laughs and good times! The drive is such fun for everyone. So it's time to get some ducks in a row around here regarding the kids and I being gone, then Joe joining us for 10 days, etc. It's time for lists! yeah! I like lists. They are orderly. They help prioritize life and duties and chores. They show what is important, and others can get information without me being right there. I'm already packing the car in my brain, which is typical for me. I'm looking forward to the time to just read, lay around and relax. That's a vacation!

I finished the second pair of Monkey socks, using Artyarns Ultramerino4. Great yarn, fantastic stitch definition. Next up is Koigu, but I'm not sure of the pattern yet. I have 3 I am looking at, all Nancy Bush. Two are from Knitting Vintage Socks, one from Knitting on the Road.

Also I have lost, misplaced, or loaned out 3 books I want back to reread. I replaced 2 at Halfprice Books, thankfully, and will get the other somehow. I have #3 in the Debbie Macomber series about the yarn shop, so I want to reread The Shop on Blossom Street and A Good Yarn. (Still looking for A Good Yarn, will try the Halfprice over on Parmer this week). And I had read Promise, Texas but can't find it, so I was able to get a newer version that contains both Promise and another of Debbie's books. Although it's the Summer of Re-reading (so dubbed by moi), my next books will be by Francine Rivers. Check her out on Amazon by clicking on her name. Historical fiction of Bible characters. Cool.

Off today to spend time with my mom and dad, a day late for Father's Day. Joe's Father's Day was nice...lunch at Chuy's, golf on TV, and time for a nice drive around neighborhoods with just the two of us.

Later, dudes!

Friday, June 15, 2007

There's not nearly enough estrogen here...

Grace has been at Camp Allen this week. Total fun: a week of camp, no parents, friends, bunkbeds, horseback riding....what could be better?

I took along a sock to work on as we waited in line for registration. Here's my dollface holding it:


But the house is so different without her here...I miss my girlie girl! We get to pick her up tomorrow morning, and I just can't wait to see her again. I just hope my little 11 year old hasn't grown up and is still my little girl for just a little while longer.

Ciao!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A week of the night owls....

Joe and Alex are both morning people. They rise in the morning happy, energetic and ready to greet the day! Eric, Grace and I on the other hand, grump and growl like bears in the morning. Till noon really.

So with Joe and Alex off to Houston for a mission trip for the week, the three of us are up very late at night and rise around noonish. More ish than noon, really.

I did finish the granny square afghan, and here is my proof!




Specs: Mostly Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, also used a bamboo for a dark purple replacement when the cashmerino ran out, and the sage is from Sublime. 10 rounds, blocked to 9 inches square. 48 squares total. After taking the photos I added one round of granny pattern in white around the outside edge to pull it together.

I had hoped to completely cover the king sized bed, with a drop as well. That just wasn't feasible. But I do like the dimension, 63 x 72, since it's a nice curl-up size and pretty much covers the duvet top up to the pillows on the bed.

To keep the pattern of colors random, I put the numbers 1 thru 5 in one baggie, and the color names in another and drew randomly for the color to use and how many rounds of it. Then after blocking the squares I laid them out to double check for the overall look.

I love it.

So then I needed something new to work on! I took my sock yarn stash to the LYS and wound it all up (and I took the granny, for show and tell and for the oohs and ahhs!):



With all that yumminess staring at me, what could I do? Of course, I cast on for Monkey, using the Claudia Handpainted in Blue Fields. Here is sock #1 and the start of #2:


That dark spot isn't on the sock. It's in the photo. Weird. Great pattern, and even though it's an 11 row repeat, it really wasn't hard to memorize. I used size 1 needles, with the called for cast on of 64 st. 6 repeats for the leg, 5 for the foot. And the yarn is a dream to work with.

On the medical front: I finally made my appointment with the gastroenterologist. He wanted to see another ultrasound of my liver to see if the 'nodule', which is probably a hematoma, has grown. And I get to have a lovely colonoscopy later this summer. I had the ultrasound today, so hopefully I will know something more by the end of the week. They are pretty quick about this.

I'm off to scrounge for dinner...we are eating at strange times around here, lately! Hope to get to the pool tomorrow. Splash!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The quick tour around the place I work in.....

Not much going on here. I did finish the Granny Square afghan, but haven't decided if I am adding any more rounds to the whole thing or not. I have taken photos, just haven't loaded them up yet.

For now, here's a quick tour around my little happy place:

The Sizzix corner. Under the table is a rolling drawer thing that holds completed pages, waiting to go into albums, sorted by categories............



This is my happy wall...Target cubes on top of the shelving that Dad made for me for Christmas. embellishments are sorted by color. The top shelf of the 5-shelf unit holds sherbet glasses. In each are brads, eyelets, flowers, etc that are also by color. The things on top of everything, the decorations, are collected from various places......

My cardstock and paper are right behind me on the 5-shelf, also sorted by color. I have baskets for scraps I want to keep together (others are by color), for tags and word stickers, and for ink pads/chalk inks.

The window in the room. The 'valance' is 3 clearance dinner napkins from Target. The wooden blinds make a great place to hang ideas!

The desk I work at, from Target.com.

This is Grace's work area. The table is for her, as are the drawers under the TV. She is working on getting her own supplies organized, and loves my P-Touch! Do you like the framed TAB soda packaging on the wall? I love TAB.

Hmmmm.....maybe I need to go in there and spend some more time creating!

Later..........

Saturday, May 26, 2007

As sung by Alice Cooper.....

well, with a little help from the Muppets this time around, School's Out for Summer!




I just love the old Muppet Show. Here's the opening number:



And who could forget Pigs In Space, with Captain Link, Dr. Strangepork and Miss Piggy?



Just a little Muppet fun for your Saturday. We are off to a graduation Open House...the first of what will likely be many in the years to come, as our friends' kids (and ours, I guesss!) grow toward high school graduation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two more, and go read this.....

More and more bloggers are doing the Seven/Eight Weird/Random Things list. Here are two more Joe and I came up with:

1. I can cross just one eye, leaving the other looking forward. Cool.

2. I can tie a marachino cherry stem into a knot in my mouth. Impressed the guys in college.


And go to Susie Davis' blog here, and read...great message about how very little time we have with our kiddos before they leave the nest!

Tomorrow is the last day of school! We all made it!

Later....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wiping my eyes....

We just finished watching the past 2 episodes of Heroes. I won't give anything away to those who haven't seen these shows yet, but suffice it to say that I did NOT want to see the sadness for that guy. Sniff. It will be a hard wait until the next season starts up!

School is finally winding down this week, and none too soon for us. Both band concerts were last week, and this week Grace has fifth grade festivities. We all had a hard time getting up this morning, even Alex, our morning boy!

Over at TwistedKnitter , Janet not only participated in a new meme that is going around, but is offering up a prize to those who also participate. Being a sucker for contests, I'm finally going to do a meme! (Remember when I said I would do the 'Six Weird Things About Me'? Yeah. I never did. I know. Maybe I just think that the weird things in me are normal.) This is easy, it's just Seven Random Things About Me. Consider yourself 'tagged' if you'd like!

1. I love to watch Court TV , especially COPS. There is something very satisfying to me in watching the bad guys get caught. That's my type of reality TV. I don't watch their recreation-like shows, like The Investigators, etc. I like the real thing. The other reality TV I like is the coverage of court trials on Court TV, the Animal Cops shows on Animal Planet. I have also been known to look up from my knitting when the Amazing Race is on.

2. I have my favorite movies just as anyone else does, but I think I am the only girl I know that really enjoys mobster movies with the F bomb in them. I don't drop the bomb myself. Well, not anymore! But for some reason there is so much real grit to those movies, and that bomb seems appropriate to the grit level. My short list: Godfather, Godfather Part 2, Casino, as well as Glengarry Glen Ross and The Usual Suspects.

3. Whenever possible, I will swim only in a chlorinated pool, not natural water. There are some creepy crawly things that live in natural bodies of water. There was a time when I loved to swim in the lake, and even opened my eyes underwater there. Now that thought just skeeves me right out. I will walk in the lake in Silver Lake. I will even swim in it if I needed to retrieve something. Given the choice, I am in a pool.

4. I have a thing about feet. I need to have clean feet when I get into bed. I don't mind walking in sand, or dirt. I just have to wash my feet before I get into bed. I gross out completely if someone has long or dirty toenails. There's a basic hygiene thing there for me.

5. My (cute, pink) ipod has more knitting podcasts on it than music. And I listen to the podcasts when I walk on the treadmill.

6. When I am sick I wander the house and whine incessantly. I am a horrible patient. On the very few occasions that I have been really, really sick (like with 104+degree fever and pneumonia) I will simply go lie down and sleep. If you see me do this, I am very, very sick. When the whining stops, call 911.

7. I totally love my signature...I developed it in school when I was bored. I must have been bored a lot, because I also made up a formula for determining the next square number in sequence, learned to write backwards & upside down. (I am left handed, and I think that helped with the backwards writing). I will have to take a photo of my signature and post it for you. You'll think it's cool too.



So what is your list???

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mudder's Day....

Happy belated Mother's Day to the moms out there. it truly is 'the toughest job you'll ever love," isn't it?


My Mudder's Day was nicely quiet. (The thought of waiting for a table in any restaurant on a day like that just gives me the willies.) It was Youth Sunday at church, so the music for service was provided by the youth band, At His Feet, in which Eric plays electric guitar (tall blond, second one standing from the left side). Quite well, I might add! I love to watch them play together. Grace served as a greeter, usher, and on the prayer team. It's awesome to see the kids in service at the church!


{sweet kid story coming...}


To help encourage the kids on the prayer teams some of us went back after communion to ask for prayers. I asked that they pray for me to help me be a better mom to my kids. Grace piped up, "How could you be a better mom?" Yeah. There's a present I'll take every Mudder's Day!


I had a fabulous nap that afternoon (as did a number of us in the house), and Joe grilled delicious chicken for dinner.


Joe had visited his parents the previous week, so he took them some albums I made for them. Yesterday I visited with my mom and dad, and gave her the album I made for her, with photos from years ago to the present, including some from their 25th wedding anniversary party in 1987. It was so fun to put together and revisit those times.


Mom's been doing research on her family, thanks in great part to members of the family saving just about everything from Grandpa's army pay book and discharge notice (I have his old wallet and one he made in camp as a kid, even!) to greeting cards from relatives. The greeting cards provided jumping points for her further research into aunts/uncles, etc. The internet has so very much information, especially considering that there have been so misspellings on names and places.


We now know that my maternal grandmother's family originally came from a town just about 120 miles southwest of Minsk in what is now Belarus. This is so cool! I imagine some wild gypsy blood in me.


She's also researching her dad's side of the family now, and getting some good leads on tracking down information on her paternal grandfather's family.


This is just such a gift to me, my sister, and my own kids for the years to come.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"C" Things That I Love....

Comfy and Cozy. I do love pajamas. If I can be in them by 5 I am thrilled. Old Navy Pajama pants with some kind of Tshirt, and the older the shirt the softer it is. Throw in a nice blanket and I am curled up for the evening!

Cap'n Crunch Cereal....specifically the Peanut Butter flavor. Just can't get enough.

Crossword Puzzles. Especially the Sunday one (Our paper carries the Los Angeles puzzle on Sundays). It's my Sunday afternoon habit. And I prefer using a red pen for some reason.

Crocheting. Before I started knitting a few years ago, I was a crocheter. I've been crocheting for probably 30 years now, primarily making baby blankets for nieces and nephews that were born. I've gone up a level now, and am working on a granny square blanket for myself out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino....mmmmm. So soft!

Coffee! I didn't used to like it, then I did. Then I tried a Latte and never looked back. Yep, my usual is the Venti Nonfat Latte with Sugarfree French Vanilla. And it's my weekly coffee date with the girls at Starbucks.

Cops and Court TV...Bad Boys, Bad Boys, I do love to watch the bad guys get caught. I'll add in To Catch a Predator in this list, too...it's that NBC show that catches the internet predators. Right now I am watching the Phil Spector trial out in LA on Court TV. And I'll watch reruns of Cops any time I can.

Casino. One of my very favorite movies. Just love Joe Pesci in it - he created such a great character. And Robert DeNiro? Nuff said. A great one. Sharon Stone as well, and even though his part was smaller, James Woods is also memorable. Who'd'a thunk that Don Rickles woulda been so good, too? Yep, a favorite. It goes with me to every weekend retreat.

Cropping. AKA scrapbooking. Creating pages of photos and written memories for my family and those I love. I'm sharing more and more of myself in my pages, and am really enjoying looking back at the photos of the kids when they were little, then writing about the qualities and character traits they possess.

Cookie dough!! Chocolate chip cookie dough, my own recipe. I realize I am tempting the fates, but I've been eating raw cookie dough for probably 35 years. I just love it. I've been known to, on more than a few occasions, to make up a batch of dough and never bake it into cookies. I just leave it in the fridge in a bowl with a spoon in it.

Just a few of the "C" things I love...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ahhhhh...r...chivers.......

Today was Cropping Day with the girls at Archiver's. so nice to be with friends, sharing, cropping, all the good stuff. It's my new weekly date!

We only have a few weeks of school left here, ending with a half-day on the 25th. I think this is the very first year that all three kids AND I are having Spring Fever about getting out of school. We can't wait! I guess that is a good thing, that it's taken this long to get to the "HOW many days of school are left???" And it just seems to get busier and busier, with concerts, marching band camp, band instrument interviews, finals, projects, field trips, field day, etc. Who am I kidding....there is no not-busy time of the year. It just changes during the year. Still.....when does summer start???

So as summer approaches, even with with a Mission trip for Joe and Alex, and camp for Grace (this means mega pool time for Eric and I!), I look forward to this:


The dunes of Silver Lake.






Sunset over Lake Michigan, in Pentwater.


Monday, May 07, 2007

I've been unfaithful to my LSS....

(Local Scrapbook Store), and I'm not even trying to hide it.

As I posted previously, Archiver's opened here in Cedar Park. Just a few miles from my home. From my home! (hear that spoken a la Al Pacino in Godfather Part 2:

Michael Corleone: [Discussing the incident regarding the two unknown gunmen who fired through Michael's bedroom window earlier] In my home.
Frank Pentangeli: Michael, when I heard I almost died...
Michael Corleone: [Yells] IN MY HOME! IN MY BEDROOM! Where my wife sleeps... and my children play with their toys.


I ended up going back on Friday, and again on Saturday. Ya. Wow.

Saturday was really a 'field trip' from our all-day crop event celebrating National Scrapbook Day. Michelle and her mom of Scrapbook Escapes hosted it again, and it was really fun. Good food, good friends. Just what we girls want! I did get some pages, done, but not nearly what I wanted to. We did agree, though, that a bunch of us are going to meet at Archiver's on Thursdays to work on our stuff.

Grace had her interview with the band directors from the middle school last week. She really wanted to play the saxophone (she likes the reeds, so no triple threat of T-bones here), but she couldn't get enough air to get sound from it, so she'll be playing the clarinet. We are excited for her to start in band...it's been such a great thing for both of the boys.

With Joe travelling this week (various sites in North Dakota and Minnesota...allowing for a nice weekend visit with his parents), it's time to single parent here. That means interesting dinners and an earlier bedtime! (I'm no morning person, so I need the extra time to wake up and be civil, as well as cover the rides to the 3 schools by myself.)

So I will continue the stalking of Archiver's for now. It keeps me off the streets.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Home from stalking....

Yippee, our Archiver's opened!! I've been driving by the storefront for a while now, slowing down as I pass to get a good look through the windows. I know I am not the only SUV that has been circling in that parking lot. Their Grand Opening is tomorrow, but I have a friend who has a friend who is working there, so we found out about the "super double secret" (no, not really) 'soft' opening today. They have so much there! And so many things the other stores have been out of for a long time. Oh, and the clearance! 25-75% off stuff already! I was there at 9, 30 minutes early, the first one. (One lady said she was there earlier, but must have left for coffee and come back so we won't count her. meh.) I was comfortable in my camping chair drinking a latte, enjoying the morning. Wish I'd had a photo of us all as we gathered at the door watching 9:30 draw near. Kim, Jackie and Terri were there with me, of course!

So many random thoughts running in my head, but I really need to take care of a few things before I blog again. I'll try to bring some cohesion to the randomness and return.

Until then....scrap on!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Zander Go!....

Alex turns 13 today. Wow. he's so old all of a sudden! Here he is at a recent band concert. He's passed me in height, and is closing in on Eric. He's probably 5'10" now.
His annual ARD (meeting for Special Needs/Ed kids) went very, very well. He is right on course with his goals from this year, and we set goals for next year. I am excited for his 8th grade year next year!

Isn't he handsome? (sorry the photo isn't a closeup like I intended...Blogger hates me today.) And such a funny, funny guy! He comes up with something witty every day. This morning his remark was "let's grab a hold of reality and take it for a spin." Such a sense of humor!

Alex, Zander, Zander-Go-Berts, Boo, Bones....all nicknames I have for him. Poor guy answers to darn near everything...He has more nicknames than anyone I know! He's taught me more about joy, living life in the moment, how important hugs are, and unconditional love than I ever could have learned without him. He is truly a gift from God.

I love you Bones, and I am so proud of you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Baby....

got you on my mind.....

Yeppers, today is the big TWO-OH for us. Married for TWENTY years. It sounds so long to the kids!

Truly, I can't believe how blessed I have been to have Joe not only in my life, but to be married to such a man! I love that we are growing closer every year, and that we have the same values and goals. Pretty incredible when you look at society as a whole.

We complete each others' sentences, can exchange a joke or remark in just a look, and have all of the same stories and inside jokes. I love the comfort we have.

Twenty years. Feels like forever. In a good way, right, honey??

Monday, April 23, 2007

wise words....

This was just emailed to me from a friend...thanks, Jackie.

Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author:

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, have all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.


When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China . Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. T hey have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When- Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?


But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lists, lists, lists....

I'm back from New Braufels! What a great retreat it was; we had so much fun! Lots of laughing, scrapping, eating, HobbyLobbying, chocolate-eating, jammie-wearing....all the good stuff. I got a TON of pages done, and feel quite accomplished. And I got to see some wonderfully creative women's work, and was very inspired.

But now it's time to sit down and make the To Do, To Call, To Remember and all the other lists I need for the week.

Back into the real world again tomorrow...yikes! Landry and ironing await! (Golden Joe did the boys' laundry for me before I got home today...what a great guy! Stacy, you can stalk him, but he comes home to me! lol!)

Have to remember to add "knit" to the To Do list.....yeah, that's the ticket...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Micromanager? Me? Maybe.....

Tammy nailed it last night at our Bible study, during prayer requests. I was asking for prayers for this weekend, since I will be away (yes, again), and Joe will have a lot to schedule through without me. I realized it is a trust issue. It's not that I don't trust him...I just like to be here to help when there's all this going on around us. Thankfully, Mom and Dad are keeping Grace for the weekend, and they will all have a grand time together. So Tammy aptly prayed that I have peace in my heart so that I enjoy the weekend and not worry about trying to 'micromanage' my family! Thanks, Tam.

So Jackie and I are off to a scrapbook weekend, leaving in the morning. I have NO clue what I am going to work on, so it's all going with me. I will have to wander around and get inspired this time. At our Louisiana retreat I already knew that I was going to make mini albums for Alex and Grace (Eric already had one started), so I easily got those done plus some other 12x12 layouts. This time it's open season on the photos!

Now I am off to pack it all up, get my (overly comfy) clothes packed, get Alex's band concert clothing ready, make a list for Joe (because I just can't release all the control, dang it!), and all that.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just another manic Monday.....

whoa, whoa, whoa.....

Remember the Bangles? Yea, me too.

It seems lately that I am gone pretty much every weekend, but for really fun things. This past weekend was the Women's retreat for our church, out at the amazingly beautiful John Knox Ranch in the Hill Country outside Wimberly, Texas. We had gorgeous weather, including a thunderstorm Friday night (so cool to be out in the trees during a storm!). It was probably the very best women's retreat I've been to, also. The whole weekend was looking at women in the Bible to learn more about what God has in mind for us as women, and how to become more authentic. Awesome.

But coming back home is always a 're-entry' process back into the real world. So Sunday night I made another To Do list for the week, just to get myself back on track again. So far so good on the list...I'm pretty much in line with the goals there. Including working like crazy on something special for goodie bags for this coming weekend's scrapbooking retreat in New Braunfels. I'd show you a photo, but there is a slight chance that some who will be at the retreat might read here, and I want it to be a surprise. Sorry, Stacy!

This is kind of cool.....I found this on one of the many blogs that I frequent. (I wish I could find it again...I'd like to link it here. I had some links set up in a temporary Word document, but my computer hiccupped, and the document was lost into the cyberspace of lost data. If I find it again, I'll credit.) I thought it would be interesting, if only in that it would provide me at the end of the test a color strip that is supposed to represent my 'personality' according to the test results. I was thinking it might be a jumping-off point for a color series for my someday-to-be-completed Ripple Afghan. The test was interesting in its results, but I hadn't considered that the colors given by the computer would be from the tone range that font colors come from. If I do decide to use this as a color palette, I'll use shades of the colors, not the exact colors given. And if all else fails, there is always the Random Stripe Generator.

So here is my Personal DNA as a strip:







and here it is as a tile form (might make an interesting Log Cabin Afghan a la Mason Dixon Knitting):





I like the arrangement of the tiling, especially in the lower right corner. Let me know if you do the test...I'd love to see other results.

So with items completed such as reading for the book study (for tomorrow morning!), laundry, and vacuuming, I am done for the night. Ironing will have to wait for tomorrow, with the bathrooms. I have to have everything packed for the scrapbooking Thursday night, since we are leaving right away Friday morning, and I know I am pretty much bringing everything...I can't decide what to work on. When Jackie and I went to Louisiana I knew exactly what I would work on, and got it all done. For some reason I can't decide this time.

Meh.

So it's "Everybody in the boat!", meaning that I'll have to figure out how to cram it all into the half-of-a-Suburban that I'll have to work with. Who am I kidding? I'm excited about it, and can't wait!

Oh, just so you know, Ali's badge for Six Degrees DID make number one, and she got to talk to Kevin Bacon on the phone! Cool beans.

The Schnauzers are calling me to bed....off I go. I am truly at their back and call. At least when it comes to bedtime.

Toodles!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Retreat! Retreat! .....

Or...

Serpentine! Serpentine! (If you haven't ever seen Red Dawn, you should. Great 80s movie about the cold war. Have your kids watch it too (mine love it) and then explain what the cold war was!

Off again this weekend, this time to a Women's Retreat with church. Looking forward to some reconnect time with my girlfriends, and some plain old quiet time away from the nagging sounds of the homemaking chores. The voices of the chores sure can get loud! I have to keep turning up the TV to drown them out.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Later, dudes!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Twenty Seven Years Ago today.....

Yep, today is the anniversary of my first date with Joe. We were just babes! (well, 16 and 17). I love this man so much. Here are just 27 reasons, in no particular order:

He greets me on the phone with "Hello, baby" (like the Big Bopper) and a nerdy-sounding "Hello, dear." Just makes me smile.

When you ask how he's doing, the response is "Just dandy!" No one else I know says that, and you know what? He IS just dandy.

No matter how mad or sad someone is, he can always get a smile. And if you're mad, that's just frustrating, to be made to smile. I love that.

Joe is a FUN dad. Just plain F.U.N.

He is so stinking handsome.

He is a Godly man.

Joe is such a kid at heart...he's right in the mud with the best of them. Or chocolate syrup, or whatever the mess.

He encourages me in my interests, talents and hobbies. Even the ones he doesn't understand why anyone would enjoy!

He is a defender, protector and provider extraordinaire.

He appreciates all types of music, from classical to classic rock to country to jazz to the stuff Eric loves.

He has no problem being a full-time parent when I am away for the weekend, and loves being home with the kids.

He loves my extended family!

Joe has indescribable patience, with me, with the kids, with himself.

He has a real heart for the youth group he is working with right now.

Known as the Toddler Whisperer, he can calm the most fussy/irritable two-year-old.

He is able to have wonderful friendships with women, never crossing the line.

He is so faithful in his love for me and the kids.

Joe loves people and getting to know new people...everyone loves him!

He is a strong leader.

He lets me be in control of the remote control!

He is a great cook, and has no problem cooking dinner when he gets home from work if I'm not feeling well.

He has great self-control, especially when pursuing a goal.

He stays on the edge of advances in technology (and that means I don't have to.

Joe has the heart of a servant, and enjoys working with the Men's group at church in service to others.

He is sacrificial with his time, especially when it comes to being a leader with the Youth Group or in chaperoning for the schools.

He is enthusiastic about everything. It's an adventure.

He is a gentleman, with chivalrous manners, and hold high standards for young men, to grow them into real men.

I just love this man, and can't imagine the last 27 years without him. We've been through thick and thin, yum and ick together. And I love him more now than ever.



Babe, I just love ya. Sniff.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety jig.....

Sister and I are home from a whirlwind weekend up to Kansas City and back. My aunt and cousin recently lost their dog to cancer, and since Moni's Holly needed a new home, it worked out very well for Holly to go live in KC. So Moni and I left Thursday afternoon with Holly and Tallulah in tow, getting in to KC Friday lunchtime. (One night in Blackwell, OK.) We had a wonderful day and a half visit complete with pajamas, mindless TV, magazine reading and only the yummiest of foods (read: Ben & Jerry's, egg rolls, pizza, etc!). Great, great visit. We drove home today, going straight through, in only 10 1/2 hours. It was also nice to have that much time for just the two of us together in the car. Many Barry Manilow songs and Broadway showtunes were sung at loud volume along the way, and of course the hand gestures and 'jazz hands' were also used for dramamtic emphasis.

So now it's time to get back into the groove of things for the week. I'll have to get a 'To Do' list started for this week. Totally enjoying the book study with Susie Davis. Looking forward to getting that part of the book read for Tuesday. Need to get BSF done too. Oh and there's that whole "home making" thing...cleaning, meals, etc. God Bless Joe for doing the boys' laundry for me before I got back into town! What a nice guy.

Hopefully this week will be less stressful emotionally...not stressful. Just tense. A few things brewing around here, nothing serious to be worried about. One thing kind of up in the air concerning helping out a family we are friends with during a trying time for them, and another is a personal relationship for me: a friendship that is currently very damaged, and I don't see a repair any time soon.

And next weekend I am off again for a Women's retreat with church. Joe is so understanding of all of this. Three weekends in a row, in one month, that I'll be out of town!

Resolved: eat healthy this week to detox from the car food!

No photos right now...4:15 came pretty durn early this morning. Hoping you had a Blessed Easter! Nighty night....

Friday, March 30, 2007

Rain, rain, all day.....

and pretty much all week. But I don't mind. The dogs and I are having fun. And this weekend should be a great one for bluebonnets. I'm hoping we can get out to Llano to see the bluebonnet fields, and maybe even the bald eagles that have taken up residence out there for a few years! That would be so cool.

I came across a new blog to stalk, by Susie Davis. I will be attending a book club in April that she is holding based on a recent book of hers, and I am really looking forward to it. Here's a bit that I just love from her blog:

Getting rid of the unnecessary can really invigorate your outlook on life. And I’m not just talking about dumping that stuff in your over packed closet, I’m talking about freshening your viewpoint from the inside out. Because the truth is that there are tons of little things that can clutter your personal perspective and every once in a while, it’s a great idea to assess your life and get rid of the thought patterns that are holding you back. Negative things, like failing to give yourself a break when you mess up. Or always expecting the worst in life. Or even counter productive self talk. That’s just the kind of pessimistic thinking that is going to bog down your life and make you feel tired.

Wow, huh?

Along the same vein as clearing up clutter (I do so love the organizing stuff!), check out this article from the April Real Simple: Declutter Your Mind and Think Clearly. Great ideas on clearing out the clutter in our minds....making life easier and more fun!

On the knitting front (well, and now crochet, too!), I have swatched for both blankets that I would like to do next. The ripple and the Granny Square. I really do hate to swatch. But since I have no idea how much yarn I'll need, I really did need to swatch up a piece for both. For me, these are not the stash-busting projects that most of the crocheters are able to use them for. Since I pretty much have been doing socks, that's all I have in the 'stashola.' And there is NO way I could make a throw or blanket out of yarn that fine...it would take forever. So now it's time to go start collecting up skeins as I need them. No need to drop a wad of cash that large in one sitting without a sale at the the yarn store!

The Six Degrees competition/contest ends tomorrow at midnight, and Ali's badge for Austism Speaks is still holding at number one...I really hope she ends at number one. It's amazing to see how connected we all really are, and the power of the internet to bring people together for such very worth causes.

More later, now that Golden Joe had fixed my lazy computer! I do love that man.

And here's a little funny that really got me....so very true!


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Catching up...again...

I didn't get to blogging last night. I had a better offer.

I have "Wuthering Heights" on the DVR...the version with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Grace asked to watch it with me! What a treat. We curled up together on the bed and watched about the first half, and will finish up today or tonight. I love that she still wants to 'camp out' with me when Joe is away, even at 11 years old. (Joe and Eric are enjoying a weekend retreat with the church youth group, so it's Alex, Grace and I.)

So here's what I have been saving up to share:

Are you watching the "Six Degrees" contributions I mentioned earlier? Ali Edwards' button is at the top right now, over all others! The top 6 will get matching contributions, up to $10,000, to their charity. Ali's is Autism Speaks, in honor of her cute-as-a-bug son Simon. The contest ends March 31st, and the minimum donation is only $10! Consider a contribution. Click on her name here to get to her blog, where you'll find her button and more information.

Another blog I just adore is Alicia's. She makes the cutest things, and if you look through her archives you'll see her survival story after a freak accident. Alicia brought back my love for crochet, and from her blog I found both the No End in Sight Ripple-Along, and the Granny-Along. This time when I do these, it's going to be with the 'good stuff'....nice, yummy yarns. Check out the '-alongs' to see some great work. And in the entry I linked to (by clicking on her name) you'll see the next thing I really need to do....there are some scary condiments in that fridge door.

I met Jennifer after having read her blog for a while, so when I spotted her in our LSS (Scrapbook Crossing), I was sort of a crazed fan. She shares a quote with pretty much every blog entry, which I find quite admirable. This was one that really struck me:

"Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting."
- Elizabeth Bibesco


And here's a blog that's just plain fun. It's called Threadbared.....warning, though....it may take you back to those Saturday mornings that your mom dragged you to the dreaded fabric store, in which you spent hours trying desperately to amuse yourself with pattern books while she shopped for fabric and patterns, notions, and sundries. Click at your own risk, and be prepared for giggles!

It's a weekend of March Madness here, so I'd best be off to watch the hoops! Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2007

On a roll, baby!....

I was going through my rather lengthy list of knitting blogs that I read this afternoon, compiling itmes for a new (and quite belated) blog entry here.

On Knitting in Pink (how could I not love that blog name?), Valerie was offering up a choice of sock yarn to her 500th commenter. Well, we are learning that sock yarn is a bit of a vice for me, so of course I left a comment. I wrote "Oh, those are so gorgeous!Dangle that lovely sock yarn in front of me, and I'll follow it like a horse follows a carrot....with a dazed, glowing look on my face and drooling slightly, murmuring 'mmmm....sock yarn......' a la Homer Simpson."

Within a few minutes, I received an email that I won! How stinking cool is that? I chose the Snow Patrol colorway from cheeky Monkey. It reminds me of the winter days as a kid in Wisconsin, playing in the snow until our snowmobile suits were soaked through to the skin.

Anyway, I have to run again, but still have more to say, so I'll
try to blog again tonight!

Ciao!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

No need to beware the Ides....

I don't know anyone named Brutus. But 'Happy Ides of March' anyway.

Did you know that yesteday was "Pi Day?" Neither did I. But it's a cool thing anyway! Math geeks unite.

So, yes, Eric made it home fine, and in fact sounded much better upon return than he did earlier. In fact they got into town a few hours earlier than expected! So nice to have him home again. So after a nice, hot shower, he was right back on the computer, AIMing with friends and playing games. And he picked dinner tonight...stroganoff. I do make a mean strogaoff. Recipe? Sure...if this qualifies for a recipe:

1# sirloin, cut into small bite size pieces

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 16 oz container sour cream (the 'light' doesn't melt well, fyi. use the real stuff)

1 # penne pasta

Cook sirloin pieces in skillet, season as you like (I use salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion flakes). Meanwhile cook pasta al dente and drain.

When meat is cooked, lower heat to simmer. Add soup, then add sour cream. Heat together well. Stir in pasta.


Ya. That's it. Eezie peezie.


So over on Ali's blog, she issued a nice little challenge. Go there. Cool idea, to catch the everyday. Even if you aren't making scrapbooks (and if that's true, why aren't you? tee hee), you should think about writing down everyday things for those who come after us. Think about what you wish you knew about your great grandparents' everyday life. Things have changed so much in different lifetimes...our own, our parents' our grandparents', shoot even our kids' lifetimes! Our kids have probably never had to get up to change the TV channel (and there were only the 3 broadcast and the one PBS station, right?), not had a computer, used a typewriter or rotary phone, etc. There are email lists that circulate with all those lists. Ok, off my soapbox. But seriously, think about that. Leave your mark. Record your life.

Here's an early Happy St. Paddy's Day to you all as well. With not a drop of Irish blood in me, I am sure that I'll forget by Saturday. I'll try to remember to play some of my beloved Irish Rovers music though, sometime this weekend. Really, I fell in love with these guys when I heard my Mom play The Unicorn for the first time No one sings it like them. (Did you know that the song was written by Shel Silverstein? Me either.) Go here to listen to a few of their numbers.

If you are looking for me, I am either trying to finish the cleanup in my workroom or watching March Madness. (Smart better will place their chips on the latter).

Toodles!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good knitting news! Not so good kid news....


The new Knitty is up!! Look here. The Tahoe cardigan looks so comfy. And Holy Cow... the Queen of Cups pattern for socks is a must knit!


Now if I only had my April issue of Creating Keepsakes. I hae a subscription, which I realize does not entitle me to receive it in the mail before the newsstands (only that I pay a whole lot less per year by subscription), but dang, it's already online! I need some reading material.


Eric called from the homebound bus. They made his bus, bus A of the three, into the 'sick bus'. Not everyone is sick, but apparently one of the kids went on the trip ill. Thanks, man. Now there's a bunch of kids feeling punky. One of Eric's friends even spent a park day in the hotel instead. So most of his friends were moved to bus B to make room for sickies on bus A, and he ended up sitting with a chaperone. Ya. And then he called again to let me know that he's running a low grade fever. Poor dude. I told him just sleep as much as you can (and sitting with a chaperone is even more incentive to turn on the Ipod!). At least he is calling, and I appreciate his thoughtfulness in that regard. I hope to get him well during the rest of Spring Break, since we'll have a few days yet after he gets home.


It'll be nice to have him home again. Miss this dude.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Cleaning....feels like Christmas....

It's Spring Break this week around here. Eric is still in Orlando, having the time of his life. We hear from him at least once a day, usually a text message, and they are really enjoying themselves. They did DisneyWorld (and their marching in the parade) on Saturday, Sunday was MGM Studios, and today is Universal Studios and Epcot center. They really have no down time at all! What a blast.

Grace and I decided to get some cleaning and organizing done. She is working on her room, as part of a deal for a Nintendo DS Lite, and I am covering the rest of the house. But mostly I am working on our little 'workroom.' It's a matter of unpacking from the Louisiana retreat, and putting everything back into the room into some semblance of order.

In the midst of cleaning I found a Christmas gift for my Mom that I forgot to give her! Sheesh. So typically me. Mom, if you are reading this, I am sorry! And I'll get it to you soon!

Alex is off conquering the world on the computer (I believe it's Yuri's Revenge he's playing right now), with the given that he will also put some time in cleaning later on.

We had a wonderful, eight hour long rain last night. So nice to sleep in snuggly covers with the sound of a thunderstorm outside! We have some sun now, and the rain will pick up again soon. We need it so badly...Lake Travis went up 3 feet from this last rain, but it's still 30+ feet below full level. The rain will make the trees bloom even more (oh, how I love it when the redbuds start blooming!), especially our backyard peach tree, and hopefully the bluebonnets will have a good year.

Time to get cleaning again....and the chuck roast in the crock pot smells so good!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Living on the edge? I don't like it....

Weird day Thursday.

It started when I pulled the milk from the fridge for the kids' cereal. There was a bit left in the front container....I checked the date. February 28. Yargo. Thankfully no one got sick! Moved right along to milk gallon number 2!

Since getting home from the Louisiana retreat, I've been watching the gas gauge...my car has the 'range' feature, then after about 25 miles left it just says 'low.' It was on low for a while, but I've done that before. After Alex got his lower braces put on in the morning, my plan was to drop him at school (appropriately medicated with Advil), pick up Jackie, fill up the tank, and head to Scrapbook Crossing and Michaels. We need to start replenishing adhesives in anticipation of the April retreat. At least when we have a coupon! As I turned out of the school after dropping Alex, the car shut off. Just shut off. Right in the left turn lane. At first I thought it was the battery. Nope, windows still worked.

I ran my car out of gas. Plum out. Past the 'I'm driving on fumes' phase. Dry as a bone.

My rescuer? A knight on a white steed? Nope.

It was Jackie. A good friend in a white Suburban. (Apparently this is also the unofficial car of Cedar Park we have decided. We both drive one, along with about a kajillion other women in Cedar Park.) She ran to the gas station, bought a gas can and filled it. While we played "Lucy and Ethel put gas in the car", we realized that these newfangled gas cans are complicated. We couldn't get it figgered out! Thankfully a man drove by, and helped us figure out the configuation of the can and nozzles. Sheesh. I was so thankful to him, and felt like such an idiot. They really should put directions on the outside of the gas can, so women can put all those pieces together.

Later in the day, Joe's car didn't start! So I got to jumpstart him in a parking lot near the middle school.

Adventures all around.

In the middle of all that, in the afternoon, we saw Eric and the marching band off on their trip to Orlando. Joe and I went to the school with some other parents, watched the kids load up on the busses (nice busses!), and they left for a week. They are driving straight through, 22 hours. He called last night to check in and say hi, and that their dinner at the Luby's in Houston was good...I love Luby's too. They are going to have so much fun, but it is hard to send off your baby for a week! How did my parents handle putting me on a PLANE, to GERMANY, for TWO WEEKS?? I was only 16 at the time. Before cell phones, emails, all that. Man, they were brave. And I am thankful: I had a blast, and it was a once in a lifetime experience. I hope the same for Eric. And I'll be excited to see him again Wednesday night.

The kids are on Spring Break next week, and we are looking forward to it. No specific plans, and that's okay....we'll have spontaneous fun.

Ta ta and toodles!

Monday, March 05, 2007

What a whirlwind weekend...

Jackie and I got back into town around dinner Sunday, after our fun-filled scrapbook retreat in Louisiana. Somehow we got home in one hour less than it took to get there...weird.
So we left Friday morning, and arrived at beautiful Lake D'Arbonne State Park near Farmerville, LA (just east of Shreveport). What gorgeous country! And the state park has lovely cottages and lodges that we stayed in .....


...12 women, 4 bedrooms, with a large common room (usually a living room) with a full kitchen. We had plenty of room to work. Our lodge was right on the lake...here's a photo of our view:

Yeah, just amazing.

I met wonderful women (you know, the axe murderers you meet from the internet), and a great gift from two of the ladies was that they gathered up everyone's memory cards from their cameras on Saturday night, and made photo CDs for everyone to leave with. What a great idea! So nice to get a copy of everyone else's photos, and right away. What did we ever do before digital???


I got a LOT done. I made a 6x6 album for Alex and another for Grace, and about 7 12x12 pages. And in the middle of all that I ate great food, laughed, talked, laughed some more, and even managed to sleep a little bit.

Here I am working....

.....and I brought quite a bit of paper....here's one of the containers on Bazzill I brought....

I did realize how old I am now...I was so tired when I got home! And I felt all the lifting/packing/unpacking in my back today. So, since the dogs insisted that I spend the day with them (they missed me so very much), I spent the day relaxing and resting up. And in April we are off again, this time to New Braufels! Can't wait. I love me some retreat.

AndI have to share this with y'all....I called Joe at work to bring home something easy from the store for dinner, like our favorite Chicken Voila (Bird's Eye brand, Garlic Chicken flavor...so so good!). Instead he brought home pork chops and stuffing, and grilled dinner while I slugged on the couch! Kudos to Joe, he's a good man. He sees how much the time away with girls means to me. As Lily von Shtupp would say, "I feel wefweshed."
So tomorrow it's back to the regular life, which will include the first-of-the-month trip to Target for food and shtuff, and getting supplies for Eric's Spring Break trip. The High School band is taking a bus to Orlando, to play in a parade at Disney World and see some parks. It feels weird to be getting my (still can't believe he is this old!) 15 year old ready for a week away that isn't camp! Yikes, I hope I make it. He'll have so much stinking fun, though.
So I am off to help with 5th grade math (Yes, I do hope that I am smarter than a 5th grader...what a hilarious idea for a show!) and get back into the groove. I wonder if I should unpack from this retreat or just leave it all nicely packed for April 22? Hmm......