Sunday, January 28, 2007

Flowers and Friends

I am a Prima fower addict. I have 18 bottles/cans/plastic packages of them. All colors and shapes. But when you have that many flowers, and use 3-6 on a LO, they don't disappear very fast.

So, I challenged my self to create a LO.
1. I had to use LOTS of Primas.
2. I had seen cool diagonally cut pp on a LO in an idea book, so I thought, let's try that.
3. Use my punches and the stock pile of brads I never use.
4. Do a non-safe color combo (I stick to jewel tones and pastels usually.

Here is what I created. Crate Paper Carnival, Cricut Stamped title. The only usual thing I did here was ink it. Gotta have my chalk ink. The color and energy of the patterned paper could only be used for pictures of one person--my flamboyant, extreme, very dear friend from college many years ago. We are out of touch now, but I remember those times fondly.

Here's to you, Reid. On a bad day, I always remember your advice and smile, "a little Fresca on a panty shield will do the trick."

The magic of music

OK, I love music. Always have and always will. From my first sony boombox at the age of 11 (1977--played cassettes) and my turntable that I got in high school a few years later, I was hooked. Plugging in to my tunes with my huge padded head phones was awesome--I was one with the music. Sing on Barry Manilow and Andy Gibb!

Then came college, 7 or 8 years later and I bought a sony walkman. I didn't miss my turntable (too many skips in the records) and my sony boom box was still going strong. My walkman (still cassette!) and I were best friends. Smaller headphones, same big tunes. Now it was Hall and Oates, Paul McCartney, Boston, the Beatles and Madonna I listened to.

Then, 1991 and I got my first CD player. Life as I knew it was changed forever. The sound was crisp and clear. I joined record clubs over and again to get my collection up to speed. Sadly, in 1992 my Sony boombox, friend of 15 years (middle school to college) died. I was too busy to use headphones, but still cranked out the tunes--Harry Connick Jr, Rod Stewart, bootleg Beatles, more Paul McCartney and anything that sounded cool on VH1

Well, here I am in 2007. I have moved from 8 track (my dad's hand me down player), to LP's, to cassettes, then CDs. What was left? MP3. For Christmas this year my fabulous husband bought me an MP3 player. My first listen took me back to the magical time of my first stereo, when my headphones gave me my favorite albums. The headphones are not the big old clunky padded puppies of the 70s or the smaller ones of the 80s. These are tiny ear buds and are way cool. I love having my private music request line at all times.

As I type this, Rod Stewart is singing to me. Rod and I go way back. One of the first songs I remember hearing on the Sony boombox radio was "You're In My Heart" by the man. I have seen him in concert three times. From disco, to rock, to pop and now standards his musical style has evolved with the times. As has my method of listening to Rod. So sing on, Mr Stewart, and I am sure we'll both be ready for the next big change.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Addicted to Adam & Jamie

OK, first of all I am NOT a reality TV buff, in the network sense of the word. I don't watch much Network TV at all (except Dave's weekly dose of "My Name Is Earl"). I am however addicted to one show that I watch religiously--Discovery Channel, Wednesday nights at 9:00. The show? Mythbusters. I can't miss it. We record it on the DVR so that if the kids aren't asleep we don't miss a minute of it. It isn't a reality show, but the show is "really" happening.

I have been watching this shoe since the 1st season. It has changed so much since then, but for Dave and I it remains "must see TV." Watching the squabbling between Adam and Jamie, the silliness of the build team, and the crazy stunts they pull makes me laugh each week. I love urban legends (yes, I took a class on them in college, as part of my English degree) and their spin on them is AWESOME. And what would an episode of the show be without an explosion.

Adam always seems like the kind of guy would have been fun to party with 20 years ago (yikes! that long?) in college. And I will always thank him for the catch phrase, "I reject your reality and substitute my own. Jamie reminds me of Dave with his slow planning ways. I also love the fact that in this show, Dave and I find a common denominator--my love of legends and history, and his love of science.

This show ROCKS!

(Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Larisa!

I have to laugh about this. My best friend is one month to the day older than me, and this year we turn 41. Well, this weekend she is coming to visit (Sophie is too excited--more about the cake than her auntie coming). Of course, For the next month I will give Larisa heck about her decrepitude, and then BOOM! I am "old" too.

Thanks for putting up with my crap, Reese. It's been 16 years of silliness. Here's to the next 16 (hopefully LOTS more!). Love you--happy birthday.

Ultimate Blog Party!

This is cool. I read about it on Equine Spirit's blog, and had to check it out. Click on the link at left. Bloggers will have the chance to chit-chat, meet people and win prizes. Can't wait!

Living for NOW

I am proud to say I live for NOW. The reason I say proud is because I am Bipolar 2, and was diagnosed last summer. Up until I got the proper medication, I would sit and dwell on past events and rehash them, trying to figure out how I could have handled things differently. Or, I would make all these plans for the future, then sit on them, depressed that I would never make them a reality.

When I look at my life today, I am glad to say I am living without regrets--what is past is done--I can learn from it but not change it. And the future? I can plan my life now and act in a way to make my dreams a reality. But living for what may be instead of what is does me no good.

And my now is pretty good. Awesome husband, beautiful children, supportive friends. Sure, our family could use a better cash flow, but we do fine. I have my me time outlet in scrapping that lets me preserve my memories and create art at the same time. LIfe will never be better or worse than it is right NOW. I may as well live in the moment, do my best so that tomorrow's NOW is a little better than today's.

Life is surely good.....NOW.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My ideal occupation

Hmmm, today's 2Ps blog challenge asked the question, "Would you rather be a great musician, athlete, scientist, artist, politician, or writer?" I guess I would have to say writer. I love to write and get serious satisfaction from a well written piece. Considering I have a MA in literature and taught college English for 5 years, this answer should come as no surprise. Putting words on paper (or, now in the computer age, on screen) is liberating, and a little scary--you are taking a risk of feedback that you may not like.

I love the idea that a piece of writing can be timeless--people are still reading Beowulf in translation, the Bible etc--these were written 1000's of years ago. I am not saying that my writing could be on a par with the Bible (maybe better than Beowulf--I get shudders remembering reading that one) but the idea that my words in print could influence someone 10 years from now, let alone 100 years is a cool one. There are still people arguing about the racism in Markk Twain's Huck Finn, even though at the time, Twain was being exaggerative in order to show how stupid bigotry and racism really are. I think artists have the same effect on people. I read an article today about a guy who thinks he has ID'd the model for the Mona Lisa. And a few years ago there was hubbub in the news about a First Folio of Shakespeare's (Circa 1640) going up for auction.

In a way, my book of me has become my forum for thoughts about my life and ideals. I write intense, personal details in my book (nope, they will never be on 2Ps) because I want my daughters to understand who I am. My mother and I were never close, and she died at 52 from cancer in 1994. There are so many questions and things I wish she could tell me. Hopefully, my writing will tell others those things I wish I knew.

Writing is an extremely personal creation, much like scrapbooking. The words (or LO) the writer puts out there carries a piece of her at a moment in time. One of Shakespeare's plays was ID'd to a specific year due to the Bard including info about an eclipse in the play. Neat. A piece of historical info tossed in absentmindedly that gives us info almost 400 years after the fact.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Scrapping! Never, EVER, sometyhing I thought I would do. I remember in 1998, my roommate coming home from a CM party, totally excited about her page. I wasn't impressed--It was all too white, with glitter pens and rounded corners on the pictures. Not my style. Deb, on the other hand, was so excited she became a CMC.

Fast Forward 3 Years: expecting my first baby and I see a K & Co kit with a 12x12 baby scrapbook and a keepsake box. I snarf on it ($20 seemed a steal) and take it home. I start shopping at Michael's and relish all the baby themed stuff. When Sophie was about 6 months old, I begin putting all my supplies to use--I discover scrapbook stores--I subject every person I know to my scrapbooks--I am hooked. My husband, bless him, says NOTHING about the $$$ I spend, and on occasion will go into the scrap stores with me. He is a gem!

Here I am 4 years later. Scrapping is my "me time" now, and I love it. I never go to Michaels much, but love Joann's for odds and ends. All my supplies which used to fit in my Navigator with room to spare, are now in my scrap area (1/3 of our huge family room) and overflowing. And of course, I have Capt Jack for inspiration (I mentioned I had an indulgent husband). I am a scrapbook consultant and a paper snob. I create for the art of it, in addition to preserving memories. I pore over the scrap mags--even if I never re-create a thing I see, I read them like I read cookbooks--to see how others combine ingredients to get a great finished product. A pinch of this or that and VOILA, the LO is mine.

Excited preschooler alert!

Well, we finally have snow. 2 inches tops, but enough that an almost 5 yr old can jump around in it, throw snowballs and make a snow angel (never mind the grass poking into the angel's wings). Sophie has been over the moon excited. Although the girls are 3.5 and almost 5, this is the first time they have been able to play in the snow. No one is sick, the temperature isn't frigid and the snow is sticking around.

The best part of parenthood is reliving that wonder your child feels at things I might consider mundane.

Challenges, pt 2

Well, I have been thinking more about the challenge of Anneliese's lack of verbal speech, and decided, like any good scrapper, to do a LO about it. Here is my baby, in all her glory.

And today I got to talk to her AWESOME teacher. This year LeeLee is in an ECDD classroom (enclosed developmental delay) and has thrived. Elaine shared with me that Anneliese is now happy, relaxed and cooperative in class, and has really progressed in her motor skills, and is making her needs known. Next year she will be in Elaines room again, in the afternoon 4 yr old room, because the public school just doesn't have the staff and time to work on her speech as much as this room can--12 kids to three teachers/aides.

I am content. We are getting progress. She is a happy, growing little person, and will not be ignored. If we don't understand her, she keeps trying. And as yesterday, we have 2 new words--Yi, Yi (I think this is Yeah, Yeah) and Hah (Hi) which she says into the telephone.

Life is surely good!

New Venture in the New Year

Well, I am a hobbyist consultant for MemoryWortks, and enjoy the discount I get on YUMMY products--the new January kit is Basic Grey Blush and I love it. But, really, not much money to be made there.

So, I got to thinking about what I want to do. My friend Andrea was blown away by the change in my scrap style (for the better) so she wanted to commision me to do a heritage scrapbook of her father's childhood pictures. Sounded interesting. I am still waiting to hear back from Andi's mom.

This got me to thinking about what I want to do--2 of the 3 LSS have closed in the last year, and I think the 3rd one is grossly overpriced and the selection and store set-up deter a scrapper from finding anything they need. So, after reading a lively discussion on a Yahoo group about the demise of Leaving Prints, I joined ScrapBiz. I figure I can get my feet wet and still take my time developing a business plan. I would really like to develop this into a S4O business or possibly classes and workshops. Either way, I will have more resources at my disposal than previously.

And will I continue as a MW consultant? As Fran the squirrel on "Higglytown Heroes" would say, YOU BETCHA!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More rockin' reads in the New Year

OK, can we call today diarrhea of the mouth (umm, keyboard, I guess). Or, just making up for lost time.

I have long been fascinated by Russian history, particularly the reign of the last tsar, Nicholas II, and the Imperial family's tragic deaths at the hands of the Ural Soviet in July 1918. After reading The Riddle of Anna Anderson by Peter Kurth in the early 80's, I was fascinated by the idea that the tsar's youngest daughter had escaped.

Flash forward 20-odd years. The DNA has shown that Anna Anderson was not related to the Imperial bodies found in the early 90's. However, this case is now erupting in interesting fiction. I have read a couple GREAT books using the Anna Anderson story as a backdrop, in City of Shadows by Ariana Smith, or as a fictionalized biography in Mary Morrissy.

City of Shadows is a gritty murder mystery set in 1930's Berlin. A Russion club owner coerces his secretary into getting a mental patient out of an asylum and styling her as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Dubbed Anna Anderson, the patient resides with the secretary (Esther, a Russian Jew) and then the murders begin....Well written, steeped in history and with a twist at the end, this book is sure to entertain any mystery lover, not just Romanov buffs.

The Pretender is a book looking at the early years of Anna Anderson--in the asylum after her attempted suicide, then producing a possible history for her based on what wee know of her and the DNA results that say she was a Polish woman named Franziska Schanzkowska. A troubling book in many ways, leavines you wanting more in a GOOD way. A look at a possible sociopath who was transformed through fate into an Imperial Princess (or so she claimed, though, obviously disproven.

AWESOMELY good books!


Something else on my mind today--challenges with my children. Both of my beautiful daughters have special needs (Sophia is on the autism spectrum, and Anneliese is motor delayed and non-verbal) and some days get to be quite trying. Over Christmas break, Sophia did really well, all the Christmas excitement didn't overstimulate her. Our family was all down with strep throat, but overall behavior was fine. David was home from work all that week as well. Well, he went back to work on January 2nd (Sophie didn't go back to preschool until yesterday) and all Hades broke loose. Crying, whining, wanting daddy. Waking up at 4:00am. Staying up! The change in schedule between Christmas break and last week was too much for her.

Then there is LeeLee. She is so frustrated that she can't communicate! And I am getting frustrated for her, and sometimes at her. She refuses to initiate her desires to us, even though she has the signs to tell us. She breaks down crying when pushed, even though we know she can do it, as she will repeat it if we sign first. Anneliese seems at times like she wants to stay a baby with us taking care of all her needs, yet shows that three year stubborn streak when things don't go her way.

I love these kids so much, and David and I continue to meet the challenges raised and celebrate the triumphs. Sophia is brilliant, and some of her leaps of language and music make her seem 4 going on 14. Anneliese manages to turn on the cute at will, and stay the sweetest little stink monkey in 5 counties.

New Year! New resolutions

WOW! Been a while since I posted. 2006 was a bit hectic. That is now history! Here I go with 2007! What do I want to accomplish?

1. Scrapping Goals--USE OLD PRODUCT! I have become a total supply whore, latest and greatest etc. After loving the Memory Makers Idea Book #7, and seeing all the LOs with last year's big products, I knew I needed to use up last years BG, SR etc--yes I love the new stuff, but the other paper I own is still darn cute. Other than my ScrapRoom and new MemoryWorks kit, I need to concentrate on the MASSIVE amounts of stuff I have already.

In keeping with this goal, last night I sat down and scrapped three 2 pg LOs--one with Crate Paper Birdie (newer stuff) but the other 2 were LOS made from StoryTeller's kits I bought in March 2005 and never touched. Yep. That old. Tonight I want to use up the Storyteller's kits I got in April 2005. I quit the club after those two kits, as it wasn't my style, but I don't want $$$ wasted by not using them either.

2. Healthy me! I started SparkPeople on January 3rd in earnest. Recommended by my doctor last year as a FREE (yep FREE!) alternative to Weight Watchers online. Started it last summer, and quickly faded in interest. After finding out about Artritis in my feet and knees in December, I knew the pounds needed to go. Let me know if you want more info! I'll shoot you a referral. (BTW--2.5 pounds down the 1st week! Yay, me!)

New me, new habits, new year. What about you?