November 30, 2010


My goodness... where did November go?  In 10 minutes it will be December in my part of the world.  One measly month left of 2010.  25 days until Christmas. Seriously, what the heck happened?

Do you remember sitting in school watching the clock practically go backwards, time was moving so slow?  Or those long summer vacations that in the beginning, all you could do was whine, "Mom, I'm booooooorrrrreeeed."  To which she would reply, "go outside and play."  I would wander outside, still "bored" although I did always find plenty to do.  But those days seemed to go on forever... for the most part.  I do remember my parents having a very hard time getting me out of the pool when it was my bedtime.  My lips would be blue - or so I was told - and I did not want to get out!

Why does time... or the perception of time passing... speed up like this?  The older we get, the faster it goes.  Or so I hear. 

Does there come a time when time slows down again?  Will I appreciate it then?  Or will I be tapping my fingers, glancing at the clock every few seconds wishing that it would move faster?


For now... I just want to say farewell to November.  It's been a HELL of a month for me.  I'm ready for it to be gone. 

And here's to December being a much better month... and here's to hoping I can appreciate the time as it passes instead of looking back, like I am now, wondering where it went. 

Heeelllllloooooooo December!

November 28, 2010

Survey Says?

It seems like with the advent of email, Facebook and other electronic communication, the written word is a rare occurrence these days.  I have especially noticed this at the holidays... I used to receive tons of cards, but that has dramatically declined over the past 10 years.  I still like to send them out, and I admit some years I send them to a shorter recipient list (read: family only) than other years.  But I like to get them out to as wide an audience as possible... I just like to let people know I'm thinking of them. I should do this more often than the holiday season, I know, but sometimes that just is what it is.

So... what about you?  Do you send Christmas or Holiday cards out?  Do you send them to a large amount of people or a short list?  Do you include a note?  Or have you decided it's a waste of time and (stamp) money?  I want to know...

When it Rains, it Pours

It really hasn't been a great month.  Last night I was so chilled, I couldn't get warm.  I should have known that was the sign for me to be sick.  I'm almost never cold!   Yep, woke up with such a sore throat, I had to immediately get up and take some Advil just to try to go back to sleep.

And I'm burning through the tissues, again!

I hope you are all staying away from these lovely germs floating around!!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (USA)

It's Thanksgiving, here in the USA.  At our house, it's pretty much business as usual, except...

There is a rather large turkey in the oven, stuffed well.  The smells are starting to permeate the house just enough to give you pause and inhale deeply.  It will only get better.

The kids are in The Boy's room, watching music videos - rather loudly I must complain - and drinking a coca-cola slushie I made for The Girl.  The Hubs was up in the kitchen dressing the turkey early, and now he's relaxing downstairs at his computer (or TV, I have no idea) waiting on the clock to come up and baste.   All of them previously had a discussion on how prepared they were with their loosest elastic-waist pants on... ready to devour all the goods later.

Me, I'm in my lounge-about clothes, lounging about in bed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV with my fat furry pal Sparky. 

Sparky seems to be the only one around who will watch the parade with me.  Or, maybe he just wants to lay ON me.  I suppose that could be true.

But since he can't stay on me and have me type at the same time, he'll have to settle in for his pre-turkey nap next to me.

Of course, the rest of us will be looking just about the same in a few hours, after we've eaten. Except the purring will be replaced with the sounds of too-stuffed groaning. 

In all seriousness, though...

I am so thankful for today.  I am thankful for the mouth-watering smells coming from the kitchen. I am thankful for the energy I will have later when making all of the side-dishes and preparing the desserts (for much, much later).  I am thankful for my two kids in The Boy's room and that the fact that they are annoying me means that they exist in my life, and that is wonderous indeed.  I am thankful for The Hubs who has had a very hard month this month, and that he is so much better than he was at the beginning... better "enough" that he is making the turkey - one of his favorite things to do... and I know he will be 100% eventually if we just stay patient.  I am thankful for my extended family and have been thinking of each of them and playing out in my mind the things they may be doing today with their proximity-close family and friends.  I am thankful for my friends - near and far -  who have stuck by me through a very rough month, and continue to give me support and comfort.  I am thankful for friends who have "disappeared" who have recently reappeared in my life.  I am thankful for my husband's and my work places... and that we have so much enjoyment working where we do, as well as some very supportive co-workers, bosses and friends - that is just amazing to me.  And I am thankful for my furry children... all of whom chose US to be their family.  They have brought me great comfort and happiness for years and I am thankful for every moment I have had and will continue to have with each of them. 

May you all have a wonderful, gratitude-filled day, whether you are in the USA celebrating Thanksgiving, or in Canada, the UK, Africa, Australia, South America or anywhere else reading this right now.  Do me a favor... go up to someone (two-legged or four-legged - or anything living and breathing) and tell them, out loud, with a hug if possible:  "I am grateful for you."  That's all.  No need to elaborate.

Just do that for me today, please.  Will you??

November 23, 2010

The Straw

I have to say that my life and the world around me has been... challenging... of late.  Without going into too many personal details that I'm not yet ready to share, suffice it to say that there are many beings, two legged and four legged alike, that have some serious health issues. I have been dealing with one for several months; two others for the past month and I found out about one today which has broken my heart.

You know how you can keep things together until someone asks you sincerely, "How are you?"  I was doing fine. A few tears here, a cranky comment there. 

Then, tonight while eating a simple pretzel with some dip... not even a hard sourdough type pretzel... I bit into something that wasn't pretzel.  I spit it out to see that it was a piece of my tooth.  Half of one of my teeth, to be specific.  Yes, I broke my tooth on a friggin' pretzel.

That was IT.  It was the straw that broke this camel's back.

Life just sucks right now.  I'm sorry. It just does.

November 21, 2010

End of an Era...

Home from the scrappy "retreat".

Bittersweet to leave.

Got a little slap-happy on the 2-hour ride home.

Took possibly over 100 photos.

On my friend's camera, or I'd share.

Maybe later.


Not even unpacking.


November 20, 2010

Keepin' Busy...

I was totally unprepared for this retreat that I'm on.  I think I was a little down because it is the last retreat that my store is hosting.  It's somewhat bittersweet because to be honest, I'm burned out (as is my "partner" who has been lead "camp girl" longer than I've been co-host).  It's a lot of work and we've been doing it together, twice a year, for 4 (?) years now. 

So, I came with a buncha stuff, but no real plan.  I have kits made up from previous retreats... haven't touched 'em.  What  have I been doing? 

Well, I have been keeping busy.  I have been chatting with the other scrappers, eating at the Amish restaurant, shopping, browsing Amish goods (too expensive for me) using Stickles on practically everything, watching a ton of movies, taking photos of the gorgeous hotel and, so far, teaching one class. 

Oh,  and I have puttered around with my scrap stuff a little.  I've made a few Christmas/holiday cards.  I've just been picking out a few things to play with... flocked paper, crackle paint, Stickles (did I mention that before?), ribbon, stamps, Cuttlebug embossing... and I've made a whopping (sit down before I take your breath away) eleven cards so far.

Here are a few as proof that I did get crafty over the past few days:

(Apologies to those of you who read my blog who are on my card list... it might not be a surprise if you get one of these, but hey, you never know... I've got two more days to keep getting crafty.)

November 17, 2010

Lady Gaga a la Dudes

I like Lady Gaga... some of her music... but I'm even more impressed when I see others recreate her tunes. 

Like Greyson Chance:

He has now been signed by Ellen Degeneres on her new music label. I'm so impressed with kids who have such talent!

But this is the best yet.  It was shared with me on Facebook and I love to watch it.  They did such a great job!

As I'm on a scrapbook retreat at the moment, I just wanted to share with you some of my favorite internet "funsies" lately.  I'll try to post photos tomorrow of the scrap craziness goin' on around here! 

November 15, 2010

More "Kitting"

More weekend spent getting one of my classes together for the retreat coming up in *gasp* 1 1/2 days!  I don't even have my personal projects and supplies gathered or packed yet!  YIKES!

So you saw the bows.  I don't have a finished project photo, but if I can get one, I will post it later.  But... I had a whole different class to prep for and it seriously took me nearly the entire night Saturday and an additional half-day on Sunday, with a couple of hours help from The Girl.  Of course, asking a fifteen year old girl who keeps one hand on her cell phone for texting at all times to help you organize and package up a class kit is like asking a tree to drop its leaves neatly into piles.  Yes, you typically don't get what you hoped for.  She did help though, with a few bumps and one backtrack fix by me. 

So I can't say I came up with the idea for this project all by my lonesome. The Internet has a plethora of ideas out there, and I most definitely saw this idea previously and warped it into my own for this class.  Just giving credit where credit is due, although I can't  name the exact individual who had the original idea to create this.

I also wish I had a photo of my original "demo" of this project, because I honestly like how it turned out a little better than this one.  But I do like this one as well!

It is a regular manila file folder folded into a cute accordion book. This is a very simple version and so much more can be done with it, but it's super fun, and perfect for a brag book or gift.  Perfect time of year to be teaching it, right? 

So there you go.  I have one more teeny thing to prep (for the class with the bows) and then I will be using the rest of tomorrow night and Wednesday morning to get my own things together.  Any suggestions on how to tackle this?

Methinks I'll just save time by packing everything but the kitchen sink...

November 14, 2010

not kNitting

I've been MIA for a couple of days.  I wanted to give you one small glimpse into what I've been doing:

What is that mess, you ask?

Here's a close up:

Bows.  A lot of bows.  A lot of bows that I hand-tied from a spool of ribbon.  140 bows to be exact, IF I counted correctly.  Itty, bitty bows.  The grid behind the bow is off of my Making Memories mat - in half-inch increments.  Well, they're the bittiest bow I could make out of that ribbon.

I've been working on kitting (not kNitting) the projects I'm teaching at the upcoming scrapbook retreat.  I spent most of my day yesterday tying bows and cutting paper.  Today, I've hired The Girl to help me package them all up. 

Anyway, I just wanted to drop by and let you all know you've been on my mind.  But my fingers have been too busy not kNitting to type a post.  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon...

November 10, 2010

It's Almost That Time Again...

These are previous photos from a previous event...
And a similar event is right around the corner, literally...
As in 7 days and counting...
What time is it???

November 9, 2010

Just Not Comfortable...


I want to thank everyone who came earlier today (or last night) for your feedback on the original post here.  I have removed it because I was not comfortable with continuing to have it out in public when it was a pretty personal (to me) topic.  I was very emotional last night when I wrote it and had to just get it out, so I appreciate that those of you who saw it gave a moment of your time to weigh in.  All of your feedback was very valuable to me.

Thank you to all my blogging friends.  I SO VERY MUCH appreciate you!

November 8, 2010


"Hello, my name is Kai and I am a collector."  (This is probably why I have so much clutter.)

I have in the past, or currently now, collect:
  • teddy bears
  • wolves - not real animals, but items depicting them, including prints/photos
  • Native American pictures and items
  • Green Man pictures and items
  • rocks
  • sea shells
  • tea cups
  • tea pots
  • shot glasses
  • quotes
  • games
  • Disney movies
  • salt & pepper shakers
  • anything Eeyore
  • things (I don't necessarily need or want) that belonged to family members who have passed.
Okay.  So, you can see that I'm not lying.  I am in definite need of "Collector's Anonymous".

I have tried to stop many of these collections.  Some have been more successful than others. For example, I no longer collect salt & pepper shakers - at least, I don't buy them.  and technically, I only "collected" them because my mother had a collection, and I inherited them when she passed.

Recently, I decided it was time to give up my teddy bears.  Well, not recently, more like 2-3 years ago.  I have obviously struggled with it.  One of my sisters suggested that I take a photo of each one, then scrapbook it.  And give away the teddy bear after the photo was taken.

The Girl and I started this process two weekends ago.  Because in order to clear the clutter from the table in my room, I have to clear the bookcase, and the bookcase is where these bears reside.  As I was taking them down and she was cleaning them up, she asked me what I was going to do with them.  I was honest and told her I was donating them.  She was shocked and asked me, "Why?!"  I told her I couldn't keep collecting them and they had to go to someone who would love them. 

Then she noticed I was getting rid of my Eeyores too.  "You're giving Eeyore away?!"  I believe there were actual tears in her eyes.

Mine too.

I started taking photos of some of them, and when I was done, I placed them in a plastic bag.

Except this one. 

He's a keeper.  Because The Hubs made him for me.

And these two...

The Girl decided she wanted to keep them because they are so extraordinarily soft (and secretly I was glad because I really didn't want to give the twins up).

And I kept my Gund.  The only Gund I ever got.  It took me a long time to get him. Ya just Gotta Get a Gund

We made it through only a quarter of the pile before my camera's battery died.  Then she had to go.  Then the hubs got sicker and I haven't returned to it yet.  And now, as I look at the bags sitting in the corner, I have a strong desireto take a few "back" from the bags.  Not all... but a couple. 


Why do some people (like me) get so caught up in collections?  Do you?  Have you given any up?  Got any pointers you'd like to share?

November 6, 2010

Celebrating Blog Friendships!

Welcome to the Celebrating Blog Friendships Blog Hop! If you came to me from Miss Smith at Curiouser and Curiouser, you are on the right path! Sit and stay a while, if you like, but make sure you grab your “letter of the day” to win the grand prize at Jo’s - your last stop on the hop. If you’re just starting out with me, thank you for stopping by! But if you want to win some awesome prizes, make sure you head over to Lizzie’s blog to get started on the right path. Otherwise, read on and I’ll guide you to your next stop at the end.

Wow. What can I say? It has been over a year now that I have been writing blog posts on a regular basis. I started a blog, then deleted it. Then started a new one but had no idea what I should do with it. Then I stumbled upon Shimelle Lane’s Blogging for Scrapbookers class and thought, “eh… what the heck? Why not?” and off I went.

I learned so much in the process. I had multiple visitors to my blog who left … gasp… comments! I never realized how much a kind word or two (or five or twenty) from a random person out there in the world could make my day! I started to realize that if I wandered around the blog-world, and left a comment or two, perhaps they would make someone else’s day. I came to realize that I was not the only person out there who enjoyed hearing from “the void”.

And now my commenters aren’t just my readers, they are my friends.

I have realized that friendships come in many shapes and sizes. I don’t mean physical shape and size, but more that it is what friends do for and with each other. Each friendship is different and brings with it its own rewards. I’d like to share with you four of my bloggy friendships and what they mean to me:

CHERI – Cheri’s blog posts are a mixture of life, photos and digi layouts. She inspires me to be better at photography and to stay true to myself. I knew off the bat that Cheri and I have some major life experiences in common but it’s only been recently that we have been discovering how much. I am very thankful to have met Cheri and am enjoying our budding friendship in our blog comment exchanges and emails!

NANCY – I must admit I was already communicating with Nancy before Blogging For Scrapbookers, but I’ve really watched her blog grow and grow and grow since this class. Nancy inspires me every day with her artistic talent in her layouts and her photography. I have to admit that she is my personal “queen of self-portraits”. That, and I admire her bravery to do crazy things with her hair. On top of it all, as a fellow “kitten lover”, I love when she does photos and layouts and posts about her furry child! Thank you, Nancy, for being so inspirational and such an artist… I wish I had the talent you have in your pinky! :)

MEL – Mel has quite the variety on her blog… always in a new class, it seems, so there are always new posts going up. Mel is one of the few people I know who often posts more than once a day. What this means to me is that my Google Reader always has a LOT of her posts listed to catch up on! What I love about Mel is she is one of the nicest, most supportive people – her comments and the occasional email always made me feel like a ray of sunshine just beamed upon my face. Thanks, Mel… I love your posts, that you are a math “junkie”, and that you show us what you eat. I’ve learned about so many new dishes that I’m unfamiliar with here in the states. So interesting! :)

STACEY – She has a way of making me laugh whenever I visit her blog. I’ll be honest, I don’t get out there as often as I should, but man-oh-man can she write a post that will at least crack a smile on your face, if not make you literally laugh out loud and startle the person nearest to you. Her nicknames for her kids (her blog title: Havoc & Mayhem) make my day. Thank you, Stacey… I may not comment often, but know that your blog always brings a smile to my face! At the very least.

Okay, I’m sorry I couldn’t write a bit about every one of my bloggy friends… you are all there in my heart, but this is a blog hop, not a blog leisurely-meandering-slow-stroll. I want to make sure the hoppers are moving on their way. But Christina and Anna and Sian and Mary and everyone else… I appreciate you every bit as much as the four I named above.

So, hoppers… are you ready to head to your next stop? Head on up to Canada at The Linar Studio for more blog hoppy fun and to continue your quest to win the grand prize! But be sure to come back and visit me again... I would love to celebrate more friendships with you!

And now a word from our sponsor:

This blog post was brought to you by the letter “L”. “L” is for Love and Light and Laughter. “L” is the next letter you need for the blog hop prize…

And today's tongue twister, again presented to you by the Lovely Letter "L":

Lovely Lemon Liniment

Seriously, say it five times as fast as you can. Can you do it?

November 5, 2010

Scrappy Dream Dream Dreams...

Having been home caring for a sick Hubs, I’ve had some nights where sleep just wasn’t… available. What better way to spend some hours than browsing around looking at scrappy goodies? I just thought I’d share with you.  Click on any image to see more of what I'm jonesin' for!
Bo Bunny’s Flower Child:

This actually came out earlier this year but my LSS (where I work) didn’t carry it and I’m a bit lazy when it comes to looking around at other stores. If it’s not at my LSS, I don’t typically buy it. Yes, I’m THAT lazy. But I have been lusting over this entire line for months.

Little Yellow Bicycle’s Free Spirit:

It was the season of peace, love and happiness in the scrapping world this year. This was the other line I so very much wanted and have missed out on getting it. Perhaps if I can find it online somewhere, I might still grab some up, but when you want the whole line and all you can find is bits and pieces, it’s a tad dejecting.

Tim Holtz’s Configurations:
What endless possibilities does this bring? Unfortunately, right before he released these, I had purchased 5 of these from 7 Gypsies:
I can’t justify buying the configurations until I have crafted something in my printers trays.

Tim Holtz Texture Fades:

Having a thing for Tim Holtz (as most people know) and trees (as probably not many know) these particular texture fades are high on my list. But they aren’t the only ones! I’m also completely lusting after the snowman/snow fades:

And the cobwebs fade (not really interested in the words, but unfortunately they come in a set):
I’m also completely swooning over practically ALL of the On the Edge dies:
Soul Restoration:

I’m still thinking about this class. It’s right up the alley I want to be walking right now, but I’m always afraid that I will commit and then not have the time or some other situation will occur to prevent me from taking part in the class as fully as I wish. But it’s a distinct maybe walking on the edge of will do it… I will have to make my decision soon.

We R Memory Keepers Merry January:
Okay, THIS I bought! I think I purchased pretty much every bit of it and then split it with my stepmom. I’m a fall/winter freak, so this paper was right up my alley, especially with the snowman. I love snowmen (and women)! I don't discriminate.

So... what about you?  Any new scrappy supplies you've been lusting after recently?  Perhaps I can add to my list with some of your paper desires! 

November 3, 2010

Life is Good at Throwing Curveballs...

It amazes me, sometimes, how I can just plod along, moving forward in life, following the same old routines day in and day out.  Get up, shower, dress for work, get breakfast, drive to work, work, drive home, fix dinner, do some household chores, watch TV in bed, sleep and the whole thing starts over again (on most days).  It's habitual.  It's rote.  There are times when I arrive at work and don't remember large pieces of the drive!  How crazy is that?

Even when I'm aware and mindful, I have a plan, I follow the plan.  When I have a good plan in place I begin to feel peaceful about it... things are going "as planned".  I've paid this or that off "as planned".  We went to this or that event "as planned".  I blogged today, "as planned".

Then life throws you a curveball.

The hubs is pretty sick.  For the past three days, my life has been consumed with taking care of him... taking him to doctor's appointments, figuring out his medical insurance (which changed over on Tuesday from an old policy to a new one), visiting the grocery store and pharmacy several billion times (no, not really), visiting the hospital at o-dark-thirty-ungodly-hour-in-the-morning (yes, really). 

No work.

No "right choices" with food.

Prep for scrap-store classes? Nuh-uh.

Sleep?  Not no way, not now how.

And the things I'd planned on doing (for me) over the past week and a half?  Completely out of the picture.  No chance to really delve into Shimelle's True Stories class.  On an impulse, I registered for NaNoWriMo, but have I written my 1,667 words a day for three days?  Nope.  A less cluttered house?  Ha!  Haha! 


Just me. 

Standing at home plate. 

Swinging wildly at the curveball.

November 1, 2010

Everyone Needs Their Own Napping Spot

My baby girl kitty, Ashes, was sleeping on a blanket that was covering my legs this afternoon.  At one point in time, I got up to check on my husband.  When I returned, my fat boy kitty Sparky, had moved into Ashes' previous napping spot. 

I wonder why?  He was perfectly content on the other side of the pillow before I got up, but then he stretched, and merowed his way over to Ashes' previous place and settled in.

Needless to say, when Ashes returned, she wasn't happy.  She sat at the end of the bed and watched him (and me) for quite some time.  Then she hopped up on the pillow and sat there, staring at Sparky.

Then she wacked him a couple of times.  He glared at her.

Then she pounded on him several times.  He hit back once or twice.  Let me just clarify that Sparky is easily 5 times bigger than Ashes.  He's a Big Boy. 

Ashes wasn't giving up.  She smacked him a few more times and Sparky decided he'd had enough and got down.

Ashes moved back in to "her" spot.

After a few sniffs, snorts and turns... apparently Sparky messed up her napping mojo... she settled back down.

And then Sparky returned.  And there was a tense moment or two while he settled in to his own spot once again. 

But no fight ensued.  And then everyone napped happily ever after.

The End.


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