January 30, 2011


Changes are coming.

Please be patient.

And no matter what you may see here as the changes occur...

...more than a little craziness

...please keep coming to visit me.  I promise it will all be over as soon as I can make it all be over.  (I guess that means it will be done when it's done!)

When it's over, I hope whatever is "born" will be a fresh, beautiful thing...


I hope you will think so too.  

January 27, 2011

Big & Scary

So, some of you out there know this, and some of you don't:  I have a love-hate relationship with birds.

In reality, they scare me. 

Yes, I'm afraid of birds!  Not without cause, mind you.  I can't necessarily trace this back to some childhood Big Bird trauma...

... but I can tell you about several instances where a bird has actually or seemingly attacked me.

Example #1 - one of the only "real" attacks, which I believe began my phobia.  I was sitting at a dining room table at one of my parents friend's houses and they had a bird.  The bird was sitting across the table from me on it's owner's shoulder.  All of a sudden it started bobbing  its head at me and then flew across the table, landed on my head and started pecking at me!   Uhm, OW!  The wife took the bird and put it in its cage, but the emotional scarring had begun.

Example #2 - possibly not a "real" attack, but scary nonetheless.  While swimming in a lake at my favorite vacation destination, I came up from underneath the water and a sea gull swooped down and nearly "grabbed" me.  I believe now that perhaps he thought I was a tasty fishy treat, but it was scary in the moment.

Example #3 - another friend had a Cockatoo and that daggone bird climbed up my arm (I'm paralyzed at this time), perched on my shoulder, spread his wings and flapped, beating me in the head the whole time.  And the damn bird LAUGHED.  Okay... now I'm dealing with scary birds and birds that laugh at me! 

Example #4 - while at a zoo (or a nature preserve, I forget), someone was doing a demonstration using a hawk.  The hawk was tethered to the handler's arm so I felt safe.  Until the formidable feathered fowl (it was huge!) cocked its head to the side, looked at me, and flew directly at my head!  Thankfully, because he was tethered, he didn't go far, just made a lot of noise flapping his wings.  The handler said, "he's never done that before."  This is when I began to think I was cursed.  Birds hated ME.  They wanted to eat me!  I was convinced!

Okay, I could go on, but I won't.

Despite my bird 'attacks', having grown up in a household of casual "birdwatching" parents, I have learned to enjoy the sight of birds, as long as there is distance, and often glass windows, between me and the flying demon.  In fact, I can even identify a few kinds of birds; however, I'm by no means a "bird watcher" in the sense that I can spot a yellow-tailed, red beaked, purple taloned bobsy doey bird.  Or whatever. 

A couple of winters ago, my sis and bro-in-law sent me my first usable bird feeder.  So I set it out and truly and honestly have enjoyed watching the birds as they gobble up the seed.  So much so, that I have a second bird feeder and a suet feeder to boot.  Despite the messiness left behind, it's rather fun watching them.  Sometimes I get mad at the bigger birds (blue jays and bigger) bullying off the smaller, cuter, less dangerous ones, but it's all good in the long run. 

Until this past weekend. 

I went outside to refill the feeders.  When I finished up, Hunter and I came back inside.  I turned around to see where Rocky was and something caught my eye.  Something very, very large.  Something large and very ominous...

This something:

I was fascinated, even as a shot of phobic fear ran up my spine.  I ran to get my camera but didn't waste the time to change to my super-ultra-zoom lens (like my techno jargon?) and ran back to the deck. 

I zoomed as much as I could and was able to snap off two shots before Rocky figured out what I was taking pictures off and raced, barking, across the lawn and scared him away.

I believe, if my skills at passive bird watching (to save my own life most of the time) are up to snuff, I do believe this is a Red-Tailed Hawk.

In my yard!

This massive, majestic, big, scary bird was looking at me.  Seriously.  I think Rocky might have saved my life!

I hear (or perhaps I imagined it) that they have "territories" and if this one has picked my neighborhood as his territory, I have no fear of additional red-tail hawks.  I think.  I hope. 

I just fear this one.

Since his visit, I have been a little cautious sending Hunter outside.  I have visions of the movie The Proposal running through my head.

January 24, 2011

Sharing the Love...

Hey y'all... there's going to be a fabulous blog hop over at the SFTIO blog on Wednesday.  You'll be able to hop around to all of the design team's blogs where they're sharing their "take" on this month's emotion: Reflection.  We've got prizes - awesome paper packs - if you leave some love.  The more comments you leave, the better your chances are to win. 

I'm just sayin'...

January 21, 2011

I Found Another Moon!

Whew… the start of this year has been full. It’s been full of friends and fun and craftiness. That’s very new to me, the “full of craftiness” part. I know I haven’t shared any with you, but I will, I promise. By the time I’m done it’s always too dark to get a decent and glare-free photo.

In the meantime, I will share with you my thoughts, and a fun story.

Reflection seems to be the key this month. I am taking a class which has been guiding me in some reflection on my life and the topic over at Inside Out is Reflection, so it’s a double-Reflection, double your fun month. Hey, remember those twins? Double your pleasure, double your fun, double-mint, double-mint, double-mint gum.

Whoops, sorry, I drifted off there a little.

(here comes some reflection…)

So, needless to say, my brain has been getting a work-out. I’ve been thinking about my childhood, who I was, who I am, who I want to be (again) and all the things that brought me to the here and now on my life’s journey.

As I was getting ready to drive to work this morning, I backed out of my snow-covered (even though I did shovel it, Dad) driveway, shifted my car into first gear and looked up. Wow! There was the moon. It was down low, which always makes it look HUGE and it was bright, bright, Bright! The sun was just shining right on it and it was just breathtaking. I think the moon during daylight hours is always attention-grabbing, but this was so big, so bright… it was spectacular! I almost stopped to go back into the house to get my camera, but didn’t (moon/sky photos just don’t come out as big and glorious as the visual of seeing them “in person”, plus, you know, I had to get to work).

I started to reflect upon why the moon is so attention-grabbing to me. And my thoughts drifted to my love of nature and who I got that from (my parents). I couldn’t remember if they pointed out the moon to me as a child, but I remember someone sharing with me the Big Dipper in the sky. That started my love of star gazing.

As a side note, I find it interesting, to this day, how few people actually look up. The Hubs, for one, had never seen some constellations that I pointed out to him… Orion, Cassiopeia. And truly, my star gazing abilities are limited… the big dipper, little dipper and the two aforementioned constellations are about what I can find. But I know that the big dipper is part of the constellation Ursa major, but I’ve never been able to see the full constellation. Light pollution, I guess.

So, as I turned the corner on my street, I took one last good glance at the moon before it would be at my back for the rest of my commute. Suddenly this little three-year-old girl voice popped into my head, excitedly saying, “I found another moon!”

(here comes the story…)

When our youngest (aka The Girl) was around three years old, I remember driving somewhere with The Hubs and she at nighttime. She was in her car seat in the back and we were chattering back and forth. She got really quiet for a while and I thought she’d drifted off to sleep until I heard a quiet, “what’s that?!” drift up from the back of the car.

“What’s, what, honey?” I remember saying.


I twisted around in my chair to look at her in the back seat to see what had captured her attention. She was gazing out the back window, looking up at the sky, with her little finger pressed against the window.

I turn back around in my own seat and look out. “Oh. That’s the moon,” I said.

She tried the word out on her tongue, “mooooooon.”

“Yes, you found the moon!” I said. “Good job!” The Hubs and I smiled, and I was laughing quietly at her little-girl amazement at the moon.

More silence passes and then I hear her gasp, a quick intake of air, “I found another moon!” she said excitedly. “You sure did,” I said, laughing.

It was very funny and adorable and cute and awe-inspiring through the eyes of a child. We found at least 17 moons that night. And the sound of that exploration still rings through my head:

*gasp* “I found another moon!”

It makes me smile, every time.

January 18, 2011

Spending My Time...

Aside from working, lately I am spending my time...

...working a lot at my scrapbook table!  For classes I am teaching but mostly on a class I am taking.

...developing and tweaking (and re-tweaking) my 2011 financial plan.

...spending time with friends.

...helping The Boy work out the logistics of having a car payment and car insurance (which is hefty for a 21 year old male).

...avoiding all of the "clean sweep" items that are piling up around me.  My bedroom seriously could be in a spotlight on Hoarders.

...blogging for Inside Out and helping with the newsletters.

...cherishing every minute I have with my furry children... and my 2-legged kids too, believe it or not.

...working in my first art journal, EVER, and learning that I LOVE to paint!

...being thankful my husband is still healing and while not 100% (and possibly may not ever), he is working and laughing and loving and living.

...learning how to Zentangle.

...wishing I had more time to cook and bake.  I've got an urge to do so!

...working on myself.  In many ways... more on this in a few days.

How have you been spending your time?

January 15, 2011


So we did a little car shopping today for The Boy.  Working on the independence thing.  It's amazing to me how a "little car shopping" can turn into eight hours of car shopping.  Maybe more.  I'm exhausted from sitting and tossing numbers about.

My only "consolation" is ... we got a car.  Sorta kinda.  We have to secure financing through our credit union.  We already got a preapproval so I'm not worried. 

Now, let's just hope this car lasts...

January 14, 2011


Hey y'all!

Want a chance to win  this kit of paper goodness?

Then run, don't walk, straight over to Cathy Zielske's blog today (Friday) and find out how to enter to win this month's Scrapbooking from the Inside Out kit.  Reflection.  Isn't it gorgeous?

C'mon ladies... I do believe one of you was a winner once... Cheri?  I consider my blog lucky.  Don't let me down...

Good luck!

January 12, 2011

A Visitor is Coming!

I am so excited!

I will be having a visitor come and stay with me for a couple of weeks.  And the best part is that I don't have to clean house for him.  OH!  I have so many things planned for my friend, Stanley.  So many places to see and take photos of and share experiences with.  It will be a blast.  I will even take him to work with me... and perhaps make snow angels with him (if it's still snowing).  We will definitely have to visit some sights and points of interest as well... I wouldn't want him to get bored!  Oh, the places we will go!

I will share our adventures with you as well.  I can't wait for him to arrive.   I'm just so excited!

Please read more about my soon-to-be-visitor Stanley here.

January 11, 2011

Like a Child


I don’t know if it’s a secret, but it shouldn’t be: I love snow! Boy, oh boy, did we get snow today. It started out all itty-bitty and dandruff like, but very quickly ballooned into the kind of snow I absolutely LOVE: big, fluffy flakes, softly falling from the sky. No wind, just snow dancing straight down. Blanketing trees and cars and houses. It always makes everything look so soft and cozy.

I know so many people look at snow with hatred. They hate it because it makes driving and walking treacherous. And it’s cold.  I don't disagree with those things.

I agree that driving in it while others are driving in it is absolutely no fun, especially when those other people don’t know the right things to do when driving in snow… see my rant here. But if I’m on the road and others are being safe it’s really quite a lot of fun for me to drive in the snow. It’s just so damn pretty! As for walking in it, I try to remind myself that it helps me remember that I have muscles in places I don’t normally use. Just trying walking for a long distance on icy snow and tomorrow, you’ll feel where those muscles are that you haven’t put to work in a long time. There is a different balance while walking in snow and on ice. Practice helps.

It’s cold. Yes. I love that it’s cold. It’s like a soft, wet kiss from Heaven. I love how it feathers out on you as it drifts down. It doesn’t stay cold. If it’s on you, it’ll melt and your body will warm it up. Otherwise, you don’t need to touch it and it’s not cold, not to you. I think that’s where I get the “soft and cozy” feeling. If I’m not in it, it’s not cold… but it looks like a fluffy white blanket and that makes me think soft and cozy.

Today, I kept glancing out my office window to watch the snow falling. It was so pretty, so peaceful, and it made me happy to see. I’m like a child when it snows… I had to get up and go outside and stand in it. Letting the flakes kiss me as they landed on me. I know people thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care. If I could have, I would have played in it.

I love snow.
Just for fun, here are some random snow factoids:
  • All snowflakes have six sides
  • The snow capital of the United States is Stampede Pass in Washington State. Each year, the average snowfall is 430 inches. (That should make you happy if you don’t live in Washington State… you may get a lot of snow, but not THAT much!)
  • A fifteen inch snowflake (15 inches = 38.1 centimeters) was recorded in 1887 in Montana.
  • One inch (2.54 cm) of rain equals ten inches (25.4 cm) of snow.
  • It can get too cold to snow.

Do me a favor, whether you like snow or not, the next time some flakes float down, remember being a child and just stick out your tongue and catch one!  It'll make you smile, I promise.

January 9, 2011


I had a weekend of friends.  I cropped with friends on Friday night.  I celebrated Christmas and New Years with two of my bestest buds on Saturday night.  And Sunday The Hubs and I had friends over to play games and eat and catch up (we haven't seen them since July!).

It was really nice.  It was really nice to see and recognize the duration of friendships I have.  One of these people has known me nearly as long as I've lived here.  The rest, well, they've known me seven years or longer.  That's a really nice feeling.  There's a security in that knowledge.   A warmth that crawls up from your gut and emanates out to your fingertips. 

I had such a good weekend. I think I enjoyed every stinkin' minute of it.  That's so rare for me... 

... and I want to thank them all, from the bottom of my heart for the laughs, the stories, the good-natured teasing, the creativity, the occasional name-calling, the food, the drinks, the laughs!, the hugs, the games, the compliments, the things they noticed that meant so very much...

it was fabulous!

I hope you had a grand ol' weekend a well! 

January 6, 2011

How You Handle Plan B

I bought  this calendar for a friend of mine.  Her life has been so topsy turvey over the past ten years, I thought it was time (overdue, actually) for her to stop trying for Plan A, and to start considering Plan B.  My motive was sincere and serious, but I thought this calendar had enough of a twist in humor to make it palatable.

I really wish there had been two at the store. I want one for ME.

But alas, it was not to be.  There was only one and I truly believed in my heart that she needed it more than I did.  Apparently they were popular because on my Google search, they all seemed to be sold out.

She loved it.  And while I coveted that gift to her, I am happy.

So my Plan B was a "zen" calendar that I bought in my local CVS. I like something on my wall that I can look at every day and it gives me something to think about or a nudge to refocus.  Perhaps this one will keep me level.  That's always a good thing, right?

January 4, 2011


So, we all know what my trickster Hubs got me for Christmas.  Over the week after Christmas up until New Years weekend, he kept asking me, "when are you going to play with your Cricut?"  Hello!  I'm working, here!  Seriously, the week between Christmas and New Years was swamped for me.

But then New Years weekend was here.  And we played a lot of Monopoly for the Wii.  And then... finally... after a nice little nap on Saturday... the Cricut got my full attention.  I've got to say, it was the most fun I've had since... well... since I got my Wishblade!  Only...I'm afraid to admit that I used my Cricut more in one 5 hour period, than I used my Wishblade in the first full year I owned it.  Sad, but true...

... but that Wishblade isn't goin' anywhere yet!

Wanna see what glittery goodness I made, starring my Cricut?

Oh, the possibilities....

January 3, 2011


It's time for a new one little word.  I've never done well with New Year's resolutions, but a couple years back when I learned about Ali's One Little Word, I gave it a try.  I was so pleased with the results, I tried it again last year. 

My first one little word in 2009 was "do".  I really felt it helped me to get out of my status quo and start doing things.  I've always been a "no" person when asked to do things with others, but that year, I said more yes's than no's and it felt good.  I was so happy with "do" that I had a hard time coming up with a new one little word for 2010.

I did, though, and I chose "release".  2010 was a very big "growth" year in that I released a lot of baggage I was carrying around, I released a lot of emotions that were pent up, I released a lot of inhibitions and things I held back for fear of being judged or disliked.  It was a hard year for me, personally, and I didn't share a whole lot of my journey with "release" because much of it was very personal.  I don't think I was successful ... as successful, anyway... as I was with "do", but I thought about it throughout the year and I did work at it.  I'm carrying a piece of "release" with me into 2011 and that's my "clean sweep project" which was resurrected yesterday.  I need to still release the clutter from my life and that will be one of my one little word "delayed "goals for 2011.

I wanted to go back and use "do" again, but I felt that was cheating.  So, after a long while of on and off thinking, I've decided upon "movement".  It's a close cousin to "do" but I think where "do" indicates a forward motion from a stopped position (in my mind at least), movement to me indicates a continued motion forward, without stopping.  I have a lot of little things I want to keep working on this year that I've started in 2010 and 2009 and I want to start working on all of them simultaneously so that there is continuous movement. I'm tired of feeling "too slow" or "distracted" from what I want to do. 

So here I go... movement.  It isn't a major, angels singing, gongs ringing type of exciting word.  But there are a lot of facets to this one little word.  I'll be sharing them with you throughout the year.  I hope I have your support.  As always, you have mine! 

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - 2011

I hope everyone reading this has a full of adventure, blessed with good things, resolutions and goals come-true 2011! 

I'm taking today to play... games on the Wii, games on the PS3 and fun with my new Cricut!  But I will be back.  I have so much to share.  My new One Little Word, some fun holiday stories, and who knows?  I might even have a crafty project or two to share!

Thank you, everyone, for reading my blog in 2010... leaving your comments and support and love... and sharing of yourself with me.  Your presence in my life here (and sometimes face-to-face) matters so much to me... it all means so very much to me that words just cannot express. 

Sending you peace, love and happiness (how sixties of me) today and through the new year!  May you have wings... and fly.



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