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Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year Trivia

A leap year is a year in which one extra day has been in-
serted, or intercalated, at the end of February. A leap
year consists of 366 days, whereas other years, called
common years, have 365 days.
***
The vernal equinox is the time when the sun is directly
above the Earth's equator, moving from the southern to
the northern hemisphere. The mean time between two suc-
cessive vernal equinoxes is called a tropical year–also
known as a solar year–and is about 365.24 days long.
Using a calendar with 365 days every year would result
in a loss of 0.24 days, or almost six hours per year.
***
By adding a leap year approximately every fourth year,
the difference between the calendar and the seasons can
be reduced significantly, and the calendar will align
with the seasons much more accurately.

TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITIONS
A tradition was introduced many centuries ago to allow women
to propose to men during a leap year. This privilege of pro-
posing was restricted to leap day in some areas.
***
Leap day was sometimes known as 'Bachelors' Day'. A man was
expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he
refused a marriage offer from a woman. The tradition's
origin stemmed from an old Irish tale referring to St.
Bridget striking a deal with St Patrick to allow women to
propose to men every four years. This old custom was pro-
bably made to balance the traditional roles of men and
women in a similar way to how the leap day balances the
calendar.
***
It was also considered to be unlucky for someone to be born
on a leap day in Scotland and for couples to marry on a leap
year, including on a leap day, in Greece.

Being creative...

I went to bed with this feeling...I need to make something today :-) I'm not talking about dinner, because that's already been for chosen for me - we're having a soup supper at church. It's a Friday during lent and that means "meat without feet" and Stations of the Cross.

Anyway...I'm going to go hang out in my scrapbook nook and make something fun! I'll be back a little later to show you what I've made.

Quote of the Day

"There is no duty we so much underrated as the duty
of being happy."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A great evening was had by all!

Bingo was a HUGE success! We all had so much fun, All of the ladies who won are VERY excited with their prizes. The biggest surprise for me was when I won one of the door prizes-the gift certificate for the paraffin wax manicure. I'm thrilled to have won it! I'm calling tomorrow to book my appointment!

The mini cheesecakes went over VERY well. Who doesn't like to come home with a" little something" :-)

Now for me to have a cup of mint tea and unwind. I'm so glad that our program went so well. The room was charming, the food delicious and the company simply wonderful!

My stampin up consultant has a blog spot!

Please check out my friend Pegs' blog spot http://stampingwithpeg.blogspot.com/ She just started it and she's got some very cute cards up on it!

Some trivia my birth stone- the Pearl

Pearl
From
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Pearl (disambiguation).

A black pearl and a shell of the black-lipped pearl oyster
Saltwater pearl oyster farm, Seram, Indonesia

A pearl is a hard, rounded object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of mollusks, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls occur, see baroque pearl.

The finest quality pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and the word pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, and admirable.

Almost any shelled mollusk can, by natural processes, produce some kind of "pearl" when an irritating microscopic object becomes trapped within the mollusk's mantle folds, but virtually none of these "pearls" are considered to be gemstones.

True iridescent pearls, the most desirable pearls, are produced by two groups of molluscan bivalves or clams. One family lives in the sea: the pearl oysters. The other, very different group of bivalves live in freshwater, and these are the river mussels, for example, see the freshwater pearl mussel.

Saltwater pearls can grow in several species of marine pearl oysters in the family Pteriidae. Freshwater pearls grow within certain (but by no means all) species of freshwater mussels in the order Unionida, the families Unionidae and Margaritiferidae. All of these bivalves are able to make true pearls because they have a thick inner shell layer composed of "mother of pearl" or nacre. The mantle of the living bivalve can create a pearl in the same way that it creates the pearly inner layer of the shell.

Fine gem quality saltwater and freshwater pearls can and do sometimes occur completely naturally, but this is a rare occurrence. Many hundreds of pearl oysters or pearl mussels have to be gathered and opened (killed) in order to find even one pearl, and for many centuries that was the only way pearls were obtained. This was the main reason why pearls fetched such extraordinary prices in the past. In modern times however, almost all the pearls for sale were formed with a good deal of expert intervention from human pearl farmers.

A true pearl is made from layers of nacre, by the same living process as is used in the secretion of the mother of pearl which lines the shell. A "natural pearl" is one that formed without any human intervention at all, in the wild, and these are very rare. A "cultured pearl" on the other hand, is one that has been formed on a pearl farm. The great majority of pearls on the market are cultured pearls.

Imitation or fake pearls are also widely sold in inexpensive jewelry, but the quality of the iridescence is usually very poor, and generally speaking, fake pearls are usually quite easy to distinguish from the real thing.

Pearls have been harvested, or more recently cultivated, primarily for use in jewelry, but in the past they were also stitched onto lavish clothing, as worn, for example, by royalty. Pearls have also been crushed and used in cosmetics, medicines, or in paint formulations.

Pearl is considered to be the birthstone for June.

****************************************************************
The History of Pearls-

Long known as the "Queen of Gems," pearls possess a history and allure far beyond what today's wearer may recognize. Throughout much of recorded history, a natural pearl necklace comprised of matched spheres was a treasure of almost incomparable value, in fact the most expensive jewelry in the world. Now we see pearls almost as accessories, relatively inexpensive decorations to accompany more costly gemstones.Before the creation of cultured pearls in the early 1900s, natural pearls were so rare and expensive that they were reserved almost exclusively for the noble and very rich. A jewelry item that today's working women might take for granted, a 16-inch strand of perhaps 50 pearls, often costs between $500 and $5,000. At the height of the Roman Empire, when pearl fever reached its peak, the historian Suetonius wrote that the Roman general Vitellius financed an entire military campaign by selling just one of his mother's pearl earrings.No one will ever know who were the earliest people to collect and wear pearls. George Frederick Kunz, whom I like to call America's first gemologist, in his 1908 masterpiece, The Book of the Pearl, states his belief that an ancient fish-eating tribe, perhaps along the coast of India, initially appreciated the shape and lustre of saltwater pearls, which they discovered while opening oysters for food. No matter the origin, a reverence for pearls spread throughout the world over the ensuing millennia. India's sacred books and epic tales abound with pearl references. One legend has the Hindu god Krishna discovering pearls when he plucks the first one from the sea and presents it to his daughter Pandaïa on her wedding day. China's long recorded history also provides ample evidence of the importance of pearls. In the Shu King, a 23rd-century B.C. book, the scribe sniffs that as tribute, a lesser king sent "strings of pearls not quite round." In Egypt, decorative mother-of-pearl was used at least as far back as 4200 B.C., but the use of pearls themselves seems to have been later, perhaps related to the Persian conquest in the fifth century B.C. Rome's pearl craze reached its zenith during the first century B.C. Roman women upholstered couches with pearls and sewed so many into their gowns that they actually walked on their pearl-encrusted hems. Caligula, having made his horse a consul, decorated it with a pearl necklace.

The Romans and Egyptians prized pearls above all other gems.
Pearls, in fact, played the pivotal role at the most celebrated banquet in literature. To convince Rome that Egypt possessed a heritage and wealth that put it above conquest, Cleopatra wagered Marc Antony she could give the most expensive dinner in history. The Roman reclined as the queen sat with an empty plate and a goblet of wine (or vinegar). She crushed one large pearl of a pair of earrings, dissolved it in the liquid, then drank it down. Astonished, Antony declined his dinner -- the matching pearl -- and admitted she had won. Pliny, the world's first gemologist, writes in his famous Natural History that the two pearls were worth an estimated 60 million sesterces, or 1,875,000 ounces of fine silver ($9,375,000 with silver at $5/ounce).

The Arabs have shown the greatest love for pearls. The depth of their affection for pearls is enshrined in the Koran, especially within its description of Paradise, which says: "The stones are pearls and jacinths; the fruits of the trees are pearls and emeralds; and each person admitted to the delights of the celestial kingdom is provided with a tent of pearls, jacinths, and emeralds; is crowned with pearls of incomparable lustre, and is attended by beautiful maidens resembling hidden pearls."

*****************************************************************

Pearl Harbors

During the long history of pearls, the principal oyster beds lay in the Persian Gulf, along the coasts of India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and in the Red Sea. Chinese pearls came mainly from freshwater rivers and ponds, whereas Japanese pearls were found near the coast in salt water. Nearly all the pearls in commerce originated from those few sources. Over the next millennium only three substantive events altered what appeared to be a very stable pattern. Considering the minimal state of pearling in the United States today, it is impressive that two of the three developments occurred in the New World.As Europe raced to capitalize on what Columbus had stumbled upon, the major powers of the day concentrated on spheres of influence. Spain focused its efforts in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, the Spanish forced slaves to dive for pearls. The English colonizers along North America's Atlantic coast and French explorers to the north and west, all found native Americans wearing pearls, and they discovered freshwater pearls in the Ohio, Mississippi, and Tennessee River basins. So many gems were exported to Europe that the New World quickly gained the appellation "Land of Pearls."


Mother-of-pearl, the iridescent coating inside oyster shells, once formed the foundation of a thriving button industry in the U.S.
What is now the United States became famous for two products. Its best freshwater pearls fueled a ready market overseas, purchased by people who, unlike the then less sophisticated frontier Americans, knew the rarity and value of large, round, lustrous pearls. Many of the best examples made their way into Europe's royal gem collections, where they can still be seen on display, usually misidentified as saltwater pearls from the Orient. America also produced mother-of-pearl buttons, which it exported all over the world. Iowa became the center of the trade, shipping billions of iridescent fasteners until World War II, when newly invented plastic virtually drove quality buttons out of the market.While North America set a new standard for large freshwater pearls, white saltwater pearls from the coasts of Panama and Venezuela competed with pearls from Bahrain, and black saltwater pearls from the Bay of California (in what is now Mexico) provided an alternative to Tahitian blacks. More pearls arrived in Spain than the country's aristocratic market could absorb. As with the emeralds it was mining in Colombia, Spain found ready buyers for its new pearls across Europe and in India.Those pearl supplies continued into the 1800s, until overfishing in Central American waters and in North American streams depleted the beds. Pollution also took its toll as the United States industrialized. Then, toward the end of the last century, the single event that forever reshaped the pearl trade slowly unfolded in the isolated island nation of Japan.

**********************************************************************

A Culture is Born...

Kokichi Mikimoto, the son of a noodle maker, had a dream and a hard-working wife, Ume. Together they set about to do what no one else had done -- entice oysters to produce round pearls on demand. Mikimoto did not know that government biologist Tokichi Nishikawa and carpenter Tatsuhei Mise had each independently discovered the secret of pearl culturing -- inserting a piece of oyster epithelial membrane (the lip of mantle tissue) with a nucleus of shell or metal into an oyster's body or mantle causes the tissue to form a pearl sack. That sack then secretes nacre to coat the nucleus, thus creating a pearl.Mise received a 1907 patent for his grafting needle. When Nishikawa applied for a patent for nucleating, he realized that he and Mise had discovered the same thing. In a compromise, the pair signed an agreement uniting their common discovery as the Mise-Nishikawa method, which remains the heart of pearl culturing. Mikimoto had received an 1896 patent for producing hemispherical pearls, or mabes, and a 1908 patent for culturing in mantle tissue. But he could not use the Mise-Nishikawa method without invalidating his own patents. So he altered the patent application to cover a technique to make round pearls in mantle tissue, which was granted in 1916. With this technicality, Mikimoto began an unprecedented expansion, buying rights to the Mise-Niskikawa method and eclipsing those originators of cultured pearls, leaving their names only for history books.


Mikimoto's efforts made pearls in a range of styles and prices available to consumers worldwide.


Largely by trial and error over a number of years, Mikimoto did contribute one crucial discovery. Whereas Nishikawa nucleated with silver and gold beads, Mikimoto experimented with everything from glass to lead to clay to wood. He found he had the highest success rates when he inserted round nuclei cut from U.S. mussel shells. Although some countries continue to test other nuclei, U.S. mussel shells have been the basis for virtually all cultured saltwater pearls for 90 years.Even though third with his patents and his secrets, Mikimoto revolutionized pearling. Ever the flamboyant showman and promoter, he badgered jewelers and governments to accept his cultured products as pearls. His workers created massive pearl structures, which he displayed at every major international exposition. By mastering the techniques, Mikimoto, then hundreds of other Japanese firms, made pearls available to virtually everyone in the world.Fred Ward is a gemologist and author of the book Pearls (Gem Book Publishers, Bethesda, Maryland, 1998), from which this article was adapted.

To find more information on Pearls please check out http://www.pearl-guide.com/

Did you know...



A diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth, but
if it is placed in an oven and the temperature is raised
to about 763 degrees Celsius (1405 degrees Fahrenheit),
it will simply vanish, without even ash remaining. Only
a little carbon dioxide will have been released.


A diamond will not dissolve in acid. The only thing that can destroy it is intense heat.

A lump of pure gold the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court.

Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.

An ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire 50 miles long.

Colored diamonds are caused by impurities such as nitrogen (yellow), boron (blue). With red diamonds being due to deformities in the structure of the stone, and green ones being the result of irradiation.

Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring substance, and is also one of the most valuable natural substances. Diamonds are crystals formed almost entirely of carbon. Because of its hardness, the diamond is the most enduring of all gemstones. They are among the most costly jewels in the world, partly because they are rare, Only four important diamond fields have been found - in Africa, South America, India, and the Soviet Union.

Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.

Mineral deposits in caves: The ones growing upward are stalagmites, the ones growing downward are stalactites.

Natural gas has no odor. The smell is added artificially so that leaks can be detected.

Sea water, loaded with mineral salts, weighs about a pound and a half more per cubit foot than fresh water at the same temperature.

Ten per cent of the salt mined in the world each year is used to de-ice the roads in America.

The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21.5% oxygen, .5% argon and other gases.

The Chinese were using aluminum to make things as early as 300 AD Western civilization didn't rediscover aluminum until 1827.

The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered. Found in 1905, the original 3,100 carats were cut to make jewels for the British Crown Jewels and the British Royal family's collection.

The largest gold nugget ever found weighed 172 lbs., 13 oz.

The largest hailstone ever recorded was 17.5 inches in diameter - bigger than a basketball.

The most abundant metal in the Earth's crust is aluminum.

The only rock that floats in water is pumice.

The three most common elements in the universe are 1) hydrogen; 2) helium; 3) oxygen.


My check list

I had a lot to get done in preparation for tonight's OSC event. Here's my checklist

*Make reservations, pick menu items and make room arrangement/table placement for event- done

*Purchase supplies needed to make cheesecakes for take home dessert surprizes- done

*Call in final head count for event- done

*Make 40 four inch cheesecakes- done

*Design & print 40 bingo fliers with games, rules and listing of prizes- done

*Buy Bingo prizes- done

*Have craft table items ready and load into automobile- done

*Have 1st Sergeants food pantry items loaded into automobile- done

*Have Bingo cards packed and ready for event- done

*Make photocopies of all receipts- make detallied list of which of my programs accounts they come out of and e-mail them to our main fund treasurer for reimbursement-done

*Design and make gift bags for each of the cheesecakes-


Puerto Rico

Our first shore excursion was on my husbands 41st birthday February 19th - in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We walked all over town, I took pictures of the artitecture (old buildings hold a major fascination for me) we shopped in some of the locally owned stores (Hannah got some sun glasses) and dined at the Hard Rock Cafe. Here are some pictures of some of the many buildings that caught my eye.
The plants hanging on the front of this blue with pink trim stucco building were remarkable.
Man oh man were these streets ever skinny!
Here you see Hannah and I posed like tourists in front of a gate. I usually frown on people being in photos in front of architecture but alas my husband thought that I should have a picture proving that I was actually there, LOL!
The wrought iron balcony railings caught me eye here on this yellow stucco building



Our 1st formal night on ship

I LOVE to dress up, I have ever since I was a little girl having pretend tea parties with my stuffed teddy bears. So here we are on our cruise dressed up for our first formal night. Black and white is such a classic look, I really like how we all looked together as a group, it was fantastic! I'll have to scan in the 8x10 portrait I bought of the kids from this night- it's really cute!
First up is our Handsome son Andrew
My darling husband Lucien who is about to crack up laughing
This is me
Don't we make a cute couple :-)
Last but certainly not least is our darling daughter Hannah.

Quote of the day

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

I know that I've probably used this quote before but wanted to share it with you as this quote had me all over it all day yesterday!



The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.
William Cowper (1731 - 1800)

This quote is for today- I hope that everyone has as much fun tonight at OSC's function as I did planning it and shopping for it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy being me :-)

I'm happy are you? I've just come back from spending a couple of hours with my dearest friend Kim. Kim is one of those people that makes you happy just to be around them. She is one of those people that I just can not say enough nice things about, she's always positive and trust me being a military spouse that can be rather hard to achieve some days, LOL! I had the BEST time shopping for bingo prizes with her! We had such a good time that we intend to go back and purchase some of those items for ourselves later on, LOL! I'm going to take some pictures of the bingo prizes, the jewelry is simply YUMMY! Kim's going back to get the pearl earrings and necklace sets (insert big grin here).

I will be sad when Kim moves to Hawaii in June, but happy in the knowledge that we're going to be life long friends. I happen to plan to fly out and visit her and her family while they are stationed in Hawaii (and yes I'm bringing the entire family).

Now for me to get my grove on and get baking another 20 cheesecakes for tomorrow OSC event, LOL!

My easy bake oven...

and my mixer are working over time. I've got 40 little cheesecakes to bake before tomorrow, LOL! I did manage to crank out 20 of them yesterday and will make another 20 today. But wait- I've still got to go out and get the prizes for my "Let OSC Pamper You" Bingo, make the bingo game fliers, get the craft table items ready, and find the bingo cards (they're somewhere in my garage) LOL! Seems to me that I'm forgetting something else that I have to do, I'm sure I'll remember later. Oh this makes me laugh- looks like I'll be doing the multitasking thing all week. I've still got about 5 loads of laundry to get through (the whole process of washing, drying folding and putting away) Yes I too can't believe that I'm not done yet. Others would wince at what's on my list for today, but not me. The only way to get through it is to plow ahead without stopping to look back.

Well I better get going, I'm meeting with my girlfriend Kim and we're going to the Spa together...I'm buying bingo prizes and maybe I'll just make myself an appointment ;-)

Quote of the Day

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.
- EB White

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

while at sea...

I made sure to book appointments for various "treatments" for all 4 of us at the Spa. From a one hour couples massage to pedicures and Frangipani hair treatment (we did a mother/daughter outing to the spa) to the ultimate men's facial for my teenage son. Another luxury thing my husband and I did was to get laser tooth whitening done :-) I have zero pictures from anything we did at the spa, but then again I was in a towel or a wrap and really wasn't into having my picture taken at that time.



I also bought some nice stuff from the spa- Elemis Exotic Frangipani Oil and Elemis Skin nourishing bath milk. Both are the ultimate in indulgence and ever so wonderful! The Elemis Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow was another must have product! It took away all of the dry skin and left me with fresh happy skin that was glowing! It was a true indulgence but worth every penny!

Our Vacation...the first 3 days

The traveling of 4 tired souls started on a Friday, where we left in the evening for a 7 hour drive to the Denver Airport. We got there 45 minutes before the ticket window opened, needless to say we were the first folks in line, LOL!

Got on the airplane- it was headed for Dallas, we slept. Changed planes and the next stop was Miami. Now that is an old run down airport. Granted parts of it we half ways decent but over all it was shabby, dirty and the folks working there were mean and CRABBY! It took nearly1½ hours for us and all other people on that flight to get our luggage. Talk about unorganized, that airport leaves something to be desired.



Okay the cruise line has transportation for us to a hotel- what a very nice hotel it was too! First class accommodations to say the least! The restaurant in the hotel was top notch and the service and staff were very friendly.



Spent the night, slept well. Sunday morning off we go to the cruise ship. The cattle line wasn't bad at all. We were processed quite quickly and then we were aboard the ship. Carnival Victory, not a shabby place to stay for a week.







Notice how there isn't a picture of myself here...oh there's a story to it. During the entire trip our daughter who I used to trust with my camera and think was a good photographer decided to be a clown and screw up every picture I asked her to take. The are days when I just shake my head.

What spice are you?




You Are Basil



You are quite popular and loved by post people.

You have a mild temperament, but your style is definitely distinctive.

You are sweet, attractive, and you often smell good.

Quotes of the day

These quotes convey the thoughts and feelings that I have been having this morning about the deployment of many of our comrades and friends, on my part of helping those left behind get through the deployment and how I feel as an American.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.
Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)


Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
George Sand (1804 - 1876)



No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)


And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

Deployments

Our dear neighbor Allen is leaving very soon for a long deployment. Please say a prayer with me for his safe return to his wife Cindy and their 3 children. I personally will be making sure to check on my dear friend near daily to see how she is doing and again to let her know that we (my family) are here 24/7 - if she needs anything she never needs to hesitate to call on us day or night!

I personally know all too well how hectic life in general can get- multiply it by 5 and that's what you get while your spouse is away on deployment. Have children? Multiply that number by 10. It can be rough at times, there's no getting around it. But with a strong network of friends there for you with words of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on (when you need it), an ear to listen to you when you need to vent your frustrations (need I add without judgment) and a hand to help without hesitation- you will make it through.

Most military spouses that I know have been through at least 1 deployment, but last year I found myself among a handful of senior spouses who have never had their husbands away for more than a week or two at most.

Please pray with me as I ask our Heavenly Father that he continue to bestow upon me the strength, wisdom, understanding and kindness of heart that is needed to give the kind of support needed to help our military families here at EAFB going through a deployment. Helping them to maintain a stable home life, work life and a social outlet for the entire family. Amen.

Back to life in South Dakota...

Here I am getting back into the swing of things in South Dakota. The suit cases are emptied and stored away, and I've made a major dent on the laundry yesterday. Only 10 more loads to go...at least, LOL!

Not being home more than a handful of hours, I happened to have been visited twice yesterday, first by our neighbors dropping off our house key and the other in the afternoon by my Stampin Up consultant (she dropped off my order from earlier this month). Once I get things all put away I'll crack open those stamp boxes and get them put away.

I also need to make over 30 of my mini cheesecakes today for Thursday nights function, ssh-lets keep it a secret as it's a big surprise for the spouses attending the function. So to get ready to head out the door and off to the commissary in an hour!

Monday, February 25, 2008

can you say Jet Lag?

Jet Lag is kicking my butt in a major way! I've got about 100 pounds of laundry to wash (or so it seems). I've got 1 load in the dryer and another in the washing machine...only 10 more loads to go, ugh! My husband went into work for a few hours and both kids were awake for a while but are now back in bed snoozing- a place where I will be shortly. The cat is happy to see us and the frogs probably don't care one way or the other.

I hope that you can watch the video, it's a laugh to be sure. I'll be loading up some pictures once I get them all labeled. I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do while we're on vacation, this time it was only 240-250 give or take a 10 pictures.

be prepared to laugh...

While we were waiting to debark from the ship we had some time to kill. Since we can't bring any food items off of the ship and it would be considered a "waste" to just throw those sesame sticks away...Andrew decided to feed the birds. Enjoy the video of my eldest child feeding his new friends, it reminds me greatly of Alfred Hitchcock's movie 'The Birds".
video

Quote of the day

"it's amazing how quickly the kids learn to drive a car, yet are unable to understand the lawnmower, snowblower or vacuum cleaner."
~ Ben Bergor

We're back home

The weather was quite warm in Denver (around 58º) when we arrived at the airport last night. Now as for the drive back here- it was pretty much the same as the send off, once we crossed into Wyoming there was a great deal of strong winds and sideways blowing snow. So what could be more perfect than to come back to pretty much what we left right?

I've got to unpack the suitcases, and start on my Mount Washmore adventure, LOL! It's some sort of horrible process- you wash clothes for 2 days before a trip and you wash clothes for 2 days after a trip.

I made that cute little Trip Journal to document our adventures and never once used it, LOL! I can pretty much let the pictures speak for themselves. Each of us have stories of funny things that happened to us while on this vacation. We made one another laugh pretty hard too!

So we're back, happy, healthy and best of all tan :-) I've got to get the camera out of the carry on and upload pictures. I also spent a small fortune on family photo's from the cruise. Hey when they have their professional photographers taking pictures...why not get some prints was my motto!

I've got to jump back into the thick of things and get back to work. Tons of OSC stuff to do, got to work on getting some more of my programs director stuff done for the next few months of events (nothing like being a party planner- tons to do all of the time). I also need to work on another HOA newsletter- ah there's no rest for me after getting back from this vacation and that's for sure!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Miami bound

I've got everything and everyone ready, even kitty and the frogs are set. I'm not bringing the laptop, besides how would I be able to get an internet connection in the middle of the ocean? But I am bringing my camera and will be taking oodles of pictures to share after we get back.8649-my last page count

vacation bound...

Here I am, running around like a rabbit, going here and there in-between rooms making sure that we've got the items we need packed and well it's driving me batty! Okay so we leave tonight but still I want everything clean, beds made, bathrooms cleaned, floors vacuumed- everything nice so when we (I) get back we (again it's really- me) can just relax. I can't stand coming back to a messy house. We've done that before and well I just hated it! Who wants to come home to yuck? So that's why vacations are so much work, it's all the cleaning and laundry you do before you go, LOL!

Now I'm off to do the 101 things on my check off list...
* see how the kids are doing with the chores I've assigned them
*to iron at least 5 men's shirts
*pack the suits cases for the men in my family
*to make sure that the bathrooms have been cleaned
*to sweep and mop the kitchen floor
*water plants
*check airline reservations
*scoop kitty litter box

and soooo many more things that are just too numerous to list.

A boy and his Lego

We all have fond memories of toys we enjoyed when we were children....but some of us never grow out of playing with some toys. Take this guy for instance, he built a replica of a B-1 Bomber out of Lego. This is pretty cool stuff if I say so myself! So go on and visit his site and see what he has made with his toys, it'll bring a smile to your face!

Quotes for while I'm away

Since I'm going to be away for a while I'm leaving quotes for each day of my vacation. These are thoughts and ideas to reflect upon. Vacations are meant for relaxation and rejuvenation to recharge ones batteries so to speak.

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
~Patricia Neal

Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing - peace is the measure.
~George Melton


To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
~Jane Austen (1775 - 1817)


If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.
~Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)


It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
~Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)


In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
~Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking. We move along the surface of things [but] there are times when we stop. We sit still. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.
~James Carroll


Put duties aside at least an hour before bed and perform soothing, quiet activities that will help you relax.
~Dianne Hales

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.
~Herodotus (484 BC - 430 BC)


Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.
~Natalie Goldberg



Thursday, February 14, 2008

391 years of wedded bliss

Have you read that story yet...the one over at fox news.com about this group of siblings who have all been married 50 or more years? It's very sweet and I stand up an applaud them all! I read where one of them was quoted as to saying that they work every day at their marriage, and that the key is to over look things. I have to agree there, I know that a marriage is a lot of work.

Today as I was out t the base looking to buy a suitcase for our trip I over heard two young women talking about a friend of theirs how they were shocked to learn that their friend broke up with her boyfriend just 2 weeks after he left for Iraq. How they thought that they were in love and how their friend had said how much she loved this young man and would wait for him only to learn that she broke up with him. Not many women (and it goes for men too) can deal with long separations. You have to be strong in your faith and commitment to one another. Open communication is a must, being able to over looking those stupid little things that make others go bonkers is another key thing in a good marriage. I personally have dealt with long separations, I won't lie they aren't easy. But with the help and encouragement from friends and family I've made it through and will make it through yet another long deployment.

So tomorrow we embark on a family vacation, one where we will take many pictures of us doing fun things as we possibly can. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

I'm packing my bags...and everyone else's too!

I'm a girly girl that has a facial routine...I use a facial cleanser, toner and lotions and yes, I wear cosmetics too. Now comes the hard part, packing it all. What do you put into your carry on? What do you put into your checked baggage? For me anything like pressed powder eyeshadow and blush I put into my carry on baggage, I've put them into checked baggage before and lets just say that they turned into a fine powdery mess (good thing they were inside of a makeup bag, so at least it was a contained mess).

Now for the "other stuff" -there's body wash, body lotion, the anti-frizz hair cream, shampoo and condition and lets not forget the sunscreen (yes I do use those things every day). I bought the thicker "freezer" 1 gallon zip-lock bags for the things that get packed into checked baggage (all the stuff I just mentioned. Of course I have to go through the "guy stuff" and see what they need to have with them and what can be in checked baggage. Andrew and his contact lens stuff, since that stuff doesn't come in 3 ounce bottles it has to go into checked baggage.

Being that I'm really looking hard at what I'm taking, I'm amazed at it all. I keep looking at the shoes and thinking to myself...do I need to bring 5 pairs? My answer... Um, yes I do, LOL! This isn't like going to visit family, where you can pop on over to the grocery store and pick up things like shampoo and toothpaste- this is a cruise ship that will charge you $12 for a 4 ounce bottle of some no name shampoo, LOL! I remember paying $8 for a 2 ounce tube of sunscreen at the Zoo last summer (I never told my husband how much it was, or he would have had a COW right there on the spot) I can only imagine how much it will be on a cruise ship where there isn't any where else to shop but there. Talk about captive shoppers, LOL!

I refuse to even attempt doing laundry, I did this once and it's the stuff nightmares are made out of. So I'd rather bring a couple more outfits than I think I need...in case I spill on myself and that sort of thing, LOL! Come on, it's vacation time - who doesn't spill something on themselves? Heck I've got kids, I know that at least one of them will spill an entire drink on me (it happens on every vacation). So I think that I'm being smart in planning ahead, LOL!

Now to get with the program and have those suit cases well on their way of being packed.

Happy Valentines Day

Here it is, the day we profess our love and also the day in which I have to get my family ready to leave for our vacation. I've got a list of supplies I need to purchase today. "List of Supplies", eek- sounds more like I'm going camping expedition rather than going on an all inclusive cruise. The things I can't go on a vacation without...things like sunscreen, Tide stain pens and travel pocket tissues plus we need another medium sized suitcase. Seems that since our last family outing back in August 2006 our children have grown hence the need for another suitcase since both of their clothes won't fit into one suitcase, LOL!

I have zero intentions of doing any laundry on this trip- my motto..."bring more underwear kids", LOL! Hannah and I will be bringing 1 pair of socks each and that's for the return trip to Denver/Rapid City. Other than that it's sandals and heels all the way baby! It's a whopping 5º with the windchill bringing it down to -13º...I'm so ready to be someplace where the temperatures are in the 80º's and none of this freezing cold stuff is going on. I just checked...it's 85º in St. Thomas, I'm soooo ready to feel warm!

Well off I go, tons of stuff to do and a limited amount of time in which to get it all done.

Quote of the Day

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), Journal, July 25, 1839

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What to know...before you go

So I go to the TSA web site to see if anything has changed since I flew last June. It doesn't look like anything has changed but it's always good to have an updated account of what you can and can not bring with you on the plane. Here's the scoop on What to know before you go, This is pretty interesting stuff. For those of you that didn't know, you can now bring your knitting with you on the plane (actually you could do it last year). I plan on bringing a needlework project with me to keep me from being bored out of my mind and also as a break from reading too much.

frog eats cat

My daughter thought that this was pretty funny and had me post it to my blog.

grief, sadness and even anger

I still feel sick from the accident I had yesterday. Every time I try to blog about I start crying... again. I thank God for my terrific friends and neighbors who came to my rescue when I called them for help (Cindy and Allen you ARE the BEST). The whole ordeal has left me with these weird feelings, of grief, sadness and even anger.

You see- I hit a white dog coming out of a snow bank. I didn't even see him until it was too late. There is ice on the roads out here and snow all around. When I got out of my vehicle to check on the dog, it had on a collar but no tags, and when the animal control unit came out, the dog was scanned and it didn't have a microchip. There was no way of knowing who the owner was.

Myself and another kind soul who stopped to help me went around to all of the neighboring homes knocking on doors to see if the dog belonged to any of them- no one would answer their door (and I was pounding very hard). That right there is frightening, what if it was a really bad car accident and that there were people who were severely hurt or even dieing? People just do not want to get involved these days.

The police came out but no report was made. Then a woman in a truck stopped by that said that she was taking care of the dog and she made it very clear that it's not her dog. She saw the damaged done to the front of my vehicle and asked if it was caused by the accident and through my sobs I said yes. She said that she didn't think that her insurance would cover the accident, she then scooped up the dog, put it in the back of her truck and drove off. I was told by the animal control officer that I need to drive up the road a bit and pull off so I can compose myself. If it weren't for my friend sending her husband out to make sure I was okay I would have felt that no one gave a rats ass about how I was feeling (I was sobbing my eyes out). The police and animal control agent sure didn't seem to care that I was so upset about hurting an animal nor the fact that my car is damaged. Believe it or not but no report was written about the accident. I had to actually go into the police department and request that they write one up- they looked at me as if I was from Mars. Then the two of them told me, "Lady, it was only a dog- it'll cost you more in labor then it's worth in filing a claim with your insurance company". There's no mention if the lady who took the dog was even it's care taker or if it was taken to a veterinarian. I cried off and on all day long yesterday. It's still got me feeling rather shaken today. By all means make sure that your gates are closed when letting your dog out to go potty or if you don't have a fence be sure to put them on a leash! This ordeal has shaken me to the core and I'll be writing something about this very thing (leaving out the fact that I hit an animal with my car). Please keep me in your prayers so that I am able to move past this.

and on an even sadder note- I have to take pictures of the front of my vehicle today for the insurance company and there's dog hair stuck in the front of it- I swear I'm going to start crying again!

The Weather

Since being married to my husband, we've only traveled once before to some place warm in the winter. It too was a cruise to the Caribbean. As I'm looking at weather.com I can see how warm it's going to be (in the 80's) where we are going on our vacation. This is such a pleasant change for where we are now, cold blowing winds and snow, ugh!

I look at this vacation as a way to get away from the things that cause me stress, anxiety and worry. A way to bond and get in touch with the things that matter most in my life- my husband and children. To let the things that tend to give me undo stress t simply melt away from my mind. Because all too soon I'll have to come back to reality and deal with it all again.

The humor in a bottle of shampoo

Why is it that my husband can have a bottle of shampoo last 6 months and I can't make one last longer than 10 days? Really why is that? Oh wait I know the answer...it's because I actually have hair on my head, LOL! The same goes for hair gel, his tube lasts for what seems to be an eternity and my hair stuff is lucky if it last 2 weeks. Granted his is a 6 or 8 ounce tube of hair gel and I have a 4 ounce bottle of anti frizz cream. Still it's just odd how men don't seem to go through the hair care products the way women do.

Quote of the Day

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quote of the day

I decided to use two quotes today, it's all about energy and inspiration for me today. I feel that these 2 quotes go hand in hand.

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
~Jack London (1876 - 1916)


Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.
~Oprah Winfrey

Monday, February 11, 2008

Boy oh Boy it's windy today!

I don't know about the weather where you are but here there hardly is a day where the wind doesn't BLOW. I'm here in my office and the wind is nonstop. Whoosh, whoosh whoosh...I see some fluffy bunnies in my backyard all huddled together trying to stay warm (good luck). I can not for the life of me make myself go out and shovel the snow from the drive way, maybe if I'm lucky the wind will blow it away.

Fun with Peggy!

I can't tell you how much I look forward to making neat things with my Stampin Up lady Peggy. Today was our Stamp Group meet up (she has several and today was the meet up day for the group I'm in). I can not begin to tell you how excited I was to make the little projects that she had ready for us. Here is the little peek-a-boo tin with a nice piece of Stampin Up grosgrain ribbon tied around it.



Here is the peek-a-boo tin w/o the ribbon, see the cute card inside...what a nice this this would make for someone.
Card1 is a happy birthday card using the Stampin Up scallop punch and one of the sale-a-bration stamp sets- cute city! The 2nd card was done using a new to me technique (Peggy always has something new to teach us- I love it!). This was done using a water brush pen and a classic stamp pad. You know how you sometimes get ink on the lid, well use your water brush that's just a little wet and use it like you would water colors and there you have it. The result is a nice water color effect on your wartercolor paper- too cute! Card 3 (another stamp from the sale catalog- heck they all are from the sale-a-bration catalog), these colors are just too yummy! Card #4 a classi combonation, Pink and Black- what is not to like?
card #5 this one you take the square punch and make a peek-a-book window and mouint your stamped piece from the back. Using the fine glitter from stampin up and a glue pen, fill the glasses and the bubbles with glitter. I poked a hole through the side of the card and put my ribbon thorugh it and tied it on the side with some silver cording. Using a rub-on (also from Stampin Up) I have the word "celebrate" on my ribbon.
Card #6 Happy Hellos, using the sprial hole punch and the scallop punch from Stampin Up, this card was fun to make! Put them all in the little tin and they make a wonder little gift for just about any friend!



I have one more card to post but alas...I need to charge the camera battery before I can take another picture. I have the BEST time with my STampin Up consultant and the group of ladies that she has put togehter, we do a lot of laughing, chatting and just having fun! So Peggy if you're reading this...THANKS, you're the Best!

Tripod- to bring it or not...

Now do I bring the tripod or not? I really want to bring it so I can get a level picture of us and having a steady picture of a sunset would be rather nice too, LOL! My husband wonders at how much I will use the tripod, you know what...I'd much rather have it with me than be somewhere wishing I had packed it

Quote of the Day

We think having faith means being convinced God exists in the same way we are convinced a chair exists. People who cannot be completely convinced of God’s existence think faith is impossible for them. Not so. People who doubt can have great faith because faith is something you do, not something you think. In fact, the greater your doubt the more heroic your faith.

~Real Live Preacher, Weblog, December 26, 2002

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An interesting news article, one to make you smile

With all the sad and terrible news that seems to be reported day in and day out, it's refreshing (for me any way) to read an article that brings to light, new hope and love in an off beat and unusual way. I'm happy for all of the folks in this story and the many more who will find love though this unique service. Please read the article Surrendering to the Tractor Pull of Love over at Fox News to find out what it's all about.

Quote of the Day

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing".
~Helen Keller, The Open Door (1957)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Getting ready for vacation

Hannah and I have started going through clothes, picking out what we're wearing on this Caribbean vacation. Seeing that it'll be in the 80's during the day and in the mid 70's at night...well one can only think of "summer" clothes. So we pulled out her summer clothes and went through what's appropriate for during the day and island excursions and then dinner wear. I'm starting the pick and choose thing too. What do wear on formal night and what to wear on non formal evenings. I love to dress up and I'm in heaven at the thought of dressing up for and entire week. Of course I'll be bringing casual wear such as Skorts and Capri pants and my pink Columbia sandals (I just love love love those sandals).

Hannah was so sweet, "Mom, we've got to co-ordinate out formal wear" I have to tell ya that matching her Black and White dress was pretty easy, LOL! It was finding something that looks well with that pretty spring green dress of hers. I think I've found it, a beautiful floral print skirt and I'll wear one of my more formal looking tops with it. I plan on getting in the sun every single day unless it's raining. I'll be in the pool right there with my kids having fun in the sun! Now on to shoes...I always want to bring my entire closet with me when I go on one of these trips. I need to tell myself that I can not have more than 4 pairs of shoes with me (not including what I have on my feet), LOL! Now my secret is out...I have a different pair of shoes for every outfit, now is the time to downsize...before I start packing my suit case.

Hannah has all of her clothes picked out and ready to be packed, the boy is on his way to getting to that point. The spouse, he likes to pack at the very last minute (he's always been that way). Hannah and I will have our stuff packed and ready to go by Tuesday at the latest, the guys, probably by Friday morning, LOL!

It's hard to imagine that in 1 week we'll be on board a cruise ship going to the Eastern Caribbean. I've got my swim suit, sun glasses, sunscreen and my flips flops...lets go!

Winter winds

The violent winds woke me up a while ago. I could hear the chairs sliding around and banging into the deck railings. Amazingly enough the grill is still standing, having it anchored to the railings has kept it from falling over in the wind. My cat has been on my lap insisting that I hold her and pet her while I type - this is not as easy as it sounds, as the cat gets up and walks on the keyboard from time to time to stretch her legs.

The wind more than anything else scares me. It can whip up so fast out here, toss things through the air and cause more damage that one can ever think possible. I think about the tornadoes that have occurred down south and how homes and lives have been lost. It's amazing that something we take for granted every day like the weather can cause such horrible destruction and total devastation.

I know that organizations like the American Red Cross are on the scene, helping those folks out after such a disaster. If you don't know what the American Red Cross does, just click on the name and a link will take you to their site to tell you about their disaster services.

Quote of the Day

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
~Martha Washington (1732 - 1802)

Friday, February 08, 2008

My Favorite Scrapbooks Stores

I do have a list of scrapbooking stores that I like to shop at (depending upon the area of the country that I'm currently in of course).

While in Virginia and in the Hampton Roads area it's without a doubt...Picture to Page. The owners Tonya and Collin are a couple of ladies that started a business out of a garage and built it up on reputation for excellent service and the latest merchandise.

Lets talk about Massachusetts- when down on the cape I HAVE to shop at Colorful Creations this place is rivals any Archivers store (and I've been to a few Archivers stores). The selection of scrapbooking and stamping merchandise is fantastic! And the staff is oh so ever helpful too! There's other wonderful places to shop in MA such as Right at Home Scrapbooking in North Attleboro, A time for Memories in Grafton. These places are just YUMMY! Extra nice and knowledgeable staff to help answer any and all of your questions about products they have (and don't have) in their store).

While in California it's Green Tangerines and Mad About Scrapbooks. Talk about being able to buy stuff that just isn't available from a retail store in my own area- I bring paper takers with me when I go home to visit my folks! Green Tangerines is fantastic! VERY helpful staff and what an awesome selection of merchandise! I always come home with oodles of great papers that I can't find anywhere else. I've not been to Mad ABout Scrapbooks since they down sized and moved from Citrus Heights to Roseville. I hope that they still have the same great selection of merchandise.

one more week...

Last night I was checking the weather for our cruise locations. Oh I'm so ready for 80º weather during the day and 75º at night. As I'm bundled up in flannel Jammie pants, a sweat shirt, heavy socks and a fleece blanket while I'm typing, LOL! I'm just missing a hot mug of coffee (4 am is a wee bit early for it- give me another half hour then I'll indulge myself).

The heat went out at the Thrift Shop yesterday, I personally would have closed the place but Heidi being the dedicated person that she is persevered. I hung out for 1½ hours and left, I couldn't take it any more. My hands were so red and they just ached. I was home a good 2 hours until my hands no longer hurt. I've obviously got issues with working in a building that's got an indoor temperature of around 40º to 45º. I'm a California girl that's been moved all over the USA. I yearn to be warm, to be near the sea and to lead a simple life.

Quote of the Day

I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
~Christopher Reeve

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Blog Challenge...How well do you know me?

This just came in my girlfriend René, I think it's pretty cute...I sent my answers back to her and now I'm waiting to see what she says about me. I'm cracking up just thinking about it.

How well do you know me?' Okay, this one is different - this is funny. YOU fill in the blanks about ME and send it back to ME. But FIRST send a blank one out to all your friends, including me, so we can return the favor to you. Be honest. They're really SCARY to get back. It only takes a few minutes, so just do it! First send this survey to everyone you know to see how well he or she knows you. Second, hit 'reply' and fill this survey out about the person who sent it to you and send it back to them.

Where did we meet?_________

Take a stab at my middle name?________________

Do I smoke?______________________

Color of my eyes?_____________________

Do I have any siblings?__________________

What's one of my favorite things to do?__________________

What's my favorite type of music?______________________

Am I shy or outgoing?____________________________

Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules?_______________________

Any special talents?_____________________________

How many children do I have?_______________________
__
If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing that I would bring?_________________________________

I can't wait to see the answers..

I can't help but to smile...

Take the one on one time I've had with my daughter this afternoon. It's amazing to see her personality reflected in the kinds of things she does. Take our outing to the quilt store (yes we went yet again). Hannah found a quilt pattern for a Amish style table runner that she wanted to make, she asked if I could take her to the quilt store after school so she could get the fabric to make it. We walk into the quilt store and she makes a bee line right for the batik fabrics (they are rather cool looking) and starts getting the fat quarters she needs to make this project. One of the funniest things she says to me is "Mom this is such a cool store", wow what a way to make me smile! I see myself taking many pictures of my daughter while she's creating her first ever quilting project. She and her project and me and my projects...I see a second sewing machine in our future.

What are you today?

My girlfriend Liz sent me one of those "friend surveys" (she always been the one to send that sort of thing, LOL). One of the questions really struck me it was..What are you today? What am I? I thought to myself, well I'm many things to many people. A person is not defined by a mere title on a door, but more of what they do. This is who I am... today

I'm a daughter
a sister
a cousin
an Aunt
a wife
a mother
a friend
a Catholic
a counselor
a healer
the HOA president for our subdivision
the programs director for EOSC
an advisor
a home owner
a pet owner
a care taker
a gourmet cook
a scrapbooker
a quilter (be it the novice that I am)
a volunteer
a home maker

and many more things. So, What are you today?


Quote of the Day

Level with your child by being honest. Nobody spots a phony quicker than a child.
~Mary MacCracken



There is much truth to this quote, I've always been this way with my children and have to say that it amazes me how many people aren't honest with their children, especially when it comes to deployments.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Things that make you go Hmmmm...

Once upon a time I owned an Olfa cutting mat. It was a large one that I used to cut fabric on a fairly frequent basis. Since moving to to South Dakota I thought that it was one of those casualties of moving that somehow "got lost or misplaced". So I set off in search of my elusive cutting mat a couple of weeks ago and to my surprise (and horror) I finally located it- it was in the garage underneath many bottles of motor oil. I think that my neighbors probably heard me utter the words (in a rather loud and annoyed tone of voice) "You've got to be kidding me" when I finally located the mat. One of the things that is stated on the cutting mat is to NOT expose it to extreme temperature changes. Hmmm, what is the garage but a place of extreme temperature changes, from 130º or more in the summer to zero and below in the winter. So as desperate as I am, I took the mat and scrubbed in the bathtub, I've used all kinds of cleaners on and and nothing is taking those nasty stains off it of nor is it taking off the crayon and ink doodles that someone other than myself put on it. Thank goodness that Hobby Lobby has a 40% off coupon this week, because I am going to get myself a NEW large cutting mat. Some days you just have to shake it off and get on with your day, LOL!

My daughter and the quilt store

Yesterday after school, I took my daughter to the quilt shop downtown...she was in awe of the amazing quilts on display there. She is now wanting to get into quilting and I promised to sign her up for the first kids class that was available. Who knows, I just might break down and get her a little Janome sewing machine of her very own for her birthday this year.

The colors and prints of the fabric were intoxicating. Hannah was everywhere, we ended up buying 12 MORE fat quarters (and we got the 13th free) and another quilt pattern. The new one is really cool, and once I get my Cheese and Crackers quilt projects done I'll work on it. Talk about getting our hearts pumping with excitement!

I'm excited to start these quilting projects and I look forward to doing sewing projects with my daughter.

Quote of the day

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Time...

We either have too little of it or too much of it. I really dislike it when people tell me "Oh Sandie, you've got way too much time on your hands", now I usually hear this about my cooking endeavours or some craft project I've recently completed. I'm here to let you all know, that I have just as much "time" as everyone else, it's just that I like to be doing "something" with the time I have on hands, LOL! Granted there are times when I'd rather be snuggled up on the sofa under a heap of blankets sipping hot mint tea and nibbling on shortbread cookies while reading a book, but I also think of that as time well spent :-)

I'm getting ready to give some of my time to our military community today. Whatever you do with your time today... be sure to have fun!

Quote of the Day

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.
- Roald Dahl

Monday, February 04, 2008

Here they are...pictures of my Scrapbook Nook

The view out of the front window today is a snow filled one. You also see my large wooden clothes pins holding up some layouts, my quote about Character, and some other odds and ends. Movie on the portable DVD player is Notting Hill.
Here's a better view of that corner of the room. That tall shelf is from Lowe's and it holds a lot...volume and weight wise. Behind my Wallace and Gromit toys on the top shelf are my empty waiting to be filled albums.
here are the 12x12 stack able drawers (purchased from Hobby Lobby), I've got oodles of stamps stored in them and about 3 drawers for layouts that are in the "works" or are finished that I need to photograph and then put into albums. Now for the bottom of the chrome rack...all of those albums you see. Those are finished albums. The rainbow of albums on the 2nd to the top of the chrome shelf, those too have many scrapbook layouts in them. The sad truth is that I create many more scrapbook pages/layouts than I share with others.
My shorter unit is actually the lower half of a gourmet bakers rack type thing (again from Lowe's). I love the heavy wooden top that came with it, makes for an excellent work surface. We sealed the wood to make it stain resistant and washable. You also see my green tote on wheels, it's my Cricut tote bag and I've had to put my Cricut in there since I've got my quiting stuff perched where my Cricut usually goes. Those are Cropper Hopper paper holders for all of my cardstock, love them! You can also see my Sizzix dies of various fonts and shapes. This little shelf can hold a lot!
Here's my new Janome Heart Truth sewing machine, I'm getting ready to sew on a few projects. You can also see my plug in strip, I can't tell you how convent it is having a power strip right there on the top of my counter top. No more trying to plug things into extension cords. I've got 2 large windows in this room, it's such a new concept for me over my last scrapbook nook - it didn't have windows...what it did have was the water heater and furnace, LOL!
Here is a side view, this is a VERY long counter top. My fluorescent light and it's cord coming down and plugging into the power strip. A side view of my Ott light, what a wonderful light it is too! You can also see last years school pictures of my children, my crazy ceramic parrots that my husband brought back from Bogota and of course a slight view of my Prima flower collection and some stamp pads.
I adore my dinosaur sign "Think Big", I got this little gem at the OSC Scholarship Auction last November. You also see my wrought iron shelf and little baskets (yes it's Longaberger stuff) and my Prima flowers. I adore Prima flowers and try to use them on most of my projects. For those just now meeting me, I'm all about flowers!The top of my plastic carts is another place for colorful storage. I love using those 1 gallon cracker jars (I got mine at Wal-Mart). They hold a lot more then you think they would and the price is under $5. I've got them filled with things like- spools of thread, ribbon, Prima Flowers, one with chipboard letters and another with chipboard shapes. The things you can put in them is endless.
Here's that front window again, to think that this scrapbooking space has 2 large windows (my last one was 4 feet wide by 10 feet long and NO windows). I can see the blowing snow and in the spring/summer months I'll be seeing blooming flowers and busy little bumble bees. You can also see my 2 big prize ribbons from last years state fair (Best in Show and Judges Choice). My magazines and idea books are weeded out on a fairly regular basis. Where the rack of thread is currently is where I usually perch my Cricut machine. And everyone needs a lava lamp in their scrapbook space, LOL! My Rolodex with my little index cards of inspirational quotes that I traded for while at CKU-Masters in Boston back in August 2006.

My latest find...the 8½x11 wire paper rack for my cardstock. I was surprised to find out that not all of my cardstock fit on this rack. That tells me that I need to stop hoarding and to get back to making cards! But seriously, this really is the way to go for me, it puts my cardstock right out there for me to use.
My McCormick Spice racks- what a terrific deal they were too! Plus they are perfect for holding all of my Making Memories paints. As you can tell, I have a "thing" for rainbows. You can see my paper and other items arranged in rainbows (I do the same thing in my kitchen). That cute green plastic basket I got over at Target in the dollar section. My daughter has some in a great shade of orange.
Here it is, the grand over all view. I am truly blessed with this wonderful space and I thank the Lord on a daily basis for my husband for whom without his help this space could not have come to light. The picture below, a fairly clean work area (for now).