Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A break from the heat

It's finally "cool" enough again that I was able to take the kids to the park for a bit yesterday morning and again this morning. We took the bikes over. Kaylee's doing pretty well pedaling and steering, although every once in a while she suddenly decides she's scared. Matthew does ok with his too, but he needs to get out somewhere where he can really take off and just "go" to get more practice, and unfortunately, there's just no way for that to happen when Kaylee's with us.

We only lasted about 40 minutes out yesterday, partly because it was hot, and partly because we were the only ones there, and I think the kids got bored. They did enjoy yelling across the open field and hearing their voices echo back from the houses on the other side. I hope none of the people in those houses were sleeping. :-b

Today we stayed longer (about an hour and a half), mostly because a small playgroup showed up after we'd been there a while. Kaylee didn't really interact much with any of the kids, but there were a couple of boys who were around Matthew's age, and he had a blast running around playing with them. Once Kaylee started asking to go home, I gave Matthew a five-minute warning, which turned into over half an hour when Kaylee changed her mind. So we stayed until I'd had enough of the heat. It's 15 degrees cooler than it had been, but 85°F with only a very occasional breeze is still 85°F. And I'm an air-conditioning-spoiled wimp! LOL

As we came up to the house and were putting the bikes in the garage, I noticed this absolutely gorgeous butterfly in one of our bushes. Kaylee was scared of it (in her defense, it was huge and flying around very erratically and quickly), so I took the kids in and I grabbed my camera and came back out and managed to get a few shots. It wouldn't stay still for more than a couple of seconds, and my camera focuses very slowly, so this is the only one that turned out at all.

Guess that's it for now! Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Freebie Tonight!

My Garden Whimsy kit is the freebie for tonight's Night Owl chat at RAKScraps! :) That's 11:30pm my time (Central), so I don't always make it, but I'm hoping to be there. There's always lots of fun chatter. :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Doing better

Thanks so much for all the concern re my neck.  It was quite a bit better on Thursday and the pain was completely gone when I woke up on Friday.   I get this sort of thing about once every couple of months it seems, and, well, I'm getting older, and am definitely out of shape, so I just don't recover as quickly as I used to.  I think it comes from sleeping in an odd position, which I definitely did the night this hit this time.  Mark had had his shot that day, and ever since we got back from our vacation, Kaylee's only been sleeping a couple of hours in her own bed before ending up in ours (which could be a whole other post).  So that night, to keep Kaylee from kicking Mark's back, we had put a body pillow between him and her, which meant I had even less room than usual, and I think she slept half the night on top of me.  I think I also need to look at putting more water back in my side of the bed.  We took some out when I was pregnant with Kaylee, because I needed it softer, and just never got around to putting it back.  Or maybe I'm just getting too old for a waterbed. :-b  Anyway, sorry for whining about it so much.  Mark was in his own pain, so I didn't get any slack, and I think I was feeling sorry for myself.

Speaking of Mark, he had his follow up on this last shot yesterday.  He has good days and bad, but he's still pretty achy.  Instead of full-blown therapy, they're going to try this thing where he goes for a couple of sessions, and they teach him exercises to do at home.  Hopefully, it will help, because unlike last time he did therapy and only had to pay a co-pay for the very first session, our insurance now is such that he would have to pay the co-pay every single time.

The last couple of days I did a partial update to my website for all those friends and family types, and then I've mainly been trying to get my creative team stuff done, so that maybe I can squeeze in time to get started on another kit to sell.  I got two layouts done (with one more put into the I-like-the-concept-but-it-just-won't-work-with-this-kit-no-matter-what-I-do-so-I'll-set-it-aside-to-do-on-my-own-later pile).  I have four more layouts and my Mega Kit to do within about the next three weeks, in addition to some loose ends to tie up on that whole TAOM thing for Mark this weekend.  

I decided today to move the scanner out to my computer, since I use it way more than Mark does. These days even if he does need something scanned, he asks me to do it.  I've got it mostly working.  It's a ridiculously old scanner, and it hates Windows XP.  The only thing I don't have working yet is the old version of the software, which I wouldn't need except that the new "improved" version doesn't have descreening, which I need to get a decent scan of any of my color Dover stuff.  I think there's supposed to be a way to correct that just in Photoshop if I can't get the scanner to cooperate, but I'm not sure.

But, tonight while Mark's D&D-ing and actually not watching TV, I think I'm going to go watch some of my gazillion episodes of "All My Children" before the TiVo eats a bunch more of them like it somehow did while we were on vacation…

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bad to the Bone...

<more whining> S o . m u c h . p a i n . I woke up yesterday achy, and was about the same when I woke up today, but as the day has gone on today, it's gotten worse and worse. It's mainly centered in my neck and right shoulder, and it hurts to turn my head, especially to the right. Driving today was not fun. My Advil isn't touching it. My heat pack takes the edge off, but doesn't completely take it away, and it's hard to do very much with a 2-pound hot rice bag balanced across the back of my neck/shoulders. </end more whining>

Matthew had his dental checkup today. He had his 6-year molars sealed, and had a cleaning and x-rays. No cavities. :) He did really well with most of it. He had a hard time not gagging for the x-rays, but he finally managed. And he got anxious when, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the syringe that they use to apply the stuff during one of the steps of the sealing procedure. He was fine though once they explained that it was not a shot and there were no needles.

We got new cell phones today. Mark switched us to GSM and got a more extensive plan a bit cheaper. They had a rough time getting the phones activated today and he ended up having to take mine into a store to get a different SIM card for it. But they're both working now. So now I get to figure out how to use a new phone. At least we got to keep the same numbers, so I don't have to memorize new ones. I still haven't memorized the new license plate number on the truck. I don't know why Texas makes you get new plates after so many years. What is the logic behind that? Do other states do that too?

Jeanine posted a little contest on her blog to scrap something from/about the 80's, so I decided to do a quick layout using some of the most non-me pics of me I have. I'd started this last week, but just got to finishing it and posting it late last night.

The 80's were my decade for high school and college. I don't have many pics from high school, and most of the ones I have from college seem to involve costume parties at the fraternity where I was a little sister. This is one of those. No, I did not dress this way on a regular basis. The shirt was hand-painted with my brother's high school garage band logo, and the collar was borrowed from him as well. That's pink theatrical spray in my hair, and the mascara in the bangs was a last-minute improvisation. I think I might have used eyeliner as lipstick, since I don't think I had that particular shade in my arsenal. :-p

The guy in the lower left pic was my pledge son that semester. The guy with the mustache was my date, also a pledge, although I think possibly the oldest pledge they ever had. LOL He was a little too enthusiastic that night and drank entirely too much and ended up quite sick, so I spent most of the evening dancing and hanging out with other friends, and had a great time anyway.

Credits: Kit: Jeanine Baechtold's "Grungy Leather Coat Collection" (partially recolored) at ScrapDish. Frame and photo corners by me. Torn edge on photo: Steph Krush at Digital Paper Tearing. Notebook paper: Kristy Nerness' "Noteworthy Accent Pack" at Plain Digital Wrapper. Font: Dream Scar.

I remembered after I posted this last night that I also have some pics of me with my face painted bright blue for a Smurf costume at another one of these pledge dances. Maybe I should combine the two costumes next Halloween and be Smurfette gone bad! LOL

You know, ever since I pulled this up to work on last night, I haven't been able to get this song out of my head, so you might as well have it in yours too…

On the day i was born
The nurses all gathered round
And they gazed in wild wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said "leave this one alone."
She could tell right away
I was bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Ba ba ba bad
Bad to the bone

I broke a thousand hearts
Before i met you
I'll break a thousand more, baby
Before i am through
I wanna be yours, pretty baby
Yours and yours alone
I'm here to tell ya, woman
That i'm bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Ba ba ba bad
Bad to the bone…

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Warning - whine ahead

<begin whine> I'm in a mood (at least partially hormonal). I don't feel like doing anything. At all. I'm achy and have this weird pressure thing in my ears, and I'm tired, and I'm warm (I won't say hot, because I know there a lot of people dealing with this heat with no AC, not just under-powered AC). And the kids are getting on my every last nerve. So much bickering. I need to get them out somewhere to do something. But it's too hot, and I'm too tired and too achy and have this weird pressure thing in my ears, and I don't feel like doing anything. At all. </end whine>

Mark had his third spinal injection yesterday for his herniated disc. Hopefully, it will do him some good. Unfortuantely, because of our vacation, more than the optimal time had passed between the second and third ones. If this doesn't knock it out, I don't know what's next.

And to end on a more positive note… RAKScraps July Mega has started being posted. Here's my contribution, papers shown at 50% scale relative to elements. Had tons of fun making this one. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006


Tagged by Karin! :)

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
No. Never even been pulled over while I was the one driving.

2. Do you close your eyes on a roller coaster?
No – I need to see what's coming!

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
Uhm, mid-80's in high school?

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Depends how much dh is hogging the bed! LOL

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
Undecided. Nothing I've experienced says yes, but I wouldn't rule it out.

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Yes. :-)

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
Yes. :-(

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? (silly, I know ... but very "now")
Jennifer. I haven't followed what's been happening lately, but I've always liked her, and Angelina just seems bizarre.

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics?
Nope, nada.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Basic rules, nothing about strategy though.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
A few times in college.

12. What's your favorite commercial?
Don't watch 'em. So used to tuning them out, that it's hard for me to pay attention if I try.

13. Who was your first love?
Dh. :) Not first boyfriend, but first and only love.

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light?

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Hmmm. Not that I can think of.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
Not into baseball.

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
Yes, a few times. Last time was in college. Crashed into my roommate and knocked us both down. Ended up with a wicked bruise on my shin.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
Almost never. There was one when I was pregnant with Matthew where I dreamed I'd had the baby, but he was a loaf of bread and I had to defend him from getting sliced. And then there was one where I dreamed dh was having an affair… with me. And a couple of other equally bizarre ones that freaked me out enough to make me remember.

19. What's the one thing on your mind?
How disorganized I'm feeling at the moment.

20. Do you always wear your seat belt?
Yes, even just to move a few feet… and especially in garages. :-b

21. What talent do you wish you had?
Is being able to multi-task a talent?

22. Do you like Sushi?
Never had it. Kinda scared to try it. :-O

23. What do you wear to bed?
Usually a t-shirt & shorts (or sweats in the winter).

24. Do you truly hate anyone?

25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
Wouldn't. Unless, of course, dh were to become famous. ;-).

26. Do you know anyone in jail?
Not personally.

27. What food do you find disgusting?
Uhm, sushi. ;-)

28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?

29. Have you ever been punched in the face?

30. Do you believe in angels and demons?
As in actual spiritual beings? Undecided (see ghosts). As in people who play these roles in our lives? Yes.

Who to tag? Hmmm…


(Just ignore this if you don't like being tagged! LOL)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A couple of kits, another layout

Well, I went back and looked at the layouts I had done (the ones I wasn’t happy with) and decided that while I don't love them, they're good enough, so I'm going to prep them for my website and move on.

Yesterday I did a mini-kit to be used as a RAKScraps prize for August. Well, actually I started it late Tuesday night, but still, I got it done relatively quickly for me. Here it is:

And my inspiration for it was this fabulous photo. I don't think I really did it justice, but it was a fun to work that way. I hadn't done that before. :) Oh, and as far as the name, I did have a friend growing up named Sarah, but I don't know if she has a cottage. LOL It just looked to me like someone named Sarah might live in a house decorated like this. ;-)

Also, just because I don't think I posted it here before, this is my July prize kit that I put together before we left for vacation.

And then today I did another layout. Some mixing and matching in this one too, but not nearly as much as the previous one.

Here are the credits for this one:
arrow by me
binder clip: me "Back to School Mini-Kit" (Scrapdish DOD), recolored
string: Lianne Carper "All Wrapped Up" (3Scrapateers)
tag: Gina Cabrera "Study Hall" from Digitally Sparked CD (DDE)
unique definition: Miss Mint "Dictionary Defined: Girls" (Peppermint Creative)
rolodex card and notebook paper: Kristy Nerness "Noteworthy Accent Pack" (Plain Digital Wrapper)
tickets: Maya "Chic Geek" (ScrapbookGraphics)
torn heart: Steph Krush (Digital Paper Tearing)
inked edges: Atomic Cupcake action
everything else: Carrie Stephens "Celebrate Everyday" (FishScraps), some blending and recoloring
Font: Susie's Hand

And I think that's the last layout I had on my list to do with the 2005 pics! Woo hoo! :)

Obviously, I haven't been doing too much else the last couple of days. We've got another magician coming this weekend, so I'm probably going to have to do some cleaning and maybe run some errands tomorrow. I hate it when life gets in the way of scrapping and designing! ;-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I *heart* this layout.

Still feeling a bit under the weather, but I'm quite a bit better than I was. So I've been spending the last few days getting caught up on laundry, blogs, and boards, and doing a little work on my website, since I got a nice subtle hint from Mark's uncle that I hadn't done it in a while. :-b I made a few minor updates to my links page, updated my RAKScraps kits page and added one for my Scrapdish kit. And, since I post my layouts on there in chronological order, I went back and made a list of all the pics I need to scrap to get "caught up". I was surprised at how many pics I'd skipped over to do all my various sponsor layouts. I've got at least a good 30-35 layouts to go to be completely caught up (including the trip we just took), and obviously that's going to take some time at the rate I scrap, but I'm trying to fill in enough gaps to do a partial update of the site. So… I've been scrapping Christmas!

It's a little hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it's 98°F outside. LOL I've done a spread of Christmas morning, one of Kaylee's and my activities during the day, and a page on Mark and Matthew that day. And I'm not happy with any of them. So I'm going to let them sit a day or two (or three) and come back to them.

But I did do one layout that I'm actually thrilled with how it turned out! :-) I had this picture of Kaylee in the Cinderella wedding dress that she got for Christmas that didn't really go with any of the other pics, and it wasn't the greatest pic, but she didn't have the veil on very long, and it was the best shot out of the three I had, so I decided to put it on its own page.

I was whining to Tania the other night that I'm so used to doing one-kit layouts for the sponsors, that I don't know how to mix and match anymore. So, knowing I didn't have any appropriately themed kits (at least as far as I remember), I decided to just run searches on my files and throw stuff in and see what looked good. I really enjoyed putting this together, but, wow, what a lot of time-consuming details. Many tedious hours later, this is the result…

Click here if you want to see the really big version.

And here is what I think is a record for me as far as a credit list…

(This was put together from a deep hard drive dig, so many of these are no longer available, but I've listed the original source if I know it. Almost everything has had at least some minor tweaking to the color; I've noted the ones that I've completely changed the color on.)

- ribbons: Mari Koegelenberg's "Blissful Blossoms Sample" (TheDigiChick)
- stitching: Mo Jackson's "Mo Sews - Stitches Part One"
Background paper: Michelle Coleman's "Candy Coated Mini" (blog)
Lace, from top to bottom:
- "Daisy Lace" by Shari (SBB downloads?)
- Julie Mead's "Wedding Bouquet" (e-scapeandscrap.net), recolored
- Rina Kroes' "Miss Molly" (SBB downloads)
- Tracy Sims from original P4D BCA Mega Kit
- Rebecca DiGrazio's "Hydrangea" (RAKScraps prize), recolored
- Eyelet lace by TLC Janna (SBB downloads)
- Maria Kim "RAKScraps Feb. '05 Mega Kit", recolored
- Amy Knepper's "Gracie's Garden - Forget-Me-Nots" (Scrapdish)
- Julie Mead's "Wedding Bouquet" (e-scapeandscrap.net), recolored
- vellum base shape by me.
- stitching: Mo Jackson's "Mo Sews - Stitches Part One"
- bow: Steph730 (SBB downloads)
- doodle: Fee Jardine (with Kristy Nerness) "For The Girls" (Plain Digital Wrapper), recolored
- eyelet ruffle: pieced from lace frame by Ronna Penner (SBB downloads?)
- purple ruffle: Mo Jackson's "Annie's Bunnies", recolored
Flowers (left to right):
- Mo Jackson's "Ashley Five", recolored
- Tandika Star's "Crate Flowers" (Digiscrap Designer)
- Katie Pertiet's "Felt Flower Freebie" (Designer Digitals challenge), recolored
- Holly McCaig's "Pretty Petals" (blog), center recolored
- Holly McCaig's "Lil Petals" (blog), recolored, center from "Pretty Petals"
- Priscilla Halliday (RAKScraps), button and stitch by me
- Mo Jackson's "Ashley Five", recolored
Date Stick Pin by Holly McCaig (Holly McCaig Designs).
Fonts: Ville de Geneva ES, Hootie!

See, I told you it was long. ;-)

So this little experience made me think that I needed to consider using Picasa or some such program to keyword tag all my digital scrapping files to be able to fully utilize what I have and do this more often. So I ran a little check to see how many files I have. Couldn't be more than two or three thousand, right? As of this moment, that folder contains a mere 76,529 files…

Uhm, yeah. I'll get right on that. :-b

Friday, July 07, 2006

Post-Trip Wrap-Up

We're back!  Had loads of fun. I'm completely wiped out from the trip and my souvenir head cold. :-b  Here are some of the highlights:

The first stop, after a surprisingly smooth 13-hour drive, was my hometown in west-central Illinois. My class reunion was fun.  It was interesting to see how everyone "turned out".   Most of the guys I barely recognized at first (helped a lot by the fact that many of them have lost a lot of hair LOL).  It was fun to catch up with those I knew better, but I was struck by how many people that other than knowing who they were, I really had no memories of at all.  Not sure if I'd make the trip for another one.  I think my curiosity has been satisfied from this one.  There were a few people I would like to see who weren't there, but I doubt they'd come to a later one either.

The kids got to go to their first parade (we've avoided them here due to the crowds).  And now their definition of parade equals candyfest.  They came away with over three pounds of candy!  The parade was about an hour long and included lots of class reunion hay wagons, lots of politicians, one marching band, two bagpipe bands, various groups, and lots of area businesses, including a garbage truck and a porta-potty.  The finish was a team of Budweiser Clydesdales, which we also got an opportunity to go see closer up where they had them stabled.

The kids had a great time playing games with my folks and my brother and his girlfriend, Cristina.  Cristina also gave Matthew some beginning lessons on my old piano, and he seemed very interested, so now Mark's trying to figure out how we can get the piano down here without spending an arm and a leg.  And Grandpa Jim gave the kids golf lessons in the backyard and bought Matthew his first real club.

The next stop was Mark's dad and step-mom's house in northern Illinois.  Mark took the kids out for a nostalgia tour through the town where he grew up, his old farm, and the farm of a friend of his.  Matthew proved his city-kidness by being in awe of things like straw.  He declared the pigs to be "stinky". LOL

Mark took a few hours to shoot over to the Chicago area and meet up with Marshall Brodien, a magician he'd met in London last summer.  He was Whizzo on the "Bozo's Circus" TV show and is the creator of the ever-popular TV Magic Cards as well as many mainstream magic kits.  Mark had a great time, and came back loaded with free souvenirs to add to his collections.

Mark's brother and his family made it in the night before we had to head out.  The kids loved playing with their cousins, and it was nice to catch up.

Next was Mark's mom's place in Iowa.  Mark took the opportunity to hunt up the gravesite of a famous magician who's buried there (in the town, not his mom's house :-p), but the museum was closed while we were there, so we'll have to catch the exhibit about him next time.  I think the kids will always remember Grandma Jan's house as the one with the M&M's. LOL

Next, we all went over to Mark's grandfather's, which was the shortest leg of our trip at only an hour or so.  For the 4th, the kids got to go to another small-town parade, and came away with another major haul of candy.  In true rural Iowa fashion, the parade was about 75% tractors. LOL  That evening we went to a cookout out in the country at Mark's aunt's place.  The kids had a blast playing on the swings and had their first real smores and first go-cart rides.  They also saw their first small fireworks, and, back at Grandpa's house later that evening, they got to experience their first very closely supervised sparklers, which I think was their favorite part of the day.

Then it was just a long 2-day drive home on the 5th and 6th.  Mark and I both woke up on the 5th with major sore throats, and added in other symptoms as we got on down the road, so instead of pushing through, we stopped in Wichita for the night, which was definitely a wise decision.  

So now we're just home recuperating from the trip and needing a vacation to recover from our vacation.  My sore throat is gone, but the other symptoms are hanging in there, so I feel like I need a new head, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this post made no sense whatsoever. :-p