Friday, December 14, 2007

I just got this fabulous digital kit by Katie Pertiet over at designerdigitals.com and couldn't wait to pull out some of my (many) "vintage" photos to scrap. I guess I'm old enough to be considered vintage at this point! :) The photo is, I believe, at our house in Ohio and, obviously, pre-Dave. That's Barb and I (I'm on the right) in the nurse get-up and seated are John and Sue. There's nothing like being a kid at Christmas time. I wish I could get back that feeling of wonder and magic that you have when you're little. Now, at 55 years of age, I only get it in little mini-bursts of nostalgia that hit during a favorite carol, or while I'm looking at my lit tree with all the lights off or while I'm watching a favorite Christmas movie...

We had a beautiful snow all day yesterday. We ended up with about 5-6 inches. Not too bad, but still so pretty. All the areas schools and etc. were closed. That's another thing I don't remember happening as a kid. We had tons of snow in Illinois, where I did most of my school years. But I don't recall the school closing because of it - except for once. I do remember one time that my Mom just insisted that we wear boots to school that day. Pft. NOT cool. Wouldn't be caught dead in those clunkers. So I didn't listen. Apparently, she knew something that I didn't. We had a huge snow that day - and this time I do remember getting out early, but I had to trudge home from the bus - a long block - in regular shoes - in a good 8-plus inches of snow. It could have even been more because our driveway wasn't plowed and I remember it being really hard to walk through... The moral of the story is, kiddies, ALWAYS listen to your mother! :) My feet were soaked and frozen by the time I got home...

Tonight we're heading up to Williamsport to Franco's for dinner with Bob and Kellie. I usually end up getting their wonderful ginger/tamari grilled salmon. Yum - I can taste it now. After dinner, we're going to the Wmspt. Chamber Choir and Orchestra concert. We've been doing this for several years and it's always so wonderful. Gorgeous music to get you in the holiday mood.

We're pretty much set for our trip to AZ. I still have to do one more thing with M&M's album, which I'm going to do in just a minute. And then all I really have to do is wrap up a few more gifts and get everything ready to mail. I'm mostly done with that, too. It seems like there are little loose ends to tie up - forEVER!

Well, they're calling for yet another Saturday into Sunday snow "event" tomorrow. It looks like church could be in trouble again. Ouch. (I say this as the treasurer...) And we were going to have our "family business" meeting afterwards - which has been cancelled twice before now. We'll have to see what happens, but it doesn't look good at this point.

One thing I'm SO grateful for is that it looks like clear sailing for driving to H-burg Tuesday night and flying away Wednesday a.m. Whew! I don't care what it's like when we get back (I shouldn't say that...) but I just want to GET there with no trouble. I can't wait!

Off to tie up loose ends! :)

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My latest digi. I wanted to use the newest ad challenge template by Katie Pertiet from this great web site. I decided to stick yet another picture of M&M in there... I'm going to be doing some more winter photos that I haven't scrapped yet. There's another one of them I want to scrap - so brace yourselves! :)

Well, today I did my absolutely LAST bit of Christmas shopping. You know how you just have odds and ends, seemingly forever... SO. I'm DONE! Now I must finish up a few little projects (for which I did the shopping). I can do that tomorrow.

We had a really fun little program at church last night. A Christmas "extravaganza". Well, I don't know if you could quite call it that, but those teens ROCKED it. There is some amazing talent amongst them. And one of them was ill and she just bit it and truly did a fantastic job. You would have never known she was ill if you didn't already know - which I did... I sang my "classic" Mary, Did You Know. I was going to have Matt accompany me on the guitar, but he didn't make it (which I was prepared for). But Emily played the piano whilst I played the guitar and it turned out well. Surprisingly well, actually. Because when I first started practicing it a couple weeks ago, my voice was NOT up to par. I was beginning to think my solo days were over. (Now, I'm not talking GREAT here - just my norm...) But it's amazing what you can do if you just practice!

A horrible thing happened on the way to church though. I wanted to get there at 6 p.m. (a half hour early) and we left a tad late as it was. It had been raining and freezing, so stuff was icy. I wasn't sure about the road, though, so I was being cautious anyway. And a dog - like a chocolate lab type - ran right in front of me. I hit the brakes as much as I dared not knowing if the road was slick or not. But, dangit. I hit that dog. Sigh. It was a horrible thud and I was just sick. Chris jumped out and went looking for it and a neighbor even came out, too. They spent about 10-15 minutes and couldn't find anything but it's choke collar. The neighbor said they weren't familiar with that dog at all. It was very hard to get my composure back and then I ended up getting to church with about 5 minutes to get set up and all. No practicing. Afterwards a couple people that I told about it totally made me feel better by telling me about the dogs they'd hit and the dogs they had that had been hit - without ever hurthing them! I was really surprised by that. But I did feel a little better. Because I know I didn't kill it instantly or anything. Ugh. I hope it's okay...

Well, after finishing up my projects tomorrow, there's a few household things to do and a few Christmas events to attend and then my attention will be turned to getting things packed for our trip to AZ. In fact, we've already begun getting a few things around. I'm going to clear the dining room table and continute along that vein and even start putting a few clothes/outfits together. Just so I don't have to think about it at the last minute...

So off to bed with me to dream about Christmas present!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yes, I can say we have officially begun winter around here! I found this template at designerdigitals.com (by Kellie Mize) and knew immediately that I wanted to use it to showcase how beautiful winter can be around here. I only need to walk out my door to see all of this! I don't mind winter cold as long as there's snow to make it beautiful. Although these photos are of winters past, we do have snow on the ground now. It's snowed twice already, so, hopefully, we'll actually have it around this year. Global warming? Pft! Not around here!

Just wanted to share the layout. I'm off to spend another day scrapping wedding photos. I only have three more 2-page layouts to do! Woohoo! I've been gathering an assortment of cool winter/Christmas projects, but at this point I think they're going to have to wait until next year...too busy now!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hi, Mom! :) That's her in the sweater and me in the t-shirt. She was cold (at 75 degrees) and I was hot...

Had a really nice Thanksgiving holiday in Madison with my Mom. She was doing better as far as her shoulder problems, surgery, etc. We were able to go out a couple times. My sister and my two brothers and their families were able to come over the weekend as well. It was really so great to see everyone. I only wish it wasn't so seldom.

And for ALL the media HYPE, our travels on the two busiest (flying) travel days of the year were GREAT. No lines, the flights weren't overbooked, AND we got the exit rows on 3 of the 4 legs of flights and the 4th we sat at the front, just behind 1st class (the closest we'll ever get to it, I'm sure) and still had extra leg room there. I'm tellin' ya - that extra leg room makes all the difference in the comfort of flying. Okay, a few less inches of junk in the trunk would help, too, but, I'm just sayin'...

We're having a gorgeous, albeit chilly, November day here in PA. Day before yesterday, our well pump just stopped. So we've been without running water since then. So enjoyable - NOT! So today, the "well guy" has been here - since 9 a.m. and it's now 3:30 p.m. - fixing it. The fix is turning out to be an entire pump replacement. We had the option of putting a new motor on our existing pump which is already 14 years over the life expectancy, OR just putting in an entire new pump. The guy said that pumps CAN last up to 35-40 years. Well, now our new pump should outlive us and then it will be the next owner's problem!

I'm done with all my banking. We have Praise Team tonight and it's too late in the day to start a new layout in my wedding scrapbook. So I think I'm going to hop in the hot tub and get warm and then crash before Praise Team practice tonight!

I'm off!
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Ooops! Can you hear the sound of a tree falling when - you're asleep?


Apparently not, because we didn't hear it. Well, Chris thinks he heard something, but there wasn't a lot of noise... This is the result of all that VERY wet snow we had. Just snapped that little tree which fell onto the roof of our front porch. No damage - except to the tree, of course. It could have been worse.

It's just gorgeous out there this morning. Chris and Dustin had to take the truck to the shop this a.m. and they ended up taking a back road because power lines were down on the other road they would have taken. Chris said trees/branches were down all over. Yes, a wet snow is very pretty, but can do a lot of damage. Especially when there are still so many leaves still on the trees. We were really surprised while running errands up in Williamsport last Friday, how many of the trees still had all they're pretty fall leaves still on. And that just makes the branches hold the snow more and then they're even heavier.

I think I am fully accepting that it's November now! With that, I'm off to scrap!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My latest digi. I've been wanting to scrap this photo. I used an "action" on it and made it pretty cool looking, I think. And so now the big dilemma is - do I scrap digi or paper? For this I went digi because I was really dying to scrap it, but digi took so much less time and didn't make a mess at all! :) Oh, but I have some real paper in my room that I'm dying to use. I guess I also don't feel like I can really afford to scrap anything but the wedding album right now. (Which, I'm loving, btw.)

It has literally been snowing all day. We woke up to a slight coating and thought it would either warm up enough to turn to rain or just stop altogether. Well, it did neither! And now, we have several inches and they're calling for 4-7 inches in the higher elevations. Well, we probably already have 4, soooo. Dustin is actually spending the night because he had the truck (for work) and came here after work so he and Chris could take it to the shop to get some work done. But he said the roads were so bad that he's going to spend the night and they're going to go in the a.m.

We had SUCH a nice visit with Jorge and Aime Rodriquez, missionaries to Mexico. They also have a "jr." Jorge, which they call, suprisingly, "Junior"! He's a little doll. And they were just great and wonderful guests. Sometimes I get a little antsy thinking about all the work there is to do when you have someone (strangers, especially) spend the night and eat two meals with you. But it wasn't bad. My problem is I'm just not used to doing either cleaniing or cooking on a regular basis - yet! My house is CLEAN now (as opposed to just tidy) and I LOVE it that way! It always just takes such a load off my mind. And the meals were easy and no big deal at all. So, all in all, I'm so glad we did this and they were just great to have.

This will be a crazy week. Tomorrow I MUST get another 2-page spread done - and duplicated. Tomorrow night I have cards with Kellie and the "group". I do love that. We play pinochle (sp?) and it's just challenging enough and fun! Then Tuesday I must do our banking and the church banking AND pack because we head down to H-burg Tuesday evening to fly to Madison Wednesday. I'm starting to get that merry-go-round feeling. Because I just can't quite grasp that it's Thanksgiving THIS week! And then Thursday will come and it will BE Thanksgiving and I'll be only just getting there instead of anticipating it all this time... It's a weird feeling. Like I just can't quite get onto the merry-go-round.... But, it will all happen regardless.

Maybe I'll blog from Madison.... Off and running!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My last digi lesson page. If you click on it, you can read the journaling that's in smaller print. With this last lesson, I can say that all my desires for learning digi techniques were met. It was so great and I'm so happy to know this stuff. And my knowledge of Photoshop Elements 5 has just skyrocketed. That makes me happy. I hate it when I can't figure out a program. So, now, I don't have TIME to make any digi pages for a while...

Because I'm working on THE scrapbook. You know, the edding-way un-way for the ids-kay? AND, did I mention that I'm making my own self a duplicate copy? So I'm deeeeepppp into scrapping world in my little room. And now it's to the point where I have to make so many pages per week in order to get it done. So, every spare minute is in there. Okay, and a few on here, too. I love it. There's no where else I'd rather be doing...

We're hosting a young missionary family this weekend. It's a young couple with a 1 year old and they'll be staying overnight Saturday and having dinner with us Saturday and Sunday. I'm really so happy to be opening our home for this kind of thing. PLUS, our house is getting cleaned this week! Now, to plan some kid-friendly - and easy - meals. Maybe good old spaghetti or something for Sunday. That's so quick and easy and everyone likes it. And maybe some kind of soup and bread and cheese for Saturday evening.

I'm so excited (I'm embarassed to say) that Project Runway starts toNIGHT! In about 35 minutes, in fact. I don't know why, but I just love this show. I guess it's the whole "Survivor" mentality, but, also, because these are up and coming designers trying to make the big time, we get to see their creative processes and some really cool stuff they make. And some not so cool and rather amusing stuff. Of course, someone gets kicked off every week if they don't make the grade. LOVE it! :)

I'm off. Gotta make hotel reservations down by the H-burg airport for next week. I can NOT believe Thanksgiving is next week! Wow! Okay, I guess it's early this year. But I'm still trying to get used to the fact that it's November! At least I can say just about ALL of my Christmas shopping for Chris is DONE! And almost all of our shopping for the kids, too as well as stocking stuff. We're in pretty good shape!

Ho ho ho!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Can't believe I'm blogging TWO days in a row! Wow! Well, I discovered something pretty fun and amazing today when I logged in to SIStv. That digi page that I worked so long and hard on yesterday - the two-page layout at the bottom of yesterday's post? It made the catwalk today! This will be the 3rd time my work has made the catwalk. (Catwalk = the design teams' favorite layouts of the week - out of hundreds and hundreds. SUCH an honor.) I'm flabbergasted - and feeling a little guilty because, after all, I didn't really design that page. It was the same page that everyone in my class made. I did recolor some of the elements and make a unique green page and added an extra brush here and there. And, of course, all the photos and words are all mine. But, still, a little tinge of guilt going on there.

And, in other news, Matthew sent us a new song that he composed. It's so cool. I just love his music. I'm going to try to put a link in on the right ----------> so, if there's one there, I succeeded. If not, I'll figure it out another day.

Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ahh, free time. Gotta love it! But I used my time pretty wisely today. After I got up and went downstairs I called Chris up from the cave, er, I mean, basement (he'd been down there several hours already) and invited him to join me in a 10-minute clean up of the disaster area otherwise referred to as our kitchen. Now, this is BEFORE I've even had a drop of coffee, mind you. I tell ya. I took one Advil pm (not two) and 3 regular Ibuprofen last night when I went to bed (at 2 p.m.-ish) as I was feeling a bit achy, and I had the BEST night's sleep EVAH. It's been a long long time since I've had such a good sleep.

So, anyway. Back to the kitchen. We got it cleaned up and I had my breakfast as I had my quiet/devotional time, which has also been sorely lacking lately. It was wonderful. I'm reading this - a recommendation from The Boy (aka Dustin). It's deep. And it's got some new thoughts. I love both and I especially love both in the very same book! :) I'm highlighting and re-reading sentences. I highly recommend it.

After that, I got started on my new Monday digi-scrap lesson. I soooooo love this class. It involves some of my favorite things - scrapping, the computer and learning new stuff. This was a loooooonngggg lesson today, though. I stopped after a little while and walked up to the mailbox, taking photos here and there. Haven't looked at 'em yet, though, so I don't know how they turned out. Hopefully, there will be MUCH more of that action! (both the walking AND the taking of more photos...). Came back and Chris and I re-arranged the front porch since there's like, 13 thousand chairs on there. I remember when we used to wish for more seating. Anyway, Chris had already cleared off the frost-bitten plants (though, I must say, those dang ferns are still going strong, which you'll see in the end result photos coming up from my lesson today) and so we moved the bench and re-arranged all the seating so it didn't look so lop-sided and crowded. MUCH better!

THEN I came back in and worked for a loooonnnng time on that lesson! Somewhere in there when my stomach began lurching in pain, I heated up some leftovers. There was no dinner planned because Chris was going to help Emily (and, therefore, Dustin) move to an apartment just a few steps from Dustin's. Go figure! :) And me? I actually volunteered, yes V-O-L-U-N-T-E-E-R-E-D to babysit Eva while they were all moving. Well, you know, it's awfully darn hard to move with a little one under foot. So I reserved some time in the evening for that, not really sure if my services would be needed. Plus, we had tentatively been planning on going to a movie with Deborah and Gary, so I figured I had already given up my evening scrapping time anyway (even though I have quite a few projects I'm PRESENTly (as in presents) working on.... And, after all, Emily did move some stuff and was very appreciative of my offer. Okay, part of the reason I offered was just because I missed little Eva. She's just so adorable. And so, I had her for only a couple hours and they flew by and she was just perfect. How could she not be? :)

All that to say that I never finished my lesson - due to a rather FULL day for someone with so much free time - until after Eva went back home, which was after 9 p.m. We had fun, though and I'm glad I did it.

I'm even MORE glad that I did finally finish this layout. There was a LOT to it - and it's a 2 page layout - a little trickier to post, but here it is anyway... I'll post the double and the single pages.

Ta ta!



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's been a while since I've posted! So, first, here are 4 new digi layouts I've completed:




I am sooooo loving this digi class! It almost makes me want to give up paper scrapping and just go all digi. But that won't happen for 2 reasons: 1) I really love the process and feel of "real" paper scrapping and, 2) I ain't ABOUT to get rid of my, uh, collection of paper scrapping supplies, which is vast. Uh uh. No way.

Here's a few newsy items:

  • it's rained - a LOT - and has cooled to more autumn-like temps
  • now it's gorgeous again
  • the trees are still showing their colors, but the rain knocked off lots of leaves
  • we got our first frost - finally, now, it's time to take my plants out of their pots, snip the clematis and bring in the huge philodendron (but the bionic ferns are STILL going!)
  • Dustin led the worship/music at church last Wednesday - what a blessing to be led into worship by my own son...
  • the Boy also sang a song he wrote in church Sunday a.m.
  • Matthew has a beard!
  • we saw "Across the Universe" last Friday - FABulous!! It started out a little slow and curious, but, got WAY better and blew us away!
  • we've officially started our Christmas shopping
  • I'm presently reading Metamorpha by Kyle Strobel - it's excellent (recommended by Dustin)

That's it for now. I'm off to work on a journal page. (That's a whole 'nother project that I haven't even posted on here at all. It's like a scrappy journal with the emphasis on journal.)

Oh, and - BOO!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Over at SIStv, they are hosting several scrapping challenges each week for the month of October (as a sort of grand opening for the new boutique). For these challenges, the challengER will choose her favorite and the challengEE will win prizes! Prizes are a boatload of goodies from the boutique. So, even though I'm supposed to be working on THE Wedding Album x 2 (one for M&M and one for me), I do enjoy doing a couple challenges each week - especially when there's possible prizes involved. It gets other stuff scrapped AND just stretches the imagination and creativity.

I participated in two challenge contests this week. For the first, there were two photos. One was a lush photo of Marie Antoinette lounging in this rich, red boudoir, with lace and candles and silk, etc. And there was another totally different picture of Beck (the singer) surrounded by post-it notes - very contempo. You were to choose one of the photos and do a layout somehow inspired by the photo of your choice. Here's the one I did:

I thought it turned out nicely. There were a LOT of layouts submitted, though, and I didn't think mine would be picked. It wasn't. Oh, well. I still end up with a layout I really like and I like doing this size, too.

For the second challenge I chose to participate in, you were simply to use someone ELSE's handwriting on your layout in whatever way you wanted. Well, a couple weeks ago, we hosted Dustin's birthday party (more like a hot dog roast - well, it WAS a hot dog roast and we encouraged him to invite some of his friends in addition to family). He still had a couple friends here after everyone else had left and Chris and I just had to go to bed, old people that we are, since we had to get up for church the next morning. In the morning, though, we found this note that Dustin had left us expressing his gratitude for the party and more... I told him that I was going to have to scrap that.... SO, this challenge was the perfect opportunity to do just that. Here's the layout I made:


For this one I just so happened to have WON!!!! Woooo hooo! If you click on the actual layout, you should get a large enough view of it that you can read it. If not, just click on the link to the right where you can see my layouts at SIStv. Then you'll find it in my "just layouts" folder or "recently uploaded" folder. It's pretty sweet (the note). And the peeps in charge of the website and the challenges kept saying all week long that the prizes THIS week were going to be REALLY good! So, I'll post what I end up with when I get it! Yee ha! They like me, they really like me! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I've been getting TONS of email wondering where in the heck I've been since I haven't posted anything new lately. Okay, one email. But it was a very IMPORTANT email. So, rest assured all my peeps and fans. I'm back. And, yes, I have a new scrap page for you. But, I want to warn you that THIS time it does NOT feature my son and his lovely new wife. I know. I know. It's disappointing, but keep in mind - we DO know OTHER people, too. And a few of them are featured on this next layout. It's a little piece I did called CRAZY Dancin' and it features some of our wild and crazy friends at our most recent annual Dancin' on the Deck party. It mainly focuses on ONE wild and crazy guy in particular. Yeah, you'll see what I mean... Oh, and, for some reason unknown to me, I can't upload this layout, but you can see it via this widget thingy from SIStv which is why it actually says SIStv in the top corner. If you run your cursor over that layout, magic stuff happens! :) You can go to SIStv land where ALL my layouts and MORE are stored!






Anyhoo, as the layout journaling says - we have a wild and crazy time, but it's good, CLEAN fun! I don't know what got into my friend there in the 2nd photo. Actually, that was a photo of him and myself, but I cropped myself out. Chris was taking a lovely photo of me dancing and our friend, (let's just call him "Chip" - because that's his name) decided to "flash" Chris at the same time. Obviously, the better half of the photo is the part I posted!

That's all for now. Gotta save SOME news for next time.... Peace out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I just did this digi layout for an online site that was having a little contest and, more importantly, because I highly doubt I'd ever win the contest, because they were giving away a really cute little digi kit to everyone who participates. Scrap for free stuff? Heck, yeah!

Well, it's very un-fall-like around here. It's actually been hot and fairly humid around here. So, I'm keeping the house shut up so it stays cooler. I think it's just put a slamming halt to the trees turning colors, too.

Which brings me to the next sad subject. Chris and I are heading up to Cedar Run tomorrow for our annual 3 day, 2 night getaway and it looks like there's a good chance for rain the whole time, especially the last day, which is the day we tend to drive around or hike, etc., because we want to stay in the area so we can go to Oktoberfest at the Blackwell Hotel for dinner Friday evening. There have been several times where all my fall photos taken on this trip have been in the drizzle up on the mountain on Friday. This time it may be more than a drizzle.

The good news is that I am prepared! I downloaded our second computer copy of PSE 5.0 onto Chris's laptop and I'm going to put some of my fave fall digi files on my external drive and I can literally sit there and scrap. All I'll need is photos! And Chris has a bunch on his computer even if I can't take any good ones up there... Now THAT excites me. Because, the only downside of being up there with a computer is that I'm sure there will be no internet connection. And, okay, I admit it, I've become just a tad "addicted" to being online. Well, there's so much to do and my SIS site is just like a little community to me. And who the heck talks to me here in this house, anyway, if you know what I mean...

Well, speaking of scrapping, as I so often am, I'm off to begin getting our Christmas album from last Christmas finished. The photos are all printed out and ready for me....

Tomorrow morning I'm packing and off to Octoberland!

Friday, October 05, 2007

I've been staying up in the wee hours - scrapping. Digi scrapping. Why, oh, why have I not learned that I cannot start a project at 12:30 in the morning - I'm talking 12:30 A.m. here. I guess I think I can just whip something out or work on something for just a little while but then, before I know it, it's 2:30 p.m. Gah.

Anyway, here are my most recent digi works of art:


The photo in this second one is taken along Pine Creek in Cedar Run, where Chris and I will be heading next Wednesday for our annual getaway at the Cedar Run Inn. I can barely express in words how much I love this little retreat. Fabulous food. Lazy days. Gorgeous scenery. None of the usual pressures of life. Did I mention the fabulous food? It's just always such a lovely time and, of course, God will be putting on a spectacular foliage show in the area next week. Can't wait to see that.

We had a little "taste" of it tonight as we headed up north with Jack and Tina for dinner at the Manor Hotel. The restaurant is on Pine Creek and they have a great deck that overlooks it beautifully. And it was quite warm today and this evening, so perfect for a little dinner al fresco. We had a great time and the drive was lovely. The trees have a ways to go yet, but we weren't as far north as we will be next week, either. I'm sure it will be beautiful, anyway. Chris just mentioned that there could be some rain coming in, so I'm going to get my magazine and book stash ready AND - a brilliant thought here - I am going to download PSE 5.0 on Chris's computer and then bring a CD with some of my digi scrapbooking elements so, if it is raining all day - I can sit there and scrap away! How great will that be? (I think I'm pretty darn smart sometimes...) :)

And, to prove it, I'm going to sign off and head for bed. (It's only 11 p.m.!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last year I participated in an online scrap contest and, while I truly never expected to win, I was stretched to the gills and made what have turned out to be a few of my most favorite pages. Well, the contest is back on. (It's Last Scrapper Standing, Volume 2). A gazillion people sign up and the each week a different challenge is given. Everyone submits their pages and then half are CUT. The same thing continues week by week until there is one - or "the last" scrapper still standing. Cool!

THIS week's challenge (week 1) was to use 8 transparencies on your page. No more. No less. Now, transparencies are really BIG in the scrapping world these days. They're clear elements (hence the name transparency - clever, huh?) that you can do such fun stuff with. The contest sponsors are looking for innovation here.

For my page, I printed all 6 of the photos out on transparencies, and for the 5 little ones that are in slide mounts, I de-saturated the color and they really do look like little slides in real life. They're so cute. I also added a transparent frame to the main photo and then the big word art strip is number 8. I love how it shows under the bigger photo. I put a backing on all the little photos, so they wouldn't appear so blurry (as transparencies do if they're "floating" at all). I LOVE my page. Is it innovative? Well, to be honest, I don't think so... It's been done before, so I may not even make it past this first week. (Last year I got cut after the 3rd week.) But, in the end, I get to KEEP a page I really adore! Gotta love that! :) Oh, and I cut out that whole black flowery-viney thing. Love that. And it's no accident that I just so happened to take my photo on top of a transparent table and next to a transparent candle holder. But that don't count for nothin'! It just amuses me....

Here it is:

And here are a few details:




Like I said, the transparencies photography very blurri-ly. It looks so much better in real life!We'll see how it goes, and I'll certainly report back to my blog one way or the other...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Winter? No, I just happened to pull out a winter photo for this layout - because I wanted to scrap something with this collection of papers and Matthew was wearing a hat that matched!


So, I did this page for 2 reasons (well, besides the fact that I LOVE to scrap!) First, for the Elsie 52 week challenge. This time the challenge was to use a ribbon border and I bordered the photo with some. But also, over at SIStv this week, the design team (aka "fashionistas) were picking only layouts using this collection of papers (called "Sonora H.S.) for their "best of". Their selection of favorite layouts for the week is also known as the "catwalk". (Everything on the site is fashion related as far as names go.) So I wanted to use the collection for a layout and get it in for consideration. And guess what? I MADE the catwalk again!! Woohoo! I made it last week as well (for the 1st time) and so now that's two weeks in a row. (The other layout that got picked was the "I Do" one, below.) This is like getting an academy award on this site. So I'm pretty excited! They like me, they really like me! :)

This is just a shortie because I actually have some work to do! What a concept! I'm off to enjoy this gorgeous day!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A new one:

This is the last layout I made for my online class. I'm using a photo technique I learned on this one, but the whole page is ALL my creation. I love how it turned out. (For any digi scrappers out there, I used Diana Rigdon's (scrapartist.com) "Grunge Factor" kit.) One of the big plusses of digi scrapping (besides the fact that it's quicker) is that there's NO MESS to clean up afterwards! Sweet! I'll never give up on my "real paper" scrapping, though.

Well, as I write this, Matthew and Martha are enjoying the gorgeous SW Irish coast view from every window of the cottage they're renting for the week. They arrived at Shannon yesterday a.m. and Matthew, for all his concerns about driving, said it was fine. They've already downed a few Guinesses and sang (American songs) with the locals. So they're off to a great start of what promises to be a trip of their lifetime! I'm just beside myself with excitement for them, which is only more pronounced by the fact that I know just what they're experiencing. It makes me long to get back there my own self!

And our nest is again empty as Dustin is finally actually spending the nights at his new apartment - just 10 minutes from here! :) He was gone over the weekend and we hit WalMart and Sam's and dropped off "a few" goodies for him to find when he got back last night. (We didn't want him to starve!) He still has a phone situation to work out, but he can easily walk to a pay phone or call from work, where he'll be putting in about 40 hours this week - a GOOD thing!

Woke up to 40ish degree temps this morning and a chilly house. But the sun is shining now - it's gorgeous out. Fall is definitely in the air, though I heard it's to warm up again later on in the week. A good frost wouldn't break my heart, though - I'm tired of waking up all congested and sneezing all the time...my hay fever has made a reappearance this season. On the other hand, I hope our flowers hang out long enough for our annual Dancin' on the Deck party this coming Friday. We'll see!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Here are a couple new layouts:


Oh, I just realized they both "star" Matthew! Well, he IS a star, isn't he? Well at least I think so! The top one is a digi that I just did on my own (using a template, but I chose all the papers). The bottom one was the template we used from yesterday (final) online digi class. I just popped in the photo and did the journaling after doing all the other stuff - which everyone else did. What I'm saying is that the 2nd one - though beautiful - isn't unique, like the top one.

I'm definitely going to take the next digi class in the series so I can learn even more. This has been great. And even though I can pop out a digi layout in about an hour, I'm going to try not to start them at 1 a.m. (Geesh)

Speaking of Matthew, he and his lovely wife, Martha (I love saying that) are leaving for IRELAND on Friday! Wow! Can't believe it's here already and I am now officially VERY jealous. I find that I can't allow myself to think about Ireland too much, because then I just get this intense longing to go back. Hopefully, we will realize that next spring!

I think I'm actually feeling a spark of energy today after a week of this nasty cold. Well, at least I'm typing just a little faster... I hate feeling crappy.

On that happy note, I'm off to pour cuppa coffee #2 and get started on some "work"!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Here's a couple new layouts I've done:

This one was for a challenge book I'm working through (the 52 challenges mentioned previously). The idea was to make your focal photo black and white. The journaling around the edges is a prayer for the lovely couple. (In the photo a prayer is being given.)



And this one I did because I was given that "quickpage" in my online digi class. All I had to do was add the photo and my journaling (which, interestingly, I did exactly the same way as the previously laout!). This page took me all of about 20 minutes from start to finish - a real record for me! (The first layout - done in "real" paper - took me about 2 hours - which, actually, is still pretty fast for me.) When I saw the template, I knew right away what I had to use for a picture...

Well, I am still down and out with this nasty cold. Yesterday the coughing phase began (during the Penn State game, which made it very difficult to be my normal overly-excited self). And this morning I woke up with THE most painful cough I've ever had. A couple cups of hot coffee have soothed it some, but, UGH. Crapola city here. No church for me today. I anticipated that and had Chris put the song service together with songs HE could do! At least I still have half a brain...

Off to cough up a lung....


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Well, I'm whipping out the digi layouts now! I can't stop. This one uses a template where all the elements are there and you just choose which papers, fonts, etc. to plug in. These are more photos from our last Sunday at Kellie's pool.

Matthew sent me this link to a blog where he was written up since he played at the guy's store in Sedona this past weekend. I'm such a proud mommy. What I'm SO looking forward to, since I'm beginning to believe that M&M are actually moving back here next summer, is hearing Matthew play around here! I'll be the groupie Mom that annoyingly follows him everywhere. Chris will be the louder, more obnoxious version of same.

Well, I'm feeling crappy today. I have a yucky sore throat (day 2) and just generally feel yuck. I'd love to blow off all the banking I have to do today. But then it will be looming and waiting for me tomorrow... Either way, I'll probably be in front of this computer most of the day!

It's an UNbusy weekend coming up, thankfully. Sounds good to me. Hope yours is great!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


My latest digi page. It captures what may well be the last romp in the pool. We were at Kellie's (Chris's sister) pool on Sunday for a picnic and the weather was gorgeous. As you can see, Chris and Dustin were up to their usual antics. What can we expect, really? I could make a politically incorrect comment about that main photo, but I won't...

Chris and I did our annual Memorial Day Road Trip yesterday, on Labor Day. We started off with a big, greasy breakfast at May's. Mmmmm. (Probably not the best thing to eat just hours before fasting for bloodwork the next a.m.) Then we headed to Rickett's Glen where one of the spectacular falls there is just off the road - Adams Falls. Whew. Amazing and the setting is stunning. Yet only a matter of yards off the road.

From there we headed to the Scranton area to Frances Slocum State Park. Located there are the rocks where Indians, who had kidnapped the young Miss Slocum, took her the first night. I read about this true story in a historical fiction book called The Red Heart by James Alexander Thom. This is just an amazing story - one of the best books I've ever read (as are all his that I've read, my favorite being Follow the River). I highly recommend it. You can get it here.

The rocks were just a short hike in the woods that surround the lake at this beautiful park. It went kind of like this:

Me: We have to go up that hill?
Chris: It looks that way.
Me: I thought they told you this was an "easy" hike.
Chris: That's what they said.
Me: I don't like uphills. This isn't "easy".
Chris: What can I say? I've never been here before.
Me: (grumble, grumble, pant, pant, pant. Stop to grasp for air and keep from fainting...)
Me: (at top of hill) Is (pant, pant) that (gasp, gasp) it (pant, gasp)?
Chris: Yep, there's the sign.
Me: (pant, pant, pant) Okay. Let's go.
Chris: Okay.

(Note to self: start that walking program TOMORROW!)

One of the reasons this story interested me so much was that Frances Slocum's travels (with the Indians) took her through PA and across OH and into IN where she finally settled near Ft. Wayne - just 20 minutes from where I was born. So I was familiar with the terrain and area through which she ventured. I won't give away the end. Read it.

After the park, we headed towards Clarks Summit and played mini golf at a GREAT course. I hate those stupid, boring courses that it took no thought to create. This was NOT one of those. It was very hilly, had lots of steps, waterfalls, "creeks", plantings and each hole was challenging and unique. Way fun. Oh, by the way. I must mention one little factoid. I BEAT CHRIS!! (He GOLFS!) Sa-weeet!

Chris had planned another lookout with a very short walk (he said), but, being that it's a road trip, which means nothing is set in stone and spontanaity rules, (and also that my heart rate was just finally getting back to normal) I suggested heading to the Target complex out of Wilkes Barre which we weren't too far from. Of course, being that we were going to drive through Clarks Summit first, we HAD to stop at Krispy Kreme. (Yeah, those are gonna help the fitness level, not to mention the upcoming bloodwork). We mostly took home what we got there.

So from there we hit Target and managed to quite easily drop a few bucks. We actually bought our first Christmas gift, though. I found a ton of scrapbooking stuff on clearance, big time. Couldn't pass that up!

We concluded our trip by dining at the Outback Steakhouse, since we don't have one near us. We split a blooming onion (and actually didn't even finish it) and then both got steak salads which we also didn't finish. I thought I had done very well trying to get some veggies in there and stopping before I had reached the point of naseatingly full. I guess the hard lesson about lack of fitness was starting to sink in... Oh, and I had to fast beginning at 7 p.m. for the bloodwork in the morning.

All in all, it was a great day. The weather was spectacular, again. Good stuff. I came home and resisted eating my fresh KK donuts. :( Because, you know, the fast, the bloodwork.

So I pryed myself out of bed at the last possible minute this a.m. for the said bloodwork. I was STARVING! Got myself out the door and arrived just in time for my 7:40 a.m. appt. Hey, I wasn't going to waste ANY time being coffee OR food-less. Well, I didn't get called in until 8 a.m. :( I warned the tech that I was a "hard stick" which she was so very unhappy to hear. I've had them try to draw blood from me before at the doc's office - unsuccessfully - and should have used that past experience to influence where to get it drawn this time, but they just moved and I thought maybe that meant the tech had improved as well. Nope. She stuck me once and got nothing. Couldn't even find a vein in the other arm, so tried my hand. Nothing. She took a deep breath, swearing she'd get it this time and plunged in again, digging as she went. OW. As it turns out, she "blew" that vein and called in another tech who also couldn't find anything. Apparently, I am veinless. :( So NOW I have to do the whole fast thing-y again sometime - but up at Williamsport Hospital's lab. Not happy! :( I do have a mammogram scheduled up there next week, but it's not until noon. Well, if I show up in the lab at 8 a.m., it might BE until noon before they get the blood out of me... or else I'll be passed out from starvation.

Don't ask me why, but all this is making me hungry!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Here's the latest REAL paper page I did. It's for yet another challenge I'm doing. This time it's to do all the challenges in this book. The first one was to use a quote and to cut it up into word strips. That's pretty easy, because it's something I like to do anyway. So my page was sort of in celebration (or should I say remembrance) of the "last" day of summer, which I really consider August 31st to be.

Yeah, so, can you believe it's SEPTEMBER? Wow! See? Now doesn't that just seem like fall to you? Even though on my msn home page the forecast for the next four days shows perfect little suns, no clouds, no rain, 80-ish. Dang! That sounds pretty summer-ific to me!

We had a friend (and her family) from Penn College over last night. We did a little hot dog roast. We have been doing a lot of those this summer. I find it ever so enjoyable. Besides the taste of fire roasted hot dogs (not too shabby, if not nutritious) the fire is always so nice and it's just fun sitting around in the semi-dark. We have tiki-torches going and the deck lights are on and then, of course, there's the fire light. It's just a nice atmosphere. And, being as clear as it was, the stars were amazing last night. And we had a barn own join us as well. I looked and looked for him in the trees with a strong flashlight, but to no avail. But it was being very "vocal" so we knew it was there!

I have a little scrapping in my immediate future (i.e. today!) but, first, I must get the song service on powerpoint. So off I go...

Such a beautiful light is streaming through my windows. Must be the light of early autumn!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I did it my own self! Here's the 1st digi page I did on my own - since taking this online course, that is:

(Scrap Night -Credits: pp - whitie tighties, Amy Teets; 12x12 overlay - Leora Sanford designerdigitals.com; flourish stamp - Michelle Coleman, designerdigitals.com; Stamp - Stamped Moments by KPertiet, designerdigitals.com; Tags - Noir Blanc by Tinkering Ink; Alphabet, Photo Frame - Jessica Sprague; Funky Flowers by JDesai at Dancing Lines)

I'm pretty happy with the way the page turned out. (For some reason, the pics look odd, but irl, they're fine.) But, I'm so totally happy with the way this online course is going. I'm learning SO much. And I decided to go ahead and download the free trial of PSE 5.0, so I'll be purchasing that, too, I suppose.

It's so still out. I mean, not a breeze, barely a sound. Summer is winding down. It's been a strange summer in a way. I've been totally happy being the boss of my own self and of my own time. I can't get over it. But you'd think that with not doing Fresh Air anymore and having the summer off (A.W., that is, i.e. after wedding) that we'd be lolling around at every beach and forest and grassy expanse, etc. Nope. In fact, we haven't been to World's End once this summer, as Chris pointed out the other day. We've just barely been swimming a few times. Not that it hasn't been hot enough... We did have our wonderful week up in Blackwell and also the family reunion (also in Blackwell), at least we did that. I think Chris has just had a ton of reviews to work on and I've been content as a little bee in my scrap room (or on the computer) and haven't bugged him to go anywhere! It's okay, but as summer is coming to an end, I find I'm not really ready to give it up just yet. Gotta make time for sure to squeeze out a few more summer activities. We have a few planned.

Tomorrow we're having a friend from my work at the college over - and her family - and we're going to have a hot dog roast. And we were planning to take the canoe out on Sunday afternoon, but now Chris's sister is having a get-together, and she does have a pool. And since we didn't do our annual Memorial Day Road Trip (again, the wedding) we're going to do a substitute Labor Day Road Trip. To HECK with gas prices, I say! We will be heading out to who knows where and capturing the last little bit of summer goodness.

Made reservations yesterday to go to Mom's for Thanksgiving. I figured since we were going to AZ for Christmas and both Chris and I haven't been to Mom's (together) this year, we would head out that way. She should be recovered pretty well from her shoulder surgery by then and it should be more of a "social" visit and less of a "nursing" visit. Hopefully! :)

Today is banking day. I guess I've put it off long enough. So off I go to drown myself in financial foo-fa-la for a few hours....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here's another beautiful layout that I did as a result of the online digi scrapping class I'm taking. And another:



They are pretty gorgeous, aren't they? (If I do say so my own self!) Well, I can say so because, people, I'm only sticking photos and some journaling in these. The designs - the GORgeous designs - are already done by the very talented Jessica Sprague her own self!

But, I'm learning a LOT about Photoshop Elements (3). I mean, really a lot. Today, I pretty much spent the afternoon organizing all my digital elements onto that program. And I think it will be ever so much easier to see what I have and actually USE it (much as in real paper scrapping).

Chris and Dustin spent THE DAY golfing. They're just back (45 min. ago) and it's 6:30 p.m. Yep, that's a lot of golfing! Well, never fear! Someone around here DID do some actual housework around here today - if laundry counts as real housework. That person would be, of course, moi. I still have my journal page to work on this evening, so, back to finishing up my organizing!

This all equals a GREAT day for me! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dustin babysat little Eva yesterday. (Dustin is dating a friends' daughter, who has a 3 year old - and we have known and loved them both from the time they were babies!) I do believe this was the first time Dustin was in charge of little Eva by himself for the whole day. I think it's really good experience for him since he's serious about this relationship. And I didn't want to "bail" him (not that he wanted us to, either), by taking over myself. So I just did my thing yesterday while he did his. Of course, Eva would come running in for hugs and cuddles from time to time and to see what Chris or I were doing or to show us something. But, other than that, it was ALL Dustin. And I have to say, he did just a marvelous job. I didn't detect even an iota of impatience or weariness. We decided to eat dinner out with (other) friends at one of our favorite little trashy restaurants (in a great country location), so before we left I thought perhaps I ought to impart just a little motherly wisdom by suggesting that Dustin change her and perhaps feed her a little something so she wouldn't be starving and cranky when we got there. Well, the boy had already done both things! *sigh* I'm so proud!

As it turns out, Eva fell asleep in the car and was cranky when we arrived anyway. But Dustin pretty much held her the whole time - when Chris wasn't taking her for a walk. She did great. Here's a pic of her enjoying her fries:

And, to change the subject completely, here's the latest layout I did.
The photo is from a couple falls ago when we were biking with the Delaney's (the very friends we ate dinner with last night). The layout is definitely not my normal style, but I wanted to play with the papers and play I did. It's wild, but it was fun! And that's part of the fun of scrapbooking; experimenting with your style and going out of your comfort zone from time to time to try new artistic avenues!

Well, after a week of absence, the sun is back out today. No more damp, dreary, CHILLY weather. In fact, there's a heat advisory out today - it's 90-something and VERY humid. Ugh. I hate this kind of weather more than any. And we were supposed to try out the new canoe on the river today. Sitting out in the sun, amplified by the reflection of the water, and to be working (as in rowing) does NOT appeal to me right now. Dustin and Chris and Gary can go, but I'm going to hunker down in my relatively cool house and do other things today... I mean, there's even a heat advisory out. I have validation. I can't breathe in this weather. Did I mention the heat advisory?

That's all my whining for now. I'm off to do some inside "work". :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I started my online PSE digi scrapping class yesterday. Here's what I made:

That's Martha's mom, Katy, on the page there. I love that photo of her, looking so pensive. (If you click on the photo of the page, you'll get it bigger and can then read the journaling.) Anyway, the class was awesome. I only dropped in the photo and added a few other elements.The page was pretty much already set up. (Doesn't Katy's outfit match perfectly?) :)

I've always been one to "trial and error" my way through software. I actually find that I learn a lot that way. Reading manuals is something I only rarely do - and then, only as a last resort. But Photoshop Elements has really been a challenge. You can't just figure stuff out, you really kind of have to know what you're doing. Yeah, I've gotten some manuals for PSE, but, as I said!

So it was great to find this class. It's very straightforward and full of little extra tips. Of course, you can use PSE for enhancing and editing photos, but since this class is given by a scrapbooker - a digital scrapbooker - it was right up my alley! I've done a wee tad of digi scrapping already, but I want to learn how to do the stuff necessary to produce some of the blow-you-away digi-scrapped pages I've seen. Stuff that just can't be done with paper scrapping.

The class is four weeks, so there will be much more to learn. And then a more in-depth class will be available after that...

I'm off to work on a page for my "mom's album" (inspiring pages I'm sending to my mom on a regular basis that she can then add to an album I've already given her...) I have a doctor's appointment (nothing special) this afternoon, at which time I'll mail all the layouts I've finished for the SIS Circle Journal I'm in. Can't wait to get all the pages for my own book back in the mail!

Later!


Monday, August 20, 2007


This is the cover I did for the new online journaling challenge site, This is Me. (Hence, the name of the journal!) :) I love how it turned out and I'm looking forward to checking out the first challenge, which I'll do in just a minute.

It's a quiet morning here. Chris and Dustin are out golfing. They may be back soon, though, because it's also raining. (Chris says it doesn't rain on the golf course. Heh.) I love the rain, though. It's gentle. We need it. It means we don't have to water. And when I hear about the drought and heat conditions down south. Ugh. Yes. I LOVE the rain and the fact that I have been wearing a long-sleeved shirt for the past three days. (Haven't given up on the flip-flops yet, though!)

Anyway, I do love it when I have the house all to myself. No. No parties. No loud music. I don't know, it's just meditative for me. No pressures (not that there are any with people home...) I have an online class to do and my first journal page to do and I love that I can just think without interruption and play my music if I want - or play nothing. My choices.

So off I go to dig in to the rest of the day!




Saturday, August 18, 2007

I attended my first-ever scrapbook "crop" - here at my house! I have forever been wanting to have some of the teens from church (and anyone else interested) over to make these cute little matchbook mini's that BasicGrey puts out. I've done several and they're so fun and cute and easy to do. They come in a punch-out kit that consists of two double-sided sheets, so, like I said - EASY!

So, here are a few that attended (there were 7 of us all together):

And here's what we were making:

Mine is a Christmas theme, but the others' were much more "girly" (you can see the papers under my little book) - great for "friends", "family", etc. I brought out a bunch of my goodies to share, put on some tunes, set out the m&m's and we totally trashed the table and had a blast!

I've never had a desire to attend a crop before because 1) I work very slowly and 2) I want to have access to all my "stuff". So, having this at my house solved both of those issues. We had so much fun that everyone wants to come back and finish their books, so we'll do that in September.

I signed up for an online digital scrapbooking class here, not so much because I want to do digital scrapbooking, I do, but it's mostly because I want to learn better how to use Photoshop Elements. It's the OPPOSITE of Picasa (free from Google) as far as user-friendly and learning curve goes. Very complicated. Obviously, you can do way, way more with PSE than you can with Picasa. I've done a few digi layouts and I would like to learn how to really do the intricate ones. So that starts on Monday and I'm excited about that.

And, I signed up for a "me" (it's always all about me, isn't it?) scrappy-journal challenge that will give prompts/challenges twice a week. It's called This Is Me Journal Challenge. I really enjoy journaling, but sometimes (just like as on this blog), I just don't know what to talk about, Also, I want to challenge myself to work faster and to not obsess so much about my pages. While this isn't a scrapbook, per se (i.e. no pictures are really needed), I still tend to just THINK way too much and take too long!

I finished my circle journal pages for SIS and I'm going to scan/photograph them all this weekend and them send them all away on Monday. They're actually due on the 25th, but I don't want to be late. I'm sending all the pages to the organizer of the journal, who will take everyone's pages that she's received, sort them by the owner of the respective journal and then mail said pages to the rightful owner. In other words, when she gets all the pages from everyone that have been done for my own journal, she'll pack 'em up and send 'em to me.

So, I have to say, it will be sad to part with some of the layouts I've done. At least I will have an electronic version, but, I did put my heart into each one and I'm really happy with what I did, so I'm kind of attached to them. Some were really a blessing to do. I'm sure I'll post those on here for "all" to see...

It's a spectacular day out there in Muncy, PA today. The humidity is gone, my ankles are back to their normal size and it's so "cool" out, that the windows have been shut this a.m. But I think it's warming up now, so I'm off to fling 'em open, put on some tunes and scrap the cover of my journal! Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So, we stopped at our favorite local farmstand yesterday to buy some fresh sweet corn. And here's what we found:

Not a soul in site, all the goodies done up in bags with prices posted and the cash box. Full of money. In plain sight.

I LOVE it! I love that I live in a place where, not only do you not have to lock your doors at night, but we rarely do at all. Really, only when we go on vacation or out of town for more than overnight. And we leave the keys IN the car - at home, anyway. Yeah, it's a small town. Okay, there's not that much to do around here. But that's okay - I'm a "type Z" personality, anyway. I like the slow pace. I like that no matter where you go, you're bound to know somebody. I like the fact that there's never any bad traffic. Heck, there's never any traffic at all! (Actually, I LOVE that little fact of life!)

So, does it disturb me that I must leave my hard-earned - okay, Chris's hard earned - money out in plain sight - stuck under a rock just beggin for someone to steal it? No - because I'm so happy that I live in a place where you can trust most people. And, for heaven's sake, if someone comes by to buy tomatoes or corn or peppers and feels it necessary to take an extra quarter or two - or the whole dang thing - then let 'em have it. I'm willing to donate to their destitute situation - or their hunger for an ice cream cone down the road - whatever. It's all for the good of living in the wonderful little town that I do...What I get to take away is the happy truth that I still live in a world where you can use the honor system!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We had a lovely time in Blackwell at the family reunion. THIS is what we mostly did:



It was perfect swimming weather pretty much the whole time and this is just the greatest swimming hole. They are all on top of this huge rock that lies just under the surface. It's surrounded by a very deep creek bed. The water was super comfy, not too cold. Many of us (including moi) went snorkeling. Some jumped off the cliff, as seen here:



That's Dustin in mid jump. But almost everyone was in the water at some point. And when we weren't doing that, we were hanging out on the deck, painting rocks, riding bikes up into the canyon, reading, playing lawn games, or the family favorite, eating. It did end up raining Monday morning, but that just made it slightly easier to pack everything up and leave as planned.

It seemed a little more low-key this year. There were some people missing, most noteably, of course, was dad. I guess, also, with the kids being another year older, they weren't quite as noisy, wild, etc. So, it was nice. But - last night in my own bed - oh yeah, baby.

And we have now acquired the MOST ungodly hot, humid weather. UGH! When we came home yesterday, we opened up the house a bit because it was a little stuffy and actually cooler outside. But in the time it took to go see "Hairspray" (LOVED it), this super-oppresive humidity rolled in. Dang! So the house is again closed up for the day to try to keep it OUT!

Dustin has now moved back home, temporarily anyway. He had his last night of work at Russell's last night and today starts work at a restaurant in Hughesville. He's secured an apartment in H-ville, but can't get in until September 1st, so he'll be camping out here until then. That will be nice. And it will be SO great having him 10 minutes away as opposed to 50 minutes! (Especially as he doesn't yet have a vehicle!)

Now we only have to get M&M back to this area...and, unbelievably, it appears that they will be making that move next summer! I'm starting to allow myself to believe it a little bit. They, too, will be living with us for a time. I can't express in words how fantabulous this will be. Both boys together again AND right near US! WOOOOHOOOO! Ahem. I'm just trying to restrain the emotions until it's actually happening.

I've been away from my scrap room (and my circle journal projects) for 4 days now and I hear it calling my name....I still have 4 layouts to complete and have mailed by the 25th. Time is closing in. I'm off.

Friday, August 03, 2007



I've been creating! I can't stop! I don't want to stop!

I've noticed an interesting trend, too, which you can see in these last two layouts that I did. Well, it's interesting to ME anyway! I've been leaving scraps of papers and elements from the previous layout on my scrap table when I start the next project (because they're coming so fast - for me) and those pieces/elements are influencing, or making their way into, anyway, the next layout to come. For a while it was a green thing. Now I'm on a pink/orange thing. Notice the same alpha-letters in both layouts.

Tomorrow we head back up to Blackwell for our, probably, last Barlow family reunion. Dad B. always treated the fam to this and, now that he's gone, the sibs are using estate money to fund one last reunion. Now, it's not like we don't see each other often - we do. But not everyone all at once. And...even this time, not EVERYone is coming. The especially noteable person not in attendance will be, of course, Dad himself. We'll miss him...

It's supposed to be stinkin' HOT, too (as it is now...) which, up there, is EXCELLENT news! I'm gonna just keep my swim suit on and be ready to jump in that creek at any given moment because it cools you off for hours afterwards. Can't wait for that.

And Chris and I have another "coffee moment" planned one morning. We'll pack our bikes with coffee and nylon folding chairs and ride up into the canyon, find a nice place to look out and then sit down and enjoy a lovely cuppa joe. Wonderful way to welcome in the morning - which we will have to do EARLY to beat the heat!

I predict several trips to the Cedar Run G.S. for ice cream as well... I'm not bringing much to do - basically reading and photo taking. That's about all the heat will allow for me energy-wise (when not helping in the kitchen, etc.).

It's late. I'm mostly packed, but have a few things to get together in the morning so I think I'll actually hit the hay!

Ah, Dustin has arrived. Chris went down to pick him up after his work. Let the reunioning begin!