Friday, August 29, 2008

Remember that two week "lull" in my crazy life I just had? Otherwise known as "the calm before the storm"? Not that a wedding is a storm, but, you know what I mean if you've ever married off a child! Bride OR Groom! ANYway, in that lull, I managed to squeeze in a Design School class offered by SIStv and taught by the amazingly talented fellow Fashionista, Lucy Folch. She makes the most amazing, wonderful, colorful, dimension layouts - and she does amazing things with paper and paint. So I was thrilled to be able to sign up for her class. And she walked us through the processes involved to make a layout, the end result of which you see above. I just love it! And now I see that there is a whole new dimension to paper if you wet it! SO fun. That layout is way, way out of my "norm" - and I LOVE that I could do it because I love that kind of work. I'm not that good at making stuff up on my own, but I'm a pretty good student!

Speaking of weddings, (were we?) today Chris and I are hosting all of Deborah and Gary's family (about 30) that are in from out of state for the wedding. We're having a catered dinner - HOPEfully out on our lovely deck. The weather is a concern today, but we always had a "Plan B" in mind just in case. And, of course, that plan is to have it INside (and on the front porch porch). And, with that little trouble-maker Hurricane Fay, the remnants of whom we are feeling today, it does look like we MAY have to be inside. But it will be fun anyway. And we'll survive!

And TOMORROW is the wedding day! Things are going well, I think. It's just a lot of work - especially for Dustin and Emily. And Deborah - who took on the task of doing all the flowers and decorating of the venue (chapel and tent) AND the cooking of a "Southern Picnic". Of course, she had to. It's just in her to do this and to want to do this. And I respect her. But I also think she's crazy. And, after tomorrow, she may just agree with me. But, all in all, I'm sure she (and I) will be glad she did it.

If you know me at all, then you know that I've pretty much burned myself out in the realm of cooking. Yeah, I've been there, done that. When the boys where little, we did the whole natural food thing (most of which I still enjoy) and I made EVERYthing (including yogurt, bread, mayo, etc.) from scratch. When the boys got older and discovered what tofu and tempeh and such was, that was the end of that. But I kept homecooking most everything anyway and, eventually, for me, that kinda got old. Chris started cooking a little bit and then when I went back to work, he started cooking a lot. Since I'm retired now, the cooking is pretty much a shared thing. We both enjoy eating out, but it's just not that affordable OR good for you. So we have tried cutting down on that, too.

I wouldn't be sad if I never had to cook another morsel in my entire life. I'm just sayin'. And now that Matthew and Martha are living here - they are doing a LOT of the cooking and I'm just as happy as I can be about it. (I do try to do the cleanups, though, to appease my lingering guilt.) All of this is a long explanation as to why you would never catch me in a gazillion years volunteering to cook an entire wedding meal for my daughter's (if I had one) wedding reception. For 100 people. Um, nope. Not me.

I'm not even cooking a meal for the dinner we're hosting tonight. We figured it out and figured having it catered wouldn't cost much more than doing it ourselves, so why not pay someone else to do it and slap it on the counter? Plus, the kitchen will be relatively clean for the party and we won't have to add that to our long list of to-do's today. (We're REALLY happy about that last part!) So, today, we are basically doing a good cleaning of the house and surroundings and setting up tables and chairs and making 'em pretty. And that's enough! (I made that sound a LOT easier that what it will really be!) And that's why, I suspect, that my mind started going at about 5:15 a.m. and I gave in and got up! A few quiet, coffee drinking hours before all heck breaks loose is good.

Very good. Happy Friday! The next post will be from a mother who has married off both children... :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My latest digital creations (as in TODAY): For credits, you can visit my gallery at SIStv and click on the individual images. You can click on the images below for a larger version as well...

Just a quickie post after another whirlwind couple of days - kinda. Well, I've been "tied up", but not "busy". No, wait. That just doesn't sound good. I've had something going on for two days - but it's been stuff that's involved a lot of sitting around. Okay, I'll explain.

We watched Eva all day yesterday. Not only do I find it difficult to try to "work" (which for me involves either housework, or church stuff, or banking, or scrapping - on or off the computer - or website time) while Eva is around, but I don't really want to do anything but spend time with her when she's here. So that's what I did. I took lots of photos of her doing whatever she was doing all day.

And, as soon as her mom came for Eva, we grown-ups all took off for a night of fun at a great local amusement park, Knobel's Grove. For me, this involves a lot of eating and a lot of people watching and hardly any ride riding. Rides make me sick. Literally. I can do stuff like the merry-go-round or the ferris wheel. But that's it pretty much. So, I'm like the mommy watching her little children ride and laugh and go again and again and again. And I'm fine with that. And last night it was probably the most crowded I've EVER seen it. Which made for GREAT people-watching. Hoo boy.

Today, we've all been feeling a little, shall we say, SLUGgish... Yeah, a truckload of junk food will do it to ya every time. Unfortunately, all the walking around doesn't seem to counteract the overingestion of the crapfood. Ew.

So, I siezed THIS day to get some digi scrapping done and to get caught up on the website. And just got done with that. That's pretty much all I've done all day except for taking the dog up with me to get the mail. And I almost missed that, too, because I waited so long that Chris was coming home just as I was approaching the mailbox. But he left it in there, at my request, so I didn't feel that my walk was without purpose...

So, now, dinner time is fast-approaching. It's a quick-food extravaganza: Frozen chicken cordon-bleu, canned green beans and an instant rice mix.

Hey! I'm hungry!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Wednesday! And a happy Wednesday it will be! The kids (M&M) return from MA this evening and we - and when I say we, I especially mean Taco - are anxiously awaiting their return... It's just been too quiet around here and, besides, I getting tired of eating the same old, same old... I need a chef, er, the kids here for some culinary inspo! Besides, Chris just had all his teeth yanked out and it's no fun cooking for two...

I'm SO enjoying a fairly relaxing week this week. Ahhhhhh. I did have my annual dr.'s appointment. I have a battery of lovely tests lined up - mammogram, bone density scan (never had one of those before, but if it doesn't cause pain or embarassment, then I'm down with it) and the dreaded colonoscopy. Well, I guess I don't dread it that much, because I won't remember a thing and where else can you fart to your heart's content and be praised for it? Nice. And I have to fast this evening because I go for bloodwork bright and early tomorrow. WHY, oh why did I make that appointment so dadgum early? OH! I I wouldn't have to wait forever for my coffee...

In other exciting news, I'm also working on the gift bags for the wedding. I won't give away what they are, but let's just say they're bright and PLAYful! :)

Chris is doing pretty well after his transition to dentures. He's re-learning talking and chewing - both really good skillz to know. Today, we (we, meaning I) opted out of a kayak trip because the bathroom downstairs is still in utter disarray and disrepair after last week's toilet fiasco. It's odd how it was the UPstairs toilet that needed repair, but the DOWNstairs bathroom that got trashed. (Chris had to tear apart the paneled ceiling downstairs in order to get to the pipes.) Normally, I would have let this unsightlyness go, but since next week is wedding week and we're hosting a large dinner on Friday night, and I've lived with Chris for 33 years and am well aware of how things go down, I just felt the need to push to get that project completed TODAY. Just sayin'... Oh, and what I really meant to say is that just shows how gooooood Chris is doing!

And, in light of all my "free" time lately, which I've been LOVING, I've also been getting some scrapping done! Here's my latest completed project:

This was prompted by a couple things. First, we just celebrated our church's 30th anniversary and, at the same time, our pastor's 20th anniversary at the church. Pretty phenominal! Well, I just love him and wanted to do a layout of him using this photo taken at a recent outing to World's End State Park. Secondly, I recieve BasicGrey's newsletter monthly in which they always provide a "sketch" to use to inspire a layout. Then, you can submit it to their gallery to be posted for all the world to see. Well, okay, all the scrapbooking world, anyway. Here it is at their gallery... You can click on the thumbnails for a closer view.

So, next, I'm feeling some digi scrapping coming on... I'm off!

Hey! It's new collection time over at my beloved SIStv. Here's a peeky at the new Urban Prep collection that goes on sale at the SIStv boutique on August 25th:

Sweet! Our collections are FABulous and chock-full of delicious goodies. In fact, Urban Prep is available for PreOrder Until August 24th! AND, if you spend $50 at said SIStv boutique you will get A $10 Gift Card! Oh, and the Urban Prep collection CAN be part of your $50 expenditure to qualify for the gift card. Isn't that SUPER? That reminds me. I bet you didn't know that I can say "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" backwards. Yep. Now, obviously, it wouldn't do me any good to try to do that in typing. You'll just have to take my word for it. Next time you see me, just ask and I'll gladly demonstrate. This is the kind of stuff you learn when your very first record album is the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack - and you listen to it over and over and over...

Uh huh...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This little darlin' is gonna be my daughter-in-law two weeks from today! Wow! It's not going to be hard to make the leap because she's been kinda like a daughter to me for oh so many years, being my BFF's daughter. I've known her since she was about 5 years old. Who woulda thunk it? We had a little shower for her last Sunday night. It was fun and sweet and the first of many wedding activities and celebrations.

Dang! I gotta get something to wear!

Last Sunday we also had the big 30th anniversary celebratory picnic that I've been planning and thinking about for months. Whew! It went great and the balloon release at the end was really, really cool. The weather cooperated (even tho it was forecasted to be nasty). We even had one of our balloons found this past week - in Friendsville, PA of all places. That's in eastern PA near the NY border. Cool!

So this week, I've had breather. Yes! I had a new tutorial go up over at SIStv on Monday. The formatting didn't do what it was supposed to do, but other than that, it's fine. And then I hosted two "Fashionista Chat Hours" this week. One Monday a.m. and the other Wednesday p.m. That was fun and I had a great time getting to know some of the SISters better. I also had a haircut/pedi this week, got groceries and then escorted Chris to the oral surgeon to have every last one of his teeth yanked out of his mouth. Yep. He's entered the world of dentures. Sigh. But he's doing really well. Although, I haven't seen him yet this a.m. He was not in the bed when I got up, so I'm assuming he went downstairs and got on the recliner to sleep because he was probably having a hard time sleeping or maybe was getting some pain. I haven't disturbed him yet.... No, I'm not a bad wife. He just really likes to manage these kind of things himself if possible.

And, for some odd reason, it's been the week of broken things. This week, we have gone out and replaced the following things that were either already broken or unexpectedly just broke:

Toaster Oven
Toilet (this started out as a "fixing the leak project" and ended up with no less than 4 trips to the hardware store and a new toilet. 'nuff said...)

And - my favorite, even though I won't use it -

A new Cuisinart RED coffee maker. Doesn't it look so great with my red cupboards? I love it! :) (I, myself, drink my coffee from a senseo single pod coffee pot, because Chris makes the coffee too strong for me and, frankly, he just uses crappy coffee. Maybe this will inspire him to use better stuff...)

Oddly, I haven't done as much scrapping this week as I'd hoped. I did finish the little '07 Family Reunion quiz album. It's mostly about the quiz - not the most intricate thing I've ever made, but I wanted to keep it simple. And then I've been cleaning up my scraproom which had been a horrible mess after several projects and also doing some digi organizing (inspired by my own tutorial!). I love to organize almost as much as I love to scrap and rarely get time for it. So, I've been going that route this week. I'm also working on getting caught up with my ATC's - using bits and pieces from recent projects - many of which are on my desk. But, really, not too much to show for all that.

Here's the opening page and one of the pages of the reunion quiz book (for the benefit of someone that actually reads this blog!) :)

(As always, if you click directly on the image, you can make it larger - to read...)

So, I have quite a few scrapbook pages swimming around in my head. After I put the song service for tomorrow together, I'm going to go get lost in my scrap room for a whole week! Oh, I was checking out at the grocery store and had bought a digital scrapbooking magazine and the (very) elderly woman that was bagging my groceries looked at it, shook her head and said, "what IS this scrapbook thing?". Ayyyyye yiyi. Get with the program woman! Even she should know that it's not like the concept is all that new, ya know? I happily educated her, but I don't think she was feelin' it. Oh well....

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I've been working my tail off today. So far, I have:

Taken my Granddoggie for a walk
Done my morning reading
Unloaded/loaded the dishwasher and drainer
Cleaned out and cleaned up the fridge (nice!)
Made a load of my famous baked beans for the church picnic tomorrow
Straightened up the 'great room' (i.e. the whole 1st floor) for the shower that's here tomorrow night
Started a load of towels
Gotten out the Rainbow and did a "super" dusting
Dead-headed my petunias and watered my plants
Re-decorated things a little

So NOW it's time to PLAY! I got this fun game off of Stacey's blog (one of my beloved co-Fashionistas) (see list at left). The idea is to give ONE WORD answers. Here I go:

1. Where is your cell phone? car
2. Where is your significant other? errands
3. Your hair? growing
4. Your mother? atrophying
5. Your father? gone
6. Your favorite thing? time
7. Your dream last night? unremembered
8. Your dream/goal? Christlikeness
9. The room you're in? clean
10. Your hobby? neglected
11. Your fear? pain
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? Target!
14. What you're not? hateful
15. One of your wish list items? Miata
16. Where you grew up? scary
17. The last thing you did? tidied
18. What are you wearing? comfy
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet? sleeping
21. Your computer? magnetic
22. Your mood? relaxed
23. Missing someone? kids
24. Your car? practical
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? far
27. Your summer? busy!
28. Love someone? yep
29. Your favorite color? changes
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? sucked

Notice that eating of any kind is not on that list above. All of a sudden, I'm hungry! I'm off...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

We're back from our family reunion in Blackwell, trying to adjust to civilization again (not that we didn't make our own very populated little civil gathering!). Here are just a few (I took almost 300) of the photos I took that highlight what we mostly did...

As always, there was the painting of the rocks. We painted more than ever this year and managed to get paint everywhere! That's Katryn, Angie's daughter, there.

Martha made those hula hoops - they're quite heavy and "really" for adults. Heh. These two obviously had no trouble spinning them around, though. That's Zoey, Richard's daughter and Amily (yes, with an "A"), Richard's girlfriend, Cathy's daughter.

And there was corn hole (though we like to call it bean hole 'cuz there's beans in them thar bags). Constant bean hole. I got this cool shot of John flinging one...

I had my face behind the camera for MUCH of the time (hence, you won't find any photos of me - but that's okay!). I got this stunning photo of the tiger lily that was growing next to our cabin.

Chairs and blankets were lined up along the bank and grown-ups and kids alike watched all the constant activity in this fabulous swimming hole. The Barlow family pretty much represented in the pond all day every day... That's Kerry with her daughter Emmy and son Thomas.

There were some huge fish to be seen by means of snorkeling. The creek was really clear the whole time. That's Matthew floating around.

Every single person was in the creek at some point or another. One of the big attractions was the raft that floats there. That's Ryan with his son Nicholas, Emily's daughter Eva and his son Thomas.

And there's the fam - at least those that were around for the photo on Sunday. We were missing a few people here and there. And I'm holding the camera...

We had a ball. The weather was just stellar. It rained in the wee hours on Saturday morning and we'd heard it could be an all-day downpour kind of thing. We did lose our power for a little while. But it came back and the sun came out mid-morning and it turned out to be just a gorgeous day.

Now my focus is on our 30th anniversary picnic/celebration at church. I'm kind of in charge of planning it. And it's this Sunday, so I'm working on that. And we are having a bridal shower for Emily at my house Sunday evening. So, yes, a very busy week ahead.

I'll check in on the other side...