Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Where Am I & What Do I Need?

I first uttered those words many years ago when we were playing a game at John & Liz's and I found myself without any idea whatsoever as to what I was supposed to do next. Over time, it's morphed into a pretty common phrase at my house, as I seem to be increasingly less capable of keeping myself on track. But I apparently don't ask the question often enough, because I really dropped the ball yesterday . . .

I'm pretty sure I knew where I was all day since I didn't leave the house, but I obviously didn't remember something I needed to DO.

I missed a birthday - a very IMPORTANT birthday! We are talking a SERIOUSLY important birthday . . . and I hope you'll forgive me, John!! To help make up for it, I'm posting this cute little picture of you when you were a mere lad.  All it had on the back when I borrowed it from Jeane was "Johnny Boy," so I can't tell you exactly when it was taken (I'm guessing age 6). I'll just bet you can remember every single detail about when & why it was taken, and I'm hoping that when I get to be 82 maybe my memory will have improved enough to do fancy tricks like that :-)

Meanwhile, it seems that "no longer able to boil eggs" has a new companion. I just may have to start a list so I can keep track of all the things I can't do any more . . . yeah, that's what I'll do - I'll start a list. Now, if only I can remember to do that.

Oh yeah - I almost forgot . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Nod to My Scrappin' Muse

I was asked a question the other day about how I've evolved as a scrapper & how I got started in the first place. That set me to thinking about how instrumental one person has been in making me the addict I am today. No, it's not Becky Higgins or Ali Edwards or even Tim Holtz . . . none of the usual luminaries that spring to mind when scrappers are asked who inspires them most. It's none other than my BFF, Milli!!

(She might even shoot me for posting this picture, but just the fact that she posed for it in the first place is one of the many reasons I love her.  Besides, it helps keep this post from being too much on the "cherishy" side!)

Like a lot of other folks, I sort of starting scrapping in the late 90's after being invited to a Creative Memories party.  But I really didn't accomplish much there except to mutilate nearly every decent snapshot I had of Bill & Amanda growing up . . . you know, cutting them into heart shapes and such, surrounding them with little pieces of b-o-r-i-n-g construction paper, and slapping Mrs. Grossman's stickers all over the page.  And that's right where I was stuck until Milli came along!

We had both moved to the same neighborhood in 2000 and become friends, but we didn't realize until about 6 years ago that we were both scrappers (and I use the term loosely to describe myself).  I can say with no hesitation that THEN was when I really began to scrap in earnest.  Milli opened a whole new universe to me . . . products & techniques I knew nothing about, scrapbooking magazines, places to shop and take classes (both online & off) - and last, but certainly not least, blogs & message boards.

With each new step, Milli has been there not only to introduce me to new things but to encourage me and boost my confidence.  After much cajoling, she finally convinced me a couple of years ago to post one of my layouts in an online gallery.  Yet again, new worlds opened before me  - and after a while doing that, I began to notice some really cool layouts that were done digitally.  Fascinated by them, I wanted to learn more - so I plunked down a few bucks for Photoshop Elements and signed up for some online classes.  Hellooooooo Jessica Sprague and Pattie Knox and Linda Sattgast . . . and all the folks who offer free tutorials (way too many to list & I know I haven't even discovered them all)!

My foray into the The Dark Side (as digital scrapping is sometimes known to its detractors) is about the only scrapping step I've taken where Milli wasn't holding my hand tightly.  She's sticking with paper, and I'm pretty much converted to digi for my layouts - but just because we aren't using the same medium does NOT mean that we will part ways.  We've still got our mini albums and cards, both of which You-Know-Who taught me all about . . . and we'll ALWAYS have our retreats and shopping expeditions.  And who knows what's on the horizon?  There will most likely be some innovative way to scrap headed down the pike, and chances are Milli's going to be the one to tell me about it and help me do a little more exploring!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Kind of Cricket

Ever since I was a little girl & used to find great pleasure in scaring the bejeezus out of Paula Cook with grasshoppers I'd caught, I've been petrified of bugs . . . hmmm, Karma perhaps?  I could tell you all sorts of ridiculous tales about my bug phobia (maybe another day), but I do remember many years ago telling Dave's brother that crickets were my "worst bug" - I think because they jump AND crunch . . . ick, ick, and more ick!!

I never really thought I'd come across a cricket I thought was CUTE - but I was sooooo wrong! Now tell me - who couldn't love this Cricket?  She was born April 14th at the Denver Zoo, and you can read all about her here.

In fact, if you want to put a smile on your face nearly any day of the week, I highly recommend making a visit to ZooBorns part of your daily routine. Thank you, Ingrid, for telling me about this site . . .  it's become one of my favorite places on the internet :-)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Excellent Adventures of Dee & Jann

Of the gazillion blessings God has bestowed upon me, I'm most grateful for my family - not just Dave and the kids, but my siblings and my nieces & nephews and their children & and all the in-laws!  I feel a little guilty sometimes for having such bounty, but that is tempered by the fact that we don't all get to spend nearly as much time together as I'd like.

Two weeks ago, though, Jann came from California & we had a rare opportunity to get together with at least part of the crew . . . Mary & her family in Houston and Joe & his in Wichita Falls.  Everybody ate too much & slept too little, but it was one of our best visits EVER . . . and I wanted to share just a few pics from the trip. If you weren't there with us, I wish you had been.  If you WERE there with us, I'm ever so glad.  Either way, I hope we can get together again - very SOON!!

Houston leg:
Janneepoo with Miss Emma

3 Old Ladies & A Baby

One More Cute Bunny!

The Happy Little Family 

Grammy Mary & Emma

The Princess Herself - All Worn Out From Her Bath

Wichita Falls leg:
What sort of tall tale is he spinning here?

The lengths we'll go to for a good shot . . .

Joe & Nancie's new "puppy" - Midnight

Aunt Jann with Kayleigh

No telling what just happened . . .

Jofus, Baby Bear, and Janneepoo

One of these days, I'll get his FACE . . .

Go Muterspaugh Kids!!

MOST of the group (Nancie & Casey taking pics, Jennifer absent)

Meanwhile, I miss you ALL soooooo much (even the ones I just saw & especially the ones I didn't) - and I love you even more than that!  xoxoxo

Reality Check . . .

Well, I'm bummed that this season's Project Runway came to an end tonight, but I'm totally pumped that SETH AARON won!!  He's been my favorite since the very first week (although, who couldn't love Anthony?) . . .  and I couldn't be more delighted with the outcome.  I didn't really care too much for the red dress Kristina wore, but Seth Aaron definitely stepped up the
sophistication level on his collection without compromising his style & I liked most of his designs a lot. Besides, Emilio's smugness was beginning to really bug me . . . and under no circumstances whatsoever did I want Brandise to be walking away with part of the prize.  So, YEAH, SETH AARON!!!

Meanwhile, somewhere in Samoa J. T. is probably still scratching his head. Y'know, it's that smug thing again . . . I just don't like smug - especially when you're sooooooo off-base for feeling that way. I like to see attitudes like that come back to haunt you. Sure, Russell is a smug jerk - but, he's smart smug, not stupid smug.  And, so far at least,  he has reason to be a little on the complacent side (hopefully that won't last much longer).  J.T. didn't have a reason in the world to feel so invincible - although I guess I can understand feeling superior to the other eejits on his tribe.  But seriously . . . giving the immunity idol to
someone on the other tribe?   What a bonehead move
that was!

I was seriously delighted when his stupidity backfired on him - and as much as I've never been a Parvati fan, I have to give her props for the slick (and ballsy!) move she made at Tribal Council. At the rate she's going, she could win it all again. But at this point, I'm secretly rooting for Sandra . . . the trailers for next week kind of look like she may be making her move. But, we all know that the trailers don't mean squat - and Russell has quite a good track record for getting rid of anybody who even thinks about coming after him.  We'll see . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jofus, The Mayor of Glasgow

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Earth Day . . . and in honor of the occasion, I did a layout about one of the earthiest people I know - my brother Joe.  He's occasionally mistaken for Willie Nelson and is commonly known in his neck of the woods as Jofus, the Mayor of Glasgow, but mostly he's just an all-round great guy.  He has also taught me quite a bit about organic gardening . . . and keeping all those nasty chemicals off our plants and foodstuffs is an important step towards not only keeping us healthier, but making our planet a cleaner place for us to live. So, here's to Joe . . . long may he have a hoe in his hand and dirt under his fingernails!

Most of the elements used for this layout are by Shabby Miss Jenn.  For full credits, see my Flicker Gallery (link in sidebar)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Thinking About Hiring a Wife

Yeah, I know I've already posted twice today - but the blog thing is still something of a novelty to me (that won't last, I'm sure) PLUS I really felt the urge to share this . . . lest any of you has doubts about how flaky I'm getting.

So . . . I decided yesterday that some tuna salad sounded really good and put some eggs on to boil.  Then I let the dogs out, started a load of laundry, and got busy doing various & sundry things.  Some time (quite a bit apparently) later, I heard a sound like something had fallen in the other room - but I assumed it was Belle pounding on the door to be let in and hollered that I'd be there in a minute.  Just seconds later, I heard another noise . . . and then I smelled it!  You guessed it . . . I not only burned those suckers - but 3 of them exploded all over my kitchen!!  It's amazing how gi-normous a mess 3 little eggs can make . . . although I must say that Riley & Belle quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately, they wasted no time eating all the parts that were on the floor - so I didn't have a chance to take pictures.

However . . . I did manage to get a picture of the ones I burned TODAY!  Yep, you heard me right . . . Little Susie Homemaker has burned up a dozen eggs in barely 24 hours!  At least they didn't explode all over the place today - when I heard that first pop, I knew EXACTLY what it was.  So, the dogs didn't get an extra treat like yesterday (if you count burned egg fragments as a treat) - but I don't have nearly as big a mess to clean up either.

Meanwhile, I still don't have what I need to make tuna salad.  In 10 days, I will have been married for 40 years . . . I've boiled quite a few eggs in that time without any problems whatsoever.  I guess I've lost that talent, though - I just hope the ability to boil water doesn't go next . . . maybe it's time to hire myself a wife!

Gimme a Break Already!

I'm still pretty dumbfounded by this new (to me, anyway) concept, so I'm not going to get on my soapbox.  But I can't help but wonder if we don't already have a surplus of people running around who are concerned about nothing beyond their own needs and wants.  Is it really a good idea to create more on purpose?!

It's rare that I run across a person, place, or thing with ZERO redeeming qualities - but this is one 'em.  Judge for yourself . . . and whether you agree with me or not, I'd be interested to hear what you think!

Good Morning America Piece on Unschooling

A Very Happy Birthday to a Very Special Person . . .

At the risk of being boastful (which I dislike intensely), I'm compelled today to jump right out there and scream to the world that I have the BEST daughter-in-law in the entire world!!  All you other mothers-in-law should envy me, because I couldn't have written the specs for a better DIL than Lara.  It's actually uncanny how well we get along, and we have a hard time convincing some people that we aren't really mother and daughter because we enjoy one another's company so much.

So, to the matter at hand - today is this remarkable lady's birthday . . . and although I never sing "Happy Birthday" (especially to the ones I love & don't want to kill with my markedly UN-dulcet tones),  I think it's safe to do it like this without causing any major damage.

(In C Major - notes in parentheses)
Hap-py: (G,G) 
Birth-day: (A,G)   
to: (C)   
you: (B)
Hap-py: (G,G)
Birth-day: (A,G)   
to: (D)   
you: (C)
Hap-py: (G,G) 
Birth-day: (G 1 octave higher, F)
Dear: (E)    
La-ra: (E,D)
Hap-py: (F,F) 
Birth-day: (E,C)    
to: (D)    
you: (C)

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Daughter, the Jockstrap & Some of Her Amazing Friends

Amanda and I are very different in many ways, but one of the most important things we have in common is that we have THE MOST AWESOME FRIENDS EVER!! Unfortunately, one of Amanda's very close friends, Shoshannah, lost her first love and best friend, Justin Sullivan, to Hodgkin's lymphoma just before Christmas.

Despite his ill health, Justin had hoped to participate in the New York City Triathlon - unfortunately, that dream never came true. In his honor, however, Shoshanna and several of her friends are training to compete in the Capital of Texas Olympic Triathlon to be held in Austin on Memorial Day.  None of them has ever done anything like this before, and they are truly sacrificing their time and energy to support a noble cause. In exchange for intensive coaching and mentoring from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program, the team is raising funds for the LLS, which has raised over a 680 million dollars for cancer research and has funded studies responsible for life-altering and life-extending drugs.

Much to her regret, Amanda won't be able to take part in the Triathlon - but to show her support, she designated herself as the team's Athletic Supporter, aka Jockstrap LBS - and I'm her self-appointed Assistant Jockstrap. While I know funds are extra tight these days and there are plenty of worthy causes vying for what little there is left, a couple of the team members are just shy of reaching their goals, and it would be such a disappointment for them not to be able to participate after training so long and hard! So, I'm asking you to at least consider donating to this extremely worthwhile endeavor.

Here's a picture of the team:

And here's where you can go to help with whatever you're able.

Remember that even small amounts add up quickly - and your donations go directly to LLS & are tax deductible. You, too, can become an assistant jockstrap . . . who wouldn't want that on their resume?!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Guess I'm Not a TOTAL Dinosaur . . .

I already sort of do the Facebook thing (as a lurker mostly), and I don't think Twitter's for me since I use too many words.  But when Jann was visiting last week, she finally convinced me to do what I've been thinking about for quite a while - I've entered the world of blogging!

It's kind of difficult for me to decide on a topic for my first post, but since I already need/want to be somewhere else right now anyway, I'm just going to say this: if you're a scrapper and enjoy great challenges & super-friendly people, you really owe it to yourself to pop in to Scrapadilly.

We're in the midst of our monthly, week-long crop (this month it's Friday Night Boredom Fighters) - and right now would be a great time to jump in and join the fun!  (The crop lasts until midnight (CT) on Saturday, the 24th, so there's still plenty of time to participate.)