Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hello, Summer!

It may be hard for some of us to believe that it hasn't been here for months already, but summer has officially arrived!  Fortunately for those of us here in North Texas, we're getting a little break to celebrate - it's not even supposed to hit 100 this week, and we actually had rain the other night . . . it's a veritable Nor'Easter!

Meanwhile, for a person with no job & no kids, I seem to be staying awfully busy . . . so much so that I've been worse than ever about not at least mentioning a couple of really important birthdays here on my blog.  So Happy Belated Birthdays to two of my amazing siblings - Joe at the end of May, and Mary last weekend . . . along with the ever-awesome Jaybird at the beginning of the month. Coming up tomorrow is the lovely Miss Kayleigh's birthday AND Mom & Dad's Anniversary - I'll be out of town (yes, again) so won't be around to send greetings . . . so please consider yourselves greeted - LOL!

I'm a little ticked right now since my CPAP's on the fritz, I dropped a 10 lb. bag of ice on my toe on Sunday, and last (but certainly not least) things aren't looking as good as I'd like for Jann to come visit soon.  I mean, if she's willing to brave this Africa Hot weather we're having, why can't the airlines just cooperate . . . what is with the airfares?! When I flew out there in April, it cost less than half what it would right now -  and it just goes against our religion to pay as much as they're asking these days.  I found one flight that I still can't believe . . . Alaska Airlines actually offers a 14 hour trip (beginning at 7:00 am), with two changes of planes, at a cost of only $1,317!!  Seriously?  I'm guessing that flight gets cancelled fairly often since there are several other options at significantly lower prices, fewer stops, and shorter travel times.  I truly don't know why they'd even put that on their schedule!!

But I know she'll get here eventually, and I'm looking forward to lots more great things this summer - beginning tomorrow when I head to East Texas for my annual scrapping retreat - WOO HOO!  Speaking of which, here are a couple of the layouts I've done recently . . . there aren't many since I've even been too busy to scrap.  But I plan to remedy that situation this weekend!

 (As always, layouts are linked to my Flickr gallery, where full credits are listed.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brothers Forever

I've been having a few technology issues (not entirely resolved, but better) which have made it difficult to get pictures & layouts uploaded and posted.  But while things are at least temporarily in working order, I wanted to do a quick post about some super folks I got to see with on one of my recent trips. 

Ever since I began dating Dave & was blessed enough to have John & Liz come into my life, I have been regaled with tales of the adventures (and sometimes mis-adventures) of them and their beloved friends from their college days in Arkansas.  Through these many years, I've come to vicariously know some of the most amazing, brilliant, charming, and colorful group of folks you could ever imagine - and when I was finally able to meet them in real life last fall, I was definitely NOT disappointed!  Every single one of them is just as delightful as I was led to believe, and I was so happy to get to go back to Henderson last month to spend more time with them. At one of the get-togethers honoring Jimmy Chaffin (the most recent of their crew to be honored as one of Henderson's Distinguished Alumni),  I was able to snap a few pictures . . . here's one I turned into a scrapbook page:

Thank you, John & Liz, for staying in touch with your old pals for the past 60+ years and for so generously sharing them with the rest of us!!  xoxoxo

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Long Time, No See . . .

WOW! It's been so long since I've had a chance to post here, some of you may think I've given it up altogether . . . not so!  I've just been plain ol' too busy - no complaints, certainly, as I've been having fun mostly . . . traveling for the most part, with a little bit of work thrown in just to keep me honest :-)  In any case, I just wanted to say "hi" and promise to be more regular about posting once I can actually stay home for more than a couple of days at a time. Headed out in a bit for the last trip for a while, and then I should actually have time to get some scrapping done (NADA in two whole months!!) and a few other things besides just entertaining myself.

Meanwhile, I have a couple of things I wanted to share today.  First of all, eventhough it's past Mother's Day, I loved this piece that Janneepoo was kind enough to share and wanted to pass it along for all my favorite moms out there:

By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow, but in disbelief. 

I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves.

Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education - all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations - what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.
Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay.

No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent, this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself.  Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the 'Remember-When-Mom-Did' Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language - mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, 'What did you get wrong?' (She insisted I include that here.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over t he top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts.

It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were. 

On a completely different note, the following video was posted by a friend on Facebook (thanks, Fred P) & I loved it so much that I also wanted to share it.  As someone who despises grocery shopping - partly because of those damned narrow aisles that give me claustrophobia, this really put things into perspective for me.  Next time I feel the urge to complain, I'm going to envision shopping here  . . . enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Trip and Some Birthdays . . .

Much as I was disappointed last month when Jann, Mary & I weren't able to get together for our visit, I'm just as excited that I'm about to head out to SoCal for a visit with my sweet seester and her peeps.  Since she & I (with some help from Papa John and Auntie Bing, no doubt) will be attempting to supervise Marek while Stephen & Mel are away, I most likely won't be able to do any blogging.

But there are lots of celebrations taking place while I'm blog-less, so I decided to do a post today lest anyone think I forgot about them!  And since I've done ZERO scrapping in so long, I decided to at least make a little greeting for everyone . . . using elements from Aprilisa Designs "Age to Perfection" kit (available at Gotta Pixel).

Actually, one event is before I leave - in fact, it's TODAY!   Hope you're having a wonderful day, Sue, and that you & David & Jana (plus whoever else wanders by) don't party toooo hard.  Love you bunches, and hope to see you soon!! Here's to you and to all the others who will be celebrating in my absence (including this ol' blog, which turns one year old next week!) . . .

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It Definitely Takes All Kinds . . .

LOL! Well, here I go again - no posts forever & then multiples in one day. But I just ran across something else in Pinterest that I couldn't resist sharing. For anyone who doesn't fully understand the irony of this newspaper clipping, you might want to check out this post from last year:

I don't think I want to even TRY to imagine her attire!!

Manda Pandas

Yikes, I just realized it's been nearly two weeks since I posted anything on the ol' blog . . . but I just haven't had anything worth talking about (that I was allowed to discuss.)  I haven't done any scrapping, so I don't have any layouts to post.  Dave & I haven't made any remarkable progress on the kitchen, so that topic's out.  Just pretty much nuttin', honey!

But have run across a couple of items the last few days that I thought you might get a kick out of . . . all relating to the lovely Amanda.  I found all of these images on Pinterest (which is web-based pin board essentially . . . eye candy & such for inspiration, and a place where I frequently spend more time than I should).  I have several boards there myself, one of which is called "Manda Pandas", and I'm always looking for Panda-ish stuff to pin there.

Came across this first one today, and while I haven't been able to determine exactly what it is, I'm pretty sure it's some sort of food - sushi maybe, or more likely bento.  Anyway, I think they're about as cute as can be but am not sure I'd be able to bring myself to bite into a PANDA of all things!

I also thought these Panda cupcakes were pretty doggone cute:

Okay, now this isn't an edible item, but I still think it's pretty cool - if slightly bizarre:

(yep, those are lips decorated like Pandas!)

Finally, nothing about this picture reminds me of Amanda at all - except that it's a Panda, I wouldn't mind giving it a big ol' hug, and I just plain LOVE it!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Head's Up!

To you expectant parents out there (you know who you are, but I'm not gonna be the one to announce it to the whole world!) . . .

Received this picture in an email yesterday - it's several years old, so you may have seen it before - but I hadn't.  I loved it so much that it inspired me to start saving up for gifts . . . not just ones for the new arrivals, but a little something for their older siblings.  See if you can guess what the "big kids" will be getting from Dave & me!!

I'm sure you can't wait for Grand Pee/Auntie Buttons/or whatever it is YOU call me to arrive for my next visit!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Don't Like March 21st!

Eventhough it's traditionally the first day of Spring - and I DO love springtime . . . I've dreaded March 21st for forty years now.  It was a gorgeous Sunday morning (and the first day of Spring) when Momma died so unexpectedly in 1971, leaving a hole in our hearts that will never fully heal.  Even after all these years, I'm inevitably in a sort of funk this time of year & it usually takes me a few days to figure out exactly what's going on.

This year seems to have been extra weird . . . very much like a roller coaster ride, or maybe I'm just being more "sensitive" to things for some reason.  There have been some bright spots . . . Lara's feeling quite a bit better, we're making some good progress on the kitchen, and Dave & I went to a totally delightful party at Paul & Milli's this weekend to celebrate their anniversary. Heck, Amanda even came to visit the other day, and that ALWAYS makes me perk up.  Most of all, though, I've been soooo looking forward to Jann coming to visit today . . . we were planning to go see Mary & crew in Houston and maybe even drop in on Sue for a little visit with her.

But I should have known something was a little extra squirrelly this year when the earth's axis shifted, our sprinklers came on by themselves in the middle of the night (and chose to water only one station), I had a toothache in the place where I had a root canal done 35 years ago, and my hip started aching like I'd been hit with a sledge hammer!

Then, the coup de grace . . . we decided yesterday (that blasted March 21st!) that Jann isn't coming to visit after all! She has some sort of respiratory-sinus-or-some-combination-thereof infection, and Mary & I actually discouraged her from coming. Since it's barely been six months since she was hospitalized with double pneumonia, I'm thinking it wouldn't be wise of her to get on an airplane filled with who-knows-what germs only to spend the next week wearing herself out and ending up sicker than ever. Besides which, Mary begrudgingly admitted that her back was hurting so much that she's been going to physical therapy for a couple of weeks . . . and my hip hurts so much that I'm actually going to make a doctor's appointment!  So, we would have been quite the interesting trio traipsing around Houston like three little old ladies about to keel over any minute . . . AND trying to keep up with a 13 month old baby in the process.  It really is hell getting old, but we'll all rebound soon and will just reschedule the trip for later - we're not THAT old!!

Meanwhile, I haven't scrapped in probably a month & I do believe I need some creative therapy to get myself back on track!  I certainly won't find myself short of motivation . . . besides the monthly portfolio at Sweet Shoppe, Scrapadilly's March crop is in full swing. This month, we're "Scrappin' It Green," and - as usual - Drea has come up with plenty of terrific challenges.  I was disappointed that I was going to miss all the festivities, but it looks like I'll be able to take part after all.  I guess that's the silver lining to this cloud of disappointment I'm standing under right now.

Besides that, it IS spring & the 21st is gone for another year . . . so, my plan is to start fresh - just like the season itself!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tough Love is Tough!

Unfortunately, too many of you already know this from first-hand experience. For those of you who don't, I hope you'll never have to find out find out just how difficult it is.

The need for tough love has loomed a little too large recently in the lives of those I love.  There are all sorts of behaviors that require intervention before someone self-destructs.  When you know someone you care deeply about is struggling, the normal response is to offer love & support to help them through their crisis.  But how do you know when that crosses the line and morphs into enabling?   You just plain don't.  But there comes a point when you realize that you have to stop giving them anything more than your unconditional love.   They'll be hurt and feel betrayed and probably even hate you (at least for a while), but you love them enough that you're willing to let them hate you if that's what it takes to help them help themselves.  Because ultimately, they're the only ones who can do that.

All I can really do is to ask God to guide me in knowing what to say & do and when to say & do it.  More importantly, with me anyway, is knowing what NOT to say & do and when NOT to say & do it.  Although the Serenity Prayer is often associated only with Alcoholics Anonymous, I think it is one of the most powerful prayers ever written and is appropriate in sooooooo many situations, tough love being one of them.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, 
and wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Somebody's Eight Years Old!!

Oh my goodness, where DOES the time go? I swear it was just a few months ago that I first met a little fuzzy- headed cutie pie BABY named Andy . . . now all of a sudden, he's EIGHT YEARS OLD! How in the world did that happen?!

Here's a layout I did a few days ago to celebrate his upcoming birthday - and despite my best intentions, I'm barely getting it posted while it's still the actual day. I suppose it's better than being late altogether . . .
Anyway, little man, I hope you had an absolutely marvelous birthday and got to do something extra special to celebrate being so grown up. Uncle Dave & I love you so, so much and hope to see you again VERY soon!!

Aunt Dee

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quantum Leap . . .

My favorite line from this week's episode of Justified . . . from the very H.O.T. Marshall Givens his own self:

"So, how much of a bad guy is he?  Heads in a duffel bag, or just an asshole?"

Dave & I both cracked up when he said that and had to rewind to catch the part we missed while we were laughing so hard.

Sorry, folks - that's all I've got right now. I haven't even SCRAPPED in over a week (that's downright criminal!), so I can't even offer up a layout. Hopefully in a few days . . .

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Little Inspiration

Two quick things . . . I completely forgot to post this layout yesterday (although there were plenty without it), but I just love this picture of the 3 beautiful Stone girls & wanted to use it for one of the Life's Little Lessons challenges at SSD.

Also, I am totally cribbing the following . . . lifted it straight from Hummie's blog, but it struck me as one of those things I wanted to pass on.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie site, he knocked over the bird with a stick.

When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies.  When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother remained steadfast.  Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)

Author Unknown

One of the best illustrations I've seen of the infinite love a parent has for its children - and that our Heavenly Father has for us. Have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just For You, Kelly!

Hey, Boo - I have no idea what happened to that other post, but here's the layout I was talking about . . .

Auntie Buttons

I've Been A Bad Girl!

I haven't posted a single thing in well over a week, and I promised myself I'd do at least one post every week.  Oh well - that's what I get for making promises I can't keep, eh?!  Anyway, maybe one reason is that I don't have much to say - sometimes I get inspired to talk (yeah, that's a surprise to everyone, isn't it?) . . . but sometimes I don't.  And lately, I just haven't been very chatty.  I have been doing a little scrapping, though - between the crop challenges at Scrapadilly and the monthly portfolio challenges at Sweet Shoppe, I've done quite a few layouts - over a third as many this year already as I did in all of 2010!

Yeah, I know a lot of you think "she needs something constructive to do" . . . well, I've been doing constructive sorta stuff, too.  Yep, Dave & I are still working away on our eternal kitchen renovation, and I've been doing a little here & there toward that end. Don't really have any pictures to post that would show our progress on that front, but we ARE actually making some :-)  Hopefully before too long, I'll be able to post something to prove it!!

Meanwhile, here are a few projects I've done lately.  As usual, full credits are listed in my Flickr gallery & you can click on the pics to go there if you'd like - but if you're someone looking to know where to buy any of this, at least 90% of my product comes from Sweet Shoppe Designs.  In fact, this little coupon book I made for Dave for Valentine's was featured on Libby Pritchett's blog last week - and the Haute Baby layout I posted on Emma's birthday was showcased a couple of weeks ago on the Sweet Shoppe blog.  So, even if some of you think I'm wasting my time, not everybody does - lol!!

This is a quilt-style layout I did about Bill & Lara's latest acquisition . . . a stray (but of course!) puppy one of the ladies at school found during a snowstorm.  Yeah, they needed another animal like they needed a hole in the head - but he is sooooooo precious & he's not going anywhere if I have anything to say about it!!

Here's one I've been going to do for a while - pictures from Joseph & Jennifer & the boys' trip to Disney World last year.

Another older picture - one of little Miss Nattie during one of last year's snowstorms.  This is for the Life's Little Lessons series at Sweet Shoppe.

Now, if you REALLY want to talk old pictures, here's another layout for my Book of Me.  As my older siblings will recall - I was several years old before I could even touch my fingers over my big ol' noggin. Amanda refers to photos from this stage of my life as my "basketball head" pictures.

Well, that's it, I'm afraid.  Sorry it couldn't be anything more exciting - but I truthfully kind of like the old routine, if you know what I mean.  The older I get, the more it seems like "exciting" all too often means "bad" - so I'll stick with my dull ol' life, thank you very much!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day!

Hey there, everyone! Guess what? You're getting the same kind of Valentine's card from me as you did for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and your Birthday . . . as in zip, zero, nada. Sorry 'bout that!

I did, however, do a little layout in honor of the day - I fell in love with Libby Pritchett's new white-on-white kit "Paper! Snow! A Ghost!" but didn't really have anything appropriate (like a wedding or some other elegant occasion) to do with it. I got to thinking that I could add a few pops of red and come up with an appropriate way to tell you all how much I DO love you, even if I'm not better about telling you often enough.

I also couldn't resist doing one more love-themed layout.  Last weekend at Emma's birthday party, her little friend Cullen was bound & determined he was going to kiss her.  I snatched these photos that his mom took off of Facebook, and they were just too hilarious not to scrap!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another Birthday!

For such an icky month in general, February isn't all bad . . . first we had little Miss Emma's birthday earlier this week, and now it's time for the grandest birthday of them all - JANN'S!!  I know you're off gallivanting around this weekend, my sweet seester . . . but just in case you get a minute to pop in to check on the old blog, I wanted to have this waiting for you.

I hope all your peeps are taking good care of you and that you are having just the wunnerful sort of birthday a Janneepoo deserves!  xoxoxo

Friday, February 4, 2011


Well, fortunately I'm one of those people who's quite content to be at home without external stimulation . . . with this horrendous weather we've had all week, Dave's taken my car to work every day & I'm without wheels.  But, I certainly have plenty of things to occupy my time & it should come as no surprise to anyone that part of what I've been doing is scrapping.

Here are a few recent layouts . . . a couple are for a Book About Me challenge I'm doing at Scrapadilly (they'll be pretty obvious to pick out), one's a page about that little rascal in California I'm missing so much, and the last one's a little more on the serious side.  There's never a time that I don't miss Keith, but for some reason this time of year is almost as hard as June is.

(All supplies are from Sweet Shoppe Designs.  Layouts are linked to my gallery for full info.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Somebody's Birthday!!

Believe it or not, young Miss Emma is having a birthday today . . . yep, that little angel is already a year old!!  She celebrated a little early yesterday by eating one of her Grammy's Chanel lipsticks, but from what I can tell she's no worse for the wear today.  This isn't the greatest picture in the world, but I think you can get a pretty good idea of what a mess she made.  Kelly said she had just taken her eye off her for "5 minutes or less" . . . obviously, Kelly didn't understand before yesterday just how much an inquisitive little thing like Emma can get accomplished in such a short period of time - LOL!

In any case, as I told Kelly on Facebook . . . the fact that she chose a Chanel lipstick as opposed to some off-brand definitely proves that she's got taste - in more ways than one :-)   Apparently, Emma's just like her mom & grammy in that she doesn't have a clue just how gorgeous she is without any embellishments at all!!

That does not mean, of course, that she can't look extra cute given the right set of circumstances.  In honor of her birthday, here are a couple of layouts I've done recently that show her in a little better light than the lipstick photo . . .

I'll undoubtedly do an actual birthday layout once I lay my hands on some pictures, but meanwhile:


Monday, January 24, 2011

Be Still My Heart . . .

I actually stole that phrase just now from someone who left a comment right before me on the Pink Paislee blog, but I couldn't think of a more concise way to describe how I feel about their newest launch (designed by Jodie Patterson/aka Gypsy Chick) - Butterfly Garden.  I know that:
  • I'm not supposed to dwell on material things.
  • My scrapping these days is almost exclusively digital.
  • I have enough paper scrapping supplies to last me 3 lifetimes.
But, seriously, how in the world am I supposed to resist this scrumptious stuff?

Check out just a few bits of this line, which will make its debut at CHA this coming weekend in LA. (For you non-scrappers out there, that's the Tradeshow for the Craft & Hobby Association.)  For the full load of eye candy, just click on any of the pictures:

Bottom line, if I'm able find a store that can actually keep any of this in stock once it's released, I WILL be getting it!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm So Excited!

Just in time to rescue me from the mid-Winter blues, my FAVORITE show is coming back for a second season on February 9th.  Yep, Raylan & Boyd (along with the rest of the gang) will be back in action in less than a month - WOOHOO!!  So, I'm tellin' you now - don't expect me to be answering the phone or making any other plans on Wednesday nights . . . Dave & I will have our butts parked right in front of the tube watching Justified.

Meanwhile, not nearly as exciting I know . . . here are a couple of scrapbook pages I've done in the past few days. The first one is from the little tamale-making adventure Lara & I had a couple of weeks ago.  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we had - or how delicious the tamales were.  I got so many photos that day that it was difficult to choose which ones to use (the one of Lara & Holly was a no brainer), but I had no problems whatsoever deciding which kit I'd use.  I LOVE Libby Pritchett's "Olive Juice" (from Sweet Shoppe Designs), and no doubt you'll be seeing more of it :-)

In this layout, I used a picture that I "stole" (with her permission) from one of Sue's Facebook albums.  She posts such gorgeous pics of the property and has some especially beautiful ones of snow scenes.  But this one appealed to me mostly because of the way that bright red cardinal just popped right out of the picture at me!

Also, I finally thought to link my layouts directly to Flickr so you can go there to see credits (or whatever) . . . instead of boring you with the little spiel about my sidebar link every time I post a layout.  Most of you don't care, but it's important to me that I credit the amazing designers who create the elements I use to make MY creations.  So, assuming I remember to embed the links every time, you should be able to just click on any layout you want to know more about.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Odds & Ends

I totally don't have time right now to be doing a blog post.  While I was at least "semi" productive this morning, this afternoon serves as a perfect example of why I need to be more focused on being focused.

It started out with my needing to have a little "chat" with some of the neighbor kids.  First, let me say that in this everyone-being-too-afraid-to-even-let-their-children-out-of-their-sight-for-a-moment world in which we live, I am DELIGHTED that there are still children who play outdoors.  What I don't understand is why they insist in playing in my yard instead of their own.  I'll admit that I'm a bad mom & should have trained Riley and Belle not to go ballistic every time a butterflies passes down the street.  And I absolutely do NOT want to be "that old grouchy lady down the street" we've all known and hated.  But these boys KNOW that they get the dogs riled up when they play in my front yard, and I have asked them repeatedly not to do it.  The oldest of the group is seriously dumber than a box of rocks . . . when I asked them yet again why they weren't playing football in their own yard, he proceeded to tell me that he lived really far away.  After I asked why he was in this neighborhood if he lived so far away & he stared at me blankly for several seconds,  I reminded him that I know exactly where he lives . . . and two houses away from me isn't exactly "really far away" in my book.  I've always tried to talk to them as nicely as possible in the past, but today I laid down the law.  Next time it happens, I promised to let the dogs out to see how much fun it might be to make them bark without a locked door keeping them inside.  Then I'll call the police.  I guess I AM the old grouchy lady down the street after all.

On a lighter note, but even more distracting for me, people keep bombarding me with stuff to check out, and I.CAN.NOT.RESIST!  Most of what I've been "researching" today is scrapbook-related and wouldn't be of any interest whatsoever to the majority of you.  But in the spirit of sharing, I decided I ought to pass along a couple of links you might enjoy.

27 Possible Names for Fake Meat Products .  Written by Amanda's friend (and mine), Darci Ratliff.

Forever Lazy Commercial.  I'm soooooo putting this on my Wish List for when it's available in leopard.

Alot Is Better Than You At Everything.  This site's new to me, but I'm afraid I'll probably go back.  Hopefully, she'll never discover my blog & my using-really-long-hyphenated-phrases-to-describe-things penchant, or she may be posting about ME one of these days!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Word

Carl Fredricksen & Dug the Dog from Pixar's "Up"

I have a word this year.  It's certainly not a new word, but it's one I need to plant firmly in view and think about often.  FOCUS.

If you've ever seen the movie "Up", you'll know what I mean when I say that I frequently have Dug moments - heck, even hours or sometimes entire days.  (If for some reason you haven't seen this movie, take my word for it - you SHOULD!)  With my penchant for getting distracted by "squirrels" and all manner of other things, it's a wonder I'm even remotely productive - and, truth be told, my habit of flying off in twenty different directions at once is precisely why I named my blog Quantum Leaps.   

I've always kind of had this problem, but it's gotten seriously out of hand lately.  Used to, I took occasional little side trips but still managed to get quite a lot accomplished.  And sure, I might have digressed in the middle of a conversation, but I did eventually get to the point I was trying to make. These days, I seem to spend almost all my time chasing squirrels & not nearly enough staying en pointe long enough to get anything finished.  

So, I've decided it's necessary to make some changes . . . in 2011, I am going to re-learn how to focus!  Because of my natural tendencies and the fact that I've gotten really slow, that means I'm gonna have to de-clutter, simplify, and purge a lot of the unnecessary "stuff" in my life.  But I'm more than willing to do that if it means possibly returning to my once ultra-organized, queen-of-multi-tasking, OCD self :-)

To help FOCUS on my goal, I did this page for a challenge at Sweet Shoppe Designs, which is (big surprise!) where I got most of the elements used in the layout.  

 (as always, if you click the link in my sidebar, you can go to my Flickr gallery for a full list of credits).  

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go focus on de-cluttering a few things . . .  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Don't Forget!

In case you didn't remember, today is National Static Electricity Day . . . WOO HOO!  I've been waiting on this one for a while - but not quite as eagerly as I'm looking forward to Tuesday.  Milli & Sheila, I know we've been talking about a little field trip this week- but you might want to give me wide berth that day unless the weather's a lot better than it is today!

Meanwhile, I got to thinking that I haven't posted many new layouts in quite a while.  Of course, that could be because I haven't done many - but I did complete a few for the crop we just finished up at Scrapadilly and thought I'd post them before they get tooooo old & stale.  Actually, a couple of these did double-duty by fitting some of the January Portfolio challenges at my absolute favorite digi spot, Sweet Shoppe Designs.  (Hey, I LOVE the designers at Sweet Shoppe & buy practically all my stuff there anyway - why not do the challenges and earn some discounts?)

Anyhoo, here are the pages . . . all about just a FEW of my favorite people.  As you may have guessed, almost all of the elements I used are from SSD - but full credits are listed in my Flickr gallery.  

By the way - I realized after I had posted this that "unwrapped" should really be "wrapped", but I was waaaaay to lazy to go back & change it.  You get the point even with the mistake, I hope - lol!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Public Service Announcement

There's a lot of discussion going on at several places I've visited today about a personal information website called  (I'm not giving you a link.  I don't want to publicize it any more than necessary.)  In any event, it's pretty shocking when you first find out about one of these places to realize that so much of your personal information is posted right there for the world to see.  However, just remember . . .

  • there are dozens of other sites like this.
  • there's really not much any of us can do about it.  Even if you're successful at getting your name removed from a few of them (which isn't likely), there are plenty of others who don't even give you an option to do that.
  • much of the information isn't accurate (e.g., neither the number of people in our household nor the assessed value of our house is correct).
  • any accurate info is readily available on legitimate sites.

Requesting that you be removed from sites like this is pretty much a waste of your time . . . all you're accomplishing is to let them know your email address is a legitimate one (they probably already have it but don't know for sure it's valid until they get an email from you).

What puzzles me is why anybody would pay to join spokeo to the tune of $5.00/month in order to have access to ALL the partially-true information, particularly when any information they have is FREE & generally more accurate at various other (mostly government) websites.  (Just too lazy to look the information up themselves, I guess.)

Unfortunately, this is one of the prices we pay for having all the stuff we WANT available at the click of a mouse.  Just like anything else in life, there are always going to be those who have to go & spoil it for everybody.

I do believe, though, that I solved a mystery today.  Since I've never researched and/or bought any penis-enlargement devices or meds, prescription drugs (without a prescription) or Nigerian get-rich-quick-just-give-me-your-bank-account-number-and-password, I've often wondered why I continue to get dozens of these messages filling up my trashcan every single day.  I'm pretty sure they're getting their mailing lists from places like this!

And The Winner Is . . .

Sorry about the late post, folks . . . yesterday was a very long day (although a good one), and I was too pooped to deal with this by the time I had a chance last night.  Without further adieu, however - the winner of the Father Christmas goodies I promised to share is none other than the lovely-on-the-outside-but-actually-quite-mischievous, GLORIA!!   Seriously, I know you'll put the papers to good use, Gloria . . . with some Christmas layouts of Drew & Laurie & all those other adorable DGK's of yours.  And I'll pop them in the mail to you in the next day or so.  Congrats!  ♥♥♥

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, I have no doubt that there will be some dead spots in my blogging this year, but I'm determined to at least start the year off with a quick post.  Here's a cute vintage postcard I thought I'd use as my New Year's greeting . . . not sure of its origins, but it looks very German to me & reminds me of how crazy the New Year's celebrations got over there sometimes. I got it (plus a few others) today for free from the Gypsy Chick.  (In case I haven't convinced you yet, not only is Jodie unbelievably talented, but she's extremely generous as well!)

Meanwhile, I hope everyone finished off 2010 in style (whatever style you chose - lol!) and that you're ready for a FANTASTIC 2011.  I happened to be on Facebook earlier today and found some cute pics that Jennifer had posted of their celebration last night.  Not sure if that's real live champagne in the glasses or some DoDad concoction or another, but the kids seem to have had a mighty fine time regardless . . .
Finally, I want to wish the beautiful Mrs. Wilson a super-duper, fantabulous, totally awesome, Kelly-worthy birthday two days from now.  I know for a fact that I won't be getting any layouts done before then, so I'm posting one I did quite a while back for her wedding.  If possible, Kelly may be more gorgeous now than she was on her wedding day, but I don't think anyone will argue that there's never been a more stunning bride . . . I mean NEVER! Happy Birthday a teeny bit early, Kelly Boo!!
[Credits:  Color Theory: Cream (Flergs/Scrapbookgraphics) and Swallow Field Alpha (Kerry Lynn Yeary)]

Happy New Year, Everyone!!