Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Do You Think You Were Born In This World?

Whew - a toughie!

Actually, I've thought about this with everything that's happened in the last 6, almost 7, years. I had really wondered what went wrong with my life. I wasn't married, I didn't have kids, I hadn't moved to faraway lands - things that I grew up thinking might happen to me. What little girl doesn't think she will get married and have babies when she grows up?

But then my dad had his catastrophic illness. I was able to spend most evenings and weekends with my parents helping out. Then Mary was diagnosed with cancer. I split my time between helping with Daddy and Mary where I could. I was able to fly to Atlanta when needed.

And then Mary died - again I was free to travel (within work constraints) to help with Audrey when David needed me.

If I had a "traditional" life with husband and kids, I wouldn't have been able to help out as much as I did with my family. So things do happen for a reason!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Emotional Week

This has been such an emotional week. Some things I knew were going to affect me. Some hit me clear out of the blue.

I hosted an online chat Tuesday night for my digiscrapping friends - it was An Evening of Pink. I offered information on breast cancer and some scrapping challenges. I knew this was going to be a difficult evening, and I had been scrapping Mary plus wrote her story to share with the others. I think it was a successful evening - convinced one woman that she needed to get checked - she was in her 50's and never have had a mammogram.

But yesterday hit me clear out of the blue. I was coming through the north side of town and decided to stop at the cemetery to visit my daddy's grave. It hit me that I totally forgot to honor him on his death day - October 31. I remember Mary's but forgot his. So I was already feeling guilty and asking for his forgiveness when I get to his graveside. And I can't find it!!! The footstone was completely overgrown with grass. I know that his grave is kind of by itself and so I go to the gravestone I see by itself and it's not Daddy's. I look around and finally see this depression in the grass. By this time I'm in tears. I don't have any tools with me, but I pull the grass away with my hands and sweep the footstone with my bare hands. It's not completely clean, but at least now it can be seen. I did go to the cemetery office and have a talk with them about it. This is supposed to be a perpetual care cemetery and for the grass to have completely overgrown it, it hadn't been touched in a while.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If I could take tomorrow off of work, I'd...

I would really be happy. I'm not happy at work right now, and the main reason is my boss. I really don't like him too much. I don't get the feeling he really cares about us. And I'm continually in trouble with him.

Right now, I'm just trying to stay out of his way and avoid him and that's not a very good way to work.

I have about 5 more years until I can retire from this job, even though I seriously need to think about what I want to do afterwards. I won't be able to retire completely at that point, so I need to think about my second career. Wonder if I could make a living playing on the computer all day?!?!?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Look At Your Hands

Why Are You Grateful For Them?

I'm grateful for my hands because I use them for my job and for my creative outlets. I use my hands to work a computer at work. That would be difficult to do if I didn't have the use of my hands. I could still do my job, after all it's my knowledge that's the most important part of my job. But the job would be so much more difficult if I couldn't type on the computer or operate a mouse.

All of my creative outlets have involved my hands in some way - from operating the computer for my digiscrapping to holding a needle or crochet hook to do my needlework, knitting and crocheting to modeling railroad equipment or miniatures to working in my yard - all have involved my hands over the years.

But the biggest reason I'm grateful for my hands is the love I have been able to show through them - taking care of my Dad, holding my sister before she died and most importantly holding Audrey. I hope that she never tires of my touch. I know I will never tire of hers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Last Time I Laughed Really Hard...

was while we were in Vegas. We got together for drinks before the show and dinner. I don't even remember what we were laughing at, I just remember laughing a lot!!!

Speaking of Vegas, I will try to post some pics and layouts from that trip. Of course, I still need to scrap my family reunion vacation!

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Reason for Changing My Lifestyle

1) My knees - my knees hurt all the time and one of them shouldn't since it's a "robot" knee.
2) My niece - I want to be around for Audrey and I want to be active with her and for her not to ever be ashamed of Aunt Maggie.
3) My health - Cancer runs in my family and being overweight is a known correlation.
4) To feel better - I don't have the stamina and endurance I should.
5) To buy clothes that fit and are from the Ladies section (not Womens)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Look Up To ______________ Because...

This is an easy prompt.

I look up to my baby sister Mary because of the way she handled her illness, her treatment and her death. I'm not saying she was perfect and I'm not saying that she had bad days. Yes, she railed against the diagnosis, went into denial, screamed at the fates - all of it. But for the most part, she was so positive about it - "Yeah, I've got cancer, deal with it and let's get on with it."

Mary used what she was going through as a way to reach out to people and be an advocate for breast cancer awareness and information. She would show people her scars, her reconstruction. She would take the time to talk to people about her treatments and what she was going through. She even left a blog of her experiences that I believe people may still be accessing: www.xanga.com/The_Booby_Files.

Even when she knew the cancer was back and something she would have to live with, she wanted to fight so that she could watch Audrey grow up and be there for her. She had things she wanted to do, and against all odds even accomplished some of them. I still don't know how she found the strength to go to Walt Disney World in early April, 2004 - just 6 weeks before she died. But she wanted to take Audrey to Disney World and show her why it was a favorite place to go.

And when she discontinued treatment, she worried that she was letting people down - no way! She fought the terrible beast, but it finally got to be stronger than she was. She wasn't quitting, she decided to die with dignity and make the most of the time she had left. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of weeks.

She planned her death much like she fought her battle - she tried to make it as easy on the family as possible. She planned her memorial service, going as far as to provide links on where to find the songs online she wanted at her service. She left a list of things she wanted Audrey to know/remember about Mommy.

And she gave me hope when I found out that she saw Daddy before she died... the hope that he was there for her and that there is definitely a better place after.

I miss her as much as ever, but I try to face life without her with courage carry her message forward, especially the message of breast cancer awareness. And I try to help Audrey know her mother, especially as Audrey is growing up and not remembering as much of when she was younger.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

List 5 Ways You've Changed In The Last 5 Years

1. I've lost and gained almost 100 pounds.
In January, 2003 I decided that I needed to take better care of myself. I joined Weight Watchers online and over the course of the next two years, I lost 97 pounds. But when I stopped training due to injuries in 2005, I let myself get back into bad eating habits. I've gained to within 20 pounds of where I started. This year, I have basically maintained - losing 5-6 pounds then gaining it back. I really need to find my mojo and start losing again, for myself and so that I can enjoy Audrey for many years to come.

2. I've determined that I can be an endurance athlete.
At the same time I started losing weight, I started walking. I didn't set out to become an endurance athlete - in fact, I've never considered myself to be an athlete of any kind. But, once I started walking, I found I stayed more motivated if I had goals. My first goal was to be able to walk 3 miles, then 3 miles in under an hour. Once I achieved that, I needed another goal - and set my sights on a half marathon. It didn't happen the first year due to a knee injury and surgery, but I completed my first half marathon in September, 2004 and my next one the following January. I have also participated in 2 MS150 bike events, even though I haven't managed to ride the full 180 miles over 2 days. Who would have thought!!!

3. I've lost half of my immediate family to cancer.
Now although I haven't actually suffered from cancer, it has had a major impact on my life. In the space of 8 months I lost my Daddy and my baby sister both to cancer. I watched Daddy perservere and fight the disease seemingly successfully twice before it got him the third time. And I lost my best friend as well as my sister when Mary died at the age of 38. These two events have probably had the biggest impact on my life ever, not just the last 5 years. It has definitely left a void in my life and a really big hole in my heart.

4. I've learned new things.
I learned how to digiscrap so that I could capture memories for Audrey since her mother wasn't around to do it. And I have grown as an artist in this time. And yes, I consider it a form of art, it's a way of expressing myself through a digital medium. I've also learned how to take better photographs - although this is an ongoing process for me. And I wouldn't consider myself a photographic artist, at least not yet. I've learned that I can stretch myself and I can achieve things that I never would have dreamed possible 5 years ago (see #2).

5. I've made some wonderful friends all around the world.
The internet can be a wonderful thing. It brings people closer together. And if the people are truly honest about themselves, you can form friendships through the internet. I've met some wonderful folks through my Weight Watchers journey. And I'm meeting new people all the time through my digiscrapping. Now, some of these people I will never meet face to face, although I have met several, but they have come to mean so much to me. We have shared successes and failures, joys and heartaches - all through the electronic medium known as the internet.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Blog Prompt Challenge

I'm starting a bi-weekly blog prompt chat at Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild this week. The idea is to get people journaling more, and maybe some of these ideas will morph into layouts.

The prompt for this week is:

What foods do you keep out of sight?

I thought this prompt was appropriate considering that many of us are trying to lose weight. I have to keep most any kind of snack out of sight usually out of the house completely. This includes crackers, chips, cookies, ice cream - at least the ones in bulk containers. I keep on the counter snack bars and 100 calorie packs. I know what the point value of those are and they are packaged for single servings. Mark knows to hide any "bad" foods as well!!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

4 Years Ago

Four years ago my dad passed away. He died of complications of renal cell carcinoma - kidney cancer. He was also a lymphoma survivor and a brain stem stroke survivor - although the stroke may have been caused by the renal cancer.

Daddy was a big influence in my life. He and I were a lot alike in many ways as well. In fact, I tend to think I favor my dad the most in looks, although I have had people tell me that I look like Mom.

I'm the oldest of three girls. Since Daddy didn't have a son, he passed on some of his "loves" to his daughters. He wasn't a big sports fan or into cars or hunting or things like that. But he loved airplanes and would take us to the airport to watch the planes come in when we were little. I love being around airplanes, especiall WWII Warbirds - another love that Daddy and I shared.

We learned to sail at the same time. And when he was ready to sell the boat, I took it on for another couple of years. It was "our" boat.

We both were interested in trains. I got my first model train set before I was a year old. OK, I think Daddy did want a boy. But he didnt' let the fact that I was a girl stop from sharing his loves with me.

Daddy was a HAM radio operator. And he encouraged me to study for my license, which was pretty unusual in the early 70's. But I just couldn't get the hang of Morse code. I could handle the electronics and the technical stuff - again I was like Daddy in that regard. So after he died, I studied and got my license and now I have his call sign - WA5RSU.

Daddy encouraged us to do what ever we wanted. I was strong in math and science - like him. I might have become an engineer, but I really liked the science of chemistry. Of course, after I graduated and saw how much more engineers made, I wished I had been like him a little more :)

Daddy and I got along really great after I was grown. I used to travel with he and my mom. Mom said that Daddy and I ganged up on her. Don't know what she's talking about... heheehee.

So, I guess you could say I'm a chip off the old block!!! (even though I'm a girl)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Meeting Rachel

While on vacation, I got the opportunity to meet one of my scrapping buddies and fellow DSAG CT member, Rachel, and her daughter Maddie. This was one of the highlights of my trip. We have been scrapping together as a team for 6 months and several of us have gotten to be online friends. So it was a great experience to meet one of my team mates in person. Mom and I spent the afternoon with Rachel and Maddie exploring the Charlotte area.

Here is a layout I did of Rachel and Maddie using Birgit Kerr's new mini-kit, Cinna-Mint:

Monday, August 20, 2007


I was gone for 13 days - on a driving vacation. We drove through 8 states during that time. I really enjoyed the NC mountains. It was cool in the mornings when we were in Blowing Rock. And it was great to spend time with family. Not only did we get to see most everyone at family reunion, but got to spend quality time with a lot of the aunts and uncles after the reunion.

And I got to meet one of my fellow CT members - Rachel, and her little girl, Madeline. It was great to spend time with someone who I've really come to admire as a scrapper and a person.

Finally, we held the dedication ceremony for the Mary Paulsen Playground. I was the family representative and had to speak at the ceremony. I also made a layout for the HOA and framed it and presented to them. Audrey got to cut the ribbon - she loved being a part of the ceremony. It was really a bittersweet moment. I was glad to see the kids playing on the playground and the enthusiasm of the HOA volunteers. But I kept thinking that Mary really should have been there. She would have really enjoyed the playground!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

This and That

I've made some really great layouts in the past week or so - great for me anyway!!! I need to post them here and on my slide show! I can't believe how much I'm growing as a scrapper in just a short period of time. I'm constantly trying new techniques and taking a bunch of classes! It's amazing how things are really coming together.

I've gotten a new assignment at work - not giving up anything else at the moment, but this one added on top. It's moving me even more away from the lab and more into the Product Development arena - I'm going to be managing our specifications and the process for getting new specs into production. Since I'm computer literate and familiar with the systems, plus familiar with ISO 9000 (the bosses' reason, not mine), they felt like it was a good fit for me. In other words, I'm anal about following procedures and the procedures in part of the company have been a little loose in regards to specs.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Made It Through The Day

Well, I made it through the day Friday, by not thinking about it, by not thinking about the date. That and having 65 3rd graders to keep me distracted helped. We did our last class at the Wildlife Center for the school year. I taught 2 of the sessions and worked backroom for the other 2. So I stayed busy.

But other times during the weekend, I have remembered - and the pain is still there. It still brings tears to my eyes.

Mary - I miss you!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Time Flies!!!

I can't believe I haven't posted in 2 months. I seem to stay busy all the time these days, but I don't know that I'm getting anything accomplished. I take that back!!! I have gotten a bunch of layouts done since I'm on the DSAG CT. I have even started a couple of albums and completed one.

The one album I have completed was made with Ready Made Pages, so went together quickly. I had come across some photos of Audrey and Mary together so had the idea of building an album around them. I don't know when/if I will give it to Audrey since she seems to be moving on so well - but I think I will have it printed and waiting in the wings so to speak. Here is the first page of the album.

Friday is the third anniversary of Mary's death. Even though the pain isn't as acute, it's still there and this time of year it does tend to build. I miss you little sister, more than ever!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Wild and Crazy Weekend

I took a photography workshop this weekend in Seabrook. I had such high hopes, and my photos ended up being just so-so. I was probably the rankest amateur in the class and I was somewhat intimidated by all the great photographers and all their great equipment.

Back to Photography 101 for me, I guess. I really need to be able to do correct exposures without depending on the camera, but I get lazy and then confused. I did try some autobracketing, but I think I may have set the brackets too wide. I was using +/- 1 F stop and probably should have used +/- 2/3 instead.

And my compositions for the most part stunk!!! I may be able to salvage some photos with some cropping and cleaning up.

I did try shooting in RAW this weekend as well. Now, I need to figure out my Photoshop workflow for "developing" the photos. One of the photographers was showing me the Canon RAW converter, but I have to see if I can find my disk. Otherwise I will need to use the Adobe Camera RAW that comes with PSCS2 - and heaven only knows how bad I am in PSCS2 right now.

The kicker for the weekend. Saturday morning we were shooting pelicans through the fog and trying to get the sunrise. Well, I let my filter get fogged up as well. I don't know if I will be able to clean that out. And while standing out in this field, I was eaten up by some sort of biting gnat or other tiny insect - not mosquitos. Yesterday things weren't too bad - I just had red welts on my arm and neck. This morning they started itching. The itching is about to drive me crazy. I've broken open a couple of the welts and will have sores. I tried lotion this morning, but it didn't really help. I will have to stop for some cortisone cream on the way home tonight. In the meantime - AGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Making memories
Aggie from Texas A&M - Gig 'Em!
Great Aunt - that's great as in wonderful, by the way!
Good daughter, Mildred - family joke
Into all kinds of crafts and hobbies

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ideal Job

If you had the opportunity for a day, to have a different job (and was totally qualified, trained and capable for that one day), what job would you like to do and why?

I think I would like to be a pilot. I love airplanes, and would love to take flying lessons if they weren't so expensive. So, I think a job as a pilot would be an interesting way to combine several different loves including airplanes and travel.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Today would have been Mary's 41st birthday. The first year after she died, Audrey wanted to have a birthday party for Mommy. I had come to Atlanta to spend the weekend with Kathy, and Audrey wanted us to make a cake and have a party. We made a giant chocolate chip cookie (Mary's favorite) and decorated it. And then we sang Happy Birthday to Mommy. Kathy said it was surreal to sing Happy Birthday to a dead person - Uh-huh!

Last year, Audrey said dead people didn't have birthdays. What a difference a year makes.

This year, I don't even know if Audrey will remember Mommy that clearly. She has a step-mom and was so young when Mary died, that I know the memories will fade. And that's a bittersweet acknowledgement. I know that it's going to happen, and I know Audrey is moving forward in her young life.

But I remember! Happy Birthday, Mary!!! I miss you!

My Autobiography?

If you were to write your autobiography, what would the title be? And the chapter headings? Who would write the forward and to whom would the book be dedicated?

If I were to write my autobiography - first of all it would probably be pretty short so as not to bore people. Who wants to ready about a normal, boring, typical American life? - I would probably call it Bits and Pieces. That's what my life is - bits and pieces of day-to-day life.

Also, bits and pieces would describe how my interests come into my life and leave - in bits and pieces. Over the years, I've tried so many hobbies and I think I still have the remnants of all of them somewhere. Some I still keep my hand in, some I think I might get back to someday, some come and go and come back.

I wouldn't be so formal as to have chapter titles. And the book, would probably be dedicated to my family, especially to my sister, Mary. She was my best friend after we grew up, even though there was 9 years between us. She was a beautiful person and I hope being her sister has made me a better person.

I think I would like the Foreward to be written Audrey - right now - when Aunt Maggie is someone still special in her young life and from a child's view.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm on a CT!!!!

I am a member of the inaugural Creative Team for Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild!!!!!! I was amazed when I made it through the first round - which was an application with gallery links so that the designers could choose the finalists. I was surprised when I was asked to move to the second round.

There were 15 of us in the second round - although we didn't know that until everyone had posted their layouts. We were asked to create 2 layouts - both with specific DSAG kits and one was using the class notes from a mini-class being offered by the Guild. The 30 layouts created were amazing!!!! There was so much talent and creativity shown in this round, that I have spent the last week bracing myself for not being picked. Hey, I had made it to the second round which was progress for me, and when I found out that I was one of 15, I was totally honored.

The official announcement was this morning and there are 7 of us on the team. I've known since Saturday since I had to officially accept before the announcement, and I want to tell you, that not being able to tell anyone has been torture.

Anyway, I will serve for 6 months, creating layouts from new kits and in some cases, utilizing the class texts from the mini-classes being offered. And I will be hosting my own challenges and chats - eek!!!! I had already volunteered to do a member challenge in February on journaling and asked if I wanted to make it monthly - so I think that will be the subject of my challenges.
My layouts -

Favorite Mode of Travel

The prompt this morning was "what is your favorite mode of travel - plane, car, boat, train?" And what do you do when you are traveling - assuming you aren't driving?

Each of the 4 modes have their advantages and disadvantages - and I like all 4. Now how's that for wishy-washy????

Airplanes get me where I want to go and in most cases, quickly. When I go to Atlanta, I definitely prefer to fly over drive because it's at least a 12 hour drive (when I have very few stops) and usually a 13-14 hour drive. It's a 2 hour flight, so I don't lose 2 whole days of my vacation just getting there and back. I can fly to Atlanta for a long weekend as well. I also have friends in Washington, D.C. and driving would take too long to see them. When I fly, I usually read.

I haven't been to Europe in a few years, but flying is about the only option to get there.

Cars are for short trips and for when enjoying the scenery is part of the plan. It would take as long, if not longer, to go to the airport at least an hour early, fly to Austin, get picked up and drive to Marble Falls as it does to just drive the whole way. And certain times of the year, I would much rather drive because of the scenery. Springtime in Texas is beautiful with all the wildflowers!!!

We took the trip in December to New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. I spent most of my time "oohing" and "ahhing" over the scenery. It was my first time in New Mexico and that part of Utah. New Mexico, especially, was not what I expected. I was expecting barren and cactus everywhere. There was a lot of grassland and the mountains were everywhere!!! In Utah, I never expected to see so many shades of red and orange. It took my breath away. And I have always loved the majesty of the mountains of Colorado!!!

A lot of times while in the car, if I'm not driving of course, I will read. Whether driving or not, a lot of times I will pass the time with audio books. But this last trip, I played with the GPS system I had loaded on my laptop and enjoyed the changing scenery. I don't think I read a single page of a book while in the car - well except maybe for excerpts from the travel guides I had.

I love traveling by boat, but haven't done but one cruise. And that was 25 years ago. I keep saying I want to take another cruise, but I just haven't done it. And I love riding on a sailboat. There is nothing like it, especially if you have to motor out of a channel before lifting your sails. As soon as the sails catch the wind, and you can turn off the motor - heavenly bliss on earth!!! My family had a sailboat for about 10 years and I would love to have another one - if I didn't have to worry about things like slip rent and the upkeep and maintenance.

I have an aunt and uncle that used to do the cruises where you rent a sailboat and sail through the Carribean Islands - I would love to do something like that someday as well!!!

And the only time I've been on a train lately has been a tourist train - of course then, you want to look at the scenery - that's usually the reason for the tourist train. We rode the Durango and Silverton in December and I really enjoyed it for that reason alone - well, and the fact we were being pulled by a steam engine.

Trains are the preferred method of travel in Europe and I have taken advantage of the trains every time I have been over there. Again, when traveling by train, I may read, but I will also be admiring the scenery.

Have you noticed a repeating theme here - I think I'm a scenery junkie!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What Color Do I Want To Be?

1. If you were a crayon, which color would you want to be? My favorite colors were Blue Green and Forest Green. So those are the colors I would want to be.
2. Which color do you think you would be regardless of what you wanted? I would probably end up being a neutral such as Flesh (now called Peach).
3. Would you rather be used and get blunt, broken and lose your wrapper, or not be used and stay pristine? I would want to be well-used, but taken care of. Since I'm going to be part of the 64 color set, I can be sharpened as needed and only peel off enough paper to fit in the sharpener.
4. Would you rather be in a small set of crayons or a large set? I want to be in the 64 color set - that was the largest set when I was growing up (they now have a 120 color set!?!?!?!) and it was considered the most special. We didn't get that one very often.
5. Would you rather be Crayola, or a different brand? Crayola, of course. It's the brand of crayons everyone knows.

I actually went on the web and found Crayola's website - www.crayola.com. There is all kinds of really cool and interesting stuff on the site. There's everything from coloring activities to the history of the Crayola colors, even the science of color.

Monday, February 19, 2007

10 Things I Want (But Don't Need)

1. New glass for my camera - I have a 18-55 and 55-200, but I want a 18-200 or 18-250 so I don't have to swap lenses so much.

2. Right now - I want a piece of chocolate - definitely don't need it.

3. I want a CT position at DSAG - do I need it? I probably don't need it as I will commit to quite a bit of scrapping - but man, oh man, do I want it!!!!

4. I want more hours in the day - I don't necessarily need them if I could just learn to budget my time, but I sure do want them.

5. I want to lose 100 pounds - no, wait, I need to lose 100 pounds - I want to look good when I do so.

6. I want thinner arms - I don't necessarily need them, but it would be nice not to have bat wings and to make it easier to find shirts that fit.

7. I want a vacation - I don't really need one since I just had one in December, but I want to take another trip.

8. I want a maid - no, I guess that's I really need a maid since I'm too lazy to clean my house. But I would have to clean my house before I would let a maid in... what a choice - want or need.

9. I want a nap - I don't even really need a nap today. I just want one - then I wouldn't be at work (on a holiday for a lot of people).

10. Finally - I want a hamburger for lunch and no, I don't need it - but I want it!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

DSAG CT Competition

Well, I made it past the first round of the DSAG CT competition and now Round 2 was creating 2 layouts. The first layout took me the better part of 2 evenings, but I was really pleased with it. The second layout I'm not as comfortable with. I think I could have done more with it, but I wanted to keep it paper-style. Normally, I would think it's a good layout, I just don't know if it's competition quality.

So now I wait. And try not to be disappointed if I don't make it out of this round.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Manic Monday

I really hate Mondays - it's not so much having to get up to go to work. But I end up staying up late on Sunday nights - I really mean to go to bed early but something always comes up. I'm playing on the computer or waiting for the late news. Then when I go to bed, I've been wanting to read for a little while.

Then that alarm goes off at 5:05. I hit the snooze and 7 minutes later it goes off again. By the second snooze alarm I have to get up - I usually have to go to the bathroom by that time anyway - after maneuvering the obstacle course formed by 8 dog legs. Yes, there are two dogs between the bed and the bathroom.

Shower and then to the laundry room to get clean clothes - OK, I don't do a good job of folding and put away my clothes after doing laundry, then back to the bedroom to get dressed. By now, the dogs have moved - one's usually up on the bed and if he's really good, he's left me a spot to sit. The other one waits until I sit down and then she sits right next to me - oh I love close supervision when getting dressed.

Playing with the dogs as I get dressed usually puts me behind schedule - so it's a quick hair brush, grab stuff out of the fridge for lunch and I'm out the door. And that's just the first 45 minutes or so after I wake up.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Weight Loss Journey

I had a really rocky start - I used the stress and emotions around Ruth's death derail me for several days, but I did get back on the wagon the week after. I have lost 9.4 pounds since then, and I'm back to -23.8 pounds. Considering I was at -97 pounds, I really have a long way to go just to get back to where I was. But at least I'm trying.

Yes, I'm totally mad at myself for undoing almost all of the hard work I did 2-3 years ago. And I despair that I will ever truly hit goal. But I'm going in the right direction, I've halted the skid of even just a few weeks ago.

Now to get to exercising. Where's the motivation? I need to find it. It will help make me feel better, look better and it will help the weight loss.

My Life Is Happy Because...

With so many things that have gone on in the last month or so, I wouldn't have said my life IS happy. But I do have things in my life that make me happy.

I've talked to Audrey a couple of times recently and the sound of her voice makes me happy. She is 7, and still gets so excited sometimes that she rolls right on through her words. I don't always understand what she's saying, but the excitement and enthusiasm in her voice is infectious.

Mom is doing a lot better. The pain is almost gone now. She still gets short of breath, but she has an appointment with a cardiologist and a pulmonologist. I hope that they can get to the bottom of whatever it is causing her problems.

I have a wonderful family. Just look how everyone came to Cooper's aid and to be with him when Ruth died. And we continue to have get-togethers and we all get along well. That's amazing, considering the size of Mom's extended family.

And I have hobbies and interests that make me happy. I'm enjoying scrapping again. I have so much to scrap - the rest of my vacation and the Audrey pictures from Halloween and Thanksgiving. I've got my photography, although that can be aggravating as well as joyful.

But most of all, the thing that really makes me happy is the thought that I can go to God with my problems and troubles and He will always be there for me. I sometimes forget that, but He doesn't.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Blog Look

I've been playing around with my blog look. I added the new header - it's made from Christine Haskell's Afternoon Tea kit. The fonts are The King and Queen and Sylfaen. I've changed the colors also. It's not as stark, a much softer look. But I'm not sure that I'm totally happy with it.

Anyone know blog html code?

Monday, January 29, 2007


Two Names You Go By:
1. Margaret
2. Maggie
Two Parts of Your Heritage:
1. Southern - everyone came over way long time ago
2. Southern - on both sides of the family
Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. My gray fleece jacket
2. My reading glasses
Two Things You Would Want in a Relationship:
1. Love
2. Laughter
Two of Your Favorite Hobbies:
1. Photography/Scrapping
2. Reading
Two Things You Want Really Badly At The Moment:
1. Sleep
2. Chocolate
Two pets you had/have:
1. Oscar
2. Jasmine
Two people you talked to today:
1. Mark
2. Janet
Two things you did last night:
1. Read forums
2. Played solitaire
Two people that live in your house:
1. Me
2. Mark
Two things you ate today:
1. You are going to make me confess my eclair, aren't you.
2. Diet Dr Pepper
Two people you miss:
1. My daddy
2. My sister, Mary
Two Things You’re doing tomorrow:
1. My Annual Review - oh what fun.
2. Meetings
Two vacations you’ve been on:
1. Utah/Colorado/New Mexico
2. Christmas in Marble Falls
Two Favorite Holidays:
1. Christmas
2. Thanksgiving
Two favorite Alcoholic beverages:
1. Margarita
2. Wine
Two bands you have seen live:
1. Ace in the Hole - George Strait's band
2. Alan Jackson and his band
Two things you will do after you finish this survey:
1. Pretend to do some work
2. Read the rest of the forums that I've missed so far.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Which Way Should It Roll????

The burning question of the century - should the toilet paper roll so that it feeds from the top or the bottom?

My personal preference is that it should roll from the top. To me, it's easier to grasp and pull. Also, if it's patterned toilet paper, rolling from the top allows the paper design to show.

Now, my mother thinks the opposite. She thinks it should roll from the bottom because the TP that hangs down is "out of the way".

At my house, it doesn't usually matter, though, because we seldom seem to have the toilet paper on the roller - more of a reach and grab from where it's sitting on top of the roll. Yes, we are lazy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Blog Prompt Quiz

The answers to this are supposed to be one word - I failed!

This Moment: too early
Your Shoes: Favorite pair of New Balance running shoes
Craving: Breakfast
The State of Your Home: Mudpit (2 dogs - rain for 2 weeks, backyard one giant mudpit)
Annoyed By: weather
Noise In the Background: talking in breakroom, radio
Really Want To: go back to bed
Thinking about: work
Smelling: coffee
Favorite Product In Office Supply Aisle: post-its
Don't Ever Want To: watch someone in my family die again
Your Eye Color: hazel/green
The Weather: gray - cloudy, cool, windy with chance of rain AGAIN
Have Never Tried: hang gliding
Think Everyone Should Try: traveling
Last Vacation Destination: Utah
The Last Thing You Had to Drink: Diet Dr. Pepper
Your Bad Habit: too many to list
What You're Going To Do Now: work - get ready for teleconference

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Geekyness

I don't really like to go to the mall and shop. Clothes are not my thing - it's not fun to have to try on outfits. Nope, not for me.

But I can spend 2 hours in the computer store - easy! Yesterday, Mark and I went to Microcenter. They had compact flash cards on for a good price - 1GB for $20, 2GB for $30. I got one of each for my camera. No biggie - except finding where they were located.

I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted a rolling suticase for my personal laptop since I got the backpack for my camera equipment... kinda hard to wear 2 backpacks, especially when going through the airport - and I take both camera and laptop just about everywhere I travel. Anyway, first aisle I go down is the computer bag aisle. I spend 30-45 minutes looking at the pros and cons of the briefcase vs. shoulder bag vs. roller bags. I have to find one that will fit my 17" laptop which is bigger than the Mac 17" that everyone seems to size for (why I haven't been able to find a camera bag with a laptop slot big enough). I finally find one that's big enough for my laptops and peripherals but not so big I could pack for a 2 week stay. Manufacturers haven't realized that everyone who own a laptop isn't a road warrior that needs 5 changes of clothes, a hanging file cabinet crammed into a briefcase and a working desk built in. It's hard to find a computer bag that's not the size of most carryons, yet have enough room for the laptop plus the battery charger plus the cables plus the external hard drive - oh and room for a paperback for the airports. Finally, I find one I like and it's only $40 to boot. I love a bargain!!! Fortunately, Microcenter had the model laptop I have over in their computer section. So I drag the bag over there and proceed to stuff the laptop in to it to make sure it's going to fit. Fortunately, the salesman realized what I was doing and didn't think I was trying to steal the computer.

Ok, that piece of business done, I still have to find the CF cards. While wandering the store looking for them, we come upon the hard drives. Well, I have just about filled up the 80 GB external drive that we bought a couple of years ago to back up BOTH computers . And I now know the importance of backing up everything since I've lost some files that weren't backed up prior to the hard drive crash. And I want a backup of my EHD that I store my photos on since it's a traveling EHD. And the desktop still needs to be backed up!!! Mark and I begin discussing the pros and cons of buying an external drive and paying a little more or getting an internal and a housing for it. Looking around, I find a Buffalo 500gig external for $169 with rebate. Well, I'm not big on rebates, but that is cheaper than buying the $149 Seagate internal then spending another $40 on the case and pray that everything works when we put it together. So now, I have to remember to send in the rebate!

Now, all I need is something to store all my peripherals to my laptop - my laptop that I bought so I could work in the living room in front of the TV instead of the computer room - the same living room that is starting to look like a computer room with the printer, scanner, 2 EHDs - make that 3, all of the cables and cords and supplies. Now I need a rolling cart to put it all on, that if we ever do have company, I could roll the mess out of sight!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year - Same Resolutions

1. Lose weight - I've let it creep back on in the last year. This will be broken down into smaller steps - drink my water, journal my meals and begin exercising again.
2. Get organized - Jazz is slowly destroying all of my belongings by carrying them into the backyard and chewing on them - so I have to get things organized and out of her reach. I think this one will have to be one room at a time. We did make a start last week by getting half the garage cleaned out, but now we have to keep at it.

I think that's enough for one year.