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?