Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Photo A Day

I think I'm going to try the Photo A Day Challenge again this next year. I started in 2008, then fell off the wagon before the end of January... bad Maggie. Of course, I was also going to try to blog daily and that didn't work so well either.

So now the question is - do I create another blog for capturing my photos, or do I use Flickr or Picasa? Of course with Picasa, I can easily dump them to a blog.... hmmmm - decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We have snow in Houston tonight!!!! How cool is that!?!?!?! The last time we had snow was Christmas Eve, 2004. So it's only been 4 years. And I can't believe both of them were in December - usually if we have snow it's usually later in the winter. I mean it's not even officially winter and winter comes to TX so much later than the rest of the country!

Anyway - I'm excited and thrilled! I love watching the flakes falling and swirling! And they are big fat flakes, not the little pellet things.

I know that if the temperature drops very much tonight and we end up with ice, I won't be so excited. But for now - I'm going to enjoy the experience!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good Night Moon!

Dear Audrey,

When you were a toddler. your favorite book was “Goodnight Moon”. You wanted Mommy to read it to you every single night. It was part of your bedtime ritual. After you were in your jammies, Mommy would gather you and the book, and your blanket and would sit down in her rocking chair. She had inherited the rocker from her grandmother, so it really meant a lot to her to be able to sit in that chair and read to you. You would point to all of the pictures and name the items with Mommy as she read to you. It got where you knew the story by heart and if Mommy would try to ad lib, you would say. “No Mommy, that’s not how it goes.”

Mommy had to have her surgery while this was still part of your bedtime routine. She couldn’t hold you in her lap for 2 months, and you were too young to really understand. I was there the first few nights, but you didn’t want me to read to you. I would read the book to you, but you wanted Mommy to read it with you. She finally hit upon the idea that she could sit on the floor and you would sit on the floor beside you. Then she could read to you, “Good night, moon! Good night, room.” “Good night, kittens. Good night, mittens.” Then it would be time for your good night kiss and someone would have to put you in the bed for Mommy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Guess who's got lights? Guess who's got air conditioning? Guess who gets to take a hot shower in the morning (hopefully, too soon to check out the hot water situation) Guess who has cable TV? Guess who has internet access on her own laptop? Guess who? Huh? Huh?

After 10 1/2 days - we were sitting out on the driveway before the mosquitos drove us inside when I looked up and saw the street light come on. We had the main breakers turned off just in case there was a power surge when the lights came on. So we hurried inside and started unplugging extension cords and slowly turning stuff back on. And it all works!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Week Ago Today...

One week ago today, we were sitting in front of the TV trying to decide whether to stay or to go. I had packed up my family keepsakes and photos and thought I was getting caught up on laundry (how could I forget jeans?). We finally decided based on the information we had at the time to stay since our hotel reservations were just on the other side of town.

One week ago today, we were sitting in front of the TV watching the waves already wash over the west end of Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, essentially cutting them off, and watching the waves already crashing up over the Seawall on the east of Galveston.

One week ago today we were sitting in air-conditioning with lights and TV going without the overriding sound of a generator engine.

One week ago today we were worried about what was coming, but not too worried - after all it was only a Category 2, and I had rode out Alicia which was a Cat 3 without too much trauma.

One week ago today we watched the winds begin to come up before dark, but it wasn't too bad and there wasn't any rain yet. The lights started flickering, but would come back on - not too bad so far.

One week ago today we watched the winds start to really slam the area - we still had TV, so we laughed at the idiot reporters that have to get out in the storm just to show people how bad it is - we know already! You jkust look ridiculous!

One week ago today I started to get scared - this was not really like Alicia after all. Would the house hold? Would we have serious damage? Would the lights eventually go out altogether?

One week later - the lights did go out about 1:00 in the morning Saturday morning and haven't come back on to this point. We never had the eye go over the house so the winds never quit blowing all night. The roof held, although we lost some shingles and the turbines shifted off the standpipes, allowing rain to blow into the attic - as a result, we have some ceiling damage in the kitchen and in the hall bath.

The fence blew down in three spots - it's now held up literally with clothesline and tree stakes. If Jasmine ever chases a squirrel across that side of the yard, she will probably find out how secure the fence isn't. However, we probably won't have many squirrels in the backyard anymore since the one tree, a 15 year old red maple that I planted the week I moved in fell across the fence and is resting on the neighbor's elm tree. At least the fence on that side hasn't come down yet. The neighbors lost their pecan tree - it was probably 30 years old and huge. It come up from the roots - scary.

We are so fortunate - yes, we are still having to use the generator for lights and fan, and to keep the refrigerator running. Yes, cold showers in the dark are getting really old. The lines to get gasoline haven't been much fun either - but at least we aren't at the mercy of the ice, water, and food lines at the FEMA PODs. Yes, I worry that we will get thunderstorms coming in before we are able to get the roof replaced. But we have had mild temperatures since Ike passed through, we have a roof over our heads, we do have some electrical power due to the generator, gas lines are decreasing and restaurants are opening up - life is getting back a lot closer to normal.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things To Be Thankful For

Hurricane Ike - no, that's not what I'm thankful for. That sorry storm could have just fizzled into thin air and I would have been perfectly happy. No, what I'm thankful for regarding Hurricane Ike is that even though he was Category 2 sorry so-and-so with a Category 4 storm surge, and that instead of the eye passing over, the eye wall went right over my house, yeah, all that - in spite of all that, we came through with our lives and still a roof over our heads.

Ok, so the roof has a little wear on it and some missing shingles and two openings where the turbines decided to move over just a little - just enough to let rain get into the and through the hall bathroom ceiling, oh yeah and the kitchen ceiling. Oh and the red maple tree in the back yard decided to crack and fall about 6-7' up - but it fell parallel to the house. The fence - well that's another story. It came down on one side - or at least 3 panels came down. Those panels are now held up with thin rope and a tree stake. If Jazz ends up chasing a squirrel across that side of the yard, it's history.

Ok, I'm not thankful for having to take cold showers in the dark because here it is Wednesday and we still have no electricity - I don't think anyone would be thankful for that - wait, I have a friend who has no running water and has to go outside and down to the corner to the "blue chalet" when she has to get up in the middle of the night. She might be happy to have a cold shower in the dark.

We have some minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things, and my bank account is going to take an unplanned hit covering my deductible (I hope that's all I have to cover) - but when I consider how bad it could have been and how much worse other people have it, I praise God that I'm alive as are all of my family friends and that even though it's a little battered and worn, I have a roof over my head. Oh and I have a generator so I have a few lights, a fan, the TV (OK, when you don't have cable and have to put up with either round the clock hurricane recovery coverage or inane sitcoms that may not be something to be thankful for), and I have access to the internet through Mark's Verizon Air Card!!!! Thank you, God!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My Third Grade Years

Dear Audrey,

You are now in the Third Grade. I can't believe how fast time is flying and how much you have grown up.

I started trying to remember my Third Grade year so that I could compare with you. But you know what, I don't remember that much about my actual class time anymore. It's amazing how some things you think you will never forget slip away as the years do.

I went to Third Grade at Mading Elementary in Houston. I remember being in a "temporary" classroom. I put temporary in quotes because it seems like in every school, the "temporary" classrooms in "portable" buildings seem to end up permanent structures on the school campus. I don't remember my teacher's name, but either she had a baby or she got married, and left mid-term. I ended up with a substitute teacher for the rest of the year.

I remember that was the year I learned cursive - and thought I was all grown up since I could write in cursive. I'm sure I had math, English, science, and probably geography. But I don't remember that much about my coursework.

Grandy was pregnant with your mommy when I started Third Grade. Kathy was just starting Kindergarten. It was definitely a year of change. Grandy's daddy, my Granddaddy died on October 1, 1965 - just about a month after I started school. Your Mommy was born on February 27, 1966.

We moved to Pearland in April of that year, but since it was so close to the end of the year, Grandy and Grandpa Harold decided that Kathy and I should finish out the school year at Mading. So Grandy would make 3 trips a day from Pearland into Houston to take us and pick us up. It was 3 trips because Kindergarten was only a half day back then. She would have to pack up your Mommy and the diaper bag each time.

I remember one of my friends in Third Grade, Cheryl Heflin. And I think the reason I remember her the most, is that when I started school in Pearland the next year - there she was - at Pearland as well. Another girl that I got to be good friends with in Pearland, Pam Rabon, had also gone to Mading.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Comfort Foods

I had a really rough day. I was at work from just after 7 until well after 6 tonight - 11 hours at least. We are undergoing an audit and this my first external audit to be in charge of. It was a long grueling day, and I didn't even get my "real" work done.

So when I left work, I just wanted comfort food. Nothing healthy, nothing low-cal, nope, none of that stuff tonight. I had chicken fried steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (yes, 2 different kinds of potatoes) and sweet carrots. For good measure, I had not one, but 2 yeast rolls with butter and on the last one - lots and lots of honey.

I feel better now. Fat, but happy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I've gone over 6 weeks without blogging! Bad Maggie! Well, I do have a couple of excuses, whether they are good or not, well that's a whole other story! I'm still without my laptop and it's been almost 8 since my laptop went into the shop. And then we've had internet problems. It's gotten so bad that dial-up looks good right now - yeah, it's really that slow!

And I went out of town last weekend. Mom's birthday was yesterday and Audrey started school Monday, so I wanted to see them. Audrey is looking so grown up sometimes. I took this pic of her while we were at the airport waiting to pick up Mom. Turns out, Mom had to go to Houston last week for some dental appointments and ended up coming home almost 9 hours after I got there. So Audrey and I spent the afternoon together, went to dinner, bought school supplies, then picked up Mom at the airport.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vacation Serendipity

Mt. Hood From The Airplane

I just got back from vacation to the Pacific Northwest. I went with my friends, Debbie and Beth, and Debbie's friend, Kathleen... four women sharing a room for a week, and four women packed for a week + vacation - it made for interesting times in the hotel rooms, especially since we stayed no more than 2 nights in any one hotel. It was hilarious!!!! Suitcases everywhere. And the electronic devices - all needing charging! It was wild trying to find enough plugs in the rooms for the cell phones, camera batteries, DVD players, laptops, etc. - not counting the blow driers and curling irons!
Wonder Woman Pushing the Luggage Cart

Four Women, Packing for One Week Equals No Room To Walk
We started out planning going to Seattle and Vancouver. Quickly, we realized we needed to go to Vancouver Island as well. Well, it was $400 cheaper to fly into Portland, OR rather than Seattle. As it turned out, I think Portland and the area around Portland was actually everyone's favorite. We spent 2 days in the area and saw the Portland Zoo, Columbia Gorge Byway/Mt. Hood and the International Rose Test Garden - everything was just WOW! And on the drive from Portland to Seattle, we went to Mt. St. Helens, it was so totally fascinating!

So for the savings of $400, we added an especially fantastic stop to our trip!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Family Survey - Part 2

Here is my second set of questions from the genealogical survey:

11. What is your earliest childhood memory? My earliest memories revolve around being sick and in the hospital. I had kidney and bladder problems and ended up having major surgery on my bladder before I started school. I spent a lot of time at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. My aunt was friends with a lady that played a character on a local children’s television program, and I remember her visiting me in the hospital after my surgery and bringing me a picture of Cadet Don – the main character of the program.

12. What kind of games did you play growing up? In Houston, I remember playing with dolls, and playing games on the driveways of my friends in the neighborhood. We also played ball in my front yard. I had Barbie dolls when I was little.

When we moved to Pearland, we played outside a lot. We played jump rope and hide and seek and ball games in the circle, especially 4 Square or dodge ball. I would play jacks with my best friend, Susan on her front porch. Or we might play cards. I know we also had all kinds of board games including Monopoly, Clue and Mouse Trap.

13. What was your favorite toy? Why? I don’t remember any one toy as being my favorite, although I did have a doll for many years that was just about life-sized. And I still have my first teddy bear packed away. It’s pretty raggedy and hard to tell it was pink.

14. What did you do for entertainment (movies, beach, etc.)? Which was your favorite? I remember going to drive-in movies with my family. Mom had a station wagon, and Kathy and I would be in our pajama’s and we would pack pillows in with us in the back of the station wagon.

Since we lived pretty close to Galveston, we would go down there occasionally. I remember Daddy’s company had company parties down there. In those days, there was enough beach below the seawall that you could drive down on the beach from the seawall. The men would pull a big seine net through the surf, and we would all gather around to see what they had caught, but I don’t ever remember eating any of the catch. We learned how to hunt for sand dollars in the surf, and of course we played in the water and made sand castles, etc.

Mom would take Kathy and I to the zoo a lot while we were little. The zoo was free in those days, so she would load us up with a picnic lunch that we would eat at Hermann Park. We would save bread to feed the ducks at the duck pond. I remember especially watching the otters and monkeys play, watch the elephants get a bath and go through the giraffe house. Hi-C sponsored the giraffe house and I remember Hi-Cecil and Hi-Cecilia.

I think my favorite was probably the trips to the zoo.
15. Did you have chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite? When I was little, I had to make my bed and clean up my room. I remember helping Mom do the dishes – Daddy had drafting stools that I would sit on to be able to reach the sink.

As I got older, we had to clean the kitchen after dinner and clean the bathroom in addition to the other chores. We also had to fold laundry.

Mom went to work when Mary Lee was about a year old – I was at least 10 then. So in the next few years, I learned to cook, and helped with dinner, then had the responsibility with Kathy to cook and clean the kitchen. The one who cooked didn’t have to clean, so we would fight over who got to cook. Neither of us liked to clean the kitchen – I still hate it.

I babysat Mary Lee and Kathy during the summers from the time I was about 13 or 14. I did get paid extra for that.

16. Did you get an allowance? How much? Did you save or spend it? I did get paid an allowance. I don’t remember what it was when I was little, but as a teen-ager, it seems like it was $5 a week, plus I got $20 a week for babysitting ($0.50 an hour times 40 hours – yeah, babysitting was cheap back then). It was for most all of my normal extra expenses like snacks and toiletries. I did save some of it, but the allowance was more for expenses and less for saving.

17. What was school like for you? What were your best and worst subjects? School was for the most part easy for me. I enjoyed going to school. My favorite subjects were math and science. My least favorite was English and Literature. However, I won’t say that they were “worst” subjects because I made good grades in school – mostly A’s.

18. Where did you attend grade school? Middle School? High school? College? I started Kindergarten in Beaumont. Daddy was working on a job there and Mom, Kathy and I went with him. I finished Kindergarten and then went through Third Grade to Madding Elementary in Houston. The last few weeks, Mom had to drive us in to Houston from Pearland, but since it was so close to the end of the year, they didn’t want to transfer us.

From Fourth Grade on, I went to Pearland Schools – Pearland Elementary for Fourth and Fifth Grade, Pearland Junior High for 6th – 8th Grades, then Pearland High School for 9th – 12th Grades, graduating in 1975.

I started college at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, TX. I had been admitted to Texas A&M in the Geology Department, but got a scholarship and grant to go to TCU. I could be in band at TCU, and it was a smaller school, so I felt it was a better place for me to go for at least my Freshman year. I majored in Chemistry. But I did transfer to A&M the next year and graduated from there in 1979 with a BS in Chemistry. A&M really was my first choice, and once I realized that I could survive in a new environment (I felt really shy and insecure in high school), I was glad that I made the transfer.

19. Tell me what activities you participated in – sports, drama, etc. I wasn’t really good at sports, although I did try out for the Girl’s Volleyball team both in Junior High and High School. I did play softball and tennis, along with the volleyball for fun.

I was in Girl Scouts until about 7th or 8th Grade. I started in Brownie Scouts in 2nd Grade in Houston, and stayed in when we moved to Pearland. I went through Juniors and was a Cadette.

I was in band, starting in 6th grade. I played Bb clarinet throughout Junior High and High School, and in my Freshman year in college. I marched in Marching Band and played in the Concert and Symphonic bands.

I was active in Future Teachers of America – I thought about being a teacher in high school.

I tried 4H for one year. I did mostly homemaking activities.

I was in Rainbow Girls for about 3 years, until I felt Band was more important and had priority on my time.

And I was active in Methodist Youth Fellowship, MYF, from 6th grade on. We met on Sunday evenings, and had social activities as well as Fellowship, We also had a choir that sang at the 8:30 church service.

20. Tell me some of your memories from school – any really great stories? Any honors? Most of my memories from school revolved around Band. We played at football games, both home and away, had band contests, concets, and band trips involving competitions.

Academically, I remember placing in a math competition when I was in Junior High, probably 8th grade. We had to answer these math problems, but couldn’t do any of the work on paper. The only thing that could be on the test sheet was our final answer. Back then, I was much better at doing math problems in my head. Computers have spoiled me in that regard.

In High School, I was a National Semi-finalist for scholarships based on the PSAT scores. I didn’t make high enough on my SAT to be classed as a finalist, but it was still an honor. And I did really well on my SAT, especially the math portion. And I did make Who’s Who Among American High School Students while in High School. I graduated in the top 10 of my class.

I was Who’s Who for the Math Department my Senior year. There was a boy in my class who was Who’s Who for the Science Department. He and I were neck and neck for both departments, so he got one and I got the other. We both thought we should have gotten both honors. Wonder who was right?

We got extra points for taking Accelerated classes. And I remember the way my schedule was working out, I wouldn’t have all the Accelerated English classes for my senior year. We were on the quarter system. I took a 4th Quarter of English so that I could get my extra credit in, but didn’t realize the last quarter didn’t count in class standings. Well, I took 2 Accelerated English classes my last quarter – and remember, English was my least favorite subject. If I had done it the middle quarter, I would have placed higher, I’m sure.

One of the proudest moments in High School – we were at Marching Contest. Pearland always did well in Marching Contest. We were a military style band, marching 6-to-5. We were known for our diamond drills. This year, we did our routine, then finished up the routine by turning into the stands in a concert formation and played the final march (it was either American Patrol or American Post) just standing on the field in this concert formation – totally unheard of, especially for a military style band. We blew the stands away and got a standing ovation. I still remember the feeling of pride as we stood there afterwards with the applause.

Family Survey

I received a family survey as part of the genealogy challenge on Natural Designs In SscrapBooking ( It's a series of 72 questions that you can send to relatives that you don't know very well, and learn more about the family history, not just dry facts. I've started filling out the survey myself - I figured if I got people to fill it out for me, they might want my story in return. Anyway, I'm up to about question 23 right now. I keep going back and adding to earlier answers - I'm going to end up writing a novel.

I thought I would post my responses here as well as have it available for my "family" - some of them are really distant relatives.

1. What is your full name? Margaret Ruth Sanders

2. Why did your parents pick this name? Margaret was my paternal grandmother’s middle name and the name she went by. Ruth is my mother’s middle name.

3. What is your nickname? When I was younger, it was Tootie. Now, it’s Maggie

4. How did you get your nickname? When I was a baby/toddler, my father came home from work and asked how I had been. My mother said I had been a real toot that day – and it stuck, at least for family and childhood friends. I used Margaret throughout school. But my sister Kathy tagged me with Maggie after the Rod Stewart song “Maggie May”.

5. When and where were you born? I was born at Houston Baptist Hospital in downtown Houston, Harris County, Texas on March 15, 1957. The hospital is no longer in existence.

6. When did your family move there and why? My dad moved to Houston from Lafayette, LA for a job. My mother moved from the Rio Grande Valley with a girlfriend from home to find a good job.

7. Were there other family members close? Who and where? My dad’s sister was in Houston as well when Mom and Dad got married. There was no other family at the time, although my paternal grandparents moved to Houston prior to 1966, then moved to Pearland in 1968 – 2 years after we did. At various times, all of my dad’s siblings have lived in Houston. Three of my mom’s brothers have lived in Houston at different times, although only one is currently in the area – and he lives on the other side of town from me.

We made the trip to the Valley to see my maternal grandparents a lot while I was growing up. It was about a 7 hour trip, and we would leave on Friday night and come back on Sunday night.

And we occasionally traveled to Lafayette to see my paternal grandparents as well. I remember once riding in Pappy’s Mayflower truck – I think we were going from Houston to Lafayette.

We didn’t take a long vacation every year, but every few years we would take a 2-3 week trip, and would visit family during the vacation. In 1964, we went to the World’s Fair in New York. Dad had a pickup truck and we had a camper on the back. We took Kathy to stay with Nanny and Pappy in Lafayette, then Mom, Dad and I headed towards Washington, D.C. Dad’s brother, Raymond, lived in Hagerstown, MD with Pat and Ray, Jr. We toured Washington and Virginia before heading to New York. Mom’s brother, Cooper, lived on Long Island with Ruth, Susanne and Gary. Mam-ma and Granddaddy drove up with Mom’s sister, Iris, from Texas as well. We did the touristy things in New York as well as the World’s Fair. I remember seeing the UN building and the Statue of Liberty.

8. What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? The first house that my parents lived in in Houston was at 8503 Medford. It was a small 3 bedroom/ 1.5 bath house with asbestos siding, no central air conditioning, and hardwood floors throughout. It also had a 1 car garage. I shared a bedroom with my younger sister, Kathy.

In 1966, we moved to 2703 Robinhood in Pearland. It was a brand new 3 bedroom/2 bath with central air, formal living and dining rooms, carpet in the bedrooms and the living/dining rooms. When we first moved to Pearland, Mary Lee was 6 weeks old, so Kathy and I still shared a room, although eventually, as the oldest, I got a room to myself and Kathy and Mary Lee shared a room until I went to college. I would give up my room when we had company. The yard was much larger than the house in Houston and the house was on a circle. The circle became the playground for most of the kids in the area since we didn’t have to worry about a lot of traffic. We would play 4-square or jump rope. We would also play hide and seek throughout the neighborhood.

9. For those born before 1945 did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones? This isn't applicable for me, unless you count not having central air in the first house I lived in.

10. What do you remember most about your home? For the Houston house, it would have to be the attic fan that kept the house bearable as we only had a couple of window units. And the house had a lot of pocket doors.

For the Pearland house, I think it had to be the yard – we had a huge back yard. Also, we had a laundry room in the house and we had a dishwasher and drier. I think having a second bathroom was pretty cool and the hall bath was divided. The sink and vanity was open to the hall with the door closing off the toilet and tub. That way, the 3 girls could share one bathroom and getting ready for school all at the same time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fresh From The Garden!

Tonight's blog prompt is what is your most favorite food straight from the garden. Well, I love lots of fresh fruits and veggies, so this one is actually really tough. After all - fresh squash, zuchinni, green beans - those all add to a fantastic summertime meal. Fresh strawberries, peaches, grapes, watermelon - yep those are all great! But I think my absolute favoritest food straight from the garden (and one thing I can actually grow) are tomatoes - oh, yummmmmmm! With a little salt, take a great big bite out of a tomato and eat it like an apple.

Wait - what about blueberries right off the bush? Hmmmmm - tomatoes or blueberries.... now, I'm hungry!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Smells, Tastes and Other Memories of Summer

The smell of a chlorine pool and Coppertone

Cold watermelon at a picnic

catching fireflies in mayonnaise jars with holes punched in the lid and watching them light up the jar

The sounds of kids playing hide and seek until after dark or 9:30, whichever came first

Popsicles on the back porch

The sound of the ice cream freezer making homemade peach ice cream

The juice of fresh peaches running down my chin.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Trip to the Beach

I promised Audrey a trip to the beach, but wanted to do something a little different than what we did last year with Galveston and Bolivar beaches. They are good beaches to be so close to home, but they aren't the best beaches to experience. So, I decided to try Port Aransas - there would be places that we could sightsee and there would be a good beach to play on - and hopefully it would be pretty clean.

So Audrey and I headed for Port A on Monday. We drove down Highway 35 instead of going into Houston and taking 59 down. I thought maybe Audrey would enjoy seeing the water sooner. She was really great on the drive down - only asking a couple of times "how much further" Of course it helped that we made a rest stop at Dairy Queen. DQ's are a new experience for Audrey.

As we drove into Port Aransas, the GPS decided to take us on a tour of town to get to the hotel. As we were driving down the street, we saw Woody's, where I knew they booked dolphin trips. So we pulled in to see if they were taking any tours out. As a matter of fact, there was a tour leaving in about 30 minutes, so we hung out. For entertainment, there was a heron sitting on the pier that was obviously pretty tame since he just sat there and posed for pics. Later when we went down to the boat, there he was again. We learned that he was called Harry the Heron. Audrey enjoyed taking pics of him - I had lent her my point & shoot to use on our "vacation".

We took off and did see some dolphins, but the fog rolled in and we only stayed out for about an hour. Audrey really enjoyed playing with the touch tank that they had set up on the boat - she really wasn't all that impressed with the dolphins, unlike Aunt Maggie. Anyway, there was a hermit crab, some shrimp, a starfish and some other crabs.

After checking in, we went to eat at a Mexican Food restaurant - Audrey even picked! And then we drove down to the beach, and went exploring. Audrey had fun picking up seashells and she was fascinated with all the sand dollars.

We went to the beach the next morning. Audrey had a blast!!! We stopped to get a cooler and some snacks, plus a pail and shovel. The day was mostly cloudy, so we were able to stay at the beach for several hours before we both got burned. And yes, I did put sunscreen on both of us, but managed to miss spots on both of us.

There was quite a bit of seaweed on the beach - a problem evidently common to all Texas beaches. At first Audrey was really funny about not wanting to walk on the seaweed, even with her flip-flops on. But by the end of the time at the beach, she was slinging the seaweed out of her way.

In the afternoon, we drove down to Corpus Christi to see the Aquarium. I couldn't convince her that she wanted to go to a baseball game which would have really been easy to do since the stadium was so close to the aquarium. While at the aquarium, we saw a really great dolphin show, and they had a touch tank where we could touch stingrays and a small shark. And then we had to stop at a tacky souvenir shop. First, I had to explain what tacky souvenirs are - but you can't go to a beach town without going to at least one shop. Audrey got a whole sand dollar for her souvenir.

On the way back, we ate seafood - OK, Aunt Maggie ate seafood and Audrey ate chicken tenders. We drove around a little while - just to see what was there. And that was our trip to the beach!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Weekend Before...

I flew to Atlanta on Friday, April 4. When I originally booked my flights, I thought Kathy was going to be in town so I would be able to spend time with her as well. She and Dag left the day before for a trip to Monaco, Shanghai and Mumbai - halfway around the world and back. But she let me use the house since David and Kristine don't have a guest room set up (5 bedrooms and no guest room -hmmmm).

I got to Atlanta Friday afternoon just about the time Audrey got out of school. So we had a good time visiting. Then Saturday, we went shopping to get Audrey some new things for the trip, including a new swimsuit. Kristine and I got manicures and pedicures, and we let Audrey get her toe nails painted - a really pretty pale pink that was barely noticeable. She is only 8 after all.

Sunday, Audrey and I flew back to "Texas" - she always says Texas instead of Houston. As we were on final approach, we flew past the San Jacinto Monument. I pointed the monument out to her, and her reply was "Oh, the Washington Monument!" Well, no, it has a star on top and is actually a little taller. So then I had to explain why the monument was there and what was the significance of the Battle at the San Jacinto River in Texas history. She really was interested and asked all kinds of questions.

We got to Grandy's house and Audrey immediately wanted to check out Grandy's back yard and see all the flowers. She began playing in the bird bath, building leaf and pecan shell boats to float in the bird bath - ahhhh the simple pleasures!

Bad Maggie!!!!

It's been over 2 months since I last blogged - I can't believe it! And I'm the one that's got the journal prompt chat every 2 weeks?!?!?!?!

I guess I get back into the groove of blogging. So I will begin a series of blogs about when Audrey came for Spring Break (and yes, that was a month ago - again Bad, Aunt Maggie!!!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When I Was 9

Dear Audrey,

Your mother was born February 27. I turned 9 on March 15, just 16 days later. To me, she was my real live baby doll. Of course, being the oldest and being 9, I thought I was old enough to be the little mother. Mom let me change diapers - back in those days there weren't Pampers or Huggies. I remember having rinse the dirty diaper in the toilet and I accidentally flushed one down the toilet.

We moved to the house in Pearland in April - your Mommy was just 6 weeks old. I remember helping to keep her occupied - she would sleep in her infant seat in a corner in the dining room while Mom cleaned the kitchen and put down shelf paper before the move.

The neighborhood was a new one and they were constantly tying in new houses to the public water system and having to flush the pipes. As a result we had a lot of rust in the water. Mary Lee got colic really bad from the water, and it seemed like it was the worst right as Mom was trying to get dinner on the table. Of course, I was old enough that I could hold Mary Lee and tryi to comfort her, under Mom's direction of course. (You had colic really bad when you were about 3-4 weeks old, but your favorite time to scream and cry was around midnight to about 2 in the morning - poor baby, you had a hard time of it.)

When I was 9 I had to change schools for the second time. I was able to finish out 3rd Grade at my old school because Mom would drive me in the morning, then turn around and drive Kathy to Kindergarten at lunchtime, then turn around and pick us both up in the afternoon. That was 3 trips into Houston every day for almost 2 months. But that fall, I started 4th Grade in a new school. Unfortunately, none of the kids that I had become friends with in the neighborhood were in my grade, so I didn't know anyone. I soon made friends at school, but I still couldn't wait to get home so that I could play with Mary Lee. My new friends thought it was really cool that I had a baby sister

She was my real live baby doll, and she will always be my baby doll in my memory, my baby sister. I miss her.

Aunt Maggie

Sunday, March 02, 2008

High School

Dear Audrey,

Most of my high school memories are around being in Band. I started Band when I was in 6th Grade, playing the clarinet. At the time, all my friends were doing something, Band or Choir, or sports. Well, I couldn't sing and I kept trying out for the Girl's Volleyball team, but wasn't good enough - so Band was it.

We had Marching Band in the fall and Symphonic Band in the spring. We started Marching Band practice around the first of August. Freshmen went for several hours in the morning for a week - learning to march. And we had rehearsals Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening during the weeks before school started. We would rehearse music, then we would go out and march. We were what was known as a military style of band, with 6 to 5 stride vs. the 8 to 5 stride of "show bands". The stride was how many steps were in 5 yards, so 6 to 5 meant a 30" stride. For a long time afterward, I had a 30" stride - now it's much shorter. Marching Band was brutal during August because of the heat.

My freshman year, I didn't march at halftime, but was one of the sidelines team. Our job was to make sure the yard markers were up and in the correct spot, and then to help get the larger instruments off the field after the show. We did play in the stands with the band, but there were more people in Band than the director wanted to march with - it had to be symmetrical since we were a military style band, and that meant marching in a block.

For the other 3 years I did march every football game except for one. I sprained my ankle on a Friday and couldn't put any weight on the ankle for 48 hours. The band director wouldn't even let me go to the game since it was a couple of weeks until Marching Contest and he wanted me healthy for that.

My best friends in High School were also in Band. Vicky and I both played clarinet; Audrey started out on clarinet but switched to bassoon in 8th Grade; and Susan played flute and oboe. We roomed together on band trips for all 4 years, we hung out together, and we had a lot of classes together, especially Vicky and I. Vicky and I even shared the same last name, although we weren't related.

I took almost all Accelerated classes in High School. That would be equivalent to AP classes now. I took 4 years of Math - Algebra I and II, Geometry and Analytical Geometry. Unfortunately, my school didn't offer pre-Calculus, which kind of put me at a disadvantage in college, but I loved Math. In fact, I was Who's Who in Math my senior year. It was a toss-up whether I was going to get Math or Science, but since I didn't take Biology II, another guy got that award. I did take Biology I, Chemistry I and II and Physics in High School - and I really loved the Physical Sciences - so much so, I majored in Chemistry in college. I also took 4 years (plus 1 quarter) of Literature and English, 4 years of Social Studies, a year of Spanish (Spanish II because I had 2 years of Spanish in Jr. High), Driver's Ed, Homemaking, Band of course - and I even took a year of PE - even though Marching Band counted for my PE requirement. I wanted to take tennis and that's the only way I could.

Because of the time commitment with Band, I wasn't in as many outside organizations as I had been in my younger life. I had been in Girl Scouts through 7th Grade, I had been in 4H for a year - more for the homemaking activities, I had been in Rainbow Girls and stayed in that my freshman year and maybe my sophomore year. But it was hard with Band being 1 or 2 nights a week, at least during marching season. I was in Future Teachers of America (FTA) in High School. And I did join Explorer Scouts my senior year - it was a medical branch of Explorer Scouts. I was a teacher's aide for 2 years and Office Assistant my senior year. So I kept full schedules all 4 years. I was also active in UMYF and Youth Choir at my church. Part of that involved leading the 8:30 service at church and participating in fundraisers and mission trips during the summers.

Again, because of Band, I didn't have a lot of after school jobs. I worked at the Bookstore at church for a couple hours after work for about a year. I would do data entry at the machine shop where Mom worked every once in a while. And I tutored and babysat. I did work at an pizza place for one summer and part of one school year - until they wanted me to work on a Friday night and I had a football game. I got a job after my senior year working at Dairy Queen, but right after I started there, Daddy was able to get me a job where he worked, doing clerical work. So I worked at Fisk Electric during the week and at Dairy Queen weekends and evenings until I went to college.

One of my high school highlights was being chosen to attend CloseUp my senior year. CloseUp is a week long program in Washington, DC, where students get the opportunity to observe the U.S. government up close (hence the name). I went with 7 or 8 students from my school, but there were over 200 students form the Houston area there at the same time.

I had a steady boyfriend, Rusty Bachtel, my junior and senior years. We started dating right around Halloween. It was nice having a steady - I definitely had a date for prom both years, plus he was in Band as well - so we had that in common as well. We did share several classes. I thought he was really cool and the love of my life - and that lasted until I went away to college and I continued to grow up and he wanted someone to stay at home and raise the children, like his mother. I remember him fondly, but realized with time that he wasn't the one for me.

Audrey, I hope that you are able to look back on your high school years with fondness. I hope you have the friendships and the activities to make it a fun time - not just something to get through until you become an adult.

Aunt Maggie

My Childhood

The third challenge is to scrap about ourselves with at least half the page being journaling. Well, the journaling part is not so hard for me, but the talking about part is harder. I've decided that since Audrey seems interested in what it was like when we were growing up, that I would write a letter to her about my childhood. So here goes:

Dear Audrey,

You have asked questions about what it was like growing up. I know you usually are asking in reference to what it was like for your Mommy, but this letter will be more about what it was like for me.

I'm the oldest, so some of my earliest memories were when Kathy was a baby. We lived in a house in Houston. The house was on a short street that curved into another street. We were the third house on a 3 street house. I had a several friends that I played with on the 2 streets. There was Bob Allen that lived in the house on the corner. There was Janice Williamson that lived 2 doors down the other way. There were twin boys, Brett and Bart - I can't remember if they lived between us and the Williamson's, or further down. Then a couple of houses down was Lana Lee. We would play in each other's driveways or in the yards. I remember we had a large shade tree in our front yard, but there was enough room that we played baseball as well.

Our house growing up was a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house with a 1 car garage. You walked in the front door and there was a brick planter box that separated the doorway from the living room. The living room was to the left and the doorway to the hall was on the right. In the living room was a sofa that flattened out into a bed - you lifted the bottom and the back fell down then you flattened the seat back down, like a futon. There was also Daddy's platform rocker tucked in next to the planter. There was a console TV under the front windows. Over against the far wall was the maple table that's in Mom's breakfast room now. I remember a large brass tray on the wall above the table and some other brass sconces or something as well. Mom used to sell for World Gift, I think it was a home show type business. Between the sofa and the dining table was a doorway into the kitchen and breakfast nook. I seem to remember another planter box that separated the breakfast nook from the kitchen area. There was a door to the garage off the breakfast area, and a door into the backyard between the breakfast nook and the kitchen. The kitchen was like a galley style with a little L on the end closest to the breakfast nook. The counters were ceramic tile. The sink was on the back wall along with all the cabinets/counters and the pantry, stove and refrigerator were on the opposite wall. At the far end of the kitchen was a door into the hall. Going into the hall, to the left was a Hollywood bath, straight ahead was Mom and Dad's bedroom. Turning right in the hall then going down were the other 2 bedrooms. The middle room was mine and Kathy's and the other room was the guest room. I remember moving into the front bedroom for just a short period of time before we moved to Pearland. The house wasn't centrally air-conditioned, but there was an attic fan in the hall and we had window units in parts of the house.

I was sick a lot when I was really little. I had kidney and bladder problems. I remember being in the hospital a lot when I was 3 or 4 years old, and had surgery when I was 5 or 6. I also had to have my tonsils out, so I spent a lot of time at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Somewhere in there, I also broke my collarbone. I remember being in a body cast that came down like a short sleeve on the right side and then angling across to my under my left arm. The whole thing went down to my waist - I was wearing a plaster, one-sleeved shirt for several weeks. No one knew for sure how I broke it, Mom thinks I may have fallen off my tricycle. I just remember waking up from a nap, crying because it hurt. I remember trying to color, using my left hand because I couldn't use my right arm much.

Kathy was almost 3 years younger than me, and wanted to do everything that I did. I remember Mom dressed us either alike or in coordinating outfits. I remember red dresses with white lace and buttons down the front. Mom and Dad were going to let me stay up later or stop taking naps, but Kathy wanted to stay up as well - so I still had to go to bed earlier and take naps up until I went to school fulltime.

OK, enough for now - I will be making this a multi-part letter and may rearrange things as I think of new things.


I'm participating in the Amazing Digiscrapping Race #3 (ADSR3) with my partner, Fran. Fran is one of my fellow CT members at both DSAG and NDISB. Over the last several months, Fran and I have discovered a lot of things in common - mostly we both act a little crazy at times, and we both try to make people welcome at our sites, and try to act as ambassadors and good CT members (although I haven't been as good as Fran lately - I think I hit a bit of a scrapping slump and not doing as much as I can).

Anyway, we are now starting Week 2 of the 6 week challenge. Since Fran and I both are CT members, we aren't eligible for the Grand Prize, but there are some pretty nice prizes for completing each challenge.

The first challenge was to use a template and scrap about one of our favorite scrapping subjects. Of course, my subject was Audrey, looking at how she's grown through the years:

The second challenge was to scrap a layout with our partner, each of us taking a half. Well, Fran and I got on Hello and started throwing out ideas. Fran's first idea was to split the page vertically with each of us in profile looking toward each side and journaling and whatever on each side. Well before we could even get started, someone had already done that. So I suggested that we use pics of us with our subjects from Challenge 1 - me with Audrey and Fran with her grandkids. Fran didn't have any pics that she liked with her grandkids. I don't remember why, but she threw out some pics of her dressed as a clown. I don't have any of me in Halloween costumes scanned (I'm not sure where those pics even are), but I had one of my days when I used to go "Kicker" dancing - with the jeans and belt buckle and all. We kept throwing out older photos until both of us threw out pics from the 80's where we both had big glasses and wing hairstyles. That was it!!!! Long Lost Twins:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My Mortality

Today is Ash Wednesday - it's a day of reflection of one's mortality and penitance in the Protestant Church as the start of the Lenten season. The imposition of ashes represent mortality (Ashes to ashes; dust to dust - From The Common Book of Prayer based on Gensis 3:19). Ponder your own mortality.

I've been hearing too many instances of people dying quickly lately. And it's gotten me to think about my mortality. Will I have any regrets? Will I leave things undone? Will I leave a mess behind or will I be able to have the opportunity to tie up the loose ends.

Tim McGraw has a song - Live Like You Were Dying - that describes a man that is terminal and how he is living his life after the news - and he went skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing, 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.

And now there is a new movie out that I want to see - The Bucket List - a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. I need to develop my Bucket List.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Sacrifice for Lent

And first off, no, I'm not Catholic. But I do try to do something for Lent. I think it shows a willingness to follow Christ as he prepared for His ultimate sacrifice.

I have been eating way too much crap lately. I feel like I have to have sugar every day. I'm eating way too much fried foods and too many doughnuts. So for Lent, I'm giving up french fries and doughnuts/breakfast junk.

And I'm going to try to eat better overall during Lent. There are 40 days in Lent, not counting Sundays - that should be enough time to get back in a better eating pattern that I can continue and try to get back being healthier over all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blog A Day

OK, I've blown the blog a day thing. It had been a week since I last blogged. I'm getting better at writing. I just don't know if I have enough to say to blog every day. As it is, I know that people aren't really interested in the mundane in my life. Heck, I don't have a "following", so this blog is primarily for me - to record my thoughts and things that I'm doing -- so that I can remember. Occasionally, I go back and read my older posts and I'm glad that I do have written down what I have - I just need to do better - and do it for me!!!

5 Things Around My Computer

List 5 things around my computer - why are they important and what do they say about you?

1) Camera - I usually have one or the other cameras nearby as I'm offloading photos into my laptop. I have been trying to take more pics and improve my skills, and transferring them to the laptop is part of the process.

2) Card Reader - My 2 cameras have different size cards. The P&S uses an SD card and the DSLR uses the Flash Card II. My laptop can read SD cards directly, but not FC. So I have a card reader - but my card reader can read most any format, just in case I ever have a 3rd type of media - you never know. And I had to go buy a new card reader this week because I couldn't find my other one. And I could have gotten one that reads just FC, but no, I had to get one that reads all media. I couldn't believe how lost I felt when I couldn't see the pics I took of Avery. What does that say about me?

3) EHD - Actually I have 3 EHDs around my laptop - the 2 portable ones and the more permanent one. I need to find good homes for them all - they are just laying around the recliner. But they are (at least the one I'm currently using) are my lifeblood - they have most all of my digital pics and all of my layouts (I'm still missing a couple from the hard disk crash 2 years ago :( ). That may be one reason I have so many - but I need to get organized in how I use them for back up. I'm still trying to finish my online backup - then I can worry about on-site backup. Yes, I'm getting anal about it, but I have lost too many pics over the years (mostly the paper kind and that upsets me because at this point they are irreplaceable and chronicle so much of my adult life. I just wish I had been better about taking AND developing pics prior to digital). Notice a recurring theme here? It's about the pics and the memories they represent.

4) Lamp - I have a floor lamp by the recliner. I have to have good light to work. It's that age thing - if I have good light, in most cases, I don't need the cheaters - the reading glasses.

5) TV Remote - Hey, I have to have noise. I may not actually watch TV when I'm actively scrapping, but I have the background - and I do look up from time to time (most shows, that's all it takes). And having control of the remote means I get to watch what I want to, and don't all of a sudden have to put up with the channel surfing. Thank goodness for more than one TV in the house.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Second "Seven Wonders" Layout

I finished my second "Seven Wonders" layout tonight. I decided that I won't necessarily use the same or even similar kits, but that I would tie the layouts together with the title work - it's all going to be same font, same angle, on each layout.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Kit Colors

OK - I chose these colors to be the colors of my kit I'm making in the Creating Papers and Elements class. Looking pretty good, huh!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Started New Class

I'm taking a new class at It's Creating Elements in PS. I've taken a similar class in PSP, but I think I really will enjoy this class since Mary is teaching it. I'm trying to settle on a color palette so that when I'm done with the class, I'll have a cohesive kit. I just about have it narrowed down - and it wasn't even my first choice. I'll post my final choice tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Houston Marathon

Today was the Houston Marathon. I volunteered to work as a ham radio operator. This meant getting up at 3:30 to be downtown for check-in. Then work my way to my assignment at a water station. I was on station by 5:15 or so. Of course, the race didn't start until 7:00. But we were next to a coffee house that opened at 6:00. This meant we had restroom facilities and snacks, including hot chocolate.

I got some pictures of the elite half-marathoners as they came past. And I meant to take pics of the "masses", but I forgot. We were where we had runners/walkers going in both directions - north and south on Montrose. The half-marathoners turned around about a mile south of us.

I was done by 10:30 and came home for a nap.

But it got me thinking - do I want to attempt one more half? I know I can do the distance, if the knees let me.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Tonight we had a thunderstorm roll through. It was interesting to watch the line of clouds move across the sky. I just hope it keeps rolling right on through as the Houston Marathon is tomorrow. I know from experience that going for long distances in wet running shoes is not comfortable. I hope that the weather is great for them tomorrow - and for me. I'm volunteering as a ham radio operator at one of the water stations. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be back out there walking.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Did It To Myself Again

I applied for a CT and then was really hurt when I didn't get a position, not even a guest position. I think what really upset me is this was one of the designers that I used to CT for, I really love her stuff and really promoted her on forums such as DST and MSA.

Oh well, someday I will learn to not do this to myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Seven Wonders In My Life - P. 2

I've created a layout from one of my seven wonders from yesterday's post. I'm thinking that I will be creating a page for each of the seven wonders in my life... ok, the 8 wonders in my life!!!

Credits: Madeleine Page Kit by NinaScraps, Cursive Metal Font by Birgit Kerr

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Seven Wonders of My Life...

The Seven Wonders Of My Life

1) My faith and belief that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that God loves me – even with all the stuff that has gone on with my family, my faith remains. And the knowledge that someday I will see my sister and father again brings me peace.
2) Audrey – How can one little girl that isn’t even my child bring so much love and fulfillment to my life? She is definitely a source of wonder and amazement to me.
3) My sisters – we grew up to be friends as well as sisters. Mary was my best friend, and she was 9 years younger than me. For one thing, she kept me young.
4) My parents – they were married for 47 years and had a loving marriage. They gave us a great upbringing and provided a sound foundation for me to build my life on.
5) My dogs – they love me unconditionally. Yes, they are aggravating at times, but when one comes up and puts it’s snout in my lap and looks at me with those puppy dog eyes – ahhhhh! And they keep me entertained.
6) My extended family – my mom’s brothers and sister and their families have been mainstays in my entire life. They are there for one another and they are fun to be around. Yes, there are squabbles and spats, but they truly love one another and the extended family.
7) The fact that I can have friends from all over the world and can keep up with them through the miracles of modern technology; the internet, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
8) The fact that I’m able to travel freely to just about anywhere I would want to go, and the fact that I can pretty easily get there.

Ok, so that was 8 – shoot me!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oh My!!!

I had dinner at Double Dave's tonight. I had journaled my food intake today and knew that I had plenty of points. I wasn't going to deprive myself, but since it wasn't a buffet night, I wasn't sure what to order that wouldn't be toooooo bad. I ordered a veggie stromboli. I ate 2/3 of it plus a salad. Well, 1/6 of a veggie stromboli was 290 calories and 8 g of fat - Oh My!!!! I had almost 1200 calories in one meal.

That's why I'm having trouble with my weight. The stuff I love is loaded with calories. I guess I won't be going to Double Dave's again any time soon. Don't want to know what a fully loaded pizza would be there.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Eating Healthier in 2008

I'm slowly working my way back into Weight Watchers Online. This week I'm getting back into the habit of journaling.

And this isn't my first time at it. In 2003/2004, I lost 97 pounds. But life finally beat me down - in 2005 I suffered some major injuries and started my rounds of surgery. I used that as an excuse and put it almost all back on.

Last year, I played at weight loss - I would stay with it for a few weeks, and then I would fall off the wagon.This is going to be one of the habits that I want to cultivate in 2008 - not so much to lose weight (yes, that's a goal) but to be healthier. Putting this out there is part of my plan to develop the habit - adding to my accountability.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Audrey and her Family

I did this layout of Audrey and her family. I took the pics at Christmas when we were visiting. She's at the stage where she doesn't like to get her picture made and tends to act like a nut, so the word art is perfect.
Template by Maria (Scraplikecrazy)
Tied Together Kit by NDISB Designers - January 2008 Customer Appreciation Kit

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Not Resolutions But Habits

Wednesday, I posted what were the things I wanted to change in 2008. I have some habits that I want to develop or redevelop in 2008. As stated this week, I've started the Photo A Day and Blogging. I'm on Day 4 of both of these. Next week I start the eating healthier.

Kit is Just Believe by Amy Head.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Well, What to Talk About Tonight?

Hmmmm. It's 9:00 and I haven't blogged today because I don't really have a topic today. I knew I should have saved my Dear Audrey for today, but I wanted to go ahead and get it written while I was thinking about it. I'm really bad with coming up with something I want to blog, then putting it off until I forget about it.

Today, some folks wanted me to help organize some tutorials/challenges on blogs. Ha! Ha! Have I got them fooled or what! I mean I can come up with blog prompts because I know how to surf the Internet - but setting up blogs? I can't even get my blog to do what I want - I would love to have the header spread across the page, but I can't get that figured out. I know I could make the header even bigger than I have - but my personal laptop is a wide screen and what's big enough for it would be too big for most screens.

Ok, so I'm off to Google and see what I can learn about setting up Blogger blogs.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Eve Letter

Dear Audrey,

Tonight you went to Candlelight Service with Grandy and I. You told us it was your first time to go to church, well, the second if you count the Easter Egg Hunt and breakfast at Grandy's church with the Easter Bunny.

I want you to know the all encompassing Love of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ dying for our sins. I want you to know that there is a Life hereafter and to be secure in the knowledge that someday not only will you be able to know God and His Son personally, but that you will see your mother again.

I know that your daddy wants you to explore all religions and make your own choices as you grow up, and that if you are meant to be a Christian, it will be your decision. But I also know that unless you are exposed to God's love and care, you won't understand.

I know that as an 8 year old, church may seem boring and that you probably didn't understand the significance of the Candlelight Service or why we wanted you to sit through a "bore-ing" service. But it's my hope that you will come to know that all encompassing Love and that why the miracle of Christmas isn't snow on Christmas morning, or getting the toys you really wanted or that Santa Claus came to your house. I want you to know that the miracle of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and that He is with you every step of the way.

So, I won't push "my" religion on you. But I will expose you to the concepts of "my" religion and I will give you the opportunity to experience it for yourself. And I will pray to God that you find a friend that will encourage your journey as well... someone that will invite you to church with them, someone that believes and will encourage you to believe as well.

I love you always,
Aunt Maggie

Day 2 of Habit Setting

I took pictures on my way to work this morning with my P&S. I hope they came out - it was a gorgeous sunrise this morning.

And I 'm blogging so that's 2 days in a row there.... so ha! Only 19 more days to go on both of these to make them a habit. I haven't done anything in the other habits for 2008 list, I need to add some housework to the mix. The healthy eating will start next week with another challenge. And getting exercise in still has to be figured out - I know, just do it! But it's hard to figure out when.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Oh My!!!

It's been 2 months since I've blogged - bad Maggie!!! And that's even with me doing biweekly blog prompts at DSAG.

So many things to report - so little time - ha!

In late November, Debb decided to re-organize DSAG and eliminate the store from the site. She formed a collaboration with Theresa Hernandez with NDISB for the designers to sell at that store and also to sell the classes there. DSAG will be primarily a learning site now. Well, that left the CT in a quandry. We could continue to CT at DSAG, but really the only kit to showcase there will be the motnhly Guild kit, we could elect to move over to CT at NDISB, and we were released from our exclusivity agreement with the Guild and be free to pursue other CTs while staying on the Guild CT. I have elected to remain on the Guild CT and the NDISB CT. And I may pursue other options. One of my favorite designers, Birgit Kerr is now at another site entirely, and I may try for her CT when she has a call - or at least see if she is looking for a guest.

I'm not making any resolutions for 2008 - I never manage to keep them. Instead, I'm going to try to instill some habits into my life this year. I have let so many things go over the last few years - my excuses have been mainly related to my ability to get around due to my knees, etc. Well, it's been a year and a half since my knee replacement and I have got to quit using it as an excuse.

So the list of things I want to work on in 2008 is quite long and I don't know how far I will get. It will involve me not immediately crawling into my chair with my laptop as soon as I get home in the evenings. And it will require discipline on my part. Ha! Ha! Thus speaks the inherently lazy person with zero discipline lately.

It takes 21 days to make a habit - yeah, right - I think it takes a lot longer, but we will see.

So My List of Habits I Want to Create in 2008:

Photo a Day
I want to begin shooting a photo a day - I think it will be cool to chronicle the everyday things in life, plus I understand that people who begin this habit feel it only helps their photography skills. Everytime I think I'm improving on my skills, I have incidents like Christmas reach up and slap me in the face. So many of my pics did not turn out well, and I totally forgot to shoot some photos like Audrey all dressed up for church - which she informed Grandy and I that it was her first time to go to church. That's a whole other blog in and of itself, maybe a "Dear Audrey" blog - haven't done one of those in a long time.
Daily Blogging
I think journaling on a regular basis would be a really good thing for me. I leave so many things bottled up and that's not healthy. This will give me a creative outlet for venting. Plus, I want to leave behind some evidence of my existense and maybe some day, someone will look back with fondness on my life - yeah, right. It's also another way to instill some discipline in my life.
I really did feel better when I was exercising regularly, even though I had to schedule it into my day like a meeting. In fact, I did best when I exercised at the Fitness Center at work. With my existing work schedule of working at 2 sites, this may be a little more troublesome - but I am paying for a Y membership that I haven't used in probably close to 2 years. That's ridiculous!!!
Healthy Eating
Oh yeah! I gained back almost everything I lost 4 years ago. Last year I played at losing weight a couple of times and I start this year just about where I started last year - not good!!! While, I should just break down and get all the way back on the WW bandwagon whole heartedly today, I'm not going to do that. But next week, the Back to Basics is going to start up where each week for 8 weeks we focus on one aspect of WW, then after the 8 weeks is over, we start over. If I focus on the Back To Basics topic for that week, maybe by the end of the 8 weeks I will actually be in the diet mode - but at least I will be eating healthier and that is ultimately the goal.
Clean House
Neither Mark nor I like to do anything related to housework and it's really showing, especially with the dogs contributing as well. So I want to get into the habit of spending a few minutes every day working on the house. Right now, it's a daunting task with every room in the house needing attention. I need to go through stuff and throw out, which is painful for a packrat - but I can't find stuff anymore, I have no room to do stuff that I want to do, and I don't want anyone coming to my house. I would love to be able to have Audrey come stay at my house in April - but that's not an option at this point.
I used to love working in the yard, but then with all the knee injuries, it got to be too much, then I let the yard get away from me. Of course, it doesn't help that Mark has all this crap in front of the house and that the dogs have pretty much destroyed the back yard, but I can clean out the flower beds and do some planting and see how it goes. I'll start with the 4 beds in the front of the house - decide if I want to keep them all and figure out what I want to plant - then figure out a way to keep the yard guys from cutting them down!!!! I realize I have lost another rose bush to them - ARRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

OK, that's enough for today - and look, I got my post in for the day! Yay! One thing to check off!!!