Friday, March 31, 2006

More inspiration from the photo pile...

Yet another single photo in the "what to do - what to do" pile. I love it though...and a great story to go with it. That's my grandmother (my inner circle knows that's my "mom", she raised me since I was a baby). This photo was taken at the Doniphan County Fair Grounds in 1921 for some kind of spring festival...she was their princess...and...oooh, was she mad... look at that face! She loved the dress & the crown, but the seat was extremely uncomfortable. For the remainder of the festival, she was hoisted up on this thing and she couldn't play with her friends. Her mother stood behind a curtain they put up and spent the whole time with her arms up holding her, balancing her on this contraption. She remembered the pain & frustration of that day, but above all she remembered her mother's loving arms supporting her all day long. It made her feel so safe.
I need to scrapbook this weekend...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A creative session...

I got a luscious pile of paper yesterday....I could live on Basic Grey sometimes. I went through a stack of photos - the "special - but what will I ever do with them" pile and found this snap of Meg I took three years ago. I love this picture & I think it was just waiting for this paper. Last night I got paint on my fingers and it felt good...I should make the time to create every day...stay tuned.

On a different note, found a blog really worth checking out. It's all about felt art, one drawback, it's in Italian - but I like the pictures.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Celebrating my inner Spice Girl...

I love pepper. All kinds of a matter of fact I'm a spice junkie.

I got a box of salt-free spice blends in the mail yesterday that I ordered and it made my day. Recently Ashley gave me some sf spices she had & I bought the cutest little containers for them...I seem to buy at least one bottle of spices a week too - I cook a lot.

Here's my list of favorite spices & what I do with them:
Black Pepper - on everything
Lawry's Coarse Garlic Powder with Parsley - all vegetables & lots of other stuff
Parsley - to balance the garlic
Tarragon - with chicken or chicken soups
Cumin Seed - mexican food
Oregano, Sage & Thyme - italian food
Basil - italian & bacon cups!
Dill - fish
Mrs. Dash - original, garlic & herb, tomato-basil-garlic, onion & herb, southwestern chipolte, steak seasoning, lemon pepper and all the marinades
Carribean Jerk marinade - jambalaya
Cinnamon, mace & nutmeg - applesauce

One other thing I any given time I have 4 kinds of hot sauce, 2+ salsas, 4+ vinegars and 3+ mustards in the fridge. I think Gordon Elliot's show Doorknock Dinners made a huge impression on me when I was a newlywed & my kitchen is always ready...even though the show's off the air now.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

In-law alert...

Just kidding...had lunch with the "fam" today...clockwise: in the navy my mother-in-law Elizabeth, her best friend Kim in red, Tammy's best friend Nicloe in blue & Tammy in green (she did clarify that she would save small children as well as hot guys this summer...LOL). Tracy came too and we ended up at HoHo China.

It's darn cold was in the 80's all winter - now we're freezing???? I ended up awake until 4 a.m. last night...hopefully tonight will be better.

NEW Hoops & Yoyo animated series...

Well, we're having that slurpee-like precipitation now. I can't get the link to work, so go under my top ten, click on Hoops & Yoyo, go to animated series and select "thinking of you" (oooh - I just love Hoops & Yoyo). Looks like a new character coming up April 1st..
spend some time on the H&Y site - hilarious free ecards, funny'll never know what will be there. Try hitting the "fun" button on the home page...several times - the bear button is good too..

Midnight ramblings...

I awoke from a very sound sleep with a killer shoulder pain & leg cramps. Crappity-crap. I'm tired & I want to get back to sleep. After an hour I decided to hop on & blog...I made my green pudding and had my "fix" (after Matt went to sleep).

Texas the last 7 days it's been in the 80's, followed by flash flooding/torrential rain, and now there might be snow mixed in with a light cold rain tonight & a freeze in the morning. I've always known I live in a schitzophrenic weather zone, but really - this is too much!

Having lunch with my mother-in-law tomorrow (she's in town for Spring Break - she's a 4th grade teacher), her best friend Kim, Tracy (sister-in-law), Tammy (other sister-in-law, age 16) & Tammy's best friend Nicole - whew...Say hoorah for Tammy - she just made their varsity drill team & got her first job lined up for the summer. She will be a lifeguard at Schlitterbahn. I'll warn you now - the cute 16-18 year old boys will be getting the most don't plan on drowning if you're a girl. :)
(just kidding, Tammy - she's the real deal, certified & everything)

Things I need to do: pack tools for CKU-A, make Ginger a card & send something special for the baby, reorganize my scrapbook room so I have room to work, buy grass flock (haven't decided on light green or dark green) for a project I'm cooking up & do my recipe pages for the cookbook swap group I'm in... what I need to do is take a pain pill and go back to bed!

Monday, March 20, 2006

There's nothing wrong with green there!

Matt is one of those people who eats with his eyes...he's a food bigot. Excuse me, but I'm going to rant today.

All this was started by some innocent & delicious pistachio pudding. I said:
"Hey - I'm going to make some pudding. Would you like some?"
and he said "of course, duh..."
so I said "How 'bout pistachio? It's really yummy, it tastes just like the nuts"
he stops me here and says "I know what a pistachio is...sounds good."
And since I know the man I married, I had to add the disclaimer..."Great...and-it's-green" and with that I made a break for the kitchen...
to which he said "Hell, no. I'm not eating any green pudding. It's not natural!"

I know...if this is the worst of our problems I'm a lucky woman. But there are so many rules:
  • no purple foods (red cabbage or eggplant - which I really like)
  • double no for eggplant becasue the name creeps him out
  • nothing that looks "new" to him (he has volunteered to try new things if I don't tell him & hide it in his food...little does he know he ate feta cheese in the wraps I made us tonight - in the store called it my super gross stinky cheese)
  • no broccoli, no cauliflower, no cooked carrots, no brussel sprouts, no rice (and yes I do actually like these things)
  • everything "needs" a layer of ranch, mayo, red Tobasco or cheese (I get the cheese...but eeeew - slimy)
  • and now, apparently, no green pudding

Oh well, I feel better now...I might even go get seconds of the butterscotch pudding we made instead...

P.S. I love you, Matt!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Blame it on the rain...

I've been watching the weather for hours now. In Dallas the average rainfall for March is 1.7 inches. Today it's rained between 7 & 9 inches. It rained all day yesterday and it's still raining's a real mess out there. At this rate I might be rowing to work tomorrow...
Other than that I'm just crying my way through Extreme Home Makeover (Rainford Family)...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Feeling the need to blog...

...without a lot going on. So far this weekend: no scrapbooking, no trip to the grocery store, no washing dishes, no news from Ginger...just rain. Lots & lots of rain. It's been a sweater & slippers day watching old movies under a blanket on the couch. And it's been fun...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Going out on Spring Break...

I called one of my best friends, Angie this afternoon. I was whispering because I was afraid she was still in that would make a difference - the room full of fourth graders would've heard it ring...anyway...
She's on Spring Break. I forgot teachers get that too - so we met for a visit & dinner at Red Robin in Garland. We had so much fun - reminiscing about when we met (1989 - very young, cute & stupid), talked about her boys & my job and the day to day of our lives. Every time we get together it ends with "we should do this more often" - and we should. It's easy to get caught up in the busy work that becomes our everyday life...I should commit myself to take more time for friends...

btw -the flash on my camera doesn' like Red Robin much so I converted this to black & white to combat the strange highlights. Also Angie & I would like to go on the record and say our hair is usually much cuter than this. oh well.........

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 glue stamping

I was going through some of my layouts today and I ran across this one...and it gave me an idea.

I thought I'd share one of my techiniques with you here & challenge you to create something using the same technique...

Glue Stamping
I have lots of foam stamps & I still buy more, so I wanted to figure out something different to do with them other than using acrylic paint. Well, I'm a bit of an adhesive nut and thought I'd try stamping in glue then adding glitter. Totally works & I really like the distressed finish - check out the title.

I recommend Scrappy Glue - it was the easiest to clean off the stamps and it works really well on just about anything. Apply a thin even coat of glue to the stamp with a cosmetic sponge, press onto your paper and quickly add glitter (or sand or whatever you're using) one letter or image at a time so that the glue doesn't dry. Immediately rinse foam stamps in warm water to wash off all traces of glue. If you want to "fix" an area that's missing glue, go in with a paintbrush for repairs.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Provo, here I come...

Went to the orthopedist this afternoon and got the word I will be cleared to travel in time for *CKU Provo!!! The break in my foot is 90% healed & I can wear two normal shoes again and the mcl is "remarkably improved". The numbness in my left leg from the stroke will take time as will the limp, but that's ok. The killer cramps I've been having are from itbs which I developed from stress from walking differently (without the assistance of braces or the walker) & it should fix itself with ice & massage.

I'm so excited to be "getting back to normal" - and you know what? I feel good, like really good. Sleep's better, I feel more awake, it's just like everything's bumped up a notch. What a great day...

*my classes are: Tropical Paradise (T 157) and Fastener Fabulous (T 155) - hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Does anybody need a mower?

We got another two riding lawnmowers this weekend...he was going to refurbish & sell both of them...but he heard one run and I saw "the look". I think he's in love - I have a funny feeling it's going to be a permnent addition. I used to think there was a finite number of riding lawnmowers you could own, apparently I was mistaken (we now have 5 not to mention countless push mowers & lawn equipment and go karts and a hovercraft - but that's a different story).

Saw Failure to Launch this weekend with friends - much funnier than expected. The supporting cast was hysterical - loved her roommate, his friends & parents. Conclusion: surprisingly worth seeing - very fun!

Got my Home Companion Saturday - such a beautiful magazine. It always inspires me. Loved the write ups on the woman who designs chandeleirs and Drooz Studio...the pictures were total eye candy. (painting by Shelly Kennedy, Drooz Studio)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ginger, this is for you...

I know you've been buggin' me about seeing the new haircut & I've come to the conclusion I may never be getting the pictures from our niece's birthday party so here goes. I took it myself & this was the most centered one I could manage.

I warned you - the shorter it gets the more poodle like I become. What I do like is that it's really easy to keep up with.

I've noticed a kind of bride of frankenstein thing going on since the stroke - or maybe I was just in denial about how much gray I had before...we're going to call it salt & pepper and say it's in style. Work with me here...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Something's happened...

This is huge...let me explain - that is my LEFT leg, kicking out unassisted.

Last October I broke my left foot in a complicated enough way it's taken several months to heal. In November I had the stroke. I fell when it happened & dislocated my left ankle & knee & sprained my mcl on that side. The stroke only affected the left leg from the hip down and I'm still numb from the knee down. I have been in a foot brace, a leg brace & have been using a walker ever since (until my pacemaker surgery last month - I couldn't get into all that gear with my left arm in a sling).

I was surprised at how well I did without the braces and last night, like somebody had flipped a light switch, I was able to kick out my left leg. I can also raise it up when I stand (like a stork) - neither of which I have been able to do since the stroke. I even stepped up a curb today without help. I got in and out of my car without having to "lift" my leg either way. I'm not ready to walk through Target yet, but to me this is HUGE.

I go to see the orthopedist again on Monday & I'm dying to show him my new tricks. I still walk very slowly and both my legs hurt most of the time (compensating for walking so differently), but I'm really starting to see improvements (thank God). The doc did tell me the knee would improve once I got better bloodflow - I wonder if this is yet another bonus from getting the pacemaker?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

things that made me happy today...

  • I finished packing all the bulk/custom supplies for CKU-A class kits & shipped it all to Florida to be kitted out at headquarters. (done, done, done!)
  • Since I've been up since 4 am I've already watched Goblet of Fire twice today.
  • I got a wonderful handmade card from Josiane & Bernie in the mail wishing me well (thanks guys - Josiane, beautiful card).
  • The Project Runway finale is tonight.
  • I had a pot roast in the crock pot when I got home & leftovers for lunch tomorrow (the best).
  • It's going to rain tonight.
  • I have three flavors of jello to choose from in the fridge (strawberry, lemon or green apple - decisions, decisions).
  • I'm getting to hang on the couch with Matt and just laugh & cuddle...

It's been a long, but really good day.....

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


...enough said.

Yes, I ran to Target after work and lamely drove their driving grocery cart around to get the special edition HP DVD...I justified it by also picking up 2 jugs of V8 & toothpaste...who did I think I was kidding?

I havent even watched it yet... why am I talking to you people?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Coaster Wars with the Youth & Beauty Brigade...

It's amazing how much fun you can have with a stack of coasters...Matt & I went over to my Aunt & Uncle's house for dinner and I got to log some quality cousin time with Amy & Meg (and relatively recent family gathering addition, Amy's boyfriend Zach). We started spinning coasters, trying to play a kind of coaster derby...we ended up laughing so hard it hurt...maybe you had to be there...

This is Amy & the boy...he's a nice kid. Amy was born when I was a senior in high school...hard to realize that she is a junior now. They introduced me to a great band The Decemberists. Amy & Meg are always singing something (both in choir with awesome voices) and it was strange hearing a baritone mixed in with their usual soprano duet. The song I remember the most was the youth & beauty brigade...I liked it so much they burned me a copy of the cd...We talked about one of my favorites, Nina Simone, and Zach actually had one of her songs on his ipod. I'm going to make them each a copy of the best of Nina for the next time I see them...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Living on "the high side of good"...

I had my first follow up appointment since I got my pacemaker on the 15th. It's amazing the amount of change that can happen in 16 days. My prognosis is "excellent - on the high side of good". 16 days ago I only had 33% heart function...amazing. Brilliant side effect - with adequate blood flow my kidneys are working better than ever (kidneys get compromised when you have CHF- not enough blood flow for them to work without meds) - I've lost 20 pounds (all fluids) in 16 days & they cut my diuretics in half (major quality of life improvement) !

I'm going to tell you a few truths they don't share before you get one of these gizmos installed...
  • your arm on the pacemaker side will swell up so your rings won't fit for a few months
  • you'll probably run a fever for a while (weeks)
  • after two weeks, you are allowed to raise your arm on the surgery side (cleared today), but you'll find you don't have full range of motion because they cut through that muscle (bummer, but they assure me it will come back)
  • it will be months before you can sleep on your side
  • it sticks out of the skin and looks like an alien spawn
  • The site will be swollen (to a degree) for months
  • a shock hurts like holy heck...more on that...

I told them I thought it had gone off 6 times since my surgery. They are allowed, by law, to administer a shock to you at 1/100th power with your consent (they can control it remotely-works like a cell phone to the doc sewn into my shoulder). I agreed - how bad could 1/100th be?

Apparently, the deep and, what I thought was unbearable pain, has to do with the fact that they cut through particularly sensitive muscle & nerve and I could have residual pain there forever (not in the brochure). As for the shock - dear Lord, I can't take it. It is my new goal in life to never, ever set this thing off...The pacemaker function can work all it wants, and the defib can run the left side of my heart, but if it ever comes down to a life-saving jolt I don't know what I'll do...I've asked Matt to shoot me in the pacemaker if it starts going off regularly & of course he won't agree to it...what good was that better or worse & obey stuff if he won't shoot you when you ask him to? Oh well, he loves me...