Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What a weekend!

I was busy, busy, busy!  Friday night Jim, Timmy and I took Bella to her Family Fall Fun Festival at school.  Michelle spearheads the campaign and she worked very hard at it.  All of the proceeds go to Make A Wish and her goal was to raise more money this year than last when they raised about $800.  Well this year's total was $1,800.  Way to go Michelle!  Anyway, Bella had a great time. 
We got home about 8:00 and waited for Beth and Jeff to arrive from Ohio.  They were going to stay with us for the weekend while we all attended the wedding of Julia and Bryan.  I guess they arrived around 9:00 or so-Bella was still up!  We sat around and chatted for a while before turning in.  Saturday it was all about the wedding preperations.  Bella got her hair done because I didn't want to mess with it and it looked beautiful!  She was sooo excited!  We got to the church and when Claire & John and the kids walked in all Bella wanted to do was go sit with Gigi.  Jacque came up from Florida, so the whole "A Team" was there.  We had such a good time.  The wedding was just beautiful and Julia and Bryan are walking on the moon!! Sunday, Kathy had a brunch and invited us all, Beth had to drop Jeff at the airport and didn't make it, but everyone else was there.  Never enough time though.  Living near to each other for so long and having no family around us, we became each others' families in a sense.  I don't think that any of us took that for granted and now when we have an opportunity to get together the time just flies! 
When I got home from the brunch the first thing on my agenda was a nap!  Boy, do I feel old.  Ha!  Anyway, such a wonderful weekend with new memories to share.    Here are a few photos.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Less Words Wednesday

These Eyes

Such beautiful, big, brown eyes.  So expressive.  They are just a hint of the beauty that lies within. 
Have I mentioned that I love this girl? 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Been away...

From my computer and haven't had time to post.  It rained all weekend here!  Just as we began to think about making a trip to Home Depot to stock up on some wood, the rain stopped.  But, it was a good excuse for staying inside as much as possible.  Jim and I took in a show at the Weinburg Center on Saturday, after we had dinner at the Green Turtle.  We choose that place because it was the closest to the parking deck, so less rain to walk through.  I wasn't impressed.  But the show was very enjoyable.  It was Jim's choice and it was a Bluegrass group called Seldom Seen and another group that opened.  The opening act played for an hour and a half and then the Seldom Seen played for nearly the same, so it was a long night. 
Slept in Sunday and woke up at 9:30, which has got to be a first for me!  It felt good though.  I spent the remainder of the day in the Scrapatorium and got some more work done.  In total, 2 sets of cards, 4 shopping bags, 2 clothespins, a clipboard and covered some Tic Tac's too.  Here's a peek.

My Open House will be on Saturday, November 21st beginning at 1:00, so if you are in the area please stop by! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 16, 2009

What happened to Fall?

It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying the beautiful fall weather that we have been enjoying.  Oh yeah, it was!  Okay not yesterday but surely last weekend.  Almost overnight the weather has changed and it is beginning to feel more like winter than fall.  This morning the thermometerr read 38!  It has been raining since yesterday, today is a miserable, gloomy day and the forecast is calling for rain all weekend.  I guess I can say good bye to the brightly colored leaves of fall. 
More importantly to me, anyway  is the efffect that this type of weather has on me and my functionality.  I can tell you this, it isn't prettty!  My hands and feet swell up, my grip becomes increasingly difficult to open-the myotonia really rears its ugly head.  Yesterday I experienced another new symptom or effect of this disease.  I was at work and during a conversation  with a co-worker the muscles in my neck & throat, including my larynx and trachea tightened up to the point that I was temporarily unable to speak. Can you imagine?  Me!  Unable to speak!  After a momentary panic attack, everything relaxed and I was able to regain my control.  It only lasted seconds really, but it sure felt like longer.  Swallowing has also become a bit more diffiicult.  Perhaps it will  help me to loose weight-one can only hope!  Overall, moving in general has become more difficult.  I sometims walk like a 90 year old woman.  Like I said, it isn't pretty-but it's me! 

(Remember Georgette from Oliver & Company?)

So that is my current tale of woe.  Overall, it doesn't change the way I live much.  Sometimes I do opt out of family activities, I might take the elevator at work as opposed to the stairs, and I might take advantage of the handicaped parking spaces when running (or waking in my case) errands.  I do have a Handicaped Parking tag for my car, but I don't always use it.  Which brings up a good point, just because you can't see  a peersons' handicap doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.  To the outside, I may look like just another middle aged woman, I don't use a cane, I'm not in a wheelchair and my disability isn't always aparant.  I have had my share of dirty looks and snide comments about parking in the marked spots and quite frankly it is not necessary. Be compassionate, be caring, be open minded, be kind.  Kindness maters.   Often we are too concerned with our own lives and our own problems to take notice of others' or to be quick to judge.  I know  that I am guilty of that at times.  I try not to be, but it happens.  But I am also helpful and I try to be kind not just to my family and friends but to strangers as well.  So, I challenge you all to do something nice, something unexpected for another person this week.  I will.  Tell me what you did and how that person reacted, I'd love to know.  It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, anything will do. 
I'll leave it at that.  Have a great weekend, be kind, enjoy your family & friends, take time for yourself, count your blessings and remember to thank God for all of those blessings!
See you next week!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Less Words Wednesday

Not quite a 'Wordless Wednesday'.  This is a picture of my darling Bella in her Halloween costume for this year.  In breaking with tradition of dressing as an animal, (Zebra, chick, puppy, monkey) she has decided to be Bat Girl.  This is her "I'm gonna save the World!" pose.  Who knows where she gets this stuff, she's never even seen a Batman/girl show!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Recap

My Weekend was busy, really, well sort of. Friday found me at home all day on the couch feeling yucky. Nothing specific, just feeling lousy. I stayed home from work and went to the dr. just to be safe-diagnosis: virus. So, Friday was wholly undproductive. Then on Saturday I woke up feeling somewhat better, but I knew that I had a full plate so I had to get moving. I went to Toys R' Us to pick up a Christmas gift for Bella and then drop it off at my neighbors' house so that she could hide it. Ran a few more errands and returned home to do a quick cleaning. Around lunchtime, Andy & Durinda arrived and we began preparing for the evening's event-a Surprise 70th birthday party for Andy. Durinda was worried that he knew, but he was clueless. Here's the proof:

So, that was my Saturday, it was a lot of fun and Durinda pulled off the perfect surprise!  On Sunday, I never
even made it out of my P.J.s!  It was one of those days, the temperature dipped way down and I was still not feeling great, so I just stayed comfy.  I decided to have a go at cleaning my room and I really made quite a good showing at it.  I was able to really get a lot accomplished and after I finished cleaning, I was able to work in there for a while too!  Great day!  So now, I'd like to give you a tour of my Scrapatorium.  It is small-6' x 11' approximately.  It is right off the garage and used to be our mud room, but I took it over about a year ago as my own.  So, this is the view coming in the door from the garage:

As you can see it is painted a nice cheery pink.  (Pink makes me happy!)  I had the rub on over the desk made for me by Uppercase Living and I love it!  The desk and hutch top came from Office Max and is part of the Christopher Lowell collection designed for small spaces.  I have my Glimmer Mist and Stickles hanging on the back, they are attached to with velcro tape. 

This is looking from my desk towards the back of the room where a closet once was.  I removed the doors and put my cubbies in there, giving me lots of storage space.  The inside of the closet is painted a cream color and the shelves and the wall space in between are painted brown.  I have white baskets lined with a pink and green fabric sitting on the first shelf.  They are labeled and hold things like adhesives, rub-ons, punches, etc.  It is somewhat difficult to see, but on top of the cubbies sits a small DVD player with a TV sitting on top of it.  (Watching Golden Girls when the photo was taken!)  I left the coat rod in there and created a Clip It Up style of thing and hang some of larger embellishments there.

This bookcase sits next to the closet opening, behind my desk.  I can just reach back and grab whatever I need.  I keep my ribbons in the basked on the top shelf.  The boxes hold things like bags for cards and crafts, QK foam, foam stamps, etc.  In the small drawer unit with the green/pink drawers I have my stamp inks, and stamp accessories.  On the third shelf, I keep my Studio G stamps in the green binders (there are 2 of them) and next to that are pads of Basic Grey 6 x 6 paper for card making.  There are also idea books, files and all kinds of stuff. 

Finally, this is the view from the closet facing the doors.  The door on the left leads to the garage and the one on the right goes into the hallway and the kitchen.  The back wall holds my MM Embellishment Center and an old VCR Tape rack we had that fits perfectly.  I have all of my QK 2 x 2 fonts on that, as well as my markers, Primas and a Card box.  And finally, my DVD collection.  I like to put on old TV shows while I crop.  Between the door and my desk is a small 2-shelf unit that holds my border punches, embossing gun, some of my most used Revolution Dies and Spellbinders and on top of it is my 8.5" x 11" cardstock. 
So, there you have it!  It's small, but it's mine!  Now maybe I can get some scrapping done!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

She gives my heart wings! :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I know you're wondering

***Updated to add: Bella was so happy wearing her bus to school! I asked Jim how many other children were wearing buses and guess what? She was about the only one!
How my weekend went. It is Tuesday and I'm just getting to my weekend post! So here goes. We started with Dance class, they were having a yard sale there (which we were unaware of) and Michelle and I got some great stuff-cheap! Then we left and headed for Home Depot for their kids craft. When we pulled up Michelle realized that she left her purse at dance so I dropped her and Bella off and headed back across town to pick up her purse. By the time I returned they were done, so we grabbed a quick lunch and headed up to the zoo. Bella got to help the zookeepers count box turtles and find them in their pen. I know, but she was thrilled! Then they took her picture holding a turtle. She begged me to go in the snake house with her and I went despite my snake phobia. Imagine how happy I was when we walked out of the snake house only to see a 5-6 foot black snake slithering across the walkway-right in front of us! I freaked! Bella and Michelle got as close to it as possible and laughed at me. How's that for support? Anyway, enough of the zoo-we headed home and I got to work.
I finished the 3 candy boxes above,

this notebook, it sparkles though that is hard to see.

This clothespin, great for holding notes, recipes or photos.

This shopping bag that is obviously geared towards a teacher. Complete with a jumbo paper clip bookmark and a notepad.

And this frame, which I like and would actually work in my newly painted bedroom. Hmmm. I may have to rethink selling this one!

In addition, I finished 10 mini composition books and another set of cards. I was really moving!

Then as Sunday was winding down I put dinner on and Jim came in from outside and said that he had told Isabella that I would help her put some spiderwebs in the living room for decoration. OK decorate with spiderwebs, got it. Michelle read the paperwork that came home on Friday with Bella and found out that the kids were supposed to go to school dressed as a school bus to celebrate National Walk to School Day. OK make Bella a schoolbus she can wear, got it. Anything else? Make a schoolbus? She can wear? By Tuesday? What's a Grandma to do? (It was easy for Michelle, she called me! Ha!) So I went to the garage found a box and cut off the top and bottom flaps, took a Sharpie marker and drew a bus on the box. Next I made some windows and painted them black, on the front 2 headlights painted red with glossy accents to shine, an Emergency Exit on the back and a door on the side, then painted the whole thing yellow and touched up with the Sharpie again and so she could wear it I threaded yellow ribbon through the top of each side of the cardboard so the ribbon could sit on her shoulders holding up the bus. Whew! Glad that one is out the door!

So, how was your weekend?

Monday, October 5, 2009

What do you think?

So, any idea what this is? Go ahead guess. This little guy has been a bad boy and has gotten quite a bit of press lately. Yes, it is the H1N1 virus...I have been accused of not being a worrier. That is not totally true, I do worry quite a bit about some things and not so much about others. For instance I worry about my family, but the weather-not so much. I try not to waste my time or energy worrying about things over which I have no control. Case in point-H1N1 (a.k.a. The Swine Flu) I got an email today at work from a gentelman who was visiting our office from California. I was asked to assist this person while he was here, which I did. He was conducting interviews in our offices and I escorted each of his candidates from our reception desk on the 3rd floor to where the interviews were being held on the 2nd floor, I brought him lunch, shook hands with all of the candidates and the guest, and cleaned up after his departure. When he returned home to San Francisco, he emailed me to say thank you for my assistance. No big deal. This morning I received another email from him, informing me that he has been diagnosed with H1N1 along with 2 of his daughters. As is required of me, I notified the VP of HR and in doing so, his Executive Assistant. She kinda squalked, threw her arms up in the air and began wringing her hands in worry. Me, I laughed. Her response to me was something along the lines of 'How can you be so calm?'. To which I again laughed and said something like 'No sense worrying about it, either I'll get it or I won't.' But it got me thinking. Why are some people more prone to worrying than others? My mother in law worried if she didn't have anything to worry about! I can't be bothered. Maybe I am just lazy and worrying takes too much effort. I don't know... Which isn't to say that I don't take precautions, I do. I wash my hands and watch where I am going and don't intentionally put myself in harms way, but I try not to let worry rule my day or even my thoughts.
When I went to Johns Hopkins to received the results of my blood test for MD, I was taken to a private room where the genetic specialist along with a counselor were waiting for me. When I was given the positive diagnosis my response was somewhat less than perhaps what was expected. I was happy. Not happy that I had in fact tested positive, but happy to have an answer. Overall, my attitude regarding my health in the years since has been generally to take it in stride. That's not to say that I don't feel poorly, more that I don't anger, sadness or loss regarding my diagnosis. The truth of the matter is, my path is not clear at this point. Only the Lord knows where and how I will end up and I trust in Him. Do you? Do you worry about H1N1, anthrax or stepping off the sidewalk and being hit by a bus? Let me know, I'm interested.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Have I mentioned?

That I LOVE Fridays!!! Woo-hoo! Last day of the work week and the start of another weekend. I have big plans for my weekend, and I am hoping that I will be able to follow through, because already my plans have changed. My original plans included no leaving the house until church on Sunday and staying in my Scrapatorium all weekend. My plans now include: driving Bella to her dance class because our normal route is closed due to In The Streets and Michelle gets confused with all the one way streets, taking Bella to the zoo because it is a special day for members and the children can have their picture taken with the tortoises, so I'll be taking pictures. Then Jim has decided to have a ceiling fan put in Bella's room and he wants to buy the fan this weekend and Lord knows I can't leave it to him to pick it out or we'll wind up with who knows what! The rest of the time though I want to be in my room!!!!!
If you don't already know, I am planning on having an Open House again this year with my neighbor of our crafts. My neighbor Sabina, makes the most adorable jean purses and other types of bags, and I do all my stuff. Last year we hosted our first one and it went pretty well, everyone was asking if we'd do it again this year. One guest even asked if we'd do another one closer to Christmas. The point is, I need to get moving on making some stuff to sell. I've completed about 20 sets of cards, each set has 5 cards in it. In addition to the cards, I've made some clothespins, a card organizer, some journals, but I need more picture frames, mittens, etc. (I'll post the flyer with the time and date on it when I've finished it.)
So those are my plans in a nutshell. Dance, Zoo, Home Depot, Create.
We'll see what happens and I'll let you know on Monday.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Falling for the Seasons

It is officially fall! Living here in the DC Metro area, the weather can sometimes contradict the calendar. It is not unusual to see schoolchildren in shorts and T's in October. But not today. Today it feels like fall and I love it! I love the changing of the seasons, but I especially love fall. The cool crisp air, apples and pumpkins, the celebrations, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the colors. I really love the colors, because fall looks good on me! I am so lucky, most people have a color or two that they look good in, but I am lucky enough to have a whole season that matches me! (I am not being conceited, just truthful.) So, naturally I love this season. I even sleep better in the fall. When we can open the windows and the temperature dips down to 48 during the night, sleep comes easily and relatively peacefully for me.
When I was younger and living in NJ, my family would often take a trip to the apple orchard in the fall. Back then, when we went to the orchard we were given a basket or two and an apple picker thingy. It was a long armed pole with a small wire basket at the end that had 'fingers' attached that could help you pick the apple from the tree. We loved to go! My sisters and brothers and I would traipse through the orchard and look for a tree or two that looked full and go to town. We'd pick and climb the trees and eat an apple here and there. Our younger sisters were sometimes lifted up to reach an apple from the tree, but more often than not they picked from the ground. Our cheeks got red and our hands got cold, but we had some fun. Imagine my surprise when after moving down here and hoping to share that experience with my children we went to the orchard and simply bought our apples. Such a disappointment!
But, we do get to pick pumpkins. The farmers that grow pumpkins and corn open their farms up to allow us to pick our own pumpkins from the patch. In addition to the alure of pumpkins, they ripen the pot with pony rides, corn mazes, pumpkin blasters, hay rides and all sorts of other fun stuff for families to have fun with. Of course, all this novelty does not come cheap! Some farms charge as much as 6 or 8 dollars just to go through the gates. Then you pay for the pony rides, corn mazes, and the pumpkins themselves. Most of the farms offer soft drinks and/or food, so there is that expense as well-if you choose to eat or drink.
Last weekend we took Bella to Jumbo's in Middletown. This farm doesn't charge to get in, the hay ride is free and we had a coupon from the paper for a free pony ride. We really had a nice time. Near the entrance to the farm, just inside the gates they had three small pens that each held a newborn calf. One was probably no more than a day or two old and he was so cute, chocolate brown with deep black eyes. So cute!
But what made this pumpkin patch so special was the people who worked at this farm. They were out to help make the day a special one to the kids. When Bella went for her pony ride, the lady there introduced her to the horse and let Bella pet him. She asked Bella if she had ridden before and talked to her during the ride as well. When we climbed up on the tractor for the hay ride out to the pumpkin patch, the lady there commented on the fact that Bella and I were dressed for the patch (we both had orange on) and joked with Jim about his choice of a burgundy shirt. And I soon found that their enthusiasm was contagious. Other guests seemed friendlier than usual. I was strolling through their craft shop singing along with the radio when I noticed other people singing out loud as well! It was so nice! And it was a lesson learned, and a good one at that. Enthusiasm is contagious! So I am going to try to be more enthusiastic in my approach to life from now on, and if you don't like it-well just don't tell me!