Monday, December 29, 2008

The long road to Christmas, Aloha & an award!

Josh on the road to rescue Aunt Melea from the SFO and get her home in time for Christmas.

Having some fun in the hotel room.

Back home with the Melea in her new birthday hat from Korea. I can't believe she's 27 already!

The first white Christmas ever for us in our part of the state!

Santa helping me with the dishes.

Thursday we are off to start the New Year in Hawaii! We don't have internet where we will be staying so I may be away until we get back at the end of January. I'll miss you blog friends!

Just before Christmas I received this Marie Antoinette Blog Award from my newest blog friend, Mallisa, at Sleepy Hollow Folk Art Originals. Thanks Mallisa! Now I get to pass along seven of my favorite bloggers, besides Malissa, of course! I hope you take some time to check them out. Maybe you'll make some new blog friends and add them to your favorites too :D

Monday, December 22, 2008

WiCkeD WeAthEr!!!

It doesn't look like this here (this pics from last year), but the rest of the state is getting hammered by severe weather, so much so that the PAX has cancelled many flights. One of those flights was the one Melea was to return from Korea on today! Sooooo. Long story short. We are making the 8 hour drive down to San Francisco TODAY to pick her up when her flight arrives TOMORROW morning! I'd appreciate your prayers!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh great, now I have guilt!

Just kidding, but I did think I was doing great just putting lights up this year! Talk about going all out. Geez. This is pretty amazing. Wonder what their neighbors think...

I've been watching the rest of these and I just have to add one more. I never knew this was so big! This is set to Music Box Dancer.

Oh, I just can't resist one more! This is the same house with Carol of the Bells.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inspired by Tim

This birthday card was inspired by one of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas using a photo of Rachel when she was only four. Sigh...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Scrappi Jessi's Cookie Swap...

and my baby's THIRTY THIRD(!) birthday. {{{Love you}}}

Welcome everyone to Scrappi Jessi's 2nd annual Cookie Swap! I just did a post about these little button-like cookies for International Button Week, but when I saw that Jessi was doing a cookie exchange I just couldn't resist making up another batch to share with you too. I'm so glad you stopped by! I just love sharing a spot of tea and a cookie or two with friends like you. Feel free to copy the recipe if you loved these buttery little cookies as much as I do!

Swedish Wafer Christmas Cookies
(from Marilyn Stender to Rosalind Hose to Debbie Doughty to you!)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups sifted flour (I'm not sure if sifting is necessary with our "modern" flour, but I do it because I love using my sifter, lol)
  • Plate of granulated sugar, set aside
  • Combine butter and whipping cream in mixing bowl.
  • Mix with an electric mixer, slowly adding flour until well blended.
  • Cover and Chill until firm
  • Roll dough out 1/3 at a time to 1/8" thickness
  • Cut into 1 and 1/2" circles.
  • With fingers or spatula, transfer to plate of granulated sugar and coat each side.
  • Transfer to ungreased cookie sheet. They don't expand much so they can be close.
  • Prick each cookie with a toothpick four times so it resembles a button.
  • Bake @ 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Watch bottoms closely, they brown before the tops.
  • Cool and fill
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk (you can use dehydrated eggs yolks if you prefer. I tried them for the first time with this batch and they turned out fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • Food coloring. I usually make half pink and half light green.
  • Combine butter, egg yolk and vanilla in mixing bowl.
  • Beat with an electric mixer, slowly adding confectioners sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Add food coloring drop by drop until you reach desired color.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Sunday, November 30, 2008

September 10, 1913 ~ November 13, 2008

We had another empty seat at our Thanksgiving table this year. Seventeen days ago my dear mother-in-law, Annette, passed away at the grand old age of 95. John and I were both blessed to be with her at the end of her amazing life. I wish you could have known her.

When she was only six years old she and her siblings, Edward and Mary, lost their parents in the 1918-1918 flu epidemic. They were placed in a Knights of Pythias home for widows and orphans known as the Pythian Castle. Sadly, for reasons unknown to me, Mary died while living there.

Annette was a cheeky little girl who loved roller skating and teasing the boys- when she wasn't trying to impress her friends by eating raw liver as she helped prepare it for dinner in the orphanage! She never spoke ill of her experiences there even though she had her tonsils removed in a makeshift library/"operating room" and grew to hate oatmeal due to its abundant overuse as a breakfast staple- a disdain she passed on to not only her son, but to her great-grandson, Ian, as well.

After High School she studied to become a beautician. Before long she was "adopted" into the hearts of a kind couple, Nana and Dodo, with a teenage daughter of their own, Loraine. The two of them worked in her "adoptive" parents restaurant where I think she met her first husband, Pat. He was a handsome young man and my husband's birth father. Sadly, he died of a heart attack when John was only 18 months old, another tragic loss for poor Annette. It amazes me that this young woman (she was only 41) who already knew more heartache and loss than most people experience in a lifetime, not only persevered, but remained a cheerful, loving, generous human being.

When John was 5 years old she married her second husband, Jack. She adored John and most likely would have spoiled him rotten if she hadn't married a level headed, but loving man. Together they reared John in a happy, healthy home- despite the fact that she lost hers so early in life! She could always be counted on to pitch in as room mother or cheer John and his friends on during one of their many sporting events- which she often drove them to. On weekends they made the long trip from L.A. to the Arizona desert to play in the surf and sand and work on the home they would later retire to. Well into her golden years she would continue her morning walks and rounds of golf.

I entered the picture as a young girl of 16. John was only 19. We were young (obviously!) and soon fell in love. When we decided that we should get married when I turned 18, instead of laughing, yelling, or fainting, she continued to love and support not only her son, but me as well. That love and support never wavered.

After Jack died in 2001 we moved her near us, just down the street as a matter of fact. She was 87 and still going strong physically, but gradually we began to see a decline in her mental capabilities which we later learned were the result of Alzheimer's disease. Those were challenging years, but through it all she remained her sweet, cheerful self with few exceptions.

Over the years she was blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and they, like all who knew her, were blessed to have loved and been loved by her. Oh the memories they could share! What a wonderful thing to leave such a legacy of love to so many.

Mom, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Dia de Bloglandia

Welcome to my little contribution to Dia de Bloglandia in honor of Dia de los Muertos. I started this post at my daughter's last night so I didn't have a picture of my ofrenda, in fact I had to wait until I got home today to finish it so I could update my pictures.

I wanted to celebrate the Day of the Dead in memory of my grandmother and my parents. Near the picture of my Grandma Lucy I put her well worn rosary, her bottle of holy water, and a stone my brother brought to her from Jerusalem. A Christmas tree represents my mother's love of Christ and Christmas. Along with the deer and donkey it also reminds me of their love for their home in the country. The tractor is for the many hours my dad spent working on their property and giving rides to the grandkids. I think he loved that almost as much as they did! My mom was very creative but I think she enjoyed sewing the most, so I added a needle and spool of thread with a mini basket of sewing supplies on top. I look forward to adding more symbols each year.

Before I went to Rachel's for the weekend she covered some styrofoam skulls in glitter so we could decorate them with puffy paint to create faux sugar skulls. Isn't she clever? She also decorated the doll for her ofrenda. It represents her grandmother, my mother.

This is me rolling out flour tortillas. The rolling pin was made from an old pipe by my grandfather for my grandmother. Even though I have fond memories of my grandma making tortillas for me when I would go to her house for a visit, this is the first time I have ever made them myself!

Not a one turned out round, but boy were they yummy!

This whole experience has been so wonderful. Thanks to Stephanie and Susan I will definitely be celebrating Dia de los Muertos from now on!

This is just a little bonus pic of me and my grandsons :D

Monday, October 27, 2008

I love Amazon... I ordered these Thursday night and they arrived today! Just thought I'd share before I head off to get inspired... Seriously, with a title like 'Taking Flight: Inspiration & Techniques to give your Creative spirit wings' I'm expecting great things! What's your favorite inspiration book?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A promise kept

Here's another layout for Macs. This one's from Halloween 2003! I did Halloween pages for Josh and Ian too. It feels good to be scrappin' again!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A layout and good news!

First the layout...

In my last post I mentioned that I felt bad for having neglected Macs' scrapbook and that I was putting "scrap for Macs" at the top of my TO DO list. As you can see I made a page for his book today. I hope he likes it!


And now the GOOD NEWS... I'm OK!

The eye doctor confirmed that the episode you may have read about here was indeed a Silent Migraine. He said it most likely will not be my last, but now that I know they are relatively harmless and painless I would gladly trade all my "normal" migraines for the silent type!

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Week in the Life ~ Saturday & Sunday

Saturday ~
  • 1:10 ~ Lazy rainy fall day so far. Haven't even had breakfast or lunch yet! Too busy posting about yesterday, printing pics and just generally messing around on the 'puter.
  • Make town run. Mail Christi's cards & Melea's mail. Look for Scrabble games and breast cancer papers or embellishments w/o success. Buy Oct/Nov Somerset Memories.
  • Take nap
  • Fix dinner while talking with Melea and Rachel on the phone. Rachel, Josh and Macs are coming for visit tomorrow!
  • Headache coming on. Take Excedrin PM.
  • Watch TV and skim Somerset.
  • 10:00 ~ Head to bed early.

Sunday ~
  • Still battling a headache. Decide to skip the gym after church. Besides, I want to be home before Rachel and the boys get here. Janet is coming too.
  • Church is great, as usual.
  • Have a wonderful time with Rachel & the boys. They were on their best behavior. While Rachel & I visited with Janet, they played quietly.
  • Josh wanted to look through the 3 scrapbooks I've made for him. He was so genuinely happy looking through them it melted my heart.
  • Next Macs wanted to look through the one I am working on for him. He really enjoyed it, but I feel awful that I haven't done a better job keeping up on it. Something to put at the top of my TO DO list!
  • Rachel & the boys made ATCs while I fixed dinner
  • Everyone leaves and the house is quiet again.
Sunday was the last day of this project and I kind of dropped the ball as far as taking pics and jotting notes throughout the day goes. In fact, the pictures in this post were all taken for another project. But overall I am pleased with what I've accomplished. I still want to put the pictures and notes into a simple scrapbook, but even if I don't get around to it I can always come back to my blog to remember this "Week in the Life" of me.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Week in the Life ~ Friday

  • Neighbor wakes me from a dream filled sleep to ask if we want to asphalt our driveway with them. WHAT THE???
  • Make appointment with eye doctor.
  • Spend hours on the computer
  • Dog pees in laundry room. Clean, but don't scold, my fault for spending hours on the computer.
  • Get call from Melea. Tell her about yesterday. Get advice from Melea.
  • 12:30 Finally eat breakfast. More oatmeal. Check the list I made yesterday of things to do today.
  • Clean some. Piddle around some. Watch the end of a movie I've seen before but can't remember the name of.
  • Get serious and clean for Red Hat group tonight.
  • DH brings me roses from the garden.
  • Set table for pumpkin carving.
  • Fix a quick Chicken Salad for dinner.
  • 7:00 - 10:00 Have fun visiting and carving pumpkins. Eat too many cookies and drink too much tea.
  • Visit with Donna after everyone else has left.
  • 11:30 - 12:15 Clean up and finish this list.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Week in the Life ~ Thursday

Oh what a day I've had! It started out innocently enough...
  • Woke up early. Weird considering I went to bed after midnight. Start coffee.
  • Showered & Dressed
  • Get breakfast. John brings in surprise from garden ~ heart shaped figs! (Well, kind of, but nothing like The Tomato!)
  • Make list for today's errands.
  • Fiddle around on bloglines.
  • Change font to pink on Breast Cancer Awareness Month avatar.
  • Post new avatar. Switch back to the one with white font.
  • Get ready for gym, cleaning, errands.
  • Get sidetracked trying to order jewelry bails on ebay.
  • Get to gym late. Skip treadmill.
This is where things began to get hairy...
  • Feel dizzy after workout. (12noon) Vision not right. Think there's a floaty in my eye.
  • Go to car. Vision is worse. Now I can't read the October flyer from the gym. The words look pixilated and jumpy. Kind of like I'm looking through a kaleidoscope.
  • Call Doctor. Not in. Call John. At meeting. Decide to drive to the eye doctor.
  • Vision gets worse! Feels like I am looking through a tunnel of twinkly lights. Think I may pass out.
  • Pull over and try to call Donna for help. Not home.
  • Really feel like I am going to pass out. Try to call 911 but screw it up a few times, just like in a dream! Finally I succeed.
  • 911 lady decides to send an ambulance.
  • Waiting for the ambulance my vision begins to clear. Just a few twinkles in my lower right eye.
  • Fire department arrives first. Now my vision is fine! Ambulance arrives next.
  • They take me inside the laundromat to check my BP, Pulse, Oxygen, etc. Everything seems fine. They leave. I make a few calls to let everyone know I am OK. (1:40)
  • Head off to my cleaning job. Stop to get a fish sandwich and start feeling not normal again. Vision starts going wacky. Again.
  • Decide to skip cleaning and head on home.
  • Sit around wondering what the heck is going on!
  • 2:10 Vision seems fine. Again.
  • 3:15 vision blurry. Again.
  • 4:00 Fine again.
  • Whine to John about my day. Have him take me to store to finish errands. Justify buying another book I do not need because I've had such a crumby afternoon :)
  • 7:38 Still fine. Hope it stays that way!

Thanks guys for your concern! I just want you to know that I am still fine. I have an appointment with the eye doc the 7th and my GP on the 20th. In the mean time I have talked with family and friends, searched the web, and diagnosed myself with Silent Migraine. You can read all about it
here, or the part I borrowed below.

Silent migraine is one name for a type of migraine attack that doesn't include a headache.
As strange as it may sound, it's actually not all that unusual. Over the years, silent migraine has gone by other names, including acephalgic migraine, sans-migraine, migraine equivalent, eye migraine, visual migraine, ocular migraine, painless migraine or simply migraine aura without headache. Today it's usually called migraine aura without headache. Migraine aura is a term used to describe many of the other symptoms that go along with migraine, but it's usally referring to visual symptoms. This might include zig zags or flashing lights, (like I had!) or having dizziness or vertigo...

Interestingly, migraine aura without headache more often occurs later in life, and more often in men that in women.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Week in the Life ~ Tuesday/Wednesday

OK, so I got kinda busy cleaning house today and only took one picture, and that was for Breast Cancer Awareness week. You can see it here on TallyScrapper. Below are the ones I took yesterday.

I can't believe I am posting this one of me fresh from the shower!

This one with my makeup on isn't much better! Hmmm... Maybe if I wore more than foundation and blush. Ya think?

OK, so I don't always have oatmeal for breakfast!

On my way to the gym and my housecleaning job. Notice the forced smile?

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Week in the Life ~ Monday

I've decided to play along with Ali and document the everyday stuff of my life this week, so here goes...

I eat breakfast as soon as I get up. Weird, I know. No one else in my family does this. In fact, it was a challenge to get the girls to eat breakfast at all when they were growing up... In an attempt to maintain a healthy heart I have been eating oatmeal nearly every morning. I'm curious to find out if it really does lower cholesterol. Mine isn't high, but it had gone up a bit last time it was checked.

Gotta check my Bloglines while I eat my breakfast!

These two are a part of my morning routine too. Even if I don't watch the whole hour, John and I both enjoy their host chat and have "won" several trips answering the trivia questions correctly, LOL.

Have I mentioned lately that I am NOT a morning person? (Hey Nora, I feel bad about my neck too. And my chin, and my jowls, and my frown lines, LOL!)

I didn't make it to the gym yesterday so I tried to make up for it by taking a walk this morning. My endurance is improving, I can make it up this hill now without my head feeling like it is about to pop!

This hill isn't as steep, but it is longer. I forgot to get a picture from the bottom :(

Still walking...

There is a lack of pictures for the rest of the day because I got an awful headache when I got home from my walk. I pretty much lazed around and napped all afternoon. What a waste! I hate it when that happens!

Nani loves to sit and watch TV in the evening with us. Really, she loves anything with animals in it! Her favorite movie is Best in Show and her favorite TV station is Animal Planet. We make her watch The Dog Whisperer and hope it will help her with her manners :) She tends to boss the cats around and greets us with a bit too much enthusiasm and barking when we get home.

Goodbye Summer

The calendar tells me it's fall. I can feel a hint of it in the morning air and see it on the leaves, but with temps in the 80's it still seems like summer to me, so here is one last summer post.

I had a lot of fun hitting garage sales and estate sales this summer with my friend Donna. This is most of the stuff from our last outing of the summer. (I also found a toaster like the one I have and love for only $5.) I have developed an affection for what I call poor man's crystal, and was happy to get the relish dish and eight sets of little salt and pepper shakers for only a buck! The square quilt all the goodies are on was only 50 cents! In fact, I only spent twenty dollars this trip and Donna gave me that when we started the day for my birthday :)

Saturday I went to an all day crop and finally finished (minus the journaling) my summer journal for Teresa McFayden's class. Yeah!