Thursday, April 30, 2009

Driving? Me?? Nuts!!

I’ll just begin by saying I love to drive, even on days like the one in this picture when I was stuck in winter traffic for a half hour. I’ll drive anywhere, anytime, in any weather. I enjoy the logistics of traffic, love new scenery and generally find the whole experience quite relaxing. Across town or across the country, with a car full of people or by myself – I love driving. I even love my 45 minute commute twice a day. I love the part of my morning where I set my cruise control on 65, sip my coffee, listen to the radio or CD’s and transition from home to work in a leisurely manner.
But every once in awhile, it seems that every idiot in the world who has an automobile is on the road when I am. So I’ve compiled a little list of
1. Texting while driving. The reasons this is a bad idea are so obvious that if you don’t get it, you should be banned from driving just on principal. And if you honestly don’t understand what a phenomenally stupid thing this is, ask yourself this question: How would you feel if your heart surgeon texted while performing your quadruple bypass?
Now you know how the rest of us feel, Skippy.
2. Women putting on makeup while painting their nails, checking their lipstick in the rear view mirror AND DRIVING. Ladies, howzabout walking to work tomorrow morning instead of driving? No? Afwaid ums Jimmy Choo shoes would pinch um’s widdle toes?? Well then Cupcake, put on your big girl panties and get up early enough to do your preening and primping at home. In the bathroom. Where the rest of America gets ready in the morning.
3. Driving without headlights in the rain or snow. It’s like playing hide and seek with a ghost in the fog. A really big two ton ghost that can kill you if you inadvertently pull out in front of him. Just use your headlights, ok? I know you can do it. Go ahead – it’s that little knobby thing over there. Good! Now, don’t you feel better?? I know I do
4. Speakers with the bass so loud that you can actually see the car windows bowing out. I will say this just once: Pull up anywhere near me when I have a migraine and I will make it so that you never annoy people again. That’s not a threat – that’s a promise.
5. Tailgating. Suffice it to say that we all drive faster than we should sometimes, myself included. But here’s a quick lesson in physics: two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I don’t know who’s rule that is but some smart guy actually built his reputation on that obvious little fact right there. So if there are cars in front of me and you’re riding my back bumper so closely that I can see your untended nose hairs, you’re only going to change this law of physics in a manner involving ambulances and police reports. Get a grip, big boy. It’s a commute, not a contest.
Ok. I’m going to stop there. More writing will only put me into a rant.
And no – this wasn’t ranting. It was venting. There’s a difference. I’m not sure what the difference is, but it’s my blog so I’m calling it a vent.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to back away from the keyboard, go find a couple of dogs and snuggle until I find my center. My calm ooooohhhhhmmmmmm center. And maybe a gin and tonic to go with it.
Thank you for letting me vent, and please come back tomorrow. My next post comes complete with its own "No Venting" zone. I promise.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easy Peasy Pop Up Card - and It's Fun to Boot!

With Mothers Day and Fathers Day coming up, I thought this might be a great time to rid the scrapping world of its fear of pop up cards. Here's a tutorial I did for the Spring Crop over at My Sketch World, where the ladies there made some AMAZING cards. I promise - this really is easy peasy and a lot of fun!

If you can fold paper and cut two slits, you can make a pop up card
even if you've never made a card before in your life!
Here’s all you’ll need:
Cutting Mat
Your favorite adhesive
Razor knife
Two or more coordinating one-sided papers - save your double-sided paper for another project

1. Cut two coordinating papers to measure 5”x 12”. Fold both in half to form your card. The piece that will be the outside of my card is on the left. The piece that will be the inside of my card is on the right.

2. Take the piece of paper you’ve chosen for the inside of your card and lay it on your cutting mat, wrong side up. Lay your ruler along the fold. Measure 1-1/2’ in from each side and make a mark. Turn your ruler perpendicular to the fold and use your razor knife to cut a slit up 1” and down 1” from the fold at each of the marks you made.

3. The pop up box has to fold to the inside so turn your paper to the "pretty side," slide your finger under one of the slits and lift this piece forward as far as it will go. Crease. Turn it around and do the same thing on the other side so that your box is folded forward when you close the card. When you're done, it will look like this.
Pat yourself on the back - YOU’VE JUST DONE THE HARD PART!

4. Now for the fun stuff. I cut shapes from my coordinating paper to glue onto my pop up box, but you could use flowers or whatever embellies you’d like.

Glue ‘em on, stamp your sentiment and decorate the inside of your card any way you like.

5. When finished with the inside of your card, fold it closed and apply adhesive to all the corners around the pop up box. The picture above shows me applying adhesive to one side - don't forget to turn it over and apply adhesive to the other side as well.

6. Open up your other 5x12 piece and position this piece along the fold – wrong side to wrong side - and press both closed along the fold. Then apply adhesive around all the other edges and seal firmly.

7. Decorate the front of your card to your liking (I used more cut outs from another coordinating paper), and you’re done!

Pop up cards can be made for almost any occasion. Here’s one I made in the shape of a purse – a handy trick if you don’t want to have to decorate the outside of your card. On the inside, I jazzed it up with stamps, cut outs and my white Signo pen.
Once you're done, slip it into an Easy Peasy Envelope (see my tutorial 3/15/09) and you're ready to send it off to some very lucky person
I hope you try a pop up card - once you've made your first one, you'll make more! Pop up cards are sort of like pistachios in that respect, but pop up cards are a LOT more fun. Email me a picture of your card - I'm already putting together an array of pics to go into the Gallery after the Brunch for Boobies is over. I'd be thrilled to include yours!
So get to work - and please post here if any questions. . . um . . . pop up!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Attention Please! Lost Card!

Attention please! We have a lost card going by the name of "Owl." If you've lost your card, please come to the service desk immediately.
Melody G sent me an email saying that - while it was a very nice card - the card with the owl on it was not hers. Uh oh! If it's yours, please let me know so I can give it it's rightful nametag in the gallery.
I know what happened. I toted all the envelopes of cards along with me last Saturday cuz The Girls wanted to fawn over them whilst we continued our plans for the Brunch for Boobies breast cancer fundraiser on May 31st. They were so excited about them! They all oooh'd and aaah'd over them, passing them around and making little piles for themselves - heck, Eileen even plunked down cold hard cash to buy a couple on the spot. Some of them hadn't been photographed yet, and I think in our enthusiasm Owl was put back into the wrong envelope.
Thanks, Melody G for the heads up. And if you made the cute Owl card (is that a stamp???), please email me at or post below so I can give you proper credit.
Hurry! Operators are standing by.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cards and Dog Fur

You looking over there to the right? Are ya'? Huh? Huh? Melody G sent 17 beautiful cards which I just popped into the Gallery. Every one of 'em's a gem, too. She's a gal pal from Scrappy Jo's -THANK YOU, Melody/finallymama!
It's warm here and I noticed how spent DaBoys were when we got back from our walk a little bit ago, especially Charlie . Now my two Chi's, Charlie and Sammy, could not be more different. As far as their coats go, Sammy has fur that's sleek and light giving him a cute naked belly that freezes in the winter. But when summer rolls around, this guy's ready for the heat. Charlie, on the other hand, is the hairiest dog I've ever seen. He even has a dark patch of hair on his chest shaped just like a hairy guy's. I kid you not - the kids joked about getting him one of those strappy undershirts. His undercoat is so thick we've been saying all winter that he's not round, he's just fluffy. Poor little sausage-shaped Charlie -turns out we were right! I just spent a half hour on the back step brushing him and freed him of skeins of fur. I should have done this weeks ago, because an alert bird could have snatched up enough doggie fur to build a condo. When we were finally finished, Charlie fairly pranced into the house, perkier and streamlined and svelte.
Ken took one look at him and started to laugh at him jumping and dashing around the house. You might not be able to tell it from this picture of them above (they're patiently waiting until I get off this computer and go create a lap for them to sit on), but Charlie's on the left and he really does look skinnier!
If only it were that easy for me!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gallery Blowout!

It’s only 9PM so technically it’s still Saturday and I kept my word: new pics in the Gallery!.

I would have kept my word earlier in the day but Photoshop decided to ignore all the new photos I uploaded. After many hours of frustration (accompanied by whapping things and more than a few choice words), I finally thought of a work-around solution: TWO GALLERIES! A much better idea anyway since talented and generous artists have submitted nearly 80 cards for me to sell at our Brunch for Boobies fundraiser on May 30th! So in the top gallery, you’ll find the lovely creations of

Kim Galea

Suzann Jones

Rosemary Rodriquez

Virginia Wong

Alecia Castro

These ladies join

Wendy West

Toni Archer

Sue Biewer

Lois Belliveau

Cheryl Nyboer

Lisa Moen

Kristen Hallenbeck

In fighting for a cause that’s so critical – curing breast cancer.

Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can’t make a difference in the search for a breast cancer cure. My mom’s situation is a perfect example of little people making a big difference. Following her mastectomy, my mom was cancer free for 14 years. Then cancer came back, and this time it’s inoperable. But the treatment she is receiving now is doing an amazing job of keeping it under control. This treatment is brand new. And it came from research funded by people like you.

That’s right. Like you.

The ladies whose names appear above did something kind and generous, and the far reaching benefits of that single act will help women they don’t even know.

At this very moment, somewhere –maybe in your neighborhood – there’s a woman coping with breast cancer.

Somewhere there’s a young mother wondering how to explain her diagnosis to her children.

Somewhere there’s a woman recovering from a mastectomy and wondering when she’ll begin feeling like a survivor.

And what are you doing with your life today?

If you are a scrapper, send me a card to sell at our Brunch for Boobies fundraiser in May. Just email me at for the address.

Or you can log on here to make a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure AND help my friend, Brenda, collect the $2500 she needs to walk in Cleveland’s 60 Mile 3Day Walk.

Thanks to everyone who's helping with this effort or saying prayers for my mom and everyone else who has cancer or making a donation to find a cure. Your efforts are are adding up, and I find your many kindnesses truly humbling.

OK. DaBoys have given up hoping I'd hold them (puppies licking my fingers while I'm typing does not improve my spelling) and are now staring at me, all doe-eyed and sad looking. Oh wait, that might actually be their bloated and painful look. Hmmm. . . . methinks it's time for a walk!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stay Tuned!

Woohoo! My computer and camera are kindred spirits once again! Turns out dear old hubby had the solution. So, this coming Saturday I'm going to snap pics of the huge pile of cards stacked in my scraproom and post 'em in the Gallery over there to the right.
It is so touching to see how many gifted artists are willing to send their beautiful creations on behalf of our breast cancer fundraiser. Many of them have sent little notes about their mother or sister or best friends who has had breast cancer.
Sadly, it's seemingly everywhere.
Joyfully, we're all going to make a difference by raising money for Susan G. Komen for the cure to provide more funds for research, more mammograms for women who can't afford them and more support for those among us who are dealing with this savage disease.
So THANK YOU to everyone who reads this humble blog and spreads the word.
THANK YOU to everyone who's sent cards.
THANK YOU to everyone who's spreading the word to their friends and other online communities.
Please continue to pass along my email address to anyone who might be interested in donating cards, or needs more information.
And check back this weekend - I promise the gallery will knock your socks off!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Squared

What a great day this started out as! I finally slept 6 uninterrupted hours last night. Had a nice walk with DaBoys through a morning-hushed neighborhood. Heard some good jokes on the radio while putting on my makeup. And finally- after weeks of trying to remind it who's boss - my hair looked FABULOUS this morning. I felt like one of those Breck girls on the back of my mom's Good Housekeeping magazines when I was little. All was right with the world, and I fairly skipped out of the house 45 minutes earlier than I usually leave.
I'd gone about 20 miles when my car started shuddering and all the dashboard lights started blinking and I couldn't go more than 40 miles an hour.
I managed to get to the side of the road and call for a tow and then for my husband. As luck would have it, as soon as I pulled over the heavens unleashed torrents of rain. Buckets. Deluges. Virtual oceans of rain. Nothing to do but sit and wait. I found a notebook in my purse and wrote a note to Mike, my mechanic. Then I wrote "Thank you" on a piece of paper, wrapped it around my keys and put them in the visor for the tow guy. All the while, passing cars were slinging sheets of water at my car so hard that the car rocked. I wondered if I shouldn't maybe write just a few more words in case someone hydroplaned into me. Just about the time I started to get really cold, I saw the watery headlights of my husband's Jeep in my rear view mirror. I thought better of getting out the drivers door. I gathered my purse (or "suitcase" as Ken calls it) and another bag just as big that had my lunch and some paperwork in it. Oh- and my medium iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I slid over the console into the passenger seat in a rather unladylike manner, managing to stuff my raincoat in my armpits in the process. I got myself more or less in order before opening the passenger door just enough to stick out my umbrella out to pop it open. With one last glance toward the Jeep, I got out.
I landed in an ankle-deep puddle of cold rainwater, holding an umbrella over my head that was now turned inside out. The wind whipped open my raincoat and I was instantly soaked in places that I typically dry off after a shower. I may have said a few things as I threw the damn umbrella toward the woods, then slogged my way back to the Jeep. The passing traffic seemed to organize itself in a manner to continuously soak me in streams of water and spray. Of course, once I got to the Jeep (was there really a need to park six blocks behind my car????), getting in the Jeep posed its own special challenge thanks to Ken's huge off road tires. I will never be characterized as "tall" so over the years, I've devised this little runhopjump sequence that usually lands me far enough up inside the Jeep that I can claw myself the rest of the way in. But this time, I was on sloping, muddy ground in a monsoon. I tossed my bags in and Ken managed to drag me inside by my coat. And I think my hair.
I was cold. I was wet. I'd lost my coffee god knows where. From somewhere in the recesses of his mancave Jeep, Ken fished out a towel and wiped my face and hair in that clumsy way guys do when they're trying to help. Then he rubbed my cheeks and my forehead with his thumbs. What the. . . . ??? I was trying not to cry or yell and just squeaked out "Drive." So he did. Smart man.
I picked up my mother in law's car, ran home to change my clothes and then headed out again to go to work. Passed the tow truck with my car on it and resisted the urge to send it the one fingered salute. Arrived at work two hours late on a Monday morning when every minute was scheduled for something. I've not been late in a long while and everyone kept giving me weird glances.
Finally headed to the ladies room at noon and was scared witless by this uglyscary woman on the way in the door. Her hair was frizzed and piled over toward one side of her head and she had these weird streaks of - what was that???? - grease or something on her face. Then I realized with slow but certain horror that the uglyscary woman was my reflection in the mirror.
My FABULOUS hair??? Hahaha. Think Brillo pad meets firehose.
Ken tenderly wiping my face? Um, yeah - trying to wipe off the grease left by his towel. And apparently deciding not to say anything when he was unsuccessful.
I started to laugh sort of maniacally. And when my stomach hurt and I couldn't laugh anymore, I enlisted the aid of a couple of friends and we manage to locate enough hair care products and accessories that I emerged from the ladies room a half hour later looking almost kind of normal.
$275 later, I'm home and dry with a working car tucked safely into the garage.
Tomorrow morning, I'm not going for fabulous. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to settle for decent hair and arriving at work on time. I'm even going to forego the Dunkin Donuts. And I'm going to return the four pounds of hair accessories I scraped out of my hair tonight in the shower.
The password for Tuesday is mediocre.
Not fabulous. Mediocre will do just fine.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blessings, Milestones and Fun Stuff

Snapped this happy little daffodil during my visit to Applegate Farm with my mom yesterday to visit my aunt. She grows everything in her gardens from paw paws to heirloom tomatoes to artichokes. She and my uncle also have an orchard, a pond and a grape arbor. On the animal side, they raise Muscovi ducks and tend to an extensive array of carefully maintained birdhouses and feeders attracting finches and bluebirds and a ton of other beautiful birds I can't name. Watching all these birds feed is like watching a moving rainbow sometimes. They also put out salt licks for the deer, and every evening it's a treat to watch them make their way up to the house with their little fawns. As we neared the farm yesterday, we were greeted by legions of sunny daffodils and narcissus so numerous you could see them a half mile away. The sun was warm, there were bees buzzing about and it was the sort of day where you remember all over again what blessings there are in this world. Beginning of course with family.
This week while the world went about it's business, I achieved a milestone. Nothing earth shattering, but it was another realization that made me stop and be grateful. All of you scrappers who have an online home (or maybe more than one online home) can appreciate the little lift I got from reaching my 1000th post on Scrappy Jo's forum this week. WOOHOO! DH and the kids would tell you how surprised they are that I didn't reach it before, what with my IRL proclivity for gab. But it was a first for me on any online forum, and I seized the spotlight just long enough to let those wonderful ladies know how much they mean to me. That forum really does feel like an online home.
And while I've got your ear for a moment, hop over to My Sketch World ( for their Spring Crop! It started yesterday and goes through Tuesday, but you've got plenty of time to stop in and browse around. The challenges and games are awesome (especially the Pop Up Card Challenge - I hear it's da bomb), and you've got all the way till April 25th to post your work.
I'm going to push myself away from the keyboard now and go play Domestic Goddess. Maybe Domestic Complainer is more accurate because I'm never in the mood for laundry when there's some good scrapping to be done.
I hope your day is full of blessings!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

THE SPRING CROP IS HERE and I ain't talking farming

Yea! It's finally Saturday and time for the spring crop at My Sketch World!! Three glorious days of rockin' challenges, fun games and unbeatable fun! You've got to check it out, especially. . . ahem . . .a certain person's pop up card challenge.
Of course, none of that starts for another five hours. So what in the heck am I doing up???? Insomnia. The most wasteful use of wakefulness ever. Can't go to sleep. Can't concentrate enough to read. Can't turn on the TV or I'll wake DaBoys. So my hyperactive mind came up with a list. These aren't in any particular order - my brain's awake but realllly not organized.
1. Koyuko Tape Runner. Did I spell "Koyuko" right? Who knows- my scraproom is upstairs so I'll just wing it. Anyway, you'll recognize the name when you find it. And when you find it, buy it. Great stuff.
2. Back massages. Every single minute is pure heaven.
3. Fresh flowers. Cheer in a vase.
4. Good shoes. OK, I know the stereotype. But if men had to squish their toes into ridiculous shoes, they'd buy a comfy pair in every color when they found it, too. And then go searching for the next beautiful yet comfy pair to buy in every color.
5. Concert and theatre tickets. I know - ticket prices are exorbitant these days. But nothing beats a great live performance by your favorite musician, or of a really terrific play or opera. The venue, the crowd, the fact that you're IN THE SAME ROOM AS ANDREA BOCELLI!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry. Got carried away there for a minute. You get my drift.
6. Crab. MMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
7. High quality dark chocolate. Sigh. There are no words.
8. The perfect gin and tonic.
9. Kiva. Have you found this nifty website yet??? My sweet daughter, Annie, found it when she was in college (bless her heart -true case of the poor helping the poor). It allows you to loan money to people in developing countries to start their own businesses. It's not a donation - you become a banker of sorts, who can pick and choose to whom to lend money. (Wow. The grammar part of my brain is REALLY awake.) What's the payback rate you ask? Over 99%. Of course, you probably will just keep relending your money because the updates you get give you an amazing feel-good connection to the world. Kiva is definitely worth every penny you put into it.
10. Warm milk. I started drinking a glass while writing this post and am finally starting to feel all. . . . . warm. . . . . . . . and sleepy.
. . . . Mmmmm sleep. . . . .
I'm going to very quietly sneak back upstairs and into bed before my brain overpowers the warm milk. Shhhhhh.
I will probably read this post tomorrow and think Good Lord, woman- next time you can't sleep, stay away from the blog. But till then, I'm hopefully off to dreamland for the next . . . um. . . wow. Two hours till the alarm goes off.
Hopefully, I'll run into you at the crop. I'll be the baggy-eyed one hopped up on caffeine, wondering around with little bits of paper glued to her bathrobe.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Cards - Some, at Least!

Do inanimate objects need mothers?
Because if it's possible, my computer and camera are apparently in need of someone to "mother" them into making peace with each other. I've had some progress, but they're not 100% harmonious yet. Let's just say they've stopped trying to hurt each other but they're not being polite to each other yet. Maybe I need to make them sit in the corner and hold hands. Nah. Didn't work when the kids were little. Whapping stuff didn't work either, but it did make me feel better. Oh well.
In the meantime, I did manage to get Kristen Hallenbeck's cards uploaded to the gallery! Did you notice, hmmm??? The gallery's getting so full of beautiful cards that you might as well go full screen, sit back with your popcorn and settle in for the show!
Hopefully, I can get Kim Galea's cards uploaded tomorrow because this weekend is the Spring Crop at My Sketch World. WOOHOO!! Been waiting on this for quite awhile. I've put together an Easy Peasy Pop-Up Card tutorial challenge for the crop which is a lot of fun because it's . . . well, easy. And peasy, whatever in the heck that is. My mission is to make the world stop fearing pop up cards, a fear not exactly worthy of government funded research, but certainly worth addressing. As a matter of fact, that's one of my cards you see above. I cut it out in the shape of a purse, so even those folks who have never made and decorated a card before can fear not this challenge.
What's that you say? You want to see the fun pop up stuff inside???
Well, you're just going to have to peek in on the crop this weekend to see that part.
That's me, working on my mommy voice. Could you tell??
In the meantime, stop reading this drivel and take a gander at all the beautiful cards in the gallery for our Brunch for Boobies fundraiser. Then jump in on the crop fun at this weekend.
That was the mommy voice again.
Don't make come over there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Technical Difficulties

When I was little, we used to have a black and white Zenith television about the size of a Mini Cooper. And in case my children are reading this - no, there weren't any dinosaurs lurking outside our windows.
Two great things about TV in those days. The first was that watching it was a treat because most of our time was spent outside running around the neighborhood with a gazillion other kids exercising that most wonderful of muscles: our imaginations. The second was that whatever went wrong with it could usually be corrected by delivering a sharp whap to the side of its cabinet.
Few things I've had in my life since could be so easily and satisfyingly repaired.
Like my camera. Last weekend, I received more cards for Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer. Two intriguingly plump envelopes arrived from Kristen Hallenbeck and Kim Galea over at My Sketch World, and I couldn't wait to open them. I carefully emptied the envelopes and lined up the cards on my dining room table, each one cuter than the last. Wow - these two ladies' cards are amazing! I charged my camera battery and then snapped pics of each stupendous card. But for the life of me, I can't get the images moved from my camera down the cord and into my computer.
I've tried whapping a few things more than once. No dice.
So tomorrow, I'm going to bribe the IT guru at my office to take a look at both the camera and my computer. I think it's rather ironic that when the black and white TV from my childhood was beaming us images of the Green Hornet and Ed Sullivan, this 23 year old wasn't even a glimmer in his mother's eye.
In the meantime, I encourage you to exercise your imagination muscle and picture even more lovely cards added to my gallery up yonder on the right. Kristen and Kim: I apologize for not having your lovely creations in there yet, but I'm working on it.
And please check back here. I don't care how many things I have to whap, we'll have pictures posted one way or another!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Tried to put bunny ears on DaBoys so I'd have an Easter pic to post today, but they were enormously uncooperative. Uncooperative as in afraid of bunny ears. But then they're also afraid of paper, wind, laundry sheets, ants and anything that's sprayed, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised!
Saw the new neighbors on their way home from church. Thought about grabbing the camera for a quick shot of the adorable kids on their way in the house but thought better of it at the last second. Old Lady Stalker is not a persona I'm comfortable with.
So grabbed this shot of my Baby Boy and Baby Girl when they were 9 and 5 years old. Aren't they adorable? They're all grown up now and still adorable.
This has been a really relaxing Easter. The first relaxing Easter I can remember having in a long time. I scrapped a little - finished a LO and a card. Did some laundry. Gave DaBoys an extra spin around the block. Bit the ears off an unsuspecting chocolate bunny.
Nice relaxing day.
As a matter of fact, it's been a nice, relaxing week.
Which is exactly what's been strange about it.
No furtive trips downstairs to steal a malted egg from the stash I've hidden in the freezer until it's time to make up Easter baskets. (Why the freezer, you ask? 'Cuz everyone knows you can't eat frozen chocolate, silly.)
No late night Easter eve, with DH cantoring at Easter vigil while I stayed home, putting the final touches on new suits and frilly dresses for Easter Sunday.
No little strips of green cellophane grass stuck to everything for weeks on end.
No boiled eggs sweating their color off in the fridge.
Ay yi yi yi - I didn't realize until this year how many of our Easter traditions centered around having kids in the house!
I'm off to call the kids and my folks and wish everyone a Happy Easter. Hope your day is sunny and that you've snared a couple chocolate eggs for yourownself.
And a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet DIL, Bridgett!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Snapped this pic while walking DaBoys this morning. Sunny, cold - apparently the perfect day to sniff and tinkle on every little thing if you're a dog!
Ahhhh. . . I have a day of indulgence ahead of me. Not "spa indulgence," but a day where there's not too many things that have to be done leaving lots of the day to do things I want to get done.
Coffee with The Girls first, which both grounds me and inspires me. We'll work on the Brunch for Boobies coming up in May (scroll down and read earlier posts if you're new here. Oh, and if you are new - welcome!). We'll check up on Karen with her full time job, family and law school. And see how Eileen's hubby and dad are doing. And how many gazillion miles Brenda walked this week in training for the 3Day. And all the fun, crazy things Erin's up to. We'll laugh a ton. Someone will say something that will make us snort coffee out our noses. And I will hum all the way home cuz these ladies just make my heart sing.
Then I'm SCRAPPING!!! I'm hot on the trail of the last perfect touch for a LO I'm submitting to be considered for May Guest Creative Team Designer over at Scrappy Jo's. Then it's tutorial time. I'll spend the rest of my afternoon with the camera in my left hand photographing my right hand while it makes pop up cards for the Spring Crop over at My Sketch World. (Just call my right hand Vanna.)
And in between all this frivolity, I'll do laundry, walk DaBoys a couple more times and cook a fab dinner for DH who does all the cooking during the week. (Can pot roast be considered "fab?")
But I'm not getting anything done sitting here so I'm off. I hope your Saturday gives you at least a little time to indulge yourself, too. And if you're really busy today, just remember - there's no indulgence like having a little chocolate!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

28 Years Ago

28 years ago, April 8th was the Wednesday before Palm Sunday. My husband's grandfather had died and his funeral was that morning and we went to bed Tuesday night envisioning a long emotional day ahead of us.
At 3AM, my water broke.
And at 10:30 Wednesday night, we had the most beautiful 10 pound 2 ounce baby boy anyone had ever seen. All the relatives who'd arrived in town to say goodbye to their dear loved one stayed around to welcome the newest member of the family, a celebration they scarcely expected.
Our lives forever changed that day. Almost as amazing as being a new mommy was the wonder of watching my husband become a father and my parents become grandparents.
And the wonder never left. Wonder that we could have been so blessed. Wonder that this little creature would grow in all the expected ways and captivate us in ways we'd never imagined. Wonder that we could somehow find our way through all the questions and doubt and gain footing in this most important role as parents.
Four years later, at 3AM we drove our Baby Boy to grandma's then headed to the hospital once again. By noon, the most amazing baby girl cried her first hello to the world and something clicked. With this beautiful baby in our arms, we realized this little girl had already done something extraordinary: she made our family complete.
28 years ago, we had no idea the laughter and joy and fear and excitement we had ahead of us. Like walking from a desert to a garden, our lives grew full and rich in unexpected ways because of our children.
The old adage is right - having children is to forever have your heart walk around outside your body. I've learned that no matter how far away their lives may take them when they're grown, they are always right here - in my heart. Those tiny babies have become such wondrous humans and they've taught me a lot along the way.
So happy 28th birthday, Baby Boy! My wish for you is the same as it always is for both of you: Be healthy. Be happy. And celebrate!
I'm sending my love to both my kids!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cards! Cards! Cards!

So MANY artistic ladies have generously sent beautiful cards for our May Brunch for Boobies 3Day Breast Cancer Walk fundraiser. Every day there's a new envelope of goodies in my mailbox - I love it! Every dollar raised from selling these BEAUTIFUL cards will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and benefit millions of women across the nation.
What an amazing way to reach out and help someone you may not even know.
My friend Brenda, who is walking in this year's Cleveland 3Day, had an "aha" moment in 2007 when we walked the 60 Mile together. That's her up yonder in our pink tent. We were in a lovely Cleveland suburb on a sunny day and in every driveway and yard were people cheering us on with drinks and snacks and signs and applause. At one house, a beautiful young woman with blond curly hair stood at the end of her driveway with her two small children, handing out water. Brenda stopped for a break and chatted with the woman. The lady told Brenda how much she appreciated the walkers for all their hard work and fundraising. The she reached up and took off her blond curls to reveal a completely bald head. "I'm just finishing chemo," she said quietly. "Thank you for walking for me."
After that, Brenda said her blisters didn't sting so much and her hips didn't ache so badly. The day's 20 mile hike suddenly seemed a privilege.
That's why everyone's help with Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer is so wonderful. Check out the gallery up there to your right. I've added in AMAZING new cards from my friends Cheryl Nyboer, Sue Biewer, Kim Johnson and Lisa Moen - four ladies who've reached out to help women they don't even know. If you'd like to send a card for the fundraiser - or if you have an "aha" moment story to share - let me know. Every small effort in the search for a cure for breast cancer has a ripple effect. Every story we share, every card you send, every dollar we raise puts us one step closer to curing breast cancer in our lifetime.
Imagine - our grandchildren's grandchildren in a cancer-free world.
Talk about an aha moment. . .

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Brrrr! Just got back from DaBoys' morning walk and it's windy and chilly!
Heading out to go visit my folks this morning, which may turn out to be more like steering a boat than driving a car if it stays this windy. I never get to visit with my folks enough, and always wished I could be like "Bewitched" - just wiggle my nose and be there. But it's just a two hour trip, so no biggie.
Big weekend for Cleveland - the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is HERE after 13 years! The entire city has been celebrating all week - dare I say we've been bewitched?? -  from the theatre district to Fourth Street to the warehouse district to Tremont to the 'burbs. This on the heels of the annual International Film Festival, which was the best ever!
Seriously, Cleveland IS a world class city and a great place to visit. We just won't talk about the Cavs right now. . . . :(
Going to snuggle the puppies for a bit and then hop in the car. Hope you're off to a great weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Cards in the Gallery!

Looky over there to the right. See all those beautiful cards??
Nothing better than goodies in the mail, and when I got home today and my mailbox was stuffed with big envelopes. Well, big envelopes and six bills but that's life. Three of the sweet ladies at My Sketch World sent cards for the Calling All Cards to raise money for the 60 Mile 3Day Breast Cancer Walk!
The sweet pink card with adorable butterflies on it is from Wendy West - she sent six of them! Lois Belliveau and Toni Archer sent six cards each as well. I decided that each one I pulled out of the envelope was my favorite - until I pulled out the next one. Aren't they all beautiful!??
You'll find the details in my post below, but I'm going to be selling these cards at a fundraiser on May 31st with every dollar going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The highlight of our brunch will be one terrific Chinese Auction. We've done Chinese Auctions before and do a pretty darn good job of begging for amazing goodies, if I do say so myself. But I'm beginning to think my table of handmade cards for sale might just take the cake this year!
If you're a scrapper or a card person, please consider sending me one of your cards (or more than one!) for the fundraiser. More cards=more funds raised for mammograms and research to eliminate breast cancer in our lifetime.
There are women out there - maybe someone you know - who is battling this disease. These women would give anything to be able to walk 60 miles for a cure. I walked the 3Day in 2007 in honor of my mom, Ann Baker, whose breast cancer has returned. Everywhere we walked people came out in droves to thank us for our efforts. My "aha moment" came when I saw a message chalked in childish scrawl on the sidewalk in front of a house that had tricycles and toys in the driveway. It read "Thank you for helping my mommy."
No mother should have to worry about her young children growing up without her.
No husband should have to wonder if he's strong enough to help his wife through the horror of breast cancer.
No child should grow up without their mommy.
Please pass the word about Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer. Tell your friends. Post on the scrapbooking sites your visit. Blog about it.
Please - help me get the word out.
Bless you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Kind of Fool Am I??

Are you into tricks on Aprils Fools Day? Elaborate gags? Juvenile hijinx? Not me. I'm more wary of what's going to be foisted on me than concerned with being the foist-ee!
But have you ever thought about the word "fool"?
Merriam-Webster says it can refer to a person lacking in judgment or prudence. You know, as in "Only a fool would think chocolate should be saved for special occasions."
Or you can appear to be a easily duped, as in "I was a fool to eat chocolate because of its antioxidants - I gained 15 pounds!"
Then there's the fool that great households used keep around for entertainment. You've seen him, the guy in bright clothes and the funny hat with bells on it. He probably had nothing to do with chocolate.
But you can also be a fool for something. You can be a fool for Dove bars, for instance. Or Reese's peanut butter eggs. Or chocolate covered strawberries. Or Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bars. It's sorta like being cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, if you get my drift.
There's even a dessert called a fool. It's nothing more than pureed fruit mixed with pudding or custard. Which we all know would be better with . . . . . .
wait for it. . . . . . . .
say it with me now- chocolate.
Do you detect a theme here? If you're like me, chocolate Easter bunnies can't hop your way fast enough so I'm off now to devour the itty bitty chocolate egg that fell into my purse today. Whatever kind of April Fools Day you're having, I hope it's a good one!