Sunday, May 31, 2009


That's me and Brenda in a spare moment before thestart of the brunch this afternoon. Just a few short hours after this pic we were blissfully barefoot, counting cash and sipping mimosas!
Here's the table I set up to sell the Cards I received for Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer - four boxes of them! Everyone who browsed was surprised at how beautiful handcrafted cards could be. And the story of how I got all these cards gave them each a glimpse into how kind and thoughtful the scrapbooking community is.
What a successful day - we took in $2300 this afternoon! So many people stopped by to spend money and we're grateful to every one of them. Vanessa and Jeremy were the most generous and considerate hosts, opening their beautiful home and big hearts to this fundraiser. Brenda, Erin, Karen, Eileen and I have this fundraising thing down to a fine science by now, but Vanessa and Jeremy's efforts took this to a whole new level.
I took lots of pics, as you can image (future LOs!), so I'm going to post a few them below now. Then I'm going to grab two puppies, the remote, a big glass of water and veg out in front of the TV.
I'll post again soon, but until then THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the 1st Annual Brunch for Boobies Chinese Auction such a huge success!!
Da Goils: Meet Erin, Brenda, Eileen and Karen - My Peeps ("Poeps"??? asked woefully-clueless-but-trying-to-be-hip-nonetheless Lori)

There was no shortage of really cool auction items

Just some of the GORGEOUS jewelry Brenda makes. It's good to have a BFF who is a jewelry artist. Almost as good as having a masseuse in the family.

Brenda and I put out our scrapbooks from the 2007 3Day. Here are two ladies viewing mine - the lady in pink on the right is Mea, Brenda's walking partner this year! This scrapbook was the very first scrapping I'd ever done in my whole life. I couldn't hear but I just know they were saying "I didn't know they taught scrapbooking in 3rd grade!" Looking at this book now is like looking at those goofy pictures from elementary school - I am appalled that I ever thought stickers and shaper scissors defined scrapbooking. Eeek. Oh - and Mea - there are some ingsthay you eednay to ownay about endaBray before you tent with her. Like if you have to go to the ER in the middle of the night and have trouble finding your specific pink tent when you get back at 1AM and Brenda isn't any help because she took Benadryl and wouldn't be able to wake up if wild hyenas held a hootenany in your tent. Hypothetical stuff like that. Believe me, you'll thank me later. (Shhh - let's just keep this between us. Call me!)

This nice lady won the scrapbooking basket which wasn't a basket at all as you can see, but really a Disney-esque cup and saucer chocked full of amazing scrappy goodness. Does she look exhilarated? Happy?? Unable to contain her joy?
(sniff) Not as exhilarated/happy/unable to contain her joy as someone nameless who bought $20 worth of tickets and put every one of 'em in the cup for this auction item. (sniff) THAT nameless person was reeeaallllyyy hoping to win this item (stifled sob), but isn't disappointed. It's for charity, right? Everyone's a winner. Excuse me - talk amongst yourselves. I'm just going to get a tissue. . .
Few things are as sexy as men with kitchen tools who aren't afraid to use them. Ooops - did I say that out loud??! Suffice it to say the Radisson chefs came, saw and conquered this event with terrific food and wonderful service.

On the left is Cherise from Q104 - our MC for the auction. Next to her is the lovely Vanessa and her peeps/peops!
This event ROCKED. Ya'll stay tuned cuz we're already talking about the SECOND Annual Brunch for Boobies! But first, a nice little puppy nap!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

One Day Till Brunch for Boobies!!

At the left is a picture of what Vanessa's gorgeous house looked like last week when we all descended upon her to put all the baskets o' goodies together. Poor girl - she wasn't even fazed by the mess we made.
OOOH! See the big coffee cup and saucer with polka dots on it on the floor?? THAT 'S THE SCRAPBOOKING BASKET! Isnt' it adorable??? I filled it with lots of yummy paper and scrap goodies I wanted to have. Jo from Scrappy Jo's ( even sent goodies for it - wasn't that sweet??? But then, that's just Jo - she is one of the kindest and sweetest scrappers I know. I wish you could all come bid on this little cup o' scrappy goodness. Heck, I may bid on it myownself.
Thanks to Vanessa and everyone's hard work, we are ready for one heck of an event. The chefs are arriving tomorrow morning to start cooking AMAZING food. We're serving mimosas and bloody marys and pink lemonade. We've got a ROOM FULL OF AUCTION ITEMS with everything from spa goodies to sports stuff to the most beautiful handcrafted jewelry you've ever laid your eyes on.
Before I go, though, I have to say one last THANK YOU to everyone for making Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer such a success. Brenda and I carefully wrapped each one of your cards in cellophane and we literally ended up with a box FULL of cards. I can't wait to get my table set up tomorrow and start selling these babies!
Be sure to check out the gallery up to the right. I've had more fun today taking pics of beautiful cards from Ana Peralta, Teresa Davis, Julie Weidner and Beth Koenig - four amazing friends of Kimmy Johnson - who sent a gorgeous array of cards for Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer. Thank you, ladies, from the bottom of my heart. I'm so grateful to you.
Have a great afternoon, everyone!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Charlie, the Amazing Gum-Chewing Houdini Dog

Charlie loves people but is afraid of things. Like wind. And paper. And stuff like loud noises, stones, squirrels and lots of other things we encounter on our daily walks. All these things make Charlie go into escape mode. Charlie has a smallish head and really thick neck fur, so any collar tight enough to prevent escape typically makes his little Chihuahua eyes bulge out even more than they already do. The vet suggested that we use a harness. That’s when we discovered that in addition to the tricky head/neck ratio, the length of Charlie’s front legs from the shoulder to the elbow is so short he can easily slip his elbows right out of a harness. I was afraid I was going to have to get a hank of rope and a Boy Scout, but finally found a harness that’s more or less escape proof. It has an adjustable ring of webbing that goes around his neck, another that goes around his middle and the rings are strung to each other with two more strips of webbing. He can still get out of it, but I usually have enough time to grab him first. The only problem is that once the harness is snug enough to prevent a quick escape, he looks like he's wearing a thong.
This morning, I harness up DaBoys and out the door we go on our 6AM walk. It wasn’t long before we got stopped by lots of new stuff to sniff and tinkle on. Charlie in particular wanted to investigate every blade of grass along our route. It’s not easy trying to keep up with one dog who loves to run (Sammy) without dragging along the other dog who loves to dawdle (Charlie). What typically happens is that Sammy will see Charlie sniffing something interesting, so he runs back to join him but Charlie is ready to move on so he runs ahead and if you watched me for any length of time you’d think I was trying out for Dancing With The Stars what with all the arm extensions and fancy footwork going on.
When I got to the corner of Parkview this morning, Charlie found a WAD OF GUM! THAT HAD BEEN RUN OVER A GAZILLION TIMES AND WAS STUCK TO THE ASPHALT! and just plain refused to move his little behind out of the street. I finally turned for home and started tugging, figuring he’d give up. And sure enough, he stopped tugging.
It took me a few seconds to realize that I was walking down the street trailing two leashes and only one dog. I looked back and there’s Charlie, harness-free and tugging at that wad of gum in the middle of the street.
Sammy now realizes that Charlie has gotten hold of SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL and bounds over to join him, which makes Charlie stand his ground and growl. I walk over to pick him up, but he skitters backwards. I’ve played this game before - after this, there’ll be no catching him.
I look at the increasing morning traffic and a stone of cold fear hits my chest. I’m afraid he’ll scurry into traffic if I continue to chase him, so I yell “Go home!” and take off running for the house. We sometimes end our morning walks with a brisk jog anyway so I’m hoping Charlie will join in. Sammy loves this game, and he shoots past me in no time. He doesn’t even slow down when he reaches the end of his leash and yanks the darn thing right out of my hand. I start taking big steps trying to stomp on the loop. Charlie looks up and starts chasing us back to the house. So far, so good. But we must have been quite a sight: one galloping dog trailing a blue leash down the sidewalk being chased by a panicked, stomping woman holding a bag of poo and an empty red harness followed by a naked furball chewing a wad of used gum.
Sammy set a pretty good pace for us and I was getting worried about making the turn into our driveway. I could just picture him running straight past our house, out of the county, across the mountains and into the Pacific Ocean before he even got winded. But he checked his speed just enough to make a wide arc through the front yard and even managed a graceful leap over the hostas before landing on the driveway and continuing his run to the back door. I, however, am not a canine running machine with four legs and an athletic build made for track meets. My feet got tangled up when I tried to turn into the driveway while the rest of me continued in a forward direction. I rolled through most of the lawn before coming to a stop just in time to see a gum-chewing Charlie run past me down the driveway. When I got up, the poo bag was plastered to my chest and my foot was caught in Charlie’s empty harness. I hobbled down the driveway toward DaBoys, picking mulch out of my hair and trying to get myself untangled.
Sammy was on the top step still trailing his leash, tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth with a “That was FUN!” look in his eyes. He wasn't even breathing hard, and his tail was wagging the wag of a supremely happy puppy. Charlie was sitting on the bottom step, panting but still chewing like mad. I sat down to catch my breath and put Charlie under my arm. Sammy started licking my ears. After some wangling, I finally got the wad of gritty, tar-laced gum out of Charlie’s mouth. Both dogs were jumping all over me and licking me in that weloveyouweloveyouweloveyou way dogs have that told me they’d just had their BEST MORNING WALK EVER. I opened the door and let two (count 'em: one two) happy puppies back into the house.
I’m hoping tomorrow morning’s walk is uneventful. And I’m considering a harness with a side of duct tape for Charlie, my little gum-chewing Houdini.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Brunch for Boobies Countdown!

Woohoo! Our Brunch for Boobies Chinese Auction fundraiser is just ONE WEEK away! And my gosh, how this event has turned out: valet parking, real chefs cooking up the food fresh, amazing auction items and - of course - GORGEOUS HANDMADE CARDS to sell.
It's been way too long since I last posted about the Brunch, so if you're new here the 60 Mile 3Day Breast Cancer Walk sponsored by Komen for the Cure is going to be held in Cleveland July 31st. This is an event I walked in 2007, and one of my BFF's, Brenda Traffis, is walking it again this year (me and rest of my BFF's are slouches - we're just crewing). In order to participate, she has to raise $2300.
When I look at the huge box of cards sent in by so many generous and talented and thoughtful ladies, it gives me goosebumps. That's a whole lot of love and support right there for cancer victims these ladies don't even know.
Aren't people amazing??
So to celebrate our one week countdown, I've loaded into the gallery even more cards. These come from Karla Gordon and Theresa Creager over at MSW, and they are beautiful. As a matter of fact, Karla and Theresa's donations take us well OVER 100 CARDS. That's so many cards I had to start a THIRD gallery over yonder. Especially if you're new here, be sure to take a gander.
The Breast Cancer 3Day walks are held all across the country - maybe there's one in your neck o' the woods. Walkers spend months raising money while spending more and more time training to walk 20 miles for three days straight. And they do it all while working at their jobs and taking care of their families. Some have friends with breast cancer, some with loved ones suffering from this disease. Some of them are breast cancer survivors. And some of them walk with active cancer. If someone approaches you for a donation or if you see someone wearing pink out on a training walk, be sure to offer your support.
And if you have a few bucks to donate to the fight for a cure, you can donate right now by clicking here.
Gotta run. We're all getting together at Vanessa's soon to nail down final arrangements, and wrap all these cards in cellophane to sell. Thanks for reading, and have a safe Memorial Day weekend!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Velcro Dogs

That's Charlie and Sammy. They're brothers. Annie gave them to me as a consolation prize for turning 50. They make me laugh every day.
Sammy is on the left. He tries to be very brave around strangers, but is still terrified of little kids. His favorite toy is his little yellow tennis ball which he throws up in the air and chases around all the time. When he goes into his crate at night, he likes his ball or his stuffed squirrel to sleep with. Sammy is lean and athletic and sometimes he looks like a cross between the Sphinx and a deer. He has huge black eyes that always seem to be trying to say something to me. He loves to run that flat out doggie run with his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth and his ears flapping all over. He also loves to climb and believes that it is his purpose in life to make sure there are no crumbs left on the table after dinner. One Thanksgiving, he ate half a pumpkin pie while we were waving goodbye to guests. Another time, he ate a starfish in the living room while we were eating tuna casserole in the kitchen.
Charlie is on the right. He's a little snuggler. If my stomach growls when he's sitting on my lap, he looks at it and growls back. Charlie is braver with people than Sammy, but he happens to be afraid of paper, cell phones, magazines, bugs, dryer sheets and flashlights. Oh, and wind. Charlie silently bares his teeth when he doesn't like something, which is pretty funny to see. He bares his teeth at the vet. He bares his teeth when Sammy takes up most of the sunbeam on the living room carpet. He bares his teeth and grouches when you get him up off your lap to go to his crate for the night. He eats by taking one piece of food into the dining room and eating it on the oriental rug. Then he goes back to the kitchen for his next piece. We call it his diet and exercise program.
Sammy and Charlie LIVE to sit on my lap. It is their mission, their goal in life, their reason for living. Which is wonderful when you're confined to the couch following foot surgery, but not so good when your house has dust bunnies or you're out of clean underwear or need to go to work. I even have a video of Sammy climbing up my leg like a cat to make me hold him because I was cleaning up the kitchen instead of making a lap. Over the past two years, I've learned how to scrapbook while holding puppies, pluck my eyebrows while holding puppies and even post on my blog while holding puppies. (That's where all those misspellings come from!) If Darwin's adaptation of the species holds true, my arms are going to be six feet long pretty soon.
OK, now you've heard from Good Dog Mom. But here's Bad Dog Mom: I am so tired of having them follow me everywhere then sit on me that I could just scream. If I'm in the house, there are dogs either (a) sitting on me or (b) following on my heels. Seriously. Step from the sink to the refrigerator and look back: two little furries standing there staring at me. Two steps back to the sink: still there. Walk from the computer into the living room to get my glasses and then come back to the computer: tippy tappy toenails of two puppies following right behind. Stand at the kitchen table decorating a birthday cake for an hour: two little chihuahuas walking around on their hind legs to see if I need any help. Come out of the bathroom: two doggies waiting with their little chins on their paws.
Every time I look at them, they cock their little heads to one side and make their eyes all big and sad till you can almost see a tear forming at the corner cuz they have no one to sit on and no one to snuggle with. OMG. I'm going to lose my mind.
Right now, my left elbow feels like it's going to break because Charlie has benn resting his head on it and Sammy's been licking my hands the whole time I've been typing out this post. I've put them down twice but guess what? They just jumped back up into my lap.
Oh well. Maybe I'll just become a sloth and make couch potatodom my new ambition. Windows need washed? Oh, sorry - I have to sit with my dogs. Time to make dinner? Oooh, better get Dominos on the phone cuz, geez, my dogs need to be snuggled. Actually, all I need to do is win the lottery and my problems are over. I could hire people to do all life's mundane tasks leaving me more time to pamper puppies.
In the meantime, however, I've been looking for those papoose things they make for moms to carry their babies. Maybe I can find one that will hold two dogs Wait! That's what I need to do: design a double puppy papoose! Then I could retire and stay home.
Hmmm. This could be a challenge. Exactly how do I go about sketching out plans for a double puppy papoose if I'm holding a dog who's afraid of paper???

Sunday, May 10, 2009


1. To thine own self be true. Always.
2. Believe in God. Don't forget your prayers.
3. Live the The Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. That's about all you need.
4. Be honest with others, but most especially with yourself.
5. Don't eat in front of someone unless you have enough to share.
6. Take care of your things.
7. Cleanliness is next to godliness, and the only way you're going to be allowed to eat supper at this table, young lady.
8. Enjoy the little things in life and you've got a reason to be happy every day.
9. Save a penny here and a penny there and pretty soon you're building a new house.
10. Be kind and generous. Take time to notice those around you who are less fortunate.
11. Grand moments may make great pictures, but the small moments make up life.
12. Being rich has nothing to do with money.
13. Never be without a dream or a goal - always keep something to work toward.
14. Be polite to everyone, but fill your life with people who deserve your respect.
15. Read everyday. If nothing else, it's a good way to stay out of trouble when you're bored.
16. There's nothing more enjoyable than your house after a thorough spring cleaning.
17. Good habits are your best friend. Bad habits call for self discipline.
18. Nothing is more shameful than laziness.
19. Nothing is more important than family.
20. Life may send you the unexpected, but you can handle it. You come from tough stock.

Mom, you are my rock and my inspiration and I love you. Most of all, thank you for being here to celebrate with. Happy Mothers Day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

List of Things to Remember on Mondays

1. Turning off the last alarm and saying “I’ll get up in a minute” is no way to start the morning on time.
2. If you decide to make up time by jogging DaBoys instead of walking DaBoys, go to the bathroom first.
3. Monday is not the morning to decide you’re going to quit Dunkin Donuts coffee cold turkey. Rumor has it around the office that without iced coffee, you’re just cranky.
4. If you’re wearing those great pants you just bought on sale at the Limited, remember: button, clasp AND zipper. Better yet, don’t leave the ladies room anymore without checking yourself in the mirror.
5. If you bring Lean Cuisine for lunch, take it into the office. Lean Cuisine + sun + closed car = icky smell. And see Item #3.

If you like great sales, get thee to Scrappy Jo's. They've got a huge 25% off sale going on all month to celebrate their first year anniversary.
And if your scrapping mojo needs a shot in the arm, head over to My Sketch World Lucy's got some great sketches up and her Design Teams are outta this world (she said modestly).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Farewell My Misspent Youth, Part One

JoAnn's had scrapbooking paper on clearance this morning. I wasn't in JoAnn's for scrapbooking paper at all but when I see "CLEARANCE - 25 CENTS" anywhere near the scrapbooking aisles, I stop. That's just responsible consumerism right there. So, I'm scrounging through the cardstock in the shelves near the floor and doing a quite thorough job of it, too, but when I stood up, the unthinkable happened.
I groaned.
I didn't mean to. And it wasn't a big groan. Just kind of a medium groan of the sort that escapes when your hips remind your knees that your 30th birthday (okay. . . and 40th birthday) has long since passed.
I was shocked. I stopped at half-crouch and looked around to see if anyone heard me.
Oh. my. god. What am I - 90 years old??? And if I'm already groaning when I stand up at this age, what's next - a cane? Liver spots?? DEPENDS??!?!!?
I checked out (and I swear the clerk was talking overly loudly, like she thought I had a hearing problem) and had Annie on the phone before I hit the parking lot. Of course, she laughed her head off. But she did reassure me that I probably won't need a hearing aid or walker for a couple more years. Ah, the blissful oblivion of being 24.
I grabbed DaBoys when I got home (who didn't seem to notice that their dog mom is growing frailer by the hour) and went for a loooooong, hilly walk. Part of which we ran, until Sammy spied a bird and almost yanked my arm out of my socket. But I felt great when we got home, having taken such a strenuous walk that I left all notions of advancing senior citizenitis a couple miles behind us. Ha! Take that, old age!
So now I'm sitting here with my JoAnn Etc. bag and just pulled out my bargain cardstock and the two stamps I bought at 50% off. Know what else was in the bag?
A brightly colored flyer for senior citizens discount day.
Are you serious???
That's it. You'll have to excuse me. I'm going to go heft some landscaping rocks around, after which I'll probably change my oil while holding the car up with my other hand.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day, Mary

When I was in grade school, we’d make paper cones in art class, make a loop handle and tuck spring flowers inside to give to someone special on May Day.
My mom always had my sister and I take one next door to give to Mary Distel. Mary had a garden with a white picket fence around it. The garden was chocked full of flowers so beautiful it looked as though a Life magazine photo had come alive. She had tulips in every color imaginable, some that looked like an artist had painted them. Then there was the narcissus in creams, peaches and soft yellows that smelled so sweet. Daffodils, some double and ruffled, marched along the fence like a ring of little suns. There was phlox and ivy edging the path that led to her back door. We’d knock and peer through the door into a little mud room. Three steps up from the mud room was the kitchen, and there was Mary. She’d open the door and we’d yell “Happy May Day!” Inside, she’d ooh and aaaah over our beleaguered tulips and daffodils (a little road worn from the six block walk home from school) as though they were the most precious things in the world.

And that’s pretty much how Mary treated us our whole lives. Mary and her husband, Frank, had a poultry farm where my dad worked when he was in high school. When my mom and dad moved us from Marion to Tiffin, we rented the charcoal grey bungalow on Nelson Street that Mary and Frank owned. If this older childless couple were ever unsettled by the presence of two rambunctious (if adorable) little girls next door, they never let on. Frank was a cabinetmaker by trade. He made us boxes for our crayons and fished toys out of the bathroom drain when we tried to see if they’d float. Mary collected antiques. She taught us songs and tucked us into her windowseat on rainy days, where we’d sit warm and dry between windowpane and velvet drapery, eating homemade oatmeal cookies.

Mary always had a friendly old dog in her back yard. She would purposely pick the ugliest dog at the pound, bring it home and name it after a flower. Her dad, Charlie Berger, lived with her and Frank as did Mary’s mom. Mary’s mom was paralyzed from a stroke and stayed in a bedroom right off the kitchen. Mary would talk to her mom while she ironed or cooked and sometimes we’d go in to say hi, too, but she never moved. The room always smelled like her bedsheets, which Mary’d hung outside to dry. Charlie Berger spent his days whistling through the neighborhood, leaning on his cane. When mom gave us money for ice cream, she’d tell us to see if Charlie wanted some. He never did, but always gave us a nickel to “get a vanilla cone for Mary Ellen.” At election time, he’d sneak over to our house and offer to pay my mom and dad two dollars to vote Republican and not tell Mary.

Most of our childhood days had Mary in them somewhere, even after she and Frank moved. A few years later, Mom and dad built our house out in the country, but we’d still see Mary and Frank even if it wasn’t as often. After awhile, Frank died. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry. Mary eventually moved back in town to a smaller house. When I was in junior high, she gave me a book about Tom Dooley. Few books I've read since have affected so profoundly the way I looked at the world and my role in it.

Mary wasn’t a beautiful woman on the outside, but she was one of the most beautiful women I've ever known. She never had children of her own, but somehow became sort of a second mother to my sister and me. Well into her 70’s. she was still taking “old ladies” out to Ponderosa for lunch on Sundays and to their doctors appointments in Toledo. Sje always had a zest for life and never ever seemed to grow old.

Home from college one weekend, I went to San Mar Pharmacy to pick up a prescription for dad. The side door to the store opened and in came Mary. She saw me and her face lit up. In her excitement, Mary tripped coming down the steps and landed with a loud thud. She got up, dusted herself off and – oblivious to the stares of everyone in the store – laughed and declared loudly “Well! That would jar your mothers’ pickles!” At that moment, I remembered all over again why Mary was always my hero.

At that moment, I was the little girl with frizzy blond hair and scabs on my knees, and Mary was telling me I was beautiful.

When I graduated high school, she painted me a beautiful picture of a lynx on a snowy hilltop. When I went away to college, she gave me her mother’s dowry trunk. When I got married, she brought me a crystal sugar and creamer set. Sadly, I got busy with life after that and didn’t visit Mary as often as I should have. I’d write her a letter every once in awhile and send her a card at Christmas and on her birthday. When she died, I was married with two little kids of my own living on the other side of the state. I’m ashamed to say I missed her funeral.
No one celebrates May Day much anymore, but I will always think of Mary on May Day as long as I live. And I will always regret how little time I made for her in the last years of her life. Knowing her, she’s in heaven and forgiven me, turning her attention instead to telling hilarious stories to the angels.

I love you, Mary – Happy May Day.