Thursday, December 31, 2009

Billy with Catnip Toy

I've never had a cat that was so into catnip! Watch as Billy discovers his new toy! It sure made me smile!


video

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Making Happy with Billy the Cat

Well we've had Billy about 18 hours and so far he is everything we might have hoped for. One of the things we had worried about was having everything clawed and having to deal with that, but I fell in love at the shelter and I frankly didn't care! Imagine my surprise when I got to the vet and this precious kitty turned out to have been declawed by its previous owner! Just another thing I don't have to worry about! I've only had one cat declawed in my whole life, and it is not something I like to have done!

Billy seems to have been trained as a bed cat. In all my days as a cat owner, I've never been able to sleep with a cat except once, when I was at my friend Daria's in Montreal in 1998. One of her cats decided to spend the night sleeping with me, and I loved it. But no other cat managed to be quiet enough to allow me to sleep with them. That is until Billy last night! First, Billy never jumped on my lap during the afternoon yesterday, but as soon as I layed down in bed, he came up, snuggled my hand and flopped down, using my hand as a pillow. During the night, he managed not to wake me, and once when I did wake up he jumped back up onto the bed, almost as if he'd been waiting for my breathing to change. Again he snuggled against me and making sure he was touching my hand went back to sleep. For some reason, I found sleeping next to this cat, very, very relaxing! I'm a very puzzled and happy cat owner this morning, especially since Billy finally did go and get himself scratched by Rick too.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Meet Billy - Our New Kitty

We missed having a kitty so much that we decided to adopt. At first we thought baby or very young, but then today I went to the local shelter. The minute I started petting Billy, I knew I had to take him home and save him. You see Billy is at least 3 years old and he had been in the shelter for more than a month. Not a good position for a cat to be in when the shelter is the county one and not a no kill. So now, after going to get checked out at the vet, Billy has a new forever home. Have a look at the video of Billy at the vets! Basically Billy and I had been aquainted for 30 minutes when I took that!


video

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Are You Ready?

Just a few days left until Christmas. Are you ready? I am almost and yet, I am never quite! I truly agonize over how to find that special gift for those I give gifts to. I always have majestic, magnificent, overwhelming plans, that start fermenting in my mind for the following Christmas even before the current Christmas comes to pass. Yet every year and more so this year, I don't even get 1/99th done. Something always interferes! I have 5 sweaters started that no one will get this year. One is absolutely gorgeous and was started as a gift for Christmas 2008. With the move and the shoulder injury this year, I haven't even been able to put my hands on it to finish it. Maybe next year.

I suppose that if I finished one before starting the other I might achieve more, but there is always a good reason for putting one down and starting the next, honest! Three of the five will have to be remade, bigger or abandonned, or finished and gifted to some deserving family in need. There is one that is done and I think I've bought 4 sets of buttons for it and I always manage to lose them. It's the weirdest thing! I bought new wonderful buttons just this week at JoAnn's, and they seem to have flown away! They were butterflies, you see! If they fly your way, will you catch them and send them back!


So much work and stress for such a very few minutes of gifting. But I just love seeing if I've hit the bulls eye. I'll spend days and weeks on a gift for the few moments of watching someone get it. With luck, their reaction gives me a hint that it is a hit and will be used or looked at and treasured at least for a while!

But, it's time to get off the computer. There is more work to do! So I'll leave you with a Christmas wish. May all your efforts to make Christmas special, be cherished by those around you. And may their efforts to warm your heart, succeed!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting Crafty - Scrapbook Buddies rise again

Many of you reading this are/were part of my Scrapbook Buddies in Florida and some I hope are new members of the group here in the tri-state area (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio). As people say, life goes on and it is time for me to get my life rolling again. I have been scrapbooking over the last few months, but I haven't gotten my Buddies together!

I intend to do just that starting with a meetup at my house on January 6th. I hope that I can get quite a few new friends to come out here and enjoy!
Meanwhile, I did make a couple of LO's about Christmas 2007 and 2008, but I can't show them to you as they are part of my Christmas presents. I must admit that I am a year late giving the 2007 layout, but I'm sure they will be glad to add it to the Christmas albums I gave them a few years back!

As for my heritage book, I unfortunately did not manage to get it completed in time to send to be printed in time for them to get to people for Christmas, so I've given myself a break on that until the new year! I did get more pictures from my other cousin Irene who lives just outside Quebec City, thanks Irene, which will allow me to make sure that both she and her sister, who I grew up with are included. I discovered, as I was putting everything in final form, that I was still missing information without which it made no sense to go to press. For example, the picture above is of my great-grandparents 25th wedding anniversary. I got this picture from my cousin in Belgium, Marie-Jeanne. I've identified just about everyone, my grandmother is the one playing the violin in the middle of the picture, but the two mandolin players on either end of the picture. I know that one is M-J's grandmother Rosalie, but which one (I'm guessing the one in the lighter dress on the right) but who is the other lady? I also seem to be missing the name of one of my grandmother's nine siblings. So is that the mystery lady? I have learned other interesting things woking on this book and even things that were right in front of me for years, but that only clicked after the 20th time looking at them! That is one of the things that makes working on heritage books totally facinating! There are layers and layers of things you get to learn about your family. Suddenly stories that you were told click with something else that you uncover. It is amazing some of the things I've learned about that are different from what I'd always believed! There may even be some discoveries that you wonder if you should share or not!
So if, like me and my blog winner for November, Sharon you are working on a heritage album, be prepared to learn new and wonderful things about your family!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Bye Nuku, I miss you

For those of you who are pet lovers you will understand my grief at having to say goodbye to my cat Nuku yesterday. Nuku was with me for fourteen and a half years. She was born in Ottawa, Canada and along with her companion Radar who we had for 16 years and lost earlier this year, she moved with me to the US in 1998. We took her with us from Houston, where her plane from Canada landed, to Gulfport, MS where my in-laws lived to St Petersburg, FL where Rick got his first teaching job. We then moved her from the an apartment to a home and two years later to what we thought was our forever home in Parrish. Just when she thought she could unpack her kitty bags, we moved her to North Little Rock, AR and two years later to Riverview, FL. Through all those years she put up with her shifty vagabond owners, no doubt wondering when we would finally get a clue and just enjoy life as she did!

She seemed to still be doing OK when we moved her again this past June up here to Kentucky. This time she made the move alone, without her lifelong companion, Radar. But about three months ago, things started going from bad to worse and over the last few weeks she could no longer spend all those great hours cleaning and primping herself. We kept her with us until my son could come for Thanksgiving and say goodbye and yesterday, it was our turn to say a final goodbye and let her go. She is now reunited with Radar and I know it was the right thing to do, for her. But it is weird being without her. The house is missing a heartbeat tonight... I have no pet for the 1st time in more than 30 years!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Wreath

I'm not sure why I decided that making Christmas wreaths was something that I needed to do this year, except that I think my house looks like a wreath kind of house while my former homes didn't quite have that "traditional" look. I haven't really put up other decorations, yet, but i did put up one of the wreaths I made on my front door. This wreath is not electrified while the other 3 have white lights and this one reminds me of years gone by, with its pretty Noel in the center. I thought I would share it with you as I wish you well during the pre-holiday craziness!

Monday, December 07, 2009

God's Icing Sugar

I looked out the window this morning and it really looked like God's pastry chef had sprinkled icing sugar. So pretty! It didn't last long, as I write this there are only a few small patches left. Then again this isn't the Quebec City of my youth where the snow fell and stayed as early as the beginning of October and didn't disappear again until late March if then!


This is what March 29th looked like in Quebec City last year! (Global warming???) Click on the image to see a larger sized picture and more of the same, from my beautiful birth place.

Another snowed house - Une chance que cette maison a 2 etages ;-)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Putting it all Together

I spent about 6 hours working on a project for my MIL over the last couple of days. It involved putting together a picture of her grandkids. In an effort to avoid crying children, dribble spots and all, I ended up using 3 different pictures to get to the final version and then also created a card.

Here are the pictures I used:









I hope my MIL is pleased with the results!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Title, Title

I am running a little late with my projects, especially the heritage album that I just have to get out in multiple copies before the holidays. This is really something special that would not have been possible without the help of two of my cousins, Georgette who lives outside Toronto, Ontario Canada, and Marie-Jeanne who lives in Belgium. You see other than a few pictures that belonged to my maternal grandparents, very few of my pictures managed to survive as I did, 6 floods and one major and one minor fire.


All that said, once my two albums, one for the black and white pictures and one for the color pictures are finished, I intend on sending my siblings and cousins copies. The first album is the black and white one the first page of which is here above. I am hopeful that I can get back to my craftroom early next week, tidy it up, finalize the remaining pages, scan them and then have the pages bound in a photobook.


On the health side, I do feel somewhat better, though not enough to do anything more than sit around, do a little something, sit around, do a little something, well you get the picture. As for saying more than one or two sentences, it still makes me cough and go hoarse! So I'm a pretty quiet chica these days!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taking Stock

I guess Avelox makes a person introspective, or maybe it is the fact that the doctor told me that if it weren't for the pill version of Avelox she would have had to hospitalize me. Avelox is a really scary black box warning antibiotic, with side effects that have even scared Hubby! Whatever is causing my current state of mind, I'm siting here wondering what kind of person I want to be, tomorrow, next year and thirty years from now. That's not such an easy question to answer.

My dad died when he was just a couple of years older than I am now. My son's dad died new year's eve 2007, he was only a couple of months older than I am; and a 26 year old man in my little town here in Kentucky, who apparently had no health issues, died of swine flu last week in a matter of days. We often hear, and I have been know to say "live today as if it were your last". OK that kind of works for me, but then what about the fact that I may have another 30 or more years of living ahead of me? Is the way I lived today something that I can look back on in 30 years and be proud of?

Finally how do you live everyday like it were your last and also live it as if it were the first day of the rest of your life? Are the two even compatible? Am I living my life in a way that both fulfills me and is sustainable day to day? What are the things that fulfill me? I think the one thing that makes me the happiest is when I can engage a person, be they a stranger, friend or family member and make them smile and and let them know that I think that they are special. What is interesting about that is that it doesn't matter what I am doing to put that smile on someone's face, just that they are smilling and for a moment, however fleeting, I've made their life better.

I firmly believe that we are born with one real goal; to leave the world a better place than the one that we were born into. Some people do it in a big way, Edison, Einstein, Bethoven, Mother Teresa, most of us only touch the lives of a few, but that doesn't change our goal or should I say life responsibility. For me, for today, puting a smile on your face, would mean that today I justified my creator's decision to give me life.

What is your life philosophy?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Oven Mitt that became a Star

As I previously mentionned, I recently got to work on the pre-production part of a series of commercials made for the Ohio Lottery Commisssion. Copies of the commercial are now on YouTube and the production company gave me permission to share them on this blog. BTW, if you want to see the commercial and are reading this on Facebook, you'll have to come on over to the blog.

The whole escapade started with my joining the Artisans of Cincinnati Meetup group a few weeks ago. Just days later, as I checked my inbox, I saw an email from that group saying that they had received a request from local production company looking to make a commercial. They needed crafters. There was a number included in the email to call a lady named Claire. If you know a little about my past, you know that my life is filled with things I've gotten to do that were, to say the least, cool, unusual and definitely unexpected. Because I thought this might be one of those weird things that have crossed my path, I decided to pick up the phone and call. Claire was very kind and basically took my information and asked that I send in an email with my info and links to some of my work. I sent her a link to both my blog and my gallery and told her that I was going out of town to St. Louis, but would be back on Sunday. She called me twice while I was out of town and I started on the project of making crafts for the coomercial that following Monday.

As you all know, I mainly do paper crafts, but I also knit, crochet, sew and paint a little. Usually my sewing is reserved for things like making teddy bears. During our first meeting, it turned out that they had only asked one other crafter to join the team, a lovely young lady named Jessica. Jessica is the person that made the wreath in the commercial as well as the pop-up holiday Deer card and the showflake banner that is part of another commercial that I'll post later on. I'm responsible foradding fabric and a matching pocket to a big stocking that is featured briefly in another commercial.

As we were brainstorming that first day, it turned out that they needed a lot of craft items to "dress the set" and I offered them their pick of the items in my craft room. So 99% of the props (shelves, paper, wool, crafts like the decorated tin box, cards strung from the window) you see behind and sometimes on the shelves in front of Maggie's table all came from my craft room. The crafts on the table were made at the Ligt-Borne studios in Cincinnati.

As the only one that sewed, making a gingerbread oven mitt became my main focus. I had to come up with a design, build two prototypes and then create two near identical mitts, one a star and the other an understudy in case there was a mishap or something. I didn't have any patterns or anything, but then making a pattern for an oven mitt isn't particularly difficult. My only direction, "they want an oven mitt that looks like a gingerbread man." I did incorporate Rob's idea of giving Mr Gingerbread mitt a second arm, which on an oven mitt isn't all that easy to do. Frankly, I didn't expect Mr Mitt, to look quite as cute as it does in the actual commercial, and, Mr Mitt even has a speaking role!

The 4 commercials were shot in a private home in Cincinnati. The production company, Light-Borne, took care of packing, transporting and returning everything they borrowed from my craft room to use in the shoot.

Now grab the popcorn, sit back and enjoy Maggie's fun antics! Follow this link to the Ohio Lottery's special pages for the "Fun with Maggie" commercials!



Saturday, November 07, 2009

Life Through my Bedroom Window

Have I mentioned that I love my new house, even though with everything that has gone on, I'm still not quite settled in? This past week it's been the flu and before that it was the whole shoulder saga. What hasn't been on hold is the beautiful world outside my window. I've placed a comfy chair right next to it with a big ottoman and then added a height adjustable table that fits over the ottoman that I can slide in and out. All that so that I can enjoy what I believe is the most beautiful view in the house. Anyhow, I thought I'd share it. So please take a moment and watch the world go by, outside my bedroom window!


Friday, November 06, 2009

Ohio Commercials - Part 1

This is a picture of the TV in my room playing one of thenew commercials for the Ohio Lottery. For those of you who have been to my house either in Kentucky or in Riverview, you might recognize a lot of the items on the set. The shelf units behind "Maggie" are mine as are all the items on the shelves, the various boxes, the white frame on the wall to the left is the layout of the scrapbook buddies that I made. The decorated box in the front is the one we reproduced in a class in Riverview just about a year ago and the cards hanging in the window on the right, are Christmas cards I made that will likely make it into the mailboxes of friends and family! The wool, jars filled with buttons, ribbon and even round stamps came straight out of my craft room! What's even funnier is that it even has the feel of my craft room, probably because after their first attempt at putting the set together, they were told to make it more homey and the lady working it was the one that came to my house and picked what she needed to "dress" the set.

Also featured in the commercials are a gingerbread oven mitt that I designed and sewed (it has a speaking part, LOL) and a Christmas stocking to which I added a fabric top and pocket. I'm still trying to get clean copies of the commercials to share, who knows, maybe next week!

Meanwhile, I am still fighting off this terrible bug, on antibiotics and a cough suppressant and have been staying rather quiet to prevent very nasty bouts of coughing! Hopefully next week will turn me into a much better feeling Chica!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Catching The Blog Up _ Part 1 2009 Thanksgiving Book

There is so much I need to write about and so many pictures to share, its a bit difficult to get it all in, but I'll try, haha! So first, here are the pictures of my mini Thanksgiving book. I made the book for Art Week at the local YMCA and unfortunately, our schools were discimated by the flu that week and I have 6 kits left over. So, I am planning on having one more class, I'm thinking Saturday November 14th, here at my house!The cost:$15.00. The kit alone $10.00. I think it's a cute way to send off pictures taken at Thanksgiving to those loved ones that couldn't attend. It goes together really quickly as everything is already stamped and cut out, all that needs doing is glueing everything together! Heck I had 5 year olds, butting the BOO version of this together! Which I
ll show you all later!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More on Window 7 Upgrade

So far so good! While going from XP to Win7 isn't a piece of cake and the results were a little scary at first, once I let logic kick in it really wasn't bad. My laptop is very old so I was a little weirded out when neither my internal or external wireless devices worked. My sound card didn't work either! However it kept on telling me that I couldn't connect to the internet because I wasn't hard wired to the internet. Fortunately, one of the tings we did in our new house was wire for the internet. So I took the computer over to an access cat 5 cable and went online. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but within minutes, with me not doing anything, my sound was back and my wireless usb device had activated. I'm not too surprised about the internal wireless device as it has worked on and off for the last couple of years.

So now comes re-installing office, photoshop elements, and memory mixer. That done, I'll re-install iTunes and see about moving some of my files back from my outside hard drive to the laptop!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Upgrading to Window7

Well friends, my pc has been a limp along mess for a long time so I'll be taking the plunge and upgrading to Windows7. Unfortunately when you go from XP to Win7 you have to reload all your programs, so I'm sure this will take a little time.

Hope to see all of you tomorrow!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall From my Window!

Lynne is so right about it being beautiful and Summer is right that I did try for a double entente here! I tried to write this post from an app on my Iphone and for some reason, the app would allow me to post the subject, but when I tried to write the message, it would only allow me to type one letter and then sort of jump out of the app. So I decided to leave it as is, until I could take a minute and fix it all on the computer. As you can see the leaves are finally turning and the view from my family room window is quite beautiful.

I still have to catch you up on a number of things and I will, promise!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Busy Bee!

Here

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Hectic Day

It hasn't been easy posting tonight! For some reason I can't seem to upload my pictures, it keeps on giving me an error message. So, I'll just keep this very simple and hopefully get a picture uploaded later. Between having a repairman come in at 8:45am, a lunch meeting with my friend Charlene, a 1:30 appoinment with one of my neighbors Sandy to help her with a memorial project, and a 5-7 class at the Y amongst other things, today has been mighty busy!

Tonight was a bit of a disappointment, though I did still have fun! Of the 20 people expected at the YMCA for my mini book class, only 6 showed up! 3 ladies and 3 children. Fortunately all were very nice people, so it was a fun time nonetheless! One of the ladies was a neighbor Sandra, a sweet lady, not to be confused with the previously mentioned Sandy who is without a doubt also very sweet. The other two ladies were both scrapbook enthusiasts that I hope I'll see again sometime soon! The three children who made books seemed to have a lot of fun, and between this and the card make-n-take on Monday, I rediscovered how much fun it is to make crafts with kids!

Now if I can only find my handy dandy sony camera, I'll be a very happy critter. Both my camera and my headset seem to have decided to go awol (absent without leave/permission), though one could argue that it is my mind that is missing in action!

Given that I'm not sure if you'll hear from me between now and Sunday, I' ve got a lot on my plate between now and then, I'd like to wish my Canadian family members and friends, a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend and to all, have a great weekend!

And please, don't forget to forgive what you can't forget!

(pictures downloaded from photobucket)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Making the Most of the Weekend!

Yesterday, Saturday, I decided to take a drive and visit a little village in Indiana called Metamora. I had asked around about a cute place to shop with a Main street and someone had come up with this town. Delighted that my son is coming to visit for Thanksgiving, I wanted to see if this might be the type of place we might both love.

As I got close to the place the traffic started to crawl. Being that we are speaking of a two lane country road, I felt for the locals and wondered if the area was always this congested. Next parking in fields were announced and I started to realize that something was really up and that fortunately we were not talking accident! After shelling out $6 to park in a field, I walked around on the north side of the road. There were lots of merchant tents and hundreds of people! The actual town though was on the other side of the road and again there were lots of merchant tents and hundreds of people.

Without a doubt this is the largest street vendor fair I have ever seen. It just so happens that it was Canal Days (weekend) in Metamora, a beautiful old village. I wont bore you with the story of the town, you can check out more here. Let me just say that if you come to visit me there is a big chance that we will go and visit this beautiful town which is only an hours drive through beautiful countryside.

Having done so well going north west, today I decided to have another look at the Indiana side of the Ohio. Again we are speaking only 30 to 45 minutes away. This time it being Sunday the stores were closed in these little towns, yet given the beautiful weather, I was happy to walk out and enjoy the view and the perfect weather. I ended up in a town called Rising Son, which has a Casino set in a paddle wheeler.

I didn't go near the casino, but you can see it in the picture. There is a nice walk along the river and this is the most pristine part of the Ohio River I've yet to see. Closer to home the river is rather industrial looking.

Now I've done a considerable amount of crafting this weekend as well, for the YMCA Make-N-Take and Family craft class. I promise, I'll share either later today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, think about the fun we'll have when you come and visit me!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

New Teresa Collins Kit

I just gor 6 of these in stock and they look fabulous! I'm thinking of offering a class with them, but I'm wiling to part with one if that would make our blog winner happy! You can see a video of Teresa Collins playing with the kit here. I'll add the teardrops to make the kit complete!

I went to physio today. I hadn't been in 2 weeks and it was good to see that my at home physio is making a difference! They showed me a new exercise that really made my arm feel better as it helped stretch the bicep muscle which was feeling very tight!

For those who wonder I do manage to relax and take care of the shoulder. For example, I took a 60 minute bath tonight while watching TV! That is one of my indulgences, I have an cable outlet that allows me to watch TV while in the tub. I find it very decadent and therefore very relaxing! So that's it folks! I'll post the winner in a couple of minutes so come and see!!! BTW, the winner needs to email me privately with their address and their list!

Don't forget to forgive what you can't forget!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It Really is Autumn

The last time I really saw and felt Autumn, I lived in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Given that I left there in the spring of 2006, my last real autumn would have been in the fall of 2005. While it was dark and dreary outside in Northern Kentucky this morning, it is also crisp and dry. I think my son would be in 7th heaven if he were here! Just his kind of day!

I must say though that there is little change in the leaves, at least not compared to what I was used to in Ottawa or even Montreal. (See picture of Ottawa in the fall. I worked 5 minutes away from where this picture was taken, at National Defense Headquarters, the Canadian equivalent of the Pentagon). Here in Northern Kentucky, at least where I am, the trees turn a little red and brown, but basically they seem to wither and fall off before they can turn all those magnificent colors that make a person say wow!

I've been doing a lot of stuff recently. I finished my recipe cards for the next round and my Christmas cards for the Hilltop swap. I'm not sure if I should post my card here yet, or wait till everyone gets theirs. They all look the same except that on some I used silver accents and others gold. The recipe is divine, though it calls for a candy thermometer which can be purchased for less than $10 in most places. Hopefully that will not be a turn off for the people that get the recipe. Think of it as an opportunity to go and buy a new gadget! Michaels actually had one here at $14+ but I had a 40% off coupon! The recipe is one that my mother in law makes and believe me it is worth the effort! Of course that doesn't tell you what the recipe is, except that it must be candy, or else why, the candy thermometer. Why indeed?

I have almost finished part of my project for my YMCA classes next week and will post more on that tomorrow. Because a person really should not be idle, I am also working on a couple of sweaters for my nieces, Rachel and Lindsay to give as Christmas gifts. Well that's it from Kentucky for tonight!

Don't forget to forgive what you can't forget!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Whole Album to Share

With the album now safely in Charlotte's parents hands, I can now share the work that went into making it! I hope the colors come out ok on your monitors for some reason on this one they look a little darker. That is always a problem with scanning things. Have fun, enjoy and don't forget to post your comments on the blog and not on Facebook. This coming week is blog candy week!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fun in Hebron, KY

Last Friday I went to a Beauty Control party at one of my neighbors homes. It really was interesting, though I must say that I put more stuff on my face, hands and feet in that 2 hour period than I had in the previous oh, lets say five years. I did buy a couple of things to firm and fill, unfortunately they didn't seem to have anything for major sag, LOL!

Given how we spent part of the evening (see picture) I guess no one should be upset if we don't recognize each other if we cross paths again! Nor can anyone be truly upset that I posted this picture as it would be hard for anyone to be recognized. On the other hand, I can honestly say that the pores on our faces were more open and cleaner at the end of the evening!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Girl Mini Album

I'm not sure I should share this yet, but odds are that my BIL and SIL will not be reading this tonight and that they will still be surprised when they get them. There are three little books, two with ELI and Charlotte on the cover for his parents and one with Amy and Charlotte on the cover for Amy to give her mom, my MIL GG! I hope they like them. They are nothing big, but a fun keepsake and for the record, I did have fun making them.

With any luck they will let me know that the package arrived in Alaska on time and undamaged and I'll be able to share some of the pages from the baby girl scrapbook I made for Charlotte's first year. There are pages with envelopes for her parents to write how they felt when she was born, pages for each month, pages for her Baptism, and a page for her 1st birthday.

Other than that I do need to get going on the last few pages of the "My Family in Black and White" scrapbook so that I can upload it and get a number of bound books made. Those are intended as
Christmas presents for various members of my family. While I've never managed to get a single picture out of my brother or sister, I've been lucky enough to get some from my cousin Georgette in Canada and my cousin MArie-Jeanne in Belgium. I still have my fingers crossed that I will get some contributions from my siblings to fill my second album which will include pictures taken since colored photographs became available. That would sure help, given that I lost most of the pictures I had first in a flood and most of the remainder in a fire. Other than the pictures that Georgette gave me, I have no pictures of myself between the ages of 5 and 23 or so. I guess that is one reason that I was so happy that I was able to reconstruct some of my MILs photos and scrapbook after KAtrina destroyed most of her home in Gulfport, MS.

Monday, September 21, 2009

See I've been Creative!

In case you haven't noticed, I have tried to be creative. I decided to play with brushes in photoshop elements and see what I could come up with! As you might have noticed there is a new image behind my blog title, just a little tryout for the fun of it.

In addition, today if Hubby's b-day. Not the most quiet b-day since he had to go into work way early so he could finish something before his two classes this afternoon. I felt for him so I went and got fixins for a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing and made him cupcakes. It occured to me that he seems to prefer the ease of just grabbing a cupcake rather than having to cut a slice from a cake. I put two side by side and put candles on them and voila, instant welcome home and happy birthday!

Other than that I didn't do much today given that I was woken up by the garage doors at 2:30am. You would think if would be easy to fall asleep again, but given that I am still sleeping sitting up on a bunch of pillows because of my shoulder, sleeping isn't all that easy in the first place. I know, I know, poor me, sniff. NOT the point here! I'm not feeling sorry for myself, just thinking there was a bunch more I should have been doing!

Other than that I still have to figure out what to do for my next recipe swap. Amongst my DMIL's recipes there is one for bourbon pralines that seems like just the thing to share! Just haven't figured out if I want to do that one thins month or not. Hmm... maybe something from Belgium this time. I do have my grandfather's recipe for belgian cookies, made in the waffle iron that people might enjoy!, We'll see!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Recipe Swap Contribution

I recently joined a recipe swap made up of a number of my Florida friends that belong to the Hilltop Memories Group run by a wonderful lady named Linda Jenkins. Linda is one of those super women I was speaking of yesterday. She has a family of her own, runs a daycare, owns a successful scrapbook business, and is present on Facebook, runs a Yahoo group, updates her Hilltopmemories.com shopping website and also keeps 2 blogs up-to-date. I honestly don't know how she does it all and does it all so well!

In the spirit of sharing more of my work, I thought I'd share my recipe, so you can see that I honestly do still scrap!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Catching Up Again!

It seems like I'm always trying to catch up with things. It's not that I don't think about my blog, just that sometimes it's just difficult to take the time to post and get other things done. I'm sure you all know what I mean. You've got to admire those ladies that manage a job, kids, a hobby, Facebook and posting to one or more blogs. Yet those superwomen do exist and I do envy them. Well maybe I was even one of them a long time ago, though Facebook and blogs didn't exist then, you had to take the time to call or write everyone to let them know what was going on. You have to admire just how handy blogs and social networks on keeping people updated.

As for me, life has consisted of physio, doctor appointments, finishing the 1 year baby scrapbook for my new niece Charlotte (isn't she cute!) born on September 2nd, as well as 3 mini-scrapbooks I thought her parents might like to have to send to her grandparents. I finally got all that out in the mail priority post yesterday. combined with a special surprise which I hope will elicit a huge smile from both her parents and a birthday present for her dad, Eli. I just hope that the package makes it to Alaska by Wednesday as promised. I must say that it was nice of the UPS store owner to let me know that priority mail would be about 1/3 the price of UPS which was not cheap at over $90 in shipping charges!

Today I met this nice lady who started a meetup group for Empty Nesters between 50 and 60. We had a great time and found quite a few things in common, some of them, I must say rather bizarre! After some time at the Boone County main library, I ran another couple of errands, mainly I went to Hobby Lobby where they were having a 50% off sale on wall hangings. With all the extra walls in our new house, I did want to grab a couple of things! After spending a little time talking with my neighbor about this and that, I came on home to try and update my blog before going out again, this time to a Relaxation party at one of my new neighbor's home.

I think I am finally coming to grips with the idea that this may be my forever home. I honestly don't think I've felt this way since 1992 or 3 when I lived in a beautiful town in Quebec, south of Montreal called Mont Saint-Hillaire (see picture). BTW my guest room is 90% ready, so people, it's time to invite yourselves up or down here, as the case may be, for a visit!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Surgery Details for Posterity

OK in this blog entry, for those of you who are detailed oriented and have asked questions about what exactly was done to my shoulder, here is what Dr C and his team did:
The procedures that were completed include the following; just click on the link if you really want to see more:


All things considered, the current outcome is pretty good. I'm 5 days post op and off the pain meds during the day. The pain that was present between my elbow and shoulder along my bicep is mostly gone. Sure there is pain where the three arthroscopic ports were placed and a certain tightness in all the muscles, but nothing compared to what I'd been led to expect!

Today was my first physio appointment and they were truly impressed with the progress I've already made. That isn't to say that they didn't find ways to torture me. My first few attempts at pulling my arm all the way up using the pulleys comes to mind far too easily here. However, I do have complete range of motion already, though for now, mostly passive (meaning when the therapist moves my arm for me). My single biggest issue is convincing all the muscles and ligaments that were pushed and pulled apart during the surgery, that they do work and will pull my arm through all its positions the way "I" want them to!

I was reminded by my therapist, Sharon, that they did do extensive work in my shoulder, shaving and cutting bone away and that does mean that it is "supposed" to hurt! OK, I give in, it hurts; you've convinced me, LOL! But not as bad as I'd been told and had read. Nana, nana, na!

I've used my arm as normally as possible today and combined with physio it is rather sore right now. I took one ibuprofen a few minutes ago and that is my first pain pill since my "go to sleep, little girl pill at 11pm last night. As soon as I finish watering the yard, I'll go and install myself in my room and ice everything again!

Well I'm still checking email continuously in the hope of seeing that my niece has finally made an appearance. My thoughts are all about my SIL who, I know, is even more anxious than I am! Love you Amy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Post Op Update

Greetings,

First let me say that I am now typing with my two hands! Who would have thunk it, three days post surgery!

My post op visit went really well. I start physio right away and can start driving as soon as I'm off the pain meds! Unless physio is really bad that should be soon since I did without pain meds most of the day today. I took one pill about an hour before getting into the car with Hubby to go to the appointment. And no it wasn't about Hubby's driving, but about the bumps and holes in the roads between home and the Dr's office.

Hubby will tell you there was one point during the visit when I near turned green. The Doctor moved my arm away from my torso and up, and while I don't usually swear and didn't then, let me say it now, it hurt like hell!!!

So I'm on my way to a full recovery, though I am sure that I'll need to be careful for a while and not lift heavy objects for a considerable amount of time. I know I'll hear more about the do's and dont's when I go in to physio. I thought I'd include a picture of an exercise item, the pulley, which I hear will be used by yours truly quite a lot over the next few days and weeks! I do have a few which are scheduled to come out in another couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I do have to be careful not to snag the little treads on anything. Thankfully I can shower as long as I don't deliberately let the wter flow on the three holes and I just need to pat the area dry once I'm done. No big deal!

Hopefully if I do what I'm told and don't try to do the things I'm told not to, it will be harder for Dr. C to turn me into a leprechaun with a single movement of my arm on my next visit, two weeks from now! And yes, hard as it is to believe, I do plan to do everything they say, even if it means having to be good when I don't want to be. I have read enough about shoulder surgeries over the last six months to last a lifetime. Then again my research has shown that the surgical techniques for repairing shoulders have come a very long way in the last couple of years. If you ever have a shoulder problem, read slaptear.com. It is a forum that allows you to see shoulder surgery and recovery from the perspective of the patient and it helped me a great deal to figure out how to move my arm/shoulder post surgery, given that my post op appointment was scheduled for two days later than the normal next day. Slaptear.com also great ideas on how to prepare for surgery, what to do, bring and prepare, which also helped me a great deal!

Right there at the front of my mind today is my little sister-in-law Amy. Amy, my thoughts are with you! I can't wait for you to be holding your baby in your arms. Hopefully once they induce you tomorrow, everything will go quickly! Meanwhile enjoy your last truly peaceful night on earth! Every mother worthy of that name, will tell you that life is never the same once your 1st child is born.

Now, back to icing my shoulder. My life is so exciting!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shoulder Surgery Tomorrow

So it's finally here, surgery day. Well more specifically it will be here tomorrow at 11:30am. I would have avoided it, especially after my DMIL told me what she did, but the Dr(s) and physio therapists all agreed that my arm would not heal without surgical help. After months of being in pain and getting absolutely nowhere with physio, what is a girl to do!

My first clue that the surgery had finally been approved was an 8:15 call from the surgical equipment guy telling me that we needed to meet so that I could get my sling, pillow, immobilizer do-hickey today, so I did that. I thought I'd share a picture of what the sling with pillow looks like. I could be in this thing for 4 or more weeks, yikes! My doctor, Dr Colosimo, is a good guy! He is funny and very driven. Apparently he is not a talker on surgery day. I am told that he goes from one surgery to the next and doesn't stop to speak with either the patient or their family post-op. Actually that makes sense to me as I can tell you that I have never remembered a thing that a Doctor has told me immediately post op. So unless you have someone in the room with you that can do an excellent job of recounting everything to me word for word, I'd rather wait. The only thing that sucks though is that in this case, since the surgery is on Monday, I won't see Dr C until until very late Monday. That's cause Hubby is teaching Monday until 4:30 so I had to take the last appointment at 5:30. I was assured that Dr C would still be there waiting for us when we got there even if we were a little late, but you know how it is, the Dr is probably running 3 hours late himself by the end of the day! I'll have to make sure that I'm well narcked when I go see him!

So that's it. I'll do my best to come and let you all know that I'm alive both here and on Facebook. Until next time friends when I'll be one hand typing under the influence...

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Glimpse at My Craftroom

With less than one week until my shoulder surgery and all that entails, I have been working rather hard on getting the craft room to a place where I can use it and get creative. I thought I'd share this video with you. The room is not finished, but it is definitely far enough along to share with a few of my closest friends! The video is not great as I took it with my digital camera, but hopefully it will help you imagine what my time will like working in there and also see that there is room for you, yes you to come over and do some fun crafting with me!

I'm not very good at this and so it gets cut off in the middle of a sentence, but please forgive this novice for the poor lighting and narration!

Have a great one, everyone!
video

Friday, August 07, 2009

I Noticed Something Today

I was looking at some of the pictures on my cell phone and came across a picture that I took on or around January 21st. At that time, my odometer read 16,353 or so miles. It just happened that I was in my car, so I looked at my current odometer reading and realized that I was at over 29,783 miles! Would you believe that I've driven all those miles in the last 6 months! Wow is all I've got to say!

As I settle slowly into my beautiful new home, I do realize that I am blessed in so many ways. My son and I are close. My husband loves me and I have the best friends! Sure I miss everyone that isn't here with me; and while that won't change anytime soon, as some have said, it will get better as I get more settled in and make plans to see as many as I can over time! Meanwhile I need to focus on everything that I do have, and the fact that I could have ended up in a place that I didn't like rather than here in northern Kentucky with it's hills, river and charm.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You know you aren't in Tampa when...

You know you are no longer in the Tampa Bay area when you have wild turkeys and deers in your back yard! Yup, that was actually taken from our family room window! There are 4 turkeys. Last time they were out with their poults (baby turkeys) but this time they must have left them in the nest or something! They are getting plumper from week to week. Hubby tells me that is what they are supposed to do during the summer, which makes me want to ask the obvious. What happens to them in err...November? You know, that's turkey time in the USA and well these are turkeys. Well, I'll keep an eye out through the months and report back. By the way, I did think to give them names, but, well I can't seem to tell them apart, so what good would that do?

I put in a new order for those Ranger pens this week, I wanted 6 more for myself. If you placed an order, you should get your pens sometime next week! I ordered extras so email me if you want some, the price is definitely interesting as it is my special of the month! Now back to my craft room... I wants to play!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Too Much Moving Talk Spoils a Blog, LOL

I was playing around with the different widgets and things you can put on a blog and turned on AdSense, just to see. Well one thing became resoundingly clear, I've been speaking about moving way too much and scrapbooking and cardmaking way too little as all the ads were for moving companies! So I thought I'd share other things here for today! No talk of physio, which I went to this afternoon (haha, snuck that in) and no talk of moving, despite the fact that I spent 6 hours today and even more yesterday emptying boxes, putting up blinds and trying to get my lawn properly watered.

So let me tell you that I've made a new friend named Charlene and that we meet at Archivers, about 35 miles from here once a week. That is way fun as it gets me completely away from the house and does allow me to work on the new baby book for Lil'U the little niece expected next month! As soon as I get the whole book done, I'll scan it, send it off to Hubby's sister, and her handsome, sweet and hugable husband and once they have it in hand, I'll upload it to my webshots gallery and let you all know. I will also be sharing the scrapbook I made for the first expected Lil'U which we thought would be a boy! I'm not sure what to do with that one, now that we know it's a girl rather than the shy boy we were expecting at first!

This week I signed up for 2 card making stamping classes at a stamping store in the area. The store is moving to Florence, KY and they will be in the new store when I go for the classes, August 12th. I've also signed up for a 3 part series of classes based on Tim Holtz style of work. I hope that these classes will stimulate me to use all those stamps I've been collecting for the last dozen or so years.

I did put in and received an order for the latest Slice cards, some of which I have to pack up and ship off to my friend Janie in Fl. I also ordered 12 of the Tim Holtz Ranger fillable pens for each of us. I filled and tried one yesterday afternoon, and it is awesome! The only things to remember are that they only need 3-5 drops on each side of the pen and that they must be stored horizontally for them to work well, not uncommon for markers! Here is another video with Tim showing us how to use the pens. The rage right now is for the Copic pens, but I already had the Ranger alcohol inks and after seeing Tim's video I realized that the Ranger fillable pens would be a much more economical option.

In the same vein of using my alcohol inks and also using my perfect pearl/mica powders, I also got some mini-misters. You can see what Tim is doing with his misters here. I got the mini mister holder, which will allow me to have them stored upright and close by. I can't wait to try this as I suspect that it will mimic the Tattered Anger mists at a much lower price since all I needed were the misters and the holder. As soon as I can sit down, I'll share my own projects with you! I can't wait to be all settled into my craft studio! There are so many ideas in my head!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Physio

I thought I would update my blog while sitting here in physio with the big ice pack on my shoulder! Physio is normally a 2 hour appointment 2 times a week. I have seen some progress with the tennis elbow but so far not so much with the rotator cuff. Still hurts like the blazes and makes unpacking and putting curtains up a bear.

Physio is done with me so that's it for now! Mote later!