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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post-Christmas Update

Well, I'm at the lake, borrowing some wifi from someone... using mom's laptop...

Santa was so good to me! Not only did I get some great gifts, I got to spend Christmas Eve with my sister and her kids, and her boyfriend and his son. Then we went to bed early, got up on Christmas morning, went to Mass and waited for DSD to arrive. We went to my SIL's house, had breakfast, opened gifts then went home.

We opened some more gifts then made dinner. We ate. We talked. We ate some more. M stayed 'til about 7/7:15, which was LOVELY! Then she was off to see her cousin; his b'day is Christmas Day and they usually go out in the evening...

We went shopping for a Christmas Tree on the 26th. We decided it was time to get a real artificial tree, instead of the short, 5' fake tree we have now. We didn't find any within my budget that were nice, but then yesterday, Jack found one at Home Depot. 9' tall, Frasier Fir. Next season I will buy a revolving stand, if we can use it (the tree might be too tall). If it works, I'll return it and buy it 1/2-price after next Christmas. And I know some people who read this blog frown on this practice but I don't have $150 to spend on a tree stand. $75 for a revolving tree stand is a bit more palatable but if I wait to buy it post- holiday, it's non-returnable. This way I'll buy it, see if it works and then return it and buy it for real at 1/2 price.

Guess what I got for my b'day! The 1st season of WKRP in Cincinnati on DVD!! LOVE that show!

All the holiday foodstuffs turned out great; of course, they would since Jack cooked them all! We had cavatelli and broccoli, peppers and onions, tuna, pierogi with onions in butter, pumpkin pie for dessert... I forgot to take the cream puffs out of the freezer so we'll have them when Mom returns.

Her schedule has changed, too - she's now coming home February 3, instead of January 9th or 10th, as originally planned. Her accupuncturist recommended a few more sessions and since they seem to be helping mom's arthritic back, she delayed her return... Amtrak reduced her penalty from $85 to $3.50 if she delayed her return by 3 or 4 weeks...

Well, I've been paged - we're building the built-in bookshelves for the sitting room and I have to go help put the shelves together. Pictures after the New Year, when I have access to the desktop again!

Happy New Year, to come! (In case I'm not blogging before 2009!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve in my house

While I was growing up, we spent each and every Christmas Eve at my grandparents' house. Those memories will always bring me comfort and a sense of love and family. The warmth of their home, the love they felt for all of us, the joy they got from having their family together under one roof to celebrate the holiday - that will always mean Christmas to me.

This year Christmas Eve will be at my house again. I only wish I was as good a cook as my Babci was! I'll cheat a little and buy homemade pierogis at Stephan's in Clifton. We won't have as much food as I remember, and there won't be as many people, but I hope my sister and her children remember these few hours in my house as filled with love and respect and family. I know that as long as I can make a happy, fun, loving evening for them and for me, it'll be a success.

We'll share the oplatek (Communion host), breaking off pieces and sharing with each other. We'll wish each other well, and then we'll eat. And then we'll clean up and we'll wait for Santa to come down the street on the firetruck. And then we'll open our presents. And then everyone will split and go home, and there'll be a hole in my heart and in my home.

I don't ever want them to leave. I love the noise and the people and the wrapping paper and the smells, sounds and sights of family. I like finding pieces of tape stuck to the floor. We have a large home for just 2 people. I'm never happier than when my family is there with me. I wish my home was always topsy-turvy, loud and crazy.

I don't know how often I'll be able to post during the holidays; I'll be at the lake without online access (unless I can hack into my neighbor's wireless with my mom's laptop!) so updates might be few and far between until 2009!

I wish you all HAPPY, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Power Shopping

Okay, I admit it.

I'm not ready for Christmas.

THERE, I said it. And I survived.

I can remember the days I started shopping early, started decorating even earlier than that! I used to have Christmas cards written out and mailed the Friday after Thanksgiving. Then it slipped to Thanksgiving weekend. Then I was glad when I go them done in November....

Now. Not glad about much! Cards aren't done. Shopping's not done. Wrapping's not done. Decorating's as done as it's going to be. Cleaning's not done. (Heck, it's barely started!)

Today we're in the middle of our first bad winter storm. There's about 6 inches of snow outside; there's probably around 8 to 12 at the lake house. Hoboken didn't shut down the schools so Jack couldn't shut down his after school program so he's just leaving NOW for the trip home. The roads are icy, treacherous. I've been watching the news - there are accidents and stuck cars all over.

This morning, when the storm first started, I was out shopping. I took the day off to shop. To be able to buy Jack something other than the paperback version of Marley and Me that he'll probably return 'cause the print is so small... And I power-shopped (hence the title of this post...): $170 in Target in an hour, and another $180 in Costco in another hour. (Although I did forget to pick up my pills at the pharmacy counter in Costco so they'd better be open tomorrow!)

Costco is 1 mile from my house.

It took me an hour to get home.

1/2 an hour to get out of the parking lot, another 1/2 hour to drive the two streets to my house. 1/2 an hour and two accidents, two stuck cars, and innumerable crazy-a-s drivers!!!

But I'm home, safe and sound. Now let's keep our fingers crossed Jack gets here in the same condition!

Once he gets home, we'll heat up leftover pizza (he had 28 pies delivered to school for his after-school party), then he'll shovel us out (at least I put a dent in it earlier today) and then we'll drive over to my mom's house to clean the sidewalks, shovel a path to her side door and feed her cats, and then we'll go over to KD's mom's house to shovel her out. Then we'll come home and collapse into a big, cold, wet, snowy heap! I'll make hot tea, he'll fall asleep without drinking it...

I hope we're home in time for Numbers on TV tonight. He really likes that show, almost as much as I like Criminal Minds... I'd like him to just sit and relax...

And a special thank you to Miss Hope, who posted an absolutely lovely entry on her blog wishing me a happy b'day - thanks for being my friend!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

20 Little Things to Treasure at Christmas

Melissa at The Inspired Room is incredible. She has a wonderful sense of style, and I don't know where she finds the photos of the rooms that she posts, but my-oh-my could I be happy in those homes!!! And when she shows what she's capable of in her own home? I'm just pea green with jealousy!

But today she posted her 20 Little Things to Treasure at Christmas (click on the link above to read her list!) and she inspired me to create my own list. So here goes:

1. My family - I am lucky to be married to the most wonderful guy in the world, stepmom to two great kids (Johnny, I wish you were reading this!), daughter to the best mom on earth, sister to 2 wonderful women who truly don't know how great they are, aunt to a nephew and a niece I would give my world for, and cousin/in-law/aunt/friend to numerous other people who I am blessed to call family or friends.
2. My faith - By definition, faith is belief that is not based on proof; faith is a belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion, a belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit. Faith is a system of religious belief, the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance. I believe. And now, at Christmas-time, when I sit in church and I listen to the music, and I hear the readings, and I think about God and Jesus - well, that's something I treasure.
3. Those of my family who are gone - Daddy, Babci, Dziadzi, Cioci Eliza, Granddaddy and Grandmommy, Mom and Dad, and all the aunts and uncles I've met and loved since Jack and I married. I miss you every day, but never more so than at this time of year when every twinkling light reminds me of you.
4. My home - filled with the smells and lights and colors of Christmas. If it's standing still, it's decorated! No matter how much time it takes, or how tired I feel, I LOVE decorating!
5. The time I spend looking for that perfect gift, and the feeling that comes over me when I see something that I know will be just right for...
6. White Christmas - the song, the movie, the happy ending.
7. The music - Little Drummer Boy (Bing Crosby and David Bowie's rendition is my favorite!), O Holy Night (with the lights out in church except for the star over the manger - I think my heart stops every year!), The First Christmas Morning (Dan Fogelberg's Christmas album), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, We Three Kings, The First Noel... I could name song after song...
8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the original version - no one can beat Bela's voice!
9. Having Maria make time to spend with us on the holiday - it's tough, considering...
10. My Santa pin from Patty and my Christmas tree earrings - I never leave home without them! And now I have my blinking necklace to add to the outfit! (Thanks, C!)
11. Snow. And more snow.
12. Driving around, looking at Christmas lights.
13. Cinnamon spice coffee.
14. Wigilia - our Polish Christmas Eve. Sharing oplatek. Tradition.
15. Santa driving down our street on the firetruck at 6pm-ish on Christmas Eve - AND all my Orthodox neighbor children outside waving and laughing at Santa, too, and laughing at me when they see how excited I get about Santa!
16. Sharing my Christmas and sharing their Hanukkah.
17. Midnight Mass - this sort of fits with the music and my faith, but I think it deserves its own entry - being surrounded by so many people in church for the same reason: to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. I'm filled with love and hope and there's never a Midnight Mass where my eyes don't tear up!
18. Celebrating my birthday on the 18th (Happy Birthday to me!)
19. Presents! No matter how small, I love opening them! (Even when I know what they are!)
and
20. Jack. I know I mentioned him in #1, but he deserves a number all his own, and he's the "best for last." I love him. I am thankful for him and for his love. I treasure him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tag, I'm It!!!

Okay, although I haven't been officially tagged by the Picture Tag Fairy, here's how it works:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same - NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)

Well, it's the room we stayed in at Harrah's/Atlantic City in November 2007. Jack had to attend 2 days of seminars for the Credit Union (he's a director on the Board) and as "spouse," I got to tag along for a mini-vacation!!! I lost $40 at the slot machines, and the two days of meetings he was supposed to attend? Well they were done in about 3 hours!!! That's the ONLY reason I only lost $40!!! If I was on my own, left to amuse myself in a casino for two whole days? Well, suffice it to say that I'd have been a bit poorer on the way home!

I know that gambling is not good. I know that many of you will say that you work too darn hard for your money to throw it away in a slot machine.

Let me briefly say, "You're right!"

BUT, what I do is throw my coins in a coffee cup in my desk and whatever is in there when we go to AC or Las Vegas is what I allow myself to gamble with and since I buy breakfast and lunch several times a week, I have lots'o'cups'o'change during the course of the year that I use for other things... It's just the one that's there when we're going on the trip that I offer up to the gambling gods! The year before? I won $400!!! So if you ammortize that over all the years I've gone to AC and LV? I'm way ahead!!!

And by the way, I'm not tagging anyone with this since I tagged myself! But if you decide to play along, leave me a note so I can go see your 4th picture from the 4th folder...

12 Days of Giveaways

YAY! My pal E pointed me in the direction of this awesome blog - 12 Days of Giveaways!
And not only is it fun, it's done so much of my shopping for me!
It gave me some great ideas!
Now all I have to do is take Friday off and implement them!!!
Okay, I will (take Friday off, that is!), if I must...

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Christmas Journal

A couple weeks ago I mentioned my addiction to online scrapping class.

Well, here's proof positive that I'm addicted.

I've attached some photos of the work in progress: I'm taking a Journal Your Christmas class with Shimelle, and here are a couple of pictures of my pages so far...

There will be tons'o'pages, so I won't post them all - suffice it to say that in an effort to get them done ahead of time, I've over committed myself to a 2-page spread for each day, which if I was able to do as I go, I could relocate the new page on the back of an old page, if necessary, but NOOOOO, not me!

I make things hard for myself all the time...
Here's the front cover, all the pages stacked up. You can see how you see page 3 if it's die cut smaller than the previous page - I like that look...
Here's the first spread - sort of a dedication page, a Christmas manifesto, to use their phraseology!
Here's the spread for the 11th day of Christmas. The intention is to talk about your/my Christmas tree - real or artificial? Colored lights vs. white lights? Big or small? Do you even put up a tree? The importance of the tree to your holiday...
Here's the stack of pages from the side - it doesnt' show as much as I'd hoped of the variety of paper, and page sizes... but you can see how much work I've done! I've included paper, acrylic pages, ribbon, embellishments, stickers, stamped images, etc. Some of the pages will have this year's wrapping paper added to them, I'll include this year's Christmas card(s), etc.
I'm really having fun with this project. If I was retired and could spent more time planning and thinking about my work, it would be up to date and more logically laid out... but I'm still proud of it! One of the things I've always had trouble with is combining patterned papers - this is a way to do it without going too nuts over it. Each spread is coordinated but not necessarily with the pages before or after; since some pages are smaller than others, you get that shabby chic, multi-patterned look...

Friday, December 12, 2008

I've been tagged...

I have to come up with 6 things you don't know about me... I was tagged by Suzanne, my AZ friend over at Let's Talk Organizing... Here goes...

1. I skipped senior year in high school to attend college at the University of Delaware's Freshman Honors Program. (I used to be smart... does that count as 2 things???)
2. I've met psychic John Edward several times, and have even been lucky enough to have a private reading with him. I've also been in the audience on his television show. (Hey is that 4 things???)
3. A few jobs ago, I had the opportunities to meet several famous people: Nancy Reagan, Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York), Ann Margret, Donald Trump, Danielle Steel, Stephen King, Vanna White, Richard Simmons, Jackie Collins and a whole lot of other authors (some famous and some not so).
4. I've had 5 cars: 1977 Buick LeSabre, 1985 Oldsmobile Ciera, 1989 Honda Accord LXi, 2003 Honda Accord DX, and a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe. I've also driven Jack's Dad's Lincoln and his sister's Lincoln. LOVED the Buick and my '89 Honda and Patty's Lincoln, and I do love my current Santa Fe.
5. I've been on 6 cruises, 5 of them to the Caribbean and my honeymoon cruise which, luckily for me, turned out to be the maiden voyage of the Carnival Triumph to Nova Scotia!
6. My mom was born in Poland, spent years in Siberia, Kenya, Uganda (?), and the UK before she moved to NY, then to NJ, met my dad, married him and had me and my 2 sisters. And my dad admitted to some Dutch and Lenni Lenape ancestry but if you asked him, he was American.

I guess that's it - 6 things you might not know about me, but then again, none of them are any big secrets...

And now, let me tag a few of you out there in Internetland: Anyone who wants to share some things with us, feel free. I'm not going to name names or link to blogs... Just know I'm curious and would love to learn more about you...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Our Family Christmas Party

Yesterday was our family Christmas party, on Jack's mom's side.

Where? Fairfield Fire House
When? 12 noon
Who? 85 adults and 30 kids

We had SUCH a wonderful time! One of Jack's cousins just adopted his 2nd daughter from Kyrgyzstan. Her name is Alyia, and she's named after their translator this trip. Apparently they were originally given another baby who unfortunately was seriously ill and they weren't told this ahead of time. Marlene called her pediatrician who advised her to run, don't walk, away from this adoption. The baby was subject to brain damage they wouldn't be able to see until about two years of age. She said this was the hardest thing they've ever done - this little baby had been "their" daughter for months and all of a sudden, they had to decide whether to take her or not...

They stayed another week and they brought Alyia to them. They couldn't name her the same name they'd picked out for the other little girl, so they had to come up with a different name. They understood their translator to say her name meant "to ascend," to "go home." And since they were deciding to take the baby, they thought that might be appropriate and meaningful...

Well, Marlene gave me the baby to hold - That was it for me! I'm a baby person. Even Jack said to the family, "That's it, she's happy now, she has a baby to hold!" And Marlene let me feed her and hold her for about, oh, a good hour-and-a-half!!! I was in heaven!! She's such a beautiful little girl and I got a smile from her later on, when Marlene was walking around with her. They stopped at our table and I said hello to the baby and she smiled at me! Even her mom said she's so different from her older sister, Kitty (Katherine). Kitty is just a little ray of sunshine and smiles at everyone, but Alyia apparently is a bit less happy... She's 8 months old today and has been through so much in her young life... When she got home they found she was iron-deficient so her hair was very coarse and there were other symptoms; they started her on iron supplements and now she's got that beautiful, wispy, soft-as-down baby hair... But she smiled at me!! I guess she recognized my voice when I spoke to her; I'd been holding her and talking with her for so long just a little earlier... I wish I had a picture of me holding her...

Then we stopped at Target and returned a pillow, bought another, picked up a gift card for the Angel Tree at our church (I'll drop that off this Wednesday), went to the mall and got another sweater for Jack to give me for Christmas... I picked up a little stocking stuffer gift for Carrie; just need one more and she'll be done.

Tonight we're going to my niece's apartment, the apartment she'll be living in with her husband when they get married in July. They want us to see the decorations they put up and all the furniture's been delivered and assembled... Kevin is living there now; Toni will move in once they're married.

Anyway, gotta run - it's time to do some work (after I go get breakfast!)...

Friday, December 05, 2008

I feel sorry for a lot of comedians...

According to CNN, the Bureau of something-and-something else announced earlier this week that, TA-DA! We're in a recession and have been since December 2007!

Duh. I'm no economist but I could have told you that!

Last night I was listening to Mark Levin and he said something that set me thinking... I really feel sorry for a lot of comedians. We're in a recession and in a little over a month, they're going to have nothing to do. No job. No income. And BO will be taking whatever money they've accumulated over their careers so he can spread the wealth...

They will not make fun of BO like they made fun of George Bush, or John McCain, or Sarah Palin. They have not made fun of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid like they've made fun of Rumsfeld or Cheney.

Whatever will they do? BO will be taking their hard-earned money and giving it to those who have less 'cause it's only fair that we all have the same thing even though all of us didn't earn it. We're all entitled to have what everyone else has 'cause it's not fair that someone can have something bigger and better than someone else, even though he paid for it with his own money. "I want it, so give it to me and give it to me NOW!" (When I was young, that was called either being selfish or stealing!)

I was taught patience. I was taught to work and do a good job and get a salary and save money and when I had enough, I could spend it any way I saw fit and I could buy whatever I wanted for myself. And if I wanted to buy something and give it to someone who had less, I could do that and it made me a good person. That's called sharing and charity.

But having someone TAKE it from me against my will to give it to someone who has done nothing to earn it? THAT is not sharing. THAT is not charity.

THAT is socialism. And socialism, my friends, does NOT belong in the United States of America.

From Wikipedia:
Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and an egalitarian society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals. Modern socialism originated in the late nineteenth-century working class political movement as well as the intellectual movement that criticized the effects of industrialization on society. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution which represents the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.
Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and creates an unequal society. All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.

We HAVE opportunities here in America. That's what makes this country so wonderful. Opportunities, my friend. NOT a free ride.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Non-Turkey Photos

For those of you who like to see photos, even though they're not very good ones...

Here's Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor, a.ka. Jack, repairing our dock. Or at least, stabilizing it for winter! The Lake Commission drops the water level 5' every 5 years so that property owners can do repairs on their docks. When the lake freezes in the winter, the melting ice actually floats into our dock posts and breaks them, damaging the dock as well. We'll try calling the one dock repair company again but they have so much business they don't even bother to return phone calls! (After 26 years in the business world, I don't personally think that's very good business, but who am I?!?)
Here's another view of that same dock, the longer of our two, sans lawn chairs. In spring, summer, and fall, you can usually find me sitting on the dock with a cup of coffee or an iced tea, reading, listening to the sound of the water, watching Jack work at something 'cause the man just doesn't know how to sit still!
Here's a view of the water line on our bulkhead, or our seawall, as Jack likes to call it. (Never mind that we're not living on the sea...). You can really see where the water usually is, right to the bottom of our dock...

Here's are two shots of our other dock, the smaller shorter one. It gets knocked around a bit, too, but this year it didn't suffer as much damage as the larger one, which got pulled right out of the bulkhead.







Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

In yesterday's post, I attached descriptions of several online scrapping classes I'm taking. There's a real good reason I'm doing this, "this" being overbooking myself during the Christmas holidays with an obligation to record the weeks before and after Christmas.

This is my ALL.TIME.FAVORITE.TIME.OF.YEAR.

Thanksgiving. My birthday. Christmas. New Year's.

It's always been my favorite time of year. So much so that had Jack been willing to add our anniversary to the mix, I'd have gotten married in December, too! (He just didn't want to have to buy me so many presents all at once!!!)

So many things happen around the holidays. And as I get older, there's even more going on and I want to make sure I remember it all. But more importantly, my mom goes away every other winter to spend the holidays with my sister who lives in Arizona. My husband likes to say I'm cranky the whole holiday season 'cause my mom's not around. That's not it. I'm missing her so much, and I miss my sister, too. I want to create a record of this Christmas (without mom here) and I want to do this again next year (with her here in NJ). And I want to see if I really am cranky when she's away - I'll have to journal and record and remember - proof positive, one way or the other, that my Christmas is made better or worse by my missing my mom.

And it's a nice record of the holiday itself: the decorations, the preparations, the people, the presents, the food - all those things I swear each year I will never forget.

Guess what. I can't remember what I gave people as gifts last year. So let me warn you now, folks, if you're on my list, there might be some repeats!!! (But next year??? Uh-uh. 'Cause I'll have a record, you see, of what I did this holiday!!!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Online Classes

I have a new addition.

Online classes.

I'm signed up for four of them right now: Soulology Project, Stories in Hand, Journal Your Christmas, and Get Organized, Be Inspired. One was free and three had fees attached.

Here's a brief description of each:

Soulology Project/Hosted by Erika Martin: "Many times, we find ourselves behind the camera, but hardly in front of it. We create beautiful pages about holidays, milestones, children, family and everyday life, but often times, we’re missing from those pages. Sure, our creativity and journaling went into the pages, and in that sense, we’re present on those pages but our actual presence is often what’s missing. If you think about the pages of the albums that you’ve completed (or are still working on….let’s admit it, our albums are a constant work in progress), really think about them, how often do you find pictures of yourself, along with journaling ABOUT yourself, on those pages? Probably a lot less than you think. That’s what this course is all about. Getting yourself on your pages….not just in your creative presence, but your actual presence in photos and journaling about what makes you who you are. This course is an exercise to get you started on a journey that I hope will far outlast this online course experience. It will be eye-opening, joyful, full of discoveries, sometimes painful, surprising and it will definitely be liberating. It’s time to tell your story. It’s time to leave your legacy. It’s time to dig deep and share your soul."

Stories in Hand/Hosted by Jessica Sprague: "I am so excited to go on this journey with you! I have been thinking a lot in the past few months about stories. As I've looked through my scrapbook albums, I have realized that while I've told many of the stories I've wanted, there are SO MANY MORE stories in my head and my heart that need telling. I decided to create a system for capturing the stories I would like to tell, so that when I sit down to storytell (whether that's scrapbooking, taking photos, blogging, or any other of the various ways I can record the stories of my life), I can have some stories in hand. This class is really not about writing, or about scrapbooking, but about the gathering process. About the remembering process. About collecting the experiences, big and small, that have shaped us and made us who we are. The stories worth telling. I anticipate that this will be a life-changing experience for all of us, and I am so excited that you've made the decision to join me on this journey!... What you have to say matters. The things you think, the experiences you've had, the people and places and things you love, and why, are worth talking about. I believe that. And I believe that each of us has a story to contribute. I'm often reminded as I go throughout my days of experiences I've been through, or little moments I've savored, that I've never written down or told anyone. Stories in Hand is a system I created in late 2008, to help me gather the stories of my life that I wanted to tell. I decided to create a class to share this system with you, to help you tell the stories that matter most to you. Stories in Hand is not a journal, but a companion to your storytelling. It is not a place to write, but a tool to get inspiration, a guide to spark memories you've forgotten, and a system to organize and gather the stories you want to tell. It's designed to sit right alongside whatever method you currently use (or would LIKE to use) to tell your stories."

Journal Your Christmas/Hosted by Shimelle: "The holidays are just around the corner and in my world that means one thing for certain: it’s time to journal even more. It’s something that started small. One year it was just me and my pen and my book, trying to take back Christmas and rediscover my love of the holiday after a few years when Christmas lacked a certain sparkle. The second Christmas, I shared the idea with a small group of crafty friends, just to see if this reclaiming idea was something that made sense outside of my head. It did. And from there, Journal your Christmas became an online class that I shared with the rest of the world. And by ‘rest of the world’, I mean we now have Christmas journallers from more than forty countries. This is the most magical time of the year, so it’s time to make Journal your Christmas just a bit more magical yet. Like every year, Journal your Christmas includes daily prompts from the 1st of December to the 6th of January, the twelfth day of Christmas. The 37 illustrated PDF files are delivered straight to your inbox so you can read them over your first cup of coffee and mull over each topic for a full day. There’s also an archive of the class materials online in case you can’t get to your email or in case something dreadful happens to your computer. And like every year, you can go it alone or be as social as you like, with a private discussion forum where you’ll find other Christmas journallers who will cheer you on and share your excitement, but if you prefer to stick to the prompts only, that’s completely fine too. And like every year, if you’re participated once, you can join us every Christmas for as long as you like at no extra cost. But what’s not like every year? Well, there’s definitely a bit of extra kick this year. A few kicks, perhaps. A kick-start for your writing… Journal your Christmas isn’t just for crafty types. If you love to write or want to improve your writing, you’ll have thirty-seven different topics for daily journal entries, whether you use your favourite pen, a typewriter ribbon or a blog to compile your stories. Each prompt offers a few quick tips for making your story that little bit more memorable. A kick-start for your photography… Rather document Christmas through your viewfinder than by picking up a pen every day? Or just wishing your Christmas photos had a bit more sparkle? This year we’ve got experts on board! Fabulous photographers share their secrets for taking your holiday photos to the next level, from family portraits to Christmas lights to making Christmas morning photos into works of art. A kick-start for your crafting… For the past few years, the daily prompts have featured one or two scrapbook pages per day to provide visual stimulation for you crafty types. This year the visuals get a big kick: you’ll see more than 250 amazing pages over the 37 days, and that doesn’t include the hundreds more you can view in real time as participants share their work online."

Get Organized, Be Inspired/Hosted by Wendy Smedley and Big Picture Scrapbooking: "Do you wish your scrapbooking space were more organized and user friendly? Are you drowning in piles of paper, a slew of supplies, or an explosion of embellishments? Do you want to be organized but don't know where to start? If so, don't despair; help is on the way! In this three-month class, expert Wendy Smedley takes you on a guided journey to understanding your scrapbooking approach and organizational needs. Using her book The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker as a resource, Wendy will help you create a space that is organized to fit your unique approach. In addition, she will help you understand what inspires you, and she will teach you how to organize that inspiration so you can actually use it!... Join us on this organizational journey that will help you scrapbook more efficiently as you work in a space that is based on how you work. During innovative "Super Saturday" events, we'll bring together hundreds of scrapbookers working and organizing LIVE with Wendy. You'll even receive bonus storage and labeling downloads to use in customizing your space, making it all your own and one you love to work in! Wendy's class includes:

  • Weekly reminder e-mails when the classroom is refreshed
  • Weekly audio messages guiding you through each week's assignment, available as streaming audio, downloadable MP3 files and transcripts
  • Colorful, step-by-step instructions for each lesson/project
  • Two live "Super Saturday" events designed to direct you through purging, sorting and storing your supplies
  • Video-enhanced presentations illustrating key topics, plus guided video tours of real scrapbookers' spaces
  • Friendly, step-by-step instructions and bonus downloads for customizing your storage containers
  • Multiple ideas for recognizing and displaying your inspiration
  • Monthly online chats
  • Insight into other BPS experts' and teachers' scrapbooking goals and approaches
  • "Ask Wendy" feature on message board where you can seek organizational and inspirational advice from your instructor
  • Community building private message board to share thoughts with other students
  • Weekly supply lists for each project
  • Private posting gallery for posting your assignments and viewing those of other students."

So that's it - they're all scrapping-oriented. I'm not going to save the world, cure cancer, or convince anyone that global warming is a bunch of whooie. But I will have a chance to expand my creative right brain, learn some techniques, write more, put all that stuff I bought for scrapping to good use, and (bonus!) get that scrap-room-to-be done!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

OMG. Don't watch this video on a weak stomach.

Found this at The Man on the Edge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8

All this does for me (other than give me a stomach ache) is offer more proof that there were too many people voting who had no idea what or who they were voting for. [And I'm not apologizing for ending that sentence with a preposition!] And this is not a slam against Obama (even though we all know I'm going to be riding that "I told you so" train throughout his administration). I'm quite sure there were many McCain/Republican/conservative voters who were equally uninformed. But their candidate is not going to be in charge of this great country. He's not going to be the one who runs it into the ground. And he was not elected because of his skin color. Or because "it was time for a change." [Note to all who used that as a reason to vote for BO: you voted against Bush, rather than for Obama. Anyone who is not Bush would have been a "change" - why vote for someone who's going to hurt this country???]

And admittedly, I am no expert. And there are a lot of people out there who know more than I do about the Republicans, conservatives, McCain, etc. What I know is I voted for the person whose morals, ethics, goals, experience all were most in line with mine. There were plenty of places where I didn't agree with McCain, but there were more where I did.

At least I knew who I was voting for, and who I was voting against.

And for the record, Tina Fey DOES.NOT.EQUAL. Sarah Palin.

My favorite scrapping room

I'm sorry to the lucky owner of this beautiful room - I copied these pictures into my file so I could create a page about my dream scrapping room, and I did. Create the page, that is. But I never took a picture of the page, so instead of pasting a copy of my layout here on my blog, I'm posting the beautiful photos of this lucky lady's room!!! (I promised to post a picture of my layout in my comment on Aby's blog (Creative Organizing) this morning...
I'll take a picture of my page this weekend (if I remember!) and replace these photos at a later date..
While I'm lucky enough to be working on my own scrapping room, it's never going to look like this one...










Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things I've done, and more that I haven't!!!

I saw this over at Deb's Postcards from the Edge.

If it's highlighted in red boldface, I've done it!!!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower - We were outside waiting to see it, but didn't - does that count?
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris - Does the Paris Hotel in Vegas count?!?
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse - On TV - not sure if I've ever seen a total eclipse in person...
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - Again, does the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel in Vegas count?!?!?
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain - and in the shower (thanks for this answer, Deb!)
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - Only by accident.
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - I've been laid off, then hired back
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pick me! Pick me!

Nikki commented on my blog and invited me over to hers to check out her 1st giveaway - so here it is: Project Domestic Bliss.

She's giving away a year's subscription to Woman's Day magazine. I will admit: I'm a magazine junkie! I don't even know how many subscriptions I have but I DO know I don't have one to Woman's Day! I buy one at the cash register probably every other month or so...

I hope I win!!!

We didn't go to the lake today - woke up, it was pouring rain, so we slept in for another hour and then picked up Mom for breakfast.

Spent 3 blissful hours in the hot tub at T's house last night. We had such a great time, just relaxing in the water. He is trying all sorts of new things; last night he tried some foaming agent in the water so we had bubbles to play with, too! The water was 100 degrees - a little too hot for E, she said, but I LOVED IT!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

From www.Shelf-Awareness.com, Thursday, November 13, 2008:

Besides Random House and quite a few bloggers mentioned here yesterday, two other important organizations are promoting books as an excellent holiday gift.

"Holiday IndieBound" is offering a range of materials for booksellers to create posters, bookmarks, ads for websites and newsletters and more that emphasize "the value of the book."

Among the messages:
"A Book. Longer-lasting than a fruitcake, cheaper than a flat screen, more fun than a partridge in a pear tree."
"Shop Indie: nuture your community this season."
"Books: return dividends for life."
"Why a book?: Because a new tie never changed anyone's life."
"Affordable. Portable. Memorable. Books are a gift beyond measure."
"Give love. Give time. Give joy. Give books."
"A Book: The perfect gift for someone who has everything. The perfect gift for someone who has nothing."

(And I've marked my favorites in bold type and red font!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I was reading Elizabeth Dillow's blog and despite all the me vs. you, us vs. them, red vs. blue, I really liked this site she sent me to...

http://www.zefrank.com/from52to48withlove/index.html

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honor. Valor. Bravery.

"Happy" Veterans' Day?

How about "Thank You, Veterans, Day"?

Personally I'm not too happy that we lost millions of brave men and women who put themselves in harms way and who sacrificed, along with their families, so that we didn't have to. (Yea, I know, I shouldn't have ended that sentence with a preposition.)

My father was a veteran. My father-in-law was a veteran. I have two cousins who are veterans.

And I'd like to personally thank them and all the rest of the veterans.

Today the President will be in NYC to officially re-open the Intrepid, which recently returned to her berth at Pier 86. They've refurbished her, added some airplanes and helicopters to her collection, and basically spiffed her up to her former glory.

I watched her come home on October 2; I'd also watched her leave for her overhaul a couple of years ago. It was a stirring sight - I was teary-eyed and proud.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We're in for a BUMPY ride!!!!

For the next four years I will be riding the "I told you so" bus and waving the "Don't cry to me, I voted for McCain" flag.

Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States. And what's the 1st and 2nd scary things I've heard since 11pm last night???

First: And I freely admit I don't know if this is true; I can't find a reference to it. His grandmother died the day before election day and when asked if he would be attending her funeral, BO's supposed response was, "It depends on the outcome of the election." Now I don't know about you, but this is 2008. There are such things as airplanes. There is NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING that could keep me away from my grandmother's funeral. But don't forget, he's already announced that he consciously separated himself from her when he was only 13: "I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."-Truth!This is an accurate quote from the introduction to Dreams from My Father. The book chronicles Obama's experience as the son of an African father and an American mother. (From www.truthorfiction.com)

And second: They're already talking about his potential Cabinet. And the name they're tossing around for Secretary of the Treasury? Jon Corzine. Governor of New Jersey.

WWWWHHHHAAAATTTT????

Proof positive he's nuts. Corzine is one of the most liberal, spending governors - oh, wait, THAT'S why. He needs someone to back his spending. Now I get it.

Listen to me and listen to me good.

Your taxes will go up. Government spending will go up. Gas prices will skyrocket again.

This is the WORST decision American voters have made since they elected Jimmy Carter in 1976.

"All men are created equal." YES. This means that all men, women, blacks, whites, Catholics, Jews, gays, straights - we all have the same opportunities.

The bottom line is WHAT.WE.DO.WITH.THEM.

And as someone who's paid her taxes, worked two jobs, paid for her college education for 10 years, saved for her homes and her cars - I resent the idea that everyone is "entitled" to the same things I have. NO. You are entitled to earn them, the same way I did. I don't believe in a free ride. Do not take what I have worked long and hard for just to give it to someone who doesn't have just 'cause they don't have it. This is what BO wants to do. Take from the rich and give to the poor? No, no, a thousand times no. Everyone has the right and the opportunity to work and accomplish whatever they set their minds to achieve - NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO GET IT FOR NOTHING.

The fact that BO is black is irrelevant to me. I don't care if you're black, white, green, or purple IF YOU ARE QUALIFIED. I have STILL not heard one thing he's done as a community organizer that qualifies him to be President. What did he organize? A parade? Just tell me. And his "present" votes in Congress? Talk about a wasted vote. Does he not have any convictions at all? And how can you vote to allow babies born to term to be left to die?

I am sick. Sick to my stomach. As much as I've never been an "I told you so" kind of gal, go back and read my first paragraph again. And know this: our Founding Fathers created the idea of checks and balances FOR A REASON. I am telling you this now: I will be doing something I swore I would never do. I will be voting party line for the next several local and federal elections until the balance of power shifts and the President is working with a Republican Congress.

Obama, Reid, Pelosi???? Oh, my God, help us.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More about me

Got this from Deb at Postcards from the Edge:

A is for age: 47 almost 48
B is for burger of choice: Red Robing 'Shroom Burger with Pepperjack Cheese
C is for the car I drive: 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe
D is for your dog's name: Belle (but she's been gone for years now)
E is for essential item you use every day: toothbrush
F is for favorite TV show at the moment: Criminal Minds or What Not to Wear (I can't decide!)
G is for favorite game: Apples to Apples
H is for home state: NJ
I is for instruments you play: none although I did learn to play Yesterday by the Beatles with one finger while taking piano lessons for a month
J is for favorite juice: Cranberry
K is for whose bum you'd like to kick: My stepson
L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Macaroni Grill
M is for your favorite Muppet: Cookie Monster
N is for number of piercings: 1 in each ear
O is for overnight hospital stays: appendectomy in January 1968 or 1969 (I was in 3rd grade), and back surgery in July 1991
P is for people you were with today: Jack, and my work mates
Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Read
R is for biggest regret: December 19, 1991 or 1992. That's all I'll say.
S is for status: Married
T is for time you woke up today: 5:45am
U is for what you consider unique about yourself: uhmmm, I don't know
V is for vegetable you love: cooked onions
W is for worst habit: I won't put it into writing!
X is for x-rays you've had: Couldn't even begin to count, but here's locations - teeth, back, knee, shoulder, chest, ankle, elbow, and if you add in CT-cans and Ultrasounds, brain, pelvis, girly parts
Y is for yummy food you ate today: nothing yet, but I'm going for breakfast when I finish this!
Z is for zodiac: Sagittarius

Christmas the way I wish it was...

I read this article today and had to share... http://www.newdream.org/holiday/story.php

A Christmas Story

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it- overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else. Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike.
The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came.
That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition- one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure.
The story doesn't end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us. May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always. God bless---pass this along to your friends and loved ones.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jessica Sprague's Stories in Hand

I used to threaten to write 'em all down, but I was much younger then and foolish enough to think I might actually do it, and self-centered enough to think others might care...

But then I grew up and realized no one cared but me.

And then I discovered scrapbooking and realized I could leave some stories behind. Granted, they'd be stories about everyone else, but still...

And THEN I found Soulology and I'm part of this on-line project that's about me. It's about me and putting me in my scrapping and in my journaling.

And THEN I read Cathy Zielske's blog and saw her link to Jessica Sprague's forthcoming project, Stories in Hand...

And I'm going to write 'em all down!!! All my stories, about childhood and college and married life and all the stuff I've not yet included here on my very boring blog... YAY!!!

Testing, testing...

For however many years I've been doing this blog, I've been annoyed that I had no titles.

Okay, sorry, Blogger, I did. I just didn't have them activated.

I do now.
So, an internet friend'o'mine is dealing with some big issues these days - her son has been diagnosed as having ADHD. I'm just taking a moment here to ask my readers to say a little prayer for her and for her son and their family. They have hit the ground running with doctors' appointments and research and medications, and I just want them to know we're all pulling for you! Our prayers and good thoughts are winging their way to Georgia!!!

Now on to much sillier, less important things...

I've finally started to try to put my scraproom together. DH and I went out and bought two Lowes units 'cause for some unknown reason, he's got it in his head that the one big Ikea unit would not work; it would be too big. Of course, the small units he bought at Lowes are less sturdy and he's already complaining about that, but in a couple years, when these are not holding their own, I'll go get my Ikea unit (or I'll make him build me one like I wanted!). In the meantime, I get to start putting things away so honestly, I'm okay with what we've got... First, a before photo - Nope, no "before" photo - I don't have one handy... So here's the start of my putting all my scrapping stuff away:


I will not be keeping that rolling cart on the left under that window; there is a lot of sun that comes in that window and I don't want it to fade my papers... The wall opposite this unit is the Murphy bed. I have appropriated all the shelving on either side, except for two or three shelves that will have sheets and towels in baskets, once I buy the baskets (we don't have a linen closet on this floor so I'm making do!). Here's a fuzzy picture of that side of the room (clearly not cleaned up, either!):
The left side of the unfinished bed has scrapping albums on the top few shelves and patterned paper beneath that; it's all going to be moved to the opposite set of shelves so the sun doesn't fade them (the same sun I mentioned a paragraph ago!). That empty space above the bed will have extra pillows or blankets; it's so wide without a brace of any kind we're not going to put much weight on that particular shelf... Those 2 computer CPUs will move to the sitting room, on the computer stand I inherited from my former job. It's actually a good place for it since it's out of the way in the corner...
We're not going to the lake this weekend; DSD's tire blew out so DH is going to be spending Saturday repairing it and/or getting a new one. The rim is cracked so she really can't drive on it; she's SOOO annoyed! Anyway, I'll take advantage of a weekend home to get a pedicure, then finish bringing winter clothes down and summer clothes up and packing up my donations for AmVets and I'll take my mom food-shopping... Yea, I know, B-O-R-I-N-G!

Monday, October 20, 2008

From Just a Girl

The "Husband Meme."

1. He's sitting in front of the tv, what is on the screen? History Channel or Speed
2. You're out to eat what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? He doesn't eat salad, unless it's the odd Thursday every 8 months that we go to Pizza Hut, in which case it's oil and vinegar
3. What's one food he doesn't like? Anything green or white (no guacamole, no cottage cheese, etc.) - the only exception is he's force down broccoli 'cause his Mom told him to and he'll eat ricotta if it's already in his tomato sauce, or mayo if it's in his tuna salad
4. You go out to the bar, what does he order? Coke
5. Where did he go to high school? Bloomfield, NJ
6. What size shoe does he wear? 10-1/2
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Tools
8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Italian sub, if he had to choose one
9. What would this person eat every day if he could? Pasta
10. What is his favorite cereal? Malt'O'Meal Golden Puffs
11. What would he never wear? A sweater
12. What is his favorite sports team? He's the only gym teacher/man I know who could care less
13. Who will he vote for? McCain
14. Who is his best friend? Tommy & Lenny
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Keep the house messy
16. How many states has he lived in? One - NJ
17. What is his heritage? Italian + Italian = Italian
18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? Since I'm baking, my favorite: yellow cake with milk chocolate icing; if I'm buying, strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream
19. Did he play sports in high school? Yes, track and field
20. What could he spend hours doing? Working, working, and working - oh, did I mention working?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I act 27 years old - NOT! (But I do think I am still that same age until I look closely in a mirror, in the sunlight, which I did last week and almost fainted!!!)

And here, because I have nothing else to do here at work... Another of those quizzes to occupy your time and share stuff no one is interested in...

I act 27 years old - uh-huh, sure...

[x] You know how to make a pot of coffee (edited to include badly!)
[ ] You keep track of dates using a calendar
[x] You own a credit/debit card
[x] You can handle your own money
[x] You know how to change the oil in a car
[x] You've done your own laundry
[x] You can vote in an election
[x] You can cook for yourself (ditto first comment!)
[x] You think politics are exciting
TOTAL SO FAR: 8
[ ] You show up for school late a lot
[x] You always carry a pen in your bag/purse/pocket
[x] You have never gotten a detention
[ ] You have forgotten your own birthday at least once
[ ] You like to take jogs by yourself
[x] You know what credibility means, without looking it up
[x] You drink caffeine at least once a week
TOTAL SO FAR: 12
[x] You know how to do the dishes
[x] You can count to 10 in another language
[x] When you say you're going to do something you do it
[x] You can mow the lawn
[ ] You study when you HAVE to
[x] you've hand washed a car before
TOTAL SO FAR: 17
[x]You can spell experience, without looking it up
[ ] The people at Gloria Jeans know you by name
[x] Your favorite kind of food is take out
[ ] The first thing you do when you wake up is get caffeine
[x] you can go to the store without getting something you don't need (I "can" but I usually don't!)
[x] You understand political jokes the first time they are said
[x] You can type pretty quick
TOTAL SO FAR: 22
[ ] Your only friends are from your place of employment
[x] You have been to a Tupperware party
[x]You have been to purse/jewelry party's
[x]You have realized that no one will take you seriously unless you are over the age of 25 and have a job
[ ] You have more bills than you can pay
[x] You use the internet every day/ or try to
[x] You make your own bed
TOTAL : 27

NOW REPOST AS: I act __ years old

Sorry that this is not a good picture, but since I took the cocky move of posting that button in the right margin about being inspired and artistic (I'm really not, but trying to convince myself that I am!), here's a layout I created about Jack and me. That really attractive picture of the two of us was taken at midnight, New Year's Eve, 2000, on the cusp of the new millenium. Don't we look so excited?!? (In truth, we'd fallen asleep in front of the TV and woke up at literally 11:59:46!)
We are such old fuddy-duddies!
This layout is hanging in the corner in our dining room at the lake... It probably won't stay there when the room is actually a real dining room, but for now, it's okay...

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Week in the Life of... Me!!!

First of all, they're not in date order, as they will be when I create the mini album. I have a hard time with pictures in this blog - as you'll see when you have to lay your head on the desk to look at the ones that are sideways! (Couldn't figure out how to rotate them once they were here!)

Me at work

Hoboken, en route to the school

J at B&N

The Intrepid, returning to Pier 86/NYC - the view from my office window!

J at our friends' house for cake and coffee

Lake Hopatcong, the view from our deck

Took Mom to the dr's office for a biopsy - all clear!!!

Scrapping at the lake

Our Murphy bed - almost done! Just has to be cleared and the feet/legs have to be installed.

We had a full evacuation drill at work

B&N

the view of the new W hotel in Hoboken, from the pier, during the evacuation

a mid-afternoon snack: a clementine or two

paid some bills...

Me at work

Cruise ships go up and down the Hudson all the time, calling my name...

J's school - we went to the Board Meeting and AGAIN, they didn't approve the teachers' contract!

I found Cherry Coke with ZERO calories! And it tastes okay (not quite as good as with the sugar in it, but okay nonetheless!)

Made some fried eggplant and squash (ate the squash for lunch!)

Some magazines I browsed through at B&N

a typical breakfast for me: wheat wrap with eggs and pepperjack cheese, and some Tabasco sauce to dip (and some hot tea, not pictured!)

Carrie's new kitties: Dolce on the left and Oreo on the right!

My desk, in the middle of a typical day

my view from the office, late afternoon - the light was fantastic that day!

tastes disgusting, but works - thank goodness for codeine! (had a bit of a fight with the pharmacist since the dr gave me a refill in under 24 days - the pharmacist didn't want to fill it. I told her I'd come back when the 24 days were up if she'd just tell me when that was. She got mad - thought I was an addict, I guess! - It obviously wasn't my favorite, Donna!)

There were more pictures, but apparently I can only put so many on the page... Blogger erased them, replaced them, whatever!!!

Boring life, doncha agree?!?!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I'm not a great photographer, but I really like this picture of my mom.
I'm sort of okay with this picture of me.

When I think of Mom, this picture is what I see in my mind's eye, maybe with a different blouse on, but always with that smile!

Beautiful. Smiling. Happy. [Believe you me, there were days when she was not smiling and not happy, but she was always beautiful.]

I really hope that when I get (more) older , I look half as good as my mom does.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's been a couple of days, so I thought a quick post might be in order and this one looks like it could be a quick one...

Was visiting a few blogs that I found on another one, and one of those tag games was posted and I liked this one, and I liked it even more that the author didn't really "tag" her friends; she just suggested anyone who wants to do it can do it... So, "Tag, you're it! If you want to do this, just add it to your blog, or if you don't have a blog, email me!"

8 TV Shows I Like to Watch:
  • Criminal Minds
  • America's Funniest Home Videos
  • What Not to Wear
  • House Hunters
  • Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
  • CSI Miami
  • Numbers
  • Grey's Anatomy

8 Restaurants I Like to Eat At:
  • Olive Garden
  • Red Robin
  • Burger King
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Outback
  • Court Street
  • Bruchetta
  • Tick Tock Diner

8 Things That Happened Today:
  • My ex-brother-in-law emailed his kids to tell them he's engaged to a wealthy woman, who happens to be beautiful with 2 kids and he will speak with my niece and nephew by email only; they shouldn't bother calling him.
  • I had a nice lunch with my girlfriend who works here in my building and we were able to catch up on all that's been going on these past couple of weeks.
  • I work up with scratchy, puffy eyes 'cause I cried them out at the movies last night; we saw Nights at Rodanthe.
  • I got an $18,000 order from one of my customers!
  • We listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the way to work today.
  • We gave a dozen roses to our co-worker for her birthday.
  • I had a liverwurst and cheese sandwich for lunch - the first time I've had liverwurst in years! And it was delicious!!
  • I had a couple of nice conversations with my baby sister today, and she was in a good mood the whole time!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward to:

  • The end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (even though I've read it a couple of times and listened to it a couple of times!)
  • Making some time to go for a pedicure - I really need one!
  • Working on my mini "Right Now" album when I get my prize from Stacy Julian
  • Working on my "Week in the Life of Me" project (see Ali Edwards' site)
  • Working on The Soulology Project with one of my scrapping friends from the Morris County Scrapbooking MeetUp Group
  • Getting my end-of-the-fiscal-year incentive check: it should be somewhere in the several thousands of dollars and is due 10/15!
  • Our November trip to Atlantic City
  • Working on my scrapping room - hopefully we can begin next weekend since we'll be finishing the Murphy Bed this weekend!

8 Things on My Wish List:

  • an Ikea Expedit wall unit
  • a Stamp-a-ma-jig (and P, I'm putting together a scrapping wish list for you!)
  • a repaired setting for my engagement ring: I just noticed it's almost oval it's been worn down so much
  • my 10th wedding anniversary year (07/25/09): we're going on a couple of trips, I hope, to Disney World and on a cruise (maybe we can make that a Disney cruise and combine two into one!) and I'd LOVE to go to Alaska for my 10th!
  • an eternity band
  • a laptop
  • a new digital camera
  • retirement

Friday, October 03, 2008

Those of you who know me know I love pocketbooks. I could buy one every day. Love them!

Guess what! I could win one, for free!

And so could you!

Go here: Handbag Planet is giving away one bag every hour for 24 hours on October 15th, their launch day!

Hurry up! Go! Right now!

Maybe you'll win! (But if you win mine, I'm gonna be annoyed!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I started the Ali Edwards project 09/29, a few days later, so that I'm in sync with the rest of the world... I'll have to download the pictures another time, but here are some wordy updates about the past few days...
Monday, 09/29
- my usual breakfast: egg/pepperjack cheese on a wheat wrap, with Tabasco sauce, and hot tea
- waiting, waiting, waiting for page loads on my work computer
- lunch
- catching up on blogs and email
- met with my reading partner for volunteer work at school
- played Bejeweled 2 on the computer while waiting to go home
- took some photos of great clouds and light on NYC skyline
- to Carrie's for dessert, to meet Oreo and Dolce, her two new kittens
- called the dr. about a chest x-ray and more cough medicine
Tuesday, 09/30
- switched it up for breakfast: multigrain toast with peanut butter and raisins, and hot tea
- Norwegian cruise ship cruised on by the office, calling out my name!
- catching up on blogs and email
- some difficult customers today: discount issues, delivery issues, etc.
- Board of Ed meeting with Jack - he's so happy I went with him - the contract didn't pass
- roast beef sub from Subway for dinner
Wednesday, 10/01
- sick day
- took mom to urologist - 80% sure it's not cancer - I want 100% - 2nd biopsy to make sure
- went to Imaging Center and had chest x-ray taken
- Atlanta Bread Factory for breakfast with mom
- short visit to AC Moore
- fried some eggplant and squash
- spinach ravioli
- B&N with Jack
Thursday, 10/02
- the usual breakfast, and hot tea
- the Intrepid returns to Pier 86 on the West Side
- VP debate: Biden vs. Palin (a bit worried about this!)
- tuna fish sandwich and french fries for lunch

See? Boring! But a few typical days in the life of Krys...

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm going to keep track of a week in my life, along with Ali Edwards. I have the best of intentions, and I've taken 2 pictures so far of today, Friday, September 26. Of course, it's already 3:45pm so you do realize, I hope, that I'll be scrounging around for the next 6 hours or so trying to find something to take a picture of that might illustrate "A Typical Friday in the Life of...Me!"

The first picture I took this morning was of my desk, complete with crap all over it, crap that should have been done earlier this week but was waiting patiently for Friday, after being passed over (and over) since Monday... The second picture was an attempt at (almost) art: my computer screen, set on Ali's page, along with my manila folder labeled "A Week in the Life of Me." How exciting, I know!

Yesterday I went to a meeting at W School, an orientation meeting for the volunteer work I'll be doing again this year, reading to first graders once every two weeks. My new partner showed up, a great start compared to last year's partner who showed up maybe 60% of the year, if I'm lucky (or if the kids were lucky!). I emailed her this morning to set up a meeting to coordinate our calendars, to see who'll start first, who can't read on which Tuesday, etc. I called her at 2:24, per her instructions, to tell her I was heading on down to the Coffee Bar for our meeting. I gave her the required 15 professorial minutes after 2:30 and she never showed.

Now, stuff happens, I know. But she hasn't called yet, or emailed, to say, "OMG! I forgot!" or "OMG! I was stuck in this meeting!" Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not a peep. I take it all back: we're not off to a good start... And it's 3:54pm...

My allergies are morphing into a cold. I'm congested, and everyone sounds like either they're under water, or I am! And I'm still coughing, suffering from a sinus headache brought on by the low barometric pressure, and I'm blowing my nose again, like a fiend! I hope I get better over the weekend, not worse - I really think there's something to that whole kids make you sick thing that teachers complain about... There's only one other explanation: my building is sick.

I started here in August 2004, and that was the first year I had a summer cold, right.when.I.started.this.new.job. And then a winter cold, in January. And one ever summer and winter since. So either it's 'cause I go to the elementary school to meet DH and I'm exposed to all those kiddie germs, or as my cubicle neighbor insists, our building is sick; the windows can't be opened, and "everyone's been sicker since they moved the business here to Ho----n."

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm getting older and my resistance is weaker...

Guess what I get to do this weekend? I get to balance J's checkbook! Go ahead, I hear you laughing! But you have no idea how much I love to do that!!! Watching all those numbers add up right... I should have been an accountant... (NOT! But I DO like balancing my checkbook!)

Okay, it's time to go and pretend to work for the last 1/2 hour, before I sign off and do something productive, like play Bejeweled 2...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some pictures for your viewing pleasure...
A GREAT picture of my beautiful mom!
Two great photos of my beautiful baby neighbor! Do you think Jack would mind too much if I left him for this little guy?!? He just LOVES being outside. When he's crying, all his mom has to do is bring him outside and he stops, just like that! Of course, when she brings him out and he sees his Krys, he gets that big smile on his face, and I just melt and say, "Give me my baby!"
A view from our deck two weeks ago, before they started dropping the lake. It's down quite a bit, and there's more to go. This is the year of the "big drop" when they let 5' of water out of the lake to allow residents to do repairs on their docks. Of course, some residents can't make necessary repairs 'cause the "1-darn-dock-repair-company-who-has-the-monopoly-on-the-lake-simply-doesn't-return-phone-calls-'cause-they've-got-work-lined-up-for-years." (Perhaps I'll try again...)
Believe it or not, on a potato roll or between 2 slices of Wonder Bread - one of my favorite all-time sandwiches, followed by cream-cheese-and-jelly-and-onions. (I know, I know, YUK! But until you taste it, don't knock it! I thought I'd throw up until my dad made me taste it - some sweet with a little bit of a tart crunch! Mmmm!)