Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
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.
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.