Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Post-Holiday Post

These are fun! Played around a bit in Paint Shop Pro while transferring pics to my hard drive. This was a really dark and blurry photo improved a bit by turning it into a snow globe. I used the Circle Geometric Effect. They really ought to call it the Snow Globe effect, and put a base on it, if you ask me. Here's another one, made from a less-than-stellar shot of our front yard:
In the original photo, those pink lights are actually bright red and the blue-ish cast is really blackish-dark and drab. I like the pink and blue better, although Hubs would never go for it. Since I didn't participate in the outdoor decorating this year and had no say in how Hubs did it, I can't really complain about how much I dislike his minimalist approach. (minimalist = lazy) We have so many yard scenes in the garage attic, but he bah-humbugged all of them. Since I was in severe pain at the time he put the lights up, however, fighting with him about it wasn't something I was up for. So, I guess I'll have to be happy doing it more my way in pictures, LOL. NEXT YEAR.....

Well, how did everyone's Christmas Day turn out? Ours went well, but we were all worn out by the time we got back from festivities with Hub's family. I promptly fell asleep on the couch, as did Hubs. Missy managed to stay up long enough to go to bed early last night, LOL. I called my folks and then took another nap. Woke up again and worked on my photos, and now I am wanting to get a bit more shut-eye. But I knew I needed to get back on the blogging trail, so I thought I'd pop in and post a few lines first.

I think our weather is to blame for something. In the past 24 hours, it's gone from really cold cold-front dry cold, to stunningly sunny gorgeous and almost spring-like, to London-fog-nasty-chilly. I mean, I hardly ate much of the holiday meal today as we had a Mexican food theme (really odd, if you ask me, but Hub's sisters wanted to try it). So I know for sure that tryptofan (that turkey chemical) is not to blame for my grogginess. I suspect it's a combination of the weather, my health, and holiday stress. I guess I'll just have to sleep it off.

I ended up going to the doctor last Thursday about my ear, and it turned out I have a massive ear infection! No pain, still, so can you believe? I got a shot, and then scripts for an antibiotic and ear drops. The pills are huge and I only got 5 of them because they are Levaquin, really strong stuff. They were $6 a piece! They made me feel horrible, too, so for the first couple of days I was miserable.

Bottom line though is that my ear is still plugged up. Totally, completely. So now I have to make an appointment with an ENT specialist and just hope it's hard wax and not hearing loss and nerve damage causing my problem. Stay tuned...

Hubs and Missy are going to brave the after-sales later on, but I seriously cannot think of another thing I want to buy, and certainly nothing that I need. Santa was that good to me this year, after literally years of crap in that department. I so cannot complain.

Among my many new goodies are a Cricut and 4 cartridges, a Cuttlebug and some new embossing folders, a Bind-It-All, an Epson Picturemate photo printer, some ridiculously expensive Privo fur-lined flip-flops, and a Janome sewing machine. Both my parents and my in-laws conspired together with Hubs and Missy to get me some special scrapbooking and card-making equipment, because they wanted to thank me for the gifts I've made family members over the last few years.

It really made me tear up and was a total surprise, except for the Cricut and Cuttlebug, which I found out about at Thanksgiving. You can imagine, after knowing you are getting both of those, then to get all this other, too. I'm going to be days unboxing and setting up and trying out. And of course I cannot wait!

Frankly, I'm still a bit in shock that I actually got stuff I would love to have but wouldn't necessarily buy for myself. Hubs got money and some big honkin golf clubs (along the Big Bertha line of club, and that's all I know), and Missy got money, her favorite thing in the world to get. So, everyone was probably napping last evening out of sheer pleasure, LOL.

Well, I'm v-e-r-y groggy, so I'll sign off for now. I'm liking the idea of trying to blog a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, so with any luck I'll be back Friday. I have to get 3 gum-line cavities filled Thursday, so please wish me luck (hate those!)...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Really really quik Update

OMGosh, I can't believe I haven't blogged in almost a week! I'm just so short on time right now with Christmas and having Missy and Hubs both home at once this week. I'm sure anyone reading this is in the same boat or worse, so in case there is one person out there who has even missed me, I'm still alive. Just don't have any time to really explain what's been going down with me right now.

Looks like it might be that way until after Christmas, so I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays, and I will make sure I get a good blog entry in sometime next week, after the Big Day on Tuesday. And I will try to remember everything, because there has not been a dull moment, LOL.

Love, Hugs, and Peace!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Weird and the Wacky

...is how my week has been so far. Wish I could add Wonderful to that alliteration, but so far that ain't happenin'. I still hold out hope, though, lol.

Our street's Christmas decorations were put up this past weekend by our usual tiny band of resident volunteers. The drive-thru winter wonderland is slowly taking shape. At least I hope it'll be another lit-up year. The neighbors seem to be a bit slow this year in preparations. Lord knows we've been there ourselves. LOL

The arches are really cool to drive under. Of course, not being able to leave your driveway for all the cars on the street almost every night after the 15th or so is not cool, but there's a price to pay for everything, I suppose. We are one of the top 5 spots in town for looking at lights.

***

You know, I do want to make sure that I thank all of you who have continued to read and post a comment or two during my recuperation from my hand pain problem. I really appreciate all the thoughts and concern.

I know it's the time of the year to be thankful, but even if it wasn't I'd still feel the same way, LOL. I am working on leaving everyone comments on your blogs, although it may take a while longer until I am back to my old speed. (I'm embarrassed to say this one little post has taken the better part of 3 hours on and off. My fingers are really out of shape bigtime, LOL).

I won't stop plucking away at it, though, and I hope to be back the way I was before too long. Just know I do read! With a blog addiction like mine, ya have to. LOL Thank goodness my eyes are still working....

***

Life around Casa Miguel is a bit frantic these days, as I'm sure it is at your house, too. Seems I've been doing nothing but ordering stuff online, creating gifts, sleeping, eating, and showering occasionally. Last Friday night I started feeling lousy and so I quickly beefed up my supplement and home remedy intake, as it felt like I was coming down with a cold or the flu. But by Sunday night, I realized that except for a stopped-up ear (that's still stopped up), I was feeling better.

The ear does not hurt at all, but it's pretty frustrating, especially when talking on the phone. I began using these drops I bought at CVS called Debrox a couple of days ago, and at times it almost clears up, but so far not totally at any time. It always goes back to being stopped up.

I guess I'm old-fashioned about this. Since there is no pain, I just don't believe I have an ear infection, but I know they are not always painful. Sigh. Looks like a trip to the doc may be in my near future, darn it. I'm tired of doctor visits. Stoopid ears!

***

I haven't been doing much accounting lately, but I have been having to go to get some continuing professional education. I went to a course in Houston last week and right now I'm taking an online course. This one is not really accounting, but more marketing and customer relations. It's about internet businesses. I have homework, too! So, I was hoping to get your input on a what-if scenario I have to put together. Ya'll are internet customers, right? I'll post my hypothetical scenario in my next blog entry, once I finish thinking it up, LOL. It's about general business practices that foster loyal customers or create angry customers. You know you want to help me by putting in your two cents, right? I think all of us are experts on that subject and could write entire books about it, LOL. Anyway, look for that next time.

***

How do you like my not-so-new Kandinsky framed prints? The Hubster and I finally got them hung last weekend. It only took about 3 years since I bought the prints and had them framed, LOL.

The first obstacle to my hanging them was the cathedral ceiling. It's way up there where I wanted to hang them and Hubs is too damn cheap to buy a ladder for that height (and I haven't been willing to start WWIII over it - and if it wasn't for telescopic handles on my dusters, there would be a huge dirty mess up there because I have no ladder that goes that high up). I usually get stuck doing these kinds of fix-it things on my stuff, so there I was with no solution. Time went on and I forgot the prints until recently when I was cleaning out a closet for Hubs to store some of his clothes and there they were. I then began bugging Hubs to get them hung.

So, he proceeds in his usual bull-in-china-shop fashion when he's irritated about having to do something he doesn't want to do. And, he broke the hanger on the back of the big print. Then he had to fix it. Then we ran out of picture wire. On and on.

Finally! He finally did it! You'd have run screaming if you had to endure being in the room when I was telling him where to hang them. Let's just say it was the Cuban Missile crisis redux. Almost WWIII, but not quite. This time though I was not backing down.

So now I finally have my prints of my favorite artist to admire. I just love them. When I was studying art years ago, I really connected with Kandinsky, for some reason, probably because he loaded his works with color. He's generally considered to be the first modern abstract painter. The big print in the center is the one he himself called his most intricate work, which is why I chose it. The other two I chose because they complimented the big one the best.

I have several of his prints, bought over the years when I could find them, but they are small, 5x7-inches, and since what I love about him best is his use of color, I wanted a big display of it, LOL. So, now that is finally taken care of. Amazing how a great piece of art can lift your spirits by just glancing at it as you walk by...

Oh, see the hanging beaded thing in the foreground of the photo? That's the ceiling fan pulls I beaded. Yup, no tiny little wimpy fan pulls for us. These are so big you actually pay attention to avoid crashing into them because they can bruise a forehead, LOL.

I have an ongoing feud with the Hubs about height-related things, since I'm barely 5'5"" and he's 6'1", and he of course thinks that everything needs to be at his height. Car seats, lights, fan pulls, ladders (argh). The frustrating and unfair thing is that he can always bend down -- hello! -- but I can only stretch up so far. Ya KNOW????? Ugh, men!

***

Lately, I've been inspired by:
Tim Holtz - awesome 12 days of tag creating with his products; if you like his stuff, this series is a keeper, bookmark it!
Nichole Heady - co-owner of Papertrey Ink and also the McGuyver of paper crafting! This woman can do anything with paper, seriously...
Ellen Hutson - if there's a machine or gadget that scrappers oughta have, Ellen's on the case scoping it out. I have learned so much from her about diecut machines and dies, not to mention about stamping and card-making.
Melissa Phillips - omgosh. just. Heaven. {long sigh}

***

Okay, enough. Off to create! Have a great week, I'll probably be back with a post on Friday....

Friday, December 07, 2007

"Put It On and Stay Strong!"

...Now that I have your attention and you're probably going, what the hey??? LOL

Yeah, totally lovin' that quote so much, I made it my blog entry title today. Said by one Jennifer Love Hewitt to all young women out there struggling with body self-esteem issues (that would be 99.9% of them, plus 98% of the rest of us females). Seems that the media had uploaded some candid beach photos of Hewitt in Hawaii on a vacation with her fiance, ones that {gasp} exposed her luscious curves clad in a spandex bikini. Yeah, we know what happens...ya get a few folds because spandex would squeeze folds out of a pencil, ok? People began posting she looked fat. So Love shot back, saying that a size 2 is not fat and that she loves her body. And to those young girls, she advised them to "put on a bikini, put it on and stay strong."

Now there's a great "So There!" moment. Love, welcome to the Kiss-My-Fat-*ss Club. Tyra Banks is the president, of course. You go, ladies! (Gawd, I'd give up taste buds to be a size 2...geez and double geez. What is wrong with people thinkin that is fat?)

Okay, hello everybody, TGI Friday to ya'll!Finals Care Pkg to MissyCard I made herAre ya gettin' hungy looking at all that candy, LOL? I am. This is what we sent Missy for her Finals Care Pkg., along with an encouragement card I made. I got to use the new KI Memories clear stamp I bought just for Missy's pages. (She loves the fleur de lis shape, in any variety.) Anyway, she called us when she got the pkg and was almost in tears of happiness. She must be getting homesick. Oh, as of yesterday, she is back with Diego now. I called my dad and told him, and he just had the best laugh. Yup, that's about all one can do. Better than getting ticked off like the Hubster, who cannot handle change quickly at all. Oh, to be young again, huh?

I made a decision this week. I am probably not going to show many or any more projects I've made for Christmas, in large part because the people I made stuff for may see and guess it's for them. It's another one of those decisions I don't like, but it's the right and best thing to do. I have been trying to decide this for a while and haven't shown several layouts I've made for presents. So, suffice it to say, there is gonna be a shipload of uploads come the New Year, bebe! LOL

I did want to talk about Christmas Planners, though. Better late than never, right? I always love looking in the galleries for the planners scrappers create, and I am forever flirting with jacking one for my own, but I continue to stick with my plain-jane planner I made back in like 1996 (seriously).

Oh, it's plain, plain, plain-o-rama, people. Here, let me show ya. I snapped photos of the sections (and I use them all every year):
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner
My Trusty ANCIENT Christmas Planner

Yeah, looks pretty old, huh? I think those are Print Shop graphics from back in the day, lol. But one thing new I added to it this year was sets of new pages for my sections, that I downloaded here, at Organized Christmas.

This website is amazing. 100% recommended, as well as it's sister sites for scrapbooking and household planner. In my opinion, every bit as useful as FlyLady. Check it out.

Well, it's busy here in the beehive, so I'm gonna close now. Have a great weekend, and I'll hopefully have another post on Monday. Namaste!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I'm now a Drug Trial Dropout

Yeah, so I'm a date late posting. Uh-gain. I promised to post Monday and now it's Tuesday @ 6:30. I run late in real life too, friends, so at least you know you're gettin the genuine article. lol

Anyone notice some capital letters being typed out? That's cuz my test appointment got moved up to yesterday (Monday). I got a call Saturday morning from the PA asking me if I could move up my appointment. They do that when they get cancellations around the Holidays. I think they're motivated into thinking if they get lucky, they can move up an entire week of appointments and close the office early or something. I'd think that way if that was my job.

But, oops, I digress. Back to yesterday. Yeah, so of course I went. You know how impatient I've been, just trying to make it until they did those tests. They took some blood first thing, then I went to do those cognitive tests, and that took 3 hours. I was a bit disappointed they didn't give me a Rorschach Test, but I think I had every other one I'd ever seen on TV. I had electrodes with cords stuck on me, blocks I had to manipulate while they timed me, memory tests at 2 different computers, and even some tread milling.

I got released for lunch, and Hubs and I went to a little nearby deli in the medical center somewhere. Then at our appt at 2, they gave me the news that I was officially kicked out of the study. LOL Ok, technically eliminated due to something about my blood levels and because of multiple side effects from the meds. I apologize for not paying enough attention to absorb the exact terminology, but frankly, by the time I had recovered from them having the blood test results back so quickly, my doctor had already gone over the specifics of the disqualification. (Here at my local doc, blood test results take at least one to two days, and well, I was really tired by then and my brain couldn't resist fixating on that boring tidbit.)

I have to admit that I was thrilled to get this news, even though I was in the study to improve my brain function. I just couldn't handle the side effects much longer. And I remain hopeful that those test results will show improvement, so that the whole thing was worth it. I'll find out for sure in about a week.

My last dose of trial meds was Sunday night (I was supposed to lay off the meds on testing day), and its effects have already left my system, thank heavens. I can tell ya though, my fingers are really sore from typing so much at once all on my own without Missy's help, even tho I cannot stop, lol, so I'll have to work my finger fitness back up in order to completely enjoy pain-free.

So, I was there all day and was so pooped out when I got home around 4 that I collapsed on the couch and began snoring loudly a few seconds later. No, literally. The Hubster saw it happen and never hesitates to keep me updated on those kinds of things. Thanks, Big Guy.

It must have been divine intervention that I awoke at exactly 10 to 8, with just enough time to go potty and get the channels on all 3 TV's in the family room, kitchen and my office by the time Heroes season finale started. Total immersion and it was thrilling. I must now try to live a Hero-less existence until the next season starts, bummer.

I was hoping that Claire would reconcile with West, and I was bummed-but-understanding about the allegory involved with Nathan getting bumped off (or did he? ie, NOAH; plus we all thought Peter bit the big one last year, remember?)

And I'm relieved that Noah isn't really dead, because I love seeing him give such a wonderful performance. Lord knows, he, Jack Coleman, the actor who plays Noah, deserves a meaty and prominent role. Poor guy, it wasn't helpful in the long run being the token gay Carrington on Dynasty, although he did a great job. I've missed him, so I love the episodes he's on as Noah.

My fave scene last was the "Hello, Claire-Bear" one, that entire scene with his family, and then leaving with Bob -- awesome! My second-favorite one was when Hiro took Adam into time warp with him and Adam lets go of the virus vial, but Peter runs in and grabs it just as it's fixing to break on the floor. Collective ahhhhs all the way around. Oh and just lovelove where Hiro left Adam, hahahahaha.

Hey, if you *heart* Heroes as I do, here's a great link that explains last night's finale step-by-step, almost like you were actually watching it, lol.

Speaking of Bob, the actor who plays him is named Stephen Tobolowsky. He was a boyhood friend of Hubs and my favorite guitarist, the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn, and he was the lead singer in Vaughn's first rock group, as well as the original first choice to play Al on Home Improvement, but turned it down. IMDB is my friend.....

Anyway, then I had to watch October Road and, you know it, I'm hooked on it again. I have this enormous need now to stick with it til she tells him the kid is his....

Let's see, oh what else. Yup, I have nothing ready to show you. I really need to accept that I should quit promising stuff when I know dang well that something's usually gonna mess those plans up for me. I was a total craft slacker all weekend, mainly due to illness and being exhausted, as well as being a total photo upload skank. I do have photos. Good ones, actually. But they will have to wait until next time, okay? I am seriously woozy still. I got halfway sick this weekend with a stopped up right ear and ridiculously pouring sinuses (I'm either in the throws of a weird cold, or reacting to all the weather changes we've had lately. I think.) I already overdid it all last week staying hyper-determined to do my AEDM's and those cards. (With my arthritis, that was over-doing it. Believe it or not.)

Then, Hubs forced me to go out clubbing with him Saturday night (my arm still hurts from being twisted, lol) and meet up with some friends of ours, and that further wiped me out, especially standing for about 3 hours straight. Had a great time, though and totally glad I went. OK, I'll show a couple of photos of us wild n crazy old-farts at this rock n roll club in Houston:

Where we went Sat nite
Our crew
Hubster and his work buds

There are a lot more, but I'll save those for 2008 layouts.

Well, I'm not really in the habit of all this typing with caps, so that's enough for today. I probably should have kept on typing lower case, but oh well. I need to get back into the every day blogging thing again, but it may take me a week to get that frequent. I suspect there will be another post from me by Friday for sure, if not sooner, and this weekend I hope to go visit your blogs and be able to post a comment! Baby steps, but at least I'm able to type again, yay!