Thursday, February 28, 2008

My day & a surprise RAK

Can you believe I've never done a Blog RAK? Wait, I think I did a few times like a year ago. Anyway, it's been too long.

As some of you may know, I turn 13 in Leap Years tomorrow. Since a Leap Year gives a little extra, I thought I'd honor that and do the same through my Leap Year (which technically lasts 4 years). I will definitely do 13 of them, and probably more. I could even do 52 of them in honor of turning 52. I'll get back to ya on that after thinking about it more.

You should know that I do RAKS a bit differently. You know me, the nonconformist. I pick from past comments! So, you never know when you are in the mix to be picked. Or when I'm gonna yell RAK! If someone I choose doesn't reply in a few days, then I choose another. I could bore you with my explanation how I choose the winners: the summary is that I pick a short list of comments I liked best, or needed that day, etc. Then I do the random picker thing on it, to choose.

And, this time it's a little somethin somethin hand-made.

So, without further ado, I have 3 winners today and 3 tomorrow, on my birthday:

1.) Gina (please email your mailing address to (without the _'s)

2.) Lynn (please email your mailing address to (without the _'s)

3.) Heather (I have your info, girl)

A little of my day in photos:

Big Baby Reggie

Our lunch - Grilled shrimp salad:

Something Hubs worked on:

Something I worked on:

About 1/2 way through with this, more later:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Cold Again

37 degrees here this morning, and that's cold for being less than 3 miles from the Galveston Bay shoreline. (I took the photo early this morning with my little Canon Powershot, just as several flocks of sparrows were flying overhead northward.)

At least it is clear and sunny for a couple of days, and we'll get up to the low 60's today. Saw the national weather and some of you are suffering more snow and storms. I'll take what I've got, I guess, LOL.

Heather blogged about her hip hurting from sitting too long, and I can so relate. Hope you feel better, Heather. I've been suffering myself from a bruised hip joint. Sometimes if I sleep wrong, as in ON that hip, it does that. It's in the same area as my degenerated spinal disks (L4 and L5), but the pain radiates through my right hip and down my thigh and makes it really hard to walk on my leg. When I sit at the computer, it makes it flare up worse. So, do I stop sitting here? Heck no. Anyway, I am suffering right now with that and the cold weather is aiding and abetting the pain.

Last time I blogged I had 5 more atc's to do for those swaps. Now I have 2 more to do. I spent a lot of time yesterday reading friend' blogs and if I haven't gotten to yours yet, I will tonight.

Yesterday, Hubs and I volunteered at our local Hillary campaign office. Hubs delivered yard signs to homes, and I did the phone banks. We worked for 4 hours in the middle of the day. I was amazed at the low number of nasty replies I got, seriously. This is Bush Country, after all. Out of about 1,000 phone numbers that I called, about half never answered or their machine did, and of the people who answered, only about 10% were either not interested or negative.

I was lucky about who I got to call, though. They were targeting Dem voters over 50 yesterday, so the audience was probably more positive and less combative. At any rate, if I knew I'd be getting the same type of calls, I'd go back, because we were asked to come back. But Hubs says we both have too much to do. We enjoyed volunteering though. Neither one of us had ever volunteered on a campaign before, which once we stopped to think about it seemed a bit odd. Depending on how things go here in the next week, I may think about doing it one more day next week. We'll see.

On Hub's list of chores (this one is something that HE added) is to plant these in the back yard somewhere. They are plants his mom gave him from the funeral. He has a weakness for tropicals. I do not know why. He's got it in his head he can transplant these to the outside, but the only place that they will be protected is in the bed on the back of the house.

Now, I do not have an exact "before" photo, darnit, but the two photos above give you some idea of the overgrowth against the house. See the philodendrums on the right side? See how tall they are, up to the roof overhang? Well, I have been after him to clear those out for almost a year. In 2001, they were only as high as the window and still in their planters. Seven years later, the roots had totally busted the planters and have become monsters.

So, now that Hubs had his own reason for clearing it all out, he got to doing it this past weekend. I'd asked him to transplant them beside the pool, but he decided to chop all the green off and then work at killing and clearing the roots. This is what he's gotten done so far: He also wants to chop down and destroy those japanese yews and I can't wait. He needs to do it soon, too, because a bluejay family always makes a nest in there every spring...a very mean and loud one.

Last night we had fajita burritos and guacamole for dinner, done simply, similar to how real Mexicans make it. Hubs hit the most Mexican tacqueria in town on our way home from volunteering for the meat, the freshly-made tortillas and the avocados. It was absolutely delish. I could probably eat Mexican several times a week. Not Tex-Mex, but Mexican (which is really just home cooking using their traditional food items). I suspect Hubs will be frequenting that tacqueria more and more in the near future.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"B$tch is the New Black"

(***Warning: This contains the B-word, so take whatever precautions you need to before viewing the video):

That was my favorite one. I did have my other favorite embedded here, but NBC pulled it off of You Tube. It was a parody of the Dem debates, and spoofed the media's thirst for Obama Koolaid, spoofed it beatifully, I might add. If I can find it elsewhere, I will try to embed it again...

Instead, here is my third favorite one, of Mike Huckabee on Saturday night's show. Dang, never mind, they pulled that one too.

Poppin' in to update

Feels like I been away from here for a week or so, but I think I posted Friday. Aren't these pretty roses? Hubs bought them for me as a birthday week pretty to enjoy. I thought that was very sweet, but it could also be a pre-emptive olive branch since he is off work all week and that means home all the time. :-(

And here is Missy's newest tattoo. Hubs did not even bat an eyelash on this one. I never thought that would happen:

We are fine. The vigil/rosary Friday night and the Saturday morning funeral went well, but it was more emotionally exhausting than I aniticipated. I practically bolted for home the first chance I got. (We took separate vehicles at my suggestion.) It felt so good to just put jammies on and crash, in the middle of a sunny afternoon.

And I am still not over it. The only thing I remember about Saturday night was enjoying SNL more than a human should. I've been waiting for months for them to put the political parodies on the other foot, and I finally got my wish. The skit about the Dems' debate was just hilarious. They totally nailed the media's Obama hard-on, IMO. And Tina Fey's News Update commentary was perfect. Perfect! I did sleep well.

Sunday went by in a quick blur, although I made sure I did my annual viewing of the Oscars. I stayed engaged for the first hour or so, then went back to concentrating on my tiny little collages.

I wish I had some wonderfully cheerful humor to sprinkle, but I can only think about taking some non-existent vacation somewhere away from here, so I make do with escaping into my art (which is what I've been doing). The feeling of a bleak future is back haunting the rear of my head, but I'll deal. Always have. My blog, though, right? So I'm sharing the bad with the good.

I used to believe in presenting only love,love,love on my blog. Do you read any blogs where the blogger never has a bad day or an impure thought? Everything all the time is cheerful and perky? My goodness, that is so fake to me. Nobody has a life like that. If I am going to invest time and effort in reading a blog, I want the blogger to keep it real. I don't want to drown in gossipy minutia, but I don't mind at all floating on it, LOL.

Anyway, this week is going to be unexpected, as far as being planned out. Hubs is off work until Sunday, and I don't really know what if anything to expect in the way of helping out his mom. I have two atc swaps I need to mail off, and I am only halfway through with them. I need to make 10: 4 for one swap where we have to use a charm from the store that owns the yahoo group the swap is at, and 6 in a swap on my other yahoo group where the theme is St/ Pattys/Easter. Here is a favorite of the ones that I've made so far. It's for the latter group:

These are literally taking me forever! Gosh! That is probably causing me my frustration with Life in general. Hate it like a cat hates a mouse when my art doesn't flow. I'm having trouble coming up with different ideas, since I like to make each one different. No wonder some people make entire batches of identical atc's. At least they don't have to think much after getting them going.

I will say this, though. I am very proud of myself for sticking to my original goals here: using my stash up and doing the holiday swaps to collect cards for my tree. This often means my cards are not the hippest or most intricately beautiful, and whenever I get into doing these, that's a frustration. It's tough using stash up and manage to get a fresh, meaningful card made.

Well, off to lay down a bit. I'm feeling really bad gastrically. All of that funeral food from well-wishers doesn't sit right with my innerds. And let's not even bring up how risky it is to eat pot luck.

My Gosh, just heard Ralph Nader say on CNN that we might need a Jeffersonian revolution. That man won't be happy until we have one, I suppose. I still cannot believe he has decided to run again. And I'll just leave that there, cuz I'm really getting drowsy (medication for the gastritis).
Until tomorrow, I'll answer the question I've gotten about where did I buy my sandals from the other day?
Shoe Mall. Look up the shoes by their names (Adidas and Privos). Hope that helps!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A little art therapy...

Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and condolences. We're a little subdued here at Casa Miquel, but I'm just letting Hubs space out and chill. He says it's only bad when someone calls him and he has to think about it. Tonite's the vigil and rosary, so I imagine today is going to be more anxious for him.

I've been doing fine, but I'll probably be nervous today and tomorrow, too. I never know how a funeral is going to cause me to react, and .

I made one of those mosaics of my twisted valentine atc's, but I can't figure out where to get the code to show it here, I can only see the code to link to it there, here it is:

View slideshow

I'm sure I overlooked it. My mind has not been at its sharpest or most inquisitive this week. Oh well. I saw a psa on tv last night advocating pausing, taking longer to think. "If you give yourself a minute to think, you'll make a better decision...". Whoa. I must not be the only one struggling to keep up the pace...

I didn't feel like blogging yesterday, but I confess I only felt a wee bit guilty about it. I've been making a few things that were on my deadline list. This is an atc I made for a 1-on-1 trade with a little old lady in one of my yahoo swap groups. She had the neatest birthday party recently and everyone there had to make her an atc or piece of art. This wasn't just a ladies group. It was couples, men and women...children, too. She said she got the most fabulous art and it was better than diamonds. Anyway, she also made up some atc's that honor her birthday (I'm not allowed to divulge her exact age, but it was a milestone) and asked me to trade with her.

So I needed to make an atc that honored my birthday. I had the (SPL)urge to use my new Sizzix chandelier die, so I put that on there. She specified anything but vintage, so I figured bright and modern would be good. And the chandelier is on there to signify taking a splurge, an extravagance this year. I don't know why, but it really tickles me I'm turning 13. Won't be long now.... I've also been workin' with a bit o' the blarney, too. Since I'm a Pisces, I love blues, greens and purples. So, right now I'm digging that green. Haven't finished anything yet, but it definitely includes stamps and ink. I think I spent too much time lurking at the Splitcoast Stamper forum.

Went cyber-shopping too. Here are my new shoes, Adidas:
and, Privos:
. The fur feels awesome!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Marilyn and sad news...

I made this card for my bank president b-i-l's 50th coming up. He's the one currently fighting the relapse of melanoma, and also my favorite in-law. So, I wanted to make him a memorable card.

The inside sentiment: "We figured that if Obama can be the next JFK, so can you, Dude, so can you. Plus, you're already a President!"

I have had this image of Marilyn for a while and printed her on smooth tagboard cardstock, on my laser printer because I'm just lazy that way. But I love how she came out.

If he's in a good mood when he gets it, he'll laugh his ass off.

That might not be the case though. Today, my father-in-law, Hub's Dad, passed away. It was the strangest day all around. I woke up to the chaos of the phone ringing and waking up Hubs since he had worked a graveyard the night before and was scheduled to work an overtime one tonight, trying to tell him the news and getting him to understand this really was reality.

He rushed off to his Mom's, and as I had a ton of stuff to prepare for mailings that I had commited to, stayed behind to join them... at some later time. So, I didn't finish up until 4:30. Drove to the P.O. and then decided on the spur of the moment to meet up with Hubs. I'd missed my shower the night before and was in raggedy clothes and less than stellar hair, but I refused to let that stop me.

Anyway, I am really glad I went right then as opposed to later that evening. Hubs was missing me, and his mom just clung to me for the longest. Hub's youngest sis is the one married to the bank pres, and he had just been released from the hospital for a few days before beginning his next round of treatments, so she wasn't able to come. The teacher sister was able to leave work to come over, so there was enough family around, and she stayed there overnight just in case Hub's mom needed someone.

Tomorrow, teacher sis, Hubs and their mom go to the funeral home with clothes and whatever else was on the list. I feel kind of bad for Hub's brother that irritates me, though. Yesterday was his birthday, so he's like got this memory scarring it from now on. I'm not upset with him so much anymore.

It's very strange when a loved one passes on that you know is going to, you just don't know when. He'd just finished his radiation treatments, and his heart just decided to quit. He was taking a nap in his recliner when he went. My dad would say, you can't get much luckier than that. Plus, my comfort is that he avoided all that long-drawn-out disease suffering from his Parkinsons and the cancer.

So, we await in limbo while the day for his funeral is decided and family arrives from other states. Missy has a wedding she is a brides maid in this weekend and may have to juggle things around if the funeral's Saturday. But we'll get things worked out.

Oh, and Lynn, too funny, I cannot believe I forgot to answer the bad habits on that tag quiz, but I had left that for last and then forgot. Still not into figuring out 3 of them since I have so many. LOLOL Sitting here now, all I can think of is how this year, 2008, may end up being a hard year for me, full of challenges and life changes. I've had to deal with a lot already, plus my chronic illness and being separated from Missy. I try to plug away though and keep on truckin'. My sense of humor not only comforts me, but it also helps me comfort others, as I did today. Not perfect, far from it. But, real.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rubbed the right way, maybe...

This weekend, I ended up playing a bunch with different ways I could use those rub-ons that have appeared to have "gone bad". On this atc above, I had some success rubbing them onto acetate. I had some acetate sheets (transparency sheets) from back when I first got into rubber stamping, so I pulled some out and cut out some atc-sized rectangles.

This atc, "Lovey Dovey Danger", has an entire sheet of acetate on top of the atc. (you can see the glue dots at the corners if you look real close.) Onto the print-wrapped base, I rubbed on the 'Lovey Dovey' text, as well as the 'guaranteed' oval at the bottom. Then, onto the acetate, I rubbed the boy skeleton, the 'danger' text and the skull hand bones.

I could see right off that a nonporous and slightly sticky-feeling surface is one that rub-ons like best. Porous paper and vellum, not the best for a dying rub-on. So, that was good to know. Then, I played even more by brushing Diamond Glaze onto the back of the rub-on sheet itself, letting it dry, then cutting out a shape. Here's an atc I made using that trick: What I discovered when I did that, was that if I cut the shape out leaving an thin outline around it, the top layer of the rub-on sheet came off and I was left with a very thin but sturdy rub-on that I could peel away from its sheet and apply to my project.

So, I'd say that is the secret to salvaging "bad" rub-ons, if one wanted to. Brush a layer of Diamond Glaze onto the back of the rub-on sheet, let dry, then cut around the rub-on shape you want to use, and then let the top separate off to get a very thin sticker of your rub-on. You'll still need to brush on a top layer of Diamond Glaze once you have applied the rub-on, but this worked great. No breaks in the rub-on this way.

Well, now that I've solved this, what's next, world peace? LOL

Linda tagged me the other day and I need to do that tag quiz. So, here it is:

A: The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B: Each player answers the questions about themselves.
C: At the end of the post, the player then tag 3 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

10 years ago: I was 11 years married, Missy was 10, I was treasurer of the PTO at Missy's elementary school and a board member of her softball league, I had a bustling and growing tax and accounting biz, and we would be moving into a new home later in the summer while fixing up the old one..

Things on my to-do list today: I only keep 3 things on that list (and a long "When I Get to it" list on the side). Today's 3 things are: 1.shower office deposit

What I would do if I were suddenly made a billionaire: provide Missy her dream college career, let Hubs retire immediately & travel to determine where we want to relocate to (based on our conversation yesterday, it may not be America).

3 of my bad habits:

3 places I have lived: Arkansas, Texas, Texas

5 jobs that I have had: library aide, accountant, teacher

5 Things people don't know about me: geez, I don't know that there are 5 things left LOL... 1. I almost drowned in a church camp swimming pool when I was 3; 2. My throat closes up when I eat shrimp, but I still eat it; 3. I like brussel sprouts; 4. I don't like corned beef; 5. I prefer the taste of diet coke to coke now.

I'm going to tag: Lida, Kim L, and KimKT.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Revenge is Relative

This is the card I'm mailing a relative for his birthday. Not that I really want to, but I decided to go ahead, but to send him a card that is really nothing special.

Okay, I'll explain. Especially since my version of 'really nothing special' ends up being a perfectly good card. {Eye rolling myself...}

I know I wrote about this somewhere once before, but I'm not sure if it was here on my blog, so if this is old info, my apologies.

Hubs' relative is my age and 4 years younger than Hubs. He's irritatingly material and status-conscious. He has owned his own company but had to work twice as hard to get back to a secure income when it went bust, so this has made him even more defensive and sensitive. I do love him, but he makes it really hard sometimes.

Over the years he has let his cruel and callous side slip out despite himself on more than one occasion, usually because he gets carried away with himself trying to one-up people with his opinions, remarks, possessions, etc. I seriously wish I was exagerating, but I'm not.

Anyway, last Thanksgiving, I was minding my beeswax at the kitchen sink, helping to clean up after dinner, when one of (we'll call him) Bill's "my whatever's bigger than your whatever" competitions began. This time it was over the price of margaritas at Happy Hour, and every one sided against him. His opinion was that margaritas should not be discounted at Happy Hour because a really good margarita cannot be made that cheaply.

Yup, he is looking at it through his tunnel-vision as a numbers cruncher and a drink conneusseur, when the rest of the world was concerned with their wallets and good times. This of course made him a loser in this argument, so he began to get nasty in his competitive drive to find some point to win. I was watching this unfold from afar, enjoying watching his daughters enjoy getting their dad's goat (they know him well).

Well, before anyone could blink, he'd decided he was ticked off at his oldest daughter and attacked her habit of buying expensive greeting cards and charging them to his credit card. His daughter then counter-attacked by arguing that most of the cards she bought were $3.99 and not high at all. So, the topic of debate became, would you pay $3.99 for a greeting card?

He proceeded to question each person in the room. Taking a poll, I guess. Now mind you, I was not in this, I was in the next room and even had my back turned and was facing the sink. I was listening but pretending not to. Hub's youngest sister was standing next to me, drying the dishes I was washing.

Hub's is his usual unwitting first sparring partner, but at the time Hubs was walking his Dad around the block outside. So, Bil was unfettered. The other men were both gone and there was no one left he feared to tell him to knock it off. Suddenly, he swooped down on me and asked me in a condescending bellow (like, ready to scoff at me if I said yes), "What about you, would you pay $3.99 for a frickin birthday card?"

I did not want to get into this, so I faked ignorance, like I had no idea what was going on. But after he walked on to the next victim, I muttered under my breath, my voice dripping with sarcasm, "I make my cards, so I don't spend anything."

Hub's sister heard me and let out a tattle-tail "ummmmm", and told Bil that he'd gone and done it now, because I make everyone cards for birthdays and anniversaries, etc. And Bil's reaction was, "Oh, I didn't mean your cards."

Right. Like hell.

Well, I laughed it off and continued my dishwashing, but I made a mental note right then and there to never make him another card again as long as I lived. Which of course was not going to happen, but it made me feel better. Plus, when everyone was avoiding helping Hub's parents out a while back, Bill made a snarky remark to Hubs about why didn't I just pick up everyone's slack instead of taking time to make cards.

Grrrrrrrrr. Think card-making instead of bon-bons here, and you see why it's just not right to let this pass.

So, anyway, this card I made him is a small A2 sized one (I've said before that family gets the half sheet sized cards), and the inside sentiment says, "The cakes are paper, That much is true, But just think how healthy They are for you: Zero Calories and High in Fiber! Happy Birthday". I used my flimsy white cardstock for the base and really wished I had one of those stamps for the back of the card that has a barcode and underneath it "priceless". Remind me to order one of those... I chose my stamp of a frog that says "Toadily Handmade" because I was hoping that he'd croak. (hehe - just kidding)

And then this weekend I decided to drag my feet and wait until the day before his birthday (which is tomorrow) to mail the card. Which means I planned to mail it today. That way, it may or may not get there on his big day. When I woke up this morning and realized that today is a postal holiday, I swear I giggled a little. Oh well...

Oops, my bad. But really, if my card is worthless, then he won't mind not getting it in time, right? I won't mind, either.

I guess that Hell Hath No Fury Like a Card-Maker Scorned, and the next card he gets is going to have a margarita on it...a $1.00 margarita! LOLOL

Saturday, February 16, 2008

That's a Wrap...

Well, I am right this minute under a tornado watch, warning, whatever...danger danger will robinson!

A big storm is heading this that's basically Cold-Front, meet Gulf-Rainstorm...the cold front is moving across Texas from west to east; the rain storm is moving north/northwest on shore from the Gulf...the cold front is like 20-30 degrees cooler than the rain storm...mix em together, you get volatile fire and brimstorm.

And tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 72 degrees....

Man, well, not even a cool-off for us! Geebers. So, I'm greeting this approaching storm with a big ole YAWN. When ya live in Texas, Life is supposed to be tough, Texas Tough. {Eyeroll} But seriously, folks....

Anyway, I might lose electricity, so I thought I'd go ahead and post something now. This will be a sundry-type post, cuz I gotta lotta to talk about.

1. Roger Clemens, did he or didn't he? Yup, he did IMO. This one is close to home for me, cuz us folks in and around Houston have been hearing the local buzz and reporting for while now, and we can probably gauge this a bit better. Roger WAS a great pitcher, but he is also very egotistical and big-headed, and countless number of folks around here can testify to that. He was also right in the middle of trying to make a bazillion bucks at his career's end when all of this broke, so I'm sure he must be pissed off. Listen, when he started that 'retire/rehire' crap AND when he and Bagwell blew our chances at the World Series by insisting on playing in it instead of being focussed on winning it, Houston fans started realizing Roger is a big jerk and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. If that includes steroids, hey, it fits his career path. And the kicker is Andy Petitte. For Roger to be telling true, Andy has to be a pathological liar, and that doesn't even make sense. So, don't misremember this, Roger, you are an ass, a steroid-taking ass, and not in your wildest dreams can you ever even approach our great Nolan Ryan, you poser. No matter what you do, you cannot surpass his strikeout record, so give it up, dude, and save what little amount of dignity you have left.

Oh, and P.S., Roger's lawyers are saying now that it wasn't Roger who wanted that Congressional hearing as a venue to try to bully the public into believing him, but for at least two months we in Houston have hearing in local news stories that it WAS Roger's wish to do just that. Yup, did anyone in the national media think to research that? Nope. Par for the national media course...

2. I have been praying for the families of the students in Illinois who were the latest victims of the American college shootings. As a mother of a college student, it just makes my blood run cold every time one of these occur. Senseless, and seems to be defenseless, too. I don't know what the answer is, since college costs are ridiculously high already. The easy answer is to build a protective perimeter around each campus. But even that alone wouldn't do it and if parents had to pay for it, no one but the ultra wealthy would be able to attend. All I know is, the kids are sitting ducks as things are at present. It seems that we need walls of all sorts to protect us these days... This weighs on my heart every day.

3. All Hype, No Chocolate - DH and I had agreed to not give Valentine's Day stuff to each other, but Hubs just couldn't resist getting a box of chocolates for both of us. How sweet, right? Well, Hubs was sweeter than the candy, it turns out. He spent $10 on a box of Dove milk chocolates, and while I got a cool heart-shaped box to alter out of the deal (he said that was why he bought that one, awwww, does he know me or what? lol), the candy sucked. Here is what we got: Now, I ask you: is $10 for 12 little candies a good deal? Maybe if it were Godivas! Shame on you, Dove!

4. Okay, on to lighter things. I was reading Gina's blog yesterday and saw her awesome "hair pretties" box she made for her DD from a recycled food box she thought was shaped well and made sturdily. Well, I can so relate. I have empty boxes and containers shoved and stuck into every crook and nanny, I mean nook and cranny, LOL. I thought I'd snap a couple of my hiding places for you:
Gina, is your mouth watering? LOL

5. I've had some questions about how my ATC's can look some neat and tidy around the edges, so I thought I'd share what I did. I made a little tutorial for you.

Sometimes, I wrap my ATC's. I learned how to do this from the little old ladies I used to swap with back in 2006, before ATC's became cool in the scrap world and were renamed art cards. I don't make every ATC this way, but when I don't feel like dragging out the paints or taking the time to paint, stamp or collage a bunch of backgrounds first, then I do this.

For an ATC wrap, you need some paper, some sturdy card bases and some dry glue and some wet glue. I use my Tombow blue tape runner and a glue stick for my glues. For my card bases, I use manilla file folder stock (either the stock sheets from Office Depot or I just use new folders - do not use old ones because they get worn and bended. You need a base that is crisp, thin and coated a bit. You can also cut up a clean cereal box, which I sometimes do also.) As for paper, I try to choose thinner, more flimsy papers, like Doodlebug, Rob n Bob, old Chatterbox, DCWV slab papers. Cardstock can work, but I tend to save that for my greeting cards and layouts.

I cut my paper into 4" x 5" sheets, paying attention to which way the paper design goes. This is a great way to use your larger scraps. An ATC's finished dimensions should be 2.5" x 3.5" (and should fit into a nine-pocket baseball card page protoector pocket...I always keep one nearby when I'm making ATC's and I measure twice, cut once). If you look at the above photo, you can see the backs of a couple of ATC's and how nicely this size of cut paper covers the back, enough for you to then adhere another sheet of paper with your ATC information on it. I have an ATC stamp I use, and I stamp several times on a sheet of Avery letter-sized sticker sheet. Then I can cut out all my ATC backs, fill out and stick them on.

Anyway, you take a base and place it in the center of the back of a sheet, trace around the base with a pencil, then glue-stick up both the sheet and the base, then stick the base to the sheet backside and burnish. (Since you've traced onto the paper, you know where to put the base and where to put glue on the paper, see?)

I burnish anything I glue, either with my fingers or my Ranger roller:

Then, after I burnish it, I cut the four corners off the sheet, so you end up with flaps to fold over and it looks like this:

Then, I apply dry tape runner to all outer edges of the flaps, then I run some gluestick on the inner flap and on the base where it will meet the flap. It will then look like this:

Then, I fold the long flaps first, making sure the crease is tight and hugging the base edge (remember, you don't want your finished ATC to be wider or longer than what it is supposed to be). Then, the short flaps. Then, I burnish, and voila:

If you make ATC's or art cards, give this a try! If you like to recycle cereal box - types of packaging, this is a great way to hide them, plus you get a sturdy base for cheap! You can put another paper or cardstock on top of the covered base, and you can also wrap your base with watercolour paper and paint right on it. There are lots of creative ways to utilize this technique.

Well, here's hoping we all survive this latest winter storm. I'm gonna go take a hot shower and try to call it a night. Maybe I'll sleep right through it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Baby Steps All Around

Here's a future project. Hopefully, by the end of the year, they might get altered, LOL.

Well, overall Thursday was a bit better than Wednesday for me. I still have this bug, and I'm very depleted and tired but I really believe the intermittent nausea, cramps, etcetera, is slowing up. Not getting them quite as often. I'm thinking a couple more days and I might be feeling better. I called my doctor's office yesterday to ask if anything like this was going around, and there is an intestinal virus/flu making the rounds. Sounds like this might be that. I'll just continue to take it easy since there is little else one can do for that.

Here and there, I've been fiddling with my Goth ATC's, and applying thin multiple coats of Diamond Glaze over my rub-ons is doing the trick. So is heating the rubon for a few seconds with a hair dryer before applying them. I've also been applying them to vellum and since that is less porous than paper, I believe that helps. So, I contnue to have fun with those.

I'd sent the swap hostess the photo of them when I emailed her to drop out. She wrote back asking me to stay in it if I could and she would give me more time, because she loves my ATC's and they are exactly what she was hoping to receive. So, I'm back in the swap, I think, if I continue to feel well enough to sit long enough to do some work. We will see.

One reason I like doing this kind of crafting is because I'm learning a lot by trying different things out on the ATC's. I have different inks and it helps to know which ones dry faster and more permanently, which ones stay wet longer and can be embossed, etc. etc. I used some copper Brilliance ink to edge some vellum, and it really dried well. OTOH, the Versafine I used to edge another ATC took forever to dry, but I'd really globbed it on there, too.

Seems like I get to experiment more than when I do greeting cards, and although it doesn't have to be that way, that's the way it usually turns out. Anyway, I can take baby steps toward learning more about techniques, as well as getting experience so maybe I'll remember how to do them the next time...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Love Day

I know that in yesterday's post I referenced a "final" Valentine card, but I apparently lied. I'd forgotten about these 3 ATC's I'd made for a Twisted Valentine swap and then pulled out of because I was being too slow-pokey-creative, and then I got sick. Still sick, by the way...

Then the rub-ons I'm using began acting weird, like they were too dry and cold at the same time. This is a major bummer to me, since I have 3 books of these rub-ons, by CI and Marah Johnson. I finally concluded that I'm going to have to try to seal the rub-ons on these ATC's with a very thin brushed on coat of Diamond Glaze and just hope they don't pucker any more.

You can see in the photo what I'm talking about on the Eternity heart and the baseball cap. The girl skull went on perfectly and is fine.

What do ya'll think of these? They are tons of fun to make and stretched my comfort perimeter, but I have no idea if anyone else likes them. I'm of the generation that cannot bare to mix red and pink, okay? So, these definitely were a stretch for me.

If you like any of them, tell me which one you like best. I'm trying to get a feel for people's tastes, and if you don't care for this style, that's okay to say, too. I think this would be Goth or Gothic, but a bit on the cutesy side? Any advice is welcome, LOL.

So,m anyway, startin' Day 4 with this illness of mine. Today, nausea took center stage. I felt really queasy several times, and at the weirdest times. The throat crust and runny nose gave way to that. I would call this stuff Morphing Flu because the symptoms morph into something else every day. I seriously don't like being nauseated. Hoping for the morph to a new symptom today, LOL.

Hope every one has an enjoyable Love Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crap is a four-letter word...

It's also what I feel like. C-r-r-r-r-ap.

We had a cold front blow in late this morning, with a fast-moving band of thunderstorms and lots of volatile windshear. On the local noon news, they were already reporting on the scene of some businesses that had lost roofs and had windows blown out!

Thank goodness I didn't have to drive the in-laws to radiation treatment. They finally moved up on the waiting list for transportation with the county seniors program. Someone else has been driving them there since Monday. His treatment ends day after tomorrow, but what the heck, at least they called before then, huh? LOL And I didn't have to get out today.

Yup, I have no idea what my problem is. My head is filled with mucus, I have a crust in the back of my throat that I can clear up by coughing but then it immediately comes back. My nose is runny no matter what I do or how many times I blow it. My wrists, fingers, ankles, legs, hips, back, neck, and even my feet ache like the devil. Oh, and so does my left boob, if that means anything. LOL Not my right one, tho. And I have zero zip nada fever. Like I said, it's a mystery, but I sho do hurt.

I have no other choice but to conclude it's a cold. What a bummer.

Oh, the other weirdness is that I feel like I've gained at least 10 pounds, but only in my left boob, my stomach and at the very top of my thighs. But the scales say that I have not gained an ounce.

Anyway, Hubs has a few days off. He's not feeling much better than I am, but his problem is work exhaustion coupled with cold-front blowback (he is entirely too cold-blooded, can't handle it).

We had Chinese take-out for dinner (nothing fancy, we always get beef and broccoli, special fried rice and eggrolls, same thing every time). After we ate, we watched the only network show we both enjoy together: Boston Legal. I always get a kick out of seeing Henry Gibson play the judge. (I'm an old fan of his from his Laugh-In days.) Hubs loves Denny Craine like no other. His mood lightens and he becomes happy when he watches that show. And for someone who falls asleep at the drop of a hat, he always manages to stay up for that show.

We decided tonight that we won't do cards and candy. We are going to do a nice steak and baked potato dinner instead for Love Day. So, yay, no card to have to make for him, which is good because my mojo done gone down the road and left me.

For my final Valentine entry, here is a card I made for DD and mailed to her at school:
I totally {heart} that LOVE stamp I used on the inside. Had to use it. Missy likes gel pens so I doodled this one up for her. And she had noticed these papers last year when I bought them, so I know she will recognize them.

Well, off to slumberland for me, but before I go, I wanted to pass along a link to a really cool event over in France, their Citrus Festival. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed what they made out of oranges and grapefruits. Plus, my dang mouth was watering so much for some citrus, I had to drink a glass of OJ while I finished looking!

Put the Whoa on Nelly

Monday for me began like any other, with me making all these big crafting plans to complete within the next 16 hours or so.

Typical me. As with food, my arty eyes are also bigger than my stomach.

So, at some point yesterday, I mysteriously just put the whoa on Nelly, as we say down here. IOW, I put the brakes on. Reality met my art-fantasy life.

I was frankly amazed, because my left-brain usually has to talk my right-brain into something like that. I had big plans to make like a bazillion more Valentine cards, and of course I'd never finish in time to mail them all today. So it was with relief that Nelly met whoa. I was finding myself working on ATC's anyway, the entire time I was thinking all these additional cards were going to get made.

I did get cards made and mailed for my folks and Missy. Hub's family is not into cards other than birthdays and Christmas...and maybe Easter. I grew up getting and giving cards for any little thing, however. My parents like getting them and giving them.

Speaking of left brain / right brain, I ran across this cool questionaire for artists. The quiz technically is for painters, but it could easily apply also to paper crafters. I found the questions themselves to be quite interesting. Definitely worth a try...

I've been certifiably ambi-brained almost my entire life (ambi- meaning double, or both as applies to being left-brain or right-brain). I suspect most people are who are left-handed. Something about having to live in a right-handed world makes us enhanced on both sides or something.

At the end of the quiz, it gives you a 2-column table that lists traits and which brain side (column) each trait applies to. Going down my table was like tracing ric rac...that one on the left is true, the next one on the right is true, lather, rinse, repeat. Geez, if I didn't know my background, I'd be thoroughly mixed-up. LOL

Anyway, it was all so true! I am horridly late for things, yet I plan out my projects. I hate to keep to-do lists, yet I always read the instructions first. I'm strongly visual, yet I'm strongly verbal, too. And the big one: I remember both faces and names, but if push comes to shove and I don't have face visuals, I may get the names confused.

So, I have to be ambi-brained in order to be a day-dreamer (a huge one) AND pay fastidiously close attention to detail (anally so). Those who know me know I am both of those. Just a weirdo. hehe

Anyway, moving on! Some of you wanted to see my hair after I cut it myself. Over the last couple of days, in spare moments, I've tried to snap some shots of my hair that has been neither coiffed nor styled, so I guess I should be glad I didn't go to the trouble since I totally suck at those Myspace type of self-shots. It's having to use one hand with my arthritic fingers. Not a good combo.

Anyway, here are a couple of everyday shots where maybe you can see that it's just hair and no big deal, LOL. I mean, I am definitely going to get my cut cleaned up, but I'm taking my sweet time doing it...

This is what it looks like most days, from the front: And as far as the back of it goes, Hubs tried helping me out on this one, and as usual, you might want to pop a dramamine if you tend to get seasick, LOL: And finally, I just wanted to add this one, cuz I like it, LOL:

Anyway, the cut is surprisingly even from side to side. I have something approaching Farrah wings (bangs) in front, and a bit of a mullet going on in the back, but nothing that a flat iron can't blend and hide. Plus, I have a tiny bit of a natural poof on top now, which I definitely needed. So, as these photos show, it's hardly noticeable to anyone other than me, but I am so much happier with the shorter layers and not nearly as much hair falling out. And I guess I'm just kind of lucky about cutting my own hair, although my standards on that are so low, lol, luck is not that hard to find. My basic view is, it's just hair and it grows back.

Ok, moving on! Here's the card I made my folks: I probably should have photoshopped that one a bit, because the pink paper ribbon blends much better in real life with the chipboard elements' pink colors. Anyway, this card was just very quick and of course still took me a while, and that wasn't the card's fault (I refuse to say how long it took me...I do not like people laughing at me for any old thing, now). What I thought was cute was that there were 2 girl bunnies and 1 guy our family. So, on the inside, I print Happy Love Day, fron the 3 of us. So, that's like each of us (me, Hubs, Missy) are on the front. Yup, my parents get all excited by the lamest stuff. They are gonna love this card...hehe.

Monday, February 11, 2008

weekend in a glaze

note: my fingers are all puffed out and aching so no caps for awhile...

my mom and i share a weird trait: we both sort of mangle certain words. she does it by mispronouncing them (kay-sette for cassette, woke for wok);I do it by merging two words about the same thing

the latest for-instance is the word glaze. you've heard, 'she walked around in a daze', right? and 'haze', as in 'hazy'. ok, then take it to 'laze', as in lazy. and finally, i must picture something coated on it like a glaze, i dunno. anyway, instead of haze or daze, i always say glaze. hence, my blog entry title. this weekend just went by in a glaze. lol

okay, can't be explained. not well, anyway.

i actually think i forgot to upload something here i did like 6 months ago, so i need to do it now, since i discovered it about a month ago and thought i'd uploaded it then...but i didn't. gosh, my mind is in a glaze, too. {sadly, it's this way most days, i just do a bang-up job of hiding it. lol}
this was done for round robin tag book, and i like it because it's the first time i've ever used an original poem of mine in my art. i really wanted to do a nice page for the recipient. never heard a who, what, when, where or why from them either. what i get for trying, i guess.
i'm reminded of something an art teacher in college said - 'never make art for anyone else. make it always just for yourself.'

my new motto.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Open hearts

I made these artist trading cards for a swap in one of my Yahoo groups that I used to be active in back in 2006, and I recently began looking for swaps again. This time I'm determined to be more choosy, though. I'm hoping to stick to holiday-themes, because you know those little wire trees you can hang ornaments on? I have a couple that can be used year-round if I'm careful, and I just thought they would make cool displays for my ATC's. And if the cards were holiday-themed, instant ornaments.

Anyway, we will see how it goes. I'll be getting some pink cards, and some St. Patty's or Easter, as well as some Valentine atc's. It's an experiment and an excuse to do some atc's but not get obsessed with them again, frankly. I can always make my own on any I need more of...

I think today's sidebar quote, another one from Maya Angelou, is one of my all time favorites. And, that's what I've been attempting on this blog, particularly with my Dare-->Bare-->Care-->Share goal for 2008. It's unsettling for me to try to bare my thoughts, but it has its rewards.

I was so heartened to see all the comments and emails from yesterday's post. What diversity of opinion, and I respect you for them. I'm also blown away at how civil and supportive most of you are, even if we hold different beliefs. Thank you from my open heart, my friends, for respecting me, too.

Did I mention that I've tried 3 times now to get all my hair chopped off? It just never worked out, so today I cut it myself again, not as short as I wanted a stylist to cut it, but it will help until I finally hook up with an appointment that's halfway on time and I don't have to wait forever and a day.

I basically bent over, brushed all my hair to the top back of my skull, tied it with a scrunchie so that it would stay sticking up some, then stood up and wacked the ponytail off. I knew I would get a shaggy look, and it seems okay so far. I needed to get the weight of my hair off my hair. In other words, it was breaking and coming out a little too much for me. Thank God I'm on thyroid medication or I'd be bald by now, I do believe.

I have found myself not washing my hair more than once a week in order to not have to comb it out, and leaving it up and pulled back as much as possible. So, I was needing to wash my hair today and I just did not want to take another shower with hair loss.

I got my wish. After I cut it, I showered, and not one hair pulled out. So, the weight must have lessened.

Speaking of weight, I cannot believe that I've remained steady for over 3 months now. Probably wouldn't hurt to get back on the loss regimen. I'm more convinced than ever now that for me at least thyroid med helps against gaining weight, but you still have to try to lose it. Some are lucky as heck and their weight just melts. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them, LOL.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Post #2 for Today (please don't die of shock...)

So, I'm back now from going to tell the others they've been tagged. You won't want to miss my first post, LOL, it's the tag quiz I took and then I tagged four more gals.

Okay, that's done. Here's another card I did for yet another sis-in-law:

I had lots of little scraps left over from making Kim's card, but I didn't want to make the same card so I varied it a bit. Plus, I have this thing, this procedure, for making my cards. I make half-sheet cards for my family, and quarter-sheet (A2) cards for everyone else and for notecards. (I would much rather make A2 sized for everyone, but I got my family spoiled on the bigger cards and can't change it now.)

So, being that this is a family card, I needed to make it larger. Luckily, the recipient won't know that Bella stamps are made pretty much for the A2 size cards. I do like how it turned out though. Gotta love the ancient scrapbooking paper lines. I'm pretty sure this one by Urban Lily is at least 3 years old, if not more.

I have 2 bro-in-law cards coming up to make next week. The fun never truly ends around Casa Miguel, ya know? {meow, LOL}

Next topic: Miss KimKT wins my thanks, via her comment she left about Wednesday's political post, for reminding me that I should probably explain why I can consider JFK to be barely above scum for his womanizing, yet I support for President the wife of another womanizer often held in esteem that hovers equally close to said scum.

Yes, it's a complicated thing, my beliefs. Yet, oh so simple. As much as I think Bill Clinton was stupider than scum, and as much as I've lately been wishing she would have divorced his ass back in the day, the plain and simple answer is that I don't blame or punish Hillary for any of that. And conversely, JFK doesn't get a pass for his vile behaviors just because Bill had his schwang sucked off in the Oval Office.

See, I support Hillary even though I know full well she may not make it to the finish line. She's already had to start loaning her campaign money. The end may well be near unless more donations roll in. I sent her $50 Tuesday night, a paltry sum indeed, but it was all Hubs would agree to, with more later if she lasts and if I clear it after tax season.

With me, it's about what I feel is the right thing to do. Maybe it's my age. I'm going to vote for her, even if the primary is the first and last time I can do that. With me, it involves making a promise to an 8-yr old girl who received a signed letter from First Lady Hillary Clinton and a signed letter from Gov. Ann Richards, both in the same week. The girl was and still is my Missy. She was interested back then in being President and wrote a series of essays that received some attention. It was then that I promised the support I give today.

Yeah, I know the Far Right Limbaugh-heads think she is the devil reincarnated, but I think the same thing about Karl Rove and totally believe I'm right, so they must think they are, too. I just know that this woman, for all her faults, endured what can only be considered the most henous episode of Jerry Springer ever created, to a world-wide audience, where she went from being the loyal little trooper on the Today Show, defending Bill, to utter humiliation, anger, rage, betrayal, hurt, embarrasment, you name it. Again, all played out like it was Desperate Housewives on our televisions.

And yet she did not file for divorce. She did not shrink from the Earth's surface. In a sort of even-more humiliating irony, she actually did become like Tammy Wynette Standing By Her Man (reference to the 60 Minutes interview in 1992). She picked herself up and started a new chapter to her life that revolved around what she wanted to achieve, finally, after all those years of supporting Bill and being overshadowed by him.

Tuesday night, the exit polling showed that Democrats, whether they voted for her or not, clearly and overwhelmingly believe they see her as Commander in Chief more than Obama, and I think it's because of the same traits and the same character that got her through all of that which did not kill her so it made her stronger, tougher.

So, after all she has been through, I am just not going to make her pay by abandoning her just because it might be a tougher fight in the general campaign with her as the nominee. That's just not honorable or right. (And, that's if we believe the Republican talking heads, which I don' my mind, Obama makes the much easier target to defeat, since his victory depends on almost 100% of the black vote, that same black vote that Rove & Co love to disenfranchise so covertly and effectively during elections. And hey, if there was a black baby in John McCain's past, can a white love child be in Obama's future? Only Karl knows, but I'm willing to bet that he would never be truthful about who the easier candidate to beat would be. Wouldn't be prudent. So when he or his little surrogates say they would love their opponent to be Hillary, I don't believe them for one minute.)

I realize that going with her is the tougher road to hoe to the nomination, because of the perception that the media has made it impossible not to wonder about. Frankly, I consider supporting Obama to be taking the easier route. I mean, here's ya some Change, some real and detailed Change if you're up to it: someone needs to take Karl Rove out, once and for all, or Obama's rhetoric about a more civil politic will never ever ever ever happen.

And, who better, who more qualified, who more eager, who more due, than Hillary to do that, in perhaps the most epochal struggle of our time. It's dirty work indeed, but to think we can just send in Obama to stand up to Rove and.... and do what exactly? ... well, that's just either really naiive or really not thought through.

In my opinion. And I told you my beliefs were complicated. Hey, I often wish I could just take that easier path, write Hillary off and join the Cool Kids Coalition. It's not like I haven't been swayed by a smooth talker before, because I have. And it's not like I haven't voted for a black man before, because I have. Both in the same candidate: 1988 Texas Primary, Jesse Jackson. I'm still proud of that vote. He was the only one making any sense! But he wouldn't have made that great a President, I realized that later.

We are fixing to hit some bad times, my friends, and I want a President in there who is half Margaret Thatcher, half Tracy Flick, battle-scarred and battle-tested. The Vice President can make speeches and teach us about the urgency of now, while he gets him some battle scars of his own to campaign with next time around.

Tomorrow starts my kick-off countdown to Valentine's Day, where I will try to have some kind of heart-y crafty eye candy to show every day. Maybe every day. Try to every day...

Tagged & I'm It

Thank you so much, Katy, for tagging me. Here goes:

1. You must post the rules before you give your answers.
2. You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter.
3. If you don't have a middle name, just use your maiden name.
4. After you've been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers.
5. At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and need to read your blog for details).

My middle name is Elizabeth (but that's way too long for this, so I'm using Beth).

B - Before graduating from college in 1978 with a degree in accounting, I had previously majored in art and in journalism.
E - Every four years I get a real birthday cuz I'm a Leap Year Baby.
T - The last Starbucks coffee I had was a Skinny Mocha Latte.
H - Heaven on Earth to me is a foot and leg massage.

Okay, I'm tagging:
Kim L.

I hope I did that right. It took forever to track down the people who have already been tagged, which is why I used Beth and limited it to four.

I have to go tell them they are tagged. Be back with the rest of my post laterz.....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

An Exciting Super Tuesday

I wanted to wait until late to blog; then I got busy mounting some of my rubber stamps on cling foam and cutting out; then got so sleepy I was afraid to post my name, much less anything else! I napped a bit though, enough to trust myself again, so here I am, at least for a little while.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the folks who were impacted by last night's tornadic storms. My parents are in Northeast Arkansas and rode it through in their hallway. Thankfully, they are okay with just a loss of electricity. One of the tornados hit less than a mile from them, so they were indeed lucky.

Every so often in my card-making, I will make one that I just love. This is one of those. It's for my oldest sister-in-law (I have 5 of them between both families). I hadn't ever really made one for her that I liked alot or would say was really nice. So, this one was long overdue for her to get.

I got to use my Big Shot Texturizing Plate on the blue cardstock. I also used a Spellbinders Nestabilities scalloped circle die, as well as a few other assorted toys. I've been trying to include 1 or 2 different techniques or pieces of equipment in my creations lately. I don't know if I actually will make more of these, but I wouldn't mind it if I did. ;-)

Hillary is officially my girl now. I finally decided today. I particularly enjoyed seeing the media project her the winner of Massachusetts and California. The Kennedy endorsements in those states had me reacting negatively. I idolized JFK as a child and teen, but then I grew up, read several biographies and learned about his reackless behaviors and blatant womanizing (nude women in the White House pool, dating a Mob mistress then too).

I began looking at his administration critically and saw how many times America teetered on the brink of major f-up. So, I'm no longer a fan. I thought it was pretty cool that their states went to Hillary after the Kennedys came out for Obama. Other than that, I was left with excitement over how many participated in the process, and how no one is yet a runaway frontrunner. My state votes in the March primaries and I like it that it's still a competitive race.

I've decided to just award the Blogging Award to everyone on my 'Dear Friends' Links on my sidebar. I just can't pick any one over another. You are all Excellent Bloggers!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Can't remember when the last time I actually spent the day engaged in watching football like I did today, but 'never say never' is one of my mottos. We feasted on comfort food, so that helped me stay with it, along with halfway entertaining pre-game, half-time and post-game shows. Oh, and the game was thrilling at times, too!

Get a load of our game day menu: shrimp and guacamole nachos, chili cheese dogs, tater tots, pizza, and chocolate chip cake. It was a smorgasboard-type buffet, to say the least. We grazed all afternoon. Hubs and I are so used to not wasting food since Missy went off to college, and today felt a bit weird with all of these eats, but we soon got used to it, LOL.

I do admit to sneaking off a few times to work on art. But my plans to read blogs got sidelined. My computer was pretty much an orphan today. At some point, I got email wind that 2peas was down, and there was one time that blogger was down, too. In fact, right at this moment I cannot run spell check or upload a photo through blogger. So, I will rely on flickr for the photos tonight and learn to love the typos, LOL.

This is a card I made a while back for my Mom. It had to be as flat as possible because of how I mailed it (long story), so I resisted the urge to frou-frou it up a bit more. It looks a bit plain to me, but the beauty of it is my Mom thought it was fabulous, and sometimes I forget that's really what counts:
Birthday card for my Mom
I'm trying to find a good time tomorrow to get together for dinner with my bff Cindy on the other side of Houston. I have to deliver some papers for my in-laws and I want to hang out until rush hour ends, and she is trying to clear her schedule. So, I'm going to call it a night and get some shut-eye. Just wanted to pop in and post a bit. Here's to a good week for everyone!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Another Week to Forget...

Thank God for today. This has been the first time since I last posted (on Sunday, eegads, no wonder I felt something was missing all week), that I feel like I can shake all the crap off my fallen angel wings and move forward!

But while the crappy things were still happening, Hubs and I got sick. So yesterday I missed being able to give a shout out to my girlfriend Kim, who turned the big 4-0. But I will shout it now!


There's the card I made for you. Finally got it mailed Thursday, so it probably did not get there on time. I am just a big fat loser all the way around, but oh well, hell. Thought that counts, right? Hope! LOL

I also wanted to share this video with Kim and all of my girlfriend readers. It's hilarious! Let us hope that none of us are getting Valentines (or any freakin card) made this way!

Okay, then!

On to or back to my Forgettable Week... In addition to daily radiation trips, which we did not cancel once, my F-I-L somehow falls in the bathroom between the commode and the tub. And bangs up his rib. But he throws a fit about going to the emergency room, so it isn't looked at for like 3 days.

(I dunno, I'm not a medical person, but if you are going to get radiation every day, could they not shoot a little x-ray of your rib while they are doing their thing? Apparently not. And, to be fair, if the patient is ornery about it, probably not.)

Finally on the 3rd day, my M-I-L loses it (like she should be doing all the time, LOL), and becomes assertive and insists it get looked at. She still needs to improve her timing though; this happened at 8 at night, so nobody but me, once again, could help out. We get him there and he has a fractured rib. What can you do? They taped it up and sent us home, after taking that x-ray.

Then, the next day they call the house and say there's something on the x-ray, looks like pneumonia! So, I take M-I-L to pick up all the scripts he's been written for that. And he starts that protocol, being told that if he doesn't quickly improve, it'll be a hospital stay. The best thing is he becomes a model patient, as the hospital is his idea of Hell.

Well, anyway, the day after that, some sheepish nurse at his doc's office calls to say, quit taking the antibiotics, he doesn't have pneumonia, that spot was his cancer.

Oy, oy, oy. Now, at that exact moment, I had all the proof I needed to feel fine with universal care, because if there's all this idiocy in the capitalist medicine world, any change would be a step up. Because, check out this sick syncopation: my mom calls and finally got word on her x-ray. No suspicious spot. It was just her hianal hernia.

OH MY GOD. What the hell? That was in two different states, too. Yep, better to just try to forget and go on with life. My mom is on Cloud Nine (and I am beginning to realize just how depressed she must be with all her chronic illnesses, like I get from time to time, because she is not usually this chipper and optimistic lately). My F-I-L is recouping nicely and quickly and my M-I-L is finally getting some relief.

But none of that good stuff happened until Friday (yesterday). And on top of those 2 story lines, the phone rang Monday morning and I couldn't hear or talk because of a lot of static and sounds of dial tones and such. So, after the person calling me tried to call 6 more times, I finally got them to answer their phone when I called them on my cell. Got that settled, then I called Verizon to report it. Well, for 2 days I dealt with a robot voice, albeit a very sophisticated and smart one. I was impressed. Except that to them the problem appeared to be resolved but it wasn't.

Finally late Tuesday I figured out how to talk to a live person and a repair guy was sent out Wednesday. Turns out our lines were crossed with someone else's. Took him half a day to get it working, but I'm glad he kept at it. We have all new cable and a new box on the pole. This is always a good thing. The worst part was probably M-I-L calling 45 times and having to re-route her to call the cell and her forgetting half the time, but hey, we got through it.

And in the midst of all that, Missy arrives for a day-visit. She had a dentist appointment here to get a couple of cavities filled. Good thing she did, as much as she wimps out at pain, one of them was just on the verge of infection due to our prior dentist closing the filling up wrong and leaving it open to bacteria! Missy was super close to having to have a root canal, but our dentist fixed it (he's very good). She had it pretty rough for a while, but after I finally found some mushy food she would eat, she felt better, as she'd barely eaten all week!

Anyway, she shows up without my memory card, darn. She got flustered, running late, and forgot it. (I gave her a CD mailer to just mail it to me, hopefully she will not forget that.) We teased her pretty good about not being allowed to come back again for a visit, because every time she comes home, something around here breaks and needs repair (last time she came home, the front bath commode was busted and the plummer had to come).

Oh, and she came home sick, so of course Hubs and I got it too.

Anyway, this morning I awoke fresh and with a little energy that I want to bottle so I can save some of it, LOL. Hubs has been on graveyards and is still asleep, so I'm hopeful he is feeling better, too. Since he only has one more night to work on his shift, and tomorrow is the Super Bowl, I'm thinking odds are good that he will be in a better mood at least.

Well, that's it. I did want to thank both Sarah C. and Linda for awarding me Excellent Blogger this week. I'm so proud of it that I have put it on my sidebar. Sort of like putting it on the mantel in my family room if this weren't cyberspace, LOL.

I'm supposed to pass it on and I will, but I'll do that tomorrow. I have tons of blog posts to catch up on at the blogs I usually read first. And I want to think it through a bit, too. Not, definitely not from a standpoint of who deserves it, though. Because every blog I read deserves it. There is no way I could decide on that basis. It'll be more like who needs the lift most, who hasn't been awarded yet, etc. Spread the love kinda thing. Let's be honest, it's acool thing to be told you are an excellent blogger. A little thing, but one mental/emotional lift that can help us keep going. Lord knows, I needed it this wunnerful week. LOL

Remind me in tomorrow's post to also talk about the groups I'm in for 2008. And I have more creations to show...