Saturday, July 30, 2011

Scrappy Saturdays

This is my first time to link up with Scrappy Saturdays.  If you'd like to join, post something scrapbook related, grab the button, and post your link.  Try to comment on the other scrappers' posts.  Scrappy Saturdays is hosted every other weekend by Scrappy Gifts.

I went to a scrapbook retreat last weekend, so I got a lot of layouts done.  Here are some photos of the Texas Star Retreat in Montgomery.
This is where I slept.
This is the living room.  You can see the dining room and kitchen in the background.  Our scrapbooking tables were downstairs.  We each had an 8 foot table with several tables we used as cricut stations and swap stations.
Most of the pictures I scrapped were from our recent trip to New York.
I like the colors, the ribbon detail, and the jornaling on this one.

I like the Bo Bunny paper, fibers, and distressing on this one.
On this one, I like the contrast in shapes and the ribbon detail.

I'm no expert, but I'm proud of the way these turned out.  I had so much fun at my retreat and can't wait to scrap some more vacation photos!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Aloha Friday

Following Kailani's lead at An Island Life, I will post an easy question; one that doesn't require a lengthy response.  You can leave an answer in the comments.  It's great fun to visit new blogs and see what questions they are asking, so if you'd like to play along, link up here.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 
Did you meet your goal?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Chronicles of New York: The Lady, The Witch, and The Subway...

This edition of The Chronicles will focus on the scariest aspect of New York according to this Texas girl... the subway!

We don't have subways in Texas. If I want to go somewhere, I get in the car and go.  Our shopping malls and strip centers have huge parking lots, and nothing is in walking distance except, perhaps, a convenience store.  We have bus service through Houston, but the only time I have used that is when I need to appear for jury duty downtown, some 40 minutes away.  The only subway I've ever ridden was in Washington DC, and then, only twice.

So, the subway was both intimidating and intrguing at the same time.  But guess what?  I was a pro at riding the subway by the second day!  It was not nearly as scary as I thought.  My husband had a great subway app on the phone, and we were only five blocks from Grand Central, so we used the subway daily.  We sure didn't have money for cabs!  We did take the bus across town as well.  You can purchase a weekly pass that is good for both the subway and the bus.  Hurry!  Trains a'comin'!

There were some interesting subway station performers throughout our five day stay, and several times, as soon as the train started moving, someone would break out with, "I'm a disabled vet..." looking for money.  One time, these three men got on and started singing out of the blue and holding out little bags for money.

The subway stations are not air conditioned, so it gets really hot down there.  The subways themselves are, however, nicely air conditioned.  We rode all manner of subway... old, brand new, clean, not so clean, uncrowded, wall-to-wall people with standing room only... we saw it all!  It turned out to be a great experience!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Chronicles of New York: The Lady, The Witch, and The Subway...

Start Spreading the News...
I'm leaving today...

You've got the song stuck in your head, now.  Right?

What happens when you take a female native Texan and plunk her down in the middle of New York City for five days?  I have always wanted to visit New York, and hubby and I had enough miles for 2 round-trip tickets, so here we go!  Subscribe in a reader
P. S.  Stupid blogger wouldn't let me upload a photo!  I'll try again later.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Confessional

Link up with Mamarazzi and unburden your soul!

I confess...

I had every intention of blogging while I was in New York.  I had my laptop, my idea book, paid for an internet connection, etc.  The one thing I didn't have was ... time.  I stayed so busy.  I paid for the Internet to use it, maybe once.  We were running around the city all five days and hardly ever in our room, which is ironic since they had upgraded us to a larger suite.  We didn't need it!  But, stayed tuned for some New York posts coming up soon.

I confess...

I have a kidney infection, and it hurts!  I've had minor UTI's before, but this one is a killer!  I'm taking my medicine, though, and should be better in a couple of days.  It must have been from all that heat, sweat, and grime from being in the city.

I confess...

I'm not letting it get me down too much.  My friend and sister are headed to a scrapbook retreat today.  I'm getting all my fun in while the kids are still at their dad's.

I confess...

I miss my kids so much I ache.  I should get to see them in a week or maybe less, and I can't wait!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Aloha Friday

Kailani at An Island Life hosts Aloha Friday.  I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer, nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link here.

What is the best place you have ever visited on vacation?
Care to tell me why?

Friday Confessional

It's time to link up with Mamarazzi for Friday Confessional.  Go ahead... share your secrets!

I confess...

I'm a nerd.  Yes, it's true.  I was one of those crazy people who went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.  Yes, we bought our tickets about two months ago, as soon as they went on sale.  And yes, we waited in line at the theater for a few hours to make sure we'd get good seats.  And... It. Was. Awesome!  J. K. Rowling is brilliamt.  How could she create this wonderful wizarding world and not be?  And the director did a great job.  Amazing!

I confess...

I ate popcorn for the first time in a year and a half, and I regret it.  Oh, it tasted great!  But those stupid little husks have a way of wedging their way into my gums where they shouldn't be.  Not to mention that the "butter flavor" that tastes so good while I'm eating it does horrible things to my stomach.  Maybe I won't eat it again. For at least another year and a half.

I confess...

I'm so excited as well as a little nervous about my vacation.  We're leaving for New York City tomorrow.  I never thought I'd ever get the chance to go.  I live in a big city, and it doesn't scare me because I'm not walking around downtown all the time, but New York.  Well, you walk everywhere!  And I'm a Texas gal.  So, I've got lots of excitement mingled with a bit of nervousness.  I'll be fine.  Right?  And it will be a blast.  Right?  Right!

And I confess...

It's 4:00 AM.  I need to be awake in a few hours to go to lunch with friends to celebrate a birthday (not mine).  And I need to pack.  And I need to get a good night's sleep tomorrow.  I mean today.  Because we leave sooooo early tomorrow.  But am I making an effort to get some sleep now.  As you can see, the answer is no.  And I need to.  For a least a little while.  But I am a major insomniac and a total night owl.  Just the opposite of my husband.  Wish me luck!  And happy Friday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Braces for Adults… Have you ever considered it?

Obviously, they are for straightening teeth, but they can also be used to correct problems with your bite, which was my main reason for getting them.

Twenty-one months later, I’ve finally gotten them off!
These are just some observations I’ve made throughout my ordeal.

1. When your kids tell you their teeth hurt after getting them adjusted, believe them! It’s especially painful the first time or two, but even after that, the teeth can be sore for a few days.  Powdered donuts, cheese puffs (not curls), mashed potatoes, pudding, and macaroni are a few good food choices for “after-ortho” meals.
2.  Consultations are usually free.
3. Braces can cut the inside of your mouth, and it’s not fun.
4. Changing your bite, as in my case, can keep you from having to have even more costly dental work.
5. Braces are expensive. You knew that. There were three of us in them at the same time.  Now that they're off, it's like I got a raise!
6. The clear retainers they make these days are way better than the ones they had when I was young.
7. They make clear brackets, especially nice for adults, so all that you see is a thin, metal line. Even the bands that go around the brackets are clear.
8. You can chew gum while you wear braces.
9. You can’t chew gum with a retainer.
10. I ate popcorn twice while I had braces. The second time, I got a husk stuck (ouch!) and had to have the orthodontist get it out. I haven’t had popcorn since, and I’m looking forward to a large tub of it tonight at Harry Potter.
11. A Waterpik is indispensable when you have braces.
12. In order to floss your teeth while wearing braces, you have to use a “needle.” It looks exactly like a real needle except the eye is bigger, and it is made of plastic. You have to rethread the needle and pull it through for each area you want to floss. What a pain!
13. Getting them off is a great feeling!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tackle it Tuesday

My tackle today is not very exciting, but it was very necessary.  My mission:  clean out my son's sock drawer and clean off his dresser.


And After:

Check out more Tackles at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekend Linkup

For Weekend Linkup, hosted by The Red Dress Club, I am reposting something I wrote October 27, 2007.

“What? The hospital? Why? What happened?”

My heart is racing. My mind is frantic. Here I am at a stupid football game, and something’s happened to daddy. Angela isn’t even here with me! She’s at a dance clinic. I can’t concentrate. I tell myself not to get too upset in front of David as I grab him from the after-game huddle and tell him we have to leave… NOW!

I race to the high school to pick up Angela. Oh, hurry up! Just go get her! Time seems to tick by slowly as we wait for her to come out of the gym. She wants to know what’s up. If I only knew!

On to the hospital. I’m sure everything is going to be okay. At least, I think so. How many messages did mom leave before she finally reached me? Was it four? And how many from Lisa (my sister)? And didn’t Mom say she sent the neighbor to the field to find me? I thought I saw her here. I wondered why she was at a little league football game since her kids are grown, but I guess she didn’t see me. Who would’ve thought she was there to get me? I wonder if Lisa is on her way to the hospital, too.

I’m struggling not to cry as I speed to the hospital. The more upset I am, the more scared the kids will be. Mom didn’t say what was actually wrong with daddy, after all. (And yes, I still call him daddy most of the time, not dad, and I probably always will, no matter how old I am.)

I finally arrive and park, and I notice how hot and sunny it is as we walk to the emergency entrance. My heart is still pounding. I have no idea what to expect. The hospital is a stark contrast to afternoon outside: cold and sterile.

My first question is, “Did Daddy wake up?” The answer is no. “Why not?” We really don’t know yet, they tell me. He collapsed after he came home from a CPR class he was taking with some friends. How ironic. He had actually had them show them how to do the Heimlich maneuver on him. Maybe it interfered with his breathing or his heart. His stomach is also bleeding. I sit trembling, waiting for the doctors to come out and tell me he is going to be okay. Daddy’s friends try to comfort me, but I’m inconsolable.

“We can’t do anything for him here,” the Asian doctor states in a heavy accent dripping with insincerity. I hate him! Of course, if he knew what he was doing, he could help my dad. Life-Flight is going to take him down to the Medical Center, and they will make him well. They’ll figure it out. If the doctors in Houston’s Medical Center downtown (world-renowned for heart, cancer, and other life-saving treatments) can’t fix him, then no one can.

We watch the bright red helicopter take off into the lonely, blue sky. They’ll be at the other hospital before we are.

The kids go stay with their dad while Lisa, Mom, and I hurry downtown. The entrance of this hospital looks like that of a classy, chic hotel rather than a place where people are ill. Fancy marble floors, elegant sitting areas, even entertainment in the lobby, not to mention actual restaurants, rather than just a typical cafeteria. Not that I care about food right now.

Up fourteen flights on the elevator we go. Daddy is in a room by himself, connected to bleeping machines, one that breathes for him, one to measure his heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen levels, and who knows what else. There is a bag draining his stomach of fluids I am sure shouldn’t be there. If it were anyone but him, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the sight. The vision of him lying there helpless is so unlike what I know to be true of my father. I kiss his cheek, hold his hand, and wait. They have already performed numerous tests, but it’s going to be a long night.

Day two of this nightmare. “Why won’t Daddy wake up?” The question remains the same. The doctor takes us (family) to a small conference room. A white laminated table dominates the room. There are six metal chairs. We sit. The doctor puts some x-rays on the wall and flicks on a light. This is daddy’s brain. A subdural hematoma has occurred, probably happening so fast he felt nothing. That’s no comfort. The blood has compressed the brain tissue. He’s not breathing on his own and his heart is not beating on his own. There is no brain activity. Blah, blah, quality of life, blah, blah, nothing we can do, blah, blah, decision to make.

I hold daddy’s cold hand that has held mine so often in times of need. I love him so much. It’s time. Slower, the beeping gets slower until there is more time in between each one. “No, daddy! “Don’t go!” For a moment, there is the slightest increase in the beeping. Then, it stops. “NO!”

It wasn’t time, Daddy. At least, not according to me. We weren’t ready for this. I don’t know how to live without you as part of my life. The twins are only 8. How will they ever understand this? How will they grow up without their Papaw? Who will I turn to for solace, advice, an ear to listen? Something is wrong in the world. Has it completely stopped turning?

The hospital chapel is warm. It should be soothing. It should be a place for quiet reflection. It’s not. It’s empty, like me. I say a prayer for you, daddy, but mostly, I pray for us.

Bible Verses

Two Bible verses to think about today.

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2. NIV)

19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. (Romans 12:19. NIV)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Aloha Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani at An Island Life.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link here.

Question for today: How do you roll? Over or under?
(I'm referring, of course, to toilet paper!)
I'll share my answer later.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

I've had that silly Paul Simon song, "50 Ways to Leave your Lover" stuck in my head, and I have no idea why!  I'm not leaving my lover!  But since it's stuck there, I decided to parody 13 ways to leave your lover from the female point of view.  What can I say?  It's totally random and silly.

1. Slip out the door, Flor.
2. Make a new plan, Ann.
3. Don’t need to be shy, Di.
4. Hop on a train, Raine.
5. Drop off the key, Lee.
6. Tell him to flee, Dee.
7. Send him some mail, Gail.
8. Tell him today, Fay.
9. Hop in a car, Laur.
10. Send him a bill, Jill.
11. Tell his friend, Jenn.
12. Make a new story, Glory.
13. Hide in the hills, Phyllis.
Just get yourself free!

Find more Thursday Thirteen posts.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It's Just My Opinion

This is probably not going to be a very popular post. And it’s really not my opinion, because I am going to try to take the emotion out of it and describe why I am astounded by people proclaiming that the justice system in our great United States has failed.

I’m referring, of course, to the Casey Anthony trial. I did not follow all of the trial, just the highlights, so I’m aware that she was guilty of something, but the prosecution did not provide enough evidence for the jury to convict her beyond a reasonable doubt of First Degree Murder.
That doesn’t mean she is innocent; not by any means. She was found not guilty based on the evidence in the crime for which she was charged. Unfortunately, the public had already convicted her. So, now, the public is disappointed.  This case should never have been discussed in the media in the first place, but that's another soapbox altogether.

We are lucky to live in a place where we are presumed innocent (at least in a court of law, but obviously not in the court of public opinion). The burden of proof is on the prosecution. They did not have enough evidence to show that Casey murdered her daughter. Is it possible she did? Yes. Probable? Again, yes. But they didn’t PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt that she did it. The evidence was just not there.

In an AP report on July 2, it states,"Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys have provided concrete evidence showing whether the girl was killed by her mother." It also states, "If you separate facts from fiction and inferences stacked on top of inferences ... there is no proof."  And in yet another AP report on July 5, it is stated that, "Prosecutors didn't have any evidence that put Casey at the scene where the remains were found."

Casey Anthony is obviously a very sick individual. Her lifestyle, past, and all of her dirty, little secrets have been scrutinized. I would hate to have my life inspected in such a way, which is why I try to live a clean life, although far from perfect. But public opinion had her convicted because she is not the type of mother we think she should have been. Who doesn’t report their daughter missing right away? Not a “good” mother! She is very likely suffering a serious mental illness, and she may not be in prison for very much longer, if at all, but she is living in a different kind of prison.

And who am I to judge since I didn’t sit in the courtroom listening to all of the evidence? I’m sure that much of what we heard in the media wasn’t even admitted as evidence because it didn’t prove to be exculpatory evidence.  There are things the public knows that the jury never heard, I'm sure.  Besides, God will be her judge when the time comes.

Only God knows the whole, complete story.  So, this is not about whether I think she was guilty or not, but about how the justice system did not fail.  Our court system did exactly what it was supposed to do.  The prosecution failed to present evidence to convict her, but the system itself, is valid.

Our justice system is not perfect, but it’s the best there is. I would much rather presume someone innocent or find someone not guilty than convict the wrong person when proof has not been provided. If I am ever accused of a crime, I am glad the prosecution has the burden of proof. And I’m glad I don’t live in a country where we are thrown in jail without a trial, without a defense. Our system is not perfect, but it is better than many. I am proud of the USA, flaws and all.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★
║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ 4th of July weekend☆ 2011
╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ♥¥☆★☆★☆¥♥ ★☆
And God Bless America!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Closet Makeover

Welcome!  Come in and see what I've been doing.

I'm usually a very organized person.  I have no idea how I let my closet deteriorate to the state it was in, but I decided I could no longer live with it.  I did most of the work one evening and finished the rest the next day.  Here's what I had to tackle:

Looks like the bear is trying to get in the hamper!  I don't blame him!  I would want to be rescued from this mess even if it meant going in the washing machine, too.

I am so proud of my newly reorganized space which includes a very clean floor.  I had to invite my husband, daughter, and you, of course, to bask in my closet awesomeness!  LOL

My shoes are my favorite part.  You can barely see my shoe tree to the left.  That is where I keep my sandals and flip-flops.  All of my other shoes are organized by color and type (casual, dress, boots, tennies) and labeled.  And I have plenty of items to donate to the women's shelter now.
This was part of my 52 Weeks of Organizing with I'm an Organizing Junkie. I'm determined to keep it neat! So, tell me, Company Girls, what projects have you been attacking this summer?


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