Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas from Church of the Harvest!

Have I mentioned lately that Manda and I attend Church of the Harvest?

If I have not, then I have been super remiss. We have been attending since August, and feel like we have found a wonderful church home where we can worship God and rejoice in Him.

Pastor Dan is an amazingly wonderful open hearted man of God who really wants everyone to have unconditional acceptance and a love for Christ.

This Ustream video is from Sunday. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Merry Christmas!

In loving memory .....

Six years ago on Christmas morning; my father - in - law passed away.

It has forever changed the way my family and I feel about Christmas. It has reminded us that Christmas is not about the presents, nor is it about the parties or the glittering decorations that make one smile in wonder at their beauty.

My father - in - law had experienced several health concerns; and then the first week of December, on a beautiful Saturday morning, he was rushed to the hospital with concerns that he had suffered a mild heart attack. As our family gathered together in support and concern, we learned that he would need a valve replaced. And, the surgery was not without risk. But, without the surgery - well - surgery was the only option.

The surgery was performed, and my father - in - law made it through. He had a new pig valve in place, and the doctors were cautiously optimistic that he might make a full recovery. Their cautious optimism was unfortunately misplaced. Although my father - in - law made it through the surgery and regained consciousness, he never regained his strength and remained in the CICU for two weeks.

Having been through two heart surgeries with my own father, I knew what to expect in the term of recovery, and there was nothing about my father - in - laws recovery that was going as expected.

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, our family was told that Mercy General would be transferring my father - in - law to Kaiser in Roseville within the next 12 hours or so. Kaiser was waiting on bed space in the CICU.

On Christmas Eve while waiting for the transfer to happen, my mother - in - law was overcome with emotion and was rushed to the emergency room with an extreme shortness of breath and heart palpitations. She was taken to Kaiser in Roseville. Having seen my mother in law stabilized, and deemed in need of rest, the doctors decided that mild sedation was necessary for the benefit of her health, and they advised us all to go home and rest.

The phone rang early Christmas morning, about 6:45 am. We were asked to come to the hospital. Our family gathered in my mother - in - law's hospital room. The doctors told us that Bob had been transferred, and they wanted to send my mother - in - law up to see her husband, but her doctor had not released her .... UGH! Frustration wore upon all of us as we stood helplessly by for about 45 minutes.

I knew in my heart that his time on this earth was drawing quickly to a close. All the signs were in place. My heart was so heavy.

Pleading with the staff of the telemetry department where my mother - in - law was finally got a fire lit under the hospital staff, and they placed her into a wheel chair with her heart monitor and IV attached to a rolling pole so that we could take her upstairs to CICU.

As we entered into the quiet of the CICU, I knew. I could read the faces of the nurses. And, as we entered into the room where my father - in - law lay so peacefully, I heard the quiet. There were no monitors attached. No beeping, no rise and fall of the breathing machine, no metered drip of the IV. Just silence.

My daughter turned to me with WIDE eyes, and began to silently cry. Her grandfather had passed, and her grandmother had not yet realized it. Even at 11 Manda was wise enough to understand that concept.

My mother in law was babbling incoherently to her beloved husband, begging him to open his eyes and see her. The doctor stepped forward and gently told her that he had passed just moments before.

The shattering of the silence and the shattering of hearts was simultaneous. Our family reacted as any family would, with despair and sorrow.

Bob was a quiet man. He lived a good life. He was kind and respectful and had a great sense of humor. He was a wonderful husband and father. I could not have asked for a better father - in - law or grandfather. Manda adored him.

As Christmas approaches again this year, I dedicate this post to my wonderful father - in - law whom I will always love, and always miss. My life was richer having known him.

When I turn on the Christmas lights, I always think of Bob. How could I not? Christmas is bittersweet. I miss him daily, but even more so at Christmas and hope that he knows his family loves him and misses him.

Love ya Dad!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


(This was actually reported by a teacher)

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school.

One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Arizona .

Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore.

They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there, but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on.

At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.

Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night --- early birds.

Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too..

When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house.

Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.....

Forward to all your "retarded grandparent" friends

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rest In Peace, Lori

Thank you everyone for your love and assistance. Lori has been called home by the Heavenly Father. Please continue your prayers for the family, that they may find comfort in her memory.


Please help us find: LORI McELYEA
She was last seen on:
Saturday, December 5, 2009
in Roseville, California.
LORI McElyea needs daily medication and is considered at risk.
Her family and friends appreciate any help you can give us.
Even if that help is just to post this to your own blog or facebook.
If you have seen Lori McElyea
or her blue Ford Edge,
please contact the
Roseville Police Department at
(916) 774-5000

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in
our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the
wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too
little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination
when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an
amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was
nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's
number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while
my Mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench
in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was
terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no
one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my thro bbing finger, finally
arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the
footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing climbing up; I
unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


'I hurt my finger,' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily
enough now that I had an audience.

'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.

'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.

'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.

'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'

'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.

I said I could.
'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said
the voice.

After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her
for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was.

She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had
caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called,
'Information Please,' and told her the sad story.
She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not
consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so
beautifully and bring Joy to all families, only to end up as a heap
of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ' Wayne,
always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.'

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.'

'Information,' said in the now familiar voice.

'How do I spell fix?' I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I
was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed
my friend very much.
'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.
As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.
Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle I had about a half hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and
said, 'Information Please.'

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well!


I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please
tell me how to spell fix?'

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess
your finger must have healed by now.'

I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any
idea how much you meant to me during that time?'

'I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call meant to me. I
never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

'Please do,' she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'

Three months later I was back in Seattle a different voice answered: Information.' I asked for Sally.

'Are you a friend?' she said.

'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered.

'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.'

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your
name was Wayne ?'

'Yes.' I answered.

'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.'
The note said, 'Tell him there are
other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.'

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.
Whose life have you touched today?

Why not pass this on? I just did....

Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for.
Life is a journey. NOT a guided tour. So don't miss the ride and have a great time going around. You don't get a second shot at it.
I loved this story and just had to pass it on. I hope you enjoy it and get a blessing from it just as I did.
(I received this from my mommy today. It touched my heart and I had to share it on my blog.)

It's beginning to ......

feel like Fall may finally be arriving! Yipee! That is a change I will welcome with open arms. I love the colors of Fall, the cooler air, the changing weather, the rain, wind and even the fog. I love the cooler temperatures of Fall.

There are several "things" upon my heart and mind, so I will just touch each subject, and hopefully come back later and expand upon them:

1.) Our 18 year old niece, Bonnie, is ill. She is hospitalized with complications from the flu (not the swine flu.) that lead to pneumonia. Please pray that she will make a full recovery.

Bonnie is a freshman in college this year. She has her entire life ahead of her. She is a nice girl, very intelligent, out going and responsible. Her parents and sister are deeply worried.

Bonnie is the daughter of Russ' brother Jim. Jim, Martha and the girls live on the east coast. Charlotte (Bonnie's older sister) is a newly wed with two adorable boys, one of whom is just a new born.

Please help us to lift this family, the doctors, nurses and medical staff up in prayer.

On Russ' side of the family there are 4 grandchildren. All girls: Charlotte, Jessica, Bonnie and Amanda. The dynamics are (in my mind) pretty cool:

Two girls on the east, 2 on the west. There are 2 blondes, and 2 brunettes; with one of each living on each coast. Charlotte and Jessica are the two oldest and close in age; Charlotte is on the east coast; Jessica is on the west coast. They are the brunettes. Bonnie and Manda are close in age, and both have blonde hair. Manda is my daughter, and Bonnie lives on the east coast. All of the girls are intelligent, loving and kind. We have great off-spring!

2.) About a month ago one of my cousins (who is considerably older than me, and whom I didn't know well) who located me on FB (love you, Frank!) revealed a long lost skeleton from my father's closet. My older brothers and I have an older brother!

Well, let me clarify - we have an older brother whom my brothers and I did not know about. His name is Rod and I am looking forward to getting a chance to meet him and his wife and daughter soon.

3.) My father's family (the Caravelli side) is having a family reunion this weekend. Russ has to work on Sunday and can not go. Manda and I will be attending. I am nervous. I have not seen most of my father's family in more than 15 years. Please pray that Manda and I will have safe travel, and that we will have open minds and open hearts and that we will accept those around us as we wish to be accepted, without judgement and with a loving and kind heart.

4.) I am trying to put together a celebration of thanks for my family. I have invited our immediate family. Russell's and my mom (of course!) Russell's brother Bob and our wonderful sister in law Suzette, their sweet daughter Jessica and her fiance'; my brothers: Randy, Rich and Allyson and Nicole, Rob and Melba.

I so want to have Rod and Kathy and Caitlyn there too - but the rest of the family is not comfortable with it. (Short of stomping my feet and throwing a tantrum, which I do not really want to resort to!) I am not at all sure how to solve this situation. I pray that my heavenly Father will guide me on this and give me clarity and resolve.

I treasure each of my brothers completely and want each of them to know that I love and respect them with all of my heart. We may be a family that needs a "Family Forrest" and not a family tree to track our genealogy, but I love my family. We may only be 1/2 related, but I love them wholly.

Hope this post finds you all in good health and much happiness!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Life, and giving thanks to God!

has been wonderful lately!

I know I have not been posting, and I am not sure why I have not been. But, I am trying to get back into the routine and trying to be more focused and task oriented.

Although it is just near the end of September, Manda has been back in school since August 10 - and has already received her first report card! She is doing a great job balancing her junior year of high school and it's load of classes. And, of course, she loves being able to drive herself to and from school every day. (Only the upper class students are able to get parking permits which allow them to park on campus.)

Parking passes - oh yeah! That was pretty stressful in and of itself. The school only issues each (junior or senior) student 1 parking pass which is assigned to a specific vehicle and which can not be transferred between cars. Let's just leave it with: 4 phone calls and several conversations later - we were able to find a resolution that satisfies everyone.

It is hard to believe Amanda has been a CA licensed driver since December of last year. Soon; she'll be able to have friends with her in the car. That is pretty scary. Right now when she is out and about it is just her in the car. I have to admit to being a little nervous of allowing her to drive her friends around. That is a HUGE responsibility. Hopefully her friends will respect her while she is driving and understand that it is a privilege to have friends in the car, not a right.

Stamping - I have not been stamping at all lately. I was in a funk and had lost sight of myself for a bit. But - I think I am headed back into that happiness which is normal for me, and that means the creative energy should be starting to flow again soon.

Speaking of losing myself and not coping with it very well - I have to say that I am very grateful that I work for amazing people who genuinely care about the people around them. It is because of Jill that I put on my big girl pants and went to the doctor to see "what the heck?" was up with me. Turns out I was severely anemic. It has been a month and following the good doctor's advise I am on the path back to happy.

Of course that is not the only reason I am feeling better. The main reason is that Manda and I have found a spiritual home for worship and praise!!!!! Hallelujah!!! We used to attend church on Sunday because that is what you are supposed to do. But, it felt meaningless and empty. Now we are attending Church of the Harvest and feeling the blessing of Him all the time!!!! The difference in our lives is already noticeable. So wonderful! Thank you Church of the Harvest for accepting us with open arms, and thank you God, for loving us as we are.

We've been chuch every Sunday for several months now, and attended meetings and an inspirational concert by Red Rain that was ..... oh my goodness wonderful! Their spiritual message at the end of the concert was fabulous.

Manda and I attended a woman's conference through the church. It's title was "Shattered but Not Broken." I was in awe at the message I received and touched to my core at the feelings that I experienced. I may be shattered, but I am not broken and I do not have to be perfect. I can do the best I can, hold my head up high and know that I am God's child and perfect in His eyes ---- awesome!!! Talk about giving me power over my life, it restored my faith in me. It freed me of the burden I was carrying and helped me to focus on each and every day. Pastor Cindy was very inspirational. I loved every moment.

I thank God for the way He works in our lives. He has touched my family and blessed us so many times over the years. Recently He reached out and blessed us as my brother Randy became a pastor for his chuch in Nevada. Manda and I attended the ceremony which had been timed to coincide with my brother's 50th birthday. For those who don't know, my brother is a recovering alcholic with 8 years of sobriety and 8 years of walking in obedience of God. Without Him, my brother would not still be alive. Without Him, my family would have been devastated.

Because of God, our family was able to celebrate my bother, and in turn we celebrated the Lord, our God.

Thank you God for paying our price. Thank You for Your sacrifice.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Amazing Love; how can it be?

How is it that my King died for me? He paid my price so that I could live. So that I could live. That is an amazing love. I am grateful for Him

Hillsong --- The Potters Hand ---

Having heard and worshipped with this song which touced my soul and heart on Friday night during the Church of the Harvest's Women's Conference: "Shattered but NOT broken, this song has quickly become one of the praise and worship songs I listen to everyday. In many ways, my evening prayers to God mirror the lyrics.

I have given myself to the Potter's Hand. He is my maker, He is my savior. He is my provider, He is my King. He gave His life for me, and I will worship Him and rejoice!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My niece Jessica .........

whom I love so very much has just announced her engagement to Casey Hood!!!!!!

Can you tell that I am totally excited by this? I am.

Jessica and Casey are both wonderful people in their own right; and together they are adorable and one of those couple you just know will be together for all time.

I have been waiting for this day.

Congratulations Jessica and Casey!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wishing you and yours ....

A wonderful and safe 4th of July!

I hope that you and yours share the Independence Day holiday doing something you love. My family and I are going to have a simple BBQ and watch the fireworks from the near-by shopping mall.

Have a Happy 4th of July!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I miss you so much!

My poor Blog. I have not been visiting you nearly as much as I used to. I still love and appreciate you dear Blog. You listen to me, laugh with me and seem to enjoy when I pour my heart and soul out to you.

Dear Blog - you are still precious, and won't be neglected forever. Time is just flying by quicker than I can catch those snatches of time I need so that I can create and cards other wonderful hand stamped lovelies with paper and adhesive.

There are a few stories that I also want to share with you for laughter's sake, but - alas my window of time is already shutting.

Dear Blog, I promise I'll be back soon, and we'll spend some time together.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It is ....

June 1 already!??!?!?!?!?!!?
Yikes! I am not sure where this year is going, but please - can it just slow down a teeny bit?

Need stamp time desperately, need to upload photos, need time to share some new pics of Manda, need time to go and visit my mom.
My needs are simple - it is finding the time that is tricky!
Happy Monday - hope you are having a great day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy ....

Monday, I mean, Tuesday, I mean --- oh! what the heck!
Happy I am confused day!

I loved the long weekend. It was very enjoyable to be able to share some extra time with my family. We shared laughter and played cards, went to a BBQ, and even managed to get some chores done around the house.

Now, it is Tuesday, and the start of the work week. But, doesn't the work week begin on Monday? I am confused. LOL!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Friday ...

it is date night Friday with my wonderful hubby! Whoo hooo!!! Love time shared with Russell. After almost 19 years of being his wife, he still makes my heart flutter with happiness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I am so relieved!

Earlier this week I posted that Jenn Diercks, who is one of my very favorite bloggers, was going to be closing down her blog.

But - Jenn has reconsidered and will be coming back to sharing her wonderful works of the heart!!!! I am so excited. If you want see her beautiful work, and get to know Jenn, click here and you will be magically transported to her blog: Stamp Your Heart Out.

Jenn and her family could use your kind thoughts and prayers. Her father has recently been in a very serious accident.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Economy is so bad . . .

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

Jewish women are marrying for love.

Hotwheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names

A truckload of Americans got caught sneaking into Mexico

The most highly-paid job is now jury duty

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting

People in Africa are donating money to Americans

Mothers in Ethiopia are telling their kids, "finish your plate, do you know how many kids are starving in the US ?"

Motel Six won't leave the light on

The Mafia is laying off judges

And finally...
Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Hey, great! ... the guy who made $50 billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $750 billion disappear.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Oh my!

Oh my goodness!!

Just watch.....

I full on admit that I am a great big chicken. I like my feet on the ground. Rubber bands have plenty of purpose, but I can definitely say that I would never use one like this.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Do you ever wonder ....

...... why the digital camera and the USB cord are never in your purse at the same time?

That is what I am wondering about today. Why is it that my digital camera is in my purse holding captive some really cute photos of my daughter (which I would like to post,) but the USB cord that I need to use to do so is not ever in the camera bag when I want it.

Hmmm.... I KNOW that the camera, my memory stick holder and the cord all fit in the little protective case that I bought for the camera and it's accessories. But, for what ever reason, the cord never gets put back in the case.

Guess I'll have to find the cord later.

Later .... what is the definition of later. It is later now than it was when I first typed the word later, but is it truly later, or is it not really?

Yes, I know - my brain and I are weird today.

Hope you are enjoying a happy day filled with moment that make you think, laugh, smile or reflect upon the simple things that make life special.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life is busy!

Whew - we are currently on one of those tracks of life where everything is happening at once. Mind you these are all great things going on. They have all just occurred with in a very short period of time:

  • extra dance practices
  • after, during and after school meetings
  • annual truck inspections
  • special dance practices
  • dance competition
  • lots of birthdays
  • mother's day
  • teen peer court
  • SADA practice
  • SADA performance

What has not gone on:

  • stamp time
  • restful sleep
  • chore time
  • laundry
  • house cleaning
  • grocery shopping
  • time to post recent photos of Manda
  • posting of cards I have created

What I am looking forward to in the next few weeks:

  • watching Manda as a defense attorney with Teen Peer Court
  • watching HairSpray at SADA
  • Russell's birthday
  • time to relax with my husband
  • time to relax with my daughter
  • time to put the house back in order
  • stamping with Carmen's Groupies at Melisa's
  • time to catch up on the laundry
I hope you are enjoying days full of happiness and activity! I don't know about you, but I'd rather have an action packed schedule that keeps me busy than have nothing to do at all.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

To the Moms of the blog-world -

My good friend Deb sent this to me. That she thinks I am an awesome mom is a total compliment. Seriously. Deb is an AWESOME mom! She was a mom when most of our friends weren't even thinking about raising a family. Deb was blessed with 4 wonderful children, all of whom are equally blessed to have her as their mom. Just as I am blessed to have her friendship.

I am placing this on my blog in the hope that others will read it - I read many blogs (see the right hand side of my blog for a list) and each of you are amazing women who live life with heart and soul. This is for you.

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby..
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

Send this to someone who you think is an awesome Mom.

May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life

Monday, April 27, 2009

........ Good Morning!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed every moment.
Life has been busy, but I did get a chance to create several cards and a gift tote this weekend.

If I can remember, I'll take photos and post them before they are given to their owner tomorrow.

Off I go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door:

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is:
Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals.
To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes,
(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stamp Your Heart Out 300,000 blog candy

One of my favorite bloggers is Jenn Diercks.

Her blog: Stamp Your Heart Out always features crisp, beautiful creations that make me want to get my fingers inky, and my brain creating.

Recently Jenn posted a 300,000 blog candy "challenge." All I had to do to enter was follow her very simple and concise instructions:

1. Make a card with the following color combination: Chocolate Chip,
Pumpkin Pie, Kiwi Kiss and Whisper White or Very Vanilla
(if you do not own Kiwi Kiss you may use Old Olive).

2. This must be a new card, you can’t link to an old post that contains a card with these colors.

3. Post your card online (SCS, your blog, etc.) and then come back to this
post. Post the direct link to your creation in the comment section.

Good Luck and have fun creating!

So - following those wonderful instructions ---- my card appears below:

I used the the following supplies and tools
(All supplies Stampin' UP! unless otherwise noted):

"Bloomin Beautiful" stamp set

Card stock & Ink:
Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Kiwi Kiss & Very Vanilla

Big Shot Embossing Plate: Flourish
(very vanilla card stock sponged with Kiwi Kiss, Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Chip)

Ribbon: Old Olive Polytwill (retired)

Aqua Painter
( with Kiwi Kiss, Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Chip re-inkers)

Punches: 1 3/8" square; 1 1/4" square; 1 1/4" circle
(Stampin' UP! / EK Success)

1" square (Creative Memories)

I love entering challenges and blog candy opportunities which make me create. After all, isn't that why I have a craft room, so that I can create to my hearts content?

Thanks Jenn for sharing your wonderful works of art on your blog! I love what you create and inspire to one day be as talented as you are.

Garden Tote ----- Totally Adorable!!!!

Can I say two things:

1. that Becky Roberts (Inking Idaho!) is a wonderful designer! If you have not already seen or made her Garden Tote, head on over to her blog and order a copy of the instructions, you'll be glad you did!

2. Carmen Johansen is an AMAZINGLY talented and totally patient teacher! Carmen and I have been friends for a long time. I first met Carmen way back when I was a CM consultant ~ Carmen was an avid scrapbooker with an eye for color and design that is just breath-taking.

Carmen designs and creates the most wonderful crafts. It is a pleaure to be her friend and her customer. I ALWAYS love the projects Carmen shares with us. She makes our lil' group of happy stampers reach for that next level while reminding us of the techniques and tips we have learned.

Both Carmen Johansen and Becky Roberts do Stampin' UP! PROUD!

I first saw Becky's tote about a month ago on her website. I knew I wanted to buy the tutorial, but frankly was just a lil' leery --- would I take the time to make it? Would I make it as pretty as hers?

Then MY very wonderful, totally talented friend Carmen, who just happens to be my very favorite SU demonstrator told me about this great tote she had made .... and when I saw it, I started drooling .... I KNEW I had to have one of my very own!

So - I bought the tutorial from Becky; ordered all of my supplies from Carmen and then got to spend this afternoon with Carmen at her house in Lincoln creating my own Garden Tote!

I used the "To the Nines" designer series paper from Stampin' UP! and I have to say. I totally love my tote.

Thanks Becky for the design, and a HUGE Thank YOU to Carmen Johansen for sharing her afternoon with me.

Carmen Johansen's April Challenge

Several years ago 6 or 8 of my friends and I formed a stampin cult (big grin!)

I love the girls I stamp with. Carmen, Tami, Kathie, Sarah, Melisa and I have been stamping together for 6 or 7 years. Jenn moved to Elk Grove, and Samantha moved to Texas - but other wise our group has stayed really close. We've been through 3 demonstrators as our talent and passion for new projects has increased. Not that we are experts by any means .....

Last year, knowing that we needed a change in demonstrators - Carmen signed up, and became our Stampin' UP! demonstrator. It is AWESOME to have her at the head of our group - not only is she nice, funny, easy to be around and talented - she understands the needs of our stamp group and she caters to us. We are truly spoiled by the time, talent and devotion she shares with us. Love ya!, Carmen!

Carmen recently started a monthly challenge. Last months was paper piecing, and when I get that card back I will post a pic of it.

Our challenge for April: Rock N Roll. My card is a little blurry, but here is a picture of my submission for April:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fiskars Give a Way

Everyone loves to have the chance to win ~ and this was one that I thought I'd share with everyone:

Lisa of Paper Fashions is doing a sweet Fiskars give a away - no tools, just some really great consumables.

Check out her blog for your own chance to win!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dream Makeovers - A Wish Fulfilled

I am so excited, I can barely contain myself!!!

Once in awhile something happens that is so exciting, so wonderful it makes you smile. Especially when the people it happens to are awesome people who deserve to have nice "things" happen to them.
A few months ago a family that Amanda and I are friends with had the opportunity to participate in a "Make A Wish." Nicole and Amanda have danced together for years.

Nicole is an amazing young lady. She is a gifted dancer with a talent and appreciation for the art of dance that entrances me when I see her on stage. She is a great student, a wonderful sister, and a caring person. Nicole is hard not to like. On top of all that .... Nicole has cystic fibrosis.

But that does not stop Nicole. Nicole enjoys life, laughter and facing challenges head on.

I could go on for hours about Nicole and her family - our family loves and admires them. They are a wonderful family. BUT ~ the entire point of my post is ......

Starting on page 69 is an article titled: A Wish Fulfilled

on page 70 is .............................................
Cathy Austin and Nicole Taipale

I went to the O Magazine website and the link for their article features a great picture of Cathy and Nicole:
Mind you this photo was taken at their photo shoot in New York, but I have to say - even in every day "real life" and not "all made up" both Nicole and Cathy are beautiful --- both inside and out. Love ya girls!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

May your Easter be shared with those you love, and may you find joy in the time you share together.

May your Easter eggs be filled with good blessings!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Starving Artiststamps

Blog Candy Give A Way!!

While reading the messages over at SU4Me (my favorite Yahoo Group!), I found a post from the wonderfully talented Darlene LeMar (who is excellent at finding the coolest blogs on the net!) about Starving Artiststamps.

is having a really cool (yes, I mean really cool!)
BLOG CANDY give a way.

I couln't help but want to enter, so ---- please indugle me as I post in hope that you too will visit their blog, see what the excitement is all about, and maybe even enter yourself.

You'll have to go to their blog to see what is so cool. It wouldn't be nice of me to steal their images and show you myself, but there is a stamp which is called DoodleFactory Super Parents --- it is adorable! I can think of several of my friends (who are becoming parents this spring) this stamp would be great for.

So, click on over to Starving ArtiStamps - home of the DoodleFactory & other fine stamps & things. Don't forget to mention that you learned about them here on my little corner of the world:

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blog Candy give - a - way!

While wandering through my google alerts, I stumbled upon a blog which by title alone intrigued me: Paper Therapy

And then I discovered that she is hosting a blog candy give - a - way! I love blog candy give - a - ways. Even though I never win them, it is fun to follow the rules of entry and see what happens. Blogs fascinate me; I feel like I learn so much for others.

Anyway - click on over to Paper Therapy and throw your hat into the ring. Someone will win her special treat, and it just may be you. (But, let's face it, I hope its me!)

Stampin' and loving it!

I've had a little time lately to spend in my craft room. I have been doing some cleaning, and re-organizing to make better use of the space. Obviously being more organized and having my favorite supplies at my fingertips makes craft time more productive. And, more productive means more fun, right? Right!

Here are a few of the cards I have made recently. The quality of the photos is horrible. I really should use my camera or scan the cards and not be lazy and snap photos with my cell phone.

This first card was made on the fly just before I had to run out the door to a baby shower. My friend Kim is going to be a grandmother. The grand baby will be born in May. The baby's parents are Kim's son Ryan, and his adorable girlfriend, Cara.

Cara is not into pink; she likes sweet and old-fashioned with natural colors and bold accents. This card was made with Kraft card stock, and the paper pack from the Sell A Brations catalog. The colors fit the nursery just about perfectly: certainly celery, deep rich burgundy, and the naturally gentle rich warmth of the Kraft card stock.

The next card I started when Mom was here a few weeks ago. It is a swap card for the wonderful yahoo group: SU4Me. I love the girls over at SU4Me. They are an amazing group of talented and warm hearted ladies. We are not your typical yahoo group - we are like long time friends connected via our Internet connections.

Norma is our swap moderator, and she posted the "polished stone technique" swap. I was so glad she did! It is one of my favorite techniques. I love seeing all the different ways the ink and alcohol blend to create wonderful background colors. I used shades of blue and a silver metallic ink with mine.

Speaking of SU4Me, Sue-Lynn issued a challenge to our group. She sent those of us who were up to the challenge an assortment of card stock pieces, buttons, chip board, and a cute little clip. We had to use 6 of the items on a card. My embellishments were a cheerful orange, and with the help of my daughter and the cat, this card is what I came up with.

Thanks Sue-Lynn! This was a great challenge, I loved created with the items you sent.

This picture is obviously NOT a card. This is Harley. He is the craft room supervisor. It is his job to make sure that everything is being put to the best use possible.

Of course his idea of best use and mine differ. I think the table is best used when I can spread out and use all of the table for my supplies.

Harley is certain the table is for his comfort and relaxation. He loves to stretch out and take a nap while I attempt to work around him. Because he is totally adorable, has a great purr and is a wonderful cat, he almost always gets his way.

While Mom was here she and I had the opportunity to spend some time in the scrapbook room. I wanted her to have the chance to enjoy creating some cards she could share with her friends.

Mom is active with the hospital axillary, and this year she is the Sunshine chair person. As such, she frequently sends out cards to people in her community. Mom likes bold dashes of color mixed with subtle simplicity, so we created cards that reflect her sense of taste and style.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hello Monday!

It is a sunny, windy, and cold morning here in my little corner of the world. The sunlight is beautiful with its cheerful rays of light trying to embrace the morning in warmth. However, the wind is winning the war against warmth.

Yesterday, I was in the living room watching the cats. They were in the front windows, looking out and trying to catch the leaves which were blowing across their field of vision. Once in awhile, a leaf or twig, or other object would strike against the glass panes, causing the curious cats to jump back, hunker down and jump off the window sill, and run wildly through the house to try to figure where that noise came from. Then the other cat would give chase and WWF cat smack down would begin.

The cats are hilarious, and their simple pleasures of life make me laugh and smile. Whether they are sleeping or playing, sitting in our laps, or getting into mischief the cats entertain our family.

Simple, I know. But, I like that I can enjoy simple pleasures. I love the innocence of their play, the depth of their cat naps and the way they engage in conversation with their humans through their meows, purrs and other antics. I love that they have to be in the middle of everything we do.

I love being owned by our cats.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Where did the week go?!?

Wow! I am not sure, but I think this week flew by faster than last week did. Time flies ....

Last weekend Mom was here and we had a great time! We were on the go most of the day Friday. We started out by having lunch at the Pita Pit (fresh and healthy!) The weather was warm with a nice breeze so we ate our lunches out on the patio while we shared a great conversation. Then we headed off to Walmart to gather flowers for my grandmother's grave site. We found the best flowers! Bright and cheerful colors. Grams loved bright colors, and these were orange, pink, white, yellow and vivid purples.

After we left Walmart we ventured down to South Sacramento. We decided we wanted to see the house Grams had lived in when I was a young girl. The house is in the Lemon Hill area, off of Stockton Boulevard. We had tried to find it by memory the last time Mom was here, but we kept getting turned around. This time, I had found the house on Google, and we were armed with directions.

Looking back to my childhood years, I remember Grams house as being a large, solid square of a home that sat on an over-sized yard with acres of green grass. My mother and my brother Randy used to mow the grass weekly, and it took hours for them to do. I would play in the house with my Grams, or sit on the back porch steps with my dolls and pass the time of day while they did the yard work.

There was a little parking area for Gram's car off the the right of the property and beyond that a small duplex. Out in the far back left there was another small house, but I was never allowed to go out the the house in the back. It was too far away from Grams' house, and she didn't really know the people who lived there. I did visit with the people in the little duplex, they were both older couples like my Grams and Poppa.

Grams house was always well cared for and had a clean, strong scent of pine sol, Ajax and spray starch from the hours of ironing she did. No one could iron like my Grams. Her kitchen always smelled delightful and she always had something scrumptious for us to nibble on. I have fond memories of the house and yard, and the times our family shared there.

Fast forward back to the present day (about 33 years since Grams lived on the property.) The property is actually no more than 1/2 of an acre in size and completely and totally over developed. Besides the tiny little house at the front of the property (the house Grams lived in that I remembered as being a lot bigger!) and the duplex to the right, there is now an additional duplex in the back right corner, a row of 4 apartments that from the outside look like they are no bigger than a small hotel room, an over sized parking structure that is falling apart, and another square dwelling which looks like it was intended to be housing, but looks vacant. The entire property is over grown, depressed and in shambles. The are yard cars, refuse and other items strewn about. Sad, very sad. Thank goodness for memories!

After our visit to the old property, we went to the cemetery to share some love with Grams. She passed away 2 years ago, just six weeks before I turned 40, and she would have been 100. My birthday was on the 17th of March, and hers was the 18th. She used to pretend she was mad at me for not being born on her birthday.

Mom put the beautiful flowers on Grams grave site, and we spent some time chatting "to" Grams. My Grams was a wonderful woman, and we miss her very much. I know she is watching over us.

After visiting the grave site, we headed back into Roseville. We stopped at Costco and enjoyed an afternoon of tasty samples and stocking up of yummy treats and good things to eat. Then it was home for dinner, and time to teach my Mom how to play Wii.

Mom quickly got the hang of the Wii and enjoyed bowling. Let's face it, Wii is hard not to like. What a great way to have fun and interact with your family at the same time.

On Saturday Mom and Manda ran a few errands, then we all met for a delicious Chinese food feast. I was able to spend some great time with Mom in the scrapbook room, where I helped her to create half a dozen hand stamped cards. Mom is the Sunshine chairperson for the hospital auxiliary this year. As such she sends out greeting cards to those who are ill, lost a loved one, celebrated a birthday, etc. I thought it would be nice for Mom to be able to send out cards she herself had created. She and I had a great afternoon creating cards!

On Sunday we met my niece Kayli in Auburn for breakfast. Kayli has just moved back from Oregon, and it was great to see her. She is adorable, and a wonderful, caring young lady. While we were enjoying breakfast and wonderful conversation, Mother Nature delighted us with a beautiful snowfall that dusted the landscape but did not stick to the ground. So pretty!

The weekend went by entirely too fast! Before I knew it, it was time for bed on Sunday night, and back to work on Monday.

Now it's Friday again, and I can't believe it. Hope you have had a great week!

Happy Friday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I am so excited!

It is Friday!
My Mom is here!

Need I say anything more? I am so happy, it is Friday, my mom is here and we are going to spend a totally wonderful weekend together.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Photos from 29 years ago

Having shared my rough draft of the "Thank You!" note that I am sending twenty nine years late to a person who more than deserves my appreciation, I thought you might like to see the pictures connected with the event of a lifetime - meeting Donny Osmond for the first time.

I was having difficulty getting the images to load nicely here on my blog, but you can see them in my facebook album: 29 years ago

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A long over due "Thank you!"

Mr. Ken

Re: A long over due THANK YOU!

Dear Ken,

Twenty nine years ago, a young; not quite mature as she would like to have believed young girl lived in a small city seventy miles out side of her beloved Sacramento where she had been raised until she was twelve years of age. Transplanted from the large metropolitan city where all her family and friends were, to living in this small town of Colusa was quite a shock, and this young girl did not react well.

The girl was, quite frankly, miserable in Colusa. None of her friends lived in this tiny town so far removed from what she was used to. None of her friends were there to bolster her confidence, or share laughter and tears with. Not even her best friend was nearby, and long distance phone calls were only so great at helping the young girl feel connected.

Colusa seemed so small! During those final few precious last weeks of summer, the girl explored her new town with open eyes, and much fear. The young girl immediately liked the park, swimming pool and tennis courts. But, she was lonely. She knew no one, and every person of her own age she came across seemed reluctant to take a moment to extend a friendly greeting. The word “clique” had a strong meaning to the girl. The cliques existed, and she was on the outside looking in.

The first day of school arrived. The young girl hearing the whispers of, “Who is that?” ringing throughout the hallways of the middle school, felt like a fish in a very small bowl. And that bowl had been placed in the depth of the ocean for all the native Colusa teens to feed upon. Surprisingly enough, she did not get eaten that day, just nipped at, and put in her place several times that day, and for many weeks to come. She was reminded that she was the outsider, and that although she may live in Colusa – she was not “from” Colusa and was therefore not worthy of belonging to the teens.

There were notable exceptions to the rule. A few brave, kind Colusa teens who had obviously been raised by loving and kind parents, parents who knew there was a world beyond the boundary lines of Colusa, and who raised their children to accept people for what is in their heart and mind, accepted the new comer, and tried to make her feel as though she belonged. The young girl was too naïve to see or understand this at the time. But she never forgot their kindness, and even as she carried her dislike for Colusa into adulthood, she appreciated those few people. They had made the difference. They had made those months of living in Colusa not so painful, and not as lonely as it could have been.

One of the young girl’s favorite people was a prince among the teen-aged boys. He was her age, and had manners, a sense of humor, honor and insight. He had the wisdom and knowledge of an older soul. He befriended the girl and tried his best to ease her unhappiness. He offered his ear to her soul and encouraged her to talk. He participated in active conversation with her. He made her laugh! He made her smile. He made her feel a contentment that no one else had. He offered her his young heart and they became “steady” boy friend and girl friend. Being the young and immature teen that she was, it would be many years later, and only through the vision known as hindsight; before she would fully appreciate the innocent relationship of that 7th grade romance, and the depth of maturity he shared with her. He was wise beyond her years. She was the one from the big city – but he was that one with the knowledge of life and maturity.

During the time the young couple “dated” the young man learned the girl had a teen idol ~ Donny Osmond. The teen idol was the epitome of “Puppy Love” and was known for his wholesome values, clean family entertainment, good looks and wonderful voice. The girl had learned that her teen idol and his family would be performing in the California bay area city of San Carlos at a venue known as the Circle Star Theater, and she really wanted to go. Her parents; they were not so certain that a not quite 13 year old girl needed to be at a concert.

The young girl tried everything she could to change her mom’s mind so that she could go. But the young girl’s mom was not budging. The concert would be expensive and they would have to drive several hours to and from the concert. Maybe if the venue had been local and not several hours away, then maybe she would have been allowed to go. Maybe.

The young girl’s boyfriend – he had more than just his heart to offer when the young girl shared her unhappiness at not being allowed to attend the concert - he had magic! That magic was a direct connection from his parent’s place of business to the manager of the Osmond Family! And, in no time at all – not only was permission granted, but given with joy for the young girl and her 7th grade boy friend to attend the concert. The young girl’s parents would provide transportation and chaperone the young teen couple to and from the concert.

The Saturday morning of the concert arrived with stormy grey skies that unleashed torrential rains upon California. The heavy rain clouds dumping there load upon the land could not dampen the young girl’s spirits as her parent’s root beer colored Honda wagon traveled down the state to the concert. Nothing could take the happiness from the girl – she had her 7th grade boy friend beside her, and they were on their way to enjoy a real live concert. The girl’s step father was an award winning newspaper photographer, and he had given the young couple his press passes for the concert, so they couple would be allowed to take a camera with then during the concert, thus enabling them to capture the memories for posterity.

Arriving at the venue, the young teen-age boy and girl went to “Will Call” to pick up their tickets, which were being held for them under the name of “YAMAHA.” But the tickets were not there. After some confusion, the kids were sent around to the back stage door, and upon telling the security at the door their names and explaining the confusion, they were admitted to the back stage area ….. Oh my!! This was even better than just going to a concert, they got to walk through the back stage area, where the Osmond Family could be seen getting ready before taking the stage. Wow! The girl was flabbergasted and speechless (which did not happen very often.)

Escorted by a member of the Osmond’s staff, the teens were shown to their seats (near the front, and in the center!) and instructed to return to the back stage door after the concert so that they would have the opportunity to meet a few of the Osmonds and maybe even get autographs and pictures. Oh my!!! The teen-aged girl was in for the experience of a lifetime, and she was thrilled! Every moment of the concert was magical, and each moment was captured in indelible ink in her mind. This – this was “something” she would never forget.

After the concert, following the instructions they were given, the young couple returned back stage, bringing with them the young girl’s mother and step father, the step father’s professional camera, their autograph books, programs and immense excitement.

An Osmond staff member greeted the 7th grade teens saying, “I am not sure how much time we have, or who is available, but I am pretty certain that we can get Donny to come over and talk to you, would that be okay?” Oh my …… YES! The girl began to tremble with pure excitement … her steady reminded her to relax, calm down, and just be herself. She needed that reminder.

Merrill and Wayne Osmond stopped by, chatted for a moment and signed their autographs. Marie, Alan, Jay, and Jimmy were off in another direction greeting fans and unwinding after the wonderful performance they had shared with their fans. And, then, making every wish and dream come true for the young girl, Donny joined the foursome from Colusa. Oh my! He was just as charismatic and friendly in person as he was on the television, his voice as warm and layered as it is on records… only he was standing right there with the teens, his arm around the young girl’s shoulders. Her smile was full and true, exhibiting a depth of happiness she could not even begin to believe. Pictures were taken of Donny with the young teen-aged boy from Colusa and his young teen-aged awe struck girlfriend. Conversations were shared between the teen idol and the teen-aged boy and girl; memories were seared into the mind of the teen-age girl. She would never forget this moment.

Several months later, the school year ended. The young girl went off to her father’s in another state for the summer and dreaded her return back to Colusa. For although the girl had made several friends in the tiny town of Colusa; her heart and soul longed to return to her beloved Sacramento. At just thirteen years of age, she was not wise enough to appreciate the true value of those few friendships she had made. She could only feel that she belonged elsewhere – some place other than that tiny town, where every one knew every one, and if you weren’t from there, you belonged elsewhere.

While enjoying the sunshine and happiness of summer at her father’s the young girl received a phone call during which she was told it was time to come back to Colusa. The young girl’s mother had decided to move. The girl would have to help pack the duplex they had lived in during their time in Colusa, and then unpack and establish their household in Roseville, California. It was with much excitement and without looking back twice that the girl joyfully arrived home, packed her belongings, and gleefully said goodbye to Colusa.

In her haste to “move on” the girl was shallow and selfish. She did not take the time to express her appreciation to the young man who had given her a priceless gift - unconditional friendship and acceptance. Roseville became the home of her heart and soul within mere weeks of arriving and unpacking boxes. She has never regretted the move to Roseville, and to this day loves living there and calls herself a native of Roseville. But – she also has never forgotten the true friend who tried to make a difference – Kenny.

Kenny has frequently crossed her mind, leaving her to reflect upon his kindness with both joy and sorrow. A true friend should be appreciated. The young girl that Robin was did not realize this until several years down the road, and then she could not find her way back so that she could say, “Thank You. I appreciate you. I appreciate your family and the kindness and joy that were shared with me during a time in my life that misery was my best friend. I appreciate you for trying to show me the value of taking life one day at a time, and for trying to get me to take each moment of happiness and appreciate the value of that happiness. Thank you for sharing your friendship with me and for sharing your young heart with me. You have carried a piece of my heart with you, as I gained knowledge and eventually maturity in my life. Thank you for being my friend, and for making my dreams have value, and for making my dream of meeting my teen idol a reality. Thank you for accepting the new kid in town and for not treating me like the plague”

Recently, through a social network, the young girl found out that the young boy had relocated. Using a Google search engine to search his name, and finding a connection, the girl knew it was time. Time to finally, many years later, have the opportunity to thank the boy who made an impression on the girl.

Ken ~

This thank you is 29 years late, but I hope that you can see how much your kindness - being a true friend to a young girl - meant to me. I have thought of you often over the years. My husband and daughter, having heard me tell stories about my time living in Colusa, wanted to know if I had ever thanked you properly for being my friend during those months that I lived there.

I was shamed to admit that I never had.

Thank you for sending me your address so that I could do what should have been done years ago – say, “THANK YOU!”


Friday, March 13, 2009

Busy, Busy day...

It's Friday the 13th and shaping up to be a busy, busy day.

I want to share a few stories about:

* what happend this morning (iron!)
* a story about Colusa and some friends I have re-connected with
* a story about my 7th grade boyfriend and a long over due "Thank YOU!" note (with photos to be included!)

But, I don't have time to do it now, so --- basically --- this morning's blog is my ribbon tied around my finger to help me remember what I want to share.

Have a totally terrific Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scrapbook room fun!

Last night after work, I ventured into the scrapbook room, where I fully intended to finish the cracked glass cards I had started on Monday. I cut all of the card stock, stamped all of my images and embossed and cracked the main image for all six cards on Monday with the help of Manda who was sweet and helped me by transferring the freshly embossed images to the freezer for quick cool downs.

So, there I was - sitting at my scrap table with the big, bright lamp illuminating my table and the blinds pulled up to allow the late afternoon sun into the room. Harley jumped up onto the table - he loves to lay on the table when the light is on. I can't blame him. It is a BIG, bright lamp, and it does create a circle of warmth.

First Harley stretched out, and allowed me to start working with my project. Then I started to unroll a length of ribbon so that I could cut the proper length, cut it and accessorize the cards.
But, Harley had other ideas and began swatting at the ribbon. No claws, just the soft pad of his paw, batting the ribbon and making it sway enticingly in front of his face. I don't mind him playing with my ribbon, but this was SU ribbon, so I took that roll away from him and located "his" string for him to play with instead.

In the meantime, Miss Harvest decides she is missing out on the fun and games, and joins Harley on the table. She decided that my pen rolls perfectly when she swats at it, and she proceeds to repeat her kitten cute playfulness with my pen until it finally rolls off of the table. Harvest then decides she wants to share Harley's string and she takes it from him.

Harley takes exception to that, and decides it is time for Cat WWF. Harley tackles Harvest and they tumble off of my table to the ground. Being cats they land on their feet and the chase is on.
"Safe" appears to be my scrap table as they take turns advancing and evading each other, and return time and time again to the warmth and brightness of the table.

Harvest tried to "hide" behind my rotating ink caddy, but even as she hides, she can not resist showing her cute little head and keeps popping out from behind the cover of the caddy to "see" where Harley is. Of course Harley being older and wiser was sitting just to the other side and immediately pounces on her.

Their antics kept me amused for at least 30 minutes and by that time, I had lost all focus on finishing my cards. The cats had paper, pens and ribbon knocked off of my table and my shelves - but do you think they offered to clean up their mess? Nope! Oh well, at least they had a good time, and I have to admit - I enjoyed watching their antics.

Do you have pets? Are you a sucker for their cuteness like I am?

Monday, March 9, 2009

It was a wonderful weekend!

Friday night Manda and I ran to the used bookstore; and then to Safeway. We came home and made a yummy (very simple!) dinner and just relaxed and enjoyed the evening with Russell.

Saturday was family breakfast morning. Russell and Manda made scrumptious bacon (I always burn it) while I did scrambled eggs with bell peppers, tomato, corn and onions. After breakfast, Manda to Russell to pick up the truck - the 77 Ford needed its very first clutch replacement after more than 110 thousand miles. Then Manda ran a few errands before coming home.

Saturday evening we joined Susie Immanschuch, and Alena Trimble at Strikes in Rocklin for dinner. Susie, Alena and I went to high school together. We have not seen each other in years and years, but we had a wonderful time catching up and getting to know each other all over again. Both of them are just as sweet and fun as I remember.

Sunday afternoon Manda and I headed over to hang out with Paula and Danielle. We spent a relaxing afternoon sharing great conversation and just enjoying the afternoon. Then it was off to Bible study for Paula (I am going to go with her one night,) and off to help Marla Ellis celebrate her birthday.

Marla is turning 40 this week. Her family really wanted to do something for her birthday, and as luck would have it - it is going to be a crazy week, so they decided to celebrate her birthday at John's Incredible Pizza. At 5:00 pm on a Sunday evening, the lines were actually not too bad, and the noise level was bearable.

Marla was joined by her mom, Marla's daughters Brittani (14) Madolyn (9) Brittani's best friend, my daughter Manda (16) Madolyn's best friend, Karissa (9) Marla's brother Fred and sister in law Dawn and their son Colin who is also 9, Marla's nephew Austin (16) Marla's boyfriend - Dave (who is really nice!) and myself.

It was a joyful bunch that crowded around the table sharing in the celebration. There was lots of good food, loud conversation and laughter. The kids enjoyed being able to use some of their energy in the game room, and the adults appreciated being able to share conversation.

It was a really busy weekend. Of course the things like laundry and cleaning house did not get done, but - oh well ----- I think we can get that caught right back up this week.

Happy Monday - hope your weekend was fun and that you are enjoying the bright sunshine outside today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


What do purple lions, pink elephants and green skies have to do with each other? And, more importantly, WHY were they in my dreams last night? Why did I have such a mryiad messed up mix of dreams last night? I even had the strangest dream about a former boy-friend. It was a very clean dream, but I kind of felt like he was trying to talk to me..... I guess I'll call his sister and see what is up.

I could understand the dreams if any of those "things" had remotely crossed my mind during the day, but they didn't. And, last night was one of those totally perfect nights when the t.v. never got turned on before I went to bed.

It is not like I ate dinner late, over ate before going to bed, or was over stimulated.

Manda and I shared an awesome chicken salad for dinner last night, nice and simple:
lettuce, carrots, advocado, and chicken with a balsamic vinegarret dressing. Tasty, simple and yummy.

I was in bed by 9pm.

By midnight I was restless and waking from strange dreams. I got up and drank a big glass of water, and went back to bed; only to continue to have these whacked out dreams that made no sense what so ever. None.

And, I can usually figure out dreams. Not these.

Oh well! Happy Thursday! Hope you are having a day full of love and happiness.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Well, "Hello Mr. Sunshine!" Yes - it is one of those beautiful pre-spring days in the Sacramento valley --- we had an abundance of rain yesterday (which we need more of,) and today the skies are full of puffy clouds in varigated colors ranging from pure white to dark and dank grey - and those clouds are being chased by brilliant clear blue skies and sunny sunshine. It is chilly out, with a hint of the rain still to come, but it is a beautiful day.

Happy Wednesday! Have a beautiful day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Monday!

It is Monday - the first week of March, and I am feeling so much more like myself this week. YIPEE!!! Yes, I am that excited about feeling better.

We spent the entire weekend around the house, resting, cleaning cubby holes, and reading. My scrapbook (okay, it really should be stamping) room looks fabulous! It has taken me several weekends to go through each and every little bit - but it is so worth it. Now my space is much more organized than it has been in a while.

I really wanted to stamp this weekend, but I could not get a creative vibe flowing. So - when I could not create, I cleaned. Harley helped me. He laid on the table underneath the warmth of my big lamp, and took long cat naps. Once in a while, he'd open his eyes, and stretch his paws out - reaching to be patted, then with a contented sigh of the truly loved, he'd rev his motor and slip back into a slumber.

Harvest likes to investigate the scrapbook room, but her kitten-ness youth makes her mischevious and playful, and she is not content until she can bat everything about and chase a piece of ribbon or knock something off the shelf. Good thing she is adorable and has very loud purr.... Cuteness keeps her from getting in trouble.

Now - if I can find my creative vibe this week, that would be wonderful. Carmen sent out a challenge to our stamp group - Paper Piecing. That should help inspire me.

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh my ....

I had no idea this cold was going to sneak up and smack me right along side the head. But it did, and life has been miserable this week. I tried to be strong and work through the couging and sore throat - but I caved in. I was weak. I allowed the misery to take over.

It has been several nights - since last Thursday - that I have had a good (Or even fairly decent) amount of sleep. I am exhausted, can not keep my train of thought focused, bored out of my mind, and restless. Not a good combination.

But I have a good feeling about tonight - and just as soon as Russell is home from work, and Manda is home from dance, I am off to bed.

Mr. Sandman - PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! If I could have a decent night of sleep, that would be wonderful.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's SU Stamp NIght Thursday!

It's Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I am very excited that it is Thursday - it means I get to see my friends and go play with inky fingers, stamps, paper, scissors and adhesive.

Our group is so much fun! We have been stamping together for several years, and each of the women in the group are so wonderful. We lost Jenn to Elk Grove several years ago, and Samantha to Texas, but recently we've picked up a few new friends along the way. It is so much fun to share and enjoy wonderful company. I love our Thursday night stamping sessions.

We had been stamping with one demo for about 3 years, but then we decided that we needed an even bigger challenge and more room for individual creativity -- so Carmen became our Stampin' Up! demonstrator last year. That took our group up to an even higher level of wonderfulness!

It's Thursday and I can not wait to see my friends this evening.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where can ...

I find the best price on Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism contacts??

Manda needs a new prescription and I need to do some good price comparisons. So far I am seeing prices of $48.00 per box.

If there are 6 pairs in a box that equates to 12 weeks of wear per box. So in all reality; she'll need at least 5 boxes of contacts per eye for the next year of use.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why is it...

.... that my daughter had an appointment at the eye doctors this afternoon at 4:00 pm (we checked in a 3:45 pm) and she was not even called back into the offices until almost 4:30pm?

Why is it that most medical offices schedule their appointments so tightly together that there is no way they can possibly stay on time?

Why is it that most medical offices find it perfectly acceptable to be tardy by more than a half hour in seeing their patients?

Why is is that most medical offices will wait until they are late for your appointment, then call you back into their offices, put you in a room, and let you wait for an additional period of time before the medical professional finally has the time to see you?

Most medical professionals are highly intelligent people - who obviously care about their patients well-fare.... why don't the doctors all stand up against the medical group administrators and the insurance companies and allow better patient scheduling?

Why is it? Because -- it just is!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Make it STOP!!!

Ugh ----- the alarm for the suite next door is going off. It's driving me crazy. Someone, please make it stop.

Monday, February 9, 2009


So after the dance dress rehearsal last night, Manda was craving pasta. Our favorite is tortellini Alfredo. We had a family sized refrigerated package of tortellini, but only a teeny bit of Alfredo sauce.

Hmmm.... what to do?

Get creative.

I decided that balance and nutrition could suffer this time, and I grabbed a stick of butter, two fresh cloves of garlic, a can of evaporated milk and 2 cups of freshly grated Colby-jack cheese.

In a nice hot frying pan, I began by melting the butter, then I minced the garlic and tossed that into the melting butter. Next I decided to add two teaspoons of dry mustard, and the can of evaporated milk. I warmed that to a slow rolling bubble - not quite a boil, and then tossed in the grated Colby jack cheese, and a can of sliced mushrooms.

It started to smell divine, so I turned it down and allowed it to simmer for about 15 minutes while we boiled and drained the tortellini.


I have to say - it was pretty delicious. It was really rich, so a little bit of pasta and sauce went a long way.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


just a touch of randomness:

Russ was born in 1957
He graduated from high school in 1975

Russ moved from Maryland to California in 1985
I graduated from high school in 1985

Russ was born on the 15th of the month
Our anniversary is September 15

I was born on the 17th of the month
Amanda was born on the 17th of the month

Friday, January 30, 2009

Awful ...

A really good friend of our family was arrested on horrible, awful, totally life changing charges this week. I feel sick to my stomach; and just want to cry for him.

Mike - please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this horrible ordeal.

I don't believe that the charges are true. I believe that what he was accused of did happen; but I do not believe that it was done by Mike.

May God be with the family, may the full truth be revealed to those who need to know, and may mercy and comfort be will all the parties involved.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's been a week

... since I last posted anything.

Life has been busy. I hope life is treating you and yours well, and that you are staying warm and dry.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


This was sent to me by my mom, and I knew it needed to be on my blog:

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.
It was going to be a long flight. "I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq.'

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago.' His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.'

She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?' 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said,'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard fromall of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for asandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.

These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.