Friday, March 20, 2009

It looks like I've been doing nothing doesn't it!'s just that I've been making myself stay focused on the tasks at hand so I could leave on my California visit with a clear conscience! Lots got done this week!
  1. Taxes are all off to the accountant now! (personal and business!) - so, again I'm making a commitment to be better about keeping better records for the business! That is NO fun ... trying to find all the paperwork needed, you'd think I would learn! My action plan for this year - build a Google spreadsheet that both my business partner and I can update AS THE EXPENSES OCCUR! Wish us well?

  2. Client billing is all caught up! Woohoo!

  3. Client work that requires me to be 'in town' is all done. Some tasks will be coming along with me, but that's okay! Something productive to do while Sara is working!

  4. Supplies are not only ordered but have been received (just today! woohoo!). This would be my cooling pad for macbook pro and a smaller external hard drive (1TB) so I can take my data along!

    You'll be as amazed as I am to know that they were sent by Amazon on Tuesday a.m. via USPS and one arrived Thurs, the other arrived today! So...not that I think their top execs (public servants) need a bonus, but all the folks along the path certainly deserve a big round of applause!

  5. Packing is nearly done - waiting on some laundry.

  6. Followed up on some IOUs that we've been waiting on ... should have that taken care of by 2:00 p.m. Ahhhh...another needling detail off the list!

  7. Played with blog header ... as you can see. Still working on customizing other aspects!

  8. Scanned more of our vintage family photos! Finished brother Paul's stack from my mom. Now I only have one small box (a mixture of things from mom) and my sister Wanda's stack from mom. I can almost see the floor under the scanner table now ... yay! (Already returned a big ole' box of scanned images when I went to Alex in January) Looking forward to working with some of these images! Talk about stories!

  9. Took a morning off to enjoy a great speaker at our MOPS meeting Wednesday.
    Elizabeth Hagen, member NAPO (Nat'l Association of Professional Organizers). Thoroughly enjoyed her presentation ... imagine that ... an OCD/ADD girl like me ... haha ... gotta love any reason to use office supplies and bins and labels!!! Right?

  10. Last but not least ... final update to my blog for the week! We are going to be in Ames doing some spring yardwork tonight and all day tomorrow. Saturday evening we'll meet-up with Bruce's siblings and enjoy some time together! Then, Sunday, it's off to California for me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just finished uploading some images for a test print with a dear friend of mine from the digital printing world (Barb!) We are going to see how digital scrapbook page designs look when printed on her industrial digital wide-format printer (prints on rolls of watercolor paper, canvas, vinyl, etc ... yup ... I'm envious ... and thankful!) If they look great I'm going to start promoting her services on the various sites I like to frequent ... I know! It sounds like I'm a stalker!

Thought I'd post one of my FAV photos of me and Baby Scarlett (she was 6 days old). It was taken the day we had the sweat lodge going in Tara's bathroom. She was just so relaxed and awake. I temporarily 'painted' Tara's bathroom walls ... hope she doesn't mind! :-)

NOTE TO STACEY! WE NEED MORE PHOTOS!!! Seriously ... I'm thinking about writing a book. The title? When you give a Grama a Photo! I've got the perfect story line!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good-Bye So Soon

As quickly as she arrived ... she's gone again! We tied two of her quilt tops, she did laundry, she and my guy figured out the crazy cell phone bill (oh yeah ... after many months of phantom 'extra' charges we finally discovered our provider, Verizon, charges a minimum of $1.99/mb for accessing their download library ... just for accessing ... the downloading fees are in addition to that ... I'm quilty! Sometimes I bump that dhangh quick key when I'm trying to get at something else ... who KNEW that they would be charging me for that little mistake! I'm not the only one either. It's happened to my guy, my mom, and of course our girlie! Good grief!)

Oops! Back to the subject! We packed a lot of activities into her brief stay! Whew!
  • Figured out the trouble I was having with the iPod (needed a new gadget/accessory ... imagine that!)
  • She brushed me up on stir-fry techniques (so I made cashew chicken for lunch ... my guy and girlie both testify that it was quite good ... my guy has already put dibs on the leftovers for his meals while I'm off to California visiting my baby sister!).
  • My guy helped her with several issues on the new-to-her car (PT Cruiser totally decked out) ... don't ask me the details ... it was moslty greek to me ... but, they are both happy ... so ... I'm happy.

After sending her on her way (back to school) I made a stew for supper that turned out fabulous!! Winter Butternut Squash Stew - the 'secret' ingredient must be the wine ... it was fantastic! ... and ... you guessed it ... my guy quickly divided the extra portions into little containers and hustled them off to the freezer to add to his little stash!

I was SO SURE he'd get suspicious ... I mean ... really ... when is the last time "I" made two, from scratch, meals in the same day?! I thought this would throw him off ... just a bit ... you know ... sorta like the day he fixed two things around the house ... remember that?

Good Bye Sweet Pea! Next time I see you . . . you'll be "all gwowd up" . . . out of school, out there in the big, wide world and (if I know you at all) slaying dragons everywhere you go! I love you and I am so proud of the young lady you've become!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Our youngest daughter is on Spring Break for the last time (well, at least for this stretch of her life!). She came home yesterday just in time for supper. After supper we headed straight to the little craft cottage and set up shop!
She has two quilts she just pieced out of her old sweatshirts ... those she's collected from a variety of high school and college sports or clubs and the miscellaneous vacations she's been on over the past 10 years or so. They are colorful and SO FUN!

She cleverly cut some of the blocks so they would include the fun front pocket (where you can put both hands ... IYKWIM) ... I like that!

We were able to get one all tied ... just the binding left. She said something about needing to run a quality control check and then snuggled under it all night ... I'm guessing it passed muster!

It's nice to have her home ... the house never really feels like "HOME" when we don't have at least ONE of our children here. I think Bruce and I both slept much more soundly last night ... there's just something about having your children home that brings peace to your soul.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sheets of Ice! Bitter cold wind!

A Mac and a stash of photos ... the PERFECT winter's day (IF you must live in this crazy place, that is!) I am hoping the weather doesn't make traveling dangerous tomorrow for Katy . . . 5 hours on bad roads isn't very fun. Worse yet, what if she can't come because of the weather . . . oh now THAT would be bad! We are looking forward to her visit! Crafting, catching up on our late night chats, movies, or whatever else we can squeeze into a short visit.

The highlight of my day today . . . oddly enough . . . was getting my vacuum fixed (it's needed repairs since December . . . yikes! . . . don't EVEN ask how my floors were looking!) My sweet, handy hubby got it all fixed before he went to work (now that's sweet!)- new belt, clean roller with fresh lube job and a new bag . . . woohoo! I was a vacuuming fool today!

Then, when that same sweet guy got home he fixed the ice maker in our frig! It's been nonfunctional since January! He's really earning some big points today, ay?

Hmmmmm . . . you don't think he's up to something do you?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Welcome Emily Ann!

Grandbaby #7 has just arrived (8:20 this morning) in North Carolina! She was 9# and 20" long ... and of course has head circumference 14.75"! Mama is still in recovery as I right this (C-section) and Daddy's feet haven't hit the ground yet. Her older brothers, Alex and Noah, will be by to meet her later this morning. We are anxiously waiting for some photos!!! (PTL for cell phone picture capability!!!)

Well ... the photos have arrived. Here's mommy and baby, getting to know each other. Emily looks like an angel! Awwwwwwwwwwwww

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Saying Good-Bye is always bitter sweet! New and reNewed friendships always make Sunday a little bit sad, yet we leave with the inner joy that comes from spending time with others who share our passion, looking forward to our next chance to get together.

Retreat always culminates with a Show & Tell ... everyone shows the group layouts they've worked on over the weekend and has a chance to tell about new skills they've used, ah-ha moments, ideas for future retreats, and overall impression of their experience at this retreat.

I'll be back with some photos from today! Already missing everyone ... SYS (see you soon) I hope!
Quick camp update ... the date/time stamp says "Sunday" ... but we are all choosing to think it's still Saturday ... it's 1:24 am (or 2:24 am daylight savings time ... I'm not gonna think about that ... having too much fun!)

Earlier today (yesterday/Saturday) we tore ourselves away from our keyboards and enjoyed a walk in the sunshine. This photo is a little bit deceiving ... it really was a beautiful day ... blue sky, birds chirping, melting snow, and the smell of a wood-burning stove wafting through the air ... a wonderful break from our computer screens!

Left to Right:
Kim, LeAnna, Barb, Denise, (me!), Debbie, Janelle, Judy!
GO DigiChicks!

Today we've learned to:
  • create custom shadows
  • create custom brushes
  • change brush settings (spacing, roundness, fade, etc) for some pretty cool effects!
  • create straight stitches (use Hard Round brush w/special settings)
  • create reflective layouts using masks, blending modes, etc
  • warp a photo frame & mask in Elements (bent-looking photos...)
    (don't forget that wonderful combination of CTRL+SHIFT+ALT or just CTRL+click corner control handle when you are in Free Transform mode! Woohoo!)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spring Retreat is officially underway!
Here we are ... all working hard ... (it's 1:25 am ... such devoted scrappers!)

This group is on-the-ball!

In addition to getting through the Accelerated Intro Class (really! just ask them ... this Intro Class includes Clipping Masks ... it's not a whimpy class!) we've already worked our way through lessons on:
  • the Gradient Tool and all it's settings
  • creating a fade-out clipping mask
  • creating a clipping mask that uses text as well as a box
  • using templates that arrive as a group of .png files

So ... it's off to bed now so we are ready for the first lesson at 9:00 am. TTFN!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Off to the annual Spring DigiChick Retreat!
We have some returning guests this spring and some new ... it's always exciting to spend a weekend with other enthusiasts of digital scrapbooking and/or photo restoration. I'll be sure to post some of the happenings ... bbl!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Polar Plunge!

Last Saturday, Bruce and I found ourselves standing at the edge of hole, cut into a frozen lake in Minnesota, watching our youngest jump in! It was 11 degrees below zero, there was a bitter breeze, and a deceptively bright blue sky . . . MAN IT WAS COLD! Never-the-less, she and two of her friends donned their swimgear and jumped into that hole. All to help raise money for the Special Olympics.

NOTE: If you want to see a clearer version of this photo ... just click on it.

Hmmmmm ... I'm thinking, "Do they have any 'special' olympics for folks crazy enough to get half-naked in the freezing weather and jump into a frozen-over lake?"!