Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30th Virginia's View Challenge (Hello)

My Entry - Hello card

Playing with distress inks, stamps, water color paper

The top panel of my card was made from this stamped sheet


Virginia's April 30th Challenge:  Friendship, Hello, Etc.



I finally made something! 
 Back on April 16th I came across 'I love Virginia's View Challenge' Blog from another friend's blog (Thanks Lin!).  And, I got inspired.  And, life happened, and I got sidetracked with a million other things.  And, today, as I looked at my scrappy mess in my bedroom, I remembered that today is the deadline to submit, so here I am.

Supplies Used:
Watercolor paper
Tim Holtz Distress Inks (cracked pistachio, festive berries, spiced marmalade, shabby shutters)
Tim Holtz Distress Stain (antique linen)
Stamps:  Stampin' Up 'What I Love'
Hero Arts' Hello Stamp & Cuts' (I used the Hello die cut)
Big Shot
Orange card stock and brown pattered paper (design on other side) from Simon Says Stamp April Kit 


Thanks for looking:)


Sunday, April 17, 2016

This is Jake - April 2016

Jake - One Fine Saturday Evening in April

Jake - Candid Shot
Jake is starting to 'bloom'. 

The man-child (16 soon to be 17) now has a girlfriend and is getting out of his cave (aka computer game world).  My quiet, mellow, observe from the corner of the room type of guy, is starting to expand his wings.  His social life is pretty minimal.  He's not the kind of kid who escapes every chance he gets.  Nope.  He would rather stay home after working all week at the ranch.  Even during the school year, he does chores before and after school, and puts in a full day on Fridays and Sundays.  So, his time at my house, is usually his 'down time' and his private time.

Every now and then he gets out with his guy friends to do off the wall stuff, like paint-ball wars, or air gun fights, or some other crap that seems to end in someone (him) getting hurt (dead front tooth on top, broken front tooth on bottom - permanent teeth things that drive me crazy). 

His girlfriend is a cute, sweet, rough and tumble kick-ass basketball player ranch girl, and the apple of her daddy's eye. Whom, one fine date-night for Jake and his cutie, appeared at my front door, with his daughter, and put the fear of Dad into Jake.
'So.  What's the Plan?'.  He asked Jake, while his baby girl was waiting in the car (do doubt for the 'all clear' signal).
'Um, Watching Movies'.  Jake replied (since I was in my room I could not see if he was trembling, fidgeting, or brave enough to look him in the eye.  Darn it).
'What movie?'.  Big 6 foot 4 or so Dad bellowed.
Jake replied with the G-rated movie they were going to watch.
'Fine.  I'll be back at xxx'.
Needless to say, I joined the movie watchers.  The Fear of Dad was instilled in me as well.

Phew.  Jake is a 'good' boy.  As in, he has a loving heart, a gentle spirit, and doesn't run with the wolves, if you get my drift.  He is respectful.  He makes my mommy heart proud. 

This last Friday was supposed to be their Sadie Hawkins dance and it got cancelled (not enough chaperones).  I was bummed about it.  Jake wasn't.  His GF had gone to great pains to 'setup' his invite - a bucket of KFC on the dinner table with a cute saying about her 'winging it' and never doing this type of thing before, and would be be her date.  It was adorable.  The nearest KFC is 33 miles away so it took some effort.

They will have another chance.  Prom is 3 weeks.
And yes, I am looking forward to it!




 

Friday, April 15, 2016

On the Topic of Grace

Grace Walsh - April 15, 2016

My birth mother has been in a sub-acute care facility for close to 2 months.  She seems to go back and forth to the Stanford Hospital Emergency Room every 2 weeks to have a blood transfusion and most recently, had 'fluid' drained at a different hospital.  Her health has been on a serious decline since last July, when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She had tumors treated with radiation, has been on various medications, and, that is all I know.  The 'story' is always hard to get - in terms what she wants us to know, and what is truly happening.  Last  week we were told she has liver cirrhosis and that she knew this last summer and chose not to have a liver transplant.  Seriously?  She could have had a liver transplant and prevented all the crap that has been going on lately? 

However, it was her decision and we have to respect that.  Interestingly, I was recently thinking 'what would I do if I had cancer'?  I watched my dad die a over a three month period from his cancer and some hard core chemo therapy treatments.  I would never do chemo. 

The photo above was taken by my Aunt Alice, today, and was sent with the following message:



A miracle, prayers do get answered.  She's lost 50 lbs of water and looks great, even skinny.   Mentally pretty sharp and well spoken.  She's made friends there too.  Says Dr Marcus at El Camino hospital was the catalyst for her improvement.  Pls fwd this to Paula, I don't have her on this phone.  Had a great, happy, long visit with her.
Keep up the great work, girls, love you Much.

The 'great work' is due to my sister Avis, who has taken the lead as Grace's health advocate.  Not an easy job.  On the physical side, she has a two-hour drive to get to Grace, and has to juggle her own full-time job. Grace did not have any releases of information signed with any of her doctors. She doesn't have a power of attorney.  I doubt she even has a will.  It has been a very frustrating process.  You read about this stuff all this time.  But, for whatever reason, people like to keep their private affairs, private.  Until the day you get a call from another relative that 'it's an emergency'.   On the emotional side, my mother is a handful on her 'best' days.  Our own relationship has been strained for over 20 years.  Seeing her this last January was the best visit we have had in a very long time.

The photo?  I love seeing the smile on my mom's face.  My goodness.  I don't recognize her at all. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Mini Me is Giving Me (More) Gray Hair.. Sunday Musings. October 18, 2015


First, let me say I love the above quote.  I am all about independence, and learning, and taking risks close to home when you have a safety net nearby.  After all, my daughter is now a Senior in High School, and soon she will be 'off' making decisions on her own. 

Holy Batman. 

Toss in the co-parenting arrangement and let me just say, sometimes we have our moments.  Like, last night for example.

Sami was out last night for Homecoming with a group of friends and they had a sleep over. Coed. Yes, I gave her permission.  'We are the good kids' was her reasoning.  So, like I shared before, I believe in my daughter and her decision making capacity - which is so much better than mine was at her age.

Anyway, I thought she would be home bright and early this morning, like most Sundays, to get ready to go to the ranch. Meaning, 6:30 am.  Keep in mind, I wake both kids on Sundays at 6 am so they can get out the door to go be ranch slaves.  If they are late, their father has a fit.  So, not an unreasonable expectation, right?

So, when she didn't show her smiling face before 6:30 am, I started getting worried.  I sent her multiple messages: text, voice and even via FB messaging. I even contacted her brother to see if she was at the ranch and I was not in the loop.  He said no.  I asked if his Dad had heard anything from her. He said he did not know.

Maybe I should have called Darth Vader (the ex).  But I didn't really want him to know I was out of the loop and exhibiting my Mother of the Year skills, once again.  Plus, I didn't want him to freak out, unless it was warranted.  One of those lose-lose scenarios. 

I finally heard from her close to 8:30 am.  Up until that point, I had visions of ax murderers, kidnappings, her vehicle in a ditch.  You know - the usual.

What is with the sloooooow response?

 Thank God I dye my hair - the gray is coming in faster and faster.

Here is a sampling of our texts:
Me:  Where you at?  6:59  am
Then me sending a voice message at 7:33 am
Me:  you need to come home now!  7:49 am
Sami:  Wait.  Why?  8:10 am (One hour and ten minutes later).
Sami:  Why are u freaking out?  8:11 am
Me:  Jesus Sam.  I need you to check in! Because I haven't heard from you and you usually go to the ranch at 6:30 am! You didn't say you would be out to till forever! What is your plan now that I know your are alive?
Sami:  ?Well I already told dad yesterday that I'd be home later this morning.
 (Hello, how about telling your mother? The one you made the plans with? The one responsible for your whereabouts until you get to the ranch?)
And out till forever?  Mom it's only 8:17, goodness. Everyone is waking up now, we will probably eat then head back.
Me:  Well no one told me!  I've been worried all morning. Sniff
Next time I want names and numbers.  I have no idea where you are.  Just Hunters house.

There were more texts.  Details about Hunter's family, meaning their last name (well known),  his big house, mom's great cooking, bla bla bla.  Hello!  I think this would have been useful information ahead of time, eh? 

Again.  Mother of the Year.

Lessons learned: 
Me?  Get more details on the plans.  Or, Do not let her ever ever do this again! ( Foot stomp)
Her?  Her mother is a psycho (I'm sure that is what she thinks!) Or, Communicate the plans better! Or, remember, your mother is a psycho and will start calling the National Guard if you don't show up!

In my defense, I did not call the National Guard.  But I do happen to know all the local cops, and now that I think of it, some National Guards men as well, and was very, very tempted. 

I can't wait until she has children of her own!  Wait.  Yes I can.  I can wait 10 more years.  Please Lord, let's wait 10 years for that experience, shall we?  No teen pregnancies, deal? 

Cheese wiz I sure worked myself up into a tizzy. 
Thanks for listening...


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Musings, September 12, 2015.

Monday's hike to the top of Coyote Peak

Eagle Caps Behind Me - Monday Hike

Waiting Room Find-  During Tuesday's Girly Doc Visit  (still recovering)

Rosie In the Window One Fine Evening

Now We Are Three People With  Three Gas Guzzling 4WD Rigs - Needed in this Country

Flowers From My Guy - With a great 45 Day Countdown love note

Fall Decor

More Fall Decor

And, Yes, More Fall Decor!

Loving This View - September 11th

Feeling Blessed to Have This View - September 11th

Attended A Wedding On Saturday - 9/12


Closer Look At My Flowers.  Love the Larkspur. Love the asters or mums.  Yes, Love it all.

Creepy Guy Hitting the Road. Yes, I feel like the crazy neighbor lady looking between the shades!

Part 1 of Thursday Night's Shenanigans
Thank God it's Sunday.
I am still in my jammies.  And it is close to 2pm.  It was a busy, action filled work week.  Lots of meetings and then two big events Thursday night. After logging an 11 hour work day, I rushed home to change and took off again to get to town to attend a fundraiser event. Oy.  I got home at 11:30 pm and was wired from the combo of iced tea slugged earlier in the evening (which spilled in my tote bag on the way home - don't ask.  I was packing up our booth and stashed it so I could have two hands to carry crap), along with 2 very tasty celebratory beers, and being wired from listening/dancing to great music.  Thank you Channel Cats and Addeson Collard.

Needless to say, I hit the wall Friday - plus I was hurting from a lunch hour PIYO class I took also on Thursday (it was a rough day!), and still hurting from Tuesday's doc visit.

This too shall pass. 

Saturday I took Sami to La Grande to shop for things her Dad just can't buy; like a trip to the beauty section of a store, skirt shopping for an upcoming FFA trip to Lousville, KY and Nashville, TN (yes, you heard that right) and then trips to the Farmers Market, and Starbucks (yes, more sugar). After returning home for a quick nap, I hit the road at 2pm for an outdoor wedding. Which did not start until close to 5pm.  We were sitting out in the 90 degree or more heat.  Alas. Sun went down, DJ fired up the tunes, and after celebrating until what felt like midnight, but was only 9:30 pm, I got home late, again. The wedding was an hour from my home. 

So here I am.  In my jammies.  Which really means I am too lazy to take a shower but still motivated enough to do chores and get things done. 

Here's the things done list:
  1. Vacuumed four years worth of dust bunnies from under and behind the refrigerator.  GROSS!
  2. Currently on my fourth load of laundry.  Had to run Sami's towel through a vinegar wash 2x.  Stanky.
  3. Fixed a wonky curtain rod - thank you youtube video for drywall anchor screw stuff! 
  4. Speaking of laundry, tried washing her soccer shoes 2x yesterday.  She left them in her gym bag after the rainy soccer game. the smell of her gym back - which also got washed, curled my nose hairs on Wednesday night.  Need to do the vinegar trick on her soccer shoes, too.
  5. Cleaned out the vacuum dirt chamber and filter.  Outside.
  6. Watering the lawn in various spots - when I noticed a creepy guy walking behind my house.
  7. Spot cleaned the kitchen floor
  8. Cleaned the dust and crevices off the bathroom cabinet doors
  9. Made a pot of chili - and ate chili for breakfast
  10. Found lots of fun 'salad in a mason jar' recipes to try this week
  11. Got lost in inspiration blog land - hence the mason jar recipes
  12. Stalked creepy guy for about an hour or so - also called the landlord and neighborhood watch lady to give them a recap of my surveillance heads up.  He walked across my 'lot' area to the neighbors (young couple who have been suspected of growing pot in their home and have all sorts of strange people hanging with them)  and sat on the bumper of their camper while he just hung out.  Neighbors never came out.  I suspect they aren't home.  Don't know if he knows the neighbors or what.  Obviously a transient.  Backpack and on foot.  But he left.  Hopefully for good.
So, rest of the day?  Hope to cram in some crafty time.  Along with a trip to Phil's to check on sassy cat, and maybe, a bike ride. 

But a nap really sounds good!

Happy Sunday to all of you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fall Photo Tray Project

Happy Fall - 7 Gypsies Photo Tray (click on photo to see detail)

View 2 - 7 Gypsies Photo Tray Fall Project

Yesterday was a picture perfect Fall day to get LOTS of indoor and outdoor projects done (details at the end of this post).

In addition to yard cleanup and preparing for Fall outside, I also played inside.  The project above started with a nice motivational push from Jen Gallacher.  She has always been one of my favorite scrapbookers back from our 2Peas days, and yesterday I just happened to see her blog pop up in my Bloglovin' reader.  Happy dance!  And, she is hosting a Week Long Fall Festival with daily projects. 

Supplies:
7 Gypsies Photo Tray
Carta Bella Fall Blessings Collection (patterned papers, cut up cards & stickers)
Pebbles Harvest 'Curl Up' card cut from 'Let's Eat' 12x12 sheet
An acorn collected from my 2014 trip to CA
Photos from last September - right in my yard.

Thanks for the motivation, Jen!

*********************
 So, what did I get done yesterday?  

It was a lovely fall day.  Chilly in the morning, and it warmed up to the high 60's - for about an hour.   
Outside: My outdoor summer decor (American Flags, wreath, garden flags, door decor, etc.) is all packed away.  I cleaned out the annual flower pots and put them away, swept the doorways, wiped down the doors, and climbed a ladder and  cleaned up the swallow nests from the eaves (nasty business). Then, washed the bird mess off the walls  (double nasty business).  My neck and left shoulder are stiff!  Note:  I let the barn swallows nest during the summer. They eat the mosquitoes which are bad in this area.  Plus, I think they are cute little things darting around in the sky and yard. so, the mess is just part of the package.  AND, I started putting out some of my fall decor.  
Inside: I was really motivated! In addition to deep cleaning the bathroom, changing sheets and doing about 5 loads of laundry, I played in the kitchen (made guacamole, and a skillet red potato dish for later), changed out the summer placemats for fall colors, organized the boxes under my bed (aka looking for Sami's missing awards - which were not found), and changed the scentsi containers from summer to fall scents (which are heavenly!).  THEN I let myself play in my crafty room.  It's a curse.
Today? 
Today is Labor Day and since I am lucky enough to have the day off, I am going to use it to the fullest.  Right now it is 33 degrees, sunny and bright.  I need to visit my storage unit and search for Sami's missing awards.  I think I know where they are!  And, while I am there I am going to grab my boxes of Fall and Halloween decor - an extra bonus. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

There's a Chill in the Air! Sunday Musings. September 6, 2015

Soon this will happen (photo from last September 16)

A card I made two weeks ago for Miss E - BFF of 30 plus years

 
First Day of School Cookies - Delivered to School on Monday

Elk.  Yes, out there in that field.  This is on my commute home from work.

Jake taking his driver's test on Thursday.  He passed!

Soccer game in the rain. Yesterday. 

 Happy Sunday!   

Once again Rosie is sitting in my lap as I type.  French pressed coffee (Sunday treat) is left of the keyboard, and the clothes washer is stuck on the 'suds' mode.  It happens when I only wash one item and get carried away with the liquid detergent.  And, the yard is littered with the first fall leaves. 


It's cold here in Haines, Oregon.  We woke to 30 degrees.  It's 65 in the house and I refuse to turn the heat on - although I did turn on my electric blanket yesterday when I got home from Sami's soccer game after sitting in the rain -  I crawled into my bed to get warm - and for a nice long nap.  My toes were cold.  I left the house at 7:30 am to drive to her game in Idaho, for an 11 am game.  Idaho is an hour ahead of us so there's that extra hour to factor in.  Oh.  And no one was at the field that the coach sent out directions to.  Slight panic attack.  Thank goodness for cell phones and tracking down other people.  My contact was in Oregon and was not coming to the game - but at least she got the 'secret' text with the correct location. 

Vent: Even though I signed up on the 'here's my cell phone, email, bla bla bla' list. I am still left out of the loop.  I blame it on the fact that my 'kid' doesn't go to the same school she plays soccer for - so we always fall through the cracks when it comes to communication, award ceremonies, when things are changed at the last minute.  Crap like that.

Sami told me she wanted to stay the entire time (meaning watching the boys play after the girls) which meant I would be driving home alone if I went.  I told her that was fine - I did not want to stay, I just wanted to see her play.  She ended up coming home with me.  She was upset with the coach - Sami wanted more play time.  She forgets that she played the entire game last weekend and someone else didn't.  These things happen.

Let's talk about that game.  Another cruze to Idaho.  This time Payette.  Farm country.  We came home the back way (courtesy of google maps talking to me on my smarty pants phone and giving me the creepy feeling that we were headed nowhere fast) and drove along a river.  Oh it was lovely.  I LOVE rivers - it reminded me of the Sacramento River near Chico, CA.  Heck,  I miss Chico.  All things Chico.  Bidwell Park, coffee shops, almond orchards, back country drives (but knowing where the heck you are), riding my town cruiser.  Bucket list.

Highlights from this past week
  1. Back to School!  Monday.  One Senior.  One Junior.  Cookies made and delivered bright and early Monday morning to school. Sami loved them.  Jake?  Mr. mellow doesn't say much.
  2. Jake got his driver's license. Yahoo!  He almost puked, I am sure of it.  He could not eat he was so nervous.  But when he found out he passed - he was a new man. I don't think I have really seen him that excited and vocal! Boasting was more like it. And ready to taunt his sister who failed her first time. Yes, sibling rivalry - a healthy dose.
  3. Searching my craft room/bedroom/junk stash under the bed and in my closet for Sami's past awards.  For her 'college prep' work.  A class requires her to get ready - including a resume, applying to two universities, job shadowing for 15 hours and a mentor.  Trying to find a Marine Biologist in Eastern Oregon is going to be a challenge. I tried. Most likely we will be taking a trip west - to OSU and the coast.  I have a few work friends who are helping with ideas:  Drop the kid off at the Hatfield Marine Center and we go to Rogue Brewery. Or, go to Friday Harbor in Washington.  I see a road trip and adventure in our future.  Oh.. some awards were found in her bedroom.  By me. And yes, I told her so. Teens.  And all of the grade school awards were in my possession.  We are missing a few years.  Project for later today.
  4. Registering for the SATs.  Fifty four bucks.
  5. Soccer Fees:  One hundred three bucks. 
  6. Homework:  Jake doing pre-calculus and Sami teasing him that she finished hers in class.  Yes, they are in the same class.  Happens quite often.  This semester they have 2 classes together- three if you count the class Sami is TA'ing. 
  7. Worked a school fundraiser - Thursday night.  Concert in Baker at the High School Football field.  Soccer girls and parents. Food concessions.  Hot chocolate was a hit.  Cold drinks were not.  First night of getting colder around here.
  8. Snow.  Yes, snow.  In the mountains Friday night.  Friday morning my morning walk was in 29 degrees.  Rained that evening, which is snow at higher elevations.  Good thing I didn't have to work!  
Well, coffee cup is empty and washing machine corrected itself.  Time for me to get moving.  I am hoping to 'hike a mountain' today.  Now that the air is clear and crisp I am craving a 'the hills are alive' shout, spin and top of the mountain view.  Yes. I do this every now and then. Mostly at lower elevations and  in my yard.  Embarrasses the heck out of my kids.

Have a great day friends and family. 
xo.