Friday, May 08, 2009

La vida pasa

I have a friend who always answers, "La vida pasa" when I ask, "Que pasa?" Indeed, life does pass.

In the many months (months? oops!) since I last posted, much has happened. I've been substitute teaching (a VERY interesting line of work which has helped me both as a teacher and a life-long learner), living, and recovering from back surgery. The pain in my back (and neck, shoulders, arms, legs, etc.) finally got to be too much and an MRI revealed that I had some pretty serious issues that required surgery to correct them. I'm now in the midst of recovering, a slow, but hopeful, process. Every once in a while I find myself thinking about the fact I have a small rod and two screws in my back. (Neither screw is loose either, thank you very much.) Or I wonder about the person who donated the cadaver bone that now resides in my C-6 and C-7 section of my spine. Life is a strange event at times.

My little guy continues to be a source of extreme joy in my life. His latest "trick" is to wipe off each and every kiss I plant on his cheek or forehead. Goof. Then he grins and giggles at me. Silly man. So I've started to press my hand on the spot where I planted the kiss and tell him that I am making it stick before he can wipe it away. That just makes him giggle even more.

La vida pasa.

... and I continue to be blessed.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happier Holidays

I saw the following advice on Guidepost magazine's newsletter. I thought it was worth sharing with others. May all of our holidays be happier through our own efforts! :-)

Make Your Holiday Happier!
Advice from Dr. Peale
By Norman Vincent Peale

The man who inspired "the power of positive thinking" shares 5 simple steps to lift your spirit and make your holiday happier.

1. Do something new and different.
When you're depressed, it's easy to get into a rut and magnify your difficulties. Go somewhere or do something (even simply taking a new route to work) that can give you a fresh perspective.

2. What are you thankful for?
Sit down right now and make a list. Once you look for the good in your life, you will start to see more and more of it all around you.

3. Spend more time with your friends, especially the optimistic ones.
Confide your troubles. Sharing a burden always make it easier to bear.

4. For the next 24 hours, make a deliberate effort to speak hopefully about everything...
...Your work, your personal life, your home, your future.

5. Repeat step 4.
Eventually you'll notice you have replaced hopeless with hopeful thinking. Amazing!

Monday, November 17, 2008


'Tis time for Marie's Combat Boot Challenge again:

The inspiration:

This time I only took a basic color scheme and came up with a few needed friendship cards.

Interior lighting due to early darkness and snow falling.

Simple cards, but ones I would still enjoy getting in my mailbox. (That's always the test, isn't it? :-D)


Cards made entirely with Stampin' Up! products (cardstock, ink, stamps, and ribbon)


Saturday David and I were in the house, getting his afternoon snack when I looked outside... SNOW!
The last time he saw snow was last winter/early spring, too long ago for him to remember. He was SO excited to see snow falling from the sky that we rushed to get his jacket on and get outside.

He squinted at it, ran towards it, reached for it, caught a few flakes and screamed, "Ouch! It's COLD!"

What a little goof.

Since he refused to keep his hood up, I didn't want to stay outside for long periods of time.

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses, or, in this case, catch the snowflakes.

Even if they ARE cold.

p.s. I LOVE that he felt the need to applaud Mother Nature's performance in the last photo. :-D

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Saturday, November 15, 2008


The weather has been something else lately. Warm... cold... warm... cold with a possibility of snow... yeesh. Worse than the mind of a two-year-old. ;-)

Speaking of the little man, I'm so glad one some of the adoption seminars talked about nutrition. Otherwise I would probably freak out over some of the meals this little guy eats. While eventually he will be eating more what we eat, right now we usually fix food especially for him because of his many food allergies (wheat, milk, soy, egg, Brazil nut family, peanuts... I feel like I'm missing one of them...). Anyway, one of the seminars basically said that sometimes kids get into a groove with things they prefer, but as long as they balance out their diet overall an odd meal here or there is not a huge deal. The other night he ate applesauce, rice crackers, and apple juice. One time he had mandarin oranges, ketchup, and Kix. Yes, he eats some grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and some meat. Don't worry. Overall he is healthy, happy, and as goofy a kid as we could ever want. A few changes of meal plans here or there shouldn't make a difference... ya know? Still, it makes me laugh sometimes.

I checked out a few books from the library for cookbook ideas that are friendly to the little man. The trick is finding the ingredients. Hey, everyone always talks about how challenging parenting is. If this is the worst we have it, we have it easy. :-D


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Never Forget...

I borrowed this image from the National Parks Service site on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. While I am too young to remember the war itself, I was still humbled the first time I visited that wall. I vividly remember one veteran in particular who kept rubbing his fingers across a name, so hard that it was almost as if he was trying to obliviate the name. I couldn't help but wonder if the name he was rubbing was one of a friend who had made the ultimate sacrifice to save the soldier who still stood before me. He then started to sob. I looked to my father to help guide me in what I should do. My dad looked at me and slowly shook his head, then gestured that we needed to move on. When I asked later why he didn't do anything, he quietly said, "Sometimes the best thing to do for someone else is to let them fully experience their own grief."

In honor of that soldier, and the many others before and since, please take the time today to say a prayer for those who have served and the families who support them.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I started to rake up the leaves in the back yard last week. Finished three piles, trimmed part of a lilac tree, put trimmings and one pile in a yard waste bag, and then stopped to pick up our little guy from daycare. When we returned, it was dark and I didn't finish. (With a dog there are certain... uh... biological hazards that can show up in leaves in the dark. 'Nough said.)

Then it rained overnight and everything was soaked. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day to finish it off. Then again, I think we might have a leaf blower. Either way, I'd like to get that finished even though I love fall and all its leaves. I wonder if I just feel this way because I want to sweep up so many other things that simply aren't tangible. Sweep up all of those things and tie them up in a bag.

Life isn't always that simple though.

And it sometimes comes with those "bio hazards" that I mentioned before. ;-)

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Marie at From Combat Boots to Rubber Stamps has a new challenge:

The inspiration piece is an Etsy artwork piece:

My favorite parts were the embossing (the circle behind the flower) and the shading in the colors.

I tried to mimic this by embossing a circle of flowers in the background, shaded with a sponge and multiple inks, and then added a "Happy Birthday" circular sentiment in the center of the chipboard flower outline. Then I put a gemstone brad in the center of the sentiment, added some ribbon to give the impression of a stem, and finished it off by adding it to a base.

While the photography leaves much to be desired, I liked the way the card turned out. I will likely either give this in person, or put it in a mailing box, as the size is an unusual 5x5 and doesn't lend itself to being mailed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Little Monkey

OOPS! I forgot to post pictures of my little Halloween monkey. He didn't actually go trick-or-treating, but his cousins decided he needed to have some dollar bills that they had received when they went.

Most monkeys don't wear green frog sunglasses, I know. Most monkeys aren't as stylin' as my little monkey is though. The kid has class, doesn't he?

David is wearing the same costume as last year. (It was a little big then and a tad short now. ;-D) Enjoy.

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CBC 02

OK. Two weeks in a row out of my comfort zone. What's happening to me? ;-)

Marie at From Combat Boots to Rubber Stamps( has another challenge up. The cake above is the inspiration piece.

I stared at it for a while. Then went to bed one night, got up and stared at it some more. Next step was pulling any and all of the colors in the cake. Yes, they are shades of purple, but I also spotted some shades of blue/lilac and gray, so I added those in as well. Then I started punching: circles, flowers,and ovals... lots of them. After all of that, I decided to start making cards.

Below are the results. (Note to Marie: And you thought people were having trouble... ;-D)

All colors, stamps, rub-ons, and punches are from Stampin' Up! in my creations. They are pretty varied, so I hope at least one might jog your own brains. :-)

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