Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lots of various stuff and things

Well, so much for posting more often. We just cannot seem to catch a break this year! The pump for the well died, so we were without water for a couple of days (well, I say WE but fortunately I was down at Mom's!). We are fortunate to have the creek just behind the house so we could have used that to water the animals if we needed to; but Les had just finished giving everyone fresh water and had watered the garden right before the well pump died. It was fixed pretty quickly, and hopefully it will last for another 20 years. The bad part is that when the pump restarted it sucked up tons of rocks and now pretty much all the water sources in the house are clogged with them. It takes the washing machine FOREVER to fill to wash even a small load. GRRRRRR.

On my way down to Mom's last Sunday, my Rodeo turned over 270,000 miles! Monday morning, she would not start. Long story short - $500 for a new starter. Ugh.

Anywhooooo...I wanted to give a shout out to Waltzingmouse Stamps. Several weeks ago I won a random giveaway! I was so excited, I never win anything! I wasn't sure what to get since the prize was awarded in British pounds, and so instead of trying to figure out the exchange rate, I just asked Claire to pick for me. Wow - what an awesome selection she sent! I'm pretty sure she went over the amount she said I had won; here is the lovely haul:

Please excuse the horrible pictures; you can see Shadow's foot in the upper right corner of the top one! I cannot wait to use these stamps; the coffee set is my favorite, and I have so many ideas for them!! Please check out Waltzingmouse Stamp's website; shipping is quick because they have a US shipper, so you don't have to wait to get a shipment from across the pond.

I still have not been able to sit down and do any crafting. Mom is s-l-o-w-l-y recovering so I am still spending Sunday-Thursday down at her place. So I am going to continue sharing the cards I made for Jenny's swap.

The second card was my first experiment with the "smooshing" technique. I wish I had used watercolor paper instead of regular heavy cardstock; it warped pretty badly despite my best efforts. I like how it came out, despite that. The flowers were part of a K&C pack of pre-cut embellishments I bought a hundred years ago. I'll share more cards in my next post.

A few weeks ago, Mom and I were down in Gladstone, OR having lunch along the Clackamette River. On our way to the little beach there, we passed the Gladstone Community Garden. When I saw this plant, I hit the brakes! I was completely amazed by it! I asked Mom if it was an artichoke plant, and she wasn't sure. I didn't have my camera with me at the time, so the following week I crossed my fingers and toes that they hadn't cut it down and ran out there with my camera. I thought that perhaps it was the biggest thistle plant I had ever seen; later I Googled it and discovered that it was, indeed, an artichoke plant. This sucker is at least five feet tall, and those artichoke flowers are about the size of a salad plate:

And, almost last but not least, a few pictures of the Blue Moon we had on July 31st:

I mentioned Shadow's foot in my picture above; he and Stanley are Mom's dogs. They are staying out here with us for a while during Mom's recovery. They love to cow-a-bunga up onto her lap and Shadow usually sleeps on her leg that is hurting her right now, so we decided that it would be helpful if they weren't doing that. So, last pictures, are Shadow and Stanley:
Stanley, the ChiWeenie
Shadow, the Chihuahua
Well, I guess that's it for now. Until Mom gets well enough for me to spend more time at home, I'll try to post once a week. Gotta go round up all my stuff and get on the road to Mom's now. Hope you are all well, and I really appreciate your stopping by.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anniversary card for Sis and Les and other random stuff

Howdy! I'm going to do a series of shorter posts showing some of the cards I did for Jenny's swap last month, and will be sprinkling in some other pictures of our furry friends, our garden, and other random stuff. I feel like I have definitely not been posting enough (see my previous post as to why) and I'd love to share more of my pictures. So, here we go.

Here is the card I made for Sis and Les's anniversary last month:

I was inspired by a card shown on the idea sheet in the April SSS card kit. I wanted something feminine but with a slight masculine touch. I was pretty happy with how it came out.

Jenny had included five bookmarks in the newest Stampin' Up! colors for us to do with what we would for the swap; I was pressed for time, so I just embossed each one with a different embossing folder I had in my stash.
I am reading a bunch of books right now, so these will definitely come in handy!

Last, but not least, please to enjoy some pictures of our garden and our sweet four-legged babies:
Those are potatoes in the white barrels

Sammy and GiGi enjoying the summer sun

Amy supervising Les's yard work

Mrs. Weenie enjoying love from her papa

Amy and Skyler - our newest addition to the family; he is impossible to get a picture of!
Well, that's it for today. Stay tuned for more stuff and things. Oh - and I'll be showing the super awesome haul I received from Waltzingmouse Stamps! Super cute and fun stuff!


Friday, July 24, 2015


Holy cow – it’s been almost two months since my last post! So sorry that it’s been so long; this has been a bit of a rough year, and the last two months have been the hardest of all so far. I’ll give you the nutshell version:

·         Not long after my last post, I had trouble with a kidney stone. It’s a big ‘un;  spent time in the ER, still have not passed it. Missed some work, spent a lot of time in bed on pain pills. Haven’t been able to do anything crafty, creative, or industrious. The good news (I guess) is that it is in the bladder now so it doesn’t bother me too much; it only hurts when it tries – in vain – to escape.

·         Since mid-June, Mom has been in excruciating pain. Kaiser finally thought it might be a good idea to do an MRI (last week) on Mom’s back to figure out why she is in such a terrible state. Ah, yes – the sciatica you diagnosed REPEATEDLY was actually a compression fracture in the spine? Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit. Now, what are you going to do to FIX IT YOU MORONS?!?!?!?!

·         Financial trouble of epic proportions because of missed work due to kidney stone and Mom’s troubles. I don’t get paid time off for sickness or anything else for that matter. I do get 16 hours of paid time off every six months. Big whoop. Doesn’t last very long when I’m finally eligible for them.

·         Have been spending most of my time down at Mom’s to give Sissy a break. When Mom’s problem first surfaced, Sis stayed with her down in Portland for three weeks solid. Mom could not get out of bed, get to the toilet, get herself anything to eat, drink, etc. I am not physically strong enough to get Mom out of bed; Sis is a trained home-health caretaker and knows how to do that stuff properly. Plus, she is much taller and stronger than me; I don’t have the right leverage to get Mom out of bed. Once that phase was passed (Mom refuses to sleep in her bed and has been sleeping in a chair instead), I volunteered to stay with Mom the majority of the week. I go down on Sunday afternoon (last week it was Saturday afternoon) and stay until Thursday morning. Sis then comes down on Thursday night and stays until Sunday early evening. I commute to work from Mom’s, working four 10-hour days; I use the extra day off to take Mom to the doctor, grocery shop for her, etc.

·         Due to new schedule (see above bullet point) I have not been able to do anything crafty. No cards, no cross stitch, nada zip nothing. I have gotten a few books read, so I will be updating those parts of my blog. I leave for work around 6am and don’t get home until around 8pm. I can’t haul all my craft stuff to Mom’s and there is no place to work on crafts in Mom’s teeny-tiny trailer house. Add to that the fact that it has been hotter than the Devil’s armpits out here, which pretty much makes it impossible to do anything other than sit directly in front of the teeny-tiny air conditioner, eat popsicles and complain about how hot it is (I am a professional at this).

·         I am currently doing this update from work (shhhh…) and hope to get some posts in this weekend with pictures of the cards I made for the swap with Jenny, a card I made for Les and Sis’s 13th anniversary on 6/22, and some pictures of Les’s garden and other random things.

Sheesh – I should get the blogger version of the Debbie Downer award for this post! Well, hang in there with me; I’ll get some better stuff up soon.  TTFN.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

An Old Friend Is New Again!

Don't you hate it when you lose touch with someone you really like, really connect with? And you have no idea why you lost touch to begin with? I have a friend like that; her name is Jenny. And she found me on Facebook yesterday! I have been searching Facebook for her for years; I have no idea why she didn't pop up in any of my search results.

*shakes fist in anger at Facebook*

I first met Jenny back in the late 80's or early 90's; not sure exactly when, but it was when I went to live with my mom for a year. We hit it off immediately, sharing a love for Anne of Green Gables. She lived in Northwest Washington while I lived in Portland, OR. She got married and eventually moved to Montana. Eventually, I also moved to Montana, but we were still a couple of hours by car away from each other; we got together every once in a while. Then I moved farther east in Montana, and we were more like 5-6 hours by car from each other. Then we just kinda lost touch somehow.

We are both very excited about reconnecting. We both are crafty people; she makes the most ADORABLE coats for babies/toddlers/little kids you have ever seen, and I don't understand why she isn't a millionaire by now. And now, come to find out, she is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I remembered that she always had a love for rubber stamps, etc., many years ago. She has a group of six other gals (some that I knew back when I was living with Mom) that all swap cards with each other once a month, and they have a newsletter and everything. Jenny has asked me to join, and I'm going to do it! My time is limited for crafting, but I think I can manage to make seven cards in a month. Woo hoo! I'm so excited! I'll be sure to show you what I have made.


In my last post, I told you that we finally discovered why Les has been so anemic. Sis and I (well, Les too) learned something quite interesting. He is not bleeding out from anywhere, he is in early stage four kidney failure (stage five is dialysis).

Everyone's red blood cells eventually die off and the body just makes new ones. The signal for your body to do this comes from your kidneys. They send out a hormone that tells the bone marrow to kick out some more red blood cells; however, when you are in kidney failure, this hormone does not get released, and you don't make new cells. Interesting, no? I had no idea the kidneys talked to the bone marrow! Our bodies are truly amazing things. Anywho, they took him off of his main diabetic medication - because, surprise surprise, it is bad for your kidneys. So then his blood sugar levels skyrocketed - which is, surprise not so surprising, bad for your kidneys. Now he is on insulin and is tolerating it really well. His blood sugar is completely normal using the smallest dose, and his energy is coming back to him. He works out in the garden, does more stuff around the house, and doesn't sleep all day. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to want to over do it, and winds up face down in the lawn (as happened during my writing of my last post). Sis and I are working with him on that! I keep telling him that if he falls outside on a Friday while I am at work (40 miles away) and Sis is in Portland, the dogs will probably start to eat him before I get home. At first he thought I was joking, but then I assured him I was not as we have mostly Dachshunds and they will eat their own poop, so eating him probably wouldn't cause any issues for them.

Right now our goal is to keep him from reaching stage five, and not being eaten by Dachsunds.


On Monday night, Mom and I arrived at her place to find a message on her answering machine from my Uncle Bobby. It was one of those, "Hey, call me. We need to talk." Ominous. So Mom worried about it for about 20 minutes until I told her to JUST CALL HIM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. It turns out that my cousin Sarah, who had just turned 35 on Thursday, passed away on Friday. She had several medical issues, not all of which are known to me, and has been on oxygen for a while. Apparently, her heart just gave out on her. Her boyfriend could not wake her up, called 911, but she was already gone. It's heartbreaking. She was such a sweet girl, but could never seem to catch a break. I am glad that she had someone to share her life with, and that loved her along with her problems. I'm sad that she is gone, and I wish I had been a better cousin to her. Our family is close, yet us cousins are not close. Sarah's brother lives about 20 minutes away from my mom (and Sarah lived even closer), but we never get together. I guess with the invention of social media, people sometimes feel like they are "getting together" when we look at the family pictures they post, or "like" their status, and whatnot. But you know, it isn't the same. Pick up the phone and CALL each other, hear their voice, you know? I'm going to try very hard to be better about that. Her memorial is on Sunday, and I cannot wait to hug her mother. She was my uncle's...erm...last wife (he was married many times) and she was also my favorite. My uncle passed away 11 years ago, but our whole family still included her in everything because she didn't stop being a part of our family when my uncle died. She still has our love and support, especially now. A few years ago, she remarried and moved to Canada. Her husband will be joining her down in Portland tomorrow, and I can't wait to meet him. I wish it was under different circumstances.

Well, I guess I had better git. Sis just called me to say she has a raspberry cobbler in the oven, and when it comes out her fabulous chicken enchiladas are going in! Woo hoo!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Using My Crafty Mojo For The Power Of Good

I am so excited that I got to actually get my crafting mojo on today! I can't wait to show you the card I made; I'm kind of proud of it. But first - some back story.

I follow a great blog called "Understand Blue". Lydia, the blog's author, had a very sweet experience with a cashier at her local Whole Foods Market - you can read her post about it here. So, in answer to her call for cards for Damian, here is the one I sent to him:
Front of the card
Another view

Blogger is being so stupid right now; every time I try to add a caption to that last photo, it moves it to the top of my post. Oh well, as long as it just shows up, I guess I'll live with it! Obviously, that last picture is of the inside of the card. Since I take my pictures in the bathroom window, the light was shining through the paper and you can see my "made for you" stamp from the back showing through; it doesn't look like that in real life though. And yes, that is a roll of toilet paper in the very bottom of the shots; that is what I prop the cards on because I can't find my stupid little easel! LOL!

This was my very first attempt at watercoloring with Distress Markers. It's my first attempt at watercoloring period. I think it came out pretty well! Here is I used to make this card:
  • Cougar Opaque digital smooth 100# white cover stock
  • Die: Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Film Strip
  • Stamp set (doggies and sentiments): Delightful Doxies by Newton's Nook Designs
  • Tim Holtz Distress Markers
    • Doxie: Fired Brick, Gathered Twigs
    • Sky: Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean
    • Ballon: Dusty Concord, Picked Raspberry (heart)
I took my stuff into the dining room and took over the table in there. Les was a good sport and asked me all about my stuff and things and seemed impressed with all of it. Yay! I also made some stinking awesome bookmarks, but I can't seem to get a decent picture of them. I'll try to get one in the next couple of days to post. I made them out of watercolor paper; I was playing around some more with the markers and used my resulting practice sheets to make them. 

I'll be heading down to Portland again tomorrow. Here are a few more pictures I took week before last of some flowers in my Mom's yard:
This is one of my very favorite irises

Here is a picture of Teddy playing with a new cat toy Sis bought for him and Miss Muffin:
Please ignore the spots on the carpet...
It has a battery driven motor under that black dome; there is a stick with a ball on the end, and a piece of plastic that is long like a mouse's tail stuck on the ball, and the motor makes it go around the perimeter of the yellow circle in an erratic pattern. You can just barely see the little bit of red sticking out by his paw. At first, he was terrified of it! I just let it run, and eventually he got the idea and now he loves it.

Here is a picture of him after he played with it for a while:

Well, it's taken forever for this post to come together. Just as I was loading the flower pictures, I heard Les fall in the front yard. It took a bit for me to be able to get him up off the ground. Fortunately, he is not injured - although I'll be keeping a close eye on him this evening because he said he hit his head pretty hard on the ground. I just today bought him a whistle - like sports referees use - so that if he falls outside while I am in the house, he can blow that whistle and I'll come running. If he just calls out, there is no guarantee I'll hear him. Unfortunately, I just bought it this morning and hadn't given it to him yet! I just happened to hear him groaning in the yard. Poor guy. In a future post I'll let you know what we found out about why he has been anemic. It was a real eye opener, and I learned some stuff!

Well, talk at ya later. TTFN.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Frustration City, Man

Hey ho, all. How's things? Hopefully everyone had a lovely and safe holiday weekend. I'm a little frustrated because my weekend did not go as planned. I had planned to be up to my elbows in crafty goodness, but instead spent three days in bed curled into the fetus position spooning with a heating pad.

*At this point, my male readers and/or sensitive types not interested in TMI may skip down a ways.*

My Aunt Flow has not visited, phoned, emailed, or even FaceBooked me for more than a year; Thursday, she decided to drop in unannounced. I was totally fine Thursday morning; as I was merging onto the freeway on my way to work, my right ovary said, "Hey! Watch this! (insert wet squishy-squeezy sound here)". Then my left ovary said, "That's nuthin'. Watch this! (insert even wetter squishier-squeezier sound here)". Then my uterus said, "Amateurs. Watch THIS! (insert sound of me wailing and trying not to wreck the truck)". By the time I got to work 45 minutes later, I was doubled over the steering wheel. Fortunately, the sacrifice I offered up to the parking lot gods before I left home was well received, and I found a space quite close to my lab. I took a large dose of Advil, had a little something to eat, and about an hour later felt pretty good. At approximately 3pm, it started all over again, and this time no amount of Advil would appease. By the time I got home I was a-dyin'. I called ahead and asked Sis to round up a heating pad for me; god bless the inventor of heating pads!! It must have been a woman with monstrous cramps and a bad back. Friday morning I sent out emails at 4am letting everyone know I would NOT be coming to work. I know they all thought that I was just scamming to get an extra day off for the long holiday, but I really wasn't! I only got out of bed to use the bathroom and hobble into the kitchen for some lukewarm water and dry toast. Oy. Saturday morning I hobbled to the shower, managed to pull on some clothes, and went into Chehalis. I had to drop off due library books, get some food for the fur-balls, and then crawled down the health aisle at Safeway to get a bottle of Evening Primrose Oil. It was ten bucks but I would have sold everything I own to get that bottle. I took two of them right there in the truck with some watered-down Diet Coke from Jack-In-The-Box that had been sitting in my cup holder for three days. That's desperation right there folks, let me tell ya. Within an hour, my cramps had eased considerably. Still, when I got home, I got back in my nightie and went back to bed. By Sunday I could get dressed and do a few things without feeling like I had to keep my knees locked together for fear of necessary organs falling out.

*OK, sensitive readers may join us again. Thanks for your patience.*

I went outside to keep an eye on Les while he was working in the new garden and spraying weed killer around our big tree stump. Sammy was out there with him, and caught two huge mice or moles or voles or some sort of rodent which he proudly paraded around the yard with then promptly devoured. Yuck. Mom (with her dogs Stanley and Shadow in tow) came home with Sissy Sunday night and I continued to take the EPO and felt a little better. Monday, when I had the day off with my sister and my mother, when there were yard sales literally every quarter mile down every road around us, I woke up with a migraine.


Spent pretty much all day in bed. At least mom's dogs like to snuggle in bed with me, and thank goodness for my Kindle so that I could watch Netflix and play Farm Hero Saga in bed. Between Mom and Les being deaf and having to yell back and forth over the TV and the noise of eight - yes, EIGHT - little barking dogs with pitches to their barks that were making dolphins off the coast of southern California look around and wonder - What's that noise? - I could. not. even. So I went in my room and hid for a few hours. When I came out, I felt a little better and was treated to the entertainment of two deaf 78-year-old-plus people using their new canes to try and chase chickens out of the newly planted garden. That...was awesome.

So, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), no crafting was achieved. And I am SO BUMMED because I used the last of my gift card to buy this Newton's Nook Designs stamp set:
Delightful Doxies Clear Stamp Set
IS THIS NOT THE CUTEST THING??!!?? As you may know, we have a few doxies in our household. This arrived in the mail on Thursday, but my sister accidentally took it with her down to Mom's, so I wouldn't have been able to do anything with it until Monday anyway. Arrgghh...I can't wait to use it!

So, hopefully you had a better weekend than I, and also hopefully I will be posting some sort of cute craft project featuring doxies very soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Some crafty stuff

I managed to actually make some stuff! And I wanted to show you something I made a while back, plus two things out of my recent purchases that I can't wait to use. Ready? Here we go.

I will have to say that I am pretty happy with how these two cards came out. This first card is for a co-worker; his daughter turns one this month. I can't see making cards for a one-year-old; I feel that all of that stuff - parties, etc. - for a one-year-old is really for the parents, not so much the child. So, instead of a birthday card, I made a "Congratulations on surviving your first year as a parent" card.
Sorry about the picture quality! I'm still trying to find the best place to photograph my cards; so far it's the bathroom window! The baby image is cut from Graphic 45's Little Darlings Collection, Bundle of Joy; the card base and front panel is the cream card stock selection from Simon Says Stamp's May card kit; I used the Stitched Circle Stax dies from MFT; the ink is the Simon Says Stamp dye ink in Pale Blush Pink from the May card kit; the sentiment is from a Hero Arts set; and the gorgeous ribbon (this pictures definitely DOES NOT do it justice!) is from my stash, purchased a while back from a local craft store that is now kaput. I'm going to link this up to this week's Wednesday challenge blog at Simon Says Stamp. I just now realize that I misinterpreted the theme - Let's Get Sentimental was referring to using a sentiment on the card, not feeling sentimental. Oh well.

This next card I made last night and I am really happy with it. It is a thank you card for the nurses that took care of Les this last stay in the hospital. He asked me to make one, and I hope they like it!

For this card, the card base is Domtar Cougar Opaque 100# white cover stock; the cream panel is the same card stock as the card above; the wood-look designer paper is also one of the selections in the SSS May card kit; the die is from Impression Obsession (used "inlay" style, and I pieced all those little hearts, etc. in like a jigsaw puzzle); and the little copper gem embellishments are from EKSuccess - Jolee's Boutique, All That Bling collection. I also used Wink of Stella in clear on all the full hearts; of course, you can't really see it in these pictures. You might get a hint if you enlarge the middle picture. Maybe. Les says he really likes it. Since the card is coming from a man, and not all of the nurses that cared for him were female, I tried to keep the foo-fooness to a minimum.

A few months ago, I tried my hand at making a mini-album. I love Ginger Ropp from My Sister's Scrapper. I subscribe to her YouTube channel, and I found the tutorial for this album there. I haven't really done much with it yet, but I want to put my favorite snaps of my family in it. Here is the front:

 The back:
 And inside:
If you want to know the specs on the papers used, etc., let me know and I'll try to dig it all up. My internet is being a jerk and it's taking me FOREVER to link up to stuff today.

Last of all, here are two of the newest items to my crafty collection. I received a $100 gift card from the engineers I support for Administrative Assistant's Day, and I have been buying bits and bobs from several different places. I saw this die somewhere and instantly fell in love with it, and my great-niece Hannah absolutely LOVES llamas; she's been having a rough time lately, so I bought this stamp to make her a card. It turned out to be a whole lot bigger than I expected, so the idea I had for it went right out the window and I'll have to come up with something else. But that's OK - I love the stamp!

Well, I gotta go get clothes out of the dryer so I can get on my way to Mom's. Les worked out in the garden for two and a half hours this morning and will probably sleep for a week solid now. I think it did him good to get out, but I'm terrified he's going to over do it. I hovered like crazy while he was out there and couldn't get anything done in the house!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Claiming my blog on Bloglovin'

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Just claiming my blog on Bloglovin'! Nothing more to see for now.

If you'd like to follow my blog on Bloglovin', please click on the button on the right side bar. The link above won't work for you. Thanks! And thanks to JoJo at Tahoma Beadworks & Photography for bringing this to my attention. Check out her blog - it's awesome!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Quicky post with pictures!

OK - just a quick one to let you know I'm still here.

On Saturday, I managed to make a card! Woo hoo! That will be my next post. Promise.

Here are a few terrible pictures I took with my cheapie cell phone of flowers in my mom's yard. Please to enjoy.

The pink is a little blown out in this one, but I've never seen an iris this color! There is a better snap of it below.

I love these purple stripey ones...

A better shot of the pink...

This does not do the color of this iris justice. So, so pretty in person.

Mom's Geoge Burns roses

So happy!
Well, that's it for now; gotta dash. Les is doing better; I have to pick up a dozen cake donuts for him tonite from Heavenly Donuts lest he perish on the sofa.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Missing Dad

Today is May 1st, and this May 1st is the 34th anniversary of my Dad's passing. I still miss him every day, and I often wonder how differently my life would have turned out if he was still here.

It's strange that I have lived longer without him than I did with him, and I am now older than he was when he died.

I love you, daddy. I miss you so much.

Many thanks to Mark, Lanise, and JoJo for your kind comments on my last post - I really appreciate them! Les is getting a little stronger every day, but I'm still concerned about him. He doesn't seem to be rebounding as well as he usually does; granted, this was a really rough battle for him, and a little different than recovering from a surgery. He seems bound and determined to get out into the newly tilled garden area and get some seed in the ground.

On a random tangent, here are a couple of photos I clicky clickyed with my horrible little cheap cell phone camera over the past few weeks:

Mom's wisteria before she chopped the beejezus out of it

The gals at the Cafe 26 here on the mill site often write messages on my lunch orders. It totally makes my day!

For some weird reason, Blogger is choosing to rotate this picture. But I'm going to add it anyway because it's a cool cloud picture. It was a bit stormy that day.
Well, that's it for today. Here's hoping that May is a great month for us all.